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Fantasy Chat Stew 5/9/2009

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Around 1990, heavy metal appeared to die with the arrival of Winger and Slaughter.  (And a final push from Beavis and Butthead.)  Unfairly, many bands were trampled in the rush to grunge.  One of those is Junkyard.

St. Louis, MO: Good morning, Steve. I have benched Nolasco. Is it time to punt? He hasn't had a good outing yet? Also, Zito, real or Memorex?
 
Steve Gardner: I'm not sure how to explain Nolasco's slow start. His xERA is almost 2 1/2 runs lower than his actual ERA, which tells me he's been the victim of some bad luck. In addition, the Marlins have been awful lately. His K/BB ratio isn't bad at all (27/9) so that tells me he's an excellent buy-low candidate right now. He's at Colorado this week, so if you do acquire him during the week you might be able to dodge that minefield. As for Zito, he has to be one of the most baffling players in the majors for me. I've mentioned before how I cut him in LABR after two starts and 10 earned runs, only to see him go on a roll since then. I still don't see him keeping it up, but I've been wrong about him all season long.
Ocean City,NJ: Will LaPorta put up better numbers this season than guys like Ankiel and Swisher? In a 10 team league with 22 roster spots - is it better to wait for guys like Tulo and Rios to heat up or play the hot hands on the waiver wire (no transaction limits)? Thanks Ron
 
Ron Shandler: Rookie batters are 50-50 propositions at best. If you are going to go with the best percentage play, you have to go with the proven commodities. Ankiel and Rios are gimmes. Tulo probably should stay too. Swisher will likely fade a bit as the season progresses; if you can't absorb the batting average hit, you might opt to take a chance on LoPorta. Otherwise, stand.
Chris Young (Arizona): When will I start to hit? Should my owners drop me?

Tristan H. Cockcroft:Pardon my creating words -- creative license! -- but Chris Young, you're a slumpster. Saying "be patient" isn't exactly meant in the same fashion it is with the aforementioned Adrian Beltre. In that case it's a matter of time frames for hot streaks. In Young's, it's that he's in that free-swinging group that is going to drive you nuts with cold spells like this, but unfortunately you won't know when they're coming. Good stats will come with time. He had 'em late last year, for one. You just have to sit back and wait, though if you have an alternative to slot in for the short term, you should.

tim (colorado): A lifetime Brewer fan, pitching contunes to be our issue. Do you see another blockbuster deal like last year to add to the Milwaukee pitching?

Buster Olney: Tim: The Brewers are deep in position-player prospects, from Gamel to Escobar, so, in theory, they could talk about trading a Hardy or Fielder sometime in the next two years (and this is complete speculation on my part) for young pitching. But teams cling to their young pitching these days... It almost never happens any more, other than a rare Matt Garza deal, that high-end young pitching talent gets moved. That said, owner Mark Attanasio is aggressive, and he's willing to take some chances.

Rob (Frankfort, IL): It is widely considered that Wieters and Price are major league ready...How do you explain their early struggles in AAA???

Matthew Berry: Mental. If everyone agreed you were VP quality execuive, you got it for a month and then they sent you down to the mailroom,would you sort mail with the same enthusiasm as you did on te first day. It's mental.

Bill (Buffalo, NY): Who ends up with the better season, Ortiz, DLee, or Laroche?

AJ Mass: Laroche. I'm not a total believer in him, but moreso than the other two right now.

Jim (Columbus, OH): Rob, should the Indians be concerned that Grady Sizemore has more strikeouts (28) than hits (27) with only 15 walks to help offset the difference?

Rob Neyer: Batting average down, strikeouts up, walks down ... yeah, there's a bit of stuff here to be concerned about. They can't win without him doing roughly what he did last year.

WhatMeWorry (Arizona): What type of production will Chris Young (OF) have for the rest of the season? I had him pegged as a 20/20 guy that could score runs batting in the 2hole in front of Drew, Reynolds, Jackson, and Upton. When i drafted the guy i knew he wasn't an average guy but this is getting ridiculous. he's striking out a ton and is probably pressing too much. Do you notice anything mechanical in his swing? lack of patience? Will he have more value at the end of the year than Choo, Dukes, or J. Upton?

Brendan Roberts: I made a point to examine him this week, because I'm starting to worry about him too. I checked him a few times, and his bat looked slow to me. Like he can't catch the fastball, especially up. It's like he's filled out a little bit, and looks stiff. Reminded me of Ron Gant -- the bad version. I'd give him a little longer. The D-backs have remained patient with him, in part because of his defense, but I'd wait for him to turn it around another few weeks.

Zack Greinke: If I were to be traded (selling high) what kind of players should I be fetching as the return?

Tristan H. Cockcroft : Let's get the Greinke questions out of the way and allow me to reiterate, I would not deal him. I'm a believer. I recently traded Jake Peavy for Nick Markakis in an important keeper league of mine; I'd say Markakis is the absolute least hitter I would accept in exchange for Greinke, too. And I'd push for more.

SprungOnSports (Long Island): How much playing time and success do you expect Matt LaPorta to get with the Indians?

Ben Badler: If he starts the season well, he'll probably get regular playing time, and if not he might get eased into things as a platoon role. I don't think that's the right way to determine playing time, but it seems to be the route most managers take. If they play him every day, he's a ROY candidate, but he can still be pitched to if you can take advantage of his aggressiveness against high fastballs or with a good slider. But he has a tremendous ability to leverage the ball with his swing for plus-plus power, so there's not much margin for error for pitchers to miss.

Scott (Philly): Do I pull the trigger on Victor Martinez for John Baker, Dye, and Scutaro? I have Phillips at 2B and Rios, Bruce, and Damon in the OF.

Eric Karabell : No. I would surely keep Victor there. Baker can hit .300, but there's no power there. Phillips and your entire OF will all be fine. Panicking is a bad idea.

Nick (Santa Barbara, CA): Jerry-- Any thoughts on how the loss of Manny changes the dynamics of the Dodgers' line-up?

Jerry Crasnick: Nick, Well, substituting Juan Pierre for Manny means they'll run more often. I know Pierre has his detractors, but if you're in a spot like this, there are a lot worse guys you could be calling on for more playing time.

john (philly): Will Matt Weiters be more valuable than Inge or Ianetta? All the hype has me confused. Thank you, sir.

Jason Grey : I would bet Wieters outhits Inge from the day he comes up through the end of the season. I thought Inge was getting a bit overlooked this preseason, but he's due for some dropoff. Iannetta has homered in four of his last five starts and is starting to come around, so I'd still take him for now. 

Jason (Parker, CO): Good morning Stephania. Do you think Brian McCann is ready to step in and be successful tonight? Should I hang on to my third catcher for a while just in case? Thanks!

Stephania Bell: Jason: I think he will step in and be successful. Unlike players with a heaking strain or sprain, he just needed to find something that allowed him to see. Apparently these sports glasses are working well for him. It sounds like he may still need an offseason procedure but he seems to think he's found the solution to get him through the year.

Will (STL): Ludwick is legit, and just cuz the ESPN "expert" brain trust failed to rank him properly this preseason doesn't mean that guy actually traded a 10th rounder for a first rounder. I could see all cats except steals being close with only a marginal difference in average.

Pierre Becquey: (3:34 PM ET ) I was part of those rankings meetings, Will, and let me tell you, Ludwick was polarizing. And as someone who was early in the Ludwick bandwagon (I drafted him in every mixed and NL-only league I was in last season) even I think his April was one of his GOOD months, not the norm. The point isn't that a 10th rounder was traded for a first rounder, the point was that an outfielder was traded for an infielder capable of exactly the same numbers the rest of the way, PLUS 20 stolen bases. Would you just give away 20 stolen bases, willy-nilly like that?

Dennis (Santa Clarita, CA): Why did the Dodgers bring up Xavier Paul instead of Jason Repko? I'm rather mystified.

Keith Law: Defensive value. Paul's a pretty good platoon hitter - good swing, good idea of the zone, should be duct-taped to the bench when there's a lefty on the mound.

PSIllini (Champaign, IL): Is David Ortiz done?

Joe Sheehan: I don't know. Bat-only players have a long track record of falling off at his age, and the statistical indicators show a spike in walks, which is often a death knell. On the other hand, I don't know if he's still bothered by the wrist issue, and if he is, whether it will eventually go away.

To take a step back, this does show the problem of investing in bat-only players. If they don't hit, I mean really hit, they're a huge albatross.

MT (KC): Is there any chance Alberto Callaspo is legit?

Kevin Goldstein: Absolutely. Not like 1.000 OPS legit, but .300 hitter legit. I got flack for pumping him in the Royals Top 11 , but as they say in Blood Simple, "Who looks stupid now?"