Fantasy MLB with AJ Mass
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, AJ Mass will drop by to take your questions and analyze all the latest sports news from a fantasy perspective.
Mass, a contributor to ESPN's fantasy coverage of football, baseball and college basketball, also is an MLB Rumor Central writer. His latest book "Yes, It's Hot in Here" is in stores now.
Send your questions now and join Mass Thursday at 11 a.m. ET!
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AJ Mass (10:59 AM)
Good morning, gang! We've got 60 minutes of fantasy baseball chattage up ahead, with no extra time or PK's in sight. Second cup of coffee in hand, who is leading us off?
Jim (S Jersey)
Are Addison Reed's saves worth the ERA headache?
AJ Mass (11:00 AM)
If you need saves, you have to have guys who get them, and there are only so many at a time. So, in that sense, yes. But among RP, I rank Reed No. 20 at the moment. Not exactly without baggage.
Derek (Des Moines)
Do you like Polanco or Springer more ROS, and which do you draft first next year?
AJ Mass (11:02 AM)
I like Polanco more this season. As for 2015, way too early to make that call -- it all comes down to how they finish this year. But obviously, since I expect Polanco to be better, I'd likely end up ranking him higher.
Romo is a FA. Think he's done at closer ROS?
AJ Mass (11:03 AM)
No, I think the door is definitely still open for him, and he's still going to be used in 8th inning save situations to pitch 1 inning, so it's not like they've completely lost faith.
I have Jesse Chavez and Carlos Martinez. Are either more than spot starters the rest of this season?
AJ Mass (11:04 AM)
Carlos is spot. Jesse is a No. 5 fantasy guy right now, so I can see him being that last guy you leave in there.
Heaney just a streamer?
AJ Mass (11:05 AM)
At the moment, yes. Would like to see a win or two before completely trusting, you know?
I have both Arenado and Seager. Would you hang on to both, or try to sell Seager high?
AJ Mass (11:07 AM)
I think there's nobody who can't be moved if the return is good enough. Personally, I like both these guys, so if you can only start one -- and you're convinced Nolan is fine -- shopping both and considering best deal is certainly on the table.
Jake Arrieta (Chicago)
Will I be a more reliable option than my teammates Samardzija and Hammel the rest of the way?
AJ Mass (11:08 AM)
Are you staying in Chicago? Are the other guys? We'll have to wait and see where the July trade carousel leaves this staff at the end of the month, but I have no issue with putting some faith in Jake.
10 team NL only keeper league. Just got offered Jay Bruce ($23) for my Gerrit Cole ($2). Im in 2nd place and could use Bruce for the stretch run, but is it worth it when I could extend Cole for the next three years for $12?
AJ Mass (11:10 AM)
In general, if you can make a deal to win this year, don't even think about next year. Imagine the same question last season but with Matt Harvey as the pitcher... would you give up a possible title to have him on the DL all season? That said, I think I'd see if I could get more in return.
Is Betts worth rostering over Morse, Zobrist, or Ian Desmond in a 12 team points H2H league? (SS eligible in my league)
AJ Mass (11:11 AM)
I could see him over Ian in the short-term, yes.
Julio (Dominican Republic)
Is Garrett Richards legit or should I sell him high?
AJ Mass (11:12 AM)
Probably not 9-2 legit, but certainly I'd call him legit enough to expect a top 25 finish.
What is the minimum you would take for Paul Goldschmidt in a keeper league? I can keep him as 6th rounder for next 3 years.
AJ Mass (11:14 AM)
So why are you actively looking to deal him? Very few players I'd consider dealing him for in a non-keeper, let alone in a keeper where the price is that good.
When do you usually start tossing high picks around to get the players you need in a keeper league
AJ Mass (11:16 AM)
Whenever it's the difference between getting a deal that I really want done or not. I don't put a whole lot of value in draft picks. My feeling is and has always been that I trust my ability to evaluate players better than others and as such, I don't worry about losing a few rounds of draft position.
Is Scooter going to stay in a platoon all season? And do you think Alcantara is coming up anytime soon?
AJ Mass (11:18 AM)
I think Scooter works better in a platoon right now, so as long as Weeks is there, that's the scenario you're looking at. As for Alcantara, I don't expect the Cubs to rush him up unless there's an injury to a current starter.
Have a spot on my roster at DH open and considering adding Belt or Werth (just dropped). Who do you recommend?
AJ Mass (11:19 AM)
I'd rather take my chances with Belt, who should be back tomorrow.
Derek (work ) [via mobile]
What's your take on R. Zimmerman ROS?
AJ Mass (11:20 AM)
I don't like him playing third... just too much fear that an injury follows. Slight improvement at the plate, but I'm wary.
You buying R.Odor at 2nd ROY or stick with LaStella? Shallow league.
AJ Mass (11:21 AM)
To paraphrase the Gin Blossoms, "If you don't expect too much from him, you might not be let down." Could go either way, but probably sticking with LaStella at moment.
ROS: Rosario, McCann or Mauer? OPS in addition to BA Thanks!
AJ Mass (11:23 AM)
Rosario for me.
Hi AJ.. Need two for ROS? Tavares, Dickerson, JD Martinez, and Craig?Thanks
AJ Mass (11:24 AM)
Right now, I select Dickerson and Martinez. Let the Cards figure out their own issues in the OF first.
Am I missing something? (Left field)
Any idea why THC has Beltran tanked as 34 best OF? He can barely get on the field.
AJ Mass (11:26 AM)
He still qualifies there, and he still plays every day, albeit as DH. I don't see the "can't get on the field" as being a reason not to rank him in this case.
Bob (Fort Lee, N.J.)
ROS: A. Rizzo or J. Votto Thank s!!
AJ Mass (11:27 AM)
Very much in the Rizzo camp.
Wise move to wait until Hanley get healthy and then deal him ASAP, before he breaks a fingernail?
AJ Mass (11:27 AM)
I'd either trade him in the next few hours, or wait until after the All-Star Break when he (hopefully) is fully healthy again.
Do you see Big Papi's average coming up at all after the break, or is Father Time creeping up on him? He's 1B eligible in my league, will he be better than Moss in the second half?
AJ Mass (11:29 AM)
I think Moss will be better, but by no means do I think Ortiz is toast. Even with the .252 average, he's in my top 50 hitters YTD. That's not too shabby.
Leo (San Jose)
Do you see C.Davis surging in the second half, or do you advise getting what you can for him?
AJ Mass (11:30 AM)
I would prefer to let his second half be someone else's stomach pains.
Will Dickerson lose playing time when Cargo comes back?or has he earned his spot in the outfield on a consistent basis regardless?
AJ Mass (11:32 AM)
It's a fair question. I think he can shift to center with Stubbs losing some time... or potentially one of the non-CarGo OF could get sent elsewhere to help Rockies get some SP help.
Hahn- legit or semi-legit?
AJ Mass (11:34 AM)
I'd say if he can get run support, he'd be closer to legit than not.
evan (san diego)
Arenado coming back today and Cargo shortly. Pick two to drop...AJackson, Morse, Chisenhall
AJ Mass (11:35 AM)
I'd keep Lonnie.
Bob (Fort Lee, N.J.)
Has Verlander really turned the corner this year or are more rocky times ahead? Thanks !!
AJ Mass (11:37 AM)
I need to see more before I trust completely, but I like the recent efforts.
El Guapo (Santa Polco)
What are your thoughts on J. Heyward? Still a must-own in 10-team leagues?
AJ Mass (11:39 AM)
I've never been a fan of his, but he's given you top-60 value so far. That makes him a must-own... though I'd personally prefer not to be the one who does.
How do you know when to stream a guy like Carlos Martinez in NL only roto? Start him at good pitching parks like SF? Against bad offenses like the Mets?
AJ Mass (11:41 AM)
That's the key in streaming... looking at the matchups and the ballparks involved and making the call. We have Daily Notes column on ESPN.com (http://sports.espn.go.com/fantasy/baseball/flb/dailynotes?page=mlbnotes140703) to help you with those decisions.
Brandon (Simi Valley, CA)
Who is the closer in TB going forward? Is it Balfour or is McGee or someone else?
AJ Mass (11:42 AM)
Maddon will go with what's working and play hunches and that means we simply don't know. Probably McGee, but if Balfour gets on a roll, I think he can emerge from the dogpile.
Scott (West Orange, NJ)
Hi AJ. What do you think are the chances of the Phillies trading Papelbon and Ken Giles becoming the closer?
AJ Mass (11:44 AM)
I think the Phillies will certainly trade Papelbon if there are any takers --- even chipping in some of the salary to see him go. Not sure it's automatically Giles who gets the job when and if that happens -- Diekman also a possibility.
Donny (BB House)
Do you have a formula you use to compare a pitcher vs position player trade? Standard points league...
AJ Mass (11:45 AM)
In general, I like to try and match it up by comparing the hitter to the one he'll replace and the pitcher to the one whose replacing him rather than the apples to oranges approach.
Kirk (Space - the final frontier)
ROY Chris Young (SEA SP) or Andrew Heaney
AJ Mass (11:46 AM)
Much more faith in the youngster.
I need a replacement for Mauer, and the pickings in my league are REALLY thin. Should I go with Jano, Chirinos or McKenry?
AJ Mass (11:47 AM)
I'll go with Jaso.
Lars [via mobile]
Is AJ Burnett worth a roster spot? Is he more than a spot starter?
AJ Mass (11:48 AM)
He is a spot starter.
Pick a SS - Hanley, Escobar, or Segura ROY?
AJ Mass (11:49 AM)
It's a healthy Ramirez, but will he be that? Aye, there's the rub. It's definitely NOT Segura.
josh (la grange tx)
Thoughts on drew hutchison vs gausman! Need a pickup.
AJ Mass (11:51 AM)
I'm not sure what the O's are doing with Gausman. He may be up this weekend, but they're killing his confidence. Long-term, I think KG can be the better pitcher, but for now I'd rather gamble with Hutch.
ROS in a NL only h2h 10 teamer best SP add: J.Nelson or A.bradley?
AJ Mass (11:52 AM)
I stand by Nelson... if they'd only bring him up already.
Pull the plug in Standard leagues? Dynasty?
AJ Mass (11:54 AM)
No need to keep him in standards. With dynasty, it comes down to roster building and where you are in the standings. Not going to write off his career just yet, but not holding on to him if I can still win this year.
Theo Epstein (Chicagoland)
AJ when should I promote alcantara?
AJ Mass (11:55 AM)
Don't ask me. I think you should have already promoted Bryant, so what do I know?
Would you be OK with riding Cron at utility until Choo turns it around?
AJ Mass (11:55 AM)
AJ Mass (11:56 AM)
That's all the time we've got for today gang! Thanks for the questions. I'm on Twitter (@ajmass) for those I could not get to... Enjoy the 4th! "Yes It's Hot in Here" makes a great beach read (hint, hint) and until the next time... CALTORU!