Roto Riteup: Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

Houston Astros’ starting pitcher Jordan Lyles was optioned back to the minors on Sunday after posting an ERA over 5.00 in fifteen big league starts. Lyles, the Astros’ top prospect coming into the season, is a mere 20-years old and could have a nice major league future. He wasn’t a factor in standard leagues, but odds are he is owned in dynasty or large keeper leagues. With those leagues in mind, here are a few various notes about the young right-hander:

– Lyles had a reverse platoon split in his 89-plus innings, striking out lefties more often and posting a better FIP and xFIP. However, his sample size in limited, and Lyles did get more ground balls against right-handed batters.

– Lyles GB% is troubling, as it sat below 40% in the majors. Lyles did throw quite a bit of strikes, though, and it’s possible he was more concerned with getting the ball in the zone than placing it in the low corners. This should improve with time, but it’s going to take some work.

– Lyles stuff could be defined as “solid,” but it certainly is nothing special. His fastball sits at 88-91 and his curveball can look quite good at times. He also mixed in a fastball with some cut to it, along with a slider and a changeup. His curveball and change contributed to his reverse platoon splits, so he’ll have to improve his slider to move righties out of the zone more consistently. Overall, Lyles still has a future as a mid-rotation starter, but he’s never going to be your ace.

Here are two more things to think about on this Tuesday morning:

– Since returning from the DL almost three weeks ago, Carlos Gonzalez has hit .271 despite a BABIP below .220. His power has been what’s keeping him afloat, as he’d hit six homers and three doubles in fifteen games.

– Trevor Bauer’s Double-A numbers thus far: 2 starts, 10 IP, 16 K, 3 BB, 1 HR. If the Diamondbacks called him up, he’d be their third best starter from the get-go. I think we’ll see him in the rotation when rosters expand, as Arizona would probably like to have him available for the playoffs.

A Pitcher For Today: Mike Minor at CHC
Minor is still owned in less than 10% of Yahoo! leagues, so hopefully he’s available to pick up in your league. If not, Blake Beaven (at CLE) is another option.

A Pitcher For Tomorrow: Wade Davis vs DET
Davis has been good since coming back to the majors, and while Detroit has some good offensive threats, I think Davis could go six innings without allowing more than a couple of runs.

PickSix Lock of the Day: Brett Lawrie ($1.25) vs KC (Bruce Chen)
Lawrie at home against Bruce Chen? I smell greatness. If you don’t want to take a chance on Lawrie, then at least take Jose Bautista in the same situation. Or, you can be like me and have both. Either way, you’re a winner.
Prediction: 2-5, HR; 15.6 pts
Last Week’s Predictions: 4 players, $83.75, 23.3 pts
All Past Predictions: 12 players, $189.50, 66.5 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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And hilarity will ensue when both Bautista and Lawrie go oh-fer against Chen…


And it looks like I was right.