Fantasy Baseball w/Eric Karabell
Send your questions now and join Karabell in The Show on Thursday at 11 a.m. ET!
Eric Karabell (11:02 AM)
Hello there and welcome to another fantasy baseball chat session. Let's get moving...
Nate (Santa Barbara, CA)
Still think Volquez is a fluke?
Eric Karabell (11:04 AM)
No, I can't say I think Edinson Volquez is a fluke. I'm not sure to what degree I thought it before, but it is almost impossible for anyone to keep up this ERA and home run rate all year. Yes, he is legit. Last night was very impressive. He has to be regarded as a top 15 pitcher.
Aaron (Atlanta, GA)
What do you think C. Pena's value for the rest of the season? How long will he be out for?
Eric Karabell (11:06 AM)
He has a broken index finger, which isn't the most serious of injuries, but he'll probably miss a month or so. I say this isn't such a bad thing in fantasy. Yeah, he had 11 home runs, but the batting average stinks. It's like 2007 never happened with him, he's back to his old ways of striking out a ton, a pace for 199. I thought last year he turned the corner, but apparently not. When he returns in a month I'll be skeptical about him.
Paul (Villanova PA)
Hey Eric. I really value your expertise and wanted to know why I guy like Troy Percival typically fails to break the top 20 in closers while other injury risk pitchers like Street and Saito seem to be in the top 10 to 15. It seems to me that their numbers are all very similar and Percival's latest injury does not seem to be one to be overly concerned about, so what's the deal with very large difference in rankings?
Eric Karabell (11:07 AM)
It's basically about age. Even the durable John Smoltz got hurt! Percival has pitched fine, kept the walks way down and been a big key to Tampa. I think he's a top 20 closer once he comes back, barely, but there will be concerns about durability all year. Street has upside, even though he's an injury risk, and Saito doesn't belong in the conversation. His numbers the first two years are outstanding.
What's the deal with Micah Owings?
Eric Karabell (11:09 AM)
I think he's only a marginal starting pitcher, but he got a lot of attention because the Diamondbacks are so good, so he won more games than he should have, and he would be about the best hitter on the Royals. Overall, Owings wasn't viewed as a potential ace, or close to it. He's a No. 3 starter, always was, and he's pitching like it. He could win 15, but that ERA should be over 4.
Good day Eric. I'm not a big Bonds fan but he usually helped my fantasy teams out. Why hasn't he gotten the phone call yet and will he play this year?
Eric Karabell (11:11 AM)
Well, he's not a great teammate, so I've heard. I don't think he'll play again. There are teams that really could use him, and they're not contacting him. It's over.
Eric love your work, Braun and Wellemyer for Chipper and Harang, Who wins? Also is it a good time to stash Headley?
Eric Karabell (11:13 AM)
Braun is the best fantasy player in the deal, and Wellemeyer certainly looks like a safe starter after two months. Most people would take the Chipper-Harang side, though. Jones won't stop hitting, and Harang, despite the lowly record, is second in K's and has a good WHIP. As for Headley, I don't know what the Padres are doing, but it's becoming clear they're in no hurry to promote him. It might not be until September for all we know.
Trying to sell high on Cook, is Lackey a legitimate target?
Eric Karabell (11:14 AM)
Well, I'd much rather have Lackey because of the track record and the strikeouts, but if you can pull that one off, good for you. Cook has managed to be this good without getting K's, and with a bad team behind him, so I don't view him as a strict sell high.
Is there anything wrong with Cole Hamels? or just 2 flukey bad starts?
Eric Karabell (11:15 AM)
I think he bounces back strong today. Even in his last outing, it just seemed like he made a few bad pitches that got hit a long way. I don't think he's hurt. Buy low.
Ben (New York, NY)
More production for the rest of the season: Hamilton or Howard? Also, better long term keeper: Gallardo or Volquez?
Eric Karabell (11:17 AM)
I think people are wrongly down on Ryan Howard. He might hit the most home runs in baseball from this point forward. He was that good the final months last year. For sheer power, Howard over Hamilton, but Hamilton has the better average all year. Both are top 15 players. And Gallardo is out for the year with the torn knee, and I'll call him a sleeper for 2009, but nothing more. Volquez is the pick.
EK, need your help! Who's a safer spot start tomorrow, Bartolo Colon vs. Seattle or Jason Bergmann vs. SanFran?
Eric Karabell (11:19 AM)
Wow, who would have thought those names would be safe at this point? I'd probably take Colon at this point. I find it hard to trust Washington pitchers, even though Bergmann has been good.
Jay (Baltimore, MD)
What is wrong with Brian Roberts? Isn't he the best fantasy 2B in the AL?
Eric Karabell (11:22 AM)
He was supposed to be, but now I think it's Ian Kinsler, who can match the steals and top Roberts everywhere else. Don't give up on Roberts, he still runs, and his average should get better. But Kinsler is better. BJ Upton also still has 2B elig, and he's better than both.
What do you think of the Josh Banks/Mets showdown tonight? Does Banks keep up his ridiculous start (granted it was only 2 games?)
Eric Karabell (11:23 AM)
Banks is a finesse pitcher, so Petco is the best spot for him, but there's a reason the Blue Jays didn't mind losing him. There's very little upside here. The Mets aren't an offensive juggernaut on the road anyway, so as a spot starter, go for it, but Banks is likely to end up like soft tosser Justin Germano, in the bullpen, the minors or released again.
Which side would you rather have Harden/J Guillen or Granderson/Glaus . Thanks
Eric Karabell (11:25 AM)
While I do think Jose Guillen will be a helpful fantasy option, maybe 25-90, I can't buy into Harden. He constantly teases us. Glaus is useful, Granderson should be the best fantasy player in the deal. I'll take his side.
Ryan Garko, thoughts after last night?
Eric Karabell (11:26 AM)
It's about time. He wasn't a top-15 1B to start with, but he wasn't hitting enough to keep his job this year. Michael Aubrey got some run there. Garko needs to hit for power. The RBIs were nice, but all on singles. Hit some homers.
What's up Eric, I noticed you had Matt Kemp the lowest out of all your colleagues...care to explain why? I tend to agree with you because of the K/BB ratio. Over/Under - .290 / 17HRs / 80 RBIs / 26 Sbs?
Eric Karabell (11:27 AM)
My rankings are the subject of my column for today, which should be posted soon, and you're right, Kemp was the first guy I really had lower than all others. Where's the power? He has it, but isn't showing it, and I think he can't sustain batting average with all those K's. He's not a bad player, and he's worth the risk in keeper leagues, but I think his name is worth more than the actual stats.
Am I wasting my time holding on to D Willis, when Aaron Cook is a FA
Eric Karabell (11:29 AM)
Yeah, I would make that switch. I have little confidence in D-Train. No runs in his last outing, but lots of walks. Too many. Cook keeps winning despite the team around him.
So Eric, you would keep Scherzer and Kershaw over gallardo then?
Eric Karabell (11:30 AM)
Kershaw I would, but I want the see the role on Scherzer, and for Gallardo the health. If Scherzer didn't have those unreal stats at Triple-A this season, his value wouldn't be overblown. He's a sixth-inning reliever right now, albeit a big K guy, but still.
Brad Hawpe is coming back; I'm loaded with pitching. Worth trading Carmona?
Eric Karabell (11:31 AM)
Sure, but I don't expect Hawpe to hit like he did a year ago. Don't be shocked if Seth Smith keeps getting to play quite a bit.
Bengie Molina or Jorge Posada for the rest of the year?
Eric Karabell (11:31 AM)
I'll take Jorge Posada. Both could be top 5 catchers, really, but I stick with the guy who should hit for a higher average, and is in the better lineup.
What do you think about Chamberlin for the rest of the year? Quality #3 starter for my rotation or shop him to see what he brings back?
Eric Karabell (11:33 AM)
I think his name brings far more in trade talks than the actual statistical output, so I would float his name out there. He should be, a month from now, a solid No. 3 starter in fantasy, a good but not dominant K guy. His rep is overblown.
Chris Young or Ryan Church for the rest of the season?
Eric Karabell (11:34 AM)
Church is a nice player, but I still choose the one who can steal a whole lotta bases. Yeah, Young is not hitting for average. I think, maybe, he can hit .260. The power, the runs, and eventually the steals make him enticing.
Last ditch desperation try, who wins: Vladi and Contreras for Jason Bay and Jon Rauch? What's your opinion of Rauch the rest of the way?
Eric Karabell (11:36 AM)
Assuming you need the closer more than the starter, it's the Bay-Rauch side. I think Guerrero has a DL stint in his near future, and even if he doesn't, there's no speed and not enough power there. Something's wrong. Bay is making himself real-life trade bait, which can't be bad. Chad Cordero will come back at some point, but I doubt he's going to be placed in the closer role. Rauch saves 30.
Mike (SAN DIAAGO)
I just dropped Scherzer picked up Rafael Soriano because I have no closers. (Saito and Salamon Torres)....is he worth a roster spot...you seemed pretty down on him being legit? Should I try and get Scherzer Back?
Eric Karabell (11:39 AM)
Scherzer is very legit, he just doesn't have a role that can really help a fantasy team right now. Plus, his last time out he gave up a few homers. He's not perfect. Soriano is going to get saves, and that's more valuable. I think people own Scherzer based on the name, and don't realize he might not win or save any games, or even stick in the majors all year.
Is Dontrelle Willis going to get it together this year and pull out 12 wins? Is Roy Oswalt going to return to form?
Eric Karabell (11:40 AM)
I think we'll see Willis back in the bullpen next week. The Tigers can't mess with Galaragga like that again. And Willis would be a nice lefty on lefty guy. Oswalt is going to turn things around, I'd buy low there.
YES or NO? Should I start Dempster tonight against Billingsley?
Eric Karabell (11:41 AM)
Start 'em both. Dempster is having a nie season, I don't get why people aren't believing in him. And Billingsley has the second best NL ERA since April 30. Both are legit.
B (The City of Brotherly Love)
Taylor Buchholz...closing at the ASB?
Eric Karabell (11:43 AM)
I doubt Brian Fuentes is dealt away to the Yankees that soon. The Rockies should wait until teams are really desperate, which is by July 31. Plus, don't be shocked if Casey Weathers is brought up to close for the final month. It's not like Buchholz has closing experience.
C (Omaha, Nebraska)
Eric, last attempt, but this really is a big question. Thoughts on David Ortiz and what we see from him if he is healthy? Would you buy very low on him (E. Jackson and Hermida for Papi)??
Eric Karabell (11:44 AM)
I seem to be in the minority on Ortiz, but I would buy low. I do think he returns later this month, and he hits. But certainly the risk of injury is great, and it depends how much you have to give up. Jackson and Hermida for him is a steal, even if Ortiz isn't quite himself.
Eric, If you had Bruce and needed speed, would Figgins be enough in return? Can he get healthy enough to steal 20+ from here on? Thanks!
Eric Karabell (11:45 AM)
I'd keep Bruce. Maybe he steals 15 or so bases the rest of the way. Figgins should steal more, but it's not a good trade for value.
just traded pierre for votto straight up. already have ichiro and can't afford to play another non power guy. what's the outlook for votto the rest of the way?
Eric Karabell (11:46 AM)
I like that deal. Pierre is like Figgins, a one-dimensional runner, and Votto has the pop and can even steal a few bases. By this time next year Votto could be a top 10 first baseman.
Russell Branyan...are you buying this?
Eric Karabell (11:49 AM)
I think he'll hit home runs, but the batting average ... beware.... Bill Hall should realize he'll be getting that playing time back soon.
Aaron (Chicago, IL)
Give up on Ankiel? What do you see from his the rest of the way??? Thanks.
Eric Karabell (11:51 AM)
This is a minor derailment with the current injury, but he's only on pace for 26-74 as it is. His batting average is just OK. I think Ryan Ludwick has passed him, and Ankiel could lose playing time if/when Colby Rasmus comes up. Don't give up; the guy could hit 10 homers a month, if he's right.
John (Hendon, VA)
People keep answering the Oswalt question with "he'll be fine" citing neither what's wrong nor why it will correct. Could you ellaborate for us? Is it more than track record? Thanks EK!
Eric Karabell (11:54 AM)
Fair enough. Oswalt has had only two bad outings in his last 10, and one was against Philly and the other in Texas. Otherwise, all outings were three earned runs. Plus, love the track record, there's no sign of injury and last year his first-half ERA was 3.53, second half was 2.57 with a big K rate.
don (bay area)
Do you expect Eric Byrnes to have a top 25 OF 2nd half or just give up?
Eric Karabell (11:55 AM)
I saw Byrnes on free agency in one of my leagues and I'm trying to make room for him ASAP. I think he'll get healthy and resume being a nice power-speed combo. I'm basically disregarding his current batting average.
Dan (Irvine, CA)
Marcum and Bruce for Jake Peavy. Which side do you want? 12 team mixed.
Eric Karabell (11:56 AM)
Jake should be a pretty good pitcher from here on out, but I take the Marcum/Bruce side, no question. Marcum is pretty underrated, and Bruce is a monster.
Eric, Are you in the same boat as Tristan and I that Verlander is about to turn it around? He's posted a 3.66 era over past month. Granted the record is 1-3 but the win tigers scored 12 runs while in other 4 starts(1 ND) they scored a total of 2 runs? Buy before smoke and mirrors clear?
Eric Karabell (11:57 AM)
Yeah, I think he already has turned it around, but I do not buy that all of a sudden he will get run support. That offense has problems as well. But for the peripheral stats, sure, Verlander could be like Harang, helpful for fantasy but with the bad win/loss record.
You didn't rank Jayson Werth. Why not? He is on pace for a 20-20 season.
Eric Karabell (11:59 AM)
I don't think he will get enough playing time now that Victorino is healthy, and Jenkins plays against all RHP. Werth is a nice player, but not a full-timer.
Eric Karabell (11:59 AM)
Thanks to everyone for the questions and the interest. I might not say it enough, but it is appreciated. Good luck in your leagues, and look for another fantasy chat later today. Adios!