FanGraphs Chat – 6/12/13

11:45
Dave Cameron: It’s Wednesday, so let’s talk some baseball. The queue is now open.

12:00
Comment From JEB
Are the Dodgers more violent than their fan base? Or is it about even?

12:01
Dave Cameron: Mark McGwire looked kind of violent last night. That’s a guy I wouldn’t really want to brawl with.

12:01
Comment From Ace
Thoughts on yesterday’s WWE match? I’m not a fan of the machismo either way, but Kennedy’s head shots seemed more dangerous than most.

12:01
Dave Cameron: Yeah, throwing up around the shoulders/head area is a no-no. I’d be fine with a nice long suspension.

12:01
Comment From Sam
General impressions on Cole’s debut?

12:02
Dave Cameron: Kind of surprising. He’s been long billed as a bad command/good stuff guy, so he pounded the strike zone and didn’t strike anyone out. It’s just one start, of course, but his strikeout rate wasn’t that high in Triple-A either. It will be interesting to see if his velocity translates into whiffs.

12:02
Comment From Chris
Which 2013 MLB Draft Pick will be the 1st in the major leagues?

12:02
Dave Cameron: At this rate, probably D.J. Peterson. The Mariners apparently think minor league development is no longer needed.

12:03
Comment From David
Does Peter Bourjas offer any offensive value?

12:03
Dave Cameron: Considering he’s a nearly average hitter over his major league career, of course.

12:03
Comment From wade
What kind of prospect will Nolasco bring?

12:04
Dave Cameron: A mediocre one, unless the Marlins pick up most of the remainder of his salary. He’s going to cost something like $5 million as a rental for the rest of the year, and he’s not the kind of pitcher that MLB teams will really want to hand the ball to in Game 1 of a playoff series.

12:04
Comment From sea salt
which is a more difficult position defensively – 2nd base or 3rd base?

12:05
Dave Cameron: Depends on the player, but for a decently athletic guy with some arm strength, they’re about even.

12:05
Comment From Prich
I love professional sports drafts for many reasons, and, most leagues have a pretty good grasp on how to make theirs work, but the oldest sport in America seems lost… What can’t baseball figure it out?

12:06
Dave Cameron: Are the other drafts really any better? The pay scale in the NFL draft is so out of whack for top picks that I believe I’ve read that teams are almost always better off trading down.

12:06
Comment From JEB
Are the Indians showing their true colors on this road trip? Or just a bad luck streak?

12:07
Dave Cameron: A little of both. They can hit, but they are a few players short of being a legitimate playoff contender.

12:07
Comment From sea salt
Cingrani will get sent down and cueto will be sore in another 2 weeks time, right?

12:08
Dave Cameron: Cueto keeps saying he’s fine, but then he keeps landing back on the DL. It seems like the kind of thing that might linger.

12:08
Comment From _David_
What was the”ruckus” caused by your Andino tweet?

12:09
Dave Cameron: The Mariners didn’t expect news to get out that Andino had been placed on outright waivers, so they were planning on keeping him on the roster until he cleared. Because word got out, they had to DFA him, which led to Carlos Triunfel flying from Tacoma to Reno, then immediately having to get on a plane as soon as they landed so he could take Andino’s spot on the roster that night.

12:10
Comment From Brent
If you’re Jerry Dipoto, do you sell some of your players at the deadline(Vargas, Kendrick, Aybar) and try to retool for the next few years or do you hope the roster develops some chemistry and keep it intact for next year? Recently, Dan Haren commented on the fact that the roster turnovers affected how the team meshed with each other. Not sure if there truly is an effect but it was interesting to hear from him. Thanks for the chat.

12:11
Dave Cameron: I don’t think trading away the few players they have under contract for reasonable prices are going to solve any of their problems.

12:11
Comment From phin
where does puig play when kemp comes back?

12:11
Dave Cameron: Right field. Ethier’s not getting his old job back.

12:11
Comment From Shawn
When Beachy returns, would you trade a starter such as Maholm, or would you put Teheran or Medlen back in the pen to limit their innings? It seems you would want to hold on to as many valuable arms as you can to offset our feast or famine offense…

12:12
Dave Cameron: There’s nothing wrong with having six starters. One is bound to get hurt or start struggling. Teheran is probably on some kind of innings cap anyway, so sticking him in the bullpen for a little while isn’t the worst idea in the world.

12:12
Comment From Chris
What kind of numbers do you think Tyler Colvin would put up in a full season?

12:12
Dave Cameron: Poor ones.

12:13
Comment From Bret
What is the best course of action for the Blue Jays? It’s hard to sell most of their players, mostly because they either have no value at the moment (Buehrle, Dickey, Johnson) or would cause revolts (Bautista, Reyes). It seems though, that the assembled group won’t be good enough next year either. Do they just stay the course and hope for improvement in 2014?

12:13
Dave Cameron: I think they could contend next year with better pitching.

12:13
Comment From Daniel F
Hi Mr. Cameron. Thanks for the chat. I have a question about an in game situational move. In a tie game in the bottom of the ninth the away team will generally use a average or below average reliever instead of there closer because its not a save situation. What I have noticed is that often times the game ends with a walk off in the bottom of the ninth. Assuming you have used a top end set up guy previously in the game what do you think of using your closer in the bottom of the ninth to ensure your team comes up to bat again giving your team a chance to put a few runs on the board and then trying to save the game with a below average reliever instead of saving the closer and incuring a greater risk that you never see the top of the tenth inning?

12:14
Dave Cameron: Yeah, we’ve talked about this before, but saving your closer for a save situation is silliness.

12:14
Comment From Brent
On MLB Now yesterday, they discussed the best MI combos and Gyorko and Cabrera have the highest combined WAR. Who do you thin has the best MI combo?

12:14
Dave Cameron: Texas.

12:15
Comment From Guest
Cardinals have a team (NP) wRC+ of 129 in the last 30 days. What should I expect RoS?

12:15
Dave Cameron: Something worse. 110 maybe.

12:15
Comment From Desperate Mariners fan.
Give me some hope. 2013 is obviously gone, but is 2014 going to be even a .500 team? What do you suggest the team does from here? I can only tune in to so many Felix starts.

12:15
Dave Cameron: Depends on who is running the ship and what they do this winter. The Mariners could be a .500 team next year if Zunino/Miller/Ackley show that they’re ready to help in some form in the second half and the team fixes its rotation problems. But that’s a lot of ifs.

12:16
Comment From Chris
What players do you think the Brewers will sell at the deadline?

12:16
Dave Cameron: Aramis Ramirez, John Axford, maybe Yovanni Gallardo.

12:17
Comment From John
seriously, dodgers dbacks? dodgers been throwing at the dbacks all season, they get like that when puig gets hit? it didnt even look intentional. Good that they hit greinke, that guy is a basket case. But god, mcguire, mattingly, act like you have a clue. You started it!

12:17
Dave Cameron: And the winner of worst comment of the week goes to…

12:17
Comment From zack
If the rockies are in a tight playoff race in august/september, given the state of their pitching staff is their any chance we see Jonathan Gray in the majors?

12:17
Dave Cameron: No.

12:18
Comment From Brent
What do the Nationals do with Espinosa/Rendon in the future? Move Zimmerman to 1st and Rendon to 3rd or is there an inevitable trade?

12:18
Dave Cameron: I wouldn’t be so sure Rendon can’t play second.

12:18
Comment From Neil Huntington
38 wins and counting… who and what should I target come the trade deadline?

12:19
Dave Cameron: Here’s a team that Ricky Nolasco might make sense for. They don’t necessarily need an ace, just a better back-end guy to keep the rotation from self destruction.

12:19
Comment From Guest
Nice article by Steve Staude this morning. Do you expect any new statistics to be available on Fangraphs from his continuing research?

12:19
Dave Cameron: That is the plan, yes. Once we get the model built and tested, the idea would be to implement it on FG so that you could see the expected outcome matrix for each batter/pitcher pairing.

12:20
Comment From Nick
How do you say the term BABIP? Do you pronounce each letter or do you say it phonetically like “baa-bip” or “bah-bip”?

12:21
Dave Cameron: I say bah-bip. We had a post a few years back on the language of FanGraphs, and it was pretty interesting to hear who says what. Appelman used to call UZR “oozer”, for instance, until we made fun of him for it.

12:22
Comment From Izzy
Why doesn’t Cole miss bats if the stuff is so good? I hope pitch fx gives us some more data to figure it out.

12:22
Dave Cameron: Missing bats is usually more about secondary stuff than straight fastball velocity.

12:23
Comment From Sam
Homer Bailey is 13th in baseball for pitching WAR and 10th in XFIP. His K/9 is up, limits the walks, and is giving up fewer home runs (probably at an unsustainable rate). Is he “this” good? At the very least, is he the Reds best starting pitcher?

12:23
Dave Cameron: He’s still behind Mat Latos, but he was an elite pitching prospect for a reason. He’s very good.

12:23
Comment From the Gregorius D.I.D.(i)
Does the recent success of Jose Valverde, Kevin Gregg, and Francisco Rodriguez in the 9th despite starting the season unsigned indicate that experience is more important than skills to “close” ?

12:24
Dave Cameron: Or, you know, closing just isn’t very hard if random unwanted replacement level veterans can do it.

12:25
Comment From Sidd Finch
How much improvement in Nolasco’s stats if he gets with a good team?

12:25
Dave Cameron: Unless you care about the wrong stats, none.

12:25
Comment From zack
Better rest of season: Cole or Liriano?

12:25
Dave Cameron: Liriano and it’s not close.

12:25
Comment From Ms Fan
Who gets traded first by the Mariners. Brendan Ryan, Mike Morse, or Kendrys Morales and what type of return can one reasonable expect?

12:25
Dave Cameron: Ryan, not much.

12:25
Comment From Grant
Obviously his current performance is skewed by a ridiculous babip, but has Jose Iglesias convinced you at all that he can be serviceable offensively? Babip isn’t all luck, 7% BB rate, and .125 ISO

12:26
Dave Cameron: Remember when everyone got super excited over a few surprisingly good offensive months from Andrelton Simmons last year?

12:27
Comment From Milton
On a scale of yes-to-no, is Jay Bruce a letdown, given his hype when he came up and his lack of improvement (hell, he’s regressed)?

12:27
Dave Cameron: i didn’t realize yes to no was a scale. I guess I’ll go with maybe, since that seems like it would be in between.

12:28
Comment From zack
What is your opinion of Neil Huntington as a GM? Seems like he has built a good farm system and also made some moves to upgrade the big league team without sacrificing the longterm (Burnett trade, Russel Martin signing, LIriano)

12:28
Dave Cameron: I loved their off-season and it’s paying off. He seems more good than bad.

12:28
Comment From joe
What will the M’s do with Franklin when Ackley is back up?

12:28
Dave Cameron: Keep playing him at second base.

12:28
Comment From Guest
Dave, the NFL pay scale hasn’t been out of whack for a few years now. Top draft QBs (Luck, RG3) are now the most prized asset

12:29
Dave Cameron: Good to know. I haven’t paid attention to the NFL for a while now.

12:29
Comment From zack
Was the Russel Martin signing one of the more underrated ones of the offseason?

12:29
Dave Cameron: Maybe the most underrated.

12:29
Comment From Mike S.
When does Ethier get traded?

12:29
Dave Cameron: Probably once Kemp and Crawford prove they’re healthy.

12:30
Comment From Guest
Intra-division garbage aside, it sure seems that a Glen Perkins-to-the-Tigers deal is a fit for both teams, no?

12:30
Dave Cameron: Yeah, but intra-division garbage gets in the way sometimes.

12:31
Comment From Carlton
It’s a good thing the Reds didn’t sign Broxton to a multi-year, big money deal!

12:31
Dave Cameron: It’s funny how quickly those reliever contracts from this past winter look silly.

12:31
Comment From phin
what’s the ETA of Taijuan Walker?

12:31
Dave Cameron: Next year.

12:31
Comment From Kevin
Is Ethier’s contract the worst in baseball?

12:31
Dave Cameron: Not even close. A-Rod says hello.

12:32
Comment From Luis
In your Appel “new leverage” you estimate Appel will get something close to slot for 1-1. Here is what I don’t get about your logic: 1. What can Appel “gain” from sabotaging the Astros draft? If Boras/Appel refused to negotiate before the draft (which is unlikely cause the Astros probably would have signed Gray otherwise), Why would Houston feel compelled to give him slot for 1-1 after they have drafted and signed all their other players for slot. Just because they were unable to use that money elsewhere (because of Boras/Appel holding their draft hostage) it doesn’t mean that they would reward him by giving him the money, rigth? After all, at that point, he has no viable option but to sign for say $6.5?

12:33
Dave Cameron: If a man takes a bunch of hostages and holds up in a building surrounded by police officers, he might as well just give up and let everyone go because he has no viable option but to get arrested or kill himself, right?

12:33
Dave Cameron: There’s leverage in negotiating from the avoidance of a bad outcome for the other party.

12:34
Comment From Sean T.
There’s no way that Kennedy intentionally hit Puig. Puig got an extra strike from the umps (count was 1-2 but they changed it to 2-1) and Kennedy struck him out on back-to-back pitches up and in. He did it in the same at-bat that Puig was hit. He just missed on the 0-2 pitch. But the sports media is already villainizing Kennedy because he hit the star-child-Jesus named Puig.

12:34
Dave Cameron: Yeah, that’s it, it’s not because he threw at Zach Greinke’s head.

12:34
Dave Cameron: Zack Greinke. I do that too often.

12:35
Comment From Jordan
At what point do you forget about regression to the mean and admit that someone is either much better or much worse than previous numbers would indicate?

12:35
Dave Cameron: People who forget about regression to the mean are terrible at forecasting the future.

12:35
Comment From Andrew
Same question for wRC+? Say the letters or full thing?

12:36
Dave Cameron: Say the letters. It’s probably time to update that post, I think.

12:36
Comment From Jason
Dave, can you see that Wendy Thurm gets a raise? Her work is the best. Thanks for featuring her work on the site.

12:36
Dave Cameron: Wendy is awesome. Glad you enjoy it.

12:36
Comment From Sam
Teams looking for pitching at the deadline – Norris, Nolasco, maybe Cliff Lee? Are those realistically the top names?

12:36
Dave Cameron: Jake Peavy if he gets healthy.

12:37
Comment From Larry David
Any long term worries about Stanton? It feels like he gets hurt an awful lot already.

12:37
Dave Cameron: The kneee are a concern.

12:37
Dave Cameron: knees. This has not been a banner chat for my spelling.

12:38
Comment From Idaho Mariner
I’m a Mariners fan. Given the state of their franchise, I’m thinking of picking a second team to follow just to enjoy baseball for awhile. Any recommendations?

12:38
Dave Cameron: The Cardinals are pretty great to watch.

12:38
Comment From nik
Who gets a bigger FA deal this winter, Choo or Elsbury?

12:38
Dave Cameron: Choo, easy.

12:38
Comment From Brooklyn Burro
A couple weeks ago you said you liked Texas in the West because they had the lead and the better team. Without the lead now, do you think they still take the division? Is the runner-up going to the play-in game?

12:39
Dave Cameron: I still like Texas a little more than Oakland, but the A’s are better than they’ve been given credit for. They have a real good shot at one of the two wild cards if they don’t win the division.

12:39
Comment From LarryA
Do you ever ask some of the non-regular chatters like Wendy, Appleman, etc, to host a chat to discuss their specialties?

12:39
Dave Cameron: Wendy’s done a few chats. I don’t think Appelman would enjoy doing one, honestly.

12:40
Comment From Guest
Do teams use the crowdsourced Pitch F/X research folks are doing? If so, wouldn’t be just as helpful to release the Hit F/X data?

12:41
Dave Cameron: Teams can’t release the HITF/x data, because it’s not theirs to release. They license it from MLBAM, who contracts it from Sportvision. If it was just given away, the financial model that supports the technology would crumble.

12:42
Comment From LarryA
What moves should the Orioles make before the deadline?

12:42
Dave Cameron: Upgrade their rotation.

12:42
Comment From Cory
What are your thoughts on Erasmo Ramirez? Will he be a solid addition to the M’s rotation when he comes up or more meh?

12:42
Dave Cameron: I like Erasmo, but health is a concern there. It will be interesting to see how long the Mariners leave him in Tacoma.

12:43
Comment From Bill
Why won’t the Mariners start Franklin at SS from here out? And don’t give a copout answer like “because he’s not good at SS”

12:43
Dave Cameron: Yeah, i wouldn’t want to answer a question with the factual reason why it won’t happen or anything. Also, Brad Miller.

12:43
Comment From TJ
What are the Cardinals putting into their water coolers down on the farm?

12:44
Dave Cameron: I think it’s more the guys they have drinking from the water coolers.

12:44
Comment From Greg
How long until Pujols is in the conversation for worst contract in baseball?

12:44
Dave Cameron: He’s already there.

12:44
Comment From Zach with an H
Hey Dave. Yesterday you published “Picking the All-Stars: AL Edition.” Maybe I’m just an Orioles fan, but Adam Jones seemed conspicuously absent from the list. Can you elaborate on why that is? I understand his defensive “numbers,” aren’t great. What are the numbers catching that I’m not seeing with the naked eye? He looks pretty solid to me.

12:44
Dave Cameron: He’s not a very good center fielder. He gets poor jumps and he takes mediocre routes.

12:46
Comment From Jeff
Why would the Astros “reward” Appel for not negotiating until after the deadline and give him slot money when at that point, they will have drafted and signed all the other picks for slot or close to it. They could offer him around $1-$1.5 below slot and he still has no better option but to sign right?

12:46
Dave Cameron: At some point, people will have to admit that leverage is more complicated than “you have no other option, so take what we give you”.

12:47
Comment From TKDC
Why is there not a max PA or IP for the leader boards? Is there a way for me to find out who hit the most home runs in a season with fewer than 300 PAs? This is sort of an Evan Gattis question.

12:47
Dave Cameron: Export to Excel.

12:48
Comment From Prich
Favorite (non-math) subject in school?

12:48
Dave Cameron: History. I started out as a history major in college before switching to Econ.

12:48
Comment From Scott
Who says no first to Tom Wilhelmsen and Brendan Ryan for Joc Pederson? Dodgers or M’s?

12:49
Dave Cameron: Probably the Mariners, they shouldn’t.

12:49
Comment From M
Is Justin Upton slumping through a market correction or are there signs of trouble ahead?

12:49
Dave Cameron: His strikeout rate is back to where it was a few years ago. There are some pretty good reasons to think he might be more of a good player than a great one.

12:49
Comment From Scott
How bad is Brad Miller’s defense?

12:50
Dave Cameron: It’s really just errors. His range and arm are fine, he just makes a lot of mistakes on routine plays. That seems fixable.

12:50
Comment From Luis
Dave, You did not answer the question. I understand why Appel would refuse to negotiate until after the deadline, but if he did that, why do you think the Astros would “have” to give him slot money? After all, the damage is done at that point. Why would thety want to set a precedent of: “you can hold our rounds 2-10 hostage and still get your money”?

12:51
Dave Cameron: There’s no real precedent to set, because college seniors rarely go that high in the draft. His position is unique because he isn’t subject to the same deadline as everyone else.

12:51
Comment From Chicago Mark
What do you think of the Ian Stewart suspension? I don’t understand it. He said he thought he’d never be called up by the Cubs and they suspended him. Did I miss something?

12:52
Dave Cameron: He acted like a five year old and he’s getting punished for it.

12:53
Comment From Jordan
Thanks for the evasive answer…Are you saying that you should never forget about regression to the mean? Does that mean that you will staunchly argue for the rest of a player’s career that he will regress to the mean even if it was a player who is bad for 4 years, alters something and is good for the rest of his career? Or are you saying in broad terms that more often than not regression to the mean holds true? I wasn’t asking about applying regression to the mean to players as a whole and projecting future performance. I was talking about someone like, I don’t know, R.A. Dickey who was bad his whole career then won the Cy Young based on his good performance (Bad example probably but I don’t have all day to look someone up).

12:55
Dave Cameron: You might want to go reexamine R.A. Dickey’s career. Second, the concept of regression to the mean never goes away, but the mean that we’re regressing to can change with performance. Regression to the mean does not equal ignoring all recent data and sticking with prior career numbers only. Forecasts for Chris Davis are better now than they were two months ago, but you still have to regress them back to a reasonable expectation and not just throw away what happened before 2013.

12:55
Comment From Bill
Franklin is serviceable at SS, plus his bat would more than make up. He’s still coming into the position and could be fringe to average. So again, what is the hurt of playing there from on out for the rest of the year?

12:56
Dave Cameron: 1. He’s not serviceable there.

12:56
Dave Cameron: 2. Brad Miller.

12:57
Comment From Scott
I’m having a hard time figuring out Domonic Brown. Is he really as good as he looks? Is he going to be part of the Trout/Harper/Stanton/Machado conversation?

12:57
Dave Cameron: Not even close.

12:57
Comment From Chicago Mark
What happens if Appel doesn’t sign? Do the Astros get another pick next year? Does he become a free agent? The Astros must have some leverage too. Correct?

12:58
Dave Cameron: He goes back into the draft pool for next year, the Astros would get the #2 pick in the 2014 draft. Both sides have leverage. As I said in the post, I think Appel signs, and probably without much or any drama. I was using his specific situation as an example of how a college senior — players who generally have little leverage and sign for nothing — has more than most players in his situation.

12:59
Comment From AstrosFan
With the new CBA, top draft picks have less leverage. Unless you’re Bryce Harper, teams will take whoever gives them the best deal and spend their money elsewhere. This is definitely what happened with Correa and I’d be willing to be Appel also.

1:00
Dave Cameron: Until teams realize that passing on the best player in each draft isn’t a great idea. I’d imagine the Astros have some regrets about passing on Byron Buxton right about now.

1:00
Comment From Danny Knobgobbler
Is Carson’s move to Paris really just a secret plot to launch the Fangraphs of European soccer?

1:00
Dave Cameron: Coming soon: BaguetteGraphs.

1:02
Comment From Brian
Do you think there is anyone on an active roster whose name you would not recognize if someone asked about it? Personally i have no idea who this Brad Miller person is.

1:03
Dave Cameron: There are a lot of players I don’t know anything about. I had a friend in the game text me last week asking who on earth Brandon Bantz was. Miller is an SS prospect, former third round pick, good bat without a ton of tools, makes a lot of errors but might stick at short.

1:03
Comment From Jordan
Sure the mean changes with more data but is there ever anything that would cause you to change the mean more drastically than the numbers indicate based on something that changes performance that wouldn’t be indicated in the numbers?

1:04
Dave Cameron: Sure. The Rick Ankiel can’t-throw-strikes phenomenon, for instance.

1:06
Comment From Adam
Any idea as to what happens to draft budgets/penalties when Harper 2.0 becomes eligible?

1:07
Dave Cameron: It’s going to be interesting, especially if Boras is representing that guy. He wants to blow up this whole system, and he’s going to try if he gets a chance.

1:07
Comment From DTSS
What financial model supports pitch f/x? Why can’t it work for hit f/x?

1:08
Dave Cameron: Think of it as a freemium model. PITCHF/x was the drug that showed proof of concept and got teams hooked on this kind of data. The profits being made on HITF/x pay the bills. This is a pretty common business model, even if it was accidental in this particular case.

1:09
Comment From Guest
How difficult would it be to add a strength of schedule component to the Fangraphs RoS projected team records?

1:09
Dave Cameron: Stay tuned.

1:10
Dave Cameron: Okay, I’m off to have some lunch and work on the NL All-Stars post. We’ll do this again next week.



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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.


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