FanGraphs After Dark Chat – 8/26/14

5:31
Paul Swydan: Hi guys! We’ll be with you live at 9 pm ET! Well, Jeff will only be here for half the time, because he has to do a radio spot because people are all interested in the Royals again.
5:32
Paul Swydan: But I’ll never leave you, loyal reader. SO load up the queue with questions and we’ll cram you full of baseball at the designated time!
9:03
Paul Swydan: OK, let’s do this.
9:03
Jeff Zimmerman: Alright
9:04
Paul Swydan: FYI, I’ve been listening to this song all day. Stupid Red Sox.

https://www.youtube.com/wat…

9:04
Comment From Pale Hose
Last week you guys forced me to study. Back to the regularly scheduled Tuesday night distraction!

9:04
Paul Swydan: That’s a fate worse than death. Won’t happen again!
9:05
Comment From Mount St. Keller
Ozuna is quietly having a very solid season. Not the best k and bb rates, but do you expect more of the same rest of season, and whats his longterm outlook like? Still young and has time to improve his plate approach, but do you think he does?
9:06
Paul Swydan: Well, the BB% is his best in three years, so that’s nice. But yeah, hard to see him being a plus hitter unless and until the Ks come down. Either way, I’m a fan.
9:06
Jeff Zimmerman: I am concerned about the 28% K%, but power is decent.
9:07
Comment From Rated Rookie

9:07
Paul Swydan: What is that from? That’s awesome. It looks familiar.
9:07
Jeff Zimmerman: Napoleon Dynamite
9:07
Paul Swydan: Yeah. Good times.
9:07
Comment From Mount St. Keller
Nice article on wainwright, I’ve been thinking the same thing about not having yadier catching for him, really hurting him, how much might it be hurting the rest of the staff as well?
9:08
Jeff Zimmerman: I haven’t read Paul article yet, so I will default to him.
9:09
Paul Swydan: Season – 99
April – 90
May – 91
June – 94
July – 112
Aug – 115
9:09
Paul Swydan: That’s the Cardinals’ FIP- by month.

Where I run into issues is that you would expect SOME decline from Wainwright – he was out of his mind in the first half – and no Wacha, etc etc.

But Molina is likely playing a factor here.

9:10
Paul Swydan: And it was Sullivan’s article, not mine.
9:10
Comment From Cubbie Blues
Who will be the 2015 AL and NL rookies of the year?
9:10
Paul Swydan: Kris Bryant and Kris Bryant. He’ll be so good that they’ll give him the AL hardware too!
9:10
Jeff Zimmerman: Bryant for sure
9:11
Jeff Zimmerman: Rodon?
9:11
Paul Swydan: I dunno, Joey Gallo in the AL? Despite the Red Sox suckitude, I’m not on 2015 yet. Maybe it’ll be Rusney Castillo. That’d be cool.
9:11
Paul Swydan: Rodon. Ya, that’s a good one.
9:11
Comment From Vic Romano
Reasonable expectations for Soler ROS? On the scale from David Wright to Jose Abreu, where does he fall?
9:12
Paul Swydan: Whoa, easy killer. Did we all miss that Gregory Polanco just got sent packing back to Indianapolis. Not every prospect is going to light the world on fire. Go look up the numbers for Trout’s and Tulo’s debuts.
9:12
Jeff Zimmerman: Adam Dunn
9:12
Comment From Dave
Delmon Young saw 26 pitches in 3 AB’s last night. Has hell frozen over?
9:13
Paul Swydan: Checking – nope, my armpits are still sweaty.
9:13
Jeff Zimmerman: Yep, the Royals are in 1st place.
9:13
Comment From LudeBurger
maybe you’ll never leave us because the Rockies will never be good again?
9:13
Paul Swydan: Right in the feelz.
9:14
Comment From Guest
What’s the Dodger OF look like this October? Kemp/Pederson/Puig? or does Mattingly still have his head up h
9:14
Jeff Zimmerman: Not until they start making above average baseball decisions.
9:14
Jeff Zimmerman: They won’t have Pederson starting. No way.
9:14
Paul Swydan: Checking – nope, Joc Pederson still hasn’t played a major league game. Only place he’s going to be playing in October is in the AFL (though he prob won’t play there either).
9:15
Paul Swydan: I feel like not enough of you are voting in the Emmy poll.
9:15
Comment From Park Chan hos beard
Regarding the rule that you can’t have baseball’s on your uniform or anything, and also can’t use different colored sports tape (especially for pitchers on their arms and stuff), could you work around this with a tattoo? or with some strategic tanning? Like a pitcher tattooing a bright white baseball to his pitching forearm or something. Is that legal and/or a good idea??
9:16
Paul Swydan: You could, until they caught you. And then you’d have to get that sh*t lasered off. Seems like it wouldn’t be worth it.
9:17
Jeff Zimmerman: or you could practice and watch film to get better.
9:17
Paul Swydan: Boom.
9:17
Comment From Hamilton Porter
OBP dynasty is a Mookie with regular AB’s, less SBs but not being an OBP black hole more valuable than Billy Hamilton?
9:18
Paul Swydan: Yes, but we’re a few months from knowing if that Mookie is going to happen in 2015 or 2016. Sox have some trading to do. Or some Victorino’s and Craig’s to kneecap. Either/or.
9:18
Jeff Zimmerman: Yes IMO, you can find steals.
9:18
Comment From Hanging On
Trying to keep ahead of the league for the last few weeks….Sal Perez or Mesoraco best bet ROS?
9:19
Jeff Zimmerman: Perez is hurt and may sit quite a bit. Take Mesoraco.
9:19
Paul Swydan: ZiPS and Steamer say Mesoraco.
9:19
Comment From Guest
No love for Gio-Hamels in the the poll?
9:19
Paul Swydan: Phillies are so bad that I just gloss over them, but you’re right, I should have made room for it. My fault.
9:20
Comment From John
Can we get a sub 6 feet all star team article. And would you rather have two billy Hamiltons or three Kendrys morales on defense in your outfield
9:20
Jeff Zimmerman: That’s on Paul.
9:20
Paul Swydan: I mean, listed heights are all garbage, so that wouldn’t be as fun for me as it should be.

And, two Hamilton’s. Not even a question.

9:20
Paul Swydan: Both would be bad, but two Hamilton’s would be bad in a more entertaining way.
9:21
Jeff Zimmerman: I like those type of articles in the off season.

Hamilton.

9:21
Comment From francis
Your thoughts on replay ? I think it is great. Nothing worse than bad calls determining outcomes, in any sport.
9:21
Jeff Zimmerman: I am going to work on a poll.
9:21
Paul Swydan: I like the idea of replay. But not in its current form. It needs to be faster. Wayyyyy faster.
9:22
Comment From francis
It looks to me like there are more high strikes being called this year. I heard somewhere that this is by design in order to speed up games. If this is the case, why is it a mystery that K’s are up and offense is down ? Is it just something that the league wants to keep a secret ?
9:24
Paul Swydan: Put it this way – if the league has mandated a larger strike zone, there is no way that they would trumpet this. 1) It means they’re acknowledging a pace of game problem, 2) it means they’re messing with the integrity of the game, 3) it’s really the worst way to go about things, but the easiest way for them to do it and 4) no bad PR during Grandpa Bud’s Last Ride.
9:24
Jeff Zimmerman: The league is generally wanting consistent zones and they are getting that, but it is a consistently larger zone.
9:24
Comment From Mike
Why no love for Rendon as MVP from the writers? Split time at 3b/2b? I would think that would help….
9:25
Jeff Zimmerman: Not too much help really.
9:25
Paul Swydan: He doesn’t have the cache this year to catch the media’s attention. They just want to talk about Strasburg and Harper, and maybe Ryan Zimmerman. And Jayson Werth.

Lot of big names on the Nats, in other words.

9:26
Paul Swydan: Also, I don’t care about the 2B/3B thing. Guys play where they can play. They don’t care. Unless you’re Bartolo/Dunn size, you are happy to play any position.
9:26
Comment From Soxfan
Castillo’s translation/projections look terrible and his raw numbers don’t look great. Am I insane thinking a Cespedes-Betts-Victorino/Craig outfield is better than a Cespedes-Castillo-Victorino/Craig outfield even leaving money out? (which could have gone to pitching on market)
9:28
Paul Swydan: I think that MLEs in general are not great. Everyone on the projections panel at Saber Seminar – including and especially MGL – acknowledged this. And you can double or triple down on that for Cuban players, ESPECIALLY Cuban players who haven’t played in a full year because they were busy fleeing one of the worst countries on the planet.

Bottom line – the teams know way more than we do about these guys, and even they don’t know that much.

9:28
Jeff Zimmerman: We’ll see, Betts hasn’t hit in the bigs, Cespedes is gone in one year, Victorino is always hurt, Craig gets hurt and is bad in the OF. I am betting things work out by spring training.
9:28
Paul Swydan: Trades are coming.
9:28
Comment From Guest
Can you add InstaGraph to the Blogs sub-tab?
9:29
Jeff Zimmerman: No idea, but we can ask the Dark Overlord.
9:29
Paul Swydan: I have already been in Appelman’s ear on this, but he is busy rolling cool new leaderboards and adding scouting info to the player pages and such. I’ll make sure he gets to it eventually. Promise.
9:29
Comment From Gern Kranium
Your thoughts on Matt Cain for 2015. I’m debating dropping him as my DL is overwhelmed and I need the spot. 14 team mixer Dynasty league
9:30
Paul Swydan: I think you’re fine dropping him. He’s a legit question mark man now. Late flier territory if he slips, if not, I’ll happily let him be someone else’s problem.
9:30
Comment From Rated Rookie

What you can say when this chat is over, to anyone who will listen:

9:30
Paul Swydan: That’s what’s up.
9:31
Comment From Guest
Higher realistic ceiling, Aaron Judge, Severino, eric jagielo
9:31
Paul Swydan: Consensus on that seems to be Judge, but you really want to ask Kiley that.
9:31
Comment From Matt T.
Have you checked in on Dave and Jeff since the Jack Z. extension? I am a bit worried
9:31
Jeff Zimmerman: Who? Really, no idea.
9:31
Paul Swydan: Yankees’ prospects, Jeff.
9:32
Jeff Zimmerman: OK.
9:32
Paul Swydan: Dave actually is pretty detached from the Mariners this year. Also, I think he basically called this chain of events after the Cano signing. Jack Z threw his hail mary, and Cano reeled it in.
9:32
Comment From Guest
What’s keeping Polanco from his ceiling?
9:33
Paul Swydan: A ladder?
9:33
Jeff Zimmerman: It will give the pair plenty of content for years to come.
9:33
Jeff Zimmerman: Fastballs.
9:33
Comment From Guest
Castillo’s 2015 wRC+, over/under 115?
9:33
Paul Swydan: I’ll be conservative and say under.
9:33
Jeff Zimmerman: Under, I am thinking league average hitter at best.
9:34
Comment From Grand Admiral Braun
If you could have either for the next 6 years, would you rather have Scherzer or Lester?
9:34
Paul Swydan: There’s just no way I can answer that question rationally, so I’m going to defer to Jeff.
9:34
Jeff Zimmerman: Lester, but both seem good for the long haul. Both are smart and could adjust as their skill erode.
9:35
Comment From Vic Romano
“Grandpa Bud’s Last Ride” = the worst attraction at Disneyworld
9:35
Paul Swydan: I dunno, Disneyworld has some pretty crappy rides. Have you ever actually gone on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride? I don’t know how they got on that ride and created that movie franchise…
9:36
Jeff Zimmerman: I will take your word on it.
9:37
Paul Swydan: Ya, you WILL take my word on it!
9:37
Comment From Grand Admiral Braun
Baez striking out at an insane clip, but he has had many good at-bats. He’s not chasing — opposing pitchers have really been exploiting him up high with heat.
9:37
Comment From Darth Stout
Time for Baez to make some adjustments.
9:37
Paul Swydan: Two differing opinions.

I’ll be honest – I still haven’t had a chance to watch him regularly, so I don’t have an opinion. But he hits the ball a long way. I like that.

9:38
Jeff Zimmerman: I think you are seeing who he is, I think the Cubs need to have him see MLB pitching so they know what to work on him with.
9:38
Paul Swydan: Which is smart IMO. Cubs can afford it.
9:38
Comment From Equality and Fastballs for all
Washington-Philly just finished! Quick game is a good game (mostly). Anyway, what is your thoughts on what the league will actually do to speed games up?
9:39
Jeff Zimmerman: Nothing, not a damn thing.
9:39
Paul Swydan: I expect that they will do absolutely nothing. And if they do actually do something, it’ll be something hideous like a pitch clock that will last one month before Bartolo transforms into the Hulk and rips it off the backstop.
9:39
Paul Swydan: Actually, now I’m rooting for that.
9:39
Comment From Vic Romano
Is Baez the first ever 2-true-outcome guy? He’s pretty much guaranteed to hit a HR or strikeout.
9:40
Paul Swydan: Definitely not. But that is a fascinating offseason subject. Let’s put a pin in that!
9:40
Jeff Zimmerman: Probably, Paul it is yours while I run a query
9:40
Paul Swydan: (Rubs greedy hands together)
9:40
Comment From Grand Admiral Braun
Simpsons marathon: Have you partaken? And if so, how annoyed are you by the 4:3 episodes being stretched to fit our current screens? Many sight-gaps have been eliminated by this skulldulgary!
9:41
Paul Swydan: I have tangentially partaken. I don’t have FXX and I wasn’t about to sign up for it when I have the first 12 seasons on DVD, but I’m following @EverySimpsons, and over the weekend I synced up with Season 6, Disc 3. I believe they’re past season 12 now though, so I’m done.
9:42
Comment From Larry Bernandez
I don’t think there is a practical solution to game length because with baserunners, pitchers could just keep making pickoff throws.
9:42
Jeff Zimmerman: Some 2 outcome guys, early Chris Davis, Bo Jackson.
9:43
Paul Swydan: If the league office wants to get serious about pace of game, they can get into FOX’s face and tell them to cut the BS with the length of commercial breaks. But MLB prays by the altar of the almighty dollar, so I wouldn’t hold your breath on that score.
9:43
Comment From Grand Admiral Braun
Will we see a trend where proven college bats get bumped up in the annual draft? It seems like you can find pitching…somewhere.
9:44
Jeff Zimmerman: Seeing a live game without commercials (amateur), the time between innings is nothing.
9:44
Paul Swydan: According to Ben Cherington, this has already happened. Not sure if this is true, but hopefully someone can look it at soon.
9:44
Paul Swydan: It’s supposed to be only 90 seconds, but that is not really followed anymore. Certainly not in the postseason.
9:45
Jeff Zimmerman: They should now, but it is so hard to scout hitting vs. pitching. Most people can tell good pitching immediately. Not so with hitting.
9:45
Comment From francis
It’s a silly award, but who are the comeback players of the year ? I could come up with Rodney in the AL ( maybe VMart or bizarro Chris Davis ? ) and Utley or maybe Castro in the NL ?
9:46
Paul Swydan: I like the award, and have written about it in each year I’ve been here. I’ve generally already done that piece by now, so I’m slipping. Maybe in September.
9:46
Jeff Zimmerman: VMart for one, the voters love the old coming back from injury.
9:46
Paul Swydan: Or, I guess, just the AL. I’d be surprised if Jeter didn’t get it in the AL. Very very very very very very surprised.
9:46
Paul Swydan: Just the NL, I meant.
9:46
Comment From Vic Romano
Soccer manages to get their advertising done without commercial breaks….any chance something similar could be done with baseball?
9:47
Paul Swydan: You are preaching to the choir, Vic Romano!
9:47
Jeff Zimmerman: I wish.
9:47
Comment From Justice and Curveballs for some
Will Sabermetrics infuse into the arbitation process eventually? I.e. Will guys who have non traditional ways of adding values get paid better in their arbitation years than they might have in the past?
9:47
Paul Swydan: It kind of already has, but it’s pretty difficult to suss that out. But the rule now is that teams and agents are allowed to use any stat in the Bill James Handbook. Which is pretty cool.
9:48
Jeff Zimmerman: I think these guys are signing early deals because they know they can get more that way than in arbitration.
9:48
Comment From JV
How many HR and SB does Alcantara have in 2015? He seems legit
9:48
Paul Swydan: I’ll go 10/20 as the baseline.
9:49
Jeff Zimmerman: 15 HR, 20 SB
9:49
Comment From Grand Admiral Braun
Alcantara just homered off of Cueto on a pitch at eyeball level.
9:49
Paul Swydan: Going to be a lot of Cubs fans in AA next year.
9:49
Paul Swydan: Get it? Thanks, I’ll be here all week.
9:49
Comment From Understanding and splitters for a few
Does A-Rod play at least one innings at shortshop for NYY in 2015?
9:49
Paul Swydan: I’ll say no.
9:50
Jeff Zimmerman: No.
9:50
Comment From Rated Rookie
Over their last two starts Gerrit Cole and Alex Wood have put up nearly identical stat lines. I asked Eno which he preferred going forward and he said Cole (velocity). What say you?
9:51
Paul Swydan: I’ll say Cole, just because Wood’s health is still an issue as long as the Braves think it’s an issue. Which they do, given that they shut him down back in May or whatever.
9:51
Jeff Zimmerman: I like Cole also, but it is close.
9:51
Comment From Grand Admiral Braun
Speaking of Bo Jackson, I’ve noticed a lot of revisionist history on him. Whether it’s the 30 for 30 doc (it’s a good watch, don’t get me wrong), or announcers romancing the “greatest athlete” narrative, the love for Bo’s baseball skills are out of control. He was solid, never a great player. Physical specimen, but never one of the greats, and he was essentially in his prime when he was hurt in football.
9:53
Paul Swydan: I can’t say that I agree on Bo. Sorry.
9:53
Jeff Zimmerman: The deal with Bo is he graded out at 70 or more on every tool but hitting for contact (which is fairly important). Very few players have all those physical skills. Power, arm, speed.
9:53
Comment From Mount St. Keller
OH miggy where has your power gone? It hurts me to see you like this
9:54
Jeff Zimmerman: He needs to take DL stints instead of playing through the pain.
9:54
Paul Swydan: The real question isn’t where has it gone, but is it coming back? And the answer might be no. Brace yoruself.
9:54
Paul Swydan: Yeah, he’s already got the big contract.
9:54
Comment From Rated Rookie
The results aren’t there yet, but Wil Myers seems to be a lot more patient post DL.
9:55
Paul Swydan: I’m not ready to go there quite yet.
9:55
Jeff Zimmerman: OK
9:55
Paul Swydan: But in general, he’s trending up. And that’s good, in theory. If he’s trading walks for power though, no thanks. Just be the guy you are meant to be.
9:56
Comment From Geoff
Will a metric (such as WAR) to evaluate player’s careers ever include postseason performance?
9:56
Jeff Zimmerman: One sec while I Google search….
9:58
Paul Swydan: I think any such metric would be a “toy” metric. I don’t think it would ever be something that i’d use. I mean, would you hold it against players like Miggy and Hanley last year for hitting poorly in the playoffs while hurt, or hitting the wayback machine, Ted Williams?

I think once the postseason rolls around, there are too many factors and too small of a sample to use such stats. I also think it would unfairly penalize the Ernie Banks’s.

But I’m sure someone will make one, if they haven’t already.

9:58
Jeff Zimmerman: … I gave a stab at it here: http://www.fangraphs.com/bl…
9:58
Comment From Pale Hose
Christian Yelich is 789 PAs into his career and still has not hit an IFFB. That seems remarkable and Vottoesque.
9:58
Jeff Zimmerman: I just added the player’s average WAR adjusted to post-season games with more weight to the post-season games.
9:59
Paul Swydan: Yeah, see, well at least Jeff did the proper adjusting. That’s cool. I didn’t remember that one, Jeff. Sorry.
9:59
Jeff Zimmerman: Nice
9:59
Paul Swydan: As for Yelich, you just jinxed him.
10:00
Comment From Rated Rookie
In a keep-forever dynasty format, hold or trade Taijuan Walker. He’s sort of Javier Baez of pitching: lots of Ks and HRs.
10:00
Jeff Zimmerman: … I gave a stab at it here: http://www.fangraphs.com/bl…
10:01
Paul Swydan: Dude has a 5.30 FIP in Triple-A this year, and had shoulder trouble for half the year. Trade him.
10:01
Jeff Zimmerman: I would trade him, but it will be tough to get good value.
10:01
Comment From Geoff
Does David Ortiz ever get over 50% of the votes for the HOF? And a second question – would you two vote for him?
10:02
Paul Swydan: I’ll say yes.

And not at this juncture. I love Papi, but he’s not only not there, but if you vote him in, you’d have to vote in a ton of other marginal guys, and I’m not that big of a Hall guy.

10:03
Jeff Zimmerman: I think he won’t (will be close – watch the Edgar Martinez vote), and no right now, I am a small Hall guy.
10:03
Comment From Pale Hose
Pace of game suggestion: relievers don’t get warmup pitches when entering mid-inning. The exception would be for an injury when nobody was warming up.
10:04
Paul Swydan: See but there you go – you already came up with an exception for your rule. And that is going to happen every single time. Which is why nothing is going to happen.
10:04
Jeff Zimmerman: Teams are really only saving a couple minutes here.
10:05
Paul Swydan: And unfortunately, nothing more is going to happen in this chat room, because I still have two loads of laundry to fold. LAME, I know, but these things happen.

As always, thanks for hanging out, you guys (and gals) rock. Until next time!

10:05
Jeff Zimmerman: Bye Y’all



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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. Follow him on Twitter @Swydan.


3 Responses to “FanGraphs After Dark Chat – 8/26/14”

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  1. jeffsepu says:

    Paul, buenas noches, if Anthony Rendon can even be average on D at 2B, wouldn’t Nats be dumb not to try and keep him there in 2015? Doesn’t seem other options are imminent, and R Zimm/Laroche probably back too?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Larry Bernandez says:

    I think that wood gloss commercial happens more often than an at-bat. No wonder these games are so long.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. Paul says:

    Would Gerardo Parra’s defensive decline from 2013 (26) to 2014 (-9) be the largest ever?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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