Fantasy Baseball: What to Do with an Injured and Underperforming Dustin Pedroia

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Fantasy Baseball: What to Do with an Injured and Underperforming Dustin Pedroia
Winslow Townson/Getty Images
Dustin Pedroia has been one of the biggest fantasy "busts" amongst hitters so far in 2012.

There is such a thing as a "lost season." You (and the player in question) would be loathe to ever admit a season is lost before it is over. But players have bad or "off" seasons. It just happens. We all can't be "on" all of the time.

So what to do with Dustin Pedroia? He's quietly been the Tim Lincecum of hitting this season.

Going into 2012, Pedroia was ranked in the top three at his position, he was a top-15 hitter and a top-25 overall player. He was being drafted in the second round of fantasy drafts on average.

 

Here's what fantasy owners have gotten from Pedroia so far in 2012:

  • 4 SB (Stolen Bases)
  • 5 HR (Home Runs)
  • 28 RBI (Runs Batted In)
  • 39 R (Runs Scored)
  • .262 BA (Batting Average)

How do those statistics stack up?

In CBSSports.com H2H (head-to-head) points leagues, Pedroia has 214 points on the season. That makes him tied for the 12th highest scoring 2B. His peers in fantasy drafts at the position, Robinson Cano and Ian Kinsler, have 307.5 and 298 points, respectively.

In those same CBS leagues, Pedroia's 214 points place him in a tie for the 80th-most points among hitters.

On ESPN.com's Fantasy Baseball Player Rater, Pedroia is ranked as the 13th most valuable 2B. That same Player Rater has Pedroia as the 116th most valuable hitter so far in 2012.

In Yahoo! H2H Category leagues, Pedroia's performance has valued him as the No. 18 2B in the format. He ranks as the 217th most valuable hitter overall so far in 2012.

In CBS Roto (Rotisserie) leagues, it gets even worse for Pedroia. In that format, he ranks as the 15th most valuable 2B and the 159th most valuable hitter.

On top of all of that, Pedroia is currently on the disabled list. And there is no definite timetable as to when he will return. The rough estimate is three weeks. But he's dealing with two different injuries to his thumb. One is a torn abductor muscle, and the other is an injury to the volar plater, which may include ligament damage.

Try to digest all of this.

Pedroia (much like most of the Red Sox) has been struggling all season, even before he was injured. What can we really expect going forward?

If Pedroia was perfectly healthy, I would probably weather the storm if I could. I would need the roster space available to bench him until he turned it around (provided I had a better option), but I wouldn't cut him or "sell low" on him in a trade.

But this is different. If you're in a keeper league, then you're still holding on tight. But in redraft leagues, it is time to make a decision. If you have a DL (disabled list) spot available on your roster, then you can stash Pedroia there and proceed without him. I would shop him in trade, but he'll be worth more than you can probably get for him at this point.

In leagues with shallow benches and no DL spot, you're going to really have to make a decision.

Would I cut Pedroia? In a 10-team league with three bench spots, yes I probably would. Even in a 12-team league with small benches I would consider it. But the time has come to get what you can for Pedroia. It won't be what you want, but it's better than cutting him outright.

I own Pedroia in several leagues, including a couple of smaller (10-team) H2H leagues. In all of those leagues, I don't have what I would consider to be a "droppable" player. In other words, every player I could drop to pick up a replacement for Pedroia would be claimed off of waivers by another team—and probably used against me at some point.

Making a trade was a better option. And preferably a "two-for-one" deal where I was on the "two" side. One team in particular had been trying to offer me Jose Altuve and some other junk for one of my pitchers. But I do have a ton of pitchers. Because of the format, they are more valuable than hitters, at least in my opinion.

The team trying to dump Altuve has Ian Kinsler and Chase Utley at 2B. So he needs to move a 2B as badly as I need one. But I can also tell that he's an owner who likes to stash injured players. That was obvious, as he'd been carrying both Utley and Ryan Howard for weeks before they returned. So he might value an injured Pedroia more than some other teams.

So, instead of giving up one of my high-end pitchers, maybe I could give up Pedroia and a mid-range pitcher. Adding a top-two 2B would eliminate the need to replace Pedroia off of the waiver wire. The empty roster could be filled with one of the solid pitchers available on the waiver wire.

The final deal ended up being Yovani Gallardo and Dustin Pedroia for Ian Kinsler. I wouldn't have made that deal even six weeks ago, but the times, they are a-changing. But with the extra roster spot I open up, I can replace Gallardo with Shaun Marcum, Clay Buchholz or Francisco Liriano, all of whom are on the waiver wire.

When you're making a trade, the general rule of thumb is that you want be the one receiving the best player in the deal. Sometimes that is true. But more importantly, you want to improve your team.

It might be harsh to call Dustin Pedroia "dead weight" at this point, but his name value is worth more than his production to you at this point. If your team is running away at the top of the standings, feel free to stand pat. Otherwise, it's time to make a move. If you wait until Pedroia returns from injury, it's probably already too late.

What do you think of Pedroia? Will he come back as an elite 2B, or will he continue to be an average-at-best fantasy option in 2012?

Have you been involved in a Pedroia trade recently? Feel free to use the comments and let me know, I'm always interested in trades like this. Thanks for reading, and good luck in the second half of the season.

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