Hey folks, I'm in Baltimore working on a couple of stories, and looking forward to seeing Matt Wieters' ML debut tonight. This city hasn't been this excited since the invention of the crab cake.
So far so good but is Reimold the real deal or the next Kevin Maas?
Bill, I was at the game last night and the kid has sick power. His swing is kind of long and he's going to strike out a fair amount. I'm sure pitchers will be throwing him a lot of breaking balls soon enough. But he drew his fair share of walks in the minors. I think he's a legit 30-homer guy.
Hey Jerry, thanks for the chat! All the buzz in Baltimore right now is over Wieters, but I must say I have been THRILLED with Reimold since his promotion. What are people around the league saying about Reimold so far?
Greg, See above answer.
Whats the deal with Raul Ibanez? He turns 37 in a few days and is on pace to shatter all his career marks. Is he going to keep this up? What are his end of season numbers going to look like?
Bill, I don't mean to rain on Ibanez's parade, but there's no way he's going to keep this up. That said, he can have a mediocre final four months and still hit .300 with 35 HRs. I think the Phils will take that.
How about young David Hernandez? Got the win, but didn't get the Ks he was getting at AAA? Thanks!
Chris, He used his changeup a lot and pitched out of several jams. If anything, that's more impressive because it showed his poise and maturity. With Chris Tillman getting closer and Wieters coming in tonight, the fans in Baltimore are really starting to have reason to get excited. It's about time.
Jerry - What are your thoughts on Pablo Sandoval and his ceiling offensively?
Linton, He's such a great bad ball hitter, but he has to hit .330 every year just to have an OBP of .350. Most of the scouts I've talked to think he's a 15-20 HR a year guy. They also think he should be playing first base rather than third.
Hey Jerry, your book was a required reading for my sports management class, I just wanted to let you know it's by far the best required reading I have ever had!
Jeremy, Hey, thanks for the "License to Deal" plug. We don't get many of those anymore.
Jerry which team do you feel is most likely to deal first?
George, Well, I have to think Billy Beane is spinning through multiple scenarios in his mind right now. The A's immediately spring to mind.
Have you talked to any baseball people about Roy Oswalt? Is he just off to a slow start or is his heavy workload in the past catching up to him?
Tim, Jayson Stark mentioned in his Rumblings column that some baseball people think Oswalt just needs a change of scenery. There's a school of thought in baseball circles that undersized righties also don't hold up as well over time, but I don't think Oswalt is ready to fall off the cliff just yet. I'd still take the guy.
how good are the dodgers in your opinion? and are they going to keep winning at this pace?
Luis, They're pretty darned good. I'm just amazed at the lift Juan Pierre has given to that team. It's great to see. My big question, like everybody else's, is whether they have the kind of dominant starting rotation that can go deep into October. But when you look around the National League, there aren't many teams that have pitched better.
Hey do you think that my indians could add a starting pitcher at the trade deadline? How about Bedard? We have the prospects to do it, and in the central the indians can really contend with a rotation of Lee, Bedard, Pavano, Carmona, and Westbrook.
Aaron, Last I heard, the Indians didn't have a whole lot of money to spend. If they can trade DeRosa for an arm, I think they'd do it. But I don't see them as a prime candidate for Bedard.
With Glaus' return in question, Cards are supposedly looking for RH bat. Any chance they land Carlos Lee, Jermaine Dye, or Michael Cuddyer?
Troy, I think the Cards have to figure out third base before the outfield, which is why Mark DeRosa might make some sense. I guess they're bound and determined not to call up Brett Wallace this season, although I wonder if that might change.
What is going on with Reyes when is he coming back and will he be at full strength?...can the Mets make a run without Delgado?
Jack, I'm pretty sure Jose Reyes will be back late next week -- at which point I assume he'll be at full strength. The Mets are just looking to hold the fort at first until Delgado comes back, and I don't think they feel their trade options (e.g. Nick Johnson) are much better than what they already have in Daniel Murphy and Fernando Tatis.
Hi Jerry. What do you make of the NL Central race? Can the Reds hang around with the likes of the Brewers, Cardinals and Cubs throughout the course of the season?
Brian, They'll hang around because of their pitching, but that team really has a crying need for a RH, run producing bat.
Jerry, Cincinnati: Contender, Pretender or ask you in 10 days (vs. MIL, STL and CHC)?
Nick, Don't mean to weasel out on this one, but I really do think we'll have a better idea what the Reds are made of once they pass through the upcoming NL Central gauntlet.
Hey Jerry, I think the AL Central is going to be Twins and Tigers back and forth all summer with the other teams falling back.... Your thoughts?
Adam, I agree with you. I picked the Twins in spring training with the expectation that Joe Mauer might come back and make a contribution. I'd have to say he's surpassed expectations so far, wouldn't you? As for the Tigers, that rotation is looking terrific. But a lot depends on whether Bonderman comes back, whether Willis can keep it up, and which Armando Galarraga they're going to get.
What do I do now that I only have 3 starters? Do I call someone up from the minors or do I have enough prospects to make a big trade or even two?
Ruben, I'd have to think you'll give Antonio Bustardo a shot before you pull a trade. You've got some prospects to deal (Marson, Carrasco, Donald, et al), but you might have to bankrupt the system to get a real impact arm.
OK last attempt...Adam Jones an all-star?
Jason, Yep, he is for me, so far.
With the Giants in need of a corner OF, would a Cain for Hart swap work??
Greg, Yeah, it would work -- for Milwaukee. Matt Cain is a 24-year-old horse who's finally getting a little run support and having a great year. Corey Hart is a nice player, but he has a .797 career OPS in right field. I think Doug Melvin would make that trade yesterday if he could.
One more try, are the Reds buyers or sellers come the trade deadline? I want to see them keep Nix/Gomes in LF instead of going after a "big bat"
Mike, I think they're "selective buyers." Any team with Walt Jocketty in charge and Dusty Baker in the dugout is going to go for it, but I don't think they're going to trade a couple of really good prospects for, say, Jermaine Dye.
Would the Reds be wise to deal Yonder Alonso for a bat like Matt Holliday since they already have Joey Votto?
Rick, No, I think that would be short-sighted. Wouldn't they try to stick one guy in left field and continue the youth movement? That makes more sense to me.
Hey Jerry. The Brewers have been rumored as one of the teams who may look to trade for Jake Peavy. Hypothetically, if he were waive his no trade clause and accept a trade to the Crew, what would it take to get him? Thanks.
Ryan, I've said this before, but I think Jake Peavy loves playing in California more than people realize. Given his desire to stay in the NL, that would make the Dodgers the leading candidate (at least in my estimation). But I don't know if those two rivals could work out a deal in the next month or two. That said, I think Milwaukee is a real longshot.
Career-wise, who do you feel has been the better all-around player: Jason Varitek or Jorge Posada?
Derek, Wow, great question. I'd probably have to go with Posada, based on his superior offensive production over the long haul. These guys are such great professionals, it goes beyond the numbers.
Jerry - how much longer does Clay Buccholz have to absolutely dominate AAA before Boston realizes he's better than both Penny and Smoltz?
Anthony, People in Boston have a reason to be clamoring for Buchholz, but Brad Penny is 3-1 with a 4.40 ERA in May and he's pitched into the sixth or seventh inning in every start. If he keeps performing like this, it's a great trade showcase for him. Just look at the Phillies, suddenly desperate for an arm because of Myers' injury. The closer the trade deadline gets, the more desperate a lot of contenders are going to be for a starter. And Penny's name will be on a lot of lists.
Do you think Johnson winning his 300th in front of an audience of less than 15k could have been better scripted by him?
Todd, Hey, maybe there'll be a decent walkup in Washington. Johnson is a guy who's traditionally shunned the attention, but I'm sure he'd like to be appreciated for his accomplishments at well. That guy pitches with such tunnel vision, I'm sure he won't have any clue how many people are in the stands.
Rick Porcello an All-Star?
Mark, At this point, Rick Porcello is the third best starter on his team after Verlander and Jackson. The kid is going to make a lot of All-Star teams, but I don't see it happening this year.
Does Francoeur get dealt by next weekend?
Jeff, I can't recall a guy who's tougher to put a finger on than Jeff Francoeur. I know the Braves are exasperated with him, but his value has taken such a dive, is there really much incentive for them to move him? Unless they can get something decent in return, I don't see him going anywhere.
Can you give me the reason Medlen was sent up and not me? Is it stricky $ and they can keep me for a longer period of time before I come up for arbitration?
Tommy, Kris Medlen was 5-0 with a 1.19 ERA in Gwinnett, so the Braves thought he deserved a shot. And with Glavine rounding into shape, Medlen might not be in the rotation long. I don't think the Braves wanted to yo-yo you back and forth between the majors and the minors. When you get the call, it'll be for the long haul.
Do you think the back rehab Mauer did (lots of lower-body and core weights) have given him those extra 20 feet on balls to left that are now HR instead of warning track outs?
Derek, Who the heck knows? Mauer has always been a terrific hitter, and they always say that power is the last tool to come. So maybe he's just a late bloomer on the power front.
Why does Chris Davis use a bat with hole in it?
Spencer, Hey, he was my pre-season AL "breakout candidate." I gotta say that when he does make contact, he certainly makes it interesting.
Do the Giants make a move for another bat, and if so, what's the likeliest trade?
Nick, The Giants definitely are looking for a bat, but they don't want to do something stupid and disrupt the game plan. That means hanging on to the core of Posey, Bumgarner, Alderson and Villalona in the minors. And those are the players that other teams want if they're going to trade a legit impact bat to San Fran.
Would any player who was drafted over the last 10 years have been taken over Strasburg if they were in the same draft?
Andy, That's a great question. Guys like Josh Hamilton, Mark Prior and Joe Mauer came with a ton of hype, but I'm not sure any of them would have been selected over Stephen Strasburg. You should probably ask Keith Law on his next chat.
What about Matt Cain for Corey Hart & Bill Hall? or is that still not enough to tempt the Giants?
Alex, I wouldn't do that one either if I were the Giants. Good front-end starters are just too hard to come by.
How do you make sense of Chris Carpenter? Basically pitches not at all for 2 years, starts the season like he was never DL'd, gets hurt again for a month, then comes back and throws 6-some perfect innings - and has yet to give up an earned run
Russ, The guy is a freak -- that's about the only way to put it. And I hate to sound such an obvious theme, but Dave Duncan really does do an incredible job with that staff in St. Louis. Year after year after year.
Jerry - What type of value do you think the Mariners could get for Russell Branyan? He's on a one year deal and has an OPS of 1.006, albeit with 46 k's in 41 games. Might the braves be interested?
Jay, I guess it depends on whether you think Russell Branyan's breakout is for real or this is just a nice two-month sample. Either way, I don't see Atlanta as a fit. The Braves are looking for outfielders.
Is Jake Fox projected as a star in the league?
Greg, No. He has some big power, but he's a defensive liability and I think he might get exposed by big league pitching. He's also 26.
Jerry, how are you going to celebrate Wietersday?
Charles, I don't know. Maybe I'll saunter out to Boog Powell's barbecue and bask in the aroma.
Jerry, the Red Sox need a SS and a Big Papi replacement...what options are on the table?...Holliday?...Crosby?...what would it take to get Hanley from the Marlins?
Sam, I just don't see Theo Epstein surrendering a Clay Buchholz for a couple of months of Matt Holliday. As for Hanley, the answer is, uhh. no. There are enough SS options out there (from Jack Wilson to Khalil Greene) that I think the Red Sox can afford to be patient. But they're not reacquiring Hanley. Were you actually serious about that?
If the Rays continue to struggle and are not in serious contention come July, what do you see them doing near the trade deadline. Buyers, sellers, or stand pat and fight next year?
Andy, The core of that team lies in the young guys like Longoria, Upton, Crawford and Price. Andrew Friedman isn't going to be moving any of those guys. I'm sure he would listen on some of his veteran parts. But let's be patient. We still have two months for that team to regain its footing. The Rays are just going through a horrible stretch right now.
How great would A-Gonzo stats look like if he played in Boston?
John, Or Philly or Yankee Stadium or a lot of other places.
I understand that Peavy loves California and it would be a long shot for the Brewers to land him. I just meant hypothetically, what type of package would it take to get him if he were to change his mind?
Ryan, I imagine it would have to include Alcides Escobar as a cornerstone. Not sure how much more the Padres would want after that, but I think we're looking at three of any team's top 10 prospects.
Why isn't JP Howell closing in TB? Because he is lefty? Righties are hitting .169 against him and he is clearly the best reliever in that bullpen right now.
Goose, Joe Maddon seems to use J.P. Howell in a lot of tough jams in the seventh and eighth. If he starts closing with Howell, it's just going to create a bigger void earlier in the game.
How much longer will the Twins let Liriano be a trainwreck in the starting rotation? It's getting painful!
Eric, You have to think that something isn't right with him physically. He's not close to the same pitcher he was before the injury. But no one seems ready to acknowledge that yet.
What is to be reasonably expected of Wieters, numbers-wise, for the rest of the year?
Will, Not sure, but I think expectations have to be downsized because Wieters will have a lot on his plate trying to handle that staff. It's awfully tough for a young catcher to break in because the demands are so much greater than at any other position. If he can hit, say, .280 with 12-14 homers, I think that would be great.
Thanks for the emails, everybody. Jayson Stark is up next. Talk to you next week.