Fantasy Sports w/ESPN.com
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! Nearing a close to Week 2 of the season. Let's get to your questions.
Sit Meche at Arlington? I would definitely do it if it were a 1:05 ET start, but since it's a night game, does it make him a little less risky? Thanks, and I appreciate your help!
Brendan Roberts (11:02 AM)
You are right to be at least somewhat concerned, but I'd still start him. He held his own against the Rangers the past two seasons, and one thing the Rangers do help pitchers with is strikeouts. Meche struck out 183 guys last season, so he should be good for at least 5-7 of 'em today. Stick with him.
Armen Tanzarian (Capitol City)
What are your thoughts about Ian Stewart? I can't imagine that his sporadic playing time will continue much longer and I remain bullish regarding his upside. Will he settle in at 1b/2b/other? Thanks for your time.
Brendan Roberts (11:04 AM)
Nice Simpson's reference, Seymour! I have doubts as to whether Helton can stay healthy. A source I have out there says he's running around stiff again, like his back is bothering him. I think Stewart starts about 3 of 4 games, either at 1B, 2B, 3B or even the OF, and that's enough for me to recommend him. Not sure he settles into one spot yet, but he'll hit well enough, especially in home stands, to warrant starting.
Brendan, always enjoy your work! I need your help. I have A-rod on the DL and now Gordon is out. Who do you think is the best option until A-rod comes back, Reynolds, Rolen, Kouz, Fields, I. Stewart or Blalock. I picked Blalock for today?s matchup (since he rakes against Meche, this I know thanks to Daily Notes), but who do you think would be the best for the next month?
Brendan Roberts (11:05 AM)
Thanks, Carlos. A couple of pretty close ones there, but I'd say if you can handle his subpar average, Reynolds probably has the most value going forward.
Cole Hamels!!!!!!! Start today? Expectations for 09? Elbow concerns???
Brendan Roberts (11:06 AM)
Are you really from Clearwater? Heck, then you tell me ... you got to see him in spring training. Ha, ha. Nah, I'm not concerned yet. Hamels swears his velocity will return, and there are signs that it is. I'd start him for every start, because the magic could return at any moment.
At what point in the season would you replace Bonifacio with Alexi Ramirez in your line-up, if any?
Brendan Roberts (11:07 AM)
Right. About. Now.
Justin ( Queens, NY)
Are we witnessing the re-emergance of SCOTTY ROLEN?
Brendan Roberts (11:09 AM)
Nah, just a routine hot (and healthy) streak for him. Get 'em a home stand (on the turf) or two and everyday play, and he'll wear down. A fringe mixed leaguer, although some of the injuries at 3B already might make him worth starting right now.
Red Bird Diner (St. Loueeee)
Care to explain the Cards bullpen situation? Who gets the most saves out of Franklin, Perez, and Motte?
Brendan Roberts (11:10 AM)
Franklin has looked great, and he really has taken to the role. I saw him the past few days, and he seems to have adjusted to knowing he'll be pitched only one inning and less often than in the setup role. He's even gassing it by people! He's the guy going forward, although I think Perez will get the role at some point this summer. Not soon, though.
Chipper Jones (Triage)
I think I'll play today... but maybe I won't... I mean, this thumb, its WAY sore. I might need a band-aid for my boo-boo!!!!
Brendan Roberts (11:12 AM)
Ha, ha. Par for the course for ol' Chipper. And the thing I don't like is that he suffers an injury, then tells the press, "Oh, it's been hurting for awhile now, and I've dealt with it before." As if that's supposed to make us feel better! Anyway, not looking good tonight, but check the starting lineups before game time (I SO love that you can do that now).
SprungOnSports (Long Island)
How badly will Teixeira be affected by his injury in addition to A-Rod and Nady not being in the lineup?
Brendan Roberts (11:14 AM)
Yes, he got a cortisone shot in his wrist. As for the lineup, the Yanks still have a fine lineup, and A-Rod will return soon. No matter where Tex has been, he has produced, even when Francoeur was tanking behind him in the lineup or other scenarios. He's just a slow starter, and he's very durable. He'll be fine. In fact, the glass-half-full thought about his recent dings is that it keeps him from putting up terrible April numbers like he has in years past. His best days are still to come.
Wait...how do you check the staring lineups before game time???
Brendan Roberts (11:16 AM)
Our scoreboard page posts each team's lineup a half-hour before game time. Definitely helps daily-transaction owners, especially if the game is on the East Coast. If their guy is out of the lineup, they can arrange for a replacement before any games begin.
clint( st paul MN)
BR- is baker hurt? going forward.. expectations carlos lee and king felix(does he stay healthy)
Brendan Roberts (11:17 AM)
Nah, just a little rusty. He WAS hurt, but it sounds like the Twins say that's not an issue now. Also, a bad matchup for him Wednesday. I still believe in him, and really like him. I think Lee and Felix stay healthy and have top-30-overall fantasy seasons.
Do you think David Ortiz can give us one more Big Papiesque season, or is he D-O-N-E done?
Brendan Roberts (11:20 AM)
No, and no. He's not done, for sure, in that he still deserves to start weekly in mixed leagues, but he's not longer Papi-esque. His swings just seems a bit stiff to me, like he's not extending on the ball and doesn't have the plate coverage he used to have. Seems like that shift teams use against him is a lot more effective than it used to be. Maybe .280-25-95. Not bad, but not Papi-esque either.
David (LA, CA)
BR! The expert I would most like to have a beer with! Replace Iannetta with YMolina? Temporarily if you can help me justify dropping RandyJ or Weaver. Thx!
Brendan Roberts (11:21 AM)
Ha, I get that a lot. Must be "my look." Nah, stick with Iannetta. He's not hurt, he just has started slowly (didn't help that the Rox were shuffled around the U.S. last week and just now are starting to play games at home.
Marnie (NJ chickie!!)
LOVE how the yanks do everything in grand fashion, including getting trounced on opening day! Separetly, has Torre lost it--why are Ethier and Kemp still batting in the lower half of the line-up???
Brendan Roberts (11:24 AM)
Well, as I look at that lineup, Torre does have good reasons for the places he puts guys -- except the Ethier one. I think he settles in and bats 4th, just like in the second half last season. I think he has the past few games, although I could be wrong on that. Kemp is hitting 7th, which I think will change once O-Dog hits his first slump. Maybe not; Torre loves the O-Dogs of the world, but that's my assumption.
Jim (Trenton, MI)
When, if at all, do think Kelvim Escobar will be pitching for the Angels and is he worth a bench spot (or does T. Hanson have more value)?
Brendan Roberts (11:26 AM)
I'd take the "if at all" route with him. He throws and throws in the pen, but once he gets to a game situation, he has a setback. And that's a steady pattern for him, not just once. Plus, are we sure he can be a good fantasy pitcher anyway, and he likely will top out at 5-6 innings ... I like Hanson much more for this season. Speaking of which, I think he comes up late May-ish.
Brandon Roberts is my brother from another mother!
what about the Duchschererererererer? Worth rostering in you're DL and will be have value?
Brendan Roberts (11:28 AM)
Who's Brandon Roberts? Depends on the size of your league. Standard mixed? Probably not. Anything bigger than that, probably yes. But the same thing applies to him as Escobar. I have doubts as to whether he can be effective, and how long he can pitch into games. His curveball is a deadly pitch, but it's probably pretty tough on his elbow. Obviously, I'm not expecting much, although I do expect him to return at some point in June.
Can R. Howard keep his early season discipline going and bat .280 plus?? He is hitting way more singles than he used to and trying to lay off the low and away sliders.
Brendan Roberts (11:31 AM)
Yes, quite impressive, eh? Only 7 Ks in 32 at-bats. But Howard really hasn't faced top pitching yet (other than Derek Lowe, and he went 0-for-4 with two Ks that day). Braves at home, at Colorado, at Washington ... I think he slides back to his norm, but at least the hot start means that once he REALLY warms up, he's not coming back from .220 like he was. Maybe a .265 average, I'm thinking.
Ameer (Bloomington, IN)
I'm in a standard 11 team mixed league and for some dumb reason I drafted Troy Percival. Should I drop him for Kuo or Scott Shields? He gets me saves, but...you know the rest.
Brendan Roberts (11:33 AM)
Hey, saves are saves. As long as he's still in that role, he's your guy. Fantasy owners criticize managers for using closers in the 9th inning of tie ballgames, but I like that. The game is REALLY on the line then, and that gives him a chance at a win. Percy blew his last time-game chance, but I think he'll get the job done with saves.
If Glavine hangs it up, will that automatically trigger an immediate Hanson call up?
Brendan Roberts (11:35 AM)
Not necessarily. As a big-time prospect, he's kinda working on his own timetable, not the team-needs timetable. Plus, the Braves have enough days off in April that they can live without "Glavine's spot" for a few more weeks. I think they make do without Glavine, see how the old man progresses, and then turn to Hanson a week or so after Glavine is shut down. If he's not, then he'll wait for the next opportunity.
Is Randy Johnson done, or is he just missing his spots right now? He did still put up good strike out numbers in his first two starts. what do you think?
Brendan Roberts (11:38 AM)
Good question, Keith, and I've made a point to watch both of his starts. He looks fine to me, and he's not really allowing base runners. He's just being bit by a three-run homer or series of hits once he gets to his tired stage (5th or 6th inning). I think, once he builds that tired stage to the seventh inning and has enough "ache" in his old body to feel like he can't challenge people, he'll do better. Right now, I think he feels TOO good. I see him try to challenge sluggers with high fastballs, and he can't succeed like that anymore. Just an adjustment, and on only 3-4 pitches a game, and he'll be fine. Stand by your man!
Can you speak to Vlad's value in keeper leagues? Does he still get it done a year or two down the road or his numbers on a steady decline?
Brendan Roberts (11:41 AM)
I think he can maintain a .300 average in his sleep, simply because nobody has any clue how to pitch to him (nor would I). But the steals are gone, and I fear he might settle into a Chipper-like injury-plagued player from here on out. Lots of aches in his body, probably from being rode like a mule and playing on the artificial turf in Montreal. The DH will get him another 10 games a season, but I think he falls back to being a 135-game-a-year player with .305-23-85-2 numbers. Something like that.
Is Jon Lesters start an aberration or do you see him continuing this slide. I hate to bail on him so soon but I cant take too many outings of this nature. Thanks for your time.
Brendan Roberts (11:43 AM)
I think it's just a slump, and it's only two starts. I never felt he was going to have the HUGE season that a lot of people did because I'm always wary the year after a pitcher takes a huge leap in innings. Counting the playoffs, he threw something like 230 innings last year, and nothing close to that in previous years. But yeah, I think he'll bounce back.
I have Chris B Young as my 3rd outfielder in a 14 team 5x5 and there are people on the wire such as Morgan, Schafer, or Fukudome. Should I jump ship for one of these? I'm kinda worried about the Diamondback outfield situation and just looking for the best overall value. Thanks
Brendan Roberts (11:46 AM)
You are just in being concerned, and it is tempting to bail on him. But he's a fine defensive center fielder (and a fast runner in a park with a huge center field), so I think his PT is safe, and the experiment of him hitting 7th is over. Stick with him. He won't hit for a high average, but he'll certainly be worth it.
On the Simmons Podcast yesterday, he mentioned he was extremely worried about Pabelbon and someone told him to expect a DL stint pretty soon. You have any inside information on this?
Brendan Roberts (11:47 AM)
No, I hadn't heard that, or anything like that, in fact. This is news to me, and now I'm intrigued. Simmons knows his Sawx, but this is hardly confirmed. I felt it worth posting, though, so y'all could keep an eye on it. Obviously, get all the info you can before doing anything.
Matt (St. Louis)
Can I please get a straight answer on this? Is Nady having tommy john surgery or not?
Brendan Roberts (11:49 AM)
There's no confirmation yet on this. Everyone suspects he is, but it's really medical semantics. He will go under the knife for some form of elbow surgery, it's just a matter of what kind.
Patrick (Cambridge, MA)
IF (big "if") Paps goes to the DL, who gets first crack at saves?
Brendan Roberts (11:53 AM)
Again, this is all speculation, and distant speculation at that. But I admit my mind is racing, too. ... This is where our handy Bullpen chart by Eric Karabell comes in handy: http://sports.espn.go.com/fantasy/baseball/flb/story?page=REcloserorgchart. He has Masterson, who reportedly is headed to the rotation. I originally thought Takashi Saito, but I could see the time turning it over to Masterson and calling up Buchholz. Were I to pick up one, I'd take Masterson. If he's already gone in your league, and he could be, then Saito.
Dustin Pedroia (Boston, MA)
Am I going to finally start turning it around against Baltimore?
Brendan Roberts (11:53 AM)
Yeah, that'd be a good time to start. He has gotten off to slow starts before, and I'm not concerned.
What's up with Shoppach? Where's he going to get playing time with V-Mart catching/playing 1B and Hafner DHing? I heard they moved Garko to the outfield...is that true?
Brendan Roberts (11:56 AM)
Tough to tell there. Garko hasn't played in the outfield yet, nor have I heard of the Indians preparing him to. I addressed platoon situations in my Hit Parade on Thursday, and I predicted Shoppach would get about half the starts. That sounds bad, but that's 50 percent, and most regular catchers get only about 75-80 percent. He belongs in a two-catcher mixed lineup, but not a one-catcher lineup, unfortunately.
LeBraun(at the buzzer)
I say Kinsler finishes the year as the Fantasy MVP (like me). What say you, BR?
Brendan Roberts (11:58 AM)
Who's LeBraun? Is that the French version of Ryan Braun? I'm not going to argue against you here. A second baseman with the kind of all-around potential he has, and some of the options in his ranking area who have gotten off to slow starts (C.Lee, Berkman, Pedroia, Ichiro), I could really see this happening.
Valverde (My Aching Back)
Should I be worried?
Brendan Roberts (11:59 AM)
Not yet. Sounds like it's pretty minor, and he did pitch the night before. Hang on tight for now. Two more questions, guys.
I currently have B.J. Ryan and Scott Downs. Is there a closer controversy in Toronto, or is it B.J.'s show? Manny Corpas is available. Drop Downs for him?
Brendan Roberts (12:00 PM)
It's still B.J.'s, and his velocity is creeping upward again. I think, like it or not, he hangs on to the role, and even if he doesn't, it'll probably be a committee (with Downs as the leader). Considering how poorly Street has pitched, I think that move makes sense, actually. I think he's closer to saves.
Johnny (San Diego)
Talk to me about Jimmy Rollins...is it time to bench him (for Furcal) until he comes around?
Brendan Roberts (12:01 PM)
You have both players, with one on your bench? You might want to wait for the first true hot streak from Furcal, then trade him for something else. ... Cause Rollins will warm up soon and have a great season!
Brendan Roberts (12:02 PM)
And that'll do it, all. Thanks for stopping by, San Diego (and every other location), and I. Am. Outta. Here. Catch ya next week!
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