The end of May is here, and we have reached the pivotal date in the fantasy baseball season. I have preached for years that this is the time when all fantasy baseball owners need to take a step back and seriously assess their team. This doesn’t mean your season is over if you are buried in the standings, but it does mean it is time to cut bait on players who are struggling. This is obviously a case-by-case decision, but two months is a large enough sample size.
At this point, you know the categories that you are your strengths and weaknesses and the players who are doing well and not, so you can make the correct decisions to help your team.
Cincinnati Reds Reliever Jared Hughes -- Closer Raisel Iglesias landed on the disabled list, which has opened up the door for someone to pitch the ninth inning in Cincinnati. As of now, we have heard the dreaded committee word, but Hughes was able to lock down a save for the Reds May 24 and was used in the ninth inning of a tie game May 23. It should be noted that the Reds did keep reliever Amir Garrett in the game to start the ninth May 24 after he had pitched the eighth inning, but Garrett was unable to get three outs and Cincinnati turned to Hughes. Even if the team is saying committee, Hughes has the edge and is the pitcher to target.
Chicago White Sox Reliever Nate Jones -- The White Sox haven’t gotten many wins this season, but fantasy owners still need the stats to help win a championship. It appears Jones has taken over the closer role for the White Sox, and he collected three saves during the past week. This will be the last time fantasy owners will have a chance to add Jones, as he is quickly becoming a popular waiver-wire add.
Milwaukee Brewers First Baseman Jesus Aguilar -- I don’t usually recommend players who are more than 50 percent owned in Yahoo! Sports leagues, but Aguilar is just above that threshold. The power hitter has seven homeruns this season and appears to have solidified an everyday job for the Brewers. If you need power, Aguilar is your guy.
St. Louis Cardinals Starting Pitcher Alex Reyes -- This is another player above the 50 percent threshold, but since it is again not by much, he needs to be spotlighted. The talented pitcher is working back from Tommy John surgery and has been lights out in the minors. A promotion is imminent, and all signs point to him entering the rotation when he makes it back to the big leagues. Reyes will help in the strikeout department and is a pitcher that needs to be owned.
Los Angeles Dodgers Starting Pitcher Ross Stripling -- The Dodgers’ rotation has been crushed with injuries, which has opened up an opportunity for Stripling. The right-hander has responded well with 16 strikeouts in his last two starts while allowing three earned runs. Stripling also has both the starting pitcher and reliever designation. I stress position flexibility for offense all the time, but it can equally be important for pitchers as well. Stripling is the hot name of the week, but he is still less than 40 percent owned in Yahoo! Sports leagues, so he could still be available in your league.