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April 26, 11:00 AM ET
Fantasy Sports with AJ Mass

AJ Mass
  (10:59 AM)

Good morning, gang! We're up yet again for another hour of fantasy chattage. Second cup of coffee in hand, so let's get right to it. Who is up first?

Andy (Madison, WI)

From today forward, neglecting keeper value, Mike Trout or Carl Crawford.

AJ Mass
  (11:01 AM)

I'd have to say Trout. We know he's coming up eventually. We, at the moment, cannot be sure that Carl will play this year.

john (mass )

Mornin' AJ! what do u hear about Guerra after takin' that line shot off the head last night?

AJ Mass
  (11:02 AM)

The fact they let him stay in the game was the first good sign. Although "shellshock" may be to blame for the ineffectiveness after the fact. All I've heard so far is positive, so physically at least, things should be fine.

Dave (Long Beach)

Hafner or Parra for a UTIL fill in and Danks and/or Shields for Friday?

AJ Mass
  (11:03 AM)

Like Shields a bit more than Danks, though obviously, if you're on a starts cap, this might be a time to avoid both. For now, I go Hafner.

Joe (Richmond)

Time to bail on Ubaldo?

AJ Mass
  (11:04 AM)

Short answer is yes. I'm not sure I was ever *thrilled* with Ubaldo this year, but clearly if there are better options on the wire, you grab them.

Kyle (CT)

Santiago with another blown save. You think Thornton or Reed gets the call next time out? Who do you think the closer is by the end of this year in the South Side? Thanks AJ

AJ Mass
  (11:05 AM)

I'm not sure that Santiago is toast just yet, but I want Thornton on my fantasy team... even if Reed is the guy who gets the saves (and probably will get the next shot) from a pure value standpoint, Thornton is light years ahead of Santiago, who might not be rostered at all if not for the saves.

Drew (Van Wert)

Who are you taking R.O.S - Cespedes or McCutchen? Why?

AJ Mass
  (11:07 AM)

I go McCutchen. Cepsedes is all or nothing, and I like the chances of at least some of the Pirates to start hitting around Cutch to give him more run producing opportunities as the year goes on.

Tim (ABQ, NM)

Will Below be Detroit's 5th starter. Next week against KC and (can't hit lefties) CWS

AJ Mass
  (11:08 AM)

With Wilk sent down, Below seems to be the guy to get the call until Fister returns at least. I have him as my No. 7 RP right now, so there's promise there.

Rob (Norfolk, VA)

I have read your new column three times and I still don't understand what those rankings are supposed to mean. It says they are based on past stats (not future performance like Cockcroft's rankings) but isn't actual points the best gauge for past performance? A true future performance ranking for points leagues would be more helpful.

AJ Mass
  (11:11 AM)

Total points without taking consistency into account is useless. A SP can get 50 points in one game and (-2) in two others. Another SP can get 15 in three straight games. Which would YOU rather have? If I were to do a "going forward" rank, it might not look too different from Tristan's, given the fact we'd both be basing it on the same statistical models.

Troy (NH)

So are you suggesting to pick up Thornton or Reed? I'm confused.

AJ Mass
  (11:11 AM)

If all you care about is saves, then Reed. If you're looking for who is the better pickup, it's Thornton.

Ruth (Alaska)

Concerned at all about the slow start for Jose Bautista? I feel like the power will still be there but average will be a concern.

AJ Mass
  (11:12 AM)

Not concerned, no. The BB/K rate is still solid and I didn't draft him for BA. The homers will come.

Jeff S. (Vermont)

Scherzer or Danks?

AJ Mass
  (11:14 AM)

Still Max for me. The failures so far don't seem to jibe with how he's throwing. It seems to be luck/mental more than diminishing skills/mechanics.

Jeff S. (Vermont)

2 saves for Strop in his last 2 outings, does Johnson lose the gig or get another chance?

AJ Mass
  (11:15 AM)

You don't lose the gig as a result of being ill, and right now we don't know exactly what is ailing him. Assuming he's healthy, he gets back into the 9th inning saddle.

Robert (Texas)

Despite the two RBI yesterday, Alexei Ramirez is wearing on my nerves...should I pickup Alex Gonzalez or Robert Andino as a backup until Alexei turns it on a bit?

AJ Mass
  (11:17 AM)

I'd be playing Gonzalez right now, yes. Andino, it should be noted, is on paternity leave and may be out a few days.

Mike (MA)

Is Jose Altuve too legit to quit?

AJ Mass
  (11:18 AM)

Very solid. Some regression certainly in his future, but I'm not afraid the whole thing is a mirage.

Fred (Montana)

I see Brandon Beachy finishing as a top 15 pitcher! Do you agree?

AJ Mass
  (11:19 AM)

I think you're a little optimistic there, but no question he's a must own right now. Top 40 with a bullet...

Ben (NH)

Josh Tomlin. Trust him tonight?

AJ Mass
  (11:20 AM)

Have him at No. 3 today and easily could have given him the top spot in Daily Notes.

Keith (AZ)

In a 12 team mixed, would you rather have Altuve or Aviles as your 2B?

AJ Mass
  (11:21 AM)

Almost answered this in the Altuve question... I think the two are very similar in terms of legitimacy and actually like Aviles a little bit more going forward.

Nelson (New York, NY)

Targeting one of these for a trade - CJ Wilson or Gallardo?

AJ Mass
  (11:22 AM)

Wilson. By quite a bit actually.

Jim (Boston)

Ted Lily has got to be the most under-rated, under appreciated, and least respected pitcher in the game. Agree?

AJ Mass
  (11:24 AM)

Strikeouts are sexy. Lilly is not. That's the upshot. I'd be happier with him if his BB/9 were a little more respectable right now, but veterans like him at the back of a fantasy rotation certainly win more leagues than an endless stream of rookies with promise.

Steven P. (NY)

Hard to be underrated and on the Mets, but I think they have two players who are - R.A. Dickey and Daniel Murphy. Thoughts?

AJ Mass
  (11:26 AM)

Dickey is a tough argument to make because he can go south on a dime. Murphy, I think was very hyped in the preseason, and has performed well, but perhaps under some people's expectations.

Launch Pad (Duckberg)

I don't want to freak out, but what's up with Pujols?

AJ Mass
  (11:28 AM)

Just be patient. He will come around.

Paul (PA)

Better to have on your keeper league bench - Trout or Harper?

AJ Mass
  (11:28 AM)

I think Trout comes up much sooner, so that's my pick.

Jay Y (East Longmeadow, MA)

With the recent news of Huff's anxiety issues and DL stint, do you think we'll finally see Belt get consistent playing time? Or will we see more of the Posey 1B Sanchez C alignment we saw yesterday?

AJ Mass
  (11:30 AM)

Posey had caught two in a row, and the ability to rest his knees somewhat and keep him in lineup is not going away. I think Belt gets more PT with Huff out, but not exclusively so.

Brian (Princeton, NJ)

Who gets the call first - Bauer or Trout?

AJ Mass
  (11:31 AM)

If Bauer isn't called up in next week or so, I don't think it's happening for some time. That would be a clear sign the D-backs simply aren't bringing any of the young arms up before the Super-2 passes.

josh (mn)

You really think Dickey can "go south on a dime?" I know he had that bad start but he's been real consistent for two years. like didn't he have 16 straight quality starts before the braves hit him last week?

AJ Mass
  (11:35 AM)

He had a lot of QS in a row, but most with 4 or fewer K's. It seems the bottom suddenly falls out frequently and he needs a quick hook to prevent things from snowballing... just a sense.

Jeff S. (Vermont)

can i get your thoughts on Frenchy? No hot start this year.

AJ Mass
  (11:37 AM)

I don't think it necessarily means he can't come back from this, but certainly he's on my bench vs. in my lineups right now if I can help it.

Troy (NH)

super-2 date? or does it differ for all?

AJ Mass
  (11:38 AM)

Complicated, but "essentially" the date is determined by the number of players who make their debut in a given season. If "nobody" calls up any rookies, then the cutoff date happens later, and vice versa.

Barry (Las Vegas)

Should I continue sticking with Smoak or drop him for Luke Scott?

AJ Mass
  (11:40 AM)

With Smoak, it's been a hamstring issue, and one that might not have fully healed with his few days of rest. I might stick with him for now, but at the first sign of a repeat twinge, he gets the hook.

Tom (Detroit)

Thoughts on Matt Moore today vs the slumping Angels?

AJ Mass
  (11:41 AM)

I'm not going with Moore until I see more control out of him. Period.

Drew (MT)

Is Beltran a sell high candidate, or will he continue producing? He's currently number 5 on the player rater.

AJ Mass
  (11:43 AM)

Tristan and I discussed this in our Vokle chat on Tuesday. I'm certainly not saying to cut Beltran, but of all the top 25 or so hitters, he's one of the least likely (IMO) to continue to be there as the season moves on. So, sell high? If you can get some decent value, I would.

Lee (CO)

Dude throws a perfect game and I can't get a response on him?! Rolling with Humber tonight?

AJ Mass
  (11:45 AM)

What does the perfect game have to do with today's outing? Fluke. Humber also left team this week for birth of a child, so he's just as likely to be riding an emotional high that allows him to coast tonight as he is to completely hit a wall of exhaustion that sees him get booted in 3 or less. What does your gut say?

Brian (NY)

Bench Ike Davis until he comes around?

AJ Mass
  (11:46 AM)

If you have a better option right now, I can't say not to, especially since it is an extended slump. However, try to avoid getting caught in the game of guessing which of two players has a hot week... that's a recipe for disaster.

Jeff (ME)

Which RF comes around first, Jay Bruce or Giancarlo?

AJ Mass
  (11:48 AM)

Jay Bruce.

Andy (NYC)

Ryan Zimmerman going on the DL? He seems as fragile as Youkilis.

AJ Mass
  (11:49 AM)

We'll know for sure today. If he needs a cortisone shot, expect a DL stint that would end by next Sunday.

Nick (OF Help)

I haven't heard anything about Denard Span anywhere this season. Should I jump on him before it's too late, or is there a reason for the silence?

AJ Mass
  (11:51 AM)

He's playing well, about what you can expect from him. Not a "lot" of pop, a little speed. He's pretty much at his ceiling, though, hence the lackluster support, I guess.

Pete (CT)

Whats the deal with Reimold? Killing me in my weekly league!

AJ Mass
  (11:52 AM)

Got the neck spasms. Could be back tonight... could then be out again. One of those frustrating lingering things.

Mac (South Bend)

Aceves, Santiago, Rodriquez or Marshall?

AJ Mass
  (11:53 AM)


andy (ohio)

What's your take on sergio santos? Should I use my waiver claim to pick him up?

AJ Mass
  (11:54 AM)

If you don't need the saves in the short-term...

Brian (NY)

Huff worth picking up for CI depth?

AJ Mass
  (11:54 AM)

I'd rather grab Utley and hope he comes back and play some 1B. Nope.

Tom (Calif)

AL only...pick two OFs from Kendrick, Austin, Rasmus and Boesch.

AJ Mass
  (11:55 AM)

Kendrick and Austin

JF (Ctrl Mass)

Detwiler or Westbrook?

AJ Mass
  (11:55 AM)


Jones (CO)

Have to drop Ubaldo or Kuroda. Who do you hang on to?

AJ Mass
  (11:56 AM)


Mike (WI)

Do you think J.J. Hardy turns it around after a disappointing April?

AJ Mass
  (11:57 AM)

Better than .185, sure. But not banking on big return.

TC (Boston)

Niese or Sale?

AJ Mass
  (11:57 AM)

Close call, edge to Niese.

Chris (Minnesota)

Drop Neil Walker or Ryan Roberts to grab Aviles? 2B is killing me.

AJ Mass
  (11:57 AM)

I'd not fault you for cutting bait on Walker.

J (PA)

Who wins the trade? Lincy/Mark Reynolds or Lester/Aviles

AJ Mass
  (11:58 AM)

Depends on need, but I'd rather have Lincecum side.

Kyle (need help)

Buzzer Beater!!!!! Who to pick up: J Altuve, Kipnis, Aviles, Espinosa. I would be dropping Ackley. Answer this and I'll read your book again!!

AJ Mass
  (12:00 PM)

Aviles for me in that quarter, though I wouldn't be so quick to cut Ackley.

AJ Mass
  (12:01 PM)

That's the final gun, gang. Thanks for the Q's. We're on Twitter (@ajmass) for those I couldn't get to and as always, if you're looking for something to read, please do check out my book. Until the next time, good luck, and may the odds be EVER in your favor.