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 3 p.m. ET!
Jerry Crasnick (3:00 PM)
Hey folks, Congratulations to Miguel Cabrera and Domonic Brown for being named MLB's Players of the Month for May. Who out there predicted that combination? Let's talk some ball.
Jerry: When do you believe the nationals will give up on the Ghost that is D. Espinosa and promote rendon fulltime? Thoughts on rendon? Thanks
Jerry Crasnick (3:03 PM)
David, Danny Espinosa has been playing with wrist and shoulder injuries, so I wouldn't be shocked if he goes on the DL relatively soon. And Rendon just got promoted to Syracuse. Problem is, I'd be a little nervous playing him at second base in the big leagues due to his lack of experience there. But as the Nats showed with Bryce Harper, they're not hesitant to push big prospects. If they keep muddling along around .500, I assume the pressure will increase to give Rendon the call.
zack stl [via mobile]
Jerry, is there any defensible reason for the Phillies playing delmon young in Tue field on a daily basis?
Jerry Crasnick (3:04 PM)
Zack, It's not his plate discipline, so it must be his sterling glove and charismatic personality.
Absolutely ridiculous situation in Cleveland Friaday night. 5 rain delay game ends at 3am and then they have a game Saturday at 1 pm. If MLB wants to know why attendance is down 1. tickets price in the major cities are too high 2. MLB and treats it's fanbase and it's product terribly. I'm sick of hearing it's about the money, cut back to 154 games to create some holes in the schedule. I've been watching baseball since the mid 60's. Baseball isn't a game that's meant to be played in pouring rain. Your thoughts?
Jerry Crasnick (3:05 PM)
Dom, This is a longer discussion than I can get into here. But you sound like you needed to vent (and I'm sure you're not the only fan who feels this way), so I wanted to post your comment.
Will Tim Hudson and Paul Maholm be Braves next year?
Jerry Crasnick (3:07 PM)
Michael, The Braves aren't big free agent spenders, so if both those guys return, I think it would have to be on relatively short-term and modest deals. Hudson especially, because of his age. A lot probably depends on how Brandon Beachy returns and some of their kids in the minors progress this season.
Afternoon Jerry! Daniel Hudson nearing a return so do you feel he can regain is his old form or will it be a struggle for him and possible reinjury?
Jerry Crasnick (3:08 PM)
E.J., Daniel Hudson underwent Tommy John surgery in early July last year, so I wouldn't expect a huge contribution from him this season. As we've seen in the past, he'll probably be a lot stronger in spring training 2014. But if the D-backs think he can contribute, I'm sure Gibby will throw him out there for some 5-inning starts -- then see how quickly he builds up.
Chioke Hassan (Baltimore,Md)
Dear JerryCould you see D.C. hosting the All-Star Game?
Jerry Crasnick (3:09 PM)
Chioke, Since Cincinnati is hosting the 2015 ASG as a National League site, D.C. won't get the game until at least 2017.
Hey Jerry a friend and I were having a discussion of what the Rangers should do when Ian Kinsler comes back healthy and they need to make a decision on Profar.He argued that Ian could move to the outfield to replace Murphy, and I said no because he hasn't played the position and would need practice. My friend disagreed so I'm asking you, how hard would it be for an infielder to move to the outfield and be an okay defender?
Jerry Crasnick (3:11 PM)
James, Ian Kinsler just had a setback in his rehab, so it's going to be a while longer before he returns. I have no doubt that he's capable of playing left field. But the middle of the season in a race probably isn't the optimal time to do it. And for the sake of harmony, I imagine the Rangers would defer to him and ask him how he feels about it before they try it.
Chris (Broadview Heights, OH)
Ubaldo Jiminez has had 2 ER's or less in 6 of his past 7 starts and pitched a gem on Saturday vs. Tampa. Is this a sustainable trend for The Big U?
Jerry Crasnick (3:14 PM)
Chris, I'm a little wary of trusting that he's going to be the Ubaldo Jimenez of 2010 again. But Mickey Callaway, the pitching coach, seems to have done a very good job of getting in his head and keeping him focused. I'm sure they're just taking it one start at a time. (Cliche alert).
Good afternoon, Jerry. What names come to mind when you think of the best and worst FA signings of the past 10 years? I really enjoyed the David Cooper article by the way. Tim's piece on baseball sounds was great too. Keep up the good work!
Jerry Crasnick (3:16 PM)
B, Thanks for the note on the David Cooper story. It's funny -- when I think of big signings, not too many of them stand out as good. I actually think CC Sabathia has been a pretty good sign for the Yankees for $161 million. At least he's held up and stayed off the DL (jinx alert). But when you run down the $100 million plus signings -- Vernon Wells, Zito, Soriano, Crawford, Werth, etc -- none of them blow your doors off.
Why hasn't Rick Eckstein come under more fire with the Nationals? Even the Royals made a change to their hitting coach but it seems Eckstein is bulletproof here. Their OBP just shrunk below the Marlins! Obviously injuries are a huge part of the problem but 2 out of the last 3 years the Nats offense has been mediocre to awful.
Jerry Crasnick (3:17 PM)
Jeremy, If I've learned anything from my 25 years of covering big league ball, the hitting coach always gets blamed eventually when a team underachieves offensively. If things don't pick up, just wait a while.
Pittsburg Pirates. Boy, they came to Detroit and really gave my Tigers trouble. Do you think they'll catch the Reds and Redbirds?
Jerry Crasnick (3:19 PM)
Wyatt, I agree with most people that the Buccos are better this year, but I'm still reserving judgment. One thing I noticed today in poring through their stats: They don't have one regular position player (even McCutchen) with an .800 OPS. Ray Searage has done a great job with that pitching staff, but the Pirates simply don't have as much talent as the Cardinals and Reds.
Kevin (Orlando/Tampa Bay)
Do you see the Rays trading any of their young pitching for either A) a more reliable/proven pitcher or B) a more reliable/proven bat?
Jerry Crasnick (3:21 PM)
Kevin, Andrew Friedman is not a guy who trades long-term assets for short-term fixes, so that's not his style. It's also worth noting that the Rays traded James Shields, the embodiment of a proven/reliable pitcher, over the winter. One more thing: The Rays are somehow 31-25 despite a bad start and getting almost nothing from David Price. If you give Joe Maddon time, he tends to figure things out.
Ed (Queens Village)
As a Yankees should I be relax or concerned over team 1-7 stretch as of late?
Jerry Crasnick (3:22 PM)
Ed, It should help them to have Teixeira and Youkilis back, but I don't know if any Yankees fan should have reason to feel "relaxed" looking at the talent that team has now. They're going to have to grind it out to get to the postseason.
How much, if any, can Oswalt help the Rockies? Seems like if he can come in and make 18-20 starts and win 10 games they might stick around until the end.
Jerry Crasnick (3:24 PM)
Robb, We saw from Oswalt's comeback with Texas last year that he's not a top-of-the-rotation guy anymore. He has a chance to pitch well for a few starts, but I'm skeptical that he can put together 2-3 months that bear a resemblance to the old Roy Oswalt.
Dave (moms basement)
Have you heard anything on HOU making a deal with someone in the draft? Is colin Moran still on their radar?
Jerry Crasnick (3:25 PM)
Dave, The people I've talked to are dubious that the Astros will pick Colin Moran No. 1. If I had to guess, they go with Appel or Gray. (But I'm no draft expert. I don't even play one on a podcast or on TV).
Jerry, Should I be concerned over the Mariners underachieving young players? Think Wedge gets the Ax before season's end?
Jerry Crasnick (3:28 PM)
Dave, Yeah, I would be concerned. The Mariners really tied their future to Ackley, Smoak, Montero et al, and those guys just haven't progressed as Jack Z and the front office expected. You're already starting to hear some rumblings about Eric Wedge, so things could get dicey for him if they're still floundering after the break.
What do you think of Dom Brown's month of May and the likelihood that he has "figured it out" and will continue this success?
Jerry Crasnick (3:29 PM)
Andrew, I know some people are concerned about his low walk rate, but I see a kid who's exuding confidence and really seems to feel as if he belongs in the big leagues now. He's going to go through a dry spell, but if he hits .240 with 30-plus bombs, that's a big step in the right direction.
Hey so the Red Sox are actually really good, huh?
Jerry Crasnick (3:31 PM)
Nick, I saw the Red Sox in Philly last week, and they have a pretty nice vibe around them. They're not going to club teams over the head offensively, but they've got a lot of guys who are emotionally invested and pulling in the right direction. It looks as if they're going to hang around all year.
Jerry,Has an elite level pitching staff hit the skids faster than the Giants have this season? Bumgarner is the only reliable starter, but that's only when he's at home.
Jerry Crasnick (3:33 PM)
Eddie, Those guys have been so durable and reliable the last 2-3 years, maybe the law of averages was destined to catch up with them. Keep in mind that Cain, Lincecum and those guys have also logged a lot of extra innings going so deep into October. Who knows if that's had an impact?
Do you see the Braves trading a catcher before the trading deadline? Mccann will be a free agent next year. Is it possible to see him get traded?
Jerry Crasnick (3:34 PM)
Michael, As long as the Braves are contending, it's hard for me to see them shipping McCann somewhere and going with Gattis and Laird behind the plate. Gattis' ability to play other positions also gives Fredi Gonzalez some flexibility. So no, I don't envision that happening.
Brady Tate (Ames)
Are the people in the Royals front office the only ones who don't think Ned Yost should have been fired 6 weeks ago? I know you shouldn't fire someone just to fire them, especially if you don't have someone better in mind. The point here, though, is that, right now, ANYONE is better than Ned Yost.
Jerry Crasnick (3:36 PM)
Brady, It's easy to single out the manager, but their biggest problem is that Hosmer and Moustakas -- their two marquee prospects -- simply haven't hit. I'm not sure how big a share of the blame Ned Yost deserves for that.
Afternoon Jerry! Your thoughts on Zach Wheeler for remainder of season? Call up date soon,right?
Jerry Crasnick (3:38 PM)
Herm, Zack Wheeler has pitched pretty well in the PCL, so I don't think it will be long. But if the Mets can delay his arbitration by an entire year by waiting most of this month, I'm not sure what the rush is at this point. It's not as if that team is going to contend for the NL East title. (Sorry to break the news, Mets fans).
Do you think Pettitte will be able to stay healthy the rest of the way?
Jerry Crasnick (3:39 PM)
Alex, Given his age and recent track record, I'm not terribly optimistic. But it might just be a 15-day DL tuneup or two to keep him operational.
Adam Eaton news is hurt again,nothing else wrong from Dr.Andrews and back to rehabbing. You think Eaton will return to DBacks this season?
Jerry Crasnick (3:41 PM)
Herm, Since it's an elbow injury (and it's taking a while), you have to be a little concerned. But I don't know enough about Eaton's MRIs to make the call on that one. The D-backs have a lot of outfielders, so I'm sure they want to be as cautious as possible with him.
Alex (CA) [via mobile]
How long until we see Sano and Buxton in the majors? 2015?
Jerry Crasnick (3:43 PM)
Alex, Yeah, that sounds about right. Sano is a little further along, so maybe he pushes the envelope to late 2014. I'm sure the Twins feel the more AB's they get in the minors, the more prepared they'll be to weather the inevitable setbacks and stick once they arrive. There's really no rush with either player.
Mets Fan (Sobbing)
Now that the Mets are out of it, by your estimations, isn't it time for them to make the inevitable trade for Kemp and Ethier? Seriously, those guys have horrible contracts, can't stay healthy, are aren't exactly at the top of their games anymore. In other words, they are exactly the type of players Mets management targets.
Jerry Crasnick (3:44 PM)
Mets Fan, I sense a defeatist attitude. The All-Star Game is coming to Citi Field in six weeks -- cheer up.
Your thoughts on Yasiel Puig starting tonight for LA? Is he going to make any real impact on the train wreck that is the 2013 LA Dodgers?
Jerry Crasnick (3:45 PM)
Allen, He was incredible in spring training, so it's always exciting to see a kid with those kinds of tools make his debut. At the very least, he'll give Dodgers fans something to be excited about. It's been a grim two months.
How does Dave Dombrowski start the season with an unproven rookie as his closer, Bruce Rondon, and then replace him with Jose Valverde? Doesn't he deserve a whole lot of criticism?
Jerry Crasnick (3:49 PM)
Mike, Funny thing is, Valverde actually pitched pretty well before that meltdown against the O's. The whole thing with closers is very hard to assess, because they come out of nowhere so often (e.g., Jason Grilli). At least the Tigers didn't go out and spend $40 million-plus on a bad closer. I'm sure they'll give Valverde a little more time, and if things aren't panning out, they'll try to figure out a Plan C.
Jerry, Any question that Alex Gordon deserves to be in the All-star game his year?
Jerry Crasnick (3:51 PM)
Nick, Unless James Shields or Ervin Santana makes it from the Royals, I would have to think Gordon is the pick. He's their best position player. A lot of times the manager gets squeezed into picking a certain player based on the player voting. We have no idea at this point how that's going to shake out.
What are the odds Chris Davis hits a ball so hard that it explodes a la Benny "The Jet" Rodriguez in Sandlot?
Jerry Crasnick (3:52 PM)
Bob, He's right up there with Miguel Cabrera, Pedro Alvarez, Bryce Harper, Jose Bautista and a few others as a prime candidate for that to happen.
Rick Sutcliffe mentioned in his interview with Stephen A and Ruco..that the Yankees should go after Stanton (Miami)...This will give them a bonafide bat after Cano...Can this actually happen? What do we give up?
Jerry Crasnick (3:54 PM)
Tony, The Yankees have a pretty nice collection of prospects, and at some point the Marlins will have to throw Stanton out there and hold an auction for him. Question is, how much do teams trust Stanton's ability to stay on the field and play 150 games a season? He's an amazing talent, but I'm not sure how that body is going to hold up over the long haul.
Taylor (Iowa )
Molina is a lock for stating cather in ASG correct? And while we are on the subject, how bout them Cards!
Jerry Crasnick (3:56 PM)
Taylor, Yeah, he's about as close to a lock as there is in the fan balloting. And keep in mind the positive impact that Yadi has had on Wainwright, Shelby Miller and the rest of that stuff. You always have to factor defense into the equation in assessing his impact.
What do you think of the Twins top pitching prospect Alex Meyer? Is he a potential ace? When could he be on the team?
Jerry Crasnick (3:57 PM)
Mitch, Alex Meyer is pitching well in Double A, with 73 strikeouts in 61 innings for New Britain. I'm always a little concerned with very tall pitchers a) staying healthy; and b) maintaining their release point. But Randy Johnson turned out OK.
Rob (Lime Rock, CT)
I think the Pirates have been a lot of fun to watch. Not sure they can make the play-offs, but I think .500 or better is a great possibility. Shouldn't Pirate fans be excited about the future? Some great prospects on their way too!!!! GO BUCS!
Jerry Crasnick (3:59 PM)
Rob, The Pirates have been a lot of fun to watch. I think people would be more enthused if they hadn't shown a penchant for fading the last couple of seasons. They still have guys like Charlie Morton (rehab) and Gerrit Cole (meg-prospect) for rotation depth in the second half. I just wish they could get more consistent offense out of Pedro Alvarez and some of McCutchen's supporting cast.
Aaron (Leesburg, VA)
Are the Nats micro-managing Strasburg too much?
Jerry Crasnick (4:00 PM)
Aaron, Not in this, case, no. Given his history, I'm getting the kid out of there if he so much as grimaces. No one complains about Jordan Zimmermann, and the Nats pretty much handled him the same way after his TJ surgery.
Jerry Crasnick (4:01 PM)
I have to run, folks. Thanks for all the questions. Let's do it again next week. I'll be at the MLB draft Thursday in Secaucus. Should be fun.