MLBRT 8/20… Talking baseball…



Talking baseball…

The crew is talking baseball…

Early AL CY thoughts, and, why no Paul Goldschmidt love?

Plus, whatsamatterwitu Jon Lester?  Reyes still moving?

And, finally, Trout fishing in America… what’s Mike’s ceiling? 

1) The AL Cy Young award appears to be wide open with no shortage of possibilities… among the front runners are Chris Archer (Tampa Bay), Sonny Gray (Oakland), Dallas Keuchel (Houston), Chris Sale (Chicago White Sox) and David Price (Detroit/Toronto)…  

Who is your favorite to win? Or, is there a choice not listed?  

Archie1-300x277Archie: Given all the data to date, I think Dallas Keuchel has the best shot at the AL CY award.

There is still much of the season to go and how teams finish for post season has much to do with the voting. I can see where many votes will go to him with Houston making it to the playoffs finally.

Sonny Gray
Sonny Gray

Dan: To me, the AL Cy Young Award should be given to Sonny Gray. He’s got a 0.96 WHIP, a 2.06 ERA and he’s dominating the league right now. To me, I feel he deserves it and nobody in the AL is pitching better than him.

Keuchel comes close, Scott Kazmir should also be listed as a candidate, but, all of them including David Price aren’t putting up better numbers than Gray. Add to that, Gray has a 6.4 WAR which nobody can even touch right now in the AL. Keuchel is close with 5.2 and Price has a 4.6, but that’s it. 

E_J_-12-238x300Earl: I’m torn in between Sonny Gray and Dallas Kuechel but if I had to choose I would go with Kuechel. He’s 14-6, an era of 2.36 and alongside Kazmir, he’s led the Astros to a damn good season so far in the AL West.

Keuchel, Gray & Archer
Keuchel, Gray & Archer

While I do like Gray’s stats as well I think the fact that Kuechel is pitching for a winning team will give him the edge at the end of the day. 

meJoe: Right now… I’m leaning towards Dallas Kuechel.

Sonny Gray is a damn good choice and the two pitchers numbers are very similar… with Gray leading in WHIP and ERA while Keuchel has more wins, strikeouts and a better strikeout to walk ratio…

So, I gotta give the award to the guy who is doing it as he leads his team to playoff territory.  

However, let Keuchel slip a little and Gray start just shutting down everyone in sight, then, I could easily throw out that playoff territory stuff and vote for Gray.

Dallas Keuchel
Dallas Keuchel

Steve-01-288x300Steve: I said at the beginning of the season, as well as at the mid-season point that Chris Sale was the Cy Young Award winner in the American League. As much as I would love to say Sale is still the front runner, that is not even close, I think his pitching since the All Star break has been piss poor, sporting an ERA of over seven, and only has 2 wins to show for it. Grant it, he is on a team that doesn’t score many runs for him, but you cannot give up seven a game and expect to win.

So, right now, I think your front runner is Dallas Keuchel. This guy has been lights out at home especially, where he nearly dominates. He is the guy to beat right now.

 2)   Jose Reyes (now on Colorado) just cleared waivers… that makes him eligible to be traded to any other MLB team…

Does he get traded yet again? And, if, you think he does, then, where do you speculate him to be headed?

Archie1-300x277Archie: Jose went from being one of the “elite” at his position to a “journeyman” now. I don’t recall seeing anyone of his former caliber drop so fast.Jose Reyes 1

I think he may get traded again, but, I don’t see him ever capturing the status he once held within the league.

Dan: I don’t think Jose Reyes will get traded again.

He just got traded in a large package for Tulowitzki which was a surprising move to me by Colorado. I can’t see them trading away Reyes unless they’re acquiring prospects. But, if, I was in the front office, I wouldn’t trade him.

E_J_-12-238x300Earl: He’s injury prone and that contract is a tough one to swallow for some clubs but I do think he gets dealt again.

I wouldn’t do it if I were the Mets though. The Mets have been there and done that.

I also saw some rumblings of the Yankees being interested, but, that would be a weird move on their part. Especially since Gregorius looks a lot more comfortable out there as the season goes on.

So, I would count the New York teams out on Reyes but I could see a contender taking a gamble before the month ends. I just can’t think of an obvious landing spot.

meJoe: I think he does get traded but probably as a fail safe move by a contender who has their starting shortstop go down.

He’s cleared waivers so any team that either wants and/or needs him can negotiate for his rights. I think it will happen, if, not before the season is over then in the offseason. MLB: Colorado Rockies at Chicago Cubs

Where? Beats the hell out of me, except,  I don’t think it’s back to NY. 

Steve-01-288x300Steve: I will go back to what I said when this trade happened as we discussed it right here on this very venue. I think Reyes will be traded again. It just doesn’t make sense for the Rockies to keep an All Star caliber player like Reyes, they are in rebuilding mode, and, I look for them to unload Reyes to a contender who could use a shortstop.

I would not be surprised to see the Yankees get involved, or even see Reyes return to the Mets by the end of the season.  

3) The Chicago Cubs Jon Lester by many accounts is a very good pitcher… with one very obvious and mind numbing deficiency… the guy’s pickoff move to first is decidedly not very good… in fact… he has not even attempted a throw over to first since April… that is until last Thursday (8/13).

The result of that pickoff attempt?

He threw it past the first baseman; it skipped to the rolled up tarp down the right field stands and rolled further down the right field line.  

No one expects all pitchers to be extraordinary at pickoff moves… it is a refined and acquired move… but is Lester the epitome of all-time ineptness at the move?

Your opinion and thoughts?    

Archie1-300x277Archie: Comical! Keystone Cops!

Lester going to throw over? Yes, he is! Oh, no, there it goes...
Lester going to throw over? Yes, he is! Oh, no, there it goes…

Chuck Knoblauch in 1999 had a season where he absolutely dreaded fielding a grounder that he had to throw to first base; as a second baseman that is hilarious. He made 26 errors that season and they were all mostly throws to first.

Sometimes players let that one little thing psyche them out and for whatever reason they simply cannot overcome it. Lester IS an athlete and as a Lefty he should not have this problem.

I cannot believe it is anything but mental block.

Dan: Yes, I think so. After what you described to me, I can’t imagine somebody being worse.

The only other bad thing that could happen is somebody who when they throw over to 1st, is to be incredibly slow.  I figure Lester either tries to rush because he has no practice, or, is slow with it and just all-around horrible.

The one thing he needs to do in the 2015-2016 off-season is work on his pick-off move the ENTIRE off-season.

That’s embarrassing. In my opinion, every pitcher needs to be able to hold a runner on first base or 2nd base or third base and need their pick-off move to effectively hold them. Otherwise, they know they can get a large lead on you and be safe. If, I was a base-runner, I’m having an 11-foot lead on 1st at least, if not bigger.

E_J_-12-238x300Earl: Sounds like he has a mental block. It happens in the game. Chuck Knoblauch’s struggles to throw to 1st base back when he with the Yankees comes to mind.

I haven’t seen Lester’s botched pick off attempts, but, it sounds like he might need a sports psychiatrist to help him out with the mental aspect.

meJoe: This is a joke… a pitcher may not have a good pick off move but to be so exceedingly inept at throwing over to first is absurd. 

I have not seeen such a head case about throwing a baseball from one position to another since Chuck Knoblach (1999) would field a ball from his second base position and then proceed to throw it to, around, over and all points in between towards first.  

Steve-01-288x300Steve: My opinion on this matter? lester

It is simply a message to Jon Lester. DONT THROW THE DAMN BALL TO FIRST BASE… EVER!!!!!!!! 

Okay, so, the guy has some flaws when throwing to first. Roob Baker couldn’t throw back to the pitchers mound and he was a catcher, but that did not stop him. (Major League 2). Lester is a good enough pitcher to not have to throw over to first for a pick off attempt… some people have a good move, and some don’t.

I was a pitcher myself, and, my move was not very good. I would simply step off the mound and make a lob type throw to first, just to keep the runner aware that I was paying attention to him.

I also played a little first base and there was this one pitcher, who seemed to have a chip on his shoulder. He was a younger kid who thought he was the shit. He could not throw to first base. A little story for you, we wound up 4-3 in the eighth inning. This kid walks a guy. I, being the veteran of the team, told him to just focus on the next hitter, we have two outs, you don’t need to worry about a runner on first. I told him I am going to hold the runner, but, not to throw to first base. Earlier in the year, this kid did actually have a pick off of a runner and thought he could do it again. So, what does he do? Throws to first. Throws it a mile over my head, runner goes to third base. They end up tying the game, and, eventually, winning the game.

Point to this story is, he, just like Lester, should just focus on the hitters and get the outs where he can control. Don’t turn a walk, or a single, into a double or a triple. If he steals a base, fine, make him earn it.  

4) Go look up Paul Goldschmidt’s projected 2015 numbers… I’ll wait… or I could give them to you here by way of ESPN’s Jayson Stark… .341 BA; .457 OBP/.584 SlgA/1.041 OPS/32 HR/27 SB/196 H/128 BB.

According to Stark no one in MLB has ever matched those numbers…

Also, add that Goldschmidt will add these numbers: 107 runs scored; 11 triples; 120 RBIs…

So, why does it never seem that Goldschmidt never gets any love or dominates anyone’s list of present day great players?

Archie1-300x277Archie: Plain and Simple; market. PaulGoldschmidt_2014_4

IF, he were a Yankee or a Dodger the media would be slobbering all over him. Being in the desert, the freaking media could give a rat’s ass less about him.

HE IS one of today’s best, he is just not in mainstream MLB media.

Dan: I think one reason why Goldschmidt doesn’t receive much love is due to the fact he plays in Arizona, which isn’t a big name city, isn’t a big team and they really don’t compete for the NL West. He’s just an extremely good player on a bad team. But, I think, he’s one of the best in baseball. He’s not even very quick, runs a 4.4 second home-to-first time compared to Mike Trout’s 4 second home-to-first time.

Goldschmidt needs to receive more love, but, it’s all about how much ESPN and the mainstream media talks about a player. And, I don’t think they talk about players much.

But, on an interesting note, as I see this question, I look at my Sports Illustrated I just received and there’s a article on him on page 28. 

E_J_-12-238x300Earl: One word: Arizona.

More words: He plays for the Arizona Diamondbacks. If, Goldschmidt was in New York, or Los Angeles, he’d be big news. However, the Diamondbacks are 8.5 games out of 1st place in a division that is controlled by the Giants and Dodgers. Hard to take notice of a guy in a small market and playing for a middling franchise. 

meJoe: I hate having to say this because Paul Goldschmidt is an excellent player who almost never gets noticed despite being the league leader, or among the league leaders,  in many categories. However, the fact that he plays in Arizona on a perennially non-contending team with a little to no media attention is the main reason he gets no love ffor his achievements.goldschmidt-silo-master675

Fans who devour their baseball stats like they do their Cheerios (or bacon and eggs for those unhealthy types)  and cofee in the morning…. ravenously… knwo all about Godlschmidt and rightfully give him his due.   But, as the saying goes.. that don’t feed the damn bulldog… besides that and an extra $2.50 might get ya’ll a cup of coffee at your local Starbucks.

Let me leave you with this, as of 8/17…

Bryce Harpers numbers (who I think will eventually win the NL MVP) are with his league position… 79 runs scored (2nd); 25 doubles (tied for 16th); 30 HRs (1st); 73 RBIs (tied for 5th); 5 steals (not in the conversation); 84 walks (3rd).28 BA (3rd); .452 OBP (1st) and .638 SlgA (1st)

  Goldschmidt’s numbers are 75 runs (4th); 28 doubles (tied for 4th); 22 HRs (9th); 86 RBIs (1st) 19 steals (8th), 89 wlks (2nd), .337 BA (1st); .451 OBP (2nd) and .575 SlgA. (2nd).

Now, vote for the NL MVP…

 Steve-01-288x300Steve: Let me start my saying this: Paul Goldschmidt is the Most Valuable Player in the National League.

Why doesn’t he get any love? Two reasons; First, he does not play for a contender, thus is not being recognized much on sports stations like ESPN, or, Fox Sports News.

Second, he does not play in a market that is on TV that much. You don’t hear much from the Arizona Diamondbacks these days.

So, that is why he doesn’t get the attention that he deserves. I will say this, that if Goldschmidt keeps up this pace and does not win the MVP in the National League, it will be a crying shame.  

5) Let’s turn to a player who gets lots of love… Mike Trout… According to Stark he is presently on the verge of doing something never done before in all of MLB history… not by Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle or Ty Cobb… score 100 or more runs in four straight seasons.

He and the previous four HOFers all are presently tied with three straight seasons of 100 or more runs scored but barring injury he should reach the 100 run plateau for the fourth straight year in 2015…

And possibly… barring injuries… continue that streak for quite a few more years.

The question: How damn good is Mike Trout?

(Editors note: The question was written incorrectly but probably doesn’t change our crews’ answers… instead of “… not by Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle or Ty Cobb… score 100 or more runs in four straight seasons” the question should have read, “… not Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle or Ty Cobb… score 100 or more runs and lead his league in that category for four straight seasons.”) trout scoring

Archie1-300x277Archie: I’ll begin by answering that question with one of my own? When is the last time you saw someone of his height and weight cover Centerfield like he does? He is much bigger than Willie Mays or Mickey Mantle ever was and he is literally “chasing” them down in the stats. IMO he is about as good as anyone that ever played in the CF position.

He is still young and barring injury he is definitely Cooperstown bound. And, for comparison, Trout outweighs Ken Griffey Jr. by 40 pounds. And when you couple his size with his abnormal speed for an athlete of his size, just phenomenal.

Dan: Mike Trout is one of the best players in baseball. If, he continues this up for a long time, he will go down in history as one of the best players ever to play the game and he’s already on the quick route to being a sure lock in the Hall of Fame.

trout fieldingI think he’ll win the AL MVP this season again. 

E_J_-12-238x300Earl: Best player in the game. Real talk. If he stays healthy, he’s a sure fire Hall of Famer and multiple MVP winner.

So, how damn good is he? He is that damn good!

meJoe: What can I say… best player to come around in a long time bar none… 

I’m not sure what the record is for scoring100 runs in straight seasons but barring that old nefarious injury bug he should be scoring 100 or more runs each season the SOB plays in the Majors. 

Mike better than Mickey or WiIllie?
Mike better than Mickey or WiIllie?

Truthfully, barring injury, I think Trout can be the guy that many thought the great Mickey Mantle would be… let me clarify that statement by saying… although the Mick’s career numbers were damn good because of his lifestyle (he was, to put it mildly, a bit of a partyer) he, in my estimation, probably sustained some injuries that cut his playing time and ultimately his career short so that the numbers that he did put up could have been paled by the numbers he might have put up.

Trout could (will?) surpass anything Mickey would have done and anything Willie Mays did do and go down as one of the best to ever play the game… at least in my time. 

Steve-01-288x300Steve: The guy is horrible, the guy sucks… I mean his is only the best player in the league right now. Mike Trout

Grant it, the past week he has not been putting up gawdy number, and, my fantasy team is struggling because of it. However, Trout can hit, run, and field among the best of game in both leagues. He is probably on pace to win his second MVP in a row in the American League which would make him, to my knowledge, the only player to win the MVP in the All Star Game AND the American League in back to back years. This guy is not only the future of the Angels for years to come, he is the future of baseball.

That is how good Mike Trout is.   


Extra Innings…


Ken Griffey Jr.









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