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Chat: Ben Lindbergh

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Wednesday May 09, 2012 1:00 PM ET chat session with Ben Lindbergh.


BP Managing Editor Ben Lindbergh stops by to take your questions, complaints, suggestions, and good old fashioned flattery.

Ben Lindbergh: Good afternoon, everyone. I’m happy to be here and feeling chatty. Please keep your questions and comments about baseball, Baseball Prospectus, and subjects entirely unrelated to baseball coming. Let’s get started.

bradleyankrom (TPAFLA): Brian Bruney has an 8.6 SO/9 and 1.17 WHIP at Triple-A Charlotte.

Ben Lindbergh: I appreciate the update. For those of you who don't know (and given how often I talk about him, that can't be that many of you), I have an unhealthy obsession with Brian Bruney, thanks to his work in Kindergarten Cop and with the Yankees at the end of the 2006 season. Happy to see him doing well, but here's what worries me: LAST season at Triple-A Charlotte, he had a 13.1 SO/9 and a 1.17 WHIP in 20 2/3 IP. Then he got called up to Chicago and gave up 15 runs in 19 2/3 IP. So.

DanDaMan (SeaCliff): Hi Ben, what are your thoughts on Eric Hosmer and his chances of turning it around this year? Thanks

Ben Lindbergh: Thoughts: Eric Hosmer is going to be a beast. Chances of turning it around this year: very good. He's showing just as much power as he showed last season, and even more patience. Eric Hosmer is not going to have a .168 BABIP all season. He'll be fine. And not long after he's fine, he'll be a star.

Jake (Chicago): Starting to believe in LaHair?

Ben Lindbergh: Yes, though just as Hosmer isn't going to have a .168 BABIP all season, LaHair isn't going to have a .500 BABIP all season. Great find by the Cubs, an easy 80 on the stopgap scale, but Rizzo is still the long-term future.

timwakko (PA): Would it be possible to do a piece at BP that generally explains the 20-80 scale and how it is understood, used and implemented in player evaluation?

Ben Lindbergh: It can be confusing, right? Average isn't actually average, there's present and there's future--it's a lot to keep track of. But yes, not only is it possible to do that piece, we've already done it. And by "we," I mean Kevin Goldstein, who did a three-part series on it shortly after he arrived at BP and all the stat people gathered around to gaze at the strange scouting being in their midst.

Here's part one of the series (let me know if I messed up that link). To access parts two and three, go to the "More by Kevin Goldstein" or "More Future Shock" menus at the bottom of the page--they're the next two pieces. These might actually be good candidates to re-run in the BP Wayback Machine.

russadams (The Leaky Cauldron): How many more times will the Twins be no-hit this season? You have to think 20-25 times, right?

Ben Lindbergh: Conservatively.

Tom Hank before bald (Seattle): Is Seattle a forgotten land in baseball? or even in Baseball Prospectus? Will we see a writer represent Seattle soon enough? Or maybe there are ones that I'm not aware of... p.s. I'm a huge Sam Miller fan but still...he is not just west but not pacific north west. #EastCoastBias

Ben Lindbergh: We have had writers with Seattle leanings in the past, but at the moment, we're without a staff Mariners fan. Can you blame us? You've seen the Mariners lately, right? Matthew Kory is from Portland, if that counts. Adjacent state!

That said, there's a ton of great Mariners writing out there, so the internet definitely isn't ignoring them. If you're not reading the incredible Jeff Sullivan (and Matthew Carruth) at Lookout Landing, you're missing out, whether or not you care about the Mariners. And BP alums Derek Zumsteg and Dave Cameron blog about the M's at USS Mariner.

And yeah, Sam is great, but his decision not to live farther north really has to make you question his character.

I probably shouldn't have linked that awesome KG three-parter during my chat. You're all just reading KG now.

ChaCha (Kansas City): What is going on with Wil Myers? He seemingly went from a walk and contact / high OBP approach to a high K rate slugger? Any murmurings about a change in approach?

Ben Lindbergh: Speaking of Kevin, I just asked him about this. His answer: "More walks isn't always a good thing, fewer isn't always a bad thing. He needed a little more see ball/hit ball mentality." So now you're reading KG even if you didn't click on that link earlier.

Speaking of more walks not necessarily being a good thing: How about Emilio Bonifacio? Bonifacio is hitting second in the Marlins' order this season, and to his credit, he's seeing more pitches and walking more often. He also still hasn't had an extra-base hit. As in, a .000 ISO, after 135 PA, and his BABIP is down. You know what they say about correlation and causation, but maybe Bonifacio is better when he's up there hacking. Even patient hitters don't go to the plate trying to walk.

Gene (Kansas City): Any thoughts on Emilio Bonifacio's amazing non-slugging ways? OBP of nearly .350, ISO of .000. Hoping to get Miller to do some sort of historical perspective on that feat. Also raises some interesting questions on pitchers abilities to adjust to hitters' approaches.

Ben Lindbergh: I swear this question was just submitted, and that I'm not actually stealing interesting observations from the people asking questions. Sam will see this, and maybe he'll do something on it. I was thinking of doing something myself.

Derek (LA): He's got a career .882 ops in the minors and as a SS. He doesn't seem to get a lot of love but plate discipline always translates so well(the reason AJ Ellis has been immediately succesful imo) and he's got tons of it.

Ben Lindbergh: I'm lost. Who does?

A.J. Ellis is fun. Pretend for a second that small samples and arbitrary endpoints/playing time thresholds aren't things, because I want to mention this stat and don't want you to make fun of me: Ellis has the second-highest OBP (.383) among catchers since 2008, min. 300 PA.

timwakko (PA): Thanks for the links. Love BP...can't believe I only subscribed this year.

Ben Lindbergh: I can't believe it either. We've been here since 1996. Where have you been, Tim? Where have you been??

In all seriousness, thanks for subscribing. Tell your friends. Tell your enemies, too. We have no beef with them.

Johnny (SD): I asked KG on twitter, but is Donald Lutz (Reds High A 1B) a legit power prospect or a fringe guy? Already at 10 HRs, albeit in the offense-boosting Cal League

Ben Lindbergh: And he didn't answer you? Man, I'm going to have to talk to that guy. He never answers questions from readers. (That was a joke. He answers a million questions from readers. Literally a million, and 99% of them are about when Anthony Rizzo is going to get called up.)

Here's Kevin's succinct response: "Cal League guy. Scouts aren't impressed." I'm just relaying questions from readers to KG now. This must be what being Twitter feels like.

GEO (lunch break): Ben, I have no idea if you're the guy to ask this question of, but I'll try: Why can't your website leave me logged in for the duration of my visit? It's extremely irritating to read an article, then navigate to another article (after maybe having to step away for awhile too) and have to log in again. I realize I can check "remember me" when I log in, but I have reasons for not wanting to do that.

Ben Lindbergh: I'm not the guy, but I know the guys. I'll try to get you an answer now. If I don't get you one before the end of the chat, email me.

Derek (LA): sorry Jake Lemmerman. As for Ellis he got on base at a ridiculous rate in the minors also.

Ben Lindbergh: As it happens, Kevin wrote about Lemmerman yesterday, so I don't even have to IM him again or speculate myself. The verdict: "Proving to be more than a California League fluke and starting to profile as an offensive second baseman."

By the way, if you're not reading KG's daily Minor League Update blog posts, you should be.

Gene (Kansas City): Whoa! You are now combination answering both of my questions. Thanks. The Emilio Prettyface phenomenon has some interesting game theoryesque lessons. why not throw him all fastballs? Why is he seeing fewer fastballs this year than last? Very odd. Hell, he walked, stole a base and scored in his first at bat yesterday again.

Ben Lindbergh: Is it possible that Bonifacio has shown so little power that pitchers are afraid he's just lulling them into a false sense of security? No, that's probably not possible. But you've made me want to look into this. He's hitting .217 against fastballs (without power, but you already knew that).

Gene (Kansas City): I sent it to Sam and emailed with him about it yesterday, in fact. I was curious about the longest stretch of ISO .000 as well as the lowest ISO / highest OBP season. One would think that at some point an incredibly low ISO would cause pretty strong OBP regression. Although, I'm guessing Brett Butler is a counter example. I think it is very possible that pitchers' abilities to take advantage of a hitters approach is relatively limited and/or pitchers prefer to pitch in an approach-neutral fashion. Reminds me of Mathmatics of Poker.....

Ben Lindbergh: There's certainly a correlation between ISO and percentage of fastballs faced. We'll look into it.

Paul (DC): Which of the National's Ferocious Fivesome (for those following at home: Strassburg, Jackson, Zimmermann, Gonzalez, & Detwiler) ends the season with the most Wins and which with the highest WAR?

Ben Lindbergh: Well, they're both counting stats, so I can't think of a compelling reason why the one projected to finish with the most wins above replacement wouldn't also be the one projected to finish with the most traditional wins. I suppose Strasburg could be so much better than the others that he'd amass the most WARP but be prevented from making enough starts to lead the rotation in wins. Still, Strasburg is the best pitcher, so I'll say Strasburg.

We really need a better way to distinguish between wins and wins above replacement when we're talking about pitchers. Maybe some sort of hand signal? Use your hand to make the shape of Joe Morgan when referring to traditional wins? Put on a fake Bill James beard when referring to WARP?

Gene (Kansas City): AJ Ellis is another interesting data point on the game theory pitcher/batter conundrum. I believe he is swinging at barely over 30% of pitches this year, which would be the lowest percentage in several years. Will pitchers adjust? Of course, as opposed to Bonifacio, he has been doing some damage when he swings.

Ben Lindbergh: Brett Gardner is another guy without power who compensates for not having much power by not swinging much. (Come back soon, Brett.) Luis Castillo was a superstar at not swinging a couple years ago. He wasn't a superstar in the usual sense.

Ron (DC): Do you buy the hot start by Jose Altuve?

Ben Lindbergh: To some extent, yes, but like most guys off to blistering starts, he's not quite this good. Bradley Ankrom is working on an article (as we speak!) about the dangers of reading too much into the stats at the start of a player's career, using Altuve as an example, so you should see much more about this on the site tomorrow.

Hip2Hops (Seattle): What kind of arm does a player need to profile as a CF? I'm specifically thinking about Billy Hamilton. While his speed in CF would be awesome, is it typical that a lack of arm strength would "demote" a SS prospect to CF?

Ben Lindbergh: Yes, that wouldn't be unusual. Bernie Williams and Johnny Damon played center field without arms (not quite literally, but almost, at times). Williams even won Gold Gloves there (though whether he should have is another matter). Obviously, a strong arm is an asset at any position, but a center field's primary responsibility is getting to the ball. It seems safe to say that Hamilton would get to a lot of them.

Communiqué from Kevin: Hamilton's arm in center would profile as "Below average, but not a noodle." Damon/Williams were noodles.

Bubs (Baltimore): Johnny Cueto: mirage or turning into an ace? At what point do we have to assume he's just an outlier than can consistently outperform his projections?

Ben Lindbergh: The longer he does it, the more likely it is to be real. (Man, that was an obvious sentence.) He hasn't done it long enough for me to believe. Cueto isn't Matt Cain. For the first three seasons of his career, he was an average-BABIP guy. For the last two seasons (really just one season's worth of innings), he's been a low-BABIP guy. It's possible that he's doing something differently to depress BABIP (I'd have to investigate), but I'd bet on regression. And if/when the regression comes, he won't have the strikeout rate to sustain an elite ERA.

Come to think of it, Bubs, this question might be best answered by one of your own quotes: "Tomorrow, man. What kind of dope fiend be talking about tomorrow? Tomorrow ain't shit. Today, Johnny, today." Season three of The Wire was actually about Johnny Cueto.

John (San Diego): How much longer can Johnny Cueto blow away his peripherals/projections? Is it possible that he's just an outlier?

Ben Lindbergh: Lots of people want to know about Johnny Cueto, but I picked the other question to answer in depth instead of this one because it gave me an opening for a Wire quote. Let that be a lesson to future chatters.

Gina (3rd period English): Ask Kevin if he has a date to the spring formal. [giggle] Ask him if he has a crush on anyone!

Ben Lindbergh: Kevin is happily girlfriended. However, if Gary Brown doesn't have a date yet, he'd probably consider accompanying him.

Paul (DC): Your vote for biggest surprise team so far?

Ben Lindbergh: Assuming the surprise team's success doesn't have to be sustainable, I don't know of any team whose success I find more surprising than the 19-11 Orioles.

Bubs (Baltimore): I love that Season 3 was about Johnny Cueto. Well done. Cueto's minuscule ERA coincided with his new delivery, that Tiant turn he does. He's hiding the ball really well, and playing to his defense. Looks like he's having a blast every time he pitches.

Ben Lindbergh: I'm more inclined to believe in a change in a player's stats when it coincides with a change in approach (especially when it's a pitcher, probably), but sometimes those things can be misleading. You know, "post hoc, ergo propter hoc" and all that. How many times have we seen a hot streak explained by a change in stance or mechanics, only to see the player turn right back into what he was before? It's certainly believable that greater deception could result in weaker contact, and I hope it's true in Cueto's case, because real changes in performance are always interesting.

RMR (Chicago): FWIW regarding Cueto: He has actually reinvented himself to a degree as a ground ball specialist and happens to pitch in front of what is arguably the best defensive IF in baseball. That suggests he might be able to maintain a lower than average BABIP; though it also suggests we should be giving a healthy dose of credit for his success to his teammates.

Ben Lindbergh: Just covered this in the last answer (sorry for the triple dose of Cueto questions, folks). But also FWIW regarding Cueto: he isn't getting grounders this season quite like he was last season, so that's something to keep an eye on. Small sample'd.

Matt (Chicago): Do you see Garza & Samardzija as the foundation for a good rotation or does Jed peddle Garza to the highest bidder later this summer?

Ben Lindbergh: Peddling would seem to make sense.

Dan (Brooklyn): You're the surprisingly in-contention Mets. Why keep running 41-year old Miguel Batista out there every day? He's not a viable starter on a contender, and Harvey is waiting at AAA. Are they playing super-2 games with Harvey, or do they actually think Batista is solid?

Ben Lindbergh: I don't see how it's possible to think Batista is a solid pitcher at age 41. Solid clubhouse guy, yes, solid writer of thrillers about serial killers, sure (look it up). But solid pitcher...I don't see it, and the Mets aren't dumb, so I doubt they do either. Batista was a low-BABIP mirage last season, but I'm not sure anyone who plays fantasy is fooled by low BABIPs at this point, let alone the smart people who work for teams. Harvey is pitching well, but probably not so well that he has nothing left to learn at Triple-A. The Mets say he isn't coming up soon, but regardless, Batista's days are numbered. I thought he was done after 2008, so it's impressive that he's managed to cling to major-league life this long. Still: 15 walks, 12 strikeouts.

Paul (DC): Chris Sale, who's been very effective as a starter, is supposedly heading back to the pen because of a sore elbow. Over reaction by the White Sox or simple prudence?

Ben Lindbergh: Prudence, but disappointing nonetheless. Some guys can handle every aspect of starting but staying healthy. Maybe Sale is one of them--the Sox would know far better than I. I hope he gets another crack at the rotation at some point, since he clearly has the stuff to succeed there, but "better safe than sorry" isn't a bad rule of thumb when it comes to pitching prospects and first-round picks.

Tom Hank before Bald (Seattle): Yeah I 've seen them played, actually I was two for two in my attendance and their record (Sunday & Monday). And I def. look forward for more GIF of Jesus's catching. I am also curious of origin of the title "Lookout landing" from. The only reference I could think of was Mark Buehrle's famous puddle sliding.

Ben Lindbergh: Yes, the GIForce is strong with Jeff Sullivan. "Lookout Landing" is a section in the upper deck down the left-field line at Safeco.

Jay (Cincy): Tony Cingrani continues to impress, even pitching in the Cal League. Most seem to see him as a reliever, but he is straight DEALING as a starter. Is his secondary stuff developing enough to stick as a starter, against all odds?

Ben Lindbergh: You're in luck: Kevin wrote about Cingrani today in a piece at BP and ESPN. (If a minor leaguer is doing something interesting, it's usually safe to assume that Kevin is writing about him now or did write about him recently.) The consensus seems to be that he's now a prospect as a starting pitcher.

By the way, for GEO, the guy who asked earlier about being signed out of the site: if you select "Remember me," the site will keep you signed in, and if you log out at the end of your session, the cookie should be deleted. So if the cookie was what you were worried about, don't worry about it. That said, we'll look into lengthening how long the login sessions are set for. We set them to be fairly short originally, so that (say) a person reading at an internet cafe wouldn't be logged in long after he or she had left. If that happened, there'd be free BP for everyone in the neighborhood, and society would crumble.

R.A.Wagman (Toronto): Ben - at what point this season do you start to believe more in the performance than in the projections? Does this vary between teams and players? Please use the AL East in your answer. Thanks.

Ben Lindbergh: Ryan, I don't think there's a point at which I put my full faith in performance over projection, or look only at what a team has played like in-season to the exclusion of what we thought it would play like before the season. Recent performance should be weighted more heavily than past performance, so the more a team has played in 2012, the greater the impact 2012 performance has on my expectations for the rest of the season. But PECOTA uses five seasons of historical stats to project player performance, so to the extent that my feeble brain can handle it, I try to do the same. Of course, I'm as susceptible to the recency effect as anyone.

Wait, I forgot--I was supposed to use the AL East in my answer. How about this: the Orioles won't win the division, and even if they kept winning, I'd probably keep believing that essentially up until the day they clinched.

19braves77 (Pensacola, FL): How hard is it for a pitching coach when you have a prospect like Trevor Bauer ? The guy has 9 pitches and his own philosophy on pitching.

Ben Lindbergh: It probably depends on the pitching coach. A coach who's very hands on and likes to mold pitchers according to his own ideas of what mechanics should look like might hate having Bauer. A coach who's content to let pitchers who've had success keep doing their own thing as long as it's working would probably handle Bauer just fine. The question with Bauer is whether to mess with his success in an attempt to make him even better. As good as he is, he's had control problems, and he could stand to be much more efficient. Maybe a pitching coach could help him with that, but maybe tinkering with his approach to make him more efficient would make him less effective in other areas. I don't know what the right thing to do in his case is, which is why no one pays me to be a pitching coach.

By the way, speaking of pitching (I'm the best at segues), I asked resident mechanics expert Doug Thorburn last week to take a look at what's happened to Ubaldo Jimenez, and he's working on the article now. It sounds like he's found some interesting stuff, so I'm looking forward to reading it. Should be up on the site on Friday.

Winnie (Napa Valley): If you could go back in time to watch one baseball game, how would you justify not killing Baby Hitler instead?

Ben Lindbergh: I don't know. Maybe I can't bring myself to kill a baby to prevent future crimes it hasn't committed because I just watched Minority Report. Or maybe I just really, really, wanted to watch Old Hoss Radbourn.

dianagram (Value Over Replacement Grit): I don't see anyone close to a replacement for Werth available right now. Can the Nats risk trying to get by without him? Who might they go after coming up to the trade deadline?

Ben Lindbergh: Well, Mike Rizzo says that he's not looking to make a trade, which could mean either that he's not looking to make a trade or that he's desperately looking to make a trade but doesn't want to say that for fear of driving up asking prices. I'm actually writing a BP/ESPN article now on lopsided teams like the Nats that excel at either run scoring or run preventing but don't do both, so maybe after that I'll have more insight on whether they can get by with a Nady/Bernadina platoon for three months. One confession I should make here: I'm absolutely awful at coming up with potential trades. Whenever I have to propose one, I look at basically every person playing baseball and ask myself whether he's available or not and why, and which teams might want him. It's the most inefficient process ever. Can't wait for the trade deadline!

By the way, Sam Miller just emailed me to say that he's working on the Bonifacio article, so look forward to seeing that sometime in the next day or two. I wonder how many more times I can name-drop BP staff members before the end of the chat.

RMR (Chicago): To clarify, Cueto's GB/FB jumped significantly along with his revamped delivery: 08: 0.95 09: 1.02 10: 1.08 11: 1.78 His HR/FB also dropped, though I'm less inclined to attribute that to a change in approach. 08: 13.9% 09: 11.2% 10: 8.6% 11: 5.8%

Ben Lindbergh: Hey, so, apparently Johnny Cueto has a low BABIP now and is doing things differently or something. I don't know if anyone mentioned that earlier.

Johnny (San Diego): Is Scott Rolen just, like, kinda done, or is he seriously seriously done?

Ben Lindbergh: I'm guessing seriously done (but only one seriously), which makes me sad. I really wanted him to pad his Cooperstown case some more this season. Not that he should have to, but, you know, he has to. At this point, though, the injuries have taken their tool, and it looks like he's only hurting his chances. I could be wrong, though. He's looked lousy before and come back to have strong seasons.

exer (naples): Why do teams still try to steal? On top of the questionable or marginal benefits, the risk of injuries comes on top of it, and lots of important players have suffered injuries this year as a result of a steal. Is this year an outlier in that respect?

Ben Lindbergh: I don't know if this season is an outlier in terms of injuries, but whether the benefit of stealing outweighs the risks once injuries are factored in is an interesting question. When scoring is low, the breakeven point for steal attempts is also low, so I don't think you're going to see teams stop stealing. I'm not sure whether I'd call the benefits "marginal," though. Maybe they are in terms of bases added, but there are ancillary benefits to it, like forcing pitchers to pitch from the stretch. I'll keep it in mind as a future topic, though I expect it would be difficult to figure out how many injuries stealing is directly responsible for.

Reds Fan (Cincinnati): Ugh, are the Cardinals REALLY this good? It seems like every single break seems to go their way. Jake Westbrook and Kyle Lohse? ACES! Tyler Greene? SECOND COMING OF JEFF BAGWELL! So damn annoying.

Ben Lindbergh: According to our Adjusted Standings, not only have they actually been this good, they've actually been better. The Cardinals' third-order winning percentage is .733. That's the best in baseball, folks. Maybe Pujols was holding them back all that time! Scary for Reds fans, huh?

M. Matheny (under the Arch): Who should I send to the bullpen once Chris Carpenter is healthy (if ever?) Not who "will" I, but who "should" I?

Ben Lindbergh: Doubling up on Cardinals questions. This is a tough one. Lynn has pitched too well to demote him back to the bullpen. Maybe Lohse? It's such a tiny sample (and mostly from several years ago) that I'm embarrassed to cite it, but his career K/BB in the bullpen is 3.00, compared to 2.07 as a starter. If you subscribe to the idea that the least talented/successful starter, and/or the one with no future development at stake, should be the one to go, then Lohse seems like the guy. Good problem to have, though, as they say.

By the way, I like to think that Mike Matheny actually hangs out under the Arch while he's pondering roster moves like this one.

Jason (Quebec): what do you think of Scott Van Slyke? Yes he's old but he can't be any worse than Loney or Rivera can he?

Ben Lindbergh: No, he probably can't be, even though he's 25 and it's Albuquerque. And Rivera just hurt his leg sliding into third, so it's possible that he might miss some time. I'm rooting for Van Slyke, if only because there's a chance he might be as funny as his old man. Andy Van Slyke was hilarious.

Jesse Pinkman (ABQ): do you think either Scott Van Slyke or Alex Castellanos can make an impact for Dodgers? Both are obviously older but both have crushed the ball for 2 or 3 years straight.

Ben Lindbergh: And yes, I think Castellanos could help, too. He's raking, and Kevin wrote in April that scouts can see him as average at second. The Dodgers aren't in need of help at second quite as desperately as they are at first, but I expect you'll see both of these guys at some point this season.

Charlie (Bethesda, MD): Danny Espinosa isn't this bad, is he? Should the Nats send him down to AAA until he figures it out, or just stick with him? Or is he not much of a hitter .180/.280/.230 is what we should expect

Ben Lindbergh: Probably not this bad (when someone asks if a player is "this bad" or "this good," the answer is almost always, "no, not this bad/good"), but I don't know if I see rainbows on the horizon, either, and Steve Lombardozzi is lurking. Espinosa has been swinging and missing too much, which he also did in the second half of last season. The problem might be partly one of approach: according to the WaPo's Adam Kilgore, Davey Johnson told Espinosa to "swing easy" this spring, and now he's telling him to be more aggressive. Maybe he's just confused, in which case he'll probably figure it out at some point. Espinosa is a good defender, so if he keeps his average comfortably over the Mendoza Line and hits homers at a good clip for a second-sacker, he'll be worth playing.

Charlie (Bethesda, MD): What gives with Danny Espinosa?

Ben Lindbergh: BUS-TED for asking the same question twice, and in less detail the second time. I'd be surprised if Charlie dares to show his face around Bethesda after this.

TLR (La-la land): Matheny can't send Lohse to the pen! He's a Veteran Presence, after all. Maybe Wainwright to protect his arm post-TJ?

Ben Lindbergh: What, he can't be a VP in the pen? Yes, if Wainwright is on some sort of innings limit or the Cards are worried about his arm, he could be the one to go, especially since he's already succeeded there. I don't think he's a better fit for performance's sake, though.

By the way, Jesse Pinkman, Breaking Bad is good, but Bubs is better.

paulbellows (Calgary): How long do the Twins go without making some major changes? There is probably less talent there than in any other organization.

Ben Lindbergh: I don't really think Terry Ryan is in danger, but Gardenhire could go at some point this season. Both guys got the dreaded vote of confidence from Jim Pohlad yesterday. The Twins need to try something different. They had the staff with the lowest strikeout rate and fastball velocity in the majors last season, and they've had it again this season. We know strikeouts and fastballs that break 90 are good things, but for some reason, the Twins don't seem to have come to the same realization. Maybe they'd be better off being run by someone who has.

Ben Lindbergh: I've outlasted all of you, so three-plus hours later, it's time to call it a chat. I enjoyed it, as always, and I'll be back for more before long. Thanks for spending your afternoon with me at BP.

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