Dan Szymborski FanGraphs Chat – 7/14/14

11:57
Dan Szymborski: We built this city, we build this city, we build this city for economy of scale and more efficiently administered public service.

11:58
Dan Szymborski: You thought I was going to say rock and roll. But that’s a poor reason to form a city, there’s no particular governmental unit that’s more suited to rock and roll.

11:59
Dan Szymborski: But let’s start out with our usual business.

11:59
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11:59
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12:01
Comment From Tim
Thanks for chatting, Dan! How would you configure the O’s rotation out of the break?

12:02
Dan Szymborski: Jimenez to the pen, the other five (you know, the five that includes Gausman) to rotation

12:02
Comment From Guest
Thoughts on Shane Greene? Sinker and cutter sits at 94+ has hit 97.2 in games, gets loads of GBs and has some K potential. Worth a pick up in deep leagues?

12:03
Dan Szymborski: He looked pretty darn good in his first two starts and while I don’t think he’s likely to be dangerous the rest of the way, he’s definitely making his case for a 3-5 rotation slot.

12:03
Dan Szymborski: So he’s probably not a Vaughn Eshelman type

12:04
Dan Szymborski: But in a redraft, I’d still be careful that I’m not overlooking someone who’s likely better going forward and I’m not taking Greene based on 2 starts that I can no longer get.

12:04
Comment From Harry Porter and the Voldemalts
Talk to me about Dan Uggla, please tell me he won’t be back.

12:04
Dan Szymborski: Logic dictated Uggla wouldn’t be back months ago, but he keeps hanging on. So I will not apply logic.

12:04
Comment From Max Fisher Players
Scooter Gennett pretty useful if you throw a platoon bat in there vs lefties. Dont understand why it seems like alot of fantasy guys are low on him

12:05
Dan Szymborski: It depends on how deep the league is,r eally.

12:05
Comment From Derek
Is it a hassle to run individual projections? I’m curious how Jake Peavy projects RoS as a Milwaukee Brewer. If it’s a hassle, ignore.

12:05
Dan Szymborski: I’m doing a lot of this speculation type stuff on ESPN the next couple of weeks, so have to stray from this kind of question

12:06
Comment From kris
Keuchel hurt or just a random rough patch? or is the rough patch not random because he’s hurt. time is a flat circle

12:07
Dan Szymborski: His wrist wasn’t considered a big deal last I checked. He’s probably pitching worse lately than he’s likely to, but then again, I’ve cautioned people that he’s still likely a mid-rotation type, not someone you can ride to your fantasy playoffs with

12:07
Comment From Vince
What does ZiPS make of a guy like Keuchel/McHugh/Shoemaker who are having out-of-character success, but with peripherals to back it up?

12:07
Dan Szymborski: That’s a little to cut-and-dried a question – it’s not binary in that way.

12:07
Comment From Bret
Given his age and expected second half, what kind of free agent deal do you see Melky Cabrera landing?

12:08
Dan Szymborski: Just off the top of my head, probably 3/30 or something. He’s having a good year, but it’s more of the plus contributor type than actual star value

12:08
Comment From John Mac
Reasons to be concerned about Josh Donaldson. That cold streak of June is running into July. BA is getting really bad.

12:09
Dan Szymborski: You shouldn’t be worried about one month performance unless you have a specific reason to be, i.e., don’t look at the performance and find the reason.

12:10
Dan Szymborski: I wouldn’t be worried about Donaldson unless you have specific reason to believe that his current, true level of ability to hit hard-to-field baseballs is suddenly 50 points worse than that of the average pitcher.

12:11
Comment From RP
What is a realistic SEA return for Byrd? Nick Franklin seems like too much.

12:12
Dan Szymborski: Probably a tad aggressive return for Byrd, though the Mariners really should have rolled the dice and decided before the season whether Miller or Franklin was the one in the long-term plans rather than take the higher variance play of waiting it out

12:12
Comment From Grover Cleveland
Your outlook for Cliff Lee the rest of the way? He continue to be a ace?

12:13
Dan Szymborski: Hmm

12:14
Dan Szymborski: Well, the Phillies *have* been cautious with him, so I’m optimistic, but there’s always that little uncertainty any time a pitcher misses time with injury

12:14
Dan Szymborski: While I’d pick a return to ace status as the most likely outcome, I wouldn’t be shocked if he wasn’t quite up to his usual performance

12:14
Comment From Grover Cleveland
Should I flip Nelson Cruz now? Do you think he has a just as good of second half as first?

12:16
Dan Szymborski: Depends what the offers are. If other teams want to pay you as if he’s going to hit 20-25 more home runs, trade him. If not, then I wouldn’t particularly look for a trade unless I liked the value I’m getting.

12:16
Comment From Jared
What move do the Dodgers make to secure the NL West?

12:17
Dan Szymborski: I think it’s going to depend on where they stand in antoher week or so.

12:18
Dan Szymborski: If we’re getting to the last few days of the month and the Dodgers look to be putting away the Giants, I think they cruise the rest of the way with what they have.

12:18
Dan Szymborski: If the Giants appear to be more stubborn, we may get a significant pticher add.

12:18
Dan Szymborski: The team’s downplayed any talk they’d be involved with Price, but you shouldn’t believe them. If they see a good opportunity, they’ll pick him up.

12:19
Comment From Win Now
Reyes is going to remain healthy enough to steal another 15-20 bases this year, right? I just traded Kemp for him, so I really need him to…

12:20
Dan Szymborski: That’s probably a little aggressive. 8-14 SBs or somewhere seems most likely. The team’s generally gone for the high upside, high percentage stolen bases rather than really running aggressively

12:21
Comment From Grover Cleve
Who do you think has better future; Lindor or Alcantara?

12:22
Dan Szymborski: I’d probably still take Lindor because of his upside.

12:22
Dan Szymborski: ZiPS liked both of them quite a bit coming into the season, with Lindor at #8 and future WAR and Alcantara one of the biggest surprises at #13.

12:22
Comment From Shawn
Is Jake Odorizzi primed for a big 2nd half?

12:23
Dan Szymborski: Certainly a good candidate, though I don’t see ace numbers or anything.

12:23
Comment From Chris
Is Kyle Seager really a 5-6 Win player? Can he keep this going?

12:24
Dan Szymborski: He’ll likely to finish in that range this year whichever flavor of WAR you like. He’s definitely made the case that he’s a star, a 4 WAR type in the future

12:25
Comment From Brad
What are your thoughts on Yordano Ventura long-term? Has he made enough strides as a pitcher for you to predict he could be front-of-roation type pitcher sans injuries? Thanks.

12:26
Dan Szymborski: I am very optimistic on him – his command is much improved this season. People were a little spoiled by Jose Fernandez’s instant stardom – Ventura’s not that good

12:26
Comment From Franciso Lindor Truffles
Hey it’s another Mookie Betts question! What’s the deal with this kid. The Red Sox brought him up to sit on the bench? Do you see him getting sent down soon, or getting a chance to play regularly. Bonus question, does Alcantara’s hot debut keep him in the majors after the ASB?

12:28
Dan Szymborski: I still suspect the Red Sox will do some playing time clearing over the next couple of weeks that’ll take care of that.

12:28
Dan Szymborski: I would be very surprised if they sent Alcantara down while he’s playing well.

12:28
Comment From DavidJ
Do you do projections for player platoon splits, and if so, will we ever see them on FanGraphs? Sometimes what I really want to know is a hitter’s projected slash line or wOBA versus left- or right-handed pitching (and likewise a pitcher’s projection vs. L or R hitters).

12:29
Dan Szymborski: I do and release them every year, but nothing in-season and FG doesn’t usually post them in the system (other than link to the full spreadsheet)

12:29
Comment From Steven
Would Jake Peavy make sense for the Cardinals considering he’d need to be better than Shelby Miller, Joe Kelly or Carlos Martinez to provide a net gain?

12:29
Dan Szymborski: He wouldn’t be my choice. I see Peavy as more of a play for a desperate team.

12:29
Comment From Jim
Aaron Sanchez appeared at #13 on Marc Hulet’s top-25, thoughts?

12:29
Dan Szymborski: I assume his top 25 prospects, not top 25 chefs?

12:31
Dan Szymborski: That’s a big aggressive for me, he’s not a finished product yet.

12:31
Comment From butts
are teams going to be more cautious with free agent pitcher contracts due to all the injuries this season or is demand for talent going to win out

12:31
Dan Szymborski: Pitchers are always risky and the demand’s there.

12:32
Dan Szymborski: While on one side, you’d worry more about the ptichers you sign, making them a little less valuable, you’d also worry about the pitchers you *have* making additions a little more valuable

12:32
Comment From Adam
Any thoughts on Astros’ usage of Keuchel through his wrist inflammation? The injury sure seems to have affected his willingness to use his slider in his last 3-4 starts. Why not just DL him?

12:33
Dan Szymborski: I’m not sure the thinking there. I’d be cautious with any pitcher injury. Now, maybe their doctors dont’ feel it’s a big deal, but even if it’s not the worst case scenario for DLing him when he doesn’t need to be is you lose a few starts in what was never seriously a playoff year

12:34
Comment From Grover Cleve
Are we done with Brad Miller? Drop him for the likes of Alcantara or Lindor?

12:34
Dan Szymborski: If those are the options, especially ALcantar, I probably would

12:34
Comment From Chris
Is DJ Peterson a guy the Mariners should hold onto and not trade, even if for a guy like David Price?

12:35
Dan Szymborski: The mariners *do* have considerable holes – if they try too hard to keep everybody, there’s a chance they miss their window

12:35
Dan Szymborski: But again, it depends on the exact trade in question – these tyes of questions are almost impossible to give an exact answer

12:36
Comment From JDanks
I’m younger than Samardzija, and have a higher career ERA+. I also have two more years left on my contract ($14.25M each). What might I fetch in trade?

12:37
Dan Szymborski: The career ERA+ isn’t really all that relevant here.

12:37
Dan Szymborski: Samardzija is the better pitcher right now and more valuable than Danks.

12:38
Dan Szymborski: He’d probably fetch a decent prospect right now, but any dreams on a Samardzija package are of the pipe-variety

12:39
Dan Szymborski: The fact is, Samardzija’s stats are dragged down immensely by the years before he had a clue whereas Danks best years were 4-6 years ago and before injuries

12:39
Dan Szymborski: Koufax’s career ERA+ after his 25-win 1963 was 116, but I wager there was no career ERA+ 116 guy in the majors at that poitn that anyone would have preferred over Koufax

12:40
Dan Szymborski: Not that the Shark is Koufax, of course, just an example of overusing career stats as a predictive tool

12:40
Comment From BryanH
Is it a thing in the MLB where teams dump salary to another team along with prospects or is it better to just cut the player?

12:40
Dan Szymborski: Teams definitely try to avoid this type of thing.

12:40
Dan Szymborski: Though I’d argue it should be done more often than it is

12:41
Dan Szymborski: I dont’ think teams acquiring awful contracts wiht big discounts are getting enough value in return

12:42
Dan Szymborski: Take Ryan Howard – if the Phillies at 90% of the contract, they’d probably get some type of prospect in return for him.

12:42
Dan Szymborski: But in reality, the prospect’s likely still more valuable

12:43
Comment From frozen rope
Which NL rookie/prospect has best second half – Heaney, Nelson, Butler, Bradley?

12:43
Dan Szymborski: Heaney’s had a rough debut, but I think he’ll be the best of the group second half

12:43
Comment From Schiraldi
ZiPS ROS has Bryce Harper at 274/357/500. How confident are you in that prediction now?

12:43
Dan Szymborski: Moderately so. Injuries are always troublesome to this kind of thing

12:44
Dan Szymborski: Holy hell you guys are making a lot of comments today.

12:44
Dan Szymborski: I’m ludicrously behind, even answering a lot.

12:44
Comment From Depressed Braves Fan
Do you have any hope for BJ Upton to ever get back to something close to Tampa Bay form?

12:44
Dan Szymborski: Much less optimistic after Operation: Crap hits year two.

12:44
Comment From Big Joe Mufferaw
Can MLB PLEASE stop treating the AS game as a “Game that matters”. That way we can see players having more fun and actually making it entertaining.

12:45
Dan Szymborski: No argument from me. A fun exhibition allows things like Ripken’s final year or Jeter’s final year. OMG THIS COUNTS, Jeter at short is absolutely absurd.

12:45
Comment From Jimmers
Can you tell me why people are saying that Beltre is untouchable? Seems like a good trade candidate to me, and a team like the yankees would jump all over him.

12:45
Dan Szymborski: Mostly because the Rangers have a realistic belief that they can bounce back considerably next year

12:45
Dan Szymborski: I dont’ believe the Rangers are in the same position as, say, the Phillies

12:46
Comment From Dino
Jose Abreu the real deal, or is there a possibility the league will ‘figure out how to pitch to him’?

12:46
Dan Szymborski: The stats will likely come down a *bit* but I dont’ see them simply figuring him out. He’s not likely to ever be a scientific hitter, but he’s got serious power and will likely always be dangerous

12:47
Comment From Harry Porter and the Voldemalts
Think Roark keeps his success going? FIP doesn’t have him dropping too hard

12:47
Dan Szymborski: I’m optimistic.

12:47
Comment From Johnny Johnson
Biggest enigma of the first half: Eric Hosmer?

12:48
Dan Szymborski: Tell me about it! I gotta stop writing articles that project him.

12:48
Comment From Adam
Mike Morse’s power seems to have deserted him lately – anything in his peripherals to counsel for a rebound, or was he just over his head earlier in the season?

12:48
Dan Szymborski: He was over his head for sure early on. Funny he kinda did the same last year.

12:48
Comment From Big Joe Mufferaw
If I gave you 1 000 000$ today (not taxed) what would you be doing tomorrow?

12:49
Dan Szymborski: The same thing I would be doing today.

12:49
Dan Szymborski: Though I may have missed my FG chat today as I work out the distribution in my brokerage accounts

12:49
Dan Szymborski: I don’t want a million in cash hanging around.

12:50
Comment From Adam
What do you make of Matt Garza’s really solid June? Sign of things to come or just an outlier month?

12:51
Dan Szymborski: I’m a fan of Garza, though he’s really a good 2/3 guy

12:51
Dan Szymborski: He wasn’t really as bad as his ERA was in April/May, still sold OOPS and stuff

12:51
Comment From Jimmers
Heyman suggested that the yankees could trade for Cole Hamels, and take on the salary of Papelbon and Rollins at the same time.. What would they have to send the other way to make this trade/salary dump happen??

12:52
Dan Szymborski: I’m not sure that’s realistic. I’m still not getting much of a vibe that the Phillies really have a great handle on what their players are worth

12:52
Comment From Help
Should I hang onto Prado? I’ve been waiting for some sort of turn around but it just hasn’t happened. How dumb does Kevin Towers look right now for trading for him and then signing him?

12:52
Dan Szymborski: I thought Prado was defensible, though it’s not looking good. From a value standpoint that is – the trade was weird from a team building standpoint

12:53
Comment From Andy
Are two and a half years of data enough to conclude that Trout is about an average defensive CFer? Maybe a little better than average but not much.

12:54
Dan Szymborski: I think it’s fair to call him a bit above average, though not amazing. 3 years of defensive data is about the same, in predictive value, as 1 year of fofensive data, so there’s still some wiggle room.

12:54
Dan Szymborski: I’m comfortable valuing Trout as a +5 or so defender in CF, though there’s still uncertainty there. Centerfielders are darn good defensively.

12:54
Comment From Random Question
What organization is in the best position to win the most games between 2015 – 2025?

12:54
Dan Szymborski: Now that’s just cruel.

12:55
Comment From M. Incandenza
Jackie Bradley Jr. is hitting over .300 since June 19th – i.e., since he went back to his old batting stance. Think he will be an average or better offensive player the rest of the season?

12:55
Dan Szymborski: I’ve bene one of the last holdouts for him. I don’t think he’s going to be a star or anything, but he’s a lot better than he played early on and I think a lot of people wrote him off too soon.

12:55
Comment From Harry Porter and the Voldemalts
Outlook for Paxton? Hasn’t pitched since April…

12:56
Dan Szymborski: Any pitcher who is missing serious time with shoulder problems frightens me.

12:56
Comment From Javier Baez
My bat cannot hit the ball right now. Can the Cubs fix me?

12:57
Dan Szymborski: You’re like 2 months behind with that question.

12:57
Comment From Steven
Does Carlos Carrasco’s success in the bullpen give hope that he could succeed as a starter some day?

12:57
Dan Szymborski: A guy like him has a better chance to succeed as a reliever

12:59
Dan Szymborski: Yes, hsi fastball hits the mid 90s, his periphs tend to be better, and his overall walk rate has generally been fine

12:59
Dan Szymborski: But he’s still kind of a thrower more than a pitcher and I think he’s just better suited to short, focused stints than 5-7 innings ag ame.

12:59
Comment From Beaucoup Bucks
Grover Cleveland personally killed at least two men, Andrew Johnson royally screwed up reconstruction, and is considered one of the worst Presidents ever. You decide.

1:00
Dan Szymborski: *ONly* the brawling counts

1:00
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1:00
Comment From tattoo
Do you think the Red Sox are sellers now? If so, who goes?

1:00
Dan Szymborski: I think they clear out most of their second-tier veterans.

1:01
Comment From Joc Pederson
Man, my front office is screwing me right now. How long do I have to tear it up in triple A before a move is made by someone to acquire my services?

1:01
Dan Szymborski: I think the next 6 months we’ll finally see some clarification of the OF situation in LA

1:01
Comment From Guest
Hi Dan,

1:01
Dan Szymborski: Hi!

1:01
Comment From Queequeg
Marlon Byrd to the Mariners? Do you think Byrd’s a better bet than Ruggiano or Stubbs, assuming all relatively equally available?

1:02
Dan Szymborski: Probably. Luckily, all 3 have some value to the Mariners

1:02
Dan Szymborski: Tricky part is getting the Phillies to properly value Byrd’s value or the Rockies to figure out what the frig they actually want to do

1:03
Comment From Guest
What’s the difference in ERA+ between a league average starter and a league average reliever?

1:03
Dan Szymborski: *Generally* speaking, league average starting is around a 96 ERA+ and relievers around a 108 ERA+ or thereabouts

1:04
Comment From Jay
The O’s clearly have a legit shot at the Division. What sort of move should they make to make themselves stronger without mortgaging their future? (or should they?)

1:04
Dan Szymborski: I would definitely look for another bat over another pitcher, just because there’s more marginal gain there

1:05
Comment From Krusty
I’ve often heard that the slider is the hardest pitch on an arm. Do you believe that based on the evidence and analysis that you’ve seen?

1:05
Dan Szymborski: I think at some point, every pitch is the hardest on pitching.

1:05
Dan Szymborski: Mostly because you can find guys who got injured with every blend of stuff

1:05
Dan Szymborski: Except knuckleballs!

1:05
Comment From Pat
What are you thoughts on abolishing the shift?

1:06
Dan Szymborski: I think it’s silly abolishing tactics.

1:06
Dan Szymborski: You’ve got 9 guys and the same space to cover (well realistically 7 as you’re not going to reposition the pitcher or catcher)

1:07
Dan Szymborski: I don’t see the compellign need for some kind of illegal formation thing in baseball

1:07
Dan Szymborski: Hell, I’d probably dial back the balk rule quite a bit too

1:08
Comment From Vin
Will the Bluejays do something significant to actually try and make a run this year, or just some lame acquisition like Huston Street or something?

1:08
Dan Szymborski: They *should* add a pitcher.

1:08
Comment From Alex
You guys should chat 2 at a time. DOUBLE THE RESPONSES!

1:08
Comment From Art Vandelay
Jose Abreu had a 1.379 OPS in 2011-2012. I understand that people wanted to discredit his Cuban numbers but my god, 35 homers in 87 games? I still don’t understand why so many analysts (not you guys) are so surprised he’s doing so well.

1:09
Dan Szymborski: He was doing it against a very low level of competition.

1:09
Dan Szymborski: The top Cuban players are as good as MLBers.

1:09
Dan Szymborski: But the depth of the league drops off randomly. Going by *all* Cubans that have gone to MLB or the minors or Japan, I get a level similar to the California League

1:09
Dan Szymborski: It’s not like anybody said Abreu would suck

1:10
Comment From Guest
If Anaheim gets Kennedy for something less than Addison Russel, is that a better score than Shark was for Oakland?

1:10
Dan Szymborski: They better get Kennedy for something less than Addison Russell. Like a lot less.

1:11
Comment From PaulM
So what the hell should the Padres do? Besides hire Kim Ng.

1:12
Dan Szymborski: Clear out the guys who aren’t part of the next Padres team. Since Latos, they seem to have decided to stubbornly not get value from their older players

1:12
Dan Szymborski: They had very obvious opportunities to trade Headley and Quentin at levels that were almost certainly the best they would ever be at again. And didn’t.

1:13
Comment From Art Vandelay
Aroldis Chapman saying he’s available to pitch every game, is that an omen for a return to the “old” style of closer?

1:14
Dan Szymborski: The old style of closer threw more innings, not so much a crazy number of games.

1:16
Dan Szymborski: Fingers led the league in games a few times, but Sutter and Lyle only hit 70 games twice, Gossage once

1:16
Comment From Magic Mike
Where did that Angel Hernandez card come from? I want a whole deck of those things.

1:16
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1:17
Comment From Cube Jockey
More likely to solve the league-wide uptick in K’s: MLB lowers the mound, or teams have their pitchers dial down to 90% to stop blowing out their elbows?

1:17
Dan Szymborski: Knowing MLB, they probably do nothing.

1:17
Comment From Doctor Doom
The Indians finished the first half at exactly .500. Gun to your head, no middle ground, if you’re the Indians GM are you a buyer or seller during the deadline?

1:17
Dan Szymborski: Seller.

1:17
Dan Szymborski: But that’s a really weird way for someone to use a gun

1:17
Comment From guest
70-30 Cleveland? Son of a minister vs. a rough blue collar Tennessee background who acted this way as president. No way.

1:18
Dan Szymborski: On that note, time to end for another week. Thanks for joining me,e feryone!

1:18
Comment From Brian Cash
Pls respond

1:18
Dan Szymborski: BROFIST



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Magic Mike
Guest
Magic Mike

Sadly, the knowledge of Jonah Keri’s involvement did nothing to help me locate any of those cards online.

dls
Guest
dls

Dan makes them up himself.

Sean
Guest
Sean

The card game is Hearthstone, Blizzard’s online card game in the Warcraft universe. I believe Dan makes the cards himself or is in a community that makes the mock cards.

wpDiscuz