With the season quickly coming to a close fantasy owners can make some rash decisions. When a player is demoted, what are the chances he works his way back into the mix by year’s end? What about a player who is currently out with injury? Are they going to come back and make an impact?
Let’s take a look at a few situations and try to decide if players are worth stashing or not:
Lance Lynn – St. Louis Cardinals – Pitcher
He was the talk of baseball early in the season, but now he has been relegated to the bullpen. Posting ERAs over 5.50 in two of the past three months has a habit of doing that to a pitcher.
He shouldn’t be facing a major innings limit (he threw 164.0 innings in 2010), so we need to look at this from purely a production standpoint. He has been hit hard, with a 27.4% line drive rate in August, while his control has struggled (5.11 BB/9 in August).
Before we decide if he can or cannot regain his job, it is important to look at the team’s other options. Joe Kelly will, at least temporarily, step into the role. He has been solid and really didn’t do anything to lose a spot in the rotation to begin with. It was a numbers game when Jaime Garcia came off the DL and he lost out. That said, I also wouldn’t consider him a tremendous option.
The guy I would be looking at is Shelby Miller, as there have been rumblings of a September promotion. While he struggled early in the season, he has been on fire lately with a 3.04 ERA and 61 K over 53.1 innings since the All-Star Break. He has also struck out at least 7 in each of his past six starts.
There is a small concern of an innings limit with Miller, as he has already thrown 130.2 innings this season after 139.2 a year ago. That said, you would think he had around 40 innings to play with, meaning a few September stars is not unrealistic.
The Cardinals are in a pennant race and they need their best arms on the mound. While he has never thrown a Major League pitch, that would be Miller right now. I wouldn’t say it is impossible that Lynn gets back into the rotation, but I think it may take a injury to get him there. I would keep him stashed, if possible, but don’t be surprised if he ends up valueless the rest of the way.
Dee Gordon – Los Angeles Dodgers – Shortstop
The Dodgers didn’t trade for a shortstop per se (though Hanley Ramirez has been working on one), but their moves have left Gordon as a man without a clear role. Even if he was to play every day, with the moves made and the way he performed early on there is no way he operates as the leadoff hitter. Considering speed is his game, that immediately hurts his value because he won’t have as many opportunities to run.
As it is, while they could move Hanley Ramirez back t third, who says they want to? Luis Cruz has played well and now they have Nick Punto as well. We will have to see how this plays out, regardless of what they are saying now, but it is very realistic to think that Gordon is nothing but a role player in September.
Could he provide you with a few stolen bases as a pinch runner? Absolutely, but that may be the extent of his contributions down the stretch. Keep that in mind if you are in need of a roster spot in shallower formats.
What are your thoughts of Lynn and Gordon? Would you keep them stashed? Why or why not?