FanGraphs After Dark Chat – 3/4/14

5:49
Paul Swydan: Beware the ides of the FanGraphs After Dark Chat!

I mean, hi everybody!

Jeff and I will be here at 9 pm ET to tackle all of your baseballing queries.

5:51
Paul Swydan: If you didn’t see it yet, I wrote today about Jeff’s Royals. Specifically, their bullpen:

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-royals-dont-need-to-carry-seven-relievers/

5:51
Paul Swydan: I’ll try to get some polls up in a little bit, but hopefully you’ll join us at 9 pm!
9:01
Paul Swydan: OOooooooooooooo my. Let’s do this.
9:02
Comment From Jaack
Dave Cameron has been kidnapped by Ninjas. Are you a bad enough dude to save the Dave Cameron?
9:02
Jeff Zimmerman: The only hope would be Dave getting into a staring contest with them.

9:03
Paul Swydan: On the one hand, yes. On the other hand, it’d be kind of a pain to drive all the way to North Carolina. Maybe the ninjas could kidnap him during Saber Seminar? Then I wouldn’t have to leave the area.
9:03
Comment From tom
Any thoughts on the Orioles/Santana signing?
9:03
Paul Swydan: No downside. They don’t really need him. If he finds some of the old magic, Bud Norris can go to the ‘pen.
9:04
Jeff Zimmerman: Irrelevant once it was known Santana was throwing in the low 80’s. High school pitchers can throw that hard.
9:04
Comment From Will
Rank the following teams in order of chances of making the playoffs: Brewers, Royals, Orioles.
9:04
Paul Swydan: Royals, Orioles, gap, Brewers
9:04
Jeff Zimmerman: Brewers, Royals, Orioles.
9:04
Paul Swydan: DISAGREEMENTS!
9:05
Jeff Zimmerman: Total disagreements.
9:05
Comment From Mike
Where is Kendry Morales signed in your opinion and over/under 15 wins for Jordan Zimmerman
9:06
Jeff Zimmerman: Morales – Seattle, a team can never have enough DH/1B types. Under on the wins.
9:06
Paul Swydan: Those are two very different questions.

I honestly don’t see any team that NEEDS Morales besides the Pirates. He honestly might have to wait until June.

I will take the under on Zimmermann’s wins.

9:06
Comment From Andy5
Are any of these guys worth a bench spot/flier at 1B…Ike Davis, Mark Reynolds, or Adam LaRoche?
9:06
Jeff Zimmerman: Davis is and probably Laroche.
9:07
Paul Swydan: Davis is. I wouldn’t bother with the other two. They’re known quantities. Waiver wire bait if they get hot for a week or two.
9:07
Comment From City Beer Store
Given the uncertainty, is there any reasonable way to project Matt Kemp? Players coming off similar surgery? What do you have projected for him?
9:07
Paul Swydan: I have no feel for what Kemp will be if and when he gets back on the field, which made his comment that he’s no fourth outfielder pretty hilarious to me. Settle down, baby brah. Maybe string a week of games together first before you start yapping.
9:09
Paul Swydan: Jeff will be back in a sec.
9:09
Comment From Victor Meldrew
Starlin Castro (barring serious injury) and Sabathia, worth picking for my standard roto? Thanks.
9:09
Paul Swydan: I like Sabathia as a bounce back guy.

After a certain point, Castro’s upside will be better than the lot of shortstops, but I am not touching Castro in the first 10 rounds this year.

9:10
Comment From Lance Mannion
Hi I’ve been in an auction league for longer than I would care to admit and always seem to have terrible drafts and spend the rest of the season catching up. Is there any tried and true approach that you would use? Thanks
9:10
Paul Swydan: No, I frequently do stupid stuff in my draft. Last year I miscalculated how much draft money I had and then I ended up with too little $ in the middle rounds and then too much at the end. Total disaster. At least I got Kershaw and Xander.
9:11
Paul Swydan: But no, the only rule I really ever follow is that I don’t throw guys that I actually want in the first few rounds. I like throwing Strasburg, because I wouldn’t touch him with a 10-foot clown pole.
9:11
Jeff Zimmerman: Map out the 168 or whatever number of players you want and go with them and look for bargains.
9:11
Comment From DLowe
Hey guys, I gave up K Morales, Shields, and Pierzynski for Encarnacion – how do you think I did (standard 5 x 5)? Obvious uncertainty with Morales (even when / if he signs, wrt playing time), love Shields (but you have to give up quality to get quality), and Pierzynski age and playing time worried me. I also have Bautista and just had to put Edwin and Jose together…
9:12
Paul Swydan: Um, you did fantastic DLowe. Good work. Keep on … keep truckin.
9:12
Comment From Brad Wesley
What are some of the position battles I should be aware of this spring training? Didi/Owings. DJLM/Rutledge. Who else?
9:12
Jeff Zimmerman: OK, I always like to up grade early in the season. I usually downgrade late for needs.
9:12
Paul Swydan: Arizona CF/RF is going to be a thing once Ross is healthy. Rockies CF is a thing right now.
9:12
Jeff Zimmerman: Rockies CF.
9:12
Jeff Zimmerman: Texas closer
9:13
Comment From Vic
Do you think Bubba figures it out this year and finishes in Double A?
9:13
Paul Swydan: This one is for Jeff, now that he’s back.
9:14
Jeff Zimmerman: No, but I do hope to see him in a week or two. His contact/pitch recognition skills are just now there yet.
9:14
Comment From Vic
Please rank: J Upton, Choo, Bruce, Stanton, Gomez, Heyward? Also, would you take Pedroia before any of these OFs?
9:14
Paul Swydan: I would take Stanton before Pedroia, but Pedroia over all of the rest.

So, Stanton, Pedroia, Heyward, Gomez, Choo, Upton, Bruce.

9:15
Jeff Zimmerman: Stanton, Choo, Bruce, Upton (justin), Gomez, Heyward ………………………………………………………………………… Upton (BJ). I agree with Paul on Pedroia.
9:15
Comment From Vic
How many MLB at bats for Buxton and Correa in 2015?
9:16
Paul Swydan: < 300 each would be my guess.
9:16
Jeff Zimmerman: 450, enough to miss super 2, the Twins are cheap.
9:16
Comment From Vic
Odor or Betts?
9:16
Paul Swydan: MOOKIE 4 lyfe.
9:16
Jeff Zimmerman: Odor.
9:17
Comment From Lenard
My pitching staff might lead to a Carson Cistulli wet dream: Tehrehan, Gray, Salazar, Kluber, Kennedy, Odorizzi, Skaggs, Morrow, Mejia with Kimbrel, Jansen, and Henderson as closers. H2H league, is this playable? My offense is pretty stacked.
9:17
Paul Swydan: It’s either going to be incredible playable or a beautiful disaster.
9:17
Paul Swydan: incredibly
9:17
Jeff Zimmerman: Work your match and DL and you will be fine.
9:18
Paul Swydan: Also, we programmed Cistulli so that he can’t dream – it interferes with his daily content production.
9:18
Comment From angelo
Do the twins hold back arcia for the super 2 as well?
9:18
Jeff Zimmerman: I don’t think with him,but who knows.
9:18
Paul Swydan: Since he spent most of last season in the majors, that’d be pretty dumb.
9:18
Comment From Compton
Auction drafts are always better than snake drafts: True or false?
9:19
Paul Swydan: T
R
U
E
9:19
Jeff Zimmerman: True.
9:19
Paul Swydan: I hate snake drafts. And in fact, I no longer participate in any!
9:19
Comment From Park Chan-hos Beard
Has there been any research done into batter pitch framing? ie the ability of a batter to get more called balls with exaggerated dodging movements or like quickly stepping out of the batters box or something?
9:19
Jeff Zimmerman: None that I know of.
9:20
Paul Swydan: I think that that would not only be incredibly difficult to quantify, but even if you did, the sample size would be so small that you wouldn’t be able to get anything concrete out of it.
9:20
Comment From Ethan
So who wins the centerfield job in boston? And if both of them do well could one be moved to the corner? It’s not like they have alstars in the Conner spots.
9:21
Paul Swydan: Bradley. Don’t be fooled by Sizemore. The media is going to play this up because:

a – Sizemore is going to play nice with the media
b – They have nothing else to talk about. Dempster retiring removed all doubt from the rotation.

9:21
Jeff Zimmerman: Bradley
9:21
Comment From Saves Vulture
Hey Paul and Jeff. Thanks for doing the chat tonight. I’m in an AL-only keeper league and have my auction coming up this weekend. With the exception of Cody Allen who’s already kept, who are the top three 8th inning guys I should target in hopes of stumbling into a closer at some point in the season?
9:21
Paul Swydan: Junichi Tazawa, Danny Farquhar, someone on the Angels/Astros
9:22
Jeff Zimmerman: Soria, McGee, Crain
9:22
Comment From cavebird
Forget the Ides of March; Happy Mardi Gras! I was wondering your thoughts on Neftali Feliz? Looked good in winter ball but not so much in Spring Training so far. Still, he’s worth a shot as a keeper at $6 in a league where garden variety closers go for $20, right? (And please say yes, because I have already agreed to the trade [I gave up a guy I wasn’t keeping anyway])
9:23
Paul Swydan: Yeah, it’s not the worst idea ever. The only reason I don’t like it is because the Rangers are seemingly chaotic in general right now, but I think Feliz will be fine.
9:23
Jeff Zimmerman: $6 is fine, he was crap the other day. Velocity down big. All in my lastest MASH report

http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/mash-report-3314/

9:24
Paul Swydan: If his velocity is still down in two weeks I’ll be worried.
9:25
Comment From Dustin Ackley
I know I’ve let people down so far in my career, but is it crazy to think that I’ll finally live up to the billing in 2014?
9:25
Paul Swydan: It’s not crazy, but it’s not what I’m currently thinking.
9:25
Jeff Zimmerman: Yes, but I am looking to pick you up cheap.
9:26
9:26
Paul Swydan: You know, except for that Trout guy.
9:26
Comment From Guest
What young pitchers do you like the most this year? Salazar, Cole, Gray?
9:26
Paul Swydan: Cole for sure. And then kind of a tie, though I would lean Salazar if pressed.
9:27
Jeff Zimmerman: Cole. I was on the Salazar train, but I think he may get hurt again and have limited innings.
9:27
Comment From jv
would you rather have Kershaw and Medlen OR Felix and Gio?
9:27
Jeff Zimmerman: Kershaw side easy.
9:28
Paul Swydan: Ooooo, tough one. I lean Kershaw/Medlen, just because I want the best guy.
9:28
Comment From jv
Who do you like better this year–Sal Perez or Carlos Santana?
9:28
Paul Swydan: Santana, but I think Perez has a breakout in him.
9:28
Jeff Zimmerman: Santana on more plate appearances.
9:28
Comment From jv
Rank for this season–Tyson Ross, Corey Kluber, Drew Smyly
9:29
Paul Swydan: Basically the way you have it.
9:29
Jeff Zimmerman: The order you have them in.
9:29
Comment From Chuckles
I’ve been in an OttoNeu points league for going on 4 years now and I was wondering what sort of feature(s) you think would really put it over the top in terms of its inherent awesomeness. Like: variable arbitration vote-off allowances per league, control of when auctions end, or a live RSS-type stream of just your fantasy players for the day. Or, a SABR points system free of Holds and Saves nonsense (using a modest GS penalty on starters, for example)…?
9:30
Paul Swydan: I’m not sure any of these things would make it better. Honestly, I think it would be boring things like fixing the free agent search, and some other formatting things that don’t work the way they should all the time.
9:30
Jeff Zimmerman: I have been pushing for a not interested button to speed up the end of the draft.
9:31
Paul Swydan: That’d be good for sure.
9:31
Comment From Pork Sale
Regarding your earlier comment, why are you avoiding Strasburg?
9:31
Paul Swydan: He’s a ticking time bomb, and an expensive one at that. He can be someone else’s problem.
9:31
Paul Swydan: If I could get him for like $12, then maybe, but I don’t think that’s really in the cards.
9:31
Jeff Zimmerman: Hard throwing pitchers with one TJS breakdown after 2-3 seasons
9:32
Comment From jv
Who are 2 or 3 $1 outfielder fliers you guys would take a chance on in 12 team mixed leagues?
9:32
Jeff Zimmerman: Calhoun, K. Davis, Aoki (he may go higher, but his SB may jump with KC)
9:33
Paul Swydan: Corey Dickerson
Abraham Almonte
Oswaldo Arcia
9:33
Paul Swydan: For the record, I like all of Jeff’s guys too, but I think they’ll go for more than $1.
9:33
Comment From Northsider
Baez hit a monster homer yesterday, and Olt had a big PH-homer today. The Cubs are a lock to win 14 of the next 15 World Series, right? Riiiiiiiiiiight?
9:33
Paul Swydan: Nope, 17 of the next 15.
9:34
Jeff Zimmerman: Olt is a great post hyple sleeper.
9:34
Comment From A. Lane
Any worry that the new MLB AM data becomes proprietary and outside analysts will not have access, is there any chance we get great in-game info graphics and not the raw data?
9:35
Jeff Zimmerman: Yes, very much so, but it is a ton of data, something like 7 terrabytes per game.
9:35
Paul Swydan: Super worried about it, especially since it SEEMS like PITCHf/x is going to be replaced, and if they stop the flow of info that comes from that and don’t toss us another bone then we’ll be back to making stuff up.
9:35
Comment From EC
Mike Dominguez and a healthy Danny Espinosa seem like pretty much the same thing right? So Nats probably couldn’t get too much for him?
9:36
Paul Swydan: They’re different in the sense that Dominguez is going to play and Espinosa isn’t. They’re also different because Espinosa can play in the middle of the field, so Espinosa should fetch a little more than should Dominguez, but Dominguez didn’t net the Marlins much of note, which is why the Nationals haven’t traded Espinosa. Nor should they.
9:37
Jeff Zimmerman: I figured Espinosa would get moved. Maybe the Nats are waiting for a last minute need.
9:37
Comment From Pork Sale
Who’s the more attractive risk at the end of the second round out of Kipnis, Segura, Stanton,and Rios. Best two of the four regardless of position.
9:37
Paul Swydan: Kipnis because of the position, but Stanton in a vacuum.
9:37
Paul Swydan: I don’t view Segura and Rios as top five round talents.
9:38
Jeff Zimmerman: Kipnis and Staton, you may be able to get the other 2 the next time through, check their ADP
9:38
Comment From beau
Mariners record for 2014
9:38
Paul Swydan: I’ll go 83-79.
9:39
Jeff Zimmerman: 75 wins, the pitchers going down will hurt them.
9:39
Comment From Mrs. Upton
Are my sons going to do better this season?
9:39
Paul Swydan: I hope so, Mrs. Upton.
9:39
Jeff Zimmerman: Would not be too hard Ma’am
9:40
Comment From Glenn
How much concern do you have about E4’s wrist surgery on his HR numbers for this season?
9:40
Paul Swydan: Ssssshshhhhhhhh.

Trying to pretend it didn’t happen.

9:41
Jeff Zimmerman: Not too much, he had time to heal and I found the effect is only during the season. Link coming.
9:41
Comment From angelo
What are the odds on Rosenthal moving to the rotation this year or next?
9:42
Paul Swydan: I keep needling Derrick Goold about this, and he keeps insisting that it’s not happening, and Derrick knows better than any of us do about all things St. Louis Cardinals (and also comic books, too).
9:42
Jeff Zimmerman: Next, maybe, not this year without a few more injuries.

Study on wrist injuries. http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/index.php/albert-pujols-and-the-effects-of-the-wrist-injury/

9:42
Comment From Miguel Cabrera
I tend to cost around 20-25% of an owner’s budget at AL-only auctions. Am I truly worth it?
9:43
Jeff Zimmerman: I would not do it at that range. Last season’s injury scared me off a bit.
9:43
Paul Swydan: I wouldn’t in mixed leagues, but in AL only, I would.
9:43
Comment From angelo
Or really, if stras is that big a risk are you buying Matt Harvey higher next year or after that .
9:43
Paul Swydan: Injury + Mets = Stay Away for me. Sorry, Matt.
9:44
Jeff Zimmerman: He isn’t back yet.
9:44
Paul Swydan: ‘Xactly yo.
9:44
Comment From bill
12 team — 6×6 h2h auction (HR,RBI,OBP,EBH,SB,R — W,QS,SV,K,ERA,WHIP,Holds)…Holds only downgrades all pitchers no? I may spend 90% of budget on hitting…thoughts?
9:45
Paul Swydan: Spending 90% of your budget for players that only help you in 50% of the categories strikes me as pretty foolish. No offense.
9:46
Jeff Zimmerman: It can for a little better than .500 record. I pulled if off once as an expansion team. I would get a couple pitching studs and then go all relievers and streamed starters.
9:47
Comment From Aaron
What would it take for the Mariners to get Lagares and Montero from the Mets? Should the M’s try?
9:48
Paul Swydan: More than Franklin, that’s for sure. The Mariners think they’re contenders right now, so I could see them kicking in another prospect or two to get major league ready players back, but the Mets really have no reason whatsoever to trade Lagares.
9:48
Jeff Zimmerman: Miller and a B prospect.
9:48
Paul Swydan: And you can bet the reason a deal hasn’t happened yet is because the Mariners are offering Franklin and the Mets are asking for Miller.
9:48
Comment From JC
Bogaerts or Donaldson in a roto keeper league that includes OBP, SLG, and doubles… Question to me is whether Bogaerts’ ceiling will exceed Donaldson’s 2013 stats… Any comment will be appreciated, thanks guys.
9:49
Paul Swydan: I think we all know what I’m going to say here – The Notorious X.A.N.D.E.R.
9:49
Paul Swydan: But I’m not entirely rational on the subject. Jeff?
9:49
Jeff Zimmerman: I like Donaldson for 2014, Bogarts for a keeper.
9:49
Comment From ZEKE
How soon do you think Kyle Zimmer gets called up? Also, any chance Norris replaces Hunter at closer this year/
9:49
Paul Swydan: Speaking of Jeff questions —
9:50
Paul Swydan: As for Norris/Hunter, sure, there’s a chance, but I like that Tommy Hunter. I think that one is gonna stick. I see Norris as more of a swingman.
9:50
Jeff Zimmerman: Zimmer has been shut down with a shoulder issue and the team says he will only throw 150 innings.
9:51
Comment From bROTO
Jim Henderson ($10) or Bobby Parnell ($13)?
9:51
Paul Swydan: Henderson for me
9:51
Jeff Zimmerman: Henderson.
9:51
Comment From Guest
7 keepers, only 1 DL slot – How cheap does Harvey need to be to keep him?
9:52
Paul Swydan: $3 ? Seriously, if you’re trying to win this year, you can’t keep him.
9:52
Jeff Zimmerman: Only, no. You will need it for other pitchers to start the season.
9:53
Paul Swydan: Maybe I’m just soured on the stashing pitchers thing because of how things worked out with Brandon Beachy, but I’m just not doing that anymore. Position players, sure. Pitchers, no thank you.
9:53
Comment From Miguel Cabrera
Hey Jeff. If I hadn’t been injured last year, would your answer have been different?
9:53
Jeff Zimmerman: I start out that way with Hamels and Irwikawa (sp?)
9:54
Jeff Zimmerman: yes, nothing predicts future injuries like past injuries.
9:54
Comment From Diamond Dogs
Freeman or Puljos?
9:54
Jeff Zimmerman: Close, Pujols is moving up right. He kind of sprinted the other day.
9:55
Paul Swydan: For one more year, I’ll say Pujols. But I don’t feel all that strongly about it.
9:55
Comment From Mac
Verlander ready to rock this year?
9:55
Paul Swydan: I’m just waiting for the Tigers to announce that they’re going to accomodate Justin by wearing orange pants during his starts this year.
9:55
Jeff Zimmerman: We’ll see if he can get to his previous 100% level
9:56
Comment From stonepie
Dickey’s knuckler is hard again… im buying
9:56
Paul Swydan: Good luck with that.
9:56
Jeff Zimmerman: I am to and I don’t have to pay much.
9:57
Comment From Mr. Wrestling IV
Hehe, Dickey is hard again
9:57
Paul Swydan: Glad I wasn’t the only one thinking that.
9:57
Comment From Pork Sale
What would make Billy Hamilton a win as a 6th round pick? 60 steals, and whatever else he brings?
9:58
Paul Swydan: I think Jeff did this in at least one mock. For me to take him that high, I’d need 80 SB.
9:58
Jeff Zimmerman: About right, I am projecting him at 40. I don’t think he hits enough to get to 60.
9:58
Comment From G Money
Is Samardzija and Masterson two candidates to put up Scherzer type #’s? They both saw a nice increase in their K rates from 2012 to 2013.
9:59
Jeff Zimmerman: I end up with Masteron quite often. I don’t think they can make the Scherzer jump.
10:00
Paul Swydan: I don’t see either doing it, but if you’re asking me to pick one, I’ll take the Shark.
10:00
Comment From Cheap Steals
Care to recommend any AL players who will swipe a fair amount of bags yet only cost me a few bucks?
10:00
Jeff Zimmerman: Dyson.
10:00
Paul Swydan: Rajai Davis for sure. He may see more PT this year.
10:00
Paul Swydan: Leonys Martin is another.
10:00
Comment From Mr. Wrestling IV
Don’t you hate pants?
10:00
Jeff Zimmerman: He will go much higher.
10:01
Paul Swydan: Yes, yes I do hate pants.
10:01
Paul Swydan: I also hate stringing you guys along, so like they say at my son’s music class, goodbye, so long farewell, my friend.

We’ll be back next week, same time, same funky channel.

10:02
Jeff Zimmerman: Bye.


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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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