by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
At this point in the season the decision making is different, especially if you play in a redraft format. Not only can anything happen over a 7 day stretch, but playing time and playoff preparation need to be taken into account. Normally you would never consider giving up on these big name players, but at this point it’s believable. Let’s take a look a few players and try to determine how to proceed:
Miguel Cabrera – Detroit Tigers
Last 7 Days – .273, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1 R
Obviously the Tigers aren’t in playoff contention, but they are a team in transition and they’ve been taking a look at youngsters to see if they can be part of the ultimate solution. With Cabrera battling back injuries throughout the season, is it impossible that he gets a few extra days over the final week? That alone would be a reason to consider moving on, especially with only six games on the schedule (it’s possible he only plays in 3 or 4 of them, if he’s not shutdown for his back injury flaring up).
Then you have the fact that his struggles go well beyond the past week, as he’s hitting .228 with 5 HR in 189 AB since the All-Star Break. It’s clear that the injury is impacting him, so expecting him to suddenly get hot would be misguided.
Jose Bautista – Toronto Blue Jays
Last 7 Days – .143, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R
He’s hitting .203 on the season, so let’s not pretend that he’s been a productive option in general. However things get even more questionable with 6 games on the schedule and it being possible that the Blue Jays give his AB to various youngsters who they want to test to see if they fit into their 2018 plans. You know Kevin Pillar is going to get the AB in CF, but could they use both Teoscar Hernandez and Ezequiel Carrera in the lineup together, as opposed platooning them, at least once or twice?
He does face the Red Sox and Yankees, neither of which could have a ton to play for, but Chris Sale is definitely on the schedule. It all depends on your alternatives, but this one is a tough sell.
Any Oriole Hitter
Baltimore only has five games on the schedule, which immediately is going to put them behind some other options. All five games also come on the road, and two of those are in Pittsburgh where they won’t have the DH at their disposal. For a team that’s already shown that they are going to take a look at Pedro Alvarez and Austin Hays, any player in the lineup could be limited to 3-4 games at most. Outside of Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop, you could make an argument to sit any of their other bats.
Sources – Yahoo!, Fangraphs, CBS Sports