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May 20, 11:59 AM ET
Fantasy Sports w/Eric Karabell

Eric Karabell
  (3:01 PM)

Hello all and welcome to another fantasy baseball chat session. Thanks for joining us, let's get right to the questions....

JP (Knoxville)

Start Carp tonight or wait?

Eric Karabell
  (3:02 PM)

I always trust Chris Carpenter to pitch well when he pitches, but as the older version of Rich Harden, we have to be skeptical he can make many starts. But sure, I use him today.

Roberto (CA)

Maybe Alexei Ramirez would benefit from a snazzy nickname like X-Ram or Xei-Ram or Trade Bait? Seriously, is it time to sell and what's he worth?

Eric Karabell
  (3:03 PM)

Good luck selling him and getting anything. I think he'll hit for power very soon, so just be a bit more patient. He's so much more talented than this. The point on dealing him is you can't get what he's really worth.

Joe (Philly)

When would you cut Juan Cruz? I could pick up and stash K. Escobar. Other RPs are Franklin, Street, and Sherrill. Thanks!!

Eric Karabell
  (3:04 PM)

Well, I would prefer to own Franklin and Street, and probably Sherrill at this point. Cruz is running out of time to be the KC closer with Joakim Soria due back within a week. Franklin looks pretty safe to me. I lauded him in Relief Efforts today and think he's getting 30 saves.

Jason (Ellicott City, MD)

What is with the tardiness EK? How do you rate Kemp and Rios the rest of the way?

Eric Karabell
  (3:05 PM)

Sorry, I was live on ESPNEWS talking fantasy. And hey, I got here at 3:01! Anyway, I don't know why Kemp and Rios owners are worried. I don't expect either will be breaking out better numbers than 2008, but both will get to nice value.

Roger (NM)

Assuming the A's eventually get another save chance this season, do you think it will go to Ziegler, Bailey, or none of the above?

Eric Karabell
  (3:06 PM)

Yeah, that has been the problem really. They don't get late leads anymore. I don't think Ziegler has officially lost the job yet. I think he will, and Bailey will get it, but I bet if the A's ever had a quick and easy 4-2 lead in the ninth inning Ziegler would be next.

Justin (DC)

Whats the deal w/ Sizemore? His avg is atrocious, and his steals are down, too. Any reason to be concerned, or will he bounce back to the 1st round talent I drafted?

Eric Karabell
  (3:07 PM)

No reason to be concerned. Honestly, he's pretty good, he's not hurt, all will be well. It's still only May. Don't even look at your team batting average in the standings, because you know it will get better.

Jacob (aka Locke)

Sell high on Dave Bush and Wandy Rodriguez? Or hold tight?

Eric Karabell
  (3:09 PM)

Sell high on Dave Bush! Are you kidding me? Sorry, I let my excitement get the best of me. Bush is what he is, and will probably never change. His final ERA will be in the 4s and he'll win 12 games. I suppose you could view him as sell high, but does anyone still believe he'll ever break out? As for Way-Rod, he's breaking out. Of course his final ERA will go up a run or so, at least, but he's totally legit, and a lock at home. It's like with Greinke; I don't really sell high, because even with some regression he's worth it. Same with Way-Rod.

John (Queens)

Dexter Fowler or Parra(Ari)? 6x6 league that counts hits...

Eric Karabell
  (3:10 PM)

I say Parra, though he's probably not as good as he's looked so far. I think both are probably in the minors in a month. Fowler just doesn't look ready, and the Rockies should be playing their best players.

Matt (Minors)

What's the probability that Wieters doesn't get called up or gets called up really late due to the fact that the Orioles suck? I was looking to trade for him but I don't know if it will be worth it.

Eric Karabell
  (3:10 PM)

Two weeks on Wieters. I have a feeling. Honestly, I don't see why they would wait much longer than June 1. And he's ready to hit right now. Top-10 catcher.

matt (renton)

Just a good old fashioned slump from Ethier? The "Manny" argument doesn't hold water, as Ethier was batting *behind* Manny... isn't that the opposite of "lineup protection"?

Eric Karabell
  (3:12 PM)

I think that affects hitters, too, but I don't buy the Manny argument. Ethier and the Dodgers have also hit the road and played better comp. Few point that out. Ethier should hit .300 and knock in 90 runs. Having Manny around helps, but without him he's not awful. And Hudson has been fine as well. I believe the Dodgers are actually scoring more runs per game without Manny and have a higher batting average, but it's close. They aren't the Padres.

Felix the Cat (Cartoon World)

Start Meche tonight?

Eric Karabell
  (3:13 PM)

I would try to avoid it, Felix. He hasn't pitched well and looks like he's hurt. But in leagues without a bench I have left him active. Overall, for 32 starts, the numbers will be there. It's dangerous to guess when the good and bad outings will be.

Cosmo (NYC)

What can I expect from Vlad going forward?

Eric Karabell
  (3:13 PM)

I certainly think he will hit similar to the Vlad of the past two seasons. His preseason rank dropped not only because of the injury risk, but because he won't steal bases. But I'd expect he hits better than .300 and knocks in runs.

Rob (Miami)

With Weeks out for the year, do you think Corey Hart is going to hit in the lead off spot more often? What will this do to his overall projections, especially HRs and SBs. He really hasn't been running at all so far. I have him and was looking to move him but does this make him a buy low?

Eric Karabell
  (3:15 PM)

No. I think the Brewers only will do that against lefty pitchers, and even then, it's hard to call one game a trend. Against RHP it will be spunky Craig Counsell leading off, and Hart batting 6th probably. I don't know why he's not running, but I don't think anything changed on his value recently. I'd expect a 20/20 season again no matter what.

Rich (SB)

How many quality starts in a row would you need to see from Nolasco before you start him again?

Eric Karabell
  (3:16 PM)

I can't say for certain I would use him all the time now, but I do expect he will have a very good season. I generally don't randomly sit starting pitchers anyway. Just be aware that while everyone reports he hadn't allowed a run before the rains came Monday, he did allow 7 baserunners in 3.1 innings. So all was not well. But it will be soon.

Dave (Pittsburgh, PA)

Joel Zumaya has been lights out and you didn't mention him in relief efforts.. give me your take.. will he be a man and take over?

Eric Karabell
  (3:17 PM)

Well, we can't mention every reliever every week. Fernando Rodney is still the closer, and I haven't seen indication that will be changing soon. Zumaya is ranked pretty well though for someone not getting saves. Remember, a team's top reliever doesn't have to close. Look at the Cubs. That won't be changing soon either.

Jon (San Diego)

Eric, your thoughts on trading pitchers for hitters in a standard league, please. Hitters tend to be more valuable because they contribute to five categories, where starting pitchers only four. Agree?

Eric Karabell
  (3:18 PM)

Agree somewhat, but pitchers can do a lot more good and damage to a team. You get a monster Johan second half and you win your league with any offense. I don't think a monster Pujols second half has the same effect. A Greinke-like pitcher just has more impact in ERA and WHIP than any hitter can in his categories.

Steven (Indianapolis, IN)

Would trade Z. Greinke for C. Crawford if you had sizable leads in K,W,ERA,WHIP, but could gain a few points from the added SBs?

Eric Karabell
  (3:19 PM)

In a vaccuum, sure. It makes sense. I don't think Grienke finishes with an ERA below 1, but I do think Crawford keeps up his stolen base pace and swipes 80-plus.

Mike (NYC)

So I went to the Yankee Game yesterday and I actually met Chris Ray's wife in the Will Call line. I thought this was an auspicious moment and I started Ray last night I was obviously excited. I was thinking maybe a save, or at least K the side. His wife's there! You gotta get your game upf or your wife, right? WRONG! I dislike him so much..... I don't even have a question.... I just need a new RP

Eric Karabell
  (3:20 PM)

Well there you go, never miss business and, um, pleasure. As I wrote in Relief Efforts today, even before last night, Ray is not close to getting saves and shouldn't be started. I think he's owned in more leagues than David Aardsma though, which makes no sense.

Peter (West Orange, NJ)

What's going on with the Flyin' Hawaiian? More like the Wanderin' Walukuan. I drafted him expecting 35+ SBs and he's on pace for 12. Same goes for Damon, Soriano, and Phillips, who are well under their SB pace.

Eric Karabell
  (3:21 PM)

And all of them will be fine. Pace is a dangerous thing. Victorino could swipe 8 bases in June and nobody will complain. I don't think Damon is going to reach his original expectation, but the others should.

Goose(Chicago)

Is Chris Coghlan essentially unuseable until he gets 2B eligibility?

Eric Karabell
  (3:22 PM)

He's hitting .172, so I would say even if he somehow gets catcher eligibility he's unusuable. I don't think Uggla is going to cede 2B quite yet anyway.

John baker (FLA)

Drop me for Wieters? I have been surprisingly good.

Eric Karabell
  (3:23 PM)

You have. But Wieters could hit 4 or 5 homers a month, and since I expect he's up in about two weeks, that's 15 or more homers. Baker can't do that.

Johnny (Harlem)

Thoughts on Brandon Morrow? Is he injured? He was so promising last year, and has flashed some good stuff this year, but has just been atrocious as of late. Does he come back and save around 20 this year?

Eric Karabell
  (3:24 PM)

I think Aardsma is the one who saves 20. Morrow isn't hurt. The Mariners are always cautious with him, and if he was hurt, he would be on the DL. He's got no command. That's the deal. Could he regain the closer role? Sure, but he's just too wild at this point and he wasn't striking anyone out anyway.

Abreu, Bobby (LA)

Is there any chance I get off the snide with a HR this year?

Eric Karabell
  (3:25 PM)

Um yeah, I take the over on zero home runs for Bobby Abreu. But let's not expect 20 either. How about 12 for the season? Not enough? Well, he'll steal 26 bases, and knock in 90 or so, so that's a positive.

chris, dallas

Do you like Laporta or Gamel more for 2009?

Eric Karabell
  (3:26 PM)

Not a big fan of either, to be honest, for this year only. I bet Gamel is back in the minors after interleague play, because he is such a defensive liability. LaPorta would be my choice for 2009.

Watson (Chattanooga, TN)

If you answer questions about teams other than Philly in the NL East, then I would love to know your thoughts on Kris Medlen.

Eric Karabell
  (3:27 PM)

Yes, I am clearly biased, as all my Phillies-themed answers in the first half hour show! Come on! Medlen had nice stats at Triple-A Gwinnett. He throws hard, has great command, he should be good. But one can never presume how a kid pitcher will handle the bigs. Look at poor Luke Hochevar. He dominates in the minors too.

Henry (St. Paul)

Is Gerardo Parra worth a flier give his hot start? What's the oulook for his playing time?

Eric Karabell
  (3:28 PM)

If he hits he plays. That simple. Arizona has to get Chris B Young going, and I think they will, but Parra will get a long look. His minor league numbers don't tell us he's a star in the making, but a solid double double threat.

Jeff, Huntington WV

Alberts final line??? Im concerned with the Ludwick situation

Eric Karabell
  (3:28 PM)

Don't be. Albert hits .330 with 35 homers. Ludwick is back in a week anyway, and Ankiel probably tonight, but it never matters who Albert Pujols has around him.

Perry (St. Louis)

Peavy, Webb, Hamels. Rollins, Theriot, Jeter. Pick the best pitcher/shortstop pairing.

Eric Karabell
  (3:29 PM)

Well that's a new one. I'd say Peavy-Rollins.

Kevin, Milford NH

Taveras or Bourn?

Eric Karabell
  (3:30 PM)

I'm thisclose to being ready to pass the torch to Bourn. OK, I am ready. I expect Bourn might hit close to .300, for real. No power for either guy, and about 45 steals for each.

Walter (Boston)

If you were going to trade away Lincecum, would A-Rod be enough for you?

Eric Karabell
  (3:31 PM)

If I coveted offense and had enough pitching, why not? Seems pretty even to me. Don't expect A-Rod to run, but how many guys will hit more home runs the rest of the way? Maybe five? I trusted him all along and will continue to.

Justin Verlander (DET)

Do I whiff 10+ guys again tonight? The Rangers sure do like to swing at things...

Eric Karabell
  (3:32 PM)

Verlander's throwing another shutout. He has 44 strikeouts in his past four starts!

Joe (Detroit)

Bobby Abreu or Coco Crisp. I have been playing Abreu every week assuming his power numbers would be better. Obviously that hasn't been the case. Who is the better option right now??

Eric Karabell
  (3:33 PM)

The fact Abreu has not homered yet is largely irrelevant to how many he will hit the rest of the way. Really, I feel like Abreu for years has turned on the power whenever he felt like it. I don't see him hitting 20 homers, but more than Coco, yes. And he can steal as many bases.

Adam (Newtown, PA)

Eric, forget Watson in Tenn. You call it straight. Now hopefully you can give some advice to a phellow phightin phils phan (haha). In a vacuum, which would you take: Berkman or Sizemore...Nolasco, Wainwright or Meche? Thanks EK!

Eric Karabell
  (3:34 PM)

Sizemore over Berkman, easily. And I still take Nolasco. He's been very unlucky so far, and it will get a lot better.

Seth (Denver, CO)

I just read your article on Aardsma. Does this mean it's time to drop Morrow if I have K-Rod and Franklin in favor of a spot starter?

Eric Karabell
  (3:35 PM)

Never say never, especially when we're relying on someone with a sketchy past like Aardsma, but I don't see Morrow getting a lot of saves this season. And you have 70 or so saves with K-Rod and Franklin, at least.

Jeff (NYC)

Since it seems to be a running theme at ESPN, Kobe or LeBron? Wrong sport, I know...but humor me.

Eric Karabell
  (3:36 PM)

For fantasy, it's LeBron. After the Cavs win the title, it will be LeBron overall, too. That's the only issue, Kobe has won titles.

Jason (Erie, Pa)

Eric, how do you rank these OF's for a keepr league: Granderson, Ellsbury, Bruce, A. Jones, A. Lind.

Eric Karabell
  (3:36 PM)

Assuming steals are valuable... I rank just the way you wrote it. For now. Jones could move up. Granderson might go 30-15 this season.

B. Zito (San Fran)

My game was complete last night, if you hadn't noticed! Much of the same going forward? Can I reclaim a permanent roster spot in a 10 Team League? Thanks!

Eric Karabell
  (3:37 PM)

I'm not buying, not until I see a few starts away from the cozy West coast. His first nine starts will be on the Pacific! If Zito was a big strikeout guy, maybe I'd feel different. And still, with all this good pitching he has ONE win.

Tony-CA

Pretty PLEASE! Would you trade Wright for Lowell, Josh Johnson and Gallardo? Need sp help

Eric Karabell
  (3:38 PM)

Those are two good starters, and probably worth the drop from top-10 guy Wright to not top-10 3B Lowell.

Gilles (Hollywood)

The title says "Fantasy Sports", so why not another NBA question: rank the following keepers: Rose, Mayo, Tyrus, Bynum. Thanks EK!

Eric Karabell
  (3:40 PM)

I'd go Rose, Mayo, Bynum and then Tyrus. Point guards are just so critical in fantasy. Mayo ranked better on the Player Rater, but I also think Rose has improvement left.

Jim (NYC)

Trade A-Rod for Sizemore if I have Chris Davis?

Eric Karabell
  (3:40 PM)

Even if you don't own Davis... Sizemore is just a better fantasy player because of the steals.

Jim (NYC)

Kubel or Ankiel? I need HRs. Thanks EK!

Eric Karabell
  (3:41 PM)

I'd favor Ankiel there. Kubel is good, but has only one home run this month. Nothing too special.

Joe (NJ)

What do you see from Chris Davis? .250 30-90?

Eric Karabell
  (3:42 PM)

I'd say all those seem legit for him this season, but fewer RBIs.

Brian (Los Angeles)

Aaron Harangutang!!! Would you start him tonight against philly??

Eric Karabell
  (3:43 PM)

I would start Mr. Harang every time out.

Cal (Baltimore)

Will Reimold be heading back to the minors as the Orioles outfield gets healthy?

Eric Karabell
  (3:44 PM)

Unless he hits about .320 with power, yes. But then again, Felix Pie just can't hit, so Reimold might stick around and make Luke Scott unhappy.

Mike(CALLY)

IS JORGE Dela Rosa worth starting?

Eric Karabell
  (3:44 PM)

If you want strikeouts, absolutely. If you want wins, um, no.

mendel (fl)

EK please help! Would you start alexie over kinsler? Kinsler has horrible number against verlander!

Eric Karabell
  (3:45 PM)

You didn't just ask me to sit Kinsler, did you?

Dan (Montpelier, VT)

Start Dice-K right away on Friday? (hey - that rhymes!) Normally, I don't start pitchers coming off the DL...but Dice-K wasn't *really* disabled...just a bit tired, right? Thanks for chatting!

Eric Karabell
  (3:45 PM)

I generally start veteran pitchers right away, as I just did with Lackey. It's the kid pitchers that scare me. Dice-K should go right back to walking everyone Friday.

Turk (Wembley)

Why don't pitchers learn to pitch with both arms to negate the switch-hitter advantage?

Eric Karabell
  (3:46 PM)

In a fantasy world they would...

Sam, Cleveland

What's the deal with Soto. In a keeper league, would you move VMart for him?

Eric Karabell
  (3:46 PM)

I would rather own Victor Martinez for the rest of the season. He's the top catcher. Soto should come around, but I don't think he matches his rookie season.

Dontrell Willis(Detroit)

Do I continue success or is this a fluke?

Eric Karabell
  (3:47 PM)

Too early to tell. I expect a good performance from Willis Sunday at home with the Rockies, but I want to see more before relying on him. I hope he's good because I'm a baseball fan first. For fantasy, I'm cautious.

Mike (Boston)

Is Matt Holliday finding his groove?

Eric Karabell
  (3:48 PM)

At the end of April I wrote he still had another 20 homers in him, and would finish around .280. So that means big improvement. I just don't think he will run much.

Jesse (Boston)

Need your help Eric: Would you trade Berkman for Vernon Wells? I have Fielder and need help in the OF. Could I do better?

Eric Karabell
  (3:49 PM)

I would think you can do better, but don't deal Berkman while he's hitting .224. He'll probably finish close to .300. Not a big Wells fan. Do better.

jay (nj)

trade markakis for ryan zimmerman and konerko if im in need of a 3B?

Eric Karabell
  (3:49 PM)

Markakis is a different level. I think you can do better here.

Travis (Ilion, New York)

Rich Hill, Matt Harrison or Gil Meche? Choose 2 for this week only.

Eric Karabell
  (3:49 PM)

Not a chance I'd activate Rich Hill right away, in any league, Not a chance.

O-Town (brooklyn)

You don't think Gamel HAS to stay w/o Weeks' bat? I have OCab and could get either Bartlett or Drew via trade. Who you like the most going forward?

Eric Karabell
  (3:51 PM)

No, I think the Brewers intend to send Gamel down for more work, specifically on his glove. The Weeks injury shouldn't alter the long-term strategy, especially when Counsell for Weeks leading off is actually an on-base percentage upgrade. Brewers will be fine. And I still like Stephen Drew's power more than Bartlett for the season.

Eric (CO)

Drop Kyle Davies for Josh Outman?

Eric Karabell
  (3:51 PM)

Yeah, I guess I could see that. Neither are worth owning in a 10-team league though.

Travis (Ilion, New York)

Thank you for that Hill advice. TMR said that he loved Hill against the Natinals (haha) so I wanted to see what my favorite baseball analyst thought. Thanks.

Eric Karabell
  (3:52 PM)

I am not saying Matthew is wrong, because Hill might pitch well. But the Nationals are fifth in the NL in runs scored, so it's not like they're the Padres. And I still get nightmares of Hill walking people a year ago. How is he different than Willis? I need to see four or more starts.

Dan (Montpelier, VT)

Ouch, babe. That 'going back to walking everyone' remark about Dice-K stings, man. Hey--I guess the truth hurts. How bout this one: how many saves does Bailey end up with THIS year? how bout NEXT year?

Eric Karabell
  (3:53 PM)

I'd guess the A's turn to Bailey soon, but to project more than 15 saves is crazy. There's no telling if Bailey can keep it up either. And the A's could re-do the entire pen before 2010. Impossible to tell.

Greg (Ellicott City)

Am I giving up too much by trading Quentin for Beckett?

Eric Karabell
  (3:54 PM)

I think so, but then again Quentin doesn't seem at all healthy these days. I just think Beckett is overrated.

Ryan (Los Angeles, CA)

Who would you drop between Ortiz, N. Morgan, Bourn and Derrick Lee?

Eric Karabell
  (3:54 PM)

Well, I don't think Ortiz is going to hit anytime soon. But Nyjer Morgan isn't that good either.

James, Ca

Eric, what do Atkins owners do right now? is there a chance he is benched in Colorado?

Eric Karabell
  (3:55 PM)

Only if Ian Stewart hits, and right now he's hardly reliable. Atkins should improve, but I can see why people are cutting him.

Joe (Westchester)

Who's better in the long run for the rest of the season: Zobrist or Polanco?

Eric Karabell
  (3:56 PM)

With Polanco you know he hits for average. Zobrist is so enticing though. When did he become a power hitter?

Doug (SF)

Will we really see Guzman as a DH this weekend for SF?

Eric Karabell
  (3:57 PM)

Sure, why not? But remember, it's only a brief callup if he does come up.

Chad (Omaha)

Drop K Wood for Aardsma?

Eric Karabell
  (3:57 PM)

No. Wood will be just fine.

Clay Kershaw (AKA Koufax Jr.)

hamels or liriano in a deep keeper? choose wisely! (they can't all be me!)

Eric Karabell
  (3:58 PM)

I still say Hamels. Liriano looks good enough to keep, but he's not Hamels yet.

Kenny, NY

who wins? iannetta and wandy for adrian gonzalez and cole hamels

Eric Karabell
  (3:58 PM)

Depends if you need a catcher badly I suppose. I could see both sides. I'd probably take the Gonz-Hamels side.

Jay (Cleveland)

Real simple: Is Youk enough for Bay (I need a 1B), or would you need more to move Bay?

Eric Karabell
  (3:59 PM)

I'd still rather have Youk for the season.

Eric Karabell
  (3:59 PM)

OK, that is all the time we've got for this chat. Thanks to everyone who sent questions and have a great day...