Chat with Rob Neyer
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Who do you think is a hidden gem in baseball and doesn't get as much publicity as he should be given?
Rob Neyer (12:05 PM)
Chuck (Trotterville, PA)
Hey Rob, is Bill Hall capable of playing 2B? If so, wouldn't it make sense for the Brewers to keep Gamel up to play 3B & slide Hall over to 2B?
Rob Neyer (12:07 PM)
Sure, and Hall's played plenty of second base before. Sure, they'll take a hit defensively, but they're going to take a hit somewhere and they might as well get Gamel's bat in there.
Brian (Chicago, IL)
Although the Yanks are playing well right now, that bullpen is still an absolute disaster. What options do they have to possibly improve the bullpen? Are there any potential trade candidates? They are still a third place team with that bullpen.
Rob Neyer (12:10 PM)
I think that a weak bullpen is the best problem to have, because it can be fixed with a little luck and a couple of little trades.
Have your ever seen a team with as many bad contracts as the Tigers? Willis, Guillen, Ordonez, Bonderman, Nate Robertson, and Polanco. That's $56 million in non-performing deals THIS YEAR ALONE. Dave Dumbrowski can't stay, can he?
Rob Neyer (12:12 PM)
Not looking so hot, but then again the Tigers do have chance to win the division so the Dombrowski Death Watch will have to wait awhile.
MW (GB, WI)
Buster Olney in his blog intimated that Milwaukee might be looking for a trade now that Weeks has gone down. My question - why would they need to trade for anyone at present? They've got Gamel/Counsell/Hall to fill IF gaps in MLB, Escobar in AAA, and some free agent options (i.e. a Ray Durham type). Why give up anything in the farm system when there are decent choices already available?
Rob Neyer (12:16 PM)
I agree ... Which was sort of the point of my last blog entry. You should check it out!
Josh (Miami) should review some of Bavasi's work. Anyway, Rob, at this point the M's need to cut ties with Betancourt, right? He has no plate discipline and is terrible in the field. What a waste... Thoughts?
Rob Neyer (12:18 PM)
Sure, if they've got someone else to play shortstop. If only Willie Bloomquist were still around...
Hey Rob, Clay Bucholtz has been pitching absolutely lights out almost every start in AAA this year. How long can the Sox keep him down there?
Rob Neyer (12:20 PM)
Blogged about this recently, too (heh) ... I think you mean Clay Buchholz, and yeah: his talent is, at the moment, being wasted in the International League. A real shame.
Brian (Rochester, NY)
Jays in the playoffs? I say yes, I'm sure you'll say no. Why? They have all the confidence and talent to keep it going all year in my opinion.
Rob Neyer (12:21 PM)
I don't know about either of those things, but I'm not ready to count them out. Yet.
Jeff Francoeur is a career .267/.309/.430 in 2,462 plate appearances. When you look closer, since the start of the 2006 season, he is a 263/.306/.415 hitter in 2,188 plate appearances. What are the Braves thinking using him everyday in their lineup?
Rob Neyer (12:23 PM)
They're thinking he'll someday again be as good as he was in 2005, but that's looking less and less likely, isn't it?
Jay (Irvine, CA)
Cito Gaston for HOF? How much credit do you give him for the Jays' start? They did well after he was hired last year too.
Rob Neyer (12:27 PM)
The Cooperstown talk is a bit premature, perhaps, but you're right about the Jays playing better since he took over. Makes you wonder what took so long...
Rob, I certainly wouldn't expect Asdrubal Cabrera to continue with this level of offensive success, but do you believe that he has demonstrated that he will be a strong enough hitter to justify a permanent move to shortstop, improving the Indians' infield defense? Thanks.
Rob Neyer (12:30 PM)
He needs *less* hitting to justify moving to shortstop, right? Now, if the Indians can come up with a second baseman, they'll really have something.
RICH HILL IS BACK!!!! Well not so much, but what do you think of him forward? Looks like he's got the command of that nasty curveball back.
Rob Neyer (12:31 PM)
I think he's always going to struggle with his control but will pitch well enough to win a few dozen more games.
Why has there never been much discussion about putting Phil Hughes in the Yanks bullpen? Joba has 4-5 plus pitches, so it'd almost be a waste to put him back there. But Hughes has only 2 plus pitches, and has a recent history of injuries. He could be dominant in the 8th for awhile. I know the "Joba to the 'pen" argument is old...so I'm starting a new one!
Rob Neyer (12:32 PM)
I think that's one fine idea, Brian.
How come the media hasn't made a big deal about Scott Boras' two degrees in pharmacology (including a Ph.D.)? Look at his client roster, his private training facility with its own doctors and nutritionists, and those degrees and it all adds up to a scary (although circumstantial) picture.
Rob Neyer (12:36 PM)
I don't know that Boras's degrees are relevant, nor do I believe that you'll ever find an evidentiary trail connecting him to drugs. He's probably too smart for anything like that.
Cyrus (San Francisco, CA)
Really awful news about Chavy, who was on his way to a great career but more importantly is a great ambassador for the game. Now that he's likely done, and it's apparent that Giambi is not going to be the spark plug Beane had hoped, how long do the A's wait to unload Holliday/Cabrera to continue retooling with young bats to match their young pitching?
Rob Neyer (12:36 PM)
If they're still nine games out in a month they'll have to start jettisoning the veterans. And maybe sooner.
You mentioned Johnny Damon not being a HOFer, but having a shot at 3000 hits. My question is if Damon gets to 3000 hits, how do you keep him OUT of the HOF?
Rob Neyer (12:37 PM)
The same way I'd have kept Harold Baines out, if he'd played for another full season and reached 3,000.
Sean (Des Moines)
A real shame? Clay Buchholz got lit up last year big time and he was pitching well in the minors last year as well. He can't handle Boston. Check Phil Hughes in New York.
Rob Neyer (12:39 PM)
Well, accepting your premise for the moment (which I don't, necessarily), his talent is still being wasted and the Sox should trade him for a reliever or a left-handed hitter or some dang thing.
Scott Ham (NY)
Rob, Alan Barra called you out in his Yogi biography, claiming that Stengal was right to hold Whitey Ford back in the 1960 World Series. Any thoughts?
Rob Neyer (12:42 PM)
Allen's a good friend, but occasionally he makes a terrible mistake. (Great book, though!)
Chris (Dallas, TX)
D-Train rolls into the station tonight against Texas. You might want to put the kids to bed early - it could get ugly.
Rob Neyer (12:44 PM)
I like train wrecks, but I'm not sure if I can watch that one ... probably not. But at least it won't last long.
So is Craig Biggio in the Hall then? He hung on, reached the same numbers Damon would reach (all in the weaker NL) and played crappy defense in his 30's? Can you say double standard?
Rob Neyer (12:45 PM)
Biggio was a legitimately great player who routinely was one of the 10 best players in the National League. Apple vs. Orange.
Damon's definitely having a good second half of his career, but his career OPS+ is 104. He's a barely above average player, made slightly better than that because of being a center/good LF who can run the bases. Thats more than enough reason to end his HOF case.
Rob Neyer (12:49 PM)
Well, yes. Meanwhile, Biggio -- about whom I've seen some questions -- is at 111 and played well at 2B for years.
Braves fans (dwindling)
"Gotta tip your cap to the other team", "We hit some balls hard, just right at people"......WE'RE TIRED OF THE EXCUSES!!! BOBBY COX MUST GO!!!
Rob Neyer (12:50 PM)
Even Hall of Fame managers have a shelf life, but I suspect that Cox's job is safe for as long as he wants it (this year, anyway).
Shores (Duluth, MN)
Joe Mauer's newly discovered Magical Swing of Power: is it a fluke, or is it an indication of 20 HR power to be paired with his elite OBP and defensive skills?
Rob Neyer (12:52 PM)
He's young enough and talented enough that I wouldn't want to place any limits on what he might do.
Do you see the Tigers releasing or trading Ordonez at any point this season?
Rob Neyer (12:54 PM)
Nah. They owe him too much money, plus he's likely to come around at least a little bit.
How would you rate Ichiro as a Hall of Fame candidate? Barring injury, he's going to go over 2000 hits this year despite starting his MLB career at age 27.
Rob Neyer (12:55 PM)
If he gets his 10 years in, he's in.
At what point does Mark Shapiro stop being an internet darling and start catching some heat for the results the last few years (as opposed to all the credit he's received for the process)?
Rob Neyer (12:57 PM)
It's a fair question, but doesn't go quite far enough ... Can you identify some problems with the process? That's the real question...
Andy (Amherst, MA)
When Santana's career is over, will we say that he should have 3+ more Cy Young awards than he actually won?
Rob Neyer (1:00 PM)
Oh, I don't know ... Maybe, but that's probably been the case with other great pitchers, right? Because Cy Youngs are won with wins, and wins are funny things. Thanks for all the funny questions, and until next time don't forget: "Never attribute to malice what might be adequately explained by stupidity."
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