Chat with Brendan Roberts
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Brendan Roberts (3:00 PM)
Hi, gang. Please note I am currently taking part in our first in-house mock draft (for the site) as I type this, so might have the occasional slight delay now and then. We're almost done, though, and it's worth it. You gotta see our new draft tool, by the way. Awesome!
Mike V. (Chicago)
Should I roll out Scherzer against The Rockies tonight. Both have been good recently.
Brendan Roberts (3:01 PM)
Yeah, tough call. I looked at his splits against them and all, and I decided to sit him. I think you should too. High K's, but a lot of base runners are in order.
time to drop smoltz and/or price for any of the following: de la rosa, feldman, parra?
Brendan Roberts (3:02 PM)
I know it's tempting, but Smoltz and Price have 10 times the upside of the other three, and could right the ship at any moment. You'd hate to see that go for someone else, while the other three ... it wouldn't break your heart if they did that for someone else.
Taylor Teagarden (TX)
Coach, why am I not starting? Do I not call good games? Do I not play solid D? I know I can rake...
Brendan Roberts (3:03 PM)
That's a good question, and I agree with you. But the games I have seen him catch, he does look a bit behind, both offensively and defensively. I agree with Ron Washington. He is not ready to be thrown into an everyday role. In fact, I appreciate when managers ease their catchers into starting roles.
Stephen Drew (Garbage time stats)
Sure last night was nice.....but give him up for Aybar, Bonafacio, O Cabrera, Y Escobar, or Lopez??? Maybe Callaspo??
Brendan Roberts (3:05 PM)
Nah, I take Drew over all those guys. Yunel and O-Cab are close, but I still take Drew. His splits suggest a nice second half is coming, and I also like some of his personal matchups (in terms of opponents) coming up here. My money is still on Drew.
Derek (Upper Canada Eh)
Has nobody else noticed how far Victor has fallen in the last month?! Believe my stats tell me one extra base hit since June 27th? Is this a case of course correction to offset his hot start, or is there word of an injury, or dog tired from the extra work load of Catching/DHing and 1st base? I'm giving at bats to Miguel Olivo that's how bad it's getting!
Brendan Roberts (3:08 PM)
I have noticed! And it's a bit frustrating to me, since I traded for him, oh, about a month ago. I think it's a simple correction. No way he was as good as he was before, or as bad as he has been now. I asked a contact up there if he looked hurt, and he said no ... Maybe a little fatigued, but that happens with catchers. I think it's little more than just a slump. He'll be fine.
I got offered for Pablo Sandoval and Josh Hamilton for Joe Mauer and Carl Crawford, I'm getting real tired of Mauer these last couple weeks and think I might be getting more out of the hitting than the steals, plus I hear Hamilton is about to make a comeback.
Brendan Roberts (3:10 PM)
You might expect a "correction" for Mauer, but he's still top-20 valuable, as is Crawford. You're still taking a chance with Hamilton, and while those guys are great pickups, I think you can do better.
Barney (Sacramento, CA)
Couple of Windy City questions: does G. Beckham stay hot with regular playing time, and when the heck is J. Fox going to GET regular playing time?
Brendan Roberts (3:12 PM)
Good and bad news ... I think Beckham will stay hot, actually. Or at least relatively speaking. As in, not sure he should be starting at CI in a mixed league, but if he's available as a SS in your league, bingo! And I don't see regular playing time for Fox right now. That said, he's getting a lot more of it than I thought.
Craig G. (Fairfield, CA)
Hey Brendan, do the Pirates have anyone you would seriously consider keeping for the rest of the season besides Freddy Sanchez? McCutcheon, Garrett Jones?
Brendan Roberts (3:14 PM)
Obviously depends upon the league size. Freddy Sanchez should be starting in any mixed league with 12 or more owners, and I'd say that describes McCutcheon too. Jones? Start him in ALL leagues while he's hot here -- not sure what has gotten into him -- and then drop him when he cools down.
George Sherrill (Baltimore)
Am I going to have any value on August 1st?
Brendan Roberts (3:16 PM)
That's a heck of a question, but remember, they tried to trade him last year, too, and he was actually pitching decently prior to that. You never know with these things, but my guess is he stays put. The issue I'm having in deep leagues is figuring out who truly would replace him. Johnson? Baez? Maybe Ray later on if he can straighten things out? It's not obvious, although probably Baez.
Brendan, let's your fantasy prowess: tell me about the mostly forgotten Cam Maybin. 4-4 last night; .340s BA. Can he look like Justin Uptown in 2010? He's been on my keeper bench for 2 years now - exactly who am I waiting for here?
Brendan Roberts (3:19 PM)
Yup, he's tearing up Triple-A, for sure, but I can't see the same progression as Justin Upton. He doesn't have near the same power, and can't hit mistake pitches like Upton does. See, when a youngster has immense power, he can hit "hitters' pitches" into gaps and over the fence. When he doesn't, those shots are deep flyouts or lineouts to the center fielder. So he has to make more consistent contact at the big-league level to make up for that, and the book appears to be out on him there. (The advance scouting in Triple-A is not NEAR what it is in the majors.) I still see him struggling if called up the rest of this season and all through 2010.
What do you think Milledge will do when he returns in terms of HR-Avg.-SB?
Brendan Roberts (3:21 PM)
I think he can maintain about the same average as he had last year ... which is a lot more than others expect. That said, I don't guarantee that the Pirates will jump right up here when ready. They're going to make sure he's right first, which includes good play in the minors. He's still young, and they're thinking long-term with him.
Justin Upton (1 year away from valuable)
Am I just in a month-long slump, or am I still a year-away from being the top 30 player everyone at ESPN has been calling me? Bench me or trade while you can because I could flop/get rested down the stretch?
Brendan Roberts (3:23 PM)
More on Upton ... I think it's both. Typical extended slump for a, what 20-year-old hitter, but I also don't think he's a top 30 player either. The thing I've seen from him is his inability to shake out of his slumps. It seems to me he gets more and more aggressive and tries to homer his way out of them, which isn't good. When he's seeing the ball well, he waits for his pitch, and then hits it hard. When he's not, he'll chase a first pitch slider and ground out to SS. He'll shake out of it, but I think we're talking only incremental development from here on out.
Mike (Tampa, FL)
Any reason to grab Big Fat Bartolo Colon in an AL only league?
Rock (Dodge City)
Drop McCutheon for Milledge?
Do you see CJ Wilson keeping the closers role for the rest of the season?
Brendan Roberts (3:25 PM)
Nah, Francisco will be back soon. Just suffering an illness (pneumonia, I think).
AJ was saying he's pretty concerned about Berkmans calf injury being serious. Lance contends he's a warrior from watching Bagwell and Biggio play through just about anything. We all know sometimes its worse for our fantasyt players to TRY to play through injuries so part of me is actually hoping for a short DL stint. Can you look into your crystal ball and tell me what the future holds?
Brendan Roberts (3:28 PM)
I'm with you, Tim. I see a short DL stint, and I also hope that's what happens. Some recent quotes from Berkman did disturb me, though. He said the calf has been bothering him for awhile, and has gotten progressively worse, which is a sign he might need extended rest. He also said the team doesn't want him playing hurt, and then commented that he'd "never play" if that were the case. Something like that. Gulp! I think he either hits the DL or misses a good 4-5 games, and then comes back relatively strong.
Mike (Tampa, FL)
Answer to my Big Fat Man question please???
Brendan Roberts (3:29 PM)
Yeah, sorry. Had a system thing here ... I would probably pick him up. In fact, I did in an AL league. Seems he goes through cycles that go like this: pitch well for 2-3 starts, pitch average 2-3 starts, pitch poorly for 2-3 starts, get hurt, be out a month, pitch well for ... So it's a short-term play, but yeah, I'd get him.
Who do you like better the rest of the way: Brad Hawpe or Justin Upton? Hawpe has been great this season, but Upton has more upside but on a lesser team.
Brendan Roberts (3:31 PM)
I like Hawpe. Of course, my regular readers know I love him anyway. He's a noted second-half hitter, with arguably the best hitters park in the majors and an offense that actually is clicking right now. The D-backs? Not as much. Plus, that high batting average helps you a lot more than you realize.
Rock (Dodge City)
Drop McCutheon for Milledge? Your answer never posted.
Brendan Roberts (3:32 PM)
And there's the other one I lost in the slowdown ... I'd keep McCutchen. Like I said, I think Milledge doesn't return for at least a few more weeks, and when he does, I think McCutchen will outproduce him anyway. Milledge has more power, but that's it.
Many analysts are predicting some pop out of B.J. Upton in the 2nd half? Do you see some power coming or should I sell high?
Brendan Roberts (3:34 PM)
I've never seen power coming from BJ Upton. Honestly, I did, looking at scouting reports, until I interviewed him once in the clubhouse. Dude is all skin and bones. Brother Justin has a "backside" that generates a little more power, but BJ's power is all in his wrists, and I don't think he's going to hit for power. Not sure how he did it that year he did ... must have just turned on a bunch of balls. Great speed, but I think maybe 12-homer power, at the most.
Jim (San Fran)
Obviously Clayton Kershaw isn't going to keep up these incredible numbers, but how much of a drop off do you see? Does he fall apart in August?
Brendan Roberts (3:36 PM)
I say no way. In fact, I think he could continue getting even better. There have been few pitchers I've seen show up with "wow" stuff from the get-go. Lincecum is the most notable, and I told everyone I could. Kershaw is the other. I honestly believe there's a Cy Young award in this guy's future, and soon.
Ray Cansella (Iowa)
There's a voice telling me to sell Mauer.
Brendan Roberts (3:38 PM)
Nah, that's just Archibald "Moonlight" Graham telling you that 'cause he wants some PT. Sure, Mauer's average will continue to drop, but it's not like he's going to hit .280 or something. And oh by the way, .280 is better than almost all other catchers. No way you should sell him. He's simply too good a hitter to lose it completely. He was due for a slump, and he's having it now. But he'll shake out of it soon like he always does.
Michael (Portland, ME)
How scared are you of DeRosa's wrist? Does he drop a bunch in the second half?
Brendan Roberts (3:40 PM)
I think he does. In fact, I think he's nothing like the same hitter, and maybe not even ownable in mixed leagues. If you have him now, you try to deal him after he has a few multi-hit games. But he's hurt, and bad, and he's playing through it because of his free-agent status and because he feels he owes it to the Cards. Torn tendon sheath, yikes. He might be able to drump up a .280 average, but there's no way he finds the torque to turn on homers.
Start wandy today against St. Louis? he's looked untouchable, but pujols has looked unstoppable..
Brendan Roberts (3:41 PM)
Yeah, I'd start him. If he can shut down the Dodgers in LA when he's going well, then he can certainly shut down the Cards at his beloved home park.
Concerned (Halfway Down the Standings)
Bay looks lost right now. I have been managing with him in this slump but slipping in the rankings. I know he won't be the stud he was in the first two months of the season but tell me he is going to be better than this? Final stat line?
Brendan Roberts (3:44 PM)
He is. Not sure what's happening with him right now either, especially since he looks just fine to me. But a .255 average? What you might not realize, though, is he's still on pace for 35 or so homers and 120-plus RBIs. That's the good thing about him; he's an all-around producer (he also has 10 steals). So when he's not helping in one category, he can help in the others. Hang on to him for dear life. Final stat line: Hmm, .277-33-117-17.
Hey BR! think Holliday is busting out finally, or just a few good AB's?
Brendan Roberts (3:46 PM)
I'd like to say the former, and what the heck, I will. The thing I liked about it was one of the homers was out right field. It seemed earlier this year he was trying to cheat and pull the ball to make up for his new pitchers' park. Now I think he's realizing: a) I just need to get hits, regardless of where they go; and b) I don't need to pull it to hit it out anyway. Definitely a good sign, and I expect a fine second half for him. Not quite Colorado fine, but Top-25-hitter fine.
Jimmy (New Orleans)
Which one-stat contributor do you see as more valuable. A steal-guy like Nyjer Morgan or a dinger hitter like Hank Blalock?
Brendan Roberts (3:47 PM)
Morgan, Morgan, Morgan. Players of his ilk are few and far between. He's 5th in the majors in steals (I think), and it's a sharp dropoff from him. Blalock, especially as a CI, is still somewhat of a dime a dozen.
so you wouldn't sell mauer for lincecum?
Brendan Roberts (3:48 PM)
See, that's close. I probably would (get Lincecum) cause they're right at the same level, and I'm assuming you'd be addressing weaknesses on your team in making the move.
Michael (Portland, ME)
Going hardcore: drop Gaudin for Jon Sanchez or de la Rosa?
Brendan Roberts (3:49 PM)
Yeah, I probably would. I like both of the two pitchers better, probably Sanchez more than De La Rosa. Y'all realize Sanchez has like four walks in his last 27-plus innings? Sure, he'll have bad outings, but as you can see, he can also be dominant. Gaudin has just been so maddeningly inconsistent.
Raul Ibanez has been a machine. Can he keep this up?
Brendan Roberts (3:51 PM)
I think he can. To me it all makes perfect sense. He was a steady, consistent gap hitter who played at pitchers' parks in recent years (KC was a pitchers' park when he was there). Now at a homer-favorable parks, a lot of those gap hits are going for homers, and it's carrying over to road games as well. Just that alone can explain his increase in RBIs, and he always had the capability to hit for a decent average.
After his HR last night, I checked Garret Anderson's 2nd halves. He's a monster. Can he help in 12 team mixed? Thanks!
Brendan Roberts (3:53 PM)
Good toss, Joe. I noticed that myself just last night, and realized I was probably selling him short. He's nothing glamorous, and neither are the Braves, but he can still hit for average and drive in runs. And here I like that he's platooning so you don't get 0-for-4 bogeys thrown at you like before. Yes, a nice pickup in a 12-team mixed league.
Give me a walk-off answer BR! Harden is so inconsistent it gives me a headache. Is Hanson a better option or is he due for a slump?
Brendan Roberts (3:56 PM)
Hanson is better, in my mind. They're very similar pitchers, but I think Hanson will be more consistent. Plus, as odd as this sounds, Hanson seems able to throw more innings per start than Harden, who sometimes barely gets 5 in, and thus has a better chance to win games. Why is that? Well, the good starting pitcher gets the game to the 7th or 8th innings, when the usually solid setup men can take over, then the nasty closer. When a pitcher throws only 5 innings, he leaves the game in the hands of mopup middle relievers to protect the lead until the setup men arrive on the scene. Often, those middle relievers are the worst pitchers on the team. So even if I like Harden's K's, I can't like his other categories.
Jarrod Washburn looks like he did in the old days (better!) Do you see him continuing?
Brendan Roberts (3:57 PM)
Holy cow ... sorry for the long answer in the last one. If you look at it, Wash has had stretches like this before, just usually not over an extended time. In all cases, he came crashing back to earth, which is what I see happening now.
I have LaPorta and A Marte warming my keeper bench. When will these guys finally get the chance at daily major league PT? They're both raking at Triple-A!
Brendan Roberts (3:58 PM)
LaPorta? Probably soon. You have to figure the Indians will go with a youth movement soon, and he could help in the OF. Marte? Maybe never. If he does, it'll be as a platoon guy, as the team is developing their infield options now. Plus, Marte has had his chances and blown them. Two more questions.
Should I be concerned about Billingsley? Just traded for him 2 weeks ago.
Brendan Roberts (3:59 PM)
Nope, not at all. Looks to me like the velocity is still there and that curveball is still very sharp. He'll bounce back.
Choo appears to be slipping. Wouldyou rather have hm or Seth Smith for the rest of the season?
Brendan Roberts (4:01 PM)
Definitely Choo. With him, slipping is a relative term since he still does many things well. Also, some tough pitching matchups he has had of late (especially for a lefty hitter). Stick with him.
Brendan Roberts (4:02 PM)
And that'll do it! Whew, what a busy hour, with chatting and drafting. But does life get any better?! No complaints here. I'll be back next week at this time and chat with you again. And John from STL, I'll check into what you're saying about Hawpe -- I might have mistaken his splits facts -- and address that next week, if need be. Thanks!