- Matthew Berry, Fantasy
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I get questions.
David Theriault (Costa Mesa, Calif.): Wilin Rosario. How come no one is Wilin to talk about a catcher who has nine home runs in 105 at bats? Is there a conspiracy going on?
TMR: It's actually nine homers in 109 at-bats at this writing, but it's an excellent question. Terrible pun, but excellent question. The average is never going to be pretty to look at -- he's striking out more than 27 percent of the time -- but the power is very legit. Think J.P. Arencibia, except Arencibia is owned in about 40 percent more leagues. Rosario is the 11th best catcher on our Player Rater for the year, the seventh best over the past month and is now playing every day. Available in more than 90 percent of leagues, if you can take the average hit, I like him.
@sportsbuster (Twitter); Do you eat the cherry on the top of your milkshake or toss it?
TMR: Toss it. In general, I am a fan of fruit, as long as it is alone. I don't understand the fruit in other things thing. Not in pancakes, not in or on cake, and why the obsession with lemon in your cola? I drink an inordinate amount of diet cola. And when I order it in restaurants, I always say, "No lemon, please." Three times out of four, it still comes with a lemon. I know absolutely no one who likes the lemon in Diet Coke. I am convinced that even if there are some who do, they're in the minority. Why not save some lemon costs and make it a by-request item? Same for Chik-fil-A. I love Chik-fil-A. My kingdom for one near Bristol, Conn. But I hate the pickle. Why would someone want to mix the crispy deliciousness of a sandwich with the sour taste of a pickle? Ugh.
Mark West (Vallejo, CA): I read your recent article on the Lincecum Limbo -- great stuff by the way -- and I don't recall you mentioning Ryan Vogelsong as a pitcher above the Wandy line. I would think with what he did last year and is doing this year that he would make that cut. Any reason(s) for the omission?
Derek Campbell (Anchorage, Alaska): Your new Wandy line list doesn't have Roy Halladay in it? Am I missing something? I didn't even see him in the Lincecum Limbo list. And then to not even comment on his absence from the entire article? I'm really confused and could use some explanation.
TMR: Got a lot of questions about both guys. Let's start with Vogelsong and no doubt, he's been a lot better than folks gave him credit for in the preseason. A top-10 pitcher on our Player Rater this past month, I like him a lot as a spot starter. Still think he's getting a bit lucky (xFIP of 4.42, 83.1 percent strand rate) and he doesn't get a ton of strikeouts (on pace for 142 in 197 innings) so you could make an argument for him in Lincecum Limbo -- he was close -- but ultimately I tried to be a bit more strict with the list.
As for Halladay, I honestly thought it was common sense. Could be out until August, and that's if he has no setbacks. Remember, he was the 42nd ranked pitcher on our Player Rater before the injury; not the "Roy Halladay" you drafted. I have no issue dropping him in 10-team mixed leagues if you don't have the roster spot, and I don't consider him to be above the line in any non-keeper leagues. You need that roster spot to be filled by someone who can help for the next two months.
Matt (Middletown, N.J.): Is Mark Trumbo the real deal? Should I sell high?
TMR: Real deal. You knew the power was legit, the question was the average. Do I think he's a .337 guy? No. But do I think he's a .290 guy? Yes. He has increased his walk rate from last year and improved his batting eye. I'm a believer.
@badhotdogs (Twitter): I hope you're milking your call on Hamilton this seasons. But they're are still those who never forget when you're wrong.
TMR: You mean like @supmydog?
@supmydog (Twitter): Remember when you told everyone to take Michael Vick No. 1? Lol. Fail.
TMR: Remember the time you were ostensibly an adult and actually wrote "Lol. Fail" and you weren't trying to be ironic? By the way, I changed your Twitter handle on purpose. I enjoy printing dumb comments like this but I don't like giving people the publicity. All "hate mail" comments going forward are true, but have had their names changed. Just so you know.
@fattybooms (Twitter): Trade Timmy Lincecum for Johan Santana? Freaky troubles versus injury potential?
TMR: In a heartbeat. I discussed Lincecum with Buster Olney on Wednesday's podcast and we can talk about his decreased velocity, his increased walk rate or the fact even if he's getting unlucky (xFIP of 3.78, which is better than his ERA of 5.83 but still not great), the fact remains that I just don't trust him. I put him in "Lincecum Limbo" because you can't drop him, but you can't feel good about starting him every time out. But he just gave up four earned runs to the Padres. At Petco. He's now given up four earned runs or more in five of his past six. If you can't start him at Petco against the Padres, when can you start him? I'm not using him until I see some consistency over a few starts, and that's gonna take a while. If I can get 75 cents on the dollar for him, I'm doing it. And Santana certainly qualifies.
Bob (Michigan): I was just wondering, do you know less about football or baseball?
TMR: I take issue with that, Bob. I know my stuff fantasy wise. Just ask William.
William (New York, N.Y.) I can't believe what a joke of a writer you are. Have you ever had a non-trite, non-fantasy thought in your life? I stopped clicking on your articles after the maudlin nonsense about meeting your new wife. Thousands of words wasted on treacle. And that's too bad because you know your stuff, fantasy-wise.
TMR: See, Bob? My fans have my back.
TMR: I would, actually. In a 10-team league, Feliz has less value as a reliever, regardless of if he's closing or not. (You know how I feel about closers in 10-team leagues, and I'm not convinced he'll even be that when healthy). I understand Parker has gotten a bit lucky (xFIP of 4.63, BB/9 of 4.44) and has a lower K/9 than he had in the minors, but he's also young, was a top prospect for a reason and pitches in Oakland. If I could be assured of Feliz's health and staying in the rotation, I wouldn't do it, but since I can't, I kinda like Parker, who does have seven of eight starts of giving up two earned runs or fewer, including starts against the Rangers, Red Sox and Yankees.
TMR: Trout, and I don't think it's all that close. With the speed, Trout will contribute across the board in all categories in a way that Harper won't.
@JBTWEETNOTHINGS (Twitter): How is the book coming?
TMR: It's getting there. If you hadn't heard, I sold a book and it's all about fantasy and me, naturally. A big part of the book is funny, crazy, interesting, heartwarming and heartbreaking stories about fantasy. Leagues, and the people that play in them. I actually still need good stories about weird places that people have drafted from, including Las Vegas. I'd love a good Vegas story from someone who went to draft there. Also, pictures. Pictures are great. If you have anything that qualifies, feel free to email me at MatthewBerryTMR@gmail.com. If you have a fantasy question, however, please use Twitter or Facebook as I only use that address for the book.
@MrCollinWilson (Twitter): Waiver Wire stolen bases's MVP rest of the season? Brother QBerry?
TMR: Yeah, Quintin Berry (no relation, probably) is a good one, with seven steals already and a chance to stick around even when Austin Jackson comes back. He's available in 70 percent of leagues. Other guys who can be cheap speed and are available in more than 70 percent of leagues: Tony Campana, whom we've discussed before; Rajai Davis, who is getting lots of playing time these days in Toronto; Jarrod Dyson; Juan Pierre; and Ben Revere, who has four steals in his past nine games.
@David_Glaze3 (Twitter): What will Matthew Berry's tombstone say?
TMR: No idea. Great question. Hopefully, a "here lies a good father, husband, friend and person." But I honestly don't know what'll be written. I will say that it's weird, but ever since I had daughters, I think about death a lot. Freaks me out, man. I want to make sure I'm around for everything in their life and every day you see stories about people in their 40s, 50s and 60s dying. Seriously. It really freaks me out. I think about my own mortality way too much. I've even started eating fruit.
@thekid104 (Twitter): What do I do with Justin Upton?
TMR: I don't think there's much you can do other than hang tough and hope for the best. The upside of Upton is greater than anything you'll get in a trade for him right now. It's worth noting he's a career .268 hitter in April and a career .279 guy in May. He usually has a little more power by this point, so it's not surprising that he's been hitting more ground balls this year. I will say: people forget he's just 24, so a little inconsistency isn't crazy. He's striking out less than he did in 2009 and 2010 and ultimately, I believe that the talent will bear out. He's the foundation of that franchise and will get every opportunity to right himself.
TMR: No issue with it given what Fowler has done and what Rollins hasn't, especially given your depth. But there were a lot of questions about Rollins and the truth is, we just need to readjust what we think of J-Ro. This is a guy who hit .243 in 2010 and .268 last year, so .247 is right in that range. He's on pace for 28 steals, he had 30 last year. It's just the power that is down and that'll correct itself a little. He's walking less and striking out more than last year, when he hit 16 homers, but I don't expect his HR/FB rate to stay this low (and he hit one last night, which can only help). Figure he finishes around .250, 10 home runs, 30 steals. Which is useful, it's just not what we used to expect from Jimmy Rollins, but it is what we should expect from now on.
@dencenugz (Twitter): Can you give us an update on your dog???
@patchus (Twitter): How is Kelly? Has she told that guy yet? I sent this story to a lot of people, an update would be cool.
TMR: If you're wondering what they are asking about, here's a link to the dog story and here's the "Kelly" column.
The dog remains a work in progress. Ultimately, I decided I couldn't give her away. I love her too much. It may be selfish of me but I feel that a life with me, even if it's not exactly what it used to be, is better for her than being with a stranger, even one who loves her. She has her own section of the house and the Current Mrs. Roto and I are compromising. So not ideal, but better.
As for Kelly, nothing had happened. Upon seeing your question, I called her to get an update. Apparently, he had texted her after that party suggesting they hang out again and she just never texted back. Once again, I gave her a hard time and so she decided to respond to the text saying she would love to meet up again and have him meet her boyfriend. No word yet on if he responded but at least he knows now. Wherever you are dude, you're finally free. You're welcome.
@stephenleech (Twitter): His last few starts have been decent but he didn't appear in your column; is Matt Moore salvageable? Or should 92 percent drop him?
TMR: Yeah, Matt Moore is below the Wandy Line and not even in Lincecum Limbo, so I have no issue dropping him in a 10-team non-keeper mixed league. He's had some good starts but even in this recent stretch, he's still walking more than four per nine innings. The K's are there, which is good, and he's showing flashes, so if you want to hang on, I get it, but to me he's currently a spot starter who can be dropped for better players.
Chad Steiner (Facebook): Should I drop Rickie Weeks? He's killing me!
TMR: Yeah, if there's someone better out there. I'm just not convinced there is. Second base is pretty thin on the wire these days. It's weird. Weeks' strikeout rate is up, his contact rate is down and, yet, his walk rate is up. It's almost like he's being too picky and not swinging at anything, but when he does, he's forgotten how to hit. I keep hoping he's turning it around but it sure doesn't look like it anytime soon. No issue dropping him if there's anyone on the wire worth picking up.
Ben Pol (Facebook): Do you feel you owned up fully to the Smurf bet or copped out a little with the cheesy costume? Would have liked face paint to be involved.
@JbryantPD (Twitter): What's the story behind the Smurf costume from Beadle's bye-bye bash?
TMR: If you want to read about the bet, I wrote about it last year, but basically, it was about how much money the "Smurfs" movie would make, as Michelle Beadle and I were discussing the summer movie league that we both play in. I bet the under, she bet the over and loser had to dress as a Smurf for a night out in a trendy area.
I lost and paid up at her going away party last week. For the costume, I spent a few hours trying to find one online, and the one I wore was basically all I could find. Second, face paint was never part of the deal. But, believe it or not, I actually bought blue face paint and one of the makeup artists here was going to apply it. Here's a TMR bit of trivia for you: I have problem skin. After looking at it, the makeup artist (who sees me every day I do TV) felt it would screw up my skin too much. Beadle was fine with no blue, so there you go. Besides, in addition to dressing that way in front of random people out on a Thursday in West Hartford, many of my co-workers also got to see me like this, so it was double humiliation. Trust me, Beadle was very happy. Me? I was blue. (See what I did there? What? Too easy? Smurf you.)
Greg Miletic (Belgrade, Serbia): Say it ain't so, man! The fact that you're freaking out about growing up has me freaking out. Granted, I'm only 25 years old and I don't know you, but your style of writing is very personable so I kinda feel like we're buddies. I get nervous whenever one of my friends gets serious with a girlfriend, and now I'm really freaking out because my best friend and teammate from college is getting married in August. It'll be the first wedding I've been a part of as a groomsman (which scares me), and actually the first wedding I've been to as an adult (which excites me). Regardless, stay immature and raunchy, and enough with all of this growing up talk. There's no need for that, Batthew Merry. Your nervous friend,Greg
TMR: Hey Greg pull my finger.
Matthew Berry -- The Talented Mr. Roto -- can't believe he didn't get any Liriano questions. Berry is the creator of RotoPass.com, a website that combines a bunch of well-known fantasy sites, including ESPN Insider, for one low price. Use promo code ESPN for 10 percent off.
1hBy Ian O'Connor