Chat with David Schoenfield
Welcome to Sportsnation! On Tuesday, ESPN.com's SweetSpot blogger David Schoenfield stops by to chat some baseball.
Schoenfield is a senior writer for ESPN.com and he's been with ESPN.com since 1995 and has served in a variety of roles, including baseball editor, Page 2 senior editor and writer, and even interim soccer editor. He grew up in Seattle rooting for the Mariners, believes Edgar Martinez should be in the Hall of Fame and had no issues with Felix Hernandez winning the Cy Young Award despite a 13-12 record.
Send your questions now and join Schoenfield Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET!
Opening day (or early morning) baseball for the M's!!!.. With the season about to start today for the Mariners how do you see this season shaping out? +/- 75 wins?
David Schoenfield (4:02 PM)
I put a poll up today ... over/under of 72.5. I think I'll have to take the under -- about 71/72 wins. The offense will be better but the pitching will be worse. Holding season until Hultzen/Paxton/Walker are ready.
Turner (Boise, ID)
Ok, so what time are you setting your alarm to watch this opening series of M's vs A's? The M's set their roster with some kids as expected. Are guys like Liddi, Ramirez and Seager ready for the big leagues or are they, because of the M's being so bad, forced to sink or swim at the big league level?
David Schoenfield (4:03 PM)
I promise ... we won't overload the chat with Mariners questions! I'll be up to watch the games, but they're on at 6 a.m. East Coast time, so not so difficult. Liddi is just up for the first two games. He'll head back to Tacoma once the rest of the season begins. It looks like Erasmo Ramirez will work out of the pen. M's like his ability to throw strikes. I like Seager and have a feeling he'll be starting at 3B by May 1.
Who would you have as the closer while Storen is out: Brad Lidge or H-Rod?
David Schoenfield (4:04 PM)
I'd probably go Lidge. H-Rod throws serious heat but is too wild for a high-leverage role.
ben revere in right field? that sounds like a terrible idea, right?
David Schoenfield (4:05 PM)
I missed that ... Willingham in left? I don't think it really matters all that much. Maybe Gardenhire figures with a righty-heavy staff he'd rather have the better defender in right, even if Revere's arm isn't so hot.
Love the chats Mr. Schoenfield! Does the fact that Bryce is playing CF in the minors mean he could start at that position, or does he get kicked over to LF after his callup?
David Schoenfield (4:07 PM)
It's a smart move by the Nationals. Harper has above-average speed and good athleticism. Let him learn the position and see if he has the ability to handle it. As for when he gets called up and where he plays, depends on how he adjusts, whether Ankiel/Bernadina are doing the job in CF, etc.
Rich (Sun Valley, ID.)
Thanks for the chat, David. I'd like to know how you see the NL Central with the recent bad closer news for the Reds. The Cardinals look stacked, even without Carpenter and what's his name at 1st.
David Schoenfield (4:09 PM)
While losing a reliever is never a death blow, it hurts the Reds because they built they staff from the back up -- Madson/Marshall/Masset and a deep pen bolstering a lukewarm rotation. Maybe this forces Chapman back to the pen, but that also means a longer leash for Bronson Arroyo. Anyway ... I'm actually picking the Brewers to win the Central in a tight three-way race.
Mike (San Diego)
Is it true that if the game in tied after the 9th it will remain a tie because there is no extra innings in Japan?
David Schoenfield (4:10 PM)
Nice ... and pitchers won't be allowed to throw inside or complain to the umpires.
The position that requires the best athlete to play it looks to be in bad shape. Aviles in Boston, Carroll in Minnesota, Barmes in Pittsburgh, Peralta in Detroit, Bloomquist and McDonald in Arizona until Drew comes back; where is the talent in MLB? All playing other sports from what it looks like. Is this cyclical, or should I be concerned?
David Schoenfield (4:13 PM)
Barmes is actually a superb defensive shortstop. I understand your point, but disagree about the talent level. What generation are you comparing this crop of shortstops to?
David Schoenfield (4:14 PM)
For example, in 1992 regular SSs included Dick Schofield, Manny Lee, Andy Stankiewicz, Jeff Huson, Gary DiSarcina, Craig Grebeck, Luis Rivera, Jose Offerman, Randy Velarde ...
David Schoenfield (4:16 PM)
2002 included ... Neifi Perez, Deivi Cruz, Chris Gomez, Andy Fox, Shane Halter, Chris Woodward and so on.
David Wells (Old Country Buffet)
What do you think the Dbacks do with Kubel and Parra? Can Kubel play any 1st? If I were them I them I'd rather keep Kubel's bat in the lineup and Parra's glove in the field. I don't think Goldschmidt is the full time answer at first. Your thoughts?
David Schoenfield (4:18 PM)
I like Goldschmidt. He'll strike out a ton and maybe hit .240, but he can hit 30 home runs and he'll draw some walks so his OBP should be solid. the bigger question is Kubel/Parra. Considering Arizona rode good defense to a division title, I thought the Kubel signing was odd. Still, I think Parra ends up with 300 PAs filling in all across the outfield. Kubel has never played 1B in the majors.
What's your opinion of Ruben Tejada? When he initially came up, I thought he was a decent glove, no bat type of player. But last year he had a ~.360 OBP (albeit with no power), and he was younger than any of the Mets' AA players. Can he maintain a .340+ OBP while adding some more doubles?
David Schoenfield (4:20 PM)
I do believe the on-base skills are legit. He'll be a good player, especially if he can add a little doubles power like you suggest. The number of players who have posted a .360 OBP at his young age is very small (albeit it didn't come in a full season).
David, who did you pick to win the NL Central last year? Just wondering.
David Schoenfield (4:22 PM)
Good question ... had to look it up .. the Reds. I also picked the A's to win the AL wild card and infamously did not pick the Phillies to win the NL East. But such are predictions. You only remember those ones you got right.
Darren (Kitchener, ON)
81-42. That was the Red Sox record from April 16th through August 31st. Why is that being so ignored? That's over 3/4 of the season in which nobody other than the Phillies was even remotely close to them! I just don't get it?
David Schoenfield (4:23 PM)
Well, the other two months do count.
What is your thoughts on converting young power relievers to starters. If it works it gives the team alot more bang for the buck right? What are the odds that Sale , Feliz and Bard work out?
David Schoenfield (4:25 PM)
It's always worth trying. A mediocre starter is worth more than a good reliever (and is harder to find). If it doesn't work out, what have you lost? Just move him back to the pen. If I had to rank them in order of working out I'd go: Feliz, Sale, Bard. Feliz's arsenal of pitches should to the rotation. Bard struggled in the minors as a starter, has struggled this spring (13 BB, 11 SO).
mike detroit [via mobile]
I see a lot of tigers regress to the mean under predictions. But no matter who thier number five starter wouldnt regress to mean be an over. Pre fistler rotation juggle that spot was 4 - 17. If that regresses to even 400more baseball you gain four wins over last year to balance outliers like saves
David Schoenfield (4:27 PM)
You can't really base the analysis on individual W-L record. Fister and Alburquerque went a combined 14-2. That won't happen again. So there's four extra losses that cancel out the four extra wins you arrived at.
But H-Rod has been the most consistent pitcher this spring. Davey Johnson said he has been THE BEST pitcher.
David Schoenfield (4:29 PM)
So you want to base a decision on eight spring training innings? I'm not saying it's the wrong decision; it IS Brad Lidge (Mr. Inconsistent) after all. But Rodriguez had trouble throwing strikes all last season, so I'd prefer to give Lidge first shot until Storen is ready.
Do you seriously think Boston is the favorite in the AL East? Seems like your arguement was simply..."they can't be as bad as last year" with regards to the 4/5 spots in the rotation, Crawford, Youk's injuries when in fact they can be as bad as last year. Plus thier bullpen is weaker with Bard/Papelbon...
David Schoenfield (4:34 PM)
Well, that's what I wrote. Of course they COULD be as bad. I'm saying the back of rotation almost surely won't be as bad. Lackey was historically awful last season. Wakefield wasn't much better. Does Felix Doubront excite me? No. But he or whoever else is back there is unlikely to post a 6.45 ERA. Offensively, outside of Ellsbury, there are no obvious guys to predict a big decline from and a few positions you would predict improvement from.
What do you think about the Royals closer situation? Conventional wisdown would say Holland should get the job, but sometimes managers like to lean on a guy who's done it before, namely Broxton.
David Schoenfield (4:36 PM)
To me, I don't think it matters all that much. If Broxton is healthy, he's a good pitcher. Holland will be valuable whether he's the setup man or the closer. In fact, as I wrote yesterday with Clippard and the Nationals, using in the 7th/8th as the high-leverage guy coming in with runners may be the more valuable role than closer.
Call me crazy, lets say mike rizzo(nats) calls up dipoto and says he wants to give strasburg for mike trout, fair deal or no?
David Schoenfield (4:37 PM)
Hmm ... readers? I guess I'd take the position player just because of the injury risk.
Why is everyone ignoring how electric Michael Pineda was last year? A few bad spring outtings and everyone is discrediting him. I think the Yankeees made out like bandits in that trade.
David Schoenfield (4:37 PM)
Most overblown story of spring training.
Darren (Kitchener, ON)
Sure it counts, it's why the didn't make the playoffs. If they play .500 the rest of the season though they win 109-110 games. Why is the focus on the smaller sample as opposed to the vast majority?
David Schoenfield (4:40 PM)
I think I'm agreeing with you. After all, I'm picking Boston to win the AL East. (Although I believe New York and Tampa will both make the playoffs.) Boston led the majors in runs scored. The back of the rotation was horrible. They underperformed they projected record a year ago by four wins. They still won 90 games despite all the beer and fried chicken.
I rather Keep Strasburg, Reminds me of Dwight Gooden before the drugs and his pitching coach told him to pitch to contact.
Mike (San Diego)
Wade LeBlanc also has a sub 2 ERA in spring. If that's not enough to tell you spring stats are meaningless, I don't know WHAT is.
David Schoenfield (4:42 PM)
I know spring training is a long six weeks .. but exactly. We get bored and start paying too much attention to the stats. Roy Halladay has allowed the second-most home runs. So now he's terrible?
Jeff (NY, NY)
You don't think that David Ortiz at his age would be a player that you could predict a decline for? I would also guess that their SS play will be less then stellar.
David Schoenfield (4:44 PM)
I did predict a decline for him in my analysis. Shortstop is certainly interesting. Bobby V reportedly would like Iglesias to be his guy (memories of Rey Ordonez, except an even worse hitter if you can imagine that). I tend to agree with Bobby V -- Iglesias is by all accounts special with the glove. I think they have enough offense elsewhere to support his weak stick.
Hey David, psyched to wake up early and watch some awful hitting tomorrow! :) Hoping Felix will put on a show for you M's fans.
David Schoenfield (4:44 PM)
That hurts. But so true. I can see Felix and McCarthy dueling 0-0 through nine.
Jake (Grand Rapids)
It's going to be weird watching Opening Day over a cup of coffee instead of a beer. No question really. . .just sayin'
Drew (Madison) [via mobile]
Do you think the stl/cin bad blood will carry over to this season? It's so much fun to boo brandon phillips!
David Schoenfield (4:45 PM)
Haha. Without La Russa fueling the fire, who knows. But I would predict so. No love between those teams or their fans. Great rivalry these days.
No to the trade. That's just getting greedy and inviting bad karma. Stick with the plan.
mike detroit [via mobile]
My point was in your tigers prediction you focused on reasons tiger wont do as well as expected or last year... while there are ways they will also be better. Imo all the moves and means regressions suggest about an even preformance from last year
David Schoenfield (4:47 PM)
Tigers runs scored/runs allowed totals from a year ago project to 89 wins. So if they score and allow the same totals, you're more likely to see 89 wins than 95. Detroit seems to be every stathead's favorite whipping boy of late. Which probably means the Tigers will win 100 games.
Have you seen Bard this spring...thier 4/5 spots could post a +6 ERA this year. I'd argue Ortiz is going to fall of sooner or later and could regress. And people talk about Crawford like it's a sure thing he'll rebound to his days in Tampa forgeting an injured wrist that will nag him all year long.
You're picking 3 teams from the AL East to make the playoffs? Dont you think the Angels/Rangers have a better chance since they play a ton of games against the A's and your Mariners?
David Schoenfield (4:51 PM)
A's and Mariners are bad ... but not the awful 100-loss teams a lot of people are portraying them as. Anyway, Angels won 86 games. They added Pujols. They added Wilson (a pickup I like). They probably won't give Wells 500 ABs again, not if he hits that poorly. So, yes, there are plenty of reasons to pick the Angels. But there are questions as well: Will Weaver be as good? How good is the bullpen? Hunter is a year older, how will he do? Will Kendrick stay healthy? What about Morales?
David Schoenfield (4:52 PM)
Put it this way: You can slice and dice the Rangers, Angels, Yanks, Sox and Rays a hundred different ways. They're all pretty even on paper.
Chris Parmalee - ROY Darkhorse? Really though, I just wanted to see if you'd answer a question from someone named Garth.
David Schoenfield (4:53 PM)
I do believe it's my first question ever from a Garth. Too many good candidates in AL this year, so I'll say "not really."
With what happened to Matt Bush, does Brandon Guyer still make the Rays? I know you thought he would be a good platoon with Joyce. It's a shame if he didn't do anything wrong and get's punished for M. Bush being a huge tool.
David Schoenfield (4:55 PM)
I don't see why the team would punish Guyer simply for letting Bush borrow his vehicle. I do still like Guyer as a platoon OF, although not sure there's room for him on the team.
Mills, Richards, or Williams for 5th Halo starter?
David Schoenfield (4:55 PM)
Sounds like it's going to Richards.
Clark (Duluth, MN)
David I'm a Dodgers fan and while I know this will be a lost season for LA it's never too early to look forward to NEXT season. What do you think the chances are of LA landing Cole Hamels?
David Schoenfield (4:56 PM)
I would suspect the new owners would love nothing more than to make a big free-agent splash.
Oh Yeah! (Boston)
The data in your article showed that the closer (Storen) had MORE high-leverage innings than set-up men (Clippard), but your analysis just ignored that and suggested the opposite. What gives?
David Schoenfield (4:59 PM)
Similar totals of high + medium leverage. Sorry, should have made that clear. But Clippard entered with runners on base in 26 games, just six for Storen, so factoring that in, I would argue Clippard had more pressure situations, no? But that's admittedly without going through all the exact play by play situations. And thanks for paying close attention to the details!
Thanks for posting my questions. I enjoy the chats...just disagree with you on your pro Boston stance going into the season.
David Schoenfield (5:00 PM)
Hey ... I could be wrong, no doubt. Certainly, they are depending on getting 60-plus starts from Beckett and Lester. Considering Beckett's recent healthy history, that's no guarantee either.
Isn't Todd Helton totally under-rated in the top 500? A .323 career hitter and then you put Bryce Harper above him, and he hasn't even seen a major league pitch yet?
David Schoenfield (5:02 PM)
Well, that's the collective ranking of a lot of people across ESPN. Although Todd Helton's career average isn't really germane to the question of who will be better in 2012? Last four years Helton has hit .292 and averaged 11 HRs. Not exactly prime production for a 1B.
Darren (Kitchener, ON)
I'm glad you agree, but why are so many "experts" focused on September, which is clearly an aberration? The talent is pretty much the same as a team that should've won 100+ games last year. Do you understand their reasoning and just disagree or do you just not get it like me?
David Schoenfield (5:04 PM)
No, I think they're focusing too much on the collapse and believing things like that will carry over to 2012. Or that they'll miss Variek. Or that Bobby V is too much of an egotist to manage well. Or that Felix Doubront isn't Randy Johnson. And, yes, ignoring all the talent on the team. Then again, Karabell told me today that everybody is picking the Red Sox ... so maybe that IS the popular pick.
John (Los Angeles)
In a vacuum, I'd also prefer the position player for the long-term. But with the Angels having a chance to win now, and their line-up probably already set, Strasburg might fill out the rotation nicely.
Are you a believer in Addison Reed, especially for the 9th inning?
David Schoenfield (5:06 PM)
No reason not to believe in him. Good stuff, knockout minor league numbers. He'll be an elite closer some day. I'd probably give him the job. First good test for Ventura. Will see if he like the safe veteran and trusts young guys.
Darren in Kitchener, OH, must be using some kind of weird Boston-math. If the Red Sox were 81-42 from April 16 to whenever, they would have had to go 28-11 to finish with 109 wins. That's not .500 ball.
The Pedro Alvarez situation couldn't be going more horribly than it's gone, right? It's terrible because AAA won't help him, and he can't hit MLB pitchers!
David Schoenfield (5:07 PM)
I was exchanging emails with Pirates fan and Page 2 funny guy D.J. Gallo today about Alvarez. There is no good solution here.
Of course everyone is picking the Red Sox, this is ESPN we're talking about.
David Schoenfield (5:08 PM)
Yes, that's it! ESPN NEVER shows any love for the Yankees.
Rockies just released Casey Blake. Do you think they'll go with Arenado at 3rd to start the year?
David Schoenfield (5:08 PM)
I think Chris Nelson will start there now from what I've read. Won't hurt Arenado to give him time in the minors.
Do you think Joe Mauer will have a bounce back year?
David Schoenfield (5:09 PM)
Just paid $18 for him in my fantasy league, so ... yes. Good reports on him. I think he'll be back over .300.
Monroe (Chelsea, Ohio)
Which hurts the Reds more: losing Madson or having Dusty Baker as their manager?
David Schoenfield (5:10 PM)
Poor Dusty. We can't even make it through one chat with somebody delivering a cheap shot.
Do you think Trumbo's defense will be good enough for him to get the majority of the abs at 3rd? Scioscia would seem like a no nonsense type of guy, and if there were tons of errors, I'd think Callaspo would be the move.
David Schoenfield (5:12 PM)
Actually, I promised my bosses I'd write a piece on Trumbo today. My gut says it's not going to work out. I'm trying to think of one playoff team where a move like this worked ... well, the Reds did move Pete Rose from left field to third base in 1975. But Pete was pretty extraordinary and while never a good third baseman, battled it to a draw.
Do you get the feeling that Ichrio will hit one deep tomorrow or thursday. I just have a feeling he gives his hometown country something to go crazy over these next two days!
David Schoenfield (5:14 PM)
Sounds like the dream scenario for us Mariners fans. OK, I have to go write up that Trumbo piece. I'll probably do some sort of diary of the Mariners-A's game tomorrow, so be sure to check the blog. Adios, everyone.