April 1, 2012 posted by Chuck Anderson

Added and Dropped: Pre-Season Roster Doctoring

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Justin Morneau, 1B, Minnesota Twins

Much has happened since the earliest fantasy drafts and teams picked in early March are in need of some adjusting.  The closer carousel is already turning and a former MVP is having some success in a comeback bid.  Two NL West hitters will be rehabbing on Opening Day and owners are searching for healthier alternatives.


Justin Morneau:  He is playing steadily and starting to produce, hitting .355 in his last ten games.  He is not far removed from peak performance, generating 184 wRC+ in the first half of 2010.  He is unlikely to play every day, as fatigue increases the chances that his concussion symptoms could return.  Aside from the concussion, a wrist injury forced him to miss time last year.  There is no bigger health risk.

Drop for him:  Mark Trumbo, Brandon Belt, Mitch Moreland

Don’t drop for him:  Ike Davis, Lucas Duda, Adam Dunn

Sean Marshall:  Dusty Baker is reluctant to name a closer but Marshall has the best skill set in the Cincinnati bullpen.  He has a 2.50 xFIP and 4.02 K/BB over his last 150 IP.  The lefty does not have a severe platoon split, both his FIP and xFIP are under 3.00 against right handed hitters over the last two years.  Aroldis Chapman seems ticketed for relief again but he must bring down his 6.54 BB/9 before being trusted in the ninth inning.

Drop for him:  Vinnie Pestano, Frank Francisco, Matt Capps

Don’t drop for him:  Grant Balfour, Joe Nathan, Brandon League

Ryan Raburn:  Given 550 plate appearances he could have reached twenty home runs in each of the past three years.  Since he is 2B eligible that is some enticing power.  He is off to a fast start with a 1.080 OPS and 18 RBI in Spring Training.  His career 0.28 BB/K is less than ideal.  He also has just a 92 wRC+ against right-handed pitching (bolstered by a .343 BABIP), which is why he has often been platooned.  He is more useful on deeper rosters that can rotate him in and out on a daily basis.

Drop for him:  Daniel Murphy, Omar Infante, Gordon Beckham

Don’t’ drop for him:  Danny Espinosa, Jemile Weeks, Aaron Hill

Mat Gamel:  The Brewers are counting on him to man first base but he carries third base eligibility in most formats.  He is winning skeptics over with six Spring home runs in 53 at bats.  His 9/5 K/BB ratio is also strong.  Gamel has a .301/.374/.512 line in 1247 Triple-A plate appearances.  There are some shades of Alex Gordon here.

Drop for him:  Chase Headley, Martin Prado, Chipper Jones

Don’t drop for him:  Edwin Encarnacion, Mike Moustakas, David Freese

Stephen Drew, SS, Arizona Diamondbacks


Stephen Drew:  He was highly ranked on default draft boards despite his ankle injury.  He will not start the season with Arizona, in fact he has not played in any games yet.  He has disappointed more than he delivered in his career.  Players in standard mixed leagues should not bother unless they need him to fill a MI spot.

Drop him for:  Zack Cozart, Cliff Pennington, Alcides Escober

Don’t drop him for:  Rafael Furcal, Jed Lowrie, Sean Rodriguez

Carlos Quentin:  Knee surgery could keep him sidelined until early May.  He was a 20-25 HR bat in Chicago, but that will take a hit in San Diego.  No other hitter with more than 400 PA had a higher fly ball rate, and there is lots of room in the Petco outfield.

Drop him for:  Vernon Wells, Dexter Fowler, Cody Ross

Don’t drop him for:  Nyjer Morgan, Jason Bay, Bobby Abreu

Lonnie Chisenhall:  He will start the season in the minors after hitting .205/.225/.231 with a 16/1 K/BB in the Spring.  His stats have never quite lived up to his scouting reports and fantasy impact is likely a year or two away.

Drop him for:  Scott Rolen, Casey McGahee, Ty Wigginton

Don’t drop him for:  Chris Davis, Ian Stewart, Chone Figgins

Roy Oswalt:  He was a popular sleeper for early drafters as he was expected to sign with a contender.  There is no action thus far, he could join a club mid-season or not at all.  His “NA” status hurts, as he takes up a full roster spot while producing nothing.  There is too much intriguing pitching available to sit on Oswalt.

Drop him for:  Henderson Alvarez, Brian Matusz, Juan Nicasio, Jeff Niemann


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