Breaking up is hard to do

Last week, I wrote about nine players who appeared to be breaking out in the first month of the season. The problem is that if you want to add a player, you must drop a player from your roster. If you’ve built your team properly, this is not easy. Cutting a player you drafted and had high hopes for is like breaking up with that girlfriend – it’s hard to do.

It’s actually a bit easier because you don’t have to worry about hurting that player’s feelings. You probably don’t have a personal relationship with any of your players. Granted, it may feel like you do because they can make you feel so good, or so bad, based on their performance each day. But at the end of that day, they don’t know you from Adam.

This reminds me of a funny story. I was watching a game recently, and I was yelling at a player on the field because of a poor play. My wife, who was sitting in the room looked at me with disgust. “Do you know how sick you are? You are emotionally invested in these relationships with your players and they don’t even know who you are.”

My wife had a point. Perhaps, I need professional help. Perhaps, every baseball fan needs help because we take this game too seriously. There should be a sports psychologist for fans. There are plenty of sports psychologists for players, but there are more fans than players. Keep in mind that fan is short for fanatic. Fanatics, by definition, need help.   

But I digress. Below, I have identified nine players who are rostered in more than 50 percent of either ESPN or Yahoo leagues that you need to consider dropping. One of these players, John Means, was drafted and dropped by Yours Truly a week ago. Two others, Hyun Jin Ryu and Blake Treinen, will be dropped this week in my TGFBI league.

There is one caveat I must mention in my decision to drop Ryu and Treinen. There is no IL spot to hold a player in TGFBI. There are seven bench spots, and my bench is already filling up fast with Ryan Pressly and Jose Altuve on the 10-day IL. Lou Trivino and Tyler Naquin are on the COVID IL, and Tyler Stephenson is on the 7-day IL with a concussion.


Winker is not sitting on very many waiver wires based on the roster percentages at ESPN and Yahoo. But he should be. Winkler can’t hit lefties, and he’s not doing great against any pitcher this year. He’s batting .158. He will not produce the necessary volume of counting stats to help your team. If you drafted him at his ADP, you made a mistake.


If you drafted Gallo, you are counting on 30-40 home runs from the Yankees slugger. He may deliver that and destroy your batting average. Gallo, who has a career batting average of .205, is the worst example of a player who sells out for power. He’s currently hitting .121, with a slugging percentage of .121. He has no runs, home runs, or RBI.


Torres is hitting 20 points above Gallo, and he doesn’t even have the power potential. Torres has just 12 homers 67 RBIs and 67 runs scored in 169 games across the 2020-21 seasons. He’s in a crowded Yankees infield that includes Josh Donaldson, DJ LeMahieu, Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Anthony Rizzo. Torres is going to find himself on the bench a lot.


I drafted Ryu in my only 15-team league with hopes that he might return to previous form after a bad 2021 season. He hasn’t. He’s never been a strikeout pitcher, and his signature changeup has lost its effectiveness. His first two starts in 2022 hinted that he’s an aging player in decline. Now, he’s on the 10-day IL and will miss two or three times through the rotation.


When I selected Treinen in the 12th round of the TGFBI draft, I had high hopes. He was coming off a season where he led the majors with 32 holds. He went 6-5, with a 1.99 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and seven saves. As the Dodgers’ closer, he was projected to pick up 35 saves. That was before the Dodgers traded for Craig Kimbel. Now Treinen is hurt, and I’m cutting bait.   


Sanchez is the catcher version of Gallo with less homer upside. He also frequently strays south of the Mendoza Line. He’s currently hitting .216, with a home run and eight RBI. His strikeout rate is 32.5 percent. I’d hang on to Sanchez in a deeper league because of the home runs and RBI, but I’d drop him in shallower leagues because of the low batting average.    


Strasburg is on the IL, and I can understand holding him if you have an IL spot open. But the time may come when you need to drop him to free up that spot. Don’t hesitate to send him to waivers as injuries pile up and those spots become precious. Strasburg has pitched just 26.2 innings since the outset of the 2020 season. How optimistic can you be?


When he’s healthy, John Means business. But the Baltimore ace is out of business currently, on the 60-day IL. Again, if you have an open IL spot, you may hang on to him because you remember how he started last season. Through 71 innings, Means posted a 2.28 ERA with a 0.85 WHIP, and a strikeout per inning. But then he got hurt, and he’s hurt again.


If Sanchez is the catcher version of Gallo, Suarez is the infield version. The Seattle infielder can get you a lot of home runs and kill your batting average. It was just three years ago that Suarez had 49 bombs and 103 RBI. He hit .271 that year, but his average is below .200 since then. And Suarez’s new home park is less favorable than his old one. You can move on.  

Follow Thomas L. Seltzer, AKA Doubting Thomas, on Twitter @ThomasLSeltzer1.

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