Ask Jason: On the Phillies paying Jake Arrieta, my favorite minor-league names and hot dogs

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(Courtesy of MLB.com)

We have reached the level of spring coaching when the common season cannot get right here quickly sufficient. I assume you may argue that all of spring coaching generates that feeling, however my level is that Opening Day is sooooo shut. We’re two week away from video games than rely, which appears each proper round the nook and one million years away.

However hopefully this third entry of Ask Jason will take your thoughts off any impatience that is dogging you. On to the questions.

Q: “Do you assume the Phillies are out of their thoughts giving Arrieta (and I do love the man) THAT MUCH cash although he is on the ‘mistaken aspect of 30?'” — @SeeWillTweet

The brief reply is not any. The Phillies are clearly banking/hoping Arrieta returns to his Cy Younger type, or at the least one thing shut, and see this as an funding that may repay in wins — and a postseason berth — pretty quickly as their rebuild concludes. Some assume that would occur this season, because of a weak NL East. On the different hand, even when Arrieta has a few good seasons at the begin of the contract, there’s nonetheless an excellent probability the latter years might make the deal look dangerous in hindsight if he ages poorly. However the Phillies gave Arrieta what they although he was value. They usually have deep pockets, so a state of affairs by which Arrieta has extra dangerous years than good ones should not harm the workforce that a lot in the lengthy-time period. 

One other (essential) query from Will …

Q: “Greatest approach to eat a hot canine? Chili? Kraut? Plain? And so forth.?”

Trick query: There isn’t a greatest solution to eat a hot canine (which isn’t a sandwich, by the means). I often like mine with the fundamentals: ketchup, mustard and perhaps relish. However typically I like so as to add slaw, chili and/or onions. On event I’ve additionally had a hot canine topped with peanut butter, honey and bacon, which is fairly tasty if I am in the proper temper.

Q: “Who did the similar factor over and over higher: Creed, or Nickelback? Additionally, however for actual, any ideas on the Cubs dropping Arrietta? Can we nonetheless anticipate a deep run?” — @UseyMcUsername

I solely know one music by Creed and one track by Nickelback. It is lengthy been hip to say each are horrible bands, so we’ll name their success a tie. However critically, I’ve not heard sufficient by both band to have an knowledgeable opinion. Associated to that, I’ve by no means been one to have robust emotions about songs, singers or bands. If I hear a track I like, properly, I prefer it. Style or type does not matter. …

I do not see the Cubs’ lack of Arietta having a lot of an impact on their season as a result of Yu Darvish is a reasonably good Arrieta alternative, in any case. Plus, they’ve nonetheless received Jose Quintana, Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks and Tyler Chatwood. That is a robust employees. Plus, the offense goes to attain a ton of runs, so there ought to be loads of wins on the North Aspect. A deep playoff run is anybody’s guess, although, as the postseason will all the time be a crapshoot.

Q: “What’s your opinion on the course the Pirates appear to be going?” — @Rlblack1Rob 

The Pirates appear to be beginning one other rebuild, which in all probability portends one other extended interval of dropping, which isn’t a method to put butts in the seats. With Andrew McCutchen now with the Giants and Gerrit Cole now with the Astros, their greatest gamers (learn: the foremost cause for followers to observe) are gone, so it is in all probability going to be a troublesome promote to fill PNC Park on a constant foundation. However they do nonetheless have Josh Bell, who’s an thrilling participant, and maybe he’ll grow to be the new fan favorite. However general, the Pirates are usually not an thrilling group and do not look to be for some time. It is simply unusual that the staff can be prepared to dive again into second-division standing so quickly after rising from a two-decade playoff drought (1993-2013). Not sufficient time has handed for many followers to OK with this, so will probably be fascinating to watch enthusiasm in Pittsburgh this season. 

Q: “Do you assume Scott Boras did any everlasting injury to his popularity by holding out his shoppers too lengthy this yr? Do you assume the chilly free agent market this yr was an anomaly or the wave of the future?” — @mwright713

I do not assume Boras has broken his status. He was already generally known as a bulldog of an agent, and it is all the time been his job to carry out and get his shoppers as a lot cash as groups are prepared to provide. This offseason will in all probability be only a blip on his profession timeline. As for whether or not this offseason is an indication of issues to return, that is type of exhausting to foretell. We might be fairly sure that the subsequent CBA negotiations will get ugly, as gamers will need to keep away from one other chilly range season. However earlier than that occurs in 2020, subsequent offseason will in all probability be a greater indicator of the future. A ton of prime-flight free brokers might be out there, so we’ll know then whether or not groups actually have been simply saving as much as spend huge or whether or not a brand new, widespread spending philosophy has taken maintain.

Q: “What can be your excellent rotation for the Braves by the time the commerce deadline rolls round?” — @jtimm684

That is dependent upon what you imply by “ideally suited.” In the event you imply “very best” as in the Braves are in the wild-card hunt at the deadline, that might in all probability imply going after a entrance-line starter in a commerce. For those who imply “splendid” based mostly on the items they’ve now and one final yr of rebuilding, I might say Julio Teheran, Mike Foltynewicz, Brandon McCarthy, Sean Newcomb and Luiz Gohara. That model of “superb” assumes everyone seems to be wholesome and performs as anticipated. However McCarthy is considerably of a query mark given his damage historical past, and Gohara is an enormous “if” at this level given his current ankle damage. To not point out that the four-5 slots might be occupied by different promising names by midseason if guys like Max Fried and Lucas Sims have robust first halves in the minors. Too many gifted pitchers and not sufficient spots is an effective drawback to have.

One other query from Mr. JTimm …

Q: “Ought to MLB begin utilizing ghost runners as an alternative of pinch runners to save lots of time on substitutions?”

Ghost runners! I like it! Identical to kickball in the cul-de-sac in 1985! 

FAGAN: Baseball’s additional-innings folly ought to be left stranded

Q: “Why is there such a dislike for Nick Markakis? Sure, his numbers are common however they’re constant.” — @Mad_dog31 

I do not know that the dislike is as robust as Twitter may point out. I feel the principal situation is that some individuals in the Atlanta media and with the Braves tried to promote Markakis as an equal to Jason Heyward in proper area. The argument was that each have been Gold Glove winners, so the Braves would not actually lose a lot after Heyward was traded to the Cardinals. However Gold Gloves don’t translate to precise good protection, and no one who’s being trustworthy can say Markakis is the defensive equal (and even near it) of Heyward. Actually, he is had a unfavorable dWAR in 10 of his 12 MLB seasons. However individuals like to speak about the intangibles he brings to the clubhouse, which should not be discounted. By all accounts, he is a terrific man, and that sort of factor tends to drive the narrative about him. Stats-clever, although, his greatest years are nicely behind him, however he is nonetheless introduced as a superb participant. That is the actual situation, I feel. Sure, he’ll nonetheless get on base at an honest clip, however he has no energy anymore (an enormous unfavorable for a nook outfielder) and no velocity, and superior stats present him now to be a alternative-degree participant general. 

Q: “Are you planning on attending any MiLB video games this yr? NC has a variety of ranges and associates, the place may you go and the place have you ever already been?” — @slightguy

I reside in Charlotte, house of the Triple-A Knights, and we have now an awesome stadium, so I often attempt to make it to some video games each season. Aside from than, I can not say for sure. The final MiLB stadium I went to aside from Charlotte was TicketReturn.com Subject in Myrtle Seashore, S.C. And that was in 2010.

Q: “What are your prime 5 favorite Minor League workforce names?” — @notweetingchad

Good query. There are a ton of workforce names I am in all probability not conscious of, however I am going to go together with the Las Vegas 51s, Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, Albuquerque Isotopes (due to “The Simpsons” connection), Montgomery Biscuits and, um, for example (*Googles humorous minor-league names*) the Binghamton Rumble Ponies.

See? That was enjoyable. Let’s maintain doing it. Ship any feedback, questions or snide remarks to [email protected], or attain out on Twitter @ByJasonFoster.