Week 6 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.

A column like this can be a tricky thing so early in the year. While the sample sizes are growing, they’re still small enough to be subject to plenty of noise. There’s a lot of season left, after all.

In addition to the players on the Cut List, we'll also spotlight a player on the Hot Seat: Someone who may not be a cut yet, but whose leash is extremely short.

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The Cut List: Week 6

Mike Napoli, 1B, Texas Rangers

Even after going 2-for-4 with a double and home run on Saturday, Napoli’s season line checks in at a thoroughly uninspiring .167/.228/.342. He’s now got five homers on the year, but just 14 base hits and six walks against 38 strikeouts. Napoli, now in his age-35 season, looks more like the middling player he was in 2014-15 than the guy we saw help Cleveland to a pennant a year ago. He’s currently running career-worst swinging strike and pop-up rates, both of which suggest declining bat speed. 

Hunter Renfroe, OF, San Diego Padres

Renfroe was a popular late-round flier based on his power potential. Like Napoli, he does have five dingers, but he hasn’t done anything else to help fantasy owners. Not only does Renfroe have the worst BB/K ratio of any qualified hitter, he’s batting just .205 and has only totaled 17 R+RBI in 30 games. With the recent homer surge across the league showing no signs of abating, there’s just not much value to be found in a player like Renfroe right now.

Matt Harvey, SP, New York Mets

Through his first four starts of 2017, Harvey had been solid, if unspectacular. While he wasn’t piling up strikeouts, he’d limited walks and come within one out of logging quality starts in all four outings. Harvey’s last two appearances, both against the Braves, have been terrible. He’s pitched just 9 2/3 innings, allowing 12 runs and walking eight while striking out just three batters. Hitters are making more, and better, contact than ever before against Harvey, whose velocity remains a couple of ticks below where it was during his prime. Though he’s still just 28, what we’ve seen so far doesn’t inspire much confidence for a rebound.

 

The Hot Seat: Week 6

Julio Teheran, SP, Atlanta Braves

Teheran has lost a full three miles per hour on his fastball since his rookie season, a disturbing trend for a pitcher who is only 26 years old. He’s been able to make it work in years past, but 2017 hasn’t been kind thus far. Teheran’s lack of overpowering stuff means he relies on command, and that appears to have deserted him lately. Heading into the season, he had posted a BB% above 5.8% just once. Currently, he sits at 11.8%, and his strikeout rate is at a career low as well.

 

Last Week

Curtis Granderson has a homer and six runs scored in his last three games, but still has just a .474 OPS this season, and Michael Conforto’s performance has left the Mets with no choice but to play him every day. At least some of those plate appearances are going to come at Grandy’s expense.

Devon Travis has just six extra-base hits this year. On the bright side, they’ve all come in the past two weeks. Of course, he has just nine hits total in that time, so…y’know, it’s all relative.

Jharel Cotton set a season high with nine strikeouts in his last start against the Twins. Unfortunately, he also walked three and allowed a pair of home runs. He remains an iffy proposition outside of deep and AL-only formats.

I speculated last week in this space that Cole Hamels might be pitching with an injury. He’s now on the shelf for the next two months or so with a strained oblique.

 

More Week 6 Lineup Prep