Fantasy Baseball with Tristan H. Cockcroft
Send your questions now and join Cockcroft in The Show on Thursday at 11 a.m. ET!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:00 AM)
Good morning everyone! Let's get right to your fantasy baseball questions...
Justin (Queens, NY)
I am the commissioner in a league making 2 separate trades and the league is in an uproar. Can you give your opinion of the fairness of these trades; Trade 1: Konerko and Lincecum for Rollins. Trade 2: V.Martinez and Hoffman for Pujols.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:02 AM)
I'm awfully liberal as to what trades I allow. Who are we to decide what's best for someone else's team? Bottom line: Only veto trades where you think there's some real funny business going on. With those two, I don't see that happening, though the first one is the one I'd call more fair. The second one, Albert Pujols might be in the midst of a slightly disappointing season, but let's not forget, he's still Albert Pujols.
Brian (Grand Rapids, MI)
With Ray going on the DL, who gets the saves in Baltimore?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:03 AM)
The Orioles say it's Danys Baez, with Jamie Walker getting the ball if the ninth inning is filled with left-handers, as was the case the other night. Still, considering how shaky Baez has been most of the year, I don't trust him. I could see Chad Bradford or even Cory Doyne sneaking his way into the mix in what might ultimately be a committee in Chris Ray's absence. Don't get your hopes up; I'd call this closer situation sub-Alan Embree status.
Nick (New York, NY)
Hey Tristan! What are the chances eager Yankee fans see Joba Chamberlain auditioning for the set-up role before season's end? His 10 K shutout in 5 IP the other night actually begin to relieve some of the pain Kyle Farnsworth and Joe Torre's bullpen management inflict on me on a daily basis.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:05 AM)
For all the talk, I have a feeling Chamberlain gets merely a September call-up to audition in that role in lower-pressure instances. It's silly to rush the kid, and his future is more likely as a starter. I suppose if the team's bullpen struggles noticeably the next two weeks that timetable could be pushed up, and I do think AL-only owners with deep benches would be smart to stash the young righty, but I'm not expecting a significant fantasy impact from him this year.
Who do you like more the rest of the way -- Rich Hill or Snell?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:05 AM)
Hill for wins and K's, Ian Snell for ERA/WHIP. Overall, I'm almost always going to go for the ratio guy, so bad team or not, I'm going with the Pirate.
Tony (Cedar Falls, IA)
Phillip Hughes, Chad Billingsley, or Gil Meche for the rest of the year?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:06 AM)
Billingsley sure looks good as a starter thus far, he has his workload up to a full starter's, and he's on a better team than Meche. I'd take the Dodger.
Is this the last week I am going to want to start Alan Embree?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:07 AM)
I think so, but if you can afford the bench room for a handcuff closer, I'd keep Embree around. There is no guarantee Huston Street keeps himself healthy the entire remainder of the year.
Roy (New York)
Hey Tristan - who do you think is the better bet for the rest of the season: Matt Kemp or Billy Butler?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:08 AM)
Kemp is getting more playing time than I expected, and hitting better than expected, but I still can't see him getting more playing time than Butler. I'm giving the Royal the SLIGHT edge in talent, too.
Jason Giambi worth the pick up the rest of the season?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:09 AM)
Sure, but I really wonder where he's going to sneak in everyday at-bats. Johnny Damon has been relegated to mostly designated hitter duties of late, and then there's the red-hot Shelley Duncan, who stands to lose the most when Giambi returns. Bottom line, add Giambi, but don't expect him to be quite what he was to begin the year.
What should I be hoping happens to Texiera?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:11 AM)
That he either stays with the Rangers or winds up traded within the American League. If the Braves and Dodgers are really among the hottest rumored destinations for "Big Teix," I'd be a tad worried. But I'm not that concerned if he lands with the Angels, Red Sox or Yankees. Those lineups are strong enough to support him leaving that hitter-friendly ballpark.
Is Hughes ownable in shallow leagues?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:12 AM)
Absolutely. He's almost guaranteed to replace Kei Igawa in the Yankee rotation in the next week to 10 days, and with that lineup behind him, he should be in every bit as strong a situation for a rookie prospect as the Brewers' Yovani Gallardo.
Tristan I was just looking over my roster and I realized I only have 13 of the 24 players I originally drafted. Its not like I'm constantly picking up scrubs or streamers (my best pickups have been Braun, Upton, Gallardo and Lincecum) but I feel like I'm doing too much fiddling. Is there such a thing as too many moves?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:13 AM)
No. To be totally honest, once the draft is done, it's completely irrelevant what you drafted or where you drafted a player. I wouldn't worry about it, so long as each time you make a move, you're doing it with the goal of improving your team.
Expect Good Thing from Jeff Weaver tonight...are you a believer yet?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:14 AM)
Good things, perhaps. It's the Athletics, after all, not that great an offense. But with Weaver facing Dan Haren, I wouldn't count on a win necessarily. A believer overall? I'm still not. He's matchups-worthy only.
Is Corey Hart going to keep it up?? He seems to be destined for .250 the rest of the year with a little pop and speed ... ala Mike Cameron.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:16 AM)
That's really not a fair comparison, is it? Hart isn't quite a Cameron-esque K king, he's in a better home ballpark and he's more with the bat but a bit less with his legs. I say Hart can at least maintain a .290 batting average and crack double digits in homers from this point forward.
Brad (Harrisburg, Pa)
Plain and simple: Getting Snell, giving Accardo. H2H, 10 team, already have Lidge and Hoffman.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:17 AM)
That's a steal, I think. Not that I think Jeremy Accardo is going to lose his job, or that he's a terrible closer, but at best, he's second-tier potential. Ian Snell, man is that kid underrated.
Hey Tristan, with 2B being such a hard position to fill, should I consider keeping Dan Uggla over Ryan Braun for next season, even though Braun has a much higher upside?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:19 AM)
With keepers, I don't let a better player go simply because I'm worried about position scarcity. What's the worst case with Braun in 2008, he hits in the .280s and belts 25-30 homers? That's about the best we should be expecting from Dan Uggla. And that's no knock on Uggla, it's just a note that I think what he is right now is about what we should be expecting the next couple years.
Is Myers ready to go?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:21 AM)
That's what I'm hearing, he'll be back Friday. I'm thinking he'll make three or so appearances in middle relief, and if he looks good in those, THEN he'll be returned to the closer's role. In other words, wait a bit to see how he looks before you activate him, if you can.
joe (ny, ny)
rules question; can you comment on a way of implementing a pitching maximum in a head-to-head league (max inning or starts per week, max innings or starts per year, etc.). i don't want to totally eliminate the strategy of streaming pitchers but, in real baseball there is a finite amount of innings pitched (approx. 9 x 162) and i think it makes sense to have the same type of consideration in a fantasy league. thanks for your thoughts.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:24 AM)
I think you just answered your own question. If you want to keep things like real life, with 9 x 162 innings, then just calculate that, divide by 26 and that should be your weekly innings cap. That'd be 56.08, by the way. To allow for flexibility, I might cap it off at 60 a week. I'm simply not a fan of leagues with VERY strict caps on innings/starts.
Start Brad Penny in Colorado tonight?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:25 AM)
He has a 4-1 record and 3.60 ERA in eight career starts at Coors. Those numbers don't have me worried in the slightest.
Start Lincecum vs. Atl tonight?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:26 AM)
At this point I'd call Tim Lincecum back to start-him-whenever status. He has a 1.05 ERA in his last five starts, after all.
Would you consider Gallardo a "wherever, whenever starter" yet? When will Garza, Hughes become one of those also?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:27 AM)
Hey, I like that! Shakira reference, I imagine? I'd say Yovani Gallardo absolutely fits the bill. Phil Hughes, I need to see a couple starts to monitor his health before I call him that. Good chance Hughes becomes that to begin September, while we probably have to wait until 2008 before Matt Garza hits that kind of groove.
Wandy's at home, but, according to the Daily Notes, the Padres hit lefthanders well. Start him?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:29 AM)
That's the fun part with Daily Notes-style columns, each man can have his own opinion on a given day. Yes, the Padres hit lefties decently, but I don't see them as a top-10 MLB team against that side. To me, if you're not a top-10, you shouldn't put TOO much stock into that. I'd put a lot more stock into the fact that Wandy Rodriguez is 5-2 with a 1.81 ERA in nine home starts this year, and call him someone to use.
Guthrie has 3 out of his next 4 starts against the Yankees and Red Sox - I know he handled both teams earlier this year but will he crash against them the second time around? Should I try to trade him for a Jim Thome-type hitter?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:31 AM)
The way the Yankees have been hitting the past couple of weeks, and the Red Sox have been hitting all season, yes, I'd say it's a smart move to sell high like that on Jeremy Guthrie. In a couple weeks, his ERA could be a half-run to a full run higher, at which point you'll get significantly less for him on the trade market.
Bush has been hot lately, but he's facing Cincy today. Start him?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:32 AM)
He has been shelled historically at Great American Ball Park -- ERA over 10 -- and he has been hit hard historically by the Reds regardless of venue, so I'd say be very, very cautious. You take your chances with him.
Start Perez tonight against the Pirates?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:33 AM)
I would. He has looked a-OK since his return from the DL.
Michael (Portland, ME)
Please rank these middle relievers, need to vulture and not kill my ratios: Pena, Rauch, Russ Springer, Lyon and Ryan Franklin. Thanks!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:37 AM)
I'd put them in that order, actually. Keep tabs on the Chad Cordero situation, too; if he's dealt, the closer job is Jon Rauch's.
Tristan, please rank these catchers from now til the end of the year. Estrada, Napoli, Molina, Torrealba, Hernandez.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:38 AM)
I'll say Ramon Hernandez, Bengie Molina, Mike Napoli, Johnny Estrada and Yorvit Torrealba.
Tristan, ethics question..>I have hanley ramirez and jay bruce ina keeper league...1 other owner is basically willing to let me have whoever i want on his roster Peavy,Soriano,Cain and other players for them...do i do the trade..btw I'm the commishioner.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:39 AM)
Keeper leagues are especially tough for evaluating trades, because owners out of the race who will lose players for nothing at season's end need to be allowed to make moves as they feel to help their teams for next year. Bottom line, you're giving up a guy who will certainly enter 2008 as a top-25 player, so I'd say don't be shy in asking for something awfully good, like Jake Peavy.
Chuck (Hershey, PA)
For now thru August, who do you ride for every start: Billingsley, McGowan, Guthrie, Gabbard, or Carlyle
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:41 AM)
No offense, but I honestly think it's lazy to assume you can ride ANY pitcher every single start, so long as his name isn't Johan Santana or Jake Peavy. If I HAD to pick one of those, it'd be Chad Billingsley, but I bet there will be instances where one of those others will have a matchup that looks more attractive.
Hernandez or Johjima rest of year?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:42 AM)
Kenji Johjima. He sure has warmed nicely to the U.S. game, hasn't he?
Have you not seen P. Hughes minor league rehab stats. The guy is dominating, he will be in my starting lineup next week vs CHW or KC
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:43 AM)
Sure, in AL-only or larger mixed leagues, I'd think about it. My main hesitation, though, is that the Yankees will likely cap his innings, perhaps 90-100, so I just say be a TAD cautious, that's all. There's always a situation where a player is worth using, remember.
Start Kason Gabbard at Cleveland tonight? He's facing Cliff Lee ::throws up in mouth::
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:45 AM)
In two starts before the All-Star break Gabbard allowed a combined five runs in 12 innings against the Rangers and Tigers, so I'd say that's a fair expectation for him here, considering how well he has pitched of late. Six innings, three or four runs, perhaps, but with the Red Sox capable of getting to Cliff Lee, sure, the win could be in the cards.
Should Aaron Cook be picked up in 12 team leagues?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:46 AM)
He doesn't get strikeouts and he's clearly a matchups option in my mind, and in such a format, those guys are usually readily available on the waiver wire. In other words, he should remain on that waiver wire, except when you see a matchup here or there that you like.
James - Huntington, WV
Tristan - No one is talking about Eric Bedard. He is quietly have a CY Young caliber season minus the wins. Him or Harang the rest of the way?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:47 AM)
Really? No one? I love what Erik Bedard has been doing and yet colleague Matthew Berry likes the left-hander about 10 times more than I do ... I'd be sticking with Bedard. He's positively filthy.
Jeff Francis or Bronson Arroyo? You chose for me....
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:48 AM)
Tough one, because they each fit the mixed-league matchups classification. I'd actually pick Francis, though. I like the gains he has made the past year and a half, and think it only gets better from here.
Nora (St. Louis)
Why doesn't Chris Duncan get more at bats? What kind of season would he be having if he was always in the lineup?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:49 AM)
Well, he SHOULDN'T get more at-bats if it means they come against left-handers. He simply can't hit them. Maybe it'd be better if the team put him in there in the hopes he'll eventually figure them out, but in fantasy, you have to be prepared for a drop in batting average while he's learning. I'd say he's better off the way he's being used right now.
Is there any team in the world that will pick up Steve Trachsel before the deadline? If so, would Garrett Olson have potential fantasy value?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:51 AM)
I don't think it'd be a smart move for a contender to trust Trachsel, but hey, you never know. Either way, I think Olson should be back no later than Aug. 1, if not in Trachsel's place, then certainly in Brian Burres' spot. No reason the rookie lefty couldn't be a 3.75-4.00 ERA type the final two months, which has AL-only value, perhaps matchups potential in mixed formats too.
Should I look to trade Cano once Kinsler comes off the DL?
please rank these pitchers for me (my 4th starters - bench) Hill Buehrle Francis Moose Meche
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:53 AM)
I'll say Rich Hill, Mark Buehrle, Mike Mussina, Jeff Francis, Gil Meche.
Does Dotel have any shot at collecting more saves the remainder of the year?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:54 AM)
It really sounds like he's going to be dealt, and I don't see many places he could go where he'd close. Teams looking to acquire him might be looking more at his dominant days as a setup man in Houston, so I'd say don't count on it. His best shot is he doesn't get traded, which I'd say is about 50/50.
In a long term keeper league, I give Tex and Shields for Loney and Hamles. Thoughts?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:55 AM)
I don't like to build around pitching, so I'd stick with what you have. Mark Teixeira has better power potential than James Loney, and while I like Cole Hamels, he does have some future injury risk based on his minor league issues in that department.
Hey Tristan. You forgot to answer my Cano/Kinsler question. Thanks!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:57 AM)
That's odd. I typed in my answer but must have hit the wrong button! Sorry about that ... Anyway, what I said then was Robinson Cano has been red hot of late, yet his full-year numbers probably have him a bit undervalued on the trade market today. I'd say he has a better shot than Ian Kinsler at offering value the final two months, so I'd stand pat.
Capuano or Lester ? Also Giambi or Sexson for the rest of the year?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:58 AM)
I'll say Chris Capuano, if only because I think he has the more secure role of the two. He should only get healthier from here. At first base, I'd go Richie Sexson on the hopes he has a hot final two months, like he did a year ago.
Jayson Stark said Dotel is the only guy he is confident WILL get traded. Don't give cop-out (ex. 50/50) trade odds if you don't know.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:59 AM)
I call 50/50 pretty good odds. To me, that means the guy's more than likely getting dealt. Remember, it's a crapshoot, these deals. But I'd agree with Jayson, I think Dotel is probably the best bet of the bunch to be moved, if it's not Jose Contreras.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:00 PM)
Well, that's all for today. Thanks for all your questions, and sorry if I didn't get to yours ... We'll be back this afternoon to chat with you again, though!