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Chat: Paul Sporer

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Tuesday May 15, 2012 1:00 PM ET chat session with Paul Sporer.

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Spend your afternoon getting acquainted with the newest addition to the BP Fantasy team.

Paul Sporer: Welcome to my debut chat at BP! We've got day baseball with Strasburg and sweet, sweet Jason Marquis on the hill!

Natty Bumpo (NH): What's the floor for Pujols. J.Montero/M.Moore for Albert?

Paul Sporer: I would still want more. If someone is willing to trade for him, that means they believe he will come back (and I do, too) so I don't want a pair of rookies, especially one is struggling mightily right now in Moore.

Guancous (Silver Spring, MD): Welcome to BP! Will your exhaustive annual fantasy pitching guide become exclusive content for subscribers?

Paul Sporer: Not to my knowledge. It will continue to be available at paulsporer.com. I'll always be looking for ways to make it better each year, too. This year had fewer players, but much more thorough capsules as well as the addition of projections. Not sure what 2013 has in store.

josh (seattle): Everth Cabrera? NL only. Need steals. Worth a pickup? Wait til this legal mess clears up? Thanks

Paul Sporer: I'd probably just wait unless it's a really deep NL where you can stash and there is literally nothing else of merit on the wire.

Natty Bumpo (NH): Trout and everyday starter in an OF w Swisher, Heyward, Alonso, Stanton, Dirks. Can only start 3.

Paul Sporer: Heyward, Stanton are the constants, but then Trout & Swisher fighting for the third spot depending on team needs. Swisher will out-power Trout, Trout will out-run him, of course.

LoyalRoyal (Kansas): Do you know what's going on with Mike Leake this season? While I didn't expect him to a world beater, I also didn't anticipate him pitching like Royals starter either.

Paul Sporer: I, too, expected more. He's just too hittable and he doesn't have great stuff to counteract it. He needs to improve his command. He isn't wild and out of the zone, but he's actually in the zone too much and throwing meatballs.

19braves77 (Pensacola, FL): How patient should I be with Lincy ?

Paul Sporer: Pretty patient, even in the shallowest of leagues. The strikeout rate remains sky-high and the 3.40 xFIP tells you that you can expect more going forward. If you get a fair trade offer, that's fine, but don't cut your losses and sell low.

Steve (Dallas): Who do you like better long-term, Wil Myers or Jurickson Profar?

Paul Sporer: Profar, though I think both will be very good. Profar has the positional scarcity edge on Myers. Myers, fully healthy, is showing his potential so far this year. He's a beast.

LoyalRoyal (Kansas): Do you know any baseballs prayers that will help the Royals staff like "Spahn and Sain and pray for rain"? It's become a greek tradegy at this point. Any signs of hope for this season's staff? Anything? Throw us a crumb? lol

Paul Sporer: Duffy going down was a crushser. Focus on Hos, Mous & Myers in the heart of the late-2013 lineup and beyond. By the way, I know Hosmer has been a disaster this year so far, but I'm not worried. Maybe Odorizzi and Ventura will be what Montgomery and Lamb were supposed to be, though I wouldn't write them off, either. Patience... yes, even more than KC fans have already displayed.

Kingpin (Grinnell, IA): Standard 5x5 scoring, 8-team, NL-only keeper league. $260 annual auction budget, 8 keepers per team. I'm currently in 1st place on the strength of my offense. My Bryce Harper (likely to be kept at $16 next year, $20 in 2014, & $28 in 2015) for Kershaw (who cannot be kept after this season). I have Braun, CarGo, and Stanton as other OF. Do I make the deal?

Paul Sporer: Yes, go for the title, as long as an impact SP will help the team. You're in 1st, don't sweat keepers for next year.

Newt (Long way from first): Let's start off the chat easy. Bartlett or Bartman?? My NL only team is in big trouble and needing some SS help. Is there anybody to be watching for and how much longer with the Bartlett saga continue?

Paul Sporer: Bartlett is definitely struggling especially with 0 SB. Scutaro out there? It's barren. Perhaps trade from strength to shore up your SS.

Jerome (T Hills): When will we see Wily Peralta and Drew Pomeranz back up this year and what can we expect out of them?

Paul Sporer: Estrada's been really good so no need for Peralta right now. Pomeranz facing the same issue with Friedrich looking excellent in his first two starts. I think we would see the normal ups and downs of rookies if/when both come back up. Nothing special immediately.

Frank (MA): Friedrich the new Price?

Paul Sporer: I wouldn't go that far. Remember this is a guy who lost most of his prospect stock coming into this year after two 5.00-ERA seasons at AA. Keep in mind he's faced two poor offenses (SD and SF) in their favorable home parks. He has re-committed himself to his craft and the gains are real, but let's get him some more MLB work before putting him as high as Price.

Tony (OKC): How do you see Dan Haren performing for the rest of the year? Is there something wrong or is this just a bad couple of starts strung together?

Paul Sporer: His back is bothering him hence the poor outings against two would-be favorable matchups. I think a DL stint might be in order to get him back on track. I think it's all related to that and a healthy Haren will be excellent.

Paul (DC): After last season, only the diehardest of Mets fans would have been willing to predict the bounce back David Wright's experiencing (so far). Any guesses on what his season ending stat line will resemble? Any explanation, other than small sample size, for his sizzling first fifth of the season?

Paul Sporer: He's a star player and as Ron Shandler says, once you display a skill, you own it. He finally appears back at 100% across the board and the performance backs that up. I think he ends the year around .320, 24 HR, 95 RBI, 11 SB.

Johhny Dills (NJ): When will Moore do something besides break my balls?

Paul Sporer: When he starts commanding the way we expected with him. I'll defer to episode 3 of our podcast where Jason Collette discusses his issues at length - http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=16896

Tony (OKC): Any thoughts on Jarrod Parker so far? Shiny ERA but the peripheral's aren't so pretty.

Paul Sporer: I still like him to be a solid contributor. I suspect he will get better as the season goes on and that the home park in OAK covers a lot of mistakes. The control has been shaky his last two outings, but he has survived because neither TOR nor DET took full advantage. He won't be so lucky if he continues that. I see a 3.60ish ERA, mid-1.20s WHIP and plenty of Ks.

Jerome (T Hills): Where do you sit on this trade Adam Dunn, Mark Trumbo, and Brandon McCarthy for Michael Cuddyer and Martin Prado?

Paul Sporer: I'll take the first side.

Jerome (T Hills): Good chat! How do you think the season goes for Scott Rolen? Are we at the end now?

Paul Sporer: Pretty much at the end, especially from a fantasy-relevant standpoint. The health concerns that impacted him throughout his career have a bigger impact at this age as his bat continues to slow down.

Matt (clearwater): Where do you see Beachy's numbers ending up? Is he a sell high?

Paul Sporer: I would sell high if I could, but it'd really have to be a sell high like getting someone like a Wainwright, Garza, any of the 3 SF guys, Zimmermann, Gallardo or Greinke. I don't think he'd draw the Philly 3, Kershaw or Strasburg. I see Beachy around 3.20 ERA, 1.23 WHIP. The Ks are down from last year, but he should probably still finish around 7-7.5 K/9.

Newt (Long way from first): Let's start off the chat easy. Bartlett or Bartman?? My NL only team is in big trouble and needing some SS help. Is there anybody to be watching for and how much longer with the Bartlett saga continue?

Paul Sporer: Bartlett is definitely struggling especially with 0 SB. Scutaro out there? It's barren. Perhaps trade from strength to shore up your SS.

Christopher (Tennessee): Speaking of risky contracts, the Yankees still owe Teixeira five years and $100 million (including this year). Is it as bad as it looks from here?

Paul Sporer: Ya, $22.5 mil per year for he has become is a bit worrisome. The shift is eating up his batting average, but he's still a big time power producer. I think he will remain a mid-30s HR producer. The key for me is getting back to the 85-90 BB level. With the lowered AVG, his BB need to rise maintain his OBP.

Paul (DC): In the Halls of BP Justice, does Maury Brown ever get accidentally taken for Maury Chase (and then per the old Monty Python bit get hit about the head shoulders with a large fish)?

Paul Sporer: Hahahaha, no he doesn't. Everyone recognizes Brown's greatness.

Marlow Green (The lonesome crowded west): I'm in a deep NL keeper league and picked up Capuano and McDonald for $1 each at the end of the auction. Of the two guys, which one should I sell high on? Or should I just sit back and enjoy the ride?

Paul Sporer: I'd probably enjoy the ride with both, but I'd sell Capuano before McDonald.

Renfei (DC): How much do you buy into the good start by James McDonald?

Paul Sporer: A lot. I've been a long-time believer in McDonald. His command has finally improved. After low K totals in his first 3 outings, he has really amped them up in the last four outings. I think we could finally see a full-fledged breakout.

bretsayre (NJ): Hey Paul - enjoying your first chat. Has Jeff Niemann showed enough so far this year for you to keep him tucked away in one of five bench spots on a 16-team mixed league (DL spot is occupied) until he returns from this injury?

Paul Sporer: Thanks, Bret. I appreciate it. I would hold Niemann for the time being, but he would probably be my first cut if I got into a situation where I needed that roster spot. My guess he'd be scooped by someone with an open DL spot if you released him.

Pablo (NJ): I'm also in a deep NL only league. who gets the call first, Bauer or Arenado?

Paul Sporer: Pure guess: Bauer, but he has some things to iron out before getting his call unless Arizona's needs dictate otherwise in short order. I've always thought Arenado would spend most of '12 in the minors barring just an insane performance (>1.000 OPS). I wasn't sure why he was being drafted in some non-keeper leagues.

Natty Bumpo (NH): Swisher vs W. Chen. Trout vs Colon? Who starts? And thank you for your answers etc

Paul Sporer: I'd take the hitter in both instances. You're welcome.

Jerome (T Hills): When can we expect Chris Young and Michael Morse back to full speed?

Paul Sporer: Young is headed back rather soon as he is already out on a rehab session. Morse is a good bit further away. I think early June is the best case. Plan for mid-June and be happy with anything ahead of that.

Tony (OKC): Robbie Erlin is doing his thing again. 12.0 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 in AA. What do you think his peripherals will look like in The Show and is he a September call up?

Paul Sporer: I am a huge Erlin fan. I think he could be an 8ish K/9 with 2.0ish BB/9. The trade to SD and Petco only made me like him that much more. Huge, huge fan of his.

Pablo (NJ): any chance we see Ian Stewart become a decent regular with the Cubs?

Paul Sporer: I think that ship has sailed. Some guys just fail. Andy Marte, Brandon Wood, Dallas McPherson... without the name and hype, we'd have forgotten about them long ago. Sometimes we (we being the baseball community) get it wrong.

AJ (Schnecksville, PA): What is reasonable to expect for Hamels on the open market. 7 for 160 or could the dodgers are another "mystery team" trump that offer. Any chance at all he re signs with the phils

Paul Sporer: I don't really see the Phils being able to pull it off, but ya never know. I think we won't really know about mystery teams and reasonable figures for him until the season is done. He's going to get paid and paid a lot.

tommybones (new york): Does Allen Craig eventually force himself into the 2B equation? The guy needs to be in the lineup every day.

Paul Sporer: If necessary, but Jay's injury opens an outfield spot. I think he'll get his ABs, but the Wrench (his amazing nickname... hat tip to Cory Schwartz who I first heard it from) will play.

will.I.ain't (roaming): Looking back at recent concussions in MLB, what does the near future look like for Chase d'Arnaud. He seemed close, but since his concussion he is not hitting.

Paul Sporer: It can be a long road back. I think sometimes we assume if a guy is on the field, he's 100% and should be performing as such, but of course that's not always true. It's only been a few games with d'Arnaud for this year, so let's give him some time.

Lesson Learned (jokesville): As a cub fan, I taunted my league mate and cardinal fan with a Bryan LaHair for Pujols offer. He actually accepted it. Should I be happy or sad?

Paul Sporer: Happy. You get all of Pujols' good and he gets all of LaHair's evening out. I think LaHair will end up with a solid season, but nowhere near .356 AVG and probably closer to 30-33 HR than the 41 he's on pace for right now.

Don Zilla (NYC): thoughts on Adam Dunn's resurgence and expections ROS?

Paul Sporer: I buy it. I bought in before the season. I think he'll be back to Dunnian levels: 38-42 HR with .240-.260 AVG... anything more would be a welcomed bonus.

Tony (OKC): Do you like Jacob Turner's future? The BB% and GB% are nice but the K's aren't coming a long as often as hoped. Is he a mid-rotation guy (something akin to Porcello) in a year or two?

Paul Sporer: I do like his future. I think he will be more than Porcello, but less than a #1. I think we could see his K numbers rise once in the bigs a la Bumgarner. By the way, I think Porcello still has a lot room for growth. Remember that he's just 23 years old.

Dan (Brooklyn): Don't you think there's some level of hypocrisy involved in BPro championing advanced metrics and then spending so much of its time/resources providing "insight" into saves/AVG/RBI-based fantasy games?

Paul Sporer: No I don't think it's any hypocrisy. There aren't a lot of advanced stat leagues out there. Spending time and resources on wOBA leagues or WAR leagues would make much sense since it's such a niche market in the fantasy game right now. Instead, we use the advanced metrics to identify the best players for those SV/AVG/RBI leagues. Identifying highly skills players with the best chances to succeed in those context-based categories.

sitdancer (DC): Give me your dream line-up of players younger than 25 (thinking about long-term success and using both current major and minor league players).

Paul Sporer: C - Santana, 1B - Hosmer (yes, even with struggles), 2B - Altuve/Ackley (cheated because I really love both), SS - Castro (Andrus if you're talking *real* baseball where D matters), 3B - Lawrie, OF - Stanton, Trout, Harper, DH - Bruce

SP - Kershaw, Felix, Strasburg, Darvish and Holland

Paul Sporer: Thanks everybody for dropping by. Look forward to doing it again sometime soon. Sorry we all got coal for Strasmas.


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