Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

August 15, 1:36 PM ET
Fantasy Baseball w/Eric Karabell

Eric Karabell
  (11:01 AM)

Hi there boys and girls, I am Eric and I will be handling this chat session. Lots to get to in fantasy baseball, and maybe we can sprinkle in the occasional football query as well... so, any questions?

Brian (Orlando)

Should I drop Harang for Scherzer? Thanks!

Eric Karabell
  (11:03 AM)

I can see how you might be getting sick of Harang, but is Scherzer that much more of a lock? He has to be promoted to the big club first, and show us something in the rotation. Harang looks a mess; I would consider dropping him, because I don't see things improving.

Scott, Groton CT

EK- I'm looking to snatch up some closers of the future in my inaugural Dynasty league draft late rounds. Chris Perez is an obvious name, maybe Jose Arredondo if the Angels don't re-sign K-rod... any others to keep an eye on?

Eric Karabell
  (11:04 AM)

Yeah, both those names sound good to me. Also, the Orioles placed George Sherrill on the DL Tuesday, and while Jim Johnson probably gets first shot to close, Dennis Sarfate throws harder and that closer look to him.

Jared (Wilmington, Del)

Is Ian Stewart for real? Will he outperform Chone Figgins the rest of the way? I may drop Figgins of Pence to pick him up (I'm stacked at OF and steals).

Eric Karabell
  (11:05 AM)

Totally different players. One runs, the other has power. Stewart is for real. Todd Helton is not coming back this season, so the Rockies will keep this corner infield arrangement. I wouldn't drop Figgins, because another owner might snatch him up and beat you with those steals, but Stewart is worth owning in all leagues.

Trey - Philly

I need help in the save department. Should I trade Youk for Papelbon or BJ Upton for Nathan?

Eric Karabell
  (11:06 AM)

I'd make the Upton deal, personally. Youkilis is going to hit 30 home runs and knock in 115 or so, while Upton steals bases, but the power isn't really there. The closers you mention are equal.

Brian (Chicago)

Hey Eric, what is your philosophy on selecting keepers? Do you lean more towards hitters than pitchers or just go for the best overall value? I can keep both Harden and Dempster for very cheap next year, but they each come with some risk (especially Harden). Would it be a safer bet to pay a little more to keeper McClouth and Kemp instead? Thanks!

Eric Karabell
  (11:07 AM)

I would find a spot for Kemp, because he is just going to get better. I rarely keep starting pitchers if I can avoid it, despite how nice Harden and Dempster have looked. I would consider them over McClouth, who has really slowed down, but if push came to shove, I want the 25-homer bat who can run.

Brandon (Nashville)

If you had to pick 5 of these OFs for next season and beyond (no time limit for keeping), who do you keep? Bruce, Dunn, Dye, Francour, Headley, Rasmus, Wells

Eric Karabell
  (11:09 AM)

Bruce, Dunn and Dye are definites, and for now I would go Headley over Francoeur. Would I keep both? I might, because Rasmus hasn't played in the majors, who knows how or when he will perform.

Scott, Groton CT

of these guys, who most likely is still the closer opening day '09?: Guardado, Hanrahan, Jensen lewis, Troy Percival, Trevor Hoffman(possible offseason retirement for the latter two?)

Eric Karabell
  (11:10 AM)

I think it's Hoffman first, then Hanrahan, oddly enough. Will Hoffman ever walk away? Will he do it in a 100-loss season? Also, I think Lewis can hold the Cleveland job. I'd worry that Percival's injuries will cost him the role soon, if not already.

Bob (Philly)

I've gotten very little playing time from Bradley and he was hurt again last night. Would you drop him to pick up either Cameron, Eithier, ro Byrd?

Eric Karabell
  (11:11 AM)

I would probably wait until a situation in which Bradley misses more than a few games to do that. He's remained very productive, and it's not like the other guys are putting up major numbers.

Michael (atlanta)

You mentioned you prefer to keep hitters over pitchers in keeper leagues. I do as well, however, I'm planning on keeping 4 pitchers this year (out of 5 total). Webb, Lincecum, Cain, and Harden (or KRod if Harden gets hurt). My other keeper is Prince. I could've kept Markakis but traded him for Hanley, Pedroia, and Dunn (all non keeper eligible). Do you think that was a mistake? Although I'm in agreement, why do almost all fantasy writers prefer keeping hitters?

Eric Karabell
  (11:13 AM)

It's never a mistake to go for the title, even if it weakens keepers, so I like the move. I would not keep K-Rod, and probably not Harden over Pedroia, though. He's a nice little player, helps in all areas, and he's no fluke. We writers keep bats over arms because they are more consistent, less volatile from year to year. I like to build a strong base with offense, then take chances on pitching.

Mike (Boston)

Will you have a closers ranking up this week? Guardado, Mike Gonzalez, Hanrahan, Rodney...yes, just lost sherrill.

Eric Karabell
  (11:14 AM)

Yep, Relief Efforts will be posted today. I think Guardado is pretty legit, and will get the most chances for saves among this group. Really, all of them are fine, except Sherrill.

james (Staten Island)

This kid matt joyce for the tigers had a 2 homer night last night do u think he can do this on a consistent basis and finish up the season with 20 or so long balls?

Eric Karabell
  (11:15 AM)

Absolutely. The Tigers should be playing him all the time, even against lefties, so he can learn on the fly. I don't think he's going to end up being Brad Hawpe or something like that, but he does have 30-homer (eventually) power.

Brandon (Tenn.)

Brett Gardner a good bet to help in steals now or not worth the sacrifice in other categories (which are also important to me)?

Eric Karabell
  (11:16 AM)

He's not a balanced fantasy option, and I don't think he's going to run quite enough to help fantasy teams. Or play enough, for that matter.

Travis (Chicago)

Safe to drop Carlos Lee? Conflicting reports as to whether or not he's done for the year.

Eric Karabell
  (11:16 AM)

Everything I have heard is that he is done for 2008.

Steven (Toronto)

Is Adam Lind worth a spot in mixed leagues?

Eric Karabell
  (11:16 AM)

No question about it. He's a 25-90 guy in the making, pretty much now. And he's hitting.

Joel ( Roscommon MI)

Eric, What is your take on the Steven Jackson situation ?

Eric Karabell
  (11:17 AM)

Nothing has changed for me on S-Jax. If we're still discussing this a week from now, however, then I start to drop him a bit. I can't believe the Rams would jeopardize a season like this.

Garth (Bethlehem, PA)

Time to drop the Duke for Galarraga? 12 team h2h league.

Eric Karabell
  (11:18 AM)

Yeah, I don't know what Galarraga has to do to convince people he's legit. Not a great keeper, because his K rate is showing he's possibly pitching over his head, but the wins and peripherals are there. Duke should be owned in fewer leagues.

Ramon (NY)

Brian Buscher or Andy LaRoche for a CI spot in a deep league.

Eric Karabell
  (11:19 AM)

Well, regular readers of my blog know I will take LaRoche there. I see a bright future for him. Buscher is helpful, but LaRoche should be the guy.

Marc (Toronto, Canada)

Thoughts on Hafner when he returns?

Eric Karabell
  (11:20 AM)

Hitting well on rehab assignment, I refuse to totally write him off, despite what he did (or didn't) in April and May. Whether you own him or not depends on other options, but he's capable of having a big September, hitting for power.

Andy (Miami)

do i drop UBALDO JIMENEZ?

Eric Karabell
  (11:23 AM)

Nothing that occurred with him Tuesday has scared me off. He struck out seven, and beat a hot offensive team. He's had some hiccups lately, but as always it depends what else is available. If Kevin Slowey is out there, you go with him. If Darrell Rasner is your top choice, then no.

Scott, Groton CT

Who's got the most upside for the next few years out of this motley crew of 2nd baggers? Kelly Johnson, Edgar Gonzalez, Asdrubal Cabrera, Orlando Hudson, Kaz Matsui, Aki Iwamura

Eric Karabell
  (11:24 AM)

I don't know if any are true top 10 guys at that position, but at least Matsui, when healthy, steals a lot of bases. Iwamura actually is a bit disappointing. Hudson is pretty overrated at the plate, and he might be leaving Arizona. So Matsui is the guy.

Jim (Houston, TX)

A follow-up on Hafner: who gives the most value the rest of the season, Pronk, Pena, C. Davis or Jacobs?

Eric Karabell
  (11:25 AM)

With what we know now, I say Pena, definitely. The power is back, he's been carrying the offense at times.

Sam (Lake Bluff)

Ate you buying all this Tom Brady injury news? Does this drop him into the 2nd round in a 10-team draft?

Eric Karabell
  (11:25 AM)

Not for me. Fantasy football owners always get too caught up in coach speak in August. Brady starts Week 1 and does fine. Manning, however, might not.

Norman (Brooklyn)

Can I count on Phil Hughes when he returns? He'd be my 5th starter.

Eric Karabell
  (11:26 AM)

I don't think the Yankees can count on him, so you sure cannot. The stuff is there, but this might be a lost season. In a year, I could see Matt Garza stats.

Brad (Birmingham)

Should Randy Johnson be universally owned in a 12 team mixed league? Do you like him more than John Maine? Thanks

Eric Karabell
  (11:27 AM)

With Maine having velocity problems, I'd lean to Johnson. Randy is striking people out, and he's healthy. Maine got through two 5-inning starts OK, but says his shoulder still hurts. The next start might not be so pretty.

Jake(pittsburgh)

I can keep 2 for next year, who to keep from J Upton, VMart, McLouth, Abreu and Dye?

Eric Karabell
  (11:28 AM)

Depends on whether you are going for it in 2009, and how much depth at catcher. I'd initially lean toward Upton and Martinez, but Dye is very interesting over Martinez.

Bob (GA)

Eric - what do expect from Morrow when he returns?

Eric Karabell
  (11:29 AM)

I expect Joba, very similar numbers and progression.

Joe: San Francisco, CA

After months of fantasy wasteland at the catcher position for me, Kelly Shoppach has been a savior. Any chance he maintains any regular playing time once Martinez returns?

Eric Karabell
  (11:30 AM)

Of course. Martinez could play sparingly, or see time at first base or DH. Shoppach seems to have earned this, but the Indians do want to get Martinez some at-bats, too. It'd be nice to see ONE home run from him, too.

Alex (Coral Gables)

Hey sorry to ask this question again but can you project Matt Wieters stats ? Important info for my keeper league situation can he hit .300 25 100? Thanks!

Eric Karabell
  (11:31 AM)

He can, but to expect those stats in 2009 is way premature. A year ago everyone thought Saltalamacchia would do this. Wieters has more upside, but NO catcher is doing those stats. Keep him, but be reasonable on expectations for his rookie season.

Joe (Philly)

Please rank for the last 2 months. Ethier, Werth, Bruce.

Eric Karabell
  (11:33 AM)

I'd leave Ethier third. Werth might be ahead of Bruce now, since he's hitting for power and running, and there's no platoon with Geoff Jenkins. Bruce is still going to be a very good player.

Joe (SF)

Is the runaround the Cards giving Wainwright concerning whether he is coming back and a starter or reliever going to affect his arm?

Eric Karabell
  (11:33 AM)

Nah, I just think they're preparing him to start, and he needs more time. Chris Perez looks like he's OK closing. By the way, thanks to Jason Isringhausen for all he's done the past decade, but it appears he is done now. Officially.

Neal (Mesa, Arizona)

I'm surprised so many are still so high on J.Upton as a keeper. Has he really shown he has potential to make enough contact at the major league level?

Eric Karabell
  (11:34 AM)

Yes, I think so. He was walking, and the ball jumps off his bat. Don't get too caught up in the numbers this year after April, because he will be a star. My only question is whether he decides to steal bases.

Jack (Chicago)

Pick one for the rest of the year: Uggla or Stewart? Thanks

Eric Karabell
  (11:35 AM)

The way Uggla has hit since the break, it's not him.

Sam (Buffalo, NY)

Which is the best keeper candidate of the following: Danks, Josh Johnson or Scherzer?

Eric Karabell
  (11:36 AM)

Danks. Look at the numbers, he's really good. Johnson is second. Scherzer has still proven nothing at the major league level as a starter, though there is upside. Would he be better than what Danks has done this year?

Sean Denver

Is Boldin still draftable or will he rot away this year looking for more money ?

Eric Karabell
  (11:36 AM)

At some point his agent will tell him to be quiet and prove himself on the field. This stuff always gets worked out.

don (sf)

Anything left in the tank for Mclouth? They say they'll be resting him in Sept would you release for Lind, Luke Scott, or even a Swisher/Paul Konerko? thanks

Eric Karabell
  (11:37 AM)

I've heard this as well, and the Bucs do have options from the minors to take a look at, like McCutcheon. Go Lind. Totally legit now.

Galen (Montreal)

Hey Eric, can you talk about Joe Blanton's value in NL only, he's been very inconsistent.

Eric Karabell
  (11:38 AM)

He's going to give up runs, so don't expect a good ERA or WHIP. He should also win half his starts if he can give innings. I'm not too surprised at what he has given Philly. At least he isn't Adam Eaton.

Gersh (NYC)

I'm not sure what to do with Kuo. I got him purely for ERA and WHIP help and he hasn't been getting it done the last month. Drop him for someone else?

Eric Karabell
  (11:39 AM)

I'd argue the opposite. He's given up a few runs, and in small innings it makes it look like he has been average, but he's still got nice numbers and does strike people out. And, as always, if I don't know who is available, impossible to say what I would do. If Slowey is out there, dump him.

Dan (Lancaster, PA)

Capps is stepping right back into the closers role, right? I am good to drop Grabow for Guardado or Jensen Lewis?

Eric Karabell
  (11:39 AM)

It might not happen this weekend, but yes, Capps is the Pirates' closer. I'd go Guardado and then Lewis over Grabow.

Ron (NYC)

Drop Street for Josh Johnson? Is Street just a middle setup man now?

Eric Karabell
  (11:40 AM)

It's been a while since Street saved a game, and there's little indication that will change. Yes, Johnson has been better.

Ryan (Rochester, NY)

Any Chad Johnson updates? Last year to keep Chad for a 3rd, or keep Calvin for a 5th?

Eric Karabell
  (11:41 AM)

I would keep Calvin Johnson, but that's me. Even when Chad is healthy, it's like two really big games per year, then a lot of average.

Ron (NYC)

Karabell... Would you trade Beltran for Pence/Harden?

Eric Karabell
  (11:41 AM)

If I needed strikeouts, I would. Not a big Pence fan, but look at Beltran, he's not going 30/30 or even close to it.

Dan (nyc)

Football question: Am I making a mistake if I take MB III with the 6th pick over S-Jax, Portis or Gore? Isn't MB III in the better offense?

Eric Karabell
  (11:43 AM)

I think all are pretty similar, and I couldn't argue with any order among this group. I rank Jackson and Gore the best, but yes, Barber could have a huge year. So could Portis. No, you can't make a mistake with any of these guys. You take Randy Moss over them, that is a mistake.

Dave (Frisco, Texas )

I need to drop one closer out of: B.Wilson, Fuentes, Perez, or Ziegler to make room for Slowey. I could drop Maine for Slowey but I hate to lose the W potential. I'm pretty set with saves and need the W's and K's. Who do I discard? Thanks.

Eric Karabell
  (11:44 AM)

Probably Perez, but I have a feeling we'll find out Maine is injured again really soon, and that could make your decision easier.

Ryan (MI)

Which three keepers would you rather have: Holliday/Uggla/ARam or B.Roberts/Granderson/Longoria?

Eric Karabell
  (11:45 AM)

The group with Evan Longoria. He's going to be the best player of this group by 2010. A David Wright first-round type.

Josh (Las Vegas, NV)

Eric, As always you are the Fantasy beacon of wisdom and hope! That said, are you starting Meche vs. Cleveland and Myers vs. Washington?

Eric Karabell
  (11:45 AM)

Yep, I trust both now against those offenses.

Ben (Charlotte via Columbus)

What happens first: Sheffield gets 15 HRs or he gets injured?

Eric Karabell
  (11:46 AM)

How about neither happens. I'd lean to the HRs, since he finally appears motivated. Detroit should make a statement and sit him for kids,but they won't. The fact Tampa didn't want Sheffield speaks absolute volumes.

Tim

Kinsler done for the season? Should I drop him?

Eric Karabell
  (11:47 AM)

Sadly, yes, I don't expect to see him play again until 2009. Take a look at Joaquin Arias in deeper formats. The player to be named later in the A-Rod-Alfonso Soriano trade has wheels.

Duffy (Queens, NY)

Rank'em please (rest of the season only): Adam Lind, Chris Young and Hideki Matsui. Thanks!

Eric Karabell
  (11:48 AM)

Probably just like that. I own Matsui in too many leagues, but I am not optimistic this will work out for him the final 5 weeks.

B (Philly)

Eric, should I be worried about King Felix? Our trade deadline's looming large.

Eric Karabell
  (11:49 AM)

He can throw a shutout at any time, and one of these years he'll go off for 20 wins. Better get a lot in trade.

Jimbo

Hey who would you keep? Alexei Ramirez, V-mart, Liriano, Magglio, or Alfonso Soriano? Thanks

Eric Karabell
  (11:50 AM)

All things equal I say Soriano. Still a very good fantasy player, even if he runs less. Liriano is intriguing, but not over any of those bats, not yet.

Henry (FL)

Can I count on Fausto Carmona less than Phil Hughes for the rest of the season?

Eric Karabell
  (11:51 AM)

I am not counting on either guy, but I would still lean to Carmona. Barely.

Harris(Philly)

Keep Peyton or trade my 3rd overall pick AND my 4th rd pick for Addai and the 12th overall pick and then keep addai? Thx

Eric Karabell
  (11:52 AM)

That's too many draft picks for me. I like Addai, but you can get RBs in rounds 3 and 4. What's a 12 worth? I say no.

John (NY)

Better stud southpaw for 2009-2013: Kershaw or Price?

Eric Karabell
  (11:52 AM)

Ha! Until I see Price in the bigs, I say Kershaw. People always overrate minor leaguers. Price should be good, but Kershaw is good now.

JT

Any new news on Ryan Braun?

Eric Karabell
  (11:53 AM)

Supposely not too serious, and he should play this weekend. We all hope. Except Gabe Kapler owners.

SprungOnSports (Long Island)

How worried should Willie Parker owners be of Mendenhall stealing TD's??

Eric Karabell
  (11:54 AM)

I am not worried yet. For now it's still typical coachspeak turning into fantasy panic. Plus, Parker should score 5 or 6 just by normal usage. This is not a timeshare.

SydV - Calgary, Canada

Lee, LaRoche, Delgado....which 1st bagger would you run with for the rest of the year???

Eric Karabell
  (11:55 AM)

Believe it or not, it's probably Delgado. Unreal.

Matt,MPLS

Two parter: Did you say McLouth was droppable? Just want to make sure. And rank Braylon Edwards, Anrdre Johnson, Steve Smith, and Colston. Thanks.

Eric Karabell
  (11:56 AM)

I didn't say I would drop him, but his post-break numbers are average, he looks tired, and the Bucs might rest him in September to see kids play. That's all. And I go Braylon, Colston, Andre and Smith.

Mike (Carson City)

Scott Baker or Carpenter in September?

Eric Karabell
  (11:57 AM)

I would not count on Carpenter, which is a shame. If healthy, I would. Baker is safe.

Rudolfo von Golfo (PA)

PICK ME! PICK ME! Top 5 Players in a 2QB, .5PPR league are.....?

Eric Karabell
  (11:57 AM)

LT, Westbrook, Addai, Brady and for now, Jackson...

Jared (MD)

EK, does it make sense to drop an OF like Hawpe and pick up Taveras? He would help with steals but he doesn't do much else. Do you favor balance over specialists?

Eric Karabell
  (11:58 AM)

if you need speed, is there anyone better? Hop is better, but you need to win, not own the best players.

Eric Karabell
  (11:59 AM)

OK, thanks to everyone for the questions, I do appreciate them. For those who expected Tristan Cockcroft for this chat, he will handle the Thursday am one. Thanks to him. Don't forget the underrated Keith Lipscomb Thursday afternoon as well! Anyway, have a great day, and go Phillies!