Fantasy sports w/Brendan Roberts
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Brendan Roberts (2:59 PM)
Good afternoon, everyone! I'm back in my Tuesday afternoon slot, swapping with Stephania Bell. Let's hope the "change in the lineup" can help me get my SP mojo back ... I fully acknowledge some of the calls I've made in my past two chats have not gone as I expected them to go. Let's get to the questions ...
Antonio (Puerto Rico)
Have high waiver. Need a power bat. Who is the better prospect I should pick up with my waiver? LaPorta, Gamel or wait for Pedro Alvarez?
Brendan Roberts (3:00 PM)
Depends on what you're looking for, Antonio. LaPorta is already here and can help you now, Gamel should arrive late this year and help you more next year, and Alvarez probably will arrive late next year and help you most in 2011. I like Alvarez the most overall.
Douglas (Pittsburgh, PA)
Justin Upton... grab him as a 4th OF?
Brendan Roberts (3:01 PM)
Depends on league size (not a shallow league), but yeah, I think you should. Turns out his primary problem was just hitting 8th in the lineup. He has been awful in that spot and good about everywhere else. Lesson learned. He should hit well enough to help mixed teams from here on out.
alex(san fran, ca)
liriano last night... sign that he's getting it together, or just 1 good game?
Brendan Roberts (3:03 PM)
Oh, a definite sign ... and even beyond. Look at his game logs; he actually has pitched well in 3 of his past 4 starts. And as we know, he's one of those "groove" pitchers who can dominate for a month's time. He's money right now.
brandon (bham, wa)
in need of a good 1B - who do you prefer in the long run: helton or morales?
Brendan Roberts (3:03 PM)
Sad to say (I WAS a huge Helton fan, but Morales. He's now comfortably adding power to his repertoire and looks like he'll have at least a mixed-league-average (at 1B) season.
Two struggling starters in Meche and Baker, who turns it around and has the better season?
Brendan Roberts (3:06 PM)
I wouldn't really say Meche is struggling. His percentage numbers are in line with his recent norms, just that his ERA is up just a bit. Everything else is close, and he hasn't allowed a homer. Baker actually has shown signs of a turnaround. The guy took a no-hitter into the, what was it, sixth or seventh before melting down in his last game. I always take that as a plus. So which one would I pick between them? Close, but I'd go safe with Meche.
clint(st. paul, mn)
despite last night, i think hughes will still have a good fantasy impact this year. am i wrong? and what is going to happen when(if) wang gets it together? joba to pen, hughes to minors?
Brendan Roberts (3:08 PM)
Really have to answer your last question before your first ... I think Hughes has nice potential, but it seems obvious to me while watching that he still makes mistakes when pitching. He'll try to challenge hitters with the wrong pitch in the wrong count, and his pitches have sailed into the middle of the plate a bit too much. I think the plan is still for Hughes to head back to the minors ... if a Joba move was even remotely a possibility, the New York media would be all over that. And I haven't seen that.
What type of production will Chris Young (OF) have for the rest of the season? I had him pegged as a 20/20 guy that could score runs batting in the 2hole in front of Drew, Reynolds, Jackson, and Upton. When i drafted the guy i knew he wasn't an average guy but this is getting ridiculous. he's striking out a ton and is probably pressing too much. Do you notice anything mechanical in his swing? lack of patience? Will he have more value at the end of the year than Choo, Dukes, or J. Upton?
Brendan Roberts (3:11 PM)
I made a point to examine him this week, because I'm starting to worry about him too. I checked him a few times, and his bat looked slow to me. Like he can't catch the fastball, especially up. It's like he's filled out a little bit, and looks stiff. Reminded me of Ron Gant -- the bad version. I'd give him a little longer. The D-backs have remained patient with him, in part because of his defense, but I'd wait for him to turn it around another few weeks.
So last night there were two big things I saw. Teixeira hit two homers! You think he is back around? And Iannetta hit a grand slam!!! Is he coming around.... I actually just completed a trade sending Votto and receiving Teix
Brendan Roberts (3:12 PM)
I love me the Votto, but that was a very shrewd move from Teixeira. He's going to be a monster from here on out ... just wait till he hits next to A-Rod (from Friday on). And I predicted Iannetta would break out ... right about the time the Rockies had a homestand. Bingo!
Uncle Jerry (Brooklyn, NY)
Got into it last week with K'Law re: Hughes whom he was "cautiously optimistic" about -- I said he was fool's gold. He pitched the same way to Bosox as he did Tiggers and they made him pay instead of swinging away. I can't believe he's trying to be a power pitcher with a control pitcher's arm! Absolutely agree he's back in the minors!
Brendan Roberts (3:13 PM)
Good stuff, Uncle Jerry. Thought I'd pass along.
B-Rob, love your chats and can't wait for HP on Thursday. Based solely on your rankings last week, it seems like you might suggest cutting Jay Bruce and keeping Nelson Cruz in a talented and crowded outfield. My plan is to cut one for Carpenter, stash him on the DL immediately, and then pick up Baker to pitch in the meantime in a 12 team H2H. What say you about this (I think I'm carrying more OF than I need to).
Brendan Roberts (3:15 PM)
Hmm, those two cats are very close in value, in my mind, but I'll be honest, for single-year leagues, I do actually like Cruz better. Never thought I'd be saying that ... You can't expect steals or a high average from Bruce, decent RBIs and runs ... if you think about it, Cruz could top him in every category but steals, and that's only marginal.
Duffy (Queens, NY)
Dare I throw Scherzer tonight against LA? He looked good last time out and his opposite number is Jeff Weaver, but the Dodgers just aren't losing at Chavez Ravine. Start or sit?
Brendan Roberts (3:17 PM)
Not only are the Dodgers not losing, they're hitting the, ahem, heck out of the ball. That said, I've been hearing some good things about Scherzer. I watched him a few starts ago (against the Cardinals), and he was bringin' it, but the ball was relatively straight. Apparently he has made some mechanical adjustments (according to him and the Arizona Republic) that should help, maybe by giving the ball a little more movement. I'd start him and not look back.
When do you think we see Matt Gamel? WHat kind of impact can he have this year?
Brendan Roberts (3:21 PM)
Gamel is hitting .370-something at Triple-A with good pop, and playing adequately at third base, so he's ready. Problem is, Bill Hall is hitting about .300 in the majors and holding the job OK with Craig Counsell. But the first 3-for-40 slump from Hall, which I think will happen within the next 6 weeks, and we'll see Gamel. So I think we'll see Gamel by the end of June, but they might platoon him initially. At the very least, they'll bring in a defensive replacement for the past few innings in games they're winning.
Do you see Jason Bay keep hitting like he has been the rest of the season?
Brendan Roberts (3:22 PM)
Yes, I do. He's that good a hitter. Watch him for a game of at-bats. It really is a treat the way he works counts and has selective aggressiveness. Professional hitter, and a legit .300 guy.
What kind of SP value do you see an owner getting back for BJ Upton? He can't be this bad right?
Brendan Roberts (3:23 PM)
His best days are clearly ahead, so now is definitely not a good time to trade him. Right now is still his extended spring training ... he'll kick into mid-season mode soon. If people are drooling over, well, get a top 20 starter in return.
Derek (Minneapolis, MN)
Might as well get the Tommy Hanson question out of the way... Your thoughts on when we see him called up?
Brendan Roberts (3:26 PM)
Ya know, I really haven't heard much about him of late, which is odd. Jo-Jo Reyes has hung in OK, so there hasn't been much clamor. But honestly, the status of this young man depends more on old man Tom Glavine, who's rehabbing. I think the Braves are keeping his rotation spot "transient" until he returns rather than having Hanson plug it for the foreseeable future. But if Glavine is shut down, which could very well happen, I think Hanson will get the permanent call. Strange to say it, but Glavine's rehab process (he is progressing now) is actually worth watching.
What closer is better to pick up, hoffman, rodney, or percival?
Brendan Roberts (3:27 PM)
I still believe in the Hoff-man. Or rather I don't think Rodney or Percival can stay healthy and/or hang on to their jobs. It's Hoffman in my mind.
Brett Cecil looked good today. Any thoughts?
Brendan Roberts (3:30 PM)
I wasn't able to watch him today, but I think any success he has right now is more because of the element of surprise. I never thought he was really all that as a prospect, and he brought an 8.31 ERA from Triple-A to the majors with him.
will brandon phillips turn his season around? I expected some big numbers being in the cleanup spot around that young talent. Thank Brendan
Brendan Roberts (3:32 PM)
Another guy I've been trying to get a read on, without much luck. His BB/K numbers are similar, there's no major discrepancy in his GB/FBs ... my guess is this recent surge is the start of a turnaround, but the days of him hitting even .290 over. I think he hits as low as .255. Still gets 20-20, but doesn't approach 30-30. I guess I'm saying this was just a slow start, but he no longer should be considered a top 40 player.
According to Quintong, Brett Myers is still a top 30 pitcher (#30 exactly). Do you agree? Would you start him tonight against the Cardinals?
Brendan Roberts (3:35 PM)
Actually, I think Chris Harris is still doing the pitcher rankings for this week ... anyway, I specifically sat down Myers for this start. I just don't like it. The homers are bad, of course, but I don't like that he has so many walks already. It's like he's reverted back ... a team that can work him a little will get to him. All that said, I do think he finds his groove back eventually. Then again, it might not be till July, just like last year.
I have Kinsler and Greinke. Is it ridiculous to be thinking sell-high? What would you demand in return?
Brendan Roberts (3:37 PM)
I suppose it's not ridiculous; in my mind, anybody is tradeable if the offer is right. But in this case, if you're not getting a top-10 player in return for Kinsler, or, oh, top-25 or so for Greinke, then no way you trade him. I think both can sustain their success. Greinke, especially, I've been seeing in trades in which I thought his owners didn't get enough. One thing I've learned is it's always tough to trade elite pitchers on teams most owners consider bad (and let's face it, the Royals are bad, no matter how many wins they have right now).
rich harden... tired arm, a couple fluke lousy starts, or on his way to his home away from home(the DL)??
Brendan Roberts (3:40 PM)
Just a couple of fluky lousy starts. I think he's fine. I was talking to Stephania Bell, actually, about Harden the other day. She told me the Cubs actually know how to semi-prevent his injuries, and that's by keeping his arm active and busy in the dugout between innings. When he stiffens up, he gets hurt. And I think that's working. They've also done a good job protecting him and his pitch counts. I think they'll open him up a little when the weather is warmer, and now is still a good time to have him on your roster.
Timmy (South Park, Co)
Do you think Jorge Posada will go on the dl and is Jeff Baker a guy I can trust to be my starting catcher?
Brendan Roberts (3:42 PM)
Yes, I'm hearing Posada likely will be placed on the DL today. I don't think John Baker (I'm assuming you meant John, anyway) will continue sniffing .300 or really even .290, but he's hitting in a good spot in the Marlins' lineup, and he has good extra-base power ... yeah, he belongs.
Michael Young hasn't let up on his huge offensive numbers yet. Is it a product of luck or is he actually this good a player?
Brendan Roberts (3:44 PM)
Well, he already HAS been this good a player before, but now he's playing a less strenuous position, is enjoying a whalloping lineup around him, doesn't seem to have unusual BABIP marks ... oh, and he's in a free-agent walk year. Bingo!
Bob (Ukiah, CA)
Quick one: In a vacuum, Carlos Lee for Matt Cain... good deal?
Brendan Roberts (3:44 PM)
Definitely like the Lee side better ... I've seen him pawned off way too many times in recent trades.
Joao Gomes (Brazil)
Any reason why Panda Sandoval is not on the lineup today?
Brendan Roberts (3:47 PM)
Pablo Sandoval? Hmm, don't know. He has been hitting well, didn't catch last night ... might have something to do with a lefty (Sean Marshall) starting for the Cubs. Hope it's not a recurrence of that minor groin injury he (Sandoval) had last week. I'll keep my ear on the ground ...
With Granderson's hot start, I think it might be a good idea to sell high. What hitters would you target?
Brendan Roberts (3:48 PM)
Granderson is hitting .262 and has only three SBs ... his homers are up, but he hasn't even shown you what he can do. Hang on to him. The hitter I would target is the guy you already have.
Just reading through...you said Brewers might use Gamel as a defensive replacement when he's first called up. I thought defense was the only thing holding him back to this point??
Brendan Roberts (3:49 PM)
No, no, no ... if it sounded that way, I didn't mean it to. I'm saying he'd start but be pulled in the seventh, eighth or ninth FOR a defensive replacement. As in, he would be yanked from the lineup. Yes, his defense is atrocious. Thanks for allowing me to clear that up.
Will Sandoval become cather eligible in ESPN leagues?
Brendan Roberts (3:51 PM)
It'll take awhile ... I think our plateau is 20 games, and he has only two games at catcher. And we're five weeks into the season.
mike (ma) [via mobile]
what is the deal with Kouzmanoff? Is this what he is?
Brendan Roberts (3:53 PM)
Yes, a slow starter. That's what he is. In 2007, he hit .113 in April and finished at .277-17.73. In 2008, he hit two homers with eight RBIs in April, and finished with 23 and 84, respectively. In fact, now might be a good time to add him to your bench, y'all.
What are your thoughts on JCueto? His biggest problem last year was giving up the long ball. Has he made legitimate strides in this dept (keeping the ball down), or is he getting lucky right now?
Brendan Roberts (3:55 PM)
I actually worried a bit about his control coming into this year, but he has been brilliant across the board. I will say, he kinda fell apart as the season went on in 2008 and fatigue set in; he had a 6.16 ERA and 1.84 ERA in September. And throwing only 174 innings last year, I could see the same thing happening again this year ... as he approaches his career high, he starts to fall off. I say you ride him for now, and then sell off in July.
Justin (Queens, NY)
B-ROB my man!!! Start Wainwright tonight against the Phils?
Brendan Roberts (3:56 PM)
Yeah, I would. Wainwright is one of those who is immune to matchup problems. If that curveball is workin', he's golden. Oh, and if his teammates can actually play a little defense and/or score some runs for him ... yeah, start him.
Should I trust Adam Jones? Play him everyday over Berkman?
Brendan Roberts (3:57 PM)
I wouldn't play him everyday over Berkman, even right now. Berkman could become Berkman at any given moment, and you'd hate to miss it since you've waited so long. ... Interesting stuff on Adam Jones from Tristan Cockcroft coming today (will be posted shortly). He notes Adam Jones has been very lucky in terms of BABIP, and is set for a slide back to earth. I'd have to agree.
The New York papers are reporting that Jorge was all ready placed on the DL... just FYI, i guess... Also, which side would you rather, Markakis or Greinke?
Brendan Roberts (3:58 PM)
Thanks, Jason. Yup, I couldn't get confirmation on Jorge in my little 10-second look, so I played the safe route. There ya have it! ... As good as Greinke has been, I still like Markakis better in that deal.
Justin (Queens, NY)
What's the deal with FURCAl? for a leadoff hitter on a team that is raking you'd think his numbers would be better. Is he still bothered by injuries?
Brendan Roberts (4:00 PM)
I don't think his back is bothering him or anything ... his steals have traditionally been streaky anyway, and I've been saying for a few weeks that all it'll take is a good homestand to get him going. Sure enough, he is 6-for-18 in this recent homestand and has a five-game hitting streak. I think he'll be OK.
Brendan Roberts (4:01 PM)
And wow, that time already! Another quick hour. I'll be back at this time next week to continue on. In the meantime, good luck and go get 'em! Thanks, everyone.
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