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Roto Riteup: May 28, 2013

Three day weekends are the best, but now we’re back in the swing of things.

On today’s agenda:
1. The return of Joba Chamberlain
2. Carlos Gomez‘s power
3. Continued success of Jhoulys Chacin
4. Make a move for Ben Revere

The return of Joba Chamberlain
The New York Yankees will activate Joba Chamberlain from the 15-day disabled list today. Manager Joe Girardi said that Chamberlain will return to his seventh inning role most of the time, though could also see some eighth inning duties if David Robertson needs a rest. Don’t expect saves from Chamberlain, but for fellow holds league players, Joba makes for a useful reliever. His velocity was in the mid 90’s in a simulated game on Saturday and he is seemingly past his oblique injury.

Carlos Gomez‘s power
For the second time this weekend, Carlos Gomez has cracked two homers in a single game. He now has 10 home runs on the year and has subsequently answered just about any question regarding his 19 home run — and career high .202 ISO — season last year. At his current pace, Gomez would be in line for a 30-30 season. The home run power will mostly likely wane before he reaches the 30 plateau, however there should be no doubt that Gomez has added a new dimension to his game.

One would like to see a promotion up the lineup, as a 2-3-4-5 of Ryan Braun, Corey Hart, Aramis Ramirez, and Gomez in some order would be quite formidable. Any such promotion in the lineup would of course carry more RBI chances, but perhaps at the cost of Gomez’s running ability. No reason to run in front of Braun and risk an out. Hypotheticals aside, Gomez is a player that apparently was severely under-rated in the preseason. Hat tip to all of you who saw his potential.

Continued success of Jhoulys Chacin
Yesterday Jhoulys Chacin pitched seven innings of two run ball and fanned nine along the way. Sure, it came in a start against the Houston Astros, so take a grain of salt with it, however Chacin does have a 2.93 FIP on the season. His ERA and xFIP are nearly identical at 3.90 and 3.94 respectively, as his 0.16 HR/9 rate is skewing his FIP. For now, Chacin has shown enough to be owned and spot started, a mark up from his previous tag as “stream candidate” and “avoid at all costs” of last season. Don’t go trading the farm for Chacin, as you probably won’t have to anyways. He is owned in just 16% of ESPN leagues, 23% of Yahoo! leagues, and 40% of CBS formats.

Make a move for Ben Revere
When talking about trades or waiver wire acquisitions, a lot of time the words “in a vacuum” are thrown around. The issue is that not everything is as simple as that. League settings, size, and even participation all vary greatly. Factor in injuries, call ups, breakout seasons, and what not and there is a huge amount of noise to sort through. Further clouding one’s decision is the change that major league baseball brings to the table as well. What fantasy owners manage only goes as far as what happens on the field.

The following table represents league wide stolen bases broken down in a month-by-month format.

May 2013    377
March/April 2013    419
Sept/October 2012    616
August 2012    531
July 2012    545
June 2012    541
May 2012    578
March/April 2012    418

With just three days remaining in May, one feels confident in saying that May 2013 will see considerably fewer steals than May 2012. It is interesting — at least to this particular baseball nerd — that the two years of March/April steals are essentially the same, however the May months differ so greatly. Whether or not a trend of major league teams de-valuing steals develops throughout this season is something to keep a sharp eye. If steals become more scarce in baseball, they also will become more valuable in fantasy baseball. (The present author will leave the game theory and the real data evaluation/mining to brighter minds. This just caught the eye.)

Here is where Ben Revere can help you. Including the minors, Revere has grabbed at least 40 steals every season of his professional career. He has a career .275 batting average and while he won’t do much for you in terms of home runs or RBIs, his steals are valuable and his batting average is solid. Revere did have an X-ray on his hand yesterday in regards to some pain after hitting the wall making a catch, however the X-ray came back negative. He’ll probably be day-to-day for a little while, but is still worthy of being picked up. He is available in 65% of Yahoo! and ESPN leagues and over half of CBS formats. If steals dry up league wide, expect Revere to become a hot commodity.