If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, the National Domestic Abuse Hotline is 1-800-799-7233. Welcome to Klawchat.
Why isn't Ausmus being suspended for his comments? If he said a disparaging comment about African-Americans or Hispanics, he would be, but apparently it's fine against women.
I imagine he'll be fined, probably not suspended. I agree with you - and in fact I think he'd face bigger sanctions and more criticism if he'd said he beats his kids rather than his wife.
Can you explain the math of how Trout has a higher fWAR than Tulo despite lower AVG/OBP/SLG, less fedensive runs saved and plays a less premium position?
I imagine that's about adjusting stats for park effects.
What are your thoughts on Jimmy Nelson? Back-end starter/bullpen guy?
Better. And, as those of you who follow me on Twitter know, I think he's a better option ROS than Estrada.
So, how's that Evan Gattis "non-prospect" thing going, genius?
Yes, I'm trolling myself here. (I really did post this question.) He's probably been the most valuable position player in baseball over the last two weeks, but I don't think this is the player he is or will be going forward. I won't pretend he hasn't been a huge part of their offense of late, though. He's been huge.
Assuming a return to health would you put Hoffman in New Hampshire to start in 2015?
I don't think he'll be ready to pitch at all until mid- to late May next year, and then I imagine he'll start in low-A or so on limited pitch counts.
It was a horribly stupid comment to make. Let's not allow this define the man for the rest of his life. I don't believe that Ausmus is a psychopath, and I'm not afraid to say it, even if it makes me seem like an insensitive meathead. I think he's a good guy who had a terrible night.
I think it showed a severe lack of empathy and of the inhibition that would stop most people from making a comment like that. Wouldn't you at least spend a microsecond thinking about your wife before those words left your mouth?
You had some comments about Baez last week and possible problems with his makeup. Can you expound? Is it a "coachability" issue that you've heard or something else?
Coachability, some big-league-itis stuff, some "wrong crowd" stuff. He's not Almora, who's top of the charts in makeup.
Going to see Bundy in Aberdeen Saturday? Expectations? How soon til we see him in Baltimore?
That's my plan. Going in with low expectations - is he even a year off surgery yet?
Is Junior Lake ever going to be more than a 25th man/ utility guy?
People seem ask whether the Jays made the right call on Bickford vs. Pentecost, but isn't the right comparison Pentecost versus one of the other guys they could have had in '13? For example, how would you compare Pentecost to Reese McGuire, whom the Jays were linked to last year?
I would have taken JP Crawford there (and said so at the time). I'd rather have him than Pentecost. I'm seeing McGuire next week.
Keith - I threw 119 pitches earlier this week. Do you think people will finally stop putting me on pitch counts and let me throw? I've worked my whole life for this!
I don't think 119 pitches for a fully physically developed starter is unreasonable.
Taking an amateur pitcher and "changing" his mechanics to make him less injury-prone. Real thing or pure guesswork?
I think that would depend on the organization and coaches doing it.
Daniel Norris seems to be performing better this year but admittedly I haven't seen him pitch. Can you give us an update on him?
I haven't seen him yet, but reports are that the Jays have done a lot to clean up his mechanics and get him more consistently online. Been up to 96 and throwing more strikes, still with the plus CB.
Are the reports on Thor still good? He hasn't really had any starts where he's dominated in the PCL. Does he still have possible Ace upside, but more probable, #2 upside?
PCL is such a bad place to pitch, so I wouldn't get too concerned about him. I think your upside statement is accurate.
Christian Walker - legit prospect or just a guy?
Closer to the latter for me.
Would you not have further injury concerns for Bryce Harper if he were to catch?
No, because it's his natural position and he's shown more propensity to get hurt in the OF, perhaps because the intense style of play means he's running around out there and into immovable objects. (Yes, I know this injury came running the bases.)
According to sources (Twitter), you were in Trenton last night. How did E-Rod look? 100% healthy?
Yes, mostly 92-94, good CH, fringy SL. My blog post on that game will go up this afternoon.
The Shark turned down 5/85M. Is he worth more or should they trade him? Are players happier in a worse city like Cinci if they are getting "respect" with more money?
I think he'll get more in free agency, and that may just push the Cubs to trade him. It was a fair offer to make, but not a free market value offer.
Klaw - what do you hope would be accomplished by suspending Ausmus. It would be nothing more than window dressing, anyway. I feel like the embarrassment he's feeling right now probably outweighs what a 1-game time-out would accomplish.
You may be right. I'm not sure what it accomplishes going forward - I highly doubt Ausmus would ever say something like that again.
Will the passing of Tony Gwynn finally force MLB to ban smokeless tobacco on the field? RIP.
That's a personal choice to me. If MLB wants to ban it, why should the union allow it? If players want to ruin their long-term health, it's their choice.
Have an idea for your next blog. You need to create the "Evan Gattis All-Stars." Basically players who are pretty good but no matter what their fans will defend them to death and can't be happy about anything they do unless some national sportswriter agrees. Because if all I read were the questions to your chats/Twitter I would assume this Gattis fellow is the Johnny Bench or Mickey Cochrane of our time.
I like it. Asked a reader on Twitter yesterday why he cared so much about my opinion of a player. He didn't really have an answer (or I didn't see it). My opinion has yet to affect so much as a single at bat in a game, ever.
Kyle Hendricks - I get a lot of fellow Cub fans who say he could be a 4 because "he's been successful at every level". I've seen him live twice, and he had one pitch over 90mph in two starts. He's a fringe 5 guy at best, right?
Fringe 5 guy at best for me too.
What is Aaron Brown of the Phils upside as a hitter? Everyday Of or AAAA Of? Also is his upside as a pitcher better?
Don't think I've ever seen him pitch, but I think he's a 4A guy as an outfielder.
How many more years of decreasing performance for Pedroia before we recognize it as a trend? Should he be trade bait/have to justify his status on the team?
That's a great question. I suggested before the season that we might be seeing the start of his decline, and got a ton of pushback. But what if it's real? It may not be a straight-line decline, but if he's not the player he used to be, do the Red Sox have ways to plan around him?
Where would you start Aaron Nola at to begin his career?
Reading. Maybe Clearwater, but probably Reading.
Any way on earth the Orioles send Gausman back down now?
I certainly hope not. Only going to get better as he gets more confidence with the slider. It's going to end up an above-average pitch.
Have you seen (or heard from somebody who has seen) Reese McGuire recently? Not a lot of power, but very encouraging K and BB rates and the average is solid across 2 years and 3 levels. Is he putting some of the hit tool questions to bed? I'm just scouting the stat line, have no idea what kind of contact he's making.
Got a report on him from a scout who had WV and called him a future average regular. Didn't see any future power there. Like I said, I'll go see him next week if the weather permits.
Are you on the Brock Holt bandwagon?
Call me crazy but I don't think he's going to keep that .400 BABIP forever.
Nimmo, Matz & Herrera promoted to AA today. Are they ready to help MLB club by the All-Star break next year?
Maybe 25% chance of that.
Lively, Winker, and Mejias-Brean promoted to AA Pensacola this week. All three future major leaguers?
Sure. Only Winker looks to me like a potential 3+ WAR guy.
I'm a high school coach. From your place in the game, what is the most important thing I can pass on to my players?
I could give a dozen different answers - just encouraging them to have fun and not treat it as life or death comes to mind - but from a baseball perspective I don't think anything's more valuable than preaching conditioning. It's so easy at that age to think you're invincible and your body can handle whatever you throw at it (or in it). Developing better physical and mental conditioning habits at that age will have long-lasting positive effects.
Can you explain why Wetzler dropped to the 9th round this year? If anything, he had a better year than last. Was it off the field issues or anything related to the Phillies' negotiation?
I don't know for a fact, but it's possible that concerns about him reneging on a dollar figure to which he'd agreed before the draft last year were a factor this year.
Jake Bauers is putting up some solid numbers as an 18 yr old. What's your opinion of him and is he a potential top 100 prospect? Thanks.
Strong, stocky bodied kid, real compact swing, but only average raw power. Not sure that makes him a top 100 guy, given the position, even with what seems to be a very advanced approach.
Agree with starting Nick Gordon out at a little higher level as the Twins are doing? Will he struggle with the change to wooden bats?
Played a lot with wood in past summers, doing showcases even as a rising junior, and I think he's got an advanced approach. He's the HS kid you push harder.
Any thoughts on Nefi Ogando? A 96-98 MPH fastball and a slider with some potential sounds like it could be a nice get considering the price Amaro paid was John McDonald.
Haven't seen him but he does sound at least like a capable middle reliever.
How's the kitchen reno going?
Just some finishing touches left, mostly due to vendors not delivering stuff on time. Huge improvement over how it looked when we bought the house - more light, more space.
Trevor May dealing in AAA (esp. last start). I r ead an interview where he contributes the cut in BB rate% to a mentality of attacking hitters, not being afraid of giving up hits, and not really on mechanics. From what you know of him, does this seem plausible?
Seems plausible in that he used to pitch tentatively, like he wanted to avoid contact.
How much do you use video to evaluate talent? What tools do you have to see in person to correctly evaluate?
In person always beats video. I use video when I must, in person when I can.
Burdi is reportedly ready to sign and take his physical this week. Is high A a good place to start or would rather see him at AA already?
Ship him right to AA. I see no point in taking a reliever on day one and sending him out to the Cal League.
Any shot the Cubs give Bryant a cup of coffee late this summer, or is he AAA the rest of the way?
There's no need to add him to the 40-man roster this year, so I'd guess they don't.
Mets signed Conforto today for slot ($2.9M). Assuming he would have signed w/ Cubs for slightly more, who would you rather have - Conforto or Schwarber at his price tag?
I preferred Conforto as a player, so if you're saying the difference in cost was small, I'd have taken him.
Last year I asked you who would be the prospect to make the biggest rankings increase like Oscar Taveras had in 2013. You correctly told me Gregory Polanco. So I ask again...who will be 2015's biggest rankings riser?
Gallo. Also Betts, Nimmo, Norris, Micah Johnson, Devon Williams.
Rodon will sign with the ChiSox, right?
Can Rendon get even better than he has been? 120 wRC+, good D and base running
I think there's more AVG/OBP there.
Real, ceiling higher.
In a post O'Bannon/Northwestern world, what do you envision college baseball looking like?
Don't think it'll affect sports beyond football and basketball very much. Might push a few more guys into pro ball out of high school, and I'm fine with that.
Is JO Berrios a top 100 prospect at this point?
What's your take on Joey Martarano? I seem to recall him being a possible 1st rounder out of HS, but I can't remember a scouting report for him.
Martarano: Wasn't a first-rounder. Had power, couldn't hit, no position.
re: the stuff on Twitter this morning on Ausmus. It amazes me that people think just because they aren't offended by something, that there is nothing wrong with it. My wife worked at a safe house/shelter in college. Women living in fear all day about "beat the wife" when he gets home. Can't fathom defending that, I just can't.
I couldn't agree more. Yet 90% of the tweets coming at me today were supporting Ausmus - saying it was "just a joke," or that he apologized right away (so what?), or that saying it was wrong was some sort of defect on my part.
What medicine did you say you take that's been helpful with depression/anxiety? I know you've shared this before but I can't figure out how to find it.
Escitalopram, an SSRI.
Got any insight on Daniel Carbonell?
In my blog: http://klaw.me/1lBAKvs
Ballpark of where Rodon would fit in your top 100?
Probably top 25ish. Haven't given it a ton of thought since he hasn't signed.
The latter. I'd be surprised if anything ever changed with him. He was pretty close to a finished product out of Gonzaga.
I'm still trying to figure out what the Snakes gained from plunking Ryan Braun two nights ago. Even the one tactical reason that sort of makes sense - setting up the double play with a groundball pitcher coming in - can be countered by, "So why didn't you walk him instead?" You called the D-Backs petty for this, and I couldn't think of a better word to describe what they've become the last couple of years. I would think the team with the worst record in the NL has more important things to worry about than "tough-guy points."
No gain. And the celebration was embarrassing all around. You hate Braun? want to put him in his place? Great. Strike him out. Pop him up. Whatever. Hitting him proves nothing.
Does the money for school count against the slot recommendation? The Brewers had Medeiros with a $2.5 million, but then gave him 240k for school. Slot was 2.8.
No, not if it's via the MLB scholarship fund.
Do you have a prediction as to who the highest drafted player not to sign will be?
I expect every player taken on day one who passes his physical to sign.
One thing I'd like to note regarding the depression/anxiety medication is that just because that particular medication has helped Keith (and we're very glad it has) doesn't mean it will be the solution for you. My understanding is that, in the mental health sphere, there is a fairly wide variance in how successful different drugs are for helping different individuals.
Good point, worth mentioning.
1) Nick Howard went 4 innings the other day. Is this pitcher abuse or ok because he started last year? 2) How much do MLB teams freak over their drafted players playing in the CWS ?
I'm sure the Reds are ticked off, but in the scheme of colleges overworking pitchers this is a misdemeanor.
Why does everything verbal have to be a fine or suspension. Ausmus has no history of this...he apologized 30 seconds after he said it, realizing that what he said would be misinterpreted. We have become WAY to hypersensitive to someone comments...lets focus on actions.
Hard to misinterpret his comment.
Much talk lately about possible destinations for David Price. What teas have the goods to pry him away from Tampa?
Dodgers. Cards if they wanted to, which I doubt. Royals might be able to. Red Sox certainly could.
In terms of guys who probably won't be in the majors at the start of next season, is your top 5 right now Buxton, Correa, Harvey, Seager, Sano?
Not sure I'd put any pitcher on there. Russell might take the last spot if he just stays healthy this year.
Jorge Soler, will he be the next Puig, Cespedes, Abreu, or is he more Leonys Martin (solid contributor)? All tools, not enough approach? ETA?
If healthy I think he's a star, always have. But all the ABs he's missing are going to really hurt his development.
Hunter Renfroe just called up to AA after doing exactly what he should have in A+. Seems like he's been able to cut back on the Ks, if only a little. George Springer lite?
Not close to Springer's level of athleticism or defense. Power-walks-Ks with some speed.
Do you have any insight into why Austin Byler of Nevada fell to the ninth round? He was in your top 100. Is it a position issue or concerns about his numbers being inflated due to the elevation?
Got to be the latter (elevation). I like the swing and think the power is real.
Do you like the timing of the draft the way it is now or would you like to see it moved until after the college season is over?
Would be ideal if all school seasons were done before the draft. Then we might get more kids in NJ for the draft itself too.
Is Maikel Franco still a can't miss prospect or just a 21yr old struggling in AAA?
Wasn't a can't-miss guy for me. Approach was and remains a real issue. Also not sold on his feet working at third base, although he has the arm and the hands for it.
Father of a three-month-old girl. Where do you stand on the "pink vs. no pink" (aka the "princesses vs. no princesses") debate? From my point of view, dressing the girl in pink and letting her have fun with princesses is not going to do her any harm as long as it's balanced with other interests. Why can't an engineer like pink, just like another engineer might like green?
We didn't worry about this stuff at all. We just let my daughter gravitate to whatever interested her, whether it be princess toys or books on volcanoes.
So I guess you have never said anything offensive or hurtful or just made an awful mistake for which you immediately apologized for? What more do you want from Ausmas, perhaps he could spend the day and volunteer at battered women's shelter rather than be fined or suspended?
This is the "tu quoque" fallacy, a very popular one today. What I've said is immaterial to any discussion of what Ausmus said. And yes, putting in real time - not a day - at a shelter would be both an appropriate response and a huge public service.
Karsten Whitson falls from a top 10 pick to outside the top 10 rounds after going to college. Can we assume he was abused horribly by his coach and that caused all the injuries?
Might have been hurt before he ever got to campus.
He's obviously not a prospect any more, but can Joe Panik be a every day starter at 2B for SF? Good improvement in AAA this year to be a good hitter again.
Don't think so. Utility guy for me.
Who is the Mets primary catcher in 3 years d'arnaud or Plawecki?
Leaning towards Plawecki now. d'Arnaud may not stay healthy enough for it.
Do you grow a lot of your own produce? Fruits, spices, vegetables?
Working on it. First year in the new house, so we've just gotten started with the garden and planting trees.
Almora might have great makeup, but right now he's hitting an awful .241/.264/.317 at Daytona. Cause for concern?
Concerned about the lack of walks, yes. He'll have to find an actual approach at some point soon.
If you were the Jays, who out of Stroman, Norris and Sanchez would you not offer up for a trade?
Depends on for what, doesn't it?
Which 2014 draft pick do you expect to put on an ML uniform first? Anybody before the end of this season?
Lindgren (Yanks) would be my guess.
When do you think Swihart will be ready to be the Red Sox' everyday catcher?
2016 or 2017. Maybe 60/40 on that.
What are the chances the Royals never loose again this season?
100%. Best team ever.
Is Kyle Waldrop of the Reds a legit prospect? Saw that he won the MVP award of his leagues All star game.
Because he homered. You homer in an All-Star Game, you get the MVP award. He's got juice, but he's repeating high-A at age 22. I'd like to see him in AA for the second half.
Would you have any temptation if you were the Yankees to let Betances start again? Dude has been incredible this year.
No. This is the right role for him. Doesn't have the command or ability to repeat his delivery to start.
Nick Kingham...middle rotation guy or something more?
That's about right.
I think what people are trying to defend is the body of evidence that suggests Ausmus is a pretty good guy. Billy Bean (former player, not the GM) wrote in his book, Going the Other Way, that Ausmus was his most supportive teammate both during and after his career, and that he didn't care about Bean's sexuality. Ausmus is also clearly intelligent and thoughtful.However, this feels to me like it could be a glimpse behind the curtain. Because no matter how many times I run scenarios through my head (what if I'm sitting with really close friends, my wife is there, she's making fun of me for my OCD), I can't come up with one where "I beat my wife" is funny, even though she and I share warped sense of humor and there is absolutely no chance that either of us would ever be physically abusive toward the other. In short, it's an unspeakably ugly thing to say, and I'm going to internally question his character as a result.Now my question: What do you think his next step should be?
A very fair perspective. I think the various fans suggesting he volunteer in a shelter are on the right track.
Am I that old that I heard that Mike Cameron's high school kid is a top prospect for next year's draft?
Yep. He is, and you are.
I know you're not sold on Gattis going forward, and I'm wary of buying into the hot hand fallacy, but you have to hold back Bethancourt and stick with Gattis just in case he's for real, right?
Yes - Bethancourt's not doing anything in AAA anyway.
Any chance at all that the Sox sign Bryce Montes de Oca?
Doesn't sound like it.
Klaw, sounds like you were pretty down on Cincinnati prep Cameron Varga - surprised that Tampa threw 7 figures at him?
I was - there were other prep arms I preferred, guys who looked better this spring, still on the board there.
Are you buying Jake Arrieta's breakout?
I think so. Seems like the command is about a full grade better.
What uniform is David Price wearing August 1st?
Just a complete guess? Dodgers. I don't really have any insight on the trade front, though.
How good is Amed Rosario? What's his ceiling?
Should see him this weekend so I'll defer on that question for now.
Do we see Francisco Lindor this year in Cleveland or is opening day 2015 more likely?
I think we see him if they deal Asdrubal.
I know my approach has been a major improvement in my game, but can a 25+ % K rate really be justified even with a high BB rate and the 80 power?
I don't think a 25% K rate is as damning as it used to be.
I know you're not a fantasy guy, but in terms of statistical production, who do you think does more in 2015; Profar or Addison Russell?
Eugenio Suarez a legitimate starting SS in the league?
Tyrell Jenkins sighting last night can he be a top prospect again
Hope so. Sounds like his stuff was solid and I heard he was pain-free afterwards.
Keith, I know you were not a fan of Cardinals drafting of James Ramsey two years ago. Has your evaluation of him changed or does he still remain a future 4th outfielder?
He showed more power than ever in the AFL last October, and he has continued to do so this year in AA. I can see him being a regular in a corner now, whereas his college swing, geared more toward contact and a kind of jailbreak towards first, made me think he was a tweener.
Hey Keith, I just started taking an SSRI for my anxiety issues. How long did it take for you to notice that the medication was working in a positive way? Thanks
Couple of weeks. Less than a month. Stick with it and good luck.
Thanks for all the questions and some better dialogue on the Ausmus imbroglio than we got on Twitter. I'll be back next week for more questions.