FanGraphs Chat – 5/22/13

11:47
Dave Cameron: It’s Wednesday, so let’s spend an hour or so talking baseball.
11:47
Dave Cameron: Queue is now open, and we’ll start in about 15 minutes.
12:00
Comment From Ken
Dave – Thanks for the chat. Wondering about your view of Corbin. Can a SP have sustainable success with one great pitch – the slider – once everyone knows it’s coming?
12:01
Dave Cameron: It’s possible, but also very rare. Randy Johnson made it work, but he was 6’10 and threw 100 mph. Madison Bumgarner is probably the closest comparison you could draw to Corbin, but his command has historically been much better, and again, he’s taller. It will be interesting to watch though.
12:01
Comment From Michael
The pirates all-stars this year are….
12:01
Dave Cameron: Andrew McCutchen, A.J. Burnett if he keeps this up, maybe Russell Martin.

12:01
Comment From David
So. A bit of a tough time to be a National, eh? Strasburg’s healthy, I suppose, but everything else is going to hell …
12:02
Dave Cameron: They might have to make a change at second base pretty soon. Danny Espinosa has always had serious contact problems, but he looks helpless right now.
12:02
Comment From JEB
Think Cashner can sustain his current numbers, or is he in for a dose of reality? Also, if so, how bad?
12:02
Dave Cameron: When he’s healthy, he’s very good.
12:02
Comment From zack
Will Vernon wells post a higher war than josh Hamilton?
12:03
Dave Cameron: He’s got nearly a +2 WAR advantage already, right? So the question is do we think Hamilton can be more than +2 WAR better than Wells over four months. I’m not sure I do.
12:03
Comment From Eric
My friend insists that baseball is not a sport because all of the players are fat and unathletic compared to basketball players, and “it’s not a sport if you can eat a sandwich while you are playing it.” Can you please help me make him STFU?
12:03
Dave Cameron: Ask Michael Jordan about how easy baseball is.
12:03
Comment From JEB
What stats do you look at to determine if a team is doing well or not, and if they can keep it up? Run Diff?
12:04
Dave Cameron: Absolutely not run differential. If you want to know how good a team is going to be going forward, you want a projection that takes current roster and multiple years of data into account.
12:05
Comment From Neil
I’m a Tigers fan and a big believer in advanced metrics. I’m heavily rooting for Cabrera to lead the league in WAR and wRC+ and somehow lose the RBI title so that we can have last year’s debate in reverse. Who do you think has the best chance to out RBI him? I need a player to pin my hopes to.
12:05
Dave Cameron: No one. Cabrera is a mortal lock to lead the AL in RBIs if he doesn’t get hurt.
12:05
Comment From Thomas
Who is the best player in the game of baseball?
12:06
Dave Cameron: When he’s healthy, Troy Tulowitzki.
12:06
Comment From Jack
Even if you think it’s not for real, which player has been the most fascinating to this point in the season?
12:06
Dave Cameron: Fascinating? Maybe Josh Hamilton.
12:07
Comment From primantis
Do you think that Hawk Harrelson and Harold Reynolds really believe in TWTW and the value of pitcher wins and all of that stuff?
12:07
Dave Cameron: Absolutely.
12:07
Comment From Greg
Expectations for Gausman? [please don't tell me to look at Zips]
12:07
Dave Cameron: Okay, look at Steamer.
12:07
Comment From Orange
If Jaime Garcia is lost for the season (likely) a) who would you like to see the Cardinals use to fill the starting role and b) who do you think they will use to fill the role?
12:08
Dave Cameron: Wacha seems to be the likely long term solution.
12:08
Comment From Guest
MLB is apparently going to ignore Sanabia’s spitball. Surprising or par for the course?
12:08
Dave Cameron: I’m stunned we haven’t heard anything about it.
12:08
Comment From sea salt
does gausman stay up for good? what will his numbers look like?
12:08
Dave Cameron: There’s not much competition in that rotation, so yeah, I think he’s around for the long haul. I think he’ll do just fine.
12:08
Comment From Orange
Are you worried with the Cardinals lack of power thus far? 3rd worst team ISO in the league…
12:09
Dave Cameron: They get on base a ton.
12:09
Comment From nick
why don’t umps stand right behind the plate? It seems like it could almost totally make pitch framing useless.
12:09
Dave Cameron: Have to look over the catcher’s shoulder in order to see.
12:09
Comment From Pete
Think Profar will be traded and if so when?
12:09
Dave Cameron: Why would Texas trade him? They’re a great team with few holes.
12:10
Comment From EEs T-rex flop hand
As a Yanks fan I’m nervous about the return of injured stars (Tex, Granderson, etc..). My logical brain tells me they are still better than Overbay, Wells, and co. Thoughts?
12:10
Dave Cameron: Adding talent to a roster does not make a team worse.
12:10
Comment From m
If will myers bombs royals win that trade even if thry nevet win more than 85 games with shields, right?
12:10
Dave Cameron: No, not at all.
12:10
Comment From Andrew
How much stock do you put in Helton’s comments that Corbin’s slider is the best he’s ever seen?
12:10
Dave Cameron: I’d imagine that a left-handed batter facing Corbin probably has little or no chance.
12:11
Comment From Zach
Is Miguel Cabrera the best pure hitter in baseball?
12:11
Dave Cameron: Depends on how you define pure, I guess. Joey Votto is the other option.
12:11
Comment From Anon21
At this point, the Braves are clear favorites out of the East. In terms of building a team that can make a deep postseason run, do they need to concentrate on upgrades in their suddenly-thin bullpen or their solid but unspectacular rotation?
12:11
Dave Cameron: Both.
12:11
Comment From Thufir
Is the quality of defense played in the minor league something we should think about more when projecting how prospects will perform in the majors when they get called up, both for pitchers and hitters? It seems like the step change in fielding is as big as anything else, but gets less attention.
12:11
Dave Cameron: It’s one reason why minor league ERAs are useless.
12:12
Comment From wade
Why do the M’s keep fooling around by starting the likes of Harang, Noesi, or Beavan?
12:12
Dave Cameron: Because they don’t have any better options.
12:12
Comment From Andrew
Would you call up Rendon to play 2B?
12:12
Dave Cameron: Doesn’t sound like he’s a big league 2B yet.
12:13
Comment From Josh
Ignoring that Votto should be the 2 hitter because of Dusty’s opposition to progress, wouldn’t they still be far better putting Phillips at the 2 and moving Bruce to cleanup? Dusty’s idiotic obsession with alternating L/R/L in the batting order is infuriating.
12:13
Dave Cameron: Well, there’s some legitimate reasons to split up hitters based on handedness, but yes, the Reds need to fix the giant sucking hole in the #2 spot in their order.
12:13
Comment From Sean
From the eye test, the Diamondbacks are a great defensive team. DRS supports it, but to what degree can I trust it? Dbacks have 41 DRS, second in baseball has 19. Is their defense really THIS good?
12:14
Dave Cameron: No, of course not. That’d make them the best defensive team ever. Parra and Gregorious are terrific defenders though.
12:14
Comment From Michael
No grilli???
12:14
Dave Cameron: Okay, yes, Grilli too.
12:14
Comment From Mike Zunino
Is it time for my callup?
12:15
Dave Cameron: You haven’t walked since April 27th, you’re still striking out a ton, and your power is limited by the lack of contact. You’re not ready.
12:15
Comment From Steve
Do you think Kyle Gibson has a reasonable chance of contributing at the major league level this year?
12:15
Dave Cameron: Yeah, he should be up fairly soon.
12:16
Comment From Jeff
If I were able to guarantee you a career WAR total, what would that number have to be for Bryce Harper for you to take it? 50 WAR? 60?
12:16
Dave Cameron: I’d probably take 75.
12:16
Comment From Sean
Can you explain the main difference between FG’s WAR metric and Baseball-Reference’s? I’m interested in Gerardo Parra in particular. B-R has him leading all position players with 2.9 WAR; he doesn’t even crack the top 10 on Fangraphs. What accounts for the difference there?
12:17
Dave Cameron: For position players, it’s mostly the fielding metric. They used DRS, we use UZR. DRS is more aggressive in rewarding value to defenders than UZR.
12:17
Comment From Guest
What do the Rangers do with Profar if he is too good to send down when Kinsler is healthy?
12:17
Dave Cameron: He’s 20. A few months in Triple-A won’t hurt him.
12:18
Comment From Andrew
Do you still think Votto is the best hitter in baseball?
12:18
Dave Cameron: It’s either him or Cabrera. You can flip a coin. They’re both awesome.
12:18
Comment From Benzedrine
What happened to Mark Reynolds? Moved to a bigger park and having a career year it seems.
12:18
Dave Cameron: He’s striking out less, for one.
12:19
Comment From person hscer
problem about espinosa: who’s the replacement? Lombardozzi is equally bad, if not worse, has a lower ceiling, and hasn’t produced consecutive 3-WAR seasons. Rendon would have a hard time staying stay healthy at 2B.
12:19
Dave Cameron: Might be time to make a trade.
12:19
Comment From Andrew
Apparently Dodgers “discussing” calling up Puig. Large deal, or no?
12:19
Dave Cameron: Where would they put him? Ethier/Crawford blocking the corners, not going anywhere.
12:20
Comment From AJ
Dave – Are you coming to the SABR seminar in Boston in August? Are any other fangraphs writers?
12:20
Dave Cameron: Yes, Bill Petti, Dave Allen, and I are all going to be speaking at the event, and a few others will likely be in attendance.
12:20
Comment From Ross
I am still not a believer in your “Batter vs Pitcher” article you wrote last week. If a batter has had past success against a certain pitcher before, in the grand scheme of things you have to play him against that pitcher. Clint Hurdle talked in his pregame press conference yesterday about those matchups and how he definitely applies matchups when his hitters have had success against certain guys they’ve faced a lot (ie: Lohse, Gallardo, and other inter division guys). Lets say Jose Tabata has great career numbers against Gallardo, you’d be CRAZY to not play him over Travis Snider if he had very few at bats against Gallardo in his career even if Snider has had a great season so far and is pretty much the everyday RF in Pittsburgh
12:20
Dave Cameron: Basically, what you’re saying is you don’t believe in the facts.
12:21
Comment From senorpogo
If you added the X best players in baseball to Houston Astros roster today, they would make the playoffs. X equals?
12:21
Dave Cameron: Interesting. The best players in baseball are worth +6 to +7 WAR, so the Astros would need at least five of those guys to make a run, and maybe six.
12:22
Comment From Chris
I’m far from a WAR evangelist, but when someone asks me a question, I try to answer if I can. A friend yesterday asked me if offense should be given more weight when trying to find the value of an average replacement player, because it would theoretically be easier to find a solid defensive replacement than a good hitter. Didn’t know what to tell him.
12:23
Dave Cameron: That solid defensive player is not going to hit, though. It doesn’t really matter what the replacement level player looks like, or how he creates runs, it only matters the rate at which he does so. You don’t need “hitters” or “fielders” – you need players. A +20 hitter/-20 fielder is not more valuable than a -20 hitter/+20 fielder, assuming that both of those calculations are perfectly true.
12:24
Comment From Casey
My buddy doesn’t believe me that sliders have larger platoon splits than curveballs, can you point me to the proof that he’s wrong.
12:25
Comment From LarryA
Will Oswalt be better than league average when he comes up?
12:25
Dave Cameron: Maybe. With aging players who took time off, it’s hard to know, but Andy Pettitte came back just fine.
12:25
Comment From Andrew
Whether there’s substance to it or not, it doesn’t seem like we hear as much about hitting coaches getting credit as we do about pitching coaches getting credit. Why is that?
12:26
Dave Cameron: Because there’s little evidence that hitting coaches actually do anything.
12:26
Comment From Crusty
Do you ever watch a hyped pitcher and notice his pitches don’t have much break and wonder what the hub-bub is all about? Any recent examples?
12:26
Dave Cameron: Julio Teheran.
12:27
Comment From Stockholm Syndrome
If Tulo when healthy is the best overall player today, who is it in 5 years?
12:27
Dave Cameron: Bryce Harper.
12:27
Comment From JoeyB
If a player has a few years worth of horrible splits and then all of a sudden starts hitting same-handed pitching, how long before we can say that he has “figured it out” or at least improved to the point of not needing being a platooner
12:27
Dave Cameron: You should just assume he has a normal platoon split for his handedness type.
12:28
Comment From Pinstripe Wizard
How much attention do you pay to the MLB Draft?
12:28
Dave Cameron: A decent amount to the first round, very little to anything after that.
12:28
Comment From BookWorm
A couple of weeks ago you said the Twins were the biggest surprise in baseball (b/c of their +.500 record). With the Twins on a a losing streak, who’s the biggest surprise?
12:28
Dave Cameron: I guess its probably the Padres now.
12:29
Comment From Eddy
What’s Machado’s power ceiling? Doesn’t strike me as a guy that can regularly hit more than 25.
12:29
Dave Cameron: That seems like a silly thing to say about a 20-year-old who isn’t yet done growing.
12:29
Comment From Tyler
As a Tigers fan should I be upset about V-Mart or cautiously optimistic? I didn’t think he’d have any trouble driving in 90 runs for the Tigers this year, but he doesn’t look anything like himself. Rebound on the way?
12:30
Dave Cameron: He looks terrible, he’s getting older, and he was overrated even before the injury. I think the Tigers should trade for a third baseman and start giving Cabrera some DH time.
12:30
Comment From Tom
Is David Freese the Cards’ 3B long-term or is Matt Carpenter?
12:30
Dave Cameron: Depends on Kotlon Wong, probably.
12:31
Comment From Jack
Dave, the obvious question re: Profar is whether sending him down would hurt the Rangers, not Profar, assuming he plays well…
12:31
Dave Cameron: Kinsler and Andrus are good, both better than Profar right now. So no.
12:31
Comment From Phil
Thoughts on Teixeira’s impact when he comes back? Doesn’t history point to wrist problems sapping power?
12:32
Dave Cameron: Yeah, there’s some evidence that wrist problems linger.
12:32
Comment From Cameron
How do you see the 3B situation shaking out in Atlanta?
12:32
Dave Cameron: Chris Johnson will regress, the Braves will acknowledge that Juan Francisco is bad, and they will trade for an upgrade before the end of the year.
12:33
Comment From JFK
Ethier is benched today to filed the best line up per Mattingly.. So Puig over Ethier ? Especially if they think Van Slyke is already a better option.
12:33
Dave Cameron: There’s no way they’re benching Ethier in the first year of an $80 million contract.
12:34
Comment From Saditude
Beyond moving away from Espinosa, what else can the Nationals do to solve their terrible hitting (.274 BABIP/.289 OBP) other than be patient? When is it reasonable for Nationals’ fans to start panicking?
12:34
Dave Cameron: Not much else to do. Lots of guys underachieving, patience is necessary.
12:34
Comment From Scottish Rick.
What is up with that Jeremy Bonderman fella Dave? is he a viable replacement for Harang, or should he retire in shame, that he will never be able to replace the worst pitcher in the worst back end of a Major League rotation… hmm.
12:34
Dave Cameron: He hasn’t been very good in Triple-A. He has an opt out clause in his contract for 10 days from now, so I’m guessing he’ll replace Harang in the rotation, but there’s no reason to think he’s going to be any good.
12:35
Comment From Jack
Offense is at least 5 times as important as defense. This can be expressed using fairly simple mathematics. http://highboskage.com/team-defense.shtml
12:36
Dave Cameron: You’re misrepresenting the data. Offensive runs aren’t more important than defensive runs, there are just more of them to be had.
12:37
Comment From Goat
Dave, surely WAR doesn’t work for bullpen analysis? I mean, if Bullpen A has 6 identical 1 WAR pitchers and Bullpen 2 has 3 x 2 WAR pitchers and 3 x 0 WAR pitchers, Bullpen 1 will be much much better. Did some work on this a few years ago and it looks like bullpen disparity can explain a large proportion of the divergence of actual W/L vs the Pythagorean estimates… Presumably this analysis has been done before?
12:39
Dave Cameron: Relievers performance is tricky because it is interconnected with the situation. WAR for relievers is less useful than WAR for other positions, but at the same time, you won’t be able to predict bullpen performance nearly as well as you will be able to predict performance from other positions.
12:39
Comment From Zach
What do you expect out of LoMo upon returning?
12:39
Dave Cameron: Annoying tweets, mediocre performance.
12:39
Comment From person hscer
Obviously the quality matters more than the type, but what 3-4 pitches would your ideal SP throw?
12:40
Dave Cameron: Four-seam, two-seam, slider, change.
12:40
Comment From Robert
How amazing is it that a month and half gives people a complete lack of context about Miguel Cabrera and the last 10 years (People saying he’s the best since Bonds)
12:40
Dave Cameron: People love to overrate the now. I call it recency bias.
12:41
Comment From AJ
Is there any analysis on how effective pitching coaches are? I’m curious where Don Cooper would rank.
12:41
Dave Cameron: There have been studies done, but they’re difficult to do because there are so many variables. Cooper would be among the best, I’d imagine.
12:41
Comment From Forsyth
Have you ever noticed a correlation between low BABIP and very good changeups? I see Shields, Hellickson, Buchholz, Vargas (last year), etc, and it seems like there’s some correlation there. Thoughts?
12:41
Dave Cameron: It’s been studied and shown not to be true.
12:41
Comment From Crusty
In a pre-season chat you stated that Kelly Johnson could very likely end up being a good buy low for Tampa Bay. And now he’s playing multiple positions, too. The Rays fascinate me in the way they use players, from rotating them btwn positions, to doing strict platoons, e.g. Joyce. What do the Rays need to do to make the playoffs this year?
12:41
Dave Cameron: Stop blowing leads.
12:42
Comment From Aaron
A player being “clutch” is a myth, right? Or at the very least, it’s more descriptive than predictive. A player “has been” clutch vs. a player “will be” clutch.
12:43
Dave Cameron: Right, there are clutch performances, but there’s not much evidence of clutch performers. Basically, by the time they get to the big leagues, everyone who couldn’t handle the pressure of the big stage will have been weeded out.
12:43
Comment From Greg
Is there any influence of variance on something like RAR or WAR? That is to say, if you had a team of +20 hitters and -20 fielders playing a team of -20/+20 players with the same pitching, would one team be more likely to win due to the consistency of its players’ performance?
12:44
Dave Cameron: Well, there are more diminishing returns associated with putting great fielders next to each other than putting great hitters together in the same line-up. So, from that standpoint, stacking good hitters is better than stacking good fielders. But, the margins are still going to be small. For the most part, a run is a run is a run.
12:45
Comment From chuckb
Matt Carpenter has to be one of the biggest surprises in the game, doesn’t he?
12:45
Dave Cameron: His 2B defense has improved faster than anyone expected. The Cardinals appear to be player development wizards.
12:46
Comment From Grant Homer
Of all the ballparks you’ve been to, which stand out the most? good, bad or ugly
12:46
Dave Cameron: I love Camden Yards. I love Oakland Coliseum less.
12:46
Comment From Sleight of Hand Pro
if you could have 1 standout tool from a hitting prospect, what would it be? contact? power? plate discipline?
12:46
Dave Cameron: Power.
12:46
Comment From Guest #1
Do you have a college degree? In what?
12:46
Dave Cameron: I have a BS in economics.
12:47
Comment From Jack
Yes– offensive and defensive runs are equally valuable. However, the dispersion of defensive talent relative to offensive talent dictates that the offensive ability of any given player is AT LEAST 5 times as important as his defensive ability. Again– demonstrated using simply math; we’re not talking advanced calculus here.
12:48
Dave Cameron: You’re taking a true concept and mangling it with ridiculous hyperbole. The spread in talent in offense is larger than in defense, and there are more opportunities to create runs with the bat than with the glove. These are true statements. You don’t have exaggerate to make your point.
12:49
Comment From JEB
So what you’re saying about projecting how a team will do for the rest of the season, for the average fan that is, is just pay attention to your new projected team standings going forward?
12:49
Dave Cameron: Yeah, that’s going to be better than trying to look at any kind of past performance pythag.
12:49
Comment From Jack
I’m not disputing the simple fact that a run saved is as valuable as a run scored– I’m just saying that with respect to run prevention, pitching makes up AT LEAST 40% of that equation, probably closer to 45%. Again– simple math here.
12:50
Dave Cameron: You’re yelling and screaming about things that no one disagrees with. The game is something like 50% hitting, 40% pitching, 10% defense.
12:50
Comment From Grohman
How much does ZIPS (or Steamer) weigh minor league output versus historical data of similar players at the ML level? I’m wondering if leans conservative on talented young players in their early years because so,so many come up and don’t succeed.
12:51
Dave Cameron: If so many come up and don’t succeed, than a forecast that looks conservative could probably be called “accurate” instead, no?
12:51
Comment From Greg
Who’s the best pitcher available at the trade deadline this summer? The Braves should be all-in for an “ace” type pitcher, right?
12:51
Dave Cameron: Jake Peavy, probably. Cliff Lee might be available, but probably not to the Braves.
12:52
Comment From Benzedrine
why do pitchers with low release points suffer from greater platoon splits?
12:53
Dave Cameron: Hitters get a longer look at the ball, and when you throw from a low-arm slot, you only really are able to throw pitches with horizontal movement, not vertical movement. It’s nearly impossible to throw a curveball from a side-arm position.
12:53
Comment From Kevin
Is Matt Carpenter evidence that teams don’t think out of the box enough with respect to shifting the defensive positions of its playera?
12:54
Dave Cameron: I think second base specifically, yes. I wrote about this a few years ago, but I think that the 2B/3B disparity historically has been mostly a height bias, and more guys who get stuck at 3B could handle 2B.
12:54
Comment From Marshall Applewhite
I don’t get why everyone who gets to the big leagues will be able to handle the big stage. Theoretically you could have a guy who is immensely talented and his biggest limitation is that he lacks some degree of mental toughness that prevents him from performing as well under situations of high stress. The talent obscures it to a point and he gets to the big leagues in spite of it, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
12:55
Dave Cameron: Good luck finding a talented player who never played in front of a big crowd before he got to the big leagues.
12:55
Comment From Frank
Re: the batter vs. pitcher matchups, this seems to be a case where scouting bests superficial numbers. I know The Book deconstructed the predictive value of using career matchup numbers (triple slash I believe), but something crazy like Jesus Montero’s ownership of Jered Weaver (5 for 10 with 4 HR and an exasperated look on Weaver’s face every time Montero comes to the plate) seems real. While simply saying a guy has hit .300/.400/.500 in 50 career PAs may not be smart, looking at quality and quantity of contact (BBs, liners, sharply hit flies) may demonstrate true ownership.
12:56
Dave Cameron: What “seems real” and what is real are very different things. You might think that a guy hitting a bunch of homers against a pitcher is predictive, but it’s just not.
12:56
Comment From Greg
To follow-up on the idea of diminishing RAR returns – have there been any attempts to “optimize” a team composition with the right mix of great hitters and fielders so that these diminishing returns are minimized? If I have a set budget and want to buy a corresponding team’s worth of RAR, how much do I invest in fielding and how much do I invest in hitting?
12:57
Dave Cameron: Depends on your pitching staff. The Tigers are punting defense because they strike everyone out, so it doesn’t hurt them as much as it would the Twins.
12:57
Comment From BassmanUW
My general view of what the Cubs should do as far as selling this season: They’re more likely to get excess value for Garza and DeJesus due largely to longevity and reputation than they will for Feldman and Schierholtz. So they should look to trade the latter, but look to extend Feldman if possible on a team friendly deal, and bring Schierholtz back through arbitration next year. Sound reasonable?
12:57
Dave Cameron: Yeah, basically agree.
12:58
Comment From Jack
Then if defense is 10% of baseball (probably more like 5%, but I digress) then why do you and likeminded analysts discuss it so disproportionately? I’m reluctant to ask, because I know you’ll just deny that, but it’s true. FG has basically led the charge to allow the part of the game that makes up 5% of it to be discussed as though it’s remotely as valuable as any player’s offensive ability.
1:00
Dave Cameron: You clearly have an agenda here, so I’ll just end it with this: If we have a “goal” as a site — and that’s a big assumption, assuming that the site is a bunch of individuals with their own ideas — it’s to highlight the things that actually lead to wins. The defensive component of baseball has long been underrated. We have never said that defense is as important as offense, but we have said and will continue to say that defense is valuable, and that ignoring it is silly.
1:01
Comment From Robert
The NFL employees people to head coaching jobs who are obsessed with the theory of their sport and who tend to work 80 hour weeks. MLB teams hire ex-players and guys who come across as good ol’ boys as managers. Why do you think there’s such a discrepancy?
1:02
Dave Cameron: MLB has tons of guys who work 80+ hours per week and are obsessed with theory of the sport. You just don’t see them because they’re not on TV.
1:03
Dave Cameron: Okay, have to get some lunch and hopefully finish up my follow-up to last week’s article about passive hitters. This thing is the most research intensive piece I’ve ever done for FG, and I’m pretty excited about it.



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Dave is a co-founder of USSMariner.com and contributes to the Wall Street Journal.

20 Responses to “FanGraphs Chat – 5/22/13”

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  1. Jake says:

    Current in 1st in my league, but pitching could use a boost. Trade Cargo, Ervin Santana, 12th round pick for Stras, Zobrist, and a 3rd round pick? Zobrist / Cuddyer would replace Cargo in my lineup. Offense is fairly dominant in this 5×5. Thanks!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • slogue617 says:

      Sounds like a good move to me. Can you really upgrade from a 12th to a 3rd though? That seems like a huge jump. I say go for it.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • slogue617 says:

        Thinking about this some more, I don’t see how the other guy does that trade. Santana’s a decent pitcher but has a below average k rate — you’d probably take him in the 8th or 9th round if you were drafting today. Zobrist has gotten off to a slow start but figure he’s still in the 8-10 range as well. Cargo > Strasburg, but Strasburg’s a top 5 pitcher. I don’t see him moving back 9 rounds to make that deal. If you can do it, definitely do it.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Jake says:

          he actually alredy offered the same deal except he wanted to give me a 4th for my 12th. I can talk him to a 3rd. He is newish to fantasy baseball and often can’t look past small sample sizes (i.e. his readiness to ditch Zobrist).

          Thanks.

          P.S. I accidently “voted down” your comment. Sorry!

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  2. Paul says:

    Is this a good sell high if I need SBs? Corbin/Altuve for Bourne/Fernandez.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. Jaker says:

    Comment From Zach: What do you expect out of LoMo upon returning?

    Dave Cameron: Annoying tweets, mediocre performance.

    You should have dropped the mic and walked away after that gem.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. gouis says:

    Man, Jack is a dick.

    +13 Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. I suck at baseball, yes says:

    “Comment From Eric
    My friend insists that baseball is not a sport because all of the players are fat and unathletic compared to basketball players, and “it’s not a sport if you can eat a sandwich while you are playing it.” Can you please help me make him STFU? ”

    Baseball does not require nearly as much conditioning as other sports like soccer or track. However, it is much more on the skills side of the athletic spectrum. If you appreciate skill, then you will consider baseball a sport.

    Cameron’s response that Jordan couldn’t play baseball well doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a sport, however. Jordan was great at basketball but would be terrible at a lot of athletic endeavors like being a competitive marathoner, cyclist, or jockey rider.

    I do personally think that baseball is a sport but others may not think the same.

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    • 5 says:

      It’s not a sport, it’s the game

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    • DavidJ says:

      I’ve never understood to begin with why some people get so worked up about whether X is or is not a sport. A sport is simply a competitive activity involving some degree of physical or athletic skill. And yet some people get so protective over how the word is applied, as though “sport” is some kind of special title that confers honor or dignity to the activity in question. I have no interest whatsoever in auto racing, but it’s never bothered me that people consider it to be a sport.

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  6. Nick says:

    Boy talk about dodging the question at the end there. It’s funny, because intuitively it seems like having played the game at a high level would be more important for a football coach, as opposed to baseball which is pretty much just a numbers game (outside of managing personalities/clubhouse etc which is probably more important anyway).

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    • bookbook says:

      Yeah, well. The answer is probably buried deep in the history of each sport. For decades, baseball has had player-managers. Even when finances might have dictated it, football is probably just too physically draining to expect a star performer to simultaneously coach his peers. Baseball also seems simpler on its face. The occasional hit-and-run or double switch is nothing compared to plotting dozens of different plays in a football playbook. And starters used to mainly stay in the game until they were clearly gassed or getting pummeled by flying line drives. It seems like a baseball manager is just a motivational presence, rather than the master tactician called for in the football setting. (Clearly not true, or not ideally true, but I could see why it would have evolved this way.]

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  7. diamondhoggers says:

    Grilli isn’t an All Star for the Pirates? Pay attention Cameron you are missing some things.

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    • Jay29 says:

      I think he was being conservative. Despite the recent trend of lots of closers being named to All-Star teams, Grilli could still come up short with Kimbrel, Chapman, Romo, Henderson, Mujica, etc. if he struggles, but if he keeps this up for another 3 weeks or so, he’s probably got a spot locked up.

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  8. Ruki Motomiya says:

    How do questions get asked for this, anyhow?

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  9. Gregory Bateson says:

    Science sometimes improves hypotheses and sometimes disproves them. But
    proof would be another matter and perhaps never occurs except in the realms of totally abstract tautology. We can sometimes say that if
    such and such abstract suppositions or postulates are given, then such and such must follow absolutely. But the truth about what can be perceived
    or arrived at by induction from perception is something else again. Let us say that truth would mean a precise correspondence between out description andwhat we describe or between our total network of abstractions and deductions and sometotal understanding of the outside world. Truth in this sense is not obtainable. And even if we ignore the barriers of coding, the circumstance that our description will be in words orfigures or pictures but that what we describe is going to be in flesh and blood and action –even disregarding that hurdle of translation, we shall never be able to claim finalknowledge of anything whatsoever.A conventional way of arguing this matter is somewhat as follows: Let us say that I offeryou a series – perhaps of number, perhaps of other indications – and that I provide thepresupposition that the series is ordered. For the sake of simplicity, let it be a series of numbers:2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12Then I ask you, “What is the next number in this series?” You will probably say, “14.”But if you do, I will say, “Oh, no. The next number is 27.” In other words, thegeneralization to which you jumped from the data given in the first instance – that theseries was the series of even numbers – was proved to be wrong or only approximate bythe next event.Let us pursue the matter further. Let me continue my statement by creating a series asfollows:2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 27, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 27, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 27, …Now if I ask you to guess the next number, you will probably say, “2.” After all, you havebeen given tree repetitions of the sequence from 2 to 27; and if you are a good scientist,you will be influenced by the presupposition called
    Occam’s razor,
    or the
    rule of parsimony:
    that is, a preference for the simplest assumption that will fit the facts. On thebasis of simplicity you will make the next prediction. But those facts – what are they?They are not, after all, available to you beyond the end of the (possibly incomplete)sequence that has been given.You
    assume
    that you can predict, and indeed I suggested this presupposition to you. Butthe only basis you have is your (trained) preference for the simpler answer and your trustthat my challenge indeed meant that the sequence was incomplete and ordered.

    Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), it is so that the next fact is never available. Allyou have is the hope of simplicity, and the next fact may always drive you to the nextlevel of complexity.Or let us say that for any sequence of numbers I can offer, there will always be a fewways of describing that sequence which will be simple, but there will be an
    infinite
    number of alternative ways not limited by the criterion of simplicity.Suppose the numbers are represented by letters:x, w, p, nand so on. Such letters could stand for any numbers whatsoever, even fractions. I haveonly to repeat the series three or four times in some verbal or visual or other sensoryform, even in the forms of pain or kinesthesia, and you will begin to perceive pattern inwhat I offer you. It will become in your mind – and in mine – a theme, and it will haveaesthetic value. To that extent, it will be familiar and understandable.But the pattern may be changed or broken by addition, by repetition, by anything that willforce you to a new perception of it, and these changes can never be predicted withabsolute certainty because they have not yet happened.We do not know enough about how the present will lead into the future. We shall neverbe able to say, “Ha! My perception, my accounting for that series, will indeed cover itsnext and future components,” or ” Next time I meet with these phenomena, I shall be ableto predict their total course.”Prediction can never be absolutely valid and therefore science can never prove some generalization or even test
    a single descriptive statement and in that way arrive at finaltruth.There are other ways of arguing this impossibility. The argument of this book – whichagain, surely, can only convince you insofar as what I say fits with what you know andwhich may be collapsed or totally changed in a few years – presupposes that science is away of perceiving and making what we may call “sense” of our percepts. But perceptionoperates only upon difference. All receipt of information is necessarily the receipt of news of difference, and all perception of difference is limited by threshold. Differencesthat are too slight or too slowly presented are not perceivable. They are not food forperception.It follows that what we, as scientists, can perceive is always limited by threshold. That is,what is subliminal will not be grist for our mill. Knowledge at any given moment will bea function of the thresholds of our available means of perception. The invention of themicroscope or the telescope or of means of measuring time to the faction of a nanosecondor weighing quantities of matter to millionths of a gram – all such improved devices of perception will disclose what was utterly unpredictable from the levels of perception thatwe could achieve before that discovery.Not only can we not predict into the next instant of future, but, more profoundly, we cannot predict into the next dimension of the microscopic, the astronomically distant, or the geologically ancient. As a method of perception – and that is all science can claim to be – science, like all other methods of perception, is limited in its ability to collect the outward and visible signs of whatever may be truth.Science
    probes
    ; it does not prove

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