OK, a few minutes late. The dog didn't want to come in from the snow. Yes, snow. When will spring get here?
If Ryan Madsen doesn't get hurt last spring, would Chapman be a) top of rotation starter b) mid rotation starter c) reliever
Exactly. Chapman was only a reliever by default anyway. Not sure if the answer is (a) or (b), but you have to find out if the answer is going to be (a). The Reds are doing the smart thing here.
Why is Dusty so shortsighted when saying he wants Chapman to close? Yeah i know he was dominant, but he still blew five saves. It's not like their bullpen was a bunch of scrubs though. They resigned Broxton for a reason. Hoover would be fine as a closer too I believe. And having Chapman make 25-30 starts as opposed to Mike Leake is way better for the team than having him close. What do you think?
Because Dusty doesn't know any better. The difference between Mariano Rivera and all the different closers the Pirates have used through the years? About two wins a year. And like you said, the Reds have other good options.
You mentioned Austin Jackson as a sleeper MVP candidate by way of hitting .300 w/ 120 R and 25 HR. Does A-Jax actually have the power to hit 25? Also, what do you project his SB's to be at?
He may be maxed out at 15-20, but did improve last year so maybe has one more growth spurt in him. I mentioned that in the context of that's what he'd have to do to become an MVP candidate, not that I necessarily believe he'll hit 25. Seems like he just isn't going to be a big steals guy. Whether its jumps or Leyland's unwillingness to send him, but I don't think he's going to be that 35-40 a year guy.
Would it be a mistake for the Marlins to keep Yelich on the roster to start the season? He hasn't even played at AA yet but he's more than holding his own this spring. What's a realistic ETA?
Yes, no need to start the service time clock. I would doubt he even makes it the majors this year. For one thing, he's not even on the 40-man roster, so you have to drop somebody to make room. And considering where the Marlins are at, no need to rush him.
Last week I asked you about the over/under on Starlin Castro's HR total of 25. While I disagree with you on the under, can we agree it's the over for Anthony Rizzo?
Yes, over for Rizzo.
Will I be on a team before the regular season starts?
Yes. But you'll need a couple weeks in the minors to get ready.
So are you doing MVP Picks and CY Young picks today?If so I got Cespedes and Price (again) in AL and McCuthen and Zimmerman in NL.
Sure, everyone can toss out their picks during the chat.
Hold on, be right back ...
I think Boras is looking out for himself with the Lohse debacle. If he doesn't hold the line and folds to a team with this player, teams might take a harder line with Boras in the future.
Is this latest Teixeira revelation the straw that finally broke the camel's back? Can the Yankees survive with him missing that much time (plus all their other issues)?
I think so. And Girardi admitting Jeter may have to start at DH.
Are you going to chat with Mike Tyson at 1:30.
The former major league infielder?
Soccer is terrible, but 1 thing I would like to see is where teams are removed from the highest level for not producing. I mean you Astros and Marlins!
Thoughts on Halladay's struggles/velocity? Do you think without him the Phils struggle enough that they blow it all up this summer?
Who knows. I know they're writing the last stuff off to having the flu. (Apparently, he had to find a bucket to, umm ... well, you get the idea.) For some reason, I don't see Amaro blowing it up. Doesn't seem like something he'd do and they don't have a lot of great assets anyway, unless you try and move Lee.
Has anybody told Aroldis how much more starters get (Greinke, Felix, Cain, Hamels) than closers (Soriano, Broxton, League). Is it too late for me to be his agent?
Right, the Reds said they would have that talk with Aroldis.
Give me a couple of teams that you think could surprise this year. Thanks
Mariners, Indians, Royals ... maybe the Padres, but I have hard time putting a team with Clayton Richard headlining the rotation as a possible surprise. I do like Arizona to win the NL West, but that's not a big surprise.
Since we are on a Chapman kick, I'd like to add something. I question his mental fortitude that he doesn't want to embrace the change to the rotation. I think it goes without saying it will take a lot more work to become a top starter than throwing 10 fastballs a game.
I was thinking the same thing. When's the last time you heard a pitcher say he'd rather stay in the bullpen? You never hear that.
A quick strategy question - If the Astros signed Lohse, they would lose their high 2nd round pick. Could they flip him to a contending team for a prospect? Or, is the value of that second round pick worth more than what they could get in a trade?
They could probably get more in a trade, but that would create a sour image in the minds of future free agents ever going to Houston.
Spring gets here Thurs., didn't you know? You in on the Dom Brown breakout season with the new swing?
Lots of guys have new swings this year! Sometimes they work and it's not like Brown has been a complete washout. I think there's a chance he becomes a good -- not great -- player. Maybe .275, 20 HRs, something like that.
Do you feel the Phillies if there big three stay healthy can claim back the division? I see a team that in second half last season was playing well above 500 and that is will howard not being fully recovered.
I'm still picking the Nationals and Braves 1-2, but it wouldn't surprise to see the Phillies win 90 and make it a three-team race. And I would argue that getting 140 games from Utley is just as important as 30 starts from Halladay.
all this ink about Kyle Lohse. It's not because we really care, or that we're bothered by the glitch in the system. It's just because everyone loves to see a Boras client so obviously take it in the wallet, right?
I guarantee that there are some people in front offices happy to see it happening.
Why aren't the Phillies getting more respect this year? The year before they won over 100 games. Last year Howard and Utes out almost half the season. Halliday on DL and Ruiz on DL.
If you are starting a new baseball team, and you must pick 1 minor league outfield prospect, who do you take, Wil Meyers, or Oscar Taveras and why
Taveras. Strikeout rate. I think the "hit" tool is more of a guarantee with him because of that ability to put the bat on the ball.
Have any underappreciated WBC players earned themselves an MLB deal based on their play? For instance, the Puerto Rican pitchers seem to have surprised everyone...
I'm sure somebody will invite J.C. Romero to camp after this is over. Nelson Figueroa is with Arizona, and there's not really room for him, but he's probably better than some No. 5 starters out there.
Wouldn't asking a free agent to finish the year in Houston leave a much more sour image than letting them go to a playoff contender. Especially if this was discussed in advance?
Well, sure, IF Lohse knew what he was getting into. But you don't want to create a Marlins-like situation where players are unhappy a year later about being traded.
Who is getting more overhyped heading into 2013: Josh Rutledge or Marco Estrada?
Rutledge. He may put up some superficially good fantasy numbers in Colorado, but check that strikeout/walk ratio. Ugh. I like Estrada as an underrated asset.
I think that Goose Gossage is frustrated that one inning closers coming in with the bases clear to protect a lead from 1 to 3 runs are getting more credit than when pitchers like him had to come in and pitch 2-4 innings to protect the same lead.
I know Goose got ripped for his sort of underhanded criticism of Rivera, but ... the man has a point, doesn't he? I'm pretty sure Gossage would have been even more dominant pitching one inning at a time.
Mr. SchoenfieldThe Cardinals everyday starting baseman in september will be ________ (fill in the blank)
I assume you mean second baseman ... I'll go with Descalso. I like the Carpenter idea but I think in the end Matheny goes with the glove, especially since the Cards probably need to worry about run prevention more than run scoring (should scoring plenty of runs regardless of who plays second).
D. Lee, B. Bosch, whose next on the Yankees please come play for us list? is this 1989 all over again?
Netherlands coach Hensley Meulens is only two years older than Mariano.
NL picks: Strasburg and Allen Craig (so many RBI's!)
Yep, I had Craig on my sleeper NL MVP list. MVPs come out of nowhere more often than we think -- 19 of 66 since 1980 had never finished in the top 15 of a previous MVP vote. Twelve had never received ANY votes.
Hey David, what is your predicted order of finish for the AL West?
A's, Angels, Rangers, Mariners, Astros. If I had more guts, Mariners over Rangers!
Tell Ajax not to worry about MVP, those #'s won't cut it...I should know
How's your bracket looking, David? Who's your final 4?
I'm going with the all-baseball bracket (check out my post from today): Creighton, Arizona, UCLA and Bucknell. Creighton beats UCLA in the final!
Zimmerman as in Jordan Zimmerman? He's a quality pitcher but no way is he a Cy Young contender. Last year his k/9 was 7.0 with a 4.4 WAR. That is an excellent pitcher but not the best in the league.
I think he had Ryan Zimmerman as MVP.
Neftali Feliz also said he wanted to stay in the bullpen.
Well, maybe he was right.
The Nats have been rather ho-hum this Spring while the Braves have murdered the ball; annything I should be concerned about?
Who do you have winning your NCAA Brackets? And how many did you fill out! I'm setting the O/U at 3.
Other than the baseball bracket, I'll probably just fill out one. Don't watch much college hoops anymore, although I will watch the tournament. I'll pick Gonzaga -- have to go with the home-state team.
So really early, we got a whole year of baseball to play, but I figure I'll throw it out there, what 4 teams will be playing in the LCS come October? please dont pick the cardinals! whenever they get counted out they always end up there!
I had to send in my picks the other day. I think I had Rays and Tigers in the AL and Nationals ... wait, we didn't have to pick the LCS, just the league champion. So I'll go Rays over Tigers and Nationals over Reds. Nationals win it all.
Do you think all of the Darvish for Cy Young hype is a little overblown? I mean, Verlander/Price/Felix are still in the AL right?
He's good but he won't be able to put Cy Young-caliber ERA in that park. And it's not like he suddenly was dominating in the second half. Like him a lot, but tough park to win a Cy Young in.
nl picks posey and kershaw and it hurts to say that as a giants fan
I had Verlander/Trout and Kershaw/Votto. Really went out on a limb there. But love Allen Craig and Bryce Harper as sleeper MVP picks. Not really a good sleeper candidate in AL. I had Wieters topping my list there, but that's probably a stretch.
What do you think of athletes like Nelson Figueroa who were born in and grew up in the continental US yet play internationally for another "country?"
Does this really bother people? (Not saying you're one of those.) Especially a guy like Figueroa who is also looking to showcase himself a little bit.
Bam Bam! Then can we ask G. Williams to come back as well He was the Ice man!
How can it be that no team wants Lohse? Even if they adjust for the value of a draft pick surely he's worth 1 yr/ $8M.
That's what we don't know. Maybe he's been offered several 1 yr/$8M deals and he and Boras keeping holding out for three years.
Phillies aren't getting respect b/c Utley, Rollins, Howard, Papelbon, Halladay, and Young are all on the decline. And the Braves/Nats are simply better. How's that?
This is something that has bothered me for a while. Should RBI have an 's behind it? Wouldn't that mean runs batted in's?
Official AP style is to write it is as RBIs. Plus, nobody SAYS "RBI." We always say "RBIs," right?
But why can't Goose just be happy with being considered with being the best of his era without taking shots at the best of another era where the game was played differently?
Oh, I agree -- no need to say it aloud. Especially when criticizing Rivera. My argument is that he WAS sort of right.
CY/MVP: AL - CC Sabathia/Mike Trout; NL - Nationals Sweep! Strasburg/Harper, and the whole country despises us.
If Rockies want to try new things with pitching in Coors, I have an idea. Start all RH starter to go 4-5 innings, then have 3 LH relievers able to pitch 2-3 innings on daily basis. Then fill back of pen with all RH relievers. Eventually you get platoon advantage.
I think the Rockies obsess too much about this. Just find some good pitchers.
Over/under on how many games until your bracket is just a list of teams that lost (like mine will be)? 10? 15?
I don't think I've ever picked the eventual champion.
Dave, you and Matt from DC are "smoking the drapes" with the Nats winning it all. It's the Tiger's turn in 13 AND 14. Book it.
Yes, I agree. Goose has a point. But he should let others (like you) make it for him.
Dice-K accepting minor league assignment. Kazmir look good for fifth starter. Should Indians really expect much out of either of them this year?
I know Kazmir has pitched well. You never know, of course, but "comebacks" like his rarely work out. I wouldn't be counting on 30 starts, that's for sure.
McCuthen and Zimmerman in NLUnless he was picking Daniel McCutchen to win the CY, I don't think so.
Shouldn't Weaver be in the AL Cy Young discussion? He's finished twice two years in a row, now! He seems to be underrated/undervalued.
Second and third. You're right, nobody ever picks him. Had a big innings drop last year, so he has to get back into the 230-inning range. But he could up monster numbers with that outfield behind him.
What are your thoughts on Brandon Maurer?
I haven't *seen* so am only going by scouting reports and what people are writing. But I'd put him in the rotation. I mean, Jon Garland and Blake Beavan? Come on. And considering Maurer's long injury history, he probably only has so many innings in his arm, so go ahead and use them at the major league level instead of Triple-A.
In the spirit of going against the chalk this time of year, Cespedes and Sale in the AL, Justin Upton and Latos in the NL.
Love the Cespedes pick and do agree with Latos as a sleeper Cy Young candidate. What a rotation that will be if Chapman pans out.
Do you buy Porcello's strong spring so far? I know stats are meaningless but velocity is up and he's focusing on only one breaking pitch.
If velocity is up, maybe ... maybe. But is he keeping the same sink? Maybe he's throwing but that leads to less command and more home runs? Until the regular season starts, you can't read too much into yet. I still think Smyly is better in the long run.
Stat trivia: Assume a PHer leads off an inning, makes an out and his team bats around. He makes an out a second time. Is he 0 for 2 has a PHer? Technically he isn't PHitting in that 2nd AB since the guy he is hitting for cannot come back in.
Yes, still counts as a pinch-hitter.
Saw WBC Japan vs Puerto Rico at ATT on Sunday. Japanese fans everywhere. Unbelievably intense. Great fun. Great game. I read somewhere TV ratings in Japan were off the charts for this. What do you think it will take to get Americans -- the owners, the players, the fans -- to care as much. I think it's an amazing event and will really help the spread of baseball, myself. So I'd love to see the US investing more in making it work.
Everybody loves the WBC -- except in the U.S., it seems. American sports fans are hard to win over, so I'm not sure what the answer is. I think (A) you would have to change the timing of the event; (B) make it more regular (every year or every other year); (C) Have ALL the big stars playing. (Which I don't think is necessary, but I received a ton of ocmplaints on Twitter that people just didn't care because no Verlander, no Kershaw, etc.)
It's too bad, because the games have been exciting and filled with drama. Much better than spring training games.
Cahill as surprise CY in NL
A year removed from TJ, what sort of season would you expect from Wainwright? Any chance he bounces back to being a CY contender?
Yes, a little down on my list, but was very good in the second half and has a strong lineup and bullpen to back him up.
If you were going to expand the league to 32 teams, which cities/regions could support a team? Baseball is big in NC, would Charlotte be a good option?
North Carolina would be the obvious choice and I'd go a third team in New York (Jersey?), not that the Yankees and Mets would allow that Are there any other good markets? Austin? San Antonio? Tennessee? Montreal? (Ha.)
DavidI've been hearing these god awful rumors that the DH is making its way to the NL in the not so distant future. SAY IT AINT SO!!! the DH has already ruined true baseball in the AL no need for it to do so in the NL. ill still watch but knowing full well true baseball as it was meant to be played is dead
From what I hear, if a change is ever made, it would be more likely that the DH is added rather than subtracted. You'll learn to embrace the AL game! Are you in Livingston, Montana?
PTI made a good point yesterday that it is better for the game for the US to lose in the WBC. It means so much more for the other participants.
Just wondering, if you have a player/coach (unlikely these days) who is coaching 1st base in a came and then comes in to pinch hit, can he go back to coaching first base after his at bat?
I don't see why not. Man, who was the last player/coach? Maybe Rose when he was managing the Reds?
Lohse is special situation would it really create a sour feeling with future FA's if they gave him the contract he can't get anywhere else because of the pick, and then traded him? I'm sure he'd be happy!
How do you see the Brewers MI shaping up this year? Weeks and Segura.
I'd say OK. Weeks is terrible defensively and Segura may be stretched a bit at shortstop, but both should hit well enough. I don't like the Brewers have so many right-handed bats.
Explain how the 2nd one is a pinch hit AB? The original player can't come back and hit. It is just a matter of not knowing how else to classify it?
Right, what else could you put it down as?
Easy, Americans have short attention spans, stringently enforce time limit between pitches for both pitchers and batters. There is no reason a 9 inning game should last 4 hours.
True. The Japanese style of baseball would be hard to take every day.
Do you agree with Rick O'Reilly's take on Wrigley being the main reason the Cubs lose? A businessman has just offered them 25 acres to build a new park in the Chicago suburb of Rosemont.
I might write something on this. Didn't read Rick's piece, but if it has something to do with all the day games, he MAY have a point. But do the Cubs actually lack a home-field advantage? I'll look it up. Check out the blog later today!
What are some teams that you think will disappoint? I am not buying into the Dodgers or Blue Jays.
Definitely the Dodgers. A lot of questions there, starting with Greinke's arm and Crawford's elbow and Hanley's defense at SS.
People need to stop tying Lohse to the draft pick. The whole situation is about him not being as good as what his asking price is.
AL Cy: Brett Anderson. NL Cy: Cole Hamels. AL MVP: Trout. NL MVP: Votto. Guess which is the biggest reach.
Enjoyed your 5 year peak article. Would like to see a longer time period - say 8-10 years and would also like you to start with a recognized, good current pitcher. You started your 5 year period with Morris, suggesting you had to start somewhere but if you had started with Beckett, a presumed ace, Morris would have been about 4 WAR ahead and people would understand how hard it is to put up 20 WAR in 4 years.
OK, I'll add it my list of pieces to do!
You ask if it really bothers people that US-born players play in the WBC for other countries. Sometimes, yes. Sergio Romo celebrating about his save over the US is going to bother me for the rest of his career. Shouldn't players be a little more respectful of their home countries?
I don't think there's anything wrong with celebrating your heritage. Was Romo even asked to play for the U.S.? Plus, I believe he's been outspoken on some of the immigration laws in Arizona, so maybe he was making a political point as well. (Don't hold me to that.)
Who has a better year this year: Albert Pujols or Brandon Moss of the A's?
Wrigley is part of the problem...its the culture of the fan base that is the other...Alot Cubs fans are more worried about partying in the bleachers than how good their team is
OK ... I have to run. Sorry about that sudden end to the chat. Let's do it again next week!