Cold Right Now: April 15, 2024

Cold Right Now (CRN) is a weekly Ottoneu feature focused on players being dropped or who should be dropped in Ottoneu leagues. In this feature we will break down players into three sections:

  1. Roster Cuts: Analysis of players who have been cut in a high percentage of leagues.
  2. Recent Injuries: A look at the implications of recent injuries (not all, just some high-profile ones).
  3. Cold Performers: Players with a low P/G or P/IP in recent weeks.

This article will typically run once per week and will help fantasy managers keep track of players that need to be given extra attention to improve rosters.

Roster Cuts

Trevor Story, Leagues with a Cut (Last 7 Days) – 67.81%

Let’s start by saying that 67% is a crazy number for this article. We rarely see a player cut this universally. It requires a perfect storm – the player had to be rostered in most leagues; the player had to be performing poorly, and the player needed to have something happen (an injury or losing their job or something) to cause their value to change drastically within a week. The player can’t be a young player with upside and long-term value. They can’t be an established star that some people will hold.

And Story fits the bill. We all know the talent, so we all understand why people rostered her to start the year. We also know about the struggles and the injury history. Story played 8 games so far this year and did not look good. Then he injured his shoulder and his season is over. If it weren’t for the large contract he signed with Boston, there would be real questions about his future: does he get signed? By who? To do what? Even with Boston, you have to wonder what his role will be in the future. And if he has a role, do you really think he is going to hit again?

And so, he is being cut everywhere. If you are one of the managers who still rosters him in 29.7% of leagues, you should probably stop reading and go fix that.

Shane Bieber, Leagues with a Cut (Last 7 Days) – 38.75%

Lucas covered this last week, and there isn’t much to add. Just crushing news. He’s likely out for a chunk of 2025, so you don’t want to be stuck holding him at too high a price. If you don’t need the cash and can stash him for less than $15, I can see that. But if you are looking to compete, there are probably better uses for that piece of your budget.

Julian Merryweather, Leagues with a Cut (Last 7 Days) – 36.25%

Merryweather has regularly been effective, but not consistently healthy. This year he started off well on the surface – 1.93 ERA, 2.60 FIP – before getting hurt. But the injury isn’t the only reason to cut Merryweather. He was also allowing a ton of hard contact (75% hard-hit rate) and an average exit velocity over 95 mph. Yes, the average ball in play off Merryweather is a hard-hit ball. His Statcast xERA is 8.57!

That could be small sample size noise, and I totally get picking him up once he is healthy and ready to rejoin the Cubs pen, but until then, he is an easy cut.

Recent Injuries

Josh Sborz, Leagues with a Cut (Last 7 Days) – 29.38%

Sborz is actually the fourth-most cut player in the last week, but I decided to only cover players cut in 30% or more of leagues in that section. But he (and the fifth-most cut player) fits into this category.

Sborz strained his right rotator cuff and given that he is right-handed, that doesn’t sound good. But the strain isn’t bad and he isn expected back relatively soon, perhaps even as soon as the minimum 15 days. So maybe you should be holding Sborz? After all, he looked great in his three outings so far.

Sborz, however, has a nice long track record of giving up the long-ball. And while his 0.0% HR/FB rate this year looks good, he gave up a lot of hard contact in that limited time. He avoided HR more out of luck than any ability to limit HR. He’s a perfectly fine RP, but his 5×5 value is limited by the lack of saves and his value in other Ottoneu formats is limited by the HR issues.

Of the two RP I covered today, Merryweather is the one I would be first to pick up when it is time. But I am cutting them both for now.

Josiah Gray, Leagues with a Cut (Last 7 Days) – 25.31%

I really want to believe Josiah Gray will put it all together, but even before he hit the IL with a flexor strain, he was a disaster this year. His last start before he got hurt, he gave up 6 ER on 7 H with 3 K and 3 BB against Pittsburgh and that was his better start. It’s fine to cut Gray until he shows he can perform.

Dominic Canzone, Roster% – 24.06%

Usually we focus on guys being cut, but Canzone is getting some attention here. Canzone made a great catch early Sunday afternoon in Seattle, but appeared to pretty badly injury his shoulder slamming into the wall. He is expected to miss at least a couple of weeks on the IL, and it could be a couple of months, instead – we need more info. And you’ll hear a lot of buzz about Jonatan Clase, who is being called up to replace Canzone, and for good reason.

But Canzone was off to a solid start. He had a 137 wRC+ despite a sky-high K-rate and a cellar-low BABIP. Given how hard he hits the ball and his track record in the high minors, I don’t expect that those issues will continue to haunt him, and that makes him a pretty interesting pickup…once he is playing again. Throw him on your watchlist and start that auction when he goes on rehab.

Cold Performers

Jackson Holliday – -2.35 P/G

Jackson Holliday got a hit on Sunday, which is great, because now he has his first MLB hit and maybe that will make things a little easier going forward. He also struck out two more times, which is less great, because now he has nine strikeouts in 15 MLB PA. And that two-K-in-four-PA performance actually improved his K-rate so far.

Now, this is all of four games and 15 PA. Holliday is not broken, he is not a bust, we shouldn’t be worried about him long-term. I think we should at least consider the possibility that he spends more time in Triple-A. The Orioles have a ton of talent they need to get on the field. They expect Holliday to be a cornerstone for years, but that doesn’t have to start right this moment. A demotion could help him get right – similar to what happened last year with Jordan Walker. And I don’t think we can ignore that any additional time in Triple-A would mean an extra year of control for the Orioles.

I do not think Holliday will be sent down today or tomorrow. I don’t think he will be sent down this week or even next. But I think if you have Holliday, you should be prepared for how you would manage around another stint in Norfolk at some point. He looks overmatched right now and the Orioles are trying to compete.

Having said that, if you find a manager panicking because they expected Holliday to solve SS for them, go ahead and see if you can buy low. The future is still very bright.

A long-time fantasy baseball veteran and one of the creators of ottoneu, Chad Young's writes for RotoGraphs and PitcherList, and can be heard on the ottobot podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @chadyoung.

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Buhners Rocket Armmember
1 month ago

How much you willing to roster Strider for if he gets cut? On one hand it’s a lot of money to sink into a guy going to miss the entire season. On the other hand I’m willing to pay and hold for a special player who I can’t get otherwise.