Roto Riteup: April 5, 2019

Don’t you dare test the Roto Riteup!

On the Agenda:
1. Kershaw’s Rehab Start
2. Various News and Notes
3. Streaming Pitchers

Kershaw’s Rehab Start
Clayton Kershaw allowed 2 ER in 4.1 IP (61 pitches) with 6 K and 2 BB in his first rehab start for Triple-A Oklahoma City. He was opposed by the Brewers Triple-A affiliate (San Antonio) – featuring guys like Corey Ray, Tyrone Taylor, Lucas Ercig, Mauricio Dubon, and Keston Hiura. He walked Ray to start the game, but didn’t give up a blemish until the second inning when he yielded a round-tripper to Tyrone Taylor.


Another run would score later than inning, but Kershaw went on to strike out four of-the-next five hitters he faced. 10-of-the-13 outs he recorded were either via strikeout or on the ground, and his velocity sat about 88-90 mph. Last April he was sitting about 91 mph on average with his fastball, so I don’t consider this a concern as of now. Like I mentioned yesterday, Dave Roberts had already planned on there being another rehab outing in store for the southpaw, and Kershaw echoed that same sentiment after the outing.

The important thing here is that Kershaw came out of this healthy, feeling good, and ready to take the next step. If he makes just one more rehab appearance – like I said yesterday – we should see him with the Dodgers come the week of April 14th – or as I like to call it – post Game of Thrones premier. Fantasy owners should be slightly worried about him staying healthy once he returns. However, his skills remain in tact and in my opinion, he’ll be at least a top-20 starter while on the field.


Various News and Notes
Trevor Bauer didn’t allow a hit in 7 IP against the Blue Jays yesterday. The pro is he notched eight strikeouts, the con is he allowed six walks. The free passes are odd since he got ahead over 60% of the time. The 28-year old has been pegged by himself and many pundits as a potential Cy-Young candidate this season – and so far – he’s delivering. Over his first 2 GS he’s 1 ER on 1 H in 14 IP to go along with a 17/7 K:BB ratio. My personal projections had him at a 3.19 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 11.2 K/9, and 2.3 BB/9 prior to the start of the season.

Staying with Cleveland, star infielder Jose Ramirez exited yesterday’s game in the seventh inning after fouling a ball off his foot.

Hopefully this doesn’t result in any substantial loss in playing time, as the Indians and fantasy owners alike really need him right now. He’s currently off to a slow start, but don’t be alarmed, everything will be fine.

Speaking of injuries, Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons left Thursday’s game against the Rangers in the third inning due to lower back tightness.

There’s currently no sign of how serious this is, so be sure to stay tuned. Some beat writers are saying day-to-day, so at the very least assume he’ll be sidelined a game or two. David Fletcher would be the main beneficiary if Simmons was sent to the IL, as Zack Cozart is already receiving regular PT.

Max Fried was perfect until the sixth inning against the Cubs on Thursday, striking out five and not issuing a walk.

All-in-all he ended up allowing one hit to one of the hottest offenses thus far. Fried used to carry a good amount of prospect esteem a couple of years ago, but the shine has worn off due to various reasons. His velocity and pitch mix were a bit inconsistent, and he had below-average whiffs on every offering as well. Mike Foltynewicz and Kevin Gausman are on their way back, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that Fried will be the one who gets the boot. He’s worth watching for now in deeper formats.

Corey Dickerson was placed on the 10-day injured list due to a right posterior shoulder strain. J.B. Shuck and Pablo Reyes will be receiving more playing time due to this, but neither are fantasy relevant. There’s currently no timetable for Dickerson’s return.

I think we’re all interested in some Shohei Ohtani updates:

Once we get a more defined timetable for his return (to hitting of course), then we can better navigate when to possibly pick him up (in shallow formats). For the most part he’s already owned, but the way he’s talking seems like he might be a bit ahead of schedule.


Streaming Pitchers (Less than 50% owned)
A Pitcher for Today: Lance Lynn @ LAA
Not the best results in his first start, but he kept the ball on the ground – had a good amount of whiffs. The Angels offense has been a lethargic bunch to date, so a lot of this is predicated on that. He was superb in one start, and mediocre in another against LAA last season.

High-Risk Option: Trent Thornton @ CLE
Let’s just keep picking against Cleveland until they give us a reason not to. Thornton has two-plus pitches and logged 8 K in 5 IP against DET his first time out. Let’s see if he can get something going twice in a row.


A Pitcher for Tomorrow: Zack Godley vs BOS
Don’t love the options for today’s slate, but I’m banking on a Godley rebound, ironically, against one of the best offenses in the league. Godley faced the Dodgers buzz saw his first time out – I expect he’ll fair better tomorrow.

High-Risk Option: Pablo Lopez @ ATL
Lopez oozes upside. He posted 7 K in 5.1 IP against the Rockies in his first outing – deploying a strong three-pitch mix that resulted in an 18% Sw-Strike. The Braves offense has been solid thus far, but Lopez has the stuff and the command to be successful. He’s still highly volatile, and his numbers against the Braves weren’t good last year, but I’m still tantalized by him.

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Fantasy Baseball and Tampa Bay Rays enthusiast. Restaurant manager by day, fantasy analyst by night. Contributor to Rotographs, Baseball HQ, Fantasy Pros, and co-owner of Friends with Fantasy Benefits. Follow me @MikeWernerFWFB.

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Re: Jose Ramirez

“He’s currently off to a slow start, but don’t be alarmed, everything will be fine.”

He also finished last season poorly. Part of me can’t help but think that the league has solved him and he has yet to demonstrate that he’ll be able to adjust.


He has a .150 BABIP right now…Oh no, a 24 PA sample size!


Soooo, you’re thinking after 6 years in the majors and 2.5 years of being a superstar they finally figured out what works against him? With all the advance scouting and analytics in the game now, I guess I have a hard time believing “the league figured him out” for anyone who has been in the majors for more than a few months.

He did finish poorly last year but he also had a poor August 2017 and came back fine. Players have bad stretches, it’s just part of the game.