Chat with Jerry Crasnick
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, 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 Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (12:10 PM)
Hang on folks. Jerry should be on his way to take your questions shortly.
Buzzmaster (12:12 PM)
Hey folks, we're pushing Jerry's chat back to 1 p.m. ET. Keep sending in those questions.
Jerry Crasnick (1:00 PM)
Hey folks, Thanks for coming on this week's chat. Before I start, I want to send out condolences to umpire John Hirschbeck and his family for the death of son Michael. John is a wonderful person and his family has endured way too much heartache. I know that's a somber way to begin, but this one hit hard. Let's begin the chat.
I saw that St. Louis is sitting Allen Craig today, he has been very slow out of the gate this season. Are you worried? What do you expect from him moving forward?
Jerry Crasnick (1:01 PM)
Hey Brad, I wouldn't be worried about Allen Craig if he had a bad month, so I'm not going to overreact to a bad week. He's just reaching right now, but he'll come around. If he's healthy, he'll hit.
Jerry, any thoughts on Dee Gordon's solid start to the season? If he gets on base with his speed he could be a really unexpected weapon to add to the Dodger lineup. 3-0 on steals already.
Jerry Crasnick (1:03 PM)
Greg, Yeah, he's intriguing. I saw that he put on 15 pounds (I believe) even though he still doesn't look like it. In that lineup, he just needs to play defense and get on base enough to wreak some occasional havoc with his speed. There's some reason to be optimistic about him early.
Jean Claude (Vermont)
Who is the odd man out for the Braves rotation when Mike Minor and Gavin Floyd return from injury?
Jerry Crasnick (1:05 PM)
Hey Jean Claude, It sounds kind of funny to be hearing about an "odd man out" in Atlanta, given that the Braves have had trouble just filling out their rotation with all the injuries. Minor slots in with Teheran, Ervin Santana and Alex Wood. That leaves Harang and David Hale to duke it out for the fifth spot. I wouldn't count on too much too quickly from Gavin Floyd. They need to give him the time and space to break in slowly after his TJ surgery.
Deann C. (Milwaukee)
I know it's early, but are you buying or selling the Brewers so far? (The starting pitching in particular)
Jerry Crasnick (1:07 PM)
Deann, I saw them in spring training, and Jonathan Lucroy and some other people on the team were raving about the starting rotation. Then I talked to a scout who wasn't quite as high on them. It really depends on how well Matt Garza pitches, and whether he can give them 180-200 innings. I will say that they have five very solid starters who will keep them in the game just about every night. I see them as a mid-80s win team. Too many things have to go right for them to make the postseason.
Who's your obscenely early ROY candidate? It's Solarte, right?
Jerry Crasnick (1:08 PM)
Alex, I picked Jose Abreu of the White Sox as my AL ROY, so I'll stick with that. He might hit .250, but it's going to be a very action-packed .250.
What are you expectations for Brett Lawrie this year? Very slow out of the gate so far.
Jerry Crasnick (1:11 PM)
Darren, Brett Lawrie plays with such a high motor, my biggest concern is always whether he's going to stay healthy and be able to stay in the lineup for 150 games. I don't know that he's ever going to live up to the early hype. But if he can stay on the field, he's capable of hitting .280 or so with 15 bombs. That's not bad for a 3B.
Hi Jerry, what are your thoughts on Abraham Almonte? Do you think he sticks all season as the Mariner's leadoff hitter?
Jerry Crasnick (1:12 PM)
AL, Lloyd McClendon was raving about Abraham Almonte from the first day of spring training. He loves the kid's energy and tools. He's going to go through some rough patches, but I think they're committed to giving him every opportunity. The manager is a big fan.
What are your thoughts on Sonny Gray. What do you see his stats being this year? Thanks.
Jerry Crasnick (1:15 PM)
Digger, Sonny Gray is the real deal. Very fearless, and his stuff is terrific. You just worry a little bit about undersized young righties in this year of TJ surgery mania. He's got a lot of responsibility heaped on him with the injuries to Parker and Griffin. I think he can handle it mentally and emotionally, but the A's might need to back off once or twice this year to keep him fresh. I'm sure they realize that.
Tyler Smith (Atlanta, Ga)
As a fan, I can mostly deal with a player playing terribly if they appear to be trying. But BJ Upton looks like he just does not care anymore. What are the Braves going to do with this terrible player?
Jerry Crasnick (1:17 PM)
Tyler, BJ Upton is a mess, no question. They hoped a winter of going home and recharging the batteries would help him get over what ailed him in 2013, but the early signs certainly don't suggest he's in a better place. One thing I take issue with is the notion that he doesn't care. I'm sure this lack of production is killing him inside. He just deals with it in his own way.
Hey Jerry. I am intrigued by our Phillies this year. They seem to be a mystery to me. What is your take on them and can they compete for the whole season?
Jerry Crasnick (1:19 PM)
Jim, They have a lot of issues, but I look at a rotation of Lee, Burnett, Hamels, Kendrick and Roberto Hernandez, and I don't think they're going to be the 70-win monstrosity that some people have made them out to be. To me, they're more an aging, middle-of-the-pack team that keeps trying to sell the idea that they're a contender. I just can't see it.
Will B (Bozeman, MT)
a saw a spray chart of matt adams' hits this year and by far most have his hits have gone to left field. Will teams playing the cardinals realize that adams can go opposite field and stop playing the shift, or are they attempting to minimize damage and saying we will concede those singles to keep you from going yard? hope you have a great day
Jerry Crasnick (1:21 PM)
Hey Will, As the scouts who watched Matt Adams at Slippery Rock will attest, he's a lot more than a slugger. He's like a lot of lefty power hitters who face a steady diet of breaking stuff away. If he keeps going with the pitch and hitting it, teams will try something else. And he'll adjust, the way good hitters do.
Just wondering how much losing Teixeira and Robertson hurts the yankees?
Jerry Crasnick (1:23 PM)
Jim, The loss of Robertson hurts because he was really the one and only choice to replace Rivera. To be honest, I'm not shocked that Teixeira is already on the DL. And I won't be shocked if Roberts and Jeter join him at some point. Aging players get hurt, and the Yankees have a bunch of them.
Hi Jerry - does Bartolo Colon seem like perfect trade bait to you? The Mets are going to have Harvey, Wheeler, Syndergaard, Mejia, Gee, Niese, and Montero all ready to roll next year. Why not trade the big fella for a bat?
Jerry Crasnick (1:24 PM)
Geez Ryan, They just signed him to a two-year, $20 million deal. Give him a chance to settle in and find some good NY restaurants before you trade him away.
Brogan (Indiana) [via mobile]
Do you think Arolis Chapman will be effective on the field or will he be scared of the ball
Jerry Crasnick (1:26 PM)
Brogan, I did a story a few years back on pitchers who got hit in the head by line drives, and Mike Mussina and Billy Wagner talked about the sense of apprehension that pitchers feel when they step back on the mound. I don't think the Reds are being very realistic if they expect Chapman to rebound from something that traumatic and be a world beater right away. Different pitchers react in different ways.
Jason (West Virginia)
What do you think about the Reds SS Cozart.. I have him in Fantasy, and obviously he's off to an awful start. Do I drop him, or hang on tight and see if he picks it up?
Jerry Crasnick (1:28 PM)
Hey Jason, Zack Cozart is a career .248 hitter with a .667 OPS. He's better than he's looked in the first week, but I can't honestly say I see a tremendous amount of offensive upside there.
Fair enough regarding Colon, but as you can see, us Mets fans are already looking forward to 2015!
Jerry Crasnick (1:28 PM)
No problem, Ryan. Just one man's opinion.
Cosmo (Anytown, USA)
Does your opinion of the Phillies assume that this aging (old) core of position players stays healthy all year? If any of these guys go down, they have nothing behind them. This is where some of the 70ish win prediction might come from.
Jerry Crasnick (1:29 PM)
Cosmo, Yes, if Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins miss a significant amount of time with injuries and Ryan Howard doesn't regain his power stroke, it's not going to be pretty. I still think that pitching is good enough for them to win 76 or so games minimum regardless of how things play out with the offense and the DL.
Mark Saxon mentioned that their catcher, Ellis, might be a good managerial candidate in the future. Which other catchers might be a good candidate in the future? Yadier Molina with his all around game and thus knowledge of how to succeed on both sides of the ball, or perhaps one of his brothers? Someone like Ryan Hanigan, who is strictly a defensive specialist like Ausmus and Matheny were? Please answer. Thank you for your time.
Jerry Crasnick (1:32 PM)
Great question, Doug. I'm not sure which guys want to manage, but Russell Martin seems to have a lot of the attributes you would look for. I think David Ross could be a manager one day. And AJ Pierzynski is certainly smart enough. His media gab sessions would also be entertaining. Those are three names that just popped into my head.
I was a little bothered with Hank Aaron being announced as "the true home run king" at last night's Braves-Mets game. Are we supposed to pretend like the last 20 years never happened? What's your opinion on that?
Jerry Crasnick (1:33 PM)
Ryan, Look, I can understand why people feel that way. But it's probably up to each person to make an individual judgment. I suspect the majority of fans out there would agree with that designation for Hammerin' Hank.
Cosmo (Anytown, USA)
What are your early thoughts on replay?
Jerry Crasnick (1:34 PM)
Cosmo, I have a big story going on the site today about expanded replay. I like it so far. Yes, there are some bugs. But I think MLB put an awful lot of thought into the process, and it shows. It's not perfect yet, but it will get better with time.
Hi, your thoughts on Chris Colabello? Do you think he's for real?
Jerry Crasnick (1:37 PM)
Jon, He's not this good, but the guy did hit .352 with a 1.066 OPS and 24 homers against some very representative pitching in Triple-A last year. He's a great story. And as a fellow New Englander, I'm rooting for him to make it.
Think Braun thumb feeling better based on his 3 HRs last night?
Jerry Crasnick (1:38 PM)
Jeff, It sure didn't seem to bother him yesterday. Unfortunately (for Brewers fans, at least), I think this is going to be an issue with him all season. If you're a hitter with a hand injury, you just can't get any relief. It's just a question of him dealing with the discomfort and finding new ways to compensate.
Any chance Cards trade Lynn and bring Martinez out of the bullpen?
Jerry Crasnick (1:39 PM)
Jack, Don't see that, at least anytime this year.
Do you think Sabathia can be a top of the rotation guy if he's only topping out at 89-90?
Jerry Crasnick (1:40 PM)
Billy, You have to admire CC Sabathia for all he's given the Yankees (and before that, the Indians). But I just don't see him as a top of the rotation starter anymore. Too much wear and tear.
Nick (Wisconsin )
Where do brewers stand in the division? Whats your prediction?
Jerry Crasnick (1:41 PM)
Nick, I picked them to finish a strong fourth. Maybe they can bump it up to third. But I would be a little concerned about the Braun injury if I were them, and I'm not sure about the pitching holding up.
Jordan (New Jersey)
Pedro Alvarez and Starling Marte have seemed more patient this year than they were last year. If this is for real, do you think that with higher OBPs and better approaches at the plate from two key guys, the Pirates could challenge the Cardinals atop the division?
Jerry Crasnick (1:42 PM)
Jordan, They both had pretty good years last season, so I'm not sure if there's a tremendous amount of improvement in store. I do think Neal Walker is in for a better season. With that pitching, they only need the offense to be so-so, anyway.
Factoring in his home ballpark into the equation, Sale is a top 5 pitcher. Seems he sometimes gets overlooked. He's fun to watch too
Jerry Crasnick (1:43 PM)
Agree, Ike. He's terrific. He doesn't get nearly the national recognition that he deserves.
Nick (Wisconsin )
Better Year Stanton or Kemp?
Jerry Crasnick (1:43 PM)
Who has the better shot at getting a second Wild Card spot, the Mets or the Marlins?
Jerry Crasnick (1:43 PM)
Stephen (Twin Cities)
It seems like if your name is Chris Davis or Khris Davis, you can hit in the major leagues. Maybe guys like Zack Cozart should change their names!
Jerry Crasnick (1:45 PM)
Maybe Cozart can change his name to Chris Colabello.
As a Nats fan, am I crazy to be scared of the Marlins?
Jerry Crasnick (1:46 PM)
Rick, I don't know if the Marlins have the guns to go the distance, but they're very intriguing with that pitching. Jarrod Saltalamacchia told me in spring training that they're "going to turn some heads." People made fun of the comment, but they're going to be laughing less and less.
Jerry Crasnick (1:47 PM)
Note to FREE AEC, I'm not going to post your Phillies rant, so you can stop putting it up there ad nauseam. Give it a rest already.
The pitching is there, and they're currently winning games on bats that didn't have many expectations coming into this season. Jerry, once Wright & Granderson wake up, and Syndergaard/Montero/etc. make the pilgrimage to Queens later on this summer, isn't it possible these Mets might make some noise in the East fairly soon?
Jerry Crasnick (1:49 PM)
Finnegan, I think the outlook will be much better next year when Matt Harvey is back. That was a blow to them in so many ways. But if you look at a rotation with Harvey, Wheeler, Syndergaard and Niese, you really have something there.
Homer Bailey will have a _______ Year.
Jerry Crasnick (1:50 PM)
Chris, He may not have a year that thrills people in the aftermath of that $105 million contract, but he's been trending upward, and his track record suggests he'll give them 200 innings, 12-14 wins and an ERA in the mid-3.00s. That's not bad for that ballpark.
Jerry Crasnick (1:51 PM)
Thanks for the emails, everybody. Sorry I couldn't get to more. I'm going to the Phillies-Brewers game again today, so I have to run. Let's talk again next week.