Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 8/20/13

8:58
Jeff Sullivan: Well would you look at that. It’s a live sports chat, on FanGraphs!

8:59
Comment From Sean
You’re 2 minutes early. What’s your excuse?

8:59
Jeff Sullivan: Still finishing the last bites of my breakfast!

9:01
Jeff Sullivan: All right, let’s see what we’ve got for baseball talk

9:01
Comment From Brady
This is a super serious question. Why are you such a goofball?

9:01
Jeff Sullivan: Other roles are already occupied

9:02
Comment From bdhudson
Jordan Zimmermann is developing a really unpleasant trend.

9:02
Jeff Sullivan: This is an example of a prompt that sends me to 60 seconds of research

9:02
Jeff Sullivan: This is why my chats go so much slower than others do

9:03
Jeff Sullivan: Zimmerman’s first 13 starts: 2.00 ERA, 4% BB, 17% K

9:03
Jeff Sullivan: Zimmermann’s last 12 starts: 5.27 ERA, 7% BB, 20% K

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: Interesting whenever you see strikeouts go up as overall performance goes down

9:04
Comment From gregory
Castro for Bundy – who hangs up?

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: Starlin, Simon, or Jason?

9:05
Comment From bdhudson
Puig leads to inflated value for Abreu?

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: Not just Puig, but yeah, he hasn’t hurt the perception that there’s a pretty quick adjustment period

9:05
Comment From Khris Davis
My numbers are pretty fluky, but should I be getting more attention?

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: Only for the fact that your numbers are identical to Chris Davis’ numbers. Your minor-league track record suggests that hopefully you are savoring every day of this experience

9:06
Comment From juan pierres mustache
the red sox have 35 games left to play, the yankees 39. if both made the playoffs, do you think that gives the red sox an advantage?

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: Probably not one worth thinking about very long

9:07
Comment From Jeremy
Do you have a cool pet? Like a cobra? Or a mongoose?

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t have any pets, but there is a neighborhood cat I’m rather taken to, named Mac. I call him Mr Meow

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: He simultaneously follows and expresses disinterest, which I think adequately captures all cats

9:08
Comment From bdhudson
What is your favorite moment you’ve ever GIFed?

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: ooh ooh ooh give me a minute to look this up

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: augh where is it

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: FINALLY

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: sorry everybody

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: My favorite moment I’ve ever .giffed: http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/32477/DrewHomer.gif

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: That’s a primitive, early-days baseball .gif, that hasn’t been optimized for size or anything, but man do I ever hate Francisco Rodriguez

9:12
Comment From Prich
Hart or Cruz, who demands more attention on the open market this winter?

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: I actually think it’ll be Hart, but it’ll be interesting to see if people still look at him as a regular outfielder going forward

9:12
Comment From Kevin
Since Descalso is so awful at SS and Kozma can’t hit, would it make sense to try Wong at SS? I mean he can’t be much worse than what they have already.

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: You want him to learn a new position — one of the most difficult positions — in the middle of a pennant race?

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: Wong’s never played short as a professional. Stick with Kozma or make some kind of lower-tier deal

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: Add Brendan Ryan! He’s completely different from Pete Kozma!

9:14
Comment From bdhudson
Albert Pujols will play in 145+ games ___ more times.

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: 3

9:14
Comment From Marcus A.
Who is your world series favorite? Braves/Tigers seems like a good bet but the Dodgers are making a charge.

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: Tigers/Dodgers

9:14
Comment From Bkgeneral
Willie Mays carries some tarnish from his days with the Mets. At least he was not getting paid $250 million. Will the time/contract with the Angels change the historical view of Albert Pujols?

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: It’ll affect the way we talk about him for the next several years, but in the long long run, people will be able to view him independent of the contract. What will matter, eventually, will be the numbers, once we’re done caring about the problems with the Angels’ team payroll

9:16
Comment From Oren
What’s up with Asdrubal Cabrera?

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: career high strikeouts, career low grounders, career normal power. Something definitely looks like it’s up, but someone closer to the Indians might be better equipped to speak to any potential mechanical changes or lingering injury

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: His contact rate is down more than five percentage points from last season

9:17
Comment From Xander Boegarts
I’m heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere.

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: You’re lost, go to the clubhouse

9:18
Comment From Justin
What the hell is going on with Matt Kemp?

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: stuff that ought to make the Dodgers really really worried

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: this is year two of 8/$160 million and he can’t keep his body together at 28

9:19
Comment From Matt
How do you think next tear’s Dbacks will compare to this year’s?

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: Overall similar, less Kubel. Better chance at 90 wins

9:20
Comment From Dave Camerons Puppy
How annoyed is FOX going to be if we get a Pirates/Rays world series?

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: The Pirates would probably draw fine

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: The least watched World Series was in 2012, which was a four-game series that averaged a 7.6 rating and 12 share.[1]

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: Phillies/Rays compared to Giants/Rangers

9:21
Comment From Bret
Jays are in a little dilly-of-a-picle as Melky Cabrera’s legs are so shot that it seems he may have to be a DH next year. They have a $7M option on Adam Lind (with a $2M buyout.) Do they decline Lind’s option? Or pick it up and figure out what to do from there?

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: So basically it’s a $5-million option. They should probably pick that up and then explore moving him to teams that want a bat and miss out in the free-agent market

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: but if the Jays just let Lind go, declining his option, that would be totally understandable, given what he did prior to this season

9:24
Comment From Anon21
Please tell The Dark Overlord that UZR updates didn’t go through this past Sunday. I’m hungry for more eye-popping Simmons stats!

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe we’re growing tired of feeding you Simmons people

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe we’re growing tired of feeding you Simmons, people

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: punctuation matters!

9:25
Comment From Kris
Hey bro, where is Brian McCann gonna be next year?

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: Rangers

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: they seem like the best bet to me, anyway

9:27
Comment From HANNAH
Do you think the Tell-All Alex Rodriguez Biography that gets published in 2020 is going to be better or worse than the Tell-All Derek Jeter Biography?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: worse, because we won’t be rooting for the main character

9:27
Comment From Prich
The After Dark chatters declared you to be 110 pounds with a soaking towell wrapped around you… Too generous?

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: Why were the after dark chatters talking about me wearing a towel?

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: I’m Chris Sale, minus an inch from his official measurements

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: so, I’m Chris Sale

9:29
Comment From gregory
Who’s baseball’s best bunter?

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: Erick Aybar is at least the most prolific

9:29
Comment From Evan Longoria
Watch me hit 35 HR this year

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: ok

9:30
Comment From Jake
Is Chris Archer the pitcher who dominated in July and against Toronto or the one who struggled in early August? Or something in between?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: In between! You’ll notice that, in July, he didn’t really face a single good offense

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: Well the Jays’ offense is fine, and in that July start Archer had a strikeout and four walks

9:32
Comment From Joe
Can we agree Zimmerman was pitching over his head a bit early on?

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: Yes, he is not a 2.00-ERA kind of starting pitcher

9:32

Comment From Scott
I’m looking at young pitchers who may run up against innings limits or see their pitch counts limited. Any info on these?

Julio Teheran
Gerrit Cole
Matt Harvey
Jose Fernandez
Shelby Miller
Zach Wheeler
Chris Archer
Patrick Corbin
Jacob Turner
Tony Cingrani
Wily Peralta
Jose Quintana
Tyler Chatwood
Dan Straily
Matt Moore

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: All of them will be limited to some extent, every single one

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: I did not properly appreciate the vastness of this inquiry when I added it from the queue

9:35
Comment From Babbler
Better future: Smoak or Hosmer?

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: virtually indistinguishable, but, Hosmer by a hair

9:35
Comment From Hank
How much excitement is suitable for the Xander Bogaerts call up? Is he going to impact the Sox that much?

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: He’s not likely to make nearly the difference people would like him to, but the Sox also don’t need that much help and in the heat of a pennant race, every contribution feels like something significant. He’s going to play the hero once or twice, and he’ll do something people will point to as marking the beginning of an outstanding big-league career

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: Generally, in terms of coming results, people get too excited over prospects. But they’re also just plain fun to watch, because they’re so new and their potential is so limitless

9:36
Comment From Seligson
Jeff, if you were already aware of every trend involving every player then you would not need to stop for those 60 seconds of research. A little homework, please!

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: Buster Olney was tweeting at like 4am this past Saturday morning

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: if I’m not mistaken, he was on vacation

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: It is so, so easy to let baseball completely consume your entire life

9:39
Comment From RotoLando
If you were going to name a child after a volcano, what would it be?

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: first thought would be Shasta

9:40
Comment From Anthony
If awards candidates had to run on a ticket with their teammates, which NL team would have the best MVP/Cy Young/ROY slate? (AL is too easy)

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: Dodgers with Kershaw/Kershaw/Puig

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: but obviously Cardinals and Molina/Wainwright/Miller makes a lot of sabermetric sense even after Molina’s DL stint

9:41
Comment From Anon21
Let’s say that the Braves gave every regular in their lineup an average of 3 days off per week from now until the end of the regular season. Do you think that would be a) advantageous to them in the postseason b) disadvantageous or c) have no discernible effect?

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: mostly C but regulars would probably complain about having that much time off. You know how guys who ride benches say they’d produce more with more regular playing time. Maybe a better target would be 1-2 days off per week

9:42
Comment From Hannah
Do you think Texas or Oakland will win the AL West? Also, do you think it’s acceptable for Rangers and Athletics fans to put down their differences to have a party about how terrible the Angels are, and by the way, Albert Pujols?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Texas and yes

9:43
Comment From Kevin
Are players like Miguel Cabrera, Zimmerman, and Michael Young skewing the defensive ratings, making players like Machado and Arenado seem better than they are?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: well, they’re third basemen, right? yes, the top third basemen would look worse if you left out the bottom third basemen

9:43
Comment From senorpogo
Is there statistical evidence that supports inning limits for young pitchers? I’m afraid the Indians will be shutting down Salazar soon and I want to be sure my complaining is justified.

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: A ton of it — probably most of it — is simply educated guesswork, but workload matters for young pitchers and Salazar already has the injury past. Let’s put it this way: would it make sense to give young pitchers no limit at all? They probably need to be protected, somewhat. Then it’s a matter of just establishing an upper bound

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: You can always argue, which is why people are still arguing about Strasburg, and that might never be settled, but in the long run caution will likely be rewarded more than aggressiveness

9:45
Comment From BookWorm
Cingrani’s thrown 80% Fastballs this year. Given how many of his non-fastballs show up on Worst of the Best, do you think he should throw an even higher percentage of fastballs?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: more than half of his non-fastballs have gone for balls so far this season

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: But, they’ve generated a lot of whiffs. To be honest I think he’s right around the optimal mix

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: Rule of thumb: if your ERA is under 3, and you’re a starting pitcher, you’re probably doing fine

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: Cingrani should keep developing the other stuff, and he should make a change in his approach if and only if hitters start to make him pay with greater frequency

9:47
Comment From Gordon Beckham
I am hitting the ball very well. Will I ever steal 15-20 bags?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: no

9:48
Comment From Vlad Guerrero
I get sentimental reading the “Wildest Swings” posts. Sigh…

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: The one series that could conceivably include both Vladimir Guerrero and Clint Barmes

9:48
Comment From Sean
So no one is going to have a problem when Cabrera wins MVP this year right? Trout clearly deserved it last year but despite Trout’s WAR edge once again this year, Cabrera’s offensive performance simply can’t be topped.

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: “despite Trout’s WAR edge”

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: “Cabrera’s offensive performance simply can’t be topped”

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: cannot reconcile

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: There’s a great argument for Trout, again. But people won’t get upset, again, because it’s already obvious how this is going to play out and the argument for Trout is weaker than it was a season ago

9:49
Comment From George
When watching the highlights from last night’s Marlins game, did you note how often the cameras focused on people cheering in the crowd?

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: There was buzz! Marlins Park had a real atmosphere!

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: The TV feed might’ve played it up, but when Fernandez whiffed Puig and Gonzalez…

9:50
Comment From Kris
You think teams will start moving to relievers who can go more than 1 IP and using more roster slots on platoon guys? Like the A’s?

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know about platoon guys, necessarily, but I do think teams are going to prioritize depth and versatility. I hope for a future with fewer bullpen specialists

9:51
Comment From Marcus A.
You’re a cat person? I like you about 5% less now.

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not a cat person. I just like a neighborhood cat

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: There isn’t a neighborhood dog, or a neighborhood bunny

9:51
Comment From AM
What do you think Brett Gardner could get on the open market? Something similar to the Bourn or Gomez contracts?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: Something very similar to Bourn, probably

9:52
Comment From zack
What do you think Josh Hamilton’s numbers will look like next season?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: mid-.700s OPS

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: enough hot streaks to show the skill is still there, enough slumps to keep people booing

9:53
Comment From Hank
w/r/t the red sox’ relatively low number of games to remain: do you think that gives them an advantage in making the playoffs/winning the pennant, and how big?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: insignificant

9:56
Comment From _David_
Why the 2014 playoffs for replay? Why not “test” it during the regular season first?

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: I presume they’re going to

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve been poking around for confirmation but I don’t think they’re going to take a brand-new system into the playoffs first

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: sorry for pauses, there is a dreadful hammering coming from the hallway and it’s driving me a little insane

9:57
Comment From zack
More likely to be on the Mariners next season: Lincecum or Ellsbury?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: MARINERS QUESTION

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: Lincecum

9:57
Comment From Leighton
When you GIF things, do you pronounce “GIF” (silently or otherwise), and if so, do you pronounce it correctly?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: it’s jiff

9:58
Comment From Ben
Are you concerned about Justin Verlander’s platoon split this year?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: You mean what looks like a reverse split? No

9:58
Comment From Guest
Kind of a random question but do you know or know where it’d be possible to find the MLB triple slash only including players first career plate appearance?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: sadly no, although if anyone’s going to help you, it’s going to be baseball-reference

9:59
Comment From AM
Puig or Fernandez for NL Rookie of the Year?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: I think Fernandez actually takes it, and I can’t believe I’m saying that to be honest

10:00
Comment From Todd
More likely to make the HOF: Mauer, Posey, Yadi?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: Mauer, but we’ll see how we come to evaluate catcher defense in the coming years between Molina’s present and Molina’s eligibility

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: also we’ll see how much longer Molina keeps being a legitimately good hitter

10:01
Comment From Kate
Jose Fernandez’s slow curve.

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: What blew my mind was how the movement was almost identical to that of his regular curve, +25 miles per hour

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: I was expecting to see a hell of a lot more drop

10:02
Comment From Prich
First baseball memory?

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: Mariners/Angels one-game playoff in 1995 when I walked home from school early

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: for some reason they started that game at 1:30 in the afternoon

10:03
Comment From zack
Where would rank Hiroki Kuroda in the AL cy young race? How much credit do you give to his DIPS destruction?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Realistically he’s probably not in the race, not for the top spot. Hard as all hell to keep a low ERA while pitching as a Yankee but he doesn’t have Scherzer’s record or Felix’s strikeouts (or Scherzer’s strikeouts)

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s put it this way:

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: averaging WAR and RA9-WAR, the current Cy Young standings are Felix, Scherzer, Darvish, Holland, Kuroda

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: 0.1 gap between first and second, 0.4 gap between second and third. The race is still open, but Kuroda is probably behind by quite a bit

10:06
Comment From J
When should Taijuan Walker be called up?

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: next season

10:06
Comment From RSquared
A suspension during a playoff race is normally detrimental. But if Dempster is suspended today, it saves the embarrassment of skipping one or two starts while he sits in the dugout with announcers talking about his slump as the camera pans in. Now he is either a villain to those who opposed his assault on A-Rod, or a victim and hero to the camp that cheered the savior of pure baseball (sic).

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: remember when Cole Hamels drilled Bryce Harper just because?

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: that was weird

10:07
Comment From zack
Who gets more money this offseason: Lincecum or LIriano?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: Liriano

10:08
Comment From Zack
What would you predict Xander Bogaerts’ line for the season?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: I would be surprised to see something similar to Manny Machado’s 2012

10:09
Comment From nelson
what becomes of Daisuke? seemed like his numbers weren’t too bad.

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: He asked to be released. Wouldn’t be shocked to see him eventually re-emerge in Japan

10:09
Comment From Mike
Why doesn’t anyone talk about Strasburg anymore?

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: Lots of people do, but there are also these other new guys like Harvey and Fernandez

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: It’s really really difficult to remain the focus of a sports conversation year after year after year

10:10
Comment From bdhudson
Darin Ruf will hit ____ HR’s in 2014.

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: 24

10:11
Comment From Slopp
Rays winning it all– What would you set the odds at?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: under 10%

10:11
Comment From Brayan
How much do you think a pitching staff can affect UZR over a full season. Could the same defense playing behind say the Twins, who strike nobody out look better in UZR just because they get more chances than they would playing behind the Tigers?

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: yeah, the greater the number of opportunities, the greater the range of UZR possibilities

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: but if I’m not mistaken, UZR/150 controls for opportunities to set a consistent baseline(?)

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: The Tigers generate a lot of strikeouts almost out of necessity

10:12
Comment From Prich
A. Simmons: 168 games, 56 runs saved… It’s getting to the point he could just stand at the plate, take three strikes, walk back to the dugout, and STILL be a positive

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: If I didn’t just write about Simmons’ defense, I might write something about how bad his offense could be and still have him be a contributing player

10:13
Comment From zack
Any chance the Angels could trade Pujols? It sounds crazy, but if the blue jays could trade Vernon Wellss…..

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: complete trade protection and also, no

10:13
Comment From Nick
How come when sorting the leaderboard by position it gives the players stats from the entire year not just the stats they accumulated while playing that position.

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: we have had this conversation multiple times on the company conference call

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: let’s say it remains unsettled

10:14
Comment From Guest
Will BJ Upton ever be good again?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: sure

10:14
Comment From Nick O
Aside from A-Rod/steroids, what popular topic of discussion in baseball do you not particularly care about?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: any of the awards

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: over the weekend I wanted to write about Felix and the Cy Young, then I went for a walk and thought to myself, “why?”

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: so instead I got a mocha

10:15
Comment From Gila Monster
When Clay Bucholz returns, he’ll return to being pre-2013 Bucholz? He had a insanely low HR/FB%, a elite LOB%, and no real signs to support a higher K%(no uptick in SwgStk%..etc). I’m tired of the Boston media thinking hr has transformed into an ace.

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: this year, 52% of his strikeouts have been called. For his career, 32%

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: unless he’s really doing something differently, I would expect that to stabilize a little

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: could be something about David Ross being an excellent receiver, but Buchholz mostly threw to Saltalamacchia

10:17
Comment From Rated Rookie
With Bonifacio in KC and if he is given spring training repetitions could you see the Blue Jays shifting Lawrie to 2B full time next season? Could he provide adequate defense for them?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: sure, and sure

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: he’s already familiar with 2B, he’s already pretty good at 3B, and Dave has written before about how there just isn’t that big of a difference between the positions

10:18
Comment From TJD
Do you think we’ll see some opt out clauses put in these big contracts being handed out for failing drug tests, especially for players chasing records.

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: There might be a desire, but in a free market, the winner might be the team that offers a deal without an opt-out clause

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: I could see some PED-related language, though

10:19
Comment From James
Rick Porcello is just going to get better and better. Breakout year for him in store next year?

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: this basically already is a breakout year

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: dropped his xFIP- from 99 to 94 to 82

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: his ERA will get better in front of Jose Iglesias, but the peripherals are already in place

10:20
Comment From _David_
What exactly is pitch movement? Is it just the grip, release and that any pitcher can throw any pitch with the same movement but some can throw it faster and with better command? Like if most pitchers tried to throw a changeup exactly like Felix would it still have the same movement but end up in the dirt or the batter’s flesh?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: Felix has a changeup grip, and he applies certain pressure to his fingers. He then has his own mechanics and his own arm action, with his own arm slot and his own wrist snap. It would be almost impossible to mimic him perfectly, especially on a consistent basis, since Felix has it down to muscle memory at this point

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: Lots and lots of different factors go into determining how the baseball will spin, and it’s the spin that causes the movement

10:23
Comment From zack
Who would you rather have next season: Colby Rasmus or BJ Upton?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: Smells like a fantasy question!

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: Rasmus!

10:23
Comment From _David_
Ackley hope meter?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: 2

10:23
Comment From Rick Porcello
What kind of pitcher am I/going to be?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: You’re already a very good one

10:23
Comment From bdhudson
Biggest threat to the Tigers in the AL?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: Red Sox

10:24
Comment From Ben
What is Alexei Ramirez worth on the trade market?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: Not a lot. Maybe one reasonable prospect and a low-level live arm

10:25
Comment From Aldo Montoya
Is Guti done? Would you bring him back as a 4th OF?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: he’s not close to worth his $7.5-million option so he’ll be a free agent

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: and he’ll be a fun super-high-risk/high-reward gamble for a team with a dream

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: the Dodgers should sign him and dump Ethier

10:26
Comment From Jake Arrieta
Am I reborn?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: no

10:26
Comment From Tom
Is wRC+ for the minor leauges park adjusted or just league adjusted? If not, why?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: I believe just league-adjusted

10:27
Comment From Justin
Is there a non-play off team with a better future than the Cubs? Man oh man are they stacked with young talent.

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: the Cubs are in a good position, yeah. going to be fascinating to see how much talent the Marlins bring back for Stanton, though

10:27
Comment From Greg
Does Cano stay with the Yankees?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: yes

10:27
Comment From TJD
How do you expect D.Uggla’s Lasik surgery will be of help?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: I doubt it will make a meaningful difference for his statistics

10:28
Comment From Logan
Why do you think teams like the Blue Jays lock up so many of their players long term instead of going year to year in arbitration?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: because it’s frequently smarter

10:28
Comment From The Oriole Bird
I saw on your Andrelton Simmons article recently that he makes 96% of the plays that are made at least 50% of the time by the average shortstop. How many of those plays does the average shortstop make?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: didn’t get that information from BIS but 14th place was 89%

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: I would estimate somewhere around 87%

10:30
Comment From Nick C
I don’t understand when people say that Coors inflates a player’s hitting, even when adjusting for park differences. They’ll show home and road splits, trying to prove a guy like Carlos Gonzalez can’t hit well anywhere else.

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: Gonzalez’s road stats include a lot of time in LA, SD, and SF

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: I think we had an article about this some months ago but home/road splits are generally misleading

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: players who play in extreme parks tend to play on the road in the opposite, and all players tend to perform better at home as a rule

10:31
Comment From Travis
Speaking of which, what do you think of that Strasburg/Simmons thing? Did he just completely lose control?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: I haven’t thought about it a whole lot, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some shred of intent

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: that is my cop-out answer while I plan to watch replays later this afternoon

10:31
Comment From gregory
More money this offseason – Kazmir or Josh Johnson?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: Kaz

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: lol what

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: let’s just think about that for a moment

10:32
Comment From Aceathon
What are the top 3 pitching staffs of all the contenders?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: Tigers, Rays, and Rangers?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: the numbers really like the Yankees

10:33
Comment From John
Liriano is not a free agent, Bucs have a $8 million team option

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: wish I had bothered to look that up

10:33
Comment From gregory
Did the Nats disappoint this season or were peoples’ expectations too lofty?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: both

10:33
Comment From Sabby
Could you see the Blue Jays taking a shot at signing Lincecum or Liriano this offseason in a desperate shot at improving their horrible rotation, or do you think they will just hope for regression to the mean? What would you do?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: I think they need to add pitching but I don’t think Lincecum is going to be their guy. A lot of hope for regression, I bet, and it’s not altogether unreasonable

10:34
Comment From Lewie
Can Juan Lagares be an everyday CF? Or will his shaky approach doom him?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: The approach is pretty dismal so it’s a matter of just how good you think his defense is

10:34
Comment From RotoLando
You aren’t feeding that stray cat, I hope.

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: I only feed it attention. Also it’s not a stray, it’s just a cat the owners let outside

10:35
Comment From Joe
Why is A. Simmmons always such a hot question, we know he’s good at defense, do Braves fans feel the need to tell us all everyday?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: Because the numbers are genuinely insane

10:35
Comment From Nick C
Odds of Mike Trout finishing this year and next year with 10+ WAR?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: good this year, don’t love it next year. let’s say 15%?

10:36
Comment From Chicago Mark
Why would the Red Sox call up Boegarts and not play him regularly? It doesn’t seem as if they need his platoon splits, defense etc to assure a playoff spot. Thoughts?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: He’s good depth and this is an opportunity for him to get his feet wet. Plus he’s there in case Middlebrooks struggles again, but right now with Middlebrooks hitting and Drew being fine it wouldn’t make sense to sit either for a rookie who’s never played. The sooner Bogaerts is comfortable in the bigs, the sooner he’ll be ready to be an impact player, so there’s little harm in starting the process right now

10:38
Comment From Guest
What is the best bet for a team that is bad this year, but could make the playoffs next year?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: Jays, Nats, or Rockies?

10:39
Comment From Chicago Mark
What is the significance of Buchholz in called strikeouts? I’m not being smart. Just dumb, really.

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: called strikeouts don’t involve a closing swing and miss, and when you see a spike in called strikeout rate, I think it’s justifiable to think there could be some unsustainability involved

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: some pitchers demonstrate an ability to rack up called strikeouts year after year, but Buchholz hasn’t been that guy in the past

10:40
Comment From Marcus A.
Do you ever feel like your fanhood has become to cynical? I can’t enjoy a Raul Ibanez or Mike Morse homer, I look for signs of regression coming from hot starts, how do I separate the fan from the fangraphs reader?!

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: you’ll feel like a fan again if and when your favorite team is actually in a race

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: when your team isn’t playing for anything, it sucks

10:41
Comment From Sam
So your saying Miguel Cabrera could play second.

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: poorly, sure

10:41
Comment From Nick C
Don’t you miss Chone Figgins?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Googled him the other day. No idea what he’s been up to for months

10:42
Comment From Langer
what would Cabrera’s war be if he dh’d all season? above trout?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: no, I believe the positional adjustment from 3B to DH is about 20 runs per 600 PA

10:42
Comment From Nick C
Do your parents like baseball?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: my mom doesn’t think about it and my dad didn’t particularly care for it before he died 22 years ago

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: THANKS A LOT NICK C

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: [awkward pause]

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: […awkward pause…]

10:43
Comment From @indifferentdrum
Working overtime today?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: I never know to stop these things before they get out of control

10:43
Comment From Teddy
Around where do you see Machado’s offensive ceiling? His plate discipline seems to be lacking though his minor league BB rate was much better than it is this year. Is this something he can improve on?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, he can improve, and as he gets older pitchers will throw him fewer challenge strikes since he should be a good hitter. Peaks maybe in the .360-.380 wOBA range

10:44
Comment From Cochise
What is Jesus Montero trade value? A bag of balls

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: nil

10:44
Comment From bob
Ryan Braun playing the anti-antisemitism and Cubs-fan card at once. Being a Cubs fan and a member of the tribe, this guy has gone from one of my favorite out-of-town athletes to my least favorite.

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: I like that some sources noted the Cubs-fan part first

10:45
Comment From Bkgeneral
It seems like the Mariners are very close to being really good. Am I lying to myself?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: yes

10:45
Comment From peachesnnuts
Gabe Kapler has been the biggest surprise this season T/F? I’m loving his stuff.

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: He’s awesome. He’s really important to the “movement” if you want to call it that. Invaluable to have player support on the analysts’ side

10:46
Comment From Chris
Rick Porcello has an ERA+ of 97 this year. It’s 94 for his career. Career K/9 is 5.3. Career WHIP 1.398. Sorry, that’s a slightly BELOW average pitcher, not a “very good” one – unless you’re just comparing him to you and me.

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: How are you on FanGraphs?

10:47
Comment From MJ
what are you offering Wil Myers to buy out his arb years, or is it already too late?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: Not too late. 6/$20 million? 6/$25 million?

10:48
Comment From Kris
Is there any way to quantify a manager’s contribution? Comparing actual real life run prevention/run production to projections on a y2y basis? Or is it likely to be more anecdotal stuff, like managing the bullpen, PH/PRs, etc?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe the best approach would be comparing actual record to projected record, but good luck getting good projected records, and good luck separating those projected numbers from managerial influence

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not so impossible it’s not worth investigating, but I’m not going to be the investigator.

10:50
Comment From Pedro Alvarez
Has anyone hit over 40 homers in a season with an OBP under .300?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: nope, but Dave Kingman twice hit 37

10:50
Comment From Mike
Crazier stat. Joey Votto’s popups or Simmons Defense?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: Simmons’ defense. There are other guys who seldom hit pop-ups

10:51
Comment From Seattle Slough
How much of Simmons’s UZR numbers are due to range, how much is due to positioning?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: Don’t know. And some of it is due to the fact that he doesn’t mess up the easier plays, which is about neither range nor positioning

10:52
Comment From Gila Monster
Why isn’t Kevin Gausman starting for the Orioles right now? He was good while he was up.

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: He got hit around and recently he’s had some forearm soreness

10:53
Comment From Chris
Which of the two natural west coast rivals, the Padres or Mariners, is closer to contention?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: Mariners

10:53
Comment From Bkgeneral
Has any starting pitcher thrown fastball as much as Cingrani and had long term success?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: first example that comes to mind: http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=375&position=P#pitchtype

10:54
Comment From MJ
what was your first baseball related job?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Full-time? Writer with SB Nation

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Part-time? Writer with SB Nation

10:54
Comment From Dylan
Is Montero for Pineda the most disappointing trade ever?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: so far it’s way way up there

10:54
Comment From Rubby of the Rose
Dave Cameron says he’d vote Cabrera for MVP, clearly re-establishing his anti-Detroit bias…

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: If it weren’t for what happened a year ago, I wonder if he’d have the same opinion

10:55
Comment From Scott @ London
How soon before Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano are playing in Target Field?

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: next September or the May after that

10:55
Comment From Dave
What team that’s a playoff team this year has the best chance to miss the playoffs next year?

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: hmm

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: is it too easy to say Pirates?

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: could say the Rays, since they’ll trade Price, but then they just traded Shields…

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: the hell with it. Oakland. don’t love it but there you go

10:58
Comment From DNA
Everyone gave Marlins flack for calling up top prospects from AA, Astros just called up Stassi I bet nobody says boo because Astros can do no wrong.

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: I think my favorite thing about the Marlins and their prospects is that even with Fernandez one could argue they screwed up by not just waiting like 2 or 3 weeks

10:58
Comment From John
What is your ballpark for the range of manager effect +/- 5 wins?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: that would probably capture it, although maybe it’s really like framing and my mind would be blown by the actual numbers

10:59
Comment From Jeff Sullivan
MARINERS

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: oh shut up

10:59
Comment From DD
Do you trust Loria/Marlins to hang on to their current young talent and rebuild to contention, or are those days gone and we’re stuck with crap every year?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: I think they’ll hang onto a lot of their current young talent, but I also think they’ll trade Stanton for more

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: also your question began with “Do you trust Loria-”

11:00
Comment From Chicago Mark
Where do I find era+ data. I don’t see it on Porcellos page. But his xfip is 3.29. That seems pretty good to me.

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: ERA+ is a baseball-reference statistic

11:00
Comment From Jeff… Fredford
You listen to any modern rap? Enjoying any recent releases?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: this was my last real foray into the genre http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pete_Philly_and_Perquisite

11:01
Comment From Jake Arriera
Make sure you watch my start tomorrow against the Nats. Just make sure.

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t really want to watch the Cubs play the Nationals

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: Arrieta/Cubs vs. Ohlendorf/Nationals, or the simultaneous Greinke/Dodgers vs. Eovaldi/Marlins?

11:03
Comment From Sean T.
How can Aaron Hill be so good while being such a pure pull hitter?

11:03
Comment From Gila Monster
Votto is pissed about people complaining about his lack of RBIs and called himself a greedy ******

11:03
Jeff Sullivan:
11:04
Jeff Sullivan: All right you guys, it’s been two hours of this

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve had fun and I hope you have too. At this point it’s time to get going and work on god knows what. Thanks for coming by and hanging out, sorry for what I didn’t address, and we’ll do it again a week from now around the same time. Until then, be wonderful




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


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