Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 9/10/13

9:03
Jeff Sullivan: Hey there everybody, sorry for the delay. I’m currently day-to-day with lower back spasms or something and it’s taking me forever to move around the apartment.
9:04
Jeff Sullivan: It’s the oldest I’ve felt in a while, but at least the sitting position is relatively comfortable. So let’s chat baseball!
9:05
Comment From Dewey
Care to gauge T. Walker’s trade value after his cup of coffee?
9:05
Jeff Sullivan: Mariners question! It’s high, no doubt, and it helps that now he’s had some success at the big-league level, but it’s a shame two of those starts had to come against the Astros.
9:06
Jeff Sullivan: It could’ve gone a lot worse, though. So Walker’s a big trade piece, that they won’t trade.
9:06
Comment From BackSpasms
Hey Brah, mind if I stay awhile!?

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: Go away! You are terrible!
9:06
Comment From emlazar
With Allen Craig locked up through 2017, will the Cardinals look to shop around Matt Adams this offseason? If so, what is his trade value?
9:07
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think the Cardinals are going to actively shop him, but I think some teams are going to place some inquisitive phone calls. His actual value, though, should be somewhat high without being through the roof. All he is is a pretty good hitter
9:08
Jeff Sullivan: Keep in mind he’s not much of a defender and he’s not much of a baserunner and he strikes out a lot relative to how often he walks
9:08
Comment From Sirras One
Mets are supposedly going to go after Choo, though they don’t want to get into a bidding war. At what point do you think the Mets back off in said bidding war?
9:08
Jeff Sullivan: Well below Choo’s ultimate price
9:09
Comment From Scott
Can you tell me everything you know about Christian Arroyo?
9:09
Jeff Sullivan: I sure can!
9:09
Comment From _David_
Ichiro has the second best WAR among Mariners position players this year (if you don’t extrapolate Brad Miller to a full season).
9:09
Jeff Sullivan: The Mariners have a team UZR of like -80 or something
9:10
Jeff Sullivan: that has to come from somewhere
9:10
Jeff Sullivan: Ichiro’s WAR is 2.6 wins higher than the Marlins’ collective position-player WAR
9:10
Jeff Sullivan: that gap is bigger than the White Sox’s collective position-player WAR
9:11
Comment From Jills Nipple
If we were to rank the rookies this year by the year they’ve had, would the first AL rookie come in at 4th?
9:12
Jeff Sullivan: …trying to find out if Yan Gomes qualifies…
9:13
Jeff Sullivan: I think Gomes might be ineligible?
9:13
Jeff Sullivan: In any case, maybe fourth, quite possibly lower. The NL rookie pitchers have been outstanding
9:14
Comment From Joe
Any guesses on the AAV of Kershaw’s next contract?
9:14
Jeff Sullivan: $28 million
9:14
Comment From Eminor3rd
Are you any good at Connect 4?
9:15
Jeff Sullivan: I had a solid career peak
9:15
Comment From Henry
do you find yourself using baseball lingo for all your issues? like are all injuries day-to-day? has a personal relationship ever gone on the 40-day-dl?
9:15
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve never really done that, and the 60-day DL doesn’t exist, but I do find that I use baseball for an awful lot of examples for ideas that don’t really have anything to do with baseball
9:15
Jeff Sullivan: *40-day DL
9:15
Jeff Sullivan: ugh now I look like a maroon
9:17
Jeff Sullivan: Talking to the lady last night, she was complaining about an unprepared supervisor who’s in a role he doesn’t deserve, and for a few minutes Taijuan Walker was on TV, and I suggested that there are people who think he, too, was promoted too quickly. That he, too, might be in over his head. Walker subsequently struck out the side
9:17
Comment From Sirras One
Least favorite pitcher to watch in baseball? Is anybody less watchable than Dice-K?
9:17
Jeff Sullivan: It’s Dice-K
9:18
Jeff Sullivan: Dice-K is literally torture. He is genuinely illegal to broadcast.
9:19
Comment From David
Gerrit Cole’s start last night seems much more representative of his stuff (ie he got strikeouts). Did you watch the game and did you notice anything that might indicate a change in approach; for instance, there was a fangraphs article about the Pirates favouring groundballs or the like?
9:22
Jeff Sullivan: Murdered the strike zone with first pitches. Got into 0-and-1 counts against 18 of 25 batters. When you get to pitch ahead, you get to use different weapons and expand the zone, helping Cole rack up so many strikeouts.
9:22
Jeff Sullivan: As it happens, 22 of his 25 first pitches were fastballs, but they allowed him to pitch off that and get to his other stuff.
9:22
Comment From Eminor3rd
What do you do in your “free” time? Like on a nightly basis, not necessarily weekend trips to the volcanoes
9:23
Jeff Sullivan: A lot of jogging and bouldering
9:23
Jeff Sullivan: With a hurt back, I wasn’t able to jog or boulder yesterday, so I spent my free time fainting and watching an old episode of Tosh.0 because of which I remembered Samwell
9:23
Jeff Sullivan: Remember Samwell?
9:24
Comment From Greg
Chances Puig hits better than .350 this season?
9:24
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s call it…25%?
9:25
Jeff Sullivan: .300/.379/.482 since the start of July (253 PA)
9:26
Comment From _David_
Thoughts on Paxton’s debut?
9:26
Jeff Sullivan: Threw harder than I expected. Settled down, found his curveball. I try not to judge people too much on their big-league debuts but I’ve always been a little too much of a Paxton fan, given his command issues
9:27
Comment From GSon
Ubaldo the magnificent.. did anyone see this guy coming?
9:29
Jeff Sullivan: He’ll still never be what he was, but he’s probably a legitimately above-average starting pitcher
9:29
Jeff Sullivan: His strikeouts have rebounded and then some
9:29
Comment From Jills Nipple
How much do the Dodgers will have to eat to ditch Ethier? Or is it better to keep him as a 4th OF since Kemp and Crawford get banged up and Puig is still unproven?
9:31
Jeff Sullivan: If they have a chance to move him, they should move him, and they’d have to eat less than they would’ve had to some months ago, before he started to rebound. Another team could still see him as an average or above-average regular OF so maybe that means the Dodgers eat about half?
9:32
Jeff Sullivan: The Dodgers should find a younger, healthier, more versatile, better defensive outfielder
9:32
Comment From Waudude
Did you catch your back spasms from Felix Hernandez? WAIT, did he catch them from you?!
9:33
Jeff Sullivan: I caught them from bending down to throw out a banana peel.
9:33
Jeff Sullivan: I am now reminded of how close we all are to death
9:33
Comment From Bob Loblaw
Why is Yu Darvish having so much trouble scoring runs for the Rangers?
9:33
Jeff Sullivan: People haven’t worked with him enough on his hitting
9:33
Comment From Jeremy
Starters who become elite closers are usually lacking in what area? Secondary pitches? Control?
9:34
Jeff Sullivan: No set rule. Sometimes control, sometimes changeups, sometimes margin of error. Throwing a harder fastball can make up for an awful lot
9:34
Comment From Guest
What is more impressive in 2013? Jorge De La Rosa 2.76ERA Home 3.86ERA Road or Jhoulys Chacin 3.81ERA Home 2.10ERA Road
9:35
Jeff Sullivan: Chacin, because he’s better overall
9:35
Comment From Kevin
For purposes of valuing Lawrie is it time to forget about his amazing 2011 stint? He showed so much promise…not that he is a bad player now but he’s not the guy we saw two seasons ago.
9:36
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not time to forget about it, but it’s time to realize what it did to the expectations. Consider that partial season to be representative of his potential ceiling
9:36
Comment From Greg
Do you think the Cubs can turn Daniel Bard back into a successful closer?
9:36
Jeff Sullivan: no
9:37
Comment From Sirras One
Weirdest player in baseball, go?
9:38
Jeff Sullivan: Munenori Kawasaki
9:38
Comment From Furman
Slightly larger small sample size, but Ackley is still looking good since the break. Has he turned the corner? And if so, do the Mariners keep him as a super-utility guy?
9:40
Jeff Sullivan: He has not definitively turned the corner — he’s just shown some signs of improvement. Still not much power, still not a good defender in the outfield. A few months ago, I thought the Mariners would prepare to trade Ackley and give 2B to Franklin. Now I wonder if they’ll trade Franklin and move Ackley back to 2B, given how things have turned around for both
9:40
Jeff Sullivan: I expect that one of those guys will be gone by January
9:40
Comment From Gila Monster
Better Rotation by 2015 : Red Sox, Orioles, Mariners,Rays? The first three a full of top prospects and the Rays….well are the Rays.
9:42
Jeff Sullivan: Hard one. Red Sox because of money, Rays because of genius, Mariners or Orioles because of prospect talent
9:43
Comment From Mike
How much would Liriano get if he was a free agent this offseason
9:44
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s call it something like 2/$22 million? Still going to be concerns about durability, track record, finding success in the NL
9:44
Comment From Mike
You guys have the Red Sox at basically 1/3 to win the WS. That seems high. Could there be an issue with the playoff odds?
9:45
Jeff Sullivan: Right now it looks like they have a three-in-four chance of winning the World Series, according to our numbers. That might be correct but I am skeptical and I’m going to bring this up in the company conference call
9:46
Jeff Sullivan: I mean winning the actual WS, having already advanced there
9:46
Jeff Sullivan: Tigers at 66%, A’s at 52%, Rangers at 62%, Dodgers at 39%, Braves at 24%…
9:46
Jeff Sullivan: Seems like a pretty heavy league adjustment that we’re seeing
9:46
Comment From Johnstone
On offense ability alone, who do you pick out of Ellsbury, Choo, and McCann in free agency?
9:47
Jeff Sullivan: Choo
9:47
Jeff Sullivan: Ellsbury’s baserunning could make up an awful lot of the gap, if that counts
9:48
Comment From Travis
See any MVP’s in Jason Heyward’s future?
9:48
Jeff Sullivan: Don’t think so, although I could see a year he leads the league in WAR
9:48
Comment From Seth
Is it really worth it for players like Justin Smoak to keep switch hitting when his splits as a righty are so bad?
9:50
Jeff Sullivan: At some point you do need to have the conversation, but then Smoak’s numbers as a righty now are worse than they used to be, which doesn’t make much sense. I don’t know when you decide to give up switch-hitting — it’s probably less about the results, and more about the comfort and the quality of the swing
9:51
Jeff Sullivan: Sure seems to me like it would be better to just focus on one set of swing mechanics, and Smoak in particular didn’t even really hit lefties in the minors
9:52
Jeff Sullivan: People have their reasons for sticking as switch-hitters when the numbers are underwhelming, but people are also stubborn
9:53
Comment From Seth
Who do you think is the most average player in MLB?
9:54
Jeff Sullivan: Michael Brantley is a candidate, kind of
9:54
Jeff Sullivan: In my head, all of the A’s
9:54
Jeff Sullivan: Depends how detailed you want to get. Most average in as many categories as possible, or most average overall?
9:55
Jeff Sullivan: A guy like Nate Schierholtz is ultra-average. David DeJesus…
9:55
Comment From Greg
Do you think Travis Wood will be a consistent FIP-beater or is this just a lucky season?
9:56
Jeff Sullivan: As an extreme fly-baller, he’ll run some pretty low career BABIPs, but so far over 550 innings he has a 3.82 ERA and a 4.10 FIP. This year is extreme
9:56
Comment From Seth
If an average NPB player were to come to MLB, what do you think his WAR would be?
9:57
Comment From _David_
Why are the Yankees platooning Ichiro? He has never shown sustained platoon splits. Last year it was slightly normal, this year it’s reversed.
9:58
Jeff Sullivan: He’s playing almost every day, so I’m not sure he is being platooned. But he’s also not a real good hitter anymore, nevermind his platoon splits, and if you’re going to play Vernon Wells — which you have to do sometimes — it makes sense to slot him in for the bad-hitting outfielder with a southpaw on the mound
9:58
Comment From Gila Monster
Did we finally see top prospect flame throwing Gerrit Cole last night, not “We want you to be Masterson Gerrit Cole”?
9:59
Jeff Sullivan: Last night was definitely more of the electric sort that people have been expecting
10:00
Jeff Sullivan: But I don’t know what pitcher Cole is actually going to be in the long run
10:00
Comment From Guest
Who are your AL/NL managers of the year so far?
10:00
Jeff Sullivan: Girardi and I don’t care
10:01
Comment From Sirras One
If you had to build around one pitcher, who do you build around? Kershaw? Harvey (if healthy)? Fernanez? Corbin? Other?
10:01
Jeff Sullivan: Was Harvey, a few months ago
10:01
Jeff Sullivan: Now, yeah, probably Kershaw, ignoring money
10:01
Comment From Jake Woods
Give me a reason to be excited about 2014 Seattle Mariners baseball
10:02
Jeff Sullivan: you won’t be on the team
10:02
Comment From Sirras One
Would you rather look like a maroon or a macaroon?
10:02
Jeff Sullivan: Maroon, because less likely to be eaten
10:02
Comment From Shark Mapiro
Most people criticized the Indians for not adding enough starting pitching over the offseason. After the success that they had this season, do they still need to focus on adding starters for next year?
10:03
Jeff Sullivan: They could probably use one guy, but they’re clearly in better shape than people figured they would be by now
10:03
Comment From Ron
How good does a team have to realistically contend the next year? Is there a bottom win number that makes contention possible?
10:04
Jeff Sullivan: I’d say if you project for about a .500 record or so, it’s worth thinking about loading up and giving it a shot
10:04
Jeff Sullivan: but I might be unclear on your question
10:05
Comment From Markus
Who was the player that was quoted as saying something along the lines of “playing behind Dice-K is like watching that circle spin on your computer forever?” Of course, if said player had anonymity, I’d understand.
10:05
Jeff Sullivan: all of them, probably
10:07
Comment From Spencer
If the Indians hypothetically had the chance to set up their rotation for a wild-card game scenario, and Justin Masterson was hypothetically healthy, who do they choose to start that game right now?
10:07
Jeff Sullivan: Depends on the opponent and on the predominant handedness. If they’re mostly righty, Masterson. If not, maybe Jimenez, but in any case, the Indians would want to have their starter on a short leash. Imagine Salazar as a multi-inning reliever
10:09
Comment From Nadav
Jeff, what exactly is the reason that limits someone such as Gerrit Cole to 90-something pitches in a game completely under his control in an AL park? I get innings limits, but these guys have certainly thrown 100+ in their lives, let alone college
10:09
Jeff Sullivan: Starters are worse the later you get in a game, the game was close, the Rangers are good, and the Pirates have a solid bullpen
10:10
Jeff Sullivan: There should be *more* outings like that, not fewer
10:10
Comment From Bill James Dawkins
Do you think there’s a logical connection between sabermetrics and atheism? Isn’t God a lot like “clutch RBI man”, “closer mentality”, “pitching to the score”, a feeble attempt to explain a cruel and indifferent universe?
10:11
Jeff Sullivan: I think the sabermetric population is not representative of the greater American population as a whole
10:12
Jeff Sullivan: I used to work in a neuroscience lab, studying fruit fly mating and aggressive behavior. Had a coworker with a Ph. D in his field. Devoted, intelligent, career scientist. One of the most religious men I’ve ever met. I always found him to be interesting and unusual.
10:12
Comment From zack
I guess Sherzer no longer has the will to win hih?
10:12
Jeff Sullivan: he’s a real Darvish
10:12
Comment From Hoozer
which 2B would you rather have … Kendrick with 2 years and 18.5M owed, or Infante not yet signed to a new deal.
10:14
Jeff Sullivan: Probably Kendrick, especially considering his age, but it’s close
10:15
Comment From Tom
Better pitcher next year/career – Shelby Miller or Michael Wacha?
10:15
Jeff Sullivan: Miller by a tiny bit
10:15
Comment From Jills Nipple
What’s your favorite make the hitter look silly pitch to watch?
10:15
Jeff Sullivan: Big breaking curve in the zone that makes him flinch or buckle
10:15
Comment From FS
Is Y Molina’s contract officially a steal for Cardinals?
10:15
Jeff Sullivan: yeah
10:15
Comment From Barry Hornsby
How come fangraphs only lists absolute k and bb rates, and not some thing like k+ or BB-? Wondering about this on the basis of hitters that walk more than they strike out (ie E5), they seem to be fewer absolutely, but wondering about the relative-to-average numbers of the best/worst in the league
10:16
Jeff Sullivan: We’ve talked about it and obviously things like K% have changed a lot over the years. It’s always in the back of my mind, but at some point you just have too many numbers and the player pages are too enormous and overwhelming. How many “adjusted” statistics do you present?
10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Personally, I’d like to have BB- and K-. I think we could end it there
10:17
Comment From Andrew
You may have been asked this before, but if you had to give a quick cursory assessment of how much to rate each element of a catchers true defensive value? What percentages would you give to receiving, blocking, and limiting steals/caught stealing? Also, any literature that attempts to answer this question?
10:17
Jeff Sullivan: I think blocking is small, and I think controlling the running game is a little overrated, albeit still important. Framing, clearly, is of significance, but I think game-calling is the great mystery. We can’t evaluate that one at all, and it’s probably big
10:18
Comment From _David_
Regarding changing a hitters approach (stance, step, swing etc.), isn’t pitch recognition far more important, as are just getting repetitions? It seems like some hitters (Ackley) might be better just doing what they are used to until it works, instead of constantly tinkering, readjusting, altering muscle memory, etc.
10:19
Jeff Sullivan: Depends on the player. Could be that a guy can identify inside fastballs, but he doesn’t have a swing that will allow him to get to them. I think it’s also worth considering that there are adjustments that might conceivably improve pitch recognition, in that they could give a hitter an extra fraction of a second to see the pitch on its way. That’s one of the ideas behind reducing pre-swing movement, I think
10:20
Jeff Sullivan: The simpler the swing, the fewer steps there are, in theory allowing the hitter to wait
10:20
Comment From Sirras One
% chance breakdown Puig makes the HOF? Is an all-star 3+ times? Is an average player? Is a below-average player (a la Francoeur)? Is out of baseball within 3 years?
10:21
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe 10-15% Hall of Fame. Coin flip on the All-Star thing. Should be an above-average player. Won’t be out of baseball in 3 years.
10:22
Comment From FS
Craig is a top ten hitter. True or False?
10:22
Jeff Sullivan: nope
10:23
Jeff Sullivan: maybe in the NL
10:24
Comment From Sirras One
Favorite Jeff other than yourself? (If you say Wilpon…)
10:24
Jeff Sullivan: Remember Jeff Tam?
10:24
Jeff Sullivan: not him
10:24
Jeff Sullivan: maybe Jeff Buckley
10:25
Comment From Buster
Where can i find first pitch swing rates?
10:26
Comment From Tiki
Who would you rather have on your favorite team: Puig or Myers?
10:26
Jeff Sullivan: probably Puig
10:26
Comment From _David_
I got into a twitter discussion with a Mariners writer who asserted that Bedard “undermined his teammates.” What can a pitcher possibly do to undermine their teammates? Intentionally injure them? Rat them out for PEDs? I’m confused.
10:27
Jeff Sullivan: I was hoping that a Twitter search would reveal the identity of the writer. Alas, my search was fruitless.
10:28
Jeff Sullivan: From a lot of what I’ve heard, Bedard hasn’t been a great teammate, in terms of his commitment to the job. So that would be a form of undermining. Not pulling your own weight.
10:28
Comment From Barry Hornsby
has any research been done done on the relationship between babip and krates, as it seems that, particularly in the case of guys like Votto, an unimpressive k rate may simply be a result of only swinging through pitches that can be “well hit.”
10:31
Jeff Sullivan: I can’t find a quick link, at least not for hitters, but I think there’s something to the idea that the harder you swing, the more you whiff but the harder you hit the ball. On the other hand, truly well-hit balls will often leave the yard, doing nothing for BABIP. So at the end of the day, you won’t see a huge telling pattern
10:32
Comment From Prich
Do you believe its as much of a foregone conclusion that Jack Z comes back as most Ms fans do?
10:32
Jeff Sullivan: I would be very surprised if he didn’t have the job next April
10:33
Comment From Zach
Why do we look at swinging strike rate over whiff rate?
10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Who does? I don’t
10:33
Jeff Sullivan: They both tell you slightly different things
10:33
Comment From _David_
If you were Wlad, would you want to try MLB/AAA again?
10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Not real soon
10:34
Comment From SteveV
Has ATL called up Betancourt prematurely? Is he ready next yr or does he need more time in minors?
10:36
Jeff Sullivan: I think this is just about giving him some experience and familiarity with the major-league setting. Also, it’s a reward for his good work over the summer. He could probably use a little more development time but it’s not going to kill him if he’s on the roster out of the gate in 2014
10:36
Comment From zack
Ignoring longterm health concerns: How many pitchers would you take over Chris Sale?
10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Not many
10:37
Comment From Sgt. Pepper
Did you read Heyman’s latest article on the AL MVP race? If so, what kind of new computer did you but after you punched the old one?
10:37
Jeff Sullivan: I can’t imagine being upset, today, by anything Jon Heyman writes. In order to be upset, you have tobe at least somewhat taken by surprise, and in Heyman’s defense at least he’s tried to understand how WAR works
10:38
Comment From Prich
Rays/Os/Indians… Still like the Rays?
10:38
Jeff Sullivan: yes
10:38
Comment From Michael Scarn
How much interest do you think MLB would have in terms of ratings and fan interest in a Red Sox-Dodgers WS vs a Pirates-Rays? Would MLB significantly benefit from the first matchup over the second?
10:39
Jeff Sullivan: they’d do well, but no matter what they’ll make a fortune. Maybe a better question for Wendy?
10:39
Comment From SteveV
Do you think Taveras wins ST.L right field job our of spring training.
10:39
Jeff Sullivan: I think he takes it after a month or two
10:40
Comment From Jills Nipple
If you had to win a game tomorrow, Wakefield or Moyer?
10:40
Jeff Sullivan: Moyer. I think he’s still throwing
10:41
Comment From Taylor
Gut feeling, where does McCann end up?
10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Texas or Boston
10:42
Comment From Gila Monster
I’ve previously written on this. Now Malcolm Glad well has. But why does use of PEDs have such a negative view? Why should we punish players for using science, intelligence, and will to conquer genetic natural difference? PEDs simply allow them to stay healthy and train harder and longer. So they essentially are allowing them to put more effort in. Why don’t we criticize the valedictorian with ADHD for taking drugs to increase their performance or the photographer for wearing glasses?
10:42
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know.
10:42
Jeff Sullivan: When you really get down to it, I don’t know. It’s baseball’s most interesting philosophical debate. I guess it’s not just limited to baseball.
10:42
Comment From Jills Nipple
Clint Barmes for most average?
10:42
Jeff Sullivan: ugh god no
10:43
Comment From _David_
Should 24 consecutive 3 win seasons get into the HOF?
10:43
Jeff Sullivan: no, but it should probably get into something
10:44
Comment From SteveV
An entire team of replacement level players wins _____games?
10:44
Jeff Sullivan: something like 45
10:44
Comment From Dave
Gerrit Cole a good candidate for a Matt Havery kinda season next year?
10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Not going to be that good
10:45
Comment From Jaack
Explain to me how is Mark Kotsay still in the majors. Didn’t he retire in like, 2006?
10:45
Jeff Sullivan: This gets me every single week
10:46
Comment From dog bone
i want a manager WAR system made. good plays add a little, but more a system where it subtracts points for every dumb bunt, bad bullpenn management, and bad pinch hitt subs or subs not made.
10:46
Jeff Sullivan: And then you’d have a metric for what isn’t really a manager’s true job
10:46
Jeff Sullivan: And the metric would be very accurate!
10:46
Jeff Sullivan: But people would sure have opinions
10:47
Comment From Bobo
Relative to the World Series projections, do you recall what % SF was given to win in 2010 & 2012? I’m guessing they weren’t >50%.
10:47
Jeff Sullivan: We didn’t have those numbers
10:47
Comment From Dave M.
If baseball got a new team, in what city should they build a stadium?
10:48
Jeff Sullivan: Montreal because god dammit
10:48
Jeff Sullivan: or New York
10:48
Comment From Thufir
What kind of 2014 projections do you have for the Tamu Massif?
10:48
Comment From Gila Monster
Fruit Fly lab? What is your degree in Jeff?
10:49
Jeff Sullivan: chemistry, but went to school with the idea of neuroscience. o-chem changed my mind
10:49
Comment From Steven
Wouldn’t game calling be an unimportant skill for a catcher to have, considering the coaches can call pitches?
10:49
Jeff Sullivan: they can’t really
10:49
Jeff Sullivan: not supposed to be part of their job
10:49
Comment From Greg
Don’t pitching coaches have a large amount of influence over how the game is called though? Seems like catchers get signals from the dugout often, or at least they could, right?
10:50
Jeff Sullivan: The plans are always worked out in a group setting, at least with the pitcher and the catcher, but it’s on the catcher to be the strong one and it’s on the catcher to notice batter tendencies and the like. The catcher is expected to be the expert, and a catcher who has the best plan will make a profound difference, I believe
10:51
Jeff Sullivan: the way they talk about Yadier Molina, he’s constantly able to keep opposing hitters off balance by identifying what they don’t expect
10:51
Comment From Bkgeneral
Jeff Buckley was great. A real loss.
10:51
Jeff Sullivan: only good thing to ever come out of Anaheim
10:51
Comment From Guest
Is there an actual advantage to fouling off lots of pitches? It is talked about as a great thing, but all it does is get to the bullpen sooner, and especially now with expanded rosters, you’re just forcing the manager to go to fresher arms/play matchups.
10:51
Jeff Sullivan: I think it helps within a particular plate appearance, but it’s overrated within the context of a game
10:52
Comment From RetireNutting
Has there been an injury more costly than Starling Marte in the current pennant races? Pirates have tanked since he’s been gone, despite additions of Byrd/Morneau/Buck. I ask as a homer who may not be aware of other similarly devastating injuries over the last month or so.
10:52
Jeff Sullivan: Derek Jeter missing the season
10:52
Jeff Sullivan: holy hell, New York’s shortstops
10:52
Comment From Guest
If you were offered a lower-level job in a front office, would you take it?
10:53
Jeff Sullivan: a few years ago, yes; now, no
10:53
Comment From ccistullis harline
what is your favorite attribute about Carson Cistulli? Have you met him real life?
10:53
Jeff Sullivan: He is a wonderful and fascinating conversationalist, and yes
10:54
Comment From Neil
If there was a WAR for baseball writers, how would you weigh the following? Amount of content produced, quality of analysis, writing ability, access. Other factors you’d want to add?
10:54
Jeff Sullivan: In descending order: quality of analysis, writing ability, amount of content, access. Most or second-most important, though, would be creativity of ideas. Ideas tend to be the hardest part for those who give a shit
10:54
Comment From Guest
Comment on Heyman’s article re: Miggy vs. Trout for AL MVP:
10:55
Jeff Sullivan: Same article as always. It’s worth wondering about the significance of playing for a good team, but Heyman didn’t introduce anything new
10:55
Comment From RetireNutting
Cole has one of the highest ceilings in MLB, imo. Interested in why you’re so quick to say there’s no way he’s as good as Harvey.
10:55
Jeff Sullivan: Have you looked at Matt Harvey’s statistics?
10:56
Jeff Sullivan: I mean, Jesus.
10:56
Jeff Sullivan: I like Cole. Harvey was unbelievable.
10:56
Comment From Bored in an Inorganic Lab
Do you ever miss organic chem? I sure do.
10:56
Jeff Sullivan: a few times a month
10:56
Comment From Disneyland
Hey….
10:56
Jeff Sullivan: you suck
10:56
Comment From howlingwolf
Tom Boswell of Wash. Post had an interesting column about game calling a couple of wks ago. He contrasted the performances of various pitchers the last yr. when Ramos caught vs. Suzuki. Unhappily, as convincing the piece was, Haren has been abysmal since Suzuki left. (Had been great with Ramos catching.)
10:57
Jeff Sullivan: It’s important to have pitchers and catchers on the same page. Ultimately, pitchers get to make the calls, but catchers should be the leaders. A pitcher should always trust his catcher, and the best catchers deserve said trust
10:57
Comment From Joe Don
Manager WAR: What is a manager’s real job, if it doesn’t including calling bunts, hit-and-runs, managing the bullpen and in-game substitutions?
10:58
Jeff Sullivan: Being an effective leader of men
10:58
Comment From RetireNutting
Everyone’s looked at Harvey’s statistics. We don’t even know if Harvey’s Harvey yet is all I was saying. Not suggesting that Cole will be 2013 Harvey — just that they could have similar careers.
10:58
Jeff Sullivan: The question wasn’t about careers. It was about Cole doing in 2014 what Harvey did in 2013. That almost certainly is not happening.
10:59
Comment From Joe
Cole’s ceiling is better than current Clayton Kershaw?
10:59
Jeff Sullivan: nuh uh
11:00
Jeff Sullivan: It’s been two hours! I need to be on my way so I can work on some other things.
11:00
Jeff Sullivan: Thank you everybody for hanging out and sorry for what I didn’t get to. We’ll do it all again next Tuesday at or around the same time, and until then, be wonderful and have great days. Don’t injure your backs. Pay careful attention and don’t injure your backs. It is greatly unpleasant! Be well.



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

2 Responses to “Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 9/10/13”

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  1. blox says:

    I kinda realize that Rendon may be the sexier player, ya know, but is he really better than Gyorko?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • chuckb says:

      Do people really expect that the person running the chat is going to come back and look at the comments hours later wondering, “what questions did I miss?” and then answer them all?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

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