Hey everybody, The NBA is done (except for the draft) and the NHL is nearing an end. With the exception of some golf here and a little Wimbledon there, baseball will soon have the stage to itself for a while. Let's start the chat.
Is Chris Davis the favorite for AL MVP?
Jacob, He's been amazing, but I find it hard to declare anyone the favorite for AL MVP as long as Miguel Cabrera has a bat in his hands and is playing everyday.
Thoughts on a full weeks worth of AB's by Wil Myers?
Kevin, Those zero walks in 30 at-bats jumped out at me, but he's going to be fine. If he hits anywhere above .260, the power is going to be there. I think that extra couple of months in Triple-A helped him as well. The Rays waited a while -- in part because of the economic realities -- but I think the kid is ready and won't be going back.
If the Dodgers get healthy and play better (bear with me, I know it's a stretch) can you actually see them playing 15-20 games above .500 in 2nd half? Or should I just get ready for next year?
AA, They obviously have the talent once everyone gets healthy, but it just doesn't appear to be happening this year. Once somebody comes back off the DL, you can count on someone else going on it. It's just one of those years.
Hey Jerry. Now that Haren has landed on the DL with an 'injury', what is the likelihood of a trade coming? Any chance they pursue a Matt Garza or even David Price? How about a bat? This team clearly needs more than Harper and Ramos to return and the Lerners have plenty of cash to pick up payroll.
Jeremy, The Nats are sixth in the majors with a 3.60 ERA and 29th in runs scored with 263, so I don't think the back end of their rotation is the problem. As Jayson Stark pointed out in his story the other day, they really miss Bryce Harper when he's not in the lineup. I'm sure Mike Rizzo wants to wait to evaluate things after Harper and Ramos come off the DL. If they're still floundering in mid-July, maybe he gets more aggressive with trade scenarios then.
What do you expect, if anything, from Kyle Gibson? We know his stint in the majors will be short lived, but he's been pretty stellar in triple A this season? Thanks!
Hunter, The projections were for Gibson to be more a 2-3 starter than a top-of-the-rotation, Harvey or Strasburg type. But that's still pretty good. He's overcome a lot to make it, so he won't lack for motivation.
As long as we're mentioning injured Nats, Jayson Werth is on the DL again. If he can ever stay healthy what's his value now? He's not a 30-HR guy anymore, is the best we can hope for long ABs and a high OBP?
Rocky, I don't know if he's ever going to be 100 percent after that wrist injury last season. It seems like he's more comfortable being at the top of the lineup, taking pitches, working counts and getting on base than trying to knock in runs in one of the 3-4-5 spots. I'm sure people want to see more than that for $126 million. But that's the type of player Werth is right now.
Everyone is talking about Harvey, but when are we going to start hearing about Jeff Locke? A great performance every time out!
Rob, Jeff Locke has played a huge role in the Pirates' success so far. But he has 63 K's and 39 walks compared to a 121-24 breakdown for Matt Harvey, so we're clearly not talking about the same level of dominance here. He also has a .218 BABIP, which is pretty darned low, and that's going to invite some skepticism about whether he can maintain this. But so far, so good.
If you were forced to pick today, what two teams are in the world series and who wins it?
Nick, I picked the Reds over the Tigers in the World Series. Given my track record, that's actually a pretty decent pick. I'll stick with it for now, although the Cardinals and a few other clubs could prompt me to tinker with it between now and October.
What Yankees will be Playing in the All-Star Game at Citi Field?
Chris, Robinson Cano and Mariano Rivera. Hiroki Kuroda also belongs in the conversation for an All-Star berth, but he might be challenged to make it.
I, like most Jays fans, love Munenori Kawasaki, but there's a lot of talk in Toronto on the need to keep him on the roster. But who do you send down in his stead? It's lunacy to think that "team chemistry" will be affected by sending him down and calling up Reyes and Lawrie, right?
Andrew, All you had to do was see the way Kawasaki's teammates reacted after that homer the other night to tell how much they love having him around, but I'll take talent over chemistry any time. Unless the Jays can figure out a way to dump Maicer Izturis or Emilio Bonifacio, I'm not sure where Kawasaki fits in the equation.
Do you think the Padres would still try to trade Huston Street and would they be able to get a decent return if they did deal him? He's basically been terrible this year, giving up 10 HRs in less than 30 innings.
Ok do you think there is hope with the Giants with the players out that have been hurt & do you think that they will go after Goldschmidt from the D'backs? if so what do you think they will do with Brandon "baby Giraff" Belt?
Which Blue Jays are most deserving of allstar bids? I think at least 2 guys from the pen have to go no?
I'm having a little technical glitch pulling up questions. Bear with me for a minute here.
Rank the following by chances they reach 500 HR by the end of their careers: Prince, Cabrera, Papi, Konerko, Dunn
Is it time to lose patience with BJ Upton and Jason Heyward?
Jacob, B.J. Upton, Jason Heyward and Dan Uggla are all testing the Braves' patience (and Justin Upton is hitting .240 at the moment). But the Braves are 44-33 and lead the NL East by 6 games. I think they have to be looking at it like, "We're playing well even though these guys have all struggled. When a couple of them start hitting, we'll really take off."
The Cleveland Indians will finish where?
Danny, I think they'll finish third with slightly north of a .500 record.
Do you think the Angels have a Blue Jays-like run in them? Because that's what they'll need to get back into this after another brutal weekend.
Josh, I just don't think they have enough pitching to do that -- unless Pujols and Hamilton just get amazingly hot in tandem and they start pummeling the opposition. The Angels have so much work to do to reach .500, it's hard to see them climbing back in the race.
I realize you're not a lawyer, but what's your take on the likelihood some populist movement will emerge in Congress about taking away baseball's antitrust exemption?
Mike, We've been down that road before at various times in baseball history, and it's yet to happen yet. So color me dubious.
Percentage of Angels fans who now think signing Pujols to this mega-contract was a good idea? Less than 20%?
Mike, If you added the percentages of fans who thought it was a good idea to sign Pujols and Hamilton to multi-year deals worth $375 million, it might not add up to 20%.
The Mets have some exciting pieces, going forward. Would you trade Parnell and Daniel Murphy for a power OF?
Alan, I don't think that package is going to give you the kind of impact power-hitting outfielder you're looking for. Murphy can hit, but he doesn't have much power and he's a defensive liability. And Parnell would help a lot of bullpens, but I don't think he brings a mother lode of talent in return either. Plus, they're both at the stage of their careers where they're starting to get more expensive.
Jerry, what do you make of Verlander laboring through line-ups lately, not going much past the 5th inning, etc.? Pitch command or something mental?
Rick, He's thrown an awful lot of pitches the last few years, including a lot of high-stress pitches in October. I wouldn't be surprised if that wear and tear is catching up to him. The average velo on his fastball is also around 92.5 mph this year -- about 3 mph lower than it was a few years ago. He might be at that stage of his career where he has to learn to pitch with slightly diminished stuff. But he's still Justin Verlander, so let's give him the benefit of the doubt and see if he can work through this mini-funk.
Given the Jays recent surge, do you think that Edwin Encarnacion will garner enough player/manager support to make ASG? and what Jay(s) will be on the AL team?
Hey Rob, I would like to see Encarnacion get some consideration for the ASG, but it can be a challenge figuring out how the rosters shake out. Jose Bautista is an ASG candidate, and Brett Cecil has been incredible. But I think it's going to be tough for him to make it as a setup guy. Also hard to ignore Adam Lind with that .337 BA and .956 OPS.
A-Rod for Stanton? Who hangs up first? Would the Yankees need to sweeten the pot with a Wells or Overbay piece? Thanks
Hey Larry, Are you talking about the Mike Stanton who's a host on XM satellite radio, or Leroy Stanton?
So you believe then either the Royals or White Sox will finish ahead of them? Why?
Danny, I picked the Royals ahead of the Tribe in spring training because I liked their starting rotation better. I also thought that Hosmer and Moustakas would take a leap forward. Let's see how they wind up with George Brett in the hitting coach role.
Is Jason Kipnis becoming one of the best second basemen in the game?
Andrew, He's not in that Cano-Brandon Phillips-Pedroia group, but I'd put him in the next group of hitters with Howie Kendrick, Jose Altuve and a few others. Definitely a top 10 second baseman.
Jerry... I am a huge Yankees fan and I really hope Larry from NY was sending a very sarcastic tongue in cheek joke. I think I speak for most Yankee fans out there when I say I know for a fact that that had to be the silliest proposal in the history of trade ideas you have ever gotten!
Eddie, Yes, I think Larry's tongue was embedded in his cheek when he proposed that.
Jerry - fair to say that Aroldis Chapman is a thrower, and not a pitcher? Watching him sometimes, you can tell within 2 or 3 pitches whether or not he's "got it" on a given day. For crying out loud, he put a hole in the bullpen backstop on Saturday, then threw a warmup pitch 57 feet before blowing the save.
Q-Bert, When the Reds experimented with Chapman being a starter in spring training, Bryan Price talked a lot about how his complementary pitches are very good. But he doesn't have much chance to work on them out of the pen, because it's easier to just heave 96-100 mph fastballs and hope that hitters can't catch up to them. Long-term, it would probably be in his best interests to become a starter. But it's tough to try to make that transition when you're the closer for a contending team with World Series aspirations.
But if you're Jim Leyland whose team has a legitimate shot at playing in the World Series, wouldn't you rather have a guy like Brett Cecil who can get a big out in the late innings, rather than another starter?
Alex, I don't think Alex Anthopoulos has any interest in moving Brett Cecil now that the Jays are back in the race. But to answer your question, yes, I'm sure Jim Leyland would love to have him.
Jerry,Do you think the Yankees will make a move for a right handed bat soon to add some punch to their lineup? If so, who are some names that may be available?
Anthony, We've gone through this a lot, but I don't see what the Yankees do at the moment other than hope A-Rod and Jeter can come back and help them.
By the way, someone earlier asked how I rated the likelihood of 5 hitters making it to 500 home runs. I thought it was a neat question, but I misplaced it. My answer: Adam Dunn, Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, David Ortiz and Paul Konerko, in that order.
How much longer do you see the Nats going with Haren? Do you see them eventually turning to some of the younger kids like Taylor Jordan who is performing well in AA?
Chad, Dan Haren is going on the DL with shoulder problems and the word is that Taylor Jordan will probably replace him in the rotation. So there's your answer.
I think Alex's question about Leyland/Cecil was pertaining to the ASG and how rosters are constructed, and the tendency to overlook setup men in favor of starters.
Nick, Ooops. I misinterpreted that one. One of the problems with these All-Star rosters is making sure that all the teams are represented. So if, say, Oakland doesn't have a guy on the team and Leyland picks Grant Balfour, that might put the squeeze on a guy like Brett Cecil. I've also found that managers/players overlook setup men who are pitching great for high-profile closers who might not deserve spots in the All-Star Game. Long story short: Cecil has his work cut out for him.
What does Nick Franklin's stellar play mean for Ackley in Seattle? Franklin was considered a better 2B prospect than SS anyway, but he's outplayed Ackley by a wide margin. Do they look to trade him?
Billy, Dustin Ackley's trade value is pretty much zero right now, so I'm sure the Mariners would prefer to rehabilitate his swing in the minors rather than just dump him. That would be a pretty awful PR hit for the front office.
I know 500 home runs doesn't mean the same thing it used to, but how will the HOF voters look at Adam Dunn, should he reach that milestone? Will he be one and done on the ballot, or will he stick around a few years?
Alan, That's a great question. Adam Dunn is young enough that he should blow past 500 homers. I know he has his detractors, but it's hard for me to envision him as a one-and-done Hall of Fame guy.
What is the likelihood of Giancarlo Stanton being traded before the deadline? As a Giants fan, I see that we are quickly becoming the Yankees of the west. What are the chances they pull off a deal for Stanton, Nolasco, and a bullpen arm for every significant or marginal prospect in our system??
Marc, I asked around about Stanton a couple of weeks ago, and I would be shocked if the Marlins traded him at the deadline. They'd like to see what they have with him, Christian Yelich and a healthy Logan Morrison in the same lineup.
Jerry Lincecum stringing together a few good starts in a row. Think he maintains this pace or a short term aberration?
Ethan, I'm not going to discount the possibility than Lincecum is finally figuring out how to pitch with less velocity. He's such a different cat with his size and those mechanics, I wouldn't put anything past him. If he can string together a productive second half, it'll be very interesting to see what happens with his free agency. We haven't seen too many guys like him on the market in recent years.
With Carlos Gomez going down yesterday the Brewer's lost one on the only bright spots of the year for awhile is there any reason to be oppotomistic in Milwaukee or are the Brewers a lost cause?
Bryant, Carlos Gomez is listed as day-to-day, so I wouldn't be quite so pessimistic about him. It's been a funny season for the Brewers: They have to be encouraged about what they've gotten from Gomez, Aoki and Segura, but there's no way they're going to make a comeback and be a factor in that division. Doug Melvin needs to take a step back and figure out a way to fix the pitching in time for 2014.
Hey Jerry, is Amaro deluded enough to think he's got a contender there in Philadelphia? If I were a Phillie Phan, I'd be hoping for a swoon so they can start a proper rebuild, before their aging assets lose all their trade value.
Andrew, It actually might be in the Phillies' best interests to drop further under .500 to make it easier for Ruben Amaro to start dumping. I just don't see this team contending this season, but Amaro is so competitive (and the fan base is sufficiently intense and supportive) that he has a hard time saying "uncle." But I think that time is fast approaching.
Jerry, have you heard anything regarding the Reds and what they might do with Cueto/Bailey/Latos going forward? It would seem as if they can't keep all 3, but they have surprised us in the past with the Votto & Phillips contracts. If they can't afford all 3, I'd like to see them be somewhat progressive for once and dangle Bailey or Cueto this winter, see what kind of bites they get.
J.P, The Reds have around $350-60 million committed to Votto, Phillips and Jay Bruce, and there's only so much to go around for a small market club. Bob Castellini has shown he's willing to spend, but they're going to have to make some tough choices as the pitchers advance in the arbitration process. I haven't heard anything lately about how they're prioritizing things.
Thanks for the questions, everybody. Let's do it again next week.