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October 11, 8:51 AM ET
Chat with Scouts Inc.'s Keith Law

Keith Law
  (1:03 PM)

So I hear that Chad Billingsley is now blaming the dry cleaner for failing to get the yellow stain out of the front of his pants...

Decimated (Boston)

OK, so I'm probably being dramatic, but suddenly it seems like an era of .500 baseball is looming for the Red Sox. Tampa Bay is good and young, Toronto has some very good pitching, the Yankees will be very good. Meanwhile Papi is cooked, Ellsbury = Melky, Varitek is gone or should be, there are big unanswered questions at short, Lowell can't have much left. Drew, Youk, Pedroia and Bay are fine, but...And then there's the pitching. Buchholz lost his head, Wake is done, Beckett is fading. I should just jump, right?

Keith Law
  (1:03 PM)

This can't be serious, can it?

Ed: (DC)

Who arrives in the big leagues first, Matusz or Tillman?

Keith Law
  (1:04 PM)

I guess that Tillman is the obvious answer, but I think Matusz is going to shoot through that system, at least to AAA. Given his secondary stuff, he should start 2009 in AA.

Patrick (Cheyenne,Wyoming)

Did you consider Cole Hamels a top 10 started in the League, ERA is a little up but not a great pitchers park, he just looks outstanding this postseason

Keith Law
  (1:05 PM)

Top 10 in the NL? Easily.

Jaques (Houston TX)

Hey Keith, any Twins prospects to report on from Arizona?

Keith Law
  (1:07 PM)

Saw Slama, average stuff with good command, could probably be a middle guy in the big leagues. Valencia is something, maybe a bench bat/extra outfielder, but he's shaky defensively at third. They didn't really send their top guys.

Jonathan (Rockville, MD)

Why would MLB and Fox agree to show all of Obama's 30-minute, unfathomably long ad right before Game 6 of the World Series? Can't they start it at 7:30 since they refuse to play the games before 8? Can't Obama pick a different day for his ad? Instead we're stuck with the possibility of a clinching game ending well after midnight or 1 a.m. eastern time.

Keith Law
  (1:07 PM)

Simple solution - don't turn on the TV till 9 pm. You win and everyone else loses.

JR (Vegas)

Klaw, I will be checking out the AFL for the first time this year. What is that BBQ place in the greater Phoenix area you recommend?

Keith Law
  (1:08 PM)

Honey Bear's, near Phoenix Muni. A reader has recommended a place in Gilbert (Joe's, I think), but it's not close to any AFL parks.

Tad (Bakersfield, CA)

Hey Keith. With Weathers being out for the year becaus of TJ surgery, do you see Corpas sliding into the closer's role for the Rockies and if so is the 2007 or 2008 version the real deal?

Keith Law
  (1:09 PM)

I think Corpas is way better than his 2008 version, and they should try to reestablish his value by working him back into the closer role. Unless they overpay Fuentes to re-sign him, they're not looking at a lot of late-game alternatives.

Josh (Cleveland)

I saw you were down on Beau Mills after watching him. What were the problems? He seemed to fair pretty well in a predominantly pitchers league this year.

Keith Law
  (1:10 PM)

At best, he's a bad defensive first baseman with average power. There's a good chance he's a DH with average power, and that's just not a great prospect. I thought he'd show more raw power than this as he got older/stronger, but he hasn't.

Jeremy (Albuquerque, NM)

Tell me what you think about these moves for the Dodgers in the off season; Keep, Penny, Lowe, Manny, Blake, Nomar, and Furcal Trade Pierre, and Jones (for a bag of peanuts if you can get it) and release Bennett, Ozuna, Berroa, Kent, and Maddux.

Keith Law
  (1:11 PM)

I think your "keep" list is beyond their financial means, and Pierre and Jones might have negative trade value - you'd have to be the one sending the peanuts.

Jon (DC)

Keith, why does Buck Martinez continue with the experience meme even after making a comment saying the Rays have shown it isn't important?

Keith Law
  (1:12 PM)

Old habits die hard?

Jon (DC)

What is worse: Jays selecting Romero in front of Tulo, or Rockies selecting Reynolds in front of Longoria (also Lincecum)?

Keith Law
  (1:13 PM)

The Rockies' pick is going to turn out to be worse. Second pick in the draft, they take a 4th-starter type who ultimately gets hurt. Lincecum, Longoria, Morrow, Snider, Kershaw all on the board.

Karl (Chicago)

How is Poreda looking? Are there any other White Sox prospects down there that we should be aware of?

Keith Law
  (1:14 PM)

Poreda looked good, but he was throwing mostly fastballs. The question with him is the development of a second pitch, and he barely used his slider, although he threw one or two that were plus. Gordon Beckham struggled, but I'm not going to read too much into that. Your question implies that they have many prospects to send to Arizona, which would be inaccurate.

Jimmy (Philly, PA)

Ryan Howard has to be the DH during the WS right? I've never seen a first baseman have so much trouble throwing the ball.

Keith Law
  (1:16 PM)

Stairs at first? I guess that might work, since neither Boston nor Tampa has more than one lefty starter. Howard's pretty bad over there, but I don't think it's a game-changing problem for them.

Vince (CA)

Rays or Sox tonight?

Keith Law
  (1:17 PM)

I would feel more nervous about Kazmir at Fenway than I would about Dice-BB anywhere. But who knows - both are capable of putting up a bad start, and I think Kazmir is more capable of putting up a great one.

Phranz, Hazlett, NJ

T.J. Large - other than having a cool name, does he have a spot in Boston's bullpen? Do you think Buchholz rebounds to find a spot in the Sox rotation next year?

Keith Law
  (1:17 PM)

No. Yes.

Neal (philly)

How about Dobbs at first, Howard DH

Keith Law
  (1:17 PM)

Yep, didn't think of that.

KL (philly)

Let's talk Phillies!!!! very excited here, and WS will be fun! great to see Howard go 3-4 last night, Hamels was great, how about shane getting the intentional walk twice!

Keith Law
  (1:18 PM)

I wrote in one of my preview pieces that Torre had become IBB-happy, but this whole series was insane. Manuel wasn't any better. Go ahead and start walking hitters in an AL lineup, guys. See how that works out for you.

Jason (Chicago)

Best hardboiled detective novel: Red Harvest? Big Sleep? Maltese Falcon?

Keith Law
  (1:18 PM)

Red Harvest.

Ross (CA)

Cahill and Anderson or Bumgarner and Alderson?

Keith Law
  (1:18 PM)

Bumgarner/Alderson.

Chris (Staten Island, NY)

Keith, taking into account what it would cost in salary and draft picks, which of the following pitchers would you target and who would you stay away from if you were the Yankees: Sabbathia, Lowe, Burnett, Sheets, Dempster, Garland, Yu Darvish, Mussina, Pettite?

Keith Law
  (1:20 PM)

Darvish isn't available at all. I'd stay 1000 miles away from Garland. No, 10,000 miles. I was debating with two scouts I'm friendly with about Garland's offseason value. I said I wouldn't go over a year; they said he's worth 3-4 years because (I'm massively editing here) he won 16 games and threw 200 innings. So let someone else make that mistake. Sabathia and Burnett are top-shelf, Dempster just below it. Mussina/Pettitte are your one-year filler guys - you get one premium guy, bring one of those two (or both) back, hope that Hughes steps in.

Brett (WI)

Keith, where do you think LaPorta should rank going into next year? Top 10 prospect a reach?

Keith Law
  (1:21 PM)

Top 10 overall? No way.

Ross (CA)

When you are in AZ do you catch any instructional league action or are you strictly there to see AFL play?

Keith Law
  (1:22 PM)

Just AFL. First game's BP starts around 9:30-9:45 am, the game ends around 3-3:30, second game BP starts around 4:30, second game ends around 10 pm. No time to see instructs.

John (Santee, CA)

Have you had the chance to see Cesar Carrillo throw in the AFL? If so, how do you see his recovery from TJ progressing?

Keith Law
  (1:22 PM)

It was disappointing. If that's the best stuff he's going to have, he's a back-end guy in the majors. He threw harder than that with a better breaking ball pre-surgery.

Jack (Toronto)

Can we fine you $10 for Toronto-baiting for calling Burnett top-shelf?

Keith Law
  (1:23 PM)

I don't love the guy and I'd be very wary of giving him the years he wants ... but the stuff is what it is. I'll have writeups on the top 50 free agents sometime after the world series, and he's in the top 10.

Rob (Colorado Springs)

Okay, I keep seeing all of these "Cain for (insert name here" rumors. Why is that? As a Giants fan, I want Cain on the hill every fifth day and haven't read word one from anyone in the know about him being traded. Is this more of a media hyped deal or one with real meat to it?

Keith Law
  (1:24 PM)

I think that's much more about fans of other teams wanting Cain than Cain being available. You could probably get Sanchez (who I think is a breakout guy for 2009), but Cain would cost a mint.

Ryan (Mass)

Laporta 1B or Lars Anderson 1B?

Keith Law
  (1:24 PM)

I'll almost certainly rank Lars over LaPorta.

Ron (MD)

How many top 20 prospects do the O's have right now? 3?

Keith Law
  (1:26 PM)

Wieters is #1 overall. Tillman is not top 20 for me. Matusz ... probably not top 20, but maybe.

George (Cleveland, O)

If you're starting a team and you have to choose: Sizemore or Reyes?

Keith Law
  (1:27 PM)

Reyes. Value of that bat and that speed and that glove at such a hard position to fill.

Brett (WI)

No, not overall! I meant in Cleveland's system, but upon furthur review I suppose the only guys who'd possibly be in front of him are Santana & Mills. Maybe Miller if he wasn't always hurt. So can I rephrase? Is LaPorta a top 5 in Cleveland's system?

Keith Law
  (1:28 PM)

OK, yes, absolutely top 5 in Cleveland ... I'd have him over Mills. LaPorta is probably top 2, since I wouldn't rank him behind Huff.

Trebor, Austin, TX

Assuming Peavy can be bought out of his no-trade - Padres choice of (Holland or Feliz) plus (Teagarden, Salty, or Max Ramirez) plus (Elvis Andrus or Main or other A-ball arm) plus (David Murphy or Nelson Cruz or Mayberry Jr.). Which GM hangs up the phone first? Which GM *should* hang up the phone?

Keith Law
  (1:29 PM)

That's an absurd bounty for the Padres. I think it would short-circuit the very good future in Texas to give up that much talent, especially pitching - if Texas is going to win, it's going to be through big-time pitching depth.

Ross (CA)

Do you think it is ridiculous that some Mets fans argue that breaking up the amazing core of Wright, Reyes, and Beltran would somehow make them better? I don't see the logic there?

Keith Law
  (1:29 PM)

It's not ridiculous. It's brain-dead.

Corey, Boston

Can we put to bed the notion that Jason Bartlett is the second coming of Ozzie Smith? Realistically is he anymore valuable than say Alex Gonazalez, Pokey Reese, Nick Punto, Khalil Green, or any other slick fielding-average bat SS? It's insulting to see a 23 yo soon to be superstar being overshadowed by a soon to be defensive replacemet/fring major leaguer

Keith Law
  (1:30 PM)

Bartlett's pretty good defensively, and I think he's a better hitter than anyone on your list.

Dave, Buffalo NY

Your earlier comment on Mills, is he Ryan Garko in the majors?

Keith Law
  (1:30 PM)

This is my fear.

Matt (Cambridge)

With Alonso the 1B of the future in Cincinnati (apparently), does it make sense for the Reds to shop Votto or does the team move one of them to the OF?

Keith Law
  (1:30 PM)

If Votto can play the outfield, sure. But I'm not confident he can, and they need LF for Encarnacion, who is brutal at third.

Curt IL

So, based on your response to Karl--does that mean Kenny Williams Jr. and Jordan Danks aren't at the AFL?

Keith Law
  (1:31 PM)

Well played.

Jason (Ann Arbor, Michigan)

Who's the worst scout you've ever met?

Keith Law
  (1:31 PM)

Fellow by the name of Harold Hill. He's out in the midwest - Illinois, Iowa. His biggest problem is that he doesn't know the territory.

Jesus (CA)

how far has Robert Stock's uhm, stock, fallen?

Keith Law
  (1:32 PM)

I'd say there's probably a loss of $500K between what he would have gotten out of high school and what he'll get now, and that could end up more like $800K if he has a mediocre spring.

Vince (CA)

when the Sox season closes out either tonight or sat, what do they need to do to not get pushed to the side the East, with the Jays coming up and the Yanks spending?

Keith Law
  (1:33 PM)

The Jays aren't coming up - their rotation is a mess for next year, and their young talent is all in A-ball. Worry more about the Orioles. As for the Yankees, they'd have to spend a lot to catch up with the Sox in 2009.

Harry (FL)

Worst scout ever??? Gotta be the guy who thought it would be a good idea to draft Brien Taylor #1 for the Yankees, right?

Keith Law
  (1:34 PM)

He may have been the best high school pitching prospect of the last 20 years. He got hurt in a freak incident. Hard to kill the Yankees for that one.

Callum (London, Ontario)

When scouting a player, what are some of the common tip-offs that a player is injured?

Keith Law
  (1:35 PM)

Loss of a major skill - drop in velocity, loss of definition on a breaking ball, sudden drop in power. Changes in mechanics - lowered arm slot, slower bat speed, unable to keep front side/throwing shoulder closed. If you're hurt, you compensate, and it should show up somewhere.

Patrick (Chicago)

KLaw! Love the chats. What do you make of Dan Cortes's awful start in the AFL?

Keith Law
  (1:37 PM)

He's further away than I would have thought a month ago. He's still pretty raw. I've also heard that his off-field issues are ... well, they're something to consider when valuing him.

Gary (Ottawa)

Which prospects are most likely to make the most impact in 2009?

Keith Law
  (1:38 PM)

Wieters, Price, Rasmus, LaPorta, Schlereth.

Matt (Chicago)

How did James Shields get the nickname "Big Game James" that TBS threw out there? Did he have awesome post-season #'s that I missed?

Keith Law
  (1:38 PM)

I hope he's paying Javier Vazquez royalties on the use of it.

jw(nh)

fwiw - ate at Butter on Tuesday and, while I've always enjoyed her as a judge on ICA, I'm now looking forward to watching The Cooking Loft...you know, for the next time you're looking for a restaurant in noho.

Keith Law
  (1:39 PM)

Thanks, that's on my eventual hit list for NYC.

Nev: Stroudsburg, PA

Buon pomeriggio. Can you rank these players and give an idea of what to expect at the MLB level? Dexter Fowler, Colby Rasmus, Cameron Maybin & Andrew McCutchen. Grazie.

Keith Law
  (1:40 PM)

Rasmus, McCutchen, Fowler, Maybin. All legit centerfielders. McCutchen probably has the most upside remaining. Rasmus is the highest-probability.

mike (woodridge)

Schlereth? the espn football analyst? who does he play for? still the redskins?

Keith Law
  (1:40 PM)

His son, Daniel, is a power LH reliever in the Arizona system.

Telemachus (Thessaloniki, Greece)

Keith, Do you see any of these trade scenarios being viable and smart for the Brewers? Hart + (Weeks or ?) = Cain Hardy + (Hart or ?) = Peavy Hardy + (Hall or Weeks/?) = Revere + Blackburn Or Hardy = Davis and Hellickson Thanks

Keith Law
  (1:41 PM)

The Cain and Peavy ideas are not realistic for the Brewers. The Twins seldom trade their prospects, and I'm not on Blackburn at all - fringe-average stuff and can't miss a bat. Tampa doesn't need Hardy, nor do I think they'd take a SS who isn't good defensively.

Rod (Chicago, IL)

How many books do you expect to read going forward that will crack the KLaw 100 and is the KLaw 100 always being evaluated or will it be updated on a scheduled basis?

Keith Law
  (1:42 PM)

I read 50+ novels a year, so I'm sure the list will need an update. I'll probably revisit it every year.

Jon V. (Cleveland, OH)

Would O Hudson and A Cabrera be the best defensive 2B/SS combo in baseball?

Keith Law
  (1:43 PM)

Every defensive metric I've seen had Hudson below the median this year at 2b.

Rick (Boston)

Hi Keith, When can we expect your top prospects list? How many will you have this year? Top 50? Top 100? Can we get a preview of your preliminary top 5?

Keith Law
  (1:43 PM)

Probably in January again, another top 100. It's too early to put something like that together when fall leagues are still going on.

Mike (San Diego)

Peavy for Rasmus and change. Who wins?

Keith Law
  (1:44 PM)

Depends on the change.

Bobby (Chicago)

I want to read some baseball books in the offseason. What would be your top 3? I'm looking for more of the business, talent side of the game as opposed to great baseball anecdotes, etc? Thanks Keith!

Keith Law
  (1:45 PM)

I always recommend Lords of the Realm by John Helyar. Veeck as in Wreck is pretty good. But most baseball books I've read haven't been as good as the average novel I read.

Mike (NYC)

K-Law, was wondering if the bad pitch selection you saw from Lidge early in the Brewers series is still there. Is he going to blow up in the WS?

Keith Law
  (1:46 PM)

Kemp's flyout last night is probably out of most ballparks - certainly out of Philly. He's been a little shakier than I'd like a closer (or leveraged reliever) to be in the the playoffs.

David (Colorado)

Are you aware how many folks are presently googling "Harold Hill" scout and completely confused?

Keith Law
  (1:47 PM)

That just makes my day all the more complete.

matt (IN)

Keith: Love the chat. What kind of a career do you see for Blue Jays farmhand Zach Dials? I know he is in Arizona and a two time Minor League all-star. Does he project in your opinion?

Keith Law
  (1:48 PM)

Not off what I saw. Supposedly he has a good splitter, but he didn't throw it.

Vince (CA)

can you forsee any fringe or sub-par teams making the jump to contention next year?

Keith Law
  (1:49 PM)

Arizona and Cleveland are the most likely sub-.500 teams to contend. I suppose Texas could arrive early, but I really doubt that 2009 is the year.

Kevin (Redding, CA)

Anything going on in Arizona that will get A's fans excited, despite dreading another sub .500 season in 2009?

Keith Law
  (1:50 PM)

Donaldson's bat looked great. Guys like Bailey and Gray will pitch in the big-league pen in 2009. I'm still a skeptic on Doolittle - I know he was insane at high-A, but I don't think there's corner-spot power there.

Donald Williamsville,Mo

Can Braves involve a Jeff Francouer in a deal for Peavy?

Keith Law
  (1:51 PM)

Who would want Francoeur? He's awful and he's been regressing. And his attitude on his demotion to AA was just lovely.

Nick (Boston)

So what, in your opinion, would be the result of a Rays/Phillies WS? Red Sox/Phillies?

Keith Law
  (1:52 PM)

I would always take an AL team over an NL team until we see some evidence that the leagues are closer in talent.

Danny(Philly)

How's Jason Donald looking down there?

Keith Law
  (1:52 PM)

He's fine at third base and should hit for average and get on base, but I don't see him hitting for the power you want from a 3b.

P.D. (Indy)

Maddux's appearance last night got my dad and me discussing his chances of becoming the first unanimous HOFer -- basically, does any rational anti-Maddux argument exist? Everyone says playoffs, but he had a 2.12 ERA in 38.2 World Series innings, and from the '95 NLCS through the '99 WS, he pitched in 12 series and never posted an ERA higher than 3.00 in one of them. (And it's not like he never was on a Series-winning team.) Plus there's his ridiculous run from '92-'98, his deceptively good strikeout total (and solid K/BB ratio), his longevity, his reputation...

Keith Law
  (1:53 PM)

There is no rational anti-Maddux-HoF argument. None.

Jon V. (Cleveland, OH)

Can you please set the record straight so the Atkins talk can stop for the Tribe. He makes too much money, has horrible home/road splits, has been spending more time at 1B and would cost a lot to get. Did I miss anything?

Keith Law
  (1:53 PM)

He stinks at third. Nope, we're good.

Cheng (Boulder, CO)

Keith, who's been the most impressive at the AFL?

Keith Law
  (1:54 PM)

Carlos Triunfel.

Rick (Cincinnati)

How about Homer Bailey for Rickie Weeks? Reds could move Weeks to CF.

Keith Law
  (1:55 PM)

Depends on Bailey's health, but sure, it makes sense - my disappointment for yours.

Jack (Toronto)

So make the case for why Maddux won't be unanimous. Is it simply some voters refuse to put a guy in on his first ballot?

Keith Law
  (1:57 PM)

Yep. Some say it explicitly. Some make up phony reasons to exclude qualified guys. What was the anti-Ripken argument?

Mike (Mpls)

Not a big deal since it's a one game difference, but Cleveland actually wasn't a sub-500 team last year.

Keith Law
  (1:57 PM)

You're right - they were under .500 for so long I forgot that they reached it.

Ray, Burlington, NJ

Klaw-thanks for the chat. Where do you think Heyward and Jarrod Parker will land in your prospect rankings?

Keith Law
  (1:59 PM)

Heyward's probably top 10. Parker will be around where he was last year. Just a general note - I haven't even started sketching this out yet, so these ranking estimates could all change.

Brett (WI)

Keith, speaking of Bailey, how do you see his stuff playing up out of a pen? Is there any possibility of him ever pitching an 8th or 9th inning?

Keith Law
  (1:59 PM)

I don't think he'll ever command the ball well enough for highly leveraged work. He throws so far across his body that he can't repeat it.

Chris (Madison, WI)

I heard you recommended Craftsteak in Vegas. What did you have? Also, where did you eat in Milwaukee and what did you think?

Keith Law
  (2:01 PM)

I went with a big group, so I got to try a number of things - the best was the short ribs. Plus all the desserts. I did a long Milwaukee eats post on the dish - best place was probably Cempazuchi.

Joe (Tampa)

Come on Klaw, you keep posting these absurb trade proposals but don't have an opinion on the Shields - Kaz switch??

Keith Law
  (2:02 PM)

I've answered that in a few places ... I don't like Kazmir in Fenway, I think Shields' home/road splits are overblown, and I think whoever did the umpiring assignments for MLB should be fired for assigning Cousins to a Tampa series.

Jon V. (Cleveland, OH)

Keith: saw your AFL blurb on the Indians' participants - are they going to run into a problem down the road with Mills, LaPorta, and Hodges all destined for 1B?

Keith Law
  (2:03 PM)

One can DH. You could probably put Hodges in left. I admit that that is a bad defensive club, especially if Peralta's at short.

Ed (Boston, MA)

Keith, these a lot of a talk up in Boston about how the Red Sox are turning into a 'white' team. Is it just me or is it a little stupid on those writers parts considering the Sox have a few mixed group of Hispanic players (Ortiz, Lugo, Cora, Delcarmen, Lopez), Japanese (Matsuzaka, Okajima), a Native American (Ellsbury), Canadian (Bay) and an African American (Coco). It looks to me like this really isn't a 'white' team just because the Sox traded Manny and cut Tavarez this year.

Keith Law
  (2:04 PM)

As I said on the radio, they're hardly the whitest team going, and there's no evidence that this is more than random chance. It's not like they have a pattern of trading minority players for white players.

Flemming (Copenhagen, Denmark)

Really, what did Cal really do besides playing 2632 straight games? Nothing I couldn't do with one hand tied behind my back......on a more serious note, how does Austin Jackson stack up to Rasmus, Fowler etc.?

Keith Law
  (2:05 PM)

Behind both of those guys, especially at the plate. He's just coming along more slowly than I figured.

Tim (Baltimore)

Should Orioles fans be happy with the way Brandon Snyder's playing in the AFL? Is he finally earning the 13th pick in the draft?

Keith Law
  (2:05 PM)

His bat is promising. Not sure where he plays ultimately, but he has a good swing, is pretty short to the ball unless it's down in the zone, and has above-average raw power.

Tim (KC)

Klaw... who is the worst MLB'er who gets regular playing time??? My vote is on Ross Gload... his OPS is terrible!!! When are the Royals going to get a clue?

Keith Law
  (2:06 PM)

Tony Pena. No question. Stick him on the mound already.

Jay (Burbank)

Can you say a few words on Jake Marisnick? What kind of a player is he at this point and how far behind Donovan Tate is he?

Keith Law
  (2:08 PM)

Good contact hitter with a polished approach. Power isn't there yet and he's not a good runner. I like polished high school hitters, but his upside may be a little low. Tate's in a totally separate class as an athlete.

Bryan- MA

If Junichi Tazawa were to sign with an MLB team, who would be the favorite for his services?

Keith Law
  (2:08 PM)

Red Sox have been linked to him for several weeks now.

Dan (Washington DC)

What's your take on the Dodgers-Phillies series? Did the Dodger youngsters choke? or was it a matter of inexperience? Billingsly seemed to have his stuff and then all of a sudden it was gone. What happened?

Keith Law
  (2:09 PM)

Phillies have a good lineup, and the Dodgers' good pitching didn't really show up. Billingsley was truly awful, despite #1 stuff. Torre mismanaged the pen again. The Good Brett Myers showed up.

Jeff NPR FL

Flemming needs to go look up what Cal did between 1982-1991. 16.6 WARP3 in 91 is what 2nd highest alltime?

Keith Law
  (2:10 PM)

He was kidding.

Dan (Portland)

You mentioned how good Carlos Triunfel looks. What position does he ultimately end up playing? Any other M's having a good fall?

Keith Law
  (2:11 PM)

He's playing 2b in Arizona - not sure if that means they've given up on him at short, where he was probably stretched but hardly incapable. The concern is that he's going to get bigger and perhaps outgrow the middle infield. Kahn was there and threw hard, which is what he does. Moore was supposed to come to Arizona but got hurt at the last minute.

Jonny (LA)

Dan Murphy at 2B? That can't possibly work, can it? Does he wind up as kind of a supersub this year for the Mets?

Keith Law
  (2:12 PM)

I think it's a stretch, but we'll see after he gets a few weeks at the position under his belt.

kris st louis

brett wallace can he play third

Keith Law
  (2:13 PM)

It's a stretch that he'll play there in the majors. His lateral movement is limited, but he has the arm and moves in on balls well. The question is whether he costs you 10 runs a year or 20 at third. Ten you can live with, twenty probably not.

Dave-PA

Keith, Is it just me, or did I remember Ryan Madsen only throwing 90-91 with his fastball? Right now, he has the best stuff out of the 'pen for the Phillies and hitting 96-97 consistently.

Keith Law
  (2:13 PM)

92-96 for me last time I saw him. He was only 90-91 as a starter, but I think he's always been 92+ out of the pen.

John (SF)

What are your thoughts on Henry Rodriguez? Do you think he stays in the pen after the A's moved him there midseason, or does he still have a chance to be an impact starter? When I saw him in Stockton, his secondary offerings were still very raw (although his change had potential) and he was living off his fastball.

Keith Law
  (2:14 PM)

Absolutely a reliever, between the delivery and unlikelihood he'll have good enough secondary stuff.

Alex (Knoxville, TN)

Who would Junichi Tazawa best compare to?

Keith Law
  (2:14 PM)

Never seen him.

zach (Brooklyn)

Isn't the kind of hero worship Brett Myers has been getting this postseason disgusting given what Tim McCarver said about Manny - who never beat his wife up outside Fenway, whatever his faults, or what others were saying about, say, Milton Bradley or Lastings Milledge all year?

Keith Law
  (2:14 PM)

What's the difference between Myers and Manny/Bradley/Milledge? I can think of one thing...

Jon (Chicago)

Love your work Keith. How would you rank these 3 starters coming out in this years draft? Who has the most upside, fastest to the majors, etc.? Crow, Gibson, White

Keith Law
  (2:15 PM)

Strasburg is tops overall. Crow might be next-fastest to the majors.

Brett (WI)

Keith, my girlfriend & I LOVED the chicken paillards recipe you have up on the dish now. Thanks for that! Can you give us a few of your favorite spots to eat around the AFL? Or blog about it sometime soon? Thanks!

Keith Law
  (2:15 PM)

Check the archives - I didn't do a new post because I've written up Arizona three times before.

dave (erie,pa)

todd frazier - starting thirdbaseman, starting SS, Starting LF, or bench player?

Keith Law
  (2:16 PM)

Not an infielder. Starting LF or bench player. Still want to see that big hitch play at higher levels.

Brett (WI)

Keith, didn't Ackley just have TJ surgery? Will he be ready for the start of the season? Will he see more time at 1st or in CF? Thanks.

Keith Law
  (2:16 PM)

CF, and the expectation is that he'll be ready to go.

Victor (NYC)

Did you see any of Hughes' two starts in AFL? He won the pitcher of the week award, for whatever that's worth. Also, who projects better, Austin Jackson or FMart?

Keith Law
  (2:16 PM)

No, I went to Scherzer's start the first day, and was home by the time Hughes pitched again. Martinez > Jackson.

Keith Law
  (2:17 PM)

Nick in Boston: No politics questions here, sorry.

Greg (DC)

Who would you say is the single-worst defensive player among major-league regulars?

Keith Law
  (2:19 PM)

Edwin Encarnacion comes to mind. Hawpe. Cantu. Ibanez.

Tom (Simi Valley, CA)

After Monday's game, Shane Victorino was interviewed by Fox and was asked about Matt Stairs. Victorino said Stairs was a "professional hitter." Only thing is, right before that, Stairs was interviewed and said his approach as a hitter is to try and hit the ball over the fence. My question is, what exactly is a "professional hitter" and can you tell me one player who is NOT a "professional hitter"?

Keith Law
  (2:19 PM)

They're all professionals as long as they're getting paid.

Robert (Houston)

Keith, sorry if this is a stupid question, but will any coffee grinder do for grinding spices? Do you need one special for spices?

Keith Law
  (2:20 PM)

I just use a cheap blade grinder. Don't use it for coffee, though.

Andy (Fairless Hills, PA)

What about best fielder, Alexis Ramirez?

Keith Law
  (2:20 PM)

$5.

Swayne (Delmar NY)

Keith, will the Yanks reverse their recent practice of not dealing top prospects to acquire major league talent? Is Joe the Plumber a legit prospect?

Keith Law
  (2:20 PM)

I think the top guys remain unavailable, but the second tier is available. I wouldn't be surprised if an Ian Kennedy was dealt. Tabata was moved when he slipped from tier one to two (or five).

Charlie (Bethesda, MD)

Are there any Nats in the AFL or did Bowden think the season was over when Bon Jovi's team won the championship?

Keith Law
  (2:21 PM)

Every team is required to send 7 players. Not every team is able to send 7 prospects.

Ryan (Boston)

Getting involved with the office fox: bad idea or terrible idea? And is it worth it anyway?

Keith Law
  (2:22 PM)

"Fox?" I feel like this is a chat session from 1978. I'm going to say terrible idea, and I can't speak to the second part.

Malcolm, Boston

Keith -- Saw you were reading about the new Pumpkins album. Are you going to see them in Boston on 11/14? I just bought my tickets.

Keith Law
  (2:23 PM)

I've seen clips of them playing live - many times - and they always sound awful, particularly Corgan's voice. I think I'd want to clean my ears out with steel wool after an hour of that.

Jack (Lexington, Virginia)

I know you've gotten a lot of Tribe questions today, but one more--where do Weglarz and Huff rank overall? (not just in Cleveland's system)--are both in the top 100? top 50? What do you expect from them going forward? Thanks-

Keith Law
  (2:23 PM)

You know, you're right, Weglarz is at least top 3 in that system. I like him over LaPorta long-term.

Rory(Sacramento)

Isn't it somewhat fun that the clutchest starting pitcher in history, and the clutchest hitter in history are both playing terribly right now? Do you think they lost their clutchiness?

Keith Law
  (2:24 PM)

Neither guy is healthy right now. Being healthy in October can be as important as being good.

Easton (IN)

Any thoughts on David Freese? He was certainly impressive last season after skipping AA. Is his glove as good as some say? Does he replace Glaus in 2010? Thanks, Keith?

Keith Law
  (2:24 PM)

Utility infielder.

Linus (chicago, IL)

Will we see Vitters at 3B replacing Aramis in the next few of years?

Keith Law
  (2:25 PM)

2011, maybe.

Rory(Sacramento)

Would it be advisable for the Yankees to sign Furcal to a 3-4 year deal, and then move Jeter to RF or CF? If not Furcal, who would you recommend they look for?

Keith Law
  (2:25 PM)

My understanding is that Derek will move off shortstop when Derek says it's OK.

Andrew (NJ)

In your scouting report of the phillies you wrote that chase utley was a below average baserunner. Can you elaborate on your rationale? I watch a ton of phils game and he goes first to third just as well as anyone

Keith Law
  (2:27 PM)

I wrote: "Jayson Werth and Chase Utley are both high-percentage basestealers, even though Utley is a below-average runner." So I said runner, as in running speed, not baserunner, which includes instincts, jumps, etc.

Ryan (Boston)

What is Justin Masterson's actual future, starter, leveraged reliever, or 120 inning super reliever?

Keith Law
  (2:28 PM)

Either of the last two. Would love to see him become a real 100+ inning reliever ... longtime readers know I'm obsessed with finding a guy to fill that role. Too bad the last candidate turned out to be a ridiculously good starter...

Ryan (Pittsburgh)

I saw your discussion of the worst scout above, and felt it necessary that we give proper representation to whomever it was in the Pirates organization who graded Danny "The middle reliever" Moskos over Matt Wieters last season, since the Pirates continue to insist that they had Moskos graded higher then Wieters and it was not about salary.

Keith Law
  (2:29 PM)

I think that was about money. My problem, however, is that for the same coin they could have obtained a better prospect than Moskos, like Matt Dominguez, whom they had in for a workout earlier that week. Or Jarrod Parker. I don't understand what scouting philosophy puts Moskos over those guys.

Joe (Ithaca)

Can you describe what you picture the 120 inning reliever's role would be?

Keith Law
  (2:29 PM)

2-3 innings a stint, 2-3 times a week. Would really only work with a guy who pounds the strike zone and gets quick outs - like Masterson.

Gus (NY)

I hate your anti yankee bias its absurd, I dont know why I read your chats where you bash yankee prospects...first of all they WILL spend a lot of money second of all they did pretty well without Wang a guy who won more games than anyone over the 2year span before this season and they have some pretty good pieces including the best all around player in the world....im rambling because i'm outraged how can you not see them back in the playoff hunt next year?

Keith Law
  (2:31 PM)

We were doing so well ... I guess someone always has to ruin the party by bringing cheap whines. Seventh-best offense in the league, going to get older. Unclear who's even in the rotation beyond Wang. Those great pen arms weren't as great the second or third time around the league. And I'm sorry, but I'm not just going to gift them with Teixeira Sabathia and Burnett.

Todd, Chicago

you said vitters maybe in 2011 replacing ramirez... what does Vitters project to be in the majors at this point? Just a longer development period for him than his star contemporaries?

Keith Law
  (2:32 PM)

Exactly, but I think he's an All-Star bat at third. Another Cub fan asked about Colvin - definitely a fourth outfielder.

Brett (WI)

Keith, what are the odds that anyone not named Soto or Longoria gets a single vote for ROY? Are they both unanimous winners, or are there too many bias writers who have votes (Mags for MVP???)?

Keith Law
  (2:33 PM)

Magglio for MVP ... how embarrassing was that? Alexei may snag a few votes, or Aviles one in KC. NL it would be hard to see Soto getting less than the full 32, although maybe someone tabs Jurrjens.

Evan

Kyle Blanks ETA? For Pads or someone else?

Keith Law
  (2:34 PM)

2010, probably someone else. He's not playing anywhere but first.

Jeremy T (Canandaigua, NY)

I am a Yankees fan and even I know Gus is wrong...missing the playoffs this season was overdue, in my opinion...I thought it would have happened 2 years ago. We need to get younger position players...what do you think of Kennedy for Votto?

Keith Law
  (2:34 PM)

I'd probably do that if I was the Yanks, but the Reds should hesitate - not sure I like Kennedy in that park with a bad defense.

Victor (NYC)

If Joba sustains another injury in '09, he would a prime candidate for that role, no? Any chance Strasburg falls in the '09 draft (for eligibility or whatever reason) and falls to the Yanks at 27b/28 or am I just dreaming?

Keith Law
  (2:36 PM)

You're dreaming. And I don't think a guy with regular shoulder problems (I'm not saying Joba is that guy, but you're asking what if he is) is a fit for my uber-reliever role.

Linus (Chicago, IL)

Do you ever feel a bit odd judging and grading people as prospects? I know it is done everywhere, but it can't be easy for a struggling 21 year old to see some of the criticisms being published about them and their play all over. ("I may be a C prospect, but i am an A human being" type reaction.)

Keith Law
  (2:37 PM)

I hate doing it to amateurs, especially teenagers. They are reading, or their parents are, and I think my 2008 draft coverage was better in terms of taking it easy on the criticism of amateur players than my 2007 coverage was.

Harry (FL)

What "should" Kershaw's projection be given his minor league resume: definite #1 or a solid 2/3?

Keith Law
  (2:38 PM)

Definite #1, considering stuff as well as resume.

John (Houston)

Do you think the Braves will move their starting SS two years in a row to fill other holes? Lillibridge had a down year in both AAA and MLB, but do you think he could be a better long term option than Escobar?

Keith Law
  (2:38 PM)

Lillibridge is a utility guy for me. I'd rather roll with Escobar.

Jeff, New Haven

But Harold Hill uses the "Think System" for scouting. No points for that?

Keith Law
  (2:39 PM)

La de da de da de da ... la de da ... la de da...

Keith Law
  (2:39 PM)

Thanks for all the questions. I'll be back next week!