Today, I am going to look at some players that are on the DL and being dropped at a high rate (all numbers are from ESPN).
Angel Pagan (oblique) – 51.0% owned, down 45.5% – Owners are dumping Pagan at a pretty alarming rate. Owners know they aren’t paying for power with him, they are hoping for a player that steals a few bases (4 in 2011) and hits for decent average. The average has been a disaster this year at 0.159, which is being fueled by his 0.164 BABIP. Normally his BABIP is around 0.300, so the batting average should improve substantially. He has been moved around the lineup quite a bit, mainly hitting in the 2nd, 5th or 6th spots. He will have chances to score and drive in a few runs. He is expected to be back from the DL after his 15 days are up on April 30th. He looks to be a perfect player for a team needing SB or AVG help.
Scott Rolen (shoulder) – 37.6% owned, down 30.1% – Scott being dumped is something I understand. He has been hitting for power, but his AVG is down at 0.217. His 0.224 BABIP is helping to fuel the low AVG. His plate discipline has not been good this season which can be seen by his BB/K ratio of 0.18, a career low if it stands. Since he has had shoulder problems in the past, this injury might linger all season long. If a person has an open DL spot, I would pick him up knowing that you may never get any production from him.
Phil Hughes (arm) – 29.3% owned, down 20.5% – Phil’s value will come down to him regaining his fastball velocity which dropped from an average of 92.6 MPH to 89.2 MPH. In my opinion, the Yankees knew of the drop before the season started, but took the chance that his production would not drop. They were wrong. He is now throwing bullpen sessions to see if his arm speed returns. Make sure you keep track of any reports of his fastball speed. He may get his speed back or he could be effectively done as a starter. I would take a chance with him that the speed will come back and place him on your DL. You will know in a couple of weeks if you got a waiver wire steal or you need to dump him and move on.
Brian Matusz (back) – 43.1% owned, down 19.4% – Matusz is ready to begin his rehab assignments soon for his mid-May scheduled return. I could see owners waiting to get the results from the first outing and then decide to pick him up. The time to pick him up is before everyone else does. He was highly regarded at the beginning of the season, but the back injury dropped his value. Like with Hughes previously, there is not a lot to lose by picking him up, but with ace level production possible, why not take the chance.