Chat with AJ Mass
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AJ Mass (10:59 AM)
Good morning gang. What's the good word? Willingham? Tatis? Gomes? What is going on here? Anyway, I have got my second cup of coffee in hand, and Big Brother's waking up the house, so let's get our hour of fantasy chattage underway... Who is up first?
With Slowey out for the season, any recommendations for some under-the-radar replacements?
AJ Mass (11:02 AM)
De La Rosa certainly has stats that belie his current success, and Chris Volstad is a good pickup as well. Just two name off the top of my head. Losing a 10-3 guy is tough, but he's not a 3.00 ERA kind of pitcher, so you can salvage the roster spot.
Johnny Cueto (cincy)
Have I jumped the shark this season?
AJ Mass (11:03 AM)
I actually though about mentioning Cueto in the last answer, but then I remembered his manager is "death to pitchers" Dusty, and I passed.
Russell (Lexington, KY)
What are your expectations for Luke Hocheaver for the rest of the year. He has the pedigree and 13 K's has to mean something right? We know he's going to suffer from Grienke like run support issues but will his peripherals make him a must own?
AJ Mass (11:04 AM)
I think Hochevar has the makings of a real nice sleeper pick for next season... certainly I don't think the 22K/0BB rate of his last two starts is going to maintain, but I'd take a 5/1 ratio the rest of the way, wouldn't you?
Sid (Brooklyn, NY)
Please pick a side: Halladay and Gutierrez or Billingsley and Dye. Thanks!
AJ Mass (11:07 AM)
I go with the Roy side. On paper, the Chad/Jermaine side looks better, but I have a bad feeling about Billingsley.
With a stacked pitching staff; Santana, Lincy, Galardo, Carpenter, and Wandy, who would you look to trade as you see a regression in the 2nd half?
AJ Mass (11:08 AM)
I'd take legit offers for any of them except Lincecum and see what the best deal I could get is. You're dealing from strength here, so why limit your options... I'd probably be most happy to give up Johan at this point, but I'm not sure he'll get yuo top value in return.
Is Ronnie the Rat going to win on BB? And is who are your top 5 picks for steals the rest of the way?
AJ Mass (11:11 AM)
It is hilarious to me that Ronnie is being called a "rat" - not by the people who he supposedly ratted on but by the ones he ratted to... always a bunch of idiots in that house! You know how the steals guys are: Crawford, Bourn, Morgan, the Upton boys... that's a skill that doesn't suddenly emerge at this point of the season.
Cain or King Felix rest of the season?
AJ Mass (11:12 AM)
Felix for me.
Ben Zobrist (TB)
Why not respect? All i do is hit for AVG and power and steal bases! Still think i'm "trending down" ?
AJ Mass (11:15 AM)
Yes I do... because I'm talking about "relative to other players" In terms of overall fantasy value, you've been steadily sliding down the charts - not a plummet. Not saying to cut him. Just saying he's trending down relative to the rest of the player pool. Look at it this way: Pujols could hit .300 the rest of the way and be "trending down"- doesn't mean he's still not the best player overall, just that the gap between him and the rest of the league is decreasing.
you called matt kemp a great guy to sell high on a while ago. wanna take that back?
AJ Mass (11:18 AM)
Not at all. Calling a guy a sell-high doesn't mean he's not going to continue to be a great player. I don't remember when I said this, but he was probably ranked around 30 when I did... if I turned him into Morneau and Bourn, for example, at that time, I'm still ahead of the deal now that he's ranked in the top 20. If I tried to trade him now, I wouldn't likely be able to get those two players in return. Sell high doesn't mean trade at any cost - just that you can should be able to get maximum value at that time.
Danny (Brooklyn, NY)
AJ, I just used my number 2 waiver priority on Michael Saunders. Good move?
AJ Mass (11:20 AM)
He has plenty of upside, and with the alternative for the M's being Ryan Langerhans, you can bet he'll get the at-bats. As far as hitters go, he's probably the best to come down the pike this month.
Brian (Long Beach)
I love Casey from BB. I hate Casey Blake from LA. Please give me your thoughts on the aforementioned Casey's, as well as EE and Andy Marte.
AJ Mass (11:22 AM)
I'm rolling with EE for now on the baseball side of things. As for BB? No likey the Casey - he's funny, but not very good at this game.
Nice double-talk on the Kemp question. If you traded a player as a "sell high" and then his value increased, then you didn't get max value for him, now did you?
AJ Mass (11:24 AM)
I would beg to differ... because when it comes to trading, value is about perception. The two players I mentioned in that answer both currently have MORE value than Kemp. The higher a player like Kemp goes in actual value, the LESS likely it is that you'll find an owner who actually believes he'll continue that pace... and if you do, there won't be as many players of higher value left to choose from in return.
Nate (New York City)
Jesse from BB looks like he is on PEDS! Is Ricky Romero still rosterable?
AJ Mass (11:26 AM)
Indeed, Jesse looks like he ate Manny Ramirez. Romero is rosterable, but not a must-start. I'd certainly use him if the matchup is right, but in AL East games, it's not an arm I trust.
Chris Tillman (Baltimore)
When will I be available to roster?
AJ Mass (11:27 AM)
I don't have the answer to that question guys, as I'm not on the programming side of things. I would assume until he actually gets promoted, he isn't going to be on the list...
Average Joe (New York)
Not fantasy.. but how embarrassing was that Omar Minaya press conference yesterday?
AJ Mass (11:28 AM)
Only embarrassing if you actually took time out of your schedule to watch it. Hardly the first time a guy has sounded zany in a press conference... hardly the last.
Hamels... I don't know what to do with this guy. My gut says to sell him now to someone who has more faith in me, but my brain says to hold on. I need a 3rd opinion. Thanks!
AJ Mass (11:30 AM)
I'm not a Hamels fan and never have been. I think he's unhittable when he gets the curve over, but unstartable when he doesn't and so far in 09, the bad starts are winning. Personally, I don't see him turning it around.
Still think Kinsler is top 5? That Average is terrible!
AJ Mass (11:32 AM)
Yes it has been, but it's also the least important stat for a hitter, since it is a ratio. I'll take a guy who goes 1-for-6 each game if that 1 is home run, or even a single that is followed up with a steal, and he scores two runs. That helps me far more than an empty 3-for-3 with no RS, RBI or SB.
AJ, second half surge or slump: Quentin?
AJ Mass (11:33 AM)
When one doesn't really play in the first half, it's not a surge or a slump - it's simply a recovery or not. I tend to lean more towards not.
Paul (Anchorage AK)
Is Ted Lilly effectively done for the year?
AJ Mass (11:35 AM)
I don't think so. The knee surgery he underwent was actually minor, and he only did it because the team had already DL'd him with the shoulder soreness. He didn't need to do it, and he should be back in about 2-4 weeks.
Drinking the Willingham kool-aid?
AJ Mass (11:37 AM)
I think Josh desperately wants to be elsewhere next week and this is certainly a good way to reach that goal... I just don't know what his role will be if he is moved, so I can't grab that cup just yet.
Explain your bad feelings about Billingsley.
AJ Mass (11:39 AM)
I've watched him pitch... he's giving up homers nearly every time out and apart from one start against Colorado hasn't really had the K totals either...
Denard Span keeps getting picked up, then dropped, then picked up, then dropped in my fantasy league. Should he definitely be owned in 10 team mixed?
AJ Mass (11:41 AM)
Ten team-mixed? Not a definite own. Spot-stater territory in that large a player pool. Probably why he's been on a yo-yo.
Aubrey Huff is owned in over 90% of fantasy leagues. Why?!
AJ Mass (11:42 AM)
My guess is he's on a lot of last place teams with owners who have, shall we say, stopped paying attention. If you ain't trying, you ain't cutting him.
Its impossible to think Garret Jones will keep up this ridiculous pace but,do you think he will continue to be a highly productive fantasy player the rest of the year on that horrible team?
AJ Mass (11:43 AM)
I do not. I don't even think he's been all that productive, apart from the HRs, so far.
you just lost a fan aj. the responce about perceptive value about kemp is insane. your saying that when a player gets better he looses value. cant you just say your wrong instead of some crazy theory that contradicts all logic
AJ Mass (11:45 AM)
Sorry you feel that way, Chris, but it's very logical. A player only has as much value as you can get for him. That's why a pitcher like Roy Oswalt who has a "track record" and a "name" will likely get you more in a deal today than Edwin Jackson or Joel Piniero, who as they get better actually start to build a wave of "THIS guy can't keep this up."
just to back aj up here about kemp - to some degree he's right, if an owner knows that a player is playing well over his head, he's likely (although not guaranteed) to regress to his career norms, so other astute owners are likely predicting a slump. this may not apply to young improving players, but more to veterans, i'd say
i think the point was who you traded Kemp for - you couldn't trade Kemp for Morneau now, but if you did then, you win now, even though kemp is now worth more
AJ Mass (11:47 AM)
See, Chris... some people get it.
Stephen Drew or Barlett the rest of the way?
AJ Mass (11:48 AM)
I like Drew a lot to close the gap between the two, but I don't think he catches him overall. But since Bartlett has such a huge head-start, I'll go Drew rest of the way.
In a vacuum - Ibanez = _________ (please insert a SP) Thanks!
AJ Mass (11:49 AM)
Who is your favorite BB houseguest of all time? I have to go with the Evil Dr Will. Who is your favorite OF for the next 3 years.. Braun, Sizemore, or Justin Upton?
AJ Mass (11:50 AM)
Loved "Chilltown" Hated "The Friendship" Liked Evel Dick, but hated the whole "America's Player"... I like Upton for the next three, with Braun close behind.
AJ, so based on your comment above about rather having a guy go 1 fo 6 with a HR than 3/5 with no stats, is Mark Reynolds one of your top players? The average isn't there, but the other stats are very solid across the board? Where would you rank him among hitters? Do you see him falling off? Thanks!
AJ Mass (11:51 AM)
As most regulars to this chat know, I've been calling Reynolds a top-5 overall guy all season long. Not jumping off that ship anytime soon.
David Wright (NY)
In a vacuum - D Wright = _______ (any 1B)
AJ Mass (11:52 AM)
Ryan Howard. Steals and average for HR (which may still come) and no average.
brian (secaucus, nj)
lol still dont get it aj. if you have reynolds chances are you will finish close to last on average. for some reason you think leagues are 4 categories all of a sudden
AJ Mass (11:55 AM)
I use a 5X5 as my evaluation tool... and that's his value in it. People always fail to realize the minute difference between a .300 hitter and a .270 hitter. It's miniscule in comparison to a 25 HR hitters worth over a 10 HR hitter.
The Timekeeper (Watching the Clock)
5 minute warning, get your questions in now!!!
What's with everyone giving you the business, AJ? Pick 2 keepers, one being a P: Zobrist, Nelson Cruz, Peavy, Gallardo, Carpenter
AJ Mass (11:56 AM)
I'm a big boy, Dave. I can handle it... I like Yo-Ga and Zobrist.
Being a math guy and all, don't you increase the probability of contributing to multiple categories if a player hits 330 vs 260?
AJ Mass (11:57 AM)
Exhibit A for the defense: Ichiro.
I actually like you...pick up Andy Marte?
AJ Mass (11:59 AM)
I see no real reason that this time around the rodeo will be much different. He'll definitely pick up Garko's at-bats. I mean, he's worth grabbing in case V-Mart goes as well, and there are even more opportunities for him, but otherwise, I'm not rushing to the keyboard.
I Object! Ichiro is a robot!
AJ Mass (12:00 PM)
I would like to introduce my co-counsel, William T. Riker to address that issue...
Swarzak or Niese for this year and beyond?
AJ Mass (12:01 PM)
I'll go with Niese.
BUZZER BEATER!!!! NAME THREE HITTERS OF THE SAME VALUE AS BILLINGSLEY IN A VAC!!!!!!
AJ Mass (12:01 PM)
Uggla, DeJesus, Polanco.
The Timekeeper (Watching the Clock)
Ray, unfortunately the buzzer has already sounded
AJ Mass (12:03 PM)
That's OK, Timekeeper... every so often we'll bend the rules a bit... but no longer! That's all the time we have for today, gang! As always, I appreciate the questions, the Twitter love and the new readers to the bloggitude. And as always, we'll see you the next time on "Villa Alegre"
Buzzer (ESPN Headquarters)
I haven't heard the buzzer yet, 3...2... Hamilton for Vasquez?
AJ Mass (12:03 PM)
Bye Bye now
AJ Mass (12:03 PM)