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Chat: Paul Sporer

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Tuesday June 04, 2013 1:00 PM ET chat session with Paul Sporer.

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Paul talks fantasy, pitching, and probably beagles.

Paul Sporer: Running a touch late, we'll get started in a just a minute or two!

bobbykester (dc): Who would close in Baltimore if Jim Johnson were to lose the job?

Paul Sporer: My guess is Darren O'Day. Don't sleep on Tommy Hunter who now throws 97-99 as an RP.

RG (Chicago): I've been waiting for Hosmer to improve all year, and many experts suggest that his problems may be correctable through mechanical changes. But, is it time to drop him in favor of any of the following: Moreland, Berkman, Alonso, Belt, LaRoche, or Loney? My league is weekly HTH that awards points for TB (1), SB (1), RBI (1) and R (1), and subtracts KO (1). Thanks!

Paul Sporer: He may or may not fix things and it may or may not happen this year. With that pool of talent, I say stop waiting. I'd take of the Rangers.

Ed (Lexington, KY): How would you rank these pitchers from April 1, 2014 onward in a NL only keeper league? T. Skaggs $7, J. Teheran $5, L. Lynn $5, Z. Wheeler $5, and C. Martinez $5?

Paul Sporer: Lynn, Wheeler, Teheran, Skaggs, C-Mart

Anthony (New York): I traded Anibal/Segura for Hamels/Trumbo. How'd I do? I'm last place in homers.

Paul Sporer: That's nice! I think Hamels will right himself and of course if there is ONE thing Trumbo will do, it's hit bombs for you. I love Anibal and think he's legit, but a fixed Hamels is just as good (if not better).

NY Ray (New York): Hi Paul. Thanks for the chat. Two questions as to who you would choose for dynasty league purposes: Marte or Leonys Martin, and Wilin Rosario or Grandal?

Paul Sporer: Marte, Rosario. And not JUST bc they are both doing better this year.

Jose (Boston): Hello, What can I get for hamels/Nelson Cruz? Looking for OF help. My OF is choo j upton Holliday cuddyer Matt carpenter n prado n Joyce?

Paul Sporer: If you're offering that duo, you should ask pretty high. But your trade partner needs to believe in Hamels returning. But if you need OF help, why not just keep Cruz? He's been a top 20 OFer.

ravenight (Boston): There is some great fantasy coverage here at BP, but I think there's a gap in the overall literature here and elsewhere. You see a lot of work being done with recommending players that are owned in only a small percentage of leagues. The idea being "here are guys you can go get right now". What that doesn't really tell you, though, is whether those guys are actually better than the ones you have. For example, I have Kyle Seager, Jedd Gyorko, and Daniel Murphy filling out my 2B, MI, and CI slots. Would I be better off dropping Seager for a guy like Yonder Alonso? How do you evaluate a decision like that?

Paul Sporer: I would not get rid of Seager for Alonso. The reason that we can't necessarily outline whether the available players will be better than who you have is bc it's impossible to know everyone's situation so we try to recommend guys for you to consider if you want to make a move. Of course, our Twitter availability, the comments sections, and chat like these are a great forum for the specific questions like yours! For me, the question is whether or not Alonso offers something I need. I think he and Seager offer similar things with Seager having 3B elig. so might as well hold Seags. I do like Yonder, though.

AJ (Phoenix): I just made a few big trades in my 20-team dynasty. I'm sitting at 11th with the shot at the playoffs with my newly improved roster. As a result of my trades, I'm a bit light on pitching. I could stream 2 SP each day for the last 2 spots in my rotation (if need be), or I could shop Dylan Bundy for an active starter. Where do you draw the line in the sand for a dynasty worthy SP starter being worth giving up Bundy's potential for (no salaries attached)?

Paul Sporer: Even with his slow or rather non-start to 2013, I'd still ask a pretty high return. Maybe find someone whose 2013 chances aren't too sharp and focus on them. Don't let a prospect, even a potential stud one, keep you from a title. So if he can secure your 2013 team for a run, I say make a move. But get a strong return (like a real ace and maybe a little something else like a bench bat if they happen to covet Bundy)

Shawnykid23 (CT): Any struggling pitchers you absolutely think will turn it around?

Paul Sporer: Price, Hamels, Cain. I'd invest in that order.

cal guy (cal): Would you rather have a hard throwing prospect with some control issues who is tough to hit (Bradley, Walker or Cole) or a hard throwing prospect with good control who is a bit more "hittable" (Gausman or Wacha)?

Paul Sporer: Well in this instance, I'd choose Cole, but I have crazy prospect love for him. As for the theoretical as a whole, hmm, that's tough. I love bat-missing, but you're offering some control with it! I think I'd take the former because the higher-ceiling guys seem to fit that bill and I prefer the potential 1s.

Pat (Atl): I have A. Cabrera who's outlook doesn't look good for the future. Immediate options on the wire are Scuarto, Simmons, Cozart or Alexi Ramirez. Who do you like there as replacements? Does Espinosa figure it out to be productive option? Also any sleepers, >40% owned that I should target ROS?

Paul Sporer: I'd go with Simmons or Scutaro. No real sleepers as it's a pretty tough position but at least you have four capable options. Ramirez could be nice if you need speed, I think he's already got 10 SBs.

Tee Dubya Tee Dubya (Chicago, IL): I am the owner of Dom Brown in a 20 team dynasty league. I don't want to sound like a "NEEDS MOAR WAULKSSSSS!!!!!" drone, but is that still a concern for Brown going forward? Because lets be honest, he isn't going to hit 13 homeruns every month

Paul Sporer: Well he entered 2013 with a 10.4% career BB rate so he knows how to, but when you're seeing a beach ball for a month, you don't really need to walk. It'll be interesting to see if he goes back to his BB rate from before when he invariably cools down.

jlarsen (chicago): Is Wil Myers heating up right before MLB's "Super 2" cut-off combined with the Rays high-powered offense a "Perfect Storm" scenario for Friedman & Maddon? While he is swinging a hot bat, he likely won't be depended on as most prospects are when waiting for in-season call-ups.

Paul Sporer: The problem is, where is he going to play? We discussed the S2 deadline in the latest episode released today http://www.baseballprospectus.com/blog/fantasy_hour/ including Myers specifically so I'll point you toward that for more coverage.

Jonah (Scottsdale): Suggestion for podcast (TINSTAAPP): Occasional segment on mechanics of a minor league pitcher. We get weekly break downs on major leagues on the pod and in the SP Guide. Gun to your head: Scar-Jo or J-Law? Choose wisely for I will eviscerate you if you choose poorly.

Paul Sporer: We've been trying to insert more MiLBers. They're harder to cover, though, too so that's part of it. ScarJo is still my #1. Jennifer Lawrence is amazing and wonderful and great, but ScarJo hasn't lost the top spot. I'm sure I chose wrong bc of how on fire JLaw is right now, but I'll stick with my crafty veteran.

Dr. Mike (Milwaukee): If I was to trade for an aforementioned Price, Hamels, or Cain, what would be a reasonable cost?

Paul Sporer: That all depends on your trade partner. In early June, they should ALL come at a discount, though, and if they don't then you pass.

MickeyRivers (NY): Please rank JCastro, SPerez, and YGrandal. Thanks.

Paul Sporer: You just did!

MickeyRivers (NY): Please rank JCastro, SPerez, and YGrandal. Thanks.

Paul Sporer: Hmm, same order!

MickeyRivers (NY): Please rank JCastro, SPerez, and YGrandal. 6x6 with OPS. Thanks.

Paul Sporer: No, you're right. How about Castro, Perez, and Grandal!

Henry (San Francisco): Any updates on Kyle Crick's injury? Thanks for the chat!

Paul Sporer: I don't have any updates right now, unfortunately. Obliques are HUGE jerks, though.

Mosey (Your mom's house): Why don't you return my calls. Love you long time.

Paul Sporer: I told you, NOT while I'm working. You will see the kid on your weekends, but you haven't shown up the last three times.

dangor (New York): Your starting pitching rankings were outstanding. However, I'd like to ask you about a few that have underperfomed. Mainly, has your opinion changed on Price, Hamels, Dickey and Cain going forward?

Paul Sporer: Thanks! I remain firm on Price and Hamels, and probably even Cain. I think all three will get right. Dickey seems to be pitching at well below 100% which is causing problems. Strikes me as a Haren situation from last year where we never knew when he was 100% or when the back was creaky and causing issues for him.

Ben (Denver): Thanks for the chat Paul! Can you tell me a little bit about Rosell Herrera and Renato Nunez? I'm looking deep into these guys for my fantasy farm team.

Paul Sporer: I'd be 10000% lying if I tried to fake this. I'm not entirely sure you didn't make these names up and somehow create BP profiles for them. Got my eye on you, Ben.

Shawnykid23 (CT): Is it time to start stashing the Eraser??

Paul Sporer: YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

El Guapo (Toronto): Buy or sell on Hosmer & Moustakas in a deep/mixed keeper?

Paul Sporer: Sell. Not necessarily for the long-term, but KC is just a mess I don't want to mess with this year.

SMALL INTERLUDE, FOLKS, BE BACK SHORTLY... PLEASE ENJOY THIS MUSIC :plays music:

Chase F'n Utley (Philadelphia F'n Clubhouse): Who is the bigger bro/brah: Brett Lawrie, or Nick Swisher?

Paul Sporer: Swish is a bro and awesome at life. Lawrie is a brah and bleeds Red Bull.

Tommy (Lexington, KY): I know he is young and started off ok, but Arenado is slumping. Any reason to think he will still be a solid player?

Paul Sporer: Sure, just maybe not this year. I rarely mess with these kinds of guys in mixed league formats just because you never know how it's going to go in year 1. Trouts and Harpers spoil the HELL out of us. (Not suggesting you thought Arenado would be anywhere near them, but it raises the bar for all prospects... unfairly I might add)

Tim (KC): Just how high is Jorge Soler's ceiling? Thanks!

Paul Sporer: He can be a legit first-division star. Long way from that, of course.

Scott (LA): With his velocity improved, what do you think the chances are that Jacob Turner becomes an asset for the Marlins?

Paul Sporer: Even without the improved velo I thought he would become an asset. It just might take a while. He was never a future 1 so I think him hitting his ceiling might seem like a disappointment for some. I think he has a very bright future.

Matt (Fresno, CA): Miguel Montero. What's the deal? His triple slash line is way down from career norms, but Nick Hundley is my only alternative in my 10-team NL Scoresheet league. Should I look to trade Montero or hang onto him?

Paul Sporer: Sit tight. I believe. I'd actually be buying in NL-onlys and deep mixers.

lpunkari (Fort Frances, Ontario): Will this chat be as long as the TINSTAPP show? Seriously though, how much has chatting with Doug affected your view on pitching from a fantasy perspective if any?

Paul Sporer: I desperately want to do a marathon chat, but forces always work against me and I seem to always have 3-4 pieces due on my chat days! Oh it's been immense. Just trying to refine my eye to look for mechanical differences had helped me. If I think I see something, he and I will discuss it and go from there. Our gchats are epic. The biggest help has been with deciding if a broken guy is fixable or maybe someone to move.

brukru (Pittsford): Does George Brett fix Hosmer and Moose? And if so, why did he wait so long???

Paul Sporer: I wish I knew the answer, just as Brett wishes he had the answer for them. If he saw some flaw on TV that was plaguing them and would make for a quick fix, he'd have told em April. I'm afraid it's not that simple.

Allison Brie (California): Why am I not in this conversation with Scarlet and Jennifer? I think we are through, Paul.

Paul Sporer: The truth is, I'm quite polyamorous with celebrities I have zero chance with...

cracker73 (Florida): What is Buxton's power projection?

Paul Sporer: At least a 60, though I'd definitely lean on the MiLB team for further detail as I've yet to see him play so much as an inning.

g dog (chatanooga): should i trade for jason heyward?

Paul Sporer: If you can get a discount, yes. Truth is I'd probably pay full price, but you just shouldn't have to.

nictaclacta (Glendale): Old guy here. Who is "the Eraser" referenced by Shawnykid23?

Paul Sporer: Oh sorry about that. It's Seattle's Erasmo Ramirez.

Fist (Seattle): Better ERA at year-end, Hamels or Teheran? How many IP would you expect for Teheran?

Paul Sporer: How about from here on out since what they've done to date doesn't really matter? I'll choose Hamels either way as I think he can make up the 1.15 gap, but for fantasy purposes here until Oct 1 matters more. I think Teheran throws 175ish.

Brian (Mass): In a dynasty league, would you trade Jose Fernandez for Puig if you were getting Yasiel back?

Paul Sporer: No. I generally for the bat in these 1-for-1s, but here I want Fernandez.

Shaun (Dayton): Up and coming actress that could be the next Jennifer Lawrence for you?

Paul Sporer: I've become a huge fan of Gillian Jacobs who like Alison Brie is from Community. I've heard her on several podcasts and she just dominates life. Isla Fisher is known from Wedding Crashers and other things, but she seems to be appearing more and more (currently in Arrested Development Season 4) and she's also amazing at life.

Shawn (Client's Conference Room): Agree or Diasgree- Rick Porcello seems to have turned a corner. And if he has, that Detroit rotation is just unfair...

Paul Sporer: He has for these last few starts, but we have to see it more consistently to say he's DEFINITELY turned the corner.

master mike (kentfield): bj upton has to turn it around right?

Paul Sporer: Yes, I think he'll have a huge tear soon to make up for the trash start. Unlikely to have the season I thought he would when projecting in March barring a Dom Brown month, but I think he'll end with a productive line.

Travis (Georgia): Do you think this DL time will help Matt Kemp eventually grasp his superstar status again?

Paul Sporer: Yes. Health is the issue, not skills.

UTRMHefferan (Rochester NY): Could you give any insight on this seasons struggles of Trevor Story?

Paul Sporer: I can't. I haven't seen him. Sorry. I do know that he's angering me because he was supposed to dominate so I could trade him for some studs in my NL only where I'm trying to stave off the bumrush of teams trying to kick me out of first.

Patrick (the D): What's up with Billy Butler? Think he'll turn it around? Trying to decide whether I should dump him or not. I have Rizzo riding the pine for him now.

Paul Sporer: Yeah, he's mostly been fine with only the batting average lagging a bit. Otherwise he's on pace for 15-93 the latter of which is fine and the former of which can even out to low-to-mid 20s in a heartbeat. I'm buying BB.

valverde the littlbe b (chi): sup, should i try to sell high on shelby?

Paul Sporer: If you can legitimately sell high. Like getting first-second round offensive talent.

yng (hawaii): hey, whats the best way to ask you a question mid week?

Paul Sporer: Twitter @sporer or in the comments of one of my articles or email ... I'm lame as hell, I'm always available.

e40 (vallejo): why am i still holding carlos quentin and david murphy in a 12 team mixed?

Paul Sporer: because you hate winning and you blame your father?

Not Mosey (Some place sane): Would you rather have Verlander or Marco Estrada in a 1x1 league and the pitching category is "back hair"?

Paul Sporer: Gross

Kingpin (Grinnell, IA): Standard 5x5 NL-only keeper league - is Wandy Rodriguez (with $3 cost for next year) fair value for me to offer in exchange for Jimmy Rollins (who will not be kept next year)?

Paul Sporer: Yes, it's a good opening offer. If he doesn't love it, then you can shift, but it's not insulting at all.

Greg (Cleveland): In a small sample, Kluber has been solid, with outstanding peripherals. What do you expect ROS?

Paul Sporer: Lots of Kluber questions, so consider this the one for all of them. He's been excellent recently. He has a strong pitch mix and showing great command of those pitches to help him miss TONS of bats. I do think there is legitimacy, but not as some 1-2 guy. He's a mid-to-high 3.00s guy with some strong K potential. He's an all-format play especially because he's also supported by the offense in terms of for wins.

Alex (Anaheim): Is Straily just having a good run or might he be worth holding onto in fantasy?

Paul Sporer: The latter. I like him. He's still learning on the job so 10-team mixers probably only need to stream right now, but he's got real talent.

James (Riverside): Looking to buy on Kemp. Fair openining offer is ______ ?

Paul Sporer: Travis Wood.

freddy kreuger (basement): give me a cingrani,wacha type to pick up down in the minors

Paul Sporer: Erasmo Ramirez

jt (the grammies): lackey looked decent his last start, safe to roll out @tb, @bal next week? sketchy!

Paul Sporer: Tough slate, but I'm trusting him across the board right now so I'd start him.

Dave (Canada): Thanks again for awesome podcasts Paul. You, Jason and Doug rock! So insightful and entertaining. Another couple of bad starts for Hamels since you last talked about him. Thoughts? Just more bad luck or is there more to it? Thanks!

Paul Sporer: Dave, thanks so much. We actually discuss him some in the next episode which I'll post tonight or early tomorrow AM.

JohnnyT (NJ): Paul, good afternoon bigger impact next year for houston Domingo Santana (OF) or J.Villar (SS)? rate the 2nd half rotation impact: Sonny Gray ,Esmil Rodgers,S.Nolin and K.Zimmer

Paul Sporer: I'll say Villar because of position and speed translating quicker. Rogers if he starts, Gray, Nolin and Zimm (not sure he makes MLB this year)

jeff wong (34th floor): pls rank: locke,leake,marcum

Paul Sporer: Leake, Locke, Marcum

Luke (Jacksonville): The next Shelby Miller is ________?

Paul Sporer: Chris Archer

chris carter (china): yo, can i go on a tear like chris davis? or am i just a carlos pena talent?

Paul Sporer: You need to cut your Ks. that's been Davis's biggest change this year. I thought Davis would fade from 2012 bc he was K'ing 30%, but he cut it to a manageable 23 and voila! Changes the whole game.

Paul Sporer: Guys, I have to cut shorter than I wanted to since there are still questions, but please send them to me at psporer@baseballprospectus.com or @sporer on Twitter if you still want them answered. I have a few assignments that I have to start including my BP piece for tomorrow. Next chat I do: MARATHON that easily eclipses a TINSTAAPP episode.


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