- Making moves on the waiver wire this week? These players can be on the oppsite end of the transaction.
There’s no shortage of opportunity for Amed Rosario in the Mets lineup. The 23-year-old shortstop spent much of May leading off for New York, getting on base ahead of Rookie of the Year candidate Pete Alonso and 2017 All-Star Michael Conforto. Never known for his power, Rosario could remain a speedy slap hitter, relying on a solid on-base percentage to kickstart the lineup. Or so the thinking went.
Even with plenty of reps atop New York’s lineup, Rosario has failed to make himself comfortable. He’s slashing .194/.247/.389 in his last 17 starts, a stretch that’s included 18 strikeouts and just one stolen base. Rosario swiped 24 bags last year, but is on pace for fewer than 15 this season. His failure to generate runs is troublesome, and his inability to get on base is downright alarming.
Tuesday’s matchup with the Giants signaled another concern for Rosario owners. New York’s utility man extraordinaire Jeff McNeil returned to the lineup after a stint on the IL and immediately assumed the leadoff role in Mickey Callaway’s lineup. Rosario, meanwhile, was dropped to the seventh spot, and could stick there long-term. Pair a prolonged slump with a significant lineup demotion, and you get a formula to lead the fantasy baseball Droppables.
With that, let’s get to the rest of this week’s Droppables.
Ryan Braun, OF, Brewers
It’s been a slow decline for Ryan Braun over the last three years. The 2011 NL MVP dropped his OPS from .903 in 2016 to .823 in 2017 and .782 last season. He fell short of 20-homer and 60-run plateaus each of the last two seasons, limiting his fantasy value. Braun entered 2019 clearly on the decline, but also as a reliable fantasy asset. That is no longer the case.
Braun has been swinging with a wet newspaper in his last 15 games, his passable .283 average dampened by a .358 slugging percentage. Braun hasn’t homered since May 14, and has one RBI in his last 13 games. His slugging has tumbled nearly 50 points since mid-May and his fantasy value is slipping by the day. If and when the Brewers recall Keston Hiura, Braun could see his playing time further slashed.
Marco Gonzales, SP, Mariners
The Mariners have been on a downward spiral after their 13–2 start, most recently losing 13 of their last 16 games. Seattle is now on a 65-win pace and on track for a second-straight last place finish in the AL West, sporting a historically poor defense and ghastly 5.36 staff ERA. Marco Gonzales hasn’t been immune to the struggles.
Gonzalez enjoyed a solid 2018 season, posting a 4.00 ERA and 1.22 WHIP with 145 strikeouts in 166 2/3 innings, setting him up as Seattle’s No. 2 starter this year, as well as a late-round fantasy target. After a strong start to the season—Gonzalez was 50 with a 2.80 ERA across his first six starts—he has lost five straight decisions and owns a 7.79 ERA and 1.76 WHIP since May 1. Feel free to send him to the waiver wire.
Jesse Winker, OF, Reds
Winker is providing decent pop, hitting 10 homers in 202 plate appearances, but decent pop doesn’t carry a hitter as far as it used to during a season that’s on pace to smash the previous record for home runs. Beyond that, Winker is hitting just .236/.312/.445, and carries a .225/.295/.310 slash line with one homer over his last 20 games. He’s also purely a platoon player, heading to the bench when the Reds face a lefty. Given the depth of the outfield pool, Winker is safely droppable.