Roto Riteup: September 15, 2013

Four days from today will mark the 23rd anniversary of the classic film Goodfellas. The trailer, as good as it is (warning: language, violence, etc.), scarcely does the film justice.

On today’s agenda:
1. Another rough outing for CC Sabathia
2. Johnny Cueto‘s looming return
3. A strong finish for Denard Span?

Another rough outing for CC Sabathia
After yesterday’s poor start that saw CC Sabathia surrender five runs in six innings, his 4.90 ERA is something that no one predicted. Getting knocked around by a powerful Boston lineup in one start isn’t particularly telling, but Sabathia hasn’t been his dominant self this year. His 3.75 xFIP is closer in line to what we could have expected, however this has been a season to forget for Sabathia and his fantasy owners. Sabathia is still posting a solid strikeout to walk ratio and his 1.36 GB/FB ratio, though slightly lower than his previous three seasons, is still strong. So what’s going on?

He’s lost a tick or two on his fastball and his 1.24 HR/9 rate would be a single season worst for Sabathia. How closely those two things are related is a question better left to SQL guru’s, though it doesn’t take a database genius to see Sabathia’s fallen velocity over recent starts. If the New York Yankees end up missing the playoffs as they are on pace to, it could be a good thing. A few extra weeks of rest and not making an extra three or four starts could help Sabathia be more refreshed heading into spring training next year. Given Sabathia’s body type, his declining velocity, as well as the fact that he is on the wrong side of 30, he is someone who the present author will be avoiding in next year’s drafts.

Johnny Cueto‘s looming return
According to some, it seems entirely possible that the Cincinnati Reds will activate Johnny Cueto in the coming days. As noted in the linked article, after Mike Leake‘s start today, the Reds don’t have a scheduled starter for Monday or Tuesday. The door is wide open for Cueto’s return. He has apparently tweaked his windup and is coming off a bullpen session yesterday. The club hasn’t ruled out the possibility of easing Cueto back into the rotation by first integrating him into games as a reliever, though following Wednesday’s 60-pitch session against live batters, and in the present author’s opinion, Cueto will probably start.

Regardless of which day Cueto (presumably) starts, he’ll face the Houston Astros in a relatively easy return to action. If the Reds use their off day on Thursday to push the rotation back a day then Cueto would have his final start of the year against the New York Mets. Both the Astros and the Mets are below average offensively and Cueto could have back-to-back strong starts in the final days of the season. He is available in less than 30% of CBS and Yahoo! leagues but is owned in less than 50% of ESPN formats.

A strong finish for Denard Span?
Factoring in a huge 3-for-5 day plus the three steals and two runs scored, Denard Span has been on fire since the calendar turned to September. Through 11 games this month Span has scored 11 runs, stolen five bags, and has recorded 18 hits. This season has been an offensive disappointment, as hitting leadoff for what should have been a very good Washington Nationals offense should have seen Span flirt with 100 runs scored.

Don’t expect power or RBIs from Span, but he can contribute in standard 5×5 league. His solid .283 batting average and his speed makes him capable of running on the bases and getting himself in scoring position to pile on the runs. Span is available in 50% of both ESPN and CBS formats and is available in 75% of Yahoo! leagues. Grab him if you’re seeking outfield help or are hurting for steals.

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11 Responses to “Roto Riteup: September 15, 2013”

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  1. dirck says:

    I hope Cueto never makes it back . He is a cowardly piece of shit . His kick to the face ended LaRue’s career ,yet nothing was done about it .

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    • beavis says:

      Yeah, Jason La who? would have probably been around 8 or 10 more years, easily, and those prior concussions likely had no impact on him whatsoever…

      Get over it. MLB handed out a suspension, it was served, and life goes on. and oh yeah, you mistakenly pressed the ‘r’ button when punching in your name, there.

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  2. Casey Whitman says:

    So, I’m going into the finals next week, and I have three pitchers that I’m worried about. Samardzija, Burnett, and Holland. Do I pull for them for another week and take the risk of them screwing me over or do I play matchups and streams the rest of the year for them? It’s a two week matchup, and I’m down to two bench spots total with Jose Fernandez and Braun taking up two keeper spots.

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    • David Wiers says:

      Congrats on making the finals!

      How deep is the league? Is streaming viable, or are the starters that are available all crummy? I really like the Shark but he’s got a tough schedule ahead of him, as does Burnett. For AJ, after facing the Cubs he should see the Reds two more times. I don’t hold a lot of faith in Burnett pitching back to back quality starts vs a pretty stacked Reds team. I don’t have a ton of faith in Holland either.

      Between the three of them, I’d rank RoS the shark, Burnett, then Holland, but I don’t love any of them.

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      • Casey Whitman says:

        Thanks! This is my second year in a row, won the big money last year and kept a really nice core of players, and that’s only continued this year.

        It’s a ten team league, but streaming this year has felt super weak. It’s players like McCarthy, Straily, Paxton, Kennedy, Dempster…that sort of player. I’ve been really lucky with streamers but we’ll see.

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      • David Wiers says:

        I like Straily out of that group, and not because I’m an A’s homer.

        Okay, maybe a bit.

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  3. Ryu vs ARI? I’m against a closer army this week, the semifinals, so I gotta only play the best match ups. He didnt revoke confidence in his last outing…. How do we feel?

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  4. asdfasdf says:

    Hey David,
    I can start 7 pitchers next week. My league is an H2H points league.

    I think I want to start 4 closers (Jansen, Cishek, Brothers, and Soriano), but I also have some SPs that I want to start: Latos @ PIT, Liriano vs. CIN, Samardzija @MIL, Cain @ NYM, and Cashner vs. LAD, @ PIT (but I think he might be shut down).

    Which seven would you pick?

    Thanks a lot!

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    • David Wiers says:

      The four closers plus Cain, Latos, and Cashner would be my choice. I love the shark but I’d hate to face Cincy.

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      • asdfasdf says:

        All right, thanks a lot. But actually Liriano is facing Cincy, not the shark, who is facing the brewers. Does that change anything?

        Also, would you still start Cashner even with the risk that he might be shut down for the second start? Thanks!

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