Fantasy Baseball w/AJ Mass
Send your questions now and join Mass in The Show on Tuesday at 11 a.m. ET!
AJ Mass (10:56 AM)
Welcome to the chat! We've got one hour for all our fantasy baseball goodness. Let's get things rolling, shall we?
Pat Burrell or Adam Dunn the rest of the year?
AJ Mass (10:58 AM)
I'd go with Burrell. His RBI totals might go down if Howard starts to pick up the slack, but I like him better than an all or nothing guy like Dunn.
Mark (Birmingham, AL)
Oswalt or Chris Young the rest of the year?
AJ Mass (11:00 AM)
I'd lean to Young. Oswalt's to me always seems to be that All-Star caliber pitcher who fades late.
Matt (Providence, RI)
AJ - What "bottom-tier" SP's do you like to complement a staff (not hurt ERA or WHIP) for the remainder of the season? An example might be a healthy Scott Baker? Thanks
AJ Mass (11:02 AM)
Three names that come to mind are a Wandy Rodriguez, Jonathan Sanchez and Greg Smith. I'd call these guys "not big names" rather than "bottom-tier" however. Baker is another I'd include in this group.
The Viper (Winter Haven, FL)
I'm in a 14 team keeper league. I'm in 12th place and going nowhere fast (I'm 55 pts out of 1st). I'm thinking about keepers for next year, and I'm targeting Lincecum. His owner is in 1st place, needs wins, and wants Wang and Haren for him. Due to our keeper system, neither can be kept, but Lincecum can be kept next year for a 16th round pick, then an 11th in 2010, then a 4th in 2011. Would you make this deal?
AJ Mass (11:04 AM)
I can't imagine that you'd get away with that 2-for-1 deal. You'd definitely be accused of dumping without getting some more back in return. I understand that Lincecum's keeper status raises his value, but we're still talking 10 wins for 4 and that's going to raise more than a few eyebrows.
I had the number two pick in a start up keeper league this year. Jose Reyes went first (um..yeah) then I picked A-Rod. Not a day goes by where I wish I would have picked Hanley. Did I make the wrong decision?
AJ Mass (11:05 AM)
Hindsight is 20-20. A-Rod was pretty much a consensus #1 overall. Getting him at #2 was a steal. Now, if he comes back from injury and still hits 35 HR, will you be upset? No.
I'm a little light on pitching, and i've been proposed Prince Fielder and Ben Sheets for Lance Berkman, gotta accept that to boost the pitching and take a minimal hit on the offensive side right?
AJ Mass (11:08 AM)
It's not like you're getting a guy like Jorge Cantu to fill Berkman's spot. Prince certainly has pop. Yes the hit in average will be there, but it's more than worth it to get a staff ace like Sheets.
Should I start Blackburn tonight against the ChiSox? Is Guillermo Mota a must add since Gagne can't last much longer?
AJ Mass (11:10 AM)
Gagne just got the dreaded vote of confidence from his GM... but with the problems in Milwaukee's starting rotation, I'm not sure how many save opps there's going to be anyway. And I'm not convinced that Torres doesn't get a crack at the job if Gagne does get replaced. Blackburn is a good pitcher. I don't know what else you have, but I'm not avoiding his starts for any particular reason.
Rhonda (Help, ME)
Our league needs your guidance! A few teams can't stand the Net Wins category anymore. We also have ERA, Innings, WHIP, K and Net Saves. Can you suggest some alternative (related) replacement stat? Thank you!
AJ Mass (11:13 AM)
Well, you shouldn't ever replace a category mid-season. Personally, I'm not fond of wins because it's very random. IP, ERA and WHIP kind of covers the quality start already. I like K/9 very much as a way to reward dominance. But again, that's a discussion for your off-season.
Dumping is a way of life in keeper leagues. Once you start factoring years and salaries into the equation, the line between "fair" and "unfair" trades becomes blurry.
AJ Mass (11:15 AM)
Certainly true, which is why votes on vetoes annoy me so much, as many owners can't wrap their head around that fact. However, there's a big difference between a Jay Bruce for Erik Bedard deal in September and a "dumping" deal in May. Far too early to be giving up, no matter how far back, IMO.
Jason (Bryan Ohio)
Cueto looked good yesterday for the most part has he corrected his command issues?
AJ Mass (11:16 AM)
One game does not a verdict make. Command is a long-term thing and only time will tell. However, the fact that he responded well to direct coaching to correct a specific problem does bode well for future success, don't you think?
Matt (Fort Collins)
Hi AJ....I have Longoria, Gordon, and Y Escobar rotating in and out of my 3b and Util position. Looking at this year and beyong (keeper league), which one is most expendable (keeping in mind Gordon is 4X the price of the other two to keep)? Thanks.
AJ Mass (11:18 AM)
I think Gordon will get you more value in return than Escobar. Longoria will get you the most, but I'd keep Evan... after all, if he turns out to be even half he's projected to be, you'd be kicking yourself for a decade.
Andy (Elk River, MN)
Hey AJ. Need an answer by noon. Drop Mark Reynolds to pick up Hafner? I'm in a 10 team mixed league. A-Rod is my other 3B. Thanks.
AJ Mass (11:19 AM)
If A-Rod is your other 3rd baseman, I think you're going to need Reynolds in there for quite some time. Stand firm.
AJ, if you had to rank these guys for the rest of the year...Kemp, Granderson, Rios, McLouth and Pence...how would you slot them? Trying to improve my pitching and thinking about trading one. Thanks.
AJ Mass (11:21 AM)
We just compiled a top-340 for the rest of the way which will be posted on the site sometime this week... My personal order was Granderson, McLouth,Rios, Kemp, Pence.
Whats your thoughts on Joe Saunder's & Ervin Santana's starts for the Halos?
AJ Mass (11:23 AM)
Obviously, 12-0 is pretty darn good. However, I'd say Santana is throwing at a much higher level than Saunders, so if I had to pick one for the rest of the way, it'd be Ervin.
So I just lost my starting shortstop (Tulo) and I don't have any options on my bench. Should I pick up Eckstein or Ronny Cedeno?
AJ Mass (11:25 AM)
Obviously, playing time issues are going to come into play with Cedeno, but I still would rather have him in my lineup than Eck.
Right now I'm platooning Napoli and Salty at C, and there are still too many days when neither plays. Would you drop either of them (or both?) for Clement? Thanks.
AJ Mass (11:29 AM)
Longterm, I think Clement is a better option than Napoli, but for now, I'd hold firm. Yes, he's getting a lot of time at DH, but the adjustment period will take its toll for a time. I'd stay with what I've got, or, if you really aren't sold on Salty, then I'd swap them out and start Napoli until Clement clicks.
Kevin (New York, NY)
Better use of #1 waiver priority: Luke Hochevar or Andrew McCutcheon?
AJ Mass (11:31 AM)
Where is McCutchen going to play? It's not like the Pirates outfield is slacking this year. Hochevar at least will be productive in the bigs in 2008.
AJ, I knew coming in that Oliver Perez would be up and down, but I'm running out of patience. Sit tight, or drop him for Cueto or Rich Hill? Thanks.
AJ Mass (11:32 AM)
For Cueto, I'd make the move... though Johnny's going to have his down days as well... Rich Hill is not an option.
What will happen with Max Scherzer when Doug Davis come back? Will he continue to start or be moved to the bullpen?
AJ Mass (11:35 AM)
I think Davis gets his spot in the rotation back when he's ready. Scherzer will likely be the emergency go-to guy out of the pen, but get a spot start when the schedule dictates it... giving Randy an extra day of rest, etc.
Chad (High Point, NC)
Loss of Gallardo leaves me with a need at starting pitching in my 14 team keeper league. Which is the better pickup: Mike Mussina, Boof Bonser, or Nick Adenhart?
AJ Mass (11:36 AM)
Call me crazy, but I like Boof. The lack of K's is a tad worrisome, but he's putting in solid innings.
Pete (Litchfield, CT)
Would you start The Big Unit tonight vs. a tough Phillies offense that scored 11 runs last night? How about Pettite vs. a struggling Cleveland offense?
AJ Mass (11:37 AM)
I'd go with Pettitte over Randy tonight, yes.
Chad (High Point, NC)
In a keeper league is it time to give up waiting on Chase Headley, Cameron Maybin, or Clayton Kershaw? I have all 3 and still fortunate to be winning but injuries to pitching making me thin.
AJ Mass (11:39 AM)
In a keeper league where you are winning, why would you be worrying? I don't think any of this trio makes a huge impact this year, but next year, you're going to be ahead of the game. As long as you are winning, why rock the boat?
AJ! Great stuff! Are you concerned about Byrnes? His numbers have been off and he says his legs may not be 100% all year. And he wasn't going to steal 50 bases again to begin with. Look hard to sell?
AJ Mass (11:41 AM)
What will you get for a .242 hitter who has bad wheels? I think this is one of those cases where you bite the bullet and hope for a rebound. Best case scenario for you... he has a hot week, boosting his value and then you can sell high - if you're a non-believer.
Who is better, just for this season, Conor Jackson or Loney?
AJ Mass (11:42 AM)
Conor Jackson - and it's not even close.
Kevin (Los Angeles)
Is Thome too much to offer for Putz? I need a closer and have a lot of bats in a 10-team league. Not really buy low but I dont think Fukudome for Putz will generate interest.
AJ Mass (11:43 AM)
Kevin, now is the time to try and get Putz for a bargain price. He's coming off an injury and moved to the setup role for a time... spin that angle and you may not have to give up even Thome.
Why don't you think Kershaw will make an impact this year? Do you not expect him up anytime soon, or do you not expect him to fair well when he does come up?
AJ Mass (11:45 AM)
I just read an article where the Dodgers are going to be using a version of the "Joba Rules" on Clayton. That leads me to believe a call-up isn't going to happen until August at the earliest, and that he may just be a pen guy when he does arrive this year.
With Smoltz's announcement that he will close upon his return, is there any reason to hold on to Soriano? What about in a dynassty league?
AJ Mass (11:47 AM)
I'd certainly consider holding on to Soriano in a dynasty league, but not at the expense of this season. If there's a better use of the spot, I'm not worried about cutting him loose.
Along the same line of the Putz question. Would Francoeur or Adrian Gonzo be enough to net Putz?
AJ Mass (11:48 AM)
Along the same lines, yes those guys would be enough. But I'd rather trade less and get a Sherrill or sign a guy like Torres off waivers and wait for Gagne to explode again.
Gregg - NJ
Putz has moved into a setup role? Where did that info come from? He pitched the ninth last night.
AJ Mass (11:54 AM)
Sometimes when I try to answer quickly, I don't exactly say what I mean. The team has said that Putz may be coming into some games in the 7th or 8th in non-save situations to increase his workload. That means for those games, a look at the boxscore will look like his "closer status" might be in question. It's a great way to spin things to lower his asking price.
Chad (New Buffalo, MI)
Loney, Votto, Konerko or Hafner for the rest of the year?
AJ Mass (11:55 AM)
Votto and Konerko are neck and neck. I think I'll go with the youth movement here.
So, you're saying that lying, or "spinning" is an acceptable way to compete in fantasy sports?
AJ Mass (11:58 AM)
Lying - no, absolutely not. But spinning things is what we always do. A guy is hitting .200 for the year, but you say he hit .350 in his last four games. You shouldn't try and trade Tulowitzki saying you heard he'll be back next week, when that's clearly false. But there's nothing at all wrong with saying after Putz comes in early... "Hey, Putz pitched in the 8th last night. I don't know if he's going to get all the team's saves from hereon out." That's not a lie.
AJ Mass (11:58 AM)
Got time for one more...
Stan (Colebrook, NH)
Most trade value right now in an AL-only league: Ellsbury, Quentin, or Dye. Please rank. Thanks for chatting!
AJ Mass (12:00 PM)
Ellsbury probably has the most value... simply because of the uniform he wears, and the fact that many people are still oblivious to how well Quentin is doing. Dye is third.
AJ Mass (12:00 PM)
Thanks a lot gang... it was a good chat today! I look forward to the next one...