Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 7/22/14

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: All right, so let’s see

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: Late: check

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: Don’t bother asking fantasy questions because I don’t know how to answer them: check

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: The Mariners are the way to my heart but I try to limit the amount of those questions I take: check

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: Onward!

9:10
Comment From JR
Does Baez moving to 2B imply he’ll get called up soon?

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: It implies they’re preparing for that and they’re not in a hurry to move Castro anywhere else. A lot of people have figured Baez would end up at second anyway so this isn’t terribly surprising

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: Of note: Baez’s monthly OPS figures in Triple-A: .617, .738, .815, .944

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: Still holes in his game — there will always be holes in his game — but this is a 21-year-old who’s figuring out the second-highest level of baseball

9:12
Comment From jocephus
i think you are my favorite chatter since you preface no fantasy question

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: I think Dave does it too but he might do it in kind of a mean way

9:12
Comment From Mike
Shane Greene’s stuff passes the eye test, but there’s no way he can be for real, right?

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: He’s coming up on 26, he didn’t even do all that well earlier this year in Triple-A, and so far in the majors he’s thrown barely one of three pitches in the strike zone. I could buy Greene as a No. 5 or something, but that’s because it isn’t too hard to be an acceptable No. 5

9:14
Comment From Guest
Why isnt there a WAR for pitchers that includes their hitting and defence? Especially for NL pitchers, this has a pretty big impact on the game.

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: We talk about this from time to time. Basically, it’s because when people talk about the best pitchers, they’re just talking about the pitching ability and so we don’t want to confuse the issue. But those numbers are available on the site, and perhaps one day we’ll have a place where they’re combined

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: Madison Bumgarner: 2.1 pitching WAR, 0.8 other WAR, so 2.9 total WAR

9:16
Comment From Kenny
If a pitcher has a relatively high SwStr% but an average k/9 and/or k% would it be reasonable to expect his k rate (or %) to increase? Put differently is there generally a strong correlation between SwStr% and k/9 (or %)?

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: There is a strong correlation, but if I recall I think the best indicator of future strikeout rate is past strikeout rate. There are people whose strikeout rates exceed their contact rates, and there are people whose strikeout rates undershoot their contact rates

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: I think I’ve noticed in the past that changeup-heavy pitchers tend to get weaker strikeout rates than you’d expect just off a linear regression with Contact% or SwS%

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: I think guys like Chris Capuano and Shaun Marcum were among my examples

9:19
Comment From Jake
Thanks as always for your time Jeff, you’re a Mensch. NYY gets Lee, Prado, Shields, and Headley through trades/2015 FA market. Maybe sub in one or two of those names for other, league average, non-QO guys. Do you seem them for 90+ wins next year?

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: Hell of a lot easier with Tanaka than without Tanaka. Have to see how he’s doing down the road — if he ends up needing TJ, then the Yankees are in trouble because he’s the best one

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: With Tanaka, I can see that as a 90-win team. Without him, you’re chasing the wild card

9:21
Comment From Theo
Is Chris Coghlan’s emergence legit? BABIP is high but he’s hitting more line drives

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: Looks to me like he’s made a change to try to hit for more power. More fly balls than ever, more pulled air balls than ever. I’m naturally skeptical of 29-year-olds who are hitting for the first time in several years, but you can never really predict the next JD Martinez so maybe Coghlan is turning himself into a reliable role player

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: And I have to be on his side because he was born just four months before I was and if I start thinking of Coghlan as over the hill then what in the hell am I supposed to do with myself

9:24
Comment From Jake
Does Melky get a QO?

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, I think so

9:25
Comment From Naveen
Was the reason you were late because the mojo was risin’ last night?

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve realized it’s better to just be late and done with breakfast than to try to eat breakfast while chatting slowly

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: One solution, you might propose, would be to finish breakfast before the scheduled chat time. But then

9:26
Comment From Angie Mentinks spilled drink
I know that you’re skeptical of Dustin Ackley’s defensive stats. At what point can you safely say that he’s an asset defensively in LF?

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: I can definitely buy him as a reasonable defensive corner outfielder. Less so as a reasonable offensive corner outfielder

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: One day he’ll be a hell of a backup

9:27
Comment From Kris
On the other side, shouldn’t Lester get credit for putting up 7.2 wins 2012-2013 with one of the worst framers in the game behind the plate? Dead last this year, 108th in 2013, and 94th in 2012.

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Lester actually had slightly positive framers in terms of run value for each of the four years before this one. A part of that, I have to assume, is his command, and his tendency to throw fastball varieties instead of a lot of wilder breaking balls

9:28
Comment From _David_
I’m confused by the Mariners’ handling of the rotation…First, it’s Erasmo coming up for a spot people assumed Walker would get. Next, everyone’s being pushed back to create another spot, but this might not be Walker either, rather a bullpen game for an overworked bullpen?

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: McClendon likes the idea of Wilhelmsen as a starter, he’s in position to give four or five innings, and Walker is impressing absolutely no one at the moment. And the bullpen’s full. Walker will be back when he’s earned it, but right now he’s pretty bad

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: which is an issue in trade negotiations, as Rosenthal tweeted about earlier this morning

9:30
Comment From Jimmy Nelson
How do I fair tonight after last start’s implosion?

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: The Reds don’t hit very much. You’ll be okay, with one or two too many walks

9:31
Comment From This is real life, this is not fantasy
Have the Phillies already screwed the pooch when it comes to selling. It looks like half their players are off the table.

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: Byrd’s no-trade clause is getting in the way, and there was nothing they could do about Cliff Lee’s arm. You can kind of understand the Hamels thing, although they should at least be listening

9:32
Comment From Dewey
De La Rosa and Edwin Jackson seem like really good value additions for teams. What kind of return could either team get for them?

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: The Rockies might get a second- or third-tier prospect for De La Rosa, although they’ve talked about keeping him and extending a qualifying offer. The most Jackson could bring the Cubs is some measure of salary relief

9:34
Comment From Big Joe Mufferaw
More Likely to happen 2015, Yellowstone explodes in a field of Magma or Ben Revere hit 10 HRs?

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: small Yellowstone eruption > Ben Revere 10 dingers > massive Yellowstone eruption

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: There could always be some harmless pressure release like the creation of a new cinder cone or something. But no one would care about that

9:35
Comment From Vslyke
How much do you care when a guy doesn’t run out a GB? Seems like the reaction is very overblown.

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: It’s never about the groundball — it’s about using the groundball as a proxy for general, overall effort. I don’t really give a shit, provided the player demonstrates that he does give a shit in other areas. I don’t *want* a player to bust his ass trying to beat out a grounder he’s not going to beat out. Hamstrings and quads get strained all the time

9:36
Comment From _David_
Is Felix’s changeup so effective because it’s the same speed as the sinker? It probably looks identical, so the batter doesn’t know if the pitch is about to drop to his knees or his ankles.

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: It’s a few miles per hour slower, and it has another half-foot or so of vertical movement. You can think of Felix, really, as having three different fastballs — a cut fastball, a sinker, and an ultra-sinker. The ultra-sinker is mean

9:39
Comment From David
Dustin Pedroia … really this bad?

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: Everything’s normal but the power, obviously. I’m willing to give him some bounceback potential on account of the thumb injury and the surgery, but he turns 31 in a month, so I figure from this point forward Pedroia is maybe a slightly above-average hitter on true talent

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think he’s scraping a 133 wRC+ again

9:42
Comment From I dont care what anyone says:
#KeepNotGraphs

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not like it’s being canceled against its will

9:42
Comment From This is real life, this is not fantasy
Is there any good way to project a guy like Springer long term? Chance that his K rate becomes palatable?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Presumably this is just a part of who he is. He’s a guy who swings impossibly hard, which means he makes great contact when he makes contact, and he often doesn’t make contact. If you turn George Springer into more of a contact hitter, then what do you really have? You can’t just drop 10% off his strikeout rate and keep everything else the same

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: Even this current version of Springer has a 123 wRC+. His BABIP is normal. His strikeouts aren’t totally unprecedented and he knows how to walk. The Astros should be happy if he cuts down on his whiffs even a little bit

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: Guys like Ryan Howard and Chris Davis never stopped striking out, but they produced

9:44
Comment From jocephus
does price to StL require oscar?

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not 100% *required*, but it’s how St. Louis could most easily win the sweepstakes

9:45
Comment From Big Hurtin
Taijuan Walker was throwing in the low 90′s in his last outing in Triple-A — another busted pitching prospect? Do M’s fans now wish they had dealt Walker+ for Price in the off-season?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: He’s coming off a shoulder thing. You’d expect some rust and you should be really worried if this is still the case in a month and a half. But more generally, if Walker *were* to bust, it wouldn’t be a shock because he’s a young pitcher whose best weapon is fastball velocity, and those guys aren’t tremendous bets

9:48
Comment From scott
Apparently the M’s are interested in Starling Marte. Seems like a smart direction if they could pry him loose, no?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: I know this seems like a Mariners question, but I want to turn it into a general baseball question:

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Every team in baseball should be interested in Starling Marte. Every single one of them. Being smart isn’t as simple as being able to recognize a good young ballplayer.

9:50
Comment From This is real life, this is not fantasy
Hutchison k/bb or k-bb looks fine, but he keeps struggling, what’s going on?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: Hasn’t actually really had a particularly good K% – BB% since April, when he was strongest. Wouldn’t surprise me at all if he’s growing fatigued

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: He can still be a useful starter but he probably shouldn’t be counted on for much the rest of the way

9:52
Comment From Ioki
Rockies allegedly wanted Gausman for De La Rosa. Is there a single better example of why the Rockies are awful?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: The question is whether they’re willing to negotiate from that point. The Astros wanted a ton from the Orioles for Bud Norris, remember. They settled for not a ton

9:54
Comment From Guest
Mike Fiers as a trade target for any contending team? Could be a useful starter. Puts up good numbers in minors, though he hasn’t started regularly in majors since 2012. Put up good numbers then too.

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: Contending teams tend to look for something more proven than that, but he is an interesting target for a team looking to be creative

9:55
Comment From atoms
With Hanley being constantly dinged up (again), and Rojas/Triunfel not being really any great shakes, how soon are we going to see Alex Guerrero, and will he be an above-average middle infielder immediately?

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: Fairly soon and no, in large part because he won’t play regularly

9:56
Comment From This is real life, this is not fantasy
Alex Meyer, reliever or starter long term?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: starter

9:57
Comment From Guest
John Lackey pitched 7 innings last night without once reaching a 3 ball count. Can you think of many other recent instances of starters going 6+ innings without any 3 ball counts? Seems crazy.

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: That’s awesome. Seems like a Cliff Lee kind of factoid

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: Or a factoid for any kind of strike-throwing contact pitcher. So take a look at recent versions of the Twins

9:59
Comment From Jim
Is Scooter Gennett strictly a platoon player or should the Brewers be giving him an opportunity to play every day?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: He was dreadful against lefties in the minors, too. I don’t think he’s *this* bad against them, but now isn’t the time for the Brewers to be experimenting as long as they have Rickie Weeks around and looking to contribute

10:01
Comment From KB
Do you see the Brewers window as ’14 and ’15 before a rebuild will need to happen?

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: They have Gomez for a while, and Lucroy for a while, and Braun for a while, and Segura for a while if he improves, and so on. I don’t think they’re going to have to tear things down; I think teams seldom have to tear things down. But obviously, the Brewers need to get with it in terms of developing more youth

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: But I don’t think they’re approaching some kind of cliff

10:03
Comment From Erich
What type of slash line is considered replacement level offense for an NL starting pitcher? If an NL SP whiffed his way to a .000/.000/.000 line over an average NL SP’s full season worth of PAs, how many WAR would that cost him?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Working some math real quick…

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: Well this isn’t working out. To save you guys a lot of time, the replacement level wOBA is somewhere in the .100s

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: In 2003, Ben Sheets had a .077 wOBA and a -0.6 WAR

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: Tommy Hanson had a year worth -0.6 WAR

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: Matt Garza is also terrible at the plate. I’d say the floor is in the vicinity of -1.0 WAR for a pitcher at the plate

10:07
Comment From Ioki
promoting aron sanchez to debut from the pen against the red sox: great idea, or greatest idea?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: I am extremely skeptical of Sanchez as a big-league starting pitcher, but relative to starting it’s pretty damn easy to make a difference in relief. I could see this working out as a stretch-run boost, if Sanchez doesn’t get dealt

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: Easy comparison might be Brandon Maurer — terrible starting pitcher, but .142 wOBA against so far in the bullpen with 17 strikeouts and two walks

10:10
Comment From Daneeka
how many times do the Tigers have to trade for an Antonio Bastardo before they have an effective bullpen?

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: The Tigers bullpen is third-worst in the AL in ERA-, but it’s acceptable by FIP- and xFIP-

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: But that doesn’t really answer anything. This is where they could use some help, perhaps in the form of two or three Antonio Bastardos

10:11
Comment From Jake
McCarthy’s true talent RA9 WAR:

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: 2.5 – 3

10:12
Comment From Guest
Regarding home field advantage for the World Series, I remember reading Dave Cameron’s chat from last week where he said home field advantage for one game shouldn’t matter much. But shouldn’t it matter a lot more since it’s interleague and only one team is built with a DH in mind?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: You get to handpick your roster in advance of the series, and it’s worth noting many World Series often end with both teams having played the same number of home games anyway. There’s definitely some kind of advantage — it’s not literally worthless — but you’re talking about a relatively small swing of a couple percentage points

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: It helps to play at home. Historically, the team with home-field advantage in the World Series hasn’t exactly dominated

10:16
Comment From Not Brock Holt
John Danks have anything left in the tank or too far gone? Never seems to have refound his velocity since injury

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Adequate starter, but expensive and not improving

10:16
Comment From Arismendy Alcantara
Why all this Baez love at 2B…I’m clearly the better long term solution there than CF. Or do you think Theo will find regular ABs for me between the two postions a la Ben Zobrist style?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: You’ve demonstrated that you can play outfield, and Baez has not.

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: Also, Baez is the considerably better prospect, anyway

10:17
Comment From MB
What are your thoughts on Buster Olney’s strength of schedule rankings from last week(http://insider.espn.go.com/…)? Aside from the fact that using records instead of projections is probably a mistake, that is.

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: I think at the end of the day strength of schedule doesn’t make too much of a difference no matter how you calculate it

10:19
Comment From Mike
Tyler Flowers is hitting again since he started wearing glasses to the plate. It’s still a SSS, but is it possible a T-Flo with vision is markedly better, even if not great?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: .562 OPS in July?

10:19
Comment From Sergey from Russia
Does Lester move to Yankees if Boston don’t sign new contract?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: They would be one of the first teams in line

10:19
Comment From Big Hurtin
Does Kole Calhoun being a ginger have any bearing on your assessment of his longterm skillset?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: Baseball players wear hats

10:19
Comment From JL
The AL East is weird

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: Almost four months into the season and still any single one of those teams could be the division’s best team

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: That’s fun!

10:20
Comment From sad guy
I am a Rockies fan. This season has been unacceptable. What should the Rockies do right now. Full tear down? Of course ownership would never do that…

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: Seems like the organization needs new leadership before they should go into a major transition phase. Do you really trust the people in power now to guide the team to another winning window?

10:22
Comment From Theo
Would Maddux’s D contributed to WAR that much? He was pretty good in the field

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, it helped. Somewhat unfairly, Maddux was mean to hitters even after they put the bats on the pitches

10:22
Comment From Dave
Voodoo doughnuts or Blue Star doughnuts?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: Blue Star is more consistent but a fresh Voodoo is spectacular, as doughnuts go

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: Never wait in line for a doughnut

10:23
Comment From Big Joe Mufferaw
RE: War for pitchers.. But we talk about the best position players on a whole (D, Baserunning, etc) and we get mad and make fun of the people who only use offensive stats. Shouldnt we start looking at the true WHOLE value of a pitcher?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: Teams don’t really care about how pitchers hit. And pitchers don’t often hit in important situations, so their plate appearances are reduced in significance. Of course it matters some and no one’s going to rip you a new one for paying attention to how pitchers bat, but I’m not going to change the way I rank pitchers because this guy hit .150 and this guy hit .100

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: They all suck

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Average leverage index for non-pitcher PA: 1.02
Average leverage index for pitcher PA: 0.93

10:26
Comment From Jake
Say NYY gets Lee, Tanaka doesn’t need TJ. Their 2015 rotation, assuming McCarthy gets another year: Tanaka, Lee, Nova, McCarthy, Pineda, with Phelps, Sabathia and Whitley as backups. Do they come into 2015 with a top 3 rotation/

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: That’s an awful lot of assumptions you’re making in there

10:27
Comment From Travis
Was Andrelton Simmons’ play last night his most impressive play yet?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: Nah, his most impressive plays involve him throwing

10:28
Comment From Nick O
As a Mariners fan, how’d you feel about Milone or Pomeranz as the centerpiece of a Franklin deal? Any reservations about trading intradivision?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Milone’s 27, he isn’t very good, and he’s closer to free agency

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: Pomeranz is a little more interesting, but still, they should be looking elsewhere

10:30
Comment From _David_
Dave talked with Cistulli about how scouting is imperfect in part because of sample size of observation. If every minor league park at every level implemented the available tracking technologies, would this help check the observations of scouts for potentially inaccurate assumptions?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: That would help with evaluation of minor leaguers, and that would do nothing for evaluation of draft-eligible high schoolers and collegiates

10:31
Comment From quinceleather
Verlander commented that he changed his delivery based on photo comps, just before the game. I didn’t see him pitch, and I am skeptical that there was improvement based on the box score? Do you think the “improvement” is in his head?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: No doubt in my mind that Verlander worked on something, and if he mentally feels pretty good about it, then that matters. I don’t think Verlander identified whatever it is that’s going wrong, but a lot of these tweaks are ultimately psychological. It’s important to believe that you personally have the ability to put an end to your struggles

10:33
Comment From Jake
Lee has $55~ million left on his contract, including the $12.5 mil buyout for 2016. That’s enough to get ~8 wins on the FA market. If he gets 1-2 wins ROS, then 3-4 in 2015, that’s 4-6 wins, assuming he recovers fully, then doesn’t get hurt next year. He’s got 20 teams on his no trade list, including NYY and BOS. Assuming they shed as much of his contract as possible, does PHI get anything substantial for Lee?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: I think they could manage to turn a reasonably healthy Lee into one interesting minor-league piece, but it’s all about how much of the money Philly accepts. If they dump the whole contract, then there shouldn’t be a lot going the other way. If they pay a big chunk, then there’s the talent, because a healthy Lee is still tremendous. It’s going to be up to Amaro’s preference

10:35
Comment From JL
The Angels or A’s losing the one-game playoff would be a strike against the new format – agree?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: Disagree. The playoffs are mainly for fun and profit and the intention isn’t to identify or reward the best team in baseball

10:35
Comment From Michael Woods
Is there any evidence to suggest some batters are better than others on getting strikes called as balls, sort of a hitters version of pitch framing?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: When I’ve looked I’ve never found much of anything

10:36
Comment From Sean
Why aren’t more people talking about David Peralta? He looks to be a legit hitter and he’s starting to hit for more power. His defense has been up-and-down, but he has the athleticism to improve (he’s only been a non-pitcher for a few years).

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Nobody’s paying attention to the Diamondbacks

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Not saying that’s right or wrong, and Peralta has been better in July than he was in June, but people don’t talk about unknown players on bad teams when it comes to be trade-deadline time

10:38
Comment From Don
Would you rather have an elite upside prospect (like Kris Bryant) in your system or two solid upside prospects (like maybe Wil Myers and Oscar Taveras)?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: I think I prefer the latter, but I am a coward

10:39
Comment From Prich
Why do so many GMs, buyers and sellers, wait until the last minute to trade? Would it make more sense for all parties to trade earlier… The buyer gets more games with a better team, and the seller thus can ask for a bit better piece, b/c of what they buyer is getting… No?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: GMs don’t like to sell before they have to, because it looks bad to give up, and GMs of good teams can’t make GMs of bad teams move pieces ahead of schedule

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: Like, it looked silly that the Rays and Red Sox weren’t ready to sell, and now they’ve won a combined ten games in a row. So of course they’re going to want to wait to see what happens, because a week and a half from now those teams can still extract the same value for their pieces if they decide to trade talent

10:42
Comment From Gila Monster
Hey Jeff, According to Peter Gammons,Lester wanted “Homer Bailey $$ +$1″ in spring training”. Would you have offered him that? From 2012-now, they have been remarkably similar. But I did notice,as I’m sure the Red Sox did, that Jon Lester made a mechanical change that “fixed” his cutter in August that could have been a sign of things to come.

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: I wouldn’t have wanted to do that. Bailey was coming off a career year and was younger. Of course it’s different with Lester now but 2013 was his second consecutive year with a strikeout rate under 20%

10:43
Comment From Forsyth
So does that mean that change up heavy pitchers (Hellickson, Shields, Buchholz) will more often times outpitch their FIP and xFIP, which are heavily influenced by on K rates?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: No, because it’s K% that matters, not contact rate

10:43
Comment From Jake
Glenn Burke aside, when does the next openly gay player make it to the majors/come out at the major league level? In the next three years?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s call it five

10:44
Comment From J6takish
Player hits what appears to be a single but stretches it into a double, does this improve his SLG or his BsR score?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: SLG, unfortunately

10:44
Comment From The Dude
Given the situation the Rangers are in, could you see them potentially moving Andrus to a contender given the presence of Profar and Odor?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know what contender would want that contract

10:45
Comment From Joel
I always thought Brandon Maurer should be a reliever, but only because I saw that he shouldn’t start. Do you think Maurer 2.0 is sustainable, or the M’s should trade him right now before he turns into a pumpkin?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: He’s good until he blows up, like most hard-throwing relievers with two pitches

10:45
Comment From Guest
Should I care about Rusney Castillo? Should I care about baseball?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: You should care about what brings you pleasure, and you should cut out what brings you stress

10:46
Comment From Teddy
What does the mlb do about the playoffs when they expand to 32 teams which i think is 5-10 years away. Keep it the same, 6 teams per leauge like football, or 8 teams like basketball. Or something different completely.

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: 8-team divisions, 4 division winners, 8 wild cards

10:48
Comment From CJ
Great article about pulling the ball. Phillies fan here :( What would you guess happens to them before the deadline? Give me everybody you think will actually be moved.

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: Byrd should go away, Burnett should go away, Lee should go away before the end of August, some of the bullpen should go away…

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: It’ll be a difficult team to recognize in September

10:49
Comment From Big Joe Mufferaw
Back to Shane Greene.. As a yankee fan I want him to succeed as a starter, and I think his stuff, GB% and Ks makes him a very intriguing arm. But how many successfull starters have only 2 pitches? and Shouldnt he be able to be a very good RP?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Successful two-pitch starters tend to have a change, splitter or curve instead of a slider

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: His Double-A and Triple-A strikeout rates weren’t even better than average

10:50
Comment From JL
Does Dave discuss the trade value rankings with you? If not.. is there anyone that you thought was too high/too low?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: It’s all his own project and he is more informed than I am, because he talks to people within the industry in the process

10:51
Comment From The Dude
What’s the advantage of not bringing up Baez/Bryant?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: Neither is on the 40-man roster

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: Both of them have contact rates of 63% in Triple-A

10:52
Comment From Ben
Is Nick Franklin for Tommy Milone straight-up a good deal? Why would either team do this?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: The A’s would do it because it would be good for them

10:53
Comment From Jimmers
Mike Trout decided to add weight this offseason to hit for more power, and while it seems to have payed off in that department, as a FO person of the Angelsm are you happy with these changes as his D and Baserunning have a taken a pretty steap dive in 3 seasons?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: He’s going to have another 10-ish WAR season. Yeah, I’m okay with that

10:53
Comment From Guest
Will the Angels pitching be there downfall?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: Well it’s more likely than their hitting, I guess

10:54
Comment From Guest
Phil Hughes used to have a home run problem. Now he appears to have a batted ball luck problem. When watching him, still seems like he gets hit hard — balls are just staying in the yard. Granted, he is a fly baller in front of the worst OF defense imaginable.

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: He’s constantly throwing pitches in the zone. Pitches in the zone get hit harder than pitches out of the zone. Probably going to come with the territory of his K/BB numbers

10:55
Comment From Dustin Ackleys unused razor
How big is the divergence between the AL and NL? Are we seeing direct evidence of it through the performances of players that switch leagues such as Choo, Hammel, Samardzija, Fielder, Pujols etc

10:55
10:56
Comment From Guest
2 pretty blah starts by Jason Hammel with the A’s. Is he who we thought he was or just adjusting?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know why he would come undone, but you can kind of understand why the A”s aren’t in a hurry to grant Tommy Milone’s request

10:56
Comment From THE average sports fan
4 straight losses by the Reds. The offense is just awful. How long can they run out that lineup before they play their way out of the playoff race?

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: Well any lineup hurts when you take away Joey Votto and, to a lesser extent, Brandon Phillips

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: They were built to a be a fringe contender this season and injury problems have knocked them down a peg. They’re not in position to make major upgrades. This was one of the downsides of the roster construction

10:58
Comment From CuriousGeorge
Whats your top 2 or 3 favorite defensive metric to use?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: UZR, DRS…Inside Edge stuff? Those are basically the three

10:59
Comment From PS
do you think the Astros give singleton a while to figure things out in the pros? i cant imagine that anybody truly expected him to come up and have immediate and sustained success.

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think they’re in a hurry to send Singleton away, as they figure he can try to make his adjustments now when the games hardly count. But this is highlighting some real deficiencies

11:00
Comment From JL
Signing AJP was a very puzzling move by the Sox

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: I thought it was defensible at the time. It was a one-year deal and it was cheap and Pierzynski had been pretty consistent

11:01
Comment From Forsyth
Is Jackie Bradley Jr., with his new stance, an above average center fielder going forward? His defense and arm have always been there, and he’s shaved his K% down by 50% (30% down to 15% since changing his stance).

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: I’m going to need to see a lot more, but Bradley badly needed to cut down on the strikeouts, so if he’s managed to do that to a significant effect, then that makes it all the more likely he can actually stick as an impact player

11:02
Comment From Miguel Olivo
Does Felix throw an unusually high number of wild pitches because they move a ton, or because he’s not spotting well in the lower part of the zone?

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: Movement

11:03
Comment From Guest
Wacha might pitch in September (this was presented as good news). Should the Cardinals trade right now for Price and have him start tomorrow against the Rays?

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: From the sounds of things the Rays are intending to hang on to their pieces for a little while longer

11:03
Comment From sumodave
Is it possibly or likely that we see fewer trades with the 2nd wild card spot than before we had it? Teams like Tampa Bay come to mind with regards to the “wait and see” approach. Does more parity equal less trades?

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: Yep, more playoff teams = worse deadline

11:04
Comment From JR
Kris Bryant’s contact rate is only 67% at AAA. Concerning? Very concerning?

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: Mildly concerning, but it’s like the only slightly red flag on an otherwise beautiful profile

11:05
Comment From THE average sports fan
Aiken is not getting $5 million again, the Astros not only lost him but another valued player. Law has them from one of better to one of worst drafts. How did this deal not get worked out?

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: Aiken is a big believer in himself, the Astros are legitimately concerned about his arm, and the Astros also have an overall offputting organizational personality

11:06
Comment From Erik
When is the “Strike-iest Called Balls, So Far” coming out?

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: last Monday http://www.fangraphs.com/bl…

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: All right, I’ve gotta wrap this up and get going

11:07
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 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.


17 Responses to “Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 7/22/14”

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  1. NotoriousJRG says:

    Need OF power mostly (without tanking AVG) for ROS – who do you like between K. Calhoun, K. Davis, M. Byrd, and a less-proven guy like S. Pearce? I’m keeping two. Many thanks for your insight.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Dallas says:

    Do you think Vogt will get regular at-bats ROS? Will Reddick cut in..

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. Michael Woods says:

    Montero vs. Hart. How do you adjust for PCL ballparks in determining Montero’s value? What’s the best site for MiLB stats? How much longer does Hart have to find his stroke? Is Montero being held accountable for cheating/coming to camp unprepared, and is he a clubhouse cancer? Montero is essentially a 1/2 tool player (can only hit left handed pitching), but isn’t Hart also a 1/2 tool player? At this point doesn’t Montero have more upside than Hart?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Seff Jullivan says:

      Take away 10%. Youporn.com/milb. 2 moon cycles. Kinda, no. Possibly. Partially.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Bookbook says:

      Montero has much less upside than Franklin or Guerrero or Alex Jackson. That doesn’t, in and of itself, make calking up any of those gentlemen a wise strategy.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. Sam L says:

    Saw a “Seattle has a lot of interest in Starling Marte” rumor today.. Is that just because who wouldn’t be interested in Marte? Pipe dream?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. Connor says:

    If a OF player tracks a ball a long distance into foul territory and has the ball go off the tip of his mitt (on the run, not parked) – Is this an error?

    Thanks

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  6. John Speakingtruth says:

    I enjoy Fangraphs, and chats have been one of my favorite offerings. But the absurd # of Mariner questions that are answered in Sullivan chats make me not want to come back. What a joke.

    -7 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Geoff O'Sullivan says:

      Blimey mate! Sorry you had to pay so much for that cha…oh wait. You didn’t pay a thing? Well sorry you were forced to click on…wait, what?! You weren’t forced to read against your will either?!

      Well damn. Get lost.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • 79 prompts above that were not Mariners prompts. The Mariners, also, feature prominently right now in significant trade rumors, so they’re of above-average interest. And Mariners fans are disproportionately represented among the chat attendees because I tweet out a link. You’re unhappy but I’m not the reason why.

      +8 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • John Speakingtruth says:

        I’m so happy that I wear the smiley face t-shirt. Just pointing out that it is disappointing that there are 30 teams, most more interesting than Seattle, and this quality site spends too much time focusing on Mariner questions. Take your fans’ criticism in stride instead of tossing insults.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • I am entirely too thin-skinned to do that. Also, more importantly, it is such a minor thing to be bothered by. There is so much content in each chat.

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  7. JS says:

    I love how people are now asking if the Brewer’s window is ’14 and ’15, where as before this year they couldn’t understand why they signed Garza and didn’t think they would have a “window” until ’17 at the minimum.

    This team is built to contend year in and year out, for the foreseeable future.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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