Ubaldo Jimenez was so bad for so long that it became hard to remember his dominant stretch in Colorado. In recent months he is delivering ace-like numbers again and helping Cleveland make a playoff push. Contrary to expectations many young players are breaking down in September. The Dropped List features four players who are all in their first or second major league seasons.
Ubaldo Jimenez: His 1.83 second half ERA is backed up with a 3.09 K/BB. His old velocity has not returned but he switched up some pitch selection. He is throwing more sliders and splitters and fewer curves and changeups. His peripherals are steady and every indicator sees sub-4.00 ERA skills.
Drop for him: Lance Lynn, Derek Holland, CC Sabathia
Don’t drop for him: A.J. Burnett, Alex Cobb, James Shields
Kole Calhoun: He is riding an eight game hitting streak with a .297/.361/.503 line overall. At 27 he is old for a rookie but there is very little falloff from his Pacific Coast League statistics. He produced ISOs over .200 at every professional level since signing in 2010.
Drop for him: B.J. Upton, Starling Marte, Carlos Gonzalez
Don’t drop for him: Domonic Brown, Denard Span, Jacoby Ellsbury
Jonathan Villar: The speedy shortstop has seventeen steals in 45 games and owns a .355 OBP thanks to a .421 BABIP. His 28.7% strikeout rate shows some offensive issues, but they have not caught up to him yet. With a 3.81 GB/FB ratio it is a wonder his ISO is as high as .094. Over a longer sample his bat could rival Dee Gordon’s.
Drop for him: Alcides Escobar, Jose Iglesias, Starlin Castro
Don’t drop for him: Junior Lake, Asdrubal Cabrera, Stephen Drew
Will Middlebrooks: He is batting .308/.371/.519 since his August recall. The better news is his walk rate increased from 4.2% to 8.6%. Keith Law credits both improved mechanics and approach, implying that this is more than a lucky run. He is losing some playing time in Boston’s Drew/Bogaerts timeshare.
Drop for him: Aramis Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, Todd Frazier
Don’t drop for him: Brett Lawrie, Chris Johnson, Manny Machado
Tony Cingrani: Back spasms have bothered him for a month or so, and he really struggled in his last three starts. Still, he could be pressed into action as Cincinnati seeks a playoff spot. Fantasy owners should exercise caution. He is near 150 IP, which may lead to a cap next year.
Drop him for: Ian Kennedy, Martin Perez, Dan Straily
Don’t drop him for: Trevor Cahill, Paul Maholm, Andy Pettitte
Adam Eaton: The popular preseason sleeper never got things rolling this year. His .260/.329/.383 line is below expectations, but what really rankles fantasy players is his four steals one season after totaling 46. Both his walk rate and ISO are lower in 2013 than they were in 2012 so some rebuilding is necessary.
Drop him for: Josh Reddick, Raul Ibanez, Jon Jay
Don’t drop him for: Matt Joyce, Michael Morse, Lorenzo Cain
Alex Wood: Atlanta is skipping his next start. Running Freddy Garcia out on a regular basis is one of the luxuries of having an insurmountable division lead. Wood allowed eleven runs in his last two starts with his walk rate spiking. Keep him in mind for 2014, he combines a strikeout rate over 9.0/9 with a stellar ground ball rate.
Drop him for: Danny Salazar, Tyson Ross, Marco Estrada
Don’t drop him for: Jorge De La Rosa, Mark Buehrle, Roy Halladay
Avisail Garcia: He is only hitting .195/.233/.220 in September. His lowly 0.17 BB/K is catching up with him. Things could be even worse, his BABIP is still a robust .331. Having never posted an ISO over .200 he is far from a finished product.
Drop him for: Ryan Doumit, Logan Morrison, Lucas Duda
Don’t drop him for: Robbie Grossman, Michael Saunders, Vernon Wells