Chatterbox

Shortly after the AL Hit List went up, I did another chat over at Baseball Prospectus. This one was relatively short and sweet by my standards (90 minutes as opposed to 2-3 hours), but full of crunchy goodness:

JoeR (Upstate): Jay Who do you see the Dodgers settling on for the 4th and 5th spots in the rotation? Elbert hasn’t exactly been lighting it up for the Isotopes, is he still a consideration? Would Washburn be that much of an improvement over what they already have?

Jay Jaffe: Well, I’d assume that if Vicente Padilla returns he’ll get first crack at reclaiming the fourth spot, and it sounds like John Ely has earned himself a longer look in the rotation based upon his past two starts. Scott Elbert hasn’t pitched very well down in Albuturkey, but perhaps later this summer he’ll round into shape, him or Josh Lindblom. Other than salty veteran goodness of the kind Joe Torre craves, I don’t think Washburn would bring that much of an improvement, particularly given that he’s been sitting on his derriere. For that kind of trouble, I wonder about the possibility of a Pedro Martinez return to Chavez Ravine.

workermonkey (ct): i’m convinced [Jesus] [M]ontero could play LF better than Thames and hit far better than Winn. he can catch part time to spell Po and cervelli, plus DH for johnson. why aren’t the yanks calling him up?

Jay Jaffe: Well, even if Jesus Montero were actually hitting at Triple-A — and he most decidedly isn’t (.233/.295/.359) — there’s still the small matter of actually putting him in the pasture and teaching him how to play it better than Thames, which isn’t a small matter given that we’re beyond the kind of trial-and-error forgiveness granted by spring training. Unless he starts to rake at Scranton, I don’t see him as being a factor for the Yankees this season.

tommybones (brooklyn): Who gets into the HOF on the first ballot with a higher percentage of votes, Mariano Rivera or Derek Jeter? I think even those voters with anti-closer bias are going to agree with Mo’s inclusion, eh? Tough call.

Jay Jaffe: I don’t think I’m going out too far on a limb by saying that either of these guys could challenge Tom Seaver’s 98.84% record vote. The closer thing is more likely to work against Mo, but any writer who doesn’t think both of those two are Hallworthy should be considered a fraud.

dianagramr (NYC): ETA of Austin Jackson coming back to earth? K’ing in 35% of your ABs, with a .500 BABIP is a recipe for regression. How does he end up the season? .270/.340/.410?

Jay Jaffe: Hey Diana. I think the correction has already begun, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him end up with a batting average maybe 10-20 points higher, with the other two rates about right (remember, he’s not walking all that much. Let’s say .285/.340/.410.

With that one in the books, I’ve got big fun to look forward to on Saturday: my first-ever press credential. Yes, it’s true. After nine years of blogging in my underwear, I’ll put on pants to be a member of the media elite for the afternoon’s Yanks-Twins tilt, with Andy Pettitte’s return from a scratched start going up against Francisco Liriano’s return from three years of elbow-induced oblivion. I’ll be filing a game report at Baseball Prospectus when it’s all said and done. Hopefully this will just be the first of many times I get to do this.

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