2018 Fantasy Baseball Week 8 Drop List: Eight Men Out

by Dennis Sosic
2018 Fantasy Baseball Week 8 Drop List: Eight Men Out

Welcome Back Fantasy friends and foes to the Fantasy Six Pack Drop List.

When I sat down to start writing this article, I started thinking, "Wow, it's Week 8 already!" but I also thought of one of my favorite baseball movies, "Eight Men Out". The movie is a dramatization of the Black Sox scandal, in which eight members of the Chicago White Sox conspired with gamblers to intentionally lose the 1919 World Series.

In one of the saddest chapters in baseball history, the White Sox were considered one of the greatest teams ever assembled. However, the team was bitter at their frugal owner, Charles Comiskey. He had little desire to reward his players for a spectacular season. Gamblers took advantage of this situation to offer some players money to throw the series. Two players, Buck Weaver and Shoeless Joe Jackson, actually turn back at the last minute and try to win.

Two years later, the truth comes out and the Sox are sued on multiple counts. The eight men are acquitted of any wrongdoing. However, newly appointed baseball commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis bans the eight men for life because they intentionally lost games or knew about the fix and did not report it to the team or league officials.

Well, enough of the baseball history lesson, let's take a look at another "Eight Men Out" - eight players who fantasy owners can safely drop off their fantasy rosters in the 2018 Fantasy Baseball Week 8 Drop List.

2018 Fantasy Baseball Week 8 Drop List

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Jose Bautista, 3B, New York Mets

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Jose Bautista was once one of the best power hitters in baseball. Bautista hit .203 last season with 170 strikeouts. He finished last among 144 major leaguers who qualified for the batting title last season.

The Mets were so desperate for a right-handed bat that they signed Bautista, who was just released by the Atlanta Braves after hitting .143 with two home runs this season. So far this season, the 37-year-old Bautista has over twice as many strikeouts (12) as hits (5).

He was signed to provide production against left-handers and possibly platoon with Jay Bruce. Bruce has a poor.573 OPS with no home runs against lefties this season. Bautista will play outfield and third base for the Mets and be their right-handed hitting option off the bench. I hope that you are not as desperate as the Mets are and picked up Bautista. If so, start planning for next season, this season is over.

Ian Kinsler, 2B, Los Angeles Angels

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Ian Kinsler was acquired during the offseason to hopefully provide stability at the second base position for the Angels. The Angels are still looking for some stability. The 36-year-old is struggling to the tune of .202/.283/.295 slash line this season. He started the season in the leadoff spot and was demoted in the order May 9.

His first game after the move in the order, Kinsler collected three hits. Since that game, he went into a 4-for-24 slide where he managed only one extra-base hit.

There are no encouraging stats for Kinsler. The second base position is populated with many players performing well this season, so there is no reason to hold on to Ian Kinsler.

Chris Owings, INF/OF, Arizona Diamondbacks

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Fantasy owners of Chris Owings were hoping that he would take advantage of the increased playing time due to the Diamondbacks suffering multiple injuries across their team. While his versatility (2B/SS/OF) is a valuable fantasy asset, he will need to improve dramatically upon his dismal .198/.263/.302 slash line with an ugly 36:11 K: BB in 126 at-bats.

Owings started on fire this season, his early season average was .333, but he has failed miserably in taking advantage of the increased playing time. In addition to his position flexibility, another fantasy component that made Owing appealing was his ability on the basepaths. He has averaged 15 stolen bases over the past three seasons, and with the increased at-bats, fantasy owners thought they had a great sneaky pick for their stolen base category. Unfortunately, he has not fared well at all on the basepaths this season. Owings has been caught three times out of seven attempts!

Chris Owings is not hitting or contributing on the basepaths. His flexibility is attractive but his production and stats do not help you win championships!

Jay Bruce, OF, New York Mets

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Jay Bruce returned to the Mets after signing a three-year $39 million deal after hitting over 30 home runs in each of the past two seasons. Bruce has yet to find his power stroke in his return to New York. He has notched just 12 extra-base hits in 132 at-bats. He is hitting .234/.308/.369 with three homers and 14 RBI through 40 games this season.

The Mets are experimenting with Bruce at first base with the thoughts of getting their potential best bats in their lineup daily. Bruce is horrible defensively at first, so its hard to see him playing there for an extended period of time.

Recently, the Mets signed just released Jose Bautista to play outfield in a platoon with Bruce. Bruce has struggled against southpaws to the tune of hitting just .220/.256/.317 this season. With Bruce struggling and now potentially losing at-bats to Bautista, Bruce's fantasy's value is going downhill fast.


Jarlin Garcia, P, Miami Marlins

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Jarlin Garcia was amazing through the first six outings of the season, posting a 1.09 ERA, before becoming an erratic fantasy option recently. In his past two starts, he was roughed up for 11 earned runs in 10 innings. He allowed six total home runs in those starts. Overall, Garcia has posted a 3.80 ERA and 1.13 WHIP with a 30:19 K: BB across 45 innings.

His poor underlying numbers and 100-120 innings limit this season make him a perfect candidate to work out of the bullpen. Unfortunately, those factors also make him a pitcher that is no longer a fantasy option.

Drew Pomeranz, SP, Boston Red Sox

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Drew Pomeranz has averaged less than five innings per start with a 5.97 ERA through his first six outings this year. He has given up five walks per nine innings and a whopping 11 hits per nine innings, while his FIP is 5.13.

The velocity on his fastball remains the biggest issue for Pomeranz so far this season. He is consistently averaging 88-89 on his fastball, and it's been a struggle to get it up to 90 consistently. Last year, he was sitting in the 91-93 range. His issues might be due to a cracked fingernail on the pointer finger of his left hand. It's the key finger for him since he uses it to flick the ball forward on the curve.

What should the Red Sox and fantasy owners do with Pomeranz? The Red Sox have to hope that he follows last season's path. Last season, he had started eight games, posted a 4.97 ERA. He averaged less than five innings per outing. Then, Pomeranz went on to go 14-3 the rest of the way, recording a 2.85 ERA in that span. Boston is batting with New York for the top team in the AL and they don't want to run out of time for the southpaw to find that form.

They do have Steven Wright who just returned and has pitched well in his two appearances. Also, they have Hector Velazquez who has yet to have a bad outing this season. While the Red Sox struggle to find out what they will get at the back end of their rotation, fantasy owners already should know that Pomeranz will not help them to get into the playoffs.

Josh Tomlin, SP, Cleveland Indians

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Josh Tomlin just isn't getting it done, and he really hasn't shown any signs of turning the corner. Through six starts, he has a 0-4 record with a 7.84 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP with a FIP of 9.14. He's allowed a ridiculous 15 home runs already this season. That's about as many as starting pitchers have over an entire season with 30+ starts.

The 33-year-old is demonstrating his typical brand of excellent control (1.7 BB/9), but his 5.2 K/9 mark is his lowest since 2012. Additionally, he has a career-high home-run-to-fly-ball-ratio (24.6), a career-low ground-ball rate (26.4 percent) and an astonishing 4.35 home runs per nine innings.

What he did rising up in the 2016 postseason is the stuff of legends, but it’s clearly time for him to remove him from the rotation. The Indians can’t wait around for him to be a reliable fifth starter forever. Enter Adam Plutko, a marginal prospect who made a solid 7.1-inning spot start against the Toronto Blue Jays earlier this season. Plutko held the Blue Jays to three earned runs off six hits and more importantly gave the bullpen a much-needed break in the midst of a double-header. Another prospect could also be brought up is Shane Bieber. Read more about Bieber here in our very own Kyle Megrath's 2018 Fantasy Baseball Week 8 Prospect Report: Flying Soto.

Joakim Soria, RP, Chicago White Sox

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Joakim Soria was acquired from the Kansas City Royals during this past off-season to try to upgrade a shaky bullpen. Soria started the season as the White Sox closer but is now staring at being part of a dreaded bullpen-by-committee with Nate Jones and Bruce Rondon.

Soria has posted a 0-2 record with an unsavory 5.28 ERA and 1.57 WHIP so far this season. He has saved four games and struck out 19 batters in 15.1 innings. He has pitched in a non-save situation in four straight appearances. Furthermore, he has given up at least one run in three straight outings. White Sox manager Rick Renteria has said that his closer situation remains fluid, but the recent usage pattern suggests that Soria is the odd man out right now.

The White Sox are 13-31, and are going nowhere fast. They are paying the 34-year-old Soria's nine million salary to pitch in nonessential games. This is probably something that the White Sox can do without. The White Sox will look to deal the veteran to a team in need of another arm in the bullpen. He may provide some relief in the middle/late innings for a contending team, but he is now useless on your fantasy roster.

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