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April 6, 11:00 AM ET
Chat with AJ Mass

AJ Mass
  (10:57 AM)

Good morning gang... well, the Butler nearly did it - what a great game! And Opening Day was full of baseball goodness for all ages. Let's chat all about it... who is up first?

bug (dc)

Thoughts on Marcum?

AJ Mass
  (10:59 AM)

He looked good. Sure he made that one mistake to Cruz, but really, after missing a season, how can you complain? Liked him better than Sheets or Westbrook.

Michael (Pittsburgh, PA)

What's your take on the Fowler platoon situation?

AJ Mass
  (11:00 AM)

It's a platoon. I've heard Dexter should start the next two games... but if you're going to be swapping out daily, it may prove to be a headache for you.

charles (NJ)

Hi AJ - Will Zambrano bounce back from a terrible opening day start?

AJ Mass
  (11:02 AM)

Charles, not going to pick on you... but let's use this one as a warning shot across the bow. ONE GAME PEOPLE! CHILL! Garrett Jones isn't hitting 362 HRs and Bobby Abreu isn't going 0-for-500.

charles (NJ)

Pick up Sean Rodriguez? Does he get enough at-bats for a 10 team 5x5 category league?

AJ Mass
  (11:03 AM)

I think odds are good S-Rod is a full-time player by June, if not sooner.

Matt (Passaic)

AJ what were you most surprised about yesterday with all the games?

AJ Mass
  (11:04 AM)

That Gaby Sanchez could look so good at the plate - and so bad in the field. But he's a perfect case for why I despise the DH. If he were in the AL, he'd never have to be a liability to his team.

Charlie (MN)

I know it's just Opening Day, but is there anyone whose value jumped or dropped dramatically, i.e., Marcum?

AJ Mass
  (11:06 AM)

Actual value - not really. Certainly players who "won" or "lost" jobs may be affected - like the Cf platoon in NYM. But in perceived value? Absolutely. Take advantage of those who overreact to one bad/good day.

TJ ((Ohio))

Will Out of the box be back this year?

AJ Mass
  (11:07 AM)

Not doing OOTB. We have Boxscore Bits daily, as well as a revamped Daily Notes to help you scout out the next days matchups today.

Jake (In the Taurus)

What do you think we get out of Kyle Kendrick while Blanton is on the DL?

AJ Mass
  (11:09 AM)

Some solid IP, but nothing great - he isn't exactly a K machine. However with that lineup, he should get enough run support to win each time out.

Grant (Chicago)

In the end, will people running out Alcides Escobar everyday at SS be ok this year?

AJ Mass
  (11:10 AM)

Not as good as those trotting out Han-Ram, but yes, generally speaking, I think you'll be OK.

Matt (Chinatown)

SOOOO glad the daily chats are back! I underdrafted SBs, should I go out on the wire (everth maybe), make a big trade (Cruz for BJ) or a small trade (Hawpe for Rajai)? Thanks you!

AJ Mass
  (11:13 AM)

I'm always of the mind that you stand pat for a month or so to truly see what you have. Having said that, if you know you whiffed on SB, I have no problem with a small deal - but I'd personally rather wait until I knew what my teams strengths relative to other teams are to be sure I'm not cutting off my nose to spite my face.

Tom (West Palm Beach)

In a two catcher league is there a strategy of starting one solid catcher and another prospect catcher who is in AAA and could get called up i.e. Carlos Santana, rather than starting a second catcher who plays everyday but will hurt/kill your average?

AJ Mass
  (11:14 AM)

If a player is on your roster, you can do this. What I feel is "unethical" is to leave the 2nd spot unfilled at all and use that roster spot to help you rotate in an extra outfielder or to assist in streaming pitchers. If you're supposed to start 2C, then do it.

Garrett (IA)

AJ, there are some line ups I'm just naturally afraid of, the Yanks being one of them. Do I sit Lester in an early April game where he might not have his best stuff to avoid a blow-up start?

AJ Mass
  (11:16 AM)

Always go with your gut. Certainly, we don't truly know yet which teams are going to be "good" and which ones "bad" - but it's safe to say you can assume the Yankees and Phillies to be teams to avoid in that regard.

matt (seattle)

Who better to catch for me in 2010 - Soto or Doumit?

AJ Mass
  (11:18 AM)

I think Soto is the better catcher, but defense doesn't count - and Doumit can hit regardless of if PIT decides to play him elsewhere at some point.

Mike (Orlando, FL)

AJ...if you had a choice between Damon and Headley as a DH in a roto format, who would you give the starting nod to?

AJ Mass
  (11:19 AM)

Damon. More faith in the talent around him.

josh (dc)

I am playing in a H2H league for the first time this year as opposed to roto. Can you give me any advice?

AJ Mass
  (11:21 AM)

H2H is more of a managerial chess game. Because your game resets each week, you have to play matchups more and also be mindful of knowing when to rotate in - and when not to - players when others have days off. Definitely check the boxscore every day and adjust frequently.

Mustard (Toronto)

I know it's only one game, but CarGo looked great!

AJ Mass
  (11:22 AM)

Unless you count caught stealing. He looked good. Let's not go nuts.

No Way (Jose)

Hey AJ, Wandy is listed on top of today's Daily Note Pitchers, but I'm a little affraid of him after how confused he seemed about his pitches based on last week comments about his readiness for the season. Start him against SF?

AJ Mass
  (11:24 AM)

The truth is, we don't have any track record for 2010 to base Daily Notes rankings on yet. We're going on past history. I'm concerned about almost every pitcher in start No. 1 to be honest... you start your best, and Wandy should be one of them.

Joliet Jake (Joliet, IL)

Over/Under Polanco staying on pace for over 900 RBIs? ;)

Chad (IL)

Right now would you drop Lilly for Marcum? Or is that over reacting?

AJ Mass
  (11:26 AM)

This is the one case where its not really overreacting - b/c Lilly is on the DL. You don't want to dig yourself a hole waiting on a pitcher if you can get solid IP now. And Lilly isn't a Bedard/Lee/Webb type IMO.

Don (Boston, MA)

AJ -- respectfully, I don't understand your "always go with your gut" answer. There are some times when you don't have a lot of info to make a decision, but certainly not always. There are so many stats in baseball, which is one of the things that makes the game great. For instance, a little analysis tells you that at Fenway Park last year, Lester was 7-3 with a 2.86 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. In his first match-up with the Yanks at home he went 7 innings and gave up two runs -- even while he was not pitching very well at that point in the season. Past performance is no guarantee of future success -- and that's why we love the game -- but there's a lot more than gut to go on here.

AJ Mass
  (11:30 AM)

You said it yourself - "Past performance is no guarantee of future success" - stats can be manipulated to prove just about anything, precisely because there are so many. If you're a baseball fan, and you watch games all the time, your eyes will tell you more than any stats. Personally, I don't like playing in leagues where I need to swap out players daily due to matchups b/c it is such a roll of the dice - but if I get a bad feeling about Player X vs Team Y, I'm acting on it, stats be darned!

Jon (Cincy)

I was hoping for a little more from Grady Sizemore yesterday. Any concerns or did the Cleveland just run into some good pitching? THanks AJ!

AJ Mass
  (11:32 AM)

<--- slaps head. Sighs.

Travis (Nashville)

Hey AJ, please pick 2: Reimold, Hart, G Jones and Rasmus.

AJ Mass
  (11:33 AM)

Reimold and Jones.

Dave (Tampa)

Jon, Betancourt hit a homerun yesterday. Maybe you could trade Grady for him.

peter (west orange, nj)

Carlos Gomez or Delmon Young. Both looked good yesterday, but who do you like better this year overall?

AJ Mass
  (11:35 AM)

Delmon, especially if he stays buried in the lineup.

Steve (IL)

AJ, so you're saying you ARE waiting on Bedard this year if you have a roster spot for him?

AJ Mass
  (11:37 AM)

What I'm saying is if I draft a guy KNOWING he's on the DL for a time, passing over countless other pitchers in the process, then I'm not suddenly cutting him after 1 full day of games.

JJ (Boston)

AJ, please slap your head a bit harder. Make it count!

AJ Mass
  (11:37 AM)

Hey, it left a mark.

chris (rhode island)

ESPN fantasy staff should take the first week of baseball off from chats simply to avoid the "Gomez hit a HR, is he 40/40 potential?" questions.

AJ Mass
  (11:38 AM)

I should just have a macro to cut and paste my Emilio Bonifacio responses from last season.

Daniel (New York)

This is not a fantasy question as much of a baseball question, but shouldn't Choo (.300 BA) bat ahead of Sizemore (30 HR)?

AJ Mass
  (11:41 AM)

Sizemore is far more comfortable looking at a lot of pitches, which is what a #2 hitter needs to do.

Gregg (Va)

Why waste the time posting people's points about others overreacting or freaking out too early? Could you please just do your job and answer some questions, without insult? It is a long season, and although I am no expert, I expect more of those questions to come. This is fantasy baseball, isn't it?

AJ Mass
  (11:42 AM)

Gregg, when 95 percent of those question are what I am getting, I can choose to sit here for 50 minutes until a legit Q comes in, or I can try to make lemonades out of these here lemons. And to teach you about the concept of time, as the season gets longer -- it's no longer overreacting too early.

Dave (NJ)

There is nothing at all unethical about using your roster spots however the rules allow. If you feel the league should require a full starting lineup, then make it a rule. But dont expect people to play by your own personal preferences, just cause.

AJ Mass
  (11:44 AM)

I put it in quotes, Dave. I realize you are free to do whatever the rules allow. I'm merely expressing my view that leagues SHOULD make it a rule. Many readers of this chat are new to fantasy baseball and may not even realize there's an alternative. Play how you want- but if you ask ME if something is "legit" I'm going to answer.

Wayne (LA)

Why complain about questions. just ignore the question and move on to the next one. It's not like you don't have enough legit questions

AJ Mass
  (11:46 AM)

Way to free up the chat queue for legit questions, Wayne.

Lisa (Dayton, OH)

Will Martin Prado be a top 5 2nd baseman this year?

AJ Mass
  (11:46 AM)

Top 5... no. Top 5 value for where you drafted him - quite possibly.

Eric (Indiana)

Oh no, the sky is falling. Dogs and cats are co-existing peacefully together. The end is near. After one day, did we learn anything actually useful?

AJ Mass
  (11:48 AM)

Daniel Murphy and Angel Pagan are not the answer in NY. Florida is going to give up a lot of unearned runs this season. Philadelphia pitchers can give up 5 runs and still have a good shot at winning. Twins new uniforms look better than the old ones.

matt (DC)

a bit chippy in here today... am i safe at CF with Mclouth/Fowler, or should i pick up a franklin gutierrez or chris young in place of fowler?

AJ Mass
  (11:51 AM)

You drafted Fowler for his SB, and he'll get his share of them even if he does split time in the OF. And if you come to my chats, you get me. I have no problem posting questions from people who don't agree with me. If my taking a contrary opinion and standing by it makes you think I'm whiny or complaining, then that's your issue not mine. I'm not going to simply take "AJ, I agree" comments. How dull would that be?

Daniel (New York)

While I'm patiently waiting for Carlos Beltran to return, I'm using LaPorta... who should I pick up to compete with him: Franklin Guitierez, Cody Ross or or Jeff Francour

AJ Mass
  (11:52 AM)

I think Francouer has a great season - certainly, at least until Carlos returns to steal some RBIs.

Rick (Detroit)

So are we finding out why the rules don't apply to Desmond tonight and how he is miraculously special?

AJ Mass
  (11:52 AM)

As long as those annoying bagpipes aren't in every scene, I'll be happy with only half an answer.

chipper (le chipe)

is a young staff anything to worry about? do you feel obligated to have a veteran or two to anchor things?

AJ Mass
  (11:54 AM)

If the catcher and pitching coach are competent, I'm fine with a young staff. Of course, without a true ace, the loss counts will probably be higher overall.

Jon (Kansas City)

So you were right about Russel Martin's demise even when I scoffed at you last year. What are your thoughts on Jeff Clement with a full time non-catcher gig this year? More valuable than say A.J. Pierzynski?

AJ Mass
  (11:56 AM)

I'm not sure he's more valuable than AJ. I think at some point Doumit moves to 1B for a bit, and Clement sits.

Harry (OH)

Are you drinking the Matusz Kool-Aid?

AJ Mass
  (11:56 AM)

Rookie of the year!

AJ Mass
  (11:56 AM)

Rookie of the year!

Trevor (Chicago)

Will Dotel have more saves at the end of the season than Huston Street, Kerry Wood and Brad Lidge?

AJ Mass
  (11:57 AM)

Not combined. I still like Lidge and Street to come back strong.

Jeremy (Indy)

Does Granderson batting lower in the order than expected help or hurt him? Obviously it helps his RBIs, but will it hurt his home runs?

AJ Mass
  (11:58 AM)

Not sure how it really could hurt his HRs... in that lineup, there's no pitching around anybody.

Brian (In)

Pujols is on pace for 324 home runs, 486 RBI, and 648 runs. Do you expect him to keep it up?

AJ Mass
  (12:00 PM)

No better time to call it quits. Thanks to all who participated, even the ones who hate me and yet, somehow manage to submit questions each and every week. We'll be back next Tuesday at this same time to answer the questions we get... so bring it! Until then... be seeing you.