Tribe: real deal or should I brace for a post All Star break meltdown
Have a video and piece coming up on this later this week, but I think the offense is definitely for real. Would like to see them acquire another starter and bullpen depth. But I think they can hang in there -- maybe not with Detroit, but at least in the wild-card race.
Could you see any smaller market, fringy contender like Pittsburgh or Baltimore going all in and trying to swing a deal for Cliff Lee? Should they?
Baltimore more likely than Pittsburgh. Just don't see the Pirates absorbing that salary. As for the Orioles, not sure they NEED to make that trade, since you're probably talking about Gausman/Schoop and Lee's salary would perhaps be a drag in the future. Plus, O's are good without Lee right now.
My Jordan Zimmerman pick for Cy Young is looking great. Do you think he can keep this up?
I was holding back there for awhile but it may time to admit that, yes, he's going to be a legit Cy Young contender.
Lincecum's last start, fluke or sign of things to come?
At home against an Atlanta team that had been slumping. Wouldn't read too much into it. But it does look like Lincecum will be a little better than last year.
My God, what have I done?
Darvish against Verlander on Thursday, is there an AL match-up you would rather see right now?
No. Pretty good one tonight though: King Felix versus CC.
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Narrative: the Nats have been terrible all season and the Braves have shown they are a powerhouse. Fact, Atlanta is one game up on the Nats. Doesn't it seem more likely the Nats pull away from the division eventually, now?
Someone should tell Bryce that he can stop or slow down when he gets to the wall. Replay in full speed shows he took another 3 steps before not even bracing himself. Someone on that team should buy him a crash helmet!
I'd still pick the Nats, yes. We're seeing some holes with the Braves, although let's remember they've gotten nothing yet out of Heyward and Upton the Elder.
Bryce -- pretty clear he just misjudged where he was at. That said ... he should have slowed down anyway. Running into the wall to get ONE OUT isn't worth it. Especially since it was 6-0 at the time. Davey said he's not going to tell him to change -- but he has to tell him to change.
More disappointing: Angels or Dodgers? Bonus: who's more likely to rebound?
Angels ... at the least the Dodgers will get reinforcements with Greinke & Hanley. Kemp will hit eventually. But the Angels will still be running Joe Blanton out there every five days. So I'd say the Dodgers.
I've read Epstein will be interested in bringing Ellsbury to Chicago this offseason. Assuming Boston gives a qualifying offer to Jacoby does his willingness to sign him depend on if the Cubs are bad enough to have a protected pick?
Good question. Say the Cubs end up with the 11th pick, which they would then lose. I'd probably take Ellsbury over the pick, but teams were clearly reluctant to part with picks this offseason.
Re: Jon, Narrative: The Nats are going to win the World Series, challenge '27 Yankees as best team ever. Fact: the Braves are one of the least consistent teams in baseball and leading by one game.
David, is it just me or could Joe Maddon put a little league team around his core players (Longo, ZBo, and Price) and have a .500 team? Guys an incredible coach.
I do think he's the best in the game. Liked how he was still upset after the Longo walk-off this weekend, saying they have to start playing better.
Is it too soon to call Lonnie Chisenhall a bust?
Too soon but not looking good. AKA, the Dustin Ackley Story.
Do you see the cardinals trading Matt Adams this year? He is too good to not be full time.
No. Nothing wrong with bench play. And I'm not sure he brings all that much back in a trade. Teams just don't usually give up much for a first baseman.
Is Upton the Elder really much better than what we've seen? He's always been a toolsy guy who is an average player, at best. As for Kemp, aside from about 6 weeks every season, this is who he is....a guy who looks great in a uniform, but can't put it together consistently.
Well, his OPS is .250 points lower than last year. But you're right, he's not as good as many people believe he is. But I would still expect an OPS of .700 by season's end.
What is the offensive ceiling for Gregorius? I know his minor league numbers aren't great, but the eyeball test shows a great swing with some HR power and line drives to both gaps. I think he's too aggressive right now but he has good pitch recognition. Could he be a top 10 SS offensively?
Keith Law had a piece on this young crop of shortstops. He's still not sold on Gregorius, but the few games I've seen him play I've been more impressed with the bat than I expected. He swings hard but makes pretty hard contact. Maybe he's a guy still learning. Top-10 may be a little aggressive, but it wouldn't shock me. Towers may have made a great deal here.
How does Jose Altuve hit so well in the astros lineup? Its a shame we cant see what he could do on a decent team.
He's a good hitter. Not a home run guy, so he'll get pitches to hit because of that.
Re: BJ Upton. Sometimes, a player really does strike out too much, especially when everything he manages to hit stays on the ground. That's not a great combination there.
Fly ball/groundball rate not that much different from last year. Main problem: A crapload of infield pop-ups so far.
Any word as to what's wrong with Jon Niese? He has looked awful. More walks than K's.
Mets fans? I can't confess to watching the Mets except when Matt Harvey is pitching.
Is Luhnow's not so secret plan to lose as many games as possible, and to help that process, he hired the worst possible manager?
When the whole incident happened last year, did anybody raise the question whether Bo Porter knows the rule? I didn't go back and read his comments.
Matt Harvey will have something to say about Zimmerman's Cy Young run
Why on Earth would the Cubs give up a #1 pick for Ellsbury? He's a slightly above average player who had one etreme outlier season, and turns 30 before this season ends. He's about to be vastly overpaid by somebody, but it shouldn't be the Cubs.
Because Ellsbury is more likely to give you more value than the draft pick. Sure, you MAY get a star player with that pick, a better player down the road than Ellsbury, but you're also more likely to get nothing.
Matt Harvey won't get the wins the voters love due to his team.
Re: Jeff (NYC) Harvey has been awesome but are the Mets going to let him start 30+ games this year? Or do they plan on shutting him down at a inn's limit?
Is it time for Miami to call up Christian Yelich? all the other prospects are up.
Well, I didn't get the Ozuna call-up either, but I'd wait on Yelich. 95 at-bats above Class A.
The advanced stats love Joe Blanton? I guess they can't account for when a pitcher just grooves fastballs right down the middle of the plate at Doc Brown speed (88 mph).
Adam wainright and his otherworldly 13.75K/BB walk rate will win the Cy Young, though he won't make as many starts against the Phillies, Marlins and Mets, none of whom can hit?
How about Miller for Cy? he likely won't have the innings for it, but so far, he looks a lot like Harvey.
Right, I'm sure he'll be held well under 200. But, man, that kid is good.
Re: Who me? Hear that, guys? Grit does prevail in the end!
David Ortiz has an outside chance at one day reaching the Hall of Fame. Has any other HOF player even been waived before their career got going?
I'm writing on Ortiz tomorrow. Good question. I believe Joe Cronin, Hall of Fame shortstop in the '30s, was given up on as a youngster by the Pirates before starring with the Senators. Probably been a pitcher or two.
You had guys traded before they did anything -- like Ryne Sandberg -- but that's not that same as being given up on.
My theory on Jon Niese -- he is just a good guy, who didn't want Marcum to feel bad about getting shelled, so he's doing the same.
I know they are horrible but KERSHAW CANNOT BE COUNTED OUT FOR CY YOUNG,, Felix won it with only 13 wins
I think you missed my point. Signing Elssbury would be a waste of resources. He would turn the Cubs from a very crappy team to a crappy team. He's not a difference maker, nor would his presence put them in the playoffs. They'd be better off using that money to upgrade their pitching.
Well, that's a different argument and certainly defensible. Plus ... Cubs will probably have a top-10 pick anyway.
My grandfather thinks the O's can't possibly last through the season with such a mediocre starting rotation. Is he right?
Well, I'd agree that I don't believe Freddy Garcia is the answer. They can survive if the offense and bullpen keep it up but, yes, I think they could use one more guy.
What is the logic in the Nationals hiding Harper's concussion? He clearly got one, and it's evident from his teammates' comments after the game that that's what happened. Is he risking becoming the next Eric Lindros?
Well, I don't think we can assume that based on teammate comments. As to why: If he DID have a concussion, he has to be cleared to play or face the 7-day concussion DL stint. But I don't see why the Nationals would mess around with him if that's what happened. I don't think they're hiding anything here.
Matt Moore 24.7% k rate, 13.2% bb rate 24.8% K rate 11% bb rate. I give Moore the nod for having more ability clearly and pitching in the harder league and division, but the reality is Tim has been better than it seems and Moore not as good as he has seemed. Still think he has a Cy in his future though
You mean Lincecum? Agree on Moore. He's not going to keep up that ERA walking a hitter every other inning. We've had a lot of great pitching starts, but Moore's doesn't really match guys like Harvey or Miller.
If you go to Yankee Stadium the next couple days, you should wear a Joey Cora Jersey. This way, real Yankee fans can throw things at you. :)
I once wore a Mariners hat into the bleachers at Yankee Stadium. The usher said, "You may want to take that off." They weren't even playing the Mariners that day!
The Nats don't exactly have a reputation of being reckless with players' injuries.
Why on earth did I sign Rick Ankiel? Is my outfield so bad that a guy who strikes out every other at bat is an improvement over what we already had on the roster?
No idea. Dude is striking in over half his plate appearances.
You really think PED Ortiz will make the HOF? Rice had 7 more WAR in one fewer season and he was ripped apart for making the Hall.
Well, he needs another three strong years to have a chance. It will be an uphill battle for Ortiz, PEDs aside, but he WAS one of the most famous players of his generation and that will help.
Shouldn't the Great Jack Z be trading Wilhelmson asap? His one good move was trading Putz at the top of his value. You'd think the dude could learn a lesson from himself.
He should consider it, but the truth is closers/relievers don't bring that much back in return (usually, and I could be forgetting a few good deals). Plus, they may want to see if Capps really can develop into a solid late-inning guy.
Is anyone else really sick of the PEDs and HOF dichotomy? Baseball loved having it until it all collapsed, and baseball itself certainly could've done more. Also, how do we know that there aren't users in there anyway? It just feels very sanctimonious.
Ortiz has hung out at the DH position for way too long to be considered a HOF'er
So, no Mariano Rivera? He's a specialist as well.
RE: Ian I am of the opinion unless you can catch every PED user it should not hurt their HOF chances. There is probably atleast one HOFer that has taken PEDs if not more
The esteemed writer Thomas Boswell wrote a couple years ago that sources told him that there's at least one HOFer who has used PEDs.
I once wore a Reds hat at Wrigley and they tried to kick me out - the Reds were crushing the Cubs at the time - until the fans around me told the usher I wasn't bothering anyone.
Oritz was also part of 2 Red Sox teams that won WS and that will help as well.
The Orioles rotation was in this state last season and they made it work...and the defense was terrible for the first 4 months...
"Initially, it was like he was confused,? Span said. ?I don?t think he realized he was on the ground. I think once it set in that he was on the ground, he was okay. And he just kept asking me, ?Is it bad? Is it bad??" Explain to me how that shouldn't be concerning?
Not saying it's not a concern, but why would the Nats knowingly play a guy who just suffered a concussion? They just wouldn't risk it. This isn't the 1930s anymore.
The way Harper sort of sank slowly to the ground just screamed concussion to me, but perhaps we shouldn't practice armchair neurology.
I still can't wrap my head around the case being made for strikeouts not being as bad as other outs. When the ball is put in play, the opponent has to successfully make plays. Most teams are good at this, but there is still the chance for error, which isn't so with strikeouts....Alex Cobb starts notwithstanding. Seems to me that teams who put the ball in play more often would be more successful over the course of a season.
The A's set the all-time strikeout record last year and did just fine. I would like to see guys cut down on their swings with a runner on third and one out. The Ike Davis swing on Sunday against Melancon -- down a run, Wright on third, one out. Breaking ball. Just a brutal, ugly swing.
Can you rationalize the Sabremetric assertion that K's don't matter? It makes absolutely no sense. A ball in play is better than a K 95% of the time. The league leader in hitting into DPs last yr had 20... so that's a pretty rare occurrence. Breaking ones leg running out a ground ball never happens so scratch that. I just don't get how anyone can make the case. Runner on 3rd, 1 out, infield back conceding a run. Sure the hitter could pop out. But there are about 10 ways to score that run. Whiffing isn't one of them.
It's become a trade-off: Lower batting average but more home runs. Run scoring is basically where it was in the early '90s, just done by a different means. Personally, I'd like to see fewer strikeouts to create my diversity in results and style of game, but the trend doesn't seem to be ending anytime soon.
Last thing the cubs need is to sign Ellsbury, who's gonna be 30 and injury prone one, to another long term deal. It's sounds very reminiscent of the Alfonso Soriano deal 7 years ago...
This is an easy one: Average BABIP on balls in play: .300. Average BABIP on strike-outs: Impossible to even calculate, but is essentially 0.000. One of these is much more useful than the other.
You know that's way too simplistic. Number of home runs hit on weak groundballs: Zero. See? It works both ways.
What drives me so crazy about guys like Ortiz and Thome is that they park themselves at DH and they are so bad at defense their coached don't risk them being out there. How is that HOF material? Ortiz isn't even in the top 5 best offensive players in the last 20 years
And Mariano Rivera wasn't good enough to be a starting pitcher. Again, works both ways.
The simple rationalization is that a hitter's goal is to "no make an out." Whether that out comes by strikeout, groundout, or pop out, he is trying to not make one. It doesn't really matter how he doesn't accomplish that goal.I think the mistake is the perception that sabermetrics say a strikeout is somehow good. Its still an out, no worse no better.
lol CC ever heard of jason kendall?
Relievers don't bring much? How about the Heathcliff Slocumb Haul? (Vtek, Lowe...)
That never happened.
Do "greenies" count as PEDs? Because if they do then almost all of the HOFs who played in the 60s and 70s took PEDs.
Travis Wood? You buying?
Just posted a blog before the chat started. I think so. I mean, he's not 2.03 ERA-good, but I like his chances for a sub-4.00 ERA. Decent 3/4 starter.
Just look at win-probability. An out is an out. People overreact to 'timlely' situations (runner at 3rd, 0/1 out), but the overall difference between a K and any other out is negligible.
We aren't talking about HRs versus ground ball. We're talking about different types of the same outcome -- OUTS. Come on Schoenfield!
Not sure what your argument is ... if a batter is trying NOT to strike out, he thus has focus on just putting the ball in play, which often results in weaker contact, and thus fewer extra-base hits. Sure, that approach worked for Tony Gwynn, but find me another Tony Gywnn who can slap base hits in his sleep.
Re: Brian, Ortiz maybe, but Thome has none of the PED suspicions and is in the 600 club. A DH has to get in the HOF sooner or later and he's surely the best candidate. If they don't want DHs in the Hall they should get rid of the DH, its a legitimate position like any other and its not the player's fault thats where he is put. I'm sure in his prime most NL teams would have taken Thome's 50HR at 1B and risk his glove.
And Thome did play over 1500 games in the field.
So maybe Mariano Rivera with his 39 lifetime WAR doesn't belong in the Hall? Just because a bunch of other relievers who don't belong there got enshrined, it doesn't mean the same mistake has to be continually made.
The argument is that DHs aren't Hall of Famers because they weren't good enough in the field. The corollary is that every reliever is a reliever because they're not good enough to be a starter. Yet the voters have been electing more relief pitchers lately than any other position.
Patrick Corbin? You buying? No one is talking about this guy?
I never know exactly how to answer this question. I mean, of course, he's not THIS good. His peripherals are solid, good control, strikeout OK not great, lucky on home runs so far (two in 46.1 IP), decent stuff. He'll obviously regress and as with any young pitcher, we don't know what workload he can eventually carry. For now, I like him, but we'll see.
Building a team from scratch. You can choose Harvey or Machado to build around. Which would you go with?
Machado. Position player trumps pitcher.
Joe Mauer can knock base hits in his sleep, and is the anti swing for the fences w/ runner on 3rd less than 2 outs argument.
Joe Mauer also has 33 K's in 34 games this year.
One of the reason baseball is so hard is that you have to learn to hit and field, skills that are radically different and which are usually optimized with completely different body types. A reliever still is pitching.
OK, I can buy that argument. But a lot of mediocre starters could have been great (and maybe Hall of Fame) relievers. Gossage couldn't start. Eckersley was a good starter, but a Hall of Fame reliever. Rivera bombed out as a starter as a rookie. They're still specialists in my book, performing an easier job than a starting pitcher.
Shelby Miller or Matt Harvey Longterm? Miller is two years younger.
I don't pay as much attention to age with pitchers. Harvey went to college, Miller didn't, but I don't their age difference is a factor in development. Both are great, Harvey has more pitches right now. It really comes down to questions we can't answer yet: Durability and health. Or maybe that's one question.
next week is the 2 year anniversary of the Macho Man passing away. I heard he was a pretty good minor league player in the Cardinals system once upon a time. Could you imagine the postgame interviews if he had made it to the major leagues.
Is mitch moreland playing profar out of town?
I think Moreland may be playing Ian Kinsler to the outfield in 2014.
Except you don't have to hit and field...because there is the DH. By that argument maybe AL pitchers shouldn't be allowed in the Hall as they don't have to hit?!
I wish Markakis would strike out more. Lineup isnt as important as some think but do you agree with him batting third over Jones and Davis?
I think Buck likes having his OBP in front of Jones and Davis. I'm fine with him hitting there.
Relievers belong in the Hall because relief pitching is a significant part of baseball, and the Hall of Fame should honor the entire game.
Hey David, just wanted to point out an error on ESPN.com. The stat page for Vernon Wells lists him currently having an .875 OPS. I haven't watched any baseball this year, but as an Angels fan I know this is impossible.
Ortiz isn't so much better than other hitters that is lack of fielding is covered. Just as the hitting requirements of the SS are different than 1B, we can talk about the different expecations. What should the requirements be for a DH?
Regarding the DH, would a bad 3B like Cabrera have had a higher or lower WAR if he had been a DH last year? Isn't his WAR penalized because of his bad defense? In which case, DHs who simply can't play the field (like Ortiz) are being overvalued...
There MAY be some truth there -- not necessarily with Miggy last year since his defense didn't rate poorly. But you'd have to be a pretty horrible fielder for the fielding penalty to cancel out the "penalty" for being a DH.
Eck wasn't a even good starter any more when they made him a reliever.
When will Ned Yost figure out that Wade Davis simply isn't starter material? The Rays managed to figure it out in their own time.
Yeah, I agree. Watched his game against the Yankees over the weekend. His stuff just doesn't play up like it does in the pen. Wade Davis: Future Hall of Fame closer!
Do the Astro's pass on Appel? If so, how far does he fall? I can't see the cubs passing on him...
Astros *may* pass, to use some of their bonus pool money for later picks. A lot of strategy there. Although it seems from Keith Law's latest reports that Appel has clearly separated himself from the next group of players.
Interesting stat: Francoeur's BABIP is right at his career average despite the fact that he's hitting far fewer line drives and far more infield flies and getting far more infield hits. In other words, he's hitting 229/266/322 because he's been getting really lucky.
There are plenty of DH's in the Hall right now- the rules of their time just said they had to go play in the field, not to play well when there...compare Ortiz to those guys- Killebrew and some of the 1B/OF types for example, and see how he matches up as a hitter.
The point some of these chatters are missing is that you're comparing outs by K to outs by other means. You're NOT comparing outs by K to a runner reaching by error or a seeing-eye single. Yes, I'd rather have a batter swing and hit a grounder with 2 strikes than swing and miss, but if the grounder results in an out, then there's very little difference. Did that make sense?
The Jays kind of stink so far, but Casey Janssen is sensational. Another failed starter who made it as a closer.
Given that the Mets have a lot of young arms on the way and no bats, and the Orioles pitching at the ML level is lacking, is it crazy to think about trading Harvey for Machado then? Teams never seem to trade young stars for young stars, but it seems to fill a hole for both teams, no?
Yes, it's crazy. The Orioles would never do that trade.
OK ... time to run. Thanks, everyone. Good stuff today!