Unread questions for 4/2/08

Hey guys, love the show.  12-team, mixed h2h, 5×5.  Looking at pitching.  My staff consists of:   Scott Kazmir, Felix Hernandez, Pedro Martinez, Andrew Miller, Clay Buchholz, Joe Nathan, Kerry Wood, Jonathan Broxton, Brian Fuentes, Pat Neshek.  Starting pitching lacks and missed out on a good second closer.  I’m thinking I’m going to do pitch or ditch (pod) with both Miller and Buchholz at this point.  Need your opinion on whether I pod both these guys (until I find someone to stick with, E Volquez is still available) or whether either is worth holding onto.  Closer-wise, no one available except guys like Broxton, Fuentes and Neshek.  I’ve got Broxton and Fuentes in hopes they get opportunities this year.  Marmol is not available.  Others to consider Rauch, Benoit, Turnbow, Embree.   

Fat Dad in Seattle.

With the status of Pedro a huge question mark following last night’s outing and considering Kazmir’s health issues, it’s pretty clear to me that you can use at least one more reliable starter.  I’d try making a trade to acquire a Derek Lowe/Tim Hudson type, someone who at a reasonable cost can give you quality innings.  As for your pitch or ditch options, Buchholz seems like the better choice.  He’s more developed at the big league level than Miller and plays for a much better team.  I wouldn’t hesitate to cut Miller at this point.  The bigger issue is that in a 12 teamer, there’s got to be several safer waiver wire options, guys who might not be as talented as Buchholz and Miller but have more of a consistent track record.  At the moment, your bullpen can compete.  The instant Kerry Wood either gets injured or loses his closer job, you’ll be in trouble!  Joe Nathan signing a contract extension hurts Neshek’s value, and though Fuentes is more than capable of closing, Corpas hasn’t done anything to warrant a change.  Definitely take a flier on Rauch, as Cordero is already banged up.  I might consider dropping Neshek to pick up Rauch.  Most importantly, monitor the Cubs situation very closely.  Hopefully, you have enough bats to spare.  Yet another trade could be the best solution!

Zach Steinhorn, MLB.com


I’m a commissioner in one league (12 team mix, 5 by 5) and there is a trade pending: Matt Holiday for Trevor Hoffmann and Adrian Gonzalez.  What do you think?

Love your show and greetings from Germany…Moritz      


I think the trade’s a bit one-sided in favor of the team getting Holliday. The guy’s a fantasy beast–few players can simultaneously hit for massive power and top-five average the way he does. Granted, he doesn’t steal bases, but in my opinion he’s just as valuable as Hanley Ramirez or David Wright. That said, Gonzalez is an underrated power hitter–30 HR and 100 RBIs last year–and will probably put up numbers that are about one tier lower than Holliday’s. Add Hoffman’s 30-35 saves to the mix, and the deal is sufficiently balanced for you to approve it.

Hi guys, Loving the show and learning loads (I think). Very quick question: I am in a mixed, 12-team 5×5 rotisserie league in London, England.  Like many others, I suspect, I drafted Jarrod Saltamacchia. Our league allows three bench spots plus a DL spot. Is there any value in holding onto Salty in case he’s called back? Thanks…Steve


Tough call on Salty, as there’s been very little reported since the Rangers optioned him to Triple-A Oklahoma.  You’ve got to go with what you know, which is that the team very clearly prefers Gerald Laird’s defense behind the plate and wants to get Salty as many at-bats as possible on the farm. My guess is that they’ll call him up before the All-Star break, especially as their pitching begins to falter and they rely more heavily on big-time run support from their bats. If your starting catcher is solid, I’d say drop him…backup catchers are usually fairly useless in fantasy.

Corey Gottlieb, MLB.com




I love the show, but since I teach, I can’t listen live…

What’s up with the podcasts lately? No show today? Also, was there a show on Friday?


We’ve been undergoing a new system with regards to the podcast posting, which is why some have been delayed. You can always watch the show archives by going to the Baseball Channel page and using the list on the top right for the most recent show or the dropdown on the bottom right for the complete archive list. We’ll get this podcast issue straightened out soon!


I am glad to hear it because pitch or ditch is useless right now. Please see this post regarding this problem: http://mlbradiofans.sonoftheraven.com/viewtopic.php?t=1397. Also, here is the text:

Pitch or ditch is now useless. For it to be useful, the 411 has to release pitch or ditch a day before the starts they are discussing. Most leagues lock rosters at the start of the first game. This is as early as 12:05 ET and no later than 7:05 ET. The show is at 2:00 p.m., after rosters lock when there is one afternoon game. Moreover, the 411 has not been posting the podcast until late the same day or even the next day. While I suspect there are some glitches because of the video, pitch or ditch is presently useless.

This is one of many negatives in the new format. The hallmark of the show is pitch or ditch. We need their advise on pitch or ditch to implement fully the 12 x 12 mixed vanilla strategy the 411 advocates.

The show needs to be less about Casey talking and baseball in general and more about nuts and bolts fantasy, including getting to the next day’s pitch or ditch and promptly posting each show. While I suspect Casey will improve, this is one of the many reasons the show is presently quite frustrating.

Hi guys,
let me congratulate u guys on the best fantasy show on the planet, period.
Its the ultimate thing for me to follow fantasy baseball over here in Munich, Germany. Opening day beats Octoberfest for me.

Here is my question:
I do have Boof Bonser and Glavine on my SP roster, but am considering exchanging Brian Bannister for one of them (as a Free Agent).

Playing in a Y! H2H, 12 team league, my starting rotation consists of the following gentlemen:



I figure Ineed some better SP and think Bannister is just the better pitcher, even though he´s on a week team and doesnt strike many people out.
Would that be a smart thing to do?
What do u think?

Servus from Bavaria,


Personally I think Glavine and Bannister are fairly comparable pitchers. Both have about the same K/9, BB/9, SO/9 expectations for the 2008 season. Glavine might give you 2-4 more wins, but Bannister may have


Personally I think Glavine and Bannister are fairly comparable pitchers. Both have about the same K/9, BB/9, SO/9 expectations for the 2008 season. If you prefer Bannister to Glavine based on gut feeling, I see no problem making the move. Glavine could give you a couple more wins over the course of the season, but I don’t see either one staying on your roster the entire year. Since Bannister has the hot hand, and you like him better, I say you go ahead and make the move.

Just a comment on the new show format and not sure if its been bought up yet or not- But the sound qualitity isnt the same as it was- Usually had the Ipod at about 75% volume and now its at nearly 100% and still have a harder time hearing- Its like your sitting further away from the microphones- Otherwise a great show-

Got to second pitch or ditch going from Pitch all the time to now a ditch.

It needs to be done earlier. 2 days in advance would be preferred, and some of the better pitch or ditches for the weekend should be highlighted in the show.

And pitch or ditch has become a way to hype good pitching matchups *sigh* I know to pitch Jake Peavy everytime already. I know to pitch Oliver Perez.

I guarantee tomorrows 411 will have a pitch or ditch for the Smoltz-Santana match up. Two guys with a track record of being great pitchers-everyone pitches those guys no matter what.

Siano is still working hard for us though as he converts every pitch or ditch segment into Daniel Cabrera pitch or ditch, which is more in the spirit of what I am hoping to hear on the problem.

Can we move some of Pitch or Ditch to the blogs?

Heres my initial post:

Here is my question:
I do have Boof Bonser and Glavine on my SP roster, but am considering exchanging Brian Bannister for one of them (as a Free Agent).

Is it worth dropping Bonser OR Glavine (which one?) für Johnny CUETO – even though he only had 1 (good) outing?

I would drop Bonser or Glavine for Cueto.
Cueto has a nice minor league track record of success. If you drop Bonser or Cueto they should stay in the free agent pool for the rest of the season.
Cueto 3 minor league season: 9.26 k/9 2.12 bb/9 0.6 hr/9
Dropping one between Bonser of Glavine, I would drop Glavine, Bonser appears to have better rate stats that project into an overall better fantasy season to me.
Bonser 07– 7.08 k/9 3.38 bb/9 1.4 hr/9 (which I think will drop)
Glavine 07 — 4.00 k/9 2.88bb/9 1.0 hr/9

Braves look to have a good offense, while at the moment the Twins offense looks bad, but you don’t chase wins.

Best show covering Fantasy Baseball by far. I won two out of my 3 leagues last year thanks to your advice. I do have some constructive criticism though:

1. On the Podcast: Would much prefer the “commercials” be one 30 second spot instead of a bunch of random 10 second sound bites. It seems very disjointed.
2. On Pitch or Ditch: Could this be done as an early morning blog entry? Or just highlight your top 3 lesser known pitchers each day? I much prefer the breakdown of performance, trades, potential call ups, waiver wire work (from position players and pitchers alike) you cover on the rest of your show. Most people have one or at the most two P Or D spots a night. Covering the full list of all pitchers is overkill and cuts the meat of the show very short.
3. On the program: Chill out on the media clips and sound bites in general (see ESPN Fantasy Focus for out of control over production). When every few minutes we get music, sound bites, etc. on the audio podcast, it is distracting and again makes it a little disjointed.

As a general comment, I worked on Podcasts for a major media company and understand the technical difficulties sometimes encountered. Using the Blog to do P Or D would free you of the pressures of having the podcast available at a strict time. It would also give you a hook to bring readers back daily, free up the podcast for additional chat and allow readers to go back and comment on your predictions and offer their own. It would add more “community” to the blog.

Great job as always, keep it up

On the Blog: It would be cool if there was a “Reply” feature for comments so we could engage in a dialog thread on particular comments made.

danduso@yahoo.com – I would drop Glavine in a heartbeat for Johnny Cueto. His K potential alone will make up for the occasional blow up that you can expect from young pitchers.

Hey guys,

I love the new format. While I agree that it can be frustrating to listen to the audio podcast, given all the visual commentary (any chance of getting a full video show?), but it’s a week in! You guys have done a good job of trying something new.

I would like to see more dedicated fantasy analysis though. Tangents like Chuck Norris facts are great (thanks for those Casey. ‘Chuck Norris puts the “Laughter” into “Slaughter”‘ is still the best!), but an expose on Tom Glavine’s value for the Braves is better suited to other baseballchannel.tv programs.

Keep on rocking guys. 411 is in no danger of being relegated to pitch or ditch status in my weekly podcast lists.

Tom in Class in Boston

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