Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 8/13/13

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: Ahhh, late again. Just like old times!

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: Last week was weird and unsettling.

9:04
Comment From Brian S
9:03. Right on time.

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: 9:04. Marching to the beat of my own tardy drum

9:05
Comment From Leighton
Will Cabrera win the triple crown?

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: One up in RBI, six down in homers, 36 up in average. I don’t love his odds, but he has significant odds of doing this two years in a row

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: Miguel Cabrera could conceivably win consecutive AL Triple Crowns

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: I know the Triple Crown is kind of arbitrary but that doesn’t make it meaningless

9:06
Comment From John
Lambo?

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: Good, got issues, not a mammoth upgrade

9:06
Comment From GSon
Adrubal Cabrera’s play (on Oswald Arcia’s grounder) >> Jose Iglesias’ one hand charge and throw in one motion..

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: I haven’t watched that play yet, but, probably not

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: I have an idea! One minute, please!

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: so here’s Iglesias: http://wapc.mlb.com/play?content_id=29653669

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: …and Cabrera doesn’t have an MLB.com video highlight.

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: Well so much for that poll idea.

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: Whatever, let’s just do this anyway

9:10
Comment From geoff
please tell me carson cistulli will join this chat

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: He will join a chat, eventually

9:11
Comment From Brian S
Will the Pirates actually win the NL Central?

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: Probably, yes. And I’m interested to see what the celebration is like when they clinch .500, just because there will be so many bigger fish

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: The players, probably, will downplay the achievement. The fans, though…

9:12
Comment From Joe
On July 1, 1993, Bruce Chen was signed as an amateur free agent by the Braves. 30 days later, Jose Fernandez turned 1. Baseball!

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: Bruce Chen is going to be forever 32

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: He might be the most 32 player in baseball

9:12
Comment From hooha
The Phillies fire Amaro in the offseason and hire you. What do you do, other than grab a cheesesteak?

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: Hire a team of really smart and experienced assistants and load up on short-term commitments to try to win in 2014 without ruining 2015

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: Don’t like them right now as a rebuild project, and there’s enough talent around

9:16
Comment From Jenrry mom
Jenrry Mejia stuff is filthy. How long before you consider his breakout real?

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: More than four starts, but I like the swing-and-miss potential of the slider he’s throwing now

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: When you combine strikeouts with grounders, you have a pitcher with a pretty high ceiling and a pretty high floor. Makes me miss a healthy Brett Anderson

9:18
Comment From Mr. Wrestling IV
What is Miguel Cabrera’s spirit animal?

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: a freak genetic blend of all predators

9:18
Comment From my jays are red
royals, royals, royals!

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: We all laughed when Dayton Moore talked about his team having the potential to win 15 of 20. They won 16 of their next 20

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: This is, obviously, something that makes us look like idiots. It’s a blow to the ego, but what’s done is done and now this is hilarious, given the precise timing

9:19
Comment From Bret
It recently became a thing where Jays fans try to convince Ruben Amaro, who recently said his team will prioritize catching this offseason, that JP Arencibia, with his fantastic home runs and RBIs, is his perfect man. Will it work?

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: Ruben Amaro probably isn’t one to cave to public pressure. He’ll arrive at Arencibia independently.

9:20
Comment From Dave
I don’t understand the following argument, which is the main one that Miggy supporters use in MVP discussions: Without Trout, the Angels still suck, without Miggy, the Tigers don’t make the playoffs.

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: Argument being that the goal is making the playoffs, and can you really have value in a season in which little is achieved? It’s an over-interpretation of “valuable”, but it’s one people really seem to cling to

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: I’m having trouble coming up with a comparison. There’s already precedent for players on bad teams winning the MVP. But more importantly here, there’s already precedent for Cabrera beating Trout given nearly identical circumstances

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think this leaves Trout completely discounted, but I think it’s a factor by which the voters multiply each player. So, say, if the Tigers make the playoffs, Cabrera’s value is his value, but if the Angels don’t make the playoffs, they mentally multiply Trout by 0.5 or whatever

9:24
Comment From 2ndHS
I can’t remember if prospects are your area or not, but I’ll ask anyway. Have you seen any Brewers rookie league players? Some of them are really hard to find information on. Gian Rizzo for example.

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: I can answer questions about various Hillsboro Hops

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: Actually I can’t, but I might be able to soon

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: Generally speaking, there are smarter prospect guys to ask prospect questions to. I’m just an idiot they gave a chat login

9:25
Comment From my jays are red
how many times did you rewatch the iglesias gif?

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: I can’t tell if I like the .gif or the video highlight more

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: Hawk Harrelson was sadly absent from the White Sox broadcast at the time, as whoever the other guy is was talking to a representative for White Sox fantasy camp

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: I need to know what Harrelson would’ve said about that play

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: if he would’ve said anything

9:27
Comment From Gobias Industries
Who is having a better season, Darvish or Scherzer?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Darvish by the most insignificant of hairs

9:27
Comment From Truth
Totally irrelevant to anything but would you rather have given Hamilton’s 5/125 to him or Torii?

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: Hamilton, because Hunter’s way older

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: Better question: what about now?

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: …still Hamilton. But it’s closer, even though Hunter is 38

9:28
Comment From Godd Till
Hi Jeff. What is the OPS baseline Iglesias has to stay above to be an above-average SS? And can he do it?

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve thought about this a bunch without actually running any numbers

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: let’s say we want Iglesias to be a …3-WAR player over 600 plate appearances

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s say he’s a…+20 defender, right now. Maybe 15 but this isn’t going to matter much

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: we’ll ignore baserunning even though Iglesias is probably all right

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: okay, it’s been a while. But basically, Iglesias could be 15 runs below average with the bat per 600 PA

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: Right now, that’s almost exactly Andrelton Simmons level

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: Simmons is at -15 runs/600 PA with a 77 wRC+

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: .283 wOBA, .644 OPS

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: Iglesias can’t be an offensive nightmare, but he can be pretty bad and still be pretty good

9:35
Comment From rusty
What’s a reasonable upper bound on true-talent UZR (by position), considering the crazy numbers we’re seeing for Simmons, Iglesias, Machado, Arenado, etc?

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: Dave and I actually talked about this a little bit last night after the Iglesias play

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: I think we agree that the upper bound is about +20, in terms of true talent

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: Very, very few players can get there, but right now we seem to have an abundance of riches

9:36
Comment From G-Rad Sizemore
What I am worth to teams, this offseason?

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: like basically nothing

9:36
Comment From RNC
What do the mariners do with all their 1B/DH types?

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: Morse goes, Morales stays, Smoak stays, Ibanez I have no idea

9:36
Comment From juan pierres mustache
did you see the JJ Putz pitch interrupted by a Motley Crue noise from the stadium PA? Any other great moments in stadium sound board operation that you can recall? I’ve watched that seven times so far today and require some variety. http://wapc.mlb.com/play/?content_id=29604209

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: Can’t recall anything that good

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: Going to have to decide what to do with this when it comes time for Friday’s Worst Of The Best

9:37
Comment From Bird
Seems like Justin Upton is back for the time being, and with Heyward getting hot, Braves will be very tough in the postseason.

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: And if Upton’s demonstrated anything, it’s that you can always count on him to supply a consistent, elite-level performance

9:39
Comment From Erik
Jeff, I’ve been obsessed with RE24 lately. Read a lot of Tango’s descriptions of why it’s a valuable tool in the saber toolbox. Why isn’t it a more widely-discussed and widely-used statistic? And why isn’t it a better measurement for something like MVP or Cy Young than WAR or baseball card stats?

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: For award consideration, if you’re already given credit for context, you might as well go all the way and look at WPA

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: For regular, everyday use, it isn’t as predictive as other numbers, or as reflective of a guy’s true talent. Because it incorporates the various base states. There’s also the matter of how complicated it is to understand and explain — it’s going to go over a lot of heads, especially with a more general audience, and we simply don’t need to do that. Other numbers are explained much easier

9:41
Comment From Mark
if Cabrera also wins the “Runs” category does he win the Quadruple Crown?

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: No, too many crowns

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: You’re being ridiculous

9:42
Comment From Buddy
Probability the Mariners have 3 new starting outfielders to begin next season–

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: High, but they might not be finished with Michael Saunders

9:42
Comment From Maxamuz
More likely to happen? You killing a kitten or Pirates collapsing down the stretch and not making the playoffs.

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Me killing a kitten. I drive a lot, and cats are everywhere in this neighborhood

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: I mean, I’ve done it before, so what’s to stop me from doing it again? They dart out from behind parked cars. There are so many parked cars!

9:43
Comment From John
What do you think Halladay does if he does indeed come back after 2 rehab starts?

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: show enough glimpses

9:44
Comment From Ben
Would you rather be a fan of the Astros or the White Sox?

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: Right now, Astros, but I probably wouldn’t actually watch them until next April

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: maybe I’d go do the PCT

9:45
Comment From Guest
Should we expect to see a better/different Gerrit Cole in the future? I.e. Next season?

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: yes

9:45
Comment From Daniel
ESPN says the Royals have a 26.2% chance of making the postseason. Does that seem like an accurate estimate?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: We can break that down further:

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: 5.9% division, 20.2% one-game playoff http://www.coolstandings.com/baseball_standings.asp?sn=2013&i=1

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: That seems about right to me. They’re four out of the wild card right now, and there are three teams above them

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: And then you can get into the whole argument about whether or not the one-game playoff really counts as the playoffs

9:47
Comment From TanyonSturtze
If you legit made Miguel Cabrera hit with one leg up on one of those injured-people leg scooters, could he loft a single?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: He could do more than that, but he’d have trouble clearing the inside pitch like he likes

9:48
Comment From Nick
What kind of contract will/should Josh Johnson get this offseason? I assume he’s a bounce-back candidate?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: pillowwwwwwwwwww

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: You’re always a bounceback candidate when your ERA- is 60 points higher than your xFIP-. Look for Johnson to get a somewhat expensive one-year deal, and look for him to be very much improved

9:49
Comment From Gila Monster
Thought on Josh Willingham going forward? Will he be any good?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: He’ll be okay, and this is probably the last time this season that I’ll think about Josh Willingham

9:50
Comment From Ayn Rand Was Probably Wrong
In the event of a three-way tie for the second wild card position, we would all have lots of fun, right?

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: Why not extend to a four-way tie for both wild-card positions?

9:50
Comment From Isaac
Better group: Jeter, Arod, Alex Gonzalez, Renteria, and Ordonez OR Simmons, Igelsias, Machado, Gregorious and Andrus? Also, which group looks better with their shirts off?

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: First group, second group

9:52
Comment From Buster
Does Kershaw have a shot at NL MVP?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: More of a shot than he did before the Molina injury, but it still isn’t going to happen

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: Well, no, that sounded too overly certain

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: It probably still isn’t going to happen, but the voters might not be thrilled by Andrew McCutchen

9:54
Comment From TKDC
Is rooting for the Royals now a fireable offense at the offices of Fangraph’s?

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: The whole situation is just a little bit embarrassing

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: There’s a lot to be learned about a man from how he responds to the Royals’ hot streak!

9:54
Comment From Phillip
How good is Simmons, defensively? Are we just talking best in the league right now, or is he Ozzian?

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: Good enough to be amazing, not good enough to be clearly better than Jose Iglesias. I’m interested to see how well Simmons’ defense holds up, say, five years down the road

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: Defense is kind of like fastballs — it’s got an early career peak, and Simmons is 23. Thing about Smith is how long he sustained his performance

9:56
Comment From Jair
When do the Red Sox call up Bogaerts, and what happens to Middlebrooks when they do if he is doing well?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: If MIddlebrooks is doing well, the Red Sox will take their time with Bogaerts. But it looks like a matter of weeks, and Middlebrooks probably won’t be doing well

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: He wouldn’t disappear or anything — rosters are going to expand in September. But he’d be a role player/pinch-hitter

9:58
Comment From Eddie
I get that same vaguely unsettling feeling from Carson that I get at the ape house at the zoo: Who’s watching who?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: Carson Cistulli is a professional baseball writer

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: Think about that. Think about Carson Cistulli, and think about his line of work.

10:00
Comment From John
Mets and Wilmer – what do they do in the off season? Sample too small to ask wright to move to another position, Murphy has little trade value, and Wilmer can’t really play anywhere else. Given their lack of position prospects, they can’t really trade wilmer, can they?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: (1) We don’t know if Flores is good yet

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: (2) They could conceivably trade Flores for a similar prospect that plays somewhere else, if they wanted

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: (3) If Murphy has little trade value, that means he isn’t that good, which means he could be moved out of the way. If Murphy *does* have some trade value, then he could be traded to someone who wants an all-right second baseman

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: Daniel Murphy isn’t a tough guy to get over moving, and Wilmer Flores isn’t good enough to be a future sure thing

10:02
Comment From Matt
When is Yellowstone going to blow?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: Not for a very long time, and not in the way that you’ve been programmed to think

10:05
Comment From BassmanUW
True or false: the Yankees will finish last in the AL East at least one season through 2015?

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: so, basically, in 2014 or 2015

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: true!

10:06
Comment From Sal
Can Phil Hughes be a successful pitcher upon leaving the Yankees (and Yankee Stadium), given his pretty drastic home/road splits?

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, he’s primed to be pretty good elsewhere, probably somewhat on the cheap

10:07
Comment From Rated Rookie
At what level does Appel finish the season? How quickly do you think he is promoted next season?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: He should get one more promotion before he winds things down, and he could be up in the middle of next year given his advancement and given the dearth of quality organizational alternatives

10:08
Comment From Internet User Since 1995
Has anyone ever looked at player performance after coming off the paternity list? It must be hard to be a new dad (esp. first-time dad) and play MLB for a living.

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: This is one of those things that would be really annoying to study, with very little benefit, and yet I’d be fascinated

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: Same goes with the bereavement list. What’s the overall effect on performance? How long does it last? I dont’ want to be the one who digs in deep, because ugh, but I wish I could just know the answer

10:10
Comment From TanyonSturtze
Can we take a segment of this chat just to give a little love to David Lough?

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: begin segment!

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: end segment

10:10
Comment From The other Kyle
Say Verlander struggles between now and the end of the year. Any chance Max starts Game 1 of their first series?

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: sure

10:10
Comment From BassmanUW
Something I just found amazing: the 2013 Houston Astros aren’t anywhere near as terrible as the 2003 Detroit Tigers were.

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: Astros already just six wins why

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: would need to finish 6-39

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: but then, the Astros are 8-33 over the last quarter of a season, and they traded a bunch of pieces

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: the Astros, as currently constructed, could give the 2003 Tigers a run for their money, but the Astros weren’t like this all season

10:13
Comment From Chicago Mark
What are the odds Mejia has TJS? Already pitching with floaties and pain.

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: already had TJS a couple years ago

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not super concerned by some bone spurs

10:14
Comment From Elbert
Do you fangraphs guys play baseball video games?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: some do, some don’t. I don’t

10:14
Comment From Shea
Could you briefly explain why you hate the Angels above all others? I don’t like them either but would easily rank NY and Boston ahead of LAA. I am genuinely curious. Thanks!

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: I am a Mariners fan and you probably are not!

10:14
Comment From Anon21
If the Braves could sign only one of Andrelton Simmons or Jason Heyward to a long-term contract extension during the offseason, who should it be? Consider both expected production and expected cost (i.e., defense comes cheap).

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Heyward, because he’s got way bigger upside and the Braves could sign him off a “down year”

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: In terms of overall value, Simmons is already in the neighborhood of his ceiling. Heyward could be a star; Heyward has been a star

10:16
Comment From J
Doesn’t every team have the potential to win 15 of 20?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: I think someone did some research after that article noting that the Royals had never before won 15 of 20 under Dayton Moore

10:17
Comment From Jaack
Is it sick that I have this fantasy where the Pirates go on this massive losing streak, end the season at 81-81 tied with whoever for the second wild card and then lose the one game playoff making their record 81-82?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: only problem is the one-game playoff doesn’t count toward regular-season record

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: oh wait, I get it now

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: oh boy oh boy

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: I now share in your fantasy

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t have anything against the Pirates, but yeah, this is something that I want

10:18
Comment From Gila Monster
Speaking of Brett Anderson, He should be back soon? Do you think the old Brett Anderson will be back? Not the 11% BB% that we saw in 29IP

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: He still doesn’t seem real close. I figure he’s good when he pitches, but I don’t know when he’ll be pitching

10:20
Comment From Izzy
Is Matt Harvey the best player in New York? Or is it Wright or Cano?

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: It’s probably Wright, with Harvey right behind him

10:20
Comment From Joe G
The Royals pitching and defense are real. This offensive outbreak is a mirage. Will DM realize this and make a WW trade to bring in a bat?

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: To put where? Second base? Second base is about it.

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: Not a whole lot of available second basemen.

10:21
Comment From Eminor3rd
The White Sox had a 2013 opening day payroll of $118m. As of today, they have around $50m committed to 2014 before arbitration raises. How will they use the offseason, given that they are spectacularly bad right now?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: Short-term stuff to fill out a roster, I’m guessing. It’s going to be a way cheaper year for the White Sox than it has been in a while

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: They’ve been a nine-figure payroll team since 2006, pretty much. No way that’s going to continue, and no way that would make good sense for them

10:24
Comment From Izzy
Is Matt Harvey among the 5 best pitchers in baseball?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: Yes

10:24
Comment From Guest
Is wedge done so all the m’s do now is fire jack z?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: Wedge isn’t done; Wedge had a stroke.

10:24
Comment From Guest
Is Darvish for real? Or are we just witnessing The Astros Effect?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: Darvish has 34% strikeouts.

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: He has 32% strikeouts against non-Astros

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, this is what Yu Darvish is

10:26
Comment From Izzy
Rank them: Longoria, Wright, Beltre

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: right now, today, except for the injury, Wright – Beltre – Longoria, but they’re so close that ranking doesn’t serve any real point

10:27
Comment From Izzy
Can Juan Lagares be an average regular?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: He’s probably not an average hitter, but he could be an average regular overall

10:28
Comment From Dave
Would it surprised you if Pirates fans rushed the field if they won the 82nd game at home?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Yes, that would surprise me. Since when have baseball fans lately rushed the field?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: I would also love it, and I would love how embarrassed the actual Pirates would be

10:29
Comment From Tim
Are the Dodgers peaking too early? They have to regress, since no team is going to win almost 85% of their games in the second half, but do you see them being a real threat in the post-season this year?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: Are you asking if the Dodgers are getting too much of their good play out of their system?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: No, no, that is not a concern of mine. They are very good and as such they are most certainly a postseason threat

10:30
Comment From TanyonSturtze
Andrew Albers: really really fun thing!

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: except for the fact that he strikes out as many hitters as Tanyon Sturtze would, today

10:31
Comment From Mr. Wrestling IV
I feel like Chris Sale doesn’t get enough love. Please provide him with additional love.

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: here, just watch this some more http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/pitcher-spotlight-chris-sale/

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: a month ago, Dave put Sale at #16 in his trade value series, just ahead of Fernandez, Bumgarner, and Darvish http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/2013-trade-value-20-16/

10:32
Comment From Chicago Mark
Do you or any sabermetricians think that awards will some day be given for contact % or swing rate or most WAR, etc rather than batting average or RBI, etc

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: never crossed my mind

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know the future of awards, but the longer they last, the more embedded they become. Of course people will vote based on changing criteria — they already are — but nothing’s ever going to be about straight-up WAR

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: nor should it be

10:33
Comment From juan pierres mustache
How much would Hamilton get on the open market in the offseason? 4/80?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: I honestly don’t know if he’d do better than Shane Victorino did

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: this has been a catastrophe

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: on the other hand, Hamilton was awful in 2009, then he went and slugged .633

10:34
Comment From juan pierres mustache
Porcello is at least in the “Ace” conversation, right?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: no

10:35
Comment From Chicago Mark
Morneau to waivers. Does anyone claim him? Who? What does Minn get for him?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: He might get claimed — there was some talk in advance of the trade deadline — but he’s not good. Twins would get salary relief and a low-level reliever

10:35
Comment From juan pierres mustache
Thoughts on 2014 Pujols? 310/390/530 sound right?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: too high

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: .283/.348/.505 since the start of 2011

10:36
Comment From Jimbo
Mike Olt: is he a lost cause? Does he get up this year?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Far from a lost cause. I don’t think he gets significant big-league playing time down the stretch, but the Cubs wouldn’t have dealt for him if they thought he was an immediate bust

10:37
Comment From TKDC
So Simmons needed or still needs more than a season’s worth of defensive data to call him elite, but Iglesias gets that moniker for one play?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: No, see, this is a tremendous misunderstanding

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Based on everything — performance, track record, tools — Simmons and Iglesias are both probably elite defensive shortstops.

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: We just don’t know how they’re going to age, in that regard, and because of that we can’t just assume they’re both going to be the next Ozzie Smith

10:39
Comment From ConcernedwithFanbases
How do we evaluate fanbases? I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately and, even as a Pirates fan, I’m not sure I love the collective Pirates fanbase. It’s like two decades of abject-losing created a hysterical chicken-little community-psyche. Can we put together some sort of metric with Miami Marlins fans as the baseline?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: There’s nothing we can do that would be worthwhile, but hypothetically, it would be fascinating to survey fans of every team based on different things like optimism and loyalty and $$ spent or whatever

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: In this hypothetical experiment, you’d survey a representative sample of each fan base. It couldn’t be done online, because that would be selective/biased. The results would be a ton of fun to analyze, but god knows I’m not capable of carrying something like this out

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Anybody know any social scientists?

10:42
Comment From Justin
If there was a sabermetric Triple Crown, what stats would it use?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: OBP, ISO, UZR? god I don’t know

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: hard to think of a third

10:43
Comment From Tyler
How does fangraphs obtain defensive runs saved data for historic players such as Ruth or Gehrig? My understanding was that you needed video-based stats (i.e. UZR, DRS) to calculate such measures?

10:44
Comment From Mr. Wrestling IV
It’s amazing that Grady Sizemore is only 32. I was pretty sure he retired in 1997.

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: well he basically retired in 2009

10:44
Comment From Jamar
Has Hosmer broken through or is this just a hot streak?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: legitimate hope, with this one

10:44
Comment From Godd Till
My friend used to be driven nuts by the M’s playing the riff from “Thunderstruck” after EVERY. SINGLE. STRIKE. Putz threw. Karmic justice!

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: there’s a whole field of study that could be conducted based on playing loud music randomly during on-field action

10:45
Comment From Chris
Do you think it would be wise for the Mariners to sign Ellsbury and Lincecum in the off seas?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: Ellsbury is probably going to be priced out of their range. Lincecum would be fascinating and I’m in favor

10:47
Comment From Joe Don
Any thoughts on how the Rangers have transformed from a slugging team to a pitching-defense-baserunning team in one season, and are still contending?

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: Well, the pitching’s basically the same, and the baserunning has gotten worse.

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: Most surprising to me is how well the Rangers overcame all of those pitching injuries. Despite all the DL stints, they’re still running virtually identical stats

10:48
Comment From Ken
Jeff, what are your thoughts on Stanton this year? Aside from a few hot streaks he has been putrid. What can we expect going forward?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: This is more or less what I was afraid of if Stanton stayed with the Marlins in 2013 — he’d have some injuries and he’d over-perform, maybe because of injury, maybe because of being pitched around, maybe because of general dissatisfaction with the state of things. I think Stanton badly needs a change of scenery and I don’t think this season has done too much to diminish his value, but last offseason was definitely the time for the Marlins to trade him away. There was nothing but downside to keeping him for this campaign, given everything else

10:49
Comment From Chicago Mark
WPA? Are you saying Chris Davis should be the MVP?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: no

10:50
Comment From jj
can we call it the double slash line since there are only 2 slashes?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: can we stop saying there are runners on the corners when the diamond has four corners?

10:50
Comment From P
So Albers is now the epitome of what the Twins are trying to accomplish with their starting pitching, right? I fear his success will just encourage them.

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: Like they need the encouragement

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: the Twins front office has framed pictures of Kirk Rueter on every wall and ceiling. The rooms are named, sequentially, Rueter Room 1, Rueter Room 2, Rueter Room 3, and so on and so forth. Often they’re just abbreviated to Rueter 1, Rueter 2, etc

10:52
Comment From Chris
Should the mariners go all in on new defector Jose Abreu? all the new cubans so far have exceeded my expectations

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: no, that’s not the Mariners’ jam. He’ll go somewhere more willing to make a high-risk commitment

10:53
Comment From Chris_FB
As of right now, which teams seem likely to have the least amount of changes between this season and next? Or put another way, which teams will have their Opening Day 2014 roster look the most like it does right now?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: hmm

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: Pirates or Dodgers?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: This isn’t an easy one, but then you wouldn’t ask an easy one.

10:56
Comment From Gila Monster
What does Toronto do about pitching in the offseason? They got to do something, right?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: Try again with a very similar group

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: I mean, it made sense. Just a few months ago, it all made sense

10:57
Comment From Joe C
tigers

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: Good answer to the least-turnover question

10:57
Comment From Zach
When Gerrit Cole and Jose Fernandez dueled off twice this season, Fernandez has by far looked better despite a.) being younger and b.) being the less heralded prospect of the two. Do you ever see a point where Cole and Fernandez are even or will Fernandez always be a notch above Cole?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: Fernandez has the advantage, because he has the more complete repertoire, and that’s a big edge. But Cole could definitely catch up, either by improving his secondary offerings or by having Fernandez get hurt. The two aren’t separated by all that much

10:59
Comment From Mike
I’m guessing the Reds for Chris_FB’s question

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: tough, with the Choo part

11:00
Comment From Compton
General question: most underrated and overrated players in the league?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: Underrated might be McCutchen

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: Overrated is hard, but right now it might be Prince Fielder?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: Pretty standard profiles. People underrate across-the-board contributors with good defense, and overrate big sluggers

11:01
Comment From bob
Care to speculate on what Braun will do next year?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: play really well

11:01
Comment From Magnificent John
Can you stop taking Mariners questions?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: Does this count?

11:02
Comment From Mike
Is Simmons having the best defensive season of all time?

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: Oh my. This could be fun.

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: Obviously we could never get a real answer, but I think I’d enjoy the investigation. Stay tuned!

11:02
Comment From Hoozer
In thinking about George Springer, are there many prospects who successfully jump to the bigs with a 25%+ k rate in the minors?

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not common. This is a legitimate concern for Springer and the Astros going forward

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: in Triple-A so far, Springer has a 61% contact rate. League average is 78%

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: For familiar reference, Justin Maxwell struck out 30% of the time in Triple-A, so there’s that

11:06
Comment From Jay29
Have you still not seen a bad hit-and-run swing in your Worst of the Best research? Why is that? Do you think batters are more discerning than we think when hit-and-run is called? Or is it just a very rare strategy in today’s game?

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: still haven’t encountered a single one in 2013

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: could be a rare strategy. could be that hit-and-runs are adequately selective for situations in which the pitcher will throw something near to the zone

11:08
11:08
Comment From Erico
Any concern about Prince’s numbers this year? Not what we’ve come to expect from him and he’ll be 30 next year.

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, this is a problem. When he really hits it, he still looks like the same guy, so maybe this is an extended slump, but it’s becoming a long one.

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: Whoa, it’s way past time for me to wrap this up.

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: Holy crap. Okay, I need to set an alarm or something.

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: Thank you everybody for coming by and hanging out, and sorry for what I didn’t or couldn’t address. We’ll do it again next Tuesday at the same time~ish, and until then, be wonderful 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.


10 Responses to “Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 8/13/13”

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  1. Bart says:

    The Royals are so good. Your thoughts?

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  2. Russell says:

    I’m getting Springer’s contact rate in AAA to be 68%, not 61%. Still low, but an improvement over AA so far in a league that had similar average contact rate.

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    • I see 61% at both StatCorner and Minor League Central

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      • Russell says:

        Ah, well then, my bad. I was just doing the simple version. That will be including better data. Interesting how different the numbers are.

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      • Russell says:

        Looking at his stats some more, interesting that while his contact rate is so low, his pitch recognition is quite good. Well below league average at swinging at pitches out of the zone, above average for swinging at pitches in the zone and gets fewer pitches in the zone than the average PCL player. Also above average at pitches per plate appearance. Just the contact numbers are way down.

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  3. matt w says:

    Your response to Jaack was exactly what I’d expect from a kitten-killer.

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  4. Baltar says:

    Regarding the Royals, I was the one who said FanGraphs writers (mainly Dave Cameron) were letting their prejudice against Dayton Moore influence them in comdemning the Royals for trying to be competitive this year while praising everybody else who was doing it, especially the Blue Jays.
    They are still unlikely to make the playoffs, but their moves are looking a lot better now.
    Dave Cameron should apologize on behalf of himself and his colleagues.

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  5. Average_Casey says:

    Can anyone explain the 81-82 Pirates thing to me, my google foo apparently isn’t that good?

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    • matt w says:

      He’s coming up with a baroque scenario under which the Pirates would finish with a losing record, failing to break their streak of losing seasons. Which Jeff approves of because he’s a kitten-killer.

      (It’s 81 wins, 82 losses, not the years 81-81. Because end-of-season tiebreakers count as part of the regular season.)

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