E-MAILBAG: Ask the Reports, Wednesday June 15th

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We will be compiling a list of your questions from our e-mailbag and posting the responses on Wednesdays.



Wednesday June 15, 2011

Q:  Do you think that the Dodgers should rid of Rafael Furcal?  Dee Gordon is looking really good.  From Christopher, Los Angeles.

MLB reports:    Rafael Furcal is injured once again, playing in only 17 games thus far in 2011.  After playing in only 97 games last year, the end might be near for the 33-year old Dominican.  Signed through this year, the Dodgers hold a team option on his contract for 2012, that is almost certain to be declined.  Considering his high salary and low value, chances are that Furcal will play out the string in Los Angeles.  Dee Gordon has played well in limited action so far for the Dodgers.  But remember, he is still only 23.  At worst, Furcal is either going to be on-and-off the DL all year or be an expensive insurance policy for Dee Gordon.  Not to worry, the Gordon ERA has begun in Los Angeles.

Q:    Most common players last name in Major League Baseball?  From London Baesball, UK.

MLB reports:  Great question from the UK.  One would think that it is Smith or Anderson, a very common last name here in North America.  But showing the global-wide spread effect of the game, the answer is Ramirez.  With 11 noted players with the last name Ramirez, including Hanley, Aramis and Alexei, the most common last name in MLB is:  Ramirez.

Q:  With all the talk of realignment in baseball, what are the chances of us seeing the Astros in the American League?  From Bill, Texas.

MLB reports:  Thank you for the e-mail Bill.  Realignment has been the talk of baseball in recent days based on the ESPN article that came out last week.  We actually covered the topic of realignment last month, which you view in our archives by clicking here.  The Astros have been a popular team included in the realignment discussion, based on the natural rivalry with the Texas Rangers.  I had the Astros moving to the AL West in my proposed realignment, with the Rockies and Diamondbacks.  I can see a definite fit for the Astros in the AL.  As a rebuilding team, moving to a new league could lead to fan excitement and increased attendance.  Given their strong hitters park, I could see the Astros having some wild games in the AL.  A definite fit, this story is starting to gain even more momentum. 


Q:  Will the Twins rebound this season?  I am very frustrated!  From Kelly, Ohio.

MLB reports:  I do not blame you Kelly as little has gone right for the Minnesota Twins this year.  While I see a good nucleus for future years, it does not appear that the playoffs are in the cards for your team in 2011.  The team is sitting at 26-39 and has just lost Justin Morneau for approximately two weeks.  Joe Mauer has been injured for much of the year, Nathan has not returned back to form and much of the team has either been slumping or injured for most of the year.  Little has gone right and sometimes you just need to chalk things up to bad luck.  I expect the team to regroup, refocus and come out strong next year.  There is still a lot of baseball to be played but I would not expect higher than 3rd place this year for your Twins.  Sorry.


Q:  I enjoyed your profile on Mesoraco.   Great prospect for the Reds.  What happened to Chapman.  Did he just lose it all of a sudden?  Is this Dontrelle Willis all over again?  From Barry, New York.

MLB reports:  Hello Barry.  Glad you enjoyed reading on Mesoraco and there is much to look forward to in Cincinnati.  A great ballclub with many prospects on the horizon.  I definitely see the Reds contending and perhaps creating a mini-dynasty in the near future.  As far as Aroldis Chapman goes, there appears to be a mystery as to what has happened to the once future closer for the Reds.  The 23-year old has been simply horrible, both in the majors and minors.  Some have blamed mechanics, while others have said that he is battling injuries.  Maturity may be an issue as well.  The decline of Dontrelle Willis was a gradual one, while Chapman has lost “it” literally overnight.  The Reds will have to be careful to pinpoint his issues and help straighten him out.  The greatest danger is a loss of confidence, which can be very difficult for a young player to overcome.  Injuries can be healed.  But if mechanics are the issue, the best bet is to keep him in the minors and to get Chapman straightened out, no matter how long it takes.  I would treat him with kiddie gloves at this point and hope that he gets back to form by 2012.


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