Roto Riteup: March 25, 2013

Monday’s Roto Riteup was supposed to have a witty opening line. Supposed to.

On today’s agenda:
1. Daniel Bard’s downfall
2. Derek Jeter’s ankle
3. Ronny Cedeno and the Astros
4. Freddy Garcia, free agent

Daniel Bard’s downfall
Even in leagues that didn’t count holds, Bard used to be a great fantasy reliever. He struck batters out and limited walks while his filthy stuff resulted in low BABIPs. Now, Bard can’t even crack the big league roster for opening day. The Red Sox are going to move forward without Bard in Boston, at least for the time being, and the right-hander will start the year in the minors. Even when he wasn’t be stretched out as a starter last year, Bard couldn’t find the strike zone, though his walk totals from spring training where not as egregious. If Bard shows signs of straightening things out in Pawtucket, keep him on your radar screen, even in standard leagues.

Derek Jeter’s ankle
Jeter will likely be starting the 2013 season as a member of the New York Yankees’ Disabled List, but that stint may only last a few days. By retroactively playing Jeter on the DL, the shortstop would be available to return to action as early as April 6. Jeter hasn’t been running much on the basepaths over the last couple seasons, but an ankle injury can also alter weight distribution and change swing mechanics. If truly healthy, Jeter could prove to be a steal for 2013.

Ronny Cedeno and the Astros
Cedeno didn’t show well enough to make the Cardinals’ opening day roster, but he did manage to get a big league deal from the Houston Astros for his troubles. Houston’s plan is to start Cedeno at shortstop, his primary position. At no point during the last eight years has Cedeno been a relevant fantasy option, but AL-only owners may be forced to turn to the right-hander for ABs in the middle infield.

Freddy Garcia, free agent
Unfortunately for NL-only owners looking to capitalize on Petco park, a sleeper option was just eliminated from their arsenal. Garcia has been released by the Padres after struggling to post good results this spring, leaving the final two rotation spots for Eric Stults and Tyson Ross. Ross has funky mechanics that leads to injuries and diminished perceived velocity, but his fastball is lively and he can generate grounders when healthy. Stults, on the other hand, is a lefty soft-tosser who has to rely on San Diego’s outfield defense and ballpark dimensions for success.

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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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Other than Jeter, I am going to call this edition of “Riteup” as the “Has been edition”.

Fantasy folks really don’t care about players who don’t make the 25-man roster. That was so last night.

Write about the surprise guys who made the roster, etc.

Fantasy deals with players who make it and can contribute. Not AAAA players or less.