The Ditch List: Identifying Three Players That It’s Time To Cut Ties With (Nick Williams & 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):

 

Nick Williams – Philadelphia Phillies – Outfielder
A highly touted prospect he’s had a nice rookie campaign, hitting .287 with 10 HR, 48 RBI, 39 R and 1 SB over 298 PA.  However strikeouts have been an issue (28.2%), and his September plate discipline has been downright horrific:

  • SwStr% – 20.5%
  • O-Swing% – 51.8%

It shouldn’t be surprising that he’s seen a downward trend in “hard” pitches this month, at 58.93% (he had seen 65.09% in August) and an increase in breaking balls (27.23%) and offspeed (13.84%) pitches.  While he hasn’t consistently made contact against hard stuff, his overall 33.33% Whiff% on offspeed pitches and 20.69% on breaking balls are terrible marks.

There’s little reason to think that things are going to change from an opponent’s stand point, so it will be up to Williams to make any necessary adjustment.  Can he in such a short period of time?  It’s hard to expect and that’s going to make him tough to trust.  He also could lose a few AB with everyone healthy, as the Phillies have to shuffle him along with Odubel Herrera, Aaron Altherr and Tommy Joseph (with Rhys Hoskins seeing time at both 1B and in the outfield).  Fewer AB would make it even tougher to expect an adjustment.

While he’s not droppable in keeper formats, those in redraft can consider moving on from Williams for the final 10 days given the risks.

 

Mark Trumbo – Baltimore Orioles – Outfielder
The 2017 season has been a significant disappointment, and that doesn’t even take his .238 average into account.  Returning to Baltimore everyone expected him to provide significant power once again, but 23 HR given what the rest of the league is doing just doesn’t hold the same appeal (especially when it’s tied to this type of poor average).

Now you have to add in concerns that Trumbo could consistently find himself on the bench as the team looks at possible pieces for 2018.  Trumbo took a seat on Monday, with Austin Hays in the outfield and Pedro Alvarez filling in at DH.  It would certainly make sense for the team to see what those two could do and if they are a part of the plans moving forward, because it’s hard to envision Trumbo returning once again.  Monitor the lineup, but don’t be afraid to move on.

 

Ian Happ – Chicago Cubs – Second Baseman/Outfielder
With Addison Russell back there is a real crunch for playing time over the remainder of the season.  That’s not to say that Happ won’t get into games, especially as the team rests players and prepares to make a playoff run.  That said the AB will be unpredictable, and at this stage of the season that makes him tough to trust (especially with the strikeouts already rising, at 39.2% in September).  There’s a chance that he presses to make an impact when he is playing, and that could lead to further struggles.

 

Sources – Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball

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