Ottoneu Cold Right Now: June 10, 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

Luis Matos, Add% Change (7 days): -17.8%

All of the fantasy managers who read about Matos in Chad Young’s May 22nd Hot Right Now are changing their minds and dropping him from their rosters. The 22-year-old outfielder was optioned to AAA on June 5th as both Austin Slater and Michael Conforto were activated from the IL. Matos slashed .224/.247/.329 with two home runs in 89 plate appearances.

Spencer Torkelson, Add% Change (7 days): -11.3%

If you’ve been rostering Torkelson and haven’t been able to make the decision on cutting him from your roster, don’t worry, the Detroit Tigers have done it for you. At 3.04 P/G prior to demotion, Torkelson has been significantly below replacement level in 2024. While he managed 5.06 P/G last season thanks to improved power (31 HR, .446 SLG), his power has come back down in the early portion of 2024. It may feel like a tough decision to drop Torkelson, but he has not been an above-replacement-level first baseman in any of his full seasons and managers need to move on. Read Spencer Torkelson and Edouard Julien Optioned to Triple-A by Dan Szymborski for more details on Torkelson’s future outlook generated by ZiPs projections.

Graham Ashcraft, Add% Change (7 days): -10.6%

It’s unclear what has led to Ashcraft’s rough start. Let’s begin with his 13.6% called strike rate (CStr%) in 2024, down from a 16.6% mark in 2023. His swinging strike rate (SwStr%) is up slightly but not enough to combine with his called strike rate to match 2023’s CSW% of 23.8%. All of that can be more easily stated as he is producing less strikes, but it’s not necessarily enough to raise red flags. He’s had trouble executing pitches in the zone and while it hasn’t translated to more walks, it has translated to hitters doing more damage as his hard-hit rate is up from last season.

What about his stuff? His slider’s Stuff+ measurement has decreased, his sinker and cutter have increased and he’s added a decent-looking changeup. The changeup still seems like a work in progress as it hasn’t helped him get lefties out and he hasn’t used the pitch enough. Overall, Ashcraft has had trouble getting lefties out this season, something that wasn’t necessarily the case in his first two years in the big leagues:

Graham Ashcraft vs. Lefties
Season TBF AVG OBP SLG
2022 212 0.232 0.292 0.263
2023 297 0.243 0.304 0.419
2024 130 0.292 0.338 0.475

Oddly enough, the exact opposite is happening against righties:

Graham Ashcraft vs. Righties
Season G TBF AVG OBP SLG
2022 19 252 0.323 0.377 0.524
2023 26 327 0.287 0.368 0.469
2024 12 151 0.263 0.351 0.398

Now could be the time to take a chance on Ashcraft if he has been dropped in your league. It seems reasonable to believe that if he can develop his changeup and utilize it more often against lefties, he could take a step forward. Ashcraft joins Reid Detmers (10.6% 7-Day Drop Rate) on the list of 26-year-old pitchers being demoted. With Detmers, it’s a little more clear as to why he’s struggled. Giving up no less than three earned runs in his last eight appearances has severely damaged any fantasy team rostering him. But, like with Ashcraft, there may be an opportunity in Detmers. For anyone whose Ottoneu team is a complete lost cause in 2024, don’t be afraid to pick these pitchers up as discount stashes for next season.

Jordan Montgomery, Add% Change (7 days): -10.3%

Montgomery just hasn’t had it this season. All of his pitches are being hit more often:

Jordan Montgomery Individual Pitch Batting Average Comparisons
Pitch 2024 AVG Career AVG
Sinker (SI) 0.378 0.289
Curveball (CU) 0.245 0.181
Changeup (CH) 0.379 0.235
Fourseam (FA) 0.333 0.298
Slider (SL) 0.000 0.171

Statcast shows Montgomery throwing a slider for the first time since 2017, but he’s only experimented with the pitch, throwing it only 2.4% of the time. His sinker and four-seam fastball velocities are down slightly and he’s been leaning on his curveball much more often. It seems like the Diamondbacks may be trying to change the veteran lefty somewhat (add a slider, throw the curve more often, etc.,) and it’s not taking right away. Montgomery may just be one or two starts away from figuring some things out, but those Ottoneu teams competing for a championship in 2024 shouldn’t spend much time thinking this one over.

Injuries

Cristian Javier, Add% Change (7 days): -11.9%

The Astros starter joins a long list of pitchers who will have the name “Tommy John” forever attached to their resume. Alek Manoah is due to undergo “UCL surgery” and Robert Gasser is looking for second opinions on his own elbow injury. Some may want to wait on Gasser, but Javier and Manoah are easy drops.

Cold Performers

Cold performers are marked by measuring low P/G or P/IP in the last 14 days.

Javier Báez, -2.1 P/G:

In eight games and 29 plate appearances Báez has struggled. On the season, he’s slashing .183/.209/.247 which could be considered a career-worst. If there’s any sign of hope it’s that he is striking out less, though he is also walking less, than last season, and his Zone-Contact%/HardHit% are up. Probabilistic thinking should point to better slugging in the future, but that’s only if he continues to play.

Tim Anderson, -1.4 P/G:

In seven games and 25 plate appearances, Anderson is not bouncing back. In 2024, he has posted a career-low 76.1% zone-contact rate and a career-high K% (29.7%).

Triston McKenzie, -0.9 P/IP:

In two games started and 10.1 IP, McKenzie has some bizarre per-nine statistics:

K/9 – 13.94, BB/9 – 4.35, HR/9 – 4.35

While the strikeout rate is impressive, it has met his other stats to balance out negatively.

Jose Quintana, -0.5 P/IP:

Early in the season, Quintana was doing a nice job of limiting home runs and walks while getting batters out on the bases. Now, his HR% and BB% have increased and his K% hasn’t changed much. In his last two outings, he’s only lasted 3.2 and 4.0 IP.





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