Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 5/13/14

9:01
Jeff Sullivan: Hey guys

9:01
Jeff Sullivan: This is going to be a baseball chat just as soon as there are people in it

9:02
Jeff Sullivan: And now there are people in it!

9:02
Comment From toot toot
hey you’re on time

9:02
Jeff Sullivan: From a separate location because I don’t have internet in my new apartment.

9:02
Jeff Sullivan: I *did* have internet in my new apartment, and then a construction worker literally cut the cable! The physical cable!

9:03
Comment From Tony G.
Hi Jeff. Hope all is well. The Twins seem to be giving Eduardo Nunez and Danny Santana increased playing time of late. Do either of the two players have much upside, and which one is likelier to play more ROS? Thanks!

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: Eduardo Nunez is a known entity, with more offensive upside than defensive upside. He’s not young and he’s not good. Danny Santana has a career minor-league OPS of .711. You’re gonna want to stay away from this.

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: Danny Santana is a fun name to say, but I suspect he’s less fun a player to watch.

9:05
Comment From Awake in Seattle
Reports out this morning saying that Seattle will sign Xavier Nady. Right, because if there’s one thing the Mariners really need, it’s another sub-par OF!

9:05
Comment From Chris
Do you think the mariners trade for an OF anytime soon?

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t really see the point of Xavier Nady in that, while he’s right-handed, he’s not really superior to, say, Cole Gillespie, and I don’t know anything about Cole Gillespie. I just happen to know enough about Xavier Nady. I don’t think the Mariners trade for a meaningful OF anytime soon when they might just see about Nick Franklin

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Really, just don’t expect moves league-wide for about another month, at least

9:08
Comment From Guest
After this year BJ Upton will be owed 3/46 and Jayson Werth will be owed 3/63. Whom do you prefer?

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: Werth, because he isn’t bad

9:08
Comment From clint h
with the injury to fernandez limiting the marlins hopes for 2014 and 2015 and tight races in the Easts and Wests, are they now much more likely to trade stanton at the All Star break this year?

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: The Marlins still think they can re-sign him and they very well might be able to. It’s not like they really had their sights set on winning in 2014 anyway. They might make a run at signing him and then put him on the market this coming offseason, but I really don’t see a way Stanton ends up part of a midseason blockbuster. They can do better months later than that

9:09
Comment From Jose Fernandez
Why me, Lord?

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not just you

9:10
Comment From juan pierres mustache
/cuts off own elbow as sacrifice to the baseball gods

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: One of the things that first turned me off about football, before all the concussion stuff, was how it seemed like players got hurt all the time and lineups would constantly have to adjust to injury absences. Baseball is developing a problem where you want to love the pitchers but you just can’t rely on them and really put your faith in them. It’s tough on them and it’s tough on the fan psychology because pitchers are so easy to embrace, yet they so frequently come apart

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not a *crisis* — there are still a lot more healthy pitchers than injured pitchers — but it’s going to be a problem, down the road, if pitchers do end up getting hurt more. People want to fall in love with players, and you don’t fall in love with a player on the training table.

9:12
Comment From Brian Dozier
Jeff, where were you able to find all of Hosmer’s baserunning gaffes this year? Similarly, is there a way to track down all of the times a player has done something like gone first to third or scored from second on a single?

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: The slow way is going through the Baseball-Reference Play Index for a team and just searching for the text you want. So, I searched through all the Royals’ plate appearances for “Hosmer out at”, or something like that

9:13
Comment From chris
Have we already seen the best of Shelby Miller?

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: I suspect down the road he’ll have a handful of seasons worth more than 2 WAR

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: Probably not this one though

9:14
Comment From Mark
Hey Jeff, what we expect to see from Rafael Montero this season?

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: Pretty good success against righties, more inconsistent success against lefties, some dependency on Juan Lagares, and a bit of a higher contact rate than you might like to see from a top-level pitching prospect

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: The challenge is trying to translate numbers out of a place like Las Vegas, but fortunately a few starts into his major-league career, we’ll be able to stop paying attention to his triple-A performance

9:19
Comment From Mariners fan
Hey Jeff! thoughts on Matt Wieters? should i drop him or is he going to avoid surgery?

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: If he were a pitcher, he’d probably be screwed. But that’s my frame of reference and I know less about how position players are when it comes to dealing with tears like this. Given that I am not Matt Wieters or his doctor, I can’t actually give you an answer, but it sure seems like it’s entirely up to your own comfort level and amount of roster depth?

9:20
Comment From fidel
projected line for jose abreau?

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: ZiPS says he slugs .520. Steamer says he slugs .540. Expect a line similar to his line now, with a SLG that starts with a 5 instead of a 6

9:22
Comment From Daniel B
What do you think of Arenado ROS? He’s weirdly overshadowed I feel like by everything else going on out there. I know defense is legit, but how big is his off regression going to be?

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: Well, he’s newly 23, and his peripherals are all similar with more power than he hit for a season ago. Wouldn’t surprise me at all to see him end up with a triple-digit wRC+, and in fact ZiPS and Steamer project him to be almost exactly league-average the rest of the way

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: Interestingly, all of his dingers this year have been at home. But he’s also doubled nine times on the road so it’s not like he’s completley without a power stroke elsewhere

9:25
Comment From Peter S.
Alcides going to keep up his production? Or is his .OBP going to plummet? Thinking about using him to replace Miller.

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: “plummet” is too strong

9:25
Comment From Matt
Why don’t hitters have LOB% numbers? I understand there’s a difference between hitting first and hitting sixth, but couldn’t you still build a formula that says a player is getting left on base too often?

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: I think we just don’t care about a hitter’s number of runs scored

9:26
Comment From DreadedRearAdmiral
Brewers gonna slide Reynolds to 3B when aramis is out? i think the crew will be outta 1st by june 1st; their poor depth is getting exposed

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: June 1 is two and a half weeks away and they have a 5.5-game lead on a sub-.500 Cardinals team

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: They’re not a deep team and they’re not a great team but nobody else in that division has shown up and it’s not like the Brewers haven’t put themselves in a good position

9:28
Comment From Rick
Matt Kemp stole two bases last night…so would assume his injury issues are, for the most part, in the rearview mirror…why isn’t he playing like vintage Kemp?

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: He has a 134 wRC+, against a career 126 wRC+

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: He’s also been absolutely terrible in the outfield, probably because the injury issues are, for the most part, not in the rear-view mirror

9:29
Comment From Huey
Can G.RIchards maintain this production all year?

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: People have been waiting for something like this. He’s not ERA-in-the-2s good, but he’s ERA-in-the-low-3s good

9:30
Comment From BigBounceyBlueBalls
Do the Jays extend Rasmus, or go with Gose in 2015 and beyond? I don’t think Gose hits enough to be a major league player.

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, the major problem with Gose is that he is bad

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: At the same time, Rasmus is like some weird similar version of Josh Hamilton. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Jays want to move on, and it’s entirely possible their 2015 CF isn’t currently in the organization

9:33
Comment From Paul
How long ’til Familia takes over in Queens?

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: Few weeks? There’s nothing actually blocking him for real

9:34
Comment From Dave
Worried about J. Zimmermann? Giving up nearly 3 hits more per 9. SSS or legitimate concern?

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: Strikeouts also up from 19% to 23%

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: No change in walks or anything else

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: What’s the word for the opposite of worried?

9:35
Comment From The Ghost of Jose Fernandezs UCL
We all know Lindor’s glove will play at MLB level, but is his bat any better than Cabrera’s?

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: Right now, today, no, probably not. But Lindor is 20 years old and Cabrera has a career wRC+ of 105. Lindor’s going to compare wel

9:37
Comment From kevinthecomic
When did MLB start the DL? I recall Yogi Berra, or some other old timey baseball player, saying something like ‘if there was a DL when I played, I wasn’t aware of it”

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: We can all learn something!

9:37
9:37
Jeff Sullivan: “In response, the National League created the first official disabled list on July 12, 1915; it allowed players to be removed from the roster for a ten-day recuperation period. Even though they were not allowed to play, injured players could remain with the team as a “coacher.”

9:38
Comment From Fish
Speaking of players that are fun to watch: Jose Fernandez. Damn.

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: It gets overused, but baseball really is a far better sport with Jose Fernandez in it. Fernandez has achieved popular stardom despite playing for the Marlins. Imagine if he played for a bigger market. He’d be everything. Everywhere. He’d be one of the five most popular players in baseball.

9:40
Comment From _David_
Yesterday Lloyd McClendon used a challenge on a top of the wall double that never had any chance of being a HR. On at least two other occasions he’s neglected to challenge obvious overturns that were both high leverage enough (and one ended up costing 3 runs and nearly the game). Is this just part of the learning curve, or evidence of incompetence?

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: Wasn’t a challenge — just asked for a review. I guess there’s a difference

9:40
Comment From Rated Rookie
How (well) are you guarding/indulging in your optimism for young Taijuan?

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: For one thing, I actually like Paxton more

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: But while I’m monitoring their recoveries, and while I’m encouraged by what I’ve heard about their recoveries, I’m not assuming a single thing. If they make it back, they make it back, and then that’ll be neat for as long as they’re around

9:41
Comment From Guest
Are these the real versions of Ackley and Smoak?

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: Smoak is basically the same as last year. Ackley is bad + three consecutive home runs, but since you can’t just throw those out, yeah, I can buy Ackley as a league-average hitter now

9:42
Comment From Anon21
Is batter-pitcher history important, not because it reveals the “true” state of the matchup but because batters and pitchers know about it, and it affects their approaches?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: I think there’s definitely something to be said for the perception of ownership or evenness. What’s important isn’t what the numbers say — what’s important is what the players themselves actually think, and they think about that kind of data. Still doesn’t mean there’s a lot to it, though, aside from “maybe he’ll pitch this guy differently today”

9:43
Comment From Joe
Has Samardzija turned from a thrower into a pitcher, or has he just had a good month?

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: I think he’s learning something about efficiency

9:44
Comment From toot toot
is jon lester elite

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: Looks to be back at that level. You might call him a second-tier No. 1, pending the rest of his season, but yeah, he’s real good

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: I believe he also finished last season strongly

9:47
Comment From _David_
James Jones?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: Almonte relief

9:47
Comment From Alex
what do you think of dave’s rhetorical alternative baseball?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: One of those things where it’s just absolutely impossible to objectively evaluate the idea. We’re all biased by the sport we grew up with and it’s impossible to open your mind to such a completely radical idea. I sense that it would be fun and it could absolutely work. I also sense that baseball as it currently is is fixable if they would just hurry the god damned thing up

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Last week the Rays and Indians played a nine-inning game that ended 6-3 and it took 250 minutes

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: That’s not baseball, that’s prison

9:49
Comment From Guest
any idea on what the drop off in average is between pitches in the zone and and pitches out of the zone (hr included)?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Give me one minute:

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: Well, a couple minutes

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: According to Baseball Savant, on contact, there’s a .337 average on pitches in the zone and a .282 average on pitches out of the zone

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: But, pitches out of the zone get hit for less power, and this also ignores strikes, which mostly happen out of the zone. Beyond that, there’s out of the zone and there’s REALLY out of the zone

9:54
Comment From TJ
Are the Braves working Alex Wood out of the pen to manage his innings or do they think Floyd & Harang are better options at SP? …and why do teams hate 6 man rotations so much? Never understood that.

9:54
9:55
Jeff Sullivan: It’s a manage-innings thing. He probably ought to have a more defined role but for now Wood will get some starts and some relief appearances and eventually there will be an opening for him to return to the rotation more full-time.

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: I suspect teams hate 6-man rotations because pitchers hate 6-man rotations. It isn’t familiar and they’re all creatures of their own routines

9:56
Comment From Murray
Hello, and thank you, for answering my question. Do you think Allen Craig and Carlos Santana are going to come around and start hitting? Have you seen anything that makes you think positively about their chances of turning it around?

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: Craig’s hit .304/.361/.554 over his last 61 plate appearances

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: Santana has also been better lately and he seems like totally a BABIP thing. You wonder if Santana could be a little messed up on account of what’s going on with him defensively, but there’s no reason for me to believe that Santana just can’t hit anymore. It’s all in there and he’s a hot streak away from being just fine

9:59
Comment From Tim
What should the Royals do at 3B to maximize their chances of winning this season?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: Petition to have the position removed from the field of play

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: There’s not a lot for them to do. They can play more Valencia, but the solution isn’t Valencia. The solution would be doubling Mike Moustakas’ BABIP, but that obviously isn’t as easy as typing it

10:01
Comment From Guest
What kind of Pitcher is Jared Cosart? If you take out his fluke of a 0.1 inning start, then his numbers are decent looking.

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: He’s a groundball pitcher who doesn’t throw enough strikes. He definitely doesn’t miss bats. He’s fine as is — the grounders limit the damage, per usual — but I don’t see a leap in his near future. Might well never get results that match up to his velocity

10:03
Comment From Dewey
Bob Dutton is dealing with twitter comments about the M’s wOBA suggest they are not good against LHP, he points out W-L records is positive, respondents say not true performance. wOBA ever been tied to indicate future wins and losses?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: The Mariners have a .650 OPS against lefties. The thing about that is it’s bad

10:04
Comment From Nick
I am sure this has been asked/answered previously, but I was wondering this last night during Nats/Dbacks game: are the park effects different at a stadium like Chase Field depending on whether the roof is open/closed? If there is a material difference, is this factored into park effects?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: There’s almost certainly a difference in how a park plays depending on its roof, but we don’t really have roof data and the sample sizes are limited, and then you also have to deal with the biases of the weather conditions that contribute to the roof status in the first place

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: The park factors shouldn’t change *that* much

10:06
Comment From Phil
Do you think sending Moustakas down is the right move?

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: I suspect he could use the confidence, and Giavotella or Valencia could handle the job for a month or so leading up to a re-evaluation

10:07
Comment From Suttons Sidekick
Ugh. Sutton said on the radio that the rash of Tommy John surgeries is attributable to the failure of pitchers “to bale hay.” Did he ever bale hay?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: It’s charming when old men talk, but I think only when they’re 80+. The worst window of all is 60-79. Those men have terrible opinions

10:08
Comment From Rainy in Toronto
Is Jeff Sullivan a fan of CJ Cron? He’s looked pretty good so far since being called up!

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: He’ll end up getting exposed, but once every few dozen swings or so, he’ll hit a ball to the moon

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: The one he hit in Toronto was a jaw-dropper

10:09
Comment From Aaron
What haul do you think the Cubs can get for Samardzijac when they trade him in June/July?

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: Big one. Highlighted by a young player who’s really close to the majors

10:09
Comment From Chris
who is your NL Cy young pick now Fernandez is done?

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t even want to think about it :(

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: Lee or Wainwright

10:10
Comment From Guest
is pujols not a top 5 worst contract now?

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: Do you know how big that contract is?

10:11
Comment From Guest
do you think the tommy john epidemic is fixable? or are fans going to start managing their expectations wrt young pitchers?

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: The ligament is always going to snap. As pitchers throw harder and harder, the ligament won’t be able to keep up. So the solution might be teaching people to pitch at something well below 100%

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: And, good luck

10:13
Comment From Matt
Thoughts on David Price? His K and BB% are career bests, but his velocity and HR/FB% are career worst. Does he bounce back to at least what he was last year?

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: He’s real good. I’m not worried about him, really, at all

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: I mean, the fact that he had an arm injury last season means I’m always going to be worried about a recurrence, but in terms of performance, he’s terrific

10:14
Comment From Jim
Puig slashing better than last year, is this the real Puig?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: Swing rate down from 53% to 45%

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: Dude’s adjusted. Dude’s amazing

10:15
Comment From Norm
O’s are limiting Gausman’s innings, who do you seem him replacing in the rotation? Bud Norris?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t like to be this guy, because it feels like a cop out, but when it comes time for Gausman to come up, then that’s when you make a decision on who goes. Oftentimes you’ll find that someone has already removed himself from the rotation with injury or under-performance

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: That whole thing about man making plans and god laughing — it’s like triply so for starting rotations

10:16
Comment From gejerz
Which under 25 yr old SP’s will reach age 30 without having TJ surgery and have over 100 wins?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: How the hell am I supposed to know?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll take not-Yordano Ventura

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: Bumgarner?

10:17
Comment From Guest
should the senators trade spezza??

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, and it seems like hockey valuations haven’t caught up to baseball valuations, in that Spezza probably has more trade value than he should based on what he brings to the table and his contract

10:18
Comment From The Ghost of Jose Fernandezs UCL
How do you see the COL OF playing out when Cuddy returns? You can’t really sit Blackmon whilst he’s this hot. Stubbs and Dickerson are holding their own, and well Cargo IS Cargo…

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: Keep one of Stubbs/Dickerson, trade the other?

10:21
Comment From _David_
Am I missing something or does Stefan Romero suck?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: Last year he had a sub-.800 OPS in triple-A. No reason to think of him as a good hitter

10:22
Comment From Adrian
Is STL just stalling until Super 2 is up by calling up various OF prospects not named Taveras?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: It’s part stalling, but it’s also part just trying to sort out a complicated outfield situation. Craig is starting to hit now, and Bourjos has shown some signs of life, and the Cardinals know what they’ll have if Bourjos actually hits. There’s also the matter of defining Taveras’ position, as the FO doesn’t seem to love him in center

10:23
Comment From a mustachioed business tycoon
Harvey was my boy; now he’s hurt. Then Fernandez was my boy; now he’s hurt. Who’s my new guy I can count on to dazzle me with ridiculous stuff every five days? Yu? The King?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: Sounds like you oughtta stay away from the king, thank you very much

10:24
Comment From benj
James Jones! James Jones! Once his BABIP settles down it seems like he could be a .350 OBP type guy. He’ll be fun to watch for a couple of months before the Mariners shatter his psyche.

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: Really more of a .320-.330 OBP guy who doesn’t deliver much in the way of power, but fans love a speedy guy who doesn’t swing through the ball

10:25
Comment From Guest
Are Smoak and Keuchel this good?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Smoak’s on pace for 1.7 WAR. Keuchel has figured something out. Absolute groundball machine, and there were hints of this a season ago. Dallas Keuchel is not an ace, but he’s a guy who could be an Astro when the Astros are good

10:27
Comment From The Ghost of Jose Fernandezs UCL
You had to expect JF’s UCL to give at some point. I can’t believe people are shocked. I mean, you can’t keep snapping off wicked snappers without some damage.

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Nobody’s surprised that it happened. People are surprised that it happened now. Like, I’m going to die, eventually. Everybody knows that. No one is surprised that I will be dead. If I were to become dead tomorrow, though, people would be like, whoa, didn’t anticipate that one

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: The probability was high that Fernandez would get hurt. The probability was low that Fernandez would get hurt in his most recent start

10:29
Comment From Inquiring Minds
How much of the pitch limit vs. old school pitch until your arm falls off argument do you think has an effect on all the UCL injuries? Or is it just velocity guys ripping them due to torque?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: People throw crazy hard now

10:29
Comment From Terrible Ted
Didn’t Halladay recover from an elbow strain early in his career? Any way Jose avoids TJ?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: It can be avoided, sometimes, but it cannot be avoided, usually

10:31
Comment From pitbull
what’s up with mark buehrle?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: Good in a weird way. Career-low strike rate. Lots of contact, per usual. Just, no home runs. Not allowing home runs, and he’s got twice as many called strikeouts as swinging strikeouts

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: I haven’t done a full analysis, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Buehrle is pitching extremely to the edges, and just refusing to come over the middle

10:32
Comment From bookbook
What is, to you, the most obvious win-win trade where you’d like to bonk the two teams GMs heads together, and say “just do it, already!”

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: Would’ve been Mike Carp to Pittsburgh in spring training

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Having trouble thinking of an example now. I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about hypothetical transactions, and moves don’t really get made in May so I keep trades out of mind

10:33
Comment From Dewey
Any chance the league goes to a 6-man starting rotation and a 26 man roster to see if that cuts down on pitching injuries?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not like these guys who’ve gotten hurt have gotten hurt from overuse, necessarily

10:34
Comment From Terrible Ted
Bautista seems to be spending an awful lot of time in a hyperbaric chamber. If this is really a thing, why don’t all players use them more frequently?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Athletes have been doing this for years in a wide variety of sports. Some think it works, some think it doesn’t, odds are it doesn’t do much of anything

10:35
Comment From Mike L
Any light at the end of the tunnel for Martin Prado?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: Well, hes’ got three consecutive multi-hit games

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: and last year, on this date, he had a .603 OPS

10:35
Comment From A. Lane
Team DRS and UZR at this point just suggest which teams have been poor at fielding, or do they even say that much?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: They say that much

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Bigger error bars, but it’s not like the data is worthless

10:36
Comment From Metsox
What are the implications of the Fernandez injury, assuming TJ is the outcome, for the futures of Andrew Heaney and more importantly Giancarlo Stanton

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: I think basically unchanged. The Marlins won’t suddenly rush Heaney, but he wasn’t far off to begin with. And they’re going to try hard to get Stanton re-signed, and he’s seen the talent around him so it’s not out of the question that that happens

10:37
Comment From Chicago Mark
Hello Jeff, Have you paid any attention to Gavin Floyd’s starts? What do you make of him after just two? How does the Braves rotation work out in the end?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Eventually, the rotation isn’t going to have Aaron Harang in it. This is because Aaron Harang is not good

10:38
Comment From Guest
Are you a prospects guy, Jeff?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Definitely not. I like ’em, but I don’t know ’em

10:39
Comment From toot toot
is wainwright the odds on NL Cy favorite now? or are there potential challengers out there?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: A few challengers, but not many serious ones

10:39
Comment From Guest
Your daily Polanco update: 2-4 with a HR, double and walk. Now possesses a 1.015 OPS.

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: Interestingly, he has a below-average contact rate. Not that I think it matters much, but I remember when people could count his triple-A swinging strikes on like one or two hands. He’s whiffed quite a bit

10:42
Comment From shawn michaels
more likely to turn things around- billy butler or the panda?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: Butler’s hit .309 over the past few weeks. Sandoval has not. Pablo’s always had a more volatile approach so I think Butler is the better bet to return to being steady

10:42
Comment From Maxamuz
David Wrights batted ball distance sits at 264.53 compared to .291.35 last year. He’s walking less, striking out more. Thoughts? Trend/Outlier?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: Haven’t figured that one out yet, but with players like this I generally assume they’re fine until I have an awful lot of evidence. David Wright ought to be real good, and there’s no reason for me to believe he’s just forgotten how to be excellent without warning

10:43
Comment From jocephus
the cardinals are not nearly as fun to watch as i had hoped

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: Now imagine if Bourjos were hitting and Taveras were also on the team somehow

10:43
Comment From Jake
How much does Lee, Shields, or Hammel boost NYY playoff odds?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: Well those are very different pitchers

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: If the Yankees hypothetically added Cliff Lee today, and didn’t give up anything of consequence off the roster, their odds might go up 10 percentage points

10:45
Comment From Chris
Any chance Dylan Bundy pitches as a starter this year?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: absolutely

10:45
Comment From benj
Is this the post Moneyball A’s? Does the luxury tax finally have enough bite that it’s leveling the playing field a little bit? Are they just this much better than everyone else at an organizational level?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: They’re smart and lucky. The situation they’re in forces them to be more creative where other teams might have less incentive since they can just throw money at issues. The A’s have to approach things without money, more or less, and when you remove the option, you can see things in players other teams might overlook becuase they feel like they can spend for more certainty

10:46
Comment From Alan
Do you think Odor will have any fantasy value in TX?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Not this year

10:47
Comment From Will
Which would you prefer, a healthy Matt Harvey or a healthy Jose Fernandez?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: I think Fernandez — don’t know how Harvey’s fastball ages, and that’s his big weapon

10:48
Comment From Guest
Is Josh Donaldson quietly becoming one of the best 3rd in baseball?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: Last year he was amazing and he finished fourth in the AL in MVP voting

10:50
Comment From Playing Time Barnum
What say you to Ubaldo and/or Odorizzi as people maybe pitching better. Will it hold?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: Sorry buddy but you’re not getting me to make any kind of remark about Ubaldo Jimenez’s future consistency

10:51
Comment From Jerry B.
Sonny Gray has really stepped up his game despite his K/9 being down from years past. Still looks good moving forward, but is he still top-10 by August?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s go top-20

10:51
Comment From Ethan
What’s one team you like better/worse than the projections and why?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: I like the Yankees more because I think they’re the most likely to make some midseason adjustments.

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: Like the Brewers a bit more, too, just because I think the projections are lagging a bit

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: I like the Marlins less :(

10:52
Comment From Alan
If Fernandez ends up getting TJ surgery, do you think that speeds up the timeline for Heaney getting called up? Also, do you think he will have fantasy value right away?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: Marlins won’t overreact like that

10:53
Comment From Johnny Boy
is Todd Frazier having a breakout season?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: Rule of thumb: if you have to ask about a breakout season…

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: Isn’t this basically 2012, with better defense?

10:54
Comment From osund
When a player has Tommy John surgery, what is the likelihood of the injury recurring and how far down the road would that possibly happen?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: That is a Jeff Zimmerman question

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: I think there’s an initial risk window, and then again some years down the line there’s a heightened risk of recurrence, but you’re also dealing with small samples of names here

10:56
Comment From Johnny Rockets
Why do the projection systems still hate Dozier?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: Because he’s never been a .200 ISO sort

10:58
Comment From Rangers Fan
Digging into S. Castro’s numbers – is he having a 2nd breakout season?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: He’s basically himself, with an extra dinger or so. Not saying he’s not improved, but I don’t think he’s improved substantially, which feels like it’s necessary for something to be classified as a breakout

10:58
Comment From Rangers Fan
Can Bautista be the best player in baseball?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: no, not really

10:59
Comment From Larry David
I saw Springer compared to Gose in an article. Please explain to me why that’s not going to happen. I like baseball. Springer being Gose makes me like it just a little less.

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: Anthony Gose has a .718 minor-league OPS and George Springer has a .959 minor-league OPS

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know what you were reading, but you’ll probably want to stop

11:00
Comment From Ron Swanson
CJ Cron…hit at every level. Does he have the talent to take away ROS from Grandpa Ibanez?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: He didn’t hit at the double-A level and the triple-A level was at Salt Lake

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: He’ll take at-bats away, and he could conceivably take a lot ,but Cron isn’t a solid bet for sustained 2014 success

11:01
Comment From Sharni
Piggy backing on the Familia question. Vic Black wouldn’t be called up to close?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: Right now he’s got almost as many walks as strikeouts in the minors

11:02
Comment From toot toot
has rick porcello finally broken out, like people have been predicting for what seems like ages?

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: There’s a chance he’s starting to learn how to pitch with runners on base, so in that case, yeah, that would support a step forward. Obviously the peripherals haven’t been a problem — it’s been about getting the results to match them

11:03
Comment From ms
How long do you think Alex Wood stays in the bullpen?

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: Not long at all

11:04
Comment From chuckb
During last night’s game, Buster Olney said that he had spoken to a baseball exec who said they were going to think twice about drafting hard-throwing pitchers w/ big off-speed pitches in light of Fernandez’s injury. What evidence is there of any causation?

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: Plenty of evidence, but no pitcher’s ever safe

11:05
Comment From osund
If the Indians are competitive, could you see them still trading Asdrubal at the deadline and replacing him with a combo of Aviles and Jose Ramirez?

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: There’s also this Lindor kid…

11:05
Comment From ms
Are pitch-to-contact groundball pitchers with lower velocity less likely to need TJ surgery?

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: Can’t answer that off the top of my head, but I presume they’re at slightly lower risk. They’re also just worse players so you’re less interested in protecting them

11:06
Comment From Paul
Jonathan Singleton promotion day estimation Jeff? It’s most likely passed the Super 2 cutoff, right? 2.13-2.15 years and the season is over 20% over

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: Super 2 cutoff comes in mid-June, usually. Singleton will follow

11:07
Comment From Gila Monster
Why is baseball seemingly run by the fun police? I think a certain degree of entertainment value is found in bat flipping,home run pimping,insane throws,jumping the pool..etc. I feel like these help drive the success of the NBA and NFL,but baseball is dead against it.

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: We got to see all those things happen last season. They’re a part of the game

11:07
Comment From Evil Nose
I’m not sure how to use batted ball distance outside of within-player changes. The names that appear next to each other get pretty random-seeming.

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, there’s just so much noise in there that I don’t even look at it

11:07
Comment From ms
Why aren’t there more knuckleballers? They never need TJ surgery. New market inefficiency?

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: really freakin hard

11:09
Comment From Paul
Do you envision a drafting future where pitchers are valued a little bit less now that injuries are becoming more of a certainty? For example, a team would prefer to draft a 3B who was more likely to be very good over their career, maybe have a few All Star appearances over someone who could be a bona fide ace if healthy? Something like that. do you think top pitchers will be valued slightly less in the draft going forward?

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, pitchers, collectively, will be trusted a little less. We’re already seeing that — the preference is often to draft the more “certain” position player. A good position player is more likely to reach the majors, but then pitchers are also easier to scout, because you can see all their stuff just laid out there. So pitchers are riskier bets when it comes to health, but it’s easier to see who is and isn’t a future major leaguer, so they’ll never have *too* much of a draft value reduction

11:10
Comment From My Elbow Hurts
Any worries about Trout? He is striking out a lot more than previous years.

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: Wrote about that last week

11:11
Comment From Mike
What’s up with Matt Davidson? .174/.240/.321 at Triple-A with a 44% K-rate? That doesn’t sound like the 3B of the future, and the sample size keeps growing.

11:11
Jeff Sullivan: If he was going to bust, strikeouts were going to be the reason.

11:11
Comment From Walewander
Does Odor go right back down once Profar is back?

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: Basically. I don’t know why they’d keep him around

11:12
Comment From Conrad
When we finally solve the “Arm Epidemic”, what do you think will be the main factor leading to all these epic injuries?

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: Throwing hard

11:12
Comment From Anton
Carlos Santana’s LD rate is down a lot. Concerned?

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: I basically never look at LD rate

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: Of course a guy with a low BABIP would have a low LD%. At issue isn’t what’s happened; at issue is what’s going to happen

11:14
Comment From Mike Trout
Why can’t I hit a fastball?

11:14
11:14
Jeff Sullivan: Oh man it’s even later than I thought, I need to get going

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: So thank you everybody for hanging out, and I’m sorry for what I didn’t or couldn’t address. We’ll do it again next week at the same time, and until then be well and have great days




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Jeff made Lookout Landing a thing, but he does not still write there about the Mariners. He does write here, sometimes about the Mariners, but usually not.


2 Responses to “Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 5/13/14”

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  1. Murray says:

    Hello, and thank you, for answering my question. Do you think Allen Craig and Carlos Santana are going to come around and start hitting? Have you seen anything that makes you think positively about their chances of turning it around?

    Murray

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  2. Ernie14 says:

    I think you’re great, Jeff. Of course, I’m 65, so my opinion is terrible…

    Vote -1 Vote +1