FanGraphs After Dark Chat – 9/24/13

5:43
Paul Swydan: Hi everybody!

The Nationals took a lot of the drama out of the pennant race by losing last night. But we’ll still crank up the intensity to 10 tonight anyway. Get us at with some questions, and we’ll see you at 9 pm ET! In the meantime, I’ll get some polls rolling (poll results at bottom of transcript).

8:32
Paul Swydan: Guys, I have to restart my computer real quick, so you probably won’t be able to post questions for a few minutes. FYI.
8:38
Paul Swydan: Back.
9:01
Paul Swydan: Hi everyone. Jeff and I are here, so let’s do this thang.
9:01
Comment From Henry
How are wOBA scales determined? (I don’t mean the linear weights, the actual number titled “wOBA scale”)
9:01
Paul Swydan: One for Jeff right off the bat.

9:02
Jeff Zimmerman: One sec to make sure I have the columns right.
9:03
Paul Swydan: While he’s doing that…
9:03
Comment From Jaack
How many people has Jeff Loria actually killed?
9:03
Paul Swydan: I’m going to say 11.8.
9:04
Paul Swydan: Ouch, on Jackie Bradley Jr’s. ankle. Take some of that per diem money and get a shin guard buddy!
9:04
Comment From Chad
Is this the worst player ever? http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=1000867&position=C
9:05
Jeff Zimmerman: It is the value used to put the the linear weight run values to the OBP scale. I can’t remember for sure if after a person has the linear weights the number is used to multiply or divide.
9:05
Paul Swydan: You are up there, for certain. It seems weird to call someone from that era the worst player ever, but Bergen is certainly in the conversation.
9:05
Paul Swydan: Also, thanks Jeff!
9:05
Jeff Zimmerman: No Johan Santa, hate that guy.
9:05
Paul Swydan: Ha.
9:06
Jeff Zimmerman: Bergen played for the Superbas, he gets a ton of coolness points.
9:07
Paul Swydan: For those of you who won’t get that joke – which is all of you – we have a handy bit of code that pulls out the players in each article and links them to their FG player page. Only every once in awhile, there are some bugs. The chief one being Johan Santana gets cut off, and the player page for Johan Santa gets linked instead. It’s incredibly annoying. #firstworldproblems
9:07
Comment From Big Stein loves calzone
Do you think the Yankees can still get a decent couple of years out of Sabathia? It looks like we’ve seen the last of his days as an ace but even with his velocity drop can he still carve out a sub 4 ERA?
9:08
Chris Cwik: How the hell are you guys?
9:08
Paul Swydan: Yeah, I’m not ready to give up on CC.
9:08
Jeff Zimmerman: I actually wanted to do a profile on him once, but couldn’t find anything on Santa.
9:08
Paul Swydan: The prodigal son returns!!!!
9:08
Comment From Markus
After your ”Giants aren’t equipped to win in October” column that was posted on ESPN Insider around this time last year, what silly proclamation are you planning on making for the 2013 postseason?
9:09
Jeff Zimmerman: I think he could be useful, really depends on the league. I might actually be looking to buy low.
9:09
Paul Swydan: I’m writing the same column this weekend. Although obviously not focused on the Giants, since they didn’t make the playoffs.
9:09
Paul Swydan: I haven’t picked which team’s fanbase I want to mock me yet though.
9:09
Comment From Ryan
Any September call-ups catch your attention as potential 2014 RoY candidates?
9:10
Paul Swydan: I like this question.
9:10
Jeff Zimmerman: Ventura (Homer)
9:10
Paul Swydan: Does Jackie Bradley Jr still have rookie eligibility?
9:10
Paul Swydan: Just kidding.
9:10
Chris Cwik: Hmm…good question. Hate to be a homer, but Marcus Semien from the White Sox should have a full-time role next year.
9:10
Chris Cwik: Then again, Jeff was also a homer.
9:11
Comment From Jaack
Bergen may have been a drunk squirrel with the bat, he apparently was a legit defender. Not like say, Johnnie LeMaster, who was terrible at everything.
9:11
Paul Swydan: Obviously Xander Bogaerts. I like Michael Wacha if he still has eligibility. You have to keep your eye on Gausman.
9:11
Chris Cwik: Hey, what about Dylan Bundy…not a call up this year. But…
9:11
Paul Swydan: Not sure what Danny Salazar‘s eligibility is, but him if he is.
9:11
Paul Swydan: We probably missed a good dozen guys.
9:12
Chris Cwik: Salazar is a good one.
9:12
Comment From Toy Cannon
Has Villar shown enough this year to be the starting SS for the Astros until Correa comes along?
9:12
Paul Swydan: I think so. I mean, A) they don’t have another good option, and B) I like the walk rate.
9:13
Paul Swydan: And the steals. Obviously.
9:13
Chris Cwik: I don’t think so…too many K’s. Not enough defense.
9:13
Jeff Zimmerman: I kind of like Villar, I just wish the Ks would come down.
9:13
Chris Cwik: I don’t know why Ks had an apostrophe there.
9:13
Paul Swydan: Plenty not to like. Not good defensively, really high BABIP. But I side with Jeff. I just like him. He’s only 22. I want to see more.
9:13
Paul Swydan: You’re rusty is why!
9:13
Chris Cwik: The Astros have nothing to lose by playing him.
9:14
Paul Swydan: BTW, you can welcome Chris back by reading his SoE piece from today:

http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/61485106/

9:14
Comment From Chief Wahoo
From what little I have seen or heard of Cody Allen it seems like he has closer potential. Do you think he has a shot at the job in the next couple of years or will Chris Perez continue to beat off all challengers?
9:14
Chris Cwik: Ah…thanks, Paul.
9:14
Paul Swydan: I think Cody Allen DOES have potential, but that he will fall in line with Pestano in the annals of guys that Perez smoked out of a job.
9:15
Paul Swydan: Get it … smoked. Huh? Huh?
9:15
Jeff Zimmerman: From what I have read/heard, Perez may be done in Cleveland.
9:15
Chris Cwik: Yeah, it’s tough. Perez doesn’t have great stuff, but retains his just because “proven closer.”
9:15
Comment From LarryBunds
Would you rather have the Rocket’s or Pedro’s years in Boston?
9:16
Jeff Zimmerman: Pedro’s
9:16
Chris Cwik: Pedro’s years
9:16
Paul Swydan: Pedro’s. Pedro never got tossed in the first inning of a critical postseason game because he mouthed off to the umpire.
9:16
Comment From BarryBuns
Fielder or Pujols next year?
9:16
Chris Cwik: Fielder
9:16
Paul Swydan: THAT looks like a poll question.
9:17
Jeff Zimmerman: Fielder. I am afraid Pujols is done.
9:17
Paul Swydan: I am going to go against the grain and say Pujols.
9:17
Chris Cwik: No injury with Fielder. Just personal stuff.
9:17
Comment From Rob
I’m in a dynasty league and trying to figure out what to do with Uehara as far as keepers. I know he’s been crazy good, but the age scares me, and the history of not going on consecutive days, and the Sox have other options. I already have K. Jansen (2 RP league) and would have to cut somebody good like Homer Bailey or possibly Kinsler or Rios. I just don’t see how I can keep him. What do you think?
9:18
Chris Cwik: Try and trade him. But I wouldn’t part with those other guys if you can’t find a taker for him.
9:18
Jeff Zimmerman: Move on, don’t keep Uehara over Bailey or Kinsler.
9:19
Paul Swydan: Agree. Try to deal him to a Sox fan.
9:19
Comment From JY
16 team keeper league with OBP, how about trading my Hanley Ramirez for Xander Bogaerts+Byron Buxton??
9:20
Chris Cwik: I think I’m OK with that. Hanley has been fantastic this year, but he’s had a few injuries lately, and could become disinterested at any time.
9:20
Paul Swydan: I guess it depends where you are on the win cycle, but if you’re rebuilding that’s a hell of a sell high move right there.
9:20
Jeff Zimmerman: I would if they would bite. I am not high at all on Hanley.
9:20
Comment From Catoblepas
Why does everything beautiful in the world have to be destroyed? re: Machado and Harvey. Also, any idea of how past ++fielders have responded to similar knee injuries?
9:20
Chris Cwik: This seems like a question for Jeff…
9:20
Paul Swydan: I don’t, but I bet Jeff does. Or if he doesn’t, that he can find out for a future MASH Report…
9:20
Chris Cwik: Because I don’t know. Seems like a strange injury
9:21
Jeff Zimmerman: Give me a week or so and I will look. I have a huge project due to Paul in 7 days.
9:21
Paul Swydan: I saw Will Carroll talking with some medical folk on Twitter that the injury is most typically found in teenage girls, and that no one could think of a pro mens sports comp. Which is … yeah, strange.
9:22
Comment From Brian
Rick Porcello (3.0 WAR).. best fith starter… EVER?
9:22
Chris Cwik: My guess is that he’s not the best fifth starter ever, but he’s good now.
9:22
Jeff Zimmerman: Not close to some of the Braves and Yankee teams.
9:23
Comment From Professor Ross Eforp
Clearly Machado is a teenage girl on PED. You guys just are not very bright sometimes.
9:23
Paul Swydan: He had a pretty good year, but I would say no, he’s not the best ever fifth starter.
9:23
Paul Swydan: Professor – great P&F reference btw – we just wanted you to say it. For liability reasons.
9:24
Comment From Brian
Detroit starting rotation closing in on 25 WAR .. even the 96-98 Braves never accomplished that.. A mixture of Bad defense & Jim Leyland going to diminish this groups accomplishment?
9:24
Paul Swydan: More Leyland than the defense.
9:25
Paul Swydan: Also, if Miggy isn’t right…
9:25
Chris Cwik: Oh, I feel like it would be defense.
9:25
Paul Swydan: I just have a very low opinion of Leyland, I guess. I don’t know why people think he’s a good manager.
9:25
Jeff Zimmerman: It will be the defense, they are horrible and I think team may try to bunt against MigCab if he is in.
9:26
Comment From rob
Which of the current players do you want to see take a front office or coaching role the most? My favourites are Zack Greinke and Joey Votto.
9:26
Jeff Zimmerman: Who cares if Leyland is good, I just love watching the TV camera’s trying to not catch him smoking.
9:26
Chris Cwik: Want to see Paul Konerko coach.
9:26
Jeff Zimmerman: Giambi
9:27
Paul Swydan: I think that this is just an insanely tough question. I mean, if you had asked me five years ago, I never would have come up with Gabe Kapler, yet here we are with that as a strong possibility.

Just from a smart players perspective, I could see Jeff Francis. He was a physics major in college.

9:27
Chris Cwik: Don’t think he’ll ever coach, but maybe Jayson Werth
9:27
Jeff Zimmerman: True story, I talked to Zack while he was scouting a H.S. game in spring training.
9:27
Comment From Roger
How good can the Padres rotation be with Eric Stults, Andrew Cashner and Tyson Ross? Can they sneak into the top 5 rotations in the NL next year?
9:28
Chris Cwik: They would need Kelly and Luebke to come back healthy.
9:28
Paul Swydan: Not a chance if that is the top 3, no. They need someone else. Someone else that is not currently in the organization. But they are probably going to be too cheap to acquire said pitcher.
9:29
Jeff Zimmerman: They need a lot better defense and as Paul said, more of them.
9:29
Comment From Roy Hibbert
best 3 dodger outfielders?
9:30
Paul Swydan: I’d honestly have a hard time rolling with Kemp in the starting lineup right now.
9:30
Jeff Zimmerman: Puig, Kemp (if on the field), Crawford, Either. Seems like I am missing 5 or 6 of them.
9:30
Chris Cwik: That might be true. You also have to platoon Ethier.
9:30
Paul Swydan: I think if Crawford is 100%, you probably play him and Puig full time and platoon Kemp and Ethier.
9:31
Comment From Roger
Would you rather sign Ubaldo Jiminez, Tim Lincecum or Josh Johnson this off-season?
9:31
Paul Swydan: Ubaldo.
9:31
Chris Cwik: Ugh….sad, but true.
9:32
Chris Cwik: Really torn between him and Lincecum…but mostly because I want to believe in Timmy.
9:32
Jeff Zimmerman: Make it 3, but I would take a hard look at Johnson, it may be his healthy year.
9:32
Paul Swydan: And I want to believe in Ubaldo.
9:32
Comment From Os Nos
Aside from Miami, Colorado, and Seattle, which GM job is the next most likely to become available this offseason?
9:33
Jeff Zimmerman: Angels, 50/50, I think someone will be fired.
9:33
Chris Cwik: Won’t be Mariners. Jack-Z got extended.
9:33
Chris Cwik: My condolences to M’s fans.
9:33
Paul Swydan: Well, first off, I doubt Colorado changes hands, and Seattle definitely isn’t.

But, aside from them..Milwaukee? Anaheim? Maybe the Mets? Orioles?

9:34
Jeff Zimmerman: Note the Mariners, their OF UZR is the 3rd worst since 2002
9:34
Paul Swydan: I say Mets only if Sandy decides he doesn’t want to do it anymore/gets a better job offer.
9:34
Comment From zack
Will matt carpenter be the top 2nd basemen in the NL next year by WAR if the Dodgers don’t sign Cano?
9:35
Paul Swydan: He will have a good shot at it, yes. But that’s not saying much, since his main competition is Utley and Daniel Murphy.
9:35
Jeff Zimmerman: Top 5 probably, but is will begin the slow decline as he is on the wrong side of the aging curve.
9:35
Chris Cwik: Yeah. I agree with Paul. Not sure he’s this good, but there’s not much there.
9:36
Chris Cwik: The bigger question is how awesome will Matt Adams be? That team seems to churn out hitters out of nowhere.
9:36
Comment From Ryan
Which team do you think is most likely to bounce back from its disappointing season? Nationals, Angels or Blue Jays?
9:36
Paul Swydan: Nationals.
9:36
Jeff Zimmerman: Nats
9:37
Chris Cwik: Yes.
9:37
Comment From zack
If the Marlins fire Beinfest won’t he have a new job in a week? I’m pretty sure he’s good.
9:37
Chris Cwik: My guess is he’ll draw interest, but Loria has been so involved that it’s hard to tell which moves were Beinfest’s and which were Loria’s.
9:37
Paul Swydan: I tweeted this exact sentiment earlier today. Michael Hill as well. I actually had the chance to interact with Hill a little bit when I was with the Rockies before he left for Florida. He’s a really good guy, and I expect both of them to be employed quickly.
9:38
Jeff Zimmerman: Probably and I think he may have one in mind.
9:38
Comment From Jaack
How long does it take for a World Series drought to be a drought? 25 years?
9:39
Jeff Zimmerman: With the current number of teams, I would almost say more, probably 40-50.
9:39
Chris Cwik: Hmm…I don’t think in those terms, since it’s so hard to get to/win a WS. I think the playoff drought is more interesting. And I would say 8-10 years is officially a playoff drought.
9:39
Paul Swydan: That’s a good question. I think there are other factors involved, like the other teams in your city. Like, the Pirates haven’t won in about as long as the Royals, but I think of the Royals as more of a drought because their football team also sucks, whereas the Steelers win all the time.

Independent of other teams, I’ll say 15 years.

9:40
Jeff Zimmerman: So automatically at least 1/2 the teams are in a drought?
9:40
Chris Cwik: You tell him, Jeff.
9:41
Paul Swydan: Well, that’s a fair point. But yeah. Step it up, other half of the teams!
9:41
Comment From Guest
Paul, F one marry one kill one: Xander Bogaerts, your wife, Pedro during 1999. Go
9:41
Jeff Zimmerman: All yours Paul
9:42
Paul Swydan: Hahahahahahahahaha.

Obviously marry my wife. You guys are trying to get me in trouble. And then, I guess ….. I don’t know. I can’t do it. I can’t kill a man!

9:42
Comment From Professor Ross Eforp
So the Indians are in monsoon season is what you are saying?
9:43
Paul Swydan: “If they didn’t want their games to be fogged out, they shouldn’t have built their ballpark near the ocean.” – Oil Can Boyd on Cleveland
9:43
Jeff Zimmerman: I miss Oil Can.
9:43
Paul Swydan: Me too!
9:44
Comment From Catoblepas
Craig Breslow seems really smart, though more on the medicine side. Team physician/surgeon someday?
9:44
Paul Swydan: I don’t know about all that, but I could see him having some sort of role post-career.
9:45
Chris Cwik: Hard to ask a baseball player to become a surgeon once their career is over, right?
9:45
Comment From Dave
Why do you guys refer to Appleman as the dark overlord? Am I missing some inside joke
9:45
Chris Cwik: It’s not like they need the money, and who wants all those loans. Am I right?
9:45
Chris Cwik: Because he should be feared.
9:45
Chris Cwik: Yet respected
9:46
Paul Swydan: Basically because he just kind of hangs back and never says anything publicly. He only posts when there is a roll out of something new, and he never tweets. Though he’s on Twitter all the time…watching. Maxwell was right, someone is always watching him.
9:46
Jeff Zimmerman: We are not to talk about the Dark Overlord (Rule 1, 4, 7 and 10)
9:47
Comment From Thufir
Fangraphs shout-out on Yankees telecast, noting that James Loney hits more line drives than any player in baseball. Can’t be true anymore but hey, they are trying….
9:47
Comment From Jaack
If Mike Trout were to get injured, would he go visit the sturgeon?
9:47
Chris Cwik: I thought that was funny
9:47
Jeff Zimmerman: I agree.
9:48
Paul Swydan: Reminds me of the Family Guy episode where Death sprains his ankle, and they need Peter to kill someone for Death to keep up appearances. Chris says, “let’s blow up the whole world!” And Death says, “too big. But you’re thinking, I like that.”
9:48
Comment From Spartacus
Any chance the Snakes peddle some young pitching this offseason?
9:49
Jeff Zimmerman: I will not attempt to guess what the D-back will do, they trade Upton off for some beads and blankets.
9:50
Chris Cwik: I would rather see them entertain deals for some vets. But I could see it happen after what they did with Bauer.
9:51
Paul Swydan: Here’s the problem – they have nominal, solid starters at every position. So predicting where they would upgrade is difficult. I feel like they will just ride it out with this group and hope that through random variation they end up with 90+ wins some season and with a playoff berth.
9:51
Paul Swydan: Which is totally the classy AND gritty thing to do. Obviously.
9:51
Comment From Brian
Tuiasaspo a 32 wrc in the second half yet he plays while the only time Jim said “lets see what Nick can do” He started against Sale & Duffy.. Bias .. I despise Jim as a tactical manager..but a team that will finish 10 gamed under thier WAR projection? When does He get retired?
9:52
Paul Swydan: Not until he wants to, probably.
9:52
Chris Cwik: Yeah. That’s exactly what I was going to say.
9:52
Jeff Zimmerman: I agree with Paul.
9:52
Comment From Professor Ross Eforp
Chris Perez just gave up a homer to Viciedo to tie the game. Can we seriously just hold him down and shave off the beard and hair so people realize he is just another guy?
9:52
Comment From Professor Ross Eforp
Another HR off Perez. This time de Aza. Really, just shave the guy and cut his hair so we can expose him as not being a Proven Closer (TM)
9:53
Paul Swydan: Never forget – this is the man who quit the Rockies job after one year of a multiyear deal.
9:53
Jeff Zimmerman: Not sure about the proven closer bit, I just want to see what he looks like shaved.
9:53
Paul Swydan: The Professor is not pleased.
9:53
Comment From Shark Mapiro
Would a catcher who is really good at calling a game be expected to be really good at rock-paper-scissors, in terms of predicting what your opponent expects and keeping them off balance?
9:54
Paul Swydan: You would certainly think so, since most starting pitchers have three pitches.
9:54
Jeff Zimmerman: Uhhhh……yea, I guess.
9:54
Chris Cwik: How is one “really good” at paper rock scissors?
9:55
Paul Swydan: Practice, Chris. Practice, practice, practice.
9:55
Comment From Chad
Do you think Ventura starts for the Royals next year?
9:56
Chris Cwik: Yes
9:56
Jeff Zimmerman: I don’t know, but my cousin enters a local one and about wins it every other year. It is weird.
9:56
Jeff Zimmerman: Yes on Ventura, but the Royals may game his time a bit.
9:58
Chris Cwik: Will they game his time if they believe they have legitimate playoff hopes?
9:58
Paul Swydan: Shields, Guthrie, Paulino, Mendoza, Ventura, Duffy remain

Santana, Chen, could be gone

I’d say it depends on what they do with those two. If Santana stays, I think Ventura gets a month-plus in the minors while they good around with Mendoza and Paulino.

9:59
Comment From Professor Ross Eforp
Take my Game Theory course and we will discuss how to be really good at rock/paper/scissors.
9:59
Jeff Zimmerman: Will Smith is also an option. Also Wade Davis.
9:59
Paul Swydan: It’s up to you Chris.
9:59
Paul Swydan: No no Jeff, Will Smith is going to be filming the Independence Day sequel.
9:59
Paul Swydan: (Sorry, I had to)
9:59
Chris Cwik: Wade Davis…I hope not
10:00
Comment From Brian
When you have a 105 win team on paper in a weak division I guess you can be the greatest “Players manager” of All-time.. Where’s Herm Edwards when you need him!
10:00
Comment From zack
Wacha no hitter through 7
10:01
Paul Swydan: I resisted posting the after 5 and after 6 update, but it’s starting to get real.
10:01
Comment From Professor Ross Eforp
They may, however, sign Scott Kazmir to a 5 year/$80MM deal and send Ventura to the Mets for Ike Davis.
10:01
Jeff Zimmerman: I agree, I never care until they get 2/3 of the way through the game.
10:01
Chris Cwik: Kazmir is a real interesting free-agent.
10:02
Paul Swydan: These things that you’re saying are hurtful to Jeff and his feelings.
10:02
Jeff Zimmerman: I just want to see Yost fired, but not going to happen.
10:02
Comment From Catoblepas
Best playoff rotation of the teams that have clinched? i.e., top 3-and-sometimes-4 starters?
10:03
Jeff Zimmerman: Tigers with the Dodgers right behind.
10:03
Paul Swydan: Probably Detroit and LA. Although I guess Detroit hasn’t clinched yet, so LA.
10:03
Chris Cwik: Agreed
10:04
Paul Swydan: And with that rare three-way agreement, we’re going to call it a night. Thanks for hanging out. Next week we can talk even more playoffs, because PLAYOFFS! Woo!
10:04
Chris Cwik: See ya soon. Thanks, everybody.

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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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