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Roto Riteup: April 14, 2013

The Roto Riteup was two pitches late today, as a ball boy jumped in front of the author and cut him off. It seems as though there is an awful lot of that going on these days.

On today’s agenda:
1. Everth Cabrera‘s big day
2. The return of Darwin Barney
3. Johnny Cueto is forced to leave his start early
4. Loss and gain in the Arizona Diamondbacks outfield
5. The Carter administration and the Department of Power

Everth Cabrera‘s big day
Any 4-for-5 day is noteworthy, but Everth Cabrera came just a double short of hitting for the cycle yesterday. The sole disappointment for him was that he was caught stealing in his only attempt.  Given that he almost filled up the 5×5 line on his own, one should overlook this isolated incident. What is curious — other than the home run, as Cabrera hadn’t hit one since June of last season — is that Cabrera has now been caught stealing three times this season, and that is no isolated incident. He caught four times last year while stealing 44 bases in the process, so perhaps bad jumps or reads is giving him trouble. Perhaps a Padres fan could weigh in on this matter more. Given that he has the speed to steal 40+ bags and even stole 24 straight last year, this recent turn of events in the SB/CS area is most likely a blip on the radar. If you’re still looking for a Jose Reyes replacement, Cabrera is a good pick. His highest ownership rate is just shy of 70% in ESPN leagues. In Yahoo! and CBS leagues, he is available in 40% and 47% respectively.

The return of Darwin Barney
Darwin Barney is expected to make his season debut on Tuesday with the Chicago Cubs hosting the Texas Rangers. For those of you in deep weekly leagues, feel free to start him. Barney is essentially Everth Cabrera minus the steals, and that really isn’t a compliment in fantasy terms. Barney is playable in extremely deep leagues or NL-only formats with a MI slot.

Johnny Cueto forced from his latest start
The precise details are still fuzzy, but Cueto was forced to leave his start yesterday with an injury to his right triceps. Apparently he felt pain in his throwing arm and the decision to remove him was a precautionary decision. For the best updates on this situation, the author urges you to read RotoGraphs’ very own Jeff Zimmerman and his excellent MASH Report. Jay-Z (he doesn’t know that I will now call him that from now on) keeps track of every major league injury — from DL stints to day-to-day aches — on his report. It is an invaluable tool for a condensed injury report on all 30 MLB teams.

Loss and gain in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ outfield
In related moves, the Diamondbacks have activated outfielder Cody Ross from the disabled list and placed fellow outfielder Jason Kubel on the 15-day DL with a strained left quad. Ross made it into the game yesterday in a pinch hitting role, but figures to get the majority of playing time in right field going forward. The D-backs have been playing musical chairs in the outfield between injuries to Adam Eaton, Ross, and now Kubel. In fantasy terms, Ross has the power to clear the 20 home run mark — especially given the friendly confines of his home park. Ross’ ownership rate in both Yahoo! and CBS is 19% and his ownership rate is a mere 2% in ESPN leagues. For now, Ross has playing time and health on his side in a favorable home park.

The Carter administration and the Department of Power
Despite the fact that the Carter administration started and ended more than 10 years prior to the author’s date of birth, former President Carter is known for, among other things, for creating the Department of Energy as well as the Department of Education. Presently, Chris Carter is campaigning for a figurative Department of Power. Yesterday (the non-Presidential) Carter hit his fourth home run of the season and his .311 ISO is good for top 25 in baseball. Strikeouts and a a resulting mediocre batting average will tend to hurt Carter in standard 5×5 leagues, but his strong walk rate combined with his power make him for an excellent player in OBP leagues. Carter now has both 1B and LF eligibility in most leagues and his lineup flexibility as well as his power and guaranteed playing time make for a very attractive waiver wire pick up. Carter is available to be owned in over 70% of CBS formats, 80% of Yahoo! leagues, and 95% of ESPN leagues. Even if you don’t need help at 1B/LF yet, Carter makes sense for all formats and league types.