Roto Riteup — May 13, 2014

Yesterday was the 19th anniversary of the film “Crimson Tide” being released. Other than “The Hunt for Red October” it is my favorite submarine film. Coming in at a respectable third place finish is “Down Periscope.”

On today’s agenda:
1. Jose Fernandez…sadface
2. The new New York Mets rotation
3. Junior Lake‘s big day
4. The Daily Five

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Jose Fernandez…sadface
As you’ve undoubtedly heard by now, young standout pitcher Jose Fernandez was placed on the 15-day disabled list yesterday with a forearm strain. Sources around the league are expecting Fernandez to be done for the year, presumably in the wake of eventual Tommy John surgery. Fernandez is a top 10 fantasy pitcher and losing him this early in the season has the potential to torpedo the entire year for your fantasy squad. Rotoball aside, major league baseball just lost a great young pitcher for a year and like when Stephen Strasburg went down, the game is less fun without Fernandez. The Miami Marlins are yet to announce any news other than the move to place Fernandez on the DL, but an official announcement is expected soon. Let’s hope for the best and perhaps a few weeks of rest is all that is needed.

The new New York Mets rotation
No, this isn’t the New New York Mets, just an updated version of their starting rotation. Yesterday the club announced they will move Jenrry Mejia to the bullpen while calling up Rafael Montero to make Wednesday’s start. Mejia showed a ton of potential last year but walks and home runs have given him fits this season. Working exclusively as a starter he owns a 3.79 xFIP and 3.94 SIERA in seven starts this year. Factor in his strong ground ball rate and 24% strikeout rate and expect Mejia to return to the rotation some point later this season. I still don’t love Mejia as much as others here at RotoGraphs, but I do think he is one of the Mets’ best options to start games. The decision to move him to the pen was made prior to yesterday’s game and Mejia did make a relief appearance. He worked a scoreless 1.1 innings, striking out two and allowing two hits. Currently Mejia is available in 70% of CBS formats as well as over 85% of both ESPN and Yahoo! leagues. Expect him to showcase his talent as a reliever and then get moved back to the rotation sooner rather than later. If Mejia can get his walks under control then I’d recommend him in just about any league format. Until then, 12-team mixed redraft leagues can leave him alone, but in deeper leagues I would consider stashing him.

Junior Lake’s big day
Yesterday Lake cracked a home run and a pair of doubles en route to his 3-for-6 day. He hit a career high six RBIs and scored two runs. He now has four long balls and four steals on the year, but that is where the good news ends. Even after yesterday’s numbers are added in, Lake is hitting .255/.282/.459 on the year. Not even a .404 BABIP can hid the ugly truth of his 41.3% strikeout rate. When you’re getting fanned in two out of every five plate appearances, it is hard to produce. Lake has drawn just four walks in 104 PA’s this year. Looking at his 23+% swinging strike rate and first strike rate being north of 75% makes for a tough pill to swallow. He’ll get plenty of playing time to try and raise his walk rate, but he was never an on-base machine in the minors either. The power is nice to see and I think he can reach 15 home runs and 20 steals this year, however I think his rate stats will make him unplayable in standard mixed leagues.

The Daily Five
Starting Pitcher: David Price — $10,400
Price squares off against the Seattle Mariners, the owners of a 75 wRC+ against left-handed pitchers this season.

Starting Pitcher: Drew Smyly — $7,800
The southpaw Smyly will be pitching to the Baltimore Orioles and their 81 wRC+ against lefties.

Infielder: Ian Desmond — $3,500
Desmond launched his fifth home run of the year yesterday. Look for him to hit another against the homer prone Bronson Arroyo.

Outfielder: Domonic Brown — $3,400
Brown and the Philadelphia Phillies take on right-hander Matt Shoemaker. Brown hasn’t had the start of the season that I had hoped for, but look for him get back to his righty-crushing ways of last season.

Other hitter: Ryan Howard — $4,100
Another lefty from the Phills.

Remaining budget: $20,800

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14 Responses to “Roto Riteup — May 13, 2014”

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  1. FeslenR says:

    sigh. another pitcher, another injury…another prospect…gah. We need bionic/cyborg arms and bodies at this point. Victor Stone, where are you?

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  2. Satoshi Nakamoto says:

    Mr. Wiers, what the likelihood of success from holding Springer, CJ Cron and Dickerson and plugging them in whenever they face horrible pitching teams? The Astros and Angels face some of the worst pitching teams over the next month or 2. For the Rockies every homegame is a field day.

    Do you think using mediocre platoon players or Springer vs teams with the worst ERAs/BA Against will yield HRs and RBIs galore?

    Or are opponents and ballpark factors overblown and overwhelmed by the lack of talent?

    [standard mixed 12 team 5×5 roto]

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    • Kickpuncher says:

      Platooning can definitely work, but I would want all lefties and only two roster spots rather than three. I am not sure how much Dickerson will be playing when Cuddyer gets back either.

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    • David Wiers says:
      FanGraphs Supporting Member

      If you’re only using two of the three, I’d go with Springer and Cron. Dickerson’s days are numbered. Cron should get plenty of PA’s until Calhoun returns from the DL, but that will be another 2-3 weeks.

      I platoon players in fantasy leagues quite often, Matt Joyce is a personal favorite, as is Seth Smith, and it is a great way to maximize a player’s talents. Keep platooning when you can and watch the ballpark factors. If we’re ranking on how to play/rate a team, I value opposing pitcher talent > platoon situation > park factors.

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      • Satoshi Nakamoto says:

        “If we’re ranking on how to play/rate a team, I value opposing pitcher talent > platoon situation > park factors.”

        Well if that’s the case then all Angels and Astros hitters will have a much easier time between now and the Break.

        Also, I’m not really platooning. It’s a standard league where I can change the lineup daily. I’m just benching Rios/Choo whenever Cron/Springer/Dickerson have a juicy matchup and are starting.

        That sucks about Dickerson. Seems he would blow up if the coach just stopped messing with his PT. Kinda like broken finger Belt? But I own Cargo and with how fragile him and Cuddyear are Dickerson is sorta a weak handcuff no?

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      • Satoshi Nakamoto says:

        Crap. I also own Oscar Taveras and Gregory Polanco.
        And my glut of NA and platoon hitters has me on a negative 80 innings pitched pace. ^^

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  3. Eastern NC says:

    Dear Fangraphs people: In a keeper where my team blows, but I have Goldie, Harper, Machado, Xander, and Gomez as my five keepers, but I need to add a keeper, what would you do with this?
    OPS league, and I won’t keep Alex Cobb
    I trade Carlos Gomez and Alex Cobb

    I get Hosmer and Billy Hamilton

    What to do? I think Hosmer is a star in the making, but Gomez is a star now!

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    • Matthew says:

      If you need a keeper you would be a fool to keep Hosmer over Gomez. All while losing Alex Cobb in the deal to boot. Yes, he is hurt but when he gets back he is a great pitcher.

      Hamilton has a lot to prove to be worth rostering, even for the 40-50 SB tops he could provide given his terrible ability to get on base. And Hosmer has a lot to prove given that his power never seems to translate and you already have Goldie for 1st base.

      Gomez can get you your 40 SB while hitting 20-30 bombs *and* provide more rate stats than Hamilton ever would.

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    • Rob says:

      Fernandez for Cobb? If you’re willing to be patient.

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    • David Wiers says:
      FanGraphs Supporting Member

      I’m not sold on Hamilton being amazing just yet. His speed is undeniable but his long term contact rates worry me. I’d sit tight and be very happy with Cobb and Gomez.

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  4. Ruki Motomiya says:

    The day Jose Fernandez blew his arm out is the saddest day in baseball yet.

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    • Satoshi Nakamoto says:

      And he never signed a big contract. Now, who knows what he’ll be after the surgery.

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  5. Ryan says:

    I drafted Jose Fernandez on 3 of my six teams — after i saw all those similarly aged guys getting the T.J. I traded off of that injury risk — i’d rather have less flash and someone that is pitching in the fantasy playoffs… i don’t need April K’s …. i need them in August as well — just like Fantasy Football’s rule on WRs…. wait for year 3….

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  6. Nodlew says:

    What about Mejia’s replacement Montero? I picked up Montero but just cut him for Gausman because i seen Gausman is being called up. I probably made the wrong call there. I don’t really know much about Montero but people rave about Gausman.

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