Fantasy Sports w/Eric Karabell
Send your questions now and join Karabell in The Show on Wednesday at 11 a.m. ET!
Eric Karabell (11:01 AM)
Hello all and welcome to another fantasy baseball chat. Today is Wednesday, Feb. 27. March is coming. The season is one month away. Are you ready? Let's get going...any questions?
Eric, are you concerned about Kazmir or is this similar to Putz last spring? Thanks.
Eric Karabell (11:03 AM)
I am trying to be objective as possible in this situation, but the fact is I've been expecting a Kazmir injury. He's actually been relatively durable the past three seasons, and the Rays have been cautious with him. This popping elbow could be nothing. I can tell you I don't recall ever owning Kazmir. He's a risk. The K's are there, but he's a risk. I was not concerned about Putz a year ago. I do think Kazmir has a DL stint this season.
Dave (Erie, PA)
Im looking for a reliever who has the best chance to take over as closer this year, and Im thinking it might be Jenson Lewis, what do you think?
Eric Karabell (11:06 AM)
Anything is possible, but I think Lewis would have to leapfrog about four or five pitchers to get saves, so I don't think it's likely. Lewis pitched well for the Tribe, albeit in fewer than 30 innings. I don't think Joe Borowski will lose this role anytime soon, but if he does Raffy Betancourt and Masahide Kobayashi are next. If you want relievers closer to getting saves, try Tyler Walker, Matt Lindstrom, Jon Rauch and Carlos Marmol.
Hey Eric! Good Am! Listen...I picked up Pitchers Jeremy Guthrie and Dustin McGowan late! Are you drinking their "koolaid" sort of speak...cause I am?
Eric Karabell (11:07 AM)
I do think McGowan has taken that next step and will continue to emerge. His second-half numbers in 2007 showed progress, and I think he could be Toronto's fantasy ace relatively soon. I don't feel the same way about Guthrie, who took a step back the final months. I'd be careful of him, and he's on a really bad team.
What do you expect out of Justin Morneau? Am I crazy in preferring Adrian Gonzalez, not just for value, but overall?
Eric Karabell (11:09 AM)
I would draft Morneau over Gonzalez, but I don't think it's outrageous, especially since Morneau has had one really good season and the rest has been a bit inconsistent. His final 2007 stats are fine, but most of that came in the first half. You can get Gonzalez later, making him better value and sure, you can make the case overall as well.
John (Niagara Falls)
Hi Eric. Is it worth keeping Ian Stewart in a keeper league, when I already have Longoria and Encarnacion at 3b?
Eric Karabell (11:10 AM)
Well, you could always trade him, and I suppose it's possible Stewart gets some time at 2B, though I doubt it. Depends who you are letting go of in order to keep Stewart, I guess. But I tell people when it comes to keepers to keep your best, even if half of them play the same spot.
Why is Brandon Phillips considered a late 2nd rounder when he's already gone 30/30 and will be batting cleanup this year? I would think early 2nd.
Eric Karabell (11:11 AM)
I have him mid-second, personally. I think people are still cautious that this free-swinger will see a decrease in power and batting average. Being a top 20 player isn't so bad, you know. And yes, he is hitting fourth, which could mean a 100-RBI campaign.
Is BJ Ryan ready to start the season, or is Accardo worth drafting?
Eric Karabell (11:12 AM)
I'm starting to get convinced that Ryan is going to be ready for April, actually. I don't really believe anything the Blue Jays say, but in this case it appears Ryan's rehab speaks for itself. Might be time to start viewing Accardo as we do Jon Rauch, which isn't bad, but certainly not a 30-save guy.
Chris (Prague, CZ)
I'm planning to extend Delmon Young's contract on my team to make him $12. I'll have him for the next 3 years... will he be worth it?
Eric Karabell (11:13 AM)
I think so. That's a nice price for a guy about to develop more power and become a very good fantasy option. Delmon generally goes for more than $20 now.
Chipper - over/under 140 games?
Eric Karabell (11:14 AM)
Under, because that's been his m.o. this decade, but don't let that sway you into passing him up. When he plays, he produces runs. His 2007 was one of his better seasons really.
Gordon (Portland, OR)
Randy Johnson - over/under 120 innings?
Eric Karabell (11:15 AM)
Over. Maybe I'm missing something, but I'm trying to be optimistic. Like Chipper, when Johnson is on the field, he does well. I have him making about 20 starts, which would be about 120 innings. I think he'll strike out at least a batter per inning.
Who is the first few closers you are looking to draft and when are you looking to get them?
Eric Karabell (11:16 AM)
In our ESPN mock draft last week the first closer was Papelbon in round 7. Sounds about right to me. It wasn't me, of course. My first closer came 5 rounds later, at least, and I believe it was Street. I have nothing against closers. I'd say Putz, Papelbon, Nathan are the first few closers.
McGowan or Wainwright for this season? And better catching prospect down the road Towles or Suzuki? Thanks
Eric Karabell (11:17 AM)
I would take McGowan over Wainwright, but both should put things together with solid seasons. I would take JR Towles over Kurt Suzuki. More offensive upside.
Big Mike (Philly)
Yo Eric: How concerned are you about Pujols? I've got great hitting in our NL-only league (Pujols, Utley, Soriano, Phillips, Atkins) and can get Webb and Cain for Pujols. Do the deal?
Eric Karabell (11:18 AM)
In our mock draft last Friday I had the No. 9 pick, and I got Pujols there. Yes, I have concerns about him, but to get him at 9 is outstanding, in my opinion. Maybe he misses the occasional game and plays about 140 or so, but there's little evidence he won't hit when he plays. Even in the "off year" of 2007, he hit. Webb and Cain is intriguing. I'd just keep him.
How much would you pay for Marmol in an auction league? I can lock him in for $3/3yrs. Do you think that is a smart move for future saves?
Eric Karabell (11:19 AM)
Yeah, I like that move. Even if Marmol doesn't get saves, if he pitches well he's worth that price as a potential top reliever. If you're drafting now Marmol would go for more than $3, so I like the move.
Hey Eric, Sorry for the trendy question, but if Bonds is signed by the Rays, is he worth a mid-late round draft choice? What kind of stats would you expect from him especially since he wouldn't need to wear his knees down in the outfield?
Eric Karabell (11:20 AM)
I don't think Bonds signs today, or necessarily with Tampa, but I do think he signs. I'll be blogging about this. I took Bonds with the last pick in that mock draft. I don't see why he'd do any worse than he did in 2007. In fact, with an AL team, I'd expect more health, more numbers.
John Hamilton: .285, 80 runs, 25 HRs, 90 RBIs. Realistic?
Eric Karabell (11:21 AM)
I'll take the over on the power, probably under on batting average. But yeah, I believe he's a 30-homer guy now. Just has to play 140 games to get there.
scott (boston, ma)
What are your thoughts on Geovanny Soto? Is he officially the starter or would i need to draft a backup just in case?
Eric Karabell (11:22 AM)
He's the Cubs starting catcher for 120 games, and while I think it's a bit generous to assume he's a great fantasy player initially, he should hit more than 10 home runs, knock in 60 and hit for a decent average. That might be enough to make him a top 10 catcher this year. Like with most catchers, be wary of injury, but Soto should be solid.
Erik (Dalton, GA)
Do you think James Loney, Matt Kemp and Russ Martin will all hit mid-20s homers this year?
Eric Karabell (11:23 AM)
I don't think Martin gets that many, but Loney and Kemp should. I think Kemp is the everyday right fielder. It would surprise me if Ethier takes time from him.
Hafner (1B eligible) or Berkman? How much does the oblique worry you with Fat Elvis?
Eric Karabell (11:24 AM)
I'm not too worried today about Berkman, but if we're still having this conversation in two weeks, then I will start dropping him a bit in the rankings. For now I have him ahead of Hafner, and not only because in standard leagues Hafner is not a 1B.
Over/Under HR's for Joe Mauer: 20....
Eric Karabell (11:25 AM)
Way under. His career best is 13. I don't know if he will ever get to 20, to be honest.
kevin (zanesville Ohio)
what do you project Adam Dunn to do this year and if the Reds are out in August will they trade him?
Eric Karabell (11:26 AM)
I have Adam Dunn ranked in my own top 50, easily. He's hit 40 home runs on the button three straight years, and I expect he will again. I think the Reds keep him around, too. I can't speak for other rankings on Dunn, but to me he is a solid 4th or 5th rounder. He didn't hit .220. He hit .264. I can deal with that.
I noticed in the mock draft Kemp went 50th overall, what kind of "koolaid" is being drank and can I get some.
Eric Karabell (11:27 AM)
All I can say is I would not have done that, but I can't say someone is wrong for taking Kemp that high. He has tremendous potential for a power and speed package. Kemp is a good risk, just not one I am willing to take with a top 50 pick, but I can't say it's a bad move.
Patrick (Seattle, WA)
Eric, which of the "other" Twins starters do you like most? I assume it isn't Livan.
Eric Karabell (11:28 AM)
I think Liriano will be the top Twins starter, but I have already been taking chances on Scott Baker and Boof Bonser as potential No. 5 starters in fantasy. I think both will emerge this year.
Scott Kazmir as a Keeper?! Deadline is looming and replacements are not appealing. Suggestions?
Eric Karabell (11:29 AM)
For now I would assume this elbow issue is not the reason you'd cut Kazmir, unless you had someone of similar value. We should know more in the next week. Even if the guy makes only 25 starts, like 2006, they should be good ones.
Can Harang be relied on as a legit #2 starter?
Eric Karabell (11:30 AM)
I think so. That's 200 innings, 200 Ks and 15 wins, even on a bad team.
wigginton has 2b availability. Am i the only one who has noticed he's a 30 plus homer guy in houston at 2nd base?
Eric Karabell (11:31 AM)
Since he's been a staple on my teams for two seasons with that middle infield elig, I have noticed. Don't go too far on this guy; he's not going to knock in 90, and won't hit .300, but 25 homers, sure.
Paul T. (Cincinnati)
Aramis, Chipper, Atkins - all 3 will be available around my first pick in a keeper league - who would you choose? Positions don't matter - they will be my CI.
Eric Karabell (11:32 AM)
I would choose Aramis Ramirez. I rank these guys as Aramis, Atkins and then Chipper, and all over Figgins incidentally. In a keeper league I'd think Chipper would not be the choice.
What kind of numbers do you project for Jacob Ellsbury this season? If he starts more than 140 games, can he score 100 runs and swipe 40 bags?
Eric Karabell (11:34 AM)
By the way, I do NOT look at who sends the questions... I just look for good questions... I will take the under on games, runs and steals for Ellsbury. I think Coco Crisp remains in Boston and Ellsbury has to fight for time this season. It's not ideal, and I think he is ready, but that's what I see happening. If Ellsbury was the full-time starter and led off, I'd project around 100 runs and 30 steals.
What do you expect from Myers
Eric Karabell (11:35 AM)
Philly's opening day starter will thrive. Give him 200-plus innings, a 3.75 ERA, nearly 200 K's. He should never have been a closer.
Brandon (Mission Viejo, CA)
BJ Ryan or Brian Wilson - They will cost me the same ($3) to keep. Should I take the risk on Ryan and his elbow? It seems that they're rushing him back and that concerns me. Thanks.
Eric Karabell (11:36 AM)
It concerns me, too, but there's no telling if San Fran's Wilson becomes a 30-save guy. At least Ryan has done it before and clearly Toronto wants him to do it again. Wilson has been named closer, but he still needs to get lefties out and hold off veteran Tyler Walker. And it's a really bad Giants team, too.
Hey Eric, love the chats/blog. Were you happy with your selections in the expert draft? I looked for your choices specifically, but it just didn't seem like you had your best day. Any thoughts?
Eric Karabell (11:38 AM)
You're correct, I was not overly pleased with what I did, notably when I took Magglio Ordonez. That is definitely not my kind of pick. I did end up with a pitching staff I liked, though. Smoltz and Gallardo slipped too far, and I took some chances late. Why not, it's a 10-team draft, if someone doesn't pan out, or Bonds doesn't sign, there will be plenty of free agents. For those looking for this draft, check out the left nav of our draft kit. It's there.
You drafted both Mags and Posada- i take it you think that last season wasnt a fluke for either?
Eric Karabell (11:40 AM)
Not really. I think both will bring the same power they did in 2007, but the averages will drop, and I'm prepared for this. Posada hit 60 points higher than normal, but the power was similar. I drafted him for his 2006 stats, really, and he still went too late in my mind. There's too much anti-Posada sentiment out there. Yes, he's 36, but 20-80 and .275, I see that.
DJ (Charlotte NC)
Keeping Hart, Hamilton, & Victorino in the OF. If Holliday is there @ #7 would you take him regardless???
Eric Karabell (11:41 AM)
I don't know who else is available, of course, but Holliday shouldn't be there at No. 7 if everyone already protected players. Draft numbers, and worry about where they fit in later.
Eric, who closes for the brew crew when Gagne goes down and also can you clear up the cubs closer situation. Thanks
Eric Karabell (11:42 AM)
I think Turnbow probably gets first call when something happens to Gagne, and Riske is lurking. As for the Cubs, flip a coin. Whatever you think, Lou Piniella will change your mind tomorrow. He refuses to settle on someone. I think Howry might actually win this job and keep it.
Ever feel like you put yourself at a disadvantage by giving your strategy publicly? Ankiel, Baldelli, or Big Hurt
Eric Karabell (11:43 AM)
Not one bit. I still do well in my leagues. This is fun for me. If my opponents know my thoughts, well, good for them. As for the names you threw out, I can't trust Baldelli. It's a shame, he could have been a really good player. Big Hurt is safe for 140 games, 20-80 at least. Nobody seems to want him. Is Ankiel safe? I don't think so.
Stack (Princeton, NJ)
Can we put a ban on the word "koolaid" for this and all future chats???
Eric Karabell (11:43 AM)
Fine with me. Though I did just buy some for my kids.
Mike (San Diego)
Keeper league: Mauer or McCann?
Eric Karabell (11:44 AM)
I'd still take Mauer here, but just keep expectations in line. I don't think McCann is going to get much better. Mauer still could.
I dont know about Berkman over Victor Martinez Eric. I know you arent a big position scarcity guy, but aging 30-100 outfielders can be had later, no?
Eric Karabell (11:45 AM)
Berkman is 31, and went 45-136 two seasons ago. I think it's a bit early to stick a fork in Berkman. Nothing against Victor, but I don't overrate position scarcity to that degree.
Patrick (Seattle, WA)
PECOTA is extremely high on Chad Gaudin of the Athletics, and I can't understand why. Is there something I'm not seeing? His career line shouts journeyman.
Eric Karabell (11:47 AM)
I did notice that. I have Gaudin in a deep AL-only league, and the walks certainly worry me. The stuff, however, is there. He is a groundball guy, he just needs to attack hitters more. I could see 28 starts from him, and a 4.50 ERA. I don't know if he's quite the journeyman yet, but he could take strides up soon.
Do you guys actually play out any of the mock drafts you do? If not, isn't there some part of you that makes you take chances / make picks you wouldn't ordinarily take/make?
Eric Karabell (11:48 AM)
Honestly, I don't know what we're playing out or not. I draft each team as if I was playing it out though. I don't generally take a ton of chances, but certainly each league can be different. In pretty much any draft I am in, if I pick ninth and Pujols is still there, I have to take him, let's put it that way. These drafts should count, or we should think they do, or else I don't know who would take them seriously.
ERIC, Do u play in any money leagues? or do u not condone that? lol
Eric Karabell (11:49 AM)
I do play in leagues with friends with more on the line than others. But I also play in leagues in which pride and bragging rights are the most important thing.
How does Victorino slip all the way to 117 in the mock? Isnt .280 20-40 a good bet for him?
Eric Karabell (11:50 AM)
If we did this exact same draft again, a lot of things would change. I wouldn't let Victorino slip that far, but I probably needed pitching badly in the rounds I could get him, thus I kept passing him up. I don't see 20 homers though. Maybe he his 12-14.
Adam ( London, ON )
How long before Bruce is in the majors ?
Eric Karabell (11:51 AM)
I don't think he makes the team. It's becoming obvious Hopper/Freel are the center fielders and leading off. Poor Bruce needs a Griffey or Dunn injury before he gets the call. Be careful in one-year leagues, Jay Bruce might not play a whole lot.
There was a point on Myers that has gotten buried where he gave the insinuation to a reporter that he'd rather close. With Lidge's injury, is Myers shifting back a concern?
Eric Karabell (11:52 AM)
I don't see any way Myers goes back to closing. The Phillies have other options now, and I think they learned their lesson. Myers has said, not just insinuated, he'd prefer closing, but he also wants to prove a point and throw 200 innings. He'll be fine this year.
Here's why I'm worried about David Ortiz: All data shows that overweight hitters lose "it" earlier than others. Not to pick on overweight people, but Greg Luzinski, Cecil Fielder, Mo Vaughn are all examples of players who fell off a cliff at age 32-33. Ortiz is now 32. Thoughts?
Eric Karabell (11:53 AM)
I see your point, and it is precisely why I am pleased the Phillies have NOT given Ryan Howard the keys to the castle for the next 10 years. He will not age well. I think Ortiz still has more productive years ahead, but the decline could be swift in 2010.
Daniel (Grand Cayman)
What's up my man??? Is it me,or does it seem like there is a considerable lack of guaranteed #1 ace SP's this year over past years? Assuming I don't get Johann or Jake - what round would you target for getting my #1 SP in a 13-taem league?
Eric Karabell (11:55 AM)
I don't worry about getting a standard 'ace" like other teams. In this mock, I went with Smoltz first. He's fine. Safe. Good K's. People overrate the fact Peavy is a typical ace. He's a good pick for late second round, and certainly younger than Smoltz, but the difference in 54 picks makes Smoltz the better value to me.
Jason (Cleveland, OH))
In a keeper where I can only only keep 5 players, what are your thoughts on keeping 2 pitchers, even if they 2 of the best?
Eric Karabell (11:56 AM)
Keep your best. You can always fill in the draft. Don't keep an average hitter just because you think you should keep all hitting.
Is Joba the first in line for the Yanks rotation if a current starter gets hurt?
Eric Karabell (11:56 AM)
I don't think so. I think Igawa probably is. Honestly, I don't think Joba makes starts this year. If he thrives in the bullpen, the Yankees keep him there.
Anthony Reyes a sleeper for this year? Also, who would you chose between Rich Hill or Ian Snell?
Eric Karabell (11:57 AM)
Sleeper? Sure, depends on the league and how late it is. But I think LaRussa is losing patience with Reyes as a sure-fire starter. They could sign a Jeff Weaver and give up on Reyes, too. And Hill over Snell.
Eric Karabell (11:57 AM)
OK, thanks for the fine questions, enjoy your Wednesday and look for another chat later on. One month and the games start to count! Woo-hoo! Adios...