Chat with Steve Phillips
The former general manager of the New York Mets guided the team to the World Series in 2000, working his way through the organization with which he played as a minor-leaguer. Now a fixture of ESPN's baseball coverage, Phillips offers a front-office perspective on the players and stories making news.
Send your questions now and join Steve to chat Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (1:00 PM)
Steve will be here shortly!
Steve Phillips (1:03 PM)
We're getting close to interleague play kicking off. It'll be interesting to see if the NL can fare better this year than they have in years past. I anticipate they will. What's on your mind this week?
What would you do with me? I have completely lost my 94-97 MPH fastball and strikout slider.Both David Price and Wade Davis are close to being ready to take my spot in the rotation.
Steve Phillips (1:05 PM)
Last I checked, both Wade Davis and David Price were having their own difficulties at AAA, so I guerss you have to live with Kazmir at the major league level. You have to give him as much time off between starts as possible. I agree that it appears he's lost velocity and confidence. Tune in to Baseball Tonight, as he's pitching tonight, and I'm sure we'll break down his performance.
Jake (Westminster, CO)
Last night we saw D-Train have a great outing. Was this a lucky night for him or is this a sign of things to come?
Steve Phillips (1:07 PM)
After Willis' first start against the Twins, I was rather optimistic that he might be able to compete at the major league level. He was outstanding last night and certainly has something to build upon. Confidence was a major part of the issue, and right now, he has to be feeling pretty good about himself. If he can continue to be an effective starter, it would completely change the way I look at the Tigers in the Central. If he is the Dontrelle Willis from his early days with the Marlins, then the Tigers become the team to beat in the Central. I'm happy for Dontrelle, because he's a good guy who has worked hard to find his way back.
J.B. (Dunmore, PA)
Do you think Yankee fans will stop overreacting now that C.C. and Mark Teixeira are producing?
Steve Phillips (1:08 PM)
Yes, at least until the next guy starts struggling again. They look like they have found their groove, and if they add some depth to the bullpen, they could be a very dangerous team all season long. But New York is reactive, and they do so more to the negative than to the positive.
Lyle, Jeff City, MO
Steve! Quick question about valuing prospects. I keep reading that Clay Buchholz is "wasting away" in AAA, but if Boston decided to trade him for an offensive player what type of a player could they get - I heard Matt LaPorta yesterday but that sounds like too little.
Steve Phillips (1:11 PM)
There are different kinds of trades to be made. Buchholz could be the No. 1 chip in a deal for a proven quality major league player or pitcher. A team trading away a veteran, highly-productive player would like to get somebody ready to step right in to the majors, whom they could control contractually and have an impact. Buchholz is that guy. Another type of trade the Sox could consider would be a blue chip prospect swap, which is what the LaPorta discussion is about. It would be a matter of reconfiguring your minor league depth chart. In the long run, blue-chip pitching prospects have a little more value than those of position players, just because of the perception that pitching is hard to find.
Better future for an Upton brother... Justin or B.J.?
Steve Phillips (1:12 PM)
I think Justin will be better in the long run because of his power potential. I'm not convinced that B.J. will ever again be a 20+ home run guy. They swing and miss a lot, but the bigger impact bat is Justin.
Blaise from Beantown
So after watching David Ortiz last night I couldn't help to feel a bit like a father watching his little leaguer mired in a slump. I'm really pulling for this guy, but this isn't little league, when does Boston start considering dropping him bellow the 3 hole?
Steve Phillips (1:13 PM)
I think the Red Sox will have to consider moving Ortiz down in the lineup. You can only go so long hoping that he comes back. At some point, you have to assume less production and make adjustments. That time is about here. I do think he will get hot again and will have a stretch that will help him regain his confidence. He won't be able to recoup his numbers, but I'll be shocked if he doesn't at least become a productive offensive player again.
ben (los angeles)
Steve, the Dodgers seem to be winning with smoke and mirrors. can they keep it up?
Steve Phillips (1:15 PM)
I think the Dodgers can keep it up, because despite the loss of Manny, they are still the best team in the NL West. Dodgers GM Ned Colletti will make a deal at some point to improve his club. Manny will be back in early July and will be highly motivated to get things going. I think the Dodgers will end up going to the playoffs as NL West winners.
When will Sizeless get back to being Sizemore?!?!?!
Steve Phillips (1:16 PM)
The Indians are struggling as a team, and they are all trying too hard. Once the people around him start playing better, he'll get back on track. He'll get hot again and regain that confidence that allows him to be one of the best two-way CFs in the game.
Steve,what's wrong with the White Sox?or should I say what's not wrong..yeah they won last night but they still need a lot to work on.Can they turn it around like they did last year?
Steve Phillips (1:18 PM)
They can turn it around, but John Danks and Gavin Floyd have not been themselves. They have been inconsistent offensively. Usually it's hard to turn that around and get a lot going right. The key will be the pitching. If Danks and Floyd can get back on track, they will win some games and take pressure off the offense. They could be sellers at the trade line if not, with the likes of Dye, Konerko, Thome, and maybe Jenks. Stay tuned.
SprungOnSports (Long Island)
Daniel Murphy can't field, Ryan Church doesn't touch third base and their 1B is out two months? Are the Mets in trouble?
Steve Phillips (1:20 PM)
They definitely have some issues. But if their pitching can be consistent, they still have enough firepower to win some games. They have to stay close until they regain full strength. I think Nick Johnson of the Nationals would be a great pickup for the Mets. When Delgado comes back, they could evaluate what to expect from him, then trade one or the other. They will need Beltran, Reyes, and Wright to stay in the hunt.
sri (detroit, mi)
What would you do with Francouer if you were the Braves GM? Any outfielders the Braves can trade for to help their offense?
Steve Phillips (1:24 PM)
The problem the Braves have is that they have a bright future in some top-flight blue chip prospect that are a couple of years away or less. Tommy Hanson, Freddy Freeman, and Jason Heyward will be impact players at the big league level. They cannot give those guys up for offensive help, as even with the increased offensive production, there is no guarantee that they'd go to the playoffs. They would need at least two impact bats, but the price would be too heavy for that.
How do you see the loss of Weeks impacting the Brew crew?
Steve Phillips (1:26 PM)
Weeks was certainly starting to live up to the hype, so it's a major loss for the team. However, they are winning because their pitching has been much better than anticipated, and that should be able to continue even without Weeks. I'm not sure that a Counsell/Casey McGehee tandem will be enough for the Brewers. It doesn't sound like they are out shopping yet, but don't be surprised if they try to find an everyday second baseman out there.
Beltran Stays (New York)
Steve, while I respect your work, I disagree with your statements about Carlos Beltran on Sunday Night Baseball. The guy has done nothing but produce, and name me a CF who's better in the game right now.
Steve Phillips (1:28 PM)
If the Mets don't make the playoffs, I firmly believe they need to reconfigure the core of this team. While Beltran does have talent, I just don't see him as a winning player. Even after my comments on Sunday night, Beltran let a fly ball drop in between himself and Angel Pagan in the Dodger game. I see him putting up numbers but not making plays to win games. I would take Torii Hunter, Grady Sizemore, Curtis Granderson, and Nate McLouth over Beltran, and use the financial difference to improve the team in other ways. Beltran isn't a $17 million dollar a year player. He just doesn't have the kind of impact for that kind of money.
Steve Phillips (1:30 PM)
Many people think that Alex Rodriguez is the best player in the game, but he's never won anything. I look at Beltran in a similar fashion as Rodriguez--a great talent that just doesn't seem to have what it takes to win championships. Maybe the Mets can keep him and add pieces to the core around him and still win. But when you're dealing with a budget and the screams of immediacy in New York, I'm not sure the Mets can wait to piece it together around him. I know there are a lot of people who disagree with me, but it's just the way I see it. Beltran is a very good person and a solid citizen, in addition to being a guy who puts up numbers. I like him, I just don't think they can win with him.
Steve Phillips (1:31 PM)
It'll be interesting to see by this time next week if the NL has narrowed the gap on the AL, and whether the hot teams like the Brewers and Yankees will continue to roll or whether they will come back to Earth. Talk to you next week!