Fantasy Sports w/Brendan Roberts
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Brendan Roberts (11:00 AM)
Good morning, everyone! We're into May ... season is clicking right along. Let's get to your questions ...
What's your take on Brett Wallace? He is touted as the best pure hitter in last year's draft among some pretty good names. Will he hit and stay at third in the majors?
Brendan Roberts (11:02 AM)
Will he hit? Yes. I've seen him play a few times, and he has few holes in his swing. He'll be an all-around hitter -- power, average, OBP, the whole deal. Will he stay at third? Everything I've heard is he'll at least get the chance to. He's not Ryan Braun-bad, he just doesn't have much range or a cannon arm. I expect the Cards to bring him up at 3B, which is a future position of need for them anyway. Definitely a top-10 prospect.
Mike (Rapid City, SD)
Scherzer played well last night and is a FA in my league... drop Galarraga for him or not?
Brendan Roberts (11:03 AM)
I REALLY like Scherzer, but given his numbers last season and this, Galarraga is the safer play. I'd wait for at least another outing like last night's from Max.
How long will Masterson keep his spot in the rotation? Is he a good pickup in a 10 team league?
Brendan Roberts (11:05 AM)
The Sox are still saying he'll stay in there as long as Dice-K is out, which won't be much longer. But ya know, they can't have too much patience with Penny, especially if Masterson is pitching well. I think he has nice 2009 value. As in, I think he'll end up with 15-plus starts.
David (LA, CA)
Brendan! The man! Berry was slagging on Ryan Dumpster yesterday, and he HAS been bad. So has Lester. Do I just ride these dudes out or try to move/drop them??? Thanks!
Brendan Roberts (11:06 AM)
Well, you can't trade them right now with their value being so low, and I highly doubt their remainder-of-'09 prospects are any worse than the guys on your waiver wire. Keep Lester for sure, and I'd keep Dempster for awhile longer, too. He has had some tough matchups, and he still looks pretty good to me. Good command and everything ... he's just being victimized by the bad inning.
Is it time to dump Bandon Wood in an annual redraft league considering Mike Scioscia wants to ruin his career?
Brendan Roberts (11:08 AM)
Yeah, tough call on this one. He has upside, but really, it's only in the homers category. I completely understand if his owners have lost patience with him/the Angels and are forced to drop him. A lot of things have combined to keep Wood from being the major leaguer he could be (Figgins, Scioscia, K's), but it's becoming apparent this won't be a breakout season for him.
Yo BR! You starting Weaver today vs Evil Empire?
Brendan Roberts (11:10 AM)
There aren't many starts in which I'd sit Weaver in a daily league ... but this would be one of them.
Kevin (Dallas, Tx)
Brendan, I have C. Pena as a utility player in a keeper league and have been getting many trade offers for him with the early power numbers. What kind of return should i be looking for right now?
Brendan Roberts (11:12 AM)
Well, he's normally a second-half player, he has a lot of lineup support ... I'd hang on to him unless someone dangles a top-20 talent for him. As for long-term value, it seems like he's been around for awhile, but he's only 30. He has a LOT of homers left in him.
Dirty Dave (NYC)
Geovany Sucko....is it ok to drop this clown?
Brendan Roberts (11:13 AM)
I wouldn't, unless this is a very shallow, one-catcher league. Any way you can bench him? That'd be ideal. But given the dearth at catcher, few waiver-wire guys likely have the upside Soto does, even if injured. Once the Cubs really get rolling offensively, he'll be right with 'em.
John W (Duxbury, MA)
Alberto Callaspo = Freddy Sanchez?
Brendan Roberts (11:14 AM)
Nah, I'm not seeing it. He has held up his end of the bargain pretty well at 2B for the Royals, but I just can't see him continuing his success the second time through the league. Plus, he helps you really only in the batting average dept.
Nish (Baltimore, MD)
Hi Brendan. What kind of stats do you see John Danks ending up with this year? He was looking lights out until his last start.
Brendan Roberts (11:15 AM)
I'm thinking closer to the lights-out than his last start. Danks really impresses me. Every time I see him pitch, I see a certain savvy that few pitchers have. He throws pitches in counts you wouldn't expect them, and really goes after hitters. I think he's in for (another) big season.
Would you start Masterson today vs Tampa Bay?
Brendan Roberts (11:17 AM)
Yeah, I would, Boomer. I'm a little worried about him vs. lefty hitters, but last I checked, most of Tampa Bay's big boppers are right-handed.
Choose between N. Morgan or Span for this year, and why. Thanks!
Brendan Roberts (11:19 AM)
Definitely Span, for three reasons: 1) I think he'll hit for a higher average; 2) he has at least a little power; and 3) His playing time is safe. As good as Nyjer looks, I still fear the team could drop him into a platoon or fourth-outfield role at the first sign of an extended slump.
Should I be worried about Magglio's slow start? I was expecting a .300 AVG 20-25 HRs - too much? Should I start R. Zimmerman at Util over him?
Brendan Roberts (11:21 AM)
I wouldn't be too concerned; Mags will pick it up. That said, I'm a big fan of Zimm, and he's inching closer to Mags in my hitter rankings. Tough call, but right now, yes, I'd start Zimmerman over Magglio.
is Yonder Alonso a top prospect? I really need a young 1b in a dynasty league is he someone to target?
Brendan Roberts (11:23 AM)
Yes, I consider Alonso a top prospect. He really has nice power and patience at the plate. However, I will note that he's at 1B behind Votto in the organization, and I fear he could someday be traded elsewhere. So if this is an an NL-only league with only 1-2 minor league keepers, then his value definitely goes down.
Billy Butler last two games: breakout or fluke?
Brendan Roberts (11:25 AM)
I'd lean toward breakout. Basically, I'm still thinking big (2009) picture with him, and sticking with my projections of a .288 average, 15 homers and 70 RBIs. Considering his slow start, I think his best days are ahead, and he still reaches those numbers. Now, whether that's enough to justify starting him a mixed league is another story. He's not going to carry your team, but he should do enough to stay on it.
Will Sandoval play today?
Brendan Roberts (11:27 AM)
I think he will. It sounds like he would have been about 50-50 for yesterday, had the Giants played, and I think he'll be OK by this evening.
Patrick (Concord, CA)
Crappy Pirate pitcher name game: Snell or Duke? How long til the clock strikes midnight for Duke?
Brendan Roberts (11:28 AM)
I think it could happen anytime, and as much hype as Dukes has been getting, I'm still not a buyer. I don't think Snell has that bounce-back season some people are calling for, but the simple fact that he has what I consider to be better stuff, I like Snell more.
Chuck (Hershey, PA)
Stick with Snider or drop for Swisher?
Brendan Roberts (11:30 AM)
Swisher looks like the real deal. I have been impressed with Snider despite his .258 average -- he hits with runners in scoring position, can hit lefties, etc. -- but I think Swisher's playing time is safe for now, and he'll enjoy hitting at the new Yankee Stadium. Just think about that Yankees lineup once A-Rod returns.
Brendan Roberts (11:31 AM)
Not sure if I made this clear ... but I'd say Swisher over Snider.
Assume you'd deal Ibanez (sell high) for Wright (buy low)
Brendan Roberts (11:32 AM)
Yes, I see some of you are concerned with the Mets' power hitters like I am (see my Hit Parade), but this is a no-brainer. Do this up!
Spot start Laird or Salty until Russell Martin figures it out?
Brendan Roberts (11:32 AM)
I'd stick with Martin. As I noted in my Hit Parade, the Dodgers started the season with a ton of road games. I think now that the team has a nice stretch at home, he'll pick it up.
Better keeper to own: Travis Snider or Matt Laporta?
Brendan Roberts (11:33 AM)
My bat has been looking pretty good lately. Will I play more?
Brendan Roberts (11:35 AM)
Unfortunately, I don't think so. I mean, maybe an extra game a week, but Mathis definitely has earned that platoon role by being the much better catcher. And Napoli hasn't been starting at DH with Vlad out. So I think his value remains about the same. Ya know, I wonder what the Angels would do without a defensive-minded ex-catcher (Scioscia) as their manager? He seems to like Mathis.
I destroying AAA. When will I get called up?
Brendan Roberts (11:38 AM)
I think soon, and I have enough sources backing me to believe in that. The team can't continue on with Hafner's bat in the lineup and Trevor Crowe playing as much as he has. That said, and I hate to burst your bubble here, but I don't think LaPorta hits in the majors this year. He's one of those guys who seems to struggle every time he is jumped to a new level. It simply takes him awhile to figure it out. I think the same thing will happen when he's called up. I think he'll flail at first.
How long do I ride out Chris Young's .198 batting average before I cut ties with him for a guy like Mike Cameron, Fowler or even Kevin Slowey? Which of those 3 do you like best? I don't need the OFer. Thanks!
Brendan Roberts (11:40 AM)
Oh, a tough one. I'm not concerned with Young's low average, because one good week could get him back in his native .250-.260 range. Plus, I think the steals and homers will still be there. But Fowler simply has me drooling. If this is a 5x5 league, and you can afford the drop in power, I might pick up Fowler. I think he'll hit for as good or a better average than Young, he just won't have the same power numbers. Guess it depends on what you need.
Got an offer of Markakis for Berkman, straight up...my original thought is to hold tight for Berkman, but in your opinion, how close are the two for the year?
Brendan Roberts (11:43 AM)
Well, just so happens I jumped Markakis past Berkman in my rest-of-2009 hitter rankings in my last Hit Parade. So I'd say Markakis. Will Berkman continue to struggle? No. He'll pick it up, but I don't think without the (unexpected) hot start in 2008, he ends up with closer numbers to his 2007 season, maybe with a little better average. Something like .290-29-100-10. Markakis should beat those numbers.
Cardinals hit .309 vs RHP, but they also hit like .250 on the road. Am I crazy for starting Zimmermann?
Brendan Roberts (11:45 AM)
Well, it's so early, that really both those numbers don't mean much, especially the road ones. But I've seen enough of Zimmermann to feel he's one of those guys who's immuned to matchups; he either has it or he doesn't. I think he'll have it, and I'd start him.
Top 3B going forward: Wright, Longoria, or A-Rod?
Brendan Roberts (11:47 AM)
Oh, now that one is interesting, and even though I don't think it helps a lot of people (except maybe in salary cap leagues), it's fun to consider. I'd have say Wright, with a slight edge over A-Rod. Yeah, I think A-Rod will be that good when he returns.
Is any pitcher ourside the top-20 a must-sit at Arlington?
Brendan Roberts (11:51 AM)
That's a good question, and something I look at often for my Hit Parade. First of all, I'd probably expand that top-30, at least, because hey, the Rangers have holes. But it's worth noting that they are hitting .257 against righty pitchers this season, and might be without Josh Hamilton. They hit for power against 'em, but I guess I'm saying I think even a decent righty could take care of 'em. A mid-range lefty, though, you gotta sit, and yes, I'd put today's starter Mark Buehrle in that class. I'd sit my boy Mark.
Mike (San Diego)
Russell Martin...overrated or slow start? His 2008 stats weren't THAT good!
Brendan Roberts (11:53 AM)
For a catcher, those '08 stats were pretty good, because there was some deception to them. First of all, 18 steals hardly seems like a lot, but only a handful of catchers stole even 10. Also, he had a .385 OBP in 2008, which goes a long way in getting him runs. I mean, 87 runs in each of the past two seasons is mighty good. I think he'll be fine, and definitely produce start-worthy numbers.
Rich ( Big Flats)
When do you think Buchholz gets a shot and what do you see from him?
Brendan Roberts (11:56 AM)
I think it'll be awhile before we see Buchholz. Basically, I consider him to be an as-needed option, not one on a timetable, right now, and I think the Sawx would rather try out their veteran options. He's pitching well at Triple-A, but has only 14-plus innings, and he's still only 24. He's kind of making up for lost minor league time. I'm thinking more like June or July, at the earliest, and not much in terms of production.
Joba - is he worth snatching off waivers and dropping Cueto or WayRod? Non-keeper league.
Brendan Roberts (11:58 AM)
Oh, a tough one. Ya know, as much as I like Joba and think he'll be fine this season, looking at their numbers right now, I just can't justify you dropping Cueto or Way-Rod. It would tempt me, too, but I wouldn't pick up Joba.
When does Brandon Phillips break out and start hitting like the 25/25 second basemen he should be?
Brendan Roberts (12:01 PM)
You ready for this? I'm not sure he will. First of all, I never considered him to be as good as he was for those few seasons anyway because swings at a lot of bad balls. He's seeing a steady diet of breaking stuff, and until he learns to lay off 'em, he's going to continue to. I just think this start is a bad omen, and one I could see continuing.
Brendan Roberts (12:02 PM)
Wow, noon already. I tell ya, this is fastest hour of my workweek. But I have to head out. Note that, I think, Stephania Bell will take over this 11 a.m. slot next week. I think I'll be moving to a different slot. Stay tuned, and thanks for stopping by!
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