Chat with Rob Neyer
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, ESPN.com MLB Insider Rob Neyer will drop by to chat some baseball.
Neyer's book, "Rob Neyer's Big Book of Baseball Legends," can be ordered now!
Send your questions now and join Neyer on Tuesday at noon ET!
Kevin (Kansas City)
Greinke locked up the cy with his last two outings? Also, Dayton Moore rumored to get the contract extension through 2014, what are we thinking?
Rob Neyer (12:07 PM)
I might have something to say about GMDM at some point, but right now I'm too busy trying to find a new favorite team. As for Zack Attack, he'll need to win at least three and probably four more games to get more than cursory consideration from the voters.
Are the Dodgers really going to send Thome out on defense regularly? They must have really lost faith in Loney, huh?
Rob Neyer (12:08 PM)
Well, the Dodgers do have a below-average hitter (this year, at least) playing first base every day. That said, I don't think we'll see Thome play much first base; he doesn't enjoy himself there.
Following up on last week's chat.. on Feb. 13, 2009 you wrote: "my top hitter [for the next 5 years] would probably be Pedroia..." So, now can you admit that you (among others) went a little overboard with the Dustin P love?
Rob Neyer (12:11 PM)
I probably went a little overboard. The right answer's probably Hanley Ramirez, right? But Pedroia's still in the top five, right? He's having another fine year.
Cole Hamels goes tonight... you said in a recent piece that the only difference between Hamels version 08 and 09 is luck based on his BABIP. But his BABIP against lefties is lower this year while his BABIP against righties has skyrocketed over a hundred points to .360. Isn't that too much concentrated luck? If it was truley just luck, wouldn't his numbers against lefties have been unlucky too? I think this highlights an issue with Hamels and his fastball command on the outer part of the plate against righties... NOT just bad luck.
Rob Neyer (12:14 PM)
Perhaps, my friend ... But the last time I checked, Lady Luck didn't pay much attention to whether a batter was left- or right-handed.
Really, the Dodgers have lost faith in a 25 year old first baseman? Thome is going to be just a left handed off the bench.
Rob Neyer (12:15 PM)
Kendry Morales' numbers are very similar to Morneau, Teixeira, Cabrera, and Youkilis. Pretty remarkable.
Rob Neyer (12:18 PM)
I think you're overstating your case some, but yes: the Angels are looking pretty smart right about now. Remember when they were going to be in trouble if they didn't sign Teixeira?
Matt (Athens, OH)
A new favorite team? I know the Royals have been excruciating of late but say it ain't so, Rob! Hypothetically speaking, though, who would be in the running as a replacement?
Rob Neyer (12:19 PM)
Nobody, really. I just enjoy baseball. I have to say, though, that I've found myself watching a lot of Giants games lately.
Marshall (St. Louis)
Hanley over Pujols? Pujols has been the best hitter the PAST five year and will be for the NEXT five years as well. How can you even pick somebody else?
Rob Neyer (12:21 PM)
You might be too young to know about this, Marshall, but people do age. Trust me.
Jon (Denzer, WI)
Any thoughts now that the Brewers have definitely delayed JJ Hardy's free agency by a year? Does his poor performance in AAA change things at all?
Rob Neyer (12:25 PM)
Change things how, exactly? I do wonder if the player-team relationship has been irreparably damaged. And the Brewers certainly haven't done anything to enhance Hardy's trade value...
Brian (Long Beach, CA)
I'm amazed Rajai Davis been given an opportunity to run enough to be 5th in the AL in steals. Is he a legit everyday player, or just having a nice season?
Rob Neyer (12:25 PM)
He's good enough right now, but probably won't be in two years.
I still take Utley over Pedrioa over the next 4 years...Pedrioa has A LOT of ground to make up after this season...
Rob Neyer (12:27 PM)
Fair point, Paul. I do think the gap between them will be smaller next year, and non-existent in four years ... but how the two seasons in the middle play out, no one can precisely know. They're both great players.
Derek Jeter MVP?
Rob Neyer (12:29 PM)
I would vote for Joe Mauer but Jeter's an outstanding candidate and should win if the voters must have a player on a first-place team.
Coolstandings has the Rockies essentially a coinflip to make the postseason (49.%). Is that about how you see it?
Rob Neyer (12:33 PM)
Yeah, I think that's dead on the money. Oddly, the Giants and the Braves are both about half that.
Rob, explain to me why the Rockies felt they needed Contreras in their rotation. To me it would've made more sense for them to go after Penny.
Rob Neyer (12:34 PM)
Hey, maybe they went after Penny and couldn't get him. I agree with you about Contreras, though. And I worry about his assortment of slop at altitude.
Ryan (Burbank, CA)
Can you please explain how Morales' numbers being equated to the best in the AL is overstating the case. That is exactly the case.
Rob Neyer (12:37 PM)
I'm sorry, Ryan, but Teixeira's, Youkilis' and particularly Cabrera's numbers have all been demonstrably better than Morales. Which doesn't mean he isn't having a fine season. Be happy!
Patrick (San Francisco, CA)
Supposedly Tracy, having done the Brad Penny Experience in LA, wanted no part of him.
Rob Neyer (12:38 PM)
Right. And vice versa, too.
Rob, what are your must-check sites? Mine are ESPN, BR, BP, Fangraphs, THT, and MLBTR...
Rob Neyer (12:39 PM)
Me, too. Plus a few others. Have you seen my blogroll? It's killer stuff.
Joe Morgan made a good point in his chat, that Thome could DH 4 times in the World Series. There's your difference maker.
Rob Neyer (12:41 PM)
There is that. And considering that the Dodgers gave up essentially NOTHING -- sorry, Mr. 25-year-old Class first baseman -- to get Thome, it's hard to see the down-side here.
Tom Z (N. Babylon, NY)
If Pedroia is having a fine year, then what is Cano doing? He is crushing Pedroia at the plate.
Rob Neyer (12:42 PM)
You're overstating the case, Tom ... and whatever Pedroia loses on offense, he more than makes back on defense.
Tell the truth, if Pedrioa wasn't a short, *gritty*, white guy playing for the Boston Red Sox most people would think of him as a slightly better version of Alberto Callaspo....
Rob Neyer (12:45 PM)
What's less interesting to me than what people THINK -- at least in this context, at this moment -- is what IS. And Pedroa is a great player while Callaspo is not.
Sorry, Rob, I'm going to have to disagree concerning Morales and the other elite AL 1B (coming from a Yankee fan). His OPS , HR, and RBI totals (142, 30, 94) all fall in line w/ Youk, Cabrera, and Tex. I'm not saying that he's an equal player b/c all three have done it for much longer, but for this season he's been very comparible to all 3.
Rob Neyer (12:50 PM)
I haven't drilled into this yet, but I'm guessing there are some park effects involved? Or maybe it's because he's played only 122 games? Anyway, can't we just agree that he's been really good this season. Everybody love everybody!
jeff (NY, NY)
I also think that you have overstated Pedroia's year as well. Among AL 2nd baseman he ranks 5th in the in OPS.
Rob Neyer (12:51 PM)
There's more to the life than OPS, trusted scout.
how about the Panda in the next 5 years?
Rob Neyer (12:55 PM)
My favorite player, you mean? I don't think we can even guess what he'll become because there's never been anyone quite like him.
Looks like Homer Bailey might be turning it around. Think he can be a solid part of Cincinnati's rotation next year?
Rob Neyer (12:57 PM)
I think it'll happen eventually, but it's way too early to say it's happening now. Bailey's started 13 games for the big club this season, and only five of them have been decent or better.
What does CC have to do to lock up the CY? 20 wins and a little lower ERA?
Rob Neyer (12:58 PM)
He might not even need 20, but if he gets there he'll be tough to beat unless one of the guys with significantly lower ERA's wins 18.
Rob, here's your chance to clear the air with regard to your SweetSpot entry yesterday about the NL wild card. Was your leaving out the Braves simply an oversight or was it intentional. You included the Marlins (who WERE tied with the Braves), but not the Braves, who have a MUCH better run differential than Florida.
Rob Neyer (1:00 PM)
Just an oversight, Chris. The Braves, as I mentioned a few minutes ago, have roughly a 1-in-4 chance of winning the Wild Card, about the same as the Giants and much higher than the Marlins. Sorry about that.
I went to the Cubs game last night and they now post OPS. Can you tell me what a good OPS is for a hitter?
Rob Neyer (1:01 PM)
Well, a rough measure is 800. If a guy's got an OPS above 800, he's probably a pretty good hitter.
Should Morneau be included in the Tex/Youk/Cabrera threesome, considering he plays in a pitcher's park and has a better OPS then all of them?
Rob Neyer (1:02 PM)
Of course. But let's throw in Kendry Morales and make it a quintet!
I can list at least 10 players who will be a better HITTER (your words) than Pedroia in the next 4 years: J. Upton, Panda, Braun, David Wright, Hanley, Utley, Texiera, Cabrera, Mauer, Longoria. I would toss in Morneau, possibly Prince Fielder, Nelson Cruz, and Youkilis as well. Top 5 for Pedroia? Really? On what planet?
Rob Neyer (1:02 PM)
My words? Really? If so, I (sort of) misspoke. I was talking about non-pitching players. Better?
Admit it!! You love Pedroia because he is gritty.
Rob Neyer (1:06 PM)
He is? Man, I gotta get my head out of this computer and watch some games. Seeya next week!