Roto Riteup: Thursday, August 4th, 2011

Today marks the fourth day of a new feature we will be trying out here at RotoGraphs. In an attempt to keep you, the fantastical reader, informed, we will be looking at some of the stories around baseball that have an effect on your fantasy team. Because this piece is ultimately being read by you, your opinion is requested. Please chime in using the comments and let us know what you would like to see from this piece.

– After undergoing surgery on his left shoulder, Cincinnati Reds’ third baseman Scott Rolen will miss at least a month of action. Odds are the Reds are going to give Miguel Cairo most of Rolen’s playing time, and he has actually played well for Cincy this year, already contributing over 1.5 wins to his team. Cairo’s fantasy value is certainly limited, but he may not be a terrible pickup in very deep leagues if you own Rolen. Another player to keep an eye on in Todd Fraizer, but it appears Dusty Baker prefers to keep him on the bench.

– Speaking of Dusty Baker, what the heck are the Reds doing with Yonder Alonso? The team called him up to the majors over a week ago, only to use him primarily for pinch-hitting duty. I know his defense in left field is still suspect, but calling him up the bigs and making him sit on the bench is a tragedy and can only hurt his development. With Rolen on the DL, the Reds had Alonso taking grounders at third base yesterday. I doubt Alonso gets serious playing time at third in the short run, and if you’re counting on him to play third long-term, don’t, because Rolen is locked up through 2012. Don’t be surprised if the Reds trade him somewhere this offseason for pitching help unless they decide to make an organizational commitment to play him in left every day. Either way, next year should be a better year for Alonso.

– Hanley Ramirez has been mired in a mini-slump lately, but his numbers have been pretty sweet ever since Jack McKeon took over in Miami. After a change in leadership, Hanley is hitting .302/.382/.496 with 6 homers and 8 steals. Projected over an entire season, Hanley’s numbers would have been much closer to what we’ve come to expect. If owners are lucky, he may slip past pick three in drafts next year.

– Want to know why C.C. Sabathia is awesome? After giving up at least four earned runs in three straight starts in mid-June, the big man got angry, ramped up his fastball, and has been brilliant ever since.

A Pitcher For Today: Brett Cecil at TBR
The Rays’ offense is nothing special, and Cecil has been pretty darn good since he was recalled.

A Pitcher For Tomorrow: Juan Nicasio vs WAS
Nicasio has been solid since being called up, and he is available in virtually every league out there. He may not dominate, but getting yourself a “w” is in the cards.

PickSix Lock of the Day: Danny Espinosa ($.50) at COL (Esmil Rogers)
I like Rogers, but Espinosa is pretty darn good and you utilize your chance to play him in Coors. I’m not predicting that he’ll go yard, but it’s always a possibility.
Prediction: 1-3, 2B, BB; 8.5 points
Past Performance: $39.75, 21.6 points

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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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Nice feature. Especially the picksix part.