HumorSeptember 24, 2009

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Dead Weight: Hitters - 2 comments

By Cary James

Some of you may have already won, but if you’re like me, you’re still trying to scrape away some dignity from this season. Join me as we take a marvelous journey into the Waiver Wonderland. Who will be your diamond in the rough?

Dead Weight

C: Brandon Inge (DET)

I’ve already written about him, but seriously, if you still own him (and 77% of Yahoo gamers do) you have enjoyed a fine example of a player regressing to the mean. Inge hit .268 in the first half. In this crucial second half, he has managed an inhumane .182. That’s abysmal. I don’t care how gritty he is, do what you’d do if you grew a tail. Cut it off, it does you no good.

Replace him with…

Matt Wieters (BAL)

Post-hype, the kid is starting to show what he can do when he settles down. He hit third the other night, and in the last month he’s hit .340 with a nice 15/3/17 line to confirm my worst fears: Next year you won’t be able to get him as cheap as you’d like. Hitting in a lineup featuring Brian Roberts, Adam Jones, Nick Markakis, and Nolan Reimold should provide great protection for the young backstop. Wieters is still unowned in 42% of Yahoo leagues. Grab him for your end run.

Dead Weight

1B: Garrett Atkins (COL)

He qualifies at first in some Yahoo leagues, and is unfortunately owned in 44% of those leagues. WHY?! On the same token, Carlos Delgado is owned in 36% of the same leagues. Justin Morneau and Carlos Pena are both owned in more than 60% of Yahoo leagues. This mismanagement must end now. Atkins doesn’t even play full-time. Drop him and those other lame ducks, unless you enjoy owning a non-entity who accrues nary a statistic.

Replace him with…

Billy Butler (KAN)

R.J. White spotlighted the Kansas City Royals as fantasy commodities with Willie Bloomquist, but let me remind you there are others. Available in half of the Yahoo leagues out there, Billy Butler simply shouldn’t be. He’s been a doubles machine, and to employ an incredibly over-used baseball phrase, “Some of those doubles could turn into homers.” That’s what they’ve been saying about Butler since day one, and they haven’t stopped saying it about James Loney yet. While you are waiting for homers to occur, pick up Bighead Butler and reap the benefits.

Dead Weight

2B: Orlando Hudson (LAD)

This is old news to some. I told you to pick up Ronnie Belliard a couple weeks back, and he’s still murdering the ball. Unfortunately, this comes as the expense of the O-Dog. He’s not getting regular time, he’s not hitting over-his-head-bonkers anymore (.266 over the last month) and he makes $10,000 per plate appearance. You do the math. Cut him.

Replace him with…

Alberto Callaspo (KAN)

I swear I didn’t sign a deal with Dayton Moore! It’s just that Callaspo has been nothing short of consistent as a hitter. You know he won’t kill your average and give you a dose of runs and RBIs to boot. Also, he’s still available in over 60% of Yahoo leagues and is eligible at 3B and SS in some league. Callaspo is the baseball equivalent of watching paint dry, but baseball isn’t all about sexiness. Just ask Billy Butler.

Dead Weight

SS: Jhonny Peralta (CLE)

We had such high hopes for Jhonny. Unfortunately, last year seems to be his outlier. Hitting a definitively anemic .196 with one homer over the last month, the Indians have to be wondering what they truly have here. With nothing to play for, they’ll keep throwing him out there. You, the intelligent and attractive fantasy owner, have actual options. As in, drop him. If you really need those RBIs, and you don’t need homers, runs, steals, or average, he’s all yours. When you’ve got a one-category producer at a MI position who’s not stealing, you’re wasting your time. Swallow your pride and cut your draft bust loose. At least you didn’t draft Jose Reyes, right? Right?

Replace him with…

Alex Gonzalez (BOS)

Yuck. I highly dislike everything about Alex Gonzalez. He produces at an elite rate for 2 weeks, and then bats and Inge-ian .100 for the rest of the season with an occasional solo home run. Dig this stat set though: .329/17/3/11/1. That’s not a mirage, those are Alex’s stats in his last 85 plate appearances. Wild stuff, right? Don’t go running to waivers, though. He’ll just as soon obliterate your batting average by two tenths of a point single-handedly than continue hitting at this pace. Consider this more of a Ripley’s Believe It or Not Recommendation. Dean Cain would pick him up. Will you?

Dead Weight

3B: Michael Young (TEX)

His hamstring problem is more annoying than a line of Diablo Cody dialogue. There is currently no timetable for his return, but one can expect no more than five games from Young through the end of the season. You can do much better on the wire than a guy who may not return at all. Lead Michael Young to pasture.

Replace him with…

Chase Headley (PAD)

I was high on Headley coming in this year but Petco absolutely murders a young hitter’s confidence. Over the last month, however, Headley has put up a decent line: .323/15/3/15 with a stolen base just for fun. He’s walking a ton, and he’s cheap and available as they come as he is only owned in 8% of Yahoo leagues. With half their games left at opposing team’s parks, Headley could keep producing hitting behind Adrian Gonzalez.

Dead Weight

OF: Raul Ibanez (PHI)

Nagging groins are the worst! Case in point Mr. Ibanez, who has seen his production tank over the past two months. While he has hit 5 homers this month, the average is still sub-par and I fear the Phillies will shut him down soon to rest before the playoffs. You’re forced to keep playing him, but don’t be surprised if Charlie Manuel uses his hook as soon as the Phillies clinch a spot. In that case, lose him like a cell phone at that bar you went to last night.

Replace him with…

David DeJesus (KAN)

It’s a Royals love fest! Over the last month, DeJesus has been smoking the ball to the tune of a .340 BA with 20 runs and 11 ribbies. This late in the race, I will take an empty batting average if I can get those runs! As long as Bighead (also known as Billy Butler) keeps on roping doubles, DeJesus will be scoring those runs.

Good luck and god speed, ladies and gentlemen. The season is not over just yet!

Residing in Chicago with my ever-patient wife, I live a quiet life of grad school, two jobs, and writing with a little music mixed in. I particularly enjoy when one of my pitchers gives up a homer to one of my hitters. Jones!
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2 Responses to “Dead Weight: Hitters”

  1. User avatar Thursday says:

    Good article. But. Inge has been on my fantasy team for a long time, and I’ve enjoyed his first half production. I’d love to grab Wieters, but sadly, he’s been gone a long time to some other team in my league. Could have used a better suggestion there. Might be snagging Headley for the stretch. I also like Carlos Guillen at 3B.

    I’m in my first ever championship, and I’m thankful for the continuous content that the Cafe is putting out. Thanks!

  2. If you’re looking for a catcher replacement, there’s several decent options out there. AJ Piersynski (sp?), Kurt Suzuki, or John Baker. Baker won’t murder your average, and he’s still available in a lot of leagues. Also, check out Kenji Johjima or even Rod Barajas if you’re starved for power.

    Thanks for reading, and good luck with the championship round.


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