Craig Goldstein is the Managing Editor of Baseball Prospectus.
Craig Goldstein: One thing I wonder about is why Peruvian chicken joints even bother with the green sauce. Let's get this thing started.
The Colonel (Pasadena, CA): I caught an inning of Logan Allen a few weeks ago and noticed the Indians got rid of that dramatic wind-up with his hands to the Gods and have simplified it. Would you still give him a 60/50 or knock it down a peg?
Craig Goldstein: I think I'm knocking it down a peg at this point. The upside is still present and Cleveland has done wonders with guys who weren't quite as highly rated in Bieber and Civale, so I don't want to preclude anything. But based on the information in front of us, I'd probably have him more as a 55/50, with it being a low 50, if that makes sense.
Kkelly (IL): What positions do you see Alex Kirilloff and Yordan Alvarez playing next year. Really hoping Kirilloff gets time at first and Would love to keep Alvarez but hard to do if he is going to be a DH. Thanks
Craig Goldstein: I think you have to keep Alvarez either way, you can't just give up a bat like that. I think he might get _some_ time at 1B, but Gurriel is around for another season at $8m, so I'm not expecting a ton there. Probably some LF throughout the year.
Buddy (Peoria, IL): Nice under-the-radar season by Mark Canha.
Craig Goldstein: Absolutely! I really enjoyed this Athletic article by Marc Carig on Canha: https://theathletic.com/1167464/2019/09/03/one-of-the-most-valuable-players-on-this-team-how-creativity-fuels-breakout-season-for-as-mark-canha/
Yuri (Israel): Craig, I randomly saw a tweet the other day about berries and it made me think of you. It was terrible. Speaking of terrible, what happened to Matt Carpenter this year? Think he can bounce back in 2020?
Craig Goldstein: I'm so happy to inspire you, Yuri. I was talking about Carpenter with someone recently and I think the main issue with him is that his bat speed has just declined to a point that he can't be productive. I think there's probably a threshold where he was able to make it work (last year had an adjustment, clearly), but at this point it's just too far gone.
beringstorm (Tacoma): I have one last roster move to add a speculative prospect. Who is your top two from the following: T. Larnach, G. Valera, L. Garcia (Was), S. Baz, K. Muller, and X. Edwards.
Craig Goldstein: This depends a little on what your league categories and size are. If you prefer pure upside to some sort of blend, etc. I think I'd go with Valera and Larnach. I love love love Baz, but pitching prospects are just tough in fantasy leagues.
Andy (Bravo): Hi Craig, if you had to liken yourself to one Vanderpump Rules castmember who would it be, and why would it be Tom Sandoval?
Craig Goldstein: This might not surprise you but I've considered this a lot. I think it's one of the Toms. I think I have some Schwartz to me (not the modeling part), but it's probably true that I'm Sandoval because I will get emotional way too quickly and embarrass everyone around me by doing so.
Vic (Baltimore): Was watching the Yankees-Jays came on Saturday. It listed Higashioka's AVG at .244 and his OBP at .238. I looked up his stats. He was 10 for 41 with a HBP. Are his AVG and OBP correct since perhaps Kyle got thrown out trying to stretch a 1B into a 2B/ So he had 41 ABs plus the HBP. 10 +1 HBP minus the trying to stretch a 1B into a 2B would be 10/42 which is his .238 OBP?
Craig Goldstein: If you get thrown out stretching a single into a double it still counts as a hit (and thus doesn't affect your OBP or AVG). Higashioka hasn't had any walks and does have a sacrifice fly. Sac flies don't affect your at-bats (and thus BA) but _DO_ affect your PA (and thus OBP).
Bailey (MD): What should I do now that my buddy has knocked me out of the playoffs in two separate leagues. He sent me a bottle of salt.
Craig Goldstein: Pour out his sugar and pour the salt into it and walk away like nothing happened.
The Colonel (Pasadena, CA): The Angels' Jose Suarez has been hammered this year (20 jacks in 71IP, 5.68 xFIP), yet he's only 21 for the entire season. Is there still hope? How do his prospects of becoming a back-end starter look now?
Craig Goldstein: I'm afraid to say his DRA has been even worse (I'm not particularly a fan of xFIP). He's on the right team to keep getting chances, and as bad as he's been I don't think there's something specific that would impact his chances of being a back-end starter outside of opportunity. It's a _very_ bad run, but he'll just have to come back fresh next year.
Brady (my couch after a long walk): Will you give Temptation Island a shot this year?
Craig Goldstein: I gave it a shot last year. I didn't mind it but it wasn't something I looked forward to either. The host is very weird, to me. I also think it's a weird setup because you have all these couples walking in being like "we agreed that we wouldn't see other people" when THAT IS THE ENTIRE POINT OF THE SHOW. WHY ARE YOU ON THE SHOW THEN??? Ugh.
dezre (brooklyn): 8 games of hoskins over 5 games of judge next week in a championship points matchup, right?! Is it a no brainer to take volume in this scenario? thanks!
Craig Goldstein: Yeah I think you have to
Buddy (Peoria, IL): Don't get to see the A's very often in this part of the country. How has Luzardo looked so far?
Craig Goldstein: I actually haven't caught him yet but I asked Jeffrey Paternostro who did catch his outings and he said "very good." So there you have it.
Buddy (Peoria, IL): Clint Frazier needs 19 more plate appearances to be eligible for our Diamond Baseball League next season. Will he make it?
Craig Goldstein: I'm doubtful, to be honest. Best chance is if they take their foot off the gas and just give non-starters some run, but they're going to want to get Stanton into form, and EE too.
Ferns (PA): Annoying guy in my dynasty league won a championship after I said he would never win one. Do I leave the league or take my lumps and try harder?
Craig Goldstein: I think you just deny that he's ever won and act like you're correct anyway.
sykklone (IA): Thanks for the chat. Can Isan Diaz hit enough to matter or are we looking at a .220 ceiling?
Craig Goldstein: I think he can do better than that, but the question is whether there'll be enough pop and on-base to matter. If he's .250 with moderate slugging, it's not an endearing profile anyway.
Jason (Tracy, CA): Sean Manaea or Jesus Luzardo should start a potential wild card game for the A’s ?
Craig Goldstein: Great question. I think I'd go with Luzardo, personally, but it should really be a pen game and it probably doesn't matter whether it's Luzardo or Manaea first, but just split them up with a RHP who can mow down any RHB stacking the opposing lineup does.
mikewilsonelgin (Bloomington): Next contract: raise minimum salary so that young players aren't such a bargain? (From the viewpoint of the players)
Craig Goldstein: Yeah, I think this is a major point that needs to be implemented. Changing the value that teams get from the guys with less service time will make it less of a no-brainer to go that route when rebuilding, because it will be more expensive to lose that way, and ownership will reap fewer profits while doing so. Teams will still do it because they're craven and they'll value the draft picks so much, but it needs to start there (and extend to changing which teams get the top picks).
Scott (Florida): I run a 16 team dynasty league and we're wrapping up our eighth season. We've pretty much had the same 5-6 teams in the playoffs every year and it looks like the entire bottom half of the league is trying to tank, which would be fine except those same 5-6 competitive teams have cornered not just the old guy market, but also have a who's who of top young talent already. Just for the record: is "tanking" the only effective strategy to build a competitive fantasy team? And when will people realize that just because MLB teams do it doesn't mean you have to do it in your fantasy league too? Also, Wander Javier. What's his upside?
Craig Goldstein: No, it's not the only effective strategy, but it's the easiest one which is why people do it. Snagging guys you think will be productive and spinning them off, or buying low/selling high is a lot more of an involved process, and takes more effort. I get why people don't want to do that or devote the brainpower but it does make the whole endeavor of being in a league a bit more boring, in my opinion.
CuccumberParty (Phoenix): Hey Craig, have you heard or seen anything about Pavin Smith that would explain his improvement in his second half? Thank you!
Craig Goldstein: I'm checking into this because I don't know off-hand but his power production spiked significantly and one of the reasons I wasn't a fan when he was drafted was that he employed a flat swing that made a ton of contact but didn't result in power, which is a tough sell as a 1B. If I had to bet, I would think he's changed his swing plane and is getting more loft on the ball.
Carl (Iowa): Is Luis Campusano a riser for the 101 next year? Am I right to think he might be the best Dynasty Asset catcher after Adley?
Craig Goldstein: Certainly he's caught (no pun intended) the eye of our evaluators. I don't know if he'll land on the 101 or not, but he'll be in discussion for sure and is definitely a riser. I asked Bret Sayre who had second in terms of dynasty prospects at catcher and he said Joey Bart, who I'm not particularly into for fantasy. So, sure.
Ron (Texarkana): Hey Craij! Who has the better multi-year offensive upside, starting in 2020: Jorge Polanco or Tim Anderson?
Craig Goldstein: I think I'd have to go Anderson though I've continued to be wrong on Polanco. I know Anderson's walk rate is terrible and he's had some BABIP luck, but the steals really account for a lot there and I think he can adapt as a hitter.
Craig Goldstein: Alright everyone. Short chat today but the queue was pretty light. I've got some errands to do so I'll take it! Join Jeffrey Paternostro for a chat at 11 AM on Friday.