The Baltimore Orioles dropped Sammy Sosa to the sixth spot in their order on Tuesday night.
It could be time for fantasy owners to drop him altogether.
Earlier this season I wrote that Sosa seemed to be snapping out of an early season funk, that he was being more patient at the plate and would see better pitches as a result. But now, his average has fallen to .235 and he's back to waving at offspeed pitches like a blind man swatting at a horsefly.
Do yourself a favor - forget the name for a second, and consider the stats heading into Wednesday's game. Nine home runs, 26 RBIs, one stolen base and a .725 OPS. Not very impressive.
Then figure out how many total outfielders are on rosters in your league - let's say it's 60, for a 12-team league with five OFs per team. If you're in a 12-team mixed league, Sosa doesn't belong on your roster. There are at least 60 outfielders who are putting up better numbers.
Yes, it's Sammy Sosa. Yes, he once hit 66 home runs in a season. But at his current rate, Sosa will finish with 19 home runs and 55 RBIs. Even with a strong second half, he'll be lucky to hit more than 25 homers. You can do better than that. It's time to start looking at other options. Bench him. Trade him. Drop him.
The one thing you can't afford to do is sit and wait for a resurgence that, based on recent indications, isn't going to happen.
And now a look around the rest of the majors:
Damian Jackson, Padres: Owns second base gig over Geoff Blum for now thanks to a 6-for-13, three-HR performance during a three-game stretch earlier this week. Enjoy it while it lasts - he won't have a job when Mark Loretta returns after the All-Star break.
John Smoltz, Braves: Permitted just one run and struck out 13 in back-to-back complete games. Has lasted at least eight innings in each of his past five starts.
Richard Hidalgo, Rangers: Had more hits, HRs, RBIs in the final eight games of May than in all of June. But even at .209 for the season, this Hidalgo is better than that dreadful Viggo Mortensen flick.
Jon Lieber, Phillies: Don't be fooled by his respectable record (8-7); Leiber hasn't been good since early May, and it's way too late to sell high. He has a 6.10 ERA, 1.48 WHIP in June.
Orlando Cabrera, Angels: Bulky elbow has Cabrera back on the bench - not a bad spot for a $6 million-a-year shortstop who's batting .243.
This weekend's matchups
Cleveland at Baltimore
Toronto at Boston
New York Yankees at Detroit
Tampa Bay at Minnesota
Chicago White Sox at Oakland
Los Angeles Angels at Kansas City
Texas at Seattle
Washington at Chicago Cubs
Atlanta at Philadelphia
Florida at New York Mets
Pittsburgh at Milwaukee
Houston at Cincinnati
Colorado at St. Louis
Arizona at Los Angeles Dodgers
San Francisco at San Diego
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Copyright ' 2005, The Associated Press