Roto Riteup: March 22, 2019

It’s so hard, to say goodbye, to yesterday……

On the Agenda:
1. Snell Extension
2. Knebel’s UCL
3. Various News and Notes


Snell Extension
Blake Snell signed a five-year, $50 million extension with the Rays on Thursday.

The deal could be remarkable for the Rays long term. Snell carved up the opposition last season – resulting in an AL Cy Young bid – and remains only 26 years old. From a fantasy perspective this doesn’t change anything. He made adjustments in his mound placement and pitch selection, which gave him the best MLB results of his career. His F-Strike%, BABIP, and LOB% will be the metrics that most fantasy players will be looking at this season. With his elite three-pitch mix paired with a formidable change-up, we should see a more graceful regression to the mean, but in 11 NFBC Main Event drafts, Snell has been selected in the top-30. He’s worth it.


Knebel’s UCL
I mentioned yesterday that Corey Knebel wasn’t throwing due to an unknown reason, well, Thursday we all received that reason:

Ugh, just brutal. I wouldn’t advise dropping Knebel as of yet. According to multiple places, Knebel has been dealing with something like this for quite some time, but has continued to pitch (at a very high level). The tweets above and past experiences suggest that this won’t end up working out for us fantasy folks. The recent rumblings regarding the Brewers interest in Craig Kimbrel make even more sense now, and seem to be the most likely fit. As a Knebel owner in multiple spots, I’m really feeling the pain of this (no pun intended). With that said, my stance remains the same — hold until we get a clear, definitive diagnosis and treatment plan.


Various News and Notes
Matt Olson exited Thursday mornings matchup against the Mariners with pain in his right hand.

There were murmurs out there that he couldn’t even grip a bat, meaning his hamate bone is a huge cause for concern at the present time. As of me writing this, no new news has come out on this topic. If you’ve already drafted and Olson does indeed miss a significant amount of time, here are a few first baseman going outside the top-300 (in recent Main Event drafts) that could hold you over:
Ryan Zimmerman
Justin Bour
Yonder Alonso
Wilmer Flores
• Ryan O’Hearn
Ronald Guzman
Ryon Healy
Matt Adams (Stud if Zimmerman gets hurt)
Mark Canha came into the game for Olson and would likely see an uptick in playing time if Olson was out a while. As mentioned in the comments section in yesterday’s article, Chad Pinder should carve out a significant role regardless of who’s on the mound as well. Keep an eye on this, as this situation could re-shape a ton of teams depending on the severity.

Things didn’t get better for Oakland as the 27th ranked prospect in all of baseball according to the Fangraphs Top-100 list for 2019 – Jesus Luzardo – will be shut down for four-to-six weeks due to a muscle strain in his shoulder.

Luzardo is widely regarded as one of the best pitching prospects in the game. He logged six scoreless innings this spring and had a fabulous 2018. There was initially a slim chance that he would break camp in the Athletics rotation, but obviously everything will be put on hold for a while. I still like him for the last couple months of the season and in keeper/dynasty leagues, but for now he should only be drafted in deeper formats that carry DL slots or a deep bench.

The Brewers rotation was announced on Thursday, with Chase Anderson being relegated to a bullpen role to start the year. This leaves Brandon Woodruff, Freddy Peralta, Corbin Burnes, Jhoulys Chacin, and Zach Davies to round things out. I personally like Burnes and Woodruff the most from a fantasy value perspective.

Dakota Hudson has a 1.86 ERA thus far in Spring Training, which has now put him in the drivers seat to begin the season in the Cardinals rotation.

Hudson posted a 2.63 ERA in 27 IP in his brief MLB time last season, getting a heavy amount of groundballs and keeping the ball in the yard. His command has a ways to go and he doesn’t have one particularly stellar pitch, but with strong velocity, a new change-up this spring, and a chance to show what he can do, we could see some positive things. I’m “pro” taking him as a flier in deeper formats/NL-Only.

Staying with the Cardinals (we’ll keep this quick), Paul Goldschmidt has agreed in principle to a five-year, $130 million extension that would lock him up through his age-37 season. He’s one of the best in the game and is going at a fair cost – nuff said.

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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Thanx 4 bringing us up to speed. Discouraging news for Knebel owners (and Brewer fans) . . .