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Roto Riteup: September 3, 2013

Though an exact date proved impossible to pin down, in September of 2000 an unknown piano rock band started distributing their independent record, Ready…Break, at their local shows. In the 13 years since, Something Corporate has gone on to sell over 1 million records (as of 2010) and has released two full length albums as well as two EP’s.

On today’s agenda:
1. Neil Walker‘s hot streak
2. Bad news for Carlos Gonzalez
3. Jason Castro‘s knee sprain
4. Daniel Nava keeps hitting

Neil Walker‘s hot streak
After blasting his 10th home run of the year last night en route to his 2-for-5 performance, Walker is now hitting a cool .263/.352/.415 for the season. That line translates to a 117 wRC+ and a .339 wOBA, both top 10 marks for qualified second basemen. Though his 5×5 stats won’t dazzle anyone, Walker has been a steady source of middle infield production since 2010.

Walker has hit all over the lineup this year — he has at least one game at every spot except clean up — but his primary slot seems to be two-hole. Even with the solid hitting and prime batting position, Walker seems to be undervalued. He is currently available in 36% of CBS and ESPN leagues and an incredible 55% of Yahoo! formats. Any team looking for second base or middle infield help should add Walker in a heartbeat.

Bad news for Carlos Gonzalez
Yesterday CarGo was scratched from his scheduled rehab game due to his finger still bothering him, reports Troy Renck. Renck goes on to state that surgery wouldn’t do anything to help Gonzalez, but CarGo is trying a new way of gripping his bat. With his return pushed back and the Colorado Rockies out of the playoff race, odds are good that the club won’t rush Gonzalez back, if they have him come back at all. There still isn’t enough information at hand for redraft leaguers to drop Gonzalez, but with just a month left in the season every roster spot is critical to making a run at the fantasy title. If you happen to be locked in an epic dogfight to win or finish in the money jellybeans, dropping CarGo could be defensible in the right situation.

Jason Castro‘s knee sprain
The Houston Astros watched their starting catcher and best position player — Castro’s 4.2 WAR is far and away the best — leave the game yesterday with a right knee sprain. It is the same knee that required ACL surgery back in 2011 and the Astros removed Castro in the second inning after seeing him pull up lame in to first base after he grimaced on a previous swing. The club will send Castro to see team doctors today and more updates should follow. Castro had been enjoying a breakout season, hitting for a 135 wRC+ that included 18 dingers. Hold on to Castro for now and hope that the examination doesn’t reveal anything serious.

Daniel Nava keeps hitting
Including last night’s 3-for-3 performance (plus a walk), Daniel Nava is hitting an even .300/.387/.445. He has benefited from a .349 BABIP to boost his average above what we’ve seen before, however his walk rate is legitimate — even a tick lower than previous seasons. Nava has hit up and down the Boston lineup, though he has appeared hitting mostly two-hole or sixth. Both spots bode well for Nava, be it runs scored or RBIs. Despite his own hitting merits or the lineup around him, Nava is still largely available. One can grab him in almost 40% of CBS leagues, 47% of ESPN formats, and 58% of Yahoo! leagues.

Bonus
Corey Kluber is set to make an appearance on Friday against the visiting New York Mets. Following that relief appearance, Kluber is slated to return to the rotation and slot in behind Scott Kazmir.