FanGraphs After Dark Chat – 3/25/14

6:09
Paul Swydan: Hi everybody! I will see you tonight at 9 pm ET and we’ll talk some baseball. Lots of injuries and positional power rankings and new books about the Expos and all sorts of other junk going on. BASEBALL!

See you soon!

8:59
Paul Swydan: Hey hey hey. Let’s talk some talk.
9:00
Paul Swydan: FYI, Jeff may join us later, but he’s off watching college baseball at the moment. Or was, and is now en route to his house. Or something. Either way, he’s not here right now. So you’re stuck with just me.
9:00
Comment From Kevin
With Phelps not making the rotation in NY, how available is he? Seattle seems to be a team that could use him, and maybe NY could create a package to get Franklin, seems logical to me.
9:01
Paul Swydan: While the Mariners are desperate for pitching, I don’t think Phelps is capable of being the centerpiece of a deal for Franklin, and the Yankees system is thin enough in the upper minors that I don’t see this happening.
9:01
Paul Swydan: I see Phelps as being who he is — a swingman who makes 10 or so starts a year, but is not a guy who is part of Plan A in the starting rotation.

9:01
Comment From brave in da nati
will i get to see christian betancourt gun down billy hamilton this year?
9:02
Paul Swydan: I hope so. If not, then what the hell are we doing with our lives?

Wait, don’t answer that.

9:02
Comment From Spelunker
David Dahl = longterm solution in CF for the Rox?
9:02
Paul Swydan: He is supposed to be, but my stance on all Rockies prospects the last couple of years is guilty until they’re proven innocent.
9:03
Paul Swydan: Either way, the future is not until mid-2015 at the earliest.
9:03
Comment From Spencer00
How long will the offseason projections remain on the player pages, and if they are being taken down, is there any way I can view the projections on the player pages for the rest of the month?
9:04
Paul Swydan: If memory serves, they should remain there for quite some time. They may be HIDDEN shortly, replaced by the R/U Steamer and ZiPS forecasts that change every morning, but the full season lines should be viewable for awhile.
9:04
Comment From Duder
Does Byron Buxton have Trout-like potential? If yes, how likely do you think it is he achieves that? If no, what’s the best player comparison you can think of?
9:06
Paul Swydan: No. Just like I wouldn’t have put a Mickey Mantle comp on Trout, I’m not putting a Trout-like comp on Buxton. Whether Buxton is the next Devon White or the next Mike Trout isn’t something I’m going to obsess over, because that is the fun of seeing it actually happen.
9:06
Paul Swydan: Either way, I don’t think Buxton is going to flop.
9:06
Comment From Dutch
2018 Cubs OF? LF/CF/RF Soler/Almora/Bryant? Or does one of them have to go for pitching?
9:06
Paul Swydan: Wow, you want me to peg 2018 down? I’ll go ahead and say that one of those guys won’t be in their outfield at that point, but damned if I could tell you which one.
9:07
Comment From Lovehammer
What kind of stats do you see for Kolten Wong?
9:07
Paul Swydan: Mediocre ones.
9:07
Comment From Guest
You think Happ will start the season on the dl to give the jays a little more time to figure out what to do with their rotation?
9:08
Paul Swydan: The Jays could have from now until the end of time and they won’t figure out a good solution for that rotation as currently constituted.

The only real question with the Jays rotation right now is did their front office actually think this would suffice or have they really been hamstrung by the bean counters.

9:08
Comment From Edge O
Has Carrasco shown enough to win the 5th spot? The Tribe waived Harang.
9:08
Paul Swydan: I don’t know, because I haven’t been following that race all that closely, but I keep seeing Enon Sauros mention that they might give it to Josh Tomlin, which wouldn’t be all that surprising. They seem to love that guy.
9:09
Comment From Teddy
Shocked that Aaron Barrett made the nats bullpen, no one saw this coming, your opinion on the promotion, also who do you think is the nats 5th starter, Roark/Jordan
9:09
Paul Swydan: A. I’ve never heard of Aaron Barrett, so yes, that is shocking!
2. I think it doesn’t matter, the Nats are going to need them both.
9:09
Comment From Edge O
Porter says he’s starting with committee. Who ends up as Hou’s closer?
9:10
Paul Swydan: I think “committee” is code for “we don’t want to push Crain too hard because he’s made out of tissue paper and we want to be able to trade him in midseason once we’ve established the Capital C on his chest.”
9:10
Comment From Edge O
Does N. Jones run with the closer job or does someone like Lindstrom end up with the job?
9:11
Paul Swydan: I think ultimately it will be Jones’ gig. But Lindstrom may get some save opportunities in the early going so that Jones stays as cheap as possible.

As in this article.

http://www.hardballtimes.co…

9:11
Paul Swydan: It’s a little different, since the Sox already had Lindstrom in the fold, but it’s the same principle.
9:11
Comment From Edge O
Help me understand why the Tigers went out to get Gonzalez to be their SS? Why get Romine the day before? Neither one seems to be an upgrade over their internal options.
9:12
Paul Swydan: I think this is the ole’ “throw ‘em against the wall and see what sticks” theory. I don’t like giving up Lombardozzi though.
9:12
Comment From Vic
What do you think of Ian Kennedy and Timmay! this year?
9:12
Paul Swydan: I like Ian Kennedy for a bounceback year. Buying that hype.

Lincecum …. meh. 2-3 win guy, nothing special. He’s living on his rep now.

9:13
Comment From Vic
With my last pick in a 500+ player league, I was torn between Urias and Clint Frazier. I chose Urias. Yes? No?
9:13
Paul Swydan: In a league that deep, I like the upside of the pitcher play, because I find that it’s harder to find cheap pitching than it is cheap hitting. So yes.
9:13
Comment From Ziegler
If Carlos Carrasco wins the 5th spot in Cleveland, how good can he be. Is he a potential ace.
9:14
Paul Swydan: No. He’s 27 this season, and has only made 40 starts in the majors, and never more than 21 in a single season. But he can be a decent back-end option for a few years.
9:14
Comment From Edge O
Weiss was badmouthing Fowler’s grit to grind out injuries. Big talk coming from a guy whose only other manager job was his kid’s little league team and as a player only saw 140+ games himself three times in his career.
9:15
Paul Swydan: Whooooooole lot of revisionist history / borderline racism in that article. Kind of sickening to read. Just because a guy doesn’t SEEM like he’s putting in as much effort as less talented players doesn’t mean he actually IS putting in less effort.
9:15
Comment From Edge O
Follow up – what do you expect from Fowler?
9:16
Paul Swydan: I expect him to be a three-four win player.
9:16
Comment From Guest
Hey Paul, do you think Giancarlo Stanton will be a Marlin at the end of the year? Why or why not?
9:16
Paul Swydan: Yes, because he will still be cheap and the Marlins will need someone to keep selling tickets.
9:16
Comment From Mike
Hey so I am in a 14 team (8×8 H2H) league. (QS, L, HD added) Is the staff of Darvish/J Zimm/Gray/Archer/Wood/Smyly enough?
9:17
Paul Swydan: I’d say that your rotation hinges on Darvish being healthy all year. If he is, then yes, that is probably enough. If not, then you are going to need Gray or Archer to step up big time, and I’d be nervous about having to rely on that.
9:18
Comment From Gila Monster
Paul,this is more directed to you. I’ve recently written a piece on Jon Lester because I found his decline in strikeouts vs. RHH is curious despite only losing less than 1mph off his FB since 2010. Very few guys have lost such Ks in this situation. I noticed 2 major things. His cutter no longer breaks IN of RHH, It breaks away. And his CB velocity and effectiveness vs. have radically decreased.What do you think the problem is? I have extensive research on this and it make me sad.
9:19
Paul Swydan: To be honest, it seems like you have looked into it a lot more than I have. I wasn’t aware of this at all. But it is interesting, and I’m looking forward to watching for that this season. Thanks!
9:19
Comment From Jaack
True or Fact: The Expos logo was the best logo.
9:19
Paul Swydan: Leaning true. But it could be fact also…
9:19
Comment From Edge O
Angels chances to win the West immensely improved with the Rangers’ SP woes and A’s losing Parker and Griffin hurt. Do they win it?
9:20
Paul Swydan: They’re running out of excuses, that’s for sure. But the Angels don’t exactly have a top flight rotation themselves.
9:20
Comment From Jaack
This just in: The entire Rangers organization fell down the stairs, out for 10-12 weeks.
9:20
Paul Swydan: Damn.
9:20
Comment From Edge O
In their farewell tour season which vet contributes more to their team Konerko or Jeter? And I mean on the field contribution not ticket sales.
9:21
Paul Swydan: I’ll say Jeter.
9:21
Comment From Jake
When does Gergory Polacno get called up?
9:21
Paul Swydan: June. Pirates will live with Tabata until then.
9:21
Comment From Jaack
Which generally well regarded (among the saber-community) franchise is most likely to implode a la the Mariners or Phillies in recent years?
9:22
Paul Swydan: I’m going to say Tampa, just off the top of my head. Rotation might get ugly if they trade Price.
9:22
Comment From Brandon
I am liking the Nationals this season, but are they good enough to beat the Cardinals in the NLCS?
9:23
Paul Swydan: I think it depends on whether or not Matt Williams is as stupid as Mike Matheny. The talent is close enough that it will come down to strategery. The fact that Williams hired a coach to focus on just infield shifts has me encouraged though, that’s for sure.
9:23
Comment From Mike Redmond
Am I crazy for thinking that my rotation could actually be pretty good this year?
9:23
Paul Swydan: Crazy, no. Optimistic? Probably.
9:23
Comment From Matt
In the spirit of Keri’s book, How can we get a baseball team back in Montreal? I’ve worked in several years in Cambridge(as a Genezyme/Sanofi employee) and in Quebec (as I can speak French due to Quebecer background). I’m normally a Red Sox fan, but I also loved the Expos as my NL growing up. What can I do?
9:24
Paul Swydan: Keep sabotaging the Rays’ and A’s efforts to get new ballparks would be the easiest route, I’d wager.
9:24
Comment From Sgt. Pepper
Who will be the first player to get a farewell tour then unretire?
9:24
Paul Swydan: I wouldn’t be surprised if Chipper made a comeback. Having to watch Chris Johnson try to play third would make me mad enough to want to play again.
9:24
Comment From Guest
Just read that Denver post article about Weiss and fowler. What’s wrong with that writer?
9:25
Paul Swydan: Kiszla isn’t a beat writer, he’s a columnist, and is prone to making bold statements. He is usually fairly anti-Rockies though, which makes the article all the more surprising.
9:26
Comment From Nate
Speaking of tissue paper, Parnell – he won’t last the year as closer for the Mets will he? If not, is it Vic Black in his place?
9:26
Paul Swydan: He might. And probably, RE: Black, though the recent addition of Farnsworth could be a monkey wrench.
9:27
Paul Swydan: This seems like a good place to mention that the Rotographs Bullpen Report is back!

http://www.fangraphs.com/fa…

9:28
Paul Swydan: They DO currently have Black as the #2. I also just learned that Jose Valverde is on the Mets. Who knew?!?!
9:28
Comment From Guest
If Neftali Feliz gets his fastball back to the mid to upper 90’s do you think he reclaims back the closing job in Texas?
9:28
Paul Swydan: Yes, but it seems like we’re a long ways off from that happening, if it ever does.
9:28
Comment From Lenard
Have you been watching Cosmos? If so, how great is it?!
9:29
Paul Swydan: I have, with my son, actually. We haven’t watched the third one, but he sat through the first two, which is promising.
9:29
Comment From Dylan
Do you know who employes Tom Tango these days to the best of your knowledge? I know he was with the Mariner and Blue Jays in the past, but it is hard to imagine that is the case today. It is seemingly odd the book said he lives in NJ, and a Carmine “Tom” Tango died in 2008 in Bloomfield,NJ in 2009. Tom Tango wrote “The Book” and “Carmine” is the name of the Red Sox projection system…….Hmmmm.
9:30
Paul Swydan: I do know who employs Tango, though I’ll refrain from sharing. Thought it was public knowledge though.
9:30
Comment From Eric B.
I’m considering breaking up with my girlfriend of 4 years because “something doesn’t seem “right”, what should I definitely be sure of before I do this? Good decision?
9:31
Paul Swydan: You’re barking up the wrong tree there, man. I only dated three women in my life, and only two seriously. I honestly wouldn’t know what to tell you.
9:31
Comment From Ray Burris
In a 14-teamer is a staff of Felix, D. Salazar, Porcello, Kazmir, Kluber, W. Peralta, and T. Walker enough? Not many FA’s allowed. No streaming.
9:31
Paul Swydan: Yeah, I like that rotation. Good mix of certainty and upside.
9:31
Comment From Fidel
In a 6×6 league that counts hitter’s k’s against them, would you deal Puig for Kipnis? Seems like a no-brainer, but then I keep thinking maybe Puig will do his thing and Kipnis will not do his thing.
9:32
Paul Swydan: I guess it depends on what your alternative is at second base currently. It’s not an unfair trade, certainly. But if you have a good second baseman already and not a great outfield, it might make sense to hold onto Puig. But I’m not worried about either player performing well.
9:33
Comment From Al
Soriano isn’t long for closing games IMO – what say you?
9:33
Paul Swydan: I think Matt Williams will probably have enough things that he’s trying to learn in year one that he’ll leave Soriano in there to take a few lumps. Not concerned about him losing his job.
9:33
Comment From Chi-town
Gausman – starter or reliever – better yet – minors or majors???
9:34
Paul Swydan: Starter. Minors to start, methinks.
9:34
Comment From David
Hey Paul, I’m planning on writing a review of Up Up and Away when I get my hands on the books. I really enjoyed yours. Any tips?
9:35
Paul Swydan: Take notes. Or earmark pages. I’ve done two of these now. The first time – on Hayhurt’s book – I didn’t take many notes or earmark pages, and I basically had to read the thing a second time before I could write the review. This time, I took notes and earmarked pages, and it was a lot easier. Also, don’t wait too long after you finish the book. Though I probably didn’t need to tell you that.
9:35
Comment From Kickstarter
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
9:36
Paul Swydan: Well, don’t get me wrong, I love living in the Boston area, but my wife and I plan to retire back in Denver. It’s just amazing there.

If I could feel safe in an island location like Aruba or Tahiti though, I’d probably do that. But it seems like between the hurricanes and various other crime problems that it wouldn’t be worth the hassle.

9:37
Comment From Mike
It seems like the newest fad is gaining weight in the off season. What are your thoughts on this? I want to say it seems silly, but there’s no debating Trout’s success with it leas year…
9:37
Paul Swydan: I don’t know if it’s a fad or not, but if you’re gaining weight the right way, I think it can be beneficial, because players lose so much weight throughout the course of a season. Or should, anyway.
9:38
Comment From Sgt. Pepper
Are there any players you wound up with on a lot of your fantasy teams? I have 4 teams and I drafted Tulo 4 times so if he gets hurt again I’ll be more mad than the Rockies.
9:38
Paul Swydan: I think I have Yadier Molina and Carlos Santana in multiple leagues. More excited about Santana. Oh, and obviously I have Xander in multiple leagues. Because … duh.
9:39
Comment From Sgt. Pepper
I’m making myself rewatch every season of The Simpsons because I was too young to appreciate it in its prime. I’m currently on season 6. When can I expect it to peak and when can I expect to need lots of alcohol to get through it?
9:39
Paul Swydan: I have seasons 1-12 on DVD, and I generally am perfectly happy to watch anything from seasons 3-11 without any drop off. I think 12 is where it starts to go sideways a little, but that season is still pretty good too.
9:40
Paul Swydan: Season 8 is the season I have probably watched the most. Season 8, Disc 1 is my favorite disc.
9:40
Comment From A. Napier
Who is the better stash in A standard 12 team league? Springer or Baez?
9:40
Jeff Zimmerman: Springer
9:40
Paul Swydan: For this year? Probably Springer. I’m not sure that Baez is getting the call this year.
9:40
Paul Swydan: Hi Jeff!
9:40
Comment From Yoooo
Thoughts on Alex Wood this year?
9:41
Jeff Zimmerman: Hi, it is cold outside. Decided to head to the media booth.
9:41
Paul Swydan: Like him – hope he stays healthy.
9:41
Jeff Zimmerman: I like him also. Own him in a couple of leagues.
9:41
Paul Swydan: Don’t blame the cold – you know you can’t stay away from us for too long, Jeff.
9:41
Comment From Guest
Should Reyes owner’s be worried?
9:41
Paul Swydan: One for Jeff.
9:42
Jeff Zimmerman: A little. Let’s see how long it drags out.
9:42
Comment From pepper
Long term Keeper: Do you deal Salazar if you get back either kris bryant or baez?
9:43
Jeff Zimmerman: Probably not, unless you are already giving up on 2014
9:43
Paul Swydan: Depends on the timeframe in which you’re looking to contend. Just telling me it’s a longterm keeper league isn’t enough. If you want to contend this year, I’d tell you to keep Salazar, because I’m still bullish on his future.
9:43
Comment From Guest
Was Scherzer right to turn down the reported extension? I doubt he gets much more and his value is far more likely to take a hit this year instead of rise.
9:43
Paul Swydan: Of course he was. Have you seen next year’s free agent crop? Yamahama, it’s fright night!
9:43
Jeff Zimmerman: Maybe he doesn’t like living in Detroit.
9:43
Comment From David
Is writing for various baseball sites your only job?
9:44
Paul Swydan: No, my real job is taking care of my kids. I write for various baseball sites for fun. :-)
9:44
Jeff Zimmerman: Kind of.
9:44
Comment From Allard
deep at P with Kershaw/Strasburg/Fernandez..If I were to trade G. Cole in a keeper league..what kinda bat is good value?? I’m thin at OF..thanks
9:45
Paul Swydan: I would want a topline outfielder for Cole. I’m very bullish on Cole. Especially in a keeper league.
9:45
Jeff Zimmerman: Just look at his ADP and try to get someone higher than his.
9:45
Comment From Highway61*
As soon as Josh Johnson is put on the DL, who of the following would you you add in a H2H with K/9 and BB/9: Peacock, Brett Anderson, Garret Richards, or Jenry Meija? Thanks
9:45
Paul Swydan: Anderson or Mejia.
9:46
Jeff Zimmerman: Meija until he goes on the DL. I do like Peacock also.
9:46
Comment From Guest
You are in a 12 team, 7×7 keeper league where keepers’ draft pick escalates one round a year.. keep three of four with given 2014 draft position: buxton 13, bogaerts 15, taverns 17, profar 18
9:47
Paul Swydan: Taveras just messed up his ankle again, and the Cardinals have a lot of outfielders. So I’d drop him.
9:47
Jeff Zimmerman: I would drop Profar. I think his upside is getting limited.
9:48
Paul Swydan: I’m assuming you meant Taveras there. I don’t know no Taverns….
9:48
Paul Swydan: Chat moving glacially now. Not sure what problem is.
9:49
Jeff Zimmerman: Blame me.
9:50
Comment From jojo
When does Noah Syndergard come up?
9:50
Jeff Zimmerman: Paul has been kicked out.
9:51
Jeff Zimmerman: I think Noah will come up after the Super 2 deadline.
9:51
Comment From Glen
Arcia from Twins or Ozuna from Marlins in a points league. Who would you rather have?
9:52
Comment From Scott
Martin Perez, added pressure with all the Ranger doom & gloom, or will he be ok?
9:52
Jeff Zimmerman: Arcia, I like the upside.
9:52
Jeff Zimmerman: He will be fine
9:54
Comment From Guest
Thoughts on Sean Manaea??
9:55
Jeff Zimmerman: He should be decent if he can stay healthy. I don’t like how he throws across his body.
9:55
Paul Swydan: OK I’m back. Sorry about that.
9:55
Comment From jojo
Will MOustakis live up to the renewed hype??
9:56
Paul Swydan: I doubt it, but anything is possible.
9:56
Jeff Zimmerman: I have an article scheduled at RoyalsReview.com in the morning looking at him. Short answer – yes if he keeps up the new plate discipline.
9:56
Comment From David
is Daily Notes a thing this year?
9:57
Paul Swydan: You mean Carson’s daily notes? I think the plan is to move away from that this year. But don’t you worry, Carson will still be serving up lots of hot internet content served up hot for you.
9:57
Comment From brad
Jeff since you cover the Royals, did you yell at hosmer/moustakas for treating eno so poorly?
9:58
Jeff Zimmerman: No.
9:58
Comment From Sauceman11
how long does j kelly stay in the cards rotation? Will they let CMart loose come 2nd half?
9:59
Paul Swydan: Here’s the thing. How is Martinez supposed to build up stamina to pitch in the rotation later in the season when Matheny has him pigeonholed into the eighth? Short answer – he can’t. Matheny left the door open to the rotation in his comments the other day, but his ACTIONS right now paint a pretty bleak picture.
9:59
Jeff Zimmerman: Could be all year. C. Mart will get his chance. Some other pitcher will end up on the DL
10:00
Paul Swydan: Frankly, it’s embarrassing. The Cardinals have now pigeonholed two top flight pitching prospects in Rosenthal and Martinez into the bullpen without even giving them the chance to prove they could be starters.
10:00
Paul Swydan: Matheny doesn’t seem to realize that a closer is born every minute.
10:00
Paul Swydan: OK I’m done now.
10:00
Comment From Cybo
Which do you prefer the most for your fantasy needs? CBS, ESPN, Yahoo, other?
10:01
Paul Swydan: I play one Yahoo league, one Ottoneu league and one Scoresheet league. As for fantasy advice and tips, etc, obviously I turn to RotoGrpahs for that. If I go outside of RG, it’s usually to Alan Harrison’s Fantasy Fix website.
10:02
Jeff Zimmerman: I have Ottoneu, Fantrax and Yahoo. All are pretty much the same.
10:02
Comment From joe
speaking of closers, if you had to choose one based on saves converted, k’s and era, Hunter, Hawkins, Qualls, Hoover
10:02
Paul Swydan: I think the order you have it in works.
10:03
Comment From Sauceman11
Sticking with the Cards. I recently drafted S Miller 2 picks in front of Wacha Wacha, and I am having “drafters remorse” What do you two envision from these SP’s in 2014?
10:03
Jeff Zimmerman: Hoover may end up as #1, I would take a chance on him after Hunter.
10:03
Paul Swydan: I don’t see them as being markedly different this year. In other words, I don’t think Wacha will be as good as he was last year over a full season.
10:04
Jeff Zimmerman: The remorse is understood, but I agree with Paul.
10:04
Comment From rw
So you think rosenthal shoukd start? Not saying ita likely or even that there is more than coincidence but what if there were to be a feliz situation?
10:05
Jeff Zimmerman: Or a Johan Santana situation? The Twins should have kept him as a reliever.
10:05
Paul Swydan: I think Rosenthal should be given the opportunity to start, yes. I realize there isn’t a ton of room in that rotation, but one of the two of them should be starting this year. Joe Kelly is not the answer. Furthermore, I don’t think it’s fair or instructive to compare every pitcher to the worst-case scenario (ie, Feliz).
10:06
Comment From Ryan
my girlfriend and i are eating meringues, pretty damn good
10:07
Paul Swydan: That does sound good. Speaking of which, I should probably go see what my wife is up to, so we’re going to call this a night. WAYYYYY more questions than we could answer – thanks for bringing the heat tonight. Next week, REAL BASEBALL. See you then!
10:08
Jeff Zimmerman: Bye from the stadium Huskers 7, Shockers 3



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


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