Week 12 Cut List: Players on the Chopping Block

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Welcome back to the Cut List. Each weekend from now until the end of the season, I’ll be offering my thoughts on players who don’t deserve to keep drawing a nonexistent salary on your fake baseball teams. As we go deeper into the season, expect this list to become more ruthless, but also note the widening of scope to include players who may still have trade value in many leagues.

In addition to the players on the Cut List, we'll also spotlight a player on the Hot Seat: Someone whose situation is worth monitoring, even if it’s not time to hit the ejector seat just yet. Without further ado, here are your Week 12 cut or trade candidates.

Let's get to it.

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The Cut List: Week 12

Todd Frazier, 1B/3B, Chicago White Sox

Frazier’s home run yesterday was his only hit in his last six games. Not unusual for a guy with his profile, but that bomb was also just his 11th of season. While that still puts on pace for 30 homers, the fantasy value of that kind of pop ain’t what it used to be. Frazier has also only stolen three bases on five attempts after averaging 16 swipes in the previous three seasons. There simply hasn’t been enough category juice to offset his permanent residence near the Mendoza Line.

Carlos Santana, 1B/OF, Cleveland Indians

After having the best season of his career in 2016, Santana’s arguably mired in his worst-ever performance. There’s plenty of baseball left, and Santana has historically been a better second-half hitter. Still, a .212/.309/.380 line with eight homers isn’t really gonna cut it from a first baseman. If you can sell another owner on his track record of late-season surges and net a player who can help now, that might be the play.

Rich Hill, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers

Nobody drafted this dude expecting a full season. Owners who retained his services did so in the hopes of getting 120 – 150 innings at the elite level Hill had reached in 2016. Hill has already had one lengthy DL stint, but he also hasn’t produced when healthy. The 37-year-old has ugly ratios (5.14 ERA, 1.57 WHIP) and has averaged fewer than four and a half innings per start. In his 35 innings, Hill has walked a whopping 23 batters. Most recently, he was tagged for seven runs in four frames against the Indians. With the Dodgers’ (intelligent) approach to deploying their starting pitching depth, Hill in his current form isn’t worth much for fantasy purposes.

 

The Hot Seat: Week 12

Justin Verlander, SP, Detroit Tigers

This isn’t the first time Verlander has struggled, but he’s never been quite this lousy before. The walks are way up, and the strikeouts have fallen from last year’s surge back to being in line with his career rate. None of Verlander’s secondary offerings have been sharp, probably because he’s had trouble locating his fastball. While the velocity has held, significant control issues are sometimes a precursor to elbow injury. Regardless, it seems unlikely he’ll justify the investment you had to make to secure his services. As a millionaire engaged to a supermodel, you can rest assured he feels just awful about that.

 

Last Week

Hanley Ramirez had just one hit last week, though it was a home run. He’s missed the last three games with a pinched nerve in his neck and could find himself on the disabled list soon.

Carlos Gonzalez has just one hit in the last week and a half, and was benched in consecutive games this week. The Rockies have the National League’s best record but are just a game up on both the Dodgers and Diamondbacks, so they need CarGo to get it going if he’s going to keep playing every day.

Aledmys Diaz had himself a nice week, collecting a hit in every game and logging a homer and eight RBI.

Gerrit Cole pitched seven innings of one-run ball in a win over the Rockies. A couple of caveats: The Rockies’ offense is much less imposing on the road (particularly in a pitcher-friendly venue like PNC Park), and Cole only had three strikeouts against three walks.

 

More Week 12 Lineup Prep