Chat with AJ Mass
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AJ Mass (10:58 AM)
Good morning gang! Once again we are here for an hour of fantasy baseball chattage... Second cup of coffee is in hand, so let's get started. Who's up first?
Randy Wells (The Second City)
AJ - Even you can't come up with an argument for someone othen then me to be ROY in the NL can you?
AJ Mass (10:59 AM)
So far, I'd agree with you on you being the favorite, but both Colby Rasmus and Andrew McCutchen are nipping at your heels - especially since HRs are simply more "eye-opening" than solid SP. It probably comes down to who finishes strongest, but if you get to 12 wins and the Cubs make the playoffs, you're a lock.
Mat Latos (San Diego)
Am I the second coming of Tommy Hanson? How good is my "stuff"?
AJ Mass (11:00 AM)
It's good, but your value for 2009 isn't that great, because everything I've heard is that the team is going to shut you down for September to avoid wear-and-tear on the arm.
Would you ever ponder the thought of not carrying a Catcher this late in the year if you options are pretty terrible? My thinking is to pick up a reliever or spot start a hitter/Pitcher on Mon and Thurs and carry no catcher.
AJ Mass (11:02 AM)
This always comes up several times a year, and my answer is always the same... IMO, you must carry a complete lineup, or else you are essentially cheating. That's not to say you can't do it if your league settings allow you to... but I think it's tres lame.
Johnny (On the Spot)
Mass, I first off just want to thank you for your ON THE SPOT touting of Mark Reynolds all season! DUDES A MONSTER! Do you see him getting to the 30/30 threshold? And do you think hit gets to 50 HR?
AJ Mass (11:03 AM)
Thanks. I don't think he gets to 30 steals, but the way he's stroking the ball, I do see 50 as a real possibility.
Can Ben Francisco be a staple in the philly offense this season or is he simply a sub in that of? pick him up in 12 team mixed?
AJ Mass (11:04 AM)
He's simply a bat off the bench - With Werth, Victorino and Ibanez - where's he playing?
AJ, what is wrong with Zack Greinke all of a sudden?
AJ Mass (11:06 AM)
I don't think there's a ton wrong with him --- there was just no way he was going to keep up that level of the first few months. He didn't look great yesterday against the Rays, but still - his ERA is 2.36 - it's not like he's horrific.
Chris Davis (Arlington, TX)
If Cruz is DL does that mean I get to come back ... I promise not to totally suck this time. Am I worth a roster spot in AL only Legue.
AJ Mass (11:07 AM)
If I were the Rangers, I'd Smoak 'em since I got him.
Since Garrett Jones has cooled off, is getting BJ Upton for him a smart move or is Jones going to keep it up?
AJ Mass (11:08 AM)
If someone is foolish enough to give you Upton for Jones, then you have to pounce... no-brainer on that one.
AJ,can Aaron Hill reach 40 HR's ? Did you actually rank Callaspo higher than this guy at one point? Shame on you!
AJ Mass (11:10 AM)
I think he falls short of 40, but not by much. And no, I never ranked Callaspo higher - I said Callaspo had higher momentum... it's hard for Hill to get any higher than where he already is.
Nefali Felix (Arlington, TX)
Am I worth a roster spot? Did you see me throw 101 last night?
AJ Mass (11:11 AM)
Didn't see it, but I heard all about it. Looks like you're going to be in the pen for now - but those K's do add up. Worth a shot, especially in a keeper.
Who are your top 5 hitters and pitchers from this point forward in a standard mix league?
AJ Mass (11:12 AM)
Carl CrawfordAlbert PujolsMark ReynoldsAaron HillRyan BraunTim LincecumDan HarenRoy HalladayJustin VerlanderFelix Hernandez
AJ- Kendry Morales is a top ________ OF the rest of the year.
AJ Mass (11:13 AM)
What should Inge owners expect from him for the rest of the season due to his injury?
AJ Mass (11:15 AM)
To quote Mr.T -- "My prediction? Pain!" I've already cut him in league where I own him... he'll have a good day here and there, but it is clear he needs some surgery to get fixed.
Is there news as to whether Kinsler will be playing after his D/L stint or is it still unknown?
AJ Mass (11:16 AM)
I think he'll play in September. It sounds like he could have tried to play through the injury but the team simply wanted to force him to rest.
Whats the best bet for saves in florida from here on out? nunez or lindstrom?
AJ Mass (11:18 AM)
I think it's Nunez. At the very least, there's no rush to change his role. Lindstrom will eventually get a few saves, but for now, I think he's still 1B.
What's the deal with Jason Bay.... Just a slump or something to worry about. Where do you think he ranks from here on out?
AJ Mass (11:20 AM)
I think he is simply slumping, but he's not getting back to the ridiculous RBI output of April either. Just outside of top 50 hitters when all is said and done.
hanley ramirez (florida)
did you forget about me?
AJ Mass (11:21 AM)
No, sir. However, you're going to be in and out of the lineup with nagging injuries the rest of the way. That's not Top 5.
AJ is there anyone on your Momentum chart that sticks out to you as a must buy? Name some guys i can target before my deadline next week.
AJ Mass (11:23 AM)
Nick Johnson, Placido Polanco, Freddy Sanchez, AJ Pierzynski are guys in the 100 rankings that jump out.
So I take it you're not buying into Berry's Dan Haren isn't a 2nd half player thing? Speaking of which he hasn't looked that great the past few starts....any cause for concern or just a small bump in the road?
AJ Mass (11:26 AM)
Haren looked fine last night... one bad inning where every ball found a hole. Singled to death he was... I'm not concerned, and he still got the win.
Doug (Sprinfield, MA)
Does Cole Hamels have the ability to become one of the best pitchers in baseball?
AJ Mass (11:28 AM)
Of course he does. As I've said many times, when he gets his curve over, he is unhittable. I think he tips his pitches a bit, and needs to constantly make sure he avoids doing so --- plus teams do catch up to that fastball by the third time around and they sit on it. But he's got the raw materials there - absolutely.
Who's the better keeper and why? Reyes or Rollins
AJ Mass (11:29 AM)
Reyes because his speed and average are far more reliable - assuming he's healthy. That's the only concern I have, and hopefully we'll see him at least for a few weeks at the end of the year to allay those fears.
Can you talk about McLouth? He looked good for a while after the trade, but he is killing me now, especially since he has also turned into a strikeout machine in a -1/k league. Is it time to start looking at a D. Span type to spot start?
AJ Mass (11:31 AM)
I just think McLouth doesn't really fit in the Braves lineup, and the way Cox likes to manage the game. I don't love Span much either, but check out the Pirates current trio for a spot-start buffet.
Zobrist finally on his way down?
AJ Mass (11:32 AM)
He's been down for awhile now, hasn't he? I've got him at 62 and falling...
Name Game: Shields, Danks, Garza, Duke
AJ Mass (11:33 AM)
Duke by a nose over Shields.
Danny (Knoxville, TN)
Who are some guys that are hot with weak momentums?
AJ Mass (11:34 AM)
Granderson, J-Roll, Nyjer, Cruz (even before the injury) and Tulo.
Drew (Hudson Valley)
Please rank pitchers rest of the way factoring in wins: Jared Weaver, Kershaw or Wandy.
AJ Mass (11:36 AM)
Wandy and Weaver I have back-to-back in my current rankings, but I like Wandy better with his ERA. Kershaw I can't touch - he'll destroy your WHIP.
Adrian Beltre is returning tonight, would you slot him right into your lineup? What if the other option is the perpetually underwhelming Alex Gordon?
AJ Mass (11:37 AM)
I never hesitate to throw a hitter into the lineup after an injury. What's the worst he will do? 0-for-4? That's worth the risk... because I'm kicking myself if he hits two HRs and I sit him. Pitchers on the other hand, you HAVE to wait and see b/c a 1 IP, 9 ER outing will cripple your fantasy team.
AJ your a numbers guy. Just finished reading Moneyball and would like to know what particular statistics you value that most when evaluating both hitters and pitchers? Are there any besides the normal categories that you tend to tract? Thanks!
AJ Mass (11:39 AM)
I think you track the categories that you use in fantasy and that's it. But you have to weight each category equally and not get so enamored with a guy who hits 40 HRs and 0 SB and a .240 AVG over a guy who hits .310 with 10 HR and 20 SB. The second kind of guy - who may have an unsexy name like say, Hairston will be worth more to you.
Shawn (SB CA)
How's J.Lopez on your momentum chart? He's been helping my team. Not bad for a late late draft fill in.
AJ Mass (11:42 AM)
Solid. He's on the rise to be sure. Definitely see a better finish for him than Barmes or Alexei.
RE: Nunez vs Lindstrom, I read that Florida manager Fredi Gonzalez wants to ease Lindstrom back into the role which to me is like what Texas is doing... It sounds like Nunez stops getting saves by weeks end, no?
AJ Mass (11:43 AM)
Certainly Nunez is on a short leash with Lindstrom back, but the same can be said for Lindstrom - I think they simply share, but that if Nunez doesn't blow any saves, then he stays in the mix - and if Lindstrom has a few rocky 8th innings, he doesn't get the chances just yet.
Since your a numbers guy a come to you for assistance. I need WHIP and ERA help and I know it is difficult to better these numbers late in the year. What are your thoughts on rostering a RP to help in these stats? If so, whom do I target? Bard, Kuo, Feliz? Any others?
AJ Mass (11:45 AM)
I've no problem with that strategy, and you might get a few vulture wins along the way. Top non-closers right now stats-wise for the year? Tronosco, Coffey, Guerrier.
In response of Rob(NJ) when the experts say its hard to move in these categories, how much are we talking? Can you say for instance move from a 3.80 ERA to a 3.40 ERA with the time left in the season?
AJ Mass (11:48 AM)
Let's give you an arbitrary IP total of 1000. In order to drop .40 in ERA, you'd need about 200 scoreless IP.
Tillman or Masterson for this year? For next?
AJ Mass (11:49 AM)
Next year, I go with Tillman. This year, I might simply wash my hands of both.
Am I criminally insane for considering dropping Hamilton for Choo?
AJ Mass (11:51 AM)
Let's see... dropping a guy who is currently ranked 249 overall for hitters to get a guy ranked 41. Hmmmmm....
Tom Tuttle (Tacoma)
Best replacement for Corey Hart's sunglasses: Milledge's dreads or McCutchen's cornrows?
AJ Mass (11:52 AM)
I am a Milledge apologist. But the way McCutchen is playing, I think you'd be better served with him for 2009.
Rank 'em the rest of the way Kouz, Beltre, B Harris
AJ Mass (11:53 AM)
Kouz over Harris. Beltre is the big ? but since I had him ranked so high in the pre-season, I'm going to stick with him now.
andy (st. paul)
you're a math guy? interesting, because you'd have an era of 3.15 if you pitched 200 scoreless innings...
AJ Mass (11:55 AM)
I didn't say I was using his particular ERA as a jumping off point, b/c his IP were not known to me... just a general ballpark to demonstrate that it's harder the more IP you throw.
No love for Morneau in your top 5 hitters?
AJ Mass (11:56 AM)
Hey, it's tight at the top. He's No. 8, and actually since Kinsler is at No. 7, consider Justin No. 7.
Attitude Police (Chatland)
Kudos on the chat today!!! It doesn't sound like you hate us as much as you usually do.
AJ Mass (11:57 AM)
Oh, AP, I never hate. Any venom is your own projection.
No Love for Carpenter?
AJ Mass (11:58 AM)
Again, when you get to the top of the pyramid, you have a tougher time hanging on. Carp is solid, but K totals not as good as his fellow top 20.
andy (st. paul)
fair enough... but the way your phrased your response made it seem like you were using his era and assuming 1000 ip.
AJ Mass (11:58 AM)
Understood - we sometimes sacrifice clarity for speed, and that's why I had no problem posting followups.
Chirique (Mozambique Oluwefemi)
How good is Gordon beckham?
AJ Mass (11:59 AM)
AL Rookie of the Year good.
I think Vazquez should be top 5.
AJ Mass (12:00 PM)
He's No. 7 - my only concern with him is wins going forward.
Frostman (North Pole)
Before I melt! Who wins in Ibanez for Tex? How about Reynolds for CC?
AJ Mass (12:02 PM)
Tex wins and Reynolds wins --- but of course, if you're in need of pitching, you can't make an apples to oranges comparison.
AJ Mass (12:03 PM)
That's all the time we have for today gang.... as always, thanks for the Q's. We'll be back on Thursday with another chat - and of course feel free to tweet away... As always, we'll see you the next time on Villa Alegre!