Craig Goldstein is the editor-in-chief of Baseball Prospectus.
Craig Goldstein: Let's get started a few minutes early!
firstname.lastname@example.org (DC): Christian Jaiver has been good. But wasn’t a highly touted prospect. His minor league numbers were good, what’s the deal?
Craig Goldstein: I think the general idea as he came up through the system was that the fastball was okay, the curve was great, and what about a third pitch. The league has trended away from requiring a third offering to stick as a starter of late, both because starters don't go as deep into games, and because throwing your best pitch more often is just accepted as a viable strategy now. I think that's benefited Cristian (no h) Javier quite a bit. Although maybe not as much as spilling coffee on him.
I'm a fan and I think he's a solid mid-rotation arm. He'll get blown up occasionally because if he's off on either of his main pitches, it'll be a real problem, but he can rack up strikeouts and knows how to pitch.
brad (NJ): What spects have gained the most value so far in 2021?
Craig Goldstein: The minor league season hasn't yet begun so I think it's a bit early to speculate on stuff like that.
jwise224 (PDX): Is a battery of Josh Collmenter and Tuffy Gosewisch the worst Opening Day (2015) pair of all time? Seems bad.
Craig Goldstein: To everyone but Patrick Dubuque, yes.
pats1124 (Durham, NC): New proposal for Manfred to speed up the pace of play: cancel Max Muncy’s ABs just give him an out 1/3 of the time and put him on first the other 2/3... seriously though, maybe it’s just recency bias but has anyone walked like this since Barry Bonds?
Craig Goldstein: He's been on a hell of a tear, although the Dodgers offense could probably use his swings a bit more at the moment. Using our new leaderboards (https://www.baseballprospectus.com/leaderboards/hitting/) you can sort by BB% and min PA. I just did this with a min of 20 PA and was stunned to find Matt Joyce a 23.8% and Joey Gallo at 23.5%. Muncy tops the leaderboard and has a good chance of finishing there, but he's just on a bit of a hot streak right now, I think.
ironcityguys (daBurgh): Matz.. fixed? or just a few good starts before he's on the injured list again?
Craig Goldstein: I'm not sure those are necessarily mutually exclusive, as being injured and being "fixed" from a performance perspective can coexist to some degree. To the heart of your point, though, I think it's more just a few good starts. Matz has legitimate skills and was never going to repeat a 37% HR/FB over the course of a full season, but 10% is also well below his career norms. His GB% is back in line with pre-2020 figures, so I think that's closer to where he'll end up, but he's banked a darn good start already.
FearAndLoathing (Bogota, Colombia): People keep suggesting that the issues facing Gleyber offensively involve his time at SS. Are you buying this? Should we expect a turnaround or is this now too significant a sample size for us not to be concerned?
Craig Goldstein: Is it possible that the physical and mental demands of the position have drawn his focus away from hitting? Sure. But he's been a shortstop for most of his career (including minors) and never really failed to hit, so I don't think they're too inter-related. That said, it might be that some time at second could take some pressure off in the short term or something like that.
ironcityguys (daBurgh): The Pirates really didn't give Alford or Fowler enough PA to decide neither could contribute at all in 2021, right? I mean 3 weeks of splitting AB... seems like pulling a starting pitcher after he allows a hit/BB to the leadoff batter in the 6th. Why bother at all with the initial plan?
Craig Goldstein: They didn't give either an extended tryout, no, but also both have had fairly lengthy careers which the team could take into account and were hitting so poorly that I think it's fair for the club to try something else, especially while they're hanging around .500.
Buff (Colorado): Very deep NL only, do you see any upside to any of the following: Austin Adams, Robert Stephenson, Sam Howard, Sam Coonrod, Kyle Finnegan?
Craig Goldstein: If you're saying for saves...not really. If I was going on good bets to produce a strong season, I'd take Adams. He could hurt your WHIP but the strikeouts are there and he can also work his way out of jams with his stuff. Kind of a high risk/reward type there.
jwise224 (PDX): Keston Hiura is whiffing a bunch in the zone and is basically terrible now. How does a guy lost 15-percent of his in-zone contact over the course of two seasons? For a guy who is supposed to "just hit," this seems really weird. Any thoughts on the culprit?
Craig Goldstein: I covered Hiura a bit in a recent Box Score Banter (https://www.baseballprospectus.com/news/article/66323/trout-keeps-fishing-angels-pham-san-diego/) and the short answer is "I have no idea." It's one thing to never have had it, but another to drop that much z-contact so quickly. It seems stupid but I wonder if there's a vision issue at play in some respects.
cwik02 (Chicago): Which of the following is the best thing to have within walking distance: An excellent coffee shop, an excellent deli or an excellent bakery?
Craig Goldstein: This is a HELL of a question. I think I have to say bakery? Bakery's often do coffee, and some will do sandwiches as well. Plus you're getting great bread for your sandwich and I often think that's an underrated separator on a good deli, how good the bread is. I love a good coffee shop, but I think I have to go bakery.
James (NY): Hi Craig, How much longer will Clev. stay with J. Bauers? When will B Bradley be called up and will he hit enough to have a good/useful career?
Craig Goldstein: It *can't* be much longer, right? He's been awful and has never really flashed the upside they anticipated when they acquired him. Also...let's just get Naylor out of the outfield, huh? I liked Bradley a ways back but I don't know if that swing-and-miss survives at the big-league level. He's got the power when he connects, but...yeah, I'm skeptical.
ironcityguys (daBurgh): Will Acuna ever be the full-time Braves' centerfielder?
Craig Goldstein: I think it's likely he sticks in a corner with Pache or Waters in center, long-term.
edwardarthur (Illinois): Any chance of adding an ad-free tier for membership? This would be especially useful for viewing the site on a smart phone.
Craig Goldstein: We've got a bunch of projects ongoing that we want to complete before addressing our membership tiers, but trust that we're going to look into something like this for sure. Appreciate the feedback and we will take it into account!
benevento (Boston): should I worry about Chris Paddack? Is Jesse Winker this good?
Craig Goldstein: Depends what your current feelings are on Paddack. I think he's a 4/5 at this point (in the rotation, not Role). He'll flash a bit higher at times, but I think that's basically where we are. I'm the wrong guy to ask about Winker. I never thought the power was gonna be there and so I'm stunned to see how good he's been thus far, though he's been hampered by injuries plenty. I would expect a small dropoff, generally, but I've also been wrong basically the whole way.
FearAndLoathing (Bogota, Colombia): How much stock are we putting into the changes around Carson Kelly? Obviously some of this looks real, but is he better than, say, Christian Vazquez ROS?
Craig Goldstein: I put a fair amount of stock into Kelly right now. He will not continue to hit fly balls 50% of the time, nor have a .313 BABIP while hitting that many fly balls. Some of that is good fortune. But he's also upped his average exit velo by 3 mph, and his launch angle by 4 degrees (and it was already a career high). Vazquez has had some poor luck (that IFFB% is way too high), but I'd take Kelly over Vazquez ROS.
ironcityguys (daBurgh): Logan Webb had a top notch start against a subpar Marlins' lineup Sunday. Do you think he has more ceiling than originally anticipated?
Craig Goldstein: Sad to say I am not on the Logan Webb bandwagon like my colleague Jon Hegglund. I love what SF has done with a bunch of their pitchers, but I see him as a back of the rotation type.
brad (NJ): Singer has looked great, ROY? his biggest knock when drafted wasnt upside it was injury risk, he seems healthy and the defacto ace in KC. Is expecting a good #2 albeit with maybe less W potential too much?
Craig Goldstein: I think there was relatively muted upside for Singer, though. The stuff was good-not-great, but I know our prospect team had several fans of Singer who felt that it all played up because of his ability to control it. That seems like it is playing out thus far. I'd still anticipate a good mid-rotation arm more than a no. 2, but if you're higher on the profile than I am, I can at least see where you're coming from.
mjquart (Milwaukee): Not necessarily for the cue. Your site is great, I read: BP, Fangraphs, Pitcherslist, Fantrax, TheDynastyGuru, Fantasy Pros, Razzball, Prospects365, and MLB.com nearly daily.
Guess which one I pay $ for? Yours and only yours.
But, when I open an article to read about Padres pitching, I don't need to read about mask-less outdoor dining and Ben Shapiro. It comes off as snide, irrelevant and confrontational. If I read about Manfried and sports betting, or if Trout/Acuna speak up about police shootings (ala Labron), I get inserting a political angle or opinion into a piece. I accept that's the world we live in.
How about encouraging your staff to keep the sports out of the "purely baseball" articles? With all the free content out there, like the commish, you need to "feel" and "read the room" a little better.
Craig Goldstein: Hey I appreciate the comment. Earnestly, I don't delineate between "purely baseball" articles and not. I apologize those lines didn't land for you, but I thought they were pretty funny. The threat of free content isn't really a concern of mine, I think our analysis and writing quality are top-notch, and I think we provide value many times over for what we charge for subscription. All of those sites have really sharp writers, and no doubt produce great content, but their existence isn't going to change our outlook, ultimately.
Craig Goldstein: Thanks for the chat everyone, had a great time checking in with you and look forward to doing it again next week either here or on twitch.