The Roto Riteup has returned for another season!
Yeah… I know you missed me!
This year I will be joined by my good friend Mike Werner. Mike is a fantastic fantasy baseball mind (and friend) that has written and podcasted for Friends with Fantasy Benefits and been a writer at Baseball HQ.
You should expect at least 4-5 Roto Riteups a week until the start of the season and then we should be running everyday again this year.
On the Agenda:
1. What I Have Been Up To?
2. Polanco Gets Popped
3. Tough Break for Turner
4. Acuna Matata
5. Various News and Notes
What I Have Been Up To?
Listen, we all know that I love to shamelessly plug my stuff, so why not just get that out of the way? For those of you that don’t follow me on twitter, you may have missed a lot of what has been going on. This offseason I have started The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational, which is the largest fantasy baseball industry league ever! I was called up to the Majors in podcasting when I was brought on to replace Eno Sarris on The Sleeper and The Bust after he was kidnapped by an organization that shall not be named. Finally, I was invited to and participated in Tout Wars H2H, where I attempted to embarrass the competition, but likely just embarrassed myself. Whew!
Polanco Gets Popped
Jorge Polanco was suspended for 80 games for testing positive for performance enhancing drugs. This is a tough blow for his fantasy value and for people that have already drafted this season. Eduardo Escobar will likely fill in for him unless the Twins go out and grab a capable replacement. Escobar hit 21 home runs for the Twins in just under 500 plate appearances when filling in for Miguel Sano and as a reserve last season. He could be a decent fill in formats 15-teams and deeper.
Tough Break for Turner
Justin Turner broke his wrist Monday night after being hit with a pitch by Kendall Graveman. X-rays showed a small, non-displaced fracture in his wrist, which is about as good as fantasy owners could ask for in a fracture. He will start the year on the DL and could miss most, if not all of April. Logan Forsythe will likely move over to third base, but there are a lot of players that can add playing time in Turner’s absence because the Dodgers have such good roster flexibility with Forsythe, Austin Barnes, Chris Taylor, and Enrique Hernandez all being able to play different positions.
Ronald Acuna was sent down to the minors on Monday. He was absolutely crushing the ball in the Grapefruit league this season with four home runs, four stolen bases and a .432/.519/.727 triple slash. His is widely considered the best prospect in baseball and could be up as early as April 13th. The Braves have little to play for this year as they continue their rebuild and he only has a career 486 plate appearances between AA and AAA, so it would not be surprising to see him stay in the minors for longer than that April call up mark, but many in the industry believe he will be up after the Braves gain that extra year of control.
Various News and Notes
Andrew Heaney will be shut down for the time being after being diagnosed with elbow inflammation. Heaney is a former top prospect that is returning from Tommy John Surgery. There is no timetable for return at this point.
Tommy Joseph was claimed by the Texas Rangers, but is unlikely to make the opening day roster according to general manager Jon Daniels. Joseph is a former top catching prospect that moved to first base after numerous concussion issues. He was the starting first baseman in Philadelphia before Rhys Hoskins sent him to the bench. The signing of Carlos Santana this offseason made him expendable and now he is fantasy irrelevant unless injury gives him an opportunity.
Don Mattingly said Monday that Lewis Brinson in the discussion to lead off for the Marlins. This is interesting news on multiple fronts. First, while the Marlins lineup has been decimated after jettisoning off their entire 2017 outfield, they still have some decent players in the top half of the lineup in Justin Bour, JT Realmuto, and Starlin Castro, so leading off would be pretty nice for Brinson’s fantasy value. Secondly, this makes it sound like Brinson will be on the Opening Day roster. Brinson has murdered AAA in the past, but that was for the Brewers affiliate Colorado Springs which is a launching pad. He could definitely needs to improve on his strikeout rate, but it appears the Marlins may be inclined to allow him to do in the Majors. Brinson has a ton of upside, but obvious risk. That being said, he should be owned in most formats if he is on the 25-man roster to start the season.
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.