Hi everybody, I spent last night at the Phils game with Jayson Stark, and we decided to leave early to beat the traffic. Nice call, huh? Let's begin the chat.
Any thoughts on the Giants acquisition of Guillen? I'm assuming they'll slide Huff back to 1B and start Guillen in the outfield. I like it because it gets Ishikawa back to being a pinch hit threat plus late inning defensive replacement.
Phil, At this point, it's just a question of giving manager Bruce Bochy some more options. One issue I see is that they won't be very good defensively in the OF, especially in that big park. But if coming to SF can have the same effect on Guillen that it's had on Burrell and Huff offensively, he'll probably help win them a game or two down the stretch.
How can teams make trades past the July 31st trade deadline (i.e. Giants acquiring Guillen)?
Bobby, The only difference now is that players have to clear waivers. Some players get claimed and are pulled back off waivers. Other players get claimed, and then Team A and Team B have a couple of days to work out a deal. You basically just have to jump through more hoops now.
How can the Cardinals be considered the favorite in the NL Central when the Reds have a far deeper rotation and better offense?
Justin, It's kind of hard to make that case after the Cardinals wiped the floor with them last week, isn't it? The Cards rotation isn't that deep, but any rotation with Wainwright and Carpenter at the top has to be taken very seriously.
Jerry, do you think the Braves get someone off waivers to play 3rd?
Lee, There are an awful lot of names floating around out there, from Brandon Inge to Wes Helms to Chone Figgins. I'm not sure that most of them are a significant upgrade from what the Braves already have. I don't see GM Frank Wren making a panic move. If it's clear in a week or two that they need something, he'll go for it.
Are my Rockies done?
A D U B, It pains me to say this, since I picked the Rockies to win the World Series this year (hey, it was way back in February), but I just don't think they're gonna get it done.
With Utley/Howard coming back and Oswalt in place, The Phils are the best team in the NL right?
Utley4God, You could certainly make a case for them, although the bullpen is always cause for concern and Joe Blanton certainly hasn't inspired much confidence in the No. 4 spot. But that team has a certain swagger about it after two straight WS appearances. I think they feel like they can turn it on in September when they need to.
What will it honestly take for someone to give my Padres some love?? Do we have to sweep the Giants to get more than a "yeah, they've been nice...BUT..."
Ed, I heard a lot of that in May and June, but not so much lately, especially after Jed Hoyer went out and got Ludwick and Tejada for the stretch run. And the Rockies and Dodgers, the teams generally considered as the class of the NL West way back in spring training, don't seem to have any kind of run in them. People I've talked to definitely take the Padres seriously because of their pitching.
The A's, Royals and Mariners each may not hit 100 Homers. Has an AL team never hit 100 Homers before?
Jason, I had a few minutes to look this up, and I was shocked by the answer: It happened in 1992, when Milwaukee, Boston, KC and California all failed to hit 100 HRs. Mike Macfarlane led the Royals with 17 bombs that year, and Tom Brunansky topped the Red Sox with 15. Unless I'm wrong, that's the last time any AL clubs failed to hit fewer than 100 HRs in a season. Thanks for the question.
Trying to figure out my plans for the fall. Is it safe to say that I won't be attending any Dodgers games this October?
Mark, Yes, I think you're safe. As I mentioned earlier, I went to see the Dodgers in Philly last night, and I didn't sense a great vibe around that team. Not so much discord as a sense that this isn't their year. (And the Matt Kemp and Manny situations certainly aren't helping matters).
Your thoughts on the Reds celebrating Pete Rose on the anniversery of breaking Cobb's record and that the commissioner's office may allow his participation?
Rob, I assume that Bud Selig finds it hard to tell the Reds they can't have a celebration involving Pete Rose -- and thereby deprive them of a huge crowd. You may remember that MLB also allowed Pete to appear at the All-Century festivities a while back. That said, I don't think the commissioner is going to change his mind on allowing Rose back into baseball. It ain't happening.
Any rumbling on the Angels' negotiations with Cowart? Is a deal going to get done? Thanks!
Andrew, Scouting director Eddie Bane's recent comments suggest a deal will be done before Monday's deadline. I checked around today, and I expect most of the unsigned first round picks (Bryce Harper included) to sign. Everybody is just playing chicken over money at the end.
Who has the best beard in Baseball?
B Burns, Great question. I kind of like the Ryan Franklin Chia Pet look, but it's pretty bizarre. I can't think of any Jeff Reardon types off the top of my head. But I'm always up for a good facial hair discussion.
Is it safe to say that the Jays fleeced the Mariners in the Brandon Morrow deal? Was his one hit performance against the Rays a sign of even better things to come?
Jeremy, I think it's fair to say the Jays are very happy with their end of the deal. As I recall, Seattle's acquisition of League for Morrow wasn't very well received at the time. But there were some questions over Morrow's command, whether he would be a starter or a reliever, and his longevity because of his diabetes. There aren't many questions about his stuff.
Is Frank Wren the worst Gm in baseball- 120M for Chipper and Lowe, trades our best pitcher (Vasquez) for an OF that can not even start ahead of a guy batting 144( Amkiel), trades for Farnsworth (16+ era) signs a player who has never played first (Glaus) and trades a good defensive SS for a SS Gonzalez) who can not even catch the ball and has cost us 5 games in a little over 3 weeks. Any chance I am the GM next season b/c this clown has to go?
Bobby, Geez, I can only wonder how angry you'd be if the Braves weren't currently in first place.
how many wins will Ubaldo need for people to be blinded into voting him for the cy young over Halladay and Johnson? Same with Price vs Lee/Liriano.
Eitheror, The selections of Greinke and Lincecum last year (with a total of 31 victories) showed that Cy Young voters are starting to look past wins and losses as the main barometer of success. Believe it or not, I think the postseason award electorates are pretty discerning as a rule.
What can be expected from Chris Carter. Will he be somewhat like Ryan Howard.
Ray, He's 6-5 and 230 pounds, is known for his light tower power, strikes out quite a bit and isn't known for his glove. Other than the fact that Carter hits from the right side, I don't see why Ryan Howard can't be viewed as a reasonable comp.
Should the Sox be concerned that Pedroia's style of play and his small stature will lead to injuries shortening his career? He plays all out every night.Your thoughts?
Tom, Pedroia appeared in 157 and 154 games the last two years, then missed a bunch of time this year when he fouled a ball off his foot. Yes, he's undersized, but he's not reckless. Brian Roberts was a pretty durable guy until this year. I don't see why Pedroia can't be good for 150 games a year for the foreseeable future.
Any possible way the Stros can move Carlos Lee this summer to a team looking for a DH, even if Drayton takes on a large portion of that contract.
Alex, I don't see it happening. Carlos Lee still has $40 million or so left on his contract, and he has an OPS+ of 85 this year (with 100 being league average). If he had a big salary and was still productive, maybe. But barring a resurgence, he looks like a guy who's gotten old in a hurry.
Any love for Chris Johnson for ROY??
Fabian, Sorry, but I don't think so. I went thru the NL Roy candidates the other day, and Jason Heyward might be about 10th now. They have to stand in line behind Posey, Gaby Sanchez, Jaime Garcia, Tyler Colvin, Starlin Castro and a bunch of other guys. It's one stacked crop.
Are you like me and counting the days till Mike Stanton's first HR derby?
Jim, I'm not, but Jayson Stark -- the David Halberstam of home run derby coverage -- is probably looking forward to it.
What do you think is wrong with Matt Kemp?
Jamie, I think there are some immaturity and entitlement issues with Kemp, but people who know him say he's basically a good kid. It's not easy when you've come up with lots of hype and have been anointed a star at an early age. Some guys have a better knack for dealing with it than others.
Do you think that Reds P Johnny Cueto deserves a 7 same suspension for the brawl?
Chris, It's hard not to lay down the hammer when the clip shows Cueto flailing out wildly with his spikes. He's lucky he didn't tear somebody to shreds. That said, I think Cueto just panicked when he found himself wedged in amid that mass of humanity behind home plate. I felt that way a few times when I was riding the T in Boston during my BU days.
Any hope for the Pirates?
Stinger, I like their young hitters -- Tabata, McCutchen, Alvarez and Walker -- but now all of a sudden the pitching looks thin. And I had to wonder when they fired Joe Kerrigan and Gary Varsho. Those are two very prepared, high quality coaches. When a team starts scapegoating by firing coaches, it's never a good sign.
Is this the last year for Papelbon in Boston? He's getting more inconsistent, his salary is going up, and Bard is waiting in the wings.
Sean, Lots of questions about Papelbon this week. I don't think the Boston front office considers it a very efficient use of funds to be paying Papelbon $10 million plus to close when Daniel Bard, a cheaper, potentially more effective version, is ready to assume the job. But the same things that make people in Boston discontented with Papelbon also limit his appeal on the trade market. Who's going to give Boston good players and assume that salary?
Why does everyone always bring up the red sox/yankees/rockies/tigers for teams who have been hurt but still compete and not the Twins? Everyone in their infield has spent at least 30+ games on the DL except Mauer. Add in Nathan and several bull pin arm spending time on the DL and its pretty amazing they are first in their division if you ask me.
Casey, I can buy that. Thanks for pointing it out.
Why was Andres Torres' hit yesterday ruled a single ? It was the bottom of the ninth, game tied and the bases loaded, and he hit one over the CF's head that bounced into the stands. Shouldn't that be a ground rule double and 2 runs scored ?
Mark, I don't have a lot of time to debate this, but here's the rule that applied:(f) Subject to the provisions of Rule 10.06(g), when a batter ends a game with a safe hit that drives in as many runs as are necessary to put his team in the lead, the official scorer shall credit such batter with only as many bases on his hit as are advanced by the runner who scores the winning run, and then only if the batter runs out his hit for as many bases as are advanced by the runner who scores the winning run.
Where did Jonny Venters come from? Guy has been LIGHTS OUT!!
Tom, I neglected to mention Venters earlier as one of the NL's top rookies, but he's been terrific. The Braves always thought he had potential, but he underwent Tommy John surgery in 2006 and endured more elbow problems in 2008. Let's hope that Bobby Cox uses him judiciously during the stretch drive (although I have to admit, the kid is either pitching or warming up every time I turn on a Braves game).
Rangers. Real deal in the postseason or quick exit?
John, Cliff Lee definitely elevates them closer to "real deal" status, although I wonder how they'll react once they're thrust into the Big Spotlight in October. And no offense to Frank Francisco, but he scares the daylights out of me in tight situations.
NL MVP...Carlos Gonzalez...thoughts?
Peter, I'm a huge Carlos Gonzalez admirer, but I can't see him finishing ahead of Joey Votto or Albert Pujols, to name two, considering where the Rockies are going to wind up in the standings.
With the weaknesses in the Phillies pen, do you see the big 3 getting 130+ pitches per start come October?
Alex, Charlie Manuel has shown he's willing to run Halladay's pitch count up there pretty high, but I don't see too many 120-plus pitch counts, never mind 130. The Phillies need Madson, Lidge & Co. to produce, and Manuel is going to keep running them out there.
Jerry, A columnist in a Washington newspaper today said that Adam Dunn is looking for a 3 year deal for 13 to 14 million dollars. That number is different than other number thrown around, but IF it is true that has to be a no brainer for Mike Rizzo right?
Drew, I get the sense that Dunn would like to stay in Washington, and the Nats want to keep him. But they'd rather stay away from a four-year deal. Dunn would rather stay in the NL than go to the AL and be a DH for the rest of his career, so maybe he'll be willing to make an accommodation on the length of his next contract to remain in Washington. They feel they're getting closer to being a contending club, and it's not easy to replace those 40 HRs, 100 plus RBIs and high OBP.
Why does Jim Leyland still have a job?
Jim, I'm not quite sure why it's Leyland's fault that they faded. The back end of the rotation failed to pan out and Zumaya, Magglio, Inge and Guillen all got hurt. Does Detroit's talent really warrant the Tigers being higher in the standings than they are this season?
Crasnick- if you mention Kemp's name again in this chat, then we are going to have a problem...
Stew, Just don't give me the Death Stare. I'm not sure if I could handle that.
Are Todd Helton's chances for the HOF sinking fast? He picked up no major hardware and when I compare him to the elite 1B of his era, like Thome and Bagwell, he comes up way short... plus now he doesn't look like he'll amass any counting stats worth mentioning either.
Bob, This fast fade isn't helping. Helton put up some great numbers for years, but it's been a while since he hit with much power. And he's always going to suffer from playing in Denver. Maybe he'll do better than Don Mattingly did in the voting, but he's probably going to have a hard time making it.
Do you think that the Yankees will make any moves before the August 31st trade deadline and if so do you think they will get either Ty Wigginton and or Kevin Millwood from the Orioles or Wes Helms from the Marlins or Barry Zito or Willy Bloomquiest or another arm for the bullpen or a catcher like Rod Barajas?
David, I think Brian Cashman did just fine adding Lance Berkman, Austin Kearns and Kerry Wood. I'm not sure how the Yankees' rotation will shape up come October, but can you really see Joe Girardi running Kevin Millwood out there in a postseason game? I can't.
is Jeff Bagwell a Hall of Famer to you?
Don't forget about Huff for MVP.
Patrick, I give Aubrey Huff all the credit in the world for his contribution in San Fran on a $3 million salary, but MVP? Am I missing something?
It seems to me that with Torre mulling over retirement that Don Mattingly is getting ready to be the next manager of the Dodgers. It seems to me however, that there isn't anyone lighting a fire under this year's team. They play with no passion! Seems as if the only guy around the Dodgers that is passionate about the game is Larry Bowa. Not sure if Mattingly would be this type of guy or just a Torre desciple. Your thoughts?
Wes, I love Larry Bowa, but he and Matt Kemp would last about 10 minutes together in LA. I just can't see it.
jerry, can the Indians ever compete again??? Give me something optimistic!! please!
Adam, They've got some pretty good players in the farm system, Carlos Santana looked like the real deal before going on the DL, Gomez and Tomlin have pitched well, and Mark Shapiro did a nice job of dumping salaries at the deadline and giving Chris Antonetti some flexibility moving forward. But it's still going to take a while. Sorry if that's not what you wanted to hear.
Do you think The Pirates will trade Maholm, Duke, Doumit and Jones this offseason.
Rob, I think Doumit goes because he has nowhere to play and he's making $5M. My guess is that Garrett Jones sticks around. Duke doesn't have much value now, and Maholm is probably on his way out. Some people think he'll be OK with a change of scenery.
Brandon Phillips' comments really seemed to light a fire under the Cardinals. Do you think this will continue, or will StL cool off after leaving Cincy?
Alan, I'd say the Cardinals' sweep over Cincinnati was 85 percent pitching and 15 percent enhanced focus. When the starters are on, they're a tough team to beat.
Who is your ROY for the American League? Has to be Feliz, right?
John, As it turns out, I have an AL ROY ballot this year. I checked the other day, and Feliz looks like the frontrunner right now. Brennan Boesch has cooled off lately. Austin Jackson also merits some consideration. Sorry if I'm missing somebody else. It's not a great crop -- especially compared to the NL group.
why does jerry manuel still have a job??
Taylor, I suspect the ripping that he's taking over his K-Rod comments might be enough to bring this to a head. Maybe Manuel lasts the season, but I'd be stunned if he's around past early October.
cubs manager for 2011?
Rick, I've heard that they really like Fredi Gonzalez, but Ryne Sandberg has to get strong consideration after going to the minors and learning on the job. If I had to guess, I'd say Gonzalez winds up in Atlanta and Ryno gets the Cubs job. That's strictly a guess, though.
Hi Jerry,is Jesus Montero the #1 prospect going into next year? What do the Yankees do with him? They clearly don't have a spot open.
Jamie, Why don't they have a spot open? Even if Montero isn't a great defensive catcher, can't he be a quality option for some DH at-bats at $400,000 a year? Shouldn't the Yankees try to work a kid or two into the mix each year? They say Montero can really hit. I'd love to see what he can do there.
Thanks for the questions, everybody. Let's do it again next week.