Roto Riteup: April 21, 2013

Yesterday afternoon the author made a passing comment on twitter about not seeing the apparently beloved movie The Princess Bride. He was subsequently mocked and ridiculed in a handful of states spread across the continental United States. The author will be sure to rectify this situation…eventually.

On today’s agenda:
1. Welcome back, Scott Kazmir
2. A big day for Lorenzo Cain
3. Assorted roster moves

Welcome back, Scott Kazmir
Scott Kazmir made his first major league start since 2011 yesterday for the Cleveland Indians. After starting the season on the disabled list, Kazmir was reintroduced to major league hitters in a very liberal translation of the words “major league” aka the Houston Astros. Kazmir’s fastball sat at 91 mph for the day, and that about sums up the positives. Kazmir lasted 3.1 innings and surrendered six runs — including two home runs. He struck out four and walked three, but between his 89 pitch count and six runs allowed, Kazmir couldn’t stay in for the win. He was spotted 18 runs by the Indians offense by time the fourth inning rolled around, but still couldn’t last five innings to earn the W. Insert your own “pitching to the score” joke here. It is hard to evaluate a pitcher on one start, but Kazmir’s velocity is nice to see and holds hope for the future. For now, tread water on him and hope to see a strong start and better control next time.

As a side note, yesterday’s starter for the Houston Astros, Philip Humber, posted a 216.00 ERA and 27.00 WHIP in 0.1 innings yesterday. He threw 30 pitches and recorded one out. That is some kind of amazing.

A big day for Lorenzo Cain
Five category contribution days should bring a smile to any fantasy owners face. Yesterday Lorenzo Cain filled up the standard 5×5 categories en route to his 4-for-4 day. Cain is a master-of-nothing, jack-of-all-trades type player. He might stretch and hit double digit home runs while stealing a few bases here and there, but doesn’t profile to be a fantasy stud. In the lower minors Cain stole 34, 24, and 25 bases in consecutive seasons, but his speed there has yet to translate to significant stolen bases at the major league level. He did go 10:0 in terms of SB/CS last year, but he now sits at just 2:2 this season, including yesterday’s steal. The good news is that if he has run four times in the first 14 games of the season, hopefully he will continue to do so.

If he shows continued signs of running, he could be valuable in deep mixed leagues. For now, a 10-15 outfielder with a decent average isn’t that useful in a standard 12-team mixed league. Mixed league OF is just so deep that there are usually better options available than what Cain brings to the table.

Assorted roster moves from yesterday
– The Astros placed OF J.D Martinez on the 15-day disabled list. The Astros also activated SP/RP Travis Blackley and OF Fernando Martinez. Blackley could be worth a gamble in AL-only or deep mixed leagues, as he may see time in the starting rotation. Blackley was useful as a spot starter last year, however his home park of the O.Co Coliseum certainly helped keep his .264 BABIP down. Keep an eye on him, but his upside is essentially a stream candidate.

Dayan Viciedo was placed on the DL by the Chicago White Sox with a left oblique strain. Viciedo hasn’t drawn a walk this year, including  the HBP or IBB varieties. He’s struck out 16 times already but does have a pair of home runs. His 25 home run season last year came with lots of strikeouts and very few walks, so this is all part of Viciedo’s game. He is worth a DL slot, but if he is to miss much time, feel comfortable dropping him. Similar to the Cain situation, a standard  mixed league OF is deep.

– The San Diego Padres placed SP Tyson Ross on the disabled list with a subluxation of his left (his non-throwing) shoulder. Thad Weber was recalled to take Ross’ roster spot, but this author opines that this could be the chance that Andrew Cashner has been waiting for. Cashner made a spot start yesterday for an ill Clayton Richard against the San Francisco Giants. Cashner lasted four innings before being pinch hit for. While it was a shortened outing — the Padres had Cashner on an approximate 60 pitch count — he did managed five strikeouts against one walk. He allowed two runs on a Pablo Sandoval home run, but allowed just three base runners total on the day.

If Cashner is available — and he should be, as his 27% ownership rate in CBS is by far the highest of the three major websites — feel confident in grabbing him. He is SP and RP eligible, so he can accumulate numbers for you anywhere. There has been no formal announcement of Cashner moving to the rotation, as Webber was a starter in Triple-A but has made just one appearance in a relief role at the major league level, the author still maintains hope that Cashner will eventually take his rightful spot every fifth day.

Ryan Zimmerman was placed on the disabled list with a hamstring strain and prospect Anthony Rendon was recalled to presumable take Zimmerman’s place. Zimmerman figures to miss the minimum amount of time, but every time he hits the DL, you can hear the collective grumbles from his fantasy owners. Rendon has been punishing Double-A pitching this year and now has a .292/.462/.500 line there thus far. He is worth a roster spot if you are in a pinch, but Rendon figures to only be around as long as Zimmerman is out.

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You can catch David spouting off about baseball, soccer, esports and other things by following him on twitter, @davidwiers.

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Hawk Heckleson
Hawk Heckleson

Hey David,

FYI, the Vernon Wells section of your piece didn’t make it.