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April 19, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with Eric Karabell

Eric Karabell
  (3:02 PM)

Hello all and welcome to the latest fantasy sports chat session! Hope your baseball teams are off to fine starts, and don't forget the NFL draft is next week. Thanks for showing up and let's get to the questions!

Mike (Philly)

Who is the next big rookie to be called up now that Sands is in the majors?

Eric Karabell
  (3:05 PM)

Let's start with Sands. Earlier today on TV I compared the excitement surrounding his recall with what happened two summers ago with Iowa's Jake Fox. Right-handed hitters with pop, holes in the swing, no defensive value. Be careful whom you drop to acquire Sands. He might keep the LF job because there's no competition, but ... the next rookie? How about Desmond Jennings? The minute the financial implications/arbitration issues are solved, in early June, he's up.

Cody (Davenport, IA)

More saves for the year, Storen or Aardsma? Am I dropping Nathan for one of them?

Eric Karabell
  (3:05 PM)

I'm not. Yes, Nathan is not closing this week, and he needs to work on some things, and kudos to him for offering to step out of the closer role for a bit... but it's just that, only a bit. He'll be closing by May. If choosing, I'd go Storen, but I bet Aardsma is getting saves by May as well.

Jon (DC)

Hellickson or Pineda moving forward for rest of year?

Eric Karabell
  (3:06 PM)

Big fans of both, actually. I will say Hellickson because he is a bit further along and had MLB experience previously, and his team is going to be fine, as I suspected. The Mariners are awful. Pineda could end up with Hellickson-like split and ERA and Ks and win half the games.

Lee (LA)

Eric, how long till Santos becomes the White Sox closer. He sure looks dominate and isnt a lefty.

Eric Karabell
  (3:08 PM)

The righty-lefty part is irrelevant. Matt Thornton isn't pitching poorly because he throws left-handed; he's surely capable of being the closer and having a terrific season, and I still think he will. But he's struggling, Sale has been worse and yes, Ozzie seems to like Santos. Just remember, hidden in that "strong" 2010 season with the flashy ERA for Santos was a 1.50 WHIP. He's no lock, either.

Mike (Florida)

Crawford has been killing me. Would you trade him for Ethier and Marcum? Thanks.

Eric Karabell
  (3:09 PM)

Nope. Not a bad trade in theory, but I think Crawford is the best player in the deal and will still have a terrific season. It's 15 games. WAY too small a sample size, and he's not hurt. Ethier is hitting, but he won't run, and will he hit 25 homers?

Beefy (Oakland)

Jed Lowrie worth picking up or will Scutaro eventually get the starting spot back?

Eric Karabell
  (3:10 PM)

Lowrie can hit, and while he won't hit .516 for long, I could see a .300 season with 15 homers. I can't see Scutaro doing this. But remember, Lowrie's problem has also been durability. That's not Scutaro's fault.

Jack (NJ)

What is going to happen with the closer mess in St. Louis? How much longer is LaRussa going to stand by Franklin?

Eric Karabell
  (3:10 PM)

I just don't see why everyone assumes Motte or Boggs will be better. I think Franklin gets more chances.

Sal (NY)

Does Tulo's to-date ridonkulousness change what you expect from him for the rest of the season, ie is he a top 5 player going forward?

Eric Karabell
  (3:11 PM)

Not really. I already had him ranked in the top 6 or 7 before the season, and he's obviously streaky, as we saw last September. He's also likely to not hit a home run over some 3-week period coming up. That's just him. But he's the best SS in fantasy.

Edinson Volquez (Cin)

Why can't I figure out the 1st inning?

Eric Karabell
  (3:12 PM)

Yeah, if only that inning didn't count! I think his ERA is like 1.93 in all innings after the first. He'll figure it out, but still, overall he should end up with a 3.75 ERA and high WHIP like 1.35.

Don (Littleton)

Which would you drop--Ogando, Britton or Drabek?

Eric Karabell
  (3:13 PM)

Probably Britton. I like Ogando and Drabek more; Drabek could be a top 20 fantasy arm by 2013. Ogando we need to see more, but if he struggles, at least he'll be removed from the role. Britton struggles and he might really hurt your team.

Mike (CA)

If Sands gets regular at bats from here on out, what do you see as his final line?

Eric Karabell
  (3:14 PM)

I could see him hitting 20 home runs ... or hitting 1 in the next 2 weeks and ending up back in the minors. Every year there's a guy like this with monster minor league stats and so few of them are instant stars. I mean, we're still waiting on LaPorta... be careful here. One guy I saw dropped Vernon Wells for Sands.. that's just crazy.

CP (Reno,Nv)

Boesch Snider or Colvin..

Eric Karabell
  (3:15 PM)

Who are three players that have never been in my kitchen? Oh, you want me to CHOOSE one? Snider. He will hit for power, and he's already runnin'...

Chris (MA)

You starting Greinke the second he returns?

Eric Karabell
  (3:15 PM)

Yes I am. The stuff about pitchers needing time to be comfortable... don't believe it. Doesn't mean he won't get lit up, but I start my top pitchers all the time.

Jason (St Louis)

Because Motte and Boggs hit high 90s and Franklin barely hits 90. Anyway, is Theriot ownable considering all he offers is runs and maybe batting average?

Eric Karabell
  (3:17 PM)

So you're saying the only successful closers throw the hardest? Look up Franklin's numbers since the start of 2009. I'd call it pretty impressive. Look up Boggs' numbers prior to this month... I would say that is not impressive. Perhaps Boggs can close and be the next Frank Francisco, I don't know...just saying don't punt Franklin yet. As for Theriot, doesn't seem interesting for a 10-team league. What's the upside, maybe 20 steals?

Brian (NY)

Is John Axford a closer or an extra innings fan?

Eric Karabell
  (3:18 PM)

He's obviously having trouble throwing strikes, for whatever reason, but I don't see the Brewers having a better alternative at this point, so he keeps the role. Drop him if you must, but he's a 25-save guy, at least.


Would you drop Desmond Jennings for Sands?

Eric Karabell
  (3:19 PM)

Depends on your current team, what kind of league it is, etc. I don't think we'll see Jennings until they stick a fork in Johnny Damon around mid-June. Sands is here now, but he will soon find that hitting in spacious Chavez Revine is not at all like Albuquerque...

Sean (NY)

What do you expect out of Venable? Will he turn it around?

Eric Karabell
  (3:20 PM)

No worries on him. Should end up with similar stats to last year, and there's the chance his power develops soon. He'll certainly run enough.

jay (nyc)

snider over or under 20 sb?

Eric Karabell
  (3:21 PM)

Under, but it's like the year Lance Berkman decided to steal like 18 bases. He just wanted to. Snider seems to want to. At some point he'll hit more than 20 home runs and maybe steal 15...this year.

Jim (NJ)

Cody Ross pick him up right now or wait?

Eric Karabell
  (3:22 PM)

He doesn't seem like a special fantasy option, so I think you can wait. But whatever you think of Brandon Belt, he is going to be sent down because he's hitting .175. He certainly had opportunity, and he didn't hit. Can't blame Ross for that.

Steve (SC)

Asdrubral Cabrera trade value?? Adam Lind? Or shoot higher?

Eric Karabell
  (3:22 PM)

Shoot for the stars. Maybe Asdrubal really can hit 20 home runs. I don't think so, but odder things have happened.

Mike (PA)

Do you know if Pineda is on some sort of innings cap this season?

Eric Karabell
  (3:23 PM)

I have yet to hear anything on that, but if/when the Mariners are 40-80, then I could see the Mariners making decisions like that. They aren't officially eliminated yet.

Les Miles (Baton Rouge)

David Freese... a .290 hitter with 90 rbi too much?

Eric Karabell
  (3:25 PM)

I think the main reason he's unlikely to knock in that many runs is because of health. We just don't know if he can play in more than 2 of every 3 games long-term. But the batting average and the theory here is legit.

Ryan (WA)

EK, love your work. Ive been on the Emaus bandwagon since December when he was picked up in the Rule 5, and was excited to hear you and most of your colleagues on the same train, but its time to just cut him right?

Eric Karabell
  (3:27 PM)

The Mets designated Emaus for assignment today, and let me just say what a joke that is: Yes, perhaps Emaus just couldn't hit MLB pitching.. .but if you say you're going to give a player a legit chance, and the rumors were 100-150 at-bats, then don't cut him after 42 plate appearances. Emaus has the skills to play ball, but the Mets, despite their looming last place finish, had no patience and really no great replacement, either. We don't know what Emaus can do because the Mets didn't wait and see. And yes, cut him in fantasy.

James (D.C.)

EK, If you were trading Hanley away would you still demand top dollar? Or concede his slow start and take 90 cents on the dollar.

Eric Karabell
  (3:28 PM)

Why trade him at all? He's still one of fantasy's top 2 or 3 players. Concede nothing! Trade for him!

spencer (philly)

Which hudson is better this year? Tim or Daniel?

Eric Karabell
  (3:29 PM)

Something looks awry with Tim Hudson, and I can't figure it out. Based on strikeout potential and the joy of youth, I'm leaning to Daniel at this point. He might not win 12 games on that bad team, but there's upside. Hudson's last two outings have been sketchy.

Charlie (Ronkonkoma)

Thanks for your hard work, eric. Mike Stanton....hold on to him or try to cut bait and trade him?

Eric Karabell
  (3:29 PM)

He's going to hit 30 home runs, easy. I'd hold him.

Dave (DE)

Does the early season power surge point to a huge season by Teixiera? Or is it a product of the home field?

Eric Karabell
  (3:30 PM)

It's a product of nothing, really. He's been one of baseball's top power hitters for years, but finally he's hitting in April. Doesn't mean he won't have a bad second half. Like Dan Haren... for years he had bad second halves and last year, he reversed it. Perhaps Teixeira hits 40 homers and wins the MVP. Wouldn't surprise me. I just wouldn't try to explain it.

Mitch d (Harrisburg, Pa)

Hey EK, for those of us in DEEP leagues and Dynasty leagues- who'd you rather have: Manny Machado or Brett Lawrie?

Eric Karabell
  (3:31 PM)

Lawrie is a lot closer to the bigs than Manny... I mean, if Aaron Hill gets hurt today, Lawrie could be up. Machado is like 2013.

Steve - RE Asdrubral (SC)

Shooting for the Stars in a 10 team league is tough... Any suggestions?

Eric Karabell
  (3:33 PM)

Asdrubal is currently a top 5 shortstop on the Player Rater, so offer him up for another fellow off to a great start at another position, but someone you clearly think is better. Like Adrian Beltre or Drew Stubbs. Work backward. You'll never know if your trade partner thinks more of the guy you're offering than you do unless you ask. And you might get a great deal. I got Victorino in a league last week because a guy thought he had to sell high... I had no idea Victorino was even available, but I asked, and paid very little in the big picture (F.Cordero and a 2B)...

Eric (Detroit)

Why not questions about Liriano? He might have won and made it past the 5th but he walked 5. Aren't you concerned?

Eric Karabell
  (3:34 PM)

I can only answer the questions asked! Liriano doesn't worry me much, and yes, Monday's "improvement" really wasn't as good as it looked... but Liriano's arm is so electric, you don't give up on him.

Walt (NJ)

Are we looking at a .220 season with 20 HR's from Jorge Posada? Or will he bump that average up?

Eric Karabell
  (3:34 PM)

He hits .270 with 22 home runs.

Kevin (Charlotte)

So Jennings won't be taking Fulds' at bats?

Eric Karabell
  (3:35 PM)

Let's put it this way: When Jennings is ready for the bigs, both physically and for the team financially, the only current Rays outfielder that is SAFE is Upton. Damon, Fuld and Joyce are not, and frankly, they have a DH opening as well. He'll play, eventually.

Dave (CT)

You buying GOMES? Latest report says his new found patience is based on being promised a full-time gig....where in the past he swung for the fences just to play the next day

Eric Karabell
  (3:36 PM)

Can't really explain all these walks, but it's good fodder for other free swingers that yes, this plate discipline really does work and helps you to hit for average! Amazing more hitters don't adopt the strategy!

Jason Soderberg (Bristol)

Carl Crawford is the 7th best batter on the Red Sox right?

Eric Karabell
  (3:37 PM)

Funny! Listen to Tuesday's Baseball Today podcast for more info on why that is funny... look, Crawford isn't hitting, but I can't believe the Red Sox are really that worried that it will be a long term problem. But yes, technically using Monday's lineup as a guide, he was seventh on the team in career OPS. Perhaps Crawford is a lot more overrated out of fantasy, where the steals aren't as big a deal, as expected?

Dave (New York)

Do you think Mr. Morneau is doneski or is he just taking his time to find his MVP bat?

Eric Karabell
  (3:38 PM)

Wait, you want him to play AND hit as well? That's asking for a lot! I think Morneau is still feeling some concussion effects, but he will hit in time. Keep him owned.

CK (San Diego)

Thoughts on Angel Pagan? I know you said be careful whom you drop for Sands, would he be a candidate in a 12 team h2h?

Eric Karabell
  (3:39 PM)

Most people would look at that .169 batting average and cut him, but I would not. The Mets best outfielder will hit and will run.

Eric (Tally)

Logan Morrison for real? Can he sustain this

Eric Karabell
  (3:40 PM)

He's legit... I say he hits around 16-18 home runs, knocks in 90 and hits .300. No concerns here, and love where he's hitting in the order.

Anthony (Cali)

am I stuck with Jeter now? Im thinking of offering him for A Cabrera. Think it's a good idea?

Eric Karabell
  (3:41 PM)

I think it's a good idea for the Cabrera owner. Look, maybe I'm wrong and Jeter is shot... but even his numbers last season were still worth owning even the shallow leagues. How many good seasons does Cabrera have?

Gary (Boston)

True or False: C. Zambrano should be owned.

Eric Karabell
  (3:42 PM)

Depends on the league... well, no, he should be. Even in a 10-teamer you'll want 12-14 wins, 3.75 ERA, 160 strikeouts.

John Lackey (Beantown)

Time to cut me loose?

Eric Karabell
  (3:43 PM)

At least wait until he gets hit hard in Oakland tonight. Look, this Lackey thing was not unexpected. Ton of innings with the Angels, and the new Zito will give up many hits.

Jimmy C (New York, NY)

Basically it seems all your fantasy analyis operates by looking at last year's stats and bumping or declining a guy 5-10 average points and 2-4 homers. Hanley, even though he looks atrocious is still a stud in your eyes and couldn't possibly have a bad year. On the other hand Gomes can't possibly hit 40 home runs and have figured something out.

Eric Karabell
  (3:44 PM)

If you think that Hanley Ramirez stinks all of a sudden after 15 games despite all his excellent and fantasy-leading work the past four years, then go ahead of deal him for Gomes. But it's a ridiculous notion. I'm not saying Hanley CAN'T have a bad season, but I'm certainly not making that decision based on two weeks of the season.

Kevin Gregg (Baltimore)

Koji Uehara's shadow is looming large... Is he about to take over my job?

Eric Karabell
  (3:45 PM)

Yes, that is one closer situation likely to change in the next few days. Gregg isn't like Franklin; he hasn't built up trust with his manager, and the Orioles do have another option who has.

Ken (NC)

After such a small sample size what player do you fear you overrated the most?

Eric Karabell
  (3:46 PM)

Well, Joe Nathan and Matt Thornton jump to mind. I still think they will be fine, though.

Kyle (Shoreview)

I read your piece of Figgins (everyone should go read it). Would you cut him for Sands?

Eric Karabell
  (3:48 PM)

No, I would not. In theory you selected Figgins for the stolen bases, and the 2B eligibility, so dropping him for an unproven outfielder seems odd. I ripped Figgins, but I'll still presume he steals at least 30 bases and hits .250. There's value there if he's sitting on free agency.

Mitch (Ventura)

How many saves do you think Farnsworth will end up with?

Eric Karabell
  (3:48 PM)

As of now I see no reason why he can't keep closing, other than perhaps the return of JP Howell. So I will say 25 saves for Kyle.


Most home runs this year? Justin Smoak, Mitch Moreland, Matt LaPorta, Matt Joyce?

Eric Karabell
  (3:50 PM)

I will say Moreland 22, Joyce 19, Smoak 16 and LaPorta 14.

Matt (Duluth)

Tyler Chatwood? Worth a pickup?

Eric Karabell
  (3:52 PM)

Just holding a spot for Jo-el Pin-yair-OH! I don't think he's worth it in shallow leagues.

Mat (DC)

Venable or McLouth for HR/SB?

Eric Karabell
  (3:53 PM)

Every time I write/say something negative about Nate McLouth a large group of people email me and tell me how good he looks. I don't see it. I'll take Venable easily.

Louis ((Miss))

You selling high on Alex Gordon?

Eric Karabell
  (3:53 PM)

No, not really. We waited years for this... about time!

Me (You)

Danny Espinosa, discuss...

Eric Karabell
  (3:55 PM)

Seems incapable of hitting .250 for a consistent amount of time, but I could see 15 home runs this season. He isn't running, either. But there's something there.

Mike (NYC)

Berkman....sell high?

Eric Karabell
  (3:55 PM)

I don't think so. I always thought he would hit enough to play, but the concern was whether he could stay healthy.

Mark (Chicago)

A-Rod out again. Reason for concern?

Eric Karabell
  (3:56 PM)

The Yankees say no, and I believe them... Well, I do think it's minor.

Billy (CA)

Will Dempster get it going?

Eric Karabell
  (3:56 PM)

The strikeouts are there, so I am not all that worried.

Bill (NJ)

Who is a great 'sell-high' candidate?

Eric Karabell
  (3:57 PM)

Berkman, Asdrubal, Fuld, Bloomquist and Francoeur jump to mind at varying levels.

AJ (Boston)

Pedro Alvarez killing me, pick up Rolen or Headley?

Eric Karabell
  (3:58 PM)

Don't do anything. Three weeks ago you wanted Alvarez for the 25 home runs and huge potential. You're willing to cut that loose so soon?

Rick (USA)

Does Gordon's babip worry you though?

Eric Karabell
  (3:58 PM)

There's regression coming, but anyone that hits third can knock in 100 runs, and Gordon shouldn't be a batting average liability.

jacob ((CLE))

how will jake peavy pitch this season?

Eric Karabell
  (3:59 PM)

Very carefully. Not a big fan, to be honest.

Mike (dc)

Alverez or McGhee?

Eric Karabell
  (3:59 PM)

McGehee, but neither should be dropped.

John (NYC)

EK, would you start Wandy tonight?? Inquiring minds!!

Eric Karabell
  (3:59 PM)

Yes. I would. Patience.

Utley (Philly)

Lot of good news about me recently. When do you see me returning?

Eric Karabell
  (4:00 PM)

Hopefully July. Realistically, it might be July 2012. I sure hope not.

Eric Karabell
  (4:01 PM)

OK, our time is apparently up so thank you for the time and attention and enjoy your baseball tonight! Good luck with your teams and have a great day...