Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 6/17/14

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: Hey guys, sorry about that, had to wrap up a couple little travel arrangements

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: Just by complete chance, I’m going to be in San Diego tomorrow for the Padres’ first home game since yesterday’s awful news. Haven’t cried in a while, so this should bring that streak to an end.

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: But let’s talk about good things, and also probably some bad things. Baseball time!

9:11
Comment From Bret
Sure, what did you want to chat about?

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: Baseball time!

9:11
Comment From Lonnie B. Goode
breaking: justin verlander has been diagnosed with a terminal case of tim lincecum disease

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: I felt like it might’ve been too easy to just point to the diminished velocity. A lot of the velocity is still there — enough to make him not this bad. But it has to be indicative of something else. Something mechanical? I don’t buy that a difference of less than one tick can make a guy this vulnerable on its own

9:12
Comment From Travis
Talk about how amazing Evan Gattis is.

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: Did you know he’s also a half-decent pitch framer?

9:12
Comment From Rated Rookie
Were the travel arrangements to get Taijuan Walker from Tacoma up to Seattle?

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: They’re going to do that just as soon as they feel comfortable. God knows they hate starting Erasmo Ramirez. But they’re not going to rush Walker given what hes’ been though, and they’re looking into trades

9:14
Comment From Alex
JEFF! Tell me good things about Tyler Matzek. Please?

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: On the road in the minors — away from Colorado Springs — he allowed a sub-.600 OPS?

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: With considerably better strikeout numbers? It’s something

9:16
Comment From 1st place jays
Stroman as a starter in the majors: 2.42FIP, 3.07 xFIP, K-BB% of 19.5%, K/9 of 8.5 and a .357 BABIP. Is this sustainable for him? Are you a supporter?

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll wait for him to face an offense that’s actually hitting, but most generally I am more of a supporter than a skeptic. I don’t see any good reason why he shouldn’t be able to be a good starting pitcher, even if he’s not a sub-3 FIP starting pitcher

9:17
Comment From Bip
Favorite Tony Gwynn memory?

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: Right after his last game, he did a lap around the field or two, just shaking hands with fans and soaking everything in. He didn’t want to leave. TV broadcast the whole thing, and it was just this overwhelming outpouring of love and support for one of the very last players and people of his type. Usually these things don’t hit me so much, but I kind of grew up with Tony Gwynn as an institution, and it’s going to be all kinds of weird to be at Petco tomorrow night facing what we’re all going to be facing.

9:21
Comment From Kris
Braves are thinking of moving Gattis to LF and calling up Bethancourt and BJ Upton to bench.. Thoughts?

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: In May, Upton managed a 91 wRC+. A 91 wRC+ is not good, but at least it qualifies as some kind of sign of life. The Braves definitely need help behind the plate, so I understand the idea here, but hopefully it wouldn’t turn Gattis into an actual regular outfielder. I’m not sure Bethancourt is ready for what that would require

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: Taking one step back, how many teams end up with this much contract regret this soon? On the one hand, the Braves should have an interest in trying to squeeze what they can out of Upton, but then if they really think he’s just toast as a good player, then it’s never too early to stop playing that guy so much

9:25
Comment From Jon
Do you think a) the Padres trade Ian Kennedy before deadline, and b) if so, what teams are the best 2 or 3 fits for him?

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: There’s going to be interest, but for one thing, teams haven’t forgotten Kennedy’s recent past, and for another, the Padres are a little light on pitching and Kennedy’s still under control for 2015, so this isn’t a lock the way, say, Hammel is a lock. The same teams that are in on Hammel would probably be interested in Kennedy

9:27
Comment From Ed
Watching the Mariners offense this season I have actually cried quite a bit!

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Since May 30, Endy Chavez has led off eight times

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: In the same span, Willie Bloomquist has led off four times

9:28
Comment From landon
Do the Jays really need an upgrade in the rotation? Stroman has looked great so far. Wouldn’t being interested in Zobrist be just as big an upgrade?

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: Already there’s room there for another starting pitcher, and then you never know what could happen to the current group of guys over the remaining 90-whatever games. They don’t have depth, currently, which they could work to address. But yeah, there are multiple ways for them to improve, and Zobrist would be another avenue. Pricy, but it’s out there.

9:29
Comment From Quinn
Is David Wright good at baseball?

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: Even more than you can know

9:30
Comment From Daniel
Is James Jones Juan Pierre’s son?

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: Ackley, career: 87 wRC+
Jones, career: 88 wRC+

stupid Mariners

9:30
Comment From Felix
Watching any World Cup? Who ya got?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: It’s fun, but I don’t go beyond that. I don’t have rooting interests or even a moderate bit of knowledge about the sport. I don’t really advertise this but I don’t have strong feelings about the US national team; I know I’m supposed to, but I’m basically a soccer tourist for the next few weeks and I just want to see good exciting games

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: Yesterday, for example, the game was amazing! But had Ghana won late, that also would have been amazing! What a game, it was and also would have been!

9:33
Comment From jocephus
a la jimmy johnson: how ’bout them royals?

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: Fourth in the AL in position-player WAR, fifth in the AL in pitching-staff WAR. They’re still projected as a .500 team, but their odds have skyrocketed as a result of this streak

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: Alex Gordon has been one of the few best players in the league for several weeks

9:36
Comment From 1st place jays
What is wrong with Buster Posey’s play? Any reason to be worried?

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: You can look at this a couple ways. One, he’s having the worst season of his career. Or two, he’s having the worst season of his career, but he’s performing much better than he did in last season’s second half. So it’s hard to determine his actual trajectory. I don’t believe he’s finished being an elite-level player, but he does seem to be missing the power he had at his peak. And maybe not coincidentally, he’s been swinging at more pitches out of the zone since

9:37
Comment From Jake
Tough month of play for Solarte. 53 wRC+, .212 BABIP. What’s he look like ROS? Over under 95 wRC+?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: This is what ZiPS and Steamer are for. They put him around 90 the rest of the way. It’s a miracle he’s even been this good

9:39
Comment From Matt Kemp
I dated a famous gal too, JV. Good luck staying focused.

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: I’m sure they’ve been together long enough to start taking one another for granted

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: #brains

9:40
Comment From JV
Tyson Ross last night… Just a horrendous outing or sign of things to come?

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: He’s never going to be a strike-thrower. Last night he still generated a low contact rate. But when he’s a little too much out of the zone, he then has to come into the zone and he gets a little exploitable. Lots of whiffs but few fouls means he’s kind of an all-or-nothing kind of contact pitcher, and when he’s off he’s going to look unpleasant

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: He’s a fine pitcher who’s a bit raw and who’ll never be an ace

9:43
Comment From Dewey
Explain the Royals without mentioning the Tigers depressing slide….

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Remember when the Red Sox lost ten in a row?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Then immediately won seven in a row?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Then immediately lost five in a row?

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: There’s nothing to explain. Shit’s weird.

9:44
Comment From David
So the Marlins are making moves like they think they might have a playoff shot. Do they?

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: I feel like they’re just making ordinary, obvious moves, but sure, they have some kind of shot, given that the Nationals haven’t stayed healthy and the Braves are littered with issues

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t buy the Marlins as a particularly good team, but if they can cheaply add, there’s no reason not to. And Heaney was coming no matter what

9:46
Comment From Guest
Do You Think Headley could play 1st, maybe the Mariners then could solve their 1st base issue?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: Right now I’m not convinced Headley can play Hitter

9:46
Comment From Tucker
Hillsboro Hops: best name/brand/mascot in MILB?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: I’m also fond of the Biscuits

9:47
Comment From Guest
What team best poised for a 2nd half tear?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll go with the Nationals

9:48
Comment From Dan Rozenson
Compare and contrast: Tony Gwynn and peak Oscar Taveras

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Tony Gwynn was one of the best all-time and peak Oscar Taveras will have stretches where he looks like he is also. But he will not be

9:50
Comment From Tucker
Why did they ever build Tropicana field?

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: to store all the juice

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: “One such design, in the same location where Tropicana Field would ultimately be built, called for an open-air stadium with a circus tent-like covering. It took several design cues from Kauffman Stadium, including fountains beyond the outfield wall.[15]” [wiki]

9:52
Comment From _David_
Erasmo had 16 swinging strikes against Texas, but the results didn’t match…fluke?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: He has a good enough changeup to miss bats when things are working. But what set him apart used to be his ability to throw strikes and locate. That’s gone, which means he’s way too hittable when he’s behind which happens too often

9:53
Comment From Gary
All aboard the Oscar Taveras bust train! When will people learn that guys who don’t even show adequate patience in the minors have no hope against real pitchers?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: I…what?

9:54
Comment From PieTraynee
% chance that McCutchen wins his 2nd MVP this season?

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: If you figure the MVP is most likely to come from a playoff team, right now it’d probably be Gomez, since he’s been just as good as McCutchen

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: but I’ll give McCutchen…15% odds? Maybe 20%? The Pirates are in the hunt

9:56
Comment From Guest
Are the M’s going to sign their 1st rnd pick?

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: of course

9:56
Comment From David
What program do you use to convert a video into a GIF?

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: AviEdit

9:56
Comment From Alex
Thanks Jeff. I can’t seem to find an answer so I turn to you again: Does TJS on position players have an impact on their hitting?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not really something to worry about. I’m not a…physiologist?…but the elbow isn’t as important to hitting as it is to pitching. Hitters don’t really end up with hurt elbows. They end up with hurt shoulders and wrists. If you can avoid injuries there, you’re golden

9:58
Comment From jocephus
did you see any of carlos martinez’s start? any thoughts? should he be starting, etc

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: I really just don’t buy him as a starter. Which isn’t to say I don’t think he could have any success, but I don’t think it’s where he’d have the longest career

10:00
Comment From Lars
Do you like Eugenio Suarez? At a quick glance his plate discipline is improving at every level this season and he has a nice blend of pop and speed.

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: As a rule I’m skeptical of these guys who emerge too quickly, but Suarez is interesting in that he’s not some over-aggressive swinger, and this year he’s really been an extreme fly-ball hitter. That’s extra unusual. I’m open to the idea that the Tigers might have found a decent enough asset for the stretch run. And for them, that’s a hell of an unanticipated break

10:02
Comment From David
How is K-BB% useful?

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: It’s like K/BB, but better

10:02
Comment From Phil
What is Heaney’s upside? SP1 SP2 ETC What do you think of him overall?

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: I like him as a second starter who shouldn’t take long to find success

10:02
Comment From Tom
Where will Betts ultimately play in the field?

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: center

10:02
Comment From King Buzzo
I love Felix’s changeup and want to marry it. Any suggestions?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: Write it a note, and don’t lead with this because you might scare it off.

10:03
Comment From Bip
Do you feel confident enough in your scouting ability to ever make predictions that are contrary to the projections, based on what you are seeing?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: Sometimes, especially with pitchers, but I’ll always have to consult some of the data, too, to back up what I think I’m seeing

10:04
Comment From Stockholm Syndrome
my friends and i were lucky enough for the Padres to be in Montreal when we lived there and when Gwynn was approaching 3000 hits. Seeing him reach that milestone live was a moment I will never forget. a class act.

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: I was always bummed out by the terrible attendance at that game. You were some of the few!

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: Fewer than 14,000 on hand, officially

10:05
Comment From Andrew Heaney
How do you think I’ll fare in the bigs this year?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: Better than Jacob Turner

10:06
Comment From JV
Just a really bad stretch for Josh Donaldson or was he not as good as we all thought?

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: I mean, this is awful, but he also started awful. Just use your common sense. What’s more meaningful: the most recent ten days, or the most recent several months?

10:08
Comment From hickey
If you have 800 points of OPS, how would you split them between OBP and SLG to make the best hitter possible?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: .290/.510/.290! Make it happen, La Stella!

10:10
Comment From Alex
Is Skaggs going to be a pitcher who’s ERA is always going to be higher than his FIP/xFIP?

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: Almost certainly not. Always bet against the idea of someone being an exception

10:10
Comment From Guest
“one of the very last…people of his type” What do you mean by this re: Gwynn?

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think we’re going to have a future littered with that kind of personable and loyal superstar

10:11
Comment From King Buzzo
What beer do you drink in San Diego?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: most of it

10:11
Comment From Guest
I’m now picturing the Braves putting 75M dollars on a bench

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: Someone do the math here. What would weigh more: B.J. Upton, or seventy-five million dollars?

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: That was dumb. The answer is seventy-five million dollars.

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: By about 1350 pounds, using $100 bills.

10:13
Comment From Tucker
Seventy-five million in hundred dollar bills weighs about 1,651 lbs

10:14
Comment From Catoblepas
Should the Red Sox extend Lester? One of his more optimistic comps is 2013 Verlander, and that… is not encouraging at this point in time.

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: Seems like a situation where they make the tough call and let him go. They could afford him like few other teams, but from a rational perspective you’re also talking about a pitcher in his 30s getting big money over big years. They can survive his departure

10:15
Comment From _David_
To your point about Alex Jackson telling the Mariners to pay the max they are allowed or walk…Is there less of a reason for draftees to have agents during this process because of the pool caps?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: It definitely reduces the need, and in Jackson’s case, now the nine picks after him have already signed so there’s really no wiggle room.

10:16
Comment From Bip
Verlander hasn’t been bad long enough to conclude this is how he is now. Maybe he’s only ok now, but ok pitchers are vulnerable to extended periods of being bad. Aces like 2011 Verlander are dominant enough to avoid it.

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: I think we can say at least two things:

(1) Verlander might well still be a good pitcher, with this being a small-sample slump
(2) Elite-level Verlander wouldn’t even really be capable of a slump this bad

10:17
Comment From Phillies fan preparing for a decade of awful
Is Marcell Ozuna a legit OF star in the making? If so, what are the chances that Miami is able/willing to keep Stanton in order to assemble a good OF and find other ways to build their IF? It seems like they’re putting together a decent future pitching staff (if Jose comes back from TJ and Heaney is as advertised).

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: Ozuna’s not a star in the making. He’s just a talented outfielder with power and contact problems

10:18
Comment From hickey
In his first game after he was called up, Jesus Montero was hitting #4 in the lineup, and Seager was way down at #7. What?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: Left-handed pitcher. Say what you will about McClendon but he understands a platoon split

10:19
Comment From Jake
Any shot the rays get an everyday player for Price in a trade package? Something like the Myers deal for Shields?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: They’re going to get at least one really shiny piece, be that a young position player or a young starting pitcher. And there will be more beyond that. But what the Rays get should be able to help them as soon as 2015

10:20
Comment From Ashtray
Are the Braves going to make an actual smart lineup decision and bat La Stella second or are they going to find some other OBP Black Hole to replace Upton in that slot?

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: La Stella is such an obvious fit for No. 2 that I can’t imagine him not being there. he’s even a second baseman

10:21
Comment From Steven
Bauer looked mighty shaky last night. Does he turn things around and realize his full potential this season?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: His *full* potential? No, he’s not an ace now

10:22
Comment From MarcoPolo
So lots of talk with the Cubs trading pitchers. Edwin Jackson’s xFIP says he would be a nice addition, and likely cost less prospects if you ate the entire contract. Thoughts?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: Jackson has 19 career WAR and 13 career RA9-WAR. The Cubs will get a few calls but I don’t think teams are going to line up to get 2.5 years of him

10:23
Comment From john
Obviously, Wright is good at baseball. He is a major leaguer. He is done, however, being a very good major leaguer, it appears.

10:23
Comment From David Wrights Angry Mom
What is wrong with David Wright and does he turn this thing around, and soon?

10:23
10:24
Jeff Sullivan: 62% of voters are buying Wright’s rest-of-season projection. 38% figure he’s worse. Interesting split

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: This is the argument in a nutshell, right? Wright has 2.5 months of being mediocre, and a decade of being awesome. He’s 31. How much do you weight 2.5 months?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: And in May, he had a 131 wRC+

10:26
Comment From Bret
Should the Brewers trade Rickie Weeks and should teams give much up for him?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: The answer to the second part is no, so the answer to the first part is, is there any urgency? He’s contributing. There’s not much value to be gained.

10:27
Comment From Elias
Thoughts on the Rays closer situation?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t have even a single one

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: Why would I care about the closer situation of a team in last place?

10:28
Comment From Nicholas Cage
Does Jean Segura turn things around and have a hot month or two or is this what he is?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: He’s better than *this*, but he’s not a star shortstop

10:29
Comment From Jon
Finally some light at the end of the tunnel for William Butler?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: He was written off too quickly. He’s 28!

10:30
Comment From Tucker
Who was the worse draft pick: Tim Beckham or Dustin Ackley?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: Ackley was an obvious pick. Every team in baseball would’ve picked Ackley. He just hasn’t developed at all

10:31
Comment From Willie
Thoughts on Pedro Alvarez? Keep reading about improved plate discipline and approach, but no results to speak of…still horrible OB% & a waste versus lefties. Reason for a Pirate fan to believe?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Alvarez is an example of a guy for whom you need to do a deeper analysis. The easy thing to say before was, he’d be better if he just cut down on the strikeouts. But maybe he’s just a guy who’s going to strike out when he’s going well. Maybe cutting down on strikeouts would reduce his quality of contact. Right now he’s got by far his best BB/K, but he’s also got a low ISO. This is a good response to seeing fewer and fewer strikes, but Alvarez is complicated

10:34
Comment From anz
Why do pitchers insist on pitching to Stanton? Surely McGehee will come back down to earth. I would walk the guy at an absurd clip to just get to the rest of the awful lineup. He accounts for almost 20% of all the runs batted in.

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Stanton owns baseball’s fifth-lowest zone rate. He also whiffs a bunch. But pitchers can’t just walk him every time — that wouldn’t be smart baseball — and pitchers also can’t be fine enough around the edges to not make mistakes

10:35
Comment From Jake
Is Alejandro De AZA starting to turn it around?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: All he’s missing is BABIP

10:36
Comment From Ryan
Pirates seemed to come into the season really counting on Taillon providing a Cole-like boost this year. If everyone can get healthy, is Cole-Liriano-Morton-Volquez-Locke/Cumpton enough to make a run? Or do they need to make a move?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: They should pick up Brandon McCarthy

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: He’s *made* for them.

10:37
Comment From Stan
Do the Cards make a big play for a hitter or starter for the stretch run?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think so

10:37
Comment From Drinking Gallo-ns of the kool-aid
Do you project Joey Gallo’s career stats to be closer to Giancarlo Stanton, Chris Davis, or Cody Johnson? http://grantland.com/featur…

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll take…Chris Davis!

10:38
Comment From Shawn
Thoughts on the braves? Is trading floyd/harang for bullpen help the answer, or should we focus on upgrading the offense?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: No team in baseball is going to be like, you know what we need? Aaron Harang

10:39
Comment From Gila Monster
Do you think Dave is too high on the projections? I mean projections are useful,but people are smart. If the projections and in season numbers are completely different, is it best to dig deeper into the stats or do a bit of scouting to see if something has change true talent level and weigh that accordingly. I think trusting the projections too much is a nit dismissive of scouting and changes in true talent.

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: On one hand, some people are too quick to go to the projection. On the other side, people are also too quick to believe some guy has changed, when, usually, players haven’t changed, meaningfully. The smart play is always to go into the data to try to look for reasons why or why not to buy the in-season stats, but that takes a while, and a proper first assumption ought to be that the projection is fine. The burden of proof is on those who disagree

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Which is fine! It’s fun to do that analysis. But it takes a while, to do it right, and there’s only so much time

10:42
Comment From Ryan
Wieters :( O’s already traded for Hundley, but both him and Joseph can’t hit for anything, see them making another backstop upgrade? Or maybe just an offensive piece to make up for the horrible offense coming from behind the plate?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: I feel like Hundley is okay. And the Padres worked hard to improve his defense, with the Orioles in position to reap the modest rewards

10:43
Comment From Marlins Main Man
Why wouldn’t a team like Tampa have a fire sale while they wait for the AL east to be weaker

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: One year ago they won 90+ games and their roster isn’t particularly fire sale-y

10:43
Comment From Guest
Is Carlos Santana rebounding?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, he’s fine

10:44
Comment From _David_
Over/under base runners in tomorrow’s Felix/Cashner game?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: 11.5

10:44
Comment From JS
How does Verlander have a higher WAR (1.4) than someone like Wily Peralta (0.9)? Peralta seems to be better in every category except for HR/9, which is 1.03 vs .74, does that category overwhelm the WAR calculation? I’ve noticed this with lots of pitchers that seems off to me.

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Home runs are important

10:46
Comment From Marlins Main Man
If every pitcher and hitter were free agents at the end of the year, which hitter and pitcher would get the biggest contract?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Trout and Kershaw, kind of obviously

10:47
Comment From John
How much value does Cutch lose if he moved from Center to Left in terms of WAR/Season? The Pirates would be better served with one of the other two in CF.

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: The metrics dont’ think his defense is great, so if he were to move to a corner, his WAR would probably be about the same

10:47
Comment From Guest
Did you see Stantons HR last night? How is it possible?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: 110 miles per hour!

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: By accident!

10:48
Comment From Mark
Will be in Portland this weekend. Have time to kill on Friday; Portland Rock Gym or The Circuit?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Circuit if you like bouldering, PRG if you like ropes. Circuit has no ropes; PRG has lousy bouldering

10:49
Comment From Jimbo
Can you remember a pitcher who got over 15 K/9 and a GB% over 50? D-Rob is easily doing that this season.

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Kimbrel, basically

10:50
Comment From Yo-Yo
Does Pujols get to 100 WAR?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: I think he stops just shy

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: Only 7.5 years left!

10:51
Comment From Quest
If you could only name Kyle Seager or Robinson Cano to the All-Star game, who would it be?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: Cano

10:52
Comment From THE average sport fan
Billy Hamilton has more HR than Billy Butler, please explain.

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: Billy Butler is a groundball hitter

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: For the record, only one of Hamilton’s four homers has been hit at 100+ mph

10:53
Comment From Thomas
Jason Hammel gave up 4 on 8 hits over 6 IP last night, yet his advanced metrics actually got better. His BABIP against wasn’t great, but his batted ball stats show he was hit pretty hard — how do I convince a sabr skeptic who is leaning on this example?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: Principles that apply overall don’t always apply to individual games.

10:54
Comment From Guest
If Seager started hitting homers on the road, could he be a top 5 3rd baseman?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Yes, he could be a top-five third baseman if he hit more home runs than he hits

10:55
Comment From bbanks
did you see any of carlos martinez’s twitter feed? any thoughts? should he be tweeting at me more?

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: I find it’s an awful idea to follow athletes on twitter

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: I find it’s an awful idea to follow most people on twitter

10:55
Comment From Tucker
Who should, and who will start for the AL: Felix or Tanaka?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: Absolutely cannot go wrong with either but Felix should get the tiebreaker for MLB track record

10:57
Comment From Dustin
Am I right to be upset about a Cano for David Wright trade going down in my fantasy league?

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: You shouldn’t be upset by anything that happens in a fantasy league. You should try to be upset as infrequently as possible, in life. It’s an unpleasant and often unwarranted emotion.

10:58
Comment From Adrian
Billy Butler seems to be turning it around, do you notice him doing anything different than the past 2 months?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: He’s getting hits now

10:58
Comment From Matt
Can Mike Zunino hit enough to eventually become a Brian McCann-lite? He is a special framer and defensive catcher. Do you think he could hit .260 with 20-25 HR in a year or too?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: Zunino is never going to have McCann’s on-base ability

11:00
Comment From Dylan
The new MLBAM data will thankfully kill this “trusting projections or true talent level change” non-sense.

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: No it won’t

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: PITCHf/x hasn’t answered every question for pitchers.

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: We’ll have a bunch of data, but we won’t know what’s meaningful and what isn’t. Say a guy hits a few balls at 115 mph. That’s hard! Is he better, or did he just luck into squaring up a few extra? Nelson Cruz, right now, probably has some insane batted-ball velocities. Does that mean he’s improved, or is it just a hot streak?

11:03
Comment From Big Joe Mufferaw
If you had to chose today, who would the SPers for the AL and NL?

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: Probably Felix and Cueto

11:03
Comment From Will
Is that Stanton dinger the craziest you’ve ever seen?

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: Not crazier than the Kelly Shoppach dinger I linked a week or two ago

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: But I dont’ think I’ve seen anything quite like it

11:04
Comment From The Borg
Marcell Ozuna = Mike Cameron.

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: Without the amazing, amazing defense

11:05
Comment From Quest
Baez struggling because he’s young for AAA or just struggling because he’s not great?

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: Former. He’s been better since April

11:05
Comment From Yasiel
Favorite player in the game today?

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: Felix

11:06
Comment From Matt
Seems like everyone is ready to call d’Arnaud a bust. But don’t catchers take longer to develop anyway? Derek Norris is “breaking out” in his 3rd season. Is that a general timeframe we should wait and withhold judgment for catchers?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, he’s not a bust, he’s just taking more time than they expected

11:07
Comment From Andy
Are the red sox buyers or sellers at the deadline?

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: holders, probably

11:08
Comment From Lonnie B. Goode
Should the Red Sox even want Buchholz and Doubront back in the rotation? feels like their upside is limited and the guys replacing them might actually be better

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: Just last season Buchholz was great, and Doubront was above-average. Doubront, I could give or take, but you give Buchholz time

11:09
Comment From Chase
Why do lower end prospects like LaStella come up hitting and top prospects like Taveras hit .189?

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: Polanco is hitting .387

11:09
Comment From Big Joe Mufferaw
Since Ackley was a ‘Safe’ prospect, is it safe to say he has become what his floor was?

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: Thereabouts. The true floor is always busting in the minors before even getting this far, but this is just about Ackley’s worst possible big-league projection

11:10
Comment From Craig Breslow
What are your thoughts on Yangervis Solarte?

11:11
Jeff Sullivan: I almost wrote about the Solarte miracle a couple weeks ago, then I found something more interesting, and since then Solarte has slumped so the timing worked out. He’s been a great find for the Yankees and the numbers look somewhat sustainable but he’s probably not more than a 1-win player the rest of the season

11:11
Comment From Jared T.
My heart’s been broken before – do you think Jesus Montero will be a positive contributor now that he’s back in the majors?

11:11
Jeff Sullivan: lol

11:12
Comment From Prich
With the seeming murderers row on the horizon, are the Cubs close enough to contention that a Shark extension would be the best course of action (provided his demands meet what they’re willing to pay)?

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: Think it still benefits them to move him

11:12
Comment From Chris
What kind of prospect or prospects is a pitcher like Price worth? A Springer or a Taveras or….

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: Start at that level, and then go down a level

11:13
Comment From Giovanni Farley
I just discovered an old-school arcade near me that charges $5/hour for unlimited play for an hour. Should I go?

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: At least once

11:13
Comment From Developers
Where do you get the data for fangraphs? I’m interested in setting up my own baseball project, and curious where you get all your info from. Right now I’m just pulling all my data from gameday, are there any other places I should be looking at?

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: Appelman purchases data from a variety of professional sources

11:13
Comment From Jared T.
The Giants bullpen imploded over the weekend. It wasn’t pretty.

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: Bullpens are obnoxious!

11:14
Comment From Norm
I own some O’s pitching, is Hundley a better framer than Wieters?

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: I think that he is, yeah, although it’s taken work to get here

11:14
Comment From Mike
Is Phil Hughes actually a good pitcher now?

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, I’m buying a lot of this improvement. Not all of it, but he’s pitching differently and way more aggressively

11:15
Comment From AA
What should I be prepared to part with to upgrade my rotation?

11:15
Jeff Sullivan: I’m personally skeptical of prospects like Sanchez, so I’d be looking to move him to someone who sees nothing but upside

11:15
Comment From Jared T.
Will Miguel Olivo ever play again?

11:15
Jeff Sullivan: with his grandkids

11:16
Comment From Sean
Has Carlos Gomez really become an average/ below average CF defensively? He looks as good as ever to me, but UZR does not agree.

11:16
Jeff Sullivan: UZR agrees, it just doesn’t agree over 2.5 months

11:16
Comment From Ryan
If all players were free agents, you wouldn’t think a younger pitcher would out gain Kershaw? Kershaw is the best, but he has a lot of miles

11:17
Jeff Sullivan: I think he has the right blend of young and healthy and proven.

11:17
Comment From KilleBrews
Thoughts on Jimmy Nelson?

11:17
Jeff Sullivan: close

11:17
Comment From Matt
The world has a responsibility to put Stanton in Coors Field. The balls would travel insanely far in the thin air.

11:17
Jeff Sullivan: People would die.

11:18
Comment From Norman
Why do teams sign closers like Jim Johnson and Greg Balfour when they have better candidates in-house?

11:18
Jeff Sullivan: I like the theory about keeping down arbitration salaries for younger relievers

11:18
Jeff Sullivan: Also, Balfour seemed fine at the time

11:19
Jeff Sullivan: All right, I just looked at the clock and, wow!

11:19
Jeff Sullivan: I gotta get going. 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 at the same time next week, 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.


4 Responses to “Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 6/17/14”

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  1. sean says:

    Has Carlos Gomez really become an average/ below average CF defensively? He looks as good as ever to me, but UZR does not agree.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. David says:

    Deep NL league with little available. Locke, Worley or Hahn best bet for ROS?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. Bartholomäus says:

    Jeff Sullivan…the John Rocker of FanGraphs chat

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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