Roto Riteup: April 25, 2016

Today’s Roto Riteup celebrates not only the return of Game of Thrones and Silicon Valley, but the nearing end of a boring first round of NBA playoff action.

On the agenda:
1. Carlos Carrasco’s on the DL
2. Breaking down Aaron Blair’s debut
3. Various News and Notes
4. Streaming Pitcher Options

Carlos Carrasco’s on the DL
Carrasco is being placed on the disabled list with a left hamstring injury, suffered while covering first base in yesterday’s start. While the Indians seem to be downplaying the injury for now, a looming MRI will tell the world the truth, and it may not be pretty. Expect Carrasco to miss well more than the minimum 15 days.

Filling in for Carrasco will be Trevor Bauer, who stepped up to throw three-and-a-third innings yesterday once Carrasco fell. Bauer hasn’t played up much in relief, other than his strikeout rate improving significantly. We know what Bauer is at this point: a back of the rotation starter who will look brilliant at times and completely lost at others. AL-only owners looking for strikeouts have to take notice, but other than that, he should remain on the wire.

Breaking down Aaron Blair’s debut
Blair was solid in his MLB debut, but ended up giving up three earned in five-plus innings of work against the New York Mets. Blair was pretty much as advertised, working with a low-90s two-seamer, a decent curve, and an above-average changeup. Against lefties, Blair was sitting on the outer edge of the plate, and when his fastball came within the hitting zone, the Mets would jump on it. Blair may not have strikeouts quite yet, but he’ll eat innings for many years and keep the ball on the ground; some work on his approach could result in more use of his good change-piece, which could get more swings-and-misses, particularly against left-handed hitters.

Various News and Notes
Stephen Strasburg may have ended up giving up four runs against the Twins, but don’t let that fool you: he was awesome. Prior to the eighth inning, Strasburg had given up just one earned. In 29 innings this year, Strasburg has 31 strikeouts.

Steven Souza hit a pair of dongers yesterday, and his line is now up to .291/.339/.600 on the year. Souza still hasn’t cut his strikeout rate, so his batting average will fall, but the flashes of power are truly impressive and tempting.

Random thought I rolled out on twitter yesterday: Astros reliever Chris Devenski has a little Tyler Clippard to him. Devenski, a former starter, throws well over the top and relies on a fastball-changeup combo that plays up with his delivery. While he may not work his way into high leverage work this year, he has a future as a quality MLB reliever.

Streaming Pitcher Options
If you enjoy streaming pitchers or play DFS, tune into the Roto Riteup for recommendations each and every day.

A pitcher for today: Kevin Gausman at TB (Chris Archer)
Gausman makes his 2016 MLB debut, which may be your only opportunity to get him on the cheap, and he does so away from hellish Camden Yards.

A pitcher for tomorrow: Edinson Volquez at LAA (Jered Weaver)
Volquez should be in line for a win on the road, and could rack up some Ks against a mediocre Angels squad.

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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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stuck in a slump

Brantley coming off the DL in a super deep keeper… Should I cut bait with Brad Miller, Napoli, or Melvin Upton? If I cut Miller, I have no backup 2B on my roster, but his other positions (SS, LF, CF) are all covered. Napoli is my only backup 1B, while Upton’s eligibilities are meaningless but he’s been the best out of the bunch so far.