Check in with John Perrotto -- he's on the beat, but taking and answering your questions.
John Perrotto: Hi everybody! It's a beautiful day in Beaver Falls, Pa. coming off a good night at Progressive Field last night to see the White Sox and Indians. Let's talk some ball.
workermonkey (ct): you're awesome, i love you're blah blah blah... why is Braden Vs. Rodriguez getting so much press? are we that starved for a conflict? is there something else going on here? i just don't get why this very minor conflict is getting so much press.
John Perrotto: If you really loved me, you wouldn't say blah, blah, blah. :) Conflict sells papers, gets web hits, attracts viewers, etc. That's the way society is. I have not mentioned it once in any of my columns.
chunkstyle (Toronto): I'm not sure why I haven't seen this written anywhere, so here goes....The MLB schedule was released last September. At the time, the G20 summit was to be held in Huntsville, Ontario. In early December, it was decided that the summit should be moved to Toronto. So, the schedule-makers are off the hook, but (I feel) it's still fair to ask why this issue wasn't addressed by MLB and the relevant teams earlier.
John Perrotto: The whole thing was totally botched. Either the game with the Phillies should have never been scheduled for Toronto, scheduled for another date, or if it was too late to amend the schedule, they should have been played a neutral site like Detroit or Cleveland that was somewhat accessible for Blue Jays' fans. It's not fair to the Blue Jays and it's not fair to other NL teams that the Phillies have three extra home games.
caseyj15 (Medford, Oregon): What's up with Josh Beckett?? Is he still an elite starter or are his back woes to blame?
John Perrotto: It's got to be the back problems. I can't believe with his ability level and at his age that he would be over the hill. I guess we'll find out more when he comes off the DL.
Matt (Chicago): How soon until the Cubs get to the point that they start moving the vets that they can and take a look at some more of the kids? Hendry & Lou were given another shot this year that looks like it isnt working out.
John Perrotto: They will hold on to hope as long as possible because of the demands of the fan base. Furthermore, I don't think the Ricketts family spend all that money to concede the playoffs two months into their first season as owner. I will make this prediction, if they do pull the plug on the season early (say before Aug. 1), I bet Sweet Lou walks away.
Carl (Boston): When do the Sox fire the pitching coach?
Half the team are walking more and striking out fewer guys than they have in their career. Beckett and Lackey, the guys who are supposed to be the difference for the Sox, have been mediocre. The enormous strength of last year, the pen, is a snake pit now.
John Perrotto: All indications are that John Farrell is safe, rightly or wrongly. He is held in extremely high esteem by Theo Epstein, Terry Francona and ownership.
Ed (Cranford, NJ): Hi John
How much time do you think Chris Carter is going to have with the Mets?
John Perrotto: That's a great question. I would say until they are ready to bring Daniel Murphy back from Buffalo, where he has been optioned after being activated from the DL. I'd like to see Carter get a shot to show what he can do.
HalfStreet (Fairfax VA): We Nationals fans have gotten ourselves all worked up about Drew Storen coming to the major leagues. It's an exciting development. Still, as a neutral observer, would you say that there is any more reason to expect immediate success from Storen than for other relief prospects brought up to the majors in recent years?
John Perrotto: I think he'll do fine. A relief pitcher can only make so much of an impact because of the limited number of innings he will pitch but Storen should help bridge the gap from the starters to Matt Capps for now and is defintiely the closer of the future.
goiter6 (MN): What's the big deal on the Griffey incident? I always assumed a lot of players took naps in the clubhouse. They have a bad travel schedule so it always seemed to me they would be squeezing in some sleep when they could.
John Perrotto: Griffey wouldn't be the first guy caught napping in the clubhouse and I think it was overblown. However, it is bad form if you're sleeping late in a game when you know you might be called on to enter the game. Being around the Mariners the weekend before the last, I got the distinct feeling that it wasn't an issue.
BL (Bozeman, MT): Hi John - Is there any chance the Royals find a taker for Guillen? Any other parts there seem saleable? Ankiel? Podsednik?
John Perrotto: I think someone will take a shot on Guillen (the Giants perhaps) and Podsednik would probably help someone. Don't expect any big-time prospects for either but perhaps a useful piece or two for the future. As far as Ankiel, I can't imagine a contender would trade for him until he shows he can be productive again.
Matt (Chicago): Do you see there being much of a market for D.Lee and Lilly if the Cubs look to deal at the deadline- both guys in last year of their deals.?
John Perrotto: Lilly, for sure, because just about anyone could use a quality left-handed starter. I imagine there would be a taker for Lee but the market wouldn't be nearly as hot as it would be for Lilly. As I mentioned earlier, I just don't see the Cubs conceeding anytime soon, if at all.
lemppi (Ankeny, IA): Will the Tigers make a play for Roy Oswalt if he hits the market? Would Oswalt's stuff translate well to the American League? Thanks.
John Perrotto: Mike Ilitch has shown the willingness to spend in the past, so yes I think the Tigers might make a play. I also think Oswalt's stuff is still good enough that it could play in the AL. Here's the deal with Oswalt, if he doesn't push to have the option year in his contract picked up as part of a trade, he'll get moved. If he's adamant that the option has to be picked up to accept a trade, it likely won't happen.
kddean (Chicago): Is Prince Fielder being traded a foregone conclusion?
Where do you see him going?
John Perrotto: I think so. If not this year, next year for sure. As much as Mark Attanasio has been willing to spend to make the Brewers competitive, I just think the price tag will go too high on Prince. The Brewers are also at a point where they have to seriously start deciding if their window for contending has shut and they need to at least retool if not rebuild.
Rob (Alaska): Hey, John. Thanks for the chat. I know you're not the prospect guy, but I assume you still have a pipeline to the Buccos. Are they concerned about Pedro Alvarez' relatively lackluster performance this year? Or can we assume he's up in June regardless? Or both?
John Perrotto: Everything I'm hearing _ and the numbers bear this out _ is that lefties are eating him alive, especially those with decent breaking pitches. The Pirates didn't spend $6.3 million for a platoon player, thus I don't see him coming to the majors until he shows he can at least hold his own against lefties.
Seth (Nanty Glo PA): What are your thoughts on Bryan Morris' start to the season? Can he regain top of the rotation potential status as a prospect? When would be a reasonable ETA for the major leagues?
John Perrotto: I think it's all coming together for Morris, physically and mentally. He dominated at high A Bradenton and if he pitches well at AA Altoona then I think he'll spend August at AAA Indianapolis and have a chance to be in the majors by June, 2011. Also, always love stopping at Sheets on Route 22 in your town for a late-night snack on the way home from Curve games.
Adam (Rochester): Is there any doubt the Bucs will call up Alvarez by early to mid June and give him a chance to play every day? This is something they have to do, right? Thanks!
John Perrotto: I think it's going to be later that because of his struggles with lefties. It might not be until September.
Geer (Birmingham, AL): Is there any answer for the Orioles, other than 'be patient'?
The bad luck has come in waves this season, and the brutal schedule so far has not helped a young team.
Do they go after a thumper like Prince or Dunn or entertain trading for Adrian Gonzalez, or do they stay patient? Is Trembley a goner?
John Perrotto: Unfortunately, the Orioles are going to have to be patient. Even if Angelos were to open the vault, top-of-the-line free agents don't want to step into a losing situation. Yes, I think Trembley is a goner. Dave is a good man but it's not working with him as the manager.
Quentin (LA): What is it like working with a bunch of stat guys while you're more of an old school writer?
John Perrotto: Well, it's been interesting adn enlightening. It's been fun to work with a group of young, enthusiastic guys. Also, I've always followed the stats world since Bill James started mass publishing his Abstracts in 1980s, so it's not totally foreign to me.
sam19041 (Pittsburgh Lineup): John, any read on what will happen to the lineup in Pittsburgh if/when Alvarez is called up?
LaRoche to 2B? to the bench? Jones to 1B? Church to the bench? Milledge gone?
John Perrotto: I'd say they'll give LaRoche and/or Neil Walker a shot at second.
Andy (Chicago): LaRussa has apparently decided to flip Pujols and Holliday in the batting order. Sensible move or "panic"-ish move?
John Perrotto: Honestly. I don't think it makes a bit of difference one way or the other. Just trying to shake things up.
Bill (New Mexico): From out here, this year's NL Rookie of the Year crop looks exceptionally strong, what with not just Heyward but the Cardinals pair (Garcia and Freese), Leake, Strasburg waiting in the wings, etc. How do you size it up versus, say, that monster class of 2001 (Pujols, Oswalt, Rollins), and what do you think your ballot is going to look like at the end of the year?
John Perrotto: I don't know if this class is quite as good as 2001 but it's close. This is strictly an eductated guess with four months left, but I'd say my ROY ballot will be: Heyward, Strasburg, Garcia.
Buxfan (Altoona): Any faith in the Pirates taking Taillon in the draft next month?
John Perrotto: I don't think they'll take a high school righty with the second pick, especially with his possible bonus demands. Just my intuition.
Buxfan (Altoona): What are you hearing about Garrett Jones? Is he for real?
John Perrotto: I think he's a solid starter on a second-division team. On a good team, he'd make a really nice bench player.
Robb (Sioux City): Given the poor shape of the Phillies' bullpen, why haven't they brought up Scott Mathiesen? So far he's carving up hitters in AAA, and if nothing else deserves another shot at the majors given his long road back to form. Future health aside, do you think he has the stuff to close in the majors one day?
John Perrotto: I don't know understand why the Phillies haven't called him up, but frankly I don't know the full story. Of the reports I've heard since he's come back from his latest surgery, I think he definitely has the stuff to eventually close.
Eli (Brooklyn): Are the Yankees looking for a longer-term solution at DH than Juan Miranda, or are they going to rotate the vets through and give too many PA's to the likes of Ramiro Pena?
John Perrotto: I'm hearing they will pounce on Paul Konerko if the White Sox decide to start trading off veterans.
wilk75 (Houston): With Nick Johnson maybe done for the season and Vazquez struggling, how about Berkman, Oswalt, and Jason Castro for Montero, Vazquez, and a couple of live AA arms?
John Perrotto: I think the Astros would consider that if they didn't have to throw any money in the deal beyond taking on Vazquez's salary.
Jake (St. Louis, MO): John, what are your thoughts on Jaime Garcia so far?
John Perrotto: I saw him pitch in person three weeks ago and really like him. Not only does he have a good stuff but he seems to have a really good feel for pitching at a young age.
gerrybraun (san diego): Given that Bily Wagner has indicated this is his last year, when do you expect Craig Kimbrel will first get some save oppotunities for the Braves?
John Perrotto: I think it's possible but a lot will depend on what happens this season. If the Braves make the playoffs, they would likely want a veteran closer again to start 2011 and probably acquired a stop-gap for a year while they continue to groom Kimrbel for 2012.
Norman (Austin): John, you suck! All we want is an occasional chat during the week to break up the boredom at work. Not only do you give the dullest, shortest, most half-assed chats, you also forget about them when they're scheduled, or you skip out. A Pirates beat reporter! Too busy! Ha! Here's to the next generation of beat reporters passing you by, lazy John!
John Perrotto: I'm just too lazy to answer this one, Norman.
mwball75 (Cincinnati, OH): It's a pretty crappy time to be a Cleveland fan in Cincinnati. Really just awful. I don't think Neil Huntington is an idiot anymore. Asdrubal's out for the year. What have we got going for us?
John Perrotto: Not a whole lot right now. It's not looking good for the Tribe for this year.
Cris E (St Paul, MN): What's up in FLA? Is it everyone or just Hanley? Recent quotes: “We got a lot of people dogging it after ground balls. They don’t apologize.’’ Or “He doesn’t understand that. He never played in the big leagues.”
John Perrotto: It's primarily Hanley. He's had prima donna issues since his first day in the majors and long before that.
Drungo (SoMd): What are the chances that Andy MacPhail cleans house in the next few weeks and fires both Dave Trembley and the coaching staff? As patient and un-knee-jerky as MacPhail is, eventually someone has to fall on his sword for a projected .500-ish team playing .300 ball, right?
John Perrotto: MacPhail is indeed very patient but it is becoming increasingly likely that Trembley will soon be gone. Part of the problem, though, is that there is no obvious replacement. Cal Ripken Jr. does not want to manage.
Skip (Pittsburgh): Where are you?
John Perrotto: In Cyberspace. Actually, Beaver Falls, PA
smitty99 (Federal Way, WA): I know won lost record isn't supposed to be important when evaluating pitchers. But I'm curious regarding Jamie moyer, who has been 52-33 since joining the Phillies in mid-2006. I think there is value in this even though Moyer hasn't always been a very good pitcher when evaluating him in more new age methods. I don't see a lot of starting pitchers winning 52 games in four season. Moyer isn't an ace -- more like a 5th starter. I guess I'm asking if getting 52 wins out of a pitcher like Moyer doesn't say something about him and his value tom the team -- regardless of how he did it.
John Perrotto: Yes, I'd say so. I, too, believe that wins are overvalued. However, I'm also old school enough to know that there is something to be said for a pitcher finding a way to win a game, especially a veteran like Moyer whose stuff isn't very good anymore.
tommybones (brooklyn): Which of the following prospects will "miraculously" be deemed ready for the majors in a week or so: Carlos Santana, Pedro Alvarez, Stephen Strasburg, Buster Posey, Desmond Jennings?
John Perrotto: Stephen Strasburg, for sure.
dandaman (Sea Cliff): John,
Johan Santana has not been dominant. His velocity is down and his command off. What are your thoughts going forward? Thanks,
John Perrotto: I think the innings and wear of tear of pitching have taken their toll on Santana. He's still good but not the pitcher he once and probably won't be again.
BR (NYC): Free Iannetta!
John Perrotto: Indeed!. He is no favorite of Jim Tracy but I know the Red Sox would love to have him.
tommybones (brooklyn): Say it with me, Brandon Wood sucks and is not a major league ballplayer.
John Perrotto: You've said it for me.
Charlie (Bethesda): Alright, I bought my June 4th Nats tickets. It lines up with Strasburg's start schedule, first home game, gets out of Super 2 status, lets him start two at home... Think I'll get to see Baseball Jesus?
John Perrotto: I think you picked the right day to buy tickets. I don't know if he's Baseball Jesus but he's close.
John (NH): Can Tim Hudson keep up this type of performance? I know he's never been a true strikeout pitcher, but a 23 to 21 K/BB ratio in 55 innings is a little concerning, isn't it?
John Perrotto: Yeah, you figure it's going to catch up with him at some point but he's still good enough to be successful _ though not as successful as he has been so far _ without a huge strikeout rate but he needs to get the walks down.
Ghost of Kent Tekulve (Da Burgh): John, can you give us your take on what will happen with the Pirates roster this year and beyond? Specifically wondering about positions and roles for:
John Perrotto: I think Jones will be the first baseman and I'm not so sure he's a long-term guy since he's 29. I think Tabata eventually replaces Milledge in left and the Pirates got with a speed-and-defense alignment with Tabata and McCutchen hitting 1-2 or 2-1 in the order.
Matt (Chicago): Are the Cubs better off making a deal for a pen arm or promoting from within( Andrew Cashner or Jay Jackson)?
John Perrotto: I would have already had Cashner in the majors. I know he's starting in the minors but he was a dominant reliever in college. I can't believe he is still in the minors.
tommybones (brooklyn): Could a package built around Jesus Montero land Prince in the bronx? Can you imagine?!
John Perrotto: I think it would be enticing to the Brewers.
Mike W (Chicago): Shouldn't the Nats look to deal Capps? Maybe not now while they're doing well in the standings, but in July, August . . . A smart organization mints a new closer every couple years, then sells him for goodies, right?
John Perrotto: If they are still in contention, keep him. If they are out of contention, dump him. Unless it's a real dominant guy, I'm not a big believer in holding onto a closer at all costs.
Matt (Chicago): What have you been hearing from scouts about Starlin Castro?
John Perrotto: Like a lot of young kids without much experience in the high minors, he is learning to adjust to the speed of the game at the major-league level. However, all agree he is very talented and that, in time, he'll be an above-average big-leaguer.
Mike W (Chicago): Dude, you type fast! Way to go. Keep bringin' it.
John Perrotto: My fingers are on fire!
Wendy (Chicago): Hey you made it today!!! Good to see ya!!!
John Perrotto: Good to see you, too, Wendy. You look lovely.
jlarsen (Chicago): Why are national media outlets still deeming the Rays as "pesky" or "surprising" Rays? The team has leaders in just about every pitching category, is scoring a lot of runs with 3-4 players nearing mendoza-esque averages and they're absolutely a pain to teams as visitors. What gives? What more do people want from the Rays?
John Perrotto: I don't know why. I haven't labeled them that. My only label for the Rays is "best team in baseball."
SaberTJ (Cleveland, OH): How long should the Indians keep putting Masteron on the mound as a starter? He is getting killed by lefties. Certainly seems a waste of stuff, but I would think he's just going to be much more successful going in for 2-3 inning stints against lots of right handers.
John Perrotto: I think he needs to go to the bullpen. I've seen him pitch four times this year in person and he just can't cut it as a starter. I'd think he'd be really good in one or two-inning bites.
kevin (maryland): In Strasburg's first time around the NL, who has the advantage due to unfamiliarity: Strasburg or the batters?
John Perrotto: Big-league players will almost universally tell you the pitcher has the advantage in those situations.
Bossman Sr. (A Mansion): So how long of a leash does BJ Upton have in Tampa?
John Perrotto: July 1.
Sweet Lou (Windy City Doghouse): Aramis Ramirez will hit ___ home runs this season and please do not say 4?
John Perrotto: 5? Seriously, he's in a deep hole. I'll say 15 unless his hand injury is so bad that it either alters his swing or lands him on the DL.
Wedge (Sizemore's Bath House): Do you expect Carlos Santana to be an immediate impact hitter or will he be a Wieters like work in progress?
John Perrotto: I think he'll be like Wieters. It's tough for catchers to immediately come up and rake because of all their other responsibilities. There have more adjustments to make and more they have to learn.
dianagramr (NYC): Hi JP ... thanks for the chat.
What on earth happened to McLouth. Is he just a shooting star that had a couple of good years and then poof?
John Perrotto: That's the Braves' $64,000 question. Nate said his problem has been that he has "been swinging like a girl" and that he has fixed the problem. He has been swinging the bat better lately but he certainly hasn't played to an All-Star level.
uptick (St. Louis): Hi John -- When do you think that the Marlins will call Stanton up?
John Perrotto: They would love to hold off until after the All-Star break but he is forcing their hand, for sure. I'd say he makes at least a pit stop at AAA New Orleans before coming to the majors.
Marlon Byrd (Turn me into a Pumpkin): Next 5 years of production: Lincecum or Ubaldo?
John Perrotto: Yikes, that's a tough question. Strictly on gut feeling, I'll say Jimenez. As much as I love Lincecum, I still think his long-term durability is in question because of his mechanics and size.
ted (the cubicle): As a Giants fan, can I please use this chat to introduce the rumor that the Red Sox want to trade for Bengie Molina?
John Perrotto: Hey, I just heard from a baseball source deep inside my head that the Red Sox are willing to trade Kevin Youkilis to the Giants for Bengie Molina! How about that for a rumor-starter?
Ira (Dallas): Have you watched Jayson Werth hit a baseball? The guy is a beast and the way he squares a ball is downright dangerous at times. He almost took Dice-K's head off the other day.
John Perrotto: I've been saying for two years he's the most underrated player in baseball but I think we'll see that he's not underrated by baseball people if he gets to the open market in the offseason. He's going to make a lot of money.
Dennis (LA): What are your thoughts on Carlos Lee? Is he just running into some bad luck with his sub-.200 BABIP or is this the beginning of the end? Also, as an Angels fan, I was intrigued by your tidbit the other day about the Angels being in hot pursuit of Oswalt. Do you this happening? Thank you for the chat and your fine work!
John Perrotto: I certainly don't think Carlos Lee is finished and he is due for a bounceack of sorts. That being said, he is definitely in the decline phase of his career and his days of putting up big numbers are over. As far as Oswalt, the Angels have indeed been asking about him but it seems like the talks have gone nowhere so far.
jlarsen (Chicago): After yesterday's quote by Steve Phillips that he'd trade Stephen Strasburg for Roy Oswalt, if he were the Nats, does this basically eliminate himself for returning to any real prominent job around baseball as a GM or analyst?
John Perrotto: You never say never but I don't see him being a GM again. As far as an analyst, you never know because there are a lot of people in prominent jobs who makes statements just as dumb as that one.
OTSgamer (Dallas, TX): Given the unreal start of the Rays, what is the over / under on their final win tally? I'm thinking 100+ now, definitely, right?
John Perrotto: I think 100 is possibility but I'll set the over/under at 97 just because they've got to play the Yankees and Red Sox so many times in the unbalanced schedule.
stately (atl): i'm starting to see some positive signs (statistical and otherwise) from delmon young. any chance he actually breaks out, or are we ready to give up on him? i mean, he is only 24. but his strikeout rate is way down, walk rate still low but way up for DY, and his BABIP belies his decent work at the plate AND on the field.
John Perrotto: I know the Twins are very pleased with how hard he has worked to improve his all-around play and his conditioning. You are right. He is only 24 and everyone tends to forget he is still pretty young. I don't think he will develop into a superstar but I see him taking positive steps towards becoming an above-average big-leaguer.
Dennis (LA): A couple of Pirates questions if you have time. Looks like Donnie Veal is holding his own in AAA and Jeff Locke is doing well in high A. Do you see them eventually making it into the Pirates starting rotation at some point next year?
John Perrotto: Veal is still walking too many guys and until he learns to throw strikes consistently, it's hard to put him in the majors. I think 2012 would be more realistic for Locke.
xxx (yyy): How tense are things between Nolan Ryan and his (as of right now) employer, Tom Hicks?
John Perrotto: Very tense.
John Perrotto: Well, thanks for all the great questions. Look forward to doing it again soon. I'll even show up on time.