Time's up. I'm sorry I kept you.
Keith, how aggressive will the Cubs be in their pursuit of Theo Epstein to fill their vacant GM position? Will the Red Sox FO allow them to even talk to Theo?
I don't see why they wouldn't just hire his assistant GM, Ben Cherington. I would guess, without talking to anyone involved, that Theo's motivation if approached would be to use the interest from the Cubs to negotiate a better deal with Boston - he's from the area, after all. Plus it will cost the Cubs a mint in compensation to Theo and perhaps to Boston as well.
While I agree that Wins should not be a key consideration for pitchers, I wonder if, over a protracted period of time, the fact that guys like Halladay and Sabathia continue to accumulate wins is telling. Is the fact that they're pitching later into games consistently reflective of that and should it be (at least somewhat) considered as a factor in award voting (after WHIP, ERA, K/BB, etc.)?
So then why not look at IP or IP/GS? Doesn't that tell you more about pitching deep into games than pitcher-wins do?
And really, let's stop calling them "wins." They are pitcher wins, with or without a hyphen.
Let's pretend for a second that Bochy would actually give Brett Pill playing time. Would Pill be able to do anything?
Could probably hit LHP as part of a platoon.
Of this season's crop of young second basemen (Ackley, Kipnis, Espinosa, etc.), who do you think has the most long-term potential?
Ackley. Still want to see Espinosa back at SS.
Matt Adams: Do you see him being a starting quality 1B or is he destined to be AAA fodder?
Adams is currently on an AFL roster, so I'll get a long look at him next month. Based on what I've heard from scouts, he has the hit and power tools to be an everyday 1b, but I do like my corner bats to show better walk rates.
Have you seen Carlos Correa? Is he a legit 1st round talent for next year?
Yes. Yes. Maybe not high first round, but he'd be in my top 25-30 if I ranked them right now. The top of the draft is so thin, though, that I think someone will jump up from that 20-50 range and move into the top 5. Right now, unordered, I'd have Appel, Marrero, Diekroger, Buxton, and Giolito as the top guys, with Weichel maybe not top 5 but someone I like a ton just outside of that.
We didn't actually go anywhere, so she didn't care. It was just a week off for me from writing, podcasting, chatting, etc. Got a lot done around the house.
Who has a better chance for the rookie of the year, Freddie Freeman or Craig Kimbrel?
Kimbrel has the narrative. I'd still vote for Freeman.
Where do you see Branden Kline and Kevin Gausman going in the draft? Both were highly rated coming out of HS.
Gausman could be one of those jump up to the top 5 guys - one of the best fastballs in the draft, arm works well, but boy does he get hit.
You watching Turner pitch right now? 1-2-3 first...
No, I'm chatting with you people.
I believe they are staggering for any reliever.
What do you see as the upside for Anthony Gose? Could he ever hit 280 with 15 hrs and 50 SB in the Majors (if all went right)?
Under on the AVG. Agreed on the SB. He's coming to the AFL too, I believe.
Klaw, wondering what your mindset would be as Reds GM this winter regarding the Votto/Alonso logjam. Assuming you could get "fair market value" returns for either player, which one would you trade?
Could you get FMV for Votto? He's been among the top 2-3 players in the NL for two solid years now. I think they blew it - time to trade Alonso was last winter or this June/July.
Keith, can you give me your thoughts on Drew Smylys potential?
5th starter, give or take a spot.
Still have hope in Chris Withrow? I've always had a man crush on him...
Still throws hard, but he's not starting in the big leagues for anyone with grade 35 control. Might be a pen guy where you see if he can throw enough strikes when he's just going all out for 20-25 pitches - or just get close enough that hitters chase.
No clue. Also keep hearing Joe Jordan will step down as scouting director.
How would you fix the spending gap in baseball (Revenue sharing, Realignment based on market...)? I would go for a hard-cap with a minimum salary. Maybe require each team to spend between 70-90 mil.
So you believe that the owners should get richer at the expense of the players?
Thanks for chatting Klaw. Is Brandon Allen an everyday player? I'm intrigued by the BB/ISO potential, but man those Ks... Kinda reminds me of Carlos Pena, at least offensively...haven't seen enough defensively.
I do not think he'll hit for enough average/make enough contact to get to the power.
Can you give me your opinion on Oscar Tavares? His age/stats seem quite impressive. Top 50 next year?
Also coming to AFL. Reports I've got on him all point out that it is a crazy max-effort swing, with some skepticism about that holding up at higher levels - or whether he'll continue to rake if they quiet him down. So I'm reserving judgment now that I know I'll see him.
No. That's why there is a cap minimum. Make the TB's and FL's spend more to balance out the salaries. Stupid that individual players on some teams make more than another teams entire roster.
As stupid as denying a superstar-caliber player the right to earn his marginal revenue product in salary?
So has your opinion of the Fister trade changed at all from what you thought on July 31st?
No, because one month is the definition of a small sample size.
How do you see Jacob Turner performing tonight?
I thought he was pitching right now.
Not trying to re-submit my question, just clarify it. Could you please explain how Nick Williams stacks up against Buxton?
Buxton is a better overall athlete with more power potential. Williams' stock took a hit this month - he got extremely pull-happy at Area Codes and even at the All-American Classic (although he eventually stayed back and went the other way there), so everyone's a little down on him. Buxton is regularly compared in body and tools to BJ Upton, who was a legitimate #2 pick who could have gone 1-1.
More or less? Mike Trout slash line next season .310/.400/.550.
Hey, I think the guy's going to be a superstar, but I'm betting the under on that for 2012.
Why do the Top Chef spin-off shows have such a hard time being watch-able? Is there less focus on the food in Just Desserts, or does it just seem that way because of the strong/annoying personalities?
Both, I think. Less focus on the food, and selecting contestants for more interpersonal drama. The two worst words for me as a viewer when watching any of these competition reality shows are "team challenge."
I don't understand the negative of 'crazy max effort-swing' if you are able to sustain a .445 obp. Isn't Pedroia a 'crazy-max effort swing? Thanks in advance.
Tavares' swing has a lot more effort - knocks himself over every now and then, apparently. But again, I'd like to see him myself now that I have the chance coming up.
Has Paul Goldschmidt proven he can hit major league pitching, or has the league just not adjusted to him yet?
I see a .315 OBP, just .292 vs RHP with 3 BB and 25 K against them. Granted, that's all in a tiny sample, but I don't know how you could even ask the question of whether he's "proven" he can hit ML pitching.
Did you know that "special HUMANS" drop the barrell of the bat on a nasty 2-strike slider to drive the runner in from second base? RBI should be changed to 'Special Human Batter In'
I don't know who said that - obviously a colleague of mine, so I'm limited in what I can say - but I don't think I'm out of line to say that I find that explanation silly.
Do you think the massive expectations placed on Joba in 2007 played any part in the Yanks' choice not to put Banuelos in the pen for the stretch drive?
That's a great thought. I don't have the answer for you.
Kershaw or Halladay for NL Cy Young?
I have the NL Cy ballot again this year, so I can not answer questions on it, and won't talk about those pitchers on the NL MVP ballot other than to say that they are both good enough for consideration there.
I've heard people say Wheeler is a 1/2 and Harvey is a 2/3. What about Mejia, Gorski and Familia?
Mejia TBD, coming off surgery. Gorski 5, maybe a 4. Familia reliever.
Follow-up your NL Cy Young answer: does home ballpark come into play there? Big contrast, no?
I will look at advanced stats like WAR that factor in home parks, and will consider other factors like caliber of competition.
Does an upcoming stint in the AFL pretty much preclude a prospect from getting a callup to the show? Would both just make for too long a season for youngsters?
Yes. I don't think Trout is going to stay on that AFL roster since he's up and hitting.
Espinosa to short more as an indictment of Desmond (who I think has played a lot better this year) or more because of Espi himself?
I think Espinosa's value is primarily on defense, and he's somewhat wasted at 2b. I didn't think he'd hit when I saw him as an amateur or in the minors, and he hasn't.
I wonder, if we were able to effectively quantify individual players' marginal revenue products, would we find that some already highly paid players, whose popularity exceeds even superstar norms (Jeter perhaps), have actually been underpaid over the course of their careers?
Yes, I think so.
Seriously, any idea if Matt Moore gets called up? Or are the rays too smart to "rush" anyone, I think he's ready, accomplished all he can at AAA, right?
I imagine they don't want to overextend him when there's no great need.
Ref: Espinosa not hitting, 19 HR's isn't exactly chump change. Granted he's only hitting about 230....
With a .315 OBP that's only over .300 because of the career-high 16 HBP.
A lot of Giants fans are clamoring for Gary Brown to be a September call up. It seems a little early for that, but should they at least bump him up to AA?
I was very surprised they didn't move him up. Too old/experienced to spend the whole year in high-A.
I know im a girl and you probably dont get alot of questions from girls but my daddy and i are die hard braves fans, but What was the point of getting Jack Wilson? Stupid or Briliant?
Better option than Julio Lugo. It's funny, I get more questions from female readers on Twitter than I have through any other outlet. I always assumed, incorrectly, that my readers were mostly male, because that's who I heard from.
Keith, is the Jack Zduriencik extension a head-scratcher for you? It's unclear to me as to what this guy has done to particularly distinguish himself.
I had the same thought. There's a heck of a lot there that's not good, including the Figgins deal, the offense as a whole, and the Lueke fiasco. The farm system is better than when he took over, but it was a mess then and is hardly elite now. I don't think Zduriencik has done a bad job, but more that he hasn't done enough to get another two years.
RE: TaverasIf you were the Cardinals, or any team for that matter, do you change a players swing before they begin struggling, or do you let them keep going and wait for them to struggle before making any changes?
Never change a player who's succeeding and healthy. Change when they fail or show early signs of injury.
I haven't heard your opinion on Alex Avila. Was this year unexpected? What's his ceiling?
Unexpected, yes. Liked him when I saw him in college, thought he had a chance to be an everyday catcher, but he's a legitimate All-Star and I didn't see that.
Are you a fan of Boardwalk Empire? Second best show on TV, next to Breaking Bad.
I think I've given up on it. Watched 7 episodes, still have another 7 and never choose to watch them. It's too bad - a show set in that time period is right in my wheelhouse.
Not that "Comeback Player of the Year," is such a great idea (too subjective), but would Alex Gordon get some attention here? He's really turned around his career.
What has he come back from, though? Maybe we could have a Breakout Player of the Year? Not that we need more awards.
Platooning Jason Heyward. Good or bad move by Atlanta?
I've backed off criticizing their handling of Heyward because they are somewhat justified - the swing isn't right, and until it is, they can't count on him to produce esp. vs LHP.
(Sorry if a repost. Software acting weird) Please help me categorize Julio Rodriguez. I understand that his velocity precludes him from being a typical prospect but his results have been very impressive. How do scouts rationalize players whose performance does not match expectations, over multi season sample sizes?
Guys don't pick up the ball well out of his hand, though. Deception is a real skill, or tool, even if we don't always grade it out.
Has Trey McNutt's stuff regressed a bit from last year? I know part of his struggles can be attributed to injuries but he doesn't seem to be missing any bats this year
Difference is he's 100% now - had some blister issues, went on the DL with bruised ribs in June. Also scheduled to come to the AFL.
Can you help me find where the real Brian Matusz went this year? Maybe we can put in an Amber Alert?
I made this comment on the radio there, so I apologize to those of you who'd heard this twice, but if I were the next GM in Baltimore, figuring out why so many pitchers there are getting hurt and/or losing velocity would be the first priority.
The Nats are calling up Tom Milone and Brad Peacock. I know you are on record that Peacock is more of a reliever, but what are your thoughts on Milone? Thanks.
Not sure what Milone is - maybe a 5th starter, maybe less. Average fastball. No average secondary pitch.
Is all of your family back on the east coast safe and sound?
Yes, thank you. No damage but they did lose power for a few days. Fortunately my 97-year-old grandmother moved off LI to Virginia last winter so she missed the hurricane (of course, she was right near the epicenter of the earthquake).
What can you tell us about the PTBNLs going to the Mets in the KRod trade: Adrian Rosario and Daniel Ray Herrera.
Klaw, some of your RT's are hilarious but you realize these folks are Klaw-baiting you, right? Like the person asking for a suggestion at Macaroni Grill?! LOL.
Of course. But if I can make people laugh, I'm happy to play along.
Henderson Alvarez threw a gem yesterday. Does he open 2012 in the rotation or do you expect him to get further schooling in the minors and be a mid-year call-up?
I'd let him open the year in the rotation unless they have five clearly better options. Can't send him to Vegas.
Is Nova really as good as he has been his last 12 starts or so or is he just performing this well because the league hasn't seen much of him yet
Been kind of lucky on balls in play. Has good stuff, not missing enough bats to sustain this recent level of performance.
Why do some people still consider Ryan Howard an Elite or even above average 1b?
Because he gets lots of RBIs. And because a lot of people don't question what they're told.
When you say "average" 2nd pitch, what is the set of players you are referring to? Major league starters? Any pitcher on a 40 man roster? Mid-rotation starter?
"Average," "above-average," "plus" are all relative to other major leaguers.
Agree with decision to have Strasburg start a few games?
He probably needed to pitch somewhere to continue the rehab, right? Any real reason to have him avoid the big leagues?
Is Taijuan Walker the steal of the 2010 draft? Does he project as a #1 or something less?
Certainly looking like the steal of the draft. Was pretty bad for the bulk of his spring, came on very late in the spring. Seattle took a chance on a great athlete and so far it's paying off.
Do you ever use your radar gun for anything besides pitchers?
Well, sometimes if the microwave is on the fritz...
Tips that you have mastered for cooking braised short ribs???
Just low and slow. Brown them on all sides first. I take the meat off the bones first, then put one bone back in for the gelatin (if you use all the bones, you'll get a pot full of fat).
What have you heard on mason williams he a trout like player with less power
Saw him in June. Outstanding athlete. Not sure about the Trout comp, but Williams is pretty special. Best prospect in their low minors.
Any word on if the Cubs have already or will be calling up Brett Jackson? I started to hear that they don't want to diminish Marlon Byrd's potential trade value by giving Jackson the majority of the PT in center the last month. I find that to be an absurd reason for leaving your top prospect in Triple-A while he hits .310/.392/.563 Thoughts?
He's also striking out at a really high rate, and he didn't hit well at all in AA. I'd probably still call him up if I were running the team, but just be aware there are red flags.
What is the goal of sending a player to the AFL? Improve against better competiton? See what you have? Advertise/build prospect hype? Some combination of all? I'm wondering because the Yankees' representatives (Sedegin, Joseph, Phelps, and Mustilier) all seem to fit a slightly different profile. Would it have made more sense to send Mason Williams/Gary Sanchez instead of Mustilier?
Different goals for different players. All of your suggestions fit. Williams is way too young for AFL, as much as I'd love to see him.
Boardgames: Do you play them 'seriously' or is it mostly about the fun/social aspect?
Mostly for fun. I'm serious in the sense that I don't blow off moves, and I definitely get annoyed with myself when I screw up, just because I'm the type of person who gets annoyed with himself when he screws up in anything. But at the end of the day the games are about having fun.
Do you know the actual process for putting in a waiver claim, as well as putting someone on waivers? Do they have software shared by teams so they just click a mouse (like fantasy baseball)? Do they have to fill out paperwork and fax it in?
What are your thoughts on Cheslor Cuthbert? Ceiling/Likelihood?
I underranked him last month. Potential star. Good probability for a prospect at his age/level.
What was your diet like in college? Were you on a budget? Any tips for a college kid that likes to cook but is cheap?
I was a horrible eater in college - just generally narrow-minded about food (and lots of other things, too). I'd probably recommend doing more meatless meals - meat is by far the biggest portion of my food budget - and more whole grains. I've never read this cookbook, but I know it's gotten good reviews and it might fit your needs, called Poor Girl Gourmet, about cooking on a "bare bones" budget (pun intended, I'm sure): http://klaw.me/nNsdeD
Did "The Social Network" get anything wrong about Harvard (besides the huge dorm room)?
I do not remember the final clubs having that much importance in the social life, although if you interpret it more as Zuckerberg obsessing over his exclusion it would make more sense.
Boxing or MMA? Are you looking forward to the Mayweather/Ortiz fight in a couple weeks?
David Ortiz is in a fight?
Are you going to see Moneyball in the theaters?
I wasn't planning on it, but I feel like I have to now because so many of you are likely to see it.
What's your strategy when playing Ticket to Ride with only 1 other player? Block their routes or just go for the longest one you can?
I never block. Not only is it probably counterproductive, it takes the game in a cutthroat direction that I just don't favor.
As a Red Sox fan, Xander Bogaert's season this year has been pretty exciting. Obviously his power is really impressive, especially for an 18 year old in full season A ball, but how do the rest of his tools rate? Given that he's a shortstop (for now), I'm especially curious about his speed. I've heard you're pretty high on him (and I believe I heard that you thought he'd make your top 100 this off season). Which quarter of the list do you think he'll probably be in?
Don't think he sticks at SS - probably 3b. He'll be on the top 100 this winter, but I won't commit to more than that.
Hi Keith, were you running the Reds would you handle Aroldis Chapman's development differently, e.g. more time in the minors?
I'd make him a damn starter already.
With the rosters expanding today, why would the Giants eat all of Rowands contract for next year now? Why not wait until the off season and see if you can get someont to take any of the money off your hands? Its not like they had to play him with a 40 man roster. Please explain.
I just can't see anyone taking that contract in any fashion.
Miguel Sano has 20 HR as an 18 yr. old (albeit in rookie ball). You already had him at 29(?), has he moved up even further on your list?
That's probably still his range. Striking out a lot, and really likely to move to an outfield corner or 1B. Huge positives, substantial flaws.
I have 1.8 fWAR in 25 games. Finding it very hard to keep making vanilla statements after games.
Desmond Jennings thinks that's really cute.
My friends and I LOVE Settlers of Cataan! Any advice in terms of strategy???
All about the board - every board has its potential resource surpluses and shortages. Suit your strategy to fit those.
Best idea for someone who is in college: cheap cuts of meat that you can somehow braise. Sure it takes time, but you can make some fall off the bone, super tasty stuff on the cheap if you have time. And most college kids have the time. And most of the time it's cooking, you can be "studying."
Generally agree, although I think a lot of those braising cuts are getting more expensive as they become trendy. Stew beef might be an exception - even at Whole Foods it's fairly affordable, and the only real skill required to cook it is patience.
Would you call up Brackman after the Yankees have clinched a playoff spot (re: pressure is close to zero) just to see how he plays out of the bullpen against major league hitters? Already on the 40 man.
Your chats are the only reason to utilize ESPN any more. Thank you.
Not my articles? Jeez, tough crowd.
Alexi Ogando a consistent #2 starter?
Depends on whether you think he's wearing down due to this being his longest season, or whether he just can't handle a 180 IP workload. Still think you can beat him by loading up on LHB, too.
If you looking at an MVP race do you strictly go by WAR or just a starting point? Does a teams record get considered at all?
WAR is just a starting point, but if you're heading way off the WAR reservation, you need a better explanation than "teh fear" or some nonsense about his teammates not being good enough to get him to the playoffs.
It seems like Anthopoulos is in Japan scouting Yu Darvish. Would he make sense for the Jays? What's his projection as a MLB starter?
Mid-rotation guy, maybe a 2. Worried about his workloads, and the poor results for a lot of players coming over from Japan the last few years.
have you ever been to jiko's buffet little brother boma? sometimes i think it's even better. how many hrs will montero hit against lester tonight, 2 or 3?
Yes, but we still prefer Jiko. I'd drive a good distance just to eat there, although it is overpriced.
Thoughts on the Cookie Monster eating healthy snacks?
Political correctness run amok.
Darvish > Matzusaka?
Better than the Daisuke who showed up here, wouldn't pitch inside, and rarely if ever threw his changeup? Yeah.
You thoughts on Eric Surkamp?
Check my last column. Wrote about him and five other recent callups.
Are you a fan of tapas style dining?
Very much so.
What do you think of Eddie Rosario(if you've seen him). He has tore up the Appy league, but I never know what to think of stats there. Is he a legit prospect?
Haven't seen him. Can hit, run, has power, probably moves to an outfield corner.
OK, thanks for all the questions - well over 1100 today. I'll be back next week.