Roto Riteup: June 23, 2013

Apparently today is National Pink Day. One cannot help but feel as though it should be this coming Wednesday rather than today.

On today’s agenda:
1. Swapping outfielders in Seattle
2. Jordy Mercer is the new thing in Pittsburgh
3. Drew Smyly: more than a LOOGY

Swapping outfielders in Seattle
The Seattle Mariners placed Michael Morse on the 15-day disabled list yesterday with a strained right quad. Morse was hitting primarily cleanup before aggravating his hamstring back on May 28. Since then he has been limited to just 11 games in three weeks and has hit cleanup only twice. Morse had been flashing his trademark power and now hits the DL with 11 home runs to his name. According to manager Eric Wedge, Morse will go on a brief rehab assignment before re-joining the Mariners.

It wasn’t all negative for Seattle’s roster yesterday, as they welcomed Franklin Gutierrez back from the 60-day DL. Gutierrez powered his fifth home run in barely 60 plate appearances as part of his welcome back and is up to 11 RBIs in 17 games. Though he lacks Morse’s raw power, Guti is capable of producing the occasional dinger as well as nabbing the a rare steal. That being said, Gutierrez should be ignored in all but the deepest of AL-only formats right now. Health is always a huge question with Gutierrez as he has appeared in just 149 major league games since 2011.

Jordy Mercer is the new thing in Pittsburgh
Okay, so maybe Gerrit Cole is the real new thing in Pittsburgh, however at least at shortstop, it is all about Jordy Mercer. Now that he’ll be getting the lion’s share of time at short, Mercer makes for an interesting option. Mercer is now hitting .291/.339/.481. He has been hitting mostly in the bottom of the lineup, though he has hit second in 12 games already. Hitting eighth (and ninth in AL parks) isn’t ideal for counting stats, however for those of you in very deep leagues or NL-only formats, Mercer is playable.

Drew Smyly: more than a LOOGY
It should come as no surprise that the southpaw Drew Smyly gives left-handed hitters fits, he has also more than held his own against opposite handed hitters. Right-handed hitters have managed a .242/.315/.398 line and left-handed hitters have posted a hopeless .117/159/.117 triple slash. In over 18 innings, Smyly is yet to surrender an extra-base hit against a lefty. He’s struck out over 25% of both lefties and righties and has a 10.7% swinging strike rate to go with 26.7% overall strikeout rate. Smyly may only have seven holds on the year, but he does have the second highest WPA in the Tigers bullpen behind current closer-of-sorts-but-not-in-name Joaquin Benoit. More holds should be on the way, especially given Smyly’s usage.

Normally over-working a reliever would be a concern — Smyly has appeared  in 25 out of 73 games for a total of 43.2 innings — but Smyly may be the exception. He has thrown over 100 innings in each of the past two seasons and can carry a workload that most relievers probably couldn’t. The key difference is that the vast majority of those innings came in a starters role. As a starter there was a stricter regiment to his innings and pitches, as Smyly knew exactly when he would be called on to throw. Now a reliever, Smyly could be called upon in any given day. For now, fellow holds league players should grab Smyly and even those of you in deep leagues that don’t count holds should consider Smyly. With a 1.85 ERA and 3.16 xFIP in addition to his strikeouts, Smyly’s quality as well as his quantity is worth owning. He’s throw more innings than every reliever save Anthony Swarzak and Smyly has recorded 46 strikeouts, more than Jeremy Guthrie and just three less than Jonathon Niese. Smyly is available in 75% of CBS leagues, 80% of Yahoo! leagues, and 94% of ESPN formats.

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20 Responses to “Roto Riteup: June 23, 2013”

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  1. ThrwMe2TheWolves says:

    ROS: Teheran or Kluber?

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  2. Mooki says:

    Number of games is an important factor in determining pitcher wear. You think Mariano wouldn’t have thrown 150 IP per year if that wasn’t the case?

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    • jesse says:

      but his appearances aren’t an issue either He’s on pace for 56 Games which would have ranked 116th last year; he is on pace for 98 innings which has only been topped by a reliver once since 2005

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    • David Wiers says:

      I think it all comes down to number of pitches above all else, including warm up pitches and the like. Remember when Lidge warmed up like 4 times for like 80 pitches in the all star game and was totally gassed by the time he actually entered the game? Stuff like that takes its toll in a way that no one measures. I mean, who keeps track of warm up pitches? Warm up pitches (and bullpen sessions) usually aren’t being throw at 100% except for the last handful of the pitches, so just how taxing are they?

      Regarding Smyly, I didn’t want to say that he’s been over-worked, I just wanted to show the raw data and remind people that he’s throw 100+ innings before, so the typical reliever workload may not apply here. That didn’t mean that I think Smyly is just fine and won’t get worn out, but I can see how my wording may have been less than clear on that.

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  3. HWY71 says:

    Hey David,

    Your roto pitching strategy — streaming starters while playing 7 relievers — continues to intrigue me.

    Aside from Smyly, what other non-closer relievers do you like best for ratio & strikeout help?

    Thanks & keep up the awesome writing.

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    • David Wiers says:

      Thanks, I really only do it for 5×5 redraft leagues, so keep that in mind.

      As for relievers that I really like that won’t garner too many saves, I like the following in no particular order:

      Trevor Rosenthal
      Cody Allen
      Mark Melancon
      Sean Doolittle
      Brett Cecil (don’t laugh, he’s been good!)
      Ryan Cook
      Craig Stammen (13.3% SwStr%!!)
      David Robertson
      Jordan Walden
      Adam Ottavino
      Francisco Rodriguez – Podhorzer and I hypothesize him being traded to the Tigers and becoming their closer in today’s Sleeper and the Bust, just FYI

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      • HWY71 says:

        Nice list.

        This year, I’ve used the streaming plus relievers strategy to great success in a standard 5×5 roto.

        Btw are you a Goldschmidt believer? A guy is offering me Miguel Cabrera for Goldschmidt & Rios or Ellsbury. What do you think?

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      • David Wiers says:

        It is, in my humble opinion, the best way to maximize value in redraft leagues. You spend a ton of money of hitters and a little on some relievers and stream the rest. I adore it. It works in H2H leagues too.

        I adore Goldy. I wouldn’t trade him away with Rios or Ellsbury though, not even for Cabrera. I think Rios gets traded to a contender and boosts his runs/RBIs and Ellsbury, while healthy (insert massive caveat) is very good.

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  4. Stuck in a Slump says:

    Drop Carrasco or Detwiler for Martin Perez? Already have all three, but Perez coming off of the NA list.

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  5. rtcrules says:

    Was looking to upgrade my SS position and was looking at Mercer and wondered how much of that line was a result of his babip being above career normal?

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    • David Wiers says:

      Well his “career” BABIP is mostly from this year. Prior to this year he only had 68 major league PA’s.

      Both ZiPS and Steamer project uninspiring numbers, but Steamer has him at 22 games RoS, so yeah.

      Who is your current SS that you’d be looking to drop?

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  6. Fedee_ says:

    Nice article, just picked up Smyly and Mercer so this gives me a bit of a better perspective of what I got.

    Does Hector Santiago keep his rotation spot when Peavy comes back? He has more upside than Axelrod I would think

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  7. Giovani says:

    The SP eligibility is one of the best things Smyly has going for him this year in Yahoo leagues. Extremely valuable there for all league formats, and perhaps now joined by Cingrani.

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