Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 7/1/14

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: Well that’s the latest I’ve ever been, probably

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: Now I’m kind of embarrassed. Only solution is to start chatting posthaste!

9:14
Comment From Guest
Since it’s the thing to talk about this morning, what do you make of Bryce Harper’s comments?

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: One thing to understand: being out west, I have far less time to digest these things before the chat than people out east do. But I did run across this in the last 20 minutes or so. It’s actually one of the reasons I’m a little late

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: Harper just needs to be quiet. If he’s got opinions, he should be able to feel free to share them in private with his manager, but you can’t go around talking to the media about things like this. Lines get drawn, walls go up, colleagues are put off. I don’t care if Harper was just being honest — this was dumb of him. Dumb and young

9:17
Comment From Brian Henry
Raul Ibanez makes little sense in the Royals outfield. Is he Eric Hosmer’s replacement at first if a trip to the minors is needed, or is he Billy Butler’s replacement if Butler is at first?

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: My guess is just that he’s a bench bat who isn’t going to get enough playing time to warrant the usual run of jokes. I mean, he probably shouldn’t be there to begin with, but I doubt he’s going to hurt the Royals too bad. If he plays a lot though, it’s because at least one thing has gone dreadfully wrong

9:18
Comment From Guest
How fragile is rosW% at the halfway point of the season? Say the Angels lose Trout to injury and maybe their 3rd best starter?

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: The rest of the way, Trout’s projected for 4.4 WAR, and the third-best starter is projected for about 1. If you figure the Angels wouldn’t plug in replacement-level players, that would probably knock them down…3 or 4 wins on average

9:19
Comment From jocephus
have you ever used a vuvuzela

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: No, but I’ve been ever so close

9:20
Comment From Guest
Oswaldo Arcia: pre-season fantasy darling, but how does he forecast in real life now? his batted ball distance is down from superb to pedestrian, and the BB/K is as ugly as ever

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: take a glance and he’s almost exactly where he was last season

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: His approach is dreadful, and he’s kept afloat by the occasional extra-base hit. The power is real and the power is his greatest asset, but Arcia is a major project, and one that has no guarantee of working out very well

9:22
Comment From john
Domingo Santana! Is he up for good? I liked what he’s been doing at AAA as a 21 year old, although he could K less. Think the astros are also trying to break the K record?

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: It does kind of seem like the theme of things. Here’s another talented young Astro. He does just about everything well, besides make contact with the baseball

9:23
Comment From Asdrubal Cabrera
What are the chances I’m still an Indian on August 1?

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: I think it’s more likely than not, if the Indians are still close enough to believe they’re playing for something. I was expecting Lindor to do more than he has so far in Double-A. Not that I think he’s busting or anything, but he’s just taking his time

9:25
Comment From Guest
What is Chris Carter worth and do you think it would be worth while for the Mariners to pick him up?

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: Chris Carter is Mike Zunino without the defense. Without any defense. He probably isn’t too far from washing out of the league

9:26
Comment From Guest
Are the Pirates one of the 5 best teams in the NL right now?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s go with one of the six best teams in the NL right now

9:28
Comment From Guest
Has FG ever discussed moving to a SIERA-based WAR? As currently constructed, FIP-based WAR underrates GB specialists, correct? I’m referring to Zach Britton specifically – 3.24 FIP, 2.11 SIERA, 78.5% GB rate.

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: FIP has its limitations, especially with certain relief pitchers, but we don’t need to try to overfit things, and we don’t need to involve line-drive rate in measuring a pitcher’s value. It’s probably true that SIERA better captures what Britton has been to this point, but it’s probably true that FIP better captures what Britton will be

9:30
Comment From Dylan
What position would you have Mike Trout play for the U.S. Men’s National Team?

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: None of them. He’d be terrible!

9:30
Comment From Gus
Welcome, Jeff. Are you beginning to feel some stirring of heart strings for the Mariners, or are you suppressing emotion until they win something meaningful?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: It’s just nice to care in July. It’s nice to actually want to turn on a game. No, the team isn’t great, but what kind of position am I in to be greedy?

9:31
Comment From Terrible Ted
Happy Canada Day!

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: bye Jason Spezza :(

9:31
Comment From noether
What’s your take on the Astros leak?

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: Kind of embarrassing, all kinds of fascinating, fun to peruse if nothing’s been fabricated. The Astros were smart to allege that some of it was straight made-up, to give other teams an explanatory way out. I wonder if future baseball organizations are going to have hackers on staff. I wonder if they’ll acknowledge as much.

9:34
Comment From Guest
please compare Springer and DSantana on offense…

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: Springer hits the crap out of the ball, Santana hits the snot out of the ball. Springer is more capable of maximizing his contact, but Santana’s also considerably younger so he deserves the benefit of the doubt. To date, Santana has been more of a groundball guy, but he’s been a 21-year-old slugging .500 in Triple-A. It’s an interesting piece for what had been one of the Astros’ few remaining black holes

9:36
Comment From Dave
The Cubs probably wont try to trade Arrieta will they? There’s only a SSS of him being good, and a long list of why he’s not good

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: They need to keep some pitchers, and right now they’re probably bigger believers in him than any other front office since they’ve personally observed his maturation

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: Need to be wary of a 2012-2013 repeat, where Arrieta takes a step backward, but it sure feels like he’s approaching the level of special

9:37
Comment From United Fucking States
Has your appreciation of soccer: remained dormant, grown modestly, or blossomed into full rabid engagement

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: It’s been fun, but I can’t see this being a regular thing for me. Once every few years is plenty. I have an extremely strong appreciation of soccer having a set, reliable duration from start to finish

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: The spirit of patriotism is unusual but I’ve just been conditioned not to trust groups of people loudly and proudly expressing their love of the US. I know this is different but it looks the same on paper

9:42
Comment From greg
what do you think of Taijuan’s first start back?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Sorry, had to wait for a page to load

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Obviously, Walker didn’t have tremendous command, and in reality he might never have tremendous command, but did you notice the new thing that he did?

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: Walker’s changeup counts over his four big-league starts:

6, 2, 2, 21

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: He admitted that, yesterday, because he didn’t really have his good fastball, he leaned more on his change, and that’s something he didn’t used to be able to do. So it’s encouraging. He’s better than Erasmo Ramirez.

9:44
Comment From all betts are off
Danny Espinosa – one of the best second basemen in the league…from the mouths of babes…

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: So much love for Espinosa’s 0.3 WAR. So little love for Span’s 1.2.

9:46
Comment From Guest
Danny Salazar looking good last night. Do you think he’s righted the ship?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: The good news is he’s thrown two-thirds of his pitches for strikes in Triple-A, which is last year’s territory and a departure from earlier-this-year’s territory. I think it’s still fair to be skeptical and a little concerned, but Salazar, for the most part, has done what he was supposed to do during his demotion, so he shouldn’t be far off from getting another opportunity

9:47
Comment From J6takish
Does your opinion of a trade differ depending on who the GM is? If billy beane had done the doug fister trade, would the internet reaction been as vehement?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: I’m aware of the fact that I have my biases, and I try really hard to correct for them before I offer any analysis, but I can’t pretend like there isn’t an effect. Of course I’m going to be a little biased in favor of the guys I think are better. I’m not entirely convinced that’s a bad thing, but it’s probably too much of that thing.

9:48
Comment From J Dog
Well is Doolittle’s reign over? Or at least, is it time to develop a new pitch?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: This month he has a walk and 22 strikeouts in 14.1 innings

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Even Clayton Kershaw got bombed once by the Diamondbacks for no good reason.

9:49
Comment From Santiago
Provided the Cubs don’t trade thir SP. what do you thnk about a Samardzija, Arrieta, Hammel, Price rotation?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: That would be a very good rotation, that will never exist

9:50
Comment From Matt
So did the Giants lose their chemistry all of a sudden and the Dodgers find chemistry? Where did the Red Sox chemistry go? Can we stop talking about chemistry?

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: The problem with people having asserted that the Dodgers had too many clubhouse problems is that a year ago they had a very similar clubhouse and they ripped off a hot streak of historical significance!

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: I’m open to the belief that clubhouse attitudes have an effect, and that psychology remains an underrated aspect of day-to-day performance. But you should always bet on talent. Talent sets you on the right course.

9:52
Comment From Dewey
But we knew this about Harper, so why expect anything less, and why are people so shocked?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: I think people are shocked because when is the last time a player talked like this to the media? Who second-guesses a manager like that, out in the open?

9:52
Comment From Ernie
Are the Giants even a wildcard team at this point? Or are they in serious trouble of missing the playoffs altogether?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: Isn’t it fine to say they’re a decent team that was playing over its own head? Coming into the year, they looked to be very strong wild-card contenders. Right now, they’re a strong wild-card contender. Presumably, they are not as strong as the Dodgers are. You don’t want to overreact to a cold spell, just as one wouldn’t have wanted to overreact to a hot spell. Long seasons aren’t really that long, but they do allow for certain things to settle

9:54
Comment From Art Vandelay
I know it’s only two homers, but is this a good sign for Cano?

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not a bad sign for Cano

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: All of a sudden he’s slugging .485 for the month

9:55
Comment From Endy Ballgame
Will the Mariners acquire a bat, and if so, who do you imagine it’s most likely to be?

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: I think they end up with some kind of outfield role player. Perhaps an LF regular to take the place of the dreadful Dustin Ackley, but I don’t think it’ll be an expensive acquisition

9:56
Comment From GSon
I like the move by the Royals to bring in a veteran who can stay ready (Ibanez is noted for his preparation and being in shape) when his opportunities arise while giving counsel to the younger players.. Do you see Ibanez’s role being akin to Jason Giambi’s for the Indians last season?

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: That is probably the idea.

9:57
Comment From Gus
Where does baseball sit on the spectrum of internationally popular sports? It’s mostly New World + Japan/Korea…seems something like gridiron football and Aussie Rules would have to be among the more insular sports.

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: Baseball is slowly wrapping its tentacles around the earth, but you’re still not ever going to have a conversation about Mike Trout’s WAR in Africa

9:58
Comment From Joe
How much of Jake Arrieta’s recent success is likely to continue? His GB and K% are significantly better, but his home run rate doesn’t seem sustainable.

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: That’s what xFIP’s for, right? And he has one of baseball’s best xFIPs. 2.48. Right now I suspect he’s pitching over his stuff, but even a 5-10% decrease across the board leaves a heck of a starting pitcher, acquired for a dozen starts or so of Scott Feldman

10:01
Comment From DisASTROS
Will there be any fallout between Luhnow and other GMs in the league? Will it hinder trade opportunities in at least the short-term?

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: I highly doubt it. The fallout’s just a dozen or so sheepish phone calls. It’s unfortunate that it happened to the Astros, but they’re still one of 30 teams, with desirable pieces to move

10:02
Comment From Marcus A.
George Springer is really strong. I don’t have a question, just wow.

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: It takes one game of watching him to understand both the slugging percentage and the contact rate

10:02
Comment From Big Joe Mufferaw
After seeing Trout hit a 489 foot bomb, would you love to see him in the HR derby?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: I would’ve loved that even before seeing him hit a 489-foot bomb

10:04
Comment From Guest
Anthony Rendon: on pace for a 6 win season. I think most people realize he’s good, but he should be mentioned with the best young players in the game and I don’t think he is.

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Plus, he’s bounced back from what was a pretty miserable month or so, showing that he’s adjusted to adjustments. So now it’s that much less likely that Rendon is some flash in the pan

10:04
Comment From Jeff
Is J.D. Martinez the next Jose Bautista?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Aim lower, you’ll take someone’s head off

10:05
Comment From Daniel Bryan
SSS: Bobby Abreu has a 119 wRC+ and a career low K%.

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: Nothing quite like a bad team with an overachieving 40-year-old. It’s a bittersweet feeling for the fans

10:07
Comment From Hrkac Circus
Cobb just doesn’t look great right now. Is this injury rust, or is he not as good as people thought?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: It wouldn’t surprise me if last year were his ceiling, and what he’s been doing is basically what he did in 2012. He’s not even that meaningfully different from what he did in 2013 — he’s just a little bit worse, a little bit less in control. You’re still looking at a mid-3s xFIP. Maybe there’s something to the elevated dinger rate, but it seems to me Cobb is a pretty good starter who isn’t a No. 1 starter

10:09
Comment From Tucker
The only “true” 5-tool players in baseball (above average at all 5 tools) are Puig, Tulo, CarGo, and Bryce Harper. My question: who’s next?

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: Carlos Gomez?

10:11
Comment From Lt. Mustard
So far all of those “talented young Astros” you mentioned were acquired prior to the Luhnow era. When he took over it was commonly purported that there was nothing at all to work with on that team. Is it maybe time to revisit that assertion?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: There was perhaps more talent in the system than was commonly believed, but there’s also something to be said for successful player development under a new regime. When there are changes at the top, there are changes at every level

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: But yeah, the Astros right now are benefiting from previous work, to a large extent

10:12
Comment From Mike T.
Hi Jeff – The Sens did not get much for Spezza. Are you surprised he was traded for that haul?

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: I’m going to make this about baseball!

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: Spezza is seemingly a good — not great — player, with a fairly high price tag and one remaining season of team control.

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: Imagine that as a baseball player. What would you expect to get back in a move?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: It’s like, what would David Price fetch in a trade this coming winter? And then reduce that by a chunk since Spezza probably isn’t David-Price good. I was rooting for a massive haul, but I understand why said haul wasn’t obtained

10:16
Comment From john
Joey Votto is scaring me Do you think he will regain power?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Might still be looking for his swing after coming off the DL. Wouldn’t be the first time for him that an injury had a lingering effect. Bet on most of an ability to return, but bet against Votto ever being a true slugger

10:17
Comment From Art Vandelay
obviously Votto knows his body better than anyone, but it just seems risky to keep running him out there hobbled.

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: The Reds are in the race and Votto is the team’s best player. If he’s able to move around, he’s going to play, because that’s the way that things work in this game even if it might not be in the long-term best interests

10:18
Comment From Dudett
Has there ever been studies about what is easier to do come the second half of the season between scoring or preventing runs? I recall an old saying about the bats getting heavier during the hot summer months and how high velocity can take advantage of that.

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: There’s almost certainly nothing meaningful. Over the season, hitters wear down, and pitchers wear down

10:19
Comment From Daneeka
Miguel Cabrera’s offensive numbers are down, walks in particular. What are the odds its an honest decline? Seems reasonable, but the narrative (I know) with Cabrera has always suggested he has one of those eagle eyes. I would not have expected this to be the first skill to erode.

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: He started the season still looking for his regular swing after undergoing surgery, and since the end of April or so he’s posted a .990 OPS. All the skills are there and he isn’t chasing more than usual. Seems like he’s fine, even if he’s not really getting any better than he already was

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: In other words, the decline is coming, and maybe it’s started to some degree, but Cabrera would be starting a decline from an awful high level and right now he’s still amazing

10:21
Comment From Marcus A.
Is Mike Zunino Miguel Olivo with good defense? And is there any chance he improves his discipline or is he stuck here?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: He’s likely to be somewhere in that Olivo/Buck/Arencibia spectrum, but with the good glovework. He’ll make some slight improvements but he’s probably always going to be power and strikeouts

10:23
Comment From Dr. Met
Is Joey Bats (and to some degree e5) some of the only success stories in terms of fixing their contact woes and turning into more than just a 3 outcome slugger?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: It’s fascinating when players are able to re-work their swings such that they just maximize the contact they make. Mini versions would be Brian Dozier and apparently J.D. Martinez. Nothing dramatic changes in the discipline, but plenty dramatic changes in the power output

10:25
Comment From Christian
Would the Mariners be better off trying to trade some of their bullpen depth to try and get a starter or outfielder?Selling low on Nick Franklin and company doesn’t seem like it would even get much and I think it’s worth the gamble to see if Tai Walker and/or maybe Paxton can do a serviceable job at the end of the rotation.

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: You’re just not going to get much of a starter or an outfielder if you’re moving a major-league reliever. The Mariners aren’t sitting on an available Aroldis Chapman or anything. There might be something of a surplus at the moment in the bullpen, but any one of those players could start slumping or get hurt tomorrow

10:27
Comment From Compton
I take it you read about the Astros leak. Are Jeff Luhnow’s absurd proposals(e.g. Harrell for Giolito) really that ridiculous? Seems like he just used some classic negotiation techniques, and now everyone assumes he is a moron.

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: The unfortunate thing for the Astros is they were almost exclusively featured. One should assume that the way the Astros do business is the way pretty much all teams do business, within a few percentage points. Like, the Mariners allegedly offered Dustin Ackley for Jason Castro. That’s silliness, in the other direction

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: You don’t want to *offend* a GM to whom you’re making a proposal, but I doubt Luhnow was making people too upset

10:30
Comment From Senior Circuit Breaker
The Brewers are still playing well, and the Cards, Reds, and Bucs are hanging in there. All four will probably be buyers. Who do you see making the biggest splash and how will the division play out in your opinion?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: The Cardinals are in the best position to do something enormous

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: I figure the Brewers win the division, the Cardinals end up with a wild card, and the Pirates end up really close to a wild card. They might get it, too, but I’m not going to pretend the Giants don’t exist

10:32
Comment From Gila Monster
Do you or Dave have any connections in front offices that you talk to often?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: Dave is always communicating with friends in the industry. I am a rock, I am an island

10:32
Comment From Lars
What app do you use for live baseball information on your phone?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: The MLB app, but I don’t really use my phone that much. If I’m out, generally, I want to be disconnected

10:33
Comment From Ed
Are the Mariners stuck with Endy Chavez? Is he like the team’s good luck charm or something?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: It wouldn’t be like this if Dustin Ackley weren’t playing like Endy Chavez plays

10:34
Comment From Zachary
I’ll try to ask this correctly. If a Home Run is considered a part of the Three True Outcomes, then why does xFIP exist, where the Home Run is effectively neutralized through forced regression?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: xFIP doesn’t exist for hitters. For hitters, it’s far more of a skill. For pitchers, a lot of that is noise

10:35
Comment From Guest
What team’s front office transaction notes leak would be the most interesting to read? Least interesting?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: The Dodgers would be fun. The Padres would be sad :(

10:35
Comment From Guest
How does the total WAR of a roster translate into actual wins? Sorry that I’m a noob.

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: There’s a very strong correlation between team WAR and team win%, with variations based on things like sequencing and leverage and perhaps misevaluation of defense

10:36
Comment From Dr. Met
Re: Hackers, how do you know teams that “always win” trades don’t already have a team of hackers or spies digging in?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: What teams always win trades?

10:37
Comment From JW
Settle a debate? Players are being brought up too soon and asked to do too much: case of Eric Hosmer, he is too young to call a bust? Had Royals kept him in minors for ages 22-23 he would have destroyed MiLB pitching and be very highly thought of as prospect instead of current perception?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Problem is he clobbered the minors, and the issues he had weren’t issues that would be displayed very often in Triple-A. What’s holding him back isn’t an inability to hit half-decent pitching — it’s an inability to hit good pitching, major-league pitching, and you don’t learn to hit that in Omaha

10:39
Comment From Compton
The Astros may get 3 MLB regulars(Cosart, Singleton, and Santana) out of that Pence deal. How often do hauls like that one turn out this successfully?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: They don’t. I mean, Bartolo Colon trade in 2002? Long way to go for all those guys on the Astros, and as you might’ve read Santana wasn’t even supposed to be available as part of the return, but that’s something of a potential franchise-changer

10:40
Comment From Pete
Is there a way to measure a team’s medical/training staff and how well of a job they do treating/managing/preventing injuries?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: Not really, not in the small picture. Way too much noise, way too little information

10:40
Comment From Mike T.
Are you having any difficulties focusing on the baseball chat while the NHL silly season has started?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: I”m always fascinated every year by the difference between the MLB offseason and some of the other offseasons

10:42
Comment From Gus
The leak fairly flatters the Astros, right? It confirms the suspicion people have had the Luhnow and company are building a strong team that shares sensibilities with the Rays. Are we sure it wasn’t leaked on purpose?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: It’s humiliating. A team wouldn’t do this on purpose. The Astros were already attracting some positive PR for the recent success and youth movement. They were an SI cover story the other week.

10:42
Comment From Brian
Chris Young has been a wonderful, wonderful fluke. While he gets written up as the type of guy who outperforms FIP, the degree to which he is doing so is pretty absurd. Question is, how much faith do you put in him going forward? Would it be prudent to find a replacement for him for the second half, or do you let him stick it out and see if he can keep it up?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: This is a case where a team probably shouldn’t wait for a decline to kick in. There’s value in being proactive and if they got a starter, the worst-case scenario would be having too many good starters

10:43
Comment From Dave
would Greg Maddux have thrown Napoli a fastball with two strikes assuming he had a killer split?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Greg Maddux might’ve thrown a fastball off the plate, exactly as intended

10:44
Comment From clint h
why would the cubs trade the shark – they look like they could be serious contenders next year with shark, arrieta, wood and a good bullpen to go with castro, rizzo and 2 or 3 of the rookies in the lineup. what am i missing?the lineup

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: The Cubs are in it for the long haul, and Jeff Samardzija isn’t under control for the long haul. The team could very well be successful in 2015, but for them it isn’t 2015 or bust

10:45
Comment From Terrible Ted
Will the Indians have Kluber on an innings limit?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: I haven’t seen any suggestion to that effect

10:47
Comment From Guest
Billy Hamilton now in the driver’s seat for NL ROY?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: Really good year for AL rookies. Really not so good a year for NL rookies

10:49
Comment From A increasingly depressd Cardinals Fan
What should we do? Craig is broken Holliday and Molina are finally getting old. Miller Looks broken. Wacha maybe broken forever. Is there any reason for me be optimistic… can you give me something?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: If Wacha has the Brandon McCarthy thing, well, McCarthy is still pitching and he pitches a lot every season. The Cardinals have the benefit of being one of baseball’s deepest teams and deepest organizations, and there might be no team better at player development. So, yeah, lots of reasons to be optimistic about the big picture, even if 2014 ends up being a modest disappointment

10:50
Comment From Alex
Will Zach Wheeler ever have good command?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: Usually the answer for these guys is no. But he can develop better command, at least

10:50
Comment From Guest
Would Erasmo flourish in the Nl if he were traded?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: Probably needs to have surgery first

10:52
Comment From the California Angels dude
What’s your take on Matt Shoemaker after his shelling the other day?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: He seems curiously hittable. Even in the minors, he wasn’t quite as good as his walks and strikeouts. I think he’s a perfectly adequate major-league starter but it seems like he’s just going to have these blow-ups every so often, more than the average pitcher

10:53
Comment From David
Any chance we see Addison Russell this year in a pennant race? Lowrie has been unimpressive.

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: Higher chance of a trade

10:55
Comment From Tucker
Has there ever been a trade involving a member of the team’s front office (i.e. Billy Eppler to Padres for player x)? Could you see it ever happening?

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: The Red Sox traded Theo Epstein to the Cubs, albeit for not very much

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think you’re ever going to see an executive exchanged for a prospect haul

10:59
Comment From Preston
The Rays are still talking like they’re going to compete. Is that just the players and manager? Or do you think Friedman’s going to hold on to Price to wait and see.

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: I expect Price to be moved, and I never expect players or a manager to publicly acknowledge a terrible situation when the season’s just halfway over. Those guys need to believe they can still make a run — it’s the front office’s job to be objective and think about the bigger picture, and Price should fetch a bounty

11:00
Comment From Springer
Thoughts on Jon Singleton so far? I know SSS but at what point do the Astros send him back to OKC to fix the holes in his swing?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: Do you think he’s going to fix those holes against minor-league pitching?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: George Springer took some time to get settled in the bigs, this very season. Singleton should have a long leash

11:00
Comment From Alex
Is Javier Baez finally starting to right the ship? CUBS FANS EVERYWHERE REJOICE!

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: Strikeouts down in June, at last. This is turning out to be a pretty good year for the Cubs organization, outside of the whole wins and losses thing

11:01
Comment From ImJustaGuest
If bRef and Fangraph pages were homes you could live in and raise a family inside of, would you rather live inside of Barry Bond’s page or Mike Trout’s?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: Bonds. More to explore

11:01
Comment From Reginald Denton III
I know it’s not Oakland’s MO, but shouldn’t they really go balls out and try to win it this year? The window won’t stay open forever.

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: I mean, they shouldn’t sacrifice everything, and they won’t, but yeah, it’s time for them to think short-term over long-term

11:02
Comment From dbet
Do you think that the ChiSox would make Jose Abreu available? I bet they could get a solid return selling high on him.

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: uh

11:02
Comment From A. Lane
How often is UZR updated on Fangraphs, daily?

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: I think it’s weekly? And I think DRS is daily

11:02
Comment From morF tnemmoC
Anyone ever analyze the run value of breaking up double plays? Might not be as valuable as framing, but you never know.

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: Never seen it. Good luck!

11:03
Comment From Preston
If you were an AL team targeting a starter, who would you rather have considering price of acquisition Jason Hammel or Brandon McCarthy?

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: Hammel

11:03
Comment From Guest
Do you get out and actually play baseball, even if it is just shagging fly balls and hitting BP, or are you purely a spectator of the game at this point in your life?

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: I love to throw. I miss competitive pitching

11:03
Comment From David
This was a while back, but for your article on 5 tool players for 538, why did you use the FANS projection of speed rather than speed score? SS is by no means perfect, but it is a better measure than what fans think, I would believe.

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: I actually think fans have a pretty good eye for speed, and sometimes there are fast players whose speed just doesn’t translate so much to the statistics

11:04
Comment From Preston
Do you think the Rangers are serious when they say they are shopping Beltre and Darvish?

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: No, they’re probably just listening to offers, as every team should about every player

11:05
Comment From CH3CH2OH
If the Royals make the playoffs, Did they end up the “winners” of the Shields trade? I mean that was the whole point of contention, right?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: James Shields has allowed 58 runs in 112 innings

11:08
Comment From Marcus A.
Jose Altuve has cut his K rate from quite good to amazing almost entirely by upping his contact rate. Is that something that’s sustainable? I know contact rate is normally stable, but I don’t know what happens after an initial jump.

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: Altuve is running 2012’s contact rate with 2013’s swing rate, and combining those leads to a decrease in strikeouts. His true-talent strikeout rate probably isn’t this low, but it does appear that he’s made strides in putting the ball in play, and these results aren’t totally flukish. He’s pretty good, and he only recently turned 24. Strong future asset

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: I need to cut this off now and get some stuff together in advance of the afternoon. So!

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: Thank you everybody for hanging out, and I’m sorry for what I didn’t or couldn’t address. We’ll do it again next week at the same time, and until then, be well and have great days



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


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David
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David

Any chance we see Addison Russell this year in a pennant race? Lowrie has been unimpressive.

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