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May 28, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with David Schoenfield

David Schoenfield
  (1:01 PM)

Let's talk some baseball on this excellent Tuesday afternoon/morning ...

Michael (Atlanta)

What current division leader do you think will be the first to lose their lead in the division?

David Schoenfield
  (1:03 PM)

Last year on Memorial Day, seven teams were tied for first place (tie in the AL East). Only two of the seven ended up winning their division (Reds, Nationals), so, yes, good chance a few of these teams will lose their leads. As for the first to lose, well, I guess I'd go with Boston since they're only a game up.

Tarek (NYC)

What's worse, Yankees not producing All-Star's in the 00's or producing them in the 80's but trading them away to other teams before they ever play for the Yanks? McGriff, McGee etc....

David Schoenfield
  (1:04 PM)

To be fair, when you're drafting in the late first round every year (if it all), it is difficult to draft those surefire All-Stars. But the only players they've drafted since Jeter/Pettitte/Posada to become All-Stars have been Robertson and Hughes. (Not counting Cano here.)

Dale (San Francisco)

I look at Donaldson and I know he's probably too old to be suddenly this good but he is very aggressive yet exhibits good bat control and watching him daily he looks legit. Any chance he finishes season with .900 OPS? (Fyi Currently .950)

David Schoenfield
  (1:06 PM)

He's been so good -- average, home runs, doubles and like you said, good SO/BB ratio -- that I think that's a possibility. Strike zone control usually stabilizes after 100 PAs or so, so it appears Donaldson's improvement there may be for real.

Chris (San Diego)

Which team do you think has more upside this year and in the near future? Your beloved Mariners, or their bitter rival, the Padres?

Dale (San Francisco)

If A's go 19-0 against the Astros does that guarantee Oakland a spot in the playoffs. At first it was meant to be kind of a joke but now its a kind of a serious question.

David Schoenfield
  (1:07 PM)

Good question. Mariners have two aces, which goes a long way, but Padres have the better offensive core, especially if they keep Headley. I'd probably say San Diego since it's easier to piece together a pitching staff than a lineup.

David Schoenfield
  (1:08 PM)

A's question -- I'd have to think so. With the Astros historically bad and the Mariners pretty bad, I think we're going to see two playoff teams from the AL West. And it wouldn't surprise me if it's three.

Will (Livingston)

David,I'll be at work today while you are chatting so id thought id submit this early question, in hopes it gets answered when i read the chat wrap later.When are you going to finally admit that Pete Kozma is not as terrible as you think he is!? when are you going to finally stop saying "small sample size" he has committed only one error at shortstop (yes he has somehwat limited range) but he fields the balls that are hit to him . he is also hitting .276, including over .300 with RISP. He has over 20 rbi's now I believe. which is GREAT production from your #8 hitter. admit it Dave, you want to buy into the kosmanian devil!

David Schoenfield
  (1:11 PM)

Hey, he was one of my three starts of the weekend! I could be wrong. Maybe he's one of those guys who just focuses better at the major league level. Yes, he's been adequate so far, but not quite ready to declare he's anything better than slightly above replacement level.

Candy (Slippery Rock)

David, what's wrong with BJ Upton? He's basically been slumping the whole year.

David Schoenfield
  (1:12 PM)

Striking out in over a third of your at-bats is a problem. Braves fans, any idea here? Mechanical? Confidence? Needs glasses? Any clue?

Kevin (Orlando/Tampa Bay)

Fernando Rodney is going to give me a heart attack!!! If he keeps this up, how long does Joe M. keep giving him the ball?

David Schoenfield
  (1:13 PM)

Considering Rodney's track record is one good (great) season, not much longer. Five blown saves already is unacceptable.

Brian (CA)

Dubious title, but is Brandon Crawford the best #8 hitter right now? Is there a better spot to put him in in the lineup?

David Schoenfield
  (1:14 PM)

Not Pete Kozma?

David Schoenfield
  (1:15 PM)

NL team with the highest OPS in the eighth spot is actually the Braves. Giants are second. I think the Braves have used several guys there.

Mous (Kansas City, Mo)

Why was Ackley sent down? We think he is playing great!

David Schoenfield
  (1:16 PM)

Ha. Man, what happened to him? Was talking about this with one of my editors this morning? Does it seems like of potential young star hitters have regressed? Ackley, Hosmer, Moustakas, Montero, etc.?

Rob (DC)

Machado has been a doubles machine this year. Any chance he breaks this single season record (on pace to do so)? Also when he fills out more in the next couple years do you think some of those doubles will find their way over the wall and he could be a 25 HR guy?

Gregg H (NYC)

Manny Machado has been truly spectacular this year. What kind of career comparison can you envision?

David Schoenfield
  (1:20 PM)

On pace for 73. Record is 67 by Earl Webb, although nobody has really challenged the record since the 1930s. Certainly seems reasonable that as he matures some of the doubles turn into home runs (especially in that park). Good study to see if that actually happens. Or do fly balls turn into home runs? And it could be that he never gets enough loft in his swing. Anyway, as for career ... what about a Scott Rolen comparison? Great D, excellent bat, 30-homer power. Rolen with even more upside?

Alex (OH)

How do you think Choo has been in CF defensively so far?

David Schoenfield
  (1:22 PM)

If the Reds are going to putz around in left field until Ludwick comes back in August, why not move Choo there and get a center fielder? I don't think he's been good and is probably borderline unplayable there.

John (Cincinnati, OH)

Dusty wants Garza and Cueto to just fight it out. So who you got?

David Schoenfield
  (1:23 PM)

They both leave in the third round with an injury?

John (Cincinnati, OH)

Much talk about disappointment of Hosmer and Moustakas to develop at MLB level. With them below replacement level, is there any chance Royals make playoffs? Should heads roll for the failure of top prospects to deliver at MLB level?

David Schoenfield
  (1:24 PM)

No. There season depending on the starting pitcher being better (which it has) and those two developing into stars. Not just decent players, but 4-win-caliber players. And that's not happening.

Robert (Dallas)

Are the Dodgers already regretting the Ethier's contract?

David Schoenfield
  (1:25 PM)

Yep. Shocker. Oh, wait, no it's not surprising at all.

BassmanUW (Chicago)

I'd go with Boston as well for most likely to lose their lead, not just because they're a game up but because of the quality of the other teams in their division. The only other teams that are less than 2 games up are the Cardinals and D-Backs, and I think in the long run they both only have one other team competing with them for the division crown in the Reds and Giants respectively.

Max (Boston)

On what basis do you think Phillies ownership evaluates Ruben Amaro? I'm a Phillies fan living in Boston; last night was brutal. It was my first game in-person, and the team is so much worse than it looks on TV. The players stink, the stars are old and injured, and the money is so unevenly distributed that there are no "solid pro" types to pick up the slack. I just don't understand why ownership keeps him around - any insight?

David Schoenfield
  (1:27 PM)

No insight. But I assume the Phillies owners have never read "Moneyball."

Byron Buxton (Cedar Rapids, IA)

I'm bored. Time to move me up?? I'd love to hit in front of that Sano guy. He seems pretty good.

David Schoenfield
  (1:28 PM)

I think so. And can't wait for Sano to get called up to New Britain. Right around the corner here in Connecticut.

Brian (CA)

Do you see the Dodgers and/or Padres climbing into the NL West race and making that division an absolute cluster...something?

David Schoenfield
  (1:29 PM)

Don't see the Padres having the pitching to do. Dodgers ... they've dug a nice hole, but I suppose you could make an argument that if Kemp's shoulder suddenly heals and Greinke is healthy and Hanley comes back and the bullpen suddenly improves ... well, then you can make a case. That's too many ifs for me, however.

Rowdy (Evanston, IL)

Dave, I understand the recent preponderance to downplay RBI, but if Miggy ends up actually getting his currently projected 198...that's still pretty remarkable, no?

David Schoenfield
  (1:31 PM)

Yes, even if RBIs are overrated, it's still FUN to see him pursue the record. I don't think it will happen -- teams just don't put enough runners on base these days for even a hitter as good as Cabrera to get that many ribbies -- but people should understand that Cabrera gets a lot of RBIs because he's great, and not that he's great because he gets a lot of RBIs.

Tarek (NYC)

Was there a actual scheduled double header yesterday? What year is this 1983? And how awesome would it be if the scheduled a couple more each year.

David Schoenfield
  (1:32 PM)

I guess there was. I was looking for a reason the D-backs and Rangers played, but couldn't find one. I guess it was just a scheduled thing.

Nate (Hagerstown, MD)

Can ANY of those guys you mentioned (Ackley, Smoak, Montero, Moose, and Hosmer) be "saved" by another team? If so, who matches up (not in trade logistics, but with a good developmental staff)?

David Schoenfield
  (1:34 PM)

Well, the only likely to be traded is Ackley, with Nick Franklin getting called up. Sure, a change of scenery could help and there are teams that need a second baseman, but I suspect the Mariners will see if Ackley can find his stroke and confidence in Triple-A before shopping him around.

Matt (Rochester, NY)

That must have been hard for you Mr. Schoenfield, to complement your bitter rival the Padres.

David Schoenfield
  (1:36 PM)

I know. I hate those guys. Ever since Bip Roberts. Annoying little pest that guy was.

Greg (LA)

is there any precedent for sending a $160M guy to the minors? Kemp looked brutal last night.

David Schoenfield
  (1:36 PM)

So you're saying you're not happy with Kemp's performance so far?

Eddie (Fresno)

Back to the A's/Astros comments...back in 1993, the Braves won the NL West by a game over the Giants mostly because they went 15-0 against the Rockies.

David Schoenfield
  (1:37 PM)

So I looked up -- yep, 13-0 to be exact, but good call. Giants went 10-3. And 6-7 against the Braves. Go 7-6 and the division is still theirs.

Matt (Steinway)

Am I the only person who thinks Bud Selig will not be looked at very favorably by history? While revenues have grown under him, it seems like everything he touches ends up bad for the game. Letting teams like the Marlins profit off of revenue sharing while bilking their city. "Bridge Loans" and a free all star game to the failed Wilpon ownership group. Refusal to implement meaningful replay. Refusal to provide any oversight on officiating. His insistence on the poor draft system. Now limiting international spending. And does anybody really think that he was not fully and completely aware of PEDs in the 90's/00's? They are the major reason why baseball resurged in popularity. I know the "business" has been great under Selig. The rest? I think his successor will have a lot of cleaning up to do.

David Schoenfield
  (1:40 PM)

Sadly, I'm not sure how many owners care about anything but the "business" side. The umpiring situation should have been addressed years ago, but that would cost money. Triple-A umps $15,000. Guys in the low minors even less. This is your system to attract quality people to that job? And the game's integrity is hurt by this and that shows up somewhere in the bottom line.

John (Pittsburgh)

Is it really possible that the Pirates have 6 all-stars? (Starling Marte, Andrew, McCutchen, Jason Grilli, AJ Burnett, Jeff Locke, and Mark Melancon) Who will actually make it?

David Schoenfield
  (1:41 PM)

Well, that wouldn't certainly be a change from the days when Mike Williams and his 6+ ERA was the Pirates' rep. Probably not all those guys. As good as Burnett and Locke have been, there are probably a dozen good starting pitching candidates in the NL, so somebody will get squeezed.

Mike (San Diego)

Is Matt Carpenter one of the unsung heroes of 2013 so far? All that guy does is get on base and the Cardinals offense has been humming since he went to the leadoff spot.

David Schoenfield
  (1:42 PM)

Absolutely. Have a post going up later today from our Cardinals blogger on Carpenter.

John (STL)

Any chance of seeing the Profar for Taveras trade, or any other trade involving Profar? If they are going to play Andrus at SS, it seems like the Rangers aren't getting full value out of a potentailly special player.

David Schoenfield
  (1:45 PM)

While that deal sort of seems logical (although Will in Livingston says Kozma is legit) it would take two gutsy GMs to make the trade. Plus, Jon Daniels' job isn't to maximize Profar's value necessarily, but to maximize the number of wins for the Rangers. And maybe he believes that's best done by eventually playing Profar at second and moving Kinsler to the outfield. (Plus, I don't think the Cardinals trade Taveras.)

Nate (Hagerstown, MD)

How long can Liriano and Locke hold up for the Pirates? Locke is quietly crafty. Unless you're a FIP kinda guy.

David Schoenfield
  (1:46 PM)

Obviously, I have big doubts on Locke. Even "crafty" pitchers can rarely maintain a .230 BABIP all season. Jeremy Hellickson did it a couple years ago but that's a rare exception.

Matt (St. Paul)

Safest division lead: Detroit? this is as close to an elite team as there is in either league, and they have no legit competition in their division.

Tarek (NYC)

is this year the pirates make it too .500? Do they have any more end of the year trips to Atl?

David Schoenfield
  (1:48 PM)

Only one trip to Atlanta! June 3-4-5. All I can say is ... I hope so. Would be great for all the great Pirates fans to have their team in a pennant race in late September.

Eric (Boston)

The Bip Roberts reference made my day. Thank you.

Alec (Branson, MO)

Can we just accept that the Profar Taveras trade is never happening? Even if Kozma isn't legit, Beltran is a free agent (and an old one at that) after this year, and the Cards will need a new right fielder.

Mike (Memphis)

Short season leagues are starting in about 3 weeks. It looks like, through sheer luck, Shaq Thompson will probably get a hit before either the Marlins or Astros win 25 games.

David Schoenfield
  (1:50 PM)

And there's our Shaq reference for the day!

Duffy (MD)

Okay the Dodgers are regretting Ethier's contract but how much remorse must they have over Kemp's? Can they possibly bring up Puig or Pederson and make room for them in the outfield? How much time is Van Slyke likely to get in light of his significant extra base & RBI production?

AA (Allentown)

Why won't Mattingly just drop Kemp to 8th? Not as much pressutre there. Obviously w/ his uber lack of confidence right now, there is no way he should be in the heart of the lineup. Scott Van Slyke is far more of a threat right now - how depressing is that!!!!!!!!!!

David Schoenfield
  (1:52 PM)

I've always liked Van Slyke! Anyway, I guess the debate is: Is Matt Kemp at 80 percent or whatever worth playing? Right now the answer is probably no considering he's at -0.4 WAR. Part of the problem is the Dodgers view Kemp as a center fielder when the metrics suggest he's not a good center fielder.

Bob (MKE)

A local columnist just described Scooter Gennet as "can't miss". That's in comparison to the rest of the Brewers farm system, right?

Jeff (Madison, Wi)

I hear the Brewers will be sellers at the trading deadline. Who would they trade that anyone would buy?

David Schoenfield
  (1:53 PM)

Back-to-back Brewers questions! I imagine they'll shop Aramis Ramirez. Maybe try to sell high on Aoki.

Tarek (NYC)

I got offered Kemp and Zobrist for McClutch in a fantasy league. That shows you how awful Kemp has been even fantasy wise. Poor Donnie, your days are numbered.

John (Cincinnati, OH)

more WAR for 2013: Kemp or AROD?

David Schoenfield
  (1:54 PM)

Good one ... readers?

Bob (MKE)

Take a look at the Brewers roster. There are 3 legit All-Star candidates (Braun, Gomez, Segura), and two more playing well enough to get some consideration (Aoki, Henderson). When was the last time a team had 4 every day players this good, but was this bad?

David Schoenfield
  (1:55 PM)

Good question. I'll try to look that up somehow.

Mitch (Mahwah, NJ)

I just picked up Wacha. What should I expect?

David Schoenfield
  (1:57 PM)

Big guy (6-6), good fastball command, touches 95, plus changeup, curveball. Didn't have a big K rate in Triple-A, although he's been better his past several starts. He's supposedly pretty polished (had a great spring training) but I suspect he may have a bit of an adjustment period in the majors.

juliewongferra (nyc)

What's the word on Yovanni Gallardo? He hasn't gotten on track at all this year.

David Schoenfield
  (1:58 PM)

Very disappointing. I thought this guy was going to be a star, but just hasn't developed that consistent command.

Tarek (NYC)

Kemp, come on, A-Rod may not even play more than 10 games. Then again, he won't have a negative WAR as well.

Butch (Pullman, WA)

One more Shaq Thompson reference please....from a WSU fan. Once Shaq gets his first hit, how long will it take the Dodgers to sign him to a 10 year, $200 million contract?

Tom (Plymouth)

I get RBI's are overrated, but Joe Mauer has 16 and is on pace for 54, how is that even possibly for somebody hitting .339, it is not like there isn't anybody on base?

David Schoenfield
  (2:00 PM)

He's hitting .333 with runners in scoring position. So it appears the answer is: There hasn't been anybody on base.

Tristen (Dayton, OH)

Dave,Choo not been good in center?!?! Take statistics out of it he has far exceeeded everyone's expectations as far as him being able to field the ball. Defense is defense and it isn't the only part of playing the game. You dont expect anyone to be perfect but to say he is unplayable in center field is pushing it a little bit.

JJ (MPLS)

Mauer has had no one on base in front of him. He has been hittng 2nd in the Twins order w/ Dozier, Florimon, Carroll, Escobar in front of him... and they aren't exactly setting the world on fire.

John (Cincinnati, OH)

per Heyman, Kemp is slugging .160 with runners in scoring position. Wow!

David Schoenfield
  (2:03 PM)

What is worth a wow.

BassmanUW (Chicago)

At current rates, Choo is going to allow 20 more runs than the average center fielder. He's been awful there. The Reds would be much better with Choo shifted to left and Heisey in center.

Dozier (Minnesota)

Dave- I should be sent down. I am not a major leaguer. Let me take Parmelee with. Then the club had the stupidity to expose Benson to waivers and he's gone. He could ahve played instead of Parmelee. It's just a matter of getting healthy. Why do I bat second or lead off? Gardy doesn't know, either.

David Schoenfield
  (2:05 PM)

Ron Gardenhire has never exactly been an expert on constructing batting lineups.

Matt (CA)

Josh Donaldson got called up on August 14th, 2012. Since then he's played 98 games and hit .308/.377/.522. Kid's a star now.

B Mand (Sarasota, FL)

Do you think it is a coincidence that Smoak, Montero, and Ackley have all failed to develop as their talent suggests, or do you think the Mariners' organization is to blame?

David Schoenfield
  (2:07 PM)

I think that's the great unknown -- not just with the Mariners, but all of baseball. I do think there was on overhype going on here. Smoak, for example, never really showed big power in the minors. Ackley didn't exactly tear up the minors either. Still, he was a decent as a rookie and you have projected growth from there. So, yes, you probably need to blame the organization to SOME degree. I just don't know how much. 5 percent? 2 percent? 40 percent?

Tom (Plymouth)

Hey Dave is their a place to see how many guys scored on Mauer's hits? because it seems like every time there is a guy on 2nd he hits a line drive single to left and the guy on 2nd doesn't score.

David Schoenfield
  (2:07 PM)

I could look that up via one of our data sources.

David Schoenfield
  (2:07 PM)

Give me a quick second here everyone.

BK (LA)

I dont get it. CLEARLY Kemp and Pujols are playing at around 50%. Both teams are struggling to stay afloat, why not mandate they take a week or two off? Especially in the Angels situation they have plenty of 1b options to fill the whole.

David Schoenfield
  (2:09 PM)

So Mauer is 10-for-30 with RISP + nine walks. Eight singles, two doubles, 11 RBIs. Two of the singles and one double were to left. Again, just appears to be a lack of opportunity.

David Schoenfield
  (2:10 PM)

Cabrera has had 77 PAs with RISP -- almost twice as many as Mauer's 39, for example.

David (Cincinnati)

Just curious, even though its early do you have any NL MVP candidates (I think we all know who The AL MVP will be)? Clearly I'd like you to say Votto but I am wondering.

David Schoenfield
  (2:11 PM)

Filmed a SweetSpot TV segment on this today with Tristan Cockcroft that will post tomorrow. My argument is that Goldschmidt is the better MVP candidate because of the RBIs. Voters still like their RBIs. But Votto has probably been a little more valuable.

Nik (Louisville, KY)

Quick thought of the day: Starting a franchise today, who do you select of Sale vs Samardzija?

David Schoenfield
  (2:12 PM)

Sounds like a good blog post. I'd go with Sale, although some might consider him more of an injury risk.

Mike (San Diego)

Overall, I don't think people think the ability to drive in runs is useless. It's when people blindly use RBI to compare the production of two players that we have a problem. Mauer clearly doesn't lack some sort of run producing skill because of his lack of RBI.

David Schoenfield
  (2:13 PM)

Exactly. Goldschmidt-Votto is a good example. I heard a couple guys on MLB Radio basically ripping Votto last week for not driving in enough runs. But praising Brandon Phillips! Who only has all those RBIs, in part, because Choo and Votto are always on base in front of him.

Tarek (NYC)

I think Votto would be fav for NL MVP as well but if Pirates grab the 2nd wildcard. I bet McCutchen wins MVP.

BK (LA)

So, how about that sitting Pujols and Kemp idea? Are Donny Baseball and The big Lasagna afraid to tell their stars to take a seat for a minute?

David Schoenfield
  (2:15 PM)

Both are tough guys who don't WANT to sit out. I see it both ways, but ultimately the player and management have to work it out together: Are you healthy enough to contribute? It certainly seems in Kemp's case the answer right now is no. So maybe they're better off putting him on the DL for two weeks to rest the shoulder. But Kemp has to admit the shoulder IS the problem.

Jason (Gloucester, MA)

Why do we assume Cabrera is going to run away with the AL MVP this year? There's no reason he couldn't get hurt, Trout can't heat up, or Verlander can't shut down opponents from hear on out.

Mike (San Diego)

I was going to question Dave in Cincinnati's claim that the AL MVP was pretty clear right now, especially with how Trout has hit this month, but then I looked at Cabrera's numbers for May as well. I guess I hadn't looked that closely yet, but holy guacamole is that guy crushing this year.

David Schoenfield
  (2:16 PM)

Just throwing this out there: Machado and Pedroia lead Miggy in Baseball-Reference WAR.

James (NJ)

Trout has heated up! MVP!!

CC (Atlanta)

Gattis just homered again. Guy is unreal. I keep waiting for opposing Ps to make those adjustments....

James (Atlanta)

Gattis just homered again, but then so did McCann. What do you do with those two at this point?

David Schoenfield
  (2:18 PM)

Crazy idea: Move Heyward to center, J-Upton to RF and play Gattis 2-3 times a week in left field?

Tristen (Dayton, OH)

David,Goldschmidt over Votto? Votto has a better WAR, more walks, more hits, better AVG by .027, more runs........

David Schoenfield
  (2:19 PM)

I was arguing who is the more likely guy to WIN the MVP Award, not who is better. If Goldschmidt ends up driving in 40 more runs than Votto, he probably has a better shot at winning. Of course, to win your team also has to make the playoffs.

Rick (DC)

Dave, how come no one notices Jhonny Peralta, except to comment on his limited range at SS?

David Schoenfield
  (2:20 PM)

Very underrated player. And I don't think his defense is that bad. He's just LOOKS like he'd have no range because he has a body built by french fries.

CC (Atlanta)

If only Gattis could play second base....

Joey (Virginia)

Y. Molina MVP.

Andrew (SF)

That crazy idea on Heyward in CF just happened over the weekend.

David Schoenfield
  (2:20 PM)

Crap, I should have been paying more attention. So there you go.

John (Los Angeles)

Is it too early in the 2013 season to point out that Trout's dWAR is now (-0.8)?

David Schoenfield
  (2:22 PM)

I think it's a fair question. Maybe I'll see if the Baseball Info Solutions can go into that a little deeper. What made him rate so well last year and so poorly so far this year?

Brian (CA)

Building on Nik's question, would you rather draft a high ceiling pitcher with a short peak (let's say a peak that lasts through team control) pitcher or a lower ceiling pitcher with 15 years of high quality pitching?

David Schoenfield
  (2:24 PM)

Bill James did a study on this year ago, and said the short peak helped push a team to more playoff appearances. I can't remember exactly what he was comparing, but if it's a Cy Young-caliber peak of 5-6 years versus, say, a 2-3 win pitcher, take the Cy Young guy. (He may have been comparing Koufax to Don Sutton, come to think of it.)

Joey (VA)

Cardinals would never trade Molina straight up for Votto.

Mike (San Diego)

What the heck is happening with Kelly Johnson?

David Schoenfield
  (2:25 PM)

One of our bloggers wrote a post on him last week. He's holding his hands different this year and showing more patience at the plate.

Morris (Pgh, PA)

Funny - Trout actually DID NOT win a Gold Glove last year. But I'll bet the mortgage that if he keeps hitting like this he will win it this year.

Doug (MT)

re: Trout. Last year he played CF...

David Schoenfield
  (2:26 PM)

Right, but since moving back to CF this year he's metrics are still bad (-6 DRS versus 23 in CF last year).

Eddie (Fresno)

Give me the guy with the white hot peak. Guys like Lincecum (maybe) and Koufax had short peaks, but they pitched their teams to titles....you can't say the same about a guy like Mark Langston.

David Schoenfield
  (2:27 PM)

Hey, Langston was on terrible teams! But that's the general idea. Of course, Koufax's peak was above and beyond, but I still think the 6-win pitcher for five years (30 WAR) is better than the 3-win pitcher for 15 (45 WAR).

Anthony (St. Petersburg)

As a Rays fan I kind of get a kick out of BJ Upton's early struggles. However I'm wondering, why is he just now trying to fix his swing when it has been obvious for some time that he has many hitches and loops in his stance/swing

James (Atlanta)

A good comp for Brian's question: Tim Hudson, who is in his 15th season with a career ERA of 3.46, or Tim Lincecum, who has a career ERA of 3.38?

Mike (Atl)

Why is Gattis so amazing? Rhetorical: we all know it's the power to grow a beard in a day.

Ted (Wilmington)

To Joey in VA: If that's the case, the Cardinals are stupid.

Clay (Charlotte)

But that would take Fredi and Frank Wren admitting that the largest free agent signing in team history was a mistake...and we all know that those two are EXCELLENT admitting that things that are different might work.

David Schoenfield
  (2:29 PM)

That's a terrific point. It would take a lot of guys for an organization to admit to that. And I can see the rationale that you don't want to destroy Upton for his entire contract. But if you're better off with Gattis/Heyward/Justin, then that's what you SHOULD do ... contract or not.

Morris (Pgh, PA)

I'd take the shorter peak - a team pays peanuts for those controlled years, but quite a bit for 15 years.

David Schoenfield
  (2:29 PM)

Right, factoring in the money definitely sways it to the short peak guy.

Brint (Wichita)

Teams drafting should only worry about the peaks because they cannot guarantee player control after 6 years. If Jamie Moyer was in the draft and you knew exactly what kind of career he would have, it wouldn't matter because you're not going to keep him for 30 years

David Schoenfield
  (2:32 PM)

If the money/control issue makes the question to one-side, you could frame it this year: Do you want the pitcher who has 12 WAR in two seasons or the guy who averages 3 WAR over six?

Ian (Seattle)

Remember how this wasn't 2011 and 2012? Just want to point out that I am a Cleveland sports fan born and raised in Seattle who has a very big soft spot for my local teams as well. God doesn't hate Cleveland. He hates me.

John (Los Angeles)

If dWAR was alleged to be comparable across positions last year (when Trout played CF), then dWAR should still be comparable this year (when Trout's in LF). Or is Trout's dWAR relevant only when it is a positive number?

David Schoenfield
  (2:33 PM)

No, it's relevant (although defensive metrics over 50 games can be unreliable) and should factored into his value.

Morris (Pgh, PA)

Ian should move from Seattle to Kansas City.

David (LA)

What percentage of current big leaguers would you guess still smoke cigarettes?

David Schoenfield
  (2:34 PM)

Ha. Good question. Don't have an answer there, other than I think in one of Dirk Hayhurst's books he said half the members of the Padres bullpen smoked.

Alex (OH)

So when Ludwick comes back is the optimal Reds lineup Choo/Votto/Phillips/Ludwick/Bruce/Frazier/Cozart/Hanigan?

David Schoenfield
  (2:35 PM)

Probably, but you know Dusty will separate the lefties, so I assume he goes Choo/Phillips/Votto/Ludwick/Bruce/Frazier.

William (Santa Barbara)

As someone that watches every Angels game, let me just say that the defensive metrics are off on Trout this year--SSS. He just hasn't been presented with as many plays that require him to use a lot of range, so far.

David Schoenfield
  (2:37 PM)

Good point. The way Defensive Runs Saved is calculated is that is based on opportunities. For example, if Trout had an unusually high number of plays at the wall last and did a good job converting them into outs, that helps his rating.

Joey (VA)

Ted, offensive numbers can be distributed through a line up. You can't replace what Molina does, especially with the young pitching staff of the cards.

John (St. Louis)

Hey Ted in Wilmington, Reds havent won a playoff series in almost 20 years and Cardinals have made 8 more playoffs and have won 2 world series. I think if any Org knows what they are doing it is the Cardinals. Plus Votto has a terrible contract. good luck with that for the next 10+ years.

Nik (Louisville, KY)

Has baseball ever thought of going to the (more) balanced schedule?

David Schoenfield
  (2:38 PM)

Sure. It had a balanced schedule for most of its history. And I believe it should go back to one.

James (San Diego)

Aren't the commentators saying that Trout moving to CF is the reason for his heating up being absurd? They might want to look at the adjustments he's made in his stance. Slightly closed instead of slightly open. Less up-right, etc.

David Schoenfield
  (2:38 PM)

Plus ... it was one month. And it's not like he was awful in April.

Clay (Charlotte)

What's better for the team? Having someone with a .948 OPS coming off the bench all season or moving Upton to a pinch runner/pinch hitter/utility outfield position?

David Schoenfield
  (2:39 PM)

Well, if Gattis can hit like this playing every day, that's more valuable, no?

Joe (Philadelphia)

Die hard ATL fan here in Philly... BJ has been horrific while Schaefer has been solid... Bravos have to give BJ more time given his tenor and paygrade in ATL... How much longer can you see him in the lineup everyday? Side Note --- Once Simmons & Heyward pick things up watch out! Lineup is lethal.

Kevin (Los Angeles)

Why has there never been a big push to change the MVP award to a "Best Player" award? Putting aside the fact that voters almost always (in my mind, wrongly) construe "value" as requiring a team to reach the playoffs with less other elite players, it makes little sense next to the Cy Young Award, which simply goes to the best pitcher?

David Schoenfield
  (2:40 PM)

It's the writers' award, so ultimately it's their definition. Doesn't MLB hand out a Babe Ruth Award or something? But nobody pays attention.

Doug (MT)

Do you follow basketball? I think the idea of taking star players out when they get into foul trouble is the silliest/most antiquated idea in sports. You're basically guaranteeing a guy less minutes in order to save him from possibly missing time later in the game.

David Schoenfield
  (2:40 PM)

Haha. So true. That's always annoyed me. OK, have to run!! Thanks, everyone!

John (Los Angeles)

Fun fact -- Choo's dWAR is (-0.7), Trout's dWAR is (-0.8).

AWG (on a terrible megabus) [via mobile]

Trout's April was fine - his line drive rate was great. Bad luck.

Mike (Atl)

Why not move Justin to RF, put Gattis in left, take Heyward out? J-Hey only hitting .160 to BJ's .148, but with about $75 million less owed to him...I know it is not going to happen, but makes some sense..

David Schoenfield
  (2:41 PM)

OK, that's really it. Thanks for the chat!