Roto Riteup: May 16, 2015

The Roto Riteup aims to educate, so did you know that like fingerprints, everyone’s toungeprint is unique? Please be sure not to lick anything during your next criminal activity.

On today’s agenda:
1. Doug Fister to the DL
2. Welcome to the bigs: Lance McCullers, Jr.
2. Various news and notes
3. Streaming Pitcher Options

Doug Fister to the DL
Doug Fister is headed to the DL with forearm tightness — an ailment that can indicate future Tommy John surgery. There’s some speculation that this is nothing, simply a strain caused by sitting during a rain delay and being asked to come back out pitch cold, but I’m not so dismissive.

A.J. Cole has been recalled to take Fister’s place in the Nationals rotation, which is sort of strange considering Tanner Roark is in the bullpen, but Roark has been — how do I say this — not awesome as a reliever this year; his walk rate has increased and his strikeout rate has been cut in half. Though it’s way too early to say, perhaps this is an indication that Cole is a larger part of the Nationals’ future plans than Roark. Intrigue!

Welcome to the bigs: Lance McCullers, Jr.
After striking out over 37% of the batters he faced in Double-A, McCullers is getting his chance to fan big leaguers come Monday against the A’s. McCullers was called up to Triple-A on Thursday and he barely had time to throw a bullpen session before getting his call to the bigs.

McCullers sits in the low-to-mid 90s with his fastball and pairs it with a legitimately nasty curveball according to FanGraphs’ own Kiley McDaniel, but his command has never been a strong suit, and his changeup isn’t really a weapon as a third pitch. McCullers will certainly be fun to watch, but expect too many walks to keep his WHIP in acceptable fantasy range. With the Astros in first place, they’re not going to keep him in the majors for long if he struggles, especially considering he never made a single start in Triple-A.

Various news and notes
– RotoGraphs favorite Shane Greene was pulled from yesterday’s start against with a nerve issue in his throwing elbow, which doesn’t sound good. Greene will be reevaluated today, and there’s a chance his removal was mostly precautionary — that’s the hope, at least.

– Brandon Belt finally got himself a homer yesterday! Belt’s hitting .291 on the year now, but a .408 BABIP is no bueno.

– Bud Norris will miss his start today thanks to a bout with bronchitis, and Ubaldo Jimenez will move up and start instead. Chris Tillman is tentatively moving up to Sunday, though Norris will likely slot in once he’s feeling up to it.

– Yan Gomes is on his way back to the big leagues, playing three innings of catcher last night for the Indians Single-A affiliate. Gomes is coming off an MCL sprain in his right knee, so easing his way back into a role behind the plate will take more time than a typical rehab assignment, but there’s reason to believe he’ll be back in the majors some time next week.

Streaming Pitcher Options
If you enjoy streaming pitchers, tune into the Roto Riteup for recommendations each and every day.

A pitcher for today: Archie Bradley at PHI (Jerome Williams)
Bradley returns from the DL to face a lineup that is not so good at the hitting.

A pitcher for tomorrow: Tom Koehler vs ATL (Shelby Miller)
It’s entirely possible, and probably even likely, that Miller out-pitches our friend Tom Koehler, but his team isn’t likely to give him the same run support that Miami’s lineup can muster.

Zach is the creator and co-author of RotoGraphs' Roto Riteup series, and RotoGraphs' second-longest tenured writer. You can follow him on twitter.

newest oldest most voted
Mike W.
Mike W.

So I’m in a bit of a good pickle with Hunter Pence coming back. Basically I need to move an OF to make room for Pence off my DL and my most expendable parts have turned out to be Christian Yelich and Gregory Polanco. Between Yelich and Polanco, who should I be looking to move? They profile as similar players, 10 HR pop and 20+ steals, but Yelich is off a rough start even after coming back from the back injury. Then again, Polanco has basically become a platoon player with Corey Hart, sitting against lefties.


can you move an IF type? If I had to choose, probably Yelich.