Roto Riteup: March 23rd, 2012

Location, location, location.

No, I’m not talking about real estate. I’m talking about the different park factors that players (and fantasy owners) have to deal with. Today’s Roto Riteup deals with players who may end up in a different uniform before the season is over.

- Mark Reynolds has apparently hit the trading block. Reynolds topped 30 homers for the third straight year, and is a known commodity as a relatively cheap power source. His home park last year certainly aided him, as Camden Yards had the third highest home run factor for right handed batters, 123 via StatCorner. Given that, almost anywhere else that Reynolds lands is likely to cause a dip in his power numbers. Mark Reynolds without the power? That isn’t exactly an ideal player to own.

- Another corner infielder, Jorge Cantu, is also looking for a place to land for a full season. Although currently with the Angels organization, Cantu may opt out of his contract if he’s down in the minors come May 1st. Given that Albert Pujols, Kendrys Morales and Mark Trumbo are ahead of him on the depth chart at 1B and DH, it’s quite likely that Cantu will be in the minors until May 1st. Cantu did have a down 2011, however it was only in 155 plate appearances and he had by far a career worst BABIP of .216. Given regular playing time it is possible for me to see him revert back to his .345 wOBA days. Cantu is 1B and 3B eligible in most Yahoo! formats and a .345 wOBA would have been tied for 7th best for qualified third basemen in 2011. He could be a worthwhile waiver wire pickup if he’s promised a starting spot.

- Wandy Rodriguez seems to be a name that is constantly being involved in trade rumors, and for a good reason: he is a useful and durable pitcher. Striking out at least 160 batters for three straight years has certainly kept Wandy (MockDraftCentral ADP 172, Yahoo! Rank 208) on the minds of fantasy owners. He gave up a career high 25 home runs in 2011, but other than his HR/FB rate his batted ball profile was largely unchanged. His pitch selection was also unchanged and I’m hoping to be able to write off 2011′s gopheritis as mere random variation.

Wandy’s performance this spring hasn’t helped assuage any doubts when it comes to slipping performance. After another rough outing, Wandy made his 80 pitch mark count for all of 3.2 innings. His ERA currently stands at an ugly 8.10, with a 2.20 WHIP to go with it. A 3:7 strike out to walk ratio isn’t comforting either. Nor is his three home runs allowed in 10 innings. Of course there is much to consider, and much to not consider when it comes to spring training statistics. Small sample sizes are always prone to wild deviations, and I’ll still be drafting Wandy Rodriguez in as many leagues as possible. Don’t be swayed by a 10-inning blip on the radar. He has two more Spring Training starts in which to shake the rust off. I’m not worried, and you shouldn’t be either. If anything, maybe his poor spring outings have discouraged your league mates; take advantage of this.




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