Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

June 19, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with David Schoenfield

David Schoenfield
  (2:00 PM)

Dodgers-Yankees doing battle ... it's like the World Series of my youth. I keep expecting Don Sutton and Lou Piniella to pop up in the game.

Ben (Charlotte)

Justin Verlander is the Tigers 5th best starter #firstworldproblems

Kevin (Midtown, NY)

What did you think of Zack Wheeler's debut last night?

David Schoenfield
  (2:01 PM)

I can see why everyone loves the arm. Electric fastball, lots of movement and run. Good curveball as adverstised. Obviously, the command needs work and he's going to have some rough patches this year because of the walks, but overall very impressive.

DaHurricane (Havertown, PA)

Greater trade value for a contender: A healthy Carlos Ruiz or Chase Utley?

David Schoenfield
  (2:03 PM)

Considering the way Ruiz has hit this year (or hasn't hit), has to be Utley.

Morneau (Minneapolis)

Hi David-What happened to my power? Am I not hitting the ball in the air enough? And if I do, it doesn't carry. Am I toast? Also we need a leadoff hitter! How about talking Gardy into having Mauer lead off and just keep Arcia up and let him bat 2nd? Hammer will start hitting pretty soon.

David Schoenfield
  (2:05 PM)

Without looking at the numbers, no idea. Your last good year was 2010, last good full year was 2009. So, yes, I don't think we'll ever see the MVP candidate Morneau again.

David Schoenfield
  (2:05 PM)

Without looking at the numbers, no idea. Your last good year was 2010, last good full year was 2009. So, yes, I don't think we'll ever see the MVP candidate Morneau again.

Brian (Fort Wayne)

I ask every week, but any change of heart with Porcello? He's pitched well....

David Schoenfield
  (2:07 PM)

Yes, I'll admit: Much better of late. Strikeout is up, which is always the knock against him. Take out that nine-run, two-out game and he's been pretty solid all year.

Brian (Greensboro, NC)

remind me why the Giants traded away Wheeler to rent Beltran for half a season....

David Schoenfield
  (2:08 PM)

Well, they needed an outfielder ... Wheeler's stats when the Giants traded weren't ALL that impressive and some believe Wheeler's mechanics could eventually be a problem. But, sure, Brian Sabean would probably want that one back.

Max (Delaware)

The current crop of Phillies writers seems split on whether to blow up the team or go for it again. Given the lack of return they'd get on everyone except Papelbon and Lee, I'm inclined to say go for it and pray for a miracle. If they miss again, are they really that much worse off then they are now? What's your opinion?

David Schoenfield
  (2:10 PM)

I kind of agree. Maybe you can luck into a Wheeler-type prospect, but those deals are few and far between. I'm with you: I'd just keep everyone and hope for a miracle final two months.

Mehmet (Fairfax, VA)

I don't think the national media is owning up to having over-hyped WASH beyond belief. It's embarrassing that a team with supposedly the top 5 staff, bullpen, OF, infield, depth, batboys, GM, and on and on is claiming that a 20 yr old will save them now and they can show how good they really are. What do you see happening with WASH when he returns? still 100 wins and WS against DET?

David Schoenfield
  (2:12 PM)

I do think the hype was warranted at the time, but you're right, we all missed this one. They look thoroughly mediocre and they're playing guys I've never heard of. 100 wins? No. Maybe 90 and maybe squeeze into the second wild card.

Steve (DC)

I've been trying to get an answer on this for months, has anyone offered an explanation for why Strasburg doesn't miss bats with his fastball anymore? Velocity is still leading the majors.

David Schoenfield
  (2:13 PM)

Good question. Most pitchers don't rack up strikeouts with their fastball but with their secondary pitches, set up by their fastball. Let me check some numbers ...

David Schoenfield
  (2:15 PM)

Wow ... Strasburg is only 76th in strikeout rate on his fastball, so he definitely doesn't miss many bats with it. 49th in miss percentage. Good idea for a blog post. Location? Too straight?

Derek (Iowa City)

Hey David! I watched Teheran pitch on Sunday Night Baseball, and he looks better than the last time I saw him pitch. Still concerned I didn't see much of a change up, but his fastball/slider was enough. I have turned cautiously optimistic he's breaking out a little. He hasn't walked many this year, and the k's are picking up now. Think his ERA stays in the 3's for the rest of the year now, even without his killer change up?

David Schoenfield
  (2:17 PM)

Well, it should, since he'll get a lot of starts against the Marlins, Phillies and Mets.

Kevin (Orlando/Tampa Bay)

Thoughts on Wil Myers first game in the bigs?

David Schoenfield
  (2:19 PM)

Only saw a couple of at-bats. Love how the stance looks just like Longoria's. I made a comparison to Pedro Alvarez in a piece, which a lot of people ripped. Of course, Alvarez has led the NL in homers over the past calendar year, so I didn't mean that as a criticism. He'll probably be better than Alvarez in hitting for average.

Kyle (Florida) [via mobile]

Hey David, huge yankee fan here. Do you think Cashman gets creative, albeit there isn't much wiggle room, to get another bat in the Bronx?

David Schoenfield
  (2:20 PM)

Hard to say. The belief out there is that everything is complicated by not knowing exactly when they'll get Jeter, Granderson, Teixeira, A-Rod and Youkilis back. My gut is they DON'T make a big move and just hope they get all those guys back while they're still in it.

Lee (Pennsylvania)

After some early slumping, Ichiro has been hitting much better lately - over .290 in June. Is MLB planning anything to celebrate his 4000th professional hit (1278 in Japan plus his US total)?

David Schoenfield
  (2:22 PM)

.290, but an empty .290 -- not much power or walks. He's not really helping much. Haven't heard of anything planned ... I don't think he gets there this year. 2664 hits in the majors + 1278.

Brian (CA)

With the Nationals struggling this season, how much do they regret shutting Strasburg down last year? They had a legitimate chance at winning the World Series with him. Does this help justify more of a win now philosophy?

David Schoenfield
  (2:23 PM)

They *should* regret it. You can't assume you're ever going to be in that position again.

Ryan (Indy)

Is it fair to begin losing patience with Heyward?

David Schoenfield
  (2:24 PM)

Well ... maybe fair, but a little too impatient there. .737 OPS since coming off the DL. Let's talk in another 30 days.

JP (Columbus, OH)

David, simple question - how is Mike Leake doing it?

Matt (Cincinnati) [via mobile]

I keep expecting Mike Leaked to blow up, but it's not happening. He will obviously regress some, but how much of this is for real?

David Schoenfield
  (2:27 PM)

Has walked more than one batter just once in past nine starts. And that was two. But he's also faced a lot of the weak-hitting teams. His two "bad" games in this stretch -- four runs against Atlanta, three runs in five innings against St. Louis. Still more of a solid 4/5 in my book.

Alex (OH)

The Pirates are annoying. Are they going to keep it up all year to make it a three team race or collapse like the previous two?

David Schoenfield
  (2:27 PM)

Pitching staff is better than past two years (assuming Burnett and Wandy come back and keep going). I think they hang in there.

Nick (Ohio)

The Reds seemingly have three starting pitchers deserving of extensions sometime soon. If they can only afford to sign two long term out of Bailey, Latos, and Cueto, which two would you choose?

David Schoenfield
  (2:30 PM)

Great question, probably a real-world issue for them. Latos and Bailey have the best health records, but hard to ignore Cueto's success in that park. I'd probably go Latos and Cueto, but the three are pretty close.

Brian (Greensboro)

most encouraging for Teheran is his stats improve as the game goes on

John (PA)

Now that Cole is up, how long do we have to wait for Taillon? Is he an upgrade to the back end of that rotation?

David Schoenfield
  (2:32 PM)

I think they'd be rushing him a bit now. 1.3-something WHIP in Double-A, so it's not like he's dominating down there. Not sure we see him this year unless a couple more starters get hurt.

Matt (Northern VA)

Hey Dave, thanks for the great chat every week! I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine who is a Nationals fan. If you could build around Desmond or Simmons, who would you choose? Seems clear cut to me that the answer is Simmons, but he disagreed. Can you settle this debate?

David Schoenfield
  (2:33 PM)

I'd go Simmons as well. His defense is THAT good and young enough to improve at the plate.

Tarek (NYC)

I forget how many dodgers fans live in NYC. You should have seen the sea of Dodger Blue hats at the stadium before last nights rain-out.

Chris (Cleveland)

Of the following pitchers, barring injury, which five represent the Indians' best rotation in the second half of the season: Masterson, McAllister, Jimenez, Kluber, Kazmir, Bauer, Carrasco, generic trade deadline acquisition

David Schoenfield
  (2:34 PM)

Watched Kluber's last start and he looked pretty good. I think you go Masterson, McAllister, Kluber, trade dude, Bauer (and hope you catch lightning in a bottle).

Andrew (Rochester)

Wow, you don't think Ichiro can muster 58 hits over the next 90 games?

David Schoenfield
  (2:35 PM)

Ha, I did the math wrong if it's only 58 hits. Yes, he'll get there then.

Free_AEC (South Jersey)

The Red Sox didn't trade "Cliff Lee", they traded a Roy Halladay, a Ryan Howard and a Chase Utley to the Dodgers. The Red Sox kept their good pitchers. The Yankees have never unloaded their star players for "prospects" The Phillies have another $70 million to add to the payroll before they catch the Yankees, and the Phillies have that kind of money. The question is whether they have that kind of commitment to win.

Fist (Seattl)

re. Teheran, where is his change? It was always considered plus throughout his development, no?

David Schoenfield
  (2:37 PM)

Yes, was supposed to be a plus offering, at least when he had that big year in the minors a couple years ago.

Doug (MT)

Dillon Gee's resurgence has gotten lost in the Wheeler/Harvey hype. He's missing bats and pitching deep. Harvey, Wheeler, Niese, and Gee...not a bad homegrown 1-4 going forward.

David Schoenfield
  (2:37 PM)

Better strikeout rate with his fastball than Strasburg!

Ian (OK)

How valid are FIP numbers in the minor leagues?

David Schoenfield
  (2:39 PM)

No idea, but certainly worth looking at. But doesn't tell you about the home park the guy pitches, how he does with runners on base (maybe he loses command or stuff) and so on. Is there a site that lists minor league FIP?

David Schoenfield
  (2:39 PM)

No idea, but certainly worth looking at. But doesn't tell you about the home park the guy pitches, how he does with runners on base (maybe he loses command or stuff) and so on. Is there a site that lists minor league FIP?

Jason (richmond va) [via mobile]

Who ends with more hits machado or Cabrera? Odds on the kid breaking the doubles record 3-1 ?

David Schoenfield
  (2:41 PM)

I'm completely excited by Machado's run at the doubles record. One of those long-standing records that IS breakable. Have to think he slows down a bit ... .369 BABIP may be a little high, but maybe he's that good.

Jeff (OH)

Piggybacking on what Nick just asked - with Bailey and Cueto both eligible for FA in winter of 2014, I think this winter would be a good time to dangle them at the winter meetings, see what's out there. Wouldn't even mind them dangling a Bruce/Bailey package and extending Choo in right field. I'd think the prospect package that Bruce/Bailey could command would be impressive. Particularly with Bruce's cost certainty thru '16-17. Would rather see the Reds invest long-term in Latos/Cueto.

David Schoenfield
  (2:43 PM)

Great point and I'm with you on Bruce -- a little overrated as his power is partially a product of the home park. Leake and Cingrani still around to fill out the rotation.

Jimmy (Michigan)

I find it questionable that Cano is the captain of the AL for the home run derby. Shouldn't Chris Davis or Miggy be the captain because they are the two leaders in the home run category for the AL this year?

David Schoenfield
  (2:44 PM)

They did it because the game is in New York.

Lee (Pennsylvania)

Manny Ramirez is now a free agent after posting .352/8 HR/43 RBI in 49 games in Taiwan. Any interest by any team in MLB?

David Schoenfield
  (2:44 PM)

No.

Daniel (San Diego)

Wheeler isnt homegrown, just wisely plucked at the right time from SF

Brian (CA)

Who do you want to see in the HR Derby?

David Schoenfield
  (2:46 PM)

Chris Davis, Mark Trumbo, Adam Dunn, Mark Reynolds ... Ichiro.

Jason (richmond va) [via mobile]

What is the latest all the teams in any division have been .500 or better? With the jays recent surge the east is looking like a division of mediocre teams or the best in the Al

David Schoenfield
  (2:47 PM)

Didn't the entire AL East finish .500 one year in the '80s?

David Schoenfield
  (2:48 PM)

OK, the answer is no.

David Schoenfield
  (2:49 PM)

Happened in the AL West in 1991 ... and that was a seven-team division. Angels finished last at 81-81.

Will B (Livingston, MT)

settle a score for me DS, 2010 cards reds brawl, my cincy friend says molina started it, i say phillips did, help us out

David Schoenfield
  (2:49 PM)

I thought Molina said something and Phillips went after him? Any Reds/Cards fans out there?

Howard (Toronto)

Has the Jays' pitching staff turned it around? The bullpen has been terrific and (barely) kept them in it all year, but the starters finally seem to be stringing together quality starts. It it going to last?

David Schoenfield
  (2:51 PM)

Could be. Josh Johnson very good his past two starts, although Dickey still inconsistent and Morrow had the same forearm soreness in his rehab start on Monday. Have they dug themselves too big of a hole? They have to play at 102-win pace the rest of the way to win 90.

Alan (St. Louis)

Phillips called the Cardinals "whiners," amongst other things, to the media. The next day, he led off the game, and tapped Molina's shinguards to say hello to lead off the game, as if he never said anything. Molina didn't take kindly to it.

Will B (Livingston, MT)

phillips said he hated the cardinals and the city of st .louis then did his ritual where he taps the catcher on the shin, he should have known not to do that is my take

David Schoenfield
  (2:52 PM)

Right, right ... I remember now. I blame La Russa.

Derek (Iowa City)

Also, NL East in 2005, with the Nats finishing 81-81..

BassmanUW (Chicago)

I'd actually argue that FIP is MORE important at the minor league levels, where you have a lower general quality of defender, leagues that swing strongly pitcher or hitter friendly, etc.

David Schoenfield
  (2:55 PM)

Could be. My only caveat there is that pitchers with mediocre stuff but great control can post impressive SO/BB ratios in the minors.

guinness (NY)

If you're starting a baseball team from scratch and can only pick 25 and younger players, who is your starting 5 and what order do you pitch them?

David Schoenfield
  (2:55 PM)

Readers?

David Schoenfield
  (2:59 PM)

I'd go Kershaw, Harvey, Sale, Strasburg, Bumgarner ... apologies to Shelby Miller.

Todd (Arlington, VA)

I'm a little down on the Nats right now, but once healthy, I can see them pulling off 20 out of 25 wins. They still have the making on going on some streaks. Do you think Rendon is at 2B to stay and they try to deal Espinosa? I hope so....He's looking good.

David Schoenfield
  (2:59 PM)

Yep, have to think Rendon stays there. They need the bat in the lineup.

Jimmy (Michigan)

Who should start the All-Star game? Jhonny Peralta or JJ Hardy?

David Schoenfield
  (3:01 PM)

I'd probably go Hardy. Better defense, more power, Peralta's season a little more flukey (.412 BABIP).

Nick (NJ)

Do you think it's ridiculous that Derek Jeter is 5th in fan voting for AL SS despite playing zero innings of organized baseball so far this year?

David Schoenfield
  (3:01 PM)

At least he's not first.

Derek (Iowa City)

Harvey, Miller, Fernandez, Bumgarner, Teheran..too concerned about the health of Strasburg, and the potential health issues of Sale since scouts say he's an injury waiting to happen.

Chris (Cleveland)

Kershaw, Harvey, Miller, Cole, Strasburg

Matt (DE)

Kershaw, Harvey, Strasburg, Sale, Fernandez... Fernandez may not be Bumgarner or Miller yet, but he is 20!

James (Atlanta)

I'd take Jose Fernandez over Bumgarner since he's only 20.

Todd (Arlington, VA)

Kershaw, Strasburg, Harvey, S. Miller and Zimmermann (this is coming from a Nats fan so take with a grain of salt.....)

David Schoenfield
  (3:02 PM)

Zimmermann is 27

Matt (Boise)

Would Chapman make your list if he was a SP?

David Schoenfield
  (3:03 PM)

Well, he's not and we don't know if he'd be any good. Kind of hard to answer that. Would I TAKE him over those other guys and convert him to a starter? Hmm ... I'd probably still take the others. I mean, Dusty doesn't even think he can pitch four outs at a time, let alone 21.

Eric (Chicago) [via mobile]

Bumgarner, Corbin, Matt Moore, Harvey

Tarek (NYC)

Kershaw, Strasburg, Harvey, Fernadez and Bundy

Max (Delaware)

What do you think of Daniel Nava? Is he a for-real late bloomer, or a Vernon Wells-revival flash-in-the-pan? He's certainly helped carry the Red Sox in spite of a bad rotation.

David Schoenfield
  (3:05 PM)

A little of both? Late bloomer, but has legit hitting skills driven by patience and strike zone judgment. I think he'll put up some decent numbers in a platoon role for a few years.

Brian (Greensboro)

Kershaw, Harvey, Strasburg, Bumgarner, and Fernandez (he will be up there with Harvey)

David Schoenfield
  (3:06 PM)

Yep, I love Fernandez as well. Wonder if he ends up as the Marlins' All-Star rep.

AA (Atown)

Ichiro spited you by going yard 10 minutes ago. How's that for power Schoenfiled! lol...

David Schoenfield
  (3:07 PM)

No, I DO want to see Ichiro in the HR Derby. I was serious! Would be fun to watch.

Tarek (NYC)

uh oh, Puig dropped from .490 to .471. He is in a slump!

oden (motown)

Latos still just 25. Proven track record maybe he a gets nod.

Rob (charm city) [via mobile]

Jim johnson best closer in baseball once moe retires ?

David Schoenfield
  (3:07 PM)

No.

brian (MI)

Anyone not taking Kershaw in their starting 5 needs to rethink their decision making process......for their life in general I mean.

mike (williamsburg, va)

kershaw, harvey, miller, fernandez, strasburg

Derek (Iowa City)

Eh, thought said under 25..bump Teheran off, add Kershaw ahead of Harvey *slaps forehead..

David Schoenfield
  (3:08 PM)

No.

David Schoenfield
  (3:08 PM)

No. (That was the answer to the Jim Johnson question). Kimbrel, Chapman for starters.

Anthony Rendon (2B for the Nats)

I cannot play 2B long term. I have bad ankles.

Nick (Ohio)

Kershaw, Harvey, Bumgarner, Latos, Strasburg,

Quint (Indy)

The Cubs are 13 under against the NL central and 2 games over 500 against all other opponents. Random split? or do u think the Cubs are not as bad as one might think they just can't beat cards, reds, and pirates

David Schoenfield
  (3:10 PM)

I think just random split. Our RPI rankings have Cubs playing 14th-toughest schedule, so nothing unique there going on. http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/rpi/_/sort/sos

Danny Espinosa ((2B for the Nats))

I cannot play 2B Long term. I can't hit

Matt (Boise)

Was that power surge by Dom Brown just a flash in the pan? He's really fallen off lately.

David Schoenfield
  (3:12 PM)

What was amazing about that stretch his how many meatballs he got. Granted, he didn't miss. Notice how he didn't walk at all during that stretch but now he's drawing a few walks. My guess is pitchers have wised and throwing him fewer strikes.

Sean [via mobile]

Bumgarner isn't good enough to be in these lists

Chris (Cleveland)

Challenge: predict a second half storyline that no one is talking about right now.

David Schoenfield
  (3:16 PM)

The collapse of the Rangers. Mariners finish with worse record than Astros. Manny Machado for MVP momentum starts building. Pirates make a blockbuster acquisition. What else?

Matt (Northern VA)

Mike Minor!!!Kershaw, Jordan Zimmerman, Harvey, Mike Minor, Shelby Miller.

Jose Valverde (Detroit)

How many more blown saves until I'm not the closer anymore or get DFAd?

David Schoenfield
  (3:17 PM)

Three.

Ted (Wilmington)

Stanton for Shaq Thompson and an outfielder to be named later who actually has a batting average....who hangs up first?

James (Atlanta)

Is it a concern that Tim Hudson can't get anybody out outside of Turner Field anymore? Is that just a fluke this year, since he's been good at home, or a sign that he's losing it?

David Schoenfield
  (3:19 PM)

I would *guess* that it's sample size fluke. Big difference is 2 HRs at home, 7 on the road. Maybe go to a six-man rotation when Beachy returns, using Hudson only at home! I'm a little concerned, but pitchers often have big home/road splits.

Max (Delaware)

Second half story line: Roger Clemens finally returns to the big leagues.

mike (williamsburg, va)

my take on the on the challenge - both WC teams in NL come from the central

David Schoenfield
  (3:19 PM)

Which means ... Pirates!

Tarek (NYC)

Re: Chris (Cleveland) Random hitter has a 25 game hitting streak, can he make it to 56. Answer will be no, but it will be talked about.

Max (Delaware)

Re: Dom Brown, the power is real. Most of his homers are serious bombs, not wall scrapers. Lineup protection tends to be overrated, but Brown is a prime example of when it can really help, I think. He'll hit homers when he gets better pitches.

Taylor (Iowa)

Cards fan here, I am just curious why throwing a ball at someone garners an 8 game suspension and kicking a player repededly in the face with kleats)casing the player to retire no less!) is punishably by missing 1 game? Also Brandon Phillips mouth started it.

JJ (MPLS)

Bumgarner: 23 yrs old - 3.22 lifetime ERA - 162 gm average is 213 innings and 194 K's... I'd say that's good enough.

John (New York)

Oakland A's steamroll to the World Series

Will B (Livingston, MT)

do you see any blockbuster trade happening before the deadline? who gets dealt to where for who?

David Schoenfield
  (3:22 PM)

I always think people overrate the possibility of seeing a big blockbuster, although we did get that crazy Red Sox/Dodgers deal last year (which actually happened after the deadline). Obviously, the big ones would be Lee and/or Papelbon, but I'm still inclined to think the Phillies keep them. After that ... would the Marlins really trade Stanton? I think he's the sleeper name out there.

Matt (Boise)

The Tigers have to trade for bullpen help before the deadline...who do you think they can/should get so they aren't putting Valverde out there in the playoffs?

David Schoenfield
  (3:23 PM)

Everybody seems to *want* them to trade for Papelbon, but I would just consider making Smyly the closer. Plus, in the playoffs you can move Porcello to the bullpen (assuming Anibal's shoulder issue isn't serious). So not sure you really have to trade a Nick Castellanos or Avisail Garcia.

BassmanUW (Chicago)

Pythagorean also says Cubs likely aren't as bad over the season as their record. So their against everyone else record is probably a little better than the Cubs really are, but their versus NL Central record is significantly worse.

John (Los Angeles)

Angels players who have negative dWARs so far in 2013, but had positive dWARs in 2012, include Trout (-1.3!), Aybar, Callaspo, and right field (where viewed as Hamilton replacing Hunter). In addition, Kendrick, Bourjos, and Iannetta are all down to 0.1. Trumbo has "improved" to (-0.8). In the pro-dWAR world, this means that no one has been hitting the ball to any Angels fielders this year.

David Schoenfield
  (3:25 PM)

Is it all Joe Blanton's fault? Mark Simon wrote a good piece for the blog a couple weeks on Trout's defense, and why his Defense Runs Saved are so much worse this year. Something still doesn't add up for me. Worth a closer look at the entire team.

Tarek (NYC)

You woke the puppy when you screamed after Ray Allen shot? I was telling my friend during that whole last drive, don't let Allen touch the ball, don't let Ray touch the ball!

David Schoenfield
  (3:26 PM)

I did! He was asleep on the couch next to me (which is rare, his breed isn't the cuddly type).

Matt (Boise)

Any tips on house training a puppy?

David Schoenfield
  (3:27 PM)

Get a breed that doesn't go inside! My pup was VERY easy to train, but his breed (Shiba Inu) doesn't like to go where he lives.

Derek (Iowa City)

OK, 25 and under all star team..got the pitchers, now for the position players: C Sal Perez 1B Goldschmidt 2b Altuve SS Segura 3B Machado LF J Upton CF Trout RF Harper- (No Puig yet)

David Schoenfield
  (3:28 PM)

Sounds good. Nobody better at 2B? How about Nick Franklin. I really like what I've seen from him. Good approach, looks confident.

zack (stl)

Could Yu Darvish end up posting the first 300K season since randy Johnson and Curt Schilling in 2002?

David Schoenfield
  (3:29 PM)

On pace for 313 ... should be close if he doesn't wear down in the Texas heat.

Dom (Pittsburgh)

In a recent Sweet Spot TV, you claimed that you didn't think the Pirates would make the playoffs, citing their Run Differential as your reasoning. However, you said you expected the D-Backs to make the playoffs in the same episode. But the D-Backs have a Run Differential four runs lower than the Pirates. Any other reasons for the Pirates missing the playoffs?

David Schoenfield
  (3:32 PM)

Did I say that? I should script that out. Anyway, my Arizona pick is predicated on them winning the division, which I'm still picking them to do. Pirates may be *as good* as Arizona, but not as good as as the Reds and Cardinals. And I do think their bullpen will blow a couple games here. But maybe they're the Orioles of 2013 and maintain that late-inning dominance all year. I hope they do; would love to see them in October.

mike (williamsburg, va)

@matt - keep him in the yard? :)

Mike (Milwaukee)

If the Angels offered Joe Blanton for Shaq Thompson, the Red Sox laugh hysterically and hang up the phone, right?

David Schoenfield
  (3:32 PM)

That may be the best Shaq Thompson reference yet.

Tarek (NYC)

Tigers should just do what the 08 Rays and 06 Cards did, stick a young power arm to close in the playoffs. Do they have a young starter in AAA who could come up and be a closer at the end of the year?

David Schoenfield
  (3:33 PM)

Smyly throws 93-95 in relief. And Porcello would be a pretty nice late-inning option as well. With Benoit and Alburquerque, I'm not actually THAT concerned about their playoff bullpen.

Jason (san diego)

On the Giants' territorial rights. You suggest they could give the gift back to the A's. You realize the current ownership paid for the territory right? They weren't recipients of the gift. Its like if I gave you a house and then you sold it, I wouldnt be justified in going to the new owner and demanding they give it back. Does that change the thinking on a resolution for you?

David Schoenfield
  (3:35 PM)

Did the Giants pay the A's for the rights to Santa Clara county? My belief was they didn't. Anyway, it doesn't really matter what I think; there's no way the Giants are giving it back. And it's possible that the end result WILL be what the Giants want: The A's leaving the Bay Area altogether.

mike (williamsburg, va)

@bassman - not worse in division. they are 14th in schedule strength but the pirates/reds and cards are top 5 teams so I suggest it is the competition making their record worst in central

Juan Estrada (Bogotá- Colombia)

Hey Dave! Man, I don't understand that rule in which a Picher that blows a save could get a win in the same inning (See Bailey case yesterday). It's not possible to change this? Man, in that game Dubront deserves that W, he was AWESOME!

David Schoenfield
  (3:36 PM)

I agree. I think they should change the rule and allow the official scorer to reward the win to the starter in cases like that.

Brian (Fishers, IN)

Thoughts on the Royals in immediate future? Seems to me if they are in "win now" mode they gotta ditch Franceur and Moustakas at some point; but what is available in replacement?

David Schoenfield
  (3:40 PM)

Not much at third base. Aramis Ramirez? But no power this year and bad defense. Alberto Callaspo? Not much of an upgrade.

David Schoenfield
  (3:40 PM)

Outfield -- Josh Willingham would be a nice guy to go after.

Max (Delaware)

What will it take for big payroll teams like the Red Sox/Yankees/Phillies/Tigers to fully embrace advanced metrics and player development? The recent ESPN: The Mag profile of Eric Van suggests that the Red Sox have veered away from this type of analysis since 2004.

David Schoenfield
  (3:43 PM)

Missed that piece. Will have to check it out. But I'm pretty sure the Red Sox are still doing a lot of advanced metrics. As are the Yankees. We had Brian Cashman up in Bristol in February and he told us some of the things the Yankees are doing and they definitely are looking at metrics, etc. The Phillies, on the other hand ...

Jason (richmond va) [via mobile]

Easiest team to root for royals, pirates or O's ?

David Schoenfield
  (3:45 PM)

The Orioles are becoming my favorite team of the season. Fun to watch -- Machado and Davis are great, Adam Jones is fun, Wieters is a great leader, Hardy is a great glove at short. But I always root for the underdogs and teams that haven't been to the playoffs in awhile, so it would be fun to see the Pirates and Royals contend all year. Haven't watched the Royals much but may have to start checking them out.

Eddie (Fresno)

Blockbuster: Giants trade Lincecum to Detroit (to be their closer) in exchange for Porcello and an outfield bat.

David Schoenfield
  (3:46 PM)

Now THAT is a fun idea ... but why would the Tigers do that? Why would Lincecum be any better at relieving than Porcello?

Matt (Boise)

Here me out on this. If the Yankees really want to hit the restart button they will need to move away from long term contracts to players moving out of thier primes. This would included Cano. They then realize they won't make the playoffs this year and know they don't want to give Cano the $ he wants. If this is the case shouldn't they try to trade him before the deadline? What type of prospect return could they get for 3 months of Robbie? Doesn't thier farm system need more major league ready talent?

David Schoenfield
  (3:48 PM)

But I don't think the Yankees want to hit the re-start button, right? It's not like they're having a Red Sox 2012 season. They're still in this and the Yankees will never concede a playoff spot.

Morris (Pgh, PA)

Interesting fact: According to their published birthdates, Vladimir Guerrero is 3 1/2 months younger than big brother Wilton.

David Schoenfield
  (3:49 PM)

Different mothers perhaps?

Marc (Sacramento)

If the Giants force the A's out of the Bay Area, where would they relocate too?? Portland?? Sacramento?? Vancouver??

David Schoenfield
  (3:50 PM)

That's the problem -- no candidates right now, so A's are stuck for the foreseeable future. I think the long-term best bets would be North Carolina or maybe Austin/San Antonio.

Sean (Phoenix)

I think people are underestimating how much impact that Aaron Hill and Adam Eaton will have on the Diamondbacks offense. That combined with their depth could lead to being the best second-half team in the NL.

BassmanUW (Chicago)

In reply to Mike: is it that the NL Central is that much better, or that the Cubs have done poorly in close games against NL Central teams, which will be due to some combination of talent and pure randomness? Whatever element of randomness is involved in that would reduce the Cubs' wins while increasing the wins for other NL Central teams. For example, the Cubs are 1-4 against a bad Brewers team.

Tarek (NYC)

Re: Jason (richmond va) Pirates. O's, KC in that order. I'm a Yankee fan and I love the way the O's are constructed.

Dave (Brooklyn)

I am going to file a class action lawsuit on behalf of all right handed pitchers that have not been given the chance to pitch in the majors. The basis for the suit is that MLB is biased toward lefties. Evidence: Jeff Francis couldn't get out the average 7 year old, yet he gets to go out every fifth day and live the dream of all the righties who were thrown on the scrap heap.

David Schoenfield
  (3:51 PM)

I don't understand why the Rockies keep throwing that guy out there. Because he helped get them to the World Series in 2007? SIX YEARS AGO? They're killing themselves. See: Blanton, Joe.

Doug (MT)

I don't remember a time when there were this many impressive young arms coming up at the same time...Cole, Wheeler, Wacha, Fernandez, etc. Do you?

David Schoenfield
  (3:52 PM)

Nope. Everyone keeps wondering why offense is down and strikeouts are up. The answer may be very simple: The young pitching is phenomenal.

Brian (Greensboro)

I just don't see the Marlins trading Stanton this trade deadline unless they get a top young position player and top young pitcher. I do not see Profar and Perez being enough.

David Schoenfield
  (3:54 PM)

Agreed, that's probably not enough. Perez doesn't have much value right now. It's very tough to get value for a player that young/good. Maybe the Reds and Marlins line up in the offseason -- Hamilton or Bruce, one of the starting pitchers, another B prospect.

John (Los Angeles)

Koufax won 27 games in 1966. What are the chances that he would have reached 30 if Phil "The Vulture" Regan hadn't been "closing" for the Dodgers that year?

David Schoenfield
  (3:55 PM)

Well, Koufax only completed 27 of 41 starts. Wuss. Should have gone all nine innings more often.

Patrick (Pittsburgh)

Jason from Richmond: I'm a Royals and Pirates fan. It has been tough to be a fan for the past decade+

Rich (Sun Valley, ID)

Call the NLCS-be fearless. But pick the Cardinals.

David Schoenfield
  (3:56 PM)

Yes, they would be my pick right now. But anything can happen in the postseason. When is the last time the best team in the regular season actually won the World Series?

The Philly Phanatic (at CBP)

FIRE AMARO!

David Schoenfield
  (3:56 PM)

OK, everyone send in their final thoughts for the day and wrap this up.

Tarek (NYC)

As hot as the A's have been, I still feel that the O's and Tigers are the two best teams in the AL. What do you think?

David Schoenfield
  (3:57 PM)

You know I love the A's. I think Red Sox and Tigers are best. O's still lack that No. 1 guy in the rotation.

Chris (Cleveland)

Here we are two years later and while we still dont know if Drew Pomeranz will turn into anything is it fair to say that nobody won the Indians Rockies "Blockbuster" while the Tigers very clearly won with their acquisition of Fister. I guess what I'm saying is I'd rather a well executed small trade than a risky blockbuster.

David Schoenfield
  (3:58 PM)

Good point. It's often the sleeper trade -- Marco Scutaro -- that proves to be the important one in the end.

Chris (Atlanta)

How dangerous is Atlanta if everyone in that lineup gets going?

Rich (Sun Valley, ID)

"When is the last time the best team in the regular season actually won the World Series?"Answer: 2011, StL.

David Schoenfield
  (3:59 PM)

Cardinals had fourth-best record in NL that season. Barely made the playoffs. Not even close to best team.

mike (brooklyn)

hanley just hit a rocket home run.

David Schoenfield
  (3:59 PM)

Yep, it was. Even Michael Kay got excited on that one.

Brian (Greensboro)

the Reds pitcher would need to be Tony Cingrani plus Hamilton. Don't see the Marlins taking a more expensive Jay Bruce.

Morris (Pgh, PA)

My final thought is that Dodgers fans wish Belisario had been suspended the rest of the year after the Kennedy fight.

Steiny (NYC)

This chat along with Keith Law's chat are the best reason to tune in to the ESPN Chat World.

David Schoenfield
  (4:00 PM)

Thanks!

Mike (San Diego)

2011 Phillies>2011 Rangers>2011 Cardinals. And this is coming from a Cardinals fan.

Patrick (Pittsburgh)

If the Royals start scoring runs, what is their ceiling? I think the pitching could hold up all year.

Nick (Ohio)

Don't trade Bruce just yet! I like that he is starting to go the other way. But I love the idea of packaging a pitcher and a bat and a prospect for something...need to think about who and for what

neil (dc )

regarding best teams winning WS, most recently the 07 Red Sox and 09 Yankees could lay claim. Even in 2007, the Sox were one game worse than the Indians, but considering that they won the tougher division it is probably a wash.

Bob (MKE)

Isn't it going to be tough for MLB to simultaneously argue that territorial rights are required, but they don't impact interstate commerce at all? The entire reason for territorial rights is to direct commerce in a particular direction.

David Schoenfield
  (4:02 PM)

I'm not a lawyer, but you would think that eventually somebody could argue a good case to defeat MLB. Of course, San Jose isn't so much interested in striking down baseball's antitrust exemption as simply getting an MLB team.

Rich (Sun Valley, ID)

You did not say best record in regular season. You said best team, David. Subjective.......

David Schoenfield
  (4:03 PM)

Sure, but if they Braves don't choke, the Cards don't even make the playoffs. In the end ... it doesn't really matter. The Cards are wearing the rings.

mikebk (brooklyn)

I have the same question about Haren that the guy had about Francis.

David Schoenfield
  (4:03 PM)

At least Haren has been good at some point in the past three years!

Mike Trathen (New Zealand)

The best relocation place for the A's? New York. Sitting them beside the Yankees would be the ultimate irony ...

Chris (Cleveland)

Thanks for being so generous with your time Dave, It's been a fun chat!

David Schoenfield
  (4:04 PM)

Agreed. Thanks, everyone! Time to take the dog outside. He's fighting with his pillow right now.