Chat with Tristan H. Cockcroft
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Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:00 AM)
Good morning everyone! Let's get right to your questions...
you starting lohse tonight against a mets team that seems to be scoring more runs than before?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:02 AM)
I wrote our "Daily Notes" for today's games, and Kyle Lohse was probably the toughest decision of the lot. I like the matchup based on the ballpark factor and the Mets' past-two-months' hitting woes. But I also like Jonathon Niese because the Cardinals all year have struggled against lefties. But then the Cardinals have been hitting lefties better recently, especially having added Matt Holliday, and the Mets are absolutely better with the bats recently. My gut told me no, don't endorse Lohse, go with the recent trends, but that it's this tough a decision tells you a lot. It says if you've got a strong feeling, go for it. I'm not.
Hi Tristan. If Peavy is available on FA would you drop him for Lidge if you already had Wilson
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:03 AM)
I'm going to answer that question like this: I'm not expecting anything of great value from Jake Peavy the remainder of the year. He has missed a considerable amount of time and will be going from one of the game's best pitchers' environments to a homer heaven. There is so much downside here on so many fronts, so my instinct is to say no, stand pat.
Adam (Michigan )
Ervin Santana is available on the waiver wire. Worth a shot in a keeper league?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:06 AM)
A lot of my buddies ask me about Ervin Santana, and here's what I tell them: I love Ervin Santana. From a raw talent perspective and for his career, I think he's going to stand out. But that said, I fear him like almost no other pitcher in the 2009 calendar year. He has been wildly inconsistent and the injury he had earlier in the year isn't one to scoff at. I just detailed for you a massive risk/reward type. Because you're in a keeper league, I'd absolutely scoop him up, especially if this bad season allows you to carry him cheap into 2010. But he's going to be a risk the rest of this year.
What would you say should be the highest expectations(avg, hr, rbi) for Matt Wieters in seasons to come?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:07 AM)
Highest? Think Mike Piazza. That's shooting for the stars, so let's just say that when a guy becomes a .300-30-100 annual candidate, I don't think you have any right to complain. Beyond that? It's possible. Just shy some years? It'll happen from time to time. Stats fluctuate a little.
Andy (St. Louis)
Would you trust Davies or Gaudin more today for a spot start?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:08 AM)
Kyle Davies. No respect for the Seattle offense, do I have.
Robert (On the Fence)
Are you starting de la Rosa tonight against the Fighting Phils? Jorge has been hot, but that offense scares me!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:08 AM)
Another guy who I was very torn on in the "Daily Notes." (Check 'em out, folks, they have a lot of great nuggets for you.) That he's lights-out against lefties and the Phillies are, well, lefty-heavy, makes me think I'd use him, unless it's a shallow-mixed league or I'm counting starts/innings at this point.
Tommy Gorzelanny, what say you? He is a solid pitcher on a red hot team. Could be a surprise, right? Remember, he was solid two years ago.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:09 AM)
Sure he was, but he was a train wreck in the two years since. I like what Gorzy did on Tuesday, and the kid has talent. I'd pick him up in an NL-only league. But I need more than one stellar outing before I'll invest all the way.
Bud Norris going to keep a regular spot in Houston's rotation? Is he worth picking up off waivers?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:10 AM)
Seems it. If Roy Oswalt pitches on Saturday, then Norris would be bumped back to Monday or Tuesday. I'd say if the league's talent pool warrants it -- NL-only or very deep mixed -- yes, I'd take a shot on Mr. Norris.
Tillman, Matusz or Bucholz for the rest of the year? Non keeper.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:11 AM)
Impossible to say. It could be any of them. I'd gravitate to Clay Buchholz. Most experience, best team. As I said in "Out of the Box" today, the Orioles have a lot of games within the division and that division lights up scoreboards like no other I've seen in any season in a very long time. At least Buchholz will get run support!
In a vacuum...Aaron Hill or Matt Cain?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:12 AM)
I hate vaccums. They're noisy. I'm a believer in Hill and I trust hitters. I guess that's about as helpful as I can get.
Better Reyes replacement for the playoffs: Eric Aybar or Barmes?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:15 AM)
It's a little dicey to just toss you the name Clint Barmes, because I'd love to play him in weeks with a lot of lefty starters or chock full of Coors contests. Otherwise? I have my doubts. I'd advise matchups exploitation with the two, though I'll point out that the Rockies play 19 of 31 games at home in September, and the numbers at Coors are usually great in that month.
is gordon beckham a keeper? what about chris carpenter?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:15 AM)
I'd say yes and yes, barring it being a shallow keeper league (like three keepers a team). I've seen enough of Beckham now to think he's a definitely .300-hitting candidate for years.
Does Pedro bump Happ out of the rotation? thanks
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:16 AM)
I hope not, but I have a sinking feeling that that's the most logical strategy for Philadelphia. Bleagh.
what happened to Gallardo last night? 9 ER! I mean come on, I already have Cueto!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:16 AM)
It happens. Every pitcher tends to hit a blip on the radar screen sooner or later; the ones who don't win the Cy Young. Besides, it was a tough matchup at the Dodgers. I'm not concerned.
NL and AL Cy Young predictions?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:17 AM)
At this point barring an unexpected injury or a trade of the latter, I'd be floored if it wasn't Tim Lincecum and Roy Halladay. I think Lincecum has a handy lead in his league.
Nobody talk about me anymore...*whimper* My .270 BABIP is well below my .320 career average. Is this a function of my injury or am I about to explode after a period of really bad luck?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:19 AM)
Hit like the man ahead of you has for most of the season, Alex! But seriously, did you know A-Rod has batted .328 with 10 homers and 30 RBIs in 33 games since June 25? Explain to me again why you're complaining?
Is Reimold legit? What kind of numbers do you see him putting up next year?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:21 AM)
Good major-league regular. Great? No, probably not. I could see something like a .280 average, maybe 20-25 homers. What he has done so far extrapolated over a full year seems pretty fair. And if I had to pick which direction he goes from those if he deviates, I would be at least a little more worried about a regression from him as a sophomore than further development.
Jay (Alex, VA)
Matusz, I <3 him. Let me know what you think of his keeper value and what he will bring in value for his career. Thanks TC!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:22 AM)
Elite prospect, promising future but I think he's being at least a tad rushed. Pick him up, sure, it's always worth speculating on a prospect like this, but his next calendar year fits into the unknown category for me. I'd say he's a decent bet to be a keeper in a deep enough league (at least 100 players kept), but he's going to need to prove it to me the rest of the season.
Is Masterson a better option than guys like Harang, Cueto or Anderson once he hits the rotation?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:23 AM)
Probably not but I wouldn't ignore him, either. I just see matchups potential more than I do roll-him-every-start value.
Francisco Liriano (Twin Cities)
Everyone is finally losing hope in me. The latest is Christopher Harris. Should I be dropped for Blanton or Anderson?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:24 AM)
Can you blame him? Liriano is all upside, meager results. And I like the kid, I had high hopes. That forearm problem worries me, and I'm no longer as optimistic he's just a second-half player waiting for the second half, because, frankly, the second half is here. If I had the choice between Frankie and Joe Blanton, I'm taking Blanton. Good work he has done in Philly, and that team will keep winning.
Do you think Kendrick will outperform Sanchez over the remainder of the year? Don't want to carry both if i can help it.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:26 AM)
I think they'll be somewhat comparable, but let's point out here that since his recall, Howie Kendrick is batting .388 with 15 RBIs in 19 games. Ah, Howie, Jason Grey would be proud. (For the record, I like Kendrick too, but Jason was the bigger fan of us two in the preseason.) I'd take the Angel; I see more soft hitting matchups down the stretch for him as opposed to Freddy Sanchez.
James (NY, NY)
Keeper league : pick 2, Carpenter, Gallardo, Kershaw, Nathan, Rivera?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:28 AM)
Extremely difficult to weigh the value of a closer in your league, and if I'm assuming this is you keep the guy for 2010 only in a traditional ESPN mixed league, Joe Nathan's making my cut. And so is Yovani Gallardo. I could absolutely see a format where Clayton Kershaw makes a smarter choice than Nathan, and I do shy from keeping closers. It's just that Nathan is one of the few (Rivera is too, really) who makes a strong case.
Combo follow-up: Matusz or Masterson for 2010 and beyond?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:28 AM)
Brian Matusz. Higher ceiling, whereas I see Justin Masterson more of a No. 3 type of guy in the long haul.
Tristan, do you believe in playing the occasional matchups. Last night I did and got burnt. I started Gomes last night and benched Kemp!!! Also start Hanson tonight? TY
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:29 AM)
Yes, or I wouldn't use the word "matchups" nearly as often as I do. That said, I wouldn't "get cute" (allow the "get cute" police to hunt me down!) with things like this, as it sounds like you did. I'd have to have overwhelming data in support of making a move like that.
Pick 1 to keep: Sizemore (1st rd), Crawford (4th rd), Mauer (4th rd)
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:30 AM)
Oooooh, toughie, very difficult choice between the latter two. I have this hunch Joe Mauer is going to be the most difficult to replace of this bunch. It's him. Though it's so close.
Where's Colby Rasmus?????
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:31 AM)
I hear he's in New York right now, preparing to play the Mets. On a more serious note, let's face it, rookies are going to struggle like this when they whiff as frequently as he does. Those who remember my preseason comments know I was somewhat skeptical about Rasmus' ability to have a monster Rookie of the Year-caliber season.
Charlie (New Jersey)
Tristan, you didnt answer Steve from MA question about Hanson tonight
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:31 AM)
I suppose I didn't! Maybe it's because that's a no-brainer must-start to me. I guess.
Is there any reason to hold onto Reyes at this point?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:32 AM)
If you have the DL spots to do it and keeping him there wouldn't put you in a massive bind, I'd absolutely keep a first-round talent on hand until the very instant that he's ruled out for the season. My gut will tell you that it's extremely skeptical we see him on a big-league diamond the rest of this year, though. But that has not been made a formal announcement.
Sandoval or Zimmerman at 3b in a keeper league?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:33 AM)
Not as close as it sounds. To me it's Pablo Sandoval, who is a really special offensive talent with eligibility at both corners.
Tristan;Will Laporte get called up Sept. 1?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:35 AM)
A few people have asked about Matt LaPorta in the chat today, and I find it a tad curious that he has yet to be promoted, but then I look at his minor league numbers and I see a .231 batting average and two homers in 18 games since the All-Star break. I think he'll be up on Sept. 1, yes, and given a decent amount of playing time as a window into his potential 2010. But I wouldn't be counting on much more, or for him to perform at a level much better than those recent minor league stats I quoted.
what kind of #'s do you project for Wright during Aug/Sept?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:36 AM)
If memory serves David Wright is a decent second-half player and I don't see why he'd deviate much from his current paces. I bet he'll bat around .325 with six or so more home runs, 15 more steals, in the mid-30s in runs and RBIs. And I know that's a little bit of a ho-hum projection, compared to what he's been doing to date.
Do you like O'Sullivan more than Liriano? Sad to even have to consider that.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:37 AM)
Nah. That said, I wanted to get Sean O'Sullivan into a question today because the kid threw a no-hitter in the minors a week ago and in his brief big-league time he's 3-0 with a 3.72 ERA in five starts. Dismiss O'Sullivan outright in AL-only leagues and you're making a mistake.
Do you think Beckham is a better MI keeper than folks like Jeter, Alexei? Tulo caliber?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:39 AM)
See, it's tough to call Derek Jeter a great keeper, but because he's going to inevitably make the top 100 entering 2010, and probably by a noticeable amount, I'd have to say yes, he's a keeper. Troy Tulowitzki is obviously the standout of this bunch. I think he's past his career adjustment period. Then probably Derek Jeter, then Gordon Beckham, then Alexei. And all of them make cases to be kept.
DUDE, Beckham is losing SS/MI eligibility!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:40 AM)
Yes yes, but I also have to account for the possibility he's shifted to second in 2010. I suppose what I should add to the previous question is that he presents the most risk of the bunch accounting for the positions, but off the top of my head I just see him as a little safer and more attractive than Alexei.
Was trading Doumit and Andy larouche for Helton a good move? also $100 bucks on Cliff Lee in a NL only league right.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:41 AM)
I don't think it was a terrible move, and I'm a Ryan Doumit fan. If you had a viable catcher replacement and the aim was to upgrade your corner spot, I think you made out fine. As for the FAAB bid, if $100 is your FAAB cap, yes, by all means. I'd max out.
Will (Oxford, ms)
Brett Anderson legit?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:42 AM)
Oakland pitchers are inevitably going to have a limit to their 2009 upside, but I'm encouraged by Anderson. I think he's a legit starter, a No. 3/4 right now, and at the very least warrants matchups consideration. Not that I'd say "oooh, go start him at Texas or New York," mind you.
Asdrubal Cabrera or Jose Lopez going forward?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:44 AM)
Lopez. Huge fan, right here. Rakes doubles, the power has been coming for weeks now. Case in point: He's batting .335 with 10 homers, 33 RBIs and 15 doubles in 43 games since June 7. What's not to like about that?
So you are saying Wallace over LaPorta as a keeper?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:45 AM)
I probably would, yes, though the positions they play have a bit to do with that decision. I see Brett Wallace in the Oakland Opening Day 2010 lineup, and most leagues will go by minor league eligibility with him if he doesn't debut this year, and he has been a third baseman in the minors. I also can't imagine that if he has been that, that he wouldn't for the Athletics in September if he gets called up (which I sure believe he will).
Luis Castillo falling down the dugout stairs....They should start airing the Mets on Comedy Central! And is Hochevar worth holding onto in a 12 team dynasty?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:46 AM)
Poor Jon Stewart. I'm a believer in Luke Hochevar, and I'd say based upon my knowledge of your typical 12-team dynasty league, he's probably going to be keeper worthy, absolutely. Dynasty leagues don't keep something like five or fewer players; it'd be silly.
I came back to life to not get any questions answered. C'mon Tristan, don't make me send Ben or even Smokey after you. Do you think Clay turns it around or should I put him on a plane to Australia?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:47 AM)
You're not in 1977, John! You're in the present! Liar!
Are Yankee hitters going to see a big bump in draft position next year? and a drop for pitchers?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:48 AM)
I'm curious about that based on the ballpark factors, which predictably have settled at least a little closer to norms in recent weeks. Still, it's a definite hitter-friendly environment, especially for lefties, and having been to that ballpark on multiple occasions I'll tell you I'm curious how they could alter the dimensions if that's the team's decision in the winter. I think the park is the way it's going to stay for the most part, in which case yes, you'll probably see a swing of a round or two greater or up to $5 in auction value towards Yankee hitters, and probably the same the other way against pitchers. Well, except Mariano, he's great.
Dave (Landenberg PA)
Hi THC -- is starting Hanson in SD still a no-brainer if the other option is Harden in CIN?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:49 AM)
Can't stress reading the "Daily Notes" enough. But I picked Rich Harden in Baseball Challenge, so that answers the question.
How do you expect Jarrod Washburn to pitch for the rest of the year?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:50 AM)
Better win potential, higher ERA. He could have a four ERA but win twice as often as he would have in Seattle, where his ERA might have been low-threes. The math says it likely balances out, no change in overall value, just categorical shifting.
Any worry HanRam may shut it down early? Would it not be a good idea to try and trade for him?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:51 AM)
That the Marlins remain in the playoff chase probably keeps Hanley Ramirez in the "safe pick" class. The worst-case scenario probably has him missing only the final week or two if he needs to shut it down, which I can't say I'm that terrified of having happen, and even then that really only impacts those in H2H leagues with one-week championships in the final week of the regular season.
White Sox (Chicago)
Logical saves guy with Jenks out is... ?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:52 AM)
It'll be a committee, I hear. If I was a betting man, I'd bet on black ... er ... Scott Linebrink. But Matt Thornton gets the situational saves if the lineups align that way.
I've been trying for 4 straight chats to get this question answered. I know it's not a football chat but I draft really soon. If you had the choice of a drafting slot in a 10 team standard football league, and the number 1 spot was already taken. Where would you choose to draft and why?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:54 AM)
Being that we're about a month away from the football season, I'll break from form and grant the one question. If it's me, I'd pick the four, but then I also have no problem with having the decision between Matt Forte, Maurice Jones-Drew and Michael Turner (in no particular order) made for me.
THC are YOU starting Vanderhurk today?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:55 AM)
No, not really. Washington's offense isn't the worst around, especially not at home.
Just when Pineiro started to look solid for the Cardinals he blew up in New York last night. Any predictions on his future and whether or not to keep him on
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:56 AM)
One bad outing doesn't ruin an otherwise outstanding season (comparative to the preseason expectations). Being that Joel Pineiro isn't a strikeout guy, it probably won't be his last bad outing, but I still see a decent future for him. Surely a mid-threes ERA and a good share of wins. I wouldn't complain.
David Wright (CITI of Lost Homers)
What are the chances of the Mets bringing in/lowering the outfield walls in the offseason? Barring that, what are the chances Wright returns to 25, 30 Homers next year with a healthy lineup around him? He had just as much speed and average 2 seasons ago, with way way more homers and RBIs. Is it over?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:57 AM)
I think they'll at least entertain the idea, a la the Phillies with Citizens Bank Park a few years back. Might be a better idea to give the park a couple of years, not just one, before making that decision, but I could see it. And unless it's done, I see David Wright being more of your 20-to-25 homer, 35-steal guy than a huge power source.
Wait, Bobby Jenks is out?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:58 AM)
Couple days. Nothing major (yet).
Edwin Jackson has struggled lately. How do you think he'll do today and the rest of the year?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:59 AM)
He has? A 3.16 ERA in July? Wow, that's being demanding of a pitcher. Needless to say I'm not that worried, and he's a definite start in my eyes today. I do think he has a little concern of wearing down in the late weeks, but not enough that he'd need to be dropped.
Geovany Soto (Chicago)
In your opinion, who is the biggest bust of the year?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:00 PM)
Jose Reyes? He keeps teasing us with his potential return and then suffers countless setbacks.
Do you start Lind vs. Mitre @ TOR or Juan Rivera vs. FLoyd @CWS
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:01 PM)
Adam Lind, Adam Lind and then another Adam Lind. Sergio Mitre's strengths -- if you believe he has any (Yankee fans probably don't) -- are that he generates a lot of ground balls and presents some problems for average-to-worse right-handed hitters. Lefties? Well, let's just say they crush the guy.
I know its a crazy offer, but that's why you get paid the big bucks. Could you give your opinion on which side you like in this deal: Verlander, Cain, Kendrick, Choo for Berkman, Hill, Liriano, Harang? THANKS!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:02 PM)
Justin Verlander beats Francisco Liriano and Matt Cain beats Aaron Harang and I wouldn't hesitate in my assessment. That alone makes it worthwhile in my eyes.
To me, the biggest bust had to be Webb. One horrible start, then he clogged up everyone's DL for months with the whole "will he come back or won't he" drama.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:03 PM)
Did he though? I dunno, I would argue that the easiest time all season for a fantasy owner to find a viable pitching replacement was in the month of April, when Brandon Webb hit the DL. You had tons of time to replace him, and there is always a useful arm out there for the taking. Case in point: Edwin Jackson. If you lost Webb, and grabbed Jackson, are you complaining today? I'd love to hear from some people who might have done that. I'd be more apt to call Jake Peavy a bust than I would Webb.
Start Blackburn tom. @ CLE? He's been getting roughed up lately.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:04 PM)
When Nick Blackburn isn't quite pitching like the breakout candidate he seemed to be in May/June, the first thing I gravitate back to is that his career profile says start-at-home, bench-on-road. Road start. Bench him.
rick porcello? whats his deal..claim him off waiver?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:06 PM)
If you're in a keeper league -- and Porcello was on waivers in mine -- by all means yes. But the reason he's being cut is because the Tigers are already strategizing how to keep his workload in check down the stretch; it's a big part of why they dealt for Jarrod Washburn. You can't expect as many starts from the kid as your usual pitcher, and I think the change in his routine is going to affect his stats, too.
Time Keeper (ESPN)
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:07 PM)
Would people really prefer shutting things down at noon on the button? Legitimate question...
I wanna hear your predictions for next year on these players: A.gonzalez, Soriano, A.Hill, Carpenter.....go!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:08 PM)
One more: Adrian Gonzalez, huge fan, top-50 player. Nothing I see to think he'll be much different from the past couple years' model. Aaron Hill, probably can't replicate the power but I'm a believer, top-five second baseman for sure. Not No. 1, but top five. Alfonso Soriano, I worry about the age curve. It hit him this year, I'd expect no better in 2010. And Chris Carpenter, he can't possibly match this, though I still am more of a believer than most. I bet 20 starts with like 90 percent of the value he has, or at least that's how I'd draft him.
Jason (Elicott City, MD)
Buzzer beater, lunch plans???
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:09 PM)
Time to address those plans! Heck, I hadn't thought about it yet. We'll see what's in the fridge. At any rate, thanks for all your questions and for chatting with me today, and sorry if I couldn't get to yours. Take care everyone!