FanGraphs Chat – 10/16/13

11:33
Dave Cameron: John Lackey, ace. Shane Robinson, slugger. Feel free to ask questions, but I do not guarantee that baseball will make sense.

11:33
Dave Cameron: We can still have fun anyway, though. The queue is now open.

12:00
Comment From person hscer
I was excited to see my Community submission accepted this morning…who do I have to thank? http://www.fangraphs.com/community/the-best-case-for-bryce/

12:00
Dave Cameron: Jeff Sullivan manages the Community Blog.

12:00
Comment From Troy
Statistically, the worst defensive team still playing?

12:01
Dave Cameron: The Tigers. The Cardinals aren’t that far ahead, but we’re also not capturing everything Yadier Molina does for them.

12:01
Comment From Drew
Dave, given the Tiger’s win-now mentality, do you think they would be willing to trade Castellanos for a veteran LF and RP. I’m thinking something like Will Venable and Luke Gregerson of the Padres.

12:01
Dave Cameron: No, I think Castellanos is their 3B next year, with Cabrera shifting to DH to keep his body in tact, and Victor Martinez goes away.

12:02
Comment From Tom
Tom Tango posted that he thought Mattingly pinch running for Adrian Gonzalez with Dee Gordon wasn’t a bad move. Do you agree?

12:02
Dave Cameron: It worked out poorly, but that doesn’t, by itself, make it a bad move.

12:02
Comment From Eminor3rd
Were you surprised at how many player’s denounced the pitcher win stat in David Laurila’s latest article?

12:03
Dave Cameron: No, that stat is really only cared about by sportswriters.

12:03
Comment From Domenic
The sox still aren’t favorites to win the series on the fangraphs standings page even with a 2-1 series lead. That’s something….

12:03
Dave Cameron: The page probably didn’t update correctly. I’ll have Appelman look at it.

12:04
Comment From Jays fan
Looking at the quality of the pitching this offseason doesn’t make me hopeful for next year as a Jays fan. Is there hope?

12:04
Dave Cameron: There’s plenty of interesting arms available this winter, actually.

12:04
Comment From Eminor3rd
I’m 28 with a good job in B2B marketing. If I was crazy enough to leave the financial security of this to start a career at the bottom in Major or minor league baseball, what are my chances of getting an offer by attending the PBEO job fair at the winter meetings?

12:05
Dave Cameron: If you’re willing to be a mascot for a short season minor league team, you may very well get an offer there. Most likely, you’re going to give your resume to a lot of people and not hear anything for months.

12:05
Comment From jb
Over/under on 5.5 runs scored in the rest of the *CS series games (combined)?

12:05
Dave Cameron: Over.

12:06
Comment From Joe
Do defensive stats adjust for a groundball or flyball pitching staff?

12:06
Dave Cameron: Yes.

12:06
Comment From LessThanItTakes
Member of the #BFIB here. I’d be willing to put down a large amount of jelly beans on Greinke & Company going back to St. Louis on Friday down by a game. Care to speculate and/or conjecture (

12:07
Dave Cameron: Betting big on the outcome of one baseball game is probably not a great idea. Even with Joe Kelly against Zack Greinke, the game is still no more than 60-40 in favor of the Dodgers.

12:08
Comment From dgruss
Machado’s knee surgery the nail in the coffin in him ever returning to SS eventually? Or was he never going back anyways, especially after his amazing glovework at 3B showed over a full season?

12:08
Dave Cameron: Probably wasn’t ever going back, I’d be shocked if they tried it now.

12:08
Comment From Bobo
Hi Dave. What are your thoughts on Porcello entering games as a late-inning reliever during the post-season after being a starter only during his career except for 3 games this past season?

12:08
Dave Cameron: There’s no reason a starter can’t pitch out of the bullpen, given sufficient time to warm up.

12:09
Comment From Mike
Should Matheny start with someone warming in the bullpen tonight?

12:09
Dave Cameron: Up 3-1? No.

12:09
Comment From Guest
How good would the Cardinals bullpen be if they had Motte and Mujica at full strength?

12:09
Dave Cameron: Slightly better, but their bullpen isn’t a problem.

12:10
Comment From Bret
What’s your prediction on Ubaldo’s free agent contract? He seems like a very interesting case, having an up-and-down last four years, and will have the draft-pick compensation issue too.

12:10
Dave Cameron: I’d guess he re-signs in Cleveland.

12:11
Comment From Drew
Is there a single metric/statistic you can point to that helps explain John Lackey’s resurgence?

12:12
Dave Cameron: There are things we can point to as evidence of why he’s doing better now, but nothing that looks like an explanation for how he went from bad/injured to great/healthy.

12:12
Comment From Guest
If the Tigers don’t win the WS this year, what’s the number one thing they look for in the offseason?

12:12
Dave Cameron: A left fielder, then a left-handed setup guy.

12:12
Comment From Royo
That Lackey TJ clause is looking like a pretty nice deal for the Red Sox in 2015.

12:13
Dave Cameron: I think this is going to become more and more popular in the future.

12:13
Comment From Greg
Could you see the Cubs trying to trade a bunch of their IFA bonus slots next season since they’ll have a lot of international cap money but won’t be able to give out big bonuses?

12:13
Dave Cameron: Yeah, seems likely.

12:13
Comment From CJ
As a known enjoyer of most of the Cubs recent decisions, which of possible manager candidates gets the Dave seal o’ approval?

12:14
Dave Cameron: From the outside, It’s hard to know which managers are good or bad, and it’s basically impossible to know which managerial candidates are good or bad.

12:14
Comment From Greg
Do we have any idea how defense ages?

12:14
Dave Cameron: Not well, and starts early.

12:14
Comment From Benzedrine
In a playoff game is it more important to play a defense guy or an offense guy? Thinking Iglesias/Peralta.

12:14
Dave Cameron: It is more important to play the better guy. Both matter.

12:15
Comment From Alex
Victor Martinez is under contract next year

12:15
Dave Cameron: Trades are legal.

12:15
Comment From T. Thomas
With the plethora of low-scoring games in LCS, would a team/manager be statisically sound to insert in lineup a player whose value arises mostly from defense (say Inglesia or Kozma)over an equivlent WAR player whose value arises from offense (say Perhalta or Descalso) or vice-a-versa? That is, do the low-scoring games put premium on preserving runs, or on creating a run on off-chance that the one player may the one to do something with his bat?

12:16
Dave Cameron: Run prevention becomes slightly more important in crazy low run environments, but just because we’ve had a few low scoring games doesn’t make the playoffs a known crazy low run environment.

12:17
Comment From Greg
Why is Punto even in a position to get picked off in that situation?

12:17
Dave Cameron: Might have thought he could take third, get himself into a position where he could score without a hit.

12:17
Comment From Peter
We’re really lucky to have access to Pitch/FX data, right? When do MLB teams get access to Defense/FX data, and at what point do you think “we” (MLB outsiders) will get access to any raw data?

12:18
Dave Cameron: FIELDF/x still isn’t really a thing yet. It’s a concept, and Sportvision has the cameras installed in a few parks, but there are significant monetary/logistical hurdles that are keeping it from being fully implemented. I don’t know that the public will ever get it.

12:18
Comment From Tom Emanski
Which is more tedious at this point: people whining about histrionics on the field, or people whining about people whining about histrionics on the field?

12:19
Dave Cameron: It’s just a total media story. They like narratives, so they invented this one.

12:20
Comment From Greg
Which is the better pitching matchup today?

12:20
Dave Cameron: Peavy/Fister, easily.

12:21
Comment From Schmiggy
I posed the Castellanos to 3B and Miggy to DH question to Sulli yesterday and he said No. I’m with you on this one.

12:21
Dave Cameron: They can’t keep this up forever, and I think even they know that.

12:21
Comment From Prich
Infante or Peralta, who do you see as the more like DET 2B next year?

12:21
Dave Cameron: Infante.

12:22
Comment From Schmiggy
if Grandy does get and turn down a QO as some are speculating now, what do you think he gets on the market with comp attached? from whom?

12:22
Dave Cameron: I don’t think he gets more than a two year deal, and I don’t think teams want to give up a pick for a short term asset.

12:22
Comment From Prich
Could -not will- Jack Z use Nick Franklin as the centpiece of a trade to bring in a usefull, -club controlled at a reasonable price- everyday OF, or is his value shot league-wide?

12:22
Dave Cameron: Yeah, I don’t think anyone’s giving up a good cost controlled OF for Nick Franklin.

12:23
Comment From Gila Monster
Is Edwin Jackson’s deal a good comparison for Ubaldo? Similar age,stuff, and meh history with great upside.

12:23
Dave Cameron: Jackson’s track record was a lot stronger. I don’t think Ubaldo gets near that.

12:23
Comment From Hammer
Could you see the M’s doing something stupid to get Price?

12:23
Dave Cameron: No, I don’t think they’re going to aggressively pursue pitching.

12:24
Comment From SK
Kevin Seitzer is rumored to be the new Jays’ hitting coach. Using a metric Russell Carleton developed in BP to evaluate hitting coaches, Rany Jazayerli said Seitzer was the Royals’ “missing ingredient” and was worth 58 more runs than an “average” hitting coach? What do you think of that study? Can a coach really impact pro athletes that much?

12:24
Dave Cameron: I like Russell, but I think that study is basically worthless.

12:24
Comment From Kimball
Do you pay Jeff enough? He was the last to post last night and the second to post this morning.

12:25
Dave Cameron: He hasn’t quit on us yet, so I think we’re paying him enough.

12:25
Comment From Andrew
I keep seeing Josh Johnson listed as a turn around candidate/buy low option does, does a terrible 81 innings really suppress his value that much, or is more the injury history?

12:25
Dave Cameron: It’s both.

12:26
Comment From Forsyth
Victor Martinez traded to the Red Sox to play 1B while Garin Cecchini develops (I know he’s a 3B right now, but his defense is poor and should probably slide across the diamond).

12:26
Dave Cameron: Don’t think Victor Martinez can play the field regularly anymore. Could see a team like the Rays take him off the Tigers hands if they pick up some of the $12M he’s owed for 2014.

12:27
Comment From Kimball
Huge error bars either way, but are fall/winter league stats more reliable than ST?

12:27
Dave Cameron: No.

12:27
Comment From Gila Monster
Could the Tigers have Scherzer,Sanchez,Verlander, and Fister throw 30 pitches a game a piece for a series using them as essentially a series of relievers,allowing them to throw harder and the batting order to see less of them? At 30 pitches they would only throw 210 pitches over 7 games…or 2 starts.

12:28
Dave Cameron: You’d probably have to implement something like this systematically throughout the system as players are being developed. Just doing it in October, with no prep time, wouldn’t be well received.

12:28
Comment From brig_pudding
How much of Uggla’s $26M remaining contract will the Braves have to eat in order to move him?

12:28
Dave Cameron: $20M.

12:28
Comment From Greg
Is Napoli a 1B only moving forward? Would any team think about signing him to play C again?

12:28
Dave Cameron: He’s done as a catcher.

12:29
Comment From Jack
Re: defense, and how it ages– what evidence is there that it peaks early/declines steeply? I hear this said/written often, but rarely accompanied by hard evidence.

12:29
Comment From Shark Mapiro
Could the Indians be a dark horse for Jose Abreu? They could really use a power bat for the middle of the order that doesn’t cost a draft pick, even though he has some risk.

12:30
Dave Cameron: I think he’s going to be out of their price range.

12:30
Comment From Peter
re: Tigers — are they better off with Cabrera at DH or Cabrera at 1B and Fielder at DH? In addition to determining who is better defender at 1B, can we figure out who will be better as DH?

12:30
Dave Cameron: The move wouldn’t be about maximizing runs saved as much as it would be about keeping Cabrera healthy.

12:30
Comment From Gila Monster
Are the Red Sox too afraid to go to bullpen early? For example pulling Bucholz before 3rd time through the order. They have a really great bullpen and seem really hesitant to use it.

12:31
Dave Cameron: They don’t have a lot of faith in their middle guys.

12:31
Comment From Juandrew
What correlates better to winning, runs scored or runs allowed? Or is a run a run?

12:31
Dave Cameron: A run is a run.

12:31
Comment From Guest
In yesterday’s Beltran/ Ortiz article you stated that Ortiz had “a great player peak that last roughly 4 yes”. He’s had 9 seasons of a wRC+ north of 134 and 8 seasons of a wOBA above .400….saying his peak as great player was 4 years is a stretch no?

12:32
Dave Cameron: A 134 wRC+ in limited playing time for a DH isn’t a great season.

12:32
Comment From person hscer
Would it be worth eating 77% of Uggla’s contract for the Braves to move him?

12:32
Dave Cameron: Depends on if they can find a better second baseman.

12:33
Comment From Sgt. Pepper
A lot of good offensive players are former catchers. A lot of good offensive catchers are being moved off the position. Are we getting to the point where we’ll never see a truly elite offensive catcher again?

12:33
Dave Cameron: This seems like an odd question given that Mauer/Posey are two of the best hitting catchers ever and are currently active.

12:34
Comment From Nick
2/26ish for Beltran to an AL team – seems about right?

12:34
Dave Cameron: Maybe a little more. Maybe 2/30.

12:35
Comment From Jack
So this Tango study is… conclusive, in your opinion?

12:35
Dave Cameron: There’s plenty of data out there on fielding aging curves. I linked to the first one I found on google. If you want to read the rest of the data, feel free to do the research yourself.

12:36
Comment From Joey
Mets have money to spend this offseason but do you see them getting in on any of the top free agents, eg: Choo, Ellsbury, Abreu? Any 1 of them would fill a big need. If not, where is the money spent?

12:36
Dave Cameron: They’ve been linked to Choo for a while. I don’t think they’ll be in on Ellsbury or Abre.

12:37
Comment From zmiko
Yadier hits pretty well too

12:37
Dave Cameron: Yeah, catcher offense has actually been trending upwards lately.

12:37
Comment From Mike G
Who are the teams likely to go after Carlos Beltran in the offseason? Should he just be a DH or can he be trusted to still be at least a corner OF?

12:38
Dave Cameron: He can play the OF, but not well. I’d imagine the Rangers will be very interested.

12:38
Comment From Mike
Does Beltran go in the HoF as a Met or Royal? Or Cardinal even?

12:38
Dave Cameron: The Hall gets to chose, not the player. Probably a Met.

12:38
Comment From GSon
Would the Royals and Mariners consider a trade of Alex Gordon for Iwakuma?

12:39
Dave Cameron: Doubt either side makes that trade.

12:39
Comment From pinch
Pedro goes into the hall as a…

12:39
Dave Cameron: Red Sock.

12:39
Comment From Forsyth
Considering the Red Sox available money, and complete lack of depth at 1B in the minors, doesn’t Jose Abreu make a ton of sense for them? I’ve got to think they’re one of the favorites to land him.

12:39
Dave Cameron: Depends on Napoli. If the QO destroys his market, then they have their 1B for next year.

12:39
Comment From SK
Should the Blue Jays blow up their team and start rebuilding? Or do you think they can count on bouncebacks and shrewd Free Agent signings within their budget to be a contender? (Seems like a terrible idea to further deplete their system with trades.)

12:39
Dave Cameron: They’re not that far away from being a contender.

12:40
Comment From chuckb
David Laurilia’s interview columns are really great. I rarely have anything to add except, “great job” but they are almost always extremely revealing. That’s all.

12:40
Dave Cameron: Glad you enjoy them.

12:40
Comment From Shark Mapiro
I saw someone suggest the Indians resign Ubaldo and Kazmir, then trade Masterson. Would you do this despite the risk of angering an already suspicious fanbase?

12:40
Dave Cameron: It all depends on the prices. The fans will get over Masterson if the return is good and the team wins.

12:42
Comment From Mike T.
Think Hanley plays tonight? If not, is it Punto? Michael Young at short would probably merit all the lulz.

12:42
Dave Cameron: My guess is he starts and gets lifted late, pretty much every game the rest of the season.

12:42
Comment From Tim
Do the Angels have a realistic chance to get back in the playoff hunt next season? What would have to happen for that to become a reality?

12:43
Dave Cameron: They need to build a good bullpen from scratch, find another good starting pitcher, and get big bouncebacks from Pujols and Hamilton. It’s possible.

12:43
Comment From Schmiggy
do the Brewers blow things up or think they aren’t that far away? They have a good core in place.

12:43
Dave Cameron: They do? They have like four good players and 21 scrubs.

12:44
Comment From Kimball
Greg Maddux and a few others notwithstanding, it seems like pitchers probably can’t/don’t scout hitters as exhaustively as hitters can pitchers, yet it’s hitters who improve against pitchers within a game. Presumably there’s just too little information to be gained from facing a hitter for a PA or two. Does that mean that the pitchers who see less of an intragame decline are just harder for hitters to figure out (or already completely figured out), or are some pitchers actually able to adapt?

12:44
Dave Cameron: I don’t think we really know the answer to how the brain responds to repeated viewings of a pitcher.

12:45
Comment From Joey
Where do you stand on the Sox QO guys? I know you wrote about this month or so ago, but Napoli almost certainly gets it, right? What about Drew?

12:45
Dave Cameron: Napoli/Ellsbury get one, Drew/Salty do not.

12:45
Comment From Michael
Dan Szymborski recently said that Trout’s peak may be 11-12 WAR. Thoughts?

12:46
Dave Cameron: Hard to see how he could actually get there. At some point, there’s an upper limit to how well one can improve.

12:46
Comment From Wes
What do you think the future is for the Cardinals at shortstop?

12:46
Dave Cameron: Get a new one.

12:46
Comment From LarryA
Vlad Guerrero goes in with what hat?

12:46
Dave Cameron: Expos.

12:47
Comment From Alex
Fielder for Braun (Tigers even out the money). Who blinks first?

12:47
Dave Cameron: That would be hilariously bad for the Brewers.

12:48
Comment From Psy
If the Angels put Trumbo on the block he’ll be pretty overrated, right? Solid guy but hes not that good. Big HR totals would really inflate his market value.

12:48
Dave Cameron: Someone will overpay for him, yes.

12:48
Comment From RSquared
Would you expect a big drop-off in Victorino’s defense next year? I keep thinking the Red Sox should sell high, maybe a top 100 prospect.

12:48
Dave Cameron: Don’t think anyone’s giving up a top 100 prospect for Victorino.

12:49
Comment From Sgt. Pepper
If you had to guess, who will be the next player to go in the Hall with a Jays hat? Delgado looks like he’ll miss the cut. Halladay?

12:49
Dave Cameron: Yeah, Halladay seems like the best option.

12:49
Comment From Schmiggy
Braun, Gomez, Segura, Lucroy isn’t a good core?

12:49
Dave Cameron: It’s four players. That’s not a core.

12:49
Comment From WWMRD
What’s the best baseball game you’ve ever seen? (TV or in person)

12:50
Dave Cameron: i went to a game in 2001 where Pedro Martinez struck out something like 15 or 16 guys and allowed one hit. It was like watching pitching perfected.

12:51
Comment From WWMRD
Is Tim Hudson a hall of famer?

12:51
Dave Cameron: No.

12:51
Comment From guest
Who is your favorite player of all time and why?

12:52
Dave Cameron: Randy Johnson. Threw 100 in an era when that was rare. 6’10 with a mullet. What’s not to like?

12:52
Comment From François
Will baseball ever be back in Montreal?

12:52
Dave Cameron: MLB? No.

12:53
Comment From BassmanUW
While I think some Cubs fans have been overstating the extent to which the Cubs have only made “minor moves” (Edwin Jackson was not a minor move, and the Cubs made a big run and Anibal Sanchez), do you think the Cubs will still generally lay low on the big names in the offseason? Or will they make serious runs at Ellsbury or Choo in free agency, or a Price or Stanton in the trade market?

12:53
Dave Cameron: I think they’ll do something notable. They’re not going to just sit around and wait forever.

12:53
Comment From guest
What will happen with Arod?

12:53
Dave Cameron: Suspension will be reduced, he’ll serve 100ish games.

12:54
Comment From Ben Cherington
Salty probably going to get a GO. too hard to replace him.

12:54
Dave Cameron: Depends on how interested they are in signing McCann. If they want to bring him to Boston as their main off-season upgrade, can’t make Salty the QO and risk having him take it.

12:57
Comment From Anthony
Is there/should there be concern around the league that if more and more teams adopt aggressive shifting like the Rays and Pirates, there will be a significant league-wide decline in offense? Much more difficult in baseball than in basketball or football for offenses to adjust to better defensive strategy.

12:57
Dave Cameron: If it becomes the norm, then people will figure out how to beat it. More bunts, more inside out swings. It’s not an invincible defense.

12:58
Comment From Tim
I’m a Cards fan so I’m surely biased, but has the Cardinals reaction to the Dodgers celebrations really been that over the top? I have no problem with the way the Dodgers celebrated, even like watching it, but seems like the media reaction to how the Cardinals responded didn’t really fit. I would’ve prefered the Cardinals say nothing, but didn’t seem that bad.

12:58
Dave Cameron: Derrick Goold has made it clear in his writing that he thinks the Cardinals comments were taken way out of context and this is entirely a media story.

12:59
Comment From Nate
I feel like players really should lay down more bunts, re: shifting. I absolutely hate when announcers say “Well player X is a slugger, you don’t have him bunt.” — Well if he can have a near-guaranteed way of getting on base, why not take that chance over banking on an double or homer?

12:59
Dave Cameron: Sluggers aren’t good at bunting, so it’s not a near guaranteed way of getting on base.

12:59
Comment From person hscer
How do you think Ichiro would have hit in MLB from ages 22-26?

12:59
Dave Cameron: Really well.

12:59
Comment From Kimball
No discussion of Sanchez on short rest?

12:59
Dave Cameron: Nothing wrong with Fister on normal rest.

1:00
Dave Cameron: Okay, that’s it for today. Thanks for hanging out, everyone.



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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.


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Guest
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“The market isn’t rational. Baseball isn’t rational. The assumption of a rational market is going to poison your results.”

Sorry I didn’t ask this in the chat earlier. Doesn’t this quote of your from Beyond the Boxscore basically invalidate the entire field of economics? There’s no such thing as a “rational market”, but we assume one anyway because that’s the only way we can model the phenomenal complexity of reality.

Baltar
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Baltar

If “the entire field of economics” is founded on the assumption that markets are rational, then economics is worthless, which has been shown by reality anyway.

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