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Chat: R.J. Anderson

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Tuesday April 29, 2014 1:00 PM ET chat session with R.J. Anderson.

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Have questions about baseball? Ask Uncle R.J.

R.J. Anderson: Hey folks, let's get started.

John (CT): Given what you've seen to date, and considering it's still only April, who do you think will be in the Series?

R.J. Anderson: I looked up the staff preseason predictions to see who I had winning the World Series. I chose the Nationals. I also had the Rays and Diamondbacks making the playoffs, and Clayton Kershaw, Mat Latos, and Chris Sale finishing in the top-six of Cy Young voting. So that's a good way to start the chat.

I'll stick with the Nationals for now. In the AL, I'll guess Detroit.

cracker73 (Florida): Is there something wrong with Darvish? He didn't look like the same pitcher last night.

R.J. Anderson: I didn't see Darvish pitch last night. Obviously he had an uncharacteristically poor game, but it's hard for me to read too much into it without seeing him. My guess would be just an off night.

Bill (Wichita): Should the Astros fire Porter?

R.J. Anderson: Nah. Porter is not the first manager to yell at an opponent, nor the first to get involved in a beanball war. He won't be the last, either.

In 2008 Joe Maddon got into a yelling match with Coco Crisp. The argument started because Crisp slid too hard into second base, which he did in response to Jason Bartlett blocking the bag with his leg. (Bartlett was and remains the master of that move.) Sure enough, James Shields hit two Red Sox in the first inning of the next game, including Crisp, who then charged the mound. So even the calmest, smartest of managers can get into hairy situations.

I wouldn't have fired Maddon then and I wouldn't fire Porter now. (That's not to say I support plunking or headhunting or anything like that; I can understand if you want managers held accountable for this stuff.)

Anyway, Think about it from Porter's POV. He's had to watch his team get stomped for the past year-plus, and he doesn't have someone like Shields, who won't let his team get disrespected without retribution. We can debate whether that stuff matters, but neither of us are part of the culture. Those who are seem to think it matters, and probably will until someone gets hurt/plunkings get banned.

Alex (Kansas): What does it mean to have a long swing?

R.J. Anderson: A long swing is basically when the bat enters the hitting zone late and exits early. There are a lot of causes for it, but it's easier to show examples than tell. See if you can't find a side clip of Chase Utley versus someone like Dan Uggla. The differences in bat path should be evident.

Drifter (Long Branch): Hi RJ, curious if there is a recent precedent for what Collin McHugh is doing, and if so, how long was Quality Start performance sustained by the precedent? Andrew Albers comes to mind, but I think they're different pitchers.

R.J. Anderson: Albers is a good call as a pop-up type. Maybe Scott Diamond as well? Back in 2012 he had a pretty good ERA for a few months there. It's funny because McHugh's comment in the annual wasn't the least bit optimistic:

After another disastrous season—this one split between the Mets and Rockies, preceding an offseason waiver claim by the Astros—it's time to ask what McHugh really offers a major-league team. The only pitches he routinely throws for strikes—his fastball and slider—were hammered for slugging percentages over .550 (as was his sinker, at .952). His only asset appears to be his changeup, a groundball machine. But nothing about that arsenal suggests McHugh would succeed out of the bullpen, either—his fastball is just too hittable, and none of his breaking pitches have shown swing-and-miss movement. On second thought, maybe it's not time to ask the question, but rather to answer it.


Obviously pitchers can change, and maybe he's found something that works for him. My guess is he'll fade and we'll look back in a year at McHugh like we're doing right now with Albers and Diamond. There is something interesting about his profile: he's become less of a groundball pitcher thus far; not just in his two big-league appearances, but also in his 14 minor-league innings, too. I guess I should make an appointment to see his next start.

Teach (LVHS): While Jose Abreu's 60 HR, 192 RBI pace is certainly unsustainable, do you think his power and hit tool are legit? Where do you see him ending up in regards to HR, RBI, OBP? Thanks...

R.J. Anderson: I wrote about Abreu two weeks ago. The power is definitely legit, to the tune of 30-plus home runs, but I had concerns about his average and on-base abilities. He has the reputation for being an intelligent guy, and he's supposedly made some adjustments in the past few days, so those are positive signs. I'm still not sure if he's an elite first baseman when it's all said and done, but it's hard to argue with his performance thus far.

Ryan (Baltimore): Have you seen/heard any recent reports on some of last year's top international signees such as Eloy Jimenez, Rafael Devers, Luis Encarnacion, or Leonardo Molina?

R.J. Anderson: I have not. That's probably a better question for Jason Parks.

Bart (NYC): Brandon Nimmo, Sept 2015 callup, staring CF in 2016. Thoughts ?

R.J. Anderson: Nimmo is off to a great start, but if he's in the majors before 2016-2017 that would surprise me. Keep in mind, he just turned 21 last month and he hasn't played in the upper minors yet.

dancini (Pgh): At what point in time do you expect mat latos to be dealing and pitching at 100%?

R.J. Anderson: Last I saw, Latos was on schedule for a late May/early June return. So mid-June?

Cal Guy (Cal): Hey All-Knowing Uncle RJ, Who would you rather have for a whole career, Taveras or Polanco?

R.J. Anderson: It's hard to go wrong either way. Taveras ought to be the better hitter, but Polanco could gain ground with a little more speed and arm. I guess I'll take Taveras. If the approach and injuries don't hinder him, he's got the chance to be special.

Drifter (Long Branch): Hi again, RJ. If you're Alex Anthopoulos and you want the Jays to make the playoffs in 2014 - what's your first player personnel move? Who do you add, who does the addition replace, and how do you pay for the addition (i.e. pay an unsigned free agent? trade from 25 man roster? trade from farm system?)

R.J. Anderson: Hmmm ... I guess the obvious answers are signing Drew and/or Morales, and promoting Stroman. Trading for Nick Franklin is probably in the same boat, too. I don't think this is likely, and you could argue it doesn't make sense for Arizona, but how about calling Kevin Towers and seeing what he'd want for Martin Prado? Obviously he hasn't started the season well, and he's under contract through 2016, yet he'd give Toronto a legitimate second baseman.

Rex Little (Big Bear CA): Is Miguel Cabrera's defense at 1B really as bad as reputed? If so, I'm surprised. Players who field 3B poorly have a long history of moving to first and becoming Gold Glove defenders. Pujols of course, and before him there were George Scott and Steve Garvey.

R.J. Anderson: Cabrera isn't great there, but he seems to be an improvement over Prince Fielder. Keep in mind he's not your typical conversion, either.

Omarion (Tally): Any advice for a young writer?

R.J. Anderson: Ignore most public writing advice.

I'd have to read something of yours to give you specific feed. Feel free to email me if that interests you. (Same to everyone else reading this.)

Rob (Oklahoma): Do you think Manny Machado returns to SS after JJ Hardy's contract ends at the end of this season? I remember that being the line of thinking in the MLB community a year or two ago, but Machado has played some good defense at 3B since he's been moved there. Does he stick at 3B or is a move to SS still possible? Where does he end up for Opening Day 2015?

R.J. Anderson: We have multiple Manny Machado to shortstop questions, so let's cover those here.

I'm not convinced Machado will move back to shortstop anymore, in large part because I'm not convinced the Orioles will let J.J. Hardy walk. Now, if they do, then maybe they go after one of the third basemen available this winter and slide Machado to shortstop. I know that's a ticky-tack answer, but I don't have any insight into their plans and I don't think there's a clear best approach here.

Kevin (NYC): Care to speculate about who the PTBNL will be in the Mets trade with the Pirates?

R.J. Anderson: Heyman and a few other says a 2013 draftee. If the Mets were serious about getting a potential middle-of-the-rotation starter, then it's logical to look at Taylor and Dickson.

Scott (LA): Daz Cameron - Potential Stud?

R.J. Anderson: Yes. Loud tools and he has bloodlines.

Alex (Anaheim): Hitting .400 is a pipe dream for almost anyone over a full season, but is Charlie Blackmon capable of hitting for a high average in the long run?

R.J. Anderson: If we're talking .300-plus? Then yes. He gets to play half his games at Coors Field, which is always a positive, and he makes a ton of contact. Plus his middle name is Cobb.

Rex Little (Big Bear CA): What, specifically, about Cabrera's conversion isn't typical? Seems to me he played more games as a third baseman than any of the others I mentioned; wouldn't that suggest that he has the ability to be an even better fielder at 1B?

R.J. Anderson: He only played third base because of necessity rather than his ability. You're correct that he played the position in the past as well, but this wasn't a situation where he was a quality third baseman who decayed with time. He wasn't fit to play there, so moving across the diamond might improve his defense, but he's not working with the same base as your typical third-to-first convert.

Chi Chi (Los Codinas): What's most important to you in a starter? Sustained velocity? Location? Depth of pitches?

R.J. Anderson: The total package is more important than any one part. If a guy throws 102 but can't find the plate he's not going to be useful as a starter. Same for the other aspects. He has to have a little (or a lot) of each to succeed in the rotation. The bullpen is a little different.

Big Ern (nyc): martin perez a buy/sell/hold in fantasy?

R.J. Anderson: Hold. He's quality. He's not this good but he's going to help you win. (Disclaimer: Obviously if you're building for the future and someone gives you a knockout package you might want to take it.)

redsoxin2004 (Columbia): At what point does a player's on the field performance shatters the scouting projections for him? Specifically Mookie Betts just can't anything wrong.

R.J. Anderson: The scouting projections on Betts are pretty good, no? Parks had him as an above-average regular before the season started, and wrote that some scouts see an impact player.

To answer the question: in the majors and sometimes in the high-minors. Minor-league stats just don't mean a whole lot, but there are cases where guys hit the whole way through and earn an opportunity because of it. (The inverse is true, too.) Once you reach the majors, the clock starts ticking on when that projection has to turn into production, or that production has to remain production in order to stick around.


To answer your question: the majors. There are some cases where a player who lacks the physical projection can earn a big-league look based on his stats in the upper minors. (In fact, we're seeing that with Solarte and Anna in New York right now.) For the most part, though, teams want reasons to believe the player can stick. Some of these guys with gaudy numbers in the minors have flaws that aren't visible through the numbers, but are obvious to those who watch them day in and day out. Be it a slow bat, a shaky approach, whatever.

That's not to say teams are infallible or anything, mind you. That's just how the system tends to work.

Tony (New York): Hey R.J, thanks for doing this chat. These chats are so informative and a pleasure to read. My question is, what do scouts mean when they say "2nd division OF" or "1st division OF"? I've seen these terms used a lot, and haven't been able to figure out what they mean. They usually use these phrases when they are speaking of a player's upside or projection, but I do not fully understand what they mean. Thanks in advance R.J. I really appreciate the help.

R.J. Anderson: Tony, anytime.

First division basically means the player could start on a playoff team at that spot, even though he's not quite an all-star or elite player. Second division means they're a little below that while still being good enough to man the position on a lesser team. For example, you might say that Chris Johnson is a second-division starter at third base. Of course the tricky part is that he actually starts for a playoff team, but it's supposed to be independent of the team context.

Max (Springfield): Kolten Wong wasn't setting the world on fire, but he was hitting (SSS alert!) better than his 2 replacements. Is he getting Matheny'd, ala Rasmus got LaRussa'd?

R.J. Anderson: I don't think so. I think the Cardinals thought he was pressing (or whatever) and wanted him to work through his issues on a lesser stage.

The interesting thing to me, and I don't just mean this question, is that Matheny seems to get blamed when the Cardinals do something unpopular, but gets no credit when they make a good move. Matheny isn't dictating roster moves by himself; at least, I'd hope a third-year manager isn't able to push around what we consider one of the best front offices in the sport. That doesn't add up.

Jason (MD): With Mookie Betts hitting so well in the minors, and Sizemore and Bradley Jr. not doing so well in the majors, is there a positional change to CF for him in the near future?

R.J. Anderson: That would surprise me. Bradley Jr. is a ferocious defender out there, and he's going to hit more than he has. Sizemore, hey, who knows, but Nava probably gets the first phone call if/when the Red Sox decide to move on.

Asking where Betts is going to play in a year or two is a fair question. I just don't think it's going to be center field.

msimotes (Kalamazoo): Need help! I got offered Javier Baez, Archie Bradley, and Jeff Samardzija for Jose Fernandez...This is in a 20 team keeper league in which I am in first and the winner gets $2K...What do I do?

R.J. Anderson: If you want to win this year then don't give away the best player. I'd ask the Bat Signal guys, though, just to be sure.

ben (toronto): the jays have been a tough follow the last few years. whats stroman's eta and can he be an effective starter this year?

R.J. Anderson: The ETA is within the next week. He can be effective this year thanks to his stuff, poise, and athleticism. He probably won't be the new Jose Fernandez, but he should help that club from day one.

mad max (yonkers): J. Upton or Stanton? 2014 and next 5 years? (fantasy question)

R.J. Anderson: Stanton for me.

Marco (Seattle): Have you heard anything on Danny Hultzen's recovery? Can he come back to be the #3 or higher he was projected to be after rotator cuff surgery?

R.J. Anderson: I haven't. Shoulders are always scary, so it's too early to say right now.

Shawn (Office): Enjoyed your article on Zack Wheeler today! Do you still see him as a future top of the rotation arm?

R.J. Anderson: Thank you. On that topic, Nick Wheatley-Schaller deserves a lot of credit. He's very talented.

With Wheeler, it's just a matter of whether he can improve upon his command. The stuff is there to become a no. 2 starter. He just needs to tighten things up. So yeah, he's got a chance.

Cory (LA): You think Rodon goes number 1? Is Aiken Better?

R.J. Anderson: I'd guess Aiken is more likely than Rodon a this point, but we're still like five weeks away so plenty can change.

Shawnykid23 (CT): Obligatory Gregory Polanco question- just your best, wild guess- is he up before Super 2?

R.J. Anderson: I don't think so. It's sort of like the Wil Myers situation last year: Yeah, it stinks that they can't bring up their top prospect, but they have to weigh the future, too. How much is four or five weeks of Polanco worth to that team as it stands?

Nick (Kansas): How good can Gregory Polanco Be?

R.J. Anderson: All-star quality.

Alex Meyer (minors): Do you think I will be up by mid-June?

R.J. Anderson: You should be. I understand gaming the clock for a hitter; less so for a pitcher.

Max (Springfield): I suppose as a follow up to your discussion of Matheny's "power." Do we have any idea just how much power general managers have over their managers in terms of lineup construction. i.e. do GMs every make moves just because a manager refuses to play a guy?

R.J. Anderson: We don't. I'm sure GMs have made those moves before—Moneyball pops to mind—but I'd guess that most front offices have better working relationships than the GM who would need to trade a player so his manager would quit hitting him leadoff or pitching him in high-leverage spots.

johnpark99 (Chicago): Totally random question, and feel free to offer a completely opinionated, unsubstantiated answer: do you think Barry Bonds' HOF chances/votes go up or down if he came out today and admitted PED usage?

R.J. Anderson: If Bonds were contrite? Way up. Look at how Andy Pettitte and Jason Giambi are treated. You'd never know.

John (Toronto): I haven't heard much about Syndergaard lately. What are your thoughts are his progress and do you think he gets called up June? Thanks!

R.J. Anderson: He's going to be a quality pitcher, but I would expect him to come up sometime after June. I think Wheeler was up around mid-June last year, with Harvey arriving the previous July. So I'd start to watch for Syndergaard in about a month's time.

msimotes (Kalamazoo): Hey RJ, what do you think the Cubs could get for Samardzija? They would need at least two top prospects right? But what team in playoff contention team would be willing to give them up?

R.J. Anderson: He's a free agent after next season, so they're probably looking for a little better package than what they got for Matt Garza last July. As for what contenders, it's too early to say. If the Blue Jays hang around then they would make some sense.

guest (cubicle): What do you make of Brad Miller's slump? Will he always be a sub .250 hitter?

R.J. Anderson: I've seen some murmurs that he's changed his approach to be a little too pull happy this season. I haven't looked too closely yet, however. He should outhit the .250 mark easily, provided he's not trying to be a power hitter.

Bob Never (Fox Woods): What baseball writers should we be reading on a regular basis. BP or non, national or local. Doesn't matter just looking to better my knowledge of the game.

R.J. Anderson: Majors: Tommy Rancel
Minors: Adam Sobsey

Both know the game.

English Jimmy (Pond): I've been trying to come to America to watch a game live for years but me mates haven't come up with enough snaps on the petrol if you know what I mean. What am I missing from watching games on the telly?

R.J. Anderson: The sunburn.

jlarsen (Chicagoland): When analyzing players or teams, how much stock do you put into April results compared to July or August's?

R.J. Anderson: None. April numbers are the only ones we have right now, whereas July and August are part of a bigger whole. That's the only reason anyone weighs them differently.

John (CT): What's the insiders buzz regarding Chris Sale? His manager says he thinks he may be back soon and without a minor league tune up. Your take?

R.J. Anderson: They would know better than me, my man.

loyalroyal (Lunch): How long do you figure the Twins' leash is on their rotation problems? Do you feel Trevor May has made enough progress with his control to get the call and succeed?

R.J. Anderson: I don't think Nolasco or Hughes is in danger, and it doesn't do them any good to remove Gibson. It wouldn't surprise me if Meyer replaces Pelfrey or Correia in the coming weeks. He would be ahead of May for me.

John (Toronto): Hi R.J, It appears the Jays are ready to call up Stroman. What's your take on him? Does he project to be an ace?

R.J. Anderson: I was mostly impressed with what I saw in the spring. It's hard to project anyone to be an ace, because for me there needs to be some performance to go with it. I do think he can be an above-average starter who can anchor a playoff team's staff.

Victor (Dumfries): Speaking of long swing…Joey Gallo. He has tons of power but his swing is supposedly long. Has he truly modified his approach for the long term. How does this change his prospect status?

R.J. Anderson: That's a better question for the prospect team. Obviously making more contact tends to be a good thing, though. Especially for those guys who serve as windmills in the lower minors.

Ethan Spalding (Madison, Wi): Who wins a trade of Stanton, Ventura, and Harper for Longoria, Cashner, and Puig in a 5x5 league?

R.J. Anderson: Neither side loses. I might lean toward the second team because of Harper's injury. (Assuming it's not a keeper league.)

Steve McEwen (Canada): What do you make of some of the ridiculous roster decisions Alex Anthopolous has made of late. The Blue Jays recently lost Marcus Walden and Kenny Wilson on waivers. Walden was added to the 40 man for a few days and onto the 25 man, never got into a game, then was DFA to get Kawasaki on the 40 man roster, was claimed almost immediately. Wilson was DFA'd to acquire Darin Mastroianni off waivers, and was claimed almost immediately. Then today the club released Mickey Storey who they had been sheltering on the 40 man for over a year with one call-up. Walden and Wilson aren't stars, but losing an asset for no reason is just atrocious. Is this not one of the worst cases of asset management ever, or at least recently?

R.J. Anderson: The Walden move wasn't a good look. Realistically, none of those guys are going to burn the Jays. (I was surprised Wilson was claimed. He's fast but that's about it at this point.) But you're right that some of their roster juggling has been odd. The only thing I can think of is maybe something arose with Storey in the past week that prompted the release. Otherwise, it's hard to explain.

Juan Pedro (Maitland, FL): Is Chris Archer back to being a potential #2?

R.J. Anderson: Yes.

johnpark99 (Chicago): Follow-up: by that logic, has McGwire not been contrite enough?

R.J. Anderson: Do people still give him a hard time? (I honestly hadn't noticed.) I suppose there might be a timeliness factor involved then.

Ryan (Connecticut): How good is Brady Aiken really?

R.J. Anderson: He's a legitimate choice at 1.1.

Chi-Town Keystones (Sweet Home Chicago): RJ, the Southsiders have Micah Johnson and Northsiders have Arismendy Alcantara. Any thoughts on ETA and expected production/ceiling?

R.J. Anderson: Both could be up this year. Alcantara is the better prospect, as he's got the chance to be a legit first-division starter.

Ned F. (Springfield): Which pitcher is more likely to continue their strong start, Garrett Richards or Jenrry Mejia?

R.J. Anderson: Mejia. But if this is for fantasy be careful about his injury history.

Sid (AZ): archie bradley 7 day DL. can we cancel the season now?...also should the DBacks give up on trevor cahill? didnt he almost win 20 for the A's a few years ago?

R.J. Anderson: My guess is Cahill will be on another team before long. That's just a guess though.

Mike (SD): do you still have hope for Maybin to fulfill some of his potential? i know last year was a washout but he's still just 27. project his slash line for 2014.

R.J. Anderson: Yeah. I liked him and that extension quite a bit. Unfortunately, I don't feel like I can depend upon him. When he's healthy he's a guy who can swipe 30-plus bags and add around 10 home runs. He's not going to hit for a great average though, so something like: .250/.310/.380 or thereabout?

johnpark99 (Chicago): Not really, but his HOF votes keep dropping every year. And not that McGwire is anything close to Bonds in terms of worthiness, but I gotta think he's still HOF-worthy.

R.J. Anderson: Ah, right. It's a good question. Sadly, I don't know if we'll ever find out the answer.

Gyork Store (SD): Do you think Gyorko is a good buy-low right now for fantasy? I was offered Gyorko, for Kendrick and Pineda.

R.J. Anderson: I'm not sure I would do that deal, but if you can get him for less? Yes.

Sagar (chicago): Which team makes the playoffs first, the Cubs, Twins or Astros?

R.J. Anderson: Of those? I kinda think Twins. Having a really, really good player like Joe Mauer helps.

Eric (Colorado): Do you Adalberto Mondesi will be a star?

R.J. Anderson: I haven't seen him play. Parks seems to love him, and Parks doesn't give his heart to just anyone.

niusteve (DeKalb IL): Given all of the media criticism of the Theo regime (which I believe is unrelenting), I'm wondering if you believe that the Cubs should speed up their timetable and spend more money or stay the course. Also, would you sign Samardzija to a long term deal or trade him to a contender? Thanks.

R.J. Anderson: Some of the criticism is fair. It's hard to talk about developing these young players into all-stars when guys like Castro and Rizzo were scuffling in the majors. I don't think Epstein and Hoyer are ever going to be influenced by the public opinion, though, and they aren't too far away from realizing their vision. I wouldn't be shocked if they spent some money this winter anyway.

It depends on the price and the potential return on Shark. Hard to say in a vacuum.

Chill Gates (Texas): Best Whitney Houston song? Dance with somebody or I'm your baby tonight?

R.J. Anderson: Former.

Marissa (Orange County): Which team is going to win the Stanley CupÉ

R.J. Anderson: I tuned out after the Lightning were eliminated.

Betty (Georgia): Will we live to see a female hired as a coach in the big leagues?

R.J. Anderson: Eventually. I hope.

jlarsen (Chicagoland): Buxton, Gallo or Betts. How would you rank them in terms of probability of living up to hype and how would you rank them on values in fantasy leagues?

R.J. Anderson: Buxton then Betts then Gallo in terms of probability. It's hard for me to answer the second part without knowing how risk averse you are about these things.

Kevin (NYC): What are your thoughts on Steven Matz?

R.J. Anderson: Jeff Moore wrote Matz up today:

Because of his fastball command and ability to use curveball against right-handed hitters, Matz should have no problem staying as a starter. If his changeup continues to develop and gains consistency, he could develop into a no. 2 starter. Poised to move quickly now that he's healthy and shouldn't be in the FSL for long.

Ryan (Albany): Do you think Corey Seager stays at ss and how good can he be?

R.J. Anderson: Maybe in the short term, yeah. He's got a chance to be a pretty good hitter, I just think he'll wind up sliding over to third base.

Chilly Butler (Guam): A team of Elliot Johnson's versus a team of Coconut Crabs. Winner takes over the commonwealth...who you got?

R.J. Anderson: The crabs. No sane human being is beating the crabs.

tomshipley75 (Cubs comp?): Is there a comp team, historically, for what the Cubs are trying to do? A big market team focusing almost solely on developing talent through its farm system, then (presumably) spending money to supplement its home-grown talent?

R.J. Anderson: I've been thinking about this one and it's hard to compare to past eras. The best I could think of was maybe the Dodgers during the Lasorda era, when they produced all those ROY. But I haven't checked their payroll and it's possible (probable?) they were near the top in money spent, too.

Silverback38 (VA): There is some recent talks of Robbie Ray possibly sliding into the starting rotation this year. What are you thoughts on him?

R.J. Anderson: Should be a solid starter for the Tigers. Not a frontline guy, but that's okay.

Corey (Springfield, MO): I read that STL might be holding Taveras back until June when his Super Two status is no longer an issue. Do you think that is what's happening ?

R.J. Anderson: Wouldn't surprise me. They have enough outfield options to cover until then. If their other guys were hitting like normal we wouldn't even notice.

Jonah (Redwood): I'm looking for a RF for a dynasty league. I have Pence, but I'm looking to get younger. I can probably get Gregory Polanco, but Taveras would be a much bigger get. Is Taveras likely to play RF, or some other OF position? What's the likely playing time scenario for both he & Polanco?

R.J. Anderson: It wouldn't surprise me if Taveras plays some center field when he arrives. Unless the Cardinals find a new position for Allen Craig (or he or Adams is hurt) I'm not sure how else they'll get them all into the lineup.

bmccabe (New York): Which SP will have a greater impact in the majors this season, Trevor Bauer or Marcus Stroman?

R.J. Anderson: Toughie. Bauer looked pretty good in his start. Better than I'd seen him in the majors. Flip a coin.

Sara (Tacoma): What does the Cardinals OF look like this July? Next April?

R.J. Anderson: Holiday-Taveras-Craig. Next April is a long time away. I don't know if it'll change any though.

Cal Guy (Cal): Uncle RJ, How likely is it that Machado takes over at SS in 2015? And as my favorite uncle, can you lend me $20?

R.J. Anderson: Answered the first part earlier. And no. I'm not some TV superstar/male model extraordinaire money like Lindbergh, man.

Cal Guy (Cal): Best 2B prospect in baseball... still Odor or now Alcantara or Betts?

R.J. Anderson: Odor.

scott (az): Any chance Brandon Beechy or Cory Luebke can bounce back and be any good after their second tjs or are their careers over?

R.J. Anderson: I wouldn't say their careers are over. I hope for their sakes (and ours) that they bounce back. I couldn't give you odds on either of them doing so, however.

Alex (CA): Donaldson/J. Soler for Wheeler/ G.Polanco in dynasty? Or is that not enough for JD?

R.J. Anderson: I'd probably want more. You're giving up the only established all-star type. Wheeler and Polanco should be good, but they haven't played to that level like Donaldson has.

scott (az): Is Trevor Story relavent again with his hot start?

R.J. Anderson: You'd have to ask Parks for the 411 on Story. I did like him entering the draft.

scott (az): Is Jace Peterson more then a utility player for SD?

R.J. Anderson: Could be. He's a polarizing player in that he doesn't have a standout tool. He has a lot of the under the hood stuff that should help him play beyond the physical projections. It wouldn't be too surprising if he's a starter for a few years.

Steve (DC): What happens first, the Cubs win the World Series or we see a female player in MLB?

R.J. Anderson: Cubs. Realistically, That could happen within 10 years.

Alex P. Jones (Penn): Can a pitcher have good command but bad control in a given outing?

R.J. Anderson: Not really. I suppose you could be missing good, which means missing to the edges or down below the zone, but there's a point where missing good is bad.

Reid (Hotels.com): Is Charlie Blackmon really bout this life?

R.J. Anderson: Answered this earlier. He's a legitimate contact hitter. He's just not a .400 threat.

dianagram (VORGville): Jordan Lyles improved performance ... its because he finally has a solid infield defense behind him, yes?

R.J. Anderson: I don't know if I'd attribute it 100 percent to an improved infield defense, but good gloves always help.

Cris E (St Paul, MN): Any guess where Drew ends up? (I'm just assuming he won't be signed until after the draft.)

R.J. Anderson: Toronto or one of the New York teams would be my guess. I'd like to see Pittsburgh get involved, too.

Cory (LA): What do you think Aiken's Potential is? Who would you compare him to?

R.J. Anderson: We're talking about a 17-year-old lefty who commands a good three-pitch mix, including a fastball that can touch the upper-90s and two potentially plus secondaries, and has a good feel for the craft. He's got monster potential if it all goes right.

scott (az): How do you fix the D-backs problems?

R.J. Anderson: Great question. I'm not sure. I didn't expect them to be this bad. I'm not sure how they can fix the issues right now, other than let things ride out. Even then, it seems like someone's going to lose their job. Unfortunate as it may be.

Jon Smacafee (On the Run): Which pop tart starter has a chance to be a fulltime flavor? McHugh, Chavez, Ramos?

R.J. Anderson: Chavez, I guess.

John (Ill): Would you trade Rosenthal for Syndergaard in a keeper league?

R.J. Anderson: Depends on your vision for your team, but I would most likely do that.

scott (az): Who ends up with more steals Dee Dee or Hamilton?

R.J. Anderson: Gordon if he keeps the job.

Cris E (St Paul, MN): Buff up the old crystal ball and tell us the future of Mr Nick Franklin. There are a lot of teams looking for SS these days and he might be able to handle it. Are the Mariners just trying to rebuild his value a little before a trade?

R.J. Anderson: As I wrote in a TA last week, I don't know what the M's are doing with Franklin. Why play him at SS and 2B only, then recall him to use as a super-sub type? I don't know what they're doing.

James (Kansas City): One prospect in dynasty leagues that most guys probably don't own that should be owned?

R.J. Anderson: Honestly, I couldn't tell you. I don't have a good grasp on who is and who isn't owned in keeper leagues.

Bill (Wichita): Who are your favorite baseball writers not at BP?

R.J. Anderson: I think I answered this same question earlier, but if not: Tommy Rancel and Adam Sobsey.

scott (az): Any thoughts on Manuel Margot, OF, Bos.

R.J. Anderson: Craig Goldstein actually messaged me that he was the answer to the keeper league question a few beats back. So go get Margot.

Sam (Albany): What do you think Arismendy Alcantara's potential is?

R.J. Anderson: Everyday regular.

Scott (Atlanta): I just acquired Heyward, tell me he's going to get going soon. Especially having just lost Harper to injury

R.J. Anderson: I have no reason to believe otherwise.

Bill (Wichita): Do you like the tank/lose now to win later strategy?

R.J. Anderson: I don't see those as the same things. Sometimes you have to rebuild, which means losing more games now to win later. If we're talking legitimate tanking? Then no. I don't like or respect tanking at all.

Slama Lama (Ding Dong): Wut nu jointz is slammin in ya speakers theez dayz brah?

R.J. Anderson: I don't know what this question is about but I also got a vote for Michael Lorenzen on that keeper league question.

Ned F. (Springfield): Gausman close to getting the call?

R.J. Anderson: Last I saw, he's been paced in order to keep him within a certain inning limit. It's possible he comes up later than we expected, depending on what number they have in mind.

Mo Betta (Ville): Donald Sterling is banned for life. Josh Lueke pitched last night. Why?

R.J. Anderson: You can make baseball arguments that he shouldn't be on the roster. The stuff is fine but the command isn't there. They tried making him more deceptive by upping his delivery's pace in the spring, but it hasn't worked. He's a generic waiver-wire arm who'll bring bad PR.

AJ (Phoenix): Best SP you'd give up for Baez in dynasty?

R.J. Anderson: Do you mean actual names or a tier? Either way, I'd ask the Bat Signal guys.

scott (az): Alex Wood stays as starter or ends back up in the pen?

R.J. Anderson: I've been thinking about Wood lately. It really comes down to whether the Braves think he can hold up against a starter's workload. If so, why not let him cook in the rotation? He's shown he can get guys out a few times through the lineup. He's certainly exceeded my expectations for him as a starter.

R.J. Anderson: Okay folks, that's where we'll end today. Thanks for the great questions and the continued support. We'll do it again soon.


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