Question: I never liked Veras as the closer for Houston; I thought Fields would take over that job. What do you think? Also, how about Paul Clemens?
Answer: Veras isn't the most inspiring closer, but he has been getting the job done for Houston of late. He has also been the best reliever thus far in a fairly weak pen. Fields is currently on a rehab assignment and recovering from a forearm strain. The injury is minor, but it means that the Astros are likely to ease him back into action when he returns later this month.
Clemens has a terrific ceiling in terms of raw stuff but is still a work in progress. He probably wouldn't be in the majors in a deeper organization. I'm still not sure if Clemens' future lies in the rotation or in the pen. If you're speculating on saves, the Astros’ bullpen doesn't seem like a good place to do so. Unless he goes through a really terrible stretch, Veras will probably hold onto the job all year. The Astros are in full-on rebuilding mode and won't be incentivized to change their closer unless he completely immolates.
Question: I play in a head-to-head points league with a starting rotation of Johnny Cueto, Chris Sale, Jordan Zimmermann, Wade Miley, and Ian Kennedy. When Cueto got hurt, I brought in the trusty Mike Leake. My question is, when Cueto comes back, do I bench Leake or Kennedy? Kennedy has been garbage so far. What's his deal? I keep waiting for him to break out. All the while, Leake just chugs along.
Answer: Kennedy and Leake haven't been too far apart once you factor in Leake's awful WHIP and the K advantage for Kennedy. I just think IPK has too much more upside than Leake. I'd prefer to hold Kennedy.
Question: I have Dexter Fowler in a league where we play separate OF spots. I have decent depth at LF and RF but was banking on Fowler being a day-in, day-out CF. The problem is, he has stunk over the last month. Should I try to trade from depth to get another CF, or should I stick it out? It doesn't look like any of my corner OF guys are going to gain CF eligibility.
Answer: He set a false level of expectations with his amazing start. He isn't as bad as he is now, but he's also not as good as he was early on this season. He will bounce back to his true talent level soon enough.
Question: I'm in an eight-team keeper league, 6×6 (OPS and K/BB), with 27-man rosters. I'm currently in second, with my biggest weaknesses being AVG, OPS, and ERA. My biggest strengths are Ks, K/BB, and, surprisingly, WHIP. Halladay really effed up my ERA, but Darvish, Scherzer, Iwakuma, and Cobb have really helped with Ks, WHIP, and K/BB.
I have been offered Samardzija and Wil Myers for Max Scherzer. Samardzija and Scherzer are so close in skills, but I still think Scherzer is going to significantly lower his ERA. My league only keeps six, so unless Myers went OFF, he probably wouldn't be a keeper (we can keep any six forever, no costs). But he could. Should I take this deal? I think I could also get CC instead of Samardzija.
Answer: Pass. In an eight-teamer, you keep your star power. I love Samardzija, but Max is a star arm.
Question: Would you advise me packaging Iwakuma and Cobb for a top ___ pitcher? There is always a plethora of talent to stream on the wire. What should I try to target for those guys?
Question: Would you trade Ozuna for Vogie in a 14-teamer? I have Saunders or Soriano as an extra OF who can step in for Ozuna, and I could use a starter. I could try to trade Snider (also on my bench) instead, but I have an offer posted for Ozuna I could accept and be done with it.
Answer: I don't have a problem doing that. I expect the rookie to struggle, and I believe Vogelsong's worst days are nearly behind him.
Question: I'm in a 12-team mixed league with 43-man rosters. Nobody to pick up. I was counting on Hanley as my shortstop. Right now, I've got Kipnis at second and Alcides at shortstop; I can live with that, obviously. MI is trouble: I've got Yunel and Sogard.
Can I count on Yunel becoming replacement level soon? Would it be worth going after a low-tier MI or maybe packaging Hanley for someone mid-tier? I'm thinking maybe of tossing out Matt Adams (mine) for Brian Roberts, who may be back in the next week or two, simply because the depth is that bad. Any advice? I do have some pitching to trade—I tried Milone for Infante but got nowhere.
Answer: I wouldn't go for B. Roberts. I just don't trust him to stay healthy for more than eight minutes. I think Yunel will be OK. Not great, but passable. You can improve in a 12-teamer, though. I'd shoot higher with Adams. If you want to sell Hanley a little low, go ahead and package him with Adams for something a bit more substantial.
Question: Guy wants Granderson, A. Gordon and Sale for Victorino, Stanton, and Masterson. Am I crazy to consider it? I traded him Stanton last year trying to win the league (which I did), and now I want him back, but this seems like too much. You agree?
Answer: You are paying WAY too much in this deal. Decline it, without haste.