Roto Riteup: May 19. 2013

The Arrested Development countdown is down to a week! If they bring back Maggie or especially Rita for Michael, tears of joy — not to mention laughter — will be shed. If they do bring back Rita then #hotpotato had better become a trending topic.

On today’s agenda:
1. Another setback for Cory Luebke
2. More trouble in the Atlanta Braves bullpen
3. Brandon McCarthy‘s gem
4. Make a play for Chris Young
5. Matt Garza to return Tuesday

Another setback for Cory Luebke
For the second time this year, Cory Luebke has been forced to stop his throwing sessions. There is no new timetable for his return, however earlier in the season both he and the San Diego Padres had hopes of him returning around the All-Star break. If you were clinging to him as a late round pick, hoping to see half a season out of him, then this may be the final straw. Luebke should be dropped in all but keeper/dynasty formats in standard sized mixed 12-team leagues. When healthy, Luebke makes for a solid fantasy starter, however we may not see much of him this season. His career line as a starter is a 3.30 ERA/3.24 FIP/3.26 xFIP and averaged over a strikeout per inning. Hopefully he’ll make a comeback and he’ll be a sleeper pick for next season.

More trouble in the Atlanta Braves bullpen
After losing Jonny Venters to Tommy John‘s surgery earlier in the week and Jordan Walden to the 15-day disabled list with shoulder inflammation, now Eric O’Flaherty is slated to see Dr. James Andrews. O’Flaherty was diagnosed with a torn UCL, something that generally lends itself to requiring TJS. Losing two of the top three bullpen arms  in all of baseball over the past few seasons is sure to make a significant dent in the Braves bullpen as well as fantasy teams all over. Fellow holds league players should look elsewhere for options, as the Braves pen has gone from a fantasy bargain to an injury cratered mess.

Brandon McCarthy‘s gem
He may have appeared to start the season in rather rough fashion, but lately Brandon McCarthy has come on strong. Yesterday he threw a complete game shutout, although he was facing the Miami Marlins, and allowed five base runners on the night. McCarthy only struck out five for the day, however given that he faced four batters above the minimum, that would be picking nits. His last two starts have combined for 17 innings, zero runs, 10 strikeouts, and 12 base runners allowed. Grab him now where you can as McCarthy is available in over 60% of ESPN, CBS, and Yahoo! leagues.

Make a play for Chris Young
The Oakland Athletics activated Chris Young from the 15-day DL yesterday in a win over the Kansas City Royals. Though he was held hitless in his first outing back, he is in no danger of losing playing time. Josh Reddick is still on the disabled list and just began taking dry swings and still hopes that surgery won’t be needed to address his sprained wrist. Young is hitting a not-so-pleasant .169/.279/.382 thus far, but he does have four home runs and five steals. His last 20-20 season was just two seasons ago and the 29-year-old outfielder has set a solid pace to do it again this year. With a double digit walk rate and an essentially average 19.2% strike out rate, Young doesn’t seem to be pressing at the plate. His .167 BABIP is the root cause of his tripe slash woe, and we all know what a fickle mistress BABIP can be. Young is widely available in all three major fantasy sites.

Matt Garza to return Tuesday
The Chicago Cubs will activate Matt Garza on Tuesday to face the Pittsburgh Pirates. The announcement comes on the heels of his six inning, no runs allowed Triple-A start last Thursday. Weekly league players should make a move now, as Garza deserves to be owned in just about all leagues and scoring settings. He can be picked up in 50% of Yahoo! leagues, 70% of ESPN formats, and 30% of CBS leagues.

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I didn’t realize Garza was so close to returning. Thanks for the heads-up.