May 2008

Unread for 5/21

13 team mixed roto. We start 2 at 1B,2B,3B,SS and 5 OF  and 7 SP,3 RP.

I trade Arod and CC for Fielder and Crawford. My 2 3B would be Crede and Kouzmanoff. My OF would be Carlos Lee,Ichiro,Crawford,Mclouth,Victorino and Luke Scott. I can deal 1 of my OF for SP. What do you think?

Scott

Hey Scott,

Yeah, I would do this deal. A-Rod is still the number one player in fantasy, but trading him along with an elite pitcher who I think will take a nosedive in the second half for two first-round quality players is a good deal for you.
 
A-Rod is hitting .287 with five home runs and 13 RBIs in 94 at-bats and should be as productive as ever after missing three weeks with a quadriceps injury. The time that he missed might make it difficult for him to reach the 54 home runs and 156 RBIs he posted last season, but 40-45 home runs and 120-130 RBIs is plausible. I am not as high on Sabathia, though.

I realize he has been torrid in his last six starts (1.66 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 51/9 K/BB ratio in 43 innings), but his workload from last season still worries me. He burned through 256 innings last year, a copious amount of work that I think will come back to burn him in the second half of this season. I’m not saying he’ll get injured; it would be ludicrous of me to predict that. He may even be serviceable, but I can see him wearing down from all the innings come August and September. If you can get Fielder and Crawford from C.C. and A-Rod, well, you have to take that chance.

Fielder has started slow (six home runs, 24 RBIs, .799 OPS), but think of his production from last season. Although May was his biggest power month (13 homers, 28 RBIs) last year, he still smashed at least eight long balls and 20-plus RBIs in three other months. He has as much of a chance to reach 50 home runs as A-Rod and Prince should have plenty of RBI opportunities hitting behind Rickie Weeks, Mike Cameron and Ryan Braun in the Brewers lineup.

Crawford would make your team an elite in the steals department. He also has double-digit pop in his bat (an average of 14 homers the past four years) and he’ll score a boatload of runs as B.J. Upton, Carlos Pena and Evan Longoria are there to knock him home.
 
Crede and Kouz are fine at third base. Crede hit 30 homers and knocked in 94 runs in a full season for the White Sox in 2006 and his eight jacks and 27 ribbies this season are proof that he is a very good fantasy player when healthy. Kouz should be fine as your second third baseman, but you might want to give Padres prospect Chase Headley a look. The third baseman/outfielder is expected to be called up soon to jumpstart an anemic Padres offense. The 24-year-old is batting .288 with seven homers and 20 RBIs in 170 at-bats, so his third base eligibility will make him a good alternative to Kouz if the incumbent (.269, 4 homers, 17 RBIs, .684 OPS) doesn’t heat up.

Kyle Stack, MLB.com

Fav 5 Candies

Stern

 

5. Sour anything….Gummy bears, patch kids, worms….

4. Reeses Peanut Butter Cups

3. Nestles Crunch

2. Skittles

1. M&M’s

 

Siano

 

#1 gummy bears

 
#2 cadbury eggs original flavor

 
#3 Hershey special dark

 
#4 Reese’s peanut butter cups

 
#5 Fruit stripes gum

 
 
Schwartz

 

1. Chocolate covered gummy bears

2. Chocolate covered cherry marshmallow twists (frozen)

3. Fruit flavored jelly slices (like you get for Passover: http://www.figis.com/images/products/large/109407_lg.jpg)

4. Plain M&M’s

5. Skittles (original flavors)

 
And some listener picks:

 Sixlets
 Swedish Fish

 Carmel Cremes

Werther’s Orignal 
Tootsie Rolls
Snicker Easter
Eggs

Lindt 70% Coco Solid Chocolate.
Chelsea ********
(Cocoa Powder covered soft chocolate fudge)
Nerds (Grape and Strawberry)
Haribo
Gold Bears.

Twix


 

Updated Feud Standings + Roundtable

Click on the link below to download the fantasy feud standings through week 7

FANTASYFEUDBREAKDOWN wk 7 (2).rtf

And here’s the latest roundtable on young players who have found early season success but are bound to fade.

Unread for 5/19

Hey Guys,

I watch the show every day and really need some advice on how to proceed here.  I’m in an 11 team Mixed 5×5 Roto league and through mismanagement and injuries find myself in last place.  My team is as follows:

C-Victor Martinez
1st-Derrick Lee
2nd-Kent (Kendrick when healthy)
SS-Jose Reyes
3rd-David Wright
OF1-Matt Holiday
OF2-Chris Young
OF3-Chris Duncan (Also have Jeff Francoer) DH-Chipper Jones (Also have Edwin Encarnation for when chipper gets hurt) SP1-James Shields SP2-Dustin McGowan SP3-Tedd Lilly SP4-Jair Jurgens  (Also have Wolf, Ducherecer, Hughes, and Hill on bench) RP1-Brandon Lyon RP2-Jon Rauch (Also have Brian Fuentes) Is this a last place team?  Do you see any glaring holes I need to fill? Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,
Bill in Chicago

Hey Bill,

Roto leagues can be tough to make up ground in once you’ve dug yourself a hole. You noted that you are in last place, but I have to figure that your offense alone should be able to help you climb out of the cellar before the end of the season. Bill, you really need to take a deep breath and look at your offense. Holliday, Reyes and Wright are first-round picks in just about every fantasy league from New York to Chicago to L.A. and you have all three on your team.
 
Victor Martinez hasn’t hit a home run and he has only 15 ribbies, but he has averaged 21 homers and 99 RBIs the last four seasons. He will find his power while maintaining a .300-plus average. Derrek Lee is just fine at first base. Reyes, Wright and Holliday are your core and should not be traded unless a team offers you a collection of fabulous players and throws in the moon for good measure. Chris Young’s .254 batting average is hurting you, but his power/speed combination is dazzling. Don’t worry about his paltry three stolen bags. He swiped 27 last year to go with his 32 home runs, so you want that sort of statistical versatility on your team. I would play Francoeur over Chris Duncan at all times. You could do much, much worse than Frenchy as your third outfielder. He’s averaged 104 RBIs the past two years, and smacked 40 doubles in 2007 despite going deep just 19 times. Your overall team speed isn’t great, but Reyes, Wright, Young and Holliday (seven steals this year, an average of 12 the past three seasons) should keep you high enough in that category.

This lineup is already an impressive array of home run bombers and high-average hitters before you think about Chipper Jones as your utility guy. His .410 average will come down, but he was a .307 career hitter coming into the year, with a .331 average from 2006-07. His power (11 home runs) is legit and he will continue to be a major run producer (32 RBIs to this point) in a very productive Braves offense. Encarnacion is a great power option on the bench.

Your two second base options – Kent and Kendrick – are big injury liabilities, but they each have definite strengths (Kent and his power, Kendrick and his batting average) when they are healthy. This is the biggest weakness on your offense, but I don’t feel like you need to upgrade. The rest of your high-powered offense is good enough to cover up for the lack of overall production at second base. Scour the free agent wire and be prepared to drop Duncan if you need to pick up a second baseman if Kent and Kendrick are both out for an extended time. Duncan doesn’t need to be owned in an 11-team league, especially with the type of offense you have.
 
Your pitching depth is suspect, but Shields (45/14 K/BB ratio in 59 innings and 1.13 WHIP) is a good start. McGowan’s ERA (4.38) and WHIP (1.44) are a tad high compared to last year (4.08 and 1.22), but I would stick with him. We’re closing in on June but you can’t be so dismissive with younger players this early in the season. Many fantasy owners expect immediate rewards from younger players, but sometimes players take a little longer to get going than others. Jurrjens has been a surprise, but his 7.3 K/9 ratio is about in line with what he produced in the Minors. Ted Lilly’s 5.33 ERA makes him look like a candidate to be unloaded, but check out his 1.28 WHIP and 50/17 K/BB rate in 50 2/3 innings. You want that kind of strikeout production on your roster and he should be able to pick up double-digit wins with the Cubs offense supporting him.
 
Jon Rauch (10 saves, 19 strikeouts in 21 2/3 innings) and Brandon Lyon (12 saves, 1.00 WHIP) are doing a fine job. Fuentes is alright, though he has value as long as he remains Colorado’s closer.
 
Bill, I suppose you could package Chipper and Francoeur for a top-of-the-line starter or trade David Wright for a couple of starters and plug in Encarnacion as your third baseman, but I don’t recommend it. I never like to trade elite hitting for elite pitching. I always worry about the injury risk of pitchers, as witnessed by the current health questions with Jake Peavy (elbow) and Roy Oswalt (hip). Your offense has the potential to be the best all-around in your league, so you might only need to be strong in a couple areas of pitching to secure a higher place in your league. I would focus on searching the waiver wire for starters who have good strikeout numbers. You can pick one up after dropping Duncan. Keep apprised of closer situations on ballclubs as well, since you might be able to pounce on a potential closer of another team before your leaguemates become aware. If you are still stuck toward the cellar in late June, then I would consider trading one of your big bats for a No. 1 starter. Hope this helps.

Kyle Stack, MLB.com

Transcript of today’s 411 chat

Mike Siano: Hey everyone we are at my desk and ready to rock out so start getting those questions in and we’ll be with you in just a minute.

parkercbc: Have volquez, think he has peaked, want to know who you would target in a trade?

boyland: Is Edinson Volquez for real?

Mike: Seems like Big Ed is a hot topic and he should be since he leads the land in ERA. I think he is legit but if you can sell high for a bat or a Sabathia type I would still do it.

052999: Will Rich Hill make it back by mid June?

Cory Schwartz: I wouldn’t be holding my breath for him. He continues to have control troubles in the minors and Lou Piniella isn’t the type to let anyone out of the doghouse too quickly. Hill will be back at some point, but remember, he’s already 28, not a prospect… in non-keeper leagues, you can move on.

dinoooooo: Should I start Yunel Escobar or Stephen Drew?? Todd Jones or Scott Kazmir? (Saves worth same as wins)

Mike: I have to eat some crow so far on Escobar he is better then I thought. Jones will have more chances at saves then Kazmir wins you would assume but Kazmir is the superior player.

miggs36: Mark Reynolds is on the waiver wire. I currently have Edwin Encarnacion as my corner with Swisher riding pine b/c he is atrocious. Would drop either one for Mark Reynolds?

Cory: I’d stick with the guys you have. Encarnacion has been streaky but will have the numbers when all is said and done, and Swisher is still in his peak and playing in that great hitter’s park. Reynolds is waaaayyyy too strikeout prone and will have Chad Tracy looking over his shoulder soon, too.

shawnnnnn: Does the ‘hitters hit’ philosophy apply to a guy like Gary Sheffield this season?

Mike: Shawn that’s a good question. the answer is hitters hit when they are healhty and not old like Sheffield. If he goes on the DL and comes back with a clean bill of health then the philosophy would apply. Keep an eye out for Jeff Larish who is ripping apart the minors for Detroit.

everett03: I have Brad Hawpe and was wondering if I should try to trade him to get Swisher since I know you guys are low on Hawpe. Thanks for your help!!

Cory: I would do this deal. Hawpe is very heavily dependent on Coors and can’t hit lefties, while Swisher has shown ability to hit from both sides, and also plays in a great hitters park. Neither are hitting right now but I’d take my chances on Swisher from here on out, especially if the Rockies start to trade off some guys and rebuild.

scottymack: Hey guys, I’m looking to upgrade offense in my AL-only league. Would you deal either Vazquez or Beckett along with Thome & Dellucci for AJ Burnett, Sheffield and either BJ Upton or Ichiro?

Mike: I would definitely make a strong effort to get Upton or Ichiro but I think you keep it simple and do a 2 for 1 or one for one. if you afford to move Beckett then make the 1 for 1 but keep most of these names out of it.

itsrvd: Rank these 3: Greinke, Cain, Scherzer.

Cory: For this year I would go Greinke, Cain, Scherzer. Long term I would put Scherzer ahead of Cain, once his role gets figured out. This is no knock on Cain, but the Giants are just a brutally bad team and are not going to get better.

ionlywin: I have A question, not even about helping me in my league because I am in first, but how do you get to the point where you are getting paid to give advice in fantasy?

Mike: Create your own site and figure out a way to get people to visit it and hope you are good or get an internship at an MLB.com, ESPN, CBS, Yahoo or with the Shandler’s and Lawr Michaels of the land. We do this for free btw.

Cory: Make friends with Andy Roth and hope he hires you. He was foolish enough to give me my first shot.

ronaldo07: Hello from England! Im playing the MLB.com Fantasy Open, and am torn between who to start, Guzman or S. Drew from the Diamondbacks?

Cory: Guzman has been a surprisingly solid contributor this year, but Drew is a better hitter and plays for a better team in a better ballpark. Stick with the skillz.

stu61: Is Johnny Cueto a good buy low candidate?

Mike: Depends what you are paying, but sure I’d take Cueto and prepare for some so so starts.

kbalderston: Hey guys, what should I do with Lastings Millege in a vanilla league. Drop him or stash him?

Cory: As much as I like Milledge and believe in his talent, he can be dropped right now in a non-keeper mixed league. I think he’ll be a contributor before all is said and done but right now I’d rather go for someone who is, y’know, hitting a little bit.

miggs36: I have held onto Chase Headley and he is taking up one of just 4 reserve spots in my 11 team league. I have kept him this long and hope my patience will be rewarded. Do you see him getting called up anytime soon, and if so, will I reap the benefits?

rokhed: When is Chase headley going to be called up?

Mike: I honestly was surprised he didn’t get called up when Edmonds got released. It is just a matter of time, the Padres are underacheiving and could use Chse over Gerut 10 times a week. Hang in there if you can.

claybo7: Will Adam Laroche get called up soon? will he recieve regular AB’s?

Cory: Presumably you mean Andy, Adam’s little brother who is in Triple-A with the Dodgers. He’s still on the mend from his spring injury, and with Blake DeWitt hitting well, there’s no rush to bring him up. LaRoche is still the long-term answer at third for the Dodgers, though.

ronaldo07: Dan Uggla is tearing it up for me this season, hes always had the power, but seems to have improved his plate discipline too. Do you think this will last?

Cory: Plate discipline is a skill, so Uggla’s improvement in this regard is very, very promising. He’s a guy who’s been proving a lot of people wrong over the past few years — me among them — so I wouldn’t doubt this improvement is for real. Remember, he had 49 doubles and 31 homers last year, so the power is legit.

bluevoid: Bartolo Colon makes his return this week. Is he worth picking up?

Cory: Mike owns and already activated Colon in an AL-only league, which makes sense because he’ll get the offensive and bullpen support from the Red Sox. But in mixed leagues, I’d be more patient, there are a lot of starters to choose from. He hasn’t been healthy or effective for a couple of years.

ilpozzallese: Erv Santana is pitching at Chicago next time out… would you put him in?

Cory: I know I speak for Mike on this one… the way Erv is throwing right now, start him anywhere, anytime, against anyone. The home/road thing seems to be a non-issue now, especially that he’s cut his walk rate without losing any strikeouts.

itsrvd: Will Jeff Francoeur pick it up soon? He has 3 homers and 2 were in one game!

mattyboy5: Beltran for j sheilds and francour — who got the better?

Cory: These two questions fit well together. I like the Shields/Francoeur end of the deal, because Shields is a legit soft ace/#2, and while Francoeur hasn’t shown the power yet, the RBI’s have been there and the Braves offense is stacked. He hit 43 over the past two years so he should get at least 20 again this year. Beltran is solid but this is a great return.

gdream: Hi Guys, Matt Joyce, Detroit, 4HR/30AB, Is it legit?

Cory: I don’t like betting against guys but Joyce seems to me like the AL version of John Bowker. Joyce never hit for any meaningful power in the minors, didn’t hit for a great average and didn’t walk much. His long-term future is as a 4th/5th OF.

everett03: Someone just dropped Kouz in my 12 team mixed. We have 2 starters at every position and get 5 keepers at the end of the year. I’m sitting at #5 on the waiver wire with Braun, Wigginton, and Castillo (SF) who can play 3B.

Cory: I have Kouz in the 411 listener l
eague and I am losing faith in him; check out his disgusting K/BB rate and low fly-ball rates. But, that said, Castillo is a waiver wire player so if I had to bet on one or the other, it would still be Kouz.

soxfan1997: Will DiceK be 8-0 for the Red Sox?

Cory: His next start is at home against the Royals, so I like his chances. But he has to keep the walks down to continue enjoying this level of success, and that’s no guarantee.

astian: When will Liriano be back up? What should we expect from him this year?

Cory: Our good friend Will Carroll at Baseball Prospectus.com had a great writeup on Liriano today and thinks he’s finally turning the corner. He’ll be back up at some point this year, possibly in the next 2-3 weeks, but after his rough start to the season, expect the Twins to be cautious. Still, a great stash right now in any format.

boyland: Any idea how serious Peavy’s elbow is?

Cory: Right now no one is talking anything more than one missed start, but I’m worried. He’s had elbow/forearm problems before and recurrence is a very scary thing in my opinion. With the Padres going nowhere fast, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him get shut down for some time to let things clear up.

iggy23: Is Dustin Hermanson still a lock for Cinci’s closing role?

Cory: Haha, good one! I’ll stick by my sources; the guy who gave me this one last year has given me plenty of other good insights. But if we got everything 100% right all the time, we’d all be rolling in Vegas like Jeff Ma, not doing a fantasy baseball chat!

boyland: What about Felix Hernandez? Sometimes he seems like a breakout star and other times he seems to lose his way. What’s your take?

Cory: His talent and stuff are incredible, that’s obvious, and the home ballpark is a big plus. But his mechanics are inconsistent and that makes him risky, always. High risk, nuclear reward.

052999: Do you think that Eveland and Smith will continue to provide quality starts for the A’s or do you think they are starting to fade?

Mike: I think the shine has come off a tad but I’m not writing them off just yet. I would predict Duke losing his slot and Gaudin getting back in there before I would for Smith or Eveland.

fsudan: I am in a 9 person league and in dead last in every offensive category. My sluggers are arod, vladdy, carlos beltran, torri hunter, jason bay, and thome. Should I be worried at this point in the season?

Mike: The magic name is A-Rod. I think all A-Rod owners who are struggling offesnively need to wait a few more weeks and luckily we can. If Alex gets hot like Papi and Soriano have I think you will see yoruself start moving. If he doesn’t then by June 5thish you have to start thinking drastic moves to salvage your season. I am optimistic.

pfelon: So far this season, Cliff Lee, Joe Saunders, Ervin Santana, Nate McLouth, and Ryan Church have helped me hang near the top of my 12 team vanilla keeper league. Which of these guys should I be pushing to sell high on, and which will be solid contributors

Mike: Always sell high on arms for bats or stud arms in return. Chruch I think is going to have a solid season front to end and McLouth has to get those steals up and I can’t believe his homers continue.

mattyboy5: What’s going on with the Reds OF, Griff gettin traded maybe dunn too, bruce tearing up the minors?

saxnchi: How much FAB do you think it will cost for Jay Bruce in a 10 team NL only 5×5? We can not bid until he is called up. – Sax from Chicago

Cory: Griffey may or may not be trade bait, but the Patterson/Freel platoon is really where Bruce can make an impact. There’s no doubt he can help the Reds right now, but I will stick by my original guess that he comes up on or around June 12. Whenever he does, get ready to spend your entire FAAB budget, because he’s that good… as Reds’ PR guy Jamie Ramsay notes, Bruce is “currently mired in a 27-for-51 slump.” Good stuff.

pfelon: Can Clint Barmes continue this hot start?

Cory: I just picked up Barmes this week in NFBC since they are home all week. I don’t think he’ll hit .360, but he has some pop and speed and can help in most formats.

Cory: BTW, pfelon, I think you would be wise to put Barmes in your lineup.

BB-King:With 5 bench spots in a daily 12 team 5×5. How do you split the bench between hitters and pitchers?

Mike: I would go mostly bats so you aren’t left scrambling for scraps on Monday’s and Thursday’s. With five spots I wouldn’t be against stashing a prospect like Bruce or Headley instead of an arm, just pitch or ditch.

zmun: Your opinion on kobyashi and perez for saves?

Mike: I said on today’s show that I’m not buying into Koby , Borowski is going to get his job back in the next 7 – 14 days so this coulkd be a lot of work for not a lot of saves. Didn’t help he looked terrrible against Reds Saturday.

yankeeduke: max scherzer/carlos marmol, outlook for the rest of the year, who is more valuable in a regular H2H league?

Cory: Marmol has been awesome this year, but Wood has done nothing to suggest he won’t be solid all year, and Piniella might really wear down Marmol’s arm. Scherzer’s role isn’t well-defined right now but I’ve seen enough so far to think he’ll be the choice here, simply because he’ll probably end up throwing more innings.

bluevoid: Where do you rank Kurt Suzuki? Is he good enough to be a #1 catcher in a 12 team leauge?

Cory: Sorry, I don’t think so. He has a little pop and might steal the occasional bag, but won’t hit for much average, especially in that home ballpark. Long-term I’d still rather have JR Towles, and he’s hitting .154!

claybo7: 11 team 5×5 mixed keeper. Have weeks at 2b, h ram at SS, and betencourt at MI. Would you drop weeks for Durham, F Sanchez, L Castiillo, Iguchi, or R Vazquez? Weeks BA is killing me

Cory: You can’t drop Weeks, he contributes nicely in the other four categories. Yuniesky is the guy hurting you, and I’d go for Durham (hot now) or Sanchez (best long-term option) over him.

janingla: Guys, need help in evaluating this trade. 15 team 5×5 mixed. I would give up Bedard and Big Erv and get Mauer, Francis and Cliff Lee. Should i do it?

Mike: Tough call but I probably wouldn’t. I like that you get Mauer without giving up a bat but pound for pound it’s proabbly not worth the hit you take in pitching.

ronaldo07: I have a quandry – who to start between Burrell or Abreu? I have McLouth and Quentin as my other 2 OFs but cannot make my mind up between burrell and abreu who both seem to have gone cold?

Mike: Make a trade! Burrel has 7 games but is on the road. yanks have 6 but are home. I go Abreu but Cory goes burrell so flip a coin or go with your gut. Great problem to have.

iggy23: Will Bonds get picked up as a DH this year?

Mike: team that makes the most sene is Detroit if Sheff goes on shelf and they decide to not call up larish.

gdream: Guerrero, LAA, subpar numbers, is it time to use him as trade bait?

Cory: You won’t find many bigger Vladdy fans than me, but he’s clearly a player in decline. That said, he hit .324/27/125 last year, so he should still rebound and put up some good numbers this year. But his years of being a first-round pick are over, and the second round may be out too.

everett03: When do you guys think Kershaw is going to get brought up?

Cory: Like Jay Bruce, I’ll stick with June 12. He’s doing fine in Triple-A but the Dodgers are doing fine too so there’s no need to rush him, he’s only 20 years old. When he’s up though, it will almost certainly be for good. Save your FAAB dollars, you’re gonna need ‘em.

monq24: What’s wrong with jeff francis?

Mike: Nothing, he’s just not a great pitcher.

epsteine: Should I drop Jason Isringhausen?

Mike: I wouldn’t he is on DL and will be the closer
again at least once more.

Cory: I agree Izzy will get another shot at the closer job, but we’ve said many times recently that Chris Perez is the future there, and he’s up now, so he’s definitely worth picking up in deeper and/or keeper leagues. Big guy with a big-time arm.

yankeeduke: Hunter Pence for Adam Dunn/Marmol, good deal, outlooks?

Mike: I’d do it.

fsudan: Do you think that ervin santana and micah owings will keep up what they are doing?

Mike: I have more faith in Big Erv, Owings is good but his window is smaller due to davis coming back and Scherzer looking muy bueno.

1fukudome: Hey guys, What do you think of Helton’s lack of power lately? I was thinking of packaging him with a reliever like Rivera or Capps to get D. Lee. or should I stick it out.

Cory: For all the other good stuff he does, Helton has only averaged 17 homers for the past three seasons, so this is no fluke. Helton and Capps for Lee is a very reasonable and fair offer, but I wouldn’t include Mariano in that deal. He’s still among the elite.

boyland: Should I trade Edgar Renteria for Corey Hart?

Cory: I would do this deal. I’ve said all winter that the Tigers offense was overrated and fragile, and while Hart hasn’t picked up the power yet, he’s hitting over .300 and providing steals. This one will pay off in the long run.

gdream: What’s going on with the Chisox hitters, Thome, Kornerko and Swisher are all of pace?

Mike: Wish I knew, it’s a mystery because all are good hitters that are slumping terribly at the same time. They will all come around and get back to or close to pace is my guess.

jkulczycki: Keeper league who would you rather have – Miguel Cabrera or Ryan Braun?

Mike: Braun, he is younger and plays in a better park and steals with power, but that’s me.

Cory: OTOH, Cabrera is probably the better overall hitter, and will be 1B and 3B eligible, compared to OF only for Braun. Tough choice, you can’t go wrong.

parkercbc: What is your take on Josh Hamilton? Legit or time to sell high?

Cory: Very tough read here. Pros: improved walk rate, great home park, 30 HR in fewer than 162 career games, AL pitchers still learning him. Con: Clearly overachieving in RBI, still has to learn AL pitchers, not a great lineup around him, may be at his peak value. I’d deal him, but get full value in return as opposed to “cashing on” on a sell-high.

yidgator: How much more patience would you have with JR Towles and Andrew Jones?

Mike: Towles was cut in 411 league and is still out there and Jones is close to that which is mind boggling, at least Towles is a rookie.

Cory: Don’t give up on Towles just yet though… he’s not strking out much and has legit power. He could bounce back and provide real value in deeper leagues.

rokhed: Is Paul Byrd a quality 5th starter in a 14 team, 25 man roster mixed league? woiuld you start him ahead of Hochevar?

Mike: Byrd has minimal value in that format and no I wouldn’t start him over Luke, only problem with Luke is he has the Red Sox tonight.

champs31: What do you think of Ramon Vasquez at shortstop because my starter is out in Rafael Furcal?

Mike: Furcal will be back Friday accoridng to Uncle Joe Torre, but Vazquez is a fine fill in for the time being especially now that Blalock is playing 1B when he returns.

miggs36: Great show fellas. 11 team 5X5 Mixed League-Please evaluate this trade:I need hitting help and have decent depth at pitching.I traded James Shields, Jair Jurrjens, and Gary Sheffield for Vlad Guerrero and Shane Victorino.

Cory: Thanks! I think this is a decent trade; break it down like this… Sheff and Jurrjens for Vlad is a solid deal, and Shields for Victorino is pretty solid too. If Sheff gets healthy and starts hitting again this might sting a little, but then again, Jurrjens is not a guarantee just yet.

giantyank: Will Garret Anderson continue his hot streak this week and will O.Cabrera light up his old team?

Cory: Over the past four years Anderson has averaged 17 homers and 84 RBI’s. That’s nice production, but nothing to get too worked up over. I’d rather have Cabrera from now to the end of the season, because he’s a shortstop and will steal some bags.

kcfrog: What’s up guys? Which struggling starter do you have more faith in – Brett Myers or Justin Verlander? Thanks – KC

Cory: I’d go with Verlander: younger, better home park, better velocity, fewer HR problems, less mileage on his arm… all signs point to Verlander here. Myers has lost his velocity and as yet there’s no indication it’s coming back.

monq24: Which is a better bet: suppan or lannan?

Mike: Strong Island’s own John Lannan is having himself quite the nice little season so far. Go for it.

thesloths1: What do you think about Cliff Lee bouncing back from his last start and being a top tier starter for the remainder of 08?

Mike: Sloth take it easy, did you really expect Clifford to pitch like he had been all season long? Be happy he proved he is human.

bffools: would you trade Reyes For A. Pujols in a Keeper league

Mike: No beucase eventually Albert will need surgery and Reyes goes before him in drafts anyway.

Cory: BTW folks we are going to go another 15 minutes or so, so let’s start speed round now…

jesseatcal: Hey guys – wanted to know your opinion on the value of the pure steals guys. Thinking of trading Rauch (and cordero) for Gomez? Thoughts? I don’t usually go for these guys, but have been caught a little unawares by the huge number of steals so far this season.

Cory: Gomez is not a great baseball player, but when he gets on, he steals. This is fair value if it fits the needs.

iggy23: Will Bartolo Colon be worth of a waiver claim in my 12 team mixed league? I need pitching help.

Mike: Maybe but dont expect great things just yet his pitch count is low right now.

miggs36: Are lowe and myers this atrocious? I dumped Arroyo in less time and am wondering when I should pull the plug on these two as they have singlehandedly destroyed my era.

Cory: They just might be. Lowe has been banged up and has never been great — good, but not great — so he’s replacable. As noted above, Myers has gone from homer prone to a bad batting practice pitcher, and he doesn’t have enough of a repertoire to survive at 88-89 MPH. In time they may bounce back but how long can you wait? I’ve moved on.

monq24: Will james loney’s power numbers improve?

Mike: I think so. I never had him pegged for more then 25 but he has to get pretty hot to meet that. Let’s put him at 20 right now so 5 off my pace.

the_beef: I am in need of RBIs ….Ive been offered Burrel for my Bay. What do you say?

Cory: Bay has been heating up but the lineup around him isn’t nearly as good as the Phillies. There’s some risk here but it’s an upgrade at least as far as RBI’s go.

arthardie: Is Mike Cameron a smart fantasy pickup this year?

Mike: Will provide pop and speed in a good lineup. Don’t expect much average and you’ll be ok.

bigsprung: If you have a struggling offense, would you trade Jeff Francis for either Xavier Nady or Ryan Church, if so explain why.

Mike: Francis is just not a great fantasy pitcher it’s that simple. He pitches in Coors and if anything has been overrated. I like Church over Nady but I’d take either in a second over Francis.

crasyhors: With Doug Davis returning, will max Sherzer stay in the rotation?

Cory: As noted on today’s show, talent wins out, and Scherzer was dominant in his three starts minus one bad inning against the Phillies. He may go to the ‘pen for now but he’s shown he’ll have value all year.

parkercbc: What is a fair expectation for Josh Hamilton at the end of the year? Obviously he can’t sustain this pa
ce. Is he legit?

Cory: I’d bump up my expectations to .280/32/115, maybe a little more, but remember also he hasn’t proven he can stay healthy over a full season. As Big Tuna would say, let’s not get out the anointing oils just yet!

hlwdjsd: Working ont a trade in a 5×5 keeper league. I desperately need steals. I’m trading from SP strength — so far we have Lincecum & Verlander for Figgins and ? What kind of player would finish that up?

Mike: HOFer Jeanne!!!

Mike: Tough one Jeanne. We prefer you just did one for one. Verlander for Figgins and move on?

iggy23: I have a non baseball related question? Who cuts your hair?

Mike: Flo-bee , it still works , plutonium is awesome!!!!!

Cory: Uncle Ernie’s barbershop on Merrick Avenue. Shave, too!

Mike: I actually see a russian assasin name Mikail at a Long Beach lemon tree.

bigsprung: How long could Jake Peavy be out for, I heard John Kruk say that the Padres should just shut him down.

Mike and Cory: let’s wait on the MRI really have no choice, but be prepared to be without him.

GunSlinger: Should I start Arroyo tonight?

Mike and Cory: We both say pitch, I think he got pissed at the Club DTM reference. Great call by Todd Zola so far that Arroyo would bounce back.

Mike and Cory: thanks everyone we’ll see yout tomorrow at 2pm ET for the Tuesday showgram.

POD for Monday May 19th

Click here for Monday’ Probables

Yes: Lilly, Myers (at Nationals, one last ditch attempt!), Peavy, J.Shields

No: Everyone else, including Hochevar (not at Red Sox, not yet)

Arroyo, Lowe and Blanton are all
toss-ups on Monday, but I would probably go for Arroyo since he’s
pitching the best of the three.

Cory

Unread for 5/16

 
I am in a 12 team, mixed, 5×5 roto non-keeper league.
 
I am trying to catch up in HR and RBI and I have decided to punt saves to catch up. I am 9th (30 back) in HR and 12th (50 back) in RBI (Just traded Papelbon/Kouzmanoff for Chipper Jones)
 
I have been offered A. Beltre for F. Cordero. I would sit Thomas on my bench and play Beltre at Utility. Is this enough for Cordero or should I stay where I am and wait it out?

Thanks,

Jeff from Boston

Hey Jeff,

First off, I never like the idea of punting categories, especially in an area that seemed to be a strength.  Papelbon and Cordero made up a top notch 1-2 punch at closer.  To give that advantage away for less than stud players is a risky move.  Chipper Jones is off to an insane start, batting .418 with 11 homers and 32 RBI.  I’m not saying he won’t go on to have a great year, but keep in mind that the last season in which Chipper played more than 137 games was 2003.  Though the trade you made is a fair one, Jones’ stock will never be higher than it is right now.  I would’ve either waited until he cooled off a bit or targeted a different third baseman, someone obtainable at a lesser price.
                                                                                                                                
With respect to your power, I’d try to focus on how many points you can pick up in HR and RBI as opposed to how far behind you are from the leading team.  Check out the waiver wire.  Are their useful guys there?  How about making a lesser trade for a contributor, thereby avoiding the temptation to hit a home run? (no pun intended!) Sometimes, it’s better to place near the middle in a bunch of categories rather than being first in some places and last in others.  That’s why simply giving up on saves could be a recipe for disaster.
 
As for the Beltre/Cordero deal, I think you can get more.  Cordero is a clear top 10 closer while Beltre ranks just inside the top 10 at the much deeper third base position.  Beltre’s also a notorious slow starter, and may be a more attractive target later in the season.  The bottom line is that it’s way too early throw in the towel in any category.  Give your hitters time.  You just might be surprised!

Zach Steinhorn, MLB.com        

 

How Maddux Got to 350

http://sports.espn.go.com/espnmag/story?id=3336514&campaign=rss&source=MLBHeadlines

Unread for 5/15

Hey Guys! Long time/first time.

I am in quite the dilemma. I am in a 6×6 (Ks and Holds) mixed 10 team league. We have 1 DL slot in our league, however I am toting Howie Kendrick, Vernon Wells, and now Rafael Furcal. We play with a MI slot and CI slot, and I originally had Kendrick in my MI slot while Furcal covered SS. I picked up Yunel Escobar awhile back so I figured I could plug him in, but now I am trapped without a MI…Right now on my bench I have Alex Gordon, Nick Swisher, and Brett Myers for the only non-DL players. Who should I cut? Any advice?

Thanks guys. Have a good one!

Ben in Memphis

Hey Ben,

Without knowing your league size, I couldn’t make an accurate guess as to the middle infielders on your free agent wire. That makes it difficult to tell you to cut one specific player without knowing your free agent options. I do think you might be able to make due until Kendrick’s return. He hit a couple homers for Class A Rancho Cucamonga last week and it appears as if he could be called up soon, possibly by next week. You obviously don’t want to cut Furcal and you shouldn’t get rid of Alex Gordon (good power/speed combo and 1B/3B eligibility) or Nick Swisher (23 runs, walks a lot and the power is coming). That leaves Vernon Wells and Brett Myers.
 
Now, Myers is struggling with a 5.91 ERA and 1.57 WHIP, but I would ride it out with him a bit longer to see if he can get over his early-season struggles. He has a 48/18 K/BB ratio in 53 1/3 innings, so he is still providing some value.
 
I wouldn’t want to cut Wells. He was hitting .281 with five home runs and 24 RBIs before getting hurt, but he won’t be available for the next six to eight weeks. It’s a long time to wait for a player, but he might be worth it. Think of it in this way: is whichever middle infielder you would pick up from the wire more valuable to your team than the potential contributions of Wells (or Myers) in August and September? I would assume that either player wouldn’t last long as a free agent. Your best bet may be to painfully wait it out until Kendrick returns to fill your middle infielder spot.

Kyle Stack, MLB.com

Fav 5 Cartoons

CORY

 
1. Spongebob Squarepants

2. Ren and Stimpy

3. Tom and Jerry

4. Bugs Bunny (esp. Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner)

5. Fairly Oddparents

MIKE

#1 Batman the Animated Series
 
#2 Transformers
 
#3 Voltron
 
#4 Scooby Doo
 
#5 Bugs Bunny

 

Honorable Mentions:

GI Joe

Thundercats

He-Man

X-Men

Dastardly and mutley

Magilla gorilla

Captain caveman

Snagglepuss

CASEY

5. Duck Tales

4. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

3. Inspector Gadget

2. Thundercats

1. He-Man Master of the Universe

 

 

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