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The Cut List (Week 12) - Time to Let Go?

June is more than half over, meaning the season is nearly half over. And, as usual, some players' tenures on your fantasy team should be all over. One thing we're adding this week is a brief overview of the forcefulness of each cut suggestion. A "strong" endorsement means the player can be cut in pretty much any format at the given league size. A "weak" endorsement means there could still be value here, but things are bad enough that you can justify the ax. Weak endorsements can be considered strong ones in the next size down; e.g., a weak 12-team cut is a strong 10-team cut. Also for the weak cases, the kind of leagues the player can most justifiably be cut in are identified.

Stats are through Friday, June 14. Remember these are mixed-league suggestions. Weekly reminders: Recommendations in one league size obviously apply to smaller leagues. You can also feel free to drop a shallower suggestion in a deeper league. Generally, however, the dividing line is there for a reason.

As usual, you can find ideas on how to replace your cut candidates at the Waiver Wire Pickup List.

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10-Team Cut Candidates

Yasiel Puig (OF, CIN)

Cut Endorsement: Weak. Easiest to cut in: points.

Even though Puig is only hitting .222/.264/.393, he has not been a complete roto embarrassment. It's not been good, but he does have 11 home runs, nine steals, and 57 combined R+RBI in playing 62 of 67 Reds games. Points leagues are another story, and he can probably be cut up to 12-teamers in those leagues. But he's given enough in roto to try and wait on better times. And it remains hard to believe there's no upside here: projections still believe in Puig for roughly 15 HR, 10 SB and between a .250-.270 average going forward.

That may not have sounded like an argument to cut, but if you're tired of Puig's act and not willing to wait for projections that may never materialize, you can let go of Yahoo's 306th-rated standard 5x5 player.

Joc Pederson (OF, LAD)

Cut Endorsement: Weak. Easiest to cut in: weekly lineup changes and/or standard BA.

Pederson's overall season line, despite a 1-for-27 stretch since June 3, remains a strong .238/.341/.577 with 18 home runs and 75 R+RBI. His main issue has always been, and continues to be, an inability to hit left-handed pitching: .167/.167/.208 in 24 PA this season and .180/.259/.309 in 349 career PA.

That 1-for-27 run has led to a few cuts already, but it's hard to think Pederson will never turn it around. In OBP or OPS leagues, he should be held, even with 10 teams. He's still a decent play in points as well. But in BA leagues, or weekly leagues where Pederson can miss several AB's if there's a run of left-handed starters or relievers, a 10-team cut becomes easier to suggest.

Zach Davies (SP, MIL)

Cut Endorsement: Strong.

With a 2.60 ERA? You bet. Although Davies has brought back assets like Michael Conforto, Will Smith, and Justin Smoak on the Yahoo trade market lately, the all-too-obvious downside was on display Friday when he allowed three runs with just two strikeouts in five innings to an anemic San Francisco Giants' offense at cavernous AT&T Park.

If Davies continues to be as lucky as he has, he can get wins playing for Milwaukee. But with a rather sad 15.2 K%, a whopping 4.89 xFIP, and an even worse 5.15 SIERA, it takes a lot of luck. As it is, Davies has given pretty much nothing in strikeouts and already has a mediocre WHIP, so he's just a wins-and-ERA guy. But take the ERA you got, not the one you're likely to have by August. If a cut seems off to you, try desperately to sell high, but you may not find takers.


12-Team Cut Candidates

Amed Rosario (SS, NYM)

Cut Endorsement: Strong.

Rosario still has his believers, but results remain amiss. He's added a bit of power this year, with eight home runs already after nine all of last year, but some steals have gone away, with six in 66 games in 2019 after 24 in 154 games last season. The slash line is nearly identical: .256/.295/.381 last season is .246/.289/.412 this season; it's .214/.257/.439 the past four weeks and .258/.302/.403 the past calendar year.

That's some consistent mediocrity as signs of development are essentially absent. He's Yahoo's 25th-rated shortstop-eligible player this season. Citi Field, a terrible park for hitting, doesn't help. Other than maybe in leagues with unlimited keepers at low inflation, Rosario can be let go.

Rougned Odor (2B, TEX)

Cut Endorsement: Strong.

Odor is almost assuredly gone already in 10 teams and shallower. The general description -- a power-speed middle infielder who continues to play almost every day and calls Texas home -- sounds like someone who could be of use in 12 teams.

The specific description, however, is a complete disaster: .182/.265/.345 with a 30% strikeout rate. Eight homers, seven steals, and 64 R+RBI make him somewhat Puig-like, but he's a worse version with a worse track record. Hence Odor's rate stat projections are uglier than Puig's: more like a .230's average instead of .260's, also with slightly fewer home runs and steals. Move on.

Pedro Strop (RP, CHC)

Cut Endorsement: Weak. Easiest to cut in: leagues where you're also the Kimbrel owner.

Strop went on the IL on May 8 after allowing three runs on May 6, and since returning on June 4 has allowed one run in 3 2/3 innings. One could easily blame the May 6 appearance on the injury, think everything is okay (his ERA is 2.70 without it), and hold until he officially loses the closer job. (Which may be even easier after save number eight Saturday.)

Because, naturally, this is less about Strop and more about the Craig Kimbrel signing. Even if the Cubs play situations with their new bullpen addition, it will cut into Strop's save opportunities. And you'd like better than the 3.86 xFIP/3.81 SIERA Strop has given if you were to bank on him retaining some save chances. Consider moving on now.


14+ Team Cut Candidates

Jesus Aguilar (1B, MIL)

Cut Endorsement: Strong.

Aguilar should be long-gone in 12-teamers, but the 35-homer 2018 campaign has remained a sign of hope for some, especially deeper than 12. He's only started 39 of Milwaukee's 69 games this season, but that includes 18 of 23 to start the year, so it's less than half since then. That might be okay in deeper leagues for someone hitting better than .197/.303/.306.

Projections aren't that pessimistic -- they rarely are -- but Aguilar needs the chance to rebound, which he's not getting (when he does start, he's now only batting seventh), and then the actual rebound. It's fine to let someone else wait up.

Ross Stripling (SP/RP, LAD)

Cut Endorsement: Strong.

Stripling has obvious talent but has not started a game since April 25. When the Dodgers gave Kenta Maeda a brief IL stint from May 17-26, Stripling was used out of the bullpen three times instead of making so much as a spot start.

And yet, his ownership rates suggest several people are still waiting on him to start again. But it may not happen at all this season. It feels like the way the Dodgers handle their pitchers, that he probably will. But it's not good that the Maeda IL trip was not an impetus.

Right now, Stripling is just a rarely used middle reliever; he has only pitched 12 2/3 innings in nearly two months of that role, with a 4.97 ERA and 13 strikeouts. If he does start again, he would probably need a readjustment period, which could get rough. Instead of keeping him around, he should be re-acquired or streamed if the Dodgers telegraph that he will start again at some point. And even if you miss out at that late point, it could just be a spot start.

Blake Parker (RP, MIN)

Cut Endorsement: Strong.

Perhaps a little late here, as Parker has earned all of one save since May 20. His ERA then stood at 1.10 and dropped to 1.04 after a perfect two-strikeout ninth inning with a seven-run lead on May 25. Then things fell apart: two runs on May 28, two on June 2 in a second straight appearance, three more on two homers while blowing a save on June 5.

He finally got that ninth save while protecting a three-run lead on June 7, walking two and striking out one. Then he sat another several days, and the three runs he allowed without getting an out on June 12 are pretty much just icing on the cake. Parker's ERA is now 4.37, the Twins have several relievers who can strike out more than 19.2% of batters faced, Taylor Rogers is up to seven saves. Bye-bye, Blake.


Last Week's Updates

Player Last Week This Week Reasoning
Joey Votto Cut in 10 Sell A mini-renaissance since May 14 is .330/.373/.468, .400 BABIP, 22-7 K-BB; maybe it's enough to find a taker
Brad Peacock Cut in 10 Sell Didn't collapse despite mediocre start against Brewers and gets Blue Jays Saturday; if that goes well find a trade for his sub-optimal pitch mix and peripherals
Robinson Cano Cut in 12 Cut in 10 Back on injured list, health a permanent question mark, not worth the stash
Jake Arrieta Cut in 12 Cut in 12 Control issues cropping up (9 BB in last 2 starts, 10 2/3 IP) on top of everything else
Maikel Franco Cut in 14 Cut in 14 Playing time and slumping issues continue
Kevin Gausman Cut in 14 Cut in 14 Pulled in 3rd inning in last start which bumped the ERA up despite two unearned runs; still lacks job security

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