Fantasy Sports w/AJ Mass
Send your questions now and join Mass in The Show on Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET!
AJ Mass (2:59 PM)
Good afternoon gang. I am neither Sweet, nor Sixteen, but will be happy to discuss that or anything going on in the now-underway MLB season. Still plenty of drafting that can be done... who is going to be safe and whose Idol journey ends here?
Good afternoon. Erik Bedard has looked awful. Are you concerned?
AJ Mass (3:01 PM)
No, John. I don't worry too much about stats in the spring. Many pitchers who have jobs locked up may not even throw all of their pitches so as not to give any hitters an advanced sneak peek. Bedard should be fine.
How do you see the Arizona Closer situation plays out this year?
AJ Mass (3:02 PM)
I think Pena jumps in at the first sign of trouble from Lyon - which could be very quickly. I'd be surprised if Pena isn't "the man" by June.
So much for Salty the big sleeper. Where do you project Laird?? He doesn't get talked about much but he can hit, and with a full-time gig might he be in the top 10?
AJ Mass (3:03 PM)
Not quite Top 10, but I will say Gerald has been my go-to guy in most of my drafts as my "2nd catcher" between him and Ruiz for that 11-12 spot.
Do you think Weeks is a top 10 second baseman?
AJ Mass (3:05 PM)
He's in the conversation, no doubt. I think you have Roberts, Phillips and Utley in the first group... then Uggla, Kinsler and Upton... he's in the next batch.
Chris Snyder, on Fire, Ariz
Why doesn't anyone know who I am? I'm hitting 4th or 5th and having a fine spring picking up where I left off at the end of last year. Am I the best catcher nobody knows about? Draft me in the late rounds and thank me later.
AJ Mass (3:07 PM)
Perhaps many people are confusing you with Brian Schneider... or they look at the fact you can't hit righties and are scared. Fact is, if Montero could hit righties any better, you'd be in a full-on platoon. I like you, but you scare me.
Please tell me you didn't just rank Robinson Cano as a third tier 2B behind Dan Uggla.
AJ Mass (3:08 PM)
Just going off top of head here, Steve. Cano is in that second group. Although, if you play in a NY based league, his price will likely be overinflated to the point he's not worth it.
Eric (Fort Collins CO)
AJ, who are some of your favorite very deep (think supplemental rounds) sleeper outfielders and starters?
AJ Mass (3:10 PM)
I mentioned Bill Hall in our staff sleeper column. Love Rajai Davis. I think Ryan Church has a surprisingly good season and I'm curious to see what Balentein does in Seattle.
Gary (sf, ca)
Will Boof Bonser or Ian Kennedy do anything worth while for my team this year?
AJ Mass (3:10 PM)
Boof might be OK as a 5th starter... but I'm not so high on Kennedy.
AJ! I ended up drafting bats with my first 9 picks - what do you think of that strategy? I'm a bit worried about my staff (Dice-K, Shields, Snell, Harden, Gorzy, Meche, Greinke, Gregg, Sherrill, Soria in a 12 team H2H), though given the circumstances they don't seem THAT terrible. Do I need a move, or do I have a chance?
AJ Mass (3:12 PM)
For a 12-team league, I think you did incredibly well with that staff. Especially if Harden stays healthy.
David (Florence, SC)
Who loses their rotation spot when Gallardo comes back? I have Parra but I'm thinking of dropping him for Villanueva.
AJ Mass (3:13 PM)
I think the audition will continue... but with Capuano going down as well... there could still be a spot for both. I like Parra more for the short term.
Jose Canseco (Miami)
I would not draft A-rod 1st overall.
AJ Mass (3:14 PM)
Perhaps not. But perhaps Mrs. C would?
Do you think Ankiel will hit 40 or is the TMR just insane?
AJ Mass (3:15 PM)
40 is high... but don't dismiss the possibility completely out of hand... the fact is, he's going to get some of those predictions right, and Ankiel is actually more likely than some of the others.
How much do we take from Rich Harden's outing from this morning?
AJ Mass (3:17 PM)
Sell high! Hey, it's good news if you have Harden. He looked great. Does it change my fears that he could go back on the DL after sleeping wrong on the plane back to the US? No.
Jeff (Rochester NY)
In a standard ESPN league (9 Pitchers) what type of mix do you like to have (starters, relievers) or just take the best available?
AJ Mass (3:19 PM)
With saves being a category, I like to go 6-3 starters-relievers... but I'm probably drafting 2-3 of the starters first, if not more.
Volquez or Cueto?
AJ Mass (3:21 PM)
I think I've bought into the Cueto hype. But I'm not grabbing him too early, either. Volquez has some control issues that do steer me a bit clear.
Would you cut Troy Percival for Jeremy Accardo?
AJ Mass (3:23 PM)
I'd rather have Accardo, yes. While Ryan may come back at some point, it could be late enough that Accardo will have done enough to keep Ryan as a setup man.
Pettitte, Maddux, or Owings?
AJ Mass (3:24 PM)
I'm going with Andy, and keeping my fingers crossed that what he's experiencing now is just a spring issue. If pitcher's hitting counted, that would be different...
Michael (Portland, ME)
Edwin Encarnacion or Kouz?
AJ Mass (3:26 PM)
I'm a Kouz man. Though the fact he plays in such a pitcher's park makes this a far closer call than it would be otherwise.
Sup AJ, would you considering moving CBY for Granderson or am I assuming too much risk for not that much reward my taking Granderson while he has a fracture?
AJ Mass (3:28 PM)
I still like Curtis more than Young, but I don't think you do want to risk the chance that he doesn't come back as soon, and as effective as we thought. Certainly you don't want to bail out an owner who went way too high on Granderson and is looking to scramble.
Is it just me or is Ryan Garko horribly underrated?
AJ Mass (3:29 PM)
No, but when you have several 40 HR guys at a position, the guy who gets you 25 isn't as interesting.
mike (eck, alaska)
AJ scratch... raj davis or nate mclouth??
AJ Mass (3:30 PM)
I go with Nate... looks good to be the starter, and those extra at-bats make all the difference when it comes to steals opportunities.
organizing a keeper league here. what rules can we implement to keep the bad teams from "rebuilding" towards the end of the season, and in the process making the top team that trades with him the favorite to win? i know that trades happen, but we're afraid of the competitive balance of the league
AJ Mass (3:32 PM)
You don't want to keep the bad teams from rebuilding. That's exactly what you want them to do. In a keeper league, you can't think in terms of how trades will affect only this season, but rather multiple seasons... put in a trade deadline after August if you like, but let the bad teams try and get a headstart on next season.
Drop either Pierre or the Flyin' Hawaiian for McLouth?
AJ Mass (3:33 PM)
If you're dropping Pierre to get speed, it's not a wise move. However, if you're dropping Pierre because you think his average will destroy you, then be my guest.
i got a draft coming up in an hour, have the 9th and 12th picks (10 team), jimmy rollins at 9 if available and who at 12?
AJ Mass (3:35 PM)
Totally depends on who goes 1-11, but if Johan falls to you there, I grab him.
a-rod or david ortiz?
AJ Mass (3:36 PM)
A-Rod is the #1 overall pick, hands down. Until Papi starts swiping 25 bases a year, he won't even come close.
Chris (Prague, CZ)
I'd like to echo what a reader said this morning in the Karabell chat: this new Grey guy you've got writing for you is VERY good. Great job to whoever hired him. Any opinion on deep sleeper pitchers who can make an impact right from the start of the season?
AJ Mass (3:38 PM)
I agree. Jason is a terrific addition to the family. I love Sonnanstine in Tampa and Danks in Chicago. Also when push comes to shove, I like Backe and Litsch, as well.
What do see as the difference between Varitek and Ramon Herndandez
AJ Mass (3:39 PM)
About five years of wear-and-tear. If Varitek can make it through season he puts up similar numbers, but I think it's more risky, with no real upside.
Chris (Southaven, MS)
Manny has moving up the board in my draft projections. Where would you expect him to go in a 12 team league?
AJ Mass (3:41 PM)
Manny is definitely going to get the Tuffy Rhodes' treatment based on his early performance. But I think he's still an early 4th rounder in a 12-team.
Asdrubal Cabrera or Ryan Theriot?
AJ Mass (3:42 PM)
Big fan of The Riot. 30 steals easy.
I ended up drafting youngsters as my starting OF--Hart, Markakis, Francour. Which of these is most likely to be a bust this year?
AJ Mass (3:44 PM)
I'd say Hart is most likely to be a bust, but probably because he's the one with the most "pie in the sky" expectations. I think it's a very strong trio to have.
Beavis and Butthead (mid 1990's)
Nick from Omaha just said "Asdrubal."
how will pedro martinez fare?
AJ Mass (3:45 PM)
Pedro's not an ace anymore. He'll give you 6 innings a start... now that could still be good for 175 K's and 15 wins... but don't pay for the Pedro of a decade ago.
Take the risk with Towles or stick with someone like Pierzynski?
AJ Mass (3:46 PM)
It's close, but I'd go with Pierz... then again, you did ask someone named AJ.
Would you trade Harden for Wood? I could use a closer and feel that Harden is a good sell high guy and getting 20 saves is better than 15 starts from Harden right?
AJ Mass (3:48 PM)
I'm not trading a broken clock radio for a wobbly desk chair. I'll keep Harden in that scenario.
what do you see out of micheal Bourn this year. is it time for the bourn Ultimatum?
AJ Mass (3:49 PM)
I think it's time we all come up with new material. I like Bourn for 2009, but I'll hold off on calling for his Supremacy in 2008.
Picking at #2. Who's your choice?
AJ Mass (3:50 PM)
I'm in the minority here, but I go Rollins. Hitters park, and about 100 extra at-bats.
Paul T. (Cincinnati)
David Wright and David Ortiz are my anchors at 1B and 3B but I have a CI slot to fill and can't decide who I should consistently put there. I can play James Loney, Conor Jackson, or Kouzmanoff. Are any of these guys clearly above the other two or do I just play matchups?
AJ Mass (3:51 PM)
Depends what you need. Jackson gets you average, Kouz gets you power. Loney gets you a little of both.
Tim (Reading, PA)
10 minutes left! Can you help me out? Ethier or Gutierrez for a bench spot?
AJ Mass (3:52 PM)
Ethier... and hope for a trade in LA.
Fonzie (Milwaukee, WI)
Hey Ralph Malph, here is one more thing you're not - a fantasy expert.
AJ Mass (3:53 PM)
Way to keep the insults current, Winkler.
Vinny (Elmont, LI)
Would you take Pujols ahead of Howard, Fielder, Teix or Berkman?
AJ Mass (3:54 PM)
Personally, I would take Howard first, then Fielder, then Teixeira. Pujols next.
Given the choice would you rather have Hanley/Aramis or Wright/Tulo?
AJ Mass (3:55 PM)
I'd rather go Wright/Tulo, but I've never been big on Aramis.
Joel ( Roscommon MI)
Does Crede have any value left at all ?
AJ Mass (3:56 PM)
Yes, because unlike Fields, he has a major league gig... even if I don't agree with the choice.
Hanley and JReyes...any rationale for taking one over the other???
AJ Mass (3:57 PM)
Absolutely. Power. Hanley may hit 30 this year. Give Jose three years and he still might not.
Who was your pick to win the NCAA B-ball championship?
AJ Mass (3:58 PM)
Was and still is Tar Heels.
AJ Mass (3:58 PM)
Time for one more, gang...
Which side do you like better: Adrian Gonzalez/John Maine or Jeff Francouer/John Smoltz?
AJ Mass (4:00 PM)
I'd go with Frenchy and Smoltz. Smoltz is more consistent and I like Francouer to hit close to 30.
AJ Mass (4:01 PM)
Thanks gang! Great Q's today. We'll be back next week for more... be sure to check out the Free Draft Kit and read up on all the Fantasy Camp Notes as we get the other 28 teams ready to get the ball rolling.