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April 5, 11:00 AM ET
Fantasy Sports with AJ Mass

AJ Mass
  (11:00 AM)

Good morning gang. We're back for another 60 minutes of fantasy chattage. Put down that immunity idol... nobody gets their torch snuffed on Opening Day! Second cup of coffee in hand... who is up first?

Dom (Jersey)

Are we going to see Stanton's homers take a major hit this year?

AJ Mass
  (11:01 AM)

Let's not go off of one game in the new park. However, part of the reason I was concerned all spring with Reyes, HanRam and Stanton was not knowing how the new park would play... and it does seem like the park may well squash power numbers.

Mark (NY)

AJ.. Does Peralta get the closers gig in TB?

AJ Mass
  (11:02 AM)

My sense would be that Maddon will go to a committee approach early on, but Peralta would be my "pick" to emerge.

Brian (NY)

Thoughts on Joel Carreno?

AJ Mass
  (11:04 AM)

More of an indictment of Cecil than anything else, I think. Let's see if he sticks in the rotation before even considering him for fantasy.

Nick (College Park)

AJ, is Melancon worth holding onto in case Aceves either falters or is drafted into starting duty? Or has the closer ship likely sailed for him?

AJ Mass
  (11:05 AM)

I'd hold on to him. Bobby V never really said "Aceves is my closer from this point on..." and I have strong suspicion that the two RP each close 3 times a week.

Tom (NY)

What do you take from Josh Johnsons start last night?? At least he didnt get hurt right??

AJ Mass
  (11:07 AM)

No pitcher should be judged on their first start alone. He made some bad pitches, but overall, you have to be pretty happy with the outing.

Zach (OK)

Do you ever sit your starting pitcher if they're pitching that day and if so, when?

AJ Mass
  (11:08 AM)

Depends on the format of your league and quality of the staff... generally speaking, I keep my studs in there regardless. More questionable guys I might sit if there's a bad matchup.

Timmy (DC)

Do you pick your starts early on, or go with the "I drafted this bum, I'm going to pitch him" mentality? I have Volquez and Bedard going today...

AJ Mass
  (11:10 AM)

Just as we don't truly know who the bums are on Opening Day, we don't know which matchups are really the good/bad ones either. It's a learning curve as year goes on. That's why I'm more than willing to start who I drafted and let the chips fall where they may.

JAMbrosio (NY)

What can we realistically expect from Brandon Belt this year?

AJ Mass
  (11:12 AM)

Now that he's made the roster, I'd say 20 HR are reasonable to expect.

James (Pittsburgh)

What's your opinion of Vance Worley? I love him as a sleeper, but people in general seem to be really down on him after his last spring start. You hanging on to him in standard leagues or heading in a different direction?

AJ Mass
  (11:14 AM)

The fear is the run support. Worley was solid last year but also had a sick 6+ run support, so it's not like he was truly ever pitching in close/behind situations. Spring start matters not to me... but I am skeptical.

Bryan (Iowa)

Hi AJ-As so many of your fans have already told you...love the book. When is the sequel being released?Quick trade evaluation:Team A receives: Albert PujolsTeam B receives: Prince Fielder and Adam JonesWho wins?

AJ Mass
  (11:16 AM)

Thanks for the shout out and the excuse to post the details: http://www.amazon.com/How-Fantasy-Sports-Explains-World/dp/161608295XLet's get the sales of the original up to "Hunger Games" levels and then we'll talk sequel! As for the trade analysis, I'd say it depends on what replaces Jones. All trades need to be looked at as a full picture...

Daniel (NY)

Is there any major disadvantage for a pitcher facing the same team two (or three) starts in a row? Big Fat Bartolo Colon seems like a nice 2 start pitcher getting the lowly Mariners twice... does that matter? Or take the good matchup?

AJ Mass
  (11:18 AM)

One of those things that can go either way. A team can't solve pitcher first time around, second time they figure him out just as often as they remain mystified. Because of the huge delay between games, I'd put this in the "matchup is good, stick with it" camp.

Chris (Philly)

Kelly Johnson or Kipnis?

AJ Mass
  (11:19 AM)

Johnson "safer" - Kipnis more upside. Depends on how many other "risks" you're taking.

Adam Miller (NY)

Hey AJ. Any update on Tim Stauffer? DO you think they will skip the 5th starter firs time through the rotation?

AJ Mass
  (11:21 AM)

I think they'll go four until he's ready, yes. Stauffer, I believe, will throw off mound soon to test triceps.

Ben (Boston)

Hey AJ, what are your expectations for Johan today?

AJ Mass
  (11:22 AM)

Six innings, hopefully only three runs.

Frank (VT)

Woohoo! Jason Motte on pace for 162 saves! The man is lights out!

AJ Mass
  (11:22 AM)

Oh, how I love early season "at this pace" nonsense! LOL.

Alex (ChiTown)

Will Mesoraco take over at C for the Reds. I'm riding Doumit as my No. 1 catcher and want to grab Mesoraco, but only if he'll play enough to be a No. 1 catcher.

AJ Mass
  (11:23 AM)

I think he'll end up playing close to 2/3 of the time and win RotY.

Andrew (SF)

How many leagues are you in and do you use the same settings (roto) for all of them?

AJ Mass
  (11:25 AM)

I typically only play in one or two experts leagues to which I am invited to join. I don't like taking part in leagues where I can't devote 100 percent attention to keeping the team up to date, so I don't overextend myself.

Tim (Rochester)

Beltre or Granderson?

AJ Mass
  (11:26 AM)

Someone didn't read my "Curtis is a first round talent" article!

El Guapo (Santa Polco)

Nobody ever talks about holds, but more and more leagues are beginning to score them. Off the top of your head, who are your top 5 guys for holds?

AJ Mass
  (11:27 AM)

Benoit, Clippard, Venters, everyone on the Yankees.

Amos (Austin)

Why's Ventura being so secretive about the closer situation? Is it Thornton, Reed, Crain or the new guy santiago?

AJ Mass
  (11:30 AM)

It keeps the reporters focused on that issue, which he's probably already decided, and makes life easier for the rest of the team. I'd say it's either Thornton or Santiago, and because of the delay in announcing, more likely Santiago.

Jason (Denver)

What are your thoughts on Drew Pomeranz? Is he useful in a 10 team mixed league?

AJ Mass
  (11:31 AM)

I like him a lot... part of the reason I picked Rox to win NL West. Think he wins 10-12 and finishes second in RotY voting, if not first.

Eric (Huntsville)

True or false: Johnny Damon will be an impact in fantasy baseball 2012?

AJ Mass
  (11:32 AM)

True. He'll end up signing eventually, and in H2H leagues, could have big impact.

Chris (Detroit)

I've got Lester and have three tigers on my squad. What are your thoughts on starting him against the Detroit lineup today? Should I sit him?

AJ Mass
  (11:35 AM)

I might sit him because the matchup is (on paper) a bad one, but he can just as likely pull a Lohse. He can also allow your guys to go 9-for-9 and still pitch a shutout. I don't worry about pitcher-hitter matchups the way I would in fantasy football with QB-defense.

David (NJ)

K. Loshe worth picking up? He's available in my league?

AJ Mass
  (11:37 AM)

I think he's worthy of being on a roster, but I'm not claiming him if I didn't draft him -- at least not yet. You're not getting last night's stats.

Waldman (NYC)

Why does Gallardo get no respect?

AJ Mass
  (11:38 AM)

I don't think he gets no respect, but there is a certain post-Prince, doubt-of-Braun backlash that gets transferred to his W-L projections.

Jack (Boston)

Sorta actual baseball question: As a Kyle Lohse owner, I'm obviously happy with last night's performance. But why was he charged with even the one run? Infante didn't get on base until after Salas replaced Lohse.

AJ Mass
  (11:40 AM)

A force out, which is how Infante got on, does not change the blame for the original baserunner. By rule, because Lohse gave up LoMo's single, he gets charged with that "runner on first" even if his identity swapped later in the inning.

hm (StL)

With regard to Loshe, we got "last night's stats" from him pretty much the entire first half of last season. Why not this season?

AJ Mass
  (11:41 AM)

Just pointing out that sometimes people grab a player off the wire after a great day/night/week and overlook that past stats don't get added retroactively.

Wally (Seattle)

When do you think Trout gets called up. He is available on the waiver wire, but I dont want to have him taking up a bench slot for 3 months.

AJ Mass
  (11:42 AM)

Unless there's an injury or Abreu gets traded, I don't see Trout up before mid-June at the absolute earliest.

Kyle (DC)

AJ, I need some of your points league expertise! 12 team h2h keeper.Rank these 4 pitchers, Mike Leake, Homer Bailey, Drew Pomeranz, Brian MatuszThanks!

AJ Mass
  (11:44 AM)

Bailey, Leake, Pomeranz, Matusz

Ben (Columbus)

If I paid you $3, would you own Vernon Wells? What if I threw in a pizza?

AJ Mass
  (11:45 AM)

Delivery or DiGiorno?

Lidgey (DC)

Hey AJ - you think skip will hand me the ball in the 9th today?

AJ Mass
  (11:45 AM)

Only if the Cubs are trailing.

Basso (West Chester, England)

Is Bryce Harper worth a bench spot in a keeper league right now?

AJ Mass
  (11:46 AM)

Absolutely. He may not be up for a few months, but as long as your team is relatively healthy, that's what the bench spots are for... especially in a keeper.

Michael (Chicago)

I just finished my 12 team mixed draft, and my starting 3B is Mat Gamel. Would you feel comfortable with that? I'm not expecting Jose Bautista over there, but a .270/20/70 season would be nice. What are your feelings on Gamel this season?

AJ Mass
  (11:47 AM)

Very high on him... my sleeper pick.

Matt (NY)

As a fellow Mets fan, are you also happy opening day isn't sold out? I feel we need to send a message to ownership. That being said, would you go Duda or Carlos Lee until Morse comes back?

AJ Mass
  (11:50 AM)

Wasn't aware of that, and if true, not a big deal. Fact is that there was a lot of uncertainty in the off-season and it's a day game. I'd go with Duda for now.

Josh (Rockville, MD)

read your book, hate you less now

AJ Mass
  (11:50 AM)

Well, if that's not a ringing endorsement...

Gene (Maryland)

Better OF options entering season for my bench: Byrd,venable,Guzman,Blanks,Mayberry and Bernadina?

AJ Mass
  (11:51 AM)

Of the group, I like Mayberry the best. Going to be some pop there.

Stan (Chicago)

Who do i drop when Storen comes back: J Johnson, Aceves, or Peralta? Thanks.

AJ Mass
  (11:52 AM)

Never make decisions like that until you have to. When Storen comes back, you'll know a lot more about those other guys than you do now.

Karl (Phill)

Need to fill a UTIL slot -- Frenchy or Kendrys Morales?

AJ Mass
  (11:53 AM)

If Kendrys can DH every day, it's him.

Eli (KY)

Would you go with Melky or Gardener right now to fill out your OF until Morse comes back?

AJ Mass
  (11:55 AM)

Gardner for now. Always good to try and load up on runs/SB early, then trade those assets later.

Costanza (Vandalay Industries)

What do you think about dropping either Trout or Harper in my keeper league for someone that can help right now? I hate wasting those bench spots

AJ Mass
  (11:57 AM)

But they are bench spots. They're not starting for you anyway. Yes, with off days, I suppose you could use those spots to rotate in warm bodies to try and load up on counting stats, but long-term I don't think that helps you as much as they will eventually when they get called up.

Daniel (NY)

George should TRADE

AJ Mass
  (11:57 AM)

And yes, it's always better to trade assets rather than simply cut them...

Eli (KY)

Any worries about starting either Hanson or Johan today? Them going against each doesn't really bother me, just asking in general.

AJ Mass
  (11:58 AM)

If not now, when? You know?

JW (MA)

Billingsley worth a spot in my H2H w/Wins?

AJ Mass
  (11:59 AM)

Not really.

Alex (NJ)

Zimmerman, Phillips, Hosmer...who do u want at end of year

AJ Mass
  (11:59 AM)

Phillips.

Chris (Philly)

Pena, Belt or Gamel?

AJ Mass
  (11:59 AM)

Gamel.

Andrew (SF)

Erik Bedard is throwing a no-hitter today. Just fyi.

AJ Mass
  (12:00 PM)

Andrew has spoken.

Haymitch (District 12)

Buerhle or Niese? Who do you like?

AJ Mass
  (12:00 PM)

Both, but Buehrle more.

Dale (Atlanta)

Hey AJ, Jason Bay or Alex Rios: Can either be counted on for help this year?

AJ Mass
  (12:00 PM)

Breath not being held.

Spencer (KC)

True or False? Jonathan Sanchez puts it all together this season.

AJ Mass
  (12:00 PM)

False.

Spencer (KC)

Aubrey Huff bouncing back this season?

AJ Mass
  (12:01 PM)

Yes.

AJ Mass
  (12:02 PM)

Lightning round over! Thanks for all the Q's. I'm on Twitter for those I couldn't get to... until the next time, enjoy Opening Day! Good luck, and may the odds be EVER in your favor.