Dan Szymborski FanGraphs Chat – 1/20/14

12:00
Dan Szymborski: And awaaaaay we go!
12:01
Dan Szymborski: canta saee anything cat in front of minorot
12:02
Dan Szymborski: OK fixed.
12:02
Dan Szymborski: The cat has been eliminated. Or pushed out of the way. One of those.
12:02
Comment From Guest
Jays wins in 2014 over/under 83.5?
12:02
Dan Szymborski: I’d guess over, but I think it’s close.

12:02
Comment From Sgt. Pepper
Theres a Stardaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan waiting in the sky
12:02
Comment From AJT
It’s David Ekstein’s Birthday apparently.
12:03
Dan Szymborski: It’s not as depressing for him – hobbits live longer.
12:03
Comment From Kevin Brown
What in gods name would lead someone to a point where they would dream about Alex?
12:03
Dan Szymborski: I have a number of dreams in my dream log involving athletes, sportswriters, bloggers, etc.
12:04
Dan Szymborski: At least I wasn’t punching Alex in this dream. My dreams have included punching Steven Goldman, assassinating Frank Tanana, and going to Five Guys with Antonio Vivaldi.
12:04
Comment From laxtonto?
Can you do my homework?
12:05
Dan Szymborski: Hmmph, we both know that you’re well past me!
12:05
Comment From Mr. Wrestling IV
How excellent was Richard Sherman last night? You’d have thought he had just captured the Intercontinental Title and was preparing for his march to the sea.
12:05
Dan Szymborski: It was pretty awesome. I hate boring interviews.
12:06
Comment From baltic wolf
This old fart is slowly beginning to grasp the elements of WAR. On defense, I’m curious about the calculations for positional adjustment. Specifically OFs: is it preferable to have a RF with average range and a strong arm, or a LF with above average range and a mediocre arm? Or is it close to being a wash?
12:06
Dan Szymborski: It always depends on exactly what the numbers we’re talking about.
12:06
Comment From laxtonto
Is there ways to compare time series based Marcov Chains separated by a titanic event like you can go in most other event studies?
12:08
Dan Szymborski: Not sure exactly, depends what you’re working on. I’m sure you’d find the solution before I would, considering I was lazy, unmotivated, math undergrad.
12:08
Comment From Eric
Hi Dan, Thanks for the chat. One of the players who fell through the cracks because of when he signed is Xavier Paul, now of the Orioles. Do you have a projection for him? Thanks
12:08
Dan Szymborski: 249/315/387, OPS+ 90
12:08
Comment From laxtonto
Can you explain the underlying nontraditional inputs in Zips
12:09
Dan Szymborski: nontraditional, eh? Gay marriage, pot smoking, unwed teen mothers.
12:09
Comment From AJT
Any Peter Gammons dreams?
12:09
Dan Szymborski: None listed for Gammons. If I’ve had a dream involving Gammons, I didn’t remember it enough to write it down when I woke up.
12:09
Comment From Steven
What is Dayton Moore’s favorite game? I think it’s “Pick A Hand,” but it wouldn’t surprise me if he was more of a Hungry Hungry Hippos kind of guy.
12:10
Dan Szymborski: ned colletti seems more like a hungry hungry hippos kind of guy.
12:10
Dan Szymborski: Moore I see as more of a Mousetrap guy, or at least he’d like to be but he gets frustrated putting together the trap.
12:10
Comment From StevePete
Now that the 49ers are out, I can put full attention to the Angels winning 92 games
12:10
Comment From laxtonto
Do you like pie and if so, what flavor?
12:10
Dan Szymborski: Pies have *types* not *flavors*. Skittles have flavors. Pecan.
12:10
Comment From Kevin Brown
I get that, but out of every blogger, why Alex?
12:11
Dan Szymborski: I don’t know how dreams work! They just happen.
12:12
Dan Szymborski: Not even in my Top 10 most confusing dreams.
12:12
Dan Szymborski: For example, there’s thils “I was a teacher at a school where kids beat each other up not with fistfights, but with fancy yo-yo moves that resulted in their opponents being tied up by yo-yo tricks. Also hung out with Beastie Boys who let me read their magazine
collection, the biggest in he world.”
12:13
Comment From Andrew
Generally who is a more valuable a keeper Jedd Gyorko or Wilin Rosario based on average of last years and this years upcoming auction values?
12:13
Dan Szymborski: Rosario because you get Coors.
12:13
Comment From laxtonto
I dont really have homework anymore.. just the homework I give my students
12:14
Dan Szymborski: That’s what I was wondering. You should give homework to your students that has occasionally unsolvable questions, just so they can learn the lesson that not every problem has a solution
12:14
Comment From GSon
Grady Sizemore: Given the chances (as it appears he will in Cinci), he returns to play at least average ML quality baseball or has been out of the game so long that his ship has sailed..?
12:14
Dan Szymborski: I think it’s a long shot now.
12:14
Comment From BobbyS
Sherman gave me a reason to cheer for Seattle. Go Seahawks!
12:14
Comment From laxtonto
Has anyone tried to use nonlinear weights for positional adjustments?
12:14
Dan Szymborski: Don’t believe so.
12:14
Comment From Sox fan
How unrealistic is it that the Red Sox walk away with Tanaka? I mean he makes sense for almost every team.
12:15
Dan Szymborski: If the report a few days ago that the 5 teams have made formal offers are the Chicago teams, Yankees, Dodgers, Diamondbacks, then Red Sox are a long shot.
12:16
Dan Szymborski: Never really got the feel that Boston was in on him.
12:16
Comment From GSon
Carlos Santana: Does it matter who’s idea it was to work out at/play winter ball at 3B or is there so little news about the Indians that any news is magnified?
12:16
Dan Szymborski: Probably not. Offseason/spring is the time for experiments.
12:16
Comment From laxtonto
I am thinking Chi squared and then a simplified ttest.. issue is that Markov chains are Poisson distributed so I would need to stick to nonparametric methods
12:17
Comment From Tom Pickle
Is the 165.3 IP predicted for Kyle Lohse just due to his age?
12:17
Dan Szymborski: Some of it’s age – he’s getting to the age where the downside playing time risk is scarier. And he’s missed time with injury before.
12:17
Comment From Clayton
Dan, any insight on when ZiPS will go up site wide? Looks like last years’ was end of February, can we expect the same this year? Thanks for your work.
12:17
Dan Szymborski: No idea, just focusing on getting the team rundowns out there.
12:18
Comment From GSon
Homer Bailey or Justin Masterson: who gets extended?. Who should get extended?
12:18
Dan Szymborski: Neither, both.
12:19
Comment From Eric
I read where Aoki may play CF for Royals, how do you figure defensive ratings moving from RF to CF?
12:20
Dan Szymborski: The way ZiPS does it is it will start with his RF rating +5, estimate -10 dropoff in move to CF per 150 games -5, with the small sample size of his CF play worked in and his speed score modifying the change (faster players fare better moving to more difficult positions).
12:20
Comment From Darren
How should we approach the Ryan Braun projection? Do you think it’s about right or should it be knocked down a little?
12:20
Dan Szymborski: I think it’s about right, though with the same volatility that everybody else has with their projeciton.
12:21
Dan Szymborski: We’ve got a lot of players now, majors and minors, that have been busted for PEDs and I’m just not finding any significant change in their outlook.
12:21
Dan Szymborski: The group has no significant tendency to overperform in the years before a drug suspension and no significant tendency to underperform in the years following a drug suspension.
12:21
Dan Szymborski: Maybe there’s something still hidden away in the data, but *I* haven’t found it yet.
12:22
Comment From dbet
Have you seen what the R^2 is for your projections over longer periods of time? I feel that looking at it over say, a 5 year period, will get rid of some of the variance
12:22
Dan Szymborski: I tend to use RMSE
12:22
Comment From J
What team are you most excited to watch this year?
12:22
Comment From Race Bannon
Renewed ZiPS for Yankees without ARod, or does it even matter – unless they get Tanaka?
12:22
Dan Szymborski: A-Rod’s not really good enough that having him or not having him really is a big deal
12:22
Comment From baltic wolf
The Orioles are going to have a cast of thousands trying out for LF this year. Let’s say the Dodgers call the O’s and say: We’ll send you Joc Pederson for Eduardo Rodriguez. Would you say no?
12:22
Dan Szymborski: Cardinals
12:23
Dan Szymborski: Wait, did Cover it Live post my answers out of order?
12:24
Dan Szymborski: I wouldn’t say no. Lower-level pitching prospects, even terrific ones, will break your heart and Pederson’s no slouch.
12:25
Comment From Blake
Josh Donaldson a top 5 third baseman in 2014?
12:27
Dan Szymborski: Out. Around 6th 7th.
12:29
Dan Szymborski: ZiPS has Top 5 3B as Longoria, Machado, Wright, Beltre, Headley. Don’t remember the hundredths-place to see if Donaldson inches ahead or behind Seager.
12:29
Dan Szymborski: And I may have forgotten a 3B on a team I haven’t run yet (I’ve done Zimmerman, Sandoval, Beltre even if I haven’t done their teams yet)
12:29
Comment From Dave Szymborski
Dayton Moore seens the type to lose the bucket in Mousetrap and then get mad when it does not work, but never figures out why it does not work.
12:29
Comment From Scrapper
I’m dying to see the final ZIPS spreadsheet, which will not be posted (apparently) until the team-by-team ZIPS roll out. When will the last team roll out?
12:29
Dan Szymborski: 1/31.
12:29
Comment From Scrapper
Which catcher is more likely to have a better season: Wilin Rosario or Miguel Montero?
12:29
Dan Szymborski: Montero.
12:30
Comment From Doug
Should Orioles fans be extremely pissed off? There’s plenty of examples of teams flubbing a competitive window from bad moves or bad breaks, but I can’t really remember a team not finding any way to supplement a team this close the same way the Orioles have the past two years.
12:31
Dan Szymborski: Yes. The Orioles spent so many years screwing up the rebuilding that they’ve decided to demonstrate they can screw up competing as well.
12:32
Dan Szymborski: The O’s have averaged 89 wins over last 2 years. Their big winter signing over that time was Ryan Webb.
12:33
Dan Szymborski: I was hopeful that this offseason would be better. It wasn’t. I’m starting to feel that the 93 wins is clearly the local maximum and the O’s are going to slowly fade out of contention over the next 3-4 years.
12:33
Comment From Dave Szymborski
Are there any realistic moves out there that Dayton Moore could make to bump the Royals from maybe contender to real contender this year? The key word here is realistic.
12:34
Dan Szymborski: At this point, not a whole lot you can do.
12:34
Comment From laxtonto
Have you ever done any studies about the non-linear view of baseball? More importantly wouldn’t the 2-8 system actually look exponential degrading curve because there is so many potential 1 or 2 tools that never make it to be a portion of the graded population? That would make the 6-8 graded tools more rare than they are under a normal curve
12:34
Dan Szymborski: THe most I’ve done in that vein is some of the work in minor league translations.
12:34
Dan Szymborski: Translations are difficult because not everyone will get a chance at the next level.
12:35
Dan Szymborski: But given that it’s the right-most part of a population, you can kind of make an educated guess how talent is likely distributed.
12:35
Comment From Mr. Wrestling IV
Dan, have you ever actually played a game of Mousetrap? Everytime I got it fully assembled, I was too bored to actually play the game and just trapped the mice. Is there a game component to it?
12:35
Dan Szymborski: I don’t think anybody has ever actually played the game.
12:36
Comment From Josh L.
Which side, if either, “wins” when arbitration is avoided. Generally, there is a cost for certainty, but when a contract is signed to avoid arbitration, both sides gain this certainty, so who usually loses value?
12:36
Dan Szymborski: Both sides win because the settling is generally close to the “average” result and arbitration proceeding can be very acrimonious.
12:36
Comment From Sgt. Pepper
Will Aubrey Hufp ever make a comeback?
12:36
Dan Szymborski: Nah, he announced he was retiring.
12:36
Comment From Anon21
Braves filed at $6.55M (just above Papelbon’s Arb-1 salary), Kimbrel filed at $9M. Who do you think wins the arb case?
12:37
Dan Szymborski: I’d have to look at the salary database – i don’t have everything in the world memorized perfectly!
12:38
Dan Szymborski: Kimbrel strikes me as having a decent shot to suggest that his performance was special and historical enough to cross service time cohorts – this is explicitly allowed in the CBA
12:38
Comment From Jack Z
What am I doing next?
12:38
Dan Szymborski: Updating your resumé
12:38
Comment From Andrelton Simmons Rig
Any ZiPS projections that suprise you with how good they are?
12:38
Dan Szymborski: Matt Barnes, Kyle Seager, Nick Franklin
12:38
Comment From Robert
Sappelt is another guy who feel through the cracks…..any numbers for him?
12:38
Dan Szymborski: Haven’t run Sappelt yet.
12:38
Comment From Scrapper
Would you take the over or the under on Billy Hamilton’s ZIPS projection?
12:39
Dan Szymborski: Probably the under – it does seem to be very optimistic.
12:39
Dan Szymborski: Under.
12:39
Comment From Erich
Over/Under 1% chance the Brewers come away the winner of the Tanaka sweepstakes
12:39
Comment From FFTF
What will the Pirates do at first base?
12:40
Dan Szymborski: Probably explore trades or go with Gaby Sanchez.
12:40
Comment From laxtonto
Any reason why there seems to be less hard analytic analysis from a data or text mining perspective in sports in comparison to other business entities? Seems that sports in general is lagging sufficiently behind.
12:40
Dan Szymborski: Sports has a real sample size problem.
12:41
Comment From Evan
Whats the major difference in calculation between WAR and zWAR?
12:41
Dan Szymborski: Namely that our park/league factors aren’t identical and ZiPS desn’t use FIP for WAR (since the projected ERA/RA are already regressed heavily towards FIP measures)
12:42
Dan Szymborski: Also, I treat DH the same as 1B, not less – there’s decent evidence that even healthy hitters hit slightly worse playing DH rather than playing 1B.
12:42
Comment From Ryan
Do you think ZiPS dreams of electric sheep?
12:42
Dan Szymborski: Heh
12:42
Comment From Dave Szymborski
Remaining cheap free agent starter smackdown: Chris Capuano or Paul Maholm?
12:42
Dan Szymborski: For a bad team, Capuano, for a good one, Maholm. Capuano has a better ceiling, Maholm higher floor.
12:43
Comment From BobbyS
This could be a year we see Santana, Gamel, Trumbo and Reynolds all log time at 3b!? What a time to be alive!
12:43
Comment From Northsider
Is the Tanaka deal going to go down to the deadline?
12:43
Dan Szymborski: Yeah, no real reason to not take it to the wire.
12:43
Comment From laxtonto
How has your segment in the sports industry changed the last decade and where do you think it will be in the next decade?
12:45
Comment From Jonathan Adelman
If we were suddenly transported to a bizarro world where every player in baseball were guaranteed to perform at their ZiPS mean projections but plus or minus some realistic variance, would that year’s replacement level for players see a large bump?
12:45
Dan Szymborski: Well, the sports industry has embraced the internet, everybody to some degree or another. I think we’re going to start seeing more digital delivery of sports rather than over traditional networks.
12:46
Dan Szymborski: I don’t think so – ZiPS projects a lot of players to be slightly above replacement, but given that so many players are tied to their teams even while not being on the 25-man, a lot of those guysaren’t truly freely available
12:46
Comment From JWR
We know that all players regress and pitchers also expose themselves to significant injury risks. But how much riskier are pitchers compared against position players?
12:46
Dan Szymborski: I can’t put a bite-size figure on it offhand, but ptichers are a great deal riskier, both for the injury and for the recovery.
12:46
Comment From JWR
Have the ZIPS’ formulas changed at all in the last five years? Any changes expected in the future?
12:46
Dan Szymborski: ZiPS is always evolving as new sources of data become available.
12:46
Comment From Guest
In a time when we have a much better grasp on what constitutes true offensive production, why aren’t players like Mauer more appreciated by his own fans? When will he ‘Ugh, RBI, UGH’ stop?
12:48
Dan Szymborski: When the sun rises in the west and sets in the east. When the seas go dry and mountains blow in the wind like leaves.
12:48
Comment From baltic wolf
If Santana played 1B/3B/DH exclusively this year (Gomes shares catching with somebody else)would it improve your projections for his output? (Working on the assumption that catching is mentally and physically more taxing than any other position.)
12:48
Dan Szymborski: No, ZiPS is assuming 1B for Santana.
12:48
Comment From Sgt. Pepper
In the land, where I was born, lived a Dan, who sailed to sea.
12:48
Comment From Duck
So…what must the Orioles do right now to be competitive in 2014.
12:48
Dan Szymborski: Sign Tanaka.
12:49
Comment From Sgt. Pepper
Will Pujols ever be better than 2012 Pujols again?
12:49
Dan Szymborski: He may come near it or have a really good season where he beats it, but I think from a true talent level, no.
12:49
Comment From laxtonto
do you have a coding scheme within Zips that allows you to input an “other” off the field binary indicator?
12:50
Dan Szymborski: Injury yes. Other stuff, no. I’m very wary of introducting any element that is based on my personal judgment.
12:51
Comment From StevePete
Can you post a screen shot of Coverit Live on your side? Pull back the curtain!!
12:52
:
12:52
Comment From Sadwick
The variable times between PED use, stopping or changing PED use, getting caught, and getting suspended makes me suspect that suspensions will never have much predictive value for player performance. Or at least not without detailed timeline information.
12:53
Dan Szymborski: We don’t need to be that exact to get a general idea though. It *is* reasonable to expect that *fewer* people will be using right after their failed drug test than were using the season they got busted.
12:53
Comment From Bryan
Most important question about the Brewers ZIPS article: Why is Alex Gonzalez listed as “Sea Bass” Gonzalez?
12:53
Dan Szymborski: That was his nickname his teammates gave him when he played with the Marlins.
12:54
Dan Szymborski: I moved him to Sea Bass when the other Alex Gonzalez played.
12:54
Dan Szymborski: Other Alex Gonzalez is gone, but I like the tradition.
12:55
Comment From Ben
According to ZiPS, what has been the single most impactful signing this offseason in terms of WAR?
12:55
Dan Szymborski: Well, Cano obviously
12:55
Comment From Frank Wren
I’m trying to get rid of Uggla. Who are my takers?
12:55
Dan Szymborski: Glue factory?
12:56
Dan Szymborski: Meat factory that process meat for school lunches?
12:56
Dan Szymborski: Spreading books about capitalism in Pyongyang?
12:56
Dan Szymborski: All else fails, I think he’s still below the maximum age to enlist in the army.
12:56
Comment From Sgt. Pepper
Do you have any idea why Steam won’t let me connect in public places like universities? Its annoying because the time I need steam the most is when I’m at school.
12:57
Dan Szymborski: Nope.
12:57
Comment From Guest
Are the O’s still in the closer market? If not, is anyone still in the closer market?
12:57
Dan Szymborski: No. and probably no.
12:57
Comment From Evan
When VEB changed editors, you said they’d be worse, but not awful. It’s now awful…
12:57
Dan Szymborski: I like Bgh and Joe Schwartz. Takes time. The guy I didn’t like quit after like 2 days.
12:58
Comment From Matt
Can the World Series ever rival the Super Bowl in viewership?
12:58
Dan Szymborski: No. The World Series isn’t an Event the way the super bowl is.
12:58
Comment From man with a plan
think the ROckies platoon Morneau?
12:58
Dan Szymborski: I suspect they’ll platoon him to some degree at least
12:58
Comment From TAAANAKA
When Tanaka signs, if it is with a team you’ve already covered, would you add him, or wait until the final database is released to showcase his ZIPS?
12:59
Dan Szymborski: I’ll probably have an article on the subject.
12:59
Comment From Bryan
Screw the coverit live screen shot, I want a copy of that Dream Log!!! The bits and pieces visible left me wanting more!!!
1:00
Dan Szymborski: Forgot I still have it open. I’ll post the full dreams of the ones you can see
1:01
Comment From JWR
How much accurate do you believe that projections can get in the next 10 years? Or are projections about as accurate as they can be?
1:02
Dan Szymborski: I think our improvement will be small, but real. We’ll have better data, but we already have the low-hanging fruit.
1:02
Comment From TAAANAKA
Just want to say THANKS for putting these ZIPS together. One of the best parts of my day is seeing a new team projection pop up!
1:02
Dan Szymborski: I think it’s way more entertaining this way, to do it team-by-team, and have a day devoted to each team.
1:02
:
1:03
Dan Szymborski: Looking at that part of the log, Meghan is my sister, Kat a woman who alternates between loving and hating, Dave is a close friend.
1:03
Comment From Scrapper
Tell us something about the “bad” Bob Gibson who often shows up as a comp to various modern-day pitchers. Who was the guy?
1:04
Dan Szymborski: Honestly don’t know mucha bout him other than his stats. The Brewers got desperate and used him as a closer when Rollie Fingers started sucking, but that’s all I really know
1:05
Comment From Mr. Wrestling IV
MLB the Show really likes giving Paul Goldschmidt catastrophic knee injuries. Third time he’s missed the entire season.
1:05
Comment From Sadwick
Don’t forget that the Super Bowl is basically a corporate event as well. The amount of advertising centered around it is truly ludicrous.
1:05
Comment From Mr. Wrestling IV
Dan, do you ever drink a bunch of coffee or shotgun an energy drink then try to go to sleep? Those sleeps create the weirdest dreams.
1:05
Dan Szymborski: I only drink a couple cups of coffee a month and I’ve never actually had an energy drink!
1:05
Comment From Scrapper
The first thing I do when the ZIPS projections roll out is add the various WAR totals on the grid to 48 to get an overall projection. Is that a fair way of getting a rough team projection?
1:05
Dan Szymborski: ZIM SMASH!
1:05
Comment From Sgt. Pepper
I think I’d enjoy keeping a dream journal but the last thing I want to do when I first wake up is write shit down.
1:06
Dan Szymborski: I’m not getting any particular insight from my dreams.
1:06
Dan Szymborski: Practically, the only use my dream log will ever be is when I’m a very old man and someone’s filing for a court to appoint a guardian ad litem for me.
1:07
Dan Szymborski: The writing itself is not very good as I write them immediately after I wake up before the dream fades
1:07
Comment From Jake
If the K rate continues going up, how long until the mound gets lowered?
1:07
Dan Szymborski: Don’t think it’s going to happen.
1:07
Comment From laxtonto
What has more variability in WAR projections; Players in the first 2 years or players over the age of 36
1:07
Dan Szymborski: Once you take into account the smaller sample size, older players
1:07
Comment From Jake
You and Selig go through Freaky Friday brain swap. What are the first three rule changes you go for as the new Baseball Commissioner?
1:09
Dan Szymborski: Only analytic positives or drug convictions, 11 pitcher max. Institute 10-year transition period to automated balls and strikes.
1:09
Comment From scatterbrian
Sabermetrics is creeping into the mainstream. There is a Grammy Awards prediction show that pits experts against computers.
1:09
Comment From Jake
Odds mustaches make a comeback?
1:10
Dan Szymborski: Well, they have to a degree. More mustaches than there were 10 years ago.
1:11
Comment From Jake
Fangraphs writer who’d benefit the most from mustaches?
1:11
Dan Szymborski: I think Appelman would look awesome with one of those Kaiser Wilhelm mustaches.
1:11
Dan Szymborski: And on that note, time to log off for the week! Thanks for joining me. Hope we have ACTUAL BASEBALL NEWS to talk about next week.



Print This Post



Dave is a co-founder of USSMariner.com and contributes to the Wall Street Journal.

3 Responses to “Dan Szymborski FanGraphs Chat – 1/20/14”

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
  1. Dan says:

    If you had to choose either Moustakas or Chisenhall as your 3b over the next 3 years, who would you take?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Cut On And Missed (@cutonandmissed) says:

    Compare and contrast: the “colorful” antics of Richard Sherman in the NFL with the colorful antics of Rickey Henderson in MLB.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Current day month ye@r *