by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
There are two issues fantasy owners need to maneuver around in September:
- Minor injuries that ultimately end a player’s season
- Young players being shut down
Let’s take a look at two of the most talked about rookie starters in the game and see how their team’s plan on handling them in the immediate future (and whether or not they have value over the final few weeks):
Julio Urias – Los Angeles Dodgers
According to Andy McCullogh (via Twitter):
“The Dodgers expect to move Julio Urias to the bullpen after this start.”
This is a song we’ve heard before, only to see the Dodgers ultimately reverse course and reinsert Urias into the rotation. That said, it’s fair to wonder if this time things truly will be different. Entering yesterday’s start he had already thrown 113.1 innings, after totaling 80.1 innings in ’15 and having never thrown more than 87.2 innings in a professional season.
Despite how impressive the 20-year old has been (he entered yesterday with a 2.25 ERA, 9.00 K/9 and 2/53 BB/9 over 32.0 second half innings), the Dodgers have to consider the big picture. With the team heading towards October baseball, if they continue running him out there now he won’t be available to them at all then. It makes sense for a team with playoff aspirations to save a few bullets and have one of their best pitchers available.
From a fantasy perspective we might as well wait and see, just to be 100% sure, but there’s a good chance he won’t hold any value for the remainder of the season. If you need the roster spot in a redraft format, don’t be afraid to cut bait and move on.
Jose Berrios – Minnesota Twins
According to LaVelle E. Neal III (via Twitter):
“Jose Berrios will start Friday. Had lengthy talk with coaches, worked on fastball command in bullpen today”
Needless to say Berrios has been a disaster in the Majors this season. Over 11 starts (44.2 IP) he owns a 9.27 ERA and 2.01 WHIP. It’s easy to chalk the issue up to poor luck, given a .377 BABIP and 54.4% strand rate. Of course he’s also been hit hard (23.8% line drive rate), has struggled with his control (5.64 BB/9) and has been burnt by home runs (2.01 HR/9).
Interestingly, none of those were issues during his time at Triple-A this season:
- BABIP – .254
- Walks – 2.91 BB/9
- Home Runs – 0.65 HR/9
The problem is that home runs were always a potential problem (0.92 GO/AO in the minors) and he simply hasn’t been fooling MLB hitters (9.0% SwStr%, 27.4% O-Swing%). That doesn’t mean that he won’t turn it around, but it’s going to take time and work. Maybe he gets it this season, but it’s not a gamble worth taking.
Sources – Fangraphs, MILB.com