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June 23, 11:00 AM ET
Chat with AJ Mass

AJ Mass
  (10:58 AM)

Good morning gang. Welcome to another hour of fantasy baseball chattage. Could this be the end of the Chien-Ming Wang Era? Who's up first?

Andy (Syracuse, NY)

Hey AJ, Does Morrow remain in the rotation once Bedard returns? If so what kind of impact does he have here on in? Thanks

AJ Mass
  (11:00 AM)

I would hope so. You can't do that to his arm - build him up, take him down, build him up again.... I'd expect him to stay in the rotation the rest of this season. And as his pitch count increases, so will his impact.

Drew (Athens)

Name game- McLouth or Granderson rest of the way?

AJ Mass
  (11:03 AM)

I go with Curtis. I think the move to Atlanta is hurting McLouth's longterm value more than I thought it would. Maybe it's just getting used to the new clubhouse, but I am concerned that his current slip in momentum is not correcting itself.

Jim (DC)

Why ain't no one talking about Rowand? He appears to on track to repeat his strong 105/27/89/.309 2007 season. Are you a believer?

AJ Mass
  (11:04 AM)

He's certainly producing as much value as say,Kevin Youkilis. And for the record, he's one of the names I mentioned today in Out of the Box as a possible Beltran fill-in.

Joel Youngblood (Shea Stadium c. 1979)

In today's Out of the Box, you note that some top 40 OF might be available to replace the injured Carlos Beltran. I know Cuddyer is ranked slightly ahead of Cody Ross in ESPN's player rater, but which one do you think is the better bet for the rest of the year?Thanks!

AJ Mass
  (11:06 AM)

As if on cue--- here's Joel Youngblood. Those two are very close, but I'm going to go with Cuddyer simply because the Twins are a better lineup overall, giving him more opps for RBI and RS. BTW Joel, get ready to be traded to Montreal.

Zeke THE Outrageous! (Providence)

Oh All Mighty AJ! Any insight into Madison's low Hanson ranking for tonight? He's unproven but squaring off against Wang and a Yanks offense that has looked awful lately. Start him or Liriano?

AJ Mass
  (11:09 AM)

One of the most thankless jobs is doing those Daily Notes. I get called to task for say, ranking Wandy at No. 10. Then he pitches 7 solid IP and people say, well AJ was right - even though perhaps that was only good enough for No. 15 based on other performances. Yes, Hanson should get the run support, but that won't increase his likelihood of pitching 6 innings. I'd start Liriano myself.

Adam (Seattle)

Furcal was just dropped in my league. Who has a better chance of turning it around, him or Hardy?

AJ Mass
  (11:11 AM)

I think Hardy has the better chance of turning it around, but his "turning it around" is far worse than half of Furcal's "turning it around" - I go with Raffy.

Jason (Atlanta)

What's a fair offer straight up for Matt Kemp? Is Grienke too much to give up, even if I'm strong in whip/era/W?

AJ Mass
  (11:13 AM)

Right now I have Kemp as #20 and falling among hitters. That leaves me with only a handful of pitchers who I would not give up for him. Right now Greinke is one of those three - but it's close enough that I'd still consider it.

wes (La)

I have Zambrano against Edwin Jackson today. Who do I start?

AJ Mass
  (11:14 AM)

The way the Cubs have been hitting (in other words, not at all) I go with Edwin in a heartbeat.

Josh (PA)

Can you help me gauge Brad Hawpe's trade value??? This guy constantly gets undervalued, and I'm looking to deal someone for a 3B, preferably with steals.

AJ Mass
  (11:16 AM)

I have Hawpe just outside by Top 50, but coming on strong. It's a good time to trade him, value-wise. I don't think Chone Figgins' owner will sell, but maybe Michael Young's will.

tommy (the 'cuse)

why is Kemp falling in your rankings? Is it because he bats 8th?

AJ Mass
  (11:19 AM)

That's part of why his stats haven't kept up as late. I have a metric I call Momentum that attempts to identify players on the decline/on the rise at the present moment in time. Simplified: Kemp's raw numbers/skills indicate he should be #9, but he is at

Alex (VA)

Every Toronto OF for the last 5 years = Most frustrating fantasy player(s) ever. Discuss.

AJ Mass
  (11:21 AM)

Rios isn't that bad, Alex... and he's not an OF, but Marco Scutaro may be the most fun player to watch right now.

Marty (New Jack City)

How about Juan Rivera as a fill-in for Beltran? He def is crushing right now. Thanks.

AJ Mass
  (11:22 AM)

Absolutely - he was one of the players mentioned. No speed, and I wish he'd score a bit more, but you're not going to find another Beltran on the waiver wire.

Ruby (Seattle)

It seems like we might see the return of Joey Votto tonight. Are you as excited as I am, A.J? How do you see him performing here on in?

AJ Mass
  (11:23 AM)

The only thing keeping his fantasy value down is the fact that he's not in the lineup. He's a top 25 talent who I hope can get back to that level starting tonight in his hometown.

Daisuke (Shoulder Rehab)

Am I going to be relevant this year at all??? Or should (er) my owners drop me like its hot??

AJ Mass
  (11:25 AM)

No Dice.

Robbie (PA)

Is Verlander a top 5 pitcher?

AJ Mass
  (11:26 AM)

Absolutely. Did I think he would be? Absolutely not. But you can't argue with the performance over the last month and a half.

Frank (Boston)

What are you talking about McLouth's momentum? In his past 6 games he 4 multi-hit games, 3 doubles, 2 HRs, and 1 steal. Pay attention to recent performance before you pass a judgment like that.

AJ Mass
  (11:29 AM)

Frank, Momentum is a relative stat. It compares relative value of McLouth to other players in the league... and I discussed it at length in the Hit Parade column I wrote a few weeks back. A negative Momentum doesn't mean McLouth is performing badly - only that his relative fantasy value - the only real stat that matters - is dropping in relation to the rest of the talent pool. He's still ranked #50 overall - but that value isn't as high as it would have been a week ago.

Hank (NYC)

Zobrist is a top __ player?

AJ Mass
  (11:29 AM)

65

Carl (CA)

I swear fantasy owners defend their players more than their actual children!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hilarious!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Matt (NY)

AJ, looking to move S.Drew for more power, what kind of players would you consider reasonable targets?

AJ Mass
  (11:31 AM)

If all you're looking for is power, I'm sure Chris Davis and Ryan Ludwick owners will deal with you right now. I don't think you can get "actual value" for him yet.

Ben (Sacramento)

AJ, what are your thoughts on Alfonso Soriano for the rest of the year? Does his 'name value' outweigh his 'true value'? What kind of starting pitcher would you target?

Mike (Ca)

Hey AJ, can I get some love here? I know someone else out there has to own either Huff or Sandoval. Can you help me out, who you got for the rest of the year between the two????

AJ Mass
  (11:35 AM)

Given how sad his BA is, he's actually put up a lot of value this year, so I think his name value actually might help you make the case for getting his true value. As for who to target -- aim high: James Shields, Adam Wainwright.

AJ Mass
  (11:35 AM)

I've got Sandoval. Especially with that C eligibility.

Drew (Fishing)

Rank this pitching list for rest of this year Cliff Lee, Wandy or K. Slowey. Thanks.

AJ Mass
  (11:35 AM)

Slowey, Lee, Wandy. I think Kevin is the real deal.

The Worryer (Home)

Is Mike Aviles still alive?

AJ Mass
  (11:38 AM)

Alive - yes, Injured - yes. Fantasy value - No.

Sean (Sconny)

Best 3B rest of year Figgins/Chipper/Young?

AJ Mass
  (11:40 AM)

Chone - those steals carry a lot of weight, and more often than not they become runs scored.

Eric ((Hi!))

How do you rank Slowey ahead of Lee and Wandy? Based on wins? His ratios are far higher, he has more wins yes, but as an "expert" you should know that wins are much more than how a player pitches, they take into account run support and other factors. Head check.

AJ Mass
  (11:42 AM)

Game check, Eric. Wins are indeed not a function of pitcher performance, which is why having WINS as a category, and giving it 25 percent of SP value is ridiculous. However, Twins run support is terrific, and that's not changing. Houston? Cleveland? Not as much. As long as fantasy value includes WINS, I have to incorporate that into the mix.

Evan (New York)

AJ, should I stash John Maine or Ervin Santana in my DL spot for the rest of the year? I want to move one of these guys into my active roster come late August/early September.

AJ Mass
  (11:43 AM)

I'm not a big John Maine fan when he's healthy, so if I only stash one, it's Ervin.

John (chi town)

What kind of stats does Choo end up with?

AJ Mass
  (11:45 AM)

15-25 and .280

Justin (The Beach)

AJ, as good as he is, Carl Crawford has been kept out of a lot of the conversation as of late. Any interesting thoughts on him for the second half? Thanks!

AJ Mass
  (11:46 AM)

The fact is, I think Carl is playing a bit over his head from a fantasy standpoint. If not for the steals being so numerous, he's not in Pujols territory. So while I expect his value to drop overall, he's probably going to be worth more in other categories like HR and RS.

Drew (Still Fishing)

Manny is a top _____ player upon his return this year.

AJ Mass
  (11:48 AM)

10 if he cares, 100 if he doesn't.

Johnny (Harlem)

What's up with Ryan Zimmerman? For the year, are we gunna see beginning of the year Invader Zimm or slump-city Imposter Zimm?

AJ Mass
  (11:49 AM)

I think we see more of first-part of the year Zimm, especially if the rest of that lineup starts to resemble something a bit more like a major league team.

Andy (NYC)

Hey AJ... Cleveland has outscored Minnesota this year. Cliff Lee gets MORE run support than Slowey. You gotta check stats a little more, buddy.

AJ Mass
  (11:51 AM)

Andy - it's not just runs scored - it's the distribution my friend. Lee's starts: Cleve 3.87 and 6 games with 0 or 1. Slowey: 5.99.

Andy (NYC)

Please argue that run support for individual pitchers on the same team is anything other than random. Please. Please do it...

AJ Mass
  (11:53 AM)

I'll argue it. Watch how relaxed the Mets are when Johan Santana is on the mound. They know they don't "need to score", and as a result they often end up not scoring. Team psyche is difficult to put a finger on... but it exists.

Brad (Chicago)

One last try, Bobby Abreu, is his value shot since he's not stealing or hitting homers?

AJ Mass
  (11:55 AM)

I think he's definitely on a decline - he'll still give you value going forward, but only as a #4/5 OF.

Frank (Chicago)

Based on his post-allstar performances the last few years, should I trade Haren while his value is high?

AJ Mass
  (11:57 AM)

If you think that repeats itself, then go ahead and deal. I think he'll pitch just as well - my only concern would be the D-backs falling out of the race completely and becoming "sellers" and crippling the lineup which would weaken what little run support he gets now.

Eric (Stanville)

AJ. should I trade Pods for Winn or Dukes or neither of them? I need more HR.

AJ Mass
  (11:58 AM)

Looking for HRs, Winn isn't the answer. Dukes may be, but I'd stick with Pods for now until I got better offers than that.

Pedro Martinez (Not pitching)

I'll make the argument some pitchers dont get any run support.

AJ Mass
  (12:00 PM)

That's all the time we have today. Thanks for playing. We'll see you the next time on Villa Alegre!