Sunday, April 10, 2011

This Week in Chat - 4/10/11

Where we distill all the weekly baseball chats down to their Oriole-centric essence...

Jonah Keri, Fangraphs

12:09 [Comment From Omar Little]
So which of the Os starters would you most trust for the whole season -- Guthrie, Britton, Tillman, Matusz?

12:10 Jonah Keri: Is this a fantasy question? Because otherwise, why not trust them all? Guthrie is perennially one of the most underrated pitchers in the game, and all three of the young guys have good upside, of course.

12:10 [Comment From Matt]
Impressive Start from Britton. Do you expect him to stay in the rotation? What stats could he post this year?

12:11 Jonah Keri: Yes, I think he can stick. Adjust all AL East ERAs up .30 to .50, winning pct and others too. On a neutral level, Britton can peak as a 3.50 FIP guy, and maybe get under 4 this year if things break right.

12:37 [Comment From DRS]
I don't want to make to big a deal out of the O's starting 3-0 but they do have some talented young pitchers. What struck me as the most promising aspect of watching them was that their pitchers pounded the strike zone instead of constantly working deep counts and walking batters. Your thoughts on that staff and the O's overall?

12:38 Jonah Keri: As I said before, I like the starting rotation's potential a lot. Still think they struggle to reach .500 this year. But I'd be encouraged about the future. (Would be even more encouraged if/when Adam Jones takes the next step, and Markakis finally hits for power.)

12:39 [Comment From baltfan]
Is Wieters on his way to be becoming the best game-caller/defensive catcher in the major leagues? He had Britton drop his sinker yesterday. Takes guts to have a young kid drop the pitch that got him there because he couldn't control it.

12:39 Jonah Keri: How the hell do we quantify best game-caller? Seriously, I have no idea.

1:52 [Comment From Robert]
Could Chris Tillman be a future ace? Do you like him or Britton over the long term?

1:52 Jonah Keri: Britton's track record suggest better command, a lot more GB. Could even see Britton being best of the whole bunch.

Steven Goldman, Baseball Prospectus

Charlie (Bethesda, MD): So who you got in the ALDS - the O's or the Royals?

Steven Goldman: Much as with rumors of Boston's demise, the rise of the O's and Royals are much exaggerated. Still, it is heartening to see the Orioles experiencing a little success for once. Sure, it's fun to mock a perpetual loser, but much more fun to see good teams throughout the league playing each other. As for the Royals, see my answer to the first question, but in reverse: some 100-game losers win a few on their way down the standings.

kcroyalsguy (outside): Do you think Jake Fox will get 300+ at bats this year or has his ship already sailed so to speak?

Steven Goldman: Well, it would be nicer if he got his first at-bat before we project him for 300. He might get a few at-bats around the inevitable Derrek Lee DL stint. I don't know that it would be a good thing anyway, given the 10 walks he would draw against those 300 ABs.

TGisriel (Baltimore): As Baltimore rejoices in the Orioles 4-0 start, I am (surprisingly) not hearing many claims that this team will "go all the way". The talk is about having a competitive winning (.500 or above) team that is fun to watch, which I think is a realistic goal for this team. Your thoughts on the Orioles?

Steven Goldman: It has been too many years of suckage for anyone to jump on the bandwagon that quickly. I'm still looking for 81-81, though the way pitchers are dropping (Guthrie, Matusz) that may be increasingly difficult despite the start. And then there's positional depth. There aren't any great players standing behind the starting lineup, so if the oldsters get hit by injuries, look out.

Gisriel (Baltimore): My theory is that the Orioles trade either or both Guerrero and/or Lee at the deadline, move Scott to DH or 1B, and bring up Reimold to play LF. Pie remains the 4th outfielder.

Steven Goldman: I'm not sure how much faith there should be in Reimold at this point...

Dave Cameron, FanGraphs

12:00 [Comment From bill]
which team gets the most wins this year: orioles, pirates, diamondbacks, nationals?

12:00 Dave Cameron: I'll take the Orioles. #15org off to a pretty good start so far.

12:07 [Comment From Oscar]
Will you commit to eating your own keyboard if the Orioles make the playoffs this season?

12:07 Dave Cameron: I just upgraded to a Mac last week, so no, that'd be a really expensive keyboard to eat.

12:19 [Comment From Jason]
RE: The AL East. Last year there were 4 teams with records above .500 against the AL East as a whole. All 4 of those teams were from the AL East. So yah...

12:20 Dave Cameron: All five of those teams would be playoff contenders in any other division in baseball.

12:31 [Comment From The Dude]
Give me your three most under-rated outfielders.

12:32 Dave Cameron: Anyone in the Randy Winn family of good defensive players who man a corner instead of center field and have gap power. These no-plus-tool guys usually get labeled as tweeners or fourth outfielders, but several of them are well above average regulars.

12:54 [Comment From TK]
bigger effect on AGonz HR total in 2011, home park or lineup?

12:54 Dave Cameron: Park, by a lot. There's little to no evidence for the protection theory.

David Schoenfield, ESPN

Zack (Baltimore)
How long do we wait to being adjusting expectations of our O's? Baseball success is built on pitching, and so far 4 games, 4 quality starts.

David Schoenfield (1:10 PM)
As much as I want to jump on the Baltimore bandwagon, four games is four games. Can't overreact yet. The Orioles had seven winning streak of four games last season and still lost 96 games.

Matt (New Jersey)
David, many people got on the Orioles for signing the free agents they did, and I don't necessarily disagree with some of thoughts. But, and I know this can't be quantified (Neyer word), is there something to having veterans around that provide some sort of blanket for the young pups on the roster? Throwing out a young team for the sake of playing time while watching them get beaten up, especially in the East...I don't know. As a former athlete I always found confidence in looking to some older guys and their presence (granted you are counting on them to actually produce to instill confidence). Just rambling...thanks for chatting.

David Schoenfield (1:50 PM)
Good post. I did like the signings and I do think there is at least a *little* something to veteran presence. Now, the vets have to produce, because ultimately it's all about production. But maybe it does help a young guy like Adam Jones, since he doesn't have to think he has to be the big RBI guy and maybe he swings for the fences as much. He can focus on getting on base more and hitting line drives.

Keith Law, ESPN

Brian (MD)
If you were the Orioles sitting with the fourth pick and Francisco Lindor was your top rated prospect would you still take him even though you just drafted Machado last season?

Klaw (1:38 PM)
Yes. Best player available. That said, he won't be the best guy available, IMO. (Actually, one name I forgot for Washington who'd also fit here is Dylan Bundy.)

Raymond (Baltimore)
KLAW, as an Orioles, I do believe that after a week you cannot really change the way that you perceive any team. But my question is WHEN is it accurate to start to legitimately believe in a team? I kind of go back to the Rays (or Padres last year) where it seemed like into September (or November for Tampa) people were still waiting for the shoe to fall off. Now Personally, I think the O's will win 77 games, and hope they trade Vlad and Derrick Lee this summer to get more prospects, and give Tillman 30 starts.

Klaw (1:40 PM)
Well, the shoe did fall off for San Diego in September, right? Tampa Bay shouldn't have surprised anyone, though. To your question, for a team massively out- or under-performing expectations I'd like to see at least 50 games, and even then I'd be uncomfortable making a grand statement.

Amos (New York)
Can you name a guy or two you haven't given up on, even after a decent sample of serious non-performance in the bigs? (Someone like Weeks doesn't count, someone like Milledge or Gordon does.)

Klaw (1:56 PM)
Does Tillman count? Chris Iannetta? Howie Kendrick? I'm not sure what your standard is. I still like guys like Matt Wieters and Gordon Beckham, but have they non-performed enough?

Cliff B (Chicago, IL)
I heard you on All Night w/ Jason Smith the other night. He was trying to tell you what a good signing Vlad Guerrero was for the O's because of his runs and RBI's last year. You quickly corrected him that those stats mean nothing and he laughed it off. After you went off the air, he continued to say how RBI and runs are the most important stats and that "OPS and all the other stuff, blah." Are so few ESPN people knowledgeable about statistical analysis?

Klaw (2:06 PM)
I think we have a lot of folks here who are aware of statistical analysis. Jason clings to his discredited stats for some reason I don't quite get.

Frankie Piliere, FanGraphs

12:44 [Comment From Orioles]
In order: Britton, Matusz, Arrieta, Tillman. Did I get that right? Can all these guys be valuable SP on a contending team?

12:45 Frankie Piliere: I think you nailed it. I have my doubts on Tillman but he's still got a lot of potential.

1:11 [Comment From Orioles Scouts]
How big an addition is Ron Hopkins to the O's scouting team?

1:11 Frankie Piliere: As a big a scouting move as you can make. He's excellent.

1:27 [Comment From Aman Reaka @bkmhoxx]
Scouting question. What makes a scout like Ron Hopkins so good? Other than experience, why are some scouts "good" and some arent? Other than the obvious answer of "results".

1:29 Frankie Piliere: Certain guys you can judge on results, but lower level guys you can't because they don't make the decisions. Hopkins has made good decisions. But, once you see these guys you get to know who the most diligent ones are, the most open minded, and how they are using past experiences to make judgments. Being a scout 20 years on its own doesn't make a good scout. It makes a world of difference if you are still open minded and use all those experiences though.

Jayson Stark, ESPN

Mitch (North Carolina)
Do you think the Orioles will end up with 85 wins or more this year?

Jayson Stark (1:09 PM)
I would have gone lower a week ago. I know that. I was thinking .500 would be a great year for that team coming out of spring training. Now I guess, my question is: Should I ever bet against Buck Showalter. They're 39-24 since he got there. They were the '62 Mets before he got there. He's David Copperfield, this guy. But I still think 85 is a little too high.

Jack (DC)
Can the Orioles be this season's Giants, Padres or Rays? Buck for the Hall of Fame if he turns this ship around this year, right?

Jayson Stark (1:13 PM)
Boy, lots of Orioles questions today. Orioles fans live! I like them. I just don't see them as a 90-win kind of team. I don't see where they have pitching in the same class as those three teams you named, despite how they've pitched so far. And in the AL East, that's going to be the big separator.


The Oriole Way said...

This is easily my favorite post each week. I simply do not have the time to read all these transcripts each week; thanks so much, Heath!

DempseysArmy said...

That was the idea. Since I flip through most of them anyway, seemed like an easy way for me to do the work for you and for me to generate some weekend content (don't write much on the weekend....) Glad you like it!