Roto Riteup: May 18, 2018

Revenge is a plate best served cold…..

On the Agenda:
1. Belt x 4
2. Meadows call-up
3. Various News and Notes
4. Streaming Pitcher Options

Belt x 4
Brandon Belt went 2-for-5 with a two-run home run in the Giant 5-3 loss to the Rockies on Thursday night.

The home run, albeit controversial, was his 10th of the year and fourth in as many nights. Over the last seven days he’s posted a .313/.353/.688 line with four home runs, four doubles, six runs scored, and eight RBI. He’s now catapulted himself to second among first baseman behind only Freddie Freeman on the ESPN Player Rater. Belt had 10 home runs after May was over last year, but more concussion issues derailed his second half. While him staying on the field will always be a concern, he’s continued to hit fly balls at an even better rate than last season (51%) and has kept the uptick in ISO (.260 in ’18/ .228 in ’17). His Barrel% (20), Exit Velocity (89.7mph), Launch Angle (23.5%), and xWOBA (.446) say that there’s still good times ahead with Belt. In short, his swing changes, pitch selection (17% BB), and supported power numbers say that he should have a career-year in that department. We have a long track record here, but we’ve seen crazier breakouts happen.


Meadows Call-Up
With Starling Marte headed to the disabled list, the Pirates have elected to recall Austin Meadows from Triple-A Indianapolis.

Meadows will likely see a good amount of playing time while Marte is on the shelf. He heads to the Pirates with a six-game hitting streak and a .281/.326/.380 line with one home run, eight stolen bases (nine attempts), and a 103 wRC+. Eric Longenhagen had him as his 46th ranked prospect heading into the 2018 season. Hamstring and oblique injuries have plagued a rather exciting prospect in fantasy circles heading into last season. His hit tool is strong, he makes consistent contact, and he has good speed, but the power has been average at best thus far. He’s worth an add in deeper mixed formats and NL-Only leagues for right now, but his time will be limited to how long Marte is sidelined. Marte said as recently as yesterday that he thinks he’ll need the minimum stay.


Various News and Notes
David Price flirted with a complete-game shutout against the Orioles on Thursday, but Manny Machado had other plans (two-run homer in the ninth).

His final line was 9 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 8 K, 0 BB. Since the infamous “carpel tunnel” incident, he’s hurled 14.1 IP, allowing 4 ER with a 14/3 K:BB ratio.


The Angels announced that Keynan Middleton will undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery.

The Bullpen Report will likely cover this in more detail. As of now, Justin Anderson seems like the leading saves candidate, but who are we kidding? This is Mike Scoscia we’re talking about so this will likely continue to be a headache for fantasy owners. Blake Parker has settled down recently, Jim Johnson has seen late-inning work/save opportunities, and Cam Bedrosian has closed in the past. Avoid.

Justin Upton exited Thursday’s game against the Rays with one out in the sixth inning after taking a 95 mph Chris Archer fastball off his left wrist. He was taken for X-rays and they came up negative. He’s currently day-to-day. For the season Upton is hitting .262/.325/.488 with 11 HR, 34 RBI, two stolen bases, and a 121 wRC+. Chris Young was brought into the game in his place and we’ll get the nod against southpaw Blake Snell today (DFS).

Adeiny Hechavarria was removed from Thursday’s game against the Angels in the second after suffering a hamstring injury.

He’ll be re-evaluated today, but signs point towards this leading to a stint on the disable list. Joey Wendle – who mainly starts against RHP – pinch-ran for Hechavarria, and would likely receive an uptick in playing time. The Rays could use recently promoted Christian Arroyo at multiple infield spots, but Robertson/Wendle should receive the bulk of the playing time.

Andrew Triggs left his start against the Blue Jays after 2.1 IP due to what the Athletics are calling right forearm nerve discomfort. Kendall Graveman or Daniel Gossett would likely fill in if this requires a stint on the disabled list.

D.J. LeMahieu was diagnosed with a slight fracture in his left wrist on Thursday. The worry was he would require surgery and possibly miss six-to-eight weeks, but now he’ll wait for things to calm down and pick up a bat when possible. The Rockies have been rolling with Daniel Castro and Pat Valaika at second thus far, but Ryan McMahon has been receiving reps at second base in the minor leagues, as well as Brendan Rodgers. Not to say either will come up soon, but it surely means the Castro/Valaika combo won’t have a long leash.

Mark Melancon threw a successful 20-pitch bullpen session on Thursday.

Melancon is expected to begin a minor league rehab assignment on Sunday, with the hopes of rejoining the Giants in a few weeks. Hunter Strickland has been a top-15 reliever according to the ESPN Player Rater – posting a 2.41 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, and 4.0 K/BB. He has allowed three runs in his last five outings (runs came in two appearances), with a 4/2 K:BB ratio and five hits allowed. If Melancon does well in his rehab and Strickland starts to become inconsistent, we could see Melancon back in his usual capacity. As of now though, Strickland is the guy to own for the foreseeable future.

Ryan Braun was placed on the 10-day disable due to his back injury.

Domingo Santana is the obvious beneficiary here, with Hernan Perez likely getting a couple extra at-bats while Braun is out as well. There’s no timetable currently set for Braun, but he’s eligible to return on Wednesday.

Cole Hamels was scratched from his scheduled turn on Thursday with a stiff neck. The Rangers haven’t made an announcement on the severity, but Hamels said in an interview that it, “takes a couple days” for the spasms to subside. This sounds like a day-to-day situation but stay tuned. Hamels has pitched well enough this year that he could be traded to a “contender.”


Streaming Pitcher Options

A Pitcher for Today (Justin’s recommendation): None

Hail Mary Pitcher for Today (Justin): Nick Tropeano

A Pitcher for Today: Kyle Freeland @ SF

A Pitcher for Tomorrow: Freddy Peralta @ MIN
Peralta obviously had a stellar debut and the Twins have performed poorly against RHP (.311 wOBA) and over the last few games (3.0 RPG over last four). He may only have one good pitch, but he’s at least a fairly safe bet for strikeouts.

Haily Mary Pitcher for Tomorrow: Andrew Heaney vs. TB
Heaney has only yielded a .238 OBA to RHB thus far and the Rays have crushed LHP this year. Something’s gotta give. Regardless, he’s gone six innings or more in three-straight with 17 K and 5 BB. He’s only 13% owned on ESPN, hey, maybe I should be swapping these options?

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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rudy hess
5 years ago

I thought LeMahieu’s injury was a fracture in the thumb. Can you confirm thumb or wrist? Wrist would be a longer shelf time.