- Eric Karabell, ESPN.com Senior Writer
The leaguewide e-mail went out just the other day, and nobody was biting. Shaun Marcum was the bait offered up in one of those lame e-mails fantasy owners send when they have a player they know is slumping badly and want to get someone else in the league to make the mistake of taking him on. Once upon a time, Marcum led the majors in WHIP. It was a storybook season. Then his elbow began to throb, he hit the DL and since then, it's like watching Adam Eaton pitch, quite painful.
I don't send group e-mails anymore because I know what happens on the other end of them with wise, smart owners. We laugh at them. Offer up Johan Santana because you need bats, and we'll take it seriously. Try to get us to give you something for Damaso Marte the day after the Pirates deal the closer to the Yankees to be a set-up man and not only are we devoid of interest now but we question whether we want to deal with you in the future.
Marcum was one of my bigger sleepers for this season, and I feel as though he delivered what he could. I have -- well, had -- him in multiple leagues, then it was time to move on. Maybe Marcum needs the dreaded Tommy John surgery, who knows, but I do know he's been abysmal since returning to the Blue Jays and perceived fantasy relevance, allowing 14 earned runs in 16 1/3 innings, including six home runs. In his first 14 starts, he allowed nine home runs. Although I do acknowledge that Marcum could turn things around at any time, there's no way I'd knowingly use him in Texas on Friday night.
We're always talking in ESPN Fantasy about players to pick up, who is about to emerge, which closer roles are changing, stuff like that, but now I'm here to discuss players to drop, such as 91-percent-owned Marcum. Sure, I might pick him up again in a month, but not today. His season numbers belie his current worth, almost as if they are lying to us. We can all see the fancy 1.09 WHIP, which -- with enough innings -- would rank in the top five in all of baseball. Well, use it to deal him if you want, but I'm not interested.
When a player goes off in April, kind of like Xavier Nady did, it tends to make us overrate him for the rest of the season. You think about dumping the guy, but then you see decent stats and assume that it's a mistake, that you might be missing out on something good. Your instincts say you should sign Ubaldo Jimenez in case he's the real deal, but you see Todd Wellemeyer having a better overall season and you don't do it. Then while Wellemeyer is producing an ERA on the wrong side of 5 for June and July, Jimenez takes the fourth-place team into the lead by going 5-1 with a 1.74 in July. See my point?
Let's go around the diamond to briefly discuss others who might have attractive season numbers but haven't exactly played well of late, so you might want to make a change.
Catcher: I like Bengie Molina, I really do, but there are better options available at this point, such as Chris Iannetta and Kelly Shoppach. Molina was hitting .330 through May, with six home runs and 36 RBIs. He has two home runs since, and batted .183 in July. You see the season .279 mark and 61 RBIs, call him safe and wouldn't dare cut him. I probably would if there good options out there.
First base: Joey Votto is someone I think will make for a top-15 guy at this position next season, but for this season in one-year leagues, you can do better at a power position. Votto has hit only three home runs since June began, and the expectation of stolen bases hasn't come to fruition. Chris Davis of the Rangers, for example, is hotter now and should warrant more attention, and I would take Casey Kotchman, as well, even though his power has leveled off, too. He's hitting cleanup now, which I like.
The leaguewide e-mail went out just the other day, and nobody was biting. Shaun Marcum was the bait offered up in one of those lame e-mails fantasy owners send when they have a player they know is slumping badly and want to get someone else in the league to make the mistake of taking him on.