Harry takes your questions on pitching, PITCHf/x, and baseball in general.
Harry Pavlidis: back from the break and ready to talk baseball? Let's do this.
xavier (texas): Rubby de la Rosa - what do you see him as? Great starter, backend starter, bullpen arm?
Harry Pavlidis: I think he'd be close to dominating out of the bullpen but more valuable as a backend starter. I'd expect him to be decent in the rotation, occasionally great and occasionally awful.
OldEnglishD (Macomb Mi): Which is the real Wily Peralta? The guy with the awful whip and era numbers through mid June, or the guy who has been very serviceable since mid June? I like the numbers of late, but given the relatively young age, I don't know whether this is a guy who has finally figured things out or if he is just on a nice run and us this year's Mike Fiers? Thanks!
Harry Pavlidis: I've been high on Peralta for a while. Commanding that power sinker is challenging but he seems to be getting it harnessed. Not many guys can work as a starter with that kind of velocity and sink on the ball. I think he's very much for real, solid middle rotation arm who will eat a lot of innings and kill a lot of worms.
captnamerca (dunedin, FL): How do you view the Braun suspension? Good for baseball, an embarrassment, no big deal, just desserts for a guy who got away with something last time out?
Harry Pavlidis: I think it's good for baseball in the long run. He "got away" last time because testing procedures weren't followed. That was also good for baseball.
Paul (DC): Jose Fernandes rocketed up the Prospect List with a great 2012 season. And this year as a 20 year old rookie in Miami he's done nothing but prove he's a stud. Do you have any interesting tidbits on how he's pitching at an All Star level?
Harry Pavlidis: nasty stuff, poise, big body. He's got it all. He's been strong, if anything throwing harder now than in April. His curve/slurve has gotten firmer while his changeup has gotten softer. The two-seam fastball gives him movement in the zone and avoids barrels.
CWinslow (TVPD): Is Chris Archer's recent run of better command/control as simple as using the 4-seam fastball more than the 2-seamer?
Harry Pavlidis: Yes, I had noticed that and Jason Collette agreed that he had moved away from it since he was having trouble keeping it in the zone. But the other, perhaps more exciting news, is his changeup. It's getting nasty. He doesn't even need a plus change with his fastball and ridiculous slider, but if it does turn out that way .... oh boy. When he was sent to Tampa in the Garza deal, I felt the Cubs gave up a wild arm who had a long shot of bottling his potential. Either that long shot is coming in or I underestimated his ability to develop. Tampa got it right.
garik16 (Long Island): Since I've not had time to look this up, anything noticable about changes to Dickey's pitches? It can't just be velocity, the walk rate is way up after begins for 3 years one of the most accurate pitchers in the game.
Harry Pavlidis: losing velocity, losing command. Might be nothing more than the magical process known as "aging".
Marvin (Boston): Has Chris Archer proven his worth to remain in Tampa long term? Will be grow into somethin special or solid back end rotation guy?
Harry Pavlidis: as I noted in another question, I think he's getting close to something special. He's had it in him, but now he's realizing that potential. May he still fall short? Yup, but I'm not doubting him like I used to.
John (LA): Has Lincecum's arm speed decreased noticably due to aging? Is there any other reason why his stuff has decreased so dramatically?
Harry Pavlidis: his velocity has been in decline since high school. He has mechanics that require an explosive lower body and torso rotation. His stuff is essentially the same as always, but without the velocity it's not going to be as 'sharp/nasty'. And command and control with that delivery won't be easy, so the decrease in velocity isn't being compensated for that way.
jlarsen (chicago suburbs): What do you think of the Rays current run?
Harry Pavlidis: it's a push from a solid base, now they have one of the best records in baseball. Price is back, Archer is improving (see like every other question above) ... Myers is up. The team has gotten better so it's not like this is some crazy streak that will see them go off the cliff.
Ben Z (Toronto): Since July 22 of 2012, Brandon Belt is .287/.354/.453, good for a 127 wRC+ over 554 PA. Safe to say that he's quietly come into his own as a top-10 first baseman?
Harry Pavlidis: hmmm. It's close. One one hand I expect more power out of a top shelf first baseman. AT&T will keep the lefty home run numbers down so that's part of it. And he's probably got more power to come....I'll say not quite top 10 yet.
John (CT): Matt Barnes has pitched better as of late. Is he a future ace or #2 or #3?
Harry Pavlidis: I don't much about him, but our prospect staff has him topping out as a 2. Which is a dang high ceiling.
Alex (Anaheim): What is the secret to how well Frieri is pitching lately?
Harry Pavlidis: reliever performance is like Chicago's weather. Don't like it? Wait a few minutes, it will change. If there's anything to point towards it's that he's gone back to almost all heaters. His cutter thingee became much more like a slider after it's debut this Spring. Now it's just about parked on the side of the road. His velocity has also recovered, which seems to be an annual event
Frank (Canoga Park): Have you seen Chris Flexen and what are scouts saying about him?
Harry Pavlidis: Honestly that's the first time I can remember seeing is name.
redguy12588 (Pittsburgh): What is Jeff Locke's ceiling? #3 starter, or #5 starter?
Harry Pavlidis: 5th starter, what he's doing now seems to be a mirage.
captnamerca (dunedin, FL): I can't remember where I read it (which means I might be totally off), but is Francisco Liriano using his slider more this year? Does that correspond to a higher injury risk?
Harry Pavlidis: It's true, he's using it a lot. http://www.brooksbaseball.net/outcome.php?player=434538&time=month&startDate=03/30/2007&endDate=07/23/2013&s_type=2
I think conventional wisdom is more sliders is more risk, but I can't say if Liriano is over his limit .
Eric (Atlanta): I read the article on Yelich/Marisnick. Who could they translate t eventually, Rios/Heyward?
Harry Pavlidis: I'd rather not force a comp on them.
Chris (Georgia): Royals prospects never seem to blossom, do you think Zimmer and Ventura will be different?
Harry Pavlidis: most prospects fail, why should the Royals be any different?
Dan Rozenson (Washington, DC): You wrote about Dan Haren earlier this year during a stretch when he seemed to be doing better. He's regressed since. Have you noticed anything in particular about why he's so homer-happy?
Harry Pavlidis: I think he's just leaving the ball over the plate, and he certainly doesn't have the stuff to miss in the zone.
Shawnykid23 (CT): Do you like Chicago's haul for Garza? Does Texas hurt his value significantly from a fantasy perspective?
Harry Pavlidis: I do like the haul. And, yes, of course, just look at Garza's AL numbers compared to his NL numbers. Aim optimistically at somewhere in between.
jlarsen (Chicago burbs): Are you worried more about Clay Bucholz's lat/neck, Jon Lester's psyche or Lackey's descent back to earth the most?
Harry Pavlidis: Clay's health. He's a fun young pitcher and I'd like to see him around in good form.
jlarsen (chicago burbs): Do the Bluejays and Royals need to (a) win 81 or more games (b) make the playoffs (c) just show improvement in 2nd half for their GMs to remain employed?
Harry Pavlidis: I can't speculate on what the expectations are of senior management as it relates to those GMs.
Shawn (Office): Anything specific as to why Ian Kennedy has been so inconsistent this year? Think he's done as a top of the rotation arm?
Harry Pavlidis: I don't know why he's been so yukky this year. I would think he's got more left in the tank but not like his best year (that was a flash in the pan type of thing, I don't think his true talent level was ever top of the rotation, but things happen)
Jay (Madison): Who made the better deal for a Cubs pitcher, the O's or Rangers? (factoring in players given up, salaries and number of starts with new club)
Harry Pavlidis: That's a good one. OK, I'm gonna pretty much skip the salary thing ... Garza > Feldman but not so much , and Feldman's extra starts with the O's help them probably as much as Garza's time, or almost. I feel like the Rangers gave up more talent. Strop is good, Arrieta may be good ... compare him to Grimm I'd say higher ceiling but lower floor ... but then you've got Olt, Edwards and the PTBNL (1 or 2 guys) ... so, like I said ignoring the dollars I'd go with the O's.
John (CT): What's your opinion as to why Zach Britton hasn't yet figured it out at the major league level? He still has the same skill set he had when he was highly touted. Does it take lefties longer to "get it"?
Harry Pavlidis: with his stuff he's got to master sequencing and command, that's a longer journey.
Keith (Manchester, CT): Thanks Harry. Any thoughts on rising Pirates prospect Tyler Glasnow. How high is his ceiling, and what does he need to do to become a 1 or 2 starter eventually?
Harry Pavlidis: he's not rated that highly, he's a prospect but not a front line starter. We'll see how that long frame fills out and if he gets better consistency out of it, but I wouldn't pin that hope on him.
bkobs (Mass): Does Jake Barrett (recently promoted to Double-A and doing well as the closer there) have a chance to close for the Diamondbacks in the future?
Harry Pavlidis: I'm lukewarm on the grooming a closer in the minors thing. Like it or not there is a psychological aspect to the modern closer's role, so it's hard to assess a guy's makeup until you see him in the big leagues. So, clearly he has a path as a reliever and if he continues to shut teams down in AA ... then he'll be a legit prospect in my mind. Then we can talk about him closing later down the road.
Shawn (Office): Do you see Yordano Ventura and Carlos Martinez as starters or bullpen guys?
Harry Pavlidis: starters
captnamerca (dunedin): Who do you like tonight in Seattle, Erasmo Ramirez or Zach McAllister? How about beyond tonight?
Harry Pavlidis: I'll lean Ramirez going forward. No guess for tonight.
justarobert (Santa Clara, CA): What research frontiers are you working on next?
Harry Pavlidis: sequencing, stamina, arm slots
jlarsen (Up yonder): Is Andrew Friedman licking his chops, given the 2 returns for Garza, with the likelihood that Hellickson and Price are becoming too expensive to keep?
Harry Pavlidis: Can't we almost count on that with Rays track record?
jlarsen (chicago burbs): Have you heard anything in regards to Juan Carlos Oviedo and will he pitch at all for the Rays this year? With how Fernando Rodney has been iffy(in his walk year) and Jake McGee being Jekyll/Hyde, is Oviedo the likely closer for Tampa next year?
Harry Pavlidis: the former Leo Nunez? Not a peep. Is he even pitching anywhere?
Shawnykid23 (CT): Under the radar SP you like to have a huge a rest of season?
Harry Pavlidis: does Gio Gonazlez count? I feel like he's third fiddle in DC and flying under the radar.
redguy12588 (Pittsburgh): Jameson Taillon still a #1-#2 SP prospect, or is he more of a mid rotation guy now?
Harry Pavlidis: I don't think his ceiling has been downgraded, so still a #2 as of now.
Harry Pavlidis: that's it! Thanks for spending some of your afternoon with me. See you all next month, and on the twitter machine.