Fantasy Baseball w/Tristan Cockcroft
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Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:00 AM)
Good morning everyone! Let's get right to your questions...
Nick (Eagan, Mn)
While I like greinke for the year overall, his stats at US Cellular (0-6, an era of almost 8 and 1.6 whip) have me on the fence for starting him today. Am I overthinkingthings this early in the year, or is it probably a good idea to sit him in this one?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:02 AM)
I wrote in today's Daily Notes that he has a horrendous track record at U.S. Celluar and I stand by it. I'm a Zack Greinke fan too, but if I had a decent alternative I'd consider using it this one time.
Tristan. Do you expect Ryan Perry to move into the closers role any time soon?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:03 AM)
Maybe in a future season, but I can't see him being rushed into the role this year, at least not in the first half. I liken Perry very much to Brandon Morrow in his rookie season. Could quickly elevate to a key late-inning role, but I think it's asking a lot for him to get saves in 2009. That said, stranger things have happened, and Fernando Rodney and Brandon Lyon aren't exactly stellar finishers. With a hot start I think Perry might have a little value, so in deep AL-only leagues I'd have him reserved.
Do Morrow owners want to handcuff him with Batista?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:05 AM)
Another thing I wrote about today, and my feeling on that is no, I wouldn't worry too much about it. Miguel Batista stunk last night, so it's not like he's the clear next-in-line. I wouldn't be surprised to see Mark Lowe or David Aardsma get a chance if Morrow falters, but again, there's no need to fret just yet. Too bland a bullpen to think handcuffs.
Hey Tristan, Answer me this. With Chris Davis hitting 7th in the order, how far does his fantasy status plummet. I mean I'm not gonna lie, I was hoping for 90+ RBI's preseason. Do you think he'll get moved up in the order at some point?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:06 AM)
Yes. Or at least I can't see him sticking in the bottom third, not with his power. Sure, Davis batted seventh for much of 2007, but I bet he moves up to fifth or sixth with time, especially once Hank Blalock hits the DL. (Stress "once.")
Matt Tampa FL
I ask this in every chat and get turned down in every chat. I need some help with Holds. Any thoughts on who to target?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:09 AM)
OK Matt, well, one of the reasons I'm not wild about holds questions is I'm not wild about the category. I think it's flawed; you can come in, don't even need to record an out and if you preserved the lead, you get a hold. That's even cheaper than a three-run, one-inning save, I think. But I acknowledge some leagues use these, so I look to the clear eighth-inning men setting up stable closers. That means J.J. Putz, Scott Downs, Scot Shields, Carlos Marmol, Rafael Perez, Tony Pena.
What's up Tristan? I know he's only had one game this year, but is Adam Jones worth starting everyday in a 10 team league that plays three OF?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:09 AM)
Certainly. Loved his preseason performance and I'm a fan of him hitting in the No. 2 hole. Could be a sneaky-good 20/20 candidate, and that's definitely valuable in your format.
in the same nature as James's question, does Kemp get moved up in the line-up? Does this spot hurt his fantasy value?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:11 AM)
I have to think so, yes, especially since Matt Kemp batted in the top third of the order a fair amount in 2008. That said, having Manny around, and a healthy Rafael Furcal too, deepens the lineup. I think it'll be injuries, not performance necessarily, that might move Kemp up from the bottom third. And I think his hitting that low does hurt his value more than it does a guy like Davis.
whats your thoughts on top prospect mike stanton? Will he be a star for the marlins?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:13 AM)
I can't remember the last time I saw a prospect with that level of monstrous power in Class A ball. Go look at his numbers -- they're extraordinary. But Stanton is a fair ways away from the majors, and I fear he could be a boom-or-bust slugger at the top level. And ask Dallas McPherson how life can be for those types. I don't want to pan Stanton yet, but that's a real risk/reward prospect for keeper leaguers.
SprungOnSports (Long Island)
Are Tim Lincecum and Geovany Soto ok after leaving their games early, while Lincecum may have been removed because he was doing so poorly?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:13 AM)
From what I understand Lincecum left with nothing injury-related, while Geovany Soto just has some shoulder soreness that might cost him a game or two but probably nothing more.
Tristan, should I start both Kazmir and Lester tonight. We dropped the win stat and have QUALITY STARTS (6 IP, 3 ER's). Thanks
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:14 AM)
I would start Jon Lester but not Scott Kazmir, as noted in my Daily Notes.
Rock (Verona, NJ)
Hi, Is Alexei Ramirez still a top 6 2b batting 8th? Time to trade him while he still has name value?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:15 AM)
I would like to echo the sentiments I had on Alexei Ramirez in the preseason: He's overrated if you're accounting for his draft-day price tag, and while he might bat .290 and might belt 30 home runs, he's not going to do both. And if he doesn't do both and he bats beneath seventh all year, he's not going to match his draft price. No way.
Phil, Grand Rapids, Mi
How come Harang got the lost Monday in the reds 2-1 lost whne he was not responsible for the second run the mets scored off Herrera
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:17 AM)
Wins and losses aren't handed out based upon the final score, they're handed out based on when the pitcher's team gains control of the game. In this instance, the Reds never led in the game, were trailing when Harang departed and never came back to tie or take the lead. As such, he takes the loss.
Everyone seems so high on W-Rod. I've looked at his stats for the past couple years and haven't seen anything special. Why all the hype? Would you rather have Kuroda? I'd be dropping F.Rodney,any help?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:20 AM)
It's the improvements he has made with his command ratios -- walks and K's per nine -- in each of the past three years, and his narrowing of the gap between his home and road splits in 2008, which had previously been problematic. I'm not saying Wandy is the NL's Cy Young award winner this year, but he's got more upside than most pitchers who got drafted where he did. I just checked my draft sheets from the preseason, and had Wandy and Kuroda right in the same range, almost identical rounds. And today, when making a pickup decision, if they were close in the preseason, I'll take the higher-upside guy thank you very much. It's Wandy, because we don't know how much better he can get, but I do think he gets better.
joe (ny, ny)
in batista's defense, he gave up a chopper that span (a quick guy) managed to beat out and one single. didn't exactly get lit up. i don't know why i feel the need to defend him but his outing wasn't as bad as the loss suggests.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:21 AM)
But you did defend him. Bottom line: That was a step-up opportunity for Batista, and he did not step up. Maybe it's unfair to trash him, but that's an opportunity lost, bottom line.
Angela Sac, Ca
Any chance Kelvim Escobar returns to 07 form? Is he worth picking up?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:25 AM)
Sure, I'd pick him up, but let's not forget that he's among the biggest injury risks in baseball. He apparently suffered a setback in his rehab, too, so I wouldn't shed anyone useful to get him. Big-time risk/reward type.
nelson cruz and ethier. expected stats from them, and who will finish better when the season ends? lastly, do you think huff will be able to produce similiar to last year?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:29 AM)
I think the smartest expectation from Cruz is .260-25, as he has tons of power but a steep downside. I'd prefer Ethier, a safe .290-20 guy with .300-25 upside. As for Huff, contract year. I think he'll be hard pressed to repeat, by he shouldn't fall off much, either.
Hardy (Jacksonville, IL)
How long do I have to wait for E. Dukes to be a starter? Is N. Johnson getting injured/traded the only way he becomes a starter by May?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:31 AM)
If Austin Kearns keeps hitting like he did in the opener, then yes. This is the primary reason I wasn't as wild about Dukes as some in the biz were. It's a frustratingly crowded outfield, though he'll find his 350-400 at-bats somehow.
In dire need of Starting Pitching due to injuries, waiver wire is extremeley thin. Please Rank Lannan, Wakefield, Anibal Sanchez,Glen Perkins. Thanks.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:33 AM)
I'd go Anibal Sanchez, John Lannan, Glen Perkins, Tim Wakefield and wouldn't trust a single one on an every-start basis. Matchups matchups! Anibal mostly has the highest ceiling, hence the pick.
D-Purce. David Purcey... Told you he was a breakout candidate. Huge improvement in command last year and an excellent spring.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:35 AM)
One game, and he didn't even get the win in it. That said, I seem to remember agreeing with you in the preseason, though my advice was to treat him as a late-round AL-only choice. I stand behind that.
Would you play Baker today v. Cabs or stick with Doumit v. Wellemeyer? I think Baker's value helps in the #2, but Doumit is cleanup. Dilemma!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:36 AM)
I don't know that I'd ever sit John Baker for a healthy Ryan Doumit. Doumit ranks among the best catchers in baseball on a per-game basis. I don't sit those guys.
Stop gap catcher until Wieters is up. Who would you rather have Navarro, Snyder, or Inge?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:38 AM)
I want no part of Brandon Inge. Why is it that people seemed to want him so badly in most of my leagues this spring? His batting average is atrocious, and don't feed me the nonsense about "he's a catcher playing everyday elsewhere." If you play every day and bat .240, you're really not helping. Chris Snyder has the higher upside, good ballpark, young lineup with upside, so he'd be my pick. Couldn't fault you going with Dioner Navarro's won't-hurt-you approach, even if it's somewhat bland to me.
Mark (State College, PA)
Should I worry about Gregg since he's been brought in the first two games and hasn't done well?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:40 AM)
Anytime I own a closer with a setup man talented as Carlos Marmol behind him, yes, I would worry. Though Gregg did save the opener, so I don't think he's in hot water yet. Just means he's a couple more stinkers away from being in jeopardy of losing his job.
Mike Napoli, Anaheim
Why the heck aren't I starting?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:42 AM)
Your shoulder must not be quite 100 percent yet -- or wasn't quite at it the first two games -- and Mike Scioscia said in the spring that you wouldn't be playing unless you were fully healthy and capable of catching. That said, the Orange County Register reports Napoli will catch on Wednesday, so all should be good. Problem is, he's not going to DH as much as anyone expected if Vladimir Guerrero really needs that spot as it seems right now.
Bartolo Colon (Chicago)
Ozzie named me the 5th starter! Time to celebrate at the Hometown Buffet! YUM! C'mon, Jenks....let's go!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:43 AM)
He can eat all he wants if he offers me a little value for the price I paid for him in my AL-only league. Oh wait, that was a reserve-round pick. Yeah, not gonna lose sleep over that if it doesn't pan out. Though it does acknowledge that I'm not entirely convinced Colon has zero value in 2008. For the record, not a fan, just to be definitive about this.
Lastings Millidge, Washington DC
Why the heck do I suck? Am I going to start sitting in favor of Dukes?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:44 AM)
Itchy trigger fingers equal 11th-place fantasy finishes.
Start Carmona @ TEX?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:45 AM)
Check out my Daily Notes, Chuck. Can't plug that one enough. I'm pretty optimistic about Mr. Carmona in that, and you can see why there.
is mark reyonds the same as adam dunn?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:46 AM)
No, because I think of Dunn as a 40-homer guy who will walk 100 times. Reynolds, to me, is more of a 30-homer man who will walk maybe 60-70 times. There's a noticeable difference there.
Dexter Fowler (Silver Bullet Field)
Do I wrangle the starting job from Spill or Smith before the all-star break? I mean i skipped AAA, i don't wanna sit. I have 5 tools!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:47 AM)
If Dexter Fowler is on that team -- and he is -- I think he needs to play fairly regularly so his talent isn't wasted. Fortunately, he's supposed to start both today and tomorrow, so that's an opportunity for him. If he seizes it, and I think he sure as heck can, no reason he can't get at least half the at-bats in left field. I'm just not a Seth Smith fan. Bigger fan of Fowler's. I doubt Ryan Spilborghs blows his chance, though.
Only spent $40 on my starting pitching in my roto league and everyone made fun of me for my makeshift staff. Will I look like a genius at the end of the year? Haren, Bedard, Meche, Harang and Jiminez
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:49 AM)
They were laughing at you because otherwise they'd have been crying at letting a guy like Dan Haren go for as cheap as he must have. No complaints here on your staff.
Colby Rasmus, IL
I looked good last night - rather have me or Millidge?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:50 AM)
Again, itchy trigger fingers. I remain anti-Rasmus, and pro-Milledge. It's one game for Rasmus, and two for Milledge. Soooo ... 1/81 of the season is in the books.
How long do you wait to re-evaluate the guys you drafted? 2 weeks? A month?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:52 AM)
Depends when you drafted them. I once hailed a strategy I called the "Regret Rule," which pretty much said you take the number of rounds in your draft, add one, then subtract the number of the round you selected the player, and that is the number of weeks of the season you should be patient with the guy. Now, that's just ballparking it. Obviously guys you took after the 20th round you can feel free to cut quickly if you need to, and there are cases where a 10th-rounder might lose his job and therefore all of his value, so that changes things. But it helps when trying to decide about, say, Robinson Cano of a year ago, when he got off to that awful start. By my rule, you'd never have cut him, because he'd have turned it around before his "cut week."
Price just went on waivers. Would you stash him at the expense of Guthrie or Weaver?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:53 AM)
I am just not a Jeremy Guthrie fan, and I do think David Price belongs on a bench in most every fantasy league. Guthrie had a brutal spring after being scarcely used in the WBC. I'm not optimistic.
BJ Ryan, fluke HR or is his fast ball D.O.A.?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:55 AM)
That he's on the roster and closing at all is encouraging, as it's always a possibility he's merely in a "dead-arm" period that a lot of pitchers go through this time of year. I'd say Ryan warrants closer monitoring as a result of his diminished velocity, and the Inge homer does worry me, but he's not a cut candidate to me ... yet. I'd say my feeling right now is that Ryan and Francisco Cordero are the two closers who terrify me right now, but obviously if you have them, you have to stay the course.
Lastings Millidge, Washington DC
I'm sitting today FYI - Lineup just announced
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:56 AM)
Indeed. But my stance goes unchanged. It's an opportunity for Elijah Dukes, and maybe a wake-up call for Milledge.
I know you're anti-Rasmus, but what about in comparison to Josh Anderson?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:57 AM)
OK, not that anti-Rasmus. Josh Anderson is a cheap source of 20 steals (maybe more), that's about it. Rasmus could get 20 steals with everyday at-bats, and he actually has some pop to boot.
tristan please answer my question!!! when will chris ray be closer?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:58 AM)
Going to take time if he looks as he did in the opener. I felt in the spring as if Ray would need two months to a half-season to fully get back into his groove, and only after that would he be ready to again close. So I think George Sherrill has decent short-term value. I'll say June 15, to make a fun prediction.
Michael (Milwaukee, WI)
what do you think of Ian Stewart? will he get enough ABs to be worth owning?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:59 AM)
I think the Rockies need to find a place to get him some at-bats, for sure. Great talent, deserves to play. Unfortunately, I also think he'd need a Todd Helton injury to be guaranteed everyday at-bats. So I guess he's on the fringe in a shallow mixed format, unfortunately.
Whose the backup for francisco cordero that i should stash?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:01 PM)
See, that's the thing. I don't see a guy I'm overwhelmed with behind Cordero, meaning even though he had an awful spring, a lack of alternatives coupled with his contract mean he'll keep getting save chances. That said, if he's pitching that poorly, I could see a committee including David Weathers, Jared Burton and Arthur Rhodes.
So how does the Regret Rule work for auction drafts?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:02 PM)
Good question, Frank, and I can't say that it's a hard-and-fast kind of rule in the first place, even for drafts. I should almost call it the "Regret Suggestion," to be fair. But for auctions? Hmmm. I might halve the player's price tag and that's how many weeks you should wait. Maybe a third.
Stephen Strasburg (San Diego)
In a 14-team MLB league, not many promising names on the waiver wire. Should someone hold their #1 waiver priority pick for me?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:04 PM)
I'm not a buyer, not in 2009. Answer me this, who was the last mucho-hyped amateur prospect who was picked No. 1, signed quickly, breezed straight to the majors (straight into MLB, this is) and succeeded for fantasy? Has it happened in the fantasy era? I can't recall a case. But by 2010, absolutely, Mr. Strasburg is going to be a hype machine.
look, we spell our names the same! Please pick 2 UTIL for today out of: C. Guillen, S. Choo, N. Cruz, K. Morales, A. Beltre
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:05 PM)
Uh, sure, except I'm a guy. I'd take Adrian Beltre and Shin-Soo Choo.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:06 PM)
OK folks, time to wrap things up for the day. Thanks for all your questions, and sorry if I couldn't get to yours. We'll be back later in the afternoon to chat again, so be sure to check back! Take care everyone...