Chat with Christopher Harris
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Christopher Harris (10:58 AM)
Hi, everyone. Welcome to your Monday morning chat. Let's get right down to a power hour of fantasy baseball.....
thomas (Staten Island)
I have Jason Schmidt and Johnathon Sanchez on my waivers. Should I pick them up and drop J. Zimmerman. I know you are high on him but who has the best outlook the rest of the year?
Christopher Harris (10:59 AM)
Hi, Thomas. Yeah, Jason Schmidt does make his first start in like two years today for the Dodgers -- I don't feel a need to rush out and get him, to be honest. He's got the brain and heart to be effective, but I have no idea if he's got the arm. As for Sanchez vs. Zimmermann -- I still would ride the Zim bandwagon. Even losing his last start, he struck out eight. I like him the best of the three guys you mention.
What is your take on having multiple guys from one team on your roster? I have J. Upton, Reynolds, Drew and Lopez all from Arizona with the first three starting daily. Should I start trading 1 or 2 or 3 of them and which ones?
Christopher Harris (11:01 AM)
Hi, Ben. Well, the Diamondbacks took care of *some* of your problem for you, by trading Felipe Lopez to the Brewers this weekend. Generally, I don't like to have three guys as daily starters from the same lineup unless they're studs, but there are some cases where you just can't avoid it. And I don't think you can avoid starting Upton, Reynolds and Drew right now. I mean, Drew is a middle-of-the-road SS, but Upton is awesome and Reynolds is a great source of power. I guess I wouldn't mind trading Drew, but I wouldn't dump him just to get a non-D-Back...
Hi CH! Can I get your analysis of Nelson Cruz? Is he going to play everyday and what kind of results can we expect for the rest of the year? Thanks.
Christopher Harris (11:03 AM)
Hi, Dan. Cruz fractured a finger this weekend while running the bases, but it isn't expected to keep him out of action long. The Rangers hope he'll be back in the lineup tonight against John Smoltz and the Red Sox. Clearly he just acquired some more risk for his fantasy owners, but he's been so good, you can't get off the bandwagon now.
Tyger (D-port, IA)
Dexter Fowler worthy of a roster spot if in need of steals? better or worse 2nd half?
Christopher Harris (11:03 AM)
Hi, Tyger. Yeah, I think Fowler is one of the better cheap-steals options around. He started slow, but picked it up in a big way in June. I'd say he's entrenched in that Rockies lineup, and he's gonna run.
do you see any closers getting dealt this year? How does that affect the fantasy world?
Christopher Harris (11:05 AM)
Hi, Ray. The Orioles just came out this morning and said they'd consider dealing George Sherrill -- that would throw the Baltimore closer's job into a tizzy (maybe Jim Johnson?). Huston Street has been rumored all year, but Colorado still thinks its contending. Heath Bell is a small possibility. Fantasy-wise, clearly, if a closer gets traded, it's nice to intuit who might inherit the job....
Gina (Pitt., PA)
Conserned about Galardo?
Christopher Harris (11:06 AM)
Hi, Gina. Yeah, I'm a little concerned. He hasn't pitched well for three straight starts. But he was so great before then, I have to believe this is a hiccup. He's down three spots to No. 12 in my starting pitching ranks for tomorrow's "Sixty Feet Six Inches" column, but that's still pretty darned good.
Charles (Oswego, IL)
Is it time to start buying the Happ Hype?
Christopher Harris (11:08 AM)
Hi, Charles. I think I'm finally buying. I've been a slow adopter for J.A. Happ because he's carried control issues with him pretty much wherever he's gone in the Phillies organization. And even if you look at his '09 numbers in the bigs: 65 Ks and 33 BBs isn't something you typically like in a fantasy pitcher. But the top-line results have been strong enough for long enough that I'm buying him as a short-term add. He'll jump up to No. 62 in my ranks tomorrow; I still think he'll go through a rough patch, but there's no sense being stubborn about it....
What kind of impact is Felipe Lopez going to have with the Brew Crew?
Christopher Harris (11:10 AM)
Hi, J. I don't think Lopez's fantasy value changes *all* that much. Arizona was crimping Lopez's style by not letting him run much, but the Brewers don't steal many bases, either. (Ryan Braun leads them with eight.) He's going to play every day, and it's a better lineup, probably. But overall, he's probably worth about the same. Good, not great.
Gabe (New Jersey)
Has David Price turned it around? or is he going to be "like a box of chocolates" the rest of the season?
Christopher Harris (11:11 AM)
Hi, Gabe. I think he's gonna be the proverbial box of chocolates. We all know he's got talent, but some nights he brings it, and some he doesn't. He was awful for a couple starts right up to the point where he was brilliant again right before the Break. He goes tonight. I don't know what to expect. Do you? He's well worth owning. But he's frustrating.
Hey Chris, Billingsley has gotten roughed up lately, do u expect a turn around??
Christopher Harris (11:12 AM)
Hi, Josh. I mean, I *think* I expect a turnaround. He's a really talented dude. But the Dodgers chose not to give him any extra rest after the Break, and he got absolutely bombed last Friday. He's down to No. 17 in my starting pitcher ranks this week -- his low-water mark of the year for me. That's obviously still well worth owning, but there's concern. The good news is that nobody seems to be talking about him being hurt. At least not yet.
One of a Kind (NYC)
Since you are the BIGGEST Slowey fan please tell me what i can expect from him when he returns.
Christopher Harris (11:15 AM)
I know, I am kind of a Slowey nut, aren't I? I guess he felt quite a bit better throwing last Wednesday and Friday, but he's almost certainly doing to need rehab before he can return to the big-league rotation. I guess August 1 is about when we'll see him. I mean, when he comes back, I *think* we'll see more of that low-WHIP goodness he's provided the past couple years. The wins, well, it's hard to chase wins. But I have to admit: Slowey hasn't been the pitcher I thought he'd be this year. Not yet, anyway.
Chris, what is up with McLouth? He has been awful as of late, last year a fluke?
Christopher Harris (11:17 AM)
Hi, Andrew. Yeah, McLouth hasn't been quite as good as advertised since coming over from the Pirates. Overall his numbers are still pretty good: 14 homers and 11 steals still has him roughly on pace for 20-20, but you're right, we wanted 30-30 after last year, didn't we? I don't think he's hurt, and I don't think he's a superstar. But his OBP is right around .350. He probably is what he's showing us right now....
Chris, here are some numbers for you: After you read them, tell me if you still feel the same way about Ben Zobrist.... 5th in Majors in runs-created per 27 innings... 6th in Majors in Isolated Power... 3rd in Majors in Secondary Average... 51 BB / 55 K (almost 1:1), .302/.420/.599, 44%/33% flyball vs. groundball... still doubting? Oh, and to address any concerns about a "late season swoon", he has a .995 OPS over the last 7 days...
Christopher Harris (11:21 AM)
Hi, Matt. I suppose Zobrist could be reaching a late-20s "new plateau" in his career. It's highly unusual, but I guess not completely unheard of. But quoting me the stats he's already generated really isn't going to convince me of anything going forward. I *know* the numbers. He's been great. He's helped fantasy owners big time. And I'm not saying he's *worthless* going forward -- I just don't think he approaches this kind of production for the second half. If I had him in a league I was in with you, I'd trade him to you for a king's ransom. And by the end of the year, you might be laughing at me, because I can't claim to know for sure that I'm right. But I think in September he won't be worth what he is now. The .333 BABIP, the 21.8% HR/FB rate, the 21.6% K rate, the fact that he's pretty much a fastball hitter...they all scare me. But again, I don't see the future man. That's just my opinion.
Joe (Washington DC)
I have never had a question answered in a chat and I come all the time...hook a brother up.My pitching has been decimated by injuries (Peavy, Slowey, and now Meche), so is it reasonable to drop Meche and pick up Washburh, Wolf, Kuroda, or Brett Anderson off the waiver wire? Who of those guys is going to serve me best?
Christopher Harris (11:23 AM)
Hi, Joe. Of the guys you mention as free agents, I have Kuroda rated the highest, though it's close -- Kuroda is 45th on my latest list, Wolf is 52nd, Washburn is 56th and Anderson is 75th. Washburn is probably pitching the best of this group -- I just don't know that it'll definitely last. I trust Kuroda's actual stuff more. And yeah, right now I think I'd rather own any of those first three guys than DL'd Meche.
Hi Chris, is there any reason NOT to drop Kuroda for Washburn after yet another bad start from Hiroki? As a guy who's ranked consistently in the mid 50's for SP, I think he's gotta be the most over hyped pitcher out there.
Christopher Harris (11:25 AM)
Hi, Tim. Well, Kuroda has been disappointing, especially in July. I don't know why his strikeout total has been so crummy his past three starts. I guess there's a possibility that the shoulder issues that sent him to the DL early this year may be messing with him again. But as I just mentioned, when he's right, I like his stuff an awful lot. It's fast and nasty. If you're convinced he's not right (and you wouldn't be without good reason), I guess Washburn might be a good add. I don't see him having high-K potential, either. But I can't argue he hasn't been really good....
what's your take on Brett Anderson the rest of year?
Christopher Harris (11:26 AM)
Hi, Jim. I liked Anderson as a mixed-league option way back in April and was quickly brought down to reality when he struggled. Now he's back on my top-80 list. He's got a great pedigree (his dad was the long-time Oklahoma St. pitching coach), he's left-handed, and he's got a nice array of stuff. I think his career upside is as a No. 2, and for the rest of the year, I think he'll probably be up-and-down, but on the whole be roughly on the borderline of being worth owning in a mixed league.
Hey Chris it's my birthday, and I need to get a question answered before I blow out the candles.......In a keeper can you please rank Hamels, Cain, Lester, and Lind.....I know you love the pitchers but I had to throw Lind in there b/c I'm curious if he's for real....thanks
Christopher Harris (11:28 AM)
Hi, Nick. Obviously, it's tough to rank hitters relative to pitchers, because very often fantasy teams needs one more than the other. But in a vaccuum, I'd go: Lester, Cain, Hamels then Lind. Which isn't to say I'm completely biased toward pitching and isn't to say I don't like Lind. But I do think Lind will have *some* second-half struggles (see my "Called Out" piece on him from last week for more), and the three pitchers are still top-20 SPs for me right now (though Hamels is teetering).
Can Kershaw keep this up? Or are we looking at his peak stretch for the season?
Christopher Harris (11:31 AM)
Hi, Chris. Well, he's basically been the best pitcher in baseball for a couple weeks, so I think it'd almost *have* to be a peak. Kershaw's issue in general will be his tendency to nibble and not work deep into games, which can be a problem on nights where he loads up on walks. I like him a lot -- I have him ranked 24th among starters. But yeah, I mean, I don't think he's a top-five guy yet, so by definition this has to be his peak. If you could deal him straight up for Josh Beckett, for instance, you'd have to do it.
Hey, amazing chat. Im in a deep H2H league.. My pitching is dominant but im in desperate need of steals.. Should I trade Eric Bedard for Nyjer Morgan?
Christopher Harris (11:33 AM)
Hi, Dan, thanks. I don't think you're getting equal value in Morgan for Bedard, but considering your needs, I guess I don't dislike the move. Bedard *should* get dealt before the deadline (we'll see), but there's no guarantee he'll be happy (or healthy) where he lands. Morgan, we know he's entrenched in the D.C. lineup, and he should steal another, oh, 15 or 20 bases, right? If that amount would help you, it's probably worth doing.
Umm, so Franklin Gutierrez is the 6th ranked fantasy player in my league over the past month. 38/101 (.376 avg), 18 runs, 6 hr's, 20 rbi's, 4 stolen bases. Any chance he keeps this up (ala Adam Jones) or does he come crashing back down to Earth soon? I'll admit, I don't know much about him but he's clearly on fire!
Christopher Harris (11:34 AM)
Hi, Jake. Ablaze, he is. Yeah, I mentioned Gutierrez on the online Fantasy Focus show last week -- he's been really great for the Mariners, he's playing every day in centerfield, yet he's still only owned in about a quarter of ESPN leagues. This crazy production over the past month probably won't last, but I think he's a top-250 player for sure, and that means he should be owned in most mixed leagues.
Mike Hunt (Chicago)
Jason Marquis is still on my waiver wire. Would you drop Dallas Braden or Randy Wells for him? Kind of nervous of picking up a Rockies pitcher.
Christopher Harris (11:36 AM)
Hi, Mike. (If that is your real name.) Yeah, I'm not a huge Dallas Braden fan, though I get lampooned on ESPN Conversation for that fact on a weekly basis. I like Marquis better. I know what you mean about Rockies pitchers, though since the humidor came into affect, things are a *little* mellower at Coors. Marquis' real issue to me is that he doesn't strike many out, but he's been hot and consistent enough that I wouldn't mind riding the hot hand until it wears out. Then you can just move onto the next hot hand....
Drew (Hudson Valley)
Chris, Justin Duchscherer - you see him as fantasy viable this year?
Christopher Harris (11:37 AM)
Hi, Drew. Boy, I've hung in there longer with Duke than any rational soul should've, and I guess he's finally back to throwing again after missing quite a while with a bad back. I guess the A's still think he could come back in mid-August, and if he does come back, hey, who knows. But I wouldn't be saving a roster spot for him if I had other good options. I don't think it's a definite that he's even coming back to the bigs as a starter this year.
Some thoughts on Joba from here on out?
Christopher Harris (11:38 AM)
Hi, Carl. Well, he's driving the NY radio stations crazy. Just when you think you have him figured out, he does the exact opposite. He was pretty terrific this weekend against the Tigers, but y'know, I didn't move him off of No. 38 in my ranks this week. I kind of think this is who he is: an inconsistent young pitcher who sometimes looks lost.
Why is Gavin Floyd always ranked so low?
Christopher Harris (11:40 AM)
Hi, Eric. Funny, because I was getting flak for ranking him too high a couple weeks ago. Floyd's top-line numbers were pretty good last year, but his underlying numbers indicated he was lucky -- and his final two starts before the Break weren't good. I have him 54th, which is probably about right for a guy with potential who still has a WHIP over 1.30 despite a great skein in June....
Lowell or Blalock the rest of the year?
Christopher Harris (11:41 AM)
Hi, Jim. I still think it's gotta be Blalock. It's a curse to say this, because we all know Blalock's injury history, but he's probably a safer bet health-wise than Lowell, and he's had the better season. I don't dislike Lowell going forward, I just don't know exactly what to expect from that hip.
True (Or False)
Everyone loves Ricky Nolasco......except his owners?
Christopher Harris (11:43 AM)
Funny on Nolasco -- I stuck with him when he went to the minors, kept ranking him, following him on his hot streak, then went on the Fantasy Podcast a couple weeks ago and was harshed on for not ranking him high enough. Heh. I'm generally just trying not to overreact to a couple good or bad starts in a row on anyone, including ol' Ricky. His stuff is there...he's got a great arm. He's got a terrible defense behind him, generally speaking he's been unlucky, but he does go through bouts where he can't find the zone. I like him (I have him ranked No. 26), but I'm not in love, for sure.
Help me out Chris, I can only keep McCutchen or Fowler in 12T H2H...need steals and runs for the second half, what do you think?
Christopher Harris (11:44 AM)
Hi, Justin. I like 'em both a lot -- they're each really legit prospects. I think McCutchen is probably better overall, in terms of multiple categories. But you're saying the other categories don't matter, and you just need runs and steals? It's a wash for me. Try and trade one. I'd hate to drop either.
Ahmad (Staten Island, NY)
I'm stacked in pitching although I seem to play the hottest team every week in my 5x5 Head to Head league. That said, I need to get Tommy Hanson and his 2 starts in this week. Who do I sit out of Greinke, Carpenter, Verlander, Edwin Jackson and Nolasco? Normally I'd say Nolasco but he's playing at San Diego.
Christopher Harris (11:46 AM)
Hi, Ahmad. I actually might say Jackson, just this once. He gets the White Sox at home? Yeah, I think I like Nolasco at San Diego a wee bit more.
If GS is traded who becomes the next closer in Baltimore?
Christopher Harris (11:48 AM)
Hi, John. I don't think there's a definitive answer to that question yet, only that we know it won't be Chris Ray. I would say Jim Johnson has the best shot, because Danys Baez has struggled lately. But Kameron Mickolio is someone to watch. He could be the team's closer of the future, and he might get a shot to show what he's got...
Joey O'B. (Acton)
Rios or Choo?
Christopher Harris (11:48 AM)
Hi, Joey. Tough one. For me, it's close. I'm still going with Rios, though. Under the supposition that he gets better, and Choo maybe drops off a bit.
Quick one--Cantu or Stewart? OPS league
Christopher Harris (11:49 AM)
Hi, Ryan. I think it's Cantu. Like Stewart's power, scared about his contact rates.
Wow, you took some lumps on the FF podcast today! Don't worry, we still think you're the best analyst on the site. Span, Morgan or McCutcheon the rest of the way?
Christopher Harris (11:50 AM)
Hi, Matt. Well, thanks. I'm sure it was all meant in fun. I like Span best of that threesome, if only because he's at least a year further along in his development.
With Lopez leaving Arizona who should they use to replace him?
Christopher Harris (11:52 AM)
Hi, Tom. Yeah, dang good question. It could be Rusty Ryal who gets called up from the minors -- otherwise it's the ugly combo of Augie Ojeda or Ryan Roberts. I wouldn't think any of 'em are mixed-league options, but Ryal could be worth a look for the desperate in a deeper league, if he gets the call.
Hairston (OAK) or Guitierrez (SEA)?
Christopher Harris (11:53 AM)
Hi, Ryan. I like Gutierrez more.
*Why* do you do *this* ? And *What are your thoughts on Hawpe vs. Ethier from here out* ?
Christopher Harris (11:54 AM)
HI, Tyler. Um, I guess I don't understand the first part of your question. But as for Hawpe vs. Ethier...I rated Ethier No. 92 and Hawpe No. 94 in our post-ASB ranks last week, so I'd say I'm almost completely indifferent. Ethier by a whisker.
This week only Mr Harris: 2-starts: Millwood and Pettitte. 1-start: Burnett, Wandy, and Oswalt. I can only start 4 of the five. All three 1-start guys have been good of late, but why roster the other guys if I'm not going to play them in weeks like this? Your thoughts please.
Christopher Harris (11:55 AM)
Hi, Dean. Yeah, the three one-start guys are better fantasy options in general, aren't they. Me, I might think about sitting Millwood. There are signs of cracking, and he gets the Red Sox tonight. They're mad. It could be a big offensive night for 'em.
Jed Lowrie (Boston)
Am I going to put up starter-worthy numbers for my fantasy owners? I know the Red Sox like me...do you?
Christopher Harris (11:56 AM)
Well, in an AL-only league, yes. In a mixed, I don't think so, not where maybe, say, 15 SSs are owned. I wouldn't put Lowrie quite that high yet.
What is Tristan having for lunch?
Christopher Harris (11:56 AM)
Heh. Well, he's at his house in the greater NYC area and I'm at mine in western Massachusetts...so I'd have to say egg salad.
Mat Latos (San Diego)
Nobody is talking about me-- but am I a comparable long term fantasy option to Bumgarner, Strasburg with the ballpark I'm going to pitch in?
Christopher Harris (11:58 AM)
Well, I don't think so, no. Latos had awesome minor-league numbers, but he doesn't come with the strikeout pedigree that the other two guys do. The main difference between them, of course, is that Latos is *up*, so you can add him in an NL-only league. The other two guys, not so much. But no, I don't think he's got the same career upside....
Hey, Chris. When will we see guys like Chris Tillman become available to be picked up in fantasy leagues? When they get called up?
Christopher Harris (11:59 AM)
Hi, Joe. Yeah, in Tillman's case, if he didn't make the cut before the season starts, then they don't come available as free agents until they get called up.
Tyler wants to know why you us asterisks as oppose to quotations? as do I
Christopher Harris (11:59 AM)
Ah, I see. Thanks John (and others). I thought he was asking why I do this job for a living. (Which is a little more existential than I care to get at the moment.) My use of asterisks isn't meant to replicate quotes. It's meant to replicate bold or italics, which aren't available to me for emphasis in this chat software.
Chris, would you play Berkman this week in a weekly transaction league? 3 AB's last week? Thanks.
Christopher Harris (12:00 PM)
Hi, Greg. Now *that* is a good question. (Get it?) I have to say that I'm not sure, and it would really depend on what your other 1B options are. I'd prefer to keep him out if I had the option, just because his calf problem has been bugging him for weeks. But honestly, I'm not sure what the Astros plans are for him....
Ralph Wiggum (Springfield (??))
Will Holliday go anywhere? I can't decide if I should keep him or keep Damon the rest of this season. I'm going to include one of them with Verlander to get ARod and Bedard. Who should I give up?
Christopher Harris (12:01 PM)
Hi, Chief. Oh, I pretty clearly like Holliday over Damon for the rest of the year, even if he doesn't get dealt out of that huge ballpark. So if I could include Damon in the deal instead, that's what I'd do.
Chris Davis is raking at Triple-A and Smoak is not. Any chance he gets a call soon to come back up??
Christopher Harris (12:02 PM)
Hi, Brody. *Any* chance? Sure. But honestly, I think we've seen how that movie ends. I'm not expecting it.
Buzzer beater! Seth Smith has made 6 starts in a row for the Rockies and is playing great. Do you think he holds on to the job for the rest of the year? Thanks!
Christopher Harris (12:03 PM)
Hi, Mike. I can't say I've discerned a pattern in the Rockies outfield. I think Fowler and Hawpe are pretty safe, and Smith and Spilborghs are...something less than safe.
Christopher Harris (12:05 PM)
Hi, Shane. Clearly don't love any of the catchers you mention as free agents. Yeah, I think Posada for a starter in that 30 to 40 range is probably pretty fair.
See anything from smoltz going forward? I am crushing saves in a roto and could use a non innings eating, safe whip era with high potential for wins and a high k/9 rate. Smoltz seems like the cheapest choice in what it would cost me, and worth the risk/reward.
Christopher Harris (12:06 PM)
Hi, Jim. Yeah, I think Smoltz will be a net fantasy positive. I liked how he looked last time out, and the notion that he's throwing just 90 and having to over-rely on his soft stuff isn't true. He hit 95 in his final inning last time out. I'm not expecting miracles, but I think he's worth a try.
Christopher Harris (12:06 PM)
All right guys, one more, and I then I gotta get writing.
John (My Desk)
tell me Bay is better than his last month.
Christopher Harris (12:07 PM)
Hi, John. Well, I think he is. But I don't think he's as good as his first couple months. I answered a Bay question at length in last week's "Called Out," so take a look at that. The truth, as with so much in life, is somewhere in-between.
Christopher Harris (12:08 PM)
All right, folks. Sorry I couldn't get to every question (there were 900 )...promise to try and do better the next time. Thanks as always for your interest -- without you, I wouldn't get to do this great job. I'll have Sixty Feet Six Inches out tomorrow, and I'll be on ESPN News talking about pitchers tomorrow afternoon, too. See you....