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May 6, 11:00 AM ET
Fantasy Sports with Tristan Cockcroft

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:02 AM)

Good morning everyone! We've got an unexpected early game today, as the rescheduled Chicago White Sox at Kansas City Royals game from Friday begins this afternoon at 2:10 p.m. ET. Make sure to get those lineups in, but first, let's help answer your questions about them. Who's leading off?

Mike (Philly)

Give me a list of names that will be closing by ASB?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:04 AM)

There isn't an obvious "this gig is bound to change hands shortly" bullpen right now, besides that of the Boston Red Sox, and their top fill-in candidate (Andrew Bailey) is currently injured. I'd toss Junichi Tazawa's name as an under-the-radar candidate, and I'd also nominate Kenley Jansen, David Hernandez and A.J. Ramos as pitchers who will need to get looks at some point later in the year.

Justin (Boston)

Dee Gordon...does he stick around?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:05 AM)

I don't see why not, and remember, I'm the guy who cautions that Gordon isn't a very good hitter. Frankly, I was surprised he didn't get a look to begin the year, when Hanley Ramirez was hurt, so now that he has, I'd buy for a pretty decent length stretch.Just remember: You are <i>only</i> buying Gordon's stolen-base percentage. He's one of the greatest one-category examples in the history of Rotisserie baseball.

Andrew (NY)

I am thinking of starting McCann over Miguel Montero this week? Too soon?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:07 AM)

Too soon. The Diamondbacks have seven games as well, and while four of them come against left-handers, don't forget that Montero isn't <i>totally</i> lost against them: .259 AVG, .767 OPS in 2012, .250 and .681 so far in 2013.

Joe (North Cackalack)

Arena do looks good. What does the Sultan think?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:09 AM)

I'm prepared to boost his rankings stock to the low teens, or close to the top 10 at his position. At the time of his debut, remember, I had him about 15th-16th. A week's action doesn't change a lot, but he's here to stay and relevant even in 10-team mixed.

Mike (NYC)

You had Iwakuma in the Mid-50s among SP. The way he's picthings, shouldn't he be higher? What are you looking for?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:10 AM)

I'll have him higher this week; I admit that I've discounted his strikeout ability, because my projections account for the fact that he averaged only 7.0 per nine in Japan. If he's capable of more than eight per nine, then, sure, he belongs in the top 40 at his position.

AdamSmith (Broomfield, CO)

Is CGomez bonafide?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:11 AM)

Not the batting average. Everything else, absolutely.

McCheese (nyc)

Wil Myers a top 40 OF for 2013?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:11 AM)

If this ranking pertains to the remainder of the year -- games of May 6 until year's end -- then, sure, I can build that case (and am tentatively planning to in this week's "Hit Parade").

Justin (NC)

THC, Starling Marte is now the top OF on the player rater. Do you think he can finish the season around .275/15/30?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:12 AM)

Capable, yes. I'm pleased to see that you're projecting a reasonable batting average. Of these three stats, the 30 steals is the safest projection, and I'd say the batting average and power are only slightly inflated. It's possible he's a .260 hitter with 12-homer power.

Daniel (Alabama)

Would you start Chris Tillman or Brandon Morrow this week?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:14 AM)

Tillman. You should read my rankings in the Forecaster. Every Friday, I rank the top 75 starting pitchers, and if the question pertains to one-start pitcher A versus one-start pitcher B, those rankings easily answer it. It's when you're putting a two-start versus one-start pitcher that the debate is warranted; those can vary in value by league. Forecaster best estimates value across all formats.

nando (Boston)

Thoughts on Yunkiesky Betancourt?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:17 AM)

Eric Karabell and I discussed this in one of our videos last week, and Eric also covered it in detail in his blog. Those will do the question much more justice than I could here; I can merely summarize that Betancourt's outburst is <i>entirely</i> a product of his home run/fly ball percentage.

Scott (LI)

Liriano cant possibly burn me again, can he?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:17 AM)

Sigh.

Brandon (Cincinnati)

Is it woah crazy crazy to think Darvish is the #1 SP this year?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:18 AM)

Nope. But that's partly because the value difference between, say, the No. 15 and No. 1 pitcher in the preseason often represents the amount that factors like BABIP, HR/FB%, LOB%, etc., influence the traditional five Rotisserie stats.

Dan (MA)

Buy or sell Carl Crawford?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:19 AM)

Any sale of Crawford is based upon a fear that he'll get hurt. If you've got any other lingering concern driving your decision-making, you're making a mistake.

Simon (NM)

Would you unload Kemp if someone is willing to give you 75 cents on the dollar?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:19 AM)

Absolutely not. Ninety cents? Maybe.

Steve (BAL)

Fernandez past his adjustment period?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:20 AM)

Jose Fernandez will be discussed in detail in this week's "Sixty Feet Six Inches." I can't answer that in detail in this space; need to check the stats to be sure. It's entirely possible, though. He's got ace-caliber skills (down the road, that is) and maybe he's adapting quickly.

Bob (Fort Lauderdale)

Ozuna now, Yelich shortly. Jose Fernandez poppin'. Perhaps the future isn't so glim for the Marlins.Your thoughts T.C.?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:21 AM)

The immediate future is incredibly gloomy for the Marlins, but I agree that they have some intriguing youngsters coming up, making 2014 at least a fun team to watch. By the way, I think Christian Yelich will get a look by the All-Star break, if he heals soon and has a hot couple weeks first. He might've gotten Ozuna's call had he been healthy now, in fact.

Brandon (Cincinnati)

Dusty says I couldn't see yesterday - sounds a little concussiony? Any concerns about me heading into the week?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:23 AM)

As Phillips' owner in an important home league, I can say firsthand that I'm a bit worried, though not to the point that I can panic and sit him. (You'd have to be in a shallow mixed league with ridiculous depth for that.)Let's remember: Phillips told the Cincinnati Enquirer "You all shouldn't worry about me. I play hurt all the time. I'll be in there tomorrow."

Cj (CT)

BJ Upton. 3-2-1 GO!....

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:25 AM)

Streaky player. Go look at his June 2012. It's not like it's much different than what we saw in April 2013.

Dave (CT)

As a yankees fan you must be able to speak about PHIL HUGHES. The K/BB rate looks great and guess what! Last 3 outings NO HOMERUNS!! Are we witnessing a breakout??

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:28 AM)

Oh, I've noticed and I can talk about Hughes. People shied from him late in the spring because of his injury, but look at the K/BB: 4.86. And his FIP is more than a run beneath what it was a year ago. Hughes is always going to be prone to home runs -- ballpark contributes -- but in his walk year I don't think his full-year paces are far off.

Max (Maryland)

What is a reasonable expectation for Corbin?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:31 AM)

I think Patrick Corbin has an excellent chance at being 2013's Wade Miley (referring to his 2012). He's a command specialist who could post a 3.50 ERA the rest of the way, but there's nothing wrong with that even in a mixed league.

Benny (Tucson, AZ)

Good morning THC! Thoughts on Ozuna (Mia) and Arcia (Min)?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:33 AM)

Both well worth the add. Jim Callis had a good writeup of Marcell Ozuna's skills on Friday -- go check that out -- and I'd agree with Jim in that Ozuna's power is legit, maybe he could hit 15 homers the rest of the way, but he'll probably hit adjustment stages and finish with around a .250 batting average.As for Oswaldo Arcia, I think he's a somewhat similar kid, except that he's a bit more polished/experienced, he's probably a little safer in terms of batting average (think .260s) and streaks, and he's got a little less raw power potential.

Jay Bruce (Cincinnati)

Plenty of doubles but nothing going over the wall. Concerned for me ROS?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:34 AM)

Nope. Bruce is among the smartest buy-low candidates in the game.

Gordon (WA)

Is Buchholz legit? Or is it just the spitballs making him a top pitcher?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:37 AM)

As always, it depends upon your definition of the word "legit." A pitcher who has fixed his issues and is likely to post a sub-3.30 ERA the remainder of the year? Sure. I'm on board.

Lex (Chicago)

How bad is Peavy's back? Is he bound for the DL?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:37 AM)

It's simply my opinion, but I would prepare my team for this week assuming a Jake Peavy DL stint is forthcoming. He wouldn't start for me anywhere, not even AL-only leagues.

Eric (NY)

Are you concerned about Niese??

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:39 AM)

Yes, from the walks/command angle. Those numbers are way off what he did in 2011-12. I've got Niese on a team or two, and he's sitting for me until he straightens it out. You've got every reason to be bothered; not fluky.

Andy (Nashville)

What are your thoughts on Dan Straily this week and going forward?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:41 AM)

I'm not prepared to start him yet in 10-team mixed with innings/starts caps; he's a streaming option if that strategy has relevance in your league. Beyond that, @SEA is a solid enough matchup to use him in 14-team (or so) mixed and AL-only, and at least he's the sixth starter for a team with an injury-prone Brett Anderson as one of the five ahead.

RA Dickey (TOR)

Am I the first ever droppable previous year's Cy Young Winner? 10-team

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:43 AM)

Absolutely not. Have we all forgotten that Dickey allowed seven earned runs in 19 innings in his previous three starts combined? His slow start bothers me, but not to the point that he's a drop.

Chico (Jersey)

Marco Estrada, hold em or fold em in a 12 team head to head league?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:44 AM)

I'd consider folding him -- or at least dropping him into the "streaming" category. I fully buy Estrada's strikeout ability; I don't think (and haven't thought for more than a year) he necessarily had the stuff to consistently help in ERA and WHIP.

Tito (Gary, IN)

I need saves! Bench Putz for Hanrahan?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:45 AM)

Joel Hanrahan scares me a lot more than J.J. Putz does. Simple as that.

d. gordon (la)

line ros?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:45 AM)

Assume he plays the rest of the year, gets 350 at-bats. I say a .240 batting average, sub-.300 on-base but maybe 35 steals.

Mike (NY)

Halladay? No questions on him at all??? Time to punt?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:48 AM)

What is there to say? We've now got word of a shoulder injury, not that that's at all a shock if you've been watching him pitch. He's seeing Dr. Yocum for a diagnosis and I wouldn't go anywhere near Halladay for awhile. Heck, I'm not even sure he'll be in my rankings in "Sixty Feet" this week, unless we get a glowing health report.

Torii Hunter (DET)

You buying his hot start? Final projections? Thanks!

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:49 AM)

Oh, I buy. The No. 2 hitter in that loaded Tigers lineup -- closely reflecting the situation he was in with the Angels in 2012? Hunter might not be much more than a 15-homer, 5-steal guy these days (let's say upside to 20 and 10, but far from a lock for either), but I see him being capable of a .300 batting average and .360 on-base from this point forward.

Gil (Flagstaff, AZ)

Over/Under 20 Homeruns for Votto

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:52 AM)

I'm going to pick the over, but you're right to pick that as your over/under. Votto might hit exactly 20 ... but I'd also bank on a .300-plus batting average, .425-plus on-base and maybe 85-90 more runs scored.

Chris (NJ)

Jean Segura for real? I'm gonna have to make a decision to drop one of Azdrubel Cabrera, Aaron Hill or Segura in a few weeks.

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:53 AM)

His steals are for real, his batting average much less so, and it's probably going to come down to how badly you need those stolen base contributions. Just a hunch: This will come down to needs between Cabrera and Segura.

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:53 AM)

But here's a thought: Get started on trade offers.

Joe (NJ)

Matt Carpenter or Rutledge in 5x5 roto?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:53 AM)

If I'm projecting the remainder of the season, I'll take the safer, lower-basement Carpenter.

Pokey (NY)

What do you think Ruggianos numbers look like at the end of the year?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:55 AM)

A .260 batting average, 16-20 homers, 12 steals or so.

Eric (CO)

Would you start Jarrod Parker today in Cleveland and if he gets hit hard, would you drop him and pick up Slowey?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:55 AM)

Yes, and no.

josh (washington dc)

Carlos Martinez's pitches look pretty sick, any chance he can get into the closers role? what do you forsee for him ROS?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:56 AM)

If I'm in an NL-only league, I'd stash him for that very reason. (I tried in Tout Wars; he sold for $9 and I bid a mere $4.) Martinez's long-term upside is probably not that of a closer's, but he has the stuff to do the job and it's not like there's a lot of competition for saves in that bullpen.

Christian (Boise)

Alright, last time I'll ask. Josh Hamilton. Good buy-low as well?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:57 AM)

I might have talked more about Hamilton than any individual player this year. He's not at all a helper in batting average. If you're prepared to accept that, and <i>only</i> if you are prepared to accept that, then the answer is yes.

Bogdan Zagata (Chicago, IL)

Kyle Seager....Thoughts? ROS?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:58 AM)

Underrated third baseman likely to be right on the fringe of the top 10 at his position on the final Player Rater.

Ryan (Toronto)

Why is Lorenzo Cain ranked so low in Hit Parade? Other than the runs, I really don't see a difference between him and Austin Jackson.

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:58 AM)

Health history, and the fact that Jackson's role should drive his runs total far higher.

Pat ((MA))

Will we be seeing Zach Wheeler anytime soon? Projections when he reaches the majors?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:58 AM)

I think we're within weeks, perhaps even days, of seeing Wheeler in New York. Good guy to stash right now.

Eddie (Hoboken, NJ)

David Price concerns?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (12:00 PM)

Slight velocity drop -- 93.2 mph average fastball, down from 95.4 last year -- is a bit disconcerting. Still, Price is such a good pitcher, and in the prime of his career, that he gets a long, long leash. It'll be addressed in the rankings but he's not outside my top 20 starters.

Billy (KC)

Who would you grab if you needed steals and runs? Pagan, De Aza or Dee Gordon?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (12:00 PM)

I think Angel Pagan is the best, most complete player of these three.

Ryan (CA)

Is it a good time to stash Wil Myers or Zunino?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (12:01 PM)

Myers yes. I'm not so sure Zunino's promotion is imminent.

David (Peru)

Thoughts on Pettibone?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (12:01 PM)

Definitely due an adjustment period. Solid start to his career, but he's in my matchups class, and there's no way he'd rank higher than a Cingrani, Fernandez or Ryu among NL rookie starters.

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (12:02 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, and best of luck to you in your matchups this week!