Roto Riteup: June 12, 2013

In case the reader was expecting Zach Sanders, he was kind enough to cover the weekend Roto Riteup in exchange for today. This isn’t just a random curveball to keep you on your toes. The reason is one of the present author’s best friends is getting married this weekend. Congratulations Andy and Melissa!

On today’s agenda:
1. Unexpected RBIs from Jonathan Lucroy
2. Jake Odorizzi is called up
3. Thoughts on Mike Zunino
4. Pablo Sandoval to the disabled list

Unexpected RBIs from Jonathan Lucroy
Just because he went hitless, as he did yesterday, that doesn’t mean that Lucroy can’t manage to earn an RBI. Now up to 33 on the year, he is on pace to shatter his previous career high of 59. Lucroy’s .268 BABIP is considerably lower than his .308 career mark, so it isn’t like Lucroy is driving the runs in with a barrage of singles. Even with this 40 point difference, his current .264/.313/.420 line isn’t terribly far from his career .277/.325/.414 slash.

Lucroy finished last season with a .320 average, and while that isn’t coming back any time soon, he has a very good chance of hitting .280+. ┬áIf his BABIP stabilizes to his career mark, expect his average to gain points in a hurry. En route to driving in more runs, he has also cut his strikeout rate considerably and his SwStr% and Contact% are both career bests. In two catcher leagues or deeper mixed leagues, Lucroy is a solid pick up. From this point forward, a .280 batting average with 8-10 home runs and another 50 RBIs wouldn’t be a shock. Not superstar numbers, but at catcher, it would be quite welcome. Lucroy is available in just 20% of CBS leagues but over 50% in ESPN and Yahoo! formats.

Jake Odorizzi is called up
The Tampa Bay Rays have recalled Jake Odorizzi after placing Alex Cobb on the bereavement list. Though the Rays expect Cobb to be back for his start Saturday, Odorizzi would be an obvious candidate to step in if need be. Until then, Odorizzi will be placed in the bullpen. Odorizzi has just one relief appearance since 2011 and that was just one game in Triple-A last year. This is a temporary call up and a temporary placement in the pen. Unless word breaks that Cobb will in fact miss his next start, Odorizzi is best left to the waiver wire.

Thoughts on Mike Zunino
Just because he didn’t get into the game doesn’t mean that Mike Zunino‘s call up yesterday went unnoticed. Now in the majors despite logging a mere 208 PA’s above Double-A, and having an uninspiring 101 wRC+ while there, Zunino is set to make his major league debut today. The promotion seems a bit rushed, as Zunino has struggled to adjust to Triple-A pitching. He has seen his strikeout rate spike to almost 29% and his walk rate is down. Despite the strikeouts, Zunino’s power has remained. His 11 home runs are tied for fifth in the PCL and Zunino has appeared in fewer games than anyone in the top 15 home run leader board. Questions remain about how long he’ll be up for, but for now, Zunino is worthy of a pickup in very deep (16-team) leagues or AL-only formats. For those of you in single catcher 12-team mixed leagues, go ahead and leave Zunino alone for now. If you were looking for a specific catcher, Lucroy would be a better add than Zunino.

Pablo Sandoval to the disabled list
The San Francisco Giants placed Pablo Sandoval on the 15-day DL with a strained left foot. Giants manager Bruce Bochy expressed his belief that Sandoval will miss the minimum or very close to it. Prior to his injury, Sandoval was enjoying another solid year at the plate with a .289 average and 37 RBIs. Assuming he does miss the minimum 15 days, Sandoval still has a chance at another 20 home run season and a chance to hit his previous career high of 90 RBIs.

With fellow NL West infielder in Jedd Gyorko also on the disabled list, NL-only managers may be scrambling for a corner infielder. Anthony Rendon makes for a solid replacement. Rendon may be owned in 60% of CBS leagues, but his ownership in ESPN and Yahoo! is considerably less, at 6% and 20% respectively.

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And we also can declare the end of hope for pre-season sleeper, as Cameron Maybin is going to miss six more weeks.


Sorry–should be “a season sleeper.”