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July 21, 11:00 AM ET
Chat with AJ Mass

AJ Mass
  (10:58 AM)

Good morning, gang. Cup of coffee in hand, and back for another 60 minutes of fantasy baseball chattage. Who's ready to be the new HOH? Let's get started.

Scott (Reno)

What value does Gaby Sanchez getting called up have? I love me some Gaby!

AJ Mass
  (11:00 AM)

Happy to see him finally up, but I don't think he has a lot of fantasy relevance right away - though on those days when HanRam sits and the infield needs a little shuffle, expect him to see some at-bats.

Frank (New Jersey)

Start Brett Anderson over Hamels or Kazmir?

AJ Mass
  (11:01 AM)

Before his last start, I touted him in Daily Notes as worth a shot - didn't expect him to be near perfect, but I do like the way he's been pitching lately. Can't say the same for the other two...

Joe (Princeton, NJ)

Garret Jones seems to be a home run machine. Question is if he is for real or the next Bonifacio..........what do you think?

AJ Mass
  (11:03 AM)

I think a lot of players on "lesser teams" like the Pirates can get a bit of an advantage in the second half of the season, as teams juggle their staffs to keep their aces for "tougher foes." Since I don't see the Pirates getting any closer to first place, Jones could well see a whole bunch of No. 4/5 pitchers the rest of the way.

Brian (Seattle)

Do you like Everth Cabrera for cheap steals? He's only owned in 1% of ESPN leagues...

AJ Mass
  (11:05 AM)

Sure. I think he's a lousy leadoff hitter, but he's there, and when he gets on base he can steal. He's probably the lowest of all Cabreras in my rankings, but if all you want is steals, take the shot.

Rock (Dodge City)

Will Smoltz turn things around?

AJ Mass
  (11:08 AM)

I never expected him to be anything more than a 5 IP with the occasional victory. So, while I think he might get back up to that low level of success, I wouldn't expect anything more.

CB (Virginia)

I know it's a little early, but when selecting keepers, do you: A) Keep 1st-rounders that performed like 1st-rounders, B) Keep breakout players (Reynolds, Zobrist), or C) Keep prospects that should have starting jobs (Tillman, Gamel, etc.).

AJ Mass
  (11:10 AM)

It's all about value in keeper leagues. I'd rather keep the breakout player who cost $1 and earned me $20, than the $40 player who earned me $37.

Matt (Memphis)

What deadline trade do you see possibly impacting the fantasy world the most? Holliday? Halladay? other?? thanks.

AJ Mass
  (11:12 AM)

I think Halladay has the same value after a deal, though perhaps a bit more in the NL, if that's the way he goes. (Obviously, if you're in a AL- or NL- only league it matters, but in a mixed, not so much.) I'd be much more interested to see what Cleveland decides to do... selling V-Mart?

Mark (Arlington, TX)

Who is a better keeper...Reyes or Utley?? Reyes injury worries me but Utley is older. please help!

AJ Mass
  (11:14 AM)

It's all about the injuries, isn't it? You can't go wrong for the next few years with either, but I go Reyes and hope he's back to full strength at least by next spring.

Brian (Portland)

Mr. Mass....the difference between an elite pitcher and quality pitcher always seems so minimal(Halladay and Lester for instance...). Is it really worth giving up a good starting bat to upgrade from a Lester/Wainwright to a Halladay/Haren?

AJ Mass
  (11:15 AM)

Brian, if you're in a roto-style league, the answer is likely no. In a H2H league, the answer is likely yes.

Jason (San Diego)

I miss Lost ... (you are the Lost guy right?) Who would you rather have, Fowler or Hart?

AJ Mass
  (11:17 AM)

I don't know if I'm "the" Lost guy, but I am "a" Lost guy. Only Ben Linus would have any trust in Hart these days.

Nate (MD)

I like the keeper questions. I'm about 10-15 games outside of the playoffs in my H2H keeper league. Do I hope guys (Gonzo, Soriano, etc) break out of slumps and make a play for the post season? Or pick up 'out for the season' guys who've been dropped (Webb and Bruce) and wait for next year.

AJ Mass
  (11:19 AM)

So basically, you're the Cincy Reds. Are you in or are you out. I say you do both... pick up those guys from the waiver wire before someone else does. Lock your starters like Soriano in place, and hope for the best.

Adrian Gonzalez (SD)

What is wrong? I have been a disgrace...Barely ownable....What should i expect for the rest of the year?

AJ Mass
  (11:21 AM)

Barely ownable is a little harsh... but with that many HRs to be barely top 50 is sad. Expect the same, because the guys around you are not getting any better. You'll get close to 40 HRs, but most of those will be solo shots...

Scott (Chicago)

What do you expect to see from Ryan Church down the stretch?

AJ Mass
  (11:21 AM)

Lots of pinch-hit at-bats late in the game for Matt Diaz. Platoon at best.

Carl (NJ)

is Stephen Drew about to break-out?

AJ Mass
  (11:23 AM)

While the HR yesterday was nice, it was still in a lopsided loss against a completely ineffective Manny Corpas. That said, I like him in the leadoff spot and hope he'll turn things around.

E (Chitown)

I find it hard to go with your advice after some very questionable second half rankings/explanations...but who closes for Texas with Francisco back on the DL?

AJ Mass
  (11:25 AM)

CJ Wilson will close, E.

KC (Columbus)

AJ- Do you like Berkman or Adrian Gonzo the rest of the year?

AJ Mass
  (11:26 AM)

Gonzo. Very concerned about Berkman's calf. Right now he can't play, and I don't know if a week's rest will be enough.

Michael (Pittsburgh)

Which Oakland A will be more productive for 2009, O Cab or Hairston?

AJ Mass
  (11:29 AM)

O-Cab for me the rest of the way, unless Holliday gets traded and the current lineup changes a bit.

Mike (Pittsburgh)

What's a good rule of thumb for playing double headers in a daily league? Do you play someone that you would normally bench because of the double dip?

AJ Mass
  (11:30 AM)

I don't bench Pujols for Fernando Tatis... but yes, generally speaking, I'd rather have 8 ABs with a chance at stats than 4.

Skunk Boy (Harrisburg, PA)

So wait, if Ben Linus is picking Hart, does that mean he actually DOESN'T believe in Hart? Lester, Kershaw, Hamels, Josh Johnson, Gallardo- pick 2 to keep.

AJ Mass
  (11:32 AM)

Best line of the year... Jack to Ben as the plane is in sever turbulence: "How can you read?" Ben: "My mother taught me." Both full of snark AND a complete lie.Kershaw and Johnson.

Smoke Monster (Tail Section)

Garrett Atkins has been a total bust, yet I have held on waiting for a rebound...has the time come to cut bait?

AJ Mass
  (11:33 AM)

That time came when the managerial change occurred and Stewart started playing nearly every day.

Double Dip (follow up)

With A. Gordon fresh off the DL, do you think he plays both games or will they rest him.

AJ Mass
  (11:35 AM)

Catchers never play two, and guys coming off injury never play two... sure, it's not a guarantee, but I'd lean that way.

Josh (Los Angeles)

Sandoval or Alexie?

AJ Mass
  (11:36 AM)

Not feeling the sexy here. I go with the KFP.

Cameron (Atlanta)

Top Five momentum SPs?

AJ Mass
  (11:39 AM)

Momentum is a "hitters only" stat, but some guys I'd list for you are Cain, Marquis, Wakefield, YoGa, Burnett.

Tyler (VT)

Do you see Mauer finding the power stroke again?

AJ Mass
  (11:41 AM)

He'll hit homers again, but at the rate he did in the first half? I don't think so.

Derek (Akron)

Over/under: 10 second half home runs for David Wright

AJ Mass
  (11:42 AM)

Over... but not by much. Especially if Beltran/Delgado don't make it back anytime soon to protect him.

Rafa (Puerto Rico)

AJ, who do you prefer for your SS slot: JJ Hardy or Stephen Drew?

AJ Mass
  (11:43 AM)

Drew. Never been much of a Hardy fan, at least not since he and his brother stopped solving mysteries like The Tower Treasure.

Bryan (Philadelphia)

Phils will never deal for Halladay. Why risk the future when you're red hot? This isn't exactly fantasy relevant, but I wanted to get it off my chest.

AJ Mass
  (11:44 AM)

I agree, but then again, they gave up plenty for Blanton last year... just saying.

Mike (NJ)

Hey AJ- Strategy question... What is the best way to make a comeback in a head-to-head league? I have a strong team on paper but can't seem to win consistently...

AJ Mass
  (11:46 AM)

Too many variables to really answer you here, but if there's one category you're the weakest in, losing every week, and one category you're 50-50 on, trade away all your assets in the one you're going to lose anyway to get the stat that you're close in.

Steve (Saint Louis)

Tommy Hanson or Jordan Zimmermann - will innings limits restrict their value come playoff time?

AJ Mass
  (11:47 AM)

I think for Zimm, yes. For Hanson- not so much, after all if the Braves are making a WC push, they're going to "forget" about the pitch count down the stretch.

Steve (The Boken)

I?m usually very anti trade vetoing, however, the 11th place GM (out of 15) whom has stated that he is quitting the league after this year, just traded Johan to the 2nd place team for Blackburn and Miggy Tejada, in a keeper league. Vetoable right? Based on the fact that he's a lame duck GM?

AJ Mass
  (11:49 AM)

I'd say once you declare you're not coming back to the league, you lose all trading privileges.

Lance Berkman (HOU)

I can't play? I played yesterday and did just fine...

AJ Mass
  (11:50 AM)

I wouldn't call the limping he was doing "playing fine" and the team is sending him for an MRI today.

Shane (Boston)

Buzzer Beater: Hamilton/Vazquez or Holliday/Verlander?

AJ Mass
  (11:51 AM)

I like the Josh/Javy side.

David Wright (NY)

AJ-Have you seen how big my new yard is? Have you seen it? It scares me to death. I'm taking the Ichiro route.

AJ Mass
  (11:52 AM)

Don't disagree, but there's still trips to Chase and Coors on the schedule.

Phil (Brooklyn)

Is Ellsbury fair value for Ibanez?

AJ Mass
  (11:54 AM)

On the surface, no. However, if you've got HRs and RBIs to spare and you're looking to gain several points in steals, then absolutely. You can't value players by the comparative stat lines in roto leagues at this point in the season.

Dave (NY)

Haren 2nd Half fall going to happen in 2009?

AJ Mass
  (11:55 AM)

No. And for the record, he's had 3 good Sept and 3 bad Sept over the last 6. Far from a lock to happen again.

AJ Mass (Bristol)

Everything I the other.

AJ Mass
  (11:57 AM)

But if I say to do the opposite of everything I say, then you should actually listen to everything I say, which means you should do the opposite... logic circuits overloading...

John (Portland Maine)

Vlad or Carlos Quentin?

AJ Mass
  (11:57 AM)

I'd go with CQ. Vlad's already going to be limited to only DH duty, so there's just as much concern with his health going forward, if not more.

Mike (CT)

Reyes or Hanley over the next 3 years (not including this one)?

AJ Mass
  (11:58 AM)


Matt (London, UK)

would you trade soriano and street for Kemp? (if you are leading the league in saves)

AJ Mass
  (11:58 AM)

Yes I would.

Bob (Boston)

Baker or Hanson...Weiters or Ianetta? Thanks

AJ Mass
  (12:00 PM)

I'd go with Hanson and Iannetta.

jon (hstn,tx)

inge keep it up or fall off cliff?

AJ Mass
  (12:00 PM)


Mike (Cleveland, OH)

Porcello, Smoltz or Maholm for the rest of this year?

AJ Mass
  (12:00 PM)


Brody (MN)

Better keeper over next 3 years: Buchholz or Poreda?

AJ Mass
  (12:00 PM)


John (STL)

Bourn or Morgan?

AJ Mass
  (12:00 PM)


bruno (portugal)

AJ Buzzer Beater:Zobrist / Kemp or Hudson /Manny ? WHO WINS THIS TRADE?

AJ Mass
  (12:01 PM)


AJ Mass
  (12:01 PM)

That's the buzzer, gang. Thanks for the Q's... we'll be back on Thursday this same time for more. Until then, we'll see you the next time on Villa Alegre!