Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

June 18, 11:00 AM ET
Chat with Tristan Cockcroft

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:00 AM)

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

Daniel (NY)

Worried about Holliday?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:03 AM)

I do think he'll miss a couple of games this week, or at least the risk is noticeable, though that's a plus for Allen Craig. Plan accordingly; I can't imagine Holliday's owners in anything but shallow mixed would have a player who warrants using ahead of him.

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:05 AM)

One sec folks... will be right back

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:10 AM)

Sorry about that. Had to look something up quickly, but you know me ... I will make it up to you! Let's resume.

Ben (DC)

Carlos Santana -- time to cut the bait? Thanks!

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:11 AM)

No. Way too disciplined and powerful a hitter, and remember, that's not the easiest injury to recover from. More patience is required.

Dan (GA)

You think B. Butler starts the 2 games vs. lefties in the series @HOU?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:13 AM)

Yes. Or at least that is how I would plan. The Royals have a rough choice at first base in non-DH games, and it makes a heck of a lot of sense to straight-platoon it.

Matt (Steinway)

After yesterday are you starting Felix this week or make him prove it one more time? Good matchup @SD

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:14 AM)

Well, remember that I gave Felix Hernandez my seal of approval for his matchups this <i>past</i> week. So it's no change for me, I'm encouraged by his most recent performance and that's an outstanding matchup he's facing this week.

Troy (NH)

"a plus for Allen Craig." I was under the impression he's playing everyday. Not the case?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:18 AM)

Well sure he is, but I still wonder whether part of that has to do with the injuries that have plagued the Cardinals at the corners this year. And the more there are, the more stable Craig's at-bats in the short term, which benefits him in the long term because he's got the bat to convince them to never sit him again once the vets are healthy.

Cooper (Boston)

Do you like Matt Moore ROS over any of these guys: Romero, Latos, Bucholz?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:19 AM)

I haven't done my careful examination of Moore versus Latos or Romero for my "Sixty Feet Six Inches" column yet, but that's the ballpark value estimation, off the top of my head. Quick rank -- you can see the official, researched ones tomorrow -- I go Latos, Moore, Romero, Clay Buchholz.

Knish (NYC)

Garret Richards?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:21 AM)

Download <i>and</i> listen to today's podcast, Knish. We discussed Richards, and his future with Jered Weaver coming back. I'm pro-Richards from a skills perspective; an under-the-radar prospect that I think has a place in larger leagues. Problem is, he might still be sixth in the pecking order, so that's more "future" than "next few weeks." We shall see!

Randy (NY)

With David Ortiz now having 1B eligibility, I would imagine his trade value goes way up. What would be a comparable SP for his value?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:23 AM)

He's not eligible there in ESPN leagues, only seven games played so far. I think you could reasonably target a top-15, maybe top-20, SP.

Matt (NY, NY)

Does being a Yankee fan have anything to do with me not being ready to fully trust Phil Hughes?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:23 AM)

Yes, I'd say it probably has a <i>lot</i> to do with it. Watch Hughes pitch, he's got more life on the fastball and his confidence is building accordingly. That's not an "all-in" statement, but as a pitcher who could make a run at the top-50, sure, I could see it.

Rich (Weymouth,MA)

Any reason to hold on to League any longer. doesn't look like they want to give him the job back?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:25 AM)

The Mariners have said they see League getting his job back eventually and I agree with that assessment. He hasn't pitched especially poorly since his demotion, except for that June 10 outing against the Dodgers. But I've said League is in drop discussion for a few weeks now. Non-closers, especially those on mediocre teams and with low strikeout rates, aren't great stashes.

Ahmad (Richmond)

When are your updated keeper rankings coming out? What rank do you forsee for Trout and Harper?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:26 AM)

Wow is there a growing demand for keeper ranks, though what I'll stress is that I've never done them before July 1, I do them twice a year and I'm not eager to change that scheduling of the piece. I'm guessing here: Harper's going to be higher than Trout, and both are going to be in my top 25 players.

Chuck (Durango, CO)

Your ranking of Matt Harrison was fairly strong. Do you see him as a matchups, below-the-Wandy-line type or is he better than that?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:29 AM)

I think he leans more to the "streaks" category than straight matchups, so that means he's ill-placed in a Wandy discussion. Right now he's above the "Wandy Line," but there could come a time, if his command wavers, that he'll slip back beneath it.

Tom (SC)

Stream Harang v. OAK or Kuroda v. ATL tomorrow?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:30 AM)

Hiroki Kuroda. Everything seems to be going right for the Yankees right now, he's at home (yes, I know, ballpark, but still, home games are an advantage), and he's facing a team he pitched well against in the past week.

Hassey (Boston)

With 2 poor starts back to back, who do you see rebounding...Zambrano or Hellickson? ROS?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:31 AM)

I'd bank on Jeremy Hellickson bouncing back more easily than Carlos Zambrano. But anytime Zambrano struggles to this magnitude, I get scared. That history...

Will (Kalamazoo)

Time to buy in on Colby Rasmus?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:34 AM)

Hmmmm... maybe. That's my "hesitant-ye... no, I'm still simply hesitant." This is Rasmus' A-number-one problem: He's a .196 hitter with a 33% miss rate against breaking pitches (curves and sliders). He just can't hit 'em, and that's going to cap his breakout potential. I still side with this being a hot spell that'll fade, and that he's a sell high. But I'm watching closely for improvements to that weakness.

Seth (NY)

Is Plouffe anything more than a hot streak?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:35 AM)

I think it is, but "good talent" becomes "outstanding talent" during a hot spell. It means that today, Plouffe is a must in any format. In a month? He might be your back-of-lineup type, but more likely in the class of AL-only/deep mixed. And remember, some of his value comes from the position eligibility.

Ryan (Columbus)

Why don't the Rockies get Colvin more ABs? He seems to hit when he gets consistent at bats, and the Rockies could use the offense.

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:36 AM)

I have absolutely no idea and have wondered the same thing. I've rostered him in deeper leagues hoping skills win out.

dc (dc)

Thoughts on Trevor Cahill? He's looked excellent recently...

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:38 AM)

He indeed has, and I'm still on the bandwagon that's taking Cahill to a "latter-day Tim Hudson" kind of career. Think Hudson in his Braves days, that's what I see Cahill being for the next half-decade or so. Cahill's not using his curve as much, so the strikeouts recently are puzzling (he usually uses the curve for K's), but he's generating tons of grounders and his breaking pitches are sure "on" right now. Enjoy it. And yes, I do think he can be borderline ESPN-standard the rest of the way, though as always, being picky with matchups is smart.

ricky (boston)

how concerning is Beachy's injury?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:39 AM)

I think of concern, if he truly has bone chips. Could be an operation in there (those aren't as bad as reconstruction), but we'll find out soon, I am sure. For now, DL him, keep your fingers crossed, but get those contingenry plans out.

Eric (CO)

Worried about Samardzija recent outings and possible innings limit? Trade before his value drops?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:40 AM)

I have all year, my Samardzija critics have scattered back under the floorboards and I'd say you're probably too late on a sell-high. Give it a shot, but you kinda answered your own question here...

John (SF)

What kind of SP should I target to receive for Kenley Jansen?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:41 AM)

I would go to Madison Bumgarner's or Adam Wainwright's owners and ask, "Hey, whaddya say?" Aim high. Always aim high with the strikeout-rich closers. And if you <i>must</i> be talked down to the Yovano Gallardo tier, OK, it's a debate, but maybe you must if you've got a pressing need.

Speculator (Wild West)

Is Jacob Turner worth a roster spot and start for Thursday's tilt with the Cards? 12 team mixed keeper league

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:43 AM)

Roster spot? Yes. Active status in fantasy? No. Look at Turner's command rates in Triple-A: 4.07 BB/9, 5.79 K/9, and if you add the Class A work, they're still not great. I'm going to make him prove it to me, but then I admit I've never been the biggest fan of Turner as a prospect. Good, not outstanding, youngster.

Brian (Portland, ME)

Salvador Perez, this kid was quietly hyped right up before his injury, any thoughts on him as he's mashing through rehab?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:44 AM)

He's a batting average kind of guy, and I won't go further than that at this stage of his career. These are the types of players I like to roster, because I prefer the cheaper-priced catcher who can't hurt you, while spending the excess elsewhere, but in Perez's case there might have been too much hype in the preseason. Think .290, decent RBI/R potential.

Josh (Silver Spring)

will james ever shield me from his WHIP?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:46 AM)

Terrible. And I do think Shields is a buy-low. He has a 67.6 LOB%, 13.7 HR/FB%. Those hint a bit of bad luck.

Morgan (Bar Review Lecture)

Love your chats! Do you think Wade Miley can keep it up?... the bar exam stinks

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:47 AM)

Yeah, I actually do. He's a complete enough pitcher that his splits (righty-lefty) should stay fairly close, he throws strikes (2.03 BB/9) and he generates a healthy share of grounders. He's not going to finish with a 2.39 ERA or 1.04 WHIP, but he also shouldn't regress to a degree that should severely damage either number, either.

Jemile Weeks (Oakland)

Am I really this bad? Are my brother and I headed for fantasy irrelevance?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:48 AM)

Aren't you both <i>already</i> irrelevant? #questionsfromApril

Ryan (NY)

Youkilis droppable at this point?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:49 AM)

Yeah, it's worth a discussion. I do believe that a change of scenery might do Kevin Youkilis some good, but what I'd ask is, how many fantasy teams in our standard format can afford to keep a player like this stashed for what could be another 30 days, for the prospect that he <i>might</i> turn it around elsewhere?

John (Israel)

What do you think about Ryan Cook?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:50 AM)

Like him, like the situation, like that he's with a team that has historically handed jobs to lesser-known names with the stats that justified a closer's opportunity. This is reward for performance in my opinion, and Cook is an underrated value in fantasy accordingly.

Haze (Alaska)

Why would Harper be above trout in your keeper rankings?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:51 AM)

Well, it depends upon the years I'm projecting, and for all I know I might flip-flop them. I didn't write the piece yet, remember, and I can say they'd be awfully close. Gut says that if I'm projecting through 2016 -- I think that was about the time frame I used the last time -- I see Harper's ceiling being substantial, slightly higher of the two. It's nothing more than that.

The Whaler (Erie, PA)

Dustin Pedroia hot streak coming? I'm starting to notice he puts up a large portion of his yealry stats over a ridiculously hot 6-8 week stretch. Being hurt never stopped him before, I think he is buy low baby!

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:52 AM)

If anyone could go on a tear despite injury, I'd put Dustin Pedroia on a very short list of candidates. But I'll say this: It's asking a lot of him to have to be that consistently outstanding playing at less than full health. One of these times it's not going to go well, and that risk has been accounted in my recent rankings of him.

Steve (Minnesota)

What's the deal with Matt Capps. Shoulder inflamation sounds scary, and if capps is out for some time, who's next - perkins or burton?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:55 AM)

Minneapolis Star Tribune report has Capps due for an MRI, and he'll be re-evaluated Tuesday, though Ron Gardenhire expects his closer back by that day. (I'm not as optimistic.) Paper also reports a matchups approach to saves in Capps' absence: Perkins and Burton.My opinion skews from this report: I think Capps' best-case scenario in the health department is what Santiago Casilla recently endured, day-to-day status for a good week. And I think Glen Perkins has earned the next save chance, and warrants a pickup wherever possible.

Chris (Cincy)

I traded for Giancarlo Stanton and now he's in major slump. Thought he turned a corner. What's up?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:56 AM)

This is Giancarlo Stanton. It is something I have said throughout his career, and it is something you must accept when/if you own him. I can promise you this: Stanton's hot spells are going to produce stats competitive with any player in the entire game. Period. Sit tight.

jeff (bartlett)

how isnt jason hammel top 45 right now

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:57 AM)

1) He has two quality starts in his past seven games.2) He has dealt with some minor injuries in the past month.3) He's an Oriole. (And yes, that's relevant, because the Orioles play in a division loaded with offensive talent, so his prospects for success are a little lower than, say, your average member of the NL West.)

Adrienne (St. Louis)

Please tell me - do you think that Janssen will hold onto the closing job in Toronto once Santos returns? Would you trade him now for a top-75 starter?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:59 AM)

I think he can. Will he? Hmmm, another couple weeks of outstanding performance would tilt my answer to "yes." If you're in a position to speculate, I'll sell you on Janssen being a smart long-term investment. If I could trade him today for, say, Doug Fister? Well, I'd make that deal.


Mauer - worth a play this week or do you sense something larger?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (12:01 PM)

I can't stand when a player who, after missing recent time with one injury, suffers a new injury in his very first game back in the lineup. The Twins and their local papers make it sound like Mauer will play Tuesday. I say plan on him being out 1-2 games, and judge your lineup accordingly. Which means he's probably still a start, seeing as catcher isn't a position rich in alternatives.

Joe (Cleveland)

After Jacob Turner...what prospect are YOU most excited about in fantasy?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (12:02 PM)

Trevor Bauer. Also: Danny Hultzen? Next name to mind.

Daniel (NY)

What do you think of Dillon Gee?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (12:02 PM)

Matchups pitcher. I won't go further than that. For this week, I'm OK with using him. (Home vs. BAL)

Nathan J. (Geneseo, IL)

Tim Lincecum and Dustin Pedroia for Hanley Ramirez. Which side do you want?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (12:03 PM)


Ben (TX)

Cruz or Stanton ROS? Pretty similar players

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (12:03 PM)

Giancarlo Stanton's owners won't like that comparison; Stanton's injury history, at least, isn't quite to the level of Cruz's. I prefer Stanton.

John (Dallas)

Is Oswalt worth picking up now in a standard 10-team mixed league? What say you?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (12:04 PM)


Nick (Owego)

AGon and Dee Gordon for Hosmer Lester and Cahill fair?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (12:05 PM)

"Fair," yes. Interesting deal, really. I'm so conflicted on some of these players that I'm unsure which side I'd really want. Leaning towards the latter, though, but let needs drive this decision.

Adam (PA)

Samardzija and Addison Reed for Dempster? Am I (owner of Sam and Reed) giving up too much?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (12:06 PM)

I think you could command a little more than that, but it's not worlds off if you cannot.

Zach (NH)

What's the deal with Liriano? Is he back, or just a flash in the pan?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (12:07 PM)

He will break your heart. Liriano's recent hot spell has coincided with a meaty portion of his schedule -- lots of light-hitting competition -- and his control hasn't exactly been pinpoint even during that stretch. Enjoy it, but you can be sure he's going to have some awful outings in his future. (Not Wednesday though; I love the @PIT matchup.)

Ian (LA)

Jered Weaver gonna get a start this week?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (12:07 PM)

Might take Garrett Richards' turn on Saturday.

Tom (Boston)

Would you accept Allen Craig and Justin Upton for Zack Greinke and Jason Heyward?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (12:08 PM)

Another interesting trade. I'm OK with either side; give me the former two.

Nelson (My Bedroom)


Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (12:09 PM)


asa (oakland)

12 teamer, is zobrist, stubbs and janssen too much for cano?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (12:09 PM)


Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (12:10 PM)


Chris (Pittsburgh)

Is McCarthy ranked so low this week because of the injury risk. He'd be my one 2 start guy- Would need to sit Vogelsong or Pettite

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (12:11 PM)

Correct, it's about the injury risk. I ranked either alternative higher, so unless you're in some league that's crazy skewed towards volume (the two-start thing), I'd stick to my ranks.

Ryan Zimmerman (DC)

Can you figure me out?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (12:12 PM)

Not in the time allotted to answer such a question -- I'd want to take a closer look at the peripherals and our pitch data -- but if you'd like, I can in "Hit Parade" this week! A lot of people asking about Zimmerman today, so just give me a heads up if that's a pressing issue as his owner. (Twitter best for that.)

Jim (Braintree, MA)

Deal Pence, Sale and Cueto for Harper in a keeper league? Really appreciate the advice.

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (12:13 PM)

I'd have to have specs to determine that and, frankly, the specs would have to be absurdly skewed towards making Harper the anchor of your franchise to make that a clear "yes." Going for it is an admirable thing, and I think this is a total white-flag deal. (Though that might be the spot you're in?)

Eric (Missouri)

Thoughts on Freeman and Swisher this week - injury status?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (12:15 PM)

Both are question marks for Monday, though I'll stress that I haven't closely followed Freeman's status over the weekend. I'd call him iffy, though I can say that I know Nick Swisher himself admitted concern he'd need to miss time. I'd be surprised if he plays Monday. Those in shallow mixed probably should seek an alternative to Swish.

Tommy (Long Beach, NY)

Who am I asking for in a dynasty league for Justin Upton right now ?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (12:17 PM)

I would most certainly not be trading Justin Upton in a dynasty league right now, and in fact, I'd be trying to deal <i>for</i> him if I could. As his owner, I would not find any deal acceptable that lands me less than a top-25 overall player, unquestioned, whether that's for 2012 alone or for the next several seasons combined.

Daniel (NY)

We know you are a Yankee fan, but what are your favorite teams in other sports? (Pro or College)

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (12:19 PM)

(Football) Giants, Devils. I shall stress that much of my sports fandom was founded upon the teams whose games my dad first took me to as a kid. Good memories. My dad was never a sports fan, not in the slightest, yet he was and is always completely supportive of my interest, and my career. It's a day late, but always worth saying (again) even late: Happy Father's Day, dad!

Tony (NY)

I'm hungry

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (12:20 PM)

I am too, so let's call this to a close for the day. Thank you for all your questions, and sorry if I couldn't get to yours. Take care everyone, best of luck to you in your matchups this week, and don't forget, AJ Mass and I shall join you again for our weekly Vokle video chat tomorrow at 2 p.m. ET. Hope to see you then!