Roster Trending 6/2/15: Drop It Like It’s Hot

Yesterday, I discussed the players fantasy owners in CBS have been scurrying to pick up over the last week. Today I’ll look at the opposite side of the coin, those players you’re dropping like a hot potato. In general, fantasy owners seem to be far too quick with their mouse clicking, willing to drop players after a week-long slump. Even if they are near replacement level to begin with, there’s no benefit to such churning and playing the “hot hand”. It will just increase your stress level, without actually improving your team. So let’s see if that’s the case with the top dropped players this time, or if the moves are justified. I have excluded players on the disabled list.

Shane Greene | SP DET | 86% Owned Last Week, 70% Owned This Week

Oddly, CBS got rid of the ownership trend after redesigning (again!) their league and player pages, but I bet Greene’s ownership trend has looked like a roller coaster. Good start, pick him up, bad start, drop him. Greene opened the season by allowing just one run over three starts, likely tempting hoards of fantasy owners to pluck him from free agency. He then promptly allowed 20 runs in his next three outings, at which point his new owners probably dropped him. Greene then laughed and allowed just three runs in his next three starts, before pitching poorly for his last two. He’s a perfect example of why it’s silly to try timing player performance.

Last season he outperformed his minor league skills, but with a ground ball tilt, along with a solid slider and curve, it seemed as if he had a good chance to post a similar ERA again. Unfortunately, his strikeouts have vanished as all of his pitches are getting fewer swings and misses, while his two-seamer is generating a pathetic 2.2% SwStk%. Given his unremarkable minor league career, I think this is closer to the real Greene than last year. An 86% ownership rate was far too high and 70% might still be a touch as well.

Kyle Lohse | SP MIL| 48%, 33%

Like Greene, Lohse has been up and down all year. But unlike Greene, we have over 2,000 innings of performance to lean on to shape our expectations of Lohse. We know what he is. If you liked him preseason, you should still. If you didn’t, you shouldn’t now. Amazingly, his SIERA sits a tick below 4.00 at the moment, yet for a full season, it has never sat below 4.00. And the one time it does, his ERA stands at 6.50!

Lohse was my guinea pig when issuing one of my two challenges earlier in the year, this one relating to BABIP. Now, his BABIP stands at .305, after posting marks no higher than .276 over the previous four seasons. Was it great fortune all this time or did he suddenly lose his BABIP suppression skills overnight? I’ve never liked Lohse because I prefer to roster skills in the forms of strikeout ability and walk avoidance rather than betting on continued good marks in the luck metrics, but he’s certainly a buy low candidate in NL-Only leagues. I don’t see why his ownership should be half that of Greene’s.

Wilin Rosario | C/1B COL | 54%, 39%

For some reason in the preseason, fantasy owners seemed to ignore the proclamation that Nick Hundley would be the Rockies starting catcher and Rosario would just be a bench bat, primarily playing against lefties. That’s exactly what happened to open the season, but eventually Rosario was demoted to the minors. With the various injuries suffered on the team, he was recalled just a couple of weeks after his demotion, but will still just be a platoon man. The 54% ownership rate was clearly too high, and unless 39% of leagues are of the NL-Only or very deep mixed, that is too high as well.

Joe Kelly | SP BOS | 39%, 25%

Perhaps pitching for his rotation spot, Kelly allowed just one earned run over five innings in his last start. We don’t know yet what the Red Sox plan to do with him and Eduardo Rodriguez, so we’ll stick to Kelly’s skills. His increased velocity has boosted his strikeout rate and his other skills are right in line with his history. His issues stem from an inflated HR/FB rate, something he has never dealt with previously, and a low LOB%, also something he has never had a problem with. The Red Sox should probably remain patient because this is the Kelly they thought they were getting, perhaps with more upside given the velocity bump. Unfortunately, that Kelly still isn’t anything exciting, so when the upside is basically league average pitching the rest of the way, they might choose to gamble on the rookie. His current ownership rate looks fine to me.

Jake Marisnick | OF HOU | 62%, 48%

Marisnick opened the season with guns ablaze, as he hit .379 over 65 April plate appearances and stole eight bases. But what goes up, must come down, and down Marisnick came in May, as he hit just .202. That has resulted in a loss of playing time to Preston Tucker and since Tucker has continued to hit, Marisnick might not get a chance to reclaim the full-time job for a while, or at all. He has some pop and good speed and has shown better strikeout rates in the minors. He was indeed a nice little sleeper. But there’s no sense in holding onto him in shallow leagues if he’s not playing every day. His 48% ownership rate probably reflects owners still holding out hope and stashing him on the bench. There are probably better free agent options that could help you now.

Mike Podhorzer is the 2015 Fantasy Sports Writers Association Baseball Writer of the Year. He produces player projections using his own forecasting system and is the author of the eBook Projecting X 2.0: How to Forecast Baseball Player Performance, which teaches you how to project players yourself. His projections helped him win the inaugural 2013 Tout Wars mixed draft league. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikePodhorzer and contact him via email.

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dewon brazeltron
7 years ago

Rosario was starting alot due to AL games an Morneau broke his head again

Rox since got into the habit of starting some white guy at 1B the past week