Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 5/27/14

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to the other side of the holiday weekend

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll be with you just as soon as my coffee stops dripping

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: Which is like right now!

9:06
Comment From PS
PROVIDE CONTENT

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: You’re the first!

9:06
Comment From Mariners Maldonado
Do you think the Astros will try and move Altuve by the deadline? That guy would do wonders on top of a lineup for teams trying to contend.

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: The guy who’s 24, good, and signed through 2019?

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know when the next good Astros team will appear, but I’m thinking they think Altuve will be a part of it

9:08
Comment From Dave from Pittsburgh
Ding Dong the Wandys dead! In retrospect, that was a terrible trade for both teams, yes?

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: To think, the Astros were once so bad that Wandy Rodriguez, with his contract, was among the most desirable trade assets

9:09
Comment From _David_
How much longer will we have to endure Stefen Romero, DH? .194/.245/.320, 4BB/27K

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe until Morrison comes back or the team signs Morales

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: Not a lot else to shuffle around. Team’s thin

9:10
Comment From Rated Rookie
Can we start the clock on Taijuan’s arrival in Seattle?

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: Seems like he and Paxton are about even now, with Paxton’s minor soreness. Appears to be a mid-June return timeline

9:10
Comment From Jaime
Is there any hope for Martin Prado this year? What’s gone wrong with him?

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: .650 OPS. last May 26, he had a .666 OPS

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: With that said, you can’t ignore the doubled strikeout rate or the decline in contact from an extremely high level

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: Interestingly, he already has 14 called strikeouts, after having 15 all of last season

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: I imagine part of this is age-related decline, and part of this is wacky wacky noise, and from now through the end of the season Prado will be okay

9:14
Comment From fats
which rotation would you rather have, the O’s, the yanks or the jays?

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: Yankees, then Jays, then Orioles, and that doesn’t even include Sabathia and Pineda

9:15
Comment From Jays fan
The Blue Jays are legit…right?

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: It’s good when you can hit the shit out of the ball

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: You might enjoy this: http://www.fangraphs.com/co…

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: Clearly, there are moves for them to make. They can be better. But this is kind of one of the justifications of not going nuts in the offseason — there was reason to believe already in strong positive regression. The team was never in *need* of major assistance

9:17
Comment From Guest
Which is longer- Brian Wilson’s leash or his beard?

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: They’re probably not feeling too great about that 2015 player option

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: Incidentally, I suspect Brian Wilson does own several leashes

9:18
Comment From Kris
clay bucholz sucks again

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: That was miserable

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: And his zone rate is actually *up*

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: He’s said himself that his mechanics are off, right? Seems like a candidate for a two-week shutdown. Issue is that the Sox don’t have a trillion replacement options

9:19
Comment From RotoTitanic
You got a shout out on the Cubs WGN broadcast yesterday for your Samardzija piece! Nice!

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: It is a very friendly broadcast team that they have

9:20
Comment From baltic fox
Some rumors have Beltre going to Texas for maybe Joc Pederson. I can see how it makes sense for LAD but TX is carrying 4 decent OFs already. Thoughts?

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: Martin isn’t great, Choice hasn’t hit yet, Rios might not be around long, and Choo might not be an outfielder long

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: With the Rangers’ outfield picture, room can be made for a guy like Joc Pederson

9:22
Comment From Mariners Maldonado
How does Adam Jones sustain success? Career 4.5% BB and 19.4% K rates, Career 75.3% contact rate while swinging at 55.4% of pitches. Those numbers usually don’t mean all-star caliber right?

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: Makes the most of the contact he does make. Well, maybe not the most, but, a lot. Pretty good power, pretty good BABIP, and then you add in good baserunning and adequate defense at an important position

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: Also, he plays every day

9:23
Comment From Jays fan
Could the Jays trade Rasmus for a pitcher? If so, should they?

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: They could, but then they just wouldn’t have a center fielder

9:25
Comment From Don Stephens
Hey Jeff, what’s your read on Longoria’s struggles thus far?

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: He’s basically himself with less power, and power is the skill that can fluctuate the most because it comes from a small sample of swings. He reminds me a little bit of what Robinson Cano looked like early, and Cano’s coming out of it by putting more balls in the air. Longoria might have a little something going on with his swing, but I imagine he’ll look like himself from this point forward

9:26
Comment From Hot Rod
Anyone ever just call you “Sully”? Like: “Sully! Bro! Babe, i gotta see my man Sullivan!”

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: Every single one of my baseball coaches

9:27
Comment From Steve
I have a love affair with Jed Lowrie, and I am getting screwed by babip. When will it go up, and what do you think he’s capable of offensively once the hits start dropping?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Screwed? His wRC+ is 107, above his career average

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Also, his career BABIP is below average

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: His offensive ceiling, though, is probably around what he did in 2013

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: Wait, that was a fantasy question, wasn’t it

9:28
Comment From _David_
James Paxton felt soreness after his rehab start, but he says it’s normal, so it’s fine. It’s fine. EVERYTHING’S FINE, OKAY?

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: In my head I’ve already bumped him back one rehab start, at least. Used to be I thought he was a start ahead of Walker. Now, at best, he’s even

9:30
Comment From PS
also aaron sanchez #’s from last start vs sea dogs: 0.0 IP, 0 hits, 6 runs.. wow.

9:30
9:30
Jeff Sullivan: 34 walks, 41 strikeouts. I always hate these prospects

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not a prospects guy, so don’t look to me for expertise, but I always prefer results over stuff, because in my mind stuff ought to include the ability to know where the hell it’s going

9:31
Comment From Guest
How do you take your coffee?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: Black, home pour-overs, I’ve given myself away to the Portland spirit

9:32
Comment From CarGo
Is there a DL stint in my future? Or are the Rockies going to keep pretending that my dropoff in production isn’t an issue?

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: Sure feels like Gonzalez could/should go on the DL for a bit. The Rockies wouldn’t want to be without him for that long but of all teams in baseball, they’re the one with the most outfielders currently hitting

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: They could sideline Gonzalez and then get an even better read on which outfielder to think about trading

9:34
Comment From Darth Stout
What is Junior Lake’s future? Has he shown you enough to believe that he can be a starting OF for a good team?

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: 60% contact rate. seven walks with 52 strikeouts. I know it’s overly simplistic, but if you’re going to succeed with those kinds of numbers, you better be *amazing*, and I suspect Lake isn’t a true-talent .380 BABIP sort

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think he’s a disaster, and I can see him as a team’s worst starting OF, but I’d sure prefer to bet on something more reliable

9:36
Comment From Steve
Should we be concerned about Evan Longoria’s drop in batted ball distance…?

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: Doesn’t his drop in ISO say the same thing?

9:36
Comment From Benji
Is Fredi Gonzalez the worst manager to ever be part of a 96 win team

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: Probably not, but that’s just playing the odds

9:36
Comment From Bryce Harpers soulmate
I was in desperate need for pitching a couple of week ago and dropped George Springer, who was struggling mightily. Talk me off the ledge.

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: Why? You’ll probably just go back to it after your next overreaction.

9:37
Comment From Guest #3234
Do you have any thoughts on the future of Kyle Zimmer? Is his hype overstated because of SSS?

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: Just now diagnosed with a lat strain that’ll set him back several more weeks. (1) Very talented, (2) pitching prospect. I like the healthy version of him, which might not ever exist for long stretches

9:37
Comment From GianMarlo Stanfield
No GoT on Sunday night… sheesh what’d YOU do with yourself?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: Camped on the other side of Oregon

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: Side note: maybe the most aggravating part of this job is having to dedicate a bunch of hours to catching up on what you missed

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: Baseball always makes me feel guilty for taking personal time

9:39
Comment From Rated Rookie
I wish MLB.TV had a “ballpark ambience” option for the audio feed on the video broadcasts.

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: I could’ve sworn this used to be a thing

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: Am I crazy? Is this still a thing?

9:41
Comment From AJ
It is but you have to be a premium member I think

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: I know this was at least promised, but I never used it and can’t recall actually seeing it as an option

9:42
Comment From Bip
I don’t think it is. I’m pretty sure I’ve had no choice but to listen to Hawk at least once

9:42
Comment From mlbtv
You can select ballpark sound on the MLB.tv app for Roku, but not computer or PS3.

9:43
Comment From benj
So part of your job seems like it probably includes staying informed enough about the whole league to stay conversant about any given team. How hard is it to do that in September, when the playoffs are largely set and baseball has been happening for 5 months? Do you have to make yourself watch something like Royals/D-Backs matchups?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Well thankfully by that point people aren’t really looking for us to cover the teams who suck and are out of the race. So while we’ll still focus on some interesting players on those teams, we don’t have to stay quite as informed becuase those teams are just playing out the string and most of the fans have checked out

9:44
Comment From Chim Ritchalds
what’s the deal with Hosmer?

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: I think this is similar to a few other situations: Hosmer is himself without the same amount of power, but if you think about it, what is power but getting into one or two extra baseballs every few weeks? It’s an easy thing to imagine coming and going with no change in actual player talent. We’re talking about Hosmer being a very small handful of swings away from being his ordinary self

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: So while a drop in ISO can definitely be meaningful, I require more evidence to believe a guy is actually missing something he used to have. I don’t think Hosmer is less powerful than he used to be; I think he’s just hit for less power so far

9:46
Comment From Dan
Does the Matt Kemp situation in LA seem very odd to you too?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: Especially given https://twitter.com/dylanoh…

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: Obviously there has to be some juggling with that team’s personnel and obviously Kemp is a pretty lousy defender but this seems like it’s going too far

9:48
Comment From PieTraynee
Who has the better chance of making the playoffs between the Pirates and Reds?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Pirates, I think. Polanco is close, the pitchers are better than this, and Votto might not be his normal self for the rest of the season

9:49
Comment From Benji
Does Seth Smith continue to hit for the rest of the year?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Not like the fifth-best hitter in baseball, no

9:49
Comment From baltic fox
If the Shark is dealt, what’s the most likely landing spot?

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: Right now probably Blue Jays, but he’s at least a month from getting traded

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: If the Red Sox pull themselves back into the hunt, then suddenly they might be the most obvious option

9:51
Comment From Guest
Nick Franklin sat all 3 games this weekend, Miller two of the three. Any clue what the plan is for SEA now? Platoon Franklin against LHP and continue running Romero out? Do they think he’s not ready to play OF?

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: Way too many lefties on the team right now and Miller can’t even hit righties. Franklin is a switch-hitter who sucks a third of the time. The current arrangement isn’t permanent but when lefties are on the hill, the Mariners are in some trouble

9:52
Comment From Francisco Lindor Truffles
More likely that Betts gets traded (as part of a package) for someone like Stanton or that we see him manning CF this season?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: The worse the Red Sox are, the more likely I think it is that Betts sticks around. Obviously at present they could use a better center fielder and they might just have that option internally

9:53
Comment From Luke
Thoughts on Hosmer? Batted ball distance isn’t too inspiring.

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: Of course it isn’t, he has one home run

9:53
Comment From Guest
I live in Houston and Altuve is basically the only player anyone knows/likes. Trading him would be a disaster

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: It’ll be Springer in approximately seven minutes

9:53
Comment From Lars
Are there any other Cuban or Japanese players on their way to MLB? Anyone as good as Puig or Tanaka?

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: No one as good as Tanaka

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: And we didn’t even know Puig was Puig. We all thought that was a laughable overpay for a nobody

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: but: http://www.baseballamerica….

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: more informative: http://www.baseballamerica….

9:56
Comment From Guest
Best bet to be traded: Lee, Utley or Shark?

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: Samardzija, for sure

9:56
Comment From Johnny Rockets
Josh Donaldson has 46 flyballs @ 291.40 feet on average with 12 HRs while Austin Jackson has 46 flyballs @ 289.04 feet on average with 3 HRs. Is this data sufficient enough to suggest that one is hitting more HRs than expected while one is hitting less?

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: Where are they hitting those fly balls?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: Directionality is pretty important. Not saying that’s the explanation, because I don’t know off the top of my head, but it’s a significant factor

9:57
Comment From Joseph (Orlando)
Yasiel Puig or Bryce Harper? Real life.

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: Puig

9:58
Comment From Dave
Any thoughts on Masterson for the rest of the year?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: He’s down more than two miles per hour. I don’t like that at all

9:59
Comment From John Cena
Dave Hudgens seems like a smart dude. Do you think fly ball rates and swing/miss rates show the Mets were “pressing” at home? Is that a real thing or just noise?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: It gets very complicated, but I suspect he’d have a good idea if hitters were trying to do too much or change their games too much in an unfriendly environment. He probably understands what was going on. But then, there’s understanding something, and there’s subsequently fixing something.

10:00
Comment From _David_
You’ve probably seen this, but, McClendon, about Keuchel, via Divish tweet: “I saw avg. stuff. We didn’t swing the bats very good. At some pt, you have to stop giving credit to avg pitchers.” I asked Divish if McClendon was really that oblivious and he said he’s probably just mad at his hitters.

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: I imagine McClendon was frustrated, and I imagine McClendon hasn’t kept an eye on Dallas Keuchel’s xFIP-

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: And let’s face it, Keuchel is the sort of pitcher you appreciate over time. You don’t watch him in a single start and think, yeah, that’s one of the best pitchers there is

10:02
Comment From Happiness
Are we concerned about Hutchison’s start yesterday or was it a blip in an otherwise very good set of starts?

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: Worry about patterns

10:03
Comment From Dave from Pittsburgh
Liriano is really screwing the Pirates, they’re hovering near .500 but he’s not helping. Any chance he ups his trade value?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: I think most of this is noise, and he’s a lot better than his ERA. You’ll never be able to *rely* on Francisco Liriano over a long stretch, but he remains probably the best starter on the staff

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Same strike rate as last year. Lower contact rate. Higher groundball rate. Good indicators in place

10:05
Comment From Owen S.
Michael Pineda’s service time is confusing me. Why was he not eligible for arbitration this year? He spent 2011 with the Ms and ’12 and ’13 with the Yankees, yet he was resigned in ’14 for near league minimum. Can you only accrue service time on the DL for up to a year or something? (Baseball Prospectus has his service time at 2.099)

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: He was optioned in the middle of last year, stopping his service-time accrual

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: So he was activated from the DL but not placed on the active roster. As such, the Yankees sort of “undid” what the Mariners did when they put Pineda on the roster out of camp as a rookie

10:08
Comment From Maury
What’s up with Verlander?

10:08
10:08
Comment From heinie manush
Baez is starting to come around. Any chance the Cubs bring him up before September?

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: 1.371 OPS over his last ten games. Yeah, that chance definitely exists, but he’s going to need to do something kind of like this over more than a week and a half. It’s just good, in the big picture, to see him start to assert himself against advanced competition

10:09
Comment From Sincerely Yours
Is there any hope for the likes of Will Meyers and Eric Hosmer this year?

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: Why of course there is

10:09
Comment From Ed
Do you think the yanks will be able to make the post season with their current rotation

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: Their *current* current rotation? Probably not

10:10
Comment From RK
Why won’t Franklin be given a shot at that DH?

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: He will, but he can’t hit lefties and the Mariners don’t want to pigeonhole him yet

10:10
Comment From Lars
Are there any statistics for umpires regarding their strike zone? I know certain umpires are known for having a larger strike zone.

10:11
10:11
10:11
10:11
Comment From A. Lane
Jeff for that chart on location of Samardzija’s pitches did you take the location numbers and create your own plot?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: Correct

10:11
Comment From Tom
When are we past this Super 2 stuff. I want to see Polanco in the majors!

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Just a matter of a few weeks now

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: And Polanco’s actually been somewhat mortal in May, at least relative to April. Not that anyone could sustain his April

10:13
Comment From AJ
Is Jesus Montero going to ever get another shot for the M’s?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe, and they’d love to see him hit since he’s a righty and the team doesn’t have righty hitters. But he’ll need to do more. Weird Montero things: in April, he slugged .613 with five times as many strikeouts as walks. In May, he’s slugged .370 with 15 walks and 20 strikeouts

10:15
Comment From Joe Mayo
When Hamilton is ready will the Angels send down Grant Green instead of Cron? If so, why?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: In that instance maybe they’d want Cron to serve as a semi-regular DH

10:15
Comment From heinie manush
Is the hamate injury going to zap Ramos of all his power this year? Seems like he came back way too early.

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: Not all of it, but it’s a concern the rest of the way

10:17
Comment From Carl
Do you expect Dee Gordon to regress back to his performances in past seasons?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: Hasn’t he already?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: .238/.298/.286 in May

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: He’s not a real good player. He might be an improved player, but that’s improving from a very low starting point

10:19
Comment From PCR
What are the Braves doing at 2B? And how bad does the Chris Johnson signing look (3/$24MM)?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: Tommy La Stella hasn’t really done much in Triple-A yet so the Braves don’t have a million options for a gaping hole

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: La Stella has basically been Reggie Willits, and he doesn’t play great defense from what I understand. So there are no good options internally

10:20
Comment From Lars
Tommy Milone: Another great A’s starter?

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: Great?

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s go with adequate

10:20
Comment From Lars
What do you expect out of Jaime Garcia the rest of the way?

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: Good performance with a lot of groundballs and a missed start here and there

10:21
Comment From Catoblepas
Some bad luck involved in the Red Sox’s 10-game losing streak, but a lot of true talent (or lack thereof) too. What’s the biggest difference between March expectations that have them fighting for the AL East all season and now? The 40% functional starting rotation?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: A rotation that’s performed a lot worse than its peripherals and position-player underperformance and injury. Bradley and Sizemore weren’t supposed to have a combined negative WAR. Victorino wasn’t supposed to be hurt and awful. Third base, of course, has been a catastrophe

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: There are things that look obvious in retrospect but then we’re biased by what we know now

10:23
Comment From Nelson
Christian Yelich is hitting for less avg, much more power in May than April. Is it just SSS, or has he changed his approach?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: I haven’t done an investigation, but in May he’s hit almost 70% groundballs. There probably has been some sort of adjustment from the league after he hit .292 in the first month.

10:25
Comment From Benji
What exactly is Chris Johnson good at besides grinding into double plays?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Hitting singles and being the loudest man in a room

10:25
Comment From Dave
Have you talked to any pitchers or former pitchers about pitch framing? David Cone seems obsessed.

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: They know who’s good and who isn’t. They can also usually identify why. Something I learned a few months back is that Kurt Suzuki has good technique but woefully short arms, which costs him on pitches around the edges

10:27
Comment From _David_
Jonah Keri seems to indicate in his Expos book (Up, Up, & Away) that Gary Carter was moved to catcher full time (was playing some outfield) because his reckless play style was leading to injuries. This reminded me of Bryce Harper, who did the reverse and gets scuffed because of his aggressiveness…Is there any way he should have staid at catcher? Maybe this was only an issue in Montreal where they had terrible turf and a rock hard OF wall.

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: We’ll never really know what Harper might’ve become had he remained as a backstop, but catchers tend to have shorter careers and it’s still too early to conclusively say that Harper will be fragile all career long. He’s still young enough to shed the injury-prone label

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Jed Lowrie was never durable until he was. Not that Lowrie is a great comp for Harper, but I’m speaking in generalities

10:28
Comment From Ed
Besides for Tanka why do you like the yanks rotation so much?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: I still like Kuroda too

10:28
Comment From Guest
Once Hamilton comes back can the Angels catch the A’s with their so so rotation?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, because they have a better-than-so-so assortment of position players

10:29
Comment From Marcus A.
George Springer obviously isn’t as good as his last week, but holy moly, this is what people were dreaming on, huh? What do you think he looks like for the rest of the season?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: Fun fact

April: 31% K
May: 32% K

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: Now he’s just elevating the baseball when he hits it. He’s going to have high peaks and low valleys but I can see a .350-.360 wOBA

10:30
Comment From Perry
Team for you that is most disappointing after the first two months?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: Red Sox, then Indians, then Rays, then…Dodgers?

10:31
Comment From David
as a Nats fan…do I have a reason to be worried?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: Yes

10:32
Comment From Steve
So you think Cards call up Taveras soon in June or later?

10:32
10:33
Comment From Jack
Reds serious in sending Cingrani down? smart or dumb?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: He hasn’t been very good and Alfredo Simon has been all right. Makes sense to demote Cingrani for a bit and then re-evaluate in a matter of weeks

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Nothing decided now has to be permanent

10:34
Comment From Jack
When does Alex Wood make it back to the rotation..this is really Fing him up, no?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: They might make the counter-point that this is helping to preserve him for the future

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: They don’t really have an obvious opening, but I’m sure they will in time and Wood will make his starts while keeping his innings down

10:35
Comment From Gabriel
Maybe I can find it somewhere instead of just asking but, BB% is calculated over PA or AB? thanks!

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: PA

10:36
Comment From Jake
How much has Cabrera’s relatively slow start changed the equation on his contract? If he was estimated for ~40 WAR over the life of the dealing April, is it fair to say 37-38′s looking like a better estimate? If he’s fallen to ~150 wRC+ in 2014, is a ~30 WAR estimate reasonable?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: He’s been awesome for a month and it seems reasonable his slow start was due to recovery from offseason surgery. In that event, the slow start doesn’t really matter when projecting forward because it didn’t have anything to do with age or decline or whatnot

10:36
Comment From John from Burbank
Is the Marlins center field monstrosity stealing signs?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Signs, our souls…

10:37
Comment From Guest
Is Matt Kemp’s benching just a wakeup call for him to hustle on D? If not, who has more value, Ethier or Crawford?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: If Kemp shifts more to LF, then Ethier plays more than Crawford does

10:37
Comment From heinie manush
Is this the McCann we should expect this year or is it going to get better?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: He’s a lot better than this

10:37
Comment From Dave
Any chance the Braves deal a starter?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: More likely one gets hurt or sucks

10:38
Comment From Jake
What are the odds on the players getting something really big in the 2016 CBA? 5 years of team control, 4 years of arbitration, no more super 2 nonsense, etc?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Anything they get is going to be balanced almost exactly evenly by something they give.

10:38
Comment From fred
Do you like Hawk Harrelson

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t like listening to him but I do like that he exists

10:40
Comment From Guest
Is Joc Peterson a platoon type guy or more like a star?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: Above-average player who gets exposed sometimes against better lefties

10:40
Comment From Dave
anything in Seth Smith’s improved BB/K that means he will ever hit lefties?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: sorry :(

10:41
Comment From Leslie
Speaking of two week shutdowns, is that what’s needed for Verlander?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think he needs a shutdown — I think he just needs to figure out a slightly different way to pitch

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: And I didn’t even see what he did against the Rangers over the weekend

10:42
Comment From Stephen Pryor
Where the hell have I been?? Wouldn’t I make a lot more sense than Medina?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: You’re pitching poorly in Tacoma

10:43
Comment From vivalajeter
After the Mets fired their hitting coach yesterday, he said that one good thing is that he won’t have to listen to their broadcasting team again. Honest question – if you’re the hitting coach, are you supposed to watch the game on tv and listen to the broadcasters? I thought they’d be in the dugout watching it live, and speaking with players.

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: I’m guessing he didn’t actually watch the games that much on TV, but he probably had a lot of what was said filtered down to him

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Like, if the broadcasters were critiquing the guy, he probably heard about that from friends or family or coworkers. New York media has a way of trickling down to every person

10:44
Comment From Kris
So Yordano yesterday and now Zimmer shut down 6-8 weeks.

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Zimmer, at least, is just a lat for now, and Yordano, at least, is initially looking like non-UCL. But both could be real bad

10:45
Comment From Jim
Beckett a real thing? Or Babip/strand mirage?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: I think he’s a fine middle-of-the-rotation type. Sometimes those guys throw no-hitters

10:46
Comment From Smooth
Hey Jeff, Elvis Andrus. Love him or Hate him?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: in between

10:46
Comment From Guest
Ryu’s 8th inning velocity dropped 2mph following his 7th-inning trip around the bases. Seems like a simple explanation, but we are now vigilant about velocity changes out of concern for injury…. and rightly so. Do we have any data on pitchers velocity changing after physical exertion on the base paths?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Feel free to do that research and publish it on the community blog! I have not personally seen anyone really pursue that data and write it up

10:47
Comment From Kyle
Which do you see happening first: another 60+ HR season or 300+ Ks? Has to be the Ks in this enviroment, right?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: Chris Davis just hit 53 home runs. No one’s ever topped 223 strikeouts.

10:48
Comment From Bryce Harpers soulmate
What’s going on with George Springer? Will anyone ever get him out again?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: Get used to streaks like this. He’s a freak

10:48
Comment From Maevis
Who is your favorite pitcher to watch?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: Felix Hernandez and I’m biased

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: I also love to watch Cliff Lee

10:49
Comment From WishingNatsCouldScore
settle a long-running debate on the Nationals Fan Forum – Stephen Strasburg – Ace or not?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, he’s a no. 1, but he feels disappointing because of how high expectations were set, and how quickly

10:50
Comment From Fred
Is there any difference in park factors that can explain how Nelson Cruz has been even better in Baltimore than in Texas, or do you think this is just a smallish sample power outburst that will subside to more what we expected?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: A few swings can cause power to underachieve, and a few swings can do the opposite of that

10:50
Comment From not a fantasy question
To me, all baseball questions are ‘fantasy questions’ in some sense, way, shape or form – so I don’t know why you have a vendetta against ‘fantasy questions.’ All the questions you answer could or could not be applied to fantasy… can’t you see that?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: The fantasy questions I actually don’t like are the ones that have to do with specific sorts of leagues or trades. I can’t help you there

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: But if you have a fantasy question that’s also just a player-analysis question, yeah, that’s fine ,because that’s player analysis

10:51
Comment From Catoblepas
Yordano Ventura: :(. At what point can we conclude that this is more than random variation in health? Three or four years from now?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: Is Ventura’s injury a sign of the times, or is it a sign of Yordano Ventura throws too damn hard? People throw harder now than ever before. Ligaments can’t handle it so much

10:52
Comment From not a fantasy question
no fatasy questions, but ask away about how the man likes his coffee… ?!?! what quality does that answer bring to this chat?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: One of those types of questions, I can actually answer

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: This is the weekly reminder that you don’t actually want my fantasy baseball advice because I haven’t played the game in ten years

10:53
Comment From bravesfaninAL
At what point do the Braves concede that their 2B situation is a dumpster fire and turn to La Stella? It can’t possibly turn out any worse than it’s been so far with Uggla/Pastornicky/Pena.

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: I imagine they’d like to see him slugging better than .344 in the minors

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Really just not a single good option there. La Stella is probably on the way but he’s not beating the door down

10:54
Comment From Guest
How good can George Springer be with his K rate? He seems to have the skills to offset it somewhat. Kind of like the optimized Colby Rasmus?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Thing about Springer is, while he makes limited contact, he maximizes the contact that he does make. I might have tow rite about him again this afternoon!

10:55
Comment From Mork
Say something about Brian McCann.

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: Good receiver

10:55
Comment From Flokie
Worried about Syndergaard?

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah :( seems like it’s not the worst-case, but you never know and any discomfort is a problem

10:56
Comment From J. Peterman
Can Michael Brantley keep it up, specifically the power?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think he’s .200-ISO good, but I can buy him as .150-ISO good

10:57
Comment From Jake
Who is currently most getting screwed by their park/division/unique situation?

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: Can I say the Rangers because of their injuries?

10:57
Comment From Jack from last place
Is Will Myers all he was cracked up to be?

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: A good player? Yeah. Presumably he is not a blossoming superstar

10:59
Comment From Reddickulous
Why do I hear that, sure, a crafty LHP can get away with deception but no way that RHP gets away with it? What are the practical differences here? There are more righty batters, so wouldn’t that mean that lefties should have even a tougher time? What’s really behind this distinction?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: I think people are just more accustomed to seeing crafty lefties, because there are fewer lefties in the population and therefore there are fewer lefties with good stuff, but there’s always a demand for lefty pitchers, so you see guys come up who have lower velocity

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: And because they have lower velocity, they *have* to succeed in large part on command and deception. Righties get by more often with stuff

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: But there are crafty righties, who simply aren’t referred to as such

11:01
Comment From Pizzy
Do you think the injuries to young bats like Harper/Profar will effect their developmental ceiling or will it just delay them? K. Law doesn’t seem too worried but these were guys who I expected to contend for MVP’s by age 25.

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: Thankfully, Harper and Profar are just 21

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: These are delays, but I don’t think these are long-term problems

11:02
Comment From Bip
Over the weekend, Puig had at least three base hits that were slow bouncers right along the third base line, that the 3B had basically no chance of making a play on. How long do you think Puig will be able to inflate his BABIP on grounders that way?

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: Well he won’t always hit that many, but it’s not like infields are going to play Puig shallow, so he’ll get some hits on swinging bunts from time to time

11:03
Comment From Nick O
MLB’s two best offenses are the A’s and the Jays. The A’s best two hitters are Josh Donaldson and Brandon Moss. The Blue Jays best two hitters are Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista. Can you think of any other team whose best two hitters were so mediocre for so long before breaking out?

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: Examples might exist, but not off the top of my head. The Blue Jays offense is so much fun

11:04
Comment From Bip
How does Cameron do it? Something happens in baseball and he has a post about it up within 10 minutes

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: Sometimes he has been given advance warning. He is also a complete freak who’s never distracted by anything because he only ever thinks about baseball

11:05
Comment From Horace
Who was the last player you said “Wow” when looking at some advanced stats…one where you didn’t realize he was that “good”? What was the stat?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: I remember being shocked when I investigated Tyson Ross as a starter last season

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: But that’s a difficult question to answer!

11:07
Comment From Ben
With Myers’ and D’Arnaud’s struggles in mind, in recent years have there been any examples of “Top Prospects (Non-Pitchers)” being traded and enjoying above league average production for an extended period of time?

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: Austin Jackson?

11:07
Comment From Jake
Has the window pretty much closed for the Rays? It was a fun run but the pitching is shallow, the bats are worse. (Sorry but now that Jason is gone I don’t know where to send my Rays questions…)

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s see what they get back for Price

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: The window is…narrower, but opportunity remains

11:08
Comment From Greg
On average how many baseball games do you watch per week?

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: I watch very few full baseball games, but I’m constantly going through video of baseball games

11:09
Comment From Jake
Being a baseball analyst, and having a more in depth than most any fan, is it hard to be a more casual fan of other sports?

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: It takes effort to remain a casual hockey fan, actively resisting the analytics because I don’t want to know about them. But this way hockey is like a sports vacation

11:09
Comment From Bip
Edwin Encarnacion is a perfect example of “don’t read too much into a power slump”

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe *this* is an afternoon post

11:10
Comment From Brandon
Why are FG’s park factors so much different than those on ESPN and others?

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: ESPN calculates theirs poorly!

11:11
Comment From Darth Stout
Do your comments on Hosmer go double for Heyward? Three HR and a sub .100 ISO is stunning for him after memorial day.

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: Last May 31, Heyward was batting .146/.290/.243. Rest of the way, he hit .294/.373/.495. Power’s weird, man.

11:12
Comment From Guest
Sure seems like at some point the DH will be MLB-wide. Are you on board with that?

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: I am on board with it as being sensible, but I’m also going to miss being able to analyze pitchers hitting because they make for a neat pseudo-control

11:13
Comment From Coffee Snob
How bummed would the Cubs be if Shark is hurt between now and a month?

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: Very!

11:13
Comment From Guest
People are so wrong about the mlb.tv “ambient” audio option. It’s available on your computer as well- you just have to click “access audio overlay with nexdef plugin” THEN click the game you want to watch. Welcome.

11:13
Comment From Julian
What do you think Stanton’s raw power numbers would look like if he played half his games at Fenway?

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: That’s an interesting question, because while he has crazy power, he might hit a few too many line-drive home runs taht would end up as doubles or long singles off the monster

11:14
Comment From chuckb
I live in Houston and it’s a shame if people here don’t know the name Dallas Keuchel. Maybe they’ve just blocked it from their brains because it includes the always-despised word “Dallas.”

11:15
Jeff Sullivan: He also was really bad two years ago, and he was okay last year. He’s never been celebrated, and he’s been really good for only a couple months, and it takes some time for fans to come around to that. Especially when the team in general is off-putting

11:15
Comment From Julian
Thoughts on Amaro saying he doesn’t want to sell?

11:15
Jeff Sullivan: Sounds like Ruben Amaro

11:16
Comment From Matt
Could the Rockies put together a package for Stanton including Gray,Dahl,Herrera,McMachon? It would be marketing gold and make the world happy. Tulo,Cargo,Arenado are locked up for a while and that would be an amazing core

11:16
Jeff Sullivan: Right now Stanton’s not going anywhere. The Marlins think they’re building a thing, and they want Stanton long-term. Now, whether that’s possible…

11:17
Comment From Nick
You like Liriano’s talent over Cole’s?

11:17
Jeff Sullivan: A little. Cole’s great too though

11:17
Comment From Guest
What do you mean “worry about patterns”?

11:17
Jeff Sullivan: Worry about things that continue; don’t freak out about blips

11:18
Comment From Sal
If the Cards call up Taveras next week he’s probably up for good right?

11:18
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t really see them sending him down, barring really really bad performance for a while

11:18
Comment From Guest
What’s the deal with David Price?

11:19
Jeff Sullivan: He’s Cliff Lee now, and don’t worry about the dingers

11:19
Jeff Sullivan: Okie doke, it’s been a while and I need to get going on some other work

11:19
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




Print This Post



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 — 5/27/14”

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
  1. Richard says:

    Is Clay Bucholz going on “DL” or to bullpen? Do you see Webster or Delarosa being one of Boston’s starters for a significant part of the year? Odds on which one?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • mgoetze says:

      Buchholz actually has an option, though he would have to agree to it being used. I personally would rather see RDLR but I suspect the Sox will call up Webster first.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Steven Souza says:

    When am I going to get called up and put in LF until Harper returns?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. nard says:

    Fantasy baseball is worse than getting diagnosed with AIDS and finding out you’re related to Hitler the same day your dog died because you accidentally ran it over in your haste to procure retroviral medication and also crack cocaine for your crack cocaine-addicted baby who also has AIDS.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. Park Chan ho's Beard says:

    Just a reminder to everyone that Jeff Sullivan hasn’t played fantasy baseball in over 10 years and constantly has to remind people of that fact because they will keep asking him questions about it despite him having virtually zero expertise in the area, and also there are like 5 other chatters on this website that answer fantasy questions, and also fantasy questions are usually really boring and bad, so please stop asking fantasy questions!

    Alternatively, If Jeff Sullivan were to consistently give snarky responses to a select few questions every so often, that would be ideal.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Current ye@r *