- You'll be making moves on the waiver wire this weekend. These are the players on the other side of the transaction.
Welcome to The Droppables, a weekly column that will help you let go of the players on your fantasy roster trending in the wrong direction. Patience through a slump can be rewarded eventually, but sticking with the wrong player too long is often costly. In this space, we’ll give you the cover you need to get rid of a player in whom you once believed.
So who should you already consider dropping after this early in the season? The first crop of Droppables for 2019 is below.
Miguel Cabrera, 1B, Tigers
It’s feel sacrilegious to discard one of the greatest hitters of his era, but Cabrera is no longer a viable fantasy bat as he winds down his Hall of Fame career. Cabrera has registered just three hits in his first 25 at-bats, and all of them were singles. Cabrera will drive in his first RBI of the season sooner than later, yet his opportunities will be few and far between in Detroit’s weak lineup. A decreasing skill set paired with a middling supporting cast isn’t a recipe for fantasy success.
Cabrera’s slow start shouldn’t be necessarily surprising. He struggled through an injury-plagued 2018 season, slugging .448 with three homers in 157 plate appearances. Want to give Cabrera the benefit of the doubt and look to his most recent healthy season? The projections remain discouraging. He hit .249/.329/.399 with 16 homers in 529 plate appearances in 2017. His walk rate plummeted to 10.2%, while his strikeout rate spiked to 20.8%, his highest mark since 2004.
Cabrera simply doesn’t deserve a long leash at this stage of his career. Given his slow start to the season, fantasy owners should feel free to put him on the chopping block when they’re making their moves on the waiver wire.
Ian Kinsler, 2B, Padres
Kinsler has had a rough go of it to kick off his San Diego tenure, going 4-for-22 with two walks and strikeout in his first 24 plate appearances. He does have one homer, but modest power isn’t going to keep him the good graces of fantasy owners. Kinsler has led off every game for the Padres, which gives him plenty of run-scoring upside, but on-base ability has never been one of his strengths. He had a .301 OBP last year and .313 mark in 2017, and has a career walk rate of 8.4%. His isolated slugging fell to .140 last year, while his slugging percentage dipped below .400 for the first time in his career. Kinsler needs to find more on-base skills to make the most of his position in the Padres’ lineup, and it’s hard to believe that a guy in his age-37 season is going to change his stripes.
Jose Ureña, SP, Marlins
It’s not as though Ureña was particularly dominant over the past two seasons, but he did post a 3.82 ERA in 2017, and 3.98 ERA and 1.18 WHIP in 2018. With a significant dip in HR/FB ratio to 8.3% last year, there was reason for optimism going into this season. That has all but evaporated by the end of the first week of April.
Ureña has made two starts, allowing 10 earned runs on 16 hits and two walks in 8 2/3 innings. The average velocity on his four-seam fastball is down about two mph from last season, and while he never had major strikeout upside, it’s still disappointing to see him fan just six of the first 46 batters he has faced. To make matters worse, he’s in a division filled with dangerous lineups. Ureña should remain on the waiver wire until further notice.
Andrew Miller, RP, Cardinals
Miller signed two-year, $25 million deal with St. Louis this offseason, with the idea that he would be one of the team’s most valuable relievers, if not its closer. Instead, the regression that began with a shoulder injury last season has continued unabated this year. Miller surrendered an earned run in each of his first two relief outings, then walked and hit a batter without recording an out in his third. All told, he has allowed two runs on three hits—including one homer—two walks and two hit batsmen in two innings. He’s nowhere near fantasy relevance and even further from the closer’s chair in St. Louis.