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