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 p.m. ET!
David Schoenfield (1:08 PM)
Wait ... I'm chatting at the same time as Stark?
Im sure you or anyone else at ESPN have noticed but there is a player who is .001 BA pts from leading Mike Trout in every offensive category except Sb & R, is very, very much in contention for the Triple Crown, has been playing the last month on one ankle, teams is a contender, and just batted .600 in a series sweep against the team they're chasing.....but you'd never know it by following ESPN. Oh by the way this same players has put up these gaudy numbers 8 yrs ina row not 4 months. Mike Trout should give his MVP award to the baseball staff at ESP for his hypemachine.
David Schoenfield (1:10 PM)
So you're saying Miguel Cabrera is just good at the plate as Trout, except Trout has value with his speed, is the better defender and plays in a tougher park to hit in. Otherwise, Miggy is just as good?
David Schoenfield (1:11 PM)
Look, Miggy is awesome. But Trout, in 2012, is the best player in baseball. I'd love to see Cabrera win an MVP award some day -- I'm sure he's entering that list of "best players never to win" but being second- or third-best to Trout in 2012 isn't an indictment on his season.
Hey David. You didn't do it, but many other numbers people at ESPN just picked the Dodgers to overtake the Giants in the NL West. With a 4.5 game lead at this point this is a very STUPID pick numbers wise. So does ESPN have different calculations than everyone else that makes the Dodgers a more than 50% chance of winning the division or are they actually going away from non biases numbers and being swayed by the Dodgers sexy, overrated moves?
David Schoenfield (1:13 PM)
Not sure what you're referring to, but the Giants are clearly the division favorite now. I have the Dodgers falling short to the Braves and Cardinals for a playoff spot as well. In general, yes, I think many people got swayed by the Dodgers "sexy" moves, not realizing a couple guys in the rotation had pitched over their heads for 3-4 months.
Get swept by the Royals, sweep the Sox to tie for first in the Central, then lose to the Indians. Are the Tigers just too inconsistent for the post-season?
David Schoenfield (1:14 PM)
If they get there, they have just as good a shot as anyone else. Verlander, Fister, Scherzer is a pretty good top three. It's the lineup and bullpen that worries me. And I'm not sure they're going to get there. A few weeks ago, I thought we'd see both White Sox and Tigers make it, but I don't think that's the case now.
Turner (Boise, ID)
King Felix gets all the recognition for the M's rotation but the other 4 guys behind him have all seemed to fall into place quite well. I will assume Millwood moves on and Seattle will resign Iwakuma (who quietly has been dominant). With the extra spot being filled by Hultzen next year do you think they move one of their pitching prospects again in the offseason for another young bat?
David Schoenfield (1:16 PM)
One of the bigger mistakes of the season was Eric Wedge burying Iwakuma in the bullpen for three months. Hector Noesi was terrible. Anyway, I think you're right in that they bring him back. Considering Hultzen's control problems in Triple-A, I actually think he needs more time down there, so I'd expect them to sign another Millwood-type, leaving Blake Beavan, Erasmo Ramirez and Noesi battling for the final spot. With Hultzen as a midseason callup.
joe(rochester) [via mobile]
Who says no first if at all? Cards send shelby miller to the rangers for elvis andrus, cards get a replacement for furcal and ss for the future and rangers get a top prospect and potential ace pitcher? Just wanted to hear your opinion
David Schoenfield (1:17 PM)
Rangers. Andrus is worth much more than a prospect, even one with ace potential. He's young, signed for three more years, excellent defender, gets on base. A lot of value in him, even without a lot of power.
When I pitching today in my softball playoff game, i will be screaming at my infielders to dive for the ball and to not pull a Cano.I think it's panic time in the Bronx.
David Schoenfield (1:18 PM)
They look old and mediocre. I know they have injuries, but their lineup the other day includes Jayson Nix, Russell Martin, Andruw Jones, Ichiro, Eduardo Nunez and Eric Chavez. Ugh.
who wins your al wildcards?
David Schoenfield (1:19 PM)
Check SweetSpot TV later today -- I'm going with Rays and A's, with Yankees holding off to win the division. Yanks finish with Twins, Jays and Red Sox, so those final 10 games should be a pretty easy stretch. In theory. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Yankees finish third and miss the playoffs either.
Is it actaully now possible that the Braves would decline the club option in McCann next year? Can't see paying him $14m even for 1 season. Last 2 years it's always something whether it be his eyes, shoulder, oblique. Dude is breaking down. And even when healthy he's been diminished.
David Schoenfield (1:21 PM)
Good question. He's been terrible of late. A lot of innings at a young age. If I had to guess, they bring him back for one more year. Looks like a $12M option, not $14, but you're right, still a lot to pay for a guy possibly in decline.
john (from cleveland)
remember when people were bullish on the Indians? LOL! (goes and cries in the corner)
Buck for manager or the year, Beane for GM of the year and Bobby V for scapegoat of the year.
does machado stay at 3B forever? will they move him back to ss next year?
David Schoenfield (1:23 PM)
He'll be a shortstop long-term, but J.J. Hardy is signed through 2014. Hardy could be trade bait, but he's a solid player and trading him just opens a hole at third base. I'd keep him and play Manny at third for two years.
Every week Al in Canada complains about Trout over Miggy for MVP and ignores how much of a game changer Trout is on the base paths and in the outfield where Miggy is a liability in regards to both. They have the silver slugger for best offensive player at a position. The MVP should isn't for the best hitter...it's the best all around player.
Will Ichiro- play next year in MLB or will he retire? Same question for Bartolo :.
David Schoenfield (1:24 PM)
He wants 3,000 hits in the majors (2569 right now), but who would sign? His value is all defensive right now, and while he's played better in the outfield this year he was unreliable out there in 2011. I'm just not sure there's a full-time job for him in the majors.
If you were Fredi (no, I'm not wishing that on you...or anybody for that matter), in a one game playoff you have to start Medlen, right?
David Schoenfield (1:25 PM)
Nora (St. Louis)
So, who would be in your top five for NL Cy Young?
David Schoenfield (1:26 PM)
Cueto, Dickey, Kershaw, Strasburg, Lohse
what is profar's role in 2013? what would you do if you were in charge of the rangers?
David Schoenfield (1:29 PM)
I think a half season in Triple-A is still needed. I'd give him some time at second base and the outfield, maybe turn him into a super utility guy. Or just move him to second base and Kinsler to the outfield (eventually replacing Nelson Cruz, who has one more year left, or Hamilton, if he's not re-signed).
The 2013 Braves pitching rotation, in order: Beachy, Medlen, Hudson, Hanson, Minor/Delgato...what were the odds of that happening in January...
David Schoenfield (1:31 PM)
Well, Beachy won't be ready at the start of the season. I found it interesting that Fredi said yesterday that the team planned all along to limit Medlen's innings and that's why he was in the bullpen most of the season. Hmm. I don't remember much talk about Medlen as a potential starter back in spring training considering how many options they had at the time.
Wouldnt the best answer for what to do with Frazier when Votto returns be to move Bruce to center and put Frazier in RF???
David Schoenfield (1:31 PM)
Trouble is, you're weakening your defense in center AND right, possibly significantly. I'd play Frazier and third and bench Rolen.
David Schoenfield (1:33 PM)
Bruce played 35 games in center as a rookie in 2008, but none since. Not sure he really has the range to play there and I don't see a playoff team messing with their defensive alignments this late in the season.
Kevin Peavley (Indianapolis)
Lincecum didn't look as good on Sunday as everybody wants to believe. Shouldn't the Giants go to a 3 man rotation in the playoffs? Have Lincy ready for a spot start in the NLCS or WS (if they make it that far) and ready out of the bullpen for big outs...............I know I'm not the first to propose this, but it sounds right to me...............he's not back and he won't be back this season or post-season and this is coming from a die-hard Giants and Lincy fan. What do you say?
David Schoenfield (1:34 PM)
Managers are just so reluctant to do that anymore. In part, they don't want to take the heat if it goes wrong. Certainly Cain would be as good a bet as anybody to pitch well on three days, but what about Bumgarner or Vogelsong? Don't see it happening. I could maybe see a three-man for the first round but not for three rounds.
There's no such thing as revisionist history in baseball, you know that David.
Rolen has hit well over .300 since the ASG though, Dusty won't bench him.
David Schoenfield (1:36 PM)
Yes, I know. And you're probably right. Maybe Rolen starts 60 percent of the time and Frazier 40? Would a more likely option by Ludwick in CF and Frazier in LF?
David Schoenfield (1:37 PM)
Probably not. Ludwick hasn't played there since 2008, other than three starts in 2010.
What do you think the Braves are going to about Uggla? The situation seems to be getting very ugly and he's still owed a ton of money and doesn't seem to have very much left in the tank.
David Schoenfield (1:40 PM)
$39 more million! Not a good contract when it was signed and now he's heading in the wrong direction. His August numbers aren't terrible -- .207, but .324 OBP and .424 SLG. July killed him -- .115.
Bench Rolen? Next thing you know, you will be saying something crazy like benching M.Young for Olt or Profar and that's crazy talk.
Marty (Fairfield, CT)
Where did it all go so wrong for the Angels? The A's have a .5 advantage in team ERA...can we blame this all on starting pitching?
David Schoenfield (1:40 PM)
Basically, yes. Angels bullpen blown their share of late leads as well.
Can Ludwick play center? I don't think so. 60-40 would be fine with me.
Didn't the Cardinals play Schumaker in CF during the World Series last year even though he hadn't played there all year? It has been done.
David Schoenfield (1:44 PM)
Let me see .. he had started one game in CF. Started four in CF in the playoffs (three in the World Series). Good one. Of course, he did come up as an outfielder, but I would still characterize that as a risky move by La Russa that paid off.
David Schoenfield (1:44 PM)
One option for Dusty: When a groundball pitcher starts (Cueto), you could go with Rolen at third and Bruce/Frazier in the outfield. With a flyball pitcher, play your best defensive outfield.
David Schoenfield (1:46 PM)
Except Reds don't really have big extremes here. Cueto has highest GB pct. at 49.5, Arroyo the lowest at 41 pct. I'd definitely want Stubbs and Bruce in the outfield when Arroyo starts.
D. Baker (Cincy)
Young Todd Frazier is only 26, which makes him a decade to young to handle the pressure of a pennant race. Plus he has only stolen three bases, so when he gets on he just clogs up the basepaths- now quit bothering me and get off my lawn!
Brent (Bakersfield, CA)
I know people have beat this horse to death, and I am a Giants fan, not a Nats fan, but if I were Strasberg, I'd go in and tell the GM if he sat me, I'd never re-sign with the Nats again when my contract is up. Look at someone like Lincecum... I hope he gets back to WS and pitches well, but what if he doesn't? You never know what the future holds, but THIS YEAR they have a shot to win it all. If I wasn't allowed to participate in that, I don't think I'd ever forget it. What if this is his only shot? Of course, no one wants to think that way, but it could be true. Do you think there's a chance Strasberg is behind this and the team is taking the heat?
David Schoenfield (1:50 PM)
I think there's a chance Scott Boras is behind this. Think about: Because he was American, Strasburg didn't get the signing bonus he would have gotten if he'd been a Latin American player with his ability (think of what Chapman, Cespedes and Puig signed for). So Strasburg's best chance of getting a MONSTER paycheck is when he's a free agent. But he has to remain healthy to get that. I still find it incredulous that a team would willingly shut down its best pitcher when you are arguably the best team in baseball.
Trout is great,, But Miggy has to be the mvp if the tigers get in the playoffs right?
David Schoenfield (1:51 PM)
We discussed this earlier, but the answer: No. Or at least should be no. I do believe if the Tigers make it and the Angels don't that the actual MVP vote will be very close. You rarely see MVPs from non-playoff teams.
Fredi Gonzales (Atlanta)
Can Strasberg bunt? We'll sign him if he can.
Why are "experts" so scared of riding the Oriole's bandwagon? We're pretty far into the year now, are we really more sure that the Yankees and Rays will either keep afloat, or pass them?
David Schoenfield (1:53 PM)
I wrote something along those lines last week. While the Orioles WERE a fluke the first half, their record since the All-Star break is actually legit, they're outscoring their opponents, etc. This is a better team than it was April through June. So I do think they can hold and maybe catch the Yankees. But it's still hard to ignore 14 consecutive losing seasons, I guess.
do you think the rangers can win the world series for a 3rd time this year and if so can they stay healthy for the rest of the season and when they get to the post what kind of pitching rotain in the post season would look like and what kind of line-up does ron washington put out there you thoughts.....
David Schoenfield (1:56 PM)
It will be interesting to see how Washington lines up his postseason rotation. I assume he'll start Harrison in the opener, in part to keep the pressure off Darvish, but I wonder if Darvish isn't their best pitcher right now? Does Holland start ahead of Darvish, based on his success in last year's postseason? What about Dempster? He's been pretty good after those first couple of starts.
Doug (Los Angeles)
You misused "incredulous", should have been "incredible." You could have said "I'm incredulous" but not "it's incredulous." Just saying, you're a writer, you should know.
David Schoenfield (1:58 PM)
Thanks, Doug. Also, the comma should go inside the quotemarks. As in, You misused "incredulous," should have been "incredible." Although that may be a fragment and maybe a semi-colon would have been the correct punctuation.
Two points on Strasberg:1) Why don't the Nats just limit his innings per start the rest of the way? Hold him to five innings per start, skip a start here and there, and let the pen handle the second half of the games Strasberg starts?2) If Boras is behind this, then I wouldn't sign Strasberg for anything. It's oen thing for an agent to define the player's price- it's another for one to define their usage, especially in a pennant race. If Strasberg is letting Boras do this, Washington should trade him for as much as they can get- either that or name Scott Borasd manager, because in reality he is.
David Schoenfield (2:00 PM)
Yes, I'm incredulous that once it became clear the Nationals were playoff contenders (early on) that they didn't plan this out better. Would have been very easy to simply push Strasburg back to 7-8 days of rest a couple times, skip a start or two, and still have available for the postseason -- even as the team's No. 4 starter.
Stephen (Twin Cities)
The Pirates are fading, fast. Having their first season over .500 in 20 years looked like a lock not too long ago, but now I'm not so sure. Thoughts?
David Schoenfield (2:02 PM)
Let's see: 70-64 right now. I think they're 3-10 over their past 13. Need to go 12-16 the rest of the way to win 82. I'll say they'll do it. Pretty easy schedule the rest of the way (no Cardinals, for example).
Sally ( Detroit)
Tigers fan here. Austin Jackson is MVP of the Tigers this year, with Scherzer in second. Cabrera is probably tired for third with JV.
And I remember no more than six or so weeks ago that the Braves were starting Medlen out of desperation, between injuries and ineffectiveness. They never intended for him to start this year, if ever again.
Dan (Washington, DC)
You seem to think Strasburg is the only thing that the Nats have going for them. Yes, losing Strasburg for the year will hurt -- but it'll hurt way more if the Nats go Kerry Wood/Mark Prior on him!
When you say there is a chance Boras is behind this, what do you mean exactly. Can he really dictate to a team how they use a player under contract? What is his leverage exactly? That his players will be less likely to sign with the Nats if they don't do what he says?
David Schoenfield (2:05 PM)
More along the lines of "Play with us on this and we'll play with you on other guys." Like Bryce Harper, another Boras client. Or maybe Boras steered Edwin Jackson to Washington after suggesting that Strasburg should be shut down at some point. Again, these are just theories, but it's stuff you've heard floating out there.
Ryan Braun has clearly had the best season amongst NL MVP candidates leading the NL in HRs, RBIs, Slugging, OPS, along with 22 steals and above average defense in LF. Having said that his team isn't having a great year (thanks to their bullpen) and he still has the steroids cloud hovering over his head. Do you think he has a shot at winning the award anyway or is it going to Posey or McCutchen?
David Schoenfield (2:07 PM)
No shot. Probably doesn't finish in the top five. You have to be head and shoulders above everyone else if you're on a sub-.500 team to win it. Braun has been great, but not sure he's greater than Posey or McCutchen.
would you rather pay trout 240mil over the next 10 years or puljos?
David Schoenfield (2:07 PM)
Doug (Los Angeles)
"Yes, I'm incredulous that once it became clear the Nationals were playoff contenders (early on) that they didn't plan this out better." Thanks, I should have mentioned that I always enjoy reading your columns.
David Schoenfield (2:08 PM)
Thanks! Just having a little fun. More fair to rip my English in a column than a rapid-fire chat session!
This whole Strasburg debate is unprecedented, no?
David Schoenfield (2:09 PM)
Hmm, good question ... considering teams didn't care too much about pitch counts until the last 10-15 years, it seems unprecedented. I can't think of another case where a young pitcher (coming off surgery or not) was shut down with his team heading to the playoffs. Anyone?
To Dan in DC, where is the medical proof that if the Nats pitching Strasburg he will end up like Prior or Wood? I have yet to see the stats that support the assumption that he'll be hurt long term pitching an additional 30 innings this year. Who's to say he doesn't blow out his arm again next year despite the innings limit? You can't predict the future, all that is known is the Nats have a legit shot at wining the WS this year with him...and a reduced change (how much up for debate) without him.
Hi David, Can you help me understand WAR. Dickey has a lower whip and better BB/Ratio and better record, More CG and more SO... But Cueto leads by .05 in era and he is 1.5 better in WAR... what gives?
David Schoenfield (2:12 PM)
In their case, I think the difference is all tied to park effects. Cueto pitches in one of the higher run-scoring environments in the NL, while Dickey pitches in a pretty good pitcher's park. In other words, if you allow two runs in a 5-run per game environment, it's more valuable than allowing two runs in a 4.3-run per game environment (or whatever the actual numbers are).
Do you trade Dickey in the offseason if you are Alderson? By the time they are in the playoffs, he will be close to forty.
David Schoenfield (2:12 PM)
That's when he'll be reaching his peak! (I say no. Dickey could have many good years ahead of him.)
Marty (Fairfield, CT)
Nats contend they wanted to give him significant 'off season' rest, and skipping starts wouldnt have mattered. Not saying I agree (I think this situation waters down the game, and the dialogue) but that's what Rizzo's claiming.
David Schoenfield (2:13 PM)
Right, I do sort of understand that. Plus, you can argue that postseason innings have a higher stress level than regular-season innings and thus potentially more risky. Still, how do you tell your team and fans that you're not giving it your all to win the World Series?
Jason (Nashville, TN)
Who do you think winds up with a higher WAR? Strasberg or Medlen? Do playoff performances count?
David Schoenfield (2:15 PM)
No, WAR is calculated for regular season only. According to Baseball-Reference (which we use on ESPN), Medlen is actually higher right now, 3.4 to 3.0. That's how good he's been.
Do you think the Yankees will pull away from the Os and Rays at the end of the season once they get Tex, Arod, Pettitte, and Nova back? They have been killed with injuries if you include Pineda, Gardner, Mo Rivera all missing the whole year.
David Schoenfield (2:17 PM)
I think it's close all the way. Nova is awful, so he's not really a factor. Pettitte, who knows? As for the injuries, I think that's kind of a lame excuse. Think of all the injuries the A's have had -- Scott Sizemore and Dallas Braden all season. Brandon McCarthy missed 10 starts. Cespedes was out a while. They've had to use five different starting shortstops. Bartolo Colon, if you want to include him. And they have the same record.
How does Ryan Braun being on a sub .500 team hurt him more than it hurt Kemp last year? Kemp wasn't head and shoulders above Braun last year, in fact Braun had a better OPS, RC, and their WAR was almost identical yet everyone was up in arms when he won over Kemp just because Kemp was on a bad team. If anything Braun's stats show he's more ahead of the pack this year than Kemp was last year.
David Schoenfield (2:19 PM)
Let me clarify: That's not my argument, that's what happens in the voting. I would have voted for Kemp a year ago since I thought he had the best season. Since 1995 (wild-card era), only six MVPs have come from non-playoff teams. I believe I ran this list last week: Pujols, Bonds twice, Howard, A-Rod and Larry Walker. I think only A-Rod played on a losing team.
Jerry (Rapid City)
Okay, what about trading David Wright? He's actually been pretty bad since the All-Star break. Would you extend him?
David Schoenfield (2:21 PM)
Wow, didn't realize how bad -- .735 OPS. Of course, other teams will know that. Signed for one more year. I just don't think he'll bring a ton in return with just one year left. I'd try to sign him to a long-term. Turn him into the Mets' version of Chipper Jones ... a true franchise player. (Not saying he's as good as Chipper.)
Other factos at play for Dickey vs. Cueto - HRs allwoed (9 or 10 vs 17), stopping the running game (Cueto is incredible). But still - they are so close, so why now factor in a bit of historic context - Cueto is great, but Dickey's season is historic for knucklers - invented anew way to pitch a knuckler and is about to have one of (or the) best knuckling season ever
Justin (Washington DC)
I'll note that most Nats fans are fine with the decision. The hullabaloo seems to come from outside of DC, fans of other teams, and the national media. All people who'd rather see the good playoff story of Strasburg/Harper in the playoffs and don't have any interest in the Nats long term.
David Schoenfield (2:24 PM)
I'm not sure that's completely fair. As the one reader asked, it IS unprecedented to bench a healthy pitcher for the postseason, which is why it is understandably a national story. I'd like see what Nationals fans say if the club loses in the first round of the playoffs when Edwin Jackson gets hammered.
Even giving the park effects. The NL east is tougher than the NL central. who have the cubs and astros playing the Reds for 38 games this year. I just dont see how Cueto (or any reliever who throws 70 innings) can be picked over Dickey of the season ended today
David Schoenfield (2:26 PM)
The two highest-scoring teams in the NL play in the Central -- Cardinals and Brewers (yes, I know, they get to face the Cubs and Astros). Not sure the argument actually holds up that Dickey has faced "tougher" lineups.
The brewers are 4-5 games behind the pirates and Braun's #s are significantly better than McCutchen's.. how does he have not shot?
David Schoenfield (2:27 PM)
Remember, the actual MVP race is half stats and half story line. McCutchen and the Pirates have had a fun story line to their season. Braun has not and thus hasn't been on the radar. Not saying that's right; just saying that's the way it will play out.
Is Edwin Encarnacion a top 10 MVP candidate in the AL?
David Schoenfield (2:27 PM)
He should be, yes.
To Justin in DC, will you still feel that way if the Nats don't make the playoffs for the next ten years and come up just short in the playoffs this year? I think Nats fans are thinking they will make the playoffs every year moving forward...
Hey David! I've been wondering this for a while: if the Reds get to the playoffs, should we go with a three man rotation (Cueto, Latos, and Bronson)? Leake and Homer seem to inconsistent, your thoughts?
David Schoenfield (2:29 PM)
This came up in regards to the Giants. I don't see it, especially since the Reds have a deep bullpen and Dusty can have a very quick hook with his No. 4 guy.
Nora (St. Louis)
Hey, what about Yadi for MVP?
David Schoenfield (2:30 PM)
Solid choice, top five probably on my ballot (if I had one), but hard to put him ahead of Buster Posey, no?
and the rays had to play 50 games with a infield of Pena, Rhymes, Rodriguez and Keppinger. So everyone has to deal with injuries.
John From Rochester NY (rochester, NY)
recently, Keith Law stated "there s nothing the Orioles can do to prove to me they are a good team." I am confused...doesn't winning games make you a good team? We might as well just throw out wins and losses then, and use nerd statistics to simulate every game on a computer. It seems like when a team loses often, they are bad, yet they seem to have to win in a certain way or gain the approval of "journalists" to be credible. I'm pretty sure there is nothing subjective about success: Good teams win the majority of their games. Bad teams lose the majority of their games. Pretty simple concept.
David Schoenfield (2:34 PM)
Well, I'm pretty sure Keith can defend himself, so I would ask him. Like I said earlier, the Orioles ARE better than they were two months ago, when the rotation was full of stiffs. The Orioles have been lucky to a certain extent -- they have the best record of all time in one-run games. That does have something to do with luck; winning one-run games isn't really a repeatable "skill" from year to year. That said, at this point it doesn't matter what happened in April, May and June. All they have to do is play well for 28 more games and they can win the division.
Braun's fWAR is a full point higher than McCutchen and Posey. He's been greater than McCutchen or Posey.
David Schoenfield (2:36 PM)
And B-R WAR has Wright at 5.9; McCutchen, Braun and Cueto at 5.8; Bourn at 5.6; Molina at 5.3 and Posey at 5.2. So ... it's close is what I'm saying. You can't take WAR and use it as a declarative statement.
why does WAR kill Posey's defense so much? I watch him, he's pretty good! It's the only reason his WAR isn't right in line with Braun and McCutchen.
David Schoenfield (2:39 PM)
I'm looking at Baseball-Reference, which has him at zero WAR for defense. Caught stealing percentage is only 27 percent, which is league average (although Lincecum doesn't help in that regard). 21 wild pitches with him, which seems a little high.
Justin (Washington DC)
There aren't any guarantees, but I think they're making a decision that's better long term for the club even if it hurts them this year. And I'm fine with that with a team that's trying to build a generation of Nationals fans in a city that has had little baseball culture. Years of sustained success are needed to do that.And yes, considering that next year was supposed to set up better for the Nats and the young talent they have in every aspect of the game, I do expect the Nats to contend going forward. I think the odds are better for that happening then for the Nationals flaming out and going back to losing seasons, and don't see why the team should make decisions based on a worst case scenario of this being the only shot ever. That could be true, but that's not the most likely scenario.
I"m not sure why I get why Posey is so clearly ahead of Molina. His offensive stats are a bit better (330/405/938 vs 322/377/875), but Molina is regarded as the best defensive catcher in the game. Isn't this a lot closer than people think?
David Schoenfield (2:40 PM)
Yes, after looking at it a little more closely, they're pretty even. I apologize to Yadi fans. Posey does have to hit in San Fran, which probably drags down his numbers a bit well, so the offensive gap may be a little wider than the raw numbers.
Jason (Nashville, TN)
Follow-up to my question comparing Medlen and Strasberg's WAR. If Medlen already has the higher WAR and won't get shut down, why would you list Strasberg ahead of him for Cy Young consideration?
David Schoenfield (2:42 PM)
You had asked about right now, so right now I have Strasburg ahead of Medlen, who has spent half the season in the bullpen. 3.4 versus 3.0 is statistically insignificant so I give the sight edge to the guy who has more innings and been in the rotation all year.
Mike (San Diego)
Hold on a sec...why would wild pitches hurt Posey's case? If it's the fault of the catcher, passed balls should be the stat. Although anything that is up to the official scorer should be thrown away.
David Schoenfield (2:43 PM)
A good defensive catcher cuts down on wild pitches. While the pitcher gets the blame, a good catcher can help, no?
Mike (San Diego)
Just to let you know, you can't say Nova stinks and then use Dallas Braden as an example of a key piece that Oakland has missed this year.
David Schoenfield (2:44 PM)
OK, Brett Anderson just returned to the rotation, so there's that.
This national Strasburg story is a slap in the face to the rest of the Nats. I heard Adam Dunn in an interview say he's most disappointed for Ryan Zimmerman. Disappointed for what exactly? The Nats have the best record in the game and are 6 1/2 games in first. Dunn's "disappointment" is both premature and misplaced. Clinch you own division title first.
Caught two straight games in the recent Jays/Rays series. I'd never seen a game end with an out at the plate live before...and then I saw it two games in a row. Gotta love baseball. Do you have a favourite "I can't believe I saw that with my own eyes" moment?
David Schoenfield (2:47 PM)
OK, here goes. Greatest play I've even seen, bar none. Mariners-Blue Jays, 1985 I believe. Gorman Thomas up, Phil Bradley (former Missouri football player). Thomas base hit, here comes Bradley, here comes the throw (forget who made the original throw). Bradley DESTROYS Martinez at the plate, but Martinez holds on to the ball. I believe he broke his leg on the play. Or maybe his collarbone. Meanwhile, Thomas keeps running. While laying on the ground, Martinez throws to third base, but it goes into left field. For some reason, George Bell is actually backing up the play. Here comes Gorman. Here comes the throw. Remember, Martinez is STILL ON THE GROUND. He can't get up. The one-hop throw goes right into his glove, Gorman tries to dance around the tag, but Buck makes the play. Greatest play I've even seen.
David Schoenfield (2:49 PM)
Here's the box score of that game. Jesse Barfield made the original throw. Thomas out 2-7-2! Martinez out of the year.http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/SEA/SEA198507090.shtml
David Schoenfield (2:50 PM)
And with that ... thanks for another chat session. We may have to change next week's chat to another. I'll let everyone know. Enjoy your baseball!
Dave, I remember listening to that game on the radio as a kid. Yes, Carter's home run was historic and wonderful...but THAT is the greatest play in Jays history!
David Schoenfield (2:51 PM)
I was there. Jays ended up winning in 13 innings, but I believe I had to leave early since my dad to work the next day.
Jason (Nashville, TN)
To answer Andrew in Toronto, I was at the Braves game on Sunday and saw Chipper walk it off the last time I will ever see him live.
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