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June 29, 11:00 AM ET
Fantasy Baseball w/AJ Mass

AJ Mass
  (10:59 AM)

Good morning gang. We have another 60 minutes of chattage, plus injury time... all questions welcome, including the highly vocal critics of the latest article on closers, if they've bothered to show... Second cup of coffee in hand. Who's up first?

Jon (Chicago)

Any news on Utley?

AJ Mass
  (11:00 AM)

I hear tests will be done today, but the good news is of course that he didn't leave the game immediately after jamming his thumb. If he had, the prognosis would probably be much more dour.

Dean (DC)

With Nyjer Morgan and Rajai Davis being such disappointments, do I just punt steals altogether? If there's no waiver wire speed, I'm not sure that I'd be willing to trade for it.

AJ Mass
  (11:01 AM)

Dean, I'm not sure I agree with your premise. Davis is third in the majors in SB, so what more were you expecting? Morgan is in top 20 in SB as well... you talk as though they have 5 SB apiece.

Jerry (Tacoma)

Morning AJ, what kind of value are you putting on Tex remainder of year? Top 10? Top 15?

AJ Mass
  (11:02 AM)

Power-wise he should give you 15 HR or so, but I'm not sold that the average rebounds an incredible amount. Can't rate him as high as you're asking.

Cory (Neely)

Jimenez got knocked around again last night. Top 5 going forward or time to sell-high (extremely)?

AJ Mass
  (11:03 AM)

No way any pitcher goes a full season with an ERA of 1.50 these days... no need to panic though. He's certainly not going to be 27-2 on the year, but he's not going to suddenly be a 5.00 ERA pitcher either. Chill.

Tim (DC)

Hey AJ - are you buying what Brandon Morrow is cooking (yet)?

AJ Mass
  (11:04 AM)

Obviously K's are faboo, and I trust the Toronto coaches re: pitchers. I'm still not jumping him into the top 30 by any means, but the meal is starting to smell good.

Leia (Empire Battleship)

Help me AJ-Won, you're my only hope!I lost both Pedroia & VMart this weekend. I have Dusty covered, but do you like Santana or Montero more? Also, drop Huff or Dejesus?

AJ Mass
  (11:07 AM)

I have a lot more faith in Montero than Santana, because I worry about young catchers having so much more responsibility coming to the bigs. Because of the possibility of a trade of DeJesus, which may see a decrease in PT, I stick with Huff right now.

Chad (IL)

Pedroia's out six weeks eh? My choices are O_Dog, Callaspo, Ian Stewart, Carlos Guillen, and Jose Lopez. In a bubble, which way would you go?

AJ Mass
  (11:09 AM)

At least it looks like he won't need surgery, which is good... won't be easy to replace him,but I'd go with Callaspo.

Marky (Mark)

Vernon Wells, over-under 35 home runs?

AJ Mass
  (11:10 AM)

Under, but not by a huge margin.

Richard (NY)

Hey AJ. What are your thoughts on Scott Baker? Is it time to cut bait or hold on in hopes of a strong 2nd half?

AJ Mass
  (11:11 AM)

I think he'll be fine. A few fewer HR allowed would be nice, but I'm still starting him without regard to the opponent.

Jeff (Atlanta, GA)

What is the deal with Matt Kemp? Consensus 1st rounder that's been a huge dissapointment. .161, 1 HR, 22 K's in his last 17 games. Any thoughts on why?

AJ Mass
  (11:15 AM)

Seems to be a focus thing rather than ability, case in point the baserunning woes. Perhaps he needs to let a smile be his Umbrella?

Tim (NY)

Is Brandon Phillips the top 2nd Baseman in fantasy this season?

AJ Mass
  (11:16 AM)

With Pedroia now hurt, I think he's second behind Cano.

Peter (West Orange, NJ)

Speaking of disappointments, nobody wants to talk about Kinsler. Over/under 20 HRs/20 SBs?

AJ Mass
  (11:17 AM)

Under HR, over SB.

John (VA)

Please rank these speedsters for the rest of the way: Pods, Bourn, Morgan

AJ Mass
  (11:17 AM)

That's the order, alright.

Darrin (Madison)

You've got the #1 pick next year AJ, who ya taking? Can't be Pujols again, can it?

AJ Mass
  (11:19 AM)

Why not? You have a problem getting an All-Star in Round 1?

Dean (DC)

Was Kelly Johnson's fantastic start a mirage, or can he still be a top-60 hitter?

AJ Mass
  (11:20 AM)

Yes, and yes. Though, the power is actually not so out of line considering the number of 2Bs Kelly's been hitting.

Dan (ny)

Which closer should I sit tonight Aardsma, Fuentes or Rauch?

AJ Mass
  (11:23 AM)

I assume you can't start all three, since I'd always try to keep all my closers in action whenever possible. If I had to sit one, it would be Fuentes.

Rex (Knoxville)

Should I worry about a trade that would land me Jurrjens and would effectively give me all of the Braves 5 starters on my team?

AJ Mass
  (11:24 AM)

Absolutely. If the Braves go cold and score two runs over a week, how can you possibly get any wins?

BriGuy (NY)

Hey AJ, All-Star voting is almost over...what is your starting lineup for AL & NL?

AJ Mass
  (11:26 AM)

Brian McCann, Albert Pujols, Brandon Phillips, Hanley Ramirez, David Wright, Ryan Braun, Shane Victorino, Andrew McCutchen, Adrian Gonzalez, Ubaldo Jimenez

AJ Mass
  (11:27 AM)

Victor Martinez, Miguel Cabrera, Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, Evan Longoria, Josh Hamilton, Carl Crawford, Alex Rios, Vladimir Guerrero, Jon Lester

Larry (Cincy)

I have lots of starting pitchers from the same teams. Isn't your answer re: going "cold" similar to the gambler's fallacy? Also, Hart or Bruce for the rest of the year?

AJ Mass
  (11:29 AM)

Not in the slightest. I'm not predicting the Braves to go cold at any given time... but teams do have normal hot and cold streaks... if you're loaded up on ANY one team's pitchers, you'll reap the benefits at times and get burned badly at others. As for your other Q, Hart.

matt (seattle)

You must know that by posting a list like that you're going to get nothing but "what about so-and-so?!" comments for the rest of the chat, right?

AJ Mass
  (11:30 AM)

But I don't have to answer them, Matt.

Tim (DC)

News Alert: AJ Mass has snubbed Justin Morneau!

AJ Mass
  (11:31 AM)

LOL! What can I say? One 1B to a team.

Matthew (VA)

So you're saying Pujols & AGonz both don't play 1b?

AJ Mass
  (11:32 AM)

NL has to get assigned a DH. AL votes for theirs.

AJ Mass
  (11:32 AM)

Halfway home and still nobody wants to talk about FBA? Oh well...

Jorge Posada (NYC)

I'm better than Napoli, right?

AJ Mass
  (11:33 AM)

A matter of opinion that I do not subscribe to.

Pat (NJ)

Jon Lester as your starter in the AL. Has he vaulted into your group of top pitchers yet? A couple weeks back you had him behind the Tampa pitchers you said

AJ Mass
  (11:35 AM)

Obviously... if you don't constantly adjust your ratings and opinions based on what actually happens in games, you're not just being stubborn, you're being stupid. It was definitely a tossup between Lester and Price.

Tom (Dallas)

Please defend yourself. Are you really this dense. You have Broxton in your "danger zone" for closers?? This is exactly why I ignore almost all of your analysis.

AJ Mass
  (11:39 AM)

You can't pick and choose the numbers. Broxton was the lone pitcher that stood out as a "Really?" name, but having said that, this was never an "absolute" stat --- merely a tool to see why Manny Acta says "Kerry Wood is my closer." and Joe Torre may be starting to look to trade for some bullpen help. Never said Broxton WOULD lose his job... but when he then blows a save or two, and media grumblings grow, nor should you be shocked.

Bob (Chino Hills CA)

AJ, you give a good sound opinion, then everyone says how stupid that was. If we don't respect your judgment (based on more experience than we have), why are we here? Put, the chat on autopilot and read the sports section and have some fun

AJ Mass
  (11:41 AM)

And it's just an opinion, which I am fine if you disagree with, Bob. What is laughable and small-minded is the "I disagree with your conclusions, therefore I am right and you are wrong" mentality with no actual debate. Then when I ask for debate, I get only name-calling. Sad.

Rob (NJ)

why not use FOBP rather than FBA?

AJ Mass
  (11:43 AM)

That's a terrific question, Rob. The reason I didn't go with FOBP is b/c if a pitcher comes in with a base open, he may pitch around a hitter, and I felt it was unwise to penalize them for that. Plus, a walk rarely "blows the save" on its own.

Phil (Madison)

Even in your analysis, you aren't consistently using FBA alone to evaluate these closers. How else would you stick Aaron Heilman and his .250 in the same category as Ryan Franklin and his .192?

AJ Mass
  (11:47 AM)

It's completely FBA, but it is not just their FBA, but that of the possible alternative that is considered. In this case, Motte's falls in the similar range as Franklin's. This isn't being used as a predictor of future performance, only an attempt to find a way to figure out a manager's confidence level in a closer and perhaps the itchiness to make a switch after a blown save or two.

Robert (Lexington KY)

Any chance you'd sit Cliff Lee @ NYY tonight?

AJ Mass
  (11:48 AM)

Not a chance. If you're not willing to start your aces under all circumstances, you might as well trade them.

Jack (Seattle)

For the rest of the season, Andrus or Bartlett? Roto non-keeper

AJ Mass
  (11:49 AM)

I'd go with Elvis.

ARob (Miami)

Your thoughts on D.Lee? Top 100 hitter going forward? Would you rather have Adam LaRoche and his usually strong second half performance? Thank you.

AJ Mass
  (11:50 AM)

Never been a big D-Lee fan to begin with, so I'd go with Adam.

Rick (Chicago)

The rest of the year rank them: Sean Rodriguez, Casey McGehee, The Riot

AJ Mass
  (11:52 AM)

Casey 1, Ryan 2.

Jon (Chicago)

What about Dexter Fowler????? He was just recalled.

AJ Mass
  (11:54 AM)

Been crushing it in Triple-A, don't love him, but with Hawpe hurting, maybe he gets a few games to prove me wrong.

Tom (NY)

Quentin or Adam Jones?

AJ Mass
  (11:56 AM)

Jones for now. I've been down on him most of the year, but I always said once he turns the corner, the sky is the limit.

Bobby (OH)

S. Drew or E. Aybar going forward?

AJ Mass
  (11:57 AM)

Drew, though it's six of one, half of another.

Aaron (Eugene, OR)

Hammel, Kennedy, Garland?

AJ Mass
  (11:58 AM)

I'd rather have Garland, and want nothing to do with Ian.

Mike (Los Angeles)

I've been holding onto Mat Gamel in a dynasty league. Is it time to cut or keep waiting?

AJ Mass
  (11:58 AM)

I'd hang on and see how he recovers from the injury.

Jon (Chicago)

Gavin Floyd...Top 20 SP the rest of the way?

AJ Mass
  (11:59 AM)

I think not.

Chuck (WV)

Hanson or Hughes?

AJ Mass
  (12:01 PM)

Hughes, though there will be a rocky patch ahead.

AJ Mass
  (12:01 PM)

And that's the final whistle. Thanks to all for the Q's. We'll be back next week at the same bat time, same bat channel. Until then, Be Seeing You!