Kansas City Royals’ closer Joakim Soria blew his third consecutive save opportunity on Monday, his fifth in 12 chances. His ERA has ballooned to 6.55, and Royals’ manager Ned Yost announced after Sunday’s game that Soria would be relieved from his ninth inning duties. Aaron Crow will take his place, and is a must add in all formats.
Soria was thought to be one of the most reliable closers in the game two months ago, but a decline in strikeouts (7.77 K/9 this season, 9.75 career), increase in walks (4.09 BB/9, 2.60 career) and drop in average fastball velocity (90.5 mph, 91.9 last year) have left the Royals and fantasy managers alike with a pitcher that can’t get anyone out…
The consensus No. 2 pick before the season started, Hanley Ramirez has done little to justify his draft position. Through 181 at-bats this season, Ramirez is flirting with the Mendoza Line (.210) and sports a Jason Bartlett-like OPS (.618).
To make matters worse, Ramirez was removed from Sunday’s game after the first inning with lower back stiffness. He recently missed a few games due to a foot injury, but his woes go far beyond this.
Ramirez’s BABIP is .238—more than 100 points lower than his career .340 clip. A closer look, however, suggests poor luck isn’t the only culprit of his lackluster production…
Aramis Ramirez has averaged 28 HRs, 96 RBI and a .295 batting clip a year since 2004, despite missing 118 games over the last two seasons. His torrid 2010 second half (15 HRs, 51 RBI in 62 games) led many (myself included) to believe Ramirez would return to his former 25-HR, 100-RBI days this season, but he has yet to produce as such.
The soon-to-be 33 year-old third basemen whacked just his second dinger of the season on Sunday, and sported a .280 batting clip in 175 at-bats entering the game.
The questions rises, then: Is Aramis Ramirez a good buy-low candidate?
Spot-starting is a crucial part of any fantasy team’s success, especially in roto leagues. Monday’s games will feature a plethora of back-of-the-rotation starters who are likely available in your league, including Jason Hammel, Doug Fister, Brad Penny and Charlie Morton. But which one is the best option?