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September 24, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Keith Law

Keith Law
  (1:01 PM)

Welcome to the first-ever outdoor Klawchat ... we'll see how long this wireless connection holds up. I have my doubts - I heard Brad Lidge is managing the router.

Sean (Philadelphia)

Since his start on Tuesday against the Red Sox, Greinke has been getting much more attention from the mainstream media for his performance this year. Is this because the media has been enlightened, or is it because he dominated the Red Sox lineup? I'm thinking it's the latter.

Keith Law
  (1:02 PM)

Because Greinke hadn't faced the Yankees or Red Sox prior to that outing, most members of the mainstream media were unaware of his existence, or of the existence of a major-league franchise in Kansas City, or of the existence of Kansas City, or of the existence of any centers of population between Chicago and Los Angeles.

Dave (Cleveland, OH)

Do you believe Casey McGehee and Garret Jones will repeat their performances in future years or will this year prove to be an outlier in their careers?

Andrew (Detroit)

Keith, when they traded for Washburn, did the Tigers get damaged goods? He turned into a completely different pitcher the minute he changed uniforms.

Keith Law
  (1:05 PM)

Outlier for both.

Keith Law
  (1:06 PM)

Washburn - I don't know if he was damaged goods or not, but I don't think his implosion is strictly a matter of leaving Seattle's outfield defense, either.

Brian C (Philly)

Klaw,I had an argument with my friend last night, he said he would take David Wright over Chase Utley, I disagreed. Part of the reasoning was that Third Base is a harder defensive position to play than Second base, which I also disagreed with. One point was that they hid their worst infielder at 2B in college. I feel like playing an up the middle position at the major league level is more difficult than playing 3B. Which player would you rather have for the next 3 years? Which position do you think is harder, and if it is 3B, it's not WAY harder, right?

Keith Law
  (1:09 PM)

Second base. And Utley is better than Wright by a mile.

Jon V. (Cleveland, OH)

The Indians seem to have quantity but very little quality for their 2010 Rotation. Assuming they don't spend the money for a FA Statrter, which 5 would you go with for 2010: Westbrook, Carmona, Carrasco, Masterson, Rondon, Sowers, Laffey, Huff?

Keith Law
  (1:11 PM)

I wouldn't put Masterson in there since he doesn't get lefties out and probably never will from that arm slot - he'd be Disasterson against a lefty-heavy lineup. And I don't have much faith in Carrasco (nor did the Phillies, since they never called him up for any of their rotation vacancies). Sowers can't start in the AL, probably not even in the NL. I'd probably go Westbrook, Huff, Laffey, Rondon, Carmona.

Dan (CT)

Chad Gaudin has looked really serviceable. Do you think the yanks could count on him as a long term number 5 starter?

Keith Law
  (1:11 PM)

Speaking of guys who can't get lefties out ... no.

Todd (Mesa, AZ)

Are Mark Reynolds' K's really that big of a deal? I think every player would gladly strikeout 200 times in a season if they could hit HR's and steal bases like he can.

Keith Law
  (1:12 PM)

No, they're not that big of a deal. But I don't think he's going to throw up a .350 BABIP next year, either.

Fred Lewis (San Francisco)

Why have the Giants given up on me as an everyday player when I'm the only guy on my team with any plate discipline and the only one besides Sandoval with an OBP over .350?

Keith Law
  (1:14 PM)

Because your defense has been, in their minds at least, poor. I would get that except that the Giants' pitchers lead the NL in strikeouts, so if any team can afford to give up defense for some offense, it's them. But then again, this is the same team that keeps playing Eli Downside over Buster Posey. They're not that serious about winning if they keep making those decisions.

Paul C. (Urbana, Illinois)

Albert Pujols or chase Utley for MVP?

Keith Law
  (1:16 PM)

Pujols. I think three of the six awards are pretty much done now - Greinke for AL Cy, Mauer for AL MVP, Pujols for NL MVP. NL Cy is pretty tight. NL RoY is a huge toss-up, although I'd still put Andrew McCutchen #1. AL is a mess for a different reason, with no outstanding candidate - I'd probably go Niemann by default.

Snakeman (Bear, DE)

klaw chat! If you were making a list of concerns for the Phillies as they get ready for the postseason, wherre would you rank "they score too many of their runs via the HR"? To me, this is ridiculous. I mean, should they instead try to hit singles or doubles instead so they aren't viewed as too reliant on the HR?

Keith Law
  (1:21 PM)

Yes, it's ridiculous. The 9th inning is a concern. Facing any good LHP in the playoffs should be a concern. The solution to the problem you mentioned is "hit more home runs," which is something the Phillies do quite well.

Jake (VA Beach)

Care to elaborate on the *by a mile* comment? Don't you think that's a little excessive given their stats are almost identical and Wright is 4 years younger?

Keith Law
  (1:21 PM)

Who cares that Wright is four years younger when discussing who's better right now? That's the worst counterargument I've seen in weeks. $5 for wasting my time. Next.

Jason ((San Francisco))

Can you explain the $5 and other money references? I've only been reading this chat the past year and I don't quite understand. Sarcasm and snarkiness have something to do with it.

Keith Law
  (1:22 PM)

It's a $5 fine for either asking a terrible question or for deliberately asking a bad question to try to trick me into getting all riled up. I have no idea when that even started now.

Keith Law
  (1:22 PM)

It's a $5 fine for either asking a terrible question or for deliberately asking a bad question to try to trick me into getting all riled up. I have no idea when that even started now.

Ryan (San Diego)

Reason for optimism in San Diego with all the young kids up and playing well? Add in Chris Young and Matt Latos for a full season, can they get over .500 next year?

Keith Law
  (1:24 PM)

Since most of those young kids aren't very good, I'd say no, don't get too excited. Latos is legit, though.

Matt Wieters (Birdland)

I'm crushing the ball right now. Tell everyone to lay off it was 80 games.

Keith Law
  (1:25 PM)

Indeed. Bring on the new messiah.

fjm(anuel) (nj)

What do you know of Ramon Pena, the latest F.O. type to fall for the Mets? Some people are reporting that he was fired because he hadn't produced any MLB talent, which is completely absurd considering he's been there for only 3 years, leaving the kids he signed to be no older than 19. There have been rumors that he's sort of a shady character with a bad reputation, which would seem like a much more plausible reasoning for canning him (though of course bringing into question why he was ever hired). Do you know anything about him? What his reputation is?

Keith Law
  (1:27 PM)

I know nothing about him, but the criticism that he hasn't done a good job in Latin America is ignorant, if not outright irresponsible. You mentioned his short tenure. But the main guys he's signed have largely turned into good prospects. I wonder if this is upper management interference - a lessening of Omar's authority.

Adam (Toronto)

Meant to ask you this as well...Wade Davis or Mat Latos ... from a scouts perspective who would you rather have ? Why ?

Keith Law
  (1:28 PM)

In the same environment, I'd go Latos by a shade. If you're asking a fantasy question, though, Latos by a mile - ballpark, league, etc.

Jeremy (Mansfield,OH)

Tigers or Twins? And how do you feel about and extra wild card?

Keith Law
  (1:32 PM)

Tigers. And I hate the extra wild card - last thing baseball needs is to put worse teams in the playoffs.

Jason (St Louis)

Have you ever met Scott Boras? What's he like in person without a camera around?

Keith Law
  (1:33 PM)

Several times. Extremely bright, commanding presence, very intense - in a slightly intimidating way - when he's talking about one of his players, especially a "special" one.

Frank (St. Louis)

What are your thoughts on the Wagner Mateo eye situation? Have you heard anything definitive on the "condition"?

Keith Law
  (2:04 PM)

Let's try this again.

Keith Law
  (2:04 PM)

I don't have any information on Mateo beyond what guys like Jorge Arangure and Joe Strauss have written, but I do think it's pretty telling that the Cardinals backed off entirely instead of negotiating a smaller bonus. Either the medicals scared them off, or Mateo/his agent are making unrealistic demands.

Robert (Vancouver)

LOVED the blurb in your blog about Max Kepler-Rozycki. In your opinion, will we ever be able to expect 10-20 decent prospects per year from the EU? If so, when? And what about China?Finally, I'm reading Dan Brown's latest - do you ever allow your brain any junk food like this?

Keith Law
  (2:05 PM)

20 seems like a lot given how rudimentary instruction is over there. If we get to the point where there are a half-dozen guys a year over there commanding $100K bonuses, I'd consider that significant. Zero interest in Dan Brown.

Aubrey (Houston)

If you decided to take over a GM job, what situation would be your favorite? Would you prefer to take over a team like the Rangers with a great farm system on the brink of a lot of success, more of a rebuilding job like the Astros for the challenge and to put your own mark on a franchise, or Boston/NY type team with nearly unlimited funds and established farm systems? I'm asking your preference and this is completely hypothetical. I'm only using the teams for context, and we're assuming the owner is good, and willing to spend top 10 money.

Keith Law
  (2:06 PM)

I'd be more interested in any sort of build or rebuild than in walking into an established contender and trying to put it over the top. The former plays more to my strengths and interests.

Thomas (Naptown)

Why is there so much emphasis on a catchers ability to call games? I mean, shouldn't a pitcher know how to do that, anyway? And if a catcher is bad at it, can't the pitcher, you know, just not throw that pitch?

Keith Law
  (2:07 PM)

I couldn't agree more. I think in reality, it's one of those immeasurable skills that some baseball people like to use to defend otherwise irrational decisions.

Nick (Milwaukee)

If we asked questions during the downtime, should we re-ask them, or are they still visible in your queue?

Keith Law
  (2:07 PM)

At least 200 questions came in while I was walking to a new spot - the problem was the wifi connection, not the chat software - mostly - so no, they're all here.

Marc (California, MD)

Should I be content with Josh Bell becoming the Orioles 3B and Brandon Snyder becoming the new 1B or should I be pining for something else? Are these guys good solutions?

Keith Law
  (2:08 PM)

Bell at 3b definitely. Snyder at 1b, maybe - not 100% sure on the bat playing there, although I do really like his swing. We're just really banking on a great half-season in AA.

Dale (San Francisco)

Can you tell us something about Tyson Ross? He came on really strong at the end of season and looks good on paper (low ba against, lots of ground balls and a decent amount of strikeouts).

Keith Law
  (2:09 PM)

Average to slightly above velocity, awful delivery, below average command, low arm slot. I didn't like him in that draft or when I saw him this spring.

Nick (Milwaukee)

Great. McCutchen or Jennings long-term?

Keith Law
  (2:10 PM)

McCutchen.

Jerry S (St Paul)

I know you prefer fiction, but any plans to read Posnanski's "Machine"?

Keith Law
  (2:10 PM)

Yes, eventually. I loved The Soul of Baseball.

Keith Law
  (2:10 PM)

Yes, eventually. I loved The Soul of Baseball.

Bones (Boston)

When Brad Penny went to SF, he said he liked Molina calling more breaking balls early in counts. Obviously, many Boston writers either fainted on the spot and/or were outraged. Is it possible the Captain DOESN'T know everything?

Keith Law
  (2:11 PM)

Varitek is a lousy game-caller and has been for years. I'm pretty sure he lost his thumb, middle, ring, and pinky fingers on his right hand, since he calls for so many fastballs.

wilson (san fran)

peaches or nectarines?

Keith Law
  (2:12 PM)

Do I dare?

Ed (Toronto)

Keith, what was the "fairly trivial" amount of money that came between the Jays and Eliopoulos? Is Ricciardi to blame for this draft mess, or Lalonde? Or someone else?

Keith Law
  (2:13 PM)

It sounds like around $300-$400K extra would have gotten both Eliopoulos and Paxton done, maybe a touch more, but not much. I can't tell you whom to blame, because the stories I've heard vary, although it does sound like there was a late philosophical shift back to adhering to slot.

Josh (Providence, RI)

Am I the only one who isn't excited about his team going after Chapman? Putting the Cuban Mystique and ability to sign with anyone aside, it seems foolish to spend $30 million on a future reliever who walks too many people.

Keith Law
  (2:13 PM)

I'm glad you have Chapman figured out already.

Charlie (Bethesda, MD)

I was listening to ESPN radio and John Anderson came on to basically rip apart Reynolds an Dunn for striking out so much, and everyone for not minding. Then he asked if striking out isn't so important why do we care about it from a pitchers perspective.

Keith Law
  (2:15 PM)

Well, it's not an unreasonable question, even if his answer is wrong. Strikeouts are much more important for pitchers because of their inability to control the outcome of a ball in play. For hitters, not only do they have some control over whether balls in play become hits, we also know that strikeouts often correlate positively with power. If you tell Mark Reynolds to stop striking out, he'll stop hitting home runs, and then he'll suck.

Sean (Seattle)

Has King Felix reached his potential this year? Is there more upside?

Keith Law
  (2:16 PM)

I think there's even a little more there. If he did next year what Greinke is doing this year, I wouldn't be surprised. And what Greinke is doing is pretty amazing.

Chad, iowa [via mobile]

Does colvin have a chance to start for the cubs next year? Thanks klaw!

Keith Law
  (2:18 PM)

I don't see him as an everyday player. He's not going to get on base enough to be a regular, and that brief power surge in AA isn't permanent.

J. Alfred Prufrock (Houston)

Nick Punto should have been a pair of ragged claws / Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.

Keith Law
  (2:18 PM)

In the chatroom, the readers come and go/talking of F.P. Santangelo

Keith Law
  (2:19 PM)

He's been a model owner since he hired MacPhail.

Matt (NY)

You implicitly said in a previous chat that Jeter has been more valuable than Teixeira this season. Can you please explain why?

Keith Law
  (2:19 PM)

Value relative to position.

Aaron (Tacoma, WA)

Now looking back at the Seattle Mariners trading for Jack Wilson would you call it a bust?

Keith Law
  (2:19 PM)

It's way too soon for that.

Ryan G (Westford, MA)

Is it a fair assumption to think that Greinke could have a 1.08 ERA in the NL or is that 1 run differential between leagues a little over the top?

Keith Law
  (2:20 PM)

I don't think it's linear.

Skip ((Sacramento))

Thoughts on the board game Catan?

Keith Law
  (2:20 PM)

Still my favorite.

mark (sf, ca)

What are your thoughts on Chone Figgins ? Where do you think he might end up next season ? As a Giants' fan, I'd rather see them sign Figgins and Nick Johnson than go after a Jason Bay or Matt Holliday. One bat isn't enough.

Keith Law
  (2:20 PM)

I think someone is going to dramatically overpay Figgins this offseason.

Bryce Harper (NV)

Will the Nats be able to afford me?

Keith Law
  (2:21 PM)

Why not? They ponied up for Strasburg.

Zach (Olney, MD)

What food locations have you been to while in the nation's capital?

Keith Law
  (2:21 PM)

Teaism. Market Lunch. Casa Blanca. Kaz Sushi. And Teddy's BBQ (twice).

Jonathan (Bristol, CT)

Clay Buchholz has enjoyed real success over his last nine starts, but is his low K total (36 K in 58.0 IP) cause for concern>

Keith Law
  (2:22 PM)

Throw strikes and get groundballs and you can work with a moderate K rate. And I do think he has the stuff to get strikeouts when he needs to.

Dan (Tampa)

Better prospect Strasburg or Heyward?

Keith Law
  (2:22 PM)

Heyward. If I was doing a top 100 now, I'd probably go Heyward, Posey, Strasburg.

brandon (dc)

have you ever applied for a gm job? do you think you would receive legitimate consideration?

Keith Law
  (2:23 PM)

They don't exactly post those on monster.com.

Justin (Normal, IL)

any good restaurants to eat at in Louisville? I'm going there in a few weeks

Keith Law
  (2:23 PM)

Lynn's Paradise Cafe for breakfast.

Gavin (Maryland)

Since you got a chance to watch the Nationals (now you feel our pain), any thoughts on prospects Ross Detwiler and Ian Desmond?

Keith Law
  (2:24 PM)

Detwiler's stuff is good enough for him to end up a 4/5 in the NL. He doesn't have a real out pitch, and I wish that curveball was sharper, but 90-94 with an average changeup will work if he throws strikes. I only got Desmond for one game, at second base (where he was overmatched), so I'll defer on that - but he absolutely should start every game for the rest of the season. Why bring him up only to play him every other day? Sit Guzman; you're not evaluating him at this point, and he's not playing for a contract this winter anyway.

Joe (TX)

Does Porcello seem like he could be a real ace in the future? What he's doing at 20 seems pretty durn awesome, but the Ks are still low?

Keith Law
  (2:26 PM)

What I said for Buchholz goes just as well for Porcello. I think he's going to be an ace. Verlander/Porcello in a year or two could be devastating.

Gray (Chicago)

KLaw, why does Mike Scioscia love Macier Izturis and Erick Aybar? Why can't Howie Kendrick and his 2nd half BA in the high .300s get every day AB?

Keith Law
  (2:27 PM)

I have no idea. Kendrick can hit, and he needs to get regular playing time when he's healthy because he's hurt so often.

ben (nyc)

keith, this chat software is absolutely brutal. every third or fourth question is missing your reply, or the replies are going up out of order. FYI.

Keith Law
  (2:29 PM)

Refresh your browser. Or check the transcript later. I'm sorry about this, but then again, I'm not sorry, because I didn't write the code.

Matt Wieters (Baltimore)

Have you seen my September numbers? Can I make a late run at ROY?

Keith Law
  (2:30 PM)

It seems really unlikely - but I will say this: If the voters lost their minds a little and gave the RoY to Wieters, five years from now it would look reasonable. I really wonder if the RoY award should just go to the rookie with the best stats, or if future promise should be a factor.

Derek (Las vegas)

When do you see Michael taylor joining the big leagues? Do you think the Phils could trade Werth after his monster year?

Keith Law
  (2:30 PM)

If not next April, definitely at some point next year.

AB (CT)

As a Phils fan, am I right in thinking that it's unlikely Mike Taylor will ever become as good as Werth is now, and that they should try to extend Jayson on a 3 year deal for good money and look to trade Mike for pitching or a 3B prospect?

Keith Law
  (2:32 PM)

The bigger question is whether Werth at $10MM or so is more valuable than Taylor at $400K PLUS whatever they can get for the difference between their salaries. I doubt it. And, as much as I like Jayson, he does kind of get hurt a lot, which is not the sort of thing that gets better with age.

George (Cleveland)

Just a double check...Are you saying that Masterson is a bullpen guy as a ceiling? I think Sowers is probably a very good middle reliever.Do you really see potential in David Huff?

Keith Law
  (2:32 PM)

Yes, I think Masterson's arm slot and platoon split point toward the pen. Huff could be a solid #4 starter.

Joe V. (Washington, DC)

Keith: People seem to forget how lousy Verlander was last year. Why has he been so much better this year?

Keith Law
  (2:33 PM)

I wonder if he had arm fatigue - I saw him at the end of July and his velocity and command were both off. Then I saw him a month ago in Boston and he hit 100 on his final two pitches, #126 and 127.

Ben (Minneapolis)

I think the $5 fine started the day Alexi Ramirez was promoted to the Bigs.

Jacob (Richmond)

How'd Billingsley look last night?

Keith Law
  (2:35 PM)

Awful. 35 command, then he hung a breaking ball to Zimmerman. It might as well have been on a tee.

Rick (Evanston)

While Porcello/ Neimann seem to get most of the rookie love, don't you think Brett Anderson might be better than either?

Keith Law
  (2:36 PM)

I'd take Anderson over Niemann right now and long term.

Keith Law
  (2:36 PM)

OK, battery's almost dead here. Thanks for all the questions and for your patience.