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June 26, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Jerry Crasnick

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:00 PM)

Hey, everybody. Let's all wish the best to Andy Phillips, the newest member of the Hiroshima Carp. It's time to talk some baseball.

Brandon (3rd base Detroit)

Jerry - Do I deserve to go to the All-Star game?

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:01 PM)

Brandon, You lead AL third basemen in homers, you're second in OPS to Evan Longoria, and you're playing your usual terrific defense. Yes, I think you've earned a trip to St. Louis.

Doug (Grand Rapids (MI))

With the Tigers on a 7 game winning streak and playing well against a couple of good NL Central teams do you see them making a move for another starter or will they concentrate on the pen or a bat or both or nothing? Whats your take?

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:04 PM)

Doug, Between the Dontrelle Willis and Jeremy Bonderman issues, Carlos Guillen's injury and Magglio Ordonez's problems, Dave Dombrowski is trying to hit a moving target. I think a lot depends on Armando Galarraga in the No. 4 spot. If he can pick it up, Jim Leyland can probably figure out the No. 5 spot. I really don't see what kind of impact bat they're going to acquire. Everybody is interested in bullpen help. And from the way Fernando Rodney drives Leyland crazy, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Tigers target a reliever.

eric buffalo,ny [via mobile]

when is n.markakis going to step up and be a 30hr 120rbi guy? right now he looks like the 2nd coming of mike greenwell.

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:06 PM)

Eric, He has two 4-for-4 games in the past week, so the timing on this is a little weird. But you're right that he hasn't driven the ball the way people would expect. I think he has one homer since May 21. From what I've seen, Markakis has a tendency to be hard on himself. Maybe he gets down on himself a little too quickly when he's in a funk. At least he's continuing to get his singles and his doubles. He's too good not to snap out of this eventually.

Rich (Toronto)

Is Lyle Overbay an under the radar all-star? He has an OPS of .925 which is just below Justin Morneaus

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:07 PM)

Rich, Overbay is quietly having a very good season, but with Youkilis, Teixeira, Morneau and Carlos Pena in front of him, he'll have to settle for being an under the radar All-Star. He's not going to St. Louis.

brett (ny)

How does ESPN continue to be a joke with their east coast bias? Everytime I put them on they are talking about yankees, mets, redsox. Of course theyll talk about Manny too. But how about the other 25 teams? Perfect example is the headlines on the other night...Lincecum throws a 12k CG yet theres not a mention. But the top headline is a loss to the braves by the yankees? If CC ever even got like 6 k it'd be a huge story.

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:09 PM)

Brett, I can only control what I write for the Web site, and believe me, my "Starting 9" lists include an awful lot of players from teams other than the East Coast clubs. Buster Olney writes a ton of stuff about the Royals and other small market teams on his blog, and I know Jayson Stark circles the baseball universe. So you're complaining to the wrong person.

Rich (Toronto)

How great is it to see Scott Rolen healthy and productive? What is his future in Toronto, he has really established himself as a leader and sets a great example for young kids coming up

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:11 PM)

Rich, (Geez, two Toronto questions). Scott Rolen isn't going to drive the ball the way he used to, but he still plays great defense, and he's really learned to use the whole field. I know the Jays love him. I also think that Kevin Millar has been really good for Rolen. Millar relaxes him and makes him laugh, and that's big for a grinder like Rolen.

Grag (NYC)

Chris Davis had a big night last night, finally. Aberration, or is he finally ready to snap out of his funk?

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:12 PM)

Grag, He's got an immense amount of talent -- and some huge holes. I picked him as my AL breakout player this year, so I obviously have some faith in the guy. But he can be tough to watch at times.

Cosmo (New York)

Jerry, who is the most accessable player you have dealt with? Who is the least?

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:13 PM)

Cosmo, Sean Casey and Torii Hunter are about as good as you get. Guys like Kevin Brown and Jeff Kent could be rough, but when you got past the initial snarl, they could actually be quite insightful.

Chris (Staten Island, NY)

Jerry, do you think the Rays can afford to pick up the $12 million team option on Carl Crawford for next year and if not, how would you rate free agent LFers Crawford, Jason Bay and Matt Holiday?

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:15 PM)

Chris, If Pat Burrell is making $8 million, Crawford is quite a bargain at that price. I find it hard to believe the Rays would let him walk, but Tampa Bay fans aren't doing the team any favors by staying away from the park in droves.

Jim (Seattle)

Jerry, A rare KC Royal's question. Why, oh why are the Royals interested in Jeff Francoeur? From what I seen, he is worse than Adrian Beltre when it comes to swinging at pitches that are 3 feet outside. The only way the Royals should ever consider Francoeur is if Atlanta takes Jose Guillen and his full $12 mil contract. What are your thoughts? Thanks.

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:17 PM)

Jim, That rumor has been kicking around for a long time now because of the Dayton Moore connection to Francoeur from their days with the Royals. I think KC is more likely to take a flier on Francoeur than most clubs, but it's not exactly a priority item for Dayton these days. And if KC is going to take Francoeur off Atlanta's hands, I imagine the Royals would want some sort of favor in return. Whether that means taking Jose Guillen's big contract, I'm not sure. Hard to envision the Braves doing that.

Ryan (Manhattan)

Is there a move the Mets could actually make that would improve the team? I feel as if right now that one position player couldn't make too great of a difference but is there a pitcher or middle reliever they could realistically go get?

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:19 PM)

Ryan, With John Maine and Oliver Perez rehabbing, they've got two pitchers who could be back soon. And Fernando Nieve has certainly earned the right to stick around when they get back. As for position players, the Mets have Delgado, Beltran and Reyes out and they've been able to survive. I don't see them making a deal for a big bat.

Mike (Pitt)

Given the lack of quality arms on the market this year, what do you think Paul Maholm or Zach Duke would be worth and should the Bucs trade them?

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:20 PM)

Mike, I really think Neal Huntington would prefer to keep Duke and Maholm. Ian Snell would be a better option, but his value is at an all-time low, so this isn't the greatest time to move him.

Zachary (Lawrence, KS)

Hello Mr. Crasnick. Did Jay Bruce take a huge sigh of relief when Joey Votto came back? Can we expect Bruce's numbers to go up or are they probably going to stay around the "Taveras Line" for the rest of the year? Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:22 PM)

Zach, Yeah, I think so. The Reds had enough of a void in the middle of their order before Votto went on the DL, so imagine how much pressure was on Jay Bruce when his buddy was on the DL. Bruce is just a kid, and he was in survival mode there for a while. Having Votto back has to take a huge amount of weight off his shoulders.

Bill (Chicago)

Do you see anyone picking up the Frank Thomas as an additional bat or is his career over?

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:22 PM)

Bill, When Frank Thomas said he was 95 percent done, he probably erred on the cautious side. I don't see it happening for the Big Hurt.

Ryan (Idaho)

You know who has a better OPS than Teixeira, Morneau, and Pena.........Russell Branyan

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:23 PM)

Ryan, Yep, there's another very good first baseman in the AL who'll get squeezed in St. Louis.

St Louis and Philidelphia (You Know)

Did we see someone talking about Scott Rolen and leadership in the same sentence?

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:24 PM)

St. Louis and Phil, Hey, say what you will about Scott Rolen, but the guy plays hard, plays hurt and plays the game the right way. He just didn't get along with Bowa or La Russa, but he's not the only guy you can say that about.

Chris (Broadview Heights, OH)

What is your opinion on what the Indians should do with Cliff Lee? He's irreplacable from within but if the Indians aren't going to make themselves a serious contender in 2010 (which I doubt they'll have the payroll for with low attendance), shouldn't they be on the phone lines seeing what they can get?

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:25 PM)

Chris, My sense is that the Indians aren't going to be trading Cliff Lee unless they're absolutely, positively blown away. Mark Shapiro thinks this team has a chance to compete next year with a half-decent bullpen, and he can always shop Lee next year at this time and get a pretty good haul for him.

Shayne - NY [via mobile]

Jerry... Any chance that the Yankees will win the AL East this year?

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:26 PM)

Shayne, Yeah, I think there's a chance. Did somebody suggest there wasn't?

Ron (Riverside)

Heath Bell for Phil Hughes?

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:27 PM)

Ron, The Yankees would love another back end of the bullpen option, but no way I see them trading Phil Hughes. Do you know that he turned 23 two days ago?

Arsen (Detroit)

Matt Holliday to detroit to fill the void in LF, what are your thoughts? They're saying Guillen could come back, but I doubt he'll be back at 100%

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:28 PM)

Arsen, Sure, Holliday would be great in Detroit. I'm sure Billy Beane would ask for Rick Porcello in return. That could be problematic.

Patrick (DC)

Lincecum and Cain appear to be locks for the All-Star game but could Pablo Sandoval squeez in as a reserve?

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:29 PM)

Patrick, I haven't sorted out all the possibilities, but I think it's going to be awfully difficult for Sandoval to make it when the Giants already have two other representatives.

jon ny [via mobile]

does j.johnson have what it takes to close out games for the o's. he looks to have really good stuff. if so, sherill should be trade bait.

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:31 PM)

Jon, To me, Johnson seems like a Ryan Madson type (with stuff that isn't quite as good). He might be serviceable as a closer, but he's probably best suited for setting up. I'm sure Andy MacPhail will listen on Aubrey Huff, Ty Wigginton and some of his relievers, but as MacPhail said recently, "We're not necessarily the rest of baseball's farm system." Andy is known for driving a hard bargain.

Ryan (Indy)

Do you think Chipper Jones will be a first ballot Hall of Famer?

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:32 PM)

Ryan, My sense is yes. If he doesn't make it on the first ballot, I don't think he'll last beyond 2-3 years. One of the greatest switch-hitters ever.

billy (sf)

will madison bumgarner and tim alderson come up by the end of the year for sf?

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:33 PM)

Billy, The Giants are really trying to use some restraint with those guys, so I don't see it. Is a look-see in September a possibility? I guess.

Curtis (IL)

Who will be gone from the White Sox next season? Thome, Dye, and/or Contreras? They need to get younger faster.

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:35 PM)

Curtis, Contreras, to me, is an interesting name. He's thrown very well in his last few outings, and if the White Sox are out of the AL Central and wild card races in a month, he might attract a lot of interest. He has better stuff than a lot of the other starters whose names are being bandied around.

Arsen (Detroit)

Jerry, to be honest with you I have followed Miguel Cabrera his entire baseball career, even his days with the Marlins, and trust me I know what he did in the WS, that great match up against Roger Clemens. He's more talented then anybody in the AL period, he's got raw animalistic power and talent. So if that's all true, then why has he been so unappreciated in the AL? He made the all star games 4 times in the NL. .335 15 46 rbi's, what's wrong with these numbers?

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:37 PM)

Arsen, Of course, I neglected to mention Miguel Cabrera among the top AL first basemen this year. I should have my Baseball Writers card revoked for that. I'm not sure why Cabrera doesn't get more appreciation. Maybe it's because he makes it look so easy, and he's played in Florida and Detroit. He'd obviously get more attention in NY, Boston, Chicago or LA.

Jason (Orlando)

Hall of Fame question: If Frank does not sign with a team this year and he has yet to announce his retirement would his 5 year wait start at the end of last year or this year?

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:38 PM)

Jason, The five year period begins after he plays his final big league game, regardless of when he formally announces his retirement.

Ben (Michigan)

Where do you rate Miguel Cabrera in relation to the other first-base all star candidates in the AL? I would think he has to be a ways ahead of Teixiara, and neck and neck with Youk, and Mourneau, but slightly in front of them (the numbers support that, with higher power numbers and batting average anyway).

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:40 PM)

Ben, I'm not sure how much room they have for first basemen on the roster, but they could bring five or six and they'd all be deserving. Cabrera is right at the top of the list.

Eamon (DC)

Who goes when Lowrie comes back: Kotsay, Lugo, Green; and will the Sox be able to get anything for any of them?

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:41 PM)

Eamon, Well, Mike Lowell's health is starting to become a concern, so that could factor into the equation. Nick Green has been terrific, but over the long haul, he's best coming off the bench. I'm sure the Sox would love to get rid of Julio Lugo and the millions he's still owed. Good luck with that, Theo.

Elvis ((Texas))

Is my defense good enough to win over ROY voters, or will i need to pick up my bat?

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:42 PM)

Elvis, I ran a list of top rookies this week, and I have to think that Rick Porcello and possibly Nolan Reimold are ahead of you at this point. You've had a profound impact on that Rangers team, but a .260 average with no pop probably isn't enough for ROY.

Anthony (NJ)

Jerry, how long will it take for Charlie Manuel to go on a rampage and wake up his team. Enough is enough.

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:44 PM)

Anthony, I was at the Phillies' homestand last week, and there was a sense in the air that Charlie might go ballistic then. So I think it could happen any minute now. While Charlie is at it, he might want to put in another request for pitching help.

TJ (Ohio)

Do you see the Reds buying, selling or staying put as far as trades? Theres rumors were intersted in trading Arroyo and rumors we're talkin about making a trade because of the Volquez injury.

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:46 PM)

TJ, I don't see the Reds selling. They're hanging around the NL Central, and Walt Jocketty and Dusty Baker aren't the kind of guys to bail on a season. Volquez's rehab apparently isn't going well, so they really don't have a pitching surplus from which to deal.

Dave (NJ)

I know everyone was talking about Smoltz last night, but he didnt seem to me to be the best starting pitcher last night. What have you heard from people around the league about Ryan Zimmermann - can he be a top starter in the league?

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:47 PM)

Dave, I think you mean Jordan Zimmermann (although props for getting that extra "n" at the end of his last name.) He's averaging a strikeout per inning, so that's a clear sign the kid has big-time stuff. Most of the scouts I've talked to think he's a front of the rotation guy.

Elvis (Texas)

gold glove then?

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:47 PM)

Elvis, Perhaps -- although Marco Scutaro in Toronto has been amazing in the field.

chauncey (teaneck)

IS Johan back to normal?

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:49 PM)

Chauncey, I know Santana's velocity has tailed off a bit lately, and he had a couple of rough outings, but doesn't a guy with his portfolio deserve the benefit of the doubt?

TJ (Ohio)

Just a reply to your response. Mr. Castallini is worried about one thing the bottom line. With this team hanging around .500 fans have mutliple things to choose from to do. Going to a Reds game is low on their list. Especially when you can drive up to Dayton and go to a Dragons game for 1/2 the price. Unfortunately, i dont think its Jocketty or Bakers call.

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:51 PM)

T.J., True, but the Reds are in a building mode with guys like Bruce, Votto, Volquez and Cotto, so there's a core of young guys they won't deal. And it's been a while since the team has been successful there, so it's tough to just bail when you're still in contention. I'm sure Bob Castellini is in tune with public opinion enough to realize that.

Doug (Grand Rapids, MI)

Everyone has been talking about Minnesota making a play at the Central especially while the Tigers were scuffling and they remain 5 down. Is there a comeback in this team or will the Tigers hold them off?

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:52 PM)

Doug, I wouldn't write off the Twins at all. To me, a lot depends on Francisco Liriano and whether he can get his act together and give guys like Slowey and Blackburn some help. Right now, that looks like a coin flip.

Dan (Pittsburgh)

Jerry, will adrew mccutchen keep up this production for the entire season? thanks

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:54 PM)

Dan, I doubt he's going to finish with 30 triples and a .900 OPS, but the Pirates people are raving about him. And it's obvious he has an impact on that team with his energy, his confidence and his talent. If Pedro Alvarez can finish up strong in Altoona, Pirates fans will actually have a couple of reasons to get excited.

Jake (Baltimore)

Best offensive player 5 years now - Markakis, A. Jones, Wieters or Reimold?

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:55 PM)

Good question. I'll take Adam Jones.

SteveFitz (Cicero, IL)

I don't buy the Cubs reason for "benching" Bradley yesterday and today. I think he's hurting from trying to break the bat over his leg Wednesday and the bat didn't break. Thoughts?

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:55 PM)

Steve, Hey, it wouldn't be the strangest thing that's happened to Milton Bradley in his career. That's the sad part.

Joe (LA)

Jerry, which pitcher do you see the Dodgers targeting this summer?

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:58 PM)

Joe, I'm not sure they have to target anyone. To me, guys like Washburn, Garland, Doug Davis, Brad Penny, etc., are stable types who might help you get to the postseason. But is there anyone from that group who's going to plug in at the top of their rotation in October? Unless the Dodgers feel threatened in the West by San Francisco or Colorado in late July, I don't know if Ned Colletti is obligated to deal for a pitcher.

mark reynolds (arizona)

Am i for real, over under 40 dingers?

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:59 PM)

Mark, I'll take the under. But you deserve an awful lot of credit for rounding out your game this summer. Even the stolen bases are impressive.

Brian (NY)

Jerry u are the best with this new chat..Any chance the Mets try and get Huff...he'd be agood fit, can play 1b til(if and when) Delgado comes back then move to the of.

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:59 PM)

Brian, I don't get the sense that anyone with the Mets is very excited about Aubrey Huff -- and I'm not sure he'd fare too well playing the outfield at Citi Field.

Ed (San Diego )

Wouldnt it be wise for the Padres to trade Heath Bell? He has a good contract is pitching great and they have no need for a good closer right now.

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:01 PM)

Ed, If Kevin Towers wants to maximize his return, this isn't a bad time to throw Bell's name out there. But I'm sure the Padres would want a couple of really good young players in return. For what it's worth, Cla Meredith's name seems to be out there more than Bell's.

Travis (DC)

So you are saying its conceivable that a player could retire young at 32, then make a comeback at 38 after they made the hall of fame?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:01 PM)

Travis, Or if it's Julio Franco, he could retire at 42 and come back at 48.

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:01 PM)

Thanks for the emails, everybody. Let's do it again next week.