Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 6/3/14

9:00
Jeff Sullivan: Hey there everybody and welcome to live baseball chat Tuesday 6/3

9:01
Jeff Sullivan: Usual statement to begin: don’t bother asking me your fantasy baseball questions. I am interested in baseball, but I am not interested in your fantasy baseball, and far more importantly, I haven’t played fantasy baseball in a decade so I cannot give you good advice on how to proceed in your league(s).

9:02
Jeff Sullivan: Should it become necessary for you to ask a fantasy baseball question, I urge you to attempt to disguise it as a regular baseball question. Godspeed!

9:02
Comment From ryan
What is up with Adam Jones this year? Does he hit 30 homeruns this year?

9:03
Jeff Sullivan: He’s topped out at 32 and 33 while playing almost every single game. Given his slow start this season, no, he’s not reaching that level. But I wouldn’t be too concerned — power slumps are the least worrying slumps, to me

9:03
Comment From ryan
does adam jones steal over under 15 bases

9:03
Jeff Sullivan: Under. Fan of Adam Jones?

9:04
Comment From American League Hustle
What do you expect from Yordano Ventura going forward? Is it at all possible he escapes the 2014 season without a DL stint?

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe maybe maybe this year, since this year has only four months left. But it does seem inevitable, right? Ventura might be one of those guys who really needs to scale it down to 90-95% in order to preserve his health

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: It’s great that Ventura can throw 99-100 but that’s probably not what’s going to allow him to be successful for a long time in the majors.

9:06
Comment From Will
What’s with Kyle Seager’s home/road splits? Last night evened it up a tiny bit but still kind of crazy right?

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: How about this then? http://www.fangraphs.com/st…

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Basically split samples of 100 PA. I just about never look at single-season H/R splits. Why cut the season in half?

9:07
Comment From Northsider
Jeff, it looks like you left the Cubs off the poll. Oh wait… we’re terri-bad.

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: And just wait’ll Samadzija and Hammel are gone!

9:07
Comment From john
I wish the mets could play the phillies all year

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Everyone wishes everyone could play the Phillies all year

9:07
Comment From Lars
Good read on Singleton. Will Texas use the shift against him?

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: I imagine he’ll be shifted almost immediately

9:09
Comment From AL Pitching Coach
Anything wrong with Drew Smyly right now? Can we look forward to greener pastures up ahead?

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: He looks a lot like he did as a starter in 2012, except he’s currently down about a mile per hour or so on all his pitches. With that, you expect an inferior performance, and Smyly at the moment looks like something like a No. 4. No. 4’s offer inconsistency

9:11
Comment From AllIsLost
What would you walk-up song be? You’re restricted to Eddie Money songs.

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: Two Tickets to Paradise, and I’d just loop the same line over and over and over, like an audio .gif. I’ve got two tickets to paradise / I’ve got two tickets to paradise / I’ve got two tickets to paradise / I’ve got two tickets to paradise / I’ve got two tickets to paradise / (umpire signals to cut it off)

9:12
Comment From Darth Stout
Does the disparity in coverage between the NFL draft and the MLB draft aggravate you like it aggravates me?

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: Most things about the NFL aggravate me but remember that drafted football players play high-level football immediately

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: And those players seem to be a lot more projectable. Baseball…well it’ll never be close.

9:13
Comment From Cory
Jeff, what can be expected from Paxton for the rest of the year? Any hope?

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: Some hope, sure, but when you have a continuing shoulder issue, it doesn’t mean very much when the team downplays the significance. It’s a shoulder issue the player and organization didn’t expect. I’m fearful

9:14
Comment From Bryce Harpers uncle
Which highly touted prospect ends up having the best season? Taveras, Springer, or Polanco?

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: Taveras will be the most beloved, Springer will be the most exciting, Polanco will be the most consistent and productive overall

9:15
Comment From Guest
will Kris Bryant hit the majors in 2014? what do you think of Mike Olts long term future with the Cubs?

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, Bryant’s coming, and Olt isn’t a difficult guy to displace. Might eventually turn into a half-decent starter but I dont’ love the skill package

9:16
Comment From Eric Hosmer
Marcus Stroman has a pretty good curve huh? http://blogs.thescore.com/d…

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll be a party pooper and just say it’s easy to make anyone’s pitch look good if you only select one or two .gifs. I could make Joe Saunders look like a propaganda Cy Young

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: but yeah, Stroman rocks

9:17
Comment From Walking with dArnaudsaurs
If the Astros talent pans out pretty well, and with the A’s and Angels solid for at least the near term, do you think the AL West has the potential to be what the AL East was for many years?

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: nah, there won’t be beasts of that level. The A’s will be solid but restricted. The Angels will have too much money tied up in the wrong guys. The Rangers will be competitive but short of elite. The Mariners aren’t run well. The Astros will also be restricted

9:19
Comment From Steve
Can you explain what happened to the perception of Strasburg? He has been excellent yet is constantly overlooked as an elite pitcher. Is it due to him not throwing 100mph anymore?

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: I think about this every so often. I think it’s simply a matter of how much hype he had when he arrived. Everyone fell in love with Strasburg at first, and you just can’t sustain that same level of appreciation

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: Eventually everyone awesome gets taken for granted, and Strasburg kind of went away for a bit with the injury. He’s back and he’s amazing, but he doesn’t throw like he used to throw, and the average fan has moved on to other, younger talented players

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: I mean, everyone on FG now just wants to think about Taveras and Springer and Polanco, and it’s like, but there’s Mike Trout! And Yasiel Puig! And other guys! We all have terrible baseball attention spans.

9:22
Comment From Alex
Did you see Abreu’s HR off Kershaw last night? I was impressed.

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: Well it wasn’t a very good pitch http://m.mlb.com/video/topi…

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: But hitting home runs is hard!

9:23
Comment From Northsider
How many 2014 draftees do you believe will be instantly considered as a top 100 prospect?

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: Oof. 15-20? Total guess

9:23
Comment From Guest
Who do you think will have the better year after they return from the DL Paxton or Pineda?

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: Paxton if he ever returns. Never ever ever take a return from injury for granted

9:24
Comment From 1st Place Jays
Better hitter EE or Joey Bats?

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: Bautista by a little bit

9:25
Comment From Your Baby Boy
What do you think about Cliff Lee’s injury?Possible landing spots and what the Phillies might be able to grab for him?

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: It’s June and he’s not throwing yet. He needs to get back to full speed, and then he needs to sustain at 100% for long enough for teams to be convinced he’s okay. I don’t see Lee as a realistic July trade candidate. August, perhaps, but more likely this might be an offseason thing

9:26
Comment From JB
Hey — in your opinion, what happened to Straily’s 2014? Is he getting people out in AAA and maybe be back up soon?

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: Reduced velocity, reduced command, seemed to be missing more often up. Maybe just something mechanical, but he doesn’t look like his old self in the minors yet, either. I’d say he’s not real close

9:28
Comment From Dave
With all things considered (Cost to aquaire, control, impact, likelyhood of extension). Which starting pitcher makes the most sense for Toronto?

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: I like the unsexy Hammel idea. I’m not the biggest fan of midseason blockbusters

9:30
Comment From john
If you are the mets, do you actually give flores a shot to play every day – at least for a couple weeks, just to see?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: It’s tricky because Tejada actually went and had himself a pretty good May, but the Mets aren’t a good team and Ruben Tejada isn’t a guy you can’t afford to sit, so basically, yeah, I don’t see the harm. So Flores isn’t a long-term big-league shortstop. Who cares? That sort of stuff only matters to winners.

9:31
Comment From Rags
I’m curious: What would it take to get you interested in playing fantasy baseball? Is there a version of the game you’d find more interesting than available incarnations? Or is there just no interest whatsoever?

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: No interest. Real baseball already occupies enough of my time. The rest is set aside for real-world pursuits

9:33
Comment From Catoblepas
I read an article talking about the A’s, and it mentioned that they have never gone into full-rebuilding mode like the Astros or the Cubs are doing now. Have they just never had to work from as poor a position as those teams, or is there something they’re doing right to flatten out their valleys in the win cycle?

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: The Astros and Cubs, previously, were run into the ground. The A’s haven’t been run that far into the ground. Full rebuilds are only recommended for total disasters

9:34
Comment From Mike
Would you say the Blue Jays have a ‘video game’ offense… as per Stroman over the weekend?

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: Well, some of them walk, and it’s impossible to draw walks in baseball video games

9:35
Comment From 1st Place Jays
Any hope for Brett Lawrie to become an above average hitter?

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: He’s 24 and his wRC+ numbers keep starting with 9s. So, sure, there’s some hope

9:35
Comment From Adrian
Nick Franklin isn’t hitting this time around either. Shouldn’t the Ms just leave him in the minors and hope for a trade?

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: Well they should hope for him to stop sucking. But it’s pretty clear there’s a huge hurdle between Triple-A and the majors that Franklin hasn’t yet been able to clear

9:36
Comment From Johnny Rockets
What do you think the BoSox will do with WMB when he comes back (with Napoli healthy)? Will he need to morph into a more utile player to see the field with Drew and Xander holding down the fort? Also, Re: Xander – he feels like Matt Carpenter 2.0 with pop.

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: Thing about Middlebrooks is he’s not good

9:37
Comment From snid
What’s with Tulo and Chris Davis’ funk? They hiding injury?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: 16 of Tulowitzki’s last 22 games have been on the road

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: As for Davis, he just isn’t as good as he was in 2013.

9:39
Comment From Alex
Is Brad Miller finally starting to turn it around?

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: 11 walks, 19 strikeouts since the start of May, versus 2 and 26 before that. So that’s encouraging. But the hits still haven’t been there. He might be bouncing back, but some of the perception is also just because people assumed he sucked, so now you really notice the singles

9:41
Comment From Matt
What’s up with McCann so far this season? Disappointing start to his new contract.

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: On the plus side, he had a 66 wRC+ in April and a 100 wRC+ in May. But yeah, you’d hope for something better than his 2012

9:42
Comment From 1st Place Jays
Thoughts on Marcus Stroman?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Fan. Not worried about his size. Don’t think he’ll ever be amazing but I like him to make an instant impact

9:43
Comment From Do we sell him now?
Did we see the shoe start to drop with Shark this past weekend?

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: You mean five days after he struck out ten Giants without a single walk?

9:45
Comment From JEFFW
Why is Eovaldi so bad against lefties?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: He’s actually gotten a lot better

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: Eovaldi over the years against LHB

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: 6.9% K-BB
2.9%
2.5%
11.8%

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: He’s a fastball guy, mainly, so there’s going to be a platoon split, but what you’re seeing is a whole lot of BABIP

9:47
Comment From Matt
Are there any minor leaguers drafted on days two and three that stand out to you as underrated? If so, who?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: The draft hasn’t happened yet

9:48
Comment From Tom Jones
Rubby De La Rosa; are we sold on him sticking in the rotation going forward?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: He didn’t dominate Triple-A and he has an injury history. Very talented, yes, but not a guy you bet on

9:48
Comment From Jacob
Should we expect David Price’s ERA to drop? his FIP is 3.25 but his actual is around 4.14

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, he’s awesome

9:48
Comment From Aaron
Are there any metrics that help shed light on how long it takes hitters to adjust to major league pitching? You hear a lot about “sophomore slumps.” Are there “junior jumps” (significant progress)?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Every player’s going to be different. Some guys adjust immediately. Mike Trout actually struggled a bit his first year. And sometimes you have a Dustin Ackley, who’s awesome until something changes and he struggles to recover. I don’t believe in sophomore slumps, but I do believe in adjustment periods following adjustment periods

9:50
Comment From Bryce Harpers uncle
What’s up with Eric Hosmer? With the change in hitting coach, will he have the type of turnaround he had last year?

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: What is it with the Royals and increases in O-Contact%?

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: I think Hosmer’s going to be okay — again, it’s just a modest power slump — but he’s not an elite player when he’s good

9:50
Comment From Bryce Harpers uncle
What type of season will Jon Singleton have? How many homers do you see him hitting?

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll give him 1 WAR. Occasionally excellent offense, not a lot else. But he’ll be a presence in the lineup, where Guzman/Krauss has been something you go get a drink during

9:52
Comment From JB
Hi Jeff – What do you think of Straily this year in 2014? He’s getting people out in AAA. Do you think he’s back up this year? Soon? Seems Milone is pitching over his normal levels; same with Chavez?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: In Triple-A, Straily’s walks are up and his strikeouts are down

9:52
Comment From Jern Gibgons
How big of a factor is height with SPs? Is it about durability? What do you think of Stroman keeping his rotation spot going forward this year and beyond.

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: Some of it is about durability, and some of it is about arm angles and perceived velocities. Taller pitchers have an advantage because they can release the ball closer to home plate

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: While there’s probably something to the relationship between height and durability, I suspect it isn’t that strong

9:53
Comment From Guest
With Dee Gordon’s recent struggles at batting. Does he maintain the starting 2nd base gig all year? Or does a certain prospect get the call sooner than later?

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: They liked him *before* he had a month of being good. He’s got a very long leash

9:54
Comment From Marco
Corey Kluber is a top ____ pitcher in baseball.

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: 20

9:54
Comment From JustaBit Outside
What do you do with pitchers that are awful out of the gate, like Garrett Richards? he’s given up more that 4 runs in the first inning three times.

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: You bet on regression to the mean and you try to figure out if maybe he could do better prep in the bullpen

9:55
Comment From snid
Do you detest the attendees of games that treat it as a social gathering rather than the game that it is. You know those people waving to the camera while on their cells,the pick hats at Fenway….

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: There are personality types I like more than others, but attendees are paying for entertainment, and they’re free to be entertained however they want. I don’t care how you choose to enjoy something so long as it doesn’t interfere with my own enjoyment

9:56
Comment From David
Is this what Desmond Jennings is? Any more room for growth?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: This is probably what he is, and this is good

9:57
Comment From john
I think seeing what springer just did has raised some expectations of singleton. Isnt he really just an all or nothing, bat first 1b? whats a realistic expectation here?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: He’s far less likely than Springer to be a WAR superstar, but patience and power is a good combination.

9:57
Comment From Nathan
How do you see Tommy La Stella performing ROS? Do you see him holding on to the 2B job in Atlanta?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think he’s very good, but the whole pile sucks

9:59
Comment From Redlegs
Jay Bruce in a funk or is there something really wrong?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: On April 23, he had an .826 OPS. Then he struggled and went on the DL with a knee injury. He returned really quick. Could very well still be in pain, or alternatively maybe he’s just trying to find his old mechanics

10:01
Comment From Godd Till
Is Nick Castellanos going to be good eventually, or will his struggles with controlling the strike zone doom him?

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t love these profiles, but he’s also 22. Usually it’s a good idea to bet big on players who become big-league starters so young. Worry about Castellanos if he’s doing this at 24/25. As is, he’s struggling, but he’s at an age where a lot of guys are being introduced to Double-A

10:02
Comment From David
Both A. Wood and Cingrani were impressive to start, now they’ve faced some adversity – they’ve struggled – who is likely to be the better pitcher going forward. Thanks man.

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: Wood as a starter this year has a sub-3 xFIP

10:03
Comment From 1st Place Jays
Thoughts on Tajun Walker possibly getting the call up to start Saturday? Can he have a good season this year?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Of course he can, and he could conceivably plug that Maurer/Ramirez hole. But he’s still a guy coming off a shoulder thing who has a good fastball and inconsistent other stuff. I doubt he’s an impact starter over 3.5 months

10:04
Comment From John
Does Eric Hosmer even hit 10 homers this year? Seems like all he does is ground out…and he lost like 30 ft on his fly balls. Worrisome for the Royals that their 1B can’t hit for power.

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Worrisome for the Royals that their lineup can’t hit, period

10:04
Comment From David
Thoughts on the Nats playing Zimmerman in left? good idea to keep Espinosa’s bat in the line up and minimize Zimm’s throwing or will this fail?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Worthwhile experiment while there’s the roster flexibility to do so.

10:05
Comment From Jake
Thanks as always for your time Jeff. Who wins a Detroit-Oakland ALCS?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: Probably Detroit again

10:06
Comment From Tom
If you are the Cardinals what do you do with Miller?

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: Worry a lot

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: Then try him in the bullpen when I have the depth

10:07
Comment From Miller Mac
ZiPS has Xander Bogaerts at .274/.344/.432 ROS. Think he will beat that?

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: Looks about right to me. Not going to continue his .393 BABIP

10:09
Comment From 1st Place Jays
Jose Bautista has 18 opposite field hits this season. One more than he had all of last year. He is obviously adjusting to beat the shift. Impressed? Will the defenses start to adjust?

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: Last year, 18% of balls in play to the opposite field. This year, 25%. That’s still not where the power is, and I don’t think teams will adjust very much in response, but good for Bautista for finding out a way to try to lift his BABIP

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe I’ll write a little something this afternoon! Thank you, stranger!

10:10
Comment From Ozzie
Do you think the White Sox are a 0.500 team? They seemed to have survived May without Sale, Abreu, or Eaton at various points. Or did you expect them to slide towards the bottom as the season progresses?

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: We actually have them projected as the third-worst team over the rest of the year

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: I think they are simultaneously interesting and not good

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: The Twins have also kind of overachieved

10:12
Comment From Nats Man
Is Strasburg dealing with post over-hype status now? He was supposed to be awesome (and has been excellent) but everyone seems to forget about him when talking about best pitchers.

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Fun fact:

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: Was talking to a pitcher back in March. He said hitters aren’t afraid of standing in against Strasburg. Said hitters would rather face Strasburg than Zimmermann. Perception means only so much, but this isn’t just a thing about fans. Hitters aren’t even that in awe of Strasburg anymore, which is absurd

10:13
Comment From Jake
Thanks as always for your time, Jeff. Steamer calls Morales for a 118 wRC+ upon return. Zips calls 104. Drew’s looked soft since coming back, what do you think is fair? You think he ends up anywhere other than NYY?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: I see Morales as a Yankee or a Mariner, and I see him as a roughly average hitter who does little to impact the team’s chances of winning games

10:14
Comment From john
Some clamor about the rox being interested in the shark. This doesnt make sense right? they wont win the division

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t love it

10:15
Comment From Jeff
Is Cespedes’s destiny to tantalize us with big games, but to end up as a sub-250 hitter?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: I see him as a .250-.260 sort

10:15
Comment From Nats Man
Also what’s your personal opinion on Stras as a pitcher?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: Pretty great!

10:16
Comment From Otis Nixon
Which offspeed pitches remain most effective given a decline in overall pitcher velocity?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: If you have a good-enough changeup, you’re set for a while

10:16
Comment From ashtray
There was a lot of excitement about Singleton prior to his call up. Now that he’s coming to Houston everyone is pumping the breaks. What gives?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Response to the response. Wave 1: Singleton is great and ready! Wave 2: Singleton will need to make adjustments! Everybody wants to be a contrarian

10:17
Comment From Phil
Do you think prospects should be taught to bunt better now that major league teams are employing shifts more?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: Probably. How much time could it possibly take?

10:17
Comment From Jake
Where on Fangraphs can I find team-wide splits?

10:17
10:17
Comment From Chris
Why Polanco over Taveras? Doesn’t Taveras have the better hit tool?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: There’s more to baseball than hitting

10:18
Comment From bucs
Can we expect Pittsburgh outfielder Starling Marte to rebound? Or was last season an aberration?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: I think he’s an average to above-average hitter, who’s a good player in large part because of other skills. No secret that he has a somewhat exploitable hitting approach

10:19
Comment From STiVo
How is the Super Two date calculated? (I’m confused as to why it can’t be known in advance.)

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: “A player with at least two but less than three years of Major League service shall be eligible for salary arbitration if he has accumulated at least 86 days of service during the immediately preceding season and he ranks in the top 22 percent (increased from 17 percent in previous agreements) in total service in the class of Players who have at least two but less than three years of Major League service, however accumulated, but with at least 86 days of service accumulated during the immediately preceding season.”

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: Can’t be precisely known in advance because it depends on when players are promoted

10:20
Comment From 2016 Cubs
Is Kris Bryant’s glove the only thing keeping him from Wrigley? .351/.455/.688 doesn’t at least get him to AAA Iowa??

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: He’ll be in Iowa soon

10:20
Comment From dbet
What makes the gap between young football players and pro NFLers smaller than young baseball players and major leaguers? More focus on the individual?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: As a guess, football is more about athleticism, and younger players are maximally athletic. Baseball is more about reps and experience. Amateur baseball players don’t see MLB-level competition; amateur football players often do.

10:22
Comment From Roenis Elias Sports Bureau
I have one walk in 4 of my last 5 starts. Am I quickly becoming one of the better lefties in the AL?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: April: 14 BB, 21 K
Since: 13 BB, 44 K

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: This is encouraging. And you’ve got three pitches.

10:23
Comment From Dan
Any chance Josh Harrison takes ABs away from Marte, assuming Polanco plays everyday once called up?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: I sure feel like that would be silly

10:24
Comment From Marys SE Portland
Do you expect significant regression from Oakland outfielder/firstbaseman Brandon Moss?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: He has a 149 wRC+ since 2012 over more than 1,000 plate appearances. Now he’s cut down on his strikeouts. He’s apparently really good

10:24
Comment From Capn America
time for the M’s to turn to Plan C at SS, Chris Taylor?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: More weeks for Miller

10:25
Comment From Ringtone Composer
How much effort do you think NL teams should put into valuing hitting acumen of potential pitchers to acquire via free agency or trade? (I guess this is just asking: what is the spread in talent among hitting by pitchers?)

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: To me it’s nothing but a tiebreaker. Difficult to evaluate pitcher hitting skill, and you never know the extent of a guy’s coachability. Almost a total non-factor

10:26
Comment From Miguel
Will Xander Bogaerts hit for more power? Or is this the type of hitter we should expect for the near future?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: He’s 21 years old

10:27
Comment From Jake
Before 2014, most claimed McCann would be good for 13-15 wins over the life of the NYY deal. So far, he’s essentially been replacement level. What’s a fair assessment look like now? How does McCann turn things around in 2014?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: He still projects to be valuable. Two months don’t erase multiple years, especially when one of those months is fine. And McCann remains a high-level pitch-receiver. Too soon to worry; not too soon to wonder

10:28
Comment From Government Regulator
What is your favorite stat to use to answer the following question: Who is the best hitter in MLB?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: wRC+ over the past year or two

10:29
Comment From Steve
Will Zack Wheeler turn it around and have a good season?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: Has a better-than-average FIP and xFIP. But no, I don’t think he’s suddenly going to learn to throw a lot more strikes

10:31
Comment From tomsteele
Why is moving so horrible?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: Because we all have too much shit

10:31
Comment From DanceKing
If you had to guess what would you say Polanco’s end of season slash line looks like, .275/.350/.470?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: Power’s too high

10:33
Comment From BrewCrew
Does Willy Peralta actually suck?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: He is an interesting average pitcher

10:33
Comment From joey
no one talks about felix hernandez even though he’s amazing, because he’s been amazing for so long. but that in and of itself is kind of amazing, isn’t it?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Everybody over here talks about Felix Hernandez, because that’s usually more fun than talking about the Mariners

10:33
Comment From Sad Panda
What has happened to Danny Hultzen? I don’t ever hear about him any more.

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Shoulder explosion

10:34
Comment From Guest
Does Gerrit Cole return to September ’13 form at any point? Hes had a difficult schedule such far.

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: Just had 23% strikeouts in May, which was an improvement from April. Late-season Cole in 2013 was over-his-head amazing, but he does have the ability to get whiffs and grounders, which gives a guy terrific upside

10:35
Comment From Art Vandelay
Does Stanton’s injury history hurt his trade value? Or is his talent so overwhelming that it kind of washes out?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Hasn’t missed a game in 2014

10:36
Comment From Jake
Say the Astros have 2-3 more wins than the Cubs come September. Do they start benching stars to try and keep the first pick? How far do they go to try and keep it? The Hardball Times estimated the difference in value between the first and second pick of the draft at about 2 WAR, it makes a difference

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: No, I don’t think the Astros do that

10:37
Comment From Guest
Indonesian volcano update?

10:37
10:37
Comment From Dan
Love the heatmaps on the sight. Looking as Chris Davis’s 2014 vs 2013 heatmaps contact% heatmaps. He’s only down about 2% in contact% overall but if you look at the heat map he’s got a couple holes that opened up in his swing compared to last season. Can he and the O’s close those? What is you’re outlook for him going forward?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: He overachieved in 2013. He’s really good and strong, but it’s not like he’s ever been a complete player for real

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: He’s always had holes

10:38
Comment From EH
In your opinion, what aspect of the player development process seems to be going wrong for the Mariners? How can so many prospects tear up the minor leagues and then fail miserably at the big league level?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Seager’s worked out

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Elias is working out

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Paxton was working out

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Saunders is all right now

10:39
Comment From Dave Camerons Puppy
I’m less annoyed by the lack of coverage for the MLB draft, and more annoyed with the discussions of whether or not Tom Brady is still ‘elite’ over baseball highlights in June.

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: NFL: http://filipspagnoli.files….

10:39
Comment From eastern nc
Are the Cubs at teh point where selling guys like Shark makes sense still, or do they need building blocks?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: Samardzija isn’t a long-term building block for them

10:40
Comment From Nathan
Do you think the Braves are handling Alex Wood correctly? Has there been any research to suggest that moving back and forth from starting to relieving can stunt development or cause injury?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t have enough information to say whether or not this is correct. Even if I had a rule of thumb, that might not apply in this specific instance. But they’re managing his innings while still having him pitch in the bigs, so it’s not like this is an obvious mistake. In a sense they’re doing what the Nationals should’ve done with Strasburg. Don’t know if it’ll work but their heart is in the right place

10:41
Comment From Finding Forrester
IS there any way (after their recent series) that the Red Sox make a move for Price and include Mookie in a trade?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Mookie isn’t going for an expensive short-term SP acquisition

10:41
Comment From Devin
Do you have a Cistulli-type crush on any player?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Michael Saunders comes closest

10:42
Comment From eastern nc
What is your opinion on the Super 2 “deadline?”

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: It’s annoying

10:42
Comment From Guest
Collin McHugh has a great curveball, but can he sustain this 10K/9IP success?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: No, almost nobody can

10:42
Comment From Jon C
Do you think the Jays upgrade the 2B situation or stick with what’s been working: a platoon that sometimes has one of the best defensive 3B in the league playing 2B?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: I think they explore upgrades

10:42
Comment From JDagg
I read that the Royals may be looking at Kendry’s, and move BButler. What do you think they get for Butler these days?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: That’s not happening

10:43
Comment From Gabe
Any red flags among the consensus top, say, 15 prospects in this year’s draft?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: Some of them are pitchers

10:43
Comment From Mick
Who do you think will be the biggest name moved at the deadline this summer?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Any of Price, Shields, or Samardzija.

10:45
Comment From vivalajeter
Seems like the Mets have a few young, solid arms in the bullpen, but they don’t have any high priced relievers or anyone with closing experience. Isn’t this the perfect storm for going without a closer, and focusing on using your best pitcher in the high leverage spots regardless of inning? If the Braves pitch Kimbrell in the 7th inning and blow a lead in the 9th, fans would riot. If the Mets pitch Mejia or Familia in the 7th and blow a lead in the 9th, there’s a lot less complaining to go around.

10:45
10:45
Comment From Kyle
How much weight do you put into RBIs when evaluationg a player? Do you chalk it up as mostly meaningless since it depends largely on other players being on base or do you think that a player might be more prone to drive in runs than another player?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: I honestly never look at RBI

10:45
Comment From Anthony
Are pitcher control issues the toughest obstacle to overcome for a pitching prospect?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: maybe confidence in secondary stuff

10:47
Comment From dan
what do you make of Flores defense in the small sample, looks ok to me. no better or worse than Tejada.

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: He’s not good

10:47
Comment From David
why do the astros have a low payroll? why are they a “small” mkt team? I don’t understand – Houston is gigantic…

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: Why spend on what they’ve had?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: They’ll spend as they get better. But it’s hard to run a high payroll when you’re tearing everything down

10:49
Comment From Kinbote
Is Singleton considerably better than Chris Carter? They seem to have similar projections.

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: Like right now? Probably not too dissimilar. But Singleton is 22 — he should have a better career

10:51
Comment From 1st Place Jays
What team has the best lineup in baseball?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: Blue Jays probably have best offensive lineup, Angels probably have best overall group of position players

10:51
Comment From Guest
If Paxton and Walker can return to form within two weeks, do the M’s challenge for a wild card spot?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: Aren’t they like a half-game out right now?

10:51
Comment From Guest
Whats up with David Wright and the lack of power and extra strikeouts?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: Seems like he’s being too passive? But that’s just surface analysis

10:52
Comment From Ira
Does Bogaerts’ transition to 3rd have a measurable impact on his WAR?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: Shouldn’t be a big one

10:53
Comment From 1st Place Jays
I was watching a M’s broadcast of the Tigers game and the announcers said Miggy and VMart were without a doubt the best duo in baseball. Better duo, Miggy/VMart or Joey Bats/EE?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: The former has the best individual hitter, but the latter I think is the better duo

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: Really though they’re basically even

10:53
Comment From StrosFan
Thoughts on Colin McHugh?

10:53
10:54
Comment From Guest
ill ask dave tmrw but why isnt he wrutting for ussm? Hes on 710 radio in seattle talking about the m’s whats up man?

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: He’s very busy and USSM is a hobby. It’s hard when your hobby is identical to your job. The more time he puts into USSM, the more time he doesn’t put in to either FG or, you know, personal life

10:55
Comment From GSon
25 strikes thrown in a row by Masterson last night. Is that amazing or what? Any other ‘numbers’ being kept on that kind of performance?..

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: A few years ago Bartolo Colon threw like 38 consecutive strikes

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe the most amazing thing that’s ever happened in baseball

10:56
Comment From Brad
I read Cistulli’s weekly most beutiful pitches and I get surprised at how many meh pitchers make the list.

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: There are more mediocre pitchers than good pitchers, meaning the overwhelming majority of pitches are thrown by non-elite types, and it’s not like mediocre guys always throw mediocre pitches. They just throw somewhat fewer great pitches than great pitchers do. Still, among the sample of all great pitches thrown, most will be thrown by pitchers who aren’t great

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: Think of it this way: a really good pitcher might throw…8 out of 10 pretty good pitches. A half-decent pitcher might throw…6 out of 10 pretty good pitches.

10:59
Comment From the Average Sports Fan
No manager has been fired yet. Who gets it first?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: Gibson or Yost

10:59
Comment From Ed
Should the M’s consider moving flipping Seager and Smoak in the lineup to get Kyle more at bats? He has been on fire the past few weeks.

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: Smoak is not good, so he should bat less

11:01
Comment From Jon
Do you like the term ace pitcher? Why/why not, and what defines an ace in your mind?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: It’s fine, but I think it’s a feel thing more than a quantitative thing. I know that Felix is an ace. I know that Kershaw is an ace. Not every team has an ace. In my mind, there aren’t many aces, and it takes a while to achieve that level.

11:03
Comment From Joe
If the best true talent team were to play the worst true talent team for 162 games, what would their respective records be?

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s say you have one team that’s true-talent 100-62, and another team that’s true-talent 62-100

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: If I’m doing this right, the first team would finish around 117-45

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: All right! It’s been two hours and I have work I need to get finished

11:05
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 Tuesday at the same time, and until then, be well and have great days



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


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