Roto Riteup: June 3, 2015

Yesterday Kevin Pillar hit two home runs in the second game of the Jays double-header against the Nationals. Beyond power outburst itself, the home run is notable due to my friend Mike ending up with the ball — though it should be said he failed to cleanly catch the ball, despite playing baseball all four years of high school. Upon request he was gracious enough to send me a picture as proof:


On today’s agenda:
1. Quick thoughts on Ender Inciarte
2. Consider Logan Forsythe
3. Bonus blurb
4. Streaming Pitching Options

Quick thoughts on Ender Inciarte
Inciarte recorded just one hit in five plate appearances yesterday, however his two walks helped boost his overall line to .291/.323/.379 on the season. He also nabbed two bases in last night’s game, and now owns eight steals on the year. The walks are particularly interesting due the fact prior to yesterday Inciarte had just six walks in 203 plate appearances. Don’t count on him challenging Barry Bonds‘ walk rate, though even the occasional walk helps boost his value given his current spot atop the D-Backs lineup. I picked him up in a league where I could use steals, as Inciarte figures to repeat his 20-steal performance from last season and his potential to post a .280 rest-of-season batting average makes him more than just a single category guy. Without showing a significant platoon split in his AVG — his wRC+ is a different story — I see Inciarte having value in all but the shallowest of leagues. One can find him free to pick up in over 30 percent of CBS leagues, 40 percent of ESPN formats and 60 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

Consider Logan Forsythe
If your middle infielders have left you disappointed thus far, just know you’re in good company. Or, at least you’re in my company. After some ups and downs, Forythe may have found his groove in Tampa Bay. His .288/.374/.475 line isn’t likely to last forever, yet I still find reason to pick him up. Like Inciarte, Forsythe also picked up a pair of walks yesterday, however unlike Inciarte walking is nothing new in Forsythe’s game. Now up to a 9.9 percent walk rate — and a 20 o 29 walk to strikeout rate — in 203 PAs, we’re past the point of stabilization for walks and strikeouts. Assuming his improved plate discipline is for real, and both his overall swinging strike rate as well as swings outside of the zone are down, I like him as a MI option moving forward. His current 14.3 percent strikeout rate is well below his 19.6 percent average from 2012-14. Forsythe cracked his six home run of the year last year (tying his single season best ) and has found himself hitting fifth or even cleanup in recent weeks. Given the power and patience development as well as his solid batting position, I’m surprised to see his ownership rates so low. Forsythe is owned in barely 65 percent of CBS formats, fewer than 50 percent of ESPN leagues and less than 20 percent of Yahoo! formats.

Bonus blurb
This is getting away from typical Roto Riteup territory, but when 37-year-old Barry Zito gets named Pacific Coast League pitcher of the week, I have to note it. He isn’t terribly likely to return to the A’s rotation too soon, though given the club’s decision to place Drew Pomeranz in the bullpen upon his return, perhaps Zito can make it back to the big leagues. He isn’t relevant unless you happen to play in an AL West only league, but as one of my favorite players from my formative years, it’s nice to see.

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

A pitcher for today: Mike Leake at PHI (Cole Hamels)
Leake has had a pretty rough season thus far, however the Phillies have been brutal against right-handed pitching. Their collective 67 wRC+ against righties ranks last in baseball. Leake is available in more than half of CBS formats and over 70 percent of Yahoo! or ESPN leagues, though he is an admittedly risky start today.

A pitcher for tomorrow: Jeremy Hellickson vs NYM (Matt Harvey)
This is more of a critique of the Mets offense against right-handers than an endorsement of Hellickson. He’s owned in fewer than 10 percent of the three major fantasy sites and is coming off of three consecutive quality starts.

You can catch David spouting off about baseball, soccer, esports and other things by following him on twitter, @davidwiers.

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8 years ago

Forsythe also gets to face 3 straight lefties (4 if you count last night). Worth streaming him until Friday when he faces Felix at least.