Chat with Tristan Cockcroft
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Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:03 AM)
Good morning everyone! Let's get right to your questions...
Mike Napolis been on fire over the past month. Is it realistic to think that he can hit .300 with 7 hrs from here on out?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:04 AM)
If he can get the at-bats. He's been getting a lot more of them, albeit not every single day as he deserves, but I think you're right to think fondly of him. I profiled the Rangers' hitting schedule as poor the rest of the way, but the ballpark does help keep that a top-10 team, and Napoli a top-10 catcher. It's just, don't expect him to top the position necessarily.
Hosmer or Freeman long term?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:05 AM)
Can you really go wrong with either? I've always personally preferred Eric Hosmer of the two, but this might be a matter of a little more batting-average stability with Hosmer, and a little more power upside with Freddie Freeman.
Bobby Cox (pool side)
When does Teheran come up for Atlanta? Lowe is nothing special & Hanson is struggling
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:06 AM)
I'm not entirely sure we'll see Julio Teheran again this season, certainly not in any meaningful role for fantasy owners, being that the Braves probably want to keep his workload in check and Jair Jurrjens sounds a week or less away from a return to the rotation. Jurrjens could simply bump Derek Lowe, and Mike Minor could remain in the five.Keeper-wise, still love Teheran. A buy-low right now, in my opinion, in the format.
any concerns with gallardo @ st. louis tonight? he's been good recently but always prime for a blow up
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:07 AM)
"Ride the streak!" Command numbers too good of late for me to advise a Yovani Gallardo owner to bench him, even though that's one of the toughest remaining matchups he'll face in 2011.
I KNEW that Napoli question was coming, because a guy in a white shirt at my office stood up and stretched his arms
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:08 AM)
Um, isn't that a Blue Jays thing (reportedly)?
Safe to say that Matsui's hot streak is over?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:10 AM)
Two bad games? Really?
Mike (New York, New York)
I have Morneau coming off the DL this week but Trumbo has been doing fine for me at 1B. Who should I go with?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:12 AM)
I don't trust Justin Morneau one bit. Look at his career history in September: It's probably 100 points (and I'm being awfully conservative picking that small a number) in OPS beneath his number the rest of the year. He's a huge injury risk, and he was awful before he landed on the DL. At this point, he's mere "lottery ticket" status. And Mark Trumbo is far from a lottery ticket player.
Streaming Dempster today?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:14 AM)
Yes. Three consecutive quality starts during a stretch where the matchups were most challenging (among National League-based matchups, this is), and the Nationals are hardly the most threatening offense out there.
What are the chances that Guzman loses playing time to Rizzo in September?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:15 AM)
As things stand, nil. Let's not pile on Jesus Guzman, who I firmly believe does have a future in the bigs, just not an All Star-caliber one necessarily.
Ryan Braun (Milwaukee)
I got dropped in your rankings -- what's up with that? I'm even stealing bases again now.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:15 AM)
It's an Albert Pujols thing, and nothing more. If I could write "1 and 1A" in those rankings I would.
Mike (Saint Paul, MN)
Thanks for all your work, Tristan.I know that the Relief Efforts columns rank relievers based, in part, on the likelihood that they'll be in position to pick up saves. How would you rank middle relievers if you are using them to help lower ratios and pick up vulture wins? Case in point: Bumping up against my SP limit, I'm looking at middle relievers, not for their potential to rack up saves, but to help me with wins, ratios, and less so, Ks. If that's the case, which middle reliever should I target? The only MRs who are gone are Vetters and Romo. Left in the FA pool are Adams, Uehara, Robertson, Sale, Bastardo, and Bard. Which, if any, do you recommend picking up?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:18 AM)
That's an excellent question, Mike, and perhaps -- barring any huge news involving a big-name closer -- that will be the topic of my Aug. 18 "Relief Efforts." Thanks for the tip, because the innings-cap crunch/help-the-ratios approach becomes all the more important the later we get in the year. Look at my rankings: It's not hard to tell who are the closers who are firm in their roles (most in the top 20), so looking beneath that, the highest-rank options who are behind firm closers are ranked there because of their value in ERA/WHIP/K's. Today, Jonny Venters, Sergio Romo and David Robertson were mentioned as three excellent ones.Ads for your free agents? Check the rankings and proceed accordingly, but the three who stand out to me are Mike Adams (prospect of saves), Robertson and Chris Sale, off the top of my head.
Jeff S. (Vermont)
In keeper leagues, do you typically have a trade deadline?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:20 AM)
Yes, oh yes. Look, "dump" trades are a reality in keeper leagues. You need to be more flexible in allowing (some of) those because people need to be able to turn the page to future years. But at the same time, the later in the year, the greater the chance you'll see an "unbalanced"/dump trade, and those always make people unhappy and lead to potential arguments. I've played in one particular keeper league for well over a decade; its trade deadline has been Aug. 31 since the day I joined. Seems about right as a latest date to me.
joe (ann arbor)
Is owning Kimbrel in a keeper league risky? He will always have Venters breathing down his neck, waiting for that hiccup...
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:21 AM)
Not really. Personal opinion here: I think Jonny Venters is too valuable deployed in the setup role, not to mention worked awfully hard in his first two big-league seasons, and he might well pay the price for it at some point. Kimbrel's stuff is far too good to sweat him losing that job in 2012.
Jon (Twin Cities)
Tristan: Who is 2010 version or Pineda? Moore, Miller, Banuelos, someone else?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:22 AM)
I love Matt Moore. At the same time, grossly unfair to compare him to a specific current player, because the stats so rarely align for rookies. Heck, I believe Moore's ceiling in 2012 is actually higher than Pineda's entering 2011 ... though I'd measure his prospects of making the team out of camp slightly lesser than Pineda's were. Ah, the old risk/reward thing.
If I were to select Vick what do you think about taking Vince Young as a backup?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:25 AM)
Depends entirely upon format; I play in and know of so few leagues in which it makes sense to keep a backup quarterback on your bench straight out of the draft. I've done four mocks so far and the only "backup" who has been picked has been Tim Tebow, who is technically in a quarterback battle (I say: He's going to lose).At the same time, I suggest to all that you keep an eye on Vince Young. He's got the skills to adapt quickly to that offense; a good match in my opinion. And Vick isn't the healthiest fella historically speaking. Young could very well be one of 2011's best in-season pickup stories.
What do you think the odds would have been at end of June on Dan Uggla having a 31gm Hit streak? He was hitting about .175 or so. Now has longest streak of all MLB this season. Im guessing about 5,000-to-1 odds!!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:26 AM)
About right. Frankly, let's put aside Uggla's batting average through June for a moment. He's not exactly the style of hitter I'd have ever picked for a hitting streak of 30-plus games. Way too strikeout prone to enjoy that kind of consistency on a day-to-day basis.
Thoughts on Ray Rice? I like him as a top 6 or 7 pick, but have seen others view him as a later first round pick.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:28 AM)
Six-seven sounds about right to me, and I'd go a spot or two higher in a PPR. I think the Ricky Williams factor scares people because of the freshness of the move; but he's up there in years and I don't see him being any more productive for the Ravens than Willis McGahee was in 2010. I'm not sweating it.
You starting Chacin tonight at Cincy?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:30 AM)
Context question, general feel is "no." I think NL-only owners will and should keep him in there, but if you have a compelling reason to sit him (innings cap, good alternatives, play in a shallow mixed), I'd avoid that tough matchup.
Ivan Nova (NYC)
Why aren't you buying what I'm selling? Over the last few months, I've outperformed guys ranked much, much higher than me in the 60ft, 6inches column, and I pitch for a powerhouse. If chasing Ws, would you consider dropping guys on losing teams, like A. Sanchez, Garza, Morrow, or W. Rodriguez to pick me up?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:31 AM)
Lack of a permanent rotation spot, and nothing more. I've watched a lot of Nova this and last year; he's got the skills to be meaningful in AL-only and deep mixed, in the top-50 class of starters, if there was some certainty. But the Yankees will not go six starters all year, because it's foolish to do that and diminish your number of CC Sabathia outings. So Nova could very well go, even if he doesn't deserve it. I wouldn't cut a single one of those guys for Nova with things where they currently stand.
You buying Ocho in NE? Is he a WR2 or more of a 3? Thanks.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:32 AM)
I like Chad Ochocinco's move northeast, and am completely behind the idea that he's got WR2 upside. Best: You won't have to draft him as one.
Follow up on "Dump Trades"...We play in a keeper league and a team with no shot at the playoffs has move Sabathia, Youklis, Michael Young, and a couple closers all this week...He got young keepers options, draft picks, and Reyes out of the deal. As one of the owners involved in the trade, isnt this what you want your cellar dwellars doing?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:34 AM)
Yes. I need more league and specific trade details to give you a firm ruling, but again, flexibility. In my keeper league, CC's price is approximately 20 percent of a team's budget, which is excessive. If it's similar, I can make you the case that the only keeper listed there is Jose Reyes. Cellar-dwellers and rebuilders need to be creative, and leagues need to afford them that ability.
Do you like R. Zimmerman as a 2nd round keeper??
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:34 AM)
No. Too high, third base depth (or lack thereof) be damned.
Erik (my office)
$200 cap. Dallas Clark at $22 - sneaky play or insane money?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:35 AM)
Gut says it's too much, primarily because tight end is awfully deep and I think you might be able to get him or someone 90 percent as good for, say, 75 percent of that price or less.
Hi Tristan- How do you think the Steve Smith signing (with Philly) will affect the Giants skill positions...Nicks, Manningham and Bradshaw? Do you bump them up and if so, how much?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:37 AM)
I'm really beginning -- OK, continuing -- to worry about the Giants, who have done little this offseason to bolster their corps. But this is big news for Mario Manningham, whom I already had rated a great value for 2011. The No. 2 wideout gig is now his, and there's the potential that the buzz might push his price tag too high in coming weeks as a result.
Cueto too risky to start tonight vs COL?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:38 AM)
In a home game? (Rockies terrible on road.) He's fine. Keep him in there.
Followup on dump trades...Don't like trading draft picks because it is like trading something that is not really owned.... your view?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:40 AM)
I'm in favor of allowing draft picks to be traded, but they are notoriously overvalued in every league in which I have ever played. The argument against overvaluing picks: Great uncertainty. You don't have a clue who you're getting at the time of the deal, and only have historical draft results with which to judge. And if you go back and actually look at them, I bet you're going to find that, oh, maybe 50 percent of the players picked in the round in which you acquired the pick were as valuable as the player you gave up. Just sayin'... I'll always trade you the pick if it's going to help me today.
Is Verlander the #1 Starter next year?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:41 AM)
You gotta think he's the favorite as things stand on Aug. 11. I look at the alternatives and find a lot more to quibble about than I do with Verlander ... and yes, that includes Halladay.
So, another year, another "adjustment period" for Hanson... This shoulder injury is scary for long-term prospects, no?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:41 AM)
I firmly believe that this is not an adjustment period, this is a result of the shoulder issue. So I'm approaching with caution and you should too.Winter's rest, of course, could be all it takes to get him back on track. But right now: Stay tuned...
To bolster your Cueto argument... Tulo and Helton are sitting today.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:42 AM)
I can confirm on Troy Tulowitzki, will take your word on Todd Helton; not a lot of time to check that mid-chat.
Wouldn't you start the NL ERA leader in any game? Shouldn't Cueto be considered a must start player?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:45 AM)
"He's the NL ERA leader" has nothing to do with it. Example: What if said pitcher just got pounded in his last start, is battling some sort of injury and faces the toughest matchup he could? Then he's not a must-start.Ninety-nine percent of the time, yes, you're starting that guy. But throwing around things like "he's the ERA leader" isn't your strongest justification. It's that the matchup is a fantastic one, and that Cueto has been consistently good all year with the exception of a couple more human recent outings.
Often, you want the best player in the deal, but Verlander for Pence and Cain is a tough one to turn away, no?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:46 AM)
I do not know what kind of hitter you are replacing, but I'd actually hesitate to move Justin Verlander for that.
What round do you like Marshawn Lynch in? Projected states? Thanks.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:47 AM)
I'm not at all a fan. I think he's something like an eighth rounder, and a guy whose ceiling is in the 1,000-yard-and-6 range. Anti-Seahawks, I am.
James (New York)
Top streamer options for tomorrow?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:48 AM)
Want a crazy one? I would give serious consideration to Nate Eovaldi against the Astros.
Do you think AJ Burnett will make for an effective reliever in the playoffs? Or sooner?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:49 AM)
I bust on Burnett a lot; it's partly the baseball fan in me coming out. But I never resist it: If the first time he's tested as a reliever is the playoffs, boy, I want no part of that. I think he might not even make the roster. Doesn't deserve to.
Tristan would you start Colon tonight?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:50 AM)
Quick point to make here: Be careful, everyone, this is a day game for the Yankees, and the point has been made by a few chatters that some mention of games today says "night," except that they are day games. Just be careful with the start times; Yanks for sure are day.But yes, I would start Colon.
Starting Luebke at High Noon in NY today?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:50 AM)
Mike Carp, discuss please
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:51 AM)
Making the most of his opportunity, has the bat to stick at this level but because he plays in the ballpark he does for the team he does, I cap his potential as AL-only and a mixed-leagues matchups/streaks guy. I'm not all-in, but warming.
Re: If I could write "1 and 1A" in those rankings I would.I thought you we're the king?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:52 AM)
I'm merely the Sultan.
starting zimmerman today?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:53 AM)
Jordan Zimmermann? He still deserves to be in lineups, but enjoy this because he's not going to pitch for that much longer by all indications.
Another dump trade question, as long as there wasn't collusion happening, do you think the league should have veto power over a dump trade if it significantly helps out both teams? Caught up in one now where the league is vetoing because they don't want anyone else to win but themselves.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:54 AM)
Look, I can make as compelling an argument against there being a veto process as for one. I'm incredibly liberal in trade judgment especially in keeper leagues; let people make their trades! This is supposed to be fun, and you shouldn't ever be vetoing trades for personal or selfish reasons.
Rob (Battle Creek)
Is Jon Rauch still the closer for Toronto? If so, is he worth owning? I need saves.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:55 AM)
Yes, kind of, but frankly, I prefer Frank Francisco. Ranked him a spot or two below Rauch because of who actually has the job today, but I'm warning you: Francisco could very well steal that job shortly.
allen (new york)
Heyward analysis in re-draft leagues is pretty clear, but you haven't expanded on the keeper prospects. Of course, specific amounts is hard to gauge, but would you retain him next year for $30? If not, he goes into auction again- would he go for cheaper?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:56 AM)
He would go for cheaper than that. Once the season ends and we "reboot" to prepare for 2012, all bets are off on what I wrote criticizing him in this week's "Hit Parade." Yes, of course, I'll be monitoring him come next spring, but I mean, the upside will once again be remembered.
What's going on with Huston Street?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:59 AM)
He hasn't been himself since he was worked awfully hard in April, has a checkered injury history and some health questions currently. At best I think he's a top-15 fantasy closer looking forward. Deep, deep NL-only sleeper for you: Rex Brothers, who does have the stuff to close down the road. Since the Rockies aren't in this race, Brothers might get a look should Street go down.
Jurrjens went from potential All Star Game starter to three bad outings to DL. Chances that he regains his form for the last 6 weeks of the season?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:00 PM)
Jair Jurrjens' looking-forward expectations should always have been about a 3.25 ERA as his over/number. I've maintained that stance for weeks now, and so long as he returns as scheduled next Wednesday, I stand behind that projection.
Darren McFadden (OAK)
me as 8th overall pick in a 12 team .5 PPR league .... you buying?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:00 PM)
Yes. Wouldn't go sooner than that, but I'm pro-McFadden.
steve (lunch break)
nicks 8th round or gates 5th round keeper
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:01 PM)
Hakeem Nicks at that price is a steal.
Would you trade Adam Jones for Shields if you need pitching?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:02 PM)
Sure. Apparently I have this reputation for being a James Shields "hater"; I very much like him, just think that his early-season numbers inflated his expectations too much.
Jeff S. (Vermont)
Should free agents be keeper eligible? If so, at what value? In a league that does a snake draft.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:03 PM)
I'm assuming this means yours is a league where you "spend" the draft pick in the round he was picked the year before? If it's one of those "Cano for a 1st-rounder" keeper formats, I'm a little more against the idea of keeping in-season pickups, because judging their keeper prices becomes more arbitrary. I wouldn't have any problem with allowing, say, teams to keep one in-season pickup, but they should be high priced: Like a 10th-rounder. You want people in a keeper league to be doing their speculating long-term at the draft table.
yuni or bartlett to replace reyes
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:05 PM)
The only viable argument I can give you for Jason Bartlett is that he'd be a closer categorical fit for the Jose Reyes owner. If that's important to you, I don't have a significant problem with it. If all you want is the "best available player" regardless of categorical balance, I'm picking Yunel Escobar.
Chris Johnson - any reason to worry yet?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:06 PM)
Yeah, he's in the minors.Kidding, of course, I have to assume you mean the NFL version. Yes, I'd be worried, but not in a panic. It's more that I don't like holdout players; so often I've seen them suffer statistically the first month or so of the regular season before becoming their usual selves. But I wouldn't drop him out of the top five ... yet.
I meant Yuniesky Betancourt
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:07 PM)
Yuck. Jason Bartlett then. No, I do not buy the hot streak. It will cool. It's inevitable.
Todd (St Louis)
I need to pick my 3 keepers. Please help! Viable players are Vick, Fitzgerald, Jennings, Blount, Gates... Not a PPR league. Thanks!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:08 PM)
I'd go Michael Vick, Greg Jennings and LeGarrett Blount. If I'm doing a top-200 rankings, look, Blount's going to rank last of these guys, most likely. But this is a roster-need call. Love the quarterback and wideout you'd keep, so I can afford to dig a little deeper to make sure I lock in a running back. It's what you need to do, sometimes.
Shonn greene a better keeper than colstin or boldin?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:09 PM)
Again, I don't know the context. If you've got nothing at running back and like your other keepers, then I can make the case for Greene. But I'm going to rank Colston highest of these three, in general.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:09 PM)
OK, time to wrap things up for today. Thanks for all your questions, and sorry if I couldn't get to yours. Take care everyone!