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June 6, 12:55 PM ET
Fantasy Baseball w/Eric Karabell

Eric Karabell
  (11:01 AM)

Hello all and welcome to another fantasy baseball chat session. Thanks for checking in, lots to get to, let's get going...

Paulie (Philly)

Closer injury questions: Is Morrow the guy in Seattle if Putz goes on the DL? Is Soriano going back on the DL or will he finally feel ok?

Eric Karabell
  (11:05 AM)

I would expect Putz is headed to the DL, since the Mariners are bad and there's little reason to push him like this. Morrow is definitely the closer, but a week ago he was having shoulder woes, so don't be surprised if he's dominant at times, but can't close consistently. The M's are a mess. As for Soriano of the Cubs, he's out 6 weeks. Look for Mike Fontenot and Ronny Cedeno to play second base and DeRosa to see time in left field. A bigger loss in fantasy than for the Cubs, really.

Alex (MO)

On yesterday's Fantasy Focus Podcast, Buster Olney mentioned that Miguel Cabrera's lack of condition was finally catching up to him. With that in mind, what can we expect from him for the rest of the season? I have been offered him for Mark Teixeira.

Eric Karabell
  (11:07 AM)

I think that's possible, but it hasn't held Cabrera back the past few years, and he was getting larger then. I don't think there's always a reason why someone doesn't have that monster season everyone expected. He's good, he'll go 30-110 or something, but maybe he's not capable of 40-140. I still rank Cabrera better than Teix the rest of the way.

JB (Atlanta, GA)

I think Paulie was asking about Rafael Soriano, not Alfonso.

Eric Karabell
  (11:08 AM)

Oh yeah, that does make more sense, doesn't it? Raffy Soriano is not on the DL, yet, but it wouldn't surprise me. Clearly his elbow remains a problem. Braves might use him sparingly, when they really need him, and I do think Mike Gonzalez closes by the end of the month.

Chuck D (Wilkes-Barre Pa)

I'm in a 10 team roto and I own Pujols. Should I trade him today, or hope that he returns in 3 weeks and remains injury free for the rest of the year?

Eric Karabell
  (11:09 AM)

I would probably hold on to him and wait it out, unless you get an offer you can't refuse, which I doubt you will since the guy is on the DL. Pujols has the third best OPS in baseball. He wasn't struggling, he was looking good. And this injury doesn't appear to be major enough to mess him up long-term this season.

Will (Houston)

SPOT START: Eric, you're the best!!! Would you rather start Masterson tomorrow (@CIN), Kuroda today (@SD), or Sanchez today (@COL)?

Eric Karabell
  (11:11 AM)

I would rarely look to spot start somone at Coors, so I rank the emerging Jonathan Sanchez third here. I like Masterson, but I'd still go with Kuroda. Peavy will pitch well, of course, but the Padres don't hit. This is a classic 2-1 game.

Chet (LA)

Eric, I can't get anyone to answer this question. Who is the better OF to target in a large keeper league: Adam Jones, Cameron Maybin or Carlos Gonzalez? Thank you!

Eric Karabell
  (11:13 AM)

I rank these fellas Maybin, Gonzalez and then Jones, personally. I think Maybin has the tool set to be a really good fantasy player, a runner who has power. Better skills and plate discipline than Chris Young, same power and speed. Gonzalez might not help fantasy owners this season. I don't think Jones will either. In time all should be good, but I like Maybin best.

John (MO)

Any news on VMart? Could Jeff Clement be up any time soon to maybe fill in?

Eric Karabell
  (11:14 AM)

What a nightmare season for Victor Martinez. I haven't heard if the elbow problem is serious enough to disable him, but it might explain the lack of power. Kelly Shoppach is a decent fill-in, especially against lefties. As for Seattle's Clement, I don't get the Mariners. Clement should be the starting first baseman, right now! He could be up tomorrow, or in September. Hard to tell with the beleaguered Mariners.

Zak (Cincy)

More SB's; Bourn, Ellsbury, or Crawford?

Eric Karabell
  (11:16 AM)

I rank them Ellsbury, Crawford and then Bourn. I really think Ellsbury keeps doing this and gets to 60 or so, which is a big surprise. Crawford isn't running as much, he gets to 45, and Bourn finds that playing time and OBP holds him back, but he does swipe 40.

Brian (Chicago)

Another Clement ? soon as he comes up, he should replace Olivo as my C, right? (my C situation has been bad all year)

Eric Karabell
  (11:18 AM)

Miguel Olivo really isn't that bad. He might hit 20 homers (and score 30 runs), but he doesn't hurt the average, and this is not fluky. He's got power. Clement might come back up and do nothing again. I rarely rely on rookies.

Colin (Toronto)

What does Chad Tracey mean to CoJax's playing time? Rather have Jackson, Helton or Giambi from here on out?

Eric Karabell
  (11:20 AM)

I don't think Conor Jackson is in danger of losing playing time at all. He's just more mobile and healthier than Chad Tracy, and is better equipped to handle left field. That might not last long, though. Tracy couldn't handle first base yesterday. For the best combo of power and average, I think Jackson is ahead of Helton and Giambi. If you could combine Helton/Giambi, man, you'd get a .320 hitter with 32 homers, that'd be nice!

Chris (Boston)

What's up Eric? Should we pat ourselves on the back for the buy low theory on Verlander when everyone thought he was done for the season? Ks need to come up a little but great outing.

Eric Karabell
  (11:22 AM)

You see, I'll take the other stance and say he's not really a buy low. He pitched fine in May, but still went 1-4. The Tigers don't score for him. And even Wednesday, he had to finish the game off for himself. I don't see him winning more than 11 or 12 games on that team. He's not sell high either, he's just going to be solid and deliver like a 3.50 ERA.

Rob (Miami, FL)

Speculative pick-up. Who do you think is more worthwhile...Chase Headley or Charlie Morton? Trying to get lucky.

Eric Karabell
  (11:24 AM)

I have to take Headley. No idea what the Padres are doing here, or why he isn't up already, but the hitter over the pitcher is generally the theory. Morton has looked good in Triple-A for the Braves, and should start this weekend, but I'd need to see him handle major leaguers for a few weeks before recommending him.

Jeremy (miami)

I look at two chats per day and EVERY one includes a question about should I add Headley, can we answer relevant, unaswered questions?!

Eric Karabell
  (11:24 AM)

You mean, like this question?

David (LA, CA)

Is Blackburn going to continue to be this stellar? And final #s for Votto?

Eric Karabell
  (11:26 AM)

Blackburn doesn't have the best stuff, he profiles as a No. 3 or 4 starter in the bigs, and I think it's a wise time to sell high. He gives up a lot of hits, and he reminds me a bit of Kyle Kendrick. He could win 12 games, but a 4.50 ERA is ahead with a low K rate. Votto is legit, probably a 25-30 guy, and he could do that this season. He's doing what he was supposed to do.

Matt (DC)

Jason Grey said he thinks Tulo could have a big second half. What do you think? It looks like he is a week from coming back.

Eric Karabell
  (11:28 AM)

I kind of agree with Jason. I don't think he hits 5 homers a month and bats .300, but he's got the ability, and it seems to me many fantasy owners have written off Tulo the rest of the year. That's a mistake. Really good time to buy low, and basically his numbers so far this season are irrelevant. He gets to start over.

Bob (GA)

what kind of #'s do you expect from Delmon Young from today forward?

Eric Karabell
  (11:29 AM)

I just saw Delmon dealt for Manny in a keeper league. Think about that one, it's very interesting. I don't see Delmon going on some power tear, that's for sure, but 12 home runs, 18 steals and a .270 average, that's not horrific. It's just not what we all expected.


Micah Owings has now been dropped in both my leagues, yet the last ESPN rankings had him ranked #40 among pitchers... where do you have him? Can you talk about him a little?

Eric Karabell
  (11:31 AM)

I liked Owings as a sleeper this year, and he's done well, but this is not a guy who profiled as a staff ace. He's hittable, has had command issues, and it seems people notice only the wins, which are arbitrary to start with, and the fact he's the best hitting pitcher in the bigs. He's a 12-12 type with a 4.50 ERA. He was probably overranked a bit, and I doubt he was in my top 50 starters, but he should win on that team.

Steve (MA via East Hartford)

Does Justin D. for OAK stay healthy for the rest of the year? He's looked pretty darn good when he's in there. Will he keep it up?

Eric Karabell
  (11:33 AM)

Most fantasy experts would answer this question by saying no, pointing out he's never thrown close to 200 innings before. That is a concern, of course, but I think the bigger problem is what happens in 2009 after he throws the 200 innings. He hasn't been the healthiest chap in the past, either. I will project a total of 25 starts only, a 3.20 ERA, maybe 12 wins. Solid.

Dan (DC)

Better second half, Jim Thome or Gary Sheffield?

Eric Karabell
  (11:35 AM)

I don't see how anyone in fantasy can rely on Sheffield at this point. My sources in Tiger land tell me the Tigers have no idea what to expect, and are privately concerned he either doesn't return, or does and offers little. They're moving on. Sheffield might rebound, but I would definitely go with Thome here. He's not a .219 hitter, and he's got another 20 homers in him.

Bored (At Work)

When Tulo and Kepp come back next week, which two would you move forward with: Tulo, Kepp, Lugo, Pedroia.

Eric Karabell
  (11:37 AM)

I think you have to see what Tulowitzki does, and Pedroia is safer than Keppinger. Keppinger probably starts at SS right away, but Pedroia is a more veteran version. Lugo does little for me, and the few steals don't seem worth it.

sean (Philly)

The cornerstones of my team were Pujols and Soriano... not to mention Tulo was my SS, Gaillardo was my #3 starter... the injury bug has killed me... WHAT DO I DO????

Eric Karabell
  (11:38 AM)

Well, it does no good to whine. Most owners deal with problems like this, and I can tell you they don't want to hear about the problems of others. Pujols could return by the All-Star break, and I maintain that losing a player - any player - for three weeks just isn't that big a deal.

Marco (FLA)

Is this trade overturnable: Pence and Thome for Peavy.

Eric Karabell
  (11:39 AM)

I rarely tell someone to protest a trade. The case can normally be made. Peavy, while probably safe, is coming off a DL stint, after all. Pence is hitting. Thome will hit. I'd take the Peavy side, but the case can be made somehow.

Michael Scott (Scranton,PA)

Eric, read your latest relief efforts but did not see anything re: the situation in Brewtown. With Gagne coming back as soon as next week, and Torres being just short of dominant over the last month, how do you see it all going down?? Thanks!

Eric Karabell
  (11:43 AM)

I don't think the Brewers really want Gagne back, even though they would never say this. Torres has done fine, and the Brewers have a decent bullpen the way things are now. Gagne can't come back and set up, that's the problem. It's about money and ego and we know this guy would be a problem. That's why I think at some point the team will have to bring Gagne back, or release him, and Torres could pay the price.

Eric (fort Collins CO)

Eric, you encouraged owners to pick up Mike Gonzalez in Relief Efforts yesterday. I'd have to drop Scherzer to pick him up. Wise move? I was hoping Scherzer might close/start this season.

Eric Karabell
  (11:45 AM)

I really think Gonzalez will end up being Atlanta's main closer, as Soriano just can't remain healthy. They probably split chances the next month, but Gonzalez also has more experience. Atlanta's team seems like a house of cards, doesn't it? Anyway, Arizona doesn't use Scherzer in any key situations, only when trailing by a few runs. That should tell you a lot. He could start, in theory, if there's an injury, and I suspect the team would choose that, but right now, no sign of saves at all.

Jeff (KC)

Lirano is starting to warm up in AAA, Do you think now is a good time to try and steal him in a trade?

Eric Karabell
  (11:46 AM)

He is pitching better, but it's still not near the level people were hoping for. It's more like a K per inning, and he's regained command, which is nice. I don't think the Twins rush him. I bet he stays down in the minors at least another month. Buy low, sure, but if he gives you 10 starts, might not be worth it.

Sean, St. Paul

What's the latest on Clay Buchholz? When will he rejoin the rotation and what kinda numbers will he produce?

Eric Karabell
  (11:48 AM)

He wasn't helped by Colon pitching well last night. The Sox aren't letting Buchholz throw innings at Pawtucket, it's like 4 per outing. There's a reason for that. I think Dice-K replaces Masterson this weekend, Buchholz replaces Colon in August, and Masterson helps Timlin in long relief in September. How bout that!

Frank (Rockmart, GA)

You really think Gonzalez can just come back from TJ and hit the ground running? I'm concerned about his effectiveness initially.

Eric Karabell
  (11:50 AM)

I normally would be concerned, yes, but when I saw B.J. Ryan do this a few months ago, it became clear it's possible. First of all, it's weird, the Braves only seem to need a closer in home games. Awful on the road! Yes, there is a concern, but I think the currently active Soriano is a bigger concern. It's so obvious he can't stay healthy.

Todd (Chicago)

Can the incredible Jorge Cantu keep it up?

Eric Karabell
  (11:52 AM)

Yes, I am actually, surprisingly aboard this train. Cantu is having the same campaign he did that year in Tampa. Lot of RBIs, which are of course dependent on lineup spot and luck, he hits lefties much better than RHP, but tune in for September and he's knocking in 100 runs. The average drops to .270, but yeah, this is legit.

Joe (Baltimore)

If Morrow gets the closer job, does he potentially have it next year? I have him in a deep keeper and have been wondering if I should consider keeping him (we get 10 keepers).

Eric Karabell
  (11:54 AM)

Well, if poor Putz needs Tommy John surgery - and I have no info yet implying this - then of course Morrow could close longterm. We just don't know the problem on Putz yet. Regardless, you have to keep a guy like Morrow for his skills. He could start, could close, he's really a lot like Joba or Scherzer but gets no attention. As always, keeping him depends on who else you have, and you don't need to decide in June, but Morrow is going to be good.

John (NYC)

What's the latest on Chone Figgins? Is he going to play this weekend?

Eric Karabell
  (11:56 AM)

I heard the rehab assignment was this weekend, and then he could join the Angels early next week. Fantasy owners really want him back now, but I'd prefer Figgins is totally healthy so this injury doesn't linger and mess up another month.

james (ny)

ludwick for harang? is this a good sell high, buy low? what has gone wrong with harang? or it just bad luck?

Eric Karabell
  (11:57 AM)

Harang owners do seem to be whining quite a bit, but his WHIP was fine before his last start, he's among the leaders in K's, some of this is just bad luck. He's going to have fine numbers, just fewer wins than expected. Ludwick is not a fluke, by the way, Sell high if you must, and I'd probably take Harang for him, too, but Ludwick was always supposed to be a big hitter, it just took an extra five years or so.


Bay/Pedroia for Lackey...who wins?

Eric Karabell
  (11:58 AM)

Best guy in the deal, most impactful, is Lackey. I pick him.


Two guys you touched on....Votto or Conor Jackson?

Eric Karabell
  (11:58 AM)

I think Votto at this point. He's already got the power Jackson is still working on.

Eric Karabell
  (12:00 PM)

OK, that is all the time we have for today. Another chat session comes up later today with the underrated Keith Lipscomb. Be nice to him. Thanks for tuning in today, enjoy the sun, and take care. Adios!