With a newborn sleeping peacefully to Styx Classics Vol. 15, I didn't tempt to fates with something a little heavier. The first bite of stew comes from ESPN's marathon chat on Tuesday.
Sean (Seattle): Hi Jim - So it seems Clement and Balentien have mastered AAA and spring training. What can Mariner fans realistically expect from each of them when it really counts? Will either be a star?
Jim Callis: believe in Clement more than Balentien but I don't think either will be a star. Balentien is so erratic that he may have a hard time getting regular playing time. I don't buy Clement as a catcher, and I don't think he's a star at another position.
Justin (Houston, TX): Picked up Wieters, looking for my starter til he gets up: Navarro, Ramon Hernandez, Shoppach, Pierzynski, or Teagarden
Tristan H. Cockcroft: Go with Ramon Hernandez, because that's a pretty high ceiling you'd be taking a shot on, and if it doesn't pan out then by the time you realize he needs replacing Matt Wieters should be just about ready to be promoted.
Boston, MA: Do you use sabermetrics and if so do the projections for Dustin Pedroia scare you? They are many projecting he will be very good, but not nearly the MVP or fantasy asset we saw last year.
Steve Gardner: I do look at sabermetrics -- I'm a numbers guy at heart. I also like Pedroia and think he could come close to having a repeat season ... as long as he keeps stealing bases. I think that's one of the overlooked facets of his game. He swiped 20 bags last season. With Ellsbury at the top of the order, the Sawx might just keep on running. You know he's going to score runs in that lineup too. And if you get 20 homers, that's gravy. He's one of those guys who is such a good bet for a high average (and lots of at-bats) that he allows you to take a chance on a guy like Jack Cust whose power comes at a cost.
Jake (Chicago): Whose "minor" injury has you most concerned?
Mitch (Greensboro, NC): Who do you think is winning the Atlanta CF starting spot? Schafer, Anderson or Blanco? Does Brandon Jones sneak up and take one of their spots on the roster? You've gotta like the idea of Schafer at the top of the lineup. An OBP of .412 with his speed, would really help the middle of the order.
Jim Callis: (2:15 PM ET ) I do like Schafer. Not sure if the Braves will give him the job right away, but I bet he's the starting CF by the all-star break at the latest.
Ocean City, NJ: Hey Ron - You have C. Buchholz and Wood as two AL sleepers but it looks to me that neither has a role right now do they?
Ron Shandler: Not having a role on March 25, or Opening Day, or even May 15 means nothing. Roles are fluid. Given that 1 out of every 3 players is going to end up on the DL at some point this season, there will be roles to be had. Buchholz and Wood are two of the top tier of players that will ably fill openings once they occur, and likely ride those openings into a career.
Mike (New Jersey): Hi Eric. Everyone seems to be on the Shin Soo-Choo bandwagon. In a 12 team mixed league that also uses OBP and SLG, where should he be drafted? Thanks.
Eric Karabell : There does seem to be a lot of interest in Choo, which is warranted to a degree. I don't know if 500 at-bats would produce a definite 20 homers, and he's not a basestealer. He should hit for a strong average and knock in runs, though. It's about health. He's never hit consistently without getting hurt before. I won't ever name a round to draft someone, it depends on way too many factors, but I think he can be a fantasy No. 3 outfielder maybe.
Toby (Harrisburg, PA): I have David Price. Now what?
Tristan H. Cockcroft : Well, that's another case that falls into the Tommy Hanson category. You know, Hanson and Price could be the best "they pitch four months and are great, like Tim Lincecum's rookie year great" pitchers in the game this year. Can you be patient? I'd say if you've already picked the guy, then you must be patient. But it's a hit to his draft stock if your draft has yet to occur. Rays are saving future money in exchange for going with a weaker fifth starter for at least a month. It's a shame.