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May 22, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with David Schoenfield

David Schoenfield
  (1:06 PM)

Sorry about the delay ... things that are difficult: hitting Justin Verlander's fastball, getting David Wright out, finding a parking space at ESPN at 1 p.m.

Trey (VA)

Is Gio Gonzalez a candidate for the NL Cy Young as of right now? He is looking great and I'm loving the trade for him!

David Schoenfield
  (1:06 PM)

Definitely a candidate. I wrote last night in Clearing the Bases that I'd like to see him go deeper into games. Hasn't pitched more than seven innings yet.

Go Blue (A2)

Are the Toronto Blue Jays a legitimate contender in the AL East or are they still a few key pieces away in your mind?

David Schoenfield
  (1:08 PM)

I think they are contender, but a couple concerns: Back of the rotation with Drabek, Alvarez and Hutchison is young and inconsistent. Drabek just can't throw enough strikes, so I think they need to upgrade there; lineup is a little right-handed, especially with Lind's struggles and demotion and Rasmus not hitting.

Jason (St Louis)

Dave, welcome. Cards have slipped lately. They've got the injuries but the issue is the pitching. What do you think they should do?

David Schoenfield
  (1:10 PM)

Not much they can except sit tight. I think they most disappointing aspect is they should be 5 or 6 games up right now. In some regards, they failed to capitalize on all those hot starts. But not much they can do, hope Wainwright gets straightened and realize you don't have to panic in the weak NL Central.

Monroe (Chelsea, Ohio)

King Felix takes on Yu Darvish and only 18,000 show up in Seattle (and it looked more like 12). It's pitiful. Please defend your people. Thanks.

David Schoenfield
  (1:12 PM)

Wait, somebody from Ohio is criticizing attendance figures in Seattle? Reds were playing for first place last night and drew ... 17,000. Indians in first place ... and last in majors in attendance.

Adam (Toronto)

What's wrong with Mike Minor? In he hurt at all?

David Schoenfield
  (1:13 PM)

I watched the game last night. Not hurt. Velocity is fine. He's getting strikeouts, but I think he just throws too many middle-of-the-plate pitches. Leads the league with 12 HRs allowed. Maybe he's just not that good. 32 career starts now, 5.41 ERA.

Alex (Anaheim)

As a Yankee fan, should I panic at their recent performance or take comfort in the extra wild card?

David Schoenfield
  (1:14 PM)

Both? Funny that for all the angst over the Red Sox, here the Yankees are, tied with Boston. They look old at times, Teixeira has been battling this weird bronchial infection all season and the rotation just isn't that good.

This year's Giants (DC, Philly)

Is it fair to say that the Phillies and the Nats both fit the mold of the 2010 World Series champion Giants: outstanding rotations and just enough offense to win games?

David Schoenfield
  (1:16 PM)

Sort of. The Giants' offense by season's end wasn't that bad -- Posey, Burrell hit very well once he came over, Huff slugged over .500 that year, Andres Torres had a great year (.479 slugging) and Juan Uribe hit 24 HRs at SS.

Aron (STL)

David what have you heard about Cardinals prospect Oscar Taveras? His numbers have looked pretty impressive in AA (.315/.369/.611)

David Schoenfield
  (1:18 PM)

He was one of my favorite prospects heading into the season after hitting .386 in the Midwest League. Puerto Rican kid, doesn't turn 20 until June, doesn't K much and now he's adding power? I think it's hard to find a better hitting prospect in the minors right now.

Joey (New York)

To: This Year's Giants - Phili WILL NOT make the playoffs they are last in their division and below .500 --- David: will the jays or rays make the playoffs? who do you think? one or both or none?

David Schoenfield
  (1:19 PM)

I still think three teams from the AL East make it. I'll go Rays and ... umm ... putting me on the spot, I'd still lean to the Yankees and Red Sox, but I have no confidence in saying that. Hope we get a great five-team race all season.

Ryan Braun (Milwaukee)

I'm just about repeating my 2011 MVP season. Do I still deserve to be booed because of my "positive" test?

David Schoenfield
  (1:20 PM)

Readers?

jim Leyland (Detroit)

does Dave need to pull a trade to land me a second baseman that can put up an OPS of 700? Is that too much to ask?

David Schoenfield
  (1:21 PM)

But at least Raburn can field ... oh, wait, no he can't.

Josh (Denver)

Is Carlos Santana a .260/.350/.450 guy or better?

David Schoenfield
  (1:21 PM)

Better.

Peter (Princeton, NJ)

Banuelos on DL today with sore left elbow on the heels of arm injuries to Campos, Pineda, Chamberlain, Hughes and others. How about a deeper look at NYY pitching development methods and apparent failures. In the last half century the Yanks have developed three above average starting pitchers--Pettite, Stottlemyre and Guidry. Four if you count Wang (which I don't). Further, Stottlemyre's career was ended prematurely with a torn rotator cuff, and much of Pettite's career has been spent pitching through a damaged elbow. This is a systemic issue that has really damaged the franchise and has not really received the attention it has deserved.

David Schoenfield
  (1:24 PM)

Great point, although lumping in a guy from the early '70s (who actually had a fairly long career) with guys in 2012 is a bit of a stretch. But you're right on about drafting/developing pitchers. Part of that, of course, is the Yankees haven't drafted high in 20 years. Makes it more difficult obviously. But the failures of these recent top prospects is interesting. Overhyped? Managed poorly? I don't know.

Andrew (SF)

Is Hellickson's cutter developing into a real weapon? Seemed to use it more last night.

David Schoenfield
  (1:26 PM)

I did watch a little of this game and have seen Hellickson a few times this year. I'm not sure it's a strikeout pitch, but he does get a lot of movement on the cutter and his changeup. Once again, he's proving doubters wrong with a low BABIP. Some of that credit goes to the excellent Tampa defense, but Hellickson IS tough to hit, in my humble opinion.

Mike (San Diego)

4 months from now are we going to look back and say 2012 Eric Hosmer = 2011 Adam Dunn? Obviously Hosmer won't be THAT bad, but he's falling really short of expectations and I'm hoping it isn't something that lasts a long time.

David Schoenfield
  (1:27 PM)

I still think he'll come around. He's not striking out like Dunn did last year. Hits just aren't falling. His .169 BABIP is lowest in the majors.

Clay (Charlotte)

Well yeah, except the Nats are .5 games back and the Phillies are 5 games back. That period makes a big difference.

Andrew (SF)

More bullish on Rasmus hitting than Ike Davis, right?

David Schoenfield
  (1:29 PM)

I wrote something a couple weeks that I expected Rasmus to come around, but ... I don't know. Some in the industry believe he does have some mechanical issues in his swing. Ike Davis is another issue ... wondering if he's still bothered by the Desert Fever he contracted in spring training. (The same thing that basically ruined Conor Jackson's career.)

Clay (Charlotte)

Why didn't the replay of Livan Hernandez throwing seeds at the ballboy during the Tampa series make the rounds? Best, and funniest, part of the whole game. Thought it was a great gesture from the Brave's bullpen.

David Schoenfield
  (1:30 PM)

Missed that. Do you have a link?

Jason (St Louis)

Mike Trout is a lock for RoY, right?

David Schoenfield
  (1:30 PM)

Yu Darvish would disagree.

Jason (St Louis)

Rasmus isn't good. One of these days people outside of St Louis will learn to accept this.

David Schoenfield
  (1:31 PM)

Ha. But he WAS good in 2010. .859. But he wouldn't be the first guy to have a good season while relatively young (23) and not develop from there.

Joe (Tor)

Andrew (SF) Rasmus was in a slop im sure hed be the first to say: but last night in Tampa 2-3 2 Doubles rasmus is a perfect fit for toronto

Rick (Charlotte,NC)

I don't think Braun was a habitual steroid/user, but is it crazy to think that after a long season, he took "something" to get an extra boost and got caught?

Andrew (Toronto)

So what do you make of Adam Lind being placed on waivers? Is a deal brewing? What do you see the Jays doing at first base? David Cooper doesn't seem like a viable replacement, and Encarnacion is surely just a stopgap.

David Schoenfield
  (1:35 PM)

Missed that. Interesting. The Jays are just hoping somebody claims him to pick up his salary. $5M this year, $5M next year. Doubt anybody claims him. No, Cooper isn't the option. I'm actually OK with Encarnacion at first base. Maybe time to give Travis Snider one last chance at DH? (.333, 5 HR at Las Vegas.)

Clay (Charlotte)

How can the Tampa broadcast of the inter-league series finale not use AVG but OBP and also not use ERA but FIP...while Chip Carey keeps hammering home that Price had a 12-13 record the previous year on the Braves broadcast...sigh...

Jim (Polkton, NC)

How in the world can the Mets be over .500 with a minus-32 run differential?

David Schoenfield
  (1:35 PM)

That's why I'm not buying Mets stock right now.

Marty (Fairfield, CT)

Hellickson's FIP is much higher than his ERA. SSS or legit concern his numbers are better than his performance?

David Schoenfield
  (1:38 PM)

That was kind of my point. Everybody expected him to come back down to Earth after last year's low BABIP (lowest in the majors at .223). He's at .246 this year. ERA is low despite nine HRs allowed. A lot of weird stuff in his numbers, but: (A) I do think the movement on his pitches, combined with Tampa's defense, will give him a lower than expected BABIP; (B) He's a flyball pitcher, which also means a lower BABIP. I still think his ERA will increase by season's end, but maybe he's a 3.50 pitcher and not 4.70 like his FIP suggests.

Eric Karabell (Philadelphia)

Did my team's reign atop the NL East end w/ Ryan Howard's achilles?

David Schoenfield
  (1:39 PM)

I'm not counting out a team with Halladay, Lee and Hamels.

Just Wondering (New York)

How much can a pitcher really control their BABIP? Verlander is at a career low .219. If Verlander was a batter, we would say is really unlucky. But as a pitcher, is he getting lucky?

David Schoenfield
  (1:42 PM)

This is exactly the debate surrounding a guy like Hellickson (or even Verlander last year). Sabermetric mantra says pitchers have very little control over BABIP, although flyball pitchers do seem to have a slightly lower BABIP than groundball pitchers. Verlander is also more of a flyball pitcher. Plus, he's good and has Austin Jackson running down everything. Let's get deeper into the season and see what happens with some of these guys.

Mark (Lyme, CT)

Do you give Youk his job back?

David Schoenfield
  (1:43 PM)

I think so. Do you move him to 1B and Gonzalez to RF? But that means make yourself worse at FOUR positions on defense -- 3B, 1B, RF and CF (assuming you move Ross there).

Aron (STL)

David I was wondering can you still grade a fastball a 80 if it has no movement?

David Schoenfield
  (1:43 PM)

Better question for Keith Law. I'm not sure how scouts combine velocity/movement on the fastball grade to be honest.

Mac (Towson)

Will Alex Cobb stay in the 5th spot for the Rays? Maddon likes him for sure.

David Schoenfield
  (1:44 PM)

I think so. I believe Niemann is on the 60-day DL. Cobb is good. There's a reason Maddon likes him.

Clay (Charlotte)

Here's the video of Hernandez throwing seeds: http://mlb.mlb.com/cutfour/article.jsp?content_id=31844390

George Bell (DR)

I see you are campaigning for Edgar Martinez to get into Cooperstown. How about helping out the 1987 MVP?

David Schoenfield
  (1:44 PM)

Alan Trammell should have won that MVP.

Andrew (SF)

I'm willing to accept that Hellickson will never be a big strikeout guy, just happy he's cutting down on the walks.

Jason (St Louis)

Matt Cain's FIP has been worse than his ERA every year I think. It is possible to buck the system.

David Schoenfield
  (1:45 PM)

Yes, good example. Maybe Hellickson is the new Cain.

Brenton (Columbus)

Somehow the Reds are 3 games over .500, despite having just barely scored more runs than what they have allowed. Think they are playing above or below what they should given their everyday position players?

David Schoenfield
  (1:47 PM)

I wrote on the Reds last night. Amazingly, only Votto and Bruce have OBPs over .300 (and Hanigan in a part-time role). This is NOT a good offensive team. And, really, I'm not sure a lot of room for improvement from the lineup other than maybe Brandon Phillips, although he's not a good OBP guy anyways. They're going to be in a lot of close games so how Dusty works the bullpen will be vital.

Monty (Orlando)

Random question Dave, but are defense and offense valued equally in WAR, or is one more valuable than the other? Thanks bro

David Schoenfield
  (1:49 PM)

Well, they're both factored in (along with baserunning), but offense has a bigger influence on the final total. Think about it: A batter may get 500 to 700 plate appearances, but he doesn't get that many opportunities in the field (most of which are made by most major leaguers anyway). So there is less opportunity to make a difference on defense.

yoo (finland NB)

David is there rumors that overbay will be a jay again? i keep hearing it everywhere

David Schoenfield
  (1:49 PM)

Makes sense, although Goldschmidt has been hitting for D-backs. I'd rather see the Jays give Snider a chance.

Bernie Madoff (New York)

C'mon Dave, the Mets stock is a great investment. Do it, c'mon. Would I lie to you?

Eric (Seattle)

Have you heard why Hisashi Iwakuma is pretty much the "well, we have no other choice" pitcher in the Mariner's bullpen? I feel like he has more talent than Wedge is allowing him to show

David Schoenfield
  (1:51 PM)

I'm not sure what's going on there. He's pitched so sparingly it's essentially a waste of a roster spot. (He's pitched in four games.) I'm guessing he's the first guy to move into the rotation if somebody gets hurt, however.

Andrew (SF)

There are seemingly more better hitting CFs than 1B these days. Cutch, Hamilton, Jackson, Kemp, Jones...vs. a slew of underperforming/overpaid 1B. Throw in the defense and is this a mini golden age for CFs?

David Schoenfield
  (1:52 PM)

Good question. Could be ... I actually wrote something on this LAST spring, and that was before Kemp's monster season. Certainly seems to be the strongest position right now (catcher is pretty loaded as well).

Jimmy F (Catonsville)

When Britton comes back for the Os, does Harrison go to the bullpen? Hard to believe, but thay can be even better with his arm in the rotation and Harrison in long relief, right?

David Schoenfield
  (1:53 PM)

You mean Tommy Hunter? Yes, I'd bump Hunter for Britton.

George Bell (DR)

Trammell!!!!! I knew you were a close Tiger fan. You must have forgotten my 47HR, 134RBI and 369 TB. Add 10HR to my total if I played in Detroit......The wind at the stadium in Toronto cost me at least that many.

David Schoenfield
  (1:54 PM)

Too bad you couldn't buy a hit the final week ...

Mike (San Diego)

Let's talk about Justin Upton! I read your article today and I think the guy is still someone who will win an MVP or two in his career. In fact, I'd go as far to say that he would probably be one of the top 5 players that I would pick if I were starting a franchise today. I think the thumb is bothering him this year, but if healthy, watch out. I could see a .320/.420/.600, 30/30 type season for him.

David Schoenfield
  (1:55 PM)

Yeah, that was kind of my point when I wrote that at 3 a.m. last night (so I wasn't working on all cylinders). It's not really fair to expect a season like that, but we kind of keeping hoping he was one in him. I'm just not sure he's going to do that.

John (Memphis)

Is Seattle's 1b of the future currently in the organization?

David Schoenfield
  (1:56 PM)

No.

Clay (Charlotte)

With Minor likely to be joining Jurrjens in Gwinnett soon, does this increase the likelihood of Oswald going to Atlanta?

David Schoenfield
  (1:56 PM)

How about Rangers, with Feliz hitting the DL?

montie (LV)

david, why is there so much hatred to the jays? is it cuz there canadian if that it is - without canada no hockey basketball lacrosse and others, i remember watching there first series this year in clevland and everyone was chanting USA- was that to get under there skin or something? plus it isnt canadas fault lebron left

David Schoenfield
  (1:57 PM)

Do people really hate the Jays? I think Cleveland fans were just having a little fun.

Marty (Fairfield, CT)

Any chance we get to see Dylan Bundy face New Britain last weekend of June? O's move slower than Bobby Abreu in the OF!

David Schoenfield
  (1:58 PM)

He needs to get promoted first ...

Marty (Fairfield, CT)

Montero is the Ms future 1B.

David Schoenfield
  (1:58 PM)

Yes, there is that possibility, although I think he settles in at DH.

de la (the 415)

Bryan LaHair ... coming back to earth with a thud? 2 for his past 23, one homer.

David Schoenfield
  (1:59 PM)

30 percent strikeout rate, .397 BABIP (tied for fourth) ... Earth, meet Bryan.

Andrew (Toronto)

Oh Dave Dave Dave...the Jays number three and number five hitters (Fernandez and Whitt) were injured during the last week in 1987. The Brewers and Tigers pitchers didn't have to throw George Bell anything, and they didn't. Why let the clear league MVP beat you?

David Schoenfield
  (2:01 PM)

Seven straight losses to finish the year. Bell goes 3-for-27. Drew four walks (two intentional). Trammell still had the better year.

Ryan (Indy)

Who would you take to start a team with, Stanton or Heyward?

David Schoenfield
  (2:02 PM)

Stanton

Joe (Green Bay) [via mobile]

Is there still hope for Rickie Weeks to turn things around? He looks completely lost at the plate.

David Schoenfield
  (2:02 PM)

Not sure what's going on there, but he's too good/too young to completely fall off a cliff like this.

Mike (San Diego)

I know it's unfair to expect a season like that for Upton, but as fans, unrealistic expectations are what we do!

David Schoenfield
  (2:02 PM)

True!

Justin (Redlands, CA)

After watching Trout play this year, his power ceiling has to be in the 30HR range, right?

David Schoenfield
  (2:04 PM)

Man, 30 HRs in that park isn't easy ... as with Upton, let's calm our expectations just a bit. 20 bombs with a .300 average, walks, speed and great defense is an MVP candidate anyway.

Morris (Pgh, PA)

George Bell's wRC+ in 1987 was 144. Trammell's was 156. Did I mention Trammell played shortstop? The voting shouldn't have been remotely close, unless you think it was a tossup between Trammell and Boggs.

David Schoenfield
  (2:05 PM)

Agreed. Voters loved RBIs back then even more than now. And the NL MVP that season was an even worse choice -- Andre Dawson of the last-place Cubs. But he had the most RBIs!

Steve (Alaska)

Will Jesus Montero ever hit 300/350/600? If not, what's his ceiling?

David Schoenfield
  (2:06 PM)

I have no idea what to make of Montero's ceiling, to be honest. I'd like to see a better SO/BB ratio before projecting those kind of numbers. He's not a wild hacker at the plate, but he's not walking much either and striking out too much.

Justin (Redlands, CA)

Trout is hitting 1HR/20AB's.

David Schoenfield
  (2:08 PM)

It's early. Mike Leake is averaging on HR every 15 ABs.

Darrell (Houston)

Have you changed your opinion of the Astros after two months into the season?

David Schoenfield
  (2:08 PM)

They're better than everyone expected. Could win 70 in that division.

Matt (Albany NY)

Jays 93-69Rays 92-70Yanks 90-72Sox 86-76O's 82-80Agree Or Disagree?

David Schoenfield
  (2:09 PM)

Right now, I'd take the Red Sox over the Yankees. I'd rate Tampa Bay as the division favorite. But I say all of that with no confidence. It's going to be tight all year.

George Bell (DR)

Edgar Martinez hit .087 with 5 strikeouts in the 1995 ALCS. It happens to all us great hitters Dave.

David Schoenfield
  (2:09 PM)

Thanks for punching me in the gut with that one!

Clay (Charlotte)

No, David, I was talking about Lee Harvey Oswald coming to Atlanta so ensure that Fredi never makes Uggla or McCann bunt again.

David Schoenfield
  (2:10 PM)

Excellent. OK, hate to cut this short, but I'm already 10 minutes late for a meeting! I'll see everyone next week! Go baseball!

Dave (Portland)

You should do a series of articles where you re-award the MVP awards for each year. You should start by showing how George Bell shouldn't have even been in the top 5 in 1987.

David Schoenfield
  (2:10 PM)

Good idea!

Kevin (Denver, CO)

Former Seattle resident living in Denver now. Which team has the higher upside the next few years: M's or Rockies? I enjoy the star power of Tulo and CarGo, but Rox don't have much else, whereas the M's have some good pitching and interesting young talent.

David Schoenfield
  (2:11 PM)

One final question: Yes, I'd actually take the Mariners for the reasons you cited.