Dan Szymborski FanGraphs Chat – 7/16/14

12:01
Dan Szymborski: RIP Tony Gwynn. Man, that’s crappy news. I went to take a shower before my chat and come back and everyone’s talking about Tony Gwynn’s career.
12:02
Comment From Los
Why are you bald?
12:02
Dan Szymborski: Because I shaved off my hair. Hair is the necessary ingredient to not being bald.
12:02
Dan Szymborski: Let’s get the presidents going (in a minute, still need to upload)
12:03
Comment From PieTraynee
Is McCutchen the best offensive player right now?
12:03
Dan Szymborski: Way up there, but I don’t expect him to really be the best offensively.

12:04
Comment From kevinthecomic
Don’t chew tobacco, kids. Just as dangerous as smoking cigarettes.
12:04
:
12:05
Comment From Joe B.
Hi Dan, what could I fairly expect in return for Gio in a 5X5 roto keeper?
12:05
Dan Szymborski: Honestly, he’s someone to hold onto. Shoulder’s are always scary.
12:05
Comment From jocephus
Statistic I just saw: Gwynn vs. Maddux; 107 plate appearances, .415 BA, 0 K.
12:06
Comment From Kris
Mark Bowman saying braves are thinking about sticking gattis in left, calling up Bethancourt to catch and benching BJ. this seems like a misallocation of resources, doesn’t it? Why not get rid of laird and have Bethancourt back up gattis
12:06
Dan Szymborski: Well, you don’t really want Bethancourt up and riding the pine most fo the time.
12:06
Comment From Los
I flippantly suggested Trout plus any other two outfielders was better than the Pirates outfield anf you agreed. Is Trout really more than 2-3 wins better than Cutch or are Marte/Polanco not THAT great to make up the difference in average outfielders?
12:06
Dan Szymborski: I think we were both being flippant.
12:06
Comment From Diehard Cubs Fan
Polanco looked great first week, didn’t he? Six game hitting streak, and already a game-winning homer. I can’t imagine a better start for him. And it looks like he got Cutch and Marte going.
12:07
Dan Szymborski: As I said before, wouldn’t it have been awesome if the Pirates had access to such a wonderful player during the month of May?
12:08
Comment From Schemer
Is Nathan Eovaldi now a pumpkin?
12:08
Dan Szymborski: Wouldn’t go that far, his periphs are solid, it’s just that people got a little *too* excited
12:09
Comment From Henry
Did the Cards send Taveras back down because they wanted to be sure about his Super-2 status?
12:09
Dan Szymborski: I don’t think so – it’s still tricky getting him full-time PA in the majors given the personnel and he should be playign every day
12:10
Comment From Matt
Could you realistically see Cole Hamels being traded by the deadline?
12:10
Dan Szymborski: No, I expect the Phils to do some half-hearted sifting of a secondary player or two, but nothing that indicates a change of direction. Then Amaro gets fired this fall.
12:11
Dan Szymborski: Really, i fyou haven’t seen the article, google Amaro and plate appearances.
12:11
Dan Szymborski: We discovered over the last week that Amaro doesn’t actually know what a plate appearance is and how it differs from an at bat.
12:11
Comment From Gary
I don’t know if you’re involved with UZR, but does the ever increasing number of shifts (and event non-shift position alterations) introduce some concerns? As I understand it, UZR throws out shifts, which with more and more shifts means smaller samples, plus the positioning on non-shifts is more variant meaning the bins are less representative as a whole. Is fangraphs working on any updated or replacement metrics for defense?
12:12
Dan Szymborski: It can make it tricky, but I’m not involved in any kind of tinkering here, so I’m the wrong guy to ask.
12:13
Dan Szymborski: I’m not generally in the loop on internal FanGraphs things as I’m kind of an auxiliary – a longtime friend of the site who has leave to do a few things here.
12:13
Dan Szymborski: Gotta bug Cammy or Apples for better answers.
12:13
Comment From Jake
Is Everth Cabrera droppable for Chris Owings, DJ, Andrelton or Gordon Beckham in an 11 team roto? Other players to target?
12:13
Dan Szymborski: Yeah, Everth is easily droppable
12:14
Comment From Brandon
292 3-hit games..only ONE 3 strikeout game. RIP Mr. Padre
12:15
Comment From Russ Adams
Think Lawrie could qualify for the fielding % title (or whatever the fielding equivalent for batting title is) at 2B and 3B this year, and has anyone ever done it before?
12:16
Dan Szymborski: That’s really tough – I’m not sure offhand if anyone’s done it. I doubt Lawrie will
12:17
Comment From Matt
Tony Gwynn’s career low wRC+ was 104.
12:17
Comment From Knucklebear
As a San Diego native that grew up watching Tony Gwynn I can say that no one meant more to this city than him. He was a true ambassador to the game did more for sports in San Diego than anyone else. Is there anyone in the Padres organization with the potential to bring that type of excitement to the ballpark?
12:18
Comment From Owen S.
What in God’s name is Wrong with Wright?
12:18
Dan Szymborski: It’s hard to tell, the complete lack of power is disturbing.
12:19
Dan Szymborski: And he can’t blame his overall line on any kind of crazy BABIP drop, like Santana could.
12:19
Dan Szymborski: And signed through 2020, Wright’s nearly untradeable at this point
12:20
Dan Szymborski: (I would not have given him that deal)
12:20
Comment From Danny Glover
A chicken in every pot and a wicked uppercut to any foe! Any reason for optimism with Estrada? 18.7% HR/FB rate can’t be sustainable, even for him..right?
12:21
Dan Szymborski: Probably not, but if he’s been unlucky in HR/FB, he’s actually been lucky in BABIP
12:21
Comment From Hrkac Circus
Is Brandon Belt’s thumb going to be an issue the rest of the year?
12:22
Dan Szymborski: I’m cautiously optimistic, given that it was a bone and not a ligament
12:22
Comment From Capn America
what about bald? where did that come from?
12:23
Dan Szymborski: I shaved my head. I came back from the grocery store, went to take a shower, and realized I had forgotten the shampoo and I was out. So I said screw this and shaved my head (I shave my head once in a while, my hair grows fast, so I’m not really bald for more than a week or two)
12:23
Comment From Bruce
is the term “vote of confidence” a media term, or do managers actually use those exact words?
12:23
Dan Szymborski: I personally have never heard it actually be used
12:23
Dan Szymborski: Just like politicians say “I take full responsibility” which means “I don’t want to take any responsibility but it sounds good to you guys.”
12:23
Comment From Lars
Tony Gwynn, a 2-sport star, was also a point guard for the San Diego State Aztecs, and set records for assists for a game, season, and career.
12:24
Comment From Sgt. Pepper
Price to the _____
12:24
Dan Szymborski: center square on Hollywood Squares.
12:25
Dan Szymborski: customer dropped by 95% on all new Lamborghinis in 2015.
12:25
Dan Szymborski: store, as he is out of bread.
12:25
Comment From Hank
LaStella has gotten off to a terrific start and looks like the regular 2b for the Braves. What do you expect from him ROS?
12:26
Dan Szymborski: He’s probably a 340/390 type, when all is said and done, which is pretty good
12:26
Comment From kevinthecomic
Drew Hutchison’s home/road splits are pretty severe. Do we have enough data on these splits to consider them predictive (or at least ‘a thing’)?
12:26
Dan Szymborski: No. There is no point at which actual home/road splits become more predictive than generic ones.
12:27
Dan Szymborski: It’s not like vs. LH/RH which becomes equally as predictive as generic platoon splits after 3000 PA.
12:27
Comment From Biggus Dikus
Is Zips U the most recent over R?
12:27
Dan Szymborski: ZiPS U is rest-of-season plus season.
12:27
Comment From Sgt. Pepper
Over/Under on the number of stupid “The Price is Right” headlines we see before/after Price is traded.
12:27
Dan Szymborski: 175
12:27
Comment From Los
Thoughts on the Law/Cameron “debate” on twitter yesterday?
12:28
Dan Szymborski: They both have good points. People can see things in players that turn out to not be predictive things that can be maintained and the projections devil’s advocacy turns out right. But also, there’s a good amount of information that can be hard to put into an algorithm.
12:29
Comment From gson
I asked Dave Cameron inre UZR / UZR150 about the effect of distance travelled by an infielder / outfielder w/r to shifts and his comment was, it’s not taken into account. I was stunned. The defensive metrics are a sadly represented statistic that can and should be MUCH better. Can video evidence, distance travelled and, of course, degree of difficulty be factored objectively?.. My best guess, mostly yes What’s yours?
12:29
Dan Szymborski: Yeah, but this data is much in its infancy.
12:29
Comment From Jake
Thoughts on Chris Owings? Is the bat legit or is the series in CO just inflating his numbers?
12:30
Dan Szymborski: I think his SLG will come down a bit, though I think he’s solid
12:30
Comment From Manuel
How much of a fluke is the Brewers season so far? I see the Cards & Pirates as the most dangerous in Central..agree?
12:30
Dan Szymborski: It’s quite fluky but the thing is, they do have a lead, which counts for something.
12:31
Dan Szymborski: Cards are probably slight favorites, but it’s not *that* far from a coin flip
12:31
Dan Szymborski: And look at the Pirates. We have good reason to believe they’re better than the Brewers going forward. But are they truly 11.3 games better per 162, the pace they need to make up 6.5 games?
12:32
Comment From Larry David
What on earth do I do with Francisco Liriano in a keeper league? My guess: drop him like it’s hot at the end of the season.
12:32
Dan Szymborski: The thing is, you can wait until the end of the season.
12:32
Comment From Guest
What the h-e-double-hockey-sticks do we make of Erasmo Ramirez? Odds that he doesn’t get shelled in San Diego this week?
12:32
Dan Szymborski: Even when he’s not allowing runs, he’s walkeriffic and teetering on the brink.
12:33
Dan Szymborski: Every E. Ramirez will disappoint you. Both Erasmos. Elizardo. Edwar. Any I’m forgetting?
12:34
Comment From chris
Drop McCann for Norris in an BA, OBP & SLG league?
12:34
Dan Szymborski: That’s actually a coin flip, so pick the one that you think will give you fewer sleepless nights.
12:35
Comment From DMoney
Hellickson is a top ____ pitcher ROS.
12:36
Dan Szymborski: Hellickson is a top ___of the pops fan____pitcher ROS.
12:37
Comment From gson
When does Danny Salazar return?
12:37
Dan Szymborski: LIkely going to be a while due to some triceps soreness he’s having
12:37
Comment From David
Mat Latos’ velocity was way down in his first start, but is that the kind of thing we expect to come back slowly, if it does at all, after that kind of injury?
12:38
Dan Szymborski: Without any research on this issue, given that I have about 30 seconds to consider it, I get the impression that pitchers tend to be careful their first games back after injury.
12:38
Comment From Greg
Does the looming presence of Tony La Russa will make the D’backs more or less active at the deadline?
12:38
Dan Szymborski: Don’t think it’ll make a difference.
12:39
Comment From Larry David
I’m trying to buy Marte in one league but the guy keeps asking for Myers. I’ve been told Myers/Gallo for Marte/Singleton is too much to give. But what if I could get Marte/Baez? Is Myers going to be THAT much better than Marte in a keeper?
12:40
Dan Szymborski: I don’t think Myers is *that* much better than Marte, even though I think he’s better (and better than he’s played this season)
12:40
Comment From Capn America
Think Colon is a secondary SP target for some AL teams like KC or SEA or BOS? Assume that the first tier will be Shark, Price (maybe), Hammel, maybe CLee if he gets healthy fast enough…
12:40
Dan Szymborski: He ought to be – there are a lot of teams in contention, so not many teams to get players from.
12:41
Comment From Dr. Met
So some online trolls are already playing that Tony Gwynn was overrated card. They say Abreu and even keith hernandez were less celebrated but just as good. How do I bash these trolls without feeding them?
12:42
Dan Szymborski: Well, in a sense, it’s absolutely true. Abreu didn’t have the crazy contact abilities that Gwynn had, but as an overall offensive contributor, he *was* equally valuable.
12:42
Dan Szymborski: But arguing “Gwynn is overrated” is kind of a schmucky thing to do the day he dies.
12:43
Dan Szymborski: The day Jack Morris dies, I’m sure as hell not going to go “Maybe Whitaker and Trammell should be the pallbearers, given that they’re used to carrying him.”
12:43
Comment From Jackson
Is Ernesto Frieri on his way out again in LA?
12:43
Dan Szymborski: He did get the dreaded vote of approval we talked about!
12:43
Comment From Gwynn one for the gipper
“You just can’t do it,” (Maddux) said. Sometimes hitters can pick up differences in spin. They can identify pitches if there are different releases points or if a curveball starts with an upward hump as it leaves the pitcher’s hand. But if a pitcher can change speeds, every hitter is helpless, limited by human vision.

“Except,” Maddux said, “for that [expletive] Tony Gwynn.”

12:43
Comment From Billy
Can Jake McGee run with this job? Most saves ROS for the Rays?
12:44
Dan Szymborski: McGee’s the best candidate on the team.
12:44
Comment From Matt
I think a lot of what’s wrong with Wright can simply be found by looking at his surroundings. The rest of the team sucks! The only two other decent hitters in that lineup are Murphy and Granderson. David’s got no protection in that lineup and pitchers pitch to him accordingly. Lots of way up and in pitches that’s been into a big deal here in NY
12:44
Dan Szymborski: Protection and a sack is worth the sack.
12:46
Dan Szymborski: The non-Wright Mets have a higher OPS+ than last year’s non-Wright Mets.
12:46
Dan Szymborski: Part of the reason the Mets have an 88 OPS+ this year as opposed to 91, 94 last 2 years is because Wright’s been lousy.
12:47
Dan Szymborski: And Wright’s previous nadir of 115 was on a team with an OPS+ over 100.
12:48
Dan Szymborski: It’s excuse shopping. There’s no evidence that players overperform projections when their teams improve otherwise or that players underperform when their teams decline otherwise.
12:48
Comment From Guest
You’re not Kornheiser or Wilbon bald? Bummer
12:48
Dan Szymborski: My twitter is full of pictures in which I have way too much hair.
12:49
Dan Szymborski: This this look like someone with too little hair? https://twitter.com/DSzymbo…
12:49
Comment From PS
Calvin Coolidge is from vermont. and so am i! so thats kinda cool!
12:50
Comment From stretchfest
One of Mrs. Calvin Coolidge’s friend once made a bet with a friend at a party she could get Silent Cal to talk. She approached him and said “I made a bet that I could get you to say more than two words.” Cal replied, “Fuck you.”
12:50
Dan Szymborski: It was actually you lose, but this version is funny too.
12:51
Dan Szymborski: Tons of lightning and thunder and rain outside my house all of a sudden and my powre goes out easily, so if I disappear, I probably didn’t die at the computer
12:52
Comment From Gary
if there were one new piece of information you could have to improve ZiPS what would it be?
12:52
Dan Szymborski: Does it have to exist? Historical velocity.
12:52
Comment From Guest
I don’t get pirates hype. They weren’t that good when they made it, just lots of people playing at their best in the same year. You will never see Liriano and Burnett put up that kind of season again.
12:52
Dan Szymborski: They weren’t *that* good, but I don’t think upper 80s unreasonable.
12:52
Comment From Gary
If you want to laugh, check out the Cardinals splits with men on base and nobody out this year, a 28 OPS+. No predictive power probably, but a lot of explanatory power on where their offense has gone.
12:53
Dan Szymborski: I remember a few years ago when the Cards had splits in the opposite direction and a bunch of people decided that was real. It wasn’t
12:53
Comment From Angela Merkel
Dan do you ever play competitive Pokemon?
12:53
Dan Szymborski: No
12:53
Comment From Capn America
Speaking of NLC, Polanco might just be the catalyst to propel the Bucs… if they fall short, there will be a lot of blame for not promoting him sooner. Huntington really set himself up for 2nd guessing.
12:53
Dan Szymborski: While it was reasonable to get the extra year of service time, considering the Pirates were already behind, I think it was a huge mistake worrying about super two
12:53
Comment From Jon
Hi Dave, good chance McGee runs away with the closer gig? Most saves for the Ray ROS is ______.
12:54
Dan Szymborski: Most save for the Ray ROS is ___a statistic that will be tallied at the end of the season____
12:54
Comment From gson
I’ve stubbornly hung onto Justin Masterson expecting the guy who led the squad last year.. I have taken to not starting him when he’s the starting picher.. Is it time to let him go?. .
12:55
Dan Szymborski: Depends who the alternatives are. I’m a little worried about the control, but he really hasn’t pitched overall as poorly as his ERA suggests
12:55
Comment From Phil
What Law/Cameron debate?
12:55
Dan Szymborski: You should be on Twitter!
12:56
Comment From Brandon
You need one hit to win a ball game, who do you send up to the plate? Bobby Cox, Charlie Manuel, Lou Piniella, Bartolo Colon? Go.
12:56
Dan Szymborski: Well, first thing I do, is I walk over to the GM and punch him in teh face.
12:56
Dan Szymborski: Probably still Colon, there’s at least a lot of him to hit. Tell him to crowd the plate and close his eyes.
12:56
Comment From Mad Libs
Will _____ ever be able to _____ while playing for ______?
12:57
Dan Szymborski: Well, if it’s a mad libs, the proper 7 year old answer is

Will FARTS ever be able to POOP while playing for BOOBIES

12:57
Comment From Kris
Mike Matheny said one of the reasons martinez is starting is to keep to his word. wtf
12:57
Comment From Greg
How much difference in WAR is necessary to confidently say one player had a better season than another? 10%, 20%?
12:58
Dan Szymborski: Depends on the source of the difference. The offensive components of WAR are a lot more dependable than the defensive ones.
12:58
Comment From The Humber Games
Holy crap, I just stumbled upon Jake Arrieta’s completely under the radar (for me at least) FIP/SIERA. Odds this guy has figured something out?
1:00
Dan Szymborski: Even his ERA is good. I’m not going full-on bandwagon yet, though, as he was always a guy I thought would beat his projections because of his hard, lively stuff.
1:00
Comment From Redbeard
How long does a player with a bad track record have to perform well to be considered a breakout rather than an anomaly? For example a guy like Josh Harrison.
1:00
Dan Szymborski: Depends on how bad the track record is, how good the breakout is and how long it is. It’s not a binary thing.
1:00
Comment From Motown Mary
Eugenio Suarez has been a great surprise. Is he better than the “utility guy” label he got by many coming into the year?
1:01
Dan Szymborski: He’s been excellent in the minors. His translation looked a lot like Alex Gonzalez when you wanted Alex Gonzalez, rather than when the Tigers wanted Alex Gonzalez.
1:01
Comment From Dr. Met
PS: Mets considering dimension changes again this offseason. The whole Citi Field is killing the Mets attitude is probably way to pervasive and Collins just makes it worse by playing it up for his players.
1:01
Dan Szymborski: Easy answers are always popular.
1:02
Comment From Jimmy cracked corn
Drop Brad MIller to claim Tavares off of wavers in a redraft league? I am leading my division and I could use a nice bat in my utility spot (at some point this season)..
1:02
Dan Szymborski: In a redraft league, I’d definitely be open to dropping Miller, but I’m not sure Taveras will provide consistent playing time, even later in the year.
1:02
Comment From zurzles
The cow goes ____.
1:02
Dan Szymborski: FART
1:03
Comment From nick
do you hate fill in the _____ questions?
1:03
Dan Szymborski: SMELLY
1:03
Dan Szymborski: For now on, I’m answer all fill-in-the-blank questions as if I’m a 7-year-old playign Mad Libs.
1:03
Comment From Eminor3rd
The biggest thing to remember about Justin Masterson is ________________
1:03
Dan Szymborski: YOUR MOM
1:03
Comment From Sean
Inside Edge assigns defensive difficulties for each play a fielder makes, ranging from routine to impossible. Why can’t this data be flipped to see what kinda of contact a pitcher gives up? What if certain pitchers had a distribution that leaned more that yielded far more routine/easy plays for the defensive (say like sinkerballers or other guys that induce a lot of ‘weak’ contact). Couldn’t this help to balance the argument between who gets ‘credit’ for the run (in the eyes of pitching vs. defense)?
1:04
Dan Szymborski: The thing is, not all difficult plays correlate to the type of contact.
1:04
Comment From snid
Are people a little too excited about Dallas Keuchel?
1:05
Dan Szymborski: Probably a little *too* excited, but his control has been truly excellent and unlikely to be a fluke.
1:06
Dan Szymborski: Will he stay in the Cy race? No. But he hasn’t fallen into the Josh Towers trap of really on control resulting in a lot of hittable pitches.
1:06
Comment From Alex
Just saw that Profar is likely stuck at 2nd for the rest of his career because of his shoulder injuries. Is that a fact?
1:06
Dan Szymborski: Premature.
1:06
Comment From Bryce Harpers uncle
I”m hearing now that the Giants are “very interested” in Samardzija. It makes sense, but what do they have on the farm to offer the Cubs?
1:07
Dan Szymborski: They *may* be able to cobble together something that would be itneresting, but there are likely more buyers than sellers and I thinksomeone will top it
1:08
Comment From john
The mets – they dont need to move in the fences, they need to get better talent evaluators. Pitching, speed and defense. They have some of the first and essentially none of the other two
1:09
Dan Szymborski: Better manager evaluation would also be helpful…
1:09
Comment From Ryan
After seeing Taveras, Springer, Polanco and Singleton, which one do you think will have the most long-term success?
1:09
Dan Szymborski: Polanco, though that doesn’t mean I hate the other three.
1:09
Comment From neeners
Dan is very ______
1:09
Dan Szymborski: BUTT
1:09
Comment From Russ Adams
RE: Historical velocity. Could we not just use the video of pitchers and use the time it took for the ball to leave their hand and reach the plate? Distance/Time = Velocity no?
1:09
Dan Szymborski: While you could, you don’t really have a *ton* of video on everybody
1:10
Dan Szymborski: On that note, time to leave for another week.
1:10
Dan Szymborski: Congratulations to Calvin Coolidge for quietly defeating Hoover.
1:11
Dan Szymborski: You can find my work on ESPN.com, chats at FanGraphs, and DSzymborski on twitter.
1:11
Comment From CecilioGuante
The pitcher who K’d Gwynn 3 times in one game? Bob Welch, who died last week. This sucks.



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


2 Responses to “Dan Szymborski FanGraphs Chat – 7/16/14”

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  1. Sean C says:

    Rest in Peace Tony Gwynn :(

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Aaron says:

    Holy crap. It’s July 16th already.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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