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.
Available Under 40% | Cuttable at 60%+
Varsho is finding more playing time in the outfield and starting to deliver some production. He has a .911 OPS in the last week with 2 HR, 5 RBI, and 6 R in 25 PA. His strikeout rate is at 29% on the year, but down to 16% in this last week while his walk rate is at 9% on the season and 12% last week. I’m particularly excited for Varsho in 2021 and expect to have him on many target lists.
Sanchez has become a staple here, but it’s because he has a comically high roster rate at this point in 1-catcher leagues. Another dreadful week for Sanchez (.067/.125/.267, 1 HR), but keep clinging to those projections for the final few weeks, I’m sure he’s about to start hitting them!
Read the rest of this entry »
Gomes is still in a timeshare with Kurt Suzuki, but he’s doing enough in his time to merit consideration. Over his last 50 plate appearances he’s hitting .362/.400/.617 with 2 HR, 7 RBI, and 8 R. He slots as a top 10 catcher over the last month (9th) and 15-day (6th) periods.
Sanchez was in this spot a week ago and has done nothing to change the outlook, hitting .100/.217/.250 in his last seven games. How is he still toting this high of a roster rate?
Sisco is hitting so well that the O’s are getting him and Pedro Severino into the lineup regularly with one DH’ing. Sisco has a 163 wRC+ and 4 HR in 64 PA so far. He is striking out 38% of the time, though it’s slightly counterbalanced by his 19% BB rate.
Sanchez has been a disaster and I just don’t think he’s a necessary hold at this point. The 5 HR can’t overcome the damage of a horrific .139/.253/.361 line in 83 PA. He did have three straight homers back in mid-August and looked like he might be coming out of it, but he’s hitting .188 since in 20 PA.
Here are the picks for volume 3:
I’m still trying to come to terms with the fact that the Orioles offense is 2nd in wRC+, but in the meantime I’m considering Severino a pickup. He had a mini breakthrough last year with 13 HR and 3 SB in 341 PA with his best work coming against lefties (.273 AVG, 8 HR, 109 wRC+) and he’s amped it up a level this year. Strong work against righties is driving his fast start as he’s hitting .350 with 2 of his 4 HR against them in 40 PA.
I bought in on Garver’s 2019 breakout. Obviously, I didn’t think he’d hit 31 HR per 359 PA, but I saw him remaining a stud hitter as part of that excellent lineup. Instead, he’s off to a nightmarish start with a .167/.280/.238 line that includes just 1 HR and 2 RBI. I’m not completely out on him and of course I’d rather not cut him, but it’s hard to hold a dead weight catcher in 1-C leagues when many viable options sit on the wire. Garver is striking out more, but his swinging strike rate isn’t up much (1 pt to 9%) and his chase rate is actually down 7 points to 13%. He’s swinging and missing more in the zone which is fueling his 36% K rate.
Again, these cut candidates aren’t really “must cuts”, but rather guys who could be let go if you’re offense is really struggling, and you need to cut some of the dead weight.
Here are the picks for volume 2:
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.
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.