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Roto Riteup: April 12, 2013

The author missed last night’s new episode — not to mention season finale — of Archer. One could correctly assume that while not pleased with this turn of events, the author cannot complain, as he enjoyed watching Chopped instead.

On today’s agenda:
1. Denard Span‘s early doings
2. A Houston Astro you might want to grab (no, really!)
3. Jockeying for position: Jordany Valdespin
4. An ugly fight breaks out, and so does an expensive shoulder

Denard Span‘s early season showing
For the first two years of his career, Denard Span was a beacon of truth as to what a lead off hitter should be. He posted back-to-back seasons of a .380+ on-base percentage and stole 41 bases in those two seasons, despite playing in just 93 games his rookie year. His BABIP and BB% dipped in 2010 a bit and then injuries took their toll.  Span’s last two seasons have been marred with missed time due to a concussion, its linger effects, and a shoulder injury, this year he looks to have bounced back in every facet. Span has drawn nine walks in as many games and he stole his first base on the season too. Given that he is hitting lead off in front of Bryce Harper and company, it isn’t difficult to imagine Span setting a career high in runs. Span will contribute in three categories — and with his walk rate and history of walks, those of you in OBP or AVG and OBP leagues should really take note — and while they aren’t the sexy categories of home runs and RBIs, points are points. Span is available to pick up in 85% of Yahoo! leagues, almost 90% of ESPN formats, and 40% of CBS leagues.

A Houston Astro to own
According to Astros manager Bo Porter, Marwin Gonzalez has earned himself more playing time. Gonzalez is hitting a cool .444/.545/.833 for the season and now has five starts at shortstop to boot. Of course, shortstop eligibility will drastically improve Gonzalez’s strock in fantasy terms. The primary concern is the legitimacy of his bat; his single season high (even combining levels) for home runs is four, and he is already at two this year. He hasn’t hit anywhere other than ninth in the order as well, so the counting stats like RBIs and runs probably won’t be notable either. He is essentially a one category player, batting average, as he doesn’t have much speed to speak for either. That being said, a shortstop with a decent batting average is something worth owning, especially in deep leagues with a MI spot or NL AL-only formats. Gonzalez is still a well kept secret as you can freely grab him in over 95% of all three major fantasy sites.

Jockeying for position: Jordany Valdespin
Another day, another new lineup and center fielder for the New York Mets. It appears as though Jordany Valdespin now has the inside track to more playing time as he gotten two straight starts in center, the last of which came with a simultaneously start at the top of the batting order. In addition to his great batting average (cue the small sample size alarms), Valdespin has also stolen a pair of bases in his seven games too. He is coming off of three straight seasons with at least 20 steals, including a 33 steal campaign in 2011, so given the chance, Valdespin could be a nice source of steals. As noted by our Bossman Sarris, even if Valdespin is relegated to a platoon situation, his left-handed swing should ensure the majority of the playing time. Valdespin is owned in a mere 10% or less of CBS, ESPN, and Yahoo! formats. Keep a close eye on the Mets lineup, as he could be a solid waiver wire pickup.

An ugly fight breaks out
The brawl of sorts between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres will certainly receive some sort of formal punishment, but before any ruling is handed down from the Commissioner’s office, the Dodgers and their fans are already feeling the cost of the fight. The official MLB twitter account posted that Zack Greinke has a broken collar bone. Presumably the break occurred when Carlos Quentin charged the mound after being struck by an errant 3-2 pitch from Greinke. Since Vin Scully is available to speak on the matter, the author will allow Vin to do what he does best: speak eloquently about baseball. At approximately the 9:12 mark of that video, you can see Matt Kemp being buzzed by the pitch from Jason Marquis that Vin is referring to. At the time of writing, there is no time table nor official roster move from the Dodgers just yet. As a Greinke owner and fan, the author is disappointed. As an even bigger fan of baseball, this is an embarrassment.