Roto Riteup: May 5, 2018

Heading into the weekend like:


On the Agenda:
1. Albert Pujols Collects 3,000th Hit
2. Walker Buehler/Dodgers No-Hitter
3. Gerrit Cole Unleashes Fury
4. Various News and Notes
5. Streaming Pitchers


Albert Pujols Collects 3,000th Hit
Albert Pujols became the 32nd member of the 3,000 hit club on Friday night after notching a single off Mike Leake in the fifth inning.

Pujols may not be the fantasy player he once was, but from 2002-2012 he was a top-tier fantasy player that was taken as the first overall pick a lot of the time. Let’s all give a salute to one of the greatest of all time.


Walker Buehler/Dodgers No-Hitter
Walker Buehler combined with three Dodgers relievers to no-hit the Padres in Friday’s game against the Padres (Mexico Series).

Buehler in particular went 6 IP, throwing 93 pitches (59 of them for strikes), notching 8 K and 3 BB. The Padres are an amazing matchup, but Buehler showed us all in one outing why he’s viable for every format. Tony Congrani, Yimi Garcia, and Adam Liberatore were the three relievers who helped pull off the feat — combining for 5 K and 2 BB in their three frames.


Gerrit Cole Unleashes Fury
Gerrit Cole remained absolutely lethal against the Diamondbacks on Friday – firing a one-hit complete game shutout — notching 16 K and allowing 1 BB. The impressive outing drops his ERA to 1.42 for the year, with a 13.7 K/9 to boot. He hasn’t allowed more than 3 ER in any start this season and has amassed double-digit strikeouts in five-of-seven outings overall. Suffice it to say, Cole is in the midst of a breakout and easily a top-10 starter until further notice.


Various News and Notes

Matt Harvey has refused his minor league assignment and was subsequently DFA’d by the Mets.

It was just three short years ago when Harvey posted a 2.71 ERA and 1.02 WHIP. Now he’ll have to pass through waivers on his way to free agency (more than likely). Harvey has been ineffective in every sense of the word thus far, so another organization will likely not be the solution to his problems (Calloway a historically great pitching coach). Either way, Harvey’s value remains the same as it was a week ago – nothing.

The Braves have placed Dansby Swanson on the 10-day disabled list with left wrist inflammation. Preston Tucker – who was demoted earlier on Friday – has been recalled in a corresponding roster move. The Braves will go to battle with Jose Bautista manning third base and Johan Camargo handling shortstop. Swanson’s injury isn’t too serious. He should have a decent shot at returning when first eligible.

Byron Buxton took batting practice and did some light running in the outfield on Friday.

According to Twins beat reporter Rhett Bollinger, Buxton is still having issues cutting left while running.

He goes on to mention in another tweet that Buxton believes he’s only a few days away from returning and would like to avoid a rehab assignment If possible. He is currently rehabbing a hairline fracture he endured on his left big toe a few weeks back. Robbie Grossman will continue to see an increase in playing time until Buxton returns.

John Gant – not Jack Flaherty – will receive a spot-start for Adam Wainwright on Monday against the Twins. Flaherty is not eligible to be recalled since he was optioned six days ago. Gant boasts a 2.40 ERA over 30 IP with a 22/11 K:BB ratio spanning 5 GS at Triple-A Memphis thus far.

According to Jordan Bastian, the Indians will have Andrew Miller throw two more bullpen sessions with the hopes that he’s ready for the Indians next series against the Brewers.

I mentioned yesterday that he traveled with the team and could possibly be activated Sunday if the Indians deemed him ready. Obviously, they want him to get a couple of successful sessions in before activating him.

Anthony Rendon expects to be activated from the disabled list on Saturday. He went 2-for-4 with a double in his first rehab game on Thursday and will be on his way to the Nationals if everything went well on Friday. Rendon made an early exit on April 13th due to a toe issue and hasn’t been in the lineup since. Wilmer Difo will go back to a bench role once Rendon returns.

Scooter Gennett will be back in the starting lineup for the Reds on Saturday. He’s been nursing a shoulder injury since last week, but has pinch-hit on multiple occasions while waiting for it to heal.

Miguel Cabrera was officially placed on the 10-day disabled list due to a right hamstring strain. There’s currently no timetable for his return. John Hicks and Nick Goodrum stand to benefit the most from a fantasy perspective, but neither are particularly viable at this moment in time.

According to Mark Bowman, Atlanta prospect Mike Soroka will receive another start, this Sunday against the Giants. He averaged 94 mph with his fastball in his first start – giving up 1 ER (1 HR) over 6 IP with 5 K and 0 BB. He tallied 13 swinging-strikes on 80 total pitches (16% SwStr) and got ahead in the count at a 65% clip. Soroka ranked 34th on Eric Longenhagen’s Top-100 prospects in the preseason and could cement a permanent role in the Braves rotation if the results warrant it. He’s worth an add in all formats right now if he’s still available.
The Braves purchased the contract of Jose Bautista on Friday. He started at third base for the first time since 2011 and hit fifth in the lineup – going 1-for-4 with a double and 2 K. He hit .256/.396/.372 with 3 XBH (1 HR), 7 R, 5 RBI, and an 8/8 K:BB ratio at Triple-A Gwinnett (129 wRC+). Bautista dropped off last year in fantasy, but still hits over 40% of his batted-balls in the air. If his ISO/Hard% numbers can get back up then it’s not farfetched to see him hit 25 HR this season. Fantasy owners in deeper formats (15 team or larger) can take a stab at him and see what happens.

Miguel Sano participated in workouts on Friday but did not travel with the team on their current road trip. He is eligible to come off the disabled list on Tuesday, but will likely require additional time as he recovers from a left hamstring strain.

Updating a blurb from yesterday – according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, Rays starter Nathan Eovaldi is aiming to rejoin the Rays rotation during the May 22nd-224th series against the Red Sox (elbow surgery). Despite having a strong Spring Training, he’s still only worth stashing in AL-Only formats at best for now.

Yoan Moncada was removed from Friday’s game with left hamstring tightness.

This has been plaguing him for a couple weeks now and is something that fantasy owners need to monitor moving forward. He’s likely day-to-day right now, but expect the White Sox to be overly cautious with their prized second baseman.

Dominic Leone was removed in the seventh inning of Friday’s game against the Cubs during his warm-up tosses.

The Cardinals have yet to give any updates on the situation as of the time of this article, but this is something for NL-Only owners to monitor nonetheless. The Cardinals bullpen hasn’t been the most stable and Leone has legit skills. He’s worth holding on to in deeper formats for now.


Streaming Pitchers
A Pitcher for Today: Tyler Mahle vs. MIA (recommended yesterday)
Secondary Option: Trevor Cahill vs. BAL

A Pitcher for Tomorrow: Not in Love with any options, high-risk streamers include:
Andrew Triggs
Kyle Gibson

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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Good stuff, Mike.