Hey guys, Cliff Lee goes for 22-2 tonight against the Royals. Who could have ever envisioned that? Let's get chatting.
HOW DOES JAMIE MOYER DO IT? ITS AMAZING
Nick, Moyer is a better athlete than people think, and his attention to detail is amazing. I was in Philly this year sitting in the dugout before a game, and someone pointed out that Moyer was behind the cage at second base, carrying a big white bucket and retrieving the stray balls. It's a part of his routine that he just insists upon doing. Nobody makes more out of less than Moyer. He should be an inspiration to the young pitchers on that staff.
What have you heard about Daniel Murphy's ability to play the infield? He definitely can hit, but can he hit with enough pop to play a corner outfield position everyday? He is supposed to go to AFL to try to learn 2B since he has mostly played 3B. Your thoughts please.
Eric, I checked an old Baseball America Prospect Handbook, and they talked about Daniel Murphy's footwork issues and limited mobility at third base. That certainly doesn't bode well for his transition to second. It's worth a shot for the Mets, I guess. But they still have an awful lot of Luis Castillo's contract left to eat. I have a tough time seeing Murphy becoming the next Jeff Kent at second.
Roy Halladay has been a better pitcher than Cliff Lee. Why hasn't he been recognized? What's up with the infatuation with pitcher wins?
Jason, I'm as big a Roy Halladay fan as anybody, but Cliff Lee's ERA is about a half point lower, and there's not a huge difference in the rest of their stats. Halladay has more innings pitched and strikeouts, but Lee has allowed 28 walks in more than 200 innings. Geez. When it's this close, I think a guy who's 21-2 has to get the edge over a guy who's 18-10.
Hi Jerry. I'm really interested in the Pedro Alvarez/Scott Boras debacle that is going on right now. How is the hearing progressing?
Bradley, In tortoise-like fashion, it appears. There were only two witnesses in the first session this week, and they're going to have to wait a while because the arbitrator, Shyam Das, doesn't have a lot of holes in his schedule. We could talk about this some more. But I wouldn't expect a resolution for a while.
Will prince fielder be on the trading block this offseason? with the brewers two best pitchers most likely leaving this offseason wouldn't i make season o trade a major asset that we also probably won't be able to sign down the road for more quality pitching?
Justin, I suspect the Brewers will listen on Prince, but he has three years to go until free agency, so I don't see him going anywhere for another year or two. Prince's numbers are down this year, and some people think he's testy because his early contract talks with the Brewers haven't gone well. They're not going to lock him up to a long-term deal, a la Ryan Braun, because Boras probably won't go for it. So it's more a question of "when" rather than "if" they'll trade him. But I don't think it'll happen this winter.
How long will Hanley Ramirez be able to stay at SS?
Brandon, Ramirez's error total is still high, but according to some defensive analysts, his play at shortstop has improved this year. He gives you so much extra offense over there, it helps make up for his defensive shortcomings. I think he has a few more seasons left in him at SS.
With the yankees still having a core of Jeter, ARod, Posada, Matsui, Nady shouldn't they look to deal Cano for a #2 or #3 type pitcher as well as sign CC. Then you are looking at a potential rotation of CC, Joba, Wang, whatever you get for Cano, and Pettitte/Mussina. That would no doubt be the best staff in baseball.
Sean, I just took a look, and Robinson Cano is a .261 hitter with a .295 on base percentage this season. He has one stolen base, and he's one of the worst defensive second basemen in the majors this year. It's hard to see another team surrendering a No. 2 starter for a guy with that statistical portfolio. Sorry.
RE: Halladay & Lee, you also have to consider the lineups they have faced. Sheehan did a write up showing that Halladay's opponents' EQA has been much higher than Lee's.
Jason, I respect Joe Sheehan a lot, but I think it's tough to penalize Lee based on the caliber of lineups he faces. I can buy wins and losses being deceptive and even overrated, but 21-2 for a crappy team is still 21-2.
Have the young Twins just hit the wall? Has the over-reaching in hitting with RISP caught up to them?
Mike, I think it's more a case of a suspect bullpen catching up with them. They've suffered a bunch of excruciating losses in the late innings, yet they're still hanging around. And that three-game series with the White Sox later this month is at Minnesota. I wouldn't rule the Twins out just yet.
Am I weird, or I am the only one who does not care about K-Rod breaking Bobby Thigpen's saves record? I mean, come on...saves are very overrated...especially the one that he got last night! Have a good weekend!
Brian, I think it's fair to say that the rest of America shares your lack of euphoria over K-Rod's accomplishment. The interesting question is, will a club be willing to give him $70-75 million for five years when he hits the free agent market this winter?
Can you talk about the Astrot for a minute and how they've made this totally unexpected run at the playoffs?
Sprung, I've looked at that team, and frankly, I have no idea how the heck they're doing it. They've got Roy Oswalt and Randy Wolf in the rotation, Lance Berkman is having a fine year and Jose Valverde is a very good closer, but Cecil Cooper seems to be getting an awful lot out of the Ty Wiggintons and Geoff Blums. They're just one of those clubs with a lot of tough-minded professionals (like Erstad, Blum, Loretta, Wigginton et al) who seem to be willing themselves to victories. I think they're a mirage, but it's still been fun to watch.
Lincecum can wrap up the Cy with 2+ more QS's right? I mean, if writers vote for C.C. its making the argument that 3 months of C.C. is more valuable than 6 months of Lincy. Thats not defendable, and B-Webb has come up short when his team needs him the most.
Jaymin, I thought Lincecum had a strong case for the Cy Young even before Webb hit the skids. Sabathia has been great and all, but it would be a crime to slight Lincecum considering how well he's pitched all year for that team.
You touched on the Alvarez subject earlier. What is your opinion on the case and what do you see the outcome being?
Patrick, There's so much contradictory information floating around, it's hard to separate fact from fiction. If I had to guess, I can see the arbitrator giving Alvarez a choice of either accepting the Pirates' $6 million, or going back into the draft. I have a tougher time seeing him declared a free agent. His reputation is taking some dings, and that's unfortunate. But if he's as good as everybody says, this will be just a blip in his career. Jason Varitek's early draft ordeal certainly didn't kill his career.
David Wright finally gets his NL MVP this year, right?
Josh, I've been a Pujols supporter all along, and I haven't changed my mind yet. The Cardinals won't make the playoffs, but they still have a pulse, and that's because of Pujols. I have to think the preponderance of candidates in New York (Wright, Reyes and Delgado) is going to hurt the Mets in the balloting.
Seriously, The Indians are +41 in run differential and are not above .500? What is going on here? Obviously we have had a run of injuries but come on...every other team + in run differential is above .500 (except Zona). WHAT GIVES with these guys?
Osick, Hey, remember 2006, when the Indians finished 78-84 despite scoring 88 more runs than they allowed? It must be something in the water in Cleveland. That team can put the Pythagorean theorem on its ear like no one else.
Mets go after K-Rod or a corner outfielder this summer? and if outfielder who is available?
John, You mean this winter? They're the obvious K-Rod choice, although Omar Minaya will probably be skittish about giving a closer that many years for that much money. There are a bunch of veteran corner outfielders on the market this winter. To me, a guy like Raul Ibanez would fit in nicely with the Mets. At least, better than people like Pat Burrell, Bobby Abreu or Adam Dunn.
What would be your solution to the Astros/Cubs hurricane cancellations?
Chris, I haven't checked the rest of the teams' schedules, so I'm not sure how they'll proceed. Let's wait and see what Houston looks like after Hurricane Ike passes through. Obviously, all our thoughts and best wishes are with the folks there.
Jerry, love your work. Pedro Martinez isn't coming back, Oliver Perez may leave New York for big money and Maine is going to have offseason surgery on his shoulder. Should the Mets consider moving Aaron Heilman out of the bullpen (where he has struggled this year) and into the rotation? How about a run at Derek Lowe, who seems like a good fit?
Dan, It's a pretty good winter to be in the market for a starting pitcher. After Sabathia, you've got Sheets, Burnett, Lowe, Kyle Lohse, Jon Garland, and Mussina and Pettitte, among others. With all that quantity, some of these guys might actually be signable for a reasonable price.
Cecil Cooper... Manager of the Year...?
Garrett, Not unless they make the postseason. But if they do, Cooper has a pretty good shot. Right now I'd still lean toward Jerry Manuel, provided the Mets make it. He had an awfully tough job turning that thing around, given the injuries and the atmosphere leading up to the Randolph firing.
Jerry, if the Dodgers get deep into the playoffs and with a small fortune coming off the books next year, to you see Manny staying in LA, particularly since the media scrutiny is non-existent here?
Dennis, If the Dodgers make the postseason, the people there will be clamoring for Frank McCourt to sign Manny. Of course, that'll mean eating an awful lot of salary for Andruw Jones and/or Juan Pierre. But keep in mind that Manny is represented by Scott Boras, and he's going to parlay this late surge into as big a bidding war as he can create. Manny won't be giving LA any hometown discounts. It'll play out as one big soap opera this winter, I'm sure.
Which NL pitcher is 4-1 with a 2.5 ERA down the stretch????? BILLINGSLY!!!
Carter, It's not Brandon Webb or Dan Haren, that's for sure.
i understand pujlos is hitting .360 but his home run and rbi total is by no means mind blowing(33, 100) and he is playing on a 4th place team...any chance if he keeps it up delgado has a legit chance for MVP?
Mike, I look at Pujols' .465 on base percentage as a huge factor, but I'm not sure the voters will agree with me. Delgado has a compelling storyline -- veteran player who turned it on at midseason after being written off and helped carry his club to the postseason. But it's tough to argue that he's any more important to that club than Wright or Reyes.
Say Boston and the Twins both make the playoffs - is it Morneau or Pedroia for MVP?
Todd, I'm leaning toward Pedroia. His OPS is very good for a second baseman, he's an excellent fielder, he's 17 for 18 in steals, and that team really needed him this year with the injuries to Ortiz and Drew and the departure of Manny. To me, there's not much to choose between Mauer and Morneau in Minnesota. They're both very important to that club. (Then again, Kevin Youkilis should also finish in the top 10 for the Red Sox.)
Jerry.. Where would a Rays WS win place in the all time great baseball stories in your opinion?
Bryan, Gee, it would have to rank up there with the '69 Miracle Mets, wouldn't it?
Come join us Jerry...wins mean very, very little.
21st, I think they're deceptive in Daisuke Matsuzaka's case. But are you telling me that Cliff Lee and Tim Lincecum don't deserve Cy Young Awards after going a combined 37-5 (with tremendous secondary numbers) for those two clubs? Get real.
Shouldn't Pujol's reaction to Ryan Howard winning the MVP in 2006 discourage writer's from voting for him? He trashed writers for voting for Howard because he believed the MVP should only come from a playoff team!
Guinness, Hey, it wasn't the classiest thing for Pujols to say. But just because he's wrong doesn't mean the writers should follow suit. Again, it's not as if the Cardinals are 40 games out and have been an afterthought since April. They've hung in pretty close to the end.
Jerry, should Brian Cashman take the blame for the yanks woes the last five years. The pitching has been a question mark for a while and he never did anything to adress it. Also should the yankees sign hi to an extension or should they look somewhere else.
Kenny, Cashman placed a bet this year on Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain and Ian Kennedy, and it failed to pan out. But what if he had gone out and signed, say, Carlos Silva to a $50 million deal? We won't know whether he was right or wrong until the young NY pitchers get another season or two to prove themselves. Keep in mind that Cashman has always operated under difficult conditions in New York. And it's not likely to get any easier with Hank Steinbrenner in charge.
When will baseball create a new award for top offensive player? Call it the Willie Mays Award or something. This will help avoid the Delgado vs. Pujols arguement this season.
Dan, They already have it -- the Hank Aaron Award. Prince Fielder and A-Rod won it last winter and were awarded it during the World Series. I guess most people weren't paying attention.
Sizemore or A-Rod for AL MVP. Morneau isn't even the best MVP candidate on his own team - Mauer is. The MVP should go to the best player period.
Jason, Grady Sizemore has had a terrific year, but I'm not as high on him for MVP as some people. He hit .221 in May when the Indians were in the process of falling out of contention. I don't think that helps his cause any.
Thanks for the emails, everybody. Jayson Stark is up next. Let's talk again next week.