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ESPN Chat with BA's Callis


jamesenoch

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http://proxy.espn.go.com/chat/chatESPN?event_id=23295

Peter, Stamford: Is Tillman (BLT) in your top 10 prospects at the moment?

Jim Callis: (2:17 PM ET ) Not quite that high but he's on the short list of the best pitchers in the minors.

Ryan, Ottawa: Matt Bush? Another sad story or will we just have to wait a while??

Jim Callis: (2:23 PM ET ) I think it's safe to give up on Matt Bush.

When we feel bad about Loewen, imagine how Padres fans are feeling.

Nick (Mineola): Sonnanstine or Guthrie?

Jim Callis: (2:43 PM ET ) Guthrie.

James (North East, MD): AL East Top 10 Prospect lists, huh? Ok, who is the Orioles' #2 Prospect? Matusz or Tillman?

Jim Callis: (2:47 PM ET ) Tillman.

Steve (Toronto, Ontario): Matusz or Strasburg?

Jim Callis: (3:05 PM ET ) I'd take Strasburg, but I'm more torn than you might think.

Interesting comment. I like Matusz, but I would think Strasburg by a landslide.

Chris (Alabama): What do you see the Rays' rotation looking like next year? Assuming Price is in, who do you boot? Does Jackson become a closer or set-up man? Shields-Kazmir-Garza-Price-Sonnanstine --- WOW!

Jim Callis: (2:26 PM ET ) I boot Jackson, and there's more pitching on the way. Wade Davis isn't too far away and there are a bunch of younger arms too.

Incredible.

Nick (Long Island, NY): Better rotation in 2011: Rays or Orioles?

Jim Callis: (3:08 PM ET ) Rays. Orioles do have some promising youngsters, but the Rays have promising youngsters and established big leaguers.

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His opinions about our prospects are encouraging, but unfortunately he's right about the Rays having a much better combo of established (but still young) pitchers and prospects than we do for the foreseeable future. We will have to have several guys max out on their potential if we are to make up ground on them.

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Hmmm...Callis mentioned that he's doing the O's top 10 list. He usually does one of the top systems, so that is good news.

I'm pretty sure it's just the first alphabetical team in the AL East. Aso, I believe he's editing, not writing the piece. I believe Wil Lingo had the honors again this year.

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I'm pretty sure it's just the first alphabetical team in the AL East. Aso, I believe he's editing, not writing the piece. I believe Wil Lingo had the honors again this year.

Yeah we're always the 1st team out of the gate. Callis usually does Boston and a couple other teams. He did Seattle's in 2007. Lingo has reviewed the O's the past 2 years.

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The Rays are going to be stacked for years....ugh.

Yes and no. Keep in mind they suffered no major injury to a starting pitcher this year. Kaz missed the most time and still started something like 28 games. Everyone else in the rotation was over 30 GS. Every positional prospect won't do what Longoria has done, and some of their highly touted guys just won't make it (like everyone else's).

TAM had a lot of things go right. They are set up well, but I wouldn't call them a prohibitive favorite to be among the league's best for the forseeable future. Let's see how they operate and how they do when the adversity comes.

I like what they've done, but there is still much more to accomplish

Unfortunately, that means there is a huge amount for BAL to catch-up on and we haven't even started talking Boston yet...

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Yeah we're always the 1st team out of the gate. Callis usually does Boston and a couple other teams. He did Seattle's in 2007. Lingo has reviewed the O's the past 2 years.

Exactly. BAL is the 1st AL and ATL is the 1st NL. I think they alternate AL/NL each year, so AL starts it off in '08.

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His opinions about our prospects are encouraging, but unfortunately he's right about the Rays having a much better combo of established (but still young) pitchers and prospects than we do for the foreseeable future. We will have to have several guys max out on their potential if we are to make up ground on them.

This is why we have to use the one advantage we have over them. FA!

We can add from sources they don't have access to (for now). We have to beat them to the punch. Who cares if we can't outspend the RS and Yanks. We can spend to make ourselves better.

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Yes and no. Keep in mind they suffered no major injury to a starting pitcher this year. Kaz missed the most time and still started something like 28 games. Everyone else in the rotation was over 30 GS. Every positional prospect won't do what Longoria has done, and some of their highly touted guys just won't make it (like everyone else's).

TAM had a lot of things go right. They are set up well, but I wouldn't call them a prohibitive favorite to be among the league's best for the forseeable future. Let's see how they operate and how they do when the adversity comes.

I like what they've done, but there is still much more to accomplish

Unfortunately, that means there is a huge amount for BAL to catch-up on and we haven't even started talking Boston yet...

I enjoy reading your posts, but I feel that you are shortchanging the Rays a little bit.

- You mentioned that their starters were healthy this year. This is true. However, they will have incredible depth of quality starting pitchers when/if pitchers get hurt next year and beyond. No other team can rival the depth of quality starting pitchers that TB will have.

- TB did deal with some adversity this year. Between getting hurt and not being on the opening day roster, Longoria missed 40 games. Crawford missed 50+ games. Upton played through a shoulder injury. That's the equivalent of if Wieters, Markakis and Jones for the Orioles. Bartlett missed significant time. Even Pena missed a couple of playoff games.

- Most of their core players like Upton and Longoria are still on an upwards career arc.

Granted, the AL east is a tough division and repeating is never easy, but TB is set up really well in my opinion.

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Yes and no. Keep in mind they suffered no major injury to a starting pitcher this year. Kaz missed the most time and still started something like 28 games. Everyone else in the rotation was over 30 GS. Every positional prospect won't do what Longoria has done, and some of their highly touted guys just won't make it (like everyone else's).

TAM had a lot of things go right. They are set up well, but I wouldn't call them a prohibitive favorite to be among the league's best for the forseeable future. Let's see how they operate and how they do when the adversity comes.

I like what they've done, but there is still much more to accomplish

Unfortunately, that means there is a huge amount for BAL to catch-up on and we haven't even started talking Boston yet...

I disagree with this as well.

Tampa should be the prohibitive favorite. They have many young players on the upswing.

They did deal with adversity - missing playing time from Crawford, Longoria and Kazmir. A healthy Baldelli would also be a significant boost - as he missed a large part of the 08 season.

Tampa's attendance should continue to increase - meaning more $ for payroll.

Tampa's minor league system still has a tremendous amount of talent.

And Tampa may become a preferred destination for free agents if they delve into that market - if a FA wants to play for a winner over the next few years, that FA might go to TB instead of another market. This is unlikely to happen with big $ FAs as TB is not likely to bid, but FA relievers or guys coming back from injury might go to TB.

I've been predicting about how good the Rays would be here for over two years. After seeing so many comments for so long about why TB would really not be that good, it is not surprising to still see comments not buying into this new reality. It's real, though, and barring an unusual number of injuries, TB's immediate future looks better than any team's in baseball, IMO, on paper - including the BoSox - and I do not believe this offseason's FA class or other moves will enable larger market teams to fully close that gap.

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And Tampa may become a preferred destination for free agents if they delve into that market - if a FA wants to play for a winner over the next few years, that FA might go to TB instead of another market. This is unlikely to happen with big $ FAs as TB is not likely to bid, but FA relievers or guys coming back from injury might go to TB.

Great point... With a competetive team the other great things that the city has going for it will make things even more attractive things like the weather, no state income tax, etc...

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I'm not down on Tampa at all. I think they are set up really well, and as I said I really like what they have done.

As if everyone doesn't know this by now, I tend to be a little more conservative with young talent. I'm simply saying "Let's see what TAM does now that they have 'arrived'". They will need to make decisions as to how to continue to bring in top talent if they aren't 1) drafting at the top, and 2) spending a ton in FA.

Now, maybe they start spending or they show a willingness to lock all their young kids up. They still need to bring more talent into the fold. To me, the most logical choice would be to move select players in areas of redundancy for decent returns (e.g. Kazmir). If they do this effectively, I think they can be first rate for a long time (it's a sort of ATL model, with a big head start since they get to start with talent rather than building through choice FAs).

I simply don't see how Boston isn't the clear prohibitive favorite in all of baseball. They draft better than anyone. They develop talent as well as anyone else, they don't handcuff themselves with sentimentality or "organizational favorites" and the are willing to spend money. As great as TAM has been in building a winner, BOS still does pretty much everything better.

This isn't a knock on TAM, but they are still second fiddle from an organizational standpoint, and a couple injuries could cripple them, while a team like BOS would have multiple avenues to solve the same problem.

It isn't hard to say "Yay Tampa, they rock!" They have young, talented, exciting players. Scouting services have been sounding the TAM horn for going on five years, so the surprise is that it happened this year (and let's all please be honest in admitting that absolutely everything went right for TAM have the season they did).

Staying power, however, requires consistent excellence. I don't give out that rep lightly, and I think to do so cheapens the accomplishments of organizations like BOS or ATL who actually have shown they not only know how to play the game, but they are exceptional at it. I'll let ESPN tout TAM as the second coming; personally, I think an organization has to do it for a while before they are handed the title of "premium organization".

How many were touting 'Zona and Colorado last year? Don't be shy...

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I've been predicting about how good the Rays would be here for over two years. After seeing so many comments for so long about why TB would really not be that good, it is not surprising to still see comments not buying into this new reality. It's real, though, and barring an unusual number of injuries, TB's immediate future looks better than any team's in baseball, IMO, on paper - including the BoSox - and I do not believe this offseason's FA class or other moves will enable larger market teams to fully close that gap.

I just don't agree, which is obviously fine. And TAM's adversity was really not much. Come now. ;) Look at the team BOS had to bring into the ALCS and look at TAM. They even have Baldelli healthy for the first time since, well, ever! BJ Upton regained strength in his shoulder just in time for the playoffs. Where would they have been if that power hadn't returned? What if Kazmir was at 70% instead of Beckett? What if Garza was Mr. Hyde instead of Dr. Jekyl (it happened a lot during the regular season). Things went right for TAM. There is no shame in that, but let's call a spade a spade.

Anyway, I'd argue BOS is still set-up better than TAM but I can see people lining up behind the Rays. That's cool, and it will sort itself out next year.

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