Baseball chat wrap with John Halpin

John Halpin Fantasy Chat (07/22/2009) 
10:59 FOX Fantasy:  

Hey everybody, we’re about ready to get John Halpin’s Fantasy Chat going, so get your questions in ASAP and we’ll use the best ones throughout the next hour…….

11:02 John Halpin:  Good afternoon, folks. Yanks are up 4-0, so it’s already a fine day.

By the way, I’m at 295 Twitter followers – can you get me to 300 in the next hour? Go to By doing that, you’ll be the first to know every time one of my spectacularly fascinating blog entries is posted.

11:03 FOX Fantasy:  All right then……LET”S DO THIS!!!
11:04 FOX Fantasy:  The first question today comes to us from Harrisburg, PA and Kevin, who wants to know what everyone up there wants to know ……… John, are my Phillies gonna get Roy Halladay, or what? And if they do, how does that help or hurt his fantasy chances!?!
11:06 John Halpin:  Kevin, I think the Jays are going to deal him – no matter what they’re saying – and the Phillies have more motivation than anyone to make the deal. It makes too much sense.
11:08 John Halpin:  I think that due to the DH-free National League, Halladay becomes a slightly acier ace that he already is.

11:10 FOX Fantasy:  

Dustin in Rockport seems to be a Sox fan. I’m shocked! …… Hey John, looks like Clay Buchholz is starting again tonight for the best team in baseball. Is he gonna hang around with us all year? Can I feel good about keeping him on my squad?!

11:12 John Halpin:  Dustin: Buchholz is good ¿ good enough for a mixed league free-agent pickup, as long as a potential return trip to the minors won’t cause you to want to kill yourself. With all the Sox (Sox’s?) old and brittle starters, I think he stays up for good this time. I just traded for him in my AL keeper league, so he’d better be an ace next year.
Should the Red Sox acquire Roy Halladay … IF it meant getting rid of Clay Buchholz?!

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11:13 John Halpin:  5-0 Yanks. Hip-hip, Jorge!
11:15 FOX Fantasy:  It’s all New England, all the time so far. Chris in West Bridgewater, Mass. has shortstop concerns ……. Hi John, I currently have Asbrudal Cabrera as my shortstop. But do you think J.J. Hardy or Orlando Cabrera are better long term options? Thanks!
11:16 John Halpin:  Chris: I keep expecting Hardy to turn things around, and I think he will. But I really like Asdrubal. My gut says Hardy for the rest of this season, unless the steals would be too much to give up.
11:20 FOX Fantasy:  Here’s another common question these days, and it comes from Daniel in Phoenix, who must be an owner of The Machine ….. So, is Albert Pujols gonna hit for the Triple Crown this year? That would be glorious!
11:21 John Halpin:  I like his chances. He’s way up in HR and RBI, and on Hanley’s tail in BA. This is going to be THE biggest story of the second half, other than today’s LaRoche brothers breakup.
11:22 John Halpin:  By the way, the Pirates are holding open tryouts for first base, second base and shortstop at PNC Park on August 1. Either that, or they’re just going to ask Andrew McCutchen to cover four or five positions.
11:23 John Halpin:  By the way, Bobby Abreu got 1 year, $5M as a free agent last winter. And Jack Wilson turned down something like 2 years, $8 million? Really?

11:26 John Halpin:  Nice picture above. Is Pujols saying, “Nice job reaching the plate?”
11:28 FOX Fantasy:  Gary Stecker from Detroit has a question about one of fantasy’s top stars …….. Hey John, really enjoy your work. I’ve been thinking of trading Grady Sizemore, becasue I worry about him being shut down before the end of the year. Would Matt Holliday be enough in return for him? Maybe Nick Markakis? Also, what are your general thoughts on Sizemore the rest of the season. Thanks for your time.
11:31 John Halpin:  I’d keep Sizemore, Gary. I share some of your worries, but everything I’ve read says they’re going to operate on him after the season, and playing isn’t hurting him any worse. He was the top-rated fantasy OF before the season for a reason, and I’d project him as (hopefully) a top-5 the rest of the way.
11:31 John Halpin:  Doing well in everything except BA – not as well as usual, but I think he’ll perk up.
Is Grady Sizemore a first round fantasy pick again next season?

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11:32 John Halpin:  For those who answer NO to the Sizemore poll question – can I play in your league next year?
11:34 FOX Fantasy:  I don’t know John, I think he’s borderline. I guess another discussion for another day!………..
11:34 John Halpin:  How dare someone contradict me in my own chat!
11:35 John Halpin:  If Holliday gets traded back to Colorado, change my answer.
11:36 FOX Fantasy:  As we get back to actual reader questions, Todd from Detroit has some catcher issues ……… John, now that Ryan Doumit is back from the DL, I’m sitting on three catchers and have to drop one of them. A.J. Pierzynski and Kurt Suzuki are my other two. I’m leading my league by a healthy margin, but my Achilles’ heel is HRs. Any suggestions?
11:37 John Halpin:  

I prefer Doumit, Suzuki, AJ in that order. It’s not like the extra 3-4 HRs AJ hits over Suzuki will mean that much. I’m a Suzuki fan. Can you trade high on AJ?

11:39 John Halpin:  Sounds like Lastings Milledge will be in Pittsburgh very soon, by the way. Buy, buy, buy.
11:40 FOX Fantasy:  Our friend “Guest” has a tough, biting question. And you know, whenever “Guest” shows up, we listen to what he has to say, because we take care of our “Guest” readers ……….. Who are the top three hitting and pitching pickups to make for the rest of the second half?
11:42 John Halpin:  Guests are always welcome around here. Off the top of my head, if we’re talking about widely available free agents, Milledge and McCutchen should put up some fantasy numbers in Pittsburgh. I’m still an Alex Gordon fan, too.
11:42 John Halpin:  As for pitchers …
11:43 John Halpin:  I LOVE Washington’s Jordan Zimmermann. Somehow, you can still get Clayton Kershaw in a lot of leagues. And Buchholz is a no-brainer. Those lists aren’t necessarily “top three,” but they’re three that come with my seal of approval.
11:46 FOX Fantasy:  McCutchen with a HR already this afternoon, by the way!
11:47 John Halpin:  Averaged over a full season, his current numbers would be something like 8 HR, 90 RBI, 100 R and 35 SB. That’s fantastic.
11:48 John Halpin:  AJ Burnett is mowing down the Orioles. Yeah, baby! Take that, Red Sox!
11:49 FOX Fantasy:  I think “Guest’s” cousin “Guest2” is next in line!!! …… Yo John, are there any players notorious for second-half slumps who I should be trading now? How about guys who always have HUGE second halves who I should be grabbing ASAP?!
11:50 John Halpin:  Teixeira seems to be a 2nd half guy, but good luck getting him. I don’t really buy into that stuff. How about two guys at the same position to sell high/buy low …
11:50 John Halpin:  If you can still sell high on Aaron Hill, do it. He’s in a free fall.
11:52 John Halpin:  And how about buying low on Dustin Pedroia? I feel like I can’t give him away in my AL keeper league, because people think his 2008 power was a fluke. I think he’s going to bounce back. The three-way race in the AL East is going to be tremendous, by the way. Don’t sleep on the Rays.
11:54 John Halpin:  Todd – Doumit has 2 HRs today!
11:55 FOX Fantasy:  Phil in Dallas has a decent query …… Why does Jayson Werth continually get overlooked when talking about the game’s better OFs? The guy keeps putting up numbers across the board. Where does he rank amongst fantasy OFers, do ya think?
11:56 John Halpin:  I agree with you 100%, Phil. I did a ranking exercise a couple of weeks ago – all five standard categories, and in each one, one point for first place, two for second, etc. Werth ranked FOURTH.
11:57 John Halpin:  That ranked all categories equally, and didn’t give extra weight to things like Crawford dominating in SBs, but it startled me. If I was re-ranking OFs right now, Werth would be in my top 15, at least.
11:57 FOX Fantasy:  Comin’ down to the end of our hour gang. Who wants the last two questions?!?!……..
11:58 John Halpin:  Werth gets overlooked because he was a platoon player a little more than a year ago. People need time to realize these things. Use that to your fantasy advantage.
12:00 John Halpin:  Phils coming back against Big Z! I love day baseball! This is one of the perks of working in your pajamas.
12:00 John Halpin:  kidding – sort of
12:00 FOX Fantasy:  Justin from New Jersey has one of our last two ………… With Manny hitting again, what are the prospects for the rest of the Dodgers in that lineup this season?
12:02 John Halpin:  

Mostly the same, except for the banished Juan Pierre. I don’t think much will change.


John Halpin:  One thing that should is Matt Kemp’s place in the order – he batted EIGHTH last night, and has been in the bottom third regularly. I think Joe Torre is ingesting too much of that wheatgrass.

12:05 FOX Fantasy:  Eric has a Mets question. I’ve never like Eric …….. Will David Wright turn on the power in the second half?
12:06 FOX Fantasy:  Just kidding, Eric!
12:07 John Halpin:  I honestly don’t know, Eric. Too early to know if it’s really the ballpark, but he’s not hitting ’em on the road, either. I wouldn’t say “turn on,” but what if he gets to 12 or so – that would be better, right?
12:07 FOX Fantasy:  And finally, I couldn’t resist – John, do you know this person? ……. John, I just need to ask again…….What’s for dinner tonight? – Heather
12:09 John Halpin:  Ah, my lovely wife has made another chat appearance. Only the finest Spaghettios for you, honey.
12:10 John Halpin:  Thanks for stopping by – let’s do this again soon. And make sure to read my blog every weekday morning at!


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