ASK ROTOMAN: My Team Is Terrible. What Can I Do?

Hello,

I feel like my team is jinxed this year. I have all the underachievers on one team. It’s kind of amazing. Anyways, its a 10-team 7 x 7 league with 4 keepers each year. What would you do with these guys?

Zobrist
Jennings
Myers
Aramis Ramirez
Beltran
Butler
Craig
Segura
and Mauer

They all are playing mediocre or awfully. Not really sure of a move to make here. Thanks!

“Stinky”

Dear Stinky:

I’m assuming your pitchers are okay, since you don’t mention them, but still, this is a bad team because you have mediocre players having bad seasons at every position.

Mediocre, you might mutter, or splutter, trying to come up with a clever riposte, but don’t bother. In a 10-team mixed league, you need to have some stars, and you don’t have any. Look at your list:

Zobrist is maybe the eighth best second basemen. Seven teams have better keystone players.

Jennings, Beltran and Wil Myers were ranked in the 40s among outfielders going into this season. I assume your league rosters 30 outfielders (10×3). We’re talking below replacement level. Good players in baseball, because they have 90 starting outfielders, are not good players in a league your size.

Aramis Ramirez was the 17th best third baseman going into this season. Too old.

Billy Butler was the second best DH, out of three, and probably should have been third.

Allen Craig at first base was in a similar position as Ben Zobrist at second. Bottom three in your league going into the season.

And Joe Mauer ranked seventh among catchers.

In fact, your best player among their peers is Jean Segura, and he ranks sixth among shortstops.

I detail all this not to ridicule, really, but to shine the harsh light of reality on your roster. None of these players is a player you would want to keep for next year, even if they were having a typical year.

Which tells us what we need to know: You can’t wait for a rebound.

You thus have two choices.

1) Try to trade your way to a better team this year. This is a hard thing to do, probably impossible at this point in the year, but a worthy challenge if you like to deal. The secret is to unlock the value you have in mostly name brand players, to make speculative plays on young unproven players who are showing signs of breaking out this year. You might try Gregory Polanco, for instance, who was just called up, if he’s available. For a team so stinky, maybe Rougned Odor would be a good fit.

2) Set up your freeze list for next year. This involves a similar process, but means going for guys who might have value next year. Matt Harvey, coming back from Tommy John, is a illustration of this type of candidate. Risky, but worthless to any team that has him this year, so perhaps cheap now and possibly excellent in 2015.

You know better than I how your keepers are valued in your league. Whichever way you go, and you can combine the two approaches up to a point, be bold and uncompromising. Take risks, but jump only if the possible outcome is excellence. In a league your size, anything less is doomed.

Sincerely,
Rotoman

 

2 thoughts on “ASK ROTOMAN: My Team Is Terrible. What Can I Do?

  1. I should have been more clear and I apologize. That’s not my whole team. Just the players that i was having issues with.We have 4 OF spots and 3 utility. Yes, I’m not worried about my pitching. Here’s my normal starting roster. Let me know if it changes your views.

    Mauer
    Zobrist
    Segura
    David Wright
    Giancarlo Stanton
    Desmond Jennings
    Allen Craig
    Jason Heyward
    Billy Butler
    Kris Davis
    Aramis/Beltran…based on matchup

    Does that change anything?

    • Gotcha. I should have realized that this was a partial list. So, you’re team is terrible not because you only have bad guys, but in spite of having some good guys.

      Wright and Stanton give you bona fide No. 1 and No. 2 players. I hear that you have King Felix, who is a genuine No. 3 or 4, depending. I still think you’re offense is weighted toward 7th rounders. If they were performing up to expectations, you would only be trailing, but the fact that most of them are struggling or hurt or both is what’s killing you.

      Without knowing how your freeze system works, I can’t comment on that. What I can say is the prescription is still the same. You can’t count on most of your slow starters to bounce back, so you need to try to take some risks. Jason Heyward is a good risk to take. Loading up on guys like him, youngish guys who aren’t living up to their apparent potential, may not work. But it will give you a chance to have some fun catching lightning in a bottle.

      Good luck.

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