FanGraphs After Dark Chat – 1/7/14

6:16
Paul Swydan: HI EVERYBODY!

Welcome to the first FanGraphs After Dark chat of 2014!!!!

I hear there’s some sort of big announcement tomorrow. Something about a Hall of something? Ah, it’s probably nothing.

Anyway, Jeff and I will be here at 9 pm ET to cram as much baseball as possible into your ever-waiting gobs. So pop some questions into the queue and we’ll see you at 9!

9:02
Paul Swydan: Two minutes guys.
9:03
Paul Swydan: OK, let’s light this candle!
9:03
Comment From jv
Who is the best keeper for 2014 season? Josh Donaldson, Trevor Rosenthal, Patrick Corbin or Kris Medlen?
9:04
Paul Swydan: For strictly 2014, I will say Donaldson. Long-term I like Rosenthal, especially if he finds his way back to the starting rotation.
9:04
Jeff Zimmerman: Donaldson, I always like taking the hitter, but it is a tough call.

9:04
Comment From amory
how do you see the cardinals outfield amd first base zituatiom working out? taveras ever going to see playing time?
9:05
Paul Swydan: I think when everyone is healthy, it will be Adams at first base, Craig in RF, Bourjos in CF and Holliday in LF. Jay spots everyone in OF.

In interleague, one of Holliday, Craig or Adams DHs, and Jay starts in the field.

I’m honestly not sure how Taveras fits in at this juncture, but barring an injury I don’t expect to see him up before June.

9:06
Jeff Zimmerman: I think he will, Jay is not really that good. I see Allen at 1B and Adams struggle in the majors. Adam’s 2nd half struggles were caused by over shifting him (in the THT annual).
9:06
Paul Swydan: It sure was! Did you guys buy that puppy? Lots of good stuff in there.
9:06
Comment From The Oberamtmann
Isn’t a writer’s decision to never vote for anyone in the PED era (but yes to Morris!) completely ignoring his obligation as a journalist? As a historian, I am always amazed at how different things look if you approach them from the context of the times. Is he being self-righteous, utterly disingenuous, or just flipping stupid?
9:07
Paul Swydan: All of the above. And you have to understand, a lot of these guys aren’t really journalists.
9:08
Jeff Zimmerman: I really don’t mind. Everyone decided to ignore the PED issue, so everyone has to deal with the mess they allowed to be created. I actually find it funny.
9:08
Paul Swydan: The big problem is that many writers end up feeling more beholden to the teams and writers, because if they don’t play nice with them they get frozen out, and then they don’t have a job.
9:08
Paul Swydan: It is absolutely funny. Sad, but funny too.
9:08
Comment From (not that) James
GREG MADDUX JUICED! Vegetables most likely. #NerdJuicePower
9:08
Comment From Joe K
What different projection systems will the FanGraphs depth charts have? Currently they only have Steamer.
9:09
Jeff Zimmerman: Paul?
9:09
Paul Swydan: Once all of the ZiPS team projections are out, we should have ZiPS and Steamer. That is what we had last year, and that’s why the depth charts were such a unique product, because they averaged the two projection systems.
9:10
Paul Swydan: I haven’t been told definitely that’s what we’re doing for 2014, but since I haven’t been told we’re not, I assume that is what we’ll be doing.
9:10
Comment From Jaack
I got a jury duty notice on my birthday…. for th second year in a row.
9:10
Paul Swydan: You need a new birthday!
9:10
Comment From Shippy
Who will be baseball’s best player in ten years?
9:10
Paul Swydan: Duh, Xander Bogaerts.
9:10
Jeff Zimmerman: Trout, but still won’t win an MVP
9:11
Paul Swydan: No, just kidding. If it’s not Mike Trout, it’ll be someone who we don’t yet know about today.
9:11
Comment From Grant
Hey guys thanks for chatting through the offseason, any chance we can keep this chat HOF free? No? In that case, can I get some opinions on Iwakuma? Worth T.Walker and pitcher like Nolasco in a fantasy league?
9:12
Paul Swydan: Nope.

And nope, I’d rather have Walker + Nolasco than Iwakuma. Iwakuma is nice, but he’s not as good as his shiny ERA from last year.

9:12
Jeff Zimmerman: If keeper league, no. If just 2014, yes.
9:12
Comment From Jake
How do you deal with talking baseball with your dad? My dad turned me onto baseball when I was five, I see a game with him every year. I try to teach him saber metric concepts they don’t really take. He still calls players clutch, praises RBIs and avg, and thinks Jeter plays shortstop well, defensively. It’s worse with my grandparents. How do you guys deal with this stuff?
9:14
Jeff Zimmerman: Slowly and I love to point out the exceptions. One good way is to ask if they would trade player X for player Y. Would they trade Guthrie for Kershaw since they had the same number of Winzzzzzz.
9:15
Paul Swydan: My dad actually reads the chats sometimes, and he’ll ask me questions based on that. Hi, dad!

Otherwise, we don’t talk specific stats. When I say stats-y things, it’ll be like “this guy was 20 percent better than the average player.” He doesn’t care about wRC+, and really, he’s in the majority there. So we talk in component stats. This guy has good plate discipline. This guy has a devastating fastball. Etc. Etc.

That is admittedly easier because my dad doesn’t spend a lot of time looking up stats to begin with.

9:15
Jeff Zimmerman: BTW, great question.
9:15
Paul Swydan: Yes, fantastic question.
9:15
Comment From Ethan
What is Jackie Bradley jr’s upside? Do you think he holds the job for the hole year…if the sox add a piece in the outfield I would rather see them do something in left for Jonny Gomes.
9:16
Paul Swydan: Hole!

I think his upside is as a four-win player, very good defense and baserunning with say a .280/.350/.400 line.

9:17
Jeff Zimmerman: I was thinking Victorino
9:17
Paul Swydan: And yes, I do think he’ll hold the job this year.
9:18
Comment From Rob
(insert outrage here about Gurnick’s ballot)
9:18
Paul Swydan: As someone who worked with Ken Gurnick intermittently over a two-year span, I can tell you that I was ZERO percent surprised by his ballot.
9:18
Jeff Zimmerman: The system is the system and we are stuck with it. Outrage should be with the system, not Gurnick.
9:19
Comment From Park Chan hos Beard
In Jeff Sullivan’s chat, he mentioned that Chacin would be really great just about anywhere else, and I agree. I love Chacin. As a Rockies fan, I want Chacin to pitch for the Rockies, but as a Chacin fan, I want to see him get out of the vacuum and pitch in a not terrible altitude. What do I do???
9:19
Paul Swydan: Just root for his arm to not fall off until he reaches free agency?
9:20
Jeff Zimmerman: Buy a Rockie Dog
9:21
Paul Swydan: YES! And a Helton Burger. God, I want a Helton Burger so much. It’d be worth the flight just to get one, but I can’t get one until April. BAHHHHHHHH!!!
9:21
Comment From Rob
Seriously, though, how did Glavine get so many votes? He’s good, sure, and he’s deserving, sure, but nothing about his numbers screams “all-time great.” 3.54 ERA? 1.31 WHIP? Those aren’t good numbers compared to other hall of famers. There’s 300 wins, sure; but Thomas got two MVPs, and he’s getting fewer votes. What’s up with that?
9:21
Paul Swydan: He won 300 games, and the feel-good story of him, Maddux and Cox being inducted all in the same year was not going to be denied.
9:21
Paul Swydan: It’s really that simple.
9:22
Jeff Zimmerman: What Paul said.
9:22
Paul Swydan: Stupid Smoltz screwed up the whole plan by playing for an extra year.
9:22
Comment From The Oberamtmann
Worked with Gurnick, Paul? Was he as disingenuous and self-righteous in person as on the ballot?
9:23
Paul Swydan: Well, I never met him in person, but he was always pretty rude to me over email and instant messenger.
9:23
Comment From Jills Nipple
I’m from Pittsburgh. Are you more excited to see JBJ or Gregory Polanco?
9:24
Jeff Zimmerman: For me, Polanco.
9:24
Paul Swydan: Well, that’s a loaded question, because I’m from Boston. BUT, I will say that I have them both in our staff Ottoneu league, so I’m very excited about both of them.
9:24
Comment From Mr. Wrestling IV
Cooperstown is a lovely little village. Can’t we just enjoy the landscape of upstate New York for a while?
9:25
Paul Swydan: Sure, I’ll call you when I get there in 18 days.

If MLB had any stones, they would buy out a block in Manhattan and donate the property to the Hall of Fame so that they could move to a location that people visit the other 364 days of the year.

9:25
Jeff Zimmerman: No, writers need something to write about during this dead period.
9:26
Comment From Rob
If Mattingly had hung around for the Yankees’ Championships, would he be in the Hall?
9:27
Paul Swydan: Probably, because he played on some not good teams, and leading any of them to the Hall probably would have been an MVP-caliber performance.

If he just had his the playing record we remember, but on World Series teams? Maybe, but I don’t think so. He’s still so far away that I don’t think the postseason bump would have been enough.

9:27
Jeff Zimmerman: He would have needed to contribute. I would have liked to have seen Murphy have a 4-5 more season. He was just dominate in the early 80′s
9:27
Comment From Toby
Could Asdrubal be a candidate to move to third mid season if Chisenhall doesn’t improve and Lindor is ready for promotion?
9:27
Paul Swydan: Asdrubal should be a candidate for the waiver wire, to be perfectly honest with you. But sure, if Santana can’t stick there, you could move Asdrubal there. Honestly though, if Santana can hang, I’d say that’s a better plan.
9:28
Jeff Zimmerman: Maybe, but I think it would be ugly.
9:28
Comment From FU Jobu
How many Abs do you see for Schoop ?
9:28
Paul Swydan: Abs? I don’t know how many there are, I haven’t seen my abs in years.

As for ABs, I’d say probably 200-300. I don’t think he is just handed the job.

9:28
Jeff Zimmerman: 200, I don’t like what I have seen of Schoop.
9:29
Comment From FU Jobu
Can Urrutia make the roster?
9:29
Paul Swydan: I think he probably should, yes.
9:29
Comment From Mr. Wrestling IV
Helton Burger sounds like he’d make a pretty sweet Bond villain.
9:29
Jeff Zimmerman: Probably, tough to tell right now.
9:30
Paul Swydan: It really does. A good wrestling villain too!
9:30
Comment From Steve-O
What are your thoughts on Kolten Wong for this year?
9:30
Paul Swydan: My main thought is, “Meh.”
9:31
Jeff Zimmerman: I would not count on anything early. I think Ellis will get quite a bit of playing time.
9:31
Comment From Jaack
Important: One of the headlines on weather.com is that ‘Almost Everyone is Dead.’ Can you verify that most people are, in fact, dead?
9:32
Jeff Zimmerman: No, I really don’t want to go out in the cold.
9:32
Paul Swydan: I can’t right now, but you can see it on DeadGraphs. Coming soon.
9:32
Comment From FU Jobu
Do the Rangers give Choice a chance or do they sign a FA of?
9:33
Paul Swydan: I think he’ll be the fourth outfielder.
9:33
Jeff Zimmerman: All signs point to him being a backup right now.
9:34
Comment From Jaack
Who would be your pity HoF vote of choice (the guy with no chance at even 5%)? I know I’d love it if Ray Durham got a vote or 2.
9:34
Paul Swydan: If I ever did that, it’d absolutely be Mike Timlin.
9:34
Jeff Zimmerman: I would go with Ray Durham also.
9:35
Comment From Jake
What are the best baseball blogs?
9:35
Paul Swydan: FanGraphs, RotoGraphs, NotGraphs and The Hardball Times?
9:35
Jeff Zimmerman: and Baseballheatmaps
9:35
Paul Swydan: YES!
9:36
Comment From Harry Lime
Is a trade of Tulo for Bogaerts just nutz? Roto 5×5 limited keeper
9:38
Jeff Zimmerman: Really depends on 2014 plans. I like the trade and would go with Tulo. I won’t start a fantasy season with the plans of rebuilding.
9:38
Paul Swydan: Ayayay. Depends on where you are on the winning curve. If you’re trying to win now….
9:38
Comment From Fernando
For fantasy ball in 2014: Pujols or Fielder?
9:38
Paul Swydan: I’ll say Fielder.
9:38
Jeff Zimmerman: Fielder
9:38
Comment From D. Jeter
Any reason Jacoby Ellsbury doesn’t go .295/90 R/ 70 RBI/ 12 HR/45 SB in NY this year? And Isn’t he a top ten fantasy dude if he does something like that?
9:38
Jeff Zimmerman: I will move up Pujols once I see him actually run,
9:39
Paul Swydan: He would be, but I don’t think I would project him to steal 45 bases.
9:39
Jeff Zimmerman: I don’t see the AVG and SB that high, but he could easily be a top 10-20 player if he can stay on the field.
9:41
Comment From Guest
Many writers are recklessly opining that plate discipline (Choo) ages gracefully. Is there any evidence of this that you know of? Or does it just sound rightish.
9:41
Paul Swydan: Jeff covered this just recently. Jeff?
9:41
Paul Swydan: But it just does sound rightish. I said the same thing until I saw Jeff’s work.
9:42
Comment From Guest
Crisp ($5) or Teixeira ($8)?
9:42
Paul Swydan: Crisp.
9:42
Jeff Zimmerman: The players age better initially, but still decline. Crisp easily
9:43
Comment From Joe K
Is it possible we’ll see different depth charts with different projection systems instead of an average? Like separate ones for Steamer/ZiPS/Oliver/PECOTA/etc.
9:43
Jeff Zimmerman: Paul?
9:43
Paul Swydan: Uh, it’s possible, but it sounds like a lot of work, so I don’t think that’ll end up happening. Certainly not PECOTA, since we — you know — don’t own the rights to it and junk.
9:44
Comment From Guest
Who do you see playing center for the twins? I would think that they start with mastorriani and then quickly go with hicks if he’s doing anything in the minors. What are your thoughts?
9:44
Comment From Rob
Speaking of pity votes… Carlos Delgado. I remember the offensive strategy for a number of those Toronto teams was “get on base and wait for Delgado to hit a home run.” It’s too bad he couldn’t find anyone to compile his way up to 500 for–posted 2 WAR/150 games for the last two years of his career, so he was still productive and could have conceivably made it.
9:44
Paul Swydan: That sounds about right, but I haven’t spent much time researching the Twins. Mainly because they’re the Twins.
9:45
Paul Swydan: Yeah, but Delgado’s also a jerk who wouldn’t stand for the Star Spangled Banner. Hard to give him my sympathy with that knowledge in my back pocket.
9:45
Jeff Zimmerman: I think Hicks may get the job out of ST.
9:45
Comment From Jose Luis
Rumor is that Ubaldo Jimenez wants $14 mm per year. This rumor seems… reasonable. Does he sign before Tanaka? where?
9:46
Paul Swydan: I’d be surprised if he signed a) before Tanaka and b) with anyone other than the Indians.
9:47
Jeff Zimmerman: He can ask whatever he wants. He won’t sign before Tanaka and I will disagree with Paul and see he going back with the Indians for one season.
9:47
Paul Swydan: No, that’s what I meant. I see him back on the Indians.
9:47
Comment From Bill
What’s next to come out of FanGraphs? We have RotoGraphs, NotGraphs, Community Research… hell, even BeerGraphs. I’d like to see mlbtraderumors.comGraphs
9:47
Paul Swydan: You’ll just have to stay tuned. :-) 2014 should be a good year.
9:48
Comment From Jim
Stephen Strasburg, is it to early to say overhyped? He’s put up good numbers, but nothing close to what was heralded. Has he peaked?
9:48
Paul Swydan: It’s too early, I think. If he has another year like last year in 2014, then we can begin to have that conversation.
9:49
Jeff Zimmerman: 2014 will be huge with him, but I don’t have faith in him. I just think he throws too hard to stay healthy.
9:49
Comment From Mr. Wrestling IV
Once Tony Graffanino officially retires, he’ll get my pity vote.
9:49
Comment From Mr. Wrestling IV
And I’d have loved to see Olerud stick around on the ballot for longer.
9:49
Comment From Senor Poop
I got the sickest tattoo today. You have any?
9:49
Paul Swydan: None for me. Jeff?
9:50
Jeff Zimmerman: Some how I spent 6 years without getting one. I must not have gotten drunk enough.
9:50
Paul Swydan: That’s gotta be it.
9:50
Comment From Gabe
I just quizzed my mom [I'm writing from her basement, of course] on whether she’d heard of various sports players. The results: she knows A-Rod, Jeter, Beltran, Wright, Ortiz, and Cabrera, but no other major baseball figures. At least that’s better than her knowledge of basketball or football… Anyway, you’re welcome.
9:51
Jeff Zimmerman: Thanks.
9:51
Paul Swydan: Ha. I’d be surprised if my mom knew Beltran, Wright or Cabrera.
9:51
Comment From Jills Nipple
Over/Under 140 games for Puig?
9:52
Paul Swydan: I’ll say under just because of their outfield depth. If they trade Crawford/Ethier/Kemp, then I could see the over.
9:52
Jeff Zimmerman: Over right now.
9:52
Jeff Zimmerman: I think Puig will not get rested like the others.
9:52
Comment From Sgt. Pepper
Jays legit playoff contenders as Sullivan’s article implied?
9:52
Paul Swydan: Yeah, I could see it, provided they do a little something more SP-wise.
9:52
Jeff Zimmerman: Not yet, they need some more pitching.
9:52
Comment From Mr. Wrestling IV
4×4 OttoNeu: Belt or Hosmer?
9:53
Paul Swydan: Belt
9:53
Jeff Zimmerman: Hosmer on playing time. I think Posey will still time from Belt.
9:53
Comment From Chris
Who has the highest floor? Zack Wheeler, Danny Salazar, or Taijuan Walker?
9:53
Jeff Zimmerman: Walker
9:54
Paul Swydan: Yeah, Walker or Wheeler based on the pedigree.
9:54
Jeff Zimmerman: Wheeler needs to get his walks down.
9:54
Comment From Rob
You may recall the Iraq War wasn’t entirely popular. Delgado was making a political statement against that war. And it wasn’t the national anthem he didn’t stand for, it was “God Bless America.” Is being a pacifist “being a jerk?”
9:55
Paul Swydan: He could have not stood up for it without making it into a big deal. Which he happily did. Pass.
9:56
Comment From Bill
What would you trade for Puig if he was available?
9:56
Paul Swydan: Absolutely.
9:57
Jeff Zimmerman: Yes as long as the Dodgers let him be himself. I could see them turn into Nazi’s and Puig has to play stifled.
9:57
Comment From Rob
What young-ish coaches have the best chances to make the hall of fame?
9:57
Paul Swydan: Like actual coaches, or managers? Terry Francona probably has a shot.
9:57
Jeff Zimmerman: I don’t see any.
9:58
Jeff Zimmerman: I would love to see Leyland make it and smoking during his induction speech.
9:58
Comment From Steve-O
i believe that question was “what” would you trade for Puig, if he was available, say in your fantasy league.
9:59
Paul Swydan: So you’re saying I don’t know how to read?

Scrolls up.

Oh.

9:59
Paul Swydan: A lot. 23-yr-old outfielder with speed, power and a cannon for an arm? Those don’t come around a lot.
9:59
Jeff Zimmerman: Just about everyone outside of the top 12
10:00
Comment From Jeff
Does anyone name their boys Jeff anymore? I don’t know any kids named Jeff. Jeff, did you name your boy Jeff Jr? Would you pull a George Foreman and name them all Jeff? How many boys do you plan on having anyway!
10:00
Paul Swydan: Yeah, JEFF.
10:01
Jeff Zimmerman: I have one kid and he is named Cole. And you are right, Jeff seems to be a dying name.
10:02
Comment From Steve-O
jumping off that Pujols question at what point does he become a value in a redraft league?
10:04
Jeff Zimmerman: Once a starting roster is set, I would like to have 1B set before relying on him. My opinion could change if he is actually healthy in spring training.
10:04
Paul Swydan: And yes, Jeff is a declining name. According to the Social Security website, it ranked 48th in 1963, 192nd in 1973, 413rd in 1983, 714th in 1993, and 977 in 2002.
10:05
Paul Swydan: I would say that once you’re into the 10th round, I’d grab Pujols. But yes, I would want to have another option at 1B just in case.
10:05
Comment From Mr. Wrestling IV
Paul, you just used Frank Costanza’s Jay Buhner profile to describe Puig.
10:05
Paul Swydan: My baseball people said Ken Phelps, Ken Phelps!
10:06
Comment From Sgt. Pepper
Is Paul still a popular name? I want to name my child Paul.
10:07
Paul Swydan: It’s way more popular than Jeff, that’s fo damn sure!
10:07
Paul Swydan: (it really is, I just looked it up on SSA)
10:07
Comment From Steve-O
Thanks, wasn’t trying to be an ass, i have him in a league where you get to keep 1 player takin later than the 4th round in the prior year. I drafted Goldy in the 4th so Puig and Jose Fernandez are in the keeper discussion for me.
10:08
Paul Swydan: Man, that’s a tough one. I’d keep Puig, because hitter > pitcher. But I couldn’t fault either choice.
10:09
Comment From Sgt. Pepper
Presumably people being named Paul peaked some point in the mid 60s.
10:09
Jeff Zimmerman: Puig, Fernandez may be on an innings limit also which could be devastating in a H2H league.
10:09
Paul Swydan: Yeah, it was in the top 20 in the 60′s.
10:09
Comment From Jose Luis
Where does Nick Franklin end up? Orioles? Jays? White Sox? Mariners??
10:10
Paul Swydan: Yeah, that storyline vanished quickly, eh? Orioles would make a lot of sense if they’re not sold on either Schoop or Jemile Weeks. Blue Jays would also make a lot of sense.
10:10
Jeff Zimmerman: Mariners for now. I could see him moved near the trade deadline for “help” if the Mariners are in the Wild Card Race.
10:10
Comment From pat
At least your name is spelt correctly and not “Geoff”
10:10
Jeff Zimmerman: Correct.
10:10
Paul Swydan: Man, Geoff Young is gonna be pissed if he reads this!
10:11
Jeff Zimmerman: It is not his fault his parents couldn’t spell ;)
10:11
Paul Swydan: And my wife is gonna be pissed if we don’t wrap this up. So in the spirit of not getting divorced — that’d be a bad way to start the year, eh? — we’re going to call it a night.

Thanks as always for hanging out guys. Be safe on the internets tomorrow after the HOF announcement!

10:12
Jeff Zimmerman: Bye y’all.



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Paul Swydan is the co-managing editor of The Hardball Times, a writer and editor for FanGraphs and a writer for ESPN Insider. Follow him on Twitter @Swydan.

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