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April 2, 1:30 PM ET
Chat with David Schoenfield

David Schoenfield
  (1:32 PM)

Wait ... why aren't there more afternoon games today? Need my baseball fix.

Jason (St Louis)

Let's do this. Astros/Cubs World Series. Book it.

Aaron (Georgia)

The Braves looked good last night! Do you believe the Braves have one of the top 5 line-ups in the majors? Also do you see Landon Donovan be a major force for the USMNT ever again?

David Schoenfield
  (1:33 PM)

I think there's that potential if Freeman and Heyward improve, which I think they will. Hard to believe they're both still just 23.

B (HTX)

Do you see MLB ever changing the ground-rule double for runners already on base? Like, say, if you have already rounded 2nd base by the time the ball goes out of play you can score, even though that would technically be three bases? Seems like common sense that you don't want the height of fences penalizing offense, runs, and ultimately a postseason if this happens in a Wild Card game.

David Schoenfield
  (1:35 PM)

Haven't heard any move to do that -- probably because the umpires don't want to make a judgment call. But it certainly makes sense. We've all seen cases where a guy like Michael Bourn gets sent back to third even though he's already the base when the outfielder would be fielding the ball. Just another reason to use more instant replay.

Gene Mullett (Columbus, OH)

What are Adrian Beltre's chances of being an HoFer? Would you vote for him?

David Schoenfield
  (1:37 PM)

I wrote about this last year. Pretty good, I think. His defense reputation is starting to build into "one of the best ever" and his counting stats -- hits, home runs, RBIs -- are going to be very high. Has a shot at 3,000 hits since he come up so young, already over 1200 RBIs. He'll have a pretty good case if he has 3-4 more good years.

Jason (St Louis)

I enjoyed the Yadi article. Just one question, is Ted Simmons a top ten catcher all time for you?

David Schoenfield
  (1:40 PM)

Let's see -- Bench, Berra, Piazza, Fisk, Rodriguez, Cochrane, Campanella (short career), Carter, Hartnett ... starts getting a little fuzzy after that. I think so. Nine or 10, alongside Joe Torre, Bill Dickey. I think he has a good HOF case.

Alex (OH)

What do you think the Reds do with their lineup now that Ludwick is hurt? Phillips to fourth, move Cozart up to second?

David Schoenfield
  (1:41 PM)

I'd just move Bruce up to fourth. I think Dusty worries too much about the left-right-left thing. Cozart doesn't have the OBP you'd want from a No. 2 hitter. Or ... hit Votto second, Phillips third, Bruce fourth. Studies actually show there is a case to be made to hit your best guy second.

Nick (NYC)

What are your thoughts on the Red Sox's new Left fielder? kid has some great poise.

David Schoenfield
  (1:43 PM)

That at-bat against CC was great, laying off three close pitches to draw a big walk. I think the hype -- because he plays for Boston -- is probably a bit much. But he looks like he'll be a good player, get on base, terrific defender, probably not much power for a year or two. Remember, this kid played in some big College World Series game with South Carolina. So he's used to pressure moments.

ES (NY)

The baseball HOF has become too much of a stats counting game, especially with the longevity of players these days. Instead of being great, you only have to be pretty good for a long time. I wish more voters looked for the best players for X years, rather than the player that hit 500 HRs or got 3,000 hits but never would have been considered one of the top players during his prime years.

David Schoenfield
  (1:45 PM)

I actually sort of agree with you (although we're not seeing more guys actually get elected to the Hall, and not just because of the steroids issue). That's the knock against Beltre: Only the last couple of years (and 2004) was he really considered one of the best third basemen in the game. But peak value does seem to be underrappreciated by the voters.

Marc (SF Giants Land)

Wait, no Posey on your list of Top 10 catchers?? You can't project out!!

David Schoenfield
  (1:45 PM)

Will he stay there long enough? Mauer has a shot to move up. He's already 23rd on the catcher WAR list.

Matt (DC)

Anything to read into Strasburg throwing 80 pitches? Granted, it was in 7 innings of work.

David Schoenfield
  (1:46 PM)

I don't think so. A little odd that they pulled him in a 2-0 game, but Nats don't play today so maybe Davey wanted to get his relievers in a game.

Chris (KC)

No need to change the rules on ground rule doubles, Dave; according to the rule book the placement of runners on ground rule doubles is already at the umpires' discretion...they can be scored from first on a GR double if in the umpires' judgment is that they would have scored anyway. It's just that the umps never do it.

David Schoenfield
  (1:47 PM)

So it's kind of like the infield fly rule -- the umpires just misapply it.

John (NY)

Seems silly to change ground rule doubles that way. There's luck involved in certain plays, no need to edit rules to change that. If the slowest player in baseball hits a ground ball that takes a bad hop do we have to let the umps make a judgment call about whether he would've been out if not for bad luck?

Matt (DC)

While you answered my question, David, Bryce Harper just homered AGAIN!

Mike (San Diego)

Why would Davey leave Stras out there with the bullpen he has at his disposal?

James (Atlanta)

I don't think your MVP is going to care about studies that show he shouldn't be hitting 3rd or 4th. I know Dusty doesn't care about your fancy studies.

Drew (Bloomsburg)

Do the Orioles have the worst staff of any potential playoff team?

David Schoenfield
  (1:49 PM)

I actually kind of like their rotation. I realize they don't have a No. 1 or maybe even a top-shelf No. 2, but they have a bunch of No. 3s and other possible option if injuries mount. Plus, they had a lot of REALLY bad starts last year -- Hunter and Matusz before they were demoted to the pen, Arrieta -- so overall I think the rotation will be better.

Mike (San Diego)

You're counting on Dusty not over-thinking things like platoon matchups. The thing about Bruce and Votto is that they only have about a 100 point OPS difference in facing lefties versus righties. Not ideal, but not large enough to put out a bad lineup day to day.

David Schoenfield
  (1:50 PM)

Exactly. And to be fair, he's not the only manager doing this. But how many *really* good lefty relievers are there that you think you need to make your lineup worse JUST IN CASE they may be used later in the game? It's kind of ridiculous. (So kudos to Charlie Manuel for hitting Utley and Howard back-to-back. Now, if only he'd hit for Howard against lefties in key situations ...)

Matt (DC)

I'm not questioning the move, James, but it's a hot topic in Washington today. We're a little paranoid, you know.

Tom (ATL)

What would extensions for Heyward, Freeman, Simmons look like?

David Schoenfield
  (1:51 PM)

Have to think Heyward's would be close to what Posey got, no?

Charles (San Jose)

You don't think an infielder can intentionally drop a fly ball that travels 250 feet and get a double play?

Jason (St Louis)

Bringing up the infield fly rule is just wrong. That was a classic example of the 'human element'.

Lyle (NM)

Chris (KC) is wrong about GR doubles. Two bases only according to rulebook. Now for fan interference, the umpires have discretion to place runners anywhere they want.

Marc (SF Giants Land)

Is it crazy to think that maybe the Astros won't lose 100 games this season. Looked like an ok team last Sunday.

David Schoenfield
  (1:52 PM)

You know, Norris, Harrell and Bedard (cough) could be OK. If you have three decent starters you can avoid 100 losses.

Matt (Steinway)

Do you think Alderson is a good GM? I know at the top end he's gotten Wheeler and D'Arnaud, but he also gave away Pagan for peanuts and has made egregiously terrible pitcher signings. I'd love to see what he could do with real owners, but his track record has been only so-so.

David Schoenfield
  (1:55 PM)

It's hard to say. His hands are tied a little bit and he took over an organization that had very little in the minor league system. Pagan got a bad rap in New York and they made a bad deal. And when I see things like Marlon Byrd opening up in right field ... I mean, what are the odds that works out? Go sign a guy like Nate Schierholtz or somebody. Alderson was great with the A's, but jury is out with the Mets.

Jeremy (Boston)

Doesn't a trade of Jacoby Ellsbury for Joe Blanton just make sense? Haha. I'll always remember that one!!!

David Schoenfield
  (1:56 PM)

At least I own up to it. Of course, it would be nice if Ellsbury actually has another good year before you throw that in my face!

Marc (SF Giants Land)

If Elvis Andrus can get 8-years, $120 million from the Texas Rangers, what will Robinson Cano command from the New York Yankees?? 10-year, $220 million???

Mike (San Diego)

What makes you think that if Norris and Bedard are good that they will stay with Houston past June? I bet they play ~.450 ball in the first half and absolutely stink it up after the all-star break.

David Schoenfield
  (1:57 PM)

True, no way Bedard would be kept. I think they keep Norris, however. He's young enough that he could still be around for the next good Astros team. But probably not good enough that he would bring a ransom back in return.

zack (stl)

What is your take on the Marlins not holding back Fernandez's service time? Is he just a shiny new object to distract their fans so they don't focus on Loria?

David Schoenfield
  (1:59 PM)

Well, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but there are arguments for it. (1) If he's ready he's ready, and some believe pitchers only have so many bullets so you may as well use them up. (2) What are the odds that Marlins can afford him in six year anyway, so that extra year may not have much value to them if he would be traded in Year 4 or 5 anyway. (3) Excite the "fan base."

Todd (Philly)

Alternatively, shouldn't a player that is very good (not necessarily great) but can stay in the game competitively for long enough to reach major milestones be celebrated with a HOF induction? The HOF status is mostly about appreciating history of the game, and if the player has had an impact for "that" long, I think it merits serious candicacy...do you disagree?

David Schoenfield
  (2:02 PM)

I see both sides of the debate. I think a guy like Edgar Martinez -- one of the best hitters ever for 10 years -- should be in. Who cares that he didn't tack on 4 or 5 mediocre seasons with little to build up a few counting stats. I do think a longevity guy needs *some* sort of peak. Like Beltre. He's going to have 3-4 years as arguably the best third baseman plus a long career. That works for me. A guy like, say, Harold Baines was never really "the best" at his position.

Sean (Phoenix)

Could the Diamondbacks end up with the best pitching staff (starters 1-5 + bullpen) in baseball?

David Schoenfield
  (2:02 PM)

Wouldn't shock me. I have them winning the West.

zack (stl)

Speaking of awesome defensive 3rd basemen, will Scott Rolen make it into the Hall?

David Schoenfield
  (2:03 PM)

I would vote for him, but like Beltre he's borderline. Hall of Fame voters haven't been kind to great glove third basemen not named Brooks.

Rob (Lime Rock, CT)

I'm looking forward to going to a bunch of Rock Cats games this year. Do you think there's a good chance Sano will be there by June? Good pitching prospects there too

David Schoenfield
  (2:06 PM)

Twins are usually pretty conservative on their prospects, so not sure he gets up that soon. Hopefully some time though. Would love to see him.

Tom (Atl)

Have we talked about how awesome/hilarious Jay Z becoming a sports agent is?

Alex (OH)

I agree with putting Bruce fourth, but Dusty won't do it. Going against a right handed starter he definitely should do it, who cares if ONE at bat later on might be affected by bringing in a lefty to face them.

David Schoenfield
  (2:07 PM)

Exactly. Plus, more games are won against the starter, not the bullpen. It's really not that difficult to figure out. Of course ... I know, I know .. batting orders aren't really THAT important. But they're fun to obsess over.

james (Greenwich)

Who is better this year and in the long run? Bradley jr, marte, or hicks?

David Schoenfield
  (2:07 PM)

I'd go with Bradley, then Hicks, then Marte (plate discipline issues).

Corinne (Delaware)

Chase Utley reminded everyone watching last night why he is a HOF caliber player at his best, but it's difficult to imagine a scenario in which he is elected short of a miraculous return to his 2006-2009 form. For what it's worth though, whenever I bring my kids/grandkids to Cooperstown I'll tell them stories of watching the Great Chase Utley, regardless of his enshrinement status.

David Schoenfield
  (2:08 PM)

Perfect example of a guy with a great peak -- as good a five-year run as any second baseman not named Morgan, Hornsby or maybe Robinson. But wasn't a regular until 26 so has no chance to build the counting stats that he would probably need.

Gabe (Seattle)

How much do you worry about early velocity drops (CC and King Felix come to mind)?

David Schoenfield
  (2:09 PM)

Wouldn't worry yet. Did you watch Felix last night? He seemed OK. What movement on that changeup!

James (Atlanta)

It's amazing when your team is facing the Phillies how much Chase Utley still scares you and how little Ryan Howard does.

Sean (Phoenix)

Who hits more home runs this year? Juan Pierre, Jamey Carroll, Jemile Weeks, or Ben Revere?

jacob muhlendorf (alabama florence)

the braves will win the title this year , we have the best players in mlb , we lost chipper jones a legend the best 3rd baseman in mlb history .. david from scale of 1 to 10 what do you give my braves this year of making it to the big dance , im curious of what u will say

David Schoenfield
  (2:10 PM)

I think the Braves are the second-best team in the NL. Unfortunately, I think the Nationals are the best, so that puts the Braves in the one-game wild card game again where anythingPETEKOZMAcanhappen.

David Schoenfield
  (2:11 PM)

Oh, I'd say an 7 of making the playoffs. Which is high. Nationals would be a 9. '27 Yankees would be a 10.

Ryan (Haddam, CT)

So Yogi Berra isnt the best? Johnny Bench? Gary Carter? Yadier is great but man these are guys that are greats calm on the whole best all time!

David Schoenfield
  (2:11 PM)

I was just talking defense. Yadi doesn't compare to those three on offense. But defensively, I think you can make the case.

Allen (Dallas)

Any chance that when things are all said and done, Clayton Kershaw could end up with 300 wins?

David Schoenfield
  (2:12 PM)

Sure. Although most pitchers who are this good before 25 burn out too quickly.

Joseph (Birmingham)

Do you think that Mccann and dan uggla will have better years with the bats. Uggla impressed me last night

David Schoenfield
  (2:13 PM)

Well, don't read too much into one game. Obviously, with McCann it will be about his health, but I suspect he was really bothered last year and hit better. Much less confident about Uggla. Just seems like a player on the downturn.

Jason (St Louis)

LA better hope Kershaw stays healthy, considering they're probably going to give him 200 million dollars.

zack (stl)

When making your award predictions were you picking who you thought would deserve the award or who would win it considering things like media narrative?

David Schoenfield
  (2:15 PM)

I'm predicting who the media would vote for. So, that means discounting any player on a bad team (Stanton, probably McCutchen) because you have to play on a playoff team to win it. I had Votto, but I wonder if he'll hit enough homers and drive in enough runs to win (since he'll draw so many walks, he not rack up the RBIs).

Ian (OK)

I was surprised by this but Molina is older than both Mauer and McCann, the two most likely HOF catchers of his time.

Ben (Seattle)

To Gabe's point, Felix has still been amazing even with the lower velocity. He really knows how to pitch. CC on the other hand, his control wasn't there; I'd be selling CC stock.

Jon (Phoenix, AZ)

Day 1 goes to Prado.

Brint (Wichita)

Who you think the real Ian Kennedy is? Is he probably somewhere in between his 2011 and 2012 performances? He looked pretty good last night

David Schoenfield
  (2:16 PM)

I was watching Felix, so missed his performance. I'm with you -- some in-between, which is still a very good pitcher.

Todd (Philly)

What is your expectation of the Jackie Robinson movie coming out? I am hoping it gives a brutal honesty towards what it was like - similar to a Saving Private Ryan in a way - so people can get a real sense of what he went through ) - but I am guessing it will be less strict...your thoughts?

David Schoenfield
  (2:17 PM)

I haven't seen it but those who have seen previews have raved about it. I believe it's supposed to have a high level of realism. Now, will they have Ben Chapman (I think that was the Phillies manager) calling him the worst word possible? Not sure about that.

Mike (San Diego)

I'm saying no on Kershaw getting to 300 wins or anyone else for that matter. Kershaw would have to AVERAGE 20 wins for his next 12 seasons. The way staffs are currently constructed makes that nearly impossible.

Jeff (Denver)

At what point do you start buying early season successes/failures/trends? End of the month? End of May?

David Schoenfield
  (2:19 PM)

I worry more about *bad* starts than believe in *good* ones. If the Yankees are 10-17 in April, I'd be worried. If the Mets are 17-10, I'm not getting my hopes up just yet. As the Pirates have shown the last couple years, even three months isn't always a true sign.

Jason (St Louis)

How exactly is Brian McCann a 'likely hall of famer'?

David Schoenfield
  (2:20 PM)

Well, he did make six straight All-Star teams, but he's definitely not a "likely" HOFer.

Kevin (Buffalo)

Contracts included, your most valuable player going forward.

David Schoenfield
  (2:21 PM)

Hmm ... chatters? I'd have to look at the contracts. I might take Trout and Harper, considering they'll still getting about the league minimum. McCutchen? His deal is pretty team-friendly.

Brint (Wichita)

You're a Mariners fan. . . will Tom Wilhelmsen be the closer all year?

David Schoenfield
  (2:21 PM)

Yes.

Todd (Philly)

Thanks Dave...either way, I will see the movie; he is such a great American in every way...and I can't wait to see it!

David Schoenfield
  (2:22 PM)

Agreed. I'm surprised it took so long to make another Jackie Robinson movie. There was one back in the '50s. Guess who played Jackie Robinson ... Jackie Robinson!

Matt (Pocatello)

I never knew that Ben Chapman called Jackie Robinson a "pinstriper." What a creep!

Mike (Mission Viejo, CA)

Best pitcher in baseball - Kershaw, Verlander, other?

David Schoenfield
  (2:23 PM)

I still say Verlander. Kershaw does have the slight advantage of facing the pitcher 2-3 times a game.

Ian (OK)

On McCann, I didn't mean that he's a likely HOFer. I meant, of Molina's generation, Mauer and McCann are the two who are the closest to the HOF although I only think Mauer makes it.

Charley (South Bend, IN)

Any idea as to why Verlander was pulled in the after the 5th inning yesterday? I know he was at 90 pitches, but that's a mild work load for him, and he was going strong with only 3H, 2BB, and 7K's.

David Schoenfield
  (2:24 PM)

Meant to read what happened there. I'm guessing because it was so cold? (35 degrees). And his command probably wasn't sharp; 90 pitches is a lot for five innings.

Jon (Bozeman, MT)

Do the Rangers trade Profar or have him play 2B and move Kinsler? If they trade him, do they try to move him for Price or Stanton?

David Schoenfield
  (2:27 PM)

Yeah, who knows what they'll do now. Assuming Profar spends most (half?) the season in the minors, which isn't the worst idea, maybe next year you move Kinsler to the outfield (Cruz is a free agent). That's my best-guess scenario. With second-guess being they shop Profar next winter -- maybe for one of those guys you mentioned. Profar + other stuff for Stanton? Makes sense.

Chris ((NV))

Isn't Posey closer than McCann to being a HOFer. He still need to put up the compiling stats obviously, but he's got the narrative stats already (MVP, ROY, 2 World Series).

David Schoenfield
  (2:28 PM)

I'm with you there. MVP voting seems to be important (since that is sort of about "reputation") and McCann has picked up votes once (21st in 2010).

Jimmy (Chicago)

Leyland said he pulled him because of the weather. Didn't want him going over 100 pitches in it.

Will (Livingston)

Carlos Beltran really looked hobbled in RF last night, his range was terrible and the dbacks got a couple of hits because beltran simply looked old and slow.... too soon to hop on the "call up oscar tavares" bandwagon?

David Schoenfield
  (2:30 PM)

That's one reason I'm not super high on the Cards -- no shortstop, injury risks in Beltran, Freese and Craig. Well, it's too soon because you dump a veteran like Beltran THAT quickly, but it's worth watching. I think Taveras ends up getting 350-400 PAs this year.

Paul (Albany, OR)

Best part about Kershaw yesterday was that he did not throw a ton of pitches. If he can learn to pitch like that and go deep in games, he may not burn out like many of the 25 and unders have in the past.

Brint (Wichita)

Is Lester going to bounce back this year? Yesterday was a poor gauge because the Yankees are so bad. Ben Francisco, really????

David Schoenfield
  (2:31 PM)

Had a great spring for whatever that's worth. Ran up a high pitch count yesterday so didn't really impress me all that much. I expect he'll be better -- if only because of an outfield with three center fielders behind him -- if not quite his 2010 level.

kp(LA) [via mobile]

You're such a dodger Hater that I read you just to laugh. Have a good day man

RA Jr (PA)

Best contract, Ryan Howard.

derrrick (illinois)

as a dodger fan i was happy trout was 1-6,,but what do you see his drop off to be?

David Schoenfield
  (2:32 PM)

Lower average, but maybe a higher OBP due to more walks. I have him winning the MVP, so I guess I don't see much drop-off coming.

Andy (Chicago)

I can't get used to this Astros in the AL thing. The relative health of the sport is in spite of the mess Selig tries to make of it. I wish he'd leave things alone.

Jeremy (Milwaukee)

How long will the Brewers keep Axford as the closer after another blown save yesterday?

David Schoenfield
  (2:33 PM)

I need him to pitch well! I picked the Brewers to make the playoffs.

Jon (Tempe, AZ)

Going forward on their current contracts who would you rather have Molina, McCann or Montero?

David Schoenfield
  (2:34 PM)

I'd probably take Molina over Montero. Basically the same money. He's a little older but also a little better.

Reg (Bos)

Tell me about Gattis, please. Is he going to have an impact this year?

David Schoenfield
  (2:36 PM)

Great story. Didn't play baseball for several years, picked up it again in junior college, got drafted and is made a quick rise through the minor. Big strong guy who can hit, skipping past Triple-A. Don't think he'll have a huge impact, just because of playing time, but he looks like a guy who can have a career as a nice bench player and maybe play himself into a starting role if the opportunity ever arises. (Doesn't really have a position, it appears.)

Greg (LA)

If I give you an over under of 35 home runs for Matt Kemp, which side would you take?

David Schoenfield
  (2:36 PM)

That's a lot of home runs. I'd take the under.

Brian (Fort Wayne)

Leyland pulled Verlander so he could put in your boyfriend Smily...all Tigers fans knew Porcello was better than Smily and Smily last night showed why

David Schoenfield
  (2:37 PM)

Before you rip him at least learn to spell his name right. It's Smyly.

Christopher (TN)

I love Heyward, but he still can't hit lefthanders at all. Hard to argue for Posey-type numbers unless he really breaks out.

David Schoenfield
  (2:38 PM)

Good point. Didn't realize he was so bad last year -- .224/.280/.354.

Chris (Troy)

Dave, Kozma is the SS, Freese will be playing Monday the 8th and Allen Craig is healthy. Your argument is invalid at this point.

David Schoenfield
  (2:39 PM)

Kozma isn't good. And Freese has had one healthy season in the last four. Good luck with that.

zack (stl)

Is Matt Kemp kinda overrated? He has had one huge year mixed in with some solid ones and injury plagued ones. And lets not forget his awful 2010.

David Schoenfield
  (2:41 PM)

It's certainly possible. Had that monster April last year and then some injuries. I think he'll come close to 2011 though.

Chris (Boston)

I miss the days when 35 homers wasn't really all that many.

Tony (Rochester)

Who says no to Texas trading Profar to St. Louis for Taveras?

David Schoenfield
  (2:42 PM)

Challenge trade! Tough one ... I know Profar is the consensus top guy, but I think St. Louis turns that down.

Kevin Towers (Phoenix)

Justin Upton's HR yesterday didn't look very gritty.

Jeremy (Dallas)

I refuse to talk to you until you fix the mistake of having seattle finish ahead of texas. homer

Corinne (Delaware)

Predictions for Ryu tonight?

David Schoenfield
  (2:43 PM)

I'll say Mattingly has a quick hook even if he's pitching well. It does seem if the Asian pitchers do pretty well initially, although I believe Ryu has a more conventional delivery. I'll say 5 innings, 2 runs.

Charlie (Irvine)

More surprising- Angels bullpen giving up 1 hit over 7 or 17 strikeouts and lack of hitting from the Angels line up?

David Schoenfield
  (2:43 PM)

Well, that Cincy bullpen is nasty. Angels bullpen was great. Only one game, of course, but a good sign for them.

Chris (Troy)

Milwaukee has Corey Hart hurt again, Jean Segura starting at SS and Closer problems. They aren't as deep as STL and have less talent overall as a team and you're still picking them to beat the Cards? Good luck with that.

David Schoenfield
  (2:46 PM)

Well, as a said in the piece, there are projections and then there are predictions. You need to go out on a limb a bit. Of course, the Brewers only finished 5 games behind the Cards last year despite having the worst bullpen. And the Cards lost their best pitcher. I just don't think St. Louis is the lock everyone thinks they are. But I may be wrong!

will (livingston)

i saw in an article last week you had the cardinals 2ond in the nl, then on the official picks you have the brewers. did lohse really sway you that much? I GUARANTEE lohse will not have a year like last year in the band box of a stadium he now calls home, and axford showed yesterday its the same old same old milwaukee bullpen. I think ya got it wrong this time dave! brewers finish under .500 (especially if that cheater braun finally gets that suspension he deserves)

David Schoenfield
  (2:46 PM)

Yeah, I changed up on that one. My editor said I had to make some BOLD predictions, so I went with the Red Sox and Brewers. But the Lohse signing does help. And Pete Kozma is terrible.

Greg (LA)

I just don't get it: Kershaw has 4 consecutive years of a sub 3 ERA; Verlander has 2. In fact Kershaw has had a lower ERA than Verlander in each of the last 5 years. Results should matter.

David Schoenfield
  (2:48 PM)

We're splitting hairs here. But we're talking about right now, not what happened four years ago. And Kershaw has a lower ERA, in part, because it's easier to put up a lower ERA in the National League. I mean, I'm not really arguing here with you. They're clearly the top two guys right now.

JB (Seattle, WA)

Any thoughts from Day 1 of Jesus Montero: Full-Time Catcher? Still a work in progress, but as I saw someone note on twitter, he moved to block a pitch at one point last night better than Miguel Olivia, Professional Catcher, ever did.

David Schoenfield
  (2:50 PM)

Olivo was just plain awful. Never understood Wedge's infatuation with him. Still think Montero eventually moves off catcher and it will be interesting to see what the Mariners do with him if Mike Zunino is ready in June or July. With Morales at DH, there isn't really anywhere to move him.

Jacob (LA)

Yep Matt Kemp is overrated. 28 year old center fielders who OPS'd over 900 each of the last two years are a dime a dozen.

Marc (SF Giants Land)

Profar and Martin Perez for Giancarlo. The Marlins would say yes in a heart beat. Rangers keep Andrus and Kinsler in the middle and Mike Olt would take over for Beltre when he retires or moves on.

Charlie (Irvine)

Geeze, it's cards fans v. Dave in here right now.

will (livingston)

ok, if your so sure pete kozma is that terrible, would you be willing to wear a kozma jersey for a day if he hits say .275, with around 65 rbi's? if hes as bad as you think he is and is terrible ill wear a brendan ryan mariners jersery around for a day, i swear boy scouts honor

David Schoenfield
  (2:51 PM)

Haha. Sure, if Kozma hits .275 I'll wear a jersey (or at least a T-shirt).

Jeremy (Dallas)

I'm sorry Dave I didnt mean it. I love you man

David Schoenfield
  (2:52 PM)

You were right though. That WAS a bit of a homer pick.

Derek (Seattle)

Do you think Smoak is ready to turn the corner and come close to the hitter people projected when he was drafted?

David Schoenfield
  (2:52 PM)

Probably not, but I think he'll be better than last year. But he has a new, shorter swing from the left side!

James (Atlanta)

Did anybody ever try to explain to Kevin Towers that young players with Upton's talent don't just come to camp every year, and maybe he should forget a little bit about the grit in his case?

Andrew (Boulder)

Does a .300/.375/.575; 150 games played; 30 HR get Tulo into MVP consideration this season?

David Schoenfield
  (2:53 PM)

Not with the Rockies losing 90 games.

Matt (missouri)

Beltran scares me in right, but I think it is unfair in call Craig injury prone. His injury was a freak accident. How many guys end up with broken knee caps? He was healthy through the minors, and has only battled a muscle pull since then. Craig is poised for a big year, and I like the Cardinals line-up a lot more than the Reds. Pitching is still a question mark.

David Schoenfield
  (2:54 PM)

OK, I'll give you that one. And I do like Craig as a sleeper MVP candidate. I wrote something on this a couple weeks ago. MVP winners are often guys who have never received MVP votes before or never finished high in the balloting. Craig fits that bill, plus he's an RBI guy on a playoff contender.

Alan (St. Louis)

I think Kozma will be lucky if his OBP is .275.

Greg (LA)

Definitely Verlander is fantastic. But Kershaw has been better, not just four years ago or three or two or even last year. He was better yesterday and he'll be the best next time he pitches too. The track record shows it.

David Schoenfield
  (2:57 PM)

Verlander last two years: 2.52 ERA, 489 IP, 166 ERA+, 16.1 WAR. Kershaw last two years: 2.40 ERA, 461 IP, 156 ERA , 12.7 WAR. I think the edge pretty clearly goes to Verlander. Again .. put Verlander in Dodger Stadium and see how much his ERA drops.

Andrew (Toronto)

Who is driving things in Arizona, Towers or Gibby? Are they working in lockstep?

David Schoenfield
  (2:58 PM)

Sounds like they're on the same page.

Sean (Phoenix)

Does anybody ever try to explain the baseball fans that narratives such as 'grit' are overplayed and used out of context, and maybe they should forget a little bit about the grit in their case?

Jimmy (Chicago)

Kershaw never had a year as dominant as 2011 verlander. And if you look at WAR it's not really close. When Kershaw starts throwing 120 pitches a start then we can talk

derrick (illinois)

as a dodger fann,, kershaw v verlander...WHO CARES,, they are both the top 2 either way you rank them, just enjoy watching these 2 futer hall of famers pitch

Flemming (Copenhagen, Denmark)

When are people gonna learn to put things into perspective? A lower ERA might not be indicative of better performance if you faced inferior hitters. And the Orioles WILL NOT win AL East (like some boneheaded writer (not you, Dave) suggested) just because they might be better than last year, while the Yankees are CLEARLY worse......

Chris (Troy)

(secretly hoping Kozma goes 4 for his first 10 and then gets hurt for the season so Dave has to wear his jersey).....only kidding about the injury.

David Schoenfield
  (2:58 PM)

Minimum 100 at-bats!

Joe (New York)

It's all relative, though. While Pete Kozma is terrible, he's still 10000x the baseball player/athlete that any of us could ever dream of being.

David Schoenfield
  (3:00 PM)

Well, that is true. I'm not sure why the Cards wouldn't play Ryan Jackson, unless he's hurt and I'm not aware. When both were in Triple-A last year, Jackson usually played short, not Kozma, because he's the better shortstop. And he hit better as well.

Jason (Birmingham)

Isn't the Tigers bullpen situation really a blessing? Now Leyland can use the best matchup instead of the "9th inning guy." Is the problem that he doesn't want the responsibility of the decision?

David Schoenfield
  (3:01 PM)

I'm with you. I think everyone is overstating the Tigers' "problem." They have some good arms down there -- Alburquerque, Villareal, Smyly, Dotel, Benoit. Coke may actually be the worst of the group. They'll be fine, although I understand why a a manager may want one guy.

Johnny (Arlington)

David, how can the Dodgers make room for phenom Yasiel Puig with huge salaries locked in at all three outfield spots and at first base?

David Schoenfield
  (3:01 PM)

Well, let's see him tear up Double-A before we promote him to the majors.

Sean (Phoenix)

Would you take Pete Kozma or Willie Bloomquist at SS in a contending season?

David Schoenfield
  (3:01 PM)

Bloomquist

Andrew (Toronto)

I love how fans of a team always feel their boys are disrespected. Especially Cardinal fans - I mean, didn't ESPN just call your team the best organization in baseball?That said, Kozma is going to be terrible.

David Schoenfield
  (3:02 PM)

To be fair, fans of pretty much every team react that way. Except Yankees fans. I think even they believe the Yanks are going to stink this year.

Mike (IL)

Beltran also has a broken toe, so that could have been slowing him down somewhat yesterday. And the Cards don't like Ryan Jackson, but nobody seems to know why.

David Schoenfield
  (3:03 PM)

Thanks. Figured there had to be something there with Jackson.

Jimmy (Chicago)

Does Profar playing 2B change his value as a prospect at all? I know Klaw said position is a factor when he ranks, or is 2b/SS similar in value to an organization?

David Schoenfield
  (3:04 PM)

It doesn't hurt his trade value, because another team would still likely view him as a shortstop. And if he plays second in the majors, it may hurt his WAR, but that doesn't mean it's a bad move to play him there.

zack (stl)

Both sides would turn down a Taveras/Profar trade because it is a lot easier for a gm to survive a prospect flaming out then to survive trading a six time all star for a guy who develops chronic knee issues.

Brint (Wichita)

Who do you think has the prettiest swing in baseball? Give me your top 3 or 5. I got Mauer #1. Griffey is #1 emeritus. I have a feeling you're going to go with Cano

David Schoenfield
  (3:05 PM)

Pete Kozma?

David Schoenfield
  (3:06 PM)

Just kidding. Cano's swing is effortless. Hamilton, Votto ... it's always the lefties, isn't it?

Rastan (San Diego)

Nice piece about Matt Cain! How long do you think it takes the media/analysts to believe in guys who consistently outperform their FIP?

David Schoenfield
  (3:07 PM)

They're coming around on that. Jeremy Hellickson may be the new Matt Cain.

Brian (Fort Wayne)

Chances Cano signs somewhere else? The Yankees are a sinking ship and I don't believe he'll want to be apart of that

David Schoenfield
  (3:08 PM)

I imagine the Dodgers will have a Brinks truck waiting for him. I think it's 50/50 he goes elsewhere.

Matt (Boise)

It's going to be a tough year in the Bronx if they have to roll out the Replacement Level Yankees for more than a month...

Pete Kozma (St. Louis)

You boys talking 'bout me? Sorry, it's hard to hear you over my $400,000 salary.

Jeff (Chicago)

There's an interesting question - who has the prettiest swing among righties? Also, why do we all instantly thing of lefties?

David Schoenfield
  (3:09 PM)

I think lefties more often seem to have that loop and high finish. Not sure why.

Aaron (Huntington, Indiana)

WHY IS CLEVELAND NOT GETTING ANY CONTENDER TALK FOR THIS YEAR?

David Schoenfield
  (3:10 PM)

Because the rotation includes Ubaldo Jimenez, Brett Myers and Scott Kazmir?

Claymax (Tampa)

How do you pick the Red Sox to finish ahead of Toronto? Toronto finished ahead of them last year and made better offseason improvements for this year.

David Schoenfield
  (3:11 PM)

Went with the gut on that one.

Flemming (Copenhagen, Denmark)

Cano is gonna ask for at least 7 years. In light of the Rodriguez fiasco, shouldn't the Yankees just say no?

David Schoenfield
  (3:12 PM)

You have to think they'll be a little wary to take on a guy's 31 to 37 years, that's for sure.

andrew (ohio)

do u think ken jr is HOF ?

David Schoenfield
  (3:12 PM)

Yes

David Schoenfield
  (3:13 PM)

OK, wrapping here. Everyone send in your final thoughts for the day!

Jim (Rockville, MD)

Let's not confuse "ground-rule" double (peculiarities of the ballpark, which the umps go over with the managers during the lineup exchange) and "automatic" double (ball bouncing into the stands). Umps only have discretion on the former; for the latter, it's set at two bases.

dc (dc)

shouldnt the yankees change track and trade Cano for a few top prospects?

James (Atlanta)

Maybe Arizona fans can explain to other fans why a team would work so hard to trade an MVP-caliber player working on a team-friendly deal when he's 25?

Jeremy (Dallas)

we are so done Dave. you homer

Corinne (Delaware)

Standard video view over pitchers right shoulder might impact how we view beauty of LH swings vs. RH swings.

David Schoenfield
  (3:16 PM)

Good point!

David Schoenfield
  (3:17 PM)

OK, let's call it day! Thanks, everyone. I'll be back next Tuesday again -- somewhere around the same time, 1 or 1:30 ET.