With a knife to open up the sky's veins ... it's Klawchat.
What's up with Aaron Sanchez (not 100%, command issues)?
Minor non-arm issues this year, most recently a blister he tried to pitch through. He'll be fine.
Who has the better stuff Appel or Rodon? I know the draft is a long way off but is Rodon a no brainer for Houston?
Rodon has the better slider. Appel has better command and a better change. If the draft were today, Rodon would be a no-brainer, but a lot can happen in ten months, including changes in health.
Victor Roache seems to have salvaged his year from a performance perspective with a hot July. Is it a matter of finally getting healthy? Have any positive reports?
Tiny sample involved - and he's still striking out a ton and is still too old for the level.
Prospect pick-em: Roman Quinn or Jake Hager? Joc Pederson or Kyle Parker
How come the Giants were not on your list of teams that should have sold that didnt? I understand not moving Hunter Pence but keeping Javier Lopez made no sense. He can clearly help a team in the playoff hunt as he did the Giants in 2010 and 2012 but keeping him on a last place team is puzzling. At best he helps the Giants get an extra win or two so they finish fourth instead of last. Please help me understand why they kept him.
I just didn't have time to write up every team. They should have sold Pence, Lopez, and Lincecum, at the very least.
What seems to be the difference for Teheran this year? Last year he seemed to regress, but has been among the best rookie pitchers this year.
He started throwing this short 80-83 mph slider in mid-May - Bloomberg's data shows no sliders before 5/14 - and it's been very effective, a little bigger than a cutter, but short enough that he's been able to throw it for strikes. All he ever really needed was a third pitch - that and a catcher who'd call his freaking changeup now and then - and now he's justifying all those high rankings I gave him.
He's a good example of how Noah Syndergaard could fulfill his potential, although in his case the curve is well ahead of the slider.
Did the Reds blow there chances of being serious title contenders by not making a move at the deadline?
There's nothing they could have done that would have substantially changed their chances, not with the Pirates and Cardinals seemingly locked into playoff spots. I'm not sure what the Reds would have done that would have been productive, to be honest.
When will the Kozmonaut era come to an end in St. Louis?
You mean Kozma-naught?
Is peavy overrated? 14 home runs given up in 80 innings and its not like moving to Fenway will help.
US Cellular is one of the AL's worst pitchers' parks, especially for home runs. Moving to Fenway will help, actually.
Has Colby Rasmus turned it around? His k rate is higher than ever, but he is 2nd among all AL outfielders in WAR
I believe I read in one of the Toronto papers earlier this year that Rasmus had decided to stop worrying about striking out so much. It's weird, but it's working.
A lot of chatter about the Pirates offering Polanco and Henson in trades but how do you see them in the majors?
Not sure I'd even consider trading Polanco. Maybe not Hanson, but definitely not Polanco. Saw him run a 3.90 on a groundball on Sunday - slight jailbreak out of the box, but still all of a 7 runner.
What is Alex Wood's ceiling? Has he moved past JR Graham, Gilmartin, and Cody Martin in the Braves long term planning?
Reliever. If you think he can start long-term, you haven't watched that delivery. That said, he's way ahead of Gilmartin, who was 86-87 according to one scout I talked to last week.
Kyle Krick continues to dominate after coming back from the injury. Is he a top 20 prospect in your minds starting next year and when would you expect to see him in the majors?
Doesn't have the command or third pitch right now to be a top 20 prospect. Probably 2 solid years away. Did talk to one scout who wrote him up as a future closer, because he didn't foresee enough command or the third pitch for him to start.
Mandatory Junior Lake questions of the day: What are the chances that he can become an adequate major league starter? Could he be a uber-utility player given his skill set?
I'll bet the under on both.
Did the umps get it right last night in regards to the Mariners' relief pitchers?
I don't think so - there's nothing in the rules about this.
One possible PTBNL going to the Cubs in the Garza trade is Neil Ramirez. What's his potential?
Fourth starter. Has had some shoulder trouble though.
Is the Yankees Greg Bird becoming a Guy this year? .287/.416/.506...Any reports on his defense at first? Shame he couldn't stick at catcher...
Still more of a fringe prospect - not young for the league, bat speed isn't great. Power is legit though. Worth watching, absolutely, but has to show he can make contact against better competition.
Hi Keith - wld love to hear your thoughts on Jose Rondon, young SS prospect for the Angels currently in rookie ball. Thanks!
Sleeper. Saw him last summer, really liked him.
When will you admit you dislike the Orioles?
Never, because I don't, genius.
Sano was recently benched 4 games for a bat flip and 30 second homerun trot. Appropriate punishment or over the top?
Way over the top.
What's going on with former twins first rounder Hudson Boyd? Haven't heard much about him lately.
Pitching poorly in low-A. Have heard conditioning has been a real issue.
Can Andrew Lambo be more than a 4th outfielder? Would you give him a call up before September and try him in RF?
I think that's all he is, if that. Not sure if I'd bring him up given his makeup and poor on-base skills.
Can you turn on auto update please! Also, do you see a position change in Garin Checchini's future?
I cannot, so everyone needs to stop asking. And no, I don't.
Thoughts on the brewers draft picks so far?
Not good. The one pick I really liked, Devin Williams, hasn't pitched well (not a big deal) and I've heard some negative stuff about his makeup as well.
What would be the best way of reducing #umpshows in upcoming seasons? Increased use of replays a good start?
The best step MLB can take would be an immediate suspension for any umpire who leaves his position to argue with a player, coach, or manager. No exceptions. I'd rather see a quick ejection than a prolonged argument.
Keith, from your front office experience, what kind of stuff could be going on internally, that we never know about, that could explain some of the behavior of certain front offices (Phillies not selling, for example) that looks objectively not rationale to those of us on the outside?
If ownership of any team says "don't sell, we want to try to win as many games as we can," then you don't sell. I might resign in that situation if I thought it was the wrong thing for the team, but how often have you ever seen a GM step down for philosophical reasons?
Do you think the Giants have given Belt an adequate amount of time to show them what kind of player he is or is has he still been underutilized?
He'd been on a solid three-month run, dating back to the April day off/swing retooling - .289/.368/.502 from April 22nd (first day back) to July 22nd. Then he goes 1 for 19 with a horrible error and he's back on the milk carton. If he's even a .350/.475 guy at 1b, with generally good defense, that's a solid player. Not sure why they're treating him like he's not.
Jeez....it's almost gotten to the point where I feel halfway bad for Riley Cooper. Dude obviously hates himself right about now. I said almost.
You drop that word, you're a bad human being. I'm not saying we can't forgive and move on, but you are saying something about yourself when you use that word, or the bundle-of-sticks epithet for gays.
Given how athletic Grant Green is, why can't he seem to settle into a position? Has he been moved around too much or was Oakland right to keep trying him in new spots?
Footwork. Ran Aaron Hill off shortstop, although he got his feet under control enough to become a good 2b.
An observation not a question: when you see a guy like Brandon Cumpton (9th round draft pick) come up from AAA and shut out the Cardinals in a critical, playoff like game it puts our collective prospect obessions in perspective. Elite talent is essential, but depth is important also.
Depth is huge. It takes 8 or 9 starters to get through a season unless you're the 2005 White Sox.
There has been a lot debate about how much, if at all, PEDs actually improve numbers. Do you think Braun will be a great test subject for this? He's still in his prime and you would have to think he won't touch the stuff again. If he comes back and averages .280/20 home runs over the rest of his contract, does this justify users being held out of the HOF?
He's just one datum. Won't tell us much either way.
Understand the long-term concerns about Wood staying healthy in the rotation, but for the remainder of this season would it not be better for the Braves to keep him stretched out for the backend of a playoff rotation rather than turn to Beachy while he's still trying to find his pre-TJ stuff or Maholm?
They have no choice, do they? Put Beachy in the pen for now, let Wood start until Beachy is ready to trade places?
Trout for MVP, you in?
Leading the league in WAR again. Was messing around on FG this morning - if you swap Miggy to DH, eliminating his huge negative defensive number but taking away the boost he gets for playing a skill position, the net change appears to be roughly nil.
Keith, Have you ever seen a GM who has taken so many shots at guys outside the industry like Amaro has?
I said last week I thought it was unprofessional, but I think it is also a window on to his state of mind. When someone is that defensive, he's telling you he's insecure about something - in this case, probably his job security, but perhaps also just about the amount of criticism he's receiging at the moment.
when you say "bad make-up" what exactly are you referring to? Does that mean the player doesnt respond well to coaching? doesn't do extra work? spends too much time partying?
I'm only referring to stuff that matters to the game on the field. Doesn't work hard. Doesn't respond to instruction. Has substance-abuse issues that could lead to suspensions. I don't care if someone is just an unpleasant person, or doesn't talk to reporters, or smokes a little weed while he's on the 40-man (ergo no suspension). Heck, the Rays should start up a short-season affiliate in Uruguay.
Please don't start the Trout for MVP campaign again. It's obvious Cabrera is the best player in the league.
Facts be damned?
What is your opinion on the foie gras ban?
Pointless feel-good policymaking. You want to improve animal welfare? Eliminate factory farming of chickens. No more debeaking. No keeping them in such cramped quarters that they have to be force-fed antibiotics to survive. Saving a few geese or ducks while ignoring the plight of millions of chickens or cows - because the latter industries donate more to politicians' campaigns - only underscores how worthless our government is when it gets involved in regulating our food supply.
John from Detroit was leaving his statement up for argument. If he wanted to end the discussion, he would have said "Cabrera is the best player in the league. PERIOD."
There is no question that you are right.
Keith, Marcus Semien was promoted to AAA Charlotte this week. He is having a pretty impressive year statistically. How do his tools project in the major leagues? Solid everyday guy, utility, or np?
Average regular at 2b. Don't believe he can be an everyday SS defensively, although that's based on a somewhat dated look at him in the field.
Thoughts on the Rizzo extension? Seems like the right move. Any chance they bring back Manny Acta to manage?
No objection to extending Rizzo except that the timing was odd. The big league club looks so bad that perhaps this was something to announce after the season. I don't anticipate a reunion with Manny, although I believe he'll manage in the majors next year, which will suck because doing BBTN with him is awesome.
Todd Cunningham - Can he be a Guy or is he just a guy?
Just a guy.
Do you have a regular schedule with Baseball Tonight or is it just as needed? If they are smart, they will make you a regular (if you don't already have that status).
Thank you. My schedule depends a little on other travel and of course on who else they already have scheduled to appear. I'm happy to pop in when they need me. It's been a great experience. Even just hanging in the green room with the other analysts/hosts and the crew is fun.
Take Trout away from the Angels and they are still a bad team. Take Miggy away from Detroit, a playoff team ends up on the golf course in October. Most VALUABLE Player.
Oh, well, since you put it in capital letters, that just demonstrates to me that you need a better dictionary.
Trading Kyle Zimmer for Howie Kendrick would have been a terrible move for the Royals, correct? Should they have tried to trade Santana for someone like Kolton Wong?
I agree on the first one. I think Zimmer might be an ace - has ace stuff, at least.
Not to look too far ahead, but do you think Polanco could be big-league ready by mid-June 2014? That right field hole at PNC Park may still be there at that point.
I do. He could be really special. BTW, I still think he's more than fine in center, by the way.
Stroman is still kicking butt in the minors. I know most feel he's still destined for the bullpen, but there's no harm in giving him a few Major league starts this season and gathering some extra data before 2014 spring training decisions need to be made, right?
Not saying this should happen, but more curious on the thinking of the voters. If Rivera continues to throw this well and gets to the 50 save mark with a 1.something era, do you think that the Cy Young voters will pick him over a Scherzer, Moore or Hernandez because of him retiring?
I doubt it, and I hope not, as IMO that would represent a clear breach of trust by the voter.
The Tigers would be a better team with Trout than they are with Cabrera. More VALUABLE.
This is true. And, if you swap the two players, the Angels would still be terrible.
I believe you saw Deck McGuire pitch this past weekend, any idea what's going on with him, or is this a case of what you see is what you get?
Probably an NP at this point. Maybe an emergency 5th starter.
Mr. Law, I am no A-Rod(Seriously a lifetime ban, thats crazy) fan but this ridiculousness of acting as if these PED users are like murderers or so it seems is a little bit much for me. I am of the notion that these drugs/methods may actually be beneficial and not harmful to your health, don't you think people should relax and some more research be done on the subject. Your thoughts??
OK, one PED-related question, but that's all. I disagree on the "not harmful" part. The evidence on the harmful effects of steroids, for example, is extremely strong, as is the evidence on their beneficial effects for activities that don't require sport-specific skills, like weightlifting or sprinting. If a PED has a positive health effect, like HGH for injury recovery, then MLB should consider allowing its limited use under the care of a league-authorized doctor. I wouldn't go farther than that given the harm the drugs might do.
Do you know yet which award you're voting for this year? If not, when do you find out?
Within the next two weeks.
Doesn't it seem ridiculous that players are allowed to "negotiate" their suspensions for PEDs?
They're being suspended for a violation other than failing a test, though. We let many criminals plead guilty for a lesser sentence to spare the trouble and cost of a trial. MLB let Braun put in an Alford plea where he didn't even have to admit what he did, all to try to achieve what they view as a larger goal.
Do you think a single off day can really make a big difference for the player? Or is it just a case of arbitrary endpoints, where we only notice the rare large disparities? (Since players do have a lot of off days, in the aggregate.) I think of this Belt thing, and a lot has been made of Starlin Castro's .300 July since his off day.
In Belt's case, he worked with Bochy in the cage over several days to rework his swing - he got one day off and another as a PH, then returned to the lineup full time. It's not arbitrary if we can tie it to something tangible like a mechanical change, a new pitch (Teheran), or a return from the DL (Corey Seager).
Looking into your crystal ball... what happens when Hammel is deactived off the disabled list? Would it be time for Gonzalez or Feldman to suffer an "injury"?
Norris to the pen?
Is Chad Bettis ready for prime time? His start yesterday wasn't dazzling.
Might be a reliever long-term. Certainly would be better suited to that role this year. You're seeing part of why I was so down on the Rockies in March - the lack of pitching depth if anything went wrong with their planned rotation.
Regarding your response to the Giants being sellers. Why should the Giants sell Pence and Lincecum for marginal prospects when they can offer them qualifying offers after the season and if they walk, the Giants get draft pick compensation most likely at the end of the first round. The Giants aren't strapped for cash so moving salary is no big deal, so why sell if the value is not equal?
What if the players take those offers? You think someone's giving Lincecum anything approaching $13 million next year?
Lots of pundits said before the trade deadline that the Tribe need rotation help. Who do you regard as the weakest link in a rotation that has been firing on all cylinders for the last month?
You trust Kazmir or McAllister going forward? They could upgrade on either of those guys.
Another chatter indicated that he thinks Kershaw is in the conversation for NL MVP. How do you feel about that?
I always consider pitchers for the MVP award.
Keith, I saw Trevor Bauer pitch at Huntington Park on Saturday evening. While his breaking balls did look sharp, the Durham hitters were squaring up his fastball pretty good and he was only hitting 89 to 90 on the stadium gun. Is that the primary reason he dropped from in the Top 25 to out of your top 50 at mid-season?
Loss of velocity is the main reason. Lack of command is another, but if he were still hitting 97 like he did in college, he'd be able to get away with some command issues.
When you expect to see Urias in LA? I am thinking all of 2014 in AA and maybe to the LA bullpen in 2015, but even then only if he has dominated AA.
You're talking about the 16-year-old, right? You think he's in the majors at 18?
Re: qualifying offer...if the player accepts, you deal him at next year's deadline, assuming the team is a seller again.
After which you've dropped $9 million on him, and might have to pay more of that just to get a prospect. This trick only makes sense if the player is worth the $13MM+ in the first place.
Have you had a chance to see the newly signed Eloy Jimenez? How far is he away in a best case scenario?
Never seen him. I don't do anything with the July 2 guys. They're too far away.
What is wrong with me? The Jays are gonna make me a QO, right? Right?!?
Has to be hurt.
Keith, where do you like to eat when hanging around in Bristol?
Sweet Chili in West Hartford is my favorite spot. Also liked House of Kabob over near the university in Newington, O'Rourke's in Middletown, and of course Max's Oyster Bar in West Hartford.
also Jr. Lake!
Is exactly what we thought he was. Hope you enjoyed it.
Do the Angels have any top 100 prospects at this point?
I can see your point for Lincecum, who actually hasn't pitched that poorly in his last few starts, but Pence is still a good player and worth the qualifying offer. Also, the Giants expressed interest in resigning him at the end of the season. Isn't it easier to resign a player that is yours than letting him go and trying to resign him then?
Why is that easier? I don't understand that. It's not like you trade him and he gets an unlisted number and will never answer your calls (babe).
Marlins or Astros in worse shape?
Did the Tigers make a mistake trading away A. Garcia?
Are you doing Top Chef Master recaps on your blog?
No, bad time of year for that with all my travel. I'll be back with recaps for the next regular TC season.
Remember when the Reds screwed themselves by giving up all those amazing prospects to San Diego for one player? I love the "quantity equals quality" crowd.
Don't look at me - I liked the deal for the Reds.
Quick book question: Have you started reading War & Peace? Mine's been on my shelf for years. Intimidating.
Not yet. Just started Brothers Karamazov last night, though.
Hey, I'm with you on Trout being a better overall player but it is not called Best Player Award. The difference between the two is so minimal, shouldn't the player that carries his team into the playoffs get the edge?
Why? Because that's how you want it to be? How about we just pick the player who delivers the most value?
JP Crawford is lighting up Rookie Ball (.356/.446/.471). Does he get a full-season assignment to Lakewood next year?
I assume so - they've sent younger, less ready prospects to Lakewood in their first full pro seasons.
Do you assume you're the smartest person in the room most of the time?
That depends. Are you in the room?
Hi KLaw,are the Red Sox right to value Xander Bogaerts that much? When will he be called and what kind of player/hitter do you expect him to be?
Yes, they are right. Can't trade a guy who's in the running for the top prospect in baseball, unless you are wearing bite-proof pants.
Have you had a chance to see Joe Wendle from the Indians high A team? Is he a legit prospect?
Just an org guy.
pnin or lolita?
Lolita. Wasn't even close for me.
In the top chef premier gale compared a dish to a perfect black dress. How will I make it through this season without your snarky recaps?
Was she wearing the dress?
You're defense of Trout at the expense of Miggy is hystrionic - just overdone. Any team would be out of their minds to not want both these guys.
So we shouldn't answer the question? If one is clearly better, which Trout was last year, then he's the answer. #your
Ceiling for Kyle Smith? Did the Royals give up too much for Justin Maxwell?
Fifth starter most likely. Fringe-average stuff, good command. I had no problem with that trade.
Why don't you ever comment on the Oakland A's?
There's a team in Oakland? Someone tell the locals. Maybe they'll come to a game sometime.
The biggest fallacy about a player "carrying his team to the playoffs" is that they might miss the playoffs if their #1 pitcher or closer or cf were missing too. It's a team game. So you want to penalize Trout because the talent around Cabrera is better?
They want to penalize Trout because acknowledging that he was more valuable last year would undermine their core beliefs about baseball. It's the same reason some religious people refused to accept the theory of evolution. Sorry, refuse.
going to the free Alt-J concert in Phila on Saturday?
No, family plans that day, but I mention it here more to recommend it to any readers in the area. They put on a great live show.
WAR is not the end all be all of stats no matter how much you want it to be.
That's great. I've never said it was.
Tyler Beede to the Blue Jays next year..lol? Can it happen.
Won't happen. Probably goes below where they'll pick anyway.
Sure it's just speculation, but how much of Pujos's decline would you attribute to the plantar fasciitis?
It's a very significant injury. I was talking to Stephania Bell about it the other day in Bristol and she seemed to think it could explain a lot of his decline, because every time you step with that foot, you tear the muscle in question a little more. So, ow.
The Miggy vs Trout debate seems to really come down to how much you or anyone else values defense. The Miggy supporters obviously are so infatuated with his bat, they refuse to look at it, but it matters.
As does baserunning. Which old-school folks should love, because those were always considered small-ball or fundamental things. But, you know, TEH TRIPLE CORWN!
Why Astros over Marlins? Wont the Marlins' farm system be better than Houston after they liquidate Stanton for assets?
How much did they get when they liquidated Nolasco?
What's with the beef between you and Simmons ?
Come on, I praise Andrelton all the time.
Also, I have no idea what you're talking about.
Picking up on Jason's point, how much should anyone care about defense anyway? I know there's no agreement about the validity of current defensive metrics, but after years of being taught as a player and a fan that "defense matters," I'm beginning to wonder if that's just a crock.
The Rays, A's, and Pirates have made a pretty good case that defense matters.
Rank these Rockies for 2015: Rosario, Arenado, Dahl. Any have a chance to be a real solid even all star player?
Major league value in 2015? Arenado, Rosario, Dahl. Long-term value Dahl, Arenado, Rosario.
How much of a GMs success boils down to how much the owner allows them to do?
More than we know as outsiders. I hear some of this stuff, but I don't pretend to know I hear all of it.
The Blue Jays have made an excellent case this year that defense matters, too.
Sorry, I dropped the computer on the floor when I tried to answer that. /bluejay'd
Chris Johnson...having a fluke year or has he figured something out?
"The Rays, A's, and Pirates have made a pretty good case that defense matters." sure, but the question I was kinda asking was -- how much does it matter? Is it a 5% variable? 20%? Or an "all things created equal" factor?
I've seen estimates that start at about 10% and go up from there. Disentangling defense and pitching isn't a simple task.
Team most deserving of being relocated?City most deserving of getting a team?
Oakland to San Jose, Tampa Bay to Austin or San Antonio, call it a day.
In your opinion is it unprofessional of Cashman to repeatedly comment that acquiring certain players was mandated by the owners against his wishes?
We should all have that kind of job security. "I hated this move and my boss is a giant doofus. Excuse me while I go cash my six-figure paycheck."
Confusion is mine, but "Beede will go below where the Jays will pick".... as in he's rated higher or lower than the Jays 'projected' draft spot?
Jays will pick high, and he wouldn't be ranked that high on my board right now.
*Six* figure paycheck?
Well I assume he gets more than one paycheck a year.
That's all for this week. I'll be at the Area Code Games in Long Beach next week, followed by the PG All-American Game at Petco on the 11th. Next chat is in two weeks. Thanks for all the questions.