Roto Riteup: August 10, 2023

Just when you thought there weren’t any more ways for Fenway to resemble a carnival game:

No word on whether Yoshida later pulled out a baseball, or $10K worth of chowda, Punch-A-Bunch style.

On the Agenda:

  1. News and Notes
  2. Bumps and Bruises
  3. Comeback Trails
  4. Streaming Pitchers

News and Notes

Welcome to the OC:

Citizens Bank Park saw its second no-hitter by a hometowner last night, with Michael Lorenzen allowing as many base knocks as there are non-overrated cheesesteaks in the world. The line wasn’t the sexiest (5 K, 4 BB) but the former reliever still kept the Nationals hitless and witless for 9 IP, finishing things off by inducing a can of corn from Dominic Smith. Lorenzen now has a 3.23 ERA (3.85 FIP) and 1.04 WHIP over 122.2 IP, with seven wins and 93 strikeouts, currently clocking in as the #32 SP on the Razzball player rater.

Josh Jung had surgery yesterday on his fractured left thumb, getting himself a fancy new set of screws and plate to stabilize an injury that typically needs at least four weeks to recover from. We don’t yet have a firm timeline for his return but Jung will remain with Texas in hopes of making a late-season return for the Rangers.

Facing a stretch of nine games in nine days, Houston will go to a six-man rotation for the near future, with J.P. France making his return to the land of starting for at least one turn on Saturday at home against the Angels. France most recently pitched 3.1 IP of shutout ball in his first relief appearance, striking out four and picking up a W. Before getting the boot due to the acquisition of Justin Verlander and Jose Urquidy’s return from the IL, France posted a 2.85 ERA (4.17 FIP) and 1.22 WHIP over 15 starts, but with just a 17% K%.

Bumps and Bruises

Paragon of health, J.D. Martinez, received a cortisone shot on Wednesday for his injured hamstring, with the Dodgers hoping he’ll be able to return over the weekend. Martinez has now missed six of the last eight games, with Max Muncy and Chris Taylor filling in for him at DH.

J.P. Crawford will be evaluated for a concussion after a collision with Eugenio Suárez. Crawford remained in the game but reportedly wasn’t feel well and will be put through concussion protocol to double-check that the noggin is still working just fine. Consider him day-to-day.

DJ LeMahieu was a late scratch yesterday with right calf tightness. There’s no further word yet on the extent of the injury but consider him day-to-day for now, with Isiah Kiner-Falefa set to cover him at third base in the meantime.

In one more case of initialization injury news, AJ Pollock hit the IL yesterday with the ol’ dreaded oblique injury. It looks like the Giants will be without Pollock and his .523 OPS for at least the next three weeks.

Merrill Kelly 켈리 departed his start limping after pitching six shutout innings against the Dodgers but early word points to just a leg cramp. Consider him day-to-day but he doesn’t seem in danger of missing any time. Counterpoint: The combination of my injury luck this season with the preponderance of Kelly on my rosters should make you very, very worried.

Luis Robert Jr. was removed with a right pinky injury after stealing third base but the X-rays later came back negative. Consider him day-to-day with Robert and the White Sox getting another day to rest up with an off-day today.

Comeback Trails

Cedric Mullins (groin) could make his return from the IL in time for this weekend’s series against Seattle after making his four rehab start on Wednesday. Mullins has been out since July 15 – or, about 1.5 gallons of Justin Mason tears of pain. Fortunately, much like a phoenix being reborn, Mason’s tears of joy are highly coveted for their healing properties.

Hunter Greene (hip) is expected to make two more rehab starts before making his return to the Reds rotation. Greene threw 46 pitches over 2.2 IP in his second rehab appearance last Saturday and is scheduled to work four innings in his next one today. That would put Greene on track to make his MLB return early next week against the Guardians*.

*Correction! I accidentally ignored that his last rehab start will actually be early next week before making his return to the rotation after that.

Walker Buehler faced live hitters for the first time since having  Tommy John surgery last August, with Dodger manager Dave Roberts saying he used his whole pitch mix, and a fastball sitting 92-93 mph. Buehler is tracking to return sometime in September but I’m not sure how much we should be counting on a large fantasy contribution from the Dodger ace, as it’s hard to immediately trust someone returning from TJ surgery, particularly when it’s their second one.

Streaming Pitchers

Streaming Pitcher for Today: Zack Littell, TBR vs STL – Littell has been a swiss-army knife all season for Tampa Bay, whether as opener, starter, or reliever but has turned in two traditional starts in a row, allowing 2 ER in 5 IP against Houston, before pitching six shutout innings against Detroit in his most recent appearance, allowing just three hits and one walk but only striking out one. The Cardinals remain mired in the NL Central basement and should continue to be streamed against.

High Risk for Today: None (Maybe). You’ll likely have a lot of streaming options on a short-slate Thursday but none besides Littell I feel super comfortable rolling with…Unless! Clayton Kershaw seems likely to make his return from the IL tonight against the Rockies but if that plan changes it will likely be Ryan Yarbrough getting the call against a hapless Colorado road offense. The strikeouts will never be plentiful but Yarbrough has been more than decent, as of late, posting a 2.17 ERA (3.58 FIP) in his five appearances (four starts) since returning from the IL on July 9.

Streaming Pitcher for Tomorrow: Jake Irvin, WSN vs OAK – If all else fails, stream against Oakland.

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9 months ago

FYI on Hunter Greene–he isn’t eligible to be activated until 8/17. So I’d guess one more rehab start next week then return after that.