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Chat: Marc Normandin

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Thursday July 17, 2008 1:00 PM ET chat session with Marc Normandin.


Marc Normandin, BP's resident fantasy expert, stops by to help you set your lineups for the second half.

Marc Normandin: Hey there folks, good to be here today. It's time to get back into baseball that counts even without a trendy marketing tag line! With just four games on the slate--and all tonight--I'm here to keep you company. Chat veterans know the drill: baseball is the obvious topic du jour, but , let's delve into the worlds of video games, music, or whatever tickles your fancy. I'll get us started: I just picked up "We Love Golf!" for Wii, and I'm listening to Queens of the Stone Age's "Rated R" to kick things off musically.

Dave M (Pittsburgh): Does McCutchen have value at some point in the second half? I'm working w/ the assumption Bay or Nady goes. Thanks

Marc Normandin: Probably not for 2008, no. Even if a spot opens up in the outfield for him, he hasn't exactly torn apart the upper levels of the minors (.313/.352/.418 at Double-A; .282/.365/.405 at Triple-A). Sure, he may steal bases, but he's at a 61% success rate at Triple-A, and major league catchers are better at that game. The Pirates offense would take a hit if Bay or Nady were to disappear via trade as well, so the R and RBI might not be there either. Unless it's a keeper league, and you have to pick him up via waivers, I'd skip him this time around.

pjfsks (morristown, nj): Dan Warthen for president! Supposedly managers and batting order don't have that much impact, how about pitching coaches? Coincedence that the Mets pitching has been great or is Warthen the real deal?

Marc Normandin: Pitching coach's influence is different from coach to coach I'd think, with some being better at their job than others and able to pinpoint and remedy more subtle problems with mechanics, etc. We haven't seen enough of Dan Warthen to make a judgment either way yet, but if he had anything to do with Santana and his recent drop in homers, then he's already started to earn his paycheck.

DOL (Salem): Is Clayton Kershaw worth owning at this point?

Marc Normandin: I dropped him, but I'm in a league where I can't afford to be wasting roster spots on guys who aren't in the majors. We don't have relievers, so starters are a valuable commodity. I'd say I'll be fighting for him on waivers when he returns to the majors, though if you're in my league, I didn't say that.

Pat (Tufts): "Sure, he may steal bases, but he's at a 61% success rate at Triple-A, and major league catchers are better at that game. " Are MLB catchers really better at throwing out runners? I understand your point, but maybe major league catchers get more leeway because they can hit (i.e. Piazza, LoDuca, etc.). Most backup players (i.e. Jose Molina, Carlos Ruiz) are usually the better defensive players who just don't hit well. Just a theory.

Marc Normandin: That's a great question, Pat. I talked to Kevin Goldstein about it, and well, we're both unsure. It's not something you can determine with just SB/CS rates, because guys who are trying to learn the ins and outs of stealing are going to go all the time, even when it's not a good idea for them.

For this one scenario though, I'd think that stealing at a 61% rate in Triple-A when you're going often like McCutchen has is a bad thing if you're heading to the majors immediately after. Your question has me wondering about the bigger picture though, for sure. Thoughts, everyone else?

nickojohnson (Los Angeles, CA): Who would you rather have in a 6x6 league that counts OPS? Kelly Johnson or Orlando Hudson?

Marc Normandin: Orlando Hudson can't hit outside of Arizona (.283/.330/.390 this year, .286/.379/.369 last year), but he's useful if you can afford to use him for his home game stats. KeJo has had difficulty hitting on the road this year, but it's not a trend for him (meaning it's something that could bounce back to what we're used to seeing from him) so I'd stick with him.

Marty (Chicago): Hey Marc. Can D. Lee no longer turn on anything hard inner half? That's what it looks like to me, yet he still sees a ton of soft stuff away. Makes no sense to me.

Marc Normandin: I wrote about Derrek Lee for Heater Magazine the other day, basically saying that he hasn't hit well since April and hasn't hit outside of Wrigley. He has 3 homers to left field, and has barely put balls in play to his pull side besides a ton of grounders, so I'd say your assertion about being unable to turn on the ball is correct. He's going the other way more often than he's pulling it, at least with balls in the air, but he's got a lot of power to center field and has hit a lot of balls there too, so I'm not sure if his bat has slowed significantly. Maybe just enough to screw up his pull power. The league will catch up to this problem eventually, and we'll see Lee stop getting stuff he can knock the other way.

Sully (Los Angeles, CA): How do you view John Danks from the keeper perspective? Is this the year we always knew he had in him or can we expect a dropoff next year? Or are those two not mutually exclusive?

Marc Normandin: I don't think he'll be busting out 2.67 ERAs left and right, but he's definitely ace material when he keeps the ball in the park. Adding that cutter to his repertoire just made him really tough to beat, and he keeps the ball on the ground enough that he's tough to beat in homer-friendly Chicago. He's probably not top tier since he doesn't strike out enough hitters relative to other options, but he's getting pretty close.

R.J. (Beyond the Boxscore): Hideo Nomo has apparently retired. Favorite Nomo story?

Marc Normandin: Hey there R.J., how goes it? For me, his no hitter with the Red Sox, but you could have probably guessed that if you know me. That and his first All-Star game appearance are the moments that stick out. Oh, and the hours spent mimicking his motion playing wiffle ball.

tommybones (brooklyn): Are they really going to give Manny Corpas the closer job in Colorado once Fuentes is dealt, thereby screwing all of those patient souls who hung on to Buckholtz for the past few weeks?!

Marc Normandin: I hear that they are doing it just to spite you, too. What did you do to annoy Hurdle?

kj (boston): Trying to pry away santana from a last place owner, is votto, shields, and percival too much? I'll have soriano taking over for votto soon, and I already own broxton to replace the saves.

Marc Normandin: That seems like a lot of trade chips for one prize, especially when the only significant difference between Shields and Santana this year has been their ERA (I'm assuming you're talking about James, right?)

jphan44 (boston): nate mclouth fantasty stud and a keeper? or great first half/ end of last yr?

Marc Normandin: Ooh, this one is a gimme, because I covered this very thing yesterday!

"Powertrip" by Monster Magnet just started up. What's everyone else listening to?

kj (boston): indeed I was talking about James. Thanks for the advice

Marc Normandin: Ah, well let me also tell you that Santana's FIP is 3.52, and Shields has a 3.44 mark. As for QERA, Santana is at 3.60 and Shields is at 3.50. They are much closer in performance than one would think.

Steve (NY): So awesome that you're listening to MM right now. Try "Meanderthal" by Torche if you haven't already.

Marc Normandin: I was supposed to see Torche, Boris and Clouds the other night at the Middle East downstairs, but it sold out. Considering I bought Clouds tickets in advance last time I saw them and was laughed at by Middle East employees, I was surprised by this turn of events, to say the least. I'm all over Hydra Head bands.

I blame Boris and their awesome Japanese sludge experimenting for my missing out.

Derek (oak town): SP's, Pedro, Wandy, Ubaldo, which one do I want???

Marc Normandin: I'm considering dropping Pedro myself; he just doesn't have it right now, and is far too hittable. Wandy is a favorite of mine, and I have him on my team as well. Ubaldo has turned a corner, and if he can get his stuff straightened out away from Coors, he's going to put up some dominant numbers. Until then...Wandy I guess, though Ubaldo has been pretty damn good lately.

Corkedbat (Dallas): Gary Sheffield will or will not revive this season?

Marc Normandin: Jump on the Marcus Thames bandwagon! I think even Leyland is drinking that delicious, power filled Kool Aid. A friend in my fantasy league has an away message he puts up occasionally, something along the lines of "Sheff, it's time to retire. Your bat speed already has."

Steve (NY): Saw the same show in Manhattan last week. The woman in Boris might be the hardest shredder in rock right now, and the double bass/guitar was impressive to say the least. You seriously missed out.

Marc Normandin: Such a shame. How was Clouds? Adam McGrath, the guitarist for Clouds, is the son of my guidance counselor from high school. His former (or current? Stupid hiatus) band Cave In is one of my favorites.

I ended up back at the apartment playing space shooters with my friends, so not all is lost. Blast Works is pretty entertaining, even if it lacks female, Japanese shredders. Maybe in the sequel...

Nick (NYC): Speaking of Santana, do you think it would be smart to deal Santana for a pitcher like Shields (similar performance, less reputation) and a piece for the line up, or should I count of a second half Santana surge?

Marc Normandin: I would deal Santana in a 2 for 1 if you can get another piece you need. That's the only time you deal a guy like that. No one should be untouchable in fantasy baseball, you just need to wait for the right deal.

ted (the cubicle): Third basemen -- Crede, Encarnacion, Kouzmanoff, Gordon, heck even Pedro Feliz.... for overall production the rest of the way is there any difference between these guys? Please tell me to just pick one so I can stop thinking about it. But not Feliz.

Marc Normandin: I had to post this just because I lol'd at it hard enough to wake up my cat, Miles Edgeworth. Crede can't hit on the road, Encarnacion...well, his problems merit a Player Profile that you'll be seeing sometime this month...I'd go with Kouzmanoff or Gordon, Kouzy especially if your league doesn't count OBP or OPS.

Matt Garza (TB): Do you think I will buld off my solid first half and make my way into the top 30 SPs for 2009?

Marc Normandin: I sure hope so, since you're on my team too. By the way, my team is part of the reason there's no pitching available in my league with friends.

I watched Garza almost no-hit the Marlins the other day, and his stuff was ridiculous. I don't think it would have mattered who the opponent was with his stuff working like that. If he keeps up his more recent streak of quality performances, than he's going to fulfill his potential and then some.

MannysBBQ (Pittsburgh, PA): What can we expect from Brett Myers post All-Star break? Is loss in velocity solely to blame or is there something else we can look at?

Marc Normandin: I'd say the velocity dip has a lot to do with it, but he's also not fooling anyone with the stuff he has left. That homer rate is the serious issue, and unless he stops serving up the long ball, I don't see what kind of positive utility he has.

JKiersky (Memphis): The Big Sleep! Sleep Forever is a killer album, up there with Meandrathal. So now that Warthen has Pelphrey no longer tipping his pitches (he's fixing Pedro on the same problem apparently), what exactly is Pelphrey's ceiling?

Marc Normandin: Slightly above the major league average as a starter. He still doesn't have great secondary stuff, whether he's tipping it or not, and the hitter doesn't need to know what pitch is coming to see that Pelfrey is throwing it well outside of the strike zone too often. He's good, better than he was, but I don't think he's a great pitcher by any means.

josher464 (NYC): Any chance of a player profile on Cano? Is he just struggling or is his current half-season slump predictive of his overall career?

Marc Normandin: I wrote a Cano profile a few years back, but it's something I'd like to revisit by year's end. More recently regarding Cano, I basically said that he's underachieving right now, but adjusting for that puts him around the same level he should have been at last year without a BABIP boost, and that place is not an impressive one.

Peter (Beyond the Boxscore): I made note of your feelings about Kershaw. RE: stolen base percentage in the minors. Although there are many hitters who are learning how to steal, I'd say that there are also a ton of catchers learning how to catch (and throw). There are lots of catchers playing the position in hopes that they can stay there at the ML level, but with the understanding that it's unlikely.

Marc Normandin: Hey there Peter. That's another thing that makes using SB/CS difficult as a gauge for determining the truth of it, and now this question is going to drive me nuts until I figure something out. Or until I shove my head back into writing stuff for the forthcoming Baseball Prospectus book on the 80s!

Aaron (YYZ): Are you hot for any DS games lately? I've been puttering along with Professor Leyton and the Curious village for a couple weeks now, it's a deliciously entertaining puzzler.

Marc Normandin: I'm anxiously, at a ridiculous fanboy level, awaiting the DS remake of Final Fantasy IV. I just finished The World Ends With You a week or so back, and it's the best thing that Square Enix has made since they merged into one company. My girlfriend is in the middle of Professor Layton right now actually, and I need to figure out what I'm going to play on the subway between today and July 23, when FF IV comes out. Maybe some more Etrian Odyssey II, an old-school turn-based dungeon crawler with a punishing difficulty level. Atlus has been very, very good for my DS, as has Squeenix.

Peter (Beyond the Boxscore): Marc, what do you think the Red Sox should do to improve their bullpen this season?

Marc Normandin: Stop using everyone except for Papelbon until they can trade for Ron Mahay. That bullpen makes me a sad panda.

dianagramr (NYC): Console me over my drafting of not only Richie Weeks but Chris "not 25-25 THIS year" Young. What the heck happened to these guys, especially Weeks?

Marc Normandin: I'll send you a fruit basket as condolences, especially if you drafted CY on my preseason recommendation. That has been one of my biggest misses, though I thought maybe he learned something about life, love and hitting baseballs somewhere besides the defenses' gloves over the winter.

Drew (SD): I am 30 and have no idea who you are talking about...I feel old.

Marc Normandin: Well Drew, what kind of music do you dig? Maybe we can give you some recommendations based on that to reverse the aging process.

Aaron (YYZ): Have you played Rondo Of Swords? I've got it but have been devoting my attention to Layton so far.

Marc Normandin: I played Rondo for a bit, but I was disappointed. I felt like the game forced you to run away far more often than I wanted to. When I play strategy RPGs, I want to take out every enemy on the screen for the extra XP. It was okay, but far from what I expect out of Atlus.

The remake of the original Fire Emblem for DS on the other hand...that I want. The original Disgaea is coming out for DS as well, with multiplayer functionality, and Luminous Arc 2 is coming soon as well. I'd guess you'd enjoy all three of those more than Rondo, but I could be wrong.

Corkedbat (Dallas): Would you consider Bedard or Harang valuable free agent pickups despite being on the DL? Which will have more value for the remainder of the season?

Marc Normandin: If Harang can come back healthy, then definitely. Bedard's not the pitcher he was last year, injury or no, so if you have to choose one of the two I'd go with Harang, based solely on the performance I expect when they come back.

kristin (OR): I'm 23 and have no idea who you're talking about, either.

Marc Normandin: Ever listen to the Melvins? It's a bunch of bands that loved them growing up.

Drew (SD): Jam bands and classic rock.

Marc Normandin: Let's get to it team, give a fellow BP reader a hand with some new bands that fit the bill.

Carlos (CA): Has Sean Rodriguez passed Brandon Wood as a prospect, or are Wood's tools still too good to write him off?

Marc Normandin: I have been one of the most cynical people around when it comes to Brandon Wood, and this is something that dates back to...2005 maybe? Dude does not make contact to save his life, and he doesn't have the discipline necessary to make up for it. Pitchers at higher levels have been able to contain him better than those at lower levels, which isn't a surprise. Rodriguez hasn't done much to prove he's ready during his short stint in the majors, but he's had some better stints in the high minors I think. I don't know enough about it to rank them though, that's something you'll want to ask KG about.

Homer Bailey (Cincy): If I change my first name will I somehow turn into the pitcher everyone thought I would be or was I just overrated to being with?

Marc Normandin: I don't think you're overrated, I just don't think you're ready. Besides a very short stint recently where you strung some quality starts together at Triple-A, you haven't done much that has brought positive attention to your numbers. The Reds shouldn't call back for you until you prove you can consistently put away guys at Triple-A. They would apparently prefer that you figure yourself out the hard way though, and that's going to involve a lot of beatings in the majors, something you're pretty well acquainted with by now.

Goose (Chicago): Does it bother you at all that it seems as if baseball gets less and less coverage, particularly at a certain network? Itseems as if we are choked by the NBA far into June and now, when no other sports are going on, I have to hear about Favre, mini camps, RB battles, it is sickening. Summertime is baseball time in my opinion.

Marc Normandin: Some of my colleagues may disagree, but I had an NBA Finals to catch with a team I've been watching since before Antoine Walker was drafted, so it doesn't bother me. Well, okay. The football stuff bothers me. But leave basketball out of this, since it's the Finals, not "will he or won't he?!?" pre-pre season coverage. Can someone just give Brett Favre a team to run like Michael Jordan though, so he can get out of the spotlight? Sure, he won't run it correctly, but at least he'll have somewhere to play if he decides to come out of retirement, and will only have to answer to himself.

Jeremy (NY): Will you pick up David Price when he gets called up? Do you think he'll be a starter or reliever to begin?

Marc Normandin: Please don't blow my cover. My friends read this site.

enzo (wales): you guys are real losers. try getting outside every once in a while and putting down the nintendo. so whats the deal with billingsley and cain? top 15 second half guys?

Marc Normandin: I get outside plenty, and not just so I can buy new games to play indoors.

Kevin Iole (Yahoo! Sports): cotto or margarito? fedor or sylvia? I await your answer

Marc Normandin: I wish I had more time to check out fighting stuff, it seems like I always forget this and miss everything. Any MMA fans in the house tonight?

Steve (NY): Are you going to see Butthole Surfers this summer? And anyone who likes jam bands or classic rock I think would appreciate Pelican or the F*cking Champs, maybe Red Sparrowes.

Marc Normandin: I do love Pelican and Red Sparrowes, though I despise the term "post-rock". Mostly because after that, we're going to have post-post rock, and no one wants that.

Ken_P (NY): Am I disqualified from future chats for listening to Beethoven?

Marc Normandin: Not at all. Beethoven would probably have a Joe Strummer mohawk these days, writing epic experimental songs that I would love.

Milby (San Francisco): Dallas Mcpherson has scary power, and hasn't really gotten a chance to show it because of injuries. Given the chance, could he do a Carlos Pena a la 2007 impression?

Marc Normandin: A lot of those TTO guys are capable of a monster campaign if they have a year where the balls land for hits, but, as both Pena and McPherson have shown, the chance is also there that you fall flat on your face and hit .220, and your team loses confidence in you. I do love that kind of player, but it can be risky to rely on them after their bigger years.

ajmorriso (Chicago): Rickie Weeks has to get better, right?

Marc Normandin: The progress Weeks made straightening his swing out in order to cut down on grounders, the thing that allowed him to drive the ball in the second half, has been a non-factor this year, and it's driving me nuts. He can't hold a quality BABIP to save his life since he can't hit liners consistently. He's epically frustrating.

Stephen Brodsky's "Octave Museum" just came on. Psychedelic pop rock for the win. If you haven't tried out Brodsky, he's fantastic.

Pat (Tufts/MetsGeek): Back to the catchers note for a bit, looking just anecdotely, it does seem to be that the best defensive starting catchers in the big leagues (i.e. Brian Schneider, Pudge, Yadier Malina) tend to be weak hitters who would be in AAA if their defense wasn't so outstanding. But conversely, there are some players who are just medicore to good in terms of hitting (i.e. Matt LeCroy, Ramon Castro), but get much more playing time because they can hit some. Maybe 4A catchers work more on their defense because they know it is more likely that with their limited offensive capabilities that they can be a backup in the big leagues than turn into some power machine and start.

Marc Normandin: Oh, you didn't tell me it was Mets Geek Pat. There's no need to hide your work area here :-)

Peter Bendix and I were just discussing this over e-mail too. I think it's something we should all take a deep look at outside of the chat sometime.

Trieu (Cambridge, MA): Did the league figure out Oki? Or was he just luckier last year?

Marc Normandin: Okajima pitches like he's tired this year. I think the Sox may have overworked him Keith Foulke style last year, because his pitches just don't look as terrifying, and hitters aren't reacting the same way as they did before.

To Drew (Washington): Try John Brown's Body. Great reggae band.

Marc Normandin: tcfatone (new york): Milton Nascimento's "Clube Da Esquina" The Brazilian answer to the Beatles White Album. Ever hear it?

Trieu (Cambridge, MA): New classic rock bands. That's a tough one. How about Fairport Convention?

Joe (NY): Any truth to the Bonds to the Yankees rumors?

Marc Normandin: I haven't heard anything myself, but I wish he would sign with someone. I don't like the idea of collusion, even if it's just a rumor for now.

Scott (NJ): What do you expect from Chris Young (the Arizona OF) in the second half? Is he ever going to start stealing bases?

Marc Normandin: He should probably try getting on base first. Losing the steals sucks if you own him, but I'm much more concerned about his inability to drive the ball.

TGisriel (Baltimore): Are month by month performance statistics over a player's career predictive of what they are likely to do in coming months/years? Are they worth factoring into our calculations? For example, in his brief career Markakis has improved in the second half over the first half. Should I therefore expect him to be better over the first second half of this year?

Marc Normandin: I think it's useful with some players. For example, Adam LaRoche is typically a slow starter, but improves in the second half, for whatever reason. Mark Teixeira had admitted in the past that sometimes the first half hurts his numbers because it takes him time to straighten out his swings (as a switch hitter, it takes twice as much work to keep them in line). You just need to learn to separate who had poor/good luck in each half, and who legitimately improves.

Dan (Newark): Yankees just signed Richie Sexson (via FoxSports). Thoughts?

Marc Normandin: I don't understand why they need the Ghost of Richie Sexson when Jason Giambi's 'stasche deserves its own contract.

Peter (Beyond the Boxscore): Rotoworld is reporting that Francisco Liriano's agent may pursue a grievance with the Twins, claiming that they are keeping him in triple-A in order to limit his service time. What do you think?

Marc Normandin: His fastball still isn't back to where it should be, and I think the Twins are waiting to see if it comes back any further, and that's probably all they will have to say if a grievance comes up.

Rick (Chicago): BJ Upton. Is the power coming back? Where you draft him in a standard 12 man 5x5 roto? (I just traded him and Soria for Utley in a keeper league and want affirmation...)

Marc Normandin: I think your deal is fine. As I said yesterday, Upton's not pulling the ball, and it's killing his power output.

Tim (DC): Wouldn't it be more prudent of the Twins to look at MacPherson than taking a run at Adrian Beltre? And Sox bullpen: better with Masterson up in 10 days?

Marc Normandin: Beltre is pretty great defensively still, so there's that. I can't wait for Masterson's bowling ball sinker to make its way to the Sox pen, honestly. Then they should have two reliable pitchers! Trade for Mahay and the starters only need to go six.

Trieu (Cambridge, MA): As there was a C's mention earlier: Agree that Posey was too dear at $25/4yr? I'll miss him though.

Marc Normandin: I'll miss him too, but I probably won't miss him when he's 35 and overpaid. Maybe if Tony Allen's healthy he can make up for the defensive play, though he always frightens me when he's trying to score for some reason.

Tommy (OPS,FL): Who do you think the Rays will end up with if the asking price for Nady remains high? Matt Murton? Nelson Cruz?

Marc Normandin: Gabe Gross and Matt Murton would make an interesting set of corner guys, especially if they can steal Huston Street in the deal too.

Andy (Chicago): More likely to keep up with 1st half performance: Ankiel or Ludwick?

Marc Normandin: Ankiel! By the way, I started the lightning round without telling anyone. I have a Sun piece due in a few hours, and, well, deadlines...

Dennis (LA): Thanks for your great work, Marc. Your Player Profiles are my favorite BP articles. Just wanted to ask you your thoughts on Eric Patterson and Matt Harrison. I'm in a keeper league and am inclined to gamble on their upsides. Thanks!

Marc Normandin: Thanks Dennis, I appreciate that! Hopefully you all saw the Mike Gonzalez collaboration we ran a few weeks back. I'm looking forward to more of those, plus solo efforts like the Edwin Encarnacion one I mentioned earlier.

I'm not sure either is a keeper guy honestly, though some may love them more than I.

big baby (nj): Why don't the Mets just go out and get Casey Blake already?

Marc Normandin: No kidding! Blake is much better than people give him credit for.

kristin (OR): I know enzo was kind of a douche, but I'd like to know the answer to his question: Billingsley or Cain?

Marc Normandin: Billingsley has the upside. Cain's pretty good for strikeouts, but I don't think he's good enough to win consistently with that sad lineup behind him. I'd go with Billingsley on this one, especially if he works on his command and control.

stewbies (rochester): I turned down a deal of Hamilton for Upton and Aviles in a keeper league? Am I insane?

Marc Normandin: Which Upton?

TGisriel (Baltimore): Musically, I would prefer an evening with my Miles Davis cd's to any of your thrash rock.

Marc Normandin: To each his own my friend. Listen to what makes you happy. Unless its hair metal, then we need to talk.

Swingingbunts (NY): Tulowitzki, Hardy, S. Drew, who gives me the most production the 2nd half? Also does Longoria get 4 more games at SS so I can narrow the above list down to 2?

Marc Normandin: Hardy, since he seems to have straightened his swing out. Drew has been a bit unlucky, but I think Hardy may be the better option for 2008, at least. Methinks Tulo is a curious case of the league exploiting a hitter's weaknesses.

Dave D. (Detroit): Marc, Edgar Renteria's stinking up my team, giving me near replacement level production. Given his track record and what I coughed up to get him, do I pick up his option for 09 or what?

Marc Normandin: Absolutely not. You find yourself a shortstop, but don't get sucked into a Julio Lugo trade. As much as I'd love to drop Lugo on an unsuspecting customer, it's not nice to play mean tricks on others.

Derek (OH): Delgado or Votto for 2nd half production?

Marc Normandin: Votto. Delgado is still broken, he's just not as broken.

Carlos (CA): Where does Adam Dunn finish the year?

Marc Normandin: I wish the Padres would come out of nowhere and pick him up, then sign him to an extension. I know they need defense in that expansive outfield, but they also really, really need more bats than Brian Giles and Adrian Gonzalez.

Tim (DC): Posey & 4yr deal in '08 == Tek & 4yr deal in '04??

Marc Normandin: I love a lot of what the Sox do, but for such a smart organization they seem to hand out a lot of "reward for past performance" or "because we can" contracts that don't work out.

kristin (OR): It seems like Jay Bruce's offense fell off a cliff and/or pitchers figured him out. Dump?

Marc Normandin: He's a young guy. I'm keeping him on my bench for now until he starts to work things out. It's a bit early for me to drop a talent like Bruce because of a few bad weeks...I'm playing wait and see for now, and I suggest you do the same.

Tommy (Outsperswing): Could the decrease in the upper cut of B.J. Upton's swing be related to his shoulder injury from earlier in the season?

Marc Normandin: That's a possibility for sure. It may be something he's unconsciously failed to get rid of, even if his shoulder isn't bothering him as much anymore. He's been progressively worse month by month though, so I'm not positive that's the case.

Marc Normandin: I hate to end this fun, as there are tons of questions left in the queue, but I need to get moving on my Sun piece! Thanks once again for stopping by, and I can't wait until next time. Enjoy a return to daily baseball, starting with tonight's match ups, and good look with your teams going forward.

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