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Chat: Craig Goldstein

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Wednesday April 29, 2020 1:00 PM ET chat session with Craig Goldstein.


Craig Goldstein is the editor-in-chief of Baseball Prospectus.

Craig Goldstein: In an incredible development, Vanderpump Rules is now sports. A true colliding of worlds for yours truly.

Buff (Colorado): Assuming we have some sort of major league season, what becomes of pitchers like Edward Cabrera and Josiah Gray, who might have been in line to get a late season call up? Punt the season or put them on an expanded roster at some point?

Craig Goldstein: They're in very different situations because of their respective teams. I wouldn't be shocked to see Gray serve in a bullpen role or spot starter situation with an expanded roster, but I'd expect the Marlins to acquiesce to the incentive to just hold Cabrera back an extra year.

J.A. (Arizona): Why is there no love of Elieser Hernandez? Am I missing something? If he was prospect eligible, where would he rank with howard, mize, pearson, manning?

Craig Goldstein: He wouldn't rank with them. There's not a lot of love because aside from strikeout rate there's not a ton *to* love. ERA is bad, FIP is bad, DRA is bad. We can like the swings and misses and reasonable walk rates but he's getting absolutely tattooed with his HR/FB and Flyball rate combo. Allowing 20 homers in 21 games (15 starts) is a rough look. That fastball velocity just isn't gonna cut it given how he pitches.

jwdalton (PIE NIGHT!): Hi Craig! I loved that you shared all your recipes for pie night (I know this was a long time ago but really what else is there to talk about right now). I tried the Double Ginger Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake earlier this year and it was awesome (and I have made that toffee sauce to pour on other things several times now haha). If you had to pick one of those recipes as your favorite for someone to try, what would you pick?

Craig Goldstein: It's a killer recipe and I'm glad you like it. If I was picking one I would probably go for the cinnamon pie. I've rec'd it to a few people who felt they were beginners, but it's not a tough one and the results are just fantastic. Haven't met someone who didn't like it so far!

Matt (Boston): If baseball was different.....what would it be like without traditional fandom? Say rooting interest was based on liking the way a team was run or certain players>?

Craig Goldstein: Well, you'd probably run into some issues there given the copy cat/homogeneous nature of the league. The teams just don't operate *all* that differently from each others. I know some people who follow players over teams, and they seem pretty happy but you're still putting a lot of eggs into a basket of unknowns. These guys aren't all great role models!

I think it would ultimately be harder (perhaps because I'm lacking imagination) to find the community that we really love in sports. The tethering to a place and a region is, I think, important, and it's why it sucks to seem corporations not give a shit about it. Even as a fan who grew up across the country from his favorite team, that made the first time (and every time) I walked into Dodgers Stadium a bit of a religious experience. To *be* in that place, among people like me after not having been for so long was really special, and I don't know that that can be replicated with the suggested types of fandoms.

brad (NJ): a year ago, they said the 2019 draft class was weak, and the 2020 class would be the best draft in 9 years. With so few games played and lack of development, is that still the case?

Craig Goldstein: I am not the draft expert in terms of comparing it back that far, but I don't think the lack of games played changes that much right now. Teams have been on these guys for years and know enough about them to proceed. It sounds like the draft is just moving to a virtual setting and remaining at the same date, which tells you that while every game is an additional opportunity to evaluate and add more looks/data, the maneuvering in the spring is probably overrated.

Paul (Baltimore): What do you think of Kyle Lewis? Give me your predictions if it was a full season in 2020 and 2021? (i.e. do you see him improving?) Other note, if you had to choose between kyle lewis or monte harrison, who would you pick?

Craig Goldstein: I was a big fan prior to the major injury. I think his big splash as a pro overstated his quality, though I still like him. I'd probably take Harrison but I've been in the tank for Harrison for about as long as is possible, so I wouldn't call it the most objective opinion.

John (Tampa): If you were in a dynasty keeper league. Can you rank the following players: kelenic, abrams, luciano, rodriguez, robinson and witt?

Craig Goldstein: For more expert opinions, Jesse and Bret did a top 500 in April: https://www.baseballprospectus.com/fantasy/article/58089/top-500-dynasty-baseball-rankings-april-2020/

I would go: Rodriguez, Robinson, Kelenic, Luciano, Abrams, Witt but I'd caution you I'm lower on Kelenic than most I think a lot would have him top 2 and probably top 1.

Craig's Biggest Fan (The Craighouse (the name of our clubhouse)): Do you think any pitchers will benefit from having a season off and not due to injury? Just...a year to generally rest?

Craig Goldstein: Yeah, probably. I've mentioned this before but the arms that went deep into the playoffs probably see some on-field perks. Age is relevant but miles are too. Getting time to heal up after additional exposure is important. The Nationals have a tough combination of age and miles in their rotation for example.

We should be very mindful though, that on-field or not, no one is benefiting from a pandemic that has killed hundreds of thousands worldwide.

Matt (Boston): How can a team refuse to play employees and still receive revenue sharing? Last time I checked, top of the head math shows the Dodgers could increase payroll by $100M and STILL turn a profit from solely their LOCAL TV deal ALONE. Never mind teams with their own RSN(YES,NESN..etc) that can print money by showing highlights.

Craig Goldstein: That's accurate regarding the Dodgers, as I believe their deal is worth $300-340 million per year, but there's a good chance teams don't get full value if they can't produce enough games (hence the push to play a lot of games this year). Still, I broadly agree with your point. The Pirates trimmed payroll extensively last year and one would think that would give them a reserve of money from which to operate from in a climate like this. However it's just not how business works these days. It's not about taking care of people or the community, it's about using every crisis as a way to further your profits if possible. Privatize profits and socialize losses, etc. etc.

CubbieBear (CHI-TOWN): After the abbreviated 2020 spring It would appear that Franklin Barreto is ready to take over at 2B full time. Are parts of his game that are seriously lacking that the A’s feel a platoon with Tony Kemp is necessary or do you think they introduced this concept as a ploy to push Barreto’s performance? Thanks for your insights.

Craig Goldstein: That all seems a little optimistic though I would be thrilled to see Barreto run with it. He's never been able to show the patience in the majors that he has in the minors (small sample, but relevant at this stage). I don't think he needs to be platooned but the A's are compiling depth and Kemp is a useful piece as a platoon, and allows for less of a dropoff if Barreto doesn't turn out as hoped.

Craig Goldstein: Alright everyone, thanks for the chat, we'll be back next week. Be sure to check in with Jesse Roche for a friday fantasy chat.

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