You're looking for help behind the dish. Do you go with Perez or d'Arnaud? Is it time to drop Ventura for a guy like Carrasco? Who is the real Steve Pearce? Is Castellanos or Myers the young bat you should be counting on in September? These questions are answered in the weekly mailbag from Ray Flowers.

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– Should I drop Salvador Perez and get Travis d'Arnaud? 

Let's compare the stats of the two.

S.Perez: .263-15-55-50-1 in 457 at-bats
d'Arnaud: .232-12-32-37-1 in 306 at-bats

On the surface it looks like Perez is the slightly better bet, though of course the overall numbers are skewed by the at-bat advantage he possesses. Let's even the playing field. Here are the numbers the last 30 days.

S.Perez: .191-3-17-8 in 98 plate appearances
d'Arnaud: .256-6-10-17 in 94 plate appearances

Obviously the arrow now tilts to d'Arnaud. 

Both men are big time talents. Perez is, despite the recent work, a better bet in the batting average category moving forward. He's also in a pennant race, and that might mean something (always hard to tell with something nebulous like that). D'Arnaud is the better power bat. What does your team need most? Recent production is moving slightly to DA to answer your question directly, but most folks shouldn't give up on Perez – he can still hit.

– Need to hold on to 2nd for 1st rd bye, drop Yordano Ventura for Carlos Carrasco

Ventura will have his Wednesday start skipped due to back stiffness. The team is reporting that it's a minor issue. At the same time missing even a start or two at this time of year can hurt, so we have to be sure that holding on to him is the right decision here.

Ventura is 10-9 with a 3.40 ERA and 1.30 WHIP. Those are solid numbers for a rookie, but they really don't stand out at all in the fantasy game. Add in a 7.72 K/9 mark and a 3.27 BB/9 rate, and we've got two more measures that are basically league average stuff from Yordano. Ditto the 21 percent line drive rate, .288 BABIP and 9.6 HR/F ratio. It's all league average kinda stuff folks. Add in the injury and...

Carrasco isn't quite on the same tier, talent wise, as Ventura, but it's not a very large gap. After years of being the next big thing in Cleveland Carlos might have finally arrived. Through 83 innings this season he has a 3.14 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 8.57 K/9 ratio, 2.17 BB/9 mark, .267 BABIP and an 8.2 HR/F ratio. ALL of those numbers are better than Ventura. Those numbers weren't just accrued as a reliever either. As a starter he owns a 9.00 K/9, 2.48 BB.9, 1.05 WHIP... he's been good there too. Moreover, he's in a groove with a 0.50 ERA, 17 Ks, two walks, and a 0.50 WHIP over his last three starts. 

I'm OK with moving on to Carrasco int his scenario. 

- Do you think Steve Pearce can keep up fairly steady production? I need a bench player. Oswaldo Arcia and Asdrubal Cabrera are also available. 


I don't think “steady production” and Steve Pearce should ever appear in the same sentence. Let's review.

From 2007-2013 Pearce hit .238/.318/.377 over 743 at-bats. He also struck out 170 times. 

In May he went .309-4-12-8.
In June he went .361-5-13-10.
In July he went .231-2-6-13.
In August he has gone .275-4-5-10.

The only consistency really is inconsistency. Another look.

Over his last 25 games he's hit .236 with a .284 OBP. 

Over his last nine games he's hit .342 with four homers and nine RBIs.

The 16 games before that he hit .157 with a .232 OBP, no homer and no RBIs. He went 56 plate appearances without an RBI. That's pathetic. 

Overall he's had a solid season. However, Pearce is about as inconsistent as they come, and after seven years of junky work it's pretty hard to be overly excited about his prospects for the month of September. 

Nick Castellanos or Wil Myers?

Castellanos, who I think I last got a question about three months ago, has been a solid rookie producer, but as I say repeatedly when asked about rookies each year, solid “rookie” production isn't necessarily up to the level of fantasy worthiness. Through 418 at-bats Nick has hit .263 with 10 homers, 55 RBIs and 40 runs scored. Again, not bad at all for a first year player. Blah city in fantasy however. He's only taken 30 walks all year leading to a sub par 0.29 BB/K ratio. Because of the lack of hits and walks, his OBP is also sub par at .312. It could actually be worse, his numbers I mean. When Nick has hit the ball he has been extremely fortunate as he is currently in possession of a 27.7 percent line drive rate – an unsustainable pace. He does have four homers and 21 RBIs over his last 33 games, but he still has 31 strikeouts and is batting just .267 in that time.

(1) Myers is finally back from injury. (2) Myers has more talent than Castellanos. (3) Myers has had  more success in the majors. Over 148 career games Myers has hit .263 with 19 homer, 79 RBIs and 80 runs scored. Myers has struggled in his return from injury hitting .154 with one RBI, but it's only been seven games so we can cut him some slack.

I would take a shot on Myers. I couldn't fault anyone at this point of the season from going with Castellanos however. 


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.


Ray Flowers 

Tim - Not really clear what you are asking with your follow up. Why not use our rankings, $ figures, from FantasyAlarm?


Ray- thanks for the input. Appreciate it. So do you then have any magazine, website, publication, etc that you would recommend that would provide us with dollar values for players which is more comprehensive in terms of listing players? Our league probably wouldn't go the route you suggest so I'm looking to then just suggest a new magazine with values for a 5x5 league.

Ray Flowers 

Tim - Doing a long time league, with same owners, my favorite. Love that. Having $0 players is NOT a flaw. Players can actually earn negative value if we're breaking it down correctly. Since you have keepers there is not going to be any magazine, or for that matter website, that's going to be able to help you. Once you introduce keepers, the only way to then find the $ figures is to put all the keepers in, with their prices, and then calculate remaining $, remaining players. You would have to do it yourself if you wanted it accurate. Our Draft Guide will help you rank players etc., but like the others, there's just no tool out there, unless you start getting into draft programs, that can help. Sorry.


Hi Ray- love your work. Following up on tweet I sent earlier today about magazines with players dollar values for our baseball league. I'm in an 18 team league that has been going strong since 1991. I haven't been in league the last 10 years and league has 5 original members still in it. It's a great league and we have run into a question about the magazine we currently use for our players salaries. We are using the Sporting News magazine but it has too many flaws - lots of $0 players, not all players listed, and salaries that don't seem to correctly match players production. With 18 teams, 15 keepers, and contracts that range from 1 to 5 years we want to use a publication that meets our league depth (we even have a 15 man minor league roster). As you can see our waiver wire and free agents during the year doesn't have much on it. We draft or pick up everyone playing so we want to try and get our salary cap ($260) in order to help everyone better manage teams and help when signing players to contracts (you can't drop these guys unless their MLB team trades them. If they stink, you are stuck with them). Any suggestions on a magazine or publication we can use for players dollar value that would fit our league? Thanks so much for your input! Tim

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About Ray Flowers

The co-host of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87: Mon-Thurs 7 PM, Fri. 9 PM EDT), Ray also hosts a show Sunday night (7-10 PM EDT). Ray has spent years squirreled away studying the inner workings of the fantasy game to the detriment of his personal life. Specializing in baseball, football and hockey, some consider him an expert in all three.

Ray Flowers on Twitter

that's absurd. MT @BaseballATeam: @edward_piekara @donunderwood66 My initial round of rankings have Carrasco ranked 4th. Crazy, I know.