Today marks the second 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.
– Stephen Strasburg, the phenom to end all phenoms, will begin a minor league rehab assignment sometime next week. The Washington Nationals ace has come back quickly from Tommy John surgery, and while some of his owners would prefer him to take it easy and wait until 2012 to return, getting a taste of big league action in 2011 will be good for the Nationals organization. As long as he’s not being rushed back, Strasburg pitching this season shouldn’t be a problem for his long-term development. If you’re in a standard redraft league, don’t worry about picking The Monument up, though.
– Arizona Diamondbacks’ prospect Paul Goldschmidt will be joining the big league club, and it looks like he will be playing every day at first base. Goldschmidt has put up some prodigious power numbers, never posting a slugging percentage under .600 in three minor league seasons. He’s going to be in a hitters park, and while he probably won’t hit above .270 in the majors, he’s going to be hitting bombs right away. I wouldn’t add him in standard leagues, but he’s actionable in NL-only leagues.
– If you’re a dynasty league player, I beg of you: don’t drop Justin Smoak. Prior to being placed on the bereavement list in late April, the former top prospect was hitting .291/.403/.491 with as many walks as strikeouts and a .326 BABIP. He came back and hit well for another couple of weeks, then started to slump. Supposedly, he has been having thumb issues that have hurt his swing, and he certainly looks broken at the moment. There’s hope yet. Hold on to him during the offseason and hope his problems simply stem from a nagging injury.
– Josh Johnson is going to begin a throwing program today, even though Jon Heyman reported last week that Johnson would not be pitching again in 2012. Don’t hold your breath if you own him, but there’s always a chance things go well.
– If you’re a baseball fan — and I’d like to assume that you are — do not watch the Orioles and Royals game this evening. Alfredo Simon will be squaring off against Bruce Chen, and it promises to be a sad affair. That being said, odds are Simon will now throw a one-hitter.
A Pitcher For Today: Rich Harden at SEA
The Red Sox may not have liked Harden’s medical records, but for one start against a historically bad lineup in a pitcher’s park, he’s worthy of an add.
A Pitcher For Tomorrow: Dontrelle Willis at HOU
Willis hasn’t exactly been good since his return to the majors, but he hasn’t totally sucked, either. Really, anyone starting against Houston right now has a chance to do something special.
PickSix Lock of the Day: Shane Victorino ($1.50) at COL (Aaron Cook)
Cook may be a ground ball specialist, but Victorino has been pretty darn good this year and I suspect he’ll do well.
Prediction: 2-4, 2B, BB, SB; 15 points