HumorAugust 6, 2009


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Dead Weight: Hitters

By Cary James

Greetings, all. Today we’ll be discussing the dead weight on your team. Guys who are almost universally owned but are playing like the detritus that resides on waivers in a 20 team AL-only seven OF league. Notice, this isn’t a Buy/Sell guide per se, but a document of human suffering. I will then increase the level of suffering by including two players regularly available in most leagues that have been playing better than your second-round bust. Let the fun begin!

Catcher

Dead Weight

Brandon Inge

Inge is a wonderful, gritty player, but I’m this close to dropping him in my 12-team mixed league. He’ll barely hit .240 over the remainder of the season, and I’m pretty sure he has about two homers left in him as well. He’s hitting .172 with two extra-base hits since the break. Time to cut bait, unless your only other option is Paul Bako.

Replace him with…

A.J. Pierzynski

Why is this guy still available in over 30% of Yahoo leagues? He’s mediocre, but I’ll take a guy who won’t murder your BA and will provide a light peppering of runs and ribbies over, well, Brandon Inge.

Yadier Molina

Boring boring boring — but he’ll steal some bases, hit about .270 and score some runs in the revamped St. Pujols Cardinals lineup. His great defense guarantees he’ll be in there every day, which means you can slot him in and forget about him. He may even hit three home runs! That’s swell!

First Basemen

Dead Weight

David Ortiz

In most leagues, he qualifies at first. Yeah, he’s hitting jacks again, but he’s suddenly turned into Carlos Pena with a sparkling .225 BA over the last month. Add in a somewhat reduced number of at-bats with Vic Martinez, Lowell, Youkilis, Varitek and Rocco “The Mitochondria” Baldelli fighting for playing time, and you have an under-achieving draft pick. But you can’t drop him, friends. Otherwise, he’ll come over to your house and sit on you.

Replace him with…

Kyle Blanks

Wonderful hair, Andre the Giant frame and guess what? He didn’t cost you a fifth-round pick and is producing at almost the same rate as Papi. May I add that he’s doing it in Petco as well? Yummy.

Martin Prado

Look, the guy is eligible everywhere, but you wouldn’t be that insane to slot him in a CI spot. He’s hitting .330, hitting second behind McLouth and in front of Chipper/McCann/Robot Garrett Anderson. He’s a three or four cat contributor, and BA is always undervalued. He’s still available in 65% of Yahoo leagues. Bizarre.

Second Basemen

Dead Weight

Ian Kinsler

Everyone in the universe warned you about him. ESPN. Razzball. Yahoo. Everyone. But like a moth to a lamp, you just couldn’t stop trying to get to that light until it burnt your thorax to a crisp. He was scuffling since the break anyways, so it’s all for the better. Stash him on your DL, and hope he brings his knee-high socks back to play soon, and not Jose Reyes-soon.

Replace him with…

Martin Prado

This is a cop-out, but a great one. Current two-baggers that rank below Prado for the last month: Placido Polanco, Ian Stewart, Brian Roberts, and Orlando Hudson. PICK UP PRADO.

Howie Kendrick

After a brief funk, Kendrick is hitting for high average once again. Questions remain how the AB’s will be doled out once Vlad and Juan Rivera are both operational, but Scioscia usually finds a way. Hitting over .400 over the last month, he’s a boon for runs and ribbies in the Angels scrappy offense.

Shortstops

Dead Weight

Alexei Ramirez

Whoa boy. Draft day came and I avoided him like the plague. And like the plague, Ramirez has infected and dropped teams in the standings all season with his hacking swing. Alright, he hasn’t been THAT bad, but he’s definitely disappointed a lot of owners. I see him flirting with a 20/20, and a 16/18 finish isn’t impossible. The BA is what it is, average. Don’t you wish you drafted Jeter at a cheaper price?

Replace him with…

Erick Aybar

Another Angel who’s raking, he’s shown signs of this kind of production last season, but has never been able to maintain it for longer than a couple weeks. Perhaps he’s finally found a consistent approach? Or maybe he’ll wait until you pick him up and bottom out, only to be replaced by Brandon Wood, who will then be replaced by the ghost of David Eckstein. To quote every single fantasy writer in the universe, “Ride him while he’s hot!”

Gordon Beckham

Call me a backseat driver, but Ozzie Guillen doesn’t know how to manage. However, he’s stuck with Beckham and it’s paid off handsomely to the tune of a .370 average in the past month, with seven homers and three steals. If I drafted today, I would take Beckham over Sexy Alexei without hesitation. I’m sure Hawk Harrelson agrees.

Outfielders

Dead Weight

Grady Sizemore

A consensus top-10 pick, Sizemore was in the spot before the injury. He’s a .270 to .290 hitter, not a .300 lock like some expected. The young Indians lineup won’t help his runs or RBIs (although Jamey Carroll is TRYING, goshdarnit!), and he’s a serious drag on your BA. May I mention that Mark Reynolds and Adam Dunn are hitting around .280. Cue the Twilight Zone music.

Replace him with…

Garrett Jones

He’s been on fire for the past month, hitting over .300 with homers aplenty. I hope you enjoyed it or sold him for a profit, because he’s got nowhere to go but down. Oh wait, he’s on the Pirates. He’s as down as he’ll ever get.

Nyjer Morgan

He’s been brilliant since the trade out of Pittsburgh, and I’m sure no one expected a line of 18-1-7-12-.380 from the fleet-footed Morgan last month. This is as good as he gets, but I think he’ll be able to keep this up as long as he plays every day. Unless they trade for another toolsy outfielder. Imagine a Washington roster with Morgan, McCutchen, Milledge, and Maybin. So many M’s, so much potential! Can they put it all together and learn important lessons about life and love along the way? I smell a sitcom.

That’s it for this weeks episode of Dead Weight. Next week I’ll profile some pitchers that you hate, and some other pitchers who you hate because you didn’t pick them up. Thanks for reading!

 
Residing outside of Chicago with my ever-patient wife, I live a quiet life of two jobs, writing and a little music mixed in. I particularly enjoy when one of my pitchers gives up a homer to one of my hitters.
 
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