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July 18, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with Eric Karabell

Eric Karabell
  (3:00 PM)

Hello all and welcome to the latest ESPN Fantasy sports chat session. I am Eric, and we've got an hour to discuss baseball or football, whatever you like! Thanks for showing up and let's have some fun...

Chuck (Durango, CO)

Will Trevor Bauer help me this year? I'm in second place in a 12-team H2H mixed league, and I need someone reliable in August and September. Drop him for an unsexy old reliable like Wandy?

Eric Karabell
  (3:02 PM)

I would. We know Bauer has infinite upside, but he's shown it in about one of his first four outings. Some guys need a bit more time in the minors. I wouldn't be shocked if Bauer is back in the minors this week, after he walked five in his three innings Tuesday. Will he be a star? Yes, but Wandy is safer this year, and if the Astros move him, perhaps he even wins some September games.

Alex (Florida)

If I lose Infante to AL in trade which 2Bman would you add: Theriot,Forsythe or M.Ellis? Thanks

Eric Karabell
  (3:03 PM)

Certainly possible the Marlins start moving veterans, and Infante is a guy overachieving some and he's not young. I'd say Theriot; no power but generally safe in batting average and can steal a base.

ghost (rider)

what do you think of picking up Salvador Perez at catcher and dropping AJ

Eric Karabell
  (3:04 PM)

Seems reasonable to me, but Perez is not going to be hitting .364 for long, either. I like Perez. I like Pierzynski. I'd probably take Perez the rest of the way, but it's close.

Mike (Seattle)

Rizzo or Hosmer ROS, and going forward in a keeper league

Eric Karabell
  (3:05 PM)

I'll still take Hosmer, but certainly he has been frustrating this season. Rizzo has pop but he will cool down some.

Paul (Denver)

Which closer has less risk Frieri or Whilhelmsen or K-rod? I'm putting in a waiver claim for the first two and dropping Axford.

Eric Karabell
  (3:06 PM)

I'd go with Frieri over Wilhelmsen, though I think each will keep the closer role. Certainly the Mariners at some point could go back to League. Angels are a better team, more save chances, you know. As for Axford, I understand dumping him, but I also think he will save more games the rest of the way than Francisco Rodriguez.

Jared (MSP)

Which 2 do you trust the most? Plouffe who is cooling off, Rasmus who is also cooling, and Craig who may fight for playing time with Lance B back. Thanks for the advice!

Eric Karabell
  (3:07 PM)

I like all three. Plouffe has shortstop eligibility and will probably hit 30 home runs. Rasmus is streaky. I think Craig will still play plenty even with Berkman back. He's the best hitter here and even with 4 starts per week, you want him.

Steve (LA)

Chris Carter or Lance Berkman - the rest of this year.

Eric Karabell
  (3:08 PM)

Berkman, c'mon! Carter will not stay this hot, but he does have natural power.

Mendel (Cleveland)

Which of these are you not starting today: Fister, Josh Johnson, Clayton richard, Latos, vogelsong and Samardjy? Would you make a bumrush on pitching stats in a 5x5 roto league, and start all?

Eric Karabell
  (3:10 PM)

Only one who scares me is Fister. The others have proven themselves this season and in Samardzija's case can strike people out, but I think Fister must be hurt to be pitching this poorly.

Daniel (NY)

Do you see anybody running away with the closer job in either Miami or Minnesota?

Eric Karabell
  (3:11 PM)

In Miami, I think Heath Bell is back closing before August. In Minny, I think it's a committee left/right with Perkins/Burton. There's little reason to expect Capps to return to closing anytime soon.

alex (dc)

ignore the fact its an intra divisional trade, could the mariners get olt and profar for the king?

Eric Karabell
  (3:12 PM)

Not a chance. First of all, the Mariners aren't moving him, though I enjoyed the articles about it today on ESPN. Second, Profar isn't going anywhere. I could see the Rangers moving Olt for Greinke or Hamels, but Profar is staying put.

Matt (KC)

Which KC prospect has a higher ceiling? Moustakas or Hosmer

Eric Karabell
  (3:12 PM)

I think it's Hosmer, still. But at some point if he's hitting .200 we'll all have to reevaluate.

Ben (Auckland)

Any word yet on Brett Lawrie after he took that dive?

Eric Karabell
  (3:13 PM)

I heard the Russian judge gave him a 9. No, I think he's fine and it says a lot about him that the Jays moved him to No. 3 in the order with Joey Bats out.

Mike (Minnesota)

How much would you be willing to give up to acquire Jose Bautista given his injury status? Would you still seek his services or stay away?

Eric Karabell
  (3:14 PM)

I would not pay the same amount that I would have a week ago. The injury concerns me. I know they said just a 15-day DL stint... but I don't buy it. Go get him if the price is down, but there is major risk here.

Daniel (NY)

Do you envision the rangers trying to move Andrus or changing somebody's position?

Eric Karabell
  (3:14 PM)

They have 2 years to worry about it. Andrus is moving, either position or in trade.

Dave (WI)

HOw long is Braun gonna be out with this injury?

Eric Karabell
  (3:15 PM)

I haven't heard he'll miss more than today.

Jim (San Fran)

Seriously the Phillie are ten games under .500 and you just babble on about the Phillies everyday on the Podcast. Phillies are DONE Bro

Eric Karabell
  (3:16 PM)

Perhaps they are, but people are interested in them, and that's why we discuss it on the show. Plus, they recently lost 10 of 11... what if they now win 10 of 11? Still DONE? People are way too reactive. It's July. The Cardinals made up a 9-game deficit on Sept. 1 last year and won the World Series.

Daniel (NY)

Your colleague Buster Olney just tweeted that Lawrie is headed for XRays.

Eric Karabell
  (3:17 PM)

Doesn't mean anything is broken. The team says precautionary. If something is broken, obviously the story changes.

Revolution (SOCAL)

Is Mike Trout on pace to have the greatest rookie season of all time? in the last 50 years? 20 years?

Eric Karabell
  (3:17 PM)

Well, not Ted Williams, but of the past 50 years, I think so. And he's showing no signs of slowing down.

Adam (PA)

For the injured Joey Votto, would you deal Freeman and Phil Hughes?

Eric Karabell
  (3:17 PM)

In a second, yes.

Tim (Madison)

A lot of talk of Justin Upton getting traded. 1) Do you feel he gets dealt? 2) Would such trade affect his value?

Eric Karabell
  (3:18 PM)

No and no. I think it's just talk and the Diamondbacks are nuts to consider moving him. Just having a tough year. Could win MVP in 2013.

Dave (Chicago)

Of all the mouths to feed in New England, who loses the most value with the addition of Lloyd?

Eric Karabell
  (3:19 PM)

I think Lloyd's being way overrated. Brady shares the wealth but Welker and Gronk and Hernandez are safe.

Tom (LA)

Is Ian Desmond legit? I can keep him for $1.

Eric Karabell
  (3:19 PM)

Yes, that's a great price for a 25-homer hitting shortstop who also runs. Wow.

Will (Alabama)

Is Romero done? Getting beat up again today. Hate to drop him, but yuck. Lincecum? I have both. Talk about disappointment.

Eric Karabell
  (3:20 PM)

I dropped Romero in a 10-team league a month ago. Something obviously wrong with him. If the Jays hadn't lost the other FOUR starters from the rotation I bet we'd be hearing about an arm injury for Romero. He's taking one for the team.

Jim (San Fran)

What if the Phillies win 10 out of 11? Okay how about we wait for them to actually do that instead of playing the what if game. Teams 10 games under .500 aren't playoff contenders Bro. Not worth discussion until they get to .500

Eric Karabell
  (3:21 PM)

I don't think they're playoff contenders today. I just refuse to give up on them, the Mets, the Diamondbacks or other teams. It's July. I think you're missing the point.

RJ (Philly)

EK, Can you give me some info on Justin Ruggiano? He has been hot, is he worth a pick up for either Stubbs, or Quentin?

Eric Karabell
  (3:22 PM)

Ruggiano has already started slowing down, because he's not a guy that can hit .300 - yet alone .350 - for long. But he has been a 20-20 guy in the minors so that part is legit. I see him losing playing time fast, perhaps even before Stanton returns. I'd keep Stubbs.

Will (Philadelphia, PA)

Eric: I have been an avid listener of the Baseball Today for the last few years. I've got to ask, though: do you regret being so adamant back in late 2010 that Felix Hernandez did not deserve to win the AL Cy Young award because he didn't reach 15 Wins?

Eric Karabell
  (3:24 PM)

My argument never had a thing to do with his win total, and I did think he was deserving. That July I was skeptical he'd come close, but the way the media pushed him even the voters got the point and eventually voted for him. Anyone that has listened to the show knows how I feel about the wins statistic. Tells us nothing.

John (NYC)

Best rookie season ever? 49 HR's is going to be one hell of a hard rookie season to compete with...for an affordable Votto replacement, rank Goldschmidt, Napoli, Morse, Freeman rest of this season, and rank them for next?

Eric Karabell
  (3:25 PM)

Trout is on pace to shatter the rookie mark for Wins Above Replacement, the McGwire season included. It's not all about the home runs. Morse, Napoli, Freeman, Goldschmidt, now and in 2013.

Jared (MSP)

Jim really loves the word bro... Not sure I can say I am a fan of it!

Eric Karabell
  (3:25 PM)

It's a clown discussion, bro.

Eric Parent (MA)

ROS at 3B.........Moustakas or Alvarez?

Eric Karabell
  (3:25 PM)

Moustakas. I wrote glowingly about Alvarez the other day, but that doesn't mean I'd take him over the Moose. Alvarez was awful at Coors last night... hitless and whiffing.

ZK (London, England)

For the record the official MLB twitter reports that Brett Lawrie's x-rays were negative, and he's just day-to-day at this point.

Eric Karabell
  (3:26 PM)

I think fantasy owners WANT to panic (not you, of course) and that's why people overrate things like this. So Lawrie misses a few days. The season is six months long. No worries.

Blake (South Sioux City)

Would you take Ben Sheets over AJ Burnett or Matt Moore?

Eric Karabell
  (3:27 PM)

No, I would not. I'd rank him third here. The guy missed 2 calendar years and it's not just durability that's an issue...people think he's an ace. Career ERA is 3.77.

KD (HOU)

Altuve rest of the season?

Eric Karabell
  (3:28 PM)

Thought about blogging on the Astros... one of the most embarrassing July lineups I've seen in years... Marwin Gonzalez and Scott Moore hitting 2nd and 3rd? Wow. Awful. Altuve is slipping some and yes, I have concerns for his second half.

Peter (NC)

Would you take a QB with the 3rd pick in a PPR league that awards 6 points for all TDs?

Eric Karabell
  (3:28 PM)

No. I would take running backs 1-2-3. But then, sure, Rodgers makes sense. I'd probably go Calvin fourth there, perhaps MJD.

Mike (San Diego)

Fill in the blank: In a redraft league, I, Eric Karabell, would trade Andrew McCutchen straight up for...

Eric Karabell
  (3:29 PM)

Depends on need. Can't say I'd move him 1-for-1 for ANY pitcher though. Would have to be Braun or Trout right now. But if I could win this year and could get an ace and reasonable offense back, sure, anyone is worth trading to win.

Justin (Redlands, CA)

ROS: Jose Altuve or Aaron Hill?

Eric Karabell
  (3:30 PM)

Definitely Hill. Power and speed, veteran guy, good lineup around him. No worries with him.

Mike Trout Owners (Everywhere)

I keep waiting to wake from this dream....

Eric Karabell
  (3:31 PM)

Honestly, I think he has a good shot to finish 2012 as fantasy's top player.

CJ (NY)

Eric - I love your stuff and need your insight. Who is the better long-term keeper - Tulo or Pujols? Thanks so much.

Eric Karabell
  (3:31 PM)

Well, each will likely be in my top 10 for 2013, but I say the shortstop.

Eric (Chicago)

McDonald getting hammered in the 1st inning...down go the Pirates...on their way to their 21st losing season in a row.

Eric Karabell
  (3:32 PM)

That's a bit negative, no? Of course, I don't expect the Bucs to make the playoffs, but it can still be a good season. As for McDonald, it's Coors. I wouldn't panic.

Fitzy (Mass)

Hey EK! No love for Trumbo?

Eric Karabell
  (3:33 PM)

I think I ranked him better than anyone else in the July rankings and I blogged about him from Kansas City for the HR Derby. I'm probably one of his biggest fans on the fantasy staff, noting his plate discipline, etc.

Josh (MN)

With Halladay finally off my DL do I drop T Hudson who has been on and off, Franky L with a mean slider, the upsided Fiers or mister Anibal who is streaky?

Eric Karabell
  (3:33 PM)

Probably Fiers. No way this will last. But Liriano isn't exactly safe, either.

Mike (WI)

What are your thoughts on Lorenzo Cain? Is he a better option than Pierre or Berry ROS?

Eric Karabell
  (3:34 PM)

Yes, I would take Cain over both of them. He'll play and he has upside as a potential 20-20 guy. The others do not. And Berry isn't nearly as good as he's looked.

Mike (Mpls)

How far is Billy Hamilton from the majors? Are you kidding me - 100 + SBs?!!

Eric Karabell
  (3:35 PM)

He won't steal that many in the big leagues. Frankly, he'd be a leadoff upgrade for the Reds right away... but he's not coming up this season. Perhaps in Sept. to pinch run.

Mitch (NJ)

Eric, I am SO close to cutting Hosmer, yet I still have a bit of hope.. why should I NOT pull the trigger and cut him?

Eric Karabell
  (3:35 PM)

Because of the reason you drafted him so high or dealt for him.

Albert Pujols owners (Everywhere)

Can you tell people to stop offering us crappy deals for him. He's hitting .330 since May..

Eric Karabell
  (3:37 PM)

I wrote that back in April. And people said he was done. That's basically why we don't argue with people that disagree with our work... when it happens to prove correct, owners don't remember. Pujols is a top-10 player. Always has been.

Alex (Chicago)

How much longer is Parnell closing for the Metropolitans?

Eric Karabell
  (3:38 PM)

He's not a good pitcher. Could lose closer role any day now. Perhaps they trade for Broxton, who knows.

Dan (Pittsburgh)

Who will be called up first, and who will have a more significant impact...Wil Myers, or Starling Marte?

Eric Karabell
  (3:38 PM)

Myers. Should be up now, but might have to wait for Francoeur to be traded/benched. I don't see Marte being ready for the bigs or getting that chance soon.

Mike (Mpls)

Do you feel Andrew Bailey closes once he returns?

Eric Karabell
  (3:39 PM)

No, I do not. Aceves has been fine. Would be better served as a multiple-innings guy, but I doubt he gets changed with a month to go.

Erik (PA)

Thoughts on Carlos Villanueva ROS?

Eric Karabell
  (3:40 PM)

My thought is this will end badly and I wouldn't want to own the guy when it happens.

Tony (Miami, FL)

FOOTBALL!! I got the 5th pick in a 12 team PPR. Who would you rather have at 5? Mathews, Rodgers or Calvin? Gut says Mathews.

Eric Karabell
  (3:40 PM)

Go with your gut, then. I think case can be made. Our rankings are all over the draft kit.

jay (st louis )

closer speculating. gregerson, lyon, holland. am i missing anyone?

Eric Karabell
  (3:41 PM)

Works for me. I think Crow in KC has a better shot to close than Holland. And in SD, Thayer is probably next.

Rob (Philly)

Alvarez just went yard. He's making up for all the owners he scorned last year.

Eric Karabell
  (3:42 PM)

30 home runs, .230 batting average. We'll take it.

Jeff (Rochester, NY)

My gut tells me that if I have the chance I'm drafting Shady regardless of my draft spot. I won't enjoy the season without some Eagles on my team

Eric Karabell
  (3:43 PM)

Makes sense to me. I'll have so many teams that I might own every player, but I don't feel the need to ever draft from my fave team. I'll watch and pay attention to any game.

Daniel (NY)

Alvarez = Pena right?

Eric Karabell
  (3:43 PM)

Without the walks and the defense, I suppose case can be made.

Jimmy ((Coco Beach, FL))

Eric, guy just offered me Lester & Fister for Longoria

Eric Karabell
  (3:43 PM)

Pass. But it's possible Longo is out another month.

ZK (London, England)

Following up from Rob in Philly's comment on Alvareza? would you take him over Chris Davis?

Eric Karabell
  (3:44 PM)

Oh yeah, I would. Davis was overachieving for months.

JIM (NYC)

Is Gyorko up soon?

Eric Karabell
  (3:44 PM)

The minute Chase Headley is dealt. I wouldn't expect any power when Jedd comes up, though.

Carl Crawford (Boston)

What you didn't see last night is I was secretly wearing my Rays jersey underneath my Boston one...I was all sorts of inspired.

Eric Karabell
  (3:45 PM)

Hey, I'm rooting for ya, but for all those that want to concede that Crawford is great and back to his old self because of 2 games... sorry, I can't do that. His durability didn't get better this week. Still an issue.

Eric Hosmer (Kansas City)

Why do you still believe in me? I can barely hit the ball out of the infield most nights.

Eric Karabell
  (3:46 PM)

You're right. He's awful. Should have never drafted him.

Danny (Sprignfield)

Little bit of help here...AJ Griffin worth a look in a 14 team mixed league? Been pitching well and there is nothing on the WW.

Eric Karabell
  (3:46 PM)

Short term only. A's have nice schedule for another month, but then I'd be concerned.

Jim (NJ)

Alvarez or freeman ROS? H2H points league. K's are anegative.

Eric Karabell
  (3:47 PM)

If K's count, then Freeman obviously.

Jeff S. (Vermont)

Desmond has been DTD for 3 days now, does he get the start tonight, or is he out a few more days? Saw he PH last night.

Eric Karabell
  (3:47 PM)

I wouldn't worry too much. The fact the Nats used him means he's not going on DL.

ZK (London, England)

Injury panic time! (I'm joking.) David Ortiz is going on the DL.

Eric Karabell
  (3:48 PM)

Saw that. Not sure anyone helped by this in Boston lineup. I mean, they batted Nava third last night. Lineup construction is overrated but that is just ... ridiculous. Awful.

Logan (KC)

Glad to see you admit you're wrong on Hosmer. He's awful. I don't care what the underlying stats say, he's Gordon Beckham 2.0

Eric Karabell
  (3:49 PM)

Whatever you say!

Chris Davis (Orioles)

Am I better than Todd Frazier for ROS?

Eric Karabell
  (3:49 PM)

No. I'll take Frazier.

cory (pa)

what to do with lester?

Eric Karabell
  (3:50 PM)

Nothing. Be patient. He's still striking people out, still has offensive support. It's a bad stretch but you don't drop him.

Ben (TX)

Can you pretty please discuss the effect of the shift on Hosmer's performance? Could it be a large reason for his low BABIP? Please I would love to get an expert opinion on this.

Eric Karabell
  (3:51 PM)

I think it's clearly a factor but it's not the only reason Hosmer is struggling. He has to overcome this. If guys like Carlos Pena and Ryan Howard can...

Mike (Buffalo, NY)

Before this chat is over, can you give me a breath of hope for Chris Young? He has been absolutely awful! Definitely not worth his original draft value.

Eric Karabell
  (3:52 PM)

Certainly not. But an established 20-20 guy, have to assume he gets on track at some point. But he'll never hit .300.

CJ (NY)

You mentioned Andrus moving earlier - wouldn't an Andrus for J. Upton trade appeal to both teams?

Eric Karabell
  (3:53 PM)

In theory, but the Rangers don't need to move Andrus (and can't) this year. And a SS is almost always worth more than a corner outfielder. Plus, as appealing as Upton is, he's not hitting. No guarantees a change of scenery does a thing.

Wil Myers (Any day now)

What are chances Francoeur gets dealt before 7/31? If he is not dealt, will I get consistent ABs in Sept?

Eric Karabell
  (3:54 PM)

I think people are overrating what Myers will do in the big leagues this year. He's hitting for power in the minors. Lots of guys do that. I think he'll succeed but ... look at Hosmer.

JOE (NY)

Gimme a player that you really want on a few of your fantasy football teams?

Eric Karabell
  (3:54 PM)

Kenny Britt. Blogged about his value today.

Shaun (Dayton)

Is Werth worth a stash?

Eric Karabell
  (3:55 PM)

Wow. Blogged about Werth today as well. And yes.

Anthony Gose (Toronto)

You like me ROS? And whether or not injury or trade opens up time for Starling Marte this season, do you prefer him or me for 2013?

Eric Karabell
  (3:55 PM)

No hint that the Blue Jays will play Gose regularly, and even if they do, no power. Might not hit for average. But in 2013, Gose over Marte.

Gustavo (Miami)

S. Perez or M. Montero? My BA could use a bump...

Eric Karabell
  (3:56 PM)

If you add Perez now, just know he will not hit .360 (or even .300) the rest of the way. I'd take Montero.

Andrew (DC)

Thoughts on Capuano rest of the year? Was considering trying to sell high for infield help.

Eric Karabell
  (3:56 PM)

I really don't think he's gonna fall apart. Some regression coming, but he's better than people think.

Paul (the library )

What's your favorite way to eat potatoes?

Eric Karabell
  (3:57 PM)

Mashed with a steak.

Justin Upton (ARI)

Would you trade me for any of these players in a redraft .... Josh Reddick, Kevin Youkilis or Ellsbury?

Eric Karabell
  (3:58 PM)

Today? No, though I would certainly think about Ellsbury.

tim (oakland)

ROS will Lincecum look like the guy against Hou/LAD (his only good starts), or all his other starts this year? Or somewhere in between?

Eric Karabell
  (3:58 PM)

I am buying.

Tony (NY)

Are all fantasy analysts too full of themselves to simply admit they were wrong on Hosmer this year? It's July 18 and he has shown no signs of turning it around!

Eric Karabell
  (3:59 PM)

I admit I'm wrong plenty. Like Fernando Rodney, who saw that one? I know all the reasons to avoid Hosmer. And I'm buying. If me being wrong and admitting it is important to you, I think you're missing the point why we are here!

Drew ((NY))

Since Ruggiano's playing time is going to get cut into should i drop him for Alex Gordon?

Eric Karabell
  (3:59 PM)

Yes. Fast.

Jim (Indiana)

Im glad this whole help chat has been about Hosmer. WHO CARES? Answer some real questions

Eric Karabell
  (4:00 PM)

Ha! And on that note, I want to thank everyone for sending questions and reading and reacting. This was and always is fun. Have a great day and best of luck with your teams, regardless of sport. Adios!