FanGraphs Chat – 9/18/13

11:46
Dave Cameron: It’s Wednesday, and we’re now only two weeks away from the postseason, so there should be plenty to talk about.
11:46
Dave Cameron: The queue is now open.
12:05
Dave Cameron: Sorry about delay, Safari decided to just shut down completely for a few minutes.
12:06
Dave Cameron: I’m trying to use ti to get a little more battery life out of my Macbook Air, but man, I miss Chrome sometimes.
12:06
Dave Cameron: Anyway, enough of that. Question time.
12:06
Comment From KRS Juan
Do you think it’d be possible to get HR/PA for custom dashboards (for batters) instead of HR/FB?

12:07
Dave Cameron: Possible, maybe. Probably not a super high priority, though. This is the kind of thing that you can make yourself pretty quickly by just dumping the fields into a spreadsheet.
12:07
Comment From Bret
Does Carlos Ruiz get a qualifying offer? What kind of deal do you see him winding up with?
12:07
Dave Cameron: No chance. Maybe 1/8 with a vesting option or something.
12:07
Comment From Nats
What do you think the Nats have to do over their final 11 games to have a shot?
12:07
Dave Cameron: Assassinate Joey Votto.
12:08
Comment From Teddy
So, what are the odds that Kimbrel blows a 2 run lead AND the best defensive shortstop in the mlb make an error so that the nats win the game???
12:08
Dave Cameron: That has to be the least likely blown save of the year, given the people involved.
12:08
Comment From Jay
Where do you see Hunter “Not a Bunter” Pence going this offseason? Texas could use him and I believe he’s from Arlington. Or maybe San Diego will get crazy and sign someone.
12:08
Dave Cameron: Sounds like he likes the Giants and the Giants like him. I’d guess he stays in SF, probably for something in the 6/100 range.
12:09
Comment From Greg
Assuming equal FIPs, would you rather have a staff that maximizes strikeouts or minimizes walks?
12:09
Dave Cameron: Assuming all else equal, I’ll take the staff the walk minimizers. They’ll throw fewer pitchers and be able to get more outs, saving the bullpen some work.
12:10
Comment From Laloosh
Tribe as big a surprise team in the AL as the Sawx? Kluber, McAllister, Kazmir, Salazar… huh?! and people thought they were nuts to go all in for Bourn and Swish…
12:10
Dave Cameron: They did? I saw a lot of people, including most people on FG, lauding those contracts.
12:10
Comment From Greg
Do things like average batted ball distance or angle correlate with BABIP? Could things like this be used to better refine stats like FIP/xFIP?
12:11
Dave Cameron: Batted ball distance definitely is going to have a correlation, as I’d imagine the BABIP on balls that go 5 feet is probably very close to .000. And yes, launch angle has a significant correlation to BABIP as well.
12:12
Dave Cameron: The question is whether a pitcher can actually sustainably allow different kinds of angle/distance combinations of balls in play. The answer appears to be not really, not any more than we already believe.
12:12
Comment From zack
What kind of package do you think the Rays will get for David Price? If they could Myers for Shields? Shields is terrific, but Price is better.
12:13
Dave Cameron: Just because Dayton Moore screwed up doesn’t mean that’s now the market price for pitchers.
12:13
Comment From Cory Gibson
Random Hypothetical, inspired by one of yours from a couple of weeks: : if Chris Davis were to become a free agent but declare that he would only sign a one year contract, how much would you offer him for the 2014 season?
12:13
Dave Cameron: I’d guess $30 million.
12:14
Comment From SC
Dave- What would your Ideal Free Agent strategy be for the Twins considering their position on the Win Curve?
12:14
Dave Cameron: Buy value players on short term deals. Look for guys on 2-3 year contracts who won’t cost draft pick compensation and could sustain their value beyond year one of the deal. Roberto Hernandez might be a nifty pickup for them, for instance.
12:15
Comment From Guest
I don’t have cable/dish, but I pay $125 a year for mlb.tv. Will I be able to see any playoff games this year?
12:16
Dave Cameron: They have postseason.TV, which gives you separate feeds and allows you to watch the games, but isn’t anywhere close to the experience of watching it on a network. It’s also extra. I think last year it was $10. I’m in the same situation, and every year, I just get cable for one month. Time Warner is kind of annoying to deal with, but no contracts and no cancellation fees, so a month of TBS/ESPN/MLBN costs me ~$70 or something.
12:17
Comment From Guest
Wedge and Zduriencik both gone?
12:17
Dave Cameron: Wedge almost certainly, Zduriencik should be but harder to predict.
12:17
Comment From Billy
Do you think Darin Ruf will continue the way he’s going? Why did the Phillies keep him in the minors about a year longer than seems necessary?
12:18
Dave Cameron: NL teams don’t have a DH, they owe Ryan Howard a lot of money. I don’t think he’s an OF long term, and they’ll end up trading him to a team that needs a 1B.
12:18
Comment From Billy
What is the worst thing your puppy has eaten/chewed up since you got her?
12:19
Dave Cameron: Us. Really, her only serious biting/chewing problem is when she is trying to communicate that she needs to go outside and she attacks us to get our attention. She doesn’t chew furniture, she doesn’t rip things apart, she doesn’t destroy things. She’s actually pretty great.
12:19
Comment From Defense Matters
Has Trout made this years MVP race as frustrating as last year? It seems a lot of people are just giving it to Cabrera even though he won’t get the triple crown again and Trout is even better this year. It seems the argument for Trout got even better this year.
12:20
Dave Cameron: I don’t think it’s frustrating. It is what it is. The BBWAA is made up almost entirely of like minded 50+ white guys, and they’ve collectively decided that the MVP is a team award. It’s silly, but they don’t get to monopolize what we think, so it really just devalues their award more than it changes anything in reality.
12:20
Comment From zack
Will AJ Burnett get the qualifying offer from Pittsburgh? Would he take it?
12:21
Dave Cameron: Yes, maybe. If he doesn’t take it, he’ll sign a short term deal for something close to the $14M AAV.
12:21
Comment From Sgt. Pepper
Lost in the Nats struggles and the emergence of Harvey and Machado and the continued dominance of Trout is that Bryce Harper is having a pretty awesome season when healthy. It says something about our perception of young players when a 20 year old has a 146 wRC+ and no one even talks about it.
12:22
Dave Cameron: These young kids are spoiling us for everyone else. People are already giving up on Jurickson Profar because he’s not a +5 win player immediately.
12:22
Comment From Tristan
Diamondbacks need a power corner bat, Marlins want to trade Stanton. Would a package of Skaggs, Owings, Holmberg, and Davidson be close? All are players the Dbacks could afford.
12:22
Dave Cameron: Not even remotely in the ballpark.
12:22
Comment From Prich
Fill in the blank: The puppy is worth _______ Wins Above Replacement over other dogs you’ve met…
12:23
Dave Cameron: +50.
12:23
Comment From replevel
If you were restricted to one value metric to determine Cy Young winners, would you pick WAR, RA9wins, or some combination that gave partial credit to LOBwins and BIPwins?
12:24
Dave Cameron: Well, if I get to combine partial credit from multiple metrics, I’m not really picking just one anymore, right? Ideally, though, I’d use some kind of adjusted FIP-WAR with some credit for the FDP parts of pitching that we haven’t quantified yet.
12:24
Comment From Tim
Do you think Gabe Kapler is more likely to take a managing job or climb the ranks of a front office? How do you think a contending team would fare with him managing?
12:24
Dave Cameron: Seems like a front office guy.
12:25
Comment From RF
Any idea what caused the drastic change in playoff odds recently? In particular, the Red Sox WS% dropped from ~30% to ~18% despite them going on a tremendous run. Was there a change in methodology?
12:25
Dave Cameron: Jacoby Ellsbury got hurt, which was reflected in the depth charts, which drive a team’s true talent estimate. If he’s 100% for the playoffs, their odds are higher than listed.
12:26
Comment From PR
do you think Sox offer Napoli a QO? I know you wouldn’t.
12:26
Dave Cameron: Well, he’s hit like 45 home runs since I wrote that article, so things have changed slightly. I still wouldn’t, but it’s probably closer to a reality now than it was then.
12:26
Comment From Greg
Why do high flyball lefties seem able to defy FIP more than other pitchers?
12:27
Dave Cameron: Fly balls go for hits less often than ground balls, so high FB pitchers generally post slightly lower than average BABIP rates.
12:28
Comment From Prich
What are the differences in responsibilites of a Pres and GM (in a functioning organization)?
12:29
Dave Cameron: Depends on the org. President is usually more high level decision making, talking to league about bigger issues, dealing with business side of things, while GM runs the baseball ops department. In the cases where the president is the former GM and just got bumped upstairs, it can be a bit different, where it’s more of a pay bump and title thing than a job responsibility thing.
12:29
Comment From Sgt. Pepper
How many players are worth $30 million on a one year deal?
12:30
Dave Cameron: Probably a few dozen.
12:30
Comment From Keith
Any chance the Royals could get Beltran, Choo or Pence this off-season?
12:30
Dave Cameron: Highly unlikely.
12:30
Comment From Rob
6/100 for Pence? Does that mean Choo would get a similar deal?
12:31
Dave Cameron: I think Pence will get more than Choo. Teams don’t pay for walks like they pay for homers, and Pence gets all the team leader bonuses.
12:32
Comment From Greg
What do you think of the proposed changes to the posting system for NPB players?
12:32
Dave Cameron: It’s overdue. The players deserve to get more than half of their market value.
12:32
Comment From Zack
Think Granderson takes a one-year pillow contract due to missing so much time this season?
12:33
Dave Cameron: Depends on if Yankees make the QO. If they do, I could see him taking it. If they don’t, I think he gets a multi-year deal.
12:33
Comment From Tom
If Scioscia is fired, do you think a new manager will play Trout in CF instead of LF?
12:33
Dave Cameron: Depends on if they keep Bourjos. Trout’s a very good outfielder, but Bourjos is crazy good.
12:34
Comment From Jim
Do you expect Bryce Harper to increase his average as he goes along in his career, or would you expect him to pretty much be a .280 hitter?
12:34
Dave Cameron: The average should go up as the power develops. HRs are automatic hits, after all.
12:34
Comment From George
Does having too much depth in a certain position actually harm a team’s bargaining power when discussing a trade? I.e the other team knows that the other is desperate to move a piece?
12:35
Dave Cameron: No, it doesn’t really work that way. If a team has a valuable trade chip, they’re not limited to dealing with just one buyer.
12:35
Comment From Titus Andronicus
I’m a Rockies fan on the ledge. Would it be smart to pull the plug on Tulo and Cargo and do an epic reload, or should they try to contend in the next few years?
12:35
Dave Cameron: I don’t think they’re that far away. They just need to fill a few holes.
12:36
Comment From Markus
Did you see the segment from Friday’s MLB Now where Harold Reynolds ”attempted” to discredit the point you made in your MVP piece from Septmeber 10th? If you did, what was your reaction to it?
12:36
Dave Cameron: I didn’t see it, but a lot of people told me about it. I don’t really have much of a response.
12:36
Comment From da bear
As the presumed agent, have you heard any talks about the Miami Marlins wanting to sign your puppy as their starting catcher?
12:37
Dave Cameron: She’s a ball hog. Catcher would be the worst spot for her. She’d never give it back to the pitcher.
12:37
Comment From Mikey
What is your Dog’s name?
12:37
Dave Cameron: Liberty.
12:37
Comment From Dave
I think a trade of Taillon + Polanco + Bell would be a fair trade for Stanton. I think it would be tremendously stupid for the Pirates to make that trade though.
12:37
Dave Cameron: Probably takes more.
12:38
Comment From Guest
So at what point does the “Mike Trout for MVP” crowd take a deep breath and give it a go this year? Or have they all thrown in the towel on that based on last year?
12:39
Dave Cameron: There’s no real point in “giving it a go”. Voters either are going to decide it’s a team award or an individual award, and that has nothing to do with whatever data we throw at them. I think even the ardent Cabrera supporters understand that Trout has been the better player this year, but they’re just hanging their hats on the fact that best does not, to them, equal most valuable.
12:40
Comment From Guest
Walker, Franklin, M. Saunders and Capps for Stanton. Who says no? Who should say no?
12:40
Dave Cameron: Marlins laugh.
12:40
Comment From Sgt. Pepper
Would the Marlins have been a winning team this year if it wasn’t for the multiple fire sales? Hanley has been very good, Reyes has been very good, Sanchez has been very good etc.. Add Fernandez to the mix and they look better on paper than they did at the start of last year.
12:40
Dave Cameron: Interesting thought exercise. Maybe this becomes a post.
12:40
Comment From Greg
Would Beltran on a short-term deal make sense for the Cubs?
12:41
Dave Cameron: Not sure why he’d want to play for a rebuilding team. He seems to fit perfectly in Texas.
12:41
Comment From Guest
Best team that won’t make the playoffs is______
12:41
Dave Cameron: The Nationals.
12:42
Comment From Ethan
How would you change the qualifying offer system if you could?
12:43
Dave Cameron: I’d get rid of it.
12:43
Comment From JK
I know it’s human nature, but aren’t we at the point where execs are smart enough to not buy in to sss. Pence is 30, with 4400+ PA’s, but his absurd September has him the talk of the FA class. He didn’t figure something out, he’s the same guy he was a month ago, so shouldn’t he be payed that way?
12:43
Dave Cameron: He’s making a run at a +6 WAR season. It’s not really SSS to say that he’s had a really great year.
12:44
Comment From Laloosh
is Profar, Gallo, Robbie Ross & Wilmer Font for Stanton a little closer?
12:44
Dave Cameron: Yes. Profar gets the Marlins attention.
12:44
Comment From Spencer
What does it say about the FanGraphs readership that the only sold out T-shirt is the XXL navy blue one? Steroids strike again.
12:44
Dave Cameron: You’re assuming that the sizes were made in equal quantities.
12:44
Comment From Rob
Do the Indians have enough pieces in place to seriously compete with the Tigers over the next couple seasons?
12:45
Dave Cameron: They’ll need a few upgrades. Ryan Raburn and Yan Gomes aren’t doing this again.
12:45
Comment From Jim
why does the best outfield arm have to be in right?
12:45
Dave Cameron: The throw from RF to 3B is the longest throw any OF has to make.
12:45
Comment From Santos
What do you think of the report saying Clint Hurdle reads Fangraphs and is all aboard with advanced analytics?
12:46
Dave Cameron: I think it speaks to the amount of hard work that the Pittsburgh front office put in to help educate their field staff. And to Hurdle’s willingness to be open to new ideas.
12:46
Comment From George
You and Jon Morosi are secretly best mates right just trolling us all?
12:46
Dave Cameron: I get along just fine with JP. I just don’t agree with him very often.
12:48
Comment From Laloosh
aw c’mon. you’re overreaching on Stanton. If the Fish could get Taillon, Polanco & Bell they’d have done it already, no?
12:48
Dave Cameron: Stanton is as young as most of the prospects people want to trade him for.
12:48
Dave Cameron: He’s got a ton of value.
12:49
Comment From Sgt. Pepper
How many first place votes does Trout get?
12:49
Dave Cameron: Less than 5.
12:49
Comment From Rob
Are there any professional baseball leagues besides the American League that use a designated hitter?
12:49
Dave Cameron: All of the minor leagues.
12:49
Comment From Alex
Re: Postseason.tv do you get audio (radio broadcast) with it or just muted?
12:50
Dave Cameron: You get audio, but none of the graphics, so sometimes, you’ll hear them saying “look at this” and you’ll have no idea what they’re talking about.
12:50
Comment From Thufir
Has your opinion on the Myers trade changed at all? Does it look worse given how well Myers has hit? Or better given that they are faintly relevant in September?
12:50
Dave Cameron: It was bad then, it is bad now.
12:51
Comment From Rob
What’s the weirdest thing your puppy does on a regular basis?
12:52
Dave Cameron: I don’t know if its weird, but she loves to sunbathe. When I get her up in the mornings, the first thing she wants to go do is lay in the front yard where the sun is.
12:52
Comment From Mikey
Do you think the fact that the Yankee’s will more than likely be looking for a Shortstop effect the Red Sox thinking on a QO for Drew?
12:52
Dave Cameron: No.
12:53
Comment From Brad Wesley
Rather than bothering with all these absurd trade offers for Stanton, without naming any names, what do you think it takes? A top 10 prospect and two mkre top 50s? Of which there is a shortstop and starting picher?
12:53
Dave Cameron: A good young big league player and several of the team’s top minor league prospects, plus some filler.
12:53
Comment From Logan
Even if the Mariners immediately fire Jack Z and hire a new, more competent front office, is it really feasible for them to contend in 2014 given all of the roster’s gaping holes?
12:53
Dave Cameron: No.
12:54
Comment From Sabes
How do you find a players WAR by month on fangraphs? IE Pence?
12:54
Dave Cameron: Use the leader boards splits.
12:55
Comment From Frustrated Royals Fan
I get that teams’ analytics departments help with things like player acquisition and trying to unearth hidden value, what good does it do for a team to have an analytics staff if that same team won’t employ a manager who is open-minded to their concepts?
12:55
Dave Cameron: Because managers don’t actually have that large of an impact on W-L records.
12:58
Comment From Alex
$80 just for postseason stinks…..darn you broadcasting rights and big cable!
12:59
Dave Cameron: Yeah. i wonder if MLB will eventually trade lower rights fees for non-exclusive agreements, allowing themselves to sell the full broadcast transmissions like they do with MLB.tv. It would be interesting to see how much they could charge for something like that.
12:59
Dave Cameron: Okay, that’s it for today. Thanks for the questions, and we’ll do it again next week.



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


3 Responses to “FanGraphs Chat – 9/18/13”

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  1. Joe says:

    NL MVP choice at this point?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Tom Steele says:

    someone tell carson to insert the QUESTION TIME sound clip at 12:06

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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