Fantasy Baseball w/Tristan H. Cockcroft
Send your questions now and join Cockcroft in The Show on Wednesday at 11 a.m. ET!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:00 AM)
Good morning everyone! Let's get right to your questions...
Jay Bruce owners in keeper leagues (State, Hysteria)
Don't mind us, we'll be outside doing cartwheels!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:01 AM)
Ha! Nicely put.
which underachieving vet do i drop? hawpe or konerko? i know hawpe is on the dl, but he should be back soon...and what do you think bruce's final line will be?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:04 AM)
So let's get to that very Jay Bruce question, what I expect, shall we? Before the season, I had him projected for around 250 plate appearances, a mid-.290s batting average, double-digit power. But with Bruce up today, I'll say maybe he's closer to high-.280s (remember the inevitable slump, which probably hurts this category a little), but there's a real chance of 15-20 homers. He's a guy to get, and while I'm conservative with my expectations, I'll also say if anyone can be "this year's Ryan Braun," might be this kid. Hmmm. Maybe I'll say he's this year's Hunter Pence? Probably more realistic. But that's pretty good. It's surely good enough to let Brad Hawpe go. He's hurt, and when he wasn't, he wasn't hitting anyway.
Jon (Monticello, IN)
Adrian Gonzalez: Over/Under 40 HR, 130 RBI
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:05 AM)
Well, under, because those are his year-to-date paces, but I like that you're being so bold, Jon, as I don't think it'd be crazy if he DID approach, say, 40 homers, 125 RBIs. I like Gonzalez's upside that much. In the ballpark, though, I'm realistic. Let's say 32 homers, 107 RBIs, and that's a very nice season, isn't it?
Time to drop Cueto in shallow 10 teamer? "W" last night but another poor outing. WW options include: Cabrera, Davis, Danks, G.Smith, Guthrie, WRod, Eveland & Blanton.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:07 AM)
I really think Johnny Cueto is a matchups type at this point; start him at home, and no thank you everywhere else. But then I look at the alternatives you've listed and I think you're in a league where matchups play is a prime strategy, so that's not a fair question to provide you one flat answer. Your right answer is, play hot streaks and matchups, period. Right now? It's probably Greg Smith overall. But no chance I see any of those guys being a roll-'em-four-months type. Daniel Cabrera is decent on the road against weak offenses, John Danks can handle lefty lineups, Wandy Rodriguez is great at home. All stuff you need to consider.
I usually don't take a flyer on hitting rooks (except for Pujols rookie season), so I am still skeptical on Bruce...is he worth adding in a 10 team league if my OF's are Quentin, M. Bradley, J. Pierre and Carlos Lee?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:08 AM)
Well, not if you have to let one of those guys go, necessarily (that's right, I said KEEP Juan Pierre, but only because Andruw Jones is out for awhile). Can you cut a bench guy and stash Jay Bruce? Because if I'm a Milton Bradley owner, I absolutely have some insurance for him. I like the guy, but I see no way he's healthy for 162 straight games.
AL Only league. Start Westbrook today [only have until 11:30 to choose!]? Or should I just say: Forget it, Jake--it's Chitown. (get it?) Thanks for chatting!!!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:09 AM)
I don't fear that matchup, not in an AL-only league.
Hi Tristan I just picked up Liriano of the wavier wire,when do you forsee him coming back? Did I act to soon dropped Edwin Jackson
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:10 AM)
Unfortunately, Mark, you acted too soon. At this point I'm genuinely wondering whether Francisco Liriano will be ready to help you even as soon as the All-Star break.
dave (san diego, ca)
hi tristan, out of all the fantasy experts i find myself agreeing with you the most. don't know if that's good or bad. i have 6 outfielders (Ellsbury, Torii hunter, Mclouth, Abreu, Granderson, Jay bruce) and I want to drop/trade 2 of them. Which two would you get rid of? I'm in an 8 team mixed league. Thanks!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:12 AM)
Thanks Dave, and all I can say to whether it's a good thing is I'm doing pretty well in all my key leagues, though I admit, I slipped out of first recently in the only two where I was that high! Hey, at least I'm in the running in most, if not all, of them, so take that for what it's worth. It's a long season. As for the question, hey, I always say anyone is available for the right price. I have a hunch, judging from future expectations compared to possible trade value, that Nate McLouth and Jay Bruce are the two you need to shop. I bet there's a lot of interest, probably more than their true value right now. Just a hunch; there's always an unreal buzz when a top prospect gets promoted, despite how much I like Bruce.
David (Frisco, Texas)
Greinke, Bedard, and Wainright are scheduled starters today. Would you sit any of them? All three have had less than impressive outings lately. Greinke has the Twins, Bedard has the Red Sox, and Wainright has the Stros. How would you play these three?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:13 AM)
Well, I'd play them, that's how. No worries here. Good bounce-back opportunity for Zack Greinke, Erik Bedard never sits for me, and I see that as a strong matchup for Adam Wainwright.
Josh (Lincoln, NE)
So, Joba will be starting soon. What do you expect?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:15 AM)
Well, I don't think we can assume he's completely molded as a starter until, let's say, June 20 or so. From that point on? Well, he probably makes 15 starts, whiffs about a man per frame, but the ERA goes up. I bet he's somewhere in the ballpark of 7 wins, 3.40 ERA, 1.25 WHIP. Good pitcher, but not a top-25, not quite. I still really think his future lies in the bullpen.
J Upton or J Bruce
Whos got better numbers at year end?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:16 AM)
Very interesting question there, I must admit. I'm going to go with Bruce. I see Justin Upton as a little too raw a prospect by comparison.
John, (new YOrk, NY)
Kershaw, real deal? What are your projections
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:18 AM)
Oh, I'd say real deal, but it's the great unknown, those top prospects. He could be last year's Tim Lincecum, or last year's Phil Hughes. That's the value range I see for him. I'm thinking 18 starts or so, low-threes ERA, maybe he throws 90-100 frames, K's 85. Good stats. I'm a believer, only doubting his ability to hold up to the workload.
Tristan, how close in value are Stephen Drew & Michael Young? I'd like to deal one for pitching help (Drew for Marcum?) and want to know which to shop and which to keep. Thanks.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:19 AM)
I think a little more of Young, simply a more trustworthy batting average specialist and the other numbers aren't far off otherwise. If I could get Shaun Marcum for Stephen Drew I'd be all over that deal so fast ... I think Marcum is tremendously underrated.
Good news yesterday for Peavy owners...when do you expect him back?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:20 AM)
Good news, sure, but the reports I read over the weekend seemed to suggest if the MRI came back clean, he'd be just about ready to be activated as soon as he became eligible. Now, I'm feeling like it's closer to mid-June. Still, that's an encouraging prognosis. Let's hope he's out of the woods when he gets back, as a fellow Peavy owner.
Sell high on Shaun Marcum? Buy low on Dustin McGowan?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:21 AM)
No and yes. With McGowan, I look at his numbers and remind you that they look awful because of that one dreadful outing he had what, a week or two ago? Only concern I have: He's quickly turning into a must-start home pitcher, so-so road option. Just something to watch, but I say buy low, definitely.
David (Frisco, Texas)
Young hits behind Kinsler and ahead of Hamilton. That's a pretty good situation any way you slice it. He is going to get some balls to hit. If Young even gets remotely hot, look out.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:21 AM)
Well said, David.
Tom (Tinley Park, IL)
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:22 AM)
There's no way I'm not exploiting this hot streak until it peters out, IF it peters out. 'Nuff said.
Over/under 150 RBI for Josh Hamilton?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:23 AM)
Ha! You know Jake, I like that bold call too, and I would LOVE to take the over. I'm overwhelmed by Hamilton's talent, and you're going to read a very interesting take on him when you see my "all-2012 team" coming out later today. The realist in me, though, says Hamilton is a little too much a risk to miss a few games that I think he'll probably fall short. But I do think he's getting close to talented enough to do it!
Perez, Franklin or Isringhausen will be closing for the Cards from the All-Star break on?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:25 AM)
I honestly feel like you can throw all those names in a hat, pick one and you'd have as good a chance guessing as any. Being totally frank with you, Mel. My gut is telling me a healthy Jason Isringhausen is going to be the guy, so that's the one I'm picking today. I really think the Cardinals, and a Tony La Russa team, is going to want to count on a proven veteran. Chris Perez is interesting, but I think he's really going to more be groomed to take over next year.
Ricky (Stafford, VA)
Is Josh Hamilton the real deal or what? I have dubbed him the Meast..Half Man Half Beast. This guy can flat out rake. Can he keep this pace, and what are your season projections for him at this point?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:27 AM)
Ha! Like Pronk, eh? As for the projections, I want to make it clear I'm very, very fond of Mr. Hamilton. I see 40 homers as a lock, with upside to 45-50, if he stays healthy. Bats right around .295-.300, as he goes a little more for power at the expense of batting average as the temperatures rise. And let's say 135 RBIs? This kid's legit.
Tristan, don't forget Adam Wainwright was a rookie closer for their 2006 WS Championship team. LaRussa is not afraid to give youngsters a chance and let's be real, the Cards won't stick around much longer.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:28 AM)
That's true, Goose, though La Russa really didn't have much else at the time. And that's not a knock on Wainwright, he really did a heck of a job, but that's how he got a shot. It's why I really call that bullpen a straight crapshoot. It could just as easily be any of the three, and I continue to stress Chris Perez has great sleeper potential. I see him as no less valuable a second-half option than Ryan Franklin.
Thoughts on Ian Stewart now that he might gaining eligibility at 2B?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:30 AM)
Frankly, I'm surprised he's playing there. Last I checked, he wasn't playing there in the minors, so this is quite the gamble. Desperation, perhaps? If Stewart sticks, and I guess I'm saying I'm not convinced yet that he will, no reason he can't bat around .285-.290, decent power. Think a "lite" Todd Helton type. I stress the word "lite," though, and again, I'm not entirely convinced he's an everyday player; he might be more a 2-3 day a week guy. Sleeper, but let's not go nuts.
David wright for josh hamilton?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:30 AM)
Nah. For as much as I like Hamilton, I like Wright more!
Josh (Lincoln, NE)
When does Headley get the call in SD? Are they waiting to screw him over on his arbitration counter or what?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:31 AM)
Could be, but I don't see why, considering at this point I think it's almost guaranteed Chase Headley wouldn't be a "super-two" player following the 2010 season. I'm stunned he's not up yet. Should be promoted at any minute, he's the next guy I see on the prospect radar.
Brett (Stony Brook, NY)
Greg Smith looks like Mike Hampton out there, going on guts with a modest fastball. Do you expect that his success (high 2s ERA) will continue?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:34 AM)
Well, no, if Smith finishes the year with, say, 20-plus starts, no way I see his final ERA being this. That said, he's quite underrated. Good command, his splits aren't incredibly troubling, though I don't see him as dominant as I'd like to see against right-handers. I think that takes him into the mid-3s to finish. Plus, he might have an innings cap, so yeah, he's a sell-high, but don't give him away. There's still a good share of value left in that arm.
Juan: Nyack, NY
Westbrook or Rich Hill rest of the season?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:35 AM)
Well, I just don't get what the Cubs are doing with Rich Hill. I'd love to pick him, but again, the realist in me says take the "right-now," and that's Jake Westbrook. I do think Westbrook is a pretty decent pitcher. Not great, but useful, for sure.
Justin (Queens, NY)
In regards to PRONK, I'm shopping him for the struggling Myers? Good idea, or will I regret it?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:36 AM)
Both of them are a mess right now. Nothing wrong with that deal. Heck, they could both continue to slump. My gut always says take the hitter all else being equal, but if you need pitching, not a bat shot to take.
Max Scherzer (Arizona)
People keep dropping me. Don't I still have Considerable value?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:37 AM)
People always tend to underrate setup men. And yeah, that's all Max Scherzer is right now. I keep saying that unless you're in a shallow mixed league, or have pretty much no bench, you need to keep this kid. Again, some interesting thoughts about him in my piece coming today (yeah, all about plugging that one this morning, I admit).
Pick 2 of 3....Myers, Francis, Garza.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:38 AM)
Not overwhelmed here, but Matt Garza for sure, good arm, great upside, the team's not bad at all. For the other, I'd probably stick with the better team situation, all being equal, which leads me to gravitate towards Brett Myers.
So Headley is a better prospect than Stewart? Is the PCL a hitter's league (where Stewart played)?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:39 AM)
I think he is, yes. And yes, the PCL is a hitters' league.
Kevin Templeton Ca
Rest of the season waiver pick up Westbrook, Duchscherer or Andrew Miller
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:40 AM)
I actually think Justin Duchscherer has the highest per-start ceiling of the three, and it's merely full-year stamina that leads me to doubt him. Usually in these cases, that's the guy I want. Jake Westbrook is right there, though, he's No. 2. Better chance of holding up the rest of the year, but the per-start ceiling isn't as high.
So you think Kershaw can be a starter but Joba can't? Do you remember how Johan Santana was brought up? Maybe the Twins were better off with him in the bullpen too. Do you even listen to yourself speak?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:42 AM)
I sure do, and I continue to stress I think Joba Chamberlain's ultimate future lies in the bullpen. I watch a ton of his games and I think he brings a lot of energy to his outings. Looks like a future closer. He has that feel. I'm not saying he CAN'T succeed, but I'm a little more skeptical about him for the short term.
Zach (Somerville, MA)
Hey Tristan, Peavy or Verlander the rest of the year?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:43 AM)
As of today it's merely safer in my mind to go with the guy who isn't surrounded currently by health questions. Besides, Justin Verlander seems to have turned a corner of late. Again, another case of one's per-start ceiling is higher (Jake Peavy), but I'll take the stability here. The Tigers are better than this.
Cenzo (Baltimore, MD)
Would you use a waiver claim on Jurrjens if he was dropped in a 12 team mixed? Drop Cueto for him?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:44 AM)
Well, I'd use a waiver claim but hope to let go of someone less talented than Johnny Cueto. Jurrjens looks awfully good. Close in value. I might even take this chance, but again, I'd do my best to keep Cueto around if I could.
I've got 15 minutes..floyd..yea or nay for today
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:45 AM)
Yay. I'd keep riding the hot streak, especially since the Indians' lineup hasn't totally overwhelmed me thus far.
Tristan, will you knock me again before the 2009 season too?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:46 AM)
Ha! Not if you keep proving me this wrong all year. Boy, of all the calls in the preseason, I don't think any one player could have more answered my criticism than one Carlos Zambrano.
Better Waiver Wire Pickup Up: Andy Sonnastine,Ian Kennedy or Daniel Cabrera?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:47 AM)
I still like Sonnanstine on a start-to-start basis. Less potential for terribly, terribly ugly outings. For me, Cabrera's WHIP is so troublesome, and Kennedy, well, uh. Hmmm. Can I just say "if you don't have anything nice to say..."
Josh Hamilton/Sizemore for Cabrera(Det)/Markakis. Who wins?? Thanks
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:47 AM)
The side that gets Hamilton and Sizemore.
Do I use Halladay tonight or is this a nail biter I should sit out? I need wins bad!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:48 AM)
C'mon, John, NEVER sit Roy Halladay! Especially not in Oakland.
Tristan, strategy question! In shallow mixed leagues, is it generally smarter to stream at least one or two pitching slots or try to build the best rotation and stick with it? In my league, I need pitching help more than offense.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:49 AM)
Just to note, in our standard leagues, I almost always aim to build a monster offense, nab one or two solid arms, a decent share of saves, and then stream in a bunch of guys during the week. Yup, I'm a streamer, so there's your answer. I'll often have as many as three active per day. After all, remember, it's making the playoffs that matters, not what seed you have going in.
Tristan, Pick up Jurrjens and drop MacGowan, Danks, or A. Miller?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:50 AM)
No doubt to me Andrew Miller has gotta go.
Ramon Vazquez is now hitting .354/429/.531 in 96 at bats. I know he'll cool down eventually, but do you think he'll hit enought to keep getting consistent ABs even when Blalock returns?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:51 AM)
Well, Hank Blalock will play first base upon his return, and you bring up an important point, that Ramon Vazquez has developed into a pretty underrated matchups play. He can hit righties decently, though he pretty much never plays against a lefty. Take that for what it's worth in deeper leagues (AL-only especially).
Ethan (San Fran)
THC - Go ahead and sleep on Stewart. You guys are a bit quick to see the bloom off the rose for these young guys (see Carlos Quentin). I understand that he does not have a defined position in an everyday role, but the kid (yes, he's 23) can flat-out rake.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:52 AM)
I wish I could be as optimistic as you, Ethan, I really do, because I like Ian Stewart. He's on my LABR team, in fact (that's deep, 13-team NL-only, and pretty much everyone is owned). But I'll reference something for you: Carlos Quentin, 2007.
I have offered Ervin Santana for Aramis Ramirez as I need the power and OBP. Am I properly selling high on Santana and do I get Ramirez?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:53 AM)
Good trade, but I won't say you ripped off the other team. I do like Ervin Santana. Legit, and top-40 worthy easy. Maybe even top-25.
What can be expected from Jeff Larish? Do you think Sheffield is done?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:54 AM)
Great Triple-A stats, worth stashing in AL-only formats, but I wouldn't go nuts over a guy the scouts didn't rave about. Might wind up a platoon type over the long haul. As for Gary Sheffield, there's a very real chance of that, yes. I bet he attempts a comeback, but those great Sheffield years, they're certainly in the rear view now.
Jay Bruce and Ervin Santana for Josh Beckett? Good sell high move?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:55 AM)
A shot I'd consider taking, sure. But again, I don't think this is a case of ripping off the other team either. Pretty fair. I mean, we DO have to be realistic on Bruce. Great upside, and I like him, but I don't ASSUME the Braun/Pence season comes. It's only a ceiling.
Wait how can you give those projections of Hamilton and still pick Wright? What do you feel Wright does? He would have to have either 35 HRs or SBs to top Hamilton. I mean I know it is all relative, if you need a 3B or OF or RBIs or SBs, but overall doesn't 40 HRs and 135 RBIs top 30/20?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:58 AM)
Well, I admit it's a bit of a gut call, and they're absolutely close to each other. But I look at today's Player Rater and see Josh Hamilton fourth, David Wright 30th, and realize Wright has underperformed thus far. He'll heat up, and certainly be top-10 worthy in the long haul. And I do see 35/30 potential in him. He's on pace for 29/23 numbers, and I have no doubt he's better than that.
Tristan (Bristol, CT)
Ludwick or Bruce?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:59 AM)
Ryan Ludwick is immensely underrated. What amazes me: He kills right-handers more than he does left-handers! Never would've expected that. This is closer than you think. Gut always says to me to take the youthful upside, but you can make this case.
Someone dropped Carmona in my league! How crazy right?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:00 PM)
Hey, every league is different with bench/DL spot rules. That said, I'd have a very, very hard time ever cutting Fausto Carmona. It wasn't an arm injury, after all. He'll be fine, I bet.
Mike (Los Angeles)
When will Bruce be added to BBC? Any idea what the price will be?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:01 PM)
You know Mike, that hadn't occurred to me yet; I'm not yet up to setting next week's lineup. I will check, though.
Rank: Saunders, Ervin santana, Jared weaver, Duchscherer
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:01 PM)
Ervin Santana, Jered Weaver, Joe Saunders, Justin Duchscherer, from today forward.
Can i just get a Ryan Church question? When is he back and will he be the same?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:02 PM)
Concussions are almost impossible to predict in sports -- go ask Eric Lindros and Simon Gagne all about 'em. I'm thinking this is perhaps a DL-stint thing, but in a couple weeks, I don't see why he couldn't be fine. Be patient.
Michael (Portland, ME)
When do you give up on a season? I'm mired in 6th. My hitting is amazing, but because of poor drafting, and poor luck (Rich Hill and Gallardo) my pitching is a mess. Near bottom in wins and Ks. Keep trying or what?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:03 PM)
Never. Seriously, I have too much respect for the game to ever bail on a season. At the very least I set a lineup and try to remain as competitive as I can possibly be. Last place (or anything close to it) is NEVER an option.
I have a plethora of closers and I can get either Oswalt or Greinke for Smoltz. Thoughts?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:03 PM)
Seeing as I'm worried that the Braves are continually hiding injury information, I'd probably take either pitcher for John Smoltz. Given the choice, it's Roy Oswalt.
Jim (Detroit, MI)
Which side do you prefer: Hamilton/J. Santana or Berkman/Dice-K?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:04 PM)
Hamilton and Santana, but that's fair value on both ends. Probably gut talking.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:05 PM)
Well, that's all for today. Thanks for all your questions, and sorry if I didn't get to yours. Take care everyone, and don't forget, Jason Grey will be here at 3 p.m. to chat with you!