Buckle up, we have a lot to cover on today’s Roto Riteup.
Fifth starter updates
– The St. Louis Cardinals have announced that top pitching prospect Shelby Miller will join the team as their fifth starter. Miller had one start in the majors last season and looks to build on that momentum. Based on strikeout percentage and K/9, most of the projections think that Miller will be up for good, and I agree. According to Mock Draft Central, Miller is the 71 starting pitcher with an ADP of 242. That ranking puts him squarely in the fantasy mix and I expect to see Miller perform very well. The strikeouts will be there and the Cardinals have an offense that will score runs for him to get some wins.
– Matching the Cardinals with a midwest pitching update, the Cleveland Indians have rewarded Scott Kazmir‘s brilliant spring training performance — however non-predictive that performance may be — with their fifth and final rotation spot. This has been in the works for some time, but has just been made official as of yesterday. Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to see Kazmir in person out in Arizona, but if he can maintain his velocity in the later innings, he may fine some of his previous success return to him. That being said, if you are looking for a comeback story for your rotation this year, I would suggest Cory Luebke or Brandon Beachy. I just need to see more out of Kazmir before I invest in him.
– Finally, the Houston Astros have given Erik Bedard their final rotation spot. Penciling in Bedard for anything more than a handful of starts. Really, Bedard is just keeping the seat warm for either Brad Peacock or most likely Jarred Cosart to join the Astros. Bedard posted the lowest average fastball velocity of his career last season. For all intents and purposes, you can probably avoid Bedard, unless he is pitching in Safeco.
Jason Giambi added to the 40-man roster
He may start the season on the disabled list, but Giambi had his contract bought out by the Indians and has grabbed a spot on the 40-man roster. Mark Reynolds is slated to to be the full time DH in Cleveland but holds just a .319 OBP for his career against right-handed pitching. This is pure speculation on my part, but if Giambi has anything left in the tank, he could see the larger portion of a platoon situation. Giambi’s power isn’t what it once was, but his batting eye is as sharp as ever. Last season he drew 20 walks (and two intentional walks) against just 24 strikeouts in 110 PA’s. If you play in an AL-only, OBP league then Giambi could worth a late pick or waiver wire pick up.
Jemile Weeks to Triple-A
With yesterday’s word of Weeks being sent down, this answers one question about the A’s middle infield situation. The fact that about nine other questions still linger is still frustrating however. With so many players still in the mix for limited playing time, Weeks being out of the picture clears it up from a 240p youtube video all the way up to 360p! Eric Sogard has apparently caught the eye of reporters — but perhaps not the A’s front office — with his sizzling .512/.571/.744 spring training line. Jed Lowrie, Hiroyuki Nakajima hasn’t looked shaky in all facets of the game thus far and Adam Rosales is still performing well enough on both sides of the ball to earn the utility spot. There is still Scott Sizemore in the mix for time at second base and third base if needed. My gut says that to begin the season we’ll be seeing mostly Sizemore and Lowrie. Both have lingering questions — and lingering injuries — but they seem like the safest picks for now.
The New York Mets’ catching situation
Now that Travis d’Arnaud is starting the season in Triple-A, John Buck will get the majority of time behind the dish with Anthony Recker backing him up. Neither make for fantastic fantasy options, even in a position as thin as catcher, but Buck does have a little pop and Recker is capable of running into an extra-base hit on occasion as well. Clearly d’Arnaud is the catcher of the future for the Mets, but either the club wants to keep his playing clock down or they don’t believe that he is ready. I would assume that is the former, as he he crushed Triple-A last season with a .333/./380/.595 line with 16 dingers in barely 300 PA’s. That being said, it is hard to take those numbers at face value given that Las Vegas is an absolute launching pad. Given that he will repeat another season in Vegas as part of the Mets instead of the Blue Jays won’t make his minor league numbers any clearer. Keep an eye on his walks and his strikeouts, as those is really his only slightly concerning offensive trends.
The Milwaukee Brewers sign Kyle Lohse
After months of speculation on where he would land, Lohse has chosen Milwaukee, or perhaps more accurately Milwaukee has chosen Lohse. He has already passed his physical and his signing is now official. Jeff Sullivan opines that Lohse will slot in behind Yovani Gallardo and I agree that makes the most sense. Milwaukee has a lot of arms that I am quite high on, Marco Estrada and Mike Fiers for example, but Lohse has much longer track record than those two combined. Grab him if you can.