Roto Riteup: August 15, 2019

Can someone get Chris Paddock’s hat back from this man please?

On the Agenda:
1. Various News and Notes
2. Quick Hits
3. Streaming Pitchers


Various News and Notes
We got word that Pirates starter Jameson Taillon underwent his second career Tommy John surgery on Wednesday.

This is crushing news for Taillon, the Pirates, and fantasy owners. Fangraphs own Paul Sporer mentioned in the latest, “Sleeper and the Bust” that he would’ve, “bought back in” on Taillon next season as long as we didn’t receive any significant news trending the wrong direction; unfortunately, that terrible news came. Taillon pitched his first professional inning back in 2011, and has been mired by multiple injuries throughout his time in the minors, as well as in the pros. This will be his second TJS; and since making his MLB debut back in 2016, he’s missed time with shoulder fatigue and had a bout with testicular cancer back in 2017. His best year came in 2018, when he compiled a 3.20 ERA (3.77 SIERA), 1.18 WHIP, 23% K, and 6% BB over 191 IP. Pitchers have come back from TJS at a much better rate these last few years, but fantasy owners in keeper/dynasty leagues have to be frustrated with this situation. He’s still a very talented starter who could provide multiple years of top-40 value if things go right; but we’ll have to wait a while for that to come to fruition.

After telling us early in the day on Wednesday that he was pushing for a Friday return, Fernando Tatis Jr. was placed on the 10-day injured list due to a back injury he suffered on Tuesday night against the Rays.

Tatis is the 18th ranked hitter on the ESPN Player Rater – sporting a .969 OPS, 149 wRC+ (ninth on FG), and elite sprint speed per Baseball Savant. He’ll be undergoing more tests to see the severity of the injury, but we’ll have to monitor this situation very closely. The Padres have no reason to rush him back, which isn’t awesome for us fantasy owners who are in the thick of the “stretch run” or vying for a playoff birth depending on your format. Luis Urias got the start at shortstop yesterday, with Greg Garcia filling in at second base. The Padres could mix Ian Kinsler in from time-to-time, but this likely increases Garcia’s playing time the most. Regardless of how this plays out, Tatis is a first-round pick in next years drafts.


Quick Hits
Aristides Aquino became the first player in MLB history to hit nine home runs in their first 14 games after he went 2-for-5 with two runs scored and a home run against the Nationals on Wednesday.

Aquino is remarkably still available in a decent amount of leagues. With altered mechanics and a new hitting coach, he’s been able to tap into ability that NONE of us could’ve predicted. This type of production won’t last, but like I said about Danny Santana a while back – ride the wave.

Speaking of Danny Santana, he remains a top-40 hitter this season after going 2-for-5 with three runs scored, three RBI, a double, and a home run in the Rangers victory over the Blue Jays. The home run is his 19th of the year, and he’s now hitting .311/.341/.580 with 108 combined R/RBI, 13 stolen bases, and a 128 wRC+. He’s still only 28 years old and his Statcast metrics say he’s not necessarily this good, but it’s not entirely a fluke either. His multi-positional eligibility doesn’t hurt either.

Max Scherzer believes he’s ready to return to the majors after throwing a simulated game on Tuesday and participating in a throwing session on Wednesday.

There’s a possibility the Nationals let Scherzer bypass a rehab assignment entirely, and return to the rotation as early as this weekend. Stay tuned.

Blake Snell played catch on flat ground for the second time yesterday. The Rays are still aiming for him to return in September.

Rhys Hoskins went 1-for-3 with two runs and an RBI out of the leadoff spot for the Phillies on Wednesday. The hope is they can jump start his production; as he’s currently outside the top-20 first baseman on the ESPN Player Rater.

Five players hit multiple home runs yesterday. The list includes Yulieski Gurriel, Bryce Harper, Matt Chapman, Xander Bogaerts, and Dodgers newcomer, Edwin Rios.

Trevor Bauer allowed nine earned runs in four and a third innings pitched against the Nationals on Wednesday. He has a 7.31 ERA and 1.56 WHIP in three starts with the Reds, and now has four starts this season where he’s allowed seven runs or more (four in his entire career prior to 2019). Just for context, the nine earned runs he allowed yesterday is the most he’s surrendered in a start in his whole career (If I scanned his game logs right). It’s safe to say, Bauer shouldn’t be looked at the same as he did this year as we head into 2020 drafts.

Elvis Andrus went 4-for-5 with two RBI and two stolen bases. He’s now behind only Mallex Smith, Adalberto Mondesi, Ronald Acuna, and Jonathan Villar in steals with 25.

Top-10 catchers James McCann and J.T. Realmuto both launched grand slams yesterday. McCann’s in particular, was of massive significance in his game.

Sean Manaea is expected to join the Athletics after one more rehab start. He’s logged a 6.29 ERA and 1.40 WHIP with a 35/8 K:BB ratio over 24.1 IP (6 GS) in the minor leagues thus far, but he’s been particularly effective in each of his last two. He’s worth a pick-up in most formats.

Jeff McNeil was placed on the 10-day injured list due to a left hamstring strain. According to team official, the ailment is fairly mild, and should only cost him the minimum 10 days. Ruben Tejada – who I legitimately didn’t know was still playing – was brought up from Triple-A and made the start at second base.

Avisail Garcia was placed on the 10-day injured list due to a right oblique injury. Garcia initially thought he’d be able to tough it out, but the Rays obviously felt differently. Oblique strains typically require lengthy absences, so be sure to keep tabs on this if you’re a Garcia owner in a deeper league.

Yoan Moncada began a rehab assignment yesterday, and should be returning from his hamstring injury somewhat soon.

Robbie Ray made an early exit from his start on Wednesday due to lower back spasms. He’s set to undergo an MRI to determine the severity of what’s going on.

Albert Pujols went 2-for-4 with three RBI against the Pirates yesterday, and became the MLB all-time leader in hits from a foreign player – passing Adrian Beltre – with 3,168.

Homer Bailey possibly kept his job as a starter – for at least the time being – after spinning seven scoreless innings (seven strikeouts, one walk) against the Giants. Matt Harvey was signed to a minor league contract with the Athletics yesterday as well.

Trent Grisham continued to show why he should be heavily owned in fantasy – going 2-for-4 out the leadoff spot – with two runs scored, a walk, and a go-ahead three-run home run in the bottom of the eighth to seal a victory for the Brewers.

Jurickson Profar will be headed to the bench in favor of the blistering hot 30-year old minor leaguer Corban Joseph. Joseph has a 1.006 OPS and 143 wRC+ with 52 extra-base hits in 425 PA at Triple-A this season.

Jake Arrieta is likely done for the season after he was placed on the 10-day injured list due to a right elbow injury. Jason Vargas, Drew Smyly, Aaron Nola, Vince Velasquez, and Zach Eflin will round out the rotation for now, but keep an eye on Nick Pivetta, Enyel De Los Santos, Cole Irvin, and Drew Anderson as well.

Astros manager A.J. Hinch said Wednesday morning that Gerrit Cole, “reports feeling good.” The Astros are still performing tests on his hamstring, but we should know more today about a possible prognosis.


Streaming Pitchers (Less than 50% owned)

Pitcher for Today: Andrew Heaney vs CWS
Heaney pitched well in his first outing back from the IL and now should get deeper into the ball game versus a less talented White Sox offense.

High Risk Options: Spencer Turnbull vs SEA

Pitcher for Tomorrow: Vincent Velasquez vs SD
SD offense ranks 20th in wRC+ (90) against RHP, tied for last in K% (26.4%) against RHP, and will be without their best player (arguably). Velasquez has allowed three earned runs or less in four-straight.

High Risk Options: Mike Leake vs SF, Adrian Houser at WAS

We hoped you liked reading Roto Riteup: August 15, 2019 by Mike Werner!

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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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