FanGraphs After Dark Chat – 8/20/13

6:03
Paul Swydan: Hi everybody!

Well, it’s here. It’s FINALLY HERE!!!! Xander Bogaerts makes his glorious major league debut in all of its gloriousity, and we’ll be here to talk about it tonight at 9 pm ET.

You get in some questions and I’ll get up some polls. See you soon! (Polls at bottom of transcript)

8:59
Paul Swydan: One sec guys.
9:00
Jeff Zimmerman: Some shameless self promotion. Comparing Season playoff chances to game playoff chances: http://www.royalsreview.com/2013/8/20/4639768/converting-playoff-odds-to-a-game-win-expectancy
9:01
Paul Swydan: Boom. Alright, let’s do this.
9:01
Comment From Eddie Gaedel
On a scale of 1-10, how much do you love saying Salazar?
9:01
Paul Swydan: I’ll give it a 6. Six and a half maybe.

9:02
Jeff Zimmerman: It is OK.
9:02
Jeff Zimmerman: 5
9:02
Comment From cal
thoughts on dempster suspension
9:02
Paul Swydan: Not long enough. Hopefully they will just demote him to the pen or waiver wire soon anyway.
9:02
Jeff Zimmerman: Not enough, I think all SP should get 10 days.
9:02
Comment From Matt
Chris Sale: Dark Horse AL Cy Young? I feel like he is criminally underrated
9:03
Paul Swydan: He is a dark horse, yes, but I think this is going to boil down to Felix vs. Scherzer pretty quickly.
9:03
Jeff Zimmerman: He is top 10, but he is not close to the big dogs in the AL Cy Young. It would be better if he was on a playoff team.
9:04
Comment From Gila Monster
Paul, I asked Jeff this earlier, but do you believe Bucholz is overrated,especially in the media? His HR/FB% and LOB% are prime to regress. Nothing is pointing to his K% being sustainable as his SwgStk% hasn’t improved. Do you think he’ll settle in at something between his 2012 and 2013 seasons, or do you believe he can be the $1 Boston is making him out to be?
9:05
Paul Swydan: He’s overrated because he gets hurt when a butterfly lands on his shoulder. He’s certainly not a true #1, but he’s the best pitcher the Red Sox have.
9:05
Jeff Zimmerman: I still see him as a #2/#3 (hope was my comment earlier). Good, but not great pitcher.
9:05
Comment From redd
What are Jarrod Parker’s chances of breaking thru to a higher level? He’s 7-0 2.59 ERA in past 15 starts and if you take out the first month or so, he’s been fairly good the past calendar year and a half. In other words… breakout candidate?
9:06
Paul Swydan: Not until the K rate comes up. And it hasn’t come up enough yet.
9:07
Jeff Zimmerman: I just don’t see where it will happen. Not much improvement on a 6 k/9 and 3 BB/9
9:07
Comment From Beattie
RoS in a OBP league : JPA,Russell Martin, or TDA?
9:07
Paul Swydan: Not JPA. Martin or TDA, depending on your risk profile.
9:07
Jeff Zimmerman: Paul, TDA?
9:08
Paul Swydan: Travis d’Arnaud, if I’m not mistaken.
9:09
Jeff Zimmerman: OK, Martin based only on playing time. The Pirates will try to ride his knees to the playoffs. The others may sit quite a bit.
9:09
Comment From Brad
XB is going to be to baseball as Harold Reynolds is to analyzing baseball… Sorry Paul
9:09
Jeff Zimmerman: I think TDA will be working with the pitching and not concentrating on catching.
9:09
Paul Swydan: How dare you. HOW DARE YOU.
9:09
Paul Swydan: You mean not concentrating on hitting?
9:10
Jeff Zimmerman: right, sorry
9:10
Comment From Jaack
Jeff should probably handle the queue tonight so that Paul doesn’t *puts on sunglasses* Bogart all the question to make this chat Xander-only territory.
9:10
Comment From Jaack
Here are my thoughts on Boegarts in baseball: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onojPONm-9A
9:11
Paul Swydan: OK, I’m done for now.
9:11
Jeff Zimmerman: Paul will never give up his position of power.
9:11
Paul Swydan: Bwahahahahaha
9:11
Comment From Kevin
Paul, Magna Carta Holy Grail or Yeezus?
9:11
Paul Swydan: Yeezus. Not close.
9:11
Comment From Bryan
How long until Cabrera is moved back to 1B? And when it happens will the BBWAA freak out again and give him a ton of credit for the leadership for changing positions or something like that?
9:11
Paul Swydan: A long time, probably. Certainly not until VMart’s contract is up.
9:12
Jeff Zimmerman: He will give 3B a shot in 2014 at least. He is not horrible over there.
9:12
Comment From Gila Monster
Poll Question : Do you think A-Rod should embrace his role as a villain/heel? and are Are you rooting for him or Selig?
9:12
Paul Swydan: Has he not embraced it already? It kind of seems like he has, no?
9:12
Paul Swydan: Maybe that should be the poll question…
9:13
Jeff Zimmerman: I am rooting for Arod right now. I want this “stuff” to drag out as long as possible.
9:13
Paul Swydan: I don’t know that I’m full on ROOTING for A-Rod, but if you’re asking me to choose him or Selig, I’ll take A-Rod.
9:14
Comment From Brian
Paul would you trade Bogart and Pedroia for Trout and Hamilton?
9:14
Paul Swydan: I don’t think so, no. That’s tough. But I’ll take the double play combo.
9:15
Paul Swydan: Jeff?
9:15
Jeff Zimmerman: I probably would.
9:15
Paul Swydan: Disagreements!
9:15
Jeff Zimmerman: I would take Trout and find a way to tradeHamilton back to the Angels.
9:15
Paul Swydan: I’m probably a little too attached to Pedroia to evaluate that properly. Probably because he complimented my beard the last time I was in the clubhouse.
9:16
Comment From Brian
The Rockies are running a Helton tribute tonight on their broadcast… think he gets any HOF love?
9:16
Paul Swydan: He will probably get 5%, if only because he has a huge cheerleader in Tracy Ringolsby. And he’ll probably get a boost from being a “clean” guy. But I don’t think he’ll stay on the ballot for more than 3-4 years.
9:16
Jeff Zimmerman: He should hang around for a few years, but end up with the Don Mattingley, Dale Murphy treatment.
9:17
Comment From Brian
Who is the best player in baseball in 2017?
9:17
Paul Swydan: XANDER. BOGAERTS.
9:17
Jeff Zimmerman: Trout
9:17
Paul Swydan: Oh, and Trout and Harper, probably. Maybe that McCutchen guy too.
9:17
Jeff Zimmerman: They are all not too bad. Machado is decent also.
9:17
Comment From Brian
Prefered WS this year?
9:18
Jeff Zimmerman: Rays vs Pirates.
9:18
Jeff Zimmerman: Maybe A’s instead of Rays.
9:19
Paul Swydan: Red Sox vs. Pirates. Rematch of the first World Series.
Red Sox vs. Dodgers. Boston vs. Puig.
A’s vs. Pirates. Because it’d be fun.
9:19
Comment From d_russ
You told us about Ellsbury. Where’s Granderson landing?
9:20
Paul Swydan: The reason I didn’t choose to do Granderson or Choo is that as corner guys, they could really end up going anywhere, so it’s a lot harder to narrow that down.
9:20
Jeff Zimmerman: I have a suspicion in Texas
9:20
Comment From jesse

Is this the Angels/pujols future?

9:20
Paul Swydan: Ha.
9:21
Jeff Zimmerman: Not yet, I would give him 2014 before saying he is done.
9:21
Comment From Kevin
If I have the option of trading Goldschmidt at $5 straight up for Harper at $3. Both only kept for next year, which way do you lean? thank you.
9:22
Jeff Zimmerman: Harper, but depends on my replacements at the other positions. They would be close in talent.
9:23
Paul Swydan: Yeah, it’s close, but I think the potential for a full season of Harper outweighs Goldschmidt. It’s hard to picture Goldie being better than he has been this season.
9:23
Comment From Mr. Wrestling IV
I would like to see a Rays vs. Pirates vs. A’s WS.
9:23
Paul Swydan: Yeah, what does everyone want to see? Let’s hear it.
9:23
Comment From Grand Admiral Braun
How soon is Bogaerts the top fantasy SS? 2016? Assuming Tulo, Hanley and Reyes currently.
9:24
Paul Swydan: THE top SS? Probably a couple of years. But a top 10 SS? Maybe next year.
9:24
Jeff Zimmerman: and by will be the face of the franchise for years to come like Castro and Wood.
9:25
Paul Swydan: You’re just jealous because you have to watch Alcides Escobar every night.
9:25
Comment From Brian
Cleveland vs Pitt
9:25
Comment From Mr. Wrestling IV
Goldy vs. Harper: Goldy already is great, while we’re all still waiting for Harper to put it all together. Factor in the speed at first and it has to be Goldy.
9:26
Paul Swydan: Fair point. We are betting on Harper to put it all together. I’ll still take that bet too.
9:27
Jeff Zimmerman: Still take Harper.
9:27
Comment From AJT
Paul, do you have a mancrush on Xander?
9:27
Paul Swydan: AJT showed up late.
9:27
Comment From Grand Admiral Braun
On Helton – DUI this Spring and .001% of the scorn A-Rod receives EVERYDAY!
9:28
Jeff Zimmerman: Arod didn’t have to resign with the Yankees
9:28
Paul Swydan: Yeah, it’s tricky. You know, I certainly don’t appreciate that he did that or that the Rockies let him get off completely unaccountable for that action. On the other hand, he was the face of the franchise for 15 years. He should take more heat, certainly.
9:29
Comment From Grandpaboy
The odds that the BoSox pick up Lester’s $13m option are…?
9:29
Paul Swydan: At this point, Lester has been better than he has been this year. So I think pretty good.
9:29
Paul Swydan: than he was last year. Ack.
9:30
Jeff Zimmerman: 85%, only if he gets hurt, the free agent pitchers suck. The two best FA may be 40-year-olds (Colon and Kuroda)
9:30
Jeff Zimmerman: Kuroda isn’t 40, but close.
9:30
Comment From zack
Who would rather sign to a 4/year 100 million dollar contract today: Chris Sale or Justin Verlander?
9:30
Paul Swydan: Verlander, probably.
9:31
Jeff Zimmerman: Verlander. I swear Sale’s arm is coming off every time he throws.
9:31
Comment From Jaack
Prediction: Tomorrow Barry Zito will strike out Xander Bogaerts 8 times in a 19 inning complete game no hitter.
9:31
Paul Swydan: Jaack is banned for the rest of the chat.
9:32
Comment From Gern Cranium
2014 rank Tillman–Gee–Kluber–Morton–T. Ross
9:32
Jeff Zimmerman: 8 times in 19 innings, Zito is going to walk a ton of batters.
9:32
Paul Swydan: Kluber-Tillman-Gee-Ross-Morton
9:33
Jeff Zimmerman: Ross, Kluber, Gee, Morton, Tillman.
9:33
Comment From Grand Admiral Braun
Big Papi: HoFer (asking if he should…..not if the electorate will elect him)?
9:33
Paul Swydan: I don’t think so, no. He still has time to convince me otherwise, though.
9:33
Jeff Zimmerman: No, maybe after 5-10 years.
9:33
Jeff Zimmerman: on the ballot
9:33
Comment From Felipe
Your opinions, Zimmerman done and droppable at this point or just a short-term bad stretch?…playoffs are coming soon.
9:33
Paul Swydan: Jeff is always a keeper.
9:34
Jeff Zimmerman: Keep him, how good can you other options be?
9:34
Comment From Mr. Wrestling IV
West coast games are on so late. Doesn’t Xander know I have to work tomorrow?
9:34
Paul Swydan: He’ll learn.
9:35
Jeff Zimmerman: More time to drink
9:35
Jeff Zimmerman: BRB
9:35
Comment From Preston
How many of WMB, Xander Bogaerts and JBJr are starting for the BoSox this time next year?
9:35
Paul Swydan: I’ll say two of them. Not Middlebrooks.
9:36
Comment From Grand Admiral Braun
Any word on who the PTBN is in the DeJesus-deal?
9:36
Paul Swydan: No, it probably won’t be announced until after the season. Also, there is little chance that the Cubs care who that player is.
9:36
Comment From Kyle
Gut feeling: does Middlebrooks play well enough to hang onto the 3B spot long term? And if he does, does Cecchini’s bat play in a corner OF spot, or even 1B?
9:37
Jeff Zimmerman: Paul?
9:37
Paul Swydan: I’ve sort of moved past Middlebrooks for the time being. I don’t know that I want to pencil in Cecchini just yet, but I am no longer giving Middlebrooks the blind faith treatment.
9:38
Comment From Ryan
Tony Cingrani– should he/will he get any RoY love?
9:38
Jeff Zimmerman: Maybe from the beat writers.
9:39
Paul Swydan: No, not really. The NL field is LOADED this year, and Cingrani hasn’t done enough IMO.
9:39
Comment From Joe
Xander. Considering he has the athletic tools to do it, should the Dodgers try to make Puig a CF? Do you see it happening?
9:39
Paul Swydan: I think if they wanted to do that they would be doing so right now. I think it will be Kemp when he’s healthy.
9:40
Jeff Zimmerman: Was Xander added to just get Paul attention?
9:40
Jeff Zimmerman: Guess it worked.
9:40
Comment From Joe
Yes
9:40
Paul Swydan: It did, ha.
9:40
Comment From Ryan
Who’s the starting SS for the Red Sox if/when they’re in the playoffs?
9:40
Paul Swydan: Tough one. I think probably they’ll mix it up. Drew has been really good lately.
9:41
Jeff Zimmerman: That rookie they just called up.
9:41
Comment From Ryan
Do you start RA Dickey, Jered Weaver or CJ Wilson on a consistent basis in fantasy playoffs?
9:41
Paul Swydan: Not Dickey. Maybe to the other two.
9:42
Jeff Zimmerman: I have to start Dickey, but I have to. Min. innings in the AL only league. I would start Weaver over Dickey if I had him.
9:42
Comment From bada bing
What do you think Hosmer’s career arc looks like from here on out?
9:42
Paul Swydan: One for Jeff.
9:43
Jeff Zimmerman: Casey Kotchman-ish a few months ago. He is starting to get it together. He was 2nd in 2013 home run distance a few days ago. Some good signs, but I want to see more than 1 good month.
9:44
Comment From Jason
As a Cubs fan staking his hopes to the 2015/2016 train, is there any hope for Starlin Castro in his peripherals? In the cosmos? Anywhere?
9:44
Jeff Zimmerman: I don’t see it. His hitting value is going to be BABIP driven.
9:45
Paul Swydan: I think the most positive thing you can say about him is that he’s still just 23.
9:45
Paul Swydan: Nice battle here between McLouth and Torres.
9:45
Comment From Kyle
How many times does Bogaerts hit for the cycle between now and the end of the year? And if they decided to have him pitch, how many perfect games would he have?
9:45
9:45
Paul Swydan: Infinity. Infinity.
9:46
Comment From Joe
Before this string of injuries Matt Kemp was essentially an iron man, how hopeful should Dodger fans be of his production long term?
9:47
Jeff Zimmerman: Not very. I think he keeps rushing back and it will not be any different for this post season. He needs to heal.
9:47
Paul Swydan: It’s a good question. Kemp has two seasons of 5+ WAR, and four full seasons of 3.2 or less WAR. So I really don’t know how to peg that. He’ll always have the tools to go beast mode, but as more time passes I think it’s less likely that he actually does.
9:48
Comment From Roger
September prospect call-up you’re most looking forward to?
9:49
Paul Swydan: I was pretty excited for Xander and d’Arnaud, and they came up before September….I’d be pretty excited to see Lindor if the Indians think he is ready. The Indians need him:

http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/9580974/are-cleveland-indians-ahead-schedule-mlb

9:49
Jeff Zimmerman: (home team bias) KC’s Ventura, I want to see what he does against MLB pitching.
9:49
Comment From Lewie
Do the Mets resign Marlon Byrd? How much does he get next year?
9:50
Paul Swydan: I think their eagerness to re-sign him will depend on how quickly they want to put it all together. If they’re going to make a run at a contending team next year, I think the chances of them signing Byrd go down. But either way, I expect Byrd to get $6-10 million.
9:50
Jeff Zimmerman: Byrd has Giant written all over him, but I still think teams will consider him to be the crappy he was pre-2013.
9:50
Comment From Joe
No Xander in my first question: Response time 30 minutes.
9:50
Comment From Joe
Response time with Xander: Immediate.
9:50
Paul Swydan: Follow Joe’s lead people.
9:50
Comment From Northsider
Should the Cubs sell high on Nate Schierholtz this offseason or is it possible that he can keep this up long term?
9:51
Paul Swydan: Both.
9:52
Jeff Zimmerman: If they find a buyer, I would sell. He does seem like a nice piece if/when they go all in again.
9:52
Comment From Grand Admiral Braun
Ellsbury’s big deal: 6/$100?
9:52
Paul Swydan: That seems like the right place to put the over/under, yes.
9:53
Paul Swydan: Some people in the comments of my piece on Friday think it will be way under considering what Bourn got, but I’m not sure I agree. Ellsbury has been a MVP candidate – Bourn never has been.
9:53
Jeff Zimmerman: Seems OK, if I was a team, I would try to go 5/$90
9:54
Comment From Grandpaboy
Binary question–extend Samardzija for 5/$55m or trade him in the offseason?
9:54
Paul Swydan: If those are my only choices, extend him.
9:55
Jeff Zimmerman: I am not a Sam fan right now. Looking for my right up on him recently.
9:55
Paul Swydan: write up. He meant write up.
9:55
Comment From Lewie
Xander or Profar in a keeper league? (Assuming equal cost.)
9:56
Jeff Zimmerman: Profar, of course.
9:56
Paul Swydan: I pick Xander for two reasons:

1. More of Profar’s value is on D.
2. I don’t trust Ron Washington to put Profar in a place to succeed.

9:57
Comment From Grandpaboy
What’s the over/under on Ellsbury’s games played for the next 6 years? 600?
9:57
Paul Swydan: I’ll take the over.
9:57
Jeff Zimmerman: On Sam, I would wait until end of season. His velocity is headed down.
9:57
Jeff Zimmerman: Under.
9:57
Comment From Roger
John Fay was thinking 4/60 for Choo– agree/disagree?
9:57
Paul Swydan: I’ll take the over on that contract.
9:58
Comment From Bichette and Hoes, thats where my money goes
Do you see Fister being kinda disappointing the rest of the season? Don’t know why he’s been so lousy lately.
9:58
Jeff Zimmerman: He will go to a big market team for too much.
9:58
Jeff Zimmerman: I think it is a run of bad luck, he looks to be the same pitcher.
9:59
Paul Swydan: For the season, he’s been exactly the same as he was in ’11 and ’12. So no I wouldn’t expect him to be disappointing or underwhelming.
9:59
Comment From Fister? I barely know her!
My friend said Profar/Machado would be like Nomar/Jeter. I thought that was a kinda lazy comp, your thoughts?
10:00
Paul Swydan: I think that a) if you’re going to say that, blow it out to Profar/Machado/Xander – Nomar/Jeter/A-Rod. but b) I think that’s a tough comp to hang on those kids. Let’s just try to enjoy them without comparing them to people.
10:00
Jeff Zimmerman: Not a comp I like or why it exists. Nomar/Jeter was big because it was Yankees-RedSox
10:01
Comment From Elbo Room
Who’s a young AL pitcher who has struggled this year but you think will really shine next year?
10:02
Jeff Zimmerman: Not sure, thinking.
10:02
Paul Swydan: Kevin Gausman?
10:02
Jeff Zimmerman: Bauer maybe
10:02
Paul Swydan: I was gonna say Miguel Gonzalez, but he’s not really young.
10:02
Paul Swydan: Danny Salazar, though he hasn’t really struggled per se.
10:03
Jeff Zimmerman: Danny Duffy
10:03
Paul Swydan: And, shine might not be the right word, but Kyle Gibson was supposed to be better than this.
10:04
Comment From Preston
Who is going to be runner up to Xander for the 2014 AL rookie of the year?
10:05
Jeff Zimmerman: Appell
10:05
Paul Swydan: Taijuan Walker? Maybe Appel, yeah. Good one Jeff.
10:06
Paul Swydan: Well, it’s time. I hope you all enjoy Xander’s big league debut as much as I do!

Same time next week? Cool? Cool. Thanks for hanging out guys.

10:06
Jeff Zimmerman: See you all then.

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Paul Swydan writes and edits for FanGraphs, and is the co-managing editor of The Hardball Times. You can find him on ESPN Insider as well. Follow him on Twitter @Swydan.

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