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The Cut List (Week 10) Time to Let Go?

Welcome to Week 10 of the Cut List. My suggestions from last week were looking good until Eduardo Escobar hit three home runs between Thursday and Friday. That’ll happen occasionally, but I think my suggestions have been sound throughout the year.

This week, I take a look at Kevin Pillar, Adam Duvall, Gregory Polanco, and Sean Manaea. All of these players have been standard league assets at one point or another this season, but have cooled off dramatically since early May. There was a point in the season when Manaea looked like a top-20 starter going forward, but he’s been an afterthought since then.

Want some waiver wire advice to make up for those necessary cuts? Make sure you check out our waiver wire blog for the best pickup consultation around.

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Time to Move On

Kevin Pillar (OF, TOR) - .200 BA, 7 runs, 04 HR, 6 RBI, 4 SB over past 30 days

Cut in 10 and 12 team leagues

Why you should cut him: Don’t let his season stats fool you, Pillar has been awful over the past month. His .346 April BABIP regressed to .289 in May, leading to a solid .310 BABIP that’s in range with his career average. He’ll continue being a good source of runs and stolen bases in deep leagues, but he’s not viable in standard shallow leagues. He won’t chip in power and he won’t hit for high average.

Better OF options: Ben Zobrist, Teoscar Hernandez

Adam Duvall (OF, CIN) - .180 BA, 17 runs, 10 HR, 32 RBI

Cut in 10-team leagues

Why you should cut him: He’s had some bad BABIP luck through two months, so take this with a grain of salt, but I’m not in favor of hoarding streaky power guys like Duvall. If the metrics check out and I think a guy’s due for extreme positive regression, I’ll consider adding him, but until I see something promising, I stay far away. Duvall is good enough for you to monitor until he breaks out, however. He’s owned in 42% of ESPN leagues, so he might be available in your league. He’s a safe cut for now, but be sure to scoop him up when he gets on a roll. Who knows when that’ll be.  

Better OF options: Jorge Soler, Scott Schebler

Gregory Polanco (OF, PIT) - .228 BA, 14 runs, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 0 SB over the past 30 days

Cut in 10-team leagues

Why you should cut him: Polanco is a guy I wouldn’t rush to cut unless I see someone I really believe in floating around the free agent list. I’ve never been a Polanco zealot, but I think his talent profile is decently enticing. He’s wildly overrated, however, and I’d dangle him in trade offers to leaguemates who think he’s due for major positive regression. Let them buy-low while you run off with a sweet return because your trade partner knows Polanco’s name. Here are some quick Polanco facts: he’s a career .249 hitter, his career wRC+ is 94, he’s only hit over 20 home runs once, and he only has two seasons with a WAR above two.

Better OF options: Brian Anderson, Aaron Hicks

Sean Manaea (SP, OAK) - 7.18 ERA, 19 Ks, 1.47 WHIP over the past 30 days

Cut in 10-team leagues

Why you should cut him: If you were living on Baseball Savant’s expected stats page like I was, you knew Manaea was due for major regression after his hot start. He’s second in wOBA/xwOBA differential, third in SLG/xSLG differential and second in BA/xBA differential (min. 250 PA). He has a career-low swinging strike rate, career-high contact rate, career-high line drive rate, career-low ground ball rate, career-low BABIP, and a career-low strikeout percentage. The numbers speak for themselves. He’s surely a cut candidate in standard ten teamers.

Better SP options: Caleb Smith, Tyson Ross


Update on Last Week’s Cuts

Marwin Gonzalez (1B/SS, HOU)

  • 4-for-18 (.222) with 2 runs, 0 HR, 2 RBI since May 27
  • Same stuff, different week. He’s obviously a safe cut and he’s down to 71% ownership in ESPN leagues. I don’t think he’s worth holding.

Drew Pomeranz (SP, BOS)

  • 5 Ks, 4 ER, 6 hits allowed, 2 BB in 5.0 IP on May 31 start at Houston
  • It’s not great, but it was an away start at Houston, so what can we draw from this? Pomeranz is a fine pitcher, but he’s not good enough to stymie elite teams. There’s no reason to hold him in standard shallow formats.

Yonder Alonso (1B, CLE)

  • 9-for-25 (.360) with 4 runs, 1 HR, 5 RBI since May 27
  • This is what I get for ignoring his expected metrics on Baseball Savant. He’s a solid speculative add. Go grab him if he’s available.

Eduardo Escobar (3B/SS, MIN)

  • 7-for-24 (.291) with 4 runs, 3 HR, 8 RBI since May 27
  • To be fair, most of this production came from Thursday and Friday when he had a combined four runs, three homers, and five RBI. Keep him on your radar.


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