Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 6/11/13

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Look, at this point if you haven’t figured out that being late is part of my schtick, that’s your problem.

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Not that it was intended this way, but look where we are!

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: I am the worst FanGraphs employee!

9:08
Comment From Time
Why do you disrespect me?

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: I have a different concept of you

9:08
Comment From Goose
Please rank RoS! Hosmer, Belt, Konerko

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: Belt/Konerko/Hosmer? Now guess the order!

9:08
Comment From the Gregorius D.I.D.(i)
if Chat questions are submitted but there is no moderator to moderate/post them is the event truly live?

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: I think we can all agree that maybe

9:08
Comment From rusty
Hisashi Iwakuma: #1 most-searched MLB player on fangraphs! Did you ever think you’d see the day?

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: I think there was a stretch where Joel Guzman was mysteriously the most searched player on fangraphs. Nothing weirds me out anymore.

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: Interesting to see that, though. I assume it’s fantasy baseball-driven. Are people still not familiar with Iwakuma? Are they extra convinced now that he’s shut down the Astros? Wouldn’t the good thing to do have been to pick him up *before* that start?

9:10
Comment From lowercase jeff
when do you start doubting that hamels will turn it around? his only hamels-like performances lately have been against the marlins. and those are the marlins.

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: Officially, this is a concern of mine, because it’s been more than two months, which is an arbitrary amount of time. The problem is with the diagnosis. I have no idea what to make of what Hamels has been going through — it’s just clear he’s been going through something

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: My inclination is still to say “unfortunate sequencing” and that Hamels will be okay but at some point you look stupid still counting on the math and we’re approaching that point

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: It’s kind of like with Lincecum in a way. Look at that xFIP! But, the rest of the picture.

9:13
Comment From Spencer
What should the Braves do when Beachy comes back? People seem to think Beachy to the ‘pen is the move to “get his strength back,” but isn’t that the idea behind rehab?

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: It could buy them some more time to make a decision and get Beachy re-acquainted with big-league hitters. If no one’s struggling, it’s hard to pull somebody out. Eventually they’re going to need a sixth starter, and right now you can’t yank Teheran

9:15
Comment From lowercase jeff
more likely to be ok: hamels or cain?

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: I’m going to say Cain?

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: But not for a convincing reason. They’re both in similar places, to me

9:16
Comment From NatsFan
except JZ, rotation is inconsistent and lineup isn’t producing. why should a Nats fan be optimistic about Nats’ chances of making it to postseason?

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: Healthy Strasburg, healthy Harper, healthy Werth, healthy Espinosa, productive Rendon

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: It’s becoming clear we might’ve overrated the Nationals before the season, and that’s our bad, but there’s still a lot they’ve got going for them

9:18
Comment From Hieronymous
Which division do you think is better: NL Central or AL East?

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: I think I’m actually going to say NL Central!

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: I did say it, right there!

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: Might get balanced out by the minor AL superiority but that Central division is something else

9:18
Comment From the Gregorius D.I.D.(i)
excited about any of the big news out of E3?

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: I look forward to somebody telling me what this means!

9:21
Comment From rusty
have you seen Dirk Heyhurst’s take on PEDs? (http://dirkhayhurst.com/2013/06/altruisms-vs-compounding-interest/) any thoughts?

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: “There is no premium market for organic players. Winners are the only thing that sells in this business, chemically enriched or otherwise.”

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: I only just now read this — in the middle of the chat — so I haven’t had time to consume it fully. But at first read, it’s right on.

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: There’s very little to actually deter a player from taking PEDs, especially if he’s on the fringe of getting a big-league career. And people forgive quite easily, because people don’t really care all that much, not as much as the media says.

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: Most recently, from Hayhurst, I read this, which is also good http://dirkhayhurst.com/2013/06/5308/

9:26
Comment From Guest
what are your thoughts on Jacob Turner?

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: Not real interested. Which sounds harsh for a former top prospect who’s still 22,but he’s missing something in his development and he won’t be much to think about until he finds it

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: Turner has 111 strikeouts in 163.2 Triple-A innings

9:27
Comment From Prich
The Dodgers want to be rid of Ethier and some of his contract, the Ms desperately need help in the OF, have a strong farm system, a bit of money to spend… Seems like a fit.

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: It does, doesn’t it? You can expect them to talk. You can expect the Dodgers and lots of teams to talk, about Ethier. At first, the Dodgers will decline to buy out that much of Ethier’s contract, but it’s pretty evident they’ll have to do something and other teams will wait them out

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: It would really help them to have Ethier not suck

9:28
Comment From the Gregorius D.I.D.(i)
I hear that Time is pissed and wants you to come down to the clubhouse for a chat

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: I’m a diva

9:29
Comment From Eddie
What is Boston doing with RDLR? He finally goes 5 innings, in 70 pitches, and they pull him! Why won’t they let him get stretched out?!?!

9:29
9:30
Jeff Sullivan: They’re just being careful with him, and he’s also coming back from a side injury. Things are going to be fine.

9:30
Comment From Timothy
Heyward FINALLY turning around!

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: It’s funny the way this can be perceived. On the one hand, it’s simple regression to the mean for a highly talented player with a track record of success. So it’s not surprising, in the way it wouldn’t be surprising for Ike Davis to turn out all right. But this regression is also the product of an awful lot of work. I think, when people think about regression, what’s ignored is that it’s probably fueled by effort on the playesr’ part, and it’s not an automatic process

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: Players might regress at least in part because when they struggle, they work hard to fix what’s wrong. Then they more or less re-establish a true talent. This is only a hypothesis

9:31
Comment From Zach
There’s a question floating around the internet (I saw it via Neyer) as to whether tonight’s Colon-Sabathia matchup is the heaviest in MLB history. I love fat pitchers, do you?

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: Not really. I prefer little pitchers, and two-dimensional pitchers like Chris Sale. Those second guys remind me of me and I’m a fan of me

9:32
Comment From Guest
Please rank: Volcanos, Beer, Sex Dungeons

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: Volcanoes, beer, sex dungeons

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: With an additional comma: Sex, volcanoes, beer, dungeons

9:33
Comment From Kris
Do you think he Cards will move Wainwright to the pen once Westbrook comes back? I mean Wainwright has significant bullpen experience and…I can’t do it.

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: I should have read the rest of this before accepting it into the chat

9:33
Comment From Guest
Haiku for you: Like a caldera / Which player’s hot start do you / think will soon collapse?

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: Too easy to say Jeff Locke?

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: Everth Cabrera needs to settle down

9:35
Comment From sea salt
JJ Hardy is hitting .270! regression coming or is this the new-old Hardy?

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: The last time Hardy struck out this infrequently, he batted .277

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: What’s going on with the Orioles and strikeout elimination? This seems like a thing to be studied

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe by me, today! Let’s find out!

9:36
Comment From neal
PUIGSES CHRIST! This is getting insane.

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: Puig puts us in a delicate position. Allow me to explain:

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: First instinct is to fall in love and declare that he’s amazing. He really is an amazing player. What kind of player has this first week?

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: Second instinct, inescapable instinct, is to find the flaws and try to beat reality to the reality check. “Oh he’s too aggressive, this’ll never continue.” “He’s just another aggressive power hitter with some flashy tools. The league will adjust.”

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: There needs to be a third position, a zen position. What’s the right, most thoughtful way to feel about Puig? Is it to knowingly appreciate the fleeting unbelievability? What are we supposed to *DO* with this guy?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe I’m overthinking this

9:38
Comment From tehzachatak
I think you have a “loose relationship” with time, just like my girlfriend.

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: I swear I used to pride myself on always being on time. Then I made tardy friends

9:39
Comment From sea salt
Cingrani, Cole, Wheeler – who stays up longer?

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: Wheeler

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: Unless you mean for their entire careers, in which case, Wheeler

9:39
Comment From the Gregorius D.I.D.(i)
Jhoulys Chacin: actually kinda good? (~25th in FIP right now amongst qualified SP)

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: Fun fact:

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: 2011: 56% grounders
2012: 39%
2013: 50%

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: That doesn’t answer your question. Yeah, he’s fine. He needed to up his Ks or trim his walks, and he’s pulled off the latter

9:41
Comment From Michael Morse
Am I extended before the trade deadline?

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: I’m less inclined to think so than I was a couple months ago. God I hope not

9:41
Comment From juan pierres mustache
What percentage of the questions you receive but do not post are just wholly inappropriate for a family site?

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: 2%

9:41
Comment From The other Kyle
Thoughts on ROS ABs for Gattis? I know the company line of “we’ll find him at-bats,” but no BS, how are they going to get him the ABs he deserves?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: The simplest answer is “they aren’t.” He deserves more ABs than he’s going to get, in the rest of this season. Obviously he’ll find some time in the outfield, but presuming the outfielders are better than they’ve looked, Gattis is just going to have to wait for 2014 to become a true regular.

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not really a problem, so long as the Braves players play like they’re supposed to. They just have too much ability

9:43
Comment From Anon21
Jeff, between this luck business and the “maybe umpire mistakes are good for baseball” piece, I think you should consider the possibility that you are an incurable contrarian.

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: The umpire thing was a thought exercise, a suggestion of which I’m certainly not convinced. And the response to that was too short-sighted. The luck thing, I do believe in, even if I might not have expressed myself very well.

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: Also, yes, duh. Hello I live in Portland

9:45
Comment From the Gregorius D.I.D.(i)
how many searches does the top searched player on a given day get at FG?

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know the answer to that, but on Rotoworld it’s in the high four figures!

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: So that’s the answer to your question, for Rotoworld!

9:45
Comment From cm
What do the Mariners do with their middle infielder jam, especially if Ackley turns out to be not terrible?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: Give Ackley some reps in the outfield and explore trading one of him/Franklin

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve assumed Franklin was trade bait for like a year and a half. It’s funny how now he’s looking like a potential long-term asset

9:46
Comment From The other Kyle
Thoughts on BioGenesis suspensions? Will players actually miss games this season?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: My first thought is I would be surprised. My second thought is I’m going to read this right after the chat is over http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/mlb-and-biogenesis-a-primer/

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: You should read it too, probably!

9:47
Comment From marichal
your thoughts on Kyle Blanks?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: Hitter

9:47
Comment From Tom
Does every fangraphs writer have a huge man crush on Corey Kluber?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: I can assure you that no

9:49
Comment From rusty
How long can Tony Cingrani continue to succeed against major-league hitters relying so heavily on a single pitch?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: As long as he’s putting it where he wants, is the easy cop-out answer. You might check out http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=375&position=P#pitchtype

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: Cingrani doesn’t throw one pitch — the threat of something else is always present. It’s on him and his catcher to find the right randomness

9:51
Comment From Bird
If you had to take one pitcher for the rest of their career, who would it be between Teheran/Bauer/Wheeler/Wacha/Gausman

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: Instinct is to say Gausman but Teheran makes it difficult on account of already having major-league success. That part usually isn’t given enough credit

9:52
Comment From Nona Mecklenberg
Is Dickey a buy low opportunity or just in trouble?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: yes

9:52
Comment From JEB
Gerrit Cole. Initially takes over the number 1 slot for the Pirates. Or struggles this year in the majors?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: How about in between?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: He’s probably not going to be as good as Burnett, but he should be effective enough

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: As with Wacha, I can’t help but be a little confused about the limited strikeouts in Triple-A

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: That’s too easy but it also can’t be ignored

9:53
Comment From lowercase jeff
rendon has performed admirably at 2b since being called up (especially in contrast to what espinosa had been doing). if he has a decent year, do you see him holding onto the 2b job for 2014?

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: If Rendon is good enough, the Nationals will make that room for him, yeah. But we haven’t heard the last of Danny Espinosa

9:54
Comment From the Gregorius D.I.D.(i)
Votto’s face of disappointment after his Foul Popup to shallow left fielded by the 3B may be one of my favorite “faces of MLB” .gif Thank you

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: And I’m still hurt by the mean commenter! :(

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: Votto makes some good faces. He’s got an unusual face for a superstar baseball player, if that makes any sense. He looks like some other office-y sort of professional

9:56
Comment From The other Kyle
Any explanation for Headley’s struggles?

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: The fact that he had a thumb injury could be a thing, but all I can really think about is, I wonder what the Padres could have traded him for over the winter. I’m sure he’s going to do better than this, but now the equations are changing

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: Headley will come away with reduced value, making him an easier long-term sign, but a less desirable long-term sign too

9:58
Comment From Ty
If you had to guess what do Profar’s #’s look like in 2 years?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: ?

9:58
Comment From Joe hogan
Is Pujols finished or just playing injured?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: Hurt, worse

9:58
Comment From Dave
Dickey has been dropped in my league. Worthy of a waiver wire pickup?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: Knowing nothing about your league, yeah, probably

9:59
Comment From lowercase jeff
some homers have (erroneously, given his difficulty with breaking balls at AAA) compared zunino to posey. what is a more realistic expectation for him at his prime?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: JP Arencibia

9:59
Comment From Chicago Mark
I like the series about players turning things around. ie. Prado and Heyward. I don’t think you wrote them but do you think we should see one for Starlin Castro? I hear the Cubs are simoltaniously (spellig>) trying to have him be more patient and go the other way more. Neither is easy but do you think they should try one thing at a time.

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: You go the other way more by allowing the ball to travel deeper in the zone. Allowing the ball to travel deeper means you’re waiting longer before swinging, meaning you could have a better read of the pitch, meaning you could swing less often. I can see how those processes might go hand in hand

10:00
Comment From FutilityInflder
Tribe pitching woes: deeper than a Tito-“rough stretch”? Was everyone’s collective crowning of Micky Callaway premature?

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: Middle of the pack in xFIP, fourth in strikeouts, too many walks. Taken as an overall picture, I don’t know what else one would’ve expected from this group of arms. If anything perhaps they’ve overachieved, given that Scott Kazmir isn’t actually terrible

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: The Indians’ rotation picture is actually better than it could’ve been

10:02
Comment From neal
I don’t know if you noticed, but in many ways cliff lee is duplicating 2010. 7.8 k/9 both years, 1.00 whip in 2010, 1.01 whip in 2013. Do you think the phillies could get a large package even if they dont eat any salary?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: No, because he’s 34 and that’s a hell of a contract. A $25 million salary accounts for most of his value

10:05
Comment From Nick O
What is an issue of debate among baseball nerds for which you feel reasonably sure you hold the correct opinion?

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: The Astros as an organization are overrated by nerds

10:06
Comment From _David_
Are high strikes easier to frame because it’s more conceivable that a pitch would drop quickly than break horizontally?

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: A high strike is falling down, into the zone. That should help with the motion of a catcher’s glove

10:07
Comment From lowercase jeff
do you agree with the assessment that cashner has lost his mojo because the padres aren’t letting him throw his hard slider? can it really be that hazardous to his health that they would make him scrap his best offering?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: The missing 3+ miles per hour seems like a bigger clue

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: And Cashner isn’t not throwing his slider, at least according to our numbers. He’s just not throwing it a lot

10:09
Comment From Miles
Rest of Season: Gerrit Cole vs Zack Wheeler? I appreciate that baseball can bring in reinforcements mid-season like this. Very exciting.

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: Wheeler

10:09
Comment From Pat Venditte
Are plate discipline platoon splits more the result of the box that the batter stands in or the orientation of the pitcher? For instance, would a switch-hitter with better plate discipline from the right side expect his plate discipline against righties to improve if he started hitting right-handed exclusively?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: Presumably, yes, it would get a little better, because he’d get more reps and he’d start actually facing righties from the right side, which he wouldn’t have done before

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe I’m not entirely understanding the question

10:11
Comment From Kaput
Let’s say Biogenesis investigation yields zilch. Will MLB still try to find a way to get its suspension of Braun? (Note: I don’t think this is a witch hunt, but they gotta be pissed at the guy and want to make this system work).

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: The most they can do is keep a really close eye on him. They can’t force a suspension on him without any reason. And Braun is probably already under closer examination, on account of being a really good hitter

10:12
Comment From CMR
Many of the Cards are sorta famously high-BABIP guys–would you expect hitters like that to be better at producing with RISP? I don’t know why you would, but I thought I’d ask. Thanks!

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think they’d be any better than they would be in other situations. There’s something to be explored with regard to what works and what doesn’t for RISP splits, but as a rule of thumb, you should expect players and teams to perform similarly with RISP and with the bases empty

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: Obviously defenders shift and league-wide numbers change with runners in scoring position, but if you can hit in one split, you should be able to hit in the other split too

10:13
Comment From SlidingBilly
Is Dusty Baker the worst manager in the majors?

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: Probably not

10:13
Comment From Chicago Mark
Do you have any MORE concern about Anibal Sanchez shoulder than you regularly have about pitchers arms/shoulders/elbows?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: I’d say I feel about the same about any pitcher’s shoulder ache, which is to say I get worried easily

10:14
Comment From Ron
Of these rebuilding teams rank in order of when they will reach the postseason, Padres, Mariners, Brewers, Cubs,Twins, Mets,Astros, Marlins.

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: That is a lot of teams

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: I think the Cubs will make it first

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: Then I’ll go with the…Brewers, and Padres, and Twins?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: This is not easy!

10:15
Comment From rusty
The Projected Standings page is extremely dismissive of the Rockies’ run differential (+36 so far, -3 projected RoS), and it doesn’t look like BABIP regression for either hitting or defense… is their sequencing just viewed as unsustainable?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not really that kind of regression. It’s more that the projections just think the Rockies have slightly over-performed as a team to date

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: Also Michael Cuddyer has a four-digit OPS

10:18
Comment From Michael
If yasiel puig was on the pirates, would he be getting as much play on espn, etc. as he is now?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: No. He also wouldn’t have been hyped as much as he was in spring training

10:18
Comment From Chicago Mark
Where do you/FG people get their news from? ie. rotoworld? MLB.com? etc?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: Directly, Twitter. I also lean pretty heavily on Rotoworld for daily updates

10:19
Comment From Goose
Would Kevin Jepsen make a nice closer? Tigers trade Porcello and Infante for Jepsen and Kendrick?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: Kevin Jepsen has had an arm injury and Rick Porcello has one of baseball’s best xFIPs as a starting pitcher

10:20
Comment From The other Kyle
You answer questions like old people …. climb stairs.

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: I try to think about questions because when I used to answer questions off the tippy top of my head, people complained

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: The live chat format is more difficult than you give it credit for :(

10:21
Comment From Three Fingers Stump
Are you going to be watching Cole’s debut tonight?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: The first bit of it before I go to the gym, after which I’ll look at numbers and highlights

10:21
Comment From John
Prediction machine for Cole Vs Lincecum tonight says …

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: 6-4 Pirates

10:21
Comment From Blockhead
Is any team successfully getting so much contribution from their minor league team than the Rangers? Their rotation is basically Yu, Holland, and the Round Rock Express. Also, Jeff “Bombs Away” Baker, platoon depth signing of the winter?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: The Cardinals would probably be in the argument, but yeah, it’s understated what the Rangers have accomplished despite so much rotation damage

10:23
Comment From Mike C
where the hell did the name fangraphs come fom anyways? sounds like an amateur blog name to me

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: Too late to change it now! The site was to provide stat graphs, for fans

10:23
Comment From Grant
Do you have pride in your division? As a Cubs fan, I’m kind of proud to hear people say the NL Central is the best division, even though we contribute negatively to its dominance. Wondering if that’s just me.

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not just you, but I know I couldn’t give a crap

10:24
Comment From Mike C
thoughts G Cole and what do you expect the rest of the year?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: Rest of the year I expect adequate performance with enough flashes of greatness to convince people that he could be a great pitcher in two years

10:24
Comment From Wobatus
My informal search indicates that Jon Rauch v James Baldwin, May 2, 2002, was the heaviest pitching duel of all-time, weighing in at 555 lbs. Sabathia v Colon is about to tie it.

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: I have to imagine that Sabathia and Colon’s weights are under-reported

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Was James Baldwin fat? I don’t remember James Baldwin as fat. I remember James Baldwin as bad…

10:25
Comment From Ken
Is Mike Trout the best player in baseball?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah

10:25
Comment From _David_
Are pitcher’s improvements easier to call sustainable because movement, velocity and location can be seen and measured while hitter adjustments are largely invisible (yet obviously no less real)?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, I think we’re better at measuring pitchers, which makes it easier to tell when they’re changing. It all starts with pitchers. Pitchers initiate, and hitters react, which is another factor. I’m having trouble mentally explaining that. Right now hitters don’t have a pitcher-velocity equivalent. Plate-discipline stats take too long to stabilize and aren’t a core attribute either. If we could get a measure of bat speed…

10:27
Comment From Mike
Gerrit Cole’s line tonight?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: 5.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 5 K

10:27
Comment From royally screwed
out of all the Royals hitters, which ones would you be confident will actually rebound the rest of the year? It seems that no one is hitting for them lately?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think Moustakas finishes with an OPS in the .500s

10:29
Comment From Eminor3rd
RE: Ethier — Don’t the Mariners already HAVE Raul Ibanez?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: One day soon Raul Ibanez might die, and then there will be a vacancy

10:29
Comment From _David_
Apparently Iwakuma hit 93 or 94 last night. Does he even have a ceiling at this point?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: This is his ceiling. He’s probably not this good, but the fact that he can look this good for this long tells you a lot about who he is now that he’s built up his arm strength and gotten familiar

10:29
Comment From Johnny Two Times
Why do people suggest their team should go after Ethier? He’s incredibly expensive and not very good.

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: He’s a roughly average outfielder who might not cost all that much if the Dodgers eat as much as they ought to

10:30
Comment From Norm
Do you think the Tigers will benefit from calling up Nick Castellanos to replace Dirk in left field?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think it would help them that much

10:31
Comment From Guest
What are your thoughts on Oregon State using Matt Boyd to close out a game 2 days after throwing 120 pitches? Bet Toronto is a little upset by that…

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: My thoughts are that now I know about this happening

10:31
Comment From Chicago Mark
If the Dodgers were to pay much/most of the contract, wouldn’t it be of some interest for the Cubs to give little for him? With the better hitters park it’s possible he does much better and the could turn him for something better than they gave the Dodgers. Pie in the sky thinking? Your thougts?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: Don’t think the Cubs would be interested in linking themselves to a guy Ethier’s age under contract for that long. Makes more sense for a team looking to win sooner

10:32
Comment From Goose
BJ Upton looked pretty good last night going opposite field with a nice hit. Do you think he is starting to turn it around ?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: Almost certainly

10:32
Comment From Grady Sizemore
Who is looking to sign me and do I have anything left to offer?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: I want to say that you’re completely and utterly toast, but Jeremy Bonderman just beat the Yankees and Scott Kazmir’s averaging a strikeout an inning

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Lots of teams will scout you, and too many people on the internet will write about it

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Where the hell is Rich Harden? What is Rich Harden doing?

10:34
10:34
Comment From Walt Jockettys Better Instincts
Evan Gattis hits another pinch hit homerun. Care to comment on his future in the big leagues?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Good hitter. Should play for a while

10:35
Comment From George
re: Joey Votto (sort of). I’m a huge fan, but he did something unusual during a spring training game I watched on MLB.tv. He struck out on three pitches and never left the batters’ box. It got me to thinking, what is the fastest (by time, from first pitch to last pitch) strikeout this year. I know you like looking at pace data, I think it would be a fun article to read!

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: I think this is a potentially very interesting idea!

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: Watching Votto clips last night, I noticed that he didn’t step out of the box. Votto is really up there pushing the pace, which is uncommon

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: He looks for his sign while he stands there. Not that the third-base coach has anything of value to suggest to Joey flipping Votto

10:36
Comment From Isaac
What was up with Cobb last night? Looked great after the 1st.

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: I’m guessing he just had one of those innings. Nothing to worry about

10:36
Comment From Matt
With the NL Central race as close as it is, do you expect any of those teams to make any blockbuster prospects-for-playoff-run-talent trades?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: The Reds might get themselves an actual center fielder, but I don’t see a blockbuster on the horizon

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: The Cardinals aren’t that type and the Pirates aren’t in that position. And the Reds are already pretty loaded

10:38
Comment From Sadwick
I thought you answered questions like a frozen pig rolling uphill. Old people and stairs works too.

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: I’m actually just rolling a frozen hot dog on my keyboard

10:38
Comment From Phil
Let’s say that you’re the newly hired GM of the Mariners. What would be your first order of business? Redo the farm system with pitchers/fielders? Do stuff with the current roster? Lowe ice cream prices at Safeco? Hire Dave as a consultant?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: Try to trade Tom Wilhelmsen, hire an analytics team, explore the market for new coaching staffs

10:40
Comment From “Keith” the Nats Fan
Have their been any updates on Bryce Harper? Wasn’t he scheduled to visit with the infamous Dr. James Andrews yesterday?

10:40
Comment From Chris
Will the cards be in the w.s.?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: Probably not, but they might have the best chance in the NL

10:40

Comment From Beets! Theres not just for breakfast anymore!
Jeff, you said “They can’t force a suspension on him without any reason.” But Wendy said today, “Does MLB need “just cause” to suspend a player based on a “non-analytic positive”?

There’s been quite a bit of confusion on this point in other reports on MLB’s Biogenesis investigation, so let’s get this straight.

The answer is no.”

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: MLB won’t just get frustrated and suspend Braun anyway. They’ll only do so if they have compelling reason/evidence.

10:41
Comment From The other Kyle
The Tigers have 4 pitchers in the top 10 in xFIP and 5 in the Top 15. I know some past rotation’s have boasted elite pairs (RJ-Curt) and dominant big 3s (Glavine-Smoltz-Maddux), but is there any precedent for this type of rotation-wide dominance? Half a season, I know, but still.

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: The Tigers have one of the best rotations ever. Dave wrote about this a short while back

10:41
Comment From Chris
Whats been going on with Wilhelmsen? Is his job in danger?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: His job isn’t in danger. He’s had problems locating, which isn’t a surprise, and he’s been done no favors by his catchers. Command will never be a strength of his but he has the stuff to succeed anyway provided he can throw 63-64% of his pitches for strikes

10:43
Comment From Wobatus
Yasiel Puig reality check: Chris Davis’s first 95 PA in 2008: .303/.347/708. Then again, Chris Davis is awesome again. OK, I am going to try your zen approach on Puig and just enjoy the now.

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: atta boy

10:43
Comment From Ben M
Why isn’t xBABIP used more often when projecting future player performance? People always cite high or low BABIPs as reasons for future player regression or improvement. It seems to me xBABIP should be used as a baseline instead of just a “standard” baseline of .295-.300.

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: I think most smart people consider a sort of mental xBABIP which is basically track record + common sense. I don’t think many people get automatically regressed to a normal baseline, but maybe I’m just not reading those writers

10:44
Comment From WB Yeats thoughts on BABIP
Jeff – you seem like the kind of man who enjoys the music of ELO. Is this so?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: When I was in high school

10:44
Comment From Goose
Nick Castellanos for Carlos Correa? Who hangs up first?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Astros

10:45
Comment From CespedesFamilyPig
Does Matt Adams get moved at the deadline?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: Don’t think so

10:45
Comment From William
Michael Pineda apparently threw 94 MPH in his first rehab start. Do we ever see 98-99 again? If not, is he ever the pitcher he was hyped to be?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think he’s going to make a career of touching the high 90s, but he has the fastball command to be successful in the 94 range. I have a lot of confidence that he can be good; I’m skeptical that he can be great

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: As he gets older, he’s going to need a better changeup, which is the story with a lot of these guys

10:46
Comment From Tacoby Bellsbury
The guys hasn’t thrown a pitch yet and I’m already sick of hearing about Gerritt Cole. Sorry, that wasn’t a question …

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: I swear sometimes I think the best approach is to just ignore all baseball coverage and only watch the games

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: I understand I shouldn’t be saying that as a writer for FanGraphs but let me tell you, that approach works wonders for me and hockey

10:47
Comment From AJ
What’s with the FG abhorrence towards Frenchie?

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: he sucks

10:47
Comment From Zach
Even if we had bat-speed info, would it tell us as much as pitch velocity? I mean, it’s not 1:1, but there’s a lot of correlation between pitch velocity and results. I’m not sure the same would be remotely true with bat speed, since just swinging the bat really hard has even less to do with hitting well than throwing the ball really hard has to do with pitching well.

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, it would be less meaningful, but it would tell us something we don’t know about those guys. We need some measure of how well a guy can differentiate between pitches, and how quickly. That measure doesn’t exist.

10:48
Comment From Guest
if pineda comes back and pitches to 2011 form, are the yankees the biggest threat to the tigers in the AL?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: No, and, he won’t do that

10:49
Comment From Mike
Adam Lind – wRC+ over 150. Is there are more crooked stat in baseball right now?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Who says there are no positives in Toronto!

10:49
Comment From Toast
Why am I synonymous with bad? I’m a tasty part of a balanced breakfast.

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: I just had some of you

10:50
Comment From Wobatus
Should companies monitor their employee internet usage, especially during fangraph chat-times?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: Companies should monitor employee results. As long as the results are there, companies shouldn’t give a shit

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: I used to blog a lot from my old company

10:50
Comment From Fingers crossed
Ellsbury and Balfour are a couple of upcoming free agents I believe. Do you see either of them re signing with their respective teams?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: Doubt it

10:51
Comment From Bird
As a fan, do you think its wrong to stop caring about your own team until your GM is fired? I hate Kevin Towers. This year I’ve been watching my second favorite team, the Braves.

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: You are free to be a fan however you want. It’s a very personal experience. But the fact that you say you hate Kevin Towers suggests to me that you definitely don’t not care about the Diamondbacks. You’re just bottling that emotion up, pushing it down within yourself.

10:52
Comment From Matt D Dogg
Comment: more value to their MLB team – Molina or Votto. I argue Molina since his WAR isn’t counting the value he has to the SP staff.

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: Votto because we don’t actually know how important Molina is to the Rays’ success

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: Molina is at 0 WAR. Votto is at 2.9. Has Molina been worth at least 29 runs so far with his hidden defense?

10:53
Comment From Will
Do you expect JUpton to bounce back?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: I expect him to find a happy medium

10:53
Comment From Guest
why even put a question on the chat if a guy ask u about kyle blanks and all your going to say is ” hitter”

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: That was my answer. I was being economical.

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: Blanks is a hitter. When I think of Kyle Blanks, I think of a hitter, and not a defender or a runner. He is a pure, decent hitter, not entirely unlike Logan Morrison, and because he doesn’t do much else well he is of limited value

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Sorry for the insightful brevity.

10:54
Comment From Kris Medlen
They going to put be back in the bully?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Not soon

10:54
Comment From Sadwick
Frenchy doesn’t just suck, there are plenty of bad players in MLB. Frenchy, however, sucks horribly and plays everyday. It makes me wonder if he is somehow related to Dayton Moore or knows a horrible secret about the Glass family.

10:54
Comment From Time
You are going over-time. So it balances out your tardiness.

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: I always do this. It’s out of control. It’s getting worse!

10:55
Comment From Gaylord Focker
Does that pot smoking closer in CLE get jail time or do they pin it on the dog?

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: Doggie prison

10:55
Comment From Metsfan
Chances the Mets sign Ellsbury, Choo, either or both?

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: Neither

10:55
Comment From Dr. Met
Does Bauer get a chance to stick in the rotation post super-2? With Kazmir and Baldo doing “OK”, do they stick with Carrasco as their #5?

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: Bauer isn’t done getting looks, but strikes still aren’t a strength of his and he’ll be competing against McAllister and Carrasco

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: I suspect the Indians will not go forward using only five starters

10:57
Comment From Yah-seal Pweeg
RoS: Puig or Harper. Seriously.

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: Brain says Harper, have to listen to brain, but the injury might balance things out

10:57
Comment From Dr. Met
I think he meant Yadier Molina Jeff …

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: haha lol whoops

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: What does it tell you that I read a baseball question about a Molina and I think about Jose before Yadier?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: Then I go with Yadier over Votto, a little

10:59
Comment From Phil
How come people always complain about things on your chats? I find them quite fun to read.

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: People complain about everything

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: Complaining is fun to do and that’s a difficult thing to combat

10:59
Comment From Matt D Dogg
YADIER MOLINA of the 2.6 2013 WAR.

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: I am embarrassed

10:59
Comment From Andrew
Better hitter, Rendon or Franklin?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: Rendon

11:00
Comment From Sid
When will Seattle finally promote Brad Miller?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: Few weeks

11:00
Comment From Maybe picking at nits
Can we retire the phrase “limited value” aren’t all baseball players of limited value? Maybe by there talent or whatever. Even Mike trout is of limited value. I don’t have a solution to language issue but current use seems wrong.

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: I guess technically you’re correct

11:00
Comment From Rendonitis
Dude there are way too many questions about Rendon

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: Wasn’t that like two of them

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: In two hours of chatting

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: I am still chatting

11:01
Comment From Jbrown
2010 Felix and Lee or 2013 Felix and Kuma?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: 2010, in that I believed in them more, but it’s crazy that there’s an argument

11:01
Comment From Neil
Which below average MLB player do you most enjoy watching?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: Kawasaki

11:02
Comment From John
What else does Nick Castellanos have to prove in the minors?

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: He didn’t hit in Double-A, and while he’s been good in Triple-A he’s been well short of dominant

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: But he’s showing improvement, so he’s not far off

11:03
Comment From Fish
Jeff, I really need to go. Wrap this S up, por favor.

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: You got it!

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: It’s time to do other things. Like end this chat and get to work. Even though this chat counts as work.

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: Thank you everybody for coming along and I’m sorry for what I didn’t get to, or what I didn’t get to sufficiently. This went forever. We’ll do it again next Tuesday at the same time — a few minutes late! — and until then, stay gold.



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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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Tsunamijesus
Guest
Tsunamijesus

You stopping over at the quik-snak for some Red Bull before class every day, Sullivan? Is that why you’re consistently late? This is me talking down to you like a high school teacher

Tsunamijesus
Guest
Tsunamijesus

Welp. It’s early, and my browser made it look like that comment field was the CiL window. Thanks, netbook formatting.

James
Guest
James

Sure, blame technology.

It’s all technology’s fault.

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