Roto Riteup: March 12th, 2012

With the 2012 season just a few short weeks away, it’s time for the return of the Roto Riteup to the RotoGraphs lineup. If you were not reading the site late last season, this will be new to you. And you will enjoy it.

Now, onto the notes for the day:

  • Cespedes’ First Impression
  • Yoenis Cespedes not only homered in his American debut, but he crushed the ball and even took a walk in his first trip to the plate. Whether or not he starts in the minors is going to be a fluid decision for the A’s, but I’m willing to bet he spends at least a few weeks in the minors getting his legs under him and adapting to his new life. The A’s already seem to have a full outfield, so they aren’t going to be in any hurry to rush his development any more than they already have with his contract.
  • Kyle Seager and Mariners’ Third Basemen
  • A home run that didn’t receive as much publicity was Kyle Seager’s. Seager actually went deep to centerfield for the second time this spring. You may recall Seager played 53 games for the Mariners last season, but his road to a starting role seems to be blocked by a variety of other players. Chone Figgins will get another chance to prove he’s a big league player, and Alex Liddi could decide it’s time to put it all together. If Seager can add even a little power to his 5’10” frame, he could end up being a starting third baseman in the mold of Bill Mueller. He’s going to be an interesting player to take a flier on in dynasty and deep AL-only keeper leagues that use OBP, and he shouldn’t cost you anything at all.
  • Jeff Niemann Fighting for Fifth Rotation Spot
  • Jeff Niemann worked three perfect innings for the Rays yesterday before finishing his day’s work in the bullpen. Niemann is currently battling Wade Davis for the final spot in the Rays’ rotation, and it’s not clear who has the upper hand at this point. One could bet on Davis having a slight edge due to his age, but he’s going to have to prove his can use his offspeed pitches effectively if he’s going to be a starter. With Niemann’s injury history and the Rays’ likely wanting to take it easy on Matt Moore in his first big league season, there’s a chance that both Niemann and Davis could end up pitching 120 innings in 2012.

A Pitcher For Today
During the season, you’ll be finding recommendations for starters you could stream for the day after the notes, but this being spring training, I’m going to assume you aren’t playing some strange high-stakes spring fantasy game.

If you have anything in particular you’d like to see in this year’s Roto Riteup, please say so in the comments. Feedback is appreciated.

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Zach is the creator and co-author of RotoGraphs' Roto Riteup series, and RotoGraphs' second-longest tenured writer. You can follow him on twitter.

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Frank Rizzo
Frank Rizzo

Hey Zach – I loved this piece last season and look forward to it throughout the year.

What’s your take on Ubaldo’s increased velo; does that move the needle?