Ask the Experts chat transcript

by Tim Heaney on April 15, 2009 @ 01:00:00 PDT


Twice a week, KFFL fantasy baseball experts Nicholas Minnix (Mondays, 12 p.m. EST, 9 a.m. PST) and Tim Heaney (Wednesdays, 12 p.m. EST, 9 a.m. PST) chat live with fantasy baseball players to answer their most pressing questions.

Go to the Ask the Experts Landing Page to access these exciting chats and have your questions answered by Heaney, Minnix and the rest of the best in the industry!


What are the chances that Gary Sheffield sees some playing time this year and actually contributes some fantasy value?

First off, good morning/afternoon, everyone! This is my final chat for ATE, and I want to give a huge thanks for joining me these past few months. It has been a pleasure!

OK, enough with the Kleenex moments.... Rick, Sheff is starting out as a platoon player - he'll probably be in the lineup today - against lefties with Ryan Church acting as his foil. I'm not keen on the bat speed he has left, though. I'm renting him in deep mixed leagues if he plays his way into the lineup, but I wouldn't be confident with him having a significant role for my mixed league team.


I'm starting to hear some noise about John Buck of the Royals...other than he is off to a hot start what can you tell me about him and is this a fluke or can the guy really hit for an entire season?

Well, Monty, I think the Indians staff heard plenty of noise from Buck's two dingers last night.

He always had pop - that has been his best fantasy asset. He was always worth consideration in two-catcher mixed setups, but you needed to account for his high strikeout counts.

The thing to note: Buck's batting eye has improved in each of his last four major league seasons. He was still striking out a bunch, but he took more walks.

The Royals could have a solid duo at C this year, also including Miguel Olivo. I wouldn't pull the trigger on Buck in shallow mixed, but in deep leagues (especially two-C) you can rent him. Just beware of his average dropping, which could happen soon.


Nick Swisher didn't do jack for me last he is off to a good start for the Yankees...please tell me this is just an early season aberration...I don't want to kick myself all season for letting him go.


I told the Yankees not to trade him..........

Swisher will work his way into the lineup this year. The Yankees have him under their control through 2011, so they'll probably want to see what he has, especially with Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui and Xavier Nady due to be free agents next year.

Plus, Nady is now having elbow pain. Swisher would slide right in. Remember how old Matsui and Damon are, too.

Swisher is arguably the most patient hitter in the bigs, and you can't base his value on last year's performance. He's going to give you 20 knocks. I wouldn't count on him hitting higher than .270 (that's if he continues his hot streak for the season), but in no way can you drop him. Sell him high? Maybe....


I need a good sleeper OF on the waviers is Kosuke Fukudome, Randy Winn, Elijah Dukes...I'd drop X-man Nady. My current OF consist of Hunter Pence, Carlos Quentin, Adam Dunn....with Pat Burrell and Xavier Nady riding the pine. I think it might be Fukudomes year but Winn is consistent...thanks!

Jared, how deep is your league?

Nady might be going on the DL soon:,0,716338.story

If you can afford to hang onto him, stash him, THEN pick up someone.

Fukudome's value is going up now that the Milton Bradley Effect has started (injury). Winn, as you correctly identified, is consistent but unexciting. .290-15-20 is a typical line.

I would rank them Dukes, Winn, Fukudome. He has the most upside of the group (power-steals combo), and with Lastings Milledge's demotion, Dukes has a chance to play himself into a permanent job.

Remember, Nady is streaky, and he can carry a team for a few weeks when he's on. If you have a DL spot, you may be able to hang onto him while also grabbing Dukes.


Would you consider picking up Jon Smoltz when he returns?

Jeremy, if you can stash John Smoltz on a DL spot, do it now if he's still out there. You're not losing anything by doing this now if you don't have someone clogging up those roster slots. As for picking him up in non-DL leagues, you can do that, too, if you're not sacrificing anything big to do so.


Should I hold onto Tejada...I have Hardy & Scutaro....I'd like to pick up Ramon Hernandez b/c Navarro is killing me with his wiffs and at some point Hernandez should turn it around


First off, how deep is your league? Do you employ CI and MI spots?

Scutaro is on fire and has great positional eligibility. I don't see it lasting for the whole season, so dropping Miguel Tejada would be a mistake. He's declining, for sure, but if/when he wakes up, you'd regret letting him go.

How many catchers do you use? Heck, even if it's two-catcher, I would consider dropping Dioner Navarro grabbing Ramon. Navarro has one year of average production under his belt; you know Hernandez can blast 15-20 dingers.


12 tean mixed, 5x5 no salary 9 P should I pick up Chris Perez or hang on to Hong-Chih Kuo? I have Motte, Gregg and Mariano as my closers. Only 3 bench spots, currently holding, D. Price, T. Hanson and Smoltz. Thanks


First off, you're making a brutal mistake by calling Motte a "closer." STL is a carousel right now, and you can't expect Tony La Russa to change things up as long as the team is winning.

Those are three valuable names to hold on to. Is Smoltz in a DL spot?

I would probably go with Perez. It's a bit of a bold move at this point, but we have a feeling Perez will get another shot soon, especially with the way he's performing at Triple-A. These are the risks that could pay off - Kuo is valuable for K's (great LIMA P), but if you want to try to lock up STL saves for later on in the season, grab Perez now and reap the benefits later.

UPDATE: Coach, news just broke that Perez could be called up if Chris Carpenter heads to the DL (when is more like it). That reinforces the fact that you should grab him.


Why does the NL central have 6 teams and the AL west only 4? That has always bothered me.

Jason, logic dictates you need to have an even amount of teams in each league - with three divisions in each league, splitting up the 30 teams evenly would give you 15 teams in each league. That throws off the schedule-making because you wouldn't have an even amount of games played.

Geography dictates the current split.

Let me know if you have any fantasy baseball questions, too. Would love to help!


Just picked up Dukes yesterday. I am excited about playing him, but should I play him over Werth or Ethier today...just for funs sake?

Jack, you should never make lineup moves to justify a pickup. Werth and Ethier have started off well, so I wouldn't recommend doing it.

Dukes will be worth playing sooner rather than later, though, especially with Milledge down at Triple-A.


What should I do about Carpenter? I don't have a DL spot, and there are guys like Kenshin out there to pick up. Hold tight or move forward?

How deep is your league, Bill?

Under-the-gun answer: I would hang off on making a decision until we see a timetable, but my instincts say to move on. Carpenter loves the DL like I love In-N-Out Burger.


Would you trade Shafer for Snider straight up. 5x5 16 team keeper?

Good question, Mike. How many do you keep? What's your offensive core?

I would do it. I see tons of upside with Travis Snider - 35- or 40-homer - and he'd be better to serve as a power base. Jordan Schafer is 20-20 potential to me, but Snider can be the biggest impact. If you already have SBs covered for some time, this makes the decision to get Snider that much easier.


I'm in a ten team mixed league with 6 reserves...good thinking on waiting till he hits the DL...but you'd go with Dukes over Fukudome for sure huh....oh and its sad to see you of luck to you

Thanks for the kind words, Jared! This was a great chat series - tons of bright fantasy baseball minds here and a heaping helping of info. Glad you enjoyed it.

You can still read my stuff over at, including my Rounding the Bases blog: - our in-season content is FREE, so be sure to check it out!

I view Dukes as having much more to offer than Fukudome. I don't see power showing up for the import as much as I do for the former. Dukes is a legit freakish athlete - he had 13 dingers and steals in just 276 at-bats last year. I don't see Kearns hanging on to a job for the whole season, either. He'll probably be traded at some point.

There's also Reed Johnson to worry about in the Cubs OF - Lou Piniella likes to mix things up there. I'm not doubting Fukudome's accomplishments: In fact, it's good to see his mechanics are back and he's being more aggressive. He's going to see a spike in XB hits, but I'm not so sure about the homers.

Good article if you haven't read it:,CST-SPT-cubnt12.article

My general philosophy dictates going with upside for reserve spots, though, giving Dukes the nod. I conceded that Fukudome has a bit more upside than Winn, but Winn just gives you a warm blanket feeling for your bench, if that's what your preference is.


So would you drop Jason Motte for Perez and keep status Kuo? Yeas Smoltz is my DL and S. Baker is the other bench player. Other P areKawakami, Liriano, Lilly, D. Lowe and Volstad, Any of those to drop? Thanks again.


First off, love the pun.

Second, how many teams are in your league? I would lean toward dropping Volstad. I know there's upside with him, but I don't know if that K rate will make a big jump this year. Kawakami is Hiroki Kuroda Lite, so that's not a bad thing to round out your fantasy staff. I hate to clog up your roster with two Cards relievers, but if you're that desperate for saves, you may need to do that if you want to keep Kuo.


why doesn't anyone think Bonifacio is the real deal...Marlins always have a no name guy become a star

Emilio, your namesake hasn't shown the ability to do anything more than steal bases at a consistent pace, especially when you depress his minor league numbers to MLB conditions, which devalues his .285 career farm clip.

Emilio Bonifacio would have to put up an Ichiro-like average to balance out everything that he hasn't shown he can do. Don't fool yourself into thinking he can accumulate more than 50 or so RBIs hitting atop an order. Given his non-steals talent relies chiefly on BABIP and a spotty batting eye, you probably won't be able to rely on his non-speed offense in the long term.

That being said, I picked up Bonifacio in one league, but I'm waiting for the bottom to fall out on him. When it does, he'll park on the pine or the wire.


Was just offered Rollins for Stephen Drew and Jason Motte, 16 team HH league? What are your thoughts on this, the time-table is rapidly expiring on it?


Even without seeing your other relief pitchers, I'm telling you: Don't do it. Count on Rollins turning things around - that's an owner trying to buy low on an elite player. Rollins is your steals and runs scored foundation.

Motte's closer stock is already in big jeopardy, and Drew is a nice SS but not on Rollins' level.

That's all for me, everyone! I again want to thank all of you for the insightful questions and for spending Wednesdays with me and my ramblings.

Be sure to check out for FREE in-season coverage, where I, along with fellow KFFL chatter Nicholas Minnix and KFFLians Bryce McRae and Cory J. Bonini, muse about the goings on in fantasy baseball!

Good luck this season!

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About Tim Heaney

Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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