Fantasy Baseball w/AJ Mass
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AJ Mass (11:00 AM)
Morning everyone! Baseball is back and fantasy chattage that matters is too. Who's leading off today?
Gerald (Los Angeles, CA)
With Motte's meltdown last night, is Ryan Franklin the closer to own in St. Louis? Who ends up with the most saves by season's end?
AJ Mass (11:02 AM)
One game. One game. Everybody repeat the mantra. One game. Still, Motte is going to need a second pitch other than the fastball if he's going to have long term success as a closer. I'm not sure he has one yet, so he may not be the closer come September.
Eric (Iron City, PA)
It's one game, and I'm sure he'll be fine, but what happened to "Cy" Webb yesterday? Ouch. Was weather a factor? Just rusty?
AJ Mass (11:03 AM)
Yes, let's all cut CC and Cliff and Brandon... right? It's a marathon. not a sprint, and all SP get 3 freebies from me before I panic.
Seth Smith- Is this a guy with 20/20 potential in Colorado? 15/15? Prefer him over Schafer in Atl?
AJ Mass (11:05 AM)
Smith's HR came off Scott Schoenweis. I could hit a HR off Scott Schoenweis. It was also his only hit of the game. I'd be concerned that Smith will split time with Fowler, so I lean to Schafer.
Greg (Savannah, GA)
Jordan Schafer or Daniel Murphy? This year and beyond.
AJ Mass (11:06 AM)
I think Schafer is probably going to be the better fantasy player longterm, but for 09 Murphy is my pick.
I need 2B and a fellow manager needs SP. Is Santana for Utley a fair trade?
AJ Mass (11:08 AM)
Yes it is, but naturally, it will get vetoed if your league votes, as most trades do.
Hey AJ. Is there anything ethically wrong with using RP that are actually starters (James McDonald), or SP and RPs (Joba Chamberlain) in my RP spots to dominate W, K, and IP in my points league?
AJ Mass (11:10 AM)
Is there anything ethically wrong in starting a position player who qualifies at C there even if he only plays 3B in 2009? No. As long as the qualification rules say player X can start here, you can do it.
whats your take on Emilio Bonifacio?
AJ Mass (11:12 AM)
Really nice Opening Day. Still, it was against the Nationals and I'm not changing any projections just yet nor am I declaring him the next Tuffy Rhodes. My feeling is you wait at least two weeks before making a call on a player's start - though if you drafted a guy who ended up not making the 25-man roster, feel free to swap him out.
AJ, based on your veto comment just now, what is your opinion of the best trade approval format? In my league, if a majority of the uninvolved owners approve, it goes through, no questions asked. If that doesn't happen (i.e. a split or majority vetoes), the Commissioner makes the final determination, deciding whether or not to overturn the league veto. Thoughts?
AJ Mass (11:14 AM)
The best trade approval process is to play with a group of owners who you know and all play to win. Then let any trade go through - period - up until August. Then no trades allowed.
Hiroki Kuroda, LA
Should I be owned in all leagues?
AJ Mass (11:15 AM)
No. 1 pitcher on an expected playoff team? Yes.
I too play in veto happy league. Members in our league veto trades they feel makes other teams better (which I thought was the point of a trade). Drives me nuts.
AJ Mass (11:16 AM)
Exactly. And it gets worse as the year goes on... Team A trades the league leader in saves for a guy like Michael Bourn and it's VETO as an unfair deal. Even though Team A leads saves by 100 and needs only 5 steals to gain 5 points in that category.
Can you elaborate on why "naturally" one would veto Utley for Santana? Both are very close in rankings - both are arguably the best at their position - both teams have need. Give an example of how you expect to make that trade more fair?
AJ Mass (11:17 AM)
I'm not saying the trade is unfair. I'm saying in most leagues, veto-happy owners don't allow trades that make two good teams better. "Fairness" doesn't enter into it.
Pedro (Mexico City)
Bonifacio is on pace to steal 426 bases this year. Do you think he comes close to stealing 50?
Felipe Lopez is on pace for 324 HR. Felipe or Jose Lopez this year?
AJ Mass (11:18 AM)
Pace questions are funny, no?
Re Motte: i was watching the game, and the announcers said he was throwing a slider he worked on over the winter. It was clocking at around 89-91. I think the problem is that is fastball is just too straight. Looks like another Farnsworth. (Actually, looks like Gagne with the goggles and beard.)
AJ Mass (11:20 AM)
Good intel, Tom. Just from watching the highlights, I didn't see any difference between the two pitches, and that's why he failed. Still, he'll get a chance to learn from the mistake.
Why do owners send absurd trade requests (like Asdrubal Cabrera for Grady Sizemore), are they hoping you accidently hit the confirm trade button?
AJ Mass (11:22 AM)
Or perhaps they're simply trying to figure out what kind of owners are in their league. That doesn't happen in a league where the owners aren't strangers... and a lot of newbies are sadly going to be trading Longoria for Bonifacio today.
Adam Jones...is this his year? What you see his final stats looking like?
AJ Mass (11:24 AM)
I like Dig-Dug. (Hey, he's not Pacman, right?) I haven't drafted him in too many leagues because I see him as a No.4 OF, and usually by that time I already have drafted an Orioles hitter or two... but he'll get 25 HR.
A. Jones or Milledge? Who has the better year? Projections?
AJ Mass (11:25 AM)
Milledge if he starts strong. The problem is that there's four OF for 3 spots in Washington, and Lastings may get pushed to the side if he has a lousy April. In a full season, I think Milledge slightly outperforms Dig-Dug.
David (Los Angeles)
Hi AJ! Start Ubaldo vs AZ today? Thanks!
AJ Mass (11:27 AM)
If you drafted Jimenez, start Jimenez. It's way too soon in the season to be worried about matchups.
Escobar, Matsui or Getz for a Middle Infielder.
AJ Mass (11:28 AM)
I'm looking at Getz. I don't usually like to go with unproven rookies, but as a No 2 hitter in that lineup I think he does quite well.
Billy (From Butler Tejas)
Who do I start tonight: The Amazin' Bonafacio or How-we-do-it Kendrick?
AJ Mass (11:30 AM)
I'd give Kendrick the nod.
You said is too early to worry about Match ups, So i should start Cahill against LAA?
AJ Mass (11:32 AM)
You just drafted these players. If you have a starting lineup and a bench and you deemed these to be your best guys, you start them. Now, if you're in a H2H and want to be playing the streaming game, then I suppose this might be a red flag game, but don't come crying to me when Cahill strikes out 10.
TMR forcasts Shoppach to have a beter year than who he backs up! Do you agree?
AJ Mass (11:34 AM)
I don't think Shoppach is the backup. If you're referring to V-Mart, he'll play mostly at 1B and DH. Shoppach will play more at catcher. I think Kelly ends up with more HRs than V-Mart.
How could your opinion of Bonifacio not change, at least a little? Before yesterday, no one would have him. Now, he shows he may have some value. He showed he has speed, and may score a lot of runs because he is hitting leadoff.
AJ Mass (11:36 AM)
I don't disagree that it was a good performance. But I already knew he had speed and quite frankly, Jesus Flores is one of the worst catchers in MLB at throwing out runners.
I know it is only 1 start but it looks like Verlander picked up exactly where he was last year. He just isn't going to turn it around is he?
AJ Mass (11:38 AM)
I'm not high on Verlander. Again, this isn't a case where I'm going to change my opinion based on one start - but my opinion was pretty low going in, and there wasn't much to give any glimmer of hope.
More SB's this year, Figgins or Bonafacio?
AJ Mass (11:38 AM)
Any other question (Annoyingville, USA)
Did nothing else happen yesterday besides Bonifacio having ONE good game? Really, nothing else happened? Oh, ok.
AJ Mass (11:40 AM)
If you could only see the Emilio q's flying by - they are dominating the questions. Remember gang, this is NOT fantasy football... it's a long season and one game doesn't mean as much. If you know your stuff and draft a team you like, then don't jump ship after one game.
Points League Participant
This whole veto discussion just shows how flawed and ridiculous roto is. Bourn for a top closer IS ridiculous!
AJ Mass (11:42 AM)
In April, yes. In September, no. Just like real MLB teams wouldn't trade All-Star X for prospects today but might at the trade deadline.
All those jumping ship on CC, Lee, Texiera and more, please send me your email addresses so I can request you to join my league. My team would be stacked!!!
you keep saying a lot about what you DIDNT learn from one game, but did you see anything that did stand out?
AJ Mass (11:45 AM)
Not really. I mean, was it positive to see the Mets pen not blow a Johan start? Yes. Was it positive to see the Rangers continue to hit without Bradley? Yes. Kuroda impressive? Sure. Saunders? Nice. But baseball is about consistency over time, not trying to guess who is going to be hot Tuesday and then bench them on Wednesday for the hot hand. That way of thinking leads to madness.
The heck with Emilio...lol What about Josh Johnson? Solid year? Good start tonight?
AJ Mass (11:46 AM)
I hope so. I have high expectations for both him and Nolasco.
Why are you doing a fantasy chat the day after opening day if every question you post your response is "its only one game"
AJ Mass (11:49 AM)
You're right, Greg. Cut all your studs who went 0-for-5!!!! They're horrible!!! Run out and pick up Cesar Izturis. He'll hit 100 HRs!!! It's called the voice of reason, Greg.
Vinnie Chase (LA)
Pls rank Kuroda, Chris Young, & Verlander
AJ Mass (11:49 AM)
You've done it nicely without my help, sir.
ESPN should take a break from all fantasy baseball chats during the first week of the season (and give you guys a vacay!) to avoid all these rediculous, fickle, impetuous opening-day questions.
AJ Mass (11:51 AM)
Paul, come back in July and the questions will still be there... "Call up Joe Nobody hit a home run in his first start. Should I cut Albert Pujols who is 0-for-his last-8 for him?"
NL MVP: Emilio Bonifacio or Albert Pujols?
Cesar Izturis hits 162 home runs. Over or under?
AJ Mass (11:52 AM)
Got time for a few more before we go...
Someone dropped Maybin for our boy Emilio...good time to pick up Maybin or let him sit on the WW? It would cost me Cruz or Milledge.
AJ Mass (11:53 AM)
No, I'd sit tight with Nelson and Lastings.
AJ, no one is saying to cut your studs. We simply want to know if Bonifacio, based on his position in the lineup, potential for speed and runs, would be a better roster spot than our bench guys. Simple as that. there are 20+ rounds and you have to move quickly if there's potential on the wire.
AJ Mass (11:55 AM)
I get that Paul. But the position in the lineup wasn't a huge surprise. We knew about it last week. If he went 1-for-3, NOBODY would be asking about him. And few have asked specifically if Emilio is better than Bench Guy Z. In the general sense, the question is what should we expect from him this year... and my answer is, the same you did two days ago.
Dear Paul, Emilio won't get on base enough to stay in the leadoff spot.
AJ Mass (11:56 AM)
Career average is .167 against left-handers. I agree.
steve ( new brunswick NJ)
I know it's Bonifacio chat day and everything, but maybe you could talk about someone else??? Should I hold onto Jose Arrendondo, or is it a waste of roster space. Will he be the closer by the All-Star break?? If not-when?? He looked mighty fine in his immaculate .1 IP 1 K performance last night
AJ Mass (11:57 AM)
I don't think Fuentes will get enough save chances overall to blow enough to warrant him losing the job, so expect a lot more 1/3 IP.
Hardy (Jacksonville, IL)
On the ESPN rankings, Yadier Molina has moved from being outside a top 40 catcher and outside the top 500 player to being the #17 catcher and #305 player overall. All in the last 3 weeks! Why the change?
AJ Mass (12:00 PM)
I'm not sure, but with so many Molinas around, perhaps it was just an instance of the stat projection not ending up in the right place.
Why wouldn't Fuentes get enough save chances??
AJ Mass (12:02 PM)
Because the SP is not Lackey and Santana and Kelvim. I don't think the subs are up to that standard, and in addition, the lineup is pretty good and the score in games they do win may be 7-2, 11-5... not save spots.
AJ Mass (12:03 PM)
That's all the time we've got. We'll be back in two days time when we can discuss the non-Bonifacios on the MLB. See you the next time on Villa Allegre!