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May 9, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Jerry Crasnick

Jerry Crasnick
  (12:59 PM)

Hey folks, Everybody is looking forward to that Roy Halladay-Josh Johnson matchup tomorrow. But Max Scherzer vs. Brandon Morrow today isn't far behind it in terms of pure stuff. Should be a fun game to watch. Let's start the chat.

E (The World)

With all of his very well documented antics and shenannigans on top of his horrible performances when doing his job, why on earth does Joe West still have one? I can only say that MLB welcomes this nonsense and sees it as a good thing obviously. It's disgusting.

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:01 PM)

E, I'm not big on umpire bashing, but I have to say I've heard a lot of complaints about Joe West and his crew around the ballpark. It's OK to be "colorful" when you're making the right calls, but there's a sense among people in uniform that the Joe-and-Angel Hernandez crew show a little too much 'tude at times. I think that situation merits some watching.

Ryan (Harrisburg, PA)

Jerry, even when Lidge & Contreras return, do you see the Phillies staying with Madson as the closer?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:02 PM)

Ryan, I think when Lidge comes back (around the All-Star break), he'll ease gradually into the closer's job. But that situation is way too fluid for comfort.

Matthew (Columbia, NJ)

Hey Jerry, will John Mayberry Jr eventually get more playing time in LF especially if Ibanez goes through another bad slump?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:04 PM)

Matthew, Scouts I talk to seem to think that Mayberry is best used in his current role coming off the bench, and that he would be overexposed with too many ABs. Too bad the Phillies can't figure out a way to play Washington 162 games. It appears that the Nats pitching is the only thing that can get Ibanez going on a consistent basis.

Michael C. (Westport, CT)

What does it say about that Mets that they're showing no interest in resigning their best player, an in-his prime Jose Reyes, who is having a great year and plays a superb shortstop? Rebuilding? How about starting with a 28-year-old homegrown player the fans love?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:06 PM)

Michael C., What you say makes a lot of sense in theory. But the Mets don't appear to be in position to fork over that kind of coin long-term in the aftermath of the Bernie Madoff mess. So if your team is going nowhere and you're going to lose Reyes anyway, you might as well see what you can get for him at the trade deadline. The Mets certainly need bodies.

Ted (Baltmore)

Good afternoon Jerry! How do you see the OF situation in Washington shaking out? Bernadina going to win job, Morse moved around. Who has the higher upside of these two going forward? Thanks alot

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:08 PM)

Ted, Michael Morse is 29 and has a lot of raw power, but I'm not sure he's much more than a 300-400 at-bat guy at this stage of his career. I talked to a scout last year who said Roger Bernadina could be a late bloomer in the Angel Pagan mold. He can run and play the outfield and he certainly shows some flashes. In terms of upside, he's only 26, so he has a little more time to emerge than Morse does.

David (Florida)

Mets going to use Lisch or Gee moving forward in Young's SP spot?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:09 PM)

David, The Mets will plug Dillon Gee into the rotation to fill Chris Young's spot. Patrick Misch (not Lisch, big guy) will fill a spot in the bullpen.

ben (los angeles)

Jerry, any thoughts about the eventual outcome of the Dodgers ownership fiasco?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:10 PM)

Ben, I don't frequent, so I'm not as in tune with the ins and outs of the situation as some scribes. But I've yet to talk to anyone who feels this can end well for Frank McCourt. You keep hearing Brewers owner Mark Attanasio as a possibility in Los Angeles. And I think Dennis Gilbert, the former player agent, has the connections and the wherewithal to put together a viable ownership group.

William (Florida)

I.Stewart about to lose his job or do you think he'll come around? Fontenot a better option at 3rd base?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:12 PM)

William, Mike Fontenot as a starting third base option for the Rox? He's starting at SS for the Giants, so that ain't happenin.' Judging from Jim Tracy's comments, the Rockies seem to really be down on Ian Stewart right now. They'll give him a shot to get his act together. But if it doesn't happen soon, he looks like trade bait.

Dan (Buffalo, NY)

Jerry, are you in the large camp that says the Indians pitching will eventually come back down to Earth and the team will take their rightful place behind Chicago, Detroit and Minny or are you in the small, yet growing camp that is starting to believe that this team may in fact be good enough to stay afloat in a weak Central?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:15 PM)

Dan, Call me crazy, but I think they'll hang around a while. Justin Masterson, Josh Tomlin and Fausto Carmona all have pretty decent strikeout to walk ratios, and Tim Belcher really seems to be having a positive impact on that staff. And I think Alex White is the real deal. Keep in mind that Shin Soo Choo is hitting .225 and Carlos Santana is batting .218, and they're destined to heat up eventually. I'm not sold on the bullpen yet, but the rest of that division is pretty flawed. If they can win even 85 games, they'll be in the hunt.

Craig (Midland, MI)

Jerry, how about Verlander?! Where do you rate him today among the leagues elite pitchers, and do you think he can come anywhere close to the 7 (yes 7!) no hitters he predicted??

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:18 PM)

Craig, I picked Verlander as my AL Cy Young this year, just based on his stuff and the terrific spring training he had. He's among that elite group of No. 1 starters in the AL that includes King Felix, Lester, Sabathia, the Angels guys and (possibly) Cahill and Anderson in Oakland. Sorry if I'm missing somebody. When Verlander is on, his stuff is as good as anybody's.

Mac (Dallas)

Think those Twinkies regret the Mauer deal now?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:20 PM)

Mac, Hey, there's always a risk of a player getting injured. Given what Mauer means to that franchise as a local icon -- and his resume as an elite-hitting catcher -- it's pretty hard to criticize Bill Smith for giving him $184 million. Can you imagine the outrage in Minnesota if the Twins had let him walk?

Harry (T-Dot)

What has happened to the Minnesota Twins? The once young, scrappy, fiery team has become an old and slow team that seems to lack the passion they once did. Are they in for a major overhaul of the organization soon?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:21 PM)

Harry, Mauer, Delmon Young and Nishioka are hurt, and Justin Morneau clearly isn't himself. I had my doubts about the starting pitching in spring training, and that continues to be a concern. The only saving grace for the Twins is that the division stinks. But it's hard to envision them going on a 15-2 run with that rotation.

Mike (Rutland, VT)

Jerry,Do you see the Pirates staying around the .500 mark? Not a tremendous accomplishment but a step in the right direction?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:24 PM)

Mike, If they continue to get good starting pitching from guys like Correia and Charlie Morton and Paul Maholm, they can be better than people expected. Neil Walker is really the only regular who's hit to expectations so far. Clint Hurdle's positive mindset seems to be having the desired impact, and it doesn't hurt that there are a lot of mediocre-to-crappy teams in the NL this season. (And the AL, for that matter)

Matt (Bklyn)

Hey Jerry do you see the Yankees making any moves to bolster there starting rotation and possibly help in the pen?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:26 PM)

Matt, Well, when they failed to land Cliff Lee, everybody said Brian Cashman would have the coin to make a deadline move for pitching. The question is, who's going to be available that's a significant upgrade over what they have? Edwin Jackson? Jason Marquis? I don't get the sense we're going to see any huge starting different-makers changing teams at the deadline this year.

Evan (Concord, CA)

Ryan Vogelsong...outside of that one ugly start, he's been pretty impressive in both starting and relief. What happens when Barry Zito comes back? I'm always weary of 33 year old journeymen finally putting it together...but what's your asssessment? Thanks!

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:29 PM)

Evan, Vogelsong has certainly filled a need, but you're right -- I wouldn't get too excited yet. Unless the Giants just decide to eat Zito's contract and dump him, I think he re-enters the rotation when he's healthy again. It's one thing for the guy to be bumped from the postseason rotation for Madison Bumgarner. But Ryan Vogelsong?

dave (Wolcott, CT)

Jerry, do you think the appendectomy is the root of Dunn's problems or is it possibly an adjustment period to the AL?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:31 PM)

Dave, Probably a little bit of both. When a guy returns less than a week after an appendectomy, that has to have an impact, doesn't it? And he's still learning the league. He's been awful, but they have him for 3 3/4 more years, so they need to give him some time to figure it out.

Mike (Toledo)

Jerry, I'm pretty frustrated with the job Dombrowski's doing. The Inge contract while letting Polanco go, the Jurrjens trade for Renteria, not to mention the extensions he gave Willis, Robertson, Guillen, etc. This guy has a ton of money to play with but he seems to throw it away. What's your take?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:33 PM)

Mike, Dombrowski has a pretty good long-term track record, but there's no question he's had his share of clunkers in Detroit. But he also traded for Miguel Cabrera, traded for Austin Jackson and traded for Max Scherzer. If you parse any GMs track record, you're going to find your share of hits and misses.

John (MI)

How long before Posada loses the DH spot, and does Montero replace him?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:36 PM)

John, I just checked, and Jesus Montero is hitting .354 at Scranton, so you'd like to think the bat is ready. Unfortunately, the Yankees have put themselves in a position where they've got too many aging guys on the roster to hand the DH spot over to a kid. But I'd love to see him up there and get an opportunity.

Adam (Boise, ID)

Sam Fuld...super streaky or already played the best part of his season?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:38 PM)

Adam, Sam Fuld weighs about 170 pounds soaking wet and has diabetes, so he's going to wear down if Joe Maddon keeps running him out there every day. But he plays such terrific defense and has such great makeup, he's a definite plus for that team. His playing time is going to diminish, but he's got a role as a fourth or fifth OF there.

Chris (Baltimore, MD)

Have you ever seen Bryce Harper play? What do you think about how good he might be someday?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:40 PM)

Chris, I'm planning to go see him shortly. When I checked last week, his OPS was north of 1.500. He seems to be toying with pitching in low A ball. The consensus seems to be that the kid will be a monster player -- a Larry Walker type in the outfield. The only question is how quickly the Nats decide to move him along.

mark (iowa)

votto for david price and jennings who blinks

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:41 PM)

Mark, I don't see either team making that deal. But Tampa Bay definitely blinks. There's no way they can give up on a No. 1 starter and potential top of the order bat.

Maddie (California)

Thoughts on Pineda. Do you see this lanky beast as a top 20 overall pitcher by year's end?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:42 PM)

Maddie, That might be a little too ambitious as a goal, but he's been very impressive so far. Really good power arm. He was my preseason AL Rookie of the Year. I see a great battle shaping up between him and Baltimore's Zach Britton (with Eric Hosmer the new darkhorse in the equation)

Chris (NYC)

Nat McLouth has shown that he's able to get on base and score runs so far this year. Do you think he can be a legitimate option for a contending team or do the Braves need to look in another direction around the trading deadline?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:44 PM)

Chris, If the Braves move McLouth, who's going to play center field? Their lineup is thin enough as it is. I'd still like to see a little more offense out of McLouth, but Fredi Gonzalez took some pressure off him by dropping him way down in the order. And I think he's a pretty good defensive CF, regardless of what the metrics say.

John (Northern Virginia)

Do you think B.J. Upton can become the star he looked like he was about to become after 2008? I ask because he's an intriguing buy-low corner outfield bat.

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:46 PM)

John, Heck, after Evan Longoria, he's the main threat in the order for a team that's tied for first place in the AL East. BJ can be exasperating at times, but he's so talented and he's still just 26 years old. Jayson Werth and Jose Bautista were 2-3 years older than that when they broke through as All-Star caliber players. I still think there's hope for Upton.

Evan (Concord, CA)

Speaking of MadBum, he's been stringing together a few really strong starts recently (despite the 0-5 record). You buying him being able to repeat, even exceed last year's performance?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:48 PM)

Evan, He's 21 years old and immensely poised and talented, so I wouldn't put anything past him. I do have some questions about how he's going to hold up after pitching 190-plus innings last year. He's at a stage of his career where his workload still needs to be monitored closely.

Matt (NYC)

Which Upton do you prefer? It has to be Justin, right?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:49 PM)

Matt, Yeah, but Justin has his moments as well. I watched him parlay a couple of catchable balls into hits in games last week, and he's still maturing as a hitter. We expect so much from these young kids in baseball, and sometimes we forget how difficult it is to learn on the fly in the big leagues. Even for an Upton brother.

John (Austin, TX)

Jerry, Is it true that Eric Hosmer saved a drowning orphan on his way to the park yesterday?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:50 PM)

John, Yes. He also thwarted an Al Quaeda threat and pulled a stranded kitten out of a maple tree.

nando (-: boson :-)

All I know about Eric Hosmer is that he had the highest BA in triple A. What else can we expect from Hosmer? What are some reasonable projections for the end of the year?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:52 PM)

Nando, I can't give you any projections, but he's an awfully impressive kid. I saw him in spring training, and one day he hit a ball over the batter's eye in center field. The next day he scored from first base on a single in an intrasquad game (even though he supposedly lacks foot speed). He was also able to grow a full beard at age 21. One word: Stud.

Evan (Concord, CA)

Jerry, love how you address every commenter by their first name. Gut reaction is to think I'm in trouble...but really it's quite classy!

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:52 PM)

Evan, You're not in trouble. But if people take the time to ask a question, the least I can do is address them personally. (Sometimes I wish I could give better answers, but that's a different question all together).

Chris (Toledo)

What is Julio Teheran ceiling? How did he look on Saturday?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:54 PM)

Chris, He's 20 years old and I believe he's rated as one of the top 5 or 6 prospects in baseball, so the sky is the limit, as they say. I didn't see him Saturday because I was driving home from the Orioles-Rays game in Baltimore. But he sure sounded good on the radio.

Roy (SF)

Based on what youve seen so far, who is the best teams in each league? and do you see them making the WS?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:56 PM)

Roy, I picked the Braves and Red Sox to make the World Series this year. But as long as Philadelphia's starters stay healthy, they're still the team to beat in the National League. Since I'm not sold on Cleveland in the AL, I would still point to Boston as the best team in the AL. At some point that lineup is going to get hot and cut a swath through the league.

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:57 PM)

I'm working on a couple of stories so I have to run, everybody. Sorry I couldn't get to more questions. Let's do it again next week.