FanGraphs Chat – 8/7/13

11:52
Dave Cameron: With the trade deadline behind us, we’re back to regular old Wednesday chats. All your (non-fantasy) questions are welcome.
11:52
Dave Cameron: We’ll get started in about 10 minutes, but the queue is open now.
12:00
Comment From Cream
If you had to place a wager at this point, which teams do you go with in the WS?
12:00
Dave Cameron: Detroit and St. Louis.
12:01
Comment From Byrd is the Word
Think Bogaerts gets the call right before Sept so he can be on the playoff roster or is he just going to get a cup of coffee?
12:01
Dave Cameron: Anyone can be on the playoff roster. The injury replacement loophole allows for this every year. But yes, I think Bogaerts will be up sooner than later.

12:02
Comment From Andrew
Did the Rangers take themselves out of the Stanton sweepstakes this winter with the Garza trade?
12:02
Dave Cameron: No, if they put Profar on the table, that still gets them in the sweepstakes, though he’s not enough by himself.
12:02
Comment From Izzy
Does the saber seminar have a dress code?
12:02
Dave Cameron: No nudity.
12:03
Comment From chuckb
How much can the randomness of batted balls affect single-season UZRs? It would seem that players are more likely to appear to have better range when more batted balls allow them to display it.
12:04
Dave Cameron: Well, sure, but this is similar to batting order, no? A guy who hits at the top of the line-up has more chances to produce batting runs than a guy who hits 9th. Its maybe not fair, but it’s also the reality. More chance = more chances.
12:04
Comment From Swing and a Miss Puiggy
Is There any chance the Yanks signed A-rod to his current absurd contract half-suspecting he was a ticking time bomb to get suspended for PED’s long-term? Basically, could they have made a calculated risk that the back end money would never need to be paid out?
12:04
Dave Cameron: No, if they knew what they were getting into, they wouldn’t have come close to what they paid him.
12:05
Comment From JD
Tim Lincecum: where does he sign this offseason and for how much?
12:05
Dave Cameron: I’ll guess Seattle for 3/36.
12:06
Dave Cameron: One quick break.
12:09
Dave Cameron: Sorry, Dark Overlord’s calls get answered, even during chats.
12:09
Comment From Joe
is being a contact hitter the same as being a guy who doesnt strike out
12:10
Dave Cameron: They’re made up of mostly the same pool of players, since contact does lead to few Ks, but you can be a low K guy who doesn’t make a lot of contact if you just swing at everything. Never taking pitches means never working counts, so even if you whiff twice and hit the 0-2 pitch, that’s not a K.
12:10
Comment From JEB
The Tigers aren’t planning on using Inglesis for more than a filler for the rest of the year are they? They shouldn’t be, right?
12:10
Dave Cameron: You do realize that Peralta just got suspended for 50 games, right?
12:11
Comment From Not the hawk
No mention of underachieving everyday players Cabrera, Swish, and basically the entire bullpen in your article about how the Indians can’t sustain their play due to overachieving role players? No credit to Francona for properly managing Raburn’s platooning?
12:11
Dave Cameron: Can’t write about every player on the team in 1,000 words. The reality is that Cleveland has more overachievers than underachievers right now, and regression should be expected.
12:12
Comment From Bret
Think the Jays will give Josh Johnson a qualifying offer? As of today, and barring a major turnaround, you’d have to figure he accepts one.
12:12
Dave Cameron: I think 1/14 is about right for the risk/reward profile. Dan Haren got 1/13 last winter, after all.
12:13
Comment From Troutgasm
Please tell me why I should buy Fangraphs defensive value (Fielding Runs) over B-R’s dWAR, using Trout’s -0.5 Fld vs. a whopping -1.4 dWAR…that seems outrageous; at worst he’s an above average outfielder
12:14
Dave Cameron: We use UZR, they use DRS. Both systems are based on the same batted ball information, but DRS has a wider spread. I think UZR’s spread is probably a little closer to reality.
12:14
Dave Cameron: But deciding which system you prefer based on the fact that you don’t like the results it returns for one players isn’t a very good idea.
12:15
Comment From Izzy
How much will Jhonny Peralta get this offseason?
12:15
Dave Cameron: 1/10.
12:16
Comment From Dude
More likely to happen in any year: Trout hits .350 or Harper hits 50 HR
12:16
Dave Cameron: I’ll take both happening.
12:16
Comment From Jon
How far do you think this Pirates team can go in the post-season?
12:16
Dave Cameron: Might depend on Grilli’s health. Bullpen depth is vital in playoffs.
12:17
Comment From Izzy
What’s the chance that Cano signs with the Yankees? With the Dodgers?
12:17
Dave Cameron: 95%, 5%.
12:17
Comment From Jeff
What percentage of balloters will leave Mike Trout off their MVP ballot entirely? Will this be a good indication that “fancy math” still has a long way to go before being accepted by the more general baseball community?
12:17
Dave Cameron: You’ll definitely have a few people who take the V part so literally that they won’t put anyone on from a losing team.
12:17
Dave Cameron: That has nothing to do with “fancy math”, though. That’s just a long held tradition of treating an individual award as a team one.
12:18
Comment From Brad
What is more valuable to a team, a guy with hit tool of 40 and power of 80, or hit tool of 80 and power of 40?
12:18
Dave Cameron: The latter.
12:18
Comment From Jim
Is the AL Central race over? The Indians just can’t seem to hang with the Tigers head-to-head.
12:18
Dave Cameron: It’s not over, but Detroit is clearly the best team in the division and they have a sizeable lead.
12:19
Comment From Swing and a Miss Puiggy
does the FG meetup have a dress code?
12:20
Dave Cameron: FG shirts only. Anyone seen wearing BP apparel must buy a round for everyone wearing a FG shirt.
12:20
Comment From Jon
Is Andrew McCutchen the NL MVP right now?
12:20
Dave Cameron: Clayton Kershaw is not a bad choice either.
12:21
Comment From Prich
Bogaerts/Bradley and two of Barnes/Webster/Owens… is that what the Stanton package will have to look like if the Sox want him?
12:21
Dave Cameron: Something like that, yeah.
12:21
Comment From Dan
Who do you think the best team in baseball is as of today?
12:21
Dave Cameron: The Tigers.
12:22
Comment From Hypothetic Al
Trying to explain to a friend that Fielding % isn’t the end-all, be-all of stats, I used this example: two fielders are hit 100 identical balls. Fielder A makes 60 outs and has zero errors. Fielder B makes 70 outs but has 20 errors. Who would you rather have? I say Fielder B b/c he got 10 more outs. Am I correct?
12:22
Dave Cameron: Yep, because there’s no practical difference between getting to a ball and then making an error versus not getting to the ball in the first place.
12:23
Dave Cameron: I mean, I guess there’s technically a difference in terms of bases advanced on throwing errors, but generally, yes, you’re correct.
12:24
Comment From juan pierres mustache
Why don’t more people talk about the Royals being in the hunt? They just keep winning…..
12:24
Dave Cameron: They’re 8 1/2 out of the division race and not nearly as good as any of the wild card contenders. They’re not really in the hunt.
12:25
Comment From chuckb
I guess my question about batted ball randomness means that we might mistake a lower UZR for being worse defensively when it might just mean he had fewer opportunities due to randomness.
12:25
Dave Cameron: In the real world, this stuff mostly evens out over large samples, but yeah, put Andrelton Simmons on a staff of extreme fly ball pitchers and his UZR would go down simply because of his teammates batted ball distributions.
12:26
Comment From Tim
How much would Mike Trout get for 1 year if he was a free agent after this year?
12:26
Dave Cameron: $45 million.
12:27
Comment From Paul
Is Edwin Encarnacion one fluky strong (for him, say .300) BABAIP season anyway from doing something really special? Seems like he could put up an incredible offensive line.
12:27
Dave Cameron: Yeah, his power/contact combo is pretty insane.
12:27
Comment From Zach
How many teams/which ones do you see turning over their front offices this offseason? The White Sox maybe?
12:28
Dave Cameron: Rick Hahn is in the first year on the job. He’s not going anywhere. I could see Philadelphia finally making a change, since Ruben Amaro is not the right guy to helm a rebuild.
12:28
Comment From Internet User Since 1995
Who has a higher ceiling: Bogaerts or Taveras?
12:28
Dave Cameron: Bogaerts.
12:28
Comment From juan pierres mustache
Ellsbury contract prediction? 8/200 or thereabouts?
12:29
Dave Cameron: He’s not getting $200 million. I’ll guess 7/100.
12:30
Comment From Jim Bob Duggar
Does the schedule have a built-in buffer in case there is a tie for the second wild card spot at the end of the season?
12:30
Dave Cameron: Yeah, I believe that’s why the season ends in September this year.
12:30
Comment From Tom
During a game on Fox the announcers kept talking about how the Cardinals were built for the regular season but not the postseason because they lacked a legitimate #2 behind Wainwright. That’s crazy talk, isn’t it? Miller and Lynn can give six good innings in the playoffs, then turn it over to the bullpen (which by then will most likely include Wacha and Martinez). Your thoughts?
12:31
Dave Cameron: Yeah, starters aren’t as important in the playoffs because every game can just turn into a battle of the bullpens due to all the off-days.
12:31
Comment From Goliath
Can you explain why lineup “protection” is a myth but better hitters see fewer pitches in the zone?
12:32
Dave Cameron: Pitchers throw better hitters worse pitches to hit because the risk of giving up a hit is higher, so a walk isn’t as bad of an outcome as it is with a weak hitter at the plate. I’m not sure what any of that has to do with “protection”, though.
12:33
Comment From Dan
Re: The UZR question. Hitters are judged on rate stats (OPS, wOBA, etc). More balls hit to a player typically leads to a higher UZR, even though that has nothing to do with a player’s skill.
12:33
Dave Cameron: Hitters are based on counting stats all the time. WAR is a counting stat.
12:34
Comment From Maddie
Who do you like better long term, Brad Miller or Nick Franklin?
12:34
Dave Cameron: Miller.
12:35
Comment From Matt
Under the current rules, which draft picks are protected? Is it the top 10, or the top 15?
12:35
Dave Cameron: The top 10.
12:36
Comment From Gson
Data points are data points are data points.. If for the SS position, UZR takes a batted ball location, makes the player who’s historical position should be able to field the ball the “culpable” party, but a shift is on whereby the SS is to the first base side of 2B, the ball goes through for a hit, or a batted ball is not fielded by the SS, thereby reflecting negatively on that players UZR for that single data point (and hence the reason for multiple season data to reflect true defensive metrics).. Comment?
12:36
Dave Cameron: This entire comment is incorrect. UZR doesn’t count for shift plays.
12:37
Comment From Nats Fan
What’s the “injury replacement loophole?”
12:37
Dave Cameron: If you have an injured player, which every team does, they can be “placed” on the playoff roster and then replaced with a player from within the organization, even if that player wasn’t on the 40 man on August 31st.
12:38
Comment From Guest
Can a team offer a qualifying offer to the same player two years in a row? (if he accepts it the first time obviously).
12:38
Dave Cameron: Yep. No limit on qualifying offers.
12:38
Comment From Tom
Top 5 SPs in baseball right now – Kershaw, King Felix, and who else?
12:38
Dave Cameron: Wainwright, Verlander, Harvey.
12:39
Comment From kevinthecomic
Using the “V” argument for MVP voting doesn’t make sense. Let’s say both Trout and Cabrera finish with a WAR of 7.0. Since the Angels will win fewer games than the Tigers, Trout will have contributed a higher precentage of wins that Cabrera did: WAR/Total Team Wins.
12:39
Dave Cameron: That doesn’t make sense either. You’re still giving Trout credit for the play of his teammates, just like the other side.
12:41
Comment From Maddie
Is Walker/Franklin/Hultzen enough to get Stanton?
12:41
Dave Cameron: No.
12:41
Comment From Guest
Does the new CBA offer more incentive for teams to tank games late in the season to get a protected top 10 pick? I’m thinking of the Phillies sitution.
12:41
Dave Cameron: Tanking a baseball game isn’t really possible. Even a terrible team has a ~35% chance of winning every game they play.
12:42
Comment From Truth
Comparing Wright and Cano for fun. It seems like Cano will be extremely overpaid for what he is. The only thing that Cano does better that Wright is K% (12% to 18%). Otherwise, Wright is better in pretty much every regard. Why do you think Cano will likely be valued (much) more than the 138/8 contract that Wright is currently on?
12:42
Dave Cameron: Cano plays second base, Wright plays third.
12:43
Comment From LaLoosh
Ervin Santana’s next contract? 4/$60M ?
12:43
Dave Cameron: I doubt he gets four years. Maybe 3/45 or something, but I wouldn’t give that to him.
12:44
Comment From Guest
Which is your favorite stadium?
12:44
Dave Cameron: Camden Yards when it’s not humid.
12:45
Comment From Connor
Is Oakland’s success the result of a new model of lineup-building in which you pay for, say, 12 “solid” players as opposed to 3 or for “good/great players” plus roster fillers?
12:45
Dave Cameron: I’d say that the A’s are a good example of why that system works, yes.
12:45
Comment From Roger
Please stop using partial- or maybe even single-season UZR in WAR. The fact that you’re dealing with measurement error, not just skill deviation around a true value, means that it adds all those measurement error problems to WAR. WAR is meant to at least be a good “story-telling” stat, it shows “what happened” very well even if it’s not a great estimate of true talent. UZR does not fit into that because it is not even good at telling “what happened” in small samples due to its measurement error.
12:47
Dave Cameron: Actually, it’s pretty good at telling you what happened. It’s not perfect, of course, but it’s right far more often than it’s wrong. And the alternative is to pretend that everyone is average, which is stupid.
12:48
Comment From Connor
Can you explain why you just said starters are less important in the postseason? It seems like the opposite. An ace will pitch roughly 1/5 of his team’s games during the season, but that ratio doubles in the playoffs, giving him a much bigger impact on the team’s success. See: Verlander’s dominance against the A’s in last year’s ALDS.
12:49
Dave Cameron: Innings, not games, are what matter. A starter may pitch twice in a series, but get lifted after 4 or 5 innings in both starts.
12:51
Comment From Greg
When did UZR stop counting shift plays? I could have sworn that within the last couple years there was a lot of attention given to 3B getting huge boosts in their UZR for routine plays in right (during a shift).
12:52
Dave Cameron: That was DRS, not UZR, and Baseball Info Solutions took the shift out of individual player totals mid-summer last year after they realized it was a problem.
12:52
Comment From Internet User Since 1995
How precise (not accurate) is WAR?
12:53
Dave Cameron: I’d say the error bars are probably something like +/- 1.5 WAR over a full season.
12:54
Comment From Marc
@some of the frustration about UZR, I think people are biased into believing that a player’s ability to field is a constant over the course of the season and tend to use any variance in season to season UZR as a reason to ignore the fact that how well a player fields from one season to the next can vary just like pitching and hitting.
12:54
Dave Cameron: Yep, this is basically the primary problem. People have been conditioned to believe that defense is static, and that defensive performance should never vary. It’s dumb.
12:55
Dave Cameron: Okay, I’m going to have to wrap this up a few minutes early today. Thanks for hanging out, everyone.



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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.


9 Responses to “FanGraphs Chat – 8/7/13”

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  1. Lee says:

    Dave, who would you rather have for next year, Seager or Bogaerts?

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  2. Teddy KGB says:

    I feel so unsatisfied.

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  3. croggs says:

    I just got offered Frieri for Farquhar. Oh what a difference a half a week makes. My gut reaction was to take the deal (given that LAA bullpen doesn’t have anyone pitching particularly well in it that would be a huge threat to taking or keeping the closer’s role). Also, I’m not confident that Farquhar is locked into the role.

    What side would you prefer to be on in the deal?

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    • Adam S says:

      Depends on your situation. If you’re trying to catch a couple teams in saves and ERA/WHIP, Farquhar has more upside potential. If you’re trying to ensure you get 10 saves the rest of the year, and aren’t in a close race in ERA stick with Frieri.

      There’s always some chance LAA turns the closer role over to a prospect the last couple of weeks. SEA has already done that.

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  4. Jason B says:

    My most favorite-ist comment, with regards to UZR vs. DRS:

    “But deciding which system you prefer based on the fact that you don’t like the results it returns for one player isn’t a very good idea.”

    Amen and amen.

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    • Baltar says:

      Also, Dave’s defense of UZR from those who think it’s bad because it varies while the same people ignore that other aspects of the game, such as batting and pitching, also vary.

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      • Word says:

        Word. Everyone recognizes that batters and pitchers go through slumps; it’s silly to expect that fielders never do.

        I understand people get frustrated that defensive statistics aren’t as precise as batting stats, and require larger samples. But using the best system available is really the only sensible option, and doing otherwise because it’s not perfect is absurd.

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  5. Chcago Mark says:

    Dave Cameron: Pitchers throw better hitters worse pitches to hit because the risk of giving up a hit is higher, so a walk isn’t as bad of an outcome as it is with a weak hitter at the plate. I’m not sure what any of that has to do with “protection”, though.

    And a walk isn’t as bad an outcome with a weak hitter in the on deck circle either. I know FG personnel will invoke SSS, but I’ll keep pointing to Miggy Cabrera with Prince behind him and now ??? batting after Giancarlo Stanton. Are you telling us lineup protection isn’t working for Miggy? Are you saying it isn’t working against Stanton?
    Pitchers pitch differently to good hitters AND differently to hitters with good hitters batting behind them.

    Can FG lead us to the studies about protection? Is this data for the whole group or each lineup position (1-2, 2-3, etc) individually? My guess is the results are quite different based on lineup position and of course, who’s batting behind any given player.

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