Why do 10 team leagues stink? What do you do when your expectations are a bit out of whack? Do you trust players coming back the DL? Do you add players that are currently in the minor leagues? All of those questions will be answered in this week's Mailbag piece. Pretty sure this article will serve as the definitive answer to all those questions actually. Well, maybe not.
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– If Carlos Gonzalez is back this week, I need to drop one OF: Corey Dickerson or Khris Davis? (Also have Matt Kemp and Starling Marte) 10 tm H2H lg
Looks like CarGo is about to return, so we do have to make a decision.
Dickerson could lose some playing time with CarGo back. Still, he's a higher skilled version of Drew Stubbs, and Charlie Blackmon has obviously slowed after his hot start. Dickerson also plays half his games at Coors Field to boost his value. Dickerson is batting .327 with a .392 OBP and .589 SLG. You do that you do things like go to All-Star games and make the Hall of Fame. In just 68 games Dickerson has 11 homers, six steals, 34 RBIs and 37 runs scored. The fact you would consider dropping him, and I'll get to that at the end of this answer, just sucks.
Davis has dealt with a sore shoulder, but when on the field he has been productive. Through 82 games he's gone deep 14 times with 44 RBIs and 51 runs scored. He never walks, 19 this season leading to a terrible .308 OBP, but the power is legit. Look at his 138 big league career numbers: 25 HRs, 71 RBIs and 78 runs scored. He could reach all those levels this season. But, in a team 10 league a guy who is on pace for five steals while batting .256 just doesn't do anything.
In this format you have to drop Davis. Three category guys, who aren't elite in any one category, just don't move the needle in 10 team leagues. Fact is, this is exactly why I detest 10 team leagues. You shouldn't be forced to drop a player of his caliber.
– Would you rather have Cliff Lee or Alex Cobb ROTW?
If both guys are healthy you would go Lee with no hesitation. However, we know that's not the case here. Lee last appeared on May 18th. In 10 start this season he's posted a 3.18 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 61 Ks in 68 innings an a 6.78 K/BB ratio. He was impressive as he always is when healthy. Still, 35 year olds with elbow issues... how can you have confidence in that guy? Lee starts Wednesday at High-A Clearwater and if he continues to progress he should be back within two weeks. Do you trust that? Do you trust him? I would certainly add Lee if he was on waivers, or try to get him on the cheap. However, at this point of the season I don't consider dealing Cobb to get him being on the cheap. I'd favor the known here with Cobb. For more on the Ray's hurler check out his Player Profile.
– Dallas Keuchel or Bud Norris?
Both are at less than 100 percent physically. Keuchel has been dealing with wrist inflammation, and there have been whispers of a potential DL stint. His last outing was brutal (13 hits, 5 R in 5 IP). It's more than just one bad start though for Keuchel. Over his last six starts his ERA is above the league average (4.03). His WHIP is horrible at 1.55. His BB/9 is worse than the league average at 3.55. His K-rate? That might be the biggest source of concern as it has plummeted to 5.45 per nine. Regression was inevitable with Dallas, and it's coming fast and furious right now.
Norris is set to return from a groin injury Wednesday against the Nationals. He returns to a 3.62 ERA and 1.16 WHIP, numbers that would both be the best of his career. He's also working on his first season with a BB/9 rate under three at 2.90. However, he gone from striking out about a batter per inning over his first four seasons to 7.49 per nine last year and 6.21 this season. He's two full batters below his career normal this year folks. It's also a concern that his BABIP is .052 points below normal even though his GB/FB ratio is 0.06 off his norm and his line drive rate is only 0.4 off. A regression is likely coming, a fact that can easily be seen in his SIERA (4.34) and xFIP (4.44) marks which are much higher than his current ERA of 3.62.
I don't trust either and would be trying to deal them both. I'd go with Keuchel cause of his ground ball tendencies if I had to choose one.
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– What's your take on C.J. Cron for Danny Duffy? I need offense but don't know about Cron history.
This would seem like an ideal move to make off the top. Two young players, with bright futures, who are both performing well an in good standing with their club.
Cron is batting .280 with nine homers and 27 RBIs in 49 games. Give him 150 games at that pace and he goes .280-27-81. That certainly plays. He never walks, just six so far so that puts his average in a bit of danger as well as his runs scored mark (.311 OBP), but the power is legit. He may never be an elite hitter, but he has all-star level talent and should play most days for the Angels.
Duffy was once thought of a an elite option before injuries struck. Finally healthy, he's having a lot of success. Through 78.2 innings he's posted a 2.86 ERA and 1.12 WHIP. However, both numbers will rise. Why do I say that? His K/9 rate is under seven – i.e. it's worse than the league average. His BB/9 rate is 3.32. That's worse than the league average. His 20.0 line drive percentage is league average. His .235 BABIP is 60 points below his career rate. His 78.8 percent left on base percentage would be an elite mark for a starting pitcher, and he just doesn't own elite skills. The landing might be soft, but a regression is coming.
You can do the deal. It works.
– Danny Salazar or Shelby Miller ROTW? I've been itching for a reason to get rid of Miller.
The Indians need a starting pitcher for Saturday with Justin Masterson going to the DL because of a knee situation. Seems like there are two options for the Indians – Zach McAllister or Salazar. There is no debating that Salazar is the bigger talent and has the brighter future. Period, end of story. However, Salazar was a disaster this year in the bigs, and things haven't improved that much in the minors. Salazar has 53 Ks in 42 innings but he's also sporting a 4.93 ERA and 1.55 WHIP. Reports suggest he is throwing the ball well right now, but how good could he be doing if those are his numbers? You also need to factor in that McAllister has a 5-0 record with a 2.23 ERA and 34 Ks in 36.1 innings at Columbus.
Miller has been a huge disappointment. After going 15-9 with a 3.06 ERA and 1.21 WHIP, Miller came into '14 with some concerns over his shoulder. Everyone said he was fine. We believed. He's clearly not right. After an 8.78 K/9 mark last year he's at 6.23 this season. His 2.96 BB/9 rate has climbed to 4.33 this year. His ERA is up a full run at 4.15 and his WHIP is as far above the league average this year at 1.45 as it was below it last year. Miller has also failed to last six innings in his last three starts and over his last four outings the numbers are brutal (7.32 ERA, 2.08 WHIP, 1.00 K/BB).
You can move on from Miller, not question about that... but I just don't know if Salazar is the answer.
– Time to give up on Brian Dozier and Josh Donaldson? Killing me in pts league.
I understand this question is out of frustration. But let's be clear here. Dozier was drafted well outside the top-10 at first base this season, maybe outside the top-15, and he's on pace to nearly go 30/30. Did anyone think he could do that? Not one person on earth. Has he slowed down? Of course he has. It was inevitable that he would. He's hitting .232 with a .338 OBP and .411 SLG. Those numbers are right on his career levels: .238/.309/.392. What could you possibly be complaining about?
Donaldson is batting .240 but he's also on pace for 35 homers, 120 RBIs and 110 runs scored. Given that Donaldson hit 24 homers with 93 RBIs and 89 runs scored last year, what are you complaining about with Donaldson? A drop in batting average? I warned to be a bit cautious with Donaldson back in March in Who to Draft Fantasy Baseball 2014: Third Base.
If you can deal them at full value, have at it. If you're thinking of getting rid of them fire sale style... well... you should have dealt them a month ago when they were at their peak levels of performance. I say it all the time – you have to be honest with yourself about players. When you aren't, you can end up in a situation like this one where you are frustrated because you were simply expecting too much.
You can follow Ray Flowers and send him your thoughts on Twitter @BaseballGuys. For up to the minute baseball reports on trades, injuries, lineups etc. see @FantasyAlarm.