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Roto Riteup: March 20, 2013

From 90 degree plus weather to shoveling four inches of lake effect snow (insert audible heavy sigh here) off of the driveway in the past 24 hours, this is today’s Roto Riteup.

On today’s agenda:
1. Tyler Skaggs‘ value this year
2. Josh Vitters’ 2013 fantasy impact
3. Cheap steals via L.J. Hoes, also an attempt to not make a sophomoric joke regarding his surname

Tyler Skaggs value this year
The Arizona Diamondbacks announced Monday evening that Tyler Skaggs will be in Triple-A — at least to begin the season. Based solely on Skaggs’ minuscule sample size in both Triple-A and the majors, this move isn’t terribly shocking. Between both levels, Skaggs has just 82 innings under his belt. In neither of his brief stints between the two levels produced anything that one could reasonably call dominating, so further minor league seasoning should be in order. His not-quite-30 innings at the major league level was a significant struggle for Skaggs, as his walk and home run rates soared while his strikeout plummeted. Despite beginning the season in the minors, that might not do Skaggs any favors regarding his elevated home run rate. The Pacific Coast League is a notorious hitters league with home run launching pads spread throughout the league. Even with several hurdles in front of him, Skaggs should prove to be a valuable fantasy asset if not this season then certainly in 2014. I expect him to be the first starter called up if/when a starter goes down. With injury risks like Brandon McCarthy and Wade Miley — who is currently dealing with dead arm — ahead of Skaggs on the depth chart, then a call up might not be too far away. Grabbing him in the late rounds or as your SP5 is reasonable.

Josh Vitters’ 2013 fantasy impact
In a somewhat surprising move, the Chicago Cubs have sent Vitters down to begin the season in Triple-A. It is especially surprising not based on talent alone, but also circumstance; Ian Stewart will open the season the disabled list. Now with Vitters in the minors and Stewart on the DL, the third base job now falls to Luis Valbuena. It just so happens that to the author, Vitters is a player who has been around for feels like forever. Vitters was once a highly regarded prospect — and to be fair is still a tender age of 23 years old — but his flaws have become more evident in the upper minors. Struggles to earn a walk aside, his decent right-handed power will play nicely in Wrigley Field once he is called up. Though I wonder about major league pitchers exploiting his lack of walks, Vitters should still be a viable CI option in deeper leagues (e.g. NL-only or 14 and 16 mixed league with several bench options). I wouldn’t aim for him to be your starting third basemen once he gets called up, but he still does have value this season. He won’t be a full replacement for those of you who own Chase Headley and his broken finger, but Vitters is a useful pick up.

Cheap steals via L.J. Hoes
Although the Baltimore Orioles have sent him down to begin the season in Triple-A, L.J. Hoes should still gather plenty of playing time with the big league club. With current left-fielder Nate McLouth set to have what is most likely another less-than-stellar season, Hoes should be able to accrue a good amount of plate appearances as a fourth outfield as well as plenty of base stealing options as a pinch runner. Keep in mind that AL fourth and fifth outfielders should see elevated playing time due to year round inter-league. With solid speed and newly found plate discipline, Hoes should be able to offer steals and runs for an extremely cheap price. By grabbing him for $1 or a late round pick, you should be able to keep your G’s up, and your Hoes down, while you upstanding citizens bounce to this.