Chat with Jerry Crasnick
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, 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 Friday at 1 p.m. ET!
Jerry Crasnick (1:00 PM)
Hey everybody, Hope you've had a great week. I'm heading to Phillies-Marlins game tonight. Looking forward to watching Giancarlo Stanton take batting practice. That's always a treat. Let's start the chat.
Matthew (Columbia, NJ)
Jerry: Do you think Dom Brown is a part of the Phillies future, or would a change in scenery do him some good? He looks lost playing in Lehigh Valley right now.
Jerry Crasnick (1:02 PM)
Matthew, I'm starting to think he could use a change of scenery. Problem is, his value has been severely diminished, so the Phillies really have no incentive to shop him. My sense is that they want to just keep him in Lehigh Valley and not even entertain the possibility of calling him up, in hopes that the light bulb will go on. But he continues to have trouble defensively, and you wonder if that hasn't spilled over to his offense.
jdog (det mi) [via mobile]
Do the tigers need a 2nd basemen or starting pitcher more? Should they trade D young or jackson to fill needs?
Jerry Crasnick (1:04 PM)
Jdog, The Tigers need Max Scherzer and (in particular) Rick Porcello to step it up and start pitching better. Second base has been a black hole for them, so I'm sure Dave Dombrowski will be looking for an upgrade. No way they trade Austin Jackson, who has been their best all-around player so far. And Delmon Young really isn't going to bring much back in a trade.
There's been conflicting reports surrounding the Cubs' intentions with Starlin Castro. Can you honestly see any realistic situation where the Cubs would consider trading a budding superstar? I just can't see it
Jerry Crasnick (1:05 PM)
Jason, To be honest, those reports made no sense to me. I can see why the Cubs would consider moving, say, Bryan LaHair. But when you have a young shortstop who's a 200-hit-per-season machine, isn't that the type of player you want to base your long-term vision around? Theo Epstein would have to be absolutely blown away to move that kid.
Mr. J. C., I know the new stats don't love RBI's, but how do we value a sac fly that drives a run? New stats don't give it on OBP, SLG, etc.Thanks
Jerry Crasnick (1:07 PM)
Famavizca, That's the definition of a sacrifice fly. At-bat neutral, but you have to record the contribution someway. So I'll stick with the RBI. Maybe Bill James will come out of his lab in a year or two and come up with something better.
D'arnaud,Snider/Marisnick and Syndegaard for Carlos Gonzalez who says no first?
Jerry Crasnick (1:08 PM)
Tim, I can't see the Rockies moving Carlos Gonzalez. He's a great young player who's under team control for several more years. Those guys you mentioned are all among Toronto's top 10 prospects. But as we've seen with the speedbumps incurred by Adam Lind and Travis Snider, you can never be sure with prospects.
Do you see Jake Ordozzi or Will Myers coming up before the All Star break.
Jerry Crasnick (1:10 PM)
Kevin, I don't know if it will be the All-Star break, but I suspect we'll see them at some point this season. For what it's worth, I've talked to some Royals players who think Odorizzi is terrific. But he's 22 years old and has three starts in Triple A. They've had so many problems with their other young pitchers, I'm sure they want to make sure he's ready before they give him the call.
Jerry, what can braves fans expect from andrelton simmons that they couldnt from Tyler Pastornicky?
Jerry Crasnick (1:11 PM)
Jimmy, Pastornicky was OK with the bat, but he had really been struggling defensively of late. I'm not sure how Simmons will hit. But based on what I heard about him and saw in spring training, the kid is a magician with the glove. He's eye-poppingly good.
Jerry word is that S.Drew is expected to play back to back 9 inning games this weekend. Do we see him actually playing for the DBacks any time soon? Seems the ankle soreness won't go away at all!
Jerry Crasnick (1:13 PM)
Alex, The D-backs are hoping that Drew will be back by mid-June, but I'm not sold on that. The problem isn't playing in a game. It's playing five or six games a week and trying to keep bouncing back. That was a truly hideous injury, and I'm sure there's a mental component as well as a physical battle in trying to come back. Best of luck to the kid. He's been through the wringer.
Scott (Northglenn, CO)
Read the Franchise Player draft you guys did yesterday...I thought Tulo went kind of high and CarGo went low...CarGo is the better player...is their value tied directly to position scarcity?
Jerry Crasnick (1:15 PM)
Scott, Yeah, cornerstone shortstops are really hard to find. I gave serious thought to selecting Elvis Andrus with the 28th overall pick before settling on his teammate, Yu Darvish. It was a fun project. Lots of room for discussion.
JM (Dayton (OH))
Have Jason Heyward and Jay Bruce performed up to your expectations given their lofty prospect rankings? Next 5 years, who do you take and why?
Jerry Crasnick (1:17 PM)
JM, Great question. Jay Bruce has 111 career homers at age 25, so I would definitely say he's lived up to expectations. Jason Heyward, conversely, has been a disappointment so far. I might still take Heyward because he's only 22, and the tools are there. But he's more of a risky pick. Bruce is the safer, more reliable bet.
Bip Roberts (the 80's)
Hey Jerry, remember me!
Jerry Crasnick (1:18 PM)
Bip, Is that you for real? Of course I remember you. You were a fun guy to cover in Cincinnati. I think you must have had 10 gloves. There wasn't a position you couldn't play. (If this is just someone pretending to be Bip Roberts, let's pretend this exchange didn't happen)
What are your thoughts on Will Middlebrooks potential long-term? 5 tool player and consistent All-Star?
Jerry Crasnick (1:19 PM)
Jason, Jim Bowden, who has a great feel for young players, raved about Middlebrooks on ESPN.com and said he's a future All-Star. So that's good enough for me.
Scott (Boston, MA)
Jerry,You gotta tell me. Are the Indians going maintain their shot at making the playoffs? Are the injuries to kill them?
Jerry Crasnick (1:21 PM)
Scott, I checked yesterday and the Cleveland pitching staff has the worst strikeout-to-walk ratio in the majors. Not a good thing. Also, the lineup is way too left-handed, and the owner is so tight (and the attendance so bad), that you wonder if GM Chris Antonetti will have the freedom to make any improvements. So you can color me dubious. Based on the way Adam Dunn and Alex Rios are contributing, the White Sox are looking better every day.
Are the White Sox now the "favorite" to win the Central or would you stick with the Tigers?
Jerry Crasnick (1:22 PM)
Adam, See my response above. I'm not ready to write off the Tigers. But they're clearly not as good as they were cracked up to be in spring training. Or maybe it's just a case of the Jayson Stark World Series prediction jinx at work.
Charles (San Jose)
Even if Drew can only go 2-3 games a week that's still 2-3 games a week Willie Bloomquist wouldn't be playing.
Jerry Crasnick (1:22 PM)
Charles, So I take it you're not a Willie Bloomquist fan?
Jerry, what do you think is wrong with Brandon Belt? I know the Giants haven't handled him too well, but he's not really giving them a reason to keep playing (almost) everyday.
Jerry Crasnick (1:25 PM)
Rich, I need a Giants fan to better explain this to me. Look at Eric Hosmer and a whole bunch of young players who struggle in the big leagues, but have a chance to go out there every day and play through it. Meanwhile, Brandon Belt has 100 ABs this year. I don't get it. Either keep him in the minors and let him grow and progress, or stick him out there every day in the big leagues. Am I wrong about this?
Rich (Sun Valley, ID)
Hi Jerry-don't delete my question! The Cardinals are raking at a .290 clip (with an All-Star team on the DL), but the pitching has struggled in May. My question is about when to trade. I see a long season, and view the chest beating for a trade now as a knee-jerk reaction to a down month. When to trade (in general), and when the Cardinals do, is from their roster (Matt Carpenter, Adams, et all) or from the farm, where they are stacked? Thanks...
Jerry Crasnick (1:27 PM)
Rich, Yeah, sorry about that deletion last week. Trades aren't made in a vacuum, and John Mozeliak will have a better idea about potential trade partners in July than he will now. And these things are so fluid; In April, everybody was talking about the Cardinals and their great starting pitching. So it's like trying to hit a moving target. Long story short: Let's wait a month and see where things stand. I'm sure Mo will act if he sees a need.
Andy (West Va.)
Jerry your thoughts on A.Bass! Going thru a learning curve on the road and good at home. Can he be a good SP, eventually, on the road and stick in SD rotation for awhile?
Jerry Crasnick (1:29 PM)
Andy, I know some people think Bass will eventually be a reliever. The kid has done a pretty nice job, but it's easy to get carried away about a pitcher when he's throwing half his games in Petco. My sense is he'll be more of a back-end of the rotation starter or a bullpen guy in the long run.
There were no updates after H.Street's bullpen session in Chicago. You have any new info to pass along on him? Thanks alot
Jerry Crasnick (1:30 PM)
EJ, I think Huston Street's bullpen session went OK. He was supposed to start a rehab assignment with Class A Lake Elsinore this weekend, but I'm not 100 percent sure.
Fill in the blank: "With the first pick in the 2012 draft, the Houston Astros select _____"
Jerry Crasnick (1:31 PM)
Mark Appel. But that's based primarily on what I read from Keith Law, Jim Callis and the draft experts.
No the Giants have totally screwed that kid up...Forget that Huff makes 11m this year and let the kid play
Jerry Crasnick (1:32 PM)
CP, I agree. I saw Brandon Belt in spring training a year ago and really liked his line drive hitting approach. The Giants haven't done him any favors with the way they've handled him.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What MLB Team has the Worst Hitting in 2012?
Jerry Crasnick (1:33 PM)
Chris, If you had the A's and Pirates take batting practice in a hotel lobby, you might not have to worry about the chandeliers.
Danny Hultzen (Minors)
Do I have a chance to go to Seattle this Summer to show my stuff?
Jerry Crasnick (1:34 PM)
Danny, You have a 1.59 ERA and 61 k's in 56 innings in Jacksonville, so you sure don't have much left to prove at Double-A. I assume the M's are being careful about your workload, which all big league teams are with their young pitching prospects these days.
i don't get why sox want to move youk. with all the injuries they have i would think they need him. and clearly they need his example in the clubhouse. besides, if there are questions about whether he can still be effective then they won't get anything significant for him anyway, right? am i missing something here?
Jerry Crasnick (1:37 PM)
MK, Well, there's a problem with fitting Youkilis, A-Gon and Middlebrooks into the lineup, unless Adrian plays right field. And I'm not sure if the Youkilis-Bobby V dynamic is so great after their little incident in April. But as Buster Olney pointed out today, the Sox still don't know what will happen with Ellsbury and Crawford. I'm sure Ben Cherington is listening on Youkilis. But the Red Sox are playing so well right now, I think that's lessened the urgency to move him.
Scott (Northglenn, CO)
Can we please dismiss this notion that Coors Field numbers are artificially inflated? I watched the Rockies go to Cincinnati and never seen the ball explode off the bat like that..a HR on a swing where the batter loses the bat???
Jerry Crasnick (1:39 PM)
Scott, Jay Bruce has hit 48 of his 79 homers at Great American Ball Park over the past three years, so he's clearly benefited. You're right that Coors Field doesn't play to its old reputation anymore. Trust me, I covered the Rockies in the 1990s, and it was a lot uglier for pitchers back in those days. Thank you, humidor.
Win Probability Added is an advanced stat that can cover sac flies.
Jerry Crasnick (1:40 PM)
Dan, Thanks for the tip. As a statistically-impaired ball writer, I appreciate the expertise.
How about that Hawk blowup? Entertaining or over the line?
Jerry Crasnick (1:42 PM)
Chris, I didn't hear it directly, but I heard some other commentators discussing it. Once I stopped stewing over hearing Hawk say "good guys" and "we" all the time, I actually get a kick out of listening to him call games (in limited doses). So I suspect I'll enjoy the blowup.
I am a Whitesox fan and I love Hawk. If he worked for MLBN or ESPN, I would recognize problems since those guys are supposed to be unbiased; but he's the White Sox play-by-play guy...I'd be disappointed if he wasn't a homer.
Jerry Crasnick (1:43 PM)
Erik, I'm not big on super-homer announcers, but it's just a question of individual tastes. If enough White Sox fans felt that way about Hawk, I'm sure they would tune out and it would be reflected in the ratings. Apparently the people in Chicago like him enough to keep listening. (Unless they watch with the sound turned down).
Justin (Redlands, CA)
The Angels lineup sure does look a lot better with Trout, Trumbo, and a now hitting Pujols. Do the Halos look like a playoff team to you now?
Jerry Crasnick (1:44 PM)
Justin, Yeah, I think they're going to be OK. Unless three playoff teams come out of the East, I think the Angels have a good chance at a wild card.
Long Term, do you see Jenrry Mejia as a starter or reliever?
Jerry Crasnick (1:45 PM)
Matt, I think the Mets view him as a reliever. Lots of effort in that delivery.
Afternoon Jerry! Do you see Fiers sticking in the Brewers rotation and how well do you think he'll pitch?
Jerry Crasnick (1:46 PM)
Gene, Michael Fiers is a Division II kid out of Nova Southeastern in Florida. He's not overpowering, but he did have a 4-to-1 strikeout to walk ratio in the minors. I think most people view him as a back-end-of-the-rotation guy, but there's nothing wrong with that. A lot of pitchers have made nice livings that way.
Jerry so much written about T.Bauer. In your opinion just how well do you see him pitching at MLB level? SP 3 or SP4 level about right compared to other NL starters?
Jerry Crasnick (1:47 PM)
Ethan, Based on where the Diamondbacks drafted Bauer and the amount of money they spent on him, I think they envision him to be more than a mid-rotation starter.
Jerry Crasnick (1:48 PM)
Just one more question, folks, and then I'm heading to the yard. Let's do it again next week.
Jerry - Please tell me the Sox aren't going to trade Youk for a #4 or #5 starter?
Jerry Crasnick (1:50 PM)
Mike, I think the Red Sox have enough of those already. I think Ben Cherington would like some quality young talent for Youkilis. But I don't see his trade value as sky-high at this stage of his career.
Jerry Crasnick (1:50 PM)
Thanks again, everybody. Let's do it again soon.