We talk a lot in this space about players to add. But adding players of course means dropping players, which means it's sometimes worth taking stock of which players meet that unpleasant criteria.
The discussion is a stickier one because no single "drop" recommendation is one-size-fits-all, and particularly this early in the season (not to mention a season with an abnormal buildup), a player can absolutely still turn things around. Nobody wants to be the somebody who actively forfeits something great.
Nonetheless, these performance Wednesday by pitchers rostered in more than 75 percent of CBS Sports leagues are at least enough to get you thinking.
We discussed this Thursday on the Fantasy Baseball Today podcast. Follow all our podcasts and subscribe here.
Personally, I wouldn't feel compelled to move on from McCullers or Robbie Ray yet. The former is working his way back from Tommy John surgery. The latter is working his way through a mechanical change. Both have high strikeout potential, big upside and long enough track records to have earned the benefit of the doubt. You bench them, sure, but there would have to be something spectacular on the waiver wire to get me to move on from them. In most leagues, there isn't.
The other two? Look, Sean Manaea was a fringy pitcher with some fringy stuff prior to those five starts last year when he showed something more, so I think it's about time we sobered up on him. I'm not saying he's must-drop, but he's still rostered in 95 percent of leagues. And J.A. Happ? He wasn't even good last year. His rostership hinged on him recapturing what he had in 2018, which seems less plausible now.
Some pitchers who might be in line for a pickup based on Wednesday's results:
Yeah, yeah ... we can work with those. The jury's still out on Kris Bubic, who's two starts in after making the leap from A-ball, but his changeup might be enough to carry him, helping account for his 13 swinging strikes in this one. Kyle Gibson, like Dylan Bundy, has long underperformed his swinging-strike rate and might benefit from the same change of scenery that Lance Lynn and Mike Minor enjoyed last year. Marco Gonzales is lacking in upside, but he's a stable enough innings-eater that he won 16 games for a bad Mariners team last year.
I'd drop Happ for any of them. Manaea for just Bubic, but the others are at least debatable.
Here are some other players standing out on the waiver wire ...
LAA L.A. Angels • #22 • Age: 27
He's kind of a must if he's going to keep batting leadoff for the Angels, right? There (probably) isn't much power or speed there, but you know David Fletcher will hit for average. Plus, the quadruple eligibility could come in especially handy in a year when an entire team might be forced to shut down for an entire week at a moment's notice.
Kyle Tucker RF
HOU Houston • #30 • Age: 24
Kyle Tucker went from not starting against lefties to starting against them in back to back games, going 2 for 4 in the first one and then homering off Robbie Ray in the second. Dusty Baker may be coming around to him, even with Yordan Alvarez on the verge of returning.
Trevor Gott RP
SF San Francisco • #58 • Age: 29
For all of Gabe Kapler's bullpen shenanigans, we're probably to the point now where we can just say Trevor Gott is the guy. He has all three of the Giants' saves. His only appearance that didn't come in the ninth inning came in the eighth against the heart of the Rangers lineup. Meanwhile, Tony Watson has yet to work the ninth inning of a game.
Randy Dobnak RP
MIN Minnesota • #68 • Age: 26
We all look to the strikeouts first, which Randy Dobnak clearly doesn't provide, but in all the ways a pitcher can succeed apart from strikeouts -- namely, putting the ball on the ground and throwing strikes -- he does. He has now allowed just one earned run across three starts this year after putting together a 2.07 ERA in the minors last year and a 1.59 ERA during a brief stint in the majors. He's also backed by a top-flight supporting cast. The upside is limited (he won't actually be a 2.00 ERA guy, rest assured), but he looks usable.
Carl Edwards RP
TOR Toronto • #43 • Age: 30
Why hasn't Carl Edwards been closing for the Mariners all along? He was thought to have that sort of future with the Cubs, putting together a 3.06 ERA, 10.7 WHIP and 12.3 K/9 across four seasons before shoulder woes derailed him. Hopefully, Wednesday's save is a sign of things to come.