Chat with Tristan Cockcroft
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Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:01 AM)
Good morning everyone! Let's get right to your questions...
Jack Burton (Atlanta, GA)
What's your thoughts on Michael Cuddyer gaining 2b eligibility, and where would you rank him amongst 2b? Would top 8 be out of the question?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:03 AM)
I want to start off the chat just with a general-valuation comment: I look at players' rankings and potential as sort of tiers and probabilities. After all, this is a game of probabilities, not certainties, right? You've got a ceiling, a realistic expectation and a basement, and then, of course, the outrageous extremes on either side where you'd be positively floored. And let's say ... it's about a 60-percent chance the player will meet the realistic expectation, less than 5 percent of the "shocking" extremes, and about 15 percent that the player reaches his ceiling or basement. I really think people should be looking at players more like that than, "Oh, he's going to do this."
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:04 AM)
At any rate: Cuddyer. What I said illustrates the point, yes, he can be top-8 at the position, his ceiling is there. It's big news. But realistically speaking, he's still going to rank around 12th for me at second base, just because I think he's not quite what he's been at his career peak. Good, not great.
Adrian Gonzalez and Mark Reynolds or Cliff Lee and Panda. What side do you want?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:05 AM)
Back to the shorter answers and less philosophizing! Adrian the best player in the deal, but I like the stability of the other half. It's an "if you need the pitching, I'd do it" answer. But I don't trust Reynolds.
Brandon Morrow had an impressive first start - but do you start him today at Texas?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:06 AM)
It depends upon the importance of strikeouts in your league. Set the bar at 5 IP, 8 K's for every one of his starts, no matter how scary the matchup. If it's a points league, that's probably a must-start every time (sure is in my big points-based league). But for the most part, I've advised caution in shallow mixed Roto. Could be 5 IP and 6 H's, 4 ER, to go along with the K's.
Starlin Castro (CHC)
Am I a top 5 SS at years end?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:07 AM)
Didn't I sing your praises enough yesterday?
Are you voting Pedro Alvarez to free agency or riding him through another of his signature slow starts?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:08 AM)
All in the league format; I continue to stress that in shallow mixed and ESPN standard, you cannot afford to be too patient, and Alvarez is and always has been in that group where I say a decision needs to be made more quickly. But I'll throw this out in defense of the kid, because I like him and still believe (for the most part): He did start his rookie year comparably slowly, then exploded, and I've seen some hints of his waking up in the past few days. I'd give him another week.
TJ (Los Angeles, CA)
I'm betting I'm not the only one with this question (though I'll phrase it more diplomatically than most): Francisco Liriano...time to cut bait?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:10 AM)
You might be surprised by this: I'm more anti-Liriano than I am anti-Alvarez, but keep in mind owners of either player have a legitimate gripe about their performances. I'm wondering whether all the early-preseason comments about Liriano taking a lax approach to his offseason conditioning were truly legitimate. He doesn't look close to his 2010 form, so you'll have to be plenty patient if you're expecting much from him.
Who would you rather have as a LF, A. Gordon or L. Morrison?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:11 AM)
Logan Morrison has impressed me; beginning to convert his swing more for driving the ball (meaning more power). DL or not, I'm picking him, and I stand behind my comment that now is the time to buy.
What do you think of Adam Lind? He's batting .400 v. lefties and has 9rbis in his last 5 games.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:11 AM)
Promising development but "small sample size" is a reasonable counterargument. I need to see more.
John (Denver, CO)
Fill in the blanks- _______ will lead the Phillies with ____ saves.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:12 AM)
No, John, I'm breaking your rules! (Ha.) Check out "Relief Efforts" today; some deeper Ryan Madson info there, but in no way would I be surprised if he thrives in the role, holds it and saves 30. So he's going to fill these blanks, and pressed to answer, I'm saying, Madson and 18.
Closer Help (DC)
When is Riggleman gonna hand the job to Storen permanently?Would you rather own him or Axford?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:14 AM)
Certainly after Sean Burnett had another ugly outing, wouldn't you think? I think it's time, and I do have Storen now ranked higher of the two.
Who are your top streaming candidates today? I'm behind on wins and strikeouts and already losing in Ls (H2H).
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:15 AM)
Brad Penny (vs. SEA) is the only one that stands out to me, but I'll point out that I'm tempted on Ryan Vogelsong (@PIT), at least if it's a deeper league (NL-only, primarily).
Hey Tristan, did I screw up?! I'm a Sox fan, and kept Youk and Pedroia...then, picked up Lowrie off the wire...then "bought low" on Crawford. Too much?????
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:16 AM)
No, not necessarily. Hey, if they were so cold the first week of the season, doesn't that mean there has to be a ridiculously hot week for the entire group later in the year, to balance it out? (I know, I know, that's not how it works, but it'd be nice.) I'm confident; you'll be plenty pleased with their numbers come year's end. All four of 'em.
Hey Tristan, it's my first year in a points league and I'm still figuring things out, is there any reason to roster closers over starters?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:18 AM)
In my experience the point of rostering closers is so that on the days where you lack enough good starting-pitching matchups, you've got a ready-made fill-in for every roster spot. I try to never waste a roster spot on a pitcher I know won't work that given day, and if it's a league with a starts (not innings) cap, closers are plenty valuable.
Bryan (on a conference call)
Hey Tristan,Please tell me Francisco Liriano is going to bounce back. Is he injured or just bad luck going on here?Thanks.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:19 AM)
It's beating the Liriano topic to death, but poor command, somewhat diminished velocity and a less effective slider. That's what I see, and that's not an overnight fix.
Ryan (Hanover, PA)
Would you drop C.Santana for Avila?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:20 AM)
No way. I might have said Geovany Soto, sure, in a standard ESPN league where Soto might very well hang around on the waiver wire until he begins to heat up, but no way I'll endorse cutting Carlos Santana. His ceiling is absurd.
To EJax or not to EJax? Not loving the matchup.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:21 AM)
Neither am I, nor am I loving Edwin Jackson on a raw-talent basis, either. He battles CC, so he'll need to be almost perfect to win. And frankly, I wonder whether they'll even get this game in; there's a nasty thunderstorm just rolling into the area now and rain was expected for a lot of the day.
Bob (Chino Hills)
Speaking of Liriano, what about Gallardo?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:23 AM)
Good follow-up and had the Yovani Gallardo discussion with a buddy of mine just yesterday (during his ugly portion of that outing). I've been saying all calendar year that what bothered me about Gallardo was that he hasn't quite shown he can be durable enough to handle 35 starts and/or 200-plus innings in a full year. Seems to fade after the All-Star break, for one thing. So that's why the slump bothers me, but he has a history of starting strong and has shown glimpses of greatness at times this year (spring and regular season, albeit not terribly often). I'm giving him a break of these two; I'd be a little more patient.
With the slow start of Matt Latos, do you believe he is a buy low and do you think Agondo would be a good offer for him?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:25 AM)
I do think Latos is a buy-low; a guy fresh off the DL deserves a bit more patience. And in fact, I kind of feel I'd be a little insulted if someone offered me merely Alexi Ogando for Latos. But I wrote in "60 Feet 6 Inches" why I doubt Ogando's staying power, and why I think he's an ideal sell-high. So maybe I'm just an extreme opinion.
Is Brett Garnder a .250 hitter from here on out?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:26 AM)
Fair bar to set from today through season's end, I'd say. But does that excite you? It makes him a one-category fantasy performer, period.
Rajai didn't make your top 125 yesterday, do you see his ankle problem lingering?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:27 AM)
Actually I love Rajai Davis, but even at his best, he's what, Michael Bourn/Juan Pierre material (so a ranking around there is his ceiling)? The only reason I'm hesitant in the column is I'd like to see some positive signs that the injury won't linger first. Buy low, but with caution.
thoughts on Colon, can he keep it up?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:30 AM)
If "it" is a viable full-season starter with AL-only and deep-mixed (read: matchups/streaks) value, then yes, he can. But he won't stick to this current full-year pace, obviously. Very impressive job rejuvenating his career. Everything I've seen of Colon has him being maybe what, 80 percent of his former Cy Young-capable self? Believe (to a point).
Kathleen (Louisville, KY)
What's going on with Uggla and should those of us who spent a lot to get him in the draft try to trade him away or remain faithful and bench him while he's ice cold?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:31 AM)
I might have mentioned this in a past chat, but a quick look at Dan Uggla's numbers tells me that he appears to be pressing. Swinging at more pitches outside the zone, walking less often. Maybe trying to make a big first impression on the Braves? So I'd be patient.
RE: Tonite's weather in NYC. Partly clear skies outside right now -- latest National Weather Service advisory has a severe thunderstorm warning until 4 PM
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:32 AM)
Sounds about right. Definitely thunderstorms on the way.
who would you take at this point in the season: andre ethier or drew stubbs?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:34 AM)
Stubbs, you're proving me wrong, though I did think he'd maintain value ... just not explode with fantasy-stud stats. It's close, but I do believe I had (and I know I still would today) have Ethier higher.
Torii Hunter at #56 in Hit Parade... HOW??
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:36 AM)
What, too low? Too high? Seemed fair to me. He's on pace for 26 homers, 78 RBIs, which sounds about right, and his BABIP is low which explains (somewhat) the batting average.
Is it worth holding on to Sean Burnett in a 10 team mixed league? Or should I use that roster spot to stream pitchers?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:36 AM)
Is Daniel Hudson a good buy-low candidate???
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:38 AM)
Definitely. His command numbers are fabulous -- more than a K per nine, and 2.67 K's per walk -- and the line-drive rate (over 20 percent) should stabilize with time. Hudson was due to regress from his amazing 2010 numbers, but not this much, not with his skills. Buy now!
Colon - buying to a point = what expected stats from here on out? Where do you see him winding up?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:39 AM)
Feels like a 14-win, 4.00-ERA type to me.
What's the chances of Bernadina sticking with the Nats? If he does, what kind of line to you see him producing?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:40 AM)
I don't think he should've been demoted in the first place, but that's just my opinion. Expect him to be a well-used part-timer, potential regular if he starts hot, and the kind of player who could bat .270 and steal you 20-25 bases with as many as 10 homers. In other words, go get him in NL-only formats!
Sean (Madison, WI)
Is there much difference between where you have Garza ranked at 30 or the 20th pitcher in your 60 ft 6 inches column?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:42 AM)
Check out Matthew's "Wandy Line" column, because I think he makes an excellent point about starting-pitcher valuation. I look at my weekly rankings and once I get to about 25th, pitchers seem to become a little less "special" to me. Wandy Line for me: Around the 30th starter, maybe 35th or so. Really, I only rely on about three starters on my roster as surefire "every-week" guys. Matt Garza's in that group.
Any reason to hang on to Matt Thornton is a shallow league?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:42 AM)
Tim (St. Louis)
True or False: Ike Davis should be starting daily in a Standard mix league.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:42 AM)
How long go you wait on Gordon Beckham in a 10-team mixed?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:44 AM)
Check your bench, what's there? Do you need it? Can Beckham sit stashed there? If you answered, "Guys I like more," "Yes" and "No," then it's cut time. All plays directly into my point about an inability to remain patient with players beneath a certain cutoff in shallow mixed. And that's about 150th overall in the preseason ranks, which isn't far beneath where Beckham was listed.
Why no love for Maicer Izturis? High batting average and qualifies at 3 positions, yet still not in your top 125?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:45 AM)
I don't see elite upside in any one primary Rotisserie category. Good in batting average -- think .280 -- can chip in double-digit steals but not an elite total, and the rest of the package is so-so. He's not far outside the top 125, though.
My league uses QS's instead of wins. This has to be a much better format right?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:46 AM)
I'm not going to bust on people who believe wins is an important Rotisserie category. They're entitled to their opinion. I simply disagree with them.
JP (Utah )
Are you going the healthy salad today or maybe something with a little more taste like Chicken Parm. Also can you talk about Buchholz and his struggles to begin the year.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:49 AM)
I'll have to do a little searching for chicken parm today, but man, the mere mention of it has me developing a craving. Good call. As for Clay Buchholz, I think it's partly a product of a poor first-few-weeks schedule, partly a matter of location (too many pitches up). His past two outings represented improvements, so I'm encouraged, but I'd like to have been more encouraged. Still saying maybe 13 wins, 3.50 ERA from today forward.
Explain sixtyfeet rankings again, are they weekly draft postions as if the season were just starting ?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:49 AM)
The object of those rankings is that if you sat down to draft your fantasy team today, and then played out the season from today on, that is the order I think you should select your starting pitchers.
I just bought low on Lilly. He looked so good the second half last year! You think he turns it around? He's got a pretty tasty schedule ahead of him!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:50 AM)
Seems like every time anyone has ever doubted Ted Lilly the past half-decade, he has rebounded to prove them terribly, terribly wrong. I think that was a good idea, if you were comfortable with the cost.
Jason (San Diego)
Hunter at 56 is 2 high!!! Padilla over/under 10 saves. Also your thoughts on Tomlin and Lohse. Thanks.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:52 AM)
It's 56th hitter remember. What's that, 75-80 overall? Seems fair to me. I expect good things. Vicente Padilla: Over, but I think Jonathan Broxton looks so ordinary now, and Hong-Chih Kuo has a checkered health history. It's not way over though. And more of a believer in Kyle Lohse of the last two. Back to being a must-start at home, and while he's hot, stick with him even on the road. There'll be a time you need to be picky.
james (san fran)
Is brett wallace for real
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:54 AM)
As a viable big leaguer, yes. But I'm not a believer a breakout is coming. For one, his defense has been subpar and if he's really focusing on making more consistent contact, well, where's the power? Isn't that why we wanted him in the first place? NL-only option, never achieves higher (this year).
how long will sam fuld's hot streak last?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:55 AM)
I just told the same buddy I had the Gallardo discussion with that I see Fuld's upside/ceiling being Brett Gardner's 2010. Fuld can walk and he's speedy, so the comparison seems to fit. I wouldn't sell too quickly...
David (Cottage Grove)
do you play Sim, and whats the easiest way to play? really want to play but dont know where to begin?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:56 AM)
I play Diamond Mind and love it, so check it out if you're interested. The reason I love sim: It makes you thinking about so many more important factors of baseball, not merely five Rotisserie categories. And those factors can often have subtle impacts on Roto (as we all know).
Bob (Buffet Line)
What do you think of Pineda's start for a 10 team standard roto league?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:57 AM)
Another guy I buy as a legit big leaguer but I'm not convinced can keep up the pace, especially not when the second trip around the league arrives. Incidentally, that breakdown of pitchers making their second trips through ... it's coming.
Justin Smoak (Seattle)
Can I go .280, 25 HR, 75 RBI, 70R?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:58 AM)
He's drawing walks and driving the ball with authority (finally). It very well might happen.
David Murphy or Brett Gardner in a points league?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:59 AM)
Gardner, and I'm not even a big fan, especially not in points leagues. Playing time (long-term) is a factor here.
Bob (Buffet Line)
So you sending Pineda out there today since it his first time seeing the Tigers?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:59 AM)
BIll- read the question please! (Philly)
David Wright and Bautista? Isnt it ok to say Bautista is not a fluke now? Who would you rather have disregarding wrights steals? If bautista had more of a history I feel he would be regarded as a top 10 hitter
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:01 PM)
But you can't just discard Wright's steals, that's not how it works. You're skewing the question to get the answer you desire. I'm taking the opportunity, though, to say that Jose Bautista is absolutely legit. Though I've had discussions about Bautista with countless people since the late part of last year, and with every one it's been the same: Health is the only thing to sweat, because his injury history is a slight worry. I said 35 homers for Bautista in the preseason. And I might be undershooting with that number, apparently.
Ryan Franklin - cut him in a 12 team, 5x5 roto non-keeper league?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:02 PM)
Yes. His upside even in the closer role isn't great enough to justify burning a valuable bench spot (unless that's an uber-deep bench).
Aarsma looks horrible in his rehab outings. Is he going to immediately get the closer job back from League?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:03 PM)
I don't think he should nor have I ever thought he should, and merely passed along the previous reports that the Mariners fully intended to reinstall David Aardsma as their closer once he was healthy. I think they're going to shy from that strategy now, and am happy about it, because Brandon League is every bit as talented an option.
Neit (Orlando, FL)
Any chance Jason Motte closes for St. Louis this year?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:04 PM)
Sure. That late-inning setup corps has been a mess. I'm a Mitchell Boggs believer, but you must be mindful of developments in that bullpen. Heck, even Eduardo Sanchez has sleeper potential. (And I'd argue perhaps more than Motte.)
You believe in Fuld, but trading him for Bruce is smart, no?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:04 PM)
It's highway robbery.
Ellsbury will finish with _____ steals
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:05 PM)
I'm saying 51. Plus 18 home runs. Love Jacoby Ellsbury, always have.
Smoak over Hafner?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:05 PM)
Yes. A lot of that is my believe in staying power, which I believe Justin Smoak has more of.
I know people scoff at Padilla as closer, but I look at the guy, and think this guy has the stuff to close (or warden a maximum security prison). Your nod to an over of 10 saves for the guy is the first anyalyst thinking he might stick around. Why Can't Padilla move into the role as closer?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:07 PM)
Wow, I'm really the first? Hey, I get it, it's easy for everyone to doubt him. But he's been fine for three outings, and I remember that on the day he signed, the comment was made they would look at him as a late-inning option. His stuff isn't a terrible fit to close, and there is an opportunity now. Check out "Relief Efforts"; I think I have a pretty fair assessment of the Dodgers' bullpen.
18HR for ELLSBURY?!! Really? his previous high is like 9 isnt it?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:08 PM)
I'm being bold. I've always believed Ellsbury was capable of hitting for power in the teens. He is not a slap-hitting, leg-out-infield-grounders kind of guy. He can put a charge in the ball.
Drew Toler (Martinsville)
LoMo got dropped My team going going gomes is anchored by a slumping Johnny Gomes.... Is the gravy train over, do i pick up LoMo?\
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:08 PM)
I wouldn't hesitate to replace Gomes with Logan Morrison. Hurry!
Is there any way you would consider starting N Figueroa today vs ST in a standard 10 team nl only roto league?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:10 PM)
No. Unimpressed by his performance to date, his command was shaky at best his last time out and he will unquestionably be outpitched by the opposing starter, Kyle McClellan.
What do you think about Jonathan Lucroy's start? Obviously, he won't hit for this avg forever, but what are reasonable expectations?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:10 PM)
I think he could hit in the .275 range, belt 10 homers, and there'll be some NL-only value in that.
How big is a deep mixed league?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:11 PM)
Usually 15 or more teams or very extensive lineups and benches (standard Roto or larger lineups and 8-10 man benches). The kind of league where at least 450 players are being rostered at any given time.
Any reason to be concerned about Clayton Kershaw (12 ER over his last 3 starts, with a diminished K/9)?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:12 PM)
Not in the slightest. Looked brilliant in his early turns and this could be a mere, dreaded "dead-arm period" that presents the only buy-low -- or buy-at-all -- opportunity you'll have with him all year.
Are you in any 20 team leagues? If not, what are you afraid of? 10/12 team leagues are for amateurs.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:14 PM)
I play in two 13-team NL-only experts leagues with four- and six-man benches, one of those not allowing you to ever reserve (only cut) an active players, so you can be sure I'd be happy to play in as deep a league as you wish. I play in a 30-team sim league with 43-man rosters where you keep 25 men a season. You read that right, the entire league keeps 750 players per year, and then has a few winter drafts. Also have an 18-team mixed league with a six-man bench. And another AL- and another NL-only league. I like deep leagues.
Do you view Liriaino as a buy low?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:15 PM)
Beating the Liriano topic to death, I can make a case for it, but the price would need to be low and the league format flexible enough for me to treat him as a stash-and-watch. It's like I'm saying he's an "AL-only league buy low." Standard mixed? Nah.
Will Anabal Sanchez remain a top 40 starter ?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:16 PM)
I paid a lot for this ticket on the Anibal Sanchez bandwagon, and I'm not about to get off. The cookies are delicious, you should hop on and try 'em.
I always think it's nice that you go over an hour. I definitely look forward to your chats. Don't you normally do two a week?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:18 PM)
I know it sounds like I'm buttering the readers up by saying this, but I wish I could chat for well over an hour every day. It's a part of the job I truly enjoy and wish I had even more time to do it. It's the truth. And yes, I chat twice (right now): Mondays and Thursdays at 11 a.m. ET. Monday's is primarily set that way so that I can help you with the last-minute lineup stuff.
What are your thoughts on Justin Masterson? Would you drop R Dempster for him at this point in the season?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:19 PM)
See, that's a tough one, because the blanket response is, no, I still believe Ryan Dempster is the one who will have better stats from today through season's end. Some formats will justify this move; but I think Masterson still has the same weaknesses he always have and I'll stress "caution" with him until I'm blue in the face.
What is the minimum number of AB and starts/IP (for batters and pitchers) to make a statistically reliable sample size?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:21 PM)
Kal, that's an excellent question, and I can't possibly give you a be-all and end-all answer. My personal opinion is that I'd like to see about 100 at-bats and maybe 5-7 starts before I'd begin to take a player's numbers terribly seriously (though I will with less if I see something interesting). And even then I'm probably going to migrate much more quickly to peripherals than the standard stats. Peripherals speak volumes.
Tommy Hanson, 31 k's in his last 26 IP. Where do you see him ranked at the end of the season among pitchers?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:22 PM)
Said 10th in preseason, have hedged to the point where he's gotten near 20th in recent "60F6I" rankings, still feel 10th overall is within his reach. Burgeoning ace, could get there, probably just misses and next year he challenges for top-5.
So caution with Masterson, same thing with Lohse right? Or does he own his 2008 skills?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:23 PM)
Their skills say they have always been matchups candidates in the past, but excellent ones if you pick and choose properly. Justin Masterson: Groundballer who lacks an elite pitch against lefties. Avoid the lefty-lumber lineups. (In other words, no way in a Yankee Stadium start.) Kyle Lohse is a bit of a ballpark product, great at Busch Stadium. So those are the things to exploit most often.
Ryan Roberts, is he for real?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:25 PM)
You know, he just might be. Not a fantasy stud, but certainly ownable. Look at the minor league track record: Double-digit power and speed ability, can hit for a decent average (.280 or so). He has a place in most leagues.
What are you thoughts on Alex White? He is being called up to pitch Saturday against DET.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:27 PM)
Jason Grey is going to be profiling White very soon and I'm excited to read his scouting report; I advise you do too because I'm sure he has seem him first-hand, whereas I have not (yet). But with the information I have, he's a bit of a groundballer who isn't overpowering, and I've heard Jake Westbrook (the good-years Westbrook) comparisons in the past. And if you know me, you know I love that kind of prospect (Zach Britton!). So I buy. Add if you can, and monitor closely.
Mike (San Diego)
Too early to start benching Hanley? You always say "ride the streak" and this streak makes me think he should ride the pine.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:29 PM)
The reason I always laugh on the podcast after that drop is that I had no idea I had actually used the word "streak" that often. But I believe in exploiting streaks; you have to in order to win at this game. And my streaks strategy, yes, does include benching the struggling megastud if I have a viable, valuable alternative (which most don't at shortstop). I completely endorse people benching a good player for a short-term, better-performing plug-in.
Why is Grady Sizemore ranked so low in Hit Parade? Is it just injury concerns and small sample size?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:30 PM)
It's 100 percent related to injury risk.
Please I've been trying to get clarity all week, you gotta help a brotha out, selling high on Chipper Jones would net me which first baseman?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:32 PM)
I would offer Billy Butler's owner Jones straight up, and keep my fingers crossed it'd work.
If you plan on punting saves how many of the other ctegories do you need to be at or near the top of in order to compete?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:34 PM)
Don't "compete." WIN. You want to win. There's a definitive difference. If you're punting, the math says you need to be competitive in practically every other category (8-plus in a 10-team league), and probably win at least three of them.
I'm in a league with Holds- how the heck can you find good set up guys?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:35 PM)
Our Closer Chart is updated constantly, and the players listed as next in line are usually excellent bets to score holds for you.
How much is Lowrie held back in your rankings by lack of promised playing time? In other words, if he was named the everyday starter, would he leap frog my other 2B options Kendrick and M. Young?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:36 PM)
I get what you're asking, if I knew Jed Lowrie was going to play every day -- think 150-plus games where he starts and finishes -- where would I rank him? Certainly he'd be top-10, the upside is that great. Not Howard Kendrick great, but Michael Young, yeah, that's a fair bar to set.
Mike (San Diego)
I've always thought puniting saves was kind of silly. It's very easy to find saves on the waiver wire in most leagues. That's why the closer carousel exists.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:38 PM)
For the record, the owner who is punting saves does scoop up closers off the waiver wire constantly ... and then promptly trades those closers to other teams to further bolster the other categories. There is no debate in what I believe is true "punting" -- you attempt to score zero saves and trade every single resource in the category in order to utterly destroy your competition in every one of the other nine. If you're not doing that you're doing it wrong and shouldn't have tried it.
Joe Nathan (Minnesota)
When do you see me closing again?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:39 PM)
Not within the next three weeks, and the over/under in my opinion must be set at Memorial Day. (I'm picking later than that.)
after you offer what you think is a fair deal and the other owner replies with a snarky remark. Do you ussually like to zing them back on why the trade is fair or shrug it off
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:40 PM)
It depends on the deal, what was said and how well you know the other owner. I tend to remain quiet unless it's a close friend of mine and I think it can inspire an interesting and/or humorous debate.
I offered Geo Soto for Billingsley to a guy who's been burning through the WW looking for a catcher he likes enough to keep. I have Russell Martin. He acted insulted, but I countered his "Really, with a .227 BA?" with "Billingsley currently has a 4.46 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP." I figure they're both underperforming and due to get better. Was it that bad an offer??
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:42 PM)
Well, it's not a good offer, and to be fair to Chad Billingsley, his ERA/WHIP have been partly painted by the fact he had one terrible outing. Geovany Soto, meanwhile, has been consistently awful so far. But this sort of ties into the previous question, and I do think people tend to get way too defensive about trade offers and evaluation. Relax, folks, it's a game, it's not like a trade offer is the effective equivalent of a personal attack. I just think getting testy about it kind of kills any chance of a back-and-forth; I don't go back to the people who give me a hard time because they didn't love my initial offer.
I have witnessed owners trying to punt saves, and their "add closers to trade" attempts rarely work as since they are punting saves, the 30 or so closers are spread out amongst one less team. Think 9 teams going after the closers rather than 10. It just seems to me that in a shallow league, owners really aren't going to give up much for a newly named closer, as they usually already have viable alternatives. Just my $0.02.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:44 PM)
Well, it's a broad answer to a question that could require 3,000 words to detail. I'm not endorsing a "punter" to pick up Vicente Padilla and at 3 p.m. today offer him to someone else for a great player. Let's take Matt Capps as an ideal example; if I'm the "punter" I'd have raced to scoop him up when he was anointed the closer, and now would be a brilliant time to try to pawn him off. It's all in the timing.
Michael Young (Texas)
Saying that Howard Kendrick is better then me? Are you kidding? I am hoping that was sarcasm? Have you looked at my BA this year and every year for that matter? I am a top 5 3B/2B EVERY year and a must start option! What the - - - - has Kendrick done? Are you for real? With that comment you seriously have zero credibility. Print this and respond- or keep answering soft balls.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:46 PM)
For the record, Howie Kendrick is currently higher on our Player Rater than Michael Young. Yes, it's picking and choosing stats. But it's a valid point nevertheless, and I'm entitled to my opinion of the two.
Doug (St Louie)
Perfect follow up to Kyle McClellan......Drop him for Cueto or Baker? Out of those 3 pick 2..
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:47 PM)
Johnny Cueto has dropped to "he's gotta prove himself to me all over again" status. He's the one left out.
IMHO the only bad trade offer is an offer that was never made. As I see it any offer, good or bad, is a chance to talk with the other owner and see where he stands about players on his roster and yours. This strategy seems to work fairly well. Do you agree?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:49 PM)
Yes, yes, yes. But please, I'd urge that you don't waste my time interpreting this as, "Oooooh, let's offer Gustavo Molina to Tristan for Matt Kemp, because he just said that all trades are fair to propose!" At least be intelligent about it; deliberately making a trade you know has zero chance of happening just wastes 30 seconds for the other person clicking "no thanks," and I just respect others' time.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:50 PM)
OK, time to wrap things up for the day, lunch calls! Thanks for all your questions, fun day as always, and best of luck to you with your matchups the rest of the week. Take care everyone!