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Roto Riteup: August 23, 2012

“Straight cash, homey” describes today’s Roto Riteup all too well.

• Carl Crawford is going under the knife today for Tommy John surgery, continuing his streak of disappointment as a member of the Boston Red Sox. While Crawford was on the field this year he managed to hit .282 with three homers and five steals in 31 games, so this injury comes just as he was showing Red Sox fans what he can do. While Tommy John surgery sidelines pitchers for 12 months, position players return much quicker, so Crawford should be ready to go on by Opening Day next year. I have this feeling that Crawford is going to be way undervalued on draft day, mostly because people have completely forgotten that he exists, so be prepared to take advantage and swoop in to scoop up a former All-Star in a potentially potent lineup.

• I know I probably need to talk about Bartolo Colon, but if I do that, I’m going to make jokes that I’ll regret later. So, I’m going to leave well enough alone and tell you that Tyson Ross will be coming up to the majors to take Big Buff Bartolo’s spot on the roster. Ross throws like he has a dowel shoved up his rectum, and while he’s fared well in the minors as a starter, his big league sample is less than awe inspiring.

• Ivan Nova felt “a grab” in his throwing shoulder during his last start, which is never a good sign, unless the grab you feel is a million tiny pixies trying to get your attention so that they can fulfill your every last desire. Ivan the Terrible has been okay this year, lowering his BB% while raising his K%, but he’s given up too many homers and has ended up with an ERA just under 5.00. You should obviously wait until more is known, but there’s a strong possibility you’ll have to drop Nova, even if you do play in a keeper league.

• Tyler Skaggs made his MLB debut yesterday, walking five batters in six-plus innings of work while striking out four and allowing a dinger. Skaggs wasn’t facing the best of lineups in the Marlins, but some problems early on aren’t a big deal. Skaggs has good stuff, and should serve as a solid pick in NL-only leagues next year, provided you use him primarily on the road.

For those of you who play daily fantasy games like FanGraphs: The Game, or just like to stream players, here are a couple matchups you may be able to exploit.

A Pitcher for Today: Jake Westbrook vs HOU
A small slate of games leads us to the sinkerballer, who signed a contract extension a couple of days ago.

A Pitcher for Tomorrow: Wandy Rodriguez vs Brewers
Right-handed hitters are stifled in PNC Park, so Wandy should be able to get through the Brewers without breaking too much of a sweat.

A Hitter for Today: Mike Olt vs MIN (Scott Diamond)
Diamond has been a nice story, but don’t trust him in Texas.