Craig Goldstein is the editor-in-chief of Baseball Prospectus
Craig Goldstein: Got a few questions in the queue but this might be another short one. Thanks for stopping in, let's get going!
Arky Vaughn's Ghost (Washington DC): Other than fudge stripes, Pecan Sandies gotta be the best Keebler cookie right?
Craig Goldstein: This is based on a tweet I made last night after fighting with the fudge stripes packaging, and all I gotta say is: Pecan Sandies???? PECAN SANDIES????? No. No, sir. Grasshoppers are a top two or three option and I don't think Pecan Sandies crack my top five. Also stop with your EL Fudge nonsense. The creme is weak! There's not enough of it and I don't want more of it! Terrible situation.
shauncore (Kansas City): Can you explain to me why the Royals left Chase Vallot off the 60-man roster?
Craig Goldstein: I can send you to his player card, yes. That's overly reductive, especially given the Marlins inclusion of Will Banfield, or more readily, Sebastian Rivero. I don't have a source or anything, but you could read into the organizational standings a bit there, if you wanted to.
Morris (Laverne): Stick to pie.
Craig Goldstein: This is probably fair. I'm not even that big a fan of cookies.
Chris (Washington): What's the latest with Sam tuivaiala?
Craig Goldstein: He's a free agent, to my knowledge. He wasn't cracking 90 in camp with the Mariners per reports, so it seems like a long-ish road back for someone whose best attribute was velocity.
coffeeguy8806 (Chicagoooo): With the birth of your child, how do you want to introduce baseball to them? Passively/through osmosis? Take them to games (when safe)? Play catch? It seems like a fun or creative thing but also you want to not be crazy intense about it...interested to hear! ...Go Rays
Craig Goldstein: Probably mostly passively? I don't really have a plan, but I don't feel the need to have them love what I love. I will have baseball on a lot and maybe they'll take interest, maybe they won't. I've definitely put them in some baseball-related outfits and all but they don't really know what's going on now. Definitely will play catch, etc. assuming it's something they're interested in. And probably will go to games (eventually) just to give them the experience but I hope I can separate what is important for me to have in my life vs what is important for them to have in theirs.
mikewilsonelgin (Rhode island): Zoilo Versalles: how does a 150-pound shortstop get more than 70 extra-base hits in an era of dominant pitching? I assume steroids were not available in 1965.
Craig Goldstein: I don't have a great answer for this and am not much of a historian. I checked in with Steve Goldman and best we could guess was: he had 728 PA, which is a bunch, and his speed helped him accumulate extra bases on doubles and triples. Throw in a fluky-ish year in '65 and there you have it. Not satisfying but probably true?
Flipai (Maryland): What will happen this season to prospects not on the 60 man squad? Specifically, I have Tristan Casas on my prospect roster and have read how coachable he is and how he is able to make adjustments pretty easily. If he is not on the 60 man roster, does he not get any coaching? Moving forward, should a player like him be dropped for a prospect that is on a team’s 60 man squad?
Thank you for the chat!
Craig Goldstein: I wouldn't make moves based just on whether a guy is on the 60-man roster. Some of them (like Nick Dini for the Royals) are depth pieces there to catch bullpens and be an emergency option. Others are in for development. It's unlikely Casas gets no instruction, but it might be remote or with an academy/trainer on the side rather than directly under team supervision (but with team input, or some such).
Operator Error (CPU): I enjoyed Tim McCullough's article on Fantasy Stats 101: Strikeout and Walk Rates for Hitters. Being a scoresheet owner, these two stats are extremely important. With this in mind, can Cavan Biggio's elite walk rate make up for his dismal strike out rate. Scoresheet has been running exhibition games while we wait for baseball to return. I thought I could live with Biggio's strike out rate because of his OBP. But those K's are driving me crazy!
Craig Goldstein: I'm a little dour on Biggio. PECOTA liked him a bunch, I think because of the walk rate, but I'm skeptical because I think it borders on passivity. Now, in 2019 he did a good job of punishing pitchers for coming into the zone enough it might work, but I don't know that he can hold those power numbers. His in-zone take rate is just so high, I think he needs to swing more, but I'm also doubtful that swinging more will get him better results, if that makes sense?
Big Ed (Philly): Two parter, if you don't mind:
1) What do you make of the Padres outfielder Olivares? Some hype he might make the opening day roster.
2) Milk is not a good drink, right?
Craig Goldstein: 1) I've always liked Olivares and the Pham diagnosis might open up some time for him. Granted, the Padres' cup overfloweth with outfielders. My guess is he fits better on another team where it's a little less crowded on the organizational depth chart, but I'm a fan of the skill set, even if he ends up a fairly modest pro. I think there's a second-division future with a decent chance that he's a fourth outfield type.
2) Milk is good, what the hell are you talking about.
Chris (Washington): Should the braves trade for a left handed veteran bat to replace markakis? Someone like seager would be cheap if they want to pay his salary
Craig Goldstein: I get where you're coming from since he's a lefty bat and could slot in at third and free up Riley to bounce around the corners but I don't think he's a fit. First of all, he's considerably more expensive than Markakis was. Secondly, he had a reverse split each of the last two years (a big one in 2019) and was basically dead-even in 2017. It's not a huge split for his career and it's not dominating against righties, either. I can see the idea but I also think just rolling Acuna to RF and playing Inciarte in center probably makes the most sense. I get Inciarte is beyond frustrating offensively but he makes up a decent amount of value with his glove.
Louis (Washington): What do you make of Evan White? I'm worried he's going to end up just a newer model of Travis Lee or Darin Erstad.
Craig Goldstein: That seems pretty reasonable to me, although I don't see a reason to worry about it. They weren't bad, and I'm not sure the Mariners would even be upset with that result.
roarke (I forget): Do you think we'll see teams get creative and use prospects this season in ways we normally wouldn't, just to give them some experience? For example, the Cardinals could bring up Gorman for a week or two to serve as DH, getting him some reps and a bit of the MLB experience in the process. Or the Royals and their stack of pitching prospects could rotate them in to give them turns as the fifth starter.
Craig Goldstein: Seems unlikely to me, honestly, just because the effects on service time, etc. are substantial. If you're getting pro-rated service, two weeks of Gorman is going to count for 2.5x that total in the future and as much as I'm for the idea, I just don't think teams are going to risk that. It won't be worth it to them.
Arky Vaughn's Ghost (Washington DC): With the short season, any hopes for possibly seeing large adult son Oneil Cruz play any major league games? Or does he still need development? I've read his defense is still spotty
Craig Goldstein: I think he's at least a year away. No reason for Pittsburgh to get aggressive with his playing time in a season they aren't planning or likely to be competitive in, I think. Plus, I earnestly don't think he's ready yet.
Craig Goldstein: Alright everyone, thanks for the questions, and no thanks for the bad cookie opinions. See you next week!