Ottoneu Cold Right Now: April 3, 2023

Much like Hot Right Now, Cold Right Now will be a weekly Ottoneu feature, primarily written by either me or Lucas Kelly, with a focus on players who are being dropped or who maybe should be dropped in Ottoneu leagues. Hot Right Now will focus on players up for auction, players recently added, and players generally performing well. Cold Right Now will have parallel two of those three sections:

  1. Roster Cuts: Analysis of players with high cut% changes.
  2. Cold Performers: Players with a low P/G or P/IP in recent weeks.

There won’t be a corresponding section to Current Auctions because, well, there is nothing in cuts that correspond to current auctions.

Roster Adds

Rhys Hoskins, Leagues with a Cut (30 days) – 60.26%

I am not a doctor and should not be trusted for medical advice but watching the clip of Hoskins going down, my immediate thought was, “Oh no, that might be his season.” Sure enough, he tore his ACL and that will do it for Hoskins in 2023. And this is one of those situations where keeper leagues make decisions so much tougher. In redraft, he is an easy cut. In any keeper format – like Ottoneu – this isn’t an easy decision. Hoskins was rostered in almost all leagues at an average salary of very close to $20 when he got hurt. Today, that is down to about 42% of leagues and an average salary of around $15. That gives us a sense of where his value lies and we can see this in my leagues, as well. In my seven leagues, he was cut four times – all at $25 or $26. He is still being kept at $19, $9 and $7 (the $7 is a league where he was cut in January and we held our auction after his injury. His median salary in his last ten adds is $8. Since Hoskins is on the 60-day IL, he doesn’t use a roster spot, so the decision to cut him is purely financial. Anywhere over $15, I am cutting as soon as I need the cash, if not sooner. That $19 Hoskins is mine, and I am not holding. Below $15, I might keep, unless I really need the cash and have no other options. Under $10 I am hoping to hold. If he was cut in my league, I would re-auction if I had the cash and could win him for $10 or less. He was going for $20 at auctions this year and likely will go for north of $15 again next spring, so there is an opportunity to buy low.

Edwin Díaz, Leagues with a Cut (30 days) – 54.81%

You could almost take that last paragraph and replace any mention of Hoskins with Diaz and just roll with the same advice. The numbers are similar ($20-ish average salary before, down to $15-ish now). The difference, for me, is that I hate the idea of sitting on an injured RP all year except in 5×5. In 5×5, where Diaz was going for north of $25, if you can get him in the low teens, you’ll have a steal in 2024 if you can handle the cap hit this year. Other formats, I just don’t want to have that kind of cash tied up in a stashed reliever.

Cade Cavalli, Leagues with a Cut (30 days) – 48.08%

This one is even easier for me. I like Cavalli, but he isn’t an elite prospect and we likely won’t see him until the mid-point of 2024. I am not sitting on him until then. If my team is out of it in August, I could see trying to scoop him for a dollar, but even then, how do you really feel about keeping him for $3 next off-season? I am not feeling great about it.

Christopher Morel, Leagues with a Cut (7 days) – 27.56%

Note that the other three players are the most cut in the last 30 days, while Morel is the second-most cut in the last week (Hoskins is first at 30.13%). Morel is getting dropped because the Cubs dropped him (to Triple-A). Morel struck out a lot last year and then he struck out a lot in Spring Training and now he is striking out a lot in Iowa and none of that means he will never be good but I am not a fan. The plus side for Morel, if you want a reason to stash him, is that he has already had success in MLB and given expectations for him this year, he should be back in Chicago quickly if he shows he can make regular contact. The negative side, though, is that I think he’ll have a hard time making regular contact and I am not sure that success is sustainable. If I am stashing a guy in Triple-A, I think there are better options.

Juan Yepez, Leagues with a Cut (7 days) – 19.55%

Speaking of better options, Juan Yepez. Yepez seems to just be the odd-man out right now. And his big challenge is that may never change. With Jordan Walker leapfrogging him, there just is not an obvious path for him to get back, barring injury. Nolan Gorman hitting would complicate that even further. Yepez, though, brings the exact bat we like to see for this format – good power with a strong enough hit tool to make regular contact, plus high walk rates. As of right now, I am content to leave Yepez on my watchlists, but if there starts to be a hint of a call-up, I would add him – I liked him in draft season and as soon as there is a path to playing time, I’ll like him again.

Cold Performers

It is probably too early to do this, but let’s take a quick look at a few names that have had surprisingly bad starts.

Alex Bregman – 18 PA, 2 BB, 7 K, 0 H, -2.5 P/G – After the nice rebound last year, this is hard to see (unless you just hate the Astros and are enjoying the schadenfreude of Bregman stuggling, Jose Altuve being hurt, and the Astros being in third place). Bregman is doing some good things – he is being very aggressive in the zone and not chasing at all, despite the K-rate over 38%. That K% is shocking for a guy with his track record. It is being driven by low contact numbers and a lot of swing-and-miss. Given he seems to be making good decisions, I expect this will turn around soon, but watch that contact rate. If it doesn’t increase, that would be cause for concern.

Jacob deGrom – 3.2 IP, 12.27 ERA, 3.61 P/IP – We are always worried about DeGrom so this is nothing new, but it isn’t usually when he is healthy. That start though? Yuck. But under the hood, things aren’t so bad. He struck out seven of 17 hitters and didn’t issue a walk. His average exit velocity and max exit velocity allowed were both good; his hard-hit rate allowed was good. The two barrels allowed is bad, but that’s obviously a noisy sample. I suspect the .556 BABIP will come down. I am not worried about DeGrom at all. Best pitcher in the game.

Corbin Burnes – 5 IP, 7.20 ERA, 4.12 P/IP – That’s actually not the worst P/IP, but it is not what we expect from Burnes, one of the few pitchers who is a legit contender to DeGrom’s throne. Burnes, though, is a little more concerning for me, only because the strikeouts were absent (just 3), exit velocity was up, and pitch velocity was down. My guess is Burnes can and will be more effective than this even if the velo stays where it is, but that is what I’ll be watching for next time out. When I say “a little more concerning” than DeGrom, I just mean that I am 100% unconcerned about DeGrom and that I am also 100% unconcerned about Burnes, but I would like to see him throw a little harder and strike out ten next time out.

Teoscar Hernández – 15 PA, 1 BB, 5 K, 1 H, -1.33 P/G – Hernandez actually had a decent game Sunday, going 1-4 with a double and not striking out at all. He also had the first- (112.6 mph 2B) and third-hardest (107.9 mph FO) balls of the game. The rest of the weekend wasn’t great – those were his first two hard-hit balls of the year – and he had five strikeouts in 11 PA before Sunday. But there were some really positive signs yesterday. There are always concerns about a power bat headed to Seattle, and we are not far from people referencing Jesse Winker’s disastrous 2022 when mentioning Hernandez, but I am not worried. Other hitters – Eugenio Suárez and Ty France, for example – have had no issue with the transition, and I don’t expect Hernandez to struggle.

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.

1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 year ago

Yeah, three games in and there’s always going to be someone who doesn’t start well. Hopefully people aren’t too triggered and start dropping guys like Bregman or Burnes. Maybe they’ll trade ’em to me, though…