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May 8, 11:00 AM ET
Fantasy Sports with AJ Mass

AJ Mass
  (11:00 AM)

Good morning, gang! We've got yet another hour of fantasy chattage ahead of us, so let's get started. Second cup of coffee firmly in hand... who is up first?

Doug (Athens, GA)

It's my birthday and I want the gift of a trade. I've been offered Lincecum for my Bourn in a 12 team roto. Take it and blow out the candles, or wait for another present?

AJ Mass
  (11:02 AM)

When I say Happy... Bourn is actually in my top 10 in terms of value thus far, but by no means to I think he keeps it up. To trade him away and get a SP like Timmy, I think you can have your cake and eat it too.

Jon (Augusta, GA)

Granderson for Kinsler, which side would u take?

AJ Mass
  (11:03 AM)

Depends a bit on positional needs and who replaces each in the swap. But right now, I like Kinsler better.

Adam (Tx)

Thoughts on Mike Minor in a 10 team?

AJ Mass
  (11:03 AM)

Not there yet. Worth spot-start status for me.

Mike (Corus)

Why hasn't Jason Werth been put on the DL?

AJ Mass
  (11:04 AM)

Probably a procedural thing... they don't technically have to do so if they haven't decided who they are calling up.

randy (chicago)

Should I drop Pedro Alvarez for Middlebrooks?

AJ Mass
  (11:06 AM)

Discussed this on the Fantasy Focus podcast with TMR this morning... I like Middlebrooks and my hunch is that Bobby V sticks with him, even after Youk returns. Pedro will cool off.

Bill (NJ)

Do you see Heath Bell and/or Jorden Walden re-claiming the closer job soon?

AJ Mass
  (11:06 AM)

Definitely not Bell. Walden, given how many injuries that pen has as a whole, has a better shot in my opinion.

Jack (Chicago)

Do you upgrade a starterpitching on Wednesday, Thursday, or Sunday afternoon? Getaway day?

AJ Mass
  (11:07 AM)

No I don't. I get the reasoning, being that a lot of regulars tend to get a day off on those days, but it cuts both ways in terms of run support, and at the end of the day, we're still talking major leaguers here.

Joe (Richmond)

Is Samardzija a must own / must start in all leagues?

AJ Mass
  (11:08 AM)

I would place him as a No. 4 fantasy starter in 10-teamers right now.

Keith (VA)

Drop Chris Sale for K.Jansen? Sale's elbow and role change make me nervous.

AJ Mass
  (11:10 AM)

Tough call here. I have Jansen ranked top 5 RP, before the move to closer. However, I have Sale ranked with more potential value, given his SP status and I think it increases with the move to closer. It's close... but yes, the injury concern leads me to Kenley.

Matt (SC)

Time to give up on Matt Moore in shallow, mixed redraft leagues?

AJ Mass
  (11:11 AM)

He's not startable right now. People think I hate him because I've been ranking him so low on Daily Notes, but come on gang... the proof is in the results thus far. I do think he improves, but until we see it on the field, he's a bench spot.

Shane (NM)

Can you rank: Smyly, Capuano, Detwiler, Kuroda?

AJ Mass
  (11:12 AM)

Smyly, Detwiler, Capuano, Kuroda.

Mark (NY)

Is Dolis worth a roster spot? Seems like a terrible closer options, but I had Marmol so I grabbed him

AJ Mass
  (11:13 AM)

I think Russell could be just as effective, but for now it does seem that the seesaw is in Dolis' favor.

Jeff (NY)

AJ, love your no nonsense approach. Straight to business. Why not give Addison Reed the closer job? Is this more about Sale's elbow?

AJ Mass
  (11:14 AM)

They are concerned with the pitch count and he's already about 1/3 of the way to last year's totals and complaining of soreness. Reed is someone they don't want to put in that role just yet, and if they are moving Sale to the pen, closer seems to be the right spot for him.

Jared (MSP)

With Werth out for a while, is it time to drop him to open up another roster spot or stash him in the cellar?

AJ Mass
  (11:15 AM)

I'd let him go. OF is a position you can replace moreso than any other and let's face it... if it's 3 months, it might as well be the whole ROS.

Sean (WI)

I need to stabilizing my pitching and I have 2 spots available between: Smyly, Smardzija, Niese, or Arrieta. Who are your picks?

AJ Mass
  (11:17 AM)

I'd say Samardzija and Arrieta with Smyly close on their tail.

Donald (Atlanta)

What do you do when a SP comes up with a start against a few of your starting batters? Do you sit the SP or do you bench batters? Hedge your bets and start the SP and the batters?

AJ Mass
  (11:18 AM)

This isn't football. Head-to-head matchups don't bother me one bit. Each hitter can go 1-for-3 with a double and help me, while the SP can throw a 3-hitter with one run allowed (to my guy + RBI) for example.

Lance Lynn (St Louis)

As the latest example of a surprisingly great pitcher, I was wondering: with guys like me, do you prefer to "sell high" or ride the production until I tire/tail off?

AJ Mass
  (11:20 AM)

With a guy like this I certainly entertain offers, but I need to get my trade partner to pony up the goods. I'm happy to ride it out if I'm not getting value in return.

The Dude (KC T-Bones)

Do you think F. Rodney keeps the closer gig ROS or should I be looking to sell high?

AJ Mass
  (11:21 AM)

After a month, I think you have to say Rodney, at least for 2012, is legit. Can't foresee him losing job without a complete collapse.

Ryan (Seattle)

I don't really understand your response to the getaway day question. in a 5x5 league, a SP can score in 4 categories and against a weaker lineup 3 of those categories (ERA, WHIP, K) can be helped. Your response seems to value W above other categories. All things being equal a getaway day start is much better than a Friday night start in most cases.

AJ Mass
  (11:23 AM)

You're assuming the fill-ins aren't going to hit the SP just because they're fill-ins. They're major league hitters, some of whom might well be veterans with a long track record against the SP in question. Or perhaps they are players with whom the SP doesn't quite have a book on... I don't buy the premise that it's an automatic advantage for the pitcher.

Tim (Maryland)

Seems like E. Encarncion is playing way above his head, will he keep this up all year to any degree?

AJ Mass
  (11:25 AM)

Definite drop-off ahead, but not to the extent that I'm actively working a deal. Simply don't believe he finishes year in top 5... but that doesn't mean he can't be top 30 or thereabouts.

Kevin (Indy)

Been rolling with AJ as my catcher and quite happy. Looking forward, Martin, Lucroy and DOumit are available. How do you see these guys for ROY? Should I stand pat for now or make a move? Thanks for your advice AJ!

AJ Mass
  (11:26 AM)

Stand pat for now, since you are happy. At some point, I might consider a move to Lucroy, but that day is not yet here.

Chris (Louisville, KY)

How long before Beltran gets hurt and I wasted the opportunity by not trading him now?

AJ Mass
  (11:28 AM)

Contrary to popular belief, I am not Sylvia Browne. But forget the injury risk (and who doesn't have that) and I still am selling Beltran as soon as I get an offer. Bottom will cave out.

Sean (Madison)

Is David Robertson a top 5 reliever now?

AJ Mass
  (11:29 AM)

In terms of underlying skill set and given the saves that should come, absolutely top-10 material, if not top 5.

Luke (Rhode Island)

Who would you roster with one spot to fill-Marmol, Cashner, or Chisek?

AJ Mass
  (11:30 AM)

Cishek, even though I do think Mujica will get his share of save situations.

Jake (Tampa)

Will Strasburg's value ever be any higher?

AJ Mass
  (11:31 AM)

Yes. He's still on the rise, IMO.

Allison (Austin)

Schafer, Dyson or Campana ROS?

AJ Mass
  (11:32 AM)

Not thrilled with any of those options, but if I had to go with one, it's Dyson.

Adam (Reading, PA)

What are your thoughts on this whole Hamels/Harper situation? Do you agree with the whole "welcome to the bigs" or was the suspension justified?

AJ Mass
  (11:34 AM)

I don't have a inherent problem with the "initiation" and if the Nats had any issue with it, then there are ways they can retaliate. I think the admission was incredibly foolish, and the suspension was totally justified as a result. Be thankful Hamels is not in the NFL, or he may have been suspended for months.

Goose (Chicago)

Why hasn't a standard scoring system for points leagues been established? Does ESPN not realize that the way to draw fantasy footballers to baseball is to create a format similar to what they are used to, H2H points leagues with standard scoring?

AJ Mass
  (11:35 AM)

There most certainly is an ESPN standard scoring system. It's the default when you set up a league, and it makes up the basis of my Vantage Point rankings each week.

Pat (Chicago)

Please rank this group of low end short stops: Scutaro, Greene, Pastornicky, S Rodriguez

AJ Mass
  (11:36 AM)

Scutaro by a slim slim margin over Tyler... then a ways to S-Rod, Greene.

dallas (san diego)

Is Fister above 'your' Wandy line?

AJ Mass
  (11:37 AM)

I think so. I am bummed that I had to cut him in one of my experts leagues because I also have Lee and only one DL-spot. He was a preseason favorite of mine.

Jon (Bmore)

Rank these for AL Only please- Ubaldo Jimenez, Jarrod Parker, Wei-Yen Chen

AJ Mass
  (11:38 AM)

Parker, Chen, Ubaldo.

Roger (Bloomington)

Earlier you said Bobby V will stick with Middlebrooks over Youkilis. Does that mean you think Youkils will be a bench bat, or do you think they'll trade him? Is Youkilis even worth holding on to then at this point?

AJ Mass
  (11:40 AM)

I think he becomes a bench bat, or perhaps they find creative ways to get both in lineup. To me, Bobby V has no "loyalty" to Youk and if Middlebrooks continues to hit, that is all that matters. If Tito were still in charge, I'd feel differently.

Chris (Cincinnati, OH)

Thoughts on David Ortiz?

AJ Mass
  (11:41 AM)

Only thing holding him back in value is the DH-only status. I had him No. 75 hitter in spring and I think I was low.

Loghan (NYC)

Football Q: i have the last pick in my keeper ppr draft (12th)....would you go rb/rb if guys like cj1k, matthews, or even trent richardson are still there at my spot? i am thinking wr is pretty deep this year

AJ Mass
  (11:42 AM)

We should have a Mock Draft up today, as a matter of fact. As you'll see, after top 4-5 RBs, you can wait a long, long time. No need to go back-to-back that early.

Paul (Chicago)

What level hitter do you think I could conceivably land for Heath Bell at this point?

AJ Mass
  (11:43 AM)

Ryan Raburn? Jim Thome? I mean, with the closer role "gone" even for a short time, it's going to be hard to get someone to bite.

Sam (Chicago)

Alexei Ramirez....what's up with that?

AJ Mass
  (11:44 AM)

Ooooooooooo-eee! Will likely get worse before it gets better.

Kyle (Chicago)

Aren't there about 27million reasons why Heath Bell will close again in Miami?

AJ Mass
  (11:45 AM)

You say you are from Chicago... then you know all too well why the No. 1 reason you can't say that with any certainty is the guy wearing the Miami manager's uniform.

Matty (D.C.)

I dropped Jhonny for Hardy... wise move, right?

AJ Mass
  (11:46 AM)

I would not have made the same move, but that's the beauty of the game, isn't it?

Jon (NYC)

What's your outlook on Mccutchen going forward?

AJ Mass
  (11:47 AM)

A struggle. He needs some bats around him to wake up. He won't get enough good pitches until they do.

JAMES (ATL. GA.)

Whats your thoughts on Dirks?

AJ Mass
  (11:49 AM)

From a pure fan standpoint, I simply love watching him play. I don't think he gets enough ABs right now to merit owning in mixed leagues, but in an AL-only? Yes, please.

Kevin Costner (Durham, NC)

Bull Durham the best baseball movie of all time?

AJ Mass
  (11:50 AM)

I prefer your other opus, Field of Dreams and The Natural.

shawn (MO)

Thought Cashner was the closer.....where was he last night?

AJ Mass
  (11:52 AM)

Pitched on Sunday... and threw 39 pitches. He will get a shot, but needed the day off.

Jeff S. (Vermont)

Gaby Sanchez or Paul Goldschmidt?

AJ Mass
  (11:53 AM)

Heart says Gaby... head says Paul G.

Jeff S. (Vermont)

2 chats and 1 podcast today AJ.... working hard I see... All that AND a twitter answer, you are the multitasking man!

AJ Mass
  (11:53 AM)

And a mock draft, too. Plus coaching my son's soccer team tonight...

Evan (Iowa)

Scherzer righted the ship? Or just a mirage that will have more clamoring after his Oakland start this week?

AJ Mass
  (11:55 AM)

Still a matchup play, but certainly headed in the right direction. I do think the worst is behind us...

Jonah (Boston)

Josh Johnson - is there any hope?!?

AJ Mass
  (11:57 AM)

Absolutely. The baseline numbers still look far better than the results. As long as that holds true there is reason for optimism.

Vernon (Wellsville)

When will we see some updated staff rankings for baseball?

AJ Mass
  (11:57 AM)

I can say. Before the end of May. OK? Hurray!

Billy (KC)

If I own Jose Reyes and Andrus, and wanna trade one of them, it's gotta be Reyes, right? Since I can get more for him?

AJ Mass
  (11:59 AM)

Can you? Don't fall into the trap of assuming your valuation of players is equal to that of the rest of your league. With Reyes struggling right now, I'm apt to offer you less.

Joe ( Dallas) [via mobile]

To replace werth in a pts league....de aza willingham,torii or lomo?

AJ Mass
  (12:00 PM)

Josh for me.

AJ Mass
  (12:01 PM)

That's the hour, gang. My, time do fly. As alaways, feel free to reach out on Twitter (@ajmass) though today is a busy day, I do try to get to all. Check out my book "How Fantasy Sports Explains the World" and - good luck, and may the odds be EVER in your favor.