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Last week I went over picking up free agent hitters.  So now I do onto pitchers as I did onto hitters.  I opined that there were five things to look for with hitters, after looking up what opined meant.  Most of the criteria had to do with the hitter and not so much who he was facing.  It factored in, but didn’t dominate the decision.  If you feel like pitchers are going in the opposite direction, your powers of perception are incredible.  It is a true wonder how you’re divorced multiple times.  Put yourself on the free agent market, you catch you!  Pitchers are a lot harder to figure.  The pitcher can really only do so much.  I try to not even concern myself with wins.  It’s a crapshoot.  This is more for H2H than roto, but sometimes in roto you want a spot start too.  I ain’t mad at cha!  So here’s what I do concern myself with when picking up spot starters in fantasy baseball:

1. How well have they pitched in their last two games? – I don’t need a huge sample size here.  I don’t need an under 2 ERA.  I’m just looking to avoid a guy who is going to kill me.  If a guy has been rocked for the last two games, he’s a pass.  If a guy was rocked two starts ago, then pitched well in last start, he’s a possibility depending on how well he passes the next tests.

2. Is he going against a team that is struggling? – The Astros, M’s, Pirates or O’s hitters can make an All-Star pitcher out of Whitey Ford.  And Whitey Ford is 106 years old.

3. Is he pitching in a pitcher’s park? – As I said in the opening, a lot of this has nothing to do with the pitcher.  I wasn’t lying.  Joe Saunders is crizzap.  Joe Saunders in Petco is crizzap with a chance for an okay game.

4. How’s the other team against a certain side? – This usually only applies to lefties, because if a team is bad against righties then they’re just bad.  The Blue Kays, for instance, are not good vs. lefties.

5. Can he give you something else you might need? – This is pretty much only for H2H.  Even if the pitcher gets rocked, will he get me some Ks?  Should his team win even if he’ll probably give up 4+ runs?  These are team specific questions.  Can you forfeit certain categories while hoping for other ones?  Can you take getting tied to the WHIPping post while being bludgeoned with the ERA stick?  Can you make love out of nothing at all?

From Around The Web

  1. FrodoBobo says:
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    I love you for your fantasy insight. I hate myself for getting that Air Supply reference.

  2. Doot Doot says:
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    R.Wells or hammel rest of the season?

  3. GTS says:
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    Does throwing Randy Wells @ HOU tomorrow qualify?

    1 – Look at past two starts: 0 ERA – check
    2 – Is he going against a team that is struggling? HOU – check
    3 – Is he pitching in a pitcher’s park? – neutral I guess
    4 – I’m too lazy to look this up.
    5 – Yes – W/K/hopefully good ERA – check

  4. schlitz says:
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    15 team league- is logan morrison worth a grab for my starting lineup over hideki or gomes?

  5. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    grey is logan worth the gamble over a slump ridden garrett jones,or is russ branyan better

  6. Art Vandelay says:
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    So as a follow up, I’m assuming you would take Bruce for CJ Wilson and Nunez?

  7. Grey — Related to something from the forums, would you rather have Delwyn Young, Jayson Nix, Johnathan Herrera, or Ian Desmond over Sean Rodriguez? This is in a 20-team roto league, and if I just drop Young that leaves me with only Jose Lopez at 2B.

  8. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Enrique: You need to juggle these guys depending on playing time. Go with Herrera for now.

  9. Chris says:
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    @Grey:

    Wells or Niese?

  10. Beau says:
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    In a keeper league with utley/roberts/kouzmanoff/infante/herrera in my 2b/3b/mi spots what round draft pick would you trade (along with one of the replaceable mi/3b players) for mini-mini donkey? Standard 5×5 10 team league.

    Also, in the same league I have ellsbury “coming back soon” and “need to make a spot”, bear in mind its a keeper league, would you drop bruce, huff, stanton, pierre, or torres? I can realistically make up the most ground in r/rbi/sb.

  11. scott says:
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    is there a site that shows team batting splits vs lhp and rhp? i usually just look up individuals on yahoo

  12. Wilsonian says:
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    @Grey; @Poon: re: Logan Morrison – thanks for the advice…Anibal has hit the WW in favor of LoMo.

  13. herschel says:
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    @Grey: tabata vs fowler in roto?

  14. Wilsonian says:
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    What’s your take on Soria getting dealt? I’m hearing rumblings and I don’t like it. I just dealt Ubaldo/Perez for Hamels/Soria in my 8 Team H2H.

  15. fitz says:
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    Soria isn’t going anywhere.

  16. CDogg says:
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    What about larger sample sizes?

    Buehrle: 2.20 ERA 1.17 WHIP in last 8 starts.
    Ohlendorf: 2.30 ERA 1.21 WHIP in last 5 starts.
    Vargas: 1.66 ERA 1.25 WHIP last 3 starts.
    Wood: 2.14 ERA 0.81 WHIP last 3 starts.
    Sanabia: 0.69 ERA 1.69 WHIP last 3 starts.

    I chose Buehrle as my spot starter for tomorrow. Good choice?

  17. royce! says:
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    Now that Tulo is back, will Barmes just shift over to 2B, or are we going to have another platoon situation in COL making Barmes unownable in a 14 team h2h with weekly moves?

  18. royce! says:
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    @CDogg: You gotta. Those numbers are nice, but I think that all you really need to know is that he’s facing SEA.

  19. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Chris: Wells

    @Beau: 10th round… Can lose Torres when Ellsbury returns but seems like a question best answered when Ellsbury actually returns.

    @scott: ESPN

    @herschel: Tabata

    @Wilsonian: Agree with Fitz.

    @CDogg: Buehrle seems fine there as long as you don’t need Ks.

    @royce!: I think Herrera will steal time.

  20. @Grey: While some like to bitch about ads, I understand you got bills to pay and I’m going to commend you on the Coors ad on the left hand side. I’m a sucker for girls in catsuits!

    Nice article. Rules to live by for streaming scoundrels like myself.

  21. CDogg says:
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    @royce: But would you start Cook against PIT even though he’s been bad lately?

    @grey: I’m ok with K’s. I’m 13-3 this year in h2h in the league I stream a lot and 11-5 in my DOWBL league because I have 11 SP in order to counter the 5 moves per week limit. I pick up pitchers in the DOWBL league if I need a K or W boost. And it doesn’t hurt this week to have had Garza in my starting lineup! :D

  22. Beau says:
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    @Grey: Is the 10th round pick for stewart take into account I wouldnt be keeping him?

  23. Eddy says:
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    @CDogg:
    Wow, I just added that to my bookmarks.
    @Grey:
    I did most of the work in terms of laying out the research, I just need you to give me 3 out of 5. The last team mentioned was his most recent opponent.

    Craig Stammen vs ATL (@WAS) (3 ER vs MIL and 1 ER vs FLA)
    Kyle Davies vs BAL (@KC) ( 4 ER vs NYY and 3 ER vs TOR)
    Dustin Moseley vs CLE (@CLE) (4.2 IP of 1 hit ball long relief vs KC)
    David Pauley vs CWS (@CWS) (1 ER vs BOS and 3 ER vs CWS)
    Brian Matusz vs KC (@KC) (3 ER vs MIN and 6 ER vs TOR)

    With the data given by CDogg, I’m a bit hesistant to play Stammen against the ATL even though he’s pitched decent and is in WAS. David Pauley has pitched pretty good and has a 2.18 ERA but the CWS faced him less than two weeks ago, who’ll have the upper hand? Logic tells me to go with Moseley first since he has NYY backing him and goes against CLE, but after that I’m at a loss.

  24. yanks4life says:
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    Casey Mcgee and Franklin Gut were just dropped in my league. Put waiver claims on them and drop any of the following for either? Jay Bruce, Pedro Alvarez, Span, or Ian Stewart?

  25. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    @CDogg: yeah,i like that site,added it also,thanks

  26. CDogg says:
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    Grey, your money problems can be solved. Some guy in California bought 10 years ago two small boxes full of Ansel Adams photos for $45 dollars and now they’re worth $200 million dollars. That’s why the flea markets rule!

  27. Aaron says:
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    I think we need a Wolverine Morrison post. I am taking my chances with D-Brown myself.

  28. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @CDogg: Gotcha

    @Beau: First, I’m confused why you have some of the players you have in a ten team league. Second, what pick would you give up? You have Utley coming back in a few eeeks, you can’t make due without Stewart for a few weeks with waiver wire guys?

    @Eddy: Stammen, Moseley and Matusz… They’re all terrible.

    @yanks4life: Eh… If Span’s a bench player, lose him for McGehee.

    @CDogg: Will look into it.

  29. CDogg says:
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    @Eddy: Stammen had two good starts but I wouldn’t take a chance with him because he’s been horrible lately currently and at home. Davies is 2-0 in his last two starts against BAL but that’s it. Moseley hasn’t even started this year and I don’t like taking those kind of pitchers. Pauley is 2.70 ERA 1.08 WHIP last three starts, so maybe play. Matusz has been awful last 3 starts. So my only pick would be Pauley.

  30. Donnie Baseball says:
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    what do you think about Morrison?

  31. Donnie Baseball says:
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    @Grey:
    Cool, thanks. Batting 2nd tonight.

  32. Deeeeeez Nuts says:
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    Hey Grey, great call on starting Buccholz last night! Would you mind dropping some knowledge on starting Volquez tonight?

  33. Steve says:
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    Now have Fielder and Pujols on my RCL team. Guess that mean I’ve just got myself a Prince Albert.

    Grey – I know this is a pitchers post, but got a hitters question if that’s OK. In my H2H league I own Lind and Ibanez and because of the way our rosters are set, I can only start one. Lind could be getting red-hot, but has never had a hit off Millwood, while Ibanez has a solid record against Rodrigo Lopez.

    Does Ibanez’ more solid recent record (a relative term, obviously) give him the nod?

  34. Steve says:
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    Oh – and Bay looks to be headed to the DL with concussion. This is surprising to me as I thought he had been unconscious for the whole season already.

  35. Bodymore says:
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    It’s a little crazy that Bay is my third head injured player this season, but also in the last month. Should I replace him with tabata, morgan,or gutierrez (need him to clear waivers). Also considering dropping gorze for the replacement so I don’t lose out while waiting for the DL to be official. Hopefully resolved soon instead.

    Great write up, thanks as always.

  36. martin says:
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    @grey- what do you think of starlin castro? He has been great the past few weeks filling in for my tulowitski void. Now that tulo is back, I should get rid of starlin but i dont want to drop him. I am in a 12 team mixed league. One team needs a ss. Should i try and trade him for podsednick or brett anderson straight up. Or maybe i can try and package him with ethier for cargo? Thanks

  37. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    houston street,hit by a line drive in practivce,hauled off in an ambulance

  38. Steve says:
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    @AL KOHOLIC: I’d say thanks for the heads-up, but you obviously waited until after you’d picked him up everywhere before posting this ;-)

  39. timSTi says:
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    @Grey: Who’s the pickup with Street probably headed to the DL?

  40. timSTi says:
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    @Grey: Damn. An abandoned team still has him from when he was closing. BOOOO

  41. danimal35 says:
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    I’ve got Bedard on the DL with no hope of pitching again this year and Kendry Morales is a FA should I swap out the two? Is Kendry supposed to come back back fantasy playoffs?

  42. Joe B says:
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    @Grey: Scutaro or Asdrubal at SS in a standard roto league?

  43. danimal35 says:
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    2 of these three: LaPorta/Logan M for bench spots or Corpus

  44. chrisbenson says:
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    grey, is jordan zimm still a decent option going forward (once off the DL?) he got hit HARD last time out…

  45. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @danimal35: Morrison, Corpas…

    @chrisbenson: It’s rehab, it’s fine as long as he doesn’t do it repeatedly.

  46. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Thanks for the heads up!

    *****EVERYONE SHOULD GRAB CORPAS****

  47. Howard says:
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    @Grey Alexei or Astrubal? Tomato/Tomahto?

  48. Earl Battey says:
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    Rollins likely to miss several days with his bruised foot. Since I have J-Roll, Street and Haren, that’s an ugly little trifecta in the last 24 hours.

  49. tHe sHiT says:
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    Strasburg scratched 4rm start. No reason given yet.

  50. danimal35 says:
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    BJ Upton twists ankle…looks like a lot of pain…but putting weight on it now..coming out of game

  51. fitz says:
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    Bautista I do not believe you are for real – cut it out!

  52. Bodymore says:
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    Dropped Gorz for Corpas… any idea when Bay’s DL trip will be official? I’m just hoping no one swipes morgan before then…almost tempted to just drop Bay, ha! Mm Old Bay..

  53. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Bodymore: I heard Bay will be back in under a week, no DL. Guess that could change.

  54. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Especially if a disgruntled fantasy owner clouts him upside the head in the meantime.

  55. Bodymore says:
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    @Grey Oh okay thanks for the update. In that case, I probably should drop Corpas and get Morgan?

  56. Howard says:
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    @Grey Should I start Volquez tonight against the Brewers? He wasn’t exactly Mr. Electricity in his last start! ty

  57. chrisbenson says:
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    adam laroche or morrison?

    also, felo, beckham, or azzdribble.

  58. Howard says:
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    @Grey My apologies, I just noticed your answer above!

  59. fitz says:
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    Haren expected to make next start Saturday as X-Rays came back negative.

  60. Fletch says:
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    @Grey: Can I start Verlander from the 2nd inning on in the games he pitches? Dude has got to have a ridiculous 1st inning ERA this year.

  61. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Bodymore: I wouldn’t. Why not drop Bay for Morgan if you need steals?

    @chrisbenson: Beckham… LaRoche…

    @fitz: Thanks for the update!

    @Fletch: Yeah, seriously.

  62. @Grey:

    Thanks for that Saunders quip. The paper labeled him an “innings eater”, thinking to myself: yeah he’ll suck up some innings alright.

  63. fitz says:
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    Glad to see these Met announcers know what they’re talking about. Tulowitzki is at least a couple weeks from returning…

  64. Kendry's Cart Off Grand Slam says:
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    @Grey: Posey and Volquez for King Felix. I also have Santana and Weiters. This is a 5 keeper league but my 5 keepers are set so none of these guys effect that.

  65. Bodymore says:
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    @Grey: why I run things by you sometimes…I almost always agree but I’m holding onto bay for where i drafted him and name value, not what he’s doing or gonna do at this point it seems…

  66. Kendry's Cart Off Grand Slam says:
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    @Grey: Thanks, Im pretty pumped that the deal is done. The best offer i got until this point was Posey for Billingsly straight up.

  67. big o says:
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    @fitz:
    yahoo has been reporting that tulo will be in tonight’s starting line-up .

  68. @big o:

    Yep, right back into the cleanup spot, great news.

  69. big o says:
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    @Elijah:
    not so sure that it’s great news , yet .

    think i’ll hold him out as long as possible ,
    considering that he was 1-4 @ AA
    and 1-7 @ AAA re-hab

  70. @big o:

    I guess it depends on who you had filling in…I’m bringing him back tomorrow.

  71. Oh what do you know, HR Mini Donkey, here come my bats.

  72. fitz says:
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    @big o: thanks…

  73. emceeperiod says:
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    Is this Tomlin guy really outpitching CC? Christ, bout to lose 10 bucks on what I thought was a sure thing…CC and Yanks v CLE and Tomlin??? And to top it off, Tomlin’s throwing a 1 hitter.

  74. emceeperiod says:
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    Sticking to that Delmon Young “unranked” status you had on your post-AS break ranks? Batting cleanup right now. Kubel’s got the day off.

  75. emceeperiod says:
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    Rubix Kubel. Just made that up. Is that good? I can’t tell. Has someone else made it up? Anyway…

  76. Wow great night to have Waino, Gallardo and Hamels going… Brutal!

  77. big o says:
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    dlr ….. not missing many bats , early on .

  78. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @emceeperiod: As I said in the rankings, things change daily in fantasy baseball.

    @3FingersBrown: Yeah, not pretty.

  79. royce! says:
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    Hey Hey Grey,

    Just saw they’re doing a Jeff Bagwell bobblehead night at Minute Maid. I bet the Astros would make a bobblehead for a ball boy before doing one for a current player. At least if they wanted people to show up to the game.

  80. Justin Upton out with “Hip Tightness”, hes day to day. For now.

  81. royce! says:
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    Not sure why I directed that comment at Grey. I think everyone should appreciate it.

  82. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @royce!: Ha! Probably the only reason he got the batting coach job.

    @Elijah: And Victorino.

  83. dingers says:
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    add victorino to the injured
    limped off holding his hip…werth in center now

  84. @Grey:

    It’s an injury avalanche.

  85. dingers says:
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    grey,ok to drop mike gonzo for corpas?

  86. herschel says:
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    @Grey: asdrubal or tejada moving forward (roto)?

    thank you.

  87. Grey

    Grey says:
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    ***If Victorino’s out, Domonic Brown.*****

  88. Kazmere says:
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    Drop Putz for Corpas?

  89. @Elijah: To top it off it looked like Albert pulled something in his rib cage during his 2nd AB. Stayed in the game, but you can tell it’s bothering him.

  90. genghis chone says:
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    Are Scherzer/Huff for Kershaw and Scherzer/CarGo for Greinke fair deals? Which would you rather do?

  91. dingers says:
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    victorino-left oblique strain

  92. big o says:
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    @Grey:

    ok , so i drop encarnacion in a couple of leagues , to pick up valencia
    (prolly a few days too late) ,

    but , come on ,
    do i drop cantu , (admittedly slumping) , for him , in another ?

    i don’t expect that i will be able to retrieve cantu , later .

    thanking you , in advance .

  93. Fletch says:
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    @Grey: Verlander/Swisher for Danks/Nolasco

  94. royce! says:
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    Assuming Victorino is out for a bit, should I take a flyer on Brown or stick with Tabata?

  95. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @big o: I’d hold Cantu to see where he’s traded to, if anywhere.

    @Fletch: Danks side if you need pitching.

    @royce!: Brown…

  96. royce! says:
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    @Grey: Thanks, one more… Valencia or Chris Johnson?

  97. Van Hammersly says:
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    Yes! Chris Wheeler just called Reynolds “mule strong” during the Phils’ broadcast.

  98. Fletch says:
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    @Grey: Would you make the same trade if it were for Pavano/Weaver instead of Danks/Nolasco?

    thanks

  99. timSTi says:
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    @Grey: Vote for Pedro Alvarez or Dominic Brown (assuming Victorino is injured) ?

  100. Deeeeeez Nuts says:
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    Great call on sitting Volquez tonight. Back to back nights for me as you advised starting Buchholz last night.

    As far as I’m concerned – you’re on fire!

    Thanks Grey.

    p.s. don’t get any ideas as you’re not getting any felatio until Jay Bruce starts raking

  101. Redhopeful says:
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    Grey, Gonzo supposedly looked sharp and Simon served up 2. Think a switch is about to take place?

  102. royce! says:
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    I think the Upton boys may have paid in advance for a vacation without realizing that it was during the baseball season. I’m surprised that neither are out with a mysterious stomach ailment.

  103. royce! says:
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    Watching the Padres broadcast. Dick Enberg is old. First he was silent while Mudcat talked about Rihanna, which I can respect. Then he got excited because he recognized a song that Mudcat mentioned: “Blinded by the Light.” A song that was recorded nearly 40 years ago. He even sang the chorus for a moment.

  104. Donnie Baseball says:
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    another hr for Kila today. Has 3 in last 6 games. Now has a .318/.463/.601 line. Kansas City should just be contracted.

    Maybe they’ll pick up G. Atkins to block him for next year too.

  105. charlie batch says:
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    If you had alexei at SS, would you be confident enough to deal your healthy tulo for another piece of the puzzle? say, an OF or a 2B if you were weak?

  106. Earl Battey says:
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    Just got offered Josh Johnson for my Bell and Michael Young. Johnson would replace the likes of Wandy and CJ Wilson. I have closers to spare, but don’t like parting with Young. That would leave me with Gaby Sanchez and Panda at 3B and CI, with LaPorta being the most promising name on the wire. Thoughts? Thanks.

  107. royce! says:
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    @Earl Battey: I’d take Johnson there.

  108. GopherDay says:
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    The beauty of asking for a “throw in” player: In my dynasty league, I’m rebuilding for next year, and that includes shipping A-Rod out while he’s still valuable. Well we pretty much agreed on a deal, but after the trade I didn’t have a 3B (I have one in the minors). So I asked the other manager if I could have Bautista to “fill in” this year and he kindly obliged. Stats since that trade:A-Rod .247, 8 HR, 17R, 38 RBI, 0 SB. Bautista: .216, 10 HR, 18 R, 21 RBI, 1 SB. ‘Cust Cayin…Er Braggin!!

  109. GopherDay says:
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    @Earl Battey: Johnson looks good for you. Take it.

  110. Eddy says:
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    @Grey:
    Do I have them in the correct order?

    Floyd, Pavano, Danks, Myers, Lewis

  111. aj says:
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    alvarez or rolen? short term.

  112. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @royce!: I do a vacation joke about the Upton boys in the roundup. Great minds… Is Mudcat new to the Padres?

    @Donnie Baseball: Ha

    @charlie batch: I’d prefer to trade Alexei, but depends what you’re getting for either.

    @Earl Battey: Agree with others.

    @Eddy: Floyd, Danks, Pavano, Lewis…

    @aj: Alvarez

  113. Long Bong Hitters says:
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    Grey,

    What do you think? Is it time to give up on Edinson already? his first start was nice, but he ain’t lookin hot his last 2 starts. I got Vicente Padilla and Randy Wells available on the FA wire. What do you do? I had drafted Wells and had him thru some of his worst times before dropping him, so I’m kinda leaning toward Vicente.

    Which of these 3 you like the rest of the year?

  114. GTS says:
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    Drop Jay Bruce for Torres? 10-team mixed H2H

  115. Steve says:
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    @Grey: How long would you be looking to hold Scott?

    End of the weekend, unless he’s still going crazy?

  116. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @GTS: I’d take Bruce.

    @Steve: I’d give him until Sunday.

    @GopherDay: Guess we’ll see but I saw it happen and he couldn’t throw the ball in it hurt so much.

  117. royce! says:
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    @Grey: Nah, “Mudcat” is nickname for Mark Grant. I’m down with him; he seems like the wacky stoner uncle I wish I had.

  118. Steve says:
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    Amongst all these injuries, the guy I’m really sparing a thought for is Huston Street.

    As I read elsewhere today – contrary to all reports, he most certainly will NOT be resting comfortably at home.

  119. Dumbmutt says:
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    The 7th place guy just shot to first with one day totals of 18Runs 13RBI

  120. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @royce!: I know, I could’ve sworn he was elsewhere a few years ago. Guess not.

    @Steve: Ha

    @Dumbmutt: Hope it’s you.

  121. Eddy says:
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    @Grey:

    Yovani for Delmon Young

    Who wins?

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