Happy Tuesday! Let's go to the questions ...
Hi David. In light of Chris Sale's success, do you see more teams adopting this sort of strategy of breaking pitchers into the big leagues? i.e. a year or so in the bullpen followed by starting with scheduled breaks in between. I know it's apples to oranges, but this avoids what Washington is going through with Strasburg and the Yankees went through with Joba. Thanks.
It used to be more common to break a pitcher in as a long reliever/spot starter, but that fell by the wayside a couple decades. I think it's a solid approach; as we learned from Joba, back and forth seems like a bad (not that that is what caused his injury).
Hey David, if you had to pick right now, who do you see as the playoff teams in the AL?
Yankees, Rays, White Sox, Tigers, Rangers ... I still think two from the AL Central make it do to the weakness at the bottom of the division (although the Twins have been better lately).
The Indians seem to be in stuck in this rut where the drafting/player development isn't pushing any real impact players to the Major League roster, while at the same time they won't spend money on free agents such as Willingham. Is it time to look at altering the front office philosophy?
While in some regards we do have more parity than before, it's still very difficult to win without spending. The Rays have been the only team to consistently do it in recent seasons. And what happens if the Indians lose Choo in the offseason or to free agency in a year? Considering the Indians don't have an owner who wants to spend and their fan base has deteriorated, they're in a tough position. Sad what's happened to that franchise in the past decade.
Not to over-react to a single start for both but to follow up on last week's Strasburg v. Detwiler conversation this weekend showed why there is a drop off between the two.
Good morning, David. My question concerns Danny Hultzen. As an M's fan, I've been closely tracking his progress all season. Has he been temporarily shut down amidst his AAA struggles, or is there an injury (dead arm) at play? Do you think he sees Seattle at all this year?
No injury, just a workload/innings issue. So, no, we won't see him in Seattle this year.
How can RA Dickey win the Cy Young when his Mets are below .500 and he has a great pitcher's park? Johnny Cueto pitches in a bandbox and has led his team to the 2nd best record in baseball, and still has a lower ERA than Dickey. It's notable that 6 of Cueto's 9 losses/no-decisions were quality starts, since Dusty Baker usually runs out his "B" lineup specifically when Cueto is starting. Case in point: Dickey's run support is 5.26 per game; Cueto's is just 3.83. And no way Chapman or Kimbrel deserve it.
I do think Cueto is the clear frontrunner right now. It's his to lose. I'm also with you on the relievers: As dominant as those two have been, I can't vote for a reliever. Here's a stat: The Reds are 56-2 when leading after eight innings. The Mets, with arguably the worst bullpen in baseball, are 50-1. The Braves are 60-0. The Pirates are 58-0. Chapman is great ... but it's difficult to create unique value in the position.
David - Huge RAYS fan here!!!! Can we catch the Yanks or should we just be content with playing for the Wild Card? Also, can the two WC's come from the some division (Rays, Orioles) or do they have to come from two separate divisions?
Yes, two wild cards can come from the same division. I would still pick the Yankees to hold off the Rays, although that Tampa rotation is in sync right now. Still, 5 games are pretty good this time of year.
Hey David. How big of a deal is it to switch to a 6 man rotation for 2 weeks? Tom Glavine does commentary on some of the Braves' games, he's not a fan and I haven't heard a lot of people lifting Freddy up on their shoulders for the decision.
David Cone, who does Yankees games, also said he wasn't a fan (they were talking about A.J. Burnett and the Pirates). I think it makes sense for some pitchers (Tommy Hanson, Mike Minor), but I would certainly try to keep a Burnett or Tim Hudson going every fifth day.
Hi Dave. Plus curve ball today (2 PM...what?!?). Strasburg being shut down may not impact the season win total by more than 1 or 2, but come playoff time, it's HUGE to not have him. If you were Rizzo, what would you do?
Eric Karabell and I talked a bit about this on the Baseball Today podcast today. I'm not sure how it affects the Nationals THAT much. They still have a good playoff rotation with Zimmermann, Gio, Jackson and Detwiler. Sure, you'd rather have Strasburg, but you CAN win that foursome. Plus, you factor in the general crapshoot nature of the playoffs and anything can happen. That said ... I'd pitch Strasburg. Flags fly forever and you have the best team in baseball right now.
so a Profar call up is looking more likely now that the O's called up Machado?
Hmm ... haven't heard anything about that. The difference is the Orioles had an obvious hole to plug while the Rangers don't.
Wow, did the Angles take a nose dive or what! After the trade for Grenike i thought they would be the Fav to win the whole thing.
I've been saying all along that people shouldn't automatically put the Angels in the playoffs. Interesting note: Greinke, Dempster and Anibal Sanchez have all struggled in moving from the NL to the AL. Could be small sample size, could be something.
Not to rain on Matt in Boise's parade but it was a polar opposite case two weeks ago in the Nats/Phillies series, so nice of you to use recent convenience to your advantage.
Hey David, I'm watching Mike and Mike debate Stephen Strasburg and his innings limit. What is your stance on the issue? Would you shut him down in hopes of saving his arm for the future? Or would you push him since you have a potential World Series team?
One more point on this: I wouldn't shut him down, but I'd try and give him an extra day or two between starts. But I'd keep pitching him. There's no guarantee shutting him makes it less likely he gets hurt in the future.
Do you think Chapman's success as reliever means he never gets a real shot at the rotation?
It will be very interesting to see what happens there. You know who Chapman reminds me of: Goose Gossage. The White Sox tried to make him a starter one year and he went 9-17 with a 3.91 ERA, back when 3.91 wasn't that great. I suspect Chapman will remain a reliever.
Chapman would have started this year if not for injuries to Masset, Madsen and Bray...
Right, but now that he's been so dominant, it will be difficult to move him back to the rotation.
why are you a chelsea fan?
Not a Chelsea fan.
How can Chapman not be considered in the CY Young. If you were the manager and you had to get any three outs of any game right now regardless of who was batting could you think of anyone better than Chapman? I can not. He is the most feared pitcher in baseball right now.
But where's his value? I don't care about who the most feared. Joel Hanrahan may not be as feared but he didn't lose four games in two weeks like Chapman did. Chapman's strikeout numbers are crazy, but it's not the like the Reds have a better record closing out leads than 15 other teams.
The Phillies should 1) sign Josh Hamilton and pay the tax on payroll 2) Be the SCAMMIES and claim they are a World Series team without being able to score runs or 3) go into a ten year rebuild?
It's not my money so I say pay the tax! If you ask me, saying they need to be below the tax is a convenient excuse for owners to save money and make a larger profit.
So we know the Orioles have outperformed their Pythag and the run diff is horrible. Now my question is, how would you explain their success despite the lopsided stats?
12-2 in extra innings. Make that 6-6 and they're 56-59 instead of 62-53. Plus, they had some *really* bad back of the rotation starters, which can skew run differential.
Greg Amsinger on MLB.tv said he thinks Boras is shutting down Strasburg and Rizzo is jumping on the grenade. What think you?
Well ... don't know his sources on that. With Boras involved, it certainly sounds plausible, although I'm sure both agent and GM would say an agent could never have that kind of influence. And Strasburg himself has said he wants to keep pitching until they rip the ball out of his hands. So ... who knows. Fun theory, I suppose.
If they do shut down Strasburg, does that mean 0 chance of bringing him back for a playoff game?
Yes, I think so. That's the one thing Rizzo has said all along. They don't want to stop and start again, since that would almost be like beginning spring training all over.
I'd bet if you asked every hitter in the NL who they'd least want to face in the playoffs from the Nats rotation you'd see an over whelming majority say Strasburg. That's says all you need to know. On any given night he can shut down any team...there are only a few major league pitchers that can do that...
What would you do with James McDonald? Ride it out or put him on the 15 day DL and hope some rest does the trick?
8.71 ERA over his past six starts. Not sure what's happened; can't just be bad luck. So, yes, I'd skip him or something. He's killing them right now.
Best double play combo currently is ______ ?
Defensively? I like Andrus and Kinsler. All-around? Hmm, chatters?
Agree on Strasburg. If Detwiler were coming out of the pen in the playoffs, and they had Strasburg, Zim and Gio starting....now THAT'S formidable.
Manger of the year will be a tight race in both leagues? I think Maddon is Pushing Buck and Melvin now.
Absolutely. Love the move of Zobrist to SS. Certainly, no manager takes chances like Maddon does.
Cozart and Phillips has to have mention of double play combo?
Best dp combo overall, Jeter and Cano of course!!!
Tejada and Murphy are better than you'd think
Can Matt from Boise give it up? We know he doesn't support the shutting down of Strasburg and for this year it is a bad decision, but you also need to take the future into account.
Dave this is a follow-up to the response you gave me 2 weeks ago RE: the Jays' Moises Sierra, even though it's a very small sample, his approach at the plate right now seems "slightly" more advanced than Gose. What do you think the chances are that Sierra gets the nod as the opening day LF next season? Esp.ly if Gose dosen't make the needed adjustments...also Gose's bunting skills seem poor, most times he bunts the ball right in front of the pitcher, thus mitigating his speed to first; wasn't this supposed to be a strength of his?
I saw Gose swing and miss a curveball by about three feet. I've seen a few PAs, but it looks like his approach against offspeed stuff needs a lot of refinement. Anyway, you've seen these guys more than I have, but my impression is similar that Sierra is a little more major league ready.
I just saw that Darwin Barney is top 10 in WAR. Who is right, the stat or my eyes?
His defensive metrics are off the charts. Among NL position players, Baseball-Reference has him with 3.5 defensive WAR. Michael Bourn second at 1.8. I can't say I watch the Cubs, but I'm not quite sure Darwin Barney is having one of the best defensive seasons every by a second baseman.
Do the M's have to give up Taijuan Walker to get Justin Upton in the offseason?
Thing is Arizona has plenty of young pitching -- Miley, Bauer, Skaggs, Corbin, plus Cahill is under contract. Ian Kennedy. I think Arizona would be looking for young position players more than pitching.
Is it right for a big market team to lose on purpose like the Cubs are doing? I mean, with a NL rotation of Garza, Dempster, Samadjzia and Maholm, they were pretty decent. Add a few bullpen arms and sign a FA bat or two and you are a contender, right?
They weren't exactly tearing up the league with that rotation.
You know, I sort of agree with you, because now the Cubs have to fill three-fifths of a rotation. I'm not quite sure why a big-market team felt that it was necessary to completely gut the team.
What happened to Ackley this season? I know he ran into the "sophomore slump" as we call it, but i just can not understand why he has made no adjustments this season. I am not 100% on this, but i am fairly certain we all thought he was going to be closer to a .300 hitter this season than the .220 hitter is right now. He has been awful.
Very disappointing. Talk to those in college and they say he squared everything up. Everyone thought he'd .300; the power was a little bit of a question, but there were no doubts about the hit tool. It's interesting to compare him to Kyle Seager, his less-heralded college teammate, who actually drives the ball. Ackley just hasn't done that at all.
More annoying about a trip to Wrigley last week: Rain for most of the game Thursday or Harry Potter Convention at my hotel? No wrong answers here.
Why all the fuss about Strasburg? He's still got a bunch of innings left and he hasn't even been the Nationals best pitcher; Gio is.
Bigger Disappointment: Ackley or Hosmer?
defensively best DP Combo=Nationals
Could be. Desmond has a tremondous arm. Espinosa has range to play SS. By the way, he's been coming on at the plate as well.
David Wright signs with ________ ?
Why would the D'Backs trade Upton this off-season anyways? Isn't the whole point to shed assets when their value ISN'T at their lowest? I call BS on the front office not really liking Upton that much anyways. If they really felt that way, they would've traded him before this year at his peak value.
I believe he (barney) gets added defensive War for the many shifts that the Cubs use, meaning that it appears to the metrics that he has amazing range. This would also explain how Starlin Castro is tied for 6th
Baseball Info Solutions recently adjusted their system to take that out of the equation. As it turns out, Barney didn't really lose much value. They still see him as having outstanding range.
Has Ruben Tejada quietly been the best SS in the NL? The kid can definitely play.
Rollins & Utley still have some magic....
I would agree with you on your assessment of Chapman if he was in the conversation for the MLB Cy Young. But, he's in the convo for NL Cy Young. .17 era against the NL? 1 er over 50+ innings. Cueto should be the front runner, but to suggest Chapman shouldn't even be considered is a bit silly.
That's a new argument. Interleague games don't count? We'll just pretend he didn't lose those four games?
Dave - Why do the A's continue wasting their time with Rosales, Sogard, Donaldson, and Hicks and not promote Grant Green? He won't be a star, but he's gotta be better than these spankies, right?
I know he's played a little infield this year (and was originally drafted as a shortstop), but the A's must not think he can play there in the majors. And there's no room for him in the outfield.
Who do you see the Yankees going after to replace Swisher next year?
Hosmer. I was never impressed with Ackley.
Zorilla has played SS in the past so not a reach to put him there.
No, but hadn't played there in three years. Still say it was a bit of gutsy call to make that kind of move fairly late in the season while chasing a playoff berth. Most managers wouldn't have the you know what, because if Zobrist makes an error to lose a game, the second guessing will be there.
Kershaw is 24 and is about to throw his third consecutive 200+ inning season (and 4th consecutive sub 3.00 ERA season). I'm sick of hearing so much about Strasburg, who is the same age and has done 1/5th what Kershaw has.
Hosmer is a bigger disappointment this year but I have faith he will be fine next year. Can't say the same about Ackley.
Cabby or Trout for AL MVP.To me Cabby all day long! If winning the batting title wins you the AL MVP why didn't Cabby win last year. Speaking of last year, Miguel Cabreras 2011 will be better in every statistical category than Trout's 2012 with the exception of SB's...and that got Miguel 5th !!!!! Which I still cannot believe. Trout is having a great year no doubt but once again ala 2010, 2011, & 2012 Miguel Cabrera is not the media's "sexy" pick! Too bad Cabrera only contends for the Triple Crown every year and cannot get a sniff! Mind-boggling!
So ... you're a fan of Miggy? He is climbing the list of Best Players To Never Win An MVP Award.
If the Angels miss the playoffs by one game, how much will they be kicking themselves that they didn't bring Trout up to start the year?
Gio hasn't been the best Nats pitcher. Jordan Zimmerman has.
Todd Frazier for NL ROY! Can we get some steam going on this train?
Yankees can't get Upton, what young hitter would Arizona take for him? And don't say Cano.
It would have to be prospects -- Mason Williams, Gary Sanchez, etc. Bottom line: It's going to be hard to trade Upton and get good value in return.
I know why Darwin Barney is rated as a good fielder. He can't hit.
Do you see the Marlins targeting Melky Cabrera this offseason?
Doesn't seem like the Marlins will be spending much money this winter.
How about starting an award... or series of awards like The Razzies... for the worst each season in baseball. I'd like to start by nominating Jim Tracy for the worst manager in baseball. But look at the five worst pitcher WARs in baseball right now... Ervin Santana, Tim Licecum, Josh Tomlin, Ricky Romero and Jason Marquis. Derek Lowe actually was slightly better than those guys! What A Race! Who's your pick?
Hey, Marquis pitched a great game the other day! I'll go with Ervin Santana over Lincecum, since they play on teams still fighting for the playoffs.
Why would anyone vote for a closer for MVP or Cy Young? A closer most often only has to get three outs to hold a 1-3 run lead and a closer does not pitch anywhere near as many innings as a starter.
Right, no matter the stats, the value just isn't the same as a starter. Only reliever to win the Cy Young since 1992 is Eric Gagne in 2003.
hard to blame a manager when his team has essentially no talent.
Hosmer. At least Ackley plays a position with real defensive value.
In regards to the Cabrera/Trout debate, do you agree with Leyland that past performance should factor into it? I Know some of your baseball today colleagues felt that way about the AS game.
No, MVP Award is about the current season only. I understand Leyland's argument, that sometimes the new guy gets more pub and that becomes the hot storyline.
Bob from Seattle made me spit out my water with the Darwin Barney line. Nice one.
To Al in Canada...hitting isn't the only aspect of baseball. Add in Trout's base running and defense compared to Miggy. That's the diffence.
so whats your opinion?
Miggy has been terrific, but Trout's all-around game wins out (so far).
Joe Sheehan made a point on Twitter today about Strasburg and how the innings limit is kind of silly. Look at Adam Wainwright who had his TJ surgery LATER than SS, but has no innings limit. What's the difference?
The Cardinals are less concerned about Wainwright's future, with only one more season under contract. Right?
Would Yuni Betancourt win the first lifetime achievement award?
Whoa, The Rangers don't have an obvious hole to fill?? Have you seen Michael Young's numbers this year? He's literally one of the 2 worst players in baseball by WAR and for some reason he continues to hit 6th.
Isn't that why they called up Mike Olt? Oh, wait, you mean Ron Washington is STILL playing Michael Young?
People keep wanting to get on the Angels for not bringing up Trout to start the year, but they keep forgetting that he was sick for most of spring training and barely played. They kept him down because he needed some reps before coming up.
Can we please just create the Mariano Rivera award aka the Cy Young for relievers? Problem solved.
If past performance factors in I'm voting for Babe Ruth's 1921 season for MVP again.
Ron Gardenhire already gave Nick Blackburn a job next year referring to him as "one of my guys". The same Nick Blackburn of a 1.682 WHIP and fastball "straighter" than Mitt Romney.
If that's the case ... it may be time for Gardy to go.
How dare you, Michael Young is a leader with true grit. He shows his team ates what not to do when he hits into that 6-4-3 DP.
@Jason (Nashville, TN)That still supports my question as to why Strasburg is getting all the attention even though he's not the best.
Ron Washington got advice from Dusty on why to keep playing Michael Young.
Earl Weaver's 82nd birthday today. Happy BLEEPIN birthday Earl!
I'd prefer the Figgis over the Yunis...
How much do you think making the playoffs will affect the MVP voters. If the Tigers manage to take the division and the Angels miss the playoffs its got to give an edge right?
Big factor. During wild-card era (1995) only six MVPs have come from non-playoff teams -- Pujols, A-Rod, Bonds twice, Larry Walker and ... crap, I just looked this up the other day ...
Oh, Ryan Howard. So if the Angels don't make the playoffs, Trout isn't a lock. Of course, the Tigers may not make the playoff either, opening the door for Robby Cano ...
Do you think Gagne should have won it in 2003? He had a month of a ~5.00 era, and both Prior and Schmidt had WARS nearly double his.
He was pretty sick that year ... no blown saves (well, except the All-Star Game), but I would have gone Schmidt or Prior.
Imagine Kate Upton eating a giant plate of wings. That's what gets me through Tuesday afternoons.
And with that ... it's time to end this chat session. I'll be off next week, so check back in two weeks. Thanks everyone!