Chat with Tristan Cockcroft
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Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:01 AM)
Good morning everyone! Let's get right to your questions...
Do I start Bedard tonight in his first appearance with the Red Sox?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:03 AM)
Oh, no, no, don't do that. As bad as Erik Bedard looked in his return outing from the DL? I need some evidence he's 100 percent and ready to go. Even if he does something OK, like 6-and-3 (quality start minimums), just chalk it up to, "evaluation start a success, maybe next time." It's too risky right now. Interesting note about that game, though: I'm curious to see how Justin Masterson, one of 2011's greatest surprises, fares in a return to Boston. He still doesn't have a lights-out pitch against lefties, and the Sox have Jacoby Ellsbury, Adrian Gonzalez and David Ortiz. I'd probably avoid both starters if I could.
Would you trade McCann for Morrow? I feel like it isn't equal value, but I could get 3 good matchup starts from Morrow before McCann is even eligible to come back. I have Napoli raking so I'm not missing on production.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:05 AM)
The one concern I'd have is that Brian McCann might return when eligible on Aug. 12, so that's only one more week's missed time. That's the reason I ranked him as generously as I did, because he's an excellent catcher, that's not the easiest position to fill and I'm confident about his rehabilitation. This isn't a bad trade for you, however, if you want to purge yourself of the risk. Considering your backup, it probably makes sense.
Misty (Cerulean City)
Time to drop Edwin Jackson? I was expecting better from him in the NL.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:06 AM)
So was I. Apparently the Edwin Jackson I've always witnessed and never really liked has come to St. Louis to roost. I guess I blew that one, though I'll also be fair here: The Brewers represent one of the toughest matchups in the NL. I'm thinking that outing only means a high-single-digit drop in the next "60 Feet 6 Inches," but it has me worried.
Larry D. (WV)
You starting Niemann tomorrow??? Value ROS???
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:08 AM)
Yes. An Oakland matchup at home? Absolutely. I still see Jeff Niemann's long-term, rest-of-year fantasy potential as matchups/streak stuff, but the way he has pitched lately it'd be hard to yank him from a lineup. Streak: Hot. Enjoy.
Do you think Dez Bryant will have a better year than Dwayne Bowe?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:10 AM)
Yes, but I'm also the guy who pointed out -- pretty sure it's in our sleepers column -- that 150 of Bowe's 2010 points, which was like 75 percent of his season total, came in only six games. He's amazingly inconsistent, and I think his quarterback, Matt Cassel, was a mirage. To me, Bowe's in that WR2/3 cutoff range. Good enough to start, but not excellent enough to get excited about early.
Stephen (Los Angeles)
Okay no Bedard tonight, but how about Lester vs. NY tomorrow? I know you say to never sit studs, but did you see them last night?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:11 AM)
Gavin Floyd is no Jon Lester. Have no fear.By the way, has anyone noticed the degree to which the Red Sox have dominated the Yankees this season? Take a look, just for some fun.
Who's an end of the draft sleeper most likely to pull a LeGarrette Blount this year?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:12 AM)
Maybe it's Roy Helu. I pick him deliberately to fit the comparison, because it's not like we regarded the Bucs' backfield as especially stout entering 2010, either. The comparison you're looking for is potential opportunity, and that's the main reason I'd look at Helu late.
Not Getting It (Here)
Tristan, in these chats, I keep seeing analysts agreeing with comments like "Justin Heyward-droppable at this point?" But I look at the Hit Parade and see Heyward still listed as a top 100 bat. Seems to me that would indicate such a player is a must-own, right?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:16 AM)
It's a fair point, but you also need to understand the wide variety of league formats, and the fact that many of the questions being asked in the chat are related to our standard game, which is a 10-team mixed league. In that, there are 13 active hitters on a team at any given time, plus three bench spots (which are precious, in my estimation). So that's 130 active hitters in a standard league at any given time, and I rank 125 in "Hit Parade." I'd say a guy barely in the top 100, at this point, isn't close to a "must-own."Fact is, I generally regard the top 60 or so in "Hit Parade" as the standard guideline for ESPN standard. The purpose, to me, of the remaining 65 ranked spots is to appeal to the deeper leagues, where those players' values are more variable.
Jeff S. (Vermont)
Why is it that when a guy like Jermichael Finley gets hurt, their draft position increases or stays the same from the year prior? I mean, I'm a Packer fan and all, I know their offense is explosive, and I know his skills are amazing, its just annoying to see him go so high, after not playing nearly at all in 2010.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:18 AM)
I'd agree that there's an unreal amount of buzz surrounding Jermichael Finley right now. I'm on that bandwagon ... but I posted your question because the point is valid, that us Finley fans need to keep our expectations in check. He's 54th in ADP so far, and I'd be careful to grab him too many spots sooner than that (think 45th or so, tops).
Kipnis hit another HR! is this just a case of a a lack of scouting report (yet), or is there legitimate sleeper potential here?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:19 AM)
There is legitimate sleeper potential here. Every rookie should be approached with a degree of caution, but I've always regarded Kipnis as a .280-15 (upside to 20 homers), 10-steal capable player over a full season. From a second baseman, that's darned good, and I'd sure take the chance.
Jim (Miami Beach)
Hi Tristan - think we'll see Banuelos before year end? Deep league, and a nice Sept-call-up for a good team would make a big impact.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:20 AM)
Perhaps as an extra bullpen arm or a one-spot-start guy in September to give vets rest or line them up for the postseason, but in terms of meaningful fantasy performance, you're rooting for catastrophic injury to the Yankee rotation.
Joe (Ann Arbor)
Is Zobrist and Hanrahan too much to give up for Cliff Lee in a keeper league?...Lee IS ranked 4 in 60'6"
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:21 AM)
Tough call between my Braves to decide which one is my last keeper. Would you keep Hanson, Heyward, Uggla, or Freeman? Thanks!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:21 AM)
Don't know the context of your league -- that being your hitter/pitcher balance -- but I can say that Tommy Hanson is most likely to top my personal rankings for 2012.
Jesus Guzman or Helton, ROS? What do you expect from Guzman ROS?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:24 AM)
Tough to nail that down to one, because I see Guzman being a strong road play, Todd Helton a strong home play, and if I'm nailing down projections, I'd say Guzman's a .285-7 kind of performer, Helton more like .295-3, and that's awfully close. It's probably still Todd Helton for me since I'm assuming this is a first base discussion; the appeal with Guzman is that he's shortstop-eligible in ESPN leagues, and that's why I like him as a sleeper there.
I know his first matchup off the DL is a tough one at Philly, but will J. Sanchez be better down the stretch than Liriano? Worth the pickup?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:25 AM)
Gut says Jonathan Sanchez is going to have the stronger finish of the two, but I don't trust Francisco Liriano at all. I'd avoid the Philly matchup for sure. Evaluation outing, period.
Clayton Kershaw (City of Angels)
Shouldn't I be a little higher than #8 in the SP rankings?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:27 AM)
We as a whole -- fantasy baseball owners I mean -- are notorious for splitting hairs on rankings. Look at my top eight: They're all fantastic, so I think Kershaw's rank is a positive, not negative. The one guy ahead of him I think could most be questioned is Felix Hernandez, but with his skill set in that ballpark, I'm not going to doubt him.
I know you outlined Chapman in your relief efforts. What type of value will he have next year? Is he a better keeper than Scherzer or Billingsley?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:29 AM)
Glad you enjoyed it, Billy! Definitely wanted Aroldis Chapman in there, it's the second time I've mentioned him since his return to the Reds and it's warranted, as dominating as he has been. As for keepers, he's as difficult to nail down as they come. I've got a hunch this order needs to go Max Scherzer, then Chapman, then Chad Billingsley, and that's even without having any idea what Chapman's 2012 role is going to be.
When the Daily Notes for today were first published yesterday, Liriano was considered a strong play against the Angels -- with Tyler Chatwood pitching. Since then a change has been made where Haren is now pitching for the Halos. Does this make Liriano a must-sit???
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:31 AM)
The only thing that changes is win potential, and I'm renowned for not caring much about win speculation on a start-by-start basis. I'd have tried to avoid Liriano regardless, but as an AL-only or very deep mixed play, his value really hasn't changed because of his opponent.
Anibal the Hannibal (FL)
You starting me tomorrow?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:34 AM)
Yes. Cardinals present a challenging matchup, but it's a home game and Sanchez has hardly been dreadful recently. I've merely tempered my expectations somewhat in the short term; it puts him in NL-only/deep mixed status, but that's still awfully useful.
Which matchup do you "trust" more: Pelfrey home vs SD or Brett Myers vs MIL? Thanks.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:34 AM)
You said "trust," in which case it's Mike Pelfrey by a mile.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:36 AM)
No. He has pitched well as a starter (so far), but the strikeout potential evident with Anibal Sanchez is not there for Clay Hensley. That's a huge difference considering the matchup.
Greg (New Braunfels)
Phil Humber has been available in my league (12 teams - 10 active pitchers - 6 bench spots) for a month. What makes him a top 60 pitcher in the rankings?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:38 AM)
The matchups haven't treated him especially well lately, I think that probably explains it, otherwise it's that once you get past the top 50, streaming becomes a much more viable strategy. I think those targeting Humber should wait until after today's outing, when he'll probably have a ho-hum, 5-IP, 5-ER kind of stat line against the Yankees.
Joey (Waiver Wire)
Who would you spend a top waiver priority on in a deep mixed league; Lawrie or Goldschmidt? And will either have a big impact ROS?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:42 AM)
The problem with Brett Lawrie is that we have no idea when he's getting promoted. It's been a question asked all year, and the Blue Jays insist they want to make sure he's 100 percent healthy in the minors before recalling him. It might be Sept. 1, at this point, when rosters expand. If they were both up today? I think Lawrie will be the less slump-prone of the two, so he'd be the one I'd go for. But you could be waiting 3-4 more weeks. (I would, I just don't think either is going to knock your socks off.)
Is Fielder too much to give up for Cliff Lee or Hamels straight up?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:42 AM)
basil (Nova Scotia)
Pick two keepers for next season...Beckett,I.kennedy,Marcum,Limcecum.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:43 AM)
Tim Lincecum is the clear first pick, and the second is going to be a close race between Josh Beckett and Ian Kennedy. I'm leaning Beckett today.
who ya got for a spot start - cobb vs. oakland OR maholm vs. padres? Thanks!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:45 AM)
I actually like both of them as streaming candidates, but am leaning Paul Maholm if only because it's the Padres, which is always a brilliant matchup. The only slight hesitation that I have is that Maholm is such a lefty-killer, and the Padres have a team OPS quite a bit higher against lefties than righties. Of course, it's still sub-.700, so nothing major to sweat.
Hey Tristan, who do you like better as a keeper 2B: J. Weeks or Kipnis? Thanks.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:46 AM)
As a keeper? Jason Kipnis. I've always measured his ceiling as slightly higher than that of Weeks. Short term -- i.e. remainder of 2011 -- give me Weeks.
Mikey Naps (TEX)
How awesome have I been lately?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:48 AM)
So awesome that in spite of your .480 batting average and five home runs since the All-Star break, the Rangers have inexplicably granted you just 13 starts in their 19 games during that span. I still just don't get it.
Dexnard Spowler (Mile High, MIN)
Which half of me do you want for the ROS?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:49 AM)
Denard Span is very unhappy to have his genes spliced like that.
Higher keeper ceiling Kipnis or Ackley?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:49 AM)
Dustin Ackley. Heck, I'd take Ackley short- and long-term over either of the Kipnis/Weeks candidates from the earlier question.
Is Pineda just getting hit in his last six starts because he's seeing people for the 2nd and 3rd time or is he getting tired as well?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:51 AM)
He has faced specific opponents for a second occasion only five times all season, and, yes, a few of those were bad outings. I think both of these could be factors, though I put more credence in the "tired" argument of the two. I've said for weeks that Michael Pineda was a sell-high candidate and you're quickly running out of time.
Ubaldo/Hart or Rasmus/Danks? Seems like a no brainer to me but with the 2 centerpieces recently changing teams I wanted some insight into their new value/updside with this trade.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:52 AM)
Corey Hart > Colby Rasmus, and Ubaldo Jimenez, 2011 struggles or not, has the highest ceiling in the deal. I think that's a no-brainer.
Please, tell us the ceiling for mike stanton!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:53 AM)
The Sears Tower looks up and cringes in fear at Stanton's ceiling.
In a .5 PPR, do you give Foster the nod over da Purple Jesus?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:54 AM)
No, but a lot of the reason is that Foster's loss of Vonta Leach as a blocker really bothers me. I don't see any way I'm taking Foster No. 1 overall in any possible format in 2011.
Is Chris Perez worth holding on to? Rauch and Gregg are available. Thanks.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:56 AM)
Perez's 2011 problem: Diminished strikeout rate. I was slow on the uptake with him -- kudos to Nate Ravitz for showing me the light in an early May discussion -- and that's largely the reason for Perez's recent, precipitous drop in my rankings. That said, he's still higher-ranked than these alternatives, and what that means is that if at all possible, you should spot him out for Kevin Gregg, and hope for the best.
Joe (Manningsville, SK)
Eagles DST: top 3 DST?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:57 AM)
A slew of hype surrounding that defense, but it's warranted. When it comes to defenses, it's a bit of a crapshoot, and I'm going to draft on talent, talent, talent, period. On paper, yes, that's a top-three fantasy defense in my estimation, but it doesn't mean I'm going to race to pick it at anywhere close to its current ADP. (What is it, like 80th? Insane. More like 110-120 to me.)
Pineda is a sell high for this year, but is keeper league gold...right?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:58 AM)
It's now the Willis Tower now! More importantly, would you deal one of McCutchen or Pence for Jered Weaver in a deep mixed league, non keeper?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:00 PM)
OK, I'll date myself: I'm never going to shake "Ferris Bueller," it's the first thing that comes to mind when I'm thinking of that particular structure. I'd deal Hunter Pence of those two, but that's primarily because of the categorical balance McCutchen provides you. The case can be made for either; if it's me I'm holding out for one of the few guys I ranked higher among SPs.
Do you believe in taking Vick number 1?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:01 PM)
Nope. But I am a Michael Vick believer! I just philosophically would never take any non-Aaron Rodgers quarterback in Round 1, I'd take him at the end of the round and I have Vick priced as a mid-to-late second rounder.
Is Kinsler done running? I guess you have to get on base first. Time to sell?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:02 PM)
Another thing that I am renowned for is my anti-Kinsler sentiment, and I'll always gravitate to "sell high" comments with him. He's so brittle. Though to be fair, I'll give you credit, Ian, you've been remarkably healthy so far this season. None of this slump surprises me, of course.
An owner that lost out on a deal for Player X called out the owners of an offered/accepted trade involving Player X. As a result, the trade is vetoed by the owner of Player X. Should this deal be made to stand or should this owner be allowed to seek out a "better" deal with any team for Player X?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:04 PM)
To make sure I follow, the team that traded the player then vetoes his/her own trade? Nope, don't like it. Stand behind your deals. You should've done your shopping beforehand, and "retracting" the move just makes you look like a weak owner, and it has, in my experience, increased said owner's difficulty in making successful future trades.
What do you think of T Hudson the rest of the way? I've been offered him for Nunez (points league).
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:04 PM)
Need the point system to make an in-cement ruling, but I'd say 90 percent (or more) of the time, Tim Hudson's is the side I want to be on. Not many scoring systems would value Leo Nunez more.
Is there something about the Rangers that makes them all injury prone? Beltre, Hamilton, Kinsler, and Cruz oh my!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:07 PM)
To further date myself, I fondly remember the college days when the Rangers routinely led the league in both total DL stints and number of players on the DL at any given time. I remember reading the agate page and the Rangers would take up a good two inches merely in injuries. Could be mere coincidence, of course.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:07 PM)
OK, let's take three more, then lunch calls...
jon (west coast)
thanks for the extra time Tristan: you want Span or Goldschmidt for a UTIL spot in non-keeper 10-team?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:09 PM)
I've described my thoughts on Paul Goldschmidt in "Hit Parade," so check there for more detail, but I want to stress that owning him is going to require patience, and that's more in terms of NL-only value than that in standard mixed. I really don't think he's an instant, impact bat in our standard game. Denard Span, meanwhile, has quietly helped teams for a few years now in batting average, runs and steals. I just think he's a smarter -- and underappreciated -- pick.
Jason (Parker, CO)
Scott Baker says his elbow is "not 100%." Does that scare you off os his two-start week next week? Go with Kuroda or Bailey?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:10 PM)
I haven't ranked the two-starters in Forecaster yet, so that answer will come tomorrow, but the Baker question is a good one. Yes, the elbow is a concern, especially if you add on the DL stint he recently endured for that very injury. Begin formulating your contingency plan.
Buzzer Beater!!! (space)
your top 5 in 2012 are...
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:12 PM)
As things stand today it's probably going to be Albert Pujols (free agency status puts it into some question), Ryan Braun, Matt Kemp, Adrian Gonzalez and Jose Bautista, but I'm very, very curious to see what happens with Jose Reyes. Being that he's a shortstop, a strong case can be made for him. And Miguel Cabrera.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:13 PM)
OK, time to wrap things up for the day. Thanks for all your questions, and sorry if I couldn't get to yours. Best of luck to you in your weekend matchups, and take care everyone!