Hello all and welcome to the latest fantasy sports chat session. I am Eric, thanks for being here. I'd think even though the NFL draft is tomorrow and there's breaking Big Ben Roethlisberger news that today is mainly baseball, so let's get right to it... got questions?
any worries about Fielder's slow start?
Not a one. It's two weeks. It's Prince Fielder. He might not knock in another 141 runs this season, but I still think he'll get close. Just an odd powerless start...
Will Nelson Cruz end this season as a top-10 OF? Not to get ahead of myself but what are your thoughts for next season and beyond?
I don't see why not. Cruz is off to an awesome start, and last year wasn't half bad either as he bashed 33 homers and stole 20 bases. The back end of the top 10 outfielders for this season wasn't strong... Cruz can absolutely be in it for a few years.
Hi Eric - in order to activate Berkman off the DL, I've got to drop either Jim Johnson or Frank Francisco. Who should be saying goodbye to his fantasy teammates?
Hmmm... Johnson is getting saves today, while Francisco has a 2-3 record. I do think Francisco gets the job back, but I don't really trust him anymore. I'd keep JJ.
With Mathis out are you picking up Napoli. He should get playing time now right? Please rank Napoli, Y Molina, B Molina THanks EK.
Yeah, he pretty much has to play now. What a shame, since Mathis was off to a great start, and he really angering Napoli owners. Napoli should get back to his power hitting ways immediately. What a break for him. I'd still take those two Molinas over Napoli, but at least now it's a legit debate.
EK- How do you differentiate between a guy off to "hot start" or just realizing his potential? One would assume Matt Kemp falls under that latter but how about guys like BJ Upton, Nelson Cruz or Shin-Shoo Choo? Hot starts or entering prime years? Thanks.
I guess the way we view each player is different, case by case. I happen to think all the players you mention are legit, and could all have career seasons.
Which shortstop is better in the long run to have?? Stephen Drew or Elvis Andrus
I think we know what Drew does, and it's solid. Andrus brings the potential for 40 steals, and can probably reach double digit power, so I still choose him. Plus, Andrus is leading off now...
Who to start tonight: Berkman or Borbon?
Easy call. It's Lance by a lot. Borbon should hit at some point, but things aren't looking good.
Eric, quick question for you. Need a substitute for B.Roberts. Who would you pick: Iwamura or Sizemore? Thanks.
I would take Sizemore, but neither of these guys are doing a thing in power or speed. I just think Sizemore, as I blogged about today, has really nice potential. Iwamura could probably hit 10 homers and run a bit as well.
EK! Haren had a rough night, and Verlander hasn't looked very good! I know it's early but are u concerned?
Nope. Not one bit. Maybe this is the year Haren struggles in the first half, then carries teams to titles the second half!
I have Lilly coming off the DL Saturday and need to drop one: Marcum, Pelfrey, Duchsherer, Wolf. Who do I release?
Well, I would try to buy some more time by leaving Lilly on the DL another week. Of this crew, I don't see how you can drop Pelfrey or Marcum... and Duchs is interesting. I guess it's Wolf.
I believe that Adam Lind is one of the most underrated players in fantasy. He's Ryan Braun without the steals. Agree?
Yes, but those steals obviously matter quite a bit. I have Lind on multiple teams... I believe.
Eric,Your thoughts on Jason Bay, he had a great spring and has come north and done nothing.
Different ballpark, obvioously. I still think Bay can hit 20 homers, knock in 90, but I was predicting that in March. He'll get used to Citi Field and be fine... not Red Sox 2009 fine, but pretty good.
Hi EK...who finishes w/ more saves: Frank Fransisco or Kerry Wood?
The way Neftali Feliz looks... I'm actually gonna surprise myself and say Wood. He should be back in a week or so... and Perez didn't exactly lock down the job.
Hey Erik thanks for the chat.AJ was really down on Ibanez for this year yesterday. Curious about your take, you think he has anything left in the tank? Or is it time to cut him loose?
I don't think I'd cut him loose, but it always depends on who else you've got. Do I think Ibanez will hit more than 30 home runs? No, I do not. Can he go 25-85.. .yes. I'd be patient in general.
Would I be nuts to drop Carlos Lee for Joel Pineiro if I have depth in the OF???
Yeah, kinda... Lee will be fine. But Pineiro will be fine as well.
So by your answer to Bill in LA, you believe in Pelfrey? A better option than Ben Sheets?
I am not a big Sheets fan... enjoy that nice ERA until tonight when the Yankees tear it apart... Sheets has a 1.71 WHIP. Far more telling than the nice ERA.
EK Stubbs and Coghlan have both struggled so far! do u think one/both could end up on the bench?
Coghlan is going to hit .300 this season. Book it and act accordingly. It's two weeks. Stubbs worries me more; the Reds have options and don't need to play him, and he was never a high average hitter in the first place.
Fuentes is back. But is he BACK? Rodney has been great, but does he go back to setup -- and would you drop him for Jim Johnson, Mike G, Frasor or Frank Francisco?
It appears Fuentes will get his closer role back right away, so bad news for Rodney owners. I'd try to keep Rodney around though... only takes one bad outing for Fuentes to kick aside the job again... And those last 4 pitchers, none have a ton of value, but Johnson is currently closing.
Are you liking Pineiro as much as Tristan in today's 60F6I? Would you put him ahead of guys like Lowe, Duchscherer, and Randy Wells?
Yes. Have Pineiro on multiple teams, and seemed to like him more than most in March. I'm with Tristan, and he's ahead of those other pitchers for me. Wells would rank second there.
Are us Kam Mickolio owners wasting a roster space?
Too early to tell... I do think he gets save chances this season.
Better fantasy stats: Penny or Garcia
Like 'em both, but have to take Garcia... what potential.
Is Andruw Jones valuable at all? Or is this just a fallacy...
Andruw actually hit 13 of his 17 home runs last season off right-handed pitching, so other than the batting average about to drop 100 points, the power is legit. He should be playing more than Mark Kotsay... yuck.
When will I be up?
See you in September...
Hey EK, at what point in the season can I give up on Josh Hamilton and drop him?
Well, it's your team, you can do it right now if you like... I'd wait another month. He's taking walks, and he has power.
I was reading your Box Score Bits article this morning and I noticed that some people were asking questions in the comments section...and you actually answered them. That's pretty cool! Who are you rolling with in a standard 5x5 H2H league....Grady Sizemore, Bay, or McCutchen? Thanks!
I check out all the feedback sent directly to me and after all my blogs... I might not agree with it, but I respect opinions, and people are entitled to discuss. And as Insiders, I kinda feel they deserve a bit extra, ya know? I don't make the decisions on whether my writing is Insider or not, but I can and do answer questions in conversation... you guys deserve it! Anyway, I'm on board with McCutchen... might steal 40 bases. Worried about Sizemore, but still take him over Bay for the steals. And Bay will be fine...
Nobody's stashed Carlos Santana away yet in my league. Currently riding Soto with Chris Davis rotting away on the bench. Worth dropping Davis, worth pursuing Santana over Soto?
I don't expect to see Santana anytime soon, no matter what Lou Marson does, but the Tribe could panic I suppose. I still think Davis and Soto will hit...
You starting Wade Davis tonight if you had a really good start to the week in pitching and BBs is a category??
If I own a guy like Davis, I don't remove him and spot start others. I believe that's overthinking things. He either is worthy of being active or not.. and the first two days of a week - an April week - wouldn't matter to me. Just my two cents. I'd consider sitting a struggler in September... but this guy is pitching fine and it's April. He just faced the Yankees!
Eric, do you think Hunter Pence will bounce back? Drop Swisher to grab him? Thanks.
Yes and yes. Man, Pence on free agency... sad.
Any concerns about Zobrist? Striking out a bunch and no homers.
Nope. Saw him a few games at Fenway over the weekend, and his swing looks off a bit, but when you're expecting 600 at bats, there will be slumps. At least he's stolen 4 bases...
What happened to all the Nolan Reimold hype....good god
Well, he is clearly hobbling from his Achilles' tendon surgery last season. I expect a DL stint soon. When healthy, he can help us.
If Liriano has another good start against a weak Cleveland offense today, does he become a must start no matter what the matchup?
He's not a must start already? He is for me.
Dear Royals' Bullpen, I hate you. That is all.
Yeah, the Greinke owner here in the office today said something like that. I noted he could be this year's Matt Cain... nine wins for Zack? Say it isn't so!
This Alcides Escobar kid sure flashed some speed in the minors...so why don't the Brewer's let him run?
I don't assume the Brewers are holding him back. I predicted about 25 saves for the guy.. he can do that even without running in April. He'll be ok.
Is Mike Pelfrey starting to become fantasy relevant? I don't have him on any teams, but as a Mets fan I'm jumping for joy that he's turned it around
Got a blog on him coming out ... right after this chat! Says the new splitter pitch is the key and Pelfrey should ... well, you'll have to read it. But yeah, jump for joy, it's legit.
Hey EK, do you think Chris Davis hits more than Alex Gordon?
Yes, though I see Gordon just jacked one... wow, LONG home run for Alex. Maybe he's got 19 more in him!
umm I watched Greinke get blown up by the Twins. Don't blame the walks and hits on the bullpen Grienke. This is what we call forecasted regression. He doesn't suck, but he isn't what we saw LY either.
Let's not go too far here.. some regression is obvious, but Zack allowed what, 2 hits today? He's still very, very good. But his leads are getting lost, consistently so far.
I have a surplus of OFs and need some SP. Would you give up Werth to get Liriano?
I would think Werth is still werth a bit more, but by August, Liriano could easily be worth more.
Do you sit Dunn for Berkman until Dunn figures it out?
Well, I would find a way to play them both.
I have Milledge and Delmon Young starting in my OF. I have been offered Jayson Werth for Liriano. Should I pull the trigger?
Wow, talk to the other guy who just wrote in... I am not a Delmon fan, but I'd say it depends more on your pitching.
What's with all the K's for Justin Upton? He going to right the ship?
Don't even look at the K's. They're not a fantasy category, and this guy will hit.
Feel free to steal on us!
That... was.... amazing. And sad. Might cost Wakefield a rotation spot. Victor Martinez's weak arm combined with a knuckler... anyone could have stolen a base last night. Nine steals in four innings! Vlad stole 2, and he can barely walk!
I did not know Escobar was getting saves in Milwuakee. Thats some serious fantasy value.
OK, steals, clearly... my bad...
Span or Maybin, better for rest of season in a OBP-based roto league? Also, too early to worry about Billingsley?
Still Span, though Maybin is improving quickly. And no, not worried about Chad yet...
Comments on Marcum's performance today? OK, he gave up the 3-run jack to mighty, mighty J.Guillen in the first, but then settled down to pitch shutout ball in innings 2-7. ERA under 4...whip a nice tidy 1.00. No W to show for it, but 6 Ks. I'll take that every single time! (can't chase Ws, right?) Your thoughts?
Big fan of Marcum, have him on multiple teams. I could see 32 starts, 12 wins, 3.75 ERA, 150 Ks... not a thing wrong with that.
Wasn't the empty dugout in Atlanta the best thing you've seen for a game-winning HR in LONG time? The helmet-throwing/ jumping up and down at home plate has become a tired act....
Well, being a Phillies fan I was busy throwing things at the TV, but yeah, pretty cool. Nate McLouth, really?
Who is a cheap outfielder I can get for HR and RBI's is a 10 team mixed league?
Well, I don't get the aversion people have with Jose Guillen...
Hitter K's are a fantast category in some leagues.
Some, yes... most, no.
Victorino has three HR's already. Would it surprise you if he reached 20 this year?
I will take the under on that, but ... yeah, I'd be surprised. Plus, Rollins is back in a few weeks, and Shane admitted he hated hitting seventh, which is where he's going. Might hit sixth if Ibanez keeps this up.
Hey Eric- In a bubble what side of this trade would you rather be on? A) Prince Fielder and Tim Hudson B) K. Morales, J Lester, Qualls. Thank you kindly.
The Prince side... he'll be fine. So will Lester, though...
thoughts on heyward? What are his updated projections. Is he a sell high and what should I target if he is
How about 25 home runs, 100 RBIs... .280? Totally legit.
Chase Headley: you a believer?
In 20 home runs and a .275 avg... sure. In 20 steals, not a chance.
Clearly Matt Kemp is off to a monster start, but any reason why he is only 2/6 on SB attempts ?
Yeah. He's been caught 4 times. That's the reason. I wouldn't worry... it's not going to stop him from attempting more steals. We don't care how many times Juan Pierre has been caught year after year.. just be successful enough.
Any chance of Madson keeping the 9th went up with those long balls last night correct? Can't believe I'm actually yearning for Lidge...
Lost in the Madson hype is the fact he couldn't close well in 2009 either! I would put Baez - who has struggled as well, but at least has experience - in the role until Lidge returns, but I doubt Chollie Manuel does the same. And Lidge will still get 30 saves, I say.
Are you starting Sheets tonight?
I don't own him anywhere.. but if I did, I start all pitchers I own in April.
Any chance the Yankees bring up Montero to DH? Thanks.
Nick Johnson has a .407 OBP... no chance at this point.
EK - I'm a new fan of the podcast. I love that I can listen to you and the crazy fantasyfocus guys both. What do you think about Zobrist?He only had 1 good year - soph slump? Never had the skills to begin with? Buy Low?
Thank you. Two very distinctive and successful shows... people should listen to both. Zobrist is fine, and he always had the skills. Definitely buy low.
Will Wieters hit for any power this year, or will I have to settle for a .300 average with 10-15 homer power?
What's wrong with that? I say he hits more than 15 home runs... and who wouldn't want a .300-hitting catcher?
Eric,Right now I am enjoying owning CJ Wilson. Tell me he won't become a nightmare. Is 12 wins asking too much?
Only reason I wouldn't expect 12 wins is health... this guy hasn't been a starter in a really long time. Might not be able to make 25 starts.
Who has the better fantasy season: Slowey or Kuroda? huh...good question..
I still say Slowey.. not sure why he is among the most dropped players in ESPN leagues...
Is it time to let me go? i have taken some serious swings and misses over the past week... would someone like jamie garcia or colby lewis be worth more in the long run since im of no use sitting on the fantasy bench?
I could see adding Garcia... but I do think it's premature to dump a guy many thought would - and still could - bash 30 home runs. Depends on need if you don't play him...
Can we expect the typical Ted Lilly to arrive this season or will he suffer setbacks?
I have no reason to believe Lilly will struggle to pitch well or stay healthy. Very underrated year after year.
Who is the better hitter once the get the call? Santana or Posey
I think Santana brings more upside.. and it's tough to like Posey's home ballpark for offensive potential.
Follow up to Wieters...There's nothing wrong with a .300 average from a catcher, maybe I got caught up in the hype too much, but I expected something more than a glorified singles hitter.
53 at bats... 53 at bats....53 at bats... 53 at bats....53 at bats... 53 at bats....53 at bats... 53 at bats....53 at bats... 53 at bats....
Eric, you buying Pudge's start? I just picked him up over Y. Molina and Soto.
Really? I'd take Yadier over Pudge every day of the week... and Soto over him too. Too early to presume Pudge can hit even .270.
PLEASE answer: In a vaccuum would you rather have Cain/AGon or Ellsbury/Greinke
Why? Does the answer mean you will or will not make the deal? I take the Ellsbury/Greinke part...
Is Franklin Morales worth anything?
For two more weeks, sure...
Eric,Is it time to pull the plug on Brandon Wood? Looks like Izturis is poised to step in for him. Is he out of options or can they send him down? Looks to me like the definition of a AAAA player.
Totally agree... can't believe how much time and energy I wasted on Brandon Wood the past four seasons...
Is it worth hanging onto Webb when I can grab Pelfrey or Lilly?
I gave up on Webb a month ago... no really. I have so little expectations that he can even pitch, yet alone pitch effectively. Lilly over Pelfrey still.
Brett Wallace? With Overbay struggling, when do you see Wallace being called up and if he is can he make a big impact?
It's a wonder why Wallace isn't up already... but I suppose giving a veteran guy like Overbay more time makes some sense.
Any chance Alex Gonzalez keeps up his hot start?
He is on pace for 51 home runs. No, there is no chance. But he could hit 15 homers I suppose.
more saves, Lidge, Qualls, or Wood?
Qualls... but all 3 get more than 25 saves.
How much longer will Jim Johnson and Chris Perez be closing?
Not much longer... Perez loses job when Wood returns... JJ might just lose the job.
For the rest of the year, Sheets or Dice K?
Ugh. I guess Sheets is at least healthy... and Dice-K might not start anytime soon. Have to go with Sheets by some default.
Hey big guy, I need your opinion on the rest of Gordon Beckham's year for this article I'm writing, what do you see his end line looking like?
Very funny... and no, he would never ask. We'd both say we like Beckham very much! I'll say 20 homers, 85 RBIs, 15 steals.
Gregorson or Moylan for holds?
Hmmmm ... like 'em both, but I will say Moylan. Braves are good....good enough.
Eric, Dice K makes his last rehab start today. Bet Wakefield is thrilled.
You know, I surmised that in today's Box Score Bits and on the BB 2day podcast, but haven't really read or heard anything that it might happen.
Eric, +/- 200 atbats for Thome this year?
375... and 15 home runs... but .230 batting avg...
Thoughts on Latos after last night's shutout? Worth more than Jaime Garcia?
No. I am all aboard the Jaime train...
Eric, Any update on Matt Joyce's status, and what his role might be when healthy for Tampa Bay?
The way Sean-Rod has hit (not hit) I would say as soon as Joyce is ready, he gets a chance in RF...
What's wrong with D Wright? He keeps swinging and missing and he can't blame it on lineup protection this time with Bay hitting behind him
I don't think he blamed it on lineup protection in 2009.. .he's gonna strike out, but also hit 25 home runs. Don't worry about his K's! Worry about them for raw kids like Maybin and Austin Jackson... not for Reynolds and Wright and Ryan Howard...
Is it worth hanging on to Strasburg when I can have...well, anyone?
Those 12 starts SS makes for the Nats will be terrific... but fantasy owners will have such high expectations, they can only be disappointed.
In a daily transactions league do you tend to carry and extra MI to fill in when your starters are off/facing a tough pitcher? I have Tejada in this role, but wonder if I'd be better off grabbing another SP or high K reliever. Thoughts?
In daily leagues I tend to carry only hitters I have active... I have extra pitchers and leave the middle men and closers in there each day.
Will Pierre rebound to hit .300 with 30-35 steals or should I drop him for Maybin?
Pierre will steal more bases and probably have a higher batting average as well...
Drop Reimold for Nyjer Morgan?
I'm ready to, yes...
Martin Prado or Rickie Weeks at 2B?
Prado might win the batting title... I'm not even joking.
You wouldn't drop, say, Max Scherzer for Jaime Garcie, would you?
No, I can't go that far quite yet... but it shoulnd't be long!
What's up with the "hot girlfriend" thing? Seen it a couple times. Anywho, Jose Guillen or Adam Jones?
Your honesty is respected. No idea ... I don't even look at names, so it's funny people think they can curry favor with changing their names... anywho... have to say Jones, but it's close. Guillen should hit more home runs.
Maybin or A-Jax?
Eric,Were you the person who touted Doug Fister in a recent article? Is he worth grabbing?
No, it was not me... probably that rascal AJ!
Would you take Pierre over say Michael Bourn or Rajai Davis?
They're all the same, really...
Franklin Gutierrez...300/20/100/20 a reasonable expectation?
I could see it... but still take the under across the board... hitting third is nice for the RBIs..
Eric, buzzer beater!!! Would you start Harang and Norris today? What is your opinion on their early season struggles? Thank You
Not a big fan of either one... Harang in particular looks kinda shot...
Drop Montero from DL and add Bedard, have Molina playing now.
Sure, I would. Bedard doesn't get lit... he just doesn't pitch enough.
You buyin' vernon wells' hot start?
Somewhat. Could see 25 homers I suppose... but too early to presume he plays 150 games.
You believe in Prado...has he quickly become this year's Ben Zobrist?
Well, without the power and the speed, sure... Prado is not that big a surprise. He has always hit for average, always looked like a Polanco in the making.
OK, that is about all the time we have for today... wow, that was a lot of questions! Thank you so much for your attendance today, as we got thousands of questions. It's because of you guys and gals we can do this.. Have a great day, enjoy our other chats and reading material and remember, baseball is awesome... Adios!