Roto Riteup: August 23, 2019

This is how I get ready for the weekend.

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


Various News and Notes
Rays manager Kevin Cash announced on Thursday that Brandon Lowe will miss the remainder of the 2019 season due to a quad strain he suffered during his recent rehab assignment.

This is really unfortunate news for the Rays and fantasy owners alike. Lowe was given a full-time role this year, and was awarded an All-Star appearance for his efforts (.862 OPS, 127 wRC+). The Rays will be getting Joey Wendle back in the near future, but for the time being, Eric Sogard and Michael Brosseau figure to continue their platoon at second base.

Speaking of players out for the season, “West Coast” starters Griffin Canning and Jon Gray will both miss the remainder of the 2019 season due to elbow inflammation and foot surgery. Both starters had fairly successful years for different reasons. Canning ends his rookie campaign with a 4.58 ERA (4.33 SIERA), 1.22 WHIP, and 25% K over 90 IP (17 GS). His 14% SwStr and solid repertoire bodes well for his future outlook. He’s in line to be one of the starters I put my “flag” in next season, as he’ll likely have an affordable draft cost. Gray will finish 2019 with the second-best ERA of his career (3.84), but is also sporting the worst SIERA of his career as well (4.35). He did hold a 3.73 xFIP at home this year, and continues to sport premium velocity that promotes missing bats (12% SwStr, 24% K). His elite GB% helps as well (50%). All-in-all, these are two starters that I will be looking to acquire in dynasty leagues, and who I look forward to drafting next season.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone made an announcement on Luis Severino yesterday:

He also mentioned that Severino should be ready to pitch in game action in about 10 days. He made it through a simulated game yesterday without issue, and he’s expected to throw a sim game in about five days, with a rehab assignment following not too long after. Fantasy owners have waited patiently all season for Severino. He’s been a droppable asset for a while now, but dynasty league owners could feel slightly better about his outlook for 2020 if he’s able to return and pitch well the rest of the regular season and into the playoffs. Severino was taken on average at pick 117 in NFBC Main Event formats (38 leagues) this year, and will be an interesting commodity heading into 2020.

With Carlos Correa on the injured the list, the Astros finally promoted top prospect Kyle…….wait, Abraham Toro? Toro was ranked just inside the top-20 of the Astros list on Fangraphs; but he’s ranked much higher for some other evaluators (top-75 overall for one of the scouting teams I looked up). I admittedly don’t know much about Toro in particular, but he’s posted 17 HR and 4 SB with 80 RBI over 514 PA between Double and Triple-A this season (153 and 178 wRC+ between both levels), and has a great opportunity to take on third base duties until Correa returns (if he does in the regular season). Toro is worth a grab now in deeper-mixed, and AL-Only formats. He’s posted a tremendous BB% throughout the minors and does a great job of making contact. He has some pop (50-grade power) and will be hitting in a potent Houston lineup. There’s some intrigue here.


Quick Hits
Francisco Cervelli was released by the Pirates and is expected to sign with the Braves according to Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Max Scherzer allowed a solo-home run to Adam Frazier, but was otherwise unscathed against the Pirates in his return from the injured list. He only went 4 IP (71 pitches), striking out three and walking one.

Yoan Moncada went 2-for-4 with a double and a two-run home run against the Rangers in his return from the injured list.

In his first start in 15 days, Gerrit Cole hurled seven scoreless innings against the Tigers on Thursday; striking out 12 and walking one while only allowing two hits.

Astros GM Jeff Luhnow said Thursday that he expects Carlos Correa to be, “good to go” for the final three weeks of the regular season. Correa himself is encouraged by the results of an MRI that was taken on his back, but I still think from a fantasy perspective that he’s easily droppable. Even if he returns for the final three weeks, the Astros have zero incentive to push things with him, and let’s be honest, he’s not as good as everyone thinks, and he could easily be injured again or suffer a setback.

Marcus Stroman is set to be available for his next start after leaving his previous outing with a hamstring issue.

Sandy Alcantara – who has a decent schedule the rest of the way – allowed only three hits and one run (zero earned) over seven innings against the Braves on Thursday; striking out seven and walking two. It’s his fifth solid showing in his last six tries.

Jeff McNeil started a rehab assignment with Triple-A Syracuse yesterday.

He’s expected to return when first eligible after landing on the injured list with a hamstring injury last week.

Jesse Winker was placed on the 10-day injured list due to a cervical strain (back). Phillip Ervin will take his place, and is an interesting add in deeper formats.

Tyler Mahle – who hasn’t pitched in the majors since July 19 – was activated from the 10-day injured list (hamstring) and sent to Triple-A Louisville. He’ll be back with the Reds once rosters expand.

Dansby Swanson could be activated from the injured list fairly soon.

He’s been out since July 23 with a foot injury, and the Braves newly acquired, slick-fielding shortstop (Adeiny Hechavarria) has a hit in five-of-six games with a home run and four RBI. Even when he returns, there’s definitely a possibility that he’s eased back in for a couple of weeks.

In Matt Harvey’s second minor league start with Triple-A Las Vegas, he went six innings – allowing two runs – yielding three hits, and striking out six with no walks. He now has a 14/0 K:BB ratio over 10 IP with Vegas thus far – allowing two runs total. The Athletics have made less talented players fantasy viable before, ahem Homer Bailey.


Streaming Pitchers (Less than 50% owned)
A Pitcher for Today: Vincent Velasquez at MIA
Three earned runs or less in five straight with a 26/10 K:BB ratio 28 IP during that time. The Marlins own the second-worst wRC+ against RHP this season (75).

High Risk Options: Dylan Cease vs TEX, Trent Thornton at SEA


A Pitcher for Tomorrow: Alex Wood at PIT
Wood has terrible surface stats this month, but he’s been mighty unlucky. The Pirates own the worst wRC+ against LHP this season (71) and are an average offense at home.

High Risk Options: Dinelson Lamet vs BOS, Jordan Yamamoto vs PHI

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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Alcantara allowed 1 run in 7 inns