Fantasy Sports w/Brendan Roberts
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday afternoon, we're opening up our fantasy chat to our ESPN.com fantasy sports editors. Brendan Roberts will hop in to take all of your sports related questions and analyze them from a fantasy perspective.
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Brendan Roberts (2:59 PM)
Good afternoon, everyone! Back for another week as Week 10 continues. Let's get to your questions.
Brendan, please just post this so my man Yunel Escobar gets some love! Quietly having a great season at a very weak position! All this complaining about under-producing shortstops, take a look at Escobar!!!!!
Brendan Roberts (3:02 PM)
Well, here ya go! That said, I've never been a huge fan of Yunel. Decent batting average, but it's a little empty since he has, maybe, 15-20 homer power, and doesn't steal. And that he doesn't walk means he has trouble maintaining a high run count. I'd call him more a middle-infield than reliable shortstop, but that's just me.
J. Baker (NYC)
Any news on Frank Francisco? I've got CJ Wilson as insurance, but I'm considering dropping him for Leo Nunez. Thoughts?
Brendan Roberts (3:04 PM)
Not really, other than the fact that the team isn't talking DL this time around. He's expected back soon ... whether he can stay back is another story. As for CJ Wilson, he's not equipped to be a good closer, more of a stopgap option. I'd wait one more day and see what the team says about Francisco, but get that finger on the trigger to pick up Nunez, who is working his way into the closer mix, whether Lindstrom is ready for it or not.
Hey Brendan. That's a bold column, let's see how it works out for him Cotton. Do you know the word on Soriano's knee?
Brendan Roberts (3:06 PM)
It sounds like it's minor, and Soriano will continue to play through it. But the fact that he feels it during certain swings does bother me. As fearless as he is, that'll be in his head, for sure, and I think his value is sinking fast, regardless of the occasional homers he hits. This thing could bother him all season, maybe even if he goes on the DL.
Rob (Frankfort, IL )
What is going on with Jay Bruce?
Brendan Roberts (3:09 PM)
He's just plain slumping, that's all. But I caught him live in a couple games versus the Cardinals, and really didn't like what I saw. It's as if he's swinging for the fences every time; he took a lot of huge one-strike cuts. Not sure whether he's trying to do too much or not, but he looks unable to handle certain pitches right now. I doubt this corrects itself this season -- or maybe even next. Lots of power, but a low average might be par for the course in the next few years.
Frank (Columbus, OH)
How long will Lidge be out? Would picking up Ryan Madsen and dropping Lindstrom be a smart move?
Brendan Roberts (3:11 PM)
As far as I know, this is just a 15-day move to let his knee sprain heal a bit. He probably has been pitching in pain, and just needed to take some time off -- the Phils have been resting him more recently -- and the return of J.C. Romero allowed that extra arm to do that. Romero or not, I think Madsen in the man. Would I drop him for Lindstrom? Close call, but I'd have to say no. Lindstrom is still the Marlins' closer, and he could keep it the rest of the season. Madsen might close for only two weeks. You'd hate to throw out 16 weeks of production for just two.
What do you expect from Garret Atkins from here on out? Will he be traded to the Cardinals? If I pair him and Capps what level of 3B can I expect to get in a trade in an NL only league?
Brendan Roberts (3:14 PM)
Not sure about that trade ... remember, Brett Wallace is still the future of the team at 3B, and there's really nowhere else for him to play. But I think Atkins still has value. He has had some huge second halves over the course of his career, and this recent benching is more just to get him through the rough times. I don't think he'll match previous years' numbers, but I think he still should be on a mixed league team, no doubt. Just maybe bench him. As for your trade, since Capps is an undisputed closer, and this is an NL-only league, I'd ask for a darned good 3B in return.
Vinny (Southside Chicago)
Brendan, love this kid Poreda out here; sounds like he takes Colon's spot. Give me the non-biased fantasy spin? Worth a flier in a 12 team mixed keeper with deep bench?
Brendan Roberts (3:17 PM)
Yeah, no official word on Colon, but it's looking that way. I really like Poreda, too. Sure, tough to project a young arm, but two things that have indicated he's something special. The K rate and scout speak is that he has true big-league-caliber stuff, and manager Ozzie Guillen actually raves about him (which, as you know, he rarely does about pitchers ... and shortstops). I just worry about his control. He'll walk a few guys and rack up pitch counts. But here's the thing: The Sox know this, and if his control looks off early, they'll likely pull him early, thus not hurting you much. He'll have good starts and high-walk three-inning starts, but enough good starts that he should be on a 12-team mixed league roster, yes.
Is Nunez going to be closing over Lidstrom soon for Florida?
Brendan Roberts (3:19 PM)
Tough for me to tell ... but in a deep league, Nunez needs to be owned. The fact that the Marlins haven't indicated Lindstrom is in trouble yet means he probably has at least another week or two to right the ship, which he very well could. But that Nunez has pitched well, and already has cleaned up one Lindstrom mess is a sign that the Marlins have confidence in him, and that he's next up. Just thinking out loud here, but I wonder if maybe Lindstrom isn't right after having that March arm injury and bouncing back? He just hasn't been the same this year.
Matt Wieters is a fraud! I could it .149 in the bigs!
Brendan Roberts (3:20 PM)
Patience, William. You can't do the things Wieters will be doing very soon.
What are your thoughts on owning a bunch of players from the same lineup? I own a ton of Orioles (Weiters, Roberts, Markakis, Scott, Reinold) and think I need to move a couple and soon. Thoughts? Thanks!
Brendan Roberts (3:21 PM)
Why? It doesn't bother me at all. I suppose if it's a head-to-head league, maybe it would ... because a tough set of matchups might smack you for a week. But those guys have all proven they have value independent of those around them, and they're proven producers. If you trade one, make sure you're getting full value in return.
slowest.chat.ever. You or the dumb new chat format? Lind/Drew for Rollins if I need speed and have Lind on my bench?
Brendan Roberts (3:23 PM)
Ha, ha. Bear with me, guys. The new format is tough for me to adjust to ... there's a rolling "ticker" down the side of all the questions, and I'm having trouble reading it and nabbing one. ... Yeah, I'd do that. I think Rollins bounces back.
Mr. Roberts - need some advice. I own Randy Johnson currently. Zimmerman was just released back to waivers. Sean West is also available. How do you rank these 3 from here on out? (NL-only roto)
Brendan Roberts (3:24 PM)
Well, definitely like Zimmerman the most. West or Johnson? Well, I believe what West has done is for real. The kid is huge, and has great stuff. He'll at least do well until the "book" is out on him. Unit or West? I think I still like Unit more, just because I am assured of K's and a full 16 weeks of production (I think, anyway).
Brian (New York City)
Thoughts on good ole Gordon Beckham? 0-13 not the best start in the world, got him in a deep keeper league, think he turns things around or is he headed back to the minors in the near future???
Brendan Roberts (3:26 PM)
Well, if he doesn't turn it around fast, he might head back down. But everyone I've been talking to is saying that slow start doesn't tell the whole story. He has hit the ball hard at least a few times, and they just haven't fallen. And he doesn't look overmatched at the plate. I don't think he'll have much of a mixed-league impact from here on out, but I do believe he'll hit well enough to stay.
Bren, pal, buddy! In a 12 team mixed league would you trade the ever crafty Vazquez for Zobrist and Heath Bell? Zobie plays at 2B over HowKen and, well, I have no closers!
Brendan Roberts (3:27 PM)
Boy, I really like Vazquez ... But I might even do that for Heath Bell alone, so yeah, I'd do it. Bell's high saves total is for real because a) the Padres do have decent pitching; and b) the team does have subpar hitting. The combination means a lot of 3-2, 4-3, 2-0 games for Bell to make an impact in. Might even lead to a handful of surprise wins.
Holliday or McClouth for the rest of the year? Is Holliday's value contingent on him being traded?
Brendan Roberts (3:29 PM)
Good question. I wouldn't say it's contingent on him being traded, but I do think he will. He's a pawn in Oakland's hand right now. As a Moneyball reader, I know how Beane works with these guys. (He asked the owner for a little more money to acquire Ricky Rincon back in the day, just so he could flip him for more money shortly down the road.) I think he'll be dealt, no dealt, and I think he ends up outproducing McClouth.
Christian (Stony Brook, NY)
Poreda or Buchholz? Im getting tired of waiting for Buchholz to get the call. Thanks for you thoughts
Brendan Roberts (3:31 PM)
Hmm, I do like Buchholz more, but if you need help now, I think you have to go grab Poreda. The Sox are overloaded with starting pitching -- they can't even find a spot for Smoltz even (unless Penny goes) -- and Poreda is already here, with a spot. If Buchholz hadn't struggled so much last year, I'd say him. But who knows if he'll do anything when he's called up, which might not be till August?
john (new jersey)
Is this the real Wandy Rodriguez or just a hiccup 2 straight starts?
Brendan Roberts (3:33 PM)
It's probably somewhere in between, of course, but I see him more toward the "past two starts" than the success before that. At 30 years old, we kinda know what to expect from him, and he was clearly pitching over his head, in my mind.
I have Tori Hunter in a deep keeper league. My team is almost out of it already and am looking to rebuild. What type of value do you think I can get for him.
Brendan Roberts (3:36 PM)
Well, now, or once he gets back anyway, would be the time to deal him. Not sure Hunter carries a lot of keeper trade value, though. He has a lot of mileage, and is right at the cusp of where he could begin his decline. That's not true, in my mind, because he keeps himself in great shape, but that will be the perception. Somebody way less productive but 10 years younger might have more trade value. But if a team is "going for it" now, then maybe you can get that guy to deal for him. But it has to be obvious that he is well and still will be very productive this season.
Howie Kendrick - ownable in 10 team 5x5? Discuss.
Brendan Roberts (3:37 PM)
I'd have to say no. Not a league that shallow. There are just too many things working against him ... his slow start, that he doesn't run or hit a bunch of homers, that Sean Rodriguez is making so much noise in Triple-A. I think you have to cut bait ... I did in a simmilar league, for what it's worth.
Who are some of the easier catchers to run on in an attempt to snag an extra SB here and there. Daily lineup changes. Thanks.
Brendan Roberts (3:39 PM)
Victor Martinez, Jorge Posada, the Nationals ... your best source is Tristan's Fantasy Forecaster column each Friday (http://sports.espn.go.com/fantasy/baseball/flb/story?page=mlbforecaster090605). Very helpful. But I think I'll lead a Hit Parade in the near future with catchers to run on.
Is McCutchen closer to the next b.j. Upton or the next Emilio Bonifacio? explain.
Brendan Roberts (3:40 PM)
Oh, that's a good question (hey, haven't Upton and Bonifacio been somewhat similar overall this season?). For this season, I think Bonifacio. I know he's off to a great start, but the book will be out on him, and I think he still has plenty of holes in his swing and is still very raw. I think he cools down mightily ... Dexter Fowler is a better example to me.
What do you expect from ARod going forward? Would you deal Verlander for him if you could? What if you had to throw in C.Davis? Thanks
Brendan Roberts (3:43 PM)
I have put A-Rod at No. 3 overall in my rankings -- and gotten some criticism for it -- and I stand by it. A-Rod looks healthy to me, and we already know what he can do. He has fresh legs, and the rigorous workouts he put in during rehab will pay off. A-Rod is perhaps the "proudest" (you could use a different word, I guess) major league around, and he won't settle with seeing poor end-of-season stats. He'll rack up numbers in blowouts if he has to, but he'll get his big numbers. Yeah, I'd trade Verlander for him. Throw in C. Davis? Hmm, probably, but ask for a throw-in back, in return.
Joao Gomes (Brazil)
Is Andrew Bailey what Jason Motte was hyped to be in the preseason?
Brendan Roberts (3:45 PM)
Yeah, that's a fairly good sample there, a young pitcher who had the makeup to close, but was unproven. Bailey doesn't have as potentially dominant stuff as Motte, but the job is his because Ziegler was such a poor fit there to begin with. I think Bailey stays there and has a pretty nice season for a closer.
Consider this statistic on Jason Kubel: He has 91 total bases in 51 games this year, with 30 total bases (about a third) coming in only 3 GAMES. Does this inconsistency bother you?
Brendan Roberts (3:47 PM)
Another future column for me -- guys who have maddening slumps, but then break out in a big way. Alex Rios is another guy who does this ... I think as long as the numbers are there, it's no big deal. BUT you do know that he probably won't have a big game with a lefty starting against him, so in days or weeks in which you see lots of LHPs, I think you sit him and cross your fingers. That's the best way to handle him, in my mind, as a "streamed" outfielder/DH (in mixed leagues).
You buying what The Chone is selling or is the hot streak inflating his value? Would you rather have him or Jacoby Ellsbury?
Brendan Roberts (3:49 PM)
I'm buying. Chone has responded to threats to his job in a big way. That said, he still is on pace for only 3 homers and 44 RBIs. Do I think he steals 45 bases? Yes, but do I like him more than the well-rounded Ellsbury? No.
What is fair trade value for Josh Hamilton right now? How well will he play when he returns after the ASB?
Brendan Roberts (3:51 PM)
Hamilton's trade value is a season low, as you probably know. That said, he's one of those names that make owners so giddy that they overpay for him. I rarely recommend you trade newly injured players, but I think this injury could sideline him a good while longer, even longer than initial estimates, or at the least slow him down when he returns. You should be able to get a solid No. 3 OF or No. 2 or 3 SP in return, and if this isn't a keeper league, I'd do it.
ESPN KEEPER LEAGUE (worried)
Jose Reyes! I can acquire him, but please put my fears to rest that his leg injuries will not persist into next year?!!
Brendan Roberts (3:53 PM)
I cannot do that, my friend. Reyes was hampered by hamstring injuries early in his career, including one very serious injury, and they have resurfaced, and with a tear. I interviewed him once in spring training after all the hamstring injuries years ago, and he said he had to work very hard to come back from them. This might be chronic, my friend, and he's not exactly a stiff slugger. Not to be too glass-half-empty about this, but I'm worried myself.
Do you think that the Yankees are going to keep Hughes in the bullpen a la Joba 2007 or does he get sent back down to AAA? I ask because I'm in a holds league and having a guy who can slot in at SP and still get holds/saves is invaluable (freakin' Morrow... thought I had a gem). Thanks.
Brendan Roberts (3:55 PM)
Yeah, Hughes hit 95 mph on the gun yesterday, and has looked good in the 'pen. Then again, Wang also looked good in the pen and didn't pitch well in his return to the rotation. I think ultimately the Yanks want him starting, and Wang proves he can handle the job, then he'll be sent back to Triple-A. If Wang can't, then he moves back to the rotation (with Wang moving to Wang, ahem, long relief). I don't think you have a long-term setup man on your hands.
BR, technical difficulties or was my question so bad it had to be posted for laughs? I got no answer above!
Brendan Roberts (3:56 PM)
Hmm, I've answered all the questions I've posted ... perhaps we're having some technical difficulties. I'll report if this is the case. Sorry, folks.
Jose Guillen is doing horribly - that I know - but can you give me any hope to keep holding on to him
Brendan Roberts (3:57 PM)
I just can't do that. Ya know, he's not a young guy anymore (he's 33), and it looks like his hands have slowed to me.
Is the power going to come for Magglio, or is it gone for good?
Brendan Roberts (3:58 PM)
I'd have to say no on the power. He's still not really hitting doubles, and of the eight doubles he has had, not many have been gap shots. I think he'll struggle to get even 18 homers. One more, guys.
Everyone talkes about Nunez in florida where's the love for Kiki Calero?
Brendan Roberts (4:01 PM)
Ya know, that's a good point, Brett. He's in the mix too. But the fact that Calero has proven he can make multiple-inning outings more effectively than Nunez makes Calero better as a middle man. Plus, Calero's big slider is tough on righties, but lefties can hit it. He has very noticeable stat split differentials. In my mind, Nunez is the guy.
Brendan Roberts (4:02 PM)
All right, guys. I have to run. But I'll take your (and my) feedback to our SportsNation folks. They know what they're doing, and this is only the first day of this (at least for me), so they expect to make changes, I'm certain. ... I apologize for any inconvenience, and I hope it goes smoother next week.