Roto Riteup: August 30, 2013

Happy National Marshmallow Toasting Day! This is undoubtedly the greatest marshmallow toasting scene in any baseball movie.

On today’s agenda:
1. Taijuan Walker to debut today
2. The Texas Rangers receive reinforcements
3. New bat(s) to Baltimore?
4. Yovani Gallardo continues to roll

Taijuan Walker to debut today
Today the Seattle Mariners will welcome prospect Taijuan Walker to their starting rotation. He’ll begin his major league career facing off against the Houston Astros and should be streamed/started wherever possible. Astros hitters have struck out in over 25% of their plate appearances this year, over 3% closer than the second worst team. Combining Walker’s double digit K/9 with Houston’s penchant for striking out and you have yourself an excellent pitching matchup. Despite the hype surrounding his debut, Walker is available in over 60% of CBS leagues, 75% of Yahoo! leagues, and an amazing 96% of ESPN formats. Grab Walker and hang on to him. That being said, the most important thing to know about Walker is that he once acknowledged the present author’s existence via a retweet:

The Texas Rangers receive reinforcements
This Sunday the Rangers are expected to activate Neftali Feliz, Nick Tepesch, and Lance Berkman. Both Feliz and Tepesch figure to head to the bullpen for the time being, though Berkman should see the majority of the plate appearances at the DH spot. Berkman and his history of injuries will probably require at least one day off per week, so grabbing him — even in a great offensive park with a very good offense around him — isn’t an easy call.

Feliz will work on building up his arm strength before moving back to the rotation, though Tepesch may not start again unless Travis Blackley‘s .222 BABIP as a Ranger implodes. So in other words, Tepesch will probably start at least once. Feliz should post a solid strikeout rate but the walks he issues will hurt your WHIP. Of the trio being activated, Feliz and Berkman figure to have the most impact on the team and both can be picked up in most leagues. Berkman is available in about 75% of the three major fantasy sites and Feliz’s highest ownership rate is 11% in CBS leagues.

New bat(s) to Baltimore?
Apparently the Baltimore Orioles have some sort of manifest destiny thing going on, as they’ve begun claiming at least two players to the west of them. Recently the O’s have placed successful waiver claims on Michael Morse and Josh Willingham, may have claimed Kendrys Morales, and have been linked to Jason Kubel as well. No specific has been released regarding the playing time of any potential pick up, Baltimore’s DH’s have hit a woeful .230/.278/.376 line this year, ranking dead last in the American League in both wRC+ and wOBA.

Whichever player makes his way to Baltimore is a very safe bet to produce at a higher rate than what the O’s have seen thus far from their rolling list of DH’s. Keep a close eye on the sports tickers as whomever gets traded to the Orioles should get plenty of playing time. The front runners seem to be Morse or Willingham, both of whom are owned in less than 40% of ESPN and Yahoo! leagues and a tick over 50% in CBS leagues. As soon as the trade is final, grab the new DH of Baltimore quickly.

Yovani Gallardo continues to roll
Since coming back from the disabled list, Gallardo has made three starts and has given up two earned runs (three runs overall) in 19.1 innings pitched. Over that span he has struck out thirteen and allowed just five walks. Three straight quality starts against the Pittsburgh Pirates last night and two starts against the Cincinnati Reds isn’t something to scoff at.

Small sample size issues abound, but Gallardo has thrown his slider (over 30% usage) more in his three post-DL starts in August than any other month this season. If he continues to use his slider more to generate swings and misses, Gallardo could see his strikeout rate climb and his ERA/FIP drop. Gallardo is currently owned in over 70% of both CBS and Yahoo! leagues, however his ESPN ownership rate sits at 46%.

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You can catch David spouting off about baseball, soccer, esports and other things by following him on twitter, @davidwiers.

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Mike D
Mike D

I take it his first name is pronounced “TIE-wan” ?


That would be my guess. Though, after seeing that David needed to “learn” how to say his name leads me to believe it may be pronounced different than the country/place around China (Taiwan)…either that or David Wiers has very little confidence in his phonetic skills!