Roto Riteup — May 13, 2014

Yesterday was the 19th anniversary of the film “Crimson Tide” being released. Other than “The Hunt for Red October” it is my favorite submarine film. Coming in at a respectable third place finish is “Down Periscope.”

On today’s agenda:
1. Jose Fernandez…sadface
2. The new New York Mets rotation
3. Junior Lake’s big day
4. The Daily Five

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Jose Fernandez…sadface
As you’ve undoubtedly heard by now, young standout pitcher Jose Fernandez was placed on the 15-day disabled list yesterday with a forearm strain. Sources around the league are expecting Fernandez to be done for the year, presumably in the wake of eventual Tommy John surgery. Fernandez is a top 10 fantasy pitcher and losing him this early in the season has the potential to torpedo the entire year for your fantasy squad. Rotoball aside, major league baseball just lost a great young pitcher for a year and like when Stephen Strasburg went down, the game is less fun without Fernandez. The Miami Marlins are yet to announce any news other than the move to place Fernandez on the DL, but an official announcement is expected soon. Let’s hope for the best and perhaps a few weeks of rest is all that is needed.

The new New York Mets rotation
No, this isn’t the New New York Mets, just an updated version of their starting rotation. Yesterday the club announced they will move Jenrry Mejia to the bullpen while calling up Rafael Montero to make Wednesday’s start. Mejia showed a ton of potential last year but walks and home runs have given him fits this season. Working exclusively as a starter he owns a 3.79 xFIP and 3.94 SIERA in seven starts this year. Factor in his strong ground ball rate and 24% strikeout rate and expect Mejia to return to the rotation some point later this season. I still don’t love Mejia as much as others here at RotoGraphs, but I do think he is one of the Mets’ best options to start games. The decision to move him to the pen was made prior to yesterday’s game and Mejia did make a relief appearance. He worked a scoreless 1.1 innings, striking out two and allowing two hits. Currently Mejia is available in 70% of CBS formats as well as over 85% of both ESPN and Yahoo! leagues. Expect him to showcase his talent as a reliever and then get moved back to the rotation sooner rather than later. If Mejia can get his walks under control then I’d recommend him in just about any league format. Until then, 12-team mixed redraft leagues can leave him alone, but in deeper leagues I would consider stashing him.

Junior Lake’s big day
Yesterday Lake cracked a home run and a pair of doubles en route to his 3-for-6 day. He hit a career high six RBIs and scored two runs. He now has four long balls and four steals on the year, but that is where the good news ends. Even after yesterday’s numbers are added in, Lake is hitting .255/.282/.459 on the year. Not even a .404 BABIP can hid the ugly truth of his 41.3% strikeout rate. When you’re getting fanned in two out of every five plate appearances, it is hard to produce. Lake has drawn just four walks in 104 PA’s this year. Looking at his 23+% swinging strike rate and first strike rate being north of 75% makes for a tough pill to swallow. He’ll get plenty of playing time to try and raise his walk rate, but he was never an on-base machine in the minors either. The power is nice to see and I think he can reach 15 home runs and 20 steals this year, however I think his rate stats will make him unplayable in standard mixed leagues.

The Daily Five
Starting Pitcher: David Price — $10,400
Price squares off against the Seattle Mariners, the owners of a 75 wRC+ against left-handed pitchers this season.

Starting Pitcher: Drew Smyly — $7,800
The southpaw Smyly will be pitching to the Baltimore Orioles and their 81 wRC+ against lefties.

Infielder: Ian Desmond — $3,500
Desmond launched his fifth home run of the year yesterday. Look for him to hit another against the homer prone Bronson Arroyo.

Outfielder: Domonic Brown — $3,400
Brown and the Philadelphia Phillies take on right-hander Matt Shoemaker. Brown hasn’t had the start of the season that I had hoped for, but look for him get back to his righty-crushing ways of last season.

Other hitter: Ryan Howard — $4,100
Another lefty from the Phills.

Remaining budget: $20,800

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sigh. another pitcher, another injury…another prospect…gah. We need bionic/cyborg arms and bodies at this point. Victor Stone, where are you?