Chat with AJ Mass
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AJ Mass (10:58 AM)
Good morning, and Happy Day after Canada Day. Two days until we toot our own horns here in the States, so let's get down to some fantasy chat for the next 60 minutes, shall we? Who's up first?
Hi, AJ. Who has the better second-half, Ethier, Choo, or McLouth? Thanks.
AJ Mass (11:00 AM)
I think it's Ethier. The return of Manny is bound to do wonders for him and Pierre will likely be the one sent back to the bench.
Hey AJ- thoughts on Soriano? Would it be wise to deal him or will he pick it up?
AJ Mass (11:01 AM)
Soriano is someone I'd deal. I mean, if he wasn't making so much on his contract, I could see the team going to Fuld for a few weeks and just seeing what he can do, rather than Soriano. That's how frustrating he's been.
Terry (Tampa FL)
Should we give up on Cole Hamels this year?
AJ Mass (11:02 AM)
He's too talented to cut, but you can't start him right now either. I don't know why so many people are resistant to the idea that he's not pitching well this season and isn't going to snap his fingers and be suddenly OK. I keep him, but I bench him.
AJ - Do you view Milledge or Alex Gordon as having good 2nd half numbers?
AJ Mass (11:05 AM)
I have always been on the Milledge bandwagon, and it was excruciating watching him the first week of the season strike out close to 50 times in 15 at-bats. It was ugly. I think he can make something of the second half if his finger heals, but it requires him to accept the new surroundings. As for Gordon, I'm not holding out hope for anything special in 09.
Thoughts on Correia today? Think he gets a quality start?
AJ Mass (11:06 AM)
As I wrote in Daily Notes, I think Correia has a good day. I have him 6th of the 18 scheduled starters.
Do you see Carp getting more playing time now that Beltre is out?
AJ Mass (11:08 AM)
Well, he's not going to get any less... As long as Woodward is the choice at third base, I don't see too much additional time for Carp. Now, if they decide to move Branyan for a few, then you've got the PT opportunity.
Any chance Rollins turns it around in the 2nd half? I have lost my patience with him.
AJ Mass (11:09 AM)
Well, of course there's a chance. However, I've always felt Rollins was more iron pyrite than gold. After all, here's a guy who had a 30-game hitting streak a few years back to end the season and still didn't reach .300.
Matt (Long Island)
Speaking of losing patience, I finally dumped Russell Martin. Am I going to regret it?
AJ Mass (11:10 AM)
I suggested that a few months ago, so from my point of view, no. There are plenty of other catchers in the sea. This season, Martin's been no Rod Barajas!
Speaking of catchers, does Soto finish top 5? He's been hot lately!
AJ Mass (11:13 AM)
Top 5 is asking a lot, especially with Mauer pretty much a lock at 1, and if you count guys like V-Mart and Sandoval. I don't think he'll get back to that peak.
Do you see Manny coming back with something to prove...or will he mail in the rest of the season?
AJ Mass (11:14 AM)
It's a very good question, Billy. I think he shows up on Friday, for sure. After that, I don't know if he definitely gives 100 percent effort the rest of the way. Still, I'd take 75 percent Manny over a lot of MLB players these days.
What's going on with Alexei? he's finally playing like the player we drafted and he gets hurt...something to be concerned with?
AJ Mass (11:17 AM)
His fielding is atrocious. That normally shouldn't effect a fantasy owner, but it had Ozzie considering benching him, and now he's gotten hurt misplaying a groundball. I think this particular injury is a day-to-day thing, so I'm not horribly concerned, but if it gets in his head... we're in trouble.
are you concerned at all with johan? i'm nervous he's injured and a DL stint is in his future. If you could get another top arm mediocre bat for him would you do it?
AJ Mass (11:18 AM)
I'm not concerned with Johan. I just think he knows how perfect he has to be with the Mets lineup in a shambles and as a result has some bad outings. However, if you are concerned - in my book, nobody is untouchable.
George Steele (Parts Unknown)
Good write-up on Romero, AJ. "Others" are high on Volstad...I don't see the upside there. Would you dump Volstad for Romero?
AJ Mass (11:20 AM)
Thanks, Animal. I would. I don't see what's there either expect a really high WHIP rate.
is CJ Wilson worth holding on to?
AJ Mass (11:21 AM)
Absolutely. Francisco showed last night this closer job is far from locked up, and I do see him pitching consecutive games too often. Wilson will get his save opps.
Should everyone hop on the Gordon Beckham train yet????
AJ Mass (11:22 AM)
It's no "hot tamale" train, but yes, it looks like the kid is here to stay, and he may get SS starts this week with Ramirez' injury.
would you drop meche for jordan zimmerman?
AJ Mass (11:24 AM)
Not this year. I like young Zimm, but there's not a lot of wins coming to the Nats staff right now. Neither one is an automatic start right now, but Meche is far closer to being one. Now in a keeper league, be my guest...
Thoughts on Elvis Andrus for the rest of the year
AJ Mass (11:26 AM)
Don't love him. Don't hate him. He'll have a few more steals and hit you .260-.265. He's just not all that exciting an option for me.
Strasburg at least available in ESPN leagues this year? Or have I been saving my waiver claim for naught.
AJ Mass (11:27 AM)
Again, I'm not in charge of those things, but until he signs on the dotted line, I know he's not available.
Not a lot of wins coming to the Royals staff, either...
AJ Mass (11:29 AM)
It's a fair point, Andy. But I don't even know if the Nats will have half of their starting lineup still on the team a month from now... too much upheaval going on there.
I hear you were on MTV's Remote Control in college. Congrats. Evan Longoria: 2nd half stud or injury risk?
AJ Mass (11:30 AM)
So, you download AND listen, hmm? Yes, TMR and I both taped our episodes on the same day. I even got to "Sing Along With Colin" -- I worry about Evan's hammy issues, but he's still going to be Top 30 even with a few added days off here and there.
Mike Hunt (Phoenix)
Dan Haren... Is he really this good or will he bust in the 2nd half
AJ Mass (11:32 AM)
I think he's this good. I've never been a proponent of "poor second half pitcher" splits. To me it's not about the number of IP, but the number of pitches per inning and how stressful they've been. But regardless, I have confidence in Haren's performance even if the run support is invisible.
Pony Tail (NYC)
Do you believe in AROD?
AJ Mass (11:33 AM)
Moreso than I believe your name is Pony Tail.
Which of the Rangers sluggers provides the most value over the second half?
AJ Mass (11:35 AM)
If I had to pick one Ranger, I'd roll the dice with Hamilton. Nelson Cruz and M. Young will put up numbers, but the upside for Josh is biggest.
What's up with Jason Bay lately? He's been hurting badly.
AJ Mass (11:36 AM)
I'd not be too concerned. Sure an 0-5 with 5 K's looks bad, but it doesn't kill your fantasy team the same way that a bad start from a SP does. He'll be fine and still be a Top 25 hitter when the season is over.
Ian Kinsler not even in your discussion if you could pick one ranger?
AJ Mass (11:38 AM)
It's like if I was asked about the Cards. I'd assume you knew about Pujols and I'd start with, um, er, um... I'd talk about the Rangers instead.
MORNEAU!!! Any news?
AJ Mass (11:39 AM)
I've heard no updates since early this morning... he's probably OK (left last night's game with a groin injury) and the team has the day off today, night game Friday. I expect him to be in the lineup.
Do I start both Happ and Vazquez tonight?
AJ Mass (11:41 AM)
If you own both, I see no reason why you wouldn't. Yesterday's pitching performances, including three 1-0 games proves you don't have to pick and choose between two guys squaring off.
Ryan (Long Island)
AJ what the **** are you talking about? "It's like if I was asked about the Cards. I'd assume you knew about Pujols and I'd start with, um, er, um... I'd talk about the Rangers instead." Did you just compare Kinsler to PUJOLS? And did you speak a hint of English whilst doing it?
AJ Mass (11:43 AM)
Pujols is Pujols, but my goodness, there has to be a No. 2. It's not like I used Brandon Inge as my example. Sheesh!
Dogg (Junk Yard)
Guthrie of Pelfrey the rest of the way?
AJ Mass (11:44 AM)
Guthrie for me. I am not convinced with Pelf.
Benny (Beantown, Mass)
Ryan from Long Island - by the way, I think he's simply saying "If you don't know Kinsler is the best fantasy player on that team, you shouldn't be playing fantasy baseball" .. In no way shape or form did he compare Kinsler to Pujols besides the fact that they are bother OBVIOUS FANTASY STUDS.
AJ Mass (11:45 AM)
Thank you Benny... clearly I need another cup of coffee.
Faizal (Halifax, NS, Canada)
My league uses a "can't cut" list and for my team that includes Jake Peavy. Is there any way around this rule?? Do you think the best bet is to try and throw him into a deal/trade because I really do not want to hold on to him.Thanks a bunch
AJ Mass (11:46 AM)
A rule is a rule. It's a silly rule, that should have DL stints factored in. But if the only way to get rid of him is to trade him, then that's what you must do.
Rich (Cape Cod, MA)
Drop Pierre and Brent Gardner because of limited playing time?
AJ Mass (11:47 AM)
Limited playing time is only one thing to consider. I mean, if you need steals and Gardner gets you 3 a week, but only plays 2 games, so what? He's there to get you steals and he does. Worry about the value a player gives you, not the overall number of ABs.
Mike (Lansing, MI)
DigDug for Greinke...who wins?
AJ Mass (11:48 AM)
Number 1 pitcher for Number 42 hitter? I go with the Greinke side over Adam Jones side.
I asked a couple weeks ago about DigDug vs. B.J. Upton and you took DigDug. Would you make the same recommendation today?
AJ Mass (11:51 AM)
No, today I would not. That's the beauty of baseball. It's constantly changing and it's also why you can't just draft a team and sit there and watch it all season without making a move and expect to win. It's also why vetoing deals is silly, because player valuations today are different than what they'll be next week.
Mike Rotch (Boston)
Markakis or Kemp the rest of the way?
AJ Mass (11:52 AM)
Kemp without a question. I fear how good the Dodgers might be if Manny comes back motivated.
Why is Adam Jones callled dig-dug? Is he a fan of the old video game?
AJ Mass (11:53 AM)
That's what we call him here in Villa Alegre. Because this Adam Jones certainly isn't Pac Man.
Sizemore or Rios going forward?
AJ Mass (11:54 AM)
Gotta go with Rios. I love Grady, he was my No. 1 OF in pre-season. But this Grady is hurting.
Joe (Portland, OR)
Carlos Lee for Cano. Is this a fair trade?
AJ Mass (11:55 AM)
Fair trade? Yes. I actually think Cano has more value, though his output usually comes in waves.
Jack Cust or Hafner?
AJ Mass (11:56 AM)
Cust. Indians are snakebit in a big way this season.
Any Chance the rockies can catch the dodgers? Give me hope please
AJ Mass (11:57 AM)
Only with another 20-in-a-row. I'd set my sights on the Giants first and then take it from there, Nate.
Ervin Santana is a top ___ pitcher the rest of the season
AJ Mass (11:59 AM)
"5 Angels" That's all I'm willing to commit to before I see him pitch his next start.
AJ Mass (12:00 PM)
That's the time we have for today gang! It's been real. It's been fun. It's been an hour. Don't forget to check out ESPN's Fantasy Football Draft Kit and we'll see you the next time on Villa Alegre!