Roto Roundup: Mariano Rivera, Bryce Harper, Pablo Sandoval, and Others

May 3, 2012; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals left fielder Bryce Harper (34) bats against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the sixth inning at Nationals Park. The Nationals beat the Diamondbacks 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-US PRESSWIRE

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I had just dropped off my daughter for her dance class when I tuned into MLB radio to catch up on scores and news while I was out. They had just panned over to Kansas City for some breaking news about Yankees closer Mariano Rivera. I am listening to Mike Lowell and Bill Ripken's reactions to the video of Rivera injuring his knee and getting carted off the field, and it wasn't pleasant. They both said "it doesn't look good".

Well, it wasn't good, Rivera is out for the year with a torn ACL i his right knee. David Robertson and Rafael Soriano are the guys to grab in mixed and AL-only leagues, assuming they are available.

Does this expedite his retirement announcement?

Word came out late Wednesday evening that Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval injured his hand swinging the bat. It turns out that he broke the hamate bone in his left hand and will be out for 4-6 weeks. When he returns, probably in late June, I would not expect much power from him till July or August as he broke the same bone in his right hand last season, right around this time of year. Here are his monthly slugging percentages when he returned last year:

June: .373

July: .563

August: .505

September: .784

More Roto Roundup after the jump:

Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman is expected back in the lineup on Tuesday, so make sure you get him in your lineup if you play in a weekly league. After first baseman Adam Laroche was scratched with an oblique injury, I wonder if Zimmerman may come back on Sunday instead. If Laroche misses any time, Chad Tracy will probably get the majority of starts at first base for the Nationals.

Even without Laroche, the Nationals were able to beat the Diamondbacks 2-1 behind Ross Detwiler and Bryce Harper. Harper was moved from 7th in the lineup to the third spot. I was surprised manager Davey Johnson moved him there, but Harper responded by going 1-3 with the game winning RBI double down the left field line. He took an Ian Kennedy pitch on the outside part of the plate the other way. The guy is for real. I really am wondering if he was just going through the motions in AAA in April, because he seems to come up with the big play in almost every game so far, whether it be at the plate or in the field.

There could be a closer change in Chicago this weekend, as Cubs closer Carlos Marmol imploded yet again in the 9th inning yesterday to ruin a gem by Ryan Dempster. Marmol came into a 3-0 game and promptly gave up a hit, 3 walks and 3 runs, one of which was earned. Cubs manager Dale Sveum said after the game that there could be a change in the closer role, so grab Rafael Dolis or Jeff Russell and watch how he handles the back end of their bullpen in the next few games.

Cubs first baseman Bryan LaHair is quieting the talk to call up AAA first baseman Anthony Rizzo with his performance at the plate in the early going. LaHair went 2-4 with a HR yesterday, and is now hitting a whopping .388-.468-.821 with 7 HRs and 18 RBI. This team is not going to win too many games this season, but with guys like Starlin Castro, Lahair and Rizzo when he is ultimately called up, the Cubs have a few players fantasy owners should pay attention to.

Raise your hand if you drafted Rays closer Fernando Rodney this year. Who saw THIS coming? I know i didn't, but the Rays and Dodgers have to be the two teams who can find a closer by looking behind door #3. The Dodgers found Eric Gagne after he proved to them he couldn't start. Then they found Takashi Saito in Japan, and now Javy Guerra. The Rays made it to the playoffs with Kyle Farnsworth closing games last season, and this season they have Fernando Rodney.

Mariners second baseman Dustin Ackley went 1-4 yesterday and is hitting just .231-.291-.324 with a HR, 9 RBI and 2 stolen bases this season. I think he is a buy low candidate if there is such a thing. I don't believe in the "buy low" or "sell high" talk you read about elsewhere, But that is a story for a different day. Anyway, Ackley is struggling at the plate, but he is striking out less and walking less this season, but I see the walks increasing from here, along with the BA.

Is Anibal Sanchez the new ace in Florida? Fresh off a 14 strikeout start in his last outing on Sunday afternoon, Sanchez limited the Pablo Sandoval-less Giants to just one run on 7 hits in 7 innings yesterday. He struck out 5 and walked 1 and is now 2-0 with a 2.43 ERA, a 1.05 WHIP and a 38-9 strikeout to walk ratio in 33.1 innings. He has gone at least 6 innings in each of his 5 starts this season and has given up two runs or less in each of those starts.

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