Let's talk some baseball!
David, I'm a Royals fan. Is there any hope for this season at all?
You're a Royals fan who lives in Pittsburgh? Ouch. As for hope, not sure what your expectations were. Finishing .500? I wouldn't rule that out. They've lost all their one-run games, Hosmer and Gordon should start to hit. They're not THIS bad. I don't think.
When do you think Jesus Montero comes into his own?
One interesting thing about him: We all know about his supposed opposite-field power, but it hasn't registered yet. Both of his home runs have gone to center field. But he has to start pulling the ball with more success, otherwise pitchers are just going to jam him inside all season long. You can't live JUST on going to the opposite field. And certainly he'll have to start drawing more walks, maybe cut down on the aggressiveness a bit. (Although he's seen a very high percentage lot of first-pitch strikes so far, probably just a small sample size fluke. He'll be fine, but it may be more 2013 than 2012.
Colby Rasmus has been looking like he is putting things together. You buyin'?
Why not? 132 OPS+ in 2010. Still young. Had a few bad months and an injury last year. And I love that people were writing him off after a bad first week. C'mon!
More surprising start - Cap'n Jetes or Papi?
Jeter. Didn't see this coming at all. He's hot, yes, but just seems to be hitting the ball with much more authority. For all the bashing he gets for being Jeter from Yankee haters, he's also a remarkable athlete and player. Maybe some of the adjustments are real and he'll hit .320 again.
Took some guts to pull Bard last night, eh?
I was shocked ... but it makes sense now that we think about it. Bard skipped a start but they still want him in the rotation. And if you DO you leave him in to close it out, it just opens up unending questions and speculation. So give Bobby V credit here. He believes in Aceves as the closer and didn't panic when he could have.
Barca or Chelsea today?
Barca wins 2-0
How much longer do I have to hit a homer a night to get the call?
Eight HRs in 18 games. Nice start. I don't think it hurts to keep you down a little longer. Your lack of strike zone control may be exposed at the major league level. Plus, where do you play? The Sox aren't going to bench Youkilis after two bad weeks.
Derek Jeter is going to hit .408 w/ 42 hrs. But seriously, what do you think is the biggest difference w/ Jeter from pre-All Star Break last year to now? Could 3,000 hits have really weighed on him that much?
I don't buy that line of thinking at all. I know Kevin Long has said he's doing the same things as last year: http://espn.go.com/new-york/mlb/story/_/id/7847715/new-york-yankees-derek-jeter-hottest-start-career-here-why. But if 3,000 hits weighed on him, why wasn't his second half better? He hit for average, but not power. And the "3,000 hit" theory doesn't explain the .270 average in 2010.
I haven't seen Jair Jurrjens pitch this year..getting sent down a sign they don't think he is injured, and therefore mechanical/command issues? Pray tell that's what it means...
I haven't seen him yet either. Braves and Jurrjens both deny any injury. Jurrjens said his lack of velocity has weighed on him. Hmm. I don't want to speculate but when you have a pitcher with a history injury and suddenly he's not throwing as hard and has been getting lit up ... something doesn't add up.
Good afternoon! What say you about Scott Rolen's offensive production this season? He looks about the same as usual in the field, but it looks like his bat speed has dropped significantly. 9/53, 3BB, 13K, and a .450 OPS. Sure its a small sample, but do you think he can turn it around, or should Todd Frazier perhaps get the everyday job at 3B?
I'd be worried. He's old, he's been injured ... exactly the type of player where the end can come very suddenly. I hope not; he's been such an underrated player, but I think Frazier ends up getting more ABs over the season.
Concerned with Buchholz and Masterson. Which pitcher is more likely to right the ship and have a good season?
Speculation on Buchholz is that his back is still bothering. Couldn't get the ball down at all in that five-homer game against the Yankees (the wind was blowing strongly out to center). When he was effective two years ago he got the ball down in the zone with movement on his two-seamer. That pitch hasn't been there this year. So I'll go with Masterson.
Hultzen, Paxton and Walker can't get here quick enough right?
Do the Mariners want to expose them to that lineup? Paxton's last two starts have been terrible, FYI. Now has 14 walks in 17.2 innings.
Do you think Jim Thome is finished? The media and fans in Philly seem to think he has nothing left in the tank.
How could anybody know? He has 18 plate appearances, mostly as a pinch-hitter. Tough role.
#Royals will start a 9-game winning streak tonight in Cleveland.
ANSWER A QUESTION FOR A RAYS FAN.........PLEASEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!! Do you see us making a trade for a catcher? THere are a lot of names floating around out there, but we always seem hesitant to pull the trigger.
They love Jose Molina's defense and pitch-framing ability.
No way Jurrjens gets sent down with an injury. That's a grievance from the union in no time.
Right. It would be something undetected.
How thorough are physicals before trades? It's looking more and more likely the Yankees missed something on Pineda....or are just having some bad luck.
Speaking of injuries ... why would they have missed something? I don't believe that can be assumed. He went to spring training and got injured. By the way, what are the odds Jose Campos ends up being the best player in that trade? 23/5 SO/BB ratio so far in Class A, 13 H in 22 IP.
are the angels already regretting the pujols deal
James, James ... too early. But there are concerns there. He's pulling everything, hitting a lot of groundballs, not drawing walks. Personally, I'm not sure we'll ever see the .330, 45-homer Pujols again.
Is it time for Arizona to break the glass on their young arms or maybe just plug Miley in for Collmenter once Hudson returns?
I think so. Miley is better. Bauer is ready. Collmenter was a nice story, but you can't afford to punt games for too long.
I read Caple's article about never being at a no-hitter. Have you been to a no hitter live?
I have not either. Closest I came -- well, I guess I can't remember off the top of my head. I did once see Harold Reynolds lead off a game with a base hit and then Nolan Ryan retired the next 27.
Did you see the picture of the Royal's 'fan' reading a book in the first row in the middle of the game? That pretty much says it all in KC, right?
Haha, missed that. Nothing worse than your team getting off to a bad start. You just lose hope and it's not even May yet. Especially killer for a small-market team like KC. Fans will give up and not show up the to the park.
I know it's early, but Heyward's start has been encouraging. What are your expectations of him for this year?
I'm a big Heyward fan. Surprised how people were so quick to write him off last year when he battled the shoulder injury. I'm still not sure it's 100 percent, but so far so good. .280, 20 homers?
Is Daniel Murphy going to win the NL batting average crown? I realize that new stats have made BA not as "shiny" as it used to be, but Murphy can flat out hit the ball.
Hmm, I hadn't thought of him in that sense, but why not? Puts the ball in play, would have ranked fourth last year if he had qualified. As good as pick as anybody. Assuming Matt Kemp doesn't hit .450 all season.
10 team mixed league Fantasy trade: Carlos Santana-Shin Soo Choo-johnny cueto for buster posey-Adam jones-tommy Hanson which side you got? My friend is an unabashed Indians homer
Well, I'm not the fantasy expert, but I'd probably take the Santana-Choo-Cueto side, if only because Posey may not play as much as Santana and Hanson is an injury risk. But if you don't mind the risk, Hanson has more upside than Cueto, I think.
Speaking of Matt Kemp hitting .450. He Probably has a decent shot at the triple crown this year. Well if anyone in front of him gets on base.
It is early but Pujols hit in to a ton of double plays last year also. Two years in a row he hit in to three double plays on opening day. There's an odd bit of trivia for you.
Exactly. That 29 GIDPs was a killer. Again, a LOT of groundballs and now teams are starting to shift on him, second baseman playing on the left side of the infield, etc.
Dave, love the chats, but please type quicker dude
C'mon, Ron, I try to look a few things up and not just ramble off the top of my head all the time! But I'll work on my typing skills!
Was the Detroit offense way overrated or is this just a slow start? Even with Cabrera and Fielder in the lineup the team OBP is just not even close to good enough.
Both. Peralta and Boesch have been terrible, should hit better. Delmon his usual mediocre start. Avila has slowed down after a hot start. But they're only 11th in the AL walks, leading to that poor OBP you mention.
Back to Heyward, is this reasonable: .280/.370/.500 with 20 homers and 20 steals, and solid defense in right? At his age that's still a star in the making, right?
He's got to keep the strikeout rate down. That's the big concern early on. And, yes, let's remember he's only 22. He's still going to appear in a lot of All-Star Games.
Did I really see Aubrey Huff at second base on Saturday?
Yes, Bochy ran out of players. And sure enough, Huff cost them the game.
Hi David- Loving the chat! Closest I ever came to seeing a no-hitter; June 28, 1962- my first MLB game. Mets clobber the Dodgers 10-4 at the Ravine and the next night Koufax throws his first NH. It is STILL disappointing!
One of these days. And I know people who saw BOTH Cone and Wells perfect games with the Yankees in the late '90s.
Over or under 30 as a career high in homers for Freeman?
Jeter is single again. He always hits better when he's single.
Do you care about the Clemens trial whatsoever? Why does our government waste time + money on such triviality?
I don't care. And, yes, I believe their are bigger fish to fry.
I'm currently leading the league in fWAR(and lead it for the past 4 years for that matter), plus and am the reigning MVP and AL Cy winner. When will all of baseball start recognizing me as the best pitcher in baseball?
Yes, nobody ever talks about you or writes about you or calls you the best pitcher in baseball. Haven't seen that at all.
Dave, Why can't Mauer ever turn on that first pitch down the middle. That's what that porch is for in right field at Target. He should be able to pull one in the seats once in a while but he never takes advantage of that first pitch. His 2 for 3 or 2 for 4 night is virtually worhless because he never does it when someone's on base. Worst contract ever? Thanks!
He's *never* really been a pull hitter. The one year he actually hit a bunch of home runs, many were to left-center, right? (I didn't look that up, I could be wrong.) That seems like an obvious fluke power season now. Just don't think it's in his swing for whatever reason. I'm not calling it the worst contract ever, not with Barry Zito's deal still on the books.
As a Reds fan should I be worried about mat latos' early struggles in the rotation? He'll get things turned around right?
I can't figure out what's going on there. Figured him for a big season. Let's just say three bad starts, trying to impress with a new team, etc.
The White Sox pitching has been great. It looks like Dunn and Rios will be closer to their "normal" selves this season. Can they actually hang around and contend with the Tigers?
I'm starting to believe. Humber IS a good pitcher and Peavy looked terrific last night (Yes, it was Oakland). But they have five good starters and you can go a long way with that. Maybe they end up being this year's surprise. We're gonna have at least one.
Im not too encouraged by the start from a certain giant 2 time cy young winner yesterday he is all over the place what are your thoughts
Agreed. Velocity was a little better but no command. 108 pitches in five innings. Still worried.
As a XXXXs fan, should I be worried about xxxxxxx's slow start? Terrible signing right??? Come on guys, its 3 weeks into a season.
Ahh, what is early season baseball without panic and overreaction? But ... yes, you're right.
How many ABs or IP into a season to really start looking for trends? Jeter's a fun story, but he's obviously not going to hit .400 in 2012. On the flip side, Pujols is not going to .354 all year. What's enough of a sample to start making strong, defensible assertions?
I've read that 150 PAs is a pretty strong indicator, so we're about halfway there. Pitchers are a little less predicatable -- think of Ryan Vogelsong last year.
For all the Sabean bashers out there, he might have made the move of the offseason when he swapped J. Sanchez for Melky Cabrera.
We had tickets to see the Tigers play in Toronto early last summer. My son's high school baseball team had a game rained out and rescheduled for that day so we cancelled our trip to Toronto for his game. Verlander threw his no-hitter that day.
If Minka Kelly wants to date me and make me worse at my job, I'd accept that trade-off.
What affect do you think Pettite will have on the Yankees? Middle of the rotation up and downs, or solid game changer for a strugging rotation?
No idea. He pitches in Trenton tomorrow, so that's his first game against high-level competition. We'll have a better idea after that game. But he's probably better than Phil Hughes.
Should I be excited about any or all of the Rockies young prospects - Nolan Arenado, Tyler Colvin, Pomeranz, Wilin Rosario?
Yes, Arenado and Pomeranz should be studs.
BUZZER BEATER: Jarrod Parker's line for tomorrow night's debut vs. the White Sox...
Let's hear it ... 5 IP, 6 H, 3 BB, 4 SO, 4 R.
So which team is going to end up with Brandon Belt?
Is it possible that Brandon Belt isn't that good?
Clemens is on trial for possibly lying under oath. Unfortunately the government can't let that go.
Dave, I saw Al Leiter's no hitter vs the Rockies in 1996, got to see Wade Boggs' 3000 hit, and see Albert Belle hit a game winning 3 run homer at the Jake back in '95. Life is good.
Albert Belle ... man could he mash.
For the record, Josh Hamilton is really good.
Who would have though Kennedy would be better than Joba or Hughes 3 years ago.
Is the front office/owner behind the Nats trying to win it all this year? Meaning will they make moves to bring in a bat, or are they just going to wait for Harper and next year to win it all?
That's a good question. I do think they'll try and make a move if they're still in it -- which they should be. And an upgrade in the outfield may not be that expensive. Probably worth the gamble, unless they think Harper will be ready come July.
Is Phil Hughes just not meant to be a starter?
I'm not a fan. Had a couple good months in 2010, but that's been about it.
Clemens is accused of lying under oath. They don't care morally whether he did steroids or not, they care about the fact that he MAY have lied about it under oath. That is nothing to scoff at. It's a serious crime, and the government should be involved in crimes of that nature. Whether or not he did steriods just happens to be what he's accused of LYING about.
Don't disagree, but I'll still stick to my belief that the government could go after others ... you know, like bank executives.
That's cute that you still believe the justice system works and that government officials don't regularly lie under oath when it suits their needs. Let this stupid charade go.
Dave, loved your article about going to the ballpark for the Perfect Game. I'm curious - how many times have you gone to the ballpark towards the end of the game, then realized the pitcher had given up a hit before you got there?
That was actually Jim Caple who wrote that piece. I can just picture him interviewing players in his bike shorts. That's dedication to your job!
Thoughts of Van Slyke (Dodgers system)?
Don't much about him other than his numbers, but he looks like he can play to me. He's an older prospect and has gotten no hype, but he has to better than Juan Rivera, right?
The #Royals will not finish in last place in the AL Central. #MarkItDown
Saw Righetti no hitter, Seaver's 300 win went to over 200 games in 34+ years and never came close to a foul ball! I want that foul ball!
I've never caught a foul ball either. Friend next to me once caught a foul from Rod Carew, but I've never touched one during a game.
I did see Gaylord Perry's 300th win with the Mariners. Was also there for the only game he ever got ejected from for throwing a spitball. Happened later that season against the Red Sox (and led to a bench-clearing brawl).
If you don't prosecute perjury the legal system has no meaning.
For my money Albert belle was top 5 90's player
Lying to the government is a big problem. Obviously they can't catch everyone but it should be prosecuted.
Why don't the White Sox get more respect this year? They are in a virtual tie with the Tigers and beat them in a series.
The White Sox just aren't sexy. Second fiddle in their hometown, don't have that one big star to garner publicity. It will take time to believe in them.
Saw Jon Lieber throw a 1-hitter against the Braves in 1998 (I think). The one hit was an Andres Galarraga homer. Of course, Lieber lost 1-0 to Greg Maddux.
Fresno Grizzlies end up with Belt.
Whoe gets pulled for Pettite, Freddy or Hughes? Gotta be Freddy after that horrendous performance on Saturday, right?
I would think so.
2 minute drill: How many of the Red Sox's 8 man fire brigade will have a spot in the pen at season's end? (I say 3 - Atchison, Morales, Acevedes)
I guess its possible. How many guy in the last few years have put up his type numbers at AAA, with good peripherals, and the scouts love have missed?
Good question. Although *everybody* hits in the PCL, it seems. But clearly there is something that Bochy doesn't like about his swing. I think he can hit, but at some point if your manager doesn't believe in a guy, maybe you owe the player a favor and trade him to a team that wants hm.
@Mike (San Diego) While I'm sure you'd be willing to date Minka Kelly, she would need to be interested in you as well. What are the chances you are as "skilled" as Jeter?
Could Mauer be a trade option for the Jays? They have lots of good young pitching and a stud catching prospect. Could that get the deal done?
No. Why trade a good young, cheap catching prospect for an expensive one?
I just watched the Jays sweep the Royals which as a Jays fan was very nice but I was pretty impressed by the Royals. Alot of very good young athletes on that team. Great defense. They may not win this year but they are definately a team to watch in the very near future. And I am not even a Royals fan!
Certainly lying to the government is a big problem. However, he never should have had to lie to them. They should keep there noses, and our tax money, out of games. Maybe if they prosecuted their own for lying??????
I never caught a foul ball, but I did catch a rolled up T shirt at a Clipper game. Does that count?
Only if Donald Sterling was shooting the T-shirt gun.
Is there any trade value for John Lannan or Chein Ming Wang? The Nats rotation looks fairly solid right now with 7 guys for 5 spots.
Nothing wrong with depth. They'll probably need those guys at some point, or at least one of them. I do think Lannan has some trade value, assuming he actually starts to pitch better at Triple-A.
Do you see Jemile Weeks being a quality 2nd base this year? He's not stealing as we'd hoped, and that's really his game.
I like Weeks. Slow start, but not too worried. Don't see him as *big* steal guy since he gets caught too much. (22 for 33 last year.)
The Reds attendance ranks 20th in the league. Since apparently committing to Votto and Phillips longterm - or, for that matter, playing the World Champion Cardinals - is not enough to bring fans to the ballpark, are the Reds a candidate to be relocated?
Wow, where is that coming from? No, Reds will not be relocated. You can never read too much into April attendance, but I do wonder why the Reds haven't drawn better in comparison to some other small-market teams (Milwaukee, in particular). Indians don't draw other. Something going on in Ohio?
Do you like Heyward in the 7 spot? Not that there's anywhere else to put him, but he's getting on a lot, and not in.
Why can't you hit him second? He gets on more than Prado.
I was at the game where Griffey Junior hit his 30th homer of the year before the end of May at the Royals. #Royals fan gave him an ovation.
If Van Slyke is not better than Rivera, he is probably not worse...That contract was dumb when you consider he was only OK, and only for 6 or 7 weeks at that!
I would love to have Belt for the LF for the Cubs. I would be happy to trade Soriano, Marmol and all the cash for Belt. The Cubs get younger, and Boche gets his veteran for LF and a closer to replace Wilson........if only. I got a foul ball at a Cardinals/Cubs game. A Cardinal hit it so I threw it back.
The White Sox also were 6-6 and had just lost 3 of 4 at home to the Orioles before they took the last four against what are two of the three or four worst teams in the American League in parks that play to the White Sox's strengths (starting pitching depth) and diminish their weaknesses (mediocre at best line-up). If the White Sox keep this up at the Cell against better competition, they'll get their respect.
Re: Clemens thoughts : Right, so because EVERYONE lies under oath, it should no longer warrant investigation... That makes complete sense.Doesn't matter if others have lied in the past, there's an obligation to pursue the issue at hand. As silly as it is that this case received coverage, how'd it look if the gov. dropped it? The problem is speed -- this should end as soon as possible.
Not anywhere else to hit Heyward?! He could hit 2, 3, 4 or 5. Fredi's ridiculous thoughts on left-right-left-right gives him an excuse to move Heyward around from night to night, since there are "injuries" to fill in...
Heyward in the #7 spot can only be described one way: Frediotic.
I think way too many managers have gotten hung up on the L-R-L-R thing. Most left-handed relievers are mediocre anyway. Why are you worrying so much about matchups that MAY occur in late innings, instead of devising your best lineup to beat the starting pitcher?
Fun fact, in Mauer's 8 seasons coming into this one, he has accumulated more WAR than Brian McCann, Yal Molina and Buster Posey have managed in their COMBINED 18 seasons. He doesn't need to change his hitting style. He's doing just fine.
Right, didn't mean to suggest he's not a great player. He's just not a big HR guy. But his OBP skills have been so strong he's still a terrific hitter.
I was at that one game where the Padres offense sucked.
Panda has hit in all 16 games thus far this season...do you see him having an All Star type season?
Sure, he was an All-Star last seaosn. And that was a bomb he hit last night, way back in the second deck at Citi Field.
Was Mauer's contract really indefensible when it was signed? I know it wasn't universally applauded, but I also don't remember it being universally condemned, either. I see him as being a risk that didn't work out, that's all. It wasn't the obvious disaster that the Howard and Zito deals were from the moment the ink dried.
What hasn't worked out? One injury season. He has a .405 OBP this year.
The dodgers sign Hamels and, Montero, and Josh hamilton in the off season and then win the World Series in 2013. Realistic?
Well ... sure, I suppose so. But how often do free agents go where we *think* they'll go? (Other than CC and Tex in 2009.)
Dave, Indians attendance picks up in May. It is cold off those waters in April
Indeed. Still, Indians don't draw like they once did. (Granted, that team was awesome.)
I caught a foul ball in the Kingdome from Ozzie Guillen of all people - line drive right into my glove.
I got to see an Edgar Renteria grand slam at Giant's stadium and an extra inning walk-off by Damon Berryhill waaaaaaay back in the day! (not in the same game obviously)
Kemps got to be the best player in baseball right? I mean is anyone really close to a 40+ homerun, gold glove center fielder with speed?
I thought he was the best player last year. Only question: Would he do it again? You also forgot: Durable. Never misses a game. Although he's not really a very good center fielder.
Despite the Gold Gloves. The defensive metrics have issues with him -- makes a lot of great plays but also a lot more misplays than most CFers.
Josh is crazy to leave Texas but he would look great in Dodger Blue
It's always chilly in St Louis in April. The fans show up because they're smart enough to wear jackets.
Nationals fan here, who can Nats get for a proven MLB starter in John Lannan - seems a starting lefty is in demand (nice insurance policy for Nats in case of ailing arms but...) by other teams still with visions of competing but off to slow starts or down a starter. especially if we can upgrade and have someone take Werth and his big contract
This came up, but Lannan has been terrible in Triple-A -- 6 BB, 6 SO, a lot of hits. Maybe the Nationals knew what they were doing when they sent him down.
Do you see Freeman making the All Star team as a backup this year? First base is weak
Yeah, NL first base is probably historically weak right now, especially with injuries to Howard and now Berkman. Once you get past Votto and Freeman, who else is a candidate?
I mean ... didn't Gaby Sanchez make it last year?
I hope you're not doubting the validity of Gold Gloves.
Hey David, can you settle a bet? I think that Kemp is the best OF, but my friend John says that Braun is better. We've put a $5 wager on who you'll say is better. Can you clear this up?
Kemp is more valuable since he's a center fielder. Hitting numbers equal, edge has to go to Kemp.
What are the chances that Brian LaHair is an all star? What a story that would be.
Yes, LaHair! Cubs will need somebody to represent.
I know Beltre getting dinged up just points out the likelihood of Texas injuries, but can anyone question that with a year of 140+ games from Beltre, Hamilton, Cruz, Napoli, and Young, this Rangers team could be among the best offenses in history? Considering that Hamilton's only real injury last year was a the freakish play at the plate, he doesn't seem to be getting the same kind of love that Kemp is for his start.
We'll see about that offense. I actually think it's a little overrated since several of their hitters get a huge boost from their home park. I think Young hit one homer on the road last season and Beltre hit 23 of 32 at home.
Agreed gold glove awards are a joke...Kemp is ok at CF
If Cleveland wanted better attendance they shouldn't have built the stadium on the ocean.
Hey, optimism is all I have.
Just curious if any team has ever gone 0-81 at home for a season. No reason.
OK ... that made laugh. Good one to end with. Thanks for another fun discussion. I'll working on my typing skills for next week's chat and good luck to everyone in seeing a no-hitter and catching a foul ball.