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We at Razzball realize that exporting our views across the country has damaging consequences on the blogosphere. To help make amends, we are reaching out to leading team blogs and featuring their locally blogged answers to pressing 2011 fantasy baseball questions regarding their team. We feel this approach will be fresher, more sustainable, and require less energy consumption (for us anyway). The 2011 Astros Fantasy Baseball Preview comes courtesy of Astros County.

1. I’m having a hard time thinking Chris Johnson will be as productive over a full season as he was in a little over half of a year.  What’s your take?

It’s certainly reasonable to assume that Johnson won’t have as strong of a 2011 (that .387 BABIP is dangling in the edge of ridiculousness). So once pitchers figure out his strengths (hitting while ahead in the count) and his weaknesses (hitting things other than fastballs), he’ll be due for some regression. But I hope not.

2. I’m a sucker for strikeouts.  I wouldn’t mind seeing something other than strikeouts though.  Which brings us to Bud Norris.  Can he shave a run off his ERA in 2010?  Maintain his 9+ K/9?  Lower his walk rate?

The best way for Norris to improve is with his consistency. He had six starts last season in which he didn’t make it out of the 5th, and six starts where he pitched 7+ innings. He’s going to have to be more efficient, and that’s going to come with not walking guys, something he did quite a bit in 2010. Norris only had one start in which he didn’t walk a batter and four more where he only walked one, and seven starts where he walked 4+ batters. With pitching coach Brad Arnsberg in his second season, I think Astros fans expect him to improve.

3. Brett Wallace’s been passed around more than a spliff at a Cypress Hill concert.  Can he settle in at 1st base and be productive in 2010?

Ha! Something that I like to point out regarding Brett Wallace’s frequent-flyer status is, look who he got traded for: Matt Holliday, Michael Taylor, and Anthony Gose – a player who the Blue Jays were apparently foaming at the mouth to get. But whether he’ll be productive in 2011? That’s what keeps Ed Wade up at night. He’ll be given a chance, but I’m not sure how long his leash will be. The Astros have more OF options in the farm system than 1B options. So if Wallace struggles in Spring Training, Carlos Lee will be your huckleberry at 1B.

4. Hunter Pence looks like he’s settled into a solid 25/15 man, +/- 3 on either.  Can he have one of those improbable 35 homer seasons and surprise everyone?

It’s possible. He’s been pretty consistent in the 15% range as far as homers and flyballs, but he hits a lot of grounders. That’s a short left-field at Minute Maid Park, so if it’s going to happen anywhere, he’s in the right spot.

5. Chris McGarry is playing Ed Wade in the Moneyball movie.  Any truth that Ed Wade’s toupee will be played by Robin Williams?

It was my understanding that Burt Reynolds was playing Ed Wade’s toupee, and the toupee gets traded to the Phillies midway through the movie.

From Around The Web

  1. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    i think pence is topped out at 25-20,he might break out for a year but he is 25 hr man

  2. @Grey – OPS league

    Logan Morrison, Kubel, Sean Rodriguez? I’m leaning Morrison

  3. Dingo says:
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    Anybody know what’s wrong with Shaun Marcum? Dude moves from the AL to the NL and seems to have lost the strike zone along the way.

  4. Richard says:
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    YOU ARE THE MAN GREY!

  5. trick dad says:
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    just went to lunch to watch the red sox game on tv…no one is outside and no one is in the stands at the stadiums. where is everyone today??

  6. ujoh says:
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    Too lazy to look it up, but I assume there’s a glossary term for what is about to happen to Lester (and Carmona for that matter) with the lack of run support on a great start…..

  7. SwaggerJackers says:
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    Another Tulo BOOM. It’s fun owning him in all three of my leagues.

  8. the grate one says:
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    would you trade j-up for carl crawford in a keeper? im super light on speed (i have a ton of power), and i think that this would round my team out better. but if youre that high on upton, theres prob a reason.

  9. Eddy says:
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    Wow, nice squeeze by the Indians!

    BoSox can’t handle the pressure. Yankees scoff.

  10. Dave says:
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    12 team league, 5×5

    my closers are Rivera, Kimbrel, Rauch, Contreras, Burnett and Capps

    my outfield is Braun, Mccutchen, and Hunter

    I have Vlad and Tabata at Utility.

    would you trade Rivera for Choo or Billy Butler? I figure both are an upgrade over Vlad who I could also flip for something I need later

  11. bogbert says:
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    Yeah, Marcum…come on. At least it’s looking like I might not have to shout “Sonovabench!” at Liriano.

    Drop either Wood or Lidge for Kennedy (or Beachy)? (my closers in a 10×10: Marmol, Putz, Valverde, Frank F (dl), Lidge (dl)). Thanks

  12. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    swaggerjacks,i would,your only giving up about 10 hr,s,if you have power to spare

  13. Eddy says:
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    And the Red Sox are 0-6. First Indians sweep of Red Sox since 2001!

    Tony, I don’t think this game could have turned out better for you.

  14. Dingo says:
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    @trick dad: Doing something better than watching the Sox get shut out by Fausto effing Carmona? 0-6, baby!

  15. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    getting thrown out at 3rd,the red sox are looking bad,great win for your tribe tony

  16. trick dad says:
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    @Dingo: it was in cleveland, wouldnt they want to watch that?

  17. dja says:
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    i’m considering offering phillips for aaron hill and lester in hopes of flipping lester for a power outfielder. stupid?

  18. Exactly says:
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    hey grey, is raburn gonna get PT this year or should I drop him for one of these MI: aviles, freddy sanchez, callaspo, alicides, peralta?

  19. Carl says:
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    Grey quick question,

    what tier of OF’s would you target if trying to trade Broxton? Liriano?

  20. GTS says:
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    @Exactly: He’s playing today… he had the flu for a while.

  21. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Exactly: Alcides for speed, otherwise hold.

    @Carl: 3rd outfielder… 2nd outfielder.

  22. Chuckles Tiddlesworth says:
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    “The best way for Norris to improve is with his consistency.” So, Joe Morgan got a job writing an Astros blog, eh?

  23. JRT says:
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    I hope I don’t jinx it, but I love me some Edwin Jackson. Thank you Razzball for convincing me to to wait on my pitchers.

  24. Tom Emanski says:
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    How long until the Rays just say screw it and call up Jennings?

  25. Tom Emanski says:
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    @Jonesy: That’s not even a debate. LoMo easily.

  26. Grond says:
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    @JRT: He’s single-handedly carrying my pitching staff to relevance right now.

  27. Alex says:
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    yo grey dawg. keep up the hard work.

    quick trade question…

    all things equal, would you trade
    a) rajai for brett myers
    b) pagan for lilly
    c) pagan for dempster

    i have plenty of speed to spare. i am leaning toward A) but thought i would see what your take was. thanks dude!

  28. Carns says:
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    Yo Grey you watchin the E-Jax show!?!? Act like ya know boyeeee….oh wait, you did know. Thanks my man.

  29. OaktownSteve

    OaktownSteve says:
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    The Rays are not good. Not at all good. Becoming more convinced that this is a monster fantasy season about to happen for Bossman Junior, however. He’s swing is really very compact compared to last year. He’s got very good hands. No reason he should have had so much arc in his swing. Nice work Rod Carew.

  30. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    @OaktownSteve: who is bossman?

  31. trick dad says:
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    esmil rogers who?? solid line.

  32. OaktownSteve

    OaktownSteve says:
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    Melvin Emmanuel “Bossman Junior” “B.J.” Upton

  33. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    ha,ok

  34. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    Great Grey One,fill in at ss for yunel,valdez,wilson or uribe at petco,jannish?

  35. Tom Emanski says:
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    Has anyone heard anything about Kyle Blanks. I know he’s on the DL retroactive to March 22 but that’s all. I just stashed him in my deeeep league. Could be a huge pickup.

  36. DogHat says:
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    12 team 10×10 roto, keeper league, my starters tomorrow are:
    Wood @ ARZ
    Zambrano @ MIL
    Drabek @ LAA
    Britton v TEX

    Would you start them all, or who would you bench?

    Thanks

  37. peter says:
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    I just saw that the Sundance Channel is bringing My So Called Life back to television. I think the move is a little premature; Beltran only has 5 sub-par games under his belt this season.

  38. LincolnT says:
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    Is it worth it in the long run to drop any one of Rolen, Peralta or Ian Stewart for the “Current Hot” Willie Bloomquist?

  39. Wilsonian says:
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    Is it wrong of me to say I love E.Jax?

  40. vinko says:
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    Tsuyoshi Nishioka suffers fractured fibula in collision with Nick Swisher.

  41. VinWins

    VinWins says:
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    Nishioka on DL with fractured fibula.

  42. Wilsonian says:
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    @Grey: ha, that’s good. It just sounded so dirty. Emoticon.

  43. Bobo Brazil says:
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    Hey.. in case you didn’t hear… Nishioka is going on the DL with a fractured fibula

    :o)

  44. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Even after today, that E-Jax for Manny deal I posted in the forums is still pretty solid, right?

  45. peter says:
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    @Grey: Meh, I think I should have workshopped it a little more before posting.

  46. DP says:
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    Ian Desmond or Rafa Furcal? Thanks for all the help so far. Both my teams are stacked.

  47. Eddy says:
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    Wow, wish I had EJax in more than one league.
    @Grey:

    Sam Fuld stole 3 bases today. Should we be looking into this?

  48. The Burghler says:
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    12 team head to head….7×7, extra cats are ks, ops

    C Jorge Posada
    1b Justin Morneau
    2b Ian Kinsler
    SS Hanley Ramirez
    3b Mark Reynolds
    OF Jayson Werth
    OF Alex Rios
    OF Travis Snider
    UTIL ???

    Having a problem making a decision for UTIL…..Manny, Morrison, Belt, Ben Fransisco, Soriano, Span or Adam Jones?

  49. Child Please says:
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    12-team Roto 5×5 4-player keeper league (lose the round you drafted them in)

    Grey, would you trade Smoak (23) for Alex Gordon (27)?

    C- Jorge Posada
    1B- Miguel Cabrera
    2B- Neil Walker
    3B- A-rod
    SS- Elvis Andrus
    MI- Reid Brignac
    CI- Carlos Pena
    OFx5- Jason Heyward, Cruz, Rios, Granderson, Manny Ramirez
    UTIL- Justin Smoak
    BEN-David Murphy, Jose Lopez

    SP- CC Sabathia, Yovani Gallardo, Anderson, Hellickson, Shields, James McDonald
    RP- Kimbrel, Franklin, Rodney, Fuentes, Farnsworth, Saito
    DL- Francisco, Bailey

  50. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Have posted another possible offer in the forums, if you wouldn’t mind racing across the Razzball campus to take a look.

  51. 3FingersBrown says:
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    F U sample size. My pitching is good dammit!

  52. Tom Emanski says:
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    @Grey: Seriously? He played in ST so I thought he’d simply be a lengthy rehab assignment away from coming back.

  53. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Never mind. I’ll just reject.

  54. Child Please says:
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    @Child Please: Would you do Smoak (23) and Franklin for Gordon (27)?

  55. Steve says:
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    @Grey: What are you thinking about Kennedy v Reds tomorrow?

    I’m nervous – and also have three more solid options.

  56. WDE05 says:
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    Grey couple of questions…first, with Nishioka going to the DL should I DL him or cut him? I don’t currently have anyone on the DL so the spot is open. He’s currently my backup at 2nd/SS. Should I look for another guy at those positions or go in another direction? I currently have 7 starting pitchers and 2 relievers. League is 7×7 (standrad 5×5 + OBP, 2B, WHIP, and HR). Also, BTW, I missed on my waiver claim last night on Gardner that I asked you about.

    Here’s what I’ve got…

    mauer-c
    butler-1b
    johnson-2b
    hanley-ss
    panda-3b
    holliday, swisher, pagan-OF
    bench- morse, belt, rajai davis, asdrubal cabrera, nishi

    Verlander, Anderson, T. Hudson, Buchholz, Holland, Zambrano, Beachy, Bedard…Kimbrel/Walden- RP

    Here’s whats available.

    FAs…Hitters- A. Torres, Ordonez, Loney, Ibanez, Nyger Morgan, Mitch Moreland, Freddie Freeman, Reid Brignac…lower ranked guys who are hot early this year- Hannahan, Orlando Cabrera, Angel Sanchez, Paul Janish, Melky Cabrera.

    Waivers- Ike Davis, Furcal, Delmson Young (already put in a claim on him today, dropping Morse)

    FA pitchers- Norris, McDonald, McClellen, Niese, Bailey, Harang, Zach Britton, Leake.

    Would you put a claim on Furcal in addition to Young? I’m 10th on the WW so I doubt I’ll get either. My first inclination on guys to add would be Orlando Cabrera since he’s been hot and gives me another 2b/ss guy. Melky has also been white hot so he might be useful until he inevitable falls into one of his massive slumps.

  57. Giant JJ says:
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    20 teams. With Nishioka out for a while. Would you pick up Tolbert or Hughes, or are neither worth spending a waiver pick? I need a bat for my bench. Thanks.

  58. Black Beard says:
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    Anyone watch Liriano today? Should I “start” getting worried?

  59. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Child Please: Sure

    @Steve: Doesn’t sound like you need it.

    @WDE05: DL… Yes on Furcal…

    @Giant JJ: Eh… That’s all that’s available? Who are you gonna play in Nishioka’s place?

    @Black Beard: A little.

  60. Black Beard says:
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    @Grey: Damn. Liriano, Gardner and Franklin for EJax and Alex Rios?

  61. WDE05 says:
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    @Grey:

    Who should I drop for Furcal? He and Young are both April 10 waivers and I’ve already set Morse to drop for Young. Also, who would you add once I can move Nishi to the DL?

  62. Giant JJ says:
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    Grey, I don’t own nishioka, I just want a bat who plays for my bench. I’m 4 in waiver priority out of 20 and have until May to burn the priority.

    Your book is a very entertaining read. I love it! I’m half way through it.

  63. Steve says:
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    Raburn starts!

    Tell your friends!

  64. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    dotel activated,if anyone is interested,grey ,where do you put him at in the tampa bay mess for saves

  65. Steve says:
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    @AL KOHOLIC: I put him in Toronto.

  66. Steve says:
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    Drop Volquez for Beachy?

  67. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    ok,frank will be back soo,so he probably isnt worth much right now then,huh

  68. Steve says:
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    @AL KOHOLIC: Probably not. Rauch filling in for now.

  69. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    steve,i would,but remember beachy surely will have an innings cap,

  70. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    beachy looked tough the other night,

  71. Tony says:
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    @eddy: HA! nope, only thing is i get no win outta lester, no win outta Liriano, and no win outta hanson, and hanson has been a total terd with K’s…. WOW

  72. quimmy says:
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    Grey, I’m trying really hard not to panic, but I am. I play in a deep 15 team 7×7 league (OBP, TB+BB, INN, QS). My team:

    C – Napoli
    1B – Pujols
    2B – Figgins
    3B – Reynolds
    SS – Aviles
    OF – Choo
    OF – BJ Upton
    OF – Gordon
    OF – Bourjous
    U – Dunn
    SP – YoGa
    SP – Billz
    SP – B. Anderson
    SP – Lilly
    SP – Zambrano
    SP – Stauffer
    RP – Marmol
    RP – Valverde
    RP – McKellan
    Bench – Leake
    Bench – Bedard
    Bench – M9Carthy
    Bench – Scott
    Bench – Helton

    Should I relax or do you see some problem areas I should address. Thank u sir.

  73. quimmy says:
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    Grey, I’m trying really hard not to panic, but I am. I play in a deep 15 team 7×7 league (OBP, TB+BB, INN, QS). My team:

    C – Napoli
    1B – Pujols
    2B – Figgins
    3B – Reynolds
    SS – Aviles
    OF – Choo
    OF – BJ Upton
    OF – Gordon
    OF – Bourjous
    U – Dunn
    SP – YoGa
    SP – Billz
    SP – B. Anderson
    SP – Lilly
    SP – Zambrano
    SP – Stauffer
    RP – Marmol
    RP – Valverde
    RP – McKellan
    Bench – Leake
    Bench – Bedard
    Bench – M9Carthy
    Bench – Scott
    Bench – Helton

    Should I relax or do you see some problem areas I should address. Thank u sir.

  74. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    @Tony: yeah him and gallardo,less pitches stategy i guess,its working for gallardo but hanson has stunk

  75. Tony says:
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    @AL KOHOLIC: basically guys like romero and edwin jackson are throwing great and hanson, liriano, etc are throwing like dog crap. It will come around tho…. half of my bad blow ups are in cold weather, come on who schedules these games!!!

  76. mrobs says:
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    just got offered Rollins for Marcum…. what do you guys think?

  77. Tony says:
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    ok drop salty for hundley? man my options are slim…..

  78. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    latos supposed to pitch monday against my hard hitting reds

  79. Wilsonian says:
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    Just wondering your opinion on Sean Burnett. How long do you think he mans the closer’s role before Storen gets the job back?

  80. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Nope

    @quimmy: Figgy, Bourjos and Upton is power light, and your average looks light in general.

    @mrobs: I’d take Rollins.

    @Tony: I’d hold for now.

  81. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Wilsonian: Mid-May at this point… But Storen needs to start pitching better.

  82. Tony says:
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    @grey: ya i know hundley is crap, eff me…. one guy has posade and mccann might try and swing something there for mccann, not pay much of course, but acquire something more reliable….

    Harrison, Lowe, or Dickey better than Ogando?

  83. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Tony: I’d hold Ogando for now.

  84. mrobs says:
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    @Grey:
    Ok, just accepted Rollins for Marcum… now who do you like for a SP pick up?

    Cecil, Neise, Holland, Harang?

    Thanks!

  85. Wilsonian says:
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    @Grey: thanks. It sucks he can’t do the damn job. I’m trying to target some FA relievers with some solid Ks/9 to keep an eye on, and he would fit the bill if he maintained the damn closer’s gig.

  86. chata says:
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    @Grey:

    any SP with a K rate of 6.00/9 or better , seems like an
    easy start vs the hapless rays … (sorry j. collette)

  87. AnotherFalstaff says:
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    @Grey – Pulled off the Rios for Thornton deal. Missed out on Hanrahan as a replacement RP but got Frank squared instead. McCarthy or Harang for an open SP spot? Thanks!

  88. Tony says:
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    which side: 1)Liriano/heyward for 2)AROD/Walden/Napoli

    I’d be getting arod/walden/naps and I need a catcher desperately (as asked above), arod would be an upgrade over heyward in the long haul offensively, im in no need of SB’s so the difference there doesn’t matter, and i love whoring saves and moving them for needs later…. walden would be a nice little bonus…. too much? Arod was the guys 2nd rounder, #14 overall, he’s not going to sell for cheap.

  89. Tony says:
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    its a h2h 10×10 league…. and it has a 32 inning MIN, so i’d still be left with Lester and Hanson plus some other nice pieces pitching wise to hold down my stafff…..

  90. AnotherFalstaff says:
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    @Grey – One more if you don’t mind. With the addition of Rios and Youk getting 3B eligibility, I have Chipper and Belt on the bench. Swap one for Tabata on the WW or drop both for Tabata and an SP (Esmil?). Need one bench guy since I have Holliday. Thanks!

  91. Tony says:
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    Grey what do you think if its RASMUS/Liriano for Gayrod/Walden/Napoli…. I really do hate trading for a catcher, and the guy just picked up walden…. but I can see it helping my team. THOUGHTS?

  92. Steve says:
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    Signs of life from Mini Donkey..

  93. Steve says:
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    @Grey: I’m still hanging out for the day he hits a donk off Bill Bray.

    That would be a close second to my all-time favourite, Wolfman Jack!

  94. Steve says:
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    Wouldn’t mind a Hensley vulture win here. But it’ll never happen.

  95. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: That would be wonderful for me too.

  96. Steve says:
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    Raburn doing *nothing* to help himself.

  97. Buddo Chezuski says:
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    Grey who would you pick up for a UTIL (OPS is an extra category):

    Posada, Kubel, LoMo, Byrd, Bloomquist, B Francisco, D Lee

    Thanks in advance

  98. rvde says:
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    Alcides, Aybar, JJ Hardy, Scutaro, or Alex Gonzlez to replace Nishi at SS?

  99. barker says:
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    just made a trade in a 13 team roto 1300 limit

    i give volquez i get soto

    my original C was salty and i picked up iannetta just in case the trade was not made/ will probably lose him now

    my staff after the trade josh johnson gallardo romero marcum beachy putz hanranhan benoit walden burnett romo DL bailey francisco

    his starters were zambrano hughes vasquez burnett jackson wood and he had three C soto mccann martin

    whatcha think?

  100. Wilson's Beard says:
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    @Grey: Uehara, Capps, Farnsworth, or Peralta for saves (please rank)? And when do you think Storen gets the closing gig back (or will it be a committee/Burnett keeps it)?

  101. Steve says:
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    @Grey: You like Trumbo over Miranda at the corner?

  102. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Tomato-tomahto… I’d go Trumbo for a few more.

  103. chata says:
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    @Tony:

    you’re going to have to add more to that offer .

  104. impaulsible says:
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    @Grey: trade haren for uggla?
    current 2b is ryan raburn
    other pitchers I have – weaver, liriano, gallardo, hudson, chacin
    standard 11 team roto

    p.s. your site makes me happy

  105. Whiskey Diet says:
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    Maestro, lose Minor for Bourjos?

    14 T, H2h. only 3 OF spots. I have McCutchen, Krispie, Pence.

  106. royce! says:
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    Freaking Nishioka…It is way to early to have Freddy Sanchez on my team. This is not a good sign.

  107. Whiskey Diet says:
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    @barker:

    Just being honest, not a great trade for you. You had Iannetta whose arguably better than Soto and better park/lineup. Also if he had 3 catchers he probably planned on dropping one anyways. Plus I like Volquez down the stretch. Sorry to but in, but real talk.

  108. 12-Team, Roto, 7×7 (OPS & K, QS & K/9) – currently have Greinke/Cueto/Peavy/Jimenez giving me nuthin’ at SP. Would you drop MMD (on my BE anyway) and pick up Correia, or just hold tight?

    Real World, Vegas, 7 strangers (picked to binge drink and spread VDs in a hotel) – if memory serves, the season opener showed (in the “this season on the RW” montage) that Dustin’s gay porn past is discovered by someone on the interwebs; I don’t think he reveals it. That’ll be so much better…

  109. marcopolo says:
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    Is A Jones/G Floyd for J Lopez/Britton vetoable?

  110. Whiskey Diet says:
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    @Awesomus Maximus: How about Randy on Real World Vegas? What a character.

    To throw a glass…

    You have the audacity, to me on blast?!

    Boom, Bazooka Joe.

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