Hey folks, After missing the last couple of chats because I was vacationing in my native Maine, it's good to be back. I promise not to pull a Mark Parent and get ejected before the chat begins. Let's get started.
David Wright starting baseball activities soon so will he return to Mets during 2013? Thanks
EJ, Hamstrings are tough to assess, but Wright seems very motivated to return and we still have five weeks left in the season. I think we'll see him again sometime in September.
Any chance the Cardinals put C.Martinez into starting rotation?
David, The Redbirds are plugging Tyler Lyons into Jake Westbrook's spot in the rotation. That means both Carlos Martinez and Michael Wacha will work out of the bullpen. They can both go multiple innings, so they have a chance to play a significant role for Mike Matheny.
Hey Jerry, what do you think of A's pitcher Jarrod Parker?
Mike, I'm very impressed with the way he came back from a terrible April. I was concerned about him this year because he logged such a heavy workload during the A's run to the playoffs last year. Parker is a very poised kid and has front of the rotation stuff. He's not in that Matt Harvey-Jose Fernandez class of young pitching prospect, but I think he can be a very good 2-3 starter for a long time if he stays healthy.
Jerry, why doesn't STL trade for Haren if he's cleared waivers?
Marcus, Haren has pitched much better lately, so more teams are interested in him than you might have found a month ago. GM Mike Rizzo just told reporters the other day that he's looking for a nice haul of prospects. Unless he comes down on the price this week, he's going to have his work cut out for him moving Haren.
Who does Wil Myers remind you of? Any past players (like 40's, 50's or 60's)? Any one more recent?
Kevin, I'm not the first person to say this, I know, but Wil Myers really does look like Dale Murphy with the big, rangy build, RH power and that shaggy hair. There are a lot worse guys to be compared to.
Hi Jerry,If Brandon Beachy is out for a long time, Do the Braves have enough pitching to make a run in October?
Ross, I'm honestly not sure if the Braves have the starting pitching to make a deep run in October even if Beachy returns. I think the loss of Tim Hudson could really come back to hurt them. Mike Minor and Julio Teheran will both have to have big Octobers, and that might be a lot to ask from them at this stage of their careers.
Hello Jerry! Any personal theories why "winning the offseason" translates so often into "falling flat on your face in the regular season?"
Hey Andrew, I notice you're from Toronto -- Do you have any particular team in mind? I don't think this is true in Alex Anthopoulos' case, but a lot of big-splash offseason signings tend to result from ownership wanting to curry favor with the fans. How many $100M plus contracts work out to have a huge positive impact? That's how we in the media tend to judge the offseason, but it's really the smart, astute, under-the-radar moves that pay the biggest dividends.
Jerry, what do you think about a Tiger's playoff ALDS starting pitcher rotation order of Verlander-Sanchez-Scherzer?
Hey Rick, Good question. If Max Scherzer finishes the season at, say, 23-1, I just don't see Jim Leyland pitching him third in the October rotation. It'll be interesting to see if Leyland defers to Verlander's proven ace status and track record and pitches him in the No. 1 spot in the playoffs. We have another month to see how that shakes out.
with new information on Braun and A-Rod, if you had to defend one of these men who would you choose?
Davis, I would probably hitch my wagon to Braun. I'm not condoning anything he did, but he seems a little more willing to listen to advisers and accept reality than A-Rod does at this point.
Are the Tigers a lock for another MVP and Cy Young?
Peter, Yes, barring something cataclysmic in September, it's hard to see Miggy and Scherzer not winning the two big awards. Yu Darvish will give Scherzer a pretty good run for the Cy. But if Scherzer finishes with a Ron Guidry-like W-L record, that's going to be tough to overcome.
what do you think of the job cashman has done with the yanks?
Jeremy, This year, honestly, I have to give a lot of the credit to Joe Girardi for the job he's done. If the Yankees come back to make the playoffs, he really should be in the mix for the MOY award.
Do Rays win the East? And are they a better matchup to beat the Dodgers in the World Series than the Redsox?
Ryan, I'm not so sure the Rays are a better matchup for the Dodgers if Clay Buchholz comes back and the Red Sox can run out a rotation with Peavy, Lackey, Lester and Buchholz in the top 4 spots. Tampa has a 10-game AL West trip to navigate in early September. If the Rays can go, say, 7-3, they have a decent chance to hold off the Sox. But if I had to pick the AL East winner right now, I'd go with Boston.
Is Travis d' Arnaud the real deal?
Hey James, Obviously, D'Arnaud's ability to stay healthy will be the big determinant. He hasn't hit much so far, but he's shown pretty good plate discipline -- which is a good sign. I think he has a chance to be a top 6-8 catcher in the big leagues over the long haul, if he can hold up physically.
Good to know the Dodgers are a lock for the WS
Hey Adam, They're not a lock by any means, but when a team goes 46-12 over a two-month period, you have to like its chances of making an extended run in October.
4 years out of playoffs, poor starts to season, mediocre in-game strategy and underperformance everywhere ... what's the downside of replacing Scioscia?
Russ, Scioscia still has a good long-term track record, and it's hard to blame him for Pujols' injury issues, Hamilton's under-performance and the issues with the Angels' rotation and bullpen. That said, he is also under contract to the Angels through 2018.
Hi Jerry, who is out of the rotation for the Red Sox when Bucholz comes back?
Bob, It has to be either Ryan Dempster or Felix Doubront, obviously. I know some people are speculating that Dempster gets bounced, but I would guess Doubront.
Jerry- I just noticed that Roger Angell is a candidate for the JG Taylor Spink Award and induction into the HOF. I was stunned that he had not received the award decades ago. Angell is to Baseball writing what Vin Scully is to Baseball broadcasting. I hope that you and the other BBWAA members will correct this glaring omission this year!
Hey Fred, I agree -- Roger Angell is worthy of the Spink Award. I think the fact that he's more of an essayist and not a beat guy-daily columnist might be part of the reason why he's yet to make it to Cooperstown. Furman Bisher and Mel Durslag, two other strong candidates, are also on the Spink ballot this year, so it's not an easy choice.
generally, do you know what role owners play in the management decision process? Is it possible for Arte Moreno to fire himself rather than DiPoto or Mike S? (by that, I mean, stop meddling in management decisions)
Greg, It just depends on the team. Some owners are smart enough to back off and let the GM and his baseball people do their job. Other owners are more inclined to meddle. Judging from all the smoke in Anaheim, Arte Moreno falls into that second category.
Is Ruben Amaro Jr in the situation where pretty much Playoffs in 2014 or he's fired?
Matthew, I don't think it's quite that dire. If Darin Ruf, Cody Asche and some of the new guys continue to progress and the Phillies can begin a transition to a younger roster, I think Amaro can survive a .500 season. If the Phillies go 72-90 next year, that would probably be a different story.
Jerry--what did you think of Doc Halladay's performance yesterday? Any realistic chance the Phillies re-sign him? Thanks.
DJ, He wasn't exactly popping the mitt like the old Doc. But Arizona runs a pretty decent lineup out there, and I give him credit for mixing his pitches enough to keep the D-backs off balance. I expect the Phillies to be in the mix for him this offseason. Halladay has a comfort level in Philly, and they have a better feel for his medical history and what he needs to do to continue to progress. It's just a matter of settling on a deal with the right base salary/incentives.
Will the Braves really just let McCain walk at the end of the year without making a serious play for him? After the hot start, Gattis has not shown much the past few months.
Tyler, Brian McCann might have one more big contract in him for his career, and I think he's interested in checking out the American League where he can gradually transition from catching to a bigger DH role -- a la Victor Martinez. So it's his choice as much as the Braves' choice.
Jerry, don't you think Ryan in Germany presumes a bit when deciding either Boston or Tampa is a "better match up to beat the Dodgers" in the WS? For instance, I can think of a team just north of Windsor, Ontario.
Good point, Tim. And I'm assuming you're not talking about the Blue Jays.
Jerry, if the Tigers win the WS this year, do you think Leyland will retire?
Tim (again), It's possible -- Leyland's good pal Tony La Russa caught everyone off-guard with his retirement. But I think Leyland still has enough passion for the job that he'd like to keep going a little longer. He already had one sabbatical, so he'll have to be 100 percent sure he's finished before he steps away from the game again.
Who do you think wins the NL Central?
Rob, I'll go with the Cardinals -- which means a scintillating one-game playoff between the Reds and Pirates when they snag the wild-card spots. Would that be fun, or what?
Hey Jerry, what kind of contract do you envision Nelson Cruz getting this offseason and could you see the Mets as a possible landing spot? Obviously he has the biogenesis suspension hanging over him but he has big time power which teams like the Mets can use.
Hey James, I could have seen Nelson Cruz as a five-year, $75 million, BJ Upton type deal if not for the Biogenesis suspension. Who knows now? My guess is that he's looking at a two-year deal in the $11-12 million annual range. Teams are just going to be hesitant to commit to longer deals when a guy is coming off a PED bust. Again, that's just a guess on my end.
Hi Jerry! I was wondering why there was so much hand-wringing among the baseball media about Yasiel Puig's so-called showing off, but nobody had anything to say about David Ortiz's childish (and dangerous) display of smashing up the dugout with a bat (in full view of the stadium). Was that excused because he has "paid his dues"? Shouldn't he have been disciplined by MLB or his club over that?
Hey Tom, Yeah, I'm sure Ortiz got something of a pass because he's "been around" and his transgression occurred in the heat of the moment. I cut Puig some slack because he's had to make an enormous cultural adjustment this season. If any one of us went from having no freedom to $42 million and all the freedom and adulation in the world, we'd have some trouble adjusting. Say what you will about Puig, but he plays the game hard and with a lot of passion. That wins him a lot of points with me.
I just love listening to Vin Scully. Besides him who are some of your favorite "local" announcers to listen to?
Hey Ernie, Wow, there are a lot. I have the MLB package and enjoy the dynamic between Krukow and Kuiper in San Francisco, and I think Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy play off each other nicely in Boston. There are a lot of other good tandems I don't have the time to mention right now.
I know the Tigers are a favorite to win the Central, but you know the games have to be played. They've got 4 against the A', 3 against the Indians, then 3 against Boston. Big week for them too.
Ken, Yep, thanks for pointing that out.
Do you think there will be a lot of trades this week? Any chance the Yankees try to get either Adam Dunn or Justin Morneau or Micahel Young and or a starting pitcher like Barry Zito or Dan Haren and or a catcher like Carlos Ruiz? Any chance the Yankees trade either Joba Chamberlain or Phil Hughes before Saturday?
Hey David, The Yankees have played so well lately, I'm less inclined to see another significant deal on the horizon. One thing I can say for sure: I would faint from the shock if Brian Cashman brings in Barry Zito for the stretch drive.
Hey Jerry, in your opinion, how far away are the Mets from being a contender? It's no secret their pitching is going to be an area of strength over the next few years but they need some offense badly in a few different areas. When's a realistic time to start talking about them being contenders again?
Hey James, I would be a little more upbeat about the Mets future if Ruben Tejada, Ike Davis and Lucas Duda had enjoyed more productive seasons. It's hard to get excited about a team's offensive outlook when Marlon Byrd has been the pillar of the lineup. On a positive note, Sandy Alderson has some money to spend this offseason. Unfortunately, it's not a very good free agent market.
Hi, Jerry. Do you know how other clubs around the league feel about what's going on with the Yankees? Last year the Giants didn't bring Melky back for the playoffs. All indications are that Cruz and Peralta aren't coming back to the Rangers or Tigers for the playoffs. But the way the Yankees teammates and fans are welcoming A-Rod back illustrates that they don't really care that their guy is a cheater. Ethics and morals be damned, as long as we're winning. I'm a Yankees fan and I'm utterly embarassed with what's going on with the team. I've lost a lot of respect for the Yankees as a franchise over these last few weeks
Hey Ryan, Some people clearly aren't thrilled that A-Rod is back and able to contribute to the Yankees' postseason run. But most players realize that the basic agreement entitles a player to keep playing while he's appealing a suspension. It's a fundamental right for everyone, and A-Rod is just exercising his rights under the CBA.
Jerry, do you think there's a market for Jason Kubel this week?
Hey Charles, The D-backs were in Philly this week, and I didn't hear any buzz around Kubel as a potential trade candidate. He's had an absolutely terrible year.
Brian Matusz has thrived in the bullpen for the Orioles. Do you think Baltimore will ever give him another chance to start?
John, I don't think so. The O's spent several years waiting for Matusz to emerge as a starter before shifting him to the pen. If he's going to return to starting, it would have to be with another franchise.
Jerry I think Ryan's question is less about A-Rod's decision to appeal and play than the Yankees choosing to run him out there.
Charles, If he has the right to play under the CBS while he's appealing his suspension, I don't see how or why the Yankees would refuse to play him. If he's on the active roster and they're paying him to play anyway, they might as well put him in the lineup. I don't see what the alternative is for them.
I know McCutchen gets the press (deservedly so), but just how valuable has Starling Marte been in his 1st full season? How impressed have you been?
Nate, Defense has played a big role in the Pirates success, and no more so than in the outfield, where McCutchen and Marte catch just about everything. I'm just as impressed with the way Marte has held up offensively. He's going to finish with 40-plus steals and could have an OPS approaching .800. He's been huge for that team.
chris johnsonover his head, figured it out? projections for next year?thnx
Gotta Know -- Johnson has a .407 BABIP (I believe), 23 walks and 92 strikeouts, so I can see a considerable regression next year. My guess is we're looking at a .280-hitting. .320-OBP third baseman with maybe 15 homers. Not bad, but not an annual contender for the batting crown, either.
Hey folks, Thanks for the questions. Let's do it again next week.