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Chat: Mike Gianella

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Thursday May 26, 2016 7:00 PM ET chat session with Mike Gianella.


Mike is our Senior Fantasy Writer and reigning champion of LABR Mixed and Tout NL.

Mike Gianella: It's a light night for baseball so it's a good night to chat about it. Let's get started.

Cal Guy (Cal): I saw from the box score on 5/22 that Robles was replaced by a pinch runner and has not appeared in a game since. I can't find any reports about what happened. Can you help shed some light on his apparent injury?

Mike Gianella: Which Robles?

CharJaco (CA): Hi Mike, I have a trade that I'm contemplating. It is for my 16 team Dynasty H2H with OBP and TB. We must start 3 RP and have the flexibility of 3 Utl spots. I recently had a hole at 1B and traded Sano for J.D. Martinez and Chris Carter. Carter helped fill the hole at 1B. I have an offer on the table for Jose Abreu and A. Bailey for Strasberg and K-Rod. In my other 2 RP slots I have Jansen and Ramos. Loosing Strasberg would leave me with Corrasco, Maedea, Pomeranz, J. Hammel, Karns, Rubby De La Rosa, Manea, Snell, Minor, and Greene. Should I make the trade? Will my pitching survive? Does Abreu make a significant upgrade in a offense with Posey, Carter, Rendon, Franco, Tulo, Springer, J.D Martinez, Kemp, Choo, M. Upton, and Morales? Thanks for your help...

Mike Gianella: Abreu is slumping but that's still fair plus you're getting a closer for a reliever in Bailey who isn't likely to get saves any time in the near future. It's Hector Neris if Jeanmar Gomez falters. Do the deal.

nkunke1 (Baton Rouge): Hey--read on a recent Weekly Roundup that Ronald Acuna suffered an injury sliding into second, and has since been spotted wearing a fairly hefty cast. Tried to find some info but wasn't able. Do you have any knowledge or info regarding the injury? -- what it was, how serious, what people are saying? Thanks!

Mike Gianella: I'm sorry, I haven't heard anything beyond what I saw on Twitter, which was pretty much the same nebulous report.

The Dude (Office): Mike, aren't we all just prospects in the game of life? We are constantly changing, evolving, developing. Mind = blown.

Mike Gianella: Are you Jim or Huck? Was this world "made" or did it "just happen"? I cannot answer that question for you, grasshopper. The answer my friend is blowing in the wind.

JP (TX): Just before Buxton was sent down I traded him for Sonny Gray and J-Upton. can you make me feel better about myself or is it time to quit fantasy baseball?

Mike Gianella: Upton should bounce back to some degree, but it could be a rough year. My colleague Bret Sayre has talked in the past about how the first year in AL-only can be rough. If you made that deal in mid-April, I can't fault you for doing it at the time. Buxton certainly isn't a sure thing for this year alone if you're contending.

JM (CT): I'm a member of one the longest operating AL Rotisserie leagues in the country. What's your preferred scoring system? 4x4 or 5x5? We're 4x4

Mike Gianella: I prefer 5x5. I'm in one old school AL-only that probably isn't quite as old as yours but started in 1987 (I am not a founding member). 4x4 lends to better races due to fewer points to distribute but 5x5 is a somewhat better indicator of value particularly when it comes to pitching. Closers are overvalued in Roto to begin with; in 4x4 they're absurdly overvalued.

Vic (Baltimore): Should I continue to have patience with deGrom? What are the chances he duplicates last year's dominance over the course of the rest of this season?

Mike Gianella: His velocity has slowly been trending upward all year. I'd be patient. I don't believe he'll be quite as good as he was last year but believe he'll be a Top 20 guy, particularly in leagues that count wins.

BC (Urbandale): If the Mets decided to give up on Matt Harvey, at this point, what would it take for the cubs to land him?

Mike Gianella: This is the realm of fantasy, but I'd imagine the Mets would still want at least two top prospects, at least. They're not going to sell low on a cost controlled pitcher with Harvey's ceiling.

Jake (LA): Deep Dynasty League - 14 teams, 31 player MLB roster, 17 player minor league reserves. I have a dude willing to give me Harper, Arrieta, Arenado, Heyward, Albies and J. Ramirez (Cle) for Gattis, W. Myers, Nola, Schoop, A-Gon, Severino, Espinoza, Martes, H. Olivera, Bader, Stephenson, and N. Gordon. I have Snell in the wings and need OF. Losing Gordon makes me sad... do it anyway? Swap Brett Phillips for Gordon and Bader?

Mike Gianella: I think you have to make that first trade; I hope it doesn't get vetoed. You can make it using either iteration.

Dalton (East St. Louis): My Indians are a really good team. What piece are they missing to put them over the top of the White Sox?

Mike Gianella: They're a team that needs some help on the margins. An upgrade at the bottom of the rotation, a bullpen arm to add depth, another bat. I don't think they need a significant deal, but rather a combination of 2-3 minor deals at the deadline.

Jeb (Iowa City): Is Gregory Polanco a future MVP candidate? He is turning into a monster.

Mike Gianella: If the power is legitimaate, I don't see why not.

Hidalgo (San Juan): What are the ceilings for Jameson Taillon and Tyler Glasnow? Any comps for either of them? Thanks!

Mike Gianella: I'll skip the comps; they're generally bad.

Taillon could be a #2 if EVERYTHING went his way, but I suspect a #3 is more realistic. Glasnow has a better chance to get to that #2 overall.

Kyle (FL): Is Blake Swiharts future at catcher or OF? From a fantasy perspective it obviously makes a huge difference in keeper leagues as he could be one of the better options at catcher and kind of get lost as an outfielder. What are your thoughts on his position and his potential? Thanks.

Mike Gianella: Outfield unless he's traded; the Sox love Vasquez behind the dish. I like Swihart but probably not as much as others, I can see a .280-.290 bat with 15 home runs as a ceiling. I know some see more power coming from him.

Rick (Providence): Giolito finally had an excellent start in AA yesterday. What to make of his relative struggles at a level where one would expect him to dominate? When does he debut in MLB and where do you expect him to be on SP ranks his first year or two? Safe to bet he's closer to top 20 or top 50? Thanks.

Mike Gianella: Hard to say if he's going through some sort of fatigue or dead arm period or if there's something more serious there. I think this pushes him back to late 2016 and maybe even 2017 unless the Nats are aggressive. He's somewhere in the middle of that ranking for me if everything breaks right.

Frank (Brooklyn): Matt Moore: buy/sell/or hold? such a promising April turned into a sour May. will he improve or more up and down?

Mike Gianella: Hold. You're not getting much for him now and you have to hope the command improves. I think he gets a little bit better but I'm not a Moore believer and I don't see a big breakout for him this year.

Truganini (Co): Where would HanRam rank in your updated 1B rankings? Around Freeman and Carter?

Mike Gianella: I'd have Ramirez behind Freeman but ahead of Carter. He hasn't done much from a Roto perspective but he always seems to have a ridiculous month lurking in him where he carries a fantasy team. I can still see him doing that at some point this year absent the steals.

sickboy19 (Cleveland ): Is Votto certain to return to form this season? what would be an acceptable return for him in a keeper league? Is someone like corey seager or nomar mazar enough?

Mike Gianella: Nothing's certain but I have to imagine that he'll bounce back to at least 90% of what he was last year. If you're playing for next year either one of those guys would do it for me.

James (MA): Blake Swihart or Wilson Contreras? Who becomes the better fantasy catcher?

Mike Gianella: Swihart right now, Contreras long term. It will be Contreras with the bat if he can maintain eligibility at the position.

Alex (Austin): With Machado's new SS eligibility, is it worth pursuing a 3B? I have Eduardo Nunez and Ketel Marte at SS now but could likely move some prospects for a 3B and move on from them.

Mike Gianella: If you can get an upgrade on either of those guys without giving up too much future, I'd do it, definitely.

Jason (NY): Are you worried about Matt Harvey long term?

Mike Gianella: I'm not worried about him as a solid major league pitcher long term. I am worried that he is going to be just a mid-tier guy and not the superstar we were all hoping for. Some sigh with relief when a problem is just mechanical but working your way through these problems can take months or years. So I guess I'm somewhat worried, yeah.

Colin (New York): How's life these days Mike?

Mike Gianella: Oh, I'm having a ball. Scrapping and yelling. Mixing it up. Loving every minute with this damn crew.

Nick (Your imagination ): Is CC Sabathia becoming worthy of a roster spot?

Mike Gianella: He is.

Cameron (Colorado): Is there any chance the Rockies are still hanging around .500 at the end of September?

Mike Gianella: 25%. The offense is decent enough, Arenado is a star, and Cargo should do his usual thing where he gets hot for a month or two. The arms have to hold up. I like Chatwood and Gray but pitching there seems to wear everyone out by year's end.

CharJaco (CA): In a 16 team dynasty when should Anderson Espinoza be picked up?

Mike Gianella: Depends on who you have to drop, but I'd try to sneak him in late this year if you can.

Keith (Farmington, CT): Thanks Mike. Where would Venezuelan 16-year-old Kevin Maitan rank in your personal rankings if he were in the June draft? Top 10? Top 5?

Mike Gianella: Back of the Top 10.

Walter Sobchak (LA): What kind of player do you think Amed Rosario could be in a fantasy sense?

Mike Gianella: He could be a poor man's Addison Russell in terms of his ceiling. Realistically, you're probably looking at a shortstop in the top half at his peak.

Jerry (Earth): Hey Mike. Would you deal David Wright for Colin McHugh in a H2H 16 team Dynasty league?

Mike Gianella: Hey Jerry. I would do that in a dynasty. I don't have a lot of faith in Wright's long term health.

Leonard (None of Your Business): Mr. Gianella, what are your thoughts on Travis Shaw? Should I be believing in his performance? Top 10 3B? Thanks

Mike Gianella: He's not going to be THIS great but I can buy him as a Top 10 guy going forward.

John (Greensboro): Sell high on Ozuna?

Mike Gianella: Depends on what you can get. I believe in him, but if someone is buying into him as a 25-30 home run guy, do that.

Lil B (DC): Got offered Archer and Blake Snell for Ozuna and Liriano 12 team keeper, thoughts?

Mike Gianella: I'm somewhat worried about Archer but Liriano hasn't been steady either. I'd likely hold off because I think Ozuna is legit.

Nick Stellini (Baseball Prospectus): Any podcasts that you're appearing on soon, Mike?

Mike Gianella: I'm glad you asked that question, Nick! I'll be appearing on the Dingers, Doubles, and Drunks podcast. It will be recording this weekend. We'll be talking about fantasy baseball, the New York Mets, the NL East, and more! We'll laugh! We'll live! We'll learn! That's the Dingers, Doubles, and Drunks podcast. Don't forget to rate them on Itunes.

Bagwell (Houston): I just grabbed Buxton in my 14 team 5 keeper weekly points league. Does he still have 5 tool potential ? Or am I better off taking a flyer on Bregman?

Mike Gianella: He has the potential. I'm not sure the power ever gets there. I still want Buxton, but I can't say I blame you if you go for Bregman for this year only.

Craig (TEXAS): What position do you see Joey Gallo settling in at and does he become a 35 home run hitter with strong OBPs?

Mike Gianella: With Beltre locked up and Fielder in tow, I have to imagine left field or first base. He could hit 35, yes, but I'm skeptical that he keeps the BA high enough to keep the OBP strong.

dylanrox (New Orleans ): Which of the following are you most bullish about? Rubby, Matt Moore, Straily, Manaea or Sabathia? Please elaborate. Thanks!

Mike Gianella: They're all deep mixed options but Straily is the guy I want to ride right now. Manaea is the arm I want if I'm looking at keeper and ceiling.

Jerry (GA): Is Kevin Newman for real? Any difference between him and Trea Turner? Or do you prefer one?

Mike Gianella: He's probably for real. I'd like to see him against tougher competition before turning that into a "definitely for real." I see Newman as having a little more power and a little less speed if everything breaks right. I prefer Turner, but only because he's closer and I've seen more of him.

Eric (Silverlake): Are there any low minors players out there other than the obvious top-100 ones that have the chance to be fantasy #1's? Acevedo? Alcantara? Albert Abreu, Francisco Rios? Hunter Wood? Roniel Raudes? Or are they too rare to assume any of those guys have the ability?

Mike Gianella: There's too much variability among these guys (and others) to comment. These players tend to come out of nowhere and surprise even the sharpest knives in the prospect analysis drawer...and I certainly don't fit this category.

Angry Carl (Wisconsin): Who are a couple good 12-team dynasty buy-lows to target if I am a middling but young team building for 2017-2019? How about Javier Baez?

Mike Gianella: He'd fit the bill. Jurickson Profar could as well. Players of this ilk ("failed" prospects who still are young and have room for growth) are generally the types of buy low players you are looking for.

fawkesmulder (Orange County, CA): How legitimate is Michael Gettys' strong start to the season? In dynasty formats, he's a high ceiling power/speed outfielder, right?

Mike Gianella: The speed is legitimate. I'd like to see a somewhat lower strikeout or more power (not necessarily both) before buying into the power. The ceiling is high; with prospects like this for me the questions are always 1) will that power translate and 2) will there be enough on baseability (yeah, I made up a word during the chat, what of it?) to make him a top-tier everyday player as opposed to a second division regular with a lot of speed, with all kinds of outcomes in the middle of these two extremes. The jury is still out for me.

SPG (LA): WTF's up with Adam Jones???

Mike Gianella: He's been banged up and he just can't seem to get a rhythm going. I think he'll be fine with the power, but he could be more of a 20 home run guy than a 25-30 home run one. That's solid, but with outfield as thick as it is it is possible he's more of a midtier player than a special one.

pinkston (chicago): Offered Darvish and Neris for Cain in a 16-team OBP league. Other outfielders are Bautista, Mookie and Rajai and I can cover the loss in steals. This a trade I should take?

Mike Gianella: You were offered Darvish? I think you can cover the loss but unless it's a holds league I'd pass.

pinkston (chicago): What should we expect out of Darvish for the rest of the year? Can he be the guy he was before right away?

Mike Gianella: I'm seeing him as a low end #2. He certainly could be elite, it just isn't a bet I want to make, particularly in that park.

Chesty (New Bern,NC): 12 team h2h 6x6 with XBH and saves and holds one category. Must drop one from S.Pearce,Votto,Trumbo. Is Votto hurt that you know of.Thanks

Mike Gianella: Pearce. Can't drop Votto.

Yes Cheese (Cheese Nation): We've been (mildly) surprised by some Saves leaders in the first third of the season - Jeanmar Gomez, David Robertson among them. Who are your picks for surprising save contributions for the next few months?

Mike Gianella: Brad Hand if/when Fernando Rodney implodes and Jumbo Diaz, just because that's a fun name to write.

GoTribe06 (Lynchburg): What do you expect from Andriese for 2016? For 2017 and beyond?

Mike Gianella: He's a back end starter. I can't believe he can do much more than that with this low amount of whiffs.

Deep Snow (Wisconsin): Thoughts on Christin Stewart, not the vampire? Legit fantasy potential or too old for A-ball?

Mike Gianella: Both? Too old for A-ball but could crack a roster in deeper mixed.

Von Hayes (the golden age): hey mike - 10 team mixed league w/ reg roto categories plus QS and L. picked up Pomeranz, need to drop one of Tillman / Gausman / Harvey / Porcello / Archer / Stroman / Salazar. leaning toward Harvey...thoughts?

Mike Gianella: I'd drop Porcello if you can keep Harvey in a reserve slot.

Wookie Snake (The Falcon): With the proposed new 2017 strike zone, is the prudent dynasty owner seeking bats over aces? Are there any particular aces who live knee high, from which we might divest?

Mike Gianella: No, because we don't know if the umps will call this or how many will. Any ground ball pitcher runs this risk.

Beach Bum (NC): Andriese or Kazmir?

Mike Gianella: Kazmir

Chris Correa (Ground Control): Dallas Keuchal - time to give up? I bought low. Today's price feels even lower...

Mike Gianella: In 12-team mixed, yes. Elsewhere you probably have to suck it up/carry him.

Alex (Austin): Would you drop any of Corbin, Manaea, or Mike Fulmer to bring Urias up in a keep forever dynasty?

Mike Gianella: Fulmer without hesitation.

Mike Gianella: Thanks for the questions everyone. May all of your teams finish in first, unless you're in one of my leagues.

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