Is it time to sell high on Troy Tulowitzki?


Over the next week, we will be going over the buy low and sell high options for each position. We will follow the positions the way that the powers that be in baseball decided.  Since this is the sixth installment, we will focus on position 6, which is shortstop.

The starting pitchers are here.  The relief pitchers are here.  The catchers are here.  The first basemen are here.  The second basemen are here.  The third basemen are here.

As with each baseball season, there are plenty of players that are well over or well under their career averages. Finding the players that will either shed their horrid slumps, or cool off after hot starts can be the difference between winning and losing your league.

How does one go about finding the overachievers and underachievers? Season numbers vs. careeer numbers are a good place to start. But everyone has to have a breakout season sometime. What if a players is in the midst of one of those? Sometimes you just have to go with your gut…….and hope you are reading the right column!

Texas Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus (1) reacts during the game against the Miami Marlins. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Buy low options:

Elvis Andrus, Rangers: His numbers this year don’t seem that far off of his career pace, but he is still just 25 years old.  He will likely never hit for much power, and that’s okay.  He does have 14 steals so far, which would put him on pace for 34. Slightly below his career high of 42 last year.  The thing that I notice is that he is striking out less.  With that should come an increase in average from his current .260 mark.  The 16 RBI is also way south of where he should end up.  If someone is frustrated by him not living up to the hype, it may be time for you to go calling.

Jean Segura, Brewers: His awful April is largely to blame for his numbers being so low.  He seems to be coming around a bit lately, which means he should be back on your radar again.  He won’t hit .294 like he did last year, but a .275 average is not out of the question.  Which means he would have to hit right around .300 the rest of the way.  With the increased hits should come increased steals, and maybe even the double digit home run power he showed last year. 

Everth Cabrera, Padres: Don’t go after Cabrera assuming that he will get back to his 40 steal ways.  That likely will not happen anytime soon.  He is struggling at the plate, and one must wonder if this is the player that he really is without PED’s.  He is on pace to strike out nearly 150 times, which would shatter his previous career worst.  Once the Padre offense starts getting back to respectability, it is not unrealistic to assume that Cabera will settle down and quit trying too hard as well.  That .226 average will likely go up, and if it does, he could get closer to 40 steals than anyone thinks at this point. 

Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins (11) smiles during warm up against the Cincinnati Reds. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

Sell high options:

Jimmy Rollins, Phillies: Am I really telling you to sell high on a guy hitting .249?  Yes.  Yes I am.  How?  Well, Rollins has eight homers and ten steals, which puts him on pace for a 20-25 season.  At age 35.  That is highly unlikely, especially in the Phillies scuffling offense.  The last guy I remember going 20-20 at that age is Reggie Sanders in 2004.  Let alone 20-25.  I’m selling him if I can find a buyer.

Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies: Don’t get me wrong.  I like Tulowitzki, and it’s fun to see a guy have a season like he is having.  But the fact remains that he has missed a month or more in three of the last four seasons.  That is not a guarantee that it will happen again, and you certainly cannot operate your team on the assumption that your stars will get hurt, but it is a concern.  More concerning to me though is the fact that teammates Carlos Gonzalez and Michael Cuddyer can’t seem to stay healthy.  That means less protection for him in the lineup.  Tulo might well win the MVP award this year, but he probably won’t hit over 40 homers like he is on pace to (his career high is 32), and he likely will not keep up the .356 average.  That said, I don’t expect a drastic drop.  .320 is sustainable for a hitter like him.  But with his injury history and likely regression, I’m selling him just in case.

Alcides Escobar, Royals: Yes, I know.  I have a hard time believing that the Royals actually have a player worth selling as well.  But Alcides is it.  He is on pace for 40 stolen bases. He got to 35 a couple of years ago, so that might be possible.  And his improved plate discipline likely has contributed to his recent hot streak and his solid .286 average.  The prolem is that I just don’t see it keeping up.  He is a career .260 hitter with a .298 on base percentage.  That will be his detriment to reaching 40 steals.  He still is not walking at a high rate, so I have a reason to be skeptical. 

Come back later this weekend for the outfielders!  I wlll likely do the sell high options in one post and the buy low in a separate one because of the sheer volume of players involved.