Hey folks, I think we'll have some interesting discussion today in the aftermath of the All-Star picks. Things were certainly hopping on Twitter yesterday. Let's start the chat.
Does your mustache have a name? If so, what is it?
Fu, I was thinking of naming it Little Jerry Crasnick, but that sounded too much like the Fighting Chicken on Seinfeld. So it remains nameless.
Did you hear Aj Pierzynski's comments in response to Ron Washington saying he felt bad that he wasn't included on the All Star team? I think that shows why he was not voted on the team...
Jason, Yes, I did watch the interview. I'm sure it was the disappointment talking, and A.J. would probably like to have those words back. For what it's worth, I think he belonged on the All-Star team. I also think he's a pretty good guy who just happens to have a knack for ticking people off. I'm an A.J. Pierzynski fan.
Do you think Pablo Sandoval's ASG selection cost Ryan Vogelsong or Madison Bumgarner?
David, In a roundabout way, I think it might have. If David Wright started, then Tony La Russa could have picked Chase Headley as his designated Padre instead of Huston Street. That might have freed up another pitching spot. But I have no idea if it would have gone to Vogelsong or Mad-Bum.
Who should i be offering along with Stephen Strasburg for Andrew McCutchen?
Justin, I can only hope this is a Fantasy question.
Are Headley or Reddick trade candidates?
Greg, Josh Reddick has a higher WAR than Giancarlo Stanton and Jose Bautista, and he's making $485,000. He's also not eligible for free agency until 2016, I believe. Billy Beane typically isn't into dealing young, productive affordable talent. I think Headley is more obtainable, but Josh Byrnes is likely to be asking for a lot given the lack of good hitters (and third basemen) on the market.
What logic did LaRussa use to come to the conclusion Papelbon was deserving of a spot over Tyler Clippard?
Dan, No offense to Papelbon, but that seemed like a reputation pick to me. Clippard has had the better year. Also, managers instinctively gravitate to higher save totals. Players, too.
Do you think TLR's personal feelings had anything to do with Cueto not making the team?
Jason, I know Cincinnati fans would disagree with me, but I don't buy the TLR-bashing theories going around. For one, Johnny Cueto is pitching Sunday, which doesn't help his cause. And La Russa was really in a box when he made his picks. He didn't have a lot of wiggle room at the end.
What's the deal with Trevor Plouffe?
Jeff, Good question. He has 18 homers and 31 RBIs. I thumbed through a 2010 Baseball America Handbook, and they wrote that "his supporters in the organization believe in his power." So I guess the Twins figured he would develop some pop with time. He reminds me of JJ Hardy with the Brewers a few years ago. People wondered if Hardy's first big HR season was a fluke. Turns out it was pretty legit.
Hi Jerry- Assuming Dempster comes back healthy, what kind of return can the Cubs expect with so many contenders needing starting pitching?
Adam, I'm sure Theo Epstein will be looking for as big a prospect haul as he can get. The return probably hinges on two things: 1) How quickly can Dempster return to pitching well when he comes off the DL? and 2) how many other starters are out there on the market? With Garza, Wandy and possibly Hamels and Greinke out there, it could drive down the asking price for Dempster.
How can you say Melky Cabreba isnt an all star?
Jordan, I never said that Melky Cabrera isn't an All-Star. But thanks for stopping by.
the chances of shaun marcum coming to detroit good and why not make a move on cole hammels?
Thomas, Shaun Marcum is on the DL right now with elbow issues, so I'm not sure if Dave Dombrowski wants to take the plunge on that one. And the price on Hamels could be ridiculously high for a two-month rental.
Do you consider Chipper Jones as one of the greatest switch hitters of all time? He has said he looks up to Mickey Mantle. What are some of the other great switch hitters in the game that have numbers like that? Thanks Jerry.
Michael, Absolutely, Chipper is in that upper pantheon. Other great switch hitters: Mantle, Pete Rose, Eddie Murray, Frankie Frisch, Roberto Alomar and Tim Raines, to name a few.
If they are in contention, would it be smart for the Orioles to call up Dylan Bundy? Or do you think they should be playing it safe with him like the Nationals are doing with Strasburg?
Evan, Bundy is such a valuable commodity, and the Orioles planned to limit him to 125 innings at the start of this season. I would be wary to throw him into the middle of a pennant race, even if they limit his appearances to relieving. If anything goes wrong, that organization will be second-guessed to beat the band.
Jerry do you think Billy Butler should be the Royals All Star over Mike Moustakas or Alcides Escobar?
Nick, I picked Mike Moustakas as my Royals All-Star rep. But I'm honestly happy for Butler given what he's meant to the Royals as the organization's most consistent producer over the years.
Is the worst All-Star snub Harper if he doesn't get in?
Alex, I would love seeing Harper in the All-Star Game, but there are bigger snubs if you look at the first half numbers. Aaron Hill springs to mind for me. And if Jake Peavy doesn't get in through the Final Man balloting, I hope he makes it to KC because someone backs out. Obviously, there are several deserving NL starters who also qualify as major snubs.
Jerry, Granderson's a former double digit triples guy who has 1 triple and 9 doubles. Is this age or have you heard there's something wrong with his legs this year?
Frank, Interesting question. I think it has a lot to do with Yankee Stadium. I checked our ballpark comps, and it's the 9th best HR park in the majors this year. It ranks 25th in triples and 26th in doubles. There's not much room for a ball to rattle around out there. If it clears the OF's head, it's probably gone.
Do you think the Red Sox will make any major moves before the trade deadline or just wait for Ellsbury, Crawford and Bailey to get back?
Evan, Ellsbury and Crawford appear to be getting closer to returning. As our Gordon Edes points out, that probably means Ryan Sweeney and Scott Podsednik will be shopped around. But I don't see them bringing a whole lot back in return.
Harper is hitting .274 with 8 HR's. I get the hype but put those numbers by any name not Bryce Harper and it isn't even a discussion.
Jason, I agree. But there aren't many players the casual fan is more interested in seeing than Bryce Harper. If you're going to include Chipper Jones or Derek Jeter for their fan appeal, I'd like to see MLB do its best to get Harper on the roster.
Jerry, you rarely if ever respond to people on twitter, which is a shame. Please make a better attempt to give quick answers to your followers who I see ask you tons of questions but never get a response back, thx
Hey Alice, I do my best. I did a lot of give-and-take with fans yesterday over the All Star picks. It helps when people are polite and refrain from calling me a moron. (Brewers fans seemed to get a particular charge out of that during our "Battle of the Ballparks" competition).
Jerry what do you think about Pablo Sandoval starting at 3rd over David Wright?
Michael, I admire Giants fans for their passion, but the Big Panda did not merit a spot on the team. All that pick did was squeeze out another more deserving player.
Your impression of Rizzo so far? Showing different signs this time around of being a much better player and how's he looked vs. lefties, given a small sample size? Thanks
Will, It's hard to draw any conclusions off 19 at-bats, but Rizzo is a sharp kid, so I assume he used that return trip to the minors and worked on making adjustments at the plate. It wouldn't surprise me if he's more relaxed in this go-round, even though he's playing at Wrigley and the expectations are sky-high. The kid has big power and a high ceiling as a hitter, so he obviously has a bright future.
Hey Jerry, who are your mid-season Manager of the Year candidates so far?
Craig, Buck Showalter and Terry Collins would have to rank pretty high in the discussion.
Jerry your thoughts on T.Wood! He's been pitching very well so can he continue,in your opinion, to put up decent SP stats the rest of season?
Gene, Travis Wood checks in around 90 -- decent velocity -- but not overwhelming, so his command has to be really good for him to be effective. I think he's a back-end starter over the long haul, but he's very athletic and can hit the heck out of the ball. Maybe he turns out to be a left-handed Mike Leake.
The Braves are putting up decent runs when healthy, but they obviously need pitching. Do you think they'll go after both or just a pitcher?
Mitch, I think they're leaning more toward a pitcher at this point. That Ben Sheets acquisition was certainly interesting. They have 3-4 starts to see if he can contribute anything before Frank Wren steps up the search.
Sorry Jerry,Some how got you mixed up with Law.
Jordan, No problem. Even though Melky has a high BABIP, he's been very good for a season and a half. Love his energy. (I also like the Melkmen).
Jerry you think T.Moore will see more action this weekend for Nats when Rockies start all lefties? This guy deserves some PT the way he's been playing!
Shaun, Yep. He's actually hit both righties and lefties well in a limited sample size. Davey Johnson suggested he might see more playing time if he keeps this up. Moore has some nice power, so I wouldn't be surprised to see him get a more extended look.
Hopefully you simply block the morons. It also helps a lot to tweet out the following from time to time: "If you are rude or trying to be a jerk, you will be blocked, keep it clean please". I've seen that greatly reduce the morons.
Alice, I've found that humor also works. If you don't take yourself too seriously, it's hard for people to rip you. (I try to keep reminding myself of that). Thanks for the social media advice.
Hello Mr.Crasnick.Watching the M's makes me depressed. I mean, I still follow them with the expectation that they'll get better but I must say the hitters are pathetic.Do you see any light at the end of the tunnel?I really have a hard time believing.Please give me some hope.
Take, They have to be disappointed in Smoak's performance and Dustin Ackley's lack of power. But Michael Saunders and Kyle Seager have had their moments. This is probably to be expected, especially when you're playing in a tough hitters park. On a positive note, the Mariners have some real stud pitchers who are close. They might not have to field an offensive juggernaut to be competitive.
Are the pittsbugh pirates for real this season and do you see them having a 80+ winning season maybe like 82-80 and will they keep up this starting pitching and now the hitting is starting to get hot so what's your take playoffs or no playoffs?
Jason, I'm still not sold on them for the playoffs because of the lack of offense surrounding McCutchen. They really need guys like Neil Walker, Tabata, Garret Jones and Pedro Alvarez to consistently come through. But it wouldn't shock me to see them finish .500. That would be a nice symbolic step.
Will RA Dickey get the nod as the NL starter in the All-Star game?
Keith, I think he should. The guy has been awesome, and he has a great personal story. I just hope Buster Posey can survive the ordeal in one piece. Apparently Josh Thole is willing to give him some pointers.
Where would you rate me number wise in terms of GM's around the league.
Doug, I'm not into GM "ratings" (sorry if that's a copout) because general managers have so many different circumstances to contend with. But you're very respected in the game, and I've always found you to be a real stand-up guy. Also, congrats on your recent Canadian BB Hall of Fame selection.
Jerry your thoughts on Bauer and Cashner pitching twice this week? Expecting good or so-so performances?
Just, Bauer will be facing the Padres and the Dodgers, which can't hurt his chances. Cashner was lights-out against Houston, and can really be overpowering. I think command and pitch counts are pivotal for both guys. If they don't throw strikes consistently, we're looking at 5-inning type of outings. That's not unusual for young starters.
I wish Twitter would freakin verify Pete Rose's account already. Has anyone talked to him to confirm if @Peterose_14 is real yet? I mean, they verified some U of M student, competitive U.S. ice-dancer, @EmilySamuelson, a 2010 Olympian. Crap, what does it take for Pete's sake lol.
Larry, Funny, but Jayson Stark and I had a discussion about that recently. We're both dubious. I love Pete, but I have a hard time believing that he's mastered the ins-and-outs of the hashtag this quickly.
Should the Cubs be worried about Samardzija's recent woes? Or am I jumping the gun on him? What about the opposite situation in Travis Wood?
Ben, Sure, I think there's some reason for concern. But it might just be a case of fatigue after a biggger workload than he's accustomed to. The Cubs might be wise to skip him a start and see how he responds after the AS break. By the way, Ben, great job spelling "Samardzija" correctly. Not easy to do.
Did you happen to hear Fredi claim the Braves "played a really good game" Friday nite. In it they committed 2 official errors leading to 2 unearned runs. Two other misplays were ruled hits leading to 2 others. ATL lost 5-4. I really, really can't take him much longer.
CC, I don't have any particular comment on this, but I try to air your weekly Fredi grievance as a way to help keep you sane. Hang in there, buddy.
Are you Team Harper or Team Trout? As a GM, who'd you pick to start a team around?
Doug, That's a great question. I think Bryce Harper is tremendous, but at this point I'm probably 51-49 percent a Trout guy. Better defense, and I'm a little concerned about Harper's ability to stay healthy because he plays so gosh-darned hard.
Jerry, do you think Stanton hits one 500+ Ft during Homerun derby?
Tarek, It might have to be projected that far. Chances are the ball will crash into something and put a dent in it before it travels 500 feet.
4 pitchers going down with Tommy John surgery has to be some kind of record right?
James, Yep, I don't think I've ever seen that. The Royals' pitching woes really point out how difficult it can be for a building franchise to sync up its young hitters and position players in unison. If Hochever, Duffy, Montgomery, Lamb et al had stayed healthy or developed at the pace the Royals had hoped, we might be looking at a legit AL Central contender right now.
Jerry do you think Chipper Jones should play in the All Star game?
Joe, My head tells me no, but my heart says yes, so I'll go with my heart. I think it would be nice to give Chipper a fitting farewell, and the All-Star Game is a great venue for it.
when stephen strasburg becomes a free agent how much do you think he will get could he be the first 400 million dollar contract?
Bryce, You don't by chance work for the Scott Boras Corporation, do you?
I think Chipper Jones has had a great career and is certainly deserving of HOF induction when his time has come. But I have to say that it irks me when any switch-hitter (yes, even Pete Rose) is mentioned in the same breath as Mickey Mantle.
Mike, I understand the allegiance to Mantle for everything he represents. I was just mentioning the top handful of switch-hitter. Chipper definitely belongs in that group.
Isn't all this talk of all-star snubs somewhat pointless? Most of these guys are going to make it as replacements anyway.
Andrew, Yes, the outrage will subside once players start bailing out for assorted aches and pains. That's an annual All-Star tradition.
With Kemp most likely not playing in the All-Star game, wouldn't both Jones and Harper make it assuming one gets in through fan voting?
Brian, A Dodger fan might better enlighten me on this, but I can't understand how Matt Kemp would take place in the HR Derby and not play three innings in the game. Am I missing something?
When do the Blue Jays call up Travis D'Arnaud? Will it only happen if JP gets hurt?
Andre, Bad news, but Travis D'Arnaud recently tore the PCL in his knee and is expected to be out 6-8 weeks. That's par for the course for the Blue Jays this season. Fortunately, he should be fine when he returns.
Mattingly has already said that unless Kemp comes back before the ASB, he doesn't want him to play in the game. He doesn't mind him taking what equates to BP, though. It's the running, I assume.
Chad, I think a player stands a bigger chance of getting messed up by taking monumental hacks for an hour rather than standing around in the outfield for three innings and making a token appearance at the plate. Just ask Bobby Abreu.
Jerry, can you explain to me what makes Chipper Jones such an automatic HoFer? He doesn't hit any of the classic milestones...3000 hits, 500 HR's, etc....add to the fact that he played during the Steroid Era which diminishes his offensive totals even further...what am I missing?
Matt, Chipper has a very impressive OPS (.933 as a switch-hitter), played on a ton of winning teams, made seven All-Star teams and won an MVP award. It also doesn't hurt that he spent his entire career with one franchise. He's a no-brainer for me. He also played much of his career at third base. You can't really compare him to guys who were first basemen and outfielders their whole career.
Was Franklin Morales highly regarded coming up in the Rockies system?
Otto, Yep, Morales got a lot of hype, along with Ubaldo Jimenez. But he gradually encountered lots of questions about his command and ability to focus as a starter. Who knows? Maybe he was just a late bloomer.
Have you seen Trout play? You think Harper plays harder? It is way early in their careers, but based on the stats so far, is there really any comparison between these two?
Dan, I didn't mean to imply that Trout doesn't play hard. They're both very solidly built kids. Hopefully they can both stay healthy year-in and year-out, because they're amazing talents.
Thanks for the emails, everybody. I'll be heading to KC for the All-Star Game next weekend. Have a great week wherever you are -- and stay cool.