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Chat: Joe Sheehan

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Thursday May 21, 2009 2:00 PM ET chat session with Joe Sheehan.

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Check in with Baseball Prospectus' Joe Sheehan as he discusses doings on the diamond from every direction.

Joe Sheehan: Ever heard of

goiter6 (MN): Who is going to give up a run first - Heath Bell or Frank Francisco?

Joe Sheehan: Well, Francisco is cheating by being unavailable. Given that one of these guys pitches in San Diego and the other in Texas, I'll go with Bell.

KO (Pittsfield, MA): Will the Rangers call up Smoak when Blalock inevitably lands on the DL in the coming weeks?

Joe Sheehan: I don't think so. It'd be a two-level jump, and it would force Davis to DH, since you can't realistically DH Smoak and play Davis at first. Also, I think once Smoak gets promoted, he's up to stay. I'm not saying he shouldn't be up--I'm not convinced Davis is better than him right now--but it won't happen as an injury sub.

John Lannan (Washington D.C.): I keep producing results, yet no one believes. What do I have to do to get more respect and be considered a future #2 pitcher?

Joe Sheehan: Strike out more hitters. Walk fewer hitters. A 22/15 K/UIBB in 45 innings, excuse me, sucks.

madviking (Canada): Are the Jays the new Rays, or, now that they're finally playing against the east, is a crash imminent?

Joe Sheehan: They're 1-4 against the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays, with the win by Roy Halladay. That isn't dispositive, but it is illustrative of the point: their backloaded schedule makes it hard to evaluate them, since a big reason they were picked fourth was the three better teams in their division. We need to see them play those teams to know what they really are.

MikeJordan23 (Brooklyn): Thoughts on Chris Carpenter's return, and where you see him effecting the NL central, assuming he's going to stay healthy

Joe Sheehan: I don't think he'll stay healthy, but when he's available, he'll be effective. The current injury had nothing to do with pitching, of course.

Gavin (County Ct.): Izzy will be closing for the Rays in ___ weeks.

Joe Sheehan: One.

Mike (D,C.): Do the Nats have the worst bullpen in baseball history?

Joe Sheehan: There are ways to measure this, and I think that barring a substantial improvement, they will end up having the worst pen in history. It's not just that they don't have good pitchers; it's that they have no good pitchers *behind* the current staff, and it's possible they released their best one (Steven Shell).

Joel (GA): It's early, but with A-Rod back and Tex heating up, do you think the Yankees bounce back from their mediocre offensive performance of last year?

Joe Sheehan: I still think offense, not pitching, is the primary concern. Damon, Matsui and Jeter all seem to be aging so very gracefully, and if that continues, they'll be fairly good. Catcher is a problem so long as Posada is out, of course.

DaleMurphy'sGhost (Flowery Branch GA): What kind of prospects does Kris Medlen have to be a frontline MLB starter? All we have ever heard about down here is that Hanson's coming. Is Medlen the real deal too?

Joe Sheehan: I saw him in the AFL and liked him a lot, more of a #3/#4, command and deception guy, than Hanson is. He might be as good now as he's going to be, and he'll serve as an upgrade over the disasters in the #5 slot to date.

lemppi (Ankeny, IA): At roughly 40 games in, could you handicap the AL Central? Can the Tigers still go the distance w/o much from Magglio Ordonez, Carlos Guillen, and Placido Polanco?

Joe Sheehan: The best single unit is the Tigers' rotation, which has been very good. I don't think Dontrelle Willis is the solution in the #5 slot--I'd rather see Bonderman replace him than Galarraga--but Verlander/Jackson (11 walks!)/Porcello is a great way to start. They need some bullpen help and maybe a lefty bat, although Larish could fill that role.

BL (Bozeman): Do you see any possibilities for Kansas City to upgrade at shortstop as the season goes?

Joe Sheehan: That's the only spot they haven't tried Teahen at yet, right?

cdoyle31 (Phoenix, AZ): You see/read about Hinch's use of Qualls in last night's game? Perhaps it's hyperbole on my part, but it pretty much justified his hiring in my eyes. I have seen the future, and it's managers who prefer winning to orthodoxy.

Joe Sheehan: It was something of a forced situation, as they were shorthanded due to the doubleheader and the departure of Scott Schoeneweis after his wife's death. We'll see if it continues. I'm more interested in whether the hitters come around; that's what will determine the team's future.

BL (Bozeman): I saw a mainstream publication's ranking of the top 50 baseball players the other day, with Joe Mauer down around 40th. Where, approximately, would you rank Mauer?

Joe Sheehan: No lower than 10th. Pujols, Santana, Rodriguez, Wright, Halladay, Utley...I think then he gets into the mix.

Jake (St. Louis): Joe- In order for the Cardinals to have a serious chance at postseason, Chris Carpenter has to make ___ starts?

Joe Sheehan: All the rest of his

david (madison, wi): Generally: to what degree can plate discipline be a teachable skill and/or contagious across an entire team? Specifically: The Brewers seem to have discovered the power of the walk en masse—does history suggest an entire team of reformed hackers can maintain this walk rate across an entire season?

Joe Sheehan: I thought Wade Boggs had a similar effect on the Yankees, especially Don Mattingly and Paul O'Neill, when he joined them. I believe I touted a similar effect last year, when Kosuke Fukudome arrived in Chicago. Having good ABs strikes me as something that can be influenced by an atmosphere that values that kind of thing, although I'm not sure it can be quantified. (For a converse, think about the Angels' often-successful approach, centered on contact hitting.)

Jim (D.C.): Is Stephen Strasburg the #1 prospect for 2010?

Joe Sheehan: Yes. I'm not Kevin, but I figure Jason Heyward, Neftali Feliz, Buster Posey and Justin Smoak are all in the mix. I'm almost certainly forgetting someone.

nicopad (brooklyn): Have you been to Citi yet? I had to produce my ticket seven times to various attendants throughout the stadium during my last visit. Combine that with showing id for each and every beer and the experience isn't ideal. At least, there's some personality to the place unlike the yard across town.

Joe Sheehan: No, and I'll rectify that on the next homestand, after I get back from this weekend's DC/Baltimore trip. Looking forward to it...most people I've talked to who've been to both like Citi better.

Tom Saippe (CT): Joe, I've figured out Phil Hughes problem. Number 65. This is an offensive lineman's number, not a pitcher's number. It looks completely wrong. Bad taste, probably bad karma.

Joe Sheehan: And yet, Joba Chamberlain survives.

Bob (NY): What is going on with Ollie...World Baseball Classic mess him up?

Joe Sheehan: He's a high-variance pitcher to begin with, so messing with his season-opening routine probably didn't help him, and he lost the strike zone on top of it all. Unless there's an injury--and we've not heard there is one--I'd expect him to be a 4.00 ERA guy once he comes back.

Brent (Raleigh): Joe -- What's the correct solution to the Jeff Francoeur situation? Stick with him? Send him to AAA? Try to trade him? If they went with option 2 or 3, who should they plug in to RF? They don't seem to have many options.

Joe Sheehan: The correct solution is to play someone better. The Braves don't really have that option, however, so you stick with him until that someone comes along. I'd get Gregor Blanco back into the mix, myself, but then again, I would have had him as the everyday CF or LF to start the season.

If the Braves stay in contention, they will have to trade for a corner OF. There's just no other way.

Tim (DC): Joe, with Brad Pitt signed on to play Billy Bean in the movie version of "Moneyball", does that mean he won't be available to play you in the off-Broadway version of "BP"? Is the fallback Gilbert Gottfried??

Joe Sheehan: I love that casting. I presume this means I have a shot to play Tim Hudson. What's Billy, eight inches taller than Pitt?

Wrong Billy Bean(e), by the way.

I'm pretty sure Paul Giamatti or Jason Alexander plays me in the movie. Carrot Top goes all Brando to play Young Gary, David Wells makes his theatrical debut as Will, and Cate Blanchett plays Christina. I'll stop there.

Jon (DC): Any preliminary thoughts on the potential Peavy deal? Still don't see the Sox as real contenders.

Joe Sheehan: It makes the White Sox about four games better, although I see their problem as offense. The packages I've seen don't bring nearly enough back to the Padres for him.

Jon (DC): Joe, what is the solution for the Mets poor roster construction?

Joe Sheehan: I disagree with the premise. They have a terrific core, and they addressed one of the biggest issues--the bullpen--in the offseason. You can't do everything at all times, and you certainly shouldn't judge a roster when it's in the midst of a spate of injuries.

DanLong (NY): Joe what do you make of Cervelli's performance - both at the plate and behind it - since he got called in for posada. even Pettitte has been raving about him.

Joe Sheehan: Impressed enough to hope he, not Molina, is the starter once the latter is healthy. Cervelli is more backup than starter, but he's a good backup with a little bit of everything.

Silv (NY, NY): Fernando Martinez for Aubrey Huff and George Sherrill? The Mets seem to be built to win-now, and adding a legit bopper to a struggling lineup AND a solid lefty to bolster a suddenly-struggling Putz would make sense.

Joe Sheehan: The Mets wouldn't trade Martinez for Johan Santana, so I'm going to say that they probably won't for a patch at first base and a mediocre lefthanded reliever. Andy, you have to disguise these better than that.

John (NYC): Melky Cabrera's comps in BP 2009 including Bernie Williams and three guys you'd never want to be associated with. His 2009 season so far indicates he may be Bernie Williams. Small sample size or true ability?

Joe Sheehan: I was talking about him at the game Sunday with Derek, and one of the things I said was that Cabrera may be like Williams in that he'll be a better player than he looks. I don't know that Cabrera will match Williams, but there are some surface similarities, and since I am the guy who said that Cabrera would someday knock 80 XBH in a season, I'm inclined to see "true ability" in his first six weeks. He has got to get the ball in the air more; he hits far too many groundballs for a player without great speed.

Ethan (Berkshire County): Who do you like over the course of their respective careers offensively: McCutchen or Fowler?

Joe Sheehan: Fowler. I've never been as high on McCutchen as others, because I don't see the power coming. Conversely, Fowler seems to do everything well.

Rawls Johnson (Pittsburgh): I know they won't, but should the Mets at least consider Barry Bonds? I can't stand him, but I'd rather see the team win with him than lose without him.

Joe Sheehan: Barry Bonds' career is over. Even I've accepted that.

dianagramr (NYC): If "BP" is a musical, its important to know if any of you can sing for real. "WARP like an Egyptian" perhaps "Dude hits like X Nady"?

Joe Sheehan: I can't improve upon that. Beautiful.

Gregjitsu (Riverside): Where does Lincecum rank in your top 50?

Joe Sheehan: On the edge of the top ten. If we ever find Nate Silver, he does a great "top 50 values" piece that quantifies the answer to this question. Or, I suppose, we could let the Sporting News be the final word.

DanLong (NY): Montero's Bat has been beating up on pitchers like they're a red-headed step-kid...What, offensively, will be his biggest weakness when he finally gets the call up (2 years+ from now)

Joe Sheehan: He runs like a Molina.

Alan (Oakland): If you're Jeff Moorad, what do the White Sox have to give up to trade Peavy?

Joe Sheehan: Poreda and Beckham (as a PTBNL) or maybe Flowers. My organization is desperately in need of talent up the middle. To do this trade for just pitching is nonsensical.

zambrano (channahon): Mac or PC?

Joe Sheehan: PC. Laptops, actually, since 2001. Thinking about a Macbook, though. Probably won't, but thinking about it for the first time.

Jay (Chicago): Joe, no one has been able to answer this for me: When did defensive indifference become a scoring option in MLB? Why? Were so many meaningless late inning bases being swiped that MLB had to institute this rule in order to maintain the integrity of all stolen base records? It makes no sense to me, they stole the base, who determines whether the team cares or not? Stupid.

Joe Sheehan: You can't steal something that isn't possessed by someone else. If you're not being held, that's being given the base, not stealing it. It's a good scoring rule.

While I'm here, though...Adam Jones got a throwing error the other night for delivering a perfect throw to the cutoff man. Brian Roberts let it go through to second, and Robert Andino missed it. Jones got the error. There has to be some other way, because calling what Jones did an "error" is completely counterfactual.

Taco (Philly): Is Chase Utley at NL 2B the easiest of the All-Star picks? I mean, even Adrian Gonzalez is giving "some" sort of competition to Pujols. But Utley is just far above everyone, isn't he? Is he still somehow the most underrated player in baseball?

Joe Sheehan: Pujols, although Utley is up there. You can't not pick the best player in baseball, no matter what the other guys are doing.

sroney (OC, Cal): How long do I hang on to Wieters? Is he coming up soon? I have Posada on the DL and Suzuki starting, but my three-player bench is getting stretched with Votto and Reyes going throught their issues and trying to be ready for the normal Chipper Jones issues.

Joe Sheehan: I expect we'll see Weiters between Memorial Day and Flag Day. Remember, he didn't play well to start the season, so there's no pressure being brought to bear.

Bob (Syracuse): If the BP writers formed an actual baseball team, who would bat cleanup? Who would pitch? Where would you play?

Joe Sheehan: Goldstein cleanup, although I think any team we'd build would be heavy on interns and younger writers. I'd play second and pitch a little. God knows if I can still do those things, but I could when I played.

Dennis (Monterey Park, CA): Hi Joe, thanks for the chat. Fantasy baseball question: I can pick up John Smoltz, but doing so would put me just a few dollars below our league salary cap, limiting moves I can make later on in the season unless I make trades to move salary. Do you think Smoltz will be coming back and putting up decent numbers in the second half the season? Or is picking him up just too risky?

Joe Sheehan: I think it's risky just because of the Sox' pitching depth. I expect Smoltz to be effective when healthy, but at some point they have to call up Buchholz, right? And even Brad Penny has started pitching well. It might be tough for Smoltz to carve out a role.

Silv (NY, NY): The Mets wouldn't make the FMart deal for Johan, true, but Omar and Jerry Manuel's jobs weren't on the line at that point. Flags fly forever.

Joe Sheehan: If they decide to trade Martinez, they can do much, much better. They probably can't get Peavy just because of the no-trade clause, but they could get a lot of terrific players.

Shairon Martis (D.C.): Is my 5-0 record a fluke or trend for the foreseeable future?

Joe Sheehan: I like you, but your peripherals look like Lannan's. The 5-0 record is meaningless. Better than Lannan in the medium and long term.

Tony (Brooklyn, NY): Is LaPorta going to stick this season?

Joe Sheehan: They appear to be giving him every opportunity. The more they lose, the more it makes sense to play him regardless of what he hits, too.

Ryan (NY): Would you think it's reasonable to ask for a signed bat, picture and tickets to a game if you caught the first home run ball by a player?

Joe Sheehan: I find the whole thing tasteless. I've always said that it's the player's achievement, not mine--he hit the home run, I'm just standing there--and if they want the memento, it's theirs, and not for a price. That goes for the landmark home runs as well as pedestrian ones.

Yes, if I'd caught 62 or 71 or 756, I would have offered it back, and not for money.

David (DC): Any chance the BoSox and Mets get in a bidding war over Nick Johnson, and the Nats end up with an honest to goodness potential starting pitcher?

Joe Sheehan: Where would the Sox play Johnson?

Had this conversation at lunch the other day...folks, David Ortiz is playing. He's a hero, and he's getting paid a jillion dollars until the Rapture. The Sox aren't trading for a replacement.

Matt A (Raleigh): Assuming he's beyond the eye thing, do you stick McCann ahead of Mauer? Or is he just the best catcher in the NL?

Joe Sheehan: No. Mauer is significantly better defensively and generally runs higher OBPs. I love McCann, but he's behind Mauer so long as they're both catchers.

Mike (Utica,NY): Speaking of Francoeur is his career path going the way of Marty Cordova. Hot start and then faded out very quickly.

Joe Sheehan: Cordova had like six seasons better than Francoeur's second-best.

JJ (NYC): Lakers or Nuggets tonight?

Joe Sheehan: Lakers. I part ways with Kevin Pelton on this...I think the Lakers win it in five.

CoC (jupiter): any thoughts on chris coghlan?

Joe Sheehan: He's not a left fielder.

achaik (maine): Settle a dispute. I say that Josh Anderson is a 4th outfielder at best. A buddy swears he should be playing every day. Who is right?

Joe Sheehan: His glove is so good that he could start in center field for me. Or the Braves, for that matter.

Mike (Utica,NY): Right now how bad does that Teixiera and Mahay for Feliz, Andrus, Staly, Harrison, and Jones look? Could this be one of the worst trades in recent history?

Joe Sheehan: Because the Braves were getting a year and two months, and Teixeira is a great player who clearly made them better, I wouldn't call it that. The Pierzynski deal, just to name one, was worse. Bedard was worse.

BL (Bozeman): Alberto Callaspo just hit his 16th double, a gapper. Is his improvement real?

Joe Sheehan: He's always had the ability to hit for average. The power is a fluke. What interests me is the walk rate, which if real means he can hit .280 or .290 and be an asset.

Ryan (NY): Jody Gerut was just traded from San Diego to Milwaukee for Tony Gwynn Jr. Thoughts?

Joe Sheehan: I don't understand it. Gerut is the better player. Gwynn is...his uncle, more or less?

Jon (NYC): Which player is angrier, Griffin for having to play for the Clippers, or Strasburg for having to play for the Nationals?

Joe Sheehan: You can turn it around faster in the NBA, and you can become a free agent sooner, and LA > DC. So Strasburg.

I don't expect this to happen, but if a player wanted to challenge the draft in the courts, this might be a sympathetic case for it. The draft forces a player to not only not have competition for his services, but in this case, to join a business that is clearly at the bottom of the industry in all aspects.

Stephen (Chicago): Rasmus vs. Maybin vs. Schafer? Best player the next 5 years?

Joe Sheehan: Rasmus, and it's not close. Schafer isn't even in the question.

Gregjitsu (Riverside): "I find the whole thing tasteless. I've always said that it's the player's achievement, not mine--he hit the home run, I'm just standing there--and if they want the memento, it's theirs, and not for a price. That goes for the landmark home runs as well as pedestrian ones." I think a picture with the player isn't asking much, but that's just me. What ever happened to both parties being gracious?

Joe Sheehan: Well, yeah. I'm saying don't turn it into a negotation or put conditions, but I'd like to think if I were handing a guy's first hit or something back to him and asked for an autograph (this is all hypothetical, as I'm not a memorabilia guy) or something, he'd respond in kind.

Mike (Utica,NY): If Peavy rejects the Chicago deal, why couldn't the Phillies trade for Peavy. Their pitching is real bad right now and they could offer the Padres Carrasco, Drabek, and Brown for Peavy.

Joe Sheehan: That package doesn't remotely get it done, for one. For two, it's the Santana problem; when a deal had to be made among three parties, it's a much more complicated process, and it really clips the trading team. No-trade clauses are awful ideas for management; you're almost always better off paying extra money up front.

Mike (Utica,NY): Who will be the best in 5 years out of these guys: Justin Upton, Jay Bruce, Evan Longoria, Ryan Braun, Travis Snider?

Joe Sheehan: Upton, with Longoria close behind. Upton should be in the home-run contest; he hits ridiculously impressive shots.

dianagramr (NYC): Edwin Jackson just threw his 131st pitch of the day .... at 97 MPH.

Joe Sheehan: Can't say I'm a real fan of how that went...it's not the raw number, but the combination of letting him go that deep with runners on base when he was pitching into trouble.

Bill (MA): I want to believe in Jeremy Hermida, but he has exactly one half of one season where he slugged anything worth a crap. At what point is this just not going to happen?

Joe Sheehan: I rarely suggest this, but Hermida might need to swing more. He seems to let a lot of hittable pitches go by. That works for Adam Dunn, and a lot of other guys, but maybe not so much for the guy hitting .250 and slugging .367.

jaymoff (Salem, OR): Were you alluding Jason Isringhausen??? You're predicting he's 1 week away from taking over for Percival? Just a hunch, a hope, or being funny?

Joe Sheehan: No, I think he could have the job that quickly.

DKANDREWS1 (Dan (DC)): Okay, let's say the Braves are in contention around the all-star break. Who are a few corner outfielders they could target?

Joe Sheehan: Luke Scott, Randy Winn, Adam Dunn.

Ryan (NY): Does this mean a San Diego firesale?

Joe Sheehan: Well, Gonzalez and Bell are all that's left. As I said earlier, you have to trade Gonzalez now. You just have to if you're clearly not trying to win until 2011 or 2012.

bam022 (Chicago): If you were doing a Nate Silver style top 50, would Justin Upton crack the top 10? Top 5?

Joe Sheehan: Top 12. I'm irrational about him at a .97 Adam Jones level.

James (Boston): Not remotely good enough? Clayton Richard is barely a #5 SP, and Poreda is going to be a reliever as a pro. If those two guys are the two best pieces of the deal, I don't see how the Phillies theoretical offer "isn't remotely close", considering most would consider Drabek and Brown both superior prospects to Poreda, and Carrasco a much better option than Richard.

Joe Sheehan: Poreda is a better prospect than any of those guys, and you're ignoring the two PTBNLs, who I'm going to guess are comparable to Drabek and Brown at worst. (And remember, I'm not thrilled about the Sox package for the Padres, so coming up a bit short of it is "not remotely close.")

As an aside, if you're the Padres, isn't the way to do this to get a list from Peavy of places he'll go. Get him to commit that if you make the trade, he'll accept. Then go to every team on his list and just ask for their best guy, or best two if the first isn't that great? If you have to trade him, you might as well aim high. Say what I will about this deal, at least the Padres would get the Sox top guy; compare that to the Santana deal.

Gregjitsu (Riverside): As a current Southern Californian, let me say that LA is NOT > than DC. In my eyes, it should be DC>>LA. If you're talking sports towns, I guess I can understand that. But if anything else is being considered, the special quality and quantity of idiots here has to be accounted for.

Joe Sheehan: As opposed to in the seat of national government? You really want to build the case for D.C. on having a lesser brand of idiots?

fielding99 (Manhattan): Hot rumor is that the Mets are talking to Bobby Valentine.

Joe Sheehan: Nothing says "quality organization" like repeatedly changing your manager in the middle of the season.

Lightning round.

Ryan (NY): You think the Fish will turn to Kiko Calero for some saves soon?

Joe Sheehan: Right about the time he falls apart due to overuse.

HuffWade (Chicago): Do you think Joe Mauer's new found power stroke is for real?

Joe Sheehan: Yes. I think he hits 25 a year for a while.

Mike (Utica,NY): Who will be the best out of these four: Heyward, Stanton, Montero, or Villalona?

Joe Sheehan: Heyward's in a different class, I think, because of the defensive value.

nstampe (madison): Any reason to have faith in the Brewers pitching and improved on base abilities, or should I just hold tight and wait for the reversion to form?

Joe Sheehan: I'd be most worried about the bullpen, which seems way, way over its head based on the personnel.

Chris (Austin, MN): Does Jody Gerut in Milwaukee mean less ABs for a struggling Corey Hart? Or is this just a depth move?

Joe Sheehan: Well, I know Chris Duffy was on the roster, so this is better. I could see Hart losing some time. The Brewers have been so very right-handed the last few years; adding Gamel and Gerut would help that a lot.

YD (Philly): Hiya Joe. Better numbers the rest of this season: Nate McLouth or Justin Upton?

Joe Sheehan: Ditka.

(Upton.)

Dan (Nation's Capital): Why the hate on Jordan Schafer? Obviously struggling right now, but no potential over the next 5 years? Didn't you guys have him as a Top 40 prospect?

Joe Sheehan: I speak for myself, not BP or Kevin. Schafer was rushed to the majors--he didn't exactly eat up Double-A--and doesn't have the contact rate or power to play. I think he's a tweener--good fourth outfielder or marginal starter.

Ryan (NY): Is there anyone under 26 that will get close to 300 wins? Lincecum maybe?

Joe Sheehan: Porcello.

Jim (Chicago): The Peavy trade isn't a one year deal though. The White Sox trading for Peavy, especially if it doesn't involve Beckham, Flowers, Viciedo or Allen, has to be considered a win for the Sox. It might not make up the difference this year, but in the coming years that's a pretty solid front four. That's a winning trade for the White Sox, right?

Joe Sheehan: There's no iteration of this deal that I've seen that isn't a win for the White Sox, but I'll be honest, I hadn't factored that in. Who cares if they win this year...they get three years of Peavy and they have a decent core coming up.

Ryan (NY): What's your AL Tout Strategery?

Joe Sheehan: Not have injuries.

jimnabby (Santa Monica): Are you worried about the Detroit pitchers' pitch counts at all? Verlander's been up around 120 each time out, Jackson just went 132(!) today.

Joe Sheehan: Today's the first one I flinched at, and I'm not that upset about it. Forget the number "100." Mature MLB starters should comfortably, broad strokes, be able to go 110-120 most nights, with an occasional deeper outing as warranted. We've gone too far in the opposite direction, as an industry. Time to put some workload back on guys, as long as the dangerous counts we used to see are eliminated.

akachazz (DC): When are you going back on the Fantasy 411?

Joe Sheehan: Dunno. Cory's still mad because I made fun of his beard, and I think Siano just golfs all the time.

Billy (ATL): In the Tex trade, you can't forget that the Braves got 3.5 years of Kotchman as well.

Joe Sheehan: Yeah, I can. At the time of the trade that didn't exist.

mikeduin (Seattle): How long is it going to take Mat Gamel to be an everyday player for the Brew Crew? Or will they settle for a platoon with Hall so they suffer through Gamel's fielding antics as little as possible?

Joe Sheehan: Bill Hall has to play against lefties, at second or third. Gamel is, by all accounts, laughingly bad at third, so a platoon isn't the worst idea.

DanLong (NY): i dunno, i see Peavy as an NL only pitcher in a pitcher's park, but he's still an ace in AL if he moves...i'd wait to hear the names involved before i'd call it a win for the sox.

Joe Sheehan: If the Sox traded Poreda, Beckham and Flowers (my take on their top three), I'd hesitate. Anything else, it's a win for them.

Bobby (Boston): Is Ellsbury ever going to turn into the two-way player we thought he was going to? He hasn't hit since the World Series in 2007.

Joe Sheehan: No. Not enough power, so he just sees fastballs that he slaps for singles, and no one walks him. He's not a bad player, just an inadequate leadoff man. A better version of Juan Pierre.

Ryan (NY): I recommend walking around Citi Field and the standing room area on the field level is a nice place to watch a game. A lot of seats are obstructed though, such as the Promenade Reserved area.

Joe Sheehan: Marginally related...one of the weirdest things about Yankee Stadium is the number of people who watch the game from the concourse. This is a new experience, of course, and probably inspiration for a 10,000-word Gladwell piece on attention spans and how we experience events. It's just odd for me, as someone who likes baseball, to see so many people at the game kind of wandering aimlessly, because they can and still be "at" the game.

jamin67038 (Wichita, KS): Longest lightning round ever. Kudos.

Joe Sheehan: Ends now.

Joe Sheehan: Thanks, everyone, I should be back to a Monday or Tuesday next time around. Enjoy the long weekend!


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