April 2008

Unreads for 4/18

Please help with this trade.  16 Team mixed 5X5 roto.
 
I’ve been offered Aaron Hill and Matt Kemp for BJ Upton.
 
I have Howie Kendrick and Eugenio Velez that could play at 2nd and I have Corey Hart, Justin Upton, Corey Patterson and Reed Johnson for OF.  I also have Jay Bruce on the bench.
 
Thanks very much,
Mike at the Beach

Hey Mike,

No way do I make this deal.  Even if you start him as an outfielder, Upton is an elite fantasy player.  Factor in his 2B eligibility, this guy is someone you need to keep unless you’re getting a star in return.  Upton is a legit 30-30 candidate, and at the age of 23 he’s only going to get better.  Though I like Kemp’s ability to hit for both average and power, he’s no B.J. Upton.  And Hill is a low-end starting second baseman, even in a 16 team league.  Upton’s clearly the best player in the deal, and should net a much better package than this one.  Rather than trade Upton, I’d look to deal Kendrick if you feel the need to upgrade at outfield.  But in such a large league, I think your outfield is no worse than average.  And that’s assuming B.J.’s brother cools down after pitchers adjust to him (no sure thing!)  Kendrick for Kemp is a more than fair offer.  If that one gets rejected, sit tight.  Don’t make a trade just for the sake of making one.

Zach Steinhorn, MLB.com

I am kind of worried about Bedard’s hip injury lingering and he’s never hit 200 innings. Worries on Sabathia are obvious. AL only 5×5. My staff is Putz, Nathan, CJ Wilson, Street, Bedard, Shields, Sonnanstine, Buehrle, Tomko.

I’m looking to shop saves at some point, but opportunity hasn’t presented itself.  I’m obviously concerned about keeping K’s up. I also need an outfielder. Do you think the following is reasonable:

Bedard for Broussard (1b/of) or someone equivalent, and Sabathia?

Gerald (Waterloo, ON)

Hey Gerald,

Hold onto Bedard. I understand your concern regarding his hip, but are you sure you want to give up on him less than a month into the season? You drafted him for a reason. You didn’t expect the hip injury, but don’t assume he can’t be valuable later in the season. Hypothetically, say he misses the rest of April and half, or even all, of May. He could still give you major production for four months, from June to September.

I am in favor of buying low – really low – on Sabathia, but not at the cost of another potential ace. And, based on his innings increase last season (33 percent) and dreadful start to this season (13.50 ERA, 2.56 WHIP, 14/14 K/BB rate in 18 innings), Sabathia may not be a beacon of health, either. His velocity is reportedly consistent with where it’s been in the past, but is his inability to locate his pitches the sole reason for his inexplicably poor start? I’m not so sure. If I had Bedard, I wouldn’t feel confident that trading him for Sabathia would be a clear upgrade.

Kyle Stack, MLB.com

How much longer do I stick with Verlander.  He’s not getting wins, he’s killing my ERA, and his Ks are minimal.  Surely there are better options.  I know there are better options and don’t call you Shirley…Airplane!
 
Thanks guys,
Stephen in NC
 

Hey Stephen,

I know it’s frustrating, but you’ve gotta stick it out with Verlander. He’s too good to ever consider dropping outright, and I think it’s way too soon to offer him up at low cost to another owner. His 35 wins over the past two years are second only to Josh Beckett, and his impressive 307/167 K/BB during that stretch is evidence that he possesses a rare combination of dominance and control. True, he’s been shaky this season, but he’s got a career 4.29 ERA in April with worse ratios than in any other month, so things will almost certainly improve. I’ll go out on a limb and predict he still tops 15 wins this year, so if you hold onto him and he really does turn out to be a bust, you can tell your buddies that I’m to blame.

Corey Gottlieb, MLB.com

 

First Official Fade to Blackberry / POD for Sunday April 20th and Chat News.


fade_to_blackberry.jpgSterno and Cory will do our chat on April 22nd at 3pm ET click here to get more info.

 

POD for Sunday 4/20.

Click here for probables , we dont know kc vs oakland yet.

We say pitch: burnett / pettitte / edwin / baker / olsen (stay hot) / gallardo and harang / kuroda and jurrjens / looper (stay hot pt 2 vs giants) / depmster / randy wolf and johnson. good luck.

 

now cue the music as we fade to blackberry

 

(gotta get sterno’s random top 5 of the night in here)

Cory: Chipper gets the Viagra unless someone throws a no-no or whatever

Casey: identical numbers with Manny at this point – plenty of the night left for Ramirez to get his third :)

Cory: Chipper hitting 424, we haven’t really talked about him this year

 Mike: He’s a quiet hero. No flash tons of substance. HOF.

 Casey: flash? hmmm top 5 flashes

Flash Gordon

John Flaherty

“Flash in the pan”

20/20 sports flash on FAN

and how about getting flashed by a smokin hottie?

 

and then…..

 

Siano: Knuckles.

Cory Schwartz: ?

Siano: What do I get straight up for cabrera?

Cory Schwartz: Not sure that works for me, 2B is my real issue, I wanna keep shopping

Cory Schwartz: But I will look further at your roster for an Ollie offer

Siano: U told me that. Forgot.

Siano: My bad

Siano: K

Cory Schwartz: Valverde got wailed again today

Siano: Yep. I’m gonna get an a plus on that one.

Siano: Too bad he’s on my damn listener league team.

Siano: Mitch offered me jeter, duncan and wang for cc , ichiro and valverde.

Cory Schwartz: Enh

Siano: Yep

Siano: I want to do challenge trades for crying out loud.

Cory Schwartz: I hear ya

Siano: I just made myself the best salad for dinner.

Siano: Grilled chicken in a memphis rub

Siano: Tomatoe

Siano: Crouton

Siano: Gorgonzola

Siano: Lettuce

Cory Schwartz: You are the new Bobby Flay

Siano: I am.

Siano: If I was like cher and could turn back time. Manny would be a yankee.
cher.jpg

Cory Schwartz: Padilla outdeuling Halladay

Cory Schwartz: what the with Lannan??

Siano: Amazing.

Siano: Strong beach!!!

Cory Schwartz: Inconceivable!

Cory Schwartz: Dude

Cory Schwartz: I posted 50 honorable mention movies Cory Schwartz: Then immediately remembered 3 more Cory Schwartz: It’s out of control

Siano: U hear gary cohen just now?

Cory Schwartz: Not near a tv

Siano: A listener emailed me today commending me about my list.

Siano: He got wright to ground out to end inning and said what a big night for the kid from long beach.

Cory Schwartz: Nice

Siano: Fade to blackberry tomorrow. Bank it.

Cory Schwartz: You are the original yoeman

Siano: O-cab inf 1b you should trade for him.

Cory Schwartz: I like him but have Hanley and SDrew

Siano: Just stole a base. Btw see how carlos quentin is doing?

Siano: Next year I’m just drafting my guys even if I have to reach. More fun that way.

Siano: All leagues.

Cory Schwartz: That’s what I try to do

Siano: Your a smart fella. Lannan out.

Cory Schwartz: I tried to send you an offer but it didn’t work for some reason

Cory Schwartz: Kelly Johnson and Heath Bell for Ollie Perez and Freddy Sanchez

Siano: I don’t want perez that “badly”. Good offer but rather have my guys.

Cory Schwartz: Care to counter?

Siano: When I look at your team later sure. I wanna go get me manny. If you had manny would u trade him for mags and carmona and add your worst non pod starter?

Cory Schwartz: That’s a very fine return

Cory Schwartz: Fausto on his game tonight, for certain

Siano: Fine return for who?

Cory Schwartz: Your boy Quentin with two jax tonight

Siano: Two now?

Cory Schwartz: For Manny

Siano: i didnt get him on any al onlys. What an idiot I am.

Siano: Another a+ so far.

Cory Schwartz: Yep

Cory Schwartz: Hey even if you like the right guys you can’t always get em

Siano: Yeah but he was cheap. Not like he’s markakis draft day.

Cory Schwartz: True

Siano: Who is super solid btw. HR today

Cory Schwartz: Ya

Cory Schwartz: Bailey might be close again

Cory Schwartz: Speaking of Homer

Siano: Whered u see that and why? Fogg?

Cory Schwartz: Yes.

Cory Schwartz: Cincy Enquirer quotes Dusty saying he wants to shake things up

Siano: Homer for fogg is shaking things up?

Cory Schwartz: Either Belisle or Homer up soon, Fogg gone

Cory Schwartz: Hairston coming up, not sure in place of whom

Siano: Hmmmm

Cory Schwartz: Maybe Freel

Siano: Was gonna say

Siano: Freel goes way of reed johnson.

Cory Schwartz: Our kings team decimated by injuries

Cory Schwartz: Byrd to dl today

Siano: saw

Siano: Botts finally played and raked.

Siano: I still can’t believe rauch got cut. You put in for laroche?

Cory Schwartz: Not yet

Cory Schwartz: I like my corners

Cory Schwartz: Tex-Kouz-Jacobs

Siano: Jacobs. Great job.

Siano: Good for you.

Cory Schwartz: Targeted him from the start

Cory Schwartz: Would you do Ollie for Kelly Jo even up?

Cory Schwartz: Carlos Pena leaves w/ right hammy tightness

Siano: No. I’m like you. Not gonna give a bat for an arm in many ways.

Cory Schwartz: How bout if I incldue Freddy or derosa to fill 2b, would you include soemthing in return?

Cory Schwartz: And btw you offered me Ocab for Ollie, that IS bat for arm ;-)

Siano: Its really about liking kelly johnson.

Siano: True. Like kjo way more then ocab

Siano: Bat with power yeah that’s it.

Siano: Rauch just blew it for lannan

Cory Schwartz: I need a 2b better than Freddy

Cory Schwartz: Freddy Cory Schwartz: Hahahha

Siano: Inherited runner but still

Siano: I’m fine with my team just want guys I like in place of good players I don’t.

Siano: I really only wanna move mags, fausto and valverde.

Cory Schwartz: Tell you what

Cory Schwartz: Add KeJo with those guys and we’ll pursue something big

 Cory Schwartz: Go big or go home Cory Schwartz: Ollie, Capps, Freddy and a 4th for them four

Siano: U have to come heavier then that to get mags.

Siano: But its closer then you may think.

Siano: $%^& valverde.

Cory Schwartz: Well look and give me some options for the 4th player

Siano: What big bats u have avail?

Siano: Any position.

Cory Schwartz: Look and tell me who you like

Siano: I’d have to get off couch to do that right now.

Cory Schwartz: Ok then let’s talk tmrow

Siano: Fine. Let me refill my scotch and walk the 30 feet.

Cory Schwartz: Thorn just made a “one bad pitch” reference

Siano: Haha

Cory Schwartz: Figueroa pitched great but had one he’d like to get back :p

Siano: Big nick

Siano: How bout paps in vs yanks with 4 run lead.

Cory Schwartz: I nearly picked him up

Cory Schwartz: Went for Eckstein instead in the off chance of an SB

Cory Schwartz: Dance doofus

Siano: U like o-dawg?

Cory Schwartz: Yeah, but he’s only a minor step up over Freddy

Siano: O dawg and valverde for capps and a bag of balls.

Cory Schwartz: Hmmm

Cory Schwartz: Interesting

Cory Schwartz: Let’s discuss tomorrow

Siano: K

Siano: Later

Cory Schwartz: L8R

 

Unreads for 4/17

I have too many closers in one league.  I have Putz on the DL and Soria, Gagne, C.J. Wilson, and Betancourt.  
 
The league plays 8 positions plus util, 7 pitchers, 4 bench, and 2 DL.  The league has standard 5 x 5 scoring, but quality starts instead of wins. 
 
I am trying to upgrade my third outfielder (Hermida) or DH (Thome).  The rest of my offense is stacked, in part from past keepers: C: R. Martin; 1B D. Lee; 2B R. Weeks; 3B A-Rod; SS: Han-Ram; OF x 3: M. Holliday, J. Franceour, and J. Hermida; UTIL: J. Thome.  My SP is also solid: Sabbathia, Harang, McGowan, Grienke, Perez, and pitch-or-ditch.  I also have Harden on the DL and an injured Victorino on the bench. 
 
I received the following offer: I give Hermida and CJ Wilson and get T. Hunter.  I think I should hold out for more.  Am I too high on Hermida?  Thoughts?

Lucas

Hey Lucas,

Although this is certainly a fair deal, I’d sit tight.  As of now, Hunter’s undoubtedly an upgrade over Hermida, as Torii’s hit at least 23 homers in six of the last seven seasons.  But his days of stealing 20+ bases are likely over.  A .275-25-85-15 campaign is just about what you’re going to get from Hunter, no more and possibly a bit less.  Looking at your offense, there’s very little room for improvement.  Adding 10 homers, the likely difference between Hunter’s and Hermida’s final total, won’t make much of a difference  Hermida has yet to live up to the hype that came along with his “star prospect” tag, but much of that was due to injuries.  If he can just stay on the field for a full season, I think he’ll come close to matching Hunter in value by year’s end, not hitting as many homers but having more upside in the batting average department.  If Putz comes back healthy and pitches anything like he did last year, your closer situation is fine.  But it’s always a good idea to assume the worst when filling a certain need.  I like how you’ve compensated for the lack of certainty surrounding Putz by giving yourself many options.  And that’s why I’d be hesitant to deal Wilson, whose job appears safe.  Wilson’s opened the season by throwing seven scoreless innings.  Combine that with a 3.03 ERA in 2007, and C.J. looks to be a more than adequate second or third closer.  Hold onto as many potential saves as you can.  With this offense, an improvement at the third outfield spot shouldn’t be considered a priority.  And don’t forget you already have Victorino.  There’s plenty of outfield depth here without Hunter.

Zach Steinhorn, MLB.com

I am in a 12 team league and I have Sizemore, Ellsbury, Willingham, and Ethier as my current Outfielders. Johnny Damon is currently sitting on waivers as he has been slumping this season. I have always felt Damon was a little overrated, but he is looking very tempting. Would it be wise for me to pick him up for one of my current outfielders? I am also thinking about trading Ellsbury and a weaker RP to get a decent closer and a mediocre OF who will likely sit on my bench or get dropped for a better OF… possibly Damon if this plays into your suggestion. Please give a suggestion even if I do not make the proposed trade, but if you have additional suggestions, I would appreciate that too.

Hey,

Damon will be more productive right now than Ellsbury or Ethier because his playing time is more predictable. Ellsbury has some serious batting average and steals potential, but, at age 24, he might not start to realize that potential until late this season or next season. He is hitting just .233 and is batting at the bottom of Boston’s order. He could be holding center field warm for Coco Crisp before the veteran returns from leg soreness.

Ethier’s past production shows that he should be playing left field every day, but Dodgers manager Joe Torre seems determined to give Juan Pierre playing time. I think Ethier (.308, 11 RBIs) still has better value this season than Ellsbury. You have to figure that Torre will come to his senses at some point and just let the 26-year-old lefty play every day. He’s too good of a hitter to keep on the bench.

With that said, Damon gives you the best chance to help you win right now. He has averaged 104 runs, 26 steals and a .355 on-base percentage in his first two seasons with the Yankees and he can come very close to matching those numbers this season – as long as he stays healthy.

Hold off on the trades until you get a clearer idea of the playing time for Ellbury and Ethier.

Kyle Stack, MLB.com

 

 

Unreads for 4/16

Hi, guys.  I’m in a 12-team mixed 5×5 roto league.  We have 9 “P” spots and no bench.  The only time we can make a roster move is when a player goes on the DL or sent to the minors.  I picked up Shaun Marcum for Chad Cordero when Cordero went on the DL but now have to decide which one to keep and must choose between these 2.  My other pitchers are J. Santana, Gallardo, Lidge, Papelbon, F. Hernandex, Gorzellany, & Marmol.

Thanks, Nick from Omaha

Hey Nick,

It’s too bad you can’t drop Gorzelanny and keep Marcum and Cordero. In most situations, I would choose Cordero (since saves are so valuable), but I think Marcum is the better choice after looking at your pitching roster.

I am on record in this week’s Roundtable as stating that Marcum is my choice for the emerging pitcher most likely to sustain his impressive start. After his win against Baltimore on Wednesday, Marcum is sporting a 20/5 K/BB ratio, an 8.9 K/9 rate and has surrendered just six earned runs and 13 hits in 20 2/3 innings.

Johan and King Felix are obviously great arms to have in your rotation and Gallardo could become a monster. However, Felix hasn’t been able to shake the “injury-prone” label since entering the Majors and Gallardo might need some time to find his comfort zone once he returns from his knee injury. Gorzelanny is really struggling with his control, as his 6/11 K/BB rate through three starts suggests. He has shown flashes of becoming a very good starter, especially in the first half of last season, but he was awful towards the end of the season. Marcum would really fill out your starting staff.

Cordero is a proven closer, but I’m somewhat leery of his health. He was on the disabled list with shoulder tendonitis to begin the season and he gave up a hit and two walks in 2/3 of an inning in his first appearance off the DL. His velocity was reported to top out at 87 mph, a couple mph below what he typically throws. I wouldn’t be surprised if he landed on the DL again if his velocity doesn’t improve. The Nationals carry the benefit of throwing John Rauch back into the closer role, so it’s not like they need Cordero.

I think you can get by with Lidge and Papelbon as your closers. Marmol has great closer potential if Kerry Wood gets hurt, which is a realistic scenario given his injury history. I just feel that Marcum can better stabilize your staff. I hope this helps, Nick.

Kyle Stack, MLB.com

Hi guys,

 
Great job with the show as always.  I’m in a 12-team, 5×5 mixed league.  Should I accept this trade:

 
I get Josh Hamilton and Brett Myers for Adrian Gonzalez (SD) and Kosuke Fukudome

 
I want to trade Adrian Gonzalez because I have both Fielder and Pujols and I don’t see him as a Monday-Thursday guy.  One of my OF has been pushed to the bench because Longoria is in my 3B spot and Braun is now in my OF.  However, I feel that giving A-Gon and Fukudome away together is like trading away 180 runs, 180 rbis, 50 homeruns, .310 average and 15-20 steals.  Here is the rest of my roster just in case.

 
C.  Russell Martin

1B. Prince Fielder

2B. Rickie Weeks

3B. Evan Longoria

SS. Julio Lugo

OF. Ryan Braun

OF. Corey Hart

OF. Rick Ankiel

UT. Albert Pujols

BN. Adrian Gonzalez

BN. Kosuke Fukudome

DL. Curtis Granderson

 

SP. Adam Wainwright

SP. Zack Greinke

RP. Eric Gagne

RP. Brandon Lyon

P.  Jonathan Broxton

P.  Chad Billingsley

P.  AJ Burnett

BN. Oliver Perez

BN. Edinson Volquez

BN. JJ Putz (DL)

Thanks guys,

Bobby

Hey Bobby,

At first glance, it seems like you’re giving away an awful lot in this deal, but after assessing it in the context of your lineup, I think it’s worth doing.

Hamilton and Fukudome have very similar upside, as both are five-tool outfielders who can hit for both average and power. Actually, Hamilton’s stats this year look a bit better (3 HR, 13 RBI, .537 SLG) than do Fukudome’s (1 HR, 6 RBI, .458 SLG), so I’d say you’ve got the slight edge there.

As far as Gonzalez goes, he’s very solid and ultimately has a bit more fantasy value than does a pitcher like Myers, who’s got a very pedestrian 5.00 ERA in 18 innings this season. However, you’ve got two of the game’s top first basemen in Pujols and Fielder, so Gonzo will likely ride the bench for a good deal of the year. Your rotation is considerably thinner, as Wainwright, Greinke and Burnett are solid but not spectacular, so Myers’ arm will do more for you than will Gonzalez’s bat.

Based on that logic, I think this deal will do good things for your squad.

Corey Gottlieb, MLB.com

Top 5 Movie Picks

CASEY’S PICKS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. A Few Good Men
2. Good Fellas
3. Star Wars
4. What About Bob?
5. Donnie Brasco

Honorable Mentions:
 
Glengarry Glen Ross, The Shining, Silence of the Lambs, Seven, Scent of a Woman, Outside Providence, Godfather, Fletch, Coming to America, Ghostbusters, Meet the Parents, Primal Fear, Back to the Future, Stripes, In the Line of Fire, Full metal Jacket, One Flew Over the Cookoo’s Nest, Indiana Jones Raiders of the Lost Ark, Shawshank, The Natural, Braveheart, Scarface, Rocky

CORY’S PICKS

1. Repo Man
2. The Natural
3. Animal House
4. (This Is) Spinal Tap
5. Rock’n’Roll High School

Honorable Mentions:

A Clockwork Orange
Airplane
Angel Heart
Better Off Dead
Bull Durham
Caddyshack
Casino
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Field of Dreams
Fletch
Full Metal Jacket
Glengarry Glen Ross
Goodfellas
Heavy Metal
L.A. Confidential
Lethal Weapon
Lords of Dogtown
The Road Warrior
Rollerball (the original, not the ****** remake with Chris Klein and LL Cool J)
Silence of the Lambs
Sin City
Stripes
The Terminator
To Live and Die in L.A.
Wall Street
Wild at Heart

MIKE’S PICKS

#5 Glenn Gary Glenn Ross: tremendous cast, filthy language and one of the best 5 minutes in movie history.

#4 Breakfast Club: I’m sorry but there has to be a John Hughes movie. I still want to be John Bender when I grow up.

#3 Goodfellas: its almost unfair to have mob movies count since we are obsessed with them. I’m a good shot waddya want from me?

#2 Royal Tennenbaums: great black comedy with insane cast. Gene Hackman at his finest and a movie Ben Stiller was actually good in.

#1 Braveheart: has it all. violence, love, history, kilts and the sound of a thistle.

Honorable Mentions:

Field of Dreams
Silence of the Lambs
Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Easy Money
Pulp Fiction
Forrest Gump
A Christmas Carol: circa 1951 this movie scares the hell out of me every year.
Godfather 1 and 2
Die Hard
Rocky 2
True believer: James Woods at his finest                                                                    
Natural born Killers                                                                                          
Heavy Metal

 

Unreads for 4/15

12 Team 5×5 Weekly Head to Head league.  Looking at waiver wire possibilities to improve my pitching staff, which is Harang, Hudson, Hill, R. Johnson, Lilly, F. Rod, Jenks, Sherrill, CJ Wilson.

 

After a couple of starts I’m looking at starters on the waiver wire like Lee, Maddux, Westbrook, Germano, E. Santana, Millwood.

Am leaning toward dropping Lilly to get something off this list, but thought I’d get an expert opinion.

 

Thanks guys, love the show!

Dan in Denver

Hey Dan,

I’d hang on to Lilly.  As bad as his first three starts have been, let’s point out that he faced the hard hitting Brewers and Phillies in two of those outings.  Resist the urge to overreact this early in the season.  Lilly is not waiver wire material.  Don’t get me wrong, he’s no sure thing either.  In fact, last year was the first season in Ted’s career that he’s posted an ERA below 4.  But he’s a solid source for strikeouts, having fanned at least 160 in three of the last four years.  Owning pitchers with high strikeout rates is especially important in head to head leagues, where consistency is key.  I’m not sure if this is a weekly transaction league, but that would further enhance Lilly’s value, as piling up K’s by using the pitch or ditch strategy is a lot more difficult when you can’t sub in pitchers on a daily basis.  If there’s a hitter worth dropping, I have no problem with you picking up another pitcher off the wire, with Maddux (low ERA and WHIP, safer) or Big Erv (strikeouts, more upside) being my two choices depending on your needs.  Looking at this staff, I’d probably lean towards Santana, as Harang and Lilly are your only fully reliable strikeout guys.  I think Hill will get his act together, but you always have to be concerned when a pitcher drafted in the top 10 rounds is temporarily demoted to the bullpen.  As for the Unit, anything you get should be considered a bonus considering his age and injury history.  Santana was impressive all spring, and has certainly looked good so far.  He’s worth a flier.  Maybe 2008 will finally be the year!

Zach Steinhorn, MLB.com

What’s with Gabe Kapler this year. Is this just a hot start or could he be a super sleeper this year?

 He has shown 20 hr power a few years ago (1999-2001) but then it disappeared. This is the same guy that considers weight lifting as his primary job and baseball as a hobby.right?

 Thanks

Pat in LA

Hey Pat,

As a longtime Bostonian, I feel it’s my duty to pledge my unconditional loyalty to anyone who’s helped the Red Sox climb back into the realm of greatness. That said, I cannot in good conscience advise you to believe in Gabe Kapler’s insane early numbers. True, he’s been flat-out fantastic in his first 10 games, hitting at a ridiculous .423 clip with 4 bombs and 11 RBIs in just 26 at-bats. Nevertheless, take a look at the guy’s track record: most recently, he was managing the Single-A Greenville Drive, and in ’05 he was released from Japan’s Yomiuri Giants after lasting just 38 games. He hasn’t posted double-digit homers since 2001, and he’s finished a season hitting over .300 just once in 12 years. No question, it’d be a great story if the almost 33-year-old reemerged this season after years as a relative baseball nobody, but I just don’t see it happening.

Corey Gottlieb, MLB.com

Hey guys,

I am in a 9 Team league (But it is NL Only – so it’s legit). I have Ryan Freel as my third baseman (with Nomar on the DL). So, I have a huge hole at third. I’ve been offered Garrett Atkins and Randy Johnson for Cole Hamels and Willie Taveras. If I did the deal, I would replace Taveras with Lance Berkman (who is in utility) and replace Berkman with Kaz Matsui (when he gets of the DL). What do you think of the deal?  Would you pull the trigger or sit tight?

Thanks,
Tampa Pete

Hey Pete,

Whoa, there are lots of moving parts to this question. There are other details that should be known before definitively say ‘yay’ or ‘nay’ to the trade. What is your scoring system? What does the rest of your pitching staff look like? It’s tough to think of this in a vacuum, so ask yourself ask yourself the following questions: Which of these players can have the greatest positive impact on my league’s scoring system? Do I need power at third base or can I live with Nomar’s powerless bat when he comes off the disabled list? Can my starting rotation function productively without Hamels and with the questionable health of Randy Johnson? There is no question that Atkins is an upgrade over Nomar or Freel. Nomar can hit for a good average, but his power is rapidly declining. It also may be tougher for him to find his hitting stroke initially, considering he is coming off of a hand injury. Freel is a plug-in guy at third and the outfield, so he won’t play consistently. Atkins has averaged 27 home runs and 115 RBIs the last two seasons – with outstanding hitting averages – so he will be a very good contributor offensively, except for steals.

Taveras is a great source for steals and can score plenty of runs at the top of Colorado’s lineup, but Matsui can give you similar numbers if he can play every day. Matsui’s health has always been a major concern, so think about whether you are willing to take that risk.

You’re essentially looking at Freel or Nomar/Taveras OR Atkins/Kaz Matsui. I would be more comfortable with Atkins/Matsui. And if Matsui gets hurt again, you could sub in the speedy Freel at the utility spot.

Hamels is a rock for your staff, so you must consider if you can afford to let him go. Since Garrett Atkins is the main man coming back to you, think of this question: Is Atkins’ production at third more valuable to you than Hamels’ production on your staff? Which is more easily replaceable?

Randy Johnson looked good in his first start, but maintain some perspective: he was facing the abysmal Giants. He did struggle with his control as he walked four batters, but he also struck out seven. His strikeout numbers will be impressive, so you just hope he can keep taking his turn in the rotation.

You have to ask yourself some of the questions I mentioned, but if I had to give you an answer, I would say pull the trigger. Acquiring Atkins is too tempting of an upgrade to pass up.

Kyle Stack, MLB.com

       
 

411 chat for april is coming and fav five news!!!!!!!

our next one is april 22nd at 3pm ET. Cory and I will rock it with you for a good 90 minutes so join us early. its free baby!!!!

 

also get your fav five posts here now for favorite movies!

 

-siano 

 

 

Unreads for 4/14/08

Hey guys,
 
12 team 5×5 mixed keeper league.
I was offered Delmon Young and Boof Bonser for Ben Sheets and Justin Upton.  Do I do the deal?
I’m pretty stacked at SP with Sheets, Harang, Hill, Billinglsey, Owings, Jurjjens, and Kazmir and Lackey on the way.

Thanks,
Brian in Philly

Hey Brian,

I would rather have Sheets and Upton than Bonser and Young. Let’s talk about your pitchers first. Your staff has great potential, but you’re obviously trying to make due without Kazmir and Lackey. So why would you trade your most productive pitcher (Sheets) up to this point? Look, we all know that Sheets is prone to injury. He hasn’t started more than 24 games since 2004, but he has averaged a 3.64 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and nearly a strikeout per inning in those three seasons since his breakout year of ’04. Those are numbers that any fantasy owner should be pleased with from a starter. Bonser is off to a good start, but, like any pitcher, he’s not guaranteed to stay healthy. His first two seasons in the Majors have suggested that he can be a respectable strikeout pitcher (220 in 273 innings), but his ERA (5.10) and WHIP (1.53) last season should be a notice of caution. Basically, you should value the elite production you will get from Sheets – even if he makes fewer starts – more than the likely mediocre to slightly above-average production you will get from Bonser.

As for Upton and Young, Upton probably has more power potential. You might be thinking that you can sell high on Upton (.400, five home runs, 11 RBIs), but who’s to say he can’t remain productive? Arizona seems willing to play him in right field every day and, considering he bats primarily sixth or seventh in a very good lineup, Upton has a great shot to drive in lots of runs. Also, think of his raw power. Arizona’s Chase Field has ranked in the top half of the Majors the last five seasons in home run rate.

Young is a good player, but he doesn’t possess Upton’s power nor does he show more plate discipline (one walk every 24 plate appearances this season). Upton has drawn a walk every 10 trips to the plate this season.

Stick with Sheets and Upton and continue to enjoy their productivity.

Kyle Stack, MLB.com

 
Guys, great job as always.  10 team 6×6 (obp and k/9) mixed keeper league (6 keepers).  Off to a slow start with Martin, Konerko, Victorino along with Francis, Lilly among my starters – plus Wainright last night and Rollins hurting.  Rest of my team is A-Rod, Justin Upton, Ichiro, Francouer, Sheffield, Kinsler, Haren, Hughes, K-Rod, Accardo, Corpas, Acosta, Marcum and BJ Ryan on the DL. 

 
Lilly and Francis will be on the bench this weekend for me.  When do you start to drop slow starters?               

 

PS – did you know that the Rays spokesperson who commented on Al Reyes is named Rick Vaughn?  Good to know the “Wild Thing” got a job.     

Dave,
Yonkers NY

Hey Dave,

  You pose an interesting question about struggling pitchers. There are two schools of thought here. The first says wait out the first month and analyze performances.  The second says don’t wait, because if you do, you’ll probably miss out on getting a good replacement from the waiver wire. The problem is both of these suggestions can help you, or screw you. Make your decisions on a case-by-case basis.  The way I see it, you have three pitchers of major concern – Lilly, Francis, and Hughes.
 
 First off, I’d give Hughes at least a month.  I know his ERA is 9.00 and his WHIP is 2.18, but you’re in a keeper league and Hughes could be a diamond in the rough once he starts locating his fastball, at least that’s what the Yankees think. Also, at 7.36 K/9, he’s got the highest strikeout ratio of the three aforementioned pitchers and that’s not a fluke. Last year, he struck out 58 batters in 72 innings.

  I’d keep Lilly on the bench and see how he does in his next start. If he loses, dump him. He’s struggling with his command and leaving too many pitches over the middle, which is why he hasn’t lasted longer than 4 2/3 innings in any of his three starts.  As a result, he hasn’t been able to get his K/9 up to his career average of 7.64. Still, if he reestablishes his control, he can win 15 games this year.

  Francis is the easiest decision. Hang onto him for his next start at PETCO against the Padres and see how he does. If he can’t do well in a pitcher’s park against a mediocre lineup, then dump him. It’s hard to argue with his stats. In two starts, he’s allowed six homers, which is unacceptable. And yes, both of those starts came against a Diamondbacks team that’s absolutely crushing the ball, but that’s no excuse for a 9.53 ERA and a 2.03 WHIP. He’s never had an ERA lower than 4.16 and he pitches at Coors.

Hope this helps you. Oh, and don’t worry about Wainwright, I think he’ll have a good year.

Milosh Marinovich, MLB.com
 

Coming Wednesday: our Fave 5 movies!

Get ready for a very special 411 this Wednesday (April 16), as Siano, Sterno and Schwartz reveal their top five favorite movies. Not just five total… five EACH! Fifteen fabulous filmic classics!

lagroup.jpg

Just to give you an idea of how hard it is to boil it down to that number, consider that I spent all week saying L.A. Confidential was a stone cold lock for my top five (in fact, I just caught the last half of it again last night), and when I sent in my actual list today, it was on the cutting room floor. Oh baby!

Even the movies that didn’t make it are among the classics.

 

The Fave 5 will be a recurring segment on the show, so tune in at 2:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday for the inaugural segment and find out which movies made the cut.

–CS

 

 

 

Fantasy Feud Standings

        FANTASY FEUD BREAKDOWN THROUGH WEEK 2                                                                                                                                                                                       

Mike’s Team

Hitters: Alex Rodriguez, Matt Holliday
AVG: 20/49 = .408
HR: 3
RBI: 14
SB: 0
R: 12

Pitchers: Justin Verlander, Matt Cain
W/L: 0-2
ERA: 5.94 (14ER in 22.2IP)
K: 20
SV: 0
WHIP: 1.64

Casey’s Team

Hitters: Miguel Cabrera, Jimmy Rollins
AVG: 6/30 = .200
HR: 2
RBI: 3
SB: 0
R: 5

Pitchers: Johan Santana, Fausto Carmona
W/L: 1-2
ERA: 2.34 (6ER in 23.1IP)
K: 15
SV: 0
WHIP: 31/23.1 = 1.35

Cory’s Team

Hitters: Ryan Howard, Brandon Phillips
AVG: 10/44 = .228
HR: 1
RBI: 3
SB: 3
R: 5

Pitchers: Adam Wainwright, Danny Haren
W/L: 3-0
ERA: 1.80 (4ER in 20IP)
K: 16
SV: 0
WHIP: 22/21 = 1.05

POINTS  (AVG, HR, RBI, R, SB, W, K, ERA, WHIP, SV)

Cory:    2+1+1.5+1.5+3+3+2+3+3+1 = 21 

                                                                                                                                Mike:    3+3+3+3+1.5+1+3+1+1+1 = 20.5

Casey:    1+2+1.5+1.5+1.5+2+1+2+2+1 = 15.5

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