The Ditch List: Identifying Four Players That It’s Time To Cut Ties With (Carpenter, Thames & More)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

It’s easy to make cut decisions on injured players this time of year, but what about those who are still on the field and struggling to produce (or whose outlook has simply changed)?  Let’s take a look at a few players who we’d be comfortable moving away from in redraft formats (obviously keeper leagues have different rules and many of these players would be worth stashing):


Matt Carpenter – St. Louis Cardinals – Infielder
It seemed off when he was on the bench for back-to-back games last week, though it was assumed that it was just for a mental break.  However it’s since been revealed that his benching was actually injury related.  Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch recently published the following quote from Carpenter:

“I’d be lying if I said it hadn’t bothered me for most of the year,” Carpenter said. “It’s been something I’ve been able to manage. It’s at a point where I don’t know if it’s wear and tear at the end of the season … It might not look good. That’s kind of where we’re at. I don’t think there is a move that is going to make it better or worse. It’s just going to need the offseason to get right.  We don’t have the luxury for that. So, I’m just grinding through it.”

It seems like a given that Carpenter will continue to see consistent time off throughout the rest of the season, and it’s also possible that he’s simply shutdown if tests reveal a more serious injury.  Either way, whether he plays or not, can we truly expect significant production?  He’s been a disappointment all year long, hitting .239 with 18 HR, as he appears to be selling out for power as a way to compensate for the injury (49.9% fly ball rate).

While his versatility helps keep him viable, there’s reason to move on as the risk outweighs the reward.


Eric Thames – Milwaukee Brewers – First Baseman/Outfielder
Thames was an early season darling, but things have taken a turn since his impressive start.  In the second half he’s hitting .211 with 5 HR over 158 PA.  In fact he’s been generally bad since hitting .345 with 11 HR in April, eclipsing 4 HR in only one other month (6 HR in June) and hitting above .221 just once (.284 in July).  Given the additions the team has made, as well as the resurgence of Jonathan Villar, Thames’ playing time has also grown a bit inconsistent.  It all comes together for a player that’s tough to trust with your fantasy title hanging in the balance.


Lucas Sims – Atlanta Braves – Pitcher
He’s struggled in his seven starts for Atlanta, pitching to a 5.73 ERA and 1.51 WHIP over 37.2 IP.  It really shouldn’t come as a surprise, as there always was the risk of being homer prone (1.48 HR/9 at Triple-A prior to his recall).  That issue has continued (1.67 HR/9) and he’s also struggled to fool MLB hitters:

  • SwStr% – 7.9%
  • O-Swing% – 27.9%

Maybe you want to consider him a matchup play?  Regardless, is there a matchup that you’d truly trust him pitching in?  As it is it’s possible that he loses starts, as the Braves take a look at other options to see if they could make an impact in 2018 and beyond.


Tommy Joseph – Philadelphia Phillies – First Baseman
He hasn’t been very good in the second half and with both Aaron Altherr and Odubel Herrera off the DL look for Rhys Hoskins to move back to his natural position of 1B.  That’s going to shift Joseph to a bench role and eliminate all of his potential value (as limited as it already was).


Sources – Fangraphs, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Make sure to check out our Mid-Season Top 50 Prospects by clicking here!


  1. Tony says:

    I agree with all of these in redraft, but what would you do if you owned Carpenter in a 10-team dynasty roto league? Is he heading for an early-ish decline like CarGo, and therefore isn’t worth holding on to?

    It’s not like I *can’t* keep him, but with roster expansion, a lot of my bench slots are eaten up by other DTD players (Scherzer, Arrieta, Altherr) and I’m in a tight race as one of five teams cycling between 1st and 5th place every day, so I’m streaming a lot of pitchers and going with a very thin bench on offense.

    I have decent options covering 2B and 3B (Murphy and Nunez) and Gyorko should come off the DL as a backup / util to replace the loss of Carp. Just don’t know if he’s a must-hold dynasty commodity anymore.

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