With respects to the late night games, today’s Roto Riteup was written while enjoying The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. Last night’s Colbert gave a shoutout to fantasy baseball, though it wasn’t exactly an endearing mention. Neither the episode nor the clip was available at the time of writing, otherwise the reader should trust that a linked video would have been included.
On today’s agenda:
1. Alex Gordon, cleanup hitter?
2. The Los Angeles Dodgers call up Dee Gordon
Pachebel’s Canon Anibal’s cannon
Alex Gordon, cleanup hitter?
Other than a lone pinch hitting appearance back in late June, Alex Gordon had previously hit exclusively leadoff or third this season. Last Saturday Gordon made his season debut hitting clean up. A one time start hitting cleanup in the Kansas City Royals’ final interleague road game of the season wouldn’t normally be of note, especially considering the Royals played Eric Hosmer in right field to squeeze Billy Butler in (pun intended) at first base. If once is a fluke and twice is a trend, then we are in habitual territory for Gordon hitting cleanup as yesterday made for the third straight day that Gordon found himself hitting fourth. With Salvador Perez still recovering from a concussion, Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost may continue penciling Gordon’s name in the cleanup spot.
The RBI opportunities should increase for Gordon, but whether or not he delivers on said opportunities is the question. Gordon posted a .226/.340/.405 line in July and is 3-for-25 thus far in August. With a .281 BABIP in July against his .324 career mark, brighter days should be ahead of Gordon. If your league’s trade deadline hasn’t passed (as unlikely as that is) or if your keeper league allows year-round transactions, buying low on Gordon would make sense. Assuming his BABIP rebounds and he continues to hit fourth until Perez is back, Gordon may surprise with his RBI count this month.
Los Angeles Dodgers call up Dee Gordon
With Hanley Ramirez nursing a sore shoulder and a stint on the disabled list not yet completely ruled out, the Dodgers have called up Dee Gordon while sending down Stephen Fife to make room on the roster. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said that he wanted to call up Gordon even before Hanley’s injury, though the injury almost assuredly sped up the recall. For now Gordon figures to be the prime candidate to get the majority of playing time at short if Hanley does hit the DL.
Gordon was hitting .307/.398/.407 in 376 Triple-A plate appearances prior to his call up, however Gordon struggled mightily in over 300 MLB plate appearances last year. After a strong major league debut in 2011, Gordon saw his BABIP plummet and his strikeout rate skyrocket last year in the majors. For now, with Hanley’s immediate future in doubt, those of you looking for a temporary replacement for him — or for Jhonny Peralta or Everth Cabrera — could grab Gordon. Currently Gordon is available in over 98% of both ESPN and Yahoo! leagues, as well as 90% of CBS formats.
Pachebel’s Canon Anibal’s cannon
Rather than discuss Pachebels Canon — unless it is this video, that despite it being almost seven years old, still makes the present author laugh — let’s talk about Anibal Sanchez‘s cannon during last night’s game. Yesterday’s start saw Anibal Sanchez posted his highest velocity of the season. He averaged over 95 mph on his four-seamer — compared to his 93 mph average this year — and touched 97 mph on multiple occasions.
Sanchez accrued 11 strikeouts and 19 whiffs against the Cleveland Indians, though he was denied the win. Sanchez’s strikeouts have been up-and-down as of late given that prior to last night’s game, Sanchez had just nine strikeouts in his previous 19 innings. Despite the recent strikeout fluctuations, Sanchez remains an upper echelon starter and an automatic start — even with league innings caps, bet it 1400 or even 1250 a concern at this point in the season.
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