The official midway point of this Fantasy Baseball season will be at some time on Sunday (I believe after 3-4 games have completed). Injuries are still piling up, but that hasn’t stopped this year from flying by. Small sample sizes are over now and it’s time for you to make some harsh choices about your teams. Perhaps that second-round pick just isn’t going to play well this season. It may be hard, but it’s time to move on if you haven’t already. How much longer can you wait?
It’s also time to start looking at acquiring some depth at key positions. Injuries aren’t going to stop and with the introduction of the new 10-day disabled list this season, don’t be surprised if some teams that are comfortable with where they sit in the standings and/or even if they have pitching depth in the organization find an “injury excuse” to put a starting pitcher on the DL and thus be able to give him a two-week midseason vacation.
Have a happy and safe 4th of July.
- Willson Contreras, C, Cubs: While there is no denying that Contreras is not having as good a season that he did in his rookie campaign. One of the main reasons for this lack of production may have been because manager Joe Maddon had been inserting Miguel Montero into the lineup at least twice a week. I believe this stymied his production as Contreras was never able to get into any kind of rhythm. The release of Montero this week (after his blowup about Jake Arrieta) should alleviate this situation and allow Contreras to play on a more regular basis.
- Drew Pomeranz, P, Red Sox: Don’t look now, but over the past month Pomeranz has been the second best Boston starter outside of Chris Sale. In his last six starts, he has an ERA of 2.65 with a WHIP of 1.26 and that include a rough start versus the Tigers on June 11. It’s always going to be hard to trust a left-handed starter not named Clayton Kershaw or Sale in Fenway Park but Pomeranz has seemed to figure out how to pitch successfully there. The Sox are playing better ball and (for now) Pomeranz should be in your starting lineup.
- Elvis Andrus, SS, Rangers: There may be no better proof that something is going on with the baseball this season than when you look
at the fact that Andrus has already hit a career-high 10 home runs. This is the third season in a row that he has set a career high, but the problem this time is we still have a half season left. However, Fantasy owners don’t care as he is putting up great numbers in every category and has started batting third for the Rangers. For where you drafted Andrus, he could end up as your Fantasy MVP this season.
- Matt Adams, 1B, Braves: Adams has a left foot contusion and may miss a game or two, so hopefully that won’t stop the hot start he has gotten off to ever since his trade to Atlanta. The bat was never a problem for Adams. It was his glove and trying to find a place for him to play. The Braves like his bat so much that they are looking to see if Freddie Freeman can play 3B upon his return from a fractured wrist. Hopefully this will work as Adams’ bat is something you don’t want to remove from your lineup at this point in time, but if Freeman struggles defensively at 3B, then the Braves will find themselves in the same situation with Adams that the Cardinals did. That could lead to Adams being on the bench or on his way to another team via trade.
- Jose Quintana, P, White Sox: For whatever reason, Quintana got off to a rough start this season. I’m sure dealing with trade rumors and wondering where he would end up calling home played a part in this but whatever the reason, he has figured out how to deal with it and has become the Quintana of old on the mound. He has only allowed two runs over 20 innings in his last three starts. If for some reason he is on your waiver wire (he was on two leagues for me), go out and grab him as life may only get better once he is traded to a contender in a likely more pitcher-friendly park than Chicago.
- Trevor Story, SS, Rockies: We have been beating up Story all season and some of us have been hoping for a rebound after a miserable start. Well, that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. At the end of May, it looked like Story was starting to get hot and his batting average started to climb, but he is currently mired in another slump and even more concerning for Fantasy owners, only had two homers in June. It’s time to move on here if possible. He is one of those tough choices that needs to be made as he just isn’t helping you in any category.
- Joey Gallo, DH, Rangers: Unless you like free air conditioning it’s also time to move on here. Yes, I want to see him in the Home Run Derby in Miami next month, but I don’t want to see him and all of his strikeouts on my Fantasy team. You shouldn’t need power this bad for the major drag he has on your offense.
- Aledmys Diaz, SS, Cardinals: Yeah, I know Diaz was sent down to Triple-A on Wednesday, but my question is why? Is it just because of the slump he had been in (.176 over his last seven games) or was there something more substantial here. We saw the same thing with Randal Grichuk. The Cards didn’t like what they saw in his swing so they sent him down to work on his mechanics. Perhaps it’s the same thing here or perhaps Diaz didn’t take well to his benching on Tuesday and was sent down the next day as punishment. With all the injuries this season, I wouldn’t be holding onto Diaz and waiting for his return. It’s time to move on.
- Brett Gardner, OF, Yankees: Gardner has become one of the streakier hitters in the Yankee lineup but my question for Fantasy owners would be this: what does he add to your team? He’s batting .255 and that number keeps going down. He only has 10 steals this season and doesn’t run anywhere near as much as he should. In the ninth inning on Thursday with the Yankees down a run, he wouldn’t try to steal second even though the White Sox weren’t holding him on first. Are you really banking that he will hit 14 more homers in the second half? You really believe he will hit 30 HR this season? Please. I’d move him while he can still be sold.
- Seung Hwan Oh, P, Cardinals: I usually don’t like to put closers on this list for two reasons. One, I could generally make all five players on this list closers as they always seem to be in danger of losing their job. Second, I write the Closer Report on Tuesdays. However, Oh is an exception as he may be one more bad outing from losing his job. He blew a save for Carlos Martinez on Monday in Arizona and if not for a poor outing by Trevor Rosenthal in that game also, he may already have been removed. Rosenthal did get the save opportunity on Tuesday, but we don’t know if that was because Oh was unavailable or because the switch has already been made. The job seems to be wide open right now so if you need saves and Rosenthal is available on your WW, you may want to go out and grab him.
As always feel free to follow me on Twitter and ask any questions you like, @georgekurtz.