Monday’s trade deadline is the perfect time to check in with Baseball America national writer Kyle Glaser. He took time out of his busy schedule to answer a series of questions I emailed him and here is a transcript of that exchange.
TBLA: My first question is just generally, what has been your impression of how the games have been played so far as we reach the halfway point?
Kyle Glaser: Things were understandably a little sloppy the first two to three weeks given players only had three weeks of summer camp to get up to game speed as opposed to the normal six-week spring training. But things have settled in the last two weeks or so and we’re starting to see the level of baseball we’re normally used to seeing, with a lot of the game’s best players really beginning to round into form.
What package would the Rangers want from the Dodgers for Lance Lynn?
KG: It’s hard to say definitively given all the variables thrown into the trade market this year with the pandemic, the shortened regular season and the expanded postseason. Generally speaking, the price for starting pitchers at the top of the market with 1 ½ years of team control left has been two of a team’s top 10 prospects, one of whom is either a Top 100 prospect overall or will be soon. Last year’s Marcus Stroman trade is our most recent example: the Blue Jays got the Mets Nos. 4 and 6 prospects, one of whom—Simeon Woods Richardson—became a Top 100 prospect shortly after. We’ve also generally seen teams wanting at least one of those prospects to be major-league ready or close.
If the Dodgers don’t add a starting pitcher, should they build up Tony Gonsolin to be a potential postseason starting pitcher?
KG: The Dodgers have the luxury of having so many pitchers they can use them in a number of ways. Given Ross Stripling’s struggles and Julio Urías inconsistent command, I would be inclined to put Gonsolin in the rotation behind Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler and Dustin May. Using him as a 3- or 4-inning type who piggybacks off one of the other starters is an option as well if they wanted to get creative, but personally I think the best option is to just stick him in the rotation and keep it simple.
Kiké Hernández’s value right now is almost entirely with his glove at second base. Is that enough to keep Gavin Lux from making an impact for the Dodgers this season?
KG: That really just depends on Lux and the progress he’s making at the alternate site camp. Dave Roberts has been pretty open about Lux’s swing not being where it needed to be in the early going. He’ll be up as soon as that’s fixed.
[Editor’s note: Since this interview, Lux was recalled, with Dave Roberts saying Lux would start against right-handed pitchers going forward.]
Do you know how teams have kept in contact with the bulk of their minor league players that are not at their off-sites and what expectations did they have that those players could continue their development this season?
KG: Generally speaking, most organizations have been keeping in contact with their non-alternate site guys through phone and email and laying out workout plans for them to follow. A lot of teams have had their players send in video of themselves and had their minor league coaches and instructors examine it and provide suggestions and tips back to the players, just as they would in a normal bullpen or BP session. Most teams are expecting their players to stay in shape and be ready to go for 2021, while also understanding you can’t really simulate the speed of the game and it might take extra time for guys to get used to it again when they return.
Is Keibert Ruiz a future Dodger starting catcher or more likely included in some trade in the next year or so?
KG: A lot of that is going to depend on if Will Smith can make more contact. He really struggled after his hot start last year and is batting under .200 this year, although it’s a small sample size and was interrupted by injury. His swing length is something scouts have long been skeptical about. Smith is the better defender and has more power, so that may be enough to hold Ruiz off and make him a trade candidate. A lot of this is really just going to come down to the strides each player makes.
With many colleges still having no students on campus, have college baseball players been able to do whatever work they can on campus and would you expect a lot of transfers this fall?
KG: From our college beat writer Teddy Cahill: “The answer to the first question is yes (mostly). I don’t think there’s reason to think there’s another wave of transfers coming in the fall, but there will be the usual one of players leaving at the semester break, probably largely for junior colleges.”
I’d like to thank Kyle for taking time to do this interview and if any of you want to read more about his views on the latest major league news and baseball prospects, follow Kyle on Twitter at @KyleAGlaser.