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June 20, 2:05 PM ET
Fantasy Baseball w/AJ Mass

AJ Mass
  (11:00 AM)

Good morning all... we're here, on our fifth cup of coffee and ready to face your questions. We'll be happy to discuss anything baseball, including any comments you may have on my DL-spot article from yesterday... and also we'll be happy to field Q's regarding our NFL Draft Kit... Let's get going, shall we...

Vinny (Philly, PA)

Chris Young (AZ). Someone dropped him in my 10-team mixed. I need steals and another OF so my knee-jerk reaction was to snag him, but his season stats are terrible with only 5 SB attempts. Do you expect him to make the strides we expected of him in the second half?

AJ Mass
  (11:03 AM)

I'd certainly grab him simply on the potential that he might. Young isn't running b/c he's not getting on base. One begets the other, and if the steals don't come, at least he won't kill you in power. If they do, you come out ahead.

Josh (DC)

Plain and simple response to you DL-article: Why isn't not being able to make any roster adds or drops until you fix the DL issue penalty enough for those who choose to keep player on the DL after they've been activated?

AJ Mass
  (11:08 AM)

Than ks for the Q Josh. Assuming your league has that penalty in place (not all do) - no moves doesn't necessarily solve the problem. If I have hoarded Tulo, Barmes and Keppinger and Furcal on the DL. If they all come back at once, now I can hold them for a week or two and someone else who needs a SS is stuck? It's not fair to allow an owner to have extra roster room that others don't have. Plus if I don't activate Tulo, and then three weeks from now another player on my roster gets hurt, I can make the switch and all is well? Not cool in my book.

Mike (Austin, TX)

What do you think of earnest graham this year and in keeper leagues? Is he top 12 rb worthy?

AJ Mass
  (11:11 AM)

If we knew he had the job, then maybe... but Dunn is going to grab some 3rd down work from him and Carnell, they say, is making amazing progress. Graham may start the year as RB1, but he's still only worth a late -Top 25 RB rank.

Josh (DC)

Well, I guess it's just a difference in philosophy. I couldn't disagree with you more. To me, a big part of fantasy is that it's NOT real baseball, and the quirks and taking advantage of the rules is just part of strategy. It's plenty fair to hoard all you can, if that means you can't make any other moves. I don't see how that isn't enough of a penalty, because if you want to do anything with your team, you can't.

AJ Mass
  (11:14 AM)

Agree to disagree. Certainly it's not REAL baseball, which is why I was amused by some people who argued that "real MLB teams can keep guys on the DL when they're not injured...why can't I?" To me it boils down to the intent of the rules, which is to create a level playing field. The "no-moves" penalty isn't really a penalty to me, because you can always CHOOSE to end your punishment yourself. It's self-imposed and therefore, if you're not hurt by what I think borders on cheating, you'll get away with it. But if your league wants you to be able to do it, by all means... play by your own rules! That's what it's about.

Matt (DC)

Is there any early word about who will be the starting RB in Carolina? Perhaps a timeshare between Williams and Stewart?

AJ Mass
  (11:16 AM)

I think Stewart will end up being used in goal-line situations and on 3rd downs at the very least... which leads me to believe that if DeAngelo can't get anything going early, they'll let Stewart go all the time... but Williams will likely get first dibs.

Jim (MI)

Hey AJ, love your stuff. Kemp or Ludwick for the rest of the season?

AJ Mass
  (11:18 AM)

I'm going with Kemp. Ludwick has certainly been more valuable so far, but I'm always going to go with a guy slanted towards speed over a guy slanted towards power if they're anywhere near each other.

Ryan (Houston)

Better numbers going forward: Beltre or Headley?

AJ Mass
  (11:19 AM)

I'd take the chance on the Headley upside. Beltre has been on fire for the past week, but was only .220 just a short time ago. Yeah, injuries played a part, but they may rear their head again.

Matt (Chicago)

But those DL spots are available to veryone in the league. There's no unfair advantage if others choose not to use that as extra roster space.

AJ Mass
  (11:20 AM)

They're only available if your players get injured. The spot is supposed to be used to allow you to keep a player, rather than cut him, if he gets hurt. Once he isn't hurt, you shouldn't be allowed to inflate your roster over the size allowed by the league rules.

Sean (Sacramento, Ca)

AJ- I have a Commish question. I run a duel league that has the same owners for baseball and football. Everyone has rejoined football for the comming season but one owner. That owner is active still in baseball, but has not responded to emails, or league invitations to rejoin football. Owners are required to be in both leagues. It has been over 2 weeks, and he has been given a final notice, but I have a hard time removing an owner who is still active in the one league... What do I do?

AJ Mass
  (11:23 AM)

I'd be concerned if an owner doesn't even respond to e-mails. I assume you've told him that he has to join football to stay in baseball next year... if he ignores you, I'd simply replace him for football... but let him finish out the baseball season so long as he's still trying... and then don't let him back for baseball next year. You've done all you can do.

Ron (NYC)

Sell high on Kinsler? In my pts league he is equal to Utley!

AJ Mass
  (11:25 AM)

Can you get value back in return... that's the question. So far, this year, I would say Kinsler has been 3rd Most Valuable Player... Even if he slows down, you'd have to get a Top-20 guy for him at least...

Jared (Waco)

Talk about Fred Lewis in San Fran. Would you drop Hermida for a righty-only facing Lewis? On the DL-thing, why does ESPN allow you to keep them on there forever? That should be an easy programming fix.

AJ Mass
  (11:30 AM)

The beautiful thing about fantasy ball is that HR and SB and totals don't care about platoons. You have a guy who hits 6 HR and steals 13 bases, it doesn't really matter how long it takes to do it... three games a week or 7. I make that move immediately. As for the DL-fix... I'm not a programmer... but how would you do it? Automatically cut who? The programming doesn't allow for an "illegal roster" and unless it knew who to cut, simply moving the player to the bench so you could decide who to cut would result in an illegal lineup.

Casey (Norfolk)

Quick Question: what's your take on points-style leagues?

AJ Mass
  (11:32 AM)

Not my cup of tea, but I have no problem with them. The problem I see with them is the general lack of "negative" offensive points. Some scoring systems that give points for hits and runs allow for a corpse to generate the same number of points as a guy in a 0-for-25 slump, when the slumper should be hurting his squad more.


Why not give a person a time period of say 3 days once a player is activated to make their roster decision? Then, lock their roster so they cant start a lineup until they fix the DL problem.

AJ Mass
  (11:34 AM)

That's what you have now in weekly lineup leagues, and I have no issue with that. The problem I have is people keeping a player on his DL for several weeks, waiting for him to "get back in game shape" -- fish or cut bait, I say.

Jason (WI)

Not to overkill this DL thing, but I play fantasy b-ball on a different site. When a player on a DL slot is no longer injured and I try to make a simple lineup adjustment, I get prompted that I must make a roster move because of the non-DL DL player. No one is forcibly removed from my roster, but I cannot make any moves unless I cut someone. That's the programming fix right there...

AJ Mass
  (11:37 AM)

Again, I'm not a programmer and have no concept on how easy or difficult it is to implement these things... but suffice it to say since that isn't available in the here and now, people are taking advantage of it, and I think it's wrong to do so. That's the point I was trying to make.

kyle (Athens, GA)

I need pitching help. Would you drop the big Unit at this point? Who would you pick up? Cueto, Kershaw, Joe Blanton, or even snag Liriano and hope for a quick return. Also, What are you thoughts on Zumaya as a middle reliever? More value than Broxton?

AJ Mass
  (11:40 AM)

Actually I wouldn't. He had a bad inning on Friday... but the D-backs let him finish the game when it was out of reach. To me, that signals he is in very good health... had they been the least bit concerned, they don't let him get a CG there. I think once Zumaya gets his groove back, he's far more valuable in a K league.

Josh (DC)

That you think it's wrong to take advantage of the DL like that sort of suggests you haven't been playing fantasy baseball long enough to realize it's become an integral part of it's fabric...

AJ Mass
  (11:43 AM)

If everyone jumps off a bridge, you do too, right? I'm not naive. If there's no rule against it, and you're taking advantage of a loophole, then you have every right to do so. But I have every right to call for the closing of said loophole.

Doumit (Pitt)

How much of a dropoff am I from brian mccann or are we pretty close for the rest of the season?

AJ Mass
  (11:44 AM)

You're a pretty significant dropoff Ryan, sorry to say. I'd much rather have McCann.

Carlo (Houston)

DL DISCUSSION BREAK! Pierre or Gomez for more SB? Who gets a better BA? Thanks!

AJ Mass
  (11:45 AM)

Pierre on both counts... but the fact that Carlos may actually knock one over the fence once or twice a month makes me take him anyway.

ira chicago il

what should i do with victor martinez non keeper league

AJ Mass
  (11:47 AM)

I'd stash him on my DL spot, assuming your league has one... BUT ONLY UNTIL HE COMES BACK. Actually, for this season only, I think V-Mart is toast.


Please help. I need offensive help. Trade Kazmir for Markakis?

AJ Mass
  (11:48 AM)

If you need offensive help, then I would make that deal... assuming you've got something left over in pitching and you're not killing K's.

Rick (DC)

Your thoughts on Saltalamacchia now that Laird is out for 4-6 weeks?

AJ Mass
  (11:49 AM)

I think Laird just lost his job.

Greg (Chicago)

Bengie Molina has been sitting on my bench for the majority of the season, stuck behind Brian McCann. What kind of trade value does he have at this point?

AJ Mass
  (11:50 AM)

Not much simply b/c most people have already written off the C spot... but you could swing him to a V-Mart owner for something... maybe a disgruntled Cuddyer owner?

Travis (Jet Nation)

People say every year not to touch anyone one the Jets. However, I think this year Dutin Keller could be one of the most undervalued fantasy players with the Jets new O-line and with Chad most likely to get the starts. your thoughts?

AJ Mass
  (11:52 AM)

After the top 7 or so TE's, you could really draw from a hat. You want to take a chance, go ahead... he'll be there late. I don't expect a huge year, though.

Jay (LA)

Need help at 1B with Papi out (will the power be there when he comes back?)...struggling with Delgado...Jacobs and C Pena are FA's...what would you do?

AJ Mass
  (11:53 AM)

I'd go with Jacobs. That's right... I said it.


So is Salty the new cather to grab? Him or Clement the rest of the way?

AJ Mass
  (11:55 AM)

Given the Laird situation, I'd go with Salty. I like Clement longterm... but I think he's going to be distracted more by the defensive aspect of the position.

JC (Btown)

Your top five NL First Basemen??

AJ Mass
  (11:57 AM)

Berkman a clear #1. Gonzo and Lee close 2/3. Howard and Tex next (assuming Pujols won't count due to DL otherwise, he's 2)


General fantasy football question...we always have a "DL" spot, or an open roster spot where you can stash your kicker, D or TE when they are on bye, thus making it so you only have to carry one of each on your roster. Some owners want to get away from that. What is the best way to handle that? Add roster spots so you carry two of both? Which is a better way to play? Thanks.

AJ Mass
  (12:00 PM)

In the past, I've handled it with what I call the "bye week pickup" -- very much like the "DL" spot you talk about, where after the bye week is over, the pickup is automatically returned to FA pool. If your owners don't like what you have, I think you probably add one roster spot and let team rotate the extra K/D/TE through that if they don't want to be stuck with 2 of each.

Mike (Boston)

No Prince in that top 5?

AJ Mass
  (12:01 PM)

I'd have him 6th... but you could certainly argue him over Tex.

Steve (Detroit)

Does Dunn leaving and Turner coming in help or hurt Norwood's fantasy value?

AJ Mass
  (12:03 PM)

Little of both... on the one hand it hurts, because let's face it, Turner's the #1 and if they thought Norwood was the guy, they wouldn't have brought him in. On the other hand, Turner's never been BMOC before... so there's more of a chance he falls on his face than Dunn would have.

Scott (Reno)

Willingham or DeJesus the rest of the year?

AJ Mass
  (12:04 PM)

DeJesus, unless you are looking straight HR.



AJ Mass
  (12:05 PM)

For 08 CQ, for 09 and beyond, JB

AJ Mass
  (12:06 PM)

That's all I have time for today, gang. As always, I appreciate all the Q's and TMR is up at 3pm. Lively debate and fun too. We'll see you the next time on Villa Allegre!