This morning’s Roto Riteup was prepared rough (caution, language).
On today’s agenda:
1. Zack Wheeler to start today
2. Reminder: Jose Reyes to be activated tomorrow
3. Speculation on Trevor Bauer
4. Three true outcomes: Ubaldo Jimenez
Zack Wheeler to start today
The story line of Wheeler’s debut was strikeouts, walks, and zero runs allowed. Today he’ll make his second start and square off against the Chicago White Sox. With Jonathon Niese on the 15-day disabled list with a partially torn rotator cuff, Wheeler will almost assuredly stick in the Mets rotation for the long term. Wheeler is mostly likely owned in your league settings, though if by some miracle he is available, grab him.
Reminder: Jose Reyes to be activated tomorrow
After missing almost 11 weeks, Jose Reyes is set to make his return to the Toronto Blue Jays tomorrow. Reyes will also return to his typical lead off spot and his runs and steals should be a welcome return to fantasy owners everywhere. The level of competition should be noted, but in one High-A and one Triple-A steal attempt, Reyes was a combined 2-for-2. His ankle — and how his ankle affects his speed — appears to be in line.
Something of note is that all of Reyes’ rehab starts came on grass rather than an artificial surface. Gone are the days of the Jays playing on old school AstroTurf®, though Rogers still has an artificial surface known as GameDay Grass™, which is from the makers of AstroTurf®. How well Reyes and his injury history, both long ago and recent, hold up on this artificial surface is yet to be seen. For what it is worth, Reyes fits the “buy” category for the present author. Reyes’ speed and run scoring potential is mouth watering, especially given the Jays status as a top 10 offense by runs scored, stolen bases, and home runs.
Speculation on Trevor Bauer
With the Cleveland Indians on their way to a doubleheader against the White Sox this Friday, the Indians have tipped their hand regarding who will be used as the extra starter. Manager Terry Francona told reporters that while T.J. House has been called up, he will pitch out of the bullpen for the time being. This leads to speculation and circumstantial evidence that the Indians plan on calling up Trevor Bauer. When directly asked if Bauer will start on Friday, Francona was quoted as saying “We’re not going to announce that, but he is aligned for that start.” That should be enough to stash Bauer on your roster in the next day or two. Bauer is available in 45% of Yahoo! leagues, 72% of CBS formats, and nearly every ESPN leagues.
Three true outcomes: Ubaldo Jimenez
In the wake of yesterday’s five strikeout, two walk, and two home runs allowed start, Jimenez may be earning himself a reputation. He has fanned, walked (including his one HBP) , or given up a dinger to 38.6% of the batters he’s faced thus far. For a hitters comparison, Adam Dunn is achieving one of his three true outcomes at a 44% clip.
Jimenez has seen his strikeout rate rebound this year and many of his plate discipline stats help tell the story. He has seen a boost to his SwStr%, F-Strike%, O-Swing%, and a lower Contact% compared to his past two seasons. This re-discovered strikeout rate could be the real deal.
On the other hand, his fastball is averaging 91.4 mph, the lowest of his career, and the continuation of a three year decline in velocity. To see fastball velocity drop while walks go up as a player gets older should come as no surprise, however not in the extreme degree and rapidity that we’ve seen happen to Ubaldo. For now, even with the strikeouts, Ubaldo only makes for a deep league stream option. If he ever manages to reign in the walk rate and the home run rates — something that looks like an increasingly unlikely task — then Jimenez will once again be relevant in standard mixed 12-team leagues. Until then, only someone who is hurting for strikeouts while also having ERA and WHIP to burn should approach him.
You can catch David spouting off about baseball, soccer, esports and other things by following him on twitter, @davidwiers.