Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 3/4/14

9:02
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s do some live baseball chat

9:02
Jeff Sullivan: Couple minutes late today but that’s better than usual!

9:02
Comment From SMC
PROVIDE CONTENT NOW

9:03
Jeff Sullivan: I will provide content if you will be content

9:03
Jeff Sullivan: (DIFFERENT WORDS)

9:03
Jeff Sullivan: I apologize if this is kind of herky-jerky because it seems like Cover It Live is being pretty slow at the moment

9:03
Comment From Conrad
How about an early Tuesday Nick Franklin trade prediction?

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: Tampa Bay for a starting pitcher. Rumor has it there was an agreement in place when Hellickson got hurt and TB no longer wanted to sacrifice depth

9:04
Comment From Daniel Carroll
What’s the best World Series to never happen? ’01 Mariners/Diamondbacks? ’94 Expos/Yankees? Something else?

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: How about ’03 Red Sox/Cubs?

9:05
Comment From Swing and a Miss Puiggy
Do you think we’ll see even more shifts in 2014 than we did in 2013?

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: For all intents and purposes it’s a certainty

9:06
Comment From Guest
Is Joc Pederson the #5 outfielder in LA this year? With the injury history in LA is there a chance that he is called to contribute this year?

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: Right now he’s basically the #5, but I suspect by midseason or something he’ll be the #4 after someone gets cleared away

9:06
Comment From Pale Hose
Is it possible that your innings threshold was too large in familiarity/framing article? Maybe it only takes a couple starts for a battery to become familiar enough.

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: I thought about that. Stands to reason you’d only really see an effect at the start. But if the effect is so small that it disappears over a larger sample, it’s not an effect anyone should really care about

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Game-calling and familiarity, on the other hand…

9:08
Comment From john
jim henderson, how long is his leash?

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: With Francisco Rodriguez behind him? There are longer leashes

9:08
Comment From Lou Gramm
I wanna know what love is

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: Consistently putting someone else before yourself

9:09
Comment From Catoblepas
How would you characterize this offseason? Long-feeling? Boring?

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: Interesting, like all of them. Morales, Drew, and Santana are still free agents! There have been boring stretches, but thankfully there are other things going on in the world to fill in the gaps

9:09
Comment From Guest
Guys without options that are on the outside looking in?

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t have a list off the top of my head, but I suspect FG will put up a post sometime relatively soon about this exact thing

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: Or MLBTR

9:12
Comment From Bob Melvin
Who are my top 3 starting pitchers in 2014?

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: Gray, and then Kazmir, and then the others are the damn same

9:12
Comment From Chris206
When can I get excited about Dustin Ackley again? Solid contact!!

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: You can get excited whenever you want. Just be prepared to subsequently get not excited if events warrant

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: I wouldn’t be shocked if Ackley hit a decent .290 this year. Don’t expect it, but I can’t let go of the near-certainty he used to be. Not going to slug a lot but at this point I’d take anything

9:14
Comment From Kris
how excited are you about Brook’s and Pav’s work at BP on framing???

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: It was very well done, and I came away not really having learned anything new. They basically confirmed conclusions that were already in place. For the most part, their numbers agree strongly with the numbers Matthew Carruth has had published online for a short while

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: In certain cases, there are disagreements, probably from the pitcher correction that BP included. But the guys we suspected were good are good, and the guys we suspected were bad are bad

9:17
Comment From Guest
Chances james Paxton is still in rotation in July?

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: Pretty good. I think he’ll be pretty good

9:17
Comment From Some Kitty or Something
If a hitter has a ~600 at-bat season, and then one game with unlimited at-bats, how good would that last game have to be add 1 WAR to his season?

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: Unlimited, like, infinite? 1 WAR means nothing over infinite at-bats

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: But if you have a game with, say, three home runs and one crazy difficult catch of a ball in the outfield gap…that won’t be 1 WAR, but it’ll get in the vicinity

9:18
Comment From jocephus
how many weeks too long is spring training

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: 2-3

9:19
Comment From Tyler B
Hi Jeff I know you dont do a lot of fantasy but I am trying to decide between Matt Cain’s track record vs Tanaka’s youth/upside. Any thoughts? thanks

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: If you’re having trouble making a decision between two options, and you consider yourself informed, odds are they’re essentially equally good or equally bad

9:20
Comment From MikeY
Do you see any AL East team being a buyer of any remaining significant free agent, or involved in a trade for a starter/position regular between now and opening day, or are they done?

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: Something’s possible for all of them

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: Boston might still sign Drew. New York might still sign Drew. Toronto might still sign Drew or Santana. Tampa Bay might trade for Franklin. Baltimore might trade for Franklin.

9:21
Comment From Steven
Corey Hart stole home? What happened?

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: I believe a ball got away from the catcher. It wasn’t as exciting as it seems

9:22
Comment From Compton
(Related to the StL SP post) Is there any sort of correlation between particular pitching abilities and overall hitting ability? The only one that intuitively makes sense is that better fielding pitchers might be better hitting pitchers because of the athleticism required for both. Any concrete findings?

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: Nothing concrete, presumably nothing significant. Athletic pitchers seem like they should be able to out-hit less athletic pitchers, but then all pitchers are some minimum level of athletic, and there’s a lot more that goes into hitting than athleticism. See Michael Jordan or Reggie Abercrombie

9:24
Comment From Brian
In regards to the new data stream being implemented this year… Do you expect a big market inefficiency next offseason because of this? Maybe some strange signings we may not be ready for?

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think things are going to do a 180. In fact, for the most part, I bet the numbers we and teams already have will be pretty close to whatever numbers teams get out of the new data supply. Like, as much as people complain about UZR or whatever, I’m guessing it’ll turn out that UZR isn’t that far off, and it captures the guys who’re good and not good. There’s only so much further to go when it comes to determining which players are valuable and which players aren’t

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: That might make me sound cynical, and I’m very excited to hopefully get my hands on new stuff so different ideas can be presented or ordinary ideas can be presented differently. But I think we’ll just change the way we approach certain things — when it comes to overall value, I think we’re already damn close

9:28
Comment From _David_
Does Kinsler’s seeming attitude issues and refusal to move to first base allow for a different assessment of the trade?

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: No, because they could’ve cleared Kinsler without adding so much payroll

9:29
Comment From Rated Rookie
I loved the “Taijuan Walker Isn’t Dying” piece. Any reason given (player, manager or GM comments) for why he arrived at camp with a sore shoulder? Or is his shoulder simply where the bubonic virus entered his body?

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: I imagine he just developed bursitis while throwing normally in the weeks prior. Wouldn’t be surprised if he’d had it before, maybe less noticeably. He might have it again down the road. As long as this is all it is, he’ll be okay

9:30
Comment From Daniel Carroll
03 Red Sox/Cubs was SO CLOSE TO HAPPENING.

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: :(

9:32
Comment From Wily Mo Money Mo Problems
Are you more concerned that Matt Adams will eat himself into a coma or that his PT will be limited due to Taveras shifting Craig back to 1B?

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: I mean if I had to pick, I’d pick the latter

9:32
Comment From Swing and a Miss Puiggy
any hope for an Ike Davis resurgence? (if that would qualify as like a .230/.330/.470 line?)

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: Of course yes, some hope. Not enough hope

9:33
Comment From Wily Mo Money Mo Problems
Reports suggest Pineda’s shoulder is holding up. Off the top of your head, can you think of any other pitchers that have gone on to have a decent career following labrum surgery?

9:34
Comment From Steven
Brewers fan here who lived in Kansas City for a while and now moving to Denver. If I want to see playoff baseball, who should I follow more closely, MIL, KC or COL?

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: This year? Royals

9:35
Comment From GK
Should I be nervous about Adam Wainwright? That was a lot of innings last year.

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: Justin Verlander threw 270 innings in 2011

9:37
Comment From Swing and a Miss Puiggy
Sonny Gray worries me with all the looking K’s in a Vance Worley kind of way….obviously he’s more talented than that but….do you share any of this concern?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe this’ll make you feel better:

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: Last year, 187 starters threw at least 50 innings. Gray ranked 20th-best in contact rate allowed, ahead of guys like Jeff Samardzija and Jose Fernandez

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: Whiffs AND grounders? He’s an excellent one

9:40
Comment From Moogy
is 2/8 really an overpay for Dioner Navarro or is Anthopoulos’ ability to valuate players just way out to lunch?

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: It’s possible he could’ve been had for one year, but yeah, that commitment is basically nothing for a fairly solid semi-regular backstop

9:41
Comment From That Guy
Do you play daily fantasy baseball?

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: Haven’t for about ten years, which is one of the reasons I don’t answer obvious fantasy baseball questions. I can’t give advice!

9:42
Comment From Guest
do you think Johan will pitch out of the pen at some point this year?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Yes, and I think he’ll pitch out of the rotation too

9:43
Comment From Moogy
Play devil’s advocate and tell me why Alex Anthopoulos’ offseason of signing nobody outside of Navarro is a plan that might work out?

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: The Blue Jays could have a lot better luck in 2014 than they had in 2013 and in 2013 they were supposed to be one of the better teams in the American League. A lot of that talent remains. They’re still going to add an actual major-league second baseman

9:44
Comment From Kris
With catcher defense in mind… Thoughts on the Braves going from McCann and Ross to Doumit, Gattis & Laird? That’s quite a drop in catcher defense.

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: I think Gattis isn’t too bad back there — the framing numbers like him — but yeah, they used to have something special. McCann/Ross made for a hell of a pitch-receiving combination that didn’t get the recognition it deserved

9:47
Comment From Andrew
Theory: the way Baseball Analytics World reacts to bad calls with umpires fundamentally contradicts their overall approach to understanding and appreciating every other component of baseball. Agree or disagree?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: The baseball analytics world is interested in furthering its understanding of the abilities of players and teams. Bad calls reward the wrong players

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: But I think there is a growing trend in analysts trying to figure out why bad calls were made, as opposed to just complaining like complainers

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: Turns out umpiring is super hard work!

9:50
Comment From SMC
Would it be theoretically possible to have a ~20 WAR season? How close would ca. 2001-03 Barry Bonds with elite defense get?

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: 2001 Barry Bonds was worth 128 RAR (12.5 WAR)

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: He had a Defense rating of -12. Plug in, say, Manny Machado’s 2013 Defense rating, and Bonds goes up to 173 RAR

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: Now we still need to add another 30 runs

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: Some of that would come from playing all 162 games. Then you throw in a little better BABIP luck, and, presto, all you need is to be the best in baseball at almost literally everything

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: Alternate scenario: you have an ace-level pitcher who, when not pitching, is also an elite-level position player!

9:54
Comment From Moogy
why aren’t people more upset when their team loses in Spring training? Is building momentum to the regular season not important?

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: Can’t tell if serious

9:55
Comment From SteveV
Better year Paxton or TWalker?

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: You know what, the hell with it, I’ll say Paxton by a little

9:57
Comment From Swing and a Miss Puiggy
Is Darin Ruf a useful MLB player over 400+ PA or really just a lefty mashing platoon guy who shouldn’t get more than ~300 PA in a bench role?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: He isn’t special, but then Garrett Jones landed himself a multi-year contract so Ruf could have a fairly lucrative career if he’s given an opportunity to hit

9:58
Comment From Logan Davis
Does FG pay for the Spray Chart data? Would sharing the actual number values from those charts in be stealing, or would I just have to cite FG?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: We pay for all our data, but we pay so that you guys can use it. If it’s available on the site, you can use it, and cite freely how you please

9:59
Comment From Amazed
I realize this is old news but DID YOU SEE THAT CATCH Josh Reddick made?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: both of them

9:59
Comment From Guest
“If you’re having trouble making a decision between two options, and you consider yourself informed, odds are they’re essentially equally good or equally bad”…do you take the joy out of everything?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: There’s joy in realizing a decision isn’t as difficult as it might seem

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: When facing a hard decision, one can be paralyzed by indecisiveness. If you realize both options are just about the same, you can move forward! Delightful!

10:01
Comment From CajunDodger
As far as Urias’s domination of Low A last year for the Dodgers as a 16-year old, how rare is that? I have not heard of a pitcher that young doing that, but I am certain it must have happened at some point…

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: Super rare. Tricky thing to research but, yeah, if you’re 16, and you’re putting up excellent numbers against guys with a bunch of years on you…

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: I know the Mariners have been aggressive with Luiz Gohara but he wasn’t Urias-good

10:02
Comment From Compton
Has anyone at fangraphs written an article about the moral hazard of GM contracts being shorter than than the contracts of the players that they are signing?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: Not to my knowledge. It’s a thing, but then, GMs are trying to build careers, and if you make mistakes with one organization, you’re less likely to get hired by another organization

10:03
Comment From Dan
Mike Trout:Baseball : : Brad Ausmus:Incredibly good looking managers

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: Trout sets a high bar, but then, most managers set a low bar, sooooo

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Is Mike Matheny attractive?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Is Ausmus/Matheny the managerial Trout/Cabrera?

10:06
Comment From Cyrus
How much attention does a good hitting pitcher bring to an NL front office? How much sway would it have in their overall evaluation? Also, in which minor leagues is there not a DH?

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: The DH is used, to my knowledge, in all minor leagues

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve never seen any evidence that front offices really care about pitcher-hitting, when it comes to acquisitions. I mean, of course they know it matters, but it’s so much less important than the actual pitching and so the question will always be, will this guy pitch well enough? Maybe in certain cases the hitting should matter more, like when you’re talking about a fifth starter or something, but then you get into the question of how hard it is to evaluate pitchers as hitters anyway given the tiny sample sizes

10:09
Comment From Swing and a Miss Puiggy
did Anibal Sanchez have labrum surgery too? (another comp for Pineda perhaps?)

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: Correct!

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: It’s an awful awful thing, but it CAN be overcome

10:10
Comment From Cyrus
What do you think is the main factor of why consensus Top 10 prospects fail? i.e. how could ALL the experts be wrong about a certain player….

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Remember that guys aren’t locks — the top prospects are just the prospects with the highest probabilities, and probabilities are always < 100%. Sometimes it’s just bad luck. Sometimes there are injuries that would’ve been impossible to predict. Sometimes maybe there were misevaluations of drive/work ethic. Sometimes players just change. Prospect evaluation is predicting the future, and as a general rule of thumb, we suck at that

10:13
Comment From Harry
any exciting defensive prospects on the horizon? seems like the majority of ink is devoted to hitting ability…

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: Kevin Kiermaier?

10:14
Comment From Trevor Bauer
Who have you been impressed with in Spring Training? (or is it no one, because it is just Spring Training?)

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: Not only is it just spring training — it’s the morning of March 4th in spring training

10:15
Comment From Catoblepas
Do you enjoy spring training? If not the hype and the weight loss/gain (circle one) stories, the chance to see players play baseball after the offseason?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: I enjoy it for about 2-3 weeks, and then I can’t get away from it fast enough

10:15
Comment From Matt
Chris Capuano has roughly the same Contact as Clayton Kershaw since 2011. And that doesn’t make anyone feel better about him

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: This is why whenever people ask about one stat to evaluate players by, the answer is “no”

10:16
Comment From Moooooogy
Blue Jays just signed another minor league knuckleballer in Frank Viola III, what gives with the Jays fetish for the knuckleball?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Why not?

10:17
Comment From Guest
Seems like the new data might help identify injuries (pitcher giving up more hard hit balls than normal or player not moving around the based/field at the same speed)

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: Definitely the second thing

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: But I think PITCHf/x is good enough for the first thing. How a pitcher pitches tells us more about his health than the results that he gets

10:20
Comment From JayT
What do you think is the single greatest game ever by a position player? How close to 1 war do you think it was?

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: So I’ve been researching this for a few minutes

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: Almost finished

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe Shawn Green going 6-for-6 with a double and four dingers in 2002?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: Off the top of my head, maybe that was worth about 0.6-0.7 WAR?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: I could be underestimating

10:24
Comment From Swing and a Miss Puiggy
is there even a mathematically expressable % chance the Rangers actually go 0-162?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: According to this page, their projected winning percentage is .529 http://www.fangraphs.com/coolstandings.aspx

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: So their odds of losing all 162 if they were a true .529 team would be 1.07 E-51 %

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: But of course if they lost all 162 they probably were not a true .529 team…

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Last year’s Astros had a winning percentage of .315. You’d expect a 0-162 record from a .315 team once per 4.15 E+26 opportunities

10:30
Comment From Chris
Does Lomo have an option?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: Actually, I think he does have one left? I’m never real confident with these things though so I could use confirmation

10:31
Comment From aceves hard to get
How comical is it that the Orioles gave Johan got 3MM plus 5MM in incentives while denying 2/12MM to Balfour because of a physical?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: The Orioles value Johan at this price with knowledge of his physical situation. They valued Balfour at that price before they had knowledge of his physical situation. Obviously it’s a funny juxtaposition but Santana offers upside beyond his contract terms while Balfour didn’t so much

10:33
Comment From _David_
Does the collision rule actually change anything? It looks like any play can be allowed or not on the whim of the umpire and they will probably be afraid to change the outcome of the play based on something that could go either way, so I don’t see it being called much

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: It’s already a rare situation. It’s not like there are avoidable collisions in every single baseball game. I do think it will make players a little more cautious, and I do think umpires will err on the side of protecting the backstops. It just won’t come up all that often

10:34
Comment From Compton
Best 90’s family sitcom?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Not Home Improvement

10:34
Comment From Chris
Will Morales wait until after the Draft to sign? There’s no where in Seattle for him play.

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: He’s not going to want to do that. He’ll drop his price further before he sits out almost three months. He might elect to sign just after opening day, however

10:35
Comment From Gila Monster
Why is BABIP regressed in Pitcher WAR, but not Hitter WAR? Why do we assume hitters have women control over their balls in play, not pitchers? Should we just regress both to career average for WAR?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: It’s been established that it’s more of a skill for hitters. And pitchers are pitching in front of one defense, while hitters are hitting against an ~average defense over a large enough sample

10:36
Comment From Evan
Broadcasters talk about it in nearly every game, but is there any data to show how much wind effects ball flight?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: The ESPN Home Run Tracker shows how much wind can add or subtract from a dinger

10:37
Comment From Puns are bad mm kay
Fangraphs makes up a relatively good portion of the “baseball media market” in the same way that say, msnbc makes up a decent portion of the news media market. As poor, mindless sheep, those of us that make up your audience are highly subject to your persuasion and opinions on things. As such, have you ever been asked by an mlb team, or espn or the likes to write/not write a piece that might help shift the general public’s opinion, or provide the means to some other end?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: I mean, sometimes David Appelman posts notices of job openings with MLB teams

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: But otherwise we aren’t told to write or to not write certain things. There are definitely things we know and don’t write about, but that’s more to protect sensitive information and people within organizations who don’t want to lose jobs

10:39
Comment From Tom
The “experts” say that Paxton’s control will put him in the bullpen… Why are you so gung-ho on him?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: Matt Moore is still starting games

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: I think Paxton will get enough grounders and miss enough bats, and I like the new things I’ve heard about his mentality and prep

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: The experts tend to be overaggressive when it comes to moving talented starters into shorter-inning stints

10:43
Comment From John Tortz
Most Dominant Pitch in the league now that Mo’s cutter is gone is ________________’___________

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Kenley Jansen’s cutter? Craig Kimbrel’s curve? Koji Uehara’s splitter?

10:44
Comment From Bill
Is Andrelton Simmons this generation’s Ozzie Smith – all world glove with a decent enough bat to warrant some MVP consideration?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: He already picked up 14 MVP points last year

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: I think he’ll have enough decent offensive years to do even better than that in the voting

10:45
Comment From Catoblepas
Is there any chance we see a pitcher/position player combo in the future? Having never played baseball at a level above middle school, I honestly don’t know what’s required for a pitcher’s rest days.

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think you’re going to see anything beyond a guy like Micah Owings

10:46
Comment From TJ
Do you drink Stumptown?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Sometimes but not loyally. I like most area coffees

10:47
Comment From Bill
Does Johan Santana have anything left in the tank?

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: After the first time he had this surgery, he was excellent before wearing down due to fatigue. Still finished with a strong rate of swings and misses. I think he’ll have trouble staying healthy but I think he can make a full enough recovery to still be useful for some time

10:48
Comment From Tom
Dave mentioned that he spoke to a few MLB front office people on a weekly basis… what about you? Have you made those connections yet?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t seek them out. Not something I”m that interested in

10:49
Comment From Justin
How many wins would it be worth to an NL team if they could somehow coax league-average-hitter (non-pitcher) production out of their pitcher spot in the lineup?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: Based on the calculations I just attempted, +4-5 wins

10:50
Comment From Dave
When will the first Fangraphs writer “come out?” How do you think it will be perceived by the media?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: If people can accept Carson, people can accept anybody

10:51
Comment From sam
are 1st basemen that are good at picking the ball able to get more outs kinda like the way catchers that are good framers are able to get more strikes?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: Yes, to a much much smaller extent due to a tiny sample size of throws in the dirt. We measure this somewhere on the leaderboards

10:52
Comment From Catoblepas
What about Zack Greinke last year? 2.9 WAR from pitching, 1.2 from hitting (in 72 PAs!). Isn’t that ~6mil in value to any NL team over any AL team? Obviously an outlier, but you’d think even less-good hitting pitchers would get some extra value.

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: Last year, Greinke was worth 1.2 WAR as a batter. The two years previous, he was worth a combined 0.4 WAR as a batter. There’s value in pitchers who can hit better but it’s so unpredictable and the magnitudes tend to be so small

10:53
Comment From Terrible Ted
Poas!

10:53
Comment From Cole
How underrated is Edwin Encarnacion? 1.3 BB/K, or does that not matter in a power hitter?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: He’s very quietly kind of amazing

10:54
Comment From Bill
Who is your favorite baseball writer on the web?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Dave makes me think the most and Sam Miller makes me entertained the most and I weigh those roughly equally

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Ben Lindbergh is also amazing

10:55
Comment From Dave
How many beers do you consume at the average ball game

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: *At* the game, I’ll usually pay for one. I’ll pay for more somewhere else before/after

10:56
Comment From Pinco
Is there such a thing as a MVP%, CyY%, that try to predict the awards voting before the start of the season (or even n season down the road)? It seems something that would generate a lot of empty discussion and, you know, what’s not to love.

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: There have been attempts at award predictors, and they were all right, but the voting habits have been changing over time

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: Like, the Cy Young used to be a lot easier to predict before the voters got a little smarter

10:57
Comment From Beattie
Do you think teams that could contend this year are too hesitant to call up their prospects? The Pirates would be a in substantially better shape with Tallion and Polanco start in the majors than in AAA. And the couple wins they could provide sooner than later could be the difference between making the playoffs and missing out….yet again.

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: I suspect the Pirates would have valid reasons for holding off on those guys until the dates of their eventual promotions. If they were to think those guys were all the difference, they’d get on the roster

10:58
Comment From E
What position would you have liked to play if you were good enough to make it to the majors?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: lefty starter

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: I’d be best at being a lefty pitcher. I’d be worst at being a righty pitcher

10:59
Comment From Perry
Who is the least exciting player in baseball not named Goins?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: Casey Kotchman

11:00
Comment From Larry
Any candidates to pull a 0 HR/0 SB season with significant PAs?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: Jamey Carroll, Nick Punto…

11:01
Comment From Compton
Do you pay for MLB.TV? If no, then what price would it have to be for you to purchase? If yes, then what price would it have to be for you to not purchase?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: Yes, and I kind of need it for my job. So I’m not the right person to ask! I also bill it to FanGraphs. I wonder if FanGraphs knows that.

11:03
Comment From Ryguy
How about the odds that Rangers front office orders a Code Red on Kinsler…in the form of him eating the first pitch received from them this season?

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: They don’t play until May 22. I suspect it’ll be nothing by then

11:04
Comment From JayT
How far down the leagues do you think you’d have to go before you had a team that would go 0-162? I imagine even the worst A ball teams would be able to squeak out a few wins. Probably the same with D1 college teams too. High school maybe?

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: Ooh. Maybe some rookie ball or some instructional leagues…

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: The problem is the pitchers, because if you have a kid who can throw 90 with a second pitch, on any given day that guy could have enough of a feel to shut down almost anyone. And then if you get a strong enough pitching performance, you only need to eke out a run or two

11:05
Comment From jibbers
There’s word coming out of Cardinals’ camp that the club had planned to increase their use of shifts, but they backed off because the pitchers aren’t on board. Why would the pitchers dislike a technique that has a proven ability to lower their ERAs? Should Matheny & Co. just tell them to suck it up?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: Players don’t like situations they’re not familiar with and pitchers would blame the shift for any hits that get through that wouldn’t have gotten through a normal infield. It’s irrational but it’s human behavior and this is going to be a process. Can’t happen overnight. Over time, pitchers will get more and more accustomed to these things

11:07
Comment From Jake
Do pithcers ever wear the new caps without the league forcing them?

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: No, not until they’re better

11:07
Comment From E
would you rather have billy hamilton speed or mark trumbo power?

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: Billy Hamilton speed, because I feel like it would benefit me more in real-life situations, as I”m not a baseball player

11:09
Comment From Slack Schpeinke
any realistic way that Kimbrel can stay this dominant. logic would indicate no… ?

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: Depends how far out you’re looking. Over 30 years, of course not. Over 30 days, certainly. Reliever dominance should be regressed somewhat more heavily than starter dominance, but Kimbrel’s demonstrated some unparalleled ability

11:11
Comment From Dan
Could Zach Wheeler make a Matt Harvey-like breakthrough this year? Similarly if not better regarded in the minors…

11:11
Jeff Sullivan: Sure, he could, but he won’t

11:11
Comment From Guest
As a percentage, how many of the questions that you get are well-thought out and worthy of reply?

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: 50-60%. usually there’s one guy in there spamming with nonsense. Sometimes there are really good questions that just aren’t chat-format appropriate

11:12
Comment From Dan
Difference between a breakout and a sleeper is?

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: I think breakouts are guys who’ve been known to be talented, like young former top prospects, while sleepers are guys who’ve gotten less attention and were maybe better in the recent past than you’d think

11:13
Comment From brass tacks
What’s the origin of Dayn Perry’s animosity towards you in his podcasts with Carson?

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t even know what you’re referring to

11:13
Comment From Swing and a Miss Puiggy
love the marathon chat today….I left for a meeting and returned to it still going!

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: But it’s over now!

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: Need to move on to other things. Thank you everybody for hanging out, and I’m sorry for what I didn’t or couldn’t address. We’ll do it again next week at the same time, and until then, 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.


9 Responses to “Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 3/4/14”

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  1. john says:

    would you trade matt carpenter for will myers also getting a third round pick

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. john says:

    thanks ph ,i got that feeling,i thought this was geared towards fantasy. i really want to know if the pitchers are asked to change their caps,and also how attractive brad ausmus is thats usefull stuff.

    -5 Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. Ducky says:

    I laughed really hard at the Logan Morrison options question. If he does have one, I just thought of a really odd scenario. LoGO, Jesus Montero and Justin Smoak manning first, Dh, and a little left field between the three of them. It would mean that Hart is playing Big league first base and Kendry Morales is signed to DH.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. baycommuter says:

    I never thought I’d see the phrase “women control over their balls” on a baseball website. I guess it was some autocorrect error, but pretty funny if he meant it that way.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. Ted's Head says:

    msnbc a decent share of the market? Funniest thing I’ve read in a while.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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