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July 9, 11:00 AM ET
Chat with AJ Mass

AJ Mass
  (10:57 AM)

Good morning. Once more into the breach, fantasy fans. One moment as I grab that second cup of coffee... Let's get to those questions, shall we? Who is up first?

Doug (Durham, NC)

Is Andrew Jones for real? Is he going to get enough playing time now to matter?

AJ Mass
  (10:59 AM)

I think he's going to get the playing time now. Davis sent down, Blalock at first... the DH spot is his if he grabs it, and last night was a good start. Maybe the old man has a few more months left in him after all.

MIKE (TAMPA, FL)

AJ, I was just ridiculed by the rest of my AL only league for blowing nearly all of my FAAB on Scott Hairston. While I may have overpaid, am I wrong for seeking the extra month of production rather than waiting for an unknown at the deadline??? Thanks.

AJ Mass
  (11:01 AM)

I don't think so. The extra month is huge and let's say Halladay does get traded to the NL. The Blue Jays aren't getting anything more than prospects. Sure, a guy like Atkins may come across the lines, but you got your guy now. Enjoy.

Mike (Purdue)

BJ Ryan is teamless now...do you see him having any fantasy impact for the rest of the year?

AJ Mass
  (11:03 AM)

He's making too much money to be signed right now, IMO. I think perhaps a team grabs him for the last month, but considering the fact the Blue Jays are trying to dump his salary ($5 million still this season, $10 the next) the fact that they're still saying "He's done" is unbelievably dumb.

Coors Field (Mile High in thin air)

Would you start Tommy Hanson pitchin here today or do his pitches take lift off?

AJ Mass
  (11:05 AM)

I ranked him 8th in Daily Notes for today, but that was mostly due to a lack of terrific arms going today. I'm more concerned about the Rockies hitters getting hot than the "Coors effect" - if you want to rest him, I'd understand.

Mike (Purdue)

I love your chats because you actually answer my questions! Would you say RR Cool Jay (Ricky Romero) is pitching over his head or can we expect him to keep this pace?

AJ Mass
  (11:07 AM)

Never take it personally, one way or the other, Mike. The Q's come fast and furious and it's rare that I even give the name at the top more than a passing glance. We just submitted our rankings list for the second half forward - the compilation of all the ESPN experts should be out during the ASB. I had Romero in the top 250, but near the bottom. So, pace will slow down, but it's not a total mirage.

JR (CBUS)

AJ, Not only is Adrian Gonzo killing my team, he is personally hurting my feelings bcause I'm a big fan. Is it time to sit him down? I have Konerko on the bench.

AJ Mass
  (11:09 AM)

The time to make that switch was BEFORE PK's three HR game, wasn't it? I kid, but honestly I don't think you'd have been better off with Konerko in instead of Gonzalez. I might make the switch now and hope the hot streak for PK continues, but I don't think the value difference is huge going forward.

Bringing down the house (MIT)

Your momentum calcualtion is analgous to how we counted cards in BJ correct? Anyways, is 6 starts between Peavy/Webb in september enough to hold them? One in DL slot. Could i pick up something better in september than those two?

AJ Mass
  (11:12 AM)

I have a full description of momentum in today's Hit Parade, subbing for Brendan. I think conceptually, your analogy is close, but not quite there.I don't think Webb pitches again this season, except maybe to "show" he's back for possible trade value. Not a situation I want any part of. I'd let him go. Peavy, I'd hold on to of the two.

Scott Downs (Jays)

So, the job is ALL mine now. I will dominate the rest of the season...Right?

AJ Mass
  (11:14 AM)

Well, last night wasn't all that great, was it? I think you'll be OK. Frasor is still going to get some saves, as I don't think Cito goes with Downs every time... but you'll get most of the chances after the break.

Ray (Garden City, NY)

One of my best friends in my league drafted BJ Ryan right before Broxton, Damon, and Gallardo were selected. How often should I remind him of this, and when should it stop? I'm currently thinking everytime I see him and there is a baseball game on, and it should stop when I mention it in a best man's toast at his wedding. Thoughts?

AJ Mass
  (11:15 AM)

If it's a start-from-scratch league, I think you have to let it go after Draft Day next season when I am sure he will give you fresh ammo for the new year.

Shane Victorino (Philadelphia)

Help me make my case to be voted into the All star game, please?

AJ Mass
  (11:16 AM)

You're doing fine with that on your own, Shane. I think you're going regardless - Beltran needs a sub and your manager is going to take you. I have you ranked 18th amongst hitters right now, so in my mind, you belong.

Dave (MA)

Is Pierre still worth a pickup in a deep league for his stolen base potential?

AJ Mass
  (11:18 AM)

Steals is the only reason to grab him. As I wrote in Hit Parade today, people were expecting his production to drop once Manny returned -- he actually saw his BA drop 30 points in the three weeks BEFORE he got back. I'm selling, except for speed needs.

Jose Contrearas (South Side)

Do you trust me and are you buying?

AJ Mass
  (11:19 AM)

Out of the Box today I wrote how you're this season's Liriano. I'm buying.

Jeff (SF)

Any news on Soto going on DL?

AJ Mass
  (11:20 AM)

Geovany's MRI results expected back today or tomorrow. My guess is either way the Cubs rest him to the ASB. And I wouldn't be surprised to see Lou give Jake Fox an audition at catcher this weekend.

Jared (Waco)

Do you know in ESPN leagues, what week the stats from today's completion of the Wash - Hou will count in? The game was 10-10 and there are some good guaranteed stats sitting on the WW (Elijah Dukes - HR, 2 RBI, etc.). If I could get the stats in this week with a daily WW pick-up, is that smart, or cheating? Ethically, which I know you like to espouse on, it feels like cheating to me, but some would tell you strategy.

AJ Mass
  (11:23 AM)

Good question, Jared. In all ESPN leagues the stats earned today will be retroactively added to teams as of the May date. Which means interestingly enough, that Nyjer Morgan (who will PR for Dukes, now in the minors) will be earning stats from two teams on the same day. Also possible is that Joel Hanrahan gets a win today for Washington while watching from his TV in Pittsburgh. *If you play in a league where the stats DO count for today, there's no ethical problem with grabbing them. Everyone had the same chance to figure it out.

Jason (Ellicott City, MD)

Buy low top 75 players for the second half? I am thinking of Soriano, Teixeira, and Hamilton.

AJ Mass
  (11:24 AM)

I'm sour on Soriano, but no question I'd make a play for the other two.

Deriek (Univ. of Oregon)

How is Teix a buy low? He's been un-buyable since A Rod came back!

AJ Mass
  (11:26 AM)

I'm with ya, Duckman. I just chose the Q to offer my opinion on Soriano. Thought about commenting that Teix isn't a buy low, but hey, in his league, maybe he is. Player values are always dictated by their owners, and nothing else.

Ben (New York)

If I were to pick up Guzman to play him today, would I get his 3 for 6 and HR that he got on the May 5th game that will be resumed today? I could use a glass of goat blood, ya feel me?

AJ Mass
  (11:27 AM)

I'll post this again, because the situation is so rare. On ESPN, we're retroactively counting those stats. If Josh Willingham hits a home run in "Game 1" and you own Josh Willingham - even though he's hitting it today - you DO NOT get credit for the HR. Whoever started him in May will.

JDK (ATL)

2nd half Corey Hart: flutter or flatline?

AJ Mass
  (11:29 AM)

Flatline for me, and if I were the Brew Crew, I'd deal him.

Horton (Whoville)

what about H2H leagues...how will the stats in those count??

AJ Mass
  (11:30 AM)

From what I've been told: "ESPN.com standard leagues (both rotisserie and head-to-head leagues) will have the stats of the completed game backdated to the originally scheduled date of the game, May 5, and standings will be retroactively run over the next couple of days and be updated by Saturday." So a win might turn into a loss, or vice versa as a result.

Jarred (Kansas)

AJ, If Zack Greinke pitched for the Red Sox, how many wins would he have by now? And, If Tim Wakefield or Roy Halladay pitched for the Royals how many wins would they have by this point?

AJ Mass
  (11:32 AM)

Madness lies in that kind of speculation. Who knows? Maybe Greinke doesn't bear down as much with the extra run support. Maybe the AL Central can't hit the knuckleball as well as the AL East, which is far more used to it. I get what you're saying as far as Greinke's 10-5 feeling like it should be 13-2 with a little run support, but you can't play that game.

Joe Maddon (Tampa Bay)

What's everyone getting so fired up about with my Wakefield selection? He's put up impressive numbers against my team during his career. And the game mattering for the WS? The AL has won every ASG since the rule was implemented yet only have the championships. Let the man have his day in the sun.

AJ Mass
  (11:35 AM)

I think the problem with the selection was the way it was presented as if it were a "lifetime achievement award." Fact is, he's not on my All-Star team if I was choosing, but it is close. After all, he has 11 wins and in "real baseball" that is all that matters.

Swiggs (IA)

AJ -- I'm looking to deal either Damon or McLouth for Santana or Gallardo. Reasonable or wishful thinking? The guy I'm working with is stacked at pitcher and marginal at OF.

AJ Mass
  (11:37 AM)

Both and neither. You said it yourself: he's stacked at pitcher and needs OF. Therefore, the deal makes sense. (I'd trade McLouth.) But other owners looking in will see "Damon for Santana??? VETO!!!"

Michael (Milwaukee)

Who starts at 1B for the Rangers opening day next year?

AJ Mass
  (11:38 AM)

If this is your way of asking Smoak or Davis, I say Davis.

Tim (NY)

Kuroda or Smoltz...who do you have ranked higher?

AJ Mass
  (11:39 AM)

Hiroki, but it's not a runaway.

Jason (Ellicott City, MD)

Hanson |Fence| Slowey

AJ Mass
  (11:40 AM)

I'd go with Slowey still, just because of the old "second time around syndrome" I fear from Hanson. But in keeper leagues, there's no discussion. Tommy sure plays a mean pinball.

Jimmy (Washington D.C.)

Danks...what are your expectations for the rest of the year?

AJ Mass
  (11:42 AM)

No. 3 fantasy starter in a 10-team mixed.

John (Tampa)

When does david price start being startable on a regular basis. is it this year?

AJ Mass
  (11:42 AM)

No, it doesn't. I can't even justify rostering him right now.

Nate (MD)

What could I reasonably expect in return for Wandy? He's been very impressive this year and the CG yesterday helps.

AJ Mass
  (11:44 AM)

I think Wandy will be streaky all season, so if you're looking to sell, now is indeed the best time before things go south again. He's a No. 3 starter in my book, but go for the gold.

Mike (LA)

Sell Hamels after a decent start this week or is this the beginning of a turnaround for him?

AJ Mass
  (11:46 AM)

I don't think we learned anything from that last start. Pitching with a 10 run lead is different than starting 0-0. I don't question he can be a 20-win pitcher next season, If his curveball is hitting the target, he is virtually unhittable, but something hasn't been right there, and I need to see a few more good outings before I trust him.

JoJo (Richmond)

What do you think of Denard Span? Would you rather have him over Kendry Morales?

AJ Mass
  (11:47 AM)

Span's fantasy value gets too inflated with SB numbers and the rest of the resume just doesn't add up for me. He's fun to watch, but I'd take Kendry for the rest of 09.

Lalor (Mason City)

please help AJ - In a keeper league, what is a common method to incorporate inflation using a non-auction format? We originally kept players in the round in which they were initially drafted, but now I need to inflate those draft rounds. Thanks much

AJ Mass
  (11:49 AM)

Go to a salary cap/auction format rather than a straight draft next season and then a percentage salary increase across the board for keepers takes care of itself. Otherwise, I would simply say you can keep X number of players and not worry about the rounds.

Mark (DC)

Talk about Lirianos start today???

AJ Mass
  (11:50 AM)

I might be in the minority here, but I like him today. He wasn't supposed to pitch, and only Perkins getting sick yesterday forced the change. I think this might just shake up the routine he's been in, and help him have a good outing.

Alfonso Soriano (Cubby Central)

Why you sour on me? Am I done?

AJ Mass
  (11:52 AM)

I just think it's time for a change of scenery - whether that's simply a move back to 2B, or out of Chicago entirely, I don't know. But I do know if you weren't making millions more than Jake Fox, and he was a slightly better fielder, you'd be sitting for the next month.

Jason (Ellicott City, MD)

Shouldn't it be Sorryiano for his owners?

AJ Mass
  (11:53 AM)

Ba-dump-bump.

Dan (Syracuse)

Are you starting Aceves today?

AJ Mass
  (11:53 AM)

Not a chance. What's he going to give you- 3 or 4 IP at the most? Especially in a league with a starts maximum, I'm not wasting one here.

Nick (Monroe, NC)

Start Ibanez once he is back or wait and see?

AJ Mass
  (11:55 AM)

The only reason to "wait" on a hitter back from the DL is if you have to make a cut to do so and you're not yet sure who to axe. The risk of an 0-for-4 versus the frustration of missing out on a 4-for-4 is not worth it, as opposed to with pitchers, where I'm not risking a 1 IP, 9 ER, first start back.

The Timekeeper (Watching the Clock)

5 minute warning, need to wrap up soon

AJ Mass
  (11:56 AM)

Thanks, Chronos.

Ryan (Boston)

Was Volstad's start last night a fluke (against SF) or a sign that I should hang onto him? Only other pitcher worth considering on my WW is B Anderson.

AJ Mass
  (11:58 AM)

Giants are fifth in the NL in batting average, so I don't think it's a "fluke" per se, but I'm not about to elevate Volstad past spot-starter status just yet either.

Seth (Tampa)

Don't go!!! Use a #1 waiver spot on Cueto? I'd drop Kuroda for him. Thanks!

AJ Mass
  (11:59 AM)

I'd make that deal. I'm willing to chalk last loss to Cueto being all pouty about not making All Stars.

Scott (Ohio)

Holliday, staying in Oakland the rest of the year?

AJ Mass
  (11:59 AM)

Not a chance.

Josh (VA)

Is Carl Crawford a top 5 player?

AJ Mass
  (11:59 AM)

Yes he is.

Julie Chen (Outside the big brother house)

Smoak (tex) or Escobar (mil) more impact this year and beyond?

AJ Mass
  (12:00 PM)

Smoak gets a September cup of coffee. Escobar does not. Beyond? I go with Escobar.

Kevin (Virginia)

LAST QUESTION! You the only one working there today? All the articles are written by you! Rest of the way: Zobrist or Drew?

AJ Mass
  (12:01 PM)

LOL. Just one of those days. I believe in the power of Z.

AJ Mass
  (12:02 PM)

Thanks gang. That's all the time we have today. I have to go change a few light bulbs and then alphabetize TMR's bookshelf. Thanks for the Qs and as always, we'll see you the next time on Villa Alegre!