Roto Riteup: June 4th, 2012

Happy Birthday, Grandma. Now, I know you said no presents, but I’m giving you a Roto Riteup anyway.

• Roy Oswalt made his 2012 debut in Triple-A this weekend, throwing two innings and tossing 34 pitches. Oswalt was reportedly sitting at 91-92 mph, but then again, he only threw two frames. Don’t expect to see Oswalt in the big leagues for about three weeks, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be stashing him away in AL-only leagues if he’s available.

• Matt LaPorta has been called up to the bigs to replace Johnny Damon, who is on paternity leave. LaPorta’s career MLB line of .238/.304/.397 is absolutely putrid, but he’s dominated the minor leagues every step of the way. At 27-years-old, LaPorta has already hit 14 balls out of the park to go along with eight doubles in Triple-A. Apologists can no longer blame his youth for his lack of big league success, so this will be his last shot to prove he belongs in the majors. How much of a shot he gets will be up to the Indians brass, but starting out hot in the next couple of days certainly won’t hurt his cause. No need to snatch LaPorta up until you know he’ll be staying in The Show for more than a week’s time.

• If you’re currently a dynasty owner hoping that Daniel Bard will make it as a starter, you are going to have to update your information and change your way of thinking. Bard walked six batters yesterday while plunking two more in less than two innings of work. His fastball has averaged 93 mph as a starter, compared to 97 as a reliever, and he’s managed to walk more batters than he has struck out this year. We know that Bard can be a dominant reliever, so a move out of the rotation does not mean he needs to be dropped from your roster.

• The MLB amateur draft starts today. There doesn’t appear to be many players that will make a quick impact this year, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be watching the coverage to figure out which prospects to target in ottoneu and other dynasty leagues.

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: Ervin Santana vs SEA
Santana has had a weird season, and while the Mariners offense has come alive a little bit in the past week, and weak slate of games makes Santana my recommendation if he’s available. If Santana’s gone, grab Will Smith, instead.

A Pitcher for Tomorrow: Homer Bailey vs PIT
I don’t love taking Bailey at home, but I’m doing it anyway.

A Hitter for Today: Josh Reddick vs TEX (Scott Feldman)
Reddick has cooled off some recently, but I still like him to deliver some hits against a guy who doesn’t strike people out.

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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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lester bangs
lester bangs

The “has value in AL-only” mad lib needs to stop.