Chat with Rob Neyer
Neyer's book, "Rob Neyer's Big Book of Baseball Legends," can be ordered now!
Send in your questions now and join Rob in The Show on Tuesday at noon ET!
Hey Rob, read the blog religiously, keep up the good work! With all the talk going around about defense efficiency leading to a higher win total, why didn't the Indians shift Cabrera to shortstop? Peralta just does not have the range at shortstop for a team with playoff aspirations. Thanks for your time!
Rob Neyer (12:03 PM)
Thanks for the kind words about the blog, Jason. Now that I've got a full-time job, it's nice to know someone's reading ... As for the Indians' shortstop, it's still a cost/benefit analysis, and the Indians still need a second baseman.
How would YOU have handled the Ollie Perez situation?
Rob Neyer (12:04 PM)
Meant to write about this yesterday ... My impulse is to keep sending him out there, except in this case he sounded as if he was emotionally defeated, in which case you probably do have to make a change.
Are you giving the Tigers ANY chance at making the playoffs. They don't look too bad.
Rob Neyer (12:06 PM)
Sure, they've got a chance. I had them finishing just a few games out of first place *before* the season, and at the moment I suspect they're as good as anybody in that division...
Jeff (Cleveland, OH)
Rob, might we see an 82-80 Kansas City Royals team, led by a 21-5 Zack Greinke, win what appears to be a very poor AL Central?
Rob Neyer (12:07 PM)
My heart's telling me the Royals might do something magical this season. My head's telling me that the loss of Alex Gordon means they just won't score enough runs.
Asked Buster this the other day, curious on your take. Is .400 even conceivable this day in age?
Rob Neyer (12:10 PM)
Oh, sure. Right guy in the right ballpark with the right luck ... it could happen. But you know, probably not. Too many games, too many great defenders, too many great relievers. Probably.
Is Jimmy Rollins just in a month long slump or do you think its something else?
Rob Neyer (12:11 PM)
My guess ... just a slow start, but if you look at his whole career, it's not realistic to expect him to play like an All-Star at this point.
What do you think is the most unattainable record in baseball?
Rob Neyer (12:12 PM)
All the records that Cy Young holds.
Is Rickey Weeks finally figuring things out? He has been very frustrating to watch the last few years.
Rob Neyer (12:15 PM)
The homers are nice, but he's also got 5 walks and 25 strikeouts ... still a work in progress, looks like to me.
We know about late runs at .400 (Brett, Gwynn, Olerud, Chipper) but has anyone made it even to the All-Star break with an ERA approaching Gibson's 1.12?
Rob Neyer (12:17 PM)
Greg Maddux probably wasn't far off in 1994. Hold on, I'll check ... 1.80 in 1994, 1.64 in 1995. So, no. Not really. I'll bet there's been someone closer, though.
Jeff (Boston, MA)
Rob, I know Francona is loyal and even though I do not see Papi coming out of this slump I can understand his support for a few more weeks; but at this point doesn't he have to give Kottaras a chance to play at least 2 to 3 times a week too see if the kid can play at the big league level? I mean Varitek has proven for almost 2 straight seasons now he can no longer hit.
Rob Neyer (12:18 PM)
Umm, Varitek's OPS this season is right in line with his career mark. Granted, that's mostly because of two or three "extra" homers, but it's too early to pull the plug on him.
Pedro 2000: 1.44 era at the break.
Rob Neyer (12:18 PM)
Thanks, Brian; he was my next guess.
Jim (Columbus, OH)
Rob, should the Indians be concerned that Grady Sizemore has more strikeouts (28) than hits (27) with only 15 walks to help offset the difference?
Rob Neyer (12:20 PM)
Batting average down, strikeouts up, walks down ... yeah, there's a bit of stuff here to be concerned about. They can't win without him doing roughly what he did last year.
Hey Rob, I need your help getting my blood pressure down to a manageable state, theres no way the Yankees decide to make Joba a reliever is there? It still makes no sense to me.
Rob Neyer (12:21 PM)
That's really up to him, right? If he doesn't improve his K/W ratio, maybe he *belongs* in the bullpen.
Will you show the Dodgers some love, Neyer?! With a division as weak as the NL West, how early could Blue have this thing wrapped up?
Rob Neyer (12:22 PM)
I just showed them some big love in my blog yesterday, Zac. Check it out!
Zach (Merrimack, NH)
Why are guys like Mulder, Sheets (even Pedro) still unsigned?
Rob Neyer (12:24 PM)
Mulder and Sheets are still hurt, and Pedro wants more money than he's worth. Teams can be foolish but they're not generally stupid.
David Wright has the exact same numbers as Sizemore....are you concerned about him also?
Rob Neyer (12:25 PM)
A little bit, yeah. Except that there were already small warning signs with Sizemore, in the form of his low batting average.
Alex (Scottsdale AZ)
Greinke has got a shot at Gibson's 1.12 by the All-Star break this year. Over the course of the whole season, who knows, but possible the way he is pitching.
Rob Neyer (12:27 PM)
Let's forget about Gibson, as an ERA under 2 at the All-Star break would be nearly miraculous. I did watch every pitch last night, and I've not seen a Royal like Greinke since Bret Saberhagen in 1989.
Stephen (Sacramento, CA)
Who picked your picture for the site? It went from bad to worse!
Rob Neyer (12:30 PM)
I picked. And thanks.
Does Albert Pujols have a realistic chance at the Triple Crown this year?
Rob Neyer (12:30 PM)
You know the odds are against anyone, no matter how talented. But I don't want to suggest any real limits for him.
Scott (Whittier, CA)
Does Joe Torre need his head examined? He's been giving Pierre starts at the expense of Ethier and Kemp lately to the tune of once a week.
Rob Neyer (12:33 PM)
You know what? There's something to be said for giving your best players the occasional day off. Particularly when it looks like you're going to win your division by 10 games.
Now we're at 10 games in New Yankee Stadium, and there have been 35 hrs, including 5 in a cold wet night game yesterday. Still small sample size, sure, but this issue isn't going away. Thoughts?
Rob Neyer (12:33 PM)
Let's talk in a month. Or two.
You say "an ERA under 2 at the All-Star break would be nearly miraculous" Why? Maddux in 94 &95, Gooden in 85, Clemens in 90, Saberhagen in 89, Pedro in 00 - it's happened in the not-too-distant past...
Rob Neyer (12:34 PM)
You're right ... "miraculous" was too strong. Shoot, Duchscherer did it last year.
Rob, any chance you and Rany will make it to a Royals game together this summer?
Rob Neyer (12:35 PM)
I'm afraid the Great Recession has hit my travel budget. But if the Royals are in the playoffs, Rany and I have a date.
Why don't the Twins score more runs? Their lineup is pretty solid when you look at Mauer, Morneau, Cuddyer, Crede in the middle.
Rob Neyer (12:38 PM)
Well, they had three of those guys last year and they finished ninth in the league in OPS. Plus they just got Mauer back, and four of their guys have been utterly horrible this season. They'll improve some.
nick (albuquerque, nm)
Rob, what is your opinion on the Arod book? I find it hard to swallow considering the way the "journalist" treated the Duke players and that situation
Rob Neyer (12:39 PM)
It's not really the sort of thing I care to read. There's obviously an audience for it, though.
How come David Price hasnt come in to pitch for the Rays yet? They have had a pretty poor start.
Rob Neyer (12:41 PM)
He's been good in Triple-A, but still not showing great control, with 11 walks in 21 innings. That would be a problem against the Yankees, Red Sox, etc.
Is it possible to win a pennant with Cap'n Jetes at short?
Rob Neyer (12:41 PM)
They've done it before, right?
So how long will the Ponson experiment continue with Hochevar pitching well in Omaha. Could we see Ponson getting his walking papers soon?
Rob Neyer (12:44 PM)
Yeah, he'll be gone before June. Right? Please?
Justin (Normal, Illinois)
Rob, since you watched the White Sox Royals game last night, is there any sane reason why Brent Lillibridge should be starting, let alone on the ML club?
Rob Neyer (12:46 PM)
You mean the guy with the 700 OPS ... in Triple-A? I don't really mind him being on the team, but when he's your CF you've probably gone astray at some point.
Hey Rob, Over the next three years who ya got Utley, Pedroia, or Kinsler?
Rob Neyer (12:47 PM)
Pedroia. That's an easy one.
Nora (St. Louis)
What are your early thoughts on the Skip Schumaker experiment?
Rob Neyer (12:48 PM)
So far, it's a disaster ... except of course for their 17-9 record. So I'm not expecting a change soon.
J.B. (Dunmore, PA)
Can Jordan Schafer be helped? The kid has a nice swing but can't seem to locate the baseball with it.
Rob Neyer (12:49 PM)
His minor-league performance simply does not the support the notion that he's ready to play every day in the majors. Someday, sure. But not now.
Ryan Zimmerman is currently crushing David Wright -- has he turned the corner as a hitter?
Rob Neyer (12:52 PM)
The 22-game hitting streak suggests that he has ... I'm not ready to vault him over Wright yet, but Zimmerman's always been loaded with talent and he's still quite young.
Cesar (Miami, FL)
Yuniesky Betancourt got a walk last night, although it seemed as if the M's were giving him the take sign...thoughts?
Rob Neyer (12:53 PM)
My thought is that I just lost the favorite regular feature in my blog. Drat him.
Chris (Dallas, TX)
Ignoring ERA for the moment, Justin Verlander has a pretty decent K/BB (45/12) and is throwing some serious gas. Might the potential Cy Young winner you predicted be back?
Rob Neyer (12:54 PM)
I think he's fine, and eventually his ERA will reflect that. Cy Young season? Maybe not. But I think he'll get back to where he was.
Wright, Zimmerman, or Longoria???
Rob Neyer (12:55 PM)
Another easy one ... Longoria. Spotless resume while playing in the Big Boy League.
Ben (Lincoln, NE)
So by gone astray, do you mean the White Sox have had a crazy amount of injuries already? Because that's the only reason Lillibridge is more than a utility infielder.
Rob Neyer (12:56 PM)
With all due respect, that's bull. The White Sox entered 2009 -- first the year, then the season -- without a viable option in center field. That's not injuries; that's poor management.
Schafer has struck out a lot, but he's also getting on base at a .400 clip. Not to bad for a rookie, do you really see him as a disaster this season?
Rob Neyer (12:58 PM)
I was too harsh. I don't believe he can maintain that OBP, but he doesn't have to, as long as gets the ball in CF.
Nora (St. Louis)
How will you evaluate when the NL has turned the corner and is as good as the AL? Interleague records? Or something else? Please keep NL fans posted; we're sick of being picked on.
Rob Neyer (12:58 PM)
So are they! And yeah, interleague records are the place to start. Also, what happens when players switch leagues.
Does the fact that Daniel Murphy is currently posting a positive UZR hinder the metric's value in your opinion?
Rob Neyer (12:59 PM)
No. Anything can happen in one month.
Regarding Ainkiel last night, was that just bad luck or his maybe over aggressive defense?
Rob Neyer (1:01 PM)
He did everything right. Things happen. Including me having to leave you for my blogging duties. Thanks for all the questions, and until next time don't forget: "You're as good as the best thing you've ever done."
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