Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

May 7, 11:13 AM ET
Fantasy Baseball w/AJ Mass

AJ Mass
  (11:01 AM)

Good morning, all. We're back for another hour of fantasy goodness. All baseball questions welcome, as well as any comments you might have on my NFL "Mass-ematics" column. As for Lost -- well, I got no answers for you on that front. Spoiler Alerts ahead! Let's get started...

Dude (Somewhere)

Name Game!! Sliced bread or Albert Pujols?

AJ Mass
  (11:02 AM)

Unless the sliced bread is going to be getting you steals, I'd stick with the sure-to-be NL MVP.

Jacob, The Island

Wouldn't I know that they're coming to kill me? Also, do I cut Randy Johnson? watching highlights on his pitches last night, he had nothing on them. In fact, he looked bored. There's no one on the waiver wire but I could always take a chance on spot starters.

AJ Mass
  (11:03 AM)

The concerning thing about Unit is the lack of ANY K's last night. That's very un-Randy like and more concerning than anything else. I think you may get a few more good starts out of him this season, but not too much more than that - at least I'd bench him on the road from hereonout, where his ERA is like 15.

Ben (Chicago)

Hey AJ. Great job on the hit parade. I just need some clarification. If you had a choice between Aaron Hill and Alberto Callaspo, you would take Callaspo from here forward? Is that due to his high batting average? Thanks!

AJ Mass
  (11:06 AM)

Thanks, Ben. The only real value Callaspo has is his batting average, which I do not think is a fluke, and people always underestimate it's value. A .330 season is just as valuable, if not more so than a 30 HR season. I think Hill is slowing down steadily, and Callaspo is heating up. Even though I think Hill ends up with better overall numbers, he's going to come back to Alberto...

Nick (Seattle)

Should Zimmermann be taking a seat on the fantasy bench today for his start against the red hot dodger team?

AJ Mass
  (11:08 AM)

They're not going to go 81-0 at home, and since Jordan is new to them, he might be at a bit of an advantage. I ranked him 15 of 30 starters in my Daily Notes, so I don't think he'll be a disaster, but he's no lock either. Go with your gut.

B (CA)

Wainwright was projected to be a top 25 pitcher but it looks like his WHIP is catching up to him. What gives?

AJ Mass
  (11:09 AM)

Too many walks. 5+ BB/9 is not a Top-25 pitcher. It won't take much though for him to get back in the conversation, though. After all I still think he's a Top-40 pitcher with the wildness.

Former #1 LOST fan (Anywhere the island takes me)

Don't you feel LOST has gotten a little overboard? It went from a plot that made you think a little, to a plot that is very complex plot?

AJ Mass
  (11:10 AM)

What's wrong with a show that makes you think? I wouldn't want to have a PhD to follow all my TV shows, but I also don't want it all to be Scooby-Doo either.

Philly Phan (Harrisburg, PA)

Hey AJ, Many fantasy experts have speculated prior to the season, that Cole Hamels would probably take a couple steps back having thrown so many innings last season. However, with these flukish injuries this year, might they actually be somewhat beneficial, giving his arm a chance to rest? Where does Hamels rank this season as a fantasy pitcher? My opinion, when the guy is "on" he's arguably as good as anyone else out there---even Johan! Please post and answer--I need some love!

AJ Mass
  (11:12 AM)

Obviously, he's looked horrible this season, but I think it all comes down to the curve ball. When he gets it over, he's unhittable. If he doesn't, it's the current 2009 season. I don't buy into the IP arguments... if he can fix whatever flaw in his mechanics is failing him with the Uncle Charlie, he'll get back to his expected performance level.

Jose (San Juan)

Liriano or Bedard?

AJ Mass
  (11:14 AM)

Bedard. Mauer's return definitely will help all the Twins' starters immensely, but Erik has already gotten his mojo back.

James, Toronto

What are you smoking? Where do you see evidence of Hill slowing down and Callaspo heating up? Just b/c he is playing in Toronto, don't undervalue Hill! Espn is so isolated in their little world!! Hill is a top 5 player right now

AJ Mass
  (11:15 AM)

Yes he is. But to understand what I mean about "slowing down" check out today's Hit Parade and my Momentum statistic.

John, NYC

Bronson Arroyo might just be the most bi-polar pitcher ever. EVER!!!!

AJ Mass
  (11:15 AM)

You might as well call him "Ben Linus"

David (LA, CA)

You sticking with Slowey? He's been pretty frustrating!

AJ Mass
  (11:16 AM)

Absolutely. I'm throwing out last night's start because of the ridiculous conditions. Yeah, the ERA is too high, but Mauer's back and I'm willing to see where he takes Slowey.


Asdrubal or your man crush Callapso?

AJ Mass
  (11:18 AM)

It's close, but since Cabrera doesn't give me any power either, I'll stick with the Bromance.

Jack Bauer (Hospital)

I don't offer trades. Owners give me their players or they die.

AJ Mass
  (11:18 AM)

I think you're looking for Tristan's chat. Our Jack's name is Shepherd.

Brad (NJ) [via mobile]

Name game.... Cantu or Huff? What do you think their numbers are at end of season?

AJ Mass
  (11:20 AM)

I think Cantu is the better option with 25-30 HRs and 100 RBI. Now if only Gaby Sanchez hadn't gotten hurt so he could replace one-week wonder Bonifacio....

Chris, Manchester, NH

AJ, What SP's are good value target's when dealing Adam Jones?

AJ Mass
  (11:21 AM)

Right now I wouldn't trade Jones for a SP outside of the top-10. Way too much upside.

Jeff (Minneapolis)

Alexei: Please tell me the benching is temporary.

AJ Mass
  (11:22 AM)

Can't do it. Ozzie is an enigma. But at least he didn't send this Sexy Alexei down like Ron Gardenhire did with his, so there's hope.

Jesse (Boston)

I'm off to kill Jacob: Fielder or Kemp, which side you on?

AJ Mass
  (11:23 AM)

The extra category help via the steal tips the scales towards Kemp.


AJ, been trying to find out what you thought of Cueto for days, whats it take to get a question answered?

AJ Mass
  (11:25 AM)

Keep your shirt on, Sawyer... Cueto is surging right now and close to being a fantasy No. 2. Now, I'm not convinced he keeps this up, but that certainly makes him someone I want in my lineup.


Melky Cabrera or Scott Hairston???????

AJ Mass
  (11:26 AM)

Hairston. I don't think Cabrera will take over CF in NY.

LaFleur (Ann Arbor)

After I bet on the Cowboys to win the 78 Super Bowl, I traded Chad Qualls for John Danks in a keeper league. Will I regret this?

AJ Mass
  (11:27 AM)

I think you might, my friend. Faraday's book clearly said "Qualls will be the man in 2010."

Thomas (Des Moines, IA)

Name game......SPAN or MORGAN?

AJ Mass
  (11:28 AM)

Span. Watching Morgan play, I love what I see. Watching the boxscores, I don't. It's frustrating.

Josh Cincinnati

Still want to know what is in the shadow of a statue... Going to have to drop one of the following: Pettitte, Verlander, Harang, or Lilly. who do I drop?

AJ Mass
  (11:29 AM)

I'd set Andy free. Just don't like him in his new environs longterm.

J (Seattle)

Tell me the Smoke Monster will right the wrongs of Rollins and Alexie R.?

AJ Mass
  (11:31 AM)

Rollins is not going to hit more than 15 HR, and will hit around .275 -- as for Alexei, I think he's Ozzie's going to continue to be hostile towards him for some time.

Adam (Philly)

I love how you worked in a "tips the scales" comment into your response to the Prince Fielder question. Solid work my friend.

AJ Mass
  (11:31 AM)

Completely unintentional, but subconscious kudos to me, then.


B.J. Upton is about to cause a cataclysmic event with an uncontrollable surge of power that will leave A.J. Mass stuck at a computer punching in apologies for years to come.

AJ Mass
  (11:33 AM)

Answer: 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42... Question: How many strikeouts does BJ Upton have after each week of the 09 season...

Mr. Ecko (???)

Man don't you miss me, I was the best character to get knocked off on that show ... right?

AJ Mass
  (11:33 AM)

He was cool, but man, trying to build a rinky-dinky church when that styling temple was sitting nearby? Not the smartest move.

Desmond (I'm on a Boat!)

Could it be the H-bomb (and not the drilling) that makes the Swan station essential in the first place? And which June call up will be better to push the button for this year, Hanson or Price?

AJ Mass
  (11:35 AM)

Price. I already know what he can do at the big league level and I like it. Hanson? He's a great fantasy prospect for 2010, but I don't know about this year. And I'm just hoping Kate meets her maker in the finale, making it a most glorious incident.

Charlie (York College)

What do you make of Josh Whitesell? Any fantasy relevance?

AJ Mass
  (11:36 AM)

He's definitely going to get the PT for a week or two over Tracy. In an NL-only league, I'd definitely snatch him up.

Chris, Boston

Drop Aardsma for Grabow with Capps lingering elbow injury?

AJ Mass
  (11:38 AM)

Nah, I'd stick with Aardsma for now. Neither's a long term option I'd want.

John, NYC

I don't watch Lost, can I still get a question answered? Thoughts on Andre Ethier? Will he be a 30-100 guy? He's hitting well in a great spot in a great lineup...

AJ Mass
  (11:39 AM)


AJ Mass
  (11:40 AM)

Oh, OK. Ethier is playing like a top-20 hitter right now, and while I think most of the Dodgers won't keep it up (I'm looking at you, O-Dog) I'm high on Andre.

Joao Gomes (Brazil)

Nolasco at Colorado. Bench, right?

AJ Mass
  (11:41 AM)

Without a doubt.

Randy (NJ)

AJ, no Jorge Cantu on your list? He's having a nice season with the Marlins.

AJ Mass
  (11:42 AM)

I have lots of lists, Randy. Not sure which one you're talking about. However, yes, Cantu is having another solid season.

Rocco (DC)

Just to close the book on Callaspo, what kind of final numbers do you expect from him?

AJ Mass
  (11:44 AM)

We're not going to close to book on him, because there are a lot of readers who won't grasp what I am saying, no matter how hard I try to explain. I'm not saying cut Granderson for Callaspo - it's just a question of who looks more likely to keep their current pace up.

Kevin, BC, Canada

Blalock, Helton, Konerko... Who's better for the rest of the year?

AJ Mass
  (11:45 AM)

Helton. The power's not real, but the average will remain lofty.

The Book of Lists (Nonfiction)

Would Nelson Cruz be on your list of guys to keep, or would you sell high on him?

AJ Mass
  (11:47 AM)

Again, this is all relative. You either stick with your guys that you drafted for the longterm or you look to play the sell high/buy low game. But once you go down tha troad, you have to stay on it, and constantly re-evaluate. Right now, Cruz is a sell high - but not "at all costs" which is the assumption several questioners are jumping to.

Manny Ramirez (LA)

I just got suspended for 50 games

AJ Mass
  (11:49 AM)

This is indeed what the LA Times is reporting, which certainly is a shocking development.

AJ Mass
  (11:50 AM)

Xavier Paul is reportedly being promoted. If true, Juan Pierre might actually have some fantasy value again.

Doug (NY)

Doesn't it come down to this: you sell high on a guy who you think is overperfoming, but only if you get value back that reflects his current (lofty) production

AJ Mass
  (11:53 AM)

You nailed it, Doug. But there are also levels of overperforming. Curtis Granderson, is IMO, overpeforming... but that's a big difference from the overperforming I think a guy like Marco Scutaro is doing. When you trade, you look to get value that reflects where you think his future performance will be or better.

Josh (VA)

Quit with the constant Lost spoilers -- you just lost a loyal reader for the rest of this chat because it's too haphazard for people who aren't caught up with Lost to read through this.

AJ Mass
  (11:54 AM)

Sorry Josh. But a) if you love Lost then you know that it raises more questions then answers, so really, not a lot has been spoiled here... and b) what part of "Spoilers Ahead" at the start of the chat did you not understand...

AJ Mass
  (11:55 AM)

Time for just a few more, assuming nobody turns the giant donkey wheel...

Jason (NYC)

I Don't watch lost (sorry), but I think DVR AT YOUR OWN RISK, Josh. AJ - Maggs done or hitting 300 the rest of the way?

AJ Mass
  (11:56 AM)

Not quite done, but I think his best days are way back in Dharmaville.


Is that true about Manny or a poor joke?

AJ Mass
  (11:58 AM)

As I said, this is what the LA Times is reporting. Expect an announcement confirming or denying by MLB in the next few hours... but it's a legit source.

Cameron in Atlanta, GA

Let me get this straight...You LOVE Callaspo, but he isn't even in your top 100 hitters?

AJ Mass
  (11:59 AM)

Let me get this straight... you read the column, but failed to notice the Top 100 is Brendan Roberts' list?

Will (STL)

FYI, Russell Martin got 3 hits last night and stole a base earlier this week. You know any other catchers sitting on waivers than can do that and will start 6 games this week? Oh yeah, and how did dropping Liriano work out for you when 3 of his last 4 starts were quality starts? My point is that by trying to be "ahead of the curve" you cause a bunch of people to panic in these chats for no good reason.

AJ Mass
  (12:03 PM)

You seem to think I sit here trying to be omniscient, Will. I'm offering my opinion on things on the day the question is asked, and I stand by those opinions. If Albert Pujols goes 0-for-4 today, I don't scream "cut him" any more than suggesting Russell Martin might not turn it around this season isn't disproved by one 3-for-3 night. And if people "panic" based on my opinion alone, then I must have more power than I thought. Hey folks, be sure to send me large quantities of money, I have spoken!

AJ Mass
  (12:03 PM)

And on that note... thanks to all for tuning in. We'll be back next week to spoil the season finale for all those who dare to DVR. Until then, we'll see you the next time on Villa Alegre.