We spend so much time on this blog (and elsewhere) talking about the pickups, the new players, the guys to add and the guys to trade for. Obviously it's a critical part of what we do.
We don't give nearly as much attention to the players we're dropping. But today I'll talk about letting Grady Sizemore go from my Yahoo Friends & Family club. It's a regretful move, to be honest. The heart stays invested, the head had to cut the cord.
Sizemore's front-door stats warranted the pink slip: .212/.264/.365 slash, a modest seven runs and five RBIs. He's homered twice, stolen two bases. Being tied to Boston's offense (and hitting leadoff about half the time) hasn't done anything wonderful for him.
Recurring days off ultimately drove me to the Sizemore cut; the Red Sox don't want to overextend his comeback season, so they're giving the 32-year-old a liberal amount of rest. Any day game after a night game is a standard Sizemore sit-down, and he's also steered from lefties now and again (that was the case against CC Sabathia on Thursday). In most mixed leagues, we need to be tied to full-time players. And if you're going to accept a time-share guy, he better be putting up strong numbers when he's in the lineup.
I suspect someone in the F&F will add Sizemore next week, liking a matchup or hoping to catch lightning in a bottle. Heck, maybe I'll be that guy, if something clicks and I like what I see. But I couldn't justify the roster spot right now. Onto the next shiny toy.
Speaking of new toys, how much leash are fantasy owners going to give George Springer in Houston? For that matter, how long are the Astros going to stick with their prospect? We all love Springer's future, obviously – he projects to a star down the road. But does the 24-year-old need more minor-league seasoning? He's off to an underwhelming 6-for-35 start in The Show, no homers, one bag. He's driven in one run, scored one. Four walks are good, 11 strikeouts are a problem (contact rate was his biggest bugaboo in the minors).
Obviously one week is a tiny sample and it's not going to alter the longview of Springer. But it's conceivable the team might be thinking short-leash with the kid, not wanting to wreck his confidence or put too much pressure on him.
Life in the Astros offense isn't good for anyone these days. Houston is hitting .203 for the year (stay with us, Mendoza), with just 68 runs (only San Diego is worse). The Astros pop the occasional homer (with 26, they're sixth in the majors) but that's about it. Only Seattle and San Diego are below Houston's .278 OBP.
I only have two Springer shares and I'll keep them for the moment, feeling he's flippable if a modest little run comes together. Heck, I'd love to flip him now, but he has to show something before that's a reality. For all the sunshine thrown to Springer in the fantasy baseball industry (I know, I know, we turned into The Springer Show at Yahoo a week back), he's awfully difficult to move in a non-keeper league at the moment. If you've had success selling someone on Springer's tomorrow (in a non-keeper), I'd love to hear about it.
Before we move along, remember one thing with those hot, buzzy prospects: often the best window to sell them is right when they come up, with minor-league stats glowing on the page. No one's seen them fail or struggle yet, and usually you can find someone who wants to believe the best-case scenario right out of the box. In fantasy baseball, tomorrow is usually overrated. Today? Forever underrated.
Live in the present, gamers.
• Rajai Davis is part of the disconnect between fake fantasy and real baseball. The rotoheads love him for his speed and can live with the .270 career average. Real-life clubs know he lags in OBP and pop (.318 and .379, respectively), and he's a weak defender in left field. Rabbit, run.
But let's remember one thing with the 2014 Tigers – everyone is auditioning for new manager Brad Ausmus. He's not dug in on much, he's still getting his cleats wet. And maybe Davis's quick start will result in a longer leash than expected.
Davis sits at .328/.400/.459 as we hit the weekend, with the predictable seven steals in nine attempts. He's swatted a couple of homers, a surprise. He's on a 14-for-41 blitz as Detroit's leadoff man. His bat could collapse at any time, but we know Davis will run as aggressively as anyone in the American League when he does make it to first base. Why is he still unowned in more than half of Yahoo leagues? Chase the numbers, not the names.
• I've long considered handcuffing one of the weakest and most overrated moves in all the fantasy games. It's usually a matter of safety over upside, and that's not how I want to play. And how do we know the presumed backup in any situation is really the guy to have? Many times, the new closer or promoted goal-line back is someone the crowd didn't expect.
That established, I added Corey Dickerson to a few rosters this week, ostensibly as a handcuff of sorts. While I'm a full believer of Charlie Blackmon and thrilled to have him on four different rosters, I recognize Dickerson's pedigree and potential, too. And let's not forget the other outfielders in Colorado have their baggage: Michael Cuddyer is currently hurt and Carlos Gonzalez has an extensive injury history. I want as many thin-air gambits as I can get; it's not implausible to imagine Blackmon and Dickerson both producing at the same time. We'll see both of them regularly while Cuddyer rehabs.
The Rockies are in Chavez Ravine all weekend, not a fun place to hack. You know that. But the schedule gets awfully fun starting on Monday. Colorado has 12 home games in the period between April 28 and May 22, while three of their road trips are in hitter-friendly parks (Arizona, Texas, Cincinnati). Sounds like a blast to me. Dickerson is unclaimed in 96 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Speed Round: Although Gordon Beckham returned to the lineup Thursday (0-for-4, three strikeouts), it didn't knock Marcus Semien from the lineup (he played third base, batted second) . . . The Padres already were a glaring stream target, and now Chase Headley (calf) is expected to miss a few weeks. Bagels for everybody. The Nationals, Diamondbacks and Royals come calling next, all with potential streamers in tow . . . If and when Kyle Farnsworth collapses in the Mets closing gig, it looks like Daisuke Matsuzaka is Plan B. The Mets used Dice-K for a rogue save Thursday . . . Guess we don't have to worry about Corey Kluber. He fanned 11 batters Thursday, even more impressive when you consider Kansas City's seasonal contact rate . . . I don't care about his batting average – I wish I had Brian Dozier on all of my teams. He walked three times Thursday and turned it into a 3-2-1-0 line, with a stolen base. Mmm, category juice.