Roto Riteup: August 2, 2019

It’s so important to have a spotter.

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


Various News and Notes/Quick Hits

Cole Hamels is pegged to return to the hill this Saturday against the Brewers.

He’s been out since June 28th with an oblique issue. Over two rehab starts with Triple-A Iowa, he’s allowed three runs (two home runs, all in his latest outing) with a 6/6 K:BB over 5.1 IP. He’s not safe to deploy yet, but he could make an impact once he starts to get stretched out.

Adam Duvall swatted his fifth home run in six games since being called up from Triple-A Gwinnett.

He’s now 12-for-25 during that stretch, but has struck out seven times without walking as well. We can reconvene in two weeks if he’s still making contact and/or playing.

The Dodgers top pitching prospect – Dustin May – will make his MLB debut today against the Padres.

May sports two premium pitches in his two-seamer and slider, and has shown flashes with his change-up. He’s posted a 2.30 ERA and 1.10 WHIP with 24 K and 9 BB over 27.1 IP at Triple-A, and flat-out has the stuff to compete at the MLB level at this point. His career-high in innings is in the 135 range, assuming he’s allowed to throw 10-20% more this season (including the playoffs), that gives us at least a few starts (roughly) before we get concerned about him heading to the bullpen or being sent back down. This is all my opinion. With that said, he’s well worth an add in daily transactions leagues, and worth spending a good amount of FAAB on this weekend.

Will Smith smacked a go-ahead grand slam against the Padres on Thursday, and now has three home runs and 13 RBI in his last five games.

Smith should be owned in all formats right now.

Jesus Aguilar made his Rays debut and went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and two walks out of the sixth spot in the lineup against the Red Sox. The Rays are dealing with multiple injuries, but they were facing a right-handed starter last night, and sent Nate Lowe (and Jose de Leon) down. Aguilar has been heating up recently, and if he gets regular playing time, he could become mixed league viable again.

Nick Anderson allowed a double to Andrew Benintendi in the eighth inning in his Rays debut, striking out two. His plus fastball was on full display. There’s a decent chance that he finds his way into some closing opportunities in the not-so-distant future.

Danny Salazar allowed two earned runs on four hits with two strikeouts and three walks in his first major league start since 2017. It was a tough opponent (HOU), and he only threw 36-of-66 pitches for strikes, but the more concerning issue is his mediocre velocity (88 mph).

We’ll see how severe his groin injury is; hopefully it’s nothing serious. Salazar continues to be an interesting stash if you’re looking for some upside the rest of the way.

The Astros sent down Myles Straw, Jose Urquidy, and Bryan Abreu to make room for Zack Greinke, Aaron Sanchez, and Joe Biagini on the active roster. Like I said yesterday, I think Sanchez gains a considerable amount of value in his move to Houston.

After posting a 170 wRC+, seven home runs, and a .356 BA in the month of July, Xander Bogaerts went 4-for-4 with two home runs and three RBI against the Rays to start the month of August.

Speaking of two home run games, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. tallied his second double-dong outing of the season, going 3-for-5 with four RBI and a double as well.

Vlad had a .284/.370/.455 line with three home runs and a 122 wRC+ in July, and could be in line for a mammoth last couple of months of the season. There’s a high likelihood that he’s a top-25 pick in drafts next season, and for good reason.

Jameson Taillon’s season is officially over after we got word that he’s going under the knife to correct a strained flexor tendon in his right elbow.

The expectation/hope is he’ll be able to return around May of next year. Depending on his updates and reports this offseason, he could end up being a draft day bargain in 2020, or possibly the polar opposite. He’s had TJS already, and missed a month in 2017 due to testicular cancer.

Bo Bichette had another multi-hit effort and is now 8-for-18 with two doubles, a home run, and two RBI with two strikeouts and one walk to begin his pro career.

Jack Flaherty allowed one hit (Nicholas Castellanos) over seven shutout innings against the Cubs on Thursday with nine strikeouts and two walks. He compiled a 2.48 ERA and 1.10 WHIP with 37 K and 11 BB over 29 IP in July – resulting in three QS. It’s nice to see him start August off on the right foot. He’s set to face the Dodgers, Royals, and Brewers over his next three.

Brendan McKay held his own against the Red Sox on Thursday, allowing three earned runs on seven hits with one walk and seven strikeouts. All of his runs came at the hands of Xander Bogaerts, which is pretty understandable. He’s worth keeping on roster in mixed leagues with the hopes he stays up. Five of his last six starts have been in the majors.

Mark Canha went 3-for-3 with a double, a walk, a run scored, and two stolen bases in the Athletics victory over the Brewers. He posted six home runs and 10 RBI with a 135 wRC+ in July, and is getting fairly regular playing time.

Matt Chapman handed Josh Hader his third blown save of the season, and propelled the Athletics to a win with a two-run home run – his 24th of the season – in the eighth inning of Thursday’s contest against the Brewers.

Clayton Kershaw logged a quality start against the Padres on Thursday (6 IP, 2 ER, 5 BB, 5 K), but it was still an outing that placed him even further in the Dodgers history books.

Trent Grisham went 0-for-3 with a walk in his major league debut. He’s currently 14th in our Brewers prospects list, and has always had an innate ability to be selective and take a walk. Our prospect team cites his change in approach as a reason to be excited (more pull-heavy), which is significant due to his 26 HR and 12 SB in 441 PA between the Double-A and Triple-A levels this season. He could be mixed league viable if his changes translate to the MLB level. Only time will tell, but he’s worth speculating on in deeper formats.

Dylan Cease had arguably his best start of the season against the Mets yesterday; allowing 3 ER (4 R) on seven hits with 6 K and 2 BB over 7 IP in a loss. I wouldn’t expect much the rest of the season in terms of upside, but Cease could be a nice bargain heading into 2020 depending on his draft cost.

Zack Wheeler notched seven strikeouts and zero walks for the second-straight outing since his injury. Yesterday, he held the White Sox scoreless and only allowed four hits. He really turned it on in the second half last season, and posted better skills in July this year despite a much worse ERA. His arrow is pointing up.

After an awful month of July, Scott Kingery started August off on the right foot by going 3-for-4 with a run, two RBI, and a stolen base in the Phillies win over the Giants.

Max Kepler put an exclamation point on his breakout season after kicking off Thursday’s game against the Marlins with his 30th home run of the season.

He’s hitting the ball harder than ever, continuing his trend from 2018 of putting it in the air (45% FB), and posting a stellar CT% (82%) and BB% (10%). Oh, and his xBA says he should be doing even better in batting average, but we can’t be picky.

Byron Buxton swiped his 14th base of the season and posted his third multi-hit game in his last six. He now sits top-20 in the category among all players; interestingly enough, he has the third-lowest PA among those 20. If he can ever play a full season, a SB number north of 30 is definitely on the table.

Michael Pineda had a 2.59 ERA (4.15 SIERA), 1.15 WHIP and 18% K/BB% in July, and allowed one run over six innings against the Marlins to begin August.

Cody Bellinger blasted his 35th home run of the season against the Padres on Thursday – his first round tripper in his last 12 games.

Hunter Renfroe launched his 30th home run of the season against Clayton Kershaw on Thursday.

He’s posted 26 HR or more in three-straight seasons, but this will be the first time he’s hit the 30 home run mark. One of the top power bats in the game, Renfroe will always be able to deliver in that category. He also has some sneaky, above-average speed that not many know about or see. With that said, his BA will always be a concern due to his inability to make consistent contact.

Alex Dickerson was placed on the 10-day IL due to a right oblique strain. He was doing well with the Giants prior to going down, and is likely out multiple weeks.

Jo Adell has made his way to Triple-A Salt Lake.

Arguably the top prospect for fantasy, Adell could conceivably get a cup of coffee with the Angels in September, and is absolutely a candidate to get substantial major league time in 202.

With the additions of Franmil Reyes and Yasiel Puig, the Indians sent down Greg Allen and Jake Bauers to Triple-A Columbus. Puig and Reyes went a combined 2-for-7 in their debuts with the club, with Puig notching his 15th stolen base of the year. Puig is set to be suspended for three games due to the brawl with Pittsburgh a few nights ago.

The Tigers purchased the contract of Travis Demeritte. He’ll likely occupy an outfield spot, and could be a worthwhile spec-add in AL-Only leagues just to see what happens.

John Means is expected to be activated from the 10-day IL next week.

According to Jim Hays of Fox Sports Midwest, Yadier Molina is expected to begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Memphis today. Molina has been out about a month with a thumb injury, and his main replacement – Matt Wieters – has posted a .240 BA with six home runs over the last month; including a three-run home run yesterday.

Cesar Hernandez has went 3-for-9 with two extra-base hits (one home run) and three RBI over the last two days since taking over the lead-off spot from Scott Kingery. It’s odd because Hernandez has seen his BB% cut in half this season (6%), but Kingery doesn’t have the best OBP either so it could stick.

Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoya said that Ken Giles is expected to return on Sunday or Monday. Justin Shafer could get another save chance or two in the meantime.

Sam Dyson was called upon for a save chance in his Twins debut against the Marlins, but he absolutely cratered, allowing three runs on two hits with two walks.


Streaming Pitchers (Less than 50% owned)
Pitcher for Today: Steven Matz at PIT
The Pirates are dead last in wRC+ against LHP this season and Matz just threw a complete game shut-out against them in his last outing.

High Risk Options: Kevin Gausman vs CIN, Martin Perez vs KC

Pitcher for Tomorrow: None
I’m not confident fully recommending anyone.

High Risk Options: Thomas Pannone at BAL, Aaron Sanchez vs SEA, Adrian Sampson vs DET

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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3 years ago

I feel like someone should probably have Will Smith but (correct me if I’m crazy) he’s not worth dropping Narvaez or carrying 2 catchers in a standard format. I could see Narvaez being just a guy down the stretch but all he has done all season is hit.
Edit – Upon a second look, yeah maybe Smith is at that level (and he’s long already owned in all my leagues while I was being “patient”). Slow and steady doesn’t always win the race!

3 years ago
Reply to  docgooden85

Is will Smith worth dropping D’Arnaud?