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Jay Bruce could be called up from the minors relatively soon. So I figured I should give you a breakdown, but then Baron Von Vulturewins, a regular commenter in the Razzpound and an all-around good guy (actually, he could be writing in from jail, I have no idea), did a great breakdown of Jay Bruce in the comments. So without further ado — the Baron on Jay Bruce (I edited some for breadth), “Pros: Jay Bruce is the consensus top prospect in baseball. He’s most often compared to Larry Walker — i.e. big power potential with speed and high avg., i.e. tasty. He’s currently at .366 AVG, 8 HR, 33 RBIs, 7 SB, .662 SLG in Triple-A. (And he started slow, so he’s been on an absolute tear of late.) Baseball Prospectus’ notoriously gloomy PECOTA projections put him at 29 HR this year (assuming a full season in the bigs, I’m guessing.) …All the indicators are there for Jay Bruce to succeed: bad team with several trade-bait veteran OFs, a local media clamoring to get this kid to the show — he’ll be playing in one of the NL’s premiere bandboxes, i.e. Cincy.

Cons: Two years ago, Alex Gordon was the CTPiB (consensus top etc.) and, well, we’ve seen that he hasn’t turned into “Boog Powell minus eighty pounds of custard” quite yet. (Some of us have watched this more closely, and more painfully, than others.) Cincy has a long, inglorious history of carrying one too many OFs, and driving fantasy owners insane with idiotic non-platoon OF switcheroos (see: Freel, Ryan). This is all compounded by the fact that Dusty Baker also has a history of mishandling/not trusting young players, though he seems to have put his faith in Joey Votto this year, which augurs (Word of the Day) well for Bruce.

Bottom line: Bruce could well go the way of Gordon ‘07, or he could just as easily go the way of Braun ‘07. Having missed out on the latter last year through pure Yahoo!-induced phenom fatigue (they hype everyone like they’re a young Babe Ruth, so by mid-May, you’re tuning it out) I don’t plan to miss out on it this year. So my money’s on Bruce. Given what you have to invest — i.e. nothing, save a bench spot for a few weeks.” Well said, Baron. I agree, if you have a bench spot, go for Bruce. I had Ian Stewart for a week on my bench and it didn’t cost me anything. Stewart didn’t get the call, so I dropped him. No harm, no foul. Rudy dropped Betancourt to pick up Bruce in our ten team friends’ league. If you have the spot, it makes sense to take a flier as they say in the biz (which biz that is, I’m not sure). Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday:

Ryan Braun – Now he’s just trying to make me look foolish.

Mike Napoli – The Italian-American put a hit out… of the park. Twice. If you have Pudge on your team, you’re just not trying hard enough. Or you’re Pudge’s cousin, and you promised your aunty.

Jake Peavy – Hopefully he misses just one start. But in reality, you kinda want him to miss as many starts as it’s going to take so he returns in good health. Unless he misses half a season, then you want to bang your head against the wall. Repeatedly. Until you draw blood.

Adam Dunn – The prevailing thought is he’s going to hit .240 and 40 home runs. I think he can get his average up to .270 and hit 40. He currently sits on .221 and 10 home runs. And .221 and 10 home runs asks Dunn to please stop sitting on them, so we’ll see.

Cliff Lee – For those holding onto him, I hope this was a blip. For others, who heeded my advice to trade him, this might be the beginning of the correction. Muahahaha…

Edinson Volquez – Strong outing, but he was wild. His history shows he can be very wild. He could hit a month or two spell where he’s unusable. Cust kayin’.

David Ortiz – There’s no reason to think you have to sell him now that he went deep. He’s going to do what he do.

Carlos Villanueva – You can’t start Chuck NewVillage at this point. Even in deep leagues.

Jeff Clement – Mariners decide the future is Jose Vidro. Mariners fans should decide to shit Bavasi’s house like Ronald Miller did in Can’t Buy Me Love.

Jeremy Guthrie – Was one of the pitchers I suggested you grabbed when Smoltz, Hill and Gallardo decided to wipe their asses on your fantasy team. He pitched well against a poor team. Would’ve been nice to see him strikeout a few more Nats. Actually, wouldn’t been nice to see him strikeout one Nat, but Wily Mo didn’t play, so there was that.

Kevin Slowey – Didn’t look as bad as his final line, but he has to cut back on home runs.

Edwin Jackson – At this point, he needs to be owned in every league.

Chris Perez – Not sure if he’s going to take over as the closer, but he should be owned if you’re utilizing middle men and potential closers.

Jo-Jo Reyes – Another pitcher I pegged as a fill-in for the Smoltz/Hill/Gallardo crapfecta. He looked extremely well and he has upside, but he said he’s pitching with a blister. That makes him iffy going forward.

Manny Acosta – Looks like Bobby Cox doesn’t have Acosta on his fantasy team. He brought Ohman, the lefty specialist, to start the ninth, which nullified the save chance for Acosta.

Justin Duchscherer – Looked usable, but he doesn’t seem like he can go deep enough in games for many wins.

Adrian Gonzalez – Seriously, the Padres would’ve lost some close games in the dead ball era. Gonzo is like the Padres “Home Run” Baker. (That’s the old-timey player who led the league with 12 home runs. Imagine playing fantasy baseball back in the 1910s. There would’ve been a ten way tie for home runs with one. Someone would’ve got three runs and two RBIs in a week and would’ve walked to victory in H2H. The top pitcher taken would’ve been Babe Ruth and when you heard he wasn’t going to pitch anymore, he would’ve been a steal in the late rounds. 1500 max innings pitched would’ve been reach by June. And you would have named your fantasy teams like My Team’s Fat Like Taft, Cy Young Is The Best Pitcher And Needs An Award, and A Hit Like Franz Ferdinand (and you wouldn’t have been talking about the band).

Ichiro Suzuki – Up to 20 steals. Wow, never a huge fan of Ichiro, but 20 steals already. Last year, he had 23 steals before the All-Star break. I think you should start exploring trade options if someone thinks he’s going to get to 60 steals. I mean, he might, but you already have a third of his steals if he does, so you’ve had your fill. Now stop being greedy.

J.J. Hardy – Hit his second home run of the season. Looks like he’s coming out of his season long slump.

97 Responses

  1. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    Excellent column today. Especially that part about Bruce. And the Taft joke — who doesn’t love a good Taft joke? And the Can’t Buy My Love reference. Truly one of the great scenes in cinematic history: “You shit on my house. You. Shit. On. My. House!!”

    To all the Peavy owners out there (I am not one): I truly hope he’s not seriously hurt. That would suck for baseball. And in fantasy, no one deserves to lose their league because their second round pick blows out his elbow.

    To all the Lee owners out there (I am not one): I truly hope he gets spanked like an unloved stepchild, every outing from here on out. In fantasy, no one deserves to win their league because they happened to pick up a Brady Andersonian fluke. The correction is coming.

    Question of the day: Volq for Dunn? Worth pursuing?

    Okay, gotta run — it’s time for our daily hour outside in the yard.

  2. Kevin says:
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    “You shit on my house man”

  3. Kevin says:
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    If I am a Peavy owner I am in the fetal position in the bath tub like the dad in “Say Anything.”

  4. Jeff says:
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    Dealt CLee/Victorino/BJ Ryan for Helton and AJ Burnett 2 weeks ago- Very pleased with the move so far.

    I don’t trust Slowey on the Twins…

    Carlos Villanueva is no longer the high class ho you use up and toss back out on the street as a “top of the line streamer”…

  5. You know what else makes you look foolish? Not being able to write “look foolish”.

    Hi-OH!

  6. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    @Kevin: [Exhales]

    CLEMENT: I know I was an asshole to you
    and to thousands of others.

    But, Bill…
    Bill, it’s you I gotta
    straighten this out with.

    Aaah!

    BAVASI: – You shit on my house, man!
    CLEMENT: – I know.

    Go…

    CLEMENT: – Kenneth…
    BAVASI: – You shit on my house!

    You shit on my house.

    CLEMENT: I know, Bill.

    [Sobbing]
    I know.

  7. BSA says:
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    Alright my head to head matchup will be interesting because though I had my first loss because I sat Ryan last week I am adjusting to hang tight with 4 starters and 3 closers . Dropping one closer for a starter only picks up ones start. My starters are Beckett, Bedard, Hudson, Harden, Shields, Cueto (I think their rank is in that order as well), my closers are Papelbon, Ryan, Rauch. The team I am going up against made his adjustment last night to pick roll out 9 starts with one closer – His staff is, Burnett, Hochevar, Lincecum, Myers, Penny, Volquez, Wood – with a bench of Cook, Jurrjens, and Young. This is the team I traded Volquez for Vlad.
    At this point I try and figure out the hitters parks and matchups for starts and think I should roll with Beckett, Bedard, Harden, and Shields. Any dissenting opinions on that. I am interested to see how it plays out with me having two closers rolling to his one a and him having 4 extra risky starts.
    Sitting Hudson might hurt ye by putting Rauch in and looking at points earned over the past 7, 14, and 28 days Rauch has been earning more than Hudson so it is probably a wash. Bedard and Harden were too hot to sit and Beckett has to get pissed off enough to bounce back.
    Opinions welcome and encouraged
    Hey BVV how was yard time?

  8. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    And Grey… Maybe next year you won’t look like such a Sophomore Schmuck on the Hebrew Hammer!

  9. Andrew Summers says:
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    I am thinking about adding Edwin Jackson, but I dont know if/who I should drop for him. My only droppable players are: Lastings Milledge, Manny Parra, and Hiroki Kuroda. What would you do?

  10. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Baron Von Vulturewins: Volq for Dunn is a fair trade in my estimation. Volq comes with extra risk at this point, cause there’s no way he can keep up his streak. so I’d want the Dunn side.

    @Kevin: Hope you paid your taxes.

    @Jeff: Yeah. Slowey shouldn’t be used except in deep leagues. His home runs are problem.

    @Freak: The period is inside the quotes.

    @IowaCubs: I hope there’s two crazed Mariner fans out there actually thinking about how to make this work. (Your stage play and the house shitting.)

  11. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BSA: Not sure why Shields doesn’t get the love from anyone, but he’s more valuable than Harden on your list.

    Also, I’d start Cueto over Harden this week if you’re only starting four.

    @Andrew Summers: Not sure the size of your league, but I dropped Milledge and Kuroda the first week of the season in the same league I’m now in first in.

  12. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    What about Volquez for Magglio?

    Also, I’ve had a trade offered to me today. I need both of these stats (saves and steals) so it works for me sorta.

    McCann (me) for Capps and Pierre.

    It’s a two catcher league and I have Doumit on the DL with Laird as the other starter. Humph.

  13. BSA says:
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    What makes Cueto more attractive than Harden? I thought pitching in Oakland made it a pitchers match-up?

  14. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BSA: Cueto’s going against a team that tries to work Pierre into the lineup for offense and Harden’s going against the top OPS team in baseball.

    @IowaCubs: I’d want more than Mags.

    If the trade works for you, go for it. But McCann is more valuable than those guys and you should be able to do better.

  15. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    @Grey: I just made that Magglio trade this weekend. I just needed a pat on the back for getting Volquez for him.

    re: McCann… I countered and asked for Furcal… news at 11.

  16. TM30 says:
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    Grey –

    Luke Hochevar. The iron seems to be getting a little warmer with every start and it’s hard to forget he was the #1 overall pick in 2006. So is he an under-the-radar, on-the-verge-of-a-breakout candidate, or merely on the verge of treading water?

  17. Baskeetnarb says:
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    I’m trying to unload Granderson and get Peavy cheap while there is some concern about his health. Here is my team.

    Navarro
    Youkolis
    Uggla
    Rollins
    Atkins
    Chris Young
    Delmon Young
    Granderson
    Ludwick
    Kemp
    Billy Butler
    Francoeur
    Longoria
    Doumit – DL

    Zambrano
    Sabathia
    Harden
    Marcum
    Scherzer
    Blanton
    Randy Johnson
    Duchscherer
    Lowe
    Joba

    I want to get Peavy, Nady, and Willie Tavaraz and after the deal I will pick up Blake Dewitt. How much should I give up to get those 3?

  18. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    @Grey: Also… do I need to sit Matt Cain for a while? Would Juan Pierre be an okay return for him in an NL Only league?

  19. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @IowaCubs: *pats on back*

    I wouldn’t sit Cain in an NL-Only league and Pierre for Cain is selling Cain low.

  20. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @TM30: If you need a starter, then take a flier. But I don’t like how many walks he’s been giving up. Let’s see how he does against the Sawx tonight.

    @Baskeetnarb: I’d try Harden, Scherzer, Longoria and Kemp. If that doesn’t do the trick, try and throw-in Duchscherer.

  21. Kevin says:
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    Shields gets no love from anyone, not just BSA. It is baffling.

  22. Chet says:
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    I was offered Zambrano for Mccann from an owner disparately looking for help at catcher. My starting staff consists of Peavy Bedard Greinke Jurrjens Valverde Capps B Wilson (Billingsly and Max Schenzer, Pedro on DL) in a SP SP RP RP P P P format. At the moment I have Posada stashed on the DL and his return is looking promising. With Peavy’s status pending and the lack of depth with my staff do I pull the trigger and use a Napoli type until Posada gets back?

  23. Frank Rizzo says:
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    Why is it all gloom and doom about Cliff Lee while there’s copious rays of sunshine constantly shot up Cueto’s dirt chute around here? Cliff Lee will be pitching against the Royals, Twins, White Sox, and Tigers all Summer. It may not end up as bad as you all want it to.

    Lot of egos in danger of being hurt over Cliff Lee.

  24. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Chet: Yeah, I move McCann for Z, most definitely. That’s a great trade for you.

    @Frank Rizzo: Cause Cliff Lee’s exceeding career trends by a lot while Cueto’s minor league numbers portend to great things.

  25. scott says:
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    @ Grey — I am waiting on Hochevar’s start tonight as well. I think most of his wildness was early on in the season and he’s been coming along. Do you think Oliver Perez has his groove back? The league is hitting only .235 against him (despite his troubles) and he strikes out a ton. He’s a streaky sumbitch….maybe he’s heating up…

  26. scott says:
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    BTW, did you see that Shawn Hill took a cortisone shot in his right elbow…even Grasshopper know this is not a good sign…

  27. BSA says:
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    Some players may be based on their fans of specific teams. My ranking is probably based on my egocentric Sawx view of everyone else. I look at my fantasy team and can’t believe I now care about the “Twinkees” and “Devil Dawgs”. Just look at my post regarding why Cueto over Harden when I know that the Red Sox have trouble historically in Oakland because the foul territory is HUGE.

  28. Frank Rizzo says:
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    I understand Cliff Lee is not going to end the year as the rockstar he currently is, but he did go 14-8 and 18-5 in 2004-05. He feels completely healthy this year, he’s thrown an absolutely ridiculous 46 K’s to 5 BB’s proving that his control is unbelievable. People who are looking for Cliff Lee to regress enough to give them the last laugh this season, may be waiting until 2009.

    Meanwhile Cueto has shown a good K to BB rate, plus an affinity for giving up giant bombs to opposing teams. He has control, but he must also be leaving a lot of pitches right in everyone’s respective wheel houses.

  29. @Grey: Yeah, well, *sticks tongue out*. I always hated that rule. The period isn’t in the quote, why should I put it there? But I suppose that’s an issue to take up with english majors, not you.

    If there was a Fantasy Baseball un-Hall of Fame, who would be the first inductee? My vote goes for Neifi Perez.

  30. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @scott: Shawn Hill is injury prone and might have to bail on him soon. Never thought he was a quality guy for the whole season, just when healthy.

    I like Perez to an extent, but his ability to have absolutely awful starts some times makes me hesitant to get too excited. Also, I don’t think he’s streaky as much as he just goes out and lays a turd occasionally so it’s hard to predict what he will do, making it hard on the stomach to start him.

  31. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Frank Rizzo: Cueto never gave up a lot of home runs in the minors so there’s a chance he’s just not as familiar with MLB batter’s wheelhouses or he’s trying to do a bit too much and with his pinpoint control that should be fixable. Lee’s always given up a lot of hits and never sturckout guys like this. He might be great this year, but a choice between a known that isn’t so good and an unknown that has great minors numbers, I’m taking the unknown.

    @Freak: Aren’t these the Razzball spotlights that Rudy does?

    http://razzball.com/category/fantasy-razzball/razzball-historical-spotlight/

  32. @Grey: Uh, oh, yeah. I thought that was another site on my blogroll. Whoops. Carry on.

  33. Freak says:
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    @Freak: Although, those are focused on razztastic seasons instead of razztastic careers.

  34. Frank Rizzo says:
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    Well, I picked up both early and right now Cliff Lee is a must start while Cueto is a must sit. I don’t trust Cueto right now.

    For obvious reasons, I hope everyone’s wrong about Lee. I’m holding him because everyone reads these sites and no one is willing to give any value for Lee based on what they’re reading. I could use offensive help but won’t get anything of value for Cliff right now so I’ll just hold I guess.

    Meanwhile Cueto’s not tradeable because he sux right now.

  35. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Freak: Yeah, they are, but Lima put together a pretty razztastic career.

  36. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @Grey: What about Volq for Morneau? Or Volq/Gordon for same? Better?

  37. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @Frank Rizzo: Whenever someone with a long track record takes it to some new unprecedented level, there’s a temptation to think they’ve magically suddenly become a much better player. (Think Brian Roberts, in the first two months of ’05.)

    Lee’s shown the ability to get through a whole season with an ERA around 3.80. This season, let’s say he even ends up at 3.20, which would be miraculously unforeseen for him. That’s still a lot of ass-kicking to get from 0.67 to 3.20, and the first kick landed yesterday.

  38. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Baron Von Vulturewins:Are you trading for Volq or the hitter? Cause I wouldn’t trade Morneau or Dunn for Volq but they are fair trades. Not sure what you mean by Gordon for same or better.

    @Frank Rizzo: That’s a fair point, but you can’t get value for Lee. He’s one of those players right now that you have to believe he’ll keep it up cause no one will give you value.

  39. Frank Rizzo says:
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    @Baron: I understand what you’re saying about the “first kick” landing yesterday but everyone gets kicked 1st of all (Peavy by the Cubs), and Lee is still set up for success in my book based on the offense and defense he has behind him and the division he plays in.

  40. SaltyBiscuits says:
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    Need some help picking last starter this week (replacing Peavy.. ugh)…

    Laffey @ CHW vs Buehrle (Hot right now…)
    Wainwright @ LA vs Lowe (2 bad previous starts…)
    CIN @ Wolf vs Harang (Petco…)

    Anyone have any advice? I’m a bit stuck.

    Thanks!

  41. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @Frank Rizzo: Sure — I mean, if he winds up winning 16 games with an ERA around 3.60 — a surprising but not unreasonable projection at this point — that would be a HUGE return on a waiver wire pick-up. But the point is, his value is at its highest right now.

    People who own hot players tend to get mesmerized by them, as though the good times will never end (I am battling this currently with Volquez). The key is to trade the mediocre overperformers for the star-quality underperformers. And I think Lee is in the former category.

  42. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @Grey: I’m trading away Volquez, and getting back either Dunn or Morneau. And I meant which do you like better:

    Volq/Gordon for Morneau or Volg for Dunn?

    Basically, I’m asking who you like better from here on out: Morneau or Dunn. Morneau’s big 2nd half power outage last year makes me a wee bit nervous.

  43. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Baron Von Vulturewins: Gotcha… I like Dunn better.

    @SaltyBiscuits: I’d go Wainwright. But I could understand why his previous two starts has you worried. I’d go Laffey next then Wolf.

  44. BSA says:
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    When it comes to first base I agree about liking Morneau yet I am waiting for the other shoe to drop waiting for the slump. What kind of trade for replacing him at first would make sense? I don’t think you can really replace his numbers from free agency.

  45. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @BSA: If you own him, you can pair him with another player, then target Fielder or Howard.

  46. BSA says:
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    What kind of value is there for Guillen? I like his multiple position eligibility and power potential. I have Morneau/Votto, Greene, and ARam/Figgins at his eligible positions and someone in my league wants to move him. I know he is not hitting his potential or even his norm so I would like to ride the upswing. Than again I am happy to just sit.

  47. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BSA: I think Guillen is overrated, and I wouldn’t go after him.

  48. Kevin says:
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    I would still take Cueto over Volquez the rest of the year. Walking 5 batters a game will cost Volquez sooner than later.

  49. Scott says:
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    Speaking Volquez’s trade value, I was just offered Josh Hamilton for him. Does anyone think Hamilton keeps this up all year? I mean, he’s on pace for something like 35 HRs, 170 RBI.

  50. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Kevin: I completely agree. Have to look recent Cueto performance and realize he’s actually a better pitcher.

    @Scott: I think that’s the kind of trade you can expect for Volquez. He’s not going to net you something solid that doesn’t have question marks. That’s a fair trade that I would accept if I needed a 27/100 hitter. Just expect to only get 50 more RBIs from him.

  51. mike says:
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    Cueto’s latest no decision earned him the boot in my league last night. I love that K/BB ratio, especially since that stat’s counted in our 8×8. Problem is I don’t think I have room. The only candidates to drop for the claim are Joey Votto, Josh Hamilton, Rich Harden, and Max Scherzer. I think I sit tight. Disagreements? (OF and 1B are set with Carl Crawford, Matt Holliday, Alex Rios, Garrett Atkins, Conor Jackson)

  52. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @mike: I would drop Scherzer. He’s not going to be starting in another week with the return of Davis.

  53. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @Grey: All right, Grey: moment of truth. I’ve got Volq/Gordon (giving) for Morneau (getting). Do I pull the trigger?

    I am waiting to hear back from the Dunn owner, but I doubt he’s going to go for it, so it might be this deal or nothing.

  54. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Baron Von Vulturewins: You know what totally sucks about this deal? I have Volquez and Gordon on so many teams that I hate to advise you to unload them, but you’re getting the best player in the deal. It’s really not a landslide in your favor, but it is in your favor.

  55. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @Grey: Adding to the drama, I’m in third and the guy I’m trading with is in first. This… could… be… the… whole season! Well, probably not.

    The first-placer is super fidgety, though, and never met wire-bait he didn’t like — he dropped Fausto Carmona to pick up Hong-Chih Kuo — so he’s dismantling his team bit by bit.

    Though who am I to judge? The guy in first is golden in every category except Ks, which is why I targeted him to begin with.

  56. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @Grey: Right now his team is powered by Josh Hamilton and Chipper Jones, so I figure a correction is coming for him, offense-wise. And his bullpen is in a shambles.

  57. Chase says:
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    A guy in my league has Chipper, Lance, Josh H., and Soriano. I just wanted to say that.

  58. Steve says:
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    The guy I’m playing this week has Papi, Hamilton, Chipper and Dunn. Yikes.

    Kobayashi and Betancourt are both FAs in my league (dropped by disgruntled owner). With Joe Blow coming back, who will be mo useful going forward? My pitching is relievers-only and my league counts holds.

    And should I drop Melky for Adam LaRoche?

  59. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @Chase: Yeah, that sucks. But trust me, an all-out fast start can backfire, at least in roto formats. In ’06 I had Wright (NL player of the month for April), Jason Bay (NL player of the month for May), Pronk (pre-suckitude version), Sizemore and Konerko (the year he hit .315 with 35 bombs).

    I wound up winning the league, but it was a nail-biter: Pronk got injured, Bay disappeared in Aug/Sept; same with Wright, and my closest competitor had Ryan Howard, who went Babe Ruth on the league second-half. So don’t lose hope, young Jedi.

  60. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: I’d go R. Perez before Kobayashi or Betancourt at this point. Also, I wouldn’t drop Melky for LaRoche. But maybe ask Rudy, cause he traded me Greinke for Melky. Muahahahha…

  61. @Rudy Gamble: Holy crap. How does someone like that stay in the league?

  62. Chase says:
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    My closers are Francisco Rodriguez, JJ Putz, BJ Ryan, Matt Capps.

    Jon Rauch, Brian Fuentes, Kevin Gregg, CJ Wilson, Betancourt, Ryan Franklin, and Soloman Torres are available on FA.

    With all those saves on FA, does it make my closers a must trade? I could use help in SP or OF.

  63. I came close to dropping Melky for LaRoche earlier today but dropped Billy Butler instead. LaRoche should be claimed in all 10-12 team leagues in my opinion. I think he could go 25/90 this year with a nice nucleus of a lineup around him (Sanchez, McLouth, J-Bay). I had him ranked ahead of Youkilis at the beginning of the year – still see him finishing at least equal in value (have Youk in one league and loving it)

    Melky isn’t that great for a 10 team league. More valuable in 12 team league when OF and UTIL gets scarcer. His runs/RBIs are taking a toll w/ A-Rod and Posada out and he’s swinging for the fences a little bit right now.

    I wish Betancourt had sucked earlier as I would’ve dropped him for a hitter and wouldn’t have traded Grienke. Not looking like a great move for me right now. But with Peavy/Harang/Vazquez/Wainwright/Cueto, if my pitching goes south, what can you do?

  64. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Chase: Yeah, you gotta move some of your closers. Just not sure of their value since most of your league is either not playing attention or punting saves.

  65. Steve says:
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    @Grey: R Perez is already owned, although as per your recommendation, I have a claim in for the Cards’ C Perez…

    You still starting Rios? I am but it’s painful.

  66. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Yeah, I’m starting him but I have him in a 12 team league only so it’s deeper. He’s been striking out way too much. FCUK!

  67. Steve says:
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    @Rudy Gamble: I have a pretty solid (if currently underperforming) OF: Rios, Hawpe, Markakis, Crawford. Does that make Melky more expendable?

  68. Steve says:
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    Oh – I have Bourne too. We start 3 OFs + Util.

  69. @Steve: That helps. If you’re playing with 3-4 OF in a H2H league, he’s expendable. If you’re playing with 5 OF, I’d think about it.

    But if he’s your lowest hitter and you’re not OF dependent, I’d pick up LaRoche. Melky is only a sure bet to beat him in SB….

  70. The Dude says:
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    I have been proposed Dempster and Scherzer for Cole Hamels thoughts?

  71. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @The Dude: Scherzer is about to lose his rotation spot for Davis. You don’t want to give away Hamels for that.

  72. Kevin says:
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    At this point I would be happy to see Scherzer end up as the ‘Back’s closer. I could use one since I have been recently screwed by Betencourt….you know, the guy that was one of the best relief pitchers in baseball last year?

    Seriously, what comes down to dumb luck more: closers in fantasy baseball or kickers in fantasy football?

  73. Kevin says:
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    At this point I would be happy to see Scherzer end up as the ‘Back’s closer. I could use one since I have been recently screwed by Betencourt….you know, the guy that was one of the best relief pitchers in baseball last year.

    Seriously, what comes down to dumb luck more: closers in fantasy baseball or kickers in fantasy football?

  74. The Dude says:
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    Any thoughts on Andy Sonnanstine I can’t decide if Mussina is worth keeping.

  75. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @The Dude: Mussina is not worth keeping. Sonnanstine gets the A’s next. He’s looked good with decent ratios. I’d try him out and see how it goes.

  76. Chase says:
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    A guy just offered me Jake Peavy and Brandon Lyon for Tim Lincecum and Francisco Rodriguez. Thoughts? Me likey my Lincey

  77. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Chase: Two days ago, I would’ve said you have to jump on it. Now Peavy’s arm issues are too much of a concern to make that trade.

  78. BSA says:
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    So, off task question, what time zone is razzball timestamped from? As you talked about moving Mussina for Sonna a team in my league made that move.

  79. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BSA: PST, why you think you got a competitor looking at Razzball and you’re trying to sniff them out?

  80. Razz is on PT.

  81. and I’ve been ninja’d. I’m gonna sit a few plays out.

  82. BSA says:
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    the team made the free agent pick up and drop of sonna for mussina at 7:27 ET and has Hamels. The other team that has dempster does not have scherzer. So there goes my theory possibly?! It still makes me wonder if they aren’t reading. Just intersting coinkidinks, maybe?

  83. Chase says:
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    I have a man crush on Aramis Ramirez

  84. BSA says:
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    Here’s a funny: h2h my team has shields throwing a first inning 2 er and competition has penny pitching at least 1 er in the first as I write this. What the hell? With much love comes emotional thoughts of, “WTF, Can one of my 2 start pitchers not cough it up in their first start of the week?”

  85. BSA says:
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    did someone sniff out freak?

  86. JR says:
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    I’m in a pretty deep 14-team league and I need to speculate on some insurance at 3B. How would you rank these guys in terms of 2nd half impact: Laroche, Headley, Stewart, Fields, Walker, Iwamura?

  87. @JR: that’s a deep league. iwamura is the only one who seems sure for ABs. given he can also play 2B, he could give you double insurance. I’d go Headley second since he’s got the best shot to play (in OF). I guess I’d go Fields at #3 as Crede is injury prone and/or they want to trade him bad….

  88. john says:
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    Well here’s a doosey (to me)…I think I might be able to flip Phillips straight up for Ortiz but that would leave me deficient at 2B with Derosa and Luis Castillo the only ppl worth mentioning on the wire. I’m currently in first in my league, mainly because I’ve had good pitching and am good but not great in every offensive category. So I’m hesitant to mess with whats worked so far for me. Thoughts?

    Oh and Phillips is my top base getter with his 4-4 performance so far tonight.

  89. @john: i like ortiz better but it’s not worth that dropoff….

  90. john says:
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    Yea, Master Rudy, thats what I’m thinking as well. And really the only other 2B that are doing as well as/better than Phillips are Uggla and Utley and I don’t see me being able to ever nab them with out losing my left arm and both nuts….so I guess I’ll just keep my slightly above average offense the way it is. Thanks Master.

  91. Freak says:
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    DeRo is gonna have a career year. Jump on the love train.

    I shouldn’t have any more of this Cubs kool-aid, but it is delicious!

  92. BSA says:
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    Freak, you should try the CRed it has been pretty good as well. Then again I always did like the red growing up, Red Sox, Cincinatti, etc.

  93. Carl says:
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    What the hell are the Reds waiting with Bruce? Are they content with their CF production? And on that note WHAT THE F is Headley still doing in Triple A?

    I swear I could be a GM and win the World series 4 out of 5 years and the 5th year I wouldn’t because I would be bored winning the first 4.

    I wouldn’t give Major League jobs to Corey Patterson or Jody Gerut, nor would I give $10 million to a post juice era Gagne or $126 million to Zito. That already makes me a better GM than 4 of them.

    Ya. I’m pissed.

  94. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Carl: Ha! Nice rant.

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