Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 7/29/14

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: ALL RIGHT EVERYBODY LET’S CHATTTTTT

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: FANTASY QUESTIONS ARE FOR SUCKERS! NOT GONNA GET EM ANSWERED HERE

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: MARINERS QUESTIONS TEND TO BE DISPROPORTIONATELY REPRESENTED

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: I WILL WORK ON THAT

9:07
Comment From bsfgbbfhfghdhdhdghdgbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb
IS THIS CAPS LOCK TUESDAY???

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: I’m finished

9:07
Comment From Mike
Jeff – I would like to welcome Fangraphs to Canada. Sportsnet.ca is now carrying FG articles!

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: Speaking of Canada (stretch), the Maple Leafs just hired Kyle Dubas as an assistant GM, and he’s a young stats guy. Real bright up and comer. He follows FanGraphs!

9:08
Comment From Ken Rosenthal
Hey Jeff, what’s your hot take on the odd Valencia for Kratz and Hendriks trade?

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: Valencia pairs well with Juan Francisco. Classic platoon, the sort we all would’ve absolutely loved a decade ago. It’s interesting

9:09
Comment From Con
Your thoughts on Billy Burns ROS and beyond?

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: I suspect he will not be very good, but he will make a disproportionate number of highlight reels

9:10
Comment From xFIP hater
Why would anyone think that xFIP is a good stat?

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: mainly because it is a good stat

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: Think of it as a sabermetric starting point. From there, you try to explain why a guy might give up more or fewer runs. But you begin with the principle that pitchers don’t have much control over hits and dingers

9:11
Comment From bsfgbbfhfghdhdhdghdgbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb
dose lon jester getting traded affect his free agent value and if so how much

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: It means there wouldn’t be a qualifying offer, but it seems like the top-level free agents don’t really get hurt by having compensation attached to them anyway. So it’s a minor thing

9:12
Comment From Guest
True or False: Once the trade deadline has come and gone, Chase Headley will be the best bat that came over from the NL to the AL?

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: It’s all about Marlon Byrd’s partial no-trade clause

9:13
Comment From Billy Beane
Are Jesse Chavez’s days as part of the Oakland rotation about to come to a close? If so, do we see Milone or Pomeranz take his place?

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: He’s getting into uncharted innings territory, so it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see him shift to relief down the stretch. In which case, it isn’t clear yet which guy would replace him, but we’ll see if Milone gets dealt like he wants

9:15
Comment From Ira
To what extent do you think Bogaerts’ move to third affected his production this year?

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think very much. Obviously the correlation is there but I’m not buying the causation. He’d had reps at third base before, and I don’t think players are that fragile when it comes to moving around defensively. It’s not like Bogaerts was dealing with DHing or catching

9:17
Comment From American League Hustle
If you were Alex Anthopoulos, what deadline moves would you make to push the Jays into the playoffs?

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: I’d see how high I can sell on Aaron Sanchez. I don’t think that’s a team with a bunch of needs, but they might actually be the best fit for an ace starting pitcher. Definitely a better fit than the Dodgers. At issue is that the cheapest acquisition is probably Lester, and Lester’s in the division and I don’t know how well that would work

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: The Jays + Lester would be super interesting. Right now they don’t have a starter anywhere close to that tier

9:19
Comment From Baron Von Waffles
Do you see Towers mustering the competence to start trading pieces off by Thursday?

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: I think he finally admitted yesterday that Addison Reed isn’t an untouchable part of the future

9:20
Comment From Jeet
Hey! What are your thoughts about Mat Latos rest of season? Should I sell low because of the declining velocity or is he still a high Tier 2 pitcher?

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: The velocity looks like it might be starting to come back, but it’s still down and so are the strikeouts so I’m not loving him as a rest-of-season gamble

9:22
Comment From _David_
As a mariners fan, I’m dreading the next few days. Would you prefer they didn’t make any major deals, just in case robbery occurs?

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: Byrd would be fine. Can’t live in fear. Lester would be interesting, but I don’t think it makes sense to pay very much considering the odds are so heavily against them

9:24
Comment From The Dude
I know it’s early and he’s young but Rafael Devers is absolutely killing it. What’s his upside?

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: The sky is the limit, like with all 17-year-olds. I personally wouldn’t even pay attention to him yet, but then I’m pretty cautious with prospects

9:25
Comment From alex
Should Met fans want to trade big time prospects like wheeler and d’arnaud for a guy like cargo. This may sound stupid because he is a premiere CF and all, but lagares is a GG in CF and who knows how Cargo’s power will translate to Citi Field?

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: Carlos Gonzalez has spent most of his career playing a corner. You can have both!

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: I think the risk of trading for Rockies players is a bit overblown. Dexter Fowler has hit. He hasn’t defended, but he’s hit

9:27
Comment From Tucker
If the Mariners DO make the playoffs, is Jack Z still done?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: What? No, of course not

9:28
Comment From Gabe
Why is it that we used to have good teams trading their stars midseason (Piazza, Keith Hernandez), but now that’s all but nonexistent? There’s still an incentive for first place teams to trade away great players, but it seems like everybody is trigger-shy for some reason.

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: Mark Teixeira got traded a couple times. CC Sabathia got traded. Cliff Lee got traded a couple times. Zack Greinke got traded. Matt Holliday got traded, Manny Ramirez got traded…

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: Everyone now is closer to the playoffs than ever before, which could be a part of what you might be noticing. We have better tools to evaluate players than ever. And prospects are so closely guarded, and position players are so much more reliable than pitchers that I think you’ll mostly just see bigger-name pitchers get moved because teams don’t want to give up on awesome-level infielders or outfielders

9:31
Comment From Visitor
An idle thought I had recently: I know it’s impossible, but imagine Scott Boras is under consideration to be the MLB commissioner. Would you be in favor?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: Well that would be a wee bit of a shift

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: It would be fun because of the zaniness, but I don’t think baseball would be better for it

9:32
Comment From Guest
no more 538 articles?

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: Incidentally just finished one up. But FanGraphs takes up almost all the time I care to spend writing about baseball, and the 538 process is a lot more involved. I like that with FanGraphs I can just write and publish

9:34
Comment From baltic fox
Brian Dozier: is he going to turn his season around after a dreadful July? I find it hard to believe that a full calender year of improvement in power, plate discipline and stolen bases is suddenly going to evaporate–even with a woeful lineup.

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: He hit in last year’s second half, he hit in April, he hit in May, and he hit in June. His July ISO has been fine — he’s just missing some walks and singles. He has a particular kind of approach that, I don’t know, might be exploitable, but right now I’m not worried. He’s a pull-hitting slugger and sometimes he’s going to slump

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: So here’s why Dozier didn’t walk:

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: April – June: 49% Zone rate
July: 57% Zone rate

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: You can’t walk if you’re getting a lot of strikes. His discipline numbers were fine. Long and short of it, again: I think he’s okay. He’s not an elite-level player, but even Mike Trout had a bad stretch

9:39
Comment From Guest
If you like hte Mariners, who is the one that liked the Royals? He might have had a K in his name.

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: Klaassen. And Zimmerman!

9:42
Comment From Chicago Mark
How much do you see Kris Bryant’s K rate effecting his ability to become a top hitter in the majors?

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: George Springer is slugging .468

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: This is just part of it with Bryant, but it’s not a big concern to me. It’s just like the one single somewhat red flag. He’ll probably always strike out, but he does so many other things well at the plate that I don’t think anyone’s going to complain, reasonably

9:43
Comment From 20longyears
Given the awesomeness that is Josh Harrison on a rundown, any chances of an upcoming Sullivan special loaded with gifs of players beating rundowns?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: I’m going to need tips of when players have beat rundowns. can’t search for those very well :(

9:43
Comment From Guest
do you have a desire to write about something other than baseball? If so, what?

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: Not really. Nothing inspires me more than being in the mountains, but that’s almost specifically because the mountains make me feel things I can’t properly express with words

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: Like, Saturday morning, I hiked up to 9000 feet or whatever on Mt Hood at sunrise. As soon as I got as far as I could go, I put my pack down, looked to the right at a massive glacier, and a block of ice the size of my apartment building leaned and fell, shattering completely to powder and bits. I’ve never seen anything like that before, and I could never describe the sensation of seeing that while up there at that elevation alone. It’s the coolest thing I’ve seen this year

9:46
Comment From fowler
re: morosi/ rosenthal article on Jack Z. How would you grade Jack Z’s performance as a GM? Are the Mariner’s growing impatient with him?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: People have been complaining about the same stuff with him for years. He’s never been easy to deal with

9:47
Comment From Mike
Boston pretty much has to trade Lester right? Lost season, plus Lester wants to re-sign with them in the offseason.

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, once he gave them his blessing, it really paved the way. There’s still some danger of Lester changing his mind, so trading him doesn’t *help* Boston’s odds of bringing him back, but now the Sox are in the market with maybe the one impact starter and he could bring the Greinke haul

9:49
Comment From _David_
Dave told Carson that the Mariners might have a problem with teaching hitting at the major league level (or maybe he was referring to all levels.). Why is it harder to find good coaches than players? Shouldn’t there be a larger talent pool?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: (THIS ISN’T A MARINERS QUESTION BY THE WAY)

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: We have numbers that we can use to evaluate players. We don’t have numbers that are any good that we can use to evaluate coaches. So, how do we know who’s actually a good coach?

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: And, coaches work differently with different players. A hitting coach who helps a guy find a better swing might not be able to perform the same way with a different guy who has a different problem. Coaching can be so individualized which is why one guy who helps one pitcher might not be able to do much of anything with another pitcher

9:52
Comment From Clap for my Stubby
Jeff! Opinion on Corey Dickerson please. AMazing season so far and major regression ROS so sell high or hold?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know what your fantasy team should do but I like Dickerson as a pretty good regular outfielder. Obviously he’s not 155 wRC+ good but he’s at 129 for his career. Gets himself into some trouble swinging out of the zone, but he’s useful

9:53
Comment From Hipster-stache
When are you going to embrace true hipsterism Portland style and only write articles about teams in the Nippon League?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: Yuniesky Betancourt, 74 plate appearances: .141/.139/.155

9:54
Comment From Wussell Restbrook
What should I expect from Jean Segura. He can’t be this bad forever right? Will he figure it out this year, maybe in future years?

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: I think it’s safe to say Segura is dealing with some personal things that might be affecting his performance. But he doesn’t walk and he doesn’t hit for power, so his skillset gives him a pretty low ceiling. He goes as his BABIP goes, and last year’s .326 has dropped to this year’s .261. For his career he’s got an 85 wRC+ and maybe he’s really just Elvis Andrus

9:56
Comment From Joe
Who do you like better in the future Baez or Russell? Better hitter? Better overall?

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: I like Baez a bit better although I think he has the bigger bust potential

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: Baez fun fact: monthly Triple-A splits

April: .617 OPS
May: .738
June: .815
July: 1.008

9:57
Comment From Hockey guy
I think hockey advanced stats are kind of weak in comparison to what baseball has. What do you think?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: It’s super complicated, way more complicated than baseball. So the public numbers are worse, but recently I saw something to the effect of, the numbers teams have access to are light years ahead of what we can see

9:57
Comment From KC Hurt
Convince me Byrd’s 2016 option is no big deal.

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: Well by that point that’ll be like the market rate of a 1-WAR player. But Byrd might be willing to move without having that option guaranteed — still a few days left

9:59
Comment From Wal/J.D. Mart
Is the J.D. Martinez run over or are you high on him in that awesome lineup for the rest of 2014?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: Martinez has a 151 wRC+ in July. Obviously most recently he’s struggled a bit, and a guy with those walks and strikeouts can be only so good, but I”m definitely buying Martinez as a pretty good player now, with his revamped mechanics. Remember missing Andy Dirks?

10:00
Comment From D
It’s pretty sad when the most exciting member of your team is a young middle reliever (Ken Giles) :(

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: Ben Revere is a kind of exciting

10:00
Comment From Guest
Is Brett Gardner a power hitter or having a Jacoby Ellsbury 2011 type season?

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: His ISO last year was .143 and this year it’s .161. His homers are up but his doubles are way down so this is probably just a matter of a few extra line drives gaining a foot or two of elevation. He’s made a change to hit for a bit more power but he’s not pulling an Ellsbury

10:02
Comment From JAson
On the other side of the Valencia trade, what are the Royals thinking? Like what are the Royals ever thinking?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: Brett Hayes is terrible and they think Mike Moustakas doesn’t suck anymore

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: And since returning from his brief stint in the minors, Moustakas has hit .231/.292/.449. So, you know, passable

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: That’s with a .217 BABIP

10:04
Comment From Phil
What’s your opinion on STL’s handling of Taveras? Seems like the Moz and Matheny don’t see eye to eye.

10:04
Comment From Norm
Is xBABIP the good stat hitting equivalent of xFIP?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: whoops, didn’t mean to do that

10:05
Comment From Oscar the Grouch
Jeff do I make an impact this year without being traded or am I relegated to spot starts and being bounced around?

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: On a roster that complicated, it’s not easy to find regular playing time for a rookie who hasn’t impressed anybody yet. Difficult for the front office to sell the field staff on someone unproven when you have a struggling guy like Craig who has always hit in the past. I dont’ think the Cardinals end up dealing Taveras but I also don’t think he’s going to catch fire down the stretch — I suspect he’ll be a bigger help on some roster in 2015 and beyond

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: xBABIP isn’t as good as xFIP because xBABIP doesn’t say anything about power

10:07
Comment From Kris
any thoughts on the new Astros ‘controversy’? why are major league players caring if a guy gets called up to AA and gets and instruct from the TEAM’s pitching coach?

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: The Astros alienate everybody, so there’s a greater percentage of people in moods, and people in moods are more likely to complain

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think it’s a big deal long-term, but it’s just another indication of how the Astros aren’t run by people-people

10:08
Comment From Chicago Mark
Pitchers don’t have much control over hits and dingers? Please explain to this old non-sabermetrik (see can’t even spell it) guy.

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: Classic DIPS theory. All the stuff about how BABIP and HR/FB have to be heavily regressed to the league average. As we’ve come to know more and more, we’ve been able to identify levels of control, but *mostly* these things bounce around like crazy

10:09
Comment From Baron Von Waffles
Assuming all of equal quality, what off-speed pitch do you think is most effective?

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: A dynamite splitter

10:09
Comment From Guest
Why do the Astros act like they a small market team? This frugality is not consistent with their media market size.

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: Where are they going to spend big money? What’s the point of spending big money on a lousy roster?

10:10
Comment From Steve-O
Cold streak Pearce from Baltimore here. Jeff am I just a nice hot streak story or do you think I keep up the breakout season #’s rest of 2014?

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: Sorry buddy

10:10
Comment From Make WAR Not Love
Scott Strandberg wrote how Javier Baez looks like he needs a 1-2mo adjustment each time he moves up a level. Now that he’s raking in AAA, is it time to get that adjustment time out of the way in the Show?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: Adjustments never stop in the majors, but Baez isn’t far off

10:11
Comment From Gabe
Thoughts on the Mets potentially trading their top four prospects for the oft-injured, though awesome, Troy Tulowitzki?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: From an unemotional perspective, that would be awesome

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Kind of move that can turn a team from a bad team to a good team in a hurry. It would require further short-term investment, but that’s how you jumpstart a struggling franchise

10:12
Comment From bsfgbbfhfghdhdhdghdgbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb
how many PAs before Tommy La Stella hits a home run in MLB

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: 150

10:13
Comment From KK-Swizzle
What do you think of Mike Trout’s declining baserunning/defense statistics? Is he selling out on athleticism for power?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: He bulked up, and athleticism tends to decline from an early age. He’s trying to maximize his hitting, basically, and this was the expected progression of things

10:14
Comment From Jays fan
Who gets 2nd wild card in the AL…Jays, Orioles or Mariners?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: Starting to think Orioles

10:14
Comment From Jays fan
Rumour is that the Jays are looking at Lester…what does it take to get 1/3 of a season of Lester? Could they do it without including Sanchez, Norris or Pompey?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: Greinke cost Segura. Sanchez would be in play

10:15
Comment From Ben Wyatt
If pitchers don’t have much control over ‘dingers’ than why is it included in FIP? Where do we draw the line on what a pitcher has control over or not?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: You’ll notice we present a variety of different things. You can think of FIP as looking backwards pretty well, and xFIP as being a bit more predictive. Pitchers I believe have more control over homers than balls in play

10:16
Comment From Washington
Why does Strasburg’s performance always seem to trail his xFIP?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Last year his ERA was lower than his FIP and xFIP

10:16
Comment From Guy
Why does nobody care about Hisashi Iwakuma?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: He’s quiet and he doesn’t throw hard and most people around the country can’t be bothered to look past Felix and Cano

10:18
Comment From Frank the Tank
Kick one out of the rotation for Cole: Worley, Volquez, Locke

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: Volquez

10:19
Comment From HodegePadre
Hey Jeff thoughts on Odrisamer please. Amazing arsenal but are you a believer for the next few months after the 1st time around?

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t like him very much. I can see him as a potential No. 4/5, but I can see a lot of guys being that, because that isn’t a high bar

10:20
Comment From Chicago Mark
What do you see as the biggest obstacle between Henderson Alvarez and more strikeouts? Does he have poor secondary pitches?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: He throws everything low in the zone, trying for grounders, and hitters make a lot of contact on pitches low in the zone. Alvarez doesn’t try to make them expand

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: But you can give him this: in 2012, his K% – BB% was 3.1%. Then 7.2%, now 10.4%. He’s not gaining whiffs, but he’s eliminating walks

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: Oh, and also he’s gaining whiffs. How about that!

10:23
Comment From Guy
What would a Dallas Keuchel trade bring Houston?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: Probably not enough to make it worth their while — my suspicion is he’s still underrated a bit by the market

10:23
Comment From Guest
Is Marcus Stroman really this good?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: He’s not 20%-better-than-average good, but he’s better-than-average good

10:24
Comment From Tucker
Who was(/is?) held in higher regard as a Red Sox prospect: Hanley Ramirez or Xander Bogaerts?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Hanley topped out as BA’s #10 prospect. Bogaerts topped out at #2. Times have changed and the context has changed, but people have been more sure about Bogaerts. Keep in mind that, in Hanley’s last full year in the minors, he posted a .720 OPS in Double-A

10:26
Comment From JCACA
How bad does the Yan Gomes/Mike Aviles trade look now for AA? especially considering catching was a strength with JP Arencibia and D’arnaud in the minors at the time

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, that was a quiet disaster. Everything about that has gone wrong

10:28
Comment From Leslie
Can we talk about Conor Gillaspie?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: It’s a little bit like watching the decent version of Jeff Keppinger. I don’t really want to talk about that

10:28
Comment From Guest
Will Peavy be more effective in the bay?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: If you don’t adjust for context, yeah

10:29
Comment From Andy
Do you know if any other of the major professional sports utilize advanced statistics the way major league baseball does?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: Basketball’s up there

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: Soccer and hockey are developing. Hockey seems to be where baseball was about ten years ago

10:29
Comment From Mets Fan
How does Ruben Amaro still have a job? What logistic reason could there possibly be for him to be allowed to continue to ruin a franchise?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: The team made the playoffs five years in a row and that can be hard to forget

10:30
Comment From JCACA
how much value does a QO carry for a team giving it out? a late 30 pick must translate into roughly a 5 mil value?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: People continue to try to figure this out, with some estimates around $5 million and others in the eight-figure range.

10:31
Comment From Guest
What kind of prospect is a couple months of Lester actually worth?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: B+

10:31
Comment From Jim
Thoughts on Puig the centerfielder? Does it make him more valuable?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: It’s all just biding time until Pederson. I don’t think it meaningfully changes his value, no

10:32
Comment From Sean
James Shields will get a good offer this offseason, maybe around a Homey Bailey type deal, but probably less than Scherzer and Lester this year and Price next year. Could you see him as a good ‘value’ signing, comparatively? Or do you see him either signing for too much or declining too much?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: He’s 33 in December and there are indications he’s already begun a slow decline. I don’t think there’s a bargain to be found here

10:33
Comment From Gila Monster
Shouldn’t the Red Sox seriously consider trading Lester within the division? Unless the Orioles want to pitch Chen and Blue Jays pitch Buerhle game 1 in the playoffs…It isn’t like either team can afford to re-sign him either. I think the prospects match up better as well.

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: I’m sure the Red Sox are open to it

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Bigger question is if the other teams are open to it. They’ll have Lester for a couple months. The Red Sox could have a developed prospect for seven years

10:35
Comment From Brad
Any reason to worry about Adam Wainwright big dip in strikeout rate?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: Fun fact:

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Last year: 23% K
This year, with Molina: 22%
This year, since injury: 14%

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Now, that’s probably misleading, but overall Wainwright is running the same contact rate as ever and his zone rate is fine. I think he’s probably more likely to be getting worse than better — he’s almost 33 — but I figure he’s still a damned ace

10:37
Comment From JCACA
How much does the second wild card impact the selling market? By this point most teams must know whether or not they can make it

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: That’s the thing — they *don’t*. The Rays don’t know if they should sell and they’re under .500.

10:38
Comment From Guest
To what degree to you agree with the following statement: baseball is perfect; mlb is imperfect

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Nothing is perfect, but baseball is what it’s defined to be, so by some definition baseball is exactly what it is and can never be more or less

10:39
Comment From John Cena
Tell me how to feel about Lucas Duda!

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: Not bad

10:39
Comment From Jack Glasscocks Cup
Trevor Bauer has been pitching well. What do you think about his command? No worm between the mound and the plate is safe: dude bounces more curve balls than a drunken comedian.

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: His command isn’t good, but it only had to be not-terrible in order for him to be pretty successful. He’s improved a step or two in that regard and this is what we’ve got. His curveball has crazy movement and he’s always a candidate to throw the wildest pitch of a month, but batters also swing at those pitches sometimes and better to miss down than up

10:41
Comment From Matt
Would John Lackey be a perfect fit for the Pirates if he is traded? The 500K option for 2015 could help them out a ton and they can always play the poor card if he wants more.

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: That option makes Lackey valuable to everybody. It’s like he’ll be a rookie next season

10:42
Comment From Chicago Mark
Most of the writers on FG give answers to questions about what teams/GM’s might do based on WAR and playoff odds. How much do teams/GM’s even think about these things? WAR and playoff odds that is.

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: Pretty much all teams have their own models that are similar in structure, but that use different and presumably slightly better information

10:42
Comment From JCACA
Is Kershaw the best pitcher you’ve ever seen?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve seen Pedro

10:43
Comment From Chris
Why would the Rays hold on to David Price while the Red Sox are willing to move Lester and Lackey? Aren’t be both still in contention in the weak AL East?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: The Red Sox are four more games back

10:44
Comment From THE average sports fan
Speaking of the Rockies, what the world are they doing there?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Taking a long hard look at themselves in the mirror

10:44
Comment From Andy
Say something nice about the Padres.

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: They haven’t made any outs since I woke up

10:45
Comment From Chicago Mark
I don’t remember who wrote the article about players pulling the ball with more authority. It showed Robinson Cano as one who was going the other way more I believe. If this is so, do you think it’s a concerted effort by Cano because of the difference in the right field fences between Yankee Stadium and Safeco?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: I think Cano’s been pitched a bit differently, and I think he’s been going with what he’s been given. You’d like to see more power but I don’t think the power is gone; he just isn’t being given as many power pitches

10:46
Comment From ChrisFromBothell
Who would be the 2 or 3 most likely trade candidates that really couldn’t make it through waivers next month? I.e. if they’re going to get traded at all this season, it’ll be in the next 60 hours or so?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Waivers are for guys like Lee and Kemp. The good players who aren’t overpaid are the players who all but need to be moved this week

10:46
Comment From Grant
Jeff, when you are examining potential trade match-ups between teams, what’s usually the first piece of information you use to compare whether the acquisition would be beneficial for the two?

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: Well, I mean, is it a position of need? So I look at projected positional WAR and go from there

10:47
Comment From Vic
Why do you think the Astros promoted Appel? Better pitching environment?

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: Get him out of the Cal League and build on what positives there have been lately

10:47
Comment From Ben
Regarding the recent Fox Sports article, is it true that Jack Z is preventing the trade market from moving forward?

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: No, executives just like to bitch

10:47
Comment From Vic
Julio Urias’s ETA in MLB?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: Couple years

10:48
Comment From ChrisFromBothell
Given the playoff odds that we know right now, and assuming no rooting interest in any one team, which AL or NL championship series do you most hope to see, and which realistically possible matchup do you dread writing about the most?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: I’d like to see A’s/Angels or A’s/Jays

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: And then, Dodgers/Giants

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: I’m kind of tired of the Cardinals and the Tigers

10:49
Comment From THE average sports fan
Rosenthal is speculating 1 reason Phillies can’t make deal is other teams know they have to sell, and are waiting for Amaro Jr to cave. Makes sense to me, what say you?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, lots of…what’s the word, gamesmanship? in the hours leading up to the deadline

10:52
Comment From Thinking Outside the Batters Box
Best idea ever: for the first 2 strikes of an AB, catcher goes out into the field and plays some position (e.g., short centerfield). You’re all welcome

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: Nevermind that I think there’s a rule about the catcher having to be in the catchers box — pitchers also badly need that target to aim for

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: It’s super impossible to pitch to air. Also, you’d piss off every single umpire in the world

10:53
Comment From S.S.
Is there any chance someone picks up Kemp on waivers?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: God no. Writers think Kemp is still good. Teams understand he is not

10:53
Comment From Concerned Pirate fan
Is Cutch okay? Seems to be hitting a bit of a swoon.

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: He’s amazing

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: I gotta get rolling, lots of things today to take care of

10:54
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 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.


2 Responses to “Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 7/29/14”

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  1. Beau says:

    What did you think of the Kratz/Valencia trade? I am a jays fan and am sadden the Jays didn’t see the massive value in Kratz.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Steve says:

    Jeff, in the chat you mentioned wildest pitches… that reminded me to make sure you don’t forget/miss this one (Zach McAllister, 2nd inning, 7/19 start) for the next installment. Not sure it will register with Pitch f/x.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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