OpinionMay 18, 2009

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Monday Mail Call: Webb, Abreu, Chris Young

By R.J. White

Welcome back to the Mail Call! We’ve got a few questions to tackle today, but we’d always love to have more! E-mail us at fbcmailbag@gmail.com with your questions and comments. If you have a question for a particular writer (say, Tom and Chris about their Waivers column or Ray about his Hot/Cold) about a particular column, include that in your e-mail and we’ll get your questions answered by the right guy. So what on the Cafe’s mind this week?

What is the story on Webb? I cannot find any reliable information on his injury. What is your gut feeling when he returns and the type of production he will be have for a fantasy team? What about Abreu and his power? How many dongs you think he will have at the end of the year? — Justin

I don’t think Webb will be back before mid-July, and if he hits any snags it could be August before he comes back. Unless the D-Backs are in the thick of the playoff race, they’ll likely take things very slowly with him. When he does come back then, I expect him to be close to his normal self. If you have him on the DL, keep him there and be patient, as he could be a game-changer for your team. However, if you don’t have a DL slot available for him and no bench to keep him on, you definitely need to think long and hard about making a move. Roto gamers can’t waste that SP slot for that long.

Sadly, I think Abreu’s power is gone and not coming back. His groundball rate is way higher than usual. At best, you’re looking at a dozen, possibly 15 HRs. At this point, he’s more of a 10-30 player than a 20-20 or a 25-25 player. The ZiPS projections (found at the excellent Fangraphs site) agrees, pegging Abreu to finish with 11 HRs and 35 SBs. If your fantasy teams is overloaded with speed guys and needs to add some power, I would shop Abreu and his .300 average (inflated by a somewhat high .345 BABIP) around and see what you can find.

I play in a very competitive 12 team, mixed, non-keeper, head-to-head league with 6 * 6 stats, 30 man rosters. The following guys are free agents, but I’m rostering LaPorta and Reimold on my bench: Chris Young, Conor Jackson, Travis Snider, Jeremy Hermida, Ryan Spilborghs. I’m thinking that Chris Young would be a good snag as he is bound to get heated up soon. Almost a lock for 20/20. I’m light in steals too. — Bobby

I agree that Young should be rostered over Reimold. As good as he is, I don’t think they’re ready to turn the LF job over to him full-time, unless he takes the league by storm during the next week. That looks unlikely to happen. If you can afford to wait a few days and see how Reimold adjusts, do so. If you feel Young will get snagged soon, I would go ahead and make the move. Keep in mind that Gerardo Parra has been recalled by Arizona, and if he continues to flourish, he might become a mainstay in CF.

Also, Bobby lists his roster, and Jeff Francoeur is taking up one of his utility spots. I don’t think he’s good enough to be rostered, especially with some decent guys in free agency. In particular, Travis Snider strikes me as a Jeff Francoeur type, but with considerably more upside. Any of those guys that you listed would be on my team before Frenchy, at this point.

Thanks for the questions guys and keep ‘em coming! Let us know what’s on your mind, using: the Article Discussion links, found below each article; the column discussion threads in the Baseball Leftovers forum; and the e-mail address, fbcmailbag@gmail.com. Good luck in Week 7!

R.J. White (or daullaz) has been actively involved in fantasy sports for over 14 years, making him an addict at this point. He loves writing, the Atlanta Braves, music, the Buffalo Bills, theatre, the Philadelphia Eagles, his family, and the number 42, though not in that order.
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