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May 16, 12:52 PM ET
Fantasy Baseball w/AJ Mass

AJ Mass
  (10:58 AM)

Good morning one and all... it's chat time yet again. I'll be happy to discuss any comments on yesterday's "Dead Team" column, as well as any other fantasy baseball Q's you may have. However I do not know how you met their mother, so let's not go there, K?

Paul T (Syracuse, NY)

Philosophy on starting pitchers from your own team against each other? For instance, I have Lackey against McGowan tonight, do you start them both knowing at best only one can win, or try to pick the better matchup? I guess my feeling is that you trust your players and start them both.

AJ Mass
  (11:00 AM)

It's not an either/or type situation like in football where starting a QB and the opposing D can potentially prove disastrous. If you like both guys, go for it and root for a 1-0 nailbiter, with the pen giving up a 9th inning run.

Ben (CT)

why does miguel cabrera bat 5th in the lineup? do you think it affects his production because he has been used to hitting either 3rd or 4th his entire career in florida. i can see that he is starting to heat up a little now, but dont you think he should hit 4th?

AJ Mass
  (11:02 AM)

I don't think the actual spot in the order really has an effect in Miggy's case. In Florida, as the only big bat, batting 3rd or 4th vs 5th or 6th might matter - as you needed him to drive HanRam home... but in a top to bottom stacked offense as Detroit should be? Not much of a difference.

Stan (Vermont)

Deep AL-only question. My DH comes down to Garko or Cuddyer. Who'd you use for this week? Who'd you use for the rest of this year overall? Thanks for chatting!

AJ Mass
  (11:04 AM)

I'm not a big Garko fan, so I'd probably lean to Cuddyer for both, though granted, the numbers there haven't been all that faboo.

Ben (DC)

Who is the better play right now at 1B: Konerko or Jacobs?

AJ Mass
  (11:06 AM)

Jacobs for right now, but his patience profile (something I'm discussing in my Insider article today) doesn't support these numbers for the future. I'd sell high.

Kevin (The Office)

Jon Lester is awesome, is he the pitcher in baseball for the rest of the century?

AJ Mass
  (11:07 AM)

Wish I had some sort of wacky Office reference in response, but alas, I simply never started watching the show... Lester is a nice story, but one game does not ever change my opinion on a pitcher... you know what they say about blind squirrels and all...

Curtis Granderson

Am I going to be this bad for a while?

AJ Mass
  (11:10 AM)

I think Curtis came back strong and then has had a natural lag to follow. He should still be able to put up about 80% of his projected numbers for 2008 when all is said and done.

Justin, Halifax Nova Scotia

Ryan Ludwick keeps killing the ball. Does he have a shot at .300 30 100?

AJ Mass
  (11:12 AM)

Certainly if he continue to be as patient at the plate and not chase the HR, he can do that. It's one of those cases where expectations of HR success may alter this approach to hitting, which in turn, screws him up. My gut says he probably falls a HR or 2 short.

Bob, Detroit

What do you think of Mussina in today's matchup with the Orioles ?

AJ Mass
  (11:13 AM)

I think with the forecast for rain, I'd avoid starting Mussina tonight.

Scott (ny)

Thoughts on Barmes, especially now that he's batting in the 2 hole for colorado?

AJ Mass
  (11:15 AM)

Troy who? Clint's doing very well and producing runs at near the same level as Holliday. While I think he regresses a bit over time, I certainly wouldn't hesitate to snatch him up.

Brett Myers (City of No Love)

When do I start to pitch like Brett Myers?

AJ Mass
  (11:17 AM)

Look in the mirror my friend. The thing with Myers is that he never was a 20 game winner. His best ever season was 5 games over .500 (three times) and while I wouldn't be surprised to see 16-12 at the end of 2008, in that ballpark, the ERA is going to be up there.

James (Austin)

How long till Fast Eddie gets the closer job? I'm in a shallow H2H league and would have to drop one of R Hill, Scherzer, Damon or Longoria. Which one? Thx.

AJ Mass
  (11:18 AM)

Goodbye Hill... those control issues aren't going away anytime soon. I think Eddie is ready pronto and may get a save or two this week.

Rob (New Jersey)

Why do people continue to hold on to Rich Hill? I've seen his name on hundreds of chats and it's not like he's getting any better...

AJ Mass
  (11:19 AM)

See? Rob from NJ agrees with me.

Brad (Denver)

I've been offered one of the following two deals for Manny - Howard/Ellsbury or Morneau/Ellsbury. I already have Fielder as 1B but can slot either into the UT spot. Which one would you take? Help!!

AJ Mass
  (11:22 AM)

So basically you're asking Ryan Howard or Justin Morneau... If you are looking for HR, you go Howard... but that batting average is going to stay low (265 or so) for Ryan this year I fear. But here's the thing... even though I think Morneau will end up with a higher BA on the season, Howard's will probably be close from this point forward. So I go Ryan on both counts.

Cabrera/Cueto (Pitchers)

Which one of us is better and why? Drop either of us for Rauch?

AJ Mass
  (11:24 AM)

Cueto is better because outside of a penchant for giving up the longball, he's far more dominant. Yes he's still learning and will have clunkers... but upside is far greater. Rauch is a RP... we're talking apples and oranges, and therefore this Q depends too much on your own team's needs to answer for you.

Phil (Edison, NJ)

in a vacuum - kaz matsui or howie kendrick for the rest of the year?

AJ Mass
  (11:26 AM)

Is Kendrick healthy in this vacuum of yours? Because I'd rather have Kaz' stats over a goose egg. Kendrick's a better ballplayer, and Kaz gives me nothing but agita.

Stephanie (Hartford, CT)

Hi AJ, WHEN should a 10 Team Keeper League team consider adding Jay Bruce and WHO you might drop for him? Are 5th OFs like D. Young and Hermida, or DHs like Thome and Hafner recommended drops? Thanks!

AJ Mass
  (11:30 AM)

In a keeper league, I'd free up the roster room right now. He may not appear on the big league scene for a few weeks, but I'd rather have a "wasted" roster spot for an extra month than not have Bruce in 2009... giving up on Hafner or Thome, with far less career ahead of them is the right move to make in this case.

Brad (Philly)

In a vaccuum for the rest of the year (but a snazzy new vaccuum with air pumped in so my players can breath): Erick Aybar or Clint Barmes?

AJ Mass
  (11:31 AM)

LOL. Barmes. Even if Tulo were to miraculously return, Barmes will be in the lineup. Aybar doesn't walk at all... and that lack of patience really bothers me.

Victor Martinez (Cleveland, Ohio)

Will I EVER hit a homerun?

AJ Mass
  (11:33 AM)

Yes... but you need to fix a swing that's hitting far too many ground balls to do so. Hard to get it up and over the fence when it bounces 37 times first.

F. Tron Hillman (Eagle Hill, MS)

Every time I am ready to dump Boof Bonser, he pitches halfway decent. Any chance he ends up with 12 w's, 150 K's, and a 4.00 E.R.A. ?

AJ Mass
  (11:35 AM)

I feel your pain. I just set Boof free in an experts league I am in last week, having lost patience. I think those numbers you have are reasonable... but he'll have several more 9.00+ ERA outings, than the few under 3.00 outings to reach that happy medium.

Patrick (Chatt., TN)

Hey AJ, I just traded Volquez straight up to get Bedard. Good deal?

AJ Mass
  (11:37 AM)

Don't think you'll get killed by it, but Volquez will hit a rocky patch eventually. Walks/9 issues hound both... I'd stick with Erik myself.

Steve, San jose, CA

Our leagues website is responsible for vetoing trades but we are allowed to protest. Would you call this deal into question? Last place team gives McCann, Zimmerman and Street and gets Bobby Crosby, Ellsbury and R Franklin. I normally am opposed to vetos but this looks ridiculous.

AJ Mass
  (11:39 AM)

It's speculative, but I'm not sure I'd call it veto-worthy.

John (NYC)

Name game rest of the year: John Danks, Jari Jurrgens, Scott Olsen

AJ Mass
  (11:40 AM)

I like Jurrjens then Danks then Olsen. Jair has best raw talent, Danks is solid and I do not have nay faith at all in Olsen continuing at this level.

Joel (Atlanta)

I'm a Kaz Matsui owner...what's agita?

AJ Mass
  (11:41 AM)

If you're a Kaz Matsui owner, then you already know.

MIKE NAPOLI

IM BETTER THAN V MART!! Why does no one respect me?! Im a top 5 catcher at the moment and I cant even be a full time starter? When will i get the full time role and what are my final numbers?

AJ Mass
  (11:43 AM)

Napoli is a fly ball magician! That GB/FB ratio is sick! Even if it drops to more normal levels, 30 HR seems very reachable... and that's without the need for the full-time role. Wouldn't worry about PT... just enjoy the HR.

Max ( LA )

C. Jackson or C. Pena for the rest of the year?

AJ Mass
  (11:46 AM)

I said pre-season that Conor would be top-10 in NL hitting. I've seen nothing to poo-poo that and in that D-backs lineup, I'm happy with his RBI totals too. I'll stick with the kid.

Peter (NJ)

Who is more valuable over the next three years Rios or Longoria?

AJ Mass
  (11:47 AM)

I like what I've seen in Longoria and I've never been a big Alexis man. I'm going with "Mr. Parker".

Gerry (Atric)

S. Victorino or J Upton for the rest of the year?

AJ Mass
  (11:50 AM)

Good battle here. I'm going with Upton just because I see the D-backs staying hotter as a team over the course of the year.

Shocked Reader

You just made a desparate housewives reference....Please turn in your man card at earliest convenience.

AJ Mass
  (11:51 AM)

If I could actually name the character she played, THEN maybe you'd have something... but I honestly can't... and for that, I am proud.

John, Seattle

Shocked Reader: You just recognized a Desperate Housewives reference. Please turn in YOUR man card.

Kaz Matsui (TX)

Can I catch agitia? With the embarassing injury I had earlier in the season I don't want to take any chances.

AJ Mass
  (11:52 AM)

And the yuks keep coming!

Brad (Philly)

She plays Gabrielle Solice. I WIN THE MAN AWARD!

AJ Mass
  (11:52 AM)

I believe this chat is offiically "out of control" Any Gossip Girl questions before we start to wrap thing up?

Chris (Philly)

What's your take on trading power for steals? I am currently 1st in my league and in the top 2 in all offensive categories except steals(currently 8th). I was thinking of trading either Manny or D.Lee for someone like B.Roberts. Is it worth it or do I just try and get as many steals as I can and stay in the top in the other categories? I hate to trade a guy who help in 3 or 4 categories for an upgrade in 1 category.

AJ Mass
  (11:54 AM)

I think you answered your own question, Chris. Later in the season when you're looking to grab as many points as possible, a HR for SB trade makes the most sense... but if you're maxing out and building a lead in 3 cats, I wouldn't worry about 1 cat right now.

Dan (Chicago)

It's actually spelled Solis. There's no way you lose your man card for knowing anything about Eva.

XOXO

i love chuck bass

Carlos (San Quentin Prison)

Carlos Quentin - sell high, or ride the wave?

AJ Mass
  (11:56 AM)

Going to ride the wave with CQ, though if there's a Chase Utley owner out there who wants to swap, who am I to argue?

Prof. Nicholas (BC)

Crazy things you've said today: You'd drop Thome for Bruce, and called a Tulo return "miraculous." Are you serious or just trying to be shocking? Please substantiate your outrageous statements.

AJ Mass
  (11:58 AM)

Context, professor. You're supposed to know a thing or two about it. In a keeper league where Thome is on the guy's BENCH? Absolutely will make that move for Bruce. "Miraculous" - it's called hyperbole... look it up.

AJ Mass
  (11:58 AM)

Time for a couple more...

Brad (Toledo)

Does Chris Perez close this year for the Cards?

AJ Mass
  (11:59 AM)

Yes at some point I think he does... but I also think Izzy gets one more crack at the job at some point, too.

Brad Hawpe

It's good to see so many Brads from different parts of the country contributing to this chat. Warms my heart.

Ryan (NYC)

Need wins. Mclouth for Wang? Or will Mclouth finish in the top 10 OF's?

AJ Mass
  (12:01 PM)

Even if Nate finishes #40 in OF, I don't think you trade him for Wang... you can't generally predict wins, and I wouldn't go looking on a team that is struggling for them on a daily basis like the Yankees are now - especially with a less than overpowering guy like CMW. Doug Davis types are far more appealing and possibly on the waiver wire?

Prof.'s Assistant

Way to sidestep the Tulo question.

AJ Mass
  (12:03 PM)

Not at all... Stephania Bell is far more knowledgeable on injuries than I... Tulo says he'll be back before All Star break. Originally it was reported he could miss far more time. Will there be a setback? Have no idea. But when you're talking about shaving a month or two off of original projections for time out... that's not something you see every day.

AJ Mass
  (12:04 PM)

Thanks gang... always appreciate a lively debate... or a Blake Lively debate, for that matter. Til the next time... you know you love me! XOXO.