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June 25, 11:00 AM ET
Chat with AJ Mass

AJ Mass
  (10:58 AM)

Good morning one and all! We've got one hour to talk fantasy baseball, so let's get right to it. Who's up first?

John (NYC)

Does Nunez get the majority of save chances in FL now? Should we pick up Meyer as a back-up?

AJ Mass
  (10:59 AM)

Meyer came in with a 3-run lead, so I don't think it's any sign of who will be used in a close game. Nunez should be the guy, assuming his ankle injury can let him pitch.

Matt (WI)

Good morning Mr. Mass, what are your thoughts on Morrow going forward? I picked him up a few days ago in a 12-team mixed H2H league becasue I'm hurting for SP. Can he be my saving grace going forward once he gets his pitch count up?

AJ Mass
  (11:01 AM)

I still think the jury is out, because he's being placed in a situation where he starts counting pitches himself and then tries to do too much with the dwindling number of pitches he has left - that's why I hate when managers stick to pitch counts, rather than just feeling the game out. I think he'll be OK once he has freedom to stay in games on his own merits.

wes (LA)

Now that it seems Scott Baker is out of his early slump, is he a must start now? Is he a top 10 pitcher?

AJ Mass
  (11:02 AM)

I think that's way too generous for Baker. He is now a pitcher that I wouldn't mind starting on a regular basis, but we're talking #4 quality, no better.

DanC (Grants Pass, Or)

Nobody in my league wants to trade, so I must drop one of these pitchers today. J. Danks, R. Dempster, A. Harang, or J. Smoltz. Who do you think has the least upside going forward?

AJ Mass
  (11:04 AM)

I like Danks the least of that quartet. Certainly, you'll know more about Smoltz after today's start, so I'd wait until I see what he looks like, but I expect a good 5 IP.

Ryan (Miami, FL)

Should I sell High on Edwin Jackson or do you think he keeps up with the good numbers the rest of the year?

AJ Mass
  (11:06 AM)

I don't think he continues to retire batters at close to 80 percent, but I do think he's legit and will continue to post solid numbers the rest of the way.

Homer Bailey (Cincinnati)

Will I ever be a GOOD PITCHER in the MLB? What is the chances of me reaching my early expectations?

AJ Mass
  (11:07 AM)

The reports are that Bailey has learned a new pitch - the split-fingered fastball - and has been unhittable for the past month in Triple-A. He's likely to pitch this weekend for the big boys, so we shall see. But I'm not buying in until I see it with my own eyes. 0-6 with a 7 ERA last year was horrendous!

Brigham (Tampa)

Stephen Drew or Jimmy Rollins going forward?

AJ Mass
  (11:09 AM)

I think Drew will do better from this point forward... but not by enough for me to be confident in making the switch.

John (N.J.)

'Morning A.J., who do you like through the end of the season? Posada or Wieters?

AJ Mass
  (11:10 AM)

Posada for the rest of this season. Wieters from this point forward to 2020.

AJ Mass
  (11:11 AM)

Posada for the rest of this season. Wieters from this point forward to 2020.

Dennis (Cleveland)

Mr. Mass! Who do you like and why? Cody Ross, Chris Young, Kendry Morales.

AJ Mass
  (11:13 AM)

Cody Ross. His June splits are through the roof - putting him in Miggy terrory. Will he do that every month? Probably not, but what are you paying for him versus how much you're paying for Cabrera? On the waiver wire, you have to grab him.

Richard Nolasco (Miami)

AJ, I'm ready to be a top 10 pitcher the rest of the year. Mark it down.

AJ Mass
  (11:14 AM)

I wish I could believe you, but after all those nice things I said about you in March, I'm afraid you have a lot more "making it up to me" to do, Ricky.

Chris (Saratoga, NY)

Desperate for a C...best option out of Ramon Hernandez, Varitek or AJ (not you)?

AJ Mass
  (11:15 AM)

I'd go with the namesake. All three are certainly in that "desperation" category but I think AJ's production in the most reliable.

Prince (London)

I have both Zimmermann and Smoltz. Start both today, in the head-to-head match-up in Washington?

AJ Mass
  (11:17 AM)

Last time I checked, teams aren't required to score a minimum of runs in a game. 0-0 is allowed. So I don't worry about if my pitchers are facing off, only if they are good enough to pitch, and I have far more concerns with Zimm than Smoltz.

Dave (NYC)

Saunders has looked very good this year...will he finish as a top 25 pitcher?

AJ Mass
  (11:18 AM)

Saunders has slowed down a lot from a value standpoint. I still think Top-25 is possible, but since he's not a strikeout pitcher, he has to work a little harder to get there.

JR (Cuse)

Why are people SOOOO AFRAID to start pitchers who face each other! JUST START BOTH! Thats my answer in 99.9% of the cases

AJ Mass
  (11:21 AM)

I agree - is anyone not starting Carpenter or Johan today because they are opposing each other? This isn't like in the NFL where matchups are a huge factor in start/sits.

The Train (Columbus)

Markakis will finish the year a top 20 batter. True or false?

AJ Mass
  (11:22 AM)

False. Top 50 is about as high as I'd be willing to go with Nick.

Mr. Owl (Tree)

How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop? I could never make it without biting.

AJ Mass
  (11:23 AM)

Let's count... 1...2... 3.... crunch... Three.

B. Webb (Zona)

Am I done for the year? And if so - what are your thoughts on other players picking up studs that are on the waiver wire b/c they are done for the year just to have them for a keeper next year?

AJ Mass
  (11:25 AM)

It does appear that way, and lets' face it - the D-backs are going nowhere. Why rush him back at this point? I think in a keeper league, it's smart to grab "out for the year guys" once your current season's title is out of reach.

Dr. Pepper (Soda town)

Which Upton do you like better going forth?

AJ Mass
  (11:25 AM)

Justin. But BJ certainly has closed the gap.

David (TAMPA)

What is wrong with me?? Am I serviceable??

AJ Mass
  (11:27 AM)

I think you can have fantasy value still this year. It's hard to face the Rockies at Coors and NYY at the wind tunnel and come out looking aces.

nick (parts unknown)

which pitchers would you say is comparable to jonny cueto from a fantasy standpoint

AJ Mass
  (11:28 AM)

Right now I would put Cueto in a grouping with Harang, Duke and Marquis.

Dave (NYC)

Looking to trade either Halladay or Haren.. which one would have better value and which one would you rather have the rest of the year?

AJ Mass
  (11:30 AM)

You're talking 2 of the top 3 fantasy pitchers right now. I'd trade someone else! But if I had to choose, I'd let Haren go b/c he's not getting any wins solely thanks to his weak offense.

Tyger (Davenport, IA)

need to make the move today...price or liriano?

AJ Mass
  (11:31 AM)

Today, I stick with Liriano.

chris (toronto)

whos the other top 3?

AJ Mass
  (11:32 AM)

Greinke - Verlander is 4, Javy 5.

Mr.Italics ((Fonttown))

I am concerned with Evan's hammy? Anyone else?

AJ Mass
  (11:33 AM)

He says he's OK, and the pain wasn't "as bad" this time as when he missed a week. Still, it is troubling. I expect him to play this weekend. Fingers crossed, because the next time it hurts, it might be serious.

Johnny (Harlem)

AJ, I'm not gunna blast you like some of the know-nothing jerks in these chats, but I would like some clarification on why Johnny Cueto and Harang are in a grouping with Jason Marquis. He's having a solid year, but Cueto was leading the NL in ERA for a good stretch, and Harang is a solid vet who will give you a quality start 80% of the time. Marquis is a marginal 3/4 starter in real life, pitching at Coors as a home field. Can ya explain for me?

AJ Mass
  (11:36 AM)

Cueto isn't the strikeout pitcher he once was, and that has helped him as an overall pitcher, but hurt his fantasy value in 5X5 leagues a bit. And I agree, Marquis' ranking surprises me as well, but he is winning - which has to be factored into the equation since that is 25 percent of a pitcher's value - and he doesn't give up the longball, especially interesting with regular outings in Coors.

Adam (Philly)

AJ. How do you feel about a dead team suddenly making a trade with a contending team in your league? Does this trade get vetoed 100% of the time. It was BJ Upton for Gregg

AJ Mass
  (11:38 AM)

I think you need to say something before this deal gets made in terms of what constitutes a "dead team" and what rights they lose once deemed as such. However, when that's the only move a team makes and still has say 5 DL'd guys in the starting lineup, that's reason enough for a veto.

Timmy! ((Outside the Top 3))

How are you going to put me behind Halladay and Haren? I'm number 1 BABY!

AJ Mass
  (11:40 AM)

You're good. K/BB rate = 4.31, Halladay and Haren over 7. When we get to the top we have to start splitting hairs.

Drew (Hudson Valley, NY)

Javier Vazquez is at the top? Better than Lincecum J. Johnson, J. Santana, Sabathia, Cain, Beckett, Billingsly, Gallardo? I could go on. This seems to buck conventional wisdom, dude.

AJ Mass
  (11:42 AM)

If you don't want a guy striking out close to 11 batters a game with a WHIP of 1.05, be my guest to pass.

Brody (MN)

With LaPorta now primarily playing 1B in the minors, does he have a quicker route to the bigs? Seems like it would be easier to unseed Garko than one of the OFs (Sizemore, Choo, DeRosa).

AJ Mass
  (11:42 AM)

I think this is actually in preparation for a trade of V-Mart later this season -- just my guess.

Brett (KCMO)

AJ, in May you gave the advise to drop BJ Upton for Jose Gullien. Looking back, do you think that was horrible advise? Or, do you still think from May thru the end of the season, Gullien out performs BJ?

AJ Mass
  (11:46 AM)

I get asked tons of A or B questions, and every time I answer them, I fully stand by my decision at the time. And I'm not always going to be right. Let it go, Brett. The surest way to lose at fantasy baseball is to stand pat in your evaluations and not change your view as new info becomes available. That's why we don't draft our teams and leave them alone all season. I don't think it was horrible advice, but I doubt I told this guy "You have Upton? Dude, cut him for Guillen." And we'll find out how bad the advice was or wasn't only after the season is over.

Mitch D (Harrisburg, PA)

Javier Vasquez? Seriously, you fantasy experts need to get it through your heads that although WINS are not directly attributed to the pitcher, WINS remain a category, especially in H2H leagues. Good Pitcher on Good teams > Good Pitcher on Bad teams. Even a mediocre pitcher (Jamie Moyer) on a hard-hitting (Phillies) team will put up decent fantasy points! I'd take almost all of those pitchers Drew listed over Javier Vasquez!

AJ Mass
  (11:48 AM)

Makes sense to me, Mitch. You'd rather lose K's, ERA and WHIP to get Moyer's stats and win one category. Brilliant strategy! Good pitchers on any team > better chance to win than mediocre pitcher on any team.

Cheech (LA)

WHY ARE YOU SO INSECURE?

AJ Mass
  (11:49 AM)

Yeah, Cheech is your real name. Get a life, dude.

Negativity (Awfulville)

What happened to Villa Allegre ... this chat makes me sad

Jesse James (Boot Hill)

I will tell you what a DEAD TEAM is: One dude in our league has FIVE Molinas on his roster (Bengie and YadaYada plus Jose stashed on the DL and Prospects Gustavo and Angel in the Minors). I have contended the team should be declared dead but get no support. Why would you need 5 Catchers---EVER ???

AJ Mass
  (11:52 AM)

Well, really your first warning sign should have been when you asked him for his team name and he said "The Fighting Molinas"

Tim (Cleveland)

Why has the IQ of the participants reached an all time low? Do you feel that Hafner will continue to improve in the second half?

AJ Mass
  (11:53 AM)

I think so, Tim, All the peripherals point to a better offensive output going forward.

J.J. Hardy (Millwaukee)

Why am I so terrible? Would you drop me for K Greene? O Cab? Beckham? A bat rack?

AJ Mass
  (11:54 AM)

When Edgar Renteria and his .300 slugging starts out-producing you, it's time to cut bait.

Joe (DC)

Will people ever learn that trading the Johans and Lincecums for a guy like Vazquez and an upgrade at another position or two is how you win leagues? Its the numbers not the names.

AJ Mass
  (11:55 AM)

Preach it, Joe.

Max (NY)

AJ, please ignore trolls. Best going forward: Nieve, Mazzarro, Romero, Lannan?

AJ Mass
  (11:57 AM)

I'm tempted to go with Nieve, but the fact is that Lannan is the best of the bunch - the issue will be if he can somehow get his team to score as much as the Mets are with Fernando on the hill.

Mike (CT)

Can we get a little love on that USA win?

AJ Mass
  (11:58 AM)

Sweet, and with a decent showing against Brazil, and a point at Mexico, FIFA is going to be hard-pressed not to seed us in 2010.

Steve (Boston)

Asdrubal Cabrera worthy starting in a 5x5 ops league when he returns? Or should i pickup someone like Overbay or Burrell. Thank

AJ Mass
  (12:00 PM)

I think Overbay and Cabrera are nearly a tossup with OPS in the mix. I'd lean Cabrera simply due to the position he plays.

The Antagonist (Center Stage)

Good night Villa Allegre!

AJ Mass
  (12:01 PM)

Good night, sweet antagonist... and all who wrote in, we thank you - even "Cheech" --- and as always, we'll see you the next time on "Villa Alegre"