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May 15, 12:00 PM ET
Fantasy MLB with Eric Karabell

Eric Karabell
  (12:02 PM)

Hello all and welcome to the latest fantasy sports chat session... I am Eric! We had to move the weekly Wednesday chat to Thursday but no matter, lots of questions are here and I will aim to answer as many as possible in one hour! Thanks for showing up and here we go!

Steve (NJ)

With zobrist most likely DL bound, what are your thoughts on asdrubal cabrera or alcides escobar as a filler?

Eric Karabell
  (12:04 PM)

Ugh. It's a shame because the real reason Zobrist is valuable in fantasy is the position versatility and the durability. He's 10th in games the past 5 years. Now he's hurt. The numbers, frankly, are disappointing, just like in 2013. Escobar is running and while the average should drop, I'd take him.

Christian (NY)

Drop Shelby Miller for Garrett Richards?

Eric Karabell
  (12:05 PM)

I'm definitely a Richards believer at this point, just hoping he can stay healthy. There does seem to be some correlation between the hardest throwers and injury, though it doesn't make me shy away from them quite yet. That said, I like Miller more and think there's improvement coming, and some regression for Richards.

Andrew (Nj)

Picked up Gyorko off wavers, should I feel safe to trade Altuve and make Jed my starting 2nd basemen, also what are your thoughts on solarte.

Eric Karabell
  (12:06 PM)

Gyorko's average can only rise at this point, but those that were cool on him in March for reaching his same home run total look wise. It's not just Petco Park, either. I'd trade anyone for the right price if it makes the team better, so it depends what you can get for Altuve, what stats you need. But in general, I'm concerned about Jed reaching his 2013 potential. As for Solarte, love the plate discipline, he really could hit .300 with 12 homers, making him a useful mixed league piece. Maybe a top-15 3B?

Tuna (NY)

Thoughts on a Danny Salazar rebound? He's been dropped in most of my leagues and I keep picking him up with hopes of him performing like last season.

Eric Karabell
  (12:07 PM)

Another of the hardest throwers, but has command issues. I wouldn't use Salazar in Toronto today, that's for sure. So much risk. But so much upside if he becomes consistent.

Jim (Vegaas, Baby!)

Whats your opinion on the coach who let his highschool pitcher pitch over 190 pitches in a game recently, for a tourney? (reported by espn)

Eric Karabell
  (12:08 PM)

We can't be surprised that elbows are blowing up left and right, that's for sure. Pretty abusive there.

Pokey (NY)

Middlebrooks or Beckham... or neither?

Eric Karabell
  (12:08 PM)

I believe Middlebrooks will hit .250 with more than 20 homers as a baseline. Beckham can't do this.

Chris (DC)

Jordan Zimmerman for Alex Riios and J. Soria? (giving zimm)

Eric Karabell
  (12:09 PM)

Depends on need. No other way to evaluate. I like all 3 players there, but Rios is the most valuable and closers are always, unless it's a top-5 guy, the least.

roc (nyc)

in a vacuum - are you moving braun for cano?

Eric Karabell
  (12:09 PM)

I sure am. Without flinching.

Mike [via mobile]

Papelbon or Craig/Doolittle... Which side u want

Eric Karabell
  (12:10 PM)

Closers are overvalued. I like Allen Craig, so I don't even need Doolittle back. Plus, it's impossible to predict the Oakland bullpen. Jim Johnson could literally save 30 games or 3. They do not know.

Nick (Hammond, LA)

Would you try and trade Cliff Lee for Tanaka in a points league?

Eric Karabell
  (12:10 PM)

In any league at this point.

David (Orlando)

Thoughts on adding Chase Anderson in NL only h2h?

Eric Karabell
  (12:11 PM)

We often see a nice first outing for secondary prospects like Anderson, and then after 3 or 4 outings it gets ugly. I'm a bit skeptical here.

Jason (CO)

More saves rest of year - Casey Janssen or Mark Melancon?

Eric Karabell
  (12:12 PM)

Janssen. Pirates manager Hurdle seems like a fella that believes in loyalty, even though Melancon is better than Grilli. Not that the best reliever needs to be the closer. Plenty of times the game is won/lost in the eighth inning. But I see Grilli getting saves.

Jason Motte (St. Louis (soon!))

Chances I get the ninth back if I come out strong and Rosenthal continues to struggle?

Eric Karabell
  (12:12 PM)

Probably pretty strong, actually. Rosenthal's inability to throw strikes is one of the bigger relief pitcher disappointments for me so far.

Brett (DC)

Is there a weekly report on relievers anymore on ESPN? I haven't been able to find anything similar to the weekly rankings that were published last year. Thanks!

Eric Karabell
  (12:13 PM)

I have a section on closers every day, discussing all the relevant news. As opposed to a longer piece once a week.

Rich (SF)

Trusting Tyson Ross today @CIN? (13-team QS lg)

Eric Karabell
  (12:13 PM)

Not really. Not a big fan of his in road games.

(Nearly) Homerless (In Seattle)

Seriously, is this what you expected from Cano?

Eric Karabell
  (12:14 PM)

Nope. I did not have Cano in my top 10 overall, but he's going to hit for average and I believe reach 20-plus homers. He's not struggling. And he's about the most durable guy in the game. There's value in that. I'm not particularly concerned.

Ernie (in my cop car)

Who gets the saves in New York and Baltimore??

Eric Karabell
  (12:15 PM)

Jesse Orosco and Tippy Martinez. I think the Mets, who haven't a clue really, want Familia to close. Could be Mejia, too. And in Baltimore I bet O'Day gets a chance really soon. Hunter is just not that good.

sean (WI)

Fairness questionThe guy i'm playing is punting saves and is going all SP in hopes to win K's and QS, after a couple good outings by my starters I have a low WHIP and ERA. Is it cheap of me to bench the rest of my pitchers to hopefully win ERA WHIP and Saves?

Eric Karabell
  (12:16 PM)

Not cheap at all. It's a legit strategy. In one of my leagues I've punted saves, used starting pitchers eligible in relief like Alex Wood and Smyly and Joe Kelly in RP spots. Go for it. It's fair.

Andrew (West Va.)

Drop T.Lyons for one of these in NL only: Mejia,Storen,Motte or W.Smith?

Eric Karabell
  (12:17 PM)

Probably Mejia. Best shot at being useful at this point and could, in theory, start again. There's no guarantee on Motte, and Rosenthal is really good. But that potential opening is real.

Drew (ME)

How do feel about Buchholz today vs the Twins?

Eric Karabell
  (12:17 PM)

I have no interest in using that guy. He's clearly not the same version as last year.

Brian (San Diego)

How do you feel about Jaime Garcia's first start on Sunday?

Eric Karabell
  (12:18 PM)

Definitely would not use him in the first outing, but there is team and individual upside in time if he proves he can miss a few bats and stay healthy. No guarantees.

John (Denver)

Pomeranz going to be as good as he looks?

Eric Karabell
  (12:18 PM)

Some regression is natural. He's not a sub-2.00 ERA guy. But 3.50 for 25 starts? Sure.

ATM (the Jeerz)

Is Alex wood droppable now that he's in the bullpen? I'm only allowed six starters and have sanchez and cingrani coming back this weekend.

Eric Karabell
  (12:19 PM)

Yes. As predicted, there was no way the Braves could remove Harang or Floyd from the rotation, and they were closely monitoring Wood's innings anyway. This was obvious. Nobody wanted to believe it. And it's not like Wood has pitched well lately to make it an issue. Move on but he will start again and will prob be one of my 2015 sleepers.

Tom (Des Plaines)

Would you move Braun for Ajax and Melancon in a svhlds league?

Eric Karabell
  (12:20 PM)

That doesn't seem like enough to me. Braun isn't bad. Just brittle now and doesn't steal bases.

Jake (Bos)

Okay to drop Prado? Picked up en fuego Solarte

Eric Karabell
  (12:20 PM)

Not a move I would make, but Solarte really could hit .300. Hard to believe. And it's not like Prado is awesome. Another Zobrist-type where the value is in versatility.

bill (usa)

just lost zobrist- rollins or villar? believe in a bounceback for jimmy?

Eric Karabell
  (12:24 PM)

I believe he's already bouncing back, nice blend of power and speed and won't kill the average. Villar is a future Jimmy.

Jeff (NY)

Do you think Heaney gets called up by ASB despite the Marlins signing Wolf?

Eric Karabell
  (12:25 PM)

That appears a strong sign they don't want to rush him. When Wolf pitches terribly, I think we see Heaney within a month.

JKI (L.A.)

Eric, is this a mild sell high? I give J. Abreu and J. Heyward for E. Encarnacion and Aaron Hill. Have to do it right?

Eric Karabell
  (12:25 PM)

That is something I would have to do, yes. Edwin is certainly safer.

Drew (NJ)

Thanks for the heads up on Wood... was able to trade Wood for Cain in my league before he got moved to the bullpen

Eric Karabell
  (12:26 PM)

That's why we're here! And again, not saying I would have done this if managing the Braves, but it was obvious they had to because of Harang. Not that Fredi has a clue anyway.

Tim (UVA)

How come nobody is discussing the start Donaldson is off to? Would you now rank him ahead of the likes of Wright and Longoria?

Eric Karabell
  (12:27 PM)

Not sure what should be discussed. Donaldson is awesome. He's owned in all leagues. I don't know why anyone is surprised. Track record, something he can't change today, is the reason for Longo and Wright. But Donaldson is right there. He's terrific.

Lil Lou (9th )

Springer or Coco Crisp ?

Eric Karabell
  (12:27 PM)

Coco is far more stable, though brittle. But a week ago everyone had dumped Springer and now this question is legit. Amazing. I'd still take Coco but I own Springer in 10-team leagues and didn't drop him last week. Patience.

Bob (Florida)

back to braun - keeper league, trade him for King Felix? (in a vaccuum)

Eric Karabell
  (12:28 PM)

Yeah, that's certainly fair. Might have done that anyway in March. I moved Prince for Felix. I needed pitching. It doesn't matter what is "fair" and really everyone interprets that differently. What's important is did you make your team better. If you need pitching, Felix is top-10.

Jon (KC)

Yangervis Solarte? Reliable top 10 2B?

Eric Karabell
  (12:29 PM)

No. Not at all. It's six weeks. But he has surprised me and I think with his discipline he'll keep getting hits and playing time. Not elig at 2B quite yet.

Chris (Boston)

Hamels top 10-15 ROS?

Eric Karabell
  (12:29 PM)

I'd say on the periphery of that, but I really don't have a lot of concerns with him. He's generally a slow starter anyway and this is his April.

Eric (Whitinsville,MA)

Who do you like better ROS...Alex Wood, Eovaldi, or Pomeranz?

Eric Karabell
  (12:30 PM)

Come on. Eovaldi first. As of now Pomeranz second. Wood just can't help us much in relief, even if he makes say 10 more starts.

Matt (MLPS)

Any reason to hold on to Stroman at this point? He got lit up yesterday and doesn't seem to be pitching well in the show.

Eric Karabell
  (12:30 PM)

He sure doesn't. No reason to keep him owned in 10-teamers. In dynasty leagues you'll want him when he's a starter next year.

Taylor (South Dakota)

Any guesses on when Wisler from San Diego may come up?

Eric Karabell
  (12:31 PM)

Suppose it's possible after this month, but not sure the Padres think they're contenders and would bother until September.

Zok (Minneapolis)

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the seeming uniformity of the modern-day batting stance. So boring compared to the Omar Morenos and Amos Otises of yesteryear!

Eric Karabell
  (12:32 PM)

I did love some batting stances growing up... Joe Morgan. Bobby Tolan! Shake and Bake McBride. I hit lefty and used to try to copy Von Hayes in little league... ah, memories...

Sean (WI)

I've been starting VMart over Hosmer at first any way Vmart can keep up the power?

Eric Karabell
  (12:32 PM)

Well, he's never done it before but he's so good... I think he can hit 25 homers. On pace for 42 which seems a bit high!

Sonny (The Chez Bippy)

Beltre or Donaldson ROS

Eric Karabell
  (12:32 PM)

Beltre. Come on!

James (NJ)

N Cruz for real all season?

Eric Karabell
  (12:33 PM)

I think he might hit 30 homers. So, yeah, for real.

Bryan (California)

Any news on free agent Kendrys Morales?

Eric Karabell
  (12:34 PM)

A Pirate in 3 weeks perhaps? After June 5 you will see Stephen Drew and Morales find homes, so start considering that in deeper formats or even the AL/NL only ones. Could make a huge difference. But there are so many injuries... honestly, who knows? If Zobrist is out months perhaps the Rays look at Drew. Half the league might be looking at Drew.

Jason (Cleveland)

Beltre vs Donaldson that ridiculous? I actually thought Donaldson

Eric Karabell
  (12:34 PM)

I value track record. And Beltre is a top-10 overall guy. The fact he's not ahead of Donaldson after 6 weeks on the current Rater really doesn't matter to me. But that's not to denigrate Donaldson. He is awesome. Probably a 3rd rounder if re-drafting.

TJ (Brookings)

A lot of potential closers on the waiver wire right now. How would you rank Rondon, Shaw, O'Day and Famila for the ROS?

Eric Karabell
  (12:36 PM)

I don't think any of them are locks to save even 10 games. The Mets are such a joke there's no telling what happens with Familia. That's honest. Their closer saves Monday's game and is released Wednesday. Not demoted. Not a setup man. RELEASED. Could be Familia or Mejia or Dice-K or really anyone. I doubt they know. I think Axford will get another chance at some point in Cleveland. Rondon is on a 100-loss team. I'd rank these guys for overall value, which includes saves, Shaw, Rondon, Familia and then O'Day.

Zok (Minneapolis)

Bake McBride's stance was only outdone by his 'do. How'd he keep his hat on? Ha!

Eric Karabell
  (12:37 PM)

Hit cleanup on the 1980 WS champs with 9 home runs. Imagine that today.

James (NJ)

The latest from the Pittsburg org. on Polanco. This from AAA hitting coach Mike Pagliarulo (yes, Pags!!) "He's still improving on defense. He hasn't seen balls hit at him this hard. He's learning to play balls right." Seriously??

Eric Karabell
  (12:38 PM)

I barely listen to what managers/coaches say because it tells us so little. They're making excuses. And hey, it's their money, their control over the player. Polanco should be a huge immediate upgrade but it's their team and they have to think about more than just wins. It's a business, too.

James (NJ)

Is Trout for Stanton crazy?

Eric Karabell
  (12:39 PM)

No, not really. Stanton is in my top 10.

Jon Singleton (Oklahoma City)

Does it sound to you like Luhnow is running out of excuses for keeping me in AAA?

Eric Karabell
  (12:39 PM)

Wait three weeks.

Rob (NY)

Would you drop Doolittle or J Johnson for Joe Smith?

Eric Karabell
  (12:40 PM)

I'm just about done waiting for Jim Johnson, but that doesn't mean Doolittle will get saves. I think Smith remains in the mix for the Angels. So yeah, at this point.. .crazy as it sounds. Sure.

Danny (LG)

Springer or Billy Hamilton ?

Eric Karabell
  (12:41 PM)

Springer is the better player, certainly more versatile statistically. Hamilton does one thing.

Ryan (Annapolis)

Odorizzi improving or smoke and mirrors?

Eric Karabell
  (12:42 PM)

I liked him back in March but I need to see some consistency. There's something there. We should know a lot more after he faces Oakland and Boston at home next week. If he does well, then I'm in.

Rob (NY)

But would you drop Doolittle or Johnson? I have both!!

Eric Karabell
  (12:43 PM)

There's been no indication Doolittle will get saves, either consistently or not. I'd cut him first.

j.l. (bangkok)

Billy the Fast Kid or the Bourn Identity?

Eric Karabell
  (12:44 PM)

Hamilton must be owned in all leagues on the chance he steals 5 bases a week. Because he can. He can still steal 75 bases this season. But he has to stay healthy and get on base. I've given up on Bourn stealing 30 bases at this point, which is sad, and telling.

Lazy Man (Stratford, CT)

Appreciate your help. I took it on the chin with Jose Fernandez injury. Looking for a replacement in deep league: Tommy Milone, Chacin, Edwin Jackson, Andre Rienzo, Erik Bedard. I've got Archie and Trevor in the minors, if only...

Eric Karabell
  (12:45 PM)

Yeah, that injury just stinks, even if you don't have him. Just love watching him perform. Anyway, I'd add Milone and use him in home starts. The others I have less confidence in.

Ryan (San Diego)

Starting Cain vs Miami (13 runs yesterday!!!)? How about Yordano vs Balt? Thanks

Eric Karabell
  (12:46 PM)

Just because the Marlins got 10 runs off Paul Maholm isn't predictive of what they'll do to a far better guy like Cain. I don't sit Cain. And I would use Ventura. But Cain first.

John (THE Music City, TN)

CUB'S QUESTION (yeah, sorry, #sigh):Thoughts on Olt ROS? Seems to be getting comfortable and should be secure, correct? And when does Baez get the call? I want to stash him, but can't wait 3 weeks.

Eric Karabell
  (12:47 PM)

Secure, no. They could call up Bryant in 3 weeks. They shouldn't. Olt has 20-25 homer power and might reach it but they can't play him for 400 at-bats if he can't hit even .230 regularly. That's the risk. Baez? I doubt it's until Sept.

Chris (Boston)

Speaking of basestealers, what are your thoughts on Everth? Pretty quiet season so far.

Eric Karabell
  (12:47 PM)

Huge disappointment. Can't understand why he refuses to take a walk. So fast. Going backward and it makes little sense. That said, I don't cut him. Could steal 10 in any month if he wants, if he knee issue goes away.

Joe (Philadelphia) [via mobile]

Thoughts on Rizzo ROS?

Eric Karabell
  (12:49 PM)

Rizzo has made terrific strides against left-handed pitching, and I love the walk rate. Not a batting average killer. Can't understand why so many complain about him. Should go 25-90 and hit .270, which is fine.

Rin (PA)

Time to stash Profar?

Eric Karabell
  (12:49 PM)

Yeah, he should be back in about a month. If Odor doesn't hit, then Profar is the second baseman. Profar will play regardless and people have forgotten about him, foolishly.

Adam (MIA)

Better stash Bryant or Guerrero?

Eric Karabell
  (12:50 PM)

Bryant. I doubt Guerrero pushes Dee Gordon aside. Dee is legit.

Ryan (Pennsylvania)

Profar, Evereth, Simmons, Prado....Which are most valuable

Eric Karabell
  (12:50 PM)

Everth is because he's capable of stealing 50 bases. Profar is the only guy there that could reach double digits in homers and steals. I love Simmons, think he can hit 18 homers. And Prado looks ordinary.

Mike(NY) [via mobile]

Stash Polanco in a 8 team mix league?

Eric Karabell
  (12:51 PM)

I don't think there's much need in that format. People think he's gonna be Mike Trout. Well, that's extreme. He's not gonna save the Pirates. He's still raw.

Casey (Tampa, FL)

Will Dickerson get regular playing time in COL?

Eric Karabell
  (12:51 PM)

Nope. Not when Cuddyer returns in a week.

Casey (Tampa, FL)

Rosario is my normal catcher. Worth stashing Wieters to replace?

Eric Karabell
  (12:52 PM)

I think Rosario is fine when healthy. Invest in him.

Hecklenberger (Wilmington, DE)

Is Josh Beckett For Real? Just picked him up and want to start him next week bc of the two for one. Any reason to think an implosion is coming...

Eric Karabell
  (12:52 PM)

I'd start him only in home games for now.

Eugene (NYC)

Drop Wheeler for Keuchel?

Eric Karabell
  (12:52 PM)

Not a chance.

pj20 (Marin)

Alex Gordon, why doth he sucketh so much? I wanna cut, I don't even have anyone else in mind. Approve?

Eric Karabell
  (12:53 PM)

I think the best is yet to come but I don't think he needs to be 100 percent owned if you can get someone better.

Hmmm (NY)

All this Prado is ordinary talk, so why hold him??? 2B is so deep! And do you really want him at 3B?

Eric Karabell
  (12:54 PM)

Hold him because he's capable of, and has achieved, hitting .300 over several months consecutively. With some pop and speed. In 2012-13 he hit .290 total and was durable. He's valuable.

Bob (scpa)

Allen Craig for Rizzo and A Jackson? Can Craig make it worth it?

Eric Karabell
  (12:54 PM)

If you can move Craig for that, wow. Rizzo is probably more valuable than Craig at this point.

Nick (CT)

Is Beltran droppable? Im just feeling a DL stint coming

Eric Karabell
  (12:55 PM)

I feel that as well.

Bad Choices (Milk)

Weekly Prince Fielder questions. Still remaining patient with Prince? Would Allen Craig and Kyle Seager be enough for me to trade Prince?

Eric Karabell
  (12:55 PM)

Fielder will be fine. Just not 40-120 fine. But 25-90 fine. Still has to be owned in all leagues. He's just regressing faster than anyone wanted to admit. I'd prob keep him rather than move him for that.

Corry Corry (Philly)

Is it OK to drop Sabathia in a 12-mixed? What do you see for his future?

Eric Karabell
  (12:56 PM)

I see knee woes. For a long time.

Morrie (Chicago)

What are your thoughts on Castellanos ROS? Think he rebounds somewhat from a rough start?

Eric Karabell
  (12:56 PM)

I'm investing in him. Great line drive rate, projects well for 15 homers immediately.

Alex (Queens,NY)

Any concerns about Machado?He hasnt looked good at the plate at all..

Eric Karabell
  (12:56 PM)

No, he has not. But I think we must wait longer for him to hit. He should.

Hmmm (NY)

But you're also saying Solarte could hit .300 and hit 12... 1 more week for Prado I suppose, I value your opinion, but gosh darn it haha

Eric Karabell
  (12:57 PM)

I would prefer to own Prado than Solarte this season. Doesn't mean Solarte is bad but I value track record.

mike (GTA)

need power. and have cano and kinsler as trading chips. Been offered davis for cano. that fair? feel like i could get more, but the league knows im want to move one of these guys

Eric Karabell
  (12:58 PM)

Yes, that is fair. I rank Davis over Cano right now.

Dan (NY)

Drop CC for Lackey? 12 team roto.

Eric Karabell
  (12:58 PM)

I think you have to, yes.

Chris (NJ)

Blackmon for A. Ramirez. Good trade? thin at SS. Thanks!

Eric Karabell
  (12:58 PM)

Hmm. Yeah, I think if you need a SS that's fine. Plus, Blackmon is not gonna keep this up.

Andrew (Denver)

Odd man out? Profar, Rendon, or Reyes (when Profar gets back)

Eric Karabell
  (12:58 PM)

Really? It's not Reyes or Rendon.

Steve-CT [via mobile]

Your really getting on the mets for releasing Farnsworth?!?! Amaro would have signed him for 3/36!

Eric Karabell
  (12:59 PM)

He still might. No, seriously.

Billy (Philly)

Which side do you want Braun/Dozier or Stanton/Prado?

Eric Karabell
  (12:59 PM)

That is so tough. I would take the Stanton side but I do believe what Dozier is doing is legit. But wow.

Eric Karabell
  (1:00 PM)

Well folks, that is all the time we have for today. I really appreciate the thousands of questions in here, really great support for a Thursday afternoon. It's great that so many are interested in fantasy and it's only growing! So enjoy your day and your weekend and best of luck with your teams and look for another ESPN Fantasy chat soon! Adios!