Chat with Jerry Crasnick
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, ESPN.com baseball writer Jerry Crasnick will drop by to take your questions.
Crasnick is the author of "License to Deal: A Season on the Run With a Maverick Baseball Agent," which chronicles the ins and outs of what happens off the field.
Send your questions now and join Crasnick Monday at 1 p.m. ET!
Jerry Crasnick (1:00 PM)
Hey everybody, Fred Wilpon couldn't be here today, so it's up to me to take your questions. Let's begin the chat
Is there any scenario in which Jose Reyes ever ends up a Phillie in the future?
Jerry Crasnick (1:02 PM)
Mike, When hell freezes over? The Phillies have so many longterm commitments, I can't see them plunging in on Jose Reyes for the nine-figure deal he wants. They still have to worry about locking up Cole Hamels and figuring out what they're going to do with Jimmy Rollins. So it's no-way, Jose.
How ridiculous were Edinson Volquez's comments after getting hammered Sunday that the Reds offense needed to score more runs?
Jerry Crasnick (1:04 PM)
David, On a 1-10 ridiculousness scale, I'd give him a 7 or an 8. It's never good form for a pitcher to criticize his team's offense, but you'd at least want to pitch better than Volquez did if you're going to say something. I think Volquez is smart enough that we might see an apology here shortly, and he'll chalk it up to "frustration."
The Mariners starting pitching has been great during the last 20 games. Is there any way they could trade Jack Wilson, Chone Figgins and Michael Saunders to get some offensive help? And who out there would fit in with the team. Just don't want to see them break up the starting pitching staff they have now.Thanks!
Jerry Crasnick (1:07 PM)
Dan, So what you're saying is that Jack Zduriencik should approach a rival GM and say, "We have some guys who can't hit. Will you take them and give us back some guys who can hit?" I could see Saunders attracting some interest because he's young, but Figgins' contract and lack of production won't exactly make for an active trade market.
Ken (Palo ALto)
I know some folks are waiting for the Tribe to show its true colors. Keith Law said last week that they are an illusion brought on by a soft schedule. But they just swept the Reds who have been as hot as anyone - -and without Grady and Pronk. What's it going to take for the Tribe to make believers out of all the naysayers out there?
Jerry Crasnick (1:09 PM)
Ken, When the half the standings are upside-down, it's hard to chalk anything up to a "weak schedule" this year. I just checked and the Indians have a run differential of +66, which is the best in the majors. And they've been winning without getting the best out of Carlos Santana or Shin-Soo Choo. Unless the White Sox or Tigers go on an extended run, they can stay in contention just by playing .500 ball the rest of the way. So I don't see them going anywhere anytime soon.
Jerry, "when hell freezes over" is when the Cubs win the World Series.
Jerry Crasnick (1:09 PM)
Eric, No, I think that's when pigs fly.
Who are the best teams in each league right now?
Jerry Crasnick (1:10 PM)
Roy, With apologies to the Indians, I would lean toward Boston and Philadelphia. That's about the only thing that's gone to expectations this season.
Name 1 thing I have going for me as a Dodgers fan right now...and it has to be on the field
Jerry Crasnick (1:10 PM)
AA, I'll give you two -- Clayton Kershaw and Jamey Carroll.
How in the world are the cards doing as well as they are with their ace only having one win and the best player in the game playing like a (gulp!)mere mortal?
Jerry Crasnick (1:12 PM)
Kardfan, Well, Jaime Garcia and Kyle Lohse are pitching like All-Stars, and Kyle McClellan has given them everything they expected and more as Wainwright's replacement. It's another case of Dave Duncan working his magic, it appears. Throw in Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman making up for Pujols in the middle of the order, and they've been able to hang around in a sketchy NL Central.
How about Jose Reyes in a Cubs uniform? Cubs have the option on Aramis Ramirez, can they make Jose Reyes, Castro and possibly Barney work in the infield?
Jerry Crasnick (1:13 PM)
Steve, I don't see that one at all. Jose Reyes isn't going to sign somewhere else to play third base, and I wouldn't have any interest in moving Starlin Castro off short anytime soon. How the heck would that combination fit?
Matthew (Columbia, NJ)
Jerry, is there anybody in Lehigh Valley or Reading that can help the Phillies struggling offense?
Jerry Crasnick (1:15 PM)
Matthew, The Lehigh Valley offense is a bunch of guys named Ronnie Belliard, Jeff Larish, Brandon Moss and Delwyn Young. The Phillies have two good young hitters in Double A Reading named Matt Rizzotti and Cody Overbeck. But my understanding is that Rizzotti is a DH type and Overbeck is a corner infielder -- and he's not going to replace Ryan Howard or Polanco. And you don't want to count on Double A kids to bail you out of trouble, anyway.
Crasnick is a naysayer for the Indians. Because media people didn't see the Indians doing this they won't get their due. Of course, it doesn't help the Padres did the same thing last year so everyone is going to hold off their reservations on the Indians until September when the naysayers will say "I told you so." Is this correct Jerry?
Jerry Crasnick (1:17 PM)
Eric, I'm not a naysayer -- just a little bit skeptical that the pitching can hold up. And I also wonder how that team will weather its first extended run of adversity. The Indians just lost Sizemore and Hafner to the DL, so they're going to be tested. And you make a good point about the Padres. Everybody doubted them all year in 2010. Then when people finally jumped on the bandwagon in September, they collapsed.
Steve (Portland, ME)
Is there any chance the A's make a change at manager or with their coaching staff? Bob Geren seems to lack the ability to get his teams to win.
Jerry Crasnick (1:19 PM)
Steve, I sense a little bit of Bob Geren dissatisfaction out there. He's not the most dynamic guy in the world, but any mistakes he makes are going to be magnified because of that team's lack of offense. The A's are 12th in the AL in runs scored and OPS, so they're going to be playing a lot of tight, low-scoring games. (Although I guess I could say that about every team this season).
Hi Jerry, I'm a Mets fan. For the life of me I cant understand why Fred Wilpon would make such statements. I can understand saying it to yourself or within the organization, but to say that to the AP. I just dont get it. Is Fred Wilpon a nit? Did he just hurt the trade value of certain players?
Jerry Crasnick (1:21 PM)
Mike, He gave an extended interview to Jeffrey Toobin, and in a lot of cases like that, the interview subject gets comfy with the reporter and lets down his guard. I imagine Wilpon thought those comments would never see the light of day. But he certainly didn't exercise very good judgment. I don't think the comments hurt the players' trade value. But he didn't win any friends in the clubhouse.
donald (portland,tn) [via mobile]
what do u think about interleague and could it actually go away? Seems like it only helps in state rivalries
Jerry Crasnick (1:24 PM)
Donald, The sense I'm getting is that people still like interleague play (the fans sure do), but it might be a good time to cut back on the number of games or consolidate it into a single block of the schedule rather than spread it out so long. And some matchups don't exactly make your heart skip a beat. (Yes, I'm referring to you, Tigers vs. Pirates and Twins vs. D-backs).
Do you know who has the second best run differential after Cleveland? I would say the Cards are doing more then hanging around in the NL Central
Jerry Crasnick (1:26 PM)
Jordan, Thanks for pointing that out. I didn't mean to diss the Redbirds. But Cincinnati is only 25-22, and if the Reds and Brewers can kick it in gear, St. Louis will be getting some competition shortly. I'm not quite sure which team is going to make an extended run at Cleveland.
What about Reyes to the Giants? If not, what will they do at SS?
Jerry Crasnick (1:27 PM)
Jack, Reyes would be a great fit for the Giants, but my sense is that Brian Sabean isn't ready to strafe the farm system for a two-month rental. But I can see the Giants making a run at him when he's a free agent.
Please answer a question about the Rays!!!! So far, so good. The Rays have rebounded well after their horrible start. Do you see us making a trade for either a big bat or a reliever?
Jerry Crasnick (1:29 PM)
Kevin, If their big offseason acquisitions were Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez, I don't see them pursuing a big bat at the trade deadline. They could definitely use some bullpen help, but J.P. Howell is back now, and if the starting rotation keeps logging so many innings, that'll take a lot of pressure off the pen.
Thoughts on Brett Lawrie? He's now leading the PCL in total bases.
Jerry Crasnick (1:31 PM)
Rob, I've always heard that the kid can hit. Anthony Rizzo, the young Padres first baseman, has 56 RBIs already this season in the PCL, I believe. If Lawrie has more total bases than him, he must really be crushing the ball
Jon (Los Angeles)
What do you think about Anthony Rizzo? At 21 he's destroying the PCL.
Jerry Crasnick (1:31 PM)
Jon, See the above comment.
Gene Mullett (Columbus, OH)
KLaw & Churchill have indicated that doubles may be an indicator for future power numbers. It would seem that hitting 42 as a 23 year old would a great sign. Naturally, I'm speaking of Asdrubal Cabrera who did this off MLB pitching. As a result, would it be so shocking that he can hit for pop?
Jerry Crasnick (1:32 PM)
Gene, That sounds about right to me. Seattle really pushed Cabrera through the minor leagues, so he was facing some very good pitching at a young age. Then he was ready to break out for the Tribe, and he got injured. He's just a terrific all-around player. I hope he gets the All-Star Game consideration that he deserves.
What is so wrong about what Fred Wilpon said? I certainly think that they are not the best owners around, however there aren't many out there that don't believe everything he said. It seems that if someone is soft of players, there is a call to get tough!, they're professionals. When some hard honest truth is spoken, it's out of line. Tact is always nice, but the truth is the truth.
Jerry Crasnick (1:35 PM)
Kyle, I don't know that anything he said was so horrible, but there was nothing to be gained from it. After all the Bernie Madoff-related soap opera stuff that's gone on there, the Mets are playing pretty well under Terry Collins. So what's the point of Wilpon shooting his mouth off and antagonizing his players when he didn't have to? It just didn't show a lot of discretion or tact on his part.
Omar Vizquel (HOF)
Reyes to the Reds?...great fit at the top of the order...Reds have numerous prospects to offer, including arms????
Jerry Crasnick (1:36 PM)
Omar, That makes some sense to me. The Reds do have enough prospects to make it work, and Reyes would be a great fit there. But first they need to get the pitching straightened out.
Hi Jerry! Does Michael Pineda have the stuff to be as good as King Felix or will he always be 2nd fiddle?
Jerry Crasnick (1:38 PM)
Anthony, I've watched Pineda two or three times on TV, and his fastball and breaking ball are top notch. Somebody out there correct me if I'm wrong, but I still think he needs to add a changeup or something softer to keep hitters off balance over the long run. I don't know if he has as diverse a repertoire or the "pitchability" that Felix showed at such a young age. But the kid is still terrific.
Patrick (Washington DC)
The Giants are the defensing WS Champs and they obviously have a great pitching staff but even they can't continue this run there on with that offense, right?
Jerry Crasnick (1:39 PM)
Patrick, Have you seen the Phillies play? I think this is one of those years -- with the decline in offense -- that a really good rotation might be enough to take a team a long way. That and the lack of parity in baseball. Just look at how Seattle is hanging in there in the AL West.
Jerry, do you think the D-Backs are for real? We haven't seen this kind of baseball since 2007!
Jerry Crasnick (1:42 PM)
Casey, It's hard to say. Justin Upton is hitting .240 and Kelly Johnson hasn't cracked .200, so there's room for improvement there. And they have a couple of good young starters in Kennedy and Hudson. I know there was a lot written in spring training about Kevin Towers and Kirk Gibson changing the "culture" there. It really does seem as if that team is playing with a little more enthusiasm and smarts right now.
Why didn't Wilpon also call out Johan Santana? That signing has proven to be even more horrific than the other guys....at least they play!
Jerry Crasnick (1:42 PM)
Geez, Matt, the guy had shoulder surgery. That's a tad harsh, don't you think?
Jack (New Rochelle)
Hi Jerry, any thoughts on this kid, worley for the phillies? High prospect or just a new kid?
Jerry Crasnick (1:44 PM)
Jack, I've seen him in a couple of games this season and he's very competitive and shows a lot of presence. I think he has enough stuff and command to be a pretty good back-end of the rotation guy.
Hi Jerry,So what're scouts thinking for No. 1 overall? The Pirates can't afford a bust so who's the best bet? (Doesn't mean the Pirates are wise enough to take him, of course.) Thanks.
Jerry Crasnick (1:45 PM)
Rahn, All the mock drafts seem to indicate that the Buccos will take a college pitcher -- Trevor Bauer or Gerrit Cole of UCLA or Danny Hultzen of Virginia. Personally, I'd like to see them take Cole, because it's always fun to watch Frank Coonelly and Scott Boras negotiate.
JP (Columbus, OH)
Jose Reyes to the Reds as what...a 3-month rental? They aren't paying a slap-hitting shortstop the type of money he will command in a long-term deal. The guy is Vince Coleman playing shortstop, only with slightly better power.
Jerry Crasnick (1:48 PM)
JP, That's the issue: How much is a team willing to give up in prospects for a two or three-month rental. But I think you're underselling Jose Reyes' impact a little bit. And the Cardinals did pretty well when they had Vince Coleman leading off in the 80s.
Wow, I'm supposed to get excited that Jamey Carroll is filling in well for Furcal. That's the best we can do? As Bill Simmons would say...Ladies and gentlemen, your 2011 LA Dodgers!!!!!!!!
Jerry Crasnick (1:48 PM)
AA, OK, I guess I should have stopped at Clayton Kershaw. Are you not happy with him, either? (You only asked me to give you one reason).
Mike (St. Paul)
Just how bad are the Twinkies? Think we could compete in AAA?
Jerry Crasnick (1:50 PM)
Mike, They're bad. But if somebody told you that Mauer would have missed this much time, Morneau would be a non-factor and they'd lose Nishioka, Thome, Delmon Young and a bunch of guys to injury, you probably wouldn't have expected much. It's just a bad year in the Twins Cities.
Jerry, correct me if I'm wrong, but haven't Beltran, Reyes, and Bay all suffered through multiple injuries as well? Some requiring surgery?
Jerry Crasnick (1:51 PM)
Morgan, Carlos Beltran came back from signficant surgery and is actually having a nice season, so it's strange timing for anyone to take a shot at him right now.
Brandon (Columbus, OH)
Any other pitchers who have had similar injuries to Alex White? As an Indians fan, I can't help but think of Adam Miller. Hoping you have a more positive example.
Jerry Crasnick (1:52 PM)
Brandon, I saw where the Indians trainer, Lonnie Soloff, said that Alex White's injury isn't the same as Adam Miller's. Apparently this type of finger injury is more common in rock climbers than baseball players. (I kid you not). I hope there's reason to be optimistic. Alex White has a chance to be pretty darned good.
Matt Joyce, finally found it? or is he just a platoon player playing over his head? Thanks Jerry.
Jerry Crasnick (1:55 PM)
Tarek, I assume he'll come back to earth some. But the guy did hit 10 homers in 77 games last season. I can see him hitting 20-25 bombs and knocking in 80 runs this year if he gets 450 at-bats.
Jerry, always enjoy your chats. What are your thoughts on how the Tiger's season unfolds?
Jerry Crasnick (1:57 PM)
Bob, It's hard to figure that team out. You gotta love watching Verlander and Scherzer on their really good days. But I don't know if they have enough of a solid offensive support system for Miggy and Victor Martinez over 162 games. They look like a .500-ish team to me -- maybe a tad better if the pitching gets on a roll.
Jerry, what the heck is wrong with the Rockies?!? Your pitcher throws a complete game 2 hitter and you lose? Is this team a joke?
Jerry Crasnick (1:58 PM)
Brett, I saw them the other day, and their performance is perplexing after that great start. They're getting nothing out of third base, and now it seems as if Tulo and Cargo are putting a lot of pressure on themselves to carry the offense. They better be careful, or the Giants might open up a gap on them soon.
Jerry Crasnick (1:59 PM)
Hey, Have to go now. Thanks for the questions, everybody. Let's do it again next week.