Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 4/22/14

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: Hello there friends and enemies!

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: I have been later than this in the past!

9:05
Comment From TigersFan
Are we witnessing the beginning of the sharp decline of Miguel Cabrera?

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: Miguel Cabrera has sucked. But Robinson Cano has sucked, Matt Holliday has sucked, Prince Fielder has sucked, Allen Craig has sucked…

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: I’m most willing to believe Cabrera’s still just trying to piece everything together coming back from injury. But we can at least probably conclude that Cabrera isn’t going to get any *better* than he’s been in his MVP seasons

9:07
Comment From Vliet
Jeff – your thoughts on Drew Hutchison. Thks!

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: If I wanted to hunt for flaws, I’d say I don’t think he throws quite enough strikes and he isn’t particularly deceptive. Could use better weapons against lefties. But as is there’s no reason to think he doesn’t belong in a big-league rotation, and he’s more than a No. 5

9:09
Comment From Xolo
Should Headley have taken the $39M?

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, if his thing is getting less money instead of more money

9:10
Comment From Guest
What your opinion on Mike Minor?

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: Good pitcher about as good as he’s going to get and I hope he can pitch well all season after his return so we can all put the urethra thing behind us

9:11
Comment From tommy
where does dee gordon rank on all the all time list of great shortstops? better than jeter?

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: might be a worse defender than Jeter

9:12
Comment From Xolo
How much longer till we can stick a fork in Yonder Alonso?

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: Seems like he might be another one of the big-name first-base prospects who just didn’t develop into anything more than a bench bat

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: Alonso was never *exciting*. Doesn’t have enough standout skills, and standout skills aren’t developing.

9:14
Comment From Charlie Blackmon
So, ready to knight me as your new king?

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: Don’t kings do the knighting, of others?

9:14
Comment From GianMarlo Stanfield
Percent chance the Braves have at 95+ wins?

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: 8%?

9:14
Comment From Maddy
Smyly for Bogaerts. Adequate compensation?

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: lol

9:15
Comment From Sean
Is Chris Sale dead. What are the funeral arrangements.

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: Give the family time

9:15
Comment From Catoblepas
Hi Jeff! Was reading an article that posited that maybe sluggers being shifted on weren’t bunting because they wanted to “save” the bunt for a high-leverage situation, and were worried that if they took advantage of the shift too many times they wouldn’t have that chance. Had you considered that in your thoughts on bunting against the shift? Does it make any sense?

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: It’s lovely to think that players think like that and it’s also almost certainly incorrect. Can’t entirely rule it out, and maybe it’s the case for a handful of guys, but I really do think it’s as simple as bunting seeming cheap and hitters having egos. And none of them are very good at bunting and in a high-leverage situation they’re not going to want to try to do anything than what they know how to do best, even if the math isn’t on their side

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: When a hitter needs to deliver a hit, with the game on the line, he’s probably not going to want to put himself in a position where he’s doing something he doesn’t know very well.

9:18
Comment From Dave
When will the Jays finally sort out the 2B position?

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: In this season I’ve learned that Jonathan Diaz is a baseball player

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: The quick and easy answer is “2015” but I suspect they’ll do *something* if they manage to hang in the race

9:20
Comment From Dustin
Yoenis Cespedes is showing markedly improved plate discipline without sacrificing power. The BABIP is still low, but are we approaching the threshold where we can start believing the “shortened swing” narrative?

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: The contact rate is up something like 10 percentage points. Doesn’t seem to be a team-wide thing, like Blackmon’s strikeout reduction in Colorado. You’re in the clear to be excited. I wouldn’t say the discipline, straight-up, is much better, but the swing seems better able to hit the baseball, and hitting the baseball is what allows Cespedes to be Cespedes

9:22
Comment From GianMarlo Stanfield
If I play 155 games I hit __ home runs?

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: 45? Get out of that ballpark and get out of that lineup and then we’ll really talk

9:23
Comment From Guest
are we witnessing the era of suck?

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: As Mariners fans, yes, unquestionably

9:23
Comment From Sean
Is Tyler Flowers’ .606 BABIP sustainable?

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: Yes, on a minefield

9:24
Comment From Jon
Thoughts on Eovaldi?

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: Strikeouts way up. Grounders way up. Walks way down. Velocity unchanged.

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: It’s like he’s trying to be Cliff Lee with another six miles per hour. The contact rate right now doesn’t support the strikeout rate, so that’ll come down most likely, but Eovaldi is really turning himself into something, as baseball just doesn’t really feature hard-throwers who are also strike-throwers

9:26
Comment From Ralph
Bonjour, mon ennemi. Is Ackley turning back into a pumpkin after an encouraging start?

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: He’s just Dustin Ackley without walks

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Granted, his zone rate is so high walks haven’t really been all that possible, but he’s not a guy who punishes enough strikes at the moment

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Hence the zone rate

9:27
Comment From Tacoby Bellsbury
Why don’t more guys bunt to beat the shift? Don’t have the skills? Pride? Or is it worth it to try to beat the shift?

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: Lots of theories and we discussed a few earlier. I think good hitters just don’t like bunting. Bunting is “giving in” to the defense, and no one with an ego likes to back down from a challenge

9:28
Comment From Xolo
Can we make a legitimate case to get Rene Rivera in the All-Star Game for what he’s done for the Padres’ pitching staff?

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: No, because of what he’s done for the Padres’ lineup

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: It is funny, though — when Rivera was in the Mariners system, we all used to make fun of him for having a good defensive reputation but absolutely zero other skills. Less than a decade later, turns out he might be one of the best receivers in the world!

9:30
Comment From Lex
How much do you believe playing in Marlins park helps Jose Fernandez? He is 11-0 at home and 3-7 on the road

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: ignore it

9:31
Comment From Brendan
Is Travis Wood’s success sustainable? Noticed some cutter adjustments.

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: I’m as surprised as you are. I didn’t even realize the extent to which he was pitching like an All-Star. Let’s just agree that Travis Wood isn’t an ace, and let’s also agree that Travis Wood appears to be elevating his game to some newish level

9:32
Comment From Guest
Why do people put so much emphasis on April numbers? Both individually and as a team.

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: Because they’re the only numbers we have and, psychologically, 2013 feels like a completely different and distant situation

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: Same reason people believe in spring-training numbers during spring training

9:34
Comment From (not that) James
What’s your take on the decision (whoever made it) to have Jason Heyward bunt with a runner on second, no outs, in the bottom of the ninth in a tie game?

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: With BJ Upton on deck! Against Carlos Marmol!

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: From the recap, seems like it was Heyward: “Given the choice to swing away or bunt Schafer to third base, Heyward opted for the latter and popped the bunt attempt back to Marmol.”

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: I uh…yeah, no, that’s stupid

9:36
Comment From gregory
How good is Jesse Chavez? Will the Ks continue at this rate despite a low swinging strike rate?

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: You don’t get to keep that many strikeouts with a league-average contact rate. But Chavez has been a zone-focused pitcher who’s also somehow limited swings at pitches in the zone, essentially giving him free strikes. Seems, off the top of my head, there could be something deceptive about him. In any case, we do have to take seriously the possibility that this journeyman nobody has become a quality starter well after his 30th birthday

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: Looks to me like Oakland has pulled off another miracle. Chavez isn’t awesome, but already I think we can conclude he’s better than we expected

9:39
Comment From Ryan
Thoughts on Scott Kazmir? Can he keep it up? I know he will not be lights out all season, but do you see 200 innings with 200 K’s and him continuing to limit the walks? Or will he break down like usualy and only throw 100 innings?

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: Seems to me he is what he was in 2013, and what he was in 2013 was pretty good. I’m not counting on 200 innings but I doubt the A’s are regretting that contract very much

9:40
Comment From Catoblepas
How learn-able is framing? Your article on Jason Castro was awesome, and it seems to indicate that maybe this is a very teachable skill. In future years, will we see the gap between the very good and very bad framers narrow, as every catcher coming up is purposefully taught to receive well?

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: I do think we’ll see a smaller difference between the best and the worst, if only because the worst might no longer be selected for catching in the majors, depending on how highly teams come to value the skill. Not everyone can learn it as easily as Castro has — there are little individual traits that allow one to be good or bad at catching a fast-thrown baseball. Wrist strength and whatnot. But we might never again see another Ryan Doumit, and we could see plenty more cases of guys like Castro and Arencibia stepping forward

9:42
Comment From Steve
With Cabrera off to a slow start, is this finally the year that Trout wins MVP? Or will the fact that the Angels are probably just a .500 club lead to some other player on a playoff contender winning it?

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: Fun fact: ZiPS currently thinks Trout will finish with a lead of more than 3 WAR over second place in the American League

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Can’t count out, say, an Evan Longoria, but it seems like it’s Trout’s year, and he could benefit from his 2012/2013 award momentum

9:43
Comment From Fonz
Freedie Freeman – your new best hitter in baseball?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: no

9:44
Comment From Shen
Is Leonys Martin a mirror image of Aoki?

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: Leonys Martin strikes out

9:44
Comment From Guest
Where do i donate beer money for you and Matt for your USSM podcasts? They are awesome

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: apparently there’s a donate link here! http://statcorner.com/index…

9:44
Comment From Bick
Sale goes from one missed start to DL stint to flexor issue. Looking at a lengthy absence?

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: I think the White Sox have ruled out any actual damage so it seems like it’s just early-season caution

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: Granted, the Rays weren’t concerned about Matt Moore until they were, but I feel okay about this

9:45
Comment From Tacoby Bellsbury
Whose red-hot start are you buying most: Mesarocco, Blackmon, Alexei, or Dozier?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: I think Blackmon has taken the most demonstrable step forward. Mesoraco could be the best player, though, because of his position

9:48
Comment From Sean
What have you made of Jose Abreu lately?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: No meaningful change in the evaluation. He’s an aggressive hitter with the skills to also be an upper-level hitter

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Still running one of the lowest zone rates in baseball. It’s clear that pitchers see little reason to throw him many strikes at the moment but he’s still slugging .538

9:49
Comment From InquiringMind
Are you optimistic about Brad Miller turning things around?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: well he won’t be this terrible forever

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: But Dustin Ackley taught me a lesson about getting excited about prospects after their debuts

9:50
Comment From Melvin
Which team that’s been in rebuilding mode the last couple years (Astros, Cubs, Marlins, etc.) is closest to being a winning team

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: Marlins could have the best 2014, Cubs could have the best 2015. Cubs get an advantage on account of their resources

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: Willing to believe we’ve been underrating the Marlins, though

9:52
Comment From baltic fox
Dallas Keuchel: according to pitch/fx data, he’s throwing his slider a lot more this year. He already had a good changeup. Now he has two pitches with well above average whiff rates. What are the Astros going to do with him?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: Seems like Keuchel’s turning himself into a real starting pitcher. A couple years ago he had as many walks as strikeouts. Last year he wasn’t close to that ratio, and this year he’s done even better. Gun to my head, he stays in the rotation, and I ask why a man has a gun to my head over Dallas Keuchel

9:53
Comment From Dan
How do you think the Phillies will look to unload some payroll?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: aggressively

9:54
Comment From Edgar
Is Anthony Rendon for real?

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: not the 142 wRC+ part, but the being pretty good part

9:54
Comment From Kendrick Lamar
Who has a better season: Tanaka or Pineda?

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: Tanaka, who is amazing

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: Pineda though has the better story

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: Just now learned Oscar Taveras is having another ankle issue, this time in the other one…

9:56
Comment From baltic fox
Carlos Santana is apparently nursing a groin pull. Given his performance to date, why don’t the Indians do the sensible thing and put him on the 15 day DL? The season is early…

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: Santana says he’s fine

9:56
Comment From aharner
Buy or sell Andrew Cashner as a Max Scherzer-type breakout this year? Maybe next year is a more reasonable expectation?

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: 86% contact rate allowed

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: career mark of 80%

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not buying in yet. I mean, the talent is clearly there, but I’m not yet buying his breakout

9:57
Comment From TJ
Think Erasmo Ramirez sticks in the rotation? He’s been hard to watch…

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: I assume he goes to the minors or the disabled list as soon as the Mariners have literally any other starting pitcher available

9:58
Comment From Tacoby Bellsbury
Why are the Mets wasting time with guys like Valverde, Farnsworth, Abreu, Eric Young Jr. when they clearly aren’t a contender? Are they afraid their fans can’t stomach a true rebuild?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: For a variety of reasons sometimes you want to keep prospects in the minors in April. And there is value in veteran stopgaps that, in theory, keep a big-league team out of contention from embarrassment

9:59
Comment From Yaaaaaar!
When do you think Gregory Polanco will be up in light of Snider/Tabata sucking and the Pirates needing another good bat?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: At this point it seems like a matter of…weeks? Ike Davis buys them a little extra time to be like “look we just made an offensive upgrade” but Polanco’s forcing his way up

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: The Pirates’ RF situation is a lava dome, and Gregory Polanco is quickly-rising magma. One only hopes not too many die beneath the imminent pyroclastic flows.

10:01
Comment From McExpos
I often have to choose between doing work in the evening and watching baseball. However, my team is the Seattle Mariners. Is it really a Sophie’s Choice when one of the babies is already dead?

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: I think it’s John Mulaney who has a joke about the rush an adult gets from canceling plans

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: One experiences a similar rush from canceling plans to watch the Mariners. “Hey, three free hours!”

10:03
Comment From Fish
What do the numbers say about Mesoraco as a receiver

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: Roughly average, potentially improving

10:04
Comment From doofis
Carlos gomez…the man. Right?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: In a way he’s kind of filling the void left by the declining Josh Hamilton

10:05
Comment From Lars
Should Corey Kluber be picked up off the free agent heap?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: Corey Kluber is on the Indians

10:05
Comment From Tacoby Bellsbury
Who is the next impact prospect to get the call, and what sort of impact do you expect?

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: If it isn’t Polanco, it’s almost Polanco, and he’ll be a multi-win upgrade over the current situation. He is incredibly good, and that should become incredibly apparent incredibly quickly

10:07
Comment From Bert
Who do you see having more value to their team this year, Gausman or Stroman? Looking soley at numbers, Gausman hasn’t been too impressive so far in AAA.

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: Would’ve said Gausman a month ago, but now leaning in the other direction. Which I suppose makes it almost exactly 50/50. At the moment, I say Stroman

10:08
Comment From Drew
How many balls can you remember being hit further than Zunino’s in Safeco last night? I feel like Bonds and Giambi may have had monster shots to right, but I’m not sure I’ve seen longer in 6 or 7 years.

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: Keep in mind it looked longer because of where it was hit down the line, but yeah, the power in his bat is legitimate. The issue is translating that into actual success and the swing rate is worrisome

10:09
Comment From Dave M.
Has the bubble burst on Edwin Encarnacion, or have we not chewed the gum enough yet this year?

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: going to take more than 83 plate appearances for me to want to give up on one of the best hitters in baseball

10:09
Comment From Daniel Nava
Is there any more unlikable battery than John Lackey/Pierzyski? In history?

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: Francisco Rodriguez/anyone

10:10
Comment From Gus
Matt Williams knows he’s managing a major league team, not a little league one, right? He has to know that star players can jog down the line on comebackers.

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: Leadership is complicated

10:10
Comment From APH
How long until Farnsworth loses the job?

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: Well, if he’s hurt, like he might be right now, not long at all!

10:11
Comment From baltic fox
According to WAPO, Bryce Harper turned down an offer very similar to the one Trout got (6 yrs. 145 mil) even though Trout is the superior player. Is there some kind of termination fee that binds players to agents (as in the Scherzer case) when the agent is clearly not acting in his client’s interest?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: Trout agreed to a way smaller contract than he could’ve, and Harper’s skillset is paid very highly in the free-agent market

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Harper’s on line to be a free agent in the prime of his career and good players don’t reach free agency that often anymore. Just in terms of maximizing money, Harper shouldn’t sign an extension, at least not before he turns more tools into productivity

10:13
Comment From Lance Lynn
I am underrated?

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: Who even knows who’s underrated or overrated? You are fine, though

10:13
Comment From CJ
Thoughts on Springer so far?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: As advertised. I loved the massive swing on the infield single for the first hit of his career. George Springer’s biography will be titled Don’t Get Cheated

10:14
Comment From ozzie
should the white sox have traded chris sale?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: heavens no

10:14
Comment From RetireNutting
What can I do to make Huntington bring up Polanco this week?!

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: Legally?

10:15
Comment From Tom
Would it be difficult for FG to develop a feature whereby one can input a set of games he or she has attended and receive individual and/or team stats from said games?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: You would need to convince David Appelman why that would be a good use of his time

10:16
Comment From Phil
Joe Mauer is striking out an awful lot. Is this the beginning of decline?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Wouldn’t think of it so much as decline as transition. He still makes a lot of contact and the strikeout rate will come down. But Mauer’s probably going to start hitting for more power

10:17
Comment From Terrible Ted
Is there a standard ratio for every increase in .100 in BABIP a players average should increase X?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: No, depends on other peripherals too

10:17
Comment From Brock Lesnar
Should the Mets have sold low on Davis? I was willing to give him one more year to not be terrible, but I guess if he was terrible they wouldn’t have gotten anything at all for him.

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: He isn’t that good. There’s no real market for a player like that. The Mets needed to pick between their identical first basemen and now they can move on having cleared a little salary

10:19
Comment From Jeb Bush
Can you talk a little about what is going on with Salazar? Is this readily fixable? What do you expect from him rest of season? One of the most fun pitchers to watch has become torture to watch.

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: Velocity’s down and everything’s up. Command got on the train and left Salazar alone at the station. The too-easy answer is “he must be hurt” but this could be the sort of thing that at least demands a stint in the minors

10:20
Comment From Jackson
I’d think it’d make more sense to bunt early and often to remove the shift for potential high leverage situations.

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: More bunts won’t remove the shift. They’ll just re-position the 3B closer to 3B instead of SS.

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: The 3 infielders will remain on the side that gets all the grounders

10:21
Comment From Terrible Ted
The Nationals announcers commented yesterday that Richards doesn’t know whether his fastball is going to cut or sink on a particular pitch. How/why does this happen? Aren’t they two different pitches and therefore two different grips?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know the particularities of Richards’ grips, but it could be he uses the same grip and just different finger pressures. And that’s subtle enough that sometimes you can take yourself by surprise

10:22
Comment From Guest
If Cano continues to suck, where would his contract rank in your opinion top 3 worst behind Pujols?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: If he’s immediately dreadful, yeah, the contract is immediately dreadful

10:23
Comment From Paul
I’m curious about Evan Gattis. Doesn’t seem he’ll ever get on base a lot. But his power is obviously legit, and with no noticeable platoon split (.250 ISO vs LHP, .248 vs RHP). He has a 130 wRC+ vs LHP and 112 vs RHP… and it seems he can at least play catcher well enough to stay there. Can he be like a +3.0 WAR player? He’s at 0.8 already and nothing seems overly flukey.

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: Very well within his reach. It’s all about how often he can turn his swing into four bases. He’s never going to feel consistent, but over the course of a season, five extra dingers can make a guy feel a lot more productive

10:24
Comment From toot toot
how many games does the AL East champion win this year?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: 92

10:24
Comment From baltic fox
Regarding the bunt question: you don’t need to bunt; just slap the ball toward the opposite field hole. Wieters has done it twice successfully. Finally.

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: That’s probably even harder than bunting

10:25
Comment From Josmil
Kurt Suzuki…good at hitting baseballs? or lucky with plate discipline in a SSS?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Been a bad hitter for years. Now he’s 30 years old. Let’s continue to bet on bad hitter

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: But just to be nice, shoutout to Kurt Suzuki for currently having baseball’s best contact rate

10:26
Comment From Guest
Who is 1st to start a fire sale Arizona, Philly or someone else?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Could be Philly with players and Arizona with executives

10:27
Comment From RotoLando
Who the heck is this Tom Koehler guy?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: A starting pitcher who isn’t very good! But he gets it up to 95 so you can never write these guys off

10:28
Comment From Carlos Gomez
is it safe to say that the Brewers are a real contender barring some serious injuries?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Right now we have their playoff odds as a coin flip. Sixth-highest odds in the NL. Yeah, they count

10:29
Comment From Brock Lesnar
Keith Hernandez tends to point out mechanical issues when players like Curtis Granderson or David Wright are struggling. Do players go in and out of sound mechanics? Or is that just an attempted explanation for a period of poor luck/regression/statistical norms?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: Both. Mechanics are so particular that it’s pretty easy to make a subtle mistake and have it stick around with repetition. Also players are constantly making mechanical tweaks just to stay ahead, since no one stays the same exact player forever

10:30
Comment From Jeff Sullivans Mom
You want me to pack you some fresh pairs of socks while you’re blogging down there, son? You can never have enough socks!

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: I’m on the highest floor of my apartment building

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: you’d know that if you visited more

10:31
Comment From ChrisFromBothell
Perhaps bunting for some guys is not so much about ego – “I have to drive this in” – but about being considerate of teammates – “It isn’t fair to the guy in the on-deck circle to make it all be on him; he won’t have the chance to bunt that I have”.

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: I suspect, as a rule of thumb, baseball players act selfishly

10:31
Comment From bob
What is your opinion on the implementation of replay? A lot of complaining about how the managers are intentionally slowing the game down to get direction from upstairs on whether to challenge or not. Do you favor some sort of time limit on choosing to challenge?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: It needs to be folded in more smoothly than it has been so far, but it’s also the first month of the first regular season with expanded replay. Of course there were going to be issues. The real important question is how quickly MLB moves to make everything flow better. As a somewhat related example that’s encouraging, Ken Rosenthal says we’re already really close to an amended transfer rule to stop the insanity

10:33
Comment From Skylar
What rookie have you been most impressed with so far this season?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Kind of cheating but I feel like I have to say Tanaka

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: but I’m also now aware of the name Yangervis Solarte

10:34
Comment From Dahaka
Hi Jeff, do you think Carlos Martinez is ever going to start games again?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Probably not for very long

10:34
Comment From Marlin
Thoughts on Jose Fernandez tonight against the braves?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: If you’re watching baseball tonight, watch Jose Fernandez

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: …or Wainwright, or Tanaka, or Price, or Verlander, or…

10:35
Comment From aspire to write
which zone rate do you use (the manual or pitch fx) ? often they are different relative to each. which would you recommend going off of

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: Always PITCHf/x

10:36
Comment From Scott
what’s the outlook on Pineda? Positive? I saw some people saying he touched 96-97 but I’ve only seen him get up to 92.

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: By raw PITCHf/x, so far he’s topped out at 96. He won’t stay there consistently, but I like almost everything I’ve seen so far this month. I imagine Pineda will be a real solid starter for at least the first three quarters of the season before maybe wearing down a bit

10:37
Comment From Daniel Nava
Who will be a very random man that will have a key postseason moment in 2014? I say Dean Anna.

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Game 5, ALDS, Jesse Chavez

10:38
Comment From Hickey
Home team comes to bat in the bottom of the first and magically, none of their PA produces an out. This will go on forever. Who eventually calls the game, and what’s the score when it gets called?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: A little more Jarred Cosart and MLB might have to draft an actual official policy statement on this

10:39
Comment From Gabe
I think the Trout contract was a huge win for the Angels, a buddy of mine thinks it was a big win for him. If somebody like Trout is essentially sacrificing up to $25M per year because he MIGHT get injured, doesn’t that set a horrible precedent for players?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, there’s some obligation on a great player’s part to get as much as he can just to pave the way for other future players. Obviously, it’s not something that can be enforced

10:39
Comment From Dan
Is Hiroki Kuroda still a legit #2 for this year? Concerns about durability late into games and down the stretch seem to be increasing all the time.

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: He’ll be too old at some point, but I’m not personally worried about that yet

10:40
Comment From ChrisFromBothell
I know the rash of early-season injuries (pitchers especially) has just been dumb luck. But might it possibly have been a lot lower if PED use were more on the kind of scale it was at say a decade or two ago?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: On the other hand, it’s possible PED use would cause pitchers to throw harder than their bodies want them to. It’s all incredibly complicated. My big hope is this is just an unusually hot period for pitcher injuries, and that there’s nothing actually going on besides a fleeting era of unusual noise

10:42
Comment From Forsyth
If Giancarlo Stanton does get traded (and he will because he’s not resigning and the Marlins are going to get more than a draft pick for him), where do you see him landing? Seems like the Red Sox have to be the front runner due to biggest need and best chips of the contenders.

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: Red Sox are at the top of the list

10:42
Comment From Guest
Completely anecdotal, but in the Nats game against Fernandez he gave up several long fly balls that would be out of any other ballpark. ERA is 4 on the road in his career, but still a small sample. I think it’s at least something to watch.

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: Of course he’ll allow more dingers in a park that isn’t Marlins Park, because Marlins Park is huge, but that doesn’t have anything to do with Fernandez’s ability

10:43
Comment From Matt
How often are the linear weights in wOBA adjusted? I imagine run expectancy has changed a decent amount over the past 10 years due to the shift,drug tests…etc.

10:43
10:43
Jeff Sullivan: All right you guys, I need to wrap this up in advance of a phone call.

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: 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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