Who is Being Dropped & Why (Week 8)

There isn’t really an overlying theme for this week expect it seems many managers are just cleaning up their rosters of disappointing players. Since these unproductive players are being dropped, the list is barren of talent. Normally, I start with the same tought, but I end up finding a few hidden gems. Tauchman is the only one I might consider adding. I do spend some time in the append defining Trailing Drops and how it could drag down teams.

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.

Hitters

Daulton Varsho: He is probably playing enough (started six of 10) to be relevant, but is not hitting (.471 OPS) or stealing (0 SB attempts).

Jonathan India: He’s been playing every day, but hasn’t been league-winning at the plate (.225 AVG, 3 HR, 1 SB). He seems like someone who will be on and off rosters depending on a teams’ needs.

Kyle Higashioka: April: 1.088 OPS. May: .439 OPS.

Taylor Ward: A bland outfield profile (.195 AVG, 3 HR, 0 SB) but he is playing every day.

Jackie Bradley Jr.: He’s been relegated to the strong side of a platoon with Tyrone Taylor.

Tyrone Taylor: He’s been relegated to the short side of a platoon with Jackie Bradley Jr.

Matt Beaty: Even before signing Albert Pujols, he was only playing half the time. Once Bellinger returns, his playing time will drop even more.

Mike Tauchman: He’s not been hitting (.646 OPS) and moved down from leading off to batting eighth. He’s just no living up to the hype of 2019, but still a decent option.

Asdrúbal Cabrera: A Trailing Drop* who will hopefully return to action in a few weeks.

Stephen Vogt: With Carson Kelly returning from the IL, a reasonable drop.

Daniel Vogelbach: I not sure the news of Keston Hiura’s promotion was known yet, but that would have been a great reason to drop Vogelbach. Possibly the rumors of Hiura’s return might have gotten managers nervous to drop Vogelbach. In a Roto format, he was just not helpful with a .210 AVG and just three homers.

Elvis Andrus: While Andrus has shown some signs of life (.512 OPS in May), it’s just not enough to help. With Chad Pinder off the IL, he may see his playing time eventually dry up.

Jon Berti: He’s hitting a .177 AVG and hasn’t started since May 14th. We are a quarter of the way through the season and he’s only helped with two steals. He’s a perfect example of the reason to only draft good hitters.

Danny Jansen: He at least has a .672 OPS in May, but he’s a replacement-level catcher.

Victor Caratini: Since Austin Nola has returned from the IL, Caratini is barely starting.

Starters

Ross Stripling: I examined Stripling in this week’s Waiver Wire article pointing out some of his struggles. The short answer, I think he’s talented, but he’s just not getting to it. There is no need to roster him for now and monitor his progress from afar.

MacKenzie Gore: So far, he’s been uninspiring in AAA (7.9 K/9, 1.76 WHIP, 7.24 ERA). It’s unclear when he’ll get called and if he’ll be productive.

Tyler Anderson: Atlanta (and his manager) lit him up for nine runs in his last start causing his ERA to jump from 3.50 to 4.73. At least for me, he’s still a streamable option depending on the opponent.

Mitch Keller: The above-average strikeout rate (9.6 K/9) can’t overcome the walks (5.0 BB/9) and home runs (1.4 HR/9). In three MLB seasons, he has a 6.37 ERA and 1.81 WHIP.

Zach Davies: He’s been unstartable for a while with a 5.2 K/9 and 5.0 BB/9 leading to a 4.96 ERA. It’s probably not ideal to have a sub-88 mph fastball that you throw over 50% of the time.

Justus Sheffield: He has gotten worse in every aspect of the game (fewer strikeouts, more walks, fewer groundballs, getting hit more). The results have led to increases in his WHIP (1.30 to 1.57) and ERA (3.58 to 5.11). He could go on a hot streak at some point. Too bad he doesn’t get to face the Mariners lineup.

Matt Harvey: Simply, he’s just not a replacement-level major league pitcher.

Ryan Weathers: For now, he is being paired with Dinelson Lamet so his start is has been capped around 70 pitches or four innings. With the short leash, he has no chance for a Win.

Mike Soroka: He’s had a couple of setbacks in his return from an ankle injury and for now, there is no return timetable. I’m sure his fantasy managers were ready to move on.

Mike Foltynewicz: On the surface, everything is not good (4.53 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 1.8 HR/9, 6.8 K/9 – a career-low), but there could be an improvement. Diving into his pitches, here are their usages and results.

Mike Foltynewicz Pitch Usage
Pitch Usage SwStr% GB%
Four-seam 36% 4% 25%
Slider 26% 13% 27%
Sinker 23% 5% 56%
Changeup 10% 16% 16%
Curveball 5% 5% 4%

It’s like he’s trying to be the worst pitcher possible. He’s throwing his fastballs almost 60% of the time and neither one misses bats. He might as well just throw the sinker with its 56% GB% around half the time. Next, he needs to completely drop the curve and throw his change and slider around 25% of the time. He’s not able to throw 100 mph anymore and needs to use more finesse.

The results from this season back up this claim. When he’s thrown his fastball over 59% of the time, he has a 5.20 ERA. When it’s under 57%, a 3.86 ERA.

Relievers

Tyler Chatwood: The dropping of Chatwood is a move I can endorse for a speculative closer. If rostering a pitcher, for saves, their chances of getting the closer’s job are about nil if they are also getting blown up. Fantasy managers to roster a reliever who has been perfect over the last couple of weeks so the real-world manager trusts them with the closer’s role. Chatwood lost that trust on Sunday with four runs allowed in less than an inning. Move on to another elite closer like Cole Sulser or Craig Stammen.

Jonathan Loaisiga: A decent middle-reliever (2.49 ERA, 0.91 WHIP) but doesn’t strike out (7.8 K/9) enough batter to be fantasy worthy.

Jeffrey Springs: There for a while, it looked like he was going to get Save chances when the lineup was lefty-heavy. It’s not the case and he’s expendable.

Joakim Soria: Since returning from the IL earlier this month, he’s not gotten one Save chance.

Mychal Givens: There for a while Daniel Bard’s lock on the closer’s role looked to be in jeopardy, but Bard righted the ship and Givens heads back to the wire.

 

* Trailing Drop: It’s the releasing of a player a week after most of the other managers have released the player. It’s a behavior I’ve seen while doing these drop articles. In this instance, Cabrera was dropped in 22 leagues last week and now 8 more times this week. These few managers are a week behind the crowd. I think there are three explanations that explain why.

1. The player was meant to be dropped the previous week and wasn’t. I know I fell into this category with Jeffrey Springs. We had five potential adds and were outbid on each.

2. The manager wasn’t giving the team his full attention (real-life stuff does happen).

3. The manager is hesitant to make a mistake and drop a desirable player. The manager just waits a week to see what everyone else does. I’m pretty sure Cabrera was 100% rostered at the time of his injury and it’s tough for some managers to drop someone with 100% next to their name. I find it’s just as important to know who to drop as to who to add.

Going back and looking at how these immediate and trailing droppers have performed this season in the Main Event. The immediate droppers average a Main Event (645 teams) ranking of 290 (median = 240) while the trailing droppers have a 410 ranking (median = 464). The ranking may be 100% coincidence, but I’ll check on some others as the season goes on. One actionable item is that if someone perpetually has trailing drops, they should figure out why and see if there are any actions they can take to limit being a week behind.

NFBC Main Event Drops
Player Drops
Kevin Pillar 35
Triston McKenzie 29
Huascar Ynoa 29
Jon Lester 24
Aaron Hicks 23
Lucas Sims 20
Chris Flexen 플렉센 20
Connor Joe 20
Luis Patino 19
Erick Fedde 19
Michael Chavis 19
Nick Ahmed 18
Yonathan Daza 18
Andres Gimenez 18
Tim Locastro 17
Gregory Soto 15
Adrian Houser 14
Marwin Gonzalez 14
Luke Weaver 13
Kyle Farmer 13
Willi Castro 13
Wilmer Flores 13
Wade Miley 13
Luis Urias 13
Matt Duffy 13
Nomar Mazara 12
Alex Colome 12
Martin Maldonado 11
J.P. Crawford 11
Jason Heyward 11
Jose Alvarado 11
Mitch Moreland 11
Stephen Piscotty 11
Daulton Varsho 10
Jonathan India 10
Kyle Higashioka 10
Tyler Chatwood 10
Taylor Ward 10
Ross Stripling 10
MacKenzie Gore 10
Tyrone Taylor 9
Matt Beaty 9
Tyler Anderson 9
Mike Tauchman 8
Asdrubal Cabrera 8
Mitch Keller 8
Jonathan Loaisiga 8
Jeffrey Springs 8
Zach Davies 8
Justus Sheffield 8
Matt Harvey 8
Joakim Soria 8
Mychal Givens 8
Ryan Weathers 8
Stephen Vogt 8
Daniel Vogelbach 7
Jackie Bradley Jr. 7
Mike Soroka 7
Elvis Andrus 7
Jon Berti 7
Mike Foltynewicz 7
Victor Caratini 7
Danny Jansen 7
Akil Baddoo 6
Mike Brosseau 6
David Price 6
Josh Fleming 6
Travis Shaw 6
Brad Keller 6
Andrew Young 6
Nick Maton 6
Luis Torrens 6
Phillip Evans 5
Jordan Luplow 5
Logan Webb 5
Giovanny Gallegos 5
Rafael Montero 5
Amir Garrett 5
Kurt Suzuki 5
Austin Slater 5
Leury Garcia 5
Dom Nunez 5
Tommy La Stella 5
J.A. Happ 5
Joely Rodriguez 5
Sean Doolittle 5
Rowdy Tellez 5
Kevin Newman 5





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 three FSWA Awards including on for his MASH series. In his first two seasons in Tout Wars, he's won the H2H league and mixed auction league. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

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Love these rundowns, Jeff. Keep ’em coming.

FYI- Stripling re-worked his mechanics and threw a gem yesterday (7 IP, 2H, 0ER, 2BB, 7K) following an opener. The broadcast showed a lower glove and less exaggerated leg kick during wind-up. “Fewer moving parts” or something to that effect.

It could mean nothing. Facing a weak CLE lineup this weekend might not tell us much either. But the 4.11 xFIP and 10.1 K/9 keeps me intrigued, especially if he fixed something mechanically.