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October 8, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Keith Law

Klaw
  (1:03 PM)

I'm going to fist this chat right over the shortstop's head!

Mike (NYC)

Any thoughts from you on the fate of the late Toronto GM?

Klaw
  (1:05 PM)

Sort of the elephant in the chat room this week, so I'll start here. I think it was time for a change from a baseball perspective, and long past time for a change from a personality perspective, particularly internally to the baseball ops department. I know and saw things there that made it clear to me in 2006 that I didn't want to stick around for the end of the movie.

Mike (Detroit)

Leyland pulled Porcello Tuesday because Selig called the dugout and demanded that they pull him before other baseball people saw what happens when you draft and pay the best players, right? Because no other explanation makes sense.

Klaw
  (1:07 PM)

Exactly. Someone ask Selig - or Frank Coonelly - if they think the Tigers overpaid for Porcello. I'm looking at players taken ahead of Porcello in 2007 and I'm seeing a lot of guys who are fringy or worse already - Kevin Ahrens, Devin Mesoraco, Nick Schmidt, Pete Kozma, etc.

Fergie (Oklahoma)

Klaw, what kind of numbers do you see Matt LaPorta putting up next year...Can he be a Ryan Braun type of hitter or are his hitting tools on a bit of a lower level than Brauns? thanks

Klaw
  (1:08 PM)

No, he's not Braun as a hitter or as an athlete.

Matt (Boston)

Gordon Beckham an All Star at 3B next year? 280 Avg, 340 OBP, 900 OPS out of the question? He didn't look fooled much this year.

Klaw
  (1:09 PM)

I'm not projecting a .560 SLG for him. He was really rough at third base when I saw him - he's a good shortstop because he makes up for what he lacks in quick-twitch with great instincts. At third base, the reaction times are shorter and I think he gets exposed. He needs to be at second or short. At those positions, he could be an All-Star within two years.

MARTIN (MALVERN,PA)

NO ONE IN ESPN PICKED THE PHILLIES IN THE WORLD SERIES BARELY TO EVEN GET TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIEs. ID HAVE TO SAY THEY LOOKED THE BEST FROM EVERYONE YESTERDAY. THOUGHTS

Klaw
  (1:10 PM)

I PICKED THEM TO WIN THE NL PENNANT AND REALLY YOU SHOULD TRY TO FIND YOUR CAPS LOCK KEY IT'S NOT HARD IT'S ON THE LEFT SIDE OF YOUR KEYBOARD AND CONVENIENTLY SAYS "CAPS LOCK" IF YOU'RE STILL CONFUSED

Chad Billingsley (Sobbing in my basement)

I can't believe Skip thinks Vicente is better then me. Have I really regressed this far? From a # 1 to a # 4 in half a year? I guess it doesn't help that I pitched like a scared little girl in last years playoffs...I'm sad :(

Klaw
  (1:11 PM)

I'm more worried about how you pitched down the stretch this year. If you can't command your stuff in September games against opponents that have already started to shut it down, I'm supposed to trust you against Pujols and Holliday?

henry (st louis)

I thought Colby had 3 good ab's against Wolf, what is your opinion?How can TLR even think about sitting him over Ankiel, or moving Skip to CF which has been talked about.

Klaw
  (1:12 PM)

The fact that Rasmus didn't flail wildly when Wolf couldn't find the plate was a small but good sign. I'd run a RHB in there for Rasmus in a late-game situation, but I'd never play Ankiel over Rasmus even against a LHB.

John (Detroit)

Bigger mistake made by Leyland on Tuesday: 1) Leaving Miner in to start the 7th or 2) leaving Rodney in for the 12th? The Rodney move was a blunder I'll never ever understand, but I contend that having Miner start the 7th vs. Punto & Span when he could have gone w/ a lefty (Ni) and then gone to Lyon (and eventually Rodney for the 9th) would have given us a more favorable result. And yes, I'm despondent

Klaw
  (1:13 PM)

Pulling Porcello to call in Guy Montag and the other Tiger relievers was the biggest mistake. By the time we reached the 12th inning Leyland was already asleep.

Tom (Tampa)

Why didn't we see Verlander for at least an inning on Tuesday?

Klaw
  (1:14 PM)

You'll have to ask Smokey McComatose about that one. I would probably have gone to Verlander before Rodney.

Brian (Milwaukee)

Doug Melvin said in his post-season news conference that he won't trade Prince Fielder or Ryan Braun. Do you think he is being truthful and/or do you think this is smart?

Klaw
  (1:15 PM)

I don't know that it's ever helpful for a GM to make definitive statements like that. If I'm a GM, anyone who lacks a no-trade clause is tradeable in some circumstance. If the Giants call tomorrow and offer Lincecum for Fielder, Melvin's taking it.

Dave (Texas)

Am I wrong to want just two divisions per league and two wild cards?

Klaw
  (1:16 PM)

Nope, I'm with you.

Tony (West Chester)

In your Phillies preview, you said that Manuel would have to be struck by lightning to hit for Howard against a lefty. Who would you suggest he hit? Eric Bruntlett? The Phillies aren't exactly stocked with righties in the field or on th bench.

Klaw
  (1:16 PM)

Isn't that a criticism of their roster construction, then?

Tom (Denver, CO)

Have you ever seen a guy with Jimenez's stuff be less confident? Guy throws like a nancy sometimes.

Klaw
  (1:17 PM)

I don't know if he can be blamed - his command isn't great and might never be above-average given his arm action. He succeeds because his raw stuff is so good.

Adam (NYC)

Which 2005 draft pick will be better: Upton or Braun?

Klaw
  (1:20 PM)

Upton is already better and he's four years younger.

Dr. Matt (Arlington, VA)

Keith, can you please find a way to work Brett Favre into this chat? I haven't heard about him in awhile, and it makes me sad.

Klaw
  (1:20 PM)

I'm surprised we haven't heard his opinion on all the fisted balls in the playoffs so far.

Matthias (Iowa City)

I recently heard in an interview that Bud Selig is not in favor of adding two additional wild-card teams to the current playoff format. What are your thoughts on the topic?

Klaw
  (1:21 PM)

We do not need more playoff teams. If you want an all-inclusive postseason tournament, go watch the NHL.

Jason (Denver)

Lineups are released for the Rox/Phils today. Manuel stayed the same and Tracy switched out Hawpe for Spilborghs. I'm not one to say the sky is falling but don't you think the Rockies have a better chance with Stewart in the lineup, rather than Atkins killing rally's behind Tulo?

Klaw
  (1:22 PM)

Atkins shouldn't be starting any game in this series. Period. I've said it before - the Rockies' turnaround wasn't because Jim Tracy is Jim Tracy but because he's not_Hurdle.

Mike (Pa)

How can a team in the AL playoffs run out Harris, Tolbert and Punto as it's 7-8-9 hitters?

Klaw
  (1:22 PM)

Because it's all they've got.

Dan (Tampa)

If you were the Pirates, you early favorite at #2 behind Harper is?

Klaw
  (1:23 PM)

Right now, it's probably Taillon or Ranaudo, but there are a few other guys who could move up into that spot with strong springs.

Mark (Lyme, CT)

In one word. Why the Sox over the Yanks?

Klaw
  (1:24 PM)

Rotation.

Bill K. (Long Beach, CA)

So if the Jays had done this in 2006, do you think you'd still be there?

Klaw
  (1:25 PM)

I'll put it this way: I left in 2006 because I could not work for Ricciardi any longer. What would have happened after that is anyone's guess.

Joe (Mansfield, MA)

Stolen bases, stolen bases, stolen bases! Tell me I'm not the only one who thinks the Boston media is making much ado about a relatively minor edge the Angels will have in this series (not to mention Napoli doesn't throw out runners at a great rate, either).

Klaw
  (1:26 PM)

I think it's pretty significant. The Angels run a lot and run well, and their top two basestealers are also their top two OBP guys. I also think they'll run on Ellsbury a lot if they get a chance.

Matt (LA)

A-Rod in the playoffs so far: 2-4, 1R, 2RBI. Fail or Epic Fail?

Klaw
  (1:27 PM)

Unless he goes 12-for-10 in this series, it's Epic Fail.

Ned (NYC)

Can the Phillies win the series against the Rox without going to the bullpen once?

Klaw
  (1:27 PM)

I admit I had that thought yesterday too.

Ken (Scottsdale, AZ)

What are you thoughts on the Towers firing. The guy knew how to build a bullpen, but his player development was atrocious.

Klaw
  (1:29 PM)

I think given the current state of the franchise, especially the farm system, and Moorad's obvious desire for a GM with a different operating philosophy, the move was justified, or at least it wasn't as unjustified as KT's media friends (he is a great guy, a good quote, and very funny when watching players) made it out to be. He wasn't a bad GM, but you can make a strong argument for a change.

Joe (Cincy)

I think Joe Torre should play Juan Pierre more. It's not just the small ball that they miss. It's the energy that he brings every day and the threat that he brings as far as running the bases and stealing bases.

Klaw
  (1:30 PM)

Too obvious.

Steve (California)

Is Sandoval the "Big" bat the Giants need to win the west next year or do we need to spend some money for an outfielder?

Klaw
  (1:31 PM)

The issue isn't that the Giants need one "Big" bat. It's that they need a few of them. And not so many "Teeny" bats.

Jack (Toronto)

Does JP's firing free you up from your non-disclosure agreement?

Klaw
  (1:31 PM)

I think that ran out over a year ago.

Dan (Dubai)

Keith, what are your thoughts on the Jays' hiring of Alex Anthopoulos? Did you ever work with him in Toronto?

Klaw
  (1:33 PM)

Worked with him three-plus years. Great guy, very smart, loves the process (not the Process, people). He was always at the middle of debates we had on players. (He got me on Ryan Zimmerman, I got him on Glen Perkins.) And I don't think you'll hear him ripping other teams' players or antagonizing his employees.

Christian (Washington, DC)

ESPN's "Rumors" section suggests the Braves might make Jair Jurrjens or Derek Lowe available for an impact bat. Jurrjens? Frank Wren isn't that stupid, is he?

Klaw
  (1:33 PM)

No, but I'm fairly certain you could get Lowe this winter. His peripherals are heading down and his salary isn't.

Eric ((Catasauqua, PA))

JA Happ can't possibly be as good as his basic numbers suggest, right?

Klaw
  (1:34 PM)

He's not. His stats with RISP are completely unsustainable. He'll settle in as a nice 5th starter because of the deception in his delivery and the fact that he throws strikes.

Andrew (Durham)

What do you make of Delmon Young's hot streak in the past 2 weeks? He still has no plate discipline. Will Garza/Bartlett for Delmon/Harris go down as one of the all time unfair trades?

Klaw
  (1:35 PM)

That's exactly what I make of it: No plate discipline = Same Delmon.

Matt (Boston)

Did you just say Upton is better than Braun? They had comparable years, Brauns was better, but I'll take the track record over one good year so far, albeit he is younger

Klaw
  (1:36 PM)

He's four years younger and a better defender.

Dayton (KC)

Did you say "Process?" I LOVE the Process. Trading young, under-contract, cheap players, for old-contract expiring, expensive players, is how this works. It's your fault KLaw you don't understand this.

Klaw
  (1:36 PM)

Props to royalsreview.com for their post today on this, by the way. Of course, that author will promptly be added to The List.

Brian (Brooklyn NY)

Did you see Delmon in the minor leagues? Were you able to see past the hype at that point or did you believe he would be the next Matt Weiters?

Klaw
  (1:37 PM)

Saw him once, at 18, in the AFL. He was so physically advanced for his age that everyone seemed certain he'd be a star.

Colin (St. Paul)

Im desperate KLaw, tell me the Twins have some hope for a front line starter somewhere in their organization. I dislike having a rotation of back end guys.

Klaw
  (1:38 PM)

A #1? No.

Stanley (Duluth, MN)

The Twins' best chance for a win is tomorrow night versus Burnett, right? I don't care if Sunday's game is in the dome or not--Petite has owned the Twins over his career.

Klaw
  (1:38 PM)

Yes, I think the probability of a Burnett stink-bomb is reasonably high, enough so that Twins fans should have some hope for that game.

Alex (Macon, GA)

I saw Jason Heyward play. I still haven't gotten over the fact that he is 20 years old.

Klaw
  (1:40 PM)

That's a good example on the Delmon question. Heyward was the same, a man already at age 17. The difference, we know now, is that Heyward already controlled the zone as a teenager, whereas Delmon will still be asking "what's a changeup?" when he's 40.

Jason (St Louis)

If the Cardinals win the World Series this year, does that make them the best team of the NL for the decade? 7 post season appearances and 3 World Series appearances with two wins would be a pretty good decade.

Klaw
  (1:41 PM)

Who's even their competition?

John (Detroit)

Keith, as far as Verlander and Porcello are concerned, will they both eventually settle in as #1s or is Porcello's low K rate (based on this year anyway) project him more as a #2? I suppose I'm assuming that JV already is a 1.

Klaw
  (1:42 PM)

You saw in that tiebreaker that Porcello can miss a bat when he needs to. I think he'll strike more guys out as he matures. The velocity is still there.

Trey (Atlanta)

You catching any AFL action next week?

Klaw
  (1:42 PM)

Yes, the whole week. Looking forward to it. Strong rosters this year.

Chris ((Detroit))

How awkward is it going to be when the Twins and Yankees show up to the Metrodome for game three and Fernando Rodney is still on the mound?

Klaw
  (1:43 PM)

He might still be there when they blow up the building.

Eric (Brandon, FL)

Keith-How much do teams value their 1st rounder being "protected" in the top 15? The reason I ask, is if the answer is "a lot", it sure seems like the Rays got screwed by the Cubs not having to make up their game that got rained otu two weeks ago. If the Cubs lost that game, it creates a tiebreaker situation that the Rays would have won. Essentially, a rainout seems like it could seriously alter both teams approaches when it comes to type A free agents this year. Thanks!

Klaw
  (1:44 PM)

Some teams, probably most, value it highly and won't give it up unless they've got another one coming back as compensation for a player they've lost.

Tom ((Philly))

Speaking of AFL, is Dom Brown the 2nd best OF prospect there after Heyward?

Klaw
  (1:46 PM)

Ackley's supposed to be there too.

Jason (St Louis)

Will there be anyone at the 7th pick that can help the Mets in the near future? The Wilpon's money issues won't keep them from taking the best player available will it?

Klaw
  (1:46 PM)

I would not expect them to go over slot.

David (Cleveland)

Do you think Wedge should have been fired?

Klaw
  (1:47 PM)

I thought that long before this fall. Bad tactical manager who showed no signs of being a good developmental manager, which is what they're going to need going forward.

Spencer (Nor-Cal)

KLaw, the A's had 5 young pitchers play a major role on their staff this year, Anderson, Cahill, Mazarro, Outman and Bailey. What do you think about the future development of this group and their long term impacts on the organization?

Klaw
  (1:49 PM)

Anderson's an ace. Cahill's not far behind in ceiling. Bailey's peaked, I don't see him ever being more than what he was in 2009 (which was very good, of course). Obviously Mazzaro and Outman ended the season on the shelf, but I was never wild about either guy. Mazzaro will flash velocity but it's not fooling hitters and his offspeed pitches are all below average.

Chris (Virginia)

Keith, I need your help. I always wonder if I'm off base with my analysis since I really don't know the inner workings of what goes on, but Leyland letting Rodney go 3 innings and 48 pitches struck me as insane. What are your thoughts on that subject? Thanks.

Klaw
  (1:49 PM)

Yeah. It was insane. Or criminally negligent.

Matthew (Seattle)

Hey Keith - In reference to the whole Roy Halladay spectacle a couple of months ago, do you believe that there were any offers out there that Ricciardi et al should have taken? All of the rumors that floated out seemed woefully subpar (think what Cleveland received for Cliff Lee) and despite JP Ricciardi's obvious shortcomings, I can't fault him for deciding against accepting inferior value for an asset such as Halladay. Thoughts?

Klaw
  (1:50 PM)

No. He was right to reject the offers they got. Anyone who says the Phillies' offer was enough is overrating the players offered.

Scott (Boston)

Did I miss something on your AFL question about best prospect? Strasburg, Posey and Stanton are all there, right?

Klaw
  (1:52 PM)

Best outfield prospect ... never mind, Scott corrected himself and I just saw the correction. Stanton's in that discussion too, of course.

Alex (Los Angeles)

What do the Braves need to do in the offseason to push them over the hump? 94 run differential this year is a hopeful sign, right?

Klaw
  (1:53 PM)

Another bat and some relief help since Soriano and Gonzalez are free agents. Using Lowe to try to get one of those things would be smart.

Jason (Pitt)

Keith....being a Pirate fan, I would love McCutchen to win the NL ROY....but did you notice the numbers that Chris Couglan of the Marlins put up? Didn't he lead the NL in hits the 2nd half of the year??

Klaw
  (1:55 PM)

Excellent cherry-picking. Discard his first half, ignore his BABIP (.406!), use bulk totals that reflect playing time, and completely ignore defense, and Coghlan's your RoY. Coghlan played poor defense at an easy position, and his bat is less valuable relative to position than McCutchen's was.

Klaw
  (1:55 PM)

I think Coghlan's going to win, though. The voters are not analysts, or scouts.

John (Dallas)

You ever think some of the people on the chats are saying they are rooting for one team/player but are really rooting for another?

Klaw
  (1:56 PM)

All the time. I'd be surprised if any of you was telling the truth about anything, Jen.

Anderson (Sao Paulo)

Tudo bem?

Klaw
  (1:57 PM)

Sim, e voce? By the way, I didn't really care much about baseball getting bounced from the Olympics, but having it back in for the 2016 games in a country where baseball has a small foothold would be a good thing for the sport.

G ((NY))

What does BABIP have to do with Coghlan's rookie of the year campaign? I understand its relevance in terms of long term projections, but doesn't the ROY evaluate a player's YEAR, not potential?

Klaw
  (1:59 PM)

You're giving him full credit for something that is at least partly luck or due to small sample size. You're also assuming that RoY shouldn't ever consider a player's potential, which is a philosophy that gave us Todd Hollandsworth, Rookie of the Year.

Drew (TX)

What do you see in Rasmus? The tools and potential from a very young all-but regular CF, or the lack of steals this year, the lack of plate judgement, and the weakness v. lefties?

Klaw
  (2:00 PM)

Rasmus takes good at bats. He's going to be a star.

G ((NY))

So Matt Kemp is one lucky son of a (gun) huh?

Klaw
  (2:01 PM)

Kemp has a .361 BABIP over 1800 PA. I think his true talent level is something pretty close to that. BABIP for hitters isn't like it is for pitchers.

Glen L (NYC)

If you completely take future potential out of the equation, isn't the NL ROY Garret Jones over Coughlin?

Klaw
  (2:01 PM)

And that would be a terrible selection.

Dave (Somerville, MA)

Colby Rasmus = Curtis Granderson?(I know you aren't supposed to cross racial boundaries when making comps, but if you project Rasmus to run more down the line, he pretty much projects to be Granderson.)

Klaw
  (2:02 PM)

Probably not quite Granderson's range, and I would like to think that Rasmus' better eye at the plate means he won't hit like Tony Pena Jr. against left-handers.

Mike (CT)

How do you know Coghlan's BABIP is out of the ordinary when it's his first year in the bigs?

Klaw
  (2:05 PM)

Because he actually played in the minors, and his minor league BABIP was .317. http://bit.ly/3jHyXJI suppose he could have morphed into one of the greatest hitters of all time when he was recalled, but I doubt it.

Adam (Ft Wayne)

I am curious to know, you said that you left the Jays in 2006, were you there when they made the BJ Ryan signing? If so, what was your input on that absolutely ridiculous deal? I gotta believe that you tried to talk sense into Riccardi.

Klaw
  (2:06 PM)

Yes. I did a simple study on predicting reliever performance year over year, using basic metrics with which he was comfortable, and said that the over/under on good years we'd get on a five year deal was, shockingly, 2.5.

Klaw
  (2:09 PM)

By the way, everyone is asking for award picks. I can't give my NL Cy vote, but for the others: AL MVP - Mauer. NL MVP - Pujols. AL Cy - Greinke. NL RoY - Andrew McCutchen. AL RoY - I'd probably go Porcello, then Andrus, then Niemann.

Levi (Grand Rapids)

Braun over Upton? Did you see that Braun has a higher AVG, OBP, SLG, plus more runs, hits, doubles, home runs, and RBI this year, or did you ignore those "unimportant" stats?

Klaw
  (2:11 PM)

The question was not "who had the better season in 2009?" The question was "who will be better?" Or did you ignore those unimportant "words?"

Mike (Toronto)

JP was hoping you would vote for Romero as your AL Roy

Klaw
  (2:11 PM)

If they hadn't shut him down, he had a good chance.

Lou (NYC)

I know its early but who should the mets target with their first round pick, #7? How is the talent in this draft compared to recent drafts.

Klaw
  (2:12 PM)

Bad college draft, good high school draft. Too early to target anyone - you don't line guys up like that until April unless you're picking in the top three.

Todd (Toronto)

How good can Holland be? How about Ryan Perry?

Klaw
  (2:13 PM)

Perry has closer potential, but he'll have to improve his control. There's plenty of precedent for that (young flame-thrower with below average command/control improving to become a closer). Holland projects as a #2 starter, maybe even a 1.

mike (toronto)

they didn't shut Romero down, it was Cecil adn Rzepchinski (I know I butched that spelling) that they shut down

Klaw
  (2:14 PM)

You butchered the spelling of "and" too. Unless that's the Canadian spelling. But thanks.

Brian (NJ)

Rob, do you have a NL Cy Young vote this year? Is that why you cannot reveal your choice?

Klaw
  (2:15 PM)

I can't reveal my choice because you're too dense to figure out who you're chatting with, Bruce.

Tim (Chicago)

Did you get a chance to see Dan Hudson in the big leagues? Any impressions?

Klaw
  (2:16 PM)

I saw an inning and he didn't look great, so consider that a "no comment." He may have been exhausted from such a long season in his first full year in the pros.

Mario (Boston, MA)

Hi Keith. Thanks for chatting.Girardi brought in Hughes to face Cabrera, with Coke warming (presumably for Mauer). If Cabrera had gotten on base, how monumentally stupid would it have been for Girardi to use his best non-Rivera reliever for one guy? Do you see this as a problem going forward?

Klaw
  (2:16 PM)

I've never gotten Girardi's bullpen management. I can't defend it.

Jake (NYC)

Not to mention Pat Listach and Kaz Sasaki

Klaw
  (2:18 PM)

Exactly. What is the point of the award? Best one-year wonder? Best future? Some of both?

Klaw
  (2:19 PM)

Andy Oliver and the NCAA settled Oliver's lawsuit against them.

Klaw
  (2:19 PM)

NCAA pays $750K to Oliver.

Klaw
  (2:22 PM)

Apparently one of the judge's orders was vacated, working on figuring out what this means. Thanks for all the questions. No chat next week, but if you're headed to an AFL game, come by and say hello.