Fantasy Baseball w/AJ Mass
Send your questions now and join Mass in The Show on Tuesday at 11 a.m. ET!
AJ Mass (10:58 AM)
Good morning, gang... the Marlins are in first place in the NL East. Time to panic! Let's get this hour off to the races...
Smoltz pitched great against the Mets but I am concerned about the shoulder. Can he make it near 200 IP?
AJ Mass (11:00 AM)
Smoltz is a 6 innings max pitcher these days. Assuming he stays healthy, and gets 30 starts, we're looking at 180 innings or so. To me, that's best case scenario. Mind you, the bulk of those innings will be quality... but you won't get quantity.
any news on K-Rod and Kendrick?
AJ Mass (11:01 AM)
K-Rod himself thinks he is headed for the DL... that's not good, when the player isn't confident. Kendrick on the other hand looks more likely to be a day-to-day thing... but if we're still "day-to-day" in a week, then a DL-stint will be likely there too (though it would be retroactive)
Which SS will have the better year S.Drew or K.Greene?
AJ Mass (11:04 AM)
I think you have to go with Khalil. Drew's a nice young player, but Greene is a guy who is going to get you 20 HR and hit close to 280.
Ted Lilly! This much regression to the mean? He can't possibly be this bad right...?
AJ Mass (11:06 AM)
I actually wrote an article for today's insider on how you have to be patient with pitchers, but I've never liked Lilly much. He's not this bad, but he's wearing out his "free passes" early. I still don't think he's much better than a 4.20 ERA
does it look like Jeter will be out for a few days/week? if so, is keppinger or theriot a better pickup?
AJ Mass (11:08 AM)
It looks like Jeter will miss a few games, but avoid the DL. Yanks are playing it safe, and I don't think the injury is all that bad. I'd personally go with Theriot. I think Keppinger's hot start is a bit of a mirage, and there's not much protection in that lineup behind him - teams will start to pitch around him.
Perfect time to trade for Matt Kemp? Would you deal McLouth to get him?
AJ Mass (11:10 AM)
While many would be tempted to "sell high" on Nate, I'm not one of them. Kemp will probably rebound, but I was never convinced that he was going to have the breakout year everyone else did. I'll stick with the guy who IS having it.
What are your thoughts on Scott Hairston?
AJ Mass (11:11 AM)
He's a serviceable backup, but not an everyday guy. I think over a large sample size, he struggles.
Charlie (Syracuse, NY)
Another McLouth question... is he going to sustain what he's doing right now? Obviously the average has to come down but I'm starting to think that I need to sell him now.
AJ Mass (11:13 AM)
Obviously, everyone batting .400+ will come down. There aren't any Ted Williams around anymore... but unless you're trading Nate for a David Ortiz-type - someone you're confident will put up good numbers for the whole season, but is struggling at the start, it's not worth it.
AJ! Your sense of humor keeps me coming back for more. Can Mark Reynolds keep up this production and be a serviceable 3rd baseman in an OPS league?
AJ Mass (11:14 AM)
Reynolds is a nice surprise, and that D-Backs lineup is strong. He's not hitting 80 HR, but 25 looks like a legit shot with an 800+ OPS.
Eric (Fort Collins CO)
Yesterday in his blog, Eric Karabell basically said that he doesnt expect 20/20 from Granderson this year, he'll probably sit against lefties and is a sell high right now. What are your thoughts?
AJ Mass (11:16 AM)
It's difficult to put a number on Curtis until we have him back. Injuries that can affect your swing are scary. That said, I think the Tigers need him in the lineup because clearly his speed is a missing ingredient. If he makes it back by May I still think 20-20 is going to happen.
I am having to resort to getting no-name pitchers after a good start because almost my whole pitching staff is on the DL. Which of these good first start pitchers do you think will have a good season?
AJ Mass (11:18 AM)
I actually have one team with Cueto, Greinke AND Danks in my rotation. I like all three, and in that order. Other so-called no-names I like, but less are Sonnanstine and Litsch. Not as high on Blackburn or Volquez.
Do you know if 1st place Marlins are calling up Badenhop as a starter for their rotation? If so, how do you think he'll do?
AJ Mass (11:21 AM)
Mixed signals. At first the feeling was he'd start this weekend, then I've heard long relief. I think if they need him before Sunday, they'll use him, and if not, then he'll start. he's a sinkerballer, and it's really hard to predict how the ball will be moving... but his minor league starts have been impressive.
I am in a 10 team keeper league. I drafted many position players first and pitchers last. Because of this, I ended up with A-rod, Sizemore, Morneau, Kinsler, and Carl Crawford...However, other than relievers, I have virtually no starting pitchers worth much of anything. Should I contemplate a trade and if so who would be worth giving up for who? Otherwise, who are some pitchers I could pick up?
AJ Mass (11:23 AM)
I guess the question is how you are doing in those pitching categories. You can win a league with the best hitting and then filling in with guys like Broxton, Bell and Neshek. It depends on your IP requirements. There are a lot of young guys, like Cueto and Greinke out there. It depends how close you're staying in the pitching cats as to when it's best to deal.
AJ - would you have taken the over/under on Rich Harden being able to make 3 straight starts. Looks like the under wins!
AJ Mass (11:25 AM)
With all that plane time, I definitely would have taken the under... but it does appear that it's a stiff back and not anything DL-worthy that forced him out of his last start.
Smooth (Columbia, SC)
Ok...after the 100th question about Nate McLouth, we get it. He is good. Ride it out. Hold on to him. Can we have some attention put on the developing situation in Anaheim with K-Rod going down? Shields? Spiers? Or can McLouth pitch?
AJ Mass (11:27 AM)
Can't help it if the Nate-love keeps pouring in, Smooth. Shields will get the first crack at saves. Spiers will end up being the 8th inning guy.
what about.. ugh... Juan Pierre.. I have no speed on my team except for him... what should I do? Prayer? Wish? Help!
AJ Mass (11:29 AM)
Yeah, Juan's a tough pill to swallow. He's even hitting into double plays. Nice job, speedy! If he's your only speed guy, you might want to cut bait and say the heck with it. At least with his not playing EVERY day there's a shot at him getting SBs without killing your BA as much as if he were. But I am losing patience with him as well... riding the pine in leagues where I do own him.
Dan (New Orleans)
Is John Danks worth a pick-up for this week-- vs. MIN and OAK? I'd be dropping Chad Qualls
AJ Mass (11:30 AM)
Qualls is a nice 1 IP guy right now and doesn't seem to be next-in-line for saves... that would be Pena. As such, I'd rather go for Danks, who should have moderate success over a larger number of innings.
AJ, Jojima is awful. Drop for Laird, Molina, Suzuki or Doumit? Thanks.
AJ Mass (11:32 AM)
I like Laird a lot and he's the guy I drafted in most leagues as my #2. Doumit is also an option, since he's likely to play other positions over the season, giving you flexibility should you need it.
Will Ellsbury get more playing time and get out of this early funk? Have been offered Bill Hall and thinking Ellsbury might not break through like many thought.
AJ Mass (11:34 AM)
I'd grab Hall in a heartbeat. First of all, Hall's a big fave of mine. But also, I never understood all the Ellsbury love, especially after Crisp wasn't traded. We're talking only one month of MLB experience. Yes, he did well... but I'm not sold.
would you drop Buehrle for Joe Saunders?
AJ Mass (11:36 AM)
Again, check out my column on Playing With Numbers today, focusing on Buehrle in particular. I think you definitely stick with Mark. I think he's better, and I'm not changing my opinion based on one bad vs. one good outing. Now if you wanted to cut a Dontrelle for Joe... all for it!
Let Dan from Portland know that when discussing baseball players Molina needs to be qualified as Jose, Benjie, or Yadier
AJ Mass (11:37 AM)
Yes, there are many Molini... but in general, my opinion on all of them is lumped together in a great big bouillabaisse of no thanks.
Chase (Holland, MI)
AJ, gimmie some help on these speedsters. I just traded away Bourn and am looking at either Pierre, Nyjer Morgan, or Rajai Davis....who do I snag?
AJ Mass (11:40 AM)
Just say no to Juan. Morgan seems to be getting more and more chances, but as long as McLouth stays hot and Bay or Nady aren't traded he's not going to get as much time. Davis SHOULD be the choice, but the Giants won't play him... for no apparent reason. Like Dave Roberts is the future? I think Morgan might be the best immediate answer, but Rajai over the season as eventually the SF management caves.
Time to pick up BJ Ryan? Thanks.
AJ Mass (11:41 AM)
I don't think so. I think Accardo keeps the closers job after Ryan returns. If you have a bench spot you're not using, then of course, why not? But don't expect to have answered your team's ills with that pickup.
Matt (Des Moines)
Benjie Molina is easily a top 10 catcher at a cheap price, why would you say no thanks to that?
AJ Mass (11:43 AM)
Because in that Giants offense, he'll be lucky to drive in 50 from the cleanup spot. I'd rather take my chances elsewhere.
AJ, a guy in my league put miguel cabrera on the block for a starting pitcher, what do you think would be the best trade for me, I have Dan Haren, Fausto Carmona, Tim Lincecum, Joe Blanton, and Adam Wainwright
AJ Mass (11:44 AM)
Give him Lincecum. If he bites, all the more power to you. I like Tim, but the wins aren't going to come.
I've been offered Braun and Bay for Holliday. This would be a huge upgrade for me at 3B...any reason not to take it?
AJ Mass (11:47 AM)
Yes. I think you can get better at 3B without getting far worse at OF. If I have a player who hits .300 for the whole season on my roster, that's nice. If I have a player who hits .300 for the season after he's already hit .100 for a stretch, that's far more valuable to me. Of course the Holliday side is better. Not going to do it.
If dude bites on Lincecum for Miggy, that should get vetoed!! seriously.
AJ Mass (11:48 AM)
It's a horrible deal. But if he's publicly said "Here's Miggy... make me an offer." And Lincecum alone is the best offer he gets... then shame on the rest of the league for not offering more.
Ouch--I play Pence and Victorino in my outfield. When do they right the ship?
AJ Mass (11:50 AM)
Shane will be OK. It would be hard to not right the ship with all that around him in the lineup. Pence on the other hand... I think he'd be better served by a move in the lineup. Taking pitches so Bourn can run may not be helping him.
Would you trade away Reyes and hope to be able to make a trade for another SS or would you not want to risk it? I would have Sizemore, Markakis, Young, and Hart at OF to use to trade for a SS.
AJ Mass (11:52 AM)
I tend not to make trades in the first month of the season. I think if you did your homework before your draft, you need to have faith that you were right. It's too soon to panic. Obviously if injuries are coming into play, that's a different story... but if we're worried about slow starts? 7 games is not enough to be concerned.
AJ, I'm not freaking out about Martin's start, but how long do you give a guy to right himself? Is it unwise to bench a player leaving a position empty in a h2h?
AJ Mass (11:55 AM)
Unwise? I think it shouldn't be allowed. Teams who don't start a complete lineup shouldn't get points. Now your league rules may allow it, but I won't endorse the maneuver anyway. If you're not sold on a player, bench him for another guy... and if you don't have one... that's a failure on your part.
AJ my man! Gorzy has looked simply awful - when can I safely abandon ship? Would you consider dropping him for Parra/Villanueva/Saunders? I like both Parra and Villa, but I'm concerned about their spot in the rotation not being secure.
AJ Mass (11:57 AM)
Every pitcher has a stinker or two. Cutting pitchers outright is foolhardy, especially since you've already taken the hit from the bad outing. That doesn't go away. Now, to bench him for a week? You could do that - but to play the guessing game each week likely causes to get more bad starts than good. I wouldn't drop him.
Drop Qualls for Keppinger? Don't need either one -- just playing the upside here.
AJ Mass (11:58 AM)
I think Qualls longterm upside is actually higher. Lyon's closer grasp is tenuous at best. Pena will get first dibs, but Qualls could easily jump in and get 5-10 saves once the switcheroo is made.
What are your predicted stats for Ankiel? Anyway he hits 30+ homers?
AJ Mass (11:59 AM)
I think he does get 30...but not 40.
Shouldn't be allowed? Should it also not be allowed to sit a pitcher if you don't like the matchup? I don't get this thinking. It's not like it is an unfair advantage.
AJ Mass (12:01 PM)
If your league rules say a legal lineup is 8 pitchers, then you need to have 8 pitchers in there. Benching one to avoid a matchup is fine, so long as you place a different pitcher in the lineup. If you have to start a catcher and you fail to do so... you should be penalized... period.
AJ Mass (12:01 PM)
Time for one more, gang!
in a keeper league, would you get rid of saltalamacchia or keep him around on the bench?
AJ Mass (12:02 PM)
I'd keep him in a keeper. He'll be up sometime this season, though probably late. As long as you have the room, do it.
AJ Mass (12:03 PM)
That's all for today, folks! TMR will be in at 3 pm to chat. I appreciate all the Q's and I'm sorry if we couldn't get to them all. Good luck!