CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  

Chat: Daniel Rathman

Chat Home

Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Thursday March 21, 2013 1:00 PM ET chat session with Daniel Rathman.

Printer-
friendly

Round up the rumors with Daniel Rathman.

Daniel Rathman: Hey, everyone — let's get this thing started...

Ernie (Dayton, OH): T. Bauer is pitching fairly well this spring and his control looks much improved, yet I'm hearing that Kazmir might be the 5th starter. I can't believe Bauer is not one of the top 5 starters on that team. Thoughts ?

Daniel Rathman: Thanks for getting us started, Ernie.

There are two elements to this decision for the Indians, with one being putting together the best possible rotation for 2013, and the other being doing what's best for Bauer's development. Bauer has pitched relatively well this spring, but he hasn't dominated, with only 9 strikeouts in 14 innings. Some more Triple-A time might help him continue refining his command, and if that's the case, it could serve the Indians well in the long run.

LoyalRoyal (Watchin tourney): What is your take on Bobby Parnell? Does he hold onto the closer gig and, if so, what kind of numbers do you project for him? Thanks...

Daniel Rathman: I'm right there with you on the tourney, LoyalRoyal, trying to keep an eye on the Butler/Bucknell game as we chat.

I think Parnell is the best reliever in the Mets bullpen, so I do believe that he can keep the closer gig throughout the season. If he does retain it, I think he'll hit the low-30s in saves, with a mid-3.00s ERA and 70 strikeouts. (I am more bullish on Parnell than PECOTA, which has him regressing this year.)

Donald Loria (Milwaukee): How would u rank order the following SPs for upside? (Of course knowing it isn't always reached) Group 1: Bundy, Cole, Taillon, Fernandez Group 2: Gausman, Gioloto, Zimmer

Daniel Rathman: This might be a better question for our prospect team, Donald, but I'll give it a whirl.

Group 1: exactly as you have them. Group 2: Giolito, Gausman, Zimmer.

boatman44 (Liverpool ): Hi Daniel,any updates on Hanley's injury?

Daniel Rathman: Thanks for stopping by, boatman44.

I'm not sure if you asked this question before or after the news broke, but Ken Rosenthal reported this morning that Hanley will need surgery to repair a torn ligament in his thumb. He is expected to be out eight weeks (https://twitter.com/dylanohernandez/status/314769654121918465).

dhorrell1956 (NC): Hey Daniel, Always enjoy and look forward to the BP chats. I'd like your opinion on the long term prospects of Lance Lynn and Trevor Cahill. I've read differing opinions on Lynn, from he's going to be special to mid-rotation guy. Opinions on Cahill seem to be a little more scarce. Thanks in advance.

Daniel Rathman: Hey, dhorrell1956 — glad to hear that you enjoy these.

I was intrigued by the progress that Cahill made last year, when he ticked his walk rate down a bit, upped his strikeout rate to 18.6 percent from 16.3 percent, and induced a rather ridiculous 61.2 percent ground-ball rate. He's only 25, so I think there's room for even more improvement here, which could make Cahill a perennial 3+ win pitcher.

I am less bullish on Lynn, but do think that he'll be a solid third or fourth starter for a long time. It'll be interesting to see how he tweaks his mechanics and holds up after dropping 40 pounds this offseason (http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/sports/baseball/st-louis-cardinals-pitcher-lance-lynn-loses-40-pou/nWMyP/).

Alex (Anaheim): Do you expect the Yankees to trade for any short-term help?

Daniel Rathman: I wouldn't expect them to do much, Alex, because many of the pieces they would be asked to trade could come in handy next year. If they are committed to staying below $189 million next year, then keeping controllable players is as important as not splurging in the short run.

Alex (Anaheim): Do you expect the Yankees to trade for any short-term help?

Daniel Rathman: I wouldn't expect them to do much, Alex, because many of the pieces they would be asked to trade could come in handy next year. If they are committed to staying below $189 million next year, then keeping controllable players is as important as not splurging in the short run.

Donald Loria (Milwaukee ): This year was dubbed the year of the SS in my fantasy dynasty league. 1st rounders included: Correa, Baez, and Russell. Compare/contrast. Who'd u take in real life or for fantasy. How close are they for u in value?

Daniel Rathman: I haven't read a negative thing about Addison Russell since the draft, and I believe that Jason Parks wrote at one point that he wouldn't be surprised to see him rank as the top prospect across all organizations next year. So, I'll take Russell, Correa, and Baez in that order, with a chance for Baez to eke past Correa if he stays at SS.

padremurph (San Diego): Any word on what the Padres offered Porcello?

Daniel Rathman: There haven't been many specifics, padremurph, but we do know that the Tigers asked the Rangers about Leury Garcia and Nick Tepesch, so it sounds as though infield and pitching prospects are at the top of their wishlist. The Padres have no shortage of the latter, with one of the deepest systems in the league.

LoyalRoyal (Tourney town): Daniel, thanks for the chat. As the rumor guru, what is the biggest deal you think might happen before opening day? Conversely, what is the deal you would most like to see happen?

Daniel Rathman: I don't think we'll get any blockbusters over the next 10 days, but I could see the Cubs finding a taker for Carlos Marmol or the Dodgers unloading Ted Lilly or Aaron Harang. I would like to see the Rangers find a way to trade for an established starter, given that they have the prospect depth to do it, but I'm not sure that either Harang or Lilly would offer a material upgrade over their internal options.

christpuncher1 (Springfield): With Bonifacio killing it this spring, is there any recent indication that he might actually get the Toronto 2B job over Izturis?

Daniel Rathman: I wouldn't overreact to spring training performances, but if Bonifacio keeps hitting, I think he'll find his way into the Blue Jays lineup regularly. His versatility might make him more valuable in a utility role, where he could earn playing time by spelling Colby Rasmus against lefties, for example.

ryan (north texas): world series predictions for this year?

Daniel Rathman: We'll be publishing predictions next week, so I won't give mine away now.

Mack (St.Pete): Which back end starter do you like most? Tillman, Straiey, or Kazmir?

Daniel Rathman: I think that Tillman is the most likely member of that group to take a big step forward this year, so I'll take him, but Straily has the talent to be a lot more than a fifth starter, too.

I'm hesitant to buy into Kazmir at this point, though if he can stay healthy and perform adequately all year, it might be one of the best stories of the season.

Hank (NY): C.Rasmus or D.Stubbs as my 3rd fantasy OF to go with Trout/Harper???

Daniel Rathman: You seem to have plenty of homers and steals already, so I'd look for someone that won't kill your batting average—something that both Rasmus and Stubbs are prone to doing.

Boris (Widner U.): Got my tix for the Phillies opener. Excited! Two questions: 1. Is Domonic Brown finally there? 2. What's your best Opening day story?

Daniel Rathman: (Jealous.) Brown has given us a lot to like this spring, so I'm cautiously optimistic that he has turned a corner and will deliver a nice year if the Phillies stick with him throughout it.

And, as I just mentioned, I think Kazmir winning a rotation job in Cleveland is up there.

Morgan K. (Portland, ME): Any prospects I should look out for this year in Portland?

Daniel Rathman: I'll defer to the prospect team for deeper names, but Xander Bogaerts and Matt Barnes are in line to begin the year with the Sea Dogs, I believe.

Ernie (NYC): Mike Baxter played fairly well last year in limited AB's. Your thoughts on him this year in a starting role ?

Daniel Rathman: I don't think that Baxter would be an everyday player on more than 2-3 other teams, but given the Mets' outfield situation, it's worth a shot. He could be productive in a placeholder platoon role.

TDF8482 (Hollywood): I love my Dodgers, but I think they are not quite there. Will the Hanley injury compell them to make a big move early if they stumble in April?

Daniel Rathman: The urge might be there for Ned Colletti to seek a quick fix, but I'm not sure they'll lose that much ground in Hanley's absence, and any sort of splash would require some reshuffling when Hanley returns. They are more likely to seek short-term upgrades at the deadline, though again, I wouldn't rule it out.

Petey7 (Indy): The South Siders are a legit dark horse. Kenny Williams should get the same kudos Billy Beane gets. I think they win 90 easy. Opinion?

Daniel Rathman: I like the White Sox more than PECOTA, which projects them to go 79-83, but I don't see a 90-win team here. I think they'll jockey with the Indians for second place in the AL Central, about eight games behind the Tigers.

Billy (SJ, Cal): Who is the biggest fire sale candidates for 2013? My top 3 are the Rockies, Twins and Red Sox, in that order.

Daniel Rathman: The Astros still have pieces to move, so I'd keep them on this list, and I agree with you on the Twins. The Red Sox will be an intriguing team to follow, as they could go in either direction, with plenty or short-term contracts to move but also some chance of staying in the mix for a playoff spot.

Sid (Bo Sox Nation): Are we going to see J.Bradley to start the 2013 season? Odds I assume are lessening of that happened with the recent positive report on Papi. Even if it's 2014, do you view Bradley as an adequate replacement for Ellsbury?

Daniel Rathman: I do think that Bradley will be an adequate replacement for Ellsbury when his contract expires, but I wouldn't promote him on Opening Day. The Red Sox don't need him immediately, and Daniel Nava is good enough to handle a part-time outfield role if they choose to go in that direction. Bradley's defensive skills would be wasted in Fenway's left field, though, as you said, this is tied to David Ortiz's health.

Jordan (MPLS): Do you like the job Terry Ryan is doing? With the farm chock full of high end talent how early do you see the Twins challenging for the division again?

Daniel Rathman: There are a lot of high-ceiling players coming up through the pipeline, so I could definitely see the Twins making a run at the division by, say, 2015, especially if the Tigers' bats begin to decline at that point. It will be interesting to see if Ryan can add to that stockpile by moving short-term assets like Josh Willingham over the next 16 months.

Jason (KY): Does a 5-man staff of Cueto, Zimmermann, Morrow, Cobb, & Burnett seem competitive enough in a 17-team league?

Daniel Rathman: Yes, I think that's a solid pitching staff, though it depends on the offense with which you're pairing it. I like all five of the pitchers, though, especially Zimmermann.

Jake (Springfield): Third basemen are dropping like flies. Who do you like best to play AND produce this year amongst Headley, Lawrie, and Ramirez (although I suppose he's technically a SS).

Daniel Rathman: Lawrie is the safe choice now, and since it's hard to say whether the effects of the thumb injuries will linger throughout the year, I would bet on the Blue Jay right now.

cbelford (Chicago): Thanks for the chat, Daniel. Any word on Phil Hughes and his back issues? Wondering if I should drop Matt Harrison in favor of Hughes...

Daniel Rathman: You're welcome, cbelford; thanks for stopping by.

Hughes threw a simulated game the other day, so it sounds as though he's on track to return early in the season. The Yankees don't need a fifth starter on their first turn through the rotation, and it's possible that he could be ready to tackle the assignment as soon as he's needed.

cbelford (Chicago): Thanks for the chat, Daniel. Any word on Phil Hughes and his back issues? Wondering if I should drop Matt Harrison in favor of Hughes...

Daniel Rathman: You're welcome, cbelford; thanks for stopping by.

Hughes threw a simulated game the other day, so it sounds as though he's on track to return early in the season. The Yankees don't need a fifth starter on their first turn through the rotation, and it's possible that he could be ready to tackle the assignment as soon as he's needed.

Jason (KY): As a follow up my core on offense is Trout, Harper, Tulo, Longo, & Goldschmidt. It's an understatement that I can't wait for baseball to start.

Daniel Rathman: Is there room in this league for next year? Good lord.

Chesty (New Bern,NC): Dan,with Hanley out 8-10 weeks how far will he drop in drafts and who do you like to move up at SS or 3b in the top 30.Thanks

Daniel Rathman: I'm hesitant to bank on any hitters coming off of serious hand/wrist/finger injuries, so I'd probably ding Ramirez more than others might. My 3B sleepers are Josh Donaldson and Todd Frazier, but as Bret Sayre pointed out in his tiered rankings column (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=19939) today, the pressure to get one early is mounting.

Frahm (The A): Personal opinions on future potential for these NL'ers. How do you rank them: Puig, Almora, Story, Hanson, Dahl, or Polanco.

Daniel Rathman: Kind of a shot in the dark for me, but I'll go Hanson, Almora, Puig, Dahl, Polanco, Story. Hanson's profile is really intriguing at a middle-infield position; if it comes together, he could be a monster.

Matt (LA): What do you make of Kyle Seager this year? I'm thinking of pursuing him somewhat aggressively in auctions due to his dual 2B/3B eligibility.

Daniel Rathman: One of my favorite late-round pickups in drafts where I need infield depth, because of his contributions in HR and SB. I just wish he could improve his batting average a bit.

MerleDixon (PA): My lineup: C-Ramos-1B-Konerko- 2B-Altuve-3B-?-SS-Desmond-OF-Stanton-OF-B.J. Upton-OF-Adam Jones-OF-Olt-DH-Ike Davis- Been offered Strasburg straight up for Stanton. He also has Moustakas and Santana that I'd like to get. I just don't think that Stras is enough for Stanton. What say you?

Daniel Rathman: I would hold on to Stanton, but it seems as though you need a starting catcher, assuming Kurt Suzuki is the primary guy in Washington.

Tommy (Vermolusca): Does Mike Leake slide back into the Reds rotation now or is there someone else to what for?

Daniel Rathman: Seems like that's the plan, though a potentially greater concern is that the Reds lack a proven sixth starter. Tony Cingrani and Daniel Corcino have upside, but I'm not sure either of them would be ready to approximate the performance the Reds are expecting from their other starters.

Dale (Atlanta): What's your opinion on McCann for 2013? I've heard some say to stay far away. I feel in a walk year & improved lineup I'll take my chances. I have Ianetta to fill in early while he's out, but hope for a mid-April return to see him raking.

Daniel Rathman: He's worth a gamble, I just wouldn't take him in a fantasy draft as more than a very late flier. The catcher position is too deep with other options, many of whom provide comparable HR upside with only a modestly larger batting-average drag.

Garcia (Rehabbing): For my NL only team, I have several guy that I intend to keep. It is a 4x4 league, is this staff enough for me to survive? Greinke, Lincecum, Cahill, Beachy (not sure who to fill-in with), Shelby Miller, O'Flaherty, andCishek and plan on drafting Rosenthal & Fujikawa.

Daniel Rathman: I'm wary of Lincecum, based on the things I've read this spring, and with Beachy coming off of Tommy John and Greinke dealing with minor elbow trouble, I'd look to add at least one more proven starter.

Daniel Rathman: Alright, folks, I gotta take off. Thanks for stopping by, and I'm looking forward to doing this again soon!


Baseball Prospectus Home  |  Terms of Service  |  Privacy Policy  |  Customer Service  |  Newsletter  |  Masthead  |  Contact Us

Copyright © 1996-2014 Prospectus Entertainment Ventures, LLC.