Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

June 1, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Rob Neyer

Rob Neyer
  (12:00 PM)

Rock and roll.

John (Sioux Falls, SD)

The Twins started Cuddyer at 2B last night. It made me want to cry. Doesn't starting him at 2B kind of defeat the purpose of having a groundballer on the mound?

Rob Neyer
  (12:02 PM)

Well, if nobody plays second base you'll give up an awful lot of singles. And it's not like he's never played there before. I don't have a problem with him there, short-term.

Bawb (Fairview, UT)

A month ago would you have thought the Braves would ever be in 1st place in that division this year?

Rob Neyer
  (12:02 PM)

Another object lesson in trusting our March thoughts more than our April fears, right?

Brian (Richmond, Ky.)

Estimates on Kyle Lohse are 6-8 weeks, but do we really know that for sure? We're in uncharted waters with an injury like this, right?

Rob Neyer
  (12:03 PM)

Yeah. Might be two months, might be forever.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

What is the best & the worst MLB Stadium that you have been to?

Rob Neyer
  (12:04 PM)

Best: Fenway Park. Worst: old Veterans Stadium.

Steve (Blacksburg, VA)

What do you make of the Rangers? Stuggling w/ injuries so far, but 35 of their next 38 games are against sub-.500 teams.. time to make a run or else?

Rob Neyer
  (12:05 PM)

There's no "or else" in the AL West except the Mariners need to have a great June or else.

Ryan (Indy)

I know it's still very early, but Tommy Hanson has looked pretty mediocre most of this season, and his command has been shaky. Reason to be worried, or just a typical sophomore slump?

Rob Neyer
  (12:07 PM)

Hanson is doing almost EXACTLY what he did last year, except he's been less hit-lucky (and I suspect he's not gotten as much help from his bullpen, too). Look at his strikeouts, his walks, his homers allowed, his innings per start ... all the same as last year. Which is to say he's still a fine, fine pitcher.

Luke (Wilmington, NC)

How would you go about fixing the Cubs, or do their salaries make it unattainable at this time?

Rob Neyer
  (12:13 PM)

I don't see a short-term fix, though we shouldn't completely give up on Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez yet.

Michael (Atlanta)

What's wrong with Nate McLouth? He looks nothing like the all-star Pirate he once was.

Rob Neyer
  (12:14 PM)

First, let's acknowledge that his All-Season was probably a bit over his head. But his precipitous decline still seems more than a little bizarre.

Steve (Erie, PA)

Your take on the Morales situation? I don't see the issue since it was a freak injury, although it is funny to listen to the old guard rant and rave about today's guys having too much fun...

Rob Neyer
  (12:16 PM)

I'm still working on my take, hope to have something in the blog today. But I think there's a Happy Intelligent Place between the old guard and the kids.

Mike B (Alexandria VA)

Rob- Have you had the chance to see Sergio Santos pitch in relief for the Chisox? Word is Jenks will be traded and you'lll have a closer by committee of Putz, Santos and thorton. Any thoughts?

Rob Neyer
  (12:16 PM)

I've seen Santos a few times, and I'm sure the White Sox will fare just fine without Jenks.

Steve (NJ)

Is Andy Pettitte pitching himself into the Hall of Fame? I am talking about the "should be" argument, not the "will be" argument. I know all of the arguments against, and up until 2 years ago, they were all true, but if he keeps chugging along like this for another few years, isn't he going to have a serious case? I acknowledge the size of the "if" in that last sentence.

Rob Neyer
  (12:22 PM)

I think he already has a serious case, Steve. He's won 236 games, plus another 18 in the postseason. Sure, you'd like to see a slightly better ERA, but (I would guess) there are dozens of pitchers in the Coop who haven't done what he's done.

Mike (San Diego)

With his career looking like it's winding down, what's your take on Chipper Jones' hall of fame chances?

Rob Neyer
  (12:25 PM)

Chipper Jones was a Hall of Famer in my mind three years ago.

Mandy (San Francisco)

What do you think of Tim Lincecum troubles? Will he get back on track?

Rob Neyer
  (12:25 PM)

This is a hiccup. His numbers this season generally track right along with his career stats.

Jeff (Key West)

Why are the headlines about the Phillies sruggles instead of how great the Braves are playing?

Rob Neyer
  (12:34 PM)

Probably because the Phillies are supposed to be in the World Series. But there will be plenty of headlines for the Braves if they keep winning.

Jeff (NY, NY)

200 AB's in Brett Gardner has an OBP of .380. What are the chances of keeping this up?

Rob Neyer
  (12:36 PM)

Umm, not *real* good? But he's young enough to be improving and I don't think a .350 OBP is out of the question, at all.

Jason (St Louis)

Were those hats everyone was wearing yesterday ugly or what? All the alternate hats are a disgrace if you ask me. It's just a money grab to get people to buy team gear.

Rob Neyer
  (12:41 PM)

Well, it's a money grab and a PR move. But yes, it's disgraceful. Like most money grabs and PR moves.

Stanley (Duluth, MN)

I don't want to be in the same state as Blyleven if he doesn't get into the Hall of Fame and Petite does. Of course, then it wouldn't really be the Hall of Fame--it would be the "Hall of People that Baseball Writers Liked."

Rob Neyer
  (12:42 PM)

Blyleven will make it many, many years before Pettitte.

Brett Davis (Hot Springs, AR) [via mobile]

Not sure if you have already addressed this, but the Padres are on fire and I think they have season-long staying power. What is your take?

Rob Neyer
  (12:43 PM)

I'm still waiting for someone to explain to me how you go from a 75-win team to a 90-win team without making any real moves ...

Ryan (East Lyme, (CT))

What do you make of the Mets Home/Road splits...Its crazy to me that a team can be so good one place and so terrible another. What Gives?

Rob Neyer
  (12:47 PM)

Maybe it's in their heads? Seems like we've seen this in a few other ballparks over the years, most recently the Padres' yard (but don't quote me).

David (Boston)

Will the real Big Papi please stand up? How do you explain his resurgence?

Rob Neyer
  (12:47 PM)

The guy's been an absolute mystery for the last season-and-a-half.

John T (Eagan, MN)

Nick Blackburn's got a 4.28 ERA, despite a .305 BAA and only 17 strikeouts in 61 innings (along with 13 walks). Is it going to get ugly later this year?

Rob Neyer
  (12:50 PM)

Yeah, unless he suddenly starts striking guys out. That ERA and that strikeout rate simply can't co-exist for much longer.

Brett Davis (Hot Springs, AR) [via mobile]

Regarding the Pads, they were hot down the stretch last year. That is about 4 months of very good play.

Rob Neyer
  (12:53 PM)

Good point, Brett. They did finish the season on a 37-25 run. Does it mean anything? Are there really enough good hitters on this team, other than Adrian Gonzalez?

Mark (Los Angeles)

Rob, last night's Dodger game ended with a balk. I want to know your take on the call. Although I am a diehard Dodger fan, I don't think that he made a move to home. What do you think?

Rob Neyer
  (12:54 PM)

I don't understand the balk rules, but there didn't seem to be much question about this one.

Ben (NJ)

Ok, the umps are out of control, did you see Bill Hohn eject Oswalt? That wasn't right.

Rob Neyer
  (12:59 PM)

Didn't see it, but what I read didn't seem good.

Adam (Madison, WI)

Don't the profits, at least some of them, from those ugly hats go to help veterans?

Rob Neyer
  (1:01 PM)

Yes, I'm sure that some do. Just like when some company donates ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS for every home run or something. We're talking about negligible donations.

Hodgie (Calgary, AB)

Hi Rob, if the Jays are able to emerge out of this 9 game set against TB and NYY still within a game or two of the wildcard are they a legitimate threat for the post-season or still a bubble waiting to pop?

Rob Neyer
  (1:02 PM)

Hey, anything's possible but I don't see enough good hitters in that lineup.

Jack (NY)

Halladay vs. Jimenez? Halladay has a much lower xFIP.

Rob Neyer
  (1:05 PM)

I still believe Halladay is the best pitcher in the National League. But there's certainly an argument here.

Brian (NJ)

You talked about the number of wins Pettitte has in discussing his HOF candidacy above. You are just trying to determine how the general baseball writer will vote right? You wouldn't use a flawed stat like wins in your personal analysis, correct?

Rob Neyer
  (1:07 PM)

As the primary component, no. But over the course of 15-20 years, wins and losses do tell us something worth knowing.

Jack (NY)

I know you're friends with Craig Calcaterra, is he as funny in real life as he is online?

Rob Neyer
  (1:10 PM)

Funnier, actually.

Matt (Arkansas)

Wieters has been in the majors now for about a year and a half, while it is definitely premature to label him a bust, there have been plenty of guys who were great prospects but just couldn't hit in the majors (see Young, Delmon and Wood, Brandon). What are your thoughts on it?

Rob Neyer
  (1:12 PM)

I'm not giving up on him yet, but I'll admit that I'm moderately shocked by how he's hit to this point. I wasn't expecting Johnny Bench, but I wasn't expecting this, either.

Matt (Arkansas)

So what wise quote will you leave us with today?

Rob Neyer
  (1:13 PM)

"Don't borrow someone else's spectacles to view yourself with."