Roto Riteup: July 13, 2018

Things get crazy on Friday the 13th…..

On the Agenda:
1. Workin At-Bats
2. J-Ram
3. Various News and Notes
4. Streaming Pitchers

Workin At-Bats
Mookie Betts had one of the best at-bats of the season against southpaw J.A. Happ on Thursday. With two outs and the bases loaded, Mookie worked a 3-2 count that resulted in a grand slam and gave the Red Sox a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

Happ was at 85 pitches prior to the at-bat and was lifted for Joe Biagini after Betts went yard. The home run was Mookie’s 23rd, and his line sits at a league-leading .345/.440/.683 with 76 R, 49 RBI, with 16 SB. He’s the second ranked player on the ESPN Player Rater.


Jose Ramirez tied JD Martinez for the MLB lead in home runs at 28 on Thursday, going 2-for-3 with 2 RBI and a walk.

Just amazing, insane, spectacular, whatever word you want to use. The changes he’s made for power in tandem with his already lethal plate skills and speed are a perfect recipe for fantasy success. There’s already been a sufficient amount of analysis on this, but I’ll give a few points as well. Power metrics that are at career-high levels or have improved: Launch Angle (18), Avg. Exit Velocity (89 mph), ISO (.322), wRC+ (170), Pull% (54), Hard% (40), FB% (45), HR/FB% (20), O-Swing% (23.5), Barrel% (9.6). All of those improvements are correlated with his swing change, as he went from a “toe-tap” to a “leg kick.” His BB% is over 13% — another career-high – and he’s maintaining a strong BA (.296) despite striking out a tad more (11%). Oh, and he has 19 SB with five coming over 12 days this month, and 12 since the calendar turned to May. He’s first on the ESPN Player Rater, and could be in the midst of a breakout campaign that will result in “Trout-level” production.


Various News and Notes
There were a few rumblings on different players yesterday in the trade market.

While the article doesn’t mention it, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reported yesterday morning that the Phillies are interested in Zach Britton. Despite the mixed results, the Phillies bullpen could certainly use a strong, battle-tested southpaw in high-leverage situations. Especially with the back-end of the Phillies pen being in flux. Other players mentioned are Whit Merrifield (PHI, MIL), deGrom, Thor, and Adrian Beltre.

According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Dodgers, Brewers, and Yankees have “separated themselves” in the Manny Machado sweepstakes.

We’ve talked about the Machado situation at nauseum on the Roto Riteup. We’ll all just have to wait and see where he ends up before we can give proper analysis.

The Astros and Rays have been in contact about a possible Wilson Ramos deal according to Jon Morosi of MLB Network.

The Astros have more than enough talent in their system to snag Ramos for the rest of the year. Brian McCann is expected to be sidelined until September, so Houston could use an additional back-stop. While he’s nearing the end of a two-year pact with the Rays – and is essentially a rental – the Rays should acquire something interesting for him. Ramos went 2-for-3 with a walk last night and is currently hitting .295/.345/.484 with 14 HR and 51 RBI (3rd ranked C on ESPN Player Rater). A trade to the Astros could mean slightly less playing time, but his counting numbers will likely be improved. He’s at least a top-8 option at the position the rest of the way.

Logan Morrison has been placed on the 10-day disabled list due to a left hip impingement. Ehire Adrianza has been activated in a corresponding roster move. Robbie Grossman will likely see an up-tick in at-bats.

Rafael Devers was placed on the 10-day disabled list due to left shoulder inflammation according to Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald. It looks like this will be a short-term issue as he’s expected to return shortly after the All Star Break. Tzu-Wei Lin was recalled in a corresponding move, but Eduardo Nunez and Brock Holt will be the beneficiaries of Devers being sidelined.

After making an early exit during his start against the Rockies on Wednesday, Shelby Miller was placed on the 10-day disabled list due to right elbow inflammation. It’s unknown how long he might be sidelined, but he was a long way off from fantasy relevance anyways. Depending on how things shake out, the Diamondbacks may be forced to deploy Braden Shipley.

Willy Adames was optioned to Triple-A Durham. He’ll be back later this season, but the Rays are happy with the current middle infield construct. Adames hit .216/.263/.341 with 3 HR and 1 SB in his first 88 AB.

Stephen Strasburg will make his final rehab appearance with High-A Potomac on Sunday. He’s slated to throw 85 pitches. He should be activated and ready-to-go for the second half following the outing.

Freddy Peralta will be re-inserted into the Brewers roatation immediately after the All-Star break according to manager Craig Counssell. Peralta was optioned to Triple-A Colorado Springs on Thursday.

Jaime Barria and Joey Lucchesi had similar situations happen to them, as they were optioned to Triple-A on Thursday. Both are expected to be a part of their respective rotations following the All-Star break.

Ryan Zimmerman is expected to return next Friday according to Nationals manager Dave Roberts.

Bryan Hoch reported that Yankees manager Aaron Boone said that Gary Sanchez could begin a minor league rehab assignment on Sunday.

In addition, Gleyber Torres has begun running.

Garrett Richards will be undergoing Tommy John Surgery.

Richards made it back last season after treating his arm injury with a stem cell injection. After 5 GS in September and an additional 15 GS this season, owners seemed to think things were looking up at least in the short term. Unfortunately, we were wrong. We likely won’t see him again until the end of 2019 or beginning of the 2020 season.

According to Dustin Pedroia isn’t sure whether he’ll return this season.

James Paxton exited Thursday’s game against the Angels after just 17 pitches due to lower back stiffness.

This is a day-to-day situation, but with his injury past, fantasy owners were in a frenzy when he first left the game. He was supposed to start on Friday, but was pushed up a day due to Felix Hernandez hitting the disabled list.

Kyle Gibson dropped his ERA to 3.59 after hurling eight innings of one-run ball against the Rays on Thursday. An increase in his SwStr% this year has upped his K%. With a strong GB-tilt and underlying metrics we should see Gibson post a 4.00-ish ERA with decent strikeout numbers the rest of the way.

Tyler Skaggs allowed 1 ER in 6 IP with a 5/1 K:BB ratio in his return to the Angels rotation on Thursday.


Streaming Pitchers
A Pitcher for Today: Nathan Eovaldi at MIN (If available)
Anibal Sanchez vs ARI
The Diamondbacks are 22nd in wRC+ over the last 30 days
Hail Mary Option: Tyler Chatwood at SD

A Pitcher for Tomorrow: Danny Duffy at CWS
Hail Mary Option: Zack Wheeler vs WAS

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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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Mookie Betts and Jose Ramirez are the same guy, and you will never convince me otherwise.