Fantasy Baseball w/Eric Karabell
Send your questions now and join Karabell in The Show on Thursday at 11 a.m. ET!
Eric Karabell (11:01 AM)
Hello there and welcome to another fantasy baseball chat session. Lots going on today, glad to have you with us, so let's get right to it. Any questions?
Today forward....Verlander or Sabathia?
Eric Karabell (11:03 AM)
Yep, this seems to be the big news of the day. What is wrong with Carsten Charles Sabathia? I have heard no news about an injury, but how else do we explain all the walks? It's not a big deal to give up hits once in a while, but this fella walked 37 all 2007. Is it the increased pressure of pitching for a contract? I'd aim to bench Sabathia for now, if you can, but he remains a buy low option. I think Verlander, pitching tonight, will be fine as well. Sabathia's struggles have been so bad, I would rather have Verlander now, but both are top 10.
John (Portland, ME)
How much longer should I hold on to Hunter Pence before I drop him?
Eric Karabell (11:05 AM)
I won't say I told anyone so, because even I didn't think Pence would be this bad. He's a mess at the plate. It doesn't help that he has no plate discipline, but this is ugly. I pegged him as a 15/15 guy, rather than 30/30 that many hoped for. I only drop young players like this if I can find safer options out there. Raul Ibanez, for example, IS safer right now. You won't get any speed, but Pence is not a 25-100 guy.
Interesting stat - Sabathia's ERA in April 2006 was 11.57 and his final ERA that year was 3.22. Maybe he just had a lucky April last year?
Eric Karabell (11:06 AM)
I don't know if it's luck, but let's remember that 2006 was in 2.1 innings, and he went on the DL the next day. Bottom line is Sabathia remains a buy low guy.
EK, to replace Villanueva, who would you rather have: Way-Rod or "The Inventor" Edison Volquez. Thanks.
Eric Karabell (11:07 AM)
I'm sure most on this staff would disagree, but I take Wandy Rodriguez, and hope to start him in the home games only. Volquez has a 0.87 ERA. It goes up today. Be careful with him and Cueto, I doubt they keep at this level much longer.
Any reason to keep holding onto Accardo between BJ Ryan coming back and a little thing I call Accardo pitching awful?
Eric Karabell (11:08 AM)
Not really. I'm not so sure Accardo is even next in line with his struggles. I wouldn't call Ryan a safe 30-save guy, but it wouldn't surprise me if Jason Frasor passes Accardo.
Tom (Calgary, Canada)
Michael Bourn stats in the last three games have been 5 for 13, with two home runs and two stolen bases. Is this a player who should be starting on lineups everyweek?
Eric Karabell (11:09 AM)
I'd say for the steals alone Bourn is a weekly play in fantasy. The guy could swipe 60 bases. He doesn't have much power, so don't expect double digits, but the steals are real.
I'm only gonna say this once, Wandy Rodriguez sucks.
Eric Karabell (11:10 AM)
Well, he only half-sucks then. At home the guy is very, very good.
Is Valverede going to lose his job?
Eric Karabell (11:11 AM)
Valverde had pitched three of four games, so he was getting the night off. Doug Brocail really doesn't have closer stuff. Valverde could lose his job if he keeps pitching poorly, but I doubt that happens. He's not going to lead the league in saves again, in my opinion, which makes him overrated, but I'd still call him a 35-save guy. Brocail ends up with ,,,, 2.
Scott (White Plains, NY)
When do you think Jay Bruce will be called up in Cincy? Can the Reds really play Corey Patterson in their outfield regularly? Oh wait, Dusty Baker is their manager!
Eric Karabell (11:13 AM)
This isn't Dusty's fault at all. Not to defend him too much, but Jay Bruce is not a center fielder, and he's not a leadoff hitter, so this isn't Patterson's fault. It could have been Hopper or Freel or Kenny Lofton keeping Bruce down. He's a power-hitting corner outfielder, and he was sent down because Griffey is healthy. I don't see Bruce coming up anytime soon unless Griffey or Dunn get hurt.
Great advise last week on keeping Billingsley after his poor start! If he was dropped in a 10 Team league, would you use a high waiver claim spot on him? Thanks Eric!
Eric Karabell (11:14 AM)
A 10-team league is still shallow, and there might be comparable options available, but I do think Billingsley is a 150-K guy and should win 12 or so. You can't stick a guy like him in the bullpen the first week or so and expect him to thrive. I'd use a claim on him if I needed starting pitching and there wasn't much out there.
Please take this Eric: How risky a buy is Bedard right now in a mixed keeper league? What kind of value would YOU personally give up for him right NOW?
Eric Karabell (11:15 AM)
I would not trade for Bedard as if he was a top 5 pitcher, no way. The Mariners say his hip injury is no big deal, but I've heard that line hundreds of times. It was serious enough to warrant two scratched starts and a DL stint. He's risky. I'd call him a top 15 pitcher, and if I can buy low I will, but I doubt any Bedard owner would part with him on the cheap.
Scott (White Plains, NY)
Eric, where do you come down on the Evan Longoria predictions-- Ryan Braun like season or Alex Gordon like season? I fully expect you to say somewhere in the middle, so if you can, please give us your predicted stats.
Eric Karabell (11:17 AM)
I don't think he approaches what Braun did in 2007. Situations like that are very rare. I think Longoria will do better than what Gordon did a year ago, probably a 20-80 season with a .270 average. I'd prefer this year's Gordon, actually, to this year's Longoria. No doubt he should be a really good fantasy player soon, but I'm cautious on rookies.
Final numbers for McLouth? I know better than to think he is for real, but he just keeps hitting!
Eric Karabell (11:18 AM)
Well, he is for real. I called him a 20/20 guy a few weeks ago, before he started doing this. I don't think the average stays near that high, so expect a 100-point drop at some point, but he's got power and speed. He's emerging.
Aaron (Houston, Tx)
Today forward.....Crede or Hall at Third Base? Which has more trade value?
Eric Karabell (11:19 AM)
I think Crede has more trade value, but I also don't think he's a fluke. He went 30-94 only two seasons ago, and it's clear he's healthy. He's a better player than Bill Hall. If that means you trade him, so be it, but I'd rather own Crede.
Breigga (Worcester, PA)
Braun himself can't even repeat what Braun did last year. Realative to his position, does any other player dominate his field like Chase Utley? I love me some Utley.
Eric Karabell (11:20 AM)
I fully expect Victor Martinez to get going soon, and with Russell Martin struggling and Joe Mauer powerless, that case can be made. Then again, Utley doesn't totally dominate second base. Phillips and BJ Upton are very good, too.
Nick (Greenwich, CT)
What are your feelings on Gavin Floyd? Is he a spot start versus good matchups or a legit starter on your roster every start! Thnx Ek!
Eric Karabell (11:21 AM)
We discussed this on today's Baseball Today podcast, and I still can't buy into Floyd being safe. I would use him today, as he comes off a one-hit performance over 7.1 innings, but be wary of some uneven outings to come.
What is the deal with Tim Hudson? Is he not at 100%?
Eric Karabell (11:23 AM)
There's some concern about his outing last night, when the Braves pulled him after three innings and 59 pitches. His velocity was under 85 mph, which isn't like Hudson. Hopefully he's not hurt, too. I'd call it a bad night and stick with him.
earl (Rogers, AR)
fantasy guru almighty, i humbly beseech you to grant me one wish: why do i keep burnett?
Eric Karabell (11:24 AM)
AJ Burnett has loads of fantasy potential, when he's not hurt and not pitching in the 14th inning of games. I learned nothing from him allowing two runs last night, or rather, this morning. The Jays needed a pitcher. I'm just glad he didn't get hurt. Burnett is going to be capable of a Cy Young season every year, and that's why we all keep taking him.
Harvey (Staten Island)
Hall is not elligible at 3B for many of us. So, could you please compare Crede to Encarnacion and Gordon?
Eric Karabell (11:26 AM)
Hall will be eligible at 3B in a week, but I'll rank them all. Gordon is first, then Crede, Encarnacion and Hall. Gordon could be a 25/20 guy soon. He's got that ability. I wouldn't stick a fork in Encarnacion quite yet, but I still like the potential more than a 20-homer Hall season with a poor average.
I'll bet that people didn't think Pujols could keep it up after his amazing rookie season. Not saying Braun is Pujols I'm just....well yeah, I'm saying Braun is Pujols. But better and better looking. Yeah, you heard me. He's a tiger.
Eric Karabell (11:27 AM)
Well, that's very nice. Statistically, I think Braun is for real, and he'll start putting up Manny Ramirez numbers annually, maybe with some speed.
Who would you rather have, Acosta or Rauch? It is a points league and holds do count as a category. Which kind of makes me lean to Rauch with his success there last year....What do you think?
Eric Karabell (11:28 AM)
Yes, I would rather have Rauch, because even if he's not closing, he'll get you numbers. Acosta could do just about anything right now. He could save games. He could pitch poorly and lose his job. The Braves seem to think Rafael Soriano comes back in a week, so that's not good for Acosta. I think Chad Cordero heads back to the DL soon, personally.
What are your projections on Jacoby Ellsbury?
Eric Karabell (11:30 AM)
I'm starting to think he's not ready for the majors, and the Red Sox know this and thus they've kept Coco Crisp around. Crisp is currently battling a hamstring injury, otherwise I think the playing time would be at least split. Wouldn't surprise me if Ellsbury keeps struggling. He's going to be really good, but he might not be ready.
Kemp's played in 3 straight games and taken advantage of the playing time. Could this jump start Joe to wake up? Also it seems Ethier's solid start isn't helping the situation.
Eric Karabell (11:31 AM)
I was thinking that today as well. What if Torre starts playing Juan Pierre over Ethier? It could happen. There's just no telling what Torre will do. I just never thought I'd see Andruw Jones this bad again, and being arguably the team's fourth outfielder. He has to get better, right?
Better final numbers - Matt Kemp or Hunter Pence?
Eric Karabell (11:32 AM)
Definitely Kemp. Even if he doesn't play everyday. Pence should improve, but Kemp has more ability.
Any reason to stash Mulder on my DL spot?
Eric Karabell (11:33 AM)
I've seen this done in a few of my leagues already, but his velocity remains low, and I can't see much value from him for this season.
Aaron Rowand was dropped in our league. Would you drop Cory Patterson for him?
Eric Karabell (11:33 AM)
No, I would not. Patterson is a legit 20/30 guy, and Rowand, sadly, is not.
Tim (Washington, DC)
Do you always jump on a top 15 player if offered to you? Would you take Ryan Howard for Soria and Lincecum, even though it hurts you in pitching?
Eric Karabell (11:34 AM)
I probably would, if I needed power, then worry about how to acquire my pitching to still compete. Getting the best player is always the way to go in a trade, unless you have distinct needs. I'd just find a Shaun Marcum on waivers anyway.
When do you think we will see Nick Adenhart called up? With Lackey and Escobar out, the Angels are bound need pitching help sooner or later...
Eric Karabell (11:36 AM)
Not necessarily. The Angels say they aren't rushing Adenhart, and that 9/9 walk/strikeout ratio hasn't helped the kid. Who in the Angels rotation needs to be removed? Saunders is fine. Moseley is capable. Santana has pitched OK on the road. I'd say it's much later on Adenhart, because Lackey might be only a few weeks away.
Andrew (Riverside CT)
Is Cueto a guy to sell high on? I feel like his value may be at a peak right now.
Eric Karabell (11:36 AM)
I agree. One walk and 24 Ks is hard to do.
Is Jeff Clement going to make a fantasy impact this year?
Eric Karabell (11:37 AM)
I could see the Mariners bringing him up at some point to play DH, maybe first base if/when Sexson sputters. I don't think Clement's future is behind the plate. He's got power, though, and could be this team's No. 6 hitter by midseason, if they let him.
Felix Hernandez a potential cy young winner in 08? Automatic keeper?
Eric Karabell (11:38 AM)
That was my pick! I didn't like seeing him throw 117 and 115 pitchers over the past week, but then again, the bullpen is having problems. I could see 17 wins, 3.20 ERA and 200 Ks.
Time to buy low on Tulowitzki? Is Loney or Griffey a fair offer?
Eric Karabell (11:39 AM)
Oh yeah. Buy low. He just knocked in his first runs, so you're running out of time. I'd deal Griffey first, then Loney, or even both for Tulowitzki to be blunt.
is Dice-K a seel high candidate or do you think he as fantasy ace potential this year?
Eric Karabell (11:41 AM)
Could be this year's Beckett, a guy who gets lots of run support and turns it into 20 wins with an ERA in the mid 3s. He's not a top 10 fantasy pitcher yet, but he might look like one with the wins.
Luke (Zumbrota, MN)
EK, great chat. Need to know. Aaron Hill or Howie Kendrick going forward. Kendrick injuries are getting old.
Eric Karabell (11:42 AM)
I was on the Hill bandwagon all offseason, calling him a 20-homer second baseman. Kendrick doesn't have that power or speed. Kind of reminds me of Polanco, which is fine, but know what you're getting. I take Hill.
Can we pretty much throw out any predictions about Soriano getting 30+ or even 20 steals after this injury?
Eric Karabell (11:43 AM)
I don't think he's going to steal more than 20 bases. And I think these injuries are a byproduct of age, really. But don't drop the guy, he could still go 30/20 you know.
Hey EK, Morrow got called up today. Any chance he sees save opps? Thanks
Eric Karabell (11:43 AM)
Yes. In fact I wrote exactly that in today's Out of the Box. Morrow probably would have had the save chances over the past week if he was up. I expect Morrow to be the top setup man for Putz this year.
Are you a believer in young catchers Towles and Snyder, or (like your endorsement of steady pitchers) should we stick with the boring Benjie Molina? Thanks!
Eric Karabell (11:44 AM)
I do think Towles and Snyder are worthy fantasy players, but neither made my top 10, preseason or now. Molina's in it. Yeah, it's boring, and he lacks their upside, but 20-80 is safe. That wins. I take the under on Towles and Snyder getting to that.
Please don't say that run support was the only reason Beckett won 20 last year, he was 6th in the league and only 0.26 behind the league leader in ERA!
Eric Karabell (11:46 AM)
I didn't say that at all. But Beckett won 20 of his 30 starts, and that happens about once every five years. It's rare. He needed some luck to do this. He was better than people think, but 20 wins is hard to do, especially if you don't make 35 starts.
The other Soriano...Rafael. Will he still end up with 25-30 saves and good numbers, or will he always be an injury concern?
Eric Karabell (11:46 AM)
Both. I think he returns in a week or so, and gets saves, but we'll always be concerned about the next DL stint. I'd say 25-30 saves is legit.
Looking for saves - Morrow or Rauch, this week and beyond. Thanks.
Eric Karabell (11:47 AM)
Even though Putz is on the DL and Chad Cordero is not, I still trust Putz more for this year. So I think Rauch gets more saves than Morrow.
I need your input...Would you trade Pujols and Pence for Braun if you need OF help and have Howard at 1B?
Eric Karabell (11:49 AM)
I'd make a better trade. Pujols and Braun are close in value, so to throw in Pence doesn't seem wise. I see your point, though. Just get a decent OF thrown back in.
Which prospect still in the minors will have the greatest fantasy impact this year?
Eric Karabell (11:50 AM)
It's probably someone nobody expects, but if you want a name, how about Saltalamacchia. He is a catcher, after all.
Bob (Boston ma)
Is Ankeil going to turn out to be a HR poor avg guy
Eric Karabell (11:52 AM)
I don't think he's going to hit .230, but 35 homers and a .270 average, how does that sound? Ankiel's legit.
EK, great stuff. Feelings on Parra and Volquez for today? Tough to gauge the younguns. Start em or sit em?
Eric Karabell (11:53 AM)
I think you need to start each today. While I like Parra more longterm, I generally use the pitchers I have on my teams unless they're at Coors, or facing Boston/NY, something like that. Parra might be pitching for a job, because Gallardo could replace him and not Bush. Volquez has a 0.87 ERA. I think it ends up around 4, but even I wouldn't sit him now.
Mike (Montvale, NJ)
EK, thoughts on Jake Westbrook? 15 wins, 150 ks, 3.50 era about right?
Eric Karabell (11:54 AM)
Take the under on the K's, but the wins and ERA, sure. He's done it before.
Is Greinke a good sell high candidate? His ERA is bound to come up, but how much?
Eric Karabell (11:54 AM)
This will be a column today, that I would deal Greinke, but I did have him as a sleeper for this year, so I am conflicted. It's all about value. If dealing him helps your team, you do it. I could see a 3.50 ERA, but I am concerned with the low K rate.
Would Cueto for Bedard be a trade you would make to sell high on Cueto?
Eric Karabell (11:55 AM)
You're kidding, right? Somehow I don't think you are. Yes. Get Bedard.
Which middle reliever do you prefer: Benoit or McClellan?
Eric Karabell (11:56 AM)
If you need holds, it has to be McClellan. Benoit is not close to getting saves, by the way.
Eric, I'm an Ortiz Owner. If I could trade him for Berkman or Teixeira, should I?
Eric Karabell (11:56 AM)
Yes. That would be a case of not panicking, but getting similar and probably safer value.
Whither Randy Wolf? Grey says no go, but wasn't he effective pre-injury plagued seasons?
Eric Karabell (11:57 AM)
I just don't think he can stay healthy enough to strike out 150 hitters, that's all. Love the ballpark though.
Eric Karabell (11:58 AM)
OK, our time is up. Thank you for the great questions, and look for another chat later on today and every day, twice a day. Enjoy!