Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 2/25/14

9:00
Jeff Sullivan: Hey, I think I’m on time again?

9:00
Jeff Sullivan: Tremendous!

9:01
Jeff Sullivan: Baseball chat!

9:02
Jeff Sullivan: And a CoverItLive hiccup! Anyway, off we go

9:03
Comment From Gson
ah.. nothing is more frightening than an on time host of a Fangraphs chat…

9:03
Jeff Sullivan: I like when Dave is late by like 18 minutes. Yeah, “finishing an article,” whatever, amigo

9:03
Comment From StevePete
Is Kole Calhoun going to be a solid player (3 WAR?) for the Angels this year?

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: I mean, that’s within his range, but I’d think of him as more of a 2-win type with the ordinary error bars. Interesting player, but then everybody’s an interesting player, and that’s why they’re professionals in the first place

9:04
Comment From toot toot
is pompeii the worst volcano movie ever?

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: You think I’m going to see that?

9:05
Comment From j6takish
Taco Bell Breakfast. Discuss

9:05
Comment From Guest
Would you rather see Franklin stick around as a super utility guy or traded for Lagares and a pitcher?

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: Lagares and a pitcher would be wonderful. I’ll also take just a pitcher. There’s some sense in hanging on to Franklin as depth/insurance but he just makes more sense elsewhere and the M’s ought to cash in on that

9:06
Comment From Gson
Metallic baby blue with light ash leather interior or obsidian black on black for the Mercedes CL?

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: Obsidian is a volcano word

9:06
Comment From Gson
Should the Cubs take the “best deal they can” w/r to Samardzija right now?

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: Obviously there’s not enough information available to be able to answer that, but I suspect there’ll be better deals come midseason

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Right now there might be one or two teams in on him and if the Cubs didn’t like what was out there a month ago, they won’t like it now

9:08
Comment From Brad
Seems like Zach Wheeler is being overshadowed by the other young pitchers. Is it because his walk rate is high? I don’t mean to compare him to Kershaw, but his was really high too initially. What are your thoughts on Wheeler? Thanks

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: Wheeler, at 23, had 11% walks and 20% strikeouts. Kershaw, at 20, had 11% walks and 21% strikeouts and a far superior FIP in a lower-strikeout league

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: Wheeler’s been a 61-62% strike-rate guy and that’s a little low for my likings when you have a guy who isn’t throwing unhittable stuff. Obviously, Kershaw’s going to be the best-case scenario of a guy who comes up and doesn’t throw enough strikes out of the gate, but for every guy who takes a leap forward like Kershaw, there’s the rest of baseball

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: Big upside for Wheeler if he boosts that strike rate a few percentage points, but the same could be said of Matt Moore

9:12
Comment From Stephen
What do you peg Dan Haren to return this year in IP/ERA/WHIP?

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: In nearly all cases, I’m just going to defer to the projections. So I figure Haren’ll throw 170-180 innings, with a mid-3s ERA and a WHIP of who cares about WHIP

9:15
Comment From Teddy
Jeff, the nationals have gotten multiple inquiries on Taylor Jordan, including by the reds for hanigan, and the tigers for fister. What about him do teams like him so much, and for the nationals to refuse to trade him, AND the fact he was never a highly considered prospect. Did scouts miss the boat on him?

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: Over the last three years, Taylor Jordan has allowed seven home runs.

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: He doesn’t walk anybody, he keeps the ball on the ground, and though his strikeout rate isn’t incredible, it’s acceptable and his big-league contact rate last year was actually 78% to go with low-90s velocity. Jordan is a pretty good and safe starting pitcher right now with years and years of cheap team control ahead of him. He never would’ve been highly rated because scouts look for upside. Jordan has a lower ceiling than a strikeout pitcher, but he also has a high floor and he could be anyone’s No. 4/No. 5 tomorrow from the looks of things

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: A concern is that he’s not going to strike out almost any lefties at all, but then for the league minimum you accept certain drawbacks

9:19
Comment From Brad
Would you trade Cano for Puig if you were focusing more on next year than this year? Thanks.

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: Like, in real life?

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, I’d trade Cano for Puig and his $6.2 million 2015 salary

9:20
Comment From CMR
What’s the best predictor of a pitcher’s ability to develop a curveball? Overall command? A change-up? Sticktoitiveness?

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: That’s a good question that I don’t have a clear answer to, but at least near the top of the list I’d say arm slot

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: Also up there: necessity, and previously-demonstrated ability to pick up a pitch

9:22
Comment From Stephen
Jeff, I’ve been looking at the projections page and noticed only one team is projected for 90 wins. Then I went to ESPN and looked at standings for the last 10 years or so. I noticed that every year at least 5-10 teams won at least 90 teams. Are the teams really that close or is it just a by-product of the projection process?

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: Projection process. You can think of the projections as being somewhat heavily regressed. In reality, we get a season sample size of 1. So the results are going to be a lot more scattered, and instead of observing true-talent records, we’ll observe true-talent records +/- luck. Some teams will play above their heads, some teams will play below

9:23
Comment From Guest
Does a perfect game = 1 WAR?

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: It sure doesn’t!

9:24
Comment From Chris206
How would a trade of Justin Smoak and signing of Morales make you feel? Warm and fuzzy? Indifferent? Other?

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: Doesn’t it depend on terms? I like Morales better as a player in 2014 but there’s a lot left to know besides that

9:24
Comment From Sleepless
In a vacuum, would you rather have Hosmer for 1 year or Donaldson for 3 in a keeper league?

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: Sure seems like Donaldson is the obvious answer but I might be too wrapped up in real actual baseball

9:25
Comment From JL
I like baseball and the Ottawa Senators. Can we be friends?

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: Ever climbed a volcano?

9:25
Comment From Book_Worm
Would Trout be wise to take 6/$150M, as has been reported? It gets him on the market again at a young age, but is he better off going for more years in his first contract?

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: More years, and he’ll get more years by at least one

9:26
Comment From Jon
Boras says Drew would be willing to play 2B during an interview with Toronto sports network. This has to happen, right? Protected picks and whatnot.

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: Pretty obvious fit, but it’s also pretty obvious to see Drew in New York or New York. And Toronto might not actually trust him as a 2B, necessarily, or maybe they have their sights set on another guy who wouldn’t cost as much future value or who would provide more future value

9:27
Comment From Aaron
Is Goins bad enough that the recently DFA’d Chase D’Arnaud could be an upgrade?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Good heavens no

9:28
Comment From Rated Rookie
Fredi anticipates 105 (give or take) starts for Gattis behind the dish. Think he starts (OF, DH) and pinch hits enough to get 500PAs.

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: Last year, he averaged 4.1 PA/start. So this alone would take him up around 420-430.

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: It’ll be close but pretty doable, provided Gattis actually hits for enough power to make up for his low OBP

9:29
Comment From Pirates Hurdles
So, the collision rule, the language seems vague and difficult to enforce consistently, no?

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: Didn’t seem all that vague to me, and they needed to draft a compromise in short order to get something in before the start of the season. Sure seems like the wise approach will always be to err toward caution, as any collision could be subject to punishment

9:30
Comment From Gson
Did the volcano on Gilligan’s Island have you so enchanted that you didn’t notice seeing Mary Ann running around in those blue short shorts?

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: How old do you think I am

9:31
Comment From john
Mets propaganda machine at its finest – now all these allegations about Ike, still not happy with Ruben, not happy with harvey. All to deflect that their owners and management have been doing a terrible job. Gotta love the mets!

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: I’m still trying to understand the Curtis Granderson contract. Where the hell did that come from?

9:31
Comment From hank
Jeff, this might make me sound stupid, but can you explain how the positional adjustment affects a DH’s value? If someone plays literally no innings in the field, is that better than playing one with a negative value? Alternately, is there someone I can read up on it? The glossary wasn’t super helpful…

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: A negative defender still has more value than a DH, provided the defender isn’t so negative he erases the difference in the positional adjustment. The most general idea being, anyone can DH, literally anyone, and from there you start selecting and weeding out as you deal with position players

9:33
9:34
Comment From Mo
O’s still sign Morales?

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think so anymore. I think they’re actually interested in Lough

9:34
Comment From Evergreen Bowl Subdivision
Obsidian Stout, your thoughts?

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: Fantastic and extra-fantastic on nitro. But I’m less frequently in the mood for something that heavy these days as I scour the market for what I lovingly refer to as “driving beers” more often

9:35
Comment From Bob
Carlos Martinez’s twitter feed. How long until the team tells him to shut it down or clean it up?

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know what you’re referring to, but I assume he’s up to something that’s drawing negative attention, and I’m sure he’ll be spoken to about it at some point before long if that’s the case. Teams won’t regulate a player’s twitter usage, but the policy’s always going to be, don’t do anything we have to deal with later

9:36
Comment From larry
now that it seems that basically every team is following the hold onto prospect for dear life model, where do you see the new market inefficiencies popping up? is it possible its aging FA?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think free agency’s ever really going to be a place to find bargains. You’ll only find bargains relative to other free agents, who already cost too much. Could be something to be said about lower-ceiling starting pitchers, or pitchers who succeed while not having swing-and-miss stuff. I don’t know. Over time, the inefficiencies are going to get more and more complex.

9:38
Comment From Bossanova
Scott Boras is talking up his free agents not signing until after the draft. Bluff?

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: The alternative would be expressing panic and an urgency to sign in the next four weeks

9:40
Comment From Lars
Still relatively new to advanced metrics and such…was curious as to why first basemen seem to rate below average defensively in uzr and drs…or am I just perceiving it that way?

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: There’s an ordinary spread of above-average/below-average defensive first basemen, but then they’re pretty much all negative after you apply the positional adjustment. I’ll include this link again http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/explaining-win-values-part-three/

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: Even the best defensive first baseman will probably still be a below-average defender overall, given that you’d be including him in a pool with middle infielders and center fielders etc

9:42
Comment From Gson
A breath of fresh air?.. a tough as nails/speaks his mind field leader?… give up your thoughts on new Mariners Manager Lloyd “Put up or Shut up” McClendon?

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: He sounds like a baseball manager. Seems to have a little more personality than the last guy and the guy before him, but we’ll see how much time in the outfield Logan Morrison gets

9:43
Comment From _David_
Do you think eliminating the 6 years of team control would drastically raise costs? It seems like draft picks would become less valuable and old free agents would become the bargains that small market teams target…

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Teams are going to spend on players what they spend on players. If you get rid of the early team control, that money will just be distributed differently, with more money to younger players and less money to older players

9:44
Comment From Slack Schmeinke
are you less high on Nick Franklin going forward than you may have been a year ago?

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: More high. Now he’s dominated Triple-A

9:46
Comment From Kiddin me?
Danny Salazar or Sonny Gray?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: oh god, the unanswerable question

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: I’m going to have to say Salazar by a little bit, but I’m very open to being convinced in the other direction. In love with them both

9:47
Comment From Matty
Ike Davis: Solution to Pirates’ first base woes this offseason, or just a temporary bandaid until something better comes up?

9:48
Comment From Chris
Will the Orioles sign Ervin as well?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: Still figuring on the Jays but he’ll have to reduce his demands further

9:48
Comment From Chris
Should Trout be getting more from his rumored extension?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, I’d think seven years, and for luxury-tax reasons I wouldn’t be surprised if it doesn’t start until 2015

9:49
Comment From Gson
Who hangs up: Francisco Lindor for Javier Baez?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Who called?

9:49
Comment From Tom
So what now with Morales? A Mariner, Oriole, or the field?

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: Pirates if he drops his price low enough. Mariners are the alternative

9:50
Comment From flushing
What Mets pitcher would be a fair return for Mariner infielder Nick Franklin: Rafael Montero, Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler, Dillon Gee or Jon Niese?

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: As Dave noted yesterday, Montero would be great for the Mariners

9:50
Comment From Guest
Is Ervin Santana worth 50 mill?

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: Over like seven years

9:51
Comment From Harvey
Is Matt Moore able to take that step forward this year where he can lower his walk rate? He seems to be healthy, and control issues seem to be a problem he can solve – not something systemic.

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: His velocity and strike rate are heading in the wrong directions. His contact rate last year was almost league-average. Still plenty of time for Moore to make his necessary mechanical adjustments, but he’s less likely to blossom into an ace than he was a few years back

9:53
Comment From Bill and Ted
Yu Darvish seems like he has to be in for some sort of regression right? The BABIP was pretty low. The K rate was pretty high. We’re not canceling those both out just because we think the HR rate will come down are we?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: 2.83 ERA, 2.84 xFIP

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: He’s amazing. Nobody quite like him.

9:53
Comment From Evergreen Bowl Subdivision
Are you looking forward to anything in particular for the coming year, or just that its soon?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: More daylight

9:53
Comment From Tim Lincecums new stache
Should opening day be a national holiday?

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: No, because then our traffic would suffer

9:54
Comment From Kevin Gausman
When will I join Baltimore’s rotation, and how good will I be when I do?!

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: By midseason the Orioles should have realized you’re one of their best starting pitchers, and you’ll probably look like a No. 2/No. 3 for the duration of the summer

9:55
Comment From clint h
some recent musings have “ddiscovered” a strategy for drew /morales /cruz of waiting to sign a 1 year deal to avoid getting a QO next year. who thinks any of these players wouldnt be thrilled to get a QO again?

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, it’s like, I dont’ think Cruz was reduced to 1 year/$8 million because of the draft pick. I think he was reduced to that because teams know he isn’t good.

9:56
Comment From _David_
Do you think the potential talent drain from draft spending limits will have any real effect on the future of MLB?

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: Not that we’ll notice

9:57
Comment From James
BA ranks Jose Abreu as the 29th best prospect for 2014. Why did he get so much money? Is his floor that low?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: I mean, the best-case scenario is that he hits a lot and doesn’t contribute much elsewhere. If he has some discipline problems, he could end up as a replacement-level player. Personally, I think he’ll hit and therefore he’ll be valuable, and that ranking seems a bit low, but I understand it in that he doesn’t have the ceiling of a true superstar

9:59
Comment From Teddy
what makes projection system differ so much from fans opinions on the giants? Fans see them a team with little hope at the playoffs unless a lot of thigns go right, while steamer and zips combined have them as a top 6 mlb team?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: Steamer/ZiPS gives them the fifth-highest playoff odds in the NL

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: If what you assert is even true, I suspect the reason would be that fans are pretty bad at forgetting the most recent year and including information from years previous

10:00
Comment From Guest
What are your thoughts on the new home plate rule?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: Good progress. Came together quick. Less important than instant replay but I’m glad that baseball is taking active steps to protect its players.

10:01
Comment From _David_
Why don’t a team just build like 30 baseball academies across China and create entire youth leagues and completely corner the market?

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: You have to get people to care about baseball first

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: The one major leaguer in history born in China was named Harry Kingman

10:02
Comment From Guest
Would you root for a Seattle hockey team?

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve already got my loyalty, but I’d have fun going to games

10:03
Comment From Ryan Seacrest
I can’t stand it when people say “in a vacuum.” LOOK UP WHAT THE EXPRESSION MEANS BECAUSE YOU ARE USING IT INCORRECTLY. Thank you, and good day.

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: In a vacuum, everybody’s dead!! oh no!

10:05
Comment From Marko
Fans seemed to conjure up a mock Franklin for Montero swap yesterday but that seems a bit steep for the Mets. Would Dillon Gee be sufficient?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: Shouldn’t be, but he’d get the Mariners’ attention

10:05
Comment From Mike
worst projected regular for the mlb 2014 season?

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: Many of the Marlins. I believe the answer is Garrett Jones

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: Marlins project worst at catcher, first base, shortstop, and third base, and they’re second-worst at second base pending the Blue Jays’ inevitable upgrade

10:08
Comment From diderot
I’m sure there are stats for this somewhere, but off the top of your head, what percentage of top 100 prospects make MLB rosters?

10:08
Comment From _David_
With the Iwakuma injury or just regardless, are the Mariners pretty likely to get either Morales or Santana?

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: Morales more than Santana. I think the goal is to acquire a pitcher by trade, if it comes to that

10:09
Comment From gareth
The Phillies with the draft thing and the Orioles with the failed medical thing. Which team tarnished their reputation more?

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: The Phillies, although they won’t be dealing with repercussions for more than a short while since at the end of the day they’re one of 30 teams with jobs to offer

10:10
Comment From gareth
Ervin Santana to the Rockies. Haha haha. That would end well……….

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: People seem to have this misconception that Santana is an extreme fly baller

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: He was, in 2010. Last year his groundball rate was 46%. Been trending up for years

10:11
Comment From gareth
Cruz and Jimenez just made the Orioles relevant in thar division, right?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: Cruz made them maybe a win better, Jimenez maybe one or two wins better. They’re still probably the worst team in the division, but with significant upside

10:11
Comment From Steve
Granderson looks like a 2-3 win player. 4/60 is bad? I’d disagree.

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Four years is a lot, plus draft pick. Whole investment just seems unnecessary

10:12
Comment From gareth
The indians loss of pitching and lack of offseason actively ultimately makes them a non contender in 2014, right?

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: No

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: You ask a lot of questions!

10:13
Comment From Prich
What would the Padres want for one of their extra OFs; and who has more value among Maybin and Dinorfia?

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: Maybin has more value — way younger, way longer control, more upside.

10:14
Comment From Caleb
Andrew Lambo/Gaby Sanchez an above league average 1st basemen?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: Wouldn’t say above-average, not yet, but the potential is there and I like Lambo as a semi-regular

10:14
Comment From Average Sports Fan
Are you surprised that the defending champs are going with rather unproven guys at two up the middle positions?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: Well, one of them is outstanding, and the other one is potentially so. And they’re covered in case Bradley struggles bad again

10:16
Comment From Gila Monster
Why is pitcher aging so weird? There hasn’t been a good offensive player post 40, yet Randy Johnson put up a 9.5 WAR season at age 41…

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Willie Mays was a 6-WAR player at 40

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Barry Bonds did some crazy things

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: If I had to guess, position players break down more evenly and consistently and predictably. A very small subset of pitchers, meanwhile, are just genetic freaks, with particular extra strength in the areas they need to be able to fling a baseball. A pitcher’s age is basically the age of his shoulder and elbow

10:19
Comment From Kitzmueller
Why are there so many different pitches for pitchers? What I mean is what makes certain pitchers focus on certain pitches (off-speed especially) and never develop others – curveball vs. slider vs. splitter vs. circle change, etc. Is it what they bring to the table before they’re drafted? or organizational preference? or an identified skill set?

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: Some what they’re exposed to when they’re young, some what they’re exposed to in new organizations, some out of necessity. A lot also depends on arm slot — some pitches work better from certain angles than others. You’ve also got considerations like finger length and quality of instructor

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: Presumably not a lot of people out there teaching the splitter because of the difficulty and because of its reputation for shredding elbows

10:21
Comment From Guest
Would baseball be better or worse if teams could trade draft picks?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: I say better

10:22
Comment From Blend
What is your take on Franklin — possibly acceptable defensively at SS or sure-fire 2B like Dave believes?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: I mean, it’s all about what a team is willing to accept, right? Franklin could play shortstop every day. He wouldn’t be very good at it, but he could do it. Derek Jeter has done it. Franklin will never be more of a shortstop than he would be in 2014-2015. Eventually, I suspect any/every organization would shuffle him over to second or third

10:24
Comment From Average Sports Fan
Re: Boras clients. If they do not sign before the draft do teams still receive a comp pick?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: Nope

10:25
Comment From Perry
Burch Smith make the Pads bullpen with a chance to start or will he start in AAA?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Guessing Triple-A barring an injury

10:25
Comment From Conrad
Who were some of the best defensive first basemen all time? based on current metrics…

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Off the top of my head, Travis Lee, Doug Mientkiewicz, Albert Pujols, John Olerud

10:26
Comment From Mike
favorite bobblehead of all time?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Lewis & Clark bobblehead from a Portland Beavers giveaway

10:28
Comment From Chris
What does a Seager extension look like?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s try $63m/6yr, starting next season?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: That’s just a guess, and Dave is better at this than I am

10:28
Comment From David
You say “anybody, literally anybody could DH”, yet the conventional wisdom is that DHing is actually a fairly hard job because it’s difficult to stay involved in the game if you’re not in the field. Has this been disproven?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: There is such thing as a DH penalty, where hitters perform a little worse, on average ,in the role than they do when they’re more engaged

10:30
Comment From Tom
Trevor Rosenthal – starter or closer?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: Closer for a while

10:31
Comment From Tom
Shelby Miller or Michael Wacha?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: I prefer Wacha by a little bit

10:32
Comment From Evergreen Bowl Subdivision
Are you intrigued by Johan Santana? I’d be ok my favorite team signing him for cheap deal

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: Definitely intrigued, but I’m still intrigued by Mark Prior. It’s hard to let go of the past. Santana is finished as more than a half-decent starting pitcher, but real value disintegrates an awful lot faster than name value does

10:33
Comment From Slack Schmeinke
your “more high” on Franklin comment seems to contradict other comments and the sense one gets that you’d like to move on from him in a “take what you can get” sense.

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: I still don’t love him. I just like him more than I did a year ago. There’s nothing left for him to do in the Mariners’ system, with Cano in place.

10:34
Comment From Guest
What’s a fair return for Ike Davis? The O’s seem to have balked at the idea of giving up Eduardo Rodriguez.

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Ike Davis is a not-cheap first baseman who last year was worth -0.1 WAR. Rodriguez is a top-100 pitching prospect

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: Logan Morrison fetched Carter Capps. Davis couldn’t get much more than something like that right now

10:35
Comment From Matthew
If someone tells you “baseball is boring” what is your response?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Why would they lie? If you find something boring, it’s boring to you. Baseball isn’t so boring to me, but then that’s just one of my chosen interests, and the other person will have his/her own chosen interests. Let people live life.

10:36
Comment From Gila Monster
Why don’t more pitchers throw a splitter? It tends to be incredibly effective and easy to learn

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think it’s easy to learn at all, and there’s a belief it’s bad for the arm. How true that is, I don’t know.

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: But the changeup doesn’t have that reputation, and it can be just as effective, if not moreso.

10:37
Comment From Vil B.
Does Brad Miller really have a chance to lose his job to Franklin? I have to pick my keepers this weekend and it’s Miller or Peralta for SS.

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: It’s Miller

10:37
Comment From Driver
Jimenez got 4/50 and you said last week you don’t know which you’d prefer in 2014 and beyond. I know you weren’t crazy about that deal, but wouldn’t that indicate Santana is worth something close to Ubaldo? 4/50 seems like a fair asking price in light of what he got.

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, in truth 50/4 for Santana is right around justifiable but I know I wouldn’t want my team to give up that sort of deal. Less upside with Santana than with Jimenez and there’s talk, bad talk, about his elbow. I’d much rather get 90% of the value from a kid or cheap alternative

10:39
Comment From Justin
What’s going on with the Padres’ outfield? Quentin, Maybin, Denorfia, Venable, Smith, Blanks, Amarista, Dickerson, Fuentes all options?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: Well that clearly drops off quick

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: It’s super crowded, but then Quentin’s always got a good chance of being hurt and Maybin might continue to under-perform. Could see movement during this month, could see movement come June or so

10:40
Comment From gareth
Tim Lincecum or dan haren in 2014?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Lincecum

10:41
Comment From Mike
Is there still a general consensus that Sale’s mechanics will lead to an injury? Are his good last couple of years an indication he is outta the woods for an earlish breakdown?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: No such thing as a general consensus on anyone’s mechanics. Nobody knows, nobody can know. People can just identify mechanics that look “kind of weird” and beyond that you need a lot more information than we have access to. No pitcher is ever out of the woods, but Sale looks safer than he ever has

10:42
Comment From Guest
If Nelson Cruz has a good year and is offered the QO, does he take it this time?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: He should, since no matter what he does he’s not going to look a lot better than he just did

10:43
Comment From Tom
Oscar Taveras will start for the Cardinals in __?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: this season

10:43
Comment From Guest
Will Dj Peterson get the call up this yr if Smoak is terrible?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: no

10:43
Comment From Tommy Hunter
Will I hold onto the O’s closer job for the whole season, or lose out to the likes of Darren O’Day due to poor performace and/or injury?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: It’s yours. You’ll just blow a few too many saves is all.

10:44
Comment From ChrisFromBothell
Do you have a favorite example of “spring stats are meaningless”? I will open the bidding at Willie Bloomquist, 2007 spring training, .439 BA.

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: If I recall correctly, the leading hitter in spring training 2012 was Munenori Kawasaki

10:45
Comment From Thriller
Would you concur with Brad’s claim in this piece from yesterday (http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-players-association-may-target-qualifying-offers/) claiming that the QO makes teams focus on the issues with a free agent more than they would without the compensation?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: I think it makes teams more likely to seek alternatives, and that manifests in a variety of ways. I also suspect teams might overestimate their own abilities to get value out of the draft picks they’d be giving up. I liked Brad’s thought process and the stuff on the endowment effect

10:46
Comment From Ray
You’ve talked before about a Nick Franklin trade that fell through, I don’t expect you to tell me the other players involved, but could you tell me what position they were, and why you weren’t a fan of the trade.

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: SP, not good enough, wasn’t 1-for-1

10:46
Comment From Matt
Do you like Erasmo Ramirez heading into 2014? Good off-speed stuff,history of good control..etc His mechanics are pretty solid If he can get rid of the hitch in his delivery.

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: I like him but I’m mildly worried about his elbow and focus

10:47
Comment From First Time Poster
Why wouldn’t Drew sign a 1 year 10 Mil deal ala Cruz but with a team option for 20+ for 2015. It would clear him of any draft pick comp. problems and allow him to get a nice payday.

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: I believe a team could still decline the option and extend a qualifying offer

10:47
Comment From Tom
Team most likely to win 100 games? Cardinals?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll go with Dodgers although the division might be too solid top to bottom

10:48
Comment From Brad
Do you expect Carlos Martinez or Yordano Ventura to break camp as a starter?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: I could definitely see Ventura

10:48
Comment From gareth
Who is the favorite in the al central? The r oyals a factor?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: Tigers by a long long shot

10:48
Comment From larry
there are teams projected worse at 2B than the Braves and Dan Uggla?!?!?!

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: Every year but last year, Uggla was a 2+ WAR player

10:49
Comment From Guest
“In nearly all cases, I’m just going to defer to the projections.” Are the exceptions Cuban/Japanese players without MLB or MiLB experience? Any others?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Some international guys, some guys I just have my own opinions on. Sometimes the projection systems don’t know about, say, new pitches or other kinds of tweaks that I find particularly meaningful

10:50
Comment From ChrisFromBothell
Estimated time until Giancarlo Stanton is no longer a Marlin? And will it be his own choice or will the Marlins cash in on him e.g. this ASB, next offseason, next ASB?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: I see him getting traded next offseason but the Marlins are going to push hard for a long-term extension and if they demonstrate a commitment this year, they could persuade Stanton to go for it

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: Somehow, that relationship isn’t completely and utterly shattered

10:51
Comment From Mike
It didn’t work out for the US but did you enjoy Olympic hockey? I thought it was better hockey than NHL.

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: Always my favorite part of the Olympics. Was hoping against hope for Latvia to stun the Canadians. Wish that the gold-medal game were more of a contest

10:52
Comment From Tom
Any players off the top of your head that developed into average/ above average as late in the game as Smoak is in right now

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: Alex Gordon

10:52
Comment From Mike
Do you think Dave’s worst transaction list is accurate or would you make changes to it?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: Dave’s a lot smarter about that stuff than I am, and there weren’t a lot of bad moves made this offseason as far as I could tell. I don’t hate Cano’s deal with the Mariners, but given the magnitude, I understand why it was where it was

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Okay, so yeah, Martinez is going to have to make some changes

10:54
Comment From Wally
Is the ability to get greater than average non-swings in the zone a repeatable pitching skill?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Can be, definitely. Decent indicator of deception or big-ol curveballs

10:55
Comment From Sadwick
As bad as Uggla was last year he still managed 22 home runs. That with a .179 average and a >30% strikeout percentage.

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: There’s actual upside there, but Uggla was always a guy who was going to look terrible if he ever let his BABIP slip. Let’s face it: he doesn’t look the part

10:56
Comment From Mike
Jeff – is there a team that would not have benefited from a 1yr/8m contract for Cruz?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: Whole bunch of em, yeah. Like, what would the Dodgers do with that?

10:57
Comment From Dr. Claw
Why the majority of sports fans so ignorant/uninformed compared to other fields of interest?

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: You don’t need to know a lot about sports to take pleasure in watching them

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: Also, I suspect your perspective is a bit skewed because you’re most immersed in this field of interest, so you’re most aware of how people come at this in their own lives

10:57
Comment From Will
Best chicken wings you’ve ever had?

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: Pok Pok

10:58
Comment From Royal Farms
Why did the Mariner’s have a lack of faith with Farqhuar after posting a solid second half as the closer?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: More like a lack of faith in the bullpen overall.

10:59
Comment From Matty
Assuming Polanco makes the team, and Marte and McCutchen (and Polanco) remain healthy, how likely is it that the Pirates own a Top 5 outfield (offense and defense)? Top 3?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: I think they already have a top-3 outfield just with McCutchen/Marte. Polanco’s just awesome awesome team-control gravy

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: All right, I’ve got to shut this thing down now. Various baseball and non-baseball tasks to take care of

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: Thanks everybody for hanging out, I’m sorry for what I didn’t or couldn’t address, and we’ll do it again next Tuesday. In the meanwhile, be well and have great days




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Jeff made Lookout Landing a thing, but he does not still write there about the Mariners. He does write here, sometimes about the Mariners, but usually not.


2 Responses to “Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 2/25/14”

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  1. mlarus22 says:

    If the Mets trade for Franklin, which pitcher do you think they send to Seattle? Assuming it’s a pitcher

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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