Roto Riteup: May 5, 2013

The present author must apologize. Yesterday was Star Wars Day and the RotoGraphs readers went uninformed. Of course, a reasonable assumption could be made that a Venn diagram of Star Wars nerds and fantasy baseball nerds would overlap significantly, but the author digresses.

On today’s agenda:
1. Hanley Ramirez back to the disabled list
2. The return of Didi Gregorius
3. Michael Saunders‘ two home runs day
4. Alex Avila alert (and alliteration)

Hanley Ramirez back to the disabled list
After returning from the 15-day DL just four games ago, Hanley Ramirez is back on the shelf, this time due to a strained left hamstring. He has racked up all of 12 plate appearances thus far, but he has at least tallied a home run as well as a stolen base. The splint on this thumb seemed to be a non issue, at least in this microscopic sample size. With no timetable set for Hanley’s return, keep track of RotoGraphs’ MASH Report for the latest injury news and updates on Hanley as well as every other major leaguer.

The return of Didi Gregorius
For those of you in NL-only — or even deep mixed — leagues in search of a Hanley replacement, the Arizona Diamondbacks activated Didi Gregorius from the 7-day disabled list. Gregorius was placed on the 7-day concussion disabled list after being struck in the helmet via an errant pitch. Gregorius won’t replace Hanley’s numbers, but Gregorius did flash a surprising bit of power in his time prior to the hit by pitch, with two home runs and four doubles.

This is speculation, but with regular second baseman Aaron Hill currently on the disabled list, the Diamondbacks might consider Martin Prado at third, Pennington at second, and Gregorius at shortstop, at least when facing a left-handed starter. When facing a righty, expect to see Eric Chavez at third and some mash up of Gregorius, Pennington, or Prado in the middle infield. Worth noting is when both Pennington and Gregorius were healthy, Gregorius got the majority of the starts at shortstop while Pennington shifted to second base and received one start at shortstop. Gregorius is owned in a mere 11% of both ESPN and Yahoo! leagues and 27% of CBS formats.

Michael Saunders‘ two home run day
Racking up three extra-base hits yesterday, Michael Saunders now has seven of 15 hits going for extra-bases on the year. He has four steals to go with four home runs and has been hitting lead-off or two hole all season long. The Seattle Mariners aren’t exactly the 1927 Yankees, but hitting atop a lineup is always a nice boost from a fantasy perspective. There are legitimate concerns regarding his on-base skills (given his .285 career OBP), but as long as he is hitting — especially in the lead off spot — Saunders can be grabbed and held on to. He is available in over 70% of both ESPN and Yahoo! formatsand 50% of CBS leagues.

Alex Avila alert (and alliteration)
After starting the season sluggishly, Alex Avila has come on as of late. His past four games show two home runs and four RBIs. He is still sitting below the Mendoza line on the year, however if you are hurting in a two-catcher league, Avila makes for a great bounce-back candidate. Despite hitting in the bottom third of the Tigers lineup, Avila should see a fair amount of RBI chances by nature of the Tigers having the fourth best team OBP in baseball. Once his .231 BABIP comes back to his normal .300+ mark, expect Avila to magically “figure it all out” again. If you play in a two catcher league, grab him now and enjoy a few extra RBI’s from the catcher spot. You’ll be able to grab Avila in 60% of CBS leagues, 75% of Yahoo! leagues, and 98% of ESPN formats.

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18 Responses to “Roto Riteup: May 5, 2013”

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  1. Tim says:

    I bought in on Avila this year in an OBP AL-Only league. I still have faith…i hope you are right about his turn around coming.

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  2. Pistol says:

    Saunders OBP was previously depressed by a terrible K rate (31% in 2010 & 2011). That improved to 24% in 2012 and continues to improve early in 2013 at 19%. If he can sustain that and a respectable BABIP then I think he is a top 20 OF in mixed leagues. Anyone else buying?

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  3. Jay says:

    Dave, you are one of the few guys I trust. Made a huge trade in an 18 team, very competitive keeper league. Been around for over 20 years. 25 man roster, no DL . What do you think? I trade Odorizzi, Archer, Cobb and Goldschmidt for Cliff lee, Ervin Santana , Bautista and Encarnacion. H2h points league Daily
    I am thinking it will work

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    • David Wiers says:

      You’re trading away the future to win now, so I assume you must be in pole position, or at least top three?

      If you are all set to pull the trigger on winning the league this year, I can understand that. But I would still ask for more quality in return. Odorizzi, Archer, and Cobb are probably fairly negotiable on trade value, but I adore Goldy. See if you can get a better pitcher than Santana.

      If you can’t secure a better package, this deal is okay, but not great. You’re sacrificing a ton of potential talent, particularly cheap talent.

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  4. KG says:

    With HanRam down again, how would you rank the SS scrap heap (with no timetable!)

    Cozart, Tejada, Marwin, Aviles, Kozma, Scutaro, Drew… Dee Gordon?

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    • David Wiers says:

      Oof. Probably, in order:

      M. Gonzalez

      I’m not buying into Dee Gordon. I don’t trust his bat to play, at least not right, not even at short.

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      • KG says:

        Thanks. Yeah, the only way I see Gordon contributing is if he manages to get a steal every time he gets on base. Thanks chief!

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  5. Angelo says:

    Fantasy related question: I’m in a very competitive rotisserie OBP league with 40 man rosters. Have to dig deep to find players on the board most of the time. My team is in 10th place out of 11 teams, which is extremely frustrating.

    Here is my line up:

    C Yadier Molina
    C Salvador Perez
    1B Albert Pujols
    DH/1B Travis Hafner
    2B Danny Espinosa
    2B Dustin Pedroia
    2B Daniel Murphy
    2B Martin Prado
    3B Brett Lawrie
    2B/3B Jedd Gyorko
    1B/OF Chris Carter
    OF Matt Kemp
    OF Nick Markakis
    OF Bryce Harper
    OF Alejandro De Aza

    My hurt players are Coco Crisp and Jayson Werth. I usually switch them in and out with Markakis, De Aza, and Carter.I’m not sure what to do with my team. I feel like I have a solid roster, but I’m being driven crazy.

    What do you think of the roster? Is this just a bad start or are good things coming sooner than later?

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    • Angelo says:

      I just traded for Harper and Pujols prior to the beginning of this week.

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    • David Wiers says:

      I really like your catchers and your outfield. You have a curious amount of second baseman…have you considered packaging an OF + 2B for a new 1B? I love Carter, but he shouldn’t be your primary 1B. Hafner will slow down or get hurt and to roll with Carter as your primary first baseman is a bit of risk.

      If you can swing a trade of Markakis + Murphy for a solid first baseman, I would like your team quite a bit more.

      What does your pitching look like, because your hitting looks just fine.

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      • David Wiers says:

        Re: “primary 1B” I wrote Carter, but mean Hafner.

        With an outfield of Cater, Crisp, Werth, Kemp, etc. you should definitely trade for a third baseman, not a first baseman. You’re fine with Pujols there.

        I’m tired, sorry for the confusion.

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      • Angelo says:

        This league has 4 MI slots. Sorry, that wasn’t clear. I’m using Prado, Pedroia, Murphy, and Espinosa in those slots. My line up has been the worst part of my team so far. I’m hoping the trades I swung for Harper and Pujols will improve that. Plus, a lot of these guys have been slumping.

        My starters are Sale, Wainwright, Corbin, Cobb, Cashner. My bench pitchers are Marco Estrada, Beachy, Teheran, and Zack Wheeler (minor league keeper.)

        My league counts holds and saves. This is my bullpen

        Raphael Soriano
        Huston Street
        Trevor Rosenthal
        David Hernandez

        Joel Hanrahan is on the bench for now.

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      • David Wiers says:

        Your team looks good sir. Pour yourself a drink, then another. You still have about 140 games remaining in the season. I wouldn’t sweat it.

        Out of curiosity, what did you have to give up to get Pujols and Harper? Naming rights to your children? Your power of attorney?

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  6. Angelo says:

    I traded Trumbo and Kubel for Pujols. ( I actually consulted you on that one last weekend.)

    And I traded Strasburg for Harper. Harper hasn’t done much this week, sadly. I figured, I’m usually good at finding pitching, so I’d find a way to manage, even if I love Strasburg

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  7. nolan says:

    Russell Martin or Alex Avila RoS in an OBP league?

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