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!
Brett (Hot Springs, AR) [via mobile]
Is Cargo your NL MVP right now? He's mine.
Rob Neyer (12:04 PM)
I'd probably go with Joey Votto, but Gonzalez has gotten into the mix I should think.
Another day, another one run loss for the Cubs. What's the record for most one run losses in a season? Searching for a reason to pay attention to the rest of this season, maybe this can be my hook.
Rob Neyer (12:05 PM)
Heh. I'll bet some team lost 45 or 50 one-run games back in the Dead Ball Era.
Brian (Fishers, IN)
So Rob, am I detecting just a wee bit more optimism in your generally gloomy assessment of the Royals? They do at least seem to be on the right track.
Rob Neyer (12:07 PM)
They've got more young *talent* in the organization than they've had in a long, long time. Maybe since the early '80s. Maybe since the early '70s. I'm not yet convinced that Dayton Moore has more than a passing familiarity with old talent.
Travis Lee (Bellevue, WA)
Don "the Wak" was fired yesterday along with half his staff of talented coaches. Although people in Sea town are fed up with the losing (especially after last year's relative success), the general feeling is that we believed The Wak would pull us through. The majority of Seattle like Wakamatsu but hated the team. Now what do we root for? A Felix perfect game? A Chone Figgins inside the park homerun?
Rob Neyer (12:08 PM)
Root for the guys in Triple-A. Dustin Ackley and Michael Pineda are the Future.
Brett (Hot Springs, AR) [via mobile]
Four division races and both wild cards could go to the last weekend. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have multiple game 163s on the Monday after the season?
Rob Neyer (12:09 PM)
It would. And it'll actually happen, one of these years...
Stephen (Palo Alto)
Rob, what's your favorite ballpark in the bigs? All-time?
Rob Neyer (12:11 PM)
Today: Fenway. All-Time: Tiger.
Kelly (Minneapolis, MN)
If Morneau comes back in relative form, do the Twins win the Al central?
Rob Neyer (12:16 PM)
A lot of questions about what happens in the close races ... Yes, Morneau would boost the Twins' chances, but we're far enough along in the season that luck is going to overwhelm our ability to forecast the finish based on the performance of a single player.
Paul (San Francisco)
Carlos Delgado a HOFer? He was awfully good for a long time. Does he need to get those extra 27 HRs to hit 500?
Rob Neyer (12:18 PM)
I don't think he's considered an outstanding candidate. When I get a chance, I'll see if a comparison to Fred McGriff is useful.
Stephen (Palo Alto)
Rob, are you as in love with Buster Posey as I am?
Rob Neyer (12:21 PM)
What's your take on Lidge? He is getting crucified on local radio, but he's pulled together a decent string of saves. Do you think he'll lose his spot to closer-by-committee?
Rob Neyer (12:23 PM)
Too many walks, too many home runs. I think he's one of the Phillies' weaknesses.
Doug (Great Neck, NY)
Hi Rob! Can Granderson get right, or is it too late. A nice enough guy, but he seems lost right now. Oh, and are the Yanks just biding their time until Carl Crawford arrives?
Rob Neyer (12:27 PM)
First step is to pass a team rule prohibiting Granderson from hitting against left-handers. He might still have some utility against the right-handers. But, wow. It was so recently that Granderson was the best center fielder in the American League (granted, his competition was Grady Sizemore and look what's happened to him since then).
Jason (St Louis)
Whew, Leake got rocked last night. Think the Reds are going to start coming apart at the seams? If they get swept this series, what does that do for the clubhouse psyche?
Rob Neyer (12:29 PM)
I think there was always a legitimate question about the Reds' young starters. And Leake's been pretty awful in his last 10 starts. As far as getting swept, I think the problem would be the standings more than the clubhouse.
What do you contribute to Pablo Sandoval's dramatic drop in numbers from last season when he hit 25 Hrs, 90 RBI, and a 330 BA.
Rob Neyer (12:31 PM)
History's not loaded with 280-pound hitters with huge strike zones who put together a run of good seasons.
Rob, is there any actual statistical evidence that indicates an increased chance of injury for starting pitchers based on pitch counts per game?
Rob Neyer (12:35 PM)
I just caught a research presentation on this subject last week, Andrew ... There's little evidence that throwing 120 pitches per start is significantly more dangerous than throwing 110 per start. Which doesn't mean you would ask a pitcher to throw 150.
Josh (Lincoln, NE)
Gotta be a little excited by the way Alex Gordon has played since getting called back up if you're a Royals fan, don't you?
Rob Neyer (12:37 PM)
Frankly, Josh, I don't know if I'm actually a Royals fan anymore. When they win, it gives me little pleasure. When they lose, it causes little pain. If they're ever competitive again, I suppose that'll be the test. It does hearten me, as a fan of rationality, to see Gordon in the lineup.
Dale (Calvert City KY)
Would the Royals consider trading a guy like Gordon for a bigger need?
Rob Neyer (12:40 PM)
A bigger need than a corner outfielder who can (or might be able to) hit? I'm not sure I can think of a particularly greater need. Especially with Yuni Betancourt nailing down shortstop.
Rob, is Mat Latos in the running for the Cy Young? Take away his first 4 starts of the season and he has a 1.72 ERA, .170/.239/.247 slash line and .90 WHIP, all tops in the MLB. Not to mention he already leads the NL in OBA/OOBP/OSLG with all starts considered.
Rob Neyer (12:46 PM)
We're not allowed to take away those first four starts, are we? (If so, I'll take back my brilliant decision to release Latos from my fantasy team.) He's a dark horse Cy Young candidate, if only because of all the other viable candidates.
Is there any hope for the Cubs to become a contender again within the next 2 seasons without spending an exorbitant amount of money?
Rob Neyer (12:47 PM)
These things can change in a hurry, but the tunnel still looks pretty dark to me...
Kevin (St. Paul, MN)
Does anyone believe the Nationals would let Harper go back to the draft next year? Strikes me as the same posturing you hear every year before the signing deadline.
Rob Neyer (12:48 PM)
He'll sign. This is just the dance everyone dances.
Is SD going to shut down Latos?
Rob Neyer (12:51 PM)
Pretty hard to shut down your best pitcher in the midst of a pennant race. Might they give him a little break? Possibly. But this figures to be a long season for the kid.
Has Roy Halladay been worth it for the Phillies?
Rob Neyer (12:54 PM)
Worth what? The money they're paying him? The prospects they gave up to get him? Sure. Without him they'd be lost. But he'll be a Phillie for some years. Let's wait a few.
Wasn't that fake injury that sent Latos to the DL the little break SD was going to give him?
Rob Neyer (12:55 PM)
Of course. Completely forgot about that. But he could probably use another, especially if Padres are figuring on playing in October.
With Ramos now with the Nats, does that take the pressure off them a little to sign Harper?
Rob Neyer (12:56 PM)
I don't think there's much of a connection there, Shane. Especially considering that Harper probably won't be a catcher in the majors (and perhaps not in the minors).
Nora (St. Louis)
Do you know if you'll get to vote for any awards this year? This year's NL Cy Young race looks even closer than last year's. I'm sure lots of St. Louis fans would like to KLaw you if given the chance!
Rob Neyer (12:57 PM)
I'm sure they would! Haven't heard about a ballot for robneyer this year, but I'll keep you posted (unless I'm not supposed to).
How long before the Mariners are relevant again???
Rob Neyer (1:00 PM)
Some good things will be happening in 2012, Troy.
Tom (Simi Valley, CA)
What's the upside for Peter Bourjos?
Rob Neyer (1:03 PM)
He's too young for me to do more than guess ... Right now he's good enough to play every day, because of his defense. We'll have to see if he can get on base 35 percent of the time.
John T (Eagan, MN)
Why aren't pick-offs included in "caught stealing" for the runner? It drives me nuts to see Denard Span with only three "CS" even though he's been picked-off six or seven times.
Rob Neyer (1:04 PM)
It's an odd convention, isn't it? But sometimes guys with NO INTENTION of stealing are picked off anyway. So it would be a little odd to count those as caught stealing, don't you think? For the purposes of evaluation, it's fair to count those pickoffs against Span.
Rob Neyer (1:06 PM)
Thanks for all the questions. Until next time, don't forget what knuckleballer Dan Boone said: "I can't say as ever I was lost, but I was bewildered once for three days."