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July 1, 3:00 PM ET
Fantasy Sports w/Eric Karabell

Eric Karabell
  (3:02 PM)

Hello all! Big day today, with lots of afternoon baseball to discuss, but also the launch of our fantasy football draft kit.... let's get going!

Joey (Los Angeles)

Who's the Florida closer right now and also when Lindstrom comes back?

Eric Karabell
  (3:03 PM)

Ah, the perfect way to promote today's Relief Efforts column, which is up on our fantasy baseball page. First of all, I don't think Lindstrom is coming back anytime soon. He's not close to throwing, and I get the feeling there could be a surgery in his future. Dan Meyer and Leo Nunez should share the role, but ala Gonzalez-Soriano in Atlanta. Might not be enough saves for either of them in Florida.

Paul (Madison)

Who tastes better on a sesame bun with spicy mustard and home-grown tomatoes in the second half of the season, Doumit or K Suzuki? Or, if you prefer, who would you rather have in a head-to-head league?

Eric Karabell
  (3:04 PM)

Ok, that's just a bit weird, but I like food, so I went with it. Ryan Doumit is the better fantasy option because he has more power, and he should be back soon. I'd go with Ryan, though there's nothing wrong with Suzuki.

Rickey Henderson (Hall of Fame)

Rickey should be the first pick in anyone's fantasy draft, because Rickey is the greatest of all time.

Eric Karabell
  (3:05 PM)

If Rickey were playing right now, even at the age of 50, would he be doing any worse than Willy Taveras? Just throwing that out there...

Trevor (Richboro, PA)

Hey EK, as a Phils fan I was dissapointed to hear your assesment of Lidge today in Relief Efforts. While I don't totally disagree w/ your pessimism, I do think he'll be given every opportunity to keep the job. Personally, I feel like he'll either finish the year as their closer w/ 35 saves or he'll finish on the in between. Agree or disagree?

Eric Karabell
  (3:07 PM)

I think he could finish the year with 35 saves, but my point was it's not going to be pretty. Even a struggling closer is going to get saves. And I agree, he will be given many chances to keep the job if healthy, because Ryan Madson was not good replacing him. As for there being no in between, I could see a lot of in between; I could see one more DL stint, a season ERA in the 5s and 22 saves...

justin (memphis)

is luke scott worth my #1 waiver spot when pat burrell is my DH

Eric Karabell
  (3:07 PM)

Probably not. I like Scott, who is about the only healthy player at the top of ESPN's Most dropped list, and he homered already today, but Burrell is just as good a bet to hit for power. I'd wait on using the waiver spot.

Joe (StL)

EK! Who'd you rather have for the rest of the season...struggling, injury riddled vet E.Santana or young, highly-touted Tommy Hanson?

Eric Karabell
  (3:08 PM)

Hanson. I don't think Santana should be given up on, but as soon as Hanson really rids himself of the walks, you're going to see a really good pitcher. He's already pretty good!

Mark (Nebo, NC)

Start Asdrubal overy J-Roll until Jimmy's bout of feebility is over?

Eric Karabell
  (3:09 PM)

No question about it, and to be frank, I wonder who will be better the rest of the season. Yes, I am a big Phillies fan, but I am not buying low on Rollins. I do not see this getting apreciably better anytime soon.

Jeremy (NY)

Ludwick for Aardsma? A good deal? Burrell and/or Cameron would be his replacement.

Eric Karabell
  (3:10 PM)

I don't think Aardsma is going to save more than 20 games this season, but sure, there's not much dropoff, if any, from Ludwick the way he's playing to those other guys. At least Cameron can run. Ludwick might end up with like 22 homers and .250 average. Blah.

Harry ( (The Woods)

Am I crazy to like Reynolds more than Wright?

Eric Karabell
  (3:11 PM)

Well, Wright is still ranked higher on the Player Rater because of the many steals and the potential batting title. I like Reynolds, but I do not assume Wright continues this low pace of power. He can still hit 15 homers in the second half.

Dan (Philly)

EK, if Bos really just wanted Jason Donald from the Phils, why hasn't The Champions pulled the trigger? Is it because Rollins might be gone in a year or two?

Eric Karabell
  (3:12 PM)

J-Donald is on the DL after having knee surgery. I don't think the Phillies are worried about Rollins long term. Just the next three months. And Donald is probably not a shortstop anyway. Looks like more of a utility guy. Boston has other issues to deal with.

Marc (Malden, MA)

I have punted saves all season, until now. My closers are Aardsma/Bailey. I have a chance to trade Stephen Drew (playing as a utility) for Hoffman. Should I do it?

Eric Karabell
  (3:13 PM)

Only if you have a decent shortstop to put in there and only if you can move up in saves. I'd rather own Drew in a vacuum, but I don't know your standings. If you can gain 5 spots in saves, and Asdrubal Cabrera is sitting on free agency, sure.

Jason (Bmore)

I remember asking you a question regarding keeping Floyd as an AL only guy and extending him for $10. You said no way, but we did anyways, and thus far, it has been ok. Just thanking you for the advice, bc you came clean anyways in your recent article.

Eric Karabell
  (3:14 PM)

As good as Gavin Floyd has been in the past month, I still don't know if it was worth extending him. I mean, that's already $11 at the least for a starting pitcher who won't likely finish in the top 20. I generally do not pay for pitching. But I appreciate someone noticing that I do admit when I misread someone. I didn't think Floyd could have a run like this ... I mean, he's been a top-5 pitcher the past month!

Greg (Atlanta)

What do you think of the Braves new second baseman Martin Prado. Is he a legit fantasy option for the future?

Eric Karabell
  (3:15 PM)

Not really any speed or enough power to matter in standard leagues, but he could hit for average. I'm disappointed in Kelly Johnson. Thought he could be a 15-10 guy.

Matt (NYC)

As an Aardsma owner, I am a little concerned that he won't have more than 20 saves (he is at 16 right now). Should I be frantically trying to move him while his value is high?

Eric Karabell
  (3:16 PM)

My mistake... I meant 30 there. Solid option, but not in my top 20 among relievers.

Andrew (Nasti Nati)

Mark Teixeira will finish with ___ HR and ___ RBI and be a top ___ 1B?

Eric Karabell
  (3:17 PM)

How about 35 homers, 121 RBIs and he's fifth among natural first baseman after Pujols, Prince, Cabrera and Morneau.

J. Baker (NYC)

What makes you say that Dan Meyer (and not Leo Nunez) has the "Mike Gonzalez" role in the Florida closer platoon?

Eric Karabell
  (3:19 PM)

Hunch. He's got better numbers, and is doing just fine against right-handed hitters. Nunez is doing OK, but I could see Meyer getting more chances. Just like Atlanta, except Nunez is not close to Soriano.

Linc (CA)

Do you see Manny as a top 5 outfielder going forward?

Eric Karabell
  (3:21 PM)

Well, yeah, I think it is actually possible, because it's not a great year for fantasy outfielders. I could see an angry Manny hitting .350 with 20 homers the rest of the year. I like Braun and Crawford more, but other than that, is there anyone I can definitively say will do better? The two Uptons? Point is, get Manny.

John (Raleigh)

Afternoon Eric, seems like a dubious question... but can Aaron Hill keep this pace up all year? His power numbers just seem a little inflated so far to me. I hope I'm wrong.

Eric Karabell
  (3:22 PM)

Hill has always had power. I don't think he hits 40 homers, so no, his pace seems inflated, but I don't think he hits only 5 the rest of the way, either. I could see 35 or so.

Kevin (Sactown)

How good are Tulo, Barmes and Stewart, the players fueling the Rockies' drive, the rest of the way?

Eric Karabell
  (3:24 PM)

Well, the hot rumor is Ian Stewart is headed to the bench so Garrett Atkins can be showcased in trade, and I have doubts anyway that Stewart can hit for average anytime soon. Tulo and Barmes will keep playing, and both play terrific defense. I don't know why the Rockies would be sellers right now, but Atkins is an extra guy for them.

Cal (Philly)

How would you assess Webb's value for this year now that he opted not to have surgery - i.e., what current pitcher is he worth?

Eric Karabell
  (3:25 PM)

I don't think there is any value at all right now. He might come back in September. I can't say there are too many pitchers I'd deal for what might be a month for an injured pitcher.

Erik (PA)

Ricky Romero 10-team-mixed worthy and is it close?

Eric Karabell
  (3:26 PM)

The way he's pitched for the past month, absolutely worthy. Eight more shutout innings today... wow.

Greg (Atlanta)

Could I trade Jake Peavy and get something in return for him? What is injury status?

Eric Karabell
  (3:26 PM)

It's only a little better value than Webb... really, I don't expect Peavy to contribute much the rest of the way. But good luck trying to trade him.

Jon (MI)

With Dukes being optioned to AAA, the Nats have to move one of their OF before the deadline (possibly Dukes), don't they? Dukes is more talented than Kearns, Harris, and Willingham, and arguably Morgan. How do you think this situation playing out?

Eric Karabell
  (3:29 PM)

What a ridiculous franchise. Milledge was easily the top talent in that deal yesterday, but because he had "a bad attitude" he gets dealt for a fourth outfielder (Morgan) and ordinary lefty arm (Burnett). Milledge and Hanrahan might not have been good soldiers on the sinking ship, but that's their top toolsy outfielder (better than Dukes) and best relief arm. Silly trade. That said, Dukes isn't Mr. Happy either and I doubt playing in the minors changes that. When he's ready, however, he absolutely plays over Willingham, Kearns, Willie Harris, guys like that. But for fantasy, do yourself a favor and forget Nationals outfielders not named Dunn. Milledge will have a nice second half.

Paul (Bozeman, Mt)

What do you see Justin Upton doing from here forward? Sell high? Buy?

Eric Karabell
  (3:29 PM)

I don't sell high. It's only going to get better. Legit 30-35 home run bat, I voted him as an All-Star starter in the outfield.

Matt (St. Louis)

Does Lowell hit when he returns? Should I drop him gor Rolen?

Eric Karabell
  (3:30 PM)

Lowell should hit when he returns in a month, but there is risk there. Rolen doesn't have much power left, but he gets hits and scores runs.

Andrew (Minnesota)

Do you worry that Jenks may be traded and lose his spot as a closer and opportunities for saves?

Eric Karabell
  (3:31 PM)

No, I don't worry about that. I don't really worry about anything in fantasy, but I get your point. The White Sox are in contention, I doubt Jenks gets moved. And if he did, unless it was the Yankees or Red Sox, he'd probably close.

Frankie (NC)

Chris Davis - what a tease! Goes 4 for 4 and then another 0 for 40 (OK, I exaggerate). Is he worth waiting for?

Eric Karabell
  (3:32 PM)

Can Davis hit 35 home runs this season? Yes he can! I can't think of too many 35-homer guys not worth waiting for.

Caleb (Philly)

Do you know why Josh Johnson left the game early (after 3.1 innings) today? Injury?

Eric Karabell
  (3:34 PM)

I think it had more to do with the 89 pitches he threw. He just didn't have it today. Doesn't mean he's hurt or anything to read into. Yet.

Frank (C-Town)

With the rumors of Ian Stewart moving to the bench, who would you recommend replacing him with? OR would you hold tight till after the trade deadline?

Eric Karabell
  (3:36 PM)

I'm not a big Stewart fan really, because I don't think he can hit for average yet. But he does have 30-homer potential, so if you can wait for him another month, go for it. I really think Atkins will be moved, but not because the Rox are done.

Bob (Detroit)

EK, I need my football fix. In a ppr league where all players get 1 PPR do you still consider AP and Turner top two picks? My top two in this format are MJD and Forte. Your thoughts?

Eric Karabell
  (3:38 PM)

Football! I really thought with today being the launch of our draft kit we'd see a lot of football questions... but this is the first one I have seen! Anyway, I think the first overall pick is still wide open. Berry announced he'd take Turner over Peterson. I think I would too. In PPR I might go Forte... but doesn't that seem odd? Overall, I don't want the first pick in any drafts. Give me the last pick please!

Joe (Richmond)

Wow - Evan Longoria another O'fer today, with 3 K's. What is going on with him? He is KILLING me. I should have traded him after April.

Eric Karabell
  (3:39 PM)

Clearly he's been hurt for oh, about six weeks. Shame, too, because he looked like he could knock in 140 runs. Most people don't realize how tough it is to stay healthy during a season. I wouldn't dump Longoria, but hopefully a few days off for the break will get him going again.

Greg (Lee, Mass.)

Curious that you'd "wait" for C.Davis but don't like Stewart because of his average problems. Aren't they basically the same player?

Eric Karabell
  (3:39 PM)

Similar players, but I think Davis has more power potential, definitely. And the main difference for July is one of them is playing everyday, the other is not. Hey, I'm not a fan of either of them really.

Adam (Chicago)

EK, does Rodney have any chance of losing his job anytime soon?

Eric Karabell
  (3:40 PM)

Every closer except maybe Rivera has a chance of losing his job soon. I don't think Rodney is a top-20 closer, but I also believe Leyland has no intention of moving Zumaya into the role. I think Rodney ends up with 25 or so saves.

Nick (LA)

Another football question! Are you worried that Darren Sproles' franchise tag will affect LT's performance?

Eric Karabell
  (3:41 PM)

Nope. In fact, I think fewer carries means more receptions, more touchdowns and a better season than we saw from LT in 2008.

Walt (Boston)

Lot of impatient owners in my league: Aaron Harang, Ricky Romero, Randy Wolf just dropped. I would be smartest by picking up________ for the rest of the year.

Eric Karabell
  (3:42 PM)

Don't use the words "rest of the year." I'd pick up Romero for now until he struggles, and use that spot for whomever is hot at the time. Overall I would take Harang, but why does it have to be for three months?

Ryan (New Rochelle)

Grodon Beckham or J Fox for the rest of this season?

Eric Karabell
  (3:42 PM)

Neither really, but if I had to choose it's Beckham. He can run a bit, should play, can knock in runs. I doubt Fox is playing much at all after Aramis returns in a few weeks.

Jason (Bmore)

Julio Borbon, buy or sell?

Eric Karabell
  (3:43 PM)

I think he's up for about a week, until Josh Hamilton returns. No room for him, and he's a leadoff hitter with no power on a team that has a great leadoff hitter with lots of power.

JC (Highland Mills)

Hey Eric,When does Bergesen gets hit? His Ks are slowly increasing so he may be for real.

Eric Karabell
  (3:45 PM)

It's possible he's legit, but I'd be wary of any Orioles starter in that division the final three months. But if his K rate continues to rise... I'd think about it.

Silva (NJ)

EK...How does one get the fantasy baseball analyst gig? Keep up the good work.

Eric Karabell
  (3:46 PM)

Total luck. And thanks!

Dan (New York)

Karabell have you been hanging out with AJ Mass? How can you say that splitting carries will mean more production out of LDT. And also, please refrain from calling him LT. There is only one. Get it right!

Eric Karabell
  (3:47 PM)

Now that made me laugh out loud. I mean that if Tomlinson isn't abused, he will get into more high leverage situations where he can get into the open field. I expect around 15 touchdowns, but his rushing yards might be more like what we've seen from Brian Westbrook. This is not a true split of carries; Sproles might get 30 percent.

David (Denver)

Is there a 30/30 player this year when they close the books on the regular season?

Eric Karabell
  (3:49 PM)

I doubt it. What a shame. Wright would have to smack a whole lotta homers, or Mark Reynolds would have to keep on running. I don't see it. Maybe Kinsler, but I will play it safe and say nobody does it.

Ethan (Evansville)

I think Holliday is coming to the Cubbies. Am I on crazy pills? I think they pony up and make a run.

Eric Karabell
  (3:50 PM)

Really? You wanna be the one to tell Mr. Happy (Milton Bradley) he's on the bench for good? Didn't think so. Cubbies could use someone in CF, but Fukudome has been their best outfielder. Soriano isn't playing second base, either. Cubbies needed DeRosa to play 2B... they can't deal for an outfielder.

Paul (Chicago)

Cockcroft answered with Fox in the same Fox vs. Beckham question earlier today.

Eric Karabell
  (3:51 PM)

Well, that's why we have so many fantasy analysts on staff, so you could have loads of opinions to choose from! I just don't think Fox can keep playing time. And let me make it clear, I don't think Beckham is worth owning in a standard league either.

Bill (Tampa)

You suck at chatting. Why won't you answer my?True or False. Bergesen from the O's is the next Greg Maddux.

Eric Karabell
  (3:51 PM)

Wow. Now there's a new one I hadn't heard yet... And false.

The Whiner (Home)

I have come to the pathetic realization that you "experts" at ESPN are just not a fan of my questions. Sure, lots of us don't get our queries answered, but I have been present at every AM and PM chat for months. Luckily, many owners have the same questions as I and they get answered, ocassionally. Branyan or Longoria?

Eric Karabell
  (3:52 PM)

Well, not to be mean, but look at your question. Would anyone in this chat room take Branyan? Anyone? Bueller?

Dale (Atlanta)

EK, Do you think the Indians will shut Sizemore down early, or will they keep playing him to keep the fans coming to the games?

Eric Karabell
  (3:52 PM)

I don't think it ends well. And I think it ends well before September. Prepare accordingly.

Leon (Rosedale)

Thoughts on Andrus (Tex.)? How many steals does he get?

Eric Karabell
  (3:53 PM)

If he decides he wants to torch certain pitchers for 3 and 4 steals a night, he could go for 30. I take the under on that, though. He's been streaky, but overall not a bad rookie season for him at all. Say 26 steals, .250 average.

Mama Branyan (Back home)

Even I would take Evan!

Eric Karabell
  (3:53 PM)

I know, really!

Connor (NJ)

Man, everyone is so harsh to you and you still answer their questions. Anyway, can I expect carlos lee to get some homers or rbis soon?

Eric Karabell
  (3:54 PM)

If it makes them feel better about themselves... fine by me. Gotta have thick skin, and I love my job. Lee is gonna end up around 27 and 100. Nothing wrong with that. Only problem is he was a top-25 player and people thought he'd run. He isn't.

Chad ((SC))

Just moved Rollins and Nunez for BJ, please tell me Rollins won't produce anywhere near BJ the rest of the way.

Eric Karabell
  (3:56 PM)

Nice trade. Hey, I wish more than anyone Rollins would hit. I have him on sooooo many teams and I am a Phils fan. But I'm not buying low, unless it's really low. I mean, he could hit .220 the rest of the way, and hurt more than he helps. Amazing the Phillies are in first place with him leading off. Move him to eighth in the order! And everyone should want BJ Upton the rest of the way... could be a top-10 outfielder from here on out.

Matt (CA)

ARod OR Braun?

Eric Karabell
  (3:56 PM)

Braun, 10 times outta 10. A-Rod will hit the homers, but he won't run, won't hit for average. Not this season.

Joe (NYC)

Nunez just got the save today - that's 2 out of the last 2 save opportunities.

Eric Karabell
  (3:57 PM)

He sure did. And in each occasion Meyer started the inning and put men on base. It could be that Meyer just can't handle this, so in that case Nunez would get more chances. But it's a bit premature to say for sure. Hey, in deep formats, own 'em both.

Don (SF)

Phillies fan here, and 100% agree on Lidge. Furcal, is it the back? Figure he leads off when Manny is back. Furcal or Troy for the balance of the year?

Eric Karabell
  (3:58 PM)

Let's put it this way: I rank Furcal in about the same area I do Rollins the rest of the way. And he might not lead off, not if he doesn't hit. The Dodgers could go Hudson-Kemp or Hudson-Ethier 1-2 if they desire. Furcal should be hitting eighth as well...

Billy (OK)

Sherrill or Qualls for the remainder? (since you don't like "the rest of the season")

Eric Karabell
  (3:59 PM)

I think both could get traded this month, and in each case they could be setup men. But if I have to choose, then I go Qualls...

Eric Karabell
  (3:59 PM)

OK, I think that was a LOT of questions today. Thanks for sending them in, and whether you were nice or not today, have a great day...