Hey folks, Hope Jake Peavy is enjoying the weather in San Diego. Let's talk some ball.
Hey Jerry, Was It The Wrong Move to bring up Medlen over Hanson for Atlanta last night?
Ross, It's easy to say that now, since Medlen got cuffed around. But he was 5-0 with a 1.19 ERA in Triple A, so he'd earned the opportunity. I expect that Tommy Hanson will be up sometime in June. A lot depends on what happens with Tom Glavine.
Derek Holland is making the start today in Padilla's place. What do you think of this decision? Is it too soon to throw him into the rotation?
Gordon, The Rangers gave Derek Holland seven games in the bullpen to get his feet on the ground, so it makes sense to plug him into the rotation for a couple of starts while Padilla is on the DL to see how he fares. Holland has a great fastball, but we'll see how his secondary stuff plays the second or third time around the order.
Let's talk Rays and Jays. The Rays bullpen seems to have been a fluke last year and the Jays are fading fast. Can we assume order has been restored and both the Sox and Yanks will be in the playoffs?
Ben, I'm starting to get that feeling, even though I picked Tampa to win the AL East. I was smitten by Toronto in the early going, but you have to wonder how the rest of that rotation is going to fare against the AL East once you get beyond Roy Halladay. We'll see.
Jerry, some of your colleagues are American League guys, and they deem it the better league. What is your opinion and how do you gauge that? Do championship count in your choice?
NL Lover, I grew up in New England following the American League, but I came to prefer the NL while I was covering the Reds in the late 1980s and early '90s. I know some people hate to see pitchers hit, but I like the strategy aspect. I guess I'm just a sucker for the double switch.
Better new stadium, Yankee or Citi?
Greg, The new Yankee Stadium looks exactly like the old Yankee Stadium to me, with better concessions and without the smell of stale urine. I kind of liked the quirkiness of Citi Field, although the press accommodations and convenience of the new Yankee Stadium are pretty sweet.
Any chance Wieters and I can share a cab to Baltimore come June 1st?
Chris, You're pretty young, so I think the Orioles would like to give you a few more starts in the minors. But the more they see of Adam Eaton, the more tempted they have to be to give you a call.
Do you think that Peavy's rejection has any effect on the psyche of the White Sox roster? Will the "it's not you, it's me" excuse hold up for these guys?
Kevin, Well, the White Sox had been stinking it up before this story broke yesterday. If they now cite Jake Peavy's desire to stay in San Diego as a blow to the roster's collective "psyche," that would qualify as the weakest excuse in history. For what it's worth, there's no way I see guys like Paul Konerko, Jim Thome and A.J. Pierzynski falling back on that rationale.
How much do you believe Chicago's unwillingness to pick up that $22 million option on Peavy factored into him killing that trade? Isn't it doubtful it was because of competitiveness, I mean the Sox have had only one losing record (2007) since 2000. How many other teams in the big leagues can say that?
Andy, Jake Peavy likes playing in the National League, and he loves living in California. I know people are instinctively conditioned not to believe agents, but Barry Axelrod wasn't lying when he said that. I think Peavy's first choice is the Dodgers, and after that the Cubs and maybe the Angels. He didn't see any reason to jump at this White Sox trade. Remember, it's the Padres that want to move him to facilitate their rebuilding. I don't think Peavy has any problems with pitching in San Diego.
Jerry, is a 98 mph fastball useless if it doesn't have movement on it?
Bryan, I don't know if it's "useless," but most major league hitters have more trouble with a 92 mph fastball with movement than a straight 98 mph fastball right down the middle. Does the name "Jerry Spradlin" ring a bell?
it seems that ESPN really, for some reason, dislike the CHISOX. Gammons today and Neyer many times in the past had admittedc to go so far as to claiming extreme dislike for the Sox - is it because the Sox represents "blue collar" Chicago and it is better for your business intrest to support the Cubs-why do you and ESPN take such glee in taking down a team with no PED issues, a good and loyal fan base , and have been fairly successful over the last 5 years?
Mike, I can only speak for myself. I always get a charge out of being around the White Sox. Ozzie Guillen and Kenny Williams are the most plain-talking, entertaining manager-GM tandem in baseball, and guys like Thome, Konerko and Buehrle are terrific to cover. If anybody at ESPN has a grudge against the Sox, it's news to me.
what can you say about mauer? if he keeps up these homers, he's got to be one of the best in the game, right?
Nick, I don't even know if I can come up with enough adjectives to describe Joe Mauer at the moment. He's never hit more than 13 homers in a season, so I think this is just a power binge similar to what we saw from JJ Hardy a couple of years ago. I'd be surprised if he hits much more than 20 HRs. But he's still a force both offensively and defensively.
What type of young position prospects could I get for Buchholz or Bowden? Laporta, Gamel, B. Wood, A. Escobar?
Theo, I think you could get any one of those guys for Buchholz, with the possible exception of Alcides Escobar. But are LaPorta, Gamel or Brandon Wood better than Lars Anderson, who's in Double A for the Sox? You guys have placed a premium on pitching, and Wakefield is getting older and Penny won't be around long. So I don't think you're in any rush to deal Buchholz or Bowden. Why would you be?
hello do you think that the giants are going to trade away matt cain?????
Pacifica, Maybe -- if Brian Sabean has a temporary lapse in sanity. Matt Cain is 24 years old and having a terrific season. Why would the Giants trade him?
With how much their rotation and Carlos Carrasco have struggled would it make sense for the Phillies to make a play for Peavy?
Josh, Jake Peavy has a pretty short list of places that he would be willing to waive his no-trade clause to go to -- and I'm pretty sure Philadelphia isn't on it.
Lost in the distaster that has been the DBacks, has anyone noticed the amazing things Justin Upton is doing at the ripe old age of 21?
John, It's definitely gotten lost, between the managerial shakeup and the tragic death of Scott Schoeneweis' wife. But Justin Upton has quietly turned around his season in a hurry. No one ever said the kid lacked the talent to make it happen.
Jerry, do you have any insight on the Brandon Wood situation? Was he cocky in the clubhouse rubbing Scioscia the wrong way? There is no reason he should not be getting regular ABs.
Kevin, I've been around the Angels the last 2-3 years in spring training, and Brandon Wood is anything but cocky. He's respectful of the veterans, and he'll hang around forever signing autographs. I just think someone there is afraid to throw his name in the lineup for 300-400 at-bats and let him work through the inevitable ups and downs. The Angels really have to either commit to him or trade him here very soon. He's going to lose all his trade value.
Are the brewers the real deal?
Ben, If they keep pitching like this, they're going to hang around all season. Bill Castro, the new pitching coach, has been doing a heck of a job so far with that group. And Trevor Hoffman has obviously been a godsend.
Am I the only one completely tired of managers managing to a statistic when dealing with closers? I mean common if Rivera wasn't in line to get the save, do you think they would ever trot him out there with an 8 run lead? Is it that hard for a manager to use their best pitcher when they need him, not when he can get a counting statistic?
Glen, I hear ya. I know the Royals were relieved when the Indians took out Cliff Lee after 8 innings and brought Kerry Wood into the game the other day. If you think you're outraged about it, you should hear my ESPN colleague, Jim Caple, go off on the topic.
Hey Jerry! Do you think my GIANTS will trade one of our pitchers for a quality bat like cantu from Florida or LaPorta form Cleveland? We desperately need a power bat!!
SAL, Randy is 45, Zito has a huge contract, and the Giants would be crazy to move Lincecum or Cain. Look, they're 9 games out in the NL West and they're not going to make the playoffs this year. But they've got Bumgarner, Alderson, Posey, Villalona and some good players on the way, and they're headed in the right direction. Can 't Giants fans be happy with that for 2009?
Hey Jerry! Is Rick Porcello the current leader for AL ROY?
Marcus, He's right in the mix. I know some people love what Elvis Andrus has brought to the Texas infield. Scott Richmond, the independent league refugee, has also pitched well in Toronto. It's early yet, and we'll see a lot of twists and turns in that race.
Jerry, us fans need your help! Once again the owners have ignored our needs (re: territorial blackout restrictions) and the press is paying little to no attention to it. (Save Rob Neyer) Please speak on our behalf and help us put pressure on these clowns to treat us properly!!!
Paul, I haven't written much about it, but I feel your pain. I know a lot of people are really upset about this issue.
What should the Rays do with Kazmir? Should they send him down ala Halladay? He's awful right now.
Jerlyn, Kazmir is scheduled to start against Cleveland on Monday, but he's on a short leash right now. I'm not sure if he has any minor league options left (if someone out there knows the answer, feel free to share it). If the Rays can't send him to the minors, maybe they'll find some "creative" way to put him on the disabled list. He can't hit 90 mph, so it just might be the case that he's not healthy.
Jerry, love your work. How impressed have you been with Rick Porcello? Only 20 years old, pitched just one year of 'A' ball, yet he has a 3.86 ERA and is tied for the most wins for Tigers pitchers a quarter of the way through the year.
James, There's a lot of Rick Porcello love out there today. Obviously the kid is impressive. One interesting thing is that the Tigers have been very diligent about keeping his pitch counts low. He's routinely pitching six or seven innings, but he's only surpassed 90 pitches in a game once, I believe. That bodes well for the second half.
Big Papi is finished no? he's had over 140 AB's this year and he is SLG .324....I guess he makes up for it in the field right?
Gus, I think the old Big Papi -- the perennial MVP candidate -- has left the building. But I'm not sold that the guy still can't hit 20 homers and knock in 80 runs and not be a drag on the entire offense. We all were writing off Carlos Delgado last year at this time, and he went crazy in the second half for the Mets last season.
Are the Tig's the favorite in the AL Central right now?
Steve, The Tigers and the Twins. Cleveland has done a nice job of burying itself. The White Sox are a mess, and I don't think KC has the horses to finish better than third.
kazmir still has two options left, so he could be sent down to Durham for some fine-tuning or overhauling.
Tripp, There you have it. It's always nice when readers respond with the scoop. Given this info, if the Rays conclude that Kazmir is healthy, I don't see why they wouldn't send him to Durham for a refresher course and a deep breath.
Forget his batting avg, it's a mirage. Why does Girardi think Melky is an everyday player? I just don't get it. Maybe you do.
Mo, I think the Yankees have enough offense at the other spots that they can live with Melky in center until Austin Jackson is ready in 2010. But I tend to agree with you. I think Melky is a pretty darned good fourth outfielder.
Hey Jerry, I don't care what anyone else says.... Mauer and Morneau are the best 3-4 combo in the MLB... what do you think?
Adam, Good question. They'd have to be right up there. Off the top of my head, Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder would have to be in the conversation. And so would Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. I'm sure I'm overlooking some others.
Did you really say Gamel or LaPorta could be had for Buchholz? Do you know anything about either of those two organizations?
Steve, Matt LaPorta and Mat Gamel are very good bats, but they're both considered DH types by many. I think that type of player is more readily available than a top of the rotation starter. I guess a lot depends on whether you think Clay Buchholz is good enough to be a future No. 1 or 2 starter. The kid already has a no-hitter in the bank, and he's been lights out in Triple A this year. Let's put it this way: If Theo Epstein brought up the possibility to Doug Melvin or Mark Shapiro, I don't think they'd bust out laughing.
Does Atkins for Washburn make sense for both teams?
Jason, I'm not sure why the Rockies, who seem to be going young, would have much use for Jarrod Washburn in the long-term plan.
I think I speak for all of us when I say that I much prefer the baseball expertise of Steve in Cleveland to Jerry Crasnick. Sorry, bud.
Nick, You're a Boston fan and you're relying on a guy in Cleveland for your baseball expertise? Somehow that one sailed over my head.
Hi Jerry. With Santana, KRod, Wright, Reyes, Beltran, I think the Mets have the best 5 player combo (when healthy) of any team in baseball. Do you agree?
Vorak, You could certainly make a case for the contingent of A-Rod, Teixeira, Sabathia, Rivera and Jeter, couldn't you?
Magglio when he's playing well and Miguel Cabrera isn't a shabby 3-4
Ben, That's the hitch -- Magglio hasn't been hitting very well at all this year.
Youk, Pedroia, Bay, Papelbon and Beckett seem to think differently, and our World Series Rings all agree
Spencer, Thanks for sending along that group as well. They definitely belong in the conversation.
C'mon, Nick (Boston) was being sarcastic. What happened to the pro-sarcasm movement of the late 90's? Are those times just gone forever?
John, Oh, OK. He neglected to use the sarcasm font. Or maybe I was just typing too fast and I missed it.
Justin Smoak, when do we see him called up this year, he is killing it in Double-A, and what kind of impact could he have?
Rob, The scouts absolutely rave about Justin Smoak. I asked Texas GM Jon Daniels about him the other day, and Daniels said there's an "outside chance" he could be up this year. I think 2010 is more likely.
I'd love for Mo in NYC to explain his reasoning behind Melky. His LD% fully supports his BABIP. That batting average isn't a mirage so far.
Steve, I think the anti-Melky argument revolves around the perception that he's not an elite defender in center, yet he lacks the home run pop to play a corner outfield spot. He's still a pretty good player, though.
With Cleveland having buried themselves, do you see them holding a fire sale? Have you heard rumors about DeRosa? If so, where would he be headed?
Dan, There have been a ton of Mark DeRosa rumors making the rounds. If Cleveland stays in the tank, I'm sure he'll be a popular guy over the next few weeks. I'd only be guessing if I tried to tell you where he might be going.
How long until I am starting in Queens?
Fernando, The Mets really want to leave you in the minors until after the All-Star break. If you're really cooking in Triple A, you might get a call then. All things considered, I think they'd prefer to start you fresh in 2010.
Thanks for the spirited conversation, everybody. It was fun. Jayson Stark is up next. Talk to you next week.