Week 15 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 move 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 15 cut or trade candidates.

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The Cut List: Week 15

Albert Pujols, 1B, Los Angeles Angels

Sometimes, writing this column makes me feel old. Not as old as Pujols has looked this season, though. While he’s performed well enough in high-leverage situations to maintain a 100 RBI pace, the 37-year-old is tracking toward easily the worst performance of his career. After going on o-for-4 on Saturday, his season line sits at .239/.283/.377. There are four seasons remaining on his contract. Yikes.

Jose Bautista, OF, Toronto Blue Jays

Another aging slugger in his age-37 season, Bautista has managed to maintain some level of productivity in 2017. Most of that came in May, however; nine of his 14 home runs and 44 of his 92 R+RBI happened during that month. The rest of the time, he hasn’t been of much use to fantasy owners. Bautista has just one multi-hit game in his last 10, and hasn’t left the yard during that time either. Once one of the game’s best fastball hitters, he’s struggled to catch up to the heat this season, and his underlying metrics are down pretty much across the board.

Marco Estrada, SP, Toronto Blue Jays

Estrada is racking up strikeouts like never before, but he’s also lost the BABIP-suppressing magic he enjoyed over the last several seasons, particularly the last two. Inflated walk and homer rates aren’t doing him any favors either. The veteran boasted a 2.43 ERA and 1.14 WHIP after six starts. In the intervening two months, those ratios have checked in at 6.75 and 1.61, respectively.

 

The Hot Seat: Week 15

Alex Colome, RP, Tampa Bay Rays

You want to talk ballooning ratios, let’s look at Colome. A mere three weeks ago, he looked well on his way to a repeat of last year’s breakout performance. While his strikeout rate had fallen, he had almost identically pristine ratios (1.95 ERA, 1.05 WHIP vs. 1.91 and 1.02 marks in 2016). Since then, he’s been a mess, allowing 10 runs and walking eight batters in his last seven appearances. It’s a minor miracle that he hasn’t blown a save in that time. If he doesn’t get it together soon, that won’t hold up.

 

Last Week

Troy Tulowitzki has homered in each of his last two games and collected multiple hits in four of his last five. This hot streak has brought his OPS all the way up to a sizzling .707.

Gregory Polanco had a fantastic game on Thursday, going 4-for-4 with a homer and a stolen base. That performance was part of an eight-game hitting streak, though they’ve mostly been of the “1-for-4 with a single” variety.

Matt Bush has turned in four consecutive scoreless appearances since being demoted from the closer role in Texas. A few more and he could be back in the driver’s seat.

Jake Odorizzi was awful against the Red Sox, coughing up seven runs in 4 1/3 innings. He hasn’t allowed fewer than three runs in a game since May 27.

 

More Week 15 Lineup Prep