Good afternoon. Thank you for taking time out of your day to join me for our weekly live chat. Please fire away.
Very good question. I think Pudge Rodriguez deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. If he doesn't get in this year, he'll miss out by a very small margin and surely get in next year. I voted for Rodriguez. With seven All-Star berths and eight Gold Gloves, I think Yadier Molina is well on his way to a plaque in Cooperstown one day. He's arguably the best catcher of his generation.
I wouldn't say that they don't try. They quite simply aren't as good as last year. As expected, their transition has been full of fits along the way. They don't have the players to play the quicker style they have committed to this season, and they don't have the big bodies - David Backes and Troy Brouwer - to transition back into the style that was so effective last year. That's not to mention the goaltending, which has been quite poor. I don't blame Hitchcock for these issues. He's doing the best he can with the roster Doug Armstrong gave him.
Jake Allen signed a four-year, $17.4 million extension this winter, so he is not going anywhere. For better or worse, the 2016-2017 Blues must ride it out with Allen. They must hope he bounces back. I don't think they can afford to acquire another goaltender. They could benefit from acquiring an elite center, but those aren't cheap.
It depends what type of team you want to build. Peralta is the better defensive player, and the Cardinals need to improve their defense. They cannot afford to hamper the pitching staff for the second year in a row with poor defense.
Honestly, I don't mind. The kids I went to elementary school call me Jose. People I've met since middle school either call me Jesus or Jose, depending on where they've met me. My parents and siblings call me by a nickname. Many of the readers I befriended in Houston grew to call me JJO. I prefer the nickname Chuy, which is why I hold Ask Chuy Q&A sessions on twitter. Long story short, I don't have a preference for what readers call me.
I voted for the 10 players I deemed more worthy. I've been voting for Lee Smith, who didn't play for the Astros, since I got my first ballot. Logic holds that if I voted for Smith I should vote for Wagner and Hoffman, who never played for the Astros. Bagwell is likely to get into the Hall of Fame today, so that should tell you I'm not the only one voting for him. Clemens was the best pitcher of his era, in my opinion. Bonds never played for the Astros. Raines never played for the Astros. Rodriguez played for the Astros briefly, but I'm clearly not the only one voting for a guy who will get in this year or next. Jeff Kent was a former NL MVP and arguably the most feared second baseman at the plate during his career.
I honestly hadn't heard such a rumor. I cannot imagine anybody moving a team from that market to St. Louis.
That's a very good question. The core of the Cubs' roster is young and under team control for a while. They have a deep farm system that can be used to acquire pitching help if needed. It's very difficult to repeat as World Series champion, but they are built to contend for the foreseeable future.
I wouldn't say any of the NL contenders got much better this winter, but the Dodgers and Cubs managed to keep most of the pieces they tried to keep.
I hadn't heard that name, but the doesn't mean that he's not an option.
The Cardinals will remind everybody that they won titles in 2011 and 2016 and that fans are proud of them. They know that most fans give them the benefit of the doubt, so they'll continue to do business as usual. They will hope that fans forget that they're among the richest teams in baseball. They'll only change their approach if fans stop coming to Busch Stadium, but they know that they're the only show in town for much of the baseball season.
The only consistent thing about the 2016-2017 Blues is the fact that they're inconsistent. They haven't won three in a row since Nov. 26-Dec. 1. Heck, they hadn't won two in a row since Nov. 26-Dec. 1 until this past Sunday, when they won their second in a row. Quite simply, they haven't forged a positive identity. At this point, their identity is one of a team that is inconsistent. They can stun a real good team and then look terribly bad two days later.
Pitching will be the key for the Cardinals. If Wainwright is better and Lynn and/or Wacha bounce back well, they should be real good if Carlos Martinez and Alex Reyes give you the type of season that pushes them to the top echelon of NL pitchers. It will be interesting to see if Leake struggles again or if the defense behind him will improve enough to help him.
I enjoy hanging out with my wife and kids. I'm married with a young family, so I don't go to sports bars. I like a few restaurants here, but I don't have one that I visit regularly.
That is going to be a very important thing to watch this season. Barring a surprising injury, the Cubs will also benefit from a full season from Schwarber. It's too early to tell how much the Cubs will miss Fowler, but there's no denying he was a huge reason for the Cubs' success last year.
That is a very good point. Jedd Gyorko has never played more than 128 games in a season, so we don't know how he'll hold up over 162 games or 150. I would be more worried about his defense than his stamina.
I have to believe that the Cardinals will find a place in the pitching staff for Reyes behind Martinez, Wainwright, Leake and Lynn, but Wacha seems committed to fighting for a spot in the starting rotation.
Please explain to me how a nutritionist would have helped Peralta avoid a thumb injury?
I wouldn't bet against Molina playing three more seasons as a starter, barring injury.
It's too early to tell, but you have to see if they have anybody ready behind him first.
I would give it a 50-50 shot. Quite honestly, I don't buy the claims from the SC STL ownership that they cannot afford to bring the team to St. Louis if they don't milk the taxpayers for $60 million. It was $80 million, but now they've dropped it to $60 million.
I think upgrades to Scottrade Center are more important.