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August 22, 12:32 PM ET
Fantasy Baseball w/AJ Mass

AJ Mass
  (10:54 AM)

Good morning gang... let's get to the fantasy baseball goodness, shall we? Who's got questions?

jesse (NYC)

frank francisco worth an add now that hes closing for texas?

AJ Mass
  (10:55 AM)

I'm not a huge fan of Texas pitching, but certainly if you are need of saves, Frankie Frank is likely unowned, and therefore a guy you CAN get.

Jerome (Mt. Clemens, MI)

Applebee's special (choose two): Saunders, Moyer, Danks, or Wellemeyer for my upcoming playoffs?

AJ Mass
  (10:57 AM)

I have a column coming out today on "frauds" and "for real" pitchers... based on the difference in a pitcher's ERA and ARA (actual runs allowed) - Danks and Wellemeyer are on the "for real" list, so I'd lean towards them.

Tyler (Olney,MD)

have had a whole lot of injuries of late in a 14 team keeper league, which of these 4 us the safest to drop, G. Sherrill, J. Cueto, A. Gordon, or C.Lee?

AJ Mass
  (10:58 AM)

Sherrill. Of the four, he's the least likely that I would keep going forward... don't pay for saves - don't protect them either.

Matt (Philly)

Nelson Cruz - whatdya think?

AJ Mass
  (11:00 AM)

Nate and I discussed this a bit in the Fantasy Baseball Podcast today, where I filled in for the TMR. Cruz is certainly going to do more for you the rest of the way than a David Price... possibly even 10 HR. You don't put up his numbers in Triple-A by accident.

Aaron (Chicago)

Hey AJ, big time keeper question! I have a huge lead in a 10-team 6x6 (20+ points)... I have Josh Hamilton for $5 (way below market value) and another guy really wants him. His offers have included Hamels ($20), Tex ($25), and A-Ram ($19). If I can get 2 of these guys plus a throw in to secure 1st place this year and add a couple decent keeper options, is it worth giving up an extremely cheap Hamilton for the next couple years?? Obviously this is a judgment call, but I am curious of your thoughts. Thanks!

AJ Mass
  (11:02 AM)

I like Hamilton for the future, but then again, if you can get a Hamels and a couple of extra pieces for next year, it might well be worth giving him up. FiIlling three spots always preferable to filling one.

Bob (Roanoake, VA)

Is Eric Byrnes keeper worthy for 2009?

AJ Mass
  (11:03 AM)

Probably not. Let's see if he can walk first. Byrnes value was always the SBs... if he's going to continue to have issues there, then he's not worth keeping.

Please HELP!

I dont know what to do....Uggla is slumping i drop him for better options? Are their better options on the wire you can think of?

AJ Mass
  (11:05 AM)

Nobody thought Uggla would keep up his April numbers... but he's been absolutely putrid. Does not help that Han-Ram has been out of the lineup either. Don't know your wire situation, but if you're looking ta a coin toss scenario, I'd let Uggla go.

Tom (Boston)

You starting Baker tonight or not trusting him?

AJ Mass
  (11:06 AM)

I like Baker a lot... I'm riding all the Twins pitchers, save for Blackburn, who I don't like.

Matt (Chicago)

Has anyone ever done research on how draft order impacts winning percentage in fantasy sports??

AJ Mass
  (11:07 AM)

I'm sure that the research exists, but it's not so much the draft order as it is WHO you draft. I think it is far more important in football than baseball. I did some research into it a few years back and determined that in certain scoring systems, simply by picking LaDainian, you were guaranteed a playoff spot. There's no single person who has THAT much impact in fantasy baseball.

Alex (LA)

Start Sheets tonight?

AJ Mass
  (11:08 AM)

Not me. Never does well versus St. Louis. Something like 5-14 lifetime.

Drew (Toronto)

If you had to pick 5 Keepers out of these players who do you take? Arod, Dunn, Soriano, Cano, Tejada,McCann, Harden, Joba, Verlander?

AJ Mass
  (11:09 AM)

I'm definitely keeping A-Rod, McCann and Soriano. Might keep Joba, and probably go with Dunn as my fifth.

Barry (Boston)

So you would start Baker who let 6 ER last time vs Seattle rather than start Sheets?

AJ Mass
  (11:11 AM)

In general, I like to start my best pitchers and let it ride out over the course of the season. That would lend itself to Sheets over Baker... but if you are asking who has the better chance of success today and today alone, I think it's Baker.

Derek (Vancouver)

Joba over Harden?

AJ Mass
  (11:14 AM)

Yeah, I tend not to keep pitchers at all, especially not ones with Harden's injury history. Joba's so young, I'd be willing to protect that, even if it's just to trade him.

Josh (New York)

Do you you honestly think pavano is the yankees savior?

AJ Mass
  (11:14 AM)

Does anyone? Even Carl?

Kyle (Chicago)

Who to replace Maine with? Petit, Bush, Maholm or Sonnanstine?

AJ Mass
  (11:15 AM)

Bush has been great of late, but I might lean to Sonnanstine.

Dave (King of Prussia, PA)

Hey AJ, with every start being so critical down the stretch, do you toss Andy P out there tonight vs. Boston?

AJ Mass
  (11:17 AM)

Pettitte has one of the best records in August in the history of the game. Something like 73% wins. Now, does that mean he won't lose tonight? Of course not. But heck, if it's simply a coincidence, or something that Andy is aware of and somehow gives him a confidence boost, why not go with him?

Joe (Hamilton, NJ)

Any chance you throw Snell tonight?

AJ Mass
  (11:18 AM)

Not if I can help it. Amazing how at the beginning of the year we all thought Snell and Gorzelanny would be so solid... another reason not to go nuts on protecting pitchers.

Jared (MD)

Are there any players of note that may have their playing time severely diminished once the september call-ups arrive? I've heard talk to Willy Taveras riding the pine pretty soon...

AJ Mass
  (11:20 AM)

Actually, I'd be concerned about the Angels. They've got the division locked up, and I see no reason why they won't be resting their starters in droves in September.

Scott, Groton CT

Does Pedro have enough mojo to be serviceable tonight at Philly?

AJ Mass
  (11:21 AM)

He should get through 5 IP, and the way the Mets are going, they'll probably be ahead 4-0. Then the bullpen comes in and it's 6-5 before you know it.

Mark (Lincoln, NE)

Many conflicting reports on Ian Kinsler's injury. I've heard he's been shutdown and just recently heard that he'll be back on Sept. 5th. Can you please tell me what to believe? I just picked him up when an owner cut him thinking his season was over. Please help!

AJ Mass
  (11:23 AM)

I've heard that Kinsler wants to avoid surgery, so he's going to wait two weeks and see how he feels. There's every chance that he still will go under the knife at that time, but he says he's feeling better. If you have the roster spot, feel free to stash him, but it's still a 50-50 prop at best.

Norton Abbottstein

Is there any reason to own Pedro Feliciano? I was hoping for a couple of vulture wins and saves.

AJ Mass
  (11:25 AM)

At what cost? He may well blow a save and get a vulture win or two... but it takes one bad outing to destroy your WHIP... risk/reward not worth it.

Nate Mclouth

Will i still be productive these last few weeks?

AJ Mass
  (11:26 AM)

I think so... as long as you can keep the flu at bay.

Scott, Groton CT

which of these guys figures it all out at the mlb level first? Billy Butler or Andy LaRoche (in a dynasty format league, need some power CI bats of the future)

AJ Mass
  (11:27 AM)

I think Butler will be, but his leash gets shorter and shorter each time he gets yo-yoed around.


If Lee slows down a bit and Halladay ties him with 20 wins, who gets the Cy Young?

AJ Mass
  (11:29 AM)

It's at the whim of the sportswriters, isn't it? Halladay CG totals are from another era, but I think if Lee wins 20 with the Indians, you have to hand it to him.

Kevin (NYC)

We keep 1 hitter and 1 pitcher...Han-Ram is my obvious hitter but I have no pitcher to keep??? I have Cain, Kershaw, Danks, R Johnson, Greinke, Jurrgens, Jenks, Putz...or do I pick up a DL pitcher to keep like Gallardo or Timmy Hudson?

AJ Mass
  (11:30 AM)

I like keeping Cain or Jurrjens actually. Both have very bright futures...

Marc (Toronto, Canada)

Read this morning the Giants are going to monitor Lincecum's workload. Should I be concerned?

AJ Mass
  (11:31 AM)

Concerned? There's nothing wrong with him... but obviously, when any team is out of the race, they tend to be extra careful with the young arms. He'll probably still go 6-7 innings a start, but don't expect any CGs.

Ray, Hac Hts

I made our league playoff...Do I keep waiting for Cano or is it time to make a change? Aviles, A.Ramirez and Palanco available in my league. Thanks.

AJ Mass
  (11:34 AM)

I think Cano is here. He's hitting around .320 over the past two weeks, and a notoriously good September hitter. Stay the course.

Matt (Delaware)

Hey AJ!,Please pick 2 for saves, somehow all are available: Hanrahan and Rodney I have, then Rauch, Wheeler, M. Gonzalez, Chris Perez, and Jensen Lewis.

AJ Mass
  (11:34 AM)

I think Rauch takes over in Zona and then I'd go with Lewis.

Joe (Billings, MT)

Drop Lyon for Chris Perez?

AJ Mass
  (11:35 AM)

Along the lines of my last answer, yes.


Hey AJ, would you trade Bruce and Kinsler for HanRAm in a keeper league?

AJ Mass
  (11:37 AM)

I don't think so. But then again it depends on what I currently had at SS and what I thought would be available next season as well.

Mark (Yonkers, NY)

Do you see Grady Sizemore have a chance to be a 40-50 player this year, and continue to have the potential to do so?

AJ Mass
  (11:38 AM)

I think that's a bit much in the steals department. But does he have the potential... absolutely.

Burt (Missouri)

Do you think the Reds shut down Cueto for the season?

AJ Mass
  (11:40 AM)

I think that would be the smart move. Then again, Dusty has never taken the path of caution when it comes to young pitcher's arms.

Fighting for the Playoffs

Do you ever sit superior players in favor of a lesser player simply based on home/away splits?

AJ Mass
  (11:41 AM)

It's not the home away splits so much as matchups and ballparks. If a team is one the road for the week, but in good hitters parks then I don't care that they're not at home in a bad hitters park, or vice versa.

Smorgiss Borg

If Adam Lind was a ham 'n cheese sandwich, would you eat him? (my league uses OBP instead of AVG)

AJ Mass
  (11:42 AM)

Weirdest.... question... ever.

Jason (Boston)

chone figgins or randy winn?

AJ Mass
  (11:44 AM)

I like Figgins even though he's been in a bit of a down cycle of late.

Mike (Amityville)

3 Keepers out of the following in a 12 team league with the rounds I would give up for them: Bruce(22nd), Kouzmanoff(20th), Prince (5th), Pelfrey (10th), Haren (6th)?

AJ Mass
  (11:45 AM)

I'd keep Bruce, Prince and Haren.

Rainman (Indianapolis)

Who helps me more down the stretch Cruz or Cameron

AJ Mass
  (11:46 AM)

I think Cruz will.


Rauch possibly becoming the closer kind of screws me. Which holds guys are better and which closer would you drop? D.Sanchez,Broacail,Bradford,Walker, Romero, Guerrier,D.Reyes...Rauch, Capps, Perez, Lewis, Soria.

AJ Mass
  (11:48 AM)

That's just my feel of the situation... nothing official has come down saying that's definitely the case. In fact, they're giving Lyon the dreaded vote of confidence... Just my opinion on how it will play out. I like Bradford and not so much Capps.

Batman (Gotham City)

Why does Jimmy Rollins kill me when it comes to fantasy?

AJ Mass
  (11:49 AM)

Because he's fool's gold. Always has been... always will be. We're talking a guy who has close to a 40-game hitting streak a few years back, and still couldn't raise hit BA to .300. Smoke and mirrors.

John (NF)

Keeper league question. I have the following OF's and need to cut down to 5. Sizemore, Rios, Crawford, Hamilton, Quentin, Lind and Travis Snider. Can't decide between Rios, Crawford and Lind. Any help?

AJ Mass
  (11:50 AM)

I'd keep Crawford of the three... I still believe.

The Joker (Gotham)

Cheer up Batman! Fantasy Football is right around the corner.

Ryan (MI)

Rauch over Lyon and Pena? Over his past 6 outings Rauch has a 12.7 ERA and 2.11 WHIP, does he really deserve a shot?

AJ Mass
  (11:52 AM)

Lyon's 16.20 over the last two weeks isn't any better.


A trade just happened in my league, wondering what u thought. Haladay for Jonthan Broxton and Chris Perez. I thought this was ridiculous considering its a 5x5 10 team league where you can always find saves somewhere. Thoughts?

AJ Mass
  (11:53 AM)

And he's finding it through a trade. Without knowing the whole stat breakdown it's hard for me to judge... but on it's face I don't have enough to cry foul.

Chris (North Haven)

Wow AJ, major turnaround on J-roll for a guy who was taking him what? 4th in some drafts? Sounds like he's turned you sour.

AJ Mass
  (11:55 AM)

No, I've always been sour on Rollins. However, I separate personal feelings when making my rankings, and statistically, if he were to go 30-30 in a season, as I thought, that's going to help you... even if 25 of those HRs were solo shots. As it turns out the power didn't come this year.

Scott (Reno)

Trade Uggla for Kinsler? Got Theriot on my bench to replace them.

AJ Mass
  (11:56 AM)

I make that move yesterday in a keeper league.

Tom (Phoenix)

Buzzer Beater: C. Young (ARI) or Milledge?

AJ Mass
  (11:57 AM)

I've got a huge soft spot for Lastings.

AJ Mass
  (11:57 AM)

Speaking of Lastings, lastings questions, anyone? Time is quickly running out.

Merlin (NYC)

Drop Aaron Rowand and Marlon Byrd for Ryan Church and Jose Guillen?

AJ Mass
  (11:58 AM)

No, I'm still concerned about Church's health and even if I weren't I think I still like the Rowand/Byrd side.


Fred Lewis Or Mclouth?

AJ Mass
  (11:58 AM)


Jim NY

Bruce or Byrd for the rest of the year? thx

AJ Mass
  (11:59 AM)

Byrd, meaning Marlon, not Paul

Big Slim (Memphis)

I guess I gotta start Cliff Lee @ Detroit, right?? (still doesnt feel right)

AJ Mass
  (11:59 AM)

... and yet, you do. You do.

AJ Mass
  (12:00 PM)

Thanks for the Q's gang! I gotta run. Another chat comes your way at 3pm... Until then, we'll see you the next time on VIlla Allegre!