Who is Being Dropped & Why (Week 11)

While the hitters being dropped were hurt or replacement level, there were a couple of interesting starters on the waiver wire who could be an adjustment away from being productive.

For this weekly feature, I use the NFBC Main Event because of the number of identical leagues. Additionally, the managers stay engaged longer on the whole since each spent $1700 per team. I tried to find that sweet spot between the obvious and bizarre drops and will focus on players dropped in seven to ten leagues. Previously the number was six to nine, but I adjusted with the Main Event adding four leagues since I did the report.


Donovan Solano (10): The playing time is there (started eight of 10) but he’s providing nothing positive (.261 AVG, 2 HR, 1 SB) with just .533 OPS over the last week.

Austin Slater (10): With the Giants only facing one lefty this week, Slater is an easy drop since he only starts against lefties.

David Dahl (9): On the IL with back issues. Even when he’s been on the field, he’s been unproductive (.582 OPS, .354 OPS vs LHP).

Harrison Bader (9): He remains on the IL (ribs), but was providing some power and speed when playing (.219/.301/.411, 4 HR, 3 SB). He’s an interesting stash.

Andrelton Simmons (9): Replacement-level middle infielder.

Guillermo Heredia (9): He’s now splitting time with Ender Inciarte in center field. Also, Heredia has struggled to hit (.147/.216/.176) over the last two weeks.

Matt Beaty (9): He has only started in three of the last 10 games.

Jake Lamb (8): He sits against lefties and the White Sox face three of them this week. He’s been OK (.794 OPS, 4 HR) when he plays.

Steven Duggar (8): He’s on the strong side of an outfield platoon with six of seven games against right-handed starters. He’s provided a little of everything this year (.276 AVG, 4 HR, 2 SB). Emphasis on little.

Marwin Gonzalez (8): The playing time has been there as seen by him starting eight of the last 10 games, but a .562 OPS is unrosterable in fantasy and real-life. I’m surprised Boston hasn’t looked for an upgrade.

Willians Astudillo (7): He’s only started three of the last 10 games with a .648 OPS on the season. It’s just not enough counting stats to be useful.

Wilmer Flores (7): The playing time has been sporadic (seven of last ten games) and two games had a DH helping add a lineup spot. He’s hitting (.657 OPS) right at replacement level so little chance for an upgrade.

Nick Ahmed (7): He has always been a replacement-level middle infielder and will continue to do so in the future.

Asdrúbal Cabrera (7): He just got off the IL and started three of the last four games while hitting .067/.167/.067 during that time. He might be worth rostering in a week or two depending on playing time and his production.

Edmundo Sosa (7): Paul DeJong (.634 OPS) is back and playing shortstop with Matt Carpenter (.633 OPS, .802 OPS over the last week) starting five of the last six at second base. For now, Sosa (.711 OPS) seems like the odd man out.

Tyrone Taylor (7): He was playing part-time and now on the IL. Reasonable cut.

Danny Jansen (7): On the IL and has not been hitting this season (.526 OPS, .741 OPS since May 1st).

Francisco Mejía (7): For a catcher, he provides a decent batting average (.252) so he’s not a negative. His problem is that he’s only playing about 40% of the time thereby not contributing many counting stats.


David Peterson (9): I was noticing Peterson (6.32 ERA, 1.51 WHIP) showing up in some 12-team waiver wires and now it’s in 15’s. With no pitching depth in 15-teamers, his 3.62 xFIP and 3.97 SIERA interest me as a possible add. On the positive side, he has a 10.2 K/9 and 52% GB%. These positives are offset by two major issues. First, a 4.0 BB/9 is tough to stomach and he needs it to head down. Second, he is giving up a ton of hits (1.7 HR/9 and .336 BABIP). The Mets fielding grades out as average so that’s not the issue.

In my opinion, his four-seamer too hittable. Here are his individual pitch results.

David Peterson Pitch Results
Pitch SwStr% GB% vsISO
4-seam 9% 39% .255
Sinker 8% 68% .157
Slider 20% 41% .315
Changeup 11% 60% .154

A 68% GB%. He needs to go the full Framber Valdez (75% GB%) and just make teams beat him by going station-to-station around the bases. There is a chance he can turn around his season, but he needs to stay away from the four-seamer. And trust his defense and throw strikes.

Note: Peterson’s ears must have been burning and he shoved over 6 IP allowing 1 Hit and 0 R over 6 IP. His sinker usage was 38% while he has been at 29% on the season. He did walk two batters.

Eric Lauer (9): I would have expected him to be one of the most added players if he didn’t have a 2.6 HR/9. The home runs have inflated his ERA (4.82) and FIP (5.48) while his other ERA estimators are in the mid-3’s. I’m wondering if he should move away from the four-seamer and throw his cutter for strikes.

Eric Lauer Pitch Results
Pitch SwStr% GB% Zone%
4-seam 16% 16% 64%
Cutter 13% 50% 58%

Damn. Just a 16% GB%. That’s a ton of balls in the air for line drives (hits) or fly balls (home runs).

Now, I completely understand why there is some hesitation to starting him at Colorado and versus the Reds. One issue with these shaky two starts is that if he shoves, his cost next week will be off the charts. I like to sometimes utilize a Two-Start Bench to get a better read on a suspect pitcher. This one such instance.

Spencer Howard (8): While Howard has some prospect pedigree, he remains ineffective because he walks too many batters (7.2 BB/9). He might be rosterable once he gets the walks under control.

Antonio Senzatela (8): A disappointing two-start week with 12 K, 0 Ws, 6.75 ERA, and 1.50 WHIP in 12 IP.

Randy Dobnak (8): He’s unrosterable at this point. An 8.38 ERA, 1.73 WHIP, and 5.6 K/9 should say it all. He showing no signs of improvement.

Justus Sheffield (8): He striking out fewer batters, walking more, and allowing more home runs. The combination has his ERA up from 3.58 to 4.91 with matching ERA estimators.

Elieser Hernandez (8): Talk about a Trailing Drop. Last week, he was let go in 31 leagues. I’ll check in on how the early versus late droppers are performing in the Main Event. The early managers have an average overall rank of 316 (median = 331). Those who waited a week have an average rank of 355 (median = 342).

J.A. Happ (7): After a lucky April (1.96 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, .154 BABIP), he’s been horrible (8.37 ERA with ERA estimators near 6.00) since then. He needs to start striking out more batters (6.2 K/9) and/or quit allowing home runs (1.6 HR/9). Unrosterable right now.

Madison Bumgarner (7): On the IL and beginning a throwing program.


Stefan Crichton (10) and Joakim Soria (10): Some fantasy managers must have given up all hope on a split closer’s role for a team that doesn’t win games. Understandable.

Greg Holland (10): With Josh Staumont off the IL, Holland is out of the closer’s role.

Rafael Dolis (7): While he magically pitched around a 14% BB% last season to a 1.50 ERA and 1.25 WHIP. The magic ended this season with a 17% BB% and a 4.79 ERA. No more Saves will be heading his way.

Jeff, one of the authors of the fantasy baseball guide,The Process, writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won four FSWA Awards including on for his Mining the News series. He's won Tout Wars three times, LABR once, and got his first NFBC Main Event win in 2021. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

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1 year ago

Where does the phrase “shoves” come from? Is it borrowed from an ‘all-in’ poker kind of thing? I think the only time I see it is when I read Jeff’s articles.