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April 10, 11:00 AM ET
Fantasy Sports with Eric Karabell

Eric Karabell
  (11:01 AM)

Hello all! Welcome to the latest fantasy sports chat session. I am Eric, just a member of the team trying to entertain and inform. Today we've got an hour to talk baseball or, if you like, football, and the goal is to have a little fun and go quickly. So, send in questions and I will aim to answer. Thanks for showing up, we do appreciate it, and let's go!

Eddie (Denver)

Hi Erik - Loved your tweet about pitchers needing to stop hitting John Buck's bat. How do you value him going forward with D'Arnaud looming?

Eric Karabell
  (11:03 AM)

John Buck is not going to do this for long, so be prepared. It's reasonable to enjoy his current ways, but he's 33 and a career .236 hitter. It's going to get bad. And honestly, by the time D'Arnaud is ready, this won't be an issue. My issue with adding Buck is dropping better fantasy catchers like Lucroy or either Montero to get him. In one-catcher leagues it can't hurt you much, because you can always dump Buck in a few weeks and find a guy, but still.

Josh (Philadelphia)

Need a SP to replace Parker. Who do you like out of Cashner, Zito, or Billingsley. Thanks

Eric Karabell
  (11:03 AM)

None, really. I'd keep Parker, though he has not been good and will need to make adjustments quickly. I suppose Billingsley if I must choose, but I would keep Parker.

Ron P (Hartford, Conn.)

Good Morning, Mr. K - Can you talk about Gattis on ATL? Real deal or flash in the pan? Is he even in the majors a month from now?

Eric Karabell
  (11:05 AM)

I don't think it's a lock Gattis sticks, because McCann will play and Gattis isn't like a typical backup. Gerald Laird is. Plus, I think the Braves realize Gattis isn't likely to do this for long. Give him 350 at-bats behind the plate, and occasionally in left field and he could hit 15 home runs. But pitchers are also likely to find holes in that swing.

Dan (Vermont)

In a league with a season starts limit, would you leave Price and/or Hamels on the bench for their next starts? Both have been shaky twice in a row.

Eric Karabell
  (11:05 AM)

I would not. They have track records and will be fine. It's amazing how reactive people are. It's different with Halladay; something is clearly wrong with him.

Bottom Feeder Pitching Staff (Minnesota)

What do u think of Tommy Milone's two start (Hou and at TB) week in week 3/ Desperately need some pitching week to week. I am starting Strasburg, Buckholz, and need two other spot starters since Weaver is out. (points league head to head with QSs)

Eric Karabell
  (11:07 AM)

The Astros scored 16 runs on 22 hits last night, so whenever I see people streaming on matchups I laugh a little. It might work out more than half the time, but plenty of times when you see an intriguing matchup, it blows up. I hate to say it, but those that think Halladay will own the Marlins on Sunday afternoon are going to be disappointed. If Gattis and Buck can homer off him, what will Giancarlo do?

Trevor Rosenthal (St. Louis)

If Jason ends up needing surgery how long is it before I get my shot in the 9th?

Eric Karabell
  (11:09 AM)

Man I hate closers. Even the "safe" ones get hurt, and it just destroys a fantasy team. It's why I don't invest much in them. When Bruce Rondon loses the job, your 18th round pick is no big deal. When Motte doesn't pitch, think about what you could have had. I think Rosenthal should close. The Cards have done this previously with starters like Wainwright. I think Boggs gets next shot or two and we see others like Salas in the picture. But Rosenthal has the best skills. It's just impossible to know what these managers will do, and they rarely tell the truth. Sveum in Chicago says one thing on a Thursday and the next day, it changes.

Lance W (Stamford CT)

I'm a big Allen Craig guy...when he's healthy he's a beast. He's healthy... What gives? Thanks

Eric Karabell
  (11:10 AM)

It's a week. Allen Craig will be fine. And health isn't as much an issue as one might think. When he started playing last season after an injury many players suffer, he missed about 3 games in 4 months.

Brian (Tuscaloosa, AL)

Worried about Edwin Encarnacion at all? He's batting below .100 and just looks a little lost right now. Has your projection on him changed at all?

Eric Karabell
  (11:11 AM)

It's a six month season. If Edwin hit .100 during the second week of June would you bat an eye? Not worried at all. Fantasy owners should barely look at their accomplished players stats the first month.

heine manush (detroit)

Everyone seems to love Dom Brown except you! He's not exactly setting the world on fire, right now. Is he worth cutting for Michael Saunders? Could use a 4th outfielder with a bit of power and speed.

Eric Karabell
  (11:13 AM)

I've been recommending Brown for months, but I think people are a bit too high on the numbers he'll provide. He's fine, a 15-75 guy with the potential for double digit steals. And he should hit for higher average than Saunders. Yeah, I'd take Brown for now, but let's be realistic about the potential at this point.

Brian (Arlington, TX)

Besides Yu, which Rangers pitcher do you like?

Eric Karabell
  (11:14 AM)

I like Holland and Ogando, but don't own them anywhere. Ogando has nice upside but it's tough to rely on someone with so little starting experience.

Rumor (Mill)

Speculating for a minute: If Borbon lands in Houston, does he start and, more importantly, will he be AL only fantasy relevant?

Eric Karabell
  (11:15 AM)

Well sure, he'd get a chance to play and he has skills, but let's realize the Astros don't need to sign every free agent out there. They're losing 99 games regardless, and Borbon isn't really a building block. I kinda like Maxwell in center field, actually.

Vernon Wells (The Bronx)

I can't keep this up, can I?

Eric Karabell
  (11:16 AM)

He hit 25 homers two seasons ago and the power remains, so I don't know why people are so surprised. But more like .260 with the 25-80-10...nothing wrong with that. Just needed opportunity somewhere else.

Luke (Tampa)

You preach patience, and rightly so, at this point in the season on guys with track records (Craig, Encarnacion). Without have everyone list individual players for you, is there someone with a track record, Halladay excluded, that you have seen that DOES concern you?

Eric Karabell
  (11:17 AM)

Honestly it's on an individual basis, and far more likely to be with pitchers because you can see changes in velo, command, etc. Lincecum concerns me. Beckett. Weaver was starting to. Axford always does. But proven hitters... they slump all the time. I mean, you get a hit 3 times outta 10 and you're doing great. Michael Young raised his batting average from nothing to .350 in 2 games... so I don't worry about hitters much, unless it's an Aaron Hicks who isn't ready and can't make contact.

Jon (NYC)

Who do you like in the Houston bullpen since Veras is pitching so poorly? Anyone worth a speculative add for those of us who didn't pay for saves?

Eric Karabell
  (11:19 AM)

Nobody in that bullpen. In fact, I'd just forget about the Houston bullpen. I don't see any Astros getting 15 saves. I liked Josh Fields but he just hit the DL. Perhaps he'll get a chance when healthy. But I can't make much case to own Jose Veras unless it's AL-only or really deep format. I just ignore certain bullpens, like what's currently active in Detroit. The 3 saves Phil Coke might earn before Valverde returns just aren't worth the trouble.

Jed Lowrie (Oakland)

If I stay healthy can I be a top 5 shortstop?

Eric Karabell
  (11:20 AM)

Talent is clearly there, but it's hard to project 140 games from him. But yeah, he's got power. Also not much of a threat to hit even .275.

Dave (Philly )

Since the STEVE JELTZ days, i've been a phillies fan like you, sad to see ROY the other night, the PHILLIES are DONE so many holes.. Starting or sitting Homer Bailey today?

Eric Karabell
  (11:21 AM)

Yeah, this is not close to a contending team, sad to say. I mean, they're holding out hope on Halladay and Delmon Young, which says a lot. Anyway, in Week 2 if I like a pitcher I don't sit them in matchups like today. Homer is one of your guys, use him. Spot starting is dangerous, as Brandon Maurer owners now know.

Chris (NJ)

Alex Cobb, Paul Maholm or Phil Hughes for the rest of the season?

Eric Karabell
  (11:22 AM)

Really like Cobb and Maholm the most, and would own them in 10-teamers. Hughes is ok, but Cobb has K upside and will improve.

Donnie Sadler (Pawtucket, RI)

Hosmer only has five games next week and two of them are in Atlanta. Send him out there or pick up a free agent to fill in? My options are GJones, Moss, Belt, Moreland and Carter. Thanks!

Eric Karabell
  (11:24 AM)

I'm not cutting Hosmer. It would take a lot for me to cut a guy this early. I think I'll steer away from questions like this the final 30 minutes! I mean, Hosmer is gonna hit. I know he might sit a game in Atlanta, but he might not if a RHP is hurling. Certainly wouldn't cut him for those options, though I like Belt and Carter. Jones is on the most dropped list because he had a bad week... same guy that thrived last season. Buy low!

Tim (Miami)

Is Justin Ruggiano worth owning in all leagues? Do you see a 20/20 season?

Eric Karabell
  (11:24 AM)

Yes and I do think he can reach those numbers if the Marlins would stop using Coghlan, who can't hit or field in center.

Dan Haren (Waiver Wire)

I've already been dropped. Am I worth a, late in the order, waiver claim or am I in for a rough year?

Eric Karabell
  (11:25 AM)

Worth a bench spot. Doesn't have the same stuff as 2 years ago, but I don't overrate one tough outing against a good offense.

doseofsoul (sc)

What do you think of J.A. Happ?

Eric Karabell
  (11:25 AM)

I'd leave him firmly on free agency in every league.

JW (MA)

Mornin' EK! Kipnis or Altuve 10team H2H wkly? no need to keep both right? better to roster SP/RP? thx

Eric Karabell
  (11:26 AM)

I'd go Kipnis, for he has power upside as well, but you can't drop Altuve. Trade him after what he did last night!

Anthony (Cali)

I am concerned about Lincecum. Would you trade him for Maholm or Niese right now?

Eric Karabell
  (11:26 AM)

I sure would. This is not a surprise that Timmy is struggling and it's not likely to change.

marc m (joliet, il)

Hey Eric, Do you start CC Sabathia in his next start? Or are you wary about his velocity still?

Eric Karabell
  (11:27 AM)

He just shut out the Tigers. No concerns about CC but let's be clear, not every start will be a winner. But in September you'll be glad you kept him.

Paul (Denver)

Do you get tired of using the phrases "don't worry" and "you're overreacting" and "it's only one week?" With that said, what do you think of LaRoche? I rode him in the playoffs last year and have him as my UTL guy this year.

Eric Karabell
  (11:28 AM)

I do. I just don't understand the fascination with tinkering with teams. It's a loooooong season. I wrote about LaRoche today. Great example of lack of patience. Hit 33 home runs last year, has a bad week and is on most dropped list. It's foolish. I'd add him for sure. Going 30-100 again.

MArk (nyc)

In an OBP league would you pick up Hafner over Alonso or Belt to use at Util?

Eric Karabell
  (11:29 AM)

I'd stick with Belt, but I know that's not a popular opinion since everyone's cutting him. They'll be adding him again soon. With Hafner, he faces only RHP and durability is an issue, but as I wrote with him a few days ago, he's gonna flirt with 20 home runs and take walks.

Ted (Spencerport, NY)

EK,J. Montero, Lucroy, or Arencibia for the season?

Eric Karabell
  (11:30 AM)

Lucroy, then JMontero then Arencibia. My thoughts on catchers haven't changed since the season started. Lucroy just started slowly. He'll be back on added lists soon.

Richard (NY)

Any concerns with Victor Martinez? How long do you think he needs to shake off the rust after missing 2012?

Eric Karabell
  (11:31 AM)

No. And there's no rust. It's 21 at-bats.

Big Puma Fan (Texas)

Lance Berkman is looking healthy and is producing in the DH role in Texas. Assuming he's able to stay healthy for 500 ABs, what's his ceiling?

Eric Karabell
  (11:31 AM)

It's a pretty big assumption, but there's another 25-90-.290 season in him for sure. Still has pop, still takes walks.

Eric (Oxford, MA)

When Freddie Freeman comes off the DL I'll have to choose between Ike Davis, Kendrys Morales, or Anthony Rizzo as a drop.Who would you drop?

Eric Karabell
  (11:32 AM)

Morales, though the way Ike looks I don't see what will be different than last year. But for now, Morales.

Dave (Erie, PA )

In a keeper league just traded Miller and Valverde for Chapman and now the trade has been protested, do you think thats unfair considering its a keeper league where you keep your whole team forever?

Eric Karabell
  (11:33 AM)

It's impossible to say what is unfair, but leagues with veto power are always a mess because the other owners have agendas. They wish they had made the trade. If that's Shelby Miller this is fine. Chapman will probably never make a big league start. He's a closer, and they don't have that much value, frankly.

Bob (NY)

Please discuss Brandon McCarthy. I knew I signed up for very little strikeouts. But I thought that came with a very good ERA & WHIP. Hold on McCarthy or cut bait?

Eric Karabell
  (11:36 AM)

I don't think he's a great starter for a 10-team mixed, but in a deeper format I'd certainly be a bit more patient. The D'Backs have options, so if he's hurt, we'd know it.

Rob Zombie (MA)

Granted he's been brutal, but should Halladay still be owned in a 12 team league in a vacuum?

Eric Karabell
  (11:36 AM)

I would bench him and wait a few more weeks to see if he figures it out. But I would not use Halladay this Sunday in Miami. He's a mess. Even a bad offense will hit him.

Mike (Philly)

Can you talk about service time and when we might see some of the prospects getting called up?

Eric Karabell
  (11:38 AM)

In general the first week of June is a wise barometer, but sometimes it's a week or so ealier. But for example if Kinsler or Moreland was hurt tomorrow, the Rangers would not wait on Profar. The Reds are only waiting for Cingrani to have an open rotation spot. The Rays, they wouldn't call up Myers even if they had need today.

Ryan (DC)

Name Game: Iwakuma or Halladay?

Eric Karabell
  (11:38 AM)

Can't play name game with Roy. Too many variables. But we need to forget about all the numbers pre-2012 because the high end skills are not there. He can be better than Iwakuma, but who knows if it happens. HE doesn't know, so for me to speculate. Wisest thing to do is bench him and wait.

Carmen San Diego (Where In the World)

Opposite of the panic motto. Who off a hot start would you be targeting now? Justin Upton got a shot a 40 hr?

Eric Karabell
  (11:39 AM)

I had that Upton as my No. 10 guy overall, so I can't say this is a shock. More overreacting to 2012 numbers that got him to fall. 40 might be a bit much, but he's obviously legit.

Josh (OH)

Do you think Tony Cingrani will be as good as he has been in the minors for cincy?

Eric Karabell
  (11:40 AM)

No. I think he'd allow the occasional run in the bigs. Totally different. Look at the lineups he's faced. They're not even close to on par with Astros, Pirates or Marlins.

James (Boston)

Would you give Julio Teheran another chance or has he used them all up?

Eric Karabell
  (11:41 AM)

I think one outing is a bit too early to give up on, don't you?

LittleRon (WV)

Closers don't have much value??? In 5x5 scoring saves are 10% of your total score. With teams normally starting 2 closers a good closer like Kimbrel or Chapman may determine 5% of your total score. Where else is that true?

Eric Karabell
  (11:42 AM)

Verlander helps in 4 of 5 pitching categories. Most closers help, in great detail, in literally one. And closers change all the time; last season 2/3 of the Opening Day closers lost the job. Guys like Verlander, doesn't happen except in rare Halladay cases.

Matt (DC)

I just found a chat of yours from seasons-gone-by where you say Jhoulys Chacin "could be an ace soon!" Do you stand by your old comment (including the exclamation point)? He has looked good in his first two starts.

Eric Karabell
  (11:43 AM)

I think the ace part is a bit much, but he has the skills and is the one Colorado starter I would consider investing in. But again, 2 starts is hardly a safe sample size.

Chris (Boston)

My team is batting .096 so far this week. Sometimes I hate fantasy baseball.

Eric Karabell
  (11:44 AM)

Hopefully next week it hits .350. It happens.

mike (minnesota)

To give middle relievers a fairer shake, what statistic would you add or change? We've debated replacing Ks with K/9 or adding holds to a 5 x 5...

Eric Karabell
  (11:45 AM)

K/9 is certainly a better stat than K, because it takes into accounts innings. Holds is no better a stat than saves. Don't use it.

Big Mike (staten island )

pick one Eric my man. would you drop Beckett for Jaime Garcia, Clay Buchholz, or Justin Masterson?

Eric Karabell
  (11:46 AM)

I'd drop him for Buchholz. Beckett really is not that good anymore. He can fake it occasionally because of home ballpark, but velo is down, he's not the same guy.

Stephen (Los Angeles)

Kris Medlen looked good ... but do you think he stops walking people and starts striking them out any time soon?

Eric Karabell
  (11:47 AM)

I didn't think he looked good in either of his starts, actually. Bad command so far, but he should get better. A definite guy to hold onto.

Brandon (STL)

I have Braun and have been considering trading him only because he does have this cloud around him of a possible suspension, if anything even happens with this biogenisis thing.... Have an offer of CC Jhey and Oscar Taveras on the table. Whatcha think?

Eric Karabell
  (11:48 AM)

It's a fair offer, but enough of the suspension talk. Not happening. No chance of happening.

Frank (San Fran.)

So you are not a believer that Tim Lincecum can turn things around?

Eric Karabell
  (11:48 AM)

I believe that's what I said, yes. Still a strikeout guy, but it's going to get worse before you see the 2010 guy again.

Brian (Mexico)

What are your thoughts on stashing Arenado in a keeper league? He looks major league ready and hes crushing the ball in AAA.

Eric Karabell
  (11:49 AM)

Everyone hits at Colorado Springs. Sorry, but I think the Rox will be patient. They're winning like this, so why rock the boat.

Debed (MIA)

How do you feel about punting the saves category? I have 3 closers who I don't like, and can drop them for Hellickson, Harrison and Detwiler. Would you do it?

Eric Karabell
  (11:50 AM)

I have no issue punting saves in general, but it's a bit early to do it, and those guys aren't exciting enough or worth doing it for. Remember, punt a category and it's tough to win. You basically need other teams to not be as good so you have the chance. Try to finish middle of the pack in saves would be my advice.

YU (Texas)

Have Kershaw, Dickey, Sale, and Samardzjia. Would you trade Yu for Matt Holliday?

Eric Karabell
  (11:51 AM)

It's certainly fair if you need bats.

Phil (Pittsburgh)

Weaver-ugh. Picking up a starter for today : Kendrick v Mets, Porcello v Tor, Davis v Min or Stults v LAD?

Eric Karabell
  (11:51 AM)

I'd wait to pick up a starter until tomorrow, honestly.

Chris (Connecticut)

Mike Zunino ETA? Rumors are Hultzen is getting call so Mariners not concerned with Super 2.

Eric Karabell
  (11:52 AM)

I'd be all for it. I think the Mariners should try and worry about the money later. But Zunino can't get the call unless Montero doesn't hit long term.

J. Baker (Newark, NJ)

Eric, how soon do you think until Dan Straily gets called back up to the majors? I'm holding on to him in my reserve spot in an AL 4x4 league and am wondering whether I should just cut bait.

Eric Karabell
  (11:53 AM)

I don't think the A's like him very much, to be honest. Straily was never a top prospect, his 2012 in the minors is viewed skeptically. If the A's liked him, they would have demoted someone else, but it was always Straily they were sending down, which tells us a lot.

Luke (pa)

Is Alfonso Soriano worth a roster spot in a standard 12-team mixed league?

Eric Karabell
  (11:54 AM)

Yes he is. The numbers he provided in 2012 are reachable again.

Mark (San Francisco)

Daniel Murphy or Josh Rutledge going forward?

Eric Karabell
  (11:54 AM)

Rutledge has upside and the home park. I think with Murphy he is what he is, but at least see if Rutledge is better.

Jordan (Boulder)

Thoughts on Jean Segura?

Eric Karabell
  (11:55 AM)

Big fan. Surprised others aren't on board. Has 30-steal potential and maybe 10 homers. People viewed the Alex Gonzalez signing this winter as a sign the Brewers hated Segura. No, they just wanted Gonzalez to play at first base, which is embarrassing!

Anthony (New Jersey)

Eric, what do you think about Josh Hamilton's slow start this year? WIll he be the hitter he was i n the past or should I sell high???

Eric Karabell
  (11:56 AM)

He's streaky. Bad for h2h formats, but in roto, you wait. Numbers will be there even if he hits .390 with 15 homers in May.

Kevin (Charlotte)

Would the mariners bench Smoak and have Kendrys play 1B and move Montero to DH in order to call up Zunino?

Eric Karabell
  (11:56 AM)

Possible, but it's too early to stick a fork in Smoak.

Gary (Denver)

Hughes or Hultzen?

Eric Karabell
  (11:57 AM)

Hultzen has never started a MLB game. I'll take the proven guy for now. Yeah, is it possible Hultzen emerges as a stud... it is, but it's premature.

Eric (New York)

Pick up Kuroda or Maholm off the wire?

Eric Karabell
  (11:58 AM)

Each should be owned in all leagues. That's crazy. Kuroda first though.

ryan (nyc)

you said you like Segura, do you like him more than someone like Everth Cabrera?

Eric Karabell
  (11:58 AM)

Oh yeah, far better player. All Everth does is run, and Segura will do that.

Mike (RI) [via mobile]

Who's a good RP that's not closing that won't kill me while I hunt for Axford's replacement?

Eric Karabell
  (11:59 AM)

Adams, Robertson, Broxton, Storen, Herrera, Cook, etc...

Matt Moore (TEXAS)

You starting Matt Moore tonight in texas if you are well ahead in pitching categories for the week?

Eric Karabell
  (11:59 AM)

I don't sit Matt Moore.

Chris (Connecticut)

Giancarlo...Giancarlo? Concerned or not?

Eric Karabell
  (12:00 PM)

And we'll end there! Thanks to all for the fine questions and best of luck if you've still got drats pending, or in your efforts to be a little patient with current teams! Have a great day!