Dave Cameron FanGraphs Chat – 6/25/14

11:43
Dave Cameron: The trade deadline is a month away, the playoff races are getting a little more interesting, and the queue is now open. Fire away.
12:01
Comment From Erik
Do you see Benoit having value as a closer by the end of the trade deadline?
12:01
Dave Cameron: I think he has some incentives in his deal that pay him a decent amount of extra money if he racks up saves, so I wouldn’t be surprised if any acquiring team kept him in a setup role.
12:01
Comment From Jeff in T.O.
Please tell my Jays to go for either Kennedy or Hammels, don’t empty the cupboard for Samardziga!
12:02
Dave Cameron: Yeah, that’s what I would guess they will do.
12:02
Comment From Ben
Indians sent down McAllistar.. and chance that 5th spot goes back to Salazar when they need a 5th starter again or is he toast this year?

12:02
Dave Cameron: He’s been terrible in AAA too. Seems like he’s probably hurt, or at the very least, his mechanics are a mess.
12:02
Comment From Concerned Angels Fan
What are your thoughts on Albert Pujols? Is he hurt or is this what we should expect to see the rest of the season?
12:03
Dave Cameron: At this point, there’s enough evidence that he’s just an average player. This is what he is.
12:03
Comment From Todd
Thoughts on the future of Dustin Ackley? Still hope for a high quality player?
12:03
Dave Cameron: He probably needs a new organization, and he should be moved back to second base. I could see him having a Mark Ellis type of career.
12:04
Comment From Bradley
Curious why rollins was listed as trade chip but not utley. Do you think jroll is more willing to waive no trade clause than utley is or do you think amaro would never trade utley?
12:04
Dave Cameron: Utley has basically said he won’t waive his no-trade. Rollins said he would think about it if asked.
12:04
Comment From MG
Do you think anyone will be interested in Adam Dunn?
12:04
Dave Cameron: Not really.
12:04
Comment From Jeff in T.O.
Oh and after visiting your super helpful trade chips dashboard, Daniel Murphy!
12:04
Dave Cameron: Given all the teams who need a second baseman, I think the Mets can get something pretty shiny for him.
12:05
Comment From Catoblepas
Hi Dave! I liked your piece on Price/Zobrist to the Cardinals — any other “obvious” moves you want to predict now?
12:05
Dave Cameron: Joaquin Benoit back to Detroit.
12:05
Comment From Marco Saves the Year
The more I talk to others, and think about the deal you proposed for Price/Zobrist, the more I don’t understand it from the Rays perspective. Could you expand a little as to why Price couldn’t fetch a top 25 and top 100 prospect by himself?
12:06
Dave Cameron: Taveras isn’t just a “top 25 prospect”. He’s a top 5 prospect, and teams like the Rays would rather get a potential star that they can lock up cheap in his pre-arb years than a higher quantity of lesser talents.
12:06
Comment From Matt
Once Cargo and Cuddyer are healthy, what do the Rockies do in their OF? Think anyone gets traded to clear it up?
12:07
Dave Cameron: Cuddyer is out until August, and if the Rockies are out of the race, they might just shut CarGo down. I could an off-season trade, but probably not an in-season one.
12:07
Comment From Soupy Sales
Who’s the dark horse trade candidate who no one is talking about?
12:08
Dave Cameron: Maybe Cole Hamels. I didn’t include him on my trade chip list because the Phillies can’t trade every starter they have, but if Lee doesn’t make it back, Hamels might be an interesting option.
12:09
Comment From Todd
Is being raw as a 21 year old defensive catcher a prospect status killer for Gary Sanchez? I can’t imagine anyone is actually worried about that bat, and the arm/body is ideal for catching. What’s wrong with being a 50 or even 45-50 catcher who can mash? Jorge Posada was a work in progress defensively for years even after making the majors.
12:09
Dave Cameron: A 108 wRC+ in Double-A isn’t mashing. Gary Sanchez looks an awful lot like Jesus Montero 2.0. These guys are not very good.
12:09
Comment From atoms
On a scale of 1-10 (1 being say, Chris Shelton and 10 being perhaps Jose Bautista), how legit is this JD Martinez power binge/breakout?
12:10
Dave Cameron: I’ll give it a 7. He’s basically doing the same thing Marlon Byrd did last year, selling out entirely for power on every swing. The lack of plate discipline will keep him from being a high quality hitter, but you can mash mistakes like this.
12:10
Comment From KK-Swizzle
What’s up with the Rays…pitcher injuries, unreasonable expectations, or just plain bad luck?
12:11
Dave Cameron: All of the above. Longoria hasn’t hit, Zobrist has struggled, all the pitchers got hurt, the bullpen imploded…
12:11
Comment From jim
Tanner Roark when does he turn into a pumpkin?
12:11
Dave Cameron: Good command, enough grounders, misses some bats. Looks like a perfectly acceptable back-end starter to me.
12:13
Dave Cameron: Quick two second break.
12:17
Dave Cameron: Okay, more like three minutes. Phone calls are fun.
12:17
Comment From Drew
Is Castellanos too big a return for Street and Denorfia?
12:17
Dave Cameron: Yes.
12:17
Comment From Jim
Do fans and folks underrate health? I notice how many fawn over pitching prospects no matter how injured. Nothing wrong with optimism, but these days it seems as if TJ surgery gets treated like a nothing event when it’s still something to avoid.
12:18
Dave Cameron: I’d say people are too focused on upside, and overrate the likelihood of the best case scenario, which for many broken pitchers includes becoming unbroken. But it’s not just limited to this one area. People love to dream about what a guy might be, and many of the prospect raters out there rate almost entirely on potential with little regard for risk.
12:19
Comment From S
How real is Corey Dickerson?
12:19
Dave Cameron: He can hit. I’m a fan.
12:20
Comment From Utley4ever
How many seasons of 2+ WAR does Utley need to be a HOF
12:20
Dave Cameron: Probably four or five. His late career start is really going to hurt his counting numbers unless he hangs around forever.
12:20
Comment From Jim
I want Rick Porcello to throw harder. Coming into pro ball as a HS kid he could hit 97. Don’t think I’ve ever seen that from him in the majors. What happened?
12:20
Dave Cameron: Velocity peaks very early. Almost everyone throws harder at 18-20 than they do in the big leagues.
12:21
Comment From Guest
Are you afraid of Kris Bryant?
12:21
Dave Cameron: I would be if I was a baseball.
12:21
Comment From Alex
How is Nick Franklin not on the trading block leaderboards?
12:22
Dave Cameron: It was a list of guys that are available from teams that are selling. If I tried to include every prospect that a buyer might give up, it’d be 200 names long.
12:22
Comment From Spencer
So I guess Ross Detwiler just didn’t feel like throwing anything other than a fastball last night… 46 pitches (4 of them an intentional walk), all of them fastballs. Is there any logical explanation to this?
12:22
Dave Cameron: He’s always been a one pitch guy. This isn’t that big of a deviation for him.
12:22
Comment From jpg
What do you think the Mets could get back for Daniel Murphy? The Mets were unimpressed by the offers they got for him in the off season but now he has a shot at duplicating last year’s +4 WAR season.
12:23
Dave Cameron: He’s never going to bring back an elite prospect, but I think they could get a couple of solid arms for him, or maybe a close-to-the-majors lower ceiling position player.
12:23
Comment From Guest
I think Boston needs to be selling at this point, you agree?
12:23
Dave Cameron: Not yet, no.
12:23
Comment From Kimball
You aren’t a big fan of run differential as a stat, if I recall. Obviously, it’s very susceptible to misleading random variation. But if I want to illustrate to a casual fan that a team’s current record is likely to regress, is there a better fairly simple stat?
12:24
Dave Cameron: The problem is that you’re using the wrong mean to regress to. Let’s say a team has a record of 45-35, and their expected record based on run differential is just 40-40, so you’re explaining to your friend how they’re going to get worse. But based on their expected run differential — the number you should be regressing against — they are expected to be 48-32. You’re not only regressing to the wrong mean, you’re regressing the wrong way.
12:25
Dave Cameron: The fact that run differential might be easier to explain doesn’t make it a good metric.
12:25
Comment From Blake
Dave, do you see the M’s as actual players to maybe grab an OF bat at the deadline? Or save the prospects and stand pat?
12:26
Dave Cameron: They’ll be buyers, for sure. This season was a save-my-job one for the front office, and they’re not going to stop trying now.
12:26
Comment From bryan
Hey Dave, if you were getting intentionally walked and swung at two of the pitches to make the count 3-2 (making the pitcher throw two extra pitches), would that be violating any unwritten rules? Would the pitcher possibly pitch to you instead of walking you now that he has 2 strikes?
12:26
Dave Cameron: Or maybe the next intentional ball is inside instead of outside.
12:27
Dave Cameron: If they want to put you on base, they’re going to put you on base, either the easy way or the painful way.
12:27
Comment From Cameron Maybin
Im not on the block?
12:27
Dave Cameron: Teams can’t trade every player they have at every position in-season. Quentin/Denorfia more likely to be moved, and they’ll need to keep some OFs around just to field a team. Maybe in the off-season.
12:28
Comment From Steve
I know you’re probably sick of the Mookie questions, but when do you think the Red Sox call him up?
12:28
Dave Cameron: Sooner than later. I’ve been saying All-Star Break, but this slide probably pushes the timetable a bit.
12:28
Comment From Bret
Should a contending team take a chance on Brandon McCarthy if the Diamondbacks are willing to move him for little?
12:29
Dave Cameron: Yes.
12:29
Comment From hamsterjockey
Does Ben Zobrist get traded at the deadline? If he does, do you see him thriving in the second half?
12:29
Dave Cameron: Yeah, I think he’ll get moved and be a good pickup for someone.
12:29
Comment From Chris
Why wouldn’t the Red Sox start selling off players? I realize they aren’t that far out, but trading some bullpen pieces can only help replenish our farm system. Koji would fetch a decent prospect.
12:30
Dave Cameron: They’re too good to sell in June. If they’re this far out in a month, they’ll sell then.
12:30
Comment From S
Does Ackley make sense for the Rockies? 2B has been a hole in Denver forever.
12:30
Dave Cameron: Yep, he’d do well there.
12:30
Comment From Baseball Salamander
Any Mets on the move? Outside of a stray reliever, I only see Murphy and maybe an OF as making much sense. Still, if they trade Murphy, don’t they need to go find someone comparably valuable anyway? That team needs hitters more than anything.
12:30
Dave Cameron: I wouldn’t be surprised if they moved Bartolo Colon.
12:31
Comment From Adam
FYI, you can’t have performance incentives in MLB contracts. Only playing time. So Benoit can’t have saves incentives, but he can have “games finished” or “innings pitched.” Similar to how hitters can’t have home run incentives, only PA incentives.
12:31
Dave Cameron: Right, but the correlation between “games finished” and “saves” is very, very high. So for all intents and purposes, it’s an incentive tied to being used as the closer.
12:32
Comment From Oren
Is Gordon Beckham a reasonable 2B option for a contender? Seems like the White Sox have the depth to move him.
12:32
Dave Cameron: He’s an okay depth piece, but he’s not good enough to be a real impact asset.
12:32
Comment From Bret
Based on their histories and salaries, can’t it be argued that Zobrist is worth more than Price?
12:32
Dave Cameron: More valuable, maybe. Worth more in trade? No chance.
12:33
Dave Cameron: Teams acquiring Price are going to factor in the chance that they get to negotiate with him before everyone else. No one is going to be looking to lock up Zobrist long term.
12:33
Comment From Terencem
Luis Valbuena seems like a player a lot of orgs could use. Is he underrated due to the way he provides value or is he just not that good?
12:33
Dave Cameron: He’s playing over his head, but high BB/high K underpowered guys aren’t coveted, usually.
12:34
Comment From Baseball Salamander
I don’t particularly want this to happen, but doesn’t Price to the Dodgers (for Joc+) make tons of sense. Dodgers most open window is right now, and they’d have him for another run next year. Also, with the playoffs/division far from a given, they could use a boost.
12:34
Dave Cameron: For all the talk about Joc being blocked, the guys ahead of him kind of suck. They should maybe just promote him instead.
12:35
Comment From Mike T.
Dave – Is there any way for me, just a ball fan at home, to see how hard Encarnacion and others hit the ball?
12:35
Dave Cameron: The systems that track exit velocity are not publicly available.
12:35
Comment From McGuire
Couldn’t Jon Lester be a candidate for dark horse trade candidate?
12:35
Dave Cameron: Things would need to fall apart pretty fast for the Red Sox to do that, I think.
12:36
Comment From Garold
Jeff said in a previous chat that K%-BB% is a better stat than K9/BB9. Can you explain why?
12:38
Dave Cameron: Using batters faced instead of innings pitched as the denominator is a more accurate representation of actual talent. Dividing by innings pitched can inflate numbers for guys who give up a lot of baserunners. K, ground out, ground out is only 9 K/9, but K, single, single, K, single, single, groundout is 18 K/9 even though it’s a lower percentage of batters faced.
12:38
Comment From Ray
Dark horse candidate: Dustin Pedroia….contract is tradeable and Betts close to ready. Thoughts?
12:38
Dave Cameron: Pretty sure he got a full no-trade.
12:39
Comment From Greh
What would it take for the cardinals to get beltre
12:39
Dave Cameron: I can’t see Texas moving him.
12:39
Comment From Justin
Rumors have Johnny Cueto on the block. What would be an ideal trade for Cueto with specific prospects?
12:39
Dave Cameron: The Reds are playing well. I’d throw those rumors away.
12:40
Comment From Guest
Shelby Miller, Piscotty and Reyes, is that enough for Price?
12:40
Dave Cameron: No.
12:40
Comment From Todd
Also, in the context of being a 21 year old catcher in AA – isn’t a .341 wOBA and 108 Rc+ really good? Comparing Sanchez to Montero just seems lazy.
12:41
Dave Cameron: You can’t play the “for a catcher” card when a guy sucks at catching.
12:41
Dave Cameron: Sanchez’s bat looks nothing special for any defensive position he can actually play.
12:42
Comment From Baseball Salamander
Coffee? Tea? Kombucha? What’s Dave Cameron’s sunlight-hours beverage of choice?
12:42
Dave Cameron: Water. I
12:42
Dave Cameron: I’ve never really gotten into warm beverages.
12:42
Comment From Martian
There’s a case to be made that Justin Smoak is a serviceable 1B if he played in a hitters park. Safeco is too big for him.
12:42
Dave Cameron: Justin Smoak has played plenty of road games in his career and hasn’t been good there either.
12:43
Comment From Jim C
How good is Kris Bryant really? I’m a die hard Cubs fan and I’m new to advanced stats, but I’m pretty excited about the Cubs, and right now it starts with Bryant.
12:43
Dave Cameron: Friend in the game threw a Troy Glaus comp on him. Sounds about right to me.
12:44
Comment From Gila Monster
Does the DH penalty apply to full time DHs? If so, is this adjusted for in their positional adjustment? If no, why not?
12:44
Dave Cameron: Yep, the position adjustment includes a credit for the DH penalty.
12:45
Comment From Aaron
Why isn’t fWAR open source? Transparency is nice. It obviously won’t shut up the haters, but it’s one less thing they can complain about.
12:46
Dave Cameron: We made the formula as public as possible; there’s a seven part series in the Library entry explaining the calculations. Some of the components, UZR and UBR for example, do not belong to us, and we do not have the ability or right to hand over the code.
12:47
Comment From Danny
What non-pitching players will be traded from the Cubs before the end of season?
12:47
Dave Cameron: Nate Schierholtz, Luis Valbuena, maybe Justin Ruggiano.
12:47
Comment From Tom
Marco Gonzales is starting for the Cardinals tonight – think he’s getting a trade bait showcase for scouts?
12:47
Dave Cameron: You don’t showcase a prospect by making him start in Coors Field.
12:48
Comment From person hscer
Um, can you explain that run differential answer again? I’m sure it makes sense, but my brain’s only reaction is “Hur-DURRRR?”
12:49
Dave Cameron: Pythag record (or run differential) strips the timing out of wins and losses. But if you think that’s a good idea, why would you not also want to strip the timing out of runs scored and runs allowed? Stopping at run differential is going halfway, giving teams credit for the sequencing of their hits but not the sequencing of their runs. It’s silly.
12:51
Comment From Decatur
As I recall, Matthew Carruth likes “base runs” more than run differential to measure a team’s performance. Do you like using “base runs” as well, and are there any sites that give teams’ base runs and expected record because of them? Couldn’t find anything on FanGraphs about it.
12:51
Dave Cameron: Stay tuned!
12:51
Comment From Tim
Who closes for the Padres if both Street and Benoit get traded?
12:51
Dave Cameron: You have to win games to need a closr.
12:51
Dave Cameron: Or a closer, too.
12:52
Comment From Tom
Do you think any teams will take a shot at trading for Cliff Lee?
12:53
Dave Cameron: I think he’s an August trade guy, if he’s healthy.
12:53
Comment From person hscer
I know it’s easy to calculate, but can K-BB% be added to the stats customizer?
12:53
Dave Cameron: It’s already there.
12:53
Comment From Bret
If the Rangers don’t move Beltre, what’s their plan for the infield? I can’t imagine they’d find a taker for Andrus, and Odor looks like a solid second base option (or better). What happens to Profar when he’s ready to return?
12:53
Dave Cameron: They could move Andrus if they pick up some of the contract.
12:54
Comment From PS
ICED coffee? ICED tea? ICED kombucha?
12:54
Dave Cameron: Iced water is cheaper and better for you.
12:54
Comment From Catoblepas
How do positional adjustments deal with the Ben Zobrists/Brock Holts of the world? Are performances scaled based on what position they were playing on a given day, or is it averaged across playing time? Something else?
12:54
Dave Cameron: Yes, positional adjustment is applied on a game basis.
12:55
Comment From Magic 8-Ball
You’re the owner of the Padres — who do you hire? (Hint: Forst.)
12:55
Dave Cameron: Girsch.
12:55
Comment From Elig
When do you think Gallo plays in the Majors?
12:55
Dave Cameron: Next year.
12:55
Comment From Justin
Looking at what the Royals gave up for Shields (and the other stuff they got), why is Shelby Miller, Piscotty and Reyes so far off for Price? Price is more expensive and has only 75% of the team control left that Shields had. If that’s far off Price’s price, I’m no longer sure I want my Pirates to pursue him.
12:56
Dave Cameron: Shelby Miller is broken.
12:56
Dave Cameron: Maybe he’s fixable, maybe he’s not, but he’s not the primary return for a good player.
12:57
Comment From Will
You’re a fan of Arrieta’s stuff. At 28, is he someone the Cubs can build around or should he be extended for two-three years this offseason?
12:57
Dave Cameron: They already have him under club control for next five years. No need to extend him.
12:58
Comment From Jon Sullivan
It would be really weird to see Zobrist in a non-Rays uniform, right? His weird mix of skills has seemed to really encapsulate what the Rays have built over the past several years.
12:59
Dave Cameron: A’s, Cards have similar philosophies. He’d fit both places.
12:59
Comment From Tucker
If Lee goes on waivers, wouldn’t a team like the Yankees just claim him? Seems like they would risk the payroll addition to get a guy like him
12:59
Dave Cameron: August waivers are revocable. If a team claimed him, they would still have to trade for him or not get him.
12:59
Comment From Baseball Salamander
Do you ever feel an itch to write about something other than baseball?
1:00
Dave Cameron: Yeah. I don’t want to get into fiction writing or anything, but I have thought about branching out and writing about other subjects in the future.
1:01
Comment From Grand Admiral Braun
Can you hint as to where Rizzo may end up in your next Trade Value series? Top-15 too optimistic?
1:01
Dave Cameron: Yeah, he won’t be that high.
1:02
Comment From Mike T.
Could you see yourself writing travel reviews of the best ski spots? Something like that? Fun perks too!
1:03
Dave Cameron: If someone wants to offer me that gig, I’m all ears. But realistically, it’s highly unlikely that there’s a better job out there for me than the one I already have. I love FG, and my job is awesome. So, I’m not going anywhere.
1:03
Dave Cameron: Well, that’s not true. I am going to get lunch now.
1:03
Dave Cameron: Thanks for hanging out everyone.



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

27 Responses to “Dave Cameron FanGraphs Chat – 6/25/14”

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  1. Ryan C says:

    The Brewers are going against Strasburg today with the following lineup:
    Gennett 4
    Segura 6
    Gomez 8
    Overbay 3
    Reynolds 5
    Davis 7
    Herrera 9
    Maldonado 2
    Estrada 1

    Get out your brooms!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Quilcene says:

    Is there a date that the M’s will wait for to bring Taijuan Walker up, so as to gain another year of club control, and if so, what is that date?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. Wobatus says:

    I just paid $80 to Jiffy Lube to drain and refill transmission fluid for my 2012 Honda Pilot with 35,000 miles on it, which I just got certified pre-owned in March from the dealer. The guys said the dealer would not have taken care of fluids before selling and I should get it done before driving to South Carolina this week. My wife says I am an idiot and I should only have transmission fluid dealt with at dealer (but nothing else unless on warranty).

    Is my wife right, am I an idiot? Wait, is this Click and Clack the Tappet Brothers? Hello, you’re on cartalk? It isn’t?

    OK, should I hold onto Oscar Taveras i expectation he’ll be a Ray and start rest of season, or trade him in a package for Chris Davis. Keeper league. But flags fly forever, right?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. Urbanman says:

    Is this the week that Dave might admit he got something wrong? Or will he continue to say, MARINERS ARE JUST LUCKY. THEY WILL FALL SOON. BLAH BLAH BLAH!

    -12 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Wobatus says:

      Dave should just say “on the one hand, on the other hand” and change his opinion every week. That’s entertainment.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Naveen says:

      Wait, so first Dave was wrong about Brad Miller, and now that he’s hitting you think he was right about Brad Miller all along?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Urbanman says:

        Ummm since when is .205 a good hitter? You nerds yell about SSS when its against you but when its for you, its never brought up. Again, another effing drone.

        Miller sucks.

        -10 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Urbanman says:

        If it was a player that Dave didn’t like then he would just call us stupid for getting excited over Miller and 2 weeks is nothing. But because he liked Miller, this is the REAL DEAL! Listen to yourselves lol morons.

        Dave bashed Seager when he was first up and he’s the best position player they develeped in years!

        -9 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Teej says:

      You’re letting something highly inconsequential negatively affect your life on a very regular basis. I hope you figure out whatever’s bothering you this much. Surely it can’t be a baseball writer.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. Urbanman says:

    Sad part about Dave is he jumped off the bandwagon right before they got good. FAIR WEATHER FAN! Favorite organization is the Cardinals right now. What a joke!

    -14 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Catoblepas says:

      I’ve started reading these before the chat, they really are great. Dave, any chance this can be a regular column? They’re remarkably entertaining.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Jason says:

      Dave’s was writing over at USSM for over a decade about some pretty terrible teams, let’s give him a break. The article Geoff Baker wrote about Jack Zduriencik makes it hard to root for a team with him as their GM.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Dave Cameron's Puppy says:

      “Fans” are so annoying.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. jpg says:

    When are fans going to realize that they aren’t the only ones who know when their player is broken? Memo to Cards fans: Shelby Miller is going to headline a David Price deal. Just stop it already.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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