Saturday's Roto Roundup: Slow Starters are Starting to Heat Up

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Saturday's Roto Roundup: Slow Starters are Starting to Heat Up

This article was originally posted by Jason Hunt over at Fake Teams

Chone Figgins stole his 20th base of the season yesterday, and has been really hitting well of late. In the month of June, he is now hitting .277 with 10 stolen bases. He has also reduced his strikeout to walk rate to 1:1, as opposed to 2:1 that it had been in April in May. If he's been dropped in your league, he qualifies at 2B and 3B and you should really look at picking him up.

Adam Jones hit his 12th homerun of the season, and is now hitting .270 on the season. I recently traded away Jones in a keeper league, and he proceeded to get extremely hot, with 5 homeruns in his last 10 games. I'm still not 100% sure he's going to do what he was expected to at the start of the season, as he only has 3 stolen bases so far.

Max Scherzer went 5 2/3 innings yesterday, striking out 8 and only allowing 7 baserunners. The fact that he is not lasting long into his starts is a bit of a concern, but the numbers he is putting up while he is there have been really good. As long as you remember he's not likely to go past 6 innings, you'll be fine.

Interesting note: Michael Cuddyer now qualifies at 3B in a lot of leagues. Cuddyer has not quite lived up to the expectations on him from the preseason, mostly as he has returned back to earth on his HR/FB% percentage (8.4% this season vs. 17.1% last year). But the flexibility is interesting, especially if you are hurting for power from a corner infield position.

Carl Pavano had another really nice start against the Mets yesterday, throwing a shutout and striking out 4. He has now lowered his ERA to 3.33 and his WHIP to 1.03. He's not likely to provide you with a lot of strikeouts, but he has gone 7 innings or more in 12 of his 15 starts this season, and 11 of his last 12. His FIP (4.05) tells me that he is due for some regression, but overall he seems to be really pitching quite well this season, and I think he may be able to keep it up all season.

Colby Rasmus hit his 15th homerun of the season yesterday, and drove in 3 to help the Cardinals win. I know that one of the writers over at Yahoo! Fantasy was called out by a lot of readers about his ranking Rasmus in the top 50 overall for the rest of the season, but he may not be too far off at this point. Rasmus is hitting .278 with the 15 HR, 39 RBI, 45 runs, and 8 stolen bases. Trending towards a 30-80-90-15 line, which could put him in that conversation to be sure.

Jason Bourgeois of the Astros stole 2 bases yesterday, and now has 3 since being called up on Tuesday. Not really a prospect at the age of 28, the one thing Bourgeois has always done in the minors is run. He has kind of bounced around organizations for the last few years, but has posted the following steal totals for his last 5 seasons: 23, 38, 30, 36 and 18 in 2010. For deeper leagues and NL-only, he is worth a flier if you need some steals.

Dustin Pedroia was placed on the disabled list by the Red Sox yesterday, and there is no timetable yet for his return.Bill Hall will be starting in the short term at 2B in place of Pedroia, and clearly you don't want anything to do with him for fantasy. Some low owned replacements (from ESPN's ownership percentages) who have performed well over the last 30 days: Mike Aviles (22%), Sean Rodriguez (27%), Kevin Frandsen (1%), Neil Walker (4%), and Mark Ellis(2%). Clearly none of them will be as good as Pedroia, but they could be useful depending on what you need to replace.

Also in the Red Sox game, Clay Buchholz ended up leaving his start after 1 inning when he hyperextended his knee running the bases after he got a hit. No word yet on whether or not he will make his next start, but clearly any time missed by Buchholz would just hurt the Red Sox that much more.

Jason Heyward was kept out of the lineup yesterday as he goes through his worst slump of the season. His batting average is now down to .251, and has only homered 1 time in the month of June. This could be a buy-low opportunity, or this could be the National League figuring out what they can do to get him out.

A.J. Burnett had another poor start yesterday, going only 3 innings while giving up 6 earned runs. The whole month has been bad, and at this point I think he may be droppable in any league. Until he proves he can retain his control (6 walks yesterday, but 5 strikeouts), he's simply not startable.

Carlos Santana now has 13 RBI in the 14 games he has played. I ranked him 5th overall in our catcher rankings, and if he keeps hitting like this he may be too low.

Josh Johnson allowed 2 earned runs for the first time in 9 starts yesterday, and the offense couldn't pick him up as he recorded his 3rd loss of the season. He struck out 9 again in the start, and only allowed 6 base runners. This is going to be a great Cy Young race for the National League this year.

Madison Bumgarner was effective in his start yesterday, going 7 innings and only allowing the 4 earned runs he gave up in the 1st inning yesterday. He struck out 5, and should hopefully get a better opponent in his next start.

Trevor Cahill has his best start of the season yesterday, striking out 10 Pirates over 7 2/3 innings of shutout ball. He lowered his ERA to 2.88 on the season, but the concern for me is the strikeouts. He has allowed 2 or fewer earned runs in 6 of his last 8 starts, but I want to see more strikeouts for a few more starts before I believe entirely.

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