Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 8/5/14

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Now’s as good a time as any to baseball chat

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: So let’s begin to baseball chat!

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Usual thing about fantasy questions, etc.

9:08
Comment From Edward
Fluke season for Michael Brantley or has he figured something out?

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: I believe in the power gain. Doubt he’s going to be a long-term five-win player, but he was always average before he improved so he looks like a good one for a while

9:08
Comment From Kris
Cubs go after Lester pr Max? or a year too early?

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: I could see them chasing Lester and it would be easier for them to sign a guy than to trade for a guy, but the Lester market is going to be busy and they don’t have the deepest pockets in baseball

9:10
Comment From Edward
How much hope is there that Nolan Arenado develops more power?

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: I buy him as a 20-25 dinger guy at standard altitude

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: Guy’s still 23. A lot of players his age are minor-league prospects

9:11
Comment From CuriousGeorge
My buddy was asking whether or not to Keep Jose Fernandez in a keeper league for next year. Without hesitation the answer is yes, right?

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: This fantasy question I can handle. Keep Jose Fernandez on your fantasy baseball team

9:12
Comment From J
When a team is the visitor, do they bring a bat boy or is one provided by the home team? I find the concept of bat boys very odd.

9:12
9:12
Jeff Sullivan: Provided. But yeah, they’re definitely one of those things that only get weirder and weirder when you notice them and start to really think about them

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: Often in the background, you’ll see a bat boy or ball boy or whatever darting around to retrieve foul balls and once you see them you can’t unsee them

9:13
Comment From Catoblepas
Andrew McCutchen injured the day after getting beaned by the Diamondbacks. While a connection between the two is probably tenuous at best, why doesn’t MLB say/do something about the gun-slinging DBacks?

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: They’re just not big enough offenders, and the offensive forces are likely to be fired in the nearer-term future anyhow

9:14
Comment From Catoblepas
Also, how much does McCutchen’s absence hurt the Pirates’ playoff odds?

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: roughly 6 or 7 percentage points or so

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: Which, I know, probably seems light. That assumes a few things: McCutchen is back for half of the remaining schedule, and Starling Marte can return and produce almost right away

9:15
Comment From Gabe
Should the Mets have any interest in marginal names like Kemp or Rios, or do they need to hold out and make a big trade (Tulo is the only one that springs to mind) in the offseason?

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: Rios is not good and Kemp does not project as a good outfielder long-term. If Kemp goes it really ought to be to a team in the other league.

9:16
Comment From JCA,CA
would the bidding go up for Lester’s services now knowing he can’t get a QO?

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: It’ll be reflected a little bit, but what’s been observed so far is the elite free agents are mostly immune to qualifying-offer price reductions

9:16
Comment From Balki
Who do you think is most likely to be traded this month?

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: Some junk like Rios or Danks

9:18
Comment From Johnson
Why is Mookie in the bigs again and still not playing again?

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: Well, he started on Friday. And there are things you can learn in the majors even without playing every day. But more generally, yeah, you’d like to see him slot in at least semi-regularly over the final two months

9:20
Comment From Dave
Hey Jeff, whats your take on the fallout at Toronto thats come about since the trade deadline?

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: It seems like the biggest priority for them is getting healthy, not adding another player or two. A healthy Blue Jays team is in a good position and I don’t necessarily blame them for not giving in to pick up some half-decent starting pitcher. It would’ve been nice for them to, say, add Brandon McCarthy before the Yankees did, and the Jays obviously had room for an ace-level starter, but the two aces that shifted around came from the AL East. So that was an obstacle

9:22
Comment From JCA,CA
Is Swisher done?

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: I dont’ think he’s done, but I think he’s done being good

9:23
Comment From Kris
If braves don’t make the playoffs (looking more and more likely, unfortunately) does Fredi get fired?

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: Honestly, some might consider it a miracle the Braves are even in contention given the things they’ve gone through

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: So there’s an argument for keeping Gonzalez around. But I could see his seat being fairly warm, and it wouldn’t be the worst thing for these chats if we could just remove him from the picture so people didn’t complain about him every week

9:24
Comment From Gary
California Summer League (collegiate) may have the worst website I’ve ever seen. I’m just saying : http://www.calsummerball.com/

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: You could troll some people with that Los Angeles Brewers logo

9:25
Comment From Prich
Are you happy?

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: More than I was a few years ago!

9:25
Comment From Rated Rookie
Did Taijuan Walker take himself out of the running for a Sunday start in Seattle?

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, his stock is sinking. Team isn’t wild about where he is

9:27
Comment From Guest
With Baez getting the call, do you think we also see Bryant and Soler by year’s end?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Soler’s on the 40-man roster and Bryant isn’t, so that might serve as your guide. It’s not that Bryant isn’t necessarily ready, but they might not want to hurry to put him on the roster if they don’t have to

9:28
Comment From Pirates Hurdles
So, replacing Cutch … Snider in LF (Harrison 3B) or Alvarez at 3B (Harrison LF)? Or trade for Byrd?

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: Byrd’s not a great idea given that he’s also under contract for 2015 and the Pirates’ outfield is obviously set

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe you see a quick move for a guy like Rios. Otherwise, yeah, say goodbye to plans to sit Alvarez for Harrison most of the time

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: Or get ready for a lot of Travis Snider. Either way, it’s not great to be without the best everyday player in the National League

9:29
Comment From Guest
So who do you think gets moved this month? Papelbon and some phillies? Colon? Anyone significant?

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: Some Phillies should move. I feel like Colon ought to, but he apparently never really was in any kind of demand around the deadline

9:30
Comment From mattymatty2000
Are you a believer in Allen Craig? In other words, did the Red Sox just trade 1.3-ish seasons of John Lackey for a fourth starter and damaged goods?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: Allen Craig is showing all the signs of a player in collapse, but I’m open to the idea that his body isn’t 100% and perhaps he can recover if whatever might be wrong heals up. His track record is obviously strong and these sorts of sudden declines are uncommon

9:31
Comment From Joe
Is baseball too much of an old boys’ network to ever come down on Kirk Gibson? What do you think would put MLB over the edge?

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: Hard to see baseball coming down hard on a guy who’s preaching “traditional” baseball. I’m going to guess there have been some private phone calls. If these beanballs were more common, then I could see some form of discipline. But they seem just uncommon enough. Maybe actual headhunting would raise more eyebrows

9:32
Comment From bucs_lose_again
Kirk Gibson…biggest jerk ever?

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: Super glad to not have him managing my favorite team

9:34
Comment From jocephus
Fangraphs has Adams at 2.3 WAR in 370 PA, even though he’s having a fantastic year at the plate, and Bourjos at 1.1 WAR in 215 PA even though he’s having a miserable year at the plate. That’s 4.3 WAR/700 for Adams and 3.6 WAR/700 for Bourjos. That’s close to the same player. This year. If Bourjos hits at all (and he’s still coming off an injury) he’s a monster player.

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, Bourjos’ defense is kind of stupid good. And he can run the bases, even though he’s not a real stolen-base threat. He was a four-win player in 2011 with a .327 OBP. You can see why the Cardinals picked him up and you can see why they’re so insistently trying to get him to improve

9:35
Comment From Dan
Why? Why aren’t the Cubs pockets deep?

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: They are deep, they just aren’t the only team that would be involved in the bidding for a free-agent ace

9:36
Comment From WP
What position does Prado play for the NYY next year?

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: Probably a lot of them

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: Third if they manage to make Alex Rodriguez go away

9:36
Comment From is he dunn?
think segura bounces back? was 2013 a fluke?

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: He’s not a replacement-level shortstop but he’s a guy who doesn’t walk or hit for power. He has a fairly low ceiling unless he develops one of his other skills

9:37
Comment From Lunch
Who’s the best CF not named after a fish?

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: Is there a McCutchen fish

9:38
Comment From GSon
Javier Baez ROS triple slash and K% rate?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: He’ll strike out at least 30% of the time and he’ll struggle to maintain a .300 OBP. But he’ll show enough power and this’ll be important experience for his 2015 and beyond

9:39
Comment From Daneeka
is Carrera the least qualified player to make a start for the Tigers this season?

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: Who the hell was Tyler Collins?

9:40
Comment From Gabe
What’s CarGo’s real trade value given his home/away splits? Seems like the Rockies are going to be asking way too much for him.

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not as simple as that with Rockies players — research has indicated they face a disadvantage on the road of being unfamiliar with how pitches move when they aren’t a mile up. They adapt to Colorado baseball and don’t know how to play very well at non-Colorado baseball. That then presumably goes away when they’re traded or they depart as free agents

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: Historically Rockies players have mostly been fine when moved. Dexter Fowler has a 122 wRC+. Real issue for Gonzalez is health

9:42
Comment From free marte strategy
is marte going to turn into a star? or will he always be the third best OF in pittsburgh?

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: Well, both could be true, for one thing

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: But I suspect Marte will be a star on FanGraphs and a pretty good and occasionally frustrating player in other places

9:44
Comment From bucs_lose_again
What should the Pirates do with Pedro Alvarez?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: He’s not a good enough hitter to be able to withstand a defensive collapse. He’s about to get even more expensive. The Pirates need to figure out if they can resolve his throwing issues in the next several weeks because if he continues to look like this then he suddenly appears a reasonable non-tender candidate

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: Alternatively you could see them pursue an offseason trade to send him to a team that’s power-starved and that has deeper pockets

9:47
Comment From Catoblepas
Are there any examples of skills (like framing may turn out to be) that were discovered and then eliminated, in that once people knew to pay attention the variation between the good and not-good shrunk to zero?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: Nothing comes to mind off the top of my head. I mean, I don’t know, perhaps when certain breaking balls were invented way back in the day, they were a big temporary advantage until other people figured them out. But framing is going to be an interesting test. Teams seem to be somewhat convinced they can teach it, and if every team teaches good framing skills…

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: Of course, it’s not like framing is a new idea. Catchers have known about this for decades. But now we have the best ideas ever as to what really works and what really doesn’t, so at least in theory this will be fun to continue to observe

9:49
Comment From dls
Phillies finally come to their senses and fire Amaro… and they hire you as GM. What are your first 2 moves?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Trade Hamels, hire a really good assistant

9:50
Comment From GSon
Lonnie Chisenhall’s year has been on the edge of spectacular. ROS for him?

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: Since June started, he’s hit .263/.333/.433 with a normal BABIP. I feel like that’s who he is

9:51
Comment From Guest
I know he made the ASG, but is Devin Mesoraco flying under the radar? A catcher in the top 10 in wRC+? His WAR per PA I believe is 4th best in baseball. That’s on FG, he’s rated a little higher on the other sites.

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, I keep meaning to write about him. He’s cooled off since April, but by “cooled off” I mean he’s slugged like .550

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: By wRC+, this year he’s been baseball’s best pull hitter. He’s also been one of baseball’s very worst opposite-field hitters. He’s locked in like, I don’t know, someone in between Jose Bautista and Brian Dozier

9:54
Comment From Mike
So what’s the story with Bryce Harper? Where’s the power? Where’s the hitting period?!?

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: I just have to think this is related to his injury/surgery. Probably a lot of rust to shake off, and he’ll have to relearn some techniques. I’m not worried but the Trout/Harper stuff is only looking more and more silly

9:55
Comment From Greg
Do you see Corey Kluber as more of an android or a cyborg?

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: I am somewhat pleased to not know the difference between those two things

9:56
Comment From Catoblepas
What is the variability like in framing? Right now, the difference in strikes per game between the very best and very worst is around 5; is that a sustainable number?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: It’s sustained around 4-5 since the start of the PITCHf/x era. In theory the gap should get smaller and smaller over time but I expect that would be a gradual shift

9:57
Comment From kumbaez my lord
are the cubs making a mistake in starting baez’s clock? seems a waste since super two and all

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: He’s not going to be a super-two; those players usually have to come up before early June

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: Now, Baez will be eligible for free agency a year earlier than he would’ve been if he were promoted late next April — assuming regular big-league service subsequently. So you could say that’s a thing, but teams don’t always make decisions on that basis and the Cubs want to know what they have in Baez now. They want to get his adjustment period out of the way so they can be a decent team in 2015

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: Baez earned this promotion and the Cubs want to reward that. It sends a bad message to keep players in the minors when there’s nothing left for them to do there

9:59
Comment From Joel
Can you explain why teams put players on waivers and then pull them back?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: Because there’s no harm in doing so and they want to see what might be possible for them

10:00
Comment From Ryguy
You think Machado takes the next step to elite level in addition to power gains?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think he’ll turn into an elite hitter, but I could more easily see him as an elite player

10:00
Comment From JCA,CA
who’s your favorite player?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: Felix

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: Hernandez, not Heredia

10:01
Comment From WP
What kind of contract is McCarthy looking at if he keeps pitching like this?

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: 2/20ish? Still a high ERA and he’ll always have the injury track record

10:02
Comment From Funky Kole Kalhoun
Hello! A couple FanGrapherists have been forecasting a Josh “Don’t Call My Lily” Tomlin comeback. Are they crazy?

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: Josh Tomlin somehow has a 3.11 xFIP

10:02
Comment From Fish
“once you see them you can’t unsee them” You may have just ruined watching baseball for me. I’m gong to be so distracted.

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: Sam Miller changed the way I watch baseball by pointing out how few fans are ever actually paying attention. Now I see that in every screenshot I ever take

10:03
Comment From Dom
Lester/Scherzer get $200 million?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: nah

10:04
Comment From Guest
Is Corey Kluber making a case for they Cy Young award?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: He’s definitely making a case, but he’s going to need Felix to stumble

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Half-run advantage in ERA, half-run advantage in FIP, plus the name-value factor

10:05
Comment From Guest
Thoughts on Subban’s new deal?

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: I’m no hockey analyst but I’m pleased that he costs a lot more than Erik Karlsson, who is awesome and on a team I don’t hate

10:06
Comment From groundballs-upon-hudson
is tim hudson’s run over? he had a great start but lately not so much

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: He’s still Tim Hudson, ol reliable Tim Hudson. Only meaningful difference from April is now he walks batters from time to time, which is normal

10:07
Comment From Fish
We haven’t heard anything about the guys the Phils put on waivers Saturday. I know it’s not supposed to be public knowledge, but it feels like we’d hear if anyone was claimed, right?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: Probably. But a lot of their guys would be expected to clear

10:08
Comment From Moises Alou
Am I the only one who immediately likes a player when they don’t wear batting gloves?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: It always make me uncomfortable but I really hate splinters

10:08
Comment From Pumpsie Green
Mookie Betts doesn’t seem to fit the Red Sox ‘win next year’ model. And he doesn’t seem to have a position, especially now, in Boston. Is he traded this winter?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: I think he’s available this winter, but I don’t think he’s a shoo-in to get moved

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: I mean, if Bradley can’t hit, then there’s a spot right there

10:09
Comment From JCA,CA
If McCutchin was valued at providing 1.5 WAR down the stretch and the replacement player is expected to provide .5 WAR, would this mean their expected win/loss projection would have decreased by 1?

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: Pretty much

10:11
Comment From Burt
Are the Angels the trolliest team in baseball right now? First they go after Rodney, and now Puig. Can’t say those players don’t totally deserve it, but the question stands…

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: I do’nt think it’s trolling to respond

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: It’s trolling to initiate. The Angels are just showing their opponents up, because the Angels are awesome

10:12
Comment From Matt
Why do you hate Rios?

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Mainly the not being very good

10:12
Comment From Michael T
Why isn’t the rumored price for Rusney Castillo higher, given the success rates of the more developed hitters who’ve come out of Cuba recently?

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe Castillo isn’t as good as them?

10:12
Comment From taijuan BBer
taijuan walker is a reliable starting pitcher when?

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Odds are never

10:13
Comment From Con
Who is the most intriguing prospect to you? Any that are sort of under the radar that you’re eager to see in the MLB?

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: This is a Carson question. He’s obsessed with prospects nobody else is obsessed with

10:15
Comment From WP
What in the world is going on with Brian McCann?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Power’s not there and he’s getting challenged, so he’s walking less often. Shift might be in his head a little bit. For all I know the porch is in his head a little bit. Being a catcher in his 30s, this decline isn’t as easy to dismiss as it might be for someone else

10:16
Comment From catcher in the why?
do catchers bat better against pitchers they used to catch? seems they should have an edge on what a pitcher likes to go to in certain situations.

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: I remember hearing about this with Bengie Molina in the Rangers/Giants World Series. In theory there might be a slight edge but then who’s to say the pitcher doesn’t respond by mixing things up due to his opponent? If someone were to put in all the research I don’t think you’d find anything but a very slight hike in wOBA perhaps

10:17
Comment From Guest
I know he’s just 21, but are you surprised Xander hasn’t put up better numbers this year?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: Surprised by the depth of his slump, but this is more the norm than the Mike Trout path. This is where Bogaerts really does his learning

10:19
Comment From Ben
With Corey Hart conveniently to the DL, LoMO doing jack squat at the plate, will the M’s recall Justin Smoak again since he can add strikeouts from the right side?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, they’ll probably shuffle around their crap at first base. Same crap, different uniform

10:20
Comment From JW
In light of the recent spate of trades for guys on big league rosters – are there MLB-level any challenge trades out there you’d like to see? Starlin Castro seems like a good candidate for such a deal.

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: The Cubs seem pleased with what Castro has developed into this year

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: It would be funny to have Eric Hosmer and Justin Smoak swapped

10:22
Comment From quand?
headed to montreal this afternoon. when will i be able to catch a game there again?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: 2025

10:22
Comment From The Dude
Hey Jeff, What are your thoughts on the Javier Baez call up? And what impact will he have the rest of the season?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: Exciting and limited

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: His Triple-A trajectory has been crazy but I expect he’ll have a bit of a rough adjustment

10:23
Comment From Colorado Legal
Do you think Tulo provides anything the rest of the season on the field?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: Honestly he might as well just shut it down

10:23
Comment From J
How much of a factor did Safeco play a factor in diminishing Nick Franklin’s prospect/player status and what changes to his approach and swing should be made?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think it’s Safeco. Blengino the other day suggested Franklin has gotten a little too pull-happy as he’s climbed up. He might eventually want to abandon switch-hitting.

10:25
Comment From Nick
The Nationals are good, and they are in first place. But why do I feel like they are underachieving?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Because Bryce Harper has underachieved, and Stephen Strasburg has a mid-3s ERA, and the team is four wins below its BaseRuns record

10:27
Comment From throneberra
Rusney Castillo…where will he end up and what is his upside?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know, Yankees? Almost every team is interested. Seems like he could be a four-win center fielder

10:28
Comment From lil jelly
tell us more stories about things you saw at high altitudes

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Also at 9,000 feet on Mount Hood, I discovered a massive colony of ladybugs living within a rockpile

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: No real vegetation around, but also no real predators. I don’t know what ladybugs do but those ones seemed pretty safe and they were obviously thriving.

10:30
Comment From Androo
The AL East currently has the best winning percentage of any division and the Orioles, having survived their post-break AL West gauntlet (10-6), on the Playoff Odds page have a rosW% over .500 for the first time this year. Is it possible the “Weak AL East” theme of 2014 might be overstated if the Orioles aren’t a mediocre to bad team?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: well the Rays and Red Sox and Yankees are mediocre teams

10:31
Comment From Guest
Brandon McCarthy is striking out 20% of batters right now. Is there any way that this is sustainable long term?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: He struck out 18% in 2011 in the American League

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: Now he throws harder

10:31
Comment From Con
Foltynewicz has some serious gas – Thoughts on him and potential future closing for Astros?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: Not nearly enough strikes or arsenal depth for me to buy him as a starter. As a closer, he obviously has the fastball, but I’d like to see him command it. Seems like the right type of player to be conventionally overrated

10:32
Comment From Evergreen Bowl Subdivision
If the Pirates can’t develop 1b and Alvarez can’t throw properly, is he headed for first eventually?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: That’s an option, but so is Josh Bell

10:33
Comment From Guest
Is Matt Adams anything special? Does the Craig trade substantially increase his value?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: He’s not anything special, but he’s pretty good

10:34
Comment From Bart
What are your thoughts on Jacob deGrom?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: It’s weird to me when guys do better than they did in the minors, but I don’t have a lot of questions about deGrom’s profile. Seems like a real starting pitcher of moderate value

10:36
Comment From Pumpsie Green
I think the Cardinals a few years ago were the team with the worst W/L to ever make the playoffs. Where could I find the worst Pythag to ever make the playoffs? This year’s Yankees, if they make it, would have to be close.

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Those Cardinals were 83-78. The 2005 Padres were 82-80!

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: With a pythagorean record of 77-85. 2007 Diamondbacks at 79-83…2012 Orioles at 82-80…

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know of an easy place to do this — it would have to be manual, I bet — but that Padres team is the likely winner

10:38
Comment From Guest
Is Walkers trade value coming close to that of Montero’s?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Not close

10:38
Comment From Kyle
Who do think has the bigger bounce back year next year, Braun or Harper?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Braun last year had a 134 wRC+ and Braun this year has a 134 wRC+

10:39
Comment From Ben
How will Roenis Elias be judged on his first MLB season?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: He went from nobody to decent big-league starter. That’s good

10:40
Comment From Exar Kun
If players has a team option and said option is turned down by the team, can they still offer them a QO?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: I’m almost certain the answer is yes

10:41
Comment From Big Joe Mufferaw
Thoughts on the Carrera catch yesterday?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: really good catch!

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: He’s got one tool and it can make for some outstanding highlights

10:42
Comment From MikeS
Can you explain how does the WS ring thing work? for Ex: Those eligible are only the ones on the final roster?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: Seems like everybody who did anything for the team all year, basically, are eligible

10:43
Comment From Guest
Move alvarez to first? its not like gaby or ike are doing anything there

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Davis and Sanchez together have basically hit as well as Alvarez

10:45
Comment From Alex
Jacob Turner DFA’d

10:45
Comment From Bret
Jacob Turner DFA’d. Reason for hope with a change of scenery (inevitably to Chicago, I presume)

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: Pretty wild for a half-decent 23-year-old. He’ll have absolutely no problem getting another opportunity for an organization that understands analytics

10:45
Comment From JCA,CA
you wouldn’t release Howard and call it a sunk cost?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: I’d do that, but it wouldn’t be one of my first two moves

10:46
Comment From Evergreen Bowl Subdivision
Zunino looks like he’ll smash the M’s record for catcher HR this year. That’s exciting. His avg/obp are awful. How do you feel about him going forward?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: He’s a lot like JP Arencibia with plus defense. Because of the defense, I can’t get too mad at the offense

10:46
Comment From PoopFace
if a pitcher is giving up hrs on 15% of fly balls, what assumptions are made on xfip? What percent of those excess hrs are assued to be flyouts/doubles and such?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: xFIP regresses everybody to the league average. Which is the right thing to do, unless you have a really big sample of data

10:47
Comment From CuriousGeorge
“ever since the yankees told BRandon Mccarthy he can throw his cutter again he’s been great”. Quote from my buddy. True or False?

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: False

10:48
Comment From Tom
Did you see the end of the Pirates/D-Backs game the other day? The guy sliding into second batted the throw away and they didn’t call interference.

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: It’s hard — by the letter of the law, that seems like it’s probable interference, but guys slide into second trying to do that almost every single time and the runner in that instance didn’t do anything particularly unusual. Shit way to lose but I get why the call wasn’t overturned

10:49
Comment From Big Joe Mufferaw
What do you think of Brett Gardners new power stroke? Hitting 295/396/601 since June 15th.

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Started hitting for more power last season. Probably not intended this way but that’s a good way to try to offset the probable age-related decline coming to his defense.

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: Pulling more fly balls than ever. I like it

10:50
Comment From Gila Monster
We commonly hear that whole narrative that scouts are ignorant of sabermetrics, but are the statistically minded people ignorant of scouting as well?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: Not the good ones

10:50
Comment From O NOES
are the O’s really a first place team? their rotation seems to be getting lucky, they have schoop doing nothing at 2B, davis struggling at 1B, and didn’t make any moves at the deadline.

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: The whole division is like a case study of how one team can go in a bunch of different directions in any given year. None of those teams are significantly better or worse than any of the others, but still we see a big spread today because good and bad breaks happen unpredictably

10:52
Comment From DTSS
Who’s your favorite player after Felix? On a team outside Seattle?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: McCarthy

10:52
Comment From Guest
Who’s your least favorite player?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: Francisco Rodriguez

10:53
Comment From Gila Monster
Other than a rookie, What is the most radically a player has changed their valuation in one season?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: Jose Bautista? Off the top of my head

10:53
Comment From Guest
What are your thoughts on xFIP versus SIERA?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: I never use SIERA and xFIP is a starting point

10:53
Comment From Hank G.
With the decreased offense, I’m having trouble eyeballing what are “good” offensive stats. Currently, what would you consider good or excellent BA, OBP, and SLG?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Current non-pitcher league average line: .256/.320/.396. So good might be 25-30 points higher?

10:54
Comment From Bip
Sam Miller has a real knack for finding interesting things about baseball that have nothing to do with playing the game of baseball.

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: It’s almost like how Jon Bois is an awesome sportswriter who pretty much never writes about sports

10:55
Comment From Garth Vader
Would you be okay with a team signing a free agent, such as an above average or elite guy, just to purposely trade him at the deadline for prospects? Say Houston signed Cano with a NTC then flipped him last week.

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: Traded a guy with a no-trade clause?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: I’d be mostly okay with it in theory, but what tends to happen is if a team signs an elite player as a free agent, other teams aren’t going to want to take that contract in July

10:56
Comment From Darth Stout
If the Cubs buy both Lester and Scherzer in the offseason, are they a playoff team in 2015?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: Hypothetically, they’d be a good WC contender

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: All right, I need to wrap this up and move on. Two hours just about complete!

10:56
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.


6 Responses to “Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 8/5/14”

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  1. Andy says:

    I know he made the ASG, but is Devin Mesoraco flying under the radar? A catcher in the top 10 in wRC+? His WAR per PA I believe is 4th best in baseball. That’s on FG, he’s rated a little higher on the other sites.

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