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July 3, 12:47 PM ET
Fantasy Baseball w/Eric Karabell

Eric Karabell
  (11:02 AM)

Hello all and welcome to another fantasy sports chat session. Lots going on today, thanks for joining us, let's get right to it...

Suzanne (Oak Park, IL)

I dumped OWINGS after last night.....picked up DOTEL hoping to vulture a few saves. Good move?

Eric Karabell
  (11:05 AM)

Owings has definitely struggled, and with a performance like Wednesday one must think he is hiding an injury. When you're suddenly that wild, walking and hitting batters, not a good sign. Dotel struck out the side for the save, and he might have passed Linebrink for saves this week, but I do fully expect Bobby Jenks to be back in about a week. His shoulder problem is not his throwing shoulder...

Ben (Utah)

Should we continue to hold onto Andy Sonnanstine? Is he going get a lot more wins in the 2nd half?

Eric Karabell
  (11:06 AM)

Continue? The guy has 10 wins, no other pitcher on Tampa Bay has more than 7. Sonnanstine also hasn't lost or allowed a home run since May. He's legit, and should do well today against the Indians. I could see a 17 win season for him.

Homer (Springfield)

Is Francisco Liriano going to have a major impact on my fantasy team in the 2nd half. I've been sitting on him for about a month now.

Eric Karabell
  (11:08 AM)

Having some Internet problems here, so bear with me... . As for Liriano, I am going to say no to "major" impact. I do think the Twins will be patient, and eventually recall him, but there is also no obvious spot for him unless Livan gets punted.

Jon (NY)

What's your take on the Barry Bonds talk? Do you think he will be signed, and if so what kind of production would you expect?

Eric Karabell
  (11:10 AM)

I don't think he is going to play again this season, because I don't think any team wants the media circus. I have little doubt he can still hit and walk and be productive, but I just don't see a team taking the chance on the other stuff.

Jon (Cleveland)

I lost McGowan, and am trying to find some under-the-radar SP to take his spot, any suggestions?

Eric Karabell
  (11:12 AM)

Certainly Sonnanstine, owned in only 20 percent of leagues, and every day I seem to be recommending a Twins starter - not Livan - because they are all available. Baker, Slowey, you name it. As for McGowan, it's not a torn rotator cuff per se, but a tear in the cuff. He might miss a month, he's probably not done for the year.

Mike (Minneapolis)

Word is that Homer Bailey is getting another chance in Cincy? What are the odds he sticks this time? Just picked him up in my keeper league. Thaks.

Eric Karabell
  (11:15 AM)

I would think Aaron Harang is headed to the DL, if he's not already there. He wasn't last time I checked. A guy like him walks 7 in a game, there is clearly something wrong. I don't trust Bailey at the major league level one bit. I saw him pitch a bit against Brett Myers Monday, and he's still lacking some command. Good luck.

Mitchell (Lansing, MI)

Yovani Gallardo may return this year?!? Thoughts?

Eric Karabell
  (11:16 AM)

I heard that rumor as well, but I would think he would pitch from the bullpen if he comes back for late September and the playoffs. I don't think he'd be a starter after missing that much time. And that's a big if...

Jeremy (Waterville)

Will Izzy reclaim the closer job?

Eric Karabell
  (11:18 AM)

Just when I finally got convinced that Isringhausen would not get the job back, Tony LaRussa announces he would like to get Izzy back in there. I don't know at this point. Ryan Franklin has done a nice job, so why tinker at this point? I'll still say Izzy does not pick up a lot of saves the rest of the way.

Eric (MA)

I need your advice: do you recommend signing Harden ($2) as a keeper or Jurrjens ($1)? I know keeper leagues differ but the same concept applys - who will be better the next two yrs, Harden or Jurrjens. Is Harden's high risk/high reward worth more than Jurrjens?

Eric Karabell
  (11:19 AM)

Interesting. Based on upside, and price being about equal, even the most pessimistic among us would have to take Harden. Jurrjens is doing fine, but I don't see him being a Cy Young contender. Harden, when healthy, is.

Justin ( Boston )

What are your thoughts on Myers for the second half?

Eric Karabell
  (11:20 AM)

I am no longer expecting anything from Brett Myers this season, and in a way I think the Phillies know this. I think this situation will get ugly, soon. In fantasy, I have moved on from Myers.

Patrick (Westchester, NY)

Is Scott Hairston for real? Has he begun to hit for avg to go with the recent power or will he revert back to his avg in the majors? In the minors he had some years of making good contact.

Eric Karabell
  (11:22 AM)

He's been hitting better of late, but I think ultimately if he got 500 at-bats he'd hit about 20 home runs, and bat .250. There's a market for that, but I don't see him doing much more.

David (Texas)

Thoughts on Josh Johnson, I know you guys are always down on Tommy John returnees but Mike Gonzalez seems to be fine.

Eric Karabell
  (11:25 AM)

Ha! First of all, please don't group us guys together. We all think differently. We all research our own ways. Trust me, we're all different people. Second, I am not down on TJ recoverees at all. I am cautious, because I think in most cases it takes time for them to thrive when they come back. We are seeing pitchers return in less than a calendar year, but are they effective? Liriano is a great example. He's still working through the kinks. Gonzalez is a closer, like BJ Ryan, and they are different. I don't expect Josh Johnson to have a 3.10 ERA the rest of the way, his ERA from 2006, but I think he can be helpful. I would not activate him for today though.

Brent (Beantown)

EK, listen to the worst pitching draft ever. I dare you to top this one: Harang, Vasquez, R. Hill, Snell, McGowan, and Greinke. At least Greinke hasn't been to bad, right? Anyway, I need SP help (obviously) and HR's. What do you think of this deal. Give Rios, Kemp, C. Jones and Sherrill, Get Carlos Lee, Longoria and Slowey. Thanks.

Eric Karabell
  (11:26 AM)

That is some bad luck. You should have taken Bedard, too! Or Dontrelle! Anyway, I like the trade for you. It's a good time to move Chipper, Rios does not have power, and Longoria is a stud who we will be ranking close to David Wright in about one year.

E man, Valparaiso

Figgins or Alexi Ramirez? I am getting impatient with Chone!

Eric Karabell
  (11:27 AM)

Don't be impatient. He'll run, and he'll run a lot, in bunches, with a high average. Just look at Figgins' splits from last year. If you need pop, Figgins isn't your guy, but for speed with these two players, go Figgins.

Charlie (NYC)

Eric, You (and I) think that Taylor is the man - when Fuentes gets traded. But Dowd said in the Denver Post this am that Corpas is definitely the guy after the trade. What do you make of this? Thanks.

Eric Karabell
  (11:29 AM)

Could be. I've heard that as well. I think my point is that even if Corpas gets the first chance, he's pitching so poorly he will blow that chance. Everyone says Fuentes will get traded, which normally means he sticks around. The Rockies are an odd team; nobody knows what to expect. Based on numbers, Buchholz should get save chances. Wouldn't surprise me if all these guys get bypassed eventually for Casey Weathers.

Adam (NY)

Baily vs Myers, was that dissapointment bowl '08? The M's cant really give the closers job back to Putz the way Morros is going right now can they?

Eric Karabell
  (11:31 AM)

It sure was. Carmona and Rich Hill should have pitched in that game as well. As for Morrow, who has given up 2 base runners in his last 11 outings, I do think he will keep the job for this year. I still think deep down he starts in future years.

Marc (Toronto, Canada)

Eric, what are your thoughts on Rich Hill NEXT year? I bought him for a ton of money this year and obviously have been disapointed. But due to innings pitched, I can keep him for free next year. Is he worth the roster spot for the rest of the year based on that?

Eric Karabell
  (11:32 AM)

I'd like to think Hill will eventually be OK and provide his 2007 stats in 2009, but there is no way at all of knowing. Plus, will the Cubs have room for him? It's too early to tell, but I wouldn't count on Hill as one of your keepers. If he was really pitching poorly, like Scott Olsen did last season, I'd still believe in Hill. I mean, Olsen was fine in 2006, and he's fine now. Hill would be that except he's not even pitching now, and he's not hurt. He's just way too wild.

Casey (Hoboken)

Delmon Young's current OPS .737 and he has 3 HR's so far. His career OPS is .738. Should we stop hoping for that projected power jump now that he has over 1000 major league AB's?

Eric Karabell
  (11:33 AM)

What a disappointment! Yeah, I am not expecting a power surge from this guy anymore this season. Maybe at some point in the future, but not 2008. And there is no explaining this, really. He doesn't walk, and he's not improving.

Hank (Michigan)

How you feeling about Barmes these days? I know how I feel... not optimistic...

Eric Karabell
  (11:34 AM)

He stinks. And I knew this a month ago and was telling people on TV. He's very streaky, as we saw before the deer meat incident. I actually think Jayson Nix is going to eventually take that 2B job and run with it.

Brian (Woodbridge, CT)

Hi Eric. What young pitcher do you like better in the second half: Manny Parra, Scott Baker or Clay Buchholz? Thanks.

Eric Karabell
  (11:35 AM)

I rank them Buchholz, Baker, Parra. For now, we don't know for sure Parra will even get to start. I just added Buchholz in a league, can't believe he was available. Big second half coming for him, and after he pitches well on Friday, it might be too late to get him on the cheap.

Scott (Buffalo)

Clay Buchholz back on the mound Friday. What do you expect from him in the second half? Better than Joba?

Eric Karabell
  (11:36 AM)

Yes, believe it or not, I would take Buchholz over Joba the rest of this season.

Mike (St. Louis)

Multiple questions on irrelevants (Bailey and Myers) ... WOW ... Would you drop Furcal, Church, Helton, Wang, Marcum, and/or Putz. or will any of them have any impact in the second half.

Eric Karabell
  (11:38 AM)

I disagree. They are VERY relevant. A lot of people ask about them. I can certainly make the case they are more relevant than some of the guys you asked about. Furcal is done. Wang is probably done. Putz probably won't close unless Morrow gets hurt. Helton won't be getting his power back. I never tell people who to drop, because every league is different. I own a few of these guys in deep leagues, where you don't drop them. In 10-teamers with 1 DL spot, I probably cut them all.

Andrew (DC)

I find it amazing that questions on Clint Barmes are answered, while you refuse to answer your opinion on Fielder vs Gonzalez for the 2nd half, something that has acutal fantasy impact.

Eric Karabell
  (11:40 AM)

I need to address this. MORE people care about free agent types like Barmes than they do those owned in 100 percent of leagues. Everyone owns Fielder and Gonzalez. How often will those guys be dealt in your league? Ever? Plus, there are thousands of questions here. I don't think Fielder vs. Gonzalez has much impact. They're both good. Both will be ranked in my top 40 or so rankings. I'll take Fielder, still.

Mark (Raleigh)

Another injured / droppable: Wainwright? Are finger problems worse than arm/shoulder issues?

Eric Karabell
  (11:41 AM)

They're all different. Now the Cardinals say Wainwright might be back in August. Not a really good sign. Drop him if you can't wait that long. I mean, he might be back for what, five starts? Will you be out of the race by then?

Young (St. Louis)

Hamilton/Bedard for Sizemore/Longoria -- who you taking?

Eric Karabell
  (11:42 AM)

Depends if you need a pitcher, I suppose, but in a vacuum it's Sizemore/Longoria. Hamilton is great, but Sizemore is still better in my ranks, and Longoria is a top-5 3B.

Dan (NJ)

EK - I cant seem to get a good grasp on Kemp. How do you see him finishing the season and what do you project for him next year? Thanks.

Eric Karabell
  (11:44 AM)

I don't think he's a true leadoff guy, but he can steal 30 bases and hit 20 home runs. I think his power improves the rest of the way, and he runs a bit less. But we'd all take a 20/30 season, no? He is going to be a stud.

Steve (Ithaca, NY)

I'm still waiting for why Clay or Joba?

Eric Karabell
  (11:45 AM)

I knew that would get Yankees fans riled up. It's not an indictment on Joba, you know. I just think Buchholz is more mature, can throw more innings, still has tremendous strikeout potential and I trust his team and bullpen more. That all said, neither are likely to be among the top 20 starting pitchers the rest of the way, but both are close. It's not like Joba is bad. He just hasn't been consistent with pitch counts yet. Buchholz shouldn't have that problem anymore.

Christie (Baltimore)

Does Holliday remain a top 10 player if he gets traded away from Coors Field?

Eric Karabell
  (11:46 AM)

No, unequivocally no. But I do not think Holliday will get traded.

Ryan (CT)

You never gave an answer on marcum... do you think he's done?

Eric Karabell
  (11:48 AM)

Marcum will be back in two weeks, so he is definitely not done. Based on his workload the past two seasons, I don't think he can stay injury free the rest of the way. The injury was a strained elbow and forearm, and it's possible he recovered and will resume his standout performance. I expect some regression to his mean.

Al (Kahalik, MN)

Kinsler has been playing out of his mind for over a month now. I know he's a good player, even a top 2 2b, but can these numbers last? Do you see him keeping this up next year?

Eric Karabell
  (11:49 AM)

Yeah, I do think Kinsler can keep doing this. You know, as good as Hamilton and Bradley have been, it's Kinsler ranked the best on the Player Rater, and he's top 3 overall! I will try to rank him in the top 10 the rest of the way, believing he can keep doing this. He's a 20/40 second baseman, incredible.

John SD

So I jumped the gun when reading the Holliday rumors and traded him for Johan in my NL Keeper league thinking I should try to get something in case he got dealt. Did I pay too much?

Eric Karabell
  (11:50 AM)

Not at all. A pair of top 10 guys for each other, and we know Johan isn't heading back to the AL. Holliday could be an Angel this month for all we know.

Craig (PA)

I've been asking all chat about David Ortiz. Are you not answering because you dont think he will have a big impact or because you feel he will be the same old Ortiz when he comes back?

Eric Karabell
  (11:52 AM)

I wasn't answering because I didn't see it. LOT of questions here, I get like 10 at a time. It's luck, in a way. As for Papi, I think he returns in early August, hits for average and takes walks, but it takes a bit for the power to come back. He will have an impact, he is that good, but he probably can't reach expectations.

Jeff (Seattle)

Do you like Chan Ho Park tonight?

Eric Karabell
  (11:52 AM)

In four starts so far, he has a 1.29 ERA. Ignore the name, look at the numbers. Yeah, I have to like him tonight, in that ballpark, and with how good Lowe and Kuroda have been this week.

Mike (Cincy)

What do you see Justin Upton doing next year? I am considering acquiring him in a keeper league. Thanks.

Eric Karabell
  (11:53 AM)

I think he will remain inconsistent this season, with bouts of power that amaze, and the future looks very bright. In fact, if he decides to run, I think he has ability to be a monster fantasy asset in 2 or 3 years, a top 10 option. Just not in 2008. If you can acquire him for a nice price, do it.

Cody (LA)

Any concerns with Burnett? Over his past two starts, he's made it through the fifth just fine, then just implodes. Batters making game adjustments or possible fatigue?

Eric Karabell
  (11:54 AM)

He's not one of my favorites, I will say that. As fas as I know, I don't own him anywhere. Too erratic, too brittle, not worth the trouble. But I also think the Blue Jays hate him, they know he wants out, and they might not use him correctly for this reason.

Bob Ma

No explanation needed what's your gut on this,need a starting pitcher the rest of the way sorry about the list but low moves makes getting it right important : Roy Oswalt, Scott Olsen,Clay Buchhotz,Andrew Miller,Scott Baker,Chan Ho Park,Nick Blackburn,Jorge Campillo,Hiroki Kuroda

Eric Karabell
  (11:55 AM)

No problem. I think it's down to Oswalt, Buchholz and Kuroda. That's who I trust the most. I would probably go Buchholz. I would really be very surprised if he struggles.

Jordan (Cincy)

What do you think Jay Bruce's stat line will be next season?

Eric Karabell
  (11:56 AM)

I think he clearly needs a rest, and maybe an offseason to tweak his swing. But he's going to be very, very good when he's consistent. Next year? How about 30-100-15.

Nate (Madison)

More on your Burnett answer, might explain why they left him out there to get hammered that game in Milwaukee.

Eric Karabell
  (11:57 AM)

Yeah, last night convinced me they will move him for 50 cents on the dollar.

Jerry (Conshohocken, PA)

I need a closer BAD! Is Corey Hart and Zumaya too much to give up for Kerry Wood and Xavier Nady? Keeper league, is Corey Hart a keeper? Thanks!

Eric Karabell
  (11:58 AM)

Case can be made on this one, if you need saves. And Nady has similar power to Hart, he just doesn't run. Wood is not a fluke. He'll fan close to 100, and save 40.

Scott, Groton CT

What player do you see increasing his value the most in the 2nd half?

Eric Karabell
  (11:58 AM)

I could probably name 30 players. Watch Jimmy Rollins. He needs a break, which he'll get next week, and then he's going to go off. Just like last year.

Neal - Boston

Agree wholeheartedly that most of us are a lot more interested in info re: the "2nd tier" players. Speaking of which, Francouer or Bruce for the 2nd half?

Eric Karabell
  (11:59 AM)

I want to say Frenchy has a big second half, but there is absolutely no indication of this. So I say Bruce, because he has the power and can run.

Eric Karabell
  (12:00 PM)

And with that, our time is up for today. Lots of great questions and discussion, so I thank you for that, and your time. Have a great day and look for another chat later today with the underrated Keith Lipscomb. Have a great day.