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July 3, 12:45 PM ET
Fantasy Baseball w/AJ Mass

AJ Mass
  (11:00 AM)

Welcome to another fantasy sports chat, gang. We'll try to answer as many baseball Q's as we can, but we're also open to any early fantasy football Q's as well. Let's get started, shall we?

Lawrence, Belmar NJ

Yo, what up with Manny Parra pitching an innning in relief last night! Is he losing is spot to CC?

AJ Mass
  (11:01 AM)

No worries, Lawrence. With CC's arrival, the team simply juggled the rotation a bit. Parra will go on Friday. Don't be surprised to see several starters used in a relief role this weekend with a built-in three-days off coming next week.

Alex (Chicago)

Ricky Nolasco is 10-4 and no one seems to notice...your thoughts?

AJ Mass
  (11:04 AM)

It's not a "nobody has noticed" - it's more of a nobody believes. His K/9 is low (6.94) and he's not all that overpowering.

Frank (Worcester)

Rather have Crede or Glaus the rest of the way in a league that counts OPS in addition to the standard categories.

AJ Mass
  (11:05 AM)

I'd go Glaus... power is roughly equal but he's got a much better eye.

Brett (NY)

Do you think that Franceour will bounce back after his recent call down to the minors? He seemed kind of angry with the management because he was not given a reason why he was sent down.

AJ Mass
  (11:08 AM)

It's not like he wasn't trying before... I think he's likely to do well in the first few games, but after that... he's likely to start demanding a trade and could sulk his way to worse stats than he has now. It's hard enough trying to predict baseball things.. I hate trying to predict psychology too.

Dave (Detroit)

AJ, loved the Commish's Court yesterday - it seems like every relatively fair trade I offer gets countered with absurdity... That being said, I really cant improve my team through trading too much. I have the #1 waiver, should I use it on LaPorta if/when he gets called up? Does he get brought up at all? How does he do for the season?

AJ Mass
  (11:10 AM)

Thanks... funny enough, CC for LaPorta would probably be vetoed in most leagues, keeper or not. I don't think LaPorta has much 2008 value. He's only a AA guy, and may get a call, but I wouldn't wait around for him.

Andrew (OH)

Hey AJ! Better chance to vulture saves with Jenks hurting: Dotel or Linebrink?

AJ Mass
  (11:12 AM)

Linebrink, and he's the better pitcher as well...


I'm blessed with three good middle infielders, Guzman and Theriot and Cano....I need a SP, so, who should I deal?

AJ Mass
  (11:13 AM)

I'd trade Cano. Not only do I think he'll provide the worst stats of the three hereon out, but the Yankee uniform will likely get you higher return value.

Jon (Eden Prairie, MN)

Is there any reason to believe that Justin Duchscherer can stay healthy for the 2nd half of the season or will the amount of innings catch of with him?? I just feel like he's an injury waiting to happen and wonder if I should deal him before that happens.

AJ Mass
  (11:16 AM)

I think if you feel that way, then trade him now... after all, he's likely to have a second half regression anyway. Get top value for him before then and you won't have to have that feeling in the pit of your stomach all season. Personally, I find it pointless to try and predict injuries... they either happen or they don't... but if I'm concerned about a guy, I'd rather trade him too early than too late.

Kyle (minneapolis)

Hey AJ, I have a couple of games this week where I have the two starting pitchers opposing each other (Maine vs. Sanchez on Thursday for example). In those cases, do you start both and hope for a 1-0 outcome, or start the one you like better? There is a 7 start a week limit for my team. Thanks

AJ Mass
  (11:18 AM)

Nothing precludes both pitchers from doing well... it's not like you have Sanchez and the entire Mets lineup, where one has to do poorly for the other to do well. Always start your best...

Earl, Fayetteville

Johan or CC the rest of the way?

AJ Mass
  (11:19 AM)

I'd go with CC. Interleague play has downplayed the whole "new league, hitters don't know him" angle a bit. But, I think he'll do well and with the up and down Mets, I'm not sure Johan wins as many games...

Kylita, Dominicana

Pick a horrible SS for me please: Aviles, Lugo, Punto? (UGH!)

AJ Mass
  (11:21 AM)

I go Aviles over Punto. Considering the SS dropoff after the top few, it's not as UGH as you think.


DeJesus is still a FA in my league, should I snag him or hope either CYoung or VWells turns it around in the 2nd half?

AJ Mass
  (11:23 AM)

Guy's hitting around .320 and close to double-digit HR. I'd snag him on general principles.

Jon (NY)

Who should i pick up as a free agent in my league that u think is available? I have an empty spot on my roster

AJ Mass
  (11:24 AM)

The guy with the best stats, Jon. By the way, tomorrow's lotto numbers are...

Matt (Charlotte)

Would you drop one or more of these DL'd pitchers in a yearly roto league: Capps, Wang, Marcum? Dead weight right now. Thanks, AJ.

AJ Mass
  (11:26 AM)

If they're just taking up bench space, then I'd cut Wang and Marcum loose. I might hold on to Capps, just because saves are so hard to come by and he *might* make it back by September. But no need to have three dead roster spots.

Kyle (Athens, GA)

Big unit, Kuroda, or Matt Garza for the rest of the season?

AJ Mass
  (11:28 AM)

I'd actually like Randy if I was in a K/9 league. He's doing really well per inning of work... though there's no guarantee about the total # of IP. Garza the safest pick, but I go Unit.

Tomorrow's Lotto Numbers (NY) :

4 8 15 16 23 42

Torrie (Fort Lauderdale)

who should i start ludwick, church, or ma man ichiro

AJ Mass
  (11:30 AM)

Ludwick... top 20 hitter so far this season IMO.

Mike CA

Marcum is back before August AJ, and should rebound nicely. No need to drop him, he is worth the wait. Would you want Buerlhe or Banks on your team going forward?

AJ Mass
  (11:33 AM)

I'm not sold on Marcum's elbow not needing surgery down the line.... but I don't have a problem if you wanted to wait either... you don't need to hold on to 3 damaged pitchers. Buehrle and Banks... good name game. I'm going to go Banks based on nothing more than a gut call.

Corey (Boston)

Fantasy football question: Any worries about Steven Jackson as a top 5 RB this year? Were his lower-than-expected stats due more to the O-line falling apart, or is there more to worry about?

AJ Mass
  (11:35 AM)

His lower-than-expected stats had a lot to do with a torn groin and bad back. Injuries are always entering the equation, but I think S-Jax is no worse than #5 pick in any draft.

Chris (Nashville)

AJ, I got Chipper in my lineup now, but Aramis Ramirez sitting behind him. Thinking about trading Chipper ... do you think he will have as good of a 2nd half or fizzle out after the break?

AJ Mass
  (11:36 AM)

He's not hitting .380 the rest of the way, and I think he starts to sit more and more as the season goes on. There's a steep dropoff to Aramis, but if you're improving a key need area, then go ahead and make the deal.

Ryan (Chicago)

Back to baseball. Please rank 3b Braun, Cabrera, or Longoria.

AJ Mass
  (11:37 AM)

I go Evan 1, Braun 2, Cabrera 3.

Jake (D.C.)

I really really would like you to answer my Rule Dilemna with your thoughts as 10 of us are fighting over this. Pretty please? It involves Clay Buchholz. One team made a deal yesterday before news broke he was being promoted. Then a few hours later they backed out of the deal before the trade was completed. Was this legit, according to our league rules? The rulebook says "If injuries and/or demotions occur during the voting period that make the trade unfair, then the trade can be nullified by either party. Also, if a guy accidentally hit accept the trade can be nullified. Projections on Buchholz for the rest of the season?

AJ Mass
  (11:39 AM)

The key word is "unfair" I think. It's not like a Buchholz promotion was a surprise. He'd been up before and good chance he'd be up again. I'd let the deal stand.

matt (ny)

Wheeler, Marte, or Linebrink if im looking to vulture some saves?

AJ Mass
  (11:41 AM)

All could give you some saves, but Marte has the most potential to remain in the role. If it's just saves you want, go with him. If it's the best pitcher, I go Wheeler.

Traci SLC

Is Jay Bruce and Votto worth holding on to. Do you think they might start performing after the All Star Break.

AJ Mass
  (11:42 AM)

Wow! From HOF induction to "should he be cut" in record time, huh? I'd hold on to both, and expect decent numbers from this point forward, but it comes down to what my other options are.


WHY am I owned in only 12.5% of standard ESPN Leagues?!?!?! What do you see from me going forward?

AJ Mass
  (11:43 AM)

Because your name is not plastered in neon lights and you play in no-man's land. I think Baker puts up better numbers than Ben Sheets from this point forward and is a top-10 starter.

Boen Moawad (Newcastle,Wa)

Aj,I have one question for you will the Mariners make it to playoff's they are doing well now.

AJ Mass
  (11:44 AM)

Got to love an optimistic fan, don't you folks?

Alligator (Swap City)

AJ I thought we were going fishing on Saturday. I'm getting no love!

AJ Mass
  (11:45 AM)



You've only answered one football question! Please rank Santonio Holmes, Marvin Harrison, Brandan Marshall and Anquan Boldin....thanks

AJ Mass
  (11:46 AM)

Serious injury concerns puts Marvin last. I like Boldin 1, Holmes 2 and Marshall 3... but we're splitting hairs. They are all right about the same level as the #2 WR in a ten-team league.

Ryan (DC)

harang a buy-low or avoid?

AJ Mass
  (11:48 AM)

I'd say he's a buy-low. The peripherals are still good. He's a borderline #4 starter in a 10-team league with huge room for improvement of results.

Ralph, Pittsburg

Safer for 2nd half: Big Z, Sheets.

AJ Mass
  (11:49 AM)

I go with Sheets, especially since he's not going to feel the need to do it all himself anymore.

Vinny (NYC)

Bedard a buy-low or avoid?

AJ Mass
  (11:51 AM)

Here's an avoid unless traded. The M's won't let him go 100 pitches... which means if he has a few K's early, he may not go more than 5 IP. It's silly how he's being used and he's unhappy to boot. Avoid.

Scott (Montpelier, VT)

Please give me some good thoughts about Konerko. Seeing as how my other 1Ber in my AL only league is R.Garko, who's been so disappointing! Any good news...lie if you have to! Thanks for chatting!

AJ Mass
  (11:53 AM)

I hope Konerko turns it around... I just traded for him in my Experts league. But that's all I'm going on... HOPE. Still, it was good enough for Red in Shawshank... it's good enough for me.

Mike: Chicago IL

AJ: you mentioned you like longoria more than miggy, i have both in a keeper league and am looking to make a trade for a better hitting 1B (Miggy currently at 1st) who should i target? is ryan howard too much to ask for?

AJ Mass
  (11:55 AM)

Nobody is ever too much to ask for. After all, you have no idea how the other player values your players. They might say yes. In fact, this might be the only time you can get Howard, as the BA has never been lower.

Jason Varitek ( Boston)

Can you please tell everyone I deserve to be an All-Star. These death threats are scaring me

AJ Mass
  (11:57 AM)

Sorry, Jason. You do not deserve to be an All-Star, at least not by fantasy terms. Great defense, yes... but that's so unquantifiable in so many ways. Still... death threats? People, please. It's just a game.

Craig (PA)

Pleas rank for 2nd half. Thames, Cantu, Derosa, Helton?

AJ Mass
  (11:58 AM)

I think that order will do just nicely.

Dan (NJ)

Another Ranking: Kemp, Burrell, Granderson, McCann

AJ Mass
  (11:59 AM)

Snubbed Pat, Brian, Curtis and Matt.

Ennis (Fullterton)

Ranking Part III: Kuroda, Wandy, Ubaldo rest of the season?

AJ Mass
  (12:00 PM)

Why not? We're working on our All-Star break rankings as we speak. Wandy/Hiroki/Ubaldo

AJ Mass
  (12:00 PM)

Time for one more...

Josh (IA)

BUZZER BEATER: Michael Bourn or Fred Lewis the rest of the year?

AJ Mass
  (12:01 PM)

Fred Lewis. Even if you need steals, Bourn isn't worth the hit in other areas.

AJ Mass
  (12:02 PM)

That's my time gang. Thanks for the Q's. I wish I could have gotten to more, but they fly in by the thousands. We have another chat lined up at 3pm... and I'll be back next week... same bat time, same bat channel. Have a great day!