MLB: Week 14 Mailbag
Each Wednesday Ray Flowers answers your questions that are received at @BaseballGuys on Twitter.
What does it take to deal Miguel Cabrera? Is it the right time to sell Brian Dozier? Will David Wright or Jason Kipnis pull out of their slumps? Where does Charlie Blackmon rate? If you need speed, do you go with the rookie OF in Seattle or the rookie OF in Boston? Are either Masterson or Estrada trustworthy options at the back end of a mixed league rotation?
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– Would it be wise to sell Brian Dozier right now, and what kind of SP should I target?
Dozier and Jose Altuve are battling for the top spot at second base this season. Through half a season Dozier is on pace for 30 homers, 30 steals, 120 runs and 75 RBIs. Who cares if he's hitting .235. Well, I do. The fact is that Dozier is an average killer with a career mark of .239. You can forget about help there. It should also be noted that his efforts have slowed greatly in some respects. He hit seven homers in April. He has eight the last two months. His monthly runs scored marks are 25, 19 and 16. After swiping six bags in April and six more in May he stole only three in June. Dozier is also batting .198 with a .649 OPS on the road this season. It should also be pointed out that he's so on pace to obliterate his previous levels of production so credence must be given to the possibility of a continued slow down moving forward.
Would I move him? All depends what I got back but yes, in theory, if you can get full price, I'm totally fine with dealing Brian. As to what you will get? Hard to know there. Some might think Dozier is a top-2 2B. Others top-5. Others top-10. You just have to find the team that needs help up the middle and make the best deal you can.
Wright has a bruised right rotator cuff, and at a minimum he won't be back on the field until at least Friday. There's certainly a chance he could end up on the disabled list as well, and that's a concern here. Wright hasn't been himself this season and is on a full season pace of .277-12-80-70-8 and that would be an absolutely terrible season given who he is. His outlook is extremely murky at the moment.
Blackmon stinks. Just ask around. It's hard to remember a time when a guy who was on pace to go .295-20-85-90-30 was as roundly slammed as this guy. I know he was great in April and he hasn't been as good since, but look at that 5x5 line again – it's ELITE. Even if we say 'April will never happen again,' what would he do over 150 games at the pace he's had in April and May? How about .260-20-75-70-20. A 20/20 effort if we remove April folks.
At this point I think you have to side with Blackmon over Wright, provided you have a viable option to turn to at third base.
– Half the season gone and Jason Kipnis is the 30th ranked 2B in Yahoo leagues. When does he turn it around?
Kipnis has been a disappointment. Period. A good deal of that has to be blamed on ill health which has slowed him. As a result he's only appeared in 57 games. It's hard to overestimate how hard it is to get in a groove when you aren't consistently on the field. Some context though.
2014: 0.58 BB/K, .302 BABIP, 1.42 GB/FB, 22.2 LD-rate
Career: 0.54 BB/K, .314 BABIP, 1.43 GB/FB, 23.3 LD-rate
As you can clearly see, some of the lead indicators speak to Kipnis not being too far off his “norm.” The fact is, I would still expect Kipnis to have a very nice second half, potentially an elite one for his position. For more on my thoughts on second half performance be sure to check out my UPDATED PLAYER RANKINGS.
I love Cabrera, he clearly is in the conversation for the title of best hitter in baseball, but you have to consider this offer.
Morse can cover the corner infield spot for you that will open up if you deal Cabrera. He's on pace to hit .275 with 25 homers and 85 RBIs for the Giants. Not great, but solid. Injuries have long been part of Morse's game, but he's long been extremely productive when healthy. Kipnis, well you read my thoughts on him above. Even with all his issues this year, Hanley is still on pace to go 20/20 (11 homers, 10 steals) with about 85 RBIs. HanRam could end up on the DL with his calf issue so I'd like to see you wait 24 hours before accepting the deal. But, if Ramirez avoids the DL it's hard to turn this deal down given that you would be adding three players to your daily lineup, two of which (Kipnis, HanRam) could be top-5 options at their positions in the second half.
I wrote a Player Profile on Betts a few days back. I touched on Jones and his talents Tuesday in the Oracle Report. I'll put it like this. Jones is established and is the safer option to turn to if your goal is merely steals. Betts could be a better option at the dish, an a better all-around fantasy performer, but you asked about steals. Betts is also potentially a qualifier at multiple positions on your squad which is a nice bonus, so don't overlook that added boost. His long-term role though isn't as clear as that of Jones.
Masterson has been dealing with a knee issue all year. His velocity is down 2.5 mph from his career rate. His walk rate has exploded to 4.97 per nine. In 18 starts he has a 5.16 ERA and has allowed at least five runs on eight occasions. That's shocking. The strikeouts (8.63 per nine) and grounders (59.3 percent) are still there, but he's a total mess an extremely inconsistent which is troubling. I would still go with him over Estrada – barely (see the ROTW Rankings referenced above). Why? Masterson still has those grounders going for him, and he's less likely to be removed from the rotation than Estrada. On Marco's behalf, it's not like a 7.68 K/9, 2.64 K/BB ratio and 1.25 WHIP are terrible, but those damn homers. When the homer recede, and they will (his 17.3 HR/F ratio dwarfs his totals the last three years of 10.3, 10.5 and 11.9 percent), he might just be a decent back-end mixed league starter... if he can hold on to his rotation spot.