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April 6, 11:44 AM ET
Fantasy Baseball Focus

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto
  (2:59 PM)

'Sup my peoples? It's a twofer Thursday for me... if only this were a classic rock station. OK. Let's get this party started. I always like to start off with a quote from C+C Music Factory...

Big Tuna: (Scranton PA)

Any chance Kevin Gregg gets a shot at closing in Florida?

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto
  (3:02 PM)

Big Tuna, my man. Sure, there's a shot. Remember, for a nano second, he was the closer in Florida in ST until they got Julio. My guess is Owens gets first shot but has a short leash. Tank is next in line, but gregg has pitched well. If you're speculating, he's worth a flyer in a deep league. And by the way, Julio may get another shot as well...

patrick (boston, ma)

hey TMR, who would you rather have as your 4th OFer- corey patterson or willy taveres?

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto
  (3:03 PM)

Hey Patrick: I'd rather have Wily. Neither guy is off to a great start, I know, and if I needed power with speed, I'd go Corey, but CP is batting at end of line-up and doesn't play in Coors. I really think Wily could have 50 steals by the end of the season and that's worth it's weight in gold.

Sid, Portland, Maine

You must really be a glutton for punishment. Does Al Reyes save 35?

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto
  (3:04 PM)

I'm a glutton? Dude, you'rer asking about the TB bullpen. LOL. And no, he doesn't. 15-20 is about right for Reyes. He's not the long term answer there and eventually, they'll have to give other guys a shot.

Steven J - Saratoga Springs

Can you rank in order: Ian Snell, Adam Wainwright, Dave Bush, Zack Greinke, Nate Robertson, Daniel Cabrera. Thanks.

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto
  (3:08 PM)

hey, love the name. my buddy Jon McDaid once said we should have a cable channel devoted to Steven J. Cannell. All Steven J all day. The Cannell Channel. That always made me laugh. Here's the order: Snell, Wainwright, Grienke, D Cab, Bush, Nate. Zack is 3rd only because of his team.

adam texas

on a message i read either on my email or on your statement on the fantasy page, it said all will get free fantasy baseball insider access. does this start immediately? as of this morning it wasnt accesible. Also a email stated we would be give a free premium pass for fantasy baseball, how will that work?

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto
  (3:11 PM)

You will get it and you won't have to do anything - once you log in tomorrow with your ESPN ID, you'll have automatic access. Lots of players so it will probably take until tomorrow sometime to kick in and is good for all fantasy sports through the whole baseball season. As for prize eligible leagues, you'll get a refund on your card. Call 1-888-549-ESPN for any other ?

Steve (Raleigh, NC)

Is Josh Hamilton worth picking up? I can part w/ Aaron Hill, Al Reyes, Zack Greinke, or Derek Lowe. Thoughts?

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto
  (3:12 PM)

Yeah, buddy. Anyone with that many tattoos is ALWAYS worth picking up. Assuming you can handle the position problem, I dump Hill, who I like, but doesn't have nearly the upside of Hamilton.

Jacque, college station, tx

I have A-Rod am I am loving his production. I am wondering though, if I should try to trade him while his value is at its peak. I am definately weak at closer.

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto
  (3:15 PM)

College Station in the house!! I grew up there, Jacque. Welcome. Yes and No. A Rod's value will never be higher - if you can get a crazy offer for him, you bet. That said, I would NEVER trade for a closer. Saves always come into the league - grab Matt Capps, who is one more BS away from being the guy in Pitt, or Owens or Tankersly in Florida.... but yes, A Rod is a guy that you could get tow 2nd rounders for right now.

Drew ( NJ )

ENOUGH WITH THE ESPN COMPLAINTS!!! THATS WHAT CUSTOMER SERVICE IS FOR, THIS IS A FANTASY CHAT ROOM!!! STOP WASTING EVERYONES TIME!!!!! On a lighter note...what #'s can we expect out of Rich Aurilia now that he's batting 3rd ahead of Bonds? Would you rather have Rich or S. Drew in a league that counts OPS and against K's. Thanks TMR, sorry for the blow up.

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto
  (3:18 PM)

hey Drew: I hear ya, it's all good. Normally we only focus on fantasy baseball questions here - that's why you've only seen that prior to today and will again tomorrow. But lots of folks have questions and want to express and we don't want to duck that. And Aurilla. Drew has more speed, but I love Aurilla, especially in that spot. Unless you owned him last year, you have no idea how good Aurilla was. And he qualifies everywhere, always helpful.

Joe (Billings, MT)

I have IRod and Ramon Hernandez in a roto league, which should I keep?

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto
  (3:19 PM)

I like Ramon a little more for the season, but it's more or less a wash. Both are injury risks, obviously, but Ramon has a little more pop. I Rod for avg. Depends what you need.

Brian (Roslyn, NY)

Are either Matt Belisle/Randy Wolf worth owning right now (I'm in a deep 12 team league)

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto
  (3:20 PM)

No if it's a mixed league. Yes in NL Only for Wolf.

Steve (Mt. Prospect, IL)

Oh Talented Mr. Roto, sir. I need this one answered! What sort of stats do you see Elijah Dukes ending up with this season? Is he a 20-20 candidate? 30-20? Thanks, and with the ESPN fantasy stuff, these things happen, and I have forgiven you all.

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto
  (3:22 PM)

Thanks Steve. We haven't forgiven oursleves yet, but appreciate the support. We'll keep working to make it up to everyone, even those that have forgiven us. For Dukes, 20 20 is definitely doable... he is what the kids call "legit."

Greg (Easton, MA)

Iwamura or Crede long term?

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto
  (3:22 PM)

Iwamura for avg and runs, Crede for power. Depends what you need. personally, I'd rather have avg than power, becuase you find power more easily.

Joe Oakland

PLEEEEAAASSSE answer this... I'll give you a jamba juice.... should I trade Felix Hernandez for Carlos Beltran

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto
  (3:24 PM)

Alright, Joe. Send it to ESPN Bristol CT. As for the trade, it depends on what you need. It's a fair deal - if you need hitting and can take the pitching hit, go for it. In temrs of value though, that's about right for both players.

Peter (NYC, NY)

One name-thats all I want. Al Reyes or Henry Owens.

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto
  (3:25 PM)


Steve Chicago

What are you thoughts on Jared Weaver? Will he put up numbers like last year? When will he return from the DL?

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto
  (3:26 PM)

No. And he'll return soon - he just threw in the minors and pitched very well. so, soon. I like Weaver, just not as much as others. He's a #2 or 3 starter, not a number 1.

Pat (Manhasset, NY)

Josh Barfield is killing me, should i drop him for k matsui or kelly johnson???

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto
  (3:28 PM)

Pat, you gotta stay pat. See what I did there? Clever, no? Look, Barfiled is a stud. It's early. I like Kaz and KJ both, but not at the expense of Barfield. He's 20/20. Patience, young patwan. Patience.

Phil (NYC)

One name - thats all I want. Felipe Lopez or JJ Hardy?

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto
  (3:28 PM)


Dave (Dacca)

What do I do with Kinsler on my bench? I have Utley. Which one should I trade and what kind of OF/SP could I target?

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto
  (3:29 PM)

I deal whichever one you get the better offer for. Now, that doesn't mean the better player - you'll get more for Utley than Ian, of course. But which player can you improve upon more in what you offer up? Kinsler is legit and very very good. This isn't a fluke. I'd dangle both and do the deal that upgrades your team the most,

Eddie (IRAN)

Coming at you from the other side of the hitting has been awful and thought after the draft it was my strength. Pujols, Ortiz, Ichiro, Sheffield, H. Matsui...time to panic?

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto
  (3:31 PM)

IRAN? And that, kids, is why we're the WORLDwide leader. No, no time to panic. That's a great line-up. Ichiro is a career .300+ hitter. Hideki's injury is a bad break, no pun intended, but I like that line-up a lot. Seriously, you're fine

Sid, Portland, Maine

Hafner just hit a 3-run shot in the ninth!

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto
  (3:31 PM)


Jason (Bmore)

I won our 3 yr ESPN baseball keeper league last year, so I had the last pick, therefore the first waiver position now as ESPN has reset. With the likes of Snell, Upton and a few others, who do you recommend?

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto
  (3:33 PM)

Congrats, Jason. Well done. Huzzah for the victory. And yeah, man, that's great. I've been waving the Snell flag for a while now but I say Upton. Depends what you need, of course, but speed is much harder to come by than pitching, esp in a mix league. upton could get 40 sb this year

James (Frog Jump, TN)

Yea, we're hicks. Is there a great influx of young pitchers right now or what? What do you think of Chuck James, R Hill, Olsen, Bush, Maine, Pelphrey, Snell and Reyes? How would you rank them?

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto
  (3:36 PM)

Frog Jump, TN? And that, kids, is why we're the WORLDwide leader. I wanna tshirt that says "From Iran to Frog Jump"... my ranks: Snell, James, Hill, Reyes, Olsen (his team), Bush, Maine

Dave (NJ)

Actually, Pronk's shot was in the 8th. This gives the people who run the PA system at Miller Park a chance to atone for their mistake last night of playing the Troggs' version of wild thing when Borowski entered instead of X's version. Great idea for a tribute though, hate to nitpick.

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto
  (3:36 PM)

Hey Dave - that's why I'm doing the chat and not watching. Good catch.

Doug (Albany, NY)

Berry (I call you Berry), I have a question, but after your legendary bad call on SJax ("I Hate Steven Jackson") I'm worried. Be right on this one and all is forgiven! Iwamura or Teahen???

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto
  (3:38 PM)

Hey Doug: Yes, you can call me that and my feeling there is that I am safe. Even if I tried, I could never make as wrong a call as I did with S Jax. No where to go but up. Teahen is your guy. Power, avg and double digit speed. And at the end of the season, I'll accept your forgiveness on Jackson. Thanks

Scott (Boston via NJ)

Commissioner Scott has single-handedly saved our ESPN league after the debacle of the last week, so I think I deserve an answer! 12-team keeper league - is Linceum worth stashing? I already have Hughes and Liriano wasting away on my bench/DL.

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto
  (3:40 PM)

Hmm. Scott from Boston via NJ is congratulating... Scott. interesting. Anyways, thanks for the save Scott and no, in a 12 team league with those keepers already, I think you're okay letting him go.

Dan (SF)

TMR, can you please rank for this year only: Kevin Kouzmanoff, Mike Jacobs, Wilson Betemit, Kevin Youlkilis, Akinora Iwamura?

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto
  (3:43 PM)

Betimit, Youk, Iwamura, Jacobs, KK

Vik (Providence, RI)

This fantasy baseball situation is terrible. I am the commissioner of a league, and let me tell you it hasn't been pretty. I wish I never used ESPN because I am constantly getting harassed. Do you plan on offering users some kind of free insider access for the season or so? This is ridiculous. I would expect this problem from a small site...but This is unacceptable in 2007.

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto
  (3:47 PM)

Terrible, hasn't been pretty and unacceptable are all correct. We feel the same way. And cannot apologize enough. As for yuor Insider question, we have given all fantasy baseball players with us access to all of our Fantasy Insider content for all sports for the remainder of baseball season. This should be rolling by tomorrow. In addition, we are giving all players a free, prize eligible fantasy football teamin fall '07 and full refunds to anyone who paid for a prize eligible league this year. We hope you'll give us a chance to make it up to you.

Dan (CT)

Fantasyland was an awesome book... (I just figured I should throw that in)

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto
  (3:48 PM)

thanks. Be sure to follow Tout Wars in the "Play Like the Pros" column every Sunday on

Salley [Sahara Desert (Not dessert, because 2 S's means it's fat

What are your thoughts on Jermaine Dye? Good buy-low candidate or was last year's career year just that?

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto
  (3:49 PM)

Salley from Cheesecake. Yes and yes. It WAS a career year, but he is a good buy low canddiate. Remember, this sia free agent year for him. Expect 35 HR

Tim, Irvine, CA

Short and simple. Ordonez or Ibanez?

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto
  (3:50 PM)


ryan (rochester)

wow, tmr that high on betemit??? please elaborate...

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto
  (3:51 PM)

Yes, I am. He's got power and a little bit of speed. Look at his numbers from last year and then project them out over a full season's worht of at bats. That's a good team in LA.... Betemit is underrated.

Brian (Chicago, IL)

Hey Matt, what's happening? I'm just sitting here at work watching your chat. How are things by you? Was wondering how you pick the questions to post and how many questions you get submitted? I've been trying forever with no luck. Don't like Chicagoans?

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto
  (3:53 PM)

We get a few thousand and I try to pick the ones that have the most commong names - like tons of ones about the FLA closer situation. Also trying to balance the ESPN Fantasy League questions with baseball. I am ok, thanks for asking. I'm frustrated and upset about us letting you guys down. But looking forward to the rest of the season where my only frustration will be with Jorge Cantu.

Dan (MN)

Thoughts on Soria. Worth a pickup, or is he just keeping the mound warm for Dotel?

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto
  (3:55 PM)

Yes and yes. Def worth a pick-up in AL only or deep mix leagues. Any league where middle guys have value as he's a K machine and will get some nice vulture wins. And I don't believe Dotel will stay healthy or keep the gig. But for now, yes, he's just keeping it warm.


You seem very high on Snell. All else being equal, Snell or Todd Jones?

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto
  (3:55 PM)


Chris (Staten Island, NY)

Hey Matt - you forgot to include Pelfrey in your ranking of young starters in an earlier question...

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto
  (3:56 PM)

No, I meant he should have been at the end of that list. I like Pelfrey but that list was a good one... all of them were great

Casey (Memphis)

Last minute waiver wire question: Greinke or Pelfrey?

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto
  (3:57 PM)


Cameron (Portland, OR)

hey tmr, Love your work man. You helped me in my draft boatloads. I have a trade proposal I am thinking about..would you do it? & Is it fair....Ok here's the thing..I'm standard 10 man 5x5 roto, I am KILLING on Offense (#1 in Runs, HR, RBI, AVG) of course that makes me last in SV, ERA, & WHIP...I need a closer or two...I wanna ship Cano/Castillo (the guy im trading is weak @ 2B..Barfield), Michael Young, N. Swisher, & Schilling...for Jeter, K-Rod/Todd Jones, Erik Bedard. I might add my Jim Thome for his David Ortiz.. Thoughts?

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto
  (3:58 PM)

If you get Big Papi and KRod, yes.

kodi (ct)

Devern Hansack.....feelings?

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto
  (3:58 PM)

The Bos reliver can flat out PITCH. Like him a lot.

Brandon (Vegas)

BUZZER BEATER: Hey Matt, I am stacked at 2B with Cano, Kendrick, and Kinsler and am weak at OF. Would Cano for Delmon Young be a fair trade if the owner of Delmon Young is weak at 2B?

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto
  (3:59 PM)

Yeah, Brandon, that would be. Considering your depth, I'd do it - I'd trade any of those 2b for Delmon

Brian (Columbus, OH)

Tell Cameron its only APRIL! 1st place in APRIL don't mean squat! Can't win in April - you can only LOSE in APRIL!

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto
  (3:59 PM)

you tell him

Mike (NJ)

Tank or Capps?

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto
  (3:59 PM)


Ian (Monterey, CA)

Any chance of getting RSS feeds for TRUM and the Daily Notes?

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto
  (4:00 PM)

Yeah, we'd like to do that. Good suggestion. hopefully sooner than later - i'll run it up the flagpole

Matthew (Silverdale, WA)

Why should we come back to ESPN fantasy baseball next year? Or any ESPN fantasy sport?

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto
  (4:02 PM)

Well, you got to do what you feel is best for you and your league. All I would ask is that you keep an open mind and recognize that we are doing everything in our power to make this right. The game DOES have some really cool features that are not found anywhere else, so I hope you'll consider that in your evaluation of where to play and give us a chance to eanr you and your leagues trust again.

Ethan (Chicago)

Finally cut loose J Patterson for someone like Livan Hernandez or Owings?

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto
  (4:03 PM)

No - stay patient w/ Patterson

ryan, jonesboro

I have Sheffield and Chris Duncan, do I drop one for Josh Hamilton?

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto
  (4:03 PM)

No. Like Josh, but not more than those guys

dkg (ny)

double overtime: howard or teix?

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto
  (4:04 PM)

Howard. Last few...

Alfonso Soriano

will I put up top 5 numbers this year

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto
  (4:04 PM)

Yes, you will. And thanks for reading ESPN, Mr. Soriano.

Erik (San Diego)

Quick one Matthew - Pick three of: Erik Bedard, Daniel Cabrera, Rich Hill, John Patterson... THANK YOU.

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto
  (4:05 PM)

I'd dump Patterson because of the team and injury history. But like all 4.

Chris (Pitsford, VT)

Trade Markakis for Kendrick? I have Sizemore, Sheffield and Patterson in OF, AL-only.

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto
  (4:06 PM)

second to last.... Depends on who you have at 2b. I'd rather deal Corey than Nick if you're getting rid of BALT OF. That said, I wouldn't in terms of stats. Like Nick more than kendrick, whose power is still a year away.

Vivian - CT

PLEASE rank these 1B for those of us without a stud: Aurilia, Shealy, Kotchman and Huff. Thanks Big Boy!

Matthew Berry - The Talented Mr. Roto
  (4:10 PM)

Last one. And I've decided to take "Big Boy" as a compliment, Vivian. I like all those guys, actually. I'd say Aurilla, Casey, Shealy and Huff in that order. And Rob from Philly - I like the trade. Ok, thanks everyone for all your comments. I am just about finished with today's TRUM be up soonish. And thank you for all your understanding and patience. Good luck tonight! Peace. Seacrest out.