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May 24, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Jesse Rogers, Doug Padilla

Jesse Rogers
  (1:01 PM)

Hey folks, welcome to our weekly baseball chat..Doug Padilla will be along at 1230 talking sox but lets start with some Cubs talk. Im back from Pitt where I saw Matt Garza's debut and the Cubs lose 3 more tight ones...fire away with questions

Chris (San Diego)

Envious Padres fan here. What do you see about of Anthony Rizzo that's different than when he was in San Diego?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:02 PM)

Well, I didint see him up close in San Diego but I think its the obvious things: experience and confidence..It doesnt hurt to have people that REALLy believe in you like Jed/Theo considering they've traded or drafted him several times..He's just a good kid, with natural talent that needed work..he put it in and he's coming along

Diehardcub1984 (Addison,Illinois)

As much as the Cubs need pitching I feel we should draft Kris Bryant next month. I like Gray but nothing is guarenteed with pitching and Boras will sink Appel. The Cubs should follow their model from last year and draft pitching from the 2nd round on. What's your sentiments?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:04 PM)

Im going to go other direction and say take the pitcher..no one is a guarantee but one of those top guys could help as soon as next year and theyve done the position player route for a while..I say roll the dice on the next Chris Sale and see what happens...pitching is so key..

Andy K [via mobile]

Of all the Cubs' prospects, who has the highest ceiling?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:06 PM)

I personally still think it's Soler...starting with his body-type, those guys dont come along everyday..and I just feel like he has the most possible tools to succeed including patience at the plate...but these are tough calls this early on, but that's my opinion...and granted I havent seen enough of Almora to say for sure about anything

Brian Murray [via mobile]

Do you think Garza will be traded soon? It will the cubs lock him up for a few more years?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:09 PM)

What's soon? No chance until July sometime..he has to prove he's healthy and capable...I cant tell you which way it will go because I dont know what his demands will be...I honestly dont think he knows until he pitches some more..I def think the Cubs would keep him at the right price and length...and I think they would be fair about that...its sort of in his court in my opinion..he wants 5 yrs at 15-20? forget it..3 at 12-14? maybe..prob is Jackson makes 13, so....

Joel (Coffee shop in West Town)

Javier Baez seems to have regressed to a remarkable degree. Is the FO worried about him?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:09 PM)

Not that I know of but they want to see more walks and patience at the plate..he wont advance unless he does..he's been better lately

Bryan(Plainfield) [via mobile]

Any chance the Cubs would trade for a guy like Headley or Price??? Maybe trade some mid level prospects??

Jesse Rogers
  (1:11 PM)

Sure...why not..but easier said than done..they really need to do some long term planning on that starting staff...1-5..who is it going to be when we are ready to win? but even if they dont plan and just keep acquiring pitchers thats fine too...itll all work out in the wash.

Jesse Rogers
  (1:11 PM)

Sure...why not..but easier said than done..they really need to do some long term planning on that starting staff...1-5..who is it going to be when we are ready to win? but even if they dont plan and just keep acquiring pitchers thats fine too...itll all work out in the wash.

Kevin (Wrigleyville )

I love how theo is signing our talent with great contracts for multiple years, are we on the right track to putting a consistent winner on the field and what could be a realistic timetable for that? Another 2-3 years?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:12 PM)

Yeah, 2 more years including this one puts them on the track to contention..maybe even next yr for wild card..its weird, in some ways they are still far off but in others they are closer than we think...maybe this starting staff is fooling us all, maybe not...a huge key is CASTRO...superstar? or not?

Bryan(Plainfield) [via mobile]

Who do you think will be traded this year?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:13 PM)

DeJesus, Feldman if he keeps pitching like this, Gregg, maybe Sori

Peter (Quincy)

Is Wellington Castillo considered a part of the Cubs "core" moving forward? his hitting is decent; is he regarded as a good receiver? He's def. above average in throwing guys out at 2nd.

Jesse Rogers
  (1:15 PM)

I think they like him, yes. Absent another great catcher out there he's coming along...little better plate discipline would be nice. He has a rocket for an arm..a lot steals against him are off the pitcher..so yeah, looks like he's here for a while...

dwayne (indiana)

bogusevic's numbers are crazy in AAA. is he going to get a shot with the cubs or what?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:16 PM)

Good question...I think when they make some trades later in the year he comes up...Sveum really wants him to play every day..thats the ironic part..Sweeney gets called up cause he's not really in any future plans..not that Bogusevic is, but he're more of an "unknown" to them...so def later in the summer...

Bill (Chicago)

At this point can we safely assume Ian Stewart will never appear as a Cub at the ML level again?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:17 PM)

Yes we can assume that

Jesse Rogers
  (1:18 PM)

I tend to agree...at some point you just have to stop over thinking things and roll the dice..are those guys you mention all talented? yes. go for it..convince garza to take a "dicsount" if you have to, etc.

Jack (Chicago) [via mobile]

Any chance Castro moves down in the order to 5th or 6th. I'd like to have a guy in the 2 hole who can handle the bat extremely well especially with the way dejesus has been hitting

Jesse Rogers
  (1:19 PM)

Eventually I think so..just not yet or maybe even this year...

Lee (Chicsgo)

Do you think Castro needs to sit for a few games?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:19 PM)

I think he should get a rest every so often...playing every day hasnt exactly made him grow..a mental break can be good, and in this case I think its needed every so often

Austin (Arizona) [via mobile]

Will Castro ever become a power hitting shortstop?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:20 PM)

Im waiting..I thought he would be the team MVP and he's dissapointed me

Matt (Alsip)

Do you believe Samardjiza's relatively low mileage at age 28 plays a factor into how the Cubs' camp values him in their long-term plan?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:21 PM)

I think everything is a factor but not sure your point has any huge value...if he's good and durable they'll keep him around..

Patrick Schadler (Raleigh)

I am not sold on Sveum being the manager of the future. I am getting tired of all these shifts and poor bullpen decisions (putting in Rondon and Camp when up 3-0 and need to hold a lead). What do you think his timetable is if he fails to turn the Cubs into a respectable team?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:23 PM)

Tough call..especially when they trade people like last yr..puts the manager in a tough spot, HOWEVER all these close games mean a manager has to be on top of EVERYTHING, and Im more in agreement with you than disagreement..I think its the little things that matter..why Borbon played a 2nd night in a row against a lefty after a awful first night in pitt is beyond me..I think it cost them the game..close games will expose and maybe thats been the case here...after next yr they will make a decision on him, in my opinion

Billy (Moline, IL)

In regards to 3rd base, the FO told Stewart that Vitters is the 3B of the future. Do you consider Vitters still to be a legit option for the future? Where do you see him with the Cubs?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:24 PM)

Apprarently the FO wasnt that direct with Stewart though that's how he interpreted it.Its more like "we need to find out if hes the future." anyway, he can win the job if he proves it...but has to do just that

Dale (KY)

Do Sveum and Rowson talk constantly to the young players about taking walks? If Castro walked twice a week, he would be a top 50 player. If he walked every other game he would be top 20. Everyone knows with 2 strikes he is going to get a breaking ball he can't reach. Why does he not know this?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:26 PM)

$1,000,000,000 question. They talk, what gets through is another story...you can tell the frustration in the coaches when they let thier guard down

Wiliam, New Lenox, illinois [via mobile]

How concerned should the cubs be with E-Jax?? I mean I realize he is not an ace, but he's better then how he is pitching .. Right?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:27 PM)

I think only a little right now...maybe its just a bad year..if thats the case then he'll need to come back with a better one...at least when they are ready to win, he better be...but it is less than 2 months so lets see..

Andy (Cedar Falls)

How long is the FO willing to accept Darwin Barney's .200 BA because of his tremendous defense? I'd like to see Logan Watkins get a shot

Jesse Rogers
  (1:29 PM)

Until Watkins or someone else is ready they'll accept it..he's still learning and there are moments you think he's turned a corner than comes a slump...he's doing well not but lets see...if Watkins has another huge OBP yr then he has to be give a chance..to me, he seems like a perfect jed/theo player

Theodore (Homer Glen)

Would the cubs even think of trading castro? Maybe to a team like the Rays for David Price?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:30 PM)

Its a great question and I think the fact that he has a tradeable contract without a no-trade clause means yes they would...definitely.

Jesse Rogers
  (1:31 PM)

Thats it for me..sorry didint get to all the questions..hang in there..they could be playing worse..they're in a lot of games..it does count for something..Doug Padilla is up next for sox questions..follow me on twitter @espnchicubs and email me if you need something answered at jrogers@espnchicago.com talk next week after cubs/sox!

Doug Padilla
  (1:32 PM)

Time to talk White Sox. Send your questions now. Here we go.

Luis (Chicago)

Do you think the Sox have ever thought about tanking a season or two and score a #1 draft pick or two like a Bryce Harper or a Stephen Strasburg?

Doug Padilla
  (1:35 PM)

Crazy talk. The White Sox have fielded competitive teams for a while now and for the last decade plus have been in the mix, aside from a few setbacks here and there. At some point in the future maybe they go the rebuild route, but there is no plan for "tanking" as you say. While many No. 1 picks turn out to be great major league players, a Harper is never guaranteed.

Nick (Michigan)

When Beckham comes back, who will be the odd-man out? Hopefully it's Kepp.

Doug Padilla
  (1:38 PM)

Yeah, it looks like Keppinger goes the utility route when Beckham returns. Gillaspie has not only been producing offensively at 3B, but he gives the lineup that third lefty bat to provide better balance. Not only that, but Gillaspie has been better than advertised with the glove. No word yet, but expect Beckham back by the end of the homestand.

Derrick (Chi)

Is Hawkins 167 average in the minors worrying Hahn and company?

Doug Padilla
  (1:40 PM)

I wouldn't say they are worried he won't be the player they hoped. He's only in A-ball with a lot of developing to do. The talent potential is undeniable. That being said, his strikeout totals are alarming. A shoulder injury earlier this month didn't help. As of now, just consider it growing pains.

tboz (southside)

What are the realistic expectations for Danks?

Doug Padilla
  (1:43 PM)

Tough one. His velocity isn't back completely so he will have to adjust. But we're not talking about a guy going from Randy Johnson and turning himself into Jamie Moyer. Control was always a strength for Danks and if he continues to have it, his transition back will be a lot better. Expect him to be up and down until the All-Star break and perhaps then he can get on track. But he really won't be all the way back until next year, perhaps.

curley (Manor)

Is sale expected to make his next start? And what's the deal with him anyways? Is this going to be a problem throughout his career?

Doug Padilla
  (1:46 PM)

It would be surprising if he didn't start Tuesday. He was determined to not have to skip the outing this week. He wanted to be up front about soreness so the White Sox felt it was prudent to skip him this time through. It isn't a bad idea since he was on pace for just under 240 innings this year. The biggest concern might be that maybe Sale isn't up front about soreness the next time because he thinks the team might not let him pitch. That could be dangerous.

Chris (Topeka)

Are the White Sox organization confident in Robin? Or he is basically going to be gone after his 3rd year?

Doug Padilla
  (1:48 PM)

The organization loves him and by all accounts he enjoys what he's doing. But it was interesting to hear this spring that he wanted to wait on a contract extension. Some people took that as Robin maybe wanting to keep the exit door unblocked after his third year.

steve griffith (chicago)

who do you think we can get to replace paulie after this season. can we ge someone at the same price range as paulies getting paid these last 3 or 4 years? and who goes to 3 bases now that beckhams back.

Doug Padilla
  (1:50 PM)

We've already addressed Beckham. As for a Konerko replacement, don't look for the White Sox to add a first baseman after this year even if Konerko doesn't return. Dunn still has another year on his deal and there has already been discussions over the possibility of moving Viciedo there at some point.

Vinny (New Jersey)

I know Flowers handles to pitching staff well, that is evident. But he just looks TERRIBLE at he plate, its not like he has a track record where they could say he is slumping. He has always swung and missed, and had poor pitch recognition. whats a realistic time table for a change (phegley can't do worse).

Doug Padilla
  (1:53 PM)

Agreed that Flowers looks lost at the plate a lot of the time. The guy is in his first full year so some speed bumps were expected. They are willing to be patient for a number of reasons, one of which is that the pitching staff, as you say, is doing well, especially the starters. Sort of hard to quit on the guy after less than two months. Not sure the rest of the team will take that type of move very well.

John (Chicago)

Josh Phegley is tearing up the minor leagues, but how do you fit him on the Sox roster?

Doug Padilla
  (1:56 PM)

As for Phegley, it doesn't make it any easier on Flowers that the White Sox have a Triple-A catcher who is on fire. And what's the guarantee Phegley doesn't fall into the same adjustment trap that Flowers is running into? The team is committed to Flowers for now. They won't have both Flowers and Phegley on the same roster. They both have to play full time.

Lee (Chicago)

Is paulie's bat speed to slow?

Doug Padilla
  (1:59 PM)

His bat speed is definitely better. His home run against the Red Sox helps him at least mentally, because he said he had been feeling better for almost a week and still wasn't getting results. But no doubt his swing was nowhere where he needed it to be.

Ryan (Aurora)

Presuming Gavin Floyd is not resigned, where do the Sox put that money in the future? Will they keep the payroll up where it is and pursue free-agents? If so, where would you anticipate they look? Will it be on another pitcher, or will they look to spend it elsewhere?

Doug Padilla
  (2:03 PM)

The guess here is that not only Floyd, but Konerko is gone as well. That gives them a lot of money to play with, but there is an expectation that payroll might drop a little. Not to worry, spending more isn't always the answer, spending smart is. Look for them to get a No. 3-type starter (behind Sale and Peavy) who is an innings eater. But those guys aren't necessarily cheap either. Just ask the Cubs, who signed Edwin Jackson, who fits that description perfectly. They are also going to need production to replace what Konerko gives them.

Doug Padilla
  (2:04 PM)

FYI, the White Sox just made it official and reinstated John Danks from the DL. He will start tonight, of course. Donnie Veal was sent down Wednesday to open that roster spot.

Doug Padilla
  (2:06 PM)

Thanks for the questions. Let's do this again next week. Hope to see many of you at the ballpark this weekend, or at least those of you that aren't in Topeka and New Jersey.

Doug Padilla
  (2:06 PM)

Remember, you can always follow on Twitter: @ESPNChiSox.