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August 7, 8:44 AM ET
Fantasy Baseball w/Eric Karabell

Eric Karabell
  (11:02 AM)

Hello there and welcome to another fantasy baseball chat session. Still six weeks to go in baseball season, so lots to get to. And if I see an interesting fantasy football question, maybe we get to that as well... here we go... any questions?

Tyler (Washington, DC)

Hey Eric - Just lost Crawford AND Lee, and am devastated looking ahead to H2H playoffs. Which of the following are the best 2 to have from here on out - Butler, Lind, Span, Hermida, Bruce? Thanks

Eric Karabell
  (11:03 AM)

Yeah, I could see how that would be devastating, but I do see some decent options sitting there for you. Toronto's Lind is hitting for average and power, and can do a decent Carlos Lee imitation for six weeks. Span can run, and it's not like Crawford was on his way to 50 steals anyway. In head to head leagues all you have to do is make the playoffs, then in one week anything can happen. Don't fret!

Brian O. - Bozeman, MT

Better SP wire pickup - B. Myers or O. Perez?

Eric Karabell
  (11:05 AM)

I would probably go with Oliver Perez, because he is not only winning games and pitching well but he does accrue strikeouts, and since he's been good for a few months now, I have to believe he's safe. Normally, in the past, I have not been a big fan of his. Same with Myers, I guess, but while he's 2-0 with a 2.10 ERA in four starts since coming back to the bigs, he's not striking people out. Still relatively safe, and it's a big game tonight as the Phils aim to avoid a four-game sweep in LA, but I still pick Ollie.

Nick (Omaha)

Marlon Byrd or Sheffield the remainder of the year?

Eric Karabell
  (11:06 AM)

I take Byrd. Opportunity is there and he's healthy and producing. Sheffield is cooked. Except for one multihomer game the night he was sniping with Jim Leyland and had something to prove, he's done nothing.

Ron (NYC)

Eric... 74 pitches for Scherzer in his last Triple-A start... does he start in September and take over a Davis/Petit spot?

Eric Karabell
  (11:07 AM)

Arizona is stretching him out, which is good, and I could see him joining the rotation at the expense of Yusmeiro Petit pretty soon. I don't expect Doug Davis to lose his job. Scherzer is tantalizing for the strikeout potential, and if you own him I would keep him around just in case. Do I expect he will make more than 4 or 5 starts the rest of the way? No, I take the under. The D-Backs will be patient. But there is upside.

Brandon (Chicago,IL)

Is Chris R. Young hurt and if so is he going on the DL? Should I get rid of him or keep him on my roster?

Eric Karabell
  (11:08 AM)

The Padres pitcher is hurt again and likely headed to the DL. Lost season, for him and the team, I would look elsewhere.

Lonesome Dave (Foghat, NJ)

Hey EK - Is Ziggy 'officially' the closer in Oakland??? Official or not, how many saves over the last 6 weeks for him? Thanks!

Eric Karabell
  (11:09 AM)

Brad Ziegler is the A's closer, and at some point he should allow a run, but for now looks pretty safe. One can never predict save totals, but I normally assume 6 per month, because a full season closer should get about 35-40 chances. So Ziegler could have 10 in him, I suppose.

CLAY (Long Beach)

Would you start Kuroda vs Phils or Dice-K against the hot hitting Ranagers?

Eric Karabell
  (11:10 AM)

I would go with Dice-K. In fact, I would never sit Matsuzaka if I owned him. He wins a lot and accrues strikeouts. Plus, the Rangers won't have Josh Hamilton today, as his wife had a baby. Good for Josh.

Trevor (Toronto, ON)

Eric, What happened to Chone Figgins this year? I drafted him in the third round!

Eric Karabell
  (11:11 AM)

Well, that was your first mistake. I thought we really overrated him in preseason drafts. He runs, sure, and can hit for average, but I think outfield is weaker than third base overall. Anyway, I don't think Figgins has had a shocking campaign.

Rob (Grand Rapids, MI)

Can I drop Street?

Eric Karabell
  (11:12 AM)

It's your team! Of course you can. If you're asking me will he get saves the rest of the way, I set the over/under at 1. And take the under.

luca rome

Chris Perez or Todd Jones as a closer for the rest of the season?

Eric Karabell
  (11:13 AM)

I think Perez of the Cards has the job and will keep it. He still walks people, but Izzy and Franklin were struggling, too. In Detroit I do think Jones is going to end up getting saves again, believe it or not, but I still Perez gets more.

Mike (Baltimore)

Eric, I trust your advice over all other Analysts and I do my homework. Should I drop Fukudome?? He has been abysmal recently.

Eric Karabell
  (11:14 AM)

It always depends on who else is available, that's it. I don't see Fukudome getting better or worse the rest of the way, for this season he kinda is what he is, and that's not much. It surprises me how average he has been, with that plate discipline. Anyway, if Marlon Byrd, for an example, is out there, yeah, I drop Fukudome.

Bear Norris (Bristol)

Do you answer prospect questions? If so, who would you rather have in a deep keeper league: Snider, LaPorta, or Gamels?

Eric Karabell
  (11:15 AM)

Sure, why not! I think LaPorta is in Cleveland's opening day lineup next season and has a 20-homer season. I can't say I expect Snider and Gamels to be up that soon, at least for good.

Seth (South Korea)

Is Phil Hughes worth a start if he gets called up? Thanks

Eric Karabell
  (11:16 AM)

I won't be activating him, that's for sure. I want to see a few starts in the majors before acting on him. He does have great potential, though, but I don't want him torpedoing my season in late-August.

Todd (Fargo)

Eric, what does Longoria's injury do to his lifetime keeper value? Would you still keep him over someone like Markakis or Granderson? Thanks...

Eric Karabell
  (11:17 AM)

I don't think it affects him one bit. It's not a major wrist injury, as he should be back in the minimum 15 days DL stint. To me he is a better keeper than those outfielders, definitely, and he might be a top 25 player in 2009 drafts.

Tom (Boston)

Does this sound right to you? Baker > Maholm > Slowey > Campillo

Eric Karabell
  (11:18 AM)

I'd switch Slowey and Maholm, but otherwise seems fine to me. Those Twins pitchers have been, and continue to be, underrated all season, and I don't get why.

Joe (NYC)

Is Juan Pierre going to steal any more bases this season??

Eric Karabell
  (11:19 AM)

Not if he doesn't play, and I don't know why Joe Torre would play him regularly. I'll give Pierre five steals from here on out, but not more than that.

Rahul (New York, NY)

Are you making a concerted effort to use the word "accrue" today?

Eric Karabell
  (11:19 AM)

No, but I do like the word.

Jon (Minny)

How long before Steven Jackson's holdout drops him in drafts?

Eric Karabell
  (11:20 AM)

Football!! I haven't dropped him yet, and I still find it impossible to believe this situation isn't resolved within another 2 weeks. The Rams have to fix this, and don't overrate Jackson missing the preseason. He'll be fine.

Jared (DC)

Who has more value for the last few weeks of the season: Ubaldo Jimenez or Clayton Kershaw?

Eric Karabell
  (11:21 AM)

Until a week ago I wouldn't flinch in saying Jimenez, but it looks like his little hot streak is about over, and Kershaw has nice command and is "accruing" the strikeouts. So I think I change my pick to the Dodger.

Tony (Toronto)

Football questions here - Does drafting in a keeper league drastically change your rankings? I have the 3rd overall pick ? Assuming LT and AP go 1, 2, am I crazy to consider Addai (age 25) over Westbrook (age 29)??

Eric Karabell
  (11:23 AM)

No it does not drastically alter my thinking at all. Even in a keeper, my goal is to win now. No way I'd make Darren McFadden a first-rounder, for example. Addai and Westbrook are even to me, and while I do rank B-West one spot better, sure, I can see Addai over him in keepers. Westbrook does have another 3 good years left. Will your league still be going then?

Shawn (MN)

Eric can you rank these Util options I. Stewart, Fukudome, Milledge, Lind & Butler? Thanks

Eric Karabell
  (11:24 AM)

Stewart is first. Legit power, will hit for average. Lind close second. Milledge third, then a big drop to Butler and somewhat useless Fukudome.

Joe (NJ)

Who is the better keep A. Ethier or J. Francoeur?

Eric Karabell
  (11:25 AM)

Neither are good keepers, but I say Francouer. At least we know he will play next year, and he's capable of a 25-100 season. He should do this. Ethier could play every single day for the Dodgers and never get 25-100, and who knows what his situation is in 2009?

rosario (NYC)

Trade deadline TODAY and looking to trade some of my better nonkeeper players for draft picks but am undecided as to who to keep. Utley and Sizemore for sure but pick 3 out of Hamels, Harden, Granderson, Rios or Morneau. Thanks

Eric Karabell
  (11:26 AM)

No way I would keep Harden. Not a chance. Even now, he's pitching 5.2 innings per outing, which isn't enough for me. First base is deep, I'd probably go Hamels and Granderson.

Eric (Gainesville, FL)

EK! In a standard OBP league, is Pat Burrell a top 100 keeper? Where do you rank him?

Eric Karabell
  (11:27 AM)

Sure. In any format he's a top 100 guy, but beware, I think he's leaving Philly, and once he has a big contract he could easily slip back to some of the slumps he's had.

Tom (DC)

I'm in a league where we start 2 QBs and get 6 points for all TDs. Is it crazy to think about drafting Brady 1st?

Eric Karabell
  (11:28 AM)

Not at all. I've already seen Brady taken first in 2-QB leagues and standard ones. I'd never do this in a standard league, but I can't really argue it since I do think he's gonna top 40 touchdowns. Overall, I wouldn't worry what people think of your draft. You want Brady, take him first.

Adam (Maine)

Relief Efforts ranked Fernando Rodney moderately high, yet today you think Todd Jones may get his job back? What's changed? [Or are the Tigers just a huge mess right now?]

Eric Karabell
  (11:29 AM)

Nothing has changed. I get a lot of emails about those rankings, but Todd Jones doesn't belong there yet. It's just a hunch I have that if you own Jones, you might wanna keep him around. Rodney has the job for now, but we know he's unstable. And yes, the Tigers are a huge mess right now, and all season. Rodney got a decent ranking from me, but is he safe? Not a chance.

Steve (Seattle)

I never think of drafting a QB in the 1st round, but from what I am hearing Brady may e available to me at pick #9 in a 6 point TD league, I would have to take him, right?

Eric Karabell
  (11:30 AM)

Unless a running back you really trust, like Portis or Barber is still out there, sure I'd take Brady there. I'm not against him being a first-rounder, just make sure you have good enough RBs to compete.

Dupree (OH)

What happened to Velez?

Eric Karabell
  (11:32 AM)

This really bothers me. There is no good reason why Eugenio Velez doesn't play. The Giants have to take a look at him. It is, I suppose, possible that the Giants have decided Velez is merely a utility guy moving forward, so that's why they keep bypassing him, even though Wednesday they called up three kids, and Velez still isn't playing. He's not a walker. Middling power. Average defender. I just want to make sure he can't be the next Juan Samuel. He sure looks like he could be a good one if he played.

Justin ( Boston )

So does it make sense that Perez closes and wainwright goes into the starting rotation?

Eric Karabell
  (11:33 AM)

Annoying situation No. 2 right here! The Cardinals keep messing with Wainwright, so who knows what happens to him? With Carpenter likely to miss a few starts, I'd say it's looking likely Wainwright starts. He'd have value either way.

Kyle (Chicago)

As someone who is NOT a fantasy guy, I typically just scan this chat every week (although I do wait with baited breath to hear the next lovefest that is Baseball Today with you and Peter) looking for Cubs mentions. One thing I've noticed is that there are generally few mentions of Cubs players for fantasy leagues. Does their balance make the individual parts less attractive to fantasy owners? Enlighten me.

Eric Karabell
  (11:35 AM)

It's hardly a lovefest, but thank you for listening. If anything I think we, mostly him, are too negative. I think the Cubs are great. Picked them to win the NL pennant back in March, and am sticking with that. But yes, they are not star driven offensively, because there is a great deal of depth. Soriano has been disappointing. So has Derrek Lee. Don't even ask about Fukudome. Love Soto, the best value at catcher in years. There are good fantasy options here, just not dominant ones.

Walter (Wisc.)

Would you recommend keeping a pitcher in a small 10 Team H2H with only 5 Keepers? And if so, would Volquez, Sheets or Billingsley make the cut?

Eric Karabell
  (11:37 AM)

No, none of those guys would rate for me. In a shallow league I wouldn't look to keep any arms, really. Go heavy with monster bats.


So you're a Stewart fan? Do you think he has more value than Aviles or Alexi Ramirez?

Eric Karabell
  (11:37 AM)

I would rank them Ramirez then Stewart and then Aviles, probably. Alexei Ramirez is going to be such a good player in 2009, and he might be their shortstop, with double middle infield elig. Aviles will slow down. Stewart next season flirts with 30 homers.

Scott (Tampa)

I think its hilarious that all these "experts" who have never played the game think the Cardinals telling Wainwright he's now going to start is going to cause him to go into some tailspin. He's a finally tuned athlete, he'll be just fine with whatever the Cardinals tell him to do.

Eric Karabell
  (11:39 AM)

Who said tailspin? I said he's going to have value either way. I just don't think the Cards should go back and forth on him, lest they end up with a messed up Brett Myers situation.

Keith (MA)

Nick Blackburn or Anthony Reyes for this year and 2009?

Eric Karabell
  (11:40 AM)

Until we see more sample size out of Reyes, you have to take Blackburn. He's been good, doesn't walk people, and despite giving up too many hits, he wins. I've been waiting years for Reyes to emerge, and I think he will, but Blackburn is safer for now.

Ramon (NY)

Any one of these new Giants callups worth attention? Travis Ishikawa is a classic name.

Eric Karabell
  (11:41 AM)

Nope, not really. The third baseman they called up made two errors in his debut. Ishikawa has had chances before and never hit. Why this team isn't really playing its top prospects, like Shierholtz and Velez, is beyond me.


Do you think Brandon Marshall is still worth and 8th round keeper? Thanks

Eric Karabell
  (11:42 AM)

Sure. Very talented, should have a productive season, and he's worth that round keeper. Just note he's out the first three weeks with suspension. That's a quarter of the fantasy regular season for most.

Alex (boston)

Why isn't Wedge closing Rafael Perez instead of Jensen? I know his splits against righty batters are not has good, but c'mon he has the best arm in that pen. Wedge is terrible managing closers. Do you disagree?

Eric Karabell
  (11:44 AM)

Nah, I think this decision is OK. Lewis has good stuff, he gets both sides out, and Perez is the type you bring in to the seventh inning with lefties up, and he gets five outs. I like what he is doing. If Betancourt was half of what he was last year this conversation would be moot.

Brian (Bloomington, IL)

What do you make of Lowrie's RBI totals, he seems to be making the most of his at bats. Is he worth adding and riding out?

Eric Karabell
  (11:45 AM)

I think he's pretty legit, and he keeps the shortstop job if/when Julio Lugo comes back. Lowrie is just better. He's not an RBI guy, but spunky, like Pedroia.

Rob (Detroit)

How about a Football question with a Baseball twist? Have you ever played fantasy football as a rotisserie style? Seems like it would work and be a lot of fun.

Eric Karabell
  (11:46 AM)

I have and I do like it. I don't want to say it's better or worse, because really, to each his own, but try it and see. It takes away the horrible feeling of scoring 160 points in Week 2, and losing anyway. H2H can break hearts.

Derek (Minneapolis, MN)

PLEASE ANSWER - GOING NUTS ON THIS ONE!!!!!!!!! Name Game: Manning or Romo 14th overall in a QB heavy league? I'm leaning on Romo due to Mannings knee?

Eric Karabell
  (11:47 AM)

I would go Peyton, but I just trust him more. The knee, to me, is not a factor whatsoever. It's close, and I rank Romo in round two, but I want Manning more.


My catcher is Iannetta should I pick up V. Martinez?

Eric Karabell
  (11:48 AM)

Nope. Iannetta hit cleanup last night, and he is ranked third among all catchers in home runs this season, despite being a part-timer. Totally legit, might hit 20 homers next year.


I had Brandon Morrow as one of my relievers and he was great. Should I hang on to him when he comes back as a start or just cut bait? Thanks

Eric Karabell
  (11:49 AM)

I don't think he will help you much this season as a starter, but he has Joba-like ability for 2009.

Brandon (OC, CA)

I don't see a lot of love for Billy Butler around here... what am I missing? Am I just looking at the world through blue-colored glasses?

Eric Karabell
  (11:49 AM)

I picked him up on a few teams, but have since looked elsewhere again. Hit for power consistently, please, and fantasy owners will embrace you. Butler just isn't doing this.

Brett (NY)

Hey Eric, what are your thoughts on the fantasy player no one is talking about, Daniel Murphy (or D-Money as he is known to us Mets fans)? Is he for real? If his name was Jay Bruce everyone would be picking him up already.

Eric Karabell
  (11:50 AM)

But he's not Jay Bruce. He doesn't have an impressive minor league resume as anything more than a fourth outfielder, and that's why it took so long for the Mets to give him a shot. He's fine, a decent fill in and he will cool off. It's Shane Spencer all over again, in a way.

Mike (Boston)

Eric, I'll be nice to the underrated Keith Lipscomb if you answer this...Keeper Question: We do a two round rule keeper league to reward good drafting...would you keep Justin Upton as a 16th round pick for 2009 and he would be 14th round pick in 2010 but then would have to go back in the pool for 2011? Is it kind of a waste because he probably won't be in his prime until 2011?

Eric Karabell
  (11:53 AM)

Keith also accepts fruit baskets and chocolates. Yes, please be nice to the underrated Lipscomb,who will be chatting later today. As for J-Up, I think he will make big strides next season, and by 2011 be in his prime. It sounds like you wouldn't have him, unless you draft him, for 2011 anyway, right? Get in on this guy, he will hit for power, and he can, if he chooses, run.

Big Mike (Philly)

E! I'm sure I'm not the only one who'll have to make this decision. 8th pick. Moss, Portis, Lynch, Barber, Gore. Best upside? Safest? Who you picking?

Eric Karabell
  (11:53 AM)

I think Gore should be gone by then, then Portis. I think all those players are first round picks.

John (nyc)

Better keeper Chris Davis or Ryan Zimmerman?

Eric Karabell
  (11:54 AM)

Zimmerman, definitely. I can see why the question is reasonable, and I do like Davis moving forward, but let's not forget Zimm should be a 25-100 guy for years.

Bert (NY)

Please rank rest of year, non protect: Lewis, Lind, Span. thank you.

Eric Karabell
  (11:54 AM)

Lind, Lewis, Span

Mike (Boston)

No, I can keep him for 2009 and 2010 then he will be back in the pool to be drafted in 2011

Eric Karabell
  (11:55 AM)

I don't know the other options, but in a vaccuum, I would stick with Upton.

Tim (IL)

Eric, help me with my Brad Penny he done for this year?

Eric Karabell
  (11:55 AM)

One bad, homer-ridden night against the volatile Phillies, no. Unless he's hurt, which is info I haven't heard yet.

Dupree (OH)

I went into this year planning on bj upton being a keeper, but it just isn't happening on the power front. What is the deal?

Eric Karabell
  (11:57 AM)

I wish I knew. It's like he changed his philosophy, even though the team needs power. I wouldn't assume Upton is a singles hitter for life. He can hit 20 homers next year if he wants to.

Bobby B (Hofstra U)

Hey, Eric, big closer question! I'm in first in a H2H league, but dreading the postseason with my rocky closer situation. I have Soria, but my three other closers are Jensen Lewis, Jonathan Broxton and Brad Ziegler. What are the chances that come the September 15 finals, these three guys still have their roles?

Eric Karabell
  (11:57 AM)

I think Broxton surely will, and Ziegler is likely. As for Lewis, he has to pitch well, and there's no telling yet if he will. He has great opportunity, though.

Travis Hafner, Cleveland OH

Any thoughts about me?

Eric Karabell
  (11:58 AM)

Not really. I stopped thinking of Hafner two months ago.

Doug (Richmond)

Not much fantasy football keeper info in the draft kit. Where does McFadden go this year if you only keep three? LT or AP at #1 overall in that format.

Eric Karabell
  (11:59 AM)

In a keeper he goes higher, but my point in saying his draft position was too inflated was that Justin Fargas is still there, and should get more carries than Chester Taylor did and does, to draw a comparison to the Vikings.

Tom (ny)

Over the next 5 years Hughes or Buchholz?

Eric Karabell
  (11:59 AM)

Buchholz. Still.

Chris (PIttsburgh, PA)

am I crazy to take Doumit as a keeper next year over Russell Martin?

Eric Karabell
  (11:59 AM)

I probably wouldn't, not yet, but no, you are not crazy.

Joe (NY, NY)

Hey Eric, drop Votto for Byrd in a one-year league?

Eric Karabell
  (12:00 PM)

Sure, it's not like Votto is playing well.

Eric Karabell
  (12:00 PM)

OK, apparently our time is up, so thank you for the fine questions and your time. The underrated Keith Lipscomb is up later today, be nice to him. Have a great day.