Sunday - May 19, 2019

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Panic or Patience?

Scott and I are going to touch upon some guys who have started off slowly and whether they’re ones to pursue, hold or dump. If you would like us to comment on others please post in the forums and we’ll get our comments up about those guys too.

Carl Crawford

Mark

panic. Some players just can’t handle the big stage, and a quiet, humble person like Crawford is one of those guys. Will it be a long-term problem? I don’t know, but I think 2011 is going to be a lost cause. I think the offseason will help, but I wouldn’t bet on the problems being corrected this season.

Scott

patience. Crawford’s been there and done that. Playing in a park like Fenway, with the unreal expectations put on him by the Red Sox Nation won’t help him, but he’s too talented not to turn it around. I saw glimpses of good things in the series finale against Oakland on Wednesday.  If you can, buy him now, as his price can’t possibly ever be cheaper than it is right now.

Francisco Liriano

Mark

panic. This is the best price you will get for Liriano all year. He really didn’t pitch that well in his no hitter. Chicago’s offense is just that bad right now (and the hard hit balls were hit right to people). There are way too many red flags here and not enough signs of optimism. Jump ship and spare yourself the ulcer.

Scott

panic. Liriano was a guy that had a lot of warning signs going into the season, and they’ve resurfaced early in the year. He’s got a ton of walks to date, and an alarming number of his baserunners are scoring. If you’re buying him, do so with extreme caution. If the Twins are out of it in June, look for him to relocate … maybe to the Bronx.

Nelson Cruz

Mark

patience. He’s gone for 30 home runs and 20 stolen bases before in a shortened season. Unlike others in this list, while he’s frustrating to own the rewards in the end game are well worth the headache. Repeated leg problems may slow him down and keep him closer to 10 swiped bags, but the power is still there.

Scott

patience. Injury risk is not anything new to Cruz. He will be fine, and if you can get him on the cheap you need to do it while he’s broken. When he comes back he’ll be the same old Cruz.

Edinson Volquez

Mark

panic. Stuff does not mean anything if you don’t know how to use it. He will maintain a strong strikeout rate, but really that’s it. He’s way too inconsistent to try and play the matchups so you’ll never trust him when you do start him, and he doesn’t pitch deep enough in games to count on a strong win total. If you can’t trade him just dump him. You won’t even notice he’s gone.

Scott

panic. I’ve never really watched a lot of the Cincinnati Reds, this season though, everywhere I look, the Reds seem to be there. And every time I’ve watched, Volquez is pitching. And every time, I’m disgusted by the first inning and cannot watch after. Regardless of how well he’s thrown after the first inning, there’s just too much to worry about early. He’s behind hitters, walking them and not missing a lot of bats early. The talent is there; I’m just worried about the head.

Yovani Gallardo

Mark

panic. It’d be one thing if he were just having one problem right now, but he is completely lost. His owners knew buying him would be a walks plus hits per inning pitched (WHIP) risk, but they were not anticipating the earned run average and strikeout problems too. He’ll probably get it right someday. Although he is still living primarily off his scouting report and not results, let him do it on someone else’s roster before you buy back in.

Scott

patience. Too talented of a pitcher to struggle like this forever. When he finds his groove, and Zack Grienke comes back, the Brewers are going to have a very formidable 1-3 with Shaun Marcum as well. Target him now, as the window isn’t going to be open for very long.

Mike Stanton

Mark

panic. Like Francisco Liriano, sell him while he’s hot. Scott’s Mark Reynolds comparison below is spot on. The average will be low and the slumps could be long, so someone is going to pay for the name. And given his leg problems to date I don’t trust him to stay healthy and be right all year either.

Scott

panic. Panic in the short term. Being dropped to sixth in a relatively weak lineup isn’t something to be excited about. Neither is his strikeout rate. I’m worried about a huge regression from Stanton this year, as the strikeout rate has always scared me away from him. This year, I would not be surprised if the batting average dipped into Mark Reynolds territory by years end. I don’t think he’s going to struggle forever that way, but it’s worth monitoring.

Carlos Santana

Mark

patience. When Shin-Soo Choo gets things right, Santana will follow suit. He is struggling with off-speed stuff, but once Choo gets on base in front of him more often he will see more fastballs and the hot streak will follow.

Scott

patience. Another guy here to target on the cheap.  He’s too good of a hitter to struggle throughout the season. With everyone else in Cleveland playing well, maybe Santana is just deciding to take it easy on the opponents. Whatever the issue is, I don’t expect it to last for much longer.

Andrew McCutchen

Mark

patience. He’s just slumping right now and he’s showing signs of coming out of it. He’s still the top-of-the-order 20 home run, 40 stole base talent you bought in March. If you get him now you’ll get 15 home runs and 35 stolen bases of it.

Scott

patience. Way too talented. Period. Not going to waste much more time on this one. If someone’s shopping him at a discounted rate, go after it. He’ll have a huge year by the end.

Joe Nathan

Mark

panic. His velocity is way down and he’s struggling with adjustments as he has to paint the corners with more frequency. He’s probably already on waivers in your league, but unless Matt Capps regresses or gets hurt just leave him there.

Scott

patience. If someone in your league dropped him with the news that Matt Capps is now the closer, make room for him. Nathan is, was, and will be one of the most reliable closers in the MLB. One early-season stint isn’t going to change my mind on that. Especially since it’s been just over a calendar year since he’s had Tommy John surgery. Keep an eye on the waiver wire for him, and stash him. The job will be his again by June, and you’ll reap the rewards.

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