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September 10, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with David Schoenfield

David Schoenfield
  (1:01 PM)

Royals fans? Hello? Are you out there? Please ... away from the ledge. Step away.

Tarek (NYC)

This will be the 1st time since 91, that both Pitt and KC end the same year with a winning record. Well, that's if Ned Yost doesn't go bunt crazy the rest of the way.

Joe (Topeka, KS)

Do you have something against the Royals? It seems in all of your articles you are going against them. Just trying to figure out what you have against them and if they make a run to the playoffs that I believe they still have in them, are you going to write a "I was wrong, please forgive me" article?

David Schoenfield
  (1:02 PM)

So you thought pinch-hitting Carlos Pena was a good move?

Matt (Philly)

I think your latest "Player A or Player B" post shows why so many people have a problem with ESPN's sabermetric craze. You cherry picked selected stats when it suited you, and implied somehow that Mariano isn't much different than Joe Nathan. As an aside, it would be of service to your beliefs to explain WAR a bit better. For instance, does the fact Torii Hunter sees more fastballs (getting better numbers and higher WAR) b/c he's in front of Cabrera impact Cabrera's WAR? Or, if guys batting with Trout on base see more fastballs (b/c Trout is a threat to run) impact Trout's WAR? I don't think it's so much of a hard-line as you make it out to be.

David Schoenfield
  (1:03 PM)

Nathan has been better than Rivera this year. Does Hunter see more fastballs in front of Cabrera? Well, let's check ...

David Schoenfield
  (1:06 PM)

2013: 56 percent; 2012: 55 percent; 2011 (pre-Tigers): 55 percent; 2010: 53 percent. So, umm, no, he doesn't really see more fastballs hitting in front of Cabrera.

zack (stl)

I know internet baseball writers love Joe Maddon, but if anyone were batting Delmon Young in the middle of the line up, even against a righty (fifth against Iwakuma) would saber types be tearing him to shreds?

David Schoenfield
  (1:07 PM)

Did he do that? No, I can't defend that, although Maddon probably would give you a reason WHY.

David Schoenfield
  (1:08 PM)

Iwakuma does have a sizable reverse platoon, so that's why. Still not sure I would start Young against any right-hander.

Andres (GA)

David, with Jeter being out indefinitely, what are the odds he calls it a career and goes in the HOF same as MO?? Ala, Maddux and Glavine next year?

David Schoenfield
  (1:08 PM)

He'll be back. Don't see him going out this way.

Kevin (Orlando/Tampa Bay)

Big series starting today - Red Sox vs Rays. I was hoping we would be 1 or 2 games back when this started, but....... :( Who do you think takes the series and why?

David Schoenfield
  (1:09 PM)

Yeah, Rays are playing for the wild card at this point. Red Sox are playing better right, but let's see what Buchholz has tonight. His rehab starts weren't statistically impressive.

Scott (Raleigh)

Hi David, love your stuff; thanks for the chat. Do you really think service time will be an issue for the 'Stros bringing up Springer next year? I am surprised he's not up in the bigs now, and he is certainly among the top three OFs in Houston. Potentially the next Mike Trout.

David Schoenfield
  (1:10 PM)

I'm guessing they just didn't want to put him on the 40-man roster and have to take somebody off? (Assuming it was full.) I'm with you ... a little surprised they didn't give him a look, so maybe it is a service time thing. Although a few more weeks in Triple-A wouldn't hurt. Still a lot of swing-and-miss to his game.

Tarek (NYC)

Just saying, Buck is my 2nd favorite manager ever, just behind Billy Martin.

Greg (LA)

Dodgers signing Guerrero out of Cuba means that they're not in on Cano, right? And doesn't that limit Cano just to the Yankees? So his contract will be more like Pedroia's or Wright's, and less like Votto's?

David Schoenfield
  (1:12 PM)

I know some speculated that. I mean, even the Dodgers probably have *some* limit on their payroll and they have pony up for Kershaw. So, yes, probably sends Cano back to the Yankes. And, no, he won't get Votto money, mostly because he's a couple years older than Votto when the Reds signed that extension.

Bo (Atlanta)

Of the 8 teams that make it to the actual playoffs, 7 will not win it all. But if the Braves don't win, it's because they strike out too much.

David Schoenfield
  (1:14 PM)

Not sure if you're saying you agree with that or if you're providing the reasons that will be given.

Tom (Dallas, TX)

If there is another Ranger collapse, does Ron Washington and his horrendous game planning and in game strategy finally get the pink slip?

David Schoenfield
  (1:16 PM)

I'd lean to yes. At some point, if you haven't gotten over that final hump with him, you have to make a change, even if Washington brings a lot of positives (energy, trust in his players, relaxed atmosphere).

pat (cincy)

What type of bat could the Red's get for Chapman next year? Marshall and Bronxton make too much for the mid market Reds to have three big time contracts in the bullpen, and he is our best assest available to help offset the loss of Choo.

David Schoenfield
  (1:17 PM)

Teams don't really trade for closers. Can you think of a big-time closer who was traded? They just don't have a lot of value since they're relatively easy to replace. Sure, Chapman is good, but I don't think he would bring a big bat in return.

Charles (San Jose)

David, who would you choose between Didi Gregorius and Chris Owings? How much trade value does the loser have?

David Schoenfield
  (1:21 PM)

Have never seen Owings play, but in the pro-Gregorius camp. Good glove, has shown some ability with the bat. Owings' walk rates in the minors are awful and everybody hits at Reno, so I'm not sure how good his bat is. If Owings can stick at SS, he has some trade value -- probably a marginal starting outfielder or back-end rotation guy.

Andrew (Toronto)

The final kick in the you-know-what to this horrible Jays season is that Farrell is likely to (deservedly) win AL Manager Of The Year. Is there anything you've noticed that he's doing differently than during his underwhelming years in Toronto? Or is it just he was marking time up north waiting for his "dream job" to open up?

David Schoenfield
  (1:22 PM)

Better players? The Red Sox had a lot of depth this year, that's been the big thing. Jays have always been hindered by lack of depth in recent years.

John (Cincinnati, Oh)

Reds are hoping to get Cueto back for playoffs. With plan to use him in a Lincecum-like role out of the pen. You optimistic about this working out?

David Schoenfield
  (1:24 PM)

I like the idea. No idea IF it will work out. Outside of Lincecum, I'm trying to think of how often the starter-to-the-bullpen thing works out in the postseason ... I'm sure there are other examples, but I'm drawing a blank right now.

Mike (Mision Viejo, CA)

After last nights game I am now 100% convinced this is the Dodgers year. Juan Uribe hits three homeruns in his first three at-bats. Even more impresive is that he had an infield single in his fourth at-bat. That has to be destiny.

David Schoenfield
  (1:25 PM)

I saw that infield single. Was Chavez playing third? Man, he just kind of lobbed the ball over there. Anyway ... the amazing thing about Uribe is why the Dodgers even kept him around in the offseason considering how bad he'd been the previous two years. I know they still owed him money, but what were the odds he'd offer anything?

Chris (lunch)

Please tell people to quit referring to prospects as "the next Mike Trout." It's so unrealistic. Mike Trouts come along once every other generation or so.

David Schoenfield
  (1:26 PM)

Was talking with Karabell about that today. Every top prospect is screwed for the next five years when they don't turn into Trout and viewed as a disappointment.

kevin (denver)

Kudos to Rockies management for tanking the remainder of the season...Bravo O'Dowd, Monforts et al...how do these "baseball" men sleep at night?

Todd (Philly)

were you avoiding Heathcliff Slocumb because of your affinity for Seattle? funny....

David Schoenfield
  (1:27 PM)

That was 1997! Not very recent, my friend. And thanks for reminding me.

David Gustafson (Minneapolis)

Different eras, and not really applicable, but the Mets traded closer Tug McGraw for catcher John Stearns, and then later swapped closer Randy Myers for closer John Franco.

Greg (LA)

is this winter the time for Angels to trade Bourjos? He's a great CF, and we have one in Trout. Or are his injuries killing his value?

David Schoenfield
  (1:28 PM)

I think so. Probably has to show he's healthy again before his trade value returns.

Vince (Bend, OR)

M's offseason: Go hard after Ellsbury or Choo?

David Schoenfield
  (1:29 PM)

Both? I like Choo a little more (but as a corner outfielder, not center fielder) because of Ellsbury's injury history. Mariners have money to spend -- only Felix is signed long-term -- if they can actually convince somebody to come to Seattle. They'll probably be in on every free agent outfielder this offseason, considering ... well, that they need three of them.

Deric (Boulder)

Does Scherzer still have the Cy wrapped up?

David Schoenfield
  (1:31 PM)

I'd say 95 percent locked up. Trouble is, there isn't an obvious No. 2 guy. Sale? Darvish? Felix? Even if Scherzer isn't the clear No. 1, the others will just split the votes.

Scott (Raleigh)

Difference between Springer and SOME other young big K guys (Arcia, Marte) is that he has proven he'll take walks. And the 'Stros would do well to FIND a place for him on the 40 man roster...to see what he's got with no pressure. Minor league season is done except for playoffs....which are meaningless.

David Schoenfield
  (1:33 PM)

Oh, I basically agree. You could still give him a few weeks in the majors and then return him to Triple-A next year for a month or so. But teams are so cautious now with the service time issue. What potential power/speed guy though. After watching him at UConn, can't wait to see him in Houston.

Jake - Seattle [via mobile]

Saw TaiWalker pitch at Safeco last night. How good will he be when the force(curve) is strong?

David Schoenfield
  (1:35 PM)

Didn't watch last night, but saw some of his previous start. Maybe it's the pessimistic Mariners fan in me, but I fear he's been a little overhyped. I think he still has some work to do on the offspeed stuff, I worry about the stiff leg landing on his delivery and his fastball can seem a little straight. He's very young, of course, and you can see the potential, but I think more Triple-A time next season is in order.

John (Cincinnati, Oh)

2013 Astros: Embarrassment or progress?

David Schoenfield
  (1:38 PM)

Been meeting to write up a post on that. Outside of Jason Castro, did any position player show they belong in the majors? Not really. Altuve regressed, Chris Carter did Chris Carter stuff, Brett Wallace was awful and then a little better but he's a bench player at best. I guess Dominguez. Maybe Cosart. Nice ERA but 35 walks and 33 strikeouts are a long-term issue. I would say all the progress was made at the minor league level.

Deric (Boulder)

How about the other major awards? Locked up? (assuming Cutch wins NL MVP)

David Schoenfield
  (1:39 PM)

I think so. Miggy, Scherzer, Cutch and Kershaw. Maybe NL rookie is still up for grabs with Puig and Fernandez. AL rookie ... umm, is there even a good candidate?

Danny (NYC)

Starter during the season, bullpen in the postseason - Sid Fernandez for the Mets in 1986. They wouldn't have won Game 7 against the Sox without Sid shutting the Sox down in relief.

David Schoenfield
  (1:39 PM)

Going back a ways, but that's a good one. Everyone forgets the Red Sox led that game!

John (Cincinnati, Oh)

Arroyo wants multi-year deal with Reds. Is this a bad idea or a terrible idea?

David Schoenfield
  (1:40 PM)

Well, it's a good idea for Arroyo! I think we both know the Reds will let him walk with Cingrani showing he belongs. I can see landing in ... I don't know, how about Seattle or Anaheim?

Mark (Cbus)

Is it just me or was Brian Goorman putting on one heck of an #umpshow last night?

David Schoenfield
  (1:41 PM)

Was he the one who ejected Cabrera? Ridiculous. Let the players decide the game.

dave (tampa)

Tigers pitching have enough gas left to put up a stellar Oct.? They have slipped a bit in past couple of starts compared to previous months.

David Schoenfield
  (1:42 PM)

A little bit of concern, right? I wouldn't have a ton of confidence right now in Fister and Verlander.

Nick (London)

Why is it that Trout is almost a whole win over Cabrera in offensive WAR despite the fact that Cabrera leads Trout in virtually every offensive category? I am a WAR believer but that makes very little sense.

David Schoenfield
  (1:44 PM)

I wrote a little about this yesterday. Couple things: Cabrera's offensive numbers aren't THAT much better than Trout's. He only has 28 more total bases, for example, but Trout has a few more walks, fewer double plays hit and more stolen bases. (Plus more plate appearances, which helps since WAR is a cumulative stat.) Ballparks also. Cabrera plays in a higher run-scoring environment, so the runs he creates are worth slightly less than Trout's.

Tarek (NYC)

What are the Odds the Yankees go after a surpise FA this year. Do they try and hire Donnie baseball as manager? Nothing against Giradi.

David Schoenfield
  (1:45 PM)

Don't the Dodgers have to bring Mattingly back after this year? I'd have to check Yankees' payroll. Do they room for a big free agent? Maybe if A-Rod gets suspended ...

Ethan (Colorado Springs, CO)

David, one bright spot for the defending champs this year has been the maturation of Brandon Belt over the past few months into a legitimate middle of the order hitter, and his power stroke should only continue to develop. That said, with the dearth of positional talent (or any talent, for that matter) in the SF system, should the Giants consider trading Belt or Sandoval (or both) and rebuilding, or try the plug-and-play routine with "savvy" veterans that has nabbed them 2 titles in the last 3 years?

David Schoenfield
  (1:48 PM)

I'd keep Belt -- solid hitter and contributor but not so good he brings a ton in return. Sandoval is the guy I'd consider trading. Just not sure he's a long-term building block given his weight and inconsistency. But Giants are in a tough position: They were bad this year because they were bad. Didn't really suffer any major injuries except to Pagan and Cain (late). So I'm not sure the savvy veteran routine will work any longer, although I assume that's what Sabean does.

mark (nyc)

What are your expectations for Clay, not just for tonight but, the remainder of the year as-well? If he's able to be 90% of the pitcher he was, by the time the regular season ends/playoff starts, what does that mean for the red sox and their chances?

David Schoenfield
  (1:51 PM)

Just looking at his stat lines, I don't have high expectations tonight. Didn't get out of the first inning in his first start (threw 38 pitches or something) and seven hits in 3.1 in his next one. Obviously, shaking off some rust. I'm guessing he's on a pitch count tonight so probably a 4-5 inning stint even if he's going well. As for playoffs, sure, if he throws well, he'll be in the rotation. Lester, Lackey, Peavy, Buchholz looks like a pretty nice playoff rotation.

dave (tampa)

Trout has fewer hits into double play because he bats lead off...Cabrera has more opportunity to hit into double plays because he bats third. It's like RBIs.

David Schoenfield
  (1:54 PM)

It still counts. Trout has had 107 DP "opportunities" and hit into 7 (7 percent). Cabrera has had 132 DP opportunities and hit into 16 (12 percent). It's a small thing, but adds a *little* extra value to Trout.

Jesse (MN)

Should international free agents have to enter the draft? The Dodgers, etc. buying everybody is not a sign of competitive balance.

David Schoenfield
  (1:55 PM)

You mean like Aroldis Chapman and Yoenis Cespedes?

Alex (OH)

The Billy Hamilton Show rolls on, is he worthy of a postseason roster spot?

David Schoenfield
  (1:55 PM)

Over a seventh or eighth reliever? Absolutely.

Brint (Wichita)

The Phillies have traded for both Billy Wagner and Brad Lidge in the last 10 years or so

David Schoenfield
  (1:58 PM)

Lidge had a 5.28 ERA in 2006 and then was a part-time closer in 2007 before the Phillies got him. So he was kind of a wild card. So let me rephrase: A *top-shelf* closer. Yes, Wagner qualifies. Astros got Taylor Buchholz and Brandon Duckworth, who were probably B-type prospects at the time.

David Schoenfield
  (1:58 PM)

My point is teams don't give up starting position players or pitchers to acquire a closer.

Scott (Raleigh)

Cosart....still and impressive ERA despite the walks....don't think he'll grasp command in time?

David Schoenfield
  (2:00 PM)

I don't know. Averaged 4.8 walks per 9 in Triple-A as well. Obviously has good stuff -- limited home runs in the minors and so far in the majors. Just saying I still see some red flags there.

Mike (CT)

How about Lincecum to the Yankees as a suprise FA signing?

David Schoenfield
  (2:01 PM)

Could be. Mariners? He still owns a house in Seattle, where he's from, and Seattle needs starting pitching.

John (Cincinnati, Oh)

Why should teams receive salary relief when a player is suspended? The Yankees failed their due diligence when they gave AROD that contract. I agree if AROD is suspended he doesn't deserve the money, but I also think Yankees don't deserve it either. How about taking that money to fund investigations into the next Biogenesis or Balco?

Mike (Atl)

Braves look like they will be able to set up their rotation for hte postseason. How would you set it up for a 5 game series? Minor, Teheran, Medlen?

David Schoenfield
  (2:02 PM)

Medlen's been very good lately. May slide him up to No. 2. Would consider home/road splits too. Braves have a great home record so I'm guessing one of those starters may have a sizable split.

Justin (Baltimore)

Prediction for the rest of the Orioles/Yankees series. Orioles finally played some small ball!!!

Dennis (LA)

Who are some cost-controlled starting pitchers who might be available in trade this winter? Hellickson? Others?

David Schoenfield
  (2:05 PM)

Hmm, those are the rarest birds available. Iwakuma? (More likely if Seattle hires a new GM and trades him while his stock is high.) I could see Oakland shopping a guy like A.J. Griffin. Porcello? Move Smyly into the rotation.

Dan (Cincinnati)

Without extension Votto would be a couple months from free agency... do you think he would have signed for close to the same figures? RBI vs. OBP arguments would have been interesting.

David Schoenfield
  (2:06 PM)

Probably significantly less, primarily because the home run totals have dropped.

KG (NYC)

ACTUALLY Trout has been batting 3rd since Pujols hit the DL. Hit 2nd most of the time prior to that. Not leadoff.

George (Baltimore, MD)

Just want to say that at this point, I'd rather have Bip Roberts leading off than Brian Roberts.

Tony LaRussa (en route to Cooperstown)

You need at least ten relievers to survive the postseason David.

Tim (Mississippi)

In your Cabrera vs Trout post - why the different numbers for runners on base in front of them?

David Schoenfield
  (2:07 PM)

You mean why Cabrera has hit better with runners on base? Could be he locks in more, but it's probably that he gets better pitches to hit with men on (you can't afford to walk him and put MORE runners on base).

Les (East Windsor, NJ)

Dave, what is your view on why all the worries about pitch counts now, when back in the day (60's), 4 man rotations, lots of complete games? It can't just be that teams have so much money invested in pitchers. Why could the Spahns, Gibsons, Seavers, etc do what they did? Remember what Jim Kaat recently when asked if he ever heard of pitch counts - "Yeah, make your pitches count".

David Schoenfield
  (2:09 PM)

Joe Sheehan wrote a good column on this yesterday in his newsletter. Tom Seaver had mentioned the same thing. Here's the deal: We forget all the guys who blew out their arms or who didn't even reach the majors because they pitched 250 innings in the California League when they were 19. Go look up Gary Nolan.

tim (albany)

how about pedro martinez in 1999, came back on short rest to win clinching game 5 in ALDS against the Indians?

Brint (Wichita)

Hypothetical: If Mike Trout were a free agent after the season, what king of contract would he receive?

David Schoenfield
  (2:09 PM)

10/$300?

Tim (Mississippi)

Sorry for not being clear - you used "typical" and "average" for the number of runners on base using two different numbers when looking at what they themselves had on in front but typical and average were different.

David Schoenfield
  (2:11 PM)

Oh, I guess that was just a wording thing. Didn't mean to be confusing there. I was using the same set of numbers for both players -- how many baserunners the average hitter would have on base in the same number of plate appearances for Trout/Cabrera. If that makes sense. (Cabrera had more runners on than average, Trout had fewer.)

Kevin (Indiana)

Will Bard be as good of a set-up man in Chicago as he was in Boston?

Wes (Memphis)

Going back a few weeks to Pete Rose's comments on people celebrating 4,000 professional/major-league hits by Ichiro. While I disagree with his approach and attitude, there is a fair point in there somewhere. Otherwise, why was Ichiro named Rookie of the Year if the league he was in previously wasn't, whether intentional or not given the rules of RoY voting, considered vastly inferior to MLB?

Will B (Bozeman, MT)

DSGerrit Cole, Micheal Wacha, head to head, game 7 of the NLCS, who would you rather have

David Schoenfield
  (2:13 PM)

Well ... I guess like Wacha against the Pittsburgh lineup a little more than Cole against the St. Louis lineup. One reason: Wacha's changeup makes him better against left-handed hitters and the Pirates would presumably run a lot of lefties (Jones, Morneau, Alvarez, Walker).

Matt (Steinway)

Does Selig realize how much everybody hates the one-game playoff? You know Murphy's Law is gonna put the Pirates in the one-game playoff, and they're going to lose on a blown call. Baseball has too much randomness to rely on a one-game series. Even in the regular season they play 3 at least!

Greg (DC)

David, who would you say are the best two or three in-game managers? I mean, after Ned Yost.

David Schoenfield
  (2:17 PM)

Hmm ... most managers pretty much manage the same way. I think Girardi does a good job. Liked using Rivera in the eighth, even if it didn't work out. Maddon, even if he did hit Delmon Young fifth. Francona. Hurdle likes to bunt but he's done a great job with that bullpen. Dusty. (Kidding.)

David Schoenfield
  (2:17 PM)

Bruce Bochy also.

Charles (San Jose)

How much are you hoping A-Rod passes Mays and collects $6 million?

Ian (OK)

Byron Buxton questions for you (and others). Torii Hunter has had a great career. Nearly 50 WAR over basically 15 seasons. Avg 4/Season for his 12 year peak. Not a HOFer but one of the top 250 or so position players of all time. Should Twins fans be upset if Buxton has a 15 yr/ 50 WAR career for them?

David Schoenfield
  (2:18 PM)

They should do backflips if Buxton has that kind of career. Otherwise you're projecting a Hall of Fame career on a kid in Class A? Completely unrealistic and unfair.

Mookie (Bed-stuy)

Yo DS, when are those clowns the Wilpons finally gonna sell the team? They're getting kicked off of the radio now for losing too much money. The radio! They're still in debt to their eyeballs, nobody wants to see the trash they put on the field, and everybody knows they're gonna use Harvey as an excuse not to spend money. Help us out DS!

Brian (Fort Wayne)

Why do most ESPN chats have to go out of their way to dismiss what Cabrera's been doing these last few years? Keith Law and you seem to love to dismiss him. Is it because he's from a small market and ESPN just hates that. He'd be more valuable if he were in NY or LA.

David Schoenfield
  (2:21 PM)

Detroit's a small market? That's priceless. How did a dismiss him yesterday? I was presenting an argument on WHY Cabrera supporters have a good claim on him as MVP. Look, Trout is the better all-around player, not really an argument there. We're not dismissing Cabrera by saying Trout is great. If Trout is No. 1, Cabrera is No. 2. That's high praise.

Floyd (Los Angeles)

Do you think the time has come for the Angels to move on from Scioscia?

David Schoenfield
  (2:21 PM)

Probably.

Jack (Toronto)

Trout also has k'ed 29 more times than Cabrera. BTW, is there any stat that tracks productive outs? Ie. Ground outs that advance runners, or knock them in. You've really stretched your creative writing to build the Trout MVP case. Just think about how many potential errors Trout would have created if he put the ball in play as often as Cabrera.

David Schoenfield
  (2:22 PM)

I'm sure it's out there somewhere. We had an Insider article a few weeks that said, yes, Trout has made more productive outs.

David Schoenfield
  (2:23 PM)

By the way, point to where in the article I wrote that Trout should be the MVP.

Tarek (NYC)

Re:Greg (DC) Buck and Maddon and then I would have no clue.

David Schoenfield
  (2:23 PM)

True, Showalter is not going to get outmaneuvered. But he hurt the O's by sticking with Johnson as closer all season.

Wes (Memphis)

What things will we need to see during the rest of Yadier Molina's career for him to be a Hall-of-Famer? I feel like defensively he's already there, maybe just needs to keep his average in the .270s or better and get close to 2,000 hits....sound about right?

David Schoenfield
  (2:26 PM)

I think he's a LONG way away from HOF status. Has really only had three HOF-type seasons with the bat and that's what gets you into Cooperstown, no matter his defense. Think of a guy like Bob Boone or Jim Sundberg. Great defensive catchers.

Brad (ATL)

Two questions about oWar. Does a 2B count more than a single and SB? It should.Second question... If RBI's are a "useless stat" because they depend on baserunners, then why do GDP's count against oWar just because there was a runner on 1st?

David Schoenfield
  (2:28 PM)

I believe a double is worth more (but would have to look it up). I know some say RBIs are useless; I don't believe that. It's just that too many overvalue RBIs, when they are so team dependent. Double plays count because the batter was responsible for two outs. Basically, when measuring a player's value on offensive you're measuring bases gained against outs made. And double plays are outs.

Wes (Memphis)

Agree with Matt. If they're not going to pull back to 4 playoff teams per league. Play best-of-3 series between Division Winner 3 versus WC3, and WC1 and WC2, with the top seed hosting all 3 games.

Tarek (NYC)

Why is it that people think you guys are downgrading Miggy? All you are saying is that Trout has but together the greatest back to back seasons for a rookie/Sophmore.

David Schoenfield
  (2:29 PM)

People just want everyone to love THEIR guy.

jim (sf)

If every prospect compared to Trout turned into Trout would Trout then be a 0 WAR player?

David Schoenfield
  (2:30 PM)

No, they would still be measured against a replacement-level player. So unless every player hanging around in Triple-A is also as good as Mike Trout, you would have a league of awesomeness. And unhappy pitchers.

Ed Silva (El Paso, TX)

Under 10,00 in attendance at Progressive yetertday for the Indians-Royals game. Both teams are fighting for a wild card. Does Cleveland deserve a MLB team?

David Schoenfield
  (2:32 PM)

Definitely disappointing. For some reason, Indians attendance never recovered after that great 1995-2001 run ended.

David (New York)

The trading Bourjos question reminded me, Matt Cerrone at Metsblog has been pumping the Angels & Mets as trade partners. Makes sense given each org's strengths/weaknesses.

David Schoenfield
  (2:33 PM)

Isn't Juan Lagares the same player as Bourjos though? I guess you could for the all-defense outfield.

Wes (Memphis)

Jim Sundberg had fewer than 1,500 hits with a career .248 average. Boone had a little more than 1,800 but with a .254 average. Molina's on a much better offensive track than both and has a much better defensive rep than both.

David Schoenfield
  (2:34 PM)

Fair point. I guess I'm saying he's upped his hitting the past three years, but before that wasn't much different from those guys.

Kale (Grove)

I think Cleveland fans just stayed home depressed realizing the Browns are going to be awful for about the 100th year in a row.

Jack (Toronto)

Well there are tons of AAA players that can K 140+ times on the year and play sub replacement LF defense. Does that count?

David Schoenfield
  (2:35 PM)

Jack, question: The Tigers call the Angels and offer Cabrera for Trout. Do you think the Angels say yes? The Angels call the Tigers and offer Trout for Cabrera. Do the Tigers say no?

Charles (San Jose)

If there was a sharknado at the All-Star Game, which player would be the guy to pick up a chainsaw and jump into a shark?

David Schoenfield
  (2:37 PM)

Would have to be a relief pitcher, right? How about Brett Cecil. Yes, I just wanted to point out that he was an All-Star this year.

Mookie (Bed-stuy)

Yo DS, sabermetrics are really really simple, people just don't want to hear it. Anybody who has watched an inning of baseball knows that not every hit is created equal, not every out is created equal. Sometimes a guy smokes a ball and the center fielder makes a web gem catch. Sometimes a guy hits a lazy fly ball and three fielders converge and none catches it. All sabermetrics is telling you is that the guy hitting line drives for outs is better than the guy hitting bleeders for hits, or that the pitcher striking out 12 but giving up bloopers is better than the guy walking the whole lineup but wriggling out of it with good defense. Don't be afraid of the numbers, people! No sabermetric can tell you if a guy is gonna have a good *game*. It will tell you if a guy will have a good *season* or not if they keep doing what they're doing. It's meaningless for a fan in a single game. It means everything if you're gonna invest real money in a player (or your fantasy team's hopes). Tell 'em DS!

Jack (Toronto)

Re: MVP debate. Detroit was desperate for a 3B, Cabrera willingly moved across the diamond to play it. The Angels are desperate for pitching, Trout goes out and patrols LF the second easiest defensive position (and does a poor job at it). Call me when Trout is willing to take the ball every 5th day for the Angels.

David Schoenfield
  (2:38 PM)

So Cabrera is better because he has better teammates?

Wes (Memphis)

I don't disagree that Yadi needs a few more offensive seasons like the last few years as opposed to the first half of his career; however, if he can do that and the Cards win another title or two in the meantime, it's going to be really hard for voters to pass on a guy with such an outstanding defensive resume, a career average of .275 with 2,000 hits and maybe an OPS in the low/mid-.700s, and 3-4 titles under his belt as the starting catcher.

David Schoenfield
  (2:40 PM)

Possible. Not really disagreeing with you, other than saying nobody with those credentials has been elected in modern times. How would you compare Molina to Posada? Different player -- offense over defense -- but also has five rings.

Ken (Palo Alto)

Pundits keep doubting the Tribe pitching -- especially with Masterson down -- but I don't think people realize how deep the Tribe is in starting pitching -- though Chris Perez does, I admit, scare the heck out of me.

Keary (Gowanus)

Should Bruce Chen get some props for surviving after all these years? Probably misses as many bats as my 11 y/o would for the Royals.

David Schoenfield
  (2:40 PM)

Definitely. How much closer would the Royals be if Chen had started all year instead of Wade Davis?

zack (stl)

Isn't throwing out RBI's as a useful measure of performance a lot saying Runs allowed isn't meanigful? Both RBI's and RA9 basically give players credit for sequencing instead of basing it soley on peripherals.

David Schoenfield
  (2:42 PM)

To a certain extent, yes. But Cabrera *should* receive extra credit (in my book) for having good sequencing -- he's been awesome with runners on base. Just like a pitcher who pitches out of jams should receive credit for that.

Ryan (Indianapolis)

Do you have the numbers on how many times Trout hit with runners on vs. Cabrera. RBI's are overvalued but they have to still matter a little. It goes back to the basic principle of baseball. To win, you have to score more runs than the other team. If nobody hits those runners in, you lose.

David Schoenfield
  (2:44 PM)

Cabrera has a had a lot more runners on base. He's driven in 22 percent of his baserunners; Trout has driven in 17. (Doesn't account for whether runners were on first or third or wherever.) Cabrera HAS been the better RBI guy. Trout's also done a lot of damage in games where the margin was greater than four runs. Those were some of my argument FOR Cabrera.

Ben (WI)

I think WAR is a inaccurate stat and is being used as the mother of all stats. MVP voters and you make it seem as if that's the only stat that matters anymore?

David Schoenfield
  (2:45 PM)

What? MVP voters clearly and roundly dismissed WAR last year.

Jay (Baltimore)

Dave, great responses thus far. Trout is better b/c 90% (all non-Tigers fans) of those reading this chat would want him in their line-up next season over Cabrera. The question is, how valuable is Machado as a 3B vs moving him to SS?

David Schoenfield
  (2:46 PM)

Man, he's so good on defense that I would be inclined to leave him there. Unless you *know* he's also going to be that caliber at SS.

howard (NY)

So...today we've had arguments that Trout shouldn't be MVP because he could have created more potential errors by making more weak contact and Trout shouldn't be MVP because he doesn't pitch. Sounds like progress to me!

Bo (Atlanta)

Regarding the Braves not winning the WS because of strikeouts, I was saying that's what the media will blame it on. Not on pure luck. I'm getting tired of the local media guys saying they K too much to win in the playoffs, but the fact is they're not likely to win regardless.

David Schoenfield
  (2:47 PM)

Gotcha. Well, I agree with you of course. I don't believe there's any evidence that high-strikeout teams (with power) do worse in the postseason. Like you say, it's all essentially a crapshoot and who gets hot at the right time.

Paul (Modesto)

One reason why Springer won't be the next Mike Trout- he's two years older than Trout! You can't be the next when technically you were here (on earth) first.

David Schoenfield
  (2:48 PM)

Nice.

Frank (Billings)

I think with runners in scoring position, it changes the mindset of good hitters. Adrian Gonzales said himself that he takes a different approach to hitting when there are runners on.

Brian (Fort Wayne)

Leyland has a good take on RBI's...he says every manager after a loss always looks at the amount of runners left on base...

Jack (Toronto)

David, the contracts do need to be considered. Which player would you want to see at the plate with the game on the line.To which I'm sure you'll say who would you like to see most on the bases. To which I'd say, once Cabrera reaches in a must steal, I'd find a Tony Campana replacement player to keep for just such a situation at league min.

Matt (Philly)

Dave,I didn't make it clear, but really my question was whether or not WAR includes intangibles, i.e., whether a threat to steal bases distracts the pitcher and thus the batter gets more fastballs, or whether the guy in front of a power hitter gets more pitches to hit b/c the pitcher doesn't want to give a free pass before facing the power hitter.Also, who would say has had the better career (playoffs included!) Mariano or Nathan?

David Schoenfield
  (2:50 PM)

No, WAR does not consider any of those intangibles. Rivera has obviously had the better career. But Nathan has been just as good in the regular season, just for a shorter time. As for postseason, well ... Twins fans don't want me to go there.

David Schoenfield
  (2:50 PM)

OK, everyone ... final thoughts time. Send 'em in.

mark (nyc)

Best reliever this year? where does Uehara fall?

David Schoenfield
  (2:51 PM)

He's been awesome. How about Mark Melancon for reliever of the year though? Great job as setup man and then replacing Grilli as closer.

Alex (OH)

Reds make it to NLCS, beating the Pirates in WC game and Braves in Division Series.

Mike (WV)

Mo has obviously had the better career...but Nathan is also a very wealthy man at this point!

Sean (Phoenix)

RE: Mets all-defense outfield: Look at the Diamondbacks insanely defense-oriented outfield. It worked out fairly well for them.

David Schoenfield
  (2:52 PM)

Are they still last in home runs by outfielders?

Alex (Dallas)

This Trout v. Cabera argument is rediculous. Which ever side you sit on you are not going to convince the other side you are right. Why cant everyone just agree that both are fabulous players and we as fans are lucky to be able to watch players as good as they are play the game. Debating who is better is a pointless argument.

David Schoenfield
  (2:53 PM)

Moratorium: No PED talk, no Trout/Cabrera talk!

Tarek (NYC)

Imagine if Rickey Henderson played today. Saber guys would lose there mind at how amazing he is and everyone else who say he's a hot dog and not that good. Wait a mintue I think that happened in 85-88 as well.

DJ (PGH)

Tigers fan here, almost embarrassed at their dismissal of anything that dares to suggest that Trout is better. Is the world flat in Detroit too?

David (New York)

Re Mets/Angels trade, not Bourjos specifically, maybe Trumbo to fill hole at 1st?

David Schoenfield
  (2:54 PM)

Gotcha. Trumbo's OBP scares me. And call me dumb, but I haven't completely given up on Ike Davis. I know, I know ...

Sean (Phoenix)

Parra: 3.8 WAR, 96 wRC+. Pollock: 2.9 WAR, 86 wRC .It may not be pretty (home runs), but still very valuable.

Sean (Phoenix)

Reliever of the year: Josh Collmenter.

Alex (Seattle)

I think Trout is more valuable to his team because he gets free Subway sandwiches and thus he feeds his team where all the Tigers have to pay for their own meals out of their per diem.

Bryan (San Mateo, CA)

A's beat the Dodgers 4-2 in the World Series!

David Schoenfield
  (2:55 PM)

OK, there we go ... a rematch of 1988 and 1974. People in California would rejoice, we wouldn't have to worry about games in 38-degree weather like last year and we'd get Clayton Kershaw versus Eric Sogard!

David Schoenfield
  (2:55 PM)

Until next ... enjoy your baseball, everyone!