Fantasy Baseball w/AJ Mass
Send your questions now and join Mass in The Show on Tuesday at 11 a.m. ET!
AJ Mass (10:54 AM)
Good morning all. Time for another hour-long fantasy baseball chat as the dog days of August are upon us. Let's get this party started, quickly...right?
Is Joba okay? Could this be a long term injury?
AJ Mass (10:56 AM)
Joba will miss his next start, and quite frankly, I think the Yankees play it safe and DL him for 15 days. Is it longterm? We'll know more after tests, but I expect Joba to be back at the end of the month.
Jay (Long Island, NY)
Hey AJ- general keeper league question here. Do you think it's fair for teams that are in the bottom of the league to trade some of their better players to teams in contention for keepers? I'm at the top and traded my 2 best keepers (M. Cabrera and Longoria) for 3 great players (Manny, Tex, and Lackey), none of which I'll keep though. What's your opinion on this?
AJ Mass (10:57 AM)
That's not only fair, it's good for the league. Many times the only thing keeping owners interested once they've been eliminated for this year is the concept that they can get a head start on next year.
Any word on Wagner yet? I'm just waiting until I can move him to my DL and add Heilman - is that who you think will be getting the saves when/if Wagner goes down?
AJ Mass (10:59 AM)
The Mets are dawdling on the outright DL-ing, but it is clear he'll miss some time. I think Duaner gets first crack at save... Heilman is simply painful to watch. But I wouldn't be surprised if Joe Smith gets trotted out there occasionally either.
Is Aaron Cook hurt or was that just one bad start? He looked awful vs the Nats.
AJ Mass (11:00 AM)
I'm going one bad start... Nats aren't going to go 0-162, you know.
what are your thoughts on ortiz for the rest of the year? Will he be back to his old self or should I try to move him for say Carlos Lee or Morneau?
AJ Mass (11:02 AM)
I think if you can move Papi, you move him. He's not going to get the benefit of Manny protecting him, and that wrist could go south at any moment. Today my article on Top 250 hitters (fantasy value) so far comes out, and Papi is 145. Lee is 13. Morneau is 38. I'd make the deal.
Keeper Help (atlanta)
Who has longer keeper league value -- McClouth, Ellsbury or Hart?
AJ Mass (11:03 AM)
Since I value steals, I would lean Ellsbury, even with his recent speed shortage... but it's hard to not like Hart.
In keeper leagues, do you tend to keep more hitters or pitchers? I can keep two of the following 3 for roughly the same cost effective price and am wondering who I should keep between Harden, Dempster, and McClouth. Thanks for your help!
AJ Mass (11:05 AM)
I tend to keep more hitters, b/c they are far more predictable and if a hitter you expect to get 40 HR gets only 25, that's still a positive. If a pitcher you expected to have a 3.00 ERA has a 5.00 ERA, you're up a creek without a paddle. I'd let Harden go, based solely on the high injury risk.
Thoughts on Berkman? Where did his home run power go?
AJ Mass (11:05 AM)
Berkman's not a HR hitter. He's a good hitter who happens to get HRs, but his power profile is not one that lends itself to the longball.
Tim (Trenton N.J)
who would you rather have greinke or gallaraga?
AJ Mass (11:07 AM)
Armando. He's still got the better (albeit more inconsistent) lineup supporting him, and he's a bit less up and down than Zack.
I'm in 1st and am being called out for collusion for making a deal with the guy in last. I gave Corey Hart and got K-Rod. I think it is a fair deal in a vaccuum. What do you think.
AJ Mass (11:08 AM)
Completely fair deal in a vacuum. Unfortunately, whenever you allow the inmates to run the asylum, someone gets hurt, and that's usually the first place team.
Is there a certain time in the season to 'blow up' a chunk of your season and start playing kids scrambling to make their names known over proven vets? I'm looking at making a surge in Steals and watching guys like Bonifacio and Milledge over some'iffy' starters like Griffey, Thomas and Bradley...am I nuts or is this a sound strategy? Are there other names I should be looking at?
AJ Mass (11:10 AM)
It's not an age thing, it's simply that if you're already in last doing what you're doing then what do you have to lose by taking a chance on starting a different bunch of guys. If it does blow up in your face, you don't "not win" more.
Who would you go with as the better pick for the remainder: Aviles or Alexei Ramirez?
AJ Mass (11:11 AM)
Both playing well. I like Alexei a bit more though.
What are your expectations for David Price - should he be sitting on everyone's bench in hopes of making a King Felix entrance, or do you think he comes up as a reliever?
AJ Mass (11:12 AM)
I'm expecting a Joba-esque entrance. There's really not a need for him in the rotation. Next year though, they'll work him in.
I've only been playing fantasy baseball for 2 years, but relievers are the most overrated position out there. People pop up all the time and it's only one catagory that they really contribute to.
AJ Mass (11:15 AM)
They're not overrated, b/c they are the sole contributors to 25 percent of all pitching points in a 4x4 league. That's why a K-Rod or Papelbon are such valuable pitchers... but compared to the top hitters, then yes, they don't compare.
Meredith (Toronto, ON)
Getting upset with recent production of C. Buchholz -- do I just abandon him or hold on to him and hope that he keeps his starting job with Colon coming back
AJ Mass (11:16 AM)
I'm not holding on to him, as there are always pitching options out there. Look, if it weren't for the no-no, would anybody even know who this kid is? Probably not. So take that out of the mix and treat him as you would a Rasner or any other struggling youngster.
Ryan (Circleville, OH):
Jay Bruce seems to be catching fire again... Do you think he keeps it going?
AJ Mass (11:18 AM)
He wasn't as good as the first week and wasn't as bad as the ensuing slump. Now that the team has cut Griffey loose, I think Bruce is actually more relaxed and should do just fine.
Any updates on if Putz will be sliding back into the closer role in Seattle?
AJ Mass (11:19 AM)
Putz is the closer if he says he can go and feels right. It's generally going to be a matter of when, not if.
jose ( valencia ,venezuela)
i'm in need of 5 starter can trust in GIL MECHE or there is no some one else out there in 12 teams mixed league
AJ Mass (11:21 AM)
Here's the danger in looking at season totals. Meche is 10-9 and most would stay away, but he's 7-1 in last 11 starts, and one of the hottest pitchers out there. I've always had a soft spot for "Ga" and Royals are a scrappy bunch.
Lannan a groundball pitcher but is he worth a start at Colorado tonight?
AJ Mass (11:22 AM)
With a few exceptions for Rockies pitchers who have learned how to pitch at Coors, I always lean towards benching all pitchers, even the great ones in Colorado. Lannan is not a great one.
Need your opinion my man!!! I traded my John Lackey to get Manny Ramirez and Adrian Beltre, who came out on top on that one?
AJ Mass (11:24 AM)
I think you did, but that doesn't mean that it was bad trade for the other guy. If he had hitting to spare and needed pitching, then you're both happy. At this time of the season, it's no longer about the value of the players on their face... it's only about value to the team getting them.
Will the '07 Jimmy show up anytime soon? It's hard to win your league when your 1st round pick gives you 6th or 7th round results.
AJ Mass (11:26 AM)
Jimmy is struggling to be sure. 53rd in fantasy value so far in 08. But once the season starts, who cares where you drafted him? Look, if my tenth round pick is giving me 1st Round numbers and my first round pick is giving me sixth round numbers, I'm ahead of the game.
Fernando (Pembroke Pines)
Hey AJ, what can I expect from Izzy at closer for the rest of the season? He was in my FA pool and I picked him up due to my needs for saves
AJ Mass (11:27 AM)
He'll get the chances, but is my confidence in Izzy high? Not a chance. Certainly when you need saves, you want to get the guys who will get the opportunity, and Izzy qualifies... and he may do well for you. I'm just not high on him.
jose ( valencia ,venezuela)
what do you about VICTOR MARTINEZ he will pick it up or he will stay struggling like before?
AJ Mass (11:29 AM)
Let's see him do something more than jog before we worry about it. He'll be rehabbing shortly in the minors and may make it back before September. If you've held on to him this long, might as well go the distance, but frankly,I'd have let him go months ago.
sparks( san marcos, tx)
trade papelbon for kinsler? i would get kinsler...
AJ Mass (11:30 AM)
Again, deals aren't about the names, they're about the numbers. Kinsler has been more valuable... but if you're OK in saves and needed say steals, then you could trade Papelbon for Willy Taveras and I'd be OK with it.
Peggy (provo, ut)
keeper decision -- santana or shields
AJ Mass (11:32 AM)
Do you have to decide today? What if Santana blows out his elbow tomorrow? I mean to me it's Ervin if he's healthy.
How long until Wood retakes the closer job?
AJ Mass (11:33 AM)
It's not "re-taking it" - it's his job. I expect him to be back at end of week the latest, but blister problems are recurring, so it could mean a few extra days off here and there.
Lorf (Providence, RI)
Would you suggest I grab a baseball bat and go down to New York to help get Johan some more wins?
AJ Mass (11:34 AM)
I'd rather have Worf. Imagine the fear in opposing pitcher's eyes when a Klingon step to the plate.
Liriano is at 140 IP. Do the Twins keep throwing him out there in the pennant race?
AJ Mass (11:35 AM)
Absolutely. They didn't call him up for nothing. And the way he cruised through Triple-A you can't count those IP the same as if he struggled through.
AJ, please stay on top of the news...Wood was ready to pitch last night.
AJ Mass (11:37 AM)
Jack, Wood says he was ready. Lou Piniella didn't agree otherwise he would have activated him, which he did not.
AJ, how about a sneak peak of your top 250 list, on OFs: Hart, Markakis, Quentin, Damon, Magglio. Thx.
AJ Mass (11:39 AM)
Hart -21, Nick -50, CQ -14, Damon -70, Maggs at 78.
Jack, Wood isn't gonna be used in closing situations right off the bat, they're gonna use him in middle relief once or twice
AJ Mass (11:40 AM)
There's that too, which is also why I said I expect him "back" by end of week.
Are you expecting much out of Justin Upton for the rest of the year? Convince me to hold on to him in a keeper league that keeps 5.
AJ Mass (11:41 AM)
Isn't that two different issues, Justin? I expect Upton to do very well once he returns... the question is when that is, and it's a frustrating thing for Upton owners... but as to whether or not to keep him for next year, by then he's sure to be fully healed.
Is Baldelli worth a roster spot in an 18 team league?
AJ Mass (11:42 AM)
Certainly worth the risk with that deep a league. Besides, you'll know within a week if he's worth holding on to, so it isn't likely to cost you a roster spot for long if it's not going to work out.
How bad is the wrist click fo Ortiz? I know you have no idea, but you thinking he is in trouble?
AJ Mass (11:44 AM)
I think given the Red Sox position in the standings (needing to win) and the lack of Manny, he'll play through the pain... which could end up hurting him more than it helps the team.
Is Chipper Jones still fantasy gold or have injuries lessened his fantasy value?
AJ Mass (11:45 AM)
Before the All-Star break I wagered whether or not Chipper would reach 400. Not batting average... at-bats. If you don't play, you have no value.
Juan (NY, NY)
The Boston Globe said Ortiz's wrist is "sufficiently tweaked" -- is this new-speak for "sprained"?
AJ Mass (11:46 AM)
That's amusing. "Sufficiently" huh? I guess then if he gets worse he'll be "abundantly overwrought"
Is it time to drop Bedard?
AJ Mass (11:47 AM)
I just did in my big 15-team Experts League this week. Law of diminishing returns... even if he does manage to make it back on the mound, how much could it help you?
Will (The OC)
Will Hamilton struggle making it through a full season? Sell high to get two players back that can help me, like Bay and Alexei Ramirez?
AJ Mass (11:48 AM)
I think his HR pace slows a bit, but he'll make it through the season. Anytime you can get a 2-for-1 and improve your team, I do it. Numbers, not names.
John (Fayetteville, AR)
AJ, I'm the league manager in the league you discussed yesterday with Earl. He might have spun the story a bit. At no point did I say I was going to "pre-empt" him by setting his lineup during the start of the week. The whole story is that he said he might throw the week so that he could face a weaker team. That is conduct detrimental to the league, and I told him that there was evidence of that during the week, then I would have to step in and fix his roster (later in the week, once it was established that's what he was doing). I'm totally against having to touch other people's teams, and told him as much. So, now that you know the whole situation, would you still say that a league manager shouldn't prevent something like that from happening??
AJ Mass (11:52 AM)
Hey John. Obviously, I'm only hearing Earl's side of the story, and most of my commentary was tongue-in-cheek anyway. Still, I don't think an owner needs to be told that "cheating is not going to be tolerated." He knows it. Threatening him with action should he violate the rules might actually have the opposite intended effect of making him so angry at you that he tanks anyway just to spite you... But again, I don't have a problem with a team throwing a game if they're doing it to attempt to position themselves better... I think it's dumb, but allowable.
You guys over give Shawn/C-Dub a day off. Everytime I use The Answer Guys he is the one who always answers my question regardles of the day of the week or time.
AJ Mass (11:53 AM)
LOL. C-Dub is the man and he does a great job with Answer Guys. Most of the time when I go to answer a few questions to lend a helping hand, I find he's already answered them all.
Adam (Long Beach, CA)
Matt Kemp gets no love -- why is that -- he's the next dave winfield
AJ Mass (11:56 AM)
East Coast folks don't see him play? Overshadowed by Manny? I'm not sure... but Kemp is a Top 20 fantasy player already, and should only improve. Let him stay obscure so I can draft him a few spots lower next year, OK?
you should answer all questions that come to you, not just the ones you want/know the answer to
AJ Mass (11:57 AM)
Oh, Adalaid... at 2000+ questions and counting, I couldn't answer them all even if I tried... and it is my chat to moderate, so I will use that power for good and answer the ones I choose to. So there!
quick one, shoppach or mccann today? and the rest of the week?
AJ Mass (11:59 AM)
I'll go Shoppach and avoid any woozy after-effects. Just playing the odds there.
Eric (Long Island, NY)
Should I drop Ryan Braun? His team is falling apart.
AJ Mass (12:00 PM)
Yes, feel free to do just that. And be sure to drop Prince in your Boxing league as well... no knockout power whatsoever.
Best bet for the remainder of the season: Byrd, Backe, Lannan, Marquis, or Zito? Need ERA, WHIP.
AJ Mass (12:02 PM)
I'd go with Lannan, although only after tonight.
Maybe he meant Ryan Z. Braun? But then again, the Royals aren't exactly falling apart taking it to the Red Sox...
AJ Mass (12:03 PM)
And Josh (finally) gets in a funny at the gun! Thanks to all for your Q's. We've got to go, but we'll see you the next time on Villa Allegre.