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Chat: Marc Normandin

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Tuesday April 29, 2008 2:00 PM ET chat session with Marc Normandin.


Marc Normandin keeps your team in the know with his fantasy coverage for Baseball Prospectus.

Marc Normandin: Hello all, glad to be here on this rainy afternoon (at least in my neck of the woods). I'm on campus instead of in the comfy confines of my home, thanks to some computer issues (on a related note, apologies to any e-mails I may have missed over the past few weeks). Today we can talk some baseball, as well as the other usual suspects, video games, music, and the like. Let's get started.

Jeff ((The) Fenway): Marc, iirc, last year you took a look at Manny's batted ball data in the midst of his down year, and concluded that he'd probably lost some bat speed... with his hot start this year, do you think it's fair to say he's found it again?

Marc Normandin: Manny, despite the view that he's somewhat lazy, is one of the hardest working players in the majors. The thing is, he's always worked on his swing, rather than the kind of shape he was in. I think Manny realized he lost a bit lost year, and he spent the winter trying to stay ahead of his aging. HR/FB is a pretty good indicator of whether a player has legitimately lost some power or not, and last year we saw it slip. It's back up this year along the lines we're used to seeing from Manny, so it's possible he'll outperform last year's numbers. The .424 BABIP shows that he won't hit .350 all year, but that doesn't mean he can't keep slugging.

jrfukudome (Chicago): Is Franklin Morales ever going to turn it around?

Marc Normandin: Franklin Morales is two months older than I am. He has plenty of time to turn it around, though it won't happen in Colorado if he can't A) cut down on the walks and B) induce grounders like he did last year. He's a lefty with excellent stuff, and Kevin Goldstein ranked him #13 on his top 100 prospects this year. Give him some time to learn on the job, and we'll talk after that.

uptick (st. louis): What do you think about Max Scherzer? Is he worth using a waiver claim?

Marc Normandin: A quick scan of the queue tells me that Max Scherzer is a popular dude today. Scherzer was #90 on KG's list, and I'd have to think that if he has his walks under control--he handed out free passes to almost 5 hitters per nine in '07--then his upside is higher than that. Let's not go insane with a 23 inning sample or anything, but he's looking better now than he did when the season started, huh? If you have the space, go for it. If he keeps it up you won't have much more time to think it over.

Every Padre Fan in America (Yeah, America): Is there any hope that Edmonds is slumping and not done? He's moving like Spock in "Spock's Brain."

Marc Normandin: Edmonds is an extreme flyball hitter in a park that crushes the spirit of people who fit that profile. Combine that with his decline in general, and Marc's a sad panda.

Ralph (NYC): What's going on with Verlander? I haven't been able to see a lot of him yet this year, but apparently he's still got his velocity but he's been getting pounded. What can we expect from here on out?

Marc Normandin: According to Fangraphs, his average fastball velocity is 92.8. It was 94.8 last season. His pitch distribution is the same, so I wonder if that slight tick off the gun is enough to screw him up. I haven't seen him yet, so I can't give you my amateur opinion on whether his mechanics look funny, but the lack of strikeouts and jump in walks are a concern. When I get mlb.tv or Extra Innings set up in the new apartment, I want to take a look at him for a few starts.

kj (boston): Is carlos Quentin for real? he has put up some good stats with a relatively low babip. Should I drop ankiel for him?

Marc Normandin: Ankiel's been impressive, in the sense that he's increased his walk rate while slightly cutting his strikeouts. It's good to see him adjust to major league pitching, because he needs to. His BABIP is down too, so I wouldn't dump him right away based on his own performance. The White Sox have the better lineup, so you could get more R and RBI with him around probably. I don't think Quentin will hit homers on 21% of his flyballs for the whole year, but he's piqued my interest.

mkvallely (Florissant): You said Morales is two months other than you are, so he has plenty of time to turn it around. Are you implying that you still have time to turn it around? Also, do you think a 26-year old college dropout that stares at his fantasy baseball team all day still has a chance at a Roy Halladay-like revival?

Marc Normandin: Not that I thought I could be a major leaguer, but the day that "dream" was shattered was when Justin Upton was drafted at age-17. Roy Halladay? C'mon, at least pick someone with a fastball that tops out at 70. Like Barry Zito.

Dan (San Jose): I need help in my fantasy league, I can trade Volquez (sell high) for Burnett (buy low), would you do it? Also do you think Hawpe bounces back to get 30hr and 100RBI

Marc Normandin: I'd stick with Volquez. I love the upside, and he's pitching in a terrible division. Burnett is a health risk, and he's in the AL East. Hawpe's a tough call, honestly. He can't hit lefties, so his line depends on how much he can batter right-handers. He's not hitting them yet either this season. He will, but picking up those shiny round numbers is tough when you can't hit southpaws in this age of relief specialists.

ted (cannot reveal my location): Troy Tulowitzki. Is he going to turn it around? If I can get him for James Shields, should I? My current SS is Khalil Greene and it's a 16 team league.

Marc Normandin: No! James Shields is the man. Seriously. Isn't Ryan Theriot available? That's who I picked up to stop the Khalil pain. I like Tulo plenty, but he didn't hit on the road last year, and if he doesn't this year then you have someone useful for 81 games, some of which he's already tanked in.

dogtothedog (Toronto): I have Blalock and Longoria on my team (Blalock currently on the bench) I have a good lineup but poor pitching. should I drop one of them and pick up Phil Hughes?

Marc Normandin: I'm not a big Blalock guy. Longoria's going to be a stud, and his upside in '08 is worth the risk of dropping Blalock for a pitcher. Who else is available besides Hughes?

jlewallen (Arlington, VA): At what point does this officially become a down year for Ryan Howard?

Marc Normandin: It's April, even if he looks like he can break his own strikeout record by the All-Star break.

Dan (PA): What are your thoughts on John Lannan? (Insert Beatles pun as needed.)

Marc Normandin: Hey there Dan, how's it going? I typed his name into Google the other day to get one of his stat pages, and Google asked me if I meant "John Lennon". Lannan just missed KG's Top 11 for the Diamondbacks, and though I haven't asked him, I'm guessing it had something to do with his inability to put away hitters. He's still walking too many hitters, but he's upped the Ks above the average. He's intriguing, because if he adjusted, he's going to be a useful part for the Nats. He used his slider in less than one percent of the time last year, and this year has utilized it 22% of the time. Anyone have any info on the pitch?

Taylor (Boston): Marc, What are your thoughts on Lars Anderson? I know he is in Lancaster a homerun haven, but from a fantasy standpoint do you guys think he'll hit for average and have enough power to hit 30hrs/yr? What's the consensus?

Marc Normandin: I'm not impressed with his April line. He has a .440 BABIP and only hit .300, and has a .143 Isolated Power. He'll need to do better than that outside of Lancaster, never mind in it. He was #100 on the prospect list, and he'll need to show he deserves a higher ranking than that before I get excited.

joe (michigan): Marc, Needless to say I am displessed with Andruw Jones' "performance" this year. Will he turn it around? Would you dump him for Gomez, Cameron, Cuddyer or Crisp?

Marc Normandin: I assumed he would bounce back slightly this year, though not to an All-Star level. That had to do with his .248 BABIP, but he looks terrible this year, with an even worse BABIP and a K% over 35%. It might be safe to say that Chipper Jones' post-peak years have gone better than Andruw's :-)

dogtothedog (Toronto): other pitchers availible are, Dontrelle Willis,Ted Lilly,Francisco Liriano, Tom Gorzelanny, Ubaldo Jiménez, Jarrod Washburn, Jeff Suppan, Jamie Moyer, Shawn Chacón, Shawn Hill, Kevin Millwood, Andy Sonnanstine, See anything in there you like better the Hughes?

Marc Normandin: Sonnanstine's intriguing. Lilly's using the wrong pitches, from what I can tell. I like Gorzelanny, but I'd like him more if he'd stop hurting my own team's numbers. I'd take Sonnanstine for now, honestly. Phil Hughes is all kinds of messed up at the moment.

Sonnanstine's using a cutter more this year, probably to offset the number of fastballs in the zone hitters knew were coming in '07. It hasn't helped his strikeout rate, but he's lowered the number of base hits he's allowing. That's a tough crowd of FA, I'll give you that...

dootstev (Michigan): Corey Hart: buy or sell?

Marc Normandin: He needs to smooth out his swing again, he's hitting the ball on the ground too much. I say hold on to him and wait for the loft to come back to his swing. He's getting on base and stealing for you at the moment anyways, the power will come back.

danbuttolph (Denver): What do you expect from Stephen Drew this year? He went from super prospect to disappointment last year; can we expect a move back towards respectability this year? .280/.350/.450 seem reasonable?

Marc Normandin: I wanted to draft Drew as my SS, but he was snagged before I got to that point in my roster construction. I'm a fan, and think last year was an adjustment year for him. I can see him beating out your forecast for him in the power department, either because of his park or because he's good enough to do so.

dianagramr (NYC): re: "sad panda" .... is that a South Park reference? :-) OK ... I need to dump Gil Meche, do I pick up John Danks or Jair Jurrjens? Kyle Lohse isn't for real is he?

Marc Normandin: Pick up Danks and Jurrjens. Extended exposure to Lohse can severely damage your judgment, even if I was forced to grab him during the playoffs last year. That's a dark time in my life I'd rather not discuss.

ted (still in the bunker): Follow up on James Shields: I also drafted Kazmir, and I picked up Garza after he was dropped around the time he went on the DL. Should I pick up Sonnanstine? To rephrase the question --- could I have a winning team with 4/5 of the Rays' rotation?

Marc Normandin: Three is my limit, especially if it's head-to-head, where an extended slump can force you to lose consecutive weeks. You already have the three best ones.

Chris (Brooklyn, NY): Marc, you pick up GTA IV yet? got plans to?

Marc Normandin: I'll pick it up eventually. Right now I'm working on "The World Ends With You" on DS and Mario Kart Wii. World Ends With You is the best Square Enix game I've played in ages. I don't think I've had this much fun with one since Final Fantasy VI, to be honest. The gameplay mechanics are incredibly deep, and there's tons of customization, a wonderful art style, and best of all, it's set in the Shibuya district of Tokyo.

Mario Kart has also been excellent, probably going to be my favorite since the original. The Wii Wheel is surprisingly good, and I'm getting better with it the more I play. Anyone out there who gave it the cold shoulder should give it a shot. If I was at home I'd post my Friend Code for Kart, but if there's anyone who wants it, e-mail me and I'll give it to you.

stevevranas (chicago): what do you think of the cubs team this year are ?really this good or do you think there overrated ?

Marc Normandin: For once, I like the Cubs team. They seem to have finally addressed the OBP problem, and I wish I had more chances to catch Fukudome play.

SnakeDoctor18 (Washington DC): Do you think Ryan Braun will make a big turnaround or just have a rough sophomore slump for his whole season?

Marc Normandin: I don't know if I published it anywhere, but I was down on the idea of Braun in 2008. Not because I think he's bad--he's going to be excellent--but because I thought the combination of his L/R splits and his lofty BABIP were going to take a chunk out of his line. Somewhere over the winter I think I forgot about that and was excited by his forecast. It's April, so we can't say which feeling was correct, but he's popping the ball up a ton instead of driving it. Once he straightens that out, adjusting to the way pitchers are throwing to him, he'll be all set. It's the how long that will take that I can't help you with.

Pat (Chicago): When are balls hit off of Chad Billingsley going to start turning into outs?

Marc Normandin: When he stops walking 5.7 hitters per nine and isn't forced to throw tons of pitches in the zone when batters know they are coming. That's what I get from the data, anyways. Anyone care to interject?

UTsubscriber (san diego): In today's San Diego Union-Tribune, beat writer Tom Krasovic states "the Dodgers may be as or more talented than Arizona, according to some veteran scouts who've seen a lot of both teams." Your thoughts...

Marc Normandin: Sure, I can dig. The problem is in the utilization of that talent: Arizona is playing all of their excellent young hitters, and the Dodgers still don't know if they want to be led by veterans or a youth movement. It's a sad situation when Juan Pierre could play himself back into a job, thanks to Jones' issues. If LaRoche were healthy and playing, that would help level things a bit too.

Remember, before the D'backs were the go-to example of talented youth, the Dodgers were sitting on that throne. Those kids are still on the roster, too.

Billy Butler's Power (?): Am I going to show up soon, or what?

Marc Normandin: He had some solid power for a rookie last year, and we're working with a month's stats. Butler's power will reappear when the Royals time-warp out of 1967.

Forden (Alberta): Along the same lines as the Tamp Starters question, should I be looking to move one of Chris Young, Justin Upton, or Mark Reynolds? Not only are they all on the same team but they are all right handed making their value run that much closer together on a day to day basis.

Marc Normandin: I'd move Reynolds. His strikeout rate is bothersome, and that's coming from someone with an Adam Dunn t-shirt in his closet.

rawagman (Work, TO): Is Adam Lind ready to contribute as a ML regular for the Jays?

Marc Normandin: His numbers weren't that impressive at Triple-A, and he scuffled last year. His 75th percentile forecast looks promising, and if the Jays just let him play, maybe he'll adjust and produce.

davelamb (San Leandro): No question.... I just wanted to mention that my son was born 10 days ago and I gave him the middle name of "Clark" for Will the Thrill.....

Marc Normandin: Congratulations! Will Clark is one of my favorite players ever, and I'd love it if he were to rightfully earn his place in Cooperstown via the VC. Hopefully they fix it before he runs out of years.

Anthony (Chicago): is Buchholz for real? can we expect more of what he did saturday vs the rays?

Marc Normandin: I think so. He pitches backwards, and he knows what he's doing up there. Outside of the excellent stuff, he knows how to use it. He did a short interview on NESN before the start about keeping hitters off balance, and working off of how they reacted to previous at-bats. He's not the only guy who does this or anything, but I like hearing someone with a plan of action on the mound, especially when they have pitches like Clay.

Tommy (OPS,FL): Who do you think gets dropped from the Rays rotation upon Kaz's return? Sonnanstine?

Marc Normandin: I've seen this question a lot in my queue, and after asking a friend of mine who's a Rays fan, they said Sonnanstine has an option left, so he may be the odd man out. Maybe you guys don't want to pick him up today :-)

JimmyJack (Issaquah, WA): Hi Marc, I really enjoy he Player Profiles & was wondering when you may be resuming that again?

Marc Normandin: Thanks for that, I appreciate it. Player Profile isn't dead or anything, I'm just going to be writing them less often. We'll mix them in during the season when there are stories to tell, and there could be one up in the near future actually.

Mistake by the Lake (Cleveland): Obviously Cliff Lee is going to come back to the mean. Any feel for how sudden? Do these things tend to be "whoops" and he gets battered around, or is it more likely that at some point he regresses to his average and bounces around that point?

Marc Normandin: Cliff Lee is locked in. It's ridiculous, and I'm annoyed I haven't been able to watch any of it. I don't think Lee is going to get battered around. He's been an effective pitcher in the past, and he's had to deal with injuries the past few seasons. I don't think he's a Cy Young contender or anything, but he's capable of being above-average. [Opens Excel] his QERA is 2.30, and if you bump his BB% back to his career level, his QERA goes up to 3.03. Knock his K% down to 20%, and his QERA is 4.04. He's good.

goraffe (NYC): AM I crazy to pick Johnathan Sanchez?

Marc Normandin: Why would you be crazy? Dude's striking out a ton of hitters, has kept his walks under control and isn't giving up a lot of homers. His BABIP data looks like it's all in line too. All you're missing is Wins, but 4/5 is pretty great.

dw (nyc): Braden Looper, last year Night games: 5-11, 6.75, 1.59 whip; day games: 7-1, 1.82, 0.96. Is there any rhyme/reason to this?

Marc Normandin: Hitters are picking up the ball better at night? Small sample?

Ameer (Bloomington, IN): Would you rather have Encarnacion or Zimmerman from here on out? Edwin has had a hot start and Zimmerman has looked terrible...but we're a month in.

Marc Normandin: I haven't even updated my music. I started the chat out with PJ Harvey, moved on to Megadeth, and now have Bad Religion on. What's everyone else listening to?

Encarnacion is raking, and Zimmerman's struggling. Zim's issues seem to be batting average and BABIP related though, because nothing else is too off in his line. He's not driving the ball enough though, with a HR/FB of 5.7%. The month in part is key...if you need to make a decision on which one to keep, I might take Edwin just because of home park and lineup.

Ben (Chicago): Any confidence in Lastings Milledge? Whats wrong with him?

Marc Normandin: He's not driving the ball. He's hitting plenty of flyballs, but around 1/3 of those have been popups. Give him some time to straighten his swing out, and the extra-base hits will come. He's hit at tougher parks than this one, so give him some time.

Ben (New York): Is there anything wrong with Cano that is making him hit poorly? Also, do you think Melky can keep up the power the way its been early this year?

Marc Normandin: I haven't had a chance to dig into it yet, but this reminds me of last year's problems. I'm interested in seeing if he is going to be a perpetually slow starter who has issues adjusting to the way pitchers handle him each year.

Mark Grace (AZ): If Will Clark gets in the Hall, shouldn't I get in too? Led the league in hits in the 90s.

Marc Normandin: Clark had a 100.9 career WARP3, a Peak of 62.3 and a JAWS of 81.6. He's below the JAWS averages (115.1/66.9/91.0) so I wish he had kept on playing. He had 6.4 WARP3 his final year at age 36, so he probably would have reached those benchmarks if he played to the age Grace did. Grace is further below, with only 85.1 WARP3.

jlarsen (DRays Bay): Thoughts on the Rays bullpen, we knew it was going to improve from being historically bad last year...but best in the majors? Eh? JP Howell has suddenly found a niche, Dan Wheeler refound his slider and Percival has been lights-out. Too early to be excited or do the stats comparing 'pens from the last 2 years show some real growth?

Marc Normandin: Pens are fickle from year to year. I prefer when teams use in-house options and cheap alternatives over high-priced guys, and the Rays built their pen this way for '08. I'm not sure if it's the best in the league, but it's improved from last year, which is a start.

31cornucopia (Trenton): Drop Kearns for Jay Bruce?

Marc Normandin: Yes, based on my thinking Bruce will be up before the ASB.

Gray (Chicago): Yeah, but Grace was the man...smoked 2 packs a day, played old school baseball and tells great stories.

Marc Normandin: Like that one about the time Clark's team rocked the Cubs in the playoffs? That's being unfair to Grace though, who hit .647/.682/1.118 over those 5 games.

goraffe (NYC): Khaliel Greene? Stop or go? Felipe Lopez is my other option at shortstop.

Marc Normandin: I'd bench him for now. He's a mess, as is most of the rest of that lineup.

Jeff (Chicago): Marc - In a 9X9 league heavily weighted towards all the hit categories, would you trade Justin Upton to get Todd Helton? Helton was a top 25 player in this league last year. Thanks!

Marc Normandin: That's the wrong guy to ask me about getting rid of. Upton is a beast. What are the cats?

Ralph (NYC): Which Bad Religion? 80-85 has their best stuff, but I'm not a huge fan of their newer stuff. I'm currently listening to Social Distortion - Mommy's Little Monster. You really think Bruce will be called up before the ASB? Due to injuries or lack of production from Dusty's OF?

Marc Normandin: I'm listening to Against the Grain, which is my favorite. I don't like Social D much, I don't know why. I keep trying to like them, and failing.

I'd like to think the Reds are smart enough to bring him up by then. Hopefully Jocketty thinks so too.

chavez3 (Bay Area): How bad is the Red Sox trade of Hanley going to look when all is said and done? I know they got a couple good years from Beckett and Lowell, so it may not be as bad as the Bagwell trade. But Ramirez appears to be on the ARod track and the Sox could use a shortstop.

Marc Normandin: Correct me if I'm wrong, but the Sox won the World Series without a proper shortstop last year, right? I'm a huge critic of that deal, but flags fly forever, and they earned this one riding Beckett's arm.

Goldeye99 (Wpg): Hi Marc, thanks for the chat! Given Colby Rasmus' somewhat ordinary April in the minors, will he still be called up at some point in 2008? Before or after ASB?

Marc Normandin: I don't even know if it's related, but Perfect Dark > Goldeneye. I think we'll see Rasmus called up before the year is out, but whether that's before or after the ASB depends on the Cards record.

RJ (BeyondtheBoxscore): Shouldn't you be writing or something instead of chatting forever?

Marc Normandin: Ouch, harsh. I'm popping in over at Beyond the Box Score (just like old times!) on occasion when I get a chance, but I'm doing a lot more of standing around and advising than writing lately. I'll be out of school soon enough.

Beantown Joe (Boston): Evening mentioning the Beckett/ Hanley trade with the Bagwell/Anderson trade is absurd. As you said, we are talking about the defending world champs. Seriously, if we could rewind the clock, would you make that deal? Hanley's a stud, but c'mon this is real baseball not fantasy, it's about winning a ring.

Marc Normandin: Honestly, based on the available data, I probably would not have made it. Lowell looked like he was done, and his surprising performance for the Sox had as much to do with their victory last year as Beckett's rise to top-tier starter. Then again, when I was initially criticizing the deal, I might not have taken the Sox park factors into account re: Lowell enough. That's a good question, honestly. I also may have overrated Anibal Sanchez a bit on his way out the door.

jessehoffins (Philly): Which 2 get lineup spots, mike cameron, milledge or a. jones?

Marc Normandin: Cammy and Milledge. Andruw looks awful. I can't stress that enough.

Richie (Washington): "The Sox could use a shortstop."

What does that have to do with Hanley? He'll be in the outfield in another couple of years. Jeter notwithstanding, a Sox-caliber organization doesn't need a total butcher at short. And aren't Hanley's fielding numbers much worse than Jeter's anyways?

Marc Normandin: What he said.

Gray (Chicago): I was thinking more baout the time Maddux was "excited" to be on the mound or when the Cubs pitching coach came out in Cincy to talk to the Red Baron so they had time to load more fireworks...

Marc Normandin: We need more stories like that to be told, honestly. Two things: lightning round coming up, as I need to get off campus and back home, and I'm now listening to Faith No More.

jlarsen (DRays Bay): With the Rays are looking to be at least competitive, are they going to do well enough to almost guarantee that only one AL East team makes the playoffs?

Marc Normandin: Jake, I love the Rays talent and all, but say it with me: it's April.

jlewallen (Arlington, VA): Speaking of calling Bruce up, other than Krivsky being out of work, does much change in the short-term with Jocketty in the GM spot? It seems like most of the Reds' roster is pretty set.

Marc Normandin: In the short term, probably not. Jocketty's in charge before draft time, but besides promotions, they seem pretty set. Contracts seem to be the point of dispute between them, so we'll probably see different looks for players over the winter than the ones we were getting used to with Krivsky around. That should make some other FO folk pleased...

Goldeye99 (Wpg): Nope, not related to Goldeneye, but rather the Winnipeg Goldeyes (independent minor league baseball team). Since I'm here again, how about Homer Bailey? Call up soon? or did Baker go sour on him in spring training? I've had Bailey stashed in my fantasy keeper league for way too long.

Marc Normandin: I keep hearing he's coming up soon, but then he doesn't show. At least he's finally pitching like he knows what's up in Triple-A, so maybe he won't get rocked in the show this time.

James (England): Perfect Dark>Golden Eye? you have to be kidding me. golden eye wins alone just based on the music and characters. nothing like killing people with shortstack

Marc Normandin: Perfect Dark was made by the same wonderful crew, and it added bots of various difficulty levels to the mix. The weapons were cooler, it had a sci-fi vibe to it, and you didn't need to have four people over to enjoy it to its full potential. Perfect Dark wins, but Timesplitters II is probably better than both.

I really hope Haze doesn't suck, or I'll be disappointed and sans a next-gen shooter. I'm very picky about my shooters.

Nineball (Boston): Verlander - fish or cutbait.

Marc Normandin: He's too good to drop outright, you know? If you can move him for someone at a talent level close to his...

Killebrew Was Here (Minn.): Where's Mauer's power?

Marc Normandin: PECOTA says he left it back in 2006.

James (England): you outnerded me. I was only talking about multiplayer goldeneye

Marc Normandin: Give it a shot sometime! Or play Timesplitters II. Both amazing multiplayer games.

Jeff (Chicago): What about Verlander for Sabathia? It's been a popular topic among message boards...

Marc Normandin: Sabathia's already "fixed", so I wouldn't do that unless I was the one dumping Verlander.

rjmoore (Boston): Your chat is up against Bill Simmons and GTA4. Just thought I'd bring that up.

Marc Normandin: I'm getting a ton of questions, all things considered. I wish I could stick around to answer them all.

geoff (denver): odds beane moves blanton at the deadline?

Marc Normandin: Why would the first place A's do such a thing? :-)

It depends on the standings, honestly. If the A's young club does better than expected--remember, PECOTA thought they were basically a .500 team, with the Angels only a few games better, and that was before Frank Thomas was added--then why would you trade Blanton? They might do it anyways though, I wouldn't put it past that FO.

jody reed (dodgertown): Do the contracts given to Andruw Jones and Juan Pierre represent the worst two-step approach to solving one problem in the history of the game? What terror-alert color would you assign to Ned Coletti's job security.

Marc Normandin:
1. Sign washed up players.
2. "?"
3. Profit.

George (STL): J.Upton - sell high for 08?

Marc Normandin: Justin Upton rules! You guys are going to hurt his feelings.

Greg (NYC): Will Burnett's K's come back?

Marc Normandin: Looking at his pitches and velocity, he hasn't changed at all from last year, at least in regards to how often and how fast. He's not hitting his spots though, based on the BB rate and .351 BABIP. This could be something as small as a mechanical issue that needs to be sorted out by the pitching coach.

Mike (Iowa City, IA): Hey Marc, have you picked up or tried Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn on the Wii yet? I'm running out of things to unlock on SSBB.

Marc Normandin: I don't think there's an end to the things you can unlock in SSBB. I feel like more stickers and trophies are added while I sleep. Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn was fantastic, at least I thought so. Some reviewers didn't like it, citing the serious difficulty level and fact that it hadn't changed much from the 'Cube version. Their loss, honestly. Not my fault they can't beat a hard game. Again, Friend Codes for Smash are welcome in my inbox; seriously, we can get BP matches together.

Rob (DC): Jeremy Bonderman? According to pitch f/x, he still has the velocity, and isn't missing by a WHOLE lot. It's hard to believe he'd have a backwards K:BB rate at this point of the year though...

Marc Normandin: The K/BB isn't just a little off either, he's walking almost 7 hitters per. I can honestly say I don't know what his problem is, but I wouldn't touch him with someone else's roster right now.

akachazz (DC): Hey Marc! Can you explain me some fantasty baseball? In a vanilla 10 teamer, I've got Melky Cabrera, Milledge, Adam Jones, and Jeremy Hermida, but only 2 spots for them. In this format, are any of them (Melky?) cuttable? I feel like each of the other three is too good to be on my bench. Do I need to make a trade?

Marc Normandin: If you only have the two spots, I'd sell high on Melky. You aren't going to get a lot for Milledge or Hermida while their SLG is down, and Melky isn't doing so great that he's untouchable for you.

miker (new york, ny): Who is more lost at the plate right now Carlos Pena or Ryan Howard?

Marc Normandin: Pena has a .238 ISO and is drawing walks in 14% of his PA. Howard has a .185 ISO and is walking in 15.6%...Howard's hitting poorly at home, but not as poorly on the road. If you're forcing a decision, I'd say Howard.

Pat M, (Chicago): Smash online sucks. Why wont people admit this? Connection lag problems up the wazoo. Believe me, this hurts to admit since Smash GC is in the top 4 games ever, but its 2008. Online play shouldnt be so buggy. Team Fortress 2 on the other hand... Uh random fantasy question. Any inside Posada shoulder news?

Marc Normandin: I haven't had issues with Smash Bros. online if they are on my friends list. Random matches are sketchier. I haven't heard squat about Posada. Time to shoot Will an e-mail!

goraffe (NYC): Questions about why most of the player on my roster are doing so bad have been asked in this chat. I don't have a question, but realize why i am in 9th place.

Marc Normandin: I'm glad we were all able to help, even if it was indirectly.

Marc Normandin: Sorry to jet everyone, but I've already spent more time away from prepping for finals and projects than I should have. Thanks for coming by and giving us all something fun to do this afternoon! Enjoy the last few games of April, and I look forward to next time.

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