Roto Riteup: July 14, 2018

In the initial run of this piece, I used a phrase to describe Billy Hamilton’s athleticism that can be also used as a slur and while that was not my intent, I should’ve known better. I understand the mistake and I’m sorry.

On the Agenda:
1. Chase Utley Retirement
2. Various News and Notes
3. Streaming Pitchers

Chase Utley Retirement
Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley said on Friday that he plans to retire at the end of the 2018 season.

The 39-year old currently has 259 HR, 153 SB, 1,100 R, 1,025 RBI, and a .276/.358/.466 career line to go along with a 119 wRC+. He won a World Series with the 2008 Phillies (against my team of choice the Rays) and led all of baseball in WAR from 2005-2014. The only real question remaining is whether he’s a Hall of Fame caliber player or not – in my opinion he is. Here’s some of his rankings among all second baseman all-time:
HR: 259 (8th)
OPS: .825 (13th)
wRC+: 119 (24th)
RBI: 1,025 (19th)
Runs: 1,100 (32nd)
Off: 258.5 (11th)
Def: 116.9 (23rd)
WAR: 63.2 (12th)

All-in-all, there are 22 second baseman in the HOF (according to my count), and Utley has ranked highly enough across the board to be placed in that category. He was one of the best to ever play the game at his position and deserves a trip to Cooperstown.


Various News and Notes
Matt Harvey had another productive outing against the Cardinals on Friday – hurling five innings of one-run ball with five strikeouts and two walks. Harvey is only owned in 26% of ESPN leagues and has allowed 9 ER over his last 6 GS (34 IP) with a 25/7 K:BB ratio.

The Astros are hoping Carlos Correa is able to begin a rehab assignment during the All-Star break.

He’s been sidelined with a back injury since June 25th, but should be returning sometime within the next week or two. He’s currently hitting .268/.352/.480 with 13 HR, 95 R/RBI, and 2 SB.

Max Muncy hit his 22nd home run against the Angels on Friday. The long-ball was his second in four games, and fifth this month. His overall line for the season sits at .276/.415/.618 with 22 HR and 41 RBI. He’s tied with Bryce Harper for second in BB% (19.2) and is behind only Jesus Aguilar in ISO as well (.333). Statcast has him 30th in Avg Exit Velocity and fifth in Barrel%, essentially saying that he’s hitting the ball with authority and presenting the plate skills and underlying metrics to support it. Things won’t go this well all season long obviously, but he’s the type of waiver-add that is going to win leagues for people.

A day after tying Ken Griffey Jr on the all-time home run list, Albert Pujols landed on the disabled list with left knee inflammation. While he had to receive a platelet-rich plasma injection, the team expects him to only receive a minimum stay on the shelf. Jose Miguel Fernandez started at first base on Friday against the Dodgers.

Noah Syndergaard went 5 IP in his return to the mound against the Nationals on Friday – allowing 1 ER on 7 H with 2 BB and 3 K. He was able to go 75 pitches but will likely get stretched out in his next outing against either the Yankees or Padres. He continued to exhibit his plus-velocity and devastating secondary offerings so things look positive on that front. This was his first start since May 25th, but fantasy owners should be able to rely on him as at least a top-30 starter the rest of the way – hopefully better.

While Jed Lowrie received good news about his All-Star Game status recently, he unfortunately had a tough luck moment on Friday. He had to depart Friday’s game against the Giants after colliding with Stephen Piscotty on a flare to right field. He’s been diagnosed with a left leg contusion and bone bruise, but it sounds like he avoided anything serious. He’s day-to-day.

According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, Mariners General Manager Jerry Dipoto says that James Paxton (Disabled List, back) is expected to rejoin the rotation on July 24th against the Giants. This is obviously welcomed news after Paxton had to depart Thursday’s outing after just 17 pitches.

A couple of Manny Machado trade updates via Ken Rosenthal:

Corey Kluber will be shut down for the next week after receiving an injection in his right knee.

The stud right hander has struggled recently but is expected to be available for the fourth game after the All-Star break. Hopefully this injection did the trick and his mechanics start to normalize.

According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network:

The Orioles have been linked to multiple clubs when discussing Manny Machado or multiple bullpen pieces, but Adam Jones playing for a different team is a crazy thing to think about. The Indians could use outfield help after Bradley Zimmer’s issues this year (mostly durability). If Jones were to get traded it would place him in a worse home park, but with a lineup that could offer him better pitches to hit. His current line sits at .275/.300/.423 with 10 HR and 33 RBI. Both are on pace to be his lowest totals since back in 2010.

Marco Estrada was placed on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to July 10th due to a strained left glute. He was scheduled to start this weekend but evidently felt something during his bullpen session on Wednesday. He should be available shortly after the All-Star break.

Lewis Brinson will be sidelined indefinitely after being diagnosed with a hip bone bruise. He’s been out since July 3rd. Cameron Maybin will handle centerfield duties in his absence.

Walker Buehler held the Angels to 2 ER over 5 IP in his return to an MLB mound on Friday. He walked one and struck out five, with both of his runs coming via the long-ball. Buehler will continue to be a stellar fantasy commodity the rest of the way.

The Dodgers will skip Rich Hill’s scheduled start on Saturday in favor of Alex Wood, with Clayton Kershaw receiving the nod on Sunday.

Hyun-Jin Ryu had a successful bullpen session on Friday and expects to make his return shortly after the All-Star break. Walker Buehler seems cemented in the rotation as well, meaning Hill could find himself in the bullpen. He’s allowed 11 ER over his last 4 GS, but it’s come with a 27/3 K:BB ratio over 23.2 IP.


Streaming Pitchers

I rarely do this, but I went on a limb with Anibal Sanchez yesterday as a recommendation, and I hope you listened! See! I do know what I’m talking about! Sometimes.

A Pitcher for Today: Jon Gray vs. SEA
Danny Duffy at CWS

A Pitcher for Tomorrow: Joe Musgrove vs MIL
Hail Mary Option: Lucas Giolito vs KC

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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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Woof, I get what you were going for in that first line, but might want to re think it in light of the whole recent Chris Bosio situation.


Or people could not assume everyone is a victim and accuse everyone of having an ill-intent. Let’s act like adults everyone, not petulant children.


Agreed this is the most obnoxious.


In what way did I accuse anyone of having ill intent? I specifically said I knew what the author meant by it and gave him the benefit of the doubt.

Also nowhere did I make anyone into “a victim.” You’re the one going out of your way to get offended.


Agree that it is in poor taste in light of that incident.