• Replacing Starling Marte
    by Paul Sporer - 4/19 -  5
    Starling Marte was suspended for 80 games on Tuesday after testing positive for Nandrolone back in Spring Training and then losing the subsequent appeal.
  • Is Chase Headley Actually Good Again?
    by Randy Holt - 4/19 -  8
    The only time that recent history shows me discussing Chase Headley is that time during the offseason where I declared that the New York Yankees should look at Luis Valbuena as a potential upgrade at the position.
  • Roto Riteup
    The most roto-relevant news of the previous day, recapped in a concise format for your morning coffee.
  • Bullpen Report
    Detailed daily updates and charts on every bullpen in the Major Leagues to help you manage your saves and holds.
  • Prospect Coverage
    Our prospect team mines the minors for top prospects and useful pieces alike.
  • MASH Report
    Award-winning in-depth injury report with analysis from Jeff Zimmerman.
  • The Sleeper and The Bust Podcast
    Eno Sarris, Paul Sporer, and Jason Collette lead the RotoGraphs staff in a regular fantasy podcast.
  • Daily Fantasy Strategy
    The RotoGraphs team discusses daily fantasy strategy and then makes picks for the day.
  • Ottoneu Strategy
    Strategy for the year-round FanGraphs Fantasy game.
  • Top 50 Fantasy Prospects
    Marc Hulet adjusts (and updates) his prospect list for fantasy purposes.
  • Field of Streams
    Pitching picks in a quick daily podcast hosted by Dylan Higgins, featuring regular guests including Matthew Dewoskin.
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Roto Riteup April 23, 2017

Rich Hill as a reliever?


Dave Roberts said a bullpen role could happen for Rich Hill. The blister magnet once again landed on the D.L. with that middle finger-recurring issue. He will begin a rehab assignment soon.

This changes up the starting rotation should this occur with Julio Urias being put in the starting rotation. So that could be fun.

The 20-year-old is kind of serving as a placeholder at the moment and after a solid 1.93 ERA and 15 strikeouts in 14 innings with Triple-A Omaha, he could get the start against the Giants Wednesday. Read the rest of this entry »

The Sleeper and the Bust Episode: 449 – Replacing Miggy & Marte


The latest episode of “The Sleeper and the Bust” is brought to you by Out of the Park Baseball 18, the best baseball strategy game ever made – available NOW on PC, Mac, and Linux platforms! Go to ootpdevelopments.com to order now and save 10% with the code SLEEPER18!

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Leading Off: Question of the Day

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Roto Riteup April 22, 2017

Well, it’s about time Jose Bautista. I’ve been wanting to mention your name on the Roto Riteup for a while now. Heading into Saturday night’s matchup against the Angels, Joey Bats was hitting just .109 and was on a 15-game homerun-less hitting streak.

He hit a three-run home run in the top of the 13th inning to take over the game. Still, it’s a risky play to think about his upside this season. If it’s a five-outfielder scenario, sure. But other than that, he’s a buy low option. Read the rest of this entry »

#2xSP (4.24-30)

Sorry for being so late on this one friends. I had Twins coverage the last two days that pushed into my time. Also, this was one of my least favorite weeks in what’s now I think four years of doing this. A limited slate on Monday and a rather ugly one on Tuesday has left me with some options I don’t particularly love, but I do hope through a mix of matchups and other things we have a good one here.

Here’s how we’re doing so far this season (through half of Week 2):

2-1 record
2.40 ERA
8.7 K/9
2.1 K/BB
1.31 WHIP
5 quality starts

Here are this week’s recs (with team wRC+ for this season in parentheses):

LHP Wei-Yin Chen – 4.7% ESPN – @PHI (96), v. PIT (81) Read the rest of this entry »

Bullpen Report: April 21, 2017

On Wednesday, I wrote in this space that if there were one member of the Nationals’ closing tandem to speculate on, it should be Koda Glover. Two days later, Dusty Baker proved me wrong. As reported by the Washington Post, the Nationals’ manager told Kelley he was the team’s closer, though he will still give way to Glover on occasion in order to preserve his elbow. While Baker told reporters later that both Kelley and Glover would close games, he indicated that Kelley would get the larger share of chances.

That was made apparent when Baker brought Kelley in to preserve a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the 11th inning against the Mets, just one night after he got the save in the series finale against the Braves. It was also Kelley’s third save in four days. He threw a perfect inning and has now held the opposition scoreless in his last six appearances, covering five innings.

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MASH Report: Greinke, Lackey, and Tomlin

With the 2017 changes MLB Advanced Media implemented with their StatCast pitch tracking data, I’ve been scrambling to recode my pitcher injury finder. Well, it seems to be working fine and here are some pitchers it found to be concerned about.

Note: I have bumped up all 2016 and earlier values to be equal with higher 2017 readings.


John Lackey

It’s tough to tell if Lackey is hurt or he’s at a new, lower talent level. His last start was the most concerning. Here are his velocity and spin rates over the past two seasons.

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Paul Sporer Baseball Chat – April 21st, 2017

Looooootttssss of Eric Thames as well as plenty on Carlos Martinez, Michael Wacha, Jose Bautista, and Lance McCullers. Plus, much more!

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Tipping Pitches: Jason Vargas is Dominating

Jason Vargas is pitching out of his mind right now. He has allowed just one run in 20.7 innings (0.44 ERA) with a 0.77 WHIP. Perhaps more impressive than the surface results is the fact that he has a 31% strikeout rate powered by a 13% swinging strike rate. His 3% walk rate is great, too, though less surprising given his career 7% mark. Three starts of a 3% for a guy who rarely walks batters isn’t crazy. The rest is just insane, though.

His velocity has always been underwhelming (~86-88 mph) and it’s on the low end this year at 86.6. Vargas is using essentially the same pitch mix, too: 55% fastballs, 30% changeups, and 15% curveballs. By the way, it’s worth noting that this kind of started last year in three late-September as he managed a 2.25 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 23% K rate, and 10% SwStr rate in 12 IP. So comparing the 32.7 innings from 2016-17 to his 380 from 2013-15, the biggest differences I found were with the fastball and changeup against righties. There’s also a wholesale zone percentage change, up to 51% against a career 45% and sitting 39-41% from 2013-15, which shows up in the fastball/changeup against righties.

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The Daily Grind: Evidence of an Enjoyable Changeup

I usually write some words here at the top of the article. I learned over the offseason that google thinks you’re a bot if you use the same introduction twice.


  1. All Hail Cesar
  2. Weather Reports
  3. Pitchers to Use and Abuse
  4. Fade Fade Fade
  5. SaberSim Says…
  6. TDG Invitational Returns!

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Field of Streams: Episode 256 – The Lives Are Saved

Episode 256 – The Lives Are Saved

The latest episode of “Field of Streams” is live!

In this episode, Dylan Higgins and Matthew Dewoskin discuss Matt’s first softball game and ensuing injury, Dylan struggling to brag about notching the first stolen base, an update on the stat performances so far, Matt defending Adam Conley, Adam Wainwright getting old, James Shields pumping his trade value, being scared to pick against the Brewers, Freddie Freeman’s hot streak, finding use in Alex Gordon, Derek Holland’s crazy splits, Matt’s birthday, Andrew Triggs being awesome, and finding use in Shin-Soo Choo.

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