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Chat: Ian Miller

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Wednesday December 05, 2012 1:00 PM ET chat session with Ian Miller.


Find out what Ian thinks about all the latest news from Nashville (plus probably stuff that has nothing to do with Nashville) here.

Ian Miller: Sup y'all! Looking forward to talking about the HOT STOVE and the music of the '90s. Madchester and hip-hop, man. What an amazing decade for music.

KBumanis (Latvia): Hey, is there an extended information available about the methodology of SCHOENE? And/or is it possible to read about it in the books? Thanks!

Ian Miller: Well, that's a baseball thing so I am entirely out of my depth here, BUT have you read this? http://www.basketballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=1206

cal guy (cal): So with Scoots back in the fold what is next for the Giants? Do you think they bring The Riot back for insurance? I can't see them settling for a Blanco-Peguero LF platoon, so might we see them bring in someone with a bit more pop for LF?

Ian Miller: Last I heard, Theriot was interested in coming back as a utility guy. While I'm not a huge fan of his skillset, he's certainly an adequate backup. So, if the price is right, sure, bring him back. There's always Joaquin Arias, too, though, if Theriot wants too much $$.

Alex (Anaheim): Are the Yankees letting Ichiro go too?

Ian Miller: Don't know! He's pretty old, and hasn't been very good for a while now. His TAv has been trending downward for a while, and even though he has a mini-bounceback with NYY last year, I'm not sure how much I offer him if I'm a GM. How many marginal wins does he get you? How much are you willing to pay for PR and fan goodwill?

Ashitaka1110 (Houston, TX): Wilton Lopez to the Rockies; your general thoughts on the trade? Specifically, did it surprise you that Colorado, considering how hard their park (or elevation, really) makes it for them to attract pitchers, gave up on Alex White and his mid-90's sinker so early in his career? Should Astros' fans be worried that he's damaged goods or something? And how good of a player should we expect to lose as the PTBNL?

Ian Miller: Feel like the Astros are selling high on W Lopez and buying low on White, so I like the deal for Houston. Not really sure why COL makes that deal, though -- are they a late-inning reliever away from winning that division or the Wild Card? I guess they had to do SOMETHING to shore up that 'pen though, so it makes sense. And they seem like they're done with White as a project, so maybe it works out for both sides.

As far as the PTBNL, well, since I'm sure Kevin Goldstein had I say in compiling that list, I bet HOU gets a solid ballplayer.

Carl (LA): Thanks for the chat Ian. What kind of numbers do you expect from Eric Hosmer next year? Thanks!

Ian Miller: Hey Carl. Hosmer is kind of confounding to me. I was probably irrationally exuberant on him when he came up in '11, and the league adjusted to him in '12. I still think he's an elite player, so I expect to adjust to the adjustments next year.

Maybe he hits .270/.320/.460? Does that seem reasonable?

Pete (Kansas City): Do you expect Jedd Gyorko to land a starting position on the Padres by opening day? How good can this guy be? Thanks for the chat!

Ian Miller: He certainly doesn't have anything left to prove at AAA. Do you stick him in LF and hope he adjusts? I'm not sure how I handle this if I'm San Diego. Ultimately he looks like an everyday starter with flashes of All-Star potential.

Nathan (Toronto): Thanks for the chat, Ian. My question for you is what can I expect from Brett Lawrie next year? He had quite the drop off in production in the second half. In your eyes, is he still a potential all-star at 3B??

Ian Miller: Potential all-star, sure. Gotta wonder how much injuries and wear-and-tear were affecting him down the stretch.

I also have vague and lingering questions about him makeup. If he can't get his testosterone and teen angst in check, that might limit his ceiling.

Howard (Freeport, ME): We all know Sandy Alderson came to the Mets with a distinguished track record. But what has he really done for the organization other than get Zack Wheeler? Its been an incredibly frustrating three years with him signing terrible free agents and the major league team getting worse. Why does no one from the sports media hold him accountable?

Ian Miller: Talked about this a little on the PRODcast last night, actually.

I think Alderson is a really, really smart baseball guy. The Katz/Wilpons are the reason he gets a pass from me, and I suspect from the MSM. If there were a legitimate ownership in place, I think we'd see a different on-field product.

I think that as long as that ownership is in place, Alderson will get the benefit of the doubt.

Tommy (Flowmont): Thanks for the chat today. Anyway the Reds could package a deal starting with Drew Stubbs and Homer Bailey / Mike Leake for something involving either Dexter Fowler or Jacoby Ellsbury? If not, what else would they need to include?

Ian Miller: I know that Fowler and Ellsbury have both been dangled, but I'm not sure what kind of return each team is looking for. Personally I'm not a Fowler fan -- his approach at the plate is a total disaster, and he either hasn't been able or willing to make adjustments. Still not sure what kind of player Ellsbury is long-term, so if I'm a GM, i'm reticent to make a move for him.

Also, I still believe in Stubbs and wouldn't necessarily want to sell low on him. I always worry about trading big-league starters, too. You can never have enough pitching!

matt (san diego): Sleeper in Padres system not named Matt Wisler?

Ian Miller: That's a better question for our prospect team. I defer to those guys in this instance. Sorry!

sdsuphilip (Los Angeles): O/U 18 HR's for Chase Headley this year?

Ian Miller: Curious to see what will happen with the new OF dimensions in Petco, but I'll take the over for sure. He's just entering his prime.

Angry Fan (Kansas City): Seems like KC is desperate to trade Myers, what the heck are they doing?

Ian Miller: Dude, I wish I knew. Talked about this with Riley on our show last week, and I totally don't get it. Not sure if it's DM being incompetent, conflicting priorities from ownership, or ... yeah, I can't explain it. Sorry.

Tommy (Flowmont): To followup, is there a package Cincinnati could use to get Will Myers from KC?

Ian Miller: I'm probably the wrong guy to ask, because I don't move Myers at all if I'm KC. There's no piece that puts the Royals over the hump this year or next, so why the hell do you consider moving Myers unless to get 2 or 3 elite prospects? So, I guess my answer is Gregorious, Hamilton, and Cingrani. :)

nils707 (Ann Arbor, MI): 'Container Ships' ruled. Love it. Are the Mariners actually going to do something big? They seem out of their element going for the big guys, it's exciting.

Ian Miller: You're too kind! THanks for listening.

I'm with you in your Mariners-related excitement. They're at least SAYING the right things, y'know? Remains to be seen if they'll actually make the moves, but I agree there are at least signs of hope.

harjitsgill (Oakland, CA): in terms of 90s hip hop and the holiday season, any favorites? Public Enemy did a Christmas Jam I believe? Any others? Still working on getting my mix out this week and playing to my audience.

Ian Miller: don't remember a PE Xmas song, but there's always Christmas in Hollis by Run DMC and Merry Muthaf*ckin Christmas by Easy E.

Steve G. (Athens, OH): What is going on with the Royals? Big names being rumored but nothing has happened.

Ian Miller: Gotta imagine it's posturing. I think the Royals should stand pat. There is almost no move they can make now that makes them a division winner in '13. If they do anything, they should try to acquire players that make them competitive 2-3 years from now.

Metsfan10 (New York): Favorite Pie? Pie or Cobbler?

Ian Miller: As a transplanted Southerner, pecan will always hold a special place in my heart, but my very favorite is probably strawberry rhubarb. I like the idea of eating something that would kill you if you ate it raw.

Pie or cobbler? That's like asking if I like blonds or brunettes. The answer is "yes."

Vicmill1 (Sitting next to yo mama): Who orchestrates how the Giants' new contracts are released? Pagan first, Scutaro second...is this paced for drama or can't they wrangle two players at the same time?

Ian Miller: I think it's just how the negotiations shake out, and then we (The Media) construct a narrative to pack it all up. I don't *think* there's a concerted effort on the team's part to schedule these things. They have their priorities, and the signings happen as they happen.

Chopper (Indy): Ian, with Scutaro re-signing with the Giants, do you think the Cardinals will do anything at the meetings regarding the middle of their infield? Thanks!

Ian Miller: Are you not a Pete Kozma believer?? :)

I'm still a big Furcal fan, so if he's healthy (big if) I have no problem with him as my opening day SS. Between Descalso and Kozma, you have a LOT of potential at 2B/SS -- lots more than what other orgs have. Whether or not they actualize that, well, none of us can say just yet. But I'd say the Cards are set up pretty well right now!

Vicmill1 (Alameda, CA): Does this mean we don't get an essay today?

Ian Miller: Working on something slightly grander for next week!

sdsuphilip (San Diego): Favorite narrative in MLB?

Ian Miller: All the best narratives revolve around the Yankees, so it would be a toss-up between ARod's hip and Fat Jeter. Remember Fat Jeter? Life was so simple then.


Andrew Meyer (Sadness): The Pope's twitter handle is @Pontifex, does this just prove how big of a DasEFX fan?

Ian Miller: Wouldn't it be awesome if he conducted a high mass in DasEFX-ese? Lots of "riggidy-rows" and stuff? I'm cracking myself up just thinking about it.

Chopper (Indy): Ian- I know predicting numbers can be dangerous or foolish, but what do you think Profar's numbers could be annually and do you think Aaron Hill will replicate his numbers in 2013 from this year? Thank you.

Ian Miller: Lordy, I am in no position to project Profar's performance. He's 19 and CRAZY talented. We usually assume that players reach their physical peaks at around 27, so projecting Profar's ceiling seems to me a fool's errand. Can we just say he's going to be awesome for a long time? I'm willing to go on record with that statement.

I don't think Aaron Hill gets close to his 2012 production in '13. His career numbers are wacky -- I guess I'd treat him like a 3-win player? Maybe? Helluva ballplayer in any case, and massively underrated.

Steve G. (Athens, OH): What are the supposed asking prices right now for Shin-Soo Choo and Asdrubal Cabrera right now? I hear astronomical. Also, are you a big Run-DMC fan?

Ian Miller: Run DMC are in the pantheon, man. Up there with Rakim, PE, NWA, etc. The eponymous debut record is what got me into hip-hop in the first place. Gods.

I don't move Cabrera unless I got a MASSIVE return. Up-the-middle starters are worth their weight in gold, almost literally.

I'm a big Choo fan, but maybe if I'm Cleveland I wait til midseason and move him to a contender. Although the OF market is pretty tight right now, maybe you can get a premium for him from someone like PHI? Not sure what I'd need to get in return. But CLE is in a good position because they don't NEED to move him right now. Seller's market.

Daniel (Venezuela): Hey man! Congratulations to you and the band for the new KWC album, it's great! I've listened to it several times and I can't seem to get tired of it (I'm about to listen to it again, in fact). It sounds like it's slower and more "focused" than Gambling, although I was already expecting that change since the two splits before this album. Anyway, I was wondering (since I don't have the lyrics yet), was "50s Dad" based on someone or something in particular? For some reason I thought it was a hilarious name for a song and it happens to be my favorite of the album.

Ian Miller: You're too kind, Daniel! Thank you.

Glad you like '50s Dad, too. You can ask Scott about the particulars of the lyrics, but I think the crux of the song is the pressure we feel about growing up and being responsible. And I think Scott is very sensitive to that, trying to balance grown-up responsibilities with dumb stuff like playing in a rock band.

Ali (England): Tell me about Barry Zito

Ian Miller: Barry Zito is a left-handed pitcher currently employed by the San Francisco Giants. Cha Cha!

Eric Hartman (Brooklyn): Thoughts on Harvey Danger's "Flagpole Sitta"?

Ian Miller: If I never hear that goddamn song again it'll be too soon.

Although if it can on the radio, I'd probably sing along and not change the channel.


MRubio52 (Chicago): Who had more 90's juice, Bell Biv Devoe or Blackstreet?

Ian Miller: Is this even a question?

BBD was like a solid everyday regular ballplayer. They can be Delino Deshields. Blackstreet's peak -- and I'm speaking of "No Diggity" here, of course -- was short but sky-high. I'm calling them the Bo Jackson of New Jack Swing.

Steve N (Delaware): I noticed that Eric Hinske has signed with Arizona. Since he has, at best, marginal fielding and baserunning value and hasn't hit for 2 years, why would anyone sign him?

Ian Miller: -handed hitters can always land a job somewhere, and he signed for over a million bucks. That's practically a rounding error for a big-league club. Could also be the kind of guy you want in your clubhouse, good influence on younger players etc. I don't see it as a bad signing at all. If he's just awful in Spring, you let him walk and you're out $1M. NBD.

jfive613 (New Mexico): How hard is it as a writer to adjust to the new money in baseball? It seems like you should scream that's a terrible contract to most of the recent signings, but maybe we have to realize that the market is changing.

Ian Miller: Talked about this some with Marc Normandin yesterday on twitter. The market is most certainly changing. I don't see *writers* having difficulty with that per se, but i see lots of fans freaking out about it. Look at all the hoopla about the Brandon League signing a coupla weeks ago. In light of what we've seen in the subsequent days, that deal looks almost reasonable.

But yes, your point is well taken: whether it's the new TV money or just the changing landscape of the game, free agents are getting mo money and payrolls are going waaay up.

Bill (Trenton): Top 5 favorite albums of the 90s?

Ian Miller: Oh man, good question, but I need to think about this. The idea of just spitting out the top 5 albums that come to mind makes me panic. Hit me up on twitter and I'll come up with a considered answer!

Mike (Miami): So who do you think has the most fun suite at the Meetings? I wonder if being in the Marlins' suite right now is like staying at a party that's over but the host is too polite to throw you out, where as the Diamondbacks have mass hysteria with all the Upton trade rumors. Astros could be real interesting tomorrow with the Rule V Draft.

Ian Miller: I have trouble believing ANY of the suites would be fun. Most GMs now are like 28 year olds, and they were the guys who just decimated you in your high school roto league. Did those guys know how to party? Noooooooo.

I have it on good authority that the SFG front office knows how to rage, though. So maybe I'd knock on Brian Sabean's door with a bottle of Goldschlager and see if he wanted to throw down.

Eric Hartman (Brooklyn): A new Jose Reyes just arrived at my apartment. I've put it, and my Jays hat on and am much happier than I was an hour ago. Is that level of devotion for a man in his 20's to put on a costume normal?

Ian Miller: Damn, you must've gotten a great deal! $10M seems like a bargain now, but beware those backloaded years.

harjitsgill (Oakland, CA): Continuing with the non-baseball questions: vegan shoe recommends? I'm looking at the saucony bullet or another pair of (now classic) Asics Ultimate 81 vegans. Thoughts?

Ian Miller: For sneakers, I've worn nothing but Vans Classics and various non-leather soccer boots for years. Have you looked at Macbeths? They usually have some good-looking vegan kicks.

MickeyRivers (PA): Favorite Lungfish song?

Ian Miller: First song I ever heard was "NOthing Is Easy" and it still holds special place in my heart.

Chris (KC): Just a comment - I'm from KC too, and I don't get the sense at all the Moore is desperate to trade Myers. I think people are listening to the wrong sources. In fact, I get the sense that he is very disinclined to trade Myers. He would, however, if he gets an ace pitcher back - and I'm talking Price, Hernandez, Verlander, Kershaw. You know, the ain't happenin' guys. I really think it's a moot point, and it's not at all different from every GMs narrative every year. Ok, now a question: What do you think of the rumored ARZ-CLE trade of Upton for Asdrubal? Fair? Either side need to add more? Laughable?

Ian Miller: I feel like AZ HAS to move Upton. If the Dbacks could get Asdrubal back, they'd have to consider it. Not sure of the contract status (years or money) at stake, but on its face, I don't hate the concept.

cdoyle31 (Phoenix): Re: Gyorko: The Pads front office is dead serious about playing him at 2B. I don't think OF is even in the range of possibilities, unless the entire pitching staff storms the front office and burns everyone at the stake.

Ian Miller: Good to know! Thanks, Conor.

Nils (Ann Arbor, MI): You tweeted, I think, that in 2013 you would listen to zero rock music. What's the plan, man?

Ian Miller: The idea was to listen solely to hip-hop, electronic stuff, maybe avant-garde and classical stuff. Basically no guitar-based rock. I'm sure I wouldn't even last a day.

Chris Garosi (Maryland): How much would you pay to hear Q-Tip read the phonebook? Is there nothing that you wouldn't pay to hear Q-Tip do?

Ian Miller: I have no doubt that he could make the phone book funny and engaging -- and maybe a little sexy. I'd give him CC Sabathia money to do it. As long as it was actually CC Sabathia's money, and not mine.

mattstupp (NYC): Completely Gratuitous 4-Team Blockbuster Trade Proposal: -Mets send R.A. Dickey to Red Sox, send Lucas Duda + Domingo Tapia to Indians & send Wilmer Flores to Diamondbacks -Red Sox send Archie Bradley + Anthony Ranaudo to Indians -Indians send Asdrubal Cabrera to Diamondbacks & send Shin-Soo Choo + Vinnie Pestano to Mets -Diamondbacks send Justin Upton to Mets Care to offer gratuitous thoughts?

Ian Miller: Math makes my head hurt

Rockford (The Hills): Darin Ruf - will he really get some quality AB's this year? What is reasonable to expect from him?

Ian Miller: I'm not opposed to the idea of a Schierholtz/Ruf platoon in LF -- is that what's being proposed? Neither guy is gonna light the world on fire, but it's not a terrible option.

cdoyle31 (Phoenix): You only get one Fugazi album for the rest of your life. Which do you take? I vote Steady Diet with a nod to Kill Taker.

Ian Miller: Repeater. That was the one that had the biggest impact on me. Perfect record.

hankfiddich (Chinaskiglen): Regarding money in sports...advertising dollars are increasing because it is the ONLY thing people watch live on TV and don't record using DVR, tivo, etc. Also how about ranking these 90's bands Alice in Chains, Stone Temple Pilots, Uncle Tupelo, Whiskeytown

Ian Miller: wow, is Whiskeytown really a '90s band. Christ, I'm old.

I was never a big grunge guy, so I go U.T. with AiC as a distant second, then The Ryan Adams expereince, and then STP.

Mike (Atlanta): Am I wrong to consider Yunel Escobar's 2011 Home/Road splits concerning? Keith Law intimated that he hit at home because of the man in white. Looking at it, since 2010 Escobar has only hit in home games in 2011...

Ian Miller: Impossible to say without more data. If it's a consistent and established pattern, then we can treat it as real until it's disproven. The reason why isn't important. So yeah, if there's enough data, then it's reasonable to be concerned.

doog7642 (Blaine, MN): Just wanted to say thanks again for Goblins and Gauntlets. That's an all time favorite.

Ian Miller: You're too kind, sir. Thanks for reading!

Ben (San Jose): who do you think is the starting SS in Oakland in 2013?

Ian Miller: Man, I have no idea. I always expect Beane and co. to pull off something smart and under-the-radar-ish, so I won't be surprised when the A's pick up some way underrated guy who ends up having a big bounceback year. Maybe someone on a 1-year deal until Russell is ready to take over.

Ian Miller: Thanks for all your great questions, folks! Sorry I couldn't get to them all. Feel free to hit me up on the twitter machine @teen_archer. Cheers!

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