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Is there anything more fulfilling than grabbing a hitter on a short schedule day and he gives you a home run, steal or just an overall quality day?  It’s the fantasy baseball equivalent to taking a girl out, she pays and has sex with you (assuming you’re not a paid escort, though I’m pretty sure there’s not that many paid escorts reading a fantasy baseball blog).  It’s pay dirt of the fantasy baseball kind.  So how does one with the ‘pertise of me find a waiver wire hitter on a short schedule day?  Darts at a board?  A Ouija board?  Draw whiskers on my face, infiltrate a clowder of stray cats and hold pictures of Mike Cameron and David Murphy up to see which one the cats are attracted to?  Sometimes it’s all the above.  But before I resort to dumb luck, I usually look for these five criteria:

1. Playing time –  There’s nothing worse than picking up a hitter for one day and he doesn’t play.  I usually sort by ABs for the last week to make sure the top free agents are playing.  If there’s even a chance they might not play, I usually look elsewhere.

2. Is the guy currently hitting? – Hitters tend to do what they should do over the course of a season, but from day to day and week to week guys go in and out of slumps.  If you’re picking up a guy for only one day, you want a guy that is hitting.  If he’s in a 0-for-45 slump, you’re probably better taking an 0-for-0 and going to grab a bite to eat at Whataburger.  To pinpoint guys that are hitting, I sort by hits in the last week.  There’s usually overlap between guys who are getting playing time.  Otherwise, their managers should be fired.

3. Righty/Lefty Splits – If a guy is hitting well over the last week but is going against his notoriously weaker side, he’s a pass.  This usually goes for lefties facing lefties.  Righties that are going against righties don’t give me as much pause, unless we’re talking about Matt Diaz.  Speaking of which, if a guy is going against a side he absolutely kills then he’s almost an automatic start since I assume his manager will start him too.

4. Hitter/Pitcher Matchups – This is a continuation of the splits.  If a guy hits a particular pitcher very well, he’s a go.  Contrary to the above splits though, if a guy is hitting well and hasn’t hit a particular pitcher well, he could still be a go if all else fails.

5. The Park and Team Factor – The last thing I look at is where they’ll be playing.  If it’s between two guys and one’s at Coors and one’s at Petco, I obviously choose Colorado.  If a player’s team is currently hitting well then I’ll go with him over a guy whose team is struggling.  The thinking is he’ll at least have some chances for RBIs and Runs.

These are in order of importance.  If a player doesn’t meet the first criteria, he’s eliminated.  If you get, say, ten guys who meet the first criteria, then you keep moving down the list until you only have one guy left.  If you still have a few choices by the end, then you draw whiskers on your face and find yourself a clowder of strays.

From Around The Web

  1. cruisinkc says:
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    Which side do you prefer of this possible trade:

    A) BJ Upton and Ricky Nolasco
    or
    B) Torii Hunter and Ted Lilly

  2. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @cruisinkc: Upton side. It’s fair and close.

  3. Mr2Bits says:
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    Grey : Did I catch wind that you are doing a fantasy football site as well?

  4. cruisinkc says:
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    @Grey: Thanks!

  5. danimal35 says:
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    thanks for making me look up clowder…educatoring my vocab too!

  6. I'm so Prado of you says:
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    who wins:

    Nelson Cruz for JJ

  7. akk says:
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    ryan braun for king felix? morgan or raja davis? thank you

  8. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    I have found that overall home/away splits can be quite predictive as well. Some guys just don’t perform on the road (no matter how poor the pitcher is), (some not as well at home).

  9. ThePoonTycoon says:
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    @Anonymous: (from previous post’s comments) i would trade hart for either of those guys. i just think hart is gonna go back to being corey hart next year. if you could get heyward in a dynasty league, then do it and don’t think twice and enjoy heyward the next 15 or so years. i’d take mmd too simply because he’s proven power, and he has better position eligibility. and we know he can be better. hart is pretty much performing as well as he can right now.

  10. Commish Cauda says:
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    Any worries starting Latos @PIT later this week?

  11. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    @Grey: Do you apply this set of criteria to each Buy/Sell candidate?

  12. cain fan says:
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    Grey – In leagues where you have a decent sized bench (>5 spots), do you tend to keep extra SP, RP, Bats, mix? Because another way to maximize stats is to stack up on SP early on and when your league trade deadline comes around dump SP for bats (you will be over IP by then so they don’t serve much purpose) to fill my games played. Thoughts?

  13. Anonymous says:
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    @Commish Cauda: None at all. Full speed ahead with Latos…or at least as much as the pads let him…

  14. Adam Rosales says:
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    Hey Grey, I’ve been crushing the ball lately. What do you see in my future for the rest of the season? Am I worth a pickup over, say, an Ian Desmond?

  15. cain fan says:
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    Grey-Do you believe in Carlos Lee? His BABIP is terrible, any chance he finishes strong and is a good buy low? Thanks!

  16. Ryan Beariot says:
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    @Grey

    Trevor Cahill just got dropped in my 5×5 H2H. Should I drop any of the following for the waiver claim?

    Hitters: Alex Gonzalez, Kubel, Jason Bay, Adam LaRoche
    Pitchers: Jonathan Niese, Daniel Hudson, Bumgarner, Freddy Garcia

    I’m thinking Garcia or Hudson, but your thoughts are always appreciated

  17. Todd says:
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    I have to pick 1 SP from this group. Who do I go with out of Marcum, Shields or DLR?

  18. Cal Cheats says:
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    Kubel, Bay or LaRoche for a bench spot? Position doesn’t matter.

  19. Gambler says:
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    Could you rank these pitchers for the rest of the season?

    Latos, Floyd, Scherzer, Bucholz, Vazquez, Garcia, Hughes, Volquez.

  20. Turd Ferguson says:
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    Is Rolen about to turn back into a pumpkin? Would you take a chance on Roberts outperforming him as a bench guy/Util going forward?

  21. CoreyII says:
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    while we’re talking about Bay – do you have any faith in him to turn it around? would you try to buy low? rather have Bay or Brennan Boesch going forward?

  22. ThePoonTycoon says:
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    @Ryan Beariot: hudson. garcia is still being effective enough that you shouldn’t drop him. at least wait until he has 3 or 4 straight rough starts.

  23. thepizzaman says:
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    @ Eddy:

    Thanks for those Inception articles. Really good stuff. Still lost on half of it though haha

  24. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @akk: I’d want Braun and Morgan. Both are fair.

    @simply fred: Nope

    @Commish Cauda: Nope

    @cain fan: Extra arms. I wouldn’t dump SPs and make it easier for my opponents to find useful arms.

    @Adam Rosales: He’s hitting well right now, I wouldn’t count on it lasting. If you want to add him over Desmond, go for it.

    @cain fan: Off the top of my head, I think it’s going on 2 1/2 years he hasn’t hit more than 6 homers in a month.

    @Ryan Beariot: Garcia…

    @Todd: Marcum

    @Cal Cheats: Kubel

    @Gambler: Buchholz, Hughes, Floyd, Latos…

    @Turd Ferguson: I think Rolen already has.

    @CoreyII: I don’t have much faith in Bay as I’ve been saying since December.

  25. NoCalBatteryChucker says:
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    Callaspo or Jason Bartlett?

    Coghlan, Corey Patterson or Fred Lewis?

  26. timSTi says:
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    @Grey: Thoughts on Nate McLouth returning from the DL? He’s a FA in my 10 team deep-ish roto (5 OF, 2 UT, 5 BN).

  27. El Famous Burrito says:
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    @Grey

    I once did the same thing before heading to Blockbuster, only I used pictures of Kirk Cameron and Eddie Murphy.

    After sitting through Norbit, I bought the first season of Growing Pains on DVD and a dog.

    Fucking cats.

  28. phil says:
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    The fantasy football site has been going strong all off-season and now into prep, really good stuff. Now that I’ve buttered you up…Need to trade Hart, but my only holes are at OF. This guy in the league really wants Hart, here’s his top choices: Holliday, McCutchen, Choo, Bruce, Coghlan, Delmon Young, Victor Martinez. Im tops in HR, SB, near top in RBI, R. Also OPS league. Thoughts?

  29. ThePoonTycoon says:
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    @Ryan Beariot: whoops, i read your post and my brain said “jaime garcia” instead of “freddy garcia”. yeah drop fred.

  30. The Cow says:
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    @Grey: Great to hear that a football site is up and running; I have had much success so far in baseball because of you and need to tally margarita credits goin’ your way…

    On to my question: in the ESPN leagues I play, I use the research function within the site to help gauge potential FA’s to pickup/watch, etc. Have you, or any of Razzball Nation, have strong feelings either way about it?

  31. royce! says:
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    Hey, I have a relevant question! Weird! In need of SB- would you rather start Pennington v. Matsuzaka or Alcides Escobar v. Karstens (and presumably, Doumit).

    Teach a man to fish…and he’ll come back and ask you what kind of fish he should be looking for.

  32. Kazmere says:
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    Can you rank these SAGNOFs? Torres, AJax, Morgan, Coco. Decent average would be a bonus!

  33. @Grey: Good stuff. While sitting in on a Fangraphs chat a few weeks ago, one of the ‘perts over there decried hitter vs. pitcher matchups as the most irksome thing that broadcasters harp on, but I wasn’t buying.

    I know it may be a small sample size a lot of the time, but some guys just hit some pitchers well and vice versa. A smart fantasy owner exploits that info.

    Obviously, it’s also smart to use this criteria to select who you’re going to start on a given night, if you have one or more bench players.

  34. Roll It and Burnett says:
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    @Grey: Verlander, Andrus for Hanley. Which side wins?

  35. Denys says:
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    Trade away Robot Jones for Jay Bruce? Just got offered this.

  36. Turkey teeth says:
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    Have Ian Stewart and Chase Headley lulling my 3B to sleep. Either worth dropping for Beckham?

  37. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @phil: See if you can throw in something and you can get Holliday. Otherwise, go for McCutchen.

    @The Cow: Cool… Yeah, I don’t look at the research thing. I just do as outlined above.

    @royce!: Pennington

    @Kazmere: Morgan, Torres, Coco…

    @3FingersBrown: Cool… Yeah, batter vs. pitcher is low on the list, but why wouldn’t you look at it, unless it’s a sample size of, like, 4 ABs or something real small.

    @Roll It and Burnett: I’d take Verlander/Andrus if you need pitching, it’s fair.

    @Denys: Tomato-tomahto, depends if you need a corner man, then I’d go with the Robot.

    @Turkey teeth: I’d lose Headley for him.

  38. ThE sHiT says:
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    @Grey: Howdy Grey! I didn’t win the 1st place midseason prize of $100. Instead will get the 2nd prize which is 4 Dodger tix. Damn Bills n Garcia crapped out. My opponent benched Felix, started CC n Adverb, and in what turned out to be the move that killed me, he picked up Correia 4 sundays start. Freakin bastard. Anyway, im trying to shake it up a lil 4 the stretch run: I dropped Robot cuz I found it hard to leave Beckham on the wire (16tm h2h, bunch of slow trigger-pullers). I have dlR n Garcia who r skating on thin ice. Gotta drop one to make room 4 Gallardo comin off the dl, who goes?

  39. Just completed 2 big trades in my main league…I’ve been leading the league for the last couple of months but my lead has slipped a few points of late. Curious to see what people think.

    First trade: gave Beltre, Stubbs, Nolasco, and Jordan Zimmerman and got Reynolds, A Soriano, and Jenks

    Second trade: gave R Soriano and got Liriano and Thornton

    Now, the first trade looks not so good for me, but I accepted it only after I confirmed that the second trade would be accepted as well. So, total, I traded:

    Beltre for Reynolds
    Stubbs for A Soriano
    Nolasco for Liriano
    R Soriano for Jenks
    J Zimmerman for Thornton

    Thoughts?

  40. Red Panda says:
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    Rest of the way for a CI spot:

    Loney
    Smoak
    Pedro Alvarez
    Chris Davis

    Thanks!

  41. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @ThE sHiT: That sucks you lost, but it’s not a bad consolation prize. Lose dlR…

    @Mark Geoffriau: Looks like you did well. Some upgrades and some SAGNOF.

    @Red Panda: Davis…

  42. Another Mauer trade scenario. I trade Mauer and Hawpe for Furcal and Span. Good trade?

    Another question, who do you like better for the rest of the season, Mauer or Posey?

  43. ThE sHiT says:
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    @Grey: Thx sir. Yeah ended up losing by 3 gms in the standings. The guy in 1st place didnt even start Waino but he still won big cuz Zito threw gr8. Funny thing is i get revenge this wk as i face the 1st place guy. Hope my guys show up so i cld hv some bragging rts…

  44. Commish Cauda says:
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    H2H-POINTS League

    Stick with Ian Desmond at SS or drop him for Omar Infante or Reid Brignac?

  45. Kazmere says:
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    Reyes or Bartlett tonight?

  46. Commish Cauda says:
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    H2H-POINTS League

    Pick THREE for this week

    Buchholz: @OAK (Gio Gonzalez)
    Correia: @PIT (Maholm)
    Gio Gonzalez: vsBOS (Buchholz)
    Dave Bush: @PIT (Lincoln) & vsWAS (Atilano)
    Slowey: vsCLE (Masterson) & @BAL (Arrieta)

  47. pat says:
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    Who to drop to get Volquez off the DL, if any?
    Pavano, Floyd, Scherzer, Hammel, Morrow

  48. @pat: It’s hard to say but maybe Morrow because he’s being skipped this week and the AL East is tough. Both Volquez and Morrow are high K’s, possibly high BB guys. I have both of them on my team.

  49. yanks4life says:
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    Trying to trade Strasburg in my keeper league. Guy is going back and forth on whether he would do Stras for J.Upton. I might be able to do Stras for Carlos Gonz and Zobrist or Cargo and Mccutchen. Suggestions?

  50. Anonymous says:
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    Anyone, Pick 2 of Marcum, Medlen or Volquez rest of the season

  51. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @yanks4life: I’d take CarGo and McCutchen or Upton or CarGo and Zobrist, in that order.

  52. Anonymous says:
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    @Grey: So drop Marcum outright? He’s sitting on my DL preventing me from making any other moves.

  53. Dexter says:
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    12 team, 5×5 h2h. We play 5 OFs and my OFs consist of Rios, Beltran, Bay, Heyward, Granderson and Jose Guillen. Was offered Huff and Abreu for Bay and Granderson. I’m on the verge of wishing hexes upon Bay and Granderson but not too enthused about Huff and Abreu. What say you? Thanks

  54. pat says:
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    thanks for the advice… What about Francisco Cordero instead of Morrow?

  55. yanks4life says:
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    @Grey, So you think Cargo + Mccutchen>>> J.Upton, sorry just for clarification because I think he would def. do that

  56. Someone offered me Manny for Posey. I have Mauer so I don’t need the C. I’m leaning towards no because Posey is having a better season and his C is still valuable.

  57. If my previous comment wasn’t clear my question is should I trade Posey for Manny Ramirez? I have Mauer at C.

    I’m leaning towards no.

  58. @pat I would not drop Cordero unless you really don’t need the saves. And even if you don’t I can imagine you could trade him for something valuable.

  59. Steve says:
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    Fowler out of the lineup. Seen icing his knee, apparently.

    How can he have hurt it? All he has done for the last few games is walk from the dugout to the batters box and back again.

  60. Alex says:
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    Need to pick up a Free Agent OF’er Fowler or Colvin?

  61. vinko says:
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    Thoughts on streaming Mcdonald against SF this evening? 14 team roto

  62. Carl Spackler says:
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    rank these Medlen, Randy Wells, Morrow

    rank these hitter for the rest of the way Coghlan, Beckham, Stubbs, Bruce, LaPorta

    5×5 H2H

    Thanks

  63. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Anonymous: Eh, lose Medlen if you’re dropping one.

    @Dexter: I’d take Huff and Abreu if you need a better average. It’s pretty fair and you’re getting less upside so I probably wouldn’t do it.

    @pat: I wouldn’t drop Cordero.

    @yanks4life: Yup

    @Frank Kim: I’d want Manny.

    @Steve: Ha, thanks for the heads up!

    @Alex: Fowler for steals, Colvin for power.

    @vinko: Sure, if you need it. It’s not obviously safe.

    @Carl Spackler: That order for SPs. Bruce, Beckham, Stubbs…

  64. Anonymous says:
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    @Grey: Yeah, that was my really convoluted way of saying: “Need to bring Marcum off DL. Do i drop Volquez or Medlen to do it?”

  65. Fletch says:
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    @Grey: I got offered J. Johnson for Timmy straight up?

  66. Fletch says:
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    @Grey: The guy right ahead of me in my league just dealt Halladay for Strasburg and Berkman…I think he just hurt his team.

  67. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Anonymous: Hey, it’s probably too late but Marcum’s missing his next start.

  68. principal blackman says:
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    Who would you rather have ROS, Marlon Byrd or Colby Rasmus?

  69. How would you rate the following SS for the rest of the season? Asdrubal Cabrera, Yunel Escobar, Alcides Escobar. I like Alcides for his speed potential but I know Asdrubal was rated highest in the preseason.

    Also in a somewhat related question, would you trade Hawpe for Yunel?

    As always, thanks!

  70. principal blackman says:
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    Carlos Silva is doing his best to bring his ERA and WHIP back up to their career norms in as few innings as possible. He’s a good sport like that.

  71. @Grey: Thanks again! Love your blog.

  72. Steamer says:
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    Hey Grey, who do like best out of Stewart, LaPorta, B. Wallace, D. Young, Boesch in a keeper league for 2011?

  73. Anonymous says:
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    @Grey: Never too late. I’ve still got him on the DL.

    In other news, Prince is mashing since I’ve acquired him last Friday: 4/14 4 Runs, 3 HRs, 6 RBIs

    In more other news, Kyle Kendrick was certainly a lovely mention (recommendation?) in Smokey’s Two-Start column. He’s getting torn to shreds by the Cards. Even Allen Craig is getting in on the action Fast Fact: Kyle Kendrick has struck out no more FOUR batters in any given start this year.

  74. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steamer: Young, still a lot of time left though.

    @Anonymous: Yeah, I just traded for Prince too.

  75. Steve says:
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    Ugh.

    Violated by Ubaldo and sonavabenched by Stanton.

    On the same team.

  76. Pops says:
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    Hey Grey,
    Looking back a backup to Reyes for the rest of the season. Who’s the better play, Starlin Castro or Asdrubal Cabrera?

  77. Bobo Brazil says:
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    What do you expect out of Oswalt for the rest of the year? He tends to have a good 2nd half and not sure what you project for him

  78. Howard says:
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    That’s funny Grey! I never heard the word “clowder” before. See, you go to a fantasy baseball blog and you learn something totally unexpected.

    In a keeper, Lester or Greinke?

  79. Bobo Brazil says:
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    ^
    lester

  80. Bobo Brazil says:
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    K-Rod or Bailey going forward this year? Each have their own injury history.. .K-rod will get more save chances and k’s… Bailey will have the better ERA and whip.

  81. Steve says:
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    Giddy up, Mini-Mini Donkey!

  82. paddytwotimes says:
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    @Grey: Long time no talk mustached man of mystery.

    In a vaccuum (sp? never know) would you trade Latos in H 2 H. Other pitchers are Waino, Cole, Liriano, Wandy, Volquez, Bumwanger among others.

    If you are moving him you have (I know depends on league) who would be a reasonable get?

  83. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Nice!

    @paddytwotimes: I would’ve traded Latos three weeks ago if I could’ve. I’d try for a #2 OF and hope for a #3. Or a 2nd to third tier corner man.

  84. Tom Emanski says:
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    Boesch is free-falling! I should’ve gotten rid of him pre-break.

  85. CalCheats says:
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    Wandy or DLR?

  86. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Tom Emanski: He’s just coming back to his mean.

  87. Fletch says:
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    @Grey: Verlander and Swisher for CC?

  88. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Fletch: I’d just go with Verlander and Swisher.

  89. ThE sHiT says:
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    @Grey: Plz rank for the rest of the yr: Medlen, dlR, Jaime Garcia.

  90. Buddo Chezuski says:
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    Make it or break it week for Slowey…has CLE and BAL. If he sucks it up then I think he should never be owned again!

  91. emceeperiod says:
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    Ok. I think I’m learning about FIP a bit more…so I’m offering Ubaldo and Colby Lewis for Liriano and Verlander. Which side do you like Grey? Liriano and Verlander should have (according to their FIP) some of the biggest positive adjustments in the league, and Ubaldo should have one of the biggest negative adjustments. Colby Lewis is sort of in the middle of the pack. Am I reading this FIP thing right? Would you take the Verlander side of this? Pretty even?

  92. Howard says:
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    @Grey In a deep league, thinking of dropping Pelfrey. Who would be a better pickup: Duensing or Chacin?

  93. Long Bawls says:
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    Dude just offered me Abreu for Marcum. I suppressed a yawn. Another dude just offered me Werth for Marcum and Furcal. When it rains, it pours, but nothing I’d want to swim in…or so’s my initial reaction.

  94. Long Bawls says:
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    Awright, Jon Rauch! Rebuild your shattered confidence by reenacting the nonsave situation that shattered your confidence!

  95. GopherDay says:
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    @Grey: With Volquez coming back strong, I’ve got to make a cut to get him off the DL.

    Would you drop DLR or Wand-Wagon for him? And when Bucholze comes off the DL, would you drop the other one? Wandy can be kept in the 6th round next year. (practically unkeepable), while all the other pitchers would cost practically a last round pick.

    And, starting NEXT year , and assuming both players have full time starting gigs, and looking at a long term keeper where both players would cost practically the same thing (Last round picks). Would you prefer Dominic Brown or Travis Snider?

  96. GopherDay says:
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    @Grey: Awesome, thanks Grey!!

  97. GopherDay says:
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    @Grey: Oh, and I am giving myself props for not noticing Fowler was out of the lineup today. A pinch run SB, not too shabby!

  98. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @GopherDay: You’re managing like Leyland now.

  99. mr baseball says:
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    Trade in my league

    is that ichiro trade for real or a joke tim (Atlanta Braves) wants to know on league message board

    Re: is that ichiro trade for real or a joke
    Posted by: mrbaseball

    its not April 1st – must be for real

    Jeff was able to get Jonathon Niese so cheap because he was coming off two straight loses

    Ichiro Suzuki for Jonathon Niese – trade

  100. GopherDay says:
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    @Grey: Ha!!

  101. fitz says:
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    Who would you drop to activate Buchholz

    DLR or Wandy

  102. GopherDay says:
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    @Grey: With Grandy being so suckilishous lately, what would you trade him for? I’ve got plenty of OF depth, so losing him wouldn’t hurt one bit. Would you trade him for Tulo? Too much? Think he could turn it around?

  103. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @GopherDay: I’d take Tulo for him, sure.

  104. GopherDay says:
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    @fitz: He kind of just answered that question for me…DlR

  105. Martin says:
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    @grey- alexi or castro?

  106. jeff says:
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    i know it is only halfway through the fantasy year but i am really ahead in innings pitched and only have valverde and broxton for saves. i have been dangling johan santana as trade bait and my best offer has been mariano rivera. what do you think? tell me like it is you wont hurt my feelings, i went from 1st to 5th in a week.

  107. fitz says:
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    @GopherDay: My bad I usually read most of the comments first but just got home from work.

    Thanks for answering again Grey.

  108. big o says:
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    chad qualls called on to close out the game .

    who should i drop ?

  109. Kazmere says:
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    Hey Grey, I need to drop one of these SPs when MikeG returns. Hurting for saves. Nolasco, Baker, Lilly, Volquez… Baker the odd man out? Couldn’t even get a good outing from him tonight @ home against Cleveland.

  110. DrEasy says:
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    Matt Holliday – Ticker Tease!

  111. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Martin: Alexei

    @jeff: It’s not great, I’d try and move a smaller piece for a lesser closer.

    @big o: Hehe

    @Kazmere: Baker

    @DrEasy: Ha

  112. big o says:
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    @Grey:

    expected you to say “my whole team” .
    hehe .

  113. big o says:
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    if this wilson is a typical new hampshire boy ,
    he grew up throwing snowballs in the winter ,
    and rocks and apples during the summer .

  114. big o says:
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    scully puts a nice spin on things .
    wilson prolly was sentenced to straighten out gravestones ,
    ‘cuz he screwed are in high school .

    in new hampshire ,
    we do what we do .

  115. big o says:
    (link)

    screwed around *

  116. big o says:
    (link)

    shakey ,
    but , i’ll take it .

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