Roto Riteup: May 18, 2023

Zac Gallen. An angry letter from PETA. Collision course.

But really, it just gives me a good reason to show the moment Randy Johnson instantly smashed a bird’s soul into oblivion.

Randy Johnson Bird GIF by FirstAndMonday - Find & Share on GIPHY

I’m not sure this makes me laugh more than Jose Canseco bouncing that home run off of his Fred Flinstone haircut-having mega dome but they’re the only two in the conversation.

On the Agenda:

  1. News and Notes
  2. Bumps and Bruises
  3. Streaming Pitchers

1. News and Notes

To the surprise of no one, Domingo Germán was suspended on Wednesday for being caught with a handful of the stickiest of the icky. That means Clarke Schmidt will now probably live to get a couple of more turns in the rotation, even with the impending weekend return of Luis Severino.

Yandy Díaz appears to have avoided the IL and is expected to return for Friday’s game against Milwaukee.

Triston McKenzie is set to begin his rehab assignment at Triple-A on Saturday and is scheduled to throw 50 pitches/three innings. If all goes well, he’ll still need a least one more rehab start on his way back from a teres strain but would be tracking to return in late May.

Matthew Libertore was brilliant in his season debut, striking out six over five scoreless innings and picking up the win over Milwaukee. Libertore’s four-seamer averaged 95+ mph but reached 97.6 mph, generating eight whiffs, while his signature curveball led his pitch mix with a 32% CSW%. He’ll line up for his next start in Cincinnati on Tuesday.

Jose Siri homered for the second game in a row, annoying New York fans everywhere with his home run trot provocations. But more importantly, he started his fifth game in a row in center field after returning from the IL last month to more of a timeshare situation than before he left. He’ll likely remain a batting-average sink but a close to full-time Siri is a fine power/speed option.

Taj Bradley will get the start tonight for Tampa Bay against the Mets. Bradley has really struggled in his three starts since being returned to the minors, giving up 16 ER in just 9 IP, but was excellent in his initial small stretch in the majors, posting a 3.52 ERA and 38% K% over 15 IP.

Jose Altuve could be reinstated prior to Houston’s series with Oakland this weekend. Now watch as I make Mauricio Dubon’s fantasy value disappear!

Eloy Jiménez is apparently tracking to make a super early return from the emergency appendectomy he just had on May 6. Originally expected to miss 4-6 weeks, Jiménez is now set to begin a rehab assignment early next week, targeting a return by the end of the week.

Chris Bassitt extended his scoreless streak to 27 IP, striking out seven and allowing just three singles over seven innings in what would eventually end in a 3-0 extra-inning win for Toronto over the Yankees. Since getting blown up for 9 ER in his first start of the season, Bassitt has been one of baseball’s best starters, running a 1.71 ERA and 0.89 WHIP over eight starts and 52.2 IP.

2. Bumps and Bruises

After initially thinking Manny Machado dodged a bullet, follow-up testing revealed a small fracture in his left hand from being hit with a pitch on Monday. As I’m quite sure many, many care, let me just say that this is yet another devastating blow to my main event team. At this point, I’m scared to even look at any news. Make the bad men stop.

Dustin May was pulled after just one inning in his Wednesday start and was later diagnosed with a flexor pronator strain. He’s getting a PRP injection in a bid to avoid surgery but will still miss at least a month.

The Twins took a beating on Wednesday. Nick Gordon will head to the IL after fracturing his shin with a foul ball. No timetable yet but he’ll be missing much more than the minimum. Michael A. Taylor will likely pick up most of his slack. Jorge Polanco also left in the seventh inning with a mild hamstring strain and will be reevaluated tomorrow to see if he’ll require an IL stint. And finally, Joey Gallo also took a foul ball off of his leg in the ninth inning but x-rays were negative.

Alex Verdugo left Wednesday’s game as a precaution with left groin tightness. The Red Sox have an off day to decide whether or not further time off is needed.

3. Streaming Pitchers

Pitchers for Today: With only six games today, there are just three pitchers going that you’ll find on most wires: Adam Wainwright (vs LAD), Trevor Williams (@ MIA), and Trevor Kelley (@ NYM). We’re gonna need to make those a hard pass.

Pitchers for Tomorrow: More games on Friday but not that many more good options I’d be dying to stream. There are a couple of high-risk ones, though, in Matthew Boyd vs WSN and Johan Oviedo vs ARI.

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1 year ago

Great write-up, Nick. I wonder whether Randy Johnson’s pitch was called a ball or a no-pitch? Hope it was the latter . . .