Sorry, had Internet connection issues here at the hotel.
KLaw, how do you see this suspension affecting Volquez' ROY chances?
Obvious chatter is obvious.
Can you please remind my fellow O's fans that Cal Ripken has no better chance of winning with this roster than anyone else? I'm sick of people thinking a former HOF player will be a HOF manager....
Done. And this has to be the stupidest media-created "controversy" of the year. The fact that Ripken played for the Orioles for all of those years does not entitle him to a front-office or coaching job when he decides he wants one - nor, as you said, does it qualify him for such a job, or mean that he'll be any good at it.
What chance would you give Halladay at winning 25 games this year (even though Wins are a meaningless stat)?
Ten percent? There are plenty of reasons why it hasn't happened in thirty years - primarily how pitchers are used and how games are managed. He is in a good situation (good run support and defense, at least), and we know he works deep into games, but unless he turns into Ol' Hoss he'll still lose a few wins to the bullpen, mismanagement, or just plain old bad luck.
FYI, getting to the chats has become more difficult. The link is on the front page, but it instantly streams a video (including a commercial), and while the video is streaming we can't even click on the link. Not user friendly!
Follow me on Twitter and you'll get a direct link to the chat every Thursday.
You are the biggest egotistical jerk I know
You should get out more. We're EVERYWHERE.
One dreams of the day that 2 things can happen Keith. 1) A chicken can cross the road without having his motives questioned. 2) ANY ESPN baseball chat can happen without the same guy asking for 3 straight weeks if Halladay will win 25+ games. Thanks for your time.
There are multiple questions in the queue about Doc and 25 wins, and I had a few on Twitter too. I think I have to answer a question when several people are asking it.
I have recent proof how useless the W is. Dan Haren Sunday. 7 earned runs, yet gets the win. The offense and Mark Reynolds should be credited with that win.
Or Chris Carpenter last night. Funny that he should have a start that I would rate higher than stat-Luddites would.
Why isn't anybody talking about the Dodgers' outfield! All three have an OPS over 1.100, all three have 12+ RBI's, and Matt Kemp is leading the league in HR and RBI!
Because talking about player stats two weeks into the season is a little silly.
Keith, I have to disagree with you about Cal. He does deserve a job with the Orioles in some capacity. The Orioles and there fans need something or someone to bring back the team to it's glory days. Cal is an icon in Maryland and he knows baseball period. His knowledge of the game and his presence would help attendence and the young players would learn how to play the Oriole way.
Where will Clemson's Kyle Parker get drafted if you even think he will at all? Will it be high enough to lure him away from the starting QB job?
I can't rule out him going high enough to choose baseball - he's certainly performing this year and two-sport players do get a boost to their draft stock - but I personally wouldn't take him that high. He's a 1b/dh type who can crush a mistake. This isn't a Ty Linton or a Tyrell Jenkins, multi-sport players who are really athletic, so that bonus is based on something meaningful rather than the mere fact that they play another sport.
When Bob Welch won 27 games for the A's, #1 he wasn't the best pitcher on his team, and #2 had a ridiculously great bullpen to go along with the top offense. Roy will need a ton of help to even come close.
Exactly. Except I'd say Doc needs help AND luck. You have to get lucky to win that many - which is a nice indictment of the stat, no? - unless you're going to pitch a few times on short rest. Which, knowing Doc, I wouldn't rule out.
Yes, really. Players look up to and respect someone who has played the game and has had success. Cal was taught the game the right way and he continues to help kids learn the game. Come on you have to be kidding me not to agree.
What is "the right way?" And does being a good player make you a good teacher?
When do you see prospects such as Carlos Santana, Justin Smoak, Brett Wallace, Jesus Montero coming up? Each of the players that would appear to be blocking there way is stinking it up, is it really just about holding off their arbitration?
Montero's the wild card because of his position, but I think the other three are up by June 10th. Santana in particular - not that Cleveland is trying to win this year, but I don't think he's got anything left to learn in the minors. If they want him to work on game-calling, let him call some big league games with pitchers he'll be catching the next few years.
How common are predraft deals? Do they mostly happen with guys who are overdrafts? Like you'll be picked 25th otherwise, but we will take you here at #10 if you'll sign for slot today.
Touchy subject. They're prohibited under MLB rules ... but I have no problem with them, and don't see why they should be prohibited. If the player gets a dollar figure with which he's comfortable, and the team gets a player it wants at a price it likes, isn't that a win/win? There should be a closed period that runs, say, a week before the draft, where players would be permitted to discuss deals or signability with teams, as opposed to the wink-and-nod system of ignoring that it actually happens now annyway.
Have you heard anything on 2011 Draft prospect Bubba Starling from Kansas HS in regards to his draft potential? Sounds like he may be the top HS QB in the country and was wondering if this was another Mauer situation.
On talent alone he may be the top HS guy in the class, certainly one of the top few.
What are your thoughts of Salem Catcher/DH Ryan Lavarnway, it seems like the Red Sox don't like him defensively behind the plate, and he is said not to be agile enough to play first, he doesn't run good enough to play corner outfield, left is only DH, so do you think he will hit enough to make it at the show?
No. Cup of coffee maybe, but not a big league regular.
Has anyone, early into this season, made a big impression to you that would make you reconsider having them in your top-100 prospects, or making a huge jump if they were already there?
I wouldn't make a major move based on two weeks of stats. The one name that does come to mind is Wily Peralta of the Brewers - I saw him in March and he was much better than advertised, and I may have underrated him in January.
"O RLY?" How is that a response to a legit comment? Your job here is to ANSWER questions not to be a jerk. You've gotten progressively more arrogant over the years and I'm done.
I just checked my paperwork with ESPN. "Be a jerk" is #3 on the list of responsibilities. Door's on your left.
Is Nick Hagadone's future a SP or RP?
Highly likely it's as a reliever. But a very good one.
I think you miss the point on the Halladay 25 wins question. Sure, it may not be the best stat to get the true value of a pitcher. But none the less, he is more than likely to lead the lead in innings and complete games barring injury and plays for a team that scores a lot of runs. So that is really the question, not does winning 25 games make him the greatest.
I'm with you - maybe I'm trying to make two points at once and it's not working. For what it's worth, that's one thing that would pique my interest despite my disdain for the stat - seeing a player rack up an unusually high total, something that generates some headlines. If a player made a run at Hack Wilson's RBI record, I'd pay attention, even though that in and of itself isn't a great measure of performance. It becomes newsworthy, and that type of news is good for the game.
Hi Keith,Thanks for the chat. What do you think of the move resulting in the Cubs new $18MM a year set-up man? The Cubs have to be the posterchild organization right now for bad long-term contracts......
Unless there's an injury we don't know about, it's indefensible. Funny how his decline started right around when he signed that extension.
You might not be a football guy, but this Tim Tebow business is getting out of hand, right?
Yes. I almost feel like it's getting wrapped up in the broader culture wars. I wouldn't want to be covering that draft this year and have to lick that third rail.
I know this doesn't fit it with the snark of a Klaw chat, but while working with the Jays did you get to know Keli McGregor at all?
I did not. I have only heard great things about him and I feel horrible for his family.
Keith it's your responsibility as an analyst to take seriously questions about "intangibles" and "factors beyond statistics" and "the right way" and "scrappiness" and "grit"
Right. Even if I believe they're as real as the Tooth Fairy and the gyroball.
Does Chase Headley have a shot at an Adam Lind 2009 type breakout year?
Yes, I think so.
Is Karsten Whitson going to be around at pick #10?
At best 50% chance.
McCutchen has a 10/7 K:BB rate, and is 9/10 in SB already. If he continues to progress discipline wise, is he really a 50sb threat (he's on pace for 104!)?
He's that fast, he's getting on base, and they seem willing to let him run. So I'd say yes.
Rob Neyer just posted his thoughts on an article that noted Bryce Harper may in fact be a raging jerk on the Barry Bonds level. Have you heard/experience anything like this? Would it have any effect on the Nats drafting him?
I've seen a few pieces like that, one that called him a "terrible role model" ... for one thing, he's 17 years old. For another, the coaching staff at CSN seems to have no problem with him, and his behavior on the field - where it matters - has been fine. What you're really seeing is a bad combination of the kill-your-idols school of writing and plain old contrarianism - take down the best guy. You heard it last year with unfounded criticisms of Strasburg's arm action. So, to answer your question, I think it's wrong, and I think it's irrelevant.
Keith, you may be a jerk. But at least you're not a stupid jerk.
I'm fine with that.
If you are the Nationals would you rather have Manny Machado for 5Mil or Bryce Harper for 12Mil? And how realistic is it to think the Nationals could offer someone other than Harper 5Mil in a predraft deal? Who else will top 5Mil without going 1st
I'm not sure I agree with those numbers - I assume they're hypothetical. I don't think I'd give Harper more than twice what I'd give Machado, at least. But I'd give him more.
Not in any way trying to validate the Ripken promoters in this chat, but intangibles do play a role in evaluations, don't they? Halladay's greatness isn't just his tremendous arm, it's also his work ethic, intelligence and mental toughness. Just sayin.
Some intangibles matter. Some don't. And there's a strong tendency, within the industry but especially outside it, to impute good intangibles to players because of reasons of performance or image or being nice to reporters.
What are the chances Bryce Brentz is around at 24? How long until this kid can hit in the big leagues?
He's hitting again, and if he plays the field again before the season ends, I don't think he gets to 24.
Not all Mikes agree with that other one....I agree two weeks is too early, but how long do I have to wait before I can keep saying Delmon Young still isn't good?
You can say it now. I won't disagree with you.
Before he blew out his knee, was Garin Cecchini considered a 1st rounder? Where do you think he will end up now?
He was a fringe first rounder for me at best, but I know scouts who rated him much higher. I think he's probably going to school at this point, or a summer follow if there's a chance he can play or work out in late summer. Good tools, didn't love the swing or see a clear position.
"... Bryce Harper may in fact be a raging jerk on the Barry Bonds level ..."Yes, because if 17-year-old Barry Bonds was eligible for this year's draft his character concerns would cause teams to stay away from him.
An excellent point. Teams shied away from Chisenhall and Buchholz for very real intangible issues (they broke the law), and most if not all of them would like a redo.
Keith, would you advocate lefties who are shifted against to bunt more down the 3rd base line? How much would they have to do something like that before teams stopped utilizing the overshift?
Yes, I would. Probably not that often - once every few games would be enough. If it's done right, the success rate has to be near 100%, while playing a normal defense even against a pull-happy LHB would produce far more outs.
Can we talk about the draft? Brentz, Colon, Cox what order do you have the three best college hitters? (non catcher division)
Cox, Brentz, Colon.
Fast forward to the 2011 draft. What do you do if you?re the O?s. Harper does not sign and is sitting there at the 1 pick along with Rice 3B Rendon. I know you don?t draft based on who you have ahead of players but in this situation you have Bell and Weiters. So, if you ran the O?s what would you do there?
I'd take Rendon. He's the one guy in the '11 class I'd take over Harper - he's that good and he's closer to the big leagues.
First name to pop into your head at #8 for the Astros?
Whitson. I don't have him linked to any team above them, and he and Cox are the two best guys on my list right now who don't have "homes."
With the news about Grandal potentially being a Royals target, do you think that's a wise decision? They need a catcher, but are there better players they should target that high or is saving money for later rounds that important?
If it's a matter of shifting money to later rounds, it's a valid strategy, and I like Grandal more than Tony Sanchez, who was the fourth pick last year as the Pirates employed that very strategy.
Really interested in your opinion - Heyward is off to a great start, but does his value for a few weeks justify giving up a year of control?
I think it does because Atlanta has a good shot at a playoff berth, and one or two wins could easily be the difference. And I think they felt a little burned by waiting on Hanson last year.
Ike Davis, what's your take on him short term / long term. Is the hype justified. On a side note I know my Mets are a mess, and Ike's promotion screams desperation, but I will take him or anyone really over Jacobs or Murphy anyday. Thanks keep up the good work!
He's been wildly overhyped. I would expect RHP to throw him a ton of offspeed stuff until he proves he can hit it.
According to the great Klaw, who is going to call Pittsburgh "home"? (Please be Machado...)
I'll say 60/40 Machado/Pomeranz - but I should give the old caveat that we are so far away from the draft that a lot could change between now and then. I'm treating these questions as "if the draft were held tomorrow" types.
Lot of Cosart talk coming after his first couple starts, does he have the potential to pass Mays as the Phils top pitching prospect by the end of the year? Has he already? I'm wrapping up War and Peace and am still unsure how I feel about it or if it needs to be as lengthy as it is - ever read it?
I think he's ahead of May given the uptick in his stuff. Couple of years away still but very exciting, #1 starter potential. Never read W&P but I didn't exactly fly through Anna Karenina.
Keith what are your thoughts on Simon Castro? Also I have to recommend Blue Water in SD best fish tacos ever and its right by USD and the airport.
Good move skipping him over the Cal League. Not out of the question he'd get a cup of coffee this year, but 2011 seems far more likely. Him & Latos = start of a pretty good rotation.
Thank you for your Sid the Science Kid recommendation.
You're welcome. It's amazing how much my daughter learns from it. It's a good time for kids' TV right now between Sid, Word World, Dinosaur Train, even Peep & the Big Wide World. I'm just glad she's graduated from Angelina Ballerina.
When and where can we find your updated draft list?
Tonight or tomorrow. The ranking is done, just need to add some text.
KLAW--thanks for the Sesame Street book recommendation on The Dish. My wife loves Sesame Street, and I bought her the book, which she read in one night. My question is about Jesse Crain. Have you ever done or heard of a scouting report on him? Sometimes he appears to have great stuff, but other times he looks horrible. We never know what to expect up here in MN. Thanks!
I feel like he hasn't been the same guy since the shoulder injury. Saw him in AA, well before that, and he had the repertoire to start but not really the build or experience. Really liked him, though. Since the injury his command hasn't been the same and his stuff doesn't have the same life.
Why am I so obsessed with college infield bats? Jemile Weeks and Grant Green?Also, dont you think I should just promote Chris Carter and Michael Taylor? Why am I wasting my young arms to pitch in front of this offense?
I heard you're really interested in Michael Choice and Dylan Covey, neither of whom is a college infielder. I'd like to see Carter and Taylor up by midyear.
Bec. you answered a question of mine on this topic many chats ago: How bad has PROJECT RUNWAY gotten? There're no villains & no one to even root for these days.
Emilio's kind of a villain, no? By the way, those of you who watch the show and live in LA, there's a viewing party in West Hollywood with Mila tonight with proceeds to benefit a great cause, Project Angel Food. Details are at http://bit.ly/b8ycsm.
Saw Neftali Feliz pitch for the first time last night. Does that guy throw the easiest 100mph fastball ever?
His velocity is incredibly easy. Like he's playing catch. Never had him up to 100 myself but lots of 98s.
Would you replace Davis with Smoak today? Or would you wait until the end of May to delay arbitration for a year? I'd prefer getting him in the lineup now. Worry about the contract later.
They've pushed off free agency. That, to me, has always been the big variable. Buying back a year of control is expensive. Paying more in arbitration because the player has produced more for you ... sure, you hate to spend more money, but the extra cash is only going to be significant if the player was very good over the two-plus years, and the extra 100-odd AB Smoak might get in the next 5-6 weeks would, most likely, make him a more productive hitter for them later this season.
Who will have a better career offensively? Hosmer, Sweeney, Peter Bourjos, Liddi, or Hechavarria. Who will be the better pitcher? Montgomery, Crow, Stewart, or Britton
as a fan of an AL team...it really bothers me when I see guys like Carlos Silva switch leagues and get off to starts like he has. I fully expect the AL dominance in interleague to be the same as it has in the recent past...agree?
It's looking that way. Nothing against Halladay, but part of his dominance is that he's facing easier lineups.
I know is only 1 start (sorry about asking), but just curious:: At what point will Girardi consider changing Hughes to the 4 spot and Vasquez to the 5? (specially playing at home)
I think the main consideration with Hughes will be managing his innings. And that one start did come against a pretty weak lineup.
Hey Keith,Excited to hear the Klaw-snark response to this one: I'm fully on board with the notion that the RBI is a useless stat for evaluating player perfomance, but I don't think it should be abolished completely as it does still serve an important purpose. There are those of us still who choose to check the boxscores the day after to see how the games unfolded and when scouring the boxscore, the RBI stat really helps to paint a picture of how a given team went about scoring their runs. So bash the RBI if you will but please for the love of Doc, don't run it right out of the game. Thoughts?
Read the game log. The box score tells you the individual performances; the game log tells you the story of the game.
Is Wieters power going to develop further or do you see him as a 15-20 hr guy.
I want a job where one of my responsibilties is "Be a jerk"How should I go about that?
Apply to be a judge on a reality show.
Even in the NL, Silva ain't sustaining a .178 BABiP
He's going to turn back into a pumpkin. A giant, record-setting pumpkin.
With the O's sending down Brad Bergessen who do you think takes his spot in the rotation?
Wieters. And he'll still catch too. He does it all.
Should Milwaukee try and buy 2 years of Rickie Weeks' free agency before the price goes up, or is his injury history too risky for that move?
I would do it, but I've been accused of an irrational belief in Weeks' abilities.
Hi Keith,I grew up in the Bay Area and as a player myself, have been a longtime Stanford fan. I've noticed that you've been pretty critical of Stanford's hitting coaches, specifically in the context of your reports on prospects (e.g. Taylor, Castro, Garko, Lowrie), despite the success of the program in general.What is the separation between what college and big league coaches are trying to accomplish with players? In the eyes of scouts would the moderate success of guys I mentioned above show their tools overcoming bad coaching, or simply a functional difference between the approaches of college programs and big league teams? Thanks!
Taylor, Lowrie, and Garko all had to change their swings after leaving Stanford (in Garko's case, it may be that he just refused to make the changes the Stanford coaches insisted he make). It's not a good track record.
Thanks for all the questions - look for that updated draft ranking tonight or tomorrow.