Fantasy Baseball w/Tristan Cockcroft
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Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:00 AM)
Good morning everyone! Wednesday, wonderful Wednesday ... let's get right to your chat questions on this fine morn'...
Tristan...Kevin Gregg is avail. on our waiver wire...Would you drop Lidge for him??? I already have Franklin, Francisco and Morrow...Thanx
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:02 AM)
Nope. For the record, I have Gregg higher than Ryan Franklin from today forward, but the way Franklin has pitched, it's hard to say let him go. I'd just keep my eye on it, and be prepared to nab Gregg once Franklin cools. (Better idea: Try a sell-high trade!)
Candogga (Bruins Nation)
I need some SP help! Am I crazy if I deal Kinsler for a top SP if I have Weeks on my bench?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:03 AM)
Sure, but be aware that Ian Kinsler is a top-25 player overall, so you have to set your sights high. Everyone has Jake Peavy ranked a top-10 starting pitcher, but I wouldn't even take Peavy straight up for Kinsler.
Chris Davis... is the slumbering beast awakening? Should we expect better production out of him now?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:04 AM)
Well, sure, but that's just the nature of the all-or-nothing slugger. Of course Davis will have his hot streaks in the batting-average category. What impresses me is that he has been consistent in the power department all year, even when the batting average has been down. I do very much buy his 40-homer potential (and current pace). Side note: He has struck out in 20 consecutive games. Very good chance we're looking at a 40-homer, .240-hitting, 210-K hitter at year's end. But that's still valuable in fantasy. Very valuable.
Bubba (Cleveland, OH)
Help, Tristan! Trapped in a super-deep 20-teamer where my only 3B options are Rosales, Andy LaRoche, Wigginton, Uribe, Crosby & Maicer Izturis. Which one do I pick up? Ouch!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:05 AM)
Ty Wigginton stands out as your overall "one of these things is not like the other," but that's an overall raw talent perspective talking. I'm a fan of Adam Rosales; I'd go against the gut and take the kid first.
TC- With Stephen Drew activated, I have to choose between him and Robinson Cano. Your take?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:07 AM)
May I suggest -- again -- a trade? It's silly to let one of these guys go for the other. They're both top-100 talents. Period. If I must choose, I'd go Cano, but that's just because he's the one off to the hotter start.
Ed (West by God Virginia)
Nolasco a start today or should he be benched until he improves a bit?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:08 AM)
Depends on your alternatives. Let's say if I'm in an NL-only or deep mixed league and lack alternatives, I wouldn't be scared by the matchup.
Hurley (the island)
Hey, dude. I own Josh Hamilton, and I'm strating to think he can't match last year. Should I trade him now? Hurry, I have to leave soon. Big night tonight.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:09 AM)
Big night indeed! Hence the "wonderful Wednesday." By the way, what's in the case? Just curious. As for Hamilton, I'm a buyer. His value is at a low right now, and I won't sell at the price. I think he'll be fine.
Greg (Ellicott City)
Why would you trade kinsler for any pitcher not named johan?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:11 AM)
Because if you had to align every hitter on a rankings sheet with a pitcher right next to or above him, you'd never, ever see deals of hitters for pitchers. Dealing, say, a guy ranked No. 10 for a pitcher ranked No. 25 isn't that crazy when you think about it, if only because the No. 10-ranked hitter is usually the ninth- or 10th-best hitter, and the No. 25-ranked pitcher is usually no lower than fifth at his position. I'd sure be attempting to get Johan for Ian Kinsler, but you know, I wouldn't be upset to be offered Tim Lincecum ... or Roy Halladay ... or Dan Haren ...
Chris (St. Louis, MO)
Who would you rather stash on the DL - Smoltz or Duchscherer?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:11 AM)
John Smoltz, but then I like his team situation a heck of a lot more, and I'm not as worried by his consistent track record of health issues the past five years.
Scott (Boston, MA)
Ryan Zimmerman: Sell High?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:12 AM)
Nope. As you'll see in my "Out of the Box." Now, if he gets to 40 games and the press bears down with all the hype...
Tommy Hanson, GA
When do I get the call? AAA is boring...
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:13 AM)
I still think you're up within about a month from now. Heck, I'm surprised you didn't break camp with the team!
Jack Cust is on pace for his 25+ HR's and 80+ RBI's but is now hitting about 50 pts higher than his usual .230-.240 average. Is his BABIP unusually high? And do you think he is one of the more underrated options in fantasy?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:17 AM)
Glenn, if you read my column on BABIP a couple weeks back, you know I'm an advocate of more closely examining the stat, comparative to the player's history and breaking down batted-ball types. Cust indeed has a higher-than-normal BABIP on fly balls (.207), and his home run/fly ball percentage is an inflated 14.7. Then again, if I've read this right, his HR/FB% for his career is 27.0, so I don't think he's way way off where he should be. I still advise expecting an average more like .250 from today forward.
Barry Zito (San Fran)
No one is really considering starting me tonight...are they?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:17 AM)
Joel (Atlanta, GA)
I read that Gerardo Parra is getting called up today. Should we get excited about Parra or Augentstein?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:19 AM)
I think Parra is a decent prospect, but strikes me as the kind of guy who might need time to get acclimated to the majors. After all, he was in Double-A, and there's no guarantee he'll even play every day over Eric Byrnes. He might be up just for depth. And I'll be totally frank on Bryan Augenstein: I don't know a ton about him other than that the reason is that in no way did he look close to big-league ready. He has six starts' experience above Class A ball. That leads me to say "stay away," as he seems rushed to me. Both do. I think the Diamondbacks are grasping at straws here under the new regime.
Yo tristan a little help please. I got delgado whose about to go on the DL, who would you rather start helton or blake?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:20 AM)
I'd go Todd Helton for now, but I do advise avoiding heavy road weeks with him when you can.
BJ (Tampa, FL)
Why am I still hitting below .200 without a HR?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:20 AM)
Because you're bruised, nicked and battered, and just need time to get into a groove. It's coming, I think.
Eric (La Jolla, CA)
I was extremely suprised and excited that I was able to claim Roy Oswalt off waivers in my league..until I saw his stats. Is he done as a top 10 starting pitcher?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:23 AM)
I'd have been surprised too, Eric. He shouldn't have been let go. Did you know that on May 13 of last season, Roy Oswalt had a 5.05 ERA and 1.37 WHIP? (Those were 2.97 and 1.11 the rest of the year.) I'm willing to be patient.
Tristan, what do you think of Mauer going forward in a keeper league? Seem to get hurt a lot. Also are Hamels & Liriano good buy-lows in the same format?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:25 AM)
That is a factor, Rob, for so long as he's a catcher, and I wonder whether he'll be one for his entire career. He's a big dude, and I can't help but think there's a link between his build and the physical demands of his position. If Mauer keeps up his pace in the power department, and carries this offense on his shoulders, I wonder whether the Twins consider moving him? So I'd say a good keeper, but one with a more clouded future. Then again, most catchers have that. Might be as safe as any backstop, really. As for the pitchers, absolutely, though I'll point out that Cole Hamels isn't entirely safe of persistent health issues himself.
THC! Help a fellow Yankee fan out! You starting Washburn today @ Texas?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:26 AM)
Nah. But whenever I can avoid that matchup with anything but an ace starter, I do it.
OOTB - Werth
You tout Werth a 25/25 guy in todays column (link below). Can you speculate what his final AVG and ABP might be? http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/baseball/flb/outOfTheBox?page=ootb090513
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:27 AM)
A very fair question. I think Jayson Werth's batting average is a bit bad-luck driven, and probably will fall more in the .265-.270 range. On-base, I'm thinking he's a .340 kind of guy. So he'll improve, but I don't see him carrying a team in those categories. You get him for the power and speed, and accept that he's about your average dude in the ratios.
I was offered Beckett for Garza. Would have jumped at this a few weeks ago, but not too sure anymore. What are your thoughts?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:29 AM)
Well, Dan, I'm not a Josh Beckett fan and I am a Matt Garza fan, so maybe I'm the only person on the planet who would tell you it's close. I feel safer with Garza, but Beckett does have the higher ceiling, and a tad more potential to put you over the top. For a fun call here, I really do like Garza, and think he's more valuable come year's end. It's a total gut feel.
David (LA, CA)
I just dealt Nathan for Soria and VWells...tell me my gamble with pay off, THC! Please!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:30 AM)
Not a fan of evaluating deals post-deal, especially when one of your acquisitions is a guy whose injury positively terrifies me. Being totally frank with you, David, I wouldn't go anywhere near Joakim Soria right now unless I was getting him for a song. But I don't play the unnecessary-risk game, that's all it is.
Dave - Denver
When is Getz going to lose the gig and to whom?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:31 AM)
I think if he does it's going to be to Gordon Beckham -- at least if it's not a matter of the team just going with stopgaps until Beckham is ready. And I could very well see the team considering Beckham for second base after the All-Star break, especially if the team is out of contention by then.
Adam Dunn. Sell High?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:32 AM)
Well, sure, but that's only because I see no way he can sustain a .300-plus batting average. Just not going to happen. Dunn is what he is. We know it, have known it, and will continue to know it. I mean, really, doesn't he have exactly 40 home runs in like each of the past four years?
THC FOR PRESIDENT! Victorino/Zimmerman for Markakis/Slowey (or Garza or Lester). Take the offer? Whaddya think?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:34 AM)
If being President is anything like how it is on "24," may I say "no thank you"? Anyway, take that deal quick, before it's pulled back. I see more staying power in Nick Markakis than anyone in the deal, and if I could get Jon Lester as the pitcher, that's the one I'd grab. Though I don't have a problem with any of the three if it must be one of them (Garza would be my No. 2).
CLIFF LEE HAS HAD 2 RUNS SCORED FOR HIM IN LAST 4 STARTS, WHY IS EVERYONE STILL DOWN ON HIM?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:34 AM)
Whats up with Ozzie and me?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:34 AM)
I'd have a problem with your horrible performance too, Alexei.
Which one of these 2B's would you trade off if you needed SP help: Cano, Phillips or Hill?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:35 AM)
Aaron Hill would be the world's obvious pick, but I think his numbers to a degree are sustainable, or at least to the point where what you can get for him wouldn't be worth giving him up. (Hope that makes sense.) I'd try floating Hill's name out there because I have him ranked lowest, but you're probably going to need to pawn off Robinson Cano to get the boost you need. That'd be my next suggestion.
Mountain Lion (Woods of CA)
Mt. Lion back again, I'll get that Kim Bauer yet. Should Alexei be owned even in a 10-team? He's on the wire and I could drop Dempster but I generally prefer to fill my bench with pitchers rather than hitters. Grab him?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:37 AM)
I'm terrified, Mr. Lion. You were so effective last time. Sheesh. You know, I don't even like Alexei Ramirez that much -- I just think he's streaky and was never on the bandwagon that had him a top-50 preseason player -- but that's a swap I'd make. He does have upside, I'll give him that. And if memory serves, he did start last year slow. My problem with him is that he's streaky, but that might merely mean a hot streak is coming. And I'm not much a Ryan Dempster fan.
Buy low on me?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:38 AM)
Hmmmm, sure, but I'd just be cautious not to go overboard because the command numbers remain a bit scary.
Chuck D (Wilkes-Barre Pa)
Wolf tonight against his former mates? Do lefties usually fare well vs the Fightin Phils?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:39 AM)
You tell me: They have a .786 team OPS versus left-handers, compared to .792 versus righties. Does that sound like a matchups-susceptible team to you? Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez are really talented sluggers, you know. They can hit both types. I'd be a bit concerned with Randy Wolf.
Manny Being Medicated
Head start on this one...start Liriano this week against the Yankees?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:41 AM)
Total honest call here: Impossible to tell what kind of stuff Francisco Liriano is going to have on that given night. And that's all it is, because I look at the Yankees' tendency to get completely neutralized offensively by pitchers with their best stuff, as well as their heavy left-handedness, as points that back up Liriano's matchup. I guess I'm saying it's a risk I'm willing to take, but I want you to realize it's a slight risk.
Swiss Cheese (Deli Case)
Are you avoiding my question because of my "holier than thou" attitude? I give Ibanez, I get Roy Oswalt. Am I giving up too much, or maybe even not getting enough? Would still have Markakis, Adam Jones, Jacoby Ellsbury, Vernon Wells, and Nelson Cruz as OF options. Thanks!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:42 AM)
I didn't realize that a sandwich ingredient could actually think it was better than me. Just puzzled by that. Anyway, yes, I'd make that deal, but again, I believe in Oswalt's track record.
Greinke owner here. Would you just ride this guy out for the season or deal him for say a top 15 bat? What about if its a keeper league?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:44 AM)
It really depends upon the deal, Chris. I believe in Zack Greinke. He's going to be a top-10 fantasy pitcher. I loved him in the preseason and he has even exceeded my high expectations (I had him top-25 easy). So a top-15 bat? Sure, if you need it. If you're asking me if I'd deal Greinke straight up for, say, Evan Longoria, then sure I would. But that's a very exclusive group. Keeper leagues? I probably wouldn't feel any differently, but that has to do with my preference for hitters over pitchers as keepers.
Gilligan, The Island
Are Baker or Slowey worth owning, say over Meche, Jurjenns, or Carpenter
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:46 AM)
You just blew my mind. Is the inevitable "game-changer" tonight going to be that all the Losties run into Gilligan and the gang? My mind needs time to chew on that possibility. Anyway, I'm a Kevin Slowey fan. Yes, I rank him over the latter two, and say he's fairly comparable to Gil Meche. I'd probably put Scott Baker between Jair Jurrjens and Chris Carpenter, meaning let the risky Cardinal go for him too.
RJ (Land O' Lakes, FL)
Soto and Aviles, will they EVER get out of that slump of theirs and will they be effective from here on out?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:47 AM)
Let's just say that I have more faith that Geovany Soto can than Mike Aviles. Aviles has looked horrible. I still say Soto, with all his power potential and the depth of that lineup, can be a top-10 catcher. One month -- especially one marred by injury -- can't entirely condemn a guy.
Miracle Alert! I'm in first place in my keeper league! Would you move Holliday for Granderson. Who has more value after this season?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:47 AM)
Matt Holliday. I see no way he's still in Oakland in 2010, and I think his fantasy potential would be better on practically every other team. Well, except San Diego, but I see no way he's headed there.
Duffy (Queens, NY)
If I were to trade A-Rod right now, what kind of value should I expect in an SP? Would it be crazy to trade him for another top 3B (Wright, Cabrera, Longoria) to pass the injury risk to another owner?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:49 AM)
Duffy, I've been saying all season that my gut has me terrified by Alex Rodriguez's health risk, at least enough so that I'd prefer any of those other three to him. That's a very exclusive group, mind you. It's not like I'd deal A-Rod for Garrett Atkins. So the gut instinct it's a total deciding factor.
Who are the top 5 underachievers that you are trading?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:51 AM)
Trading for, Joe? Hmmm, top of my head, I'd put these names in the clear buy-low department: Jon Lester, Mark Teixeira, Ricky Nolasco, Adrian Beltre and ... hmmm ... Milton Bradley (in that you could probably get him for a package of Drake's coffee cakes right now).
Josh Lexington, KY
Greinke for Pujols?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:52 AM)
I had Albert Pujols ranked No. 1 on Jan. 1, on March 1, on May 1, on May 13 and I fully anticipate I'll have him ranked No. 1 on Sept. 1 and Oct. 1, too.
MC HAMMER (The Early 90s)
What to make of Dan Uggla? I know he's a streaky player, but he's been really putrid so far, and he's swinging at really terrible pitches. Is he trying too hard?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:53 AM)
He's just a streaky player. That's what Uggla is. Now, I could say be patient with him, and to a point that's true. But there is also a lot in his statistical profile to say that at some point, the bottom will just drop out and he'll no longer be that 30-homer candidate with good hot streaks to exploit. I can't say that's not what's happening. It's why I'm a little hesitant to confidently put him in my top 10 second basemen. He's right around that number.
Jeff, Huntington WV
Who are your top 5 players overall moving forward? And whats for lunch?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:54 AM)
Pujols, Hanley, Wright, Braun and Cabrera. But I don't tend to change my stance much on the elite. As for lunch, I'm again open to suggestions! The tummy's hungry...
You believe Werth is 25/25 so who will have better stats at the end of the year, Werth or McLouth?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:55 AM)
Very good question that is, Matt. I think they're fairly comparable. I think just a tad more of Nate McLouth because he's a little safer in batting average, and in his lineup spot I see a touch more safety in RBIs/runs.
Save Speculatin': Danys Baez or Jim Johnson? Or O'Day in Texas perhaps? And would anyone in their right mind actually trade Longoria for A-Rod?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:56 AM)
If I'm making those picks, and they're uber-deep, I'm going Danys Baez. The reports out of Baltimore continue to be glowing, and it's not like the O's can ignore his performance forever. I'm not sold on the others; think they're matchups type relievers too valuable in their current roles. As for the deal, yes, I know people who would actually prefer A-Rod.
Which SP should I include in a trade for Lester (in other words could you please rank these three for the rest of the year)? Wandy, Cueto, Jared Weaver. Thanks Tristan.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:57 AM)
I have Johnny Cueto ranked highest of the group, and the other two are almost the same to me. Right now I just prefer Wandy Rodriguez of the two.
anwar sadat - on the run
im having a nice crispy BLT today. is brett myers a buy low?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:59 AM)
Mmmm, does that sound good. As for Myers, my instincts say yes, but also to a degree. What I see with Myers is that he tends to do this kind of thing and make it linger more than one month. In other words what I'm saying is that he's a buy-low guy today, but I think he'll only strengthen his buy-low case with a few more weeks. Might get him cheaper on Memorial Day.
Radzinsky (anger management)
Who will have more value going forward, Duke or Zito?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:00 PM)
You're just an annoying character, Radzinsky. But I'll answer your question regardless: Zach Duke. I don't trust Barry Zito in the long haul.
Are you a Fringe guy? Last night's episode was amazing! BJ Upton or Fielder, which side you on?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:01 PM)
Might be a show I put in the future DVD rotation, but I only have a limited amount of time to dedicate to TV these days, so I have to pick and choose shows. There are times where I don't like what's out there and then I'll go and watch DVDs of other shows (especially during the summers). And Prince Fielder for me.
Vinny (Bayonne, NJ)
Holliday is in pinstripes this time next year. He'll be hitting into the wind stream... put it on the board. Is this kid Coghlan and def grab in deep keeper leagues? 2B is thin (in my league) and maybe 3B and OF eligibility down the road?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:03 PM)
I would be absolutely stunned if that happened, Vinny. I just think CC and Tex are the Yankees' big-ticket items. I can't say I'd rule it out 100 percent, though. But yes, it'd surprise me. I think Chris Coghlan is worth an add in deeper leagues, but I still see him being very steals/runs driven, in terms of potentially elite categories. Deep keeper, sure, but I wouldn't go nuts in shallow formats.
Wilson (The Island)
They need more volleyball on that island. What kind fo pitcher should get me A Gonzalez in a straight up trade? Is Haren a little too much?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:04 PM)
Ha! Maybe they have a court hidden in the barracks somewhere, who knows? Yes, I'd say that's setting your sights a bit high, but you know, considering my fondness of Adrian Gonzalez, I wouldn't be offended to be offered him for Haren. I say give it a shot, and if you must accept a slightly less guy, do it.
Mtn. Dew (or Crab Juice)
Only koukalash for lunch!! End on a big note here: Mat Gamel, up soon and raking? Soon as your prediction on Beckham or sooner?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:06 PM)
Ecccccchhhh, eeeeeeewwww! I'll take a crab juice. And I'd say Gamel has the higher probability of being promoted sooner, yes. Any prediction for either is going to be a wild one; I don't think either player's team is racing to get them up to the majors (Gamel because of his bad defense, Beckham because he's just a young dude). But I do like Gamel as a deep sleeper to make an immediate impact.
Bobby (New Jersey)
i recently offered Blaylock and Jared Weaver for Texiera....does this trade have legs
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:07 PM)
Nope. But hey, anything's worth a shot in the buy-low, sell-high world.
so what's the deal with Delmon Young? Pitch selection, recognition, bad attitude, lack of plate discipline? He's not driving the ball at all. It looked like in spring training he was starting to, or was I wearing rose-colored glasses?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:09 PM)
I think it's pitch selection and plate discipline. The guy needs to be more selective, period. But to be fair to Delmon, he's 23. There's still a lot of time left for him to put it all together. It's just taking a very long time, and apparently he's not that slam-dunk annual MVP candidate he seemed he might become. Let's say he could be a top-50 fantasy candidate in his prime, and that's still a very good thing to be, seeing as his prime is like two to five years away!
So do you think Beltre will bounce back to 20-20???? He already has 5 steals
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:09 PM)
I just think he's a second-half player, period. His stats completely back it up.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:10 PM)
OK folks, time to call the chat to a close. Thanks for all your questions and lunch suggestions, and sorry if I didn't get to yours ... take care everyone, and enjoy the rest of your Wednesday!