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April 1, 2:13 PM ET
Fantasy Sports w/AJ Mass

AJ Mass
  (10:59 AM)

Good morning and happy baseball season! Johan was Johan. Tom Gordon was Tom Gordon. Good times! Let's put one hour on the clock --- and go!

Avi (NYC)

Gomez v. McLouth?

AJ Mass
  (11:01 AM)

Gomez sure is fast, huh? Though he's going to get killed in that outfield if he and Delmon can't start communicating better. I think longterm, he's not as good a hitter as McLouth, but he'll definitely steal many many bases.

Sal (Norwalk CT)

Hi AJ, Do you think I should cut Buehrle after that horrific outing yesterday?

AJ Mass
  (11:03 AM)

Sal ! It's one game. Easy! If you cut him, does that appearance go away? No. Those stats are still yours. Take a deep breath. If you have a bench and feel better leaving him there for next week, be my guest, but to cut him outright? Way too soon.

Jeff (Albuquerque, NM)

I have 2 great shortstops, Hanley Ramirez and Troy Tulowitzki, but only 1 spot. Would trading Tulowizki for Hamels be a fair trade? Or should I target someone better?

AJ Mass
  (11:06 AM)

Again with the rush to trade! Seriously, what's the hurry? What are your team's weaknesses - do you really know? You're going to have the luxury of having one of those two SS to trade later in the season when you can really target a need area. Unless someone comes to me with a phenomenal offer, or I completely missed the boat in my draft, with several guys who didn't make their teams starting lineups, I don't see the need to make deals in April.

Jason (Atlanta)

Any observations from the first day of baseball?

AJ Mass
  (11:07 AM)

The Braves pen, as a whole, was scary. The Tigers pitching staff really needs to get healthy sooner rather than later. Ozzie Guillen's head will explode by May 15th if the calls keep going the way they do.

antonio(Miami, FL)

so to answer previous question whos would you take? Gomez or Mclouth?

AJ Mass
  (11:09 AM)

McLouth.... and that's not just because of the great Game 1. Unless I'm just looking for a steals machine (like if I had been counting on a Pierre) then I'll risk Gomez.

Kev (NYC)

What's your thoughts on leagues that only allow you to adjust your rosters once a week? Does it involve more managerial skill because you have to scout for further amounts of time, or is it too much like football?

AJ Mass
  (11:13 AM)

The ideal situation, in my opinion, is to allow for daily moves for your lineup, but only with people already on your bench. That allows you to insert based on matchups and sub out in case of injury... but prevents a team from simply using the waiver wire as added bench. It's far different from football because of the multiple games in a week, but if you have owners who want to play but not get overwhelmed, weekly is the way to go, at least for the first season of a league... then as people learn more, you can change it for future years.

Jay (NY)

Any news on VMart?

AJ Mass
  (11:15 AM)

Haven't seen the results of the MRI released yet. Watching the play, it didn't LOOK like he was too hurt (which means nothing - but at least that gives hope that it will be not serious).

Jeff (Brookville, PA)

What the heck is wrong with Barry Zito? Is he even worth owning anymore?

AJ Mass
  (11:17 AM)

Zito always loses on Opening Day - what was this his 4th in a row? But you knew what you were drafting when you picked him... a mediocre arm, with little run support behind him. Stick a fork in him.

AJ Mass
  (11:17 AM)

Zito always loses on Opening Day - what was this his 4th in a row? But you knew what you were drafting when you picked him... a mediocre arm, with little run support behind him. Stick a fork in him.

Kevin (Whoville)

Could use some Saves help....Wood and Gagne both looked TERRIBLE...any chance Riske or Marmol gets a promotion soon??

AJ Mass
  (11:19 AM)

Managers aren't going to panic after one outing. I agree they looked terrible... Gagne especially... but we'll see what happens on a day with nice weather before we condemn them both... however, I think Riske is less risky a choice for promotion.

Lastings (DC)

AJ - any comment on Bedard's game yesterday? Was he getting squeezed? Just excited for his first game? All of last year, he walked 57 guys in 182 innings last year. Last night he walked 4 in 5 (and throw 47 balls). Should I be concerned?

AJ Mass
  (11:21 AM)

Given his spring stats, I think there's very little to be concerned about. Again, it's one outing, and given the walk totals, it wasn't all that bad.

Dan (Baltimore)

Har har har... good pun! Thoughts on Alexei Ramirez's chances of keeping his CF job?

AJ Mass
  (11:23 AM)

I think as long as Konerko and Dye are hitting, and Owens is not ready to go, Ramirez is safe. Once that's not the case, Alexei best not be going 0-4 on a regular basis.

Manj (DC)

Didn't Bedard get roughed up this spring?

AJ Mass
  (11:24 AM)

Exactly. He wasn't Buehrle yesterday... just burned through his pitch count quickly. If he had been torched coming off those spring numbers, then alarm bells would start to go off... this was not the case.

brian (orlando fl)

Who should I keep as my third closer behind Corpus and Soria? BJ Ryan or Brian Wilson?

AJ Mass
  (11:25 AM)

I think Accardo keeps the job even after Ryan returns. I'd go with Wilson if my main concern is accumulating saves.

Jack - Pittsburgh, PA

Is Jason Bay now the third most valuable fanatasy outfielder in the Hall of Fame bound Pirate Outfield? Or is he a buy player player to target in trade? Thanks!

AJ Mass
  (11:27 AM)

I think Bay is still a buy player and Nady is a sell - especially in NL-only. A hot start by Nady is likely to get him traded to make room for Pearce.

Jared (NY)

More impact this year and the future...Garko Votto or Conor Jackson? Thanks.

AJ Mass
  (11:28 AM)

I am way on the Conor bus. I think he lands in the NL Top-10 in hitting.

Justin (Queens, NY)

Best option to replace VMART: Herndandez, BMolina, Napoli, Bard, Suzuki, Doumit, Laird, Snyder or Ruiz?

AJ Mass
  (11:29 AM)

Let's wait and see that V-Mart needs replacing before we do anything drastic... but I like Snyder and Laird.

John (Niagara Falls)

Better long term prospect for a keeper league, Saltalamaccia or Iannetta?

AJ Mass
  (11:30 AM)

Salty. Hands down. He'd be on the Rangers right now if Laird hadn't done so well this spring.

Heath - KC

Conor Jackson Top 10? Who would you rather have in a Keeper League at 1B/3B, him or Alex Gordon? Thanks!

AJ Mass
  (11:32 AM)

Good question. I think I'd take Conor, but only because I think third base will be a touch deeper - but it's close.

Jon 9boston)

Wow, NL top ten hitter for Jackson? Then he should be owned in every format (even ten team mixed?)

AJ Mass
  (11:33 AM)

<--- this is me out on a limb.

Joel (Atlanta, Georgia)

I am now a Pujols owners, so I have to plan ahead. I have not seen any of the experts address this so far. Who would benefit if Pujols went down? Is there a certain prospect that would play 1B for the Cardinals?

AJ Mass
  (11:36 AM)

I think likely Duncan would be moved to first base and we'll see Colby Rasmus called up to the bigs for the OF spot. So, Rasmus owners would be the big winners.

Jon (Grand Rapids, MI)

I think pitchers for the other teams will benefit the most if Pujols went down.

AJ Mass
  (11:36 AM)

Fair point.

Craig (NY)

I dropped Kouzmanoff for Gomez - I am set 3rd with Cabrera and definately need steals. That isn't crazy after the first day? Is it?

AJ Mass
  (11:38 AM)

Crazy? No. Rash? Yes. Kouz will get you 20 HR and hit 280-ish. If you didn't need that output, surely somebody else would have traded you more than Gomez for it.

Kevin (whoville)

Were all the stats for yesterday's Col-StL game wiped out?

AJ Mass
  (11:39 AM)

Yes they were... no HR for Albert. Game will be replayed from scratch.

Brick (Brooklyn)

I wanted Tulo's SB!!!! Any chance he keeps on running this year? 15 or 20 sb?

AJ Mass
  (11:40 AM)

Me too, Brick. I don't think Tulo makes a habit of running, but double digit steals is not out of the question.

Jason (CT)

Pedro Feliz vs Nick Johnson as a sub/utility role?

AJ Mass
  (11:42 AM)

I'm going to ride Nick Johnson until he falls apart. That may be next week... but as a UT, he'll produce more than Pedro.

SprungOnSports (Long Island)

What SB guy would you rather have and why, Gomez, McLouth, or Bourn?

AJ Mass
  (11:44 AM)

I've already voted for McLouth over Gomez... due to his not being a one-cat wonder. I think I'd go Bourn over Gomez as well - I expect a better SB/AB rate for Bourn.

Hoopachoo (NYC)

Getting offered Pedro Martinez for Phil Hughes - would you do that trade?

AJ Mass
  (11:46 AM)

If it is not a keeper league, then I'd go with that. Pedro's not a 7-inning pitcher anymore, but he's got a long track record of success behind him. Keeper league, not a chance though.

Mike (Albany, NY)

AJ, I am thinking of starting Stephen Drew (@ Colorado) over Tejada (@ San Diego)this Wed. and Thurs. Am I "over managing" here?

AJ Mass
  (11:48 AM)

Matchups week one are really tough... look at Chi-Cle for example. Wasn't that supposed to be a pitcher's battle. Plus with crazy April weather... I start the better players and worry about who is facing who and where later in the season.

Bruce - SF

With all of the seamingly decent young catchers available, are any of them (Laird, Towles, Snyder, even Navarro) a better option than Benjie Molina in that pathetic SF lineup? Thanks!

AJ Mass
  (11:50 AM)

In a word, yes. I still think Molina is a better option than Towles and will give you more power than Laird... but over the long haul, the lack of lineup support will hurt Molina to be sure.


Any idea why Towles didn't start last night?

AJ Mass
  (11:51 AM)

Cecil just wanted Ausmus to catch Oswalt on Opening Day. Towles will play today.

Joe (Philly)

What a moronic commish's corner. Am I not allowed to do other things that are within the rules like stash players on the DL just because you don't like it? Let me know, so that everything I do is okay in your all-important book.

AJ Mass
  (11:54 AM)

Joe, I'm glad you read my column. But clearly you didn't understand it. You're free to do what you want. I said it was within the rules. I said you're free to do it if everyone in your league is on board with the strategy, too. My article was directed to people who take no consideration of the other owners in the league into account. Not everyone wants to play in a league with streaming, and in fact, not everyone is savvy enough to know it even exists. I am the Lorax, I speak for the trees.

Buster - Buffalo, NY

Joe from Philly can join a league of likeminded participants. That's what public leagues are for. Guys like Joe.

Dan (Iowa)

pitching limits a real esay solution.

AJ Mass
  (11:57 AM)

Limits can be a solution, Dan. So could having real deep roster penetration or limiting the number of transactions for a season...but if you hadn't though of it before the season started, I'm not really big on changing league rules once the games have started. And I don't like people who use the strategy with the intention of getting over on less-experienced people. If you're playing with people who expect such behavior, then go for it. Otherwise, can it.

Erik (Atlanta, GA)

AJ, I was at the game last night and I got to see Nyjer Morgan play a little bit (warm-ups, hitting, running when he PH). This kid, he literally looks like a kid, could be a hidden gem for the Pirates (and I'm no Pirates fan). Any thoughts on his impact this year from a fantasy perspective?

AJ Mass
  (11:58 AM)

Morgan gave McLouth a run for his money for the starting job. If Bay's slide extends into May, expect Morgan in the lineup fairly regularly in his stead.

Matt (Indy)

To get around streaming, I limited transactions to 10 per week. That at least puts some restraint on streamers. Your take?

AJ Mass
  (12:00 PM)

Matt, still don't like it. Make drafts mean something. Allow daily lineup moves, but limit waiver wire claims as much as possible... 1 or 2 a week. That way you can still manage your team but not have an unlimited reserve of talent to choose from.

jerry (Blue Bell, PA)

Franklin Gutierez...Break out year? What do you expect from him? He was on people's radar before yesterday, obviously.

AJ Mass
  (12:01 PM)

With so many outfielders, Gutierrez likely fell through the cracks in many leagues. I think he'll struggle some, but 15-20 HR's seems right. And if so, watch out for 2009.

AJ Mass
  (12:02 PM)

One more...


Lightning round?? Aaron Hill vs Iwamura for MI?

AJ Mass
  (12:03 PM)

I think Hill is a better option. Much more power and should have the far better season.

AJ Mass
  (12:04 PM)

That's all the time for today, gang. As always, we appreciate the Q's. Sorry we can't get to all of them, but there will be another chat this afternoon at 3pm. Thanks!