FanGraphs After Dark Chat – 8/12/14

5:38
Paul Swydan: Hi everybody, come back tonight at 9 pm ET, for the best baseball chat that is held at 9 pm ET on a Tuesday!
9:00
Paul Swydan: Hey guy!
9:01
Paul Swydan: Hey girl!
9:01
Paul Swydan: Hey …… horse?
9:01
Comment From Aaron Hicks
Are the Twins rushing Buxton by promoting him to AA after not dominating A ball?
9:02
Paul Swydan: I don’t think so. He’s now played 87 games there, which is more than he played at his previous two levels, and he hit .295/.380/.448 there. He did that at age 19 and 20. I’d say that’s pretty good.

9:02
Paul Swydan: He’s had some injury hiccups this year, which also might be masking his numbers. And also, it’s not all about the numbers. So I’ll give the Twins the benefit of the doubt on this one, and if you know me, I’m generally pretty harsh on the Twins in general.
9:03
Paul Swydan: generally in general. wow, off to a great start!
9:03
Comment From Beaucoup Bucks
Soler in September? Or earlier?
9:03
Paul Swydan: I’d be surprised to see him before September.
9:03
Comment From Dan
Does Zobrist get moved this offseason, and if so what would be the expected return?
9:04
Paul Swydan: I think the Smyly/Franklin return for Price signals that the Rays want to jump back in the saddle next season, and there’s also a chance the Rays will be able to re-up Zobrist before he hits free agency, so I’ll say that he stays.
9:04
Comment From Ernie
Who wins in a Baez for Utley and CJ Wilson trade ROS?
9:04
Paul Swydan: If it’s just ROS, then the Utley/Wilson side.
9:04
Comment From Rob
True or False: The Brewers should keep Mike Fiers in the rotation when Garza is healthy and move Jimmy Nelson to the bullpen where his fastball could be dominant in one inning stints.
9:04
Paul Swydan: I’ll say false, though I don’t feel passionately about it either way.
9:04
Comment From Edge O
Has there been any research to back up the magic number 100 regarding pitch counts?
9:06
Paul Swydan: Well, I don’t think it was exactly “pull the pitcher at 100,” but Rany Jazayerli did a ton of research on this at BP back in the day that basically said don’t let pitchers get past 130 pitches. I think it’s fair to say that teams and managers are now more conservative than they need to be, but that’s probably better than the alternative.
9:06
Comment From Edge O
Carrasco struggled in the rotation early, but has been very good out of the pen and the latest start was pretty solid. Does he have a chance to stay in the rotation?
9:06
Paul Swydan: I think so. His early struggles weren’t as bad as they seemed.
9:07
Comment From Baron Von Waffles
Thanks for chatting. Chris Davis has negative Off, Def, and BsR values. How does he have a positive WAR?
9:08
Paul Swydan: There’s also the league and replacement adjustments to factor in.

http://www.fangraphs.com/st…

Obviously, it’s close though. This is certainly not how we anticipated his season panning out.

9:08
Comment From EJ
Is it time to try to sell high on Adrian Gonzalez in a dynasty league? I’m not in the championship race this year and can only keep him through the 2015 season.
9:09
Paul Swydan: Absolutely.
9:09
Comment From EJ
Is Wilin Rosario a good buy low for a dynasty team without a good starting catcher going into next season?
9:09
Paul Swydan: Maybe. I’m not convinced he should play full-time, so it depends what you have to give up to get him, but he certainly is better than he has played this year.
9:09
Comment From Edge O
Much talk of the Tigers needing bullpen help, but in your opinion would a bat be more beneficial? JD Martinez and Davis have been career platoon players and playing above career norms, SS and C don’t provide much offense, and Don Kelly sees the field way too much.
9:10
Paul Swydan: I think, realistically, that they need both. This team, and last year’s too I suppose, reminds me a lot of the mid-aught’s Yankees. Unbeatable through players 1-10 on the roster, but 11-25 leave a lot to be desired, and can be exploited.
9:10
Comment From Big Joe Mufferaw
How much weight do you put into numbers when judging a player defensively? And how much weight in the eye test and tools? 33-33-33%?
9:11
Paul Swydan: I would say it’s partially the eye test, partially the scouting reports and partially the statistics. So, if I haven’t seen the player play, then the mix changes. The more I’ve seen him, the less the scouting reports are weighted. Etc.
9:11
Comment From Big Joe Mufferaw
Should MLB implement grippier balls? (Lots of pitchers prefer it and some say its one of the reasons there are so many arm injuries). I know I am not a MLB pitcher, but I tried both and there is no difference when throwing them (then again I don’t throw and breaking balls).
9:12
Paul Swydan: I have no idea, to be honest. But I’d be pretty surprised if the reason that all the pitchers are getting hurt is because it’s too difficult to grip the ball.
9:12
Comment From Big Joe Mufferaw
HYPOTHETICAL: If Bryce Harper were to ask for a trade, what would it take to get him out of Washington?
9:12
Paul Swydan: A ton! At least three premium prospects/ready to play major leaguers + a couple other players.
9:13
Comment From The Humber Games
Overemphasis on pitching, big contracts to aging players, no farm system to speak of…are we seeing before our eyes the transformation of the Tigers into the Phillies? The Tigers seem to be setting themselves up for similar issues next year or the year after.
9:13
Paul Swydan: The difference is that Dave Dombrowski is far smarter than Ruben Amaro, Jr. The Tigers know that they’re walking into these pitfalls, but they’re doing so because they are trying to get their owner a trophy before he passes on.
9:14
Paul Swydan: If and when the Tigers press the reset button, they’ll do a much better job of restocking than the Phillies are. Don’t forget that Dombrowski was there the last time the Tigers rebuilt the ship.
9:14
Comment From Shameless Shoehorn
What is the best site for Keeper leagues?
9:14
Paul Swydan: I think either Ottoneu or Scoresheet.
9:15
Comment From Pork Sale
I have a lot of power in my head to head league and an weak at SS. I traded Joey Bats for Rajai Davis and Starlin Castro. Am I an absolute idiot, or a shrewd dude? There can be no in between. Ok. There can.
9:15
Paul Swydan: Let’s say somewhere in between, but I certainly would have wanted more. Sorry!
9:15
Comment From Big Joe Mufferaw
I`d like to see some stats on this, but it seems like this season, pitchers have CRAZY K/BB numbers. Is there data that proves that we are at historic levels?
9:16
Paul Swydan: Yup, that’s what the league stats page is for.

http://www.fangraphs.com/le…

Certainly seems like we’re in uncharted territory as far as recent history is concerned.

9:17
Paul Swydan: And when I say page, I meant tab. The league stats tab on our leaderboards.
9:17
Comment From a eskpert
Does Chase Utley make 60 WAR before October?
9:17
Paul Swydan: If he stays healthy…..I’ll still say no, but it’ll be close.
9:17
Comment From Forsyth
i just saw a pitcher (Kelly) get a knock and the leadoff hitter (Holt) sacrifice HIM to 2nd. Baseball is weird, man.
9:17
Paul Swydan: And then Kelly stole third base. So, yeah.
9:18
Comment From Pork Sale
Is there an easy fix to the Cardinals offense? Is this who they are, or is a correction coming?
9:19
Paul Swydan: The power just doesn’t seem to be there this season. It just goes to show how much they relied on Matt Holliday being the primary power source in that lineup.
9:19
Comment From Forsyth
It’s time, right? For JBJ to be sent to AAA and work on his swing there, while Betts gets everyday starts in Boston? I mean, Bradley is so lost its ridiculous.
9:20
Paul Swydan: Betts and Bradley should be playing every day in the majors. Not sure why Bradley is going to learn more about his swing in Pawtucket, where there is less access to video and fewer coaches to go over his swing with.
9:20
Paul Swydan: The Sox don’t need Nava and Holt playing every day. They are who they are.
9:20
Comment From Et Tu, Brute?
Thanks for this, Paul. When can pirates fans expect to see Josh Bell in 2015? Is he a trade candidate?
9:21
Paul Swydan: Well, everyone is a trade candidate, but no, it’s not been the Pirates’ M.O. to trade valuable prospects, and I don’t expect that to start now. As for his due date, he needs to do better at Double-A. Assuming he does this, he could be up in 2015. It depends on if the Pirates want him to jump Triple-A or not.
9:21
Comment From Joe
I am 28 years old, pretty good athlete, played pretty well as a high school baseball player. Barry Bonds is 50 years old, will there ever be a point in my life that I am better at baseball than Bonds is? e.g. When he is 56 and I am 34?
9:21
Paul Swydan: Honestly? I doubt it.
9:22
Comment From Alex
In a keeper league, is dropping Tyler Skaggs a good idea? I’d like to keep him, but he’s going to be dead weight all of next season and who knows if comes back strong in 2016
9:22
Paul Swydan: I have him in a keeper league and I’m not going to drop him. But my league has a 45-man roster limit. If yours is smaller, then I think you can certainly consider it.
9:22
Comment From Bo
Is the NL East about wrapped up after tonight?
9:23
Paul Swydan: No, that’s a bit much. Hey, the Marlins are still lurking!
9:23
Comment From Guest
better pro eventually: Baez, Soler, Bryant, Addison?
9:24
Paul Swydan: I’ll say Russell will be best, but any of them could take the crown, as long as their name is their name.
9:24
Comment From martin
please tell me where I can find definitions for wpa plus and wpa minus. I have searched the library and the glossar to no avail. (new customer to this site) thx
9:24
Paul Swydan: WPA plus and WPA minus are exactly what they sound like – positive WPA and negative WPA. Add them together to make WPA. I’m not even sure why we break it out, to be honest with you, though I’m sure people smarter than me can use the components for something.
9:25
Comment From Guest
This might be off topic so bear with me. I’ve trying to find home and away splits for relievers by team. Do you have any ideas where I could look?
9:25
Paul Swydan: We’ve got it all, Guest!

http://www.fangraphs.com/le…

9:26
Paul Swydan: Oh, I guess that it defaults back to all pitchers. Hmmm. Well, you could do it by hand from there, I suppose.
9:26
Paul Swydan: Not sure of a better answer at the moment, sorry.
9:26
Comment From Pork Sale
Do you collect baseball cards at all? My wife snagged me a box of 2012 Topps archives and I totally felt like a kid again.
9:27
Paul Swydan: I used to. I still have boxes of cards at my parent’s house. My mom threatened to throw them away a couple of years ago, but she’s all talk.
9:27
Paul Swydan: But yes, I’m looking forward to showing them all to my son some day. That’s going to be fun.
9:27
Comment From Pork Sale
Is Lindor worth stashing in a 12 team, 30 man roster league? Lindor over Soler?
9:27
Paul Swydan: Definitely. And, yes, on the positional eligibility, though I won’t kill you if go Soler.
9:27
Comment From Alex
20 team keeper league, with no limits to keeping, would you trade Jake Odorizzi for Mike Napoli? Current 1st baseman for next year is Hosmer, with Allen Craig as back up.
9:28
Paul Swydan: Sure, Odorizzi is OK, but I’d rather have the hitter.
9:28
Comment From Park Chan hos beard
I’m watching this head and shoulders commercial with cj wilson signing autographs. who’s the guy he’s talking to? just an actor, right? If so, who do you think his real life analog is?? one of the dork bullpen guys?
9:29
Paul Swydan: I believe it is just an actor, but I’m not sure. Last year it was pretty clearly Josh Hamilton in the other ads with him, but I don’t recognize this year’s guy. Then again, I’m not a devout Angels fan.
9:29
Comment From martin
hi paul
9:29
Paul Swydan: hey Martin!
9:29
Paul Swydan: Bah, question is not posting. Stupid CiL.
9:30
Comment From Aaron Hicks
So what does this do for Budton’s MLB ETA?
9:30
Paul Swydan: Nothing. For Buxton though…still nothing. I think this was probably the plan all along.
9:30
Comment From Park Chan hos beard
Hi Paul, i really liked your Rockeis article and mostly agreed with it, with a couple exceptions: I’d pay Anderson his money because he’d likely sign somewhere that wasn’t coors field (or at least, pay him when nobody of the Haren/Kuroda/Masterson/McCarthy group signed), and I’d trade Cargo for pitching since Dickerson is basically Cargo 2.0. Thoughts?
9:31
Comment From Sandy Alderson
Why is every other fangraphs writer extremely optimistic about the Mets future considering their pitching depth and vastly improved farm system… but you really don’t like their future at all….? Not hating…. just wondering what you’re smoking.
9:31
Paul Swydan: There’s NO WAY Anderson is getting $12 million from someone next season. 133 innings pitched in three years, and now he has a bulging disc in his back. He’d be lucky to get $6 million next year. Sorry, not buying it AT ALL. And, as I said with Chacin, he’s a lottery ticket, and lottery tickets should be cheap.

As for CarGo – you’re never going to get full value for CarGo after the season he’s had. Can’t sell low with one of your biggest assets.

9:32
Paul Swydan: There’s the hiccup question, on the Mets.
9:33
Paul Swydan: First, I don’t know that every other FG person is high on them, but as for me, pitchers go boom all the time, and even if they all come through, the Mets don’t have enough spots for them. They need hitters, lots and lots of hitters. They’re unlikely to find them unless they get proactive in trading for some, and the team has not shown the proclivity to be proactive about anything under Alderson’s regime. Everything has been slow down, let’s think about this.
9:33
Comment From alex
Thanks for the chat. For the next 4 years, who would you rather have? Pedroia or Cargo? Not sure how bad will Cargo’s knee affect him long term.
9:34
Paul Swydan: Hmmmmm. Probably CarGo, because I expect that he’ll still hit when healthy. I’m not sure Pedroia can hit at a premier level right now, nevermind four years from now.
9:34
Comment From JV
Is Jordan Zimmermann one of the top 10 pitchers in baseball?
9:35
Paul Swydan: Nope. Top 30 probably, but not top 10.
9:35
Comment From martin
will Odor stay up next year…your opinion?
9:35
Paul Swydan: That’s tricky. He wouldn’t play full-time, but he also probably has been up for too long to send him back to Triple-A. I’ll say yes. Perhaps he’ll get some outfield time.
9:35
Comment From Pork Sale
Are the Cubs legit contenders next year just by signing Scherzer, and promoting Bryant? I mean, I know that doesn’t cure all, but in that division, it seems plausible.
9:36
Paul Swydan: Cespedes go boom.
9:36
Paul Swydan: No, the Cubs need one more starting pitcher, and some more help in the bullpen would be sublime.
9:36
Paul Swydan: One more pitcher beyond Scherzer, I mean.
9:36
Comment From Pork Sale
Over/under 25% chance Stanton is traded this offseason. And how many teams could even put together a realistic package to get him?
9:36
Paul Swydan: Under. And plenty, but they won’t want to.
9:36
Comment From Alex
Oh yeah, speaking of Cespedes, you think the Sox extend him?
9:37
Paul Swydan: I wouldn’t, but we’ll see.
9:37
Comment From Jack
Preparing for playoffs. Pick top 2 of these pitchers – possible September matchup shown.

Hughes @CLE, @CHW, vDET, vCLE
Minor @WAS, @TEX, vWAS, vNYM
Colon vCOL, vWAS, vMIA, @ATL
Odorizzi @NYY, @TOR, vNYY, vCHW
Paxton vHOU, vOAK, @LAA, @HOU

9:37
Paul Swydan: Hughes and Colon.
9:37
Paul Swydan: Paxton third.
9:37
Comment From Aaron Hicks
Does Baez earn his first career BB this week?
9:38
Paul Swydan: I’ll say yes!
9:38
Comment From RG
So considering it seems the consensus pick from the cubs core 4 is russell, does that give validity to billy beane saying ‘I just traded you barry larkin’ to theo or was that somewhat smoke
9:39
Paul Swydan: I think there was validity to it before anyone saying he’s their best prospect.
9:39
Comment From John
Any suggestions for a non-parametric equivalent for a two-way ANOVA? I can’t force my data to meet the assumptions no matter which transformations I try.
9:39
Paul Swydan: I have to say that I’m flattered that you think that I’m qualified to answer that question, but I’m not qualified to answer that question.
9:39
Comment From Sandy Alderson
I certainly agree with you on the fact that they need hitters. But Dilson Herrera, Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto all seem to be progressing well, and quickly… and like you said they don’t have enough spots for all those pitchers – you’d have to expect a trade for a bat, right? They can’t leave all those guys to just rot in the minors for the next 6 years…… right?
9:40
Paul Swydan: Not sure Nimmo and Conforto are going to graduate in the timeframe that they need them to graduate in in order to make them contenders with this current group.

Also, again, if they were going to start clearing out room for the new guys, then why didn’t they trade Colon at the deadline?

9:40
Comment From Alex
Paul, any opinion on Matt Davidson? Just utterly broken this year, although he’s been steadily lowering his SO rate.
9:41
Paul Swydan: I assumed he’d be in the majors by now, to be honest. Doesn’t make the trade a bad trade, obviously, and he’s got another year to turn it around, but it’s not looking great.
9:42
Comment From Pirate Parrot
Thoughts on Pedro Alvarez moving to 1st?
9:44
Paul Swydan: I’m OK with it. I think it’s the last nail in the coffin of Pedro Alvarez as a quality above average player.
9:44
Comment From Joe
Traded Harper for Baez, TAveras, and Bryant in keeper league. In 2nd right now but keepers were not great for hitters. Can keep all 3 forever. Made the right move right?
9:44
Paul Swydan: Absolutely.
9:44
Comment From Pirate Parrot
Josh Harrison can’t possibly keep this up, right?
9:44
Paul Swydan: Not next year, but I could see this lasting for the rest of this season.
9:44
Comment From Grand Admiral Braun
We’re convinced JedTheo will spend big this offseason. Any reason why signing Russell Martin wouldn’t be a great idea?
9:45
Paul Swydan: I guess because they have bigger needs elsewhere? Nothing wrong with Castillo, though Martin and Castillo would make a nice tandem.
9:45
Comment From Stephen
My 12 team mixed, 6×6 H2H keeper league has been discussing adding either more DL spots or a NA spot or two in addition to our 5 bench and 2 DL spots. Its a fairly shallow keeper, with 5 max players and nobody cheaper than the 12th round. Do you think adding another DL spot or a NA spot for prospects turn our league into a dynasty one? We like everyone going for it every year, but being able to keep a few key players.
9:46
Paul Swydan: I don’t like adding more DL slots, but I generally have a softer stance on the NA spots. I’d be OK with that.
9:46
Comment From Stephen
Sorry for the long question
9:46
Paul Swydan: Yeah, you should be, Stephen! Just kidding.
9:47
Comment From kneel
Manny Machado’s knees kind of bend in at the knees. This is going to be a chronic thing.
9:47
Paul Swydan: You heard it here first, folks!

I certainly hope you’re wrong, FWIW.

9:47
Comment From John
Assuming the Mets rebuild does go well and they trade for someone, and taking into account the Cubs and Astros rebuilds, and all their divisions, which team actually has the easiest path to winning the division? As a Mets fan, Nats and Braves look to be good for a while and the Marlins scare me… Although as a cubs fan I imagine you could say the same thing about the cards and pirates. Thoughts?
9:48
Paul Swydan: Definitely not the Astros.

Probably the Mets, though the Mets have to get out of their own way.

9:48
Comment From Sandy Alderson
Thanks so much for answering, Paul. Been wondering for weeks. But hypothetically – for the Mets to really acquire a decent enough bat, say Tulo – think a combination of Niese, Syndergaard/Montero, Plawecki, Flores is too much? Not enough? Just right?
9:48
Paul Swydan: Not even close. Sorry.
9:48
Comment From Alex
Related to the Davidson question, worth placing a claim on Jake Lamb to replace him? Also, thanks for all the answers tonight, really helpful.
9:48
Paul Swydan: Yeah, I’d be fine with replacing Davidson with Lamb.
9:48
Comment From Pork Sale
Has Chris Carter turned any sort of corner, or is this just “the good times”?
9:49
9:49
Comment From Phil
Would it be possible for two smart GM’s to pull off colusion in MLB? Would it be MLB legal for 1 GM to say to another, I’ll make you a favorable trade that puts you in the playoffs this year if you make me one that puts you in next?
9:50
Paul Swydan: It’d be very rare for two teams to find themselves in this situation competitively, and even more rare that the GMs in question would be willing to go in on these types of shenanigans. But yes, I suppose anything is possible.
9:50
Comment From Sandy Alderson
Then again – Look at what Johan Santana was traded for at the time
9:50
Paul Swydan: Trades like that are why trades like that don’t happen anymore.
9:51
Comment From martin
sam fuld a good idea? he is good outfielder, gets on base? what do you think?
9:51
Paul Swydan: It’s not an awful idea, but I’d want someone better.
9:51
Comment From Alex
Weirdly, i nearly did the exact opposite of Joe. I just trade Baez and Taveras for Harper. Kept Bryant though.
9:52
Paul Swydan: Well, then you didn’t do the exact opposite of Joe, now did you? Stick to a story, Alex, come on!
9:53
Comment From RG
How about Hendricks command…Looks like he’s flying under the radar when it comes to big league contributors for the cubs moving forward
9:53
Paul Swydan: His command is good, but based on these numbers I’m seeing, I wouldn’t call it special.
9:54
Paul Swydan: But yes, he could be a down-rotation piece for them next year. SP rotation depth at the very least.
9:54
Comment From Cameron Diaz
Thoughts on my Cuban brother Aledmys Diaz? MLB starter or bench fodder?
9:54
Paul Swydan: I have no thoughts on him yet, but I think I’m disappointed in you for making “Sex Tape.” You’re better than that, Cameron.
9:55
Comment From Analytics Plant
Mike Trout getting over 100 RBI this year will mean he’s finally arrived.
9:55
Paul Swydan: Finally, he’s arrived!
9:55
Paul Swydan: Blowing past 30 HR will probably help too.
9:55
Comment From Caleb Joseph
Am I really this good of a catcher? Should Matt Wieters be worried?
9:56
Paul Swydan: Matt Wieters doesn’t need to be worried, because he was probably going to leave in free agency anyway.

But no, Joseph isn’t anything special. He’s 28, and has a 95 wRC+, and needed a big hot streak just to get there.

9:56
Comment From Shauntell
Which 2 do you like best ROS? Bauer, Nelson, Fiers, CJ Wilson, R. Montero. Thanks!
9:57
Paul Swydan: I’ll ride with Wilson and Nelson.
9:57
Comment From martin
salazar or bauer ros?
9:57
Paul Swydan: Whichever is going to get the most starts.
9:58
Comment From martin
ty paul…enjoy the evening
9:58
Paul Swydan: Thanks guys, I’m going to call it a night. Talk to you all next week!


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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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RSF
Guest
RSF
2 years 1 month ago

“Much talk of the Tigers needing bullpen help, but in your opinion would a bat be more beneficial? JD Martinez and Davis have been career platoon players and playing above career norms, SS and C don’t provide much offense…”

When will this perception of the Tigers being offensively feckless at catcher end?

Alex Avila has a 99 wRC+ and has hung around there for most of the year. Holaday is useless, but his replacement is ready in AAA (McCann, whenever Dombrowski finally realizes that Holaday is awful).

Somehow in 2014 Avila is still being judged almost exclusively by his BA by most people.

I Know Everything
Guest
I Know Everything
2 years 1 month ago

Correction:

Soler > Baez > A bag of switcheroo balls > Lindor

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