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Domonic Brown is set to have surgery today and will be out for 4-6 weeks.  At least that’s what the Phillies are saying.  Brown is missing crucial time to get up to speed for the upcoming season, so he’s going to need time in the minors once he’s recovered.  The hamate bone injury also causes hitters to lose power when they return, for up to a year later.  So maybe Domonic Brown comes back healthy in May.  And maybe Jessica Alba likes mustaches and I have a chance.  Put your maybes in a time capsule and someone in hundred years will open it and say, “Um, who cares?”  He was only a 12/14 hitter to begin with.  Now, what do you get?  8/10?  Sounds like Chris DenorfiaChris Denorfia wasn’t that interesting when I dated a person by the same name in high school and they went by Christine.  You really don’t want a piece now.  Anyway, here’s some more news for fantasy baseball:

Ben Francisco – Will take over for Domonic Brown.  Just draft Francisco late for a 15/15 type season and hope he stays in the lineup even when Brown is healthy.  Basically, Francisco’s going to give you what you should’ve been expecting from Brown without all the sexy-time spinning tassels.

Lonnie Chisenhall – While in Arizona for the LABR draft, Rudy and I went to see the Rockies/Indians game.  A preview of the World Series!  (If the World Series decides to feature a good team vs. a terrible one.)  So Lonnie Chisenhall comes up and hits a home run and Rudy turns to me and says he’s going to be a solid call-up come June.  And I say something like, “You see that blonde girl three rows down?  Wait, what?”  I think Rudy’s correct.  Right now, the Indians have the blahtoon of Nix and Valbuena.  That, friends, isn’t going to last long.  For those in keepers, I’d grab him even if his name only sounds right when you say Lonnie Chisenhall, D.D.S.

Neftali Feliz – Says he prefers to close.  I say he does close.  Feliz Closeranos!  But it’s still not decided yet.  Stay tuned… Or not.  Your decision.

Bud Norris – Lifted from his start with a hamstring strain.  He appeared on Rudy’s risky pitcher post.  Not because Rudy is Ms. Cleo and knew Norris would hurt his hammy.  Rudy is Ms. Cleo’s son.  And there’s the cat coming out of the bag.

Miguel Olivo – Could be out with a strained groin into the beginning of the season.  I used to strain my groin a few times a day in high school and I never missed that much time.

Chase Utley – I wrapped myself in a corn tortilla of denial for a week.  Now, I’m officially worried.  I’m dropping Utley out of the top 20 and pretty far down the top 100.  In honor of his passing into unwanted fantasy territory, I’m going to repost my Utley story from 2008 for all of you Razzball noobs (Razzboobs?), “A friend of mine is a career minor leaguer.  He’s had a few cups of coffee in the majors, but to follow that analogy to its conclusion, he’s still drowsy.  A couple of years back, he got the September call-up for the Phillies.  Being a starter in the minors, he was thrust into the coveted mop-up role.  So it’s a 9-1 game, or some equally lopsided score, and my friend gets the call.  To everyone in the stadium, it meant a pee break.  To him, he got to jog out to a major league mound, something he dreamt about since he was a boy.  The appearance was nothing more than a blip on some discarded box score.  For him, it was two innings struggling to get hitters out.  It was his day, yet it just wasn’t.  Back in the locker room afterwards, players still went up and congratulated him on getting to the show.  But not Utley.  Nope. Utley bought him two prostitutes.  They were delivered on one condition, Utley wanted to bang them first.”

  1. Child Please says:
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    16-team H2H 6×6 (OBP, QS) non-keeper league
    Grey, what do you think?

    C- John Buck
    1B- Miguel Cabrera
    2B- Brandon Phillips
    3B- Mark Reynolds
    SS- Elvis Andrus
    OFx3- J-upside, Choo, Vernon Wells
    UTILx2- Travis Snider, The Big FraGu
    Bench- Peter Bourjos

    SPx5- Cain, Max Scherzer, Daniel Hudson, Gio Gonzalez, Travis Wood
    RPx3- Broxton, Frank Francisco, Brandon League
    P- Fuentes
    Bench- Cecil, Minor, Stauffer

  2. Steve says:
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    Ah, the Utley story.

    Never gets old. Unlike those of us who remember the first time they read it…

    Did you see anything in actual live baseball that made you sit up and take notice?

  3. Giant JJ says:
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    Help,
    I’m in the 20th round of a 20 team standard snake draft. 8 rounds left and I’m looking for a gamble or two to throw on my bench. These are many of the blue chips who are left…
    Brandon Allen
    Chris Davis
    Ackley
    Viciedo’
    Gamel
    Jesus Guzman
    Josh Bell
    Vitters
    Chisenhal
    Mike Taylor
    Heisey
    Jesus Montero

    This is a redraft league. Just a couple of names would be a big help. Thanks again Grey.

  4. YourMomsBoyfriend says:
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    @Giant JJ:

    Montero. Now.

  5. VinWins

    VinWins says:
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    OK. Now we have the relevant info on Utley!

  6. Quintero says:
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    That Utley story never gets old. Made my day, again.

  7. Curt says:
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    Would You trade Jose Valverde and Denard Span for Brett Gardner and Mike Minor????……I need saves, but would I be giving up too much??

  8. schlitzy says:
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    hey grey- 14 teams, 3 keepers. Mine are Longoria, J. Upton and BJ Upton. I am drafting 2nd so I am guaranteed Albert or Hanley. If i could swap BJ and the 2nd pick for Heyward and the 3rd pick (i would take Votto) would you do it?

  9. YourMomsBoyfriend says:
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    @Curt: i like the Gardner + Minor side much more.

  10. Agreed on the Utley demotion and retell appreciation. Howabeaut Morneau? Is he dropping a few spots (maybe to Pena-Lee-Konerko territory) even without ever gifting used whores?

  11. 24hourjack says:
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    Grey,two trades I’m contemplating….10 team H2H keeper league,16 categories….

    Braun,Cano,Crawford,Butler,J. Upton,Ubaldo,F-Her,Price,Lester,Soria-these are my keepers.

    1)would you give up Ubaldo and Butler for Prince?

    2)would you trade Cano for Tulo straight up?….the best SS’s available in the draft will be Jeter,Rollins,Castro,Furcal,Asrubal…..

    the best 2B available will be Prado,Roberts,Beckham,Kendrick,Figgins,Zobrist,Raburn….

    I draft 7th.

  12. GopherDay says:
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    If my current keepers are Howard, Cruz, Youk, Elvis, and Utley, would you trade Utley for Cliff Lee? (16 Team 5X5 ROTO). Keep 5 no penalty.

  13. 101 MPH says:
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    Apropos of nothing…. did you know that Billy Butler is the 55th ranked player overall on Yahoo’s fantasy baseball pre-rankings? That’s some crazy shizz if you ask me (which nobody did).

    And a question for Grey et al: What is your maximum bid for Steven Drew in a 14 team mixed auction league?

  14. VinWins

    VinWins says:
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    Dallas Green:

    “Chase does a lot of diving. Diving for balls that, even if he caught them, he’s going to have a hell of a time throwing the guy out. Green You look at it and you say, ‘Chase, why’d you do that, because you’re not going to throw the guy out anyway? All you do is take a chance on getting hurt, banged up.'”

    And then he added, “I mean, defense doesn’t even count in Fantasy.”

    http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/phillies/20110308_Paul_Hagen_.html#ixzz1G12EHN8O

  15. Arrec Bardwin says:
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    16 team h2h points keeper league. we keep 8 no penalty. Currently in the 7th round of an online draft. How would you rank Neil Walker/Nishioka/Chone Figgins/Howie Kendrick? And when would you take Jesus Montero?

  16. Denys says:
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    so what’s wrong with Utley? why are you so down on him?

    poor spring training performance, or am i missing something?

  17. Critter Nagurski says:
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    Planning on keeping Utley at 30 (w/inflation, half the price of pujols) in an OPS league. I have a week to assess, but at this point, how seriously should I be considering Colby Lewis at 1 or Adam Jones at 3 instead?

  18. Frank Rizzo says:
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    That is not a true story about your friend and Utley, is it Grey? No way.

  19. Frank Rizzo says:
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    @Denys: His knee is an absolute mess.

  20. tommy too strong says:
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    @Grey: @Everyone:

    After being Razzball’s #1 injury risk pitcher last year, and missing parts of 3 months last season, Brett Anderson’s value coming into this year is greatly subdued. The elbow ailments that Anderson dealt with on two seperate occasions were located in his inner elbow, in an area of your arm that is made up of muscle and tendons. Notably enough, it was not the dreaded ulnar collateral nerve which is the worst area ever for a pitcher to get hurt.

    Anderson’s injury was simply a grade 1 strain, not a grade 2 or 3 which is far worse. After it flaring up a second time, Anderson was able to come back and pitch very well at the end of the season, biding well for his 2011.

    There are people out there who have Anderson “pegged for tommy-john” but i think they are being a little drastic. Anderson and his pitching coach have been working on improving his changeup so that he can throw a few less sliders and take some strain off his arm which is a good thing, and he has been working on strengthening his elbow and shoulder all offseason.

    Anderson has the potential for a MONSTER year. Hes a big lefty who throws 93-97 MPH with one of the best sliders in the game, and he can locate all his pitches. Even with his K-rate dropping a bit (probably due to him taking it a little easy after the injuries), he still posted a 3-1 K/BB ratio. His BB/9 is elite and I can see the K’s getting back up around 7.5 – 8.0 K/9 with his stuff. He pitches in a great ballpark, and has a newly revamped offense behind him which should be an improvement over last seasons.

    For the risk/reward you get for drafting Anderson i think it is clearly worth it. How many guys can you get as late as Anderson that have the possibility of finishing a top 10 SP? Probably none. What’s my bottom line? I for one see immense value in Anderson at his current ADP. He is coming into this season 100% healthy, and I for one am not too scared of the injury bug biting him again.

    My question for you guys? What do you think Anderson does in 2011? And my question to Grey specifically would be, how many starts do you see Anderson making in 2011, as i could not gather that info from your projos. Thanks for reading, thanks to Grey for this awesome site, and sorry for such a long post but this has been on my mind for some time!

  21. Tony says:
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    @Denys: cortisone shots….

  22. @Steve: There were two prospecty things that made us stand up and take notice: 1) Dee Gordon (Dodgers SS prospect) is fast. And with the speed whisperer (Davey Lopes), he’ll be a 50 SB guy when he makes the majors sometime next year and 2) Lonnie Chisenhall’s HR off Jason Hammel was just a laser that went 360 ft down the right field line. From his minor league stats and from what I read, he isn’t a Longoria/Wright-type 3B prospect, but seems like he could be a .290/20+ HR type (with no speed).

  23. @tommy too strong: Brett Anderson definitely has the potential for a breakout year and I would draft him if he’s a bargain. But he’s on my risky pitcher list until he proves that he can pitch effectively without 30+% sliders. Just, for the love of UCLs, don’t pair him with fellow slider lovers Francisco Liriano or Bud Norris.

  24. Donnie Baseball says:
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    What about Donald at 3b for the Indians?

  25. ScottyM says:
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    And to think I used to feel sorry for Utley that Werth was banging his wife. I guess his wife was just paying him back.

  26. Oregon Nut Cups

    Oregon Nut Cups says:
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    @Donnie Baseball:

    He hit .250 with no power and no speed last year. At least Nix and/or Valbuena can top 10HRs with the potential for more. Donald is going to become a utility guy.

  27. @Oregon Nut Cups: But can you explain why the Indians wouldn’t just throw Donald, Valbuena, Nix into the 2B mix (poet, know it) instead of going with O-Cab? (Note: I don’t know the answer.)

  28. YourMomsBoyfriend says:
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    @Rudy Gamble:

    Hey Rudy…Dee Gordon’s fast, but Billy Hamilton is FASTER (if that can possibly be true) and BIGGER (They call Gordon 5’11, but I have it on GOOD authority that he’s no more than 5’9″ and looks like a 14 year old boy while Hamilton is 6’1″ and looks to be able to add 10 lbs of muscle and keep the speed). But you’re right…Lopes could turn him into Juan Pierre (shudder the thought).

  29. Exactly says:
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    Rudy, loved your last two posts, as you confirmed some of my gut feelings about those pitchers anyway…got a couple questions for ya:

    1. Any pitchers who you like as especially “safe”?
    2. I’m in a 12 team, mixed, H2H points league and I’m drafting 7th…who would you rather draft 1-2 (these guys will definitely be available):

    Votto/A.Gonz-Zimmerman
    Longoria-Fielder/Howard
    Braun-Zimm/Fielder/Howard

    I think Grey leans towards Votto and Zimmerman, I’m interested where you come out…thanks a lot.

  30. Mike of Swartz Creek, Mi says:
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    Traded Wright for Zimmerman in a CBS head to head league. I don’t like Wright’s strikeouts, average and he hasn’t had a hit this spring. Oh by the way Cabrera looks like he gained twenty pounds. Cabrera spring has so far been terrible, hope he gets his swing soon.

  31. @YourMomsBoyfriend: Yeah, but Billy Hamilton played in like 1890 (http://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/SB_career.shtml). Yeah, Dee Gordon looked like Jose Offerman 2.0 – hopefully with less anger.

    @Exactly: I should have a list but I don’t have one handy. I gravitate towards pitchers who throw primarily fastball/cutter/changeup and have 2+ years experience.

    Braun/Fielder – #1, Votto/Zimmerman – #2, Braun/Howard – #3, Longoria/Fielder – #4. Do not take two 1Bs or 3Bs.

  32. @Mike of Swartz Creek, Mi: That’s a ballsy trade. I’d prefer Wright because of the extra SBs he kicks in but they are pretty close and would not be surprised if Zimmerman has a better year.

  33. Frank Rizzo says:
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    @Rudy Gamble: Head scratching here. Apparently you’re not a Longoria fan. I would have considered a Longoria/Fielder combo maybe #1 overall. A Fielder/Braun pairing wouldn’t be on the top of my list. Are you a Brewers fan?

  34. tommy too strong says:
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    @Exactly:

    FWIW, i view Billingsley, Danks, Pelfrey, Lester, Kennedy, (despite the innings jump, due to his high % of changeups) as three relatively young guys that are are on the safe side. I didn’t mention telling you the older guys because for the most part you know what you’re getting from them and they are past their injury plateau’s. I mean, I could tell you bronson arroyo is safe all day but i think we all knew that.

  35. Wilsonian says:
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    @Mike of Swartz Creek, Mi: I agree with Frank Rizzo. I think Wright is the better of the two. Could Zimmerman be better this season? Possibly. Should you base this off of what they’ve done in Spring? Hell F-ing no!

    Seriously, take Spring with a grain of salt on vets. Their performance means little to nothing. The only thing you have to worry about in Spring is injuries. You can take some positives from Spring, as well, if someone is stealing a little in Spring, that can carry over to the season. But the fact that Wright hasn’t had a hit in what, 13 ABs, should mean nada.

  36. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Child Please: I like the team. Obviously light on steals, but in H2H with OBP that shouldn’t be an issue.

    @Steve: Saw Carlos Santana and Rudy remarked how much he looked like V-Mart. He’s gonna be a good one, that’s not that illuminating.

    @Giant JJ: Montero, Allen, Chisenhall…

    @Quintero: Thanks!

    @Curt: Agree with Your Mom’s Boyfriend.

    @schlitzy: Sure

    @zombie: Morneau’s playing again, I believe. I’m not dropping him yet. He had ten months to recover, hopefully he should.

    @24hourjack: I’d take Prince and Tulo.

    @VinWins: Thanks for the heads up!

    @Arrec Bardwin: I’d switch Kendrick with Figgy and leave them ranked like that. Montero — 10th round.

    @GopherDay: Yup

    @101 MPH: Depends how badly you need him. Probably $20…

    @Critter Nagurski: Depends on your other keepers, but I’d consider Jones pretty seriously.

    @Frank Rizzo: It is unless my friend was lying to me.

    @Donnie Baseball: Yeah, he’s pretty much garbage too.

    @ScottyM: Ha

  37. Trip Wildhack says:
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    Grey, should we continue to downgrade Beltran now that his other (left) knee is becoming an issue? I mean, he has to play in the field (in the NL), and two bad knees have to affect his performance.

  38. @Grey: Early (hate it) draft on Friday…Thank you both again for the help. Daiquiris and maybe a couple of skanks (when I’m through with’em) for you and Rudy are forthcoming…

  39. Ian says:
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    It will be fun to watch Morneau shoot up drafts if he’s able to play regularly in ST over the next couple weeks.

  40. @Frank Rizzo: I like Braun better than Longoria. 3B and OF are about equal in terms of depth…assuming 5 OF. If you’re talking about 3 OF/2 UTIL…you might have a point.

  41. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @zombie: No problem, and thanks!

    @Ian: Not sure if he’ll shoot up, but he’s been underrated in most drafts I’ve done/seen.

  42. @Steve: One more guy that looked really good – an Indians lefty named Drew Pomeranz. He was making some of the Rockie righties (I want to say Iannetta and Lopez) look bad. I think we’ll be hearing from him sooner vs. later…

  43. Spartacus says:
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    Hey Grey,

    I use your top 300 to tier up the pool for my mixed league. Thanks, Bud!

    But I am also in an AL Only. Who’s Top 300 would you recommend for AL Only or NL Only?

    (BTW: This is not a subtle hint that you should do an AL/NL Only Top 300. :-) )

  44. Slowik says:
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    RJ Swindle or Les Walrond?

  45. Eddy says:
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    @Rudy Gamble:

    I was actually hearing about Pomeranz last night on MLB network. Didn’t get to see any highlight, but his numbers looked great.

    @Rudy/Grey

    I finished up my third draft of the year last night. It was a 14-team, H2H 6×6 (OPS and HLDS) with 3 OF, CI/MI, and 1 Util. Weird settings, I know.

    I think this is the most balanced team I’ve drafted all year. Really hoping this can take me to the $300+ prize at the end. What do you guys think?

    C-Chris Iannetta
    1B-Prince Fielder
    2B-Kelly Johnson
    3B-David Wright
    SS-Alcides Escobar
    CI-Gaby Sanchez
    MI-Ryan Raburn
    OF-Shin Soo-Choo
    OF-Jayson Werth
    OF-Bobby Abreu (224th pick., couldn’t ignore him)
    Util-Adam Lind
    BN-Jose Tabata
    BN-Mark Trumbo (27th/last round pick, hoping he starts for Kendry and is on fire this spring, but really just a throwaway pick)

    SP-Yovani Gallardo
    SP-Dan Haren
    SP-Shaun Marcum
    SP-Daniel Hudson
    SP-Javer Vasquez
    SP-Edwin Jackson
    SP-James McDonald

    CL-Jose Valverde
    CL-Francisco Rodriguez
    CL-David Aardsma (I know, DL to begin the year, but he fell far too)
    CL(?)-Kyle Farnsworth
    RP-Joba Chamberlain
    RP-Matt Belisle
    RP-Sean Marshall

  46. Tony says:
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    @Rudy Gamble: god i hope some of the pieces my tribe acquired and prospects they have come to fruition… each time the tribe’s gotten close in my life time things have fallen apart and now they’ve dismantled…. someday…. someday…..

  47. Exactly says:
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    @Rudy Gamble: thanks for your input, I kinda was leaning towards Braun as well (although in my league, we only start 4 OFs – does that change your viewpoint at all?)

    @tommy too strong: thanks for your list…I agree with most, I just wish I didn’t hate Pelfrey so much, being a Mets fan and all…

  48. Nathan says:
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    @Grey: Hey Grey! Any chance of you doing a good/bad value post for Yahoo leagues similar to Rudy’s point share value vs. ESPN ADP post from yesterday? I remember you did one last year and it was mui helpful.

  49. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Eddy: Your team looks pretty stacked, well played. I love the MI punts and the corner power and balance with Wright. Pitching staff looks great too, nice.

    @Nathan: I’m gonna do a broad one for Yahoo, but the value picks for Yahoo vs. ESPN really aren’t that different.

  50. ThE sHiT says:
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    @Grey: You never cease to amaze me, Grey. Great work as always!

  51. Wake Up says:
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    If only our dear friend Chase could spare some hair gel to hold that knee together….

  52. Wake Up says:
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    On a brighter note, Justin Morneau came out of his cave to play baseball today. It IS going to be an early spring!

  53. Eng says:
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    @Gray….found your site about three weeks ago. Very impressed. You manage to amuse without falling into the dork trap that snares every other comedian/fantasy analyst and also provide some very interesting insight. I was on the fence about whether to contribute but the Douche Utley story has confirmed a Daiquiri is coming your way (even though the loud-ass, super-sensitive pop-up ads make me curse you)

    Quick question: v competitive 12 team roto 5×5 drafting next weekend Is Haren good enough to lead my staff as a late 5th round or mid 6th round pick? I noticed you rank him fairly low even though he’s a 200k + lock. I want big bats the first 4 rounds but don’t want to wait too long on pitching as there’s a big drop-off after the 8th round as I see it.

  54. Eng says:
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    typo clearup from Eng: The ads are rollovers (still too sensitive) and yes, I remember to turn off my volume about 50% of the time. No big deal, site still works well.

  55. Denys says:
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    12 team H2H, 2nd draft spot. would it be insane to take Evan Longoria and then Jose Reyes with 2nd Rd pick?

    My reasoning is that, anytime I mock draft with taking Han-Ram with the 1st pick in that spot – there are no good 3B left on the comeback (Zimmerman usually goes 2 or 3 picks before 2nd pick). And there’s Adam Dunn in the 3rd or 4th pick for 1B…

    What do you think?

  56. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Eng: Thanks for the kind words and donation! I don’t think Haren is ideal to lead a staff. But if you go with him I’d make sure to get a solid #2 and limit the upsidey SPs.

    @Denys: I don’t think it’s insane.

  57. Denys says:
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    @Grey: but would you do it, or is the other option better… i guess i could take Yooouuuuk with the 2nd or 3rd pick and that’ll be alright… ahh decisions, decisions.

  58. Grey

    Grey says:
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    ********THERE’S A NEW POST FOR FOLLOWUPS.*******

  59. Oregon Nut Cups

    Oregon Nut Cups says:
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    @Rudy Gamble:

    Ah, the logic of the Indians…yeah, even the Indians don’t have an answer for that :) My best guess is O-Cab is there to challenge the three to let the Indians see what they have. When they find out they have nothing. O-Cab for 2B it is!

  60. @Exactly: 4 OF but still a CI and MI? if you’re just pulling out an OF, it would mean Braun is worth a bit less. i’d still go with him though.

  61. Steve says:
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    @Rudy Gamble: Thanks for the scouting report! (and sorry to drag you back to the not-most-recent post).

    There’s nothing like seeing big-time sport in person to remind you of just what some of these guys are actually capable of.

    One more – you mentioned here:

    http://razzball.com/2011-bestworst-values-by-draft-position/#comment-443940

    that in a 3 OF league, you wouldn’t load up on OF in the first 8-9 rounds. Thus:

    1. Does that change if it’s LF, CF, RF rather than generic OF?
    2. 3 x OF players means that everyone could/should be pretty strong there. So don’t you want to have the best? Or are you hurting yourself too much at other positions if you go OF-heavy early?

    Asking this in the context of my 12-team H2H Yahoo league which has LF/CF/RF and only one Util spot, and no MI/CI.

  62. Matt says:
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    Best Chase Utley story EVER

  63. @Steve: Not sure if separate OF positions changes it too much. There should be plenty of depth in RF and LF. Perhaps CF has less depth and would be more akin to 2B or 3B? And if there is no CI/MI, then a 3 OF league has the same position depth as a 5 OF league with CI/MI. I just think it’s worth spreading out OF picks vs. stocking up on them and taking away flexibility in grabbing a late round OF going at a strong discount.

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