With my AL-Only fantasy draft preparation coming to fruition this afternoon, I present this week's stew of fantasy baseball tidbits. Am I the only person who tried to download Kid Rock's "Warrior" and found there were no downloads left?
Jamaica Plain, MA: Hi Steve, I'm thinking of not paying a high price for an established closer at our auction (NL only, 5 x 5, 12 team keeper league), and targeting best #2's in the bullpen. Who do you recommend - I'm targeting Marmol, Leo Nunez (can't draft minor league Ceda), Cla Meredith, Putz, and Street/Corpas (depending on who loses). BB
Steve Gardner: I just put up a post on Fantasy Windup before the chat started on Carlos Marmol. The decision to give Gregg the closer's job makes for a teriffic buying opportunity with Marmol. Talking about skills, he has outstanding stuff and really should be the closer. I'm banking on Gregg to stumble at some point, which would allow Marmol to take over -- perhaps for good. Since your league counts strikeouts, Marmol has value even if he's not closing. And since it's a keeper league, if you can get Marmol at a discount right now you could have a top-level closer for the next five years. Putz is also a good speculative pick. He should get some save chances anyway since the Mets will look to preserve their investment in K-Rod.
JP(Noo york): Jayson, love the chats man. Here's my question. Recently Brett Gardner got the nod from Joe G, do you think this is the right move? Melky seems to have more tools then BG, while BG only has speed and barely got on base to use it last year.
Jayson Stark: The scout community here in spring training loves Brett Gardner, more than people might think. He brings that team better energy and defense than Melky. And given the defensive makeup of that outfield, they'll need all the center-field defense they can get. One scout told me the other day he thinks he can hit .280 and steal 30 bases. If he has that season in him, for that team, he's a perfect fit.
rocky (las vegas, nv): What do you think are Jordan Shafer's chance's of winning NL rookie of the year? I think he's going to swipe a lot of bases this year and could eventually be the braves lead-off hitter.
Rob Neyer: I suppose he's young enough that anything's possible, but I don't see big enough numbers in AA -- he's not played in AAA at all -- to make me think he's going to explode as a rookie.
Colin (Toronto): Thoughts on Chris Young (SP)? Velocitys has been down and he's had a rough spring, could he be hiding an injury?
Brendan Roberts: I think he is. I've been as impressed with his numbers as anybody else, but I've always felt of him as an injury risk because of his awkward delivery. Lower velocity and getting shelled in the spring, in my mind, is just the first sign of there being something wrong. I wouldn't advise chasing him.
SteveFitz (Cicero, IL): Better season 2009. Jordan Zimmerman, Rick Porcella or Luke Hochevar?
Jim Callis : Zimmermann.
Jake (Dallas): ETA of Holland? ETA of Feliz?
Jim Callis : 2009 for both.
Marc (IN): Josh Fields has been hitting pretty well in Arizona this spring. Do you see him coming close to his 2007 numbers for the White Sox this season?
Jerry Crasnick: (3:01 PM ET ) Marc,
If Fields' knee is healthy, I don't see why he can't hit 25 homers hitting in that lineup in that ballpark. And he's always been very good against lefties.
Larry (Pogueville, MN): Give up Wieters and Vlad for Kemp and Pablo Sandoval? (keeper league)
Eric Karabell : (3:08 PM ET ) Tough one. I think Wieters will be, as the kids say, all that a bag of chips, but Kemp is a top-25 guy in the making, and Sandoval might keep/earn catcher eligibility. I'd probably give up Wieters in that deal. Vlad is aging quickly.
Orlando, FL: What do you think about Emilio Bonifacio as an MI for deeper leagues? The guy stole 61 bases in '06 and could be huge if he leads off for the constantly running Fish.
Ron Shandler: Bonifacio is one of those guys whose success rides 100% on his ability to reach base. His minor league OBP was barely over .300. He could steal 20-30 with a .240 BA, or if he can find a bit more plate patience, he could double that SB output. Clearly a good pick in a deep league, though. But make sure you have some BA cushion elsewhere on your roster.
(NC): Need some serious help at 2B. Who do you go with out of R.Weeks, Fontenot, Bonifacio? Any other sleepers come to mind?
Tristan H. Cockcroft : Chris Getz is another sleeper, and there's some talk of him hitting second in Chicago. But out of that bunch, even though he terrifies me because of his low batting average, Rickie Weeks needs be your choice. Followed fairly closely by Mike Fontenot.
Eric (Northampton): How do you think Rick Porcello, Trevor Cahill, and Brett Anderson will do in their rookie seasons?
Keith Law: I'm most optimistic about Anderson this year - he's the most polished with the deepest repertoire. Cahill worries me the most, with the worst command of the three and reports from a couple of scouts that he gave up a lot of hard contact this spring.