Fantasy Baseball w/Eric Karabell
Send your questions now and join Karabell in The Show on Thursday at 11 a.m. ET!
Eric Karabell (11:01 AM)
Hello all and welcome to another fantasy sports chat session. Happy Independence day in advance! OK, l'm sure there are lots of questions, so let's get to it...
What do I do with Matt Capps down and out?
Eric Karabell (11:05 AM)
Capps is probably done for the season with a shoulder problem, so feel free to cut him in fantasy. Maybe he comes back for September, but I wouldn't bet on the Pirates pushing him. Damaso Marte is the closer now. I do not think one of the right-handers in the bullpen are next in line, though the Pirates could experiment. Marte has done better against right-handed batters this season, he is safe.
Steve Pearce worth taking right now, or will he simply be demoted in a couple weeks?
Eric Karabell (11:07 AM)
I think the Pirates brought him up for a look, and he might not play very much for a few weeks, until there is a trade. I do expect either Jason Bay or Xavier Nady to be on the market. Pearce was OK in the minors this season, not a Ryan Braun type, but he should be a 25-homer bat with regular playing time soon.
Roddy - Los Angeles
EK - Closer Guru - What's the deal in Tampa? Wheeler? Balfour? Other?
Eric Karabell (11:09 AM)
Isn't it amazing that yet another closer goes down on a Wednesday, the same day Relief Efforts is posted? I hope I'm not bad luck. Of course, who expected Capps? As for the Rays, it's not a surprise Troy Percival is out again. He needs a few weeks to fully recover, you can still depend on him. I think Dan Wheeler is definitely the guy, not Grant Balfour. Wheeler got 4 outs last night. Balfour saved Tuesday because Wheeler was not available.
Morrow should remain closer even when Putz returns. He looks dominant. He throws 97 effortlessly. Think the M's agree?
Eric Karabell (11:10 AM)
I think they might. I certainly would make sure Morrow was owned in all my leagues, which he is. He is dominant. So was Putz last year. Ultimately I think the M's will move Morrow to starting.
Fred (Tampa, FL)
Is Sheffield worth a roster spot with the likes of Scott, Kubel, Dukes, LaRoche available on the waiver wire?
Eric Karabell (11:11 AM)
Probably not. I don't expect a monster second half from Sheffield, but he should raise his batting average and hit some home runs. He's pretty even with the others you mentioned. LaRoche seems hot for now, I would use him until he slumps.
With Furcal scheduled for back surgery, is he safe to drop in a redraft league? Who is the better replacement: Theriot, Hardy, Peralta, O-Cab, or Aviles?
Eric Karabell (11:13 AM)
Yeah, in one-year leagues if you need the roster spot, go for it. Man, this Furcal situation makes me mad. He wasted two months rehabbing, and never got better. The Dodgers really bungled the situation. And Furcal is in a walk year, so who knows where he ends up in 2009. He cost himself loads of money not being healthy. I would look at Orlando Cabrera for speed, and Peralta for the pop. Cabrera is a better overall player, though. Theriot runs the most, but he might be dropped to the eight spot in the order when Soriano returns, so be careful. He has no power at all.
Shane (Shawneetown, IL)
do i really keep jerry hairston jr just because he's good now will he be good in the long run?
Eric Karabell (11:14 AM)
Well, he's playing really well this season, even though he hadn't played well in a few years. He's running. He's leading off. It's all good when he's SS eligible. I don't think he can hit .300 all year, but the speed shouldn't end.
Could we get some more info on Texas' Chris Davis? He's off to a very nice start and I've heard he has tremendous power potential.
Eric Karabell (11:16 AM)
He reminds me of Justin Morneau. Davis has 3 homers in a week, but more importantly he knocked in runs in five of those 7 games. That's a great sign of consistency. The Rangers should play him against lefties, not Max Ramirez, and let him work through things. I think Davis profiles as a 25-30 home run guy as soon as next season, and I'd rank him ahead of plenty of 1B, like LaRoche, Helton, maybe at some point Youkilis.
Follow up to Davis, do you like him over Loney? I can't stand a 1B that cannot hit home runs.
Eric Karabell (11:16 AM)
Exactly, that is a possibility. I thought Loney would hit for more power than this. He's not.
Time to cut Jeff Francouer? Or can he turn things around?
Eric Karabell (11:19 AM)
Wow, can you believe the Braves are discussing sending Frenchy to the minors? Maybe they aren't, but the Braves web site said this. To be honest, I didn't realize just how badly he was playing. A .206 average in June with 2 HR is not good. But who else do the Braves have? Will they just play Omar Infante in RF? I wouldn't drop Francouer yet, unless there's something good out there.
You said Marte is safe. Isn't he a candidate to be traded? If so, would Wheeler pitching for a better team a better pickup for the short term?
Eric Karabell (11:20 AM)
The Pirates really want to compete and try to finish .500 for the first time since Bonds. Yeah, Marte could be dealt, but I have a feeling now he won't be. Wheeler is safer, and on a better team, though. I could see Marte picking up 15 or more saves.
Why the heck did the Phils push up Hamels to start tonight instead of tomorrow vs. Santana?
Eric Karabell (11:22 AM)
The Phillies didn't have a starting pitcher for today with Brett Myers demoted, and Hamels is on schedule. Teams don't think that way, making for the best possible matchup. They want wins, and keeping pitchers on rotation. So what if Chad Durbin starts against Johan. It's not like Johan has been such a lock anyway.
Rank for the rest of the season: Bradley, Ludwick, Swisher, Lewis, Dukes
Eric Karabell (11:23 AM)
I like Bradley's production, but remain wary of his health. I have to leave him first the way he's playing, but Swisher ranked third here is great value. I think he'll pass Ludwick. The rest is fine. Dukes still can't really be relied on.
Who's the better bet moving forward. Oliver Perez or Mike Mussina?
Eric Karabell (11:24 AM)
There's no chance I would pick Oliver in this one.
Howie Kendrick Fan Club (ESPN)
What are your 2nd half projections for Howie? Jason Grey has labelled him a "second half sleeper." Are you on board with this assessment?
Eric Karabell (11:25 AM)
Sure. He's going to hit for average, and that's always helpful, but I take the under for double digit homers and steals. It sounds silly to say, but doesn't Mark Grudzielanek do the same type of thing? I think Kendrick is overrated, but agree he is a sleeper. One of these days I expect him to hit .330 for a month or two.
Frenchie's problem is pitch recognition. He got away with it earlier in the year because of his raw talent, but now pitchers are giving him the change every time he thinks fastball. I think the only thing that can help him is a trip to the minors.
Eric Karabell (11:27 AM)
Every time I see him hit he's striking out on a pitch outside the plate or hitting a weak grounder to short. I don't get why a horribly slumping player can't fix things in the majors. What, it's OK to stink in the minors? Why can't Francoeur work on things now? The main reason Myers got demoted was because the Phillies could do better every fifth day, supposedly. Can the Braves do better with Greg Norton in RF? I dunno... at least Francoeur still has that arm!
Muller (Pflugerville, TX)
Karabell buddy, do you have any inside info on Clay Buchholz? He has been doing well in his minors stint, and all the notes say that he is due to come up soon. What sort of timetable should we expect?
Eric Karabell (11:28 AM)
Muller buddy. Buchholz is on the same rotation spot as Masterson, meaning they pitch the same night. It's not a coincidence. I bet the change happens at the All-Star break.
Post All Star Name Game: Adam Laroche or Carlos Pena?
Eric Karabell (11:29 AM)
I say Pena. I bet he has a big second half for power.
Barmes or Grudzelanoioasdk at 2b?
Eric Karabell (11:30 AM)
Barmes makes me mad. He's been sat the past few days for Jeff Baker, but neither are hitting. I don't get it. Take Grudz. He's kinda underrated, you know what you're getting.
Laura (Milwaukee, WI)
how concerned are you about brandon marshall's leagal troubles? I was offered him for santonio holmes, but just not sure what to do. PPR keeper league. Thanks
Eric Karabell (11:31 AM)
Football! Hey, I'm fine answering football questions. I would rather have Marshall over Holmes, personally. I am aware of the off-field issues and his arm injury, and I still think he's better.
Kershaw coming back this season?
How can you even post something so misspelled?
Eric Karabell (11:32 AM)
Yes, that did cross my mind. But the question made sense. As for Kershaw, he hadn't won in 8 starts, or gone deep enough in games to win. This is the right move. I think he's back in September, whether the Dodgers are in the race or not. And they will be in the race. Don't forget about him; remember when Matt Garza came up and struggled? The next year fantasy owners were cold on him. Look at Garza now.
Ed (Boston MA)
Whats your thoughts on Chaise Hedlee?
Eric Karabell (11:34 AM)
HA! Everyone spell stuff wrong, except, well, me. Headley has what, 4 homers and 6 RBI? The Padres are pathetic. Nobody is ever on base, and Gonzalez has slowed down. I thought the Padres would turn things around, but not anymore. Somehow they are worse than the Rockies, who have had so many injuries. The Giants are only 5 out of first! Keep Headley. He might hit 20 home runs for the year, and knock in 40.
Does Marte have the "stuff" to be their closer for 3 months?
Eric Karabell (11:35 AM)
Right-handed batters have a .522 OPS against him. Yes, he would be fine. A late bloomer and in a CJ Wilson sort of way, I have no concerns with him.
Is Tulo back now? He's hit a couple homers in the past week. Will he be a top 10 SS in the 2nd half?
Eric Karabell (11:36 AM)
I don't think he's safe top 10, but he's going to be comparable with someone like Peralta, which means in the 9-15 range. Tulowitzki has power.
Troy (Vernon, NJ)
Hey do you see Ryan Franklin keeping the closer gig for the rest of the year?
Eric Karabell (11:38 AM)
Now I do. Clearly Isringhausen is not right, and the way they are using him is a bit odd. He might pitch 2.1 innings one night, then get 4 days off. But now I do see Franklin keeping the job.
Kyle (Athens, GA)
Do Francoeur's problems remind you at all of Andruw Jones'? Constantly swinging and missing breaking balls outside? .. maybe Terry Pendleton should be sent to the minors.
Eric Karabell (11:38 AM)
Well, he also has a guy hitting .393.
Marcus Thames, or Jay Bruce from here forward?
Eric Karabell (11:40 AM)
Bruce, definitely. I like how people have jumped off his bandwagon so quickly. He's still pretty good, and he's making adjustments, which is a great sign. His first month, statistically, is similar to what Ryan Braun did. I'm still on this bandwagon.
Garth (Behtlehem, PA)
I think I read in the Fantasy Football magazine that you took Addai over Westbrook. Being a Philly guy that must have been tough. Why that choice?
Eric Karabell (11:42 AM)
Well, the team I root for has nothing to do with how I draft a fantasy team. Nothing. If I could do it again, I'd probably take Westbrook. I don't like how the Colts seem so intent, since we drafted (it was LONG time ago) in getting multiple backups for Addai. Maybe they're starting to believe he is brittle.
Tyler (Burlington, VT)
Eric, are you guys ever going to answer a Pedro question??? He is on three of my teams and has been killing me!! Are you scared to answer the question because you are so unsure of his future performance?
Eric Karabell (11:43 AM)
I'm not scared. Get rid of him. How many more bad outings of evidence do you need that Pedro Martinez is not right? I expect a DL stint soon, as long as Tony Armas keeps pitching well.
I'm on the verge of dropping Randy Johnson...want to convince me otherwise?
Eric Karabell (11:43 AM)
I can't convince you. I'm scared to own him as well. This is not the year for old pitchers; either they are Smoltz and Glavine and hurt, or struggling, with some exceptions of course. I see Max Scherzer in the rotation this time next month.
Thank you for mentioning how similar Bruce's first 34 games compare to Bruan's. For those wanting to know: Bruce has 6 HRs and 19 RBIs and Braun had 7 HRs and 24 RBIs.
Eric Karabell (11:44 AM)
There you go! Bruce and Braun got there different ways, though, which scares fantasy owners. They think Bruce did well for a week and that's it. I'm not comparing these two for this season, just saying I would not cut Bruce.
Am I crazy to like Pedroia over Weeks in a keeper format now? Or will Weeks eventually put it all together?
Eric Karabell (11:45 AM)
I liked Pedroia over Weeks in March, in May, all along. It's about durability and hurting the batting average. Weeks runs, and that's great, but I'll take the safer guy.
Got time for a FOOTBALL QUESTION. In a 12 team keeper league just traded Larry Johnson for Carson Palmer and Wes Welker. Good deal? Also what are your thoughts on LJ and Carson for this year? Thanks
Eric Karabell (11:47 AM)
I think Johnson is a late-first rounder, and I always think RBs first, so I probably wouldn't have done it, but if you had the need at QB and WR, it makes sense. I think Johnson is a 1,200 yard back who scores 8 times, and he might miss a game or two. That might disappoint some, but there it is. Palmer is a 26-TD guy with 20 picks.
is it wrong to ask a baseball and football question the same post? i need two of these guys for the rest of the year: elijah dukes, luke scott, hunter pence, jeff francour, brad hawpe i've seen mcfadden going the third to fourth round of drafts. is that to early?
Eric Karabell (11:47 AM)
Not at all! Go for Pence and Hawpe. And I keep getting Justin Fargas late in a lot of leagues, because nobody wants him. McFadden is not the sure thing people expect.
Phil (Atlanta, GA)
Any chance we see JA Happ this weekend? Long term potential?
Eric Karabell (11:48 AM)
I don't think we can say yet. I didn't think much of Kyle Kendrick a year ago, a hittable kid with modest minor league numbers plucked from Double-A, and he's passable. Happ could do that. I wouldn't use him against the Mets, though.
Where do you rank Evan Longoria from this point forward? Is he a top 5 3b? Where should he be drafted?
Eric Karabell (11:50 AM)
At third base, I go A-Rod, Wright, Braun, Aramis and ... Longoria. And I can be convinced to move Longoria to third there. Notice no Chipper for me in the top 5.
Remember how AP was a 3rd-5th round pick last year because people were scared about Chester taking away lots of carries? Not comparing them because McFadden reminds me more of Bush than AP but still, I think 3rd or 4th is a good time to gamble.
Eric Karabell (11:50 AM)
I agree with that assessment, as long as you don't need McFadden to start. Prepare as if he's a long-term helper.
Eric, Speaking of dropping Randy, what do you make of Campillo, Lohse, Ubaldo, Kuroda the rest of the way.
Eric Karabell (11:51 AM)
The only one I can say I like is Kuroda. Veteran guy, safe ballpark, good stuff when healthy. Lohse is probably safe as well. Not the others.
Will Felix Jones be the biggest steal in this year's draft?
Eric Karabell (11:52 AM)
I don't think so at all, but seeing where he's been going, I'm in the minority. Marion Barber is a steal in the second round.
Could we get some clarification on Davis? I'm not sure if you said Davis would be a better call than Loney this year or not. Would you rank: Davis, Loney, Huff, Thames, Delgado, and Jacobs for us to get a bearing on his present value? Currently, I have Loney and wonder if he is the best player at 1B for the rest of the year. Thanks.
Eric Karabell (11:53 AM)
For now, I still take Loney for the rest of this year. Davis is going to hit more home runs if he makes the proper adjustments. Loney should hit better. For the rest of this season, I rank those guys Huff, Loney, Davis, Jacobs, Delgado and then Timms...
Football Buzzer Beater - Which Rookie QB's this year will have fantasy value?
Eric Karabell (11:54 AM)
Everyone has some value, good or bad, but don't bet on any rookie quarterbacks being worth owning.
John (Franklin Lakes, NJ)
Didn't the OOTB article today go into detail on why Kuroda won't keep it up over the second half of the season?
Eric Karabell (11:55 AM)
We all have our opinions, right? It's why you come to ESPN Fantasy, to decide which opinion you agree with!
logan (Hattiesburg, MS)
Karabell, I really need your help. H2H league Ortiz or Taveras and Bedard.
Eric Karabell (11:56 AM)
Well, I'd go Ortiz, unless I already had a ton of power and nobody to steal bases and strike hitters out. Then it would be OK.
Phil (New York, NY)
If Fuentes is trade, who do you see taking over as closer for the Rox? Will it be Corpas?
Eric Karabell (11:57 AM)
I think he will get traded, and Taylor Buchholz should close. But I do think Corpas will get first shot. Don't be shocked if Casey Weathers vaults them all.
Jesse (Worcester, MA)
Thought on Votto after the break...?
Eric Karabell (11:57 AM)
I'm not worried about him. Should be a 12-40 second half, at least.
What makes you believe that Palmer will throw 20 picks when he did it for the first time in 4 years of starting and had zero ground game and a horrible defense. He had to throw to score. Things should be better this year, and he's very accurate--why 20 picks?
Eric Karabell (11:58 AM)
Why do things have to get better for this team? I don't see that. Palmer is fine, he's reliable, but the Bengals are the Bengals.
Should I buy low on Bedard?
Eric Karabell (11:59 AM)
Depends whose place he takes. I think what he's done so far is a good indication of his season. He's fine, but ultimately still overrated.
NAME GAME!!! Bruce or Mclouth
Eric Karabell (11:59 AM)
Eric Karabell (11:59 AM)
OK, our time is up, I am sorry to say. Thank you for the fine questions, and have a great Fourth of July weekend. There's another chat coming later today. Enjoy.
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