Roto Riteup: September 23, 2013

Today’s Roto Riteup celebrates readers in the championship matchup of the 2013 season. I myself have a team in the finals this week, and I’m hoping Adam Wainwright’s two scheduled starts lift me to a title.

On today’s agenda:
1. Miguel Cabrera’s groin ain’t good
2. Shin-Soo Choo to return tonight
3. Jacoby Ellsbury back Wednesday or Thursday
4. Some thoughts on A.J. Burnett
5. Joe Mauer progressing

Miguel Cabrera’s groin ain’t good
The defending MVP is having problems with his groin, and it sounds as if the Tigers aren’t exactly sure how long Cabrera will be out. Miggy was pulled from the Tigers’ game on Saturday, and Detroit opted to sit their slugger on Sunday. The Tigers have yet to officially lock in the AL Central, but it’s all theirs barring an epic collapse over the last week of the season. While there is no official word as to how long the Tigers will be without their third baseman, expect Miggy to miss at least a couple days this week, if not more. Daily owners have the advantage during championship week, but if you still have time to adjust your weekly set, consider pulling Cabrera if you have another third base option available to you, whether it be internally or externally.

Shin-Soo Choo to return tonight
The Reds’ outfielder jammed his left thumb on Friday night against the Pirates, and despite not playing over the weekend, Choo says he plans to return to the lineup tonight. Cincy has pretty much locked up a playoff berth, but with seeding up for grabs, I’m sure Dusty Baker will want to have all weapons at his disposal. Choo may have a tiny bit of his pop limited, but there’s no real need to bench him this week.

Jacoby Ellsbury back Wednesday or Thursday
After missing three weeks with a fracture in his foot, Ellsbury should return to the Red Sox later this week. This news is of no consequence to weekly owners, but daily leaguers should prepare to make a roster move when Ellsbury is activated. Before hitting the DL, Ellsbury was hitting .299 with over 50 steals and almost 90 runs scored, and the left-hander has established himself as a top talent when he’s able to stay on the field.

Some thoughts on A.J. Burnett
The Pirates ace has been excellent this season, and Burnett went out and threw a gem against the Reds. The Pirates are trusting Burnett to be the second starter in the playoffs, which means the right-hander could lead Pittsburgh’s rotation in the divisional round. Burnett has previously expressed his potential retirement after the season, but Pittsburgh is going to make a serious run at keeping him active in the game of baseball. Burnett has been great in the NL, and even at his advanced age of 37, A.J. should be good next year. With the Pirates fielding a competitive team, keeper league owners should figure on Burnett being back in the black and gold next season.

Joe Mauer progressing
Mauer has missed about a month after a concussion, but the Twins’ catcher is working out and having days free of symptoms. Odds are Minnesota won’t allow Mauer back on the field this year, and while we’ve seen players seem ready and then falter, having positive signs is always, well, positive. Hopefully Mauer reports to camp next year with a full offseason of health, because baseball is better when he’s healthy.

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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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Burnett says he’s 50-50 on retirement right now. This may be cheap talk, but it’s not exactly in the bag that he’ll return for 2014.