With the season coming back officially, it is time to restart the Roto Riteup!
Coming into the season hot:
I don’t think I’ve gotten enough credit for not being wrong once so far this baseball season.
— Justin Mason (@JustinMasonFWFB) June 29, 2020
On the Agenda:
1. Players Opting Out
2. Quick Hits
3. Various News and Notes
Players Opting Out
Mike Leake has decided not play this season due to the coronavirus. This will give both Alex Young and Merrill Kelly a shot at the rotation in Arizona and should further cement Zac Gallen as well.
Ryan Zimmerman has opted out of the 2020 season. This was expected as he has multiple high-risk family members. Howie Kendrick and Eric Thames likely benefits the most from Zimmerman not playing, but Carter Kieboom should also have a better chance at carving out more playing time with Zimmerman gone and the DH coming to the NL.
Ian Desmond announced that he will not play this season. With Desmond sitting out and the DH coming to the National League, Sam Hillard, Garrett Hampson, Ryan McMahon, and Brendan Rodgers could be in line for more at bats.
According to Jon Heyman, Anthony is “planning to play” this season. Rizzo is a cancer survivor and could choose to opt out and still get paid this season, but it sounds like that is not going to happen right now.
Jarred Kelenic, Julio Rodriguez, Emerson Hancock, and Logan Gilbert are all on the Mariners 60-man roster. The Mariners are in a rebuild so it would be surprising to see any of these guys playing in the Majors and occurring any service time at all.
The Mariners have released Carlos Gonzalez.
The Mariners placed Mitch Haniger on the 60-day IL. He is likely unrosterable in virtually all formats this season.
The Mets signed Hunter Strickland, Gordon Beckham, Erasmo Ramirez, Ryan Cordell, and Melky Cabrera to minor league contracts. All will be on the 60-man roster, but none of them are expected to be on the active roster to start the season.
Odubel Herrera is not in the Phillies player pool for 2020.
Various News and Notes
According to Susan Slusser, both Stephen Piscotty and A.J. Puk are 100% healthy. Both have iffy fantasy value depending on their roles coming into the season, but Puk was electric in spring both suffering a shoulder issue. Puk could be a very interesting pitcher depending on how the A’s are going to use him.
Top prospect Wander Franco is on the Tampa Bay Rays 60-man roster. The Rays may push all their chips in as the season lines up very well for their abilities to exploit platoons, but they also may just be trying to let him get work in this strange season. Something to keep an eye on for sure.
According to Shi Davidi, the Blue Jays have not yet gotten approval to play games in Toronto. While it is still unknown whether the Blue Jays would be able to play in Toronto this year with the Canadian border being closed to Americans and the city of Toronto having said previously that there would be no sports this year, it sounds like these things are all being worked out. We should have official word soon on whether the Blue Jays will be playing at home pretty soon.
John Brebbia was placed on the 60-day IL with a UCL tear. Brebbia had Tommy John Surgery earlier this month, but the Cardinals waited to announce the surgery. Brebbia was a dark horse for saves back in February and March, but now fantasy players will look to Ryan Heisley and former closer Jordan Hicks as their sneaky saves options if Giovanny Gallegos cannot hold down the closer job.
Artistides Aquino did not make the Reds 35-man list of players that are going to begin their training in Cincinnati. This may not mean anything, but it also may mean that the Reds are not planning on having him on the Major League roster to start the season. Keep an eye on this because Aquino could be in line for more playing time with the addition of the DH to the National League.
Dylan Carlson is on the Cardinals 60-man player pool. The Cardinals can get an extra year of service time by not putting Carlson on the active roster for about a week, so don’t expect him to make the Opening Day roster, but Carlson has a ton of upside on a team that has a decent roster and will be facing pitchers from Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Detroit and Kansas City.
Manager David Ross stated that Kris Bryant will lead off for the Cubs this year. Bryant is an interesting player for fantasy this year. While he should be able to rack up a ton of runs batting in front of Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez, and Kyle Schwarber, there is risk to taking a player with checkered injury history in such a small sample season.
MacKenzie Gore is on the Padres 60-man player pool. San Diego can get an extra year of service time if they keep him off the active roster for about seven days. Gore has a ton of upside and could be in the rotation very quickly. His price doesn’t break the bank and likely won’t raise nearly as much as fellow top prospect Nate Pearson.
Justin is the co-host on The Sleeper and The Bust Podcast and writes for Rotographs covering the Roto Riteup as well as random topics that float into his juvenile brain. In addition to his work at Rotographs, Justin is the lead fantasy writer/analyst and co-owner for FriendswithFantasyBenefits.com, owner of The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational, and a fantasy football and baseball writer for Fantasy Alarm. He is also a certified addiction treatment counselor. Follow Justin on Twitter @JustinMasonFWFB.