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April 8, 8:57 AM ET
Chat with Keith Law

Keith Law
  (4:03 PM)

Got nothin'. It just sucks.

Coop (Orlando)

Keith, not going to lie, but today is just a terrible day for baseball. I wish what happened upon no one, baseball player or not.

Keith Law
  (4:06 PM)

And by the way, two other young people died in the same accident. Six parents (I presume) are going to have to bury their children in the next few days. Those three people will never get a chance to live, to make a difference, to have children, to do anything. I don't care about Adenhart's baseball ability or what he might have been had he played a full career. I'm upset because three people died before getting a chance to live their lives.

Ryan (College Station)

Does Adenhart's unfortunate death kill the Angels chances this year since he would be the 4th starter missing from their rotation?

Keith Law
  (4:06 PM)

Wow, tackiest wording of the day goes to ... Ryan from College Station.

Daniel (st. louis mo)

Carpenter just went 6.2 innings without a hit. If he is for real do you think they can make a run at the divison? Rasmus had a nice debuet too.

Keith Law
  (4:08 PM)

Yes. Belief that Carpenter will give them ~20 high-quality starts was a big reason I picked them to win the WC.

Adam (Roselle, IL)

Keith, so I have to ask. You said Mark Ellis would be the most underrated player in the AL this year. His OBP was .321 last year, .336 career and his defense is not THAT good. Is there something I'm missing?

Keith Law
  (4:09 PM)

Case in point. His defense is that good, he's a better hitter than he was last year when he played hurt, and the ballpark pushes down offensive value. But I can see you underrate him, so you wouldn't understand.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

As a father, today's news really upset me. Three lives lost and another in the driver that is pretty much over. This may sound harsh but I really hope that young man spends a good chunk of his life behind bars.

Keith Law
  (4:09 PM)

They should release the other driver and give him a pass to the Angels' clubhouse for Friday's game. And then lock the doors.

Big Show (NYC)

Thanks for the chat on such a sad day. Thoughts and prayers go out to all of the families involved. On a lighter note, any thoughts on ASU's Josh Spence? He's having a hell of a year.

Keith Law
  (4:10 PM)

I wrote him up a month or so ago on the draft blog. Fun to watch. Not sure it's going to play in the majors but I'd throw a 4th-round pick at him to see.

John (Chicago)

Please let me know where you think Mychal Givens will be taken in the draft, and whether you think he should be a pitcher or shortstop in the majors.

Keith Law
  (4:11 PM)

Pitcher, probably a reliever. He can't hit. He might go in the first round but I would not take him there.

Noonan (Philly, PA)

Will Adam Lind continue his nice start and play up to his potential this year?

Keith Law
  (4:11 PM)

Yes.

Keith Law
  (4:12 PM)

And if you had read my breakouts piece, you'd already have known the answer.

Matt (St. Louis)

When are you going to rail against the laissez faire attitude towards Joba (and other) athletes DUI's as it relates to this, especially vis a vis steroids?

Keith Law
  (4:13 PM)

Did it two years ago when La Russa was so hammered he passed out at the wheel. I pointed out that he should be given a choice: rehab or resignation. A month later Josh Hancock killed himself by driving drunk. And nothing has changed.

Curtis (KC)

Can you finish "Lonesome Dove" already? I know it's long, but come on. Kyle Davies: are you a believer?

Keith Law
  (4:14 PM)

45 pages left. I should be reading that instead of talking to you. Yes, Davies was a late cut from the breakouts list. If I'd gone to 15 names he would have been on it.

Will (Milwaukee)

Keith, where do you project Mikie Minor in the draft and what's his ceiling as a pitcher?

Keith Law
  (4:14 PM)

3rd/4th round. He's a #4 starter tops. Average to fringe stuff with fringy command. Good track record in the SEC does help his draft stock. I think he's more Sowers than Price.

Keith Law
  (4:15 PM)

Just a note: If your question isn't worth posting, changing your name while submitting the same question isn't going to make any difference. If you want me to answer you, ask a better question.

Dan (DC)

Are Pie and Adam Jones pretty similar players? Guys who don't walk a lot, strike out a lot, moderate power, decent fielders, pipe dreams of 20-20 seasons?

Keith Law
  (4:16 PM)

I wouldn't call it a pipe dream in Jones' case - I think he's one of the most physically talented players in the game, and his strikeouts are going to come down with experience.

Joel (KC)

Kyle Davies just finished his 7th shutout inning this afternoon against the White Sox with 8 strikeouts and 2 walks. After his nice September and strong spring showing, are these real reasons to be optimistic about what he can accomplish this year?

Keith Law
  (4:17 PM)

I didn't see him this spring, but was told by a scout and an exec who did see him that he had a much better curveball than he's had in the past. A tangible change in repertoire is a credible explanation for a sudden improvement in performance.

Pete (StL)

La Russa blew a .093. While driving drunk is driving drunk, you don't pass out from that. Many have suspected it was that with the combination of some medication. And I'm not giving him a pass at all. Just pointing out that there has to be more to this story than was released.

Keith Law
  (4:18 PM)

He drank. He drove. And he passed out at the wheel. It doesn't matter if there were other factors - if he's stone sober, does he pass out at the wheel? I doubt it.

brendan, kingstown ri

if the nat's were to draft strasburg and bring him straight to the majors, is there anything to stop them from trading him straight to a contender? i understand it would be near impossible to get equal value for him, but hypothetically could they do it? is he ineligible to be traded for a year post-draft even if he's in the majors?

Keith Law
  (4:19 PM)

You can't trade a player until one year after he signs his first pro contract.

Chris (Dallas, TX)

Caught your hit on ESPNews earlier about Adenhart. Just wanted to pass on a kind word that you handled it nicely.

Keith Law
  (4:19 PM)

It's really not an easy thing to discuss. Had I known the kid personally, it would have been different.

Jason (Atlanta)

Is Groenke considered a true #1 in your eyes? (if not now, then down the road?)

Keith Law
  (4:19 PM)

Yes. Moreso than Meche, certainly.

Coop (Orlando)

After 2.5 games of the Indians-Rangers series, are the Indians really this bad or are the Rangers really this good/underrated?

Keith Law
  (4:20 PM)

It could also be exceedingly early to make judgments about players or teams.

mymrbig (New Orleans)

Ryan Berry's (P - Rice) hot start had some people buzzing about him moving into the 1st round. Now he's been out 3 weeks and probably won't pitch again until May. Would a strong finish allow him to move back into the top 2 rounds, or has the injury scared everyone off? If you were his agent, would you recommend returning for his senior year if he doesn't get picked in the top 3 rounds to get a bigger bonus (even if he has less leverage). PS - please don't say anything about him being a "Rice pitcher". That knock ended in 2005 when Coach Graham really curtailed the pitches his starters throw.

Keith Law
  (4:22 PM)

I like Berry and would have taken him (in theory) late first or sandwich, but I don't think he'll get into the top 3 rounds unless he's dynamite in May, which isn't likely since he'll be rusty, if he pitches at all. He could be a "summer follow" - get drafted late, pitch on the Cape, sign in August for way over slot. As for Graham's shredding of arms, he hasn't had a big arm to shred since he ran Townsend, Niemann, and Humber into the ground.

Jon (Tulsa, OK)

Assuming Votto moves to LF in the next year or two to make room for Alonso, how does he profile there?

Keith Law
  (4:22 PM)

Badly. He's a first baseman.

Keith (SD)

K-Law - what is your preferred vantage point to scout players in person? I'm assuming directly behind home plate for pithchers, but is this also true for hitters? Also, RIP Nick Adenhart...

Keith Law
  (4:23 PM)

I move around - behind the plate to evaluate pitches, up the line to see the open side for hitters, up either line (or both) to watch deliveries. The videos I've been shooting give you those perspectives.

Viktor (Azusa, CA)

You buy into the Dodgers don't have enough pitching mantra? McDonald should be an adequate 5th starter right? And on the probable chance that Wolf breaks down in a couple months there should be some options on the trade market, so is they're starting staff any more of a liability than the next team?

Keith Law
  (4:25 PM)

I like McDonald quite a bit and am glad they gave him the job - minor league hitters just don't hit him, and the stuff is good enough to play in the majors. I mean, sure, they could use another starter, but couldn't just about every team in the majors? Boston, Tampa ... okay, that's the list of teams that probably have enough starters.

Drew (Ashburn, VA)

Klaw, Sorry for the long post, but looking for some clarification about Neil Walker. Why did the Pirates move him to 3b to begin with? Is his bat good enough for a corner? With some reps at catcher could he become a lesser Brandon Inge and become some sort of super utility type for the Buccos? Would the new regime be better off doing this with him? And was he a first round talent when he was drafted or just another Pirate mistake?

Keith Law
  (4:26 PM)

They took the local guy. I don't believe he was going in the top 20 if they didn't take him, although I couldn't say that for sure. Might be a better question for Jim Callis. Either way, the kid can't catch and he can't play third.

Matt (Blue Bell, PA)

Keith, what are your thoughts on the Mariners moving Aumont to the bullpen to get him on the "fast track"? Seems like they are rushing yet another prospect and not letting him just develop. Thanks!

Keith Law
  (4:30 PM)

That's pretty much my take. If they want to just keep his innings down, have him start on strict pitch or innings limits every fifth day. Having him throw an inning at a time isn't going to do squat for his development, and if this is a permanent move it's a waste of his potential.

Brian (Jersey)

If Bryce Harper were eligible for this draft would he go ahead of Strauberg?

Keith Law
  (4:31 PM)

I doubt it because of their time to the majors. Strasburg is ready now. Harper might need a week or two in the minors.

Joseph (Sacramento, CA)

Can you please tell me why Dukes in not playing every single day in the Nats OF? Milledge cannot play CF and Kearns, well that is all I should have to say about him. Can you give me some explanation into this line of thinking? Thanks, because I know I am not a smarter baseball person than Acta, Rizzo and Kasten, but this decision makes me question that.

Keith Law
  (4:34 PM)

I'm not sure I get it either. I know Kearns had a good spring, but ... um ... don't 2008 and 2007 count for something too?

Anderson (Sao Paulo)

o contrato que Gary Sheffield asigno com os Mets e so para 400k. Os Tigres deven 14M para ele. Poderia a signado para mais dinhero este ano? Por exemplo, ele podia te asignado para 3M com os Mets e ainda pegado os 14M dos Tigres para o total de 17M. O e que ele nunca podia pegar mais de 14M para este ano?

Keith Law
  (4:35 PM)

No, se os Mets dao $3MM a Sheffield os Tigres deven somente $11MM.

Tim (Birmingham)

Regarding Aumount, do you buy into the strategy of having starters become temporary relievers in the majors until they get their feet wet?

Keith Law
  (4:36 PM)

Yes, that's a different matter. You leave guys as starters in the minors so they can work on their repertoires, build arm strength, learn to go through an order 2-3x (that is, get the same hitter out in different ways, unless it's, say, Khalil Greene, and a pitcher can get him out three straight times on sliders low and away). But the leap from the minors to the majors is large enough that breaking in a starter as a long reliever (not a one-inning guy or a specialist) makes developmental sense.

steve(pa)

i know you are not big on giving fantasy advice, but i thought i'd just ask the following anyway. would you take Porcello or Davies for 2009?

Keith Law
  (4:37 PM)

I don't like to give the advice because I don't play the game, so I worry that my advice will be too far off the mark. Bearing that in mind, I think Davies is the better bet, particularly because Porcello may not miss a ton of bats, and the defense behind him is not so much.

On Behalf of KLaw Fans Everywhere!!!

I'm holding my breath until The Dot Com reinstates the mandatory KLaw chat EVERY THURSDAY AT 1PM (face turning red)

Keith Law
  (4:38 PM)

I was on a plane. Supposedly it had wi-fi but I couldn't get it to work. I wouldn't mind being the first ESPN guy to do a chat from 35,000 feet.

Chris (Dallas, TX)

Admit that you only posted that question to show off your Portuguese skills. Pretentious!

Keith Law
  (4:38 PM)

I am horribly pretentious - have you seen my pretentious Facebook page? I did it to see if I could still do it. My Portuguese is apparently shot. I needed some help to put together a simple sentence.

sim (stockton, ca)

do you see raphael rodriguez making his debut in short-season salem-keizer this year?

Keith Law
  (4:39 PM)

No, I can't imagine he'll go anywhere but the Arizona Rookie League. He's 16 and raw like sushi.

Scott (Tampa, FL)

Keith: Can I get your take on Brett Anderson? You said in the top 100 prospects piece that he's a mid rotation guy with a chance to be a #2 or even a #1. What does he need to reach that potential, and how likely is it that he does so? Thanks.

Keith Law
  (4:40 PM)

He's better than I thought - throwing harder this spring with if anything better command. If he pitches like he did the day I saw him, with four average or better pitches and plus command, there's not much more he would need to do.

Grant, Winnipeg

Any thoughts on today's starters: Pavano's 1 IP 9R, the debuts of Romero and Porcello? Seemed like Romero did ok.

Keith Law
  (4:42 PM)

I saw none of it since I was travelling - I walked in the door 15 minutes before this chat started - but I guess I didn't need to see Pavano get lit up to know that he'd get lit up. Doesn't look like Porcello pitched badly - 2 ER through 5 with 8 groundouts/3 air outs, then gave up two in the sixth. Hey, breakout boy Adam Lind homered again. Good times.

Jeremy (NY)

Do you watch The Office? Are you going to catch Mike Schur's Parks and Recreations tonight?

Keith Law
  (4:43 PM)

Ah, thanks for reminding me. Must set Tivo.

Keith Law
  (4:43 PM)

Insulting me ... also not a good way to get yourself into the chat, Dave.

Nora (St. Louis)

You said you think Carpenter will provide 20+ high quality starts. Do you think he will be back into Cy Young form?

Keith Law
  (4:44 PM)

I think he'll be great when he pitches. I am more worried about how often he'll pitch than I am about how well we'll pitch.

ScoreKeeper(Lancaster)

RIP Nick Adenhart. KLaw, I asked you a few months ago about who was coming to Lancaster to play for the team. You said Jason Castro. Please for the love of competitive baseball, please say that team has someone else.

Keith Law
  (4:45 PM)

I'd be lying if I called them prospects, but Chris Hicks, David Duncan, and Lo Chia-Jen are interesting.

John, Toronto

KLAw, you buying into these rumors (via Joel Sherman) of the Jays thinkin gabout dumping Rios and Ryan on the Sox to potentially clear salary room to re-sign Halladay? I can't see it, as I really think management believes the Jays can make a run in 2010...

Keith Law
  (4:46 PM)

It wasn't a rumor. Joel Sherman was offering his own predictions of what would happen this year.

Ken (Baltimore)

Better all-around hitter: Carlos Santana or Buster Posey, Justin Smoak or Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas or Josh Vitters, Austin Jackson or Aaron Hicks?

Keith Law
  (4:46 PM)

Santana, Smoak (that's a tough call, though), Vitters, Hicks.

Trevor (reno)

My wife is brazillian she can help with portuguese skills

Keith Law
  (4:47 PM)

You are a lucky, lucky man.

Jeff (Madison WI)

By the way, the answer to your twittered question the other day is "amoral criminal"

Keith Law
  (4:47 PM)

I was leaning that way myself.

Bo (New York)

Just want to say I'm glad the Angels called off their game tonight, there are more important things than baseball for them tonight. That being said, what kind of year do you see Anderson and Cahill having for the A's?

Keith Law
  (4:48 PM)

Definitely the right call. I'm sure some of those players were close to him, too. It's not going to be easy to go to work, to see his locker or other things that remind them of him. I know they're players and they're paid to do this, but they're still human and it's going to take a while to come to terms with Adenhart's death. I'm more sanguine about Anderson this year than Cahill. I just think he's more polished and has more weapons to fall back on if needed.

Jason (NYC)

Do you have a dislike for Vanderbilt? Seems like you are always knocking there players.

Keith Law
  (4:49 PM)

I hope you didn't go their. I thought that David Price fella was pretty good. Still do.

Dave San Diego

HA, sorry about that! Do you think with the questions regarding the Braves 'pen we might see Jeff Locke make an appearance at the Major League level this year?

Keith Law
  (4:50 PM)

I think Rohrbough would be more likely. He might project as a reliever when it's all said and done anyway.

Joao (Brasilia)

Not to be the spelling Nazi but it should be (I'm impressed nevertheless): "Nao, se os Mets tivesem dado $3MM a Sheffield os Tigres deveriam somente $11MM." There are other ways though.

Keith Law
  (4:50 PM)

There is no way I was messing with the conditional tense on that.

Dan (Bridgewater, NJ)

If Percival gets injured, is Wheeler or Balfour the new Closer?

Keith Law
  (4:50 PM)

Is that a question or a wish?

Jason (Atlanta)

True of false: Buchholz is the most talented pitcher in the Red Sox organization.

Keith Law
  (4:51 PM)

Including the majors? No. If we're lumping Buchholz in with the minors, then yes.

Christopher, Staten Island

Ugh, you twitter and facebook. And I had so much respect for you with your reading, baseball knowledge and language skills...

Keith Law
  (4:52 PM)

It's the world I live in. Even Jayson is on twitter now. In fact, Alyssa Milano follows him ... and not me! This is devastating.

John Boy (Cincinnati)

Reds have Joey Votto. Reds drafted Yonder Alonso. As Nancy Kerrigan once asked, WHY?????

Keith Law
  (4:52 PM)

They felt he was the best player available. I don't know that I disagree, but given how close Alonso probably is to the majors, they're going to have to figure a way to cash one of them in pretty soon.

Travis, Canada

Keith, what do you think of the Yahoo Sports article that has certain NFL clubs using Facebook, by creating fake accounts/profiles to check out potential draftees, similar to what a non-sports related employer might?

Keith Law
  (4:53 PM)

That violates Facebook's TOS. Way too shady for me.

John (Naperville, IL)

The pitchers in the upcoming draft have been thoroughly covered. Who are the best 3B/SS prospects?

Keith Law
  (4:54 PM)

Grant Green, who might be more 3b than SS. Jiovanni Mier is the best high school SS. Best HS 3b is probably Matt Davidson; Bobby Borchering probably ends up at first base, and I like Davidson's bat a little better anyway. Richie Shaffer is a HS 3b in Charlotte, but he just broke his hamate bone, and he was considered a tough sign before that.

Joe

Have you seen Luke Bailey- the HS catcher from Georgia. Is he considered a better prospect then Susac, Maddox, Stassi, (etc.).

Keith Law
  (4:55 PM)

I'm supposed to see him again either next week or the week after. He's better than Susac or Maddox.

Bob (Tinley Park, IL)

No love for Bowden or Bard (over Buchholz)?

Keith Law
  (4:55 PM)

No.

Chris AZ

heading to bianco for dinner tomorrow I can not wait, what was your favorite thing you had?

Keith Law
  (4:56 PM)

The pizzas are amazing, and get the insalata caprese to start.

Brigg (PA)

What do you think of Adam Eaton getting booed at the Phils ring ceremony yesterday? Bad taste or justified?

Keith Law
  (4:56 PM)

He did? Bad taste.

Mac (Philly)

LaRussa has given up on Motte as the closer already. Reyes got the save today in a 2-1 game. That's a great way to instill confidence in the youngster. Rasmus also went 0-4 today. I expect him to be sent to Memphis by tomorrow.

Keith Law
  (4:57 PM)

No, no, TLR is infallible. He's even allowed to drink before he drives. You can't question his wisdom!

josh boston MA

Hey KLaw as a brewers fan how good could Parra potentially be? In each month of 08 his K's went up , his walks went down and his groundballs went up before his arm went dead in August. Could this guy be a 15 win 180 K guy?

Keith Law
  (4:58 PM)

He could be a low-3s ERA guy. I think he's a potential stud if he has the stamina to go 200 innings, and he's a shutdown reliever if he doesn't.

Ben (South Side)

You seemed higher on Getz than most other analysts. Any particular reason why? Does he have a long-term future or just a useful stopgap?

Keith Law
  (4:59 PM)

Good utility guy. That's Gordon Beckham's job, unless they move Alexei to center.

Lou, US Navy

KLAW, over the last few chats several question have been asked, comparing Posey to a top level prospect, and you always chose the other prospect. Do you not believe Posey is a top level prospect, or do you believe he is over rated up to this point?

Keith Law
  (5:01 PM)

I had Posey #2 in last year's draft and #8 in all of baseball this winter. But I think Santana is a better offensive player, which was the question asked of me. If we're including defense, I think Posey is the better all-around package.

Kevin, Boston

Ever read any Pat Conroy? Just read Lords of Discipline and loved it. Does Papelbon's over reliance on his fastball scare you as much as it does me?

Keith Law
  (5:02 PM)

The Water is Wide was good. Cute, not all that profound, but good. And yes, it does.

Ben (Charlotte)

Who are you picking to win the Masters?

Keith Law
  (5:02 PM)

Why would I pick a winner in an event about which I couldn't care less?

robert cola, sc

Can Salty break out in 09 or wait til 10?

Keith Law
  (5:03 PM)

He was also on my list of breakout candidates for 2009.

Rich (RTP)

Is there enough in the Phillies' system to make a run at landing Peavy?

Keith Law
  (5:04 PM)

Absolutely. Donald, Marson, Brown, and maybe a lower-level arm - I have to imagine that would do it. The Padres would get an everyday ss, a near-term everyday catcher (whom I imagine they love because of his plate discipline), a high-ceiling guy in Brown, plus another guy. And the Phillies would still have Carrasco, Taylor, d'Arnaud, etc., so it's not as if they'd be gutting the system. The question is more whether Peavy is worth that package of prospects than whether the Phils could land him.

Keith Law
  (5:05 PM)

OK, sorry for the short chat this week but I have to run. Thanks for the questions.