With the 2009 MLB Draft completed, fantasy players attnetion turns to next season's prospect Viagra, high schooler and Sports Illustrated cover boy, Bryce Harper. More importantly, though, is the changed formats for live chats at ESPN.com. Finding the archives is a little more awkward - simpler is better for archives - and searching ongoing chats is no longer a simple Ctrl+F action. What you think?
As for this week's rock video, a discussion about Loggins and Messina occurred on my NL-Only message board. "Your Mama Don't Dance" was mentioned, and my first thought was "Loggins & Messina covered a Poison song?"
Toronto, Ontario: I'm in a standard AL only 4X4 league, and my batting average is killing me, thanks primarily to my outfiled of Sizemore and Upton, Even if they turn their seasons around I don't know if they can save my average. Do you see any good buy low options for me to target or have other ideas to help boost average. All other categories are strong.
Steve Gardner: There's a stat called xBA, which shows what a player's batting average should be based on his peripheral stats (GB%, BA on balls in play, etc.). Coco Crisp is one of the AL guys whose batting average appears to be artificially low right now. Hank Blalock also should be hitting around .300, but his average is about 50 points lower. He might be a good guy to target. Otherwise, a high AB guy who hits for a good average will help you more than it might appear. ... One other strategy is to strategically get rid of guys who are bringing your average down -- as long as it doesn't kill you in other categories.
Ethan (Pittsfield, MA): I have an uneasy feeling that Edwin Jackson is due for at least a minor correction. Do you agree and what type of talent should I demand in return in a trade?
Ron Shandler: Listen to those uneasy feelings. I'd bet that his correction is more than just minor. With a low BABIP and high strand rate, his 2.16 ERA converts to an ERA of 4.24. The type of talent you demand in return is 2.16 ERA-caliber talent, nothing less. Sell his studliness. But do it now, before he turns into a pumpkin.
Keith, speaking of Bryce Harper, have you heard anything confirming what last week's SI article hinted at? That Harper will be getting his GED and going to JUCO next year to be eligible for the 2010 draft? How big (and expensive) would that be for the Nationals to get both Strasburg and Harper?
Nothing against SI, but come on. That idea was floated at least as far back as last August. It's not new, and yes it's a possibility for Harper. The 2010 draft lacks a clear
What are your thoughts on owning a bunch of players from the same lineup? I own a ton of Orioles (Weiters, Roberts, Markakis, Scott, Reinold) and think I need to move a couple and soon. Thoughts? Thanks!
Why? It doesn't bother me at all. I suppose if it's a head-to-head league, maybe it would ... because a tough set of matchups might smack you for a week. But those guys have all proven they have value independent of those around them, and they're proven producers. If you trade one, make sure you're getting full value in return.
Eric (Philly, PA)
Tristan, are you buying on Oswalt or staying away?
Tristan H. Cockcroft
Re: Roy Oswalt, I have a standing offer to get him in a league of mine and somehow feel a tad hesitant to pull the trigger. Gut instinct says I should go for it, because Oswalt has such a history of going on these remarkable hot streaks. He still has top-15 potential, at least.
What should we expect from Zobrist here on out? Is a 25hr, 90rbi, .300avg season out of the question?
He is terrific, and the best part is the eligibility. He's on pace to hit more than 30 home runs. I think we have to assume he gets to 25.
What a surprise. Rob taking a shot at the Angels. What exactly DON'T you like about them?
Well, they've been outscored by 11 runs. I suppose you might reasonably argue that Lackey and Santana are going to come around, and you'd probably be right. I'm not saying they won't be in first place at some point. I'm saying there's nothing that's going to separate them from the Rangers by a lot, and that the race should go deep into the season.
Tom Tuttle (Tacoma)
Corey Hart. Explain, please.
Tristan H. Cockcroft
Pitchers have found holes in his swing, and that's all it is. Something to think about: After the All-Star break last year he had a .659 OPS and averaged one whiff per 5.9 at-bats. This year, he's at .691 and 3.7. He's actually regressing in talent!
toby (h-burg, pa)
ms. bell, what is your gut telling you about grady sizemore? i know his MRI isn't until monday, but do you think we won't see him for long time?
Answers to both Toby and Dan: So yes - Dan - Grady is doing better - and Toby is right he has an MRI scheduled for Monday. Here's the problem. Of course he's going to feel better - he hasn't done anything. Although it's a non-specific injury according to the team, they called it inflammation in his elbow. Inflammation gets better with rest. But then it tends to get aggravated with activity. It sounds like the team is doing the MRI to get a comparison as far as inflammation/edema in the area. If the MRI is not good, we know he's having surgery. But even if the MRI looks better, still no guarantees. He needs to ramp back up and see if he can do so without pain. My gut tells me that two weeks isn't enough to rid him of the problem - but it may be enough to dampen it so he can try to
How long until the White Sox start selling off pieces? When it happens, who will they look to move, and who will the rest of the league have interest in (Dye, Jenks, Dotel, Konerko, Thome)?
Steven, Judging from GM Kenny Williams' pronounced dissatisfaction level, I think he'll start wheeling and dealing the moment he thinks this season is a lost cause. I'm sure Dotel and Jenks would attract a lot of interest because of the baseball-wide need for bullpen help. It's a little more complicated with those other guys because of their age, salaries, etc.
Inquiring Mind (Cranium)
What is Daisuke Matsuzaka's value at this point??
Unfortunately, pretty low. I'd say even the most die-hard Dice-K supporters wouldn't give up a lot for him. The control and pitch count issues worry me.