Fantasy Baseball w/Christopher Harris
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Fantasy Archive: Fantasy Home Page
Christopher Harris (11:00 AM)
Hi, everyone. Welcome to your Monday morning fantasy baseball chat. Let's get right to the questions......
David (Thousand Oaks CA)
Hi Chris, Soriano or Holliday rest of the year (even if MH doesn't get traded) and what are the chances that he does.
Christopher Harris (11:03 AM)
Hi, David. Second thing's first -- I think the concensus right now is that Holliday will get dealt. But Billy Beane does tend to be a contrarian, so it's possible he bucks the trend and takes the draft picks next year. A trade can't help but help Holliday, considering his home park and the lineup that surrounds him. As for whether I like him or Soriano for the rest of the year, I'll take Soriano, even if he's not running as much as we'd all like.
Thoughts on moving Hanson for Bartlett? You see Bartlett coming back strong?
Christopher Harris (11:05 AM)
Good question on the trade -- because I think Bartlett was playing *way* above his head before his injury. But he's a solid source of steals no matter what he does with his batting average, and Hanson is unproven. I'm not panicking about Hanson's first start...if anything, it's a buy-low opportunity. Me, I'd probably wait for him to establish some value with a couple better starts, and look to deal him then. I'm not super-high on Bartlett the rest of the way (even though he was one of the sleepers I mentioned on TV back in March).
Thoughts on Nolasco good things to come or be cautious?
Christopher Harris (11:06 AM)
Hi, Mike. You're a regular, so you probably know my weakness for Nolasco this year. I still contend he's been the unluckiest pitcher in the majors this year -- his BAABIP is the highest (by far) in the majors and his strand rate is the lowest. The Marlins D stinks, so he's got a strike against him, but I'm relatively high on him. I think he's a sleeper the rest of the way; I'm going to have him rated around 56 in tomorrow's starting pitching column.
Mariano Rivera or Brad Lidge?
Christopher Harris (11:07 AM)
Hi, Shalon. Definitely Rivera. Lidge is very spooky right now.
Harriette (Hartford, CT)
Will the 2009 version of A-Rod be worth trading Zimmerman and Lester for? Thanks Chris!
Christopher Harris (11:08 AM)
Hi, Harriett -- that's a pretty even deal, really. A-Rod still comes with more risk than you'd like, because that hip still needs surgery this offseason, and anything could happen over the course of the rest of the year. But as long as he's in the lineup, he's pretty darned good. Zimmerman is a fine player, nothing spectacular, and if you dealt Lester right now, it'd be at the utter peak of his value, considering his last start. If you're looking to make a big splash and shake up your team, I think this is a fair deal that can help.
Gamel, McCutchen, Beckham, Reimold...pick your prospect for THIS YEAR in a deep mixed H2H, and why?
Christopher Harris (11:11 AM)
Hi, Mike. I think I say Reimold, but obviously, rookies are no sure thing. I like him better than McCutchen, just because I trust him not to hurt your average; McCutchen has a ways to go against lefties. I don't think Gamel will stay in the bigs all year, and as for Beckham -- well, he could be spectacular, and he figures to have a lot of playing time ahead of him. He's also eligible at infield positions, which could make him more valuable. But if I'm ignoring position, I trust Reimold, who's a bit further along in his development, just a bit more.
Is there ever going to be a point in the season that I would strt Vlad Guerrero over Nelson Cruz assuming both are healthy?
Christopher Harris (11:14 AM)
Hi, Jake. Well, yeah, there could be. Cruz has been an awesome story, but I do still fear he's got a 30-strikeout month in him here or there, and we all know what Vlad can do when he gets hot. Right now, though, it's pretty clear Cruz is worth more.
Beltran or Pence from here on out? In a H2H and 3B's count.
Christopher Harris (11:15 AM)
Hi, Adam. I have to admit I haven't done the triples calculation, but in standard leagues, I'd say Beltran and it isn't close. So I'm guessing even if I account for triples (what, Beltran has 1 and Pence has 4?), I'm going Beltran.
Come on Chris, you are just saying that about Cruz because you didn't back him this offseason. It is really tough for you experts to admit you were wrong...take Andy Sonnanstine for example. He's been great, good call.
Christopher Harris (11:17 AM)
Hi, Steve. Actually, didn't I just admit Cruz is a better pick than Vlad right now? Not sure about your logic on that one. You don't know my immensely self-deprecating persona very well, bud. I'm as self-loathing as they come. Sonnanstine wasn't exactly in my top 30 to start the year -- it's not like I saw him as a fantasy ace. But absolutely, the fact that I ranked him at *all* was a mess. By your logic, though, I should never miss on any player? Tough crowd, tough crowd.
The Queen (of England)
When did Rafael Furcal acquire Mo Vaughan's legs? And is he droppable at this point?
Christopher Harris (11:18 AM)
The part of Mo Vaughn that Furcal seems to have acquired is just a little higher than the legs. But your point is well taken -- he ain't running. He did show some signs of life at the plate this weekend, and I don't think I could drop him...his ceiling is just too high for a shortstop. But believe me -- I'm suffering right alongside you when it comes to Furcal.
Drew NY, NY
I have both hanson and price on my team. who do you see having a better season from here on out? should i sell high on either one if they string some good starts together?
Christopher Harris (11:19 AM)
Hi, Drew. I like Price more -- each kid throws really hard, but Price has more refined secondary pitches, and also can fall back on last year's big-league experience. As I just mentioned, I'm not viewing his shaky debut as a reason to give up on Hanson, not at all. But I'd rather have Price. Each guy is going to give you the occasional heartburn start, though. It's the nature of most rookie starters.
Dexter Fowler or Fred Lewis and why?
Christopher Harris (11:21 AM)
Hi, Ryan. I guess probably Fowler, but it's close. They can give you similar fantasy stuff, y'know? My logic comes down to ceiling -- I pretty much know what Lewis's is, but Fowler's isn't established yet. Of course, I guess that argument could work the other way, too: you pretty much know Lewis's floor, too.
Hey Chris, I have the opportunity to trade for Hamels, Lester, or Haren. Who do you see putting up better numbers the remainder of the year?
Christopher Harris (11:23 AM)
Hi, Bryan. I say Haren, though I think you can make an argument for Hamels. Lester, in my opinion, hasn't figured himself out enough to put him in that elite stratus. He's got amazing stuff, and I'm going to be higher on him next year, but he had that scary innings jump last season, and doesn't seem to be able to stay consistent. I think Lester will have a few more nice starts in a row, but I think he'll hit some more summer doldrums. Haren has just been so consistent.
Ryan (Hartsville, SC)
Name game: McCutchen or Taveras?
Christopher Harris (11:25 AM)
Hi, Ryan. We're going to look back on this answer in a couple years and feel silly for the comparison, but for the moment I'm saying Taveras. McCutchen has tremendous speed and good power potential, but I don't know that he can get on base enough. Taveras is an awful player (and he had a hammy issue last week), but one thing you know he'll do is get you steals. I go Taveras, barely.
As good as Edwin Jackson has been over the past few starts, I can't possibly start him (vs CHW) over Haren (vs Hou) in a H2H league this week, can I?
Christopher Harris (11:25 AM)
Hi, Dan. I wouldn't, but ooh, do you really have to choose. It sure is fun to be able to keep putting Jackson in the lineup every week. I'd rather use both, but if I had to make a choice, yeah, I think it has to be Haren.
Brian (just keeping with the flow)
Thoughts on Ryan Ludwick? Is he getting every day at bats? Think he finds his stroke again?
Christopher Harris (11:28 AM)
Hi, Brian. I wrote the "don't believe" article on Ludwick before the season started (hey, whaddaya know, I actually wrote something correct -- where's that dude from Philly?), so I'm not a big fan. He's playing every day, he's just not hitting. The power hasn't been nearly enough to make up for his lack of average. I'm betting he has a surge somewhere in the year and gets himself up around 25 dingers, but .241 ain't cutting it.
Steve, San Francisco
Hi Chris, What's the extent of Justin Upton's injury? Are you starting him this week in a 14 team mixed league with 5 OFs? My other option is B Gardner. Thanks!
Christopher Harris (11:30 AM)
Hi, Steve. The only thing I've heard this morning is that the D-Backs don't think it's serious, but Upton won't play today. I mean, if Gardner's your only other option? I think I go ahead and take the leap of faith with Upton. I know it would stink to get nothing from him, but often, "Nothing" is Gardner's middle name.
Chris - I've been starting Volstad over Joba and Cain this yr because his WHIP has been great. Can he keep this up?
Christopher Harris (11:32 AM)
Hi, Eric. Well, yeah, I think he can. I was a little slow getting on board with Volstad because of his low strikeout potential, even though he was one of my primary recommendations when he came to the bigs in the second half last year. He's not a super-hard thrower and relies on a lot of grounders, but to be honest, it's the Ks that have me surprised: 59 in 74 IP is more than I believed he'd have. The WHIP will come up a bit (I mentioned that Marlins defense earlier), but he's still well worth owning. I don't have him ranked above Joba or Cain for the season, but if it's worked for you, no reason to change things while Volstad is hot.
Paul (Madison, WI)
Pick a SS: Bartlett, Beckham, or Furcal
Christopher Harris (11:34 AM)
Hi, Paul. I'm not ready to annoint Beckham just yet. So let's leave him out of this. Furcal or Bartlett? Ga. It's so close. I guess I'm going to say Furcal. That sounds insane, I know. It's an utter leap of faith. He's been a train wreck. But he hit a HR this weekend, and Bartlett has to slow down. (Doesn't he?) Those guys might literally be side-by-side in my SS rankings right now (I haven't done any ranks other than SPs since the start of May), but neither is likely to be in the top 10.
Hey, Chris. What you think about Zimmermann and his two-start week?
Christopher Harris (11:36 AM)
Hi, PJ. I like it. It's home against Cincinnati and then at Tampa Bay? I'm pretty high on Zimmermann still -- he's in my top 60 among starters for the season. I have an acknowledged weakness for the low-BB guys (hello, Kevin Slowey), so I'm probably using Little-Z in most leagues this week.
Rollins: What do we do?
Christopher Harris (11:37 AM)
Hi, Jim. Is weeping silently an option? I actually don't own Rollins in any leagues, simply because I'm never quite willing to pay what it takes to draft him. But that doesn't mean I don't like him, and I've been guessing that he's coming out of his funk for a month now. He says he detected a mechanical flaw in a video session this weekend, and did have a nice day yesterday. But now he's not even Philly's leadoff hitter anymore? Ga. You don't have any choice, unfortunately. You just have to hang tight. It stinks.
Is it just me, or are people being very risky with SSs this year? I'm seeing Tulo/Drew/Sexei/Peralta/Furcal/Hardy dropped in multiple leagues while their owners roll with Scutaro/Zobrist/Bartlett/etc. Come August, there are going to be a lot of regretful owners, right?
Christopher Harris (11:39 AM)
Amen, Grant. Shortstop has been a disaster for some of the supposedly top guys (we just mentioned Rollins and Furcal), while some unexpected guys have had nice starts. Anyone who reads my stuff knows I'm a big believer in regession to the norm. I can't belive Marco Scutaro is going to end the year 6th among shortstops. That said, ESPN standard leagues are pretty shallow, and I guess the benefit of that is that it allows owners to ride the hot hand. But yes, I'm a big believer in market corrections.
Wang stinks and Hughes has been pretty decent - Will the Yanks keep Hughes in the rotation or will he be a RP for a little while til Wang implodes?
Christopher Harris (11:41 AM)
Hi, Eric. Yeah, it looks like Wang gets the rotation spot for now. I'm not ready to say he stinks (at least not in real-life baseball), but he's always been a dramatically overvalued fantasy pitcher because he doesn't strike anyone out. The best scenario for the Yanks would be to have Wang pitch well, Hughes come back to the rotation in, say, August, and Joba (who'll have his innings limited no matter what) become the setup guy again. That could happen in a couple months. (But if Wang remains terrible for a few more weeks, Hughes will swap with him.)
Haren-Jackson follow-up: I have two-startes Lilly, Shields and Cliff Lee and one-starters Greinke, Haren and Jackson for five spots. Who gets ousted?
Christopher Harris (11:43 AM)
Hi, Dan. Those are some good options this week...I think I'm probably sitting either Lee or Lilly -- those single-start guys are just too hot not to use in the immediate term. I guess I'm sitting Lilly -- but I'm not happy about it!
Submitted 100 (Answered....NONE)
What are your projections for Zobrist? That hitting coach he got help from seems to be doing wonders for his swing!
Christopher Harris (11:45 AM)
I'm doing my best to get to as many questions as possible, I promise. I don't have specific stat projections -- his playing time should stay pretty steady as long as he's hitting even after Bartlett comes back, because of Iwamura's injury. I don't view Zobrist as a ML regular (but he's been surprisingly better than Reid Brignac so far...), so I probably don't have him in my top 20 among shortstops. Let's give him, oh, .280/19/55, maybe?
Rob (State College)
Hey Chris - would you drop Livan Hernandez in a H2H league for Scott Baker and his two starts?
Christopher Harris (11:47 AM)
Hi, Rob. Yeah, I mean, Scott Baker is *so* much a better pitcher than Livan Hernandez, in general, that it's not close. Now, Livan has been pretty solid lately and Baker is only just recently coming around. But this week, with Baker's two starts (@OAK, @CHI), I'm doing that.
What do you think about Ian Stewart and his recent offensive explosion? Does he get enough ABs to be a viable mixed league starter?
Christopher Harris (11:48 AM)
Hi, Mike. Good question. It really depends what Colorado decides to do with Garrett Atkins. As it stands right now, no, I think Stewart probably isn't a mixed-league starter, but after a two-homer game last Thursday, Atkins went 1-for-long-weekend the past three games. If the Rocks do something with him, Stewart steps in as an unquestioned starter, then I'm interested.
Baker or Nolasco?
Christopher Harris (11:49 AM)
Hi, Chad. I'm still hanging tough on Baker. (Talk about two starters I get completely bashed on every week in 60 Feet 6 Inches.)
Jay (Rye Brook, NY)
Hi Chris, thanks for getting to so many of our questions! The White Sox, how can they be last in home hitting, while it's not coors field, it is a hitters paradise! That will turn around, right?
Christopher Harris (11:51 AM)
Hi, Jay. Well, yeah, you'd think so. The park still seems to suit Jermaine Dye just fine. I think part of the problem may be that the Sox are constructed of aging sluggers like Thome, Konerko, Pierzynski (OK, calling Pierzynski a "slugger" isn't exactly accurate). So the problem may be less about the park stats evening out, and more about players reaching the end of their tether. That said, it's not like any of those players have gone Big Papi on us -- they've still all got high single digits in homers, and Carlos Quentin's been hurt. I do think circumstances have conspired to make the numbers look worse than they should, but watch out.
Chris, it's crazy to start Bonderman today, right?
Christopher Harris (11:52 AM)
Hi, Jon. Depends on the league -- in an AL-only, I might think about adding him, and if I was really desperate for innings, I could see starting him. But yeah, it'd need to be a pretty deep league. His velocity isn't back to where it was before his injury, though his slider has supposedly looked pretty good. If he pitches well, Dontrelle Willis could be in trouble.
CARL PAVANO! Do I pick him up over Porcello?
Christopher Harris (11:53 AM)
Hi, Jake. Believe it or not, I'm going to say.....yes. I like Porcello, but he's nobody's idea of a strikeout guy, and Pavano has just been lights out. An injury could be in the offing, or he could wake up and remember the past few years, but hey, maybe pitching in anonymity (sorry Indians fans) suits him.
Is Howie Kendrick still 12 team, mixed league relevant or should he be dropped?
Christopher Harris (11:55 AM)
Hi, Dave. Ga. I know. I'm a huge Kendrick basher, have been from way back. But is he really *this* bad? I kind of don't think so. If there's a way to stash him and try someone else for a while, I'd do that. I mean, I was never a believer in the guy's speed, and I don't think he's any kind of power monster ready to break out, which has always made him seem rather average in my eyes. But the one thing I never questioned with him was batting average, and that's just been atrocious. I think it's going to get corrected in the next month.
Do I start Edwin Jackson or Cole Hamels for the week? Both had really good outings last week and I am torn between which one to start
Christopher Harris (11:56 AM)
Hi, Eric. Hey, I like the Edwin Jackson story as much as anyone, but Cole Hamels is better. No telling what happens in any single outing, but I'm using Hamels.
Hey Christopher! Thoughts on Randy Wells...seemed like he pitched well again, despite the lack of wins.
Christopher Harris (11:57 AM)
Hi, Tony. Yeah, who the heck is this guy? I have to admit, not being deeply familiar with the Cubs system, I'd never heard of Randy Wells until talk that he might come up started in April. I was pretty bummed, in fact, that they bumped Sean Marshall for him in the rotation. But you can't question the results. He's just been unbelievable in his first 40 innings. I'm skeptical, but hey, if you've been riding him, why not continue?
Nicholas Urfe (Phraxos)
Speaking of Pavano, he's one of a few intriguing SP options on my wire (Escobar, Nolasco, Chris Young the others). But my my worst SPs are Kuroda, Dempster, Hanson and Danks (10 team league). Swap any out or stay put? Thanks for the hard work!
Christopher Harris (12:00 PM)
Any Magus reference gets answered. Nolasco would be my favorite of the available guys -- but I'm a self-acknowledge Nolasco softie. I have Nolasco ranked higher than Hanson for the rest of the year, but I probably wouldn't make that move instantly -- Hanson has so much hype that he's an asset right now, and if he has a few good starts, he'll be worth much more in a trade than on your team. I'll have 60 Feet 6 Inches and a new top 80 tomorrow, so you can see my full list then.....
Christopher Harris (12:00 PM)
All right, folks -- gotta get to work on tomorrow's column, so let me answer two more.....
Jonathan (Nashville, TN)
Hey Chris. My question is Jered Weaver. Is he a sell high guy or can he pitch this well for the rest of the season?
Christopher Harris (12:01 PM)
Hi, Jonathan. I wrote a piece about sell-high starting pitchers a few weeks ago, and had Jared Weaver on the list. Even went on TV and said the same thing. Well that hasn't worked out the past few weeks, now has it? I have to say that his peripheral numbers still indicate he's pitching above his head, and if you could get something really sweet for him, I'd do it. But I'm less convinced than I was back in the middle of May that any kind of massive correction is coming.
Will Burrell have any mixed league value when he comes back? Need a power OF and was offered Burrell for Blake. I can slide Inge to 3B with Weiters slotting into C. Thanks.
Christopher Harris (12:05 PM)
Hi, Chuck. I was pretty low on Burrell to start the year, and mentioned him as a guy I thought my ESPN colleagues ranked too highly when we did our May ranks, specifically because he's so injury prone. Hello, neck problems. I probably wouldn't trade Blake for him -- though I definitely don't mind the idea of trading Blake. This is a career .787 OPS guy (including this year) with an OPS of .889 so far in '09? Ain't lasting. All right, everyone. Sorry I wasn't able to get to every question -- I know it's frustrating, and you get to feeling like I'm all high-and-mighty and not picking you, and that means I think I'm superior or whatever. I know what that's like. But honestly, there are a *ton* of questions in the hour (over 1,400 today), and I promise I'm doing my best. I'll try and do better next week -- and remember, there's a 3 p.m. ET chat this afternoon.... Thanks very much for all the interest -- without you, I wouldn't get to do this great job. Have a great week.