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June 10, 3:00 PM ET
Fantasy Sports w/Eric Karabell

Eric Karabell
  (3:01 PM)

Hello and welcome to the latest fantasy sports chat session. I'm Eric, let's get right to the many questions...

AJ Pace (Branford, CT)

EA, you are the man! Any chance C. Davis turns this around???

Eric Karabell
  (3:03 PM)

Of course, there's pretty much every chance Davis turns it around, but let's not expect him to hit .300 either. That's a 30-home run bat, at least. Hopefully he can hit .250.

Marco (NYC)

Nolan Reimold, is he someone worth starting in a 12 team roto league year-long? Or is he another flash in the pan?

Eric Karabell
  (3:06 PM)

No, I don't think he's a flash, but he's also not a top prospect, just a good one with a shot at 20 or so home runs. I think the Orioles are committing to him, but one never knows. They might work Pie in as well. Mmmmm, pie.

Adam (Chi)

Great writeup in Relief Efforts. Do you think Rodney's value will continue to decline as the season goes forward? I'm eyeing Nunez but it looks like Lindstrom is putting up a fight.

Eric Karabell
  (3:10 PM)

Thanks, Adam. I think Rodney is an average closer, nothing special, but as long as Joel Zumaya is erratic - good, but still erratic - Rodney keeps the role. I don't see Rodney making the top 15 closers ... ever. Same with Lindstrom. You know, there's no guarantee he loses the job, or Nunez does well if he gets it. I see status quo.

Bjorn (NYC)

What should we expect from Zobrist here on out? Is a 25hr, 90rbi, .300avg season out of the question?

Eric Karabell
  (3:10 PM)

He is terrific, and the best part is the eligibility. He's on pace to hit more than 30 home runs. I think we have to assume he gets to 25.

steve (forked river, nj)

EK, in your relief efforts you said valverde will keep climbing in teh rankings as long as he pitches well... how high could you see him climbing?

Eric Karabell
  (3:12 PM)

Well, Valverde started the year No. 7 believe, and I don't see why he can't back to that if he does what he normally does. You know, the No. 11 guy is Scott Downs. Then Ryan Franklin. There's room for Valverde to climb.

Frank (Columbus, OH)

Do you expect Troy Percival to pitch again this season? Will he return to the closer's role?

Eric Karabell
  (3:13 PM)

I think he will hold off on the retirement talk and he will return to the closer role upon being activated. It's more of a reputation thing. I'm not saying it should be that way, but I can't see Percy setting up. Should you keep him in fantasy? Not sure it's worth it.

Hank (Miami)

Eric! My favorite chat dude. I lost Asdrubal Cabrera to injury, and 2B is thin in my league. Been using Adam Kennedy thus far. Do you prefer Kennedy, Barmes or Ian Stewart going forward? Thanks!

Eric Karabell
  (3:15 PM)

I have owned Clint Barmes for years in a really deep league, and he's frustrating to own. Very streaky. No way he finishes hitting .290. But he's doing well now, so give him credit. Stewart has big-time power, and should hit better than .250 eventually. I doubt Kennedy keeps up his fine play, and with Mark Ellis returning, he needs to start taking grounders at third. I'd say Barmes is the safest here, since Stewart can hurt you in average.

Ryan (Providence, RI)

Will Clay Bucholz get called up anytime soon?

Eric Karabell
  (3:15 PM)

I don't think so. The Red Sox don't seem in any hurry, and even if Brad Penny gets dealt - which I really doubt - I think Smoltz is next in line.

Greg (Philly)

Any guesses as to the player fastest to the majors from this year's draft? Storen on the Nats?

Eric Karabell
  (3:16 PM)

Read my mind. He could be their Chad Cordero type who comes up soon and closes. I do not think we'll see Strasburg in 2009.

Peter Becker (FL)

Even if Nunez doesnt get the nod as closer in a league that uses holds/saves as a category is he better than say Dotel?

Eric Karabell
  (3:17 PM)

I'd say yes because Dotel hasn't continued the strikeout rate he had the first few weeks. What happened there? Nunez isn't much less a K pitcher, but he does help in WHIP and is much closer to saves.

Alex (Dallas)

Good afternoon EK! With "the Bat" returning from the DL this weekend, is there any chance that Joyce will be productive in fantasy this season? Also, what are your projections for the last 3 1/2 months for Burrell (besides a .250 average)?

Eric Karabell
  (3:19 PM)

I don't assume the Burrell return affects Joyce. Burrell won't be playing the outfield. Joyce will. And Zobrist can play second base regularly. I'd assume a healthy Burrell - which we don't know yet - starts to hit a homer a week, at least, and knocks in runs. Joyce is being given a chance, but after the early home runs, I'm not sure he's making good use of the chance.

Casey (Milwaukee)

Hey Eric! Everyday listener to the podcast, you and Peter do a great job! Any chance Madson stays as the closer for the Phils after Lidge comes back? Or has Lidge proven he deserves the "closer role?"

Eric Karabell
  (3:20 PM)

He's proven himself in the role. He won them a World Series! I think the Phillies are best off if Lidge is pitching well and closing, because Madson is critical for the eighth. No, I do not think Lidge misses more than the requisite 15 days or loses the role. Madson is good, and helps any fantasy team with strikeouts and peripheral stats, but Lidge gets the saves.

Greg (Boston)

If Sandoval gets C elig. where do you think he ranks among catchers?

Eric Karabell
  (3:21 PM)

He won't. If the Giants can't play him at third base due to the elbow injury, he certainly can't go behind the plate. It's time to move on from the catcher eligibility hopes. IF it happened, though, I'd say back end of the top 10. He can hit .300, that's for sure, with some power.

JP (Sunny Florida)

I was offered Peavy and An Laroche for The Youk and Jurrjens should I make this deal

Eric Karabell
  (3:22 PM)

I probably would stay with Youkilis and Jurrjens, but that's me. I don't see why Jurrjens can't match Peavy in ERA and wins. The LaRoche who plays 3B isn't showing much power, though he should hit .280 and knock in 70 or so runs.

Kevin (MD)

Brandon Morrow to be sent back to AAA to revert back to a starting pitcher. Seattle hopes he'll be back up and starting in the second half. What are your thoughts on him?

Eric Karabell
  (3:23 PM)

Ridiculous situation. Seattle should never have moved him to the bullpen this season... lost opportunity that was. I think Morrow is in the rotation by August, and I'd expect some nice numbers. But based on health, it's impossible to know with him.

Marshall (St. Louis)

Trade Josh Hamilton for Rivera if I could use the saves?

Eric Karabell
  (3:24 PM)

Ordinarily I wouldn't make that deal, but if you have a need, sure. Hamilton should get a good 2-plus months in and I expect he will really hit.

Jim (Trenton, MI)

In Relief Efforts, Andrew Bailey is rather low even though he's been top 3 the last 15 days, in our league anyway, and top 20 the last 30 days. Can you explain why not rated higher than 23? Is partially the team and SP for OAK? I have Qualls on my bench right now- think T. Pena is a better option for me? (Downs and Street are also available by the way) Thanks- value your thoughts and articles.

Eric Karabell
  (3:26 PM)

I don't believe in taking an unproven guy and jumping him in the ranks too fast unless there's obvious reason. Bailey will move up as time goes on, but there remains the chance he's either replaced due to performance or because the manager just feels like it. I'd think Bailey is in the top 20 soon enough. He just got the job officially a week ago! And Qualls is the closer when healthy. Still no word on a Qualls DL stint yet. I'd prefer Downs and Street right now over both of them though.

Perry (Evanston)

What is Mat Gamel's value for the rest of the season? Do you see him being shipped back to AAA after inter-league play is finished?

Eric Karabell
  (3:27 PM)

If he can continue to hit some home runs, he'll stay. If not, he's headed back to the minors and Bill Hall will play. I have a feeling Gamel needs more work.

Stephen Strasburg (DC?)

Ok let's end the drama here about me. When is ESPN going to add my name to their fantasy baseball waivers?

Eric Karabell
  (3:28 PM)

No drama, as far as I know. He has to pitch first, that's all. See ya in 2010.

Adam (Chicago)

If Ervin Santana puts up another solid outing, will you be buying him? It seems like a lot of analysts want nothing to do with the guy.

Eric Karabell
  (3:28 PM)

I've bought him already and stashed him on the bench until we see consistency. You can't throw away arms like that, too much upside.

Joe (St. Louis)

Do you take weather into consideration when starting pitchers? I picked up Pavano tonight but there is a 60% chance of rain. I could drop him and pick up a replacement for the injured Ellsbury?

Eric Karabell
  (3:31 PM)

I do not take weather into account. Do you assume Pavano pitches better or worse due to rain? Also, rain doesn't mean a rainout.

john (mass)

EK! Downs or RyanMadison for next few wks? who do YOU like better? next month?

Eric Karabell
  (3:32 PM)

Yes, I would prefer Downs. Nothing major in that decision, but my rankings aren't merely for the next two weeks, they are for the rest of the season. Downs is a safe closer. Madson gets two weeks. And Madson might have a better season in K's, ERA, you name it... but not saves.

Matt (Fort Collins)

Sean West...anything there? Thanks.

Eric Karabell
  (3:34 PM)

Any Marlins pitcher needs to be taken seriously, but I wouldn't add him in a standard league quite yet. But certainly what he did Monday was impressive. Let's see him keep going (and I'm not saying he can't...)

regg (indy)

i have addai in a dynasty league(can keep 8) and have the 7th i need to reach on donald brown there?please help me ek!!!!!

Eric Karabell
  (3:34 PM)

I would think you can do better with the seventh pick, but if you mean in terms of handcuffing Colts RBs, I think that's overrated. In round 10 I'd take Brown, or Sproles, but not too early.

Sixto Lezcano (Philadelphia, PA)

From left field. In 2015, who from this groupis in the Hall? Clemens, McGwire, Bonds, Manny, Palmeiro, Sosa, Rose, FP Santangelo.

Eric Karabell
  (3:36 PM)

Awesome! All of them except ... Santangelo. I have faith the voters will vote based on statistics and re-think the steroids era in time. As for Rose, I know what he did was wrong, but I think the all-time hits leader needs to be in the Hall. Just my opinion I guess.

Jeff (san diego)

EK, who would you rather have in your Util rest of the season, ALex Rios or Steven Drew. standard cats obp.

Eric Karabell
  (3:37 PM)

Not knowing your SS, I'd say Rios. But it is always nice to have a productive middle infielder around in case of other injuries. In a vaccuum Rios should be the better option.

JT (Boston)

Thoughts on Aaron Hill the rest of the way? I'm trying to deal him in my league and no one is biting. Any ideas on a good buy low 2b to trade him for?

Eric Karabell
  (3:38 PM)

I don't think he ends up with 35 home runs, but I don't call him the normal sell high guy either. I think he'll remain very productive. And by the way, everyone in your league is thinking the same thing about him. Why not keep him and enjoy this terrific season?

Korey (Baltimore)

Who figures it out first: D. Ortiz or Dice K??

Eric Karabell
  (3:39 PM)

Ortiz. He's starting to figure it out. I think he can still hit close to 20 home runs, just with a low average. Dice-K is in danger of some odd DL stint so the Red Sox can activate Smoltz or Buchholz. Really, teams find ways to DL players when they aren't performing.

Paul (Philadelphia)

Any thoughts on the Ibanez steroid allegations? I mean you can usually visually tell who is using and who isn't and Ibanez doesn't lOOk to be. My money is on Ibanez maintaining both his production and the negative tests.

Eric Karabell
  (3:39 PM)

He's clean. This is a joke, that poor Ibanez does nothing wrong yet his name gets sullied. But that's baseball today. I think he hits 40 homers.

James (Airplane hangar)

Mark Reynolds could go 30-30 and hit .260 ish. Is he the poor man's Sizemore?

Eric Karabell
  (3:40 PM)

Very poor. But 30 homers and maybe 20 steals.. . sure. This is what Chris Young should be doing.

Dontrelle W. (Detroit)

I've never heard of teams finding ways to DL players when they are not performing.

Eric Karabell
  (3:40 PM)

Ha! Of course you haven't!

Matt (Annapolis)

Any advice for someone with Sizemore AND Hamilton sitting on their DL? Tread water with hot bats like Overbay or try to trade for longer term help?

Eric Karabell
  (3:41 PM)

In h2h formats it's a problem, but not in roto. It's full season stats there and I expect Sizemore and Hamilton to hit when they return.

Dave (LB)

EK! I certainly need help with this one....I am getting Reyes and giving zobrist and bedard...go for it?

Eric Karabell
  (3:42 PM)

Oooh... I don't know if I would. Not a big Bedard fan, but the problem is will Reyes run when he returns. This could end up a statistically lost season for him. Zobrist hits 30 homers. Can Reyes steal 30 bases?

Vince (Dayton)

Surprised you would pick Barmes over Stewart at 2B. Stewart actually has upside for average as well as power, doesn't he?

Eric Karabell
  (3:43 PM)

He sure does, but I am very wary of players who can hurt the batting average. There's little indication Stewart is going to hit .280 anytime ... ever. Barmes is not great, but he's usable. And can run a bit.

Rob (Frankfort, IL)

Matt Wieters had two hits last night...Is he on the verge of breaking out and showing the world what all the hype is about???

Eric Karabell
  (3:44 PM)

I say he still finishes among the top 5 catchers... despite his "slow" start. He'll be fine.

Jim (NYC)

Rank these SP rest of the year: Lowe, Lester, Price Thanks!

Eric Karabell
  (3:44 PM)

Lester, Lowe and then Price. Let's see Price keep his WHIP in line first. Lester is breaking out. Lowe is solid.

Eric Karabell
  (3:46 PM)

I don't see any reason why Ibanez will slow down next season. Don't look at how old he is. It's irrelevant.

john (Richmond, VA)

What can we expect from Tulowitzki the rest of the year?

Eric Karabell
  (3:49 PM)

The forecast is for pain... ok, really, I have little faith we'll se anything close to that rookie season.

Nick (LA)

EK, I think we've had our first new-chat-format casualty. Jim from NYC asked about pitchers and your answer shows up as Ibanez not slowing down...hmm

Eric Karabell
  (3:51 PM)

Yeah, there might be a few issues... but I'm posted like always... I ranked the pitchers Lester, Lowe and Price...

Roddy (Los Angeles)

EK,Rest of the year, which C will have better numbers... Inge or Weiters? BTW, does Weiters run or is he just a power/BA combo?

Eric Karabell
  (3:52 PM)

Wieters does not run. But he certainly hits. And on that other question about pitchers, which I see from here did post, I wrote I really trust Lester now, and rank ahead of Lowe due to strikeouts. And Price needs to prove he can make it into the seventh inning... he's third here.

Phil (Kansas City, MO)

Starting pitchers. Are they better versus familiar foes or do they get a boost in interleague games because hitters haven't seen them as often?

Eric Karabell
  (3:53 PM)

To me, there is no trend here for either. Remember, the hitters get used to pitchers as well. I don't think we can glean info from this.

Joe (Tulsa)

EK, help me out on these pitchers....pick 2 of 3 from Scherzer, Escobar, ESantana

Eric Karabell
  (3:53 PM)

Scherzer and Santana for now. Need to see more from Escobar.

Sean (Boston)

Hey EK, I was offered Mauer for Haren. My current catcher is Soto. What do you think?

Eric Karabell
  (3:54 PM)

Not sure I would do it. I know Mauer looks like Piazza all of a sudden, but Haren is a top-10 pitcher, too. And Soto should come around and hit for power.

Bake McBride (Philadelphia, PA)

Given your wariness of guys who will hurt your avg., would you dump Chris Davis for Nick Johnson?

Eric Karabell
  (3:55 PM)

Depends on team need. I realize Davis can hit 35 homers, and Nick cannot, so it depends how your team is constructed. I believe any fantasy team can afford a Davis type, but Davis and Dunn, for example... um, no.

Brad (Patiently Waiting In The Basement)

Zito or Uehara in a 10 team mixed?

Eric Karabell
  (3:55 PM)

Well, neither really... but if I have to choose, it's not Zito.

Gabe (NJ)

Nolasco or Kuroda?

Eric Karabell
  (3:56 PM)

Kuroda, but barely. Nolasco is about to get hot and have a big second half.

Jason (Charlotte)

Do you think Furcal turns it around this year? Torre's dropped him to 7th in the lineup.

Eric Karabell
  (3:57 PM)

He'll be back up to first when Juan Pierre hits the bench... but will the Dodgers be better off? Hmmm... can Pierre play shortstop? I don't see Furcal ever stealing 30 bases again. He doesn't look like the same player.

Etrain (Oakland)

Sandoval/Butler for Lind/Atkins?

Eric Karabell
  (3:57 PM)

Lind is really good, and totally legit. 30-100 bat. Sandoval can't do that. So I take the Lind side.

Tom (Indianapolis)

Carlos Ruiz...expectations for the rest of the season?

Eric Karabell
  (3:58 PM)

Well, there's very little chance - like none - he hits .300, so be careful here. He's not on the roster for his bat.

J. Baker (NYC)

Baker, Smoltz or Meche for the rest of the season?

Eric Karabell
  (3:58 PM)

Baker, definitely. Then Meche. Smoltz is more a sleeper than anything else.

Matt (NJ)

Hey Ek btw your answer for Dave(LB) didnt come up about the trade of Reyes for Zobrist/Bedard? Also Wang or Escobar?

Eric Karabell
  (3:59 PM)

Well, I assure you i DID type one! I said Zobrist is gonna hit 30 homers... will Reyes swipe 30 bases? I dunno. So it's a risky deal to acquire Reyes there. And Escobar.

Eric Karabell
  (3:59 PM)

Well, our time is up, so sorry about any problems with the new system. I assure you there are people working on them. Two more chats on Thursday, so tune in then! Have a great day...