Roto Riteup: September 21, 2016

I’m unsure there’s a better way to wake up than to your team having won through the night. Yes, it’s September and I should just be staying up as the Jays reach to rediscover their offense ahead of a (sigh) likely wild-card game, but some nights you just have to let go. And again, waking up to that news is better than coffee. I hope your day started well, too.

On the agenda:
1. Making the most of extra playing time
2. Various News and Notes
3. Streaming Pitcher Options

Making the most of extra playing time
As rosters began expanding for September, I pulled ROS Steamer playing time projections and compared them to playing time to that point. This was back on Sept.2 , nearly three weeks ago now. Not that it will necessarily be useful here as we run out the fantasy clock, but out of curiosity I wanted to see how the players who were projected for the biggest playing time surges are taking advantage.

All of the names who were projected to see playing time spikes saw more PAs, but only a small handful of players have really run with the opportunity and demanded a longer look from their teams for 2017.

Name Team To Sep 2 PA/Tm Gm Proj ROS PA/Tm Gm Change Actual ROS PA/Tm Gm Change wRC+
Chris Young Red Sox 1.26 3.10 2.46 2.33 1.85 197
Ryon Healy Athletics 1.21 3.66 3.02 4.28 3.54 184
Domingo Santana Brewers 1.32 2.48 1.88 3.22 2.44 175
Trea Turner Nationals 1.47 3.41 2.33 4.50 3.06 170
Alex Bregman Astros 1.15 3.86 3.36 3.28 2.85 162
Keon Broxton Brewers 1.46 2.86 1.96 2.78 1.90 146
Guillermo Heredia Mariners 0.40 1.66 4.15 1.94 4.86 144
Gary Sanchez Yankees 0.84 3.20 3.81 4.00 4.76 137
Dansby Swanson Braves 0.38 3.32 8.73 3.50 9.21 130
Tyler Austin Yankees 0.28 3.30 11.77 2.00 7.14 129
Scott Schebler Reds 1.33 3.63 2.74 3.89 2.93 128
Alex Dickerson Padres 1.46 3.17 2.17 3.58 2.45 114
Max Muncy Athletics 0.86 2.55 2.98 0.89 1.03 114
A.J. Pollock Diamondbacks 0.17 3.76 22.72 1.33 7.84 97
Teoscar Hernandez Astros 0.44 3.14 7.07 1.72 3.91 97
Yulieski Gurriel Astros 0.18 3.17 17.58 4.06 22.53 96
Orlando Arcia Brewers 0.78 3.45 4.41 3.78 4.84 96
Willson Contreras Cubs 1.71 2.90 1.69 1.74 1.02 92
Justin Morneau White Sox 1.13 3.48 3.09 2.26 2.00 91
Jose Reyes Mets 1.19 2.82 2.36 4.17 3.50 87
Brett Eibner Athletics 0.98 2.76 2.82 2.72 2.78 87
Jorge Polanco Twins 1.16 3.64 3.13 4.17 3.59 85
Cameron Maybin Tigers 2.17 3.76 1.73 3.29 1.52 83
Cristhian Adames Rockies 1.47 2.66 1.81 1.61 1.10 81
Mike Zunino Mariners 0.86 2.59 2.99 2.56 2.97 79
A.J. Reed Astros 0.92 2.66 2.89 0.61 0.66 77
Tim Anderson White Sox 2.32 4.07 1.76 4.00 1.72 73
Jhonny Peralta Cardinals 1.66 3.70 2.23 2.84 1.71 73
David Dahl Rockies 1.11 3.52 3.16 3.00 2.70 67
Sandy Leon Red Sox 1.49 2.93 1.97 3.39 2.27 64
Nick Franklin Rays 0.94 1.93 2.06 2.78 2.96 61
Aaron Altherr Phillies 0.97 3.17 3.27 3.44 3.55 58
Roberto Perez Indians 0.84 1.80 2.14 2.61 3.11 50
Cliff Pennington Angels 0.99 2.17 2.19 1.94 1.96 47
Andrew Toles Dodgers 0.50 1.55 3.08 1.61 3.22 42
Aaron Judge Yankees 0.45 3.03 6.67 1.94 4.32 41
Dee Gordon Marlins 1.75 4.18 2.38 4.28 2.44 35
Omar Narvaez White Sox 0.41 1.45 3.57 2.32 5.65 34
Xavier Scruggs Marlins 0.31 2.43 7.75 1.28 4.12 34
Drew Stubbs Orioles 0.50 1.83 3.63 1.00 2.00 30
Mikie Mahtook Rays 0.95 2.93 3.10 1.83 1.93 28
Nick Buss Angels 0.46 3.28 7.14 0.83 1.81 27
Tommy Pham Cardinals 1.24 2.47 1.99 0.68 0.55 10
Jake Smolinski Athletics 1.81 3.31 1.83 3.17 1.75 4
Jett Bandy Angels 1.41 2.41 1.72 1.56 1.10 -12
Luke Maile Rays 0.64 2.53 3.93 1.39 2.17 -14
Raul Mondesi Royals 0.86 3.34 3.90 1.22 1.42 -14
JaCoby Jones Tigers 0.06 1.62 26.94 0.94 15.69 -46
Oswaldo Arcia Padres 1.45 2.45 1.69 1.74 1.20 -82

Various News and Notes
Johnny Cueto exited his start in the sixth inning due to a groin strain. The fact that he tried to pitch through it and couldn’t manage could be worrisome for the Giants, who are fighting for their playoff lives and could use Cueto’s 2.79 ERA for another two starts.

Also sidelined are Ian Kinsler and Victor Martinez, who both missed Tuesday’s game after getting plunked by Trevor Bauer on the weekend. The Tigers continue to chip away at their wild-card deficit, but having those two back in the lineup would certainly make things easier. They’re probably not getting Nick Castellanos back, though, as he’s suffered a setback in his rehab and Brad Ausmus called his return “more unlikely with every passing day.”

Also not returning anytime soon? Jacob deGrom, who’s set for season-ending surgery to repair ulnar nerve damage in his elbow. He’s expected to be ready for the start of the 2017 season, where his 2.74 ERA over the last three seasons will probably dictate his draft stock more than the Tommy John and nerve-removal procedures. Steven Matz, however, could be ready to start for the Mets on Friday, which would represent his first start in over a month.

As for Bryce Harper, well, it’s shrouded in mystery. There was a recent report that Harper’s shoulder injury continues to bother him, especially in the field, something Dusty Baker denied Tuesday. Either way, Harper’s in a prolonged slump that the Nationals will need him to break out of in the postseason. He has one hit over his last nine games, spanning 32 plate appearances.

David Ortiz set the record for most home runs in a final season with his 36th of the year yesterday. It’s nice of Ortiz to set the bar so high for Gary Sanchez, who hit the 17th home run of his shortened rookie season and will likely break Ortiz’s record with 40 in 2032 as he wraps up a 1,000-home run career.

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: Daniel Mengden vs. HOU (Collin McHugh)
Admittedly a bit of a gamble here given the 5.68 ERA and 1.55 WHIP, Daniel Mengden provides one of the higher upsides on the day. Striking out nearly a batter an inning, he’ll draw his former organization in the Astros, at home, with a chance to take advantage of Houston’s strikeout-heavy ways. The Astros also own just an 89 wRC+ over the last month, and Mengden is coming off of back-to-back starts in which he looked a little better.

A pitcher for tomorrow: Blake Snell vs. NYY ( Luis Cessa)
Thursday, as you may expect, is an ugly day for streaming. There are some decent options with tough matchups, boring low-upside plays, and Blake Snell, who looks to play spoiler against a pretty decent Yankees lineup. That lineup owns a 103 wRC+ over the last month, so this is hardly safe, but at 22-percent owned Snell is worth the flier here. Not only does he possess better peripherals beneath his 3.87 ERA (like a 23.9-percent strikeout rate), he also has the benefit of being a lefty, and the Yankees have posted an 89 wRC+ against southpaws this season.





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.

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Given the preponderance of Mariners fans reading this site (myself included), I think it’s likely that many of us woke up to an inversion of your experience ¯\_(ツ)_/¯