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June 18, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Jerry Crasnick

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:01 PM)

Hey everybody, Sorry I couldn't make the Friday chat as scheduled. I was navigating the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway on my way to Citi Field for the Reds-Mets game. That road is anything but an expressway. Let's start the chat.

Greg (Fairborn, Oh)

Should the Reds look for a left fielder who can hit to protect Votto?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:02 PM)

Greg, The Reds would like to upgrade in left field, but judging from Joey Votto's performance this season, I don't think a lack of protection is a major problem for him.

Dom (NY)

An article in today's NY Post brought up the thought that the trade market would be spiced up if Cliff Lee - Phillies and Carlos Gonzalez - Rockies were made available. Your thoughts on either or both possibly being moved?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:04 PM)

Dom, Cliff Lee makes $25M a year for each of the next three seasons, and has a $12.5M buyout for 2016, so I can't see him being moved. And the Rockies would have to obtain another team's entire farm system to part with CarGo. He's young and talented enough -- and signed through 2017 -- that he's the type of player you build around for the long-term.

san padro (san diego)

How good can wil myers be can he be a 300/380/500 30/100 guy

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:06 PM)

San Padro, He has huge upside, but it's hard to say anyone will be that type of player when he's 21 years old. Just look at the growing pains that Eric Hosmer and Justin Upton are having this season. Even Bryce Harper and Mike Trout are going to come back to earth at some point. So I wouldn't want to hang those kind of numbers on Myers just yet.

esteban (miami)

is pedro alvarez the real deal? or is this some kind of tv prank?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:09 PM)

Esteban, He has big power -- nobody ever doubted that. But can he hit lefties, field his position well enough and cut down on the strikeouts enough to be a consistent producer year in and year out? I don't think anybody knows the answer to those questions yet.

Ry (OH)

Jerry, what are the odds the Tribe can land a right-handed bat like Carlos Quentin before the deadline, and what kind of package will San Diego be looking for in return?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:10 PM)

Ry, The Indians need a RH bat. But I think they -- like a lot of clubs -- are apprehensive about Quentin because of his injury history. Let's see if he can stay off the disabled list for the next month. That would certainly help his trade market.

Doug (Ohio)

You were at the Friday Mets-Reds game? What are your thoughts on Jason Bay's injury? It looked bad on TV, I know he's on the 7-day DL but I think I would be a little surprised to see him back before the All-Star break.

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:11 PM)

Doug, This is just my gut, but I didn't have a good feeling at all when I watched him walk off the field. And a lot of people at Citi Field Friday seemed to share that sentiment. The poor guy just seems jinxed.

Richard (Oklahoma)

Best player in the NL Right now...Joey Votto. Agree?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:12 PM)

Richard, You won't get any argument from me on that front.

Shawn (Charleston, SC)

Now with Beachy going to the DL and the surge of the Giants for the top wild card, the braves are still in the hunt for the division and woudl like to win it. The braves are alwasy sellers, it seems, or very small buyers at the deadline. They are never willing to give up any prospects for the opportunity to win now. Do you think the braves will pick up an big name pitcher before the deadline? Do you think they need to pick up another pitcher? I feel they need another starter, but more importantly bullpen help if the rotation can get healthy.

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:13 PM)

Shawn, From what I've been hearing, the Braves could go in any number of directions between now and the deadline. If Jurrjens returns and pitches well and Teheran and Delgado get it rolling, Frank Wren might look for offense. If the young pitchers don't perform, he'll try to upgrade the rotation. Either way, finances always seem to be a concern in Atlanta.

Mark (Beautiful Santa Monica, CA)

Kind of a mixed sports question but do you think Trout and Harper will forever be linked like RGIII and Luck will be? I know Luck and RGIII were drafted the same year (1 & 2) and Trout and Harper were drafted in two different years, but right now, no one can ever seem to mention one without mentioning the other.

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:14 PM)

Mark, Or maybe they'll be linked the way Ken Griffey Jr. and Barry Bonds were throughout the 1990s.

Brady (MN)

Jerry-What do you think of Scott Diamond? I realize he has a low K/9, but he has a low effort delivery, has good movement on his pitches, and is a ground ball machine. Legitimate big league starter, or flash in the pan? He'd be in the ROY discussion, but that's a "fishy" subject this year (Trout).

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:16 PM)

Brady, Scott Diamond isn't overpowering, and until this year the book on him was that he lacked the command to be a top of the rotation guy. Most scouts saw him as more a 4th or 5th starter type or even a long reliever. He's only walked 6 batters, I believe, so he's fit right in with the Twins' strike-throwing approach. I'd like to see him go around the league 2 or 3 times before I'm convinced he's this good.

Andrew (DC)

Is Wie-Yen Chen registering in ROY conversations as of yet?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:19 PM)

Andrew, He's been very good, but Mike Trout is obviously attracting the bulk of the attention in the AL Rookie race so far. Chen also has to deal with the hesitation that some voters have to support guys who come over from Asia at an advanced age. That won't help his cause.

Ryan (Boston)

Unlikely, but lets say the Red Sox shop Beckett ( assuming he's healthy). What is his trade value if the team pick up half his salary?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:20 PM)

Ryan, Beckett is making almost $16 million a year through 2014, so that's still a hefty chunk of change for a team to assume -- particulary for a guy who seems to be having more and more health concerns at this stage of his career. I don't see him being a very hot commodity.

CC (Atlanta)

Yes finances for the Braves always a problem. Bigger problem though is Fredi making awful pitching changes (Gearrin vs Swisher) or non-moves (letting Juan Francisco hit vs a lefty with Diaz on the bench). No team can win with that guy pulling the strings.

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:21 PM)

CC, I hear this every week from Braves fans. I just wanted to post it as a public service to reflect the sentiment of Atlanta diehards.

Don (Chicago)

Any chance the White Sox make a move to bolster their starting rotation? I think they need to add a legit #3 or #4 starter.

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:23 PM)

Don, I'm sure Kenny Williams would love to bolster his starting depth, given that the Sox have to wonder if Sale and Peavy will hold up for an entire season. (And who knows what John Danks will contribute from here on out?). But the White Sox don't have a very good farm system, and that's what it would take. They're lucky Quintana has been so good since his arrival.

Alex (Fla.)

Jerry you feel Belt can continue to contribute like he has this week? Has he turned a minor corner and, with Huff out , get a real chance to perform steadily for Giants? Thanks

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:25 PM)

Alex, If I were the Giants, I would just keep running him out there and letting him take his lumps on occasion. The kid has the makings of a solid big league hitter. It's doing him a disservice to play him 3 times a week. Looks as if he's getting the opportunity he needs right now.

Jason (St Louis)

Fans are cracking me up these days. How often do you see trades pulled off in June? To my knowledge, next to never.

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:26 PM)

Jason, I agree, to a large extent. A team like the Phillies can't make the call until July 20, at least. But the Cubs, Padres and a couple of other afterthoughts are in a different boat.

CC (Atlanta)

Can we assume TJS for Beachy? Seems a ligament tear is the only logical explanation for losing 8 mph on a fastball in the span of a few pitches.

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:27 PM)

CC, I'm not a doctor, so I can't say definitively. But I think the Braves are bracing for the worst with Beachy.

Hek (Wilmington, DE)

Belt - I'm not buying.. Loopy swing/Slow batt speed..

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:28 PM)

Hek, Could be. I think he can be a .280 to .300 guy with moderate power. But the Giants aren't going to know for sure until they play him.

Ryan (Black Rock, AR)

What's up, JC? When is Ron Washington going to realize that the "Feldman Experiment" is not working and give this up? I would much rather be watching someone from the minors getting some experience and getting shelled than watching Feldman getting rocked every fifth day. What say you?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:30 PM)

Ryan, Washington was in a pretty tough position with all the injuries. He didn't make the decision to start Feldman -- it was thrust upon him. Oswalt might be ready here soon, which could facilitate Feldman's move back to long relief.

Dan Duquette (Camden Yards)

At what point are the O's no longer a "small sample size"?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:32 PM)

Dan, I love watching the Orioles play this well. But the Pirates faded after the All-Star break last year, so even 80-90 games might not be enough of a sample size to prove that a team is for real. I've said this a bunch of times: If Arrieta and Matusz can start pitching consistently better and join Hammel and Chen, I'll be more convinced the O's are legit.

Matt (Steinway)

Ike Davis' swing seems to have a lot more holes than it did a couple years ago. Could it be the valley fever zapping his bat speed and causing him to over-commit to make up for it? Still buying him as 1B of the future for the Mets?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:33 PM)

Matt, I asked a Mets person about this the other day, and I was told that Ike Davis saw a ton of breaking balls early in the season and his swing got out of whack, and he's been slow to recover. He's a very poised, mature kid, and we've seen what he can do when he's locked in. Let's give him a little more time to pull out of this thing.

Matt (NC)

Any chance the Mets would entertain trade offers for Dickey?...Crazy, I know. but the Mets are a few years away from seriously contending. Also, don't know how well that knuckler would dance in Oct/Nov in NY.

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:34 PM)

Matt, I don't see that happenin.'

Hek (Wilmington, DE)

Ike Davis has been raking the last couple of weeks - Is this Guy Matt serious? He'll be a second half monster similar to Uggla a year ago. Valley Fever Zonks you.. He's feeling better..

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:35 PM)

Hek, Ike has raised his average from .158 to .194 since June 8, so you're correct that he's been better of late.

Nick (College Park)

Re: O's and sample size. I'm as big an O's fan as there is, but still cannot bring myself to look at the rotation and "playoffs." Hammel and Chen have been nice surprises, but Matusz, Arrieta and Hunter have been SO BAD, that August and September still feel like they're going to be rough.

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:36 PM)

Nick, That's my issue. I'm just not convinced that rotation is good enough 1-5 to see it through to the finish line.

Nate (Waynesboro, PA)

Most over rated band ever....and most criminally under rated band ever. Mine? Van Halen (over) and CCR (Under)

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:37 PM)

Nate, I will say that I'm a much bigger Credence fan than a Van Halen guy. We would have to bring Jayson Stark in to discuss their relative over/underratedness.

Stephen (Rancho Mirage, CA)

Two wild card spots keeps teams from being Sellers at the trade deadline, but shouldn't reality prevail? Phillies are a significantly flawed team, last place in the division, farm system is void of any legitimate impact level prospects. They are no longer a realistic WS contender (this year or in the near future). Time to rebuild, not retool.....your thoughts?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:40 PM)

Stephen, I basically agree. But the Phillies payroll is so big, they have such a "win-now" mentality, and they keep pinning their hopes on Utley and Howard returning and coming to the rescue. (They've also sold out every home game for about three years now). I think Ruben Amaro is obligated to give it a little more time. But if the Phils keep running the same sad product out there after the All-Star Game, I think Amaro will bite the bullet and start shopping Hamels, Victorino, et al.

Tarek (NYC)

Jerry, never take the BQE (Or any nyc highway) between 12-8pm nothing but endless trucks and cabs.Do you think the Rays have enough bats to win the WS this year? There lineup can be scary bad without Longoria from time to time.

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:41 PM)

Tarek, I never count out a Joe Maddon-managed ballclub -- particulary a team with that kind of pitching. There aren't many dominant offenses anywhere in MLB this year, so I think you have to put the Rays in the mix as a legit WS candidate.

Adam (Chicago)

Jerry - Seems like a few contenders need middle infield help. We all know the Cubs would like to trade Dempster, Garza, Soto, etc...any interest in Darwin Barney? He's not a Theo guy and with lots of control left, I think he could bring back at least a B pitching prospect.

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:43 PM)

Adam, Darwin Barney is a handy guy and positive clubhouse influence who gives you a .700 OPS in the middle infield. He's probably more valuable to the club than the minor leaguer he would bring in return. So I don't see Theo Epstein investing a lot of time or energy in exploring trades for him. The Cubs have a lot more pressing items on their agenda.

matt (bicknell, in.)

What is the biggest difference in the pirates fast start this year compared with their succesfull first half of last year?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:46 PM)

Matt, I haven't checked the numbers to compare. But I wasn't sold on the Pirates as a contender last year, and I'm not sold this year, either. They just don't have enough impact bats beyond McCutchen. I will say that Clint Hurdle and pitching coach Ray Searage have done a really good job getting the most out of that club.

Alan (St. Louis)

What's going on with the Cardinals lately? Even with all of the injuries, they've still throw out a pretty nice lineup, but they're playing some ugly ball right now. Is there any hope that they'll return to the dominant team they were at the beginning of the season?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:49 PM)

Alan, I believe Rafael Furcal has gone into a significant tailspin of late, and it really changes the look of that club when he's not getting on base and creating havoc. And when Lance Berkman is injured, it seems to create a void in the clubhouse and the middle of the lineup. Those are a couple of points worth noting. Also, let's keep in mind that they were a 72-64 team last year entering the final month (with Albert Pujols). The Cards really weren't a dominant team last year until the postseason.

dc (dc)

For what it's worth, Brian Matusz pitched well in 7 out of 8 starts prior to his most recent back to back stinkers (one of which was against the HOT red sox). That plus the possible return of Zach Britton gives me a bit more optimism re: the O's starting pitching.

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:51 PM)

DC, Zach Britton's return could make a difference, for sure. I'd still like to see more from Arrieta and Matusz. They're both capable of it. But those AL East lineups have a way of wearing young pitchers down as the season progresses.

Alex (Anaheim)

Is the Yankee starting pitching legit, or is this a case of feasting against (albeit some of the better) NL teams?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:53 PM)

Alex, I think it's legit. New York's starters are third in the AL with 529 strikeouts, and they've allowed only 183 walks -- third fewest in the league. My biggest question is how Pettitte and Kuroda (advancing years) and Phil Hughes (medical history) will hold up in the second half.

Tarek (NYC)

Did you see ESPN LA's piece on Don Mattingly the dad? Makes me even happier that he was my idol.

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:54 PM)

Tarek, I didn't see the piece. But I did have a chance to talk to Don Mattingly on a couple of occasions when the Dodgers were in Philly recently. He's such an impressive guy -- very genuine and honest. He was a class act as a player, and he has the attributes to make for a very successful manager for a long time.

Blake (Abilene, TX)

Jerry, I was shocked when I saw that Joe Nathan has a higher save percentage than Mariano Rivera. When I think of some of the greatest closers of all time he does not come to mind. Does he have enough saves to be on that list? Where do you rank him?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:58 PM)

Blake, Nathan doesn't rank in that upper tier of closers (Rivera, Hoffman, Gossage, Eck or even Billy Wagner), but he's had a very solid and admirable career. On another front, I noticed that he has 33 strikeouts and 2 walks this season. Wow.

George (Detroit)

If Fister remains healthy, do you think him and Verlander can will the team to the playoffs?

Jerry Crasnick
  (1:59 PM)

George, The Tigers need Scherzer and Porcello to turn it on in the second half. Judging from Scherzer's outing against Colorado yesterday (12 k's and 0 walks), maybe he's ready to go on a roll.

Jerry Crasnick
  (2:00 PM)

Thanks for the questions, everybody. Right now the trade market is still sort of vague. But I'm sure we'll start to see more clarity after the All-Star break. I look forward to doing another chat next week.