Roto Riteup: March 15, 2013

While Wiers and a majority of my FanGraphs counterparts are off canoodling in Arizona, I’m here at home base bringing you the first weekend edition of the 2013 Roto Riteup. (Yes, Friday counts as a weekend in internet land.)

On today’s agenda:
1. Aroldis Chapman’s role
2. Kyle Gibson heads to the minors
3. Jason Bay’s potential new role
4. Luke Hochevar heads to the bullpen
5. Selected projections

Aroldis Chapman’s role
Even though he’s only started one game this spring, the Reds hope to have a decision on Chapman’s 2013 usage by the end of next week. Chapman still has a chance to be a starter, but Dusty Baker seems to prefer the flamethrower in the bullpen. Given Chapman’s apparent tendency to wear down while pitching a bullpen workload, I would argue that there isn’t much of a choice to be made here. While it may not necessarily be the case in real life, Chapman will be a valuable fantasy asset pitching the ninth inning in Cincinnati.

Kyle Gibson heads to the minors
As a top prospect coming off of Tommy John surgery, it was foolish to think that Gibson would start the year in the Twins’ rotation. However, due to his innings limit, it may have been the smart thing for the Twins to do. While Gibson could probably use a tune-up in Triple-A, I wouldn’t expect the Twins to waste Gibson’s valuable innings against inferior competition. If Gibson holds his own through a handful of starts in Rochester, I bet he’ll be up in the majors shortly thereafter.

Luke Hochevar heads to the bullpen
Hochevar has never been the stud starter that the Royals hoped he would be, but now he’s hit a new low after being sent to the bullpen. Hochevar’s wipeout slider and average fastball should fare well in the pen, and the right-hander has fared much better against same-handed batters to the tune of a 104 point difference in OPS. Hochevar won’t get saves, but he’ll get strikeouts, and could be asked to start at a moment’s notice.

Jason Bay’s potential new role
In each of the past two games he’s played, Bay has sat atop the Seattle Mariners’ batting order. Bay has never been the leadoff man during a regular season game, but the Mariners are willing to give him a chance. Before being penciled in to start things off for the Ms, Bay will have to prove himself as a better OF option than either Michael Saunders or Franklin Gutierrez. Bay is hitting .292 in nine games this spring with an OPS over 1.000, and even though those numbers don’t mean a thing, Eric Wedge may take it as a return to form and lobby to keep Bay on the team.

Selected Projections
Since drafts are upon us all, I figured I’d treat you Roto Riteup readers to a few of my personal player projections.

• Kyuji Fujikawa, RP, CHC: 60 IP, 15 SV, 4.00 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 53 K
• Fernando Rodney, RP, TBA: 60 IP, 35 SV, 2.50 ERA, 1.15 wHIP, 53 K
• Carlos Gomez, OF, MIL: 15 HR, 80 R, 55 RBI, 35 SB, .255 BAVG

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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.

7 Responses to “Roto Riteup: March 15, 2013”

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  1. centerfield ballhawk says:

    Jedd Gyorko wins the second base job in San Diego! How much do you like him as a late round flyer?

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  2. chri521 says:

    The post-Mets rejuvenation tour continues with Bay. Joins a long list of guys who flourish after they leave the clutches of the Wilpons :(

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  3. dscottncc says:

    I really can’t see Bay starting over Michael Saunders after the year he put together and his recent success at the WBC. And are the Mariners willing to sacrifice that much defense by sitting Gutierrez? If Gutierrez is truely healthy this year, then the Mariners are crazy to start Bay over either one of those two. I’m sure the injury bug will hit somewhere in the Mariners lineup however to work enough time in for those three via the DH.

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    • Zach Sanders says:

      While entirely true from a logic standpoint, it’s hard to see Eric Wedge following any sort of logic.

      The playing time could be rotated to ensure Bay/Guti stay healthy, and if Smoak struggles, Morse will move to 1B and open up full-time ABs in RF.

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