MLB: One Man's Trash... (Week 23)

MLB: One Man's Trash... (Week 23)

This article is part of our One Man's Trash series.

Throughout the season, I've been looking at some of the players being dropped by fantasy managers to see if their decisions were a little rash. Some of the players dropped will provide fantasy value going forward. Someone who will remain nameless decided it was a good idea to drop Robbie Ray and Tyler O'Neill last year in the first couple of weeks.

The players I'm looking at this week are a mix of immediate adds and those who are just a tweak or two away from taking a step forward.

For the information, I'm going to focus on players dropped at the NFBC and CBS. Both Yahoo and Fantrax's add and drop numbers are based on the past day or so and can be dominated by streaming starters. CBS and NFBC are based on the past week. 

As a general rule, I will stay away from injured players and just focus on players expected to play.

Hitters

Christian Arroyo (57 NFBC Drops, -1% at CBS)

When Arroyo has played this season, he's been decent, hitting .278/.321/.416 with six homers and five steals. His biggest improvement this year has been that he's dropped his strikeout rate to 17 percent, below his 24 percent mark from last season and well below his career high of 32 percent in 2019. He's just making more contact (improving his contact rate from 75 percent last year to 82 percent this year). I couldn't find a reason why, but it has happened.

The issue with

Throughout the season, I've been looking at some of the players being dropped by fantasy managers to see if their decisions were a little rash. Some of the players dropped will provide fantasy value going forward. Someone who will remain nameless decided it was a good idea to drop Robbie Ray and Tyler O'Neill last year in the first couple of weeks.

The players I'm looking at this week are a mix of immediate adds and those who are just a tweak or two away from taking a step forward.

For the information, I'm going to focus on players dropped at the NFBC and CBS. Both Yahoo and Fantrax's add and drop numbers are based on the past day or so and can be dominated by streaming starters. CBS and NFBC are based on the past week. 

As a general rule, I will stay away from injured players and just focus on players expected to play.

Hitters

Christian Arroyo (57 NFBC Drops, -1% at CBS)

When Arroyo has played this season, he's been decent, hitting .278/.321/.416 with six homers and five steals. His biggest improvement this year has been that he's dropped his strikeout rate to 17 percent, below his 24 percent mark from last season and well below his career high of 32 percent in 2019. He's just making more contact (improving his contact rate from 75 percent last year to 82 percent this year). I couldn't find a reason why, but it has happened.

The issue with him now is playing time. Even though he's qualified at four positions (2B, SS, 3B and OF), he's only started in six of the last 10 games. There was a stretch in August when he started 19 of 20 games. Unfortunately, a merely decent player with inconsistent playing time doesn't cut it in most fantasy leagues.

Elehuris Montero (45 NFBC Drops, -1% at CBS)

The 23-year-old was having a great run from August 2-23, a stretch in which he started every game and hit .279/.300/.559  with 4 homers in 70 plate appearances. And because the Rockies are going to Rockie, he only started in nine of the next 20 games. He put up similar numbers during that second stretch (.294/.368/.529). I swear the Rockies just don't want to field a respectable team.

There are some good and bad components to Montero's game. He has above-average power, with his 43 percent hard-hit rate sitting in the 71st percentile (min. 50 batted-ball events). On the other hand, his plate discipline is sad, as he owns a 4.2 percent walk rate and a 32.9 percent strikeout rate. Examples of other power hitters with similar plate discipline are Jo Adell (4.2 percent walk rate, 36.4 percent strikeout rate) and Franmil Reyes (5.5 percent walk rate, 34.1 percent strikeout rate). Batting at Coors Field is the only thing keeping Montero's batting average up, as he owns a .299 average at home but a .217 average on the road.

Montero is a must-start if he's starting AND at home. For now, he isn't worth adding in any other situation.

Lars Nootbaar (45 NFBC Drops, -18% at CBS)

Nootbaar's situation mirrors Montero's in terms of playing and producing and then nothing. Nootbaar had been leading off against all righties since early August while getting some starts versus lefties, posting a .800 OPS against the former and a .706 OPS against the latter. This usage continued until early September, when he started in only four of the last six against righties while being relegated to the bottom half of the lineup.

The move could be defensible since he has hit .094/.211/.281 in September, with a .045 BABIP dragging him down his production. He never had low minor-league BABIPs until this season. He seems to be pulling and airing out the ball more in search of home runs. While his combined 16 homers this season represent a career high, it's not enough to make him a must-roster type. His 2022 projects out to full-season numbers of 20 homers, 8 steals and a .223 average. Possible comps are Mark Canha and Aaron Hicks.

For now, Nootbaar is only fantasy-relevant if he's getting everyday at-bats. If not, someone else should be available to provide similar production.

Christopher Morel (42 NFBC Drops, -2% at CBS)

I don't know where to start with Morel. He started out on fire but fell apart over the last couple of months.

MonthOPSK%
May.87823%
June.81534%
July.72426%
August.57540%
September.58441%

The August dropoff came around the same time he had a hamstring injury. Before the injury, he had a .781 OPS and a 29 percent strikeout rate; after the injury, he's struggled to a .622 OPS and 41 percent strikeout rate. He changed his swing, with a lower leg kick and a more upright bat after the injury.

Before

After

I don't blame the Cubs one bit for not playing him. He's been horrible. The team may know that he isn't 100 percent healthy and could be sitting him until he heals.

For now, he's a fine drop and I have no expectations for the remainder of 2022. I am interested in taking a chance on him next season if he's playing.

Starting Pitchers

Cole Irvin (49 NFBC Drops, -4% at CBS)

Irvin's season has been decent, with a 3.73 ERA, 6.4 K/9 and 1.10 WHIP. Despite pitching for the Athletics, he's even been able to amass eight wins. The drops have happened because of his struggles that started in August (4.23 ERA, 1.12 WHIP) and exploded in September (8.49 ERA, 1.63 WHIP). Starting on August 14th, he has a 6.50 ERA and 1.36 WHIP. His core talent hasn't changed, a he owns a 12.5 percent K%-BB% before that date and a 12.2 percent K%-BB% since.

I can't find anything that stands out as the cause for his struggles. His velocity has been constant. He hasn't changed pitch mix. He is just not stranding runners, posting a 43 percent left on base rate in September. Otherwise, nothing seems to have changed.

The one factor that might be driving the drops is that he's scheduled to face the Astros this week and the Mets next week. With just a few weeks left in the season, fantasy managers might have not wanted to use him in those starts and elected to go in another direction.

Jordan Lyles (49 NFBC Drops, -4% at CBS)

On the surface, the Lyles drop makes sense since he's been a streamer all year. This week he faces the Blue Jays, but next week it's the hapless Tigers. Lyles hasn't been the best this year with a 4.62 ERA, 1.46 WHIP and just a 7.2 K/9, with a .325 BABIP behind most of those struggles. The Detroit start will be tempting, but only if his velocity is back.

He just had a start skipped because of an illness. In his return from the illness, his average fastball velocity was down over two mph.

I can understand not wanting anything to do with him until that velo is back up to previous levels.

JP Sears (46 NFBC Drops, -3% at CBS)

I never understood why Sears was rostered in the first place. He doesn't do anything positive. A 5.9 K/9, 2.6 BB/9, and 41 percent groundball rate point to a mid-to-high 4.00s ERA. He was bucking the trend through his first 12 appearances, posting a 2.37 ERA, but he's imploded over his last two outings, allowing 11 runs in six innings for a 16.50 ERA and 2.83 WHIP.

It doesn't seem like a pitcher can be lucky over 12 games, but Sears just wasn't showing any real talent. His 93 mph fastball is below average. His slider has almost been an average swing-and-miss pitch at a 13 percent swinging-strike rate, but he only throws it 23 percent of the time and can't get it across the plate. His changeup is complete garbage, generating a six percent swinging-strike rate and a 41 percent groundball rate. The best way for him to take a step forward would probably be to go 50 percent fastball and 50 percent slider.

It was a nice Julio Teheran-like run for Sears, but it seems like reality will now set in.

Matt Manning (43 NFBC Drops, -3% at CBS)

Manning's production seems to be all over the place. He goes six shutout innings with eight strikeouts in one game. In the next game, he allows seven runs with just one strikeout over just two innings. It's all or nothing with him.

The ups-and-downs shouldn't be a surprise with him spending most of the season on the injured list due to shoulder troubles. Everything has been up-and-down with him. His fastball velocity has a range of three mph in his last eight starts.

Additionally, he's throwing five pitches between eight and 50 percent of the time. The slider has been dominant (19 percent swinging strike rate) but the rest have been blah. Hell, his "sinker" has just a 31 percent groundball rate. If a sinker isn't missing bats, it at least needs to be generating groundballs.

Depending on a league's depth and available options, he might be worth rolling the dice on next week against Baltimore.

Want to Read More?
Subscribe to RotoWire to see the full article.

We reserve some of our best content for our paid subscribers. Plus, if you choose to subscribe you can discuss this article with the author and the rest of the RotoWire community.

Get Instant Access To This Article Get Access To This Article
RotoWire Community
Join Our Subscriber-Only MLB Chat
Chat with our writers and other RotoWire MLB fans for all the pre-game info and in-game banter.
Join The Discussion
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeff Zimmerman
Zimmerman writes analytics-focused baseball and football articles for RotoWire. He is a three-time FSWA award winner, including the Football Writer of the Year and Best Football Print Article awards in 2016. The 2017 Tout Wars Mixed Auction champion and 2016 Tout Wars Head-to-Head champ, Zimmerman also contributes to FanGraphs.com, BaseballHQ and Baseball America.
The Z Files: OK, I'm SOLD
The Z Files: OK, I'm SOLD
Collette Calls: Beltway Pitching Projects
Collette Calls: Beltway Pitching Projects
MLB Dynasty Rankings + 10 Rookies for 2023
MLB Dynasty Rankings + 10 Rookies for 2023
The Z Files: Projections and the New Rules
The Z Files: Projections and the New Rules