It’s been a big ol’ closer switch-a-roo lately in the big leagues. Closers are losing jobs left and right and fantasy owners are running around like crazy trying to make sense of it all. In addition, we have some mid-round draft picks starting to struggle that has owners getting cold feet. Whether you choose to drop one of these players can have a big impact on your team’s success. So, let’s see who is worth dropping or hanging on to at this point.
Nolan Reimold (OF, BAL) – He shouldn’t be getting dropped like he is. He’s still got the talent to hit 20 HR with 10 SB this year even after missing time due to injury. Pick him up if he’s getting dropped and hold off a bit if you own him. He’ll be back soon.
Mike Minor (SP, ATL) – Don’t let the ERA fool you. He’s had a tough run thus far but his FIP, xFIP and SIERA all point to the fact that his ERA should be under 4.00 based on how he has pitched thus far. He’s had over 8 K’s per 9 and under 3 BB’s per 9 so he’s still got the talent. Pick him up if someone drops him.
Erick Aybar (SS, ANA) – Luck has not been on his side thus far and he’s giving you no reason to own him after five weeks. ZiPS has him pegged for 6 HR and 18 SB throughout the rest of the season which would put him closer to his 2010 numbers. There’s some value to that in deeper leagues with a Middle Infielder spot. In shallow leagues, you may be able to find something better out there. I wouldn’t cut ties with him unless there are better options.
Heath Bell (RP, MIA) – They paid him too much money to let him lose the job that quickly. Give him time and stash away if your league is deep enough.
Could Be Time
Carlos Marmol (RP, CHC) – For better or worse, the Cubs do love Marmol to a certain extent. If he can control his habit of walking tons of batters then they might just hand the keys back to him. They don’t have a ton of better options that they’re utilizing at the moment. In shallow leagues, drop him. In deeper leagues, he may be worth stashing to see if he can get his control back.
Clay Buchholz (SP, BOS) – I’ve never been a Buchholz fan and he’s not giving anyone a reason to be a fan of his this year. In shallow leagues, I’d cut ties because I only see him as a 4.50-ish ERA pitcher even if he does turn it around. He has certainly been unlucky this year but keep in mind that he had been very lucky in previous years. In deeper leagues, you may not have a choice but to hang in there.
Danny Espinosa (2B, WAS) – Much like Aybar, he’s had a tough go of it thus far. At this point, you can still expect to get 15 HR and 15 SB out of Espinosa the rest of the way but he will continue to kill you in the batting average department. If you can afford that then it may be worth the bit of power and speed that you can get. But, realistically, it may be better to make him someone else’s problem.
Let Them Free
Tommy Milone (SP, OAK) – People got awfully excited after Milone had three good starts in his first four games. The thing that they ignored was his tiny strikeout rate and low BABIP. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I don’t trust pitchers who can’t strike people out. Milone has hit a rough patch now and I wouldn’t own him unless it was a very deep league.
Javy Guerra (RP, LA) – When a closer loses his job, you can usually drop him unless there’s strong thought that he can get the job back. I don’t think Guerra is getting his job back in the near future unless Kenley Jansen starts to implode. Guerra was actually doing much better than his ERA indicates but that’s neither here nor there. Drop away unless you have room to stash for a long while.
Hector Santiago (RP, CHW) – I don’t even know what to make of Chicago’s bullpen any longer. Chris Sale, really? So, yeah, Santiago may get the job back if Sale struggles but maybe they turn to Addison Reed or Matt Thornton. It’s too much of a mess to sort out currently so I’d stay away from Santiago.
J.D. Martinez (OF, HOU) – Unless you have a spot for 10 HR without any speed and a mediocre batting average then you can drop Martinez. I think people overreacted to owning him in the first place and are starting to learn that lesson.
Others I’ve written about recently – Peter Bourjos
Keep in mind that shallower leagues have shorter leashes for these players than deeper leagues so you might want to cut bait on a guy earlier knowing that he won’t be picked up by anybody else for the time being.