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 2 p.m. ET!
Jerry Crasnick (2:00 PM)
Hey everybody, I'm coming to you from beautiful Camden Yards, where I watched the Orioles play the Dodgers over the weekend. Let's start the chat. And no NFL draft questions, please.
Gabe (Fairfax, Virginia)
As a Nats fan, should I be worried about the quality of this team, yet?
Jerry Crasnick (2:01 PM)
Gabe, I would definitely be concerned about Dan Haren's poor start and Ryan Zimmerman's throwing issues. I would not be too concerned about Adam LaRoche's poor start and Ian Desmond's early defensive issues. That's still a very good club. Don't get too carried away over three so-so weeks.
What are you impressions and thoughts on how the Yankees have handled all the injuries so far?
Jerry Crasnick (2:04 PM)
Bill, They've handled the injuries wonderfully. I have my doubts that Vernon Wells, Travis Hafner & Co. can keep this up, but there's something about the pinstripes that makes certain players pick their game up a notch. Maybe that's the case here. You think some guys are going to wilt in New York, and they become better there.
Hey Jerry, thanks for the great work on ESPN. Should us jays fans be worried?
Jerry Crasnick (2:05 PM)
Peter, Not yet. The Reyes injury was a crusher, because he had such a big impact on the field, at the plate and on the bases. But they still should have enough offense to get by, and I think the rotation is going to get things straightened out and go on a roll at some point. I'm not seeing any panic out of John Gibbons, and that's always a good thing.
Michael Morse has completely dropped off the radar after injuring his pinky. Is this a long-term concern going forward?
Jerry Crasnick (2:07 PM)
Adam, Morse says his recent problems aren't a result of the finger injury, but I'm skeptical. Hand injuries can really mess up a hitter, and he provided a lot of cover for the young guys in the middle of the order when he was going good. At some point, the young guys need to pick it up for the M's.
What do you think the long-term ramifications might be of Mike Trout's $510K re-sign? Does he walk away from the Angels the instant he gets the chance?
Jerry Crasnick (2:09 PM)
Phil, That's a pretty big leap to make. I don't imagine Mike Trout is giving it a whole lot of thought right now -- although those pre-arbitration slights can linger in the back of a player's mind over the long-term. I think the bigger issue is the $$ the Angels have committed to Pujols and Hamilton over the long-term. That's going to put a squeeze on anybody's budget.
Do you see Geno Smith going in the top 10?
Jerry Crasnick (2:09 PM)
Hah, good one.
Rich (Sun Valley ID)
Thanks Jerry......the implosion of the Cardinal bullpen cannot be under-stated, as Boggs is now responsible for at least 4 of the team's losses. The options seem limited at this time, and range from pulling Lynn from the starting rotation to bringing up untested rookie Carlos Martinez...from AA! Am I the only one who thinks that is crazy?
Jerry Crasnick (2:12 PM)
Rich, It's funny: My friend Jim Caple always contends that any reliever can save 8 or 9 of 10, because that's what the statistics show. Then the minute a team has trouble holding a few leads -- the way the Cardinals are now -- the fan base flips out. I just think Matheny is going to have to keep running Boggs, Rosenthal, Mujica & Co. out there and hope somebody seizes the initiative. It's too early to panic and bring up a kid from Double A and anoint him the closer.
Jerry you see cashner being used alot at SP for rest of year and will he overcome his control issues enough to be a decent SP for Pafres?
Jerry Crasnick (2:15 PM)
Ethan, He did OK in his start the other night against the Giants -- 4 IP, 2 ER and 65 pitches -- so I assume that'll earn him some more starts provided they have room in the rotation. Cashner is one of those super-hard throwers that you always think is closer material. But if he can harness some of that velocity and pitch economically, I'm sure Bud Black and the Padres would love to plug him into the rotation. More impact that way.
After going 3-2 against two of the hottest teams in Atlanta and Boston, has your outlook for the Royals changed at all for this season?
Jerry Crasnick (2:18 PM)
Michael, I picked them to finish 2nd in the AL Central, and they would be off to a really good start if not for some of their bullpen issues. As I've said before, Hosmer and Moustakas are going to play a big role in their success or lack of it. It's encouraging that the Royals have hung in there with Moustakas and Billy Butler both off to rough starts.
How long a leash does Buck give Arrietta with these continued short starts? The talent is there, but with a deep AAA staff and guys like Matusz itching for another shot it can't be long, right??
Jerry Crasnick (2:20 PM)
Kyle, I was here for his outing yesterday, and you can tell how exasperated they are with him. His stuff is so good, he looks unhittable for two or three innings. Then it just vanishes. I don't think they're ready to pull him from the rotation yet. But yes, the leash is pretty short.
Charles (San Jose)
Early on Didi Gregorius seems to be justifying Kevin Towers' faith. Is he doing anything differently or is it just a fluke?
Jerry Crasnick (2:22 PM)
Charles, He's an energetic kid and very athletic. I heard mixed reviews on him from scouts last year. Some people wonder about him because he doesn't have much plate discipline, and that's going to catch up to him eventually. Let's put it this way: I don't think he's the second coming of Derek Jeter. But Kevin Towers knows talent, and he sure likes him a lot.
Why does Matt Kemp stink and why does Don Mattingly stink worse at motivating players?
Jerry Crasnick (2:24 PM)
AA, I'm not sure I would hang this on Mattingly. I know this sounds weird, but it's not easy when ownership collects $217 million in talent and matching egos and expects you to just shape it into a team immediately. As for Kemp, I'm not sure if his shoulder is completely healthy. He crushed a ball to the CF fence yesterday and he's starting to pick up some hits here and there, so maybe he'll break out soon.
Thanks Jerry...what about the chances of Bundy/Gausman plus a few of the Arrieta, Britton, Tillman, Matusz group to pull off a Stanton blockbuster? He'd look awfully good with Davis, Jones, Weiters, Markakis, Machado, etc...
Jerry Crasnick (2:26 PM)
Kyle, The Orioles aren't trading Gausman or Bundy, and those are the pitchers the Marlins would want if they're going to trade Stanton. The other pitchers you mention no longer have the luster to get a deal of that magnitude done.
Ben (West Virginia)
You believe Matt adams will start to see more than a couple of starts per week? Know alot depends on injuries/etc.!
Jerry Crasnick (2:28 PM)
Ben, I just don't see how. If you watched the broadcast last night, they said Mike Matheny makes somebody mad everyday with his lineup decisions as it is. And Matheny told me last week that it's "incredibly challenging" to find enough ABs for Adams. On a positive note, the Cardinals are in great shape if someone goes down with an injury.
The Power rankings make absolutely no sense at all, the Tigers gets swept by the Angels and they actually move up a spot? I know you didn't vote but what are your other friends thinking, especially David who literally just wrote an article about how we might have overrated the Tigers?
Jerry Crasnick (2:30 PM)
Hey James, Yeah, since I'm not involved in the selections, I'm not sure how it works. But I don't think they confer on it -- they all vote individually, I believe -- so the chips just fall where they fall. And if you're taking a long-term view, you try not to overreact when a team has one bad series. Sorry, that's about all the insight I can shed on it.
Jerry will Dom Brown ever reach all the projected potential thrown his way? Think it could happen this year?
Jerry Crasnick (2:31 PM)
David, It sure doesn't look like it so far. I think Domonic Brown can be a pretty good hitter, but he really seems unsure of himself in the outfield, and that's weighing him down. At some point you wonder if a change of scenery might be the best thing for everyone involved.
Have you been able to catch many Royals games? What is the deal with Hosmer? Seems like all he does is hit weak groundballs
Jerry Crasnick (2:32 PM)
Brint, I know the book on him is that he has some trouble with fastballs inside. Until he shows he can turn on that pitch and drive it, pitchers are going to keep pounding him with fastballs on the hands and daring him to do something with that pitch.
With the mess in Marlins Bullpen called Cishek/Rauch you think AJ Ramos can mature enough to take that job in 2013?
Jerry Crasnick (2:34 PM)
Logan, A.J. Ramos is 26 years old and a college kid, so I don't think he's going to get a case of the shakes if he's asked to close a game. I'm still not sure why people care about the Marlins closer situation when they barely score enough runs to ever get a lead anyway.
Kevin (Orlando/Tampa Bay)
The Rays needed the sweep - Loney is playing better than expected, Zobrist and Longo are doing what we expected. How long can the Rays wait to call up Wil Myers? Any chance they call up Hak-Ju Lee at SS this season is Escobar continues to bat in the 100's?
Jerry Crasnick (2:35 PM)
Hey Kevin, I still think we're looking at a mid-season callup for Wil Myers. As for Hak Ju Lee, he just tore ligaments in his knee and is probably out for the year. Bad news on that front.
Dan (Kansas City)
Have you heard anything about Ricky Romero? Do you expect us to see him again in the majors anytime soon?
Jerry Crasnick (2:37 PM)
Dan, He's in Florida still working in extended spring, throwing bullpens and trying to refine his delivery. He hasn't pitched in a game yet. So there's nothing new there. J.A. Happ has been fine in the No. 5 spot in the rotation, so I think the Jays will stick with the status quo for the foreseeable future.
Chris (Rutgers Grease Trucks, NJ)
Hi Jerry: A follow up on the earlier Nats question. Who takes the division? Nats or Braves? Thanks!
Jerry Crasnick (2:38 PM)
Chris, I picked the Nats before the season because they're a more balanced club and I like their starting rotation. (I had the Braves making the playoffs as a wild card). I'll stick with that prediction.
Hey Jerry! You believe that B.McCann will be bothered by this shoulder injury all season and not be very effective hitting/throwing? Thanks
Jerry Crasnick (2:40 PM)
David, They've taken their time bringing him back, so I assume he'll be ready to go when he returns. Throwing has never been his forte. But if his shoulder is all right, he'll hit.
Do you think the Cardinals would be better off with defined roles in their bullpen? Or is it better to play it case by case and go with the matchups? Pitchers seem like creatures of habit and would prefer to know what to expect
Jerry Crasnick (2:42 PM)
Brint, I'm sure Matheny would love to have defined roles, but Motte's injury threw everything out of whack. After Boggs blew a couple and people started flipping out, I think he wanted to be as vague as he could about "roles." If you give someone a role and they fail at it -- even for a couple of outings -- that leads to backtracking and all kinds of PR fallout. Managing a bullpen has to be a real pain.
How long until Smyly takes Porcello's spot in the rotation?
Jerry Crasnick (2:43 PM)
Mike, Another clunker like the one the other day, and we might be talking in terms of minutes. I've got to imagine the Tigers are about out of patience with Porcello.
Brian (Fort Wayne)
How many more weak ground balls can Alex Avilla hit before Detroit wakes up and realizes his 2011 season was a fluke.
Jerry Crasnick (2:45 PM)
Brian, He has great leadership skills and seems to work well with the staff, but his bat has really been a disappointment. I saw that Dave Schoenfield just compared him to Rick Wilkins. That's not a good sign.
do you see the angels turning it around now or do you think they wont until weaver returns and blanton goes to the bullpen?
Jerry Crasnick (2:47 PM)
Wyatt, It's tough to run off a big win streak with questions in the rotation, but the Angels at least took some of the pressure off with that sweep over the weekend. If they can tread water and hang in there until July, maybe Jerry Dipoto goes out and makes a move. With all the money Arte Moreno has invested in that team, what's one more contract on the books?
How long can Matt Harvey keep doing what he has so far? He only gives up one run Friday night and his ERA went up because of that.
Jerry Crasnick (2:49 PM)
ASN, I know we tend to get carried away in hyping prospects, but I've talked to about four scouts I respect who've told me that Harvey is probably the best pitcher in the game right now. Seriously. I don't know if he can keep it up at this level, but he's pretty impressive.
Being a Mariner fan has become intolerable. Is it an organizational issue that touted prospects (Smoak, Ackley, Montero) seem to regress instead of get better? Are Jack Z/Wedge unlucky or unskilled?
Jerry Crasnick (2:51 PM)
Jerry, I don't know, but it's not as if Jack Z has no track record for spotting hitting talent. He did draft Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun in Milwaukee. I'm sure he's as puzzle as anyone why Seattle's young hitters have struggled so much.
What has Elvis Andrus done to anger the BABIP gods?
Jerry Crasnick (2:53 PM)
James, Small sample size. It'll turn around. Andrus has the speed to beat out some infield hits, so he'll be OK. Maybe he just needs to get over the euphoria of that new contract.
Jerry Crasnick (2:53 PM)
Hey folks, I just have time for one more. Thanks for all the questions. Let's do it again next week.
What do you make of de la rosa? He was a potential ace before he got hurt...what are the expectations now, Jerry?
Jerry Crasnick (2:55 PM)
James, I saw him a couple of years ago when he was healthy, and he was terrific. But he's been hurt so much, we're all conditioned to expect something bad will happen. It's too bad Chacin just went down when they were starting to develop some continuity in that rotation. It's always something with pitching in Colorado.
Jerry Crasnick (2:55 PM)
Thanks again, everybody. Talk to you next week.