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August 15, 11:00 AM ET
Chat with Tristan Cockcroft

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (10:59 AM)

Good morning everyone! Let's get right to your questions...

Jeff (New York)

Will Belt get regular ABs for rest of season? If so, ROS prediction?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:00 AM)

Regular, no, but a noticeable handful, sure, those needing to be earned by production in the limited amount he gets initially. In other words, I see Brandon Belt's potential being more NL-only than standard mixed; but he could be a .280-hitting, 5-homer guy in the best-case scenario.

Eric (Albany)

I know your column comes out tomorrow, but curious your take on Anibal, Leake and Buerhle? Anibal has been horrible, but you still have him in the top-25? Why?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:03 AM)

Horrible? That seems kind of harsh, no? It's the kind of description I'd reserve for Kevin Correia or Derek Lowe, who hasn't offered you anything remotely valuable, even from a streaming angle. Sanchez has been disappointing since the All-Star break, but he does have three quality starts in his past six tries, and 36 K's during that time. Really, look at his four most bothersome starts in his past 10: @TEX, PHI, @ATL, ATL. Aren't those all good teams? Forgive him at least a little, because the command numbers remain pretty good.That said, he's probably going to drop a little; I mean, he hasn't been top-25 nor looks like one. Maybe in the 30s. Mike Leake likely on the way up, perhaps a 15-spot bump, Mark Buehrle somewhere in the lower half.

Wildcard (Philly)

I remember a couple weeks back you said to keep an eye on Furbush. What do you expect from him the rest of the year? Servicable in a 16-team mixed league?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:05 AM)

Matchups option, wins will be difficult to pinpoint, try to use him most often in his home games, and avoid Rangers matchups as much as possible. In your format he's well worth considering, but I stress, <i>be cautious</i> with matchups. I bet if you pick correctly, he'll give you a 3.25-3.50 ERA in the good ones.

Steve (NEW YORK)

How risky is Ogando this week?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:06 AM)

Moderate risk more in that he's slowing down than the specific matchups (@LAA, @CHW). Those aren't terrible matchups, road or not. I ranked him 39th this week so clearly I see value even in shallow mixed.

johnny ringo (Milwaukee)

do I start all 3 Yankees pitchers I this week?: Nova, Colon and Hughes this week?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:07 AM)

I ranked all three in my top 75 and Ivan Nova got the highest rank of the bunch primarily because of his likely two-start status. Motivation has been a driving force with both Nova and Hughes; they know one misstep means a demotion (Nova to Triple-A, Hughes to bullpen).

Jordan (MN)

No problem with CC right? just a bad outing?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:08 AM)

No problem with CC. He's entitled to a bad outing every now and then, awesome as he has been for weeks, and having watched that game, the ball was definitely carrying well that night.

Mark (Omaha)

Bedard's start tomorrow gets an 8 match-up rating, but he's not in your top 75 this week. Need to make a call on my 5th SP (5x5 roto). Bedard or D.Hudson (whose match-up rating is lower, but is your #44 SP for the week)???

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:10 AM)

Questions about the ratings comparative to my rankings in the Forecaster are fair; understand that the ratings in the schedule grid are based upon a formula that take into account the pitcher's performance, both historically and recent, as well as the strength of the matchup. Bedard's history, which doesn't really take into account propensity for injury, probably drives a lot of that. I just don't trust him. Hudson for me.

Joe (philly)

Do we see LoMo in a Marlins jersey this season? Ever again?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:12 AM)

He's too talented not to get another chance with the big club in September, and who knows, these kinds of things can get smoothed over pretty quickly. That said, this question popped into my mind too; I wouldn't be shocked by a winter trade. Frankly, it might be better for him being that in a better park, he'd likely have a greater fantasy impact.

Wildcard (Philly)

How would you rate Dickey tonight out at Petco? I see where he stands in the daily notes, and you ranked him well in the Forecaster. However, he did not throw well against the Padres at home last week. No K's!

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:14 AM)

There are precious few pitchers I wouldn't start at Petco. It's difficult for me to run the numbers so quickly during the chat, but the last time I checked, road pitchers at Petco as a whole were in the range of a 70-percent quality start rate with a sub-3.00 ERA. I think you could count the number of bad starts on one hand.Yes, start Dickey, and with confidence.

Greg (CT)

Got my bluff called in my auction draft, and ended up with Brees and Brady. Which one should I trade, and should I trade now, or wait until the season starts to try to sell high?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:15 AM)

We'll sneak in a few football questions from time to time in the chats... one thing I'll caution you is that if your bluff was <i>just</i> called, and the auction recently concluded, it'll be fresh in the memory of your trade partners that you got saddled with two pricey quarterbacks. In other words, be prepared for lowball offers. You can't afford to wait long, but I'd wait a week or two and see if I could pounce once one of your competitors suffers some bad luck to his/her starter.

Yu Darvish (MLB?)

Tristan what are the odds of me being in MLB next year (Rangers? Yanks?) and will I be added in the 400 players ESPN dump tomorrow?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:18 AM)

I think there's a chance. Heck, I added him in my keeper league where I've decidedly gone the rebuilding route, and I ranked him in my midseason keeper top 250. As for the 400 additions, check the list, available in every league. I don't recall seeing his name on there, but it's all right there in black and white.

Bob (IN)

Was there something wrong with Putz last night since Hernandez got the save?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:18 AM)

J.J. Putz's night off; believe he had worked each of the previous <i>three</i> nights.

Nick (Michigan)

How much did Jared Weaver's outing vs. the sign stealers hurt his Cy Young chances?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:19 AM)

He had to be effectively pitch-perfect the rest of the year to have any shot at unseating Justin Verlander. It's going to be tough for anyone to catch Verlander now; was a longshot before this.

Tom (NY)

Tommy Hanson to the DL. Time to panic for the rest of the year or do you still see him as dominant once he returns?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:20 AM)

Shoulder injuries bother me, and it's going to lead to a noticeable drop in Hanson's ranking in "60 Feet 6 Inches," but not to the point where it's a panic-button move. He'll likely reside in the 30s, and the greater concern for me would be if he's incapable of returning as scheduled around Aug. 23. The longer this DL stint lingers, the more it will bother me (think: a Sept. 1 return would make me quite wary about his rest-of-year chances).

Bob (Pembroke Pines FL)

Your take on Bauer please. Worth a roster spot this year as a keeper?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:22 AM)

For those unclear, this is Trevor Bauer, not oft-mentioned-in-these-chats Jack Bauer. Yes, definitely worth a keeper roster spot being that he'll be up with the Diamondbacks for sure next season -- good shot at a rotation spot in 2012 -- but I'd set my 2011 expectations as a reliever, minimal fantasy impact. I'm not sure we're really going to see him at all this season.

Kevin (Alabama)

Let Pineda throw at Toronto tonight? He got knocked around there a little bit last time.

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:22 AM)

The game is in Seattle, but still a "no."

Indiana Jones (Canyon of the Cresent Moon)

Cole Hamels dead arm...should I be concerned for his upcoming start? It's the playoffs for me, so I've got to "choose wisely"...

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:24 AM)

It's a Nationals start with a week in between outings, and that's enough for me to be confident. I wouldn't expect Cy Young-caliber numbers, set the bar as marginally better than the quality-start min. (In other words a 7-and-3 kind of thing.)

The Man in White (Toronto)

I'm spot starting McCarthy tomorrow, whatdya think?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:26 AM)

Knee issue bears watching and could change my stance, but as things stand today I see the 3.05 home ERA and say go for it.

Eric (CO)

You took Best with the 31st pick of the PPR draft. Do you see Jamal Charles like upside with him like Chris Harris does?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:27 AM)

"Upside" yes, but we casually toss that word around and often get carried away with making it our expectation. The best-case (no pun intended) scenario with Jahvid Best, is, yes, Jamaal Charles-in-2010 production. But I think he's going to max out as a No. 2 back, a top-20-at-his-position type being that I was really bothered by his injury issues as a rookie. He's got upside ... and almost as much risk.

Walt (NJ)

Question on matchups: Do I go with Beachy against the D'backs (who strike out a ton), or should I go with Latos against the Mets (a team that does not strike out at all, and has a very good OBP)

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:29 AM)

I rank every pitcher every week. This week's: <a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/fantasy/baseball/flb/story?page=mlbforecaster110812" target="top">Forecaster</a>.Considering how high I ranked both of these pitchers, I have to think you have someone else on your roster who I deem less valuable than either.

Daniel (NY)

When does Garcia get slotted back into the Yankee rotation?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:30 AM)

Looks like a weekend assignment at Minnesota and I see the result being this: A.J. Burnett (Monday) or Ivan Nova (Tuesday) goes depending upon which has the worse outing, and if both are fine, then Phil Hughes will go Friday, and if <i>he's</i> fine, then it'll stay six-man until the first time one of those three missteps.

Daniel (NY)

THC: "No problem with CC. He's entitled to a bad outing every now and then, awesome as he has been for weeks..." I believe you meant to say "...awesome as he has been for YEARS..."

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:32 AM)

OK, consider hairs officially split. I was referring to this: 15 starts from May 19-Aug. 1, had 13 wins, 2.08 ERA, 112 K's. But, yeah, we definitely should all run screaming from CC Sabathia.

Tom (NJ)

Why are Marcum (@NYM) and Garcia (@CHC) ranked 49 and 62 respectively? Seems rather low for both.

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:34 AM)

Neither one has been outstanding lately. Still decent enough ranks for either. Jaime Garcia, if those mechanical adjustments are legit, might be underranked.

Todd Helton (Col)

Who starting this week me, Butler or Trumbo?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:35 AM)

Mark Trumbo. Seven games all at home, three against lefties. Helton's games are all at Coors, so he's fine in most cases, just not quite as strong as Trumbo's. As for Billy Butler, Red Sox and Yankees are a bit tougher.

Nick (Michigan)

Is Boesch expected to play a full slate of games this week? If so, is he a better start than Ethier?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:38 AM)

He just pinch hit on Sunday without issue, so I'd have to think he'll be in there on Monday. Better fantasy play? Have to think it's Andre Ethier. There are those Coors games and the Dodgers face six righties.

Tom (Calif)

AL weekly H2H...have you heard anything new on Kipnis sore side?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:40 AM)

Nope. Still day-to-day, he's in the "hope-he'll-play-Tuesday" class and it's most frustrating to owners in weekly leagues because we won't get an Indians lineup on Monday before the league transaction deadlines. Judge by the strength of your alternatives, because it sounds pretty iffy to me.

Brian (Illinois)

I have some peopel grumbling at the following trade: Hanley/Buehrle/Kipinis for Cano/Romero/Rajai Davis. I am playing for now while my trade partner is playing for next year ( he likes Hanley more than Cano). Tell me this isn't a rejectable trade!

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:42 AM)

This is not a rejectable trade; it merely seems like one because of Hanley's injury status. But I've stressed in this space for weeks that you need to allow keeper-league owners out of the race to make moves to improve their teams. There are still two keepers going to the non-contender: Hanley, Kipnis.

Nate (SD)

Why do you have Wandy ranked ahead of Bartolo this week?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:43 AM)

The Giants have a .637 team OPS since the All-Star break, second worst in the majors. If you've watched them play lately, they look awful as an offense.

Rick (Toronto)

Breaking News: Alfonso Soriano cleared waivers...now what?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:45 AM)

Fully expected; his contract is too outrageous for any team to risk being saddled with it (a la Alex Rios a couple years back). I see Soriano clearing waivers in August every single year until his deal ends; heck, it'd have been easy to predict that on the day he signed it.What it means? He can be traded to anyone now ... assuming anyone wants to take that bloated deal. I wouldn't get my hopes up.

Dan (NY)

Who's the Dan Uggla of the final month of the season?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:46 AM)

The one we saw the past several seasons as well as in the past 2-3 months of this year. Not the one we saw in April or May. It'll be the "ho-hum," .270-30 kind of Uggla we're used to (scaled down to remaining games, naturally).

Paul Goldschmidt (AZ)

Getting a few good shots to start my career - do you believe?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:47 AM)

Treat him as a "streaks" player the remainder of this year, and probably in 2012, too. Big-time power, but there are going to be some dreadful, Danny Espinosa-esque slumps in his foreseeable future.

Bud Selig (Milwaukee)

Usually the teams compaining about trades in keeper leagues either think they will lose a few points due to the trade or even worse have refused to part with any of their keepers to make deals that might help them win this year. They want it both ways. Sour grapes if you ask me.

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:48 AM)

Fair points all. Sour grapes being an extremely common rationale for teams voting to overturn trades.

Joe (DE)

Price is pitching against BOS this week, not SEA...how does this change his ranking for the week? He's 15th against SEA, would 30th against BOS sound about right?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:50 AM)

It's going to be James Shields, Jeff Niemann and David Price, in that order, in the three-game series against the Red Sox. Wade Davis has been pushed back to Friday. Unfortunately, at the time of my Sunday Forecaster update, those changes were not announced and I had to project with the information that I had (that they'd just push everyone back). Price was initially projected to face the Red Sox when Forecaster published on Friday; I had him ranked about 25th. That seems about right now.

Nick (Atlanta)

Should I start Morse this week given his elbow issue?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:52 AM)

I don't have any specific information as to why he sat on Sunday, might have been a day off. He was 2-for-4 Saturday and seemed fine, so I'd start him.

Jeff (FL)

You have Gavin Floyd listed as a two start this week? Is this right, what about Stewart?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:53 AM)

I can't believe the White Sox are still going with a six-man rotation, but it sure sounds like they are. In that case, no, Floyd does not go twice.

John (NY)

Is Verlander going to start sunday? Tigers arent just going to skip the 5 starter?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:53 AM)

I think he will, but that announcement has not formally been made. It was hinted in the Forecaster to prepare accordingly, but no promises...

Michael Morse (DC)

My game got rained out on Sunday.......

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:54 AM)

(Smacks head) Of course. All the more reason to play Morse this week.

Eric (Indy)

Are we going to see Strasburb back in time for the fantasy playoffs?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:55 AM)

Stephen Strasburg, figuring merely a typo, and yes, I absolutely think we will see him in the majors this season. I remain firm in my belief that he'll be of limited (if any) value in a standard ESPN league. The deeper the league, however, the more noticeable the impact. And it's great news for his 2012.

Ron (WV)

REALLY Need answer....Pick 3 for week in 5x5 from F. Garcia, Worley, A. Sanchez, Buehrle, Karstens....Thanks

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:57 AM)

Check my rankings because I can't memorize the exact order, but off the top of my head I'm almost certain I did not rank Jeff Karstens, want no part of him this week. And I think Freddy Garcia's injury status makes him a tad too risky, because the Yankees have enough starting-pitching depth that they could afford to pass him over again this week.

Joe (NY)

JJ Hardy or Yunel Escobar ROS? What about as potential keepers ($1 auction value) for next year?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:58 AM)

Hardy and Hardy. Better player, simple as that.

Knish (NYC)

Thoughts on Jesus Guzman in S.D?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (12:00 PM)

San Diego Union-Tribune reported Sunday that Guzman reported improvement in his elbow, so perhaps he'll be back Monday. I'd prepare as if he gives you 6-of-7 games, so that's probably still a starter in most formats.

Lee (ABQ)

Ill buy your book??? 12 team mix league, can Keep 2 SP: Cueto, D Hudson, CJ Wilson, Wainright, Morrow

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (12:01 PM)

I haven't written a book, Lee, but you should go buy AJ Mass' book! Johnny Cueto is the sure bet of that bunch, and I'd have Hudson, Morrow and Wainwright as the close call for the other spot. As things stand today I'm going Hudson.

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (12:02 PM)

OK, time to wrap things up for today. Thanks for all your questions, and sorry if I couldn't get to yours. Take care everyone, and best of luck in your matchups this week!