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The Cut List (Week 16) - Time to Let Go?


Not a ton has changed since last week given the one combined real game from Monday through Thursday. Friday doesn't exactly give us enough new information, either: as if Josh Bell opening the second half 0-for-4 would make anyone panic.

That said, there are still decisions to be made. Fewer, given the lack of new evidence, but some. Only six suggestions this week, two per depth, before ramping things back up again next week.

Stats are through Friday, July 12. Weekly reminders: Recommendations are for mixed leagues. Recommendations in one league size obviously apply to smaller leagues. You can also feel free to drop a shallower suggestion in a deeper league, but the dividing line is generally there for a reason. And, as usual, you can find ideas on how to replace your cut candidates at the Waiver Wire Pickup List.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season MLB Premium Pass for 50% off, with exclusive access to our season-long articles, 15 in-season lineup tools and over 200 days of expert DFS research/tools. Sign Up Now!

 

10-Team Cut Candidates

Hunter Dozier (3B, KC)

Dozier was a nice surprise to start the year, hitting a whopping .349/.447/.686 in March and April. He was strong in May as well, hitting .283/.354/.505. At the end of May, however, he went on the injured list with "right side thorax tightness." Since returning, he's hit just .179/.257/.343 in 17 games. That has been enough to start scaring away owners, perhaps in part due to the chance that it is related to his chest injury.

His overall line remains an excellent .278/.362/.524, and a slow 17-game stretch even coming out of an injury could turn around in a shorter amount of time, so it's too early to go overboard in deeper leagues. But in the shallower ends, you may find better options to chase. This is especially true with Dozier stuck on a poor offense like Kansas City's, which gives him relatively fewer opportunities to score or drive in runs. In fact, a 12-team cut isn't unthinkable here either if there is someone one the wire who addresses a clearer category need.

Noah Syndergaard (SP, NYM)

Like Guerrero last week, this is a bit of devil's advocacy. Off the bat, let's just say it's probably too aggressive to drop "Thor." (Selling somewhat low in a trade, in redraft leagues, is not necessarily unreasonable though. But yes, he's someone who should have trade value.) Syndergaard has the added benefit over Guerrero of a long track record of being much better than this.

However, Syndergaard on the season does have -- and this after benefiting from a Saturday date with the soft Miami offense -- a 4.55 ERA, 3.80 FIP, 4.03 xFIP, 4.13 SIERA, 23.4 K% (8.8 K/9), and is struggling despite a fairly unassuming .309 BABIP. If this were a pitcher named Noah Smith and you had no prior information, what would your course of action be?

Now, we do have that extra information that tells us Syndergaard is a better pitcher than he's shown this season. But the relative disappearance of strikeouts -- he's down from a career high of 29.3% back in 2016, when strikeouts were less prevalent league-wide -- is discouraging. His whiffs are falling too; 12.3% of his pitches are swung at and missed, a figure which has declined steadily for him since 2016. Even if he remains roster-worthy in all leagues throughout 2019, he's someone to be wary of entering draft season in 2020.

 

12-Team Cut Candidates

Kyle Schwarber (OF, CHC)

Schwarber's knock has always been difficulty hitting lefties, but he's improved against them this year with a .220/.304/.407 line. Unfortunately, that's come with a regression against right-handed pitching, in the form of a .225/.319/.462 slash. The overall result, .224/.317/.451, returns Schwarber to the ranks of below average after a nice 2018. And while he's on pace to set a career high in plate appearances, the platoon issue remains a threat to Schwarber's playing time. That said, the Cubs are sticking with him as the leadoff hitter, which might make cutting a little difficult.

Overall, however, Schwarber's batting average is deadly, he's not going to drive in runs from a National League leadoff spot, and he's never been a base stealer. That leaves him as a two-category player, home runs and runs. His 18 home runs have been nice, but this is also a year where everyone seems to be going long. Maybe the wire is barren of anyone who will hit more bombs than Schwarber, but it may well have someone who can give more juice in other areas. A one-dimensional below average hitter is not a must-have at standard depths.

John Gant (RP, STL)

Gant is a Carlos Martinez handcuff at this point. And while Gant's 2.54 ERA and 0.96 are solid, they are not dominant by reliever standards. His non-dominance is most evident in a 13.3 K-BB% (9.3 BB%, 22.5 K%). Several of the best starters have better strikeout numbers than Gant. A 4.04 xFIP and 4.17 SIERA also demonstrate his shortcomings as a middle reliever.

He's been good enough, and the Cardinals bullpen situation post-Jordan Hicks shaky enough, that maybe Gant is not a cut everywhere. But without saves, his ratios and strikeouts are not good enough to justify presence on standard rosters.

 

14-Team Cut Candidates

Billy Hamilton (OF, KC)

Once again, the lead 14-team cut is a former 12-team cut. Hamilton is hitting .217 with nine RBI. Nine RBI all year! Kansas City ended the first half with a trip to Washington, and the lack of an extra hitter caused Hamilton begin all three games on the bench. Nor was he in the lineup to start the second half. That will happen when you hit .217/.284/.271.

Hamilton hasn't even been a monster base stealer of late. He has four swipes in the last 30 days, making him one of 22 players with at least that many in that time frame, while 11 players have five or more. With the Royals seeming to move away from Hamilton, you should be able to as well at almost any depth. He is just too terrible at the plate.

Brad Keller (SP, KC)

Not to pick on the Royals, but they are really not good. Keller has a 4.47 ERA, an even worse 5.17 xFIP, a devastating 1.45 WHIP, an anemic 15.9 K%, a troubling 11.3 BB%, and a bad offense behind him contributing to a 4-9 record. He remains on some rosters, but he should be on even fewer.

Keller's teammate Jacob Junis is on half the rosters thanks to a higher ERA, but is the better pitcher peripherally. That doesn't mean drop Keller for Junis, or to pick up Junis anywhere, just that Keller himself -- bad pitcher, bad team, no strikeouts -- is not worth the trouble.

 

Last Week's Updates

Here is the link to last week's Cut List. Thanks to the All-Star Break limiting new information, all of those suggestions ought still apply. Exceptions may be starting pitchers, Yu Darvish more so than Jack Flaherty, who seemed to do something different and more effectively.

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