FanGraphs After Dark Chat – 5/6/14

7:53
Paul Swydan: Hey, guess what, I’m an idiot and I forgot to set up the chat before I went out to dinner with my in-laws. But now I’m here. You’re here. We’re all here! Well, not Jeff, he’s off tonight. But load me up with questions, and I’ll attack them with aplomb at 9 pm ET.

See you soon!

9:01
Paul Swydan: Hi everybody!!! There are so many games on right now. Is this heaven?
9:01
Comment From Guest
Mark Ellis, Kolten Wong, and Greg Garcia are all sitting in favor of Daniel Descalso because, “Daniel has had a couple of hits and Mark has had some trouble with (Floyd).”
9:02
Paul Swydan: That seems like a great way to start the chat.
9:02
Paul Swydan: It’s stuff like this that keeps me believing that most of the Cardinals’ success is the players and the front office, and that Matheny just stands there and looks pretty.
9:03
Comment From Jon
For pitchers, what number is considered as good for K% and BB%? This page http://www.fangraphs.com/li… only has a table for hitters.

9:04
Paul Swydan: In general, if you want a good baseline, go to our league stats page:

http://www.fangraphs.com/le…

9:04
Paul Swydan: The interesting thing is that you can see that the average walk rate hovers in that 8% average almost all the time, while the average K% has continued to rise.
9:05
Comment From Guest
Other than Gausman who do you think is the pitching prospect to make the biggest impact?
9:05
Paul Swydan: This season? I am excited to see Robert Stephenson get the call at some point, and I think Eddie Butler is absolutely ticketed to the majors unless he takes a sharp turn for the worse.
9:07
Paul Swydan: I think you might see Syndergaard up at some point, but I think it will probably be too late in the year for him to have an impact. Other names I expect to see at some point include Matt Wisler, Alex Meyer and Rafael Montero.
9:07
Paul Swydan: And hopefully Henry Owens in September? A guy can dream.
9:07
Comment From TWTW
Can a dynasty league survive with out a contract or salary system? Our league has evolved from a redraft to dynasty with a large minors and there disparity between first and last that seems to grow each year
9:08
Paul Swydan: I think it probably can survive, but I know that my longstanding league that converted from redraft to dynasty put a contract system in place with a floating salary cap that has worked very nicely. And from what I’m told, it’s a unique system.
9:09
Comment From Guest
Will people stop asking when polanco will be up before or after he is given a cup of coffee?
9:09
Paul Swydan: After.
9:09
Comment From TWTW
Just got bailey for cingrani (he accepted before the dl news) good deal?
9:09
Paul Swydan: To be honest, I think they have similar floors and I like Cingrani’s upside better. It’s not a bad deal, but I would go for Cingrani, myself.
9:09
Comment From BR
Can Rendon keep up a .220 ISO? Rendon or Kipnis ROS?
9:10
Paul Swydan: Still Kipnis because of the SB impact, but I think that if Rendon can’t maintain a .220 ISO that .190-.200 is definitely in the cards. I think, as Jeff Sullivan noted last week, it will be interesting to see how Rendon responds when pitchers do eventually adjust to him.
9:10
Comment From Bert
Hey Paul, what are your thoughts on Chris Sale? Im pretty concerned considering the frequent worry about his delivery and now the ongoing pushbacks from the original injury timeline. Would you consider trading him for Cashner and J. chavez/Kuroda? Thanks
9:12
Paul Swydan: If you’re talking re-draft league, I would probably consider Cashner and Chavez for him, though I would hope to do better.

As for the timeline being pushed back, the White Sox have absolutely no reason to rush him. They’re not realistically a competitor for a playoff spot this season.

9:12
Comment From Guest
Do you think the new CBA has helped or harmed small market teams like the Pirates by incentivizing keeping down large prospects?
9:13
Paul Swydan: I think that ultimately it shouldn’t matter. If you’re a team that is in the hunt, then saving that year of control should be of less importance because flags fly forever and hopefully you can negotiate a nice longterm extension if you become a winning team, etc. And if you’re a losing team, then you have no reason to rush the player.
9:13
Comment From Lenard
Very open-ended question, but which player that has gotten off to a poor start do you think is the best candidate to rebound?
9:13
Paul Swydan: Has to be Carlos Santana.
9:13
Comment From BR
What’s a reasonable expectation of production for Prince Fielder going forward?
9:14
Paul Swydan: I expect him to be roughly as good as he was last year, but I am no longer expecting the big year from him.
9:14
Comment From Bert
Do you feel that Stroman can be a viable SP in Toronto and in the AL East?
9:14
Paul Swydan: Absolutely, and wrote as much for ESPN Insider yesterday (I will post to FG+ tonight, promise).
9:14
Comment From stonepie
under/over- 2 weeks til axford is out as closer
9:15
Paul Swydan: Over. Francona is generally pretty loyal. I wouldn’t expect him to axe Axford right away. Last night in particular it was questionable to bring him in – he had pitched in the two previous games, and the night before he had thrown 28 pitches.
9:15
Comment From sam
should we be at all concerned about bogaerts’ lack of power? I understand that power generally doesn’t peak until 25-26 but I was hoping his pre-peak ISO would be above .100
9:16
Paul Swydan: I have seen Xander hit the ball hard a number of times, only for the ball to find a glove or April wind current. I think that if he is still going on this pace in the middle of July, then I’ll be concerned. But right now, I’m focusing on the positives – like that .390+ OBP.
9:16
Comment From bobthesinger
Robbie Ray looks good tonight. Definite stash in dynasty at this point, even if he’s not a regular yet?
9:17
Paul Swydan: I think that it’s fairly easy to look good against Houston, but I don’t think stashing him is a bad idea by any means.
9:18
Comment From Anthony
Yelich and Arenado both hitting well so far. Who do you like better this season and beyond offensively. Who has the bigger upside?
9:18
Paul Swydan: Arenado definitely has the bigger upside, just because of the positional scarcity. If Arenado can hit like this, or even like 80-90% of this, then he’s a perennial All-Star candidate.
9:18
Comment From Josh C
Which is more accurate, the Plate Discipline stats from Baseball Info Solutions or from pitch fx
9:19
Paul Swydan: I don’t really look at it as which is more accurate. I look at both and see if they’re telling me the same thing. If they do, then I trust that the depiction is accurate. If there is a large discrepancy, then I take a step back.
9:20
Paul Swydan: Also, remember that each has one or two things that it measures that the other doesn’t, so it’s not necessarily a great idea to pick one over the other on a permanent basis.
9:20
Comment From Matt
If the current PawSox + Mookie Betts played the Astros for a 100 games, how many games would they win?
9:20
Paul Swydan: Probably 20-30.
9:21
Comment From Tonto Pronto
How concerned are you about Buchholz and why is the answer “very”?
9:22
Paul Swydan: Because of the velocity:

http://www.fangraphs.com/pi…

Though if he keeps ticking it up like he did in the last two starts, maybe I’ll start to be less concerned.

9:22
Comment From Jake Shears
Elton John or John Lennon?
9:22
Paul Swydan: Man, that’s a good one. I’ll say Lennon.
9:22
Comment From wierndal
Do you think Jon Lester is capable of sustaining his performance so far this year through the season?
9:23
Paul Swydan: No, right now he is at a 55 FIP-, which would be his best season by 16 percent.
9:23
Paul Swydan: BUT – I do think he is now capable of a FIP- in the low 80s, and after his 2011-12 seasons, that’s still a bit of a surprise.
9:23
Comment From Spalple McGee
Should the MLB season be reduced? Lengthened?
9:25
Paul Swydan: If it should be anything, it should go back to the way it used to be – which I believe is 155 games. But I am fine with it just the way it is. I think if you want to shorten the season, you schedule more doubleheaders. I think maybe you extend the 26th man rule to a 27th man rule to get the players to not grouse about it.
9:25
Comment From Salvatore Muffins
Why are you only taking red sox questions hey you know i exist too right? hey paul PAUL
9:25
Paul Swydan: Sorry Mufiins!
9:25
Comment From Sgt. Pepper
Do you care that the Bruins are losing?
9:26
Paul Swydan: I care in as much that I have a lot of friends that want them to win and I generally prefer for my friends to be happy. But personally, no, I gave up after the last strike and never went back. My hockey interests are just BU hockey these days.
9:26
Comment From Guest
Eric Hosmer has 0 HRs
9:26
Paul Swydan: Exact quote from Jeff when I brought up Hosmer to him today on Gchat:

“God he sucks.”

9:27
Comment From Nug Tepid
Bet you can’t guess which three names in the chat were aliases of mine. Also, do you like your steak rare, medium rare, or medium?
9:27
Paul Swydan: You’re right, I can’t.

Medium.

9:27
Comment From stonepie
hosmer hit one last night!
9:27
Paul Swydan: I bet Jeff still thinks he sucks though.
9:27
Comment From Wilt
Which currently rebuilding team — Astros, Twins, Cubs — is most likely to see their plan flop like the Royals?
9:28
Paul Swydan: The Twins. They don’t have the pitching. And you need the pitching.
9:28
Comment From Meano Eno
Tucker Barnhart
9:28
Paul Swydan: I’m not going to lie to you, I had never heard of him before tonight.
9:29
Comment From Wes
Does the Colorado front office have more of a plan than we give them credit for? The Fowler-Lyles deal looks solid so far.
9:30
Paul Swydan: I think Jordan Lyles is rocking a BABIP roughly 50 points below his career average. Maybe that is sustainable with all of the groundball outs, but I doubt it. Definitely pleasantly surprised with Lyles thus far, but the Anderson gambit predictably failed, and now Chatwood is on the shelf. Not all wine and roses for the Rockies’ rotation just yet.
9:30
Comment From D. N.
Who would you rather draft: a high school arm with stupid command but middling stuff, or a high school arm with ridiculous stuff but weak command?
9:31
Paul Swydan: It’s a matter of scarcity, right? There are only so many people with ridiculous stuff, and if you have confidence that you can teach them command, then you have to take that kind of person first.
9:31
Paul Swydan: But ultimately, I want both.
9:32
Paul Swydan: As an aside, Noah Woodward’s piece tomorrow for THT touches on this exact thing.
9:32
Comment From Meano Eno
you cant have both
9:32
Paul Swydan: YOU’RE NOT MY SUPERVISOR!!!!
9:32
Comment From Rubby
Was offered Price for Heyward. Can use the SP & have outfield depth. Thoughts?
9:32
Paul Swydan: If you have outfield depth, then sure, go for it. Only so many David Price’s around.
9:32
Comment From Table
woah…….Kershaw is pitching
9:33
Paul Swydan: He sure is!
9:33
Comment From Septo Bismol
Coming into the season did you like the Brewers or the Diamondbacks better?
9:34
Paul Swydan: Well, I didn’t consider that exact question before the season started. Here’s what I can say: I can say I didn’t expect the Dbacks to be good, but I didn’t expect them to be this bad. And I didn’t expect the Brewers to be awful, but I didn’t expect them to be this good. I would say they both seemed like 78-win teams to me. And the Brewers still kind of do, though obviously the big April is super helpful.
9:34
Comment From Derrin OBlubber
What’s the worst ballpark in America?
9:34
Paul Swydan: Probably some Little League field in a rundown neighborhood somehwere?
9:35
Paul Swydan: Of the major league parks I’ve been to, probably Olympic Stadium. Although that’s not in America….so, probably Tampa.
9:35
Paul Swydan: Catwalks < raw sewage
9:36
Comment From Tim
Would you recommend dropping Joe Smith for Cody Allen? Any other lurking closer targets?
9:36
Paul Swydan: Ehhhhhhhhhhhhhh, maybe.
9:37
Paul Swydan: Here’s the thing – Allen probably WILL be a closer, but Smith still is like half a closer. Depends on your outlook.
9:37
Paul Swydan: And while you’re thinking about it, read the Bullpen Report:

http://www.fangraphs.com/fa…

9:37
Comment From Northsider
I keep hearing that the Cubs signed EJax as potential trade bait. Do you think his contract/results will make him a trade chip in the next year or two?
9:38
Paul Swydan: I mean, could they trade him? Yes. Are they going to get anything good for him? I sincerely doubt it.
9:38
Paul Swydan: The contracts that were more trade bait were like the Scott Baker deals. The one-year, two-year deals. EJax got four.
9:38
Comment From Lew Wolff
Would Oakland fans really show up if I showed more commitment to the community? A winning team’s a winning team…
9:39
Paul Swydan: I think if you stopped trying to move the team to San Jose, I think more people would come to games, yes.
9:39
Comment From park chan hos beard
re: jordan lyles and rockies front office. I agree that it’s too early to declare the fowler/lyles trade a victory for the rockies, but a freak injury to anderson and another unfortunate one to chatwood can hardly be blamed on the front office
9:40
Paul Swydan: Well, every team needs to have usable depth. Getting Anderson was more of a “catch lightning in a bottle” move, and I don’t think the team had the rotation depth to afford such a move.
9:40
Comment From Guest
Most thrilling moment you’ve had while playing baseball
9:41
Paul Swydan: My final year of playing competitive baseball was Babe Ruth League (one step above Little League in my town). I got one hit all season. It was a groundball to deep shortstop. I guess that’ll have to do.
9:41
Comment From Humvac Glutes
Can I be Paul Swydan for one question? (not this question)
9:41
Paul Swydan: Well, who do I get to be?
9:41
Comment From park chan hos beard
should i be worried about CarGo? And what should the rockies do about their logjam of like 6 mlb calibre outfielders?
9:42
Paul Swydan: I have been hesitant about paying full price for him in trade. If you already own him, I think he’s a guy you just kind of have to roll with.
9:42
Paul Swydan: As for the logjam, I think that their best course of action would be to find a team that wants to acquire Drew Stubbs.
9:43
Comment From Wishbone
Sell now on Stanton in a league with no keepers, or is his hamstring gonna keep it together this year?
9:43
Paul Swydan: First off, you just gave me a heart attack because I quickly read “Stanton” and “hamstring” and thought he was injured.

Second, no, hang on to him.

9:43
Comment From Southsider
Whose rebuild do you prefer: W. Sox or Cubs?
9:44
Paul Swydan: I think the Cubs have done a good job with their draft picks, but aside from that they’re not really being all that proactive, so I’d have to say the White Sox.
9:44
Comment From Jolt Wacketty
Billy Hamtilon figuring it out? He’s got an OPS >.800 over the last two weeks.
9:44
Paul Swydan: We’re going to need more than parsing an already small sample before we figure out whether or not he’s figured it out. Still leaning no.
9:45
Comment From Humvac Glutes
Paul, you get to be a man living under a bridge on his 41st birthday, wondering where his life went wrong.
9:45
Paul Swydan: I don’t like this game anymore.
9:45
Comment From Winnowbury Traffic
Thoughts on Jace Pederson peak?
9:45
Paul Swydan: I think you want to talk to Carson Cistulli for that one.
9:45
Comment From Bo
Drop Joe Smith for Casey Janssen? Or is his ETA too far away?
9:46
Paul Swydan: This one I could get down with. Janssen has one rehab appearance under his belt, and should have another 2-4 this week. I expect him back by the end of next week.
9:46
Comment From Jaack
You should have given the guy who wanted to be you for a question the Stanton question, so then he would have had the heart attack.
9:46
Paul Swydan: It’s true.
9:46
Comment From Northsider
Paul, make sure Southsider stays on his side of the fence!
9:47
Paul Swydan: Look, I don’t have time to watch all of you people. That’s what the fence is for, damnit!
9:47
Comment From Guest
Have you ever ridden on a sailbroat?
9:47
Paul Swydan: A sailbroat? Is that a sailboat filled with bros? If so, then no.
9:47
Comment From Buddha
Does MLB have an algorithm that makes my team lose when I watch them on strikeout.co, or is it just karma?
9:47
Paul Swydan: BOTH.
9:48
Comment From Bo
Fredi Gonzalez just called a suicide squeeze with Gerald Laird at bat and Freddie Freeman on third… Let’s just say it didn’t go as designed.
9:48
Paul Swydan: Oh man.
9:48
Comment From Eminor3rd
GOD I’m so tired of Gordon Beckham. Why is he still in baseball?
9:48
Paul Swydan: Don’t worry, he won’t be for much longer.
9:48
Comment From Guest
Most thrilling moment you’ve had in a livechat about baseball
9:49
Paul Swydan: I think I was at the helm of one of these when the Red Sox won an important playoff game last year. I don’t remember which because my life is kind of just either a dark blur (sleeping) or a light blur (not sleeping) these days.
9:49
Comment From Eno
Sailbrat: a sailboat filled wit brats.
9:49
Paul Swydan: I want to go to there.
9:49
Comment From Jordan S
Pirates just walked off on a replay-reviewed call at home that was initially called an out, first time in baseball
9:50
Paul Swydan: Noooooooo!
9:50
Paul Swydan: Oh man, I tried to call it up in time, but all I’m seeing is the interview.
9:51
Comment From Haiku Man
Paul Swydan, he is/baseball knowledge man for us/but is he awkward?
9:51
Paul Swydan: Yes, he is. Also, that’s cool, thanks!
9:51
Paul Swydan: Starling Marte’s translator just said that Starling Marte wanted to hit a triple throughout his at-bat. I’ve never heard of someone who was hitting for a triple. You go, Starling Marte!
9:52
Paul Swydan: Oh, I guess his translator was Gaby Sanchez. I wonder if he gets an extra paycheck for that….
9:52
Comment From osund
Do they mob the ump on the walk off review? Or do they fly to NY and mob the replay official?
9:52
Paul Swydan: Oh, I see it now. That’s a weird tag.
9:53
Comment From Guest 2
Are IPs attached to submissions, or can I get many responses just by changing my name?
9:53
Paul Swydan: Uh, I think I can go and check if I really want to, but it’s not in the basic information submitted with each question, so, the latter.
9:53
Comment From Amused
I guess Starling Marte wasn’t ambitious enough to hope for a home run
9:53
Paul Swydan: He works hard for the money so you better treat him right.
9:53
Comment From Guest
Do you think that the draft pick compensation incentivizes obviously weak teams to sign free agents to one year deals and then trade them mid-season? Wouldn’t a team like the Mets be better served if they had signed Drew and then flipped him for a couple of prospects?
9:54
Paul Swydan: Yes, but you absolutely can not bank on that as a way to do business.
9:54
Comment From Nahweh
Who would be your absolute last choice given that you NEED a stolen base in one particular game?
9:55
Paul Swydan: Probably a backup catcher of some sort. Specifically, whoever Yadier Molina’s backup is.
9:55
Comment From Guest 3
Best. Day. Ever.
9:55
Paul Swydan: Touche.
9:55
Comment From Special Question Man
Was offered Jose Fernandez for Robinson Cano in a keeper league, how fast do you say yes on this!
9:56
Paul Swydan: Man, that’s a fun trade. I mean, I guess it depends on how concerned about Cano you are. He should still technically be the best second baseman in the game, but he hasn’t played that way thus far.
9:56
Comment From Tommy Salami
Who has the highest offensive WAR at the end of the season, Gyorko, B. Miller, or Lawrie
9:57
Paul Swydan: I’ll say Gyorko.
9:57
Comment From person hscer
Kershaw could become the first player in my lifetime to do this http://www.baseball-referen…
9:57
Paul Swydan: Guess not. Sorry.
9:58
Paul Swydan: He came mighty close though!
9:58
Comment From McGlovin
Will jesse crain claim the closer role in houston by June 15?
9:58
Paul Swydan: I’ll say no.
9:58
Paul Swydan: Especially now that he’s on the 60-day DL.
9:59
Comment From Bud Selig
How soon after I’m out of here does my successor institute NL DH?
9:59
Paul Swydan: Hopefully never. I’d prefer to go the other way with that rule, to be honest.
9:59
Comment From Guest
What is the percentage of fantasy baseball managers that read fangraphs/rotographs regularly?
10:00
Paul Swydan: I would say probably < 10%. Lots of people play fantasy sports.
10:00
Comment From Super Special Question Man
Traded Chris Colabello for Corey Kluber, will I regret this in the morning??
10:01
Paul Swydan: Well, he homered tonight, so that’s something. But that is not a trade I would have made. Sorry.
10:01
Paul Swydan: Oh wait
10:01
Paul Swydan: You got Kluber?
10:01
Paul Swydan: Then I like it for you. Sorry, I need to learn how to read.
10:01
Comment From Meano Eno
Do you hate Big Papi Swydan????
10:01
Paul Swydan: Why would I hate Big Papi?
10:01
Comment From Super Special Question Man
yes i got kluber
10:02
Paul Swydan: Yeah, then nice work. I don’t think much of Colabello.
10:02
Comment From Meano Eno
you dont like the DH? isnt taht what you said?
10:03
Paul Swydan: That’s what I just said. The DH was instituted to help draw players to the American League, and has served its purpose.
10:03
Comment From Table
So I shouldn’t sell high on either of Tulo or Stanton? I could use pitching pretty bad
10:04
Paul Swydan: I would hold onto them, but I guess it depends on your risk tolerance.
10:04
Comment From Bruce Willis
What’s your favorite moving I star in?
10:04
Paul Swydan: I mean, by default it has to be Die Hard, but I celebrate pretty much your entire catalog.
10:04
Comment From Guest
What are your thoughts on Fantasy owners that obsessively add/drop? Pisses me right off, but I definitely reap the benefits of their stupidity at times.
10:05
Paul Swydan: Agree, though if they weren’t obsessively picking up and dropping people, there would be more guys for me to pick up and drop, so I wouldn’t have to worry about their stupidity as much.
10:05
Comment From PS
do people actually like Bruce Willis
10:06
Paul Swydan: I’m people and I like him. So there!
10:06
Comment From PS
Paul id just thought id let you know that this chat right now is significantly more important than my economics final tomorrow
10:06
Paul Swydan: I appreciate that, but it really isn’t. Do yourself a favor and do better than I did in economics. I fell asleep in every class because I’m a moron and the lecture hall was always 90 degrees.
10:07
Comment From Your life depends on it
Beard or no beard
10:07
Paul Swydan: Beardz rulz
10:07
Comment From sam
Do people actually not like Bruce Willis?
10:07
Paul Swydan: I guess so? I could see how college students would think he’s just some old guy that does crappy movies like Die Hard 5.
10:07
Comment From PS
I DONT LIKE BRUCE WILLIS
10:08
Comment From PS
I HAVE A BEARD
10:08
Paul Swydan: Damn, PS is all over the place. I think we had better let him study. I’m up more Bruce Willis talk next week though.
10:08
Paul Swydan: Thanks for hanging out guys. Hopefully Jeff will be back next week!
10:09
Paul Swydan: And good luck on finals everyone who is taking them!



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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 MLB Insider and the Boston Globe. Follow him on Twitter @Swydan.


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