Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 4/29/14

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Hey guys. I’m pretty badly under the weather, so I’m probably not going to be on the ball with regard to a lot of baseball questions.

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: So let’s deal with some baseball questions.

9:07
Comment From Jeff
83-79 a plausible record for the Mets?

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: Unlikely but plausible, especially if they start to get more aggressive with promotions later on

9:08
Comment From TKDC
Over/Under 25 strikeouts in Braves/Marlins game tonight?

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: I’m going to be a lil bitch and say under

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: If they go over again, it’s going to be harder and harder to justify my post in retrospect

9:09
Comment From juan pierres mustache
bryce harper brings out the hot take in all of us

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: It’s more of a positive trait than a negative trait. But it could easily lead to some Harper fatigue down the road

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: In this instance, it’s partially Matt Williams’ fault

9:10
Comment From Awake in Seattle
Hi Jeff. Thanks for doing the chat today! I asked Dan this question yesterday and was hoping for your take as well. Fast forward a month from now, do you think Abraham Almonte and Brad Miller will be playing in the majors or AAA?

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: I’d say the most likely thing is that one of them will be in Triple-A. But they’ve been Triple-A players for a month now, and not even good ones

9:10
Comment From Pietraynee
Is the Pirates’ incredibly low BABIP indicative of better things to come for them?

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, that’s going to pick up, probably quite a bit

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: Especially when Polanco joins the roster!

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll say this much:

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: Last year, the four worst April BABIPs belonged to the Blue Jays, White Sox, Cubs, and Marlins. They all finished the year in the bottom eight. But they also all improved, and of course April had some influence in that final ranking

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: Fair to conclude the Pirates are a below-average BABIP team; fair to assume they’re not close to this far below average

9:13
Comment From toot toot
will Fernandez/Wood II live up to the greatness of the first game, or will it disappoint like so many sequels do?

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: All extreme performances, good and bad, regress

9:14
Comment From Guest
Why aren’t K and BB park factors broken out by handedness on FG?

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: Guessing Appelman figured there wouldn’t be big effects. They are broken out by handedness on StatCorner http://statcorner.com/team2…

9:14
Comment From Just Haranging Around
Chances the Indians are a playoff team this season?

9:14
9:15
Jeff Sullivan: !

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: That’s not meant to be snarky — the math is just smarter than I am

9:16
Comment From Tampa Tommy
Should we be concerned about Grant Balfour yet? Who would be most likely to replace him as Tampa’s closer if the situation arose?

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: Something isn’t quite right. Odd to see his slider rate so high.

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: Zone rate has been dropping for a few years. Might just be approaching the end of the line. Next guy would probably be…McGee?

9:18
Comment From Just Haranging Around
Over under 7 Ks for the COrey Kluber Society today?

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: 6 or 7, exactly

9:19
Comment From Billy Beanpole
What do we need to see from Sonny Gray before he enters the conversation as one of the game’s top hurlers?

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: Another 20-25 starts. But on ability, there are zero questions

9:19
Comment From Brew
Be honest: If Carlos Gomez hugged you, would you cry? If so, would they be tears of joy, sadness or something else entirely?

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: Depends entirely on the circumstances of the hug

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: Am I in desperate need of consolation? Did I win an expensive bet? Was Gomez hiding in the shadows as I walked home in the dark alone?

9:20
Comment From Ephus
We’re all watching Ventura vs. Buehrle Thursday right? Fastest avg FA vs. second slowest (Buehrle is only behind Dickey).

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: Probably not everybody, no

9:21
Comment From Rick
When are the Reds going to send Billy Hamilton down? Only value is in leading off and he’s only walked twice. He doesn’t even lead the league in SB. Terrible. Think he sticks all year and if so, what do you think his line looks like?

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll say this for him: last 47 plate appearances, he’s got a .326 OBP. So maybe he’s not as utterly hopeless as his sad overall line

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: Or maybe he is. I’m sure the Reds have already given him some thought, and if he doesn’t improve, they’ll start having that discussion in earnest in the middle of May or so

9:23
Comment From zmiko
Over/under 5 war for Charlie Blackmon

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: Barely under, but he only has 3 WAR left to get in five months

9:24
Comment From TJ
I know it’s early & a very small sample size, but George Springer looks just awful. Projections made it seem like he was a lock for a 20/20 season with a .240-.260 avg…I’m not buying. What do you think?

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: Nobody with such an extremely low minor-league contact rate is a lock for that kind of performance

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: But we know, without doubt, the talent is there, and Springer’s discipline hasn’t been a problem — he just hasn’t shown the power yet. He’ll start to show the power, and he doesn’t have to connect with all that many swings to drive the overall numbers up. He should end slugging somewhere around .400, and then next year he’ll be significantly better than that

9:26
Comment From Bret
Massive news out of Jays-land yesterday! Ryan Goins demoted to AAA and new stud second baseman Chris Getz to be promoted. Should the other AL East teams just quit now?

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: Today I learned Ryan Goins hit a home run

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: Who says the Jays aren’t doing anything to address their problem at second?

9:27
Comment From Rated Rookie
Vin Scully is the truth. The solo broadcaster format needs to be copied more widely. *Hawk Harreslon notwithstanding.

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: The problem is that most broadcasters aren’t capable of that

9:27
Comment From Mike who should be working
If you truly disliked someone you worked with in corporate America and knew something that could get them fired. Would you call HR anonymously?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Probably not

9:28
Comment From GSon
Major changes in roster make up, starting rotation, batting order.. are being contemplated by several teams.. Without naming the teams, is it too early to start making wholesale changes?.. Who should make drastic changes?

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: Not too early for, say, the Diamondbacks, whose start has been utterly disastrous

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: But for most teams, April’s basically just a warm-up. The overwhelming majority of the time, you don’t want to encourage any major shakeups so soon

9:28
Comment From Jays fan
Goins down, Getz up…what would you do about the black hole that is the Blue Jays second base options.

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: Make a deal two months ago

9:29
Comment From Harry Porter
Should I jump off the Brad Miller boat yet?

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: Only if you can swim

9:30
Comment From rockpile
(oops, sorry) – Hey Jeff, what could Alexei Ramirez return in a trade in season.

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: Not very much, assuming he hasn’t actually doubled his true-talent ISO

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: A package headlined by something like a second-tier prospect.

9:31
Comment From Jonathan
The Brewers are winning a few games over what their Pythag would suggest is reasonable. However, they are doing it how you might expect: with a top-ranked (by SIERA) bullpen to help with close games. Do you think that Pythag is actually indicative this early in the season or does it need to wait a few months to be useful?

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: I like when Dave does wOBA differentials. Pythag still involves a luck element, with regard to actually scoring and preventing runs, and you can strip that stuff away and get a more overall feel

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: The Brewers have been average offensively, above-average defensively, and above-average on the mound. Given that their hot start can’t be taken away, they do look like a legitimate contender now

9:34
Comment From Tom
This is probably a dumb question, but last I checked 6 NL teams had a >50% chance to go to the playoffs, per Fangraphs. There are only 5 spots so how is this possible?

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: Difference between >50% and 100%, right?

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: Things that individually have encouraging odds won’t and can’t all happen. If you have two teams at 50%, then only 1 out of 4 times will both end up in the playoffs

9:35
Comment From juan pierres mustache
under the weather is a weird phrase. i’m gonna start saying i’m under the weather when i’m outside and it’s raining

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: In that case I think you’re within the weather

9:36
Comment From Just Haranging Around
What is the league average HR/FB%? Brandon Belt is above 26%. He’s walking less, striking out more than he ever has. Are we seeing a Longoria-esque, sacrifice of BA for Power or is this simply a product of SSS?

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: 10.1% for non-pitchers

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: It seems like Belt has been selling out a little bit for power in the early going, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to continue. His contact rate should go up, his homer rate should go down, and his doubles rate should go up

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: Last year, 43 of 60 extra-base hits were doubles or triples. This year he’s at two out of nine

9:39
Comment From Prich
USS Mariner is down… :(

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: It’ll be back. Derek is just somehow still in charge of the account that pays for the domain

9:40
Comment From Jays fan
Is Marcus Stroman an upgrade on Dustin McGowan? Happ isn’t but I bet they try him first…

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, he presumably is, given McGowan’s lack of endurance. And didn’t they just line Stroman and McGowan up to pitch on the same day?

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: Seems like Stroman could be as little as a week or two off

9:42
Comment From Stanatee the Manatee
What are the odds the Cards sending Wong down is something other than a panic move made in desperation?

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: Very high. Since when do we expect the Cardinals of all organizations to make desperate panic moves?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: The upside of having Mark Ellis around is you have a known veteran entity in case the young guys needs some more work

9:43
Comment From GB
Do you think the Indians can hit the WildCard ?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Of course

9:43
Comment From Anahigh
Frieri…when does he get his job back? Sold high and traded Roark to stash him on my bench.

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Within a couple weeks

9:44
Comment From CF Bobby O
Does it look like the Marlins knew what they were doing by bringing up Ozuna too early last year?

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: I think it wasn’t a terrible idea, but he’s still not a particularly good player and it’s not like there were quality Marlins standing in his way in 2013

9:45
Comment From Joey Beans
Is Tanaka just destined to be homer prone? Will it keep him from the upper tier of pitchers?

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: Well, even with the homers, he has a barely-2 ERA and a sub-3 FIP

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: And fly balls won’t keep leaving the yard at this rate

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: I think he has a somewhat flat fastball and a tendency to leave the occasional splitter up, and the conseq

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: …and the consequences can be longballs. I’m not surprised to see that Tanaka has given up his share of dingers, but when a guy has eight strikeouts for every walk, I’m not going to be too concerned about the balls in play (or out of play, as it were). Tanaka doesn’t allow that many opportunity for a home run in the first place

9:47
Comment From Walt
Do you see the Mariners pulling a Griffey’s-Last-Year kind of thing with Ichiro?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: No, that ought to be done with

9:48
Comment From benj
So last year Jesus Montero Completely Fell Apart. In 2012 Ackley Completely Fell Apart. This yeah Brad Miller has Completely Fallen Apart. Any early guesses on who will collapse for the Mariners next year?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: Chris Taylor?

9:48
Comment From Jays fan
Who is the best team in the AL East?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: I still want to say the Red Sox, but it’s by a very narrow margin

9:50
Comment From Daniel
I want to see what defensive value a player brings to the table. What stats should I look at?

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: UZR/150 to evaluate within a position, Def to evaluate over all positions

9:51
Comment From James
Will there be an NL pitcher who finishes the season with more home runs than one of the everyday players for the Royals?

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: Travis Wood probably has the best chance to out-homer Escobar or Aoki

9:52
Comment From zack
who posts a higher WAR this year: Prince Fielder or BJ Upton?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: oh my good god

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: Fielder by a hair?

9:52
Comment From TJ
Should the people clamoring for Gregory Polanco’s call up just look to George Springer to realize that AAA numbers do not translate to MLB success?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: Polanco and Springer arrive at their numbers in very different ways. Polanco, for example, hits the baseball.

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: But in general, you’re right, that sometimes even the best prospects in baseball have a difficult adjustment period. Nothing about Polanco makes for an automatic improvement. Odds are pretty good, though

9:54
Comment From A Mariners fan who asks other questions
Thoughts on Salazar’s bounce back start? Signs of things to come, or just wishful thinking?

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: well he wasn’t going to keep posting an 8 ERA

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: It’s very very good to see him do that, to see him pitch more like he pitched in 2013, and Salazar certainly isn’t a disaster. But he needs to string a few of these together

9:56
Comment From Just Haranging Around
If Bryce Harper played in the NFL he’d be a “scrappy,” “all-heart,” “locker room guy” who does “all the little things” that make his “teammates love him.” He’d also end every season on IR.

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: he should be that guy in MLB

9:58
Comment From Cody
What are your quick thoughts on Austin Jackson’s batted ball distribution so far this year? He is hitting 56% fly balls versus 23% ground balls thus far this year. For reference, his career averages are 33% and 44% respectively. This has to be a conscious change in approach right? Or just small sample size thus far? Thanks.

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: It’s both, but consider this an example of how lineup position can matter. In the past, Jackson has batted leadoff. Now for the Tigers he’s at 5/6, and he’s hitting everything in the air, perhaps in an attempt to hit for more power. Even though, on paper, lineup order doesn’t matter very much, it would appear that Jackson has changed what he is due to hitting closer to the middle

9:59
Comment From Jays fan
Juan Francisco – the next Bautista/Encarnacion?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: What?

10:00
Comment From Catoblepas
Do you think a change needs to be made with regards to the lack of offense? Certainly seems to be a trend instead of a blip, but it’s not like something HAS to be done or else the game will collapse. This is really an opinion question, so: what’s your opinion? More offense needed?

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t dislike what baseball is now, but I do see the trend and I can see how this could get a bit too extreme. For some people, it already has gotten too extreme. For me, I’d start by just shrinking the strike zone a little bit. It’s been growing every single year since at least PITCHf/x was introduced, and I think making it a bit smaller could stem this tide

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: But if pitchers keep throwing harder, and if hitters keep being willing to strike out, offense can get only so high

10:03
Comment From GB
Is there any false hope on Danny Salazar ? Or do we just have to let him some time ?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think any Danny Salazar hope is false

10:03
Comment From Daniel
Is there anything more hilarious than Yankees fans complaining about a player leaving “all about the money”?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: Yes, lots of things, but that is at least an average amount of funny

10:04
Comment From Tommy La Stella
Will the Braves ever call me up?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Your time is approaching

10:04
Comment From Spooks
How will the near-immediate rejection of the catch-transfer rule affect fielding statistics?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: It won’t in any meaningful way

10:04
Comment From R. Kranitz
Brewers bullpen could be 80% this good right?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: Sure. Kind of one of the neat things about bullpens. Get a little health and good luck and any bullpen could be dependable

10:06
Comment From Art Vandelay
What does it say, if anything, that Jose Abreu isn’t pulling any of his home runs? SSS I know, but still pretty odd.

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: except for the home runs that he’s pulled

http://hittrackeronline.com…

10:07
Comment From RK
Why does Medica and co keep getting chances above Kyle Blanks? Does Blanks have any trade value?

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: Basically no trade value at all. Not young, not a great hitter, not a good defender, not durable

10:08
Comment From Catoblepas
Is there a way to see how the playoff probabilities have changed over the season? It’s really nice when trying to get a sense for what April has meant, construct a narrative of a season, etc.

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: That’ll be something we have down the road. It isn’t complete yet, but in time it’ll function just like the old CoolStandings

10:09
Comment From Tree Ent Pineda
Biggest surprise player so far this season? Biggest disappointment?

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: For the former, absolutely gotta be Charlie Blackmon

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: …Dee Gordon a distant second?

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: Disappointment could be Shelby Miller or Allen Craig

10:11
Comment From LaLoosh
think the Bucs will bow to the pressure and promote Polanco in the next 10 days to try and get a much needed lift? or not cave to the pressure?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: They’ll promote him when they think the time is right, and that decision will be made almost entirely independent of big-league-team success. They’re too smart to promote Polanco for reasons that don’t necessarily have to do with him

10:12
Comment From Cooper
There are currently 18 SP with 1.0 WAR or greater; would you take any one of them to finish above Kershaw’s 6.5 WAR from 2013?

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: I think somebody will reach or exceed it, but I can’t predict which pitcher that will be

10:12
Comment From Ryguy
Perhaps the Orioles were correct assessing Balfour, yes?

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: Perhaps, but then, other teams look at his medicals too

10:13
Comment From Travis
Last year, a lot of people were convinced that Alex Wood’s future was in the bullpen, do you think that? What’s his ceiling?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: It’s all about what you make of his delivery. People look at him and can’t imagine a starter throwing like that 30 times a year for a whole bunch of years. Personally I’m pretty reluctant to bump good pitchers to the bullpen because of mechanical concerns, because I don’t think we know enough about mechanics, and Wood’s ceiling would be to be a good pitcher who can throw 180-200 innings. We already know he’s a good pitcher. The question is for how long that can sustain

10:16
Comment From Ryan
David Price’s velocity is down below where it was when he hit the DL last year. Great K and BB rates aside, reason to be concerned? Seems to be throwing fewer strikes and giving up more well hit balls.

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: Career-best K%, career-best BB%, career-worst HR%. You can probably assume my level of concern

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: I’m on heightened alert with Price because of his arm injury, but his performance to date hasn’t given me new reason to worry

10:18
Comment From Wally T. Green Monster
Edwin E doesn’t look quite right. Ks way up, BBs down, SwgSt% up – could it be the wrist?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: Could be. At first glance, it doesn’t seem like he’s being pitched differently

10:19
Comment From BC
Is it time for the Mariners to cut bait on Dustin Ackley and Justin Smoak? Or are they still there simply because of lack of better options?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: Lack of better options and lingering promise

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: Smoak, at least, has been an average hitter since the start of last season

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: Ackley’s just crap, but it’s hard to point the finger at Ackley when so many players so far have disappointed

10:21
Comment From Bobbio
Thoughts on Jason Hammels?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: He’ll get traded in 2-3 months if he’s not on the DL

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: He’ll bring the Cubs back something kind of neat

10:22
Comment From Bob
Assuming he’s there for 10 years, will the Mariners ever make the playoffs with Cano?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: Even if you gave the Mariners an average of 20% playoff odds in a given season, then the odds would be 90% they’d make the playoffs at least once over ten years

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: And, in reality, five of 15 AL teams make the playoffs, so at that rate, the Mariners are at 98% playoff odds at least once over the next decade

10:25
Comment From Bauer hour
Carrasco to the bullpen. Bauer next in line? Should they season him more?

10:25
10:25
Jeff Sullivan: “Thanks to a scheduled off-day on Thursday, the Indians will not need a fifth starter until May 6. That gives them a week to decide what to do with the vacancy in the rotation. Two options at Triple-A are Trevor Bauer and Josh Tomlin.”

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Bauer’s running his highest strike rate in…maybe ever. It’s still not a *great* strike rate but it seems like there could be something there. Wouldn’t be a bad idea to check in and see what he’s got

10:27
Comment From Kris
Earlier this year you told me Tulo wouldn’t win MVP. He the early leader now?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, but it’s always a matter of staying on the field. A healthy Tulowitzki would win the MVP almost every season.

10:27
Comment From Brittany
Why does my boyfriend hate that I know more about baseball then him and refuse to watch it with me?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe he’s insecure about it

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe you’re obnoxious about it?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe both!

10:28
Comment From Andy AZ
Can Iwakuma repeat last years success?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Not the 2.66 ERA, but the rest, yeah

10:29
Comment From Preston
Yangervis Solarte, great start, great name, but what do you expect of him ROS?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: This performance, minus about 40 or 50 points of wRC+

10:31
Comment From RAJ
Thoughts on Brett Lawrie’s strange line? And bigger picture, what will his career turn into?

10:31
Comment From Bryan
Are there any conclusions that you can make based on Brett Lawrie’s start? His ISO is way up (based on a big increase in his HR/FB), but his BABIP is way done (based on big increase in IFFB rate and big drop in LD rate). Is the breakout ever going to happen, or he destined to be a below average hitter?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: We’ve got kind of the Brandon Belt thing here. Lawrie has six dingers and one double. For his career he has 63 doubles/triples and 37 homers

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think the breakout’s coming, but he’s still just 24. And there’s no reason he can’t be an average or above-average bat with some talent in the field

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Even so far in his career, Lawrie’s been worth something like 3.2 WAR/600. In his prime he could push 4 or 5, even without being an offensive superstar

10:35
Comment From disco derk
will Abreu opt into arbitration in years 3-6?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: At this rate, sure seems like he could get better than $10.5m in his first arbitration year

10:36
Comment From Jays Fan
Blue Jays called up Chris Getz today. He can’t be any worse than Ryan Goins, but can he actually provide some positive value?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: No, he sucks

10:37
Comment From Guest
Sad to see Carrasco booted from rotation, or was this pretty much inevitable?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Inevitable, but might not have been his last chance

10:38
Comment From Jack
Is Freddie Freeman a younger version of Votto?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: He’s never going to end up with Votto’s patience

10:38
Comment From Gila Monster
The Astro’s GM mentioned that they aren’t shifting so they can gain data, is that unusual?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Everything about the Astros right now is an experiment

10:39
Comment From marichal
Which, if any, of the Cubs prospects (Baez, Alcantara, Bryant) do you expect to see promoted in June?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: Alcantara?

10:40
Comment From Jake
Yankees POFF at 48.5%, ALCS at 8.2. What gives them the bigger, boost? A dependable league average infielder, or starter? What kind of boost?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: With Nova gone, I think they’d most benefit from having another decent starting pitcher, and that would lift their playoff odds a few percentage points

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Nothing dramatic

10:41
Comment From Larry David
Rendon is looking pretty….pretty good. Better than expected. He keeping it up?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: I keep waiting for pitchers to pitch to Rendon like he’s not some slap-hitting shortstop

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: Lots of fastballs, lots of strikes. Maybe they know something I don’t, but it seems to me an adjustment is in order

10:42
Comment From I know: April
Is Madison Bumgarner broken? His peripherals look fine and indicate that he has been unlucky, especially with infield hits. Watching him, however, he looks broken. My fantasy rotation looks broken, too. Can you give me any reassurance that he’ll turn it around before it is too late?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: So you’re asking if he’s broken, based on the fact that his numbers are fine

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: That’s a new one

10:43
Comment From Benji
Is it time to give up on Huroki Kuorda or is it just April

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Not time to give up, but time to consider he might actually be in the midst of the aging process

10:45
Comment From Gila Monster
Eno’s article on him and common sense dictate that when Billy Hamilton is on base: Joey Votto would see more fastballs in the zone. Is their any data on to the extent that this is true?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: I haven’t done anything exhaustive, but based on what I’ve seen and heard, the effect hasn’t been there like one would’ve expected

10:45
Comment From Fitz
How good would Ervin Santana look on the Blue Jays right now?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: We don’t know if he’d look like the same pitcher. Maybe he’s benefited from Atlanta’s coaching staff

10:46
Comment From Prich
% that Dustin Ackley is just a 4A player?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: 50%?

10:46
Comment From mike G
do you think the Brewers or Braves can keep up their good pitching?

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: Well, the ERAs are going to come up. And at some point you have to figure Aaron Harang is going to knock it off

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: But I like the Brewers rotation okay as long as all five are healthy, and the Braves have a good unit if Ervin Santana is actually the No. 1/2 he’s pitched like this month

10:48
Comment From Tanner Roark
Over the last 86 innings my career line is: 9-1 with a 1.98 ERA and 1.01 WHIP. Why am I not getting any love?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: Your peripherals are relatively uninteresting

10:50
Comment From Brad
My wife who knows nothing about baseball heard Vin Scully and said who is this horrible announcer? She got made when I told her how clueless she was and how dumb she sounded. Now I’m in doghouse again.

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: Sounds like you have a way with words

10:50
Comment From M
A month into the season with no Walker, Paxton, or Iwakuma and only 4 games under 500. Surprised or Disappointed? or both?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: Disappointed by the offense

10:50
Comment From Bo
How long is Uggla’s leash at this point? Pena or LaStella?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: Uggla’s down to maybe a few weeks

10:51
Comment From Fitz
Thought’s on Darvish’s declined k% and swingingstrike%? Just April noise?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: I suspect what we’re seeing is noise. Can’t think of any reason why Darvish should be running a league-average contact rate

10:52
Comment From Jake
Which happens first, Trout starts to walk and strikeout at 2013 rates, or hit balls into play at 2013 rates?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: I think he’s making an adjustment to hit for more power. Walks will start to come, intentionally

10:54
Comment From Dallas
Jason Hamel = late bloomer? Or all a mirage?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Didn’t he bloom in 2012?

10:54
Comment From Drew
Do playoff odds factor in a particular schedule? Or just expected performance against average teams?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Schedule is included

10:55
Comment From inquiring mind
Can it be said now that Harper is not likely going to reach Baseball God level some of us dreamed about, but “merely”” very good?

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: He’s 21 years old, and so far he’s been worth 4 WAR per 600 plate appearances

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: He’s probably not going to rip off a bunch of Trout-level seasons, but he ought to be pretty amazing

10:57
Comment From Dallas
Can teams cheat by adjusting the height of their home pitching mounds? I’ve never seen them measured or called into question but watching the A’s game last night their mound appears noticeably higher than AT&T park or Dodger stadium. And no coincidence they are a strong pitching team no matter who’s in their rotation.

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: Wouldn’t that benefit everybody?

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: I believe there have been accusations about this in the past, but I also suspect pitchers would notice, and furthermore I suspect what you were observing was just a function of the camera angles

10:58
Comment From Tom
What’s wrong with Yasiel Puig?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: Nothing?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: Unless you believed he’d keep up last year’s .383 BABIP

10:59
Comment From Daniel
What if Jesus Montero becomes a good hitter?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: Then he might someday end up worth 1 WAR

11:00
Comment From Bubbly, Bubbly, ENO
ROY: Abreu, Tanaka, or the field?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll go with Tanaka, by a small margin

11:01
Comment From Morton
David Price has lost 4 mph in just 2 years. Is there something wrong with him?

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: Well he had an arm injury. He’s also just getting older and one could say getting smarter — he’s adjusted the way that he pitches

11:02
Comment From Perry
whats the single greatest factor in a swing becoming home run swing? bat speed?

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: Bat speed or location of contact

11:03
Comment From Jeff
Kimbrel, Jansen and Chapman – who is most likely to still be an elite closer 3 years from now?

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: I like Jansen’s chances of staying healthy the most

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: that’s also basically nothing but opinion

11:03
Comment From JV
Who is Oakland’s closer in June?

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: Johnson

11:04
Comment From Jake
Your best guest for how many consecutive seasons Trout leads the league in WAR:

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: Four

11:04
Comment From Guest
Thought on Bauer’s impending call up?

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: I am considerably less excited than seemingly everybody else in the chat queue

11:05
Comment From JV
AJ Burnett’s last two starts have looked like AJ of 2013. Is he gonna be *almost* as good as last season?

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know why he wouldn’t be

11:05
Comment From Jake
What guys left the most production on the table by retiring way too early? This question is really just an excuse to point out Bonds retired a year after a 157 wRC+, which is just insane.

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: Retired against his will, you could say

11:05
Comment From Jake
If your POFF odds are below X, you should be in rebuilding mode

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: not enough information

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: All right, I need to wrap this up and get some work done while I’m feeling okay

11:06
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.

9 Responses to “Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 4/29/14”

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  1. IN RYONG, RYU says:

    Atlanta Braves’ Starting Pitchers’ stat is excellent except medlen, beachy.
    how about Atlanta Braves’ starting pitchers’ stat?

    and how about Washington Nationals’ starting pitchers’ stat?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Dallas says:

    In regards to higher pitching mounds. No it wouldn’t benefit both teams equally the home team would pitch 81 games from said mound. And like pine tar you wouldn’t see a lot of complaints from the other pitchers, teams.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • TADontAsk says:

      Then the home team would have to face opposing pitchers from a higher mound 81 times.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Spencer00 says:

      Unless you raised it only during the home half inning the team you are facing at your home park would get the same effect you are getting.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. Reganzap says:

    And in each of those 81 games they would be facing an opposing pitcher pitching from the same higher mound.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. Reganzap says:

    Alternate response: Yeah, what he said.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. LaLoosh says:

    great chat today!!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. Park Chan ho's beard says:

    I’m hoping there weren’t any today just because you were under the weather, but this chat needs more snarky responses to inane fantasy questions!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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