Fantasy Baseball w/Christopher Harris
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Christopher Harris (10:59 AM)
Good morning everyone. I'm hunkered down in my living room, ready to watch the Red Sox game and the Boston Marathon -- with the Bruins and Celtics to come tonight. Sheesh. I think I'm going into a coma. Anyway, let's get to a fun hour of fantasy baseball chat.....
Glenn (Boston, MA)
In my 5x5 12 team league I need to pick up an AL starter to replace Litsch. Do you recommend Romero or Perkins -- both are off to good starts?
Christopher Harris (11:02 AM)
HI, Glenn -- a Bostonian for our first question today. Let's see -- I have to admit that I think the possibility of either of those guys keeping up their torrid paces to start the year isn't great. Romero has really been incredible, and much better than he was in the minors. I guess ruling out the possibility that he's simply made a big leap is hubris, but here I am, committing hubris. His division is just so tough. If I had to pick one of those guys, it'd be Perkins.
D.C.- tired and hating work
What are your thoughts on how the Nats closer situation will play out? Even though it doesn't look like there many saves to be had.
Christopher Harris (11:04 AM)
Sorry about work, my friend. Yeah, I know what you mean about Nats saves. At the moment, Hanrahan is pitching like dogmeat. But I just worry that the team doesn't really have many viable options. Joe Beimel could be a longshot possibility. Maybe Garrett Mock, who they're trying in the bullpen, but who's had a rough start. I have to say that at the moment, I just don't see a viable alternative.
I currently have John Baker starting at catcher. Since he doesn't play everyday, should I pick up Shoppach, Pierzynski, Pudge, John Buck?
Christopher Harris (11:07 AM)
Hi, Marsh. If you're looking for someone to play every day, Buck and Shoppach wouldn't be candidates. Honestly, the best guy of that group is probably (ick) Pudge -- he doesn't have competition, he has "intangibles" that keep him in the lineup, and he'll probably produce reasonably well. I have to say, though, that Shoppach might be my favorite player on that list, because I think at some point this year, the Tribe will either trade him or play him every day.
Better 3B for the year: Beltre, Lowell, or Rolen?
Christopher Harris (11:08 AM)
Hi, Dave. That's probably the right order there: Beltre then Lowell then Rolen.
Hi Chris- Do you think Ian Stewart will get every day playing time to justify rostering him in a daily head to head league over Polanco or Aaron Hill? Thank you!
Christopher Harris (11:11 AM)
Hi, Megan. Well, for the moment, no. In fact, with the four-headed monster the Rockies have shuffling in and out of their lineup, Stewart seems like he might actually be getting the *fewest* looks. (Spilborghs, Fowler and Seth Smith all have more plate appearances among the messy situations in LF and CF.) I like Fowler the best of that group, simply because I think he's getting more of an opportunity. Stewart is worth owning if you have a deeper bench, because eventually Smith and Spilborghs might sit. For now, though, it would be tough to start Stewart, I think.
I am getting bearish on Bonafacio very quickly. Should I replace him with Alexei Ramirez (on my bench) or Rickie Weeks (just got dropped in my league)? If the latter, should I drop Bonafacio or Ramirez to get Weeks?
Christopher Harris (11:12 AM)
Hi, Bengie. Yeah, Bonifacio will go into the Chris Shelton Hall of Fame sometime soon. He's not that good. Those other two guys are way better, and yes, I would drop Bonifacio if I could get Weeks. Of course, if you could *trade* Bonifacio for someone good to another team who doesn't know any better, all the better. I'm not that high on Alexei (at least not as high as a lot of folks at ESPN.com), but he looks like the best bet of this group this season.
Christopher Harris (11:13 AM)
Jacoby Ellsbury just got a pop double that went off Cesar Izturis's glove, incidentally -- 0-0 bottom of the 1st.
Mike (Chicago, IL)
IF you could only roster one Cardinals relief pitcher, who would it be? Thanks for your advice.
Christopher Harris (11:14 AM)
Hi, Mike. Well, at this point it looks like old reliable Ryan Franklin is the guy. I don't think Tony LaRussa wants to put any stake in Jason Motte again any time soon, and Chris Perez hasn't been good since he came up. So Franklin looks like the right guy for saves for the moment.
Any reason to hold on to Lyon? Drop him for someone like Andrew Bailey?
Christopher Harris (11:16 AM)
Hi, Gil. Well, it's not like I'm in love with Brandon Lyon, but at least he's got *some* chance of being the closer at some point. I don't think Bailey will be Oakland's closer, because I think Ziegler can do the job, and it's not like Bailey has a long history. I guess what I'm saying is: no, I don't see a need to hang onto Lyon, but I'm not sure that Bailey is the guy I'd grab.
Matt (St. Louis MO)
I have a question about Tommy Hanson? I really want to pick him up but i do not want to do it to early. Do you have any idea when i should pull the trigger on this young stud.
Christopher Harris (11:18 AM)
Hi, Matt. Well, I don't, really, because from what I understand, the Braves aren't talking. The fact that Tom Glavine is one more bad side session away from retiring and JoJo Reyes got crushed his first start out of the gate certainly lends credence to the idea that Hanson will be up sooner rather than later. But I do think financial considerations are in the mix, and it would save the Braves dough if they held him out until June 1. Honestly, I don't know exactly what to say. Hanson doesn't figure to be a Cy Young candidate right away -- he struggled with his control this spring, and would likely do so in the majors, hurting your WHIP. But he'd probably have a fine ERA and strike out a batter per inning. Think Clayton Kershaw last year. Is that worth jumping on early? Depending on your circumstances, it could be.
Christopher Harris (11:19 AM)
Incidentally, Dustin Pedroia singled in Ellsbury, David Ortiz doubled, second and third, no one out, 1-0 Red Sox. Mark Hendrickson getting bombed again. The Orioles really should be using him as a reliever....
Frank Costanza (NYC)
In an attempt to discover this year's Cliff Lee or Grienke, etc... are any of these guys for real? Davies, Cahill, Morales, Anibal, Jackson, Millwood, Masterson, Sonnanstine, Parra, Perkins, Duke... who's gonna make the BIG LEAP this year? (also is Street droppable in 12 team?)
Christopher Harris (11:23 AM)
Co-STAN-za, Street probably is droppable, simply because in a 12-team mixed, there's not a lot room for setup men. I don't think the Rockies gave Corpas the job only to take it away in a week, y'know? (This assumes you really need a roster spot.) It's understandably hard to weigh in with certainty that *this* is *definitely* the guy who'll break out. But of the list you give, the guy I like best is Parra. He may not be ready yet. He may still have those control issues. Heaven knows he hasn't been good yet. But I just love his arm, and he's a high-K guy. I'm also a fan of Sonnanstine as an underrated fantasy player, but I don't see him as a big-time breakout kind of guy. I won't be surprised to see Davies continue his good streak for a while, but I worry he isn't much of a fantasy guy -- will the wins or strikeouts be there?
Is there any chance the Rangers would send Chris Davis down? He sat 2 of the last 3 games.
Christopher Harris (11:25 AM)
Hi, Pat. 2-0 Red Sox, as Pedroia scores on a Baldelli fielder's choice. Two outs, first and third, bottom of the first. As for Davis -- he's been awful. But I haven't heard anything about the Rangers sending him down. The fact is that they haven't had trouble scoring runs even with him struggling. I think they're pretty committed to him. But if he's still hitting .179 in mid-May, we may have to revisit this conversation.
Jeff (Toronto, Ontario)
Good morning Sir, What do you think Joe Mauer's numbers look like at season end? Will he be a top 5 catcher? thanks,
Christopher Harris (11:28 AM)
Hi, Jeff. I just did a radio hit this morning where they asked me to name the two most significant injury situations right now, and with due respect to guys like Vlad Guerrero and Alex Gordon, I said Brandon Webb and Mauer. It sounds like the Twins are pretty happy with how Mauer's back is progressing, and they could have him back as soon as May 1. But it's a bad back, and anyone who's ever had a bad back (I have my hand raised) knows, you can never predict when it'll go out. Now, I'm not saying I'd rush out and sell the farm to trade for him. But I do think he was undervalued in fantasy drafts (which is why I own him in a few). I can see him at, say, 350 ABs, 10/60/.320. Does that put him in the top 5? Probably not. But it's close.
Scott (Binghamton, NY)
What's the story with Josh Fields. Last year he was a big prospect with power but poor average and eveyone was upset that Crede held him back. Now this year, he's hitting in the two hole, was hitting near .300 but not a speck of power. ESPN has him projected for .236/.296/.436 Will the power come and average drop or will be strictly a Run/Average guy??
Christopher Harris (11:29 AM)
Hi, Scott. Well, it's two weeks. I didn't do the White Sox projections, but I, too, believe Fields is a candidate to hit in the .230s. And while I think an OBP under .300 is a bit harsh, I think .320 is probably about right. In short, I do think the power will come (maybe 20 HR?), and yes, I think the average will drop from itscurrent .275.
what is your opinion on closers? can you win a league with 4 average closers (fuentes, gonzalez, and a combination of waviers pickups like rodney/corpas) verses 2 good closers like lidge and valverde. should i try to trade for a premier closer?
Christopher Harris (11:31 AM)
Hi, Ben. Honestly, yes, I like your strategy. I don't think you need to deal for a "stud," especially a stud like Lidge, who is looking a little shaky here early in the season. Is he hurt? Was he just overworked last year? Not sure. But if I were a Lidge owner, I'd be happy to invest a bit in Ryan Madson, too. As it is, I think your strategy of going with the flotsam and jetsam of closers is a fine way to go.
David (LA, CA)
So you think Millwood is a fluke? Will the hot weather damn him in Arlington?
Christopher Harris (11:32 AM)
Hi, David. Fluke? Well, that's harsh. It's not like the guy has never been a good pitcher before. But yeah, I have a very tough time believing he'll buck his past couple awful seasons. Let's remember: his WHIP was 1.59 and 1.62 the past couple years. Yikes. I'm a seller.
Pls rank these "potential" break out candidates? Have roster space for one... Wolf, E Jackson, Pelfrey, or Davies
Christopher Harris (11:35 AM)
Hi, Jim. Well, of those four players, the only one I had rated as even having positive fantasy value at the beginning of the year was Pelfrey, and he's been just awful. I mean awful. If I had a bench spot that I didn't mind filling up with him while he figures himself out, I think I would go Pelfrey. But I wouldn't use him nowno matter what. If you have to use the guy, I guess I think Davies. I just don't trust he's going to last.
Should I be worried about Derrek Lee's bad start? His numbers have gone down in the last few years and he doesn't seem like the Lee of old.
Christopher Harris (11:37 AM)
Hi, Mike. Well, he's clearly not the guy who stole 15 bases and hit .335 in 2005. But yeah, I do have questions about whether he's ever even a .310 guy again. He's not hitting as many flyballs as he used to even a couple years ago. I'm not saying that 2 weeks have suddenly convinced me he's cooked, but he doesn't run any longer and he probably won't hit many more than 20 HRs (in my opinion). I'm not panicking, but if someone wanted to pay me for, say, 2007's production, I might think about that.
Christopher Harris (11:38 AM)
Home run Jason Varitek. His third of the year (after hitting just 13 last season), and Boston is up 3-0 in the bottom of the 2nd.
Hey, Chris. How about that Wandy? Is he taking a jump in your Sixty feet Six inches rankings after that 10 K performance? What do you expect from Baker this time out?
Christopher Harris (11:41 AM)
Hi, PJ. I honestly haven't done the work to tell you exactly what Wandy will do in this week's 60 Feet 6 Inches column (which I'll write this afternoon and which will come out tomorrow), but I can say...he won't be going *down*. I like Wandy -- took him in a few leagues this year, and he's a definite mixed-league usable guy, though he'll still toss in a stinker here and there. As for Baker -- the Red Sox are hitting now, and he wasn't very good his first time out, but you drafted him to be a starter on your fantasy team, and I think picking and choosing this early without any evidence that he's seriously injured probably isn't a great strategy. More often than not, I think Baker probably gives you a fine outing against the Sox this week.
Hey Chris, So you really think Edwin Jackson will turn out to be a "Bust"?
Christopher Harris (11:43 AM)
Hi, Paul. Obviously, a 'bust" is in the eye of the beholder -- he far exceeded my expectations in Tampa last year, simply by winning 14 games and staying in the rotation all year. But even in that breakout year, his WHIP was 1.51, and his expected ERA was 5.50. I peg him as a matchup play -- he gets the Royals next time out, and he's probably usable in that game. But against better offenses, I'd stay away.
Eric: New York, NY
Help! I was just offered Lidge straight up for either Heath Bell or Frank Francisco! Is this a no-brainer? Am I missing something?? Plus, the guy who is offering Lidge is a huge Phillies fan! I can't quite figure it out...
Christopher Harris (11:45 AM)
Hi, Eric. Well, if he's a Phillies fan, then he might be mad that Lidge hasn't looked good his last two times out, and there is a mounting suspicion that he could be hurt. But if Ryan Madson's available in your league, and you could add him and Lidge, I think you'd have the PHI closer situation pretty much locked up, and that's a nice situation to have locked up. I probably like Bell a bit more than Francisco, though they're close in my mind.
Mike (St. Louis) ANY ADVICE?
I'm knew to Fantasy Baseball and was advised to draft Delmon Young for my Outfield, but I'm begining to think they were messing with me? What can you tell me about him? Its a keeper league, should I wait him out? I am considering picking up Chris Duncan who seems to be playing better... Thanks!
Christopher Harris (11:47 AM)
Hi, Mike. I don't think anyone was messing with you -- Young was a No. 1 overall draft pick and has athletic gifts to burn, but hasn't put it together yet, and right now finds himself mostly in a platoon with Jason Kubel, who just happens to be the Twins' best hitter right now. That's not a winning formula to get a lot of production out of Young just now. There's even a chance he'll be sent down, though it's probably a pretty small chance. If this is a keeper league, though, and you don't have to start Young, I think I'd still hang onto him. Eventually? I think he's going to work out.
Hey Chris, how does Masterson look so far? What would have to happen for him to stick in the rotation?
Christopher Harris (11:49 AM)
Hi, Shane. Masterson has pitched pretty well through 2 1/3 -- he just tried to pick off Ryan Freel who was on second base, though, and Freel took the ball right in his helmet, and apparently was knocked unconcious. A little scary, especially in light of Freel's past concussion problems. Here's hoping the kid's all right. Given all that's going on in Boston's rotation, with Dice-K hurting and Penny being Penny (i.e., not being very good), I wouldn't be shocked to see Masterson get some more starts. My worry when it comes to him, though, is that he just has a really hard time getting out lefties. He's not a strikeout guy, and he just doesn't have an out pitch against lefties. In a shallow mixed league, I'm probably not bothering with Masterson just now.
Better pickup for this season only: Fowler or Dukes?
Christopher Harris (11:51 AM)
Hi, Doug. Really good question. You know, I think I'm going Fowler. I know Dukes looks like a nice bet to have consistent playing time with Lastings Milledge getting sent down (which was a definite shocker to me), but I still think Fowler is just a better player, with fewer negatives (both on and off the field). I'll go with him.
3 questions please!!! need some waiver wire help keep using moves to get the steal of the season...1)hitters available are Choo, Kubel, Konerko, hermida, francouer...2) pitchers are S. Baker, C Young, Dempster, E. Jackson, Wandy, G. Meche...3)is manny corpas ownable? i could free up the space thanks!
Christopher Harris (11:53 AM)
Hi, Billy -- (1) Konerko is the best of that lot, probably, but I'd say Kubel has the most upside (2) I probably still like Baker the best of that group (3) Corpas is the Rockies' closer right now, so he should be owned in all leagues.
Dan (Detroit, MI)
So Fowler over Dukes, Fowler over Maybin this year a no brainer???
Christopher Harris (11:55 AM)
Hi, Dan. Much tougher call for me with Maybin. Actually, I think I'd probably go Maybin over Fowler. I know he's hitting .206 with 1 SB. This could look silly in a month. But Maybin has the most talent of any of those guys, and the Marlins are 11-1 with Maybin stinking. I think they can afford to keep carrying him to get him going. (None of those three guys are a no-brainer, in my opinion -- just 'cuz it's so tough to predict what young players will do and how much playing time they'll get...)
buzzer beater: Who's a better start this week: Jurrjens (@WASH) or Wandy Rodriguez (vs. LAD)? Thanks
Christopher Harris (11:56 AM)
Hi, Dan. Jurrjens. The Dodgers are scoring runs like crazy. The Nats ain't.
Ben Grieve (Remember Me?)
Chris, plain and simple: O-Dog or Jose Lopez?
Christopher Harris (11:57 AM)
Hey, Ben. Yeah, easy for me: I'm sticking with Lopez. I know they have 200 points of batting average between them, but I believe!
Lastings (Sitting here in the corner)
Am I done with my punishment? Should I be dropped in a 10 team mixed?
Christopher Harris (11:59 AM)
Tough one, and as always, it depends on what you need, and how much bench freedom you have. But I have to believe he'll be back within the month, and he's a good player. He's probably not as good a player as he *thinks* he is. But he's pretty good. If I could hold onto him, I guess I would. Though that *is* a pretty shallow league. I think once he's up, you're looking at 10/40/15 with a .290 average. If that's enticing enough to keep him in your bench, do so.
Will Lohse make your list this week? What do seem him doing this season compared to last year's numbers? I have him owned over a lot of the guys mentioned already... should I?
Christopher Harris (12:01 PM)
Hi, Don. Yeah, actually, Lohse made the list last week, and I even talked about him on TV. He wasn't nearly as strong his last time out, but he still fanned 4 and walked 2, and he's also been more grounder-intensive through three starts. I think he should be owned in more leagues than he's owned right now, but there's no question, he'll probably light us Lohse owners up with a few stinkers here and there.
Share your thoughts on Ortiz please. Just a slump? Or is he never gonna be the same?
Christopher Harris (12:04 PM)
Hi, Dana. Having just watched Big Papi strike out against lefty Hendrickson, I have to say: yick. He doesn't look like the same guy to me. There's probably nothing a fantasy owner can do with him right now -- you can't trade him for anything, probably, and you sure can't drop him. He'll get better. I just think he hasn't adjusted to his wrist situation. It looks to me (and I've seen pretty much all his at-bats) that he's swinging at high fastballs like he always used to, except in the past he would connect, and now he doesn't have the bat speed to do so. Will the bat speed come back? That's the big question. (Rocco Baldelli just "tripled," which is to say that Nick Markakis dropped a fly ball -- not sure if they charged an error.)
O Dog (LA)
You don't believe in me? I'm trying to get that money this year!
Christopher Harris (12:05 PM)
It's not that I hate Hudson -- though I don't think he's going to hit .380. Call me crazy. But let's face it: he's not a stats guy. Awesome defense, better "real life" player than he is a fantasy player. But .300 is his ceiling, he doesn't run, he has no power...Lopez has more upside to me.
Rab (So Cal)
Endy Chavez... Is he for real?
Christopher Harris (12:06 PM)
Hi, Rab. Well, the defense is real. Met fans will always love him for The Catch. As long as he stays hot, he should be in that Seattle outfield every day, but no, I think the .392 average might be just a tad bit inflated. I see him winding up with maybe 350 ABs, driving in 30, stealing 10. That's AL-only fodder, but that's probably about it.
Is Vlad done for the season? Should I drop him?
Christopher Harris (12:07 PM)
Hi, Tom. No, don't drop him. He's not done for the year. He's out 6 to 8 weeks.
Will the 2009 Francouer look like the guy we saw in 2008 or will he look more like the 2006/2007 model?
Christopher Harris (12:09 PM)
Hi, Bryan. Am I allowed to hedge and say someplace in the middle? He won't run anymore, so let's forget that. i think he can hit .260 or so. And if he does that, with, say, an upside of 20/80? That's not too bad. Not an elite player, probably not worth getting too excited over in a shallow mixed league, but decent.
Jonathon Papelbon (In the Pen)
Are you worried about me?
Christopher Harris (12:09 PM)
Not at all. Should I be?
Hi Chris, would you drop Teahen or Crisp for Zobrist, Gerut, Andruw Jones or Delmon Young?
Christopher Harris (12:12 PM)
Hi, JB. Delmon Young continues to be so tantalizing. But right now, as I said before, there's no prospect for him having a full-time job. It's a long season, though. In a vacuum, regardless of position, I prefer Crisp over Teahen. But while you're not going to get 2B eligibility from Teahen any time soon, he'll be eligible at third. If position doesn't matter and these are all just bench guys and you're looking for upside, I'd rather have Young than Teahen, and probably Gerut over Teahen, too. But if you like having that spare 3B lying around (which I would), then no move might be appropriate. All right, gang, I've hung around overtime, but I should probably get writing. So let's do one more.....
Jonathon Papelbon (In the Pen)
Maybe, there's been some rumblings about my health recently & then I looked really shakey the other night (with reduced velocity), then this guy Saito get's the call the next night.
Christopher Harris (12:15 PM)
I honestly didn't think Papelbon looked *that* bad, and Saito really only got the call yesterday because Pap had pitched two straight nights. The velocity looks OK to me, to be honest. I think you're safe. But you do make a good point: Saito looks to be a decent handcuff (though Ramon Ramirez has been absolutely lights out...). All right, everyone. I'm sorry I wasn't able to get to every single question -- but realize that there were over 1,400 of them in the time we were here. I promise to try and do better the next time. And as always, let me say that your passion and support are overwhelming, and I wouldn't get to do this job without you. For that, I'm very grateful. Enjoy your Monday, and I'll speak with you soon...and I'll be on TV tomorrow to talk starting pitching, and 60 Feet 6 Inches will be out tomorrow morning....
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