FanGraphs After Dark Chat – 1/14/14

6:28
Paul Swydan: Hi everybody!

Jeff and i will be here at 9 pm ET to take all of your baseball questions. I apologize in advance for any stupid things we do because of the new Cover It Live format. Like any good American, we tend to hate new things, and while this isn’t totally new I still hate it.

Anyway, see you soon!

9:01
Paul Swydan: One sec.
9:01
Paul Swydan: Alright, let’s do this thing.
9:01
Comment From Meano Eno
Paul, when will Xander be inducted in the HoF?
9:02
Paul Swydan: Are you saying he isn’t already in the HOF? Child, please.
9:02
Comment From Kev
Do you trust Liriano for the coming year?

9:02
Paul Swydan: Trust is a strong word, and one that no, I’m not prepared to use. I’d say I’m cautiously optimistic, but Liriano has burned me before.
9:04
Jeff Zimmerman: cautiously optimistic … good one. I would have a plan B in place if/when he falters.
9:04
Comment From Edge O
Not looking likely that the O’s sign a closer. So who gets the job out of ST? whoever it is do they keep the job all year?
9:05
Jeff Zimmerman: Hunter out of ST. I see him keeping it. It wasn’t like Johnson lit the world on fire and he kept the job for 2 seasons.
9:06
Paul Swydan: Mikey Podz tackled this today for RG:

http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/tommy-hunters-closing-opportunity/

Basically, Hunter would be a mid-tier option or worse. Which is all they were going to find on the free-agent market, and I think that includes Balfour. So congrats to Baltimore for not wasting their money on a guy with a capital C on his chest.

9:06
Comment From Edge O
NYY infield appears to be a mess. Who sees most of the playing time at 2B and 3B?
9:06
Paul Swydan: I’m actually looking into this tomorrow — with a big assist from Jeff — for ESPN. Right now, it seems like Kelly Johnson and Brian Roberts, but Scott Sizemore and Dean Anna are lurking.
9:07
Jeff Zimmerman: I think Kelly Johnson for both …. I really like Anna. Nice sleeper pick I found writing my FG+ article.
9:08
Comment From Kev
How would you rank Sabathia, Masterson, Burnett and Jimenez next year only?
9:09
Jeff Zimmerman: Masterson, Sabathia, jimenez, Burnett. Sabathia could drop quickly if his speed is still down.
9:09
Paul Swydan: Hmmm. Burnett has to be at the bottom until he recommits to pitching.

Off the top of my head, I’d say Sabathia, Jimenez and Masterson, with Burnett conservatively slotting in at 2 if he decides he wants to play again.

9:09
Paul Swydan: DISAGREEMENTS!
9:09
Comment From Edge O
Is Lawrie a post-hype sleeper? What kind of slash line do you see in 2014?
9:09
Comment From Meano Eno
FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT
9:11
Paul Swydan: He could be, yeah. I think his second half line – .283/.346/.417 is reasonable. Certainly you’d like to see the SLG be higher than that for someone at third base, but his ISO was actually lower in the second half than the first, so I’m not optimistic it will get higher.
9:11
Jeff Zimmerman: .260/.320/.400. Maybe Alex Gordon post-hype production.
9:12
Comment From Highway61
Last keeper, deep league, k/9 and bb/9: Cashner or Ryu? Both cost about the same. Thanks.
9:12
Paul Swydan: Cashner for me.
9:13
Jeff Zimmerman: Keeper league, Cashner. I think Ryu will be more consistent, but Cashner has more upside.
9:13
Comment From A. Lane
I have a fleeting memory of a question in one of after dark chats, regarding average total innings between first UCL reconstruction and second surgery and the number 400 coming up? Is my memory correct and is there an accompany article? If I am just an old man yelling at a cloud, I’ll move along.
9:14
Paul Swydan: Well, you could be an old man yelling at a cloud, but that is the correct number. 400-600 to be precise, I believe. The article in question is Jeff’s piece from THT’s 2013 Annual.
9:14
Jeff Zimmerman: Close, but it is second major surgery (doesn’t have to be UCL). It is around 400-600 and is from hard throwing pitchers (Strasburg).
9:15
Comment From Yetty
What league other do you see A-Rod eventually turning to once he realizes he’s done in MLB?
9:15
Jeff Zimmerman: Chipendales
9:16
Paul Swydan: Given that he has always hit well against soft stuff, it’d be incredible to watch him in Japan. Watch out, Wladimir!
9:16
Comment From Guest
Long term keeper question – will values almost identical, which side wins? Cargo/Cueto/Zunino for Votto/ShelbyMiller?
9:16
Paul Swydan: Votto/Miller.
9:17
Jeff Zimmerman: I agree, stay away from Cueto, he is keeping the twist in his motion and it has cause his DL issues the past two seasons.
9:17
Paul Swydan: CarGo is rarely healthy for a full season.
Cueto is rarely healthy for even half a season, and Jeff hates his delivery.
And Zunino could have been overrated and plays for a stupid team that won’t maximize his potential.

The opposite is true of Miller, and Votto is VOTTO. No brainer for me.

9:17
Comment From Jaack
A-Rod should do WWE after retirement.
9:18
Paul Swydan: There’s actually a pretty cool WWE GIF of A-Rod floating around.
9:18
Comment From Henry
Wladimir actually got arrested today
9:18
Jeff Zimmerman: Centaurs are allowed?
9:18
Paul Swydan: I saw that. Disappointing.
9:18
Comment From David
Another question: Is it only Mike and Dave contributing to FG+?
9:19
Jeff Zimmerman: Quite a few people. 10 to 15 have individual articles and bunch helped with player profiles.
9:19
Paul Swydan: Ah, no. I am supposed to do that too, but never remember. I will try to do better!

Also, FG+ 2014 is currently being edited, so you will have a whole new batch of goodness to read in a few weeks.

9:19
Comment From Meano Eno
Is there an easy way to see when FG+ posts are posted other than just looking in the FG+ section?
9:20
Paul Swydan: Not that I’m aware of, no. Sorry. We don’t tweet out the links for those because they are essentially reprints of our content that goes up at ESPN MLB Insider.
9:20
Comment From Henry
Jeff (and/or Paul too), can you give me a quick “how to calculate aging curves for dummies”?
9:20
Paul Swydan: That’s for Jeff. Jeff?
9:20
Jeff Zimmerman: One sec
9:21
Paul Swydan: (Although I will note that if you’re trying to calculate aging curves, “dummy” would not be the appropriate term to describe you).
9:21
Jeff Zimmerman: Math in first part of article with some help in the comments:http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2011/5/31/2199146/hitter-aging-curves
9:21
Comment From Jay
Two questions: does lincecum have a resurgence? Does Carlos Gomez equal or exceed last year’s production?
9:22
Paul Swydan: I will say no for Timmay, and no to the exceeding part RE: Gomez. Hoping he equals it though, but that is also asking for a lot.
9:23
Jeff Zimmerman: No on Timmy. Equal on Gomez, Maybe a bit less.
9:23
Comment From Henry
What was your favorite (at least semi-) recent community article?
9:24
Paul Swydan: The one on TIPS. We actually tried to recruit the kid who wrote it, Chris Carruthers, but he ended up interviewing with teams before we could sink our claws in him. Easy come, easy go, I suppose.
9:25
Jeff Zimmerman: The xHitting series.
9:25
Comment From JM
If you were Bryan Price, where would you bat Hamilton?
9:25
Paul Swydan: Ninth.
9:26
Jeff Zimmerman: First according to Price. For me, he would be in AAA.
9:26
Comment From zack
Odds Kershaw makes it to free agency and signs with a non-Dodgers team?
9:27
Paul Swydan: Less than 10 percent.
9:28
Jeff Zimmerman: I will go a bit higher with 25%. 50% chance to free agency and 50% chance he is signs elsewhere. Tananaka will be the baseline.
9:28
Comment From Jake
Can you link the article you were referring to? Chris Carruthers is a fantastic baseball name
9:28
Comment From Rick
Any idea why Steamer seems to hate the Reds starting staff?
9:28
Paul Swydan: It’s not that good?
9:29
Jeff Zimmerman: Checking it out.
9:29
Comment From WillieBloomquistButtCyst
I want to be a baseball blogger/writer (which do you prefer?) like you. Do you have any tips? How do you come up with ideas? I’ve come up with most of my ideas for articles by talking to casual fans about baseball in bars, then wanting to evaluate info with sabermetrics. Is this is bad Hunter S. Thompson path? Did you get started with just solo blog and hope people read it? Thanks!
9:30
Paul Swydan: I don’t think that is a bad plan at all. But then, I spend most of my days talking to a 3-year-old and an infant, so maybe I’m just jealous that you get to go to bars.
9:31
Paul Swydan: For me, ideas are the absolutely hardest thing. It’s hard to be unique. There’s simply a lot of people who write about baseball.
9:31
Jeff Zimmerman: Find something no one else is writing about and dive in.
9:32
Paul Swydan: As for my start, I got my start writing for a living in 2004. I was a marketing intern for Baseball Prospectus, and Joe Sheehan needed some writers, so I volunteered. That’s not really an available career path to a lot of people, so I would say that you should absolutely start your own blog or hitch on with an SB Nation site or something and write there.
9:32
Paul Swydan: Writing and reading are the two most important things you can do.
9:32
Comment From David
Will there be a Fangraphs Android app? Also what’s first on the wishlist for FG?
9:32
Jeff Zimmerman: Many routes to the top and try to write everyday.
9:33
Paul Swydan: Unless you want to build us one for free, then probably not, no.
9:33
Comment From zack
Who had a better career: Randy Johnson or Greg Maddux?
9:34
Paul Swydan: Maddux never killed any birds….
9:34
Jeff Zimmerman: Randy Johnson, he killed a bird. That is all.
9:34
Paul Swydan: Hahaha, classic.
9:34
Jeff Zimmerman: No disagreement there.
9:34
Comment From Jebodia Springfield
If Dean Anna gets 350ab (in favorable situations) his slash line would be___/___/____/
9:35
Paul Swydan: I think we can say with full confidence that if Dean Anna gets to 350 PA/AB, the situations will absolutely not be favorable. Despite his nice projection, he is not Plan A.
9:35
Jeff Zimmerman: .250/.300/.350
9:35
Comment From Jills Nipple
We’re switching to a 5OF OBP/QS dynasty. Please help pick 2 of 3 to start with for free: Trout, Puig, Jose Fernandez.
9:36
Paul Swydan: First, your name is gross. Second, Trout and Puig.
9:36
Paul Swydan: OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG.
9:37
Jeff Zimmerman: Trout for sure. I may go Fernandez. Tough call.
9:37
Paul Swydan: MLBAM just announced that they’re reviving the RBI Baseball franchise.
9:37
Paul Swydan: This might be the best thing that MLBAM has ever done. Wow.
9:37
Comment From Jake
Whoaaaaa
9:37
Comment From Jacob
MLB’s bringing back R.B.I. Baseball. Isn’t that a little outdated by now? Shouldn’t it be W.A.R. Baseball?
9:38
Paul Swydan: Ha.
9:38
Comment From Ethan
Who wins the 2017 World Series?
9:38
Paul Swydan: Red Sox over Cardinals.
9:39
Jeff Zimmerman: Not a bad guess.
9:39
Comment From Greased up deaf guy
More legendary in 50 years… Satchel Paige or Mariano Rivera?
9:40
Jeff Zimmerman: I am guessing Paige.
9:40
Paul Swydan: Why do we have to pick? That ain’t right. But I’ll guess Mo.
9:40
Comment From zack
Has Alex Rodriguez played in his last major league baseball game?
9:40
Paul Swydan: I’ll say no.
9:40
Paul Swydan: Man, can’t get over this RBI Baseball thing. That was the first video game I ever played.
9:40
Jeff Zimmerman: No.
9:41
Comment From Ari Gold
#1 fantasy catcher this season is___________.
9:41
Paul Swydan: Wilin Rosario or Buster Posey.
9:41
Jeff Zimmerman: Mauer.
9:41
Paul Swydan: Or Mauer, ya. Good call, Jeff.
9:41
Jeff Zimmerman: Posey will lose too many PA to Belt.
9:41
Comment From Jake
Baseball W.A.R. is a pretty sweet name
9:42
Paul Swydan: It is, actually.
9:42
Comment From Paul or Jeff? DUN DUN DUN
More legendary in 50 years… Paul Swydan or Jeff Zimmerman?
9:42
Paul Swydan: Jeff.
9:42
Paul Swydan: Jeff actually does research. I just make dumb jokes.
9:42
Jeff Zimmerman: Thanks Paul… I guess.
9:43
Comment From Kupa
What was the best baseball thing you read in 2013?
9:43
Jeff Zimmerman: forgot the time, it was on Gambling and Baseball.
9:44
Jeff Zimmerman: Trading Bases.
9:44
Paul Swydan: If I had to say one thing, it was probably Jon Roegele’s piece in THT ’14. Although Jeff’s was really good too. But this is a good reminder that you should go to Dave Cameron’s post from today and let him know what you think:

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/what-was-the-best-baseball-thing-you-read-in-2013/

9:44
Comment From Tim
Are you rooting for anyone in the Australian Open?
9:44
Jeff Zimmerman: I didn’t even know it was going on.
9:45
Paul Swydan: No, I like tennis, but not enough that I follow it before the semifinals of any major. As far as rooting goes, I like to root for Americans (duh) — particularly Serena Williams. Generally though, I’m happy whenever Federer and Nadal aren’t involved. Those dudes are ugly.
9:46
Comment From Mr. Met
Nats or Braves in the East, and why?
9:46
Paul Swydan: Nats, because they got better and the Braves got worse.
9:46
Jeff Zimmerman: Nats, like the Fister pickup. I am not sure the Braves have enough hitting.
9:47
Comment From ToeKnee
So basically what Paul is saying is Jeff is not necessarily talented, but just will be more legendary because of Paul’s suckiness?
9:48
Paul Swydan: I guess you could infer that, but I actually think Jeff is talented.
9:48
Comment From Rob
Ian Kinsler in a 14 team dynasty league: a couple more good years or sell while you can?
9:48
Paul Swydan: Sell while you can. Maybe one more year. But you’d be pushing it IMO.
9:48
Jeff Zimmerman: Paul is sucking up after I saved him a ton of time today.
9:49
Paul Swydan: Both things are true!
9:49
Comment From Guest
20 team keeper league: $23 Gio a keeper as a #1? #2?
9:49
Jeff Zimmerman: I want to see where Kinsler falls to. I think he will be a nice buy low option.
9:50
Paul Swydan: I guess I can’t comment fully without knowing your cap, but $23 strikes me as a lot of cash and even in a 20-team league, I don’t like the idea of Gio being my best pitcher.
9:50
Jeff Zimmerman: I would want him as a #2. Like Paul said, the league dynamics really matter.
9:50
Comment From Jake
You guys seem to think there’s a chance Kershaw can or will take an extension over testing free agency. Why would he?
9:51
Jeff Zimmerman: Because the Dodgers are going to offer him A-rod type of money (IMO).
9:51
Paul Swydan: Because pitching is a funny thing, and if Kershaw blows out his elbow in July it will probably cost him $200 million. Maybe that’s a bet he’s willing to take, but that’s basically putting all your money on red and spinning the wheel.
9:52
Comment From Jake
Article you’ve written that was the most wrong? That is, predictions you’ve put up that were the furthest off the mark
9:52
Paul Swydan: There are a few candidates for that particular throne of shame, but I think my article on why Daniel Bard was going to be just fine as a starting pitcher takes the cake.
9:52
Jeff Zimmerman: Right before Alex Gordon’s big break out season, I said the Royals should trade him for Delmon Young.
9:53
Comment From Pete
Do you have a favorite mascot?
9:53
Jeff Zimmerman: the Stanford tree
9:54
Paul Swydan: Not really. The San Diego Chicken, maybe. But I don’t understand all the scorn for mascots on Twitter. You’ll all understand when you have children. The mascots are not for you. Make fun of something that deserves snarkiness.
9:54
Comment From Henry
Weakest division in baseball?
9:54
Paul Swydan: NL East is the frontrunner I think.
9:55
Jeff Zimmerman: Agree, maybe AL central
9:55
Comment From Northsider
Maybe I’m missing something. Why would ARod be finished? He is still owed money on his contract. Will this be a George Costanza situation where the hatred of his co-workers would force him to leave?
9:56
Jeff Zimmerman: Some think the Yankees will just pay him his money to go away.
9:56
Paul Swydan: Basically, the working theory is that once his suspension is up, the Yankees will waive him and/or try to void his contract and that he will be blackballed out of the game the same way that Bonds was. I don’t think that will happen in 2015, but I could see it happening in a couple of years.
9:57
Comment From Pete
If you could realign all the divisions, ignoring geography, what are some things you would do?
9:58
Paul Swydan: Well, I really don’t think you could ignore geography, but if I had my way, I would go back to two divisions with two wild cards for each league. It would make winning the division mean a lot more, and it would remove the artificial hope that some teams have and therefore would spice up the trade deadline once again. Teams have understandably grown incredibly conservative with trades, and that is flat out boring.
9:58
Jeff Zimmerman: I am not sure. I don’t hear huge complaints.
9:58
Comment From Gary
Was I the only one who was pissed off this weekend when MLB Network bumped the best games of 1996 for AROD coverage?
9:59
Jeff Zimmerman: I am not pissed, but it was bush league.
9:59
Paul Swydan: Probably. MLB Network needs to be more proactive responding to big news events than they have been. Of course, it would also help if they had competent on-air analysts. But baby steps…
9:59
Comment From Guest
Was ARod playing in any of those best games of 1996?
9:59
Comment From Smith
Why does everyone underestimate the Indians? As I recall, they were one game behind the Tigers in 2013, and the Tigers have gotten worse since then.
10:00
Jeff Zimmerman: I am not 100% sold on the pitching staff with the two departures.
10:00
Paul Swydan: When did we underestimate the Indians? I don’t remember doing that. Although they did lose Kazmir and may lose Ubaldo, so they haven’t exactly been ripping on all cylinders themselves.
10:01
Comment From Guest
Gio question: $260 cap. 5X5, with K. 15 total keepers. No reserves drafted.
10:02
Paul Swydan: $23 is a little steep then, IMO. Not awful, but I still don’t want him as my #1, and at that price, he may have to be.
10:02
Jeff Zimmerman: Maybe keep him. Keeper leagues usually have inflated prices. You may end up spending more for him on auction day.
10:03
Comment From Rob
Shelby Miller or Homer Bailey? Annual league? Dynasty?
10:04
Paul Swydan: In an annual league, you could be forgiven for going conservative with Bailey. Given all of St. Louis’ options, I think only Waino and Wacha are locks for the rotation, so I could see Miller logging some RP time. Longterm though, I definitely prefer Miller to Bailey.
10:04
Jeff Zimmerman: Bailey in both, but it is close.
10:04
Comment From Guest
Gio question: would you rather have Gio @ $23, Greinke @ $25, or Verlander @ $27
10:04
Paul Swydan: Would definitely rather Verlander at that price, and probably Greinke as well.
10:05
Jeff Zimmerman: Geinke since Verlander’s surgery and possibility he will miss some time.
10:05
Comment From Northsider
Any non-sports related book suggestions?
10:06
Paul Swydan: You’ll laugh, but I loved the Hunger Games trilogy. Also, I really enjoyed “The Book Thief.” Those were the most recent non-sports-books I’ve read. I’m reading “Master and Margarita” right now, but it’s not what I thought it would be.
10:07
Jeff Zimmerman: I am trying to think if I read any. I did read all the Walking Dead comics. They were great.
10:07
Comment From ToeKnee
Books Jeff, with words. Not picture books.
10:07
Paul Swydan: Speaking of being among the walking dead, Jeff and I need to get our beauty sleep, so we are going to bid you a good evening. Thanks as always for hanging out, and we’ll catch you again next week!
10:08
Jeff Zimmerman: By everyone.


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


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Buck Buchanan
Guest
Buck Buchanan
2 years 5 months ago

I believe this is the third Fangraphs chat in the last month where it was asserted, almost in passing, that a pitcher who’s had major surgery will only last another 400 to 600 innings before he needs major surgery again. Can that actually be true? If so why aren’t the Nats trying to trade both Strasburg and Zimmermann for pennies on the dollar right now, and cutting bait on Lucas Giolito to boot – by the time he hits the show it will be time for his next Tommy John.
Anibal Sanchez, CJ Wilson, Tyson Ross, John Lackey, Wily Peralta Jaime Garcia, Kris Medlen, Jarrod Parker, John Lackey, Raphael Soriano, Adam Wainwright – all ticking time bombs? I’d really like to see the study that produced this disturbing finding.

jiveballer
Member
jiveballer
2 years 5 months ago

Probably because almost every pitcher is only 400 – 600 innings from needing surgery.

Simon
Guest
Simon
2 years 5 months ago

That, yes. And also, I *think* the (400-600 IP) study mentioned was referring much more to the starting pitchers who rely on 95+ velocity. In essence, if you throw very hard very often, and you break down badly enough to require TJ surgery, then come back and continue along your previous path, you’re a timebomb. And not in a sexy Kylie Minogue way.

Wass
Member
Wass
2 years 5 months ago

My understanding is the study doesn’t say that they will have surgery again after that many innings. It says if they do have another surgery it will likely happen at that time. Also, hard throwers are more at risk for re-injury.

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