The Roto Riteup would like to remind you to stay hydrated:
— MLB GIFS (@MLBGIFs) April 5, 2018
On the Agenda:
1. Double-Dealing Dodgers
2. Coming (back) to a Ballpark Near You
3. Various News and Notes
4. Streaming Pitchers
According to Andy McCullough, Kenta Maeda may pitch out of the bullpen for the rest of this week. The Dodgers, who are playing at San Francisco this weekend, are potentially looking at at least 1-2 rainouts and do not want to take Clayton Kershaw off of his regular five day schedule, so they may look to skip Maeda in the rotation. There also may be some gamesmanship going on as well. Maeda has an incentive laden contract that gives him $1,000,000 for his 15th, 20th, 25th, 30th, and 32nd start in a season as well as $250k for every 10 innings pitched after 80 innings. Last season, Maeda pitched only 134.1 innings and started 25 games and only went six innings or more in 6 of those games. It may be difficult for him to top that this year.
As far as Kershaw goes, he was not himself once again in his second start, but at least his velocity was closer to what it typically is. However, that may be because there apparently has been some issues with “getting some data loaders correct” according to Dan Brooks of Brooks Baseball. While Kershaw has not been his amazing self yet this year, it appears at least the fears over his velocity aren’t as big of an issue as some made it out to be.
Coming (back) to a Ballpark Near You
According to Mike Puma, Michael Conforto will be activated from the DL on Thursday. Conforto traveled with the team to Washington for their upcoming series with the Nationals. Conforto, who had offseason shoulder surgery, returned much faster than anyone had expected from the DL. He should be good to throw back into your lineups now.
According to manager Terry Francona, Michael Brantley will be activated Friday. Brantley is coming off of serious offseason ankle surgery, but looked good at times in spring training, but wasn’t quite 100% to begin the year. If he can stay healthy, Brantly offers a bit of pop, speed, and average, but the is a big IF as he has only played in 101 MLB games total over the last three seasons.
Various News and Notes
Aaron Hicks is reportedly pain free and looks like he may return as soon as he is first eligible next week. This is good news for the Yankees as somehow Jacoby Ellsbury re-injured himself while on the DL, which is the most Ellsbury thing Ellsbury could do. Hicks has a ton of potential in this potent Yankees lineup if he can just stay on the field. Continue to keep him in your DL slot since he will be back so soon.
According to Jon morosi of MLB.com, Brandon Phillips hopes to play for a Major League team this season. The 36-year-old is open to a utility role to continue his career. Phillips isn’t the player he once was, but could still be a valuable MLB piece if an injury presents itself. He isn’t worth stashing right now, but keep an eye on where he signs.
Jack Flaherty was optioned to AAA. The Cardinals made the move to activate Adam Wainwright from the DL. Flaherty was impressive in his first start of the season and will likely be up as soon as needed in St. Louis. Keep Flaherty stashed, if you can, as there is a bit of risk to a number of the Cardinals starters. Wainwright is not fantasy relevant at this point.
Wil Myers was placed on the 10-Day DL with an arm issue. Myers had been struggling with the injury for a while and finally the Padres have decided to let him get better on the DL. Cory Spangenberg will likely receive more at bats in his absence as well as Hunter Renfroe.
Christian Yelich left Wednesday’s game with a dreaded oblique injury. He will be reevaluated on Thursday, but consider him day-to-day at this time.
Streaming Pitchers Options
A pitcher for today: Kyle Gibson vs SEA
Seattle is missing Nelson Cruz and Gibson started off the season with a six inning no hit performance versus the Orioles.
A pitcher for tomorrow: German Marquez vs ATL
There is risk here pitching in Colorado, but Marquez looked filthy in his first start of the season.
Justin is the co-host on The Sleeper and The Bust Podcast and writes for Rotographs covering the Roto Riteup as well as random topics that float into his juvenile brain. In addition to his work at Rotographs, Justin is the lead fantasy writer/analyst and co-owner for FriendswithFantasyBenefits.com, owner of The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational, and a fantasy football and baseball writer for Fantasy Alarm. He is also a certified addiction treatment counselor. Follow Justin on Twitter @JustinMasonFWFB.