One of the most difficult things to do in fantasy baseball is deciding when to hold on to a struggling star and when to cut the cord. While you don’t want to give up on a potential top-50 player based on a slow start, you also don’t want to hang on to a player that is more than likely to finish outside of the top-100 for too long. Especially when you consider there are likely better options available on the waiver wire. Here is a look at the quality players that are off to the worst starts this MLB season.
1B: Mike Napoli, Texas Rangers
The veteran first basemen was signed by the Rangers to provide some pop in the heart of their order. However, Napoli has hit just .164 with five home runs and 13 RBI through the first few weeks of the season. Napoli’s .239 average last season wasn’t spectacular, but he did hit 24 home runs and record 101 RBI for the Cleveland Indians. He’s never been a great hit-for-average guy but the pop is why teams continue to acquire his services.
Some MLB fantasy general managers will hold on to Napoli with the hope that he can turn things around. However, the better approach might be to cut him for a better option on the waiver wire. You can still monitor Napoli’s progress after dropping him. He likely won’t get picked up until he starts to turns things around.
C/OF: Kyle Schwarber, Chicago Cubs
There was a lot of talk about what Schwarber would be able to bring to the Cubs in his return to the lineup this season. However, he is off to a slow start and has fantasy owners concerned about whether he can turn things around. Schwarber has hit .200 with five home runs and 14 RBI so far this season. His batting average is going to improve, though. Considering he will hit in one of the most talented lineups in the majors, it’s only a matter of time before his other numbers start to pick up. If you drafted Schwarber, then make sure you hold on to him since it is only a matter of time before he turns things around. He’s a young prospect on the rise and we’d expect him to be a valuable commodity in MLB fantasy at some point this season.
1B: Adrian Gonzalez, Los Angeles Dodgers
Has the veteran slugger Gonzalez finally hit a wall? The 35-year-old is hitting .255 so far this season, which isn’t bad. However, Gonzalez is still looking for his first home run of the season. Gonzalez hit 28 home runs in 2015. That total dropped to 18 last season. That should be an obvious sign of regression and it will be interesting to see what his home run totals look like this season.
The Dodgers just moved Gonzalez to the 10-day DL, which should free up a roster spot if you own him. However, if you don’t have an extra DL spot for Gonzalez, you might want to consider cutting him altogether and finding a better option at first base. Cutting him would be a bold move as he might turn it around, but some people feel that this is who he actually is now.
OF: Mark Trumbo, Baltimore Orioles
Remember a year ago when Trumbo hit a league-leading 47 home runs? Everybody knew that he wasn’t going to hit that many home runs this season. However, nobody knew his production would slow as much as it has. Trumbo has just three home runs through his first 130 plate appearances. He has hit just .231 with 15 RBI. Those are absolutely brutal numbers to the point where he is likely a liability to your fantasy squad. At the same time, there is no way he will be this bad throughout the entire season. Fantasy owners will have to weigh the risk and reward in order to determine how long they want to keep Trumbo on their roster. Trumbo is due to produce better numbers moving forward. However, if you can’t wait much longer for him to turn thing around then you might have to make a bold move whether it’s via trade or on the waiver wire.
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