Each Wednesday I'll answer your questions which you can send to me at @BaseballGuys on Twitter. Big or small, smart or inane, Ray Flowers is there to help you with what ails you.
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– Ray, would you drop Grady Sizemore to pick up Edinson Volquez (15 team 5x5)?
I would have never drafted Sizemore. Never understood the fervor over adding him given that he had 396 at-bats from 2010-13. He hasn't been a truly effective players since 2008. Why anyone thought his broken body who return him to 20/20 fame is beyond my comprehension. His current slash line: .213/.269/.344. Drop away.
Volquez also hasn't been good since 2008. He's in Pittsburgh working with the greatest pitching coach in the history of the universe (hyperbole noted hopefully), but be very careful here. Over 107 games from 2009-13 Volquez went 33-35 with a 4.94 ERA, 1.51 WHIP and 1.70 K/BB ratio. I'm continually amazed how history means so little to people. If you want to take 28 innings of success this year over five years of awfulness be my guest. Might want to note two final things though. (1) Volquez is currently striking out three full batters less than his career rate with barely five whiffs per nine. (2) He's posted a BB/9 rate of at least 4.07 the past six years. Good luck holding on to that 1.61 mark he's currently sporting.
Ultimately I would add Volquez but keep it real.
– Would you drop or bench Salvador Perez for Josmil Pinto or stick with Salvador?
Pinto has a nice future ahead of him. He's also got a lot more power than Perez. But let me get this straight. We're going to drop a guy who is a career .295 hitter, one who had 79 RBIs last season, to add a guy with 122 big league at-bats? Really confused. Pinto is also playing less (he currently has 19 fewer plate appearances). If homers is your only goal you can add Pinto. If you want the better fantasy performer you want Perez.
– As much as I love the complete games and stats... knowing Johnny Cueto's history... two CG's in a row seems risky. Am I crazy?
In his first three starts this season, all seven inning outings, Cueto averaged 106 pitches an outing. In his last two outings, those complete games, he's averaged 112 pitches and outing. Really no difference.
I've always maintained that if healthy Cueto is a top-20 starting pitcher. He's showing that right now. Don't expect the Ks to continue though as his 39 in 39 innings mark, one per inning, is insanely high for him (his K/9 has been under 7.60 each of the last five years). Also that .161 BABIP is going to go up a wee bit. Still, he's been dealing and getting all those grounders (55 percent). Ride him until he breaks down.
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– Robinson Cano just in a slump or getting close to start worrying?
Don't be the person who runs from the building yelling fire when someone is warming up a can of soup. Stay calm. As Kyle Elfrink, my co-host on The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio pointed out, April has always been a slow month for Cano. He's usually performed better as the season wore on. Before the All-Star break his slash line is .298/.346/.486. After it is .321/.366/.526. Second, he's Robinson Cano, you know, future Hall of Famer. He certainly deserves the benefit of the doubt. He hit .257 last year in May. He hit only two homers in September. He still finished the year batting .314 with 27 homers. Patience.
– Aaron Harang is still as bad as I know he is right?
Unbelievable what he is doing (and he's doing it again as I write this), but get out while the getting is good. Sell high amigo. Sell high.
– My question is about available 2B: Scooter Gennett, Neil Walker, Yangervis Solarte, Brian Dozier. Who can I get most value from over the season?
A quick run down of all the options...
Gennett hit .324 last year. He's batting .322 this year. He's a .323 hitter then. Case closed. Nope. He has 13 walks in 89 games which is awful and has led to an OBP that is only .031 points higher than his batting average (awful). I'm not buying he's going to post a 24 percent line drive rate and .377 BABIP either (his career marks) over the long haul. He's also not going to revisit the homer he flashed last season (six in 69 games and just one in 20 games this year). Add in four career steals, and the presence of Rickie Weeks, and Gennett is just a short-term add.
Walker is a carer .272 hitter. He's solid there. He doesn't bring much speed, just two thefts in his last 154 games. He has hit 12-16 homers each of the past four years so he has some pop. Notice I wrote “some.” The six bombs he's hit to this point are a mirage. He might get to 20 this year cause of his hot start, but he's a 15 homer bat that had a nice couple weeks. Check out the 9.5 percent career HR/F mark that is currently at 19.4 percent. He's not going to sustain that.
Solarte – still getting questions with this guy? Not sure why really. He has one hit his last four games to drop his average to .303. He has one home run this season. He has no steals. He's a guy who didn't make the big leagues until he was 26 years old. He's, simply put, not a good offensive player.
Dozier was one of four infielders to go 18/14 last year. I've got a full rundown of him in his Player Profile. He's been a counting category beast to this point with six bombs, five steals and 20 runs scored in just 19 games. Amazing when you consider that he's hitting .221 with a .337 OBP. His K's are up, and he's pretty inept versus righties with a .224 average in 715 at-bats. Also pretty sure he's not going to double his career HR/F rate this year (it's currently 20.7 versus career mark of 9.8).
Walker is the safest but with the power/speed combo Dozier is flashing I could sneak him to the top of the list if you have batting average covered on your club.
You can follow Ray Flowers and send him your thoughts on Twitter @BaseballGuys. For up to the minute baseball reports on trades, injuries, lineups etc. see @FantasyAlarm.