Roto Riteup — Presented By DraftKings: May 18, 2014

Today is the 15th anniversary of Backstreet Boys‘ album “Millennium.” I think I still know every word from I Want it That Way.

On today’s agenda:
1. Bad news for Andrew Cashner
2. A big night for Chris Owings
3. Kolten Wong is back, hitting
4. Jaime Garcia to start today
5. The Daily Five

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Bad news for Andrew Cashner
Man. *heavy sigh* Readers of RotoGraphs should know the depth of my man-crush on Cashner so to see him — yet another young pitcher — get placed on the 15-day disabled list with elbow soreness is saddening. Health was always the primary question with Cashner, however it was usually his shoulder. This is the first time his elbow has given him issues and he is set for an MRI sometime tomorrow. Cashner told reporters it is just inflammation right now, but of course the MRI should reveal if there is any more problems. He did go on to mention he was not having any issues throwing his fastball, though he did not mention his breaking ball. Let us hope 15-days of rest is enough for Cashner to come back and continue his strong season.

A big night from Chris Owings
Yesterday Owings was a single away from hitting for the cycle. He finished 3-for-6 on the night with a walk and four runs scored. Owings is now hitting a solid .277/.324/.423 on the season, good for a 104 wRC+. A few more walks and a little more pop would be nice, but right now Owings should be started in 14-team leagues and deeper 12-team leagues. His value in on-base percentage leagues takes a hit as his 6.4% walk rate is uninspiring, however he has a shot at double digit home runs and should steal 15+ bags from the shortstop position. I can live with those numbers from my middle infielder/backup SS. His position in the lineup is a big question, as yesterday he hit from the the two hole but he has mostly hit in the bottom third of the order. Ownings is can be picked up in over 90% of both ESPN and Yahoo! leagues and 70% of CBS formats.

Kolten Wong is back, hitting
If Owings doesn’t do much for you, perhaps the return of Kolten Wong is something your MI spot can take advantage of. Though it has been just two games since his return from Triple-A, Wong has four hits in six plate appearances with both of yesterday’s hits coming via bunt. He grabbed his fifth stolen base of the year yesterday as well and is yet to be caught. Wong was recalled after hitting a blistering.344/.382/.484 for the Memphis Redbirds in 68 PA’s. Wong doesn’t offer a ton of power but his speed makes him a potential fantasy asset. On top of his two bunt singles Wong came around to score a run on a short (very short) sac fly by Yadier Molina. If Wong gets the green light to run, he could outpace his projected stolen base totals. With strong contact skills and a career ground ball rate north of 63%, Wong should continue to find holes in the defense and take advantage of his foot speed. Wong is owned in almost 40% of CBS leagues though his ownership in Yahoo! and ESPN leagues is below 10%.

Jaime Garcia to start today
Sticking with the St. Louis Cardinals for a moment longer, Jaime Garcia is expected to make his first start in almost exactly one year. Garcia last stepped into a major league game on May 17 of last year. Since then he has undergone season ending shoulder surgery but now looks ready to get back on track. Garcia will be taking on the Braves, the best team in baseball when facing a left-handed pitcher. The Braves have hit for a combined 128 wRC+ as a team against southpaws this year. I wouldn’t judge Garcia on this start alone and I think he is worth a speculative add. Garcia is owned in just 12% of Yahoo! leagues, 5% of ESPN formats and 27% of CBS leagues.

The Daily Five
Starting pitcher: Marco Estrada — $9,800
Estrada squares off against the Chicago Cubs and their 28th ranked 74 wRC+ against righties.

Starting pitcher: Jordan Zimmermann — $9,600
Jay-Z and New York? It’s a perfect match! Okay, wrong Jay-Z, but Zimmermann should cruise against the Mets and their collective 78 wRC+ against right-handed pitchers.

Infielder: Nolan Arenado — $4,900
I’m going all-in with the Colorado Rockies today. The San Diego Padres are trotting out Donn Roach in place of the injured Cashner. Roach hasn’t thrown a single pitch in Triple-A yet and is making his first start of the year. He’s been active out of the bullpen for the Friars, however he owns a 5.57 K/9 and 3.43 BB/9. He is an extreme ground ball pitcher which should help in Coors Field, but I think the Rockies will tee off on him.

Outfielder: Carlos Gonzalez — $5,400
CarGo even has the platoon advantage over Roach.

Other hitter: Justin Morneau — $4,900
Another Rockies hitter with the platoon advantage today. Of course with my luck, expect Roach to throw a perfect game or something.

Remaining budget: $15,400

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You can catch David spouting off about baseball, soccer, esports and other things by following him on twitter, @davidwiers.

12 Responses to “Roto Riteup — Presented By DraftKings: May 18, 2014”

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  1. Mike Wimmer says:

    Do you see Evereth Cabrera turning his season around soon? The reason I ask is with Cashner going in the DL my starting pitching us getting thin and with Alexi Rameriz hitting so well Cabrera has routinely been on my bench. Should I hold onto him or try and flip him for a pitcher?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Satoshi Nakamoto says:

    Has anyone on Rotographs or Fangraphs written an article about baseball’s phantom injuries?

    Star players severely underperforming, team says he has some nagging injury. Allows both the player and team (for having signed him/traded for him) to save face.

    Look at Prince Fielder. Dude has massive money guaranteed for the next 6 seasons. He’s not even trying. Hits weak grounders to 2nd base, doesn’t look upset or phased whatsoever.

    During the Astros series 1 of the Houston batters reached 1st base. Camera’s zoom in to show the runner on 1st, you can see Fielder next to him yawning and looking bored.

    Fielder doesn’t have a herniated disc in his neck. He’s just eating too much Taco Bell and laughing on his way to the bank.

    The Rangers’ front office looks stupid for trading for him…phantom injury.

    Fielder’s not the only example of this. Trust.

    -5 Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. Adam says:

    The tigers and Rangers must have both hated Fielder and Kinsler so much that they were will to trade with physicals. I believe Fielder threw the ALCS to get back at the tigers for keeping silent about his cheating wife. The fact the he’s wearing 84 as in 1984, the tigers last championship cements its for me

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. DeQuarium Lumpkin says:

    I have a shortstop question:

    I have Alcides Escobar starting for me in a 10-team H2H points league. Zobrist (no DL slots in our league) and Rollins are on waivers. Who should I start at SS?

    Right now, I’m thinking Escobar is the best play. This year might be for real. He’s improved his batted ball distance, plate discipline, and batted ball profile. Meanwhile, I don’t think Zobrist will meet his projected rate stats when he comes back from his thumb injury. With Rollins, I’m concerned about age and his horrid 2013, though his batted ball distance has jumped from 256′ to 298′.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. Ralph Libinski says:

    J-Roll, for the category juice.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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