Roto Riteup: August 20, 2013

Today is National Radio Day! Rather than a traditional radio program, the present author urges one to check out the Born On Third Podcast (warning: language). The podcast is done by three people whom the author would consider good friends and good baseball people. Of course the podcast itself is largely baseball focused, however it is prone to wandering tangents. They’re entertaining tangents, though.

On today’s agenda:
1. Albert Pujols is done for the year
2. Pick up Wilson Ramos
3. Brian Roberts‘ value

Albert Pujols is done for the year
In a move that isn’t terribly shocking, the Los Angeles Angels have shut down Albert Pujols for the remainder of the 2013 season. A .258 BABIP was part of the problem that led to his .258/.330/.437 overall line, easily the worst of his career. Ideally this time off in addition to a full offseason will serve Pujols well. The fact that he began the season battling this plantar fasciitis and never really got comfortable, Pujols could have a solid bounce back year in 2014.

Where he ends up on preseason rankings and draft boards will probably be quite varied. Pujols certainly won’t be a keeper for next year, but there are reasons for hope, as well as the reasons for doubt. Pujols may slip through the cracks and slide to double digit rounds or go in the third round. Given the amount of risk associated with a 34-year-old first basemen, one may be wise to look elsewhere for someone to man a fantasy cornerstone like first base.

Pick up Wilson Ramos
Including yesterday’s 1-for-3 day with a home run, Wilson Ramos is now 11-for-28 over his past seven games. Though he hasn’t drawn a walk in 19 games, Ramos does offer plenty of value in standard 5×5 leagues. Injuries have cut his season down thus far, but now he is healthy and is once again the primary catcher. He is a career .272/.332/.441 hitter and is capable of helping one’s team out down the stretch.

Ramos has moved to hitting seventh lately rather than eighth and even hit sixth on Saturday. For a catcher that is currently hitting .296/.325/.491 he is still available in 87% of Yahoo! and ESPN leagues though just 57% of CBS formats. For anyone in a two catcher format Ramos should be owned and played.

Brian Roberts‘ value
Though he just went 0-for-5 yesterday, Brian Roberts is still swinging a hot bat. Over his past 10 games (that includes an 0-for-1 pinch hitting performance) Roberts has 11 hits in his past 38 plate appearances and has drawn seven walks, including one intentional walk. Roberts actually hit leadoff yesterday for just the second time this year, though Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter didn’t cement Roberts as his new leadoff man at all.

Even if Roberts hasn’t been anointed atop the O’s lineup yet, just him getting on base at a strong clip is enough for many fantasy owners looking for middle infield help. For now, Roberts is hitting and seeing the ball well enough to earn ownership in any on-base percentage leagues. Roberts has one steal in his lone attempt this year and speed probably won’t factor in to his game very much at this point. Despite his recent on-base streak, Roberts has gone largely ignored — probably due to constant health concerns — in most leagues. He is still available in over 90% of ESPN and Yahoo! formats as well as 76% of CBS leagues.

You can catch David spouting off about baseball, soccer, esports and other things by following him on twitter, @davidwiers.

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With the Xander Boagerts call up, is Stephen Drew worth dropping in a 12 team league? I have been using him as my SS and he has been giving me pretty nice production over the last month, but I fear his playing time is about to be reduced and it might be time to look into guys like Brad Miller, Brian Dozier and Alcedis Escobar… depressing as that is.