Roto Riteup: July 20, 2016

Who likes injury news? Great, because we’ve got a lot of it. As always, it seems. Before we get to that, though, let’s start the morning out with something more fun. This would be Josh Harrison going for the little-league home run (a triple and an error) for a walk-off victory yesterday:

This about sums it up:


On the agenda:
1. More pitching injuries
2. Percentage of runs by home run
3. Various News and Notes
4. Streaming Pitcher Options

More pitching injuries
It’s a bad day to be a pitcher for an L.A. team. Quickly:

In what has to be worrisome news for the Dodgers, Clayton Kershaw was shut down in his rehab after his sore back flared up in a simulated game Saturday. There’s no timetable for a return here, and Dave Roberts called the situation “uncertain.” Kershaw owns a 1.79 ERA and a 145:9 K:BB ratio and is, well, the best pitcher in baseball. Julio Urias is fun and draws in Thursday, but the Dodgers need their ace if they’re going to catch San Francisco in the NL West, and maybe just if they’re going to hang on to a Wild Card spot.

They’re also without Hyun-Jin Ryu, who is now on the DL with elbow tendinitis. An MRI once again revealed no changes, and yet Ryu is stuck on one major-league start over the last two seasons due to shoulder and elbow issues.

Nick Tropeano joins a handful of Angels teammates with a tear in his arm, depressing news that sounds likely to end a strong rookie campaign. He’s set for a second opinion, but the initial diagnosis is that he has a UCL tear, which almost surely means Tommy John surgery. Tyler Skaggs is the next man up unless the team opts to move Jhoulys Chacin back from the bullpen. They have four starters on the DL, three with ligament tears. That seems unfair.

Outside of L.A., Koji Uehara may join Craig Kimbrel as unavailable out of the Red Sox bullpen. Uehara left Tuesday’s game after seven pitches with an apparent right shoulder injury, later calling it “just” soreness and saying he’s “praying it’s not that serious.” Benjamin Pasinkoff has Brad Ziegler and Matt Barnes as the next men up for saves in the latest Bullpen Report.

Percentage of runs by home run
I found this chart from Scott Lindholm fairly interesting and potentially useful for streaming when there’s a particularly homer-prone (or homer-avoidant) option.

Various News and Notes
I’m not really sure how – and more importantly, why – but Jameson Taillon stayed in the game after talking a 105 MPH liner to the head. He allowed one run over six innings in his first start back off the DL, striking out three.

The Blue Jays could get Jose Bautista back as early as Monday, with the slugger set to begin a rehab assignment at Triple-A on Friday. The Jays are 14-11 since he hit the shelf and rank sixth in wRC+ overall, so a healthy and hitting Bautista could make the Jays even more dangerous heading into the deadline.

Albert Pujols hit a pair of three-run home runs and got clipped in the helmet/face by a pitch in a bit of a scary moment. He was fine, and the 36-year-old now has 19 home runs and 71 RBI on the year, good for 11th in overall value at first base. O.G.

Continuing the awful injury string from earlier, Jhonny Peralta is headed back to the DL with a strained ligament in his left thumb. This is an injury that’s been around dating back to spring and has limited him to 30 games this year, opening up a huge opportunity for Aledmys Diaz. Jeremy Hazelbaker is back in the majors to fill out the roster as a result.

Streaming Pitcher Options
If you enjoy streaming pitchers or play DFS, tune into the Roto Riteup for recommendations each and every day.

A pitcher for today: Daniel Mengden vs HOU (Doug Fister)
The Astros can represent a pretty tough out, with an offense that ranks just a shade below average overall and one that gets there with a bit of pop and some great eyes. That last point, in particular, makes Daniel Mengden a bit of a risk given his control issues through seven major league starts, but since that wasn’t exactly a common minor league problem for him, he might be able to figure it out. Beyond the free passes, Mengden has been solid behind the 5.54 ERA, and he should be good for a punch-out an inning against Houston. I mean, unless you want to ride that low-yield Lucas Harrell train.

A pitcher for tomorrow: Matt Moore @ OAK (Sonny Gray)
I, like an owner in 36 percent of leagues, will never quit Matt Moore, it seems. The lefty draws the Athletics in Oakland on Thursday, a nice opportunity to continue the mini-run he’s been on (he’s allowed two earned runs or fewer in four straight starts and six of his last seven). The A’s owns a 91 wRC+ overall, and while they don’t strike out much, they’re also not well-suited to take a lot of walks and their ISO at home is a paltry .146. Moore’s been settled in for a while now.

Blake Murphy is a freelance sportswriter based out of Toronto. Formerly of the Score, he's the managing editor at Raptors Republic and frequently pops up at Sportsnet, Vice, and around here. Follow him on Twitter @BlakeMurphyODC.

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