Ask the Experts chat transcript

by Tim Heaney on February 4, 2009 @ 00:00:00 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 do you think will happen with Xavier Nady? Is he really being shopped and how hard? If he stays, how much does he play?

The X-Man is a free agent after this season and a Scott Boras client coming off a career year - three traits that scream "Trade me!" It's OK to be skeptical that his breakout year came in his age-29 season, but at the moment he's a relatively cheap source of right-handed power.

Several teams need an impact corner outfielder (rumors say Braves and Angels are among them), but they'll have to pay the Boras price if they want to keep him after this season. Nick Swisher is the more versatile player in terms of positional eligibility, so they'd probably keep him before Nady if they decide on trading one. And it's not like the Yanks haven't dealt with Boras before....

If Nady stays, the Yanks could definitely use his RH bat in the lineup, so it'd be hard to sit him often. With the aging Yankees OF/DH situation, my vote would be to keep both. Their bench is pretty weak at the moment.


The Jayson Werth projection is pretty amazing, how likely is he to be an everyday OF er for the first time in his career?

Not sure offhand which projection you're talking about, but KFFL has him as a 20-20 player once again with a slight upgrade in average. His batting eye has seen some improvement in the last few years despite a slight drop last year, and his isolated power had a nice jump from previous seasons.

The Phillies need all the RH bats they can get at the moment since they signed Raul Ibanez, so they'll probably throw him out there to balance things out in the order.

The good sign here is that Werth didn't lean on Citizens Bank Park as more homers came on the road. He needs to improve his game against RHPs, but the fact he posted 20-20 in just 418 ABs is enough for him to be considered a midrange No. 4 outfielder, especially if your strategy consists of loading up on 20-homer bats.


In our 10 team AL only keeper 5x5 keeper league, I need to keep 3 of the following: Dye, Abreu, Roberts, Lester, Liriano, Shields. Any advice?

Answering your question without player salaries, contracts, your standing in the league or your other existing players, your pitching has more long-term promise than your offense in this case. It's usually better to keep bats before pitching, though.

Shields seems like the best option of your hurlers - best combination of dominant and command ratios. 

Liriano has already shown control fits but obviously has room to grow if he can command his slider to his previous levels. Lester's stuff doesn't impress me much.

Roberts has the advantage given positional scarcity, especially in this limited of a league. Abreu has shown signs of waning power and stolen base prowess, though he can still post good averages. Dye is a good bounceback candidate but not worth the trouble

Since it's AL-only, it looks like Shields, Liriano for upside and Roberts. Outfield is the deeper position, so depending on how many you start in a 10-team league you should be able to fill them with upside candidates.

Kasey Galligan

What's happening with Xavier Nady? Is he really being shopped? If he's going, where could he end up? If he's staying, how much will he play and what will be his production to the Yankees?

Please see the previous answer on this topic, but I'll expound a bit more on my favorite team's situation.

If they trade Nady, I see him ending up in Atlanta as a one-year rental. That way they can hold off on Jordan Schafer until he receives more seasoning and not have to resort to Matt Diaz, Gregor Blanco and co. in left or bringing Andruw Jones back.

He stumbled a bit with the Yanks last year, but I'll again stress the need for the Bombers to keep both Nady and Swisher.


What do u think of Manny Parra and what type of season do you expect from hIm?

Many questions about Parra in these chats, I've noticed. He's such an intriguing lefty arm - his K potential for the back end of a single-year draft can't be ignored. He put out a ton of quality starts last year, too, but that bullpen stole a few wins from him.

He stills needs to harness his command a bit and rebound from his terrible September, but I can see him maintaining his 8 K/9 figure this year. Parra is a late-round flier in mixed if someone doesn't jump on him sooner.


Can you give me a few pitchers who you feel are due for breakout years?

This isn't a unique thought, but if you can sneak Kevin Slowey into a shallow mixed serpentine draft, you'll have one up on your leaguemates. Great command ratio and still has a great bullpen and ballpark backing him.

I like targeting National League pitchers late in drafts for breakout years - typically easier league to pitch in w/o the DH. This may be the year to take a chance on Andrew Miller of the Marlins. He has standout K potential, but walks may get the better of him again. He's only 23, but for the price you could get him in most drafts he's worth the risk at the end.

Along the same lines of strikeout-happy but control-iffy hurlers, the A's Gio Gonzalez is also someone I'm taking a chance on in deep drafts.

For relievers in deep leagues, I really like Jason Motte this year. The converted catcher makes hitters miss the way Cris Carter caught touchdowns. Don't hand Chris Perez the closing job just yet - especially since La Russa hasn't decided on a stopper yet.

If he can win a spot in the rotation, the Dodgers' James McDonald can display his filthy stuff.


What do you see from Paul Konerko this year?

I know he isn't the player he used to be, but for a UTIL, CI or bench spot, I don't see why he shouldn't be on your list. He battled through injuries last year - especially a bone bruise on his top hand (his power hand at the plate) that hindered his first half.

He was stubborn and played through it, and his stats showed what his game felt like. He recovered for a face-saving 13 dingers in the second half. He still hit 31 homers in 2007 at age 31. I'm not throwing his name away just yet.


What's the latest on Franklin Morales? Seems like he vanished from existence.

He spent the offseason refining his mechanics - his delivery is reportedly smoother and less taxing on his body.

He admitted his back bothered him a bit last year, so there's reason he could be OK with a bunch of rest.

Outside of NL-only, though, I'm not drafting him. The Rox have several pitchers without minor league options, and the way the back end of that rotation is filling out, they could have several suitors for the job back there. His MiLB K rate aside, I don't see a drastic turnaround a la Ubaldo Jimenez.

Apple Pie

How do you handicap the Cardinals closer spot?

Even if they acquire a FA (I could see them taking a chance on Chad Cordero), this could be in flux all season.

Chris Perez has the talent but struggled in save situations last year.

Jason Motte has great strikeout potential but hasn't been a pitcher for too long.

Kyle McClellan has been talked about for a rotation spot but he was extremely effective in a setup role last year. They'll probably keep him there.

Ryan Franklin could re-enter the picture. He had a decent run last year but fell apart in July. He actually ended up regaining save chances in September.

There's always Chris Carpenter looming. His shoulder reportedly feels fine, and La Russa mentioned that he could give Carp a chance to save his arm; they want his arm on their staff somehow.

All in all, this should be one of the last closer situations addressed in a draft. If you want to pick based on skills/upside, go Perez first then Motte. Keep Franklin on your waivers watch list. You'll probably have to be quick to the wire on this one.

That's all for this portion of the chat. Thanks for your questions, and stay tuned for the next go-round at 6 pm EST!

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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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