When you're missing the tranquility of solitude ... try Klawchat.
Please, please, please tell me after that horrific finish that Dusty Baker won't be back next year as the Reds manager.
I see no evidence that the front office recognizes that he's part of the problem.
I know you picked the Cards over the Pirates, but what would you say are the true odds for the series? 55/45 Cards sound about right?
Exactly what I said on our Pittsburgh radio affiliate yesterday. None of these picks comes with more than about 60% chance along with it. At most.
Hey Keith, Moving forward who do you see developing into an ace , Chris archer or sonny gray? Who would be comparisons for these two and their future potential ? Thanx
Archer has ace stuff. Gray has more mid-rotation stuff. I don't think either develops into an ace (top 15-20 in MLB), but Archer has the better chance.
Did you have the same widespread gut reaction of confusion when McGee came in to face Raburn?
No. What was the reaction? Or why were people confused?
If Liriano was slated for game 1 and 5, would it change your pick?
No but it would reduce my confidence level in it.
Can you provide a rough schedule of when you will be putting out your prospect materials this winter (ie-top 100, top 10 per team, etc). Thanks and can't wait to read your analyses for the 2014 prospects!
That's nearly always the last week of January or first week of February. I'll do free agent rankings in early November, and I believe there's a new top MLB players 25 and under list due in December.
Is there anything more obnoxious than fans who complain about how the national media or certain media members don't give their teams enough respect?
I'd rate that just below fans of teams with obviously racist/offensive nicknames who believe it's more important to defend tradition than it is to consider that what was once acceptable is now just ugly and bigoted.
How much of a factor is the Tiger's September slump and Oakland's series victory in Detroit last month?
e to the pi*i.
Raburn kills lefties. Peralta had thrown 16 pitches, and Rodney ready.
Yes, but McGee's not an ordinary lefty - he's got a slightly better career line vs RHB, and he throws nearly all fastballs, not a breaking ball that would come in toward Raburn's bat. And Raburn can't hit velocity, so it was a good matchup for Tampa. No?
Given the concentration of "character" issue players (e.g., Josh Sale) on the Rays, do you think they pursued a strategy where they are willing to overlook character issues in order to maximize on field production?
No question. It's one of the inefficiencies they've targeted. Taylor Guerrieri is another one. Some of those I can understand. Josh Lueke would never play for any team I ran, though.
Keith, what are the chances the Blue Jays are in the position to draft Gareth Morgan next year?
A hundred percent since he's not that good of a prospect and every team should get a couple of shots to draft him. Note, however, that, contrary to popular belief, the Blue Jays do not receive bonus runs for employing Canadian players.
Yes, that was the thinking apparently. And his one swing & miss was quite late. I just never know what takes precedence in those type of instances, the batter or pitcher's platoon splits or even what kind of specific split (i.e. handedness vs. pitch type).
I do like the semi-old-school philosophy of thinking about batter-pitcher matchups in terms of stuff rather than just handedness. You'd want to employ both, and maybe groundball/flyball tendencies, but there was some merit in the older way of thinking that, say, Raburn has a slider-speed bat so let's use someone who can throw gas.
I don't understand working the count 3-0 and then not swinging at a pitch right down the middle of the plate. Kipnis did exactly that in the 5th last night and then proceeded to tap out to Cobb on the very next pitch which could most generously be described as down in the zone. I appreciate the walk as much as the next guy but c'mon. Can we please start talking about the take sign as a (mostly) crappy strategy- at least when it comes to your better hitters?
Scorecasting at least hinted at this. Close pitches on 3-0 are far more likely to be called strikes - robot umps now, please - so hitters should be more aggressive there.
Before the season, you had Rick Porcello as a breakout candidate. After posting 3.53 FIP/3.19 xFIP while increasing his strikeouts and lowering his walks, is this the pitcher to expect moving forward?
I don't know if there's another step forward in there, to be honest. If this is what he is, that's a great outcome for Detroit.
When Marte was coming up through the Pirates system, your published comments about him were fairly critical of his obp% and lack of plate discipline, yet were positive about his other skills which made him a fringe top 100 prospect. That being said, with his obp% in the mid 330's, what are your thoughts about him now? I think he is a pretty dynamic player, but inconsistencies out of the leadoff spot are troubling sometimes.
His OBP was .343 on the year, but that was boosted by a huge April, and also by 24 HBP. I'm not enamored of any player who draws 23 walks in 560+ PA over a full season, especially not one who's pushed to the leadoff spot because he's fast.
Why is it that you don't believe that certain guys, such as Freddie Freeman, can't develop more power? What I mean is he is a big strong guy, makes consistent contact and seems to have a good approach. Is it something in his swing mechanics?
That's exactly the reason.
Do you consider Gerrit Cole a future # 1? He has pitched so well lately.
Thoughts on the Gardenhire extension? Perpetual mediocrity rewarded?
Yep. Not pushing the team forward, at least.
Is David Dahl going to be a star, average, or a 4th OF?
Above-average regular to star.
Am I wrong to think that the Braves are making a mistake by going with Gattis as their primary LF? He hasn't really been that much better than Upton/Uggla since the end of May, and he's a butcher in the outfield. Seems playing matchups with Upton, Schafer, and Reed Johnson would be a better strategy.
They are making a mistake, although the one point in favor of carrying him is that the Dodgers will likely have two LH starters in their series rotation, and that's pretty much all that Gattis can hit anyway.
I missed your segment on ESPN 1000 yesterday and was wondering your opinion on Girardi. A lot of Cubs fan are Girardi or bust. If he is even available do you think he is the right man for the job?
I think he's fine, but hardly a guy to break the bank to acquire.
How would you evaluate and project Kole Calhoun?
Could be an average regular in a corner.
You gotta work on parenthesizing your equations bro
There's a billboard on I-95 here in Delaware that says 6 of 8 women with ovarian cancer won't get it detected in time, and all I could think was, "yo, reduce your fractions."
Dorssys "Dropped Off A Cliff" Paulino: great bat-to-ball skills, swing, etc yet overmatched in lowA at a young age. Future still bright? Flaws exposed?
Future still bright. Just very young.
Hey Keith, wanted to know your take on the Hunter Pence deal? I'm in the minority as I think this was a fair deal for both sides. In this free agent class, if Pence were to hit the open martkey, I think he would have gotten a 5-year, $110 million + deal which the Giants would have to match if they wanted to bring him back. Thoughts??
Given that team's talent level in the majors and high minors, it made no sense to pay him that kind of money into his mid-30s. By year 4, it'll at least be a bad contract for the team. They would have been better off making him a qualifying offer and taking the pick.
Keith, what if an American was offended by the Yankees or Nationals names? Or a big and tall person found the various Giants franchises throughout sports to be offensive to him? Would you go complaining about those names too then? Who determines what is and what isn't acceptable?
Yeah, those are fair analogies to racial slurs. Go hang a confederate flag out your window.
That's also the "two wrongs make a right" fallacy, with a touch of tu quoque, for those of you keeping score at home.
Thanks for the chat, Keith! Of the Twins, Cubs, Astros, Marlins, and White Sox (top 5 picks next year), can you order from soonest to compete for a playoff spot to latest? How far away are those soonest and latest dates?
Soonest, Cubs. Latest, Marlins (because they're so cheap) or White Sox (because the system is thin).
I enjoy watching Josmil Pinto because he swings the bat well and MLB doesn't have enough guys named "Josmil." Is there any hope that he can stay behind the plate at least half-time? Does he have enough of a bat to DH or play 1B part time?
Never seen him catch, but I do like the bat quite a bit - I think he can hit and have some impact even off catcher.
You make the top ten list of people I would like to punch if given the chance.
You make the list of infinite length of people who act very tough when hiding behind a pseudonym and a keyboard.
Best part about living in Delaware? Worst part?
No sales tax. Bought a car right after we moved here. Worst part? Endless references to Wayne's World. Seriously, it could be so much worse. We could live in Jersey.
My son is at UDel now - good place to eat?
Two Stones Pub. Mad Mac's/Matilda's is solid too. My cousin just started there as well.
Klaw for Commissioner - 2015!! What would be your #1 thing to change? DH in NL?
DH in NL would be a reasonably easy sell, I think. Automated calling of balls and strikes would be a huge one for me.
What would you say Marte's ceiling is? Above average regular?
If he's really a plus 15 run guy in CF, then his ceiling is "star."
It's silly to think that something like 'Yankees' would be on par with ethnic slurs toward Native Americans. This really shouldn't even be a question in 2013. I mean, people know what the white settlers did to the Native Americans, right? Using their names/racist images as sporting logos would be like a German soccer team using an ethnic slur for Jewish people as their logo. It's just completely bizarre. How is a 'tradition' which is less than 100 years old more important than 100s of years of mistreatment of an entire people?
Preaching to the choir, man.
What does the Cleveland baseball franchise do in the offseason? Despite a decent season where they overachieved they aren't better than the Tigers much less the Royals?
I think trading Asdrubal is probably priority number one, with Lindor storming toward the majors and eight to ten teams always in need of a shortstop.
Hosmer will never have a .550-.600 SLG season in him. It's ridiculous to even think that.
This is based on what, exactly?
Any interest in going to Scotland, touring a distillery and then reading poetry while sitting on the cliffs?
Aye, welcome te yer gory bed, or te victorie.
Who do see having a brighter future?Dany SalazarAlex WoodSonny GrayAlso, what do you think the Cards are going to do to get Matt Adams more ABs?
Salazar tops, Gray right behind him, but Wood for me is a reliever. I'm guessing Freese is on the outs after the season and the shuffle creates more playing time for others.
Did Dale Svuem get a raw deal?
He didn't do a good job. He didn't win, he didn't employ the right tactics, and key young players didn't improve under him (and some regressed). I can't absolve him of guilt on all of those counts
In light of your column today, wouldn't you also advocate for abolishing the draft if you were commissioner?
Sure, but if I'm realistic, I'd have to settle for a major overhaul.
Best new artist you've heard recently?
CHVRCHES. The new three-song EP from Panama is promising too.
Paxton flashed great stuff in his few starts in the rotation, but stats folks have him headed to the pen due to control. Was he doing anything different recently?
For me it's more command than control with him.
What makes you think Hosmer IS capable of putting up elite SLG numbers?
Plenty of loft in the swing, improving approach, hard contact, slugged in that .550-600 range from the start of 2010 to his recall in 2011, already showing 15-20 HR power in the majors ... lot of factors in his favor, IMO.
One thing I never get about these "If I were commissioner" things, people never factor in that you answer to the owners. I'm sure you could tweak the draft to try to funnel a bit more money to the amateurs and get rid of some of the disincentives in play, but it's not as if Selig is some evil overlord pulling the strings all on his own. He went after the amateurs because the owners wanted him to.
Agreed. Also, if you break down the draft classes in most years, we're really talking about a small number of players who get screwed financially - the most elite players, and the handful of prep kids with strong commitments to the best academic programs (Stanford, Vandy, UNC, UVA). Most others are getting pretty good value, even if it's not quite market value.
Brian Goodwin is back in the AFL. Has your opinion of him changed after what seemed like a mediocre year in AA?
I've been back and forth on him three or four times at least since I first saw him at UNC. I guess my one constant opinion is that he has star-level tools, but what is inconstant is my view of how he'll translate them on the field.
From what we've seen so far, is Andrelton Simmons a historically great defensive shortstop? In your view, is anyone currently playing among the top defensive players at his position (Yadier? Mark Ellis? Morse?)
I think Simmons is one of the all-time greats at short, and Iglesias probably is too. Catcher defense is hard to judge but I won't argue with you on Yadi.
Schoop missed a lot of time this year due to injury and his AAA numbers weren't super impressive, but he didn't look over-matched to my admittedly amateur eye...has he regressed/progressed? And does he project as a regular at 2nd for the O's? Thanks, Keith!
I liked him more at 3b, but he can probably handle 2b. Don't think he was healthy for most of the season, so I'm not concerned about the stats.
You buying on Japhet Amador? Great numbers in Mexico suggest hit and power tools, but what about that body?
I've never seen him, but he's listed at 315 pounds, and in Mexico he played for los Diablos Rojos in Mexico City, which is 800 m *higher* than Denver.
Keith what is your opinion of Cito Culver?
Hey Keith, get a chance to check out Top Chef last night? What were your thoughts? My cousin is in it this season, Jason Cichonski (yes, the guy who was flexing in the beginning....). Seems to be setting up him as the "villain" this season. You should check out his restaurant, Ela, in Philly too if you ever have the chance.
Yeah, I'm going to have fun with that one as long as he's on the show... recap will be up later today.
Keith, you had Heyward as your preseason NL MVP pick, would you say he could be the difference between the Braves losing in NLDS and them going to the WS? If they get the Heyward pre-broken jaw in the playoffs that is a game changer to me at least. Also, have you seen another 6'5 guy be able to handle CF like he has shown?
It's an unanswerable question - he could be the difference, certainly, but in five games almost any player could be. Gattis could hit 2 bombs off Ryu and another off Kershaw and suddenly he's the difference in the series.
Has Arenado always had a glove this good? And what do you project from his bat (at Coors)?
Serious question - are his defensive numbers not inflated because they're park-adjusted? The value of a play made/not made in Coors Field is higher than the same play made/not made at any other park, right? To your question, he was never considered a good defender at third, and was never more than average when I saw him in the minors.
why did the reds loose and what should they fix to be a contender next year?
They lost because Liriano was that good. They should hire a new manager and find an OBP source to replace Choo.
Is Roy Halladay done?
Any opinion on Rob Manfred since it appears he's being positioned to take over for Selig? Any indication he differs from Bud on major issues?
I'd feel about him the way I feel about every interim manager who's gifted with the full-time job without a real search: The odds that the guy who was sitting nearby when the job was open is in fact the right guy for the long term are pretty low.
Is Bubba Starling done as a top prospect?
Played much better post-LASIK. Still a great athlete. Needs a lot of work, but I'm not giving up on him.
If Bo Jackson had focused solely on baseball and remained healthy what kind of career would he have had? Multiple all-star? HOF?
I think HOF. Strong and athletic enough to overcome the lack of polish in some parts of his game.
when will your NL ROY vote column come out?
The day the award is announced.
Exactly. I always wonder what emigrants from India think when they first hear about the baseball team. Do they wonder if there are also teams called the Pakistanis and the Nepalese?
What is Tyler Skaggs ceiling?
Still a number two starter. But he's been staying too upright in his delivery, releasing the ball higher and earlier, which puts less velocity on the fastball, less downhill plane, and more stress on the shoulder. And Arizona apparently didn't work on this at all this season.
Will Sean Gilmartin have a turn around similar to Julio Teheran's..
No, nowhere near the same caliber of stuff.
Does a "window" really exist for small market teams? I always felt it was self-created, by trying to sign current stars to long contracts, abandoning process that brought success to teams.
I think the problem for small-market teams is twofold - one, the issue I mentioned in the column about lower draft picks and now bonus camps, and two, that those young players in the majors start to get expensive quickly right at the time that you're supplementing with outside (read: more costly) talent, and it's hard for low-revenue teams to maintain those payroll levels.
Klaw, what do you make of what Matheny's accomplishments as manager of the Cardinals? Has he done something truly significant in his first two years, or is he simply been beneficiary of deep talent?
More the latter than the former, although he seemed less prone to stupidbunting this year.
It ain't over til it's over, but what do the Pirates need to do to improve? I don't want this season to be a crazy fluke.
Patience is probably the main thing. There's more talent coming. But I'd like to see a better heart of that lineup - outside of the MVP out there in center, this is not a good offensive team, especially in terms of getting on base.
Would YOU trade Sano or Buxton if it meant you could get a surefire young #1 pitcher in return?
No, although that's in part because I don't buy "surefire" when comparing to a surefire impact hitter.
Thoughts on Reusse's idiotic comments on Mauer?
I don't understand his logic at all. Mauer had a concussion, and the consequences from failing to treat that correctly are severe and lifelong. Also, are we not past calling baseball playesr "sissies?" How is that different from Bill Parcells calling Terry Glenn "she?"
Do you think that the jays need to get a new catcher?
So glad the M's went "safe" in the 2011 draft with Hultzen!
Didn't like that pick at the time, although it was more because of lack of ceiling than anything else.
Is Wil Myers better than you thought? The knack on him has always been strikeouts. From what I've seen, he has a pretty good idea of the strike zone and seems to foul a lot of tough pitches off. Your thoughts?
Made some mechanical changes in May/early June before his recall, tightened up his plate coverage and got him going the other way more effectively. This is the player I thought he'd be when I first had him in my top 10 going into 2011.
I don't/didn't watch Breaking Bad. Am I truly missing something great?
I gave up after season one, so I'm the wrong person to ask.
Have seen this around the web, would Wellington Castillo be a reasonable centerpiece around a David Price trade, or is that stupid on many levels?
I think that's stupid on many levels.
Hosmer over Freeman?
I assume that means for the long term, in which case, yes. Freeman had the more valuable 2013, if that's what you're asking.
I know you don't like comps, but could you at least place Byron Buxton on a continuum between Jay Bruce and Mike Trout in terms of #1 CF prospects? Halfway between? Closer to one than the other?
Closer to Trout. I didn't have Bruce at the top of my top 100 in his year - he was second behind Longoria.
In 1987, Bill James wrote it was a crime to give Andre Dawson the MVP over Ozzie Smith because the MVP should go to a player on a winning team and Dawson played for a last place team. Yet you advocate giving the MVP to a player that didn't play a meaningful game all season. The Tigers don't go to the playoffs without Miguel Cabrera. The Angels still suck without Mike Trout.
Appeal to authority much? It's an individual award. Team record or performance is irrelevant. You're just making up narratives to support the player you already decided you wanted to support.
Better chance at reaching the bigs - Courtney Hawkins or Joey Gallo or neither
Gallo. I think both reach the big leagues, though.
Cubs just claimed Mat Gamel off waivers. Interesting.
STL having Carson Kelly play C in instructs ... realistic possibility?
Good athlete with plenty of arm strength, but I've never seen him try it.
Speaking of Gamel, do you still think Ben is a sleeper?
I think he can hit some, but the bar is really high for a corner OF - he has to rake to be an above-average regular.
That's also an incredible misquote from James on Dawson. He was debunking the claim that Dawson's leadership set him apart.
Good to know.
Thank you for providing your opinions online for the casual fan. I don't care if you are wrong or right...it is fun to read. Do you think the Cubs could or should try to trade for Stanton? Would Baez and Almora be a good offer, too little or too much?
I'm glad you don't care if I'm wrong or right since I'm wrong a lot. I think that's too much - could easily see that being two players who both end up about as valuable as Stanton is.
Gioskar Amaya is apparently getting looks at C this winter. Good idea given the number of middle infielders the Cubs have?
Regarding him and Carson Kelly and Victor Caratini ... God yes. Try every conversion candidate you can. There are not enough catchers to go around, so start trying to make your own.
Keith, can you offer any insight into what Devon Travis is likely to become? He's old for a Prospect-with-a-capital-P, but he had a heckuva year. What do you make of him? And P.S. If you make it to Scotland, do make the trip to Campbelltown to visit the folks at Springbank. #WorthIt
Had a great year but as you said, he's old for where he played, and he's an undersized guy without tools. Not a prospect for me, nor for any of the scouts I talked to who'd seen him.
Giolito all the way back from TJ Surgery? Did you ever see him this year?
Did not, but reports were stellar.
Have you heard The National Parks? Thoughts if you have?
Tried to but they were shut down this week.
Is Noah Syndergaard getting way overrated by the media, I heard a podcast compare him to the likes of Verlander.
IMO, yes. He's very good. He's not Verlander or Harvey.
Thoughts on Matz?
If he's still got the same delivery - I haven't seen him post-surgery - then he's probably a pen guy.
Hope the change of house all went smoothly, nice to have the chat back.
Thanks, it went as smoothly as these things go. Funny story - our moving company is run by Spencer Dunkley, who was drafted in the 2nd round by the Indiana Pacers and played about ten years in various pro leagues across Europe. (And yes, his crew did a great job.)
That's all for this week. I may have to skip next week's chat because I'll be out in the Arizona Fall League scouting all week; I'll announce it on Twitter, and I'll post where I'll be each day if any of you are out there as well. I'll be at the night game every evening from Tuesday through Saturday. Thanks, as always, for all the questions, and I'm sorry I couldn't get to more of them.