Roto Riteup: June 6, 2019

There’s a difference between command and control.

On the Agenda:
1. Craig Kimbrel
2. Various News and Notes
3. Streaming Pitchers

Craig Kimbrel
Ken Rosenthal was first to report that Craig Kimbrel signed a deal with the Cubs.





Fantasy owners who have been waiting for Kimbrel to sign so they could get some saves can finally rest easy. There’s no exact timetable for when he’ll be saving games for the Cubs, but one would have to assume that the worst-case scenario would be a couple of weeks from now. I fully expect him to be a top-10 closer the rest of the way despite his control issues in the second half last season (16.5% BB%, 54% F-Strike%) and logging more than four blown saves for the first time since 2011. He obviously had an erratic playoff run with the Red Sox last year as well, but based on his skills during the regular season as well as recent reports, things should be just fine for the 31-year old. As far as the current “closing options” for the Cubs, Steve Cishek notched his sixth save of the season last night against the Rockies and Pedro Strop tallied a clean inning in his first MLB inning since May 6th the day before. I’d say Strop is droppable right now since he’s probably not going to receive many save chances before Kimbrel is ready. Cishek however, is worth hanging on to until that time comes.


Various News and Notes
We received some scary news yesterday about Cleveland Indians starter Carlos Carrasco.


Ugh, just undeniably terrible and worrisome news. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family as he goes through this undoubtedly difficult process. As far as fantasy is concerned, the Indians are down to two of their core guys – Shane Bieber and Trevor Bauer. Those two will continue to be the focal point of the rotation until Mike Clevinger and Corey Kluber return. Kluber should be getting reevaluated today after having his cast removed two weeks ago, and Clevinger will be starting a minor league rehab assignment today. Zach Plesac will continue to receive a longer look than initially intended, and is worth owning in most formats as he’s only allowed two earned runs with a 9/2 K:BB over 12.1 IP spanning two starts thus far – he’s 42% owned in ESPN formats. Cleveland will likely roll with Adam Plutko as well, which leaves the last spot open until, once again, more than likely Clevinger is ready. Jefry Rodriguez – who has been receiving consistent starts since mid-April – is out for at least a few weeks with a shoulder strain, so the last spot is up in the air. Cleveland could potentially do what they did yesterday – which was make it a bullpen game. However, they could bring up someone like Cody Anderson or Chih-Wei Hu from Triple-A Columbus to fill in. Either way, this is something to monitor. Once again, we all just hope Carrasco can find treatment and get through this very serious issue without harm.

Quick Hits:
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. swatted his seventh home run of the season – a three-run shot – to take the lead in an eventual win against the Yankees on Wednesday.

In the same game, Randall Grichuk blasted two home runs and Teoscar Hernandez hit two doubles with a steal.

D.J. LeMahieu and Gary Sanchez also launched home runs in the game – with Sanchez notching his 19th of the season. James Paxton was rather mediocre.

The Mariners had a home run barrage of their own on Wednesday, receiving dingers from Kyle Seager, new comer Mac Williamson (yes, he’s on the Mariners), E5 (17th of the year), Domingo Santana (11th of the year), and my main man Tom Murphy.


Murphy isn’t receiving full-time PT, but he has a hit in seven-straight starts and has two home runs in that time. Mike Leake allowed one earned run on six hits with five strikeouts and two walks against the Astros. Chris Sale allowed three hits with 12 strikeouts and zero walks in a complete game shutout of the Royals yesterday.

Rafael Devers hit his ninth home run and snagged his eighth stolen base in the same game – he’s on pace for a career year and is only 22. The Rangers continue to be mediocre against LHP as John Means allowed only one run in six innings. Mike Minor allowed seven hits, but shut the Orioles out over 5.2 IP on the other end. David Bote went 4-for-4 with a double, home run, and seven RBI against the Rockies!

Jason Vargas spun a complete-game shutout against the Giants (yeah, that Jason Vargas). Jimmy Nelson had a rough 2019 debut. Sandy Alcantara allowed only one run against the Brewers and continues to show some gains in the control department (one walk yesterday). Lorenzo Cain exited the same game with a jammed right thumb – he’s going for tests. Brian Anderson blasted a grand slam, his seventh home run of the season, and swiped his fourth base of the season. Robinson Cano exited yesterday’s game with left quadricep tightness, the same injury that sent him to the injured list. He’s likely headed back. Charlie Morton continues to be one of the best draft values of the year at starting pitcher. Fernando Tatis Jr. is expected to return from the injured list today against the Nationals. Jay Bruce hit his third home run since being sent to the Phillies. Aaron Judge could return for the Yankees London series on June 29th according to Aaron Boone. Mitch Moreland is on track to return from the IL on Friday. Charlie Blackmon began a rehab assignment yesterday and is about a week away from returning. Adam Jones is expected to avoid the IL. Buster Posey was placed on the 10-day IL due to a right hamstring strain. Trea Turner blasted a walk-off shot against the White Sox.

Jorge Polanco continued his career year by hitting his 10th home run (13 career high), while Bryon Buxton and Nelson Cruz also joined the action.


In the same game, one of my favorite people (Jordan Luplow) swatted his eighth home run (to tie the game), Francisco Lindor grabbed a combo meal (third home run in last two days), and Jose Ramirez swiped his 15th bag. Amed Rosario and Michael Conforto blasted their seventh and 11th home runs respectively. Niko Goodrum has a hit in 14 of-his-last 15. Kevin Gausman got obliterated for the second start in a row. Dansby Swanson swatted his 13th home run of the season, Acuna his 12th. Gregory Polanco notched his first two stolen bases of the season in the same game. Jake Arrieta allowed five runs for the second start in a row. Joe Musgrove rebounded after two clunkers. Wil Myers grabbed a combo meal – his 11th and seventh home runs and stolen bases of the year – and Josh Naylor hit his fourth extra-base hit (second home run) and 10th RBI in 36 PA thus far.

Jarrod Dyson notched two hits to get out of his slump. Will Smith hit his second home run in the majors and has a .286/.348/.619 line in 23 PA thus far. Kenta Maeda and Jon Duplantier were both strong over five innings. Yoan Moncada (12), Jose Abreu (16), and Welington Castillo (4) all homered for the White Sox. Martin Perez was mediocre again. Ramon Laureano saw his 15-game hitting streak end, but he stole his second base in as many days (two homers in the two prior days as well). He’s 18% owned on ESPN. Shohei Ohtani, Tommy La Stella, and Mike Trout all homered for the fifth, 13th, and 15th time respectively.


Streaming Pitchers (Less than 50% owned)
Pitcher for Today: None
The options for Thursday are pretty ugly under the 50% threshold. Better to not risk it.

High Risk Options: None

Pitcher for Tomorrow: Lance Lynn vs OAK
Not the best matchup but I’m gonna keep banging the drum on him.

High-Risk Option: Tanner Roark at PHI
Upped his K% significantly this season and has allowed 3 ER or less in 10-of-12 starts this season.

We hoped you liked reading Roto Riteup: June 6, 2019 by Mike Werner!

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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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The question is…why isn’t EVERY Roto Riteup look like this?
Some folks are really slacking off!