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July 25, 1:41 PM ET
Fantasy Baseball w/AJ Mass

AJ Mass
  (10:55 AM)

Good morning gang. It's another fantasy baseball chat, as we head towards the end of July. Let's get things started, shall we?

Matt (Philly)

Hi AJ, I've been looking for the answer to this everywhere and no one seems to know. Who takes over for Huston Street after he is traded this week?

AJ Mass
  (10:57 AM)

Nobody knows because there isn't a true front-runner there. I still think Devine gets the job if he's fully healthy. If not, no reason Casilla can't step in.

Doug (New York)

What do you think about this trade, BJ upton for mariano rivera? The team getting upton needs steals and has 3 other closers (Nathan, Jenks, Soria)

AJ Mass
  (10:58 AM)

That's exactly the kind of deals fantasy owners should be making this time of year. If you no longer "need" saves, you can overpay for steals. Is Rivera equal value to Upton? Probably not. But to this owner, Upton is far more valuable.

Jason (Omaha, NE)

I keep hearing all this talk of Morrow becoming a starter. How much longer will he have value as a closer?

AJ Mass
  (10:59 AM)

That's more of an off-season change being discussed in the Seattle organization. If they go that route, it will be next year...

Jose (Mass)

Should one get on the Fernando Tatis bangwagon. Is he worth a tight roster place on a second place team?

AJ Mass
  (11:01 AM)

It depends on if the Mets make a move for a bat between now and the trade deadline. There was talk about Blake coming to play LF, which would have cut Tatis' value immensely, but that didn't pan out.

Lance (Chicago)

Go ahead and get the Tim Hudson questions out of the way. Is he done for the season?

AJ Mass
  (11:03 AM)

That's the talk coming out of Atlanta. At the very least, it looks like he'll be out for a few weeks. Looks like my NR for Hudson from July rankings will be right, but I can't say I'm proud of the reason why.

Jasper (winter haven)

Micah Owings: does he get packaged in a trade deal? Do the D-Backs put him in the pen? Do they send him down?

AJ Mass
  (11:05 AM)

Certainly possible the D-Backs decide to grab Teixeira and it may take giving up an Owings or a C-Jack to get that done. Last I had heard they were placing Micah back in the rotation and sending Petit to the pen.

Dave (MI)

Who will be more valuable, if or when they start playing some baseball? Liriano or Carpenter? Or, should I let someone else pick them both up and be happy I let them go?

AJ Mass
  (11:06 AM)

I think Liriano, because he has been pitching all along will be the best help to a fantasy owner, assuming he ever gets the call. Carpenter I have more concerns about, as it will likely take several starts to get back into the groove, and I wouldn't want to take the hit.

Huskies (CT)

Do you think the Dodgers will make a late push for a trade? Perhaps Loney & Andy Laroche for Texiera or Laroche for PIT SS Jack Wilson (now that Nomar is probaly limited for the next two weeks)?

AJ Mass
  (11:09 AM)

I think Adam Everett is also available... I don't think the Dodgers are necessarily done, but with Blake acquired, I'm not sure they won't look pitching first... Maddux rumors abound.

poughkeepsie, ny

would u start chris young 2nite going against D backs for the first time since the dl????

AJ Mass
  (11:11 AM)

Because of the nature of his injury, getting hit by a ball, I'd wait. I'm always wary of a pitcher getting the flinchies and not being too comfortable until I see it for myself.

Clayton (VA)

More value at 2B in a keeper league: Rickie Weeks or Ian Stewart? You can only keep one. Thanks!

AJ Mass
  (11:12 AM)

I'd roll with Ian Stewart. I've never been a big Weeks fan.

Matt (DE)

Hey AJ, really nice article yesterday. As someone in both an AL and NL only league, I really liked it. Im my NL only is Chris Young a start tonight, or wait? And is keeping Furcal silly at this point?

AJ Mass
  (11:14 AM)

Thanks for the kind words, Matt. I've already commented on Young, but yes, I think Furcal is a lost cause. Use that roster spot to get a stat you really need off the waiver wire.

VK (DC)

Cristian Guzman has treated me well, but is it about time to cut bait and go younger with someone like Aviles?

AJ Mass
  (11:16 AM)

I'm assuming you're talking about in a keeper league, since otherwise, why would age matter? And even if it did, we're talking what? Three years difference? Guzman's 30, not 37. I go with the better player... and right now that's Guzman.

Aaron (Chicago)

Hey AJ, I'm up 10 points my 6x6 roto league, and I could use a boost in offense but I'm weary to trade away pitching and mess with a good thing since I've been in first for two and half months. What do you think?

AJ Mass
  (11:19 AM)

You can't be afraid to make deals just because things have been working out well so far... in fact, I would think the opposite more likely to be true... if things have been too good, you're more likely due for a letdown in performance. If your lead is safe in any one category, you can easily use that to your advantage. Gaining say, three points in HRs is worth losing two points in Saves, etc.

John (San Diego, CA)

Is it time to let go Johnny Cueto or should I hope for the best the rest of the year?

AJ Mass
  (11:20 AM)

Cueto is still worth holding on to, but he's going to have ups and downs... I'd still spot start him when I felt the matchup was right.

Mike(Canada)

HUGE OFFER Would you take Aramis and Howard for A-Rod? Keeper League.

AJ Mass
  (11:23 AM)

Assuming they can all be kept for the same price, I'd do it. Unless I already had a stud at 1B.

Bill (Boston)

Who would you guess has the most saves going forward, Marmol or Morrow?

AJ Mass
  (11:24 AM)

Morrow. I think Wood comes back and the Notre Dame kid gets a few chances as well, maybe even claiming the job.

Ben(NYC)

Yanks fan but was offered Uggla for Cano. Would you pull it off?

AJ Mass
  (11:26 AM)

I think I might stand pat based on the history. Cano always a strong late-season player, and Uggla's fielding issues may not count in fantasy, but clearly they are having impact on his whole game.

K, TN

O.K. I'm finally a believer in McLouth...what is your opinion in a dynasty league? Worth giving up a good young arm like Volquez for him?

AJ Mass
  (11:27 AM)

No way. Even though I don't like to put all my eggs in one pitching basket, I like to keep as many quality eggs as I can find. OF's are plentiful. SP's who can dominate on any given night, not so much.

Ben (work)

I had a deal on the table almost through then HUDSON!!!!!!!!!!! NO!!!!! What do you think the policy should be on pending trades in which a player is injured? instead of a league Veto how about a gentleman's agreement - opt-out clause if one of the managers so chooses?

AJ Mass
  (11:30 AM)

If the injury happens after the deal is accepted, then the trade CAN and SHOULD go through. Those are the breaks. Now, if the parties involved want to rectify the situation with an add-in player or two, that's where the sportsmanship comes into play, but it's buyer beware, and that's just the luck of the draw.

Chris B. (Arizona)

This is the beginning of a blazing 2nd Half. Be warned.

AJ Mass
  (11:31 AM)

You've all been warned. Take appropriate actions to prepare.

Kurtis Blow (Brooklyn)

Those are the breaks? That's my line!!!

Ryan(NJ)

Lester or Cain for the remainder of the year?

AJ Mass
  (11:33 AM)

Cain. I always prefer guys who have K/9 over 8 to those who are under 6. That's just an awful lot more work for Lester to do to be successful.

Lance Berkman (Houston)

I'm the fantasy MVP this year right?

AJ Mass
  (11:34 AM)

You're definitely on the final ballot, but when all is said and done, I think Albert might end up with the crown.

Edwin (Peoria, IL)

AJ... Myers is still on a LOT of rosters. (Mine's a keeper/dynasty) If you can't start him against WAS, then why own him? Thoughts?

AJ Mass
  (11:36 AM)

That's a very good question. Further, if you even have to wonder IF you should start him, then why own him?

Shane (NJ)

I can go with an empty SS spot this week, but you worried about Mikey Young beyond that AJ?

AJ Mass
  (11:38 AM)

AJ's pet peeve #1: People who leave lineup spots empty. Rules say you need a SS, then make a move and pick up a SS. Man up! Finger issues do concern me if it ends up affecting his swing even in the slightest. I'd be a tad worried.

Flipper (LA)

Is Laird a decent option at Home this week as a McCann replacement? Any better "lesser owned" suggestions?

AJ Mass
  (11:41 AM)

The only concern I have with Laird is the trade rumors,which if he does get moved, will likely cause him to miss 2-3 games just due to travel and whatnot. Iannetta and Navarro and Castro are all better options IMO.

James (Grover, TN)

I have Myers too... so is that a "yea" or "ney" for tonight? At least I'm optimistic by even asking... lol

AJ Mass
  (11:41 AM)

I give a Bad Horse evil "Neeeeeigh" death whinny.

Michael (Atlanta, GA)

Tell me what to do with Bedard. Is he coming back, or just a wasted roster spot? You da' man!

AJ Mass
  (11:43 AM)

He's too talented to drop and too many questions surrounding him to likely get any takers in a deal. Just one of those rare occurrences where you simply have to keep him and hope for the best.

Bad Horse (Evil League of Evil)

Start Meche tonight? (I rule with an Iron Hoof!)

AJ Mass
  (11:45 AM)

I would. Good pitcher's park and if I recall, he's done fairly well against Oakland in past few seasons.

SD (Philly, PA)

If you have to drop one person from Kobayashi (Kaiser Soze!), Isringhausen, or Hanrahan, who's gotta go?

AJ Mass
  (11:47 AM)

If the question was meant to directly refer to saves, I'd drop Masa... but if not, I'd drop Izzy. I think Masa might lose closer's role, but in return, get back the form in less-pressure set-up role and help you more in WHIP and ERA.

John (Beantown)

What's up AJ! Any thoughts on Wandy Rodriguez? I'm in a deep league and had been starting him only at home, but as of late, he seems to have shaken the "roadsies".

AJ Mass
  (11:50 AM)

I always worry far more about the "homesies" because that ballpark doesn't change. As for the "roadsies" it oftentimes is simply coincidence, or perhaps a certain park or two that doesn't jibe with a pitcher's repertoire. I'd start Wandy wherever.

Erik (Sacramento, CA)

Regarding Pet Peeve #1, What rule dictates that you have to field every position every day? And if that was the intended requirement, why was it not implemented in the software? Is there some FFB guideline page I'm missing?

AJ Mass
  (11:54 AM)

If your league rules say a legal lineup consists of X, Y and Z, then by only starting X and Z, you're violating the rules. Period. That doesn't mean if your regular SS is off on Thursday, that you have to have an active SS to replace him for one day... but to not have an active player in each slot for a week or more, to me, is cheating. I don't need software code to tell me that.

janzen (denver)

Can you tell me why no one is talking about C. Maybin as a top prospect anymore?? What made his stock fall so far? The reason I ask is because he i can pick him up in a keeper league! HELP before your hour is up!!

AJ Mass
  (11:57 AM)

It's probably because other big names have been called up, like Longoria and Bruce, and the buzz factor for Maybin, who missed the Double-A All-Star Game due to injury isn't likely to get the call this year. I still think he plays in April, 2009.

Steve (LA)

Just a question regardling the previous question of leaving a spot empty, is that just in a weekly league? Because I am in a H2H league and I benched Ryan Howard to make sure I took hitting Ks as the stat, is that cheating?

AJ Mass
  (11:59 AM)

Again, if your rules dictate you need to start a 1B, then benching Howard to win a category and starting a blank spot, to me, is weak. Others may call it brilliant strategy, but I do not. If you have to start X players, then start them.

Zach Rastall (Marinette, WI)

Should I start Big Z or Sheets tonight? I really need you to answer this.

AJ Mass
  (12:00 PM)

My stance on Big Z is well known... Sheets for me.

Jay (PA)

I think a great fantasy article would be to get all of your opinions on issues such as leaving roster spots open, streaming pitchers, etc.

AJ Mass
  (12:01 PM)

It's called the Commish's Court, Jay. Runs every Monday -- Like you didn't know ; ) Thanks for the opportunity to plug.

Jake (VA Beach)

If you've already won a category, then why start a player. It'd be like a team batting in the bottom of the 9th while winning.

AJ Mass
  (12:03 PM)

Because the rules say you win a category by collecting the best stats over a week, not for six days. I have no problem if you want to pull a scheduled starter and replace him with a pitcher who isn't scheduled to pitch on Sunday, for example. The rules say what a lineup is... not conforming to that makes your lineup illegal.

AJ Mass
  (12:04 PM)

That's all the time we have for today gang... thanks for the Q's. I'll be back again tomorrow same Bat Time, same Bat Channel.