Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 4/8/14

9:01
Jeff Sullivan: Hey everybody and welcome to baseball live-chat.

9:01
Jeff Sullivan: Today we’ll discuss many of the things that I already know about in baseball, and fewer of the things that I would have to research in order to provide an informative response to a prompt

9:01
Comment From Daniel Poarch
IS it time to baseball live-chat?

9:01
Jeff Sullivan: Yes

9:01
Comment From jocephus
who won, you or the wasps

9:02
Jeff Sullivan: I got one wasp out but I suspect there is another somewhere in my living room because I heard a rattle in the blinds.

9:02
Comment From Guest
How many years would you offer Sandoval? He turns 28 in August, but with all those concerns about his approach to fitness you’d have to think teams are not willing to go more than 3 years with vesting options.

9:03
Jeff Sullivan: Vesting options seem like the way to go here so your recommendation isn’t out of line. I might be willing to stretch it to four years guaranteed — for all the concerns about his conditioning, he’s never really been a below-average player.

9:05
Comment From hooha
What surprised you the most in the first week?

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: I was in no way prepared for Josh Hamilton to start watching balls out of the zone

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: And if you’d like the opposite of a surprise, Mike Moustakas is 0-for-18

9:06
Comment From Guest
When will Bryce harper start hitting

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: Tomorrow he gets to face Jacob Turner, so that seems like a reasonable bet

9:07
Comment From Ryan
Jameson Taillon :( When do you think he debuts now?

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: That is such a bummer

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Looking 2015 post-ASB

9:08
Comment From Guesting
Which contending team do you feel is one injury to a key player from becoming a bottom feeder? It would seem most teams are winning due to quality depth these days.

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: The obvious and correct answer is the Angels, who are Mike Trout + pretty bad

9:09
Comment From Matt Moore
Care to offer a prediction on how long I’ll be out for?

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: The Rays say they’re not that worried at this point so I’ll go with…just under a month

9:10
Comment From Jon
b. belt’s ceiling for this season? any shot at 30hr?

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: low shot

9:10
Comment From kevinthecomic
So, Mike Moustakas, officially a bust now? How soon until he is playing for the Nippon Ham Fighters?

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: Well no, nothing about him has changed in a week, and he wasn’t officially a bust a week ago

9:10
Comment From john
its April 8 and I am pretty sure my fantasy season is over. just wanted everyone to know that.

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: That is very interesting to everybody

9:10
Comment From Bick
Hi Jeff! Man, that Infante HBP last night was awful. Fluke accident but there definitely seem to be more injuries this year than in the past. Thoughts?

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: Can’t imagine there’s anything to it. One, we don’t know for certain that injuries are up. Two, it’s not like anything systematic has changed about the game. This might just be a high tide.

9:11
Comment From Guest
Some baseball oracle wrote this prescient piece: http://www.fangraphs.com/bl… . Somebody get that guy a TV deal

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: You don’t know how badly I’m hoping the Marlins keep playing good baseball. If the Marlins win 90 and Casey McGehee mashes the ball then it’s like, almost literally anything is possible in this sport

9:13
Comment From Reddickulous
Reddick getting sent down to keep Fuld on the roster? Reddickulous! That said… I like the cut of Fuld’

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: Sam Fuld’s career: 2.1 WAR

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: Josh Reddick last year: 2.7 WAR

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: If Reddick does disappear, it’ll be only temporary. He’s still one of the team’s best players

9:15
Comment From American League Hustle
Hey Jeff. Hope all is well today! Should we be concerned about the drop in Sonny Gray’s velocity early on? Also, why do you think he’s throwing from a different spot on the mound this season?

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not worried yet and it wasn’t only his velocity that seemed to be down on Sunday which makes me think there might’ve been something about the PITCHf/x calibration. As for his release point, he has a history of mechanical tweaks and it looks like he might’ve somewhat dropped his arm and shifted a bit toward 3B side but I’m going to wait a good month before I really start getting interested in this on a meaningful level.

9:18
Comment From Dewey
Toronto seems to be in a very tough spot with no payroll space and sparse available talent to trade away/for. AA’s attempt to “go all in” might just be his worse move ever (suggesting he should have waited on the prospects)?

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: It sure seems like they didn’t give up too much, overall, for what they received. The idea wasn’t a bad one and a year ago the Jays did seem like they’d be pretty solid. Things haven’t worked out yet, and they might not ever, but I can’t be too mad at a guy for trying to win soon without coughing up the entire future.

9:20
Comment From Average Fantasy Guy
Thoughts on Jenrry Mejia? Can pitch 100+ innings and sustain that nice K:BB ratio from the end of last season?

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: You mean the 6.8 K/BB ratio? No

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: But I’m fairly comfortable with him as a starting option nevertheless. It usually takes a lot for me to give up on a guy as a starter and Mejia appears to have the necessary repertoire to last, given his health

9:22
Comment From kevinthecomic
Who has the skills to be the Yankees closer in Robertson’s absence: Kelley, Betances, Warren, Phelps, someone else?

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: Kelley

9:22
Comment From Bryan
Please provide any insight on Pineda’s start. He was hanging around 93 on the fastball. Was the off speed stuff looking good enough to play with the diminished velocity?

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: The neat thing about Pineda is that he throws a lot of strikes so even though he’s a two-pitch pitcher, you can’t just eliminate the slider as something he throws out of the zone. I think he threw something like 27 of 33 sliders for strikes? And his velocity, while lower than it was in the past, wasn’t by any means bad for a first start in April after missing so much time. Lots of reasons to be encouraged by Pineda after one turn, and I think he might actually have it in him to be reliable this season

9:24
Comment From toot toot
how much do you believe in paxton?

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: More than the majority of people

9:24
Comment From Guest
Is it possible to put a weight limit for a player as a vesting stipulation?

9:24
9:25
Jeff Sullivan: “Each time he makes weight, Young receives $100,000. The first three times he must weigh 230 pounds or less. He must weigh 235 pounds or less for the last three weigh-ins.”

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: Guessing it can’t be used as a vesting stipulation, but it seems like you can include conditioning incentives?

9:25
Comment From marechal
Given things like velocity, control and whiff rates, is it fair to re-evaluate pre-season projections of Pineda? How do you see him going forward?

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: What were the preseason projections of Pineda?

9:26
Comment From Job
Wouldn’t the Giants better be served long-term to go with Posey at 3B once Sandoval departs?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: If Sandoval departs, sure, that would be an interesting and potentially worthwhile experiment

9:27
Comment From Dewey
You think Sandoval gets more on the FA market than what the Giants are willing to offer?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Based on the Pence/Lincecum examples, no

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: But it could be that the Giants are just too frustrated with him, and more frustrated than another team that hasn’t been dealing with his conditioning issues. Could end up one of those cases where a player leaves a team and undershoots projections for reasons the initial team might’ve known about

9:28
Comment From Jim
Should the M´s sign Kendrys right now? Hart and Morrison are terrible

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: Bryce Harper’s batting .143. Allen Craig’s at .115. Emilio Bonifacio’s at .500.

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t like Morrison very much either, but the solution there is to just play Michael Saunders, who the Mariners already have.

9:29
Comment From Ryan
Jeff! Please help! What is wrong with Sonny Gray? Should we be worried about his velocity? My A’s need him badly with all of our depth issues with starters now.

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: Same as with everyone: keep a close eye and don’t panic before it’s time to panic. I don’t think these velocities are necessarily unusual given how early it is in the season

9:32
9:32
Jeff Sullivan: Gray also made progress between his first two starts, so

9:32
Comment From Yard Dog
Home much leash does Billy Hamilton have before he gets sent back to AAA?

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: I’d say he has maybe a longer leash than he should

9:33
Comment From Grand Admiral Braun
If David Price is not to be dealt this season, will teams have interest in say, Edwin Jackson? He will have 2.3 years left on a contract come the deadline in July and is being paid like a 2-3 Win pitcher. Any chance the Cubs can deal him for a B-prospect?

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: He’s basically got something like the Ricky Nolasco deal, with one fewer year remaining, so while I could see the Cubs moving the contract come midseason if Jackson has a fine enough start, I don’t know about a B-prospect. He’s getting paid right around his market value, so his surplus value is small, so a team wouldn’t want to give up real quality youth in exchange.

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: The real haul is likely to come in return for Samardzija

9:35
Comment From Grand Admiral Braun
Matt Lindstrom: BAD

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: Nate Jones: hurt

9:35
Comment From Dan
Will the Tigers offense score enough runs this year? Their lineup looks pretty iffy at best.

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: They’re currently leading baseball in wRC+

9:36
Comment From Ruki
Mike Moustakas has a -51 wRC+. -51!

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: It’s always funny when a guy has a minus in a stat with a plus in it

9:36
Comment From B
I’ve got front row tickets right beside the dugout for an upcoming game in which my favorite team will be the visitors. I’ve never had such good seats. What should I take? Camera? Glove? Baseball? Other collectibles? Any tips to really put the experience over the top?

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: Don’t spend more than, I don’t know, five minutes on your smartphone

9:37
Comment From Cory
So Prince Fielder is hitting 148 with awful defense, no power, and only two walks. Very small sample size but this can’t be encouraging considering the downward trend he’s been on right?

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: Correct, it is not encouraging to be bad

9:38
Comment From shawk
If a pitcher hits the on deck batter, does a batter take a base? Would Sean Barber call it a strike?

9:38
9:39
Comment From Grand Admiral Braun
Eovaldi’s upside: #2 starter?

9:39
Comment From SK
Can Eovaldi maintain a K/inning from here out?

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: Interestingly, somewhat, Eovaldi this year is still running a worse-than-average contact rate allowed

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: But I like that he’s a strike-thrower so his stuff could conceivably play up. He’s a 3/4 who might be a tweak away from finding a new level, not unlike his teammate Henderson Alvarez

9:40
Comment From zack
Fact or Fiction: The Marlins will finish .500?

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: Fiction, they’re bad

9:40
Comment From Bret
Is Matt Moore gonna have Tommy John surgery?

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: The Rays don’t think so

9:40
Comment From Guest
Will Jay Bruce once again hit .270/.330/.500 and continue to do so until the end of time?

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: At some point either he will die or all the record-keeping observers will

9:41
Comment From McExpos
Are we going to look back at 2014 as the year that “Honestly?” Abe Almonte made every game interesting, win or lose? He’s fascinating even when he’s making mistakes.

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: Every team should have a player that athletic and raw

9:41
Comment From James
You worried about the Klubermeister? His wildness in his last start leads me to believe he may be hurt.

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: How reactionary do you think I am?

9:41
Comment From Ruki
How’s the weather?

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: AWESOME

9:42
Comment From Guesting
When I heard about the hamstring injury to Teixeira I figured Kendrys Morales was going to be a Yankee by Friday. But no rumors to speak of…

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: If Kendrys Morales were a first baseman he’d be a Pirate

9:42
Comment From Kimball
Was looking at BABIP, and noticed that while Cano’s current .450 is obviously not sustainable, he’s historically above average in that dept. He makes a lot of quality contact, obviously, but that also belies his lazy reputation, no?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Well, he’s a line-drive hitter, and while I don’t care about his reputation, it’s possible to be both a line-drive hitter and lazy

9:43
Comment From Bart
Since Robertson is on the DL, Shawn Kelley will be the closer. How much do you know about him and do think it could be closer by committee with Warren and Phelps mixed in as well?

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: Fastball/slider guy with a kind of unusual slider that allows him to get by without a platoon split. But he’s an extreme fly-baller so that’s where the pain is

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: Kelley is an overall fine reliever who will blow the occasional lead in 10 seconds

9:44
Comment From Robbie
What do you think of Mike Zunino? Hope he´s not only an “Arencibia” type of player

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: Arencibia would be an unfortunate outcome, John Buck would be an almost likely outcome, and the dream is something like Jason Varitek

9:45
Comment From Rated Rookie
The Chris Archer-Yordano Ventura matchup tonight could a whole lot of beautiful/ugly.

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: Recommended viewing:

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: An hour of Ross vs. Kluber

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: Two hours of Archer vs. Ventura

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: and then close things down with Paxton vs. go get snacks in the other half-innings

9:47
Comment From jevant
How much money could I have earned on predicting a Solarte-Jeter-Roberts-Cervelli Yankees infield a year out on April 8, 2013?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: If you made that kind of prediction a year ago, and it came through, and you won a bet, the other guy would be all kinds of suspicious and you’d probably get your legs broke

9:47
Comment From Ruki
Doesn’t that make the false assumption the Angels are a contending team?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: The Angels are pretty good, you freaks

9:47
Comment From SK
Does Kershaw’s injury linger and lead to something worse?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: The reason they’re being so patient is to try and prevent that from happening

9:48
Comment From zack
Do you think there is anything to the theory being advanced by Harold Reynolds that injuries among young players are increasing because kids start playing baseball all year round from a very young age?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: I mean, maybe, but for one thing I’d need to see evidence of increased injury rates, and for another, it could just be that pitchers are trying to develop themselves more quickly than their bodies would normally allow

9:49
Comment From SK
Over/Under 120 games played for Jose Reyes in 2014?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Over

9:49
Comment From Daniel
Best pitcher in the AL?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: I like Darvish

9:50
Comment From Sam
One baseball executive floated the idea of 7 inning games to combat both game time length and pitcher innings. It’ll never happen, but what are your thoughts on the idea?

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: There are other, better ways to get to the desired end

9:50
Comment From Reddickulous
Yordano Ventura (anagram: Annoy Tar Devour) is starting today! Expectations for the early going as a starter?

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: I have lower expectations than people who really love fast fastballs do

9:51
Comment From Curtis
You think Paxton is legit? Seems like there is a lot of doubt but he was a top prospect.

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: I am probably more supportive than I should be but he has three pretty good pitches from the left side, his command isn’t awful, and he actually has the mental game down pat so he pitches intelligently, too

9:52
Comment From Ryan
AL ROY – Abreu, Tanaka, Bogaerts, or the field? What are your impressions on those first three players?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: Tanaka, then Abreu, then Bogaerts. Don’t have many questions about the first one. Abreu, I’d like to see draw a walk eventually. Bogaerts is just already dependable but I think Abreu ends up with better numbers in the categories voters pay attention to

9:54
Comment From SK
Over/Under 100 RBI for Giancarlo Stanton? His career high is 87.

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: Well he’s already off to a good start, right? So what the hell, I’ll say a little over, I like that Yelich is in front of him

9:55
Comment From Jtt
When looking at batter/splitter splits, which number “wins”? A left handed pitcher who dominates lefties, facing a left handed batter who dominates lefties. What is the outcome?

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: That’s why we have the odds ratio method! Both splits matter and you effectively compromise

9:55
Comment From Huey
Impressed with what you see from T.Skaggs?

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: Two extra miles per hour? Yeah, that gets my attention

9:56
Comment From john
If you were Mets, would you be giving Duda an extended look, or is it already apparent to everyone but them that Davis is the better option?

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: They’re almost the same damn hitter. It doesn’t even really matter, they just need to pick

9:57
Comment From AmericaninGermany
Fister and Infante are both injured, if Peralta and/or Fielder gets injured next, does that prove that Dombrowski has satanic powers?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: Explain his shortstop position

9:58
Comment From B
The Reds are employing the shift this season, and they’ve been beat to death by it. Are they doing something wrong?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: They’ve allowed the third-lowest BABIP in baseball

9:59
Comment From Mike
How much would you love a Marlins v Mariners ws?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: A lot! About as much as I’d love a anyone v Mariners world series

9:59
Comment From Leper
Edison Volquez: anything to see here?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: Probably not, but he’s more interesting in Pittsburgh than he’d be almost anywhere else, possibly excluding Chicago (AL)

10:00
Comment From B
When teams employ the shift, do they pitch the batter inside to further force him to hit into the shift? Do batters tend to look for pitches they can hit the other way when the shift is employed, or do they look for pitches they can hit hard to the pull side anticipating that they’ll be pitched in?

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: These are good questions and questions I don’t think we have the answers to yet. Pitchers probably don’t pitch too differently — the shift is already based on the pitcher and hitter playing normally. But I imagine a lot of hitters look for pitches they can drive the other way in order to beat the shift, and in that way the shift succeeds in getting certain hitters to change their games. Every so often you can see a guy who’s clearly just trying to slap the ball to left field

10:01
Comment From Kimball
Did you crack a little smile when a Mariner named Leone took the field?

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: Just in: Leone

10:01
Comment From atoms
How big a deal is the AJ Ellis injury for the Dodgers? I’m guessing it’s not that significant a dent in their playoff chances… am I wrong?

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: Obviously doesn’t help but it’s fairly insignificant

10:01
Comment From mo1979
If MLB had a “Jose Fernandez” channel featuring just him, I’d probably watch. I hope I’m not alone on this.

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: Imagine if he pitched for almost any team but the Marlins

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: He’s just the best

10:02
Comment From DevilInLaw
Jedd Gyorko and Angel Pagan for Chris Owings and Christian Yelich? Who gets better side of the deal?

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: those guys all play on different teams

10:02
Comment From Huey
Who replaces J.Johnson if he struggles at Closer?

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: Doolittle or Cook but I imagine Johnson is fine

10:02
Comment From Jay
Less likely: Ben Revere hits double digit HR or Marlins get triple digit wins.

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: the former

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: I might still say the former even if you said Ben Revere hits one or two HR

10:03
Comment From George Springer
What the heck am I doing in AAA? Hoes and Krauss can’t hit the broad side of a barn. They need to change the rules.

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not like your contact rate suggests you’re beyond ready for the most advanced competition in the world

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: I think it’s pretty clear Springer is one of Houston’s best three outfielders but it’s not like he’s completely done learning in the minor leagues

10:04
Comment From Washington Irving
All right, so Masahiro Tanaka….what about a post on his pitch mix and its effect on his start? It seemed to the casual observer (i.e. myself) that he was throwing too many breaking pitches early on, when he ran into trouble, and found his groove later on when he mixed his fastball in with the breaking stuff more effectively. Thoughts?

10:04
10:05
Comment From Alex
Baseball players notoriously love routine, and sometimes players express dislike playing in a DH role. To the best of your knowledge, has anyone looked into the relative performance of NL regulars forced to DH in interleague games? Is there a drop-off in performance due to messing with their routine that could help explain part of the poor W/L numbers the NL puts up every year in interleague play?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: You’ve got small sample sizes but there does exist a certain DH penalty and it probably applies across the board

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: How about when an AL team tries to turn its DH into a first baseman on the road in interleague play? Might that be its own disadvantage?

10:06
Comment From _David_
After observing Elias and a thousand other instances…it seems there is value to a hitter or pitcher never reacting to a pitch before it is called. Unless this action actually influences the umpire in their favor? This seems impossible to research without crowd sourcing it…

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: Basically impossible to research but I can’t imagine umpires love it when players call pitches for them

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: It’s probably a very subtle influence

10:07
Comment From Rated Rookie
I submit Anthony Rendon as one of the season’s pleasant surprises. I guess not a surprise given his pedigree but it’s a pleasure to see health, skill, and maturation coinciding.

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: Small-sample fun fact: last year, 40% swing rate. This year, 52% swing rate

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: We’ll see what he does when he isn’t getting two of every three pitches thrown in the strike zone

10:08
Comment From Kyle
The Braves’ radio announcers often introduce a home-plate umpire by going over his last season’s results in terms of walks, strikeouts, and runs per game relative to league average. Would you guess that these stats are mostly capturing something real about the umpire, or that they’re mostly swamped by the characteristics of the teams the ump has officiated over?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: Going to be both, but you’re going to be able to observe meaningful differences between guys by going over those statistics, I bet

10:08
Comment From Bearman
Is the Melk Man Back?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: Probably helps to not have a tumor in your spine

10:09
Comment From Orsulakfan
I would be interested in seeing data on whether certain pitchers (i.e. those who are said to lack a put-away pitch) are more susceptible to having balls fouled off against them. Or perhaps this has already been done.

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: Last year’s lowest foul rates: Marquis, Arroyo, Keuchel, Vargas. Among the highest: Miller, Kazmir, Peavy, Tillman

10:12
Comment From Tim
Is Joe Nathan done? Velocity is way down and he’s gotten hammered in two of his three outings this year. Only one strikeout. Small sample sure, but velocity is something that I think should be taken seriously no matter what the sample.

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Last April he averaged 91. Also, between 2012-2013, he lost about two ticks and he was still highly effective. Way too early to be actually concerned about this

10:12
Comment From Guest
Besides Matt Adams, have you noticed any other typically pull hitters make more of an effort to go oppo against the shift so far this season? It seems like a no-brainer…

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: I thought I saw Pedro Alvarez try but I’m not going to put a lot of stock into Pedro Alvarez’s bat control

10:13
Comment From Kimball
McClendon knows Saunders defense is better than Morrison’s, but can’t tell that his offense is too (or, at least, equivalent)? Any rational explanation?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: Probably sees in Morrison higher offensive upside, which maybe isn’t incorrect. So this is an attempt to tap into it. I’ll complain if it’s May and this is still the arrangement and Morrison still isn’t hitting

10:15
Comment From Table
Who has the best chance at HOF? Mauer, Molina, Posey?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: Mauer, but perhaps Molina if somewhere in the next few years we really start to capture other elements of the defensive value of a quality catcher

10:15
Comment From Marky Mark
Hey Jeff! Slightly worried owner of Moore and Zimmerman here. Between them, whose injury concerns you more? Would you consider trading either for cents on the dollar?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: Moore isn’t good

10:16
Comment From john
Does Jim Henderson become closer again?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Yes

10:16
Comment From flummoxer
Mariners should probably trade for Reddick. He has the right kind of beard.

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Not a ton of difference between Reddick and Michael Saunders and they already don’t like the one they have

10:17
Comment From Sauceman11
Hey Jeff, are you holding onto Scheppers in a 12 team H2H Poitns league at this point, or would you roll with either Mejia, C. Lewis?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: I’m actually not doing any of that

10:17
Comment From john
Has the Mets FO lucked out by all these injuries? I mean, even if Harvey was healthy, I don’t think they were pushing for the playoffs (as promised). Now they have more excuses for putting a poor product on the field.

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think there’s anything lucky about having to play a full season without the unbelievably amazing Matt Harvey

10:18
Comment From john
I have heard NY media like the idea of Ike to Yankees for Betances. Is that about what Ike is worth at this point, and would you do it?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: That seems about right — Ike’s value is that of a half-decent reliever

10:19
Comment From Table
Do catchers pitch framing numbers go up and down based on the pitcher they are receiving? Could that be useful info? Or would the SS be too small?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: There is a definite pitcher effect, mostly having to do with the pitcher’s command. It’s easier to frame pitches that are thrown where you expect them

10:19
Comment From David
So Zimmerman at 1B next year is all but certain, but how do the Nationals navigate through 2014 with a 3B who can’t get the ball to 3B?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: Well most of the time he can throw the ball okay. It’s just one issue they’ll have to deal with on a roster that otherwise has a lot of positives

10:21
Comment From Washington Irving
Watching Pineda’s slider, it seemed to break straight down, with very little horizontal movement. Does this reduce the platoon effect on the pitch, so he can throw it to lefties and righties without fear?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, it’s definitely a different kind of slider, and he uses it differently against lefties as well in such a way that he can get strikes and grounders. He’s not just a fastball/slider guy trying to cut it as a starter. The slider, for him, is a real weapon across the board

10:21
Comment From troy
Should Hamilton be batting 3rd behind Trout and in front of Pujols?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: sure, why not

10:22
Comment From DB
Will Tony Cingrani ever be able to consistently get out of the 6th inning, or will the fastball dependency send him to the bullpen someday?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: he threw 7 innings in his first start

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: he threw at least 6 innings eight times last season as a starter

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: And this isn’t a guy who ends up with a lot of high pitch counts. I”m more of a believer than a skeptic

10:24
Comment From SK
Are you surprised to see Corey Dickerson optioned to AAA so quickly? Or did he never even stand a chance with Blackmon’s hot (and unsustainable) start?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: Sending him somewhere to play more regularly. I suspect that position is going to be in flux all season long

10:24
Comment From Mike T.
Is there a metric in player projection systems that accounts for possible ‘contract year’ deviations?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: no

10:24
Comment From Clayton
Did you happen to catch Harold Reynolds and Billy Ripken last night freaking out about shifts on the MLB Network? It was mainly awful but one good point was raised. The number of shifts have gone up but BABIP has actually stayed the same? Am I just dumb, or is this actually a solid refutation?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: It’s an interesting point, but we can also break things down a lot better, and if you look at shift data vs. non-shift data, it does seem like shifts are accomplishing something. Shifts aren’t a miracle but it wouldn’t make any intuitive sense for them to do nothing

10:25
Comment From Guest
ZIPS for Pineda says 0.6 WAR for the rest of the season.

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: He already has 0.3 WAR in one start

10:25
Comment From Sauceman11
Given the lingering thumb/nerve injury for R Braun, what are your ROS projections for him?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: considerably worse

10:26
Comment From James
what the heck is the deal with Prince Fielder? Looks like the only thing he is doing right currently is barely striking out. If he has only K’ed 3 times in 28 at bats, why the heck isn’t the ball going over the fence or in the gaps?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Because he’s played a week of baseball

10:26
Comment From flummoxer
The Dodgers were probably never trading Matt Kemp. True?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: They were open to it, but he was way too much of a risk and the Dodgers value him, still, as a star

10:26
Comment From Guest
Why does Taijuan Walker’s delivery worry me?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Because he’s a pitcher

10:27
Comment From Chris
Will de la rosa start pitching better anytime soon?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: better than a 3.72 xFIP? no

10:27
Comment From Rated Rookie
Taijuan Walker debuts….when?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: within 1-2 weeks

10:28
Comment From Nick
Radar gun readings after one start (with generally cold weather) aren’t infallible right? People are freaking out about velocity all over the place after just one start!

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: People want to freak out about *something* and velocity readings take the least time to stabilize, so I get why we see this every April

10:28
Comment From flummoxer
To your earlier point: Josh Hamilton, if he employed a slightly more judicious approach to swinging at balls outside the zone, could still be a really good hitter, right?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Yes, definitely, he’s still one of the very most talented position players in the world

10:29
Comment From Rated Rookie
Jason Vargas threw a pretty unassuming shutout until the top of the 9th last night. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut occasionally, right?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: He’s going to do that a fraction of the time, and other fractions of the time, he’s going to miss his spots by a few more inches and he’ll allow 2-3 dingers a start

10:29
Comment From Kimball
Announcers etc often talk about a pitcher needing an inning or two to “settle in”, and anecdotally, that often “feels” true. But in terms of results, research shows hitters consistently do better against a pitcher the further into the game they go. Any way to reconcile the anecdotes with the bigger picture research?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: Basically just ignore the anecdotes

10:31
Comment From Erik
When you have someone like Anthony Rendon, what’s the point of keeping Zimmerman at third for the rest of the season with an ailing shoulder? Can’t the Nats deal LaRoche to make room?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: It doesn’t seem like the problem is that urgent and as long as it isn’t urgent the Nationals won’t rush to disrupt a playoff roster

10:31
Comment From Vslyke
What are your thoughts on Aaron Harang? Does he seem like he’s ready to stick in the Braves rotation when the reinforcements come back or does he move to a swingman role?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: yeah, no, you definitely don’t make plans around Aaron Harang

10:32
Comment From Jake
Say 5+ teams attempt an Astros-esque teardown next year and the year after. Does the league step in and make such a teardown harder? How? Less slot pick freedom, salary floor, tying revenue sharing to wins, etc?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: It would already be hard because those five teams would be competing for a lot of the same young players/picks

10:33
Comment From Guest
With Francisco Liriano most likely leaving at the end of the season and Taillon’s arrival delayed by at least a year, should the Bucs be looking to trade for someone like Samardzija, that is, a good SP with control beyond this year?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Samardzija’s going to cost too much, and he isn’t under contract long enough, and the Pirates are a team that needs to think longer-term than that

10:34
Comment From GK
Is there anyone who isn’t hurt that we should panic about after a week?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: No, not really. There are people to monitor, but no one to freak out about

10:34
Comment From Gareth
It appears ubaldo is reverting to his pre all star form from last year. Did the Indians dodge a bullet by not resigning him for 4 years?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: On the other hand, he’s faced the Red Sox and Yankees, and against the Red Sox he threw 50% of his pitches in the strike zone, which is better than average

10:35
Comment From marechal
Pre-season projections of Pineda were usually around a 4.20-4.30 FIP and between 70-90 IP. Seems a bit high on the FIP and low on IP, no (understandably so, given injury history)?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: Sure, you can say that now, but he’s coming off basically the worst possible arm injury for a starting pitcher

10:35
Comment From Guest
Is Erasmo in the long term somewhere in between the guy he was in his 1st 2 starts?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Somewhere in between a dominant starter and a terrible starter?

10:36
Comment From Gareth
Who’s better – Sale or Bumgardner?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Sale

10:36
Comment From Grand Admiral Braun
An article was written this week by Bruce Levine in Chicago wondering if Bonafacio was a long-term solution for the Cubs’ lead-off position…it’s as if some writers have never watched baseball before.

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Gotta write something

10:36
Comment From jjp
Is Brad Ziegler a future closer?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Actually he’s a past closer

10:37
Comment From Mitt
A’s should trade Addison Russell for Samardzija. Untrue?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Thinking that’s untrue, Russell’s too good

10:37
Comment From Jake
Like the Mariners strong start?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t hate it

10:37
Comment From LaLoosh
Unless he handles 3B well do you see the Tribe making Santana available if they fall far behind? There is a lot of surplus value there and he would return a lot.

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: They have him through 2017 and they’re in fairly good shape already. Why trade?

10:38
Comment From Jake
Do you wish people would stop using the phrase, “Very small sample size but…” to justify their recency bias?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: At least they’re aware of the small sample sizes

10:38
Comment From Daniel
Will Ryan Braun be okay or is the injury a concern?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: It’s a definite concern

10:38
Comment From Boston Phan
When was the last time Josh Hamilton had 3 BBs in one game? I couldn’t believe it when I saw that.

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: In fairness I believe one was intentional

10:38
Comment From JJ
Your thoughts on Tanaka after one start?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: I wrote about that yesterday, on FanGraphs

10:39
Comment From Ben Kaspick
Dave Cameron said it’s too early to say Belt “mashes” but did he not see Belt’s second half last year? The kid really turned a corner and it’s carried over. If he played in a smaller ballpark he’d be a 30-40 HR threat. Great OBP guy, too. Thoughts on Belt? Where’s his best spot in lineup?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: in the second half last year he hit seven home runs

10:40
Comment From Gareth
Funniest hot start from a player this season?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe McGehee

10:40
Comment From Gareth
Thoughts on the newbies abreu, Tanaka and B. Hamilton so far?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Tanaka’s real good, Abreu might be real good, Hamilton can’t hit

10:41
Comment From Table
Which of these players not thought to be “ace” is closest to in fact being just that? Bailey, Fister, Shields, Minor, Miley?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Shields isn’t thought to be an ace?

10:41
Comment From Joe
Shelby Miller posted a 8.44 era in 5.1 IP… Do you think he is going to regress from last year?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: …can’t tell if joking…

10:42
Comment From Table
Due to Kuroda’s poor second half last year, many thought he was “done”, were they overreacting to regression? How much do you think he has left?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: Kuroda’s second-half FIP and xFIP were better than his first-half FIP and xFIP

10:43
Comment From atoms
It’s only 2 starts, but Cashner’s K% is up nearly 4% over last year, from 18.1% to 22%. Do you think this year he turns into what people were expecting him to be last year?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: He’s also allowed more contact so far than he has in the past

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: And I believe more in contact rate at this point in the year than strikeout rate

10:44
Comment From Gareth
Any players with the last name Sullivan in mlb right now? I always get a kick out of seeing my last name (Harris) on a Jersey and imagine im playing in the big leagues.

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: not one :( not even Sean O’Sullivan

10:46
Comment From J6takish
Billy butler debuted at age 20 and showed good contact ability, decent discipline and decent power. Can you think of another player who debuted so young and basically never advanced as a player?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Edgar Renteria never changed *too* much

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Elvis Andrus and Starlin Castro are the same

10:47
Comment From Jake
If MAR knew they’d be getting 40%+ POF odds in April, would they have been more competitive on Tanaka/Garza?

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: No one was going to come close to the Yankees’ offer for Tanaka

10:47
Comment From Dave
As a Pirates fan, if they’re hovering around .500 come the deadline, do you think they’ll buy or sell? I’d rather see them get massive returns for Liriano, Wandy, Grilli, and Martin than watch them all leave for nothing after the season.

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: A note: no such thing, really, as a massive return for non-elite players who are free agents in a couple of months

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: There are the Greinke and Garza examples, but I wouldn’t want to describe those as the norm. Daniels already admitted publicly that the Garza trade was a mistake

10:48
Comment From Tim
Scherzer vs. Haren is way better than watching james paxton pitch

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: I’m biased

10:49
Comment From Mike T.
Would you rather watch a Mark Buehrle dominating start or a Jose Fernandez dominating start?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Fernandez, hands down

10:49
Comment From Bart
If Moore is on the shelf for an extended period, who joins TB rotation? Bedard?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Bedard or Karns, I think

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: All right, I gotta go, have a thing to do at 11

10:50
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 Tuesday 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 — 4/8/14”

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  1. gareth says:

    How simular are the masterson and Lester situations?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. gareth says:

    It appears ubaldo is reverting to his pre all star form from last year. Did the Indians dodge a bullet by not resigning him?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. gareth says:

    Oops!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. jim says:

    Why do you choose fantasy baseball questions to post then answer in a snarky “I hate fantasy questions” kind of way?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. stretchfest says:

    Q: Jedd Gyorko and Angel Pagan for Chris Owings and Christian Yelich? Who gets better side of the deal?

    Jeff Sullivan: those guys all play on different teams

    Jeff, keep doing your thing.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Nick O says:

      Clearly he meant Gyorko to the Giants, Pagan to the D-Backs, Owings to the Fins, and Yelich to the Pads. Kind of odd to see a four-team, mostly intradivision trade, but the Marlins really could use a SS.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. Asthix says:

    Any plans to do Worst of the Best this year? It seemed to kind of wear on you at the end of last season but that’s the whole reason I even know of this site.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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