Roster Doctor treats a risky strategy

Ralph writes in:

11-team, Rotisserie, NL-only, keeper league.

The plan was to protect WHIP and ERA with a relatively cheap staff, short on starters, and deal with wins and strikeouts later, when teams start dumping for next year. Then Edinson Volquez happened. And our hitting, great in April, has tailed off because of slumps and injuries. I think the hitting will straighten out and produce about 40 points (right now 37.5).
Do you think removing Volquez can save my last-in-ERA, second-to-last in WHIP staff?

We think we have an in-the-money team that can battle for third or fourth and be really good next season. This weekend we bottomed out and fell to eighth, 12 points behind fourth, five behind fifth. Can we bounce back?

Here’s lineup I was planning to use this week.

C Jonathan Lucroy
C Ronny Paulino
1B Ike Davis
2b Neil Walker
SS Ian Desmond
3B Chipper Jones
MI Troy Tulowitzki
CI Prince Fielder
OF Justin Upton
OF Jason Heyward
OF Alfonso Soriano
OF Emilio Bonifacio
OF Scott Hairston
Util Scott Cousins

Reserves: Brandon Belt, Brett Jackson, Anthony Rizzo, Mat Gamel, Scott Cousins

P Mat Latos
P Zack Greinke
P Jordan Zimmerman
P Ryan Vogelsong
P Joel Hanrahan
P Craig Kimbrel
P Mark Melancon
P Kenley Jansen
P Luke Gregerson

Reserves: Volquez, Andrew Cashner, Julio Teheran, Mitchell Boggs, Eduardo Sanchez, Jenrry Mejia, Stephen Strasburg, Shelby Miller


Yes. I think your team is solid and should be competitive. Your offense has several stalwarts and should be even better when you find a replacement for Cousins. Your pitching, as you wrote, could use a little help.

The “just a few starters” strategy is actually a risky one. The few starters you do roster will have an outsized impact on your rate stats since they’ll be supplying the lion’s share of your innings. In an NL-only league where there are ever fewer “sure things” among pitchers, this strategy is even harder to pull off.

Fortunately, as Greinke pulls his weight on your staff, your rate stats should recover. Your relievers are great for such a league, though I would maybe look to sub out Jansen if you can. How to do that?

You have a great crop of reserves, too. I would look to trade one or two to get a decent starter that can help you this year. If you can find someone to take the injury-riddled Mejia, that’d be the best approach, most likely. Then you can afford to reserve Jansen.

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Chicago Mark
Chicago Mark
I agree with you about 100% Ralph.  I’ve never done an AL or NL only but this team does look very strong.  Is volgelsong a sell hi candidate?  Could a package of Volg and one of those many top prospects bring back a better pitcher?  I don’t know about lineup change rules but if they are allowed daily then this team will probably lag in the counting stats with so many non-playing roster spots filled. Even weekly changes would allow teams to play some sort of splits moves that get more games played each week.  My last utility/DH spot is… Read more »