Roto Riteup: May 7, 2015

In addition to yesterday marking the 11th year since Friends wrapped up, May 6 also signifies the sixth year mark since the final episode of the original eight seasons of Scrubs. The last few minutes of the episode My Finale ranks among favorite sitcom endings of all time.

On today’s agenda:
1. The return of Coco Crisp
2. J.J. Hardy offers infield power
3. Noah Syndergaard watch
4. Streaming Pitching Options

The return of Coco Crisp
Crisp made his season debut yesterday after being on the 15-day disabled list in the wake of elbow surgery. He took his place atop the Oakland A’s lineup, though he finished 0-for-4. Entering yesterday’s game the A’s scored the second most runs in baseball and Crisp figures to benefit from a deep, albeit not flashy, lineup behind him. Count on a handful of home runs and 15+ steals from him going forward and in on-base percentage leagues, Crisp is a solid play thanks to his 11.3 percent walk rate over the past two seasons. One can find him free to pick up in 65% of Yahoo! formats and 80% of ESPN and CBS leagues.

J.J. Hardy offers infield power
No official word has been handed down from the Baltimore Orioles just yet, but it is possible Hardy will join the club today. His power dipped last year and his strikeout rate spiked to 18.3 percent, but Hardy has shown enough power in previous seasons to offset some concern. Via Baseball Heatmaps, Hardy’s fly balls averaged 277 feet last year, a dip from 2013’s 283 and a touch lower than his 280 average in 2012, but nothing I would call drastic. I’m not ready to write off the 32-year-old just yet — though I’ll be carefully watching his swinging strike and strikeout rate — and I’d feel comfortable sticking Hardy in my MI slot. For a shortstop eligible player with power, and given the brutal landscape of fantasy shortstops, Hardy should at least be considered as a cheap power source. Hardy is already owned in 40% of both Yahoo! and CBS formats, but can be found in over 90% of ESPN leagues.

Noah Syndergaard watch
According to Newsday’s David Lennon, Syndergaard is next in line for a rotation spot with the New York Mets.

Our own Kiley McDaniel had Syndergaard rated as the Mets top prospect and the 19th overall prospect in the game heading into the season. He has rewarded that ranking by cruising against Triple-A batters to the tune of a 2.94 FIP and 10.8 K/9. The Mets rotation currently ranks in the top-10 for ERA, FIP and SIERA so a call up isn’t necessarily imminent for the young right-hander. That being said, Dillon Gee shouldn’t be blocking anyone’s path, and expect Syndergaard to make his MLB debut sooner rather than later. He should be picked up in deep leagues and put on watch lists for all formats. The word is out for CBS fantasy owners as they have snapped up Syndergaard in 48% of their leagues, but he can be picked up in nearly 90% of Yahoo! leagues and over 98% of ESPN formats.

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

A pitcher for today: Tim Hudson vs MIA (Dan Haren)
It was close between either one of these right-handed veterans, but the Giants offense fares better against righties and Huddy is at home. He’s available in over 75% of the three major fantasy sites and the sinker baller will look to exploit the Miami offense, owners of the third highest ground ball rate.

A pitcher for tomorrow: Yovani Gallardo at TB (Nate Karns)
Gallardo is going up against a Rays offense that has struggled versus right-handers, posting a 90 wRC+ thus far. Their 22 percent strikeout rate should help play up Gallardo’s stuff and he makes for a solid option in a pitcher friendly park. One can find him available in just 38% of CBS leagues but over 85% of ESPN and Yahoo! leagues.

You can catch David spouting off about baseball, soccer, esports and other things by following him on twitter, @davidwiers.

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I think it’s worth mentioning that Alex Colome looks like the real deal. He picked up the win against Boston last night and has looked extremely impressive this year. Through 10 major league innings this year he has 0 walks. I’ve watched both of his starts and his improved command extends beyond just not walking hitters. He has consistently painted the black with his fastball and has been able to keep his slider and curveball down in the zone.

The two runs he gave up yesterday were set up by two doubles – one of which came off a high fastball to Bogaerts that wasn’t necessarily a bad pitch (although it did catch too much of the plate) and most hitters would not have been able to handle a high 95 MPH fastball. The other double came off a perfectly located fastball, low and away, but Holt (I believe) just put a great swing on the ball and drove it to the opposite field gap.

Colome has always had great stuff, the only question has been his command. It’s early, but with just two walks in approximately 25 professional innings this year, it looks like he has found his command.


I may have to pick Colome up. Thanks for the update!