Ending a relationship in fantasy baseball is often like a real-life break-up: emotional, sad, fraught with second-guessing… yet ultimately the best thing for everyone involved. Playing in the RCL writers’ league this year, where daily roster turnover can be a way of life, has reminded me how satisfying it can be to cut bait on someone who is just not treating you well. Yes, there is always the fear of seeing that person out and about with someone new, both having the time of their lives. But that still doesn’t mean you aren’t better off without him!  The gentleman that lately has been causing me the most stress in terms of whether or not we should stay together is Jose Quintana, whom I drafted in more leagues than I care to think about. It feels horrible to let go of someone you spent an early pick on, and since he had basically zero trade value I finally dumped him in my shallowest league, and it was like a weight lifted off my shoulders. Even though I have to think Quintana will improve (especially since his April and May were quite disappointing last year as well), I didn’t have time to wait around in a shallow mixed league. There was and will be enough decent pitching on the waiver wire that I’m not really concerned about replacing Quintana, even if he suddenly turns things around and pitching lights off over the next few months. In my deeper leagues, though, it’s a different story — I feel pot-committed to wait it out and hope things get better, especially since there’s little or nothing starter-wise out there available to replace him… but part of me wonders if I should have just sent him packing five or six weeks ago and never looked back. While I’m daydreaming about how satisfying it would be to dump all of my fantasy under-performers, even in leagues where there’s no way I can afford to do so,  let’s take a look at a few players who might be of interest to those of us in NL-only, AL-only, and other deep leagues.

AL

Max Stassi. Stassi was somehow managing to produce some fantasy value even with very limited playing time, and now with Brian McCann DL’d, his value should only go up. He’s hitting .294 with 4 homers in 30 games, and even if he can’t keep that pace up, who doesn’t want a piece of the Astros lineup however they can get it?  (Now he’s hit a 2-run bomb against Luis Severino and I can feel his ownership heading upward… if he’s available in your league and you’re interested, I wouldn’t dawdle).

Ryan Yarbrough. If you can deal with the wacky things the Rays are doing with their rotation and “starting” pitchers, Yarbrough may have a place on your fantasy team. He has been pitching every 5 days or so while often not officially starting, but is still putting up some pretty good numbers. In his last two games, he went 6 1/3 and 7 innings even though he didn’t open either game and allowed just one run each time.  On the year, he has a 3.21 ERA/1.09 WHIP with 43 Ks to 14 walks in 47 2/3 innings.

Chaz Roe. Speaking of the ever-evolving, usually disappointing Rays pitching staff, Roe could get some save ops since that staff is now Colome-less. It doesn’t appear that the Rays are ready to annoint Jose Alvarado the 9th inning guy, and while Sergio Romo may get continued chances, he has kind of looked like he’s ready to implode every time he takes the mound. Roe’s numbers aren’t overly impressive (4.19 ERA, 1.29 WHIP – wait, that’s not even a little bit impressive), but he does have 23 Ks in 19 1/3 innings and, you know… deep-league SAGNOF.

 Ronald Guzman. Guzman hasn’t looked like a guy who will ever be relevant in shallow leagues, but he’s been hot lately and could definitely have helped a deep-league team in need of a first baseman out over the last couple of weeks. In the last 10 days or so, Guzman has raised his batting average by 50 points, and now has 6 homers and 24 RBI in 36 games this year.

Colin McHughHector Rondon. McHugh and Rondon haven’t really found their way into a ton of high-leverage innings for the Astros this season, but that hasn’t stopped them from being two exceptionally solid arms in what has been at times a surprisingly shaky bullpen. Neither has been pitching ton of innings, but if you need some solid ratios and a handful of Ks in the deep league world, McHugh (30 Ks/6 BBs, 0.79 ERA and 0.93 WHIP in 22 2/3 innings) and Rondon (23 Ks/3 BBs, 1.80 ERA and 1.05 WHIP in 20 innings) have been providing both.

NL

Socrates Brito. It would be a bit of an understatement to say that there’s a potential opening in the Arizona outfield, what with A.J. Pollock and Steven Souza down and Jarrod Dyson and Chris Owings hitting .185 and .179 respectively. Brito has been called up and one would think he’ll see at least semi-regular playing time. He’s been injury-plagued over the last few seasons and may not project as a middle of the order type of hitter, but he was hitting .323 with 2 homers and 7 steals in AAA.

Gorkys Hernandez. Gorkys has been surprisingly hot at the plate lately, to the point where he’s pretty much been playing every day for the Giants and often finding himself atop the order. I actually thought I’d brought up the wrong player page when looking at his stats this year: .321 average, 6 homers, and 3 steals. That seems unlikely to continue for a career .250 hitter, but if you want to ride him while he’s hot, I won’t judge.

Brent Suter. Suter’s ratios on the year are still pretty darn ugly, as he’s carrying a 4.63 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP. His strikeout/walk numbers get more intriguing, however, as he’s rocking a clean 4.00 K/BB ratio (48/12 in 52 innings). In the last three weeks, that stat is even better (5 walks and 25 strikeouts in 26 innings), his WHIP is 1.19, and he also has 4 wins during that period.  Tread carefully, but if you’re in need of a deep-league starter and he’s available, he might at least be worth a look.

Johan Camargo. The guy will never be a major offensive threat, but the Atlanta Braves — even with an injured Ronald Acuna — are suddenly at the point where their lineup is potent enough that anyone getting regular at bats in it could be valuable in the right league. Since the Jose Bautista experiment has left Atlanta and moved on to New York, Camargo is getting lots of starts at third. He’s actually been doing his share of chipping in lately: his OBP over the last 5 games is .476, and Tuesday he had two hits including a walk-off homer.

Mike Montgomery. Got a spot start filling in for the injured Yu Darvish and delivered, getting the win after pitching 5 2/3 innings, allowing just 2 hits, no runs, and striking out 5. He may get more starts in the immediate future or he may not, but it’s nice to know that the Cubs are still willing to give him a shot. Between injuries and guys potentially getting rest down the line, who knows when and for how long Montgomery could find himself in the rotation.

 

  1. Tehol Beddict says:
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    exquisite, my dear. Simply exquisite. Brava

    • Laura Holt

      Laura Holt says:
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      @Tehol Beddict: Why thank you — lovely to hear from you, Tehol. I am just sitting down now to check your post out… and judging from the first sentence, I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a spectacular read!

      • Tehol Beddict says:
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        @Laura Holt: Lovely, does not begin to describe the immense beatify of your writing, Laura. What did you think?

        • Laura Holt

          Laura Holt says:
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          @Tehol Beddict: I was on the edge of my seat from start to finish; Razzball simply has not been the same without you. I’m only sorry I read it while completely sober, but I’ll try to remedy that next time.

  2. El Famous Burrito says:
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    One thing I love about Yarbrough: in weekly H2H leagues with limits on Games Started, you can get 5-7 IP without using up one of your Starts.

    • Laura Holt

      Laura Holt says:
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      @El Famous Burrito: Excellent point! I haven’t played a H2H league in quite a while, but I’d have to think a guy like Yarbrough would have sneaky value in certain formats, both with games started limits and also in some situations where it would be to your advantage to get that many innings out of a guy who qualifies as a relief pitcher in leagues that distinguish between SP/RP

      • El Famous Burrito says:
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        @Laura Holt: Yep.

        I have a couple leagues that limit the amount of SP you can have on the roster. Yarby at RP is a valued loophole.

  3. Hepcat13 says:
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    Nice write up!

    In a yahoo 5×5, 12 team, h2h

    Schoop or Dosier ROS and is it okay to drop Schoop? No one will buy low yet in my league.

    Thanks!

    • Laura Holt

      Laura Holt says:
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      @Hepcat13: Thanks for reading! Dozier, and if you don’t have anyone else to drop I say throw caution to the wind and let Schoop go — I thought he was a little overrated this year even before his injury troubles; 2B is deep and I just don’t go for a second baseman who doesn’t run at all. Plus things could really get ugly for the Orioles if and when Manny leaves, and in a 12-team league, there should always be an interesting 2B option available if you ever need one.

      • Hapcat13 says:
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        @Laura Holt: Gracias! Yeah, he is the lowest ranked on my team aside from Sano, who just came back from the DL. I need a pitcher and here are the waiver options if drop Schoop:
        Ryu
        Castillo
        Scaggs

        Any suggestions for who might be called up soon and worth a Schoop drop?

        Thanks again, Laura!

        • Laura Holt

          Laura Holt says:
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          @Hapcat13: I’d have to go with Skaggs. Ryu will be out a while, and Castillo just doesn’t look like he’s going to get it together any time soon. Skaggs has a 3/1 K/BB ratio this year and over a strikeout per inning, so I think he’s worth a shot .

  4. Moon Shots says:
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    Great post as always Laura…

    I actually just used one of your deep league options in a trade, swinging my Juan Soto and Camargo for his Chris Taylor. I was sad to see Soto go but needed MI help and gotta think that that was the smart play despite the high Soto-ceiling. Now i just need Camargo to stumble so they willl up my Austin Riley.

    One guy i SHOULD have traded when i had the chance–who has been in your column as of late–is Tyler Oneill. Shoulda swung something when he was flying high! Oh well.

    Here’s a question for you…my Ray and Darvish are broken and now my Reyes broke right when he was supposed to be fixed. Musgrove and Wacha cant do eeeeverything for me so i should grab an arm with my last add for the week. (i did already scoop up Dennis Santana to see how he fares). The best options i see on my wire are Mike Soroka or Anthony DeSclafani who both look ready to return next week. Other option i guess would be Matt Harvey, Suter (scares me), Buckholdtz, Elieser Hernandez, Zack Wheeler, Marquez…a bunch of scrubs basically.

    Desclafani pitched well enough in his final rehab and i figured id see how Soroka does tonight in his. You got any thoughts on it? Thanks and have a great weekend!

    • Moon Shots says:
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      @Moon Shots: Oh and what do you think about flipping my newly acquired Chris Taylor for Brandon Belt? Im a Giants fan so i have to ask second opinions on these things so as not to be betrayed by bias. Sure is putting up some numbers though….unfortunately i would then own Belt, Panik, Gorkys, Cutch, Williamson…how did this happen to me….

      • Laura Holt

        Laura Holt says:
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        @Moon Shots: Taylor for Belt is fair, but if you need Taylor at MI, I would probably hold him. If you have a decent MI replacement, Belt has looked great this year as you know and it wouldn’t be crazy to gamble and hope he finally puts together the full season of solid hitting we’ve all been waiting for.

    • Laura Holt

      Laura Holt says:
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      @Moon Shots:Thanks Moon! That is a minefield of potential bad pitching, but I guess I’d probably take a flyer on Disco or Soroka assuming all goes well rehab-wise and hope for the best. Also might want to keep an eye on Gohara if he’s available; he’s supposed to be back in the Braves pen this weekend but who knows if & when he could end up in the rotation. Hope the Taylor trade works out for you — I’ve got him in a league or two and while I’ve given up on him repeating last year, I really hope he turns it on and has a productive summer!

      • Moon Shots says:
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        @Laura Holt: Thanks Laura…yeah Gohara would be nice but is owned in our 1o team NL. My only other MI options are Arcia (just picked up from waivers after he got sent down…hoping he gets it together) and Panik (just grabbed off the DL) and Happ (who doesnt play as much as id like. So maybe Taylor is indeed a hold. Hoping Luis Urias or Schrock or somebody else decent gets the call and i can swoop, since MI seems hella shallow these days.

        Thanks as always for your insights!

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