Fantasy Baseball w/AJ Mass
Send your questions now and join Mass in The Show on Tuesday at 11 a.m. ET!
AJ Mass (10:57 AM)
Welcome to another fantasy baseball chat... lots of questions already in the queue, so let's get to it, shall we?
Lost Kinsler and I'm in mourning today. I picked up Jeff Kent, but I also have Loney and Kemp and feel like I'm depending on the Dodgers to get me into the playoffs. Other guys available are Infante, Weeks, Felipe Lopez. Anyone that can help salvage my season?
AJ Mass (10:59 AM)
Lots of Kinsler questions today, as expected. Tough to put a lot of eggs int he same lineup basket, Matt. One good pitching performance and your whole team gets hurt. Nobody out there is going to get you Ian's numbers... I like Weeks better than Kent actually, and Ty Wiggington is still available in many leagues - and likely has 2B eligibility.
Kinsler owners should be picking up Ian Stewart.
AJ Mass (11:00 AM)
Stewart is OK if all you're looking for is power, but he's going to destroy your batting average... not sure it is worth it.
Help in Chicago!
The Tampa Bay game tonight. I know they play indoors but with Fay drowning the State, do you think they might cancel the game? Thanks AJ....
AJ Mass (11:03 AM)
That's a fair consideration, and I don't have an answer... I haven't heard anything to indicate such a postponement, but I wouldn't be shocked if it did happen.
If I have a roster spot and wanted to "block" another manager, would Polanco and Wiggy be good adds (I have Cano) to keep a Kinsler manager from getting better?
AJ Mass (11:05 AM)
He's losing Kinsler... he isn't getting better. He's picking up a sub who presumably wasn't good enough to be on a roster in your league already. Nothing in the rules preventing you from making a FA pickup... but I worry about my own team and not my opponents.
Who is the better keeper Chris Davis or Ryan Zimmerman, now that Davis is moving to 3b?
AJ Mass (11:06 AM)
I personally like Zimmerman better long term.
Derrick Shea (cleveland)
Beckett killed my whole line last week. lost me 4 categories. Is he dependable?
AJ Mass (11:07 AM)
He's very dependable... you know what you're getting... a .500 pitcher with a 4,00+ ERA. Every pitcher is going to have a bad outing here and there. Don't overreact if a pitcher has one outlier.
Ryan Howard (Philly)
Am I going to heat up? Will Nats pitching help?
AJ Mass (11:09 AM)
Nats pitching won't hurt. I'm not a fan of Howard's. He's a weird one to figure out... when his power numbers are at their best, he's an opposite field hitter. So, the better he's seeing the ball, the worse his power numbers get, and when he is hitting the long ball, his BA plummets.
I've watched Bedard, McGowan, Matsui, Furcal, Joba, and now Kinsler get hurt. Can I learn anything from these injuries (and change my drafting strategy next year), or are these just the breaks of fantasy baseball?
AJ Mass (11:12 AM)
Just the breaks. I wouldn't change how I draft based on injuries, other than to lower players who I think have a chronic ailment on my lists... but you never know. Look at Rich Harden, who everyone thought would not last through May.
No Ryan Braun questions!!! What is the latest on his injury?
AJ Mass (11:14 AM)
Apparently, he relapsed and had to leave the game. I'm thinking he misses a few games b/c there's no way the team is going to keep trotting him out there only to have to replace him on a nightly basis if he seizes up again. Don't think we'll see a DL trip, but expect him to sit for a week.
You say don't worry about blocking another manager, but what if you reach your IP Limit. Is it best to hoard those SPs on your bench or pick up some FAs to help on offense?
AJ Mass (11:17 AM)
You know if you drop a star pitcher, another team will pick him up and use him. It would be foolish to do so. But if you have a guy like Paul Byrd on your team, who could go either way, then by all means let him go and let someone else make the call. More hitting flexibility can only help you.
TB game will be played tonight, the area is feeling zero effects of the storm, it's on their website too.
AJ Mass (11:17 AM)
There you go. Thank you Bill for telling us what's happening in your neck of the woods.
is there official word yet on Kinsler? I mean, is he for sure out for the season? Should I drop him or stash him on the DL?
AJ Mass (11:19 AM)
For sure, for sure? No, Kinsler is seeking a second opinion, but the MRI wasn't exactly good news. I'm not expecting him to play again this year, especially with Texas having zero post-season chance.
Is Phil Hughes worth starting this weekend? the rest of the season?
AJ Mass (11:21 AM)
I'm not going anywhere near him. He's probably going to get the run support, and may win a 7-5, 10-7 type game or two... but at what cost to the ERA and WHIP?
AJ: Concerned about what I'm reading about Maine. Now that Maddux is with the Dodgers, is he a better option?
AJ Mass (11:23 AM)
Maine's fastball isn't all that fast these days. The good news is that his shoulder isn't getting any worse... it's just not getting any better. Longterm, I think this is good because Maine is learning how to "pitch" rather than "throw" - but I'd be concerned that he's throwing way too many pitches to get through 5 IP.
Ryan (Cedar Rapids, Ia)
Hi AJ, No fantasy question here, but whats your take on CC going back out for the 9th last night after throwing 110 pitches and having a 6 run lead? Padding stats or no confidence in the bullpen? Thanks!
AJ Mass (11:25 AM)
Neither. I don't see the big deal. Pitch counts are so overrated. A guy throws his 100th pitch and everyone starts screaming for the manager to pull him. If many of these pitchers weren't babied so much int he minors, there would be fewer arm injuries... not more.
Is Verlander worth holding onto over Garza or Buerhle?
AJ Mass (11:28 AM)
It's not a large gap between the three. Personally, I'd go with Buerhle, but I couldn't really argue with any of the three. Pretty much in the same boat.
I'm looking ahead to my H2H playoffs. Who would be a better player to stash on my DL in hopes that they can make a late season impact: Murphy or Furcal?
AJ Mass (11:28 AM)
As long as we're hoping I'd go with Furcal... at his position, he's more valuable should he return. But all we're doing is hoping, not expecting.
Struggling Pitchers,Chicago and Minnesota
Whats your outlook on Scott Baker and Carlos Zambrano? Both have struggled recently.
AJ Mass (11:31 AM)
As someone who got eviscerated when I put Z as my #340 pitcher in our last rankings, going forward, I am not surprised. Z has been giving up way too many fly balls and not showing the power pitching he has in the past. It was bound to catch up to him. Not to say he can't have a solid start on any given day, but I don't like him going forward. Baker's the last choice of the guys on his staff.
Rank em: Loney,Thames,Giambi
AJ Mass (11:32 AM)
Loney, Giambi, Thames - in that order.
Dude, pitch counts are not overrated, more pitches = more wear/soreness = longer recovery time = less fresh for future starts. You buying Hafner when he comes back?
AJ Mass (11:36 AM)
Dude, yes they are. go to the gym and lift weights --- more reps = stronger muscles = you can lift more. Pitchers used to throw just as hard in the 70s with fewer days rest AND they had CG out the wazoo without any greater event of injuries. Pitchers today are handled with kid gloves. You don't want to leave a guy out there for 150 pitches in 5 IP, but 110-120 versus 100? Big deal.
AJ Mass (11:36 AM)
Not buying Hafner either.
AJ, honestly, were you born and rased in St Louis? That would explain your hatred of Big Z.
AJ Mass (11:38 AM)
Not hatred. You're so sensitive. I'm allowed to think a player will do poorly - which I would say 14 runs in last 2 starts is - without having any personal feeling about him.
But the 70's also featured light hitting middle infielders where the pitcher could "coast" and still get them out, not like today where we have lineups 1 through 9 that can hurt you (on many teams anyway)
AJ Mass (11:41 AM)
Yes that Big Red Machine were a bunch of weaklings, right? I'm sure most pitchers quake in their boots when they have to face Christian Guzman and then the pitcher who does an ole on three swings.
Jonathan (Bloomington, IN)
Regarding pitch counts and Jaybird's comments... do yourself a favor and check out the game logs of some of the old-timer greats, like Bob Gibson in the 60s. These guys were pitching 16 inning games on 4 man rotations. I'm siding with you here, AJ.
What's up with Kelly Johnson? Should I continue to start him, and isn't this chat supposed to be FANTASY baseball?
AJ Mass (11:44 AM)
Kelly's an average hitter on a team that's phoning it in. I'd start someone else if you got him. And I'm basing that on his ACTUAL performance, which is worthy of discussion. If you play fantasy baseball, and don't like REAL baseball, I don't get you at all.
Bronson Arroyo - is he still worth a roster spot this tear?
AJ Mass (11:45 AM)
I'd stick a fork in Bronson, and sadly his buddy Aaron as well.
When is David Price coming up? I've only got one move left on the year, and my #1 Waiver priority is burning a hole in my pocket!
AJ Mass (11:47 AM)
A few more weeks will do it. I think we see him after rosters expand and no sooner.
You must have missed Kelly Johnson's comments in the Atlanta paper today about still playing hard and how the young Atlanta players are trying to establish themselves that Major League level. FAIL.
AJ Mass (11:49 AM)
I saw them. I simply didn't buy it. "Hey Kelly... your stats are dropping. Aren't you trying?" What's he going to say? "No, I'm not and neither are my teammates."
Real quick, which side do you want in a keeper league: Lastings Milledge/Brandon Morrow or Chris Young (Arizona)?
AJ Mass (11:50 AM)
I go with Lastings and Morrow. I have two shots to be right, rather than only one.
Charlie (Syracuse, NY)
I understand what you are saying about pitch counts. I thought for sure that Blackburn was going to get the call in the 9th last night as he had coasted through the 7th and 8th and was only up to 99 pitches. But I have to wonder, did the pitchers in the good ol' days have as long a career as they do now?
AJ Mass (11:53 AM)
Rather than give a history lesson, I'd recommend everyone who is interested on the history of pitch counts to look up the work of Tom Tango on the net on the subject.
Hector (New Mexico)
Duke and Maine both hurting. Please rank for the rest of the season: Guthrie, Lowe, Maddux, Bush, Galarraga?
AJ Mass (11:54 AM)
I like Galarraga and Maddux from that list.
To put it simple, pitching was "easier" back in the day, less off speed stuff was thrown (more stress on the arm throwing junk), easier lineups, bigger ball parks, MUCH less offense overall, pitchers could coast more (and a lot of the old pitchers talked about this). Nowadays, everything is geared toward the hitter (smaller ball parks & strike zones), better hitters so it takes more effort to go through a game than it used to therefore I think Pitch counts do matter. As a matter of fact, I sucommed to injury in my pitching days from overuse. This is a big topic overall in baseball and there are good arguments for both sides. Oswalt has looked good lately, is he a better keeper than Billingsley for next year only? Thanks.
AJ Mass (11:56 AM)
Jaybird's never heard of Phil Niekro I guess. Since it is so important to you, I'll answer your Oswalt/Billingsley question after I go count their pitches. I'll be right back.
Alex (brown university)
You also have to look at the risk-reward from a financial perspective. I don't think teams were signing players to 200 million dollar contracts back in the 70s. Today if a pitcher gets injured it leaves a much larger financial footprint on the organization. So the reward of stretching them a little longer might not be worth it considering the risk.
AJ Mass (11:59 AM)
I understand that's part of "why" it's being done... but that's not a "baseball reason" which is what most of the pitch count advocates would argue. But I would think that by running 4 pitchers into the ground, they would no longer need to pay anything over the minimum for the bullpen, which they wouldn't need to use as often. That money might come out in the wash.
AJ Mass (12:01 PM)
Well, I've reached my question count for the day, so they're pulling me. I'd love to stay and chat longer, but my fingers can't handle the stress of all this extra typing... thanks to all for the questions. We'll see you the next time on Villa Allegre.