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May 4, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Rob Neyer

Aaron (Chicago)

Hey Rob - I'm wondering how accessable some of these more obscure stats are, and how people get ahold of them. For instance, I want to know if Joey Votto is swinging and more pitches outside the strikezone this year. Is that something I'd be able to find?

Rob Neyer
  (12:05 PM)

If FanGraphs doesn't have that particular column, they've got many more something like it. That's my first stop for "obscure" metrics these days.

Eric (Gettysburg, PA)

Hey Rob, thanks for chatting. Do you make sure to read the chat before yours? You have an uncanny knack for noticing when you are being baited.

Rob Neyer
  (12:12 PM)

Someone on my staff reads all the chats and gives me bullet points.

Esquivel (Yuba City)

Can you give me your cy young projections in the NL? Is it Tim "Franchise" Lincecum? Roy "The Thief" Halladay? Or Chris "One piece puzzle" Carpenter? Or Adam "Go to the slate" Wainwright?

Rob Neyer
  (12:13 PM)

Umm, you forgot Ubaldo "I Throw 100" Jimenez. I said Halladay before the season so I'll stick with him. But gosh what a battle.

Conrad (Phila)

Hey Rob, so thanks to Joe Poz we see how ridiculous the win stat is w/r/t Greinke. Conversely, who is the most overvalued pitcher over the last few decade because of his wins? Gotta be Joe Poz's other favorite Jack Morris, right?

Rob Neyer
  (12:14 PM)

Sure.

David (Dallas)

Based on two years of swing-and-miss evidence in Japan, early season results and an xFIP of 3.60, do you think Colby Lewis can keep this up?

Rob Neyer
  (12:16 PM)

Yeah, I think he might be a different pitcher, apparently thanks to the cutter he perfected in Japan.

bill (madison)

has KC given up on alex gordon? do you think they will try to trade him or actually try to turn him into a left fielder or first baseman? if they were disappointed in his bat at third, how will first or left be better? Those two positions are also supposed to be for power hitters.

Rob Neyer
  (12:18 PM)

Well, Bob Dutton's reported that Gordon will play some left field and first base in Omaha, which means they see him as a utility player. You don't ask a player you like to do that unless you're the Rays. And the Royals ain't the Rays.

Tad (Bakersfield, CA)

Speaking of Ubaldo, I don't know if you saw the game last night but that was probably the best *stuff* I've ever seen a starter throw for 7 innings. It was incredible how effortless his fastball was.

Rob Neyer
  (12:20 PM)

I did see much of the game, and he is a marvel.

Monroe (Chelsea, Ohio)

It was quite obvious that the Mariners were going to have difficulty scoring runs and now here we are in May ... and sure enough, the M's can't score. After painting himself in a corner with Bobblehead Griffey and Mascot Mike Sweeney, what can the Great Jack Z do to get out of his jam?

Rob Neyer
  (12:22 PM)

He can tinker, Monroe, but I don't see a great deal of help coming until July at the absolute earliest. I think the M's are resigned to hoping that King Felix and Prince Clifford pitch the heck out it.

Alex (Wyoming)

Hey Rob, when a young guy like Justin Smoak has such an impressive walk rate, how often does that translate into sustained success? What do you see his numbers being at the end of this year?

Rob Neyer
  (12:23 PM)

I wish I had a link, but I just read a Bill James study concluding that a young player's walk rate doesn't tell us anything about the future except how many times he's going to walk.

Owen (Berkeley)

After being stunned when he signed that 4-year contract and grumbling through the first two years and praying someone would take him off our hands... I've kind of come around on Luis Castillo. He does seem to have an actual talent for blooping little singles. And for some reason he gets walks, which, given his non-existent power, seems tantamount to walking the pitcher, but somehow it happens. Am I delusional or just glass half full?

Rob Neyer
  (12:24 PM)

The ill-advisedness of Castillo's deal was greatly exaggerated. He's not a bad little player and it's not an immense amount of money.

Mike ((Minneapolis, MN))

What do the Twins do with Wilson Ramos?

Rob Neyer
  (12:25 PM)

Well, let's not get ahead of ourselves. But yeah, eventually they'll probably have to trade him for an infielder.

Muzzy (Leicester)

Rob, Can you please use your considerable influence to get sites that present minor league stats to include the most important stat in a prospect's line: his age at each level? Also, can you maybe send a little luck our way against Cardiff this weekend?

Rob Neyer
  (12:26 PM)

Muzzy, Baseball-Reference.com already has that. And good luck against the Bluebirds...

Aron (St. Louis)

Rob did you find what made Jaime Garcia soo good last night?

Rob Neyer
  (12:28 PM)

I wound up watching just two innings, and in one of those he got hit around some. I did notice that his pitches seem to come in at a disorienting angle.

Ha Ha Ha (Michigan)

Austin Jackson incredible, Yankees incredibly stupid

Rob Neyer
  (12:33 PM)

Let's give it another couple of months, yeah? But history's loaded with rookie-for-veteran trades that didn't look so hot for the team trading the rookie. And sometimes it happens even faster than you expect.

Ernie (New York, NY)

I love A-Jax, but do Tigers fans really think he's going to keep that BABIP around .530? Good luck with that regression ...

Rob Neyer
  (12:36 PM)

Yeah. Maybe the most predictable thing in the American League is that Jackson's batting average will tumble this month.

Jason (St Louis)

Is Wilson Ramos too good a catcher to consider possibly moving to first base? It's going to be hard to afford Morneau after the Mauer deal.

Rob Neyer
  (12:38 PM)

Yeah, he probably is too good a catcher, plus his bat becomes less interesting if he's playing first base. And I think the Twins will figure out a way to keep Morneau.

Ryan (San Jose)

Barry Zito has been a wonderful this year. How much stock should we put into it?

Rob Neyer
  (12:40 PM)

I'm cautiously optimistic. I don't think he winds up winning the Cy Young Award or anything, but an ERA in the middle 3's seems reasonable.

Marc (Charlotte)

Run on the field and try to evade the police and you get tased. I don't have a problem with it. Do you?

Rob Neyer
  (12:41 PM)

I haven't seen the video yet, so I don't know if the guy was strongly resisting or whatever. But generally speaking, electro-shocking someone in a stadium full of kids probably isn't the best thing.

John (Sioux Falls, SD)

In 2008 Morneau signed a 6 year 80 million dollar extension that keeps him a Twin through 2013.

Rob Neyer
  (12:42 PM)

There you go. I'm sure the previous query was concerned with post-2013, but 2014 is a long way away...

Reggie (LA)

I have seen the terms "go to the slate" in quite a few blogs. What does that even mean?

Rob Neyer
  (12:44 PM)

That's a new one on me ... Maybe some iPad-related slang? If it's really out there, I'm sure we'll all know by Memorial Day. Things happen fast these days.

Joe (Philly)

I don't understand what's so bad about the Howard deal. He hits 40 HRs and drives in 140 RBI every year and he's already led his team to the WS twice!!!

Rob Neyer
  (12:44 PM)

I hadn't thought of that, Joe. Thanks.

Jason (St Louis)

If Greinke gets less than double digit wins, which seems likely, its really going to put the advanced stat types up against the traditionalists. I love all the new stats, but I still have serious issues with a CY Young winner having a line like 8 wins, 2.30 era, 1.15 whip. Thoughts?

Rob Neyer
  (12:50 PM)

I don't know ... I'm still inclined to vote for the guy who pitches the best, and leaving his "friends" in the lineup out of the equation completely. I think Greinke will win at least a dozen games, and pick up some Cy Young support. After last year, not much will surprise me.

jp (brooklyn)

Pettite-Mussina-Moyer-Smoltz....which ones get into the HOF?

Rob Neyer
  (12:51 PM)

Everyone except Moyer.

j (Arkansas)

You keep calling Cliff Lee "Clifford". His first name is actually Clifton.

Rob Neyer
  (12:54 PM)

I don't care.

Kevin (Detroit)

Hi Rob, is it true you live in Poland, and do they have baseball there?

Rob Neyer
  (12:55 PM)

Sort of. For these next four months, anyway. Maybe I'll follow the team to Tucson this winter.

Joe (MN)

Risking a player getting stabbed or a first base coach getting mauled might not be the best thing either.

Rob Neyer
  (12:56 PM)

Good point, Joe. But wouldn't the solution to that problem be to play the games in huge TV studios without any seats?

John (Sioux Falls, SD)

Moyer has been an All-Star, a 20 game winner, and led his team to a World Series title. Not only should he be in the HOF, the Phillies should sign him to a contract that pays 25 million a year.

Rob Neyer
  (12:57 PM)

Sure. Gotta do something with all the money they didn't spend on Prince Clifton.

Christopher (Staten Island)

When you respond to that question are you strictly telling us who will get in or who you think should get in? Can you tell us who you think of those 4 should get in?

Rob Neyer
  (12:58 PM)

I believe those three will *and* should get in.

kevin (nyc)

last week, in a chat, you mentioned that CC isn't on the level of the top pitchers in the league, and that when he gets hi K/BB ratio in the 4-5 range, it would be a better arg. Am I missing something, but little timmy has never had a k/BB ratio in the 4's for an entire season?

Rob Neyer
  (12:59 PM)

No, he hasn't. But his HR rate has been absurdly low. Sabathia's a different sort of pitcher.

clifford (seattle)

can i taser you?

Rob Neyer
  (1:00 PM)

Please don't tase me, bro.

Mike (Seattle)

Is Keith Law really doing this chat? You are snarky today. Eric Byrnes leaving on a bike after looking at three strikes, explain.

Rob Neyer
  (1:01 PM)

Well, he's always been a free spirit. It's funny how that stuff isn't so cute when a guy's batting .094 and hanging the superstar out to dry on a squeeze.

Brian Reiser (Wantagh)

Hey Rob, don't expect you to post this just my two cents. From a moral philosophical point of view, the tasing seems fine to me. Don't want to get tased? Don't be an idiot and run on the field. That actually seems like a good lesson for the children to me. : )

Rob Neyer
  (1:02 PM)

Yes! And while we're at it, how about some old-fashioned hangings in the town square? That'll learn the young 'uns about such tomfoolery!

Alan (St. Pete)

Pettitte in the Hall ... Even as a Yankee fan I'm not sure I'd go there. What distinguishes him from a guy like David Wells, or Kenny Rogers?

Rob Neyer
  (1:04 PM)

Or Kevin Brown, right? I don't suppose I would vote for Pettitte today. But if he wins 250-plus games and you give him some credit for pitching well in October ... I think he just clears the bar.

Jason (St Louis)

I think the players should get tased for striking out looking at strike 3. Or not running out a ground out. Or admiring a home run for too long. That would amp up the entertainment level.

Rob Neyer
  (1:08 PM)

Now that's a proposal I could probably get behind. 'til next time, don't forget what Ike said: "We will bankrupt ourselves in the vain search for absolute security."