Roto Riteup: May 8, 2018

The Roto Riteup, and Justin Mason, hope you get your fill of George Springer’s bath water……

On the Agenda:
1. Springer Has a Night
2. Darvish to the DL
3. Multi-HR Games
4. Various News and Notes
5. Streaming Pitchers


Springer Has a Night
George Springer went 6-for-6 with a home run, double, four runs scored, and three RBI in the Astros’ route of the Athletics on Monday. The big night brings his season line up to .292/.351/.506 with 8 HR, 32 R, and 24 RBI. His BB% isn’t exceptional – especially for a lead-off hitter – but he’s making more/better contact (continuation from 2017) than he used to a few years back. Fantasy owners have to be pleased with what he’s produced thus far and playing in one of the best lineups in baseball will continue to provide opportunities in the counting stats. There’s really no analysis to give here besides the fact that we as fantasy owners wish stolen bases were more frequent – but well live with things the way they are. Oh, and Justin Mason loves drinking his bath water so if anyone gets their hands on some……I have contact info!


Darvish to the DL
The Cubs placed Yu Darvish on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to May 4th with an illness that I have a hard time pronouncing.

Prior to the illness, Darvish left a lot to be desired performance wise (6.00 ERA, 1.57 WHIP). There are better times ahead for the 31-year old off-season acquisition, as his underlying metrics say he’s at least a full run better than his current surface stats suggest. In a nutshell, he’s falling behind more hitters than ever, and paying the price in the form of home runs allowed (1.8 HR/9). His durability has always been a concern, but this has nothing to do with any injury related issues. Once his BABIP, F-Strike%, and LOB% fall back into place, he’ll once again be an upper echelon starting option for fantasy owners. If you can “buy-low” now then I’d be all for it.

Jen-Ho Tseng will be called up from Triple-A Iowa to start for the Cubs in Darvishs’ place today. Tseng was an International FA signee from July of 2013 out of Taiwan who has seen over 500 IP in the minors total. The 23-year old RHP was not included in Eric Longenhagens’ top-22 Cubs prospects list as he uses three average-to-fringe offerings (FB, CB, CU). He does possess stellar control (2.54 BB/9 at every stop prior to 2018) to go along with decent deception. With that said he’s not fantasy relevant as of now.


Multi-HR Games
Haven’t touched on these in a bit but had quite a few of them on a smaller slate of games on Monday.

Matt Adams (2-for-5, 2 R, 5 RBI, 1 BB)
Adam’s pushed his season totals to .307/.422/.747 with 10 HR, 17 R, and 23 RBI with a 20/13 K:BB ratio (22% K, 14% BB) over 90 PA. That pushes him into the top-10 first baseman territory on the ESPN Player Rater. He obviously won’t be this good all season long – making this a strong time to sell for a more established player (cough, E5) – but his role is to crush RHP and he’s doing just that. Even Trea Turner created some divisiveness amongst the team after Monday’s game due to Adam’s stellar play this year:

Odubel Herrera (2-for-3, 3 R, 5 RBI, 1 BB)

Herrera now has 5 HR on the year – with four of them coming in two games! His line is .341/.401/.537 with 19 R, 20 RBI, and 1 SB (2 CS). He was taken outside of the top-200 this year after a “down” season in 2017, but second half skills showed he was the same player as 2016. Admittedly, the fact he only has one stolen base on three attempts is a concern, but the Phillies as a team are close to top-10 in attempts per game under Gabe Kapler thus far – so he should get some more attempts soon. His on-base streak now stands at 36 games.

Ian Happ (2-for-5, 2 R, 5 RBI, 2 K)

Happ’s bombs were from each side of the plate – something he said himself that he’s only accomplished twice his whole career. He once again struck out multiple times in the same game – the 13th time he’s done so in 19 starts this year. His line sits at .238/.297/.452 with 5 HR, 9 R, 12 RBI, and 2 SB. He hadn’t notched multiple hits in the same game since April 24th prior to Monday, and won’t be able to survive in the bigs with a 45% K. Owners in deep mixed leagues and NL-Only leagues have to hold tight due to his massive potential, but everyday that goes by makes it harder and harder.

Adrian Gonzalez (3-for-4, 3 R, 2 RBI, 1 K)

Despite the recent hot streak for Gonzalez, his season line remains a meager .256/.330/.463 with 5 HR, 10 R, and 19 RBI over 94 PA. He has upped his BB% to 11% (9.6% or worse every year since 2013) and continues to make solid contact. Owners in NL-Only leagues or deep mixed formats can continue to ride his consistent – yet not flashy – profile as long as it lasts.


Various News and Notes
Jordan Zimmermann has been placed on the 10-day disabled list due to a shoulder impingement.

Zimmermann is currently sporting his best SIERA since 2015 with the Nationals (3.99). It’s almost a full run less than his actual ERA (4.88) and shows that he’s making some marginal improvements across the board. He remains a high FB-tilt, low-BB pitcher who gets ahead in counts and gives up home runs, but his increase in SwStr% (10) is the best we’ve seen from him since 2014. In addition, if the season ended today his K% would be the best of his career (23.7%). Improvements aside, there’s currently no timetable for his return, and he’s barely viable as a stash in AL-Only leagues.

Fernando Romero improved to 2-0 after holding the Cardinals scoreless over 6 IP. He tallied 9 K with 3 BB along with 3 H and 6 GB-outs. He was also featured as a “high-risk streamer” in yesterday’s column if you all were so inclined to listen to my advice!

His plus velocity, strong GB-tilt, above-average slider, and decent command make him worth a flier in almost all formats. Sure, he could be replaced and sent back down, but the Twins will continue to throw him out there as long as the results warrant it.

Javier Baez exited Monday’s game against the Marlins with right groin tightness.

He went 1-for-4 with a three-run homer before leaving, and has been an absolute beast to start the year (.285/.328/.650, 10 HR, 24 R, 32 RBI, 3 SB). Tommy LaStella replaced him in the lineup and will likely see an uptick in playing time if it comes out that Baez needs a DL stint. For now, fantasy owners should hold tight and see what the club says about the situation today.

Byron Buxton should return later this week against the Angels after going through drills on Monday.

Fantasy owners will have to monitor how he looks while running once activated. Obviously, a lot of his value is predicated on how often he runs, and a toe injury isn’t conducive to that.

Rougned Odor will be moving his rehab assignment from a hamstring injury to Triple-A Round Rock today.

He’s played in two games at Double-A, going 1-for-5. He’s played second base for one of the contests (DH in the other) and should be activated later this week.

Adrian Beltre is close to being back in our lives.

He’s been doing drills over the last few days and seems about ready to give it a go. Owners in daily leagues shouldn’t activate him today, but it seems like he’ll be activated on Wednesday at the latest. Like Rougned Odor, Beltre has been dealing with a hamstring injury.

Matt Harvey has recently been linked to the Giants, Reds, and Rangers in regards to a deal. The Giants seem to be the club that makes the most sense based on their glaring need for any competent starter at the moment. The key word however is “competent.” No matter where Harvey goes fantasy owners will have to see a pretty significant sample of him performing even decently well before adding him in any format.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr hit two home runs for Double-A New Hampshire on Monday night, one three-run shot in the first inning and a monster two-run shot off of a hotel in the sixth inning.

Oh, and did I also mention he hit an opposite-field bomb off a tee!?!?!?!

His line in Double-A now sits at an absurd .398/.453/.673 with 5 HR, 22 R, 35 RBI, and an 1.126 OPS. He’s sitting on a 12/12 K:B ratio as well, with the one “knock” to this point being that he’s 0-for-2 in stolen base attempts. Speed might not be a prominent skill for Guerrero, but he had 19 hits in-his-last 10 games (38 AB) coming into Monday and is making a serious case to being brought up to the majors. Before the season began I would’ve said that a late-season call to Triple-A is the extent of what we’ll see, but fantasy owners in redraft formats have to at least start considering adding him if they have space. If you have “NA” or “Minors” spots in your league, it’s time to make the move.


Streaming Pitchers
A Pitcher for Today: Ivan Nova @ CWS

High-Risk Pitcher for Today: Sean Newcomb

A Pitcher for Tomorrow: Nick Pivetta vs. SF
Giants offense is last in RPG on the road, and Pivetta has a 3.00 ERA and 1.04 WHIP over 4 GS at home.

High-Risk Pitcher for Tomorrow: Francisco Liriano @ TEX
Liriano has allowed 3 ER or less in every outing thus far, but it’s come with BABIP luck. His K% has been largely effected by one bad outing (1 K vs BAL 4/28), but the Rangers own the second-highest K% as a team against LHP (27%).

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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In that Vlad Jr. video hitting off the tee, is that Carlos Pena as the host? If it is, he looks small compared to Vlad…which is saying something.


Yes it is. Even watching Vlad Jr. in his AA highlights he looks like a man among boys, just physically. And he’s the youngest guy on the field. It’s impressive.