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April 12, 11:00 AM ET
Chat with AJ Mass

AJ Mass
  (11:00 AM)

Good morning gang. The baseball season is in full swing, and everyone, even Astros fans, have to be happy about that. Who wants to know what? Let's get it started before Cowboy Joe West gets uppity.

Dave (Philly)

Are Aaron Hill and Jacoby Ellsbury risky starts in a weekly league, or do you expect them back tonight or tomorrow?

AJ Mass
  (11:01 AM)

I think you can probably start Ellsbury. Looks like a day off will help loads, and then he'll be OK. Hill I would sit on for a time.

Jake (Santa Cruz)

Would you recommend dropping Rios for Raj Davis? I know it's early but I need more steals and Rios has been underwhelming.

AJ Mass
  (11:03 AM)

I think Davis won't keep up his overall value like he has started the season, but still a better short-term solution than Rios.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

What is the best & the worst Baseball Stadium that you have been to?

AJ Mass
  (11:05 AM)

Interesting question, b/c my opinion of stadiums is a bit skewed due to the fact I saw most of them from inside a mascot costume. Shea was a dump and a half, but I loved "Jacobs Field" and Kauffman. The football stadium in Miami is a joke in terms of baseball.

Jeremy (Buffalo)

Hey A.J., Can you rank these back end of the rotation options: Latos, Penny, and Meche. Thanks.

AJ Mass
  (11:06 AM)

Right now I'd go Penny, then Latos, with "Ga" bringing up the rear.

Rhonda (Philadelphia, PA)

How about Zimmerman? Is he safe for a weekly league or should I pick up someone off the waiver wire to start in his place?

AJ Mass
  (11:07 AM)

Looks like they're saying he's out until Wednesday - which probably means Thursday. If you have the roster room, I'd look to get someone else in there at least for this week.

James (CT)

Any concerns with Gallardo and Verlander? They are my aces and hardly looking like it right now. Just a bump in the road or serious concern?

AJ Mass
  (11:08 AM)

Too early to worry. Especially with Verlander - he's not going to be offering up grand slams like that on a regular basis.

Jim (Orlando)

Have any closers NOT blown a save this season. Yowza!

AJ Mass
  (11:09 AM)

Which is why we don't pay for saves... but Rauch's been perfect so far.

Jon (Chicago)

At what point do you bench your non-producing starters for your sleepers? For instance, Choo and Pence are starters while McGehee and Headley on riding the bench.

AJ Mass
  (11:10 AM)

We're talking about benching, and not cutting them, so in a daily league, I'd certainly have no issue making the swap now and riding the streaks out. In a weekly league, you have to be a lot more cautious about making a move. If you have several slumpers, you probably should swap out at least half and hope you make the right calls.

Bill (Madison, WI)

AJ, Could you please address your thoughts on Batting Average and how much of an emphasis should placed on it. For example, comparing Mark Reynolds to Pablo Sandoval, where the only category that Sandoval will most likely outperform Reynolds is BA, yet most would place Sandoval higher on a pedestal. Thanks!

AJ Mass
  (11:12 AM)

It's early, so the .360 of Panda helps you far more and the .150 of Reynolds hurts you far more, since the AB size is so small. Over the course of the season though, assuming .300 vs .260, that impact won't be as great.

Louis (New Orleans)

Wow, I can't believe no Montero replacement questions yet . . . Shoppach, Clement, Snyder or Kendall??? Please rank them!

AJ Mass
  (11:14 AM)

Not a lot of love for Montero in the first place... I'd go Snyder 1 and Shoppach 2.

Gabriel (Brazil)

Funny, because not paying for saves is what got me Frank Francisco. You can either hit or miss badly with that.

AJ Mass
  (11:15 AM)

True, but if you got Francisco in Round 8 you're hurting a lot more than Francisco in Round 25.

jcwaveslider (CA)

1 start Haren vs my Dodgers or 2 start Cueto, h2h do u like ur h2h points league so far?

AJ Mass
  (11:16 AM)

JC, my Twitter friend, I still go Haren with 1. H2H points league is OK - won my first week's game. Still not 100 percent sold on it though. I think I prefer categories more.

Justin (New York)

How many more games until Reyes steals a base?

AJ Mass
  (11:17 AM)

Like, 100. He has to get on base regularly first and I just don't buy him as a speed option this season. Not changing my tune on that. He'll have 20-30 tops.

Tilda (New York)

Any word on "CARGO" , will he miss any time?Thanks

AJ Mass
  (11:19 AM)

I don't like the fact he told reporters he's "not sure" about playing on Tuesday. He has today off, but the fact he's that concerned leads me to believe he might sit out a few.

Rich (Weymouth,MA)

typical slow start for texiera right?

AJ Mass
  (11:20 AM)

If you mean do I think he finishes the season ranked around 250 among hitters - as I have him right now - then, no. Let him play a few at home before we get all nervous.

Hugo Reyes (Hawaii)

Are you excited for my centric episode tomorrow night??

AJ Mass
  (11:21 AM)

Love me the Hurley!

Desmond Hume (???)

Brotha, are you buying the hot start from Chris Young (OF)? Would you take him over Blanks, Hawpe or Mclouth?

AJ Mass
  (11:22 AM)

To an extent, yes. I think the numbers are skewed a bit b/c the D-backs are scoring at a breakneck pace, but I don't expect too much of a drop-off once the runs per game get more in the 4 range.

Trevor (Milwaukee)

I'm old.

AJ Mass
  (11:23 AM)

So's Tom Watson, but he can still handle his business.

Matt (Chinatown)

What do you make of Julio Borbon's slow start? Can I still depend on him for 40+ steals with a won't-kill-me average?

AJ Mass
  (11:25 AM)

You can't steal if you don't get on base. Ultimately, he's going to come around a bit, but if he hits .220-.230 on the year, he's simply not going to be able to get you the steals you're looking for. The two are inherently linked.

Richie (Alabama)

Does Francouer keep this up in a H2H points league? Thinking about selling high in a 20 team league

AJ Mass
  (11:26 AM)

He's never going to have more value than his current Top-10 hitter status. That's an awfully deep league, but if you find a trade partner, I'd look to move.

Jay (New Jersey)

Dropped Big Papi, Chris Coghlan, and Nolan Reimold for Hidiki Matsui, Chris B. Young, and Edgar RenteriaGood moves or did I over react to losing week 1???

AJ Mass
  (11:27 AM)

Totally over-reacting. Not to say these new guys won't end up with better seasons, but odds are if you continue to play this game, you'll constantly be chasing your own tail.

Kevin (NH)

Olivo or Ianetta as my back-up to McCann?

AJ Mass
  (11:28 AM)

Olivo for me.

Michael (Milwaukee)

Delmon Young, Frenchy, Willingham, you buying any of them as serious options to keep it up?

AJ Mass
  (11:28 AM)

Delmon, no. The others, to some extent, yes.

Hector (NJ)

Which do you like better for a rebound year, Carmona or The Duke?

AJ Mass
  (11:29 AM)


Jennifer (Tampa)

Would JT go down as the dumbest player ever if he really does give the immunity idol to Russell?

AJ Mass
  (11:30 AM)

We'll have to see the context... but since that tribe seems to think "nobody should have the idol" if JT convinces them he's given it to Russell, without actually doing it, he's the smartest player ever.

Michael (New York)

Why "no" on Delmon?

AJ Mass
  (11:32 AM)

No particular reason other than my own opinions from watching. That's all we have at this point... the sample size of stats is far too small to know anything for sure... I just think he's nowhere near as likely to maintain than the other two.

Rich (Da Bronx)

Adam Dunn? Isn't he typically a fast starter?

AJ Mass
  (11:33 AM)

If the OBP wasn't .440, I'd be concerned. But he's being as patient as ever... he'll come around.

Marc (Big D)

You should have made a quick macro: "IT'S ONE FREAKING WEEK!"

AJ Mass
  (11:34 AM)


Woody (Peckerland)

Is Neftali the closer going forward(assuming he does the job)? Washington's remarks seemed more like lip service to Francisco than a promise to return him to the role?

AJ Mass
  (11:35 AM)

I think Neftali grabs the ball and doesn't look back. I don't think it is lip service - I think Washington truly believes he will put FF back in there, but if Feliz strikes out the next 10 batters he faces and gets three saves, there's no way he can justify the swap out.

Mike (Houston)

I'm an Astros fan, so out of sympathy...could you tell me what your thoughts are on Shaun Marcum for the rest of the year?

AJ Mass
  (11:37 AM)

Tough start, but let's see what happens when your star returns. I like Marcum a lot - certainly more than any other Toronto arm. My only hesitation is the fact he may not win even 12 on this team.

Brian (NJ)

Alex Gonzalez?

AJ Mass
  (11:38 AM)

Can't say I'm fully convinced the power continues, but considering the SS position as a whole, I'm buying.

Grant (Milwaukee)

You mentioned you saw most stadiums from the inside of a mascot costume...which mascot were you?

AJ Mass
  (11:39 AM)

Mr. Met, 1994-1997. I was the first once they brought him back.

John (DC)

Anything to Clippard's hot weekend?

AJ Mass
  (11:40 AM)

Saves aren't going to be there, but Tyler was the second most valuable pitcher for the first week of the season, IMO. Affeldt being the first. That's largely a function of all the blown saves around the league though. Eventually closers will rule the day.

justin (boston)

ESPN tells us to believe the hype on Strasburg and Chapman...what do you think and when will we see them in the majors? Thanks!

AJ Mass
  (11:41 AM)

Strasburg won't come up until the "Super 2" clock passes. Chapman, I would expect to see in late-May, if not sooner.

Frank (Miami, FL)

Aren't you the guy that said Joel Pinero was a good pick this year??Why are we listening to you?

AJ Mass
  (11:42 AM)

Really, Frank? After one start? Really?

skaz (oakland)

what do you make of daric barton, post hype potential? enough to be relevant despite woeful lineup?

AJ Mass
  (11:43 AM)

Just picked up Mr. Barton in my ESPN staff league. Totally under the radar guy who I really like.

Desperate for Closers (Anytown, USA)

Who has a better chance of closing 20+ games this year: Kerry Wood, Frank Francisco or AJ Mass?

AJ Mass
  (11:44 AM)

Francisco. But I'll put me at second. I am a lefty, and you know how southpaws always seem to get chances they don't deserve.

Tony (Philly)

COREY HART? Is he back? Are you not a non-believer?

AJ Mass
  (11:45 AM)

Hart on my roster? OK. Hart in my everyday lineup? Not so much.

Greg (Boston)

Rod Barajas? Do you think he is a capable replacement for Montero in a 12 team h2h league with Olivio on the board?

AJ Mass
  (11:46 AM)

Yes I do. Swings a solid bat and has shown he can get it out of CitiField where others have failed.

Nick (Milwaukee)

Scott Sizemore or Barmes, who would you rather have?

AJ Mass
  (11:47 AM)

Barmes. Nothing about Sizemore excites me.

Steve (Boston)

Johnathan Sanchez 5th starter worthy? Also Alexi Ramierez at SS finishes top __? TY

AJ Mass
  (11:49 AM)

Not even close for Sanchez. Right now best I can do with Alexei is Top 20.

Nathanael (KC)

At the Royals game yesterday, one player (I forget who) had a lower OBP than batting average. How is that possible?

AJ Mass
  (11:50 AM)

No walks and a sac fly would do the trick. Rarely happens except early in the season, but mathematically possible.

Jeff (Portland, ME)

I can't believe nothing has been said about Grady Sizemore. Out of the lineup yesterday due to his back. Yet, no where, I repeat, no where on ESPN is there any information. I rely on you AJ.

AJ Mass
  (11:51 AM)

Won't play today either... Kearns in LF, Brantley in CF.

Brian (DL)

How long should we expect to be without B. Roberts and will this injury status linger all season long?

AJ Mass
  (11:52 AM)

Until the end of April, as the O's have DL'd him.

jay (nyc)

rank em, danks, kuroda, buckholz?

AJ Mass
  (11:53 AM)

Kuroda, Danks, Buchholz

brian (ny)

is yadier molina a good replacement for miguel montero in ten team h2h other options on the wire include barajas, olivo, ramon hernandez, varitek and chris snyder

AJ Mass
  (11:54 AM)

Yes, I think Yadier is the best of that group, just ahead of Snyder and Barajas.

Ben (NY)

How much is Jason Heyward worth right now? Someone offered Ibanez and Heath Bell for him. What do you think?

AJ Mass
  (11:56 AM)

I'd stick with the kid, b/c I don't love Ibanez - but an decent OF and Bell is a fair deal.

Jeff (Nebraska)

Thoughts on Orioles closers?

AJ Mass
  (11:57 AM)

Johnson may get a few chances, but he's no Neftali Feliz. I don't see him locking the job down.

Chris (Waterbury)

How are you feeling about Magglio's start? Buying?

AJ Mass
  (11:58 AM)

I am buying. He and Miggy are going to cause plenty of havoc this season.

Nelson (TN)

Toss up for the season, Cain or Ubaldo?

AJ Mass
  (11:58 AM)

Cain, without question.

mike (Chicago)

Someone offered me Heyward and D. Lee for Carl Crawford...thoughts?

AJ Mass
  (11:58 AM)

In a heartbeat.

Jon (NY)

Who wins more games - Scherzer or Matusz?

AJ Mass
  (11:59 AM)

Scherzer, due to his supporting cast.

AJ Mass
  (11:59 AM)

And that's the buzzer gang! Thanks for the Q's. Tristan is up tomorrow and then we swap back to our regular days for next week. Until then... be seeing you!