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On each Sunday we’re going to try and answer your 2008 fantasy baseball questions. Is this every fantasy baseball question we receive? No, but it’s a few of the better ones that were emailed directly to us at info[at]razzball.com. So if you want some fantasy baseball advice that can’t get answered in the comments section, then there you go. Please ask the minor questions i.e. Should I drop Chad Cordero for Santiago Casilla? (yes, you should) in the comment section. It’ll be a quicker answer there from Grey or I (or even a regular commenter). Thanks, we really do appreciate your support and feedback. (But if you try to hug me, it might get weird.)

QUESTION:

Thanks to Rudy for your advice in the comments on Sunday; this query’s a bit bigger, thought I’d submit it to Ask the ‘Perts. Any thoughts appreciated, sorry I tend to go on a bit.

I’ve got a pretty simple question, but it’s a like a Russian doll that keeps opening up more questions: What do you think of Jimmy Rollins’s speed value coming back?

If you think he’ll be fine, you can stop reading.

If not….

I’ve built my offense for balance, with Weeks, Rollins, and Markakis providing regular steals, Berkman(!) and Hermida chipping in occasionally, and Ellsbury & Pierre giving me options if I’m in a tight spot. Is it worth trying to maintain that balance when one of my biggest SB-threats may be reduced to a power-hitting SS?

I can probably still flip Markakis + Weeks for David Ortiz and Robinson Cano (and maybe a SP upgrade, say DiceK to Felix), use Ellsbury as a chip to upgrade power or  pitching as necessary, and try to own HR/RBI/XBH (plus maybe AVG + R if I’m lucky).

In terms of pitching, depending on how many good starts I’ve got, I’m currently flipping between trying for L/ERA/WHIP, and (if that doesn’t work) throwing everything I’ve got against the wall and hoping W’s, SV’s and K’s stick. I figure if I can upgrade to one more top-tier starter and another closer, I can own L/ERA/WHIP, with saves a little better than a coin-flip (This league uses 3 pitchers/day, no differentiation between SP/RP, 25 inning minimum). One advantage to getting rid of my speed-options on the bench is having more space for speculative RPers, and space to stream should my elite starters shit the bed, or if I’m facing the team that starts Peavy/Beckett/Halladay.

So, what are your thoughts on focusing on dominating certain categories (plus a little roster flexibility) vs. overall strength (but no flexibility)? It seems easy on paper to take 6 categories each week and hope for at least one tie, but it’s a pretty damn slim margin of error.

Full details:
12 team daily mixed league, 20 player roster, 25 innings minimum/week, no limit on player moves; 1 player/position on offense plus Util; 3 Pitchers (SP or RP).

R/HR/RBI/AVG/SB/XBH
W/L/ERA/SV/WHIP/K

Current ‘Balanced’ roster:
C Victor Martinez
1B Adrian Gonzalez
2B Rickie Weeks
SS Felipe Lopez
3B R. Zimmerman
OF L. Berkman
OF N. Markakis
OF J. Hermida
Util Conor Jackson

Bench
J. Dye
J. Ellsbury
J. Pierre
[J. Rollins DL]

D. Matsuzaka
C. Zambrano
Javier Vazquez
C. Buchholz
J. Weaver
R. Betancourt
B. Wilson
S. Casilla

Proposed Lineup:
Victor Martinez
David Ortiz
Robinson Cano
Zimmerman
JRoll
L. Berkman
J. Hermida
J. Dye/upgrade
C. Jackson/Adrian Gonzalez (whoever isn’t traded)
Backup power bat (Votto, M. Bradley, M. Alou currently available)

C. Zambrano
F. Hernandez/B. Webb/C. Hamels (via trade)
J Vazquez
Betancourt
Brian Wilson
Closer (via trade)
S. Casilla
C. Qualls (FA)
Streamer/speculative RP
Streamer

RUDY’S ANSWER:

I don’t think there’s one way to build a team.  My goal is to be competitive in all stats (too hard to win and punt a category – at least in non-H2H leagues).  So I just look for best value and, if i find enough of it, I end up w/ some flexibility.

Markakis/Weeks for Ortiz/Cano is a good trade in my book.  Tough to give up Markakis but OF are devalued in a 3 OF vs. 5 OF league more than 1B w/o a CI.  Ortiz ranks higher on my Point Shares – in draft terms, Ortiz is a high-2nd round in my book and Markakis is a 3rd/4th round pick.  Cano hasn’t looked good this year but seems to be a solid bounceback candidate.  And he’s ranked higher than Weeks.  So, yeah, I’d make that trade and move A-Gonz to UTIL (Conor Jackson is bench-worthy).

I’m not sure I mentioned it in my first reply/post to you, but I wouldn’t worry too much on SB.  You just need enough to stay competitive in it.  With the addition of XBH, it makes an SB-specialist that much more debilitating.  I’d definitely pick up Votto if he’s available (probably not anymore) as he could play OF and has 15 SB potential.

While it wouldn’t hurt to pick up another starter, it isn’t imperative.  I don’t think you have much else to offer if you trade Markakis.  I’d stick w/ that move and then play the FA wire.  You don’t need both Ellsbury and Pierre.  Dump or trade one for a usable arm.  Dump Weaver too – there should be better options out there.

Hope this helps…

  1. Grey

    Grey says:
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    I thought this was a great question and I agree with Rudy about not punting. Anyway… I’m still drunk from last night. Maybe I need a Motrin. Okay, rambling now.

  2. Steve says:
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    Grey – hope you’re not too drunk to answer…

    Looks like Kelly Johnson is now part of a platoon – who do you like of these available 2Bs to fill the gaps:
    Barmes (SS eligible too)
    Matsui
    Jose Lopez
    Sanchez
    Kent
    Iwamura

    Also – have you ever had a hitter that went an entire week without getting a hit? I have. And his name is Edgar Renteria. It happened this very week.

  3. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Depends on needs, Matsui for steals, Kent for HRs/RBIs. I wouldn’t touch the rest of those schmohawks with Nick Johnson’s mustache.

    I’m sure I have, but don’t know any off the top of my head. Probably Velez or Mark Reynolds or Wily Mo or Giambi or any other crap utility guy I might have at any given time.

    EDIT: For coherence.

  4. Steve says:
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    Oh – could add Wiggy to that list too.

  5. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Kent is him but better.

  6. Steve says:
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    I need a hug.

    Broxton has made me sad.

  7. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: At least it wasn’t a 163.00 ERA.

  8. Steve says:
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    Yes – that could really have ruined things ;-)

    After a week of offence (Renteria was by no means the only offender) that would have made any Razzballer proud, Crawford’s big day had put me in a position to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

    Broxton, however, has wrenched despair from the jaws of triumph.

    Is it any wonder I am never happy?

  9. john says:
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    So Grey, are you still tooting your ‘trade Brandon Phillips’ horn?..I’m just wondering as I am currently very content with my team (about to be first place). Anyways, the point I’m getting to is, in terms of second baseman, there isn’t anyone other than Utley that I’d want. And I’m pretty sure I couldn’t sell my left nut for Utley. Phillips, while his average isn’t spectacular, he’s putting up good numbers across the entire board and his numbers will get much better once the Reds start scoring more runs.

  10. BSA says:
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    What the hell do I do with cueto? The trend is killing me.

  11. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @john: I’m not abandoning that horn yet, sir. But I also love Mrs. Doubtfire, so, ya know, sometimes I’m wrong. I can’t imagine going through this entire season without it happening, but my scoreboard will be better than worse at the end.

  12. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BSA: You can’t start him in his next start.

  13. I traded Phillips for Aramis Ramirez.

    I was quite happy.

    But I also have Uggla, so I wasn’t that concerned with losing Phillips.

  14. john says:
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    I hear ya. And seriously, run-by fruitings of Brosnan and a cross-dressing gorilla (Robin Williams has so much hair)..whats not to love?

  15. john says:
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    Speaking of trends and young pitchers..Manny cannot seem to be able to right his ship. He’s very depressing to look at on my Bench, with so much potential not being able to start him. What are the chances you think the Brew crew will demote him?

  16. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @john: You forgot the weird puppet show that he was embarrassed to do but then the random old dude who owned the TV station loved it. Nobody does feel good like Chris Columbus (not the explorer, because I think he might’ve pissed off a few Indians.)

  17. john says:
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    @ Freak: Yea, I was just referring to who I would get to replace Phillips as a 2B and I just don’t really trust Uggla.

  18. BSA says:
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    Yeah I’m not cutting bait, tempted, and he sure ain’t pitching for me next week. The other pitchers sitting are Fuentes and Shields. While I pitch, Beckett. Bedard, Hudson, Volquez, Myers, Papelbon, and Ryan. Yes, volquez, will be on the team due to league and commish vetoing. I sent back two options since Wells (mine) is DLed. First is straight up Vlad for Volquez (I get Vlad) and since the commish said he doesn’t care that Volquez is a stud because “we have a draft for a reason” and “Penny for Volquez would be approved” I also offered Damon and Volquez for Vlad and Penny to try and make the damn league happy since they want to manage all the teams. You know what sucks about the whole veto process, yeah yeah I read your post about it, is that the final veto comes from another team owner in the league who has a vested interest. So here I am in first place and about to benefit from a crafty trade and as he sits in third place behind the other guy I want to do this trade with. Mind you he also lost this week to the trade partner. Total Dink, to put it mildly. Rant onto deaf ears over.

  19. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @john: You’re right, he has so much potential, but it may take a demotion for him to right the ship, but I don’t think that’s coming too soon. The Brewers have options to start, but Villanueva hasn’t been great, Sheets is a sneeze away from the DL, Bush is a mess, Suppan is… Well, Suppan.

    Frankly, I’m worried he might not turn the ship around. However, I’m not dropping him just yet in deep leagues, but I’m also not starting him.

  20. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BSA: Rant any time. That’s a well deserved one.

  21. john says:
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    Lol forget? never..I merely left it out so as not to spoil it for Freak or BSA…and a few Indians? Try an entire continent of itching chicken pox infected Indians.

  22. john says:
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    Yea, I’m not dropping him just yet..but if Max Scherzer doesn’t get booted from the rotation and Victorino starts to really catch on fire, I might have to drop him for the Flyin’ Hawaiian (who has yet to be picked up off the wire).

  23. Andy says:
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    I don’t get what’s wrong with Cueto. I thought he was due to have a nice low-ERA performance given his peripherals have been great, but nope.

  24. BSA says:
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    Next week – I am playing four of the following six pitchers – which four? Shields, Volquez, Myers, Fuentes, Papelbon, Ryan. My starters currently are Beckett, Bedard, and Hudson. The interleague aspect is making me scratch my head more than I probably should. Heck I am still counting on Thome getting off this down trend so I have yet to bench him. Longoria is on a shorter leash.

  25. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Andy: I think he’ll come around. Him and Volquez will meet at the middle.

    @BSA: Volquez, Shields, Papelbon and Fuentes

  26. Dim says:
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    Someone dropped Corey Hart (!) for Konerko (!!); worth using my waiver priority or hold onto it for Kershaw? (same team as in the Q above)

  27. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Dim: Pick up Hart.

  28. BSA says:
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    Well, I am off to do some paperwork. Thanks for the rant room and advice. As Wake goes down so does my H2H and as a Sawx fan can only hope the bats pick up the pieces as Blackburn is crumbling as well. Looking at 6 and 0, guess the trades won’t get any simpler for me. C’ya

  29. Dim says:
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    Thanks, just needed some affirmation

  30. BSA says:
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    Hey multitasking now because I am thinking about pitching – Lilly is a free agent would you move Myers out to bring Lilly in or are they a wash?

  31. Tony B. says:
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    Came home tonight to a trade offer to me in my CBS Keeper League – guy wants to give me Longoria (round 24 keeper status) and Fuentes (round 25) for my Kazmir (round 5 keeper status) and Loney (round 15).

    I currently have the following 3 closers (Soria, Wilson, and Rauch). I could use another closer. Could I get more for Kaz?

    My current 1B’s are Teix (round 2), Votto (round 23), Butler (round 11), and Miggy as 3B/1B (round 1) so I have no problem moving Loney if needed.

    Are you guys high on Kazmir or think I should I rid myself of him before he gets hurt again?

    My SP’s if you were wondering:

    Bedard
    Buchholz
    Lackey
    Lincecum
    McGowan
    Erv. Santana
    Scherzer
    Jurrgens
    Kazmir

  32. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BSA: More or less a wash.

    @Tony B.: I don’t like Kazmir at all and would be that trade. At that round, Longoria will be huge going forward.

  33. Grey

    Grey says:
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    BTW, going to watch the Survivor finale for the next three hours. Talk amongst yourselves.

  34. Steve says:
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    Grey – if you’re back from Survivor, should Corpas now be voted off my team or is he worth stashing on the bench?

  35. @Steve: It all depends on what the FA options are in your league.

    He’s got 5 Ks in his last 12 IP and given up runs in 7 of his last 11 outings. I wouldn’t feel comfortable as a middle reliever. Given that, I think Corpas isn’t worthy of 12-team mixed league ownership. I’d hold onto him in an NL-only league.

  36. Steve says:
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    Someone has just dropped Shields so should probably grab him. I just dumped Devine today so I could load up on Jays and Indians for the double-header tomorrow, but I am sure he will clear waivers and I will go get him again in a couple of days.
    Other options:
    Riske (could get saves, but who would know?)
    Embree
    Boyer
    Ramon Ramierz
    Carlsson
    Guerrier
    Dennys Reyes

  37. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Yeah, Corpas is a dead goose for now. Let him go. I just dropped him for Riske in a mixed league I’m in.

  38. Steve says:
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    Sounds like a plan.

    After all, no one ever got into trouble by doing what Grey told them.

    Did they?

  39. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    I love this site as much as Ashley Simpson loves her backtrack, but there’s nothing more boring than listening to someone’s 10000 word essay on their fantasy team’s problems.

    Oh, and here’s a <<>> for my sardonic rant.

  40. @IowaCubs: Fair ’nuff, IowaCubs. That’s why we relegate the Mailbag to Sunday programming – kind of like what ‘Fox’ does to Cops…

  41. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    @Rudy Gamble: Really? I thought that was Bernie Mac or Seventh Heaven.

  42. Seventh Heaven has Jessica Biel…that trumps our mailbag right there…

    Bernie Mac – is that still on? That might be the equivalent of our mailbag…

    But, like Cops, mailbag takes someone out of obscurity and shines a spotlight on them. We just don’t show our subjects shirtless, drunk, and ornery…

  43. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    @Rudy Gamble: Hey… Half my cousins have been on COPS, so take it easy, Gamble. They’re not ALWAYS shirtless!

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