Roto Riteup: May 3, 2016

I’ve long wanted to toy around with a league format where pitcher’s hitting stats – only the counting ones, not averages – are a bump to your team. It’s tough, because the value between pitchers in the two leagues is already a little askew, and N.L. arms would get a boost, but wouldn’t you love for one of your star pitchers to also give you this:

The Cardinals turn everyone into a hitter.

On the agenda:
1. Hung fu Panda
2. Mess-o-raco
3. Various News and Notes
4. Streaming Pitcher Options

Hung fu Panda
Here’s your regular reminder that a visit to James Andrews is never just precautionary or for a checkup. If a player is sent to The Limb Reaper, expect news shortly thereafter that they’re going under the knife. Pablo Sandoval will do just that, with the Red Sox announcing he’s set for left shoulder surgery that will likely end his season. Sandoval can safely be dropped, and Travis Shaw now has a full-time job unless he stumbles with it. That seems unlikely given his 159 wRC+ to start the year, and while his .419 BABIP is sure to come down, projection systems like him for another 10-to-15 home runs.

This sucks. The Reds placed Devin Mesoraco on the disabled list due to a torn labrum in his left shoulder. While it’s not as depressing as another hip injury, it’s yet another setback for the 27-year-old, who once looked like he could be the next great power-hitting catcher. Alas, injuries had limited him to just 55 plate appearances so far this season, and he was yet to go yard, hitting .140/.218/.160. I’ll be rooting for his comeback, but I think this year will mark the last time I invest in it. Tucker Barnhart is hitting alright right now but doesn’t have much track record with the bat.

Various News and Notes
J.J. Hardy is expected to miss six-to-eight weeks, which could be great news for Manny Machado’s position eligibility for 2017. Hardy was only six-percent owned, his power a thing of the past outside of two wall-scrapers in the same game this year. Ryan Flaherty stands to play a bit more now, and while the Orioles haven’t announced who will fill the bench slot, there aren’t a lot of exciting infielders in Norfolk. The Orioles also lost top prospect Hunter Harvey for four-to-six weeks.

Nomar Mazara hit his third home run of the season to put the Rangers ahead, then saved that lead by gunning Michael Saunders out at home on a sac fly attempt. He’s hitting .333/.386/.486 in 19 games since getting the call, and he just turned 21 last week. The future freaks me out. The Rangers got more good news, too – Yu Darvish threw 32 pitches in a rehab start and felt good.

Bryce Harper struck out five times in a row. No, it doesn’t prove he’s mortal. This is almost certainly a rope-a-dope ahead of some four-homer game later this week. Ryan Braun is mortal and is dealing with General Soreness (salute), a minor concern for owners given how well he’s hitting.

Jose Berrios notched a win after allowing two runs over 5.1 innings. He struck out eight despite only throwing 54 strikes in 96 pitches, and both runs came on solo shots. But the strikeouts! The Twins activated Trevor Plouffe, too, by the way.

The Angels temporarily shut down Tyler Skaggs again. The 24-year-old was only just starting to throw in the minors for the first time since 2014 and hasn’t pitched since April 20, and he’ll be on the shelf for at least a week before he’s reevaluated. Skaggs is dealing with bicep tendinitis. I feel for him, because I also must have injured by biceps at some point, as they’re quite swollen.

Kate Upton and Justin Verlander got engaged, for those of you in leagues that count fun as a category.

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

A pitcher for today: Nicholas Tropeano @ MIL (Junior Guerra)
Wiers warned me about agreeing with Zach, but I think it’s OK to double down on Justin’s suggestions. Nicholas Tropeano has been really solid through four starts and draws a mediocre Brewers offense – in a bad park, mind you – with a chance to pile up some strikeouts.

A pitcher for tomorrow: Tyler Chatwood @ SD (Carlos Vargas)
Nobody’s idea of a high-upside arm, Tyler Chatwood simply has to nice a setup to ignore here. The Padres have a 75 wRC+ and a 26.4-percent strikeout rate, and any Chatwood mistakes should be less harmful at Petco. If you’re feeling a little riskier, I like what I’ve seen from Dan Straily, and he draws the Giants.

Blake Murphy is a freelance sportswriter based out of Toronto. Formerly of the Score, he's the managing editor at Raptors Republic and frequently pops up at Sportsnet, Vice, and around here. Follow him on Twitter @BlakeMurphyODC.

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
8 years ago

Now with some Motion City Soundtrack. Wow. This band sucks, how did I ever think they were good? Brainwashed by stupid emo girlfriend.

BTW I am buying shares of Junior Guerra in every possible league and daily fantasy format there is. Filthy stuff and hitters have never seen him. Love him vs Angels, but I like him beyond this game as well.