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Editors Pierre Becquey, Keith Lipscomb, James Quintong or Brendan Roberts will be here to break things down and give you all the inside scoop.
Send your questions now and join The Show on Friday at 11 a.m. ET!
Brendan Roberts (11:00 AM)
Good morning, everyone! I've been moved to Fridays, at least for many of them. Hope everybody's first week is going well. Let's get to the questions ...
Cameron North Carolina
After a bad spring training should I start Rich Harden today
Brendan Roberts (11:01 AM)
Absolutely. I'm of the mind that as long as Harden is healthy and making a start, he should be in the starting lineup in any league setup. He has shown worthy of that.
I?m in a 10 team H2H 5x5 league and was offered Pedroia for Oswalt. I already have both Cano and Kendrick, so is this too much talent not to do this deal? The rest of my staff is Lincecum, Grienke, King Felix, Lowe, Chris Young and Lackey.
Brendan Roberts (11:03 AM)
Early in the season, you're just looking for maximum talent in the elite players, just like you do on draft day (best available in first 5-plus rounds). I like Pedroia better, so yes, I'd do it. You can sort out and make a follow-up trade, if necessary. I also have some concerns about Oswalt this season (WBC, workload, etc.).
Sean (New Haven)
Washburn was virtually ignored in my AL-only league and was drafted in the 10th round of the reserve draft. With the improved outfield D and Washburns fly ball tendencies can we see him reemerge as a 10 game winner with stats that won't kill a fantasy pitching staff?
Brendan Roberts (11:04 AM)
I think he would have emerged, it would have been before now. This was just one good start, that's all. He allows a lot of balls, and hard-hit balls, to be put into play. Just seemed the Twins didn't center him, although there were still plenty of hard-hit balls. I'm not buyin'.
What do you think about starting Weaver today against BOS? I'm wary, even though it's at home...
Brendan Roberts (11:05 AM)
No worries. I mean, Jered is an inconsistent fellow, but he's one of those guys with the ability to dominate ANY lineup, and especially at home. I'm starting him and not looking back.
Any serious concern about Alexei Ramirez, or is it just a slump combined with the product of batting 8th?
Brendan Roberts (11:06 AM)
I have no concern. The type of hitter Alexei is (a la, a free swinger), those guys tend to be streaky hitters, and this is just a bad streak. I'll admit the batting 8th does bother me (especially when I see Chris Getz and Dewayne Wise leading off), but I wouldn't downgrade Alexei.
Tim Houston Tx
PLEASSSSE ANSSSWEER really stressin over this one ha. Should I move Crawford for CC Sabathia? this is 6x6 H2H (ops 6th stat). I have a deal that i could then swap CC for Markakis or Bj upton (both higher ops than crawford)
Brendan Roberts (11:07 AM)
Yeah, I'd do that. Crawford is banged up, but only day-to-day for now. Don't overreact, but looks like you're not.
B-Rob, what are your thoughts on Davies' outting? If you count the Spring, he's looked very good since late last season. Would you roster him over Chris Ray or Clay BUchholz in a keeper league? Thanks!
Brendan Roberts (11:08 AM)
Yeah, pretty impressive performance yesterday, but I think, looking at some of the Sox's swings, about anybody could have shut them down. Just my two cents there. But Davies still scares me terribly to own. I have to see more than one start, and definitely still like Ray and Buchholz better for this season, and especially beyond.
Brendan -- read your piece on Dexter Fowler yesterday. You obviously are high on the kid. Would you cut H.Matsui, Lind, or Choo for him?
Brendan Roberts (11:09 AM)
Yes, very high on Fowler. A great kid -- did you know he had a baseball scholarship to Miami and a hoops scholarship to Harvard? -- and I think he'll put up 10-12 homers, 20-25 steals, a .280 average ... I'd drop Matsui for him, personally. Matsui will timeshare probably even more than Fowler, and he has less all-around upside.
Joe (Da Burgh)
HELP PLEASE!!!!! Enough about studs, who do you like better at CI, Chris Duncan or Adam Laroche. Duncan's RBI potential hitting behind Pujols is huge.
Brendan Roberts (11:10 AM)
But Rasmus is definitely jumping into the mix in LF for the Birds. Thus, Duncan is sharing time, and I don't think he stays at cleanup all year. I stick with LaRoche.
Will Morrow be a reliable closer this yr? Better than Fuentes, Bell or Qualls?
Brendan Roberts (11:11 AM)
I think he'll be a "moderaly" reliable closer (ie. midrange), but I wouldn't drop any of those guys for him.
Tom Tuttle (Tacoma)
Wang for Thome fair? Do you prefer Thome to the Giambino?
Brendan Roberts (11:12 AM)
I like that, yes. And yes, I like Thome more, as long as you can deal with him being in your UTIL role.
Ted DiBiase (Atlanta)
Everybody's got a price, B-Rob. I'll give you 5 bucks if you tell me which SS to roster in an AL only league....Asrubial or Nomar.
Brendan Roberts (11:12 AM)
The Million Dollar Man! Well played. Definitely Asdrubal, although Nomar is worth rostering in AL-only leagues.
Will Ian Stewart continue to get regular at bats?
Brendan Roberts (11:13 AM)
Hmm, depends on what you call "regular." I think he'll sit 2-3 times a week (but still get pinch-hit opps). That said, I can't see Helton staying healthy all year, so Ian, given his upside, is still worth keeping around.
How worried should I be that Kris Benson is starting for me today? I have a sub 1.00 WHIP so far and I'm worried that's all going to come crashing down in an inning or so.
Brendan Roberts (11:16 AM)
I'd be very worried. He's a non-K pitcher, he's bound to have jitters after being away ... I used to think just about any starting pitcher had value in an AL-only league until Carl Pavano's 9-run triple-bogey yesterday. That dropped me from first to 7th in an AL league. Just sayin'.
Hey Brendan. Who would you rather start today, Ryan Theriot or Daniel Murphy? Also, which of those two would you rather have for the rest of the year? Thanks!
Brendan Roberts (11:17 AM)
They're pretty close. I love me the Murphy, but only as a "sleeper," per se. I still like The-Riot more.
Ed (Martinsburg, WV)
Where are ya, off doin a podcast or something. Verlander or Jimenez for the seasnon?
Brendan Roberts (11:18 AM)
Ha, ha. Coincidentally enough, I DID do the baseball podcast today with Nate Ravitz. Check it out! (Famous Pod Vader line). Those two are a lot closer than you'd think, but I still like Verlander slightly more. His stuff was there in his first start; he just needs to harness it.
Should I be worried about Justin Upton?
Brendan Roberts (11:20 AM)
I'm not sure you can be "worried" about anybody this early in the season ... but with Eric Byrnes healthy, Upton is looking like, at best, a platoon situation, in my mind. That hurts his Rs/RBIs. And considering he doesn't run (yet), and his average is limited because of all the K's, you really have him just for the power. I'd start looking at alternatives, believe it or not, assuming this isn't a keeper league.
What's up in the St Louis pen? With Reyes getting the save opp, who is the guy to own, Reyes or Franklin? Also is Leo Nunez an automatic handcuff for Lindstrom? Thanks Brendan
Brendan Roberts (11:22 AM)
Good questions. First of all, I think Nunez is NOT a handcuff. No guarantee he's the guy -- or that he would do much even if he was. He hasn't really earned that status. So, no Nunez. I do think Reyes is the next guy to own after Motte, who was just getting a breather after blowing the first day. Motte has "closer stuff" and will get his chances there, but Reyes is the only guy among the group (if you throw in McClellan) who is left-handed, and I could see La Russa using that to his advantage, as he did Thursday, until Motte establishes himself.
Brad (St. Louis)
Is Joey Votto well on his way to a 100/30/100/.300 year?
Brendan Roberts (11:22 AM)
Votto .... aaaaauuuuggggh (drool). Yes.
Joe (Portland, OR)
Jayson Werth just became available in my league. I have Willy Taveras available to drop. I was hoping to hold on to Taveras for help with Stolen Bases. But is Werth too good to pass up? Thanks,
Brendan Roberts (11:24 AM)
I do like Werth more, but if you're short on steals, then Taveras is too valuable to drop. In leagues I have Willy, I look at my projections and see he's the only guy who can really run well (that's why I got him late). So I can say, in the 2-3 leagues I have Taveras in, I probably wouldn't do that. But if you think you can make do without him, Werth definitely is more valuable.
Would you rather have Billy Butler or Nick Swisher?
Brendan Roberts (11:25 AM)
As well as Swisher did last night (three hits, a homer), I still can't see him getting more than 425 at-bats or so. I just can't. Butler is locked in, and really has as much upside anyway (thanks to Swisher's low AVG). So Butler.
Crawford is banged up? Elaborate.
Brendan Roberts (11:26 AM)
I beg your pardon. This was my mistake. He's fine. Was reading an old spring-training report of some general soreness he had. He's fine. Please strike my previous comment from the record, transcriber! My apologies.
Charlie (Miami, FL)
Is Lind a viable upgrade to J. Upton? He is on the wiaver wire. Upton is my UTIL
Brendan Roberts (11:27 AM)
Not a move many would make, but I like Lind this year. I think he's ready for his "big year," and Upton isn't (although I like him more in the long-term). I'd do it.
Sonnanstine today against the Orioles. Thoughts?
Brendan Roberts (11:28 AM)
Start him, fo sho'!
Alex (London, England)
Top of the mornin' to you, Brendan. I recently traded Joakim Soria and Adam Lind for A.J. Burnett and Jacoby Ellsbury. I needed steals and also have plenty of closers. How did I do?
Brendan Roberts (11:29 AM)
I think you did well. I REALLY like Ellsbury, even though his swing has shortened almost to a fast-pitch softballer's at times. But his steals ... Cheerio!
Is Fowler a "long term" endorsement also? Over Hideki THIS SEASON?!
Brendan Roberts (11:30 AM)
Especially long-term, but this season, too. I think he'll out-produce Hideki when you factor in his steals.
Wayne (Aurora, IL)
Cole Hamels against the Rox?? Is it party time today for Cole or stayyyy awayyyyy??
Brendan Roberts (11:30 AM)
No matter where he's at, who he's facing ... or really which hand he's throwing with, when you see "Probable pitcher: Cole Hamels," you start him.
ETA for Hanson to join the Braves rotation in the bigs?
Brendan Roberts (11:31 AM)
I probably have to say late May, but that's just a guess.
ESPN Keeper League
2010 Wieters: what can we expect after this acclimation period? Can we even project this early?
Brendan Roberts (11:32 AM)
Well, not sure I can be too specific in my projections, but it's definite that he'll be up at some point this season, enough to get acclimated. I think he'll provide top-5 catcher numbers next season (and beyond, of course).
Hey Brendan, please leave the injury updates to Stephania. Would you trade Kemp and Werth for Markakis? Do you think he's a top ten outfielder? How about top 5? Thanks!
Brendan Roberts (11:33 AM)
Duly noted, although I have given SOME insight here regarding injuries (but yeah, usually the stuff I've been prepped better on). Anyway, I wouldn't do that without getting someone else in return. I like Markakis and Kemp about the same (although Markakis a little more), and you should be able to get a decent, helpful throw-in there.
How was Scherzer's minor league outing? Is he coming up next week?
Brendan Roberts (11:35 AM)
Minor league start against Single-A Visalia went well. I heard he was almost unhittable, but very wild. I chalk that up to jitters, really. He'll start next Tuesday against his hometown Cardinals.
Trevis (Nashville, TN)
Do you like my new nick name for Bonafacio? BonMagnifico
Brendan Roberts (11:36 AM)
A little tough to say -- try it five times fast! -- and not as fun to say as Bonifacio. But it's creative!
Reggie (Newark, NJ)
Do you believe in Cahill or Davies this season? Looking for Webb insurance right now!!
Brendan Roberts (11:37 AM)
Oh, Webb. I know they're saying "just one start," but he has had arm problems all spring. My hunch is he ends up on the DL eventually with rest as the prescription. But like we've established, I'm not injury expert. Anyway, both pitchers scare me, so I'd choose between the most favorable matchup. When the talent is the same, you bring the other variables into play.
Your thoughts on him please, I took him in the free supplement draft of a deep NL only league as a reserve for 0 dollars.
Brendan Roberts (11:38 AM)
Then you have a great buy! For you mixed leaguers, however, I don't think he's near this good. A short-term play only, as I mentioned in yesterday's Hit Parade.
Thoughts on Mark Teahen if you can play him at 2b? Would you prefer him or Kelly Johnson at second? Thanks!
Brendan Roberts (11:39 AM)
The name game? I still like Johnson. Even with 2B qualification, Teahen was utterly unimpressive last year, plain and simple. I don't think he does much.
Who gets more playing time Milledge or Dukes?
Brendan Roberts (11:40 AM)
Definitely Milledge. I mean, it's Kearns starting over Dukes in right field ... that can't last (not a Kearns fan). I say Milledge here, and I really like Lastings this season.
Johnny (Beverly Hills, CA)
My team name is Sweep The Leg and I draft Pablo Sand-da-flo'...ha ha Anyway, Fowler is crimping Seth Smith for me...better bench player for replacement if needed...Josh Anderson(DET) (for SB) or Ryan Sweeney(OAK)? Thank you
Brendan Roberts (11:42 AM)
Love it. True story to share with you. "Johnny" was in a bar where one of my buddies was at no more than a few weeks ago. He was flocked by autograph-seekers. He said he'd give an autograph to the one person who knew his really name. Nobody did. ... Definitely like Sweeney more. More all-around upside.
Brendan Roberts (11:42 AM)
Excuse me, his real name, not "really" name.
Hi BR! Who would you rather own: Iannetta or B. Molina? Thanks.
Brendan Roberts (11:42 AM)
They're close, and I respect Bengie's game, but I think Iannetta is in for a huge season.
Why is Sonnanstine owned in so many leagues. His stats are very, very average.
Brendan Roberts (11:44 AM)
That's a good question, because on the surface it seems that way. But he's very "Madduxish" in that he has such great control that he rarely lets games get away from him, and he limits baserunners. He's one of those guys you just look up in the seventh inning, and there he is, somehow having thrown an unimpressive five-hit, two-run outings and grabbing a win. Like the "Matt Kenseth" of big-league pitchers.
Hey, Brendan, I really need your help here. Is this trade vetoable? Matt Kemp for Mike Aviles, Bobby Jenks, Carlos Villanueva, and Heath Bell and Chad Qualls. My league is a 7 player keeper so keeper bats are really important. Thoughts?
Brendan Roberts (11:45 AM)
Look at all the closers! Definitely an unusual deal, but NOT vetoable. Sorry, Kipp.
I want to grab Kuroda or W-Rod off the WW. My 'least' options are Verlander, Milledge or Villanueva? Would you drop any of those guys for the SP?
Brendan Roberts (11:46 AM)
Yes, I'd drop Villanueva. I don't think he'll hold the closer job for long, and I don't see him being a good closer option anyway. But more than anything, I just like Wandy and Kuroda more. I probably Kuroda the most, honestly.
Chris Davis: .091 avg so far, and enough strikeouts to make Richie Sexson blush. Is this a cold start, or is he going to be a high-powered average killer this year?
Brendan Roberts (11:47 AM)
Just a cold start is all. He's already being hounded, and he swears he's fine. I believe him.
Would you bench Alexei Ramirez for Elvis Andrus until he heats up?
Brendan Roberts (11:48 AM)
No, because just the type of hitter is, Alexei could heat up at any time. I mean, the comparisons people make are to Soriano (which I don't really buy, by the way), and there's no streakier hitter than Alfie. That guy catches fire in a moment's notice. (Obviously, I love me the Alfie Soriano!)
After seeing your comments earlier about Justin Upton, should I trade away Upton and get Rich Harden??
Brendan Roberts (11:49 AM)
Oooh, a similar risk. But given what I said earlier about Upton, and that I still believe in Harden to get at least 23-25 starts this year, I would do that deal in a non-keeper league.
Seth, St. Louis
Do you like Brett Anderson this year, or too young to succeed?
Brendan Roberts (11:50 AM)
I like him, but young pitchers are awfully tough to stomach sometimes. And there bad starts sometimes are completely inexplicable. If your stomach can handle it and you need another "stream" pitcher, then go for it.
Thomas (Schenectady, NY)
Do you think Cano's big day yesterday further reinforces the possibility of a big year?
Brendan Roberts (11:51 AM)
Well, it was just one game ... I don't think he'll have the "big year" that everyone has been calling for the past couple years, but I think he definitely gets back to more 2007 than 2008 numbers.
Josh Gettysburg, PA
Looking at Jay Bruce sitting on the waivers.. wondering if I should grab him and drop either Thome (who you like but is only a Util) and Taveras (who should be solid for some SBs)??
Brendan Roberts (11:52 AM)
Gettysburg, huh? Cool place. ... Yeah, I think you have to scoop him up. Who to drop? If you're OK in steals, then Taveras. If you really like roster flexibility, then Thome. Not knowing that, I'd say Thome.
What about if you DO have J-Up in an NL Only Keeper league. I have Fowler, S. Smith, Kearns, Hermida, and J-Up sharing 2 spots. Kearns is very very temporary, of course. Am I going to have to live like this for the next few months???
Brendan Roberts (11:52 AM)
Yeah, you're OK, my man. That's not so bad for an NL-only league, although the sharing spots isn't always easy.
Jason (San Diego)
Give some love to the west coast!! Would you trade Beltran/Zimmerman/Tejada for Wright? Giving up 2 much? Thanks!
Brendan Roberts (11:54 AM)
It's pretty close, but in deals that big, and I can't stress this enough to everyone, you can always get throw-ins to those deals. And in some cases, you can get pretty good ones. Like a mid-level starting pitcher, or one of the castoffs (like his SS or an OF, in this case). I don't like seeing 3-for-1 deals because I think they should be 3-for-2s. Every last ounce from him via trade.
How long till we see Pedro Alvarez in the majors? He hit .444 this spring and is smashing 550 ft. homers, so it sounds like his bat is nearly major-league ready. Is he viewed as a long-term third baseman or due for a position change?
Brendan Roberts (11:55 AM)
I think they plan to keep him at 3B, and they just happen to have a hole there (unless Adam LaRoche somehow turns it around). That said, the Buccos tend to be patient with their prospects (to save big-league time/money?), so I wouldn't look for much more than a cup of coffee for him this season.
Teahen or A Hill for MI spot (assuming Teahen qualifies)?
Brendan Roberts (11:56 AM)
Pick a side ... Alex Rios for Jake Peavy. Thanks.
Brendan Roberts (11:56 AM)
I like Rios more in that one.
Brad (St. Charles, MO)
Brendan, what do you make of Parra this year? Yesterday was really just one ugly inning. Do you think he'll become more consistant or will he always have walk problems?
Brendan Roberts (11:58 AM)
St. Charles, MO. Home of Mark Buehrle. Anyway, I'm not a fan of Parra, just for the reason you described. It's those one bad, let-the-wheels-fall-off innings. Simply put, he walks too many guys, and anybody who has a 1.50 WHIP is going to get in trouble sooner or later. I'm not touching Parra this year. I have to see him crank along at better than a 1.40 WHIP before I believe.
Ankiel or Snider for the last OF spot today?
Brendan Roberts (11:59 AM)
Today? Well, I haven't seen the pitching matchups, but in general, I like Ankiel more.
You buying the Nelson Cruz hype? Projections?
Brendan Roberts (12:00 PM)
I'm not just yet. I've been a Cruz critic from Day One, so it'll be awhile. I need to see how he does on the road. I think he'll be little more than a decent homer guy, and those guys are a dime a dozen.
Please tell me if you like Scott Lewis vs Tor for a spot start today - need Ws and Ks without killing my ratios. Thanks!
Brendan Roberts (12:02 PM)
Here's a good chance for me to promote our Daily Notes. They were good last year, but they're AWESOME this year. I use them daily ... and they helped me decide to start Lewis in one of my leagues. I say go for it!
Brendan Roberts (12:02 PM)
And that'll do it, folks. Good luck over the weekend, and I'll (maybe) catch ya back here at the same time next week.
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