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Chat: Joe Sheehan

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Thursday June 25, 2009 1:00 PM ET chat session with Joe Sheehan.

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Tune in to talk with Joe Sheehan of Prospectus Today to discuss the action on the field, the shifts in the standings, and the moves that might get made.

Joe Sheehan: Hrm. Outlook has this as a 2 p.m. chat, which is when my recent ones have been as well. Apologies for the confusion--I was actually on the air in St. Louis during the last hour. As an FYI, I'm running on fumes and there's still draft content to be posted on Basketball Prospectus. This will be a short one. "I just want the chance to play the part/the part of someone truly free."

Ron Villone (Washington): Did I find a magical fountain of youth?

Joe Sheehan: You've been intermittently effective for a decade, and relievers bounce up and down like nine-year-olds locked in the SweetTarts factory. What I like is that you've generally been effective against right-handers, and therefore aren't restricted to a specialist role.

Vladimir (Los Angeles): How do you see me doing over the next few years? Am I done?

Joe Sheehan: Downshifting into a part-time role, with more and more DH ABs. I suspect that getting you off the field would help your batting line, and a parallel to Harold Baines' career is potentially apt. You must sign with an AL team.

dangor (New york): I'm curious as to why Ken Griffey and Derek Jeter, to name two, get a free pass on any steroid suspicion while everybody else gets slandered. Also, how come more pitchers don't get outed. Isn't 3 MPH on your fastball worth more than an extra 10 feet on your fly ball?

Joe Sheehan: Pitchers have been suspended more or less in correct proportion for testing positive. As far as free passes, you're starting from the premise that there's a real process being applied to these decisions, and not just storytelling.

JFerg (MD): What teams fans are the smartest in baseball?

Joe Sheehan: Those of the Marlins, who have by and large rejected the festering boil that is that franchise.

Jake (S.F.): As of the submission of this question Pablo Sandoval has seven walks in his last ten games. Fluke, or a sign that Pablo may be able to add a little patience to his approach now that pitchers aren't throwing him strikes?

Joe Sheehan: He's young enough to learn, no question. Locker him across the room from Bengie Molina, though. Maybe even in the visitor's cubhouse.

mo (las vegas): Without Reyes, Beltran and Delgado for a few weeks, and seen that Maine and Pelfrey are nothing special, doesnt it seems that its time for the Mets to make some moves? Is their prospect list so dry that there is nothing that can be done? Why didnt they went for Abreu when nobody wanted him? Why cant they reach an agreement with Pedro?

Joe Sheehan: They're designed to win now. The problem is, any team dealing with them will insist on one of the top guys, and I don't see a deal out there the would make trading Martinez or Flores worth it.

WilliamWilde (MA): Give us a quick prediction of Smoltz's seasonal line.

Joe Sheehan: He's never been bad. 14 starts, 73 IP, 64 K, 31 BB, 3.62 ERA.

cleverme (Lansing, MI): Hey Joe - always love the chats. What do you think of the way the Tigers are handling Porcello and what should their plan be going forward with an eye toward a possible playoff appearance?

Joe Sheehan: Flags fly forever, and I think as long as he's effective and you're not being gratuitous about his workload, you keep using him into October. Just thinking about the Tigers for a moment, their window may be closing soon. If they can win this year, they should ride Porcello.

tommybones (brooklyn): Your thoughts on the future production of Dexter Fowler and Colby Rasmus? What is their upside as you see it and who gets there first? Thanks.

Joe Sheehan: Fowler's upside is Kenny Lofton, but maybe more of a Devon White type of player. Rasmus...Curtis Granderson?

Jim Clancy (Exhibition Stadium): I already own the BP books, and I was thinking about picking up a book by Rob Neyer. Can you recommend one of his other the others?

Joe Sheehan: The Blunders book is my favorite.

lemppi (Ankeny, IA): Joe....you've been tapped to take Dave Dombrowski's job for six weeks while he suddenly decides to take a leave to backpack in Argentina. How will you factor in Magglio's deal vesting or not vesting and the club's contention in the AL Central?

Joe Sheehan: I think a team has the right to factor that into its decisions so long as it's not blatantly going Rachel Phelps on the roster. Ordonez could solve this problem by hitting, you know.

Mike (Maryland): Will you admit that John Lannan is a good pitcher after he dominated your Yankees in the worst pitchers park in baseball?

Joe Sheehan: #4 starter.

Ron (Vancouver): The Jays are within 5 games of a playoff spot on September 1st, yes or no?

Joe Sheehan: No. And yet, a top...seven?...team in MLB>

Bogomil ((Anaheim, Gm 2, 2002 ALDS)): Will the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim win the division or will Nolan Ryan's Manly Man pitchers be enough to carry the Rangers?

Joe Sheehan: I still like the Angels, with 85 wins or so. I don't trust the Rangers' offense much more than I do their rotation.

Mike (Chicago): Here I thought you were ducking a head to head with a KLaw chat...Are we stuck with PEds in baseball being a media story for the next 20 years with the great players of the last decade floundering on the ballot? Ryne Sandberg's comments on the radio about Sosa made me a sad panda...

Joe Sheehan: Yes. This is going to with us for a long, long time. Clemens' last season was 2007. So 2027. At least. No, wait...Alex Rodriguez. 2037?

ekanenh (Capitol City): Joe Girardi will get fired if the Yankees are _________ at the all-star break.

Joe Sheehan: Still enfranchised?

(A boy can dream.)

edsmedia (Boston): What do you think the Red Sox should do with their seven starters (Beckett, Lester, Penny, Wake, Dice-K, Smoltz, Buchholtz)? Leave Buchholtz at Pawtucket and go with a six-man rotation once Dice-K is off the DL? And what do you think they will do?

Joe Sheehan: Wakefield to a Sunday-starter/swingman role with some DL time. Matsuzaka to the DL with a pulled ability to pitch. A six-man rotation that gave Penny and those two starts at the expense of Beckett and Lester would be a mistake.

Jon (SF): Who has bust written all over him to you in tonight's draft? I say Jordan Hill.

Joe Sheehan: Demar DeRozan. Chase Budinger.

David (DC): Porcello is only averaging about 5 2/3 innings per start. That's a pace for about 180 innings on the season. That's a bit on the high side, but if they skipped a start here and there it shouldn't be a problem.

Joe Sheehan: It's a lot of pitches, though. He's averaging 5.2 IP/start because he can't work deeper.

Jon (DC): My hope is that by 2027 all the idiots have retired and are no longer writing. The new generation doesn't seem that interested in it.

Joe Sheehan: Gee, thanks. How will I feed my family?

Thomas (NYC): Does Matt Lindstrom ever regain the closers role or is Nunez the man now?

Joe Sheehan: Leo Nunez has been effective, and has good short-reliever stuff. He's not a budding star, and I suspect the two will switch roles in a manner most disturbing to fantasy owners for some time.

Here's an idea: if NFL coaches can adapt to a tandem RB setup, where no one guy is the man, why can't MLB managers do that with short relievers?

Mike (Niles, IL): Adam Jones has been awful the past three weeks, just a bump in the road or is this the real Adam Jones?

Joe Sheehan: He's a .290/.350/.475 guy with 15 net steals and a +15 in CF. He's got a bit of upside from there. What's not to love?

Jon (SF): As an alum, what do you think of the Kevin O'Neill hire. Was Chris Ford not available?

Joe Sheehan: It was the equivalent of casting Ted McGinley. Just a brutal, unimaginative, program-killing decision.

Matt (Chicago): Joe: What player(s) (non-Pujols division), if any, with less than 10 years of MLB service could retire at the end of this season and be a pretty good bet for the HoF? (If Albert pulled a Jim Brown, he would still be a shoo-in, right?)

Joe Sheehan: Tough call. Does Miguel Cabrera get a look? I don't think any pitchers do. Chase Utley on peak value?

Nils (Boise, ID): The LSU Tigers would finish nearest .500 in which minor league?

Joe Sheehan: Northwest.

buddons42 (detroit): RE: Porcello Joe, its not that many pitches. He hasn't thrown 100 pitches in a game yet this year, with only 4 starts being over 90 (Granted, 3 of his last 4 were 95+). He's averaging 88 pitches a start, which isn't fantastic efficiency, but I don't think it's really below average either, is it?

Joe Sheehan: We kicked this around on ProTalk, and Will mentioned the inefficiency. I can't imagine he'll be allowed to go past 100 very often, so that will cut into his innings picthed.

beanpj (Austin): What would it take for the Giants to get Adam Dunn? And if you were the one making the decision, would you?

Joe Sheehan: Yeah, I would. It's a veteran team that can be upgraded at any of three corners. They have the Mets' problem in that every team will want their best guys. The Nats, however, need to focus on quantity and can pick up three, four guys in a deal down the prospect list and win it.

Sam (TB): Do you know if Pelton is live blogging the draft?

Joe Sheehan: Yes! We'll be running a draft chat using Cover it Live over at Basketball Prospectus.com. Look for a number of the contributors at BaskP to be providing their opinions and analysis tonight.

JFerg (MD): Think the HOF is watered down some by career counting stats?

Joe Sheehan: Nope. Longevity is a great first-blush sign of greatness.

TGisriel (Baltimore): Do you think Robert Andino is ready to be a starter,or is back-up his peak?

Joe Sheehan: He can be Cesar Izturis next year, a starter on a bad team that doesn't have many other options and has no need to spend money on the hole.

TGisriel (Baltimore): From among Beresen, Hill and Berked in the Orioles' rotation, which do you think will perform the best long term?

Joe Sheehan: Still a big Rich Hill believer, and he's the only one of the three that misses a lot of bats.

TGisriel (Baltimore): Is .500 this season an unrealistic goal for the Orioles this season in light of the improvements they have made this season?

Joe Sheehan: It's an aggressive goal. However, finishing .500 and the long-term goals of the franchise are dissonant. They should trade vets and lose more, improving draft position and shedding payroll.

E (K): Do you think steady era-over-era improvement due to advancements in health and technology occur in all sports? I think most people would agree that Pujols would have been otherworldy in Babe Ruth's time, but how would Bjorn Borg fare against Federer? Shaq v. Kareem?

Joe Sheehan: In any sports, in any field, the closer to the modern era you go, the better it is. Strategies evolve, bodies evolve. training methods evolve, technology moves things along.

Thomas (NYC): How long can Texas live with Chris Davis?!!!! It's now reaching the embarrassment stage.

Joe Sheehan: Max Ramirez tanked and Justin Smoak got hurt. It seems like it has to end soon, but you do need to play someone.

tcogle (las vegas): What do you think of the Rangers decision of moving Netfali Feliz to the pen?

Joe Sheehan: The best way to continue the development of young starters is to get them into MLB games in long-relief outings.

bowie (US of A): Your take on the Rays' lackluster attendance? The Marlins never saw a boost after their WS years either. Is it something to do with the state of Florida? Maybe the HS and college baseball is so good they don't need to watch the pros.

Joe Sheehan: I think, having been down there just twice, that it's about the park's location. It's separated from the population center by a body of water, traversed by a long bridge. Maybe it is a Florida issue, too, being a football state and getting the MLB part of the schedule done in March.

Lightning round. We'll go longer in two weeks, promise.

Rob (Brighton): Have you gotten to see much of Phil Hughes in action? How's he holding up this season? Do you still think he has a high upside (#2 starter)?

Joe Sheehan: Yes, I do, and I hate the decision to stick him in the pen. Any time you guys want to shoot the #6 starter...anytime.

Rob (Brighton): Do you think the Rays are primed for a second half surge? Their record is way below their run differential.

Joe Sheehan: Yes, I do. They had a lot of injuries, the bullpen was sorting itself out, and B.J. Upton missed the first eight weeks with a strained talent. They still beat up the league.

Buddy Biancalana (Tumwater): With Yuni going out for a month or so with a pulled hammy, should the M's go out and get a real SS (if so, who?), or punt with Josh Wilson and Ronny Cedeno? They are only 2 1/2 games behind some flawed teams.

Joe Sheehan: There aren't any shortstops in the market. Tejada, I guess.

Joe Sheehan: Thanks for all the great questionsm including the many I couldn't get to. Back soon.


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