Chat with David Schoenfield
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, ESPN.com's SweetSpot blogger David Schoenfield stops by to chat some baseball.
Schoenfield is a senior writer for ESPN.com and he's been with ESPN.com since 1995 and has served in a variety of roles, including baseball editor, Page 2 senior editor and writer, and even interim soccer editor. He grew up in Seattle rooting for the Mariners, believes Edgar Martinez should be in the Hall of Fame and had no issues with Felix Hernandez winning the Cy Young Award despite a 13-12 record.
Send your questions now and join Schoenfield Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. ET!
David Schoenfield (1:33 PM)
OK, let's go ...
Before the season I asked you what team you thought had the best collection of 25 and under talent at the major league level. I said the Braves. You thought the Nationals, which was understandable. Has your opinion changed at all?
David Schoenfield (1:35 PM)
Well, it does appears I was wrong there, although Harper and Strasburg aren't the reason the Nationals are losing. But with Minor, Simmons, Heyward, Freeman ... I probably have to give that one to you.
What is your opinion of Alex Wood as a starter?
David Schoenfield (1:36 PM)
I like him, although the one start of his I saw was the one where the Mets beat him up a bit. I know Keith Law doesn't like the delivery, so maybe there will long-term injury risks, but for now he should be solid. Potential No. 3 kind of guy if he stays healthy.
Kevin - Orlando/Tampa Bay [via mobile]
Rays 4-man rotation.....genius? What is Joe thinking?
David Schoenfield (1:38 PM)
Did they actually do this? If you have enough off days, why not? Winning the division is obviously huge, so if you can squeeze an extra start out of David Price by the end of the season, you have to try and do it, I think.
Chris (Sarasota, FL)
David, do you know how ESPN's playoff percentage is calculated? Looking at the standings, the Pirates have a 98.6% chance of making the playoffs, while the Cardinals have a 99.2% chance even though Pittsburgh leads the division by 2 games over St. Louis.
David Schoenfield (1:39 PM)
Projected results from players until the end of the season are used (we get the odds from Coolstandings.com), so the projection is probably expecting some decline from Jeff Locke, Francisco Liriano, etc.
Another big day for Mets fans as Wilmer Flores plays tonight. This guy has raked everywhere he's been but gets no love from the scouts. Do you think he could something special?
David Schoenfield (1:41 PM)
A career .430 slugging percentage in the minors is not exactly raking. Current numbers boosted by Las Vegas. Defense has always been an issue.
what is the general state of the yankees organization? is this year going to be a blip, or are the yankees going to be in trouble until they get rid of their bad contracts? are there any impact prospects outside of Sanchez who have a good shot of being above average big league regulars and how close are they?
David Schoenfield (1:42 PM)
Good question. A lot of unknown right now: Replacing Rivera, re-signing Cano and/or Granderson, what will CC and Teixeira have left next year. My guess: They finish under .500 this year and go through another similar season next year. Farm system doesn't have a lot of big league ready talent. Free-agent market is slim this offseason. Could be a rough few years.
How do you see the American League West finishing up this season now that Cruz has been suspended, do the Rangers have enough bats and pitching.
David Schoenfield (1:44 PM)
I've been sticking with the A's all season, so I'm not changing now. One advantage the Rangers have is a very easy schedule rest of the way, including 10 games against the Astros and nine against the Angels. That should help boost them at least into the second wild card. Missing Cruz will hurt, of course, but we're really only talking about maybe one win of value, maybe two, over his replacements.
Larry Beinfest (FL)
I'd argue Giancarlo, Jacob, Christian and Jose is the best collection of 25 and under talent at the major league level. Giancarlo and Jose are superstars.
Brandon (Simi Valley, CA)
Clayton Kershaw has a great chance to win NL MVP and NL CY Young, right?
David Schoenfield (1:45 PM)
Indeed. Just posted a video on that. Maybe write about that tonight if he pitches well. He'd be my MVP pick right now.
If you're the Braves, how do you order these players in terms of most desirable for a long-term contract: Heyward, Freeman, Simmons, J. Upton, Minor
David Schoenfield (1:47 PM)
Another excellent blog post idea ... pitchers are always risky, so for that reason alone I'd put Minor behind the position players. I'd go Heyward over Upton for defense. Freeman has kind of become the heart of the Braves but first base is also the easiest position to fill. Man ... Heyward, Simmons, Freeman, Upton, Minor? What does everyone think?
The thing that annoys me about this PED scandal is that people are talking about these guys like they killed someone you know who couldve killed someone? Miguel Cabrera who was charged of a DUI yet people praise him and what not thats the type of act that should way more looked down upon than any such PED accusation cmon people
David Schoenfield (1:49 PM)
I think the general anti-A-Rod screed from all the national writers is a little embarrassing. Why all the hate? I get it: Nobody likes him, he's kind of a tool and so on. He took sports drugs. He lied about taking sports drugs. That doesn't make his as bad everyone is portraying. And shouldn't more people at least be questioning MLB's motives in all this?
Let's talk about what's on everyone's mind: BABIP. It seems like a silly stat. Just like how pitcher wins have to be explained in context of run support and ERA, BABIP has to be explained in context of line drive rate, speed etc. Why not just use LD% and K% as explanations for AVG instead of BABIP?
David Schoenfield (1:51 PM)
Good points. There is a place for BABIP -- it's easy to digest, for example. Do you know what a good line drive rate or an average strikeout rate is off the top of your head? It's not a silly stat, but like everything you have to study the context.
How would rank this year's new young pitchers? Fernandez, Harvey, Teheran, Miller, etc?
David Schoenfield (1:52 PM)
Harvey and Fernandez above everyone else, future Cy Young winners/contenders ... Miller after that .. Teheran, Cole, Wheeler in the next group.
Braves and A's in World Series, what do you think?
David Schoenfield (1:53 PM)
Sure, why not? I hate predicting the playoffs though. Anything can happen. I know people will question whether the Braves' home run-or-nothing approach at the plate will work in the playoffs. My opinion is it will probably work as well as any other approach.
Teheran not too bad either on the under 25 Braves........Future ace of staff?
David Schoenfield (1:55 PM)
Yeah, he's been one of the biggest surprises for me. Not a lot in the numbers that separate him and Minor so it looks like it could be a 1 and 1A, in whichever order you like. I probably believe a little more in Minor, but that's just a thing right now.
Stephen S. (DC)
I'm so psyched about all those October starts I'm getting this year.
I don't know about you, but I have much more of a problem with Braun than ARod. Braun seems cold, calculated, and evasive. Arod just seems weird
David Schoenfield (1:57 PM)
A-Rod is a lost soul of sorts. Not that I feel sorry for him but I kind of feel sorry for him. No sense of self or awareness of how others perceive him. Tries to give you the answer he thinks you want to hear rather than what he really thinks. And if you think he's gotten away with this for years, it's somewhat understandable why he thinks he's a victim now.
We all know that Simmons is the best defensive shortstop alive but my question is about his bat.....he is only 23 and been in the big leagues a year and a half! Whats his ceiling with the bat?
David Schoenfield (1:58 PM)
There are some positives there -- 11 home runs, doesn't strike out. I think the tools are there to become a solid contributor at the plate: .275, 15-18 home runs, probably won't walk much. Remember, he didn't have much minor league experience so he's still learning.
Charles (San Jose)
And of course Tony LaRussa had a DUI and oversaw two clubhouses notorious for steroid abuse, yet he's sainted by the media.
I actually think the Dodgers are the best team in baseball right now (all do respect to Rays,STL and Pitt). Who would have thunk that June.
David Schoenfield (1:59 PM)
Could be. Let's see what the deal is with Hanley's shoulder.
Colby Rasmus, 4th in AL OF in WAR; legit re-breakthrough?
David Schoenfield (2:00 PM)
Wow ... didn't realize that, although it is an oddly weak year for AL outfielders. I know I've heard he quit worrying so much about strikeouts and that's helped him relax a bit. I don't know if it's a breakthrough year before: He had these same numbers in 2010 with the Cardinals and didn't build on that.
Frank Cashen (Flushing)
With Harvey, Wheeler, Niese, Hefner, Gee, Montero (AAA) and Syndagaard (AA), where would you rank the Mets rotation next year? It kind of feels like 1984ish again when Doc, Darling, Sid, etc were making their way up. (still can't believe they only won 1 title - thanks Orel)
David Schoenfield (2:02 PM)
Ninth in NL in ERA among rotations this year. Could climb into top five next year with better Niese, full season from Wheeler.
I'm a huge Dodgers fan, but Clayton Kershaw has played in exactly 1 of the Dodgers' last 9 games. It's also the ONLY game in that group that they lost. And he's the most valuable player in the NL? Seems suspect.
David Schoenfield (2:04 PM)
Yep, it was his fault they lost that game. Why would it seems suspect? He gets to face about 30 batters every game. It takes Puig or Ramirez about six games to accumulate that amount of playing time at the plate.
Dave, if the general fan public didn't get up in arms about things like Arod, you wouldn't have a job. Is your question really why fans care so much about sports?
David Schoenfield (2:07 PM)
I wasn't suggesting everyone shouldn't care about A-Rod, but the level of hate spun towards him has been extreme. As the reader pointed out: Which is morally more repulsive: Taking PEDs or drinking and driving? One is merely pumping some drugs into body, something nearly all Americans do; the other one could kill somebody. One national writer basically called A-Rod subhuman. Really? Really?
Yeah David, it was Kershaw's fault his team didn't score a run in that pitchers duel. How dare you say he is valuable.
Who's your pick for NL ROY? Jose or Puig?Cy Young? Kershaw or Wainwright?
David Schoenfield (2:10 PM)
Tough one. Right now I'd probably go Fernandez, Puig, Miller. Kershaw for Cy Young, ahead of Harvey and Wainwright.
Greg, is that serious? There's probably a stretch from earlier in the year when they went 2-8 and Kershaw had 17 shutout innings and was 2-0. Arbitrary endpoints... not to mention he's pitching tonight so tomorrow your thought is effectively meaningless.
Brandon (Simi Valley, CA)
It's not Kershaws fault he is getting no run support every time he pitches, the big thing is he gives up the least amount of runs and keeps his team in it every game. Kershaw is def. the best pitcher in the planet and should be considered for the NL MVP!
John (New York)
Assuming he comes back to form, where does Alex Cobb fit in your young pitchers rankings?
David Schoenfield (2:11 PM)
Behind those others guys I listed. Does benefit from good defense and a good pitcher's park. Doesn't have the raw stuff of guys like Fernandez, Miller, Cole.
Felix has to favorite for CY Young right? He has outpitched Scherzer
David Schoenfield (2:12 PM)
Kuroda also. In the voters still love wins. If Scherzer goes 21-2 or whatever, he'll probably win.
Phil (Hartford, CT )
Chances Mets sign Ellsbury as a free agent and/or Trade for Trumbo with some of their excess pitching?
David Schoenfield (2:13 PM)
Ellsbury would certainly be a perfect fit there. Seattle also (and Ellsbury is from Oregon). Mariners have no long-term commitments other than Felix so have money to spend. I think they'll be going all-out for Ellsbury.
David Schoenfield (2:14 PM)
Trumbo ... could be a fit there. Not sure the Angels will trade him, however. He's good and inexpensive and they have to be worried about their offense with what Pujols and Hamilton did this year (or didn't do).
any hope for my nats this season? i still think they can turn it around...
David Schoenfield (2:15 PM)
Too late. They're done.
Isn't MLB to blame for that too David? A few players have their multiple DUis and, to my disgust, MLB does nearly nothing.
David Schoenfield (2:16 PM)
Depends how much authority you want to give your sports leagues. But drinking and driving among athletes is a more important *issue* than steroids, even if it does occur off the field.
Franklin have a legit shot at AL ROY?
David Schoenfield (2:17 PM)
Nick Franklin ... hmm, it is a weak year. Wil Myers the favorite right now? Franklin would be behind him.
More impressive streak at the moment: Tigers or Braves?
David Schoenfield (2:18 PM)
11 is better than 9.
Arod wasn't even the worst thing about yesterday for Yankees fans. Jeter went back on the DL and almost has more DL stints this year than games played indicating his body has officially began breaking down to the point he can't even stay on the field.
Isn't MLB alleging that A-Rod interfered with the investigation or did things worse than actually taking the PEDs? That is part of the rage here.
David Schoenfield (2:20 PM)
Yes, that's what MLB said in its statement, although we don't know exactly what they're alleging. Reports suggest maybe A-Rod to buy off a witness maybe? Well ... MLB also reportedly paid to acquire information. Is there really any difference there? Plus, it seems most of the outrage is simply "A-Rod cheated!" more than whether or not interfered in the case.
I'd love to see even half the outrage expressed at ARod the next time an athlete drinks and drives or beats a woman or does something that, you know, actually hurts someone else.
How weak is AL OF this year? Where would Shaq Thompson rank in WAR?
Remeber when people were question if Trout could repeat his numbers from last year? His slash line sure doesn't indicate any time of drop off: 2012: .326/.399/.564 v. 2013: .329/.423/.568
David Schoenfield (2:21 PM)
Best player in baseball.
Jose for NL ROY - imagine the media press he would get if in NY or LA..............Toss up still for Cy Young - should be a fun ride the last 6+ weeks of the season
My biggest issue is that the AL NY team gets out of luxury tax jail. Aren't employers liable for actions of their employees while they are representing their employer? I think we can all agree that the NYY set him up to get out of hell. You know its true!
Guys, be real- drinking and driving is NOT a bigger issue than steroids- at least not to MLB, since no player, owner, or commish, has ever been hauled in front of Congress regarding drunk driving...let Congress threaten to pull MLB's anti-trust exemption if they don't clean up their players driving and see how important it becomes...
Scherzer is barely behind Felix in WAR and ahead of Kuroda. Why exactly are these guys better? ERA? Scherzer's WHIP is 0.91.
David Schoenfield (2:24 PM)
No, he's right there. I just meant if he goes 21-2 it won't be contest. In B-R WAR, it's Felix 5.6, Sale 5.0, Scherzer 4.7. Kuroda 4.2 ... I guess he's further back. Hasn't pitched as many innings as the other guys.
Where does Jacob Turner fit in the ranking list of young pitchers?
David Schoenfield (2:25 PM)
He's pitched very well. Strikeout rate isn't up there in elite territory so I'd project him more as a 3/4.
Would you rather have Wil Myers or Puig going forward?
David Schoenfield (2:26 PM)
Another good blog post. Readers? I go Puig by a coin flip.
Mike p (Greater KC Metro)
If the royals keep winning, does Ervin Santana stay and sign with the royals? the big ballpark has helped keep his era down and his homeruns allowed numbers are down as well
David Schoenfield (2:27 PM)
Have to think it will help. On the other hand, his good season means he'll draw a lot of interest in the free agent market and it's not a deep list this year. The Angels may want to bring him back!
The Pirates: 83 win team or 93 win team?
David Schoenfield (2:27 PM)
What part of the Joint Drug Agreement will enable MLB to justify such a lengthy suspension for ARod? Is there an exception that allows for subjective determination of the penalty?
David Schoenfield (2:32 PM)
That's the million-dollar question. MLB clearly believes there is a gray area that allows it. By the letter of the agreement, it would seem no, that he should get 50 games or 100 games.
Brandon (Simi Valley, CA)
Maybe I'm a homer but I have to go with Puig. He's the total package and when you think of a 5 tool player, he's def. that. When Puig is up to bat you drop everything you're doing and turn your focus to him, I don't think you can say that about Wil Meyers. MVPuig! MVPuig! MVPuig!
Has there been a year recently when the playoff races were more or less over this early? the NL is basically done unless Arizona does something or Cincy falls apart, and the AL I think is probably only 1 spot with Cle, Tex, KC, Balt in the mix for it. haven't seen so many bad/mediocre teams all at once in awhile...
David Schoenfield (2:33 PM)
NL definitely looks anti-climactic. AL will be fun -- good division races in AL East and West, plus the wild card. And don't sad mediocre -- say parity. I thought that's what fans like?
Schoppa J (Houston )
Do you think this year's Dodgers team reminds you of the 1988 World Series Dodgers team?
David Schoenfield (2:33 PM)
Only if Kershaw pulls a Hershiser in October.
David Schoenfield (2:34 PM)
Teams are much different. That team had Hershiser and Gibson and great pitching but not a lot of star power. This team is all ABOUT the stars and its high payroll.
Ken (PAlo Alto)
Are the Tigers a better team or a worst team now without Peralta at SS?
David Schoenfield (2:35 PM)
I think they're worse. Peralta was hitting and his defense not as bad as everyone made it out to be. Iglesias can pick it but will be lucky to post a .600 OPS the rest of the way.
Puig's personality scares me a little bit. He seems highly combustible who could let everything go to his head and turn into a headache. Myers seems safer
Kuroda almost seems to be overlooked at times. He was left off the roster by Leyland for the ASG. But with the Yankees offensive issues and CC, Andy and Hughes so inconsistent, couldn't an argument be made for him to be considered the team MVP>
David Schoenfield (2:36 PM)
Not really. Still have to go with Cano, no?
Myers, Puig will get hurt too often. Love his hustle but like Harper I'm scared for him.
Uh-Huh (Right Here)
Good chance this Pirates fan cries when they hit that 81st win... a part of me thinks the world may implode too!Oh, and Ray Searage is the most underrated pitching coach in baseball!
Ken (PAlo Alto)
Tough, tough loss for the Tribe last night. I say this one is on Francona. Perez should have never been brought in to close. Pitch 8 out of the last 11 days -- going 2 innings in one of those. And this was his third day in a row. Of course, Perez wants to take the ball. But wasn't it Francona's place to not hand him the ball?
David Schoenfield (2:38 PM)
Tough one. His pitch counts were very low in most of those appearances, however. I do think it's a legit second-guess, but the Indians just don't have great depth in that pen.
Jerry (Rapid City)
How bad is the National League this year? Just six teams over .500 (with Ariz just one game over). American League has nine.
Even though he's missed some time recently with a knee, my MVP vote goes to Molina all day long. What he does for that Cardinal team is remarkable.
Jon (Bozeman, MT)
Puig has been very good, but just swung at a pitch that landed in Bozeman. I would have to go with Myers.
The only offense the Tigers need from Iglesias is an OBP somewhere north of .300. Any sort of slugging would just be a bonus...
Kevin - Orlando/Tampa Bay [via mobile]
If Myers were playing in LA, everyone would be in love with him. Myers is the All-American kid who knows how to play baseball. He isn't global.....yet!!!
Josh (St Petersburg)
As a Rays homer, the answer is Wil the Thrill. Hands down the most impressive easy power stroke I have ever seen. Plus, Puig is getting $42 mil, Wil will be making the minimum for the next 3 years, so savings have to be accounted for too
Dave Dombrowski (Tiger Town)
David what am I going to do about Max Scherzer this offseason? What would you do if you were me? What kind of haul could I get for Max?
David Schoenfield (2:40 PM)
I think the question is: What kind of haul are you going to give Max?
I have read a lot and heard a lot, especially from ESPN and sports writers/journalists, that the Biogenesis scandal is a victory of sorts for MLB and their fight to rid the sport of PED use. How ti shows the system is working. yet, Arod didnt test positive, nor did Cruz or Peralta or any of the other 13 players suspended yesterday. Tony Bosch being stupid is what led to these suspension, not MLBs drug testing. So the questions are, if the drug testing is workign, why are the PED users not testing positive? How many "Tony Boschs are out there? How many players are using and just didn't go to Bosch for their PEDs? Very ahrd to say, could be 10% could be 50% but it is not 0%.
I guess the D-Backs have proven "grit" doesn't work over a whole season. I do believe there is an element to "grit", but its basically players playing at max effort at all times. Well. eventually you wea out. I kind of predicted all season the D_backs would start out hot, then wear down as the season went on. What do you think?
David Schoenfield (2:42 PM)
I predicted they'd win the division. It's easy to make fun of the grit, but I also thought the bullpen would be very good, that Ian Kennedy wouldn't implode, that Cahill and McCarthy would have ERAs closer to 5.00 than 4.00.
I take W Myers over Puig easily.. Puig will run into something and be on and off the DL his whole career... Myers is a legit 3-4 hitter who will hit .300-35-100 for years.
David, did you mean Puig by a "bat" flip?
David Schoenfield (2:43 PM)
Ha. Like him or not, he's entertaining.
I'd have suspended Arod for life years ago when he came out with his frosted blond hair highlights.....that was so 90's
David Schoenfield (2:44 PM)
Excellent. OK, have to run. I'll try for a marathon chat session next week perhaps. Thanks, everyone! Masterson-Verlander! Kershaw! Darvish! King Felix! A's-Reds! Enjoy your baseball tonight.