Roto Riteup: August 18, 2013

After last night’s 14 inning game between the Washington Nationals and the Atlanta Braves — where Dan Haren got the save — a mid day nap is certainly in order.

On today’s agenda:
1. Brett Anderson‘s uncertain role
2. Will Venable‘s hot second half
3.Welcome to the show, Travis d’Arnaud

Brett Anderson‘s uncertain role
After it had been rumored, speculated, theorized, and even scheduled that oft-injured starter Brett Anderson could return to the big leagues as a reliever, the Oakland Athletics may now be going to Plan C. Which is appears to be identical to Plan A. Yesterday Anderson was scheduled to start a game for Triple-A Sacramento and go three innings, apparently stretching him out for a potential starter’s load. He actually pitched 2.1 innings and lasted 49 pitches. Anderson allowed two runs and three walks, but did get a pair of strikeouts. With Bartolo Colon on the 15-day disabled list and other pitchers scuffling, the A’s pitching depth has taken a hit.

For fantasy purposes, it hard to rely on Anderson for anything at this point. He hasn’t thrown more than 125 major league innings in a season since 2009 and has managed just 260 innings from 2010 to the present day. When healthy, Anderson can provide a few strikeouts with a great WHIP and solid rate stats, it’s just that he is never healthy. For now, keep a close eye on his rehab process and be prepared to pick him up, assuming he continues forward as a starter. If you happen to be in need of a stream starter, Anderson is a low-risk, high-reward type lottery ticket. Normally his talent wouldn’t be available on the waiver wire, but the baggage of his injury history makes Anderson currently available in 83% of ESPN formats, 70% of Yahoo! leagues, and 64% of CBS leagues.

Will Venable‘s hot second half
A quick glance at Will Venable‘s seasonal line of .264/.307/.487 wouldn’t be terribly impressive, however since the All-star break Venable has hit a scorching .344/.385/.633. Even prior to last night’s 4-for-5 performance, Venable’s .406 second half BABIP ranked 11th in baseball. Given that his first half .253 BABIP was as unsustainable as his current BABIP, Venable’s true talent is probably something close to his .313 career mark.

Of note is his power increase. Venable’s .223 isolated slugging marks a significant uptick against his .173 career average. This year he has already set a career high in home runs, 16 and counting, and with his 13 steals he has a realistic — albeit an outside — shot at a 20-20 season. Expecting a rest of season line around .260/.315/.440 line with some steals and a few home runs sprinkled in wouldn’t be crazy. Venable is still available in 78% of Yahoo! leagues, 63% of CBS formats, and 40% of ESPN leagues.

Welcome to the show, Travis d’Arnaud
Yesterday Travis d’Arnaud made his major league debut. He started behind the plate and hit sixth, going 0-for-2 and drawing a pair of walks. Injuries have limited d’Arnaud’s playing time in the minors — his single season high for games played is 126 back in 2009 — and he appeared in just 67 games last season. This year was no different as he had been limited to 32 games before getting called up. With John Buck away on paternity leave, the New York Mets found themselves in need a catcher for a few days. Whether or not d’Arnaud sticks with the big league for more than a handful of games remains to be seen, but general manager Sandy Alderson didn’t rule anything out.

For single catcher leagues, d’Arnaud is probably someone to wait on, but anyone in two catcher formats and looking for catcher help should grab him. Neither Buck nor Anthony Recker should pose any real threat to d’Arnaud’s short term or long term playing time. It should be pretty clear that d’Arnaud is the catcher of the future for the Mets and the club should give him as much playing time as possible.

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I have had Brett Anderson in 2 of my dynasty leagues since he was in high A ball. I keep holding on because the ability is really there and I am sure that if I ever dropped or traded him he would get healthy and start having a few really good seasons .