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Fantasy Chat Stew 05/23/2009

While reading through the various baseball chats this week, Grady Sizemore of the Cleveland Indians popped up several times, and Jayson Stark of explains why some are hearing Matt LaPorta pop-up in trade rumors surrounding the Indians.

Charm City Devils album comes out next week. "Let's Rock N Roll (Endless Road)" had a nice rock sound. The second song, "Burn, Baby, Burn" doesn't quite match that. I'm curious what the rets of the album will be like.

Boston, MA: I've noticed that Jonathon Papelbon is allowing a lot more base runners than usual. He hasn't had a 1-2-3 inning since April 22 and his WHIP is 50% higher than his lifetime average coming into the season (1.41 vs. 0.93). Is this just a fluke or a sign he is headed for breakdown?
Jock Thompson: I’m not the doctor and I haven’t been to a Holiday Inn in years, so I can’t comment on a possible breakdown here. From the times I’ve seen Papelbon, his velocity looks fine, but that BB/9 rate is scary and uncharacteristic. So is his 51% fly-ball percentage. If this stays as is, he could be in trouble as the season grows longer and his velocity gets a little shorter.

Naples , FL: Gerardo Parra. Ronny Likey?
Ron Shandler: Oh yes. Terrrific contact rate, his power may take a few years to develop. But this will be a good one
Dave (Boston): Buy low on Lester and sell high on A.Jones if I have Bay, McLouth, Abreau, and Fukadome as my other OF? Or stay put?

Christopher Harris: i, Dave. Adam Jones presents an interesting case. He's a "five-tool" guy. He's off to a fast start. Sports Illustrated featured him in their mag. I think it's too much, too soon. I'm not saying he plummets to Earth, but I don't think he stays one of the 10 most valuable OFs in fantasy. I'm not saying he'll stink, but I am saying it's solid fantasy strategy to trade him, if you can get something good for him. As for Lester -- I was pretty down on him comapred to most this spring. The innings leap scared me. I don't think he's *this* bad, and he'll probably put together a really nice stretch at some point this summer, but ultimately, I think he disappoints this year. I wouldn't buy low.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA): Mr. Olney: I was the official scorer for Wang's start yesterday. It might just be me but despite some very nice numbers, it looked like he was really laboring to get anything on his pitches. Can you see him making another start in the minors before the Yankees make a decision on when to reactivate him?

Buster Olney: J.B. Great info from you. I talked with Brian Cashman this morning and he said that he wanted to see the DVD of Wang's start (with Dave Eiland and Girardi) before making a determination on what to do with him next. He said Wang's velocity was up to 92 mph. What kind of sink did you think he had?

brendan (kansas city) [via mobile]: would you do carpenter for bj upton

Matthew Berry: Another mobile question... Yes, that's fair - rather have Upton but that's fair 

Jason Bartlett (Tampa): Sell high? I'm playing out of my brain!

AJ Mass: True, you are playing out of your brain... but as in all such cases, why not enjoy it? I'm not saying you don't want to deal him if somebody is willing to give you top price and then some for Bartlett, but if you don't think he's for real, what makes you think anyone else is going to either?

Eric (Atlanta): Jeff Francoeur is a career .267/.309/.430 in 2,462 plate appearances. When you look closer, since the start of the 2006 season, he is a 263/.306/.415 hitter in 2,188 plate appearances. What are the Braves thinking using him everyday in their lineup?

Rob Neyer: They're thinking he'll someday again be as good as he was in 2005, but that's looking less and less likely, isn't it?

Dan (Champaign): Hey BR, with Weeks out for the season, do you see a position switch for Bill Hall to second base with Gamel eating up most of the time at third base? I only ask because I don't have a deep bench and I'm thinking about making an investment in Gamel. I think he is legit!

Brendan Roberts: Well, the Brewers haven't indicated they will do that, at least as far as I can see. But I have the same thought, and with Gamel already adjusting at the plate, I suspect that either they will try that, or just have Counsell play there, and have Hall play 3B against LHPs. Either way, I fully endorse your Gamel pickup. In fact, I think I might do the same in a standard mixed league ... 

Jesus Guzman (SF Giants' Savior): When I come up this weekend I will prove that I deserve to play 1B for the Giants.

Tristan H. Cockcroft : You know, that's a great point. There is a report out of San Francisco that Guzman might be the Giants' DH in their games in Seattle this weekend, and I'm a huge fan of his as a sleeper in deep leagues. Guzman raked in the spring and now he's doing the same in the minors; his stats are silly they're so good. If I'm in an NL-only or deep-mixed league and have the bench room, Guzman is a guy I'd stash just in case he gets the call on Friday.

Brad (St. Louis): Does Adam Jones have same power/speed combo with defense as Grady Sizemore?

Jim Callis: That's fair.

Justin (DC): Whats the deal w/ Sizemore? His avg is atrocious, and his steals are down, too. Any reason to be concerned, or will he bounce back to the 1st round talent I drafted?

Eric Karabell : No reason to be concerned. Honestly, he's pretty good, he's not hurt, all will be well. It's still only May. Don't even look at your team batting average in the standings, because you know it will get better. 

Walt Birmingham, AL: Jason - Whoda thunk it??? I just benched my 1st round pick (Sizemore) for Choo since their BA is about 140 pts difference! Have you heard any issues about Grady? Your thoughts...

Jason Grey : Word is he hasn't really been 100% healthy since the season started after the groin issues in spring training and now a sore elbow. He's still bringing the homers and steals at least, so I'm not overly concerned at the moment.

Sam (Boston): Now that we know whats going on with Votto, how long is he out? Is there any lingering impact to his numbers?

Stephania Bell: Hi Sam: I don't think there will be any lingering impact. The good news is that an ear infection is one of the lesser things that this COULD have been. There are so many problematic causes of dizziness. Luckily this one is treatable with medication, and not flying for a while also helps (doesn't affect the pressure buildup in his ears). He already feels better and is doing light workouts. I think he'll jump right back where he was.

Ben (MA): Let's talk Rays and Jays. The Rays bullpen seems to have been a fluke last year and the Jays are fading fast. Can we assume order has been restored and both the Sox and Yanks will be in the playoffs?

Jerry Crasnick: Ben, I'm starting to get that feeling, even though I picked Tampa to win the AL East. I was smitten by Toronto in the early going, but you have to wonder how the rest of that rotation is going to fare against the AL East once you get beyond Roy Halladay. We'll see.

Pete (StL): Brett Wallace is off to a ridiculous start in AAA. Would St. Louis be nuts to call him up if Glaus's health doesn't improve?

Keith Law: No, they wouldn't. The defense won't be pretty but he'll produce enough offensively to live with it. His was the best college bat in last year's draft and they had the stones to take him when others passed and took inferior hitters. They should have the stones to give him the job if he continues to annihiliate AAA.

Chris (Broadview Heights, OH): Why do I keep hearing Matt LaPorta's name in trade talks? The Indians are 10 games out of .500 and under the Shapiro regime have been abnormally apprehensive about dealing prospects not named Max Ramirez. Is this just big market teams thinking Cleveland is their minor league club?

Jayson Stark: I don't think the Indians are looking to deal Matt LaPorta. But they're a team that's always looking over the horizon. And how does the front of their rotation look once Cliff Lee almost inevitably departs after 2010? Not real good. Their biggest area of depth is in the outfield. So I'm hearing they would consider moving a young outfielder with upside -- not necessarily LaPorta -- for a young starter with ace potential. Tough to make those kinds of deals, but that's the only reason you're hearing LaPorta's name.

Bill from Kentucky: Hi, thank you for taking my question. I am in an NL only league and I have a chance to trade Rollins and Berkman for Ludwick, Ryan Braun, and Theriot. What do you think?

Pierre Becquey: I do it. You're getting the best player in the deal and Ludwick could very well finish the season ahead of one of those other guys, in which case you win hands down. And Theriot helps compensate for the loss of Rollins' position and steals? Sweet deal.