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Roto Riteup: June 26, 2013

This morning’s Roto Riteup was prepared in between the author’s dueling job interviews.

On today’s agenda:
1. Will Middlebrooks demoted
2. Danny Duffy stays in minors
3. Corey Hart haz a sad
4. Jason Vargas requires surgery

Will Middlebrooks demoted
While a fan favorite during his stint in the big leagues last year, Middlebrooks has been quite awful this season and has been sent back to the minors because of it. Middlebrooks hit a sweet .288 last year with 15 homers in just 75 games, a rate that would have made him an elite third baseman if he had played a full season. But, 2013 has been far less kind, as the right-hander has hit just .192 while striking out more, walking less, and hitting for less power.

Jose Iglesias has a hot bat and will continue to fill in for Middlebrooks, while Brandon Snyder has been called up as insurance. If Middlebrooks hits well in triple-A and Iglesias falls back down to earth, we could see the 24-year-old return to the bigs in no time at all.

Danny Duffy stays in minors
The Royals have activated Duffy from the 60-day DL, but the team has optioned him to the minors rather than bringing him to the bigs at the end of his rehab stint. Duffy has made six rehab appearances — three in AA and three in AAA — and he hasn’t had the most successful results in the world. Duffy mowed through hitters in double-A, but he’s had serious command problems in triple-A, walking eight batters in 10 innings of work. The Royals could really benefit from having another option for their rotation, but I don’t see them doing anything with Duffy until he improves his arm strength and regains his command. Don’t expect Duffy to be in Royals’ Blue until late July, at the earliest.

Corey Hart haz a sad
Hart underwent knee surgery all the way back in January, and most of us in the “biz” thought he’d be back in the thick of things by now, if not much earlier. Well, apparently Hart is still taking his rehab day-by-day, and beat writer Tom Haudricourt says that Hart is “dejected.” There is now talk that Hart will miss all of the 2013 season, but I believe he’ll be back for September showcase before hitting free agency this winter.

Jason Vargas requires surgery
Doctors discovered a blot clot in Vargas’ left armpit last week, and now it’s been decided that the left-hander will need to go under the knife to have the clot removed. The Angels hope Vargas will only have to miss three weeks, but two of those weeks are going to be a complete shutdown, so this author thinks Vargas will miss most of the next month heading into the trade deadline.