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Chat: Mike Gianella

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Wednesday May 07, 2014 5:00 PM ET chat session with Mike Gianella.


Join Mike for an evening fantasy chat.

Mike Gianella: Hi everyone. Good day of baseball already; good day to talk fantasy baseball. Let's chat.

username49 (Ohio): What are your thoughts on JaCoby Jones? I've been monitoring him all year, and finally pulled the trigger after his 4th HR of the year the other day. Dropped Mac Williams for him in a deep league.

Mike Gianella: Hi username49. I knew your brother, username43. We went to school together.


Jones is really athletic but from everything I've read the tools are still a long way off from translating into skills. I think he might eventually pan out, but he might be a Dom Brown type who doesn't make it until his mid-20s (not comparing him to Brown stats wise, just age wise).

brentdaily (boulder): Lost Josh Johnson, Latos and Cain on the shelf, Shelby scuffling. SP is hurting. Any outside the top 100 you'd grab? (Relying on Morton, Ross to give you an indication of where the wire is)

Mike Gianella: I'm not sure if all of these guys are available, but I'm going off of CBS's lists. I'm a sucker for Travis Wood. I know the K rate isn't great, but he manages to keep guys off balance. I think Bartolo Colon isn't quite finished and could contribute. Matt Harrison is kind of the AL version of Wood: he isn't dominant, but he'll put up decent rate stats. None of these guys is a savior, but you probably already knew that. And if Ross is available in your league, he has a higher ceiling than any of these guys.

extra (KY): Would you trade Jose Fernandez for Jose Abreu in a keeper league? I am always open to trading a pitcher for a hitter, but Abreu could come back to earth once the book is out on him. Your thoughts? Thanks.

Mike Gianella: I normally would trade pitching for hitting in a heartbeat, but in this case I think I'd hang onto Fernandez or try to get a better hitter. Fernandez looks like he could be the best pitcher in the Majors right now. Abreu won't necessarily come to Earth, but I don't see a .300 season out of him and he could be a pure HR/RBI/R play as opposed to a straight up five category guy.

scott (az): Think Mike Fiers gets another chance in the majors. Seems to be lighting it up in AAA?

Mike Gianella: It's possible, but at the moment the Brewers rotation is performing and looks crowded. I would say that he's probably the first guy up if there's an injury.

Cal Guy (Cal): Hi Mike, What do you expect to see from Bundy in the big leagues this season?

Mike Gianella: Not much. I don't see why the Orioles will rush a 21-year-old coming off of TJ surgery. Maybe he'll get a cup of coffee in September as a reliever, but it's just as likely that the Orioles give him some light impact starts in the minors (say 40-50 innings) and shut him down. There's plenty of time with him developmentally.

KJ (PA): How many times do you see a guy before you start filling out a graded or "realistic" scouting report?

Mike Gianella: I'm not a scout, but I'd want to see at least 3 starts from a pitcher or 25-30 at bats from a hitter. Of course the problem with that is that you might not have that luxury, particularly if you're scouting a high school or college player for the draft.

dangor (New York): Which underperforming stud hitters won't turn it around out of Adam Jones, Reyes, Fielder? Going down a tier, how about Sandoval, Santana, Granderson, Jeter?

Mike Gianella: Of those three, I think Prince Fielder is least likely to turn it around. He'll get better, it's just that 2013 might be the new normal and in fact the new normal might be even lower than that. In the next "tier", Jeter is the guy who I'd worry about the most. His bat looks really slow and he turns 40 this year. He might have trouble slugging .330. I hope I'm wrong, because I'd love to see the captain go out on a high note, but it doesn't look pretty.

howling wolf (Silver Spring MD): Hello Mike: is there a good chance that we'll see Jesus Aguilar playing for the Indians this summer? I see he's hitting well at AAA and doing what the Indians like, taking walks.

Mike Gianella: There's a chance, although it would probably take an injury to make it work for him. I do worry that he'd be exposed in the bigs, but I would agree that if he keeps hitting this way that the issue will be forced at some point this summer.

Brian (ma): you starting Salazar today @ MIN?

Mike Gianella: I would in anything but an 8-team mixed. No Mauer, high K potential, good park. If you have start limits maybe no, but I would, yes.

dcapofari (ny): Are daily leagues the hardest types you ever played in?

Mike Gianella: I haven't really played enough to form an opinion yet. I don't necessarily think the format is hard, but rather the amount of time it would really take me to research on a daily basis to truly make the best plays. I see moves after the fact that are obvious but that I don't make because I'm rushing to put a line-up in for the day.

jon (Tx): Is Matt Davidson worth holding onto in an AL only keeper league?

Mike Gianella: He is in my opinion. The White Sox don't have a lot in front of him at third and I do think they want Davidson to eventually succeed. If his numbers are in the crapper in June maybe you drop him then, but for now I hang on and see how he does in AAA.

Brian Dozier (Min): Would you sell me high in an OPB league or will i keep enough value moving forward?

Mike Gianella: I got dinged on Twitter for saying I wouldn't trade Brian Dozier for Robinson Cano. So you might say I'm high on Dozier. It's not that I necessarily believe Cano will be worse than Dozier but that I could see the two being comparable ROS. Dozier's numbers over the last calendar year: 26/93/70/23/.242/.324. He'll hurt you in OBP but he does enough every where else that he's legit, and will be one of the better 2B in the bigs.

Scott (az): Is Ryan Zimmerman days at 3rd base over?

Mike Gianella: Eventually, but unless LaRoche gets hurt or they trade him they're stuck until the contract runs out.

Chad (OKC): Texas just called up Scott Baker...How much more does Nick Tepesch have to show before he gets the call?

Mike Gianella: Probably not much more. I could see him pitching another couple of months in the minors and being a midseason call-up if the Rangers have a need.

Higdldini (NY, NY): Hi Mike, two questions. First, how many AB's do you give players before moving on in fantasy? Also, time to dump Everth? He or Aybar ROS? Thanks!

Mike Gianella: It depends on the format obviously, but if you're talking about a standard mixed probably anywhere from 150-250 depending on what the FA pool looks like. A lot of this discussion revolves around what your replacement will look like. So if you're in a 15-team mixed and you're annoyed at Everth Cabrera and Brandon Crawford is your best option, you just might want to sit tight. But in a 10-team mixed, you might have plenty of options that make sense.

I'd stick with Cabrera over Erick Aybar. Aybar offers some power upside over Cabrera, but he doesn't run the way he used to and I'd rather have Cabrera's 40-45 SB potential.

scott (az): Is Hector Rondon the new closer for the Cubs and if so is he good enough to keep it the whole year?

Mike Gianella: Yes, Rondon is the closer. He had a shaky outing on Sunday but then Pedro Strop had an even worse one the other day. Yes, Rondon is talented enough to keep the job all year. Often, though, it's less a matter of talent and more a matter of manager confidence. I'll feel better about Rondon if/when he racks off a few saves in a row without blowing one before confidently proclaiming him closer.

Dave (Boston): Any thoughts on Sabathia's strong underlying metrics vs actual results? Thanks.

Mike Gianella: The fact that the strikeouts are up make me think that he's learning to live with his diminished velocity. The fact that the HR/9 and BABIP are high make me believe that when he's making mistakes in the zone that he's getting killed. I'd expect some improvement, but I'm thinking the ace days are behind us. Think 3.5 ERA as a ceiling, with 3.6 to 3.8 as a more realistic target. Assuming there isn't further improvement, of course

Shawnykid23 (CT): Shaw got the save in Cleveland yesterday, not Allen. Do you think the Indians keep Allen in an 8th inning role even if they demote Axford?

Mike Gianella: It would seem that way based on yesterday. I haven't heard anything on why Cody Allen wouldn't have been available. Manager tendencies are important, yes, and Grover went with Shaw last year a couple of times too.

Geronimo (Big City Crush): What are you views on Heyward? 12 team roto dynasty standard 5x5, would you move him and Bailey for Donaldson? What level of player would you want included on the Donaldson side? Already have Lawrie and ARam on the roster. Would try to move Lawrie for some SV's help. Would fill in Heyward's spot with Moss against RHPs and when Moss faces LHPs Revere.

Mike Gianella: I'm not as high on Jason Heyward as others, but I think that he's a solid outfielder with mid $20s earning potential. With that in mind, I'd pass on Heyward and Homer Bailey for Josh Donaldson. Donaldson might be a little bit better than he was last year but it seems that you're selling low on Bailey. In a two-for-one, I'd want at least a third-tier pitcher back to make that deal.

Sure, you can move Brett Lawrie for a closer. I'd try for right below the elite (Greg Holland/Craig Kimbrel) level.

Scott (AZ): Is Dee Gordon for real?

Mike Gianella: He's not going to hit .350 or whatever it is he's hitting, but he will get on base enough to steal a lot of bases and be a Roto force.

Atkinson (GA): Dynasty dump question: I give Kershaw, Pagan...I get Sano (+) what type of MLB player?

Mike Gianella: I'd probably want to get a second-tier MLBer in that deal. So, I don't know, David Wright? Dynasty trades are tough because every league's dynamic is different.

Chesty (New Bern ,NC): Mike,need a third baseman.Sandoval,audible,McGehee,C.Johnson,Reynolds.Hr,RBI,R,Xbh,Sb,OBP.Thanks

Mike Gianella: I think I'd bank on improvement and grab Pablo Sandoval. He's clearly better than all of those other guys when he's going well, and he can't be this bad all year.

Shawn (Couch ): Would you drop Springer to stash Taveras or Polanco?

Mike Gianella: Yes in a mixed format. Taveras for me.

Tim (Boston, MA): 12 team H2H 7 by 7 (QS and IP added), which side wins? Alex Wood or Garza and Ian Kennedy.

Mike Gianella: I like the duo. David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution speculates that Wood is going to have his innings limited this year.

Alfredo (Ohio): Hey Mike, thanks for doing this chat. Very informative stuff here. I'm a big Reds fan, and I'm trying to figure out why Jesse Winker isn't getting more attention. Looks to be an advanced bat, doesn't strike out, takes walks, has some power along with a good average here. In his age 19-20 season, he hit 16 HR's, so there could be some untapped power potential here too. Why isn't he receiving more attention? Does he not have a high ceiling? What type of season do you see him putting up in the majors statistically?

Mike Gianella: Do people know he's the Fonz's son?

Jesse Winker is a Top 10 Reds prospect for Baseball Prospectus and John Sickels of Minor League Ball has him fourth in the Reds org so he's not THAT underrated by those in the know. He's probably not noticed much because he's still really young and while the numbers are good they're not the kind of eye popping numbers that make laypeople go crazy.

I think his ceiling is moderate, but he's probably not a 30/30 guy if that's what you mean. He could be a quality MLB regular though. It's hard to translate low minors numbers into MLB stats, particularly this early.

Jacob (Milwaukee): If you could only have one for the remainder of the season, who'd you take: Taijuan Walker or Marcus Stroman?

Mike Gianella: I'm taking the healthy guy in Stroman. Walker could be better, but I don't like the risk profile here.

Chris (NY): Who are some under the radar guys who are available in most leagues that you could see taking over a closer role at some point this season?

Mike Gianella: Chris Perez on the Dodgers (he has moved past Brian Wilson in my opinion). Santiago Casilla on the Giants if Romo's arm falls off. I still like someone besides Tommy Hunter eventually getting saves in Baltimore.

Tim (Boston, MA): Hey Mike. Thoughts on moving my Alex Wood (worried about innings cap, potential pen move later in season) for Garza and Ian Kennedy? Super deep 12 team 7 by 7 (with IP and QS as added pitching cats).

Mike Gianella: I thought I answered this one (Garza/Kennedy)

Geronimo (Big City Crush): What are you views on Heyward? 12 team roto dynasty standard 5x5, would you move him and Bailey for Donaldson? What level of player would you want included on the Donaldson side? Already have Lawrie and ARam on the roster. Would try to move Lawrie for some SV's help. Would fill in Heyward's spot with Moss against RHPs and when Moss faces LHPs Revere.

Mike Gianella: Think I answered this one too. No to Heyward/Bailey for Donaldson. Lawrie for a non-elite closer would work.

statham (Bashertown): Will Odorizzi ever throw a clean 4th inning? Would you drop him for Tomlin in Al only?

Mike Gianella: He will, the odds are in his favor. You can drop him for Tomlin; it's fairly random for 2014 only which pitcher will be better.

Shawn (Couch): What do you do with guys like Adam Jones and Cole Hamels? I don't want to sell low, but there value seems to keep getting lower, and I want something valuable while I can get it.

Mike Gianella: Depends on the format, but generally speaking you don't really have much of a choice but to be patient. Everyone is going to offer you garbage for guys like this if you try to sell them now. Getting 50 cents on the dollar for Jones in May doesn't make sense unless you think there's an injury lurking that's causing the performance dip.

Cal Guy (Cal): Hi Mike, Mookie Mania is sweeping the nation, but how would you rank the 2B prospects: Odor, Alcantara and Betts? BTW, those three must surely comprise the best trifecta of names in all the minors!

Mike Gianella: I'd probably go Alcantara, Odor, and Betts, but it's a nice problem to have and a list that had them in any order would be fine by me. They all look like future MLB players to me.

nictaclacta (Glendale): Help Mike! Ten team dynasty with 10 Minor slots. I was offered Tanaka for Mark Appel and Carlos Rodon. What are your thoughts on Tanaka long-term. Thank you!

Mike Gianella: My opinion on Tanaka has become far more positive. He looks much better than I thought he would and that sinker/splitter whatever it is seems very hard to hit. He isn't quite an elite arm but he's very close to that level.

DanDaMan (Sea Cliff): Who are some of your favorite buy low candidates to target that some owners might be ready to overreact to their slow starts on? Thanks Mike

Mike Gianella: Based on some of the questions I'm getting here, Adam Jones. Edwin Encarnacion if it's not too late. Robinson Cano if people are afraid that the power won't come back at all (though I do think he'll have a down year).

Chad (OKC): I've been waiting for a month now for Yangervis Solarte to come back down to earth as any unheralded prospect should. So far he seems to be holding steady. What are the realistic expectations for him ROS?

Mike Gianella: .270 with 5-10 home runs? He's been good, but honestly outside of the BA and improved walk rate he isn't been much for fantasy.

teaaker (Seattle): Who is a better DL stash in a Dynasty League: Pineda or Medlen?

Mike Gianella: Probably Michael Pineda because his injury doesn't seem as serious. I hate, hate, hate speculating on injured players. It's such a crapshoot.

Rob (Baltimore): 12 man mixed league. Is Marcus Stroman worth grabbing now and stashing until he breaks into the rotation?

Mike Gianella: Probably not, but if you have enough reserve slots anyone is worth stashing.

Shawnykid23 (CT): I know it's early (and even earlier for him), but are you concerned at all with Cole Hamels? Normally I wouldn't be, but he did start the year with shoulder tendinitis. In a re-draft would be looking to trade him for someone like Homer Bailey?

Mike Gianella: Yes, I'm a little concerned. I don't know if his injury is lingering or not, but he looks kind of rusty to me. Hamels for Bailey is fair; I might try to aim a little higher (sell someone on Hamels' high K rate in his last start).

Kevin (VT): Please rate rest of year Kuroda, Liriano, M Perez, Straily. Kuroda and Liriano are both on the waiver wire because of their terible starts... and I really need the help Thank You

Mike Gianella: I'd go Kuroda, Straily, Liriano, and Perez. Kuroda looked better in his last start and I still think he has something left. Liriano is getting me nervous.

Ryan13636 (Aurora): Sell high on Arenado?

Mike Gianella: If you can get a $23-25 player sure. But if you're asking me if he'll crash down to 2013 levels, no. He is showing me something this year, and I think he'll hang on to some of the improvements.

Billy Hamilton (Cincy): So what do you think of me now almost 100 AB's into the season? And does the fact that I can't currently grip a bat concern you ROS?

Mike Gianella: Your speed is damn impressive. I wish you'd bunt more and slash for base hits more; watching you pop the ball up is annoying (did I mention I have you in two expert leagues). Your injury sounds minor according to John Fay, but we'll see.

Cal Guy (Cal): Hi Mike, Do you see a position change and/or a trade in the future for Odor?

Mike Gianella: Anything's possible, though I think the position change is more likely than a trade. Everyone assumed Jurickson Profar would get moved and he wasn't. The Rangers really hate parting with their prospects.

msimotes (Kalamazoo): Jeff Samardzija, Javier Baez, and Archie Bradley for Jose Fernandez...in an 18 team keeper league...who says no?

Mike Gianella: Seems like a trade where I'd want to try and hold onto Baez or Bradley and move them in another dump deal, but that's how my leagues roll for dump deals. Every league is different.

Cal Guy (Cal): Hi Mike, Dave Cameron is of the opinion that A. Bradley (and all hard throwing, command-challenged pitchers)is overrated. Where would you rank him compared to other top rated pitching prospects?

Mike Gianella: I still like him (Bradley, not Cameron) a lot. Maybe he's overrated in that he won't be an ace, but he's strong/solid enough that he could be a solid #2 (assuming the health issue isn't significant).

Ryan13636 (Aurora): Not a question, but thanks.

Mike Gianella: Sure (I should have saved this for the end)

scott (az): Over\Under V-Mart catcher more then 5 games this year?

Mike Gianella: How many NL park games do the Tigers have? I'd guess V-Mart plays in 2/3rd of those games as a catcher. Is that 5?

scott (az): Is Melky back on the Juice?

Mike Gianella: I have no idea. With the current testing regime, I'm not convinced steroids are having the effect they were having before. Players who are juicing now are being helped more with endurance and health than with power/strength...in my layperson's opinion (I'm not a doctor and don't even play one on TV)

kenB (NY): 12 team roto..standard yahoo rules. Is it a bad sign if I drafted Chapman..then lost Kershaw,A Sanchez, Pineda, Grilli,Rosario, and Bruce. Or is that light coming a train? Thx

Mike Gianella: It's the end of that Airport movie where the plane crashes into the terminal.

Shawnykid23 (CT): You advised me against trading Wacha for Cain in a dynasty in a previous chat...I should have listened...

Mike Gianella: I did? Ha, I don't remember that but that sounds like something I'd say.

Jon (Tx): who wins this trade 2 years of control of Encarnacion and Anabal at resonable auction prices for 4 years of cheap control of Walker and Stroman?

Mike Gianella: I like the two years of Edwin Encarnacion and Anibal Sanchez better than Taijuan Walker and Marcus Stroman. It often takes young pitchers 300-400 innings to get to their talent level. You might be buying 2 years of subpar performance.

Scott (AZ): Should Lincecum be converted into a closer? He just doesn't seem to have it any as a starter.

Mike Gianella: Yes, eventually.

DanDaMan (Sea Cliff): Mike, with your "upside fallacy" in mind, how highly would you rank Noah Syndagard if he were to get the call up soon? In other words, would you drop any/all of the following to pick him up- Kennedy, Porcello, Eovaldi, Niece?

Mike Gianella: I might drop Niese or Kennedy for Syndergaard, but in a perfect world I'd love to be able to stash him for a start or two to see if he's legit.

dcapofari (ny): keeper league w/contracts,5x5, who wins: Ventura for Posey and Villar?

Mike Gianella: I like the hitters, but I don't know what the contracts are.

Cal Guy (Cal): Hi Mike, In your opinion, what is the most likely outcome for Gallo in the bigs, stat-wise and position-wise?

Mike Gianella: I think he winds up at first base or DH. My guess is that he'll be an Adam Dunn type best case and a Russ Branyan type worst case (think 30-35 home runs with a batting average ranging anywhere from .220 to .260.

Dragonbreath (Gurnee, IL): Give up on any notion of Archie Bradley in thre bigs this season?

Mike Gianella: Drop in 10-team mixed, consider dropping in 12-team, hold onto him everywhere else for now. My uneducated guess is a 20% chance he's up this year. Even if he' s healthy, the timetable has been pushed back for certain.

Ryan13636 (Aurora): Sell high on Arenado?

Mike Gianella: No! Don't do it Ryan!

Shawnykid23 (CT): What do you expect out of Profar when he comes back? Better than Lawrie or Gyorko?

Mike Gianella: He might be better than Gyorko if Gyorko continues to scuffle. I've always said that Profar is a better real life than Roto commodity, particularly early on. I see Profar as a $15 player, and Gyorko/Lawrie are both somewhat better than that.

scott (az): How many games will Victor Martinez catch this year?

Mike Gianella: 6.

scott (az): Who is a prospect that most people aren't familiar with yet but by the end of the season everyone will know about?

Mike Gianella: Matthew Wisler. Bret Sayre keeps mentioning him on the stash list. I didn't know who Wisler was before the season started, and I think a lot of casual fans don't either, but he could be big in Petco.

The Dude (Home): 10 tm 6x6(OBP) dynasty which side do you like better- Goldy/Ventura or Votto/Kipnis/Jennings?

Mike Gianella: I like the trio. I love Ventura long term but still think that he'll have his struggles at times this year despite the awesome early results.

Tyler (Chicago): Three part question....1) Is Arenado keeper worthy in a 10 team 6x6 h2h league with only 5 keepers on the on the level of Wright, Longoria, Donaldson? Is what were seeing an outlier or a preview? 2) For a back end of the rotation who is a better pickup? H. Alvarez, J. Niese, McCugh, Becket, Paxton, Pineda, W. Peralta or Stroman? 3) Any word on Buxtons recovery from the wrist injury? Will he still be up at some point this year?

Mike Gianella: Arenado isn't quite that good, no. I see him in the next tier down. It's a preview, but not of 2014 but of 2015-2016.

I like Niese and Peralta best of those guys, but I like (relatively) old farts and hate taking risks on rookie pitchers.

Buxton is playing now (he has 10 plate appearances) but I think the injury pushes him back to 2015 at the earliest.

Mike Gianella: Thanks for joining me for this early evening chat. Until next time, folks...

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