Roto Riteup — Presented by DraftKings: September 4, 2014

This Roto Riteup author has discovered that life is 5% more difficult if you temporarily lose the use of your index finger due to cutting it performing manly labor around the house.

Also, go Seahawks.

On today’s agenda:
1. Michael Wacha returns today
2. Rusney Castillo to make MLB debut in 2014
3. Some Shelby Miller splits for thought
4. Fun with arbitrary endpoints
5. The Football Five

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Michael Wacha returns today
The Cardinals will get a boost as they move towards the postseason, welcoming the young Wacha back into the rotation. Prior to hitting the disabled list in mid-June, the right-hander had a 2.79 ERA through 90.1 innings, a scant single point off his 2013 ERA. Wacha’s shoulder injury was quite serious, leading some — including myself — to believe he’d be done for the rest of this year, but he’s managed to come back. Despite sitting for two-and-a-half months, Wacha has thrown just two innings of rehab ball, so his return will likely be a brief one, but will work just fine with expanded September rosters. Wacha probably won’t be ready for a full outing next time out, either, but it’d be fair to guess that he’d be prepared when he takes to the mound for the third time.

Rusney Castillo to make MLB debut in 2014
The Red Sox have declared from the mountains high that Castillo will be up in the majors before the end of the season. Castillo is working in double-A right now, but once their playoff series is over, expect him to join the big league club. Castillo coming up now is probably a good thing; fantasy owners will get a chance to snag him before drafts next year, and he’ll get a taste of what it’s like to hang around an MLB team, making his 2015 transition smoother.

Some Shelby Miller splits for thought
Shelby Miller was a first round draft pick and a top prospect, but his MLB performance thus far hasn’t been all we hoped, even though his ERA was quite pretty last year. He struggled down the stretch, and those problems haven’t gone away this year.

First 25 starts of 2013: 139.2 IP, 151 K, 41 BB, 16 HR; 2.90 ERA, .288 BABIP
Final 6 starts of 2013: 33.2 IP, 18 K, 16 BB, 4 HR; 3.74 ERA, .274 BABIP
2014: 159.2 IP, 106 K, 71 BB, 20 HR; 4.00 ERA, .257 BABIP

While his 2014 performance has been below replacement level, it’s important to note that Miller hasn’t turned 24 yet, so there’s time to zone back in and revert back to the form we saw for most of 2013. Shelby will be a fun test case come draft time next year, and I am more than willing to be subject to experimentation.

Fun with arbitrary endpoints
All stats are through Tuesday unless the handsome author indicates otherwise

Past 30 days…

Alex Gordon: 115 PA, 9 HR, .297/.374/.594, .304 BABIP
Chris Carter: 115 PA, 11 HR, .250/.313/.577, .268 BABIP
Travis d’Arnaud: 98 PA, 5 HR, .275/.327/.484, .256 BABIP, 8.2% K
Ryan Howard: 111 PA, 4 HR, .269/.360/.452, .339 BABIP

Oswaldo Arcia: 94 PA, 6 HR, .186/.245/.465, .192 BABIP, 30.9% K
Mike Trout: 121 PA, 6 HR, .227/.281/.445, .268 BABIP, 28.9% K
Arismendy Alcantara: 118 PA, 6 HR, .193/.239/.376, .217 BABIP, 29.7% K
Marlon Byrd: 102 PA, 4 HR, .237/.284/.387, .305 BABIP, 31.4% K

The Football Five

SP: Randall Delgado | $6,400 | @SD
SP: Ian Kennedy | $9,300 | vARZ
1B: Mike Napoli | $4,000 | @NYY (Chris Capuano)
2B/3B Kyle Seager | $4,400 | @TEX (Scott Baker)
OF: Brett Gardner | $4,800 | @BOS (Brandon Workman)

I’m not a fan of the value proposition from other SPs today, so opting for a duel may be the safest option, though it can’t offer the highest upside.

This post, covering one of the leading sites for daily fantasy, is sponsored and made possible by the generous support of DraftKings. FanGraphs maintains complete editorial control of the postings, and brings you these posts in a continued desire to provide the best analytical information on the latest in baseball.

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Zach is the creator and co-author of RotoGraphs' Roto Riteup series, and RotoGraphs' second-longest tenured writer. You can follow him on twitter.

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