Chat with Tristan Cockcroft
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Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:02 AM)
Good morning everyone! Let's get right to your questions...
Whats a reasonable final line to expect for Jose Tabata?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:04 AM)
Probably a batting average in the .280s (could range slightly lower, slightly higher, that's the one with wiggle room), 30 steals, 10-12 homers...
Better source of speculative saves, Sean Burnett, Antonio Bastardo, or ______________?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:05 AM)
Sergio Santos. Even though I know his ranking isn't anything special in "Relief Efforts," that's one pitcher in the lower tiers who could climb rapidly.
Roger (Portsmouth, NH)
Is Wandy now below the Wandy line? Who do you like better for tomorrow - McCarthy@LAA or Jurrjens@SD? Or both?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:06 AM)
Well, see, the reason I like the "Wandy Line" is that Wandy Rodriguez was a home/road streaming guy 2-3 years ago, then elevated himself above the line, and today he's looking more "streaks" than "matchups" guy. So he's above, still, albeit barely. I think if you remain patient you'll be pleased with the full-season results. As for tomorrow, Jair Jurrjens, but I'll take almost anyone facing the Padres at Petco. Dream matchup.
Tristan, What are your thoughts on Daniel Murphy as an option at 2nd ? Would you take him over Espinosa ?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:07 AM)
Oh, no, no, no, but Daniel Murphy deserves some respect. Has the bat to hang in there as a quasi-regular (sits mostly against tough lefties) and is an NL-only starter for sure.
Matt Garza vs Rockies tonight, thoughts?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:09 AM)
So-so. Deep mixed, NL-only, but that sounds like "avoid in standard ESPN/leagues with caps." The reason I liked Garza this week was a weekly-transactions basis; two-start pitcher. And like the one against Arizona more of the two.
How much would you spent on Ryan Madson in a $100 FAAB, 12 team mixed league?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:11 AM)
Really depends how serious your interest; a "winning" bid needs to be over $20 in that format, probably. You could place a mid-to-high teens bid if you're intrigued but don't want to bust the budget (and that's a perfectly respectable strategy if you don't have a pressing need for saves). On skills alone, Madson's the best in that 'pen. Period.
Brian (NY, NY)
Thoughts on Edwin Jackson's erratic start? Do you think he'll become a reliable fantasy SP?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:12 AM)
That's Edwin Jackson for you! (Sadly, that's a completely fair statement.) I lean on the word "streaky" when it comes to starting pitchers, but he's practically the definition of it.
Gallardo and Ubaldo both struggling, who turns it around quicker and who ends up with better numbers?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:13 AM)
Let's cut Ubaldo Jimenez a break; he's the one who had the DL stint and is more deserving of the mulligan. It also makes him the one I expect to rebound quicker and finish with better numbers.
Brooks (Lonely Office)
Adam Dunn: .145 batting average. Though this average is doing wonders for my fantasy team, do you think he'll be able to pick it? Preferably soon?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:14 AM)
A perfect storm of new surroundings, league switch and recovery from an appendectomy. Requires patience, and I'm not going to doubt him, not yet. Two to three weeks? We'll talk.
Colby Lewis (Arlington)
Should I take another week off to adjust to fatherhood?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:15 AM)
Hey, you never know, maybe it's a factor! Fatherhood is one of life's greatest challenges -- that is if you intend to do it right. I'd buy low on Lewis if I could.
Brandon Morrow back? I didn't get to watch it, but 10Ks in 5.1 is pretty impressive, even if he did need ~90 pitches.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:16 AM)
I'm a huge Morrow fan and am pleased that he rebounded from injury as quickly as he did. He's a contender for the K's-per-nine crown -- note I didn't say strikeouts crown if only because of the quantitative concern -- and on skills should be able to give you a low-to-mid-threes ERA (thinking 3.40 is about right).
Ed (Simi Valley, Ca.)
Hello Tristan,I play in a somewhat different than normal league - we have a roster of 23 "major league" spots and 15 "minor league" spots. The major league statistics count toward the season stats and the minor league players are reserves. The rules make it expensive to cut an underperforming major leaguer and replace hime with one of your minor leaguers, except in the case of injury. It is extremely difficult to pick up a free agent. I have Angel Pagan as my utility player - he is hurt and I get to replace him. My best options are Grady Sizemore and Alex Gordon. It's a 4x4 league with avg, HR, RBIs, and steals as the offensive categories. At this point, there is not really any one category that needs more help than another. Who would you replace Pagan with? Thanks!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:17 AM)
Sizemore, because if I'm reading this question right, you'll get an advantage in that if he gets hurt, you'll also be able to replace him fairly easily. Gordon, if he drops into a funk, you'll have to ride through it.
How you feel about Zimmerman for Crawford?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:17 AM)
I'd be all over the Carl Crawford side, but I am and have long been a true Crawford believer.
Who wins this deal? Wieters and Sandavol for Longoria?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:18 AM)
Call me crazy, but I think it's the former side. Fair offer, very fair offer. Hard to pick a side there, gut says former side.
Madson the definitive best in that pen? Maybe the best, but Bastardo has better numbers so far...
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:20 AM)
Antonio Bastardo has impressed me and is definitely worth NL-only (and very-deep mixed) consideration. At one point I felt the Phillies would lock him in as a LOOGY; Bastardo sure looks like he could emerge as a trusted full-inning setup man. Closer? That's a stretch, but hey, he might be one injury away...
Michael Cuddyer 2b eligible in many leagues now...gotta love his power potential at 2b!!!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:21 AM)
Not yet in ESPN standard but he's getting close...
What did you think of LeBlanc yesterday? With the exception of the two run inning, he looked really impressive.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:23 AM)
I won't say "he faced a lefty-laden lineup," because Ryan Howard was the only lefty Wade LeBlanc faced, but the usual Petco Park caveat applies. I've owned LeBlanc in a super-deep sim league for a while now so I know him well; he's a matchups/ballparks guy and an extreme flyballer, so always at risk to implode at a given instant. You have to be selective and even then it should be reserved to deep NL-only formats. Just not enough there for more.
How serious is Pujols's hamstring injury?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:24 AM)
Sounds like a couple-days thing, not a DL stint, but hard to tell today. Which means, unfortunately, Albert Pujols gets the Week 4 label of "frustrating health risk." Such a pain to have a guy hurt in the Sunday night game if you play in a weekly format. I'd keep him active, but that's also because in most of my leagues, he's way more valuable than the alternatives.
Any trends to maximize E-Jax? Success at home/road, does better against predominantly right handed lineups, day/night, etc....What's the perfect storm for him? Or is he just simpy that streaky that you have to stack your pitching so u can afford the stinkers?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:27 AM)
Wish I could tell you there was a specific matchups trend to exploit, but look at Edwin Jackson's career splits ... balanced against righties and lefties, nothing that stands out in terms of winning-versus-losing teams, ballparks don't stand out as something big to exploit. Sure, against a Seattle or San Diego, go for it every time, but I think E-Jax is entirely a "he's lookin' good right now so play him" type, and that's about it. (For the record, overall I am not a fan.)
I have 4 double starts among my bottom 4 SP. Which 3 starts among these 8 do you sit: Floyd (@NYY, Bal), Masterson (KC, Det), Young (@Was, @Phi), Britton (Bos, @CWS). Thanks Tristan!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:28 AM)
I'm not entirely sure I understand, sounds like you can discard three of these matchups and use all the rest? Odd format to me, but let's tackle that nonetheless: Avoid the Chris Young-at-Philly like the plague. Fresh off the DL, extreme flyballer, could be some stamina worries. I'd also avoid the Gavin Floyd-at-Yankees and Zach Britton versus Boston. Just no need to risk those.
Jon (San Diego)
Thoughts on Brad Penny going forward? Matchup play I assume?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:29 AM)
Yes, but as he's generating very few swings and misses, I'd advise extreme selectivity.
Of these closers who is the best bet to maintain value the rest of the year - Storen, Boggs, Farnsworth?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:32 AM)
How about this: All three finish as their team leaders in saves, and every one saves 20-plus games from today forward. Yeah, I firmly believe that, all three have what it takes to get the job done. Mitchell Boggs sells me with every successive outing; really warming to him. Overall pick? I want Drew Storen. Best stuff of the bunch.
BA (West Texas)
What should I do with Danks? Decent overall stats except in the crucial WIN category and the offense is horrible right now.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:33 AM)
Oh, how I loathe wins as a Rotisserie category. I'm in the camp that believes talent rises above and balances out wins; I understand it's frustrating but I see no reason to doubt John Danks' skills. I'm not trading for "proven winners," not gonna happen, not when it comes at the expense of a clearly more talented pitcher.
TC- Any reason to believe Brett Gardner will turn things around?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:34 AM)
Gardner's an excellent topic from today's podcast. A note: Advantage of hindsight now that it's already taped, I think my projection was actually a tad high (batting average specifically).
What's your two start stretegy in a points league? I have Bud Norris, Ian Kennedy and Daniel Hudson with two starts. I am thinking about starting norris and kennedy above better 1 start pitchers like CJ Wilson, Chacin, Ogando, Pineda
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:35 AM)
My experience has been that two-start pitchers -- at least the ones with a shred of talent -- dominate a weekly-lineups points league. Understand that's the perspective I have when I make this pick. Norris for sure (K potential), Hudson for sure (K potential), and since strikeouts often drive these formats, I think you need the latter three one-start guys (Chacin, Ogando, Pineda) active as well.
mike(san diego) [via mobile]
I gotta ask because I was at angels stadium Saturday night. You buying dice-k?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:36 AM)
The height of matchups appeal, and that's as far as I'll go with Dice-K right now. Which, to be fair, is a heck of a lot more respect than anyone gave him entering the season.
I recently traded Jhoulys Chacin and Edwin Jackson to a friend for Roy Halladay. The friend isn't nearly as knowledgeable about baseball as I am and a few members are accusing me of taking advantage of that. The trade seemed pretty fair to me, but I'd like an outside perspective. It's a weekly head-to-head league with no innings cap if that makes a difference.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:37 AM)
I think you won that deal, and by a substantial margin at that, but not to the point where people should be taking you to task for it. (In other words, I wouldn't veto.) But then I'm also a guy who was stunned to hear someone who was offended to be offered Jonathan Broxton for Matt Garza, and he needs saves. People have their opinions, and I'm OK with allowing them to have them.
Clark Griseold (Wally World)
One week: Carlos Pena or Casey Blake?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:38 AM)
Pena looks dreadful -- at least what I've seen of him -- so sit him.
Waiver claim that can't wait for tomorrow's 60'6"! What kind of stat line for the year do you expect from Cueto when he returns? Better or worse than guys like McClellan and Chris Young? Thanks!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:42 AM)
I'm really unsure what to think about Johnny Cueto, who for the record I stashed in a few leagues that allow extensive DLs. He has pitched horribly during his rehab, the Reds pushed him in the spring and he suffered a setback and then he endured quite a lengthy DL stint in my opinion. Before all this I had him as a breakout candidate, a go-get-him pitcher. I feel like the smart ranking is Kyle McClellan, Johnny Cueto, Chris Young, but that's also because Young has at least as much health risk as Cueto.
Brett Lawrie (Las Vegas)
What do I have to do to make it into a chat session??? Hit .400 in AAA? check. Hit 2 HRs on Friday brining my total to 4? check...it's harder to get noted in this chat than it is to get called up in TOR even with all of the injuries. How much longer do I have to wait?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:44 AM)
You've gotten a mention, Brett, congrats. Though I'll toss in that if Lawrie couldn't garner a promotion when Aaron Hill went on the DL, then the Blue Jays are in no rush to try him. (Could change midweek; I know this was a roster issue just to get Tuesday starter Jesse Litsch there.) If on Friday Lawrie isn't up, it might take until Memorial Day to happen.
I offered Rajai Davis and Ogando for Stanton. Guy needs SBs and pitching. Seem like a reasonable trade?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:46 AM)
Sure, why not? If I needed steals, Rajai Davis would be one of the top targets on my list.
Jeff (Rochester, NY)
Daniel Hudson is off to a bad start but you give him good matchup ratings this week. Is he about to show something?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:47 AM)
Give him a break, his schedule has been treacherous (two CINs, a COL and a SF). Besides, only one of Hudson's starts was dreadful. I'm willing to be patient.
Tristan I just got offered a ham sandwich for CarGo. Good deal?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:47 AM)
Oh, no, no, no. But you have to understand, I don't like ham sandwiches.
James Loney (LA)
Is there anyone you wouldn't drop me for? Am I really THIS bad?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:48 AM)
Loney is terribly overrated, I think he's at severe risk of slipping to straight-platoon status (with Jerry Sands) and if you play in a shallow mixed league, yes, I do believe you can do better. His best-case is what, .290 batting average, 15 homers? Not enough from a first baseman.
Brad (Palm Springs)
Stanton for Davis and a waiver wire pitcher (Ogando)....Sure, I'll get right on that (sarcasim).
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:49 AM)
Rajai Davis is going to steal 40 bases from this point forward. Needed to be said.
Seth (St. Louis)
Is it fair to call Danny Espinosa a poor man's Rickie Weeks at this point? Does he have Rickie Weeks upside?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:51 AM)
I suppose that's fair, that he's a "poor man's Weeks," not that he's going to match Weeks' offensive numbers. For the record, Espinosa is faster. I'd take him in a steals bet in an instant.
Is Coco Crisp a poor man's Rajai Davis?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:53 AM)
Kind of. And I say "kind of" because jeez, they might be capable of the same. Certainly the "poor man's" discount is lesser than in the Weeks-Espinosa question.
I'm in serious trouble with my pitching and need someone for this week who's a potential sleeper or someone to just help me out with getting +points rather than - . Lackey and F, Garcia, B Colon are out there and I have Ervin Santana and E Jackson who have struggled a bit. Any suggestions?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:55 AM)
John Lackey faces Seattle at home and that's a tremendous matchup. Definitely use him. Bartolo Colon, I'm feeling good there too, though keep him to deep-mixed/AL-only. I don't trust Freddy Garcia yet. Ervin Santana at Tampa, I'd rank him second (between Lackey and Colon), and no way do I want E-Jax at Yankee Stadium.
I know you said u like adam jones to maybe swipe a few bags this week, in a points league should i start him over Rios who as we know has been awful. And would u start lowrie,brian roberts, or vlad over rios in my utility spot as well for the week?Rios has 7 games and everyone else im considering has 6 and usually the first week i bench someone they go off. Your thoughts?? Thanks
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:59 AM)
I advised both Adam Jones and Brian Roberts in Forecaster and will stick by that; Alex Rios is slumping enough that I'd reserve him if I could. By the way, I never said "Jones will swipe a few bags this week"; what the Forecaster ratings do is tell you when the prospects of steals are higher. In other words, if Jones is gonna steal, now's the time. I sure could see at least one coming, and that's a good week, really (pace of 26 per year).
What is going on with Cargo????
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:01 PM)
Week-long slump. Even the best go through it, and I've stressed many times before that Carlos Gonzalez is going to be streaky. (And since a few have asked in follow-up to the ham sandwich question, I was clearly kidding. No need to sell him.)
If Matt Capps keeps pitching this way, can he lose his job? Is Gardy really going to go back to Nathan out of loyalty at some point even though Capps gets the job done?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:02 PM)
Capps has outpitched Joe Nathan since the day that camps open. It's up to Ron Gardenhire to decide how important that is. To me, that's important. It makes me believe this isn't a couple-days thing. I wouldn't be too hasty to give Capps away (or ignore him as a pickup).
You can't go a whole chat without discussing THE most disappointing player in all of fantasy.....Hanley Ramirez. Is there a light at the end of the tunnel?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:02 PM)
Has been discussed in chats past and I've said he started last year slow, too, and came back with a monster hot streak. Opinion unchanged.
Scott Baker. Bona fide or Bonafacio?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:03 PM)
Bona fide. Has the skills to be a fantasy standout; could reach the top 25 starters but I think top-40 potential is more likely.
Best case scenario for Jerry Sands?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:05 PM)
Bats .275 and hits 20 homers. When it comes to rookies, it's dangerous to dream of MVP numbers, so those seem perfectly reasonable to me as high-end projections.
Randy Wolf - Bona fide or Bonafacio?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:05 PM)
Bonifacio, but I wasn't wowed by Wolf's 2010 and saw him as a collapse candidate entering the season.
Ted Lilly - Bona Fide or Bona Fried
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:07 PM)
And this is why Ted Lilly is one of the most underrated pitchers in fantasy baseball. Two starts ago everyone was ready to believe, and after the most recent bad one, they're scared again. Which means after he dominates the Padres later this week, people will believe once more.
Allen G (The OC)
Follow up to the Capps question. If its not a couple-days thing, is it time to drop Nathan?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:09 PM)
Listen to the podcast, there's a point to be made about the answer "depends the format." In most of my leagues there is no way I would drop Joe Nathan, who on May 31 could be notching the save for the Twins. In an ESPN standard or shallow-mixed with short benches? You have to consider it. You cannot sit around and wait on what might be if it's unlikely to be in the next 2-3 weeks. And I do not think it will be in the next 2-3 weeks for Nathan. He's further away than that.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:10 PM)
OK, time to wrap things up for the day. Thanks for all your questions, and sorry if I couldn't get to yours. Good luck to everyone in your matchups this week! Take care...