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Transcript is available below!
Paul Sporer: Welcome everyon, thank you for coming out!!
Doug: You would definitely trade Kyle Lewis for Xander Bogaerts in fantasy, right?
Paul Sporer: 10000000000%
snid: Hansel Robles getting that velocity back? Worth a pickup in a 12 tm dynasty.
Paul Sporer: Ehhhh, maybe if you’re DESPERATE for saves, but I’m not trying to get into that situation right now
Jake: Gausman for real??? How do you see Votto doing ROS ??
One issue I’ve had with pick up articles in the past is that so few ever recommend anyone to cut so which is arguably tougher than recommending who to pick. Sure, a player in question should probably be on a roster, but should it be your roster? I have a group of interesting free agents but also a player at each of those positions who you can consider cutting as well.
This article is designed mostly for 10- and 12-team leagues as a lot of these guys aren’t available in 15+ teamers and the recommended cuts are likely worth giving a bit more time to in deeper formats as well. I’m using ESPN’s roster rate for guidance.
Here are the picks for volume 2:
Available Under 40% | Cuttable at 60%+
Stassi is looking like this year’s iteration of Christian Vázquez or Robert Pérez with 4 HR in 25 PA already. There was some prospect heat on Stassi many moons ago for the 29-year old. He’s now in a platoon with Jason Castro, though it’s starting to shape up as a 50/50 as opposed to being pitcher hand-based. This rate of power will obviously slow down, but it’s earning him some extra playing time and makes him worth a look if you need a catcher. Also consider Austin Nola (5%) as he’s now catcher-eligible and the starter in Seattle with Tom Murphy nursing a foot injury.
Smith had an excellent start to his MLB career last year with a 1.072 OPS through 37 games with 13 HR in 129 PA. He closed on a down note with a .582 OPS in September and those struggles have joined him in 2020 thus far with a .182/.345/.364 line and 1 HR in 29 PA this year. This was originally slated to be more of a 70/30 split, but it’s trending at a 55/45 right now with Austin Barnes starting six games to Smith’s seven.
Transcript is available below.
Paul Sporer: Hey yall, what’s up? Let’s talk some baseball!!
Fazio: Paul, I traded away some SP to build a lineup full of studs and streaming pitchers. What is your thought on the bad starts and potential turnarounds for Bumgarner, Ray, Boyd and Minor?
Paul Sporer: I have some concerns about the two D’backs (though not enough to cut them right now) and feel like Boyd & Minor will be just fine.
Roy: Thoughts on Kingery as Phillies resume play? Been terrible so far this year in small sample, but has one of the biggest xWOBA underperformances
Paul Sporer: I’m barely moving on 11 game samples at this point so I can’t really do anything about 4 games
Vegan Man!: Cut DeJong in 12 team? IL filled with JV and Yordan, and Albies on IL on bench as well… thanks!
I started this new column last week looking at 10 interesting things going on in baseball and giving my thoughts on them, particularly as they relate to fantasy baseball.
Zach Plesac is the Latest Product of the Cleveland Pitching Machine
We’re starting to see why Cleveland wasn’t worried about letting Corey Kluber via trade for what felt like a light return. Plesac and Aaron Civale have been excellent through four starts, joining Shane Bieber, Mike Clevinger, and Carlos Carrasco to form perhaps the best rotation in baseball. Plesac opened his season with eight shutout innings against a strong White Sox lineup that included 11 strikeouts and 0 walks.
He went to Cincinnati for his second outing and stood tall yet again with just a pair of home runs doing the damage in seven strong innings with 6 strikeouts and 1 walk. Nicholas Castellanos battled back from an 0-2 count to get it full and then hit a homer to left-center while Plesac battled back from a 2-0 count against Joey Votto to draw it full before the veteran lefty went yard in right field.
Plesac has dropped his fastball usage 15 points to 36%, leaning into his slider (up 5 points to 24%) and changeup (also up 6 points to 26%) with extraordinary results. He has a 32% strikeout rate, 2% walk rate, and he’s tied for the 6th-best Called Strikes+Whiff rate at 35% (min. 6 IP which yields 111 pitchers). Batters are 0-for-17 with 8 strikeouts against his slider.
One issue I’ve had with pick up articles in the past is that so few ever recommend anyone to cut so which is arguably tougher than recommending who to pick. Sure, a player in question should probably be on a roster, but should it be your roster? I have a group of interesting free agents but also a player at each of those positions who you can consider cutting as well. Some of these are difficult cuts, but consider that we’re the equivalent of about 3 weeks in at this point so I think your bar for cutting someone needs to be lower than past seasons.
Pickings are a little slim behind the dish, but Jansen is off to a decent start after being highly touted in 2019 and failing to deliver on the hype. He’s hitting .235/.381/.412 with 1 HR and matching strikeout and walk rates at 19%.
Meanwhile, Molina has sputtered out of the gate at .222/.222/.222 in 18 PA. It’s obviously super early and veteran catcher will likely find his level, but he’s not so good that you must hang onto him in a 1-catcher league.