Chat with Tristan Cockcroft
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Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:06 AM)
Good morning everyone! Sorry for the delay, updating many things this a.m.First off, my thoughts are with all of my readers, friends and family on the east coast hit hard by the weather this past weekend. Hopefully things improve swiftly for you and that you and yours are safe.Now, let's get to the fun distraction, get to your fantasy questions, set your weekly lineups. Who's got a question?
rob (myrtle beach)
Hey Tristan..I know you have Morrow ranked a tad higher than Stauffer,but he's pitching against the Yanks.Shouldn't Stauffer be a safer bet pitching against LA?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:07 AM)
If you're interested in an in-depth take on Brandon Morrow, listen to today's podcast. I'm taking a step back with him after some revelations over the weekend, and they're discussed there. His ranking is also adjusted in this week's Forecaster, which received an update within the past 10 minutes.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:08 AM)
As for a note on the Forecaster: Many of these rotations are still very much in flux. Weekend postponements and teams resting certain arms -- Justin Verlander getting an extra day's rest, Jaime Garcia being skipped -- are going to have things changing constantly, perhaps for the rest of the year.
Rob (Massachusetts )
Who gets the saves for the Giants while Wilson is on the DL, Romo or Casilla? Or a committee?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:09 AM)
Largely a committee, but I will stress that Sergio Romo, now healthy, is the best (healthy) arm in that bullpen, and that's usually where I invest.
Scared of Foster yet?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:11 AM)
Multiple instances of the same hamstring injury for a running back within the same month are not a positive, so from that angle, yes, I'm "scared." That said, the counterpoint is that this demonstrates how every single player in the NFL, to varying degrees, comes with a risk. This isn't the kind of thing that's going to have me lowering Arian Foster out of the first round, but it bears watching. It's an eyebrow-raiser, not a panic-button, piece of news.
Start Jeff Niemann @ TX this week?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:13 AM)
An "every-start" kind of guy -- which is the honor Niemann has earned with his recent hot spell plus his improved skill set -- gets the nod even in this matchup. What it means is you lower the bar accordingly, but a quality-start minimum performance is still going to be a "go" most every time. He could be a 7-and-3; I take that chance.
Daniel (Roanoke, VA)
Should I be worried about Mike Wallace's lack of production this preseason?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:14 AM)
I'm teasing a column coming later today: "32 Questions" will profile Wallace specifically, and the in-depth answer shall come there. Check it out!
Is Jason Motte a must pick up? Do you see him continuing closing ROS? Thanks....
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:15 AM)
There are whispers that he's sneaking up on Fernando Salas in the pecking order, so I'll give him the "necessary handcuff" label, and I'll also say, it's about darned time. He has the ability to close, and with the Cardinals looking seemingly out of the race, perhaps this is Motte's time for an audition. Frankly, he might be most deserving of the 2012 gig, so yes, I would watch him very closely.
Are you not starting Anibal tonight?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:15 AM)
I would absolutely start Anibal Sanchez tonight.
I'm looking for a september sleeper or two that could help the departure of J-Zimm...what do you got??
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:17 AM)
I'm throwing darts: Track Jacob Turner's role -- he's due a spot start Thursday and could get a few more -- closely. Alex White could have matchups appeal; I'm a noted groundball pitcher lover. And Eric Surkamp, who had a strong debut, is expected back Sept. 6 and could provide sneaky value.
Any word on Cruz?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:18 AM)
Day-to-day, status largely unclear, but I would guess he's going to miss a couple days. I'd weigh my alternatives against potentially four games of Nelson Cruz in weekly formats.
Jay Y (East Longmeadow, MA)
Streaming Feldman tomorrow in his first start of the season at home against the Rays tomorrow?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:19 AM)
Steven Strasburg update? A week away? Good gamble?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:20 AM)
Next rehab outing Sept. 1, I'm guessing 75 pitches or so, rejoins Nationals around Sept. 6 from current projection. I doubt he'll be set free for 100-pitch outings the rest of the year, so I continue to scream "cap concerns, cap concerns, cap concerns," but a potential steal of a September deal on a per-inning basis. I am eating up the positive buzz during his rehab stint, and I'm in love with the guy in keeper leagues.
Cosidering his holdout, where would you draft Chris Johnson in a stanard 12 team league
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:21 AM)
Fifth. I just can't let him escape. Way too talented to drop further than that without any evidence that he'll pull a Vincent Jackson. I've merely cautioned that Weeks 1-2 might underwhelm, so owning him will require patience and I will always advise his prospective owners of that.
Where can we find latest updates on starts before tonight's games?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:22 AM)
If anything changes with rotations I'll try to sneak them in another Forecaster update -- it's one of those weeks -- but at the bare minimum I'll try to get them all out to you on Twitter (@SultanofStat), being that Forecaster updates do take a bit of time to process.
RE: "I would absolutely start Anibal Sanchez tonight." But you gave him a pitching match-up of 5 on your Start/Sit advice?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:25 AM)
I've always stressed that Forecaster (and Daily Notes) ratings are based upon a formula I've devised that accounts for opponent, ballpark and the pitcher's own talent accounting for performance over three years as well as recent three weeks. I wish I could do every one by hand; I might never sleep again if I did. So that provides you a mathematical, on-paper estimation of the pitcher's value. My rankings at column's end includes personal opinion. I ranked Anibal 59th. It means I don't love the guy, but for the most part, he's a start for me unless I'm really tight on innings.
Do you rank Rice higher now after seeing him get touches at the goal line?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:25 AM)
I never thought he wouldn't get them. I'm very pro-Ray Rice this season, especially in PPR.
Am I still a two start pitcher this week? Weekly lineup locks at 3:55 today!!!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:26 AM)
Unfortunately I have no evidence that he will be. Turner's arrival means the Tigers currently run "six deep"; they could skip someone, however. Planning right now, sadly, I think you should prepare based upon one Doug Fister start.
Big Al (NM )
every year there is a hype train and it seems like this year Stafford if leading it do you believe the hype? is he the real deal?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:27 AM)
Huge, huge per-game potential. But as risky in the health department as a player comes. I'll use the cliche: If "risk/reward" had someone's photo in the dictionary, Stafford's the guy. That makes him a fabulous backup; I would never go into the season with him as my committed starter.
Tristan, the Yankees are listed as having seven games with seven different starters, is that true? Is burnett going to sit and give someone a 2nd game this week?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:31 AM)
The Yankees are going to pitch Freddy Garcia today, then CC, Hughes and Burnett in Boston Tuesday-Thursday. After that they're reportedly going back to five starters, and on performance, A.J. Burnett deserves to be the first man out, Phil Hughes likely second (though Hughes might be the one who actually goes). I had to project this week based upon a six-man rotation because there's no rotation clarity past Thursday and the Yankees, in this situation in recent weeks, have stuck with six men.
Is Andre Ethier droppable? Is he a must drop?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:31 AM)
Absolutely droppable. "Must drop"? Can't go to those extremes, but let's just say that in my NL-only local league he's sitting for John Mayberry, which shows how far he has fallen.
I'm coming off the DL today, should my owner drop Jesus Guzman or Freddie Freeman?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:32 AM)
I think it's gotta be Jesus Guzman of those two... hate to lose either though.
Is J Zimmerman officially done...do you suggest dropping him and picking up Turner right now??
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:33 AM)
Drop Jordan Zimmermann in redraft leagues, his season is over, period. Keeper? No way. He needs to stay. A near-automatic keeper (barring your being in one of those "let's all keep 1-3 players apiece" leagues).
Surely someone else is asking about Foster's handcuff?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:34 AM)
"Handcuffs" aren't always the immediate roster backup, which is Derrick Ward as things currently stand. My opinion is that the definition of the word is the backup -- however deep on the roster -- with the greatest chance of an explosion in value if the starter gets hurt. That's Ben Tate. Period. Invest wisely, invest in skills, not by pecking order blindly.
Garth Ming (Xiu Wei)
Are you letting Tony Romo lead your fantasy squad this season?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:35 AM)
If I must, yes, but I'm not a huge Romo fan. I've got him in the 6-8 range among quarterbacks and a potential mid-round value, but Romo's history of late-season inconsistency, as well as the injuries, bothers me enough that he's not in the upper class at the position. Can't go all-in...
Are you starting me fresh off the DL in Cincy tonight if my owner is desperate for Wins? I'm 7-0 Lifetime vs. Cincy with a 1.43 ERA.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:36 AM)
If those stats weigh with you, I won't quibble. But I'm on record as being anti-pitchers-fresh-off-the-DL. They often aren't completely 100 percent and usually face some sort of pitch count. It's too much of a gamble for my tastes, except in the deepest of formats.
If you must drop either Betancourt or Parnell, who you dropping?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:38 AM)
Rafael Betancourt is, bottom line, a better pitcher. That he has remained in the closer role and could get a share of it for the foreseeable future has me leaning in that direction.
What about Jeter? How much time will he miss?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:38 AM)
It sounds like a couple-days thing. Weigh alternatives against a 5-of-7 games week. Last I checked it seemed the hope was that Derek Jeter would return before the Boston series ends ... and that ends Thursday. So it's not a rosy outlook.
I know you are anti " fresh off the DL" but out of these 3 matchups... which are my 2 best options... Hamels, D Hudson or Buerhle tonight?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:40 AM)
I don't think Cole Hamels is especially close in ranking to either Daniel Hudson or Mark Buehrle, at least in terms of simply Monday.
Bubba (in a Padded Room)
What's up with these managers that send pitchers back out when they should go to the pen? Nova never should have started the 8th last night - 100 pitches & Rebertson was ready; same with Weaver, who on 3 days rest should have been pulled after 6....killed my whip...Thanks for letting me vent!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:41 AM)
I completely understand why the Angels did it. Jered Weaver is their best, they needed that win and I can't argue with having your best man on the mound in a situation like that.
Streaming options for tomorrow: Stauffer @LAD or Morton @HOU?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:42 AM)
I like both of them as streaming candidates but I'll forgive Charlie Morton the bad outing in St. Louis -- challenging matchup -- and say that he gets the slight edge here.
Rocktember (Aurora, CO)
How do you see the save situation playing out for the Rockies?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:44 AM)
Despite my Betancourt comment earlier, I think Huston Street can overtake him with a few solid outings consecutively. Feels completely to me like a Betancourt-for-the-next-two-weeks thing, a share for the two the following week, Street finishes the final two weeks in the role.That said, Betancourt is still a better pitcher than Bobby Parnell, and ERA/WHIP matter to me. It's impossible to give "vacuum" answers for relievers because your object could be very different from mine.
Jacob Turner, Alex White, Eric Surkamp - IS MATT MOORE a better pickup then all of these?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:47 AM)
Hey, I love Moore. Check out my "All-2015" team from earlier in the year; he was on it. That said, I have two important questions: 1) Is he even going to be called up? 2) If he is, is it even as a starter? I dealt for Moore in a long-term dynasty-like sim league a few weeks ago in which him getting big-league outings in 2011 is extremely important, and yes, I firmly believed he would. But I have a hunch it'll be a spot start or two, with him being mostly a reliever. So don't get your hopes up. Huge upside, perhaps no opportunity.
Ricky Nolasco (NYC)
Starting me tonight?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:48 AM)
I'm going to take a humongous breath, grit my teeth really hard and say, "Yes, absolutely." Because you cannot possibly ever start Ricky Nolasco without doing that. One of these times you're going to get badly burned.
Ruben Tejada or Infante?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:50 AM)
I'm going Tejada. Has played remarkably well lately, the schedule stacks up well for the Mets, it's eight games this week (though also eight for the Marlins), and the Mets don't have to tangle with Oswalt-Hamels-Halladay this weekend.
Hamels is 5, Buerhle 7 and D hudson is 10.... so they are close for today... decisions decisions
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:52 AM)
That is Brian Gramling's opinion and I completely respect it. But I aim for consistency, and I've provided the numbers previously for pitchers fresh off the DL. One of us will be right, and it's to a degree throwing darts. I feel a lot more comfortable with Hamels on my bench for evaluation, and hoping that Start No. 2 against the Marlins is the great outing I want.
Collimenter- buying or selling this week? Has a 7 in this wk's forecatser (great asset to use, so thank yuo for that)
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:53 AM)
You are very welcome, Kyle! It's one of the favorite things for me to write, going back the decade-plus I've done it.I do very much like Josh Collmenter in his home starts. Diamondbacks tend to play well there, so he'll be supported, helps his win potential (I feel dirty saying that, of course, but it's true). Go for it.
Tristan, please I beseech thee! Weekly HTH, need one player between Hosmer (7 games, against six righties); Brett Lawrie (7 games, he's great) or Thome (7 games; good coming home story but hasn't hit much). Who is the right call for this week only? I am leaning towards Hosmer but Lawrie's been sooo good!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:54 AM)
I'm going with Brett Lawrie, being that the Blue Jays have quite the favorable schedule this week.
If I HAVE to pick somebody off the waiver wire, is Rich Harden still a pretty good bet despite his last start?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:56 AM)
"Pretty good" sounds about right. I'll forgive him the Yankee start; watched every pitch and until the inning he unraveled, he looked fine to me. Harden has been playing almost perfectly into his matchups, and this is a good one. Go for it.
TC...how about a SS who has an "out-of-nowhere" week this week. thanks.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:57 AM)
Jeez. Other than the aforementioned Ruben Tejada, maybe Eduardo Nunez?
B. Lloyd (Denver)
Too many baseball questions! Do I get close to last year's #'s?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:59 AM)
It's listed as a baseball chat, and on Mondays, baseball lineup questions are critical. I do also chat Thursday and help wherever I can with your football inquiries...Brandon Lloyd: I'm a believer. He'll regress, but probably not beneath top-25 wideout value. The only thing not to like is that the McDaniels pass-friendly approach will likely shift to John Fox's reliance on the run, so Lloyd's numbers will come down a little.
In most leagues, how is draft order selected? Randomly? By last year's finish order reveresed? Is there a best way?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:00 PM)
Do an auction.But seriously, in a redraft league, random draw and preferably in person at the draft table.In a keeper league, I firmly believe that in order to diminish "tanking," it's a good idea to either have a draft lottery, or put the "money" teams at the bottom and go in order of best to worst finish at the beginning, of the teams outside that group.
Jordan ZImmerman (WAS)
will i be put on the DL in fantasy leagues?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:01 PM)
No. Not unless the Nationals DL him, and if they do, that's an embarrassing exploitation of the roster rules.
john (Tuscaloosa, al)
Tristan- the Mets pitching schedule is crazy this week. Do you think Capuano and Pelfrey both get 2 starts before next TUESDAY?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:02 PM)
The Mets need two fill-in starters, one Thursday and one Friday. I would prepare for Chris Capuano pitching Wednesday and then the following Monday, and Mike Pelfrey pitching Tuesday and Sunday.
Jason (Parker, CO)
How would you compare Hardy and Reyes at SS for the rest of the season? Thanks.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:03 PM)
I think they're somewhat comparable; Jose Reyes has more upside but also more risk. It's also a matter of needs, being that Reyes' value is padded by his steals, and Hardy provides more of a power punch. If you want "safety," I'd go Hardy.
Nova not ranked in your top 75 this week? 7 wins in a row.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:04 PM)
Too much rotation uncertainty at the time I last updated. I'm pro-Nova and think he's around that cutoff point (75th-ish), but it's not like it's a great matchup for him.
If I have to replace Nelson Cruz, who do you like: Bourjos, Blanks, Thome?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:05 PM)
You probably want power, in which case it needs to be Kyle Blanks.
Safety and Hardy just doesn't sound right lol
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:05 PM)
I know, crazy, isn't it? It's like Rickie Weeks in 2010; the guy had such an injury history and yet he lead the majors in plate appearances.
Fantasy Playoffs.. Points league.. Roll the dice on Choo or go with Lucas Duda?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:08 PM)
It's the playoffs. You need to play known quantities. Choo is a significant risk for a DL stint, and Duda is on a roll with eight games of favorable matchups. I think he's your guy.
Would you risk starting Choo or Maybin in a weekly league?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:10 PM)
Cameron Maybin: Sore wrist, day to day, nothing that suggests to me it's dire, but you have to prepare for missed time. I don't know your alternatives; when I hear things like "Lucas Duda is my alternative" I suggest caution with your injured players. If your alternative is Shelly Duncan, then no thanks.
Better keeper for next year: Ubaldo, Cueto, or Pineda?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:11 PM)
Right now I'd go with Johnny Cueto. Significant advances this season lead to potentially better things -- read: full, uninterrupted campaign -- next.
Thanks for staying with us late today. Is Nunez losing his job to Cisheck
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:12 PM)
Very well might, another case of a team that's out of the race being well served to get a look at a potential 2012 candidate. Not ready to say it has/will happen unquestionably, but it bears close watching.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:12 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, stay safe and best of luck to you in this week's matchups!