Fantasy Sports with Tristan Cockcroft
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday morning, ESPN.com fantasy expert Tristan Cockcroft will drop by to take your questions and analyze all the latest baseball news from a fantasy perspective.
Send your questions now and join Cockcroft Monday at 11 a.m. ET!
Need an in-depth answer to your question? Want your roster or trade offers reviewed? Get a personalized response from an ESPN expert with The Answer Guys. All questions answered within 24 hours, guaranteed. Ask your question
More Fantasy: Fantasy Home Page
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:02 AM)
Good morning everyone! Let's get right to your questions...
Is Valverde out as closer in DET? If so who is the guy to pick up, Benoit or Rondon?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:04 AM)
My opinion is that he should be out as closer -- he has had three shaky outings in his past seven games and his stuff has been in decline for awhile -- but I get the impression that this is more of a "let's give him a breather" angle. If I'm a Valverde owner I'm handcuffing him to Joaquin Benoit, and that's about it. And I remain firm that I think the team's full-season leader in saves is probably not a guy currently on the roster.
Hey how is it going? Dying to know what is going on with Cingrani? I will have to drop a good hitter if I dont find out if he is going down or staying up.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:05 AM)
He was kept around as Johnny Cueto insurance, as in he'd have pitched in relief had Cueto been unable to go as deep as he did on Sunday. Just a hunch: Cingrani is heading back to Triple-A today and the Reds will add another bench piece. It's possible, though, that he'll stick around as a reliever.
Any update on Everth?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:07 AM)
The best I have for you is from the San Diego Union-Tribune, following Sunday's game: "Black said the severity of Cabrera's injury was unknown." It's a hamstring injury for a speedster, without the "precautionary" tag instantly applied, so I'd be shocked if Cabrera doesn't miss a game. A DL stint is possible, but we're not going to know that until after the team's travel -- or meaning sometime this afternoon, probably.
chris (my house)
wil myers rest of season projections?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:09 AM)
I don't think he'll hit higher than .260 -- .240 is in the conversation -- but his power is legit, so let's say he hits 15-18 homers with 45-50 RBIs and 5 steals the rest of the way.
Alex Cobb... how's he doing?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:11 AM)
He has been released from the hospital and has been tweeting, though a seven-day DL stint beginning on Sunday means he's ineligible to return before Sunday anyway. I never mess with concussions; there is zero chance he'd start for me anywhere this week, and there's a good shot that I'd bench-and-evaluate for Week 13 (next week), too.
John (New Orleans)
Anthony Rendon rest of season expectations?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:12 AM)
I'm not positive he'll keep the second base job all year, but let's for projections purposes assume it. So he'd play maybe 90 games, I think he could bat as high as .275, but the problem is that he might not be good for much more than 5-8 homers, mostly helping in terms of counting numbers (40 apiece runs/RBIs).
TB (Cambridge, Ma)
THC, what's UP!?!?!?!?!??! Do you like what Rick Porcello is cooking? Thoughts for the ROS in 16-team H2H league
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:14 AM)
I do, at least in your format, or in AL-only leagues. The strikeout bump -- a little more than two K's per nine more than in 2012, which continues a three-year trend -- is the reason. That said, it feels like every time any of us begins to believe in Porcello, he disappoints us. Tread carefully.
How about this Kyle Blanks kid? What's your ROS skinny?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:17 AM)
I'm very much a Blanks fan, always have been, but recognized his extensive injury history prevented him from earning the requisite at-bats to matter. He's hitting well enough to keep at least a share of the first base/corner outfield gigs, so let's say a .245 average, 12-14 homers, 35 RBIs, going forward.
When will I see the bigs this year?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:19 AM)
I don't have any idea how much this setback convinces the Braves to take a step back with his comeback. If I had to guess, 2-3 weeks. It wasn't a structural thing and Beachy was way ahead of schedule in his recovery, and it was asking a lot for him to enjoy perfection in his rehab as is. He probably wouldn't drop much more than about 10 spots in my starting pitching rankings ... barring news between now and tomorrow.
ROS on Gerrit Cole? What are your impressions after his first two starts?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:20 AM)
Lightning fastball, solid slider, but he doesn't really lean enough on his secondary pitches and I wonder whether that's going to fuel a disappointing strikeout total. Here's the other problem: If he changes it, he might endure the dreaded adjustment period. I'm encouraged, but hesitant to go all-in ... but remember that I went all-in on Michael Wacha and he disappointed. With these rookies, it's difficult to tell from case to case.
As a fellow Anibal owner how worried are you after last starts struggles? Sounds like Stefania was worried too.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:21 AM)
Yes, she was worried, and now Jim Leyland himself sounds like he's worried. Color me officially worried, not that I'm cutting him by any means.
Scutaro - he says he's going to try to play through his finger injury, but that worries me. All he really brings to the table is a solid ave, and that is very much at risk if he's hurting. This makes him dropable for options that provide more in the counting stats, do you agree?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:22 AM)
I agree -- but I'd like to see evidence that it's impacting his batting average first. I'd give him a solid 10 days or so.
Any idea on when Pagan comes back?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:24 AM)
It's not imminent. He avoided surgery, which would've carried a 6-8 week timetable, but the San Jose Mercury News reported Sunday that he'd need a rehab assignment of 10-15 at-bats before he'd be activated. "I'm very optimistic I'm going to be in the lineup soon, but when, I don't know," Pagan told the paper.
Braves Fans (Everywhere)
Do you see Heyward turning it around? Him or Rizzo in a dynasty league? You think he is still going to be the star everyone projected him to be?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:25 AM)
I think he is and will, but it won't happen overnight. I don't know if any of you caught John Kruk's analysis of Heyward's swing on Sunday Night Baseball, but I thought he made good points. It has always felt to me like Heyward was just a guy in need of a few small tweaks to totally explode with the bat.Heyward if only based upon the higher ceiling, but he's more risk/reward, period.
I know this may sound like crazy talk, but with the thumb injury that may not heal, and a possible 100 game suspension, are you even a little bit worried that Braun might not meet his high expectations this year?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:26 AM)
Well sure I am! Who wouldn't be when a player lands on the DL after a slight downturn in power? That said, I'd give Ryan Braun the benefit of the doubt in that two weeks' rest might cure all that ails.
Why so low on Greinke this week? Isn't matchup @ SD a good one?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:27 AM)
No. 49 and a "6" rating is hardly poor, but with Zack Greinke, it's his up-and-down performance since returning from the DL causing any hesitation.
Weekly quandary. Lucroy vs. Gattis, The Brewers have 6 games and Lucroy will rest one of them...Braves have 8 so Gattis will play at least 3...thoughts?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:28 AM)
I'd play Jonathan Lucroy, but this is one week where it's close.
bill (long island ny)
what about smyln of detroit as closer and when is peavy and Beachy getting in the starting rotation
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:31 AM)
Jake Peavy is on a 4-6 week timetable that began around June 6, so we're talking about the first week of July if all goes well.I picked the question more because of Drew Smyly -- and I'm assuming that's who you meant -- as it's a valid point. The Tigers recently changed his role, from that of a long reliever stretched out for a transition into the rotation to one of a short reliever used in higher-leverage situations. Certainly he has the stuff to close; would Jim Leyland trust a lefty to close though? Yes, he did with Phil Coke, but Coke can't get righties out. Totally different pitcher. In an AL-only league I might speculate.
Would you stream Strailey vs the slumping rangers today?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:32 AM)
Yes. I detailed this in my Forecaster, actually.
Brandon Crawford (No Respectsville)
How do I not make your top 20 SS list?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:35 AM)
Arbitrary endpoints, yes, but Crawford is a .283 hitter with zero home runs, one stolen base and 15 RBIs in 43 games since April 28. What's so special about that? He's roster-filler in anything but NL-only leagues.
Is Wilhelmsen's job security in enough danger to drop him for Perez or Cishek?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:36 AM)
No, but his gig has come into question in the past several days. I still think Carter Capps is the handcuff to own, but I'm not cutting Tom Wilhelmsen for these guys.
Is BJ Upton showing signs of life?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:37 AM)
"Signs of life" or regression to the mean? Either way, there's a reason I didn't drop Upton out of my hitter rankings, even at his worst. Let's call this a start.
Jose Fernandez looks like an ACE. Given the fact that his pitch counts were limited early in the year, do you even see him being shut down in September?Were are you drafting him next year? Where will he appear in your keeper ranks?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:39 AM)
Actually, innings caps is the topic of this week's "Sixty Feet," so I'll have a much better answer for you in about 24 hours. Last I checked, though, he was pacing fine, so not a major worry for an early end to his 2013.I'd say he's a top-30 (maybe 40) starter for 2014, as things stand today, and he'll rank among my top 20-25 in the keeper ranks, ballparking it.
Bruce (Newton, MA)
having trouble pulling the trigger for Joshnson 2 starts vs. Col and Balt--sounds scary to me...
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:40 AM)
I wouldn't expect league-leading weekly stats, that's for sure, but that the Rockies game will be played in Toronto rather than Coors at least helps.
I can't believe no one is asking about Adam Lind. He's raking and baking. The dude is hot, hot, hot! Is he for real?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:41 AM)
I think he has been asked about in 2-3 of the past chats and he came up on the most recent Friday podcast. I said that I thought Lind was largely for real, based on improved performance against lefties as well as greater contact, even if at expense of a few homers.
Conspiracy theory- Beachy's "setback" is contrived by the Braves to give them more time to discuss and determine who is the odd man out of the rotation. No real injury worries here. This message will self-destruct in 10 seconds.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:43 AM)
I know people will be tempted to believe that, but that's pretty out there. I think this is absolutely nothing more than the Braves realizing that he was proceeding brilliantly on his recovery, without a hint of flaw, and finally he had a small, small setback and they're just taking a predictable step back. Either way, neither of us is that worried.
Gallardo starting against Houston or Atlanta this week?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:43 AM)
Yovani Gallardo pitches Thursday at Houston, as the Brewers are pushing back the fifth starter spot to Saturday thanks to Monday's off day. Great matchup for him, considering how K-prone the Astros; though the Braves aren't much less strikeout-happy.
Julio (Dominican Republic)
Since you are a BJ Upton believer, should I take this trade proposal?: Minor an BJ Upton for Ian Kennedy and Papelbon. Note: besides Papelbon, I happen to own Kimbrel, Jannsen and Brothers and right now my OF could use a little help (just picked up Reddick after Braun went to DL).
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:45 AM)
I wouldn't call myself a "believer" -- I wrote an entire column to the contrary. But mathematically speaking, his power and speed, plus likely regression, would've placed him in the "ownable" category even in mixed leagues.I'd take that deal if I were you. That's a big, big bump in terms of starters, and you can afford to spare some saves.
Any idea when an updated keeper rankings is coming out? It's my favorite list of the year!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:46 AM)
The midseason ranks typically come out in mid-July. Don't have a date for you yet.
Corey Kluber (Cleveland)
Thoughts on Indians SP, Corey Kluber-lang going forward ROS? He has been solid so far & his outing yesterday was VERY impressive...His pitching arsenal looks nasty.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:46 AM)
Extremely underrated strikeout potential and he definitely belongs in the conversation. I might go as high as top-60 starter.
With Alex Cobb on the shelf for the foreseeable future, who should I start in his place? C.Tillman or D.Holland?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:48 AM)
Ugh. Check your free agent list. Tillman in general -- meaning future weeks -- but I couldn't possibly endorse a matchup in Detroit, nor could I Holland's matchup at St. Louis.
gerry and the pacemakers (london)
In a vaccum, would you trade Carlos Gomez for King Felix or Darvish or Kershaw. I need a pitcher, he needs a hitter.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:51 AM)
I'd trade him for any of them, if it suited my needs. Kershaw first.
Real Quick Better Tulo fill in Rutledge or Cozart?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:51 AM)
Scott (NY, NY)
Why do you have so little faith in Rendon keeping the 2B job in Washington? It is not like the alternatives are so good and Rendon has been raking.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:53 AM)
I said "I'm not positive," which means that a healthy Danny Espinosa -- many weeks down the line, granted -- could take that job back. I'm not saying it's "likely," I'm saying that there's a chance.
Carlos Martinez (St. Louis)
With Tyler Lyons struggling in his last few outings for St.Louis, who do you see most likely getting the call up to the rotation between Wacha & Martinez if Lyons cannot hold onto the spot? Thoughts?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:55 AM)
It'll probably be based upon performance, and they might be neck-and-neck as things stand today. Martinez has a 1.56 ERA and 17 K's in 17 1/3 innings since his assignment to Triple-A Memphis to get stretched out as a starter, so don't overlook the chance that it's him. I'd still go Wacha here, but it's not obvious.
Mike G (Alexandria, VA)
Tristan, isn't the real problem with Rendon the fact that you're asking a guy with tons of ankle injury history to play 2B? You can't keep the job if you're on the DL.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:56 AM)
Fair point as well.
I know you aren't as high on Iwakuma as the other guys. Trade him away for the likes of D. Wright?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:57 AM)
In a New York minute.
Danny (Bohemia, ny)
Who are you drafting first in 2014? Fernandez, Shelby miller or Matt Harvey?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:58 AM)
Harvey, then Miller, then Fernandez.
Why have you addressed three separate questions about Rendon and none about Jordy Mercer? ROS?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:59 AM)
Mercer isn't particularly special. He doesn't project above average in any one category. I'm thinking a .250-.260 average, 5-7 more homers.
Same question as Jon about Wright vs. Iwakuma... Do you change your mind in a keeper league where Iwakuma will cost $4 next year and Wright will cost $26?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:02 PM)
Those details illustrate exactly why "vacuum" questions are unfair; there could be details you're not sharing that impact player valuation. If Iwakuma is $4, then it's tough to make that deal in a keeper league. I'd only do it if Wright was the guy who could put me over the top.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:02 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, best of luck this week and don't forget, 7 p.m. ET first pitch tonight!