As tribute to one of my favorite television shows Talk Soup, I bring you some Chat Stew. This a a smattering of some of the more interesting questions and answers from the various sports chats of the past week. Each will have some relevant fantasy baseball implications. Maybe.
Anthony (Cambridge): Do you think the Red Sox need more pop in there line-up with an aging Ortiz and no Manny?
Rob Neyer: I think their lineup's fine. Ortiz will stage a mini-comeback and Lowrie's going to be the talk of the American League....He had a pretty good season despite playing with a wrist injury. Now he's healthy. I say he's one of the five best shortstops in the league now.
Thomas (Seattle, WA): Who will have a better season, upstart Matt Kemp, or Carl Crawford?
Brendan Roberts: I like 'em both, but I think Crawford returns to typical "Crawford-like" levels, which includes 45-plus steals. That's enough to make him the slight winner between these two.
Jake (MN): How do you feel about Victor Martinez this year? Will he stay healthy and if he does will he return to his old self?
Brendan Roberts: Was just writing about V-Mart for our catchers preview. I think V-Mart, simply put, broke down last season under the weight of being a regular catcher and middle-of-the-lineup hitter. It didn't help that he was on base so much, and that he often had to maximize his arm because so many teams ran on him. Well, I think the Tribe know this, too, and now they have an overload at C/1B/DH. I think V-Mart's best years behind him because I think he gets more days off to keep him healthy. I think he falls something closer to, say, .300-12-75, which is light years better than he was last season.
J.P. (Springfield, IL): After Price, who is the top pitcher in the minors in your eyes - Hanson or Feliz?
Jim Callis: Madison Bumgarner.
Terry (Montreal): If Roy Halladay reverts back to 130-140 K's that we saw in recent years doesn't his value take a hit? Not many people are commenting on that risk.
Tristan Cockcroft : Certainly it'd hurt his value if that happened, but what makes you think it's likely? Halladay showed no signs of slowing down in that department over the course of the year, averaging 7.68 K's per nine after the All-Star break compared to 7.44 before ... I don't see that being a fluke hot streak kind of thing. I might draft him expecting more like 175 K's, but that still keeps him right up there among the elite.
Dan (PA): Wait, if Wright is #5 overall and BEFORE ARod, where in your crazy rankings do you put Arod and who are your top 10?
AJ Mass: We're just talking hitters here... I'm not including pitchers in my mix, who generally I wait on. I have Reyes, Pujols, Grady and Hanley before Wright. I have A-Rod at 18, though he is my 2nd 3B. This doesn't mean that I think he's the 18th best player. It just means that I am unwilling to select him higher than this spot to get back as much value as I would drafting others. This kind of list is much more valuable on draft day than a "who is better" - for example, I'm not going to get Evan Longoria on any of my teams - why? Because most folks are going to grab him in Rounds 1 or 2. I'm not willing to do that.
Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus:
Stephanie (DC): Based on a discussion I was having this morning, what is your view on Moustakas versus Tim Beckham as prospects? Would you trade either of them for Elvis Andrus, straight-up?
Kevin Goldstein: I like both of them quite a bit, and they're both very high, and close to each other in my Top 100 (which you'll all see soon). I wouldn't trade either for Andrus straight up -- I'd barely even consider it.
Dan (Denver): Does Hanson start the year in the Bravos rotation? Or is mid-season more likely?
Kevin Goldstein: Personally, I think he should. At the same time, I believe the Braves disagree, and he'll likely start the year at Triple-A.