Kevin Goldstein FanGraphs Chat – 9/20/2021 by Kevin Goldstein September 20, 2021 11:00 Kevin Goldstein: Hi everyone. It’s Monday (that’s bad), but I’m gonna chat (that’s good). Looking forward to seeing what kind of smart and weird questions you have today. 11:00 Kevin: Early struggles from Daniel Lynch and Jackson Kowar – just typical rookie adjustments, or something to be concerned about? 11:01 Kevin Goldstein: Well . . . it kind of depends on what you are expecting here. There are a ton of big league arms of value coming out of that draft class, and it’s a remarkable achievement, but I don’t think any of them are going to be impact types. 11:01 Kevin: How do the Cardinals do this every damn year and how can we stop them? 11:02 Kevin Goldstein: By avoiding holes in the roster and putting at least decent players at every spot. Why do you want to stop them? 11:02 Fat Spielberg: Is Pete Crow-Armstrong going to be good enough to make the Javy Baez trade look like a disaster in a few years? 11:02 Kevin Goldstein: He’s likely going to be a solid player. I like Eric comping him to a Jackie Bradley Jr. type. 11:02 Fat Spielberg: What team would you say has the bleakest short term outlook? That is, bad current roster, lack of high level prospects, and team unlikely to spend money. 11:02 Kevin Goldstein: Colorado 11:03 T: Did Chipper have an 80 hit tool 11:03 Kevin Goldstein: I think there are years where one could have. 11:03 Guest: How surprised do you think we’d be on a scale of 1-10 to see how backward-thinking the least innovative/stat-savvy front office is? 11:03 Kevin Goldstein: 4? 11:03 Jose: Is there a cautionary tale with the Padres 11:04 Kevin Goldstein: There’s a cautionary tale in the sense that people put way too much energy into figuring out who wins the off-season. 11:04 Jeff W: Most likely Cubs plan for SS in 2022? open the wallet for a top FA Hoerner and Alcantara and hope for the best sign a stopgap like Simmons or Galvis to rotate in use Rule 5 or trade to take a flier on a young SS without an obvious path (Kevin Smith?) 11:04 Kevin Goldstein: B or C. I don’t see them spending money next year. 11:05 Guardians Fan: I think Juan Soto deserves the MVP more then Bryce Harper and Fernando Tatis Jr. because his defense and walks are more valuable what do you think? 11:06 Kevin Goldstein: Sure, if you say so. I’m not saying you are wrong. You’re not, but I’d say that for an argument on Tatis or Harper as well. I just don’t think it matters. If Soto finishes third it shouldn’t change the way you look at the player, and if he finishes first it shouldn’t change the way you look at the player. I’m a strong believer in just not caring about how a group of beat writers vote on an award. 11:06 Nate: Given that they’ve been plagued by injuries in 2021 how concerned are you with Miguel Amaya and Brailyn Marquez? 11:07 Kevin Goldstein: I mean, I had worries about Amaya’s bat before the injury, so . . . 11:07 James: Having seen a decent number of defensive innings from Yordan, does he rate as disastrous or merely below average? 11:07 Kevin Goldstein: Merely below average. 11:07 Honty: How do you think an NFL lineman would do at Sumo? Or vice versa? There has to have been football people who tried to recruit sumo wrestlers right? 11:07 Kevin Goldstein: I think with time and training they could be interesting. Especially with a pushing/thrusting tactic. 11:08 Tommy: How much more bullish are you on BWJr than you were in March? Seems like he’s made insane strides this year 11:08 Kevin Goldstein: Same bullish, but that might be because I started especially bullish. 11:08 Joe: With a team that eliminated almost their entire pro scouting department in place of scouting by video like the Braves, who scouts the video with essentially no scouts? 11:08 Kevin Goldstein: Evaluation analysts. 11:08 Impatient Ben Clemmons: Tick Tock KGTickTock 11:09 Kevin Goldstein: Man, you really are Ben. He’s such the angry type. 11:09 Jenny: Were you present for any recruitment meetings for Shohei Ohtani when he was coming over? If so, what was that like? 11:09 Kevin Goldstein: I was. The Astros more went through the motions and did what they had to do, but it was pretty well known that he was going to end up on a coast, and likely the West Coast. 11:10 Guest: are we seeing the competitive balance scales tip back to player development rather than player acquisition? Seems like the top teams (giants, dodgers, for example) are doing great at developing players regardless of age 11:10 Kevin Goldstein: I think one could argue that they were already tipped that way. 11:10 Guest: how often to legit fistfights (or at least, players/coaches have to be separated) happen to a team in a season? They’re always big news (like the Machado/Tatis dustup), but is that just because we don’t hear of 90% of them? 11:11 Kevin Goldstein: It’s not like it’s a weekly occurrence or anything, and most are broken up before they come to blows or anything, but yeah, there are plenty that don’t get heard about. 11:11 Appa Yip Yip: Chris Sale is vocally unvaxxed, and has had COVID twice. What would the league do if the Jays take WC1 and the Canadian government refuses to let Sale’s dumb ass into the country? 11:13 Kevin Goldstein: Well, I would hope they’d say oh well, tough crap. I think they would try to make sure the rule was being enforced evenly. Have other non-vaxxed players been refused entry? They really wouldn’t have much time to decide on anything drastic. Also, this wouldn’t be an issue if the league did the right thing and mandate vaccines. 11:13 Guest: when you were in the FO did you still get star struck by meeting players / others in the game, and if so who? or do you get over that pretty quickly? 11:13 Kevin Goldstein: You get over it quickly, but it still happens. My first spring training I was asked to take Nolan Ryan to the backfields and show him some pitching prospects. That was more than kind of a wow moment. 11:13 Dave: What’s the front office environment like at this point for teams like the Padres who experience highly notable collapses after spending the first half of the season meeting high preseason expectations? 11:13 Kevin Goldstein: Utter misery. 11:13 Jeff in Jersey: NY media has been saying the Mets GM job is less attractive because of the impression Cohen has made thus far & Alderson’s continuing presence. Wouldn’t you say it’s still an appealing job? 11:14 Kevin Goldstein: It’s still an exceptionally appealing job. 11:14 Cynthia: When evaluating free agent or trade targets, how important is cultural fit? If it’s considered, how do you gauge it? 11:14 Kevin Goldstein: It’s definitely considered. Teams work their sources. Take to ex teammates, coaches, etc. 11:14 Dabba: Which brother would have more success- Trayce Thompson in the NBA or Klay in MLB? 11:14 Kevin Goldstein: Isn’t Klay already super successful? Trayce is more of an ex prospect 4A at best type. 11:15 JKD: Lane Thomas – maybe for real? He hits the ball hard (career avg. 90.8 EV, 44% hard-hit rate), has a good eye (12.8% BB) and, SSS caveats included, seems to have leveled up the game power since getting to the Nats and having pretty much everyday ABs (15 XBH in 140 PAs). Given that he can competently play all around the outfield it seems like he is definitely a guy who’ll be on the roster, but does he have above-average regular upside? 11:15 Kevin Goldstein: He’s for real in that he’s a big leaguer. I think he might even be an every day one, but I’m not convinced he’s a star. 11:16 Sir Nerdlington: How frequently and to what magnitude are ‘cost savings’ from one year carried over to subsequent years? 11:16 Kevin Goldstein: Pretty much never. Each year’s budget is new. 11:17 ralph: What do the Marlins have in this remade version of Lewin Diaz 11:17 Kevin Goldstein: Love the frame and the power, but really struggle to see much of a hit tool. 11:17 Guest: What do teams look for when they assess new draftees in complex leagues? Does the stat line matter at all or is it all about acclimation? To what degree and how soon to the coaching staff start to make changes to swings, deliveries, etc. or does it depend on organization? 11:18 Kevin Goldstein: Sometimes they don’t assess at all and really just care about getting them used to life as a pro player so there are no surprises heading into next year and they can hit the ground running. 11:18 Keith: How differently do orgs vary in their ability to develop players? It’s a topic I’ve never been able to get the prospect writers to touch. Why? Do you think some so-called draft busts would have been successful in other orgs? or is it completely on the players? why are there no organizational development rankings? my guess is this might matter more than the players orgs actually draft – agree or disagree and why? Thx. 11:18 Kevin Goldstein: It’s wildly different, but it’s a very difficult thing to assess from this side of things. 11:19 Fat Spielberg: Some FG chatters open the queue long before the chat starts, others wait right until the start time. Do you end up with too many questions because you open yours so early? Is there a software-crashing avalanche of questions for those who open up at the last second? 11:19 Kevin Goldstein: Software handles it just fine. I open 30 minutes early because that’s what I was told to do! I usually get a few hundred questions and I type fast…. 11:20 Adam: Has the Padres managerial job gotten too big for Jayce Tingler? 11:20 Kevin Goldstein: It will be interesting to see what happens there, as he and Preller are very close. 11:20 bbwa: your end of the year award choices 11:20 Kevin Goldstein: Whoever you want. Doesn’t matter. 11:20 Angels: who do we go for in free agency 11:21 Kevin Goldstein: That might be up to Artie Moreno in the end. 11:21 Jon G: What factors weigh most heavily in compiling a list of people to interview for an open executive role in a front office? Like, a bigger role like a director, AGM, etc. 11:21 Kevin Goldstein: I mean, who can do the job? Who is available? Often MLB will help identify candidates and some teams use firms like Korn Ferry as well. 11:21 Jefferson: Another week, another strange Mets front office mess! What are your thoughts on Cohen making a public Witch hunt on Twitter trying to out an “anonymous source”? 11:22 Kevin Goldstein: It’s a bit weird and silly, but owners are often weird and a bit silly…. 11:22 Bill: Do you think Kelenic is starting to figure it out or is this just a mini-hot streak? 11:22 Kevin Goldstein: He’s going to have hot and cold streaks, like most players. He’s going to be just fine in the end. 11:23 Duchess: Of course I am biased as a fan, but there is really something interesting going on in Milwaukee. Especially noticeable is the apparent bond between the latino players….Urias, Pina, Adames, Garcia are almost always together in the dugout, and actively cheering each other on during games. Escobar is has a noticeable presence as a calming leader. No real question here, just an observation. 11:23 Kevin Goldstein: I think you see that in most teams, no? 11:23 Jacques Pederson: The Phillies have a great case to have both the MVP and Cy Young winner and only threatened to make the playoffs for a few weeks. How have they struggled so badly to find depth? 11:23 Kevin Goldstein: They have. It’s a very weird roster. Almost like when fantasy players do the stars and scrubs thing. 11:23 grover: How much is “we don’t want to trade Player X within the division” a factor during the offseason? 11:23 Kevin Goldstein: It’s much more of a factor in July, but it’s definitely a factor. 11:24 isaac: what kinds of factors go into optimizing lineup construction? and how much does it matter? 11:24 Kevin Goldstein: If you are talking about batter order, not much, and it doesn’t matter much. Just let the manager do what he wants and where do players like to hit? As far as who should play, a TON of work goes into that and it goes far deeper than just simple platoons. The Giants are amazing at it. 11:25 John: Does Logan Gilbert settle into a 3.5ish ERA pitcher who is a workhorse? 11:25 Kevin Goldstein: Sure feels like it. 11:25 Maddoning: What team to you think has the BEST outlook over the next 3 years, in terms of money and talent? 11:26 Kevin Goldstein: Dodgers, Jays, White Sox come to mind. That’s off the top of my dome….. 11:26 Hank: If you’re a team that doesn’t plan on contending in ’22, is it worthwhile to pursue FAs this offseason who you can exchange for prospects at next season’s deadline? (Less abstract example: the Cubs) 11:26 Kevin Goldstein: I definitely think so. 11:26 Billy G: The A’s need to win X out of 4 against the Mariners to stay in the WC hunt 11:26 Kevin Goldstein: At least 3, and even that just keeps it as a longshot. 11:27 Maddoning: Who is the smartest player in baseball that you’ve spent some time with? 11:27 Kevin Goldstein: Players I’ve spent time with are all Astors, so . . . Correa and Bregman come to mind for sure. 11:27 Megan: What makes you use AVG as your benchmark for the hit tool? I’ve seen many, especially analytically minded, use OBP. I think it leads to some large discrepancies ex: Sal Perez 11:27 Kevin Goldstein: Hit tool is HIT tool. Approach/swing decisions is something else. 11:28 Al Avila: Will I be able to take the Tigers from respectability to contention? What would you do if you were me this off-season (assuming there is one)? 11:28 Kevin Goldstein: I think so. Things are moving in the right direction and a few sound moves could do it. Improving up the middle would be a focus. 11:29 Megan: Where are the physical front offices for most teams? I know in the stadium but are they underground? 11:29 Kevin Goldstein: They are not. Most stadiums have offices on a floor somewhere, sometimes with windows that have a view. 11:29 Billy G: The A’s played Logan Davidson every game of the season despite him struggling. Why not give him some time off at some point to work on things off the field? 11:29 Kevin Goldstein: Why not have him keep working in-game since the results of the game don’t really matter? 11:30 Luis: Are you confident they’ll fix the service time debacle this winter? 11:30 Kevin Goldstein: I’m not super confident, but I’m sure it will be different. 11:30 purplemini: when clubs call up, say, a player from A ball to AA for the playoffs, I assume the club wants the player to get more reps. But is there also the thought that playoff games are higher quality reps or that you is that because the clubs just want to get the player more reps 11:30 Kevin Goldstein: There is the thought that you want young players getting playoff experience, even if it is just the minors. 11:31 ThadBosley: Do you like the minor league scheduling format they used this year and will again next year and could it be used in major league baseball? It really eases the effects from traveling. 11:31 Kevin Goldstein: I do like it, but I don’t think it will come to MLB. 11:31 CFH: How much better are the worst major league teams than the best triple a teams? 11:31 Kevin Goldstein: Significantly better. 11:31 Scotty: I gotta admit, KG, I was pretty shocked and blown away that members of Citrus Trees were as young as they are. 11:32 Kevin Goldstein: How wonderful were they. Definitely one of my favorite musical guests on the podcast so far. 11:32 bb: I believe you said last week that you haven’t seen any comic-book movies. Does that include Ghost World and Sin City? 11:32 Kevin Goldstein: Ah yes, I love Ghost World. Just love it. I haven’t seen any blockbuster comic movies. 11:32 JM: You mentioned that you don’t expect the Cubs to spend this offseason. They have less than $60 million committed for 2022. Are you expecting a sub $100 million payroll? 11:32 Kevin Goldstein: Wouldn’t shock me. 11:32 John: Will the Arizona Fall League play this year? If so, will fans be allowed to attend? 11:33 Kevin Goldstein: Yes and Yes. I believe it starts 10/21. 11:33 ralph: What big bargaining chips does the MLBPA have besides expanded playoffs and international draft? 11:33 Kevin Goldstein: They’re a union. They have a mighty big bargaining chip in NOT PLAYING. 11:34 Cubs: What do the Cubs have in Frank Schwindel and Patrick Wisdom? 11:34 Kevin Goldstein: Um . . . I wrote about this last week…. 11:34 zurzles: Does Buck Showalter get another managing job or is control freak reputation too much at odds with what modern teams want (i.e. managers who do what GMs want them to do)? Are the more advanced teams really as serious about easily controllable managers as everyone says they are? 11:35 Kevin Goldstein: Controllable is not a word that makes my comfy. They’re not puppets and front offices don’t want them to be. It’s not about controlling the manager, it’s about working with them and being a team. See Cash, Kevin. 11:35 Darryl Vanilla: Any chance that the NL East race is decided in the last series of the season? 11:35 Kevin Goldstein: Definitely, and let’s hope for it. 11:36 Dan: Kevin Looks like the Mets have a boat load of free agents: Conforto, Thor, Javy, and Stroman (anyone else?). Who stays, who goes, who gets a QO (assuming the Mets can find someone to handle baseball operations besides Alderson)? 11:36 Kevin Goldstein: I can see any of them, other than Stroman, getting QO considerations. 11:37 John: Crystal ball prediction – do the Mariners overtake the Astros next year for best team in the AL West? Their future looks pretty bright… 11:37 Kevin Goldstein: They do not. 11:38 Ainsley: Trent Grisham has had a disappointing year. A result of injuries or is this just what he is 11:38 Kevin Goldstein: He’s a career .750 OPS guy and had a .800 OPS or so year in 2020. I think that’s probably his range going forward. 11:40 ThadBosley: How many teams should make the playoffs? 11:40 Kevin Goldstein: I’m good with eight, but don’t like the wild card game. 11:40 Dabba: Doctor Who- great tv show? 11:40 Kevin Goldstein: Never seen it. 11:40 MLB: what your thoughts on an expansion team 11:40 Kevin Goldstein: I think 32 teams would make much for sense for scheduling purposes, but I don’t know if that’s enough to support the concept. 11:41 ThadBosley: Did you notice a difference in the minor leagues this year with the elimination of the short season leagues? 11:41 Kevin Goldstein: For sure, specially at Low-A, where the level of play is down significantly. 11:41 barney gumble: how hot do you think Brian Cashman’s seat is now? if the yankees don’t make the playoffs? it’s said he’s very close with the Steinbrenners 11:41 Kevin Goldstein: I think he’s just fine. Not sure about Boone, though. 11:41 Appa Yip Yip: Has Bichette’s defense improved enough to see him sticking long term at short? 11:42 Kevin Goldstein: I don’t think he’s GOOD there, but that doesn’t mean I think he has to move. 11:42 Weekend Hack: What is the industry view of Marco Gonzales? Like him more than public perception? Less? Interesting arm- soft tossing for years, mostly kinda successful-ish.. What do you think about Marco Gonzales? 11:42 Kevin Goldstein: Solid, durable, back-end starter. Those are valuable pieces. 11:43 BarryBondsJuicedForOurSins: great movies, yes or no: Parasite, Death to Smoochy, Network, Pink Panther, Birdman 11:43 Kevin Goldstein: Yes, No, Yes, No, Yes. 11:43 Guest: rank these solo activities (assume in a non pandemic world): apple picking, bowling, movie in a theater, dinner in a fancy restaurant, scrolling through your phone in a hotel room, golf 11:43 Kevin Goldstein: Dinner, Movie, Apples, Bowling, Hotel, Golf. 11:44 A cat: Is OAA the best defensive metric currently available to the public? 11:44 Kevin Goldstein: “Best” is carrying a lot of water here. I still think defensive metrics are in the immaturity stage. 11:45 Dave: Does Javy Baez get a multi-year deal this off season or a one year pillow deal? 11:45 Kevin Goldstein: His surge has definitely helped his chances of a multi-year deal. It would still scare the hell out of me. 11:45 Rob: How would you evaluate Dom Smith at this point in his career? I can’t make sense of the season he’s having. 11:46 Kevin Goldstein: I’ve skipped this question about five times because I’m about as baffled as you are. 11:47 Scotty: Josh Bell since 05/13: .287/.370/.534. Has he finally figured something out? 11:47 Kevin Goldstein: I think so! I think he might be good! 11:47 Sonny Price: Was Tony Kemp’s excellent plate approach a big reason why the Astros drafted him in the 5th round back in 2013? 11:47 Kevin Goldstein: It was more the bat and ability to make consistent contact and the GREAT makeup. 11:47 Mac: Did you have Nicky Lopez as a 4 WAR player? 11:48 Kevin Goldstein: Certainly not. Did anyone? 11:48 Mac: Feeling better about Jarred Kelenic? 11:49 Kevin Goldstein: I was never feeling that bad about him in the first place. I think he’s going to be good and did so when he was struggling. I’m not super sold on stardom or anything, but he’ll be valuable. 11:49 YardGoat: Do you have a favorite Studio Ghibli film? Or is that not a film medium of interest? 11:49 Kevin Goldstein: Sprited Away. 11:49 Robbie: @redsoxstats on Twitter told me UZR is a pointless stat now because of ball off bat speed times being relevant now. What are your thoughts on this? 11:49 Kevin Goldstein: I’m not a big UZR fan. 11:49 Greg F: I appreciate the coalition to villainize the unvaccinated players like Chris Sale. They should be condemned. Screw objectivity anyways. Force em to get vaxxed against their will. 11:50 Kevin Goldstein: He’s not being forced, and even wouldn’t by a vaccine mandate for players. He could choose not to… 11:50 Charl: Gavin Lux is 16/31 getting on base in September. Do you think this development forces the Dodgers to have Bellinger heal from the sideline and maybe be ready for postseason? 11:51 Kevin Goldstein: I talked to Jorge Castillo about this on the podcast last week, and do wonder if the Dodgers will just roll with Bellinger in the playoffs. A.J. Pollock’s health might be the biggest factor in that equation. 11:52 Dave: I live in upper Midwest like you and really liked the minor league season starting in May rather than in early April like next year. Do teams take weather conditions in mind when deciding where to start guys to begin the minor league season? Tough playing games in 30 degree weather in April. 11:52 Kevin Goldstein: FOR SURE. Plenty of players kept in instructs until things warm up in the Midwest. 11:53 Bob Nightengale’s Breakfast: Is there a serious path to contention for the Minnesota Twins in 2022? They need a starting SS and 3-4 SPs by my count 11:53 Kevin Goldstein: I think it’s going to be a challenge for sure. The pitching is the big issue. 11:53 Mac: If Bruce Bochy were managing the Padres would their current record be 76-73? 11:53 Kevin Goldstein: I don’t think we can answer that. 11:54 Cube Jockey: Paul Dejong have any trade value this off-season if the Cards want to go with Sosa as the everyday SS? 11:54 Kevin Goldstein: Some. Not a ton. 11:56 Guest: I was thinking about your article about the Rays’ bullpen last week. Do you think that good front offices/coaching staffs are better at figuring out when a particular pitcher doesn’t have “it” on a particular night? 11:57 Kevin Goldstein: For sure. Most teams have a person monitoring pitch data live in-game and it’s pretty clear pretty quick if something is off in terms of pure stuff. Command is harder to judge in those small samples. 11:57 onomatopoeia: Bobby Dalbec’s season has been quite the ride, but his season line right now (.245/.306/.497) – meh OBP because of high strikeout rate, but with good power – seems about right to me for expectation going forward. What do you think? 11:58 Kevin Goldstein: I’m with you. Low average HUGE power feels like the future. 11:58 Rob: If the Cardinals and Dodgers/Giants end up playing in the WC game, do the Cardinals have a better chance than we think? 11:58 Kevin Goldstein: For sure, in the sense that it would be hard for any two playoffs teams to match up in one game with more than say a 60/40 difference in winning odds… 11:59 Guest: What do you think about the new scout school only for Women and Minorities? Did scout school ever exclude anyone? 11:59 Kevin Goldstein: Exclude by design? No. But it’s good to get these guaranteed opportunities. The game still very much needs more diversity. 12:00 J: Dallas Keuchel infamously did not hold back in his public criticism of the front office after you guys largely stood pat at the 2017 non-waiver deadline. What was the mood like internally at this time? Do you believe his comments provided extra motivation to go out and acquire JV a month later? (Besides the fact that JV is a ridiculously good pitcher, of course) 12:00 Kevin Goldstein: I was fine with it. I was frustrated too! Didn’t really play into the JV stuff, though. 12:00 Kosch: Is Jake Meyers good enough to man CF for the Astros for the next few years? or should they look to upgrade this offseason? not even sure who all is available that would be a better cost/value…. 12:00 Kevin Goldstein: I think he’ll be fine. 12:00 Guest: where do you think Alek Thomas settles in as a big leaguer? 12:01 Kevin Goldstein: Like defensively? Probably in a corner. 12:01 Larry: Alek Thomas has been taking in AAA. Any shot he ends up with 60 hit and 60 power? 12:02 Kevin Goldstein: Big no to 60 power. Reno is a launching pad. 12:02 Kevin Goldstein: That said, I really like Alek Thomas. 12:02 Jacques Pederson: Can a pitcher’s stuff be too good to have good command? 12:02 Kevin Goldstein: YES. There are definitely guys who get SO much spin and movement on their breakers that it becomes a huge challenge to locate. 12:02 TooDamnTall: How many quad-A types do you think could have a season like Patrick Wisdom or Frank Schwindel if they could just somehow get a year of consistent playing time? 12:03 Kevin Goldstein: Not a lot. 12:03 A cat: Does BOS pick up Richards option for $10m and use him as a reliever in multiple roles, e.g., multi innings, set-up, occasional closer? He’s been very good since he went to the bullpen. 12:04 Kevin Goldstein: 10m is a lot of a non high-leverage reliever, but they could make it work by giving him 100+ innings. I’m a strong believer that relievers could throw more innings. Not more games per se, but more innings. 12:04 Brooklyn Heights: Hi, Kevin. I am worried about Stephen Strasburg. During your time with the Astros, did any pitcher undergo thoracic outlet surgery, and if so how did the team view the player’s prospects for recovery? Thanks 12:05 Kevin Goldstein: It’s definitely a scary procedure. 12:07 greenfrog: What should a team do when they have a star position player who is injured enough that he hits poorly (with occasional big hits), but not injured enough to keep him from playing altogether? I’m thinking of George Springer here. 12:07 Kevin Goldstein: Keep playing him and let him get hot and put the team on his back. 12:08 JC: LMJ, Framber, Garcia, Urquidy, Odorizzi, Javier, Soloman, France, H. Brown, …. I feel like the Astros don’t need to be in the starting pitcher market this offseason. You agree? 12:08 Kevin Goldstein: I agree that they’ll have depth, but for a title contender, you’d want another big person at the top. 12:09 super hard question: Fact: most/all team benches group by race. Overt racism. Does anyone care/do anything? Kinda common social interaction 12:10 Kevin Goldstein: There’s certainly racism in baseball, as it there is racism everywhere in the world, but I don’t think this is an example. You are talking about people with common cultures and languages group with each other for the most part. 12:10 Mike: Is Kyle Tucker a top 25 player in baseball yet? With his elite hitting going along with his good defense and baserunning, it’s hard to not be impressed with a 24 year old putting up MVP value like he is. 12:10 Kevin Goldstein: He’s REALLY good and is going to be REALLY GOOD for a long time. 12:11 Guest: who is the best pitcher in baseball right now? 12:11 Kevin Goldstein: RIGHT NOW? I mean if you could have one person start a playoff game it would be Scherzer, no? 12:12 Guest: Kevin, can you please provide an example of racism in baseball? It’s pretty ridiculous for you to just say “theres certainly racism in baseball”, when you don’t provide any example or context. Irresponsible for you to just throw that out there without anything to back it up. Stop it. 12:12 Kevin Goldstein: Go count non-white GMs and AGMs and get back to me. 12:12 Kretin: What is the focus in the front office for non-contending teams right now? 12:13 Kevin Goldstein: The off-season. Last few looks at potential free agents and trade targets. 12:13 Appa Yip Yip: George Springer went first to third on half a leg to get into position to score a key run on a sac fly just last week leave the man alone 12:13 Kevin Goldstein: Yes. Leave George alone. George is wonderful. 12:19 PJ Areller: Who are the top manager prospects this winter? Asking for a friend. 12:19 Kevin Goldstein: Will Venable. Somebody should make Will Venable their manager. Period. 12:20 BarryBondsJuicedForOurSins: Jesus, that Guest with the “duuurrrr give us an example of racism” good lord, eff that dude. I dunno, how about the fucking Mariners GM from earlier this year? There, there’s an example you twerp. Saying there’s racism in baseball isn’t this big “omg how could you say that” thing, it’s a “duh. of course.” There’s racism everywhere. 12:20 Kevin Goldstein: You mean the M’s president, and yeah. You should see the firestorm in my queue. I’m not going to give them what they want. 12:20 Dalton Wilcox: Venable? Mayve Cubs?! 12:20 Kevin Goldstein: I don’t think Ross is going anywhere, and honestly I don’t think he should. 12:21 Cj: What do you make of the Reds PD firings? What’s going on there? 12:21 Kevin Goldstein: I think it’s one of those things where we can’t know because we’re not there. 12:21 gdragon: The question about Trayce and Klay Thompson had each of them playing the “other” sport, I think you might have missed that detail? 12:21 Kevin Goldstein: Ah! I mean, professional athletes in ANY sport are unreal amazing at that sport, so I imagine they’d both really stink if they pulled a weird Freaky Friday here. 12:22 Tom: Which OF ends up more valuable – Kelenic or Julio? 12:22 Kevin Goldstein: If forced, I’d take Julio. 12:22 Appa Yip Yip: Didn’t Michael Jordan answer the Thompson question all on his own? 12:23 Kevin Goldstein: And yet, if you really think about it and look at what Jordan did at Double-A, it was an absolutely REMARKABLY IMPRESSIVE achievement. 12:23 Tim: Circus Trees are incredible. That is all. 12:23 Kevin Goldstein: THEY ARE. 12:24 Swinging Friar: Your hot take: Are the padres legit contenders next year and who is at the helm managing the team? 12:24 Kevin Goldstein: Yes, but they’ll still be in the same division as the Dodgers and Giants, and I would bet with low confidence that it’s still Tingler at the helm. 12:24 Kevin Goldstein: Ok, reaching the final minutes. 12:24 Guest: A hitter has to hit a home run on a 90 mph fastball right down the middle of the plate to win you $1,000. They get one swing, one chance to hit one. Who you picking? 12:24 Kevin Goldstein: Judge or Stanton. 12:25 Evan: How much confidence do you have that the Rockies will make a savvy GM hire, and make bold moves like trading German Marquez to restock the next contending team? Marquez is stuck there until he can leave as a FA, isn’t he? 12:25 Kevin Goldstein: Very little. I think they keep things internal. They always have. 12:28 5 Run Homer: what do you think Ray and Semien will command this offseason? It would be a real tough pill to swallow for the Jays if they were to leave 12:29 Kevin Goldstein: It’s going to be very hard to work something out with both in an open market environment. Both easy get nine-figure deals. 12:29 TooDamnTall: Was there any player that you really went out on a limb for and had it work out? 12:29 Kevin Goldstein: Yuli Gurriel. 12:29 Kevin Goldstein: Ok folks, thanks for all the great questions! See you next week.