Week 22 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.

Now that we’re beyond most league’s trade deadlines, the only way to improve your team is via the waiver wire. It’s a sprint now, not a marathon. Ratchet up your ruthlessness accordingly.

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 22 cut candidates.

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The Cut List: Week 22

Kendrys Morales, 1B, Toronto Blue Jays

Morales had two hits, including a home run, on Saturday. That was his first homer since August 4, and just his second multi-hit game over the same span. Morales boasted a .930 OPS during the month of May, but his high-water mark in the other four months thus far is merely .736. It’s all added up to what will end up being his worst full season as a major leaguer, barring a strong finish.

Evan Longoria, 3B, Tampa Bay Rays

After a couple of down years, Longoria bounced back nicely last season. He hit a career-high 36 homers to go along with his usual solid batting average and run production. Alas, he’s reverted to 2014-15 form this year. The Rays’ franchise cornerstone has hit just .264/.324/.444 with 17 bombs. Longoria does have a shot at the lowest strikeout rate of his career, but that hasn’t translated into big results.

Jameson Taillon, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates

Given that he received a cancer diagnosis just a few months ago, it’s commendable that Taillon is even playing. Unfortunately, he’s been a mess since the All-Star break. In eight starts, he has a hideous 8.42 ERA and 1.83 WHIP. Taillon has as many quality starts (two) as catastrophic outings in that time. While he’s only allowed nine homers all season, four have come in his last five games. Taillon tossed 104 innings as a rookie after missing the previous two seasons, and he’s already at 102 this year even after missing time to deal with his health problems. It’s fair to wonder if he’s understandably hitting a wall.

 

The Hot Seat: Week 21

A.J. Pollock, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks

Pollock was a fantasy monster in 2015, helping plenty of owners who made the modest mid-round pick investment win championships. Unfortunately, continued health issues have prevented him from following that breakout with sustained success. Pollock missed almost all last season and has suited up for less than two-thirds of the Diamondbacks’ games this year. When he has played, he hasn’t been remarkable, hitting just .265 with seven homers, 53 runs, and 17 stolen bases in 83 games. August has been particularly brutal, as the veteran has hit well below the Mendoza line.

 

Last Week

Jedd Gyorko homered in back-to-back games immediately after last week’s column was published because of course he did. He only went hitless once over the past seven days.

Corey Dickerson had more multi-hit games in the past week (three) than he’d produced in first three weeks of August (two). He’s also hit three homers in his last five games.

The reverse jinx was strong last week! On Friday, Xander Bogaerts hit just his second homer since July 5. He collected five other hits, including a triple, and totaled 11 R+RBI in seven games.

At least Jason Vargas continued to scuffle. Granted, the Indians aren’t an easy draw, but he’s now allowed 35 runs in his last nine starts after permitting only 25 in his first 16 turns.

 

More Week 22 Lineup Prep