Dan Szymborski FanGraphs Chat – 8/18/14

12:00
Dan Szymborski: Party. Started
12:01
Dan Szymborski: First thing, our usual business.
12:01
:
12:02
Comment From Jolly Roger
If he continues on his current trajectory, when do you think Luis Severino joins the Yanks’ rotation? Any thoughts on floor/ceiling?
12:03
Dan Szymborski: He’s still very young – if he continues as he has, he’ll get some innings in the majors at the end of next year, I think, but the yankees aren’t usually super-aggressive
12:05
Comment From Dave
Is it time for the Jays to shut down Drew Hutchinson?

12:05
Dan Szymborski: Hard to say what’s actually wrong with him, he’s been a mess lately. Problem for Blue Jays is that they kind of need him to be pitching well – ther earen’t a great deal of good options
12:06
Comment From Bobert
Do you see Piscotty getting a cup of java this September, and what has to happen for him to get regular playing time in the OF?
12:06
Dan Szymborski: He’ll get some time, but he’s most likely going to get spare-OFer time. Would need injury or the Cards to dramatically fall out of playoff hunt to get serious time
12:06
Comment From Helix Fernandez
Kyle Hendricks, will he continue to deliver dazzling live performances, or will he die an early and tragic death choking on his own… inability to get strikeouts?
12:07
Dan Szymborski: I think he’ll be a mid-rotation guy.
12:07
Comment From Jolly Roger
Who do you think would be the better stash for next season, Drew Pomeranz or Rafael Montero?
12:07
Dan Szymborski: Depends if you prefer the upside play or the higher floor.
12:07
Comment From Bill B.
Would you drop Smyly for Pineda? I can only stomach 1 AL East pitcher in my rotation at a time.
12:08
Dan Szymborski: I would not unless you’re really in a desperation spot in which you need to roll the dice.
12:09
Dan Szymborski: Pineda’s still a giant risk and he’s not going to be used deep in games.
12:10
Comment From kevinthecomic
Thanks for chatting, Dan — Drop Kipnis for Chris Taylor for MI? — 12 team H2H — I am currently in 9th and trying to grab the 6th and final playoff spot — Kipnis has been playing hurt and/or just generally sucking
12:10
Dan Szymborski: Given his ongoing issues with his oblique, I think I may roll the dice with Taylor here.
12:11
Comment From Daniel
Royals. Playoffs? Models say anywhere from 60% to 72%
12:11
Dan Szymborski: Haven’t run the update last couple days.
12:12
Comment From Tony
Who wins the home run race this year?
12:12
Dan Szymborski: Stanton by a hair.
12:12
Comment From Matt, Tacoma WA
According to Oliver’s projections for next year (I haven’t seen your’s, sorry) Kris Bryant is a 4.5 WAR player. Is that absurd? Can Kris Bryant stay at 3B
12:13
Dan Szymborski: Probably a little aggressive a projection for me, though remember Oliver’s assuming full seasons for everyone, so the WAR will be on the high side.
12:13
Dan Szymborski: Cubs will give him every chance to stay at 3rd, I believe.
12:13
Comment From Krusty
Dan, did you read “The real reason pitchers get injured” by Matt Buschmann on ESPN? I thought he posed an interesting theory about how it’s not the max velocity that’s causing arm injuries but the deviation of a pitcher’s natural mechanics to conform to one that delivers max speed with command. It might be tough to study, as a control group might be difficult to find. Your thoughts?
12:13
Dan Szymborski: I’ve read it, but honestly, actual mechanics is probably my area of least expertise, so I’m not sure I can give a valuable answer.
12:14
Comment From Seattle Slough
Pittsburgh Pirates have blown a lot of leads recently and lost games by 1 run. Random bad luck with their bullpen or symptomatic of bigger issues?
12:15
Dan Szymborski: I wouldn’t usually worry about 1-run loss counts. They don’t really correlate with bullpens as one would intuitively think
12:15
Comment From Brian
Do you think the Royals will win the division?
12:15
Dan Szymborski: I still think the Tigers are the better team, enough I’d still give them a slight edge.
12:16
Comment From Hellboy
BA raves about Jimmy Nelson, but I don’t sense the same enthusiasm on FG. Your thoughts on his future? Thanks!
12:17
Dan Szymborski: I’m of two minds with Nelson. His performance and control improvement certainly make him interesting and he looks like a classic power pitcher. What worries me is that his stuff isn’t that varied and he doesnt’ change speeds all that well, so you wonder if he hits a rough spot, how quickly he ends up in the bullpen.
12:17
Comment From tomcat4
If you were an Astros fan, how would you feel about the current state of the organization and its future?
12:18
Dan Szymborski: Pretty good. I wouldn’t feel ecstatic because we still don’t know that when it’s time for push to come to shove, the financial resources Luhnow and gang will *really* have available to them
12:18
Comment From Rob
Are the Mariners the third best team in the AL in your opinion?
12:18
Dan Szymborski: I would still call the Tigers 3rd, despite the rough patch
12:19
Comment From Sad Pirates Fan
Is the Bucs season over? Also…Nix, Martinez, Morel…worst bench ever?!
12:19
Dan Szymborski: I wouldn’t call it over, but I think they’re a definite underdog. The bench isn’t exactly exciting, but it’s stil lbetter than, say, the Nats last year
12:20
Comment From Christian
Did the Tiger starting rotation think David Price was gonna pitch all 5 days and decide to take the rest of the season off?
12:20
Dan Szymborski: heh
12:20
Comment From Patrick S.
Does Wisler get the call in September, and what do you expect from him long-term? Thanks!
12:21
Dan Szymborski: I think he gets a September cup of coffee. I think he’s got a chance to be a really solid mid-rotation guy, but I don’t see a really high ceiling.
12:21
Comment From Ernie
Who is your favorite baseball writer?
12:22
Dan Szymborski: Old Hoss Radbourn tweets.
12:22
Comment From Rated Rookie
If Carlos Rodon gets called up to Chicago in September, is it as a reliever or a starter? And what do you think his role will be and where in 2015?
12:24
Dan Szymborski: I don’t think he gets called up this year. I know Ventura hinted about it recently, but I think that’s a bit too aggressive.
12:24
Dan Szymborski: I think he starts the season in Charlotte in the rotation.
12:24
Comment From Guest
have the Nats turned a corner? 6 in a row, best record in NL, best run differential in NL.
12:24
Dan Szymborski: I believe so.
12:25
Comment From Paul Beeston, Toronto BlueJays GM
How much more of a return on Bautista would I get, than what the Rays got for Price.
12:25
Dan Szymborski: That’s not really a comparable situation – Bautista’s already signed for 1 more at 14 and with an option year for same.
12:26
Dan Szymborski: That’s not a question you can answer – it always depends on the degree of improvement and the lenght of time.
12:26
Comment From Seattle Slough
How long does it take for a prospect’s good performance to show up as improved future? Elias Diaz has been performing well over the past 600 PA (128 wRC+) after being bad for his first 800 PA (
12:26
Dan Szymborski: (that’s what I’m referring to)
12:26
Dan Szymborski: Cut-and-dry rules just don’t work like that.
12:27
Comment From Cubbie Blues
Among all shorstops, Starlin Castro is top five in WAR, and everybody ahead of him is over 30. He’s 24, and has 3 All-Star appearances. Is he secretly the Cubs best prospect?
12:27
Dan Szymborski: Cute, but one could hardly call a guy who’s likely to finish season in top 5 for SS hits through 24 a prospect!
12:27
Dan Szymborski: (I know you’re just playing with words)
12:27
Comment From THE average sports fan
What are your thoughts about speeding up the game? Personally I like the Bill James idea about relievers.
12:28
Dan Szymborski: I honestly dont’ remember the James relif idea.
12:28
Dan Szymborski: But I do think the game should be sped up, there’s just a lot of dead time in baseball where nothing’s happening.
12:28
Dan Szymborski: If nothing’s happening and it increases *tension* or something, that’s good
12:29
Dan Szymborski: but most of the time, it’s just the batter adjusting his crotch for 20 seconds.
12:30
Dan Szymborski: If I was the Dictator of MLB, I would use a pitch clock, limit batters stepping out of the box, and cap pitching roster size
12:30
Comment From H.H. Jardy
I know he’s only 21, but has Bogaert’s approach/defense changed his ceiling at all? or at least the probability of reaching it?
12:30
Dan Szymborski: I’m a little worried, but he’s still very young.
12:30
Comment From Cubbie Blues
Would a below league-average defensive shortshop (like a peak Derek Jeter) be a good defensive second baseman?
12:31
Dan Szymborski: Not necessarily good, but certainly better. I get, historically, about +4 for defense for full-time shortstops moved to second
12:32
Comment From Bobby C.
Thanks for chatting. Any chance Christian Walker gets some ABs for the O’s in September?
12:33
Dan Szymborski: I honestly don’t think so – I don’t get the impression they want to make a 40-man roster decision until they have to
12:33
Comment From Mr. Panic Man
How badly are the A’s blowing it? Is this just a rough/unlucky/regressing patch? Or do they have a fundamental problem moving forward?
12:34
Dan Szymborski: It’s a rough patch, but every team has them. I still think the A’s are teh best team in the AL.
12:34
Comment From Placido Poloncos Giant Head
What should Braves front office do to improve the team this year and next?
12:34
Dan Szymborski: Release Upton. B.J. obviously. Upton may have use as a 5th outfielder, but it’s clear Fredi Gonzalez can’t be trusted to have B.J. at his disposal.
12:35
Dan Szymborski: Yeah, I know Justin’s on the team. But if keeping Justin happy requires playing B.J., then Justin’s not a valuable player.
12:35
Comment From Guest
Can you post an updated bracket?!
12:35
Dan Szymborski: Oh yeah, sorry
12:35
:
12:35
:
12:35
Dan Szymborski: oops
12:36
Comment From Greg
Though you are probably disgusted even thinking about him, what are your thoughts on Hosmer for next season? I mean his rookie year and last year could not have been total flukes.
12:36
Dan Szymborski: Honest answer? I have no idea what to think of Eric Hosmer anymore. Seriously. Eric Hosmer broke my brain.
12:36
Comment From Zach
Hey Dan, obviously a bit premature, but if the Tigers miss the playoffs, do you think we’re not just looking back at the Doug Fister trade, but also the Price trade? I think most would agree that the Tigers got the best pitcher available at a reasonable cost, and having Price certainly improves the Tigers odds in the playoffs if he starting 2 games in a division series. But for the rest of the regular season, him as an upgrade over a solid starter in Drew Smyly is perhaps not as significant as the downgrade from Austin Jackson and rotating part-time players in 2 OF spots to having to rotate part-time players to fill 3 OF spots.
12:36
Dan Szymborski: I did write a piece suggesting the Rays did better than many thoughts.
12:37
Dan Szymborski: As you say, the Tigers did get the best pitcher available, but the upgrade was solid, not dramatic, and Austin Jackson’s become underrated after being overrated earlier in his career.
12:37
Comment From Ernie
If you had to pick one keeper between Yoenis Cespedes, Gregory Polanco, and Christian Yelich, who would you pick? 5×5
12:37
Dan Szymborski: Polanco
12:37
Comment From Guest
What kind of player do you see Wil Meyer being next year??
12:37
Dan Szymborski: Certainly better than this year (assuming we’re talkign Wil Myers)
12:38
Dan Szymborski: His year sucked any way you look at it, but people did overrate Myers a bit coming into this season.
12:39
Dan Szymborski: He’s what probably over his head in his rookie season – all the projection systems had him taking a big step back. I know ZiPS had him at a 114 OPS+ coming into the year and the other systems weren’t far off that
12:39
Dan Szymborski: Certainly better than this year (assuming we’re talkign Wil Myers)
12:39
Comment From Sad Mets Fan
Time to cut Wacha? Or is there a chance he’ll return to the rotation during the fantasy playoffs?
12:40
Dan Szymborski: I like the gamble unless you have an obvious replacement
12:41
Dan Szymborski: Sorry, had to change PCs, didn’t realize my laptop wasn’t plugged in
12:41
Dan Szymborski: All of a sudden, it went into low battery hibernate
12:42
Comment From Greg
How long is Hammel’s leash? Does Pomeranz take his spot if he blows up next time out? Thanks!
12:42
Dan Szymborski: I think his leash is limited. If the A’s need to be more aggressive — it’s looking less like they can coast now — I can see him being a casualty
12:43
Comment From THE average sports fan
Does Joey Votto ever hit 30hr in a season again? Or is he a highly paid Mark Grace?
12:43
Dan Szymborski: I wouldn’t shut the door on a 30 homer season. But he was always miscast as a slugger – he’s got exactly one 30 homer year
12:44
Dan Szymborski: Now, he’s likely to have more power than Mark Grace
12:45
Dan Szymborski: Even this year’s injury-filled feast has left him with an ISO that would be among Grace’s better years
12:47
Dan Szymborski: I think John Olerud would probably be a fairer “worry” scenario. And Olerud was pretty damn good. Votto finished well out of top 10 worst contracts in my recent zips update
12:48
Comment From Sean
Do the M’s have a chance at the division?
12:48
Dan Szymborski: Not really. 5 1/2 behind two teams is a much different scenario thna 5 1/2 behind one team.
12:49
Dan Szymborski: The A’s/ANgels have a lot of games left against each other and that’s also very bad for Mariners divsiional odds
12:49
Dan Szymborski: (because it reduces the chances of both the A’s and Angels tanking – if the A’s go, say 2-8 against the Angels, the Angels go 8-2 against the A’s)
12:50
Comment From optomistic
In a vacuum, would you take Alcántara or Soler? Both in real life and fantasy
12:50
Dan Szymborski: I would take Soler, simply because I think he could have a very high upside, higher than Alcantara
12:51
Dan Szymborski: ZiPS has absolutely *loved* Alcantara. Had him the #13 prospect coming into the season, which was way above consensus
12:51
Comment From Jeremy
How bad does it look for the Pirates at this point that they weren’t able to bolster the rotation or bullpen at the deadline? Obviously a team like them can’t drastically overpay and cripple the future of the franchise, but man would another good arm or two be helping big time right now.
12:52
Dan Szymborski: Even if they couldn’t make a big add – I think a rotation addition would have been great – I really think they dropped the ball in doing very little.
12:53
Dan Szymborski: In hindsight, not bringing back Burnett is looking pretty good, though I still feel it was the wrong deicsion at the time
12:53
Comment From Placido Poloncos Giant Head
The top 3 arguments against MLB implementing a robot strikezone are…
12:53
Dan Szymborski: …all bad ones.
12:55
Dan Szymborski: Calling strikes isn’t exactly a difficult technological feat at this point – in the big picture, identifying where a sphere crossed over a pentagon is easy stuff
12:55
Dan Szymborski: Still lots of things for umpires to do, but I see little benefit to having umps call balls and strikes at this point
12:55
Comment From Logan Davis
Rank the current fourth place teams by their chances of winning the division next year.
12:56
Dan Szymborski: Rays, Mets, Reds, White Sox, Diamondbacks, Astros
12:56
Comment From Ryan
Does the Reds’ window close after next season? And if so, what move should they make to maximize their chances to win in 2015?
12:56
Dan Szymborski: I think their window is closing very quickly, perhaps faster than that.
12:57
Dan Szymborski: The Reds have let their depth issues fester and at this point, I’m not sure they can put together a team that has a really good playoff argument that doesn’t involve “assuming everyone’s healthy”
12:57
Comment From BRL
Will the Yankees sign Headley, someone else or give A-Rod a crack at 3B next season?
12:57
Dan Szymborski: I think they roll the dice with A-Rod
12:58
Dan Szymborski: If they were going to say “screw this, we’re just done with him” I think it would’ve been done at the height of the controversy
12:58
Comment From Steve
What is the point of sending Rodon to AAA if they don’t mean to call him up. It seems very similar to the Blue Jays handling of Daniel Norris, who is likely going to be in the bullpen shortly.
12:58
Dan Szymborski: Well, getting him some experience at higher minor league pitching, which makes it easier to evaluate him
12:58
Comment From BRL
Who is most likely to be traded, if anyone, Kemp, Ethier or Crawford with the eventual call-up of Pederson on 9/1?
12:58
Dan Szymborski: None.
12:58
Comment From Simon
What should the Orioles do with Ubaldo jimenez? Bullpen? Start? Just store on bench?
12:58
Dan Szymborski: He should be in mopup role at this point. In 2014, he’s probably the O’s 6tth-best starter
12:59
Dan Szymborski: A few more than I have to go – I have a doctor’s appintment so gotta keep this right to 1
12:59
Comment From dbet
Who is the best team in the NL?
12:59
Dan Szymborski: Nats
12:59
Comment From Tom
Especially with Infante struggling, should the Royals try to get Christian Colon into the lineup more than a couple times a week?
12:59
Dan Szymborski: Yes
1:00
Comment From PaulM
Dustbowl still the best mode for TF2?
1:00
Dan Szymborski: Meh.
1:00
Dan Szymborski: I play on a 32-player server (FITH.co) so Dustbowl’s second stage is too stalematey.
1:01
Comment From Bip
I listened to Effectively Wild, and in it, Sam Miller used PECOTA to estimate the chances Matt Williams hit 61 homers had 1994 season finished. He said that there was a 4%, while ZiPS gave it a 36% chance. Do you know why there is such a big difference?
1:01
Dan Szymborski: I know how ZiPS in-season works, but I can’t tell you PECOTA’s
1:02
Dan Szymborski: ZiPS believes there’s a reasonable chance that his “True” HR ability was above projected in 1994
1:02
Comment From Guest
A couple teams approached me at SaberSeminar. How do I evaluate the tradeoff of being overworked and underpaid with the opportunity to work in baseball?
1:02
Dan Szymborski: Depends what you’re doing and where you want to be.
1:03
Dan Szymborski: Even if I personally was willing to work for a team full-time (I’m not), I would likely need to be paid more to make it worthwhile to me than someone trying to break into the industry
1:04
Comment From Sean
Are we getting more hearthstone cards?
1:05
Dan Szymborski: I ran that joke for a few weeks, but I didn’t want to beat it to death. Still palying Hearthstone and cards will come back, but sometimes ya gotta know when a joke is played out!
1:05
Comment From Will
Am I an idiot or is Obama not in the bracket?
1:05
Dan Szymborski: He’s in the bracket, he had a first round matchup already IIRC
1:05
:
1:05
Dan Szymborski: Yeah, he lost to James Garfield
1:06
Comment From Josh
Frangraphs has M’s as a 49.9% chance to take one of the Wild Card slots. Low/High/Just about right?
1:06
Dan Szymborski: sounds about right to me
1:06
Dan Szymborski: Oh shoot, it’s 106, gotta go
1:06
Dan Szymborski: You can find my work at ESPN.com. I do chats here and projections are stored here as well. You can find me at DSzymborski on Twitter.
1:07
Dan Szymborski: And I love playing games with readers — I’m a social guy — I’m DSzymborski on Steam and Zim 1236 (I think the number’s right) on Hearthstone



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Paul Swydan is the managing editor of The Hardball Times and a writer and editor for FanGraphs. He has written for the Boston Globe, ESPN MLB Insider and ESPN the Magazine, among others. Follow him on Twitter @Swydan.


One Response to “Dan Szymborski FanGraphs Chat – 8/18/14”

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  1. fsoyer says:

    Although I agree with your sentiments about automated balls and strikes, I would like to see them also, I’m not sure how the technology can determine the bottom and tops of strike zones. The sides are static, but the verticals change from batter to batter. Of course umpires are just guessing, so the tech solution is bound to be better, but it would be good to get this right once and for all.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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