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March 28, 2:23 PM ET
Fantasy baseball w/AJ Mass

AJ Mass
  (11:00 AM)

Good morning everyone. We've got another hour of fantasy talk ahead, so let's get right to it, shall we?

Cole (GA)

What did you think of Andrew Miller's performance last night. I like the K's but do you think he's worth keeping around?

AJ Mass
  (11:02 AM)

I watched a little bit of the game last night... I always try to flip around, but as a Mets fan I tend to stay on their games longer. Miller looked to me to be a thrower - great potential - but still needs a lot of work to become a pitcher. I don't think he gets there this season.

Nate, Wa

What's your thoughts on the decisions to put the starting pitchers in the game in the middle of the SF & LA game yesterday?

AJ Mass
  (11:04 AM)

I've got no problem with that. The worst thing for a manager is to have your rotation messed up by having a starter go 1 inning and then the game rained out. They wanted to avoid that happening - I've no issue with it.

John (Texas)

Chris B. Young looks great at the plate. He is being patient and is taking more walks. Is it possible this guy finishes with .275(AVG) 30(HR) 30(SB)?

AJ Mass
  (11:06 AM)

Absolutely. Young is the real thing. At the very least, the average should improve over last season if his eye has arrived, and the 30-30 level is very attainable.


Who gets the saves in Seattle while Putz is out ?

AJ Mass
  (11:09 AM)

Credit the TMR for being 1-for-1. He suggested the answer might be Miguel Batista... but yesterday was his day to throw, and the bullpen had not been set up to prepare for Putz' DL stint just yet. I think Green and Lowe both get chances. But I don't love either.

Joel (Roscommon,MI)

AJ, I am real thin at catcher. Who are some guys who might be called up that I should watch for ?

AJ Mass
  (11:10 AM)

Lots of options right now that may be available in your league... Snyder and Napoli... If Laird struggles mightily, we'll see Saltamacchia get called up too.

Matty (The 810)

How many of you guys picked a perfect final four?

AJ Mass
  (11:12 AM)

Don't know for sure. I did not, though I had UNC and UCLA. However, even though all four #1's made it for the first time ever, it doesn't take a whole lot of basketball knowledge to make that leap.

Tom (NY)

Can Xavier Nady hit 30 HR's this season?

AJ Mass
  (11:14 AM)

Sure. Why not? The real question is will Nady hit 30 HR's for Pittsburgh, because there's always a chance that the Pirates deal him or LaRoche away to get some more pitching later in the season.

Scott (New Hampshire)

In an AL-only League, who gets the better of a trade of Red Sox rookies: Ellsbury for Pedroia? I'm thinking the guy who gets Pedroia gets the better of it, because he's guaranteed playing time. But now I hear that the Cubs and White Sox are interested in Coco, which would mean more guaranteed time for Ellsbury. What are your thoughts? Thanks!

AJ Mass
  (11:15 AM)

Pedroia's not a rookie... but to answer the Q. Guaranteed playing time is certainly an edge... but also the fact that I'm not as quickly to anoint Ellsbury based on a hot month versus Dustin's doing in for a full season.

Bernard (Princeton, NJ)

Eugenio Velez, +/- 35 SBs this year?

AJ Mass
  (11:17 AM)

Under. If they'd give him a regular job, then absolutely. But I fear more Durham and Aurilia and eventually Vizquel in the IF.

Jon NY

C. Jackson and Cueto for Aaron Cook and for Adam Jones. Who gets the better deal.

AJ Mass
  (11:18 AM)

For this season, I think Jackson/Cueto - and I think it isn't even close.

Harvey (Greenville)

Brian Bannister...for real?

AJ Mass
  (11:19 AM)

14-10, 3.80 ERA for real? Sure. Going to pitch like that every outing? No way, Harvey.

Gary (sf, ca)

Shane Victorino doesn't have a hit. Should I be worried? Play Bill Hall or Carlos Gomez ahead of him kind of worried? Thanks.

AJ Mass
  (11:21 AM)

What Phillies hitter had a hit last night? It's early. If Shane was batting .000 and everyone else was hitting .600 then you show concern. When the whole team isn't getting wood on the ball, chalk it up to a good pitching performance against.

Smooth (Columbia, SC)

Building on that Victorino question...are him and McLouth basically the same player?

AJ Mass
  (11:23 AM)

No. McLouth is more of a power hitter with speed, whereas Shane is a speed guy with power. Nate's not really a leadoff hitter, but that's where he fits best in the current lineup. Eventually, I see him hitting 5th, and running less... though when he does, he gets the steal.

Ryan (NYC)

Dude, one more Mclouth question. I just dropped Adam Jones for him. Was that dumb

AJ Mass
  (11:24 AM)

Adam Jones is not going to help you this season nearly as much as Nate. Not dumb.

Clyde (Austin)

Can you please rank the following which will be used for my 4th and 5th OF's: Milledge, J. Upton, Adam Jones, McLouth, S. Hairston, Church & Ethier. Many thanks!

AJ Mass
  (11:25 AM)

I like Nate, Lastings and Church. Iffy on Ethier and Upton. Not buying Jones or Hairston.

John (Austin)

AJ, how many people are freakin out over players that are starting slow? Shouldn't everyone just chill and be patient?

AJ Mass
  (11:27 AM)

I agree. If you're in a roto-league, you know you have to be patient, or else you may get everyone's "bad week" all season long. If you're in a H2H, odds are Week 2 will be better than Week 1.... again, relax. Worry about injuries and people who aren't getting PT, but it's way too small a sample to go nuts.

Coop (MI)

Do you think Chris Young for the Padres can get 15 wins?

AJ Mass
  (11:29 AM)

Absolutely. I wrote an article this spring saying Young might be a bust - and people went nuts. But what I was saying was that he's a bust if you expect a 20-win Cy Young season and draft him Round 3. Young is a good arm who WILL get you 15 wins.

Trey (VA)

Longoria was just dropped in my league. The only person I would drop for him is Headley, who I was holding onto. Should I drop Headley and try to get Longoria?

AJ Mass
  (11:31 AM)

I'd keep Chase. I think he gets called up sooner.

chauncey (teaneck)

I'm sorry I'n new to fantasy baseball what is the difference between roto and h2h?

AJ Mass
  (11:32 AM)

No need to apologize, Chauncey. H2H is head-to-head, where like football, each week you play one opponent - you win or lose, and the stats reset for the next week. Roto is where you total the stats for the entire season is several categories, and the team that did the best for the year wins. Very different ways to play, and each has its own different strategies.


Longoria Q...Rays sent him to the minors for financial reasons...when is the earliest he could get called up and still allow for the financial gains.

AJ Mass
  (11:34 AM)

The actual answer is... it depends. The service time is relative to other rookies, so that date isn't as important as to where he falls in seniority to other rookies being called up.

Matt (Philly)

Does Matt Cain need to pitch a shutout every game just to have a chance to win? How bad will his offense hurt him this year?

AJ Mass
  (11:36 AM)

That's why owning Cain or Lincecum is so frustrating and why they were lower in most ESPN experts' draft lists. Cain could win a Cy Young with 5 runs a game. But he'll be lucky to get 3. But I play in one league where wins is not a category and I jumped on Cain real early.

Chris (NJ)

Hi AJ: Should I drop Fukudome for Bourn? Also, is Yunel Escobar a good backup utility player? Thanks!

AJ Mass
  (11:38 AM)

If you need steals, then don't think twice. I'm not all that excited about Fukudome. Escobar on the other hand, I think is a starting SS, not a backup. I'd rank him easily in my Top 10.

Lee (NY)

drop suzuki for ramon hernandez?...or is the difference is not that big?

AJ Mass
  (11:39 AM)

Difference not that big, except in the area of age, which for a catcher makes me lean toward Kurt.


Time to punt on Pierre?...any chances he gets moved to either Chicago team?

AJ Mass
  (11:42 AM)

Actually, in a weird way I think the benching increases his value a bit. He's still going to get steals... maybe not 70 - but perhaps 30, which is still more than most players will give you, only now he won't kill your BA as much. I think we need to watch his attitude. If he stays positive, then it's possible Dodgers move Ethier instead, because he's likely to bring far more in return.

Batch (Boston)

Kenny Lofton get picked up by anyone soon?

AJ Mass
  (11:43 AM)

Soon? I don't think so. Mid-May? Possibly if he stays in shape. Before Barry? I think so.

Jon (S.F.)

"Escobar on the other hand, I think is a starting SS, not a backup." He meant for his team, little miss.

AJ Mass
  (11:45 AM)

Yes, Jon, I know. If I think Escobar is worthy of being a starting fantasy SS, then having him as a backup SS on your team is not even up for debate. But thanks for paying attention.

Jake (VA Beach)

Are Snyder or Soto better options than Molina in a H2H league?

AJ Mass
  (11:47 AM)

I really like Snyder a lot. Soto on the other hand looked absolutely gruesome defensively yesterday, and while that's not a category, that something to watch, because it may carry over to the offensive side of things.

JP (Boston)

Bill Hall or Milton Bradley?

AJ Mass
  (11:48 AM)

I love Bill Hall, and the 3B eligibility helps even more to fit him in my lineup.

Cheddar (Philly)

Real question needing real answer. Last OF...Winn, Bradley or Kearns.

AJ Mass
  (11:50 AM)

I think it's close with Kearns and Winn. I'm not completely on the Austin bandwagon yet, but I like what I've seen so far. Winn has less upside, but I think 20-20 is very possible.

Steve Phillips

The classic 'defense affecting the offense' theory. You've spent too much time listening to me, and not enough figuring out if it really exists.

AJ Mass
  (11:51 AM)

For a catcher as young as Geovany in his first big league go-around, I think it's a legit concern. If it's Paul LoDuca or I-Rod it means far less.

Joe (Squarejaw, NY)

Fake question needing a fake answer: Nuke LaLoosh or Ricky Vaughn: who has a better year fantasy-wise?

Jake's Friend (VA Beach)

So, do you like Snyder BETTER than Molina?

AJ Mass
  (11:54 AM)

Yes. Both Bengie and Yadier. Read between the lines people.

Jake (VA Beach)

Wow, and I thought I didn't have any friends.

Big Joe (Hamilton, NJ)

In a 12 team mixed H2H should I be holding onto Justin Upton and Adam Jones or are they too far way from really contributing?

AJ Mass
  (11:57 AM)

In H2H, you need folks who are contributing right now. It's like in football, where you really don't have room for holding on to a promising WR3 who may come through eventually. If you have the bench room, sure, but you may be 0-6 waiting for them to be productive.

Phil (VA)

Why would you only mention 2 Molinas?

AJ Mass
  (11:58 AM)

You're right. I like Josh Molina's work on SportsNight more than Snyder's catching.

Brad (Philly)

AJ, talk to me about simulation baseball. Do you play? What are the best sites to use (free sites, if possible)? Thanks!

AJ Mass
  (11:59 AM)

I do not play, although there was a time back in the day when I gave Prodigy's Baseball Manager a whirl and I liked it. I think Tristan is a sim guy. He's probably a better choice to ask that Q to.

Kevin (LA)

why dont you quit arguing with stupid people and tell us who will be closing in ARI and MIL?

AJ Mass
  (12:00 PM)

Lyon and Gagne. Still only Week 1.

Jason (buffalo)

I am in league with fellow Red Sox fans, I was offered James Shields for Lester no brainer right?

AJ Mass
  (12:02 PM)

I like Shields far more than Lester, but I also don't think it's a no-brainer - BoSox likely to win a lot more than Tampa.

AJ Mass
  (12:02 PM)

Time for one more, gang!

Ryan (New York, NY)

Buzzer Beater? Lilly or Cueto?

AJ Mass
  (12:03 PM)

Cueto is a complete gamble, and I still am willing to give him a shot over Lilly. Even if Cueto gives me only 10 wins and a 4.00 ERA, I'd be happier with him.

AJ Mass
  (12:04 PM)

Thanks gang. Another chat kicks off at 3pm. Enjoy the games today and we'll catch you the next time!