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Chat: Ian Miller

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Thursday November 01, 2012 1:00 PM ET chat session with Ian Miller.

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Ask Ian about anything, even baseball.

Ian Miller: Due to excessive #want, this chat has begun prematurely. We do not regret the error.

Vicmill1 (Alameda, CA): Why are you not at the parade?

Ian Miller: Duty (day job) prevented my being there. We got to go in 2010, and it was amazing, and I caught some of this one on the Tvcomputer, and that was good enough for me. Looked like fun, though!

rmunter (Washington DC): While the Giants brought us Tony Bennett and local legends from the Dead and Tower of Power for musical interludes, Detroit snubbed overtures from Eminem and Iggy and instead reached out to ... Demi Lovato? This is clearly the best explanation for the Giants' sweep, right? Baseball Gods will not be mocked, Motown!

Ian Miller: One has to wonder. Detroit has so much amazing musical heritage, which makes the Lovato choice that much more bizarre. One more example of the Disney-fication of America, I guess?

yoshiki89 (KY Filth Chamber): if handegg = powerviolence, then bäseball = _____ ?

Ian Miller: Baseball has got to be prog/krautrock, right? To truly appreciate it, one must be patient and allow it to ebb and flow and come and go, right?

lpunkari (Fort Frances, Ontario): When it comes to the music side of things, how can I measure the #WANT of a band in the same way we measure it in baseball?

Ian Miller: It's actually remarkably similar. A band or an artist's makeup is arguably even MORE important to her/his/their success than a ballplayer's, since there's far less framework for a band to play and succeed. Work ethic and #want are even more important than talent.

In terms of measuring it, look for bands who bust their asses, live out of vans for 6 months out of the year, and leave it all on the stage.

cdgoldstein (Washington DC): Re: Lovato - It was mentioned on Twitter that Aretha Franklin was lined up for game 5. I asked why she wasn't billed for game 4 ahead of Lovato and it was implied that FOX's other programming (she's a judge on one of the talent shows they have) was the reason Lovato was chosen.

Ian Miller: That sounds about right. America!

Mike (Miami): If there was a vegan equivalent of the "Steal a Taco promotion" what foodstuff would it be, what event would have to occur to make it happen, and what player would have fulfilled America's not-LocoTaco dream?

Ian Miller: I suppose it would have to be Prince Fielder, right? As a former vegetarian, he's the closest thing in the big leagues to a vegan.

So I think that Prince would have to bunt for a base hit against the shift, and then everyone in America would get a shot of wheat grass juice.

Paul (DC): What are the smart moves for the Nationals to make this Hot Stove Season?

Ian Miller: Hey, Paul. I'm not sure there are any moves to be made, are there? Maybe little ones here and there, but I feel like there aren't many holes. They passed on Laroche, right? But Morse could shift to 1st, which means there's a corner outfield spot to fill. If Matt Purke's surgery is successful, that's another power arm for the 'pen, or for an already burgeoning rotation.

Do you see any obvious holes?

Daniel (Venezuela): Hey Ian. Do you consider Miguel Cabrera will run out of steam after having won the Triple Crown just days ago? Where would his career evolve from this point?

Ian Miller: Hey Daniel! I don't think Cabrera will run out of steam per se, but he's 29 years old with a big body, so this is about the point where would start to see him decline. Most players' declines are gradual -- figure about .5WARP per season -- so he should be a superstar for years to come.

One thing that jumps out at me form his stat line is the walks. He walked 108 times in 2011, but only 66 times last year. Obviously he had no problems getting on base this season, but I'm curious to see which direction that number goes next season.

Matt (Redwood City): Who can be my scapegoat for the red sox miserable 2013 season?

Ian Miller: Excellent question. Ben Cherington would be the obvious answer, but that's too obvious. I think a more satisfying/hipsterish answer would be Bill James. He should probably get his head out of those spreadsheets and watch a game once in a while.

yoshiki89 (KY Filth Chamber): Please rank all Judas Priest drummers by VORP from 1969-1989 (yes, that means don't include Scott Travis)

Ian Miller: Tough one. Gotta go Dave Holland #1. High and long peak. Simon Phillips killed it on Sin After Sin and had a long and storied career post-Priest. Les Binks is a cool cat too. Those are my 1-2-3. Who am I missing?

Brill Hardstank (Lost Wangeles): Hey Ian, what do you expect from Albert Pujols next year? Another sluggish start? Just more of the same? Will his whiff rate continue to climb as his walk rate continues to plummet? PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW.

Ian Miller: Hey Boil!

I think Albert will hit a ton next year. The first half of 2012 looks like a major outlier to me. As he gets more comfortable, the BB rate should climb and the K rate should drop. I mean, it's not like the guy forgot how to hit a baseball or anything. 2013 should look a lot like vintage Pujols.

The last 5 or 6 years of that deal, though? Those are the years I'd be concerned about.

Andrew (Canada): Hey Ian. We have the same last name. As for my question, I was wondering about your thoughts on the past season Ricky Romero endured. Was this a slight blip on the radar or is he really not as good as he showed in 2011?

Ian Miller: Greetings Mr. Miller.

No, I don't think RickyRo was as bad as his 2012 looks, but neither is he as good as he appeared in 2011. I can't really explain the great 2011 numbers without looking at his peripherals a little more closely, but his 2012 fall-off seemed to be due (at least in part) to injury.

As far as predicting his performance in 2013, well, that's not really my thing, but I'd expect him to bounce back some.

Hoegaarden (The Bay): As a fan of the game and Bay Area resident, what is your take on the A's/Giants territorial rights dispute? Can the A's have sustained success in Oakland?

Ian Miller: Howdy, neighbor!

I believe the A's CAN have success in Oakland, and you need to look no farther than the ALDS for proof. The entire area got behind the team and packed that yard every night. What they CAN'T do, though, is have success at the Coliseum. If they're to stay in Oakland, a new baseball-only facility is essential. Would be most awesome if it were downtown/Jack London Square area. How freakin cool wold that be?

Peter (Seattle): Hi Ian. Big fan of your work in baseball and in rockin'! It seems to me that spending on big free agents this offseason would contradict the Red Sox's supposed refocused front office strategy, but they obviously need to fill their roster for 2013. It seems like with their financial flexibility and farm system they could move in any number of directions. Is there any precedent for a big market team in this position, and what would you expect from them this offseason?

Ian Miller: Hey, Peter! Thanks for the kind words.

Having shed a bunch of big contracts certainly gives Boston more flexibility, but I honestly don't know how they'll go about plugging the holes. Looking at the depth chart right now, that team couldn't compete in the AL Central, much less the AL East. The only good news (apart from getting rid of the monster salary commitments) is that Ellsbury will be back and producing.

So yeah, man. I got nuthin'.

hotstatrat ("working" from home): What happened to Nelson Cruz? Last October a perfectly placed 100 mph Verlander special could not stop his home run spree. This year, he wasn't even average for a corner outfielder.

Ian Miller: Great question, and not one that I feel like I can answer. 2010 was a ridiculous year for him, so it wasn't unusual that he'd come back to earth a little in 2011. But 2012 was pretty ghastly. He is 31, so maybe we're seeing him decline already? (I don't really believe that, though.)

Dunno, man. If I were a fantasy guy, I'd definitely take a flyer on him, because he looks like a good bounceback candidate. Of course, I would have said that after last season too and been really, really wrong.

Hoot Stromboli (Toronto (Tigers fan originally from the New York a): Hey there, hipster. What do you know about Bill James' input that puts the blame on him? Did you read his denial about advocating a bullpen by committee that he has been blamed for?

Ian Miller: Oh, I was just taking the piss. I love Bill James.

I didn't see his rebuttal of the bullpen by committee, but I'll track it down. Thanks!

Bill (New Mexico): Suppose you're Jeff Luhnow and it was Colorado, not Houston, that succeeded in prying you away from St. Louis. What's your plan for turning around THAT train wreck? In Houston it's obvious what has to be done (get better players and get out from under bad contracts, using the financial resources of a relatively large-market franchise). In Colorado ... well, what do you do?

Ian Miller: Fun question, Bill.

First thing I'd do, I guess, is explore trading Tulowitzki. He's one of the best players in baseball, but COL might not be competitive until he's gone, so why not move him and see what you can get? Of course you'd be selling low on him, but it's at least something to explore. Same with CarGo, although I'm reticent to move him, since he's younger and under control for longer, but hey, that's more trade value, right?

I'd also do what I could to change the culture there. I don't have a ton of insight into it, but it's always seemed insular and a little provincial to me. This isn't a lemonade stand, it's a friggin' multimillion-dollar sports franchise, so let's treat it like one.

Lastly, finding pitchers who can succeed in that yard will ALWAYS be the #1 challenge. I have zero idea how you do that. Clearly the 4-man rotation ain't the answer though.

lpunkari (Fort Frances, Ontario): So with Mike Redmond heading to the Marlies gong-show, that leaves Colorado and Toronto as the only teams with manager openings. So instead of asking who you think shall fill those spots, should we expect either the Rockies or Jays to be improved come next season, or to have more of the same?

Ian Miller: Jays should be better in '13. I mean, how could they be worse? Could they actually sustain MORE injuries? I don't think that's mathematically possible. It's a young team with one more year of experience and development, so yeah, I see an improved Jays team next year.

Colorado, total crapshoot. I mean, a healthy Tulo makes a huge difference, but the pitching is a disaster and there's no help on the horizon. I'd expect them to scuffle for at least one more year, especially in that division, what with a World Champ, an improved Padres club, and the Yankees West in LA.

yoshiki89 (KY Filth Chamber): RE: Judas Priest - you missed the enigmatic John Hinch (Rocka Rolla)and 3 early quad-A drummers, but hey...Alan Moore (Sad Wings of Destiny)!

Ian Miller: Dammit! I LOVE Rocka Rolla. Such a weird, awesome record. I think I'm gonna listen to it right now!

Jason Parks (NYC): If a player could have 80-grade body aroma, and you were allowed to smell that player's body in person, what would be the scent and who would be the player?

Ian Miller: Gotta go Yoenis Cespedes here. You look at his eyebrows and you just know that a man who cares that much about his grooming must also smell wonderful.

He probably smells like a mixture of the spray at Cayo Santa Maria, plantains, and a hint of saffron.

yoshiki89 (KY Filth Chamber): if you were a frustrated Royals fan, who isn't nor ever has been drinking the #OurTime kool-aid, how would you feel about the Volstad acquisition? (ASKING FOR A FRIEND, OF COURSE)

Ian Miller: I wouldn't feel any particular way, I don't think. He's pretty terrible. Dude has a career 5.31 FRA in the majors. #NotActuallyYourTime

Erix (Brooklyn): Why is it that a lot of rumors seem to be riddles. I read today the BoSox are "one of several" teams on Haren. I presume the source wasn't supposed to tell the writer Boston was in on him, why not spill the beans about the other teams?

Ian Miller: That's a good question, Erix (Eric?). The writer might not actually know who the other teams are, of course, but he also might and have been asked not to tell.

As a reporter, dealing with info like that is challenging. You want to provide the info to your readers, but you need to balance that with the value of your source. Maybe if you spill the beans this time, your source doesn't give you the info next time.

So yeah, we don't know the particulars of how these things come to light, and we probably never will . It's kind of fascinating.

Cody (Brooklyn): First off, I'm alive. We'll talk chocolate soon. Second off Judas Priest is awesome and is probably the only old school heavy metal band that encourages imagination as opposed to telling you about specific wizard kings. Where do you think Greinke winds up? I have this weird hunch that Baltimore swoops from the hinterlands and surprises everyone, because they have to build on expectations. You>

Ian Miller: I feel like Greinke stays in Los Angeles of Anaheim. In moving Santana and at least shopping Haren, it seems like LAA is clearing room for pursuing him. But Baltimore is intriguing!

Glad you're OK, bud. Stay safe!

rmunter (Washington DC): Dynasty? DYNASTY!

Ian Miller: I assume your tongue is firmly in your cheek here, but it's an interesting idea, especially given how different the makeup of the two SFG WS teams has been. If there's a dynasty, maybe it's in the front office/coaching staff.

Also, I think I just know finally figured out who you are, Munter. :)

kpLUCH (Chicago): Who plays SS for the Red Sox on opening day 2013?

Ian Miller: If it's not Jose Iglesias, then I don't know. I've heard the same rumblings about TEX shopping Andrus, but that seems crazy to me.

myshkin (Santa Clara): Would you vote for Taft? #Taft2012 (See Jason Heller's fun political satire novel, _Taft 2012_, for context.)

Ian Miller: No. Maybe.

Is Jason Joseph's kid?

myshkin (Santa Clara): I asked Ben and Sam about this, too. For a team that could be considered a dynasty given their postseason success, the 2010-2012 Giants are surprisingly (?) bereft of a dominant season a la 1998 NYY. I haven't read the Neyer/Epstein dynasties book, though; maybe my associations between dynasties and powerhouse teams are overblown. So, are the Giants a weak dynasty, just not a dynasty yet, or something else entirely?

Ian Miller: Good question, and a tough one to answer given the sample sizes we're working with.

This might sound like a cop-out, but it seems to me that both in '10 and '12, SFG just got hot at the right time. Of course you had Posey and Sandoval in the middle of the order, but at least this year, the pitching wasn't actually all that great in the regular season. It was middle of the pack. But down the stretch and throughout the playoffs, the starting pitching was absolutely dominant. So there's an element of luck, I think, but you also have to credit Bochy and his staff for pushing the right buttons. Letting Zito start and putting Lincecum in the 'pen? That's f*cking nuts on the face of it, but it worked to perfection. Also the Scutaro pickup was a stroke of genius (and also very lucky).

So that's a longish way of saying "I don't know," I guess. I could see the Giants winning it all again next year, but I could also see them missing the playoffs entirely (at the hands of the Dodgers).

William G (Santa Clara): You're the head of MLB Advanced Media for a year. What change do you order to make it an even better product? Can't say blackouts or anything blackout related.

Ian Miller: Hey William! First thing I do is get rid of SCOUT. That thing is silly!

Beyond that, though, I wouldn't change much. MLBAM is at the forefront of providing digital content, and not just sports-related programming. I feel like MLBAM implements something and then you see it, 6 months or a year later, in other venues, on other platforms (like HBOGO, for example). Those guys are the absolute best at what they do.

The one thing I would LOVE, and I don't know how this would work logistically, would be a way to seamlessly sync up my TV to my AtBat radio feed during the playoffs. But that's just greedy. :)

Sasha (Boston): Predictions for Lincecum next year? They've got to just send him back out there and hope for better results, right? That said the most fun I had watching the Giants this year was him dominating out of the bullpen

Ian Miller: Agree. As much fun as it was watching him just shove it down hitters' throats coming out of the 'pen, he's worth so much more as a starter. And hey, if he struggles, throw him back in relief -- you've always got that as an option.

I suspect, though, that his success in the postseason this year will help him get his head right and carry over into '13.

dianagram (VORGville): KG once mentioned that Lincecum would be a great candidate for turning into a 100+ inning reliever. Based on his playoff performance, do you agree?

Ian Miller: Hey Diane! Riley and I actually discussed this very thing on our latest podcast. (If you care to listen: http://productiveouts.com/post/34688088176/the-2012-mlb-season-might-be-over-but-were-not)

I do think he'd be awesome in that role, but I'd much rather have him throw 200 innings than 100. But it's a great option to have.

The Thimble (Marvin Gardens): Hello, Citizen Miller. What's your take on The Ranger's Profar-Kinsler Dilemma? What would your ideal combination be? Also, do you think they'll kill off T-Dog without ever giving him anything meaningful to do?

Ian Miller: Always love a Monopoly gag.

Depth is always a good thing, so I'm stoked if I have both Profar and Kinsler. It gives you tons of options. You could trade Andrus, as mentioned earlier, if you were so inclined, or Prfar's presence might light a fire under Kinsler. Fer cryin out loud, Profar is still just 19, so giving him another half-season of development in the minors is OK too. I guess my ideal combo is starting Profar in AAA, even though he's already proved he can play at the big league level. If Andrus or Kinsler struggle or get hurt, go to Profar immediately.

Depth. It rules.

Bennett (Raleigh, NC): Ian, does Posey get enough credit as a signal caller? I feel like he does a great job handling that staff, and I love how he sets hitters up. The last Cabrerra at bat being a prime example. Sorry if this submits a bunch, my internet decided to be a jerk today.

Ian Miller: No sweat, only got it the one time.

I think Buster gets plenty of credit for game-calling. I mean, it's not rocket science or anything. You study the hitters, figure out their weaknesses, and exploit them.

I feel like Posey still has some work to do in this regard, too. He's good, but not great. If you've ever heard Doug Thorburn talk about pitch sequencing, he talks about "effective velocity": if you follow a change-up down and away with a 90MPH FB up and in, its effective velocity is like 95MPH. Stuff like that. And I feel like Buster can better use that to exploit hitters.

Telly (New York): What is the song you've most mix-taped in your life? So, the song that you are most confident people will love but also not already have/know?

Ian Miller: Gosh, good question. Since I haven't actually made a physical mixtape in years, it would probably be something like "Sunflower Suit" by Buffalo Tom. I hate most of their output, but the first SST record they did (s/t I think) was super-rad.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t877jKDjpq0

eddy (TB): Does Ryan Roberts end up with a starting role in 2013?

Ian Miller: Huh, weird that he'll be 32 and first-year arb-eligible. Definitely don't see him starting everyday in '13. Rays have legit starters at 2B, 3B, and both corner OF spots, right? He's a decent super-utility guy though, good to have around.

Tommy (Queen City): Great chat. I am curious for a little insight on the Reds. What potential do you see out of Todd Frazier over a full year? Will Billy Hamilton make it up this year and if so, is the Drew Stubbs era over?

Ian Miller: Hey Tommy, thanks for the kind words. I certainly want to see Billy Hamilton in the bigs, but he's probably going to need a lot more reps in the OF before he plays at the major league level.

Not sure what to make of Drew Stubbs, frankly. I think he's a much better player than what we saw this year. So I think we see a little bounceback from Stubbs but, if he continues to struggle, maybe Hamilton is ready to come up mid-year? Wild guess.

Mikeleelop (toronto): Is the Bluejay organization viewed as a joke around the majors? Will the current turmoil in the front office affect their ability to sign any free agents?

Ian Miller: That's certainly not my perception. I think folks generally think AA is a smart guy and makes sound baseball and business decisions.

I don't think the state of a FO is a major factor in a player's or agent's decision to sign or not sign, so I wouldn't worry about it. And remember it could always be worse. You could be a Marlins fan.

yoshiki89 (KY Filth Chamber): so, given the Dynasty narrative (see what I did there) and how the postseason moved along, would you agree that 2012 is yet another reminder that there are 2 seasons in bäseball...the regular season and the postseason?

Ian Miller: I'm not ready to make a blanket statement about the 2 seasons, but in this case, absolutely. Look at the two WS teams: both were good but unspectacular until maybe the last month of the season, when they kicked into into overdrive and decimated everything. That carried over into the playoffs, too. So I guess maybe the beginning of Season 2 didn't start right at game 163, but there was still a "second season" feeling to the postseason this year.

cdgoldstein (Washington DC): What is Ned Colletti doing to my team?

Ian Miller: Spending all the money!

It's fun to make fun of Ned and, without larger context, the League deal does seem a little nuts, but I won't be making any judgments until we see how the rest of the roster shapes up. If Magic & Co. tell him he can spend $250M on salary this year, then the League contract is NBD. It's only an issue if it keeps LAD from signing other important pieces.

temple (madison wi): i'm in a 14 team dynasty points keeper league. i need a middle infielder and a team has offered ruben tejada but they want back a very good prospect on the m sano or eddie rosario. i think that is a bit too much, but maybe i put too much value on guys who won't even contribute until 2015. what do you think? i can scrrimp through the year with 3 middle infielders as long as no one gets hurt. i have cano, tulo, and beckham. i just wanted an insurance player.

Ian Miller: No way do I move Sano right now, esp for a backup MI. Guy has enormous upside. I'm expecting a monster year from Tulo in '13, and Cano should be Cano. As you say, as long as no one gets hurt, you should be fine.

Dr. Spaceman (Ho Chi Minh City): Re: Ryan Roberts as a decent super-utility guy. I've never actually been clear what the difference between a utility guy and a super-utility guy was... a super-utility belt?

Ian Miller: I could be way off on this, but I think if a guy can play 2-3 IF spots as well as an OF spot (usually LF), that makes him "super." Anyone have a better working definition?

Bennett (Raleigh, NC): What is it like to root for Hunter Pence? Do you feel bad turning your back on your fellow man to pull for a being that is clearly not of this world?

Ian Miller: Man, he's a weird dude. There was a lot of interview footage of him from yesterday's parade, and it turns out he talks a lot like you and me, not in a series of whirrs and mandible clicks as I'd previously imagined.

BillJohnson (New Mexico): Hi again, Mr. Luhnow-for-a-day-elsewhere. Trading Tulo and CarGo is an interesting idea, but for what? Simply try to stockpile as many power arms as possible? (Example: Tulo for Trevor Rosenthal, keeping in mind Rafael Furcal's dubious health. Who hangs up first, and what throw-ins might make the trade work?)

Ian Miller: Not necessarily just pitchers -- stockpile as many legit future big-leaguers as possible. That's what I feel like Luhnow has done in HOU. If you know you can't compete for at least 3 years, sell off everything that has value now but won't in 3 years (or whatever your time horizon is). Get stuff back that will have value in 3 to 6 years (or whatever).

Tulo for Rosenthal straight up seems like a massive overpay for Rosenthal.

cdgoldstein (Washington DC): What is the next inefficiency to be exploited by teams? Obviously we've seen OBP and defense come to be valued more correctly recently. I've thought for a while it would be player health. Russell Carleton's article brought me back to this idea. Not just minor leaguers and their eating habits, but overall maintenance of health, especially for pitchers. Are teams investing $$ in this type of thing? Are all resources available to players, like acupuncture for example? Are they encouraged to try everything to maintain their health? Similarly, I know some players have used sport psychologists. Do you know if any organizations encourage this considering how important the mental side of the game is? That's a lot of questions and I doubt there are answers right now, but you and BP have more access than me. Thanks!

Ian Miller: You're right about there not being many answers; I certainly don't have much insight into how big league clubs function w/r/t player health.

I too was intrigued by Russell's article, and we've heard for a while now about health and injury-prevention being an inefficiency to exploit. How you DO that, though, is the tough part. Playing baseball requires a series of violent physical motions, and guys are going to get hurt. If you figure out a way to keep that from happening more often than it happens to your competition, then you've got a significant advantage. But again, the execution is the thing.

Fascinating stuff, and I'm sure we'll see a lot more on this in ocming years.

Will (Rochester): Question about how the sausage is made: What led to the Productive Outs fascination with Jeff Karstens? What led to the #derp?

Ian Miller: That's mostly Riley, although I appreciate Jeff's .... uhhh... unique visage. We've always glossed #derp, and when you look at Karstens' mug, it just screams DERP. To me, anyway.

Ace (Upstate): What are your feelings on Gaza? And I am talking about the band, not the region...unless you care to offer up some diplomatic/peaceful solutions to those problems. Follow-up, how does a sludge-y grindcore band like that come from a weird place like Salt Lake City?

Ian Miller: Friggin LOVE Gaza the band. It's always fascinating when bands come from places that aren't musical hotbeds. They often have a completely different take on things that isn't informed by prevailing trends. Often those bands are the best bands because they're doing new things.

Of course with the Internets, now everything is local and we run the risk of everythign sounding like everything else. Luckily there are always people willing to get weird and blaze new trails.

Bennett (Raleigh, NC): What do you think is the biggest reason teams like the Giants are staying competitive. I remember that Mariners teams that won 116 games and then flamed out in the playoffs, and now they are back to being one of the jokes of the league. Seems like we have a few surprise teams every year, but only a few of them manage to sustain any kind of success.

Ian Miller: I'd be hesitant about drawing too many conclusions based on just 2 seasons, but what's most interesting to me about the Giants is the different ways in which they won in '10 and '12. 2010 regular season was almost solely about the pitching, whereas in '12 the pitching was kinda meh.

If i knew the answer to what made a team competitive year after year, I'd probably be hanging out with KG and Luhnow right now. If I had to guess, I'd say that building a good FO with good scouting and advanced metrics depts is critical. That would help you identify top talent and help you build a pipeline of talent that would keep you competitive over the long haul.

BillJohnson (New Mexico): I didn't really mean to propose a straight Tulo for Rosie deal. The question was more about the throw-ins. What else is in the Cardinals' system that helps CO with the re-stocking process enough to make that trade work?

Ian Miller: ahh, fair enough! I don't feel like I know enough about the whole STL org to answer that intelligently. But if I'm Luhnowing (or Beaneing) the Rockies, I just make sure I get the best possible return on my blue chip players. And I might not even target Rosenthal, because he might peak before I feel my team is ready to be competitive.

Will (Rochester): Can you talk about the insane awesomeness of the final Romo World Series pitch to Miggy?! I was sitting at work with the tv on above my head and I squealed like a little Justin Bieber fan after seeing that pitch. Everyone looked at me like I was bat-shit nuts (which I actually might be). So what is a Romo? And what makes him so terrifyingly awesome?

Ian Miller: He's an enigma wrapped in a paradox stuffed into a Doritos Locos Tacos shell!

Nah, it's no mystery. It's all about that ridiculous slider. I've never seen anything like it. Mike Krukow talks about it every game, but he's somehow able to throw it without the "red dot" appearing. Hitters can identify a slider by the red dot, but if there's no red dot, their brains say "that's not a slider," and they swing at it -- and miss. So if you're a RHH and you're looking for the slider, Romo can throw an 87 MPH FB over the outer third and you just sit there looking like a big dummy. Like Miguel Cabrera did. And when you do that to one of the best hitters in baseball, you're a pretty, pretty, pret-tayyyy good pitcher.

mike1213 (Madison, WI): You think the Indians would be open to trading Asdrubal? They probably have the SS depth (plus quality in lindor) in their farm of any team in baseball and I don't see them competing in the next 2 years. A team like the Cardinals would make sense for a trade.

Ian Miller: I don't think anyone should be untouchable, so if I'm CLE, I'm certainly open to the idea of a trade. But if I'm looking to acquire Asdrubal, I'd probably have to give up something huge in terms of prospects, and I'm not sure I want to do that. Trading young, high-ceiling talent is a huge risk for both parties, and most GMs are relatively risk-averse.

If you're STL, what would you be willing to part with to get him? That's the issue.

Tom Verducci (Verducci-land): Let's get all political in this mother... How would you rank the two political candidates for president in terms of the Verducci scale? And which candidate do you think will do the most to satisfy my Verducci needs (warm, tender hugs and good hair products)?

Ian Miller: Each candidate possesses some of the five Verducci tools, but neither is a five-tool guy. Mitt has the hair and the bone structure, but Barry's got the smoothness and the game. Neither, however, has the scent.

temple (madison wi): in fantasy dynasty league would you trade jose bautista for starlin castro, given the fact that i have stanton and probably belt also in right

Ian Miller: If I had the chance to acquire Starlin Castro, even for someone like Joey Bats, then yes, I'd have to seriously consider that. Especially if I've got Stanton.

Ian Miller: As always, this was a blast, y'all. Thanks for the great questions and for helping me pass the time on this gloomy Thursday morning. Best wishes to everyone who may still be dealing with the aftermath of Sandy. <3


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