Chat with Tristan H. Cockcroft
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Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:02 AM)
Good morning everyone! Let's get right to your questions...
BD (Harrisburg, PA)
Is Brad Penny worth a pick-up? Two starts next week.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:04 AM)
Depends how he fares at Philly today. Let's say I'm not that optimistic he'll be a big help to fantasy owners, but then those in deeper leagues have to take a look. I don't have the exact numbers immediately at hand, but I ran his stats versus each league and if memory serves, his ERA versus the NL was about 3.70, and versus the AL it was well north of five. The John Smoltz parallel rings true, and the two starts are both home, Padres and Dodgers. So it's a good and a bad, meaning this is hardly a recommendation of him, but he's worth watching.
Looks like Chris Davis is back--agree, or fluke?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:06 AM)
Well, everyone who knows me knows I love Chris Davis, and since his recall he's batting .355 with two homers and nine RBIs in eight games. Of course, he's still an impatient whiff king, with eight K's and one walk during that time. There's a downside, but yes, I do think he's back, or at least to the high-power, low-average standards I forecasted for him in the preseason.
Scotty Smalls (Los Angeles)
What is the deal with Bengie Molina? He has missed 7 games and isn't expected to go tonight from what I have read. Drop him and find a replacement or will he be back very soon?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:08 AM)
See, here's the frustrating part of September call-ups: There's no longer any reason for a team to place a player on the disabled list, not with a 40-man roster, which frustrates us in fantasyland because it means we can't DL the player, not to mention we can't get as good a read on the meaning of "day-to-day." Molina is pinch hitting lately, but he has a balky quadriceps. I can't really say "he's coming back so-and-so day"; I just don't know that. But let's say if the Giants do a reverse-course and promote Buster Posey in the upcoming days -- which I sincerely doubt they will -- it'd be an ominous sign for Molina. For now, I'd get a stand-in, if I could afford to do so without a hit to my roster.
Is Garland worth owning now that he actually has an offense behind him?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:09 AM)
Sure, as a matchups consideration. After all, Jon Garland had a 4.29 ERA for the Diamondbacks, which slides in very much as the matchups type he was over in the American League. Better ballpark, more offense backing him, deeper bullpen, yes, I think there'll be a decent share of useful starts for him in September/October.
Tristan, what are the longterm effects of Sean Rodriguez moving to TB?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:11 AM)
The Rays pick themselves up a pretty decent future utilityman candidate, and for all we know if Rodriguez gets a couple of years of success on that bench -- think Luke Scott -- it's not unthinkable he could become a decent lower-level regular, a la Scott. I admit I'm a bit more optimistic about Rodriguez than the scouts, but it's with good reason. Look at his minor league numbers.
Tristan, give me one good reason why I shouldn't drop Carlos Beltran?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:12 AM)
Uh, because he wants to still return this season? Hey, you asked me for one good reason. Doesn't mean I think it's a particularly compelling one. I think you can read between those lines.
Are there any September callups that can be counted on for steals?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:14 AM)
Michael Brantley is a big-time sleeper. He batted .267 with 59 walks and 46 steals in 116 games in Triple-A, he's lefty (so he'd be on the better side of a potential platoon), steals often translate quickly to the bigs, and the Indians are going nowhere anyway so they should take a longer look at him. I also like, among deeper choices, Craig Gentry of the Rangers and Fernando Perez of the Rays. And, people, let's remember to keep these in perspective. "Sleeper" means what the definition says; deep, deep, deep ... out of nowhere.
Tim Hudson (ATL)
Would you start me in my next start
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:16 AM)
Sure I would! If you've heard me on any of the podcasts or chatted with me in August, you probably have heard how bearish I've been on Hudson this season. That stance isn't totally going to change, but yes, I was impressed enough by his return start to think there's a little value to extract here. The matchup is great -- at home, versus Reds, Reds stink. I'd stream that starter!
uh oh I'm woried about Michael Young - Any word on him or did you see the injury?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:18 AM)
I did not see the injury, Eric, but I read the Rangers' Web site's report that Young's hamstring strain "could keep him sidelined for 1-2 weeks or more." That sounds pretty serious, and what's rough is that I doubt he's placed on the DL. It doesn't happen often in September.
Any idea when Weiters will be called up? Hah! remember when that was the only question asked in these chats? I guess the question now is Any idea when Weiters will be sent down?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:21 AM)
Why would any team demote a franchise-caliber prospect like Matt Wieters in September? He has been a disappointment, no doubt, and I've been wrong on him. The catcher learning curve has been steep with him, I'm willing to accept that mistake. But the fact remains that it's foolish for anyone to ignore a prospect of his caliber just assuming "oh, he won't make it." The ceiling was worlds higher than anyone else's; you take that chance and hey, you'll win some and you'll lose some.
andrew (yonkers, ny)
do you think the Yankees are making it to the World Series?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:22 AM)
I said in our Jan. 1 prediction game -- check the archives -- that I believe this is the year the Yankees prove that you absolutely can buy the World Series. Not much to add to that since. It's a good team.
Guess most people don't watch Wieters play. Patience will pay off big time for that guy!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:23 AM)
Well said. Learning curves are, after all, curves. There's an upside to them. And what Matt Wieters has done to disappoint this year will only help deflate his value for 2010, increasing his draft appeal.
Dave (dallas, texas)
Is BJ Upton a lost cause for the rest of this season?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:25 AM)
The scary thought is ... yes, he just might be. To give you an example of where my mindset is on Mr. Upton, I own Johan Santana in a very important keeper league of mine, one I've been in for well over a decade. I won it last year, am in the hunt for a back-to-back title. Got offered Upton for Johan "plus a little more." Quickly declined it; wasn't a second thought. Johan's a keeper to me. Upton, I've got my doubts about his finish to 2009 so I'd have needed more of an immediate impact. Probably has a lot to do with that .232 batting average and five steals in 40 games since the All-Star break.
That's not the point. The point was people were waiting expecting him to take them to a championship THIS year. That didn't happen. I agree he will be a good player, I just think you dopes got schooled, Biden style........
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:27 AM)
That begs the question, does one player -- especially a midseason pickup -- really win a league? No matter what your feelings tell you, the answer to that statistically speaking is absolutely not. I play probabilities and I'll always maximize my chances for success with several shots like Wieters, and believe me, I'll take enough shots to be up there at year's end.
what do you recommend to do w/ phillips - he's got a fractured/broken wrist and is doing okay... should i start jose lopez over him?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:28 AM)
Check out Phillips' quote in today's "Out of the Box." I just have nothing else to say about his injury other than that. I mean, I guess he's OK, but I'm also a big Jose Lopez fan. I won't be in the slightest bit shocked if Lopez is easily the more valuable. So yes, to your question.
How is the Atlanta rotation going to be going forward? I own Hanson, Hudson, and Kawakami... is it going to be a 6 man rotation?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:30 AM)
I still wonder whether if the Braves fall out of the race, they'd shut down Tommy Hanson with a week or two to go. I think there's a chance of it, but more likely, it looks like a straight five for now with Kenshin Kawakami the one being shut down early. I bet Kawakami is used as a spot-start No. 6 man as the Braves see fit, nothing more.
Phil (Phoenixville, PA)
In roto keeper leagues where draft position is determined by reverse order of finish, why should teams out of contention keep any player who is not keepable but is playing every day and thus accruing stats that will adversely affect next season's draft position? I'm thinking of guys like Hideki Matsui.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:33 AM)
A very valid point, Phil, and why I have a strong opinion on the matter, especially as a big-time keeper-league player. I've proposed for years the idea of having the draft put the top three at the bottom of the order, and then fourth place picks first, fifth second, etc. Do the best you can so that you pick higher. It never passes. I do think it's a good idea for a commish to build in some rules to prevent tanking, which is effectively the strategy that you're talking about. As the commish of my league, we have such a rule -- it's the "commish's discretion" rule where if I catch you tanking, you draw a penalty. Yes, that leaves the decisions open to my interpretation, but it also helps because then owners are a little more afraid to deliberately tank in fear they might get penalized.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:34 AM)
Oh, another tip: Performance clause -- minimum points earned over a two- or three-year span -- to determine which owners get invited back to the league. Set it low, and if you're beneath it, you can be removed. Tout Wars has a rule like this, and I love the idea. It makes you fight for every point. Much less likely you see dump trades, too.
Chad Billingsly (L.A.)
Do I show up tonight? Or does my evil twin get the start? Bottom line...are you starting me tonight?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:35 AM)
I would mostly because of your track record versus Arizona, not to mention it being a home game. That's not saying a heck of a lot, so take it for what it's worth.
Lisa G (NYC)
Will the Yankees restrict CC's innings in September, since they are a playoff lock and he's closing in on 200 IP? As a CC owner should I be concerned about this possibility?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:37 AM)
I'm going to say no, for a couple of reasons: One, with Burnett and Joba already turning into huge question marks, the last thing the Yankees need is to mess with CC's rhythm and have three of four starters going into the postseason on sour notes. Two, CC is a workhorse who probably wouldn't want to be too limited. I do think the Yankees will keep an eye on CC's workload, but it just means they won't be as desperate as the Brewers were last year, constantly starting him on three days' rest down the stretch. He'll go on regular rest, and maybe he just pitches five innings in his final start.
play off bound (CA)
I know its early in the week but I value your opinion because you may be one of the few not distracted by football.Pick 2 (weekly h2h points league)Hunter at FaustoHolland vs SeaPadilla at J SanchezWandy vs Atl (Hanson)
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:39 AM)
Hey, I play football too. We all keep our eyes on the prize in both sports, believe me. Sleep be damned! (Somewhat serious about that.) I haven't confirmed these matchups, and please do remember that I provide a Forecaster column every Friday specifically to help you with these types of questions. OK, plug over. I think I'd take Derek Holland and Wandy Rodriguez. Hunter tempts me, but I can't ignore Way-Rod's talent, and Holland's matchup is quite the favorable one.
Leo Nunez or Gutierrez? Who records more saves the rest of the year?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:39 AM)
I think it's going to be Nunez, but his recent performance really is what's answering that question.
Tristan, which outfielder do you like most over the next couple of weeks: DeJesus, Bradley, or Fukudome?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:40 AM)
I mentioned Milton Bradley's recent performance in today's "Out of the Box," and this is the exact kind of question I was talking about with it. Bradley stands out, period. He takes a lot of heat for the type of character he is, but when the guy is on, he's on. And he's on right now.
Sam (Topeka, KS)
If Sizemore is out for the season, would that increase Brantley's playing time?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:43 AM)
Part of my thinking, Sam. There is a good chance Grady Sizemore will undergo elbow surgery before season's end.
Start Max Scherzer at Chavez Ravine? Pitching duel in the works with Buzzsaw or does he get lit up?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:45 AM)
I just traded for Scherzer in LABR but it's not because I was overwhelmed by his future potential; it was a tack-on part in a bigger trade. My worries about Scherzer are somewhat fresh -- he's pitching like a pitcher wearing down, and I do think there are slight concerns the Diamondbacks might shut him down shortly before the end of the regular season. I can't pick him facing this matchup, not with those in mind.
Andy (St. Louis)
Is Alex Rios worth holding on to when OB% is a category or should I go with someone like the previously mentioned Bradley?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:46 AM)
Did you know Milton Bradley has an on-base percentage just shy of .400? Seriously. I think Rios is pretty overrated. Gotta be Bradley.
Thoughts on Daniel Hudson? Worth a flier in a dynasty league?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:49 AM)
Absolutely, though I admit I don't expect much out of him this season. Great minor league numbers, underrated talent, but the guy has pitched at four different minor league levels and now he has to adapt to the game's toughest competitive level. The first guy who comes to mind as a pitcher who made that many jumps in a year was Matt Garza, and he did take time to get adapted. You need to be patient with Hudson, but yes, he's a name you really need to familiarize yourself with.
Phil (Phoenixville, PA)
Tristan, thanks for your reply...one more thing -- I'm anti-tanking too, as a rule. But this season I took over a horrible team in a 14-team keeper league, 7 keepers per team. At least half the other teams in the league had great keepers, I had garbage. Aren't I justified in those circumstances to do everything within league rules to get my team to be competitive, including dump trades and waiving non-keepable but good players to improve my draft standing?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:51 AM)
Just because you can do it doesn't mean it's right. I'd say make your best effort to field a respectable team, even if it's one that's unlikely to finish all that high in the standings. Activating injured or minor league players is gauche. And your team's circumstances are very much the reason I think that anti-tanking rules need to be considered in keeper leagues, because what happens is teams who have rosters like yours tank, tank more and then bail, and leave the replacement owner with a bunch of garbage.
Can Matt Diaz keep this up for the rest of the year?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:52 AM)
Big Diaz fan right here, at least for what he is. He kills lefties, struggles a bit with righties, but he batted what, .400 with a 1.000 OPS in August and got regular at-bats? He could easily bat .300 the rest of the way with respectable numbers in homers, runs and RBIs.
Adam Jones....give me something!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:54 AM)
He has an ankle sprain, I'd be stunned if he plays today and it might be a Michael Young-type injury where he misses a week-plus. X-rays were negative, but I don't think this is the kind of day-to-day thing where one day off will heal it. Hard to say long term though.
I'm planning on benching Garza tonight (against the Sox). I also have Jimenez and Vazquez going. Any complaints?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:56 AM)
Not necessarily, since I did rank them three-four-five in my Daily Notes. For the record, I have no fear of Matt Garza's matchup. I might even be tempted to take him over Javier Vazquez depending on needs.
Is Nyer Morgan going to do this again next year? I might have to think about keeping him.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:57 AM)
Good player. Great player? Don't think I'm ready to say that. Morgan was playing over his head, more in terms of batting average than the speed. He's a quick fella, maybe capable of batting in the .280-.290 range, can steal 40 bases given regular at-bats. Sounds a lot like vintage Juan Pierre, right? I won't quite put him on par with Pierre's best seasons, but he's also really not far off that. If that has keeper value to you, by all means. I just tend not to keep these kinds of guys; I think they're premium draft picks.
Any Sept callups that would make a great deep keeper going into 2010?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:58 AM)
The first name that pops to mind is Tyler Flowers, the White Sox catcher. That kid can hit, and if he's catcher-eligible in 2010 we'll be talking a serious sleeper.
What's for lunch? Better keeper Ethier/Choo/Cruz. Thanks.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:59 AM)
Good question. I think I've got a calzone in store. We'll see in a few! I'd keep Andre Ethier out of these three, though that's more an admiration of his talent above the other two than anything. I just see more consistency and staying power in his long-term future.
With the play offs just around the corner, should I just drop who ever is slumping and pick up whos hot? Non keeper.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:00 PM)
It's a strategy that certainly makes more sense today than in May. But really, the only change in strategy I'd advise is not sitting around and waiting on guys with questionable roles or injuries if you desperately need that roster spot for a commodity you can use right away.
Hey I own Michael Young and Adam Jones!! Awesome!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:01 PM)
I had as many as 13 players on my DL in one league of mine, which just demonstrates that luck is a huge part of fantasy sports. Sorry to hear your misfortune, Tommy!
You never answer d the Rios Q that was asked before thanks
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:01 PM)
I did, but it's possible it didn't publish ... either way, I think that was the Rios/Bradley question? In which case, Bradley. Almost a .400 OBP, wow!
Joba Chamberlain is sitting on waivers in my league. Will he be any help for my fantasy playoffs the final two weeks of the season?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:02 PM)
Uh, no. Hate how the Yanks are using him.
So drop B. Molina and ride a wave of matchups for my C spot? The pickings are slim in my league...
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:03 PM)
"The pickings are slim" answers that question. Don't drop great players for total unknowns; the crapshoot strategy rarely ever works. It means you're counting entirely on luck and not talent. That said, I'd see if I had something else I could shed, bench Molina and play matchups until I was convinced the guy was healthy.
I feel like Kemp is not getting the hype he deserves. He has been the best player in fantasy for the past month, which not coincidentally has been when he has FINALLY been batting at the top of the order.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:03 PM)
Hype started. I'm a huge Matt Kemp fan.
My league has always have a 2 week championship round. This year, our settings got messed up and we just noticed it is scheduled for 1 week.. One of the playoff owners claims that he realized it was 1 week and planned accordingly. The rest of us didn't notice. (We have limited transactions). Should we try to make it a two week champsionship? Or leave as is?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:05 PM)
Once league rules (or settings) are locked in -- as in officially set on a site or in a written rulebook (which I have in most of my leagues) -- there is no way you can change them. Sorry, Matt, but that other owner is right. If you made plans based upon a set of rules that was effectively locked in cement in March, you ride with them and fix them during the offseason when everyone would still be on the same level when they switch.
Giuseppe (San Dimas)
Is Denard Span a keeper in a league where we keep 11?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:07 PM)
Another case of where I see him being more of a prime draft pick than I do an actual keeper, but he's also better than people give him credit. There are leagues where it makes sense, and they're usually AL-only formats and/or ones where he has a specific keeper price that's cheap.
Are your ready to annoint Kemp a first rounder? I think he's around number 5 or 6.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:08 PM)
I think I could build a rather strong case for that. Haven't done specific rankings for 2010 yet but I have a hunch he'd land in the No. 15 range for me. Nice balance in categories.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:08 PM)
OK folks, time to wrap things up for the day. Thanks for all your questions, and sorry if I didn't get to yours. Take care everyone!