Who is Being Dropped & Why (Week 9)

This week’s theme seems to be closers. Several full and part-time closers hit the waiver wire. While they all have a wart or two, a team scavenging for Saves could find a few more offers on the waiver wire.

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.

Batters

Nico Hoerner (10): On the IL and with limited bench space, he seems like a reasonable drop. That said, for teams who are behind in stolen bases, Hoerner might be a decent stash since he has three steals in just 21 games so far.

Kyle Higashioka (10): It has been a slow drop for him as his managers figure out he’s not performing (.491 OPS in May) and playing half the time (started five of last 10 games).

Dom Nuñez (9): After posting a .855 OPS in April, it’s cut in half to .442 in May.

Kevin Newman (9): Just a bad hitter (.501 OPS). I’m not sure why he was rostered.

Travis Shaw (8): Part-time player (started three of last eight) who sometimes hits home runs (6 HR, .199 AVG).

Danny Jansen (8): He’s shown some signs of life (.684 OPS over the last two weeks), but I understand any team trying to find a better option.

Kyle Farmer (8): He’s still the primary shortstop for the Reds, but just has a .215 AVG. While his four homers are acceptable, he’s just a drag on any fantasy team.

Darin Ruf 러프 (8): He looked to have the first base job with Belt on the IL, but then he got hurt and went on the IL himself.

Austin Nola (8): After just coming off the IL, he’s back on it with a knee issue.

Michael Chavis (7): Demoted to AAA.

Franchy Cordero (7): Demoted to AAA.

Miguel Andújar (7): He’s started eight of the last 10 games. After a coming-out party in 2018 (.297 AVG, 27 HR), he’s not been a good hitter (.502 OPS in 180 PA). Looking through his profile, his plate discipline and batted ball profile have changed.

Miguel Andújar Changes from 2018 to 2021
Stat 2018 2021
K% 16% 24%
BB% 4% 0%
GB% 44% 52%
Pull% 48% 26%

Besides the strikeout rate, he’s become a slap hitter spraying groundballs all over the place. He’s a poor man’s David Fletcher.

Andres Gimenez (7): Demoted to AAA.

Akil Baddoo (7): He had a job and then lost it, and now he’s started five of the last seven games in center field. His .840 OPS is better than the other center field options (Jones: .460 OPS, Reyes: .449 OPS, Goodrum: .650 OPS) and the team’s best mark.

Baddoo has five homers and stolen bases, but just a .236 AVG. His AVG is never going to be high with a 37% K%. He has shown some plate discipline improvement with both his strikeouts (44% K% in April, 29% K% in May) and walks (3% BB% to 24% BB%) improving. Add to watch lists.

Nicky Lopez (7): Since Mondesi has joined the team seven games ago, Lopez (.626 OPS) has just started one game.

Starters

Randy Dobnak (10): As a Dobnak fan coming into the season, I was a little blinded by a couple of flaws that have really come back to hurt him this year.

The first problem is that he’s a two-pitch pitcher. While he did throw his changeup 16% last year, it doesn’t miss bats compared to other changeups (career 8% SwStr%) and has a middling career 41% GB%. The mediocre nature of this pitch has resulted in Dobnak only throwing it 6% this season, effectively becoming a two-pitch pitcher. He’s just not able to navigate a lineup multiple times. As a starter, his ERA jumps from 0.00 to 2.08 to 16.88 for each time through the batting order. As a reliever, it goes from a 3.00 ERA to 34.71 ERA.

The second issue is that his slider generated 57% GB% last season helping him post an overall 62% GB%. From some unpublished work, I’ve found that a slider’s groundball rate doesn’t repeat from season to season. The pitch’s rate has dropped to 32% this season and the his overall groundball rate is down to just 51%.

Unless he gets paired with an opener to help get a Win with his limited innings, he might be unrosterable with his current talent level and role.

Austin Gomber (10): In a nice two-step against the Pirates and Mets, he got 1 Win and 13 K with a 3.00 ERA and 0.83 WHIP.

Jeff Hoffman (7): On the IL (shoulder). His walks were getting out of hand (5.9 BB/9) and here are the totals from his last five games: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. I wanted to see if he was going to go for six.

Huascar Ynoa (7): A nice Trailing Drop with 29 teams dropping him last week*. He’s on the 60-day IL (hand).

Relievers

Note: I’m going to go over the state of grinding for Saves. First a disclaimer, In all my leagues I’m either trying to keep up with other fantasy managers or way behind in Saves. I don’t have an excess. With that viewpoint, it seems like many fantasy managers are grinding to find a single closer pair up with another closer and get at least a middle of the pack finish. Those days seem to be over.

In our latest Bullpen Report, 10 teams are going closer by committee. So there are 20 set closers, so in a 12-team league, at least four teams will need to have one or more part-time guys. In 15-team leagues, it’s 10 managers. Over half the managers will be trying to keep up and half- shares will have some value. It’s like in the NFL when teams finally started going to running back by committee. The real-life teams improved, but it messed with the fantasy game. While partial shares didn’t historically have value, they do now and shouldn’t head to the waiver wire.

Blake Treinen (10): There are better bullpen situations to speculate on than the Dodgers.

Chris Martin (10): There are better bullpen situations to speculate on than the Braves.

Josh Staumont (9): He had a share of the closer’s role (12 Saves) and went on the IL with a knee issue. If he was dropped because of roster constraints, I could understand the drop. If someone is speculating on Saves, he seems like a perfect player to hold for a week or so. I expect all these drops to be immediately snatched up.

Tyler Chatwood (9): He was a decent middle reliever fill-in but his walk jumped (2.8 BB/9 in April, 7.7 BB/9 in May). There are better middle relievers to roster instead of Chatwood.

Stefan Crichton (8): He was the Diamondbacks closer, but then they quit winning with a couple of Crichton blowups keeping the streak going. The biggest issue with Crichton is that he’s not been good (6.1 K/9, 1.72 WHIP, 5.74 ERA). Everyone jumped on the Joakim Soria bandwagon, but looking at recent usage, Kevin Ginkel’s (5.91 ERA, 1.50 WHIP) is possibly being in line for Saves. Monitor closely.

Luis Patiño (7): While performing decently as an opener (1.07 WHIP, 3.60 ERA), he was demoted back to the minors.

José Alvarado (7): Similar to Chatwood in that an 8.8 BB/9 leading to 1.67 WHIP is unplayable for a middle reliever.

 

Players Dropped in Five or More NFBC Leagues
Player Leagues
Noah Syndergaard 30
Amir Garrett 27
Corbin Martin 26
Luis Arraez 24
Daulton Varsho 23
Marcell Ozuna 23
Jordan Luplow 21
Jose Iglesias 21
Corey Kluber 20
Daniel Hudson 19
Brian Anderson 19
Wilson Ramos 18
Jake Arrieta 17
Nick Senzel 16
Matt Shoemaker 16
Alex Colome 15
Miguel Rojas 15
Devin Williams 14
Miguel Cabrera 14
Cesar Valdez 14
Rafael Dolis 14
Pete Fairbanks 14
Mike Tauchman 14
David Dahl 13
Matt Duffy 12
David Bote 12
Matt Beaty 12
Marwin Gonzalez 11
Cole Irvin 11
Nomar Mazara 11
Adam Eaton 11
Eric Haase 11
Harrison Bader 11
Brett Gardner 11
Willians Astudillo 11
Randy Dobnak 10
Austin Gomber 10
Nico Hoerner 10
Blake Treinen 10
Chris Martin 10
Kyle Higashioka 10
Josh Staumont 9
Tyler Chatwood 9
Dom Nunez 9
Kevin Newman 9
Stefan Crichton 8
Travis Shaw 8
Danny Jansen 8
Kyle Farmer 8
Darin Ruf 8
Austin Nola 8
Jeff Hoffman 7
Luis Patino 7
Michael Chavis 7
Franchy Cordero 7
Miguel Andujar 7
Andres Gimenez 7
Akil Baddoo 7
Jose Alvarado 7
Huascar Ynoa 7
Nicky Lopez 7
Sam Hentges 6
Zach Davies 6
Yandy Diaz 6
Nate Pearson 6
Leury Garcia 6
Martin Perez 5
Colin Moran 5
J.C. Mejia 5
Deivi Garcia 5
Andrew Kittredge 5
Stephen Vogt 5
Mauricio Dubon 5
Luke Weaver 5
Martin Maldonado 5
Nick Maton 5
Nick Ahmed 5
Chris Flexen 5
Chad Pinder 5
Pedro Severino 5
Jon Gray 5
Brad Keller 5
Joe Ross 5
Victor Reyes 5
Mike Foltynewicz 5

 

* I want to continue investigating how the teams who have a Trailing Drop perform compared to those who first release the “obvious” player. For Huascar Ynoa here are the teams’ average standings in the NFBC Main Event.

Drop Week: Average, Median
#1: 263, 198
#2: 375, 437

While I looked over possible causes for the late drop in last week’s article, the trend remains the same. Teams slow at dropping “obvious” players underperform on average.





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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Skin Blues
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Skin Blues

I actually just added Andujar and Farmer for this week, since they’re warm bodies with palying time. I know it’s dumb luck, but Andujar has hit a HR in both games since activating him on Monday, and Farmer is 4-6 with a HR and 5 RBI. I’d say I hope it continues, but they’ll both probably be cut on Sunday’s FAAB anyway.