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April 15, 10:05 AM ET
Fantasy Sports w/Eric Karabell

Eric Karabell
  (3:01 PM)

Hello all and welcome to another fun-filled fantasy baseball chat session... SO much to get to today, so let's go... any questions?

Daniel (Los Angeles)

Sell high on Bonifacio? What kinda numbers do you see him putting up with 600 Abs?

Eric Karabell
  (3:02 PM)

Well, anyone can be sold high is there is another owner who just has wild expectations. While I am a big fan of Bonifacio and have him on many teams, I still take the under on him hitting .300 for the season. I could see 30 steals though, and 90 runs if he hits enough and remains leading off. Top-10 2B? Probably close to it.

Korey (Baltimore)

Eric I really appreciate your opinion on all that is Fantasy. I am the unfortunate owner of both Carpenter and Dice-K. No doubt one or both will end up on the DL. Who should I pick up out of these available: Guthrie, Carmona, U. Jimenez, J. Sanchez, Parra or Kawakami?? THANKS!!!!

Eric Karabell
  (3:04 PM)

Well, the breaking news we have is both Dice-K and Carpenter went on the DL already, which is not a good sign. I don't expect Matsuzaka to miss too much time, but clearly his fatigued arm needed a break. Do not assume that all WBC pitchers will get hurt. Plenty of non-WBC arms got hurt too. I think the Red Sox will try to hold off recalling Clay Buchholz if they can. As for the Cardinals, what a shame. Carpenter hadn't allowed any runs! No idea what they do, but I don't think it involves moving a current reliever.

Eric Karabell
  (3:04 PM)

Oh, and of the pitchers you named, I trust Ubaldo and Kawakami the most, definitely.

Jan (NJ)

Maybin, Murphy (Mets), Burrell, or Dukes as #4 OF in a OBP-using roto league?

Eric Karabell
  (3:05 PM)

Dukes is mighty intriguing because he can steal bases, has power and does take walks. Burrell will probably have the best OBP of this group though. I am losing confidence quickly in Maybin being able to hit enough, but he just needs to make adjustments. And Murphy isn't a big power or speed guy, but does walk. I'd rank 'em Dukes, Burrell, Maybin and then Murph.

JB - Memphis

What is the deal with Snider not playing everyday? Why are the holding the kid back? He's the real deal.

Eric Karabell
  (3:07 PM)

I wouldn't worry about the Jays playing Snider every day, and here's why: He has numbers befitting a regular. We want what, 25 homers from the guy? He can do this. The fact he's sitting against lefty pitchers is not a problem, chances are he would struggle against them anyway. And as time goes on, he will play against all pitchers and bat sixth or seventh, not last. Snider will be just fine.

Jim (Los Angeles)

Hey Eric, love your podcast, and like Peter I hate everyone, well except the players in my fantasy team, so what did you think about Alexei Ramirez? Giving me now production and is hitting low in the order. I got Dexter Fowler and Elijah Dukes right now on my bench, should I drop one of them to pick up Aaron Hill to replace Ramirez at 2nd until he gets his stroke back?

Eric Karabell
  (3:09 PM)

Absolutely not, do not part ways with Alexei. It's not even 10 games yet! He still will get shortstop eligibility! Just remember what happened to Dustin Pedroia two Aprils ago. He was horrible. Hit about .160. And won the Rookie of the Year. Alexei will be fine. I might bench him until he hits, but no way do I cut him. Give Dukes a shot; he should really hit now that he's been given the everyday CF job. What a joke it is to demote Milledge.

Kevin (Sicklerville, NJ)

Hi Eric, I know you're up on closers. I have Wilson, Capps, Qualls, Gregg and Ziegler. Which one would you recommend I try to deal, and what level SP would I expect to get in return?

Eric Karabell
  (3:11 PM)

Can't fathom what someone would deal in your league, because it's all about timing, degree of desperation, many factors really. I rarely deal for saves. But someone else might deal someone good. I'd say Ziegler and Gregg are in the biggest danger of losing their jobs among this crew. Ziegler just can't retire lefty hitters consistently, and it could result in a role change. Gregg has to deal with a dominant eighth inning reliever who is clearly better, and a sore knee. Ziegler would get you more in return based on his microscopic 2008 ERA.

Mike (Albany, NY)

Everyone, check out Eric's "Relief Efforts" on ESPN.com! Do you like Kawakami, Stults, or Marshall for a spot start tomorrow in a 12 team mixed?

Eric Karabell
  (3:12 PM)

Wow, thanks for the plug! I think Kawakami is a safe starter with the most potential for this season. And while he's facing a hot offense, I stick with him.

brad (harrisburg, pa)

simply put: drop c. ray for c. perez?

Eric Karabell
  (3:13 PM)

No, not necessarily. I've seen no indication from the Cardinals that Perez will get a chance to close soon. Plus, Motte blew the job in one inning. He could get it back. I think Franklin gets the next few chances though. For the Orioles, Ray hasn't looked so good, which might give Sherrill some leeway.

Paul (Ireland)

Hey EK Love the chat. Would you pick up Scott Baker for Randy Johnson? How effective do you think Baker will be tonight?

Eric Karabell
  (3:14 PM)

Baker should be fine tonight. No reason to think his injury is a big issue. I would prefer to own Baker than Randy, but lemme say it's way too early to simply dump Randy.

Chris (Hoboken, NJ)

Hi Eric, what level player would you drop Nick Swisher, with the Nady news breaking today? Thanks!

Eric Karabell
  (3:15 PM)

Impossible to say. Swisher is hot right now, but what's his ceiling, 30 homers? A .260 average? Nady is done for the year, so he can be dropped, but let's not overrate Swisher either. He has limitations.

Benny Agbayani (NYC)

Just got offered King Felix for Chad Billingsley and I quickly rejected. Do you concur with my decision, EK?

Eric Karabell
  (3:15 PM)

Not really. I'd prefer Hernandez to Billingsley, but it is close. I don't generally get offered or offer trades like that anyway, but if I was drafting today, I'd take Felix first.

Jeff (NYC)

Lind or Swisher?

Eric Karabell
  (3:16 PM)

Lind. That's kinda my point...

Andrew (NYC)

EK, a name Suggestion for Your Column: The Wisdom of Obi Wan Karabobi Whats the difference between K. Morales and J. Loney. Im thinking of moving Loney for pitching once Kendry gains 1B elig.

Eric Karabell
  (3:18 PM)

I'm so disillusioned with Loney's power potential that yes, I would consider doing exactly what you say. Let's be clear though: Morales hasn't proven a thing at the major league level, and I doubt he hits for big power, too.

Ben (Tempe, AZ)

Please! Please! Let me know if you know if DWade is playing tonight!

Eric Karabell
  (3:19 PM)

I'm guessing he is not. A lot of really good hoops players are not playing tonight, like most Cavaliers, Pierce, etc. It's like Peyton Manning in fantasy football most seasons! I have 2 hoops h2h leagues going to the final night... and I've been dropping Mo Williams for Anthony Randolph. Odd...

Jim (Boston)

Now that Lowrie is on the DL, what are your thoughts on Lugo, hasn't been much talk of his rehab

Eric Karabell
  (3:20 PM)

The word is he could be on rehab within a week, and back to the Sox in two weeks, which is good news if you stashed Lugo away. He's not great, but he can steal 25 bases. If Lugo can't play, the Sox have to make a move. I doubt Nick Green gets 300 at-bats.

aaron (philly)

Wandy, Guthrie, Lohse, or time to store Hanson? Thanks for all you do!

Eric Karabell
  (3:22 PM)

Wandy, still. Potential for a lot of strikeouts there, and he's always good at home. Watch out when he gets consistently better away from home. Lohse is safe, too. Hanson might not be up for months; it's premature to expect his recall. And Guthrie is OK, I suppose. Nothing special. Ranks fourth here.

Andrew (Baltimore)

Hi Eric, please explain your logic for ranking Villanueva above Franklin. I'm considering dropping the former (or Scott Downs) for the latter. How confident are you Villanueva even gets the next save chance?

Eric Karabell
  (3:23 PM)

I'm not confident Villanueva gets the next save chance, but I'm equally uncertain what Tony LaRussa's agenda is. Franklin should get the next chance, but it could be one of about 7 pitchers after that. The difference is I think Villanueva is better than Franklin if neither get saves, which is the likely scenario.

Julian - Memphis

What is your take on Aviles early struggles? Several of you collueges have a told you so attitude saying they weren't high on him to begin with. Do you feel that way? Would you drop him for Theriot or Andrus?

Eric Karabell
  (3:24 PM)

I won't brag like that, but no, I don't think anyone was particularly high on Aviles hitting .325 again. I predicted .275 with 15 homers, which was about the best on staff. I don't know why 10 rough days would change that. I think he'll be fine. Certainly Theriot and Andrus should run more, but combined they might hit only 5 home runs. Aviles has more power and can run some. I'd stick with him.

Jason (Bmore)

In an AL only league, the waiver wire is such slim pickings. Since I have an open spot with Litsch on the DL, do you see any chance that Russ Springer becomes the Alan Embree of years past for the A's, given the fact that Ziegler is more of a specialty pitcher than a closer?

Eric Karabell
  (3:25 PM)

I agree Ziegler is more a specialty pitcher, but then again, so is Springer. He was barely used to face lefties in St. Louis. I think Santiago Casilla is next in line for Oakland saves, but I don't assume Ziegler loses the job soon.

Ameer (Bloomington, IN)

Edwin Encarnacion is walking a TON. Do you agree with me that we're about to see a huge power surge this year? 35 hr, even?

Eric Karabell
  (3:27 PM)

I predicted 30 homers for Edwin, so nothing that's happened so far has dissuaded me from that. He's got legit power, and the fact he's being selective at the plate - if it continues - is a very good sign.

Will (STL)

Kbell, we know you watch a lot of Phillies games. Any thoughts on J-Rol's slow start? I'm having bad memories of drafting Shaun Alexander 2 years removed from his MVP season. Will Rollins still put up first round production? Any danger of losing the leadoff spot?

Eric Karabell
  (3:28 PM)

No worries whatsoever. Rollins will never lose the leadoff spot, and he will hit just fine. It's 10 days. This is not Shaun Alexander at all.

Rebecca (St Louis)

I've been offered Pujols for Bonifacio.....do I pull the trigger??

Eric Karabell
  (3:29 PM)

And that's humor from St. Louie... thanks Rebecca!

Jack(NY)

Eric, I can get either BJ Upton or Markakis as part of a deal. Who should I take?

Eric Karabell
  (3:30 PM)

I'd prefer Upton because he could go 20-40. Markakis is more a run producer, but how many homers than 20 will he hit? Will he swipe 10 bases? Upton can be electrifying.

Chris (Hoboken, NJ)

Why the hate on Franklin EK? I don't think he's going anywhere.. that bull pen has been bad.. Franklin is vet with closing experience.. he steadies that ship.. I don't think he's going anywhere unless Perez lights it up... Ryan Franklin vs Charlie Vilanueva.. PUT IT ON THE BOARD!

Eric Karabell
  (3:31 PM)

Ha! I'm not hating on Franklin. I wrote glowingly about him in Relief Efforts today! I think the concern is that no matter how good he is, he could lose the job at any moment. Plus, Franklin wasn't so good last season. A week of decent pitching shouldn't convince us of a thing.

Jay (PA)

Pls rank Arroyo,Duke,E Jackson, & Davies for a Dice K Replacement?

Eric Karabell
  (3:34 PM)

I think Davies would be my choice, then Arroyo, then Duke and Edwin last. Davies looks legit to me, and he's suddenly striking hitters out, too.

Chris, Chico CA

Eric, do I drop Bob Howry for Chris Perez if I only get 3 drops for the season?

Eric Karabell
  (3:35 PM)

Only 3 drops? And you own Howry? I probably wouldn't bother. Save the moves for sure things.

Marc (DC)

Eric - really respect your opinion. I'm thinking about acquiring Wieters in a keeper league. Considering sending Oswalt, Billingsley, or Josh Johnson for him. Would you be willing to part with any of those guys for Wieters?

Eric Karabell
  (3:36 PM)

Well, all of those hurlers are better for this season, and two of them are young and going to get better. But I think Wieters is going to special, in about a month. So yeah, I guess I would part with any of them straight up in a keeper format, assuming you're not desperate for pitching.

Cody Philly

EK, if soriano can stay healthy all year can he go 40 40. thanks

Eric Karabell
  (3:37 PM)

I think the home runs, while a bit high, would be in some degree of range. I do not think Soriano will try to steal more than 20 bases though.

Ted (FL)

Is Zach Duke "Breaking Out" or just a Fluke?

Eric Karabell
  (3:38 PM)

It's too early for me to be confident in him being like he was his rookie season. Maybe 2 or 3 more fine starts. Pitchers like him can really hurt a fantasy team, as we saw a year ago.

Mike (Mpls)

If I own BJ Ryan, do I need to pick up Scott Downs for insurance or is BJ Ryan's decline overblown? I ask, because I'd have to drop Ziegler, Lilly, or Dempster to pick him up. It's a 12-team H2H mixed league.

Eric Karabell
  (3:39 PM)

I would not drop any of those fellas just to get Downs. I think Ryan is working on things, but will keep the closer role. And Lilly and Dempster are legit 175-K guys. Can't drop them. Ziegler is still closing.

Ben Grieve (NY)

Royals must be impressed with John Buck moving him to the clean-up spot today. Any chance he cracks into the top-10 catchers this season?

Eric Karabell
  (3:39 PM)

That's only because the Royals are facing a lefty. I doubt it happens again anytime soon! Buck has done this before. Note how a guy like him can kill a fantasy team's batting average. It's not pretty.

Steve (LA)

EK, please rank Dice-DL replacements - Galarraga, Meche, Ubaldo, Wang?

Eric Karabell
  (3:40 PM)

Meche is the best here, a big K guy. Then Galaragga, who has looked really good. Decline? Not yet. Then Ubaldo and Wang.

Andrew (NJ)

Eric, what's your take on Lastings Milledge now? I just traded Holliday for Lincecum and got Milledge as a waiver claim, hoping he could pick up the slack. Then I hear he's dumped into AAA. Will we see him again soon? Thanks.

Eric Karabell
  (3:42 PM)

I'd think he will be back in the bigs relatively soon. The Nats did this to light a fire under a player they feel hasn't been motivated or playing his best. He's just too talented to be in Syracuse for more than a few weeks. And I would trade Holliday for Lincecum anyway.

Bill (Cooper Canyon)

Aviles or JJ Hardy?

Eric Karabell
  (3:42 PM)

Definitely Hardy, a safe 25-homer guy, but I'm not giving up on Aviles yet.

Eric Karabell
  (3:43 PM)

By the way, breaking news, the Cardinals have called up Chris Perez. More proof LaRussa is the Mike Shanahan of baseball! Perez could pitch the sixth inning or the ninth tonight in a save chance, and neither would shock me.

Rob, Baltimore

Chris Ray won't be closing before July. True or false. Hint, this one is also true.

Eric Karabell
  (3:44 PM)

If he doesn't pitch better than this then yes, it's true. Sherrill will keep the job. But at some point I expect a last-place Orioles team to trade Sherrill...

Dude (Tarzana)

Eric - Basketball question: can you tell me if LeBron will play tonight? the fate of my fantasy basketball championship hangs in the balance!

Eric Karabell
  (3:45 PM)

LeBron is getting as many minutes for the Cavaliers tonight as you are. Sorry.

Brett (Myrtle Beach, SC)

Please answer my long question Eric...I am thinking about picking up Matt Wieters and David Price in my 15 team roto league. We have 22 active positions and no bench. It is also a keeper league where I can keep up to 10 players for next season. Was thinking of dropping Dan Murphy and Aardsma to do it. I think I can take the hit for having a couple of empty slots til they come up. What do you think?

Eric Karabell
  (3:48 PM)

It's certainly a risk, but both these young studs could be up within a month. I don't know about dumping Murphy; the Mets No. 2 hitter has potential for double digits in power and speed. Obviously Wieters is a far better keeper though. As for Aardsma, I don't expect many more saves.

Joe (Lexington, MA)

Eric, are you hearing rumblings about Justin Upton being sent down? His lack of playing time concerns me more than struggles at the plate. Still, how much longer should I hold on in a 10-teamer? Nelson Cruz is out there

Eric Karabell
  (3:48 PM)

Yeah, I am hearing the same thing about Upton. I would rather have Cruz right now. I probably would have a month ago, too. Cruz looks like a legit 25-homer guy for this season, maybe more. And he can run if he wants.

Joel (Boston)

Safe to drop Hong-Chih Kuo (used to eat innings with good numbers) for Perez for the save potential?

Eric Karabell
  (3:49 PM)

I suppose, but again, there is no indication Perez is close to getting saves. We do know that Kuo isn't close, though. I think Kuo will have better numbers, except for the risk of Perez saving games, which could happen on a whim,

Matt (Hoboken, NJ)

They took Harden out after 3 innings... I'm not watching, did his arm finally fall off?

Eric Karabell
  (3:51 PM)

He threw 92 pitches in 3 bad innings, so I don't think he was hurt, just not good. He also fanned 8 hitters. Eight of his nine outs! And the other out was thrown out on the bases! He got no ordinary outs. Wow, what a closer he would make! No, his arm didn't fall off, but his command did.

brad (harrisburg, pa)

you picking up masterson in a competitive 12-teamer?

Eric Karabell
  (3:52 PM)

Sure. I think he has a better immediate shot to start than Buchholz does.

Erik (Atlanta)

EK, you da man! I love your Relief Efforts piece every week (available today, actually) so I have a question you didn't cover in your column. Juan Cruz. I've seen the guy pitch, and I'm no scout, but he's got GREAT stuff for such a little guy. Would you consider him Marmol-lite? In a points league I've got him in as a regular. With so many closer's jobs up in the air, is it better to get a guy like Cruz to fill in your RP position than a guy like Motte or Gregg? Wins are worth more in my league than saves.

Eric Karabell
  (3:54 PM)

Yeah, I think so. I'd rather have an actual good reliever who can give me 60 nice innings with strikeouts. But make no mistake, Motte and Gregg could save 30 games with strikeouts. I'm not giving up on either of them yet. Cruz doesn't seem to have 100-K potential to me, but he can be good. He's gotta beat out Farnsworth for the eighth inning role. Why that hasn't happened makes me wonder.

jamie (levittown NY)

Why is everyone so down on Chris Volstad?

Eric Karabell
  (3:55 PM)

Who is down on him? He looks fine to me, and he was plenty touted in the spring by us.

Tim, DC

Would you drop Carpenter for Dempster? Someone just dropped Demp, but wanted to see when you thought Carpenter would be back.

Eric Karabell
  (3:56 PM)

Someone dropped Dempster? Bad move. Get him now. I doubt we see Carpenter start again soon.

Bobo (Honolulu)

Start Ichiro today?

Eric Karabell
  (3:57 PM)

Absolutely. That guy can hit falling out of bed... or when sick.

Michael (Milwaukee)

cahill or porcello?

Eric Karabell
  (3:58 PM)

Leaning to Cahill for this season... can't say for sure long-term. Both should be good.

Jerome (NYC)

Brandon Inge: you a believer in his supposedly re-tooled batting stance? He's C-eligible in my league and Saltalamacchia's been killing my BA.

Eric Karabell
  (3:59 PM)

I think as time goes on Inge will kill your batting average as well... but he can hit 25 homers.

Hermy (NJ)

Does Wright steal 20 this year?

Eric Karabell
  (3:59 PM)

Yes. 25.

B (Philly)

Worried about Billy Butler at all?

Eric Karabell
  (3:59 PM)

No, didn't think he would emerge in the first place. Has to hit right-handed pitching...

Kyle (St. Louis)

Derosa, Kendrick or Aviles the rest of the year?

Eric Karabell
  (3:59 PM)

DeRosa...

Eric Karabell
  (4:00 PM)

OK, that is all the time I have been given for today, so thank you for the great questions, and good luck to your fantasy baseball teams.... adios.