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Keith - thanks for doing these chats. I'm looking at WAR and both Machado and Davis are at 6.5 as of today. Machado's slash is 291/321/445, Davis is 295/380/654. Machado has 6 sb's and has been caught 7 times, Davis has 3 sb's and has been caught once. Obviously they play for the same team so park, etc shouldn't be a factor. I get that Machado plays a tougher position, and is overall a better baserunner, but I still wouldn't think that would be enough to equalize WAR? What am I missing? Thank you.
Lot of WAR questions this time of year, naturally. Any version of WAR should have a basic formula like this: (Offensive runs produced + defensive runs saved baserunning runs produced positional adjustment) / (runs per win) - replacement level adjustment. You can move the r-level bit into the fraction, but that's the idea. So if Machado is above Davis despite the latter's offensive lead, the explanation would lie in defense, positional adjustment, and baserunning.
Josh Satin, Lucas Duda, Allan Dykstra....how nauseous does it make you when people recommend them as starters at 1B for Mets?
It's baseball's Stockholm Syndrome - fans of bad teams latch on to mediocre players when that's the best they've got. And then they accuse me of hating their teams when I point out that, hey, Junior Lake isn't anything to get excited about.
Jean Segura 2nd half OPS: 583Andrelton 2nd half OPS: 812Do you remember when you did your All Star team and got that vote wrong?
I didn't realize we were considering post-All-Star Game performance when determining who should go to the All-Star Game.
Keith, I know you have said not to completely write-off Courtney Hawkins after this year. With that being said, how would you handle him next year? Send him down to LoA or let him repeat at Winston-Salem?
Probably let him repeat high-A until he shows real improvement in his OBP. Demoting him probably doesn't let him learn anything.
If Trout can keep up his production, can he be awarded the "Freak of the Industry" trophy? And I ask that as a Tigers fan.
Well the answer is D, all of the above.
Can please explain to me what Ned Yost was thinking of pinch hitting Carlos Pena in the most important at bat for the Royals over the last 20 years? Now I knew why the Brewers released him when they did.
He wasn't thinking, or if he was, we've got some cognition attrition going on in KC. I assume Dayton is safe for next year, and if so, his first move should be to replace Yost with a semi-competent manager. (And I'll throw in another rec for Manny Acta here.)
How much of a growth stunt will there be in the so called "burgeoning baseball countries" like Italy, Czech Rep., Australia, etc. now that baseball has been voted down for the olympics?
I know you have been a proponent of moving Carrasco for some time and he has been solid in 5 appearances out of the bullpen so far. Would you look at him to close next year (assuming Perez is moved) or go with Cody Allen?
I don't think it matters that much between the two, other than recognizing that it's most likely Carrasco's ideal role. I would be curious to see if Tito would be open to using whichever guy - more likely Carrasco, I think, since he was a starter - they deem more valuable as a 7th-8th inning high-leverage guy.
Will try to get this in again; because I'd love your thoughts. I wish I'd done what you did, dedicate myself to baseball despite an ivy education. Do you ever wish the reverse (that you'd dedicated yourself to business as many ivy leaguers do)?
Never. I like what I do for a living. Hard to put a price on that.
Where (if anywhere) do you draw a line in using advanced statistics in regards to year-end awards? I understand that using statistics such as xFIP or WAR are useful in looking beyond a player's slash line; however, someone tried to argue with me that Puig's BABIP should be used AGAINST him in ROY voting. Regardless of whether or not he is the most deserving, I thought this was insane - while his BABIP is understandably unsustainable, the fact that he ACTUALLY had a year of excellence (...luck, too, I s'pose) in this regard, I argued, should in fact help his case.
Sounds like your adversary there doesn't understand that hitter BABIP variance from the median includes a lot more skill than pitcher BABIP variance does. Puig might very well be a natural .350 BABIP hitter. I wouldn't argue against it.
Robbie Grossman has been much better since his recall. Even with a high BAbip, it seems like he is turning a corner at the ML level. Can he stick as a leadoff guy with some pop for the Astros?
I've always liked Grossman, at least since his big year in the Pirates' system, but his post-recall performance looks more fluky than anything else, driven by a high BABIP but with low walk and contact rates. I'm surprised he's not walking more, given his history.
How can the Phillies not fire Ruben Amaro this off season? Worst management I have seen of a baseball team in a long time. Way to go all in this year Ruben!!! Jerk.
Matt Gelb ran a long interview with David Montgomery today where the CEO at least implied that Ruben's not going anywhere (although he did word it in a way that left him a little wiggle room).
You used dWAR last year to support your opinion that Trout should be MVP. Now that dWAR actually rates Trout as a poor defender, you flip-floppe and said that the runs-saved metric is a much better instrument to gage value. Why?
You're confusing me with someone else. I have never used dWAR anywhere, to discuss any player.
What are your thoughts on Lucas Sims, A.J. Cole & Miguel Almonte heading into the fall? Do you think all 3 have the chance to be 60 type starters?
Sims and Almonte were on my midyear top 50, which in effect says I think they can be at least above-average starters and likely more. I'm more mixed on Cole - easy velocity, tough slot for a consistent breaking ball.
I think they have a timing issue - some huge talents in the system, but what they have at the big-league level will be past prime/declining by the time the young stars get established. I think they should shop de la Rosa this winter, given his performance this year and contract status.
Is Scooter Gennett a guy or a Guy?
Just a guy. Utility IF.
Hey Keith. Please tell me the Cubs can get some weight to stick on CJ Edwards.? This guy can be really good, right?
Potential star. Weight/durability will be an issue, but he's athletic and does it all very easy.
Klaw, I saw that John Manuel said that scouts he talked to in the FSL preferred CJ Edwards to Syndergaard (better breaking ball, better secondary offerings, also throws hard). This seems crazy to me. Wasn't Syndergaard posting triple digits? What do you think about those 2 pitchers?
I didn't see John's piece, but I can completely understand that point of view. Velocity doesn't make the pitcher and Edwards has a far better breaking ball. Syndergaard is much further along, which balances things out somewhat.
Is William Middlebrooks recent performance a result of photons taking shortcuts in vertical temperature gradients or an improved approach?
Improved approach, simplified mechanics. Quieter lower half now.
What is your take on Danny Salazar? Thanks!
Likely number 2, potential ace.
Homer Bailey an ace or solid #2? Has he turned out better than you thought? Or were you high on him when he was a prospect?
Rated him top 10 overall his last year as a prospect. Stuff has definitely ticked up over the last year, though.
Do you think Andrelton can slash, say, .280/.320/.430 next season?
It's within range, given his high contact rates. That might make him the most valuable player in the NL.
Do you really think "clutch" doesn't exist in baseball? I mean, in any other sport everyone would agree it does (see, Michael Jordan, Robert Horry, Tom Brady). Miguel Cabrera his hitting over .450 with 2 outs and RISP. Thats the definition of clutch, man. Do you still have Trout over him for MVP even though Miguel leads him in almost every single offensive category?
I don't comment on other sports because I don't know about them. And yes, Trout has been far more valuable, because you're ignoring defense, position, baserunning, and their nearly identical OBPs.
If you were in the Angels, would you just offer Trout 10/250 right now? He's going to make a ton in arb, and this way you are keeping him away from free agency while only locking him up through age 31. And that kind of money would be kind of hard to say no to, right?
I'm not sure he'd take it. I've certainly heard enough stories of player discontent with Scioscia that I could see Trout saying screw it, I'll clean up in arbitration and go be a Dodger or a Yankee at age 26.
Any chance Hunter Harvey or Mike Wright can sneak into the back on your top 100 list?
Should Puerto Rico become the 51st state?
I thought that was Canada.
Brandon Nimmo is showing no pop and he isn't stealing bases. If he is destined for a corner OF position, has his stock gone off a cliff this season?
Savannah is a brutal place for power. I'd stay off the ledge for a bit.
Tommy La Stella? Potential average regular at 2B?
I'll let you know what I think after I see him in the AFL.
Rainbow boy, you are the principal reason I am insider, so thanks. I work, so I have to submit my questions in advance (sorry). What is the oldest you have seen a player change from being a guy to being a GUY? What is the earliest (excluding injury) where you have concluded a GUY is only a guy? Also, in an unrelated matter, would you please create a scouting scale for different bands' tools and evaluate the bands?
Pitchers can do that at almost any age - add a pitch, change a delivery slightly, and suddenly you've got a new guy. And knuckleballers almost have to be excluded from the conversation entirely. Cliff Lee went from AAA cannon fodder to deserving Cy Young winner at age 29.
Will the Royals starting rotation include Zimmer or Ventura next season?
Not Zimmer. Maybe Ventura, although I still think he's a reliever in the long run.
Did you see the Fernandez hubub last night? Yes he was a little mature but C. Johnson came across as a (jerk). What did you think of it.
I thought Fernandez' biggest crime was Playing While Cuban. Admiring the HR was a total non-issue. The spitting thing might have been, although again, Johnson chose to overreact to it. I think he came off the worst - and I'm not sure why McCann provoked the controversy by confronting JF right away. There are better ways to handle that.
Do you enjoy Shakespeare? If so, which of his plays is your favorite?
Yes. Always loved the Twelfth Night. If music be the food of love ... play ball!
Keith, with the Aaron Hernandez investigation prompting questions about how much teams know about their players' off-field lives, were there ever prospects that you shied away from because of perceived issues regarding their priorities or the company that they keep?
With Toronto? Elijah Dukes was one, in the draft. Clay Buchholz too because of the computer theft.
Will guys like Hamilton and Bogaerts be eligible for your top 100 prospects list coming out in the off season?
Anyone who is still ROY eligible in 2014 is eligible for the list. That's a yes to both of those guys.
I liked your review for the Arctic Monkeys album. However, if I remember correctly you've mentioned your distaste for the Black Keys and Cold War Kids, who I consider similar bands IMO. Am I off base here?
I don't think either of those bands can come close to the Arctic Monkeys.
Are you buying the last 3 months for Hosmer? What do you think his ceiling is now?
I'm buying. Traces back to the hitting coach change, and some small alterations in his mechanics.
Typical response. Whatever you can say negative about the Braves right?
You dropped your pacifier.
Top 3 dictators of the 20th century?
That depends on how we're grading them. Murder rate? Longevity? I always thought Omar Bongo got short shrift even though his Tyranny Above Replacement numbers were always solid.
LOL, McCann was the one doing the provoking? Looked like all he did was talk to Fernandez. I assume he was calling him out for being bush league, but don't know for sure. But if that was the case, then it was certainly justified. You seem like you're in the Brian Kenny camp of, "hitters should be able to act however they wish. if you don't want to be shown up, then don't give up bombs"
All he did was talk to Fernandez ... as the kid crossed the plate, with all eyes on the two of them, including the cameras. McCann couldn't have picked a better time if his goal was to make a scene.
Chris Ownings bat good enough to be an above average SS?
That line someone suggested for Simmons? .280/.320/.4something? I could see Owings doing that, or close to it, and with above-average defense that's probably a regular.
The Rockies seem to have a weird thing for drafting catchers who can't catch. Is Tom Murphy the best of the lot? Can he catch enough to stay Behind the Dish?
I don't think he can catch either.
Chris Collabello has looked pretty overmatched in MIN this year, but he clearly figured out AAA in 2013. Can he be the Morneau replacement in 2014 or is he a AAAA guy?
I think he's a 4A guy, sorry.
Which Struggling or former Struggling First baseman has the best career? Belt, Hosmer, Rizzo?
Isn't it about time all these "unwritten" rules get written down?
Yes. Preferably on toilet paper.
There were a lot of questions on TV and Twitter last night when Farrell brought in Uehara with the game tied on the road. But isn't this the right call? Yes, you'll still have to bring in someone for the Save if you take the lead in the top of the inning, but then you'll at least have a cushion of 1 run (i.e. you'll have a lead), and maybe you'll have a cushion of multiple runs. With the game tied, you have no cushion, so isn't that when you want your best guy out there?
I had no issue with that. That's a good spot for your best reliever.
You looking forward to the managerial machinations of Baker, Matheny, and Jello in the playoffs?
Don't forget Ron Washington. And Bo Derek's Biggest Fan.
Typical East Coast Bias. Pol Pot didn't put up his numbers in New York or Boston, so you pretend like he didn't exist.
Well, if we're talking about efficiency, he wiped out about 1/3 of his country's population inside of five years (while the world stood by...), so I suppose believers in rate stats would put him higher.
I've had to work through the last several chats, and every time I've been annoyed because I had a question for you. Now, I'm off, and I can't remember the question. Drat. So...hi.
Hi. Enjoy your day off.
Did you read Joe Posnanski's column regarding errors and OBP? It was fascinating to me.
Agreed. More of a trees argument than a forest one, but still thought-provoking.
Educate me - should one think less of Uehara's streak of batters retired that he is a closer instead of doing it as a starter - and why/why not?
It's not apples to oranges, that's all. You can be impressed by it, but don't compare it to a starter doing the same thing - it's not better or worse, just an entirely different job.
At one point does a hitter's success/struggles against a specific pitcher become meaningful and not just SSS? Thanks.
I would argue never. Players change enough over time that any such sample will include outdated information that skews the results.
I know he was old for the level, But Steven Matz had a nice year. Could there be a solid #4 starter there if he is healthy.
I haven't seen him post-surgery, but given his delivery, especially the head-whack, and subsequent injury, I'd say he's more likely a reliever than a starter.
Yosemero Petit has been fantastic over the last month including being 1 pitch away from a perfect game. Is it a SSS or has he actually found something that could make him an option for the Giants next season?
SSS. Fringy stuff at best.
Higher ceiling between Edwards and Glasnow?
What manager is Jello? I don't want to accidentally stumble onto a NSFW site.
Does it bother you when several members of your network (Wilbon, for example) regularly attack "stat nerds"?
Not really. I'd love to debate any of them, though.
I finally saw Trouble with the Curve. You were right. Terrible. Waste of a solid performance by Amy Adams. But based on that movie is Dan Vogelbach a 5-tool player.
More inaccurate: That movie, or the baseball Windows 8 commercial?
In last year's brilliant podcast with Karabell, you mentioned that both Nate Eovaldi and Justin Masterson will have trouble with lefties due to their low arm slot. Have they made adjustments this year and do you think this success level is sustainable?
Both guys continue to have trouble with lefties. Eovaldi's line is freakier, as he's given up almost no power to them, and I see no reason to expect that to continue. Masterson misses just enough of their bats to get by, because he's so dominant against right-handers.
Keith! Just answer their questions (no matter how stupid they are) and they'll stop!
I refuse to reward people who do that.
How exciting would a Pirates vs. A's World Series?
I doubt Fox would approve, but it would be pretty fun to watch.
If you were the Pirates, how would you handle the catching situation in the low minors? Wyatt Mathisen, Jin-De Jhang and Reese McGuire all seem to be ticketed for West Virginia, but there's no way that can work out, right?
Ignoring the possibility that something works itself out, like an injury, I would argue that they should first decide the optimal development path for McGuire, the best prospect of the three, and move down from there.
Do you think Buxton makes it up to the bigs next year or 2015 more likely?
End of 2014 (September-ish) seems most likely.
I know you don't believe in team chemistry and clutch hitting, but how do you explain the Red Sox winning so many games in come from behind fashion?
Is it not simpler just to argue that they're a good offensive team? I don't understand why we have to impute some special woo-woo to them.
Keith, have you hit up Lucky's for breakfast yet? Their egg, scrapple, and home fries platter rocks. ESPN had an article on Orel's scoreless streak recently, where he said the streak in part was possible because he was always pitching in close games. Does that line of thinking serve as a counter to the criticism by some that Scherzer's career year is largely a product of high run support? If the Tigers scored less, his numbers may even improve (W-L aside).
Yep, love that place, although scrapple ... you can have mine. Not sure what to make of Orel's comments, as that sounds like pitching to the score, which has been disproven time and again.
Can't the Cardinals do some 2B-SS-3B mix with Wong, Carpenter, and Freese? Kozma is beyond horrible!
For now, probably Jackson/Descalso at SS, Carpenter at 3B, wong at 2b. For next year, they should focus on upgrading at SS if at all possible, and consider non-tendering Freese.
Do you think Tyler Kolek is the best non-Rodon pitcher in next year's draft class?
No. Chris Crawford and I are going to do a too-early ranking later this month, but I can tell you Kolek isn't the second pitcher on it. Rodon will be 1-1, of course.
Klaw, you were pretty clear that you thought Miami was doing the wrong thing by putting Fernandez on the roster, but it seemed like your argument was from a business & economics perspective as opposed to a merit-based argument. That raises (not begs) the question: what if the Marlins had like, no chance of being good for about 4 years - would you just leave Fernandez in the minors until you thought the team was ready to contend?
I don't believe in leaving guys in the minors indefinitely, but this seemed like it was a half-year before it had to be done. He's blown away my expectations for him on the field, though.
Braves system can't be all that bad, right? Sims, Graham, Peraza, M. Cabrera, Parsons, Hursh, Bethancourt, La Stella....
I think most systems could compile a better list of names than that.
You rightfully point out people that don't know the difference between "your" and "you're", but where do you stand on people that think apostrophe-s ( 's ) makes something plural?
I only point out the your/you're thing because it is absurdly common among trolls. I'm not generally a fan of grammar-policing stuff.
whats your top nl mvp ballot look like
Do you have a ROY vote this year? If not, who is the NL and AL ROY? I think I would pick Fernandez over Puig.
I have NL. AL I'd pick Myers right now.
Don't recall seeing Salazar on your md-season 50--if he doesn't pass 50 ip, where does he rank next year amongst Taijuan, Gausman, Wacha, Martinez? Thanks!
I think he was in the majors at the time, so he wasn't eligible. He would have made the list.
Assuming Cutch stays healthy the last couple of weeks and the Pirates don't collapse, regardless of merit, he's going to be the runaway winner for NL MVP, right? It's hard to imagine a better narrative than his.
Jameson Tallion still a future ace or has his stock dropped a little bit because of control issues?
Stock has dropped more because the fastball is playing down - as hard as it is, it gets hit.
Have you never been a fan of Scioscia? I think his act has grown old with the players but if he were to be let go, and if you were an org. looking for a new manager, would you look at him?
Yeah, new environment, veteran team, bullpen issues? I'd hire him. But I think it's gotten stale out there.
Ever listen to washed out?
I like "All I Know," but can not change the station fast enough when "It Always Feels Right" comes on.
Assuming McCann leaves, who is the Braves primary catcher next year: Gattis, Laird, or Bethancourt? Or do they go outside the organization?
I still think they should make Bethancourt the starter. Gattis has a place as a pinch hitter/emergency catcher, but that's not an everyday player.
What are your thoughts on stats like WPA or RC24 that measure impact but aren't predictive stats? I think they are pretty good to use for MVP. And it's a bit surprising to see how much of a lead Cabrera and Davis have over Trout in those.
Function of opportunity. I don't believe they have merit in a debate for an individual award.
Any comment on the latest Bobby V idiocy?
I don't think any is necessary.
Some jays fans are calling for Goins to be the team's starting 2B next year. That's reactionary madness right?
Yes it is.
When you rank songs, is it really fair to ding one because of overplay? It's not a good song's fault if you hear it all the time!
No, but I do get tired of certain songs when I hear them too much. The best songs can survive that onslaught.
As a scouting noob, can you help me understand how comparisons are made? Take the differences between Swihart and JR Murphy. Murphy seems more advanced yet Swihart is much more highly touted. Why?
Better athlete, more offensive potential. Murphy's more of a sure thing on defense.
Which if any of Napoli, Drew and Saltalamacchia do the Red Sox make qualifying offers to?
Napoli for sure. Salty, unlikely, but wouldn't rule it out. Drew would surprise me.
You would really hire Scioscia? He doesn't seem like your kind of manager. He doesn't utilize any stats. He reverts to strictly match ups even if that matchup doesn't make much sense. He is an old school manager with sacrifices. He is poor at managing a bullpen subverting to roles and stubborn opinions. You can get away with poor strategy if you actually have the ability to inspire your players to play to the best of their ability. You don't get the sense they do.
No, I wouldn't - I'm saying there's a place for him. He's very reluctant to use any sort of analytics, and that manager couldn't work for me. You know, with this team I run.
OK, that's all for this week. Thank you all for the questions. I'll be back next Thursday pending any travel.