Roto Riteup: Thursday, August 18th, 2011

There’s a few minor injury notes I’d like to get to, so let’s group them and put them in one place:

– Cole Hamels will miss a start thanks to inflammation in his shoulder. He still could end up on the DL if things don’t improve, but the good news is that this is nothing too serious. While missing a couple of Hamels’ starts isn’t that big of a deal for the Phillies thanks to their division lead, it could be huge for fantasy owners, especially in head-to-head leagues.

Alex Rodriguez is back at it in rehab games, and he could even be back on the major league roster as soon as later today. This could mean the end of Eduardo Nunez and Eric Chavez at third base, and it also forces the Yankees hand even more when it comes to Jorge Posada. I’m guessing one of either Chavez or Posada will still be in the lineup against right-handed starters, but would could end up seeing more of Chavez as it would allow A-Rod to rest and play DH every few days.

– Jonathan Sanchez went down with a sprained ankle on Tuesday, so he’s now headed back to the DL. It’s still not clear who will take his rotation spot with Barry Zito also sidelined, but I’d bet it’s Dan Runzler, who is already on the big league roster. The 26-year old throws in the mid-90s from the left side, mixing in a slider as his primary (and possibly only) breaking ball.

Now, on to the rest of your Thursday morning notes:

– Lucas Duda has been quite impressive this season. The 25-year old is hitting .282 with 5 homers in just over 200 trips to the plate, and his .356 OBP is nothing to scoff at, either. Duda has dominated minor league pitching at times, as he has hit 27 homers and slugged around .600 in 450 Triple-A PAs. Unless something unforeseen occurs, Duda will be the Mets’ every day right fielder next year, and he will also be eligible at first base thanks to Ike Davis’ injury.

– Granted, I’ve only seen one start, but Brad Mills is not a major league pitcher. Not at all.

A Pitcher For Today: Mike Minor vs SFG
There isn’t a full slate of games, and most of the pitchers going are either widely owned or likely to get shelled. If you can help it, take a day off from streaming.

A Pitcher For Tomorrow: Homer Bailey at PIT
Bailey still has some good stuff, and getting him away from home is a risk worth taking.

PickSix Lock of the Day: Jay Bruce ($28.50) at WAS (Jordan Zimmerman)
Bruce has been on fire, and Zimmerman has been giving up fly balls this year.
Prediction: 1-3, HR, BB; 15 points
Past Predictions: 10 players, $155.75 spent, 59.5 pts

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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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