Roto Riteup: June 30, 2012

Today’s Roto Riteup not only makes more than three jokes about Ryan Howard‘s weight, but it’s also being written by an author who doesn’t usually grace you with his presence on weekends.

• We’re about halfway through the season, and even though Derrek Lee doesn’t have a job, I’m still going to talk about him. “Why,” you ask? Because the Ken Rosenthal recently wrote about the chance of the Dodgers signing him to take over first base from James Loney. Playing for the Orioles and Pirates, Lee managed a .267/.325/.446 slash line despite a career worst walk rate and a miserable first half while in Baltimore. In real life, I think Loney and Lee are a wash. In fantasy, it’s not much different. Loney isn’t very good, but at least he’s played in a real baseball game within the past six months. This is one of those situations you should keep an eye on, because with Ned Colletti, you never do know.

• Ryan Howard may have looked massively overweight, but at least he’s back and rehabbing for the Phillies. Apparently no longer eating at Subway, Howard’s stroke wasn’t out of practice on Thursday, and he even waddled his way to first base on an infield single. Take that, shift! Hefty Howard is set to play in the field sometime soon, and barring a setback, he’ll be back in the big leagues sometime around the all-star break.

• If you’re looking for an alternative way to rack up some Ks, look no further than Brayan Villarreal, a reliever for the Detroit Tigers. Not does his fastball (and quirky throwing motion) make him fun to watch, it also helps him pile up strikeouts in bunches. Villarreal is actually a closer candidate for 2013, if you’re looking for that kind of thing.

• If you have a fantasy question, you should probably try one of those nasty forums. If you have a fantasy baseball question you want answered, you should try out FanGraphs Q&A.

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: Scott Diamond vs KC
I feel like a broken record, picking Diamond week after week after week.

A Pitcher for Tomorrow: Joe Blanton at MIA
Big Sexy Blanton is big and sexy. Oh, and he’s away from home.

A Hitter for Today: Chris Davis vs CLE (Josh Tomlin)
Tomlin in Baltimore? Oh boy, that sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.

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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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why do villareal’s rest of year zips project 46 ip and only 33ks?

Matt NW
Matt NW

because ZIPs is influenced by what he did before 2012, at least that’s my understanding, and between AAA and the Tigers last year, his strikeout rate wasn’t very high.

ZIPs isn’t as useful once a player has a new role or is flashing a new-ish skill set.