Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

March 3, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Keith Law

Klaw
  (12:05 PM)

You misunderstood - a chat is just a tactic, a portion of my method.

Matt (Indianapolis)

Keith, what do you think of Alfonso Soriano? Since his mother passed away I have been reading stories of his charity work, commitment to his family, and strong work ethic. He's also avoided involvement with the Cubs internal scuffles. Yet all we hear is criticism of his defense. The more I read, the more I like the guy.

Klaw
  (12:06 PM)

That's all wonderful. Doesn't make him a better player.

don (cherry hill, nj)

a birthday segment on the podcast? really?

Klaw
  (12:06 PM)

Don't look at me.

Kris (South Bend, In)

Belt or Freeman in '11???? Going forward????

Klaw
  (12:06 PM)

Freeman in '11 (because he'll play more). Belt going forward. Better swing, more power potential.

Steve (Middletown, CT)

Hey Klaw, does the loss of Wainwright basically end the Cardinals chances of making the playoffs? Obviously nothing is decided in March but they don't appear to have any available replacement for him.

Klaw
  (12:07 PM)

"End" is too strong but I bet it cuts their odds of a playoff berth by half.

Chris B. (Delta, BC)

Best pizza in the Phoenix area?

Klaw
  (12:07 PM)

Bianco 1, 'Pomo 2.

Klaw
  (12:07 PM)

I am still eating my way around the Valley, though.

eddie (Fresno) [via mobile]

Keith, Do you subscribe to the Braves philosophy of starting the season with the best players, regardless pf service time considerations, or with keeping guys down until you get an extra year lf control? It worked for both the Giants and Rays with regard to Posey, Longoria, and going to the WS.

Klaw
  (12:09 PM)

When contending, yes, Atlanta's doing it the right way. Tampa held Longoria down for two weeks, not that significant even for just the current season, and avoided any question of a grievance by giving him a long-term deal. The Giants, on the other hand, held Posey down far longer, and nearly cost themselves a playoff berth along the way. Holding Posey down till May 1st would have done a better job of balancing long- and short-term goals.

justin chicago [via mobile]

Klaw appreciate all the chats and twitter responses. Thoughts on kris medlen before the tj surgery? Prospects for return?

Klaw
  (12:09 PM)

Had him as a very good reliever, but no more than a back-end starter.

Christian (Allentown, PA)

Over/Under on Harpers Major League Debut - July 2012?

Klaw
  (12:09 PM)

I'll take "after."

Nate (Chicago)

If you were the GM of the Pirates, who would you take with the #1 pick today? Would the worries of Rendon's ankle and shoulder prevent you from taking him?

Klaw
  (12:10 PM)

Today I'd take Gerrit Cole.

Charlie S. (Another Planet)

Resentments are the rocket fuel that lives in the tip of my saber!

Klaw
  (12:11 PM)

Crazier TV appearances in the last week: Charlie Sheen or Muammar Gadhafi? If you found out they were on the same stuff, would you be remotely surprised?

Ryan (Owings Mills, MD)

Will Brandon Synder ever live up to his early draft selection?

Klaw
  (12:11 PM)

I don't think he will.

Nick (Detroit)

Klaw, Can Rick Porcello raise his K/9 or is he going to be a pitch to contact guy for his career?

Klaw
  (12:11 PM)

Has always had the raw stuff to miss bats. Still very young.

JWR (Chicago)

Does it bother or irritate you when a prospect proves you wrong, either by drastically overperforming or underperforming when compared against your expectations for that player?

Klaw
  (12:13 PM)

It bothers me to get an evaluation wrong, yes, because I always want to do the best job I can do. But I would never root against a player for that reason, if that's what you mean.

Briks (Philly)

Keith, I'm heading to Disneyworld in June and making dinner reservations for 4 nights there. Does Via Napoli make your top 4?

Klaw
  (12:13 PM)

Yes. Jiko too.

Boo Radley (in Hiding)

Machado or Green? ...eta 2013 for both?

Klaw
  (12:15 PM)

Grant? He'll be up sooner but doesn't have Machado's ceiling. BTW, how about Machado changing agents? His GPA was so low he could barely get into a four-year school, Boras gets him a huge bonus despite the lack of leverage, and Machado drops him. Maybe there's something else going on we don't know about, but I think that's pretty weird.

Mike (Ohio)

Thoughts on Garret Anderson hanging it up?

Klaw
  (12:15 PM)

His bat retired a few years ago.

Joey (Brooklyn)

Keith, Does Jarrod Parker make the DBacks rotation out of spring training? Is his arm 'strong' enough to pitch for a full season, or are the kid gloves still on?

Klaw
  (12:16 PM)

Oppose.

Scott (SD)

Do you think the Showtime series on the Giants will be a deterrant? Of course it'll be easy to come back after the fact if they are losing and say it was, but going into it, what do you think?

Klaw
  (12:16 PM)

They're likely to regress anyway, and now we have a convenient excuse instead of just acknowledging that randomness is random.

Tom (Madison, WI)

I need to drop either Fabio Martinez-Mesa or Jared Mitchell to pick up Aaron Sanchez in my dynasty league. Which of the two offers less upside?

Klaw
  (12:17 PM)

I'd probably drop FM2. Big upside but pretty far away from achieving it.

Studebaker (NJ)

Daniel Cabrera a fair comp for Dellin Betances? Or is the makeup dissimilar?

Klaw
  (12:17 PM)

I had a scout put that exact comp on Betances last year. It's a good reflection of where Betances is now (or was late last year), but I think if you hear "Daniel Cabrera" now you think of what he became rather than what his potential was when he first came up.

Dan (Buffalo, NY)

Minor trade, but did the Indians get anything in Lawton?

Klaw
  (12:17 PM)

Lawson? No.

Jeff (NYC)

All the top names in the 2011 draft seem to be college players. Are there any high schoolers who could break through? How does Lindor compare to Machado?

Klaw
  (12:19 PM)

Starling is the best HS player in the draft. Swihart is making a real push to be the second one. Lindor is steady, doesn't have the superstar upside but is very safe for a HS player and has the benefit of being almost a year younger than his classmates. Lot of good prep arms; Dylan Bundy came out of the chute strong, so did Taylor Guerrieri, Archie Bradley less so.

Stephen (Sacramento)

Not that he's going to make the hall of fame, but I believe G. Anderson led the league in hits during a 10 year stretch.

Klaw
  (12:19 PM)

So he's the Jack Morris of his generation.

Joe (Dakota)

What are your thoughts on Marc Rzepczynski? Is he this season's Toronto breakout pitcher?

Klaw
  (12:20 PM)

No. Not a fan of the arm action and the stuff really hasn't matched the reports when I've seen him.

Andrew (Elmhurst)

Padma in a bikini next week. There's nothing more to add.

Klaw
  (12:20 PM)

The very definition of WINNING.

steve (Austin, TX)

The Twins really need a SS in the draft, who are the best College SS who can move quickly?

Klaw
  (12:23 PM)

Can't draft for need - 99% of the time taking the best player available with your first pick is the optimal strategy, and it's not a great year for college MIF. Levi Michael is the best available and early reviews have him adequate but not great at short.

David (New York)

Klaw, what do you think of BYU kicking Brandon Davies off the basketball team because he had consensual sex with his over-18 year old girlfriend. I get that BYU makes their students sign an honor code, but also in that code is a promise to abstain from coffee. Would they have kicked him off the team if they found him at a Starbucks? They are considering expulsion as well.

Klaw
  (12:25 PM)

If he signed an honor code and violated it, I'm not sure what his complaint is. They're a private institution and he could have gone to any of a few hundred other universities where he could have lived his life without those restrictions. This really isn't a question of religion or even morality. It's more like an HR issue.

Stephen (Sacramento)

Did you know Padma was married to Salam Rushdie? Crazy!

Klaw
  (12:25 PM)

British tabloids called them "Beauty and the Beast."

tim (ny)

pizza in arizona is terrible

Klaw
  (12:25 PM)

wrong

steve (Austin, TX)

Will Hicks and Sano both be ready to be major leaguers by 2014 to fill holes for the Twins?

Klaw
  (12:26 PM)

Yes.

Robbie (SoCal)

Why does the batter get an RBI if a man scores during a botched double play attempt? The defense is still conceding the run, it just didn't do a good enough job getting two outs. Is it giving the batter some sort of bizarre credit for beating out the throw?

Klaw
  (12:26 PM)

Better question: Why do you care about RBIs?

Jason Walker (Pittsburgh,PA)

I am hearing that the New York Mets might be up for sale and are having money issues..I mean they just built CITI Field like in 2009 and i am hearing reports that they might move, are'nt the rays more likely to move from Tropicana Field than the Mets?

Klaw
  (12:26 PM)

Might want to get your hearing checked.

Mitch (St. Cloud, MN.)

Will we Twins fans see Kyle Gibson in the majors this season?

Klaw
  (12:27 PM)

I think so. If they trade Liriano, I'd bet on it.

Studebaker (NJ)

What's Sano's ultimate position defensively? No way he stays at SS, right?

Klaw
  (12:27 PM)

He may not even stay in the infield. Has to work hard to keep from outgrowing any position but LF/RF/1b.

Nick (Detroit)

If Jacob Turner stays in the minors for the full season, what does he have to improve on to become a top 10 prospect and is it feasible for him to do it?

Klaw
  (12:29 PM)

If he stays healthy for a full season, he's probably a top 10-15 prospect.

mike (williamsburg, va)

When you talked about matias last week, is it the guy now named martinez for the Cards or some other?

Klaw
  (12:30 PM)

Same guy.

Scott (SD)

Thoughts on the Giants buying out Zito? I know the contract is ridiculous, but he starts every 5th game and eats innings. Does buying him out really help? What do you think? I'd rather they eat Rowand's contract, personally.

Klaw
  (12:32 PM)

That's just a media-generated controversy, right? They can't seriously be considering that. No, he's not very good, and not worth his salary, but the decision to release him is about whether he's better than the potential replacements AND whether he's worth the roster spot. If the potential replacement is Jeff Suppan, then Zito is clearly worth keeping.

Avi (New Jersey)

Keith, would you trade Banuelos for Liriano?

Klaw
  (12:34 PM)

No, not given their service time/years of control.

RGG (NYC)

The Josh Bell experiment at 1B. Good idea or bad idea?

Klaw
  (12:35 PM)

Wasn't hitting enough for 3b. Doesn't make a ton of sense to me.

James K. (Riverside, Iowa)

Didn't Swihart commit to Texas, or are you expecting he'll sign? How high is his ceiling?

Klaw
  (12:36 PM)

He'll sign, won't be cheap, but I can't see him turning down top 10-15 pick money. Switch-hitting catcher with power and athleticism and a strong arm? He's going high.

Justin (queens)

Chances of MMinor sticking in the ATL rotation for the year?

Klaw
  (12:36 PM)

Is that less than 100%? I can't see him flopping badly enought to lose the job.

Mike (Atlanta)

Does Danny Hultzen go in the top ten? What's his ceiling, No. 1 starter?

Klaw
  (12:38 PM)

Ceiling isn't that high, and word that his father is getting involved yet again isn't going to help. But more great performances plus an added grade on the fastball will probably put him firmly in the 11-20 range.

Nick (Detroit)

Do you think we'll ever see an increase in african-american players in baseball? What needs to be done to achieve this goal?

Klaw
  (12:40 PM)

I think we'll see a decrease once owners clamp down on signing bonuses. And the NCAA doesn't help by giving baseball so few scholarships while also harassing baseball players far more than they do football players.

Tom (San Francisco, CA)

Keith, is Preston Tucker a first-rounder?

Klaw
  (12:40 PM)

No, and right now not even in the second round.

Brendan (VA)

The Nats have D. Norris, W. Ramos, and J. Flores... how do they divy up the Catcher spot in a year?

Klaw
  (12:40 PM)

I think Norris is the best of the three and will eventually win the full-time job.

maher (st. pete)

Yorman Rodriguez's ceiling? 5 tool stud?

Klaw
  (12:41 PM)

Yes, but still unpolished. Looking forward to seeing him against better pitching this year.

Phil (MD)

Besides Britton and Machado, is there anyone else you have your eye on in the Orioles' system?

Klaw
  (12:43 PM)

Schoop's pretty interesting. That's about it, though. Lot of guys who seem very unlikely to reach their ceilings.

Matt (MD)

Care to venture a guess?: The #1 pick in the 2012 draft is __

Klaw
  (12:44 PM)

Mark Appel's staked a claim already.

Josh (Lincoln, NE)

Speaking of the NCAA harassing baseball players, Nebraska freshman pitcher Logan Ehlers hasn't been able to play yet because the NCAA hasn't acted on information they've had since October, yet stuff comes out about Ohio State football players and they act in two weeks. It's ridiculous.

Klaw
  (12:44 PM)

Money talks.

Mike (Boston)

How come there isn't an outrage over the lack of white players in the NBA?

Klaw
  (12:46 PM)

I think the unspoken concern within the game about the decline in African-American baseball players is that we're losing good athletes to other sports. While there's an unfortunate stereotype in there (that black players are more athletic), I am concerned on a non-racial level about seeing multi-sport guys choose something other than baseball. Bubba Starling is one example from this year. We need athletes, because most of our stars are great athletes, and they're often much more marketable as well.

Dan (Cleveland, OH)

You see anything wrong with the thinking of the Indians, lately? Signing low-risk players (Durbin, Cabreara) and hoping they pan out enough to warrant a trade at the dealine over giving those spots to younger guys and getting a chance to see them at the major league level?

Klaw
  (12:48 PM)

I think it's more along the lines of "the rules say we have to assemble a full roster" than anything else. They're largely cheap, short-term commitments, and there's no obvious emphasis on winning this year.

Andrew (Centereach, NY)

If a rule 5 pick has a season ending injury in ST and can he spend the season on the DL and not have to be offered back to his former team?

Klaw
  (12:48 PM)

Yes but he still has to get those 90 days in the majors at some point.

MJ (BK)

Why do people care oh we need latinos in this sport, whites in this sport, black's in that sport??? We all no why there are very slim number of black people in the NHL, very few whites in the NBA, Latinos in baseball. What's the difference?? I'd say there's equal oppurtunity for everyone wouldn't you?

Klaw
  (12:50 PM)

Equal opportunity? I don't think that's true of baseball. It's an expensive sport to play, especially with pay-to-play showcases and summer travel.

Andrew (Centereach, NY)

How come PEDs are a bigger issue than the apparent drinking party ST seems to be?

Klaw
  (12:50 PM)

No idea. I know which one bothers me more.

Mike (San Diego)

Why do you think multi-sport athletes are moving away from baseball?

Klaw
  (12:51 PM)

More full college scholarships in other sports and more up-front money if you are good enough to get drafted, without the years of work in the minors.

Taylor (St louis)

Hey Keith, stuck in the surgeons office for wisdom teeth. Can I have some good news if any about the Cards

Klaw
  (12:51 PM)

Wish I could help. Had all my wisdom teeth out in two surgeries and both times I was surviving on Ben & Jerry's milkshakes for 4-5 days.

Dan (Vermont)

I saw Scheppers made J.Grey's Top 50 list. What are your thoughts on Scheppers' essence? And your thoughts on his impact for the Rangers in 2011?

Klaw
  (12:52 PM)

Reliever, could be very good in the short term (hence his spot on Jason's list, which is about 2011 impact) but can't see him staying healthy in the long term.

Bradley (Dublin, CA)

You think awfully highly of yourself and your opinions.

Klaw
  (12:53 PM)

I'm paid to offer my opinions. Would you prefer an opinion-less chat?

Matt (MD)

what's Jackie Bradley's offensive outlook? does he have 20 HR/20SB potential in the majors?

Klaw
  (12:56 PM)

More steals. Might struggle to hit for that kind of power and maintain his average/contact rates. But plus defender. And I think he's moving up the board a little bit too.

Loogy (Boston)

Any thoughts on Andrew Miller? The RedSox strategy is to let him throw and stop messing with his mechanics and see what happens.

Klaw
  (12:56 PM)

Good strategy.

Tony (Flushing)

Your opinion lol. What do the Mets need to begin to be better?

Klaw
  (12:57 PM)

It's going to start in the farm system, not at the major league level, and I like their new front office's chances to improve that way.

Klaw
  (12:58 PM)

If you haven't seen last night's Top Chef yet, but plan to watch it, I'd suggest you step away from the chat now. I've been holding off the TC questions and will take a few of them before I end the chat.

Rizzo (NYC)

You don't know what your talking about Keith. Pizza cooks in NYC feel a lot more pressure when cooking pizza than chefs in AZ.

Klaw
  (12:58 PM)

OK but I had to post that first...

Tony (NY)

What was the backup plan for last night's quick fire, see who could design the best dish from a box of ritz crackers and a vat of cheese wiz?

Klaw
  (12:59 PM)

Just a complete waste of time, right? And no prize awarded, so why did we bother? But Mike's soup looked like vomit. I doubt I could have even tasted it if I was judging.

Matt (Boston)

1) Was there ever any doubt that the Top Chef judges were going to be completely subdued once the family members sat down? Salty got people sent home before, why not tonight. And how does a dish so good that Collichio says he will steal it not win? Brutal. 2) Is Espinosa a long term solution in DC? Is he a regular 2B or potential star? 20/20 potential or Bobby Crosby 2.0?

Klaw
  (1:01 PM)

1) Agreed, didn't expect them to slam someone's dish in front of the chef's mom/spouse. Very weird to see Richard nail two dishes and win neither. 2) Maybe a regular, if that, and with the hamate injury I think he'll disappoint in the short term.

Brian (NJ)

Did the planned quickfire for last night fall through at the last minute, causing a producer to just go to the roof of the building and create a quickfire out of the first thing he saw - in this case a ferry?

Klaw
  (1:01 PM)

That would be a better excuse, at least.

Brendan (MD)

KLaw, any reccomendations for making a homemade pasta sauce? If not, any store brands you like?

Klaw
  (1:02 PM)

Just make sure you add some kind of wine early in the cooking. Tomatoes contain alcohol-soluble compounds that won't be extracted by water, and you'll miss out on a lot of flavor that way. For store-bought, just get something without added sugar.

Mikey (NYC)

Our TC odds: Blais 6/5, Antonia 3/1, Carla 4/1, Mike 12/1, Tiffany 50/1. Fair?

Klaw
  (1:03 PM)

I'm basically Team Blais at this point but given those odds I'd put money on Antonia. I'd give Mike worse odds than that.

JB (NY)

I understand maintaining the integrity of Top Chef by judging each contestant solely on the current elimination challenge dish. But, I'm disappointed that Dale and Angelo are done while Tiffany, who I love, is still cooking. I guess its no different than single elimination sporting events, but past performance should have some weight in deciding a subjective champion, right?

Klaw
  (1:04 PM)

I assumed they'd bump Tiffany on career value last night, but it does sound (from the show and Tom's and Gail's blog posts/Twitter comments) like they did just have a clean sweep on the EC. Five great dishes, no clear loser among them. I can sympathize with their reluctance to eliminate someone who just nailed a dish.

Klaw
  (1:04 PM)

Also: Padma is cruel.

Studebaker (NJ)

Did you post your thoughts on Scorecasting yet?

Klaw
  (1:05 PM)

I did - over on my (other) blog.

Jay (Broken Arrow,Oklahoma)

Do you think Michael Choice strikes out to much to become a valuable major league player? What do you think his best season will look like? Thanks

Klaw
  (1:05 PM)

Don't love guys who swing and miss in the zone that much. And it's the same reason I'm getting nervous about Rendon.

Klaw
  (1:06 PM)

OK, have to cut this a little short today so I have time to hit a game this afternoon. Thanks for all the questions.