The Home of Fantasy Sports Analysis

Fantasy Dilemma: What To Do With Starling Marte or Madison Bumgarner?

If you have Pittsburgh Pirates’ outfielder Starling Marte or lefty starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner on your roster, take a depth breath and seriously consider your options before you panic.  Both of them have completely different circumstances.  Marte has been suspended for 80 games due to him testing positive for PEDs.  No leagues have spots to stash suspended players, so your options are to clog up your roster with Marte, try to deal him or simply cut him.  Bumgarner hurt his shoulder in a dirt bike accident and their is no timetable for his return.  But, most leagues have D.L. spots to stash him on.  Here is how I would handle these two situations:

Starling Marte:  To get Marte in an auction, you had to spend big bucks on him.  If you drafted him, it was probably really high.  Players that can hit 15-20 homers, steal 40 bases and hit .300 don’t grow on trees.  He was off to a slow start with the bat this year, as he has played in 13 games for the Pirates in which he is 13 of 54 (.241 avg., .659 OPS) with 7 runs scored, 2 homers, 7 RBI, and 2 stolen bases.  In his first four full seasons with the Pirates (2013-2016), Marte played in 552 games for the Pirates in which he was 605 of 2,073 (.292 avg., .797 OPS) with 311 runs scored, 53 homers, 218 RBI, and 148 stolen bases.   Because of Marte’s unique talent and the fact that he will have about 70 games left in the season when he can return, I have decided to bite the bullet and keep him on my roster.  The thought of dealing him for pennies on a dollar or simply cutting him don’t make sense to me.  You will feel pretty bad if Marte returns late in the year and helps someone else win a championship!

Now on to how to replace him, which is almost impossible!  When a player gets suspended or injured, I immediately look at the guy that will replace him in the starting lineup.  Pirates’ top prospect Austin Meadows is off to a terrible start in AAA with the bat, so he isn’t an option for the Pirates or you.  25-year old lefty swinging Adam Frazier was off to a hot start with the bat for the Pirates this year, but he is on the D.L. right now.  He has played in 15 games for the Pirates so far this year and he is 15 for 49 (.306 Avg, .819 OPS) with 5 runs scored, 1 homer and 5 RBI.  He has now played in 81 games in his first 2 years with the Pirates and he is 59 of 195 (.303 Avg, .780 OPS) with 26 runs scored, 3 homers, 16 RBI and 4 stolen bases.  He would have been a decent option in N.L. Only Leagues if he were healthy.  The Pirates have called up 24-year-old righty swinging outfielder Jose Osuna for his first taste of the show.  He has played in 8 games for the Pirates so far this year and he is 4 for 19 (.211 avg., .759 OPS) with 2 runs scored, 2 triples and 1 RBI.  Osuna started this year in AAA-ball and he was hitting much down there either.  Osuna played in 10 games for the Pirates in AAA-ball this year and he was 9 for 36 (.250 avg., .730 OPS) with 6 runs scored, 0 homers, 1 RBI and 1 stolen base.  In summation, I would not pick up a Pirates’ outfielder to replace Marte on your roster.

Mixed Leagues:  If you have Marte in a mixed Fantasy League, you have options.  Brett Gardner (Yankees), Jacoby Ellsbury (Yankees), Kevin Pillar (Blue Jays), Avisail Garcia (White Sox), Eddie Rosario (Twins), Josh Reddick (Astros), Shin-Soo Shoo (Rangers) and Jarrod Dyson (Mariners) are all potential solid options that you can pick up in mixed leagues due to the gigantic pool of free agents still available after your auction/draft.

[the_ad id=”384″]National League Only Leagues:  In National League Only Fantasy Leagues, options are going to be slim.  A forward thinking owner would try to snap up Cody Bellinger (Dodgers) or Lewis Brinson (Brewers).  They are both top prospects.  Bellinger is currently with the Dodgers, while Brinson will be in the show in the near future with the way he is raking in AAA right now!  I like Scott Schebler of the Reds if he is available.  He started the 2017 season slowly, but he is hot right now with the bat!  Other options are more speculation type pickups in Aaron Altherr (Phillies), Albert Almora (Cubs) and Andrew Toles (Dodgers).

Madison Bumgarner:  When you drafted or paid big bucks for Madison Bumgarner, you did so knowing that you had a big time anchor for your pitching staff.  After all, he has been an All-Star pitcher four years in a row for the Giants (2013-2016)!  From 2011-2016, Bumgarner pitched in 195 games (all starts) for the Giants in which he was 93-61 with a 3.00 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP.  He was a workhorse too, pitching 1,276 2/3 innings in those years in which he only gave up 1,085 hits and 293 walks while whiffing 1,285 batters!  He was off to another good start this year for the Giants.  He has pitched in 4 games (all starts) for the Giants this year and he is 0-3 with a 3.00 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP.  He has 28 strikeouts in his first 27 innings this year while only allowing 25 hits and 4 walks.

I would have to seriously consider picking up 26-year old lefty starting pitcher Ty Blach of the Giants to replace Bumgarner on my pitching staff.  He is nowhere near the strikeout pitcher that Bumgarner is, but he knows how to pitch.  He showed that in his first taste of the majors when he outpitched Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers during the last weekend of the 2016 season to help get the Giants into the playoffs.  He has pitched in 8 games (1 start) for the Giants this year and he is 0-1 with a 4.22 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP.  He has now pitched in 12 games (3 starts) in his first two years with the Giants and he is 1-1 with a 2.28 ERA and a 0.87 WHIP.  Blach came into this season as the Giants’ #6 prospect according to Baseball America.  Blach pitched in 100 games (98 starts) in his four years in the minors for the Giants in which he was 45-31 with a 3.53 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP.

Mixed and National League Only Leagues:  When given a choice, I very rarely would take an American League starting pitcher over one in the National League.  I think pitching to a pitcher instead of a DH three or four times in a game is a huge advantage.  With that in mind, here are some guys I would consider picking up to replace Bumgarner on my Fantasy Team:  Adam Conley (Marlins), Zach Eflin (Phillies), R.A. Dickey (Braves), Mike Foltynewicz (Braves), Brett Anderson (Cubs), Julio Urias (Dodgers), Jimmy Nelson (Brewers), Scott Feldman (Reds), Patrick Corbin (Diamondbacks), Hyun-Jin Ryu (Dodgers), Brandon McCarthy (Dodgers), Trevor Cahill (Padres), Clayton Richard (Padres) and maybe even Jered Weaver (Padres) if you like living dangerously!

SUMMATION:  Don’t let the dumb choices that Starling Marte and Madison Bumgarner made ruin your season!  Put on your big boy pants and keep fighting!  Take this as a huge challenge and step up your game!

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.