John Perrotto stops by from his time on the beat to take your questions on what's humming across the wires and coming out of clubhouses.
John Perrotto: Hi, everyone. Let's dispense with the introductory stuff and talk ball.
FiveYearPlan (Pittsburgh): If Freddie Sanchez continues to hit like he has been, do you see him bringing back any prospects at the deadline?
John Perrotto: It will all depend on who is contending and what their needs are, but yes, I could see Sanchez fetching a good propsect or two for the Pirates at the trade deadline.
Gray (Chicago): When do you foresee Derek Holland being put into the rotation?
John Perrotto: I would say after the All-Star break. The Rangers are taking the old-fashinoned approach to breaking Holland in to the major leagues, starting him off in low-leverage relief situations. It's a good idea that has worked well in the past.
Peeig13 (The Second City): Given Manny Acta's limited options, is he going to stick with Joel Hanrahan at closer after his awful start, or is he going to give a guy like Jason Bergmann a shot (a failed started with good stuff and health issues)?
John Perrotto: This is my darkhorse for the Nationals' closer: Kip Wells. His results have never matched his stuff as a closer and a lot of times many pitchers who fit that profile wind up being good closers for a time. Eric Gagne is a prime example.
bflaff (Philadelphia, PA): Hi John, thanks for the chat. Are there any indications that the Phillies are considering some roster moves to address their early pitching problems?
John Perrotto: It's been all quiet on the Phillies' front so far. I think they are going to try to let things settle down with what they have on the roster now first. I don't forsee them many any moves until at least after Memorial Day.
Mark Melancon (NY): What is my role in the Yankees bullpen going forward, 2009 and beyond?
John Perrotto: I highly doubt you're really Mark Melancon.
Joe V. (Washington, DC): Hi John. Let's talk Joba: not the "back to the bullpen" nonsense but the fact that his stuff has looked really ordinary so far this year. Time to worry or will his fastball heat up with the weather?
John Perrotto: Normally, I'm in favor of using your best arms in the rotation to get as much value from them as possible. However, given the makeup of the Yankees' bullpen, I really think I would move him back to the bullpen and keep him there through the entire season. I can't see them getting to the postseason with the way the bullpen is currently constituted.
lpiklor (chicago): Hello Mr Perrotto! Thanks for the chat! Do you envision JA Happ starting anytime soon for Philly?
John Perrotto: Not at the moment because Chan Ho Park is doing a credible job as the No. 5 starter.
Dave (Chicago): What do you think of Anderson and Cahill's performances so far this year? I feel like all that is saving Cahill from getting really torched is the defense behind him. How much of a chance do you think there is one or both goes to Triple-A at some point this year?
John Perrotto: It wouldn't surprise me if one or both don't wind up back at Class AAA at some point and that's not a knock on their talent. Many pitchers get hit around the first time up in the big leagues then need to go back for more seasoning. I think Anderson has a better chance of making it through all of 2009 in the majors. If either or both go back, it's no need to panic. Both are very talented and should have fine big-league careers.
Gregjitsu (Southern California (most unfortunately)): Which GM will be the first to get canned this year? What about field manager? As a Giants fan yearning for a real rebuild, I'm desperately hoping the Brian Sabean/Bruce Bochy era ends yesterday. But if it's not these two, I'm still curious to hear who it will be.
Bonus: Replacement candidates for these recently canned managers?
John Perrotto: I really believe that Kevin Towers' time might be running short in San Diego. Anytime there is an ownership change, it's a possibility. He got put in a tough spot with Moores slashing the budget but there is still no excuse that you have to scour the waiver wire just to fill out a staff. That's because their farm system is terrible and that ultimately falls on the GM. As far as managers, as much as I like the guy, I think Manny Acta has to on thin ice for as horrible as his team is playing. It's not just that they're losing but they are playing like Little Leaguers.
Stephen Strasburg (SDSU Campus): What will my value be this year for my friends fantasy team? Am I worth a good fantasy option for this year?
John Perrotto: I'm almost positive you are not Stephen Strasburg.
Dave (Chicago): If you were the A's, what would you do with Eric Patterson? His bat against right-handers seems to be pretty good, but he can't play anywhere in the field from what I understand. With some of the dead-weight in the A's lineup these days, one would think there would be a place for someone like Patterson to get an opportunity for at-bats.
John Perrotto: To me, Eric Patterson is just a guy. I was never that impressed with him with the Cubs or now with the Athletics. He is not the answer to anyone's problems.
gmulligan1 (Queens, NY): Is there a sense that Ollie Perez will actually do some tuneup time in AAA? Does anyone have a theory about why he has gone so far off the rails? Mets folk are used to his inconsistency but this season so far he has just been consistently terrible.
John Perrotto: I think he'll end up in Buffalo soon. He is one of the most perplexing pitchers in the majors. His stuff is dominant and there is no reason he shouldn't be a Cy Young candidate. It's all between the ears with Ollie, as the Padres and Pirates will tell you. I was shocked, absolutely shocked the Mets gave him three years and 36 million. That was just plain crazy.
Aaron (San Jose): I don't think anyone realistically believed Cahill and Anderson would come in and blow away the competition, but it feels like their performance so far shows they would benefit from time in the minors. How would you arrange the A's rotation with Duchscherer coming off the DL in a month, Gallagher being stretched out, and Gio and Mazzaro performing decently in Triple-A so far?
John Perrotto: I think the A's would have been best served to have added a journeyman guy during the offseason to eat up a few innings while buying time for Anderson, Cahill, Mazarro, Gonzalez, etc., to develop. They are all going to take some lumps in the major leagues now, so it really all depends on who the A's think can handle it better from a mental standpoint. It would seem to me Anderson and Cahill can handle from what little bit I've talked to them.
cpintak (Northern Virginia): Can you shed definitive light on Ollie Perez & options. As a guy w/5 years he can refuse optional assignment to the minors. Must he void his contract to exercise that right or can he reject assignment to the farm AND force the Mets to honor the contract?
John Perrotto: Anybody with five-plus years of service time can refuse an option to the minors. However, he would also forfeit his contract if he refuses. If he accepts the option, he still gets paid his full salary. Thus, it would completely nuts for Perez to turn down the assignment as he would be walking away from $36M. So, if the Mets say to shuffle off to Buffalo, he'll do just that.
Mike (Utica,NY): What do you think of Daryl Jones and Desmond Jennings? Do you think these two players could be dynamic leadoff hitters for the Cardinals and Rays.
John Perrotto: Yes, though I'd rate Jennings as high as Jones.
Tucker Samuelsen (Provo, UT): Is Brandon Crawford a legit prospect? His numbers in San Jose have been Posey-esque.
John Perrotto: I'd love to give you some BS answer but I don't follow the minors as much as our Kevin Goldstein and I'm honestly not familiar with Crawford. He's a new one on me.
SaberTJ (Cleveland, OH): Hi John,
Any rumors on the Indians side? I would think some type of bullpen help, and the calling up of LaPorta is coming soon. He's got to be an improvement over Crowe or Francisco.
John Perrotto: Mark Shapiro and the Indians are usually conservative when it comes to shaking up their club early in the season. However, it appears to me that the Indians can't win with what they have right now. LaPorta would be an upgrade but it would help even more if he could pitch.
Tim (Chapel Ridge): Where do you see Quinton Miller and Nelson Pereira starting the year and where do you see them finishing? Pereira should be in West Virginia now.
John Perrotto: Miller will start his career with the Pirates' Gulf Coast League team and Pereiea will be at short-season Class A State College.
Quinn (Alexandria): Aside from Starling Marte and Rogelio Noris, who do you like of the Latins coming stateside for the first time? Feel free to comment on Marte/Noris, too!
John Perrotto: Honestly, those guys are so far away from Pittsburgh and the bigs and aren't even playing in real games yet that I just don't have enough information to provide an answer. Until some of the Pirates' Latin signings start to really do something, it's hard for me to get very excited about any of them.
Charlie (Bethesda, MD): So far this season, Austin Kearns is hitting .255/.397/.553. If he keeps this up, would someone want to take him off of the Nats' hands? What could they expect in return?
John Perrotto: Perhaps but if the Nationals trade him they won't get a high-level prospect. Maybe a couple of B-listers. Most people in baseball feel Kearns' ship has sailed.
FiveYearPlan (Pittsburgh): Are Pedro Alvarez's struggles due to him expanding his strike zone too much? Also are there any reports on his defenst at 3rd base?
John Perrotto: Alvarez, like a lot of young hitters, is getting fooled by some more advanced pitchers but he'll learn. His defense has been fine at third from all accounts. No need to panic about that four-strikeout game the other day.
armcrow (california): Hey John. Current neck spasms aside, do you think Derek Lee's "done"? I know 2005 is a distant memory but is .285/.350/.480 even asking too much? I can't see an Andruw Jones like decline here, but still...
John Perrotto: I don't think he's an Andrew Jones but he is now longer the player he was once and it's wishful thinking to believe he ever will be again.
lpiklor (chicago): But Park has allowed 13 earned in 15+ innings as a starter! How bad do you have to be to lose "credible job as a starter" status?
John Perrotto: Bad choice of wordsw there, to be sure, on my part. He did pitch much better last time out, though, and that's why I think you stay with him a little longer. Personally, I would have used Park out of the bullpen from Day One of spring training and went with Happ as the No. 5 but part of the Phillies' deal with getting him to sign with them was they would give him a chance to be a starter.
bateman19 (Boston): John, is the Real Phil Hughes Era set to begin tonight?
John Perrotto: My gut feeling is yes. I wish I had a better reason than that but I'm just impressed with his maturity and think he's a bright kid who has figured things out.
Dennis (LA): Hi John, thanks for the chat and your great work. Just wanted to ask you your thoughts on two players: Andy LaRoche and Kenshin Kawakami, esp. LaRoche. How does he look?
John Perrotto: I think Andy LaRoche is going to be a solid league-average third baseman, not great but certainly a good big-league player. I saw Kawakami once in spring training and he looked great but those who saw him in Japan say he is not the same pitcher he was in his prime and is more of a No. 4 or No. 5 starter in the majors now.
birkem3 (Dayton, OH): John, if the Yankees were to go with the short-term solution of putting Joba in the pen, how do they ever get the long-term solution of putting him in the rotation to work? Don't you have to just leave him in the rotation at some point? Otherwise, your long-term solution becomes just a series of short-term solutions, which is far from optimal.
John Perrotto: In any other situation, I'd agree with you totally. However, the Yankees are always under pressure to win now and their best option of winning now is to put Chamberlain in the bullpen.
warclub (Strongsville, OH ): Is it time for the Indians to call up Huff and LaPorta? Do you have a theory on the poor April starts under Wedge?
John Perrotto: I'd consider bringing up Huff. They need pitching help badly. I don't know why the Indians always start so slowly but it's tough to count on a strong finish every year.
birkem3 (Dayton, OH): "He is not the answer to anyone's problems." What if my problem is trying to figure out who to bat cleanup at the Patterson family reunion?
John Perrotto: I'd bring back pro wrestling legend Pat Patterson to hit cleanup.
Jake (LA): Melancon must not be very busy, but I too wonder what his role is going forward.
John Perrotto: Middle relief for now but there is clearly opportunity for advancement in that pen. If he pitches well, there is no reason he can't move into a position of prominence.
go-dills! (Chicago): Any sense that if Derrek Lee's neck / health problems persist we may see Jake Fox in Chicago soon?
John Perrotto: Possibly but Lou Piniella like Hoffpauir's bat and I think he would get first crack at first.
Don (SF): What about James Simmons or is he just bullpen material?
John Perrotto: Forgot about Simmons in the A's starting mix. I think they should at least try him as a starter at the major-league level before making a decision to send him to the bullpen.
mhixpgh (Pittsburgh): When are we gonna have a pizza feed here in Pittsburgh?
John Perrotto: That's Will Carroll's department. I'm all for it.
Scott (Detroit): Any word out of Cincinnati if they're thinking of actually picking up some offense? Joey Votto is the only real hitter on the team it seems.
John Perrotto: You don't see many trades go down this early in the season so I'd say they are standing pat. I was of the belief all winter that they were one big bat away from making a serious run at the NL Central. I still feel that way.
Loren (Berkeley): Rick Ankiel is a servicable outfielder now, but he's the type of guy that could be sub-replacement level in a couple of years. If that happens, does he hang 'em up or try pitching one more time?
John Perrotto: In talking to Ankiel, he would retire before going back to pitching again. He will never step on a mound again.
John Perrotto (BP): Jeez, if that really was stephen strasburg, I'd feel like a jerk.
John Perrotto: I KNOW this isn't John Perrotto. Those questions are a pet peeve. I don't think they are clever or funny.
Bill (Toronto): I know it's early but aren't the Jays shooting themselves in the foot by starting Brian Burres when they have Cecil, Mills and Fabio Castro waiting in the minors? I realize the first two aren't lighting the world on fire but does any major league team, let alone one that was in first, have any business giving Burres starts?
John Perrotto: Agreed 100 percent. If the Blue Jays are serious about making a run this year then they can't be messing around with guys like Brian Burress. Any of the other three would have been better choices, regardless of what they are doing at Las Vegas right now.
Jericho (The Moon): Remind me, what exactly are the Angels doing with Brandon Wood? I think he should sue the organization for negligence (or if you will, malpractice).
John Perrotto: I don't get it, either. They need offense and Wood can hit. They've had numerous opportunities to trade him and get something good in return the last few years, yet they hang on to him but won't play him. It's very peculiar, to say the least.
Charles (Ann Arbor): Has Edwin Encarnacion's ship sailed? In fact, was that little dinghy ever even in port?
John Perrotto: I still like him, though I seem to be in the minority now. I think he can be an at least league-average third baseman, maybe more.
Laura (DC): Are there any rumors on when we get to see Wieters in Baltimore?
John Perrotto: The day after he won't be eligible to be a Super 2 arbitration guy. That is a moving target each year but I'll say June 1.
Jake (Chicago): Do you thinkthe Braves will go with Tommy Hanson next should Reyes continue to struggle or hope Jorge Campillo can come back healthy? No need to rush Hanson in my opinion just because fantasy owners want to see him up.
John Perrotto: I'll give the same answer I gave for Wieters. You won't see Hanson in Atlanta until June 1 or so when he's no longer a Super 2.
buffum (Austin TX): Does anyone in Cleveland know what's wrong with Raffy Perez? Tony Sipp seems like an adequate replacement, but the bullpen is much better with Perez in top form. Also, can the Tribe go back to a 12-man staff now? This two-men-and-Tony-Graffanino bench is getting reeeeeeeeally old.
John Perrotto: Perez is a mystery. He was so good two years ago and the Indians can't find a way to get him to be that guy again. I like Tony Sipp a lot, though, and I think he can be the Perez of 2007. I think the Indians would ideally like to have a 12-man staff but they can't right now because they have to use the bullpen so much.
J.P. (Hartford): I am not the real Omar Minaya, but do you think the real one will have to make a move at some point for one more starter for the team to have a chance this year?
John Perrotto: Absolutely.
Swingingbunts (NY): Hi John,
Is your Kip Wells closer theory based on inside information or is it pure speculation?
John Perrotto: Theory.
Waker (Brooklyn): I've heard from a very credible source (i.e., front office) that the Yankees had a deal in place with the Reds: Francisco Cordero for Xavier Nady (killed by the Reds' owner). Should the Yankees revisit that trade and plug in a different name to help solve their bullpen issues? They could go Mets-style and us Cordero as the 8th inning guy.
John Perrotto: Well, that trade won't happen now with Nady's elbow one more hard throw from blowing out. It would have been a good trade for both teams, though.
Jason (NY): Thoughts on a potential cure for the Mets' rotation issues? Are we officially on Oswalt watch?
John Perrotto: I would think the Mets would be on the lookout for any and all starting pitchers who become available. Be advised, though, that Drayton McLane doesn't believe in rebuilding so it's doubtful the Astros will make Oswalt available.
Kevin (Baltimore): OK, obviosly Adam Jones will not hit .350, but is a .275-20-80-20 season out of the question?
John Perrotto: I think that's obtainable. He's a really talented kid.
Jay (NYC): In three years, who will be the best pitcher in the AL East? Sabathia/Joba? Beckett/Lester? Shields/Price? Halladay? Other?
John Perrotto: Roy Halladay will keeep winning until 2032, I swear. I'll go with him even though my head says Lester.
murphy654321 (Boston): Why can't the stros find Keppinger more PAs?
John Perrotto: Because you just can't keep Kaz Matsui and Geoff Blum out of the lineup. Pardon the sarcasm. I'm a big Keppinger fan and would love to see him get a chance to play every day.
Dennis (LA): Thank you for answering my earlier question. Also wanted to ask you your thoughts on Chris Dickerson. What do you see as his upside? Thanks again!
John Perrotto: I think he's a real hit or miss guy. He's either going to be a big star or a total bust. I think he has a lot of talent but he's also very raw. I have a feeling he is going to be a good one, though. I like what I've seen of him last year and this year.
Tony (Brooklyn, NY): The Yankees have a gaggle of arms between Mariano Rivera down to Melancon and Roberston. What kind of operation can't get at least average production over the season after casting a net that wide?
John Perrotto: That's a great question. It just goes to show you that spending more money than everyone else doesn't ensure that you can be the perfect club.
Otto (Halifax): What happens when the Jays have finally play their division?
John Perrotto: I'm not totally sold on the Jays yet because I don't think they have enough pitching. However, we'll find out if they're for real when they start playing inside the division. It will be interesting to see.
DKANDREWS1 (Name in Title): People aren't trying to be clever or funny it's just less typing:
1. Chin Meng Wang (NYC): Why do I suck?
2. DKANDREWS1 (DC): Why does Chin Meng Wang suck?
John Perrotto: Fair enough.
Waker (Brooklyn): Oh, yeah, that's what I meant by "plug in a different name." I was thinking they could find someone else instead of Nady to send to the Reds.
John Perrotto: I don't know who it would be, though, because their OF depth took a big hit with Nady getting hurt.
bateman19 (Boston): Do you see Smoak making it to the Rangers at any point this year?
John Perrotto: Possible September. With the way they are hitting, I don't think they need him yet. Too bad he couldn't pitch, too.
DKANDREWS1 (DC): Do the Mets have a good enough farm system to go trade for a #1 or #2 pitcher at the deadline? Their best prospect is ranked #50 or close to it.
John Perrotto: It's doubtful unless they found a team really desperate to offload a salary. It's going to be tough for them to make a big trade.
John Perrotto: Well, thanks for all the great questions today. As always, it's nice to chat with everyone. Have a good week.