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July 9, 11:00 AM ET
Chat with Tristan Cockcroft

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:01 AM)

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

Brad (Atlanta)

Buy ultra-low on Giancarlo Stanton? Post-surgery health concerns obviously, but have a big power need in a 12-team league with open DL slot.

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:02 AM)

It depends upon the price, and I'm assuming, naturally, that you're referring to a redraft, not keeper, league. If so, I'd estimate four missed weeks -- meaning all of July and maybe a week of August -- so maybe he'll provide you three healthy, productive weeks in that month, then all four in September. Stanton is probably not going to rank among my top 60 hitters accounting the missed time, but if you can get him on the cheap, sure, go for it.

Ryan (Atlanta, GA)

Is there any reason for me to hang onto Jesus Montero? I have Salty and Montero is just burning a hole in my bench at this point.

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:03 AM)

Keeper league potential, AL-only formats, that's about as far as I can go arguing in favor of Montero. He's a cut candidate, no question, because of the ballpark and the expected length of time he'll need to turn this around.

BORG (COMO)

Should I pick up Lorenzo Cain in a 10 team mixed league? He is playing in KC on Friday.

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:04 AM)

Yeah, I had heard that, but after all that missed time, the setbacks, I'm not investing ... yet. Watch-list player in the format, that's about it.

Matt (Boston)

Is there any justice is this world? Cain starting over Dickey?!! Explain this Cockcroft...

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:05 AM)

(Shrug.) I don't get worked up over the All-Star Game choices. No point. Snubs have happened to year; no idea why they surprise anyone at this point.That said, Matt Cain still had a tremendous first half. It's not like he's a <i>poor</i> choice, he's just not the <i>best</i> -- from the first-half-stats angle -- choice.

Ryan (Va)

Better start for the upcoming week ahead: Tyler Colvin or R Howard? Worried he is gonna sit too much at first...thoughts?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:06 AM)

I agree that Ryan Howard will sit a decent share initially. Go with Colvin for now.

MIKE (TORONTO)

IS TRAVIS D'ARNAUD THE BLUE JAYS STARTING CATCHER IN 2013?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:06 AM)

HE SHOULD BE.

Ryan (Jonesboro)

Was offered Stephen Strasburg and Dan Uggla and for Joey Votto... Is 60-70 innings of Strasburg enough to make this worth it?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:07 AM)

No. I admire the effort on Strasburg's owner's part, but I really do believe in that number of remaining innings. Still little question in my mind Strasburg is on a tighter leash than people believe.

Tim (DE)

Darvish for Josh Johnson trade. Which side do you like?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:07 AM)

Johnson.

Troy (Philly)

THC - Is Stanton on the DL or not? I am having an issue with being able to make a move in one of my leagues. The guy already had surgery - have the Marlins not officially DL'd him?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:08 AM)

My understanding is no, because I have Stanton in LABR and I can't DL him, either. It's one of the frustrations of the game. The Marlins have no real need to DL the player until their next game -- so that's Friday. It's one of the many reasons that I lobby commissioners to make their lineup deadlines as close to the first scheduled game of the week as possible, because fantasy baseball strategy should not be about guessing roster technicalities, it should be about setting the best lineups.

Huston Street (Planet HUSTON)

Who replaces me after I am traded?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:09 AM)

I think it might be Luke Gregerson, on more of a short-term, he's-earned-it, basis. Could be Dale Thayer again.

Brian (Lilburn)

Are the fantasy guys doing a "re-rank" over the all-star break a la the Mid-May rankings?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:10 AM)

Yes. Tuesday, if I understand correctly.

Paul (PA)

Hit Parade preview? - thoughts on Salvador Perez going forward?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:11 AM)

There is no Hit Parade this week as we've got a slew of rankings content due up, and I need at least a couple hours' sleep. Today's the All-2016 Team, tomorrow rankings, keeper top 250 later in the week.Perez probably vies for the top 100 in the next Hit Parade. I believe, from the "he'll bat about .300, hit 5-8 homers," angle. And that's really not bad from a catcher.

The Joe (RVA)

Sale/Rizzo for Dickey. Fair trade? Thanks for your help!

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:11 AM)

Sure.

Matt (Boise)

Keeper rankings preview. Who do you have as your top SP? Verlander?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:12 AM)

It's probably going to be Stephen Strasburg, actually. Could be Felix Hernandez. And I say "could" because I do that as close to the publishing date as possible so I can do the most thorough analysis I can provide. The last thing you want is a list I cobbled together in mid-June, then didn't think about for a few weeks.

Jeff (NY)

Ryan Dempster looked mighty fine yesterday.

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:13 AM)

He sure did. Plenty of reason to have good feelings about him going forward.

Josh (Chicago)

Thinking of making my league a keeper league - keep 3. Is that a good number? Would you do more or less?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:14 AM)

Never, <i>ever</i> change your league's format rules during the season. E-V-E-R, and I'll underscore that, bold it, whatever, for as much emphasis as possible.Keeper leagues are whatever you want them to be. I know of some that keep three. I like the more involved ones, keep 10-15 players, involve salaries/draft rounds. More strategy. The ones that keep three without specs aren't really strategic.

BORG (COMO)

I have McCutchen....do I have the best keeper outfielder????

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:15 AM)

You might, if it's not Mike Trout.

Greg (NYC)

Whats your take on Mastroianni from Min?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:16 AM)

Darin Mastroianni? Cheap steals, not a throwaway in terms of the walk rate. Could help AL-only owners, but that's as far as I'll go (for now). A best-case scenario: Value somewhat like Quintin Berry.

Confused (Inning Limits)

People wonder why there are so many questions about inning limits and this is why. We have one side, which states now is the time to sell guys like C.Sale and S.Strasburg, before the inning caps take effect. Then you have the other side (karabell), stating it is being made more of a big deal than it should. Enjoy the innings and don't worry. Help an owner of both Stras and Sale by clearing this up, please?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:18 AM)

"Gray area." Sorry, it's staying atop the fence, but it's the correct answer. You cannot possibly get a "correct" answer about this topic that uses definitives. I'd be perfectly happy using the Sale/Strasburg innings, limited as they are. But if I could get guys I ranked higher, ones who will pitch 25-40 more frames, I'm going to take the deal.Point being, don't sell on the cheap. But if you <i>can</i> sell, sure.

JB (MI)

Re: McCutchen...do you expect much regression in the second half? Is now a time to sell high if you can guarantee a .300 15/15 hitter in return?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:19 AM)

The .400ish BABIP (it was over .400 last I checked, was in my "Hit Parade" column) is the only thing I really see regressing. He's made adjustments to hit for this kind of power, and I see no reason he can't at least offer you the stats you listed. So why trade?

Andrew (SF)

Kubel for James Shields a fair trade in a vacuum?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:19 AM)

Sure.

Ryan (Portland)

How about an Ellsbury prediction ROS?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:21 AM)

I'm not comfortable projecting much more than 65 games played -- there's risk involved here -- but I see no reason he can't bat .290, hit maybe 5-8 homers, steal 20 bases. He's not quite what he was in the preseason, a top-10 capable player, but I'd call him a top-50 contender.

Bryan (Cincy)

Question about upcoming keeper rankings. Is value for the rest of 2012 a factor? Just wondering if currently injured players (Stanton, Tulo) will have deflated rankings because they will be missing the next several weeks.

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:22 AM)

I rank for a minimum of four seasons, and I'm in the process of tweaking it so that it'll be 4 1/2 -- 2013-16, <i>plus</i> rest-of-2012 -- so their missed time would have such a minimal impact on the ranking I wouldn't worry about it.

Matt (Illinois)

How much regression should we expect from Ryan Vogelsong? His xFIP indicates that it could be a pretty good one.

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:23 AM)

Isn't that what everyone said in the preseason? I forget the exact stats, but I hinted at a possible "regression stat line" for Vogelsong in my "Sixty Feet Six Inches" last week that you could check out. I do recall it wasn't that bad.

peter (quohag)

can you ask your gut when it thinks Wil Myers will be up?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:23 AM)

Gut says "day after Jeff Francoeur trade, otherwise Sept. 1."

Jon (Chicago)

Fister @ BAL or Cahill @ CHC?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:25 AM)

Jon, I honestly haven't mapped the rotations to the schedule yet. It'll be done in the Forecaster, publishing mid-week, but I can't confirm those matchups. If they're correct, I'd prefer Trevor Cahill.And this, again, is exactly why I consider it foolish for any league to force you to make lineup decisions before, say, Thursday. Frankly, I think all leagues should allow moves until first pitch Friday, but I'd accept Thursday. Using today is a poor, poor setup.

Dan Haren (LA)

I am a Top _ SP when I come back from the DL.

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:25 AM)

<i>"When I come back"</i>? I'd say top-30.

Justin (Texas)

why does johnson get so much love in your 60ft rankings each week? he's not exactly been lights out

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:27 AM)

What about 5 wins, 9 quality starts, a 2.93 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in his past 11 starts don't you like?

Welker (Norristown, PA)

You've been a Bauer believer, but was his success against the Dodgers due to facing a crummy line-up, or did you see something different from his first two bad outings?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:28 AM)

I watched a good chunk of that game, and Trevor Bauer's aggressiveness and command were vastly improved upon either of his first two outings. Yes, the matchup was ridiculously in his favor. And maybe he was more aggressive accordingly. I won't deny that. But if Bauer comes out throwing darts like he did in that game, well, then we have something. I sure hope he does. His stuff is good enough to succeed if he's willing to throw it for strikes.

Bubba (Wasteland)

Do you think Lynn will have an IP cap?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:29 AM)

He should. I heard whispers that the Cardinals weren't planning one, but he absolutely should. And "innings cap" doesn't always mean "shut down," sometimes it means that after that number, you're sure not going to want to own the guy, because he'll be pitching fatigued.

John (Philly)

I loved the podcast today, and especially the talk about Billy Hamilton. Will he be in the majors next year? What % chance do you give him of making a big impact in 2013?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:30 AM)

Thanks John, glad you enjoyed. I'd prepare as if Hamilton is a mid- to late-season candidate for a promotion, rather than someone likely to spend the bulk of 2013 in the majors. I think 2014 is the proper time to anticipate his full arrival.

Ben (Toronto)

Worried about strasburg's health long term?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:31 AM)

Sure. But there aren't many pitchers I <i>don't</i> worry about when projecting multiple seasons ahead. So, so few are truly "safe."

Dan (Queens)

Don't these innings limit Q's take on a different angle in the context of a H2H league also? I traded Sale for Wainwright a few weeks back in my H2H league, basically on the strength of knowing that Wainwright would be pitching for me when the playoffs come around... Much different situation than a Roto league

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:32 AM)

Absolutely. I will say: I always advise you just <i>get</i> to the playoffs, then worry about it, but innings-caps pitchers are indeed more of a nightmare in H2H.

rob (myrtle beach)

Hey Mr.TC...at 1B ROS...Cuddyer or Youk? Thanks.

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:33 AM)

I've got Michael Cuddyer ranked higher but not overwhelmed by that. A lot of it has to do with Coors.

John (SD)

KEEPER CATCHER QUESTION!!!! Please rank: Grandal, Norris, Lavarnway?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:34 AM)

That order. Remember that Lavarnway might be a DH -- or at least something other than a catcher -- in time.

Michael (Philly)

Oscar Taveras getting lots of love? Is he on the 2013 Cards roster to start the year?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:35 AM)

I'm a Taveras fan, have noticed the great year (.322/.372/.596in Double-A), yet don't think he'll break camp with the team next spring, no. He'd be a midseason call-up candidate, though I'd say, at his current rate of progression, one of the better ones. Keeper-league sleeper here.

El Guapo (Santa Polco)

Where would S. Perez fit into John (SD)'s question?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:35 AM)

Tops.

Willis (The Bronx)

Do you expect J.Upton will still rank high on you keeper ranks?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:36 AM)

Yes.

Desmond Jennings (TB)

What is wrong with me? Am I BJ Upton or Andrew McCutchen?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:36 AM)

Closer to Upton, but I feel like that's an unfair characterization. The reason he's "closer" is the batting average; Jennings is an on-base, not a high-average, guy.

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:37 AM)

Adding to that: Remember that I'm answering that question taking into account the majority of fantasy leagues, which use batting average and Roto 5x5 scoring, not things like on-base.

Leo Nunez (Miami)

Please discuss my chances of getting saves ROS...

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:37 AM)

Slim to none. Even with Heath Bell struggling. That has been a loooooooooong absence.

dave (boston)

I drafted Rickie Weeks in March and dropped him. He's available on FA. "Draft" him again for the 2nd half?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:38 AM)

If he's coming at no cost -- meaning a player you're not using off the bench much at all -- sure, go for it. But it's speculative and I stress that I haven't seen much to like about Weeks besides empty batting average. Until I see him driving the ball again, he's the kind of player who's "back-of-your-lineup," at best.

DC (CHAMP)

Leo Nunez isn't real. so zero.

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:39 AM)

Semantics. Question was about "Leo Nunez," now Juan Oviedo.

Brian (Baltimore)

Hosmer Dropped... Put in a waiver and Drop Freeman??

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:39 AM)

Hmmm. Yeah, though I do hesitate while saying that. Hosmer's ceiling slightly higher.

Ian (LA)

Has Delmon Young figured it out?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:41 AM)

He might have. Young could be a bargain bet for the season's second half, incidentally. He's got a history: .295/.328/.454 career rates after the All-Star break, 66 points higher in OPS. He has had an .800 OPS or greater three times after the All-Star break. So I'd take a look.

Matt (Boise)

Who is the player that moved up the most in your latest mid season rankings? And the player who as dropped the most?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:41 AM)

Trout and I think Ted Lilly.

Tom (Georgia)

Hughes just dropped. Would you drop Matt Moore or Leake for him

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:42 AM)

Leake.

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:42 AM)

(<i>Cut</i> Leake for Hughes, that is.)

Steve (Chicago)

My SS is abysmal, so trying to revamp for the 2nd half. ROS: Cozart, Hardy, Peralta, Aybar??

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:43 AM)

I'd rank them Erick Aybar, J.J. Hardy, Jhonny Peralta, Zack Cozart.

Craig (Philadelphia)

THC, cousin of the podcast, what are your thoughts on James McDonald going forward? Is this a sell high chance?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:44 AM)

Listen to today's, I've got a new potential name! Let's say "Lenny Harris" is involved...I'm pretty much all-in on McDonald. Added a slider, adopted a more aggressive approach within the zone. The gains he has made are legit, and while there is some regression in order, it's minimal, still likely to keep him within the top-30 starters in the second half. So it's up you you whether you can "sell high" on that. If you're getting, say, CC? Sure, go for it.

JB (MI)

Latos' WHIP in his past 10 starts is around 1.04...just saying.

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:45 AM)

His WHIP <i>is</i> 1.07 in his past 12. My stance on Latos has not wavered all year; I have been pro-Latos and said buy, buy, buy for weeks. Still do.

mike (boston)

josh hamilton &#x26; timmy lincecum for d. jennings, chris sale

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:46 AM)

Tiny bit light on the right side.

Tyler (VT)

Ethier or Morse rest of season?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:48 AM)

Andre Ethier terrifies me. His health history -- and resulting mediocre second-half patterns -- in recent seasons make me seriously doubt his immediate future. I'd sell if I could. I did rank him ahead of Michael Morse, as you'll soon see, but that's only because I've got questions with both.

Pokey (NY)

do you have any hope for dbacks chris young for the rest of the season?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:49 AM)

There shall be a pleasant hot streak at some point in his future, but I have no clue when -- maybe when the Diamondbacks next head to Coors Field -- and I can't say it'll be lengthy enough to fully sway you back to him for the long haul.

Timmy (Scrap Heap)

Seriously, Lincecum is KILLING my team...Would you drop him for Fiers, E. Santana, or a stick of gum?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:49 AM)

How long does the gum last? Has bearing on my answer.

Matt (Boise)

Since the season started have the White Sox came out and said Sale was on an innings limit? It makes sense that they would but I haven't found anything confirming that's their plan (especially since they are in 1st place in the central).

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:50 AM)

No. It was a comment by Don Cooper back in January, but I think he's going to stick by it.

Sam (Cincy)

Any reason to be bullish on Napoli the ROS?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:51 AM)

The most encouraging data I can provide Mike Napoli owners is that he was one of the 10 most productive hitters in fantasy baseball the second half of the season. So maybe there's a trend to exploit there, though I can't say I buy too much into that...

Mike (Tx)

Colby Rasmus the real deal?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:53 AM)

He has begun hitting breaking pitches, so yes, he's somewhat for real. Hot streak was unsustainable, but there's no reason he can't be one of the 75 best hitters in fantasy from today forward. And that's very, very good considering where he was at previously.

Jim (NJ)

Thoughts on Quintana?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:54 AM)

I actually ranked him this time. He's in my top 250 re-rank, albeit at the back end.

Colby Rasmus (Toronto)

Top 75?! I'm going to hit 30hrs with 100RBIs!!

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:57 AM)

OK, so he's going to stick almost exactly to his current pace ... which has earned him a No. 47 ranking among hitters on our Player Rater thus far. I wouldn't argue hard against top-50 over top-75, but let's not overstate the value of those statistics. (Not to mention what I said about the recent hot spell being somewhat unsustainable. All he has done is earn his permanent place in fantasy lineups.)

Shane victorino (Phillly)

What am i worth compared to a starting pitcher?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:58 AM)

Top-40 starter, maybe top 30. Someone in the Lester or Latos range, probably.

Jack (Philly)

Best chance for saves from current non-closer?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:59 AM)

Good question. I gravitate immediately to the teams with closers who might be traded. Brandon Lyon comes to mind.

Timmy (Scrap Heap)

The gum will last 20 minutes...or about as long as one of Lincecum's starts...

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (12:01 PM)

But does it come with a free Frogurt?I've been saying for weeks that I have major questions about Lincecum. If anything you pick up for him has even marginally more speculative value, I say go for it. Really, the only reason he's even roster-worthy today is track record ... and one from a clearly different pitcher then than we've seen today.

Rick (Boston)

If Lopez comes back solid after the break, still taking Lyon first?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (12:02 PM)

Not necessarily. It's a wide-open bullpen, and I'm just throwing a name out there. It's a good question, but I do want to point out that save-speculating, at least in the past few years, always seemed to me easier to do earlier than later in the season. Good arms get closer jobs; most do that sooner than later.

James (Atl.)

Lincecum for Victorino sounds about right. Neither are worth owning

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (12:02 PM)

I would take Victorino in an absolute instant.

BounceBacks (2nd Half)

Delmon, Rickie, Ike - correct order?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (12:02 PM)

No, I'd go Ike first. Otherwise, approve.

Todd Worrell (St. Louis)

Do you believe SRomo will overtake Casillia for Saves in SF at any point during the 2nd Half?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (12:02 PM)

Not unless Casilla gets hurt.

Matt (Cleveland, OH)

Roy Oswalt was two different pitchers last week. His first start was horrendous, and second was decent. Which is the real Oswalt?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (12:03 PM)

Roy Oswalt <i>is</i> the real Roy Oswalt. Look at his declining skills -- age related -- and the ballpark. He's pretty much doing what should've been expected. Performances lying a bit further at the extremes, but the sum total is about right.

Booger (Kansas City)

VICTORINO? Why do you think so highly of VICTORINO?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (12:04 PM)

I don't. But Lincecum stinks.

Jerry (Madison, WI)

When can we expect the next forecaster?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (12:06 PM)

Targeting Wednesday. Need to collect all rotations.On an aside, I've been asked a lot about the Forecaster during the All-Star week -- usually by the people with Sunday/Monday deadlines (why?!) -- and not just this year, and I'll point out that I don't just make up rotations. If a team hasn't announced theirs yet, what value is there in a line of "TBD"?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (12:06 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, enjoy the Home Run Derby tonight, and the All-Star festivities as a whole!