Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 4/15/14

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: Today we talk about baseball?

9:04
Comment From Royo
Waiting for the writer to provide content…

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: Wait no longer!

9:04
Comment From Awake in Seattle
Do you expect Almonte to remain a full-time starter all season?

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: I expect him to play an awful lot, and I don’t expect him to bat leadoff all season long. I also expect him to be adequate as opposed to a guy with a .286 OBP

9:05
Comment From Boston Buck
How worried are you about Koji Uehara? Safe to say he ends up on the DL at some point this season?

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: Considerably less worried than I was a few days ago before imaging tests came back all right

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Granted, shoulder MRI exams can miss details that are only revealed upon surgical intervention, but I think Uehara will be okay, and he’ll just end up getting some semi-frequent rest

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: Uehara says he pitched through something like this with Texas, so he’ll be smarter for having gone through that experience

9:08
Comment From tommy
Is Dee Gordon good now?

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: I really really hope so

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: And, no, almost certainly not

9:09
Comment From Mark
Before/after on Andrelton Simmons’ first strikeout of the year: April 25.

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: Before

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: But, kudos to Simmons, who is the only qualified player in baseball with a K% of 0

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: also his ISO is .268

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: Giancarlo Stanton’s at .271. no biggie

9:10
Comment From john
So Juan Lagares is probably headed to the DL. This makes me sad

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: Think of this like getting a cold. It sucks to have a cold for a little while, but when the cold is gone, holy hell do you ever appreciate being healthy

9:11
Comment From Sean
What’s up with Homer Bailey? Should we expect a return to last year results? Seems like super bad luck but is that all?

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: I’m just going to be simplistic about this and show you three numbers

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: 2013 xFIP: 3.34. 2014 xFIP: 2.80. 2014 HR/FB: 60%

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: Ten fly balls, six home runs.

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: The other indicators are okay. Bailey should be okay. I’m sure he’s thrown some really bad pitches at some really bad times so far this month, but I’m not the least bit nervous

9:12
Comment From Guest
Did you watch any of the surrealist comedy that was the Braves vs Phillies game last night?

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: Almost makes me miss writing extended game recaps

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: That would’ve been fun to write up, from the Phillies’ side, because the best writing comes out of a 50/50 mix of anger and resignation

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: BJ Rosenberg becomes the first guy ever to allow homers to all 3 guys he faces and that’s not even the dominant story the morning after. it’s nuts

9:15
Comment From Rocko
Think Brandon Belt takes another mini-leap?

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: So far it’s almost like he’s sold out for more power. I could see a SLG increase and an OBP decrease, but I don’t think he’s going to achieve a new and meaningfully higher level of performance

9:16
Comment From jocephus
“I know sabermatricians don’t like it, but this game comes down to wins and losses. That’s what we’re preaching in here,” Matheny said. “And a guy who finds a way to win, to me, needs to be given a lot of credit because that’s the ultimate goal for us. Whether you’re getting a lot of support or throwing a shutout, one way or another, you’re finding a way to get it done, and Lance has done that.”

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: I’m perfectly okay with giving guys credit for battling after the fact. And it probably says something good about their fortitude. But if a guy is constantly battling, that doesn’t necessarily bode so well for the future

9:16
Comment From Shawn
Jesse Chavez…yay/nay?

9:16
Comment From Catoblepas
Jesse Chavez! discuss.

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: It was weird to me how Eric Stults suddenly became a thing at 32

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: Now Chavez is suddenly becoming a thing at 30, with very little velocity drop since shifting out of the bullpen

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: He’s a strike-thrower with a reasonably broad repertoire. Probably not literally one of the best starting pitchers in baseball, but at this point the A’s have to feel pretty good about the piece they just about created. Sucks to be without Jarrod Parker, but if you have a guy like Chavez hanging around looking for an opportunity…

9:20
Comment From David
Remember this time last week when Bryce Harper was hitting .138 and people were freaking out? Now hitting .348/.412/.522 and lashing XBH everywhere. The difference of one week early in the season.

9:20
Comment From Gareth
Has there ever been a time when the closer position in mlb has been as shaky as it is right now? Its pretty rediculous.

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: When there’s less and less emphasis on the importance of “proven” closers, there’s less of a barrier to a positional shakeup

9:21
Comment From Anonymous
Tanaka’s starting today. Who do you think his best comp is?

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: postponed :(

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: but: http://www.fangraphs.com/bl…

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: You’ve got your Kuroda, Iwakuma, Haren, and Anibal Sanchez comps, and Dave also suggested to me via email that he’s a little bit like Felix

9:22
Comment From Los
Thoughts on the transfer rule?

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: I’m sure it can’t possibly be as stupid as it feels, but it feels really stupid. I liked the old way. I don’t remember the old way ever being a problem. This way leads to way more questions than answers. When does a catch become a catch? How did we end up making this complicated?

9:24
Comment From Josh
Does the Matt Moore and Alex Cobb injuries move the Red Sox definitively ahead of the Rays at this point?

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: It’s still close — Moore isn’t that good and Cobb’s only out a fraction of the season — but obviously this is bad for the Rays and good for everyone else in the division. Gives the Sox a little bit of a playoff-odds boost

9:26
Comment From American League Hustle
What happens to Marcus Semien once Beckham is activated from the DL?

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: He plays in the majors a lot less

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: at least for a while

9:26
Comment From Gabe
Bartolo Colon: one bad start, or reason to worry that Father Time is catching up with him?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: The start before he threw seven shutout innings

9:27
Comment From Kris
Did you read the article on Puig? Why is it so difficult for people to realize of course he’s going to act differently than most players…

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, I took the time to read that Sunday night

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: People aren’t used to considering the depth of other people. With performers, there’s a tendency against giving the benefit of the doubt. The expectation is that, if you’re in the major leagues, you have to be a certain way, because the majority of players are a certain way, but the majority of players haven’t gone through what Puig has gone through

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know that I’ll ever understand the appeal of judgment. At least, critical, negative judgment. How does that make someone feel better?

9:30
Comment From Michael
should i be concerned about Will Myers

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: not really

9:30
Comment From Michael
Who will be the first high profile prospect to be called up? Bradley, Polanco, Taveres, Springer

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: starting to think Bradley

9:31
Comment From Travis
Is this the year Aaron Harang finally puts it all together and wins that elusive Cy Young?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: he was so close :( http://www.baseball-referen…

9:31
Comment From Ceej
If he stays healthy, how many innings will the Mariners let Walker throw this year?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: 150?

9:31
Comment From Vliet
Is Paxton this years Cueto?

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: You mean good pitcher? Yeah, Paxton’s a good pitcher

9:32
Comment From David
Robbie Ross as a starter. So far so good. A reason for some optimism in TEX?

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: Ross is interesting and the injury situation has been absurd. A reason to be optimistic is that players are going to be coming back healthy starting soon

9:33
Comment From Mark
How long before B.J Upton is a utility outfielder in Atlanta? Is there any kind of market for him?

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: Market?

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: lol

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: The Braves are going to have to try almost everything. So Upton’s going to have a pretty long leash. Let’s re-visit in a month and a half

9:35
Comment From Gareth
Whats up with khris Davis not playing?

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: Morton and Lynn are basically righty specialists. Bad matchups

9:35
Comment From stonepie
i picked up lincecum for tonight’s start vs the dodgers. 1-10 how crazy am i?

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: not enough information

9:36
Comment From Justin
Dee Gordon! I’m the official cold-water-thrower amongst my fellow Dodger fans, but the increased contact rate and higher groundball-to-flyball ratio is encouraging, right?

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: Well he has a career 45 wRC+ on grounders, so what you’re really looking for more of is line drives

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: And contact rate is only very barely tied to productivity

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: But ultimately Gordon needed to change and right now there are some signs of his having changed so in that sense he’s done more good than bad

9:37
Comment From SMC
The Marlins have lost 8 in a row. Discuss.

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: They suck

9:38
Comment From Gareth
Can we call Billy Hamilton a bust yet?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: In Mike Trout’s first year he batted .220

9:38
Comment From Guest
How do pitcher’s groundball rates translate from the minors to MLB?

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: Usually well. What generates grounders in one place usually generates grounders anywhere

9:39
Comment From Michael
Will Matt Latos pitch this year?

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, but probably not for a while

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: And you know the Reds’ biggest weakness coming into the season? Rotation depth

9:40
Comment From toot toot
do you think the rays might end up dumping salary this year, with the devastation to their pitching staff?

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: They can get through this and they’re still a pretty good team. Price gets moved next offseason unless the Rays fall flat on their faces over the coming 2-3 months

9:41
Comment From yojiveself
yes, I know “its early”, but 0 homeruns from Khris Davis and his k% is pretty high. Should we temper expectations to less than 20 hr’s?

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: 20 sounds about right

9:42
Comment From Allen Craig
Whats wrong with me? Will I figure it out or am I broken like Shelby?

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: Stop hitting so many groundballs

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: You shouldn’t be running one of the highest groundball rates in baseball

9:44
Comment From Dewey
What is wrong with the Angels? Is the bullpen completely responsible?

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: Fun fact: Angels lead baseball in position-player WAR

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: But the bullpen also leads baseball in home runs allowed

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: and Jered Weaver’s allowed too many dingers. The dingers need to figure themselves out

9:45
Comment From Hawaii
Good chance the A’s run away with it?

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: Run away with it? No, they’re not good enough and the others aren’t bad enough

9:46
Comment From Snid
Gregory Polanco . How soon?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: Travis Snider needs to stop hitting first

9:48
Comment From Ivanna Know
What to do about Ivan Nova?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: Wasn’t he just good against the Red Sox?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: He’s presumably fine

9:48
Comment From gregory
Billy Hamilton – overmatched or is it still too early to say?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: He has been overmatched, but that doesn’t mean he will be overmatched

9:49
Comment From Royo
Blah blah blah April, but Cashner is still fun to watch right now. A homerun will be given up at some point, I suppose.

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: And weirdly he’s still allowing a contact rate higher than the league average. Also higher than the same rate in 2013

9:49
Comment From Guest
Tell me something positive about Shelby Miller. Like really, just give me something…

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: He has his youth

9:50
Comment From Tom
Do you think there is still some doubt on Dominican listed birthdays? I thought that could possibly explain why Starling Marte got less money than Gyorko even though he is better.

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: Gyorko is an over-powered middle infielder, Marte is an under-powered corner outfielder. There’s a difference in how these player types get compensated

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: Not that I have any particular insight into the negotiations but I’m pretty sure that was a factor, even if it shouldn’t be

9:51
Comment From Henry
Is there any metric that states how likely a pitcher is to give up any runs in one inning. Knowing runs per 9 (ERA, xFIP) is great, but that doesn’t tell us the likelihood of, let’s say, Ernesto Frieri blowing a one-run lead in one inning of work. It seems like that stat would be more useful for evaluating 8th and 9th inning guys than many others.

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: It would just be some function of regular ERA or RA. Some guys might be more likely to give up one run while other guys might be more likely to give up runs in bunches but I bet the differences would be small and would take forever to reveal themselves significantly

9:53
Comment From GSon
Ubaldo has been a dud in Baltimore..like last year, he started slowly and came on strong. When do the Orioles press the panic button on their $ 48 MM dud?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: July?

9:53
Comment From Chris
Once Walker and Kuma are back will Erasmo get sent back down to to work his s@%t out?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: Looking that way

9:54
Comment From Mackie
If the A’s do move to Hillsboro, would you leave the M’s?

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: Definitely not. It would appear that I’m stuck to the Mariners forever

9:55
Comment From Jeff
When are you bringing back ‘The Worst of the Best’ series? That always made my week!

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: It’ll be back, but not on a weekly basis. Too much work every week and not enough diversity in results

9:56
Comment From Guest
what are your thoughts on Edison volques ROS

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: career-best walk rate

9:56
Comment From Donnie
Would you rather watch a game featuring the A’s or the Astros?

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: the A’s because they are good and the Astros are bad

9:57
Comment From Guest
do you think Dr James Andrews is right about what’s behind increase in TJ surgeries? (is the premise even correct?)

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not exactly in position here to question the wisdom and conclusions of Dr. James Andrews

9:57
Comment From Gorman Thomas
Are the Brewers for real?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: Didn’t I just write about this yesterday?

9:58
Comment From Gareth
Chavez – theres gotta be regression there sooner or later, right?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, but the question is, to what? Seems to me he can be at least something like a No. 3 starter

9:59
Comment From GSon
Jose Abreu… with a slugging % north of .500 and a good approach, does the low BA concern the CWSox?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: They spent $56 million on Adam Dunn

10:00
Comment From Brian
Brad Miller: does he cut back on the strikeouts or is low average, low OBP what to expect going forward?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: No, he’s better than this. Expect a higher OBP and a lower ISO

10:00
Comment From Bonnie
If you add up Jed Lowrie’s BB% from the last three seasons (for funsies) you get 25.4. His BB% this year is 25.9.

10:00
Comment From Guest
Is this the real Ackley finally?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s see what he does when pitchers stop throwing him so many strikes, but this is definitely the most encouraging version of Ackley we’ve seen in a while

10:01
Comment From Gareth
Adam Dunn is a free agent at tbe end of the season. Who could use him in 2015?

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: His family

10:01
Comment From David
Ramos: Hurt … again, Zimmerman: hurt … again, Fister: hurt … still, Span: concussed … again, Harper – playing through pain … atain. Should my Nats be worried yet?

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: Still don’t have it as bad as the Braves have it

10:02
Comment From Chris
What are your thoughts on Chris Johnson? I thought (hoped?) he might do great things batting cleanup, but so far, well, not so good.

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: His whole game is BABIP. As his BABIP goes, he goes, and right now his strikeout rate is a little higher than it probably ought to be. He’s a roughly average hitter performing below his true level

10:03
Comment From Mike T.
Jeff – Dustin McGowan won a major league baseball game as a major league starting pitcher. Useless stats aside, is anything possible?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: And his fastball’s still in the low- to mid-90s. How great is that?

10:05
Comment From Rasheed Wallace
Who has a better year at the plate when all is said and done: Jose Abreu or Prince Fielder

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: Abreu

10:05
Comment From Matt
So Ventura pitches against the Astros tonight…Yum.

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: Is this the day Chris Carter ends up with more strikeouts than plate appearances?

10:06
Comment From Gareth
The new Replay rule, like some other new additions to mlb (specifically the draft pick compensation rule) is having unforseen implications so far. Please discuss.

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: Any change has unforeseen consequences. The issue will be how quickly MLB works to address them. This transfer-rule thing is an absurdity but other than that replay has done more good than bad so we’ve still seen progress

10:06
Comment From Lawrence
What’s your take on Lincecum?

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: Not good

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: He’s sort of the opposite of the old Matt Cain

10:07
Comment From Josh
Can Brian Dozier maintain a ~.170 iso? 4 dingers this year a good start

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: Not one of those homers has gone 400 feet

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: he seems like a .150 ISO guy

10:09
Comment From Guest
Is Joey Bats back? 28.6% walk rate and 201wRC+

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: Nothing but good news as far as Jose Bautista is concerned

10:10
Comment From Eminor3rd
I was looking at Marcus Semien’s slash line this year: .235/.315/.392 (.315 wOBA) and was shocked to see it is good for a 100 wRC+. That seems high — is offense down league-wide so far this season?

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: League wOBA for non-pitchers at the moment is .318. Was .318 a season ago. Was .320 before that

10:10
Comment From Guest
With Beltre on the Dl and Fielder not playing well are the Rangers in trouble?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: You kind of have to expect one or two Beltre DL stints but, with Fielder, I’d say they’re still looking for indications he isn’t just what he was a season ago, or worse. The team could really use a Prince Fielder hot streak one of these weeks

10:11
Comment From Adam Jones
Why do sliders vex me so?

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Sliders are really good against same-handed hitters and you like to swing

10:12
Comment From zack
with Kershaw out is Jose Fernandez the NL cy young favorite?

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Honestly, yeah, I think so

10:12
Comment From tommy
Jesse Chavez is really tiny for a major league pitcher. Is that a problem?

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: Might be an issue if he were a prospect, but at this point he’s thrown enough in the majors that I’ll take the performance over the scouting

10:13
Comment From Hawaii
Most unexpected success? White Sox and Brewers at this point?

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: Brewers

10:14
Comment From Mike
Joey Votto in the two hole is 3/9 with 2HR 4Runs 4rbi and 2/2 k/bb I know its April and 3 games but is this a better spot?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: He’s awesome anywhere

10:14
Comment From Guest
imagine this Rays rotation if they had traded David Price…

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: What did they get for David Price?

10:15
Comment From Brian
what do you think Andrelton Simmons’ offensive ceiling will be?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: Honestly he could end up in the 110-120 wRC+ range. And then he’s a legitimate yearly MVP candidate

10:16
Comment From Adrian Gonzalez
Hey do you believe I can hit 30+ this year?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Well you just hit 22, right? So what’s a few more feet on a few more fly balls?

10:16
Comment From Shawn
Any thoughts on the new RBI Baseball?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Not a single one!

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: The internet seems to have a lot of opinions about it though

10:17
Comment From STiVo
The AL East is the only division in which no team has greater than 33.3% chance of winning the division, per Fangraphs’ playoff odds page. Is this unexpected?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: The other divisions either have clear favorites or they already have some separation. The AL East is just super tight

10:18
Comment From Josh
Is the large part of the reason you write for/enjoy FanGraphs the relatively educated, engaged and passionate readership? Or is there not much of a difference between writing for FanGraphs vs anything else?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: I much prefer writing for FanGraphs — I like being able to trust that the readers have a certain level of knowledge and critical-thinking skills. My whole thing is getting deep into the game and I’m not so good at writing general-appeal pieces. If I had to write for, I don’t know, For The Win or something, I’d probably kill myself

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: or get a different job

10:20
Comment From Sadwick
I hate that comment by Matheny. It shows a profound lack of understanding that wins are important as a team stat, not a player stat. Wins are obviously the goal as a team, but player wins are a statistical smoke screen that hides true value. I get that he wants to support Lance Lynn, that’s fine, but I would be worried if I were a Cardinals fan.

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: It’s worth noting managers might not always say to the press what they actually believe in their hearts.

10:20
Comment From The Oriole Bird
Do you expect Dylan Bundy to have a meaningful impact on the Orioles’ 2014 season?

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: I expect him to at least have the opportunity

10:21
Comment From Gabe
It’s painful to watch Dbacks games because it just reminds me how much I HATE their new colors–and yes, I know they’re not that new. I just hate how generic their look is, compared to the classic, somewhat quirky purple. That is all.

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: And here I figured the real issue with watching the DBacks right now is that they suck. I also miss the purple! I loved the purple when I was younger. Maybe it’s weird to be purple in a division with other purple, and maybe purple isn’t quite Arizona-appropriate, but I’m also not real big on their current lok

10:23
Comment From Josh
Is the Twins offense for real or for fake?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: Worse than this, better than awful

10:24
Comment From OLeary
IF MLB ever went to automated ball/strike calls, what would the strike zone be defined as (electronically)? outer black on sides of the plate + arm pits to knee caps? (is this further complication? – diff. heights, etc….)

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Probably something like outer black to outer black, lower knee to top of belt. If that ends up making the strike zone smaller, well, maybe that’s not such a bad thing, given the continuing rise of strikeouts

10:25
Comment From Gareth
David price has to carry that team on his shoulders now, right? Those poor plucky rays :-(

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Evan Longoria…

10:26
Comment From Mets DL Coach
Zack Wheeler has cut his BB/9 from 4.14 to 2.60 so far. Can he become a solid #2 by the end of the year?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Three straight starts of 50%+ zone rate. Lots left to prove but this is a good beginning

10:27
Comment From Guest
I’m making a trip out to Seattle for the first time this summer. Anything that you would consider a must do?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: Take a day and go to Mt Rainier

10:29
Comment From comment
would the Pirates move Snider to 1st for polanco (assuming Snider continues to play decently)

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: Snider has never played first before anywhere

10:29
Comment From Guest
Will Mauer get called up and Erasmo sent down?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: Maurer isn’t stretched out enough yet

10:29
Comment From Steve LOBS
Better end of the year stats, Zack Wheeler or Taijuan Walker?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: Actually probably very similar

10:30
Comment From kevinthecomic
Hey Jeff, you are a lot less snarky this week than last — you not feeling well last week or have something else on your mind? Either way, I hope all is cool.

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: I have *almost* snarked out a handful of fantasy questions!

10:30
Comment From Catoblepas
can we get a link to the Puig article? you have peaked my curiosity.

10:31
10:31
Jeff Sullivan: slow load times right now

10:32
Comment From Josh
When and why did you ever take O Chem?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: o-chem is the best! o-chem is just putting together puzzles!

10:32
Comment From Royo
Do we see La Stella starting over Uggla at some point this year?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: second half if Uggla doesn’t approach a triple-digit wRC+

10:33
Comment From Derek
Jose Fernandez for Adrian Gonzalez … who wins in this trade?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: the Dodgers

10:33
Comment From Rick
Is Orodozzi going to be another TB wonder or are the Rays in serious trouble here? He did NOT look sharp against the Royals…

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: He isn’t sharp, but he’s adequate, and with the Rays they can stretch his adequacy more than the majority of other teams

10:33
Comment From Brian
what team will be the first major seller at the trade deadline?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Cubs?

10:34
Comment From _David_
Wouldn’t it be neat if this was a new, sustainable level for Felix? SSS fun (compared to last year): his velocity is up .3. His strike% is up 4.4%. Z-Contact down 6.9%

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: career-high K%, career-low BB%, career-low GB%. It’s fun when they find new ways to dominate

10:35
Comment From the Average Sports Fan
KC needed a lot to go right for them to make the playoffs. How worried should they be?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: Probably about 10-20% more worried than they were a couple weeks ago

10:37
Comment From Tage
Tyson Ross, more likely to be the “meh” pitcher in his first couple starts or more like the good pitcher in the latter half of last year and his most recent start. Velocity drop an issue?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: According to Brooks, his velocity was back in his latest start, and in his latest start he owned the Tigers. So that much is encouraging

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll probably never trust him to throw that many consistent strikes but I like him as a pretty good No. 2/3 starter

10:38
Comment From Condor
Should fans want Michael Saunders to get more playing time, or are they being soft-hearted for a nice guy

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: He’s better than Logan Morrison

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: most players are better than Logan Morrison

10:39
Comment From the Average Sports Fan
The Reds off season was a non entity. And now out of the gate awful. When you do nothing to improve your team, is it fair to be critical even after only 2 weeks?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: Frustration is perfectly valid

10:40
Comment From Brian
Why does it seem that some team’s top prospects never produce as well as expected (I’m looking at the royals here). Were scouts just over-optimistic in the first place…or did something go wrong when they hit the majors?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: It can be a player-development thing, or it can be a sample-size thing, where some prospects just bust and it feels like more of them bust than actually bust

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Like, as frustrating as Mike Moustakas is, he’s one guy. What’s the Royals success rate with prospects? What’s the average? What is the standard error around the average?

10:41
Comment From Gregory
through Felix’s age, Greg Maddux had an ERA of 3.19. Felix has a career ERA of 3.20. From that point, Maddux’s next 5 years, he had an ERA of 2.10 with two seasons under 2.00. Is it possible Felix is going to get that much better?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Sure, it’s possible, but, you know…

10:41
Comment From Ryan
How do you see Oakland’s late innings playing out? In 10 days – and rest of season?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Well

10:42
Comment From Tinker-Evers-Chance
Greater odds of happening within 5 years: A’s move to Portland or the Mariners win the WS

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: Roughly a 15% chance the Mariners win at least one World Series in the next five years

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: So, that one

10:44
Comment From the Average Sports Fan
Do you buy into players pressing and moving them down in lineup to take some heat off of them?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Sure, I think that players get in their own heads. I suspect even after they’re moved down, though, they still feel a lot of pressure

10:46
Comment From Tim
Is there a good Adam Jones comp who actually figured out how to lay off/hit low breaking pitches after flailing for 7 of 8+ seasons in MLB?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Shawn Green took some time?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Odds are, this is just what Jones is. You take the bad with the good, and you hope there’s always more good than bad.

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: Adrian Beltre’s gotten better about that stuff and he’s amazing

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: That’s a better comp

10:48
Comment From Lawrence
Everth Cabrera has a K/BB ratio of 17/1 so far. Too early to be concerned?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: let’s worry when he doesn’t have a career-best wRC+

10:49
Comment From Josh
Gerardo Parra: 26.0 Def in 2013 to -4.5 to start the year. SSS and volatility of defensive statistics, but also, what?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: UZR doesn’t update every day

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: I remember Mike Trout was running a negative Def for a while a year ago. Wound up just fine, albeit worse than 2012

10:50
Comment From Umberto
When Drew and Morales eventually sign, do you think they’ll have to do some extended spring training type stuff, or will they step right into the mlb lineup? Is the Boras training academy thing able to make them game ready out of the gate?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: Extended ST or minors stint

10:50
Comment From Kevin
Royals have one home run. One. Also don’t like line drives. This is bad so far. PANIC!

10:51
Comment From Tom
Do you think Shelby Miller is broken? Or do you think it’s a mechanical flaw?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: Wouldn’t a mechanical flaw count as being broken?

10:52
Comment From Cliff
Most surprising individual stat thus far? (SSS noted of course)….

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: Salvador Perez already has eight walks

10:52
Comment From chuckb
I was watching the Reds the other day thinking about all the grief Dave caught from Reds’ fans about their pitching staff being in the lower 15. Alfredo Simon was starting for the Reds that day.

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: no depth there at all

10:53
Comment From Ervin Santana
Why didn’t I come to the NL East sooner? I like pitching in this division. Is a career high K/9 and career low ERA a good bet for me in 2014?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: You faced the Phillies and the Mets

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: That said, I could see a career-low ERA. Probably not K/9, what with his 2008

10:53
Comment From Brady
Do questions prefaced “I know it’s early, but…” bother you?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Depends on the substance of what follows. Some stuff is more worth reading into than others

10:54
Comment From Bob Melvin
Is Sonny Gray this good?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: He’s just doing what he did last year. He’s pretty terrific

10:55
Comment From the Average Sports Fan
Why don’t players try players take the free singles that shifts want to give them? Especially to lead off an inning or at least with no runners on and less than 2 outs?

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: Bunting is hard

10:55
Comment From _David_
Excited to watch Beavan pitch in Arlington?

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: I will very thankfully be otherwise occupied

10:56
Comment From Percy
Zunino’s 3 HRs is a nice start, yes? 15 HRs attainable?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: Definitely attainable, but we’ll see about a .300 OBP

10:56
Comment From GIla Monster
Given the recent Matt Moore injury: Is tearing your UCL a slow process that progressively gets weaker until it becomes a problem? Would it partially explain the velocity decline/vomit inducing FB command? Could it rebound to what it once was?

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: It can go both ways — it can be a sudden snap, or it can be a gradual stretching/tearing process

10:58
Comment From Andrew McGee
Jeff, I caught your piece on 538 sports and was trying to understand what new information you were trying to demonstrate by comparing “toolsiness” to WAR production. I came to the conclusion you were simply trying to educate a larger public about the appropriateness of WAR as a metric? Was I correct in my assumption, or was there something else I missed?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: In part it helped to teach people about WAR, and in part it helped to teach people about the importance of different tools, but honestly by the time that finally got published it was significantly different from what I initially intended to write about. Hoping for a better experience the second time around, because I didn’t love my debut

11:00
Comment From Kid
If you had to pick one guy to be this year’s Jose Fernandez, who would it be? Don’t need rationalizations, just an off-the-cuff fun question.

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: Yordano

11:00
Comment From Josh
Gerardo Parra has gone from 4th most runs saved last year to 3rd worst defender in all of baseball so far this year. Is this just an example of defensive statistic volatility or is there anything else to be gleaned from this?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: Nothing to be gleaned at this point

11:01
Comment From Gareth
Why let a homer prone guy like frieri close? Isn’t that asking for trouble?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: Where are the better options?

11:01
Comment From Guest
So what happens to Paxton?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: Resumes throwing in about a week, gradually rebuilds arm strength, and if everything goes well he hopefully misses only about a month

11:02
Comment From john
there is chatter about nick franklin garnering lots of interest right now. I’ve read the mets should offer dillon gee. Does that seem right?

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: Worth more than Gee

11:02
Comment From Reader
If pitcher were forced to meet the rule pace(12 seconds) and hitters were forced to stay in the box(making us all happy), how would this effect the run environment?

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: Probably very subtly

11:02
Comment From _David_
Erasmo didn’t have it, but it didn’t look like John Buck was doing him any favors receiving with his awkward stabbing. The third inning where he couldn’t find the strike zone…a lot of the time he did…

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: He had some pitches on the edges but he still wasn’t pitching with command, so that was the fault of both of them

11:03
Comment From Pieter
Which team, as constructed right now, has the best chance of both winning and losing 10+ games in a row?

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: Hmm. Angels?

11:04
Comment From Tom
Do you think that Sonny Gray could become an ace?

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: Probably already is one!

11:04
Comment From Guy
Ridiculously early world series prediction?

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: Dodgers over Tigers

11:05
Comment From Cliff
How many factors contribute to a “call up”? Seems like there are so many variables as to when to call someone up… what might be the most common factor? internal (organization) timetable? lower level domination? MLB need?

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: Most common factor’s just going to be player superiority over the incumbent. All teams want to have the best team on the field, but then if the gaps aren’t big enough then other concerns can keep a guy in the minors for longer

11:06
Comment From Guest
thoughts on Pineda thus far?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: Awesome

11:06
Comment From Gareth
Texas, Angels and A’s beset by injuries. Good time for the Mariners to take advantage?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: The Mariners have three of their best starting pitchers on the disabled list

11:07
Comment From Chris
Is Roenis Elias a #5 Sp or a bullpen guy? After everyone is back

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: He’s a No. 5 by talent but if everyone’s healthy he’s in the minors

11:07
Comment From Tim
The Royals have hit 1 home run this season

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: Can’t get enough of this

11:08
Comment From Sadwick
Speaking of Chris Johnson, why in the name of (insert deity here) does Fredi Gonzalez have him batting cleanup? He doesn’t seem the type of hitter you would want in that spot.

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: Well he just moved up Justin Upton

11:08
Comment From Ryan
Jim Johnson looks so much more comfortable in the 7th/8th inning. He can induce his groundballs and, if in trouble, can be pulled for someone better suited to rack up K’s. Other than money, why would Melvin ever reinsert him back into the 9th?

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: Because he’s been good in the 9th for a long time before?

11:08
Comment From Ricie
McGowan’s fastball is in the “low-to mid-90s”, or did you mean to say ‘low- to mid-80s’?

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: pretty sure that’s not what I meant http://www.brooksbaseball.n…

11:09
Comment From Royal Farm
Is Jurickson Profar overrated, or is it too small of a sample size to really draw a conclusion?

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: underhealthy

11:09
Comment From Guest
Under what circumstances would you agree to an appearance on “High Heat with Christopher Russo” on MLB network?

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know what that is. I would appear on almost anything for money

11:09
Comment From Guest
Long term expectations for Danny Salazar?

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: Good numbers and a surgery

11:10
Comment From Guest
Thought on the new Matt Cain or too early to tell?

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: The new Matt Cain seems like he’s just Matt Cain

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: so I think he’ll pitch like Matt Cain

11:11
Comment From Royal Farm
Were we all a little too high on Porcello for “figuring it out”?

11:11
Jeff Sullivan: His strikeouts took a giant leap. I think the reaction was understandable

11:12
Comment From Terry
King Felix vs. Yu on Wednesday just makes me smile….

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: And there’s a thing to look forward to tomorrow

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: For now I need to wrap this up

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: So 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.


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