We've pushed Dave's chat back to 3 p.m. ET.
OK, let's get going. If you were here at 1 p.m. ET, apologies for the delay.
What do you make of Svuem's comments about benching Starlin Castro if he can't get his head in the game? And does this further fuel rumors of possibly trading him away for the right price?
Well, it makes sense and it doesn't make sense. Will benching actually help or is just going to be that type of player? And as frustrating as the mental aspect of his game can be, I'm not sure that's the kind of player you want to trade. But, yes, it will fuel the rumors.
Who ends the season closing in Seattle?
Stephen Pryor, just called up. Upper 90s heat, good slider.
David, love the column, do you think the Rockies resurgance, the dodgers recent faltering and the Giants seeming consistency make the west a wild guess? ... like always? I see all four clubs (including Arizona) as potentially dangerous still.
Amazing how quick that big Dodgers lead evaporated. I'm not a believer in the Rockies. They're getting amazing production from CarGo and Fowler and six games under. Arizona's pitching gives them a better chance to contend.
Can teams trade drafted players immediately after they sign? Just wondering because picks can't be traded, not until next year anyhow.
No, I believe the rule that says a drafted player cannot be traded for one year still exists. (The Pete Incaviglia Rule.)
Do u think that boston needs to be very active before the trade deadline for pitchers?
I think they need a starter and should put Daniel Bard back in the bullpen. With more walks than K's, the starting thing just isn't taking very well.
What more do you believe Halladay needs to do in order to be a Hall of Famer?
Personally, I think he's done just about enough to warrant selection right now, but in reality he probably needs to get to 250 wins. Hall of Famer voters are very tough on starting pitchers (just ask Bert Blyleven).
I think the Ball Nelson Cruz hit over the weekend just landed.
That was an absolute bomb.
Is Kyle Seager going to improve, slow down, or stay the same?This year.
I think he's legit, although I'm a little surprised by the power. But he hit in the minors so we shouldn't be too surprised. Would like to see a few more walks, but maybe those will come next year.
What are your thoughts on the Pirates moving former 2nd round flame thrower, Stetson Allie, to 3B after such a small sample of innings?
Right, not many innings, but he's also 21 years old already. I assume the kid wanted to hit, so if that's the case, may as well do it now.
May I have the honor of throwing out the first Mike Zunino-Jeff Clement joke?
Mariners fans just let a collective sigh. I'll take the over.
By the way, I love the Carlos Correa pick at No. 1, not that I've scouted these guys. Correa is just 17 and that's a HUGE factor in growth potential.
What could the Ms get for League now, a couple of bags of bp balls and a golf cart maybe?
Not much. Case in point why any non-contending team should trade a closer when they can. The M's have blown it twice now in recent years -- David Aardsma when he had a big year a few years and now League.
Hey David, here in the Bay Area, the sports radio media have been talking about the Giants getting Pablo healthy and then trading him because he is viewed as a risk because of his weight and his off of the field issues. Do you see this happening?
Well, yes, that is all a risk, but wouldn't other teams also be aware of those risks? Pablo's two injuries the past two seasons haven't been weight-related, so I'd keep him. Add him to that lineup and it's a team that can win this year.
Instead of the HR derby, which lasts way too long, w 1000 espn commercials, and non stars hitting fly balls, I'd much rather petition to see a THROWING contest, where outfielders aim for a barrel at home plate, or infielders aim at targets. I'd rather see hitters w live bp pitchers & competing to HIT targets in the outfield. I'd rather see the all-stars RUNNING around the bases, competing for the fastest times. Imagine the sound a crowd makes as a player goes for an inside-the-park HR... we'd get that same sound multiple times w players running around the bases trying to beat some top players' 15.4 second timed run.
They had a skills competition for a few years in the late '80s. Barry Larkin hurt his arm and missed all or most of the rest of the season and the competition was scrapped. Maybe an overreaction. I would love to see an inside-the-park home run contest with Dee Gordon, Mike Trout, etc. THAT would be exciting. And we better see Harper in the HR Derby, even if he's not an All-Star.
Can the Pirates pitching continue to be this good? Can their offense continue to be this bad?
No ... and no. But I do believe in James McDonald.
Ok, Ichiro is down to a .261 BA. What do the M's do with such an icon?
It's going to be a difficult decision in the offseason. They just moved him back to the leadoff spot, but I don't think that will turn him around. I think they should let him walk, but they got sentimental with Griffey two years ago, so they'll probably bring him back.
Assuming Guti comes back healthy at the end of the month, who is the odd man out in the Mariners outfield rotation?
Gotta be Carp, no? Move Saunders to left field. He's been hitting, Carp hasn't. And cut Figgins.
I'm going to start calling Phil Hughes "Slim Shady" because I'm waiting for the real Phil Hughes to please stand up. So inconsistant.
That Detroit lineup he faced was terrible though. Quintin Berry, Danny Worth hitting second, Don Kelly, Omir Santos, bad Brennan Boesch.
How about the Cole Hamels competition, where guys take turns seeing if they can hit Bryce Harper in the back just to welcome him to the league?
How about an umpiring skills competition ... just kidding, Bud! The umps are doing a great job!
I'm confused by Karabell's Power Rankings. Shouldn't power rankings be based on whats happened this season? I get he's not a believer in the Orioles, that not my argument, it's that even though he doesn't believe their success will continue- shouldn't he acknowledge what they've accomplished so far? If he's just picking the teams he thinks are going to make the playoffs... then whats the point of Power Rankings exactly?
You should ask Eric! But if it's just a "based on what's happened this season" then why not just teams based on W-L record? Should Power Rankings be a mix of what you've done, what you think will happen, what injuries a team has right now, etc.
Two months down and I've get feeling whoever wins the AL will win the WS, then again, I thought that in 2011 and 2010.
Well, Tarek, you know that doesn't necessarily mean the NL is the stronger league. Playoffs are a crapshoot. Heck, if Neftali Feliz does his job or Nelson Cruz catches a fly ball ... sorry, Rangers fans.
I hear that Trevor Bauer will get the call soon. Naturally, I am excited to see him play, but where do you think he will fit? SP Rotation seems to be performing?
Still walking four guys a game in the minors. Would like to see a little better command from him. Still, it's about time -- but who do you bump now that Hudson is back? Miley? Saunders? Maybe you look to deal Saunders.
I guess the White Sox fire sale is off for now, huh?
The only sale going on in ChiTown is Chris Sale.
Kennedy has been terrible. Maybe send him down for a couple starts, or maybe he's hurt and DL him for some phantom injury.
C'mn, you're not going to send him down. SO/BB ratio is fine. He had one blow-up start. And he's much better than Saunders.
And if Ron Washington picks anyone other than Darren Freaking Oliver to hold the lead after Hamilton's Homerun.
You saw this right? Looks like somebody cut his ACL. http://i.imgur.com/8hRwn.gif
I actually did see that pitch, haha. Wilhelmsen has some nasty, nasty stuff.
Kevin Youkilis to the DBacks makes too much sense not to happen. DBacks need a bat, and Goldschmidt and Tat Man aren't exactly tearing it up at the corners. Red Sox have too many players for too few spots once players they get somewhat healthy. I'm thinking Joe Saunders and someone like Patrick Corbin. Dbacks can easily afford to spilt with some of the their pitching depth and this frees up a spot for Bauer. Thoughts? This needs to happen
At some point, it does Arizona nor Bauer any good to dominate minor league hitters. Arizona went all-in so-to-speak with the Cahill trade, so it does make sense to flip one of their starters. Trouble with Saunders: Fenway would be a terrible park for him. I like the idea, but Red Sox could probably do better. (Unless they like Corbin, but he's unlikely to help them this year.)
I've been beating the drum on the Power Rankings comment board for that all season. You've got the standings to see who has the best record. EK is looking at the entire picture.
What about trading Ichiro under the idea of "we're not winning this year and he deserves a shot at a world series"? I know he won't fetch much, but he can help a team and it seems like the best way to cut ties as a free agent next year.
Ichiro is a 10-and-5 guy so he can veto any trade. And I doubt the Japanese owners would trade him. It's a mess of a situation.
Follow up on the Power Rankings question:Thanks for an explanation. I would of asked Eric but I don't find his snarkiness as endearing as say, Keith Laws. If the Orioles win this Red Sox series I hope they get some power rankings attention- even if Eric has to tell us how he's personally not a believer.
Pablo Sandoval was ripped by Bruce Bochy (who always protects his guys) for his weight. That's a bigger issue for the Giants than his off the field problems, right?
Didn't see that. Trouble is, how many guys these days can hit .315/.375/.525? At the least, you play through this season and an evaluate Sandoval in the offseason.
David, the next time you are in NY are you going to buy a 20 ounce soda bottle? They may be illegal in NYC very soon.
Sell your 7-11 stock!
What team has the most talent of the All-Draft rosters you have been composing?
I'll try and do a follow-up post on that. I think the Red Sox -- Fisk, Bagwell, Pedroia, Nomar, Boggs, Evans, Lynn, Rice, Amos Otis, Clemens, Schilling, Hurst, Lester, Tudor, Papelbon. In fact, it may not be close.
You can get all the rosters via this link: http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/25259/all-time-draft-rosters-nl-west
How about Youkilis to the Dodgers, Dempster to the Red Sox, Anthony Renaudo and Zach Lee to the Cubs?
Hmm ... that makes a lot of sense. I don't see anyone get shortchanged there. Jim Bowden made a great that if you see trades his deadline you may see them between contending teams. So a little creativity like your three-way deal may be necessary.
I'm still not sure the Sox will trade Youkilis. If he's healthy and hitting, he's better than Middlebrooks in my opinion. If he's not hitting, nobody will want him.
Sox just optioned bard to AAA, thoughts?
Wow ... OK, so they'll give his turn to Aaron Cook or Dice-K. It makes sense to give one of them a chance. And while I understand that they *want* Bard to succeed as a starter, isn't your major league team better off with him in the bullpen?
What is the most underrated minor league city and stadium I must visit?
I haven't been to enough. Readers?
What's going on with the Tigers? They have been scuffling all season long!
Lineup is bad outside of A-Jax, Miggy and Prince. Porcello isn't that good. Scherzer same old inconsistent Scherzer. Bad defense. I'm not at all surprised about what is happening.
Gut feeling...Who from this list is traded? Dempster, Garza, Castro, LaHair, Soto, Soriano, DeJesus, Barney.
Dempster. Yes, that's it.
Cargo for upton, straight up. who says no and why?
Diamondbacks. Can Cargo hit like this outside of Coors Field?
Zack Lee isn't getting traded.
Mike Trout already has a higher WAR than Matt Kemp in two fewer games. Is it fair to say Trout is already the Angels best player?
Yes. Unless you're including pitchers, then Jered Weaver may disagree.
If you could watch any one active pitcher go head to head against any one active hitter what would that combo be?
Verlander-Hamilton ... Strasburg-Harper in spring training intrasquad game. OK, that's two.
I find it funny that Baltimore fans need conviction in a podcast power rankings....it shows an inherent lack of confidence that they will be talking about their team come October 1st...
Hilarious. Hope the Angels have some money left over to pay Trout after all these huge deals they handed out in recent years.
Variation on an earlier question, to develop how strongly you (but not necessarily the voters) feel about Halladay warranting HoF selection -- would you argue also that Sabathia has done enough for HoF, or does CC's being a couple of years younger and having not quite as strong ratios keep him under your HoF boundary line, for now?
I don't think CC is quite there yet. He's really only been CC SABATHIA (capital letters) since 2006. He had a 4.10 ERA over his first five seasons.
Bundy/Gausman/Matusz/Britton with Arrieta/Tillman/Scrap Heap Guy as the 5th......2013 July Rotation or the Orioles?
Chen or Hammel may still be around. Time to give up on Tillman.
Trout's WAR projects to 11.4 over 162 games played... Braun was 7.8 last year. Can enough be said about him?
Is it good or bad for Brewers fans that Attanasio says they're going to stick with this season to the bitter end? If they're out of in a month wouldn't they be better off trading off some pieces?
Oops, response to Trout question: Wow, didn't even think of that. A little lower total on B-R: 9.5. Still ... makes you wonder what the Angels were thinking by sending him down to start the season.
For John's question ... Well, I think Brewers are still in it. I still believe 85 or 86 wins can get you that second wild card, so they're not dead. Plus ... who can you trade besides Greinke (who they want to sign)? Braun/Hart/Gallardo/Weeks is still your nucleus for a few years.
You said Red Sox won't trade Youkilis if he's hitting, but I think if he's doing okay and has some value, they should trade him. I think the opportunity to get younger and lower your salary, is something that shouldn't be utilized exclusively by small market teams. Big market teams don't do enough of this (look how old the Phillies got). Let Middlebrooks play. Putting him on the bench or in the minors won't help at all
Sure, I don't disagree. My take on Middlebrooks is a little different -- I think he's way over his head right now and will be exposed a bit as he goes through the league a second time. I may be wrong. Plus ... I really don't think Youkilis will bring much. He's old(er), broken down, makes a lot of money and is a big health risk. Maybe Joe Saunders is the best you can do, but even then there's a significant difference in salaries.
Memphis Red Birds stadium is beautiful. So is the Louisville Sluggers stadium in Louisville, KY.
When Orlando had a minor league team, the baseball stadium at Disney's Wide World of Sports was a must see. Disney does it all right - including minor league baseball.
Underrated Minor league stadium and more importantly city: Asheville, NC, the city is great, tons of music, food, events. Baseball team is the low A Rockies team, but the stadium and atmosphere are great.
Josh Hamilton's WAR from his 4-HR game projected over 162 games played is probably 162...can we stop projecting samples over 162 games and pretending it means anything?
KC's all draft team would have to be pretty good too, no? White, Brett, Quiz, Dennis Leonard, Appier, Grienke, Saberhagen, Beltran, Damon, off the top of my head.
Greinke didn't even make my rotation -- Cone, Saberhagen, Appier, Leonard and Paul Splittorf. Quiz and Frank White were actually undrafted, so you lose those two. But Royals are very good.
A's are also very good -- Tenace, McGwire, Garner, Bando (or Darrell Evans), Weiss, Rickey, Reggie, Canseco, Giambi and a staff of Hudson, Blue, Zito, Tapani and Mulder.
At which positions can the Yankees insert some dynamic, young hitters over the next year or two? The only places I see open for change are 3B and RF, if you move A-Rod to permanent DH.
Most of the Yankees' top hitting prospects are in the low minors -- Mason Williams, Dante Bichette Jr., Ravel Santana, etc. You're talking 2014 at the earliest before those guys are ready.
Is it too early to state that Brian Cashman and his player evaluation team have done less-than-adequate job in the draft? The best part of the Yankees' front office is their Latin American evaluation team, right?
To be fair, it's difficult to get players when you're drafting at the bottom of the first round every year.
And I forgot Bo Jackson....and the Royals actually drafted, but didn't sign Kevin Brown and Deion Sanders, does that count??
Except Bo wasn't a great baseball player. I had Willie Wilson in the OF with Beltran and Damon. And, no, I only included players the team actually signed.
Can you do a all 1st round bust draft team by team? Would be fun. Ah Brien Taylor, your rookie cards are dead to me.
Every team has had busts! I wrote a little blurb on the Padres today -- they've maybe had more top-5 busts than any other team.
Someone from DC gets testy about Mike Trout? It's okay, Bryce Harper is still going to be really good, too.
Re: Trout being sent down, he was sick most of spring training and needed to build up his strength.
Good point, Dan. Forgot about that.
The Columbus Clippers' Huntington Park is absolutely beautiful. Best park in the minor leagues in my opinion.
Why are so many Boston fans ready to get rid of Youkilis when Middlebrooks has proven that he has no plate discipline? Don't they realize that a regression is coming, and it most likely won't be pretty.
I would barf if the Sox traded Youk for Saunders. If that's the case, just let Youk pitch.
Let's agree that Trout looks like a special player. Uh, can we wait until he's played, oh, 50 games before we anoint him the next fill-in-the-blank star? Seriously, projecting his full-year WAR now and saying he's better than Matt Kemp? Or how about that other guy on his team, the one who signed the gazillion-dollar contract?
The ghost of Matt Bush. Sigh.
Ross... It's a little more fair to project a 5th of the year, when nothing points to much regression, then one great game. It was more to point out how great he has been so far, rather then suggest that he's actually going to have one of the greatest WAR seasons ever. And no, I assume that a season where you hit 648 HR's would probably be higher then 162 WAR....
Youkilis is in the final year of his contract and is 34. Trade would give the Sox a chance to see if Middlebrooks can handle everyday. That is my take, get something for youk now, preferably a team that can play him at first. Sox have better than Joe Saunders, that doesn't make sense
What about Angels CF's: Edmonds, White, Erstad, Trout, Bourjos?
Even Gary Pettis and Chad Curtis had nice careers. Would be fun to do a "which team has done the best at one position." Hard to beat that list though.
Dodgers have done well at C -- Piazza, Yeager, Russell Martin, Scioscia, Joe Ferguson (good player in the '70s), Paul Lo Duca, A.J. Ellis, Darrin Fletcher. There are teams that have NEVER drafted a decent catcher.
The Yankees haven't a successful homegrown starting pitcher since Andy Pettitte. Maybe Chien Ming Wang before he got hurt, but either way its pretty bad
I wonder how many of your younger readers have any idea who Vida Blue is.
Look him up, kids!
Sussex Cardinals (NJ) have a great atmoshphere. Low A. Always pack their stadium. Believe they usually have the highest attendance in the NY Penn league.
What about an all "acquired as minor leaguers" team...i.e. Johan Santana, Joe Nathan for the Twins, Bagwell for the Astros?
John Smoltz ... hmm, who else .. Sandberg had played a few games for the Phillies ...
Do Bo Sox have no loyalty? Back stabbing Tito on his way out, giving up on Youk already? These guys helped win two titles for a franchise that had none for nearly 100 years!!!
yeah I saw the Padres one. Just awful (I remember Shawn Abner).Speaking of 1st round busts, do you think the pirates luck/ scouting of 1st round picks is turning around?
Gotta like the idea of a rotation with McDonald, Taillon, Cole and Appel (have to sign him, of course). Now they just need seven hitters.
I'd second Asheville as a good MILB spot. Reading is worth a visit, and Lakewood can be fun - when you stay on the Jersey shore.
I know my pal Karabell raves about Lehigh Valley. But I think he just loves the bacon/ham/sausage sandwich they have.
Jason's comment about Vida blue and his relevance to younger fans was priceless. How about the guy who made it before Vida -- James Hunter? Some of us oldies might know him as Catfish
He could pitch a little. Signed with the A's just before the draft era began.
Brandon Philips, Grady Sizemore & Cliff Lee were aquired by the Indians in a single deal...that's a good start right there. Have to imagine the fire sale Marlins would have some good acquired talent, beyond Hanley.
You must have forgot to include Jeff Karstens in that future Pirates rotation. Common mistake
Back stabbing Tito was bad, but Youk can't stay healthy playing third, and can't play first in Boston. Holding on to guys because of loyalty leads to bad teams.
The Quad Cities River Bandits, High A Affiliate for the Cards, have a stadium that appears to drop off into the river out of right field underneath a very neat bridge. Looks awesome at night.
Nathan had pitched for a little while with the Giants before getting included in the AJ deal, but still a good spotting of a young guy, kinda like the Frieri trade seems to be headed.
Will be interesting to see how Nova ultimately pans out since he's a homegrown Yankee
I'd rather see the "all traded before they hit their prime" team...Ortiz, Maddux (sorta)...
Ortiz -- Mariners actually traded him to the Twins when he was still David Arias.
I did a simple WAR calculation if Hamilton got 684 HRs. OPS+ of 1212 and a single season war of 87. This was assuming 684 HRs going 684 for 684.
Lets go more obscure players. Moose Haas, one of the best baseball names ever.
Better than Moose Skowron?
Who says the Youk is done and can't stay healthy? Were you one of the fans who wrote of Ortiz a few years ago when he was dreadful in April/May? Be loyal to guys who have a proven track record with your team.
Fine line between loyal and keeping until old.
OK .. time to run. We'll continue this debate next week! Thanks, everyone. Great slate of games tonight to check out. Enjoy!