Dawn of a new era!

Like it or don’t, but Monday marks the first day of the 411 airing at 11:00 a.m. ET as a 30-minute show. Let’s see how it goes before we render final judgment. Once the show is over, I’ll swing by here for a 30-minute mini chat session and blogfest through noon ET, so post your questions and comments and whatnot here and I will reply to as much as I can.

otl_scott01_300.jpgBTW, did anyone notice Luke Scott (right) is getting hot again? He was one of my “underrated” picks this year, and while he hasn’t been as consistent as one would like from an everyday player, his overall numbers are very solid for a 4th/5th OF, on pace for just under 30 homers although the RBI’s are a little light. Did you know he’s a gun nut, too? Enjoy the picture!

Thanks and talk to ya tomorrow!
Cory

21 Comments

2 Questions:

What will happen to Rickie Weeks?? And how can we value Mike Aviles? How good will he be?

Charles in DC

Who are the top setup men that could find themselves closing games after the trade deadline? And what do you make of Colorado’s comments that Corpas will get the first shot at saves if/when Fuentes is traded?

Every league is different and my points league 12-team gives and takes for almost 30 different categories. That being said, I have Chris Davis(now with a perm. roll), D. DeJesus, & Fernando Tatis making noise on my bench. Are any of these guys worth giving a shot for a weekly run or are they just having a short breakouts?

Also – What is with B.J. Upton?? I got him and Shields for Cano and Thome in what I thought was a lopsided trade, but it doesn’t feel so lopsided any more. Is he going to come around or time to move on?

Thanks! – Ed in Chicago

Hey Cory,

I’m in a 16 team mixed league (non keeper) and I’m looking to upgrade SP as i’m weak in W,ERA, and WHIP. I currently have Verlander,Burnett,Marcum,McGowan, and Buchholz. I can deal Saves with either Jenks,Ryan,Franklin,Marte or Broxton + maybe one bat among Hermida, Bruce,or Blalock to another league member who could offer Shields,Billingsley,Dempster,Weaver or Wainwright in a trade.

If possible, i would not like to give up Jenks or BJ. But depending on how you think my current staff will perform in the 2nd half, who would you target and what would be a fair value deal?

Thanks- Fred from France

just traded ervin santana and percy for valverde and chris r young. 10 team mixed head to head

what do you think Cory?

I’m playing in the MLB Open ’08 and my team is about to clinch a playoff berth. However, there are a few other teams in contention so it is very important that I win this week. I was wondering if you could critique my lineup and tell me if I should bench a certain player. Most importantly, am I making the right move by keeping the Rays pitching staff in?

Lineup:
C Joe Mauer
1B,3B Kevin Youkilis
2B Chase Utley
1B,3B Aubrey Huff
SS Hanley Ramirez
OF Manny Ramirez
OF Ryan Ludwick
OF Carlos Quentin
P Tampa Bay Rays

Bench:
1B Jason Giambi
OF Jacoby Ellsbury
SS Michael Young
2B,OF BJ Upton
P Milwaukee Brewers
P Chicago White Sox

Charles… Weeks is still providing power and speed but he just make consistent enough contact to maintain a semi-respectable batting average. I think the AVG will creep up a bit as the season moves along but now Durham should take some of his at-bats, too. That could be good if he takes AB’s against guys like Harden and Volquez, et al, those who would hang 0-fers on Weeks, but of course the lost PT will equate into few HR, SB and runs.

I like Aviles — his minor league stats (http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?n=Mike%20Aviles&pos=SS&sid=milb&t=p_pbp&pid=449107) suggest this is not a fluke — but the AVG won’t be this high, and he’s already 27 so this is probably as good as it gets. He’s pretty comprable to, say, J.J. Hardy at this point, and that’s not such a bad thing. Difference is, Hardy will get better, but Aviles probably won’t.

–Cory

Re. setup men… no reason to not take Hurdle at his word when he says Corpas will be next in line to close if/when Fuentes gets traded. Corpas helped them get to the World Series last year as closer, so that carries a lot of weight… plus he’s lowered his ERA over a run in the last month or so.

Huston Street is the other closer likely to get traded; Santiago Casilla is the obvious pickup to replace him but I wouldn’t rule out Keith Foulke or Alan Embree since those guys have done it before too. I’m not sure who would close for the O’s if they deal George Sherrill but that’s one to watch, too.

–Cory

POD: do I start the Big Unit today?

Ed, I would definitely try to get DeJesus in the lineup; we’ve been expecting a breakout season from him for a while and this might be it. I’m skeptical he’ll keep hitting for power but he’s a good all-around contributor in any case. Davis has great power but I’m worried he’ll punish your AVG in return for it, and he doesn’t do anything else.

Re. Upton, he’s simply not pulling the ball for power this year, although he’s certainly getting enough SB’s to compensate for it. Assuming you got James Shields I still like that deal a lot for you, since Upton’s speed and run production (even without the HR’s) will more than make up for Cano, and Shields’ K’s and other rate stats will offset Thome’s power.

–Cory

Fred in France,

Franklin and Marte are the two guys I’d be looking to deal, along with Blalock from the bats. That would probably get you Dempster, but I’d be wary of him… any of the other guys would be preferable, and Weaver is probably the least expensive in terms of acquisition cost. I’m assuming Broxton will get enough saves that you can afford to deal Ryan if necessary, but I wouldn’t deal Jenks, he’s your lead guy.

Long story short, tell the guy you will deal a closer and a bat for one of his starters and see who he likes… you have enough good options here to find a fit.

–Cory

Cory…your thoughts on Adam Jones? Can you rank him, Chris Young, and Jeff Francoer for the remainder of the year in a standard 5×5 mixed…thanks!

Shawn, this is a risk for you, since Young is still rehabbing and, when he does come back, you’ll get a guy on a clearly inferior team, and one who always seems to put up good-but-not-great numbers. Valverde is an upgrade over Percival but he’s not having a great season either, so while his job is safe, he’s risky in terms of his overall value. I definitely see the strategy here — downgrade at SP to upgrade at closer — but I would’ve tried to leverage Ervin’s awesome season into something with a little more certainty.

–Cory

Re. the Open lineup… it would be nice to have Upton in there but with his power outage it’s hard to justify him over Ludwick or Quentin, both of whom are hot again.

On the pitching side, I might go with the Brewers… now that they have Sabathia they are racking up K’s as a team, and Gagne isn’t wrecking their bullpen anymore. Plus their offense is pretty hot so that should mean more W’s, which I believe means points in the Open?

Good luck!
–Cory

Last one for today… for the rest of the year, I rank ‘em:

1. Chris Young — SB’s are all about opportunity, so if he’s healthy, he has to start running again at some point… had a hot 2nd half last year power-wise, too;
2. Jeff Francouer — won’t hit for AVG but should be a useful run producer as we would’ve expected at the start of the season… the reality is, little about him has changed so there’s no reason he shouldn’t “bounce back”;
3. Adam Jones — Chris Young’s plate discipline but without the power!

That’s all for today, see ya tomorrow!

Thanks,
Cory

OK, one more quick… DITCH on Big Unit today, don’t like this matchup at all.

–CS

Hey Cory,

Not sure if this was addressed on this morning’s 411, but any thoughts on who would be in line for Saves if Wagner were to go on the DL?
“The New York Mets say closer Billy Wagner will need to have an MRI on his left shoulder Monday after he reported that his “left trapezius muscle” tightened up while throwing warm-up tosses during Sunday’s 7-5 win over the Reds.”

Thanks.
Neighbor Steve

Cory,

Would you trade Matt Holiday for A. Soriano and C. Pena in a keeper league.

Jeff, North of Boston

Just watched the show here (the live feed is on my morning commute now, unfortunately). Cory had it right the first time- for Jack Cassel, it’s pronounced like “castle” and not like basketball player Sam “Cassell” ‘s name. Jack is the brother of New England Patriots QB Matt Cassel, who was one of my favorite players when he was in college at USC.

-Dan in LA

Holy crap…

BASEBALL PROSPECTUS IS TOTALLY FREE JULY 21-27!

Check it out: http://www.baseballprospectus.com

Quick hits… Duaner Sanchez would probably close if Wagner has to go on the DL… Jeff, no, I would not do that deal unless I was 100% ceratin Holiday would be traded, and I might not even do it at that… “Cassel” like “castle”, got it, thanks!… BPro rocks, never mind the free preview, buy a subscription!

Thanks,
Cory

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