Roto Riteup — Presented By DraftKings: April 16, 2014

To be defined as pizza, this intelligent and passionate man believes a food item must contain, at minimum, three key elements: a crust or breading of some sort; a sauce, whether it be red, white, buffalo, barbeque, or miscellaneous; and cheese. If your food item does not contain all three key ingredients, please kindly find something else to call it — “Italian Circle Dish” and “Bastardized Goodness” both seem to roll off the tongue nicely — but in the name of all that is holy, DO NOT CALL IT PIZZA.

This has been a public service announcement. Now back to your regularly scheduled Roto Riteup.

Today’s Agenda
1. Taijuan Walker scratched
2. Dustin Pedroia to return today
3. Ryan Zimmerman to avoid surgery
4. Manny Machado sprints
5. Rainouts skip David Hale and Drew Smyly
6. The Daily Five

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Taijuan Walker scratched due to shoulder stiffness
Walker was supposed to start in a Triple-A rehab assignment yesterday. He didn’t.

Dustin Pedroia to return today
Tests on Pedroia’s wrist came back negative for any structural damage, but the results did show some inflammation, which can sure be uncomfortable in its own right. Pedroia had himself a cortisone injection yesterday, and he hopes to return to the Red Sox lineup when they take the field today. Pedroia has played through pain and somewhat-serious injuries before, so it’s not surprising to see him return to the field right away. Play the little guy until he proves the wrist is hampering his ability.

Ryan Zimmerman to avoid surgery
Zimmerman saw a specialist for his fractured thumb, and the plan of action is to stay away from the surgeon’s knife. Zimmerman had his thumb reset, and he will be in a cast to protect he digit. Zimmerman is expected to miss four-to-six weeks with his injury, which could mean another real chance for Danny Espinosa in Washington, and Anthony Rendon moving over to retain 3B eligibility. Zimmerman has had his share of injuries recently, and odds are he’ll be moving over to 1B next year in an attempt to save his shoulder and eliminate his throwing errors.

Manny Machado sprints
In returning from a devastating knee injury, Machado sprinted thrice from 90 feet yesterday, and thrice more from 180 feet. As long as he doesn’t hit any triples, he’ll be fine! Machado still projects to return to the big leagues sometime in early May, though I’m not quite sure he’ll make that benchmark. Don’t count on having Machado back until mid-May, if you’re counting on him coming back to quasi-full-strength at all.

Rainouts skip David Hale and Drew Smyly
Mother Nature washed out starts from Hale and Smyly, and instead of pushing back the rotation a day, their respective managers have opted to keep to the schedule. Anibal Sanchez will start as planned for the Tigers today, as will Julio Teheran for the Braves.

The Daily Five

SP: Tanner Roark, $7,000
Roark goes to Miami, and I like his style.

SP: Julio Teheran, $6,900
Teheran costs less than Roark. That says it all.

3B: Brett Lawrie, $3,700
Cheap play, and he goes against Mike Pelfrey.

OF: Alfonso Soriano, $4,600
I like him at home against former teammate Travis Wood.

OF Mike Morse, $4,400
Hooked on a feeling.

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Zach is the creator and co-author of RotoGraphs' Roto Riteup series, and RotoGraphs' second-longest tenured writer. You can follow him on twitter.

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“Had his thumb reset” means the doctor re-broke it then re-aligned the broken pieces. The doctor may have skipped the “you’re going to feel some discomfort” BS while performing this “procedure.”