Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 5/20/14

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Reaaaalllly can’t stand Cover It Live

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Hey guys! Problems all solved now! Let’s talk about Dallas Keuchel!

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: And remember that I don’t answer fantasy questions because I haven’t played fantasy baseball in a decade and I can’t give you any worthwhile advice. Also, the questions annoy literally everyone but the asker

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: So if you’re going to ask a fantasy baseball question, at least try to disguise it as a real baseball question because I can handle some of those

9:09
Comment From American League Hustle
Anything you can tell me about Chase Whitley? I’m intrigued by the 10.9 K/9 rate he posted in the minors this season before getting called up…

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: Not really a starter, not really a reliever, throws a lot of a changeup

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: He’s always thrown strikes and he’s always run some pretty good contact rates. Not a groundball guy but not a fly ball guy.

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: He hasn’t shown really that he has the durability to be a regular starter, but he’s a reasonably interesting swing man because he’s already got the built-in offspeed pitch that’s given younger hitters fits

9:11
Comment From RK
Think there’s any chance Morrison skips rehab to replace C. Hart?

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: And then the Mariners just have a different bad player

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: Hart’s ok. He’s just in a rough spot

9:12
Comment From Bruce
Where does the term “tools of ignorance” come from?

9:12
9:12
Comment From Tony G.
As of June 1, 2014, who will be closing in Baltimore?

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: I assume it’s going to be Hunter, because no one in there is meaningfully better than him

9:14
Comment From Chief Wahoo
My boys knocked off the big bad Tigers last night. Is this the start of another magic season for the Beleiveland Windians from Brohio?

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: Almost everything about this query is obnoxious!

9:14
Comment From Zac
Corey Kluber is pretty damn good.

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: Old news, 2014 is Keuchel territory

9:15
Comment From Angels in the Outfield
Predictions on who will get sent down today for David Freese, and later on this week when Calhoun is ready?

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: Cron and Jimenez? Navarro is also an option, and I can’t tell the extent to which the Angels will want to preserve some OF flexibility. But while it seems like this is going to be somewhat difficult, there are guys on the roster they aren’t going to miss in the short-term

9:18
Comment From Xolo
What are the odds that Seth Smith gets Drew’d/Morales’d this winter?

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: Success be damned, right now I think it might be 25% he gets a qualifying offer

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: At the end of the day, it’s Seth Smith, with less than 10 career WAR

9:19
Comment From Jay
What kind of effect does Nolan Arenado’s range have on Tulowitzki’s UZR? And has there ever been a stronger left side of the infield?

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: I suspect there is not much of an effect — there isn’t really that much overlap between short and third, realistically speaking. Even the challenging balls that Tulo gets to to his right, they’re basically out of Arenado’s reach

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: In short, I don’t think they’re positioned that differently on account of one another

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: As for the second question, Ozzie Smith and anybody

9:22
Comment From Graham
Why do some teams (the Reds and Twins are both bad about this) wait so long to put players on the DL? I understand they’re waiting to see if the player can avoid a DL stint, but 6-8 games with a short bench is a pain.

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: Balancing against the loss of a player for potentially longer than is necessary

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: Also could have an element of players not owning up to the realities of their aches and pains. But it’s a somewhat complicated question and of course we need some actual proof that the Reds and Twins are truly worse about this than the average

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: Depending on the player, it also usually isn’t that bad to be short a position player for a handful of days

9:24
Comment From Conrad
ESPN Baseball game last night listed the average pitcher age for Tommy John surgery this season at 27….seems high? or are there lower profile older pitchers who have undergone the surgery? Is there an age where you might feel relatively safe?

9:25
9:26
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not sure there’s a safe age, although you’re probably safer as you get older and you don’t throw as hard since I presume velocity is the biggest issue

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Without having seen the graphic, I assume ESPN was not counting Tommy John cases in the minor leagues

9:27
Comment From J6takish
Is the queue still filled with nick franklin questions or have we all moved on to taveras/polanco? Are we really that fickle?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s try to trace this

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: For a while it was all Nick Franklin questions

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: then all Polanco questions. then all Brad Miller questions. now we’re probably getting back to Polanco again

9:28
Comment From Troy
What’s Hosmer worth on the pitching exchange?

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: a decent and frustrating pitcher

9:28
Comment From Bryce Harpers Soulmate
The news is good on Cashner, right? Think he can still be ace-like this season?

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: Good in that he isn’t out for 12-18 months, but he’s still out for an uncertain period of time. And when the inflammation subsides it could always reveal something problematic. I think he could definitely still be real good down the stretch and I’m happy to see him avoid TJ, but he’s still a pitcher with arm discomfort and that’s too bad

9:30
Comment From Chris
With out trying to pry too much are Fg writers on salary or is it per piece?

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: Full-timers are on salary

9:30
Comment From King Jaymes
YES, whats your thoughts on Keuchal for the rest of the year?

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: Not much not to like. As mentioned earlier, he can be this year’s Corey Kluber, kind of. Can’t really fool your way to that kind of low xFIP, and while neither his strikeout rate nor his walk rate are *outstanding*, he’s such a heavy groundball guy and he’s been so good at pitching around the edges and staying out of the bad spots

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: It’s fun when a guy like Garrett Richards figures it out. It’s more fun when it’s a guy like Dallas Keuchel, who just a few years ago basically sucked

9:34
Comment From Kevin
Is the current level of performance what we can expect from the Red Sox offense going forward? they seem to have as many negative regression candidates as positive.

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: Projected here for the fourth-best runs/game the rest of the way http://www.fangraphs.com/de…

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: They have a .314 wOBA. The depth charts project them for a .329 wOBA the rest of the season. There’s room for some optimism

9:35
Comment From King Jaymes
why is keuchal good all of a sudden? is it for real?

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: I havent’ done the full investigation, but I assume he’s pitching to better spots and taking advantage of a good receiver behind the plate. He’s pitching to whatever strengths it is that he has. And I don’t think it’s a mirage. I mean, being literally one of the best pitchers in baseball is probably a mirage, but I don’t know why I shouldn’t believe he’s good now

9:38
Comment From Keuchel
Is it Kook-el or Kooch-el?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t even want to type this

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: Kyk-el

9:40
Comment From Dave
Reading alot that the Jays should gave after Shark. What would it take to get him, im guessing starting point is Sanchez + . Should they?

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: That is going to be roughly the price tag. He’s going to get a good prospect or two in the middle of this season, and if I’m the Jays, I’m okay with dealing Sanchez if I’m still very much in the hunt

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: Usually I’m against dealing really good prospects for guys on shorter terms, but pitching prospects aren’t hitting prospects and Sanchez is more of a high-risk pitching prospect

9:43
Comment From ashtray
Ian Desmond. What’s his deal?

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: Contact rate has been slipping for a few years and he’s tied a lot up in higher-than-average BABIPs

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: But, in May, he has a 114 wRC+

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: Last year was 116. He could be just fine and he’s coming out of his early slump

9:46
Comment From Lion of Duda
You probably don’t know these off the top of your head, but maybe good topics for pieces… When was the last time a non-catcher appeared at catcher? When was the last time a pitcher appeared in the field? How did they do?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: Guessing Jorge Posada doesn’t count http://www.nytimes.com/2011…

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: Here’s a thing! http://www.gaslampball.com/…

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: The samples are always too small. When pitchers play the field, they tend not to get any action because they’re hidden in the areas least likely to get any action

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: When Mariano Rivera tried to shag fly balls he destroyed himself

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: Safe assumption: the emergency guys performed quite a bit worse. But it probably never really mattered

9:48
Comment From Peter
Will there be a link to the live stream of Bob Ryan v. Dave Cameron ultimate cage match?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Cameron was the most respectful of everyone who thought to respond to Ryan’s article

9:49
Comment From Guest
How bad does the Fielder trade look so far?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Bad, but it always looked bad, and Fielder’s done better in May than he did in April

9:50
Comment From Graham
Is Solarte an everyday player for the Yankees ROS?

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve tried to write about this but I haven’t found the right nuggets yet. Solarte is kind of a 2014 miracle. The rest of the way he’s projected for more than 1 WAR by both ZiPS and Steamer and his numbers are solid — same walks as strikeouts, some power, high contact. Because he came from nothing, there’s the temptation to say he’s just a different version of last year’s early Vernon Wells, but Solarte is pulling things off in what could be a sustainable way

9:51
Comment From Brian
Do the Blue Jays have the best offense in the AL East?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, probably, but the Orioles are close if you give them Matt Wieters

9:52
Comment From Breezy
Corey Kluber – baseball thrower, master of cutter, slider, curveball mix.

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: And now his strikeouts are up from 22% to 26%

9:52
Comment From Chris206
Broken Brad Miller makes me sad =(

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: If it makes you feel better, he had 2 BB and 26 K in April and he’s at 8/14 in May

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: that comes with almost literally no hits, but it’s something

9:53
Comment From Dewey
Your USSMariner podcast had something about Zunino improving his swing rate(I think that was it) and that’s not something you see very often. Could you explain a bit more about that topic?

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll have a post about it sometime soon ,but last I checked, Zunino’s swing rate was down like 10 or 11 percentage points in May, compared to April. Usually a swing rate is just part of a guy’s identity, and you don’t see it change dramatically. But Zunino’s cut down which is something that he realistically needed to do

9:54
Comment From Xolo
Cashner’s on the DL with elbow soreness but no structural damage. Over/under that he ends up getting TJ by September?

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: You’re cruel

9:54
Comment From Gregory Polanco
Will I actually be able to save the Pirates’ season by the time they call me up?

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: Can you make them pitch better?

9:55
Comment From john
Mets talking about sending wheeler down to work on stuff when Gee comes off next week. Thoughts?

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think it’s necessary, but I don’t see anything wrong, really, with a stint of a few weeks to get him to work on whatever. He has real question marks, including his secondary stuff and command, and his strike rate hasn’t gotten any better

9:57
Comment From Pitchers
Who is more likely the better pitcher ROS: Simon, Hutchison, or Hughes?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: Hutchison

9:57
Comment From Bob
What are your thoughts on Danny Duffy? What’s his ceiling, has he put it together this year, blah, blah, blah?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: A little like Garrett Richards, right? Big fastball, interesting secondary stuff, strikeouts that haven’t matched the repertoire. I don’t like what I see in Duffy’s 2014 numbers, as he’s taken some statistical steps back, but as we’re learning from Richards and Nate Eovaldi, you never know when a power guy is going to flip the switch

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think Duffy’s put it together, and I don’t think he’s going to put it together, but he could be a tweak or two away from being a No. 2 starting pitcher

10:01
Comment From Graham
Elvis Andrus is hitting a lot of groundballs this season. Any hope for him to put some of those on a frozen rope?

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: April: 64 wRC+
May: 83 wRC+

Seems like he’s basically himself. He’s not a good hitter.

10:03
Comment From questionman
What is one team you like less than the projections, and why?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: This is trickier than I expected it to be, looking at the numbers

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe the Red Sox, just because I’m unconvinced they really have baseball’s second-best starting rotation and pitching staff, but I still like the Red Sox in that division, sooooo

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: I know the Rangers have some issues with Ross/Scheppers having over-optimistic projections, but that doesn’t make much of a meaningful difference

10:06
Comment From Reverend
Are you super looking forward to see what La Russa does in Arizona?

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: When I was reading articles yesterday I was asking myself “why are you reading this”

10:07
Comment From Ryan
Is Stephen Drew a fit with the A’s?

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: Better fit elsewhere

10:07
Comment From Chicago Mark
Do you see anything in his pitching that gives credence to Aaron Harangs finished stats? Looks like he’s throwing the cutter more. But it also looks like his fastball is more effective. Again….Thoughts?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not really believing this at all. I know that isn’t analysis, and I know I haven’t given him an in-depth investigation, but I’m extremely reluctant to believe that Aaron Harang is suddenly one of the best starting pitchers in the world. Nothing jumps out at me as a reason for this to be happening. It’s just happening, but he is who he is

10:09
Comment From Graham
Who are your MVP and Cy Young picks at this point in the season?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: Tulo, Trout, Cueto, Scherzer

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: but the AL Cy Young race is wide open. As it should be, naturally, but you’ve got Lester, Felix, Scherzer, Tanaka, Darvish…

10:11
Comment From Guest
Do you the the Mariners should sign Carbonell the cuban Of hes gotta have decent defense at the very least?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: Not nearly enough information known

10:12
Comment From Sciosciapath
Raul Ibanez, sub .150 clean up hitter. David Freese about to return to his barely .200 average, as they wait for Ian Stewart’s also .200 average to come off the DL and platoon… all at the expense of Cron and Green, who can both hit RHP, but just won’t be given a chance…. discuss.

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: They have been given a chance

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: What matters isn’t what’s happened, but what’s likely to happen

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: And if certain players continue to struggle, then changes will be made, but remember that it’s still basically the middle of May

10:13
Comment From Mariners fan
What numbers can you look at to tell you if a hitter is going to be consistent or streaky?

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: Power?

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: A power hitter does a lot of his damage in relatively fewer plate appearances. A contact hitter spreads it out, so he could end up more consistent

10:14
Comment From Rags
Are there any particular positive changes to baseball that you anticipate coming after Selig steps down?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: Fewer pictures of an old man cupping his ear

10:14
Comment From Out of the box
Jack Z. throws everyone a curve and signs Drew, not Morales. Reaction?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: Seems unnecessary

10:15
Comment From Bryce Harpers Soulmate
As of June 1, 2014, who will be closing in Oakland?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: Doolittle

10:15
Comment From Guest
Last night, during the ESPN coverage of the Indians/Tigers game, one of the broadcasters concluded all the pitching injuries are involving those pitchers that pitch for the strikeout, therefore pitchers should pitch to contact because they have less injuries. Thoughts?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Pitching to contact doesn’t reduce pitches thrown, because while plate appearances will be shorter, you’ll also end up allowing more baserunners

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: But there is probably something about throwing at 100% and throwing so many breaking balls and it could be one of the keys is just teaching guys to pitch around 95%, even if that means slightly fewer whiffs

10:16
Comment From Bryce Harpers Soulmate
Who will be the next “Dallas Keuchel” we’ll be talking about a month from now? Anyone currently off the radar who you see possibly breaking out over the next few weeks?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: Still Dallas Keuchel. Because what in the hell is Dallas Keuchel?

10:17
Comment From Zac
The Cubs are terrible, but it seems like the major league squad is having a best-case scenario season: 1. Castro and Rizzo playing well, 2. Shark is pitching his ass off and inflating his trade value, 3. Great draft pick coming again. Question: Does consistently being on a terrible team impact a player’s development at all?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: Impossible question to answer. But, is the team consistently terrible because it has lousy coaching and developmental skills? That would be an issue. Is the team consistently terrible in part because of the player in question? That would be an issue. But all else being equal, I don’t think a player develops worse on a 70-win team than on a 90-win team. The opportunities are the same

10:19
Comment From francis
Are there any stats out there that take into account advancing a runner an extra base ( e.g. a single that moves a guy to third as opposed to just to second) ? What about non-sacrifice outs that advance runners ?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: The former is more about baserunning, and the latter is productive outs, which is a garbage metric that I’ve seen around on ESPN and Baseball-Reference

10:20
Comment From John
Is Wil Myers going to turn it around this season?

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: Not really sure why he wouldn’t

10:20
Comment From Keuchy-Koo
How is it that coaches took so long to have keuchel ditch the curve for the slider … I mean, wow what a difference

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: It’s probably more complicated than that!

10:20
Comment From Matt
Andrew Heaney reportedly up to Triple A, when can we expect to see him in the bigs?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: Month or two if he does well

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: Still doesn’t even have 100 innings about single-A but after the Jose Fernandez promotion track it’s not like we have reason to believe the Marlins are conservative

10:22
Comment From Rising Wolf
What do you think of Marcus Stroman?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: Many positive things, fewer negative things

10:22
Comment From hype train
when do we anoint dallas keuchel as teh second coming of brandon webb

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: When he does this for six years in a row

10:23
Comment From Dave
Any chance we see Salazar and Stroman back in the rotation this year?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: Almost certainly

10:23
Comment From Jimbostevebill
How much of Cueto’s brilliance this year does not translate in the advanced metrics?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: Well, he’s always beat his peripherals in part because no one can ever steal against him, but I think the numbers capture most of his essence while coming up a little shy

10:24
Comment From Guest
If starting a franchise, would you choose Harper, Stanton or

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: Trout

10:24
Comment From JDagg
considering VMArt’s expected asking price at the end of the season … should the Tigers look at locking up B Butler for the same 4/40 type contract to serve as their DH?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: The B Butler slugging .314?

10:25
Comment From Conrad
Who will be buyers in the AL West at or near the trading deadline?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Rangers might go after a pitcher. Mariners might go after a bat. A’s might find a role player or conceivably a shortstop. Angels are pretty set but could target a lower-tier starter

10:27
Comment From Stan
Looks like Anthony Rendon has cooled off this month. Did you get a chance to look at pitching patterns to see if they did what you suggested on May 1st?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: His zone rate has dropped in May, relative to April, but he’s still been getting a good number of harder pitches as opposed to softer or breaking stuff

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: Haven’t looked any deeper than that

10:30
Comment From Guest
It’s starting to get annoying that Conger is stuck behind Chris Iannetta. What are they doing in ANA?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: Underrating Conger’s defense

10:30
Comment From Bert
Is Votto no longer a .900 OPS guy?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: because he has an .860 OPS with knee discomfort?

10:30
Comment From RG
What’s up with Cano? Only one homer? Is it a product of SafeCo, the lineup (or lack of) around him, or something else? Thanks for doing these chats!

10:30
10:31
Comment From Ghost Hands
The more I watch him, the more I believe Brandon Crawford is closing the defensive gap between he and Andrelton.

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: I’m just impressed that Crawford is hitting

10:31
Comment From Ed
If Corey Hart misses significant time with his hamstring injury, are the Mariners tempted to resign Kendrys Morales to be the DH?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: They’ve been tempted since November

10:31
Comment From tootthekazoo
Which pitchers get the boot when Walker and Paxton are ready to return? Does Young hang around as long relief?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: Maurer out, Young to bullpen

10:33
Comment From Jim
Robinson Cano shooting for the emptiest .300 season ever?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: I know it doesn’t count, but I’ve always loved Willie’s 2008 http://www.fangraphs.com/st…

10:33
Comment From Bert
Should the Reds look to extend Frazier? Probably not, but maybe?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: I’d give it a whirl, but I wouldn’t make it a priority

10:36
Comment From Cody
There was an interesting article this week on the giant wRC+ home/road splits for the Rockies that concluded that either 1) wRC+ is off in regards to adjusting for the Coors effect or 2) that the Rockies play at a practically insurmountable disadvantage on the road. Any opinions? (Here’s the article: http://www.purplerow.com/20…)

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Obviously this is something that requires more than a few seconds in a live chat, but absolutely I think the Rockies face a massive disadvantage from having to adjust to different pitches when they aren’t playing at home

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: First heard about this a few years ago, I think on Baseball Prospectus. wRC+ doesn’t capture the weirdness of playing at altitude and then not playing at altitude and the consequence is that Rockies players are super difficult to evaluate when they’re Rockies

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: This is one of the reasons why the market was a little nervous about Dexter Fowler in the offseason

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: (and now Fowler’s got a 121 wRC+ with career-low power)

10:38
Comment From Max
Hey Jeff, I really enjoy the Inside Edge pieces. How do you find those plays (game, inning, etc)? Do you have access to proprietary play-by-play data or am I missing something on the site?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: I think I must have access to data that you guys don’t :( when I look at the spray charts, I can get the information I need from hovering the cursor over one of the dots

10:39
Comment From Nick
How big of a loser am I for watching all 15 innings of the Nats game last night only to watch them lose in the most painful way possible? Nothing like wasting 5 hours!

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: entirely about your alternatives. if it makes you feel better, Rays fans always watch five-hour games

10:40
Comment From tommy
why dont you play fantasy baseball?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: No particular reason, just doesn’t interest me beyond the initial draft, and I have other ways to use my time.

10:40
Comment From Tyler
Any explanation for Tulo’s absurd home/away splits? His K%, batted ball numbers, and advanced stats are drastically different. 330 wRC+ at home, 146 on the road. That’s worth noting, especially since park factor should factor into wRC+.

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: he has 78 plate appearances in one split and 96 plate appearances in the other split

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: for his career, his split is 134/119

10:42
Comment From SF Dave
I would like to point out that I sent Eno the “new slider” information on Keuchel before the season began and asked if there was something there.

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: Explains his step forward between 2012-2013 but now he’s taken another massive step forward seemingly without a dramatic adjustment

10:44
Comment From john
Thinking of Matt Harvey. He has backed off his comments earlier about wanting to pitch this year. But lets say its 2015, the Mets are making a playoff run. Seeing what has happened to the nationals the last two seasons, if you were Mets FO, do you cap Harvey’s innings next year? I always thought the Nats made a mistake not having stras pitch in the playoffs. You never know when you will make it back

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: You develop a plan in February to allow for the possibility of Harvey still having bullets left come October

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: you schedule off days and skipped starts peppered through the year just in case

10:45
Comment From Bagwells Goatee
I can’t believe the Astros are this hot right now. Is it their pitching or hitting or a mix of both?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: Keuchel brilliance and the White Sox being pretty bad

10:46
Comment From Angelenos
How worried should we be about Mike Trout? A .641 OPS in May and 56 strikeouts overall (yet somehow he still leads the AL in WAR). I know, you wrote an article–but that was two weeks ago. What is wrong with the Milville Meteor?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s give it another month before we get REALLY worried, but this is baseball finally making a successful adjustment to the best player in the game. One of the reasons hes’ the best player in the game is because he’s also able to make the necessary adjustments. He’s working on it

10:48
Comment From John
Billy Hamilton’s BABIP is .351 from the left side and .214 from the right side. Obvious SSS aside, do switch hitters generally have that much of a disparity between the two sides and if so, is it the result of literally being a step or two closer to first base?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: In the minors, he had a .354 BABIP as a righty and a .355 BABIP as a lefty

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: You might see a difference for switch-hitters, but it’s going to be very small

10:49
Comment From GK
Is Samardzija going to require a bigger package than Price at the deadline?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Cost for Price will be higher because I don’t think he’ll be moved

10:50
Comment From Sandy
Do you think Jeff Samardzija will return to pitching like he did in 2012 and 2013, or is his improvement lasting?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: I think he’s trying to throw a few more strikes and he’s concentrating a little less on whiffs. If I’m right and that’s deliberate, he’ll probably stay something like this

10:51
Comment From JTT
What’s up with michael bourn? A pretty good player has seen a complete and utter collapse of all his skills basically overnight

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: When you’re high-K% and high-BABIP, you don’t have very much wiggle room. Bourn’s discipline got a little worse and now he’s an empty outfielder

10:52
Comment From Guest
Hard to believe Keuchel will keep this up, specifically the K’s, even with the peripherals. Can you think of a couple of past comps that kind of went from average, 4-5 SP prospect to this good (yes, SSS).

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: Doug Fister was never thought to be anything

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: Jose Quintana, kind of

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: What the hell is Jesse Chavez?

10:53
Comment From SF Dave
Is there anything to the idea that the Astros (or most baseball teams) play better defense behind a guy like Keuchel due to the pace they pitch at and the number of ground balls?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Don’t believe anyone’s ever found anything. Pace might be slightly correlated to success, but that’s because all pitchers slow down with men on

10:54
Comment From tommy
at what point does Bryce Harper’s injury concerns affect his worth as a potential star?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: A year ago

10:55
Comment From the Average Sports Fan
Speaking of the Reds, Votto is young to be in decline. But he clearly is. The power of 2010 is gone. I can’t see a 18-25 HR guy being worth north of $20 mil/season. How bad is his contract going to look in a couple years?

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: Last season he was worth 6.1 WAR

10:56
Comment From Guest
How accurate are park factors for minor league parks?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: Accurate enough

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: I want to acknowledge all the Mookie Betts questions in the queue, but I’m also not really a prospects guy so I think you should ask those same questions of someone smarter than me

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think he’s on the fast track to Boston, but he could be on the fast track to the majors if Boston uses him to make a major midseason splash

10:57
Comment From Bryan
Do you answer prospect questions?

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: Not very well :(

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: Only so much baseball I can know about

10:58
Comment From Confused
Why is Alex Wood in the bullpen?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: Watching his innings. He’ll start plenty more

10:58
Comment From the Average Sports Fan
With Votto and Bruce the Reds lineup is barely okay. Without them they are a complete embarrassment. Jockey wasted so much money and assets on bad middle reliever the lineup paid the price. Fireable offense?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: In fairness every lineup sucks if you take away its best players

10:59
Comment From Bart
George Springer ROS?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: .250/.330/.430

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: so, so many strikeouts

11:00
Comment From Kate Upton: Fantasy MVP
Given the evolution of Dallas “Big D” Keuchel, do you think he can be the Astro’s ace on their next relevant team?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: let’s go with No. 2

11:01
Comment From Jon
Bullpens become more valuable to teams with good starting pitching. Thoughts?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: Wouldn’t that reduce the number of innings thrown by the relievers?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: It’s time for me to wrap this up and get…back…to work

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: So thank you everybody for hanging out, and I’m sorry for what I didn’t or couldn’t address. We’ll do it again next week at the same time, and until then, be well and have great days



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


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David Appelman
Guest
David Appelman
2 years 1 month ago

We need to have a talk about the language you use in the chats.

benj
Guest
benj
2 years 1 month ago

That’s just how he pronounces it. We’re all struggling. Except for John Rocker, who probably thinks it’s hilarious.

Wa-hoo?
Guest
Wa-hoo?
2 years 1 month ago

Clevelands = New “worst” fans in baseball?

Coffee and Klubers, Stat!
Guest
Coffee and Klubers, Stat!
2 years 1 month ago

Jeff Sullivan: And remember that I don’t answer fantasy questions because I haven’t played fantasy baseball in a decade and I can’t give you any worthwhile advice. Also, the questions annoy literally everyone but the asker

Fair enough on the first part, but I’m in quite a few leagues (assuming the same for majority of FG readership), so almost all questions asked by the crowd are relevant to this guy at some point. Add in daily leagues (where FG has apparently bought hard into), and even more so.

Just letting you know that this card carrying member wouldn’t be annoyed if you were to let a few fantasy questions slip by.

benj
Guest
benj
2 years 1 month ago

Disagree. It’s actually a lot more enjoyable (for me, anyways) if I know the chat is either fantasy focused, or not.

As someone who also has several fantasy teams, it really is annoying when a baseball focused chat is buried in “______ ROS??!?” and trade evaluation questions.

Fantasy baseball is fun, but also involves a borderline myopic focus on results. Trying to look beyond results based analysis is one of the things that led me to discover FG in the first place. I’d prefer the fangraphs/rotographs firewall stay in place, or even be strengthened a little. Is there any reason we couldn’t just move fantasy focused writers (Eno, Podhorzer) chats over to Rotographs outright?

Jackie T.
Member
Member
Jackie T.
2 years 1 month ago

Eno’s used to be there. Does Pod do chats?

Teej
Guest
Teej
2 years 1 month ago

Yeah, count me among the people who would find something else to read on Tuesdays and Wednesdays were Jeff and Dave to start answering a bunch of “ROS” and “which teams wins this trade” questions in their chats. I play every year — run a pay league, actually — but I can’t muster an iota of concern about anyone else’s fantasy team, and I’m pretty confident that no one else gives a damn about mine.

Fantasy is fun to play, but I find it tends to make for lousy discussion. For my tastes, anyway. I like to read Rotographs here and there, but I’m glad to leave the fantasy discussion over there and just read about interesting baseball stuff over here.

Cory
Guest
Cory
2 years 1 month ago

Jeff, are you going to write something about Tyler Skaggs since he’s doing pretty good this season? Anticipating for that.

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