Diary of a Fantasy Baseball Madman: Free Falling

by MastersBall.com on September 9, 2013 @ 18:58:51 PDT

 


By Zach Steinhorn

Saturday, September 7 -- 3:12 p.m.

I can't pinpoint exactly when the collapse began. I think it was right around the time I lost Jhonny Peralta to that PED suspension and proceeded to make what has turned out to be a disastrous trade of Adrian Gonzalez for Dan Uggla and Adam LaRoche. I'm not sure exactly how many points I've lost since then, but I do know it's in the neighborhood of 15 to 20. And I do know that I was in 6th place in Mixed Tout Wars then. And I do know that I'm in 12th place now.

Yeah, there's a chance I can move back up rather quickly. After all, I dropped down so fast. But, time is running out and I'm getting disgusted. In Roto formats, it's often tough to calculate exactly how you lost or gained points over an extended period of time, as the standings aren't based solely on the performance of your team but rather your team's performance relative to the rest of the league. I didn't want to waste too much time figuring all this out, as it is quite depressing. But I am the curious type, and it would bother me more if I didn't uncover some of the reasons for my demise. So here's what I've come up with.

Justin Upton has registered a .238 OBP with no homers and no RBI over the past two weeks

Texas Rangers SP Derek Holland
Holland not so ace-like lately

Upton's torrid stretch in early August during which he swatted six homers while driving in 13 runs in eight games seems like a distant memory now, as the ultra-talented yet maddeningly inconsistent outfielder has gone into another prolonged slump. All Upton owners can do is ride this out in hopes that one more hot streak is in the cards before the regular season comes to an end. But at this point, my overall confidence in the younger Upton is waning, and while Justin will finish the season with a solid stat line, I'll likely be looking elsewhere next year when addressing my No. 1 OF spot. Yeah, there's upside, but this guy is just too streaky and too risky.

Jose Altuve posted a measly .226 OBP with just seven runs scored in the month of August

I can't complain too much about Altuve, as he's swiped 26 bags since I traded for him back in late May, and those 26 steals equate to seven points in the current standings. But honestly, I expected better from the diminutive second baseman. I thought he would provide more consistency from an OBP standpoint, which would in turn lead to a higher runs total. His strikeout rate is up and his walk rate is down from a year ago, which is somewhat unsettling. On the bright side though, Altuve is only 23, so there's plenty of time left for him to make significant strides in every aspect of his game. I'm still a believer, and would not at all hesitate to draft him as my starting 2B in 2014 if my team is already in good shape in the power department and if Altuve's price is right. And considering that he will be coming off a disappointing season, I'm fairly confident that the price will be very much to my liking.

Dan Uggla is 4-for-27 (.148 AVG) with no homers and no RBI since returning from the DL on Aug. 28

I knew re-acquiring him was a mistake. Of course it didn't help that he went on the DL a day after returning to my squad. But that was accompanied by the idea that the LASIK surgery would result in improved vision, which would in turn result in improved performance on the field. Not quite. Right before the surgery, Uggla's average was terrible (and his OBP nothing to write home about) but he was still hitting plenty of homers, trailing only Robinson Cano in dingers among second basemen. Uggla was knocking in a decent number of runs and scoring runs with regularity. After the surgery? Outside the terrible average, he's been doing none of the above. I'm done with him in fantasy. Never again.

Adam LaRoche has one homer and three RBI over the past three weeks

LaRoche does it every year. It's like clockwork. His bat catches fire in the second half. This year? Not so much. Maybe age is catching up to him. Maybe it's stupid to believe in all that first half/second half stuff. Maybe it's all a tease. Maybe I should completely avoid LaRoche in 2014. But wait, he's still on pace to finish with 21 homers. And he won't cost much on draft day. Let's put it this way. I won't necessarily be targeting LaRoche, but I won't forget about him either.

Derek Holland hasn't won a game since Aug. 4 and sports a 5.06 ERA and 1.88 WHIP over his last two starts

Nope, my struggles haven't been limited to hitting. The fact that Holland, my most reliable starting pitcher for much of the season, finds himself in a funk of his own goes to show just how dire this situation has become. Look, there's every reason for me to expect a bounce-back from one of the top breakthrough hurlers of the 2013 campaign, but will it be too little too late?

Ugh, football season can't come soon enough.

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