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June 2, 11:35 AM ET
Fantasy Baseball w/AJ Mass

AJ Mass
  (11:00 AM)

Good morning gang. It's June! Summer quickly approaches. Let's talk some fantasy baseball before it gets too hot in here, Nelly. Who's up first?

Jimmy (NYC)

How legit is Luke Scott?

AJ Mass
  (11:02 AM)

I'm not completely sold on him yet, and certainly I don't expect a HR every day from hereon out. However, as a team the O's are certainly doing better, and Scott's going to benefit from that, too.

Eric (MA)

AJ, where is Wright's power? Avg & SBs are great but elite 3bs need power too.

AJ Mass
  (11:04 AM)

Which is the main reason I had him "so low" (25th) in my May-forward rankings. His power drought concerns me... after all, if Omir Santos can hit homers at CitiField, why not Wright? Still, even without the power, he's Top-40 right now, and I have to think he'll at least hit 25 HR this season.

NoSleep (Chicago)

Sell high on Cain? Who we talking in return?

AJ Mass
  (11:06 AM)

I don't think he's sell high, because his stats are always there. The wins are what has failed him in the past due to lack of run support, but that's no guarantee for any pitcher. Would I trade him fro Josh Johnson or Edwin Jackson? Maybe... since I don't necessarily think the win totals will hold up, but he definitely a guy I'd lock in at #2.

Eric (Chi)

Thoughts on Soto? Do you think he'll he hit .280 20+ dingers the rest of the way?

AJ Mass
  (11:07 AM)

Maybe not .280, but certainly .260. If he can do that, he should finish with 15-20 HRs. Not exactly what we all imagined back in March, huh?

John (Cortland, IL)

AJ, What are your expectations for Gil Meche for the remainder of the year? Do you think he will have more value than Nolasco, Kuroda, Smoltz, or Escobar who are all available on the wire?

AJ Mass
  (11:10 AM)

I still have faith in Meche, but in fairness, he's not currently a 10-team mixed must own. I do think he'll outvalue all of those on the wire you mentioned, but currently, it's spot start time for old "Ga"

Chris (Hoboken, NJ)

Meche over Nolasco.. really? Not buying his last two decent AAA starts?

AJ Mass
  (11:12 AM)

His problem has been being stressed in getting big-league hitters out... Triple-A is not the same. I need to see him do it at the major league level before I buy in.

sparks( san marcos, tx)

Hart or Rios?

AJ Mass
  (11:13 AM)

Right now, Rios... but there's a lot of trade talk surrounded Hart, and if he ends up in a different situation, perhaps I'll reconsider.

Abe Vigoda (33rd Precinct, NYC)

I'm fishing for a replacement for Grady Sizemore who can best approximate his stats: Which FA is the best pickup: Co Co Crisp, Randy Winn, or Ben Zobrist?

AJ Mass
  (11:14 AM)

Well, none of them is near Grady, if he's healthy... but of the three, I'd go with Coco, especially since he has remembered how to steal bases this season.

David Wright, Citi

I have as many HR's in Citi as does Santos and Beltran

AJ Mass
  (11:15 AM)

I think that's the point, isn't it?

Mike, NY,NY

How serious is Chad Qualls injury?

AJ Mass
  (11:16 AM)

It's a "sore forearm" which doesn't sound awful. I think he's OK going forward, just in line for a few days of rest after a lot of work in the previous week.

Hurley (Whats for lunch?)

Which side of this trade would you want: Holiday for Brandon Phillips?

AJ Mass
  (11:18 AM)

I'd prefer Phillips. However, they're so close, I probably hold on to whichever one I currently own and not make the deal.

Scott (Chi)

The power is nice, but J Bruce is killing my AVG. How much do you see this coming up over the remainder of the season?

AJ Mass
  (11:20 AM)

Look at it this way, he's around #60 in hitters fantasy value now with a .225 average. I don't see it getting any lower, so while he's not bound to "help" you in that category, the upside is worth the hit.

Todd (Philly)

Chamberlain or Pettitte going forward?

AJ Mass
  (11:22 AM)

Joba. My only real concern with Joba is that "One Bad Inning" - what I like to call Sid Fernandez disease. I'm definitely starting him on the road, and will pick and choose the home games as well. Andy, I don't have as much faith in anymore.

Dave, TO, Canada

Is Rich Hill for real the rest of season?

AJ Mass
  (11:23 AM)

I'm not so sure you're for real now. Lots of K's, yes, but also lots of walks = lots and lots of pitches, and come August/September I think you're in trouble.

Peter (West Orange, NJ)

Where's the love for John Maine? Quietly putting together a solid season (so far).

AJ Mass
  (11:26 AM)

He certainly is doing well, and considering his K/BB is 1.2 it's a bit of a surprise. I'm not sure I'd call it "solid" until he can cut down on the walks - because I don't think he keeps up the .210 BA against... and that many baserunners will bite him.

Spyder Monkey

I have Inge & Wieters, Which one has more trade value to replace Sizemore with?

AJ Mass
  (11:27 AM)

Probably Wieters because of the name value... remember, a player is only as valuable as the person you're trading him to thinks he is, facts be darned.

Brian (Seattle, WA)

Quick One AJ--Rest of the season, Mark Reynolds or Hank Blalock?

AJ Mass
  (11:28 AM)

Reynolds, and I do not think it is close.

Helen (Phoenix)

Billy Butler seems quietly solid...worth owning? Will the power come?

AJ Mass
  (11:29 AM)

He's at #114 with a bullet, and that's without the power... I'm not sure it will come enough to merit ownership, but definitely worth the gamble.

JB - Memphis

Battle of the injury prone, head cases: Bradley or Dukes?

AJ Mass
  (11:30 AM)

Assuming no suspensions or demotions or injuries as a result of inflicting damage to inanimate objects, I like Dukes better.

Jake (Atl)

Can I drop Tulo yet? Andrus seems better.

AJ Mass
  (11:32 AM)

VTD hitter rankings: Tulo at 149, Andrus at 152. Is that enough to make a move? I don't think so. Yes, Tulo has been a disappointment, but Andrus hasn't been better, and I do not think he will be.

Andrew (Chi)

What are your thoughts on Tori Hunter? Sell-high?

AJ Mass
  (11:33 AM)

Hard for him to get much higher... if you can get a top-10 OF for him, then jump on it.


Where can I see the VTD hitter ranking?

AJ Mass
  (11:34 AM)

They are my own creation, and not posted anywhere, though I do make reference to them frequently in my chats. If enough people *write in* requesting them, who knows...

Vince (DC)

Which of these crappy players that are currently having great years can keep it up: Hairston, the other Hairston, Blake, Bartlett? Thanks.

AJ Mass
  (11:36 AM)

It would be Bartlett, if not for the injury - but there it is, so we'll go with Scott Hairston.

Dan (vermont)

Has Dice-K tumbled so low (...'tumbling dice'...get it?) that he's not even an automatic start in AL-only leagues? Can we even expect good K numbers? Thanks for chatting!

AJ Mass
  (11:37 AM)

Ouch! Errgh! Yes, you can expect 7-9 K's but also 5-7 walks and that ERA of 6-8. I think that definitely screams no longer an automatic start.

John (AZ)

Hey AJ, I get Miggy Cabrera/Josh Johnson and give Lowell/Johan...whaddya think?

AJ Mass
  (11:39 AM)

I think you do it. Miggy is a bigger step up than the Johnson step down.

Brian UT

Regardless of who you could pick up, is it time to just drop Liriano?

AJ Mass
  (11:40 AM)

In a 10-team mixed, yes.

Andy (NYC)

What's your methodology with the VTD rankings? Math? Intuition? Mix?

AJ Mass
  (11:41 AM)

VTD is all math... there's a finite number of stats available in the MLB universe, and each player's percentage of that pie can be calculated precisely.

Tim (DC)

Haren for Ibanez fair if one needs hitters and other needs pitchers?

AJ Mass
  (11:42 AM)

Haren #3 pitcher, Ibanez #3 hitter. If both owners think it will continue that way, then it's about as fair as it gets.

B (Philly)

Tulo's killing me at short. Is McLouth for Tejada as crazy as it sounds?

AJ Mass
  (11:44 AM)

Only for the owner trading McLouth. Grab it and run - the FBI will be hot on your trail.

Dave (Denver, CO)

Rank 'em according to VTD: Sizemore, Ibanez, BJ Upton, Justin Upton, Soriano, Bay, Manny. Thanks,

AJ Mass
  (11:45 AM)

Ibanez, Bay, Justin, Soriano, Sizemore, BJ, Manny

Ben (Charlotte)

What does VTD stand for? It sounds like something I don't want to be diagnosed with.

AJ Mass
  (11:46 AM)

Value to Date. And yes, it is contagious.

Grant, AL

Chris Davis or Nick Johnson at corner infield for remainder of year? In a league that counts hits and OBP. Did I just answer my own question with the last sentence?

AJ Mass
  (11:48 AM)

Actually, OBP is pretty close. However counting hits seals the deal for Johnson, especially if he gets sent to a contender.

Doug (NY)

Do you have an equivalent VFF (Value for Future)?

AJ Mass
  (11:49 AM)

Yes, I do... in the short term, which I call Momentum. The details of which ran in a Hit Parade column I wrote a few weeks back.

Rick (Detroit)

So VTD is just a look at the past? We have something like that already - batting average, OBP, OPS, SLG, Hr, RBI, etc etc. Is there any predictive use such as with BABIP?

AJ Mass
  (11:52 AM)

Firstly, I would argue that most people can't look at those stats separately and determine value appropriately. Is 10 HR > or < value than 6 steals? Secondly, I do have a formula to put relative predictive value on those numbers, and I use that to make my "this date forward" lists... but if you aren't starting from the right place, making future projections is complete folly.

Bill (NYC)

Bruce or Ellsbury, who would you rather have?

AJ Mass
  (11:53 AM)

Ellsbury... but I've always preferred speed to power.

Eric (Philly, PA)

With Myers on the DL and possibly done for the year I need a replacement. Best options are Tallet, Outman and Bush. Thoughts?

AJ Mass
  (11:54 AM)

Bush is probably going to be the best overall, but with a lot of highs and a lot of lows. I'd rather take my chances with Tallet.

Steve (Baltimore)

I know this would have sounded crazy at the beginning of the season, but which Orioles OF do you want for the rest of the season, Markakis or Jones? Thanks!

AJ Mass
  (11:56 AM)

I've been praising "Dig Dug" all season... not going to stop now.

Josh (NYC)

Any news on Hamilton's MRI?

AJ Mass
  (11:57 AM)

Haven't heard anything yet. Perhaps in the next few hours...

Nick (Princeton, NJ)

Can you discuss why you value speed more than power? To me, not only is power more scarce, the power that is generally available will be a BA/SB and even Runs killer. Furthermore, when a guy pops one, thats 3 categories right there...versus a SB, which could be a singular category. I'm not trying to say you're wrong, I'm just hoping for clarification. Thanks AJ.

AJ Mass
  (12:00 PM)

So far this season, there have been approx. 1520 HR and 950 SB. That makes SB more scarce - and even more so when you consider that those SB are usually consolidated in far fewer players. Since the categories are weighted equally, that makes SB more valuable. (It's obviously a bit more complex than that, but there's the start of the answer).

Dylan (Madison, WI)

I can't seem to find Villa Alegre on any map. Where is it located?

AJ Mass
  (12:01 PM)

At a PBS station in the 1970's, my friend... and we'll see you there, the next time. Thanks for all the questions!