Dave Cameron FanGraphs Chat – 6/11/14

11:32
Dave Cameron: Back to the normal Wednesday chat schedule this week. The queue is now open.

12:02
Dave Cameron: Alright, let’s get this party started.

12:02
Comment From Tom
If you are the Dodgers what do you do with the OF?

12:04
Dave Cameron: Try to trade Kemp. Ethier and Crawford are probably close to unmovable, while Kemp still has enough power to unload some of the contract. Then you give Van Slyke a shot until Crawford comes back, platoon those two, and have Pederson ready to come up if Crawford doesn’t hit.

12:04
Comment From Vslyke
Could the Braves get some value back if they decide to deal Harang or Floyd to clear a spot for Wood?

12:04
Dave Cameron: No, probably not.

12:04
Comment From Guest
Which team do you believe is going to make the first trade that attempts to add a impact player/pitcher?

12:05
Dave Cameron: I could see the A’s making an early move. They know they are going to be buyers, so there’s no need to gather more information about their chances. I could see Billy Beane saying that this is their best chance to go for it and go big for Samardzija or Shields.

12:07
Comment From Not JPA
Jays elephant in the room, that no one talks about: Catching once again isn’t very good. How do they fix it it?

12:07
Dave Cameron: Carlos Ruiz would make some sense there.

12:07
Comment From Guest
Matt Adams is back on Friday. The Cardinals should keep Oscar Taveras up, but will they?

12:08
Dave Cameron: I don’t think another few weeks in the minors would hurt him at all.

12:08
Comment From kevinthecomic
Brock Holt: Demonstrating new skills or demonstrating luck?

12:08
Dave Cameron: The latter.

12:08
Comment From _David_
What could/should/will the Mariners do about in the immediate future about Erasmo’s rotation slot?

12:09
Dave Cameron: They’ll make a trade. I think they’re going to be among the team’s going strongest after David Price, but that market won’t develop for another month or so.

12:09
Comment From Walking with Darnaudsaurs
Of the teams at the bottom of your Expected Run Differential listing(Padres, Phillies, Diamondbacks), which team do you think has the best chance at an ok season, and who will most likely continue to suck a large scrotum?

12:09
Dave Cameron: They’re all bad. The D’Backs are the least bad of the three.

12:09
Comment From lunch
When was the last time you realized you were completely wrong about a player? Someone you thought was going to be good, but turned out to be terrible, or vice versa? Not a player you thought would be good and turned out great, but a real 180 degree change of opinion. or has that ever happened?

12:10
Dave Cameron: I didn’t like Chase Utley at all when I saw him as a prospect. I loved Andy Marte, and thought he would be a star.

12:11
Comment From Dewey
Thanks for the chat Dave. Read a comment from a reporter type that opined RH power hitting is thin these days. I wonder if there was a shift/movement in trying to teach youth at a young age to hit LH due to the overall advantage. Is there a way to filter how many LH hitters are actually RH (like when throwing) to see if there’s any merit to the thought?

12:11
Dave Cameron: Well, we could presume that the overall population of RH/LH people probably isn’t changing much, so you could just measure the percentage of PAs given to RHBs and LHBs and see if there has been a shift towards LHBs over the years. My guess is there hasn’t been.

12:11
Comment From Greg
Boston is 9 games back of Toronto and 5 games back of the wild card. Do you think they’re destined to be buyers or sellers at this years trade deadline?

12:12
Dave Cameron: They’re not going to be sellers. Buyers or holders.

12:12
Comment From Richard (SC)
When will the Dodgers finally bring up Pederson? Seems inefficient to keep running Van Slyke out there, in some capacity?

12:12
Dave Cameron: Why? Van Slyke is good.

12:12
Comment From Pale Hose
No NERD scores. No Dave Cameron analyzing all baseball. What did you guys do with Cistulli?

12:12
Dave Cameron: He’s traveling around Europe. Poor guy./

12:13
Comment From Bradley
What are your expectations of Matt Harvey moving forward. Are Mets fans and mgmt fooling themselves to think he can be an elite pitcher like he was last year. I’ve read that 1st year back from TJ shows okay results and that guys who throw as hard as Harvey end up with 2nd tj surgery within 2-3 years. Harvey doesn’t sound like a guy who can dial it down. Am I over analyzing this or does Harvey have a long future as one of best pitchers in the game.

12:13
Dave Cameron: He probably won’t ever be as good as he was again. Average length of time for TJ surgery lasting seems to be around seven years. I haven’t seen evidence that it’s less for hard throwers.

12:13
Comment From DTSS
Please tell me Carson will be back soon. FanGraphs seems so barren without him. No Daily Notes, NotGraphs is pretty sparse. No podcasts. You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.

12:14
Dave Cameron: He just took a week’s vacation. He will return next week.

12:14
Comment From Spencer
Could/would MLB create a way that eliminates the incentive for teams to hold top prospects back in regards to service time? What are some ways it could be done? Normally I’m not too sympathetic with the entertainment side and always giving in to what the fans want, but in this case, it seems unfair for teams to hold back top talent and deliberately keep from improving their product.

12:15
Dave Cameron: Change the number of required days of service to qualify as a full year from 172 to something like 45. That way, if you want to hold a guy down for service time reasons, you have to punt almost the entire season. Teams won’t make that trade-off.

12:15
Comment From Tom
Who is the best team underachieving and the worst team overachieving?

12:16
Dave Cameron: Red Sox, Brewers or Mariners.

12:16
Comment From Art Vandelay
Does Ben Zobrist have any trade value? Say to a team like the Giants?

12:16
Dave Cameron: Absolutely. Lots of teams would be interested.

12:16
Comment From Jack Z
I am thinking of offerring one of Walker or Paxton, one of Ramirez or Maurer, and one of Ackley or Franklin for David Price, offer expires Monday. Too much? Too little? Just right?

12:16
Dave Cameron: Not anywhere near enough.

12:16
Comment From Tom
If Arizona was inclined what could they get back for Goldschmidt? That contract is so good.

12:16
Dave Cameron: A ton, but no reason to move him.

12:17
Comment From Stever
In terms of draft strategy, does talent supercede organizational need? The White Sox drafted Rodon, when they already have 3 lefty SP’s tied up until at least 2016, and I don’t see anyone taking the Danks contract off their hands.

12:17
Dave Cameron: By the time Rodon gets to the big leagues, the roster will be entirely different. You don’t draft for need in baseball.

12:17
Comment From Heroditus
This is just a slump for Jed Lowrie, right?

12:17
Dave Cameron: Yeah.

12:18
Comment From Guest
Is it possible that the Marlins are really good at developing pitchers? Or is all their young pitching talent more a function of holding high draft picks/hording talent through trades?

12:18
Dave Cameron: They stockpile high velocity guys, and the odds are that some of those will eventually turn out.

12:18
Comment From Ira
With regards to players like Garret Richards and Lonnie Chisenhall, assuming they have broken out, do we just disregard the RoS projections or just view them as a baseline?

12:19
Dave Cameron: There is no reason to assume that 2014 performance is a more accurate predictor of the future than ROS projections.

12:19
Comment From Kyle
Do you think the South-East will ever get another MLB team? Maybe in the Carolinas or Tennessee? The Braves have such a stranglehold down here there has to be a market somewhere, no?

12:20
Dave Cameron: Ever? Maybe, but not anytime soon. Charlotte or Raleigh would be the best options, though Raleigh is probably too close to DC.

12:21
Comment From Schide
Theoretically, if a hitter never struck out or walked over the course of a season, and his batted ball data was roughly league average, what do you think his batting line might look like?

12:23
Dave Cameron: Let’s do the math. 600 balls in play and a .300 BABIP would be 180 hits. Some of those are home runs, probably, so maybe we revise it down to 160 in-play hits and 20 home runs. With no walks, that’s… not great.

12:24
Comment From JC
Should StL be looking to make a big deal before the deadline? Or do they just need to be more consistent?

12:24
Dave Cameron: They do need to tweak their roster. I don’t know that they need to make a “big deal”.

12:24
Comment From BeanTown
Mookie Betts on Boston when??

12:24
Dave Cameron: I’ll say after the All-Star break.

12:24
Comment From jpg
Even though the Mets won’t be in contention, should they use their pitching depth to acquire a real shortstop like Starlin Castro, Zobrist or Asdrubal Cabrera if they become available at the deadline?

12:24
Dave Cameron: No, that would be pointless.

12:25
Comment From Daniel
Is it true that a team’s record in one-run games is impacted largely by luck? If so, is the number of one-run games a team plays in equally impacted by luck?

12:26
Dave Cameron: The outcome of one run games is heavily dependent on randomness, but the number of one-run games played in can be the result of team construction; bad offense/good defense teams will have low run environments and play in more close games than a team that scores a bunch of runs.

12:27
Comment From The Dude
So the Rays have flopped terribly. Does this increase their chances of dealing price? Who would be a good comparison for an expected return for Price?

12:27
Dave Cameron: Price is getting moved this summer, yes. I think they’re going to try to point to the Shields trade and attempt to land one premium guy, but I don’t think anyone will pay that, and they’ll settle for something closer to the Matt Garza package from last year.

12:28
Comment From Harry
Other than Marlon Byrd, another bat for the Mariners that makes sense?

12:28
Dave Cameron: They’re not good enough that they should be seriously trying to make win-now moves yet.

12:29
Dave Cameron: Doesn’t mean they won’t, but they shouldn’t be.

12:29
Comment From David S.
Kemp’s value is so low right now, wouldn’t make sense to trade him

12:29
Dave Cameron: You can’t always buy low and sell high. Sometimes, for practical reasons, you have to sell low.

12:31
Comment From MarinerDan
What is the lesson learned, if any, from the big contract the Tigers gave Verlander?

12:31
Dave Cameron: Don’t be in a huge rush to lock up aging pitchers.

12:31
Comment From Jon
What would you do with Nats OF when Harper comes back? Bench Span or Espinosa?

12:31
Dave Cameron: Span is good, Espinosa is bad. How is this even a quesiton?

12:32
Comment From Guest
Should the Rangers be sellers or stand pat at the trade deadline?

12:33
Dave Cameron: Do they have anything to sell that isn’t hurt?

12:33
Comment From A. Lane
What has Jason Hammel been doing differently,he doesn’t seem to be throwing in the zone more? What kind of return could the Cubs expect?

12:33
Dave Cameron: I think he’ll be a popular name for mid-market teams who don’t want to take on a big salary of give up a premium prospect. He’ll be in demand.

12:33
Comment From Nik
What can the Phillies get for Utley if he agrees to a trade?

12:33
Dave Cameron: A lot, but I don’t see it happening.

12:34
Comment From Eminor3rd
Cubs/Astros rebuilds, despite strong public support at the start, appear to be wearing on everyone — locally and nationally. Is the White Sox/Indians latest model for rebuilding the model of the future?

12:34
Dave Cameron: You have apparently missed the last month of baseball, where the Astros have been very good.

12:34
Comment From ANB
I’m going to be in Asheville in August for a few days for work. What, in your opinion, are the best breweries I shouldn’t miss? Want to meet up for a beer?

12:35
Dave Cameron: I don’t drink, so I can’t help you too much with the beer part of things, but the entire town is basically one giant craft beer village. You’ll be fine no matter where you go, probably. Eat at Curate.

12:35
Comment From Darryl
Whats up with Matt Holliday? Do you think hes hurt? Too old, or just in a funk?

12:35
Dave Cameron: Guys don’t just lose it overnight. He’ll be fine, though he’s old enough to expect some decline.

12:36
Comment From Eminor3rd
Are the Rays the next team to “rebuild?” What would that look like? Will they find a way to remain somewhat competitive throughout?

12:36
Dave Cameron: The Rays are perpetually in rebuilding mode. They just happen to be really good at it, so they can win even while rebuilding.

12:37
Comment From Breezy
Clint Hurdle bunted with a guy on third less than two outs with a position player at the plate two games in a row and failed both times. I’ve never seen something so stupid.

12:37
Dave Cameron: Squeeze bunts aren’t stupid just because they failed.

12:37
Comment From Zach
Expectations for Bundy upon his return? Does he slot quickly into the major league rotation? Is he successful? Can he and Gausman help the O’s reach the postseason again?

12:38
Dave Cameron: He wasn’t Major League ready before the injury. Why would we expect him to step in and dominate after missing a year?

12:38
Comment From The Dude
Does the Dbacks awful season mean we finally can get Kevin Towers out of any important baseball position?

12:38
Dave Cameron: I can’t imagine the LaRussa/Towers partnership lasts beyond this year.

12:39
Comment From BassmanUW
Isn’t being wrong about players half the fun? If you were going to be right all the time, what’s the point?

12:39
Dave Cameron: Right. The game is fun because it’s not predictable.

12:40
Comment From Guest
Why is FIP used in WAR and not xFIP? This basically normalizes hit rate (and strand rate, indirectly), without normalizing HR/FB rate. Since we’re pretty sure all those things are more random than not, why don’t we normalize all of them in pitcher WAR?

12:41
Dave Cameron: You don’t want to strip out randomness from WAR; you want to strip out defense from a pitcher’s performance. Giving up a home run is the fault of the pitcher and not the defender, so they receive the penalty for the home run allowed. On balls in play, the reality is we don’t know how much credit or blame to give the pitcher or fielder, but giving the pitcher no blame (FIP) is closer to the truth than giving them 100% of the blame (ERA).

12:42
Comment From Sandy
Is it just me, or are the Tigers screwed for next year? All their power hitters except Castellanos are on the wrong side of 30, Scherzer’s probably out the door, Verlander is falling apart, and most of their good prospects are still in Single-A. Any hope for them to be contenders next year?

12:42
Dave Cameron: They’re headed for a cliff, but I think next year might be a little premature.

12:43
Comment From Guest
Seems like there has a been a run of stories about the rough road minor league players go through. Do you think MLB/MLBPA will ever do anything to improve salaries/conditions for players in the minors? Seems like the MLBPA would have a real incentive to do so in an attempt to dissuade players from agreeing to Singleton style contracts.

12:44
Dave Cameron: I think it’s going to take a Mark Cuban style owner to come in and change the culture of how minor leaguers are treated. The MLBPA doesn’t have the incentive or the leverage to make those changes. It’s going to require a team just running ahead of everyone else, and then forcing the others to catch up.

12:45
Comment From Andrew
Do you think jimmy rollins will be traded? If so, to who?

12:45
Dave Cameron: Maybe the A’s?

12:45
Comment From JC
Would Adams, Miller, Martinez and Piscotty be enough for Price?

12:45
Dave Cameron: No.

12:46
Comment From Karl
What do the Mariners have that could make up a realistic package for Price?

12:47
Dave Cameron: They need Taijuan Walker to get healthy enough for the Rays to be okay with the risk. But the catch-22 is that if Walker gets healthy enough to be the primary piece of trade bait, they could just promote Walker instead.

12:47
Comment From jpg
Is there anything to mixing up the handedness of your 5 starters? I would think having 5 left handed starters is fine provided they are all good and can get RHB out at a decent clip right?

12:48
Dave Cameron: Nothing wrong with five Clayton Kershaws. But if you have guys with the same platoon split issue, it could be exploited in the postseason.

12:48
Comment From Erik
What if baseball teams had the option of offering a “franchise contract,” where the terms can be identical to a regular contract, but the “franchise contract” doesn’t count against the cap? You could only have one player under “franchise” at once, and you’d have to have some rules about service time to qualify, but it would allow teams to retain top players (or even aging veterans like Jeter) while still being able to field competitive teams, no matter the market. Thoughts?

12:48
Dave Cameron: There is no “cap” in baseball. Even the luxury tax only really affects three or four teams.

12:49
Comment From Anthony
In your opinion, what’s the A’s biggest need right now? 2B that can hit? Another starter?

12:49
Dave Cameron: Middle infielder and an SP. If they picked up a better SS, Lowrie could move to 2B, and that might be better than picking up a 2B overall.

12:50
Comment From Jacks wife
The M’s offense is unwatchable, and they are probably worse than they appear. They lead the AL in unsustainable stats like 3B% and IFH% + BUH% on groudballs. Endy Chavez pinch-hit for the cleanup hitter last night, who was Cole Gillespie. What is the solution?

12:50
Dave Cameron: Build a time machine, go back in time and build a better roster. At this point, there’s no fixing this roster. A crash is coming.

12:51
Comment From Jacob
The Southeast already got two expansion teams, called the Rays and the Marlins.

12:51
Dave Cameron: Florida isn’t really part of the cultural “southeast”.

12:52
Comment From Capn America
The DBacks are 21-16 since May 1. They are nowhere near as bad as their record indicated thru April, and the talk about Towers destroying the team was absurd.

12:52
Dave Cameron: They’re a bad team that has less talent than they should. They aren’t the worst team in baseball, but don’t fool yourself into thinking that they’re not bad.

12:53
Comment From Anon21
For the thought experiment, why wouldn’t you just add the home runs to the 180 in-play hits?

12:53
Dave Cameron: Home runs aren’t counted as balls in play.

12:54
Comment From The Dude
Is Grant Balfour the worst offseason acquisition thus far?

12:54
Dave Cameron: Prince Fielder says hello.

12:55
Dave Cameron: Curtis Granderson is waving from the back seat as well.

12:55
Comment From The Dude
If we were picking all-star starting pitchers today, who would you go with?

12:55
Dave Cameron: Felix and Kershaw.

12:56
Comment From Paul
Charlotte is closer to Atlanta than Raleigh is to DC. Nashville could maybe make sense.

12:58
Dave Cameron: Mileage wise, they’re almost exactly the same. But because DC is already a second team in that market, MLB will be less likely to cut into that even further than putting a second team closer to ATL.

12:58
Comment From Guest
Is Nick Franklin still a Mariner after the trade deadline?

12:58
Dave Cameron: I doubt it.

12:58
Comment From Mason
With Asdrubal Cabrera on pace for about 3 WAR, any chance he gets a QO? If he would accept, are the Indians allowed to trade him?

12:58
Dave Cameron: No and no.

12:59
Comment From BassmanUW
Price only getting the Garza package? Is that teams being less and less willing to trade prospects, or is Price’s salary a factor there? Or both?

12:59
Dave Cameron: Both, and also the Garza deal was a terrible one for Texas.

1:00
Comment From Boris
If you were Jack Z(heh) and the Dodgers want to trade you Kemp and $40 million, what would you give them?

1:00
Dave Cameron: An armored truck for them to load more than $40 million.

1:01
Comment From atoms
By your answer to the Richards/Chisenhall question, it either sounds like you don’t believe in breakouts, or you don’t believe that a new true talent level, even if it seems obvious, can be validated within season.

1:02
Dave Cameron: Closer to the latter, though the former is somewhat true. People are far too quick to try and throw away useful information when it doesn’t match what they want to be true.

1:02
Comment From Mark
For a right fielder, what’s the breakdown of defensive performance between the various components (range, arm, etc)? I was having a conversation with a friend who thought Bautista was a plus RF because of his arm, but I’m guessing he scores poorly in UZR because his range isn’t great.

1:03
Dave Cameron: If you go to the fielding section, you can see the exact breakdown between range, arm, double plays turned, etc…

1:03
Comment From Harry Porter and the Voldemalts
To asheville question: Wicked Weed, Asheville Brewing, Highlands

1:03
Comment From Harry Porter and the Voldemalts
Pisgah is good too, but in Black Mountain!

1:04
Comment From Ed
Do you care about run differential at all? It seems like the Mariner’s RD supports their record, even if you do think that they’re overachieving.

1:04
Dave Cameron: Run differential is not a good metric.

1:05
Comment From The Dude
Shouldn’t the parameters for a quality start change? There’s nothing impressive about a 4.50 ERA.

1:06
Dave Cameron: Yeah, quality start is also not a good metric.

1:06
Comment From Guest
Why “no” on the Price to STL trade from JC? Seems enough to me.

1:06
Dave Cameron: It would have been before Shelby Miller turned to crap. He’s not worth much in current form.

1:07
Comment From Mike
“You don’t want to strip out randomness from WAR” Why not?

1:07
Dave Cameron: It’s a past value stat, not a measure of true talent.

1:07
Comment From Kimball
Isn’t the 6 years of team control way less fair to pitchers than position players? A decent position player can usually survive long enough to get his payday; the likelihood that a starting pitcher does is much lower. Any chance that gets addressed in a future CBA?

1:08
Dave Cameron: Yes, it’s unfair. No, they will never have different service time levels for pitchers than htiters.

1:09
Comment From Sean
I just moved to NC. Baseball doesn’t seem to be very popular here…

1:09
Dave Cameron: Correct. Hope you like cars making left turns.

1:09
Comment From Capn America
wait, Matt Adams, Shelby Miller, Stephen Piscotty and Carlos Martinez for 1.5 yrs of David Price isn’t enough in your book?!? I want some of what you’re smoking pls.

1:09
Dave Cameron: Based on your comments in the queue about the D’Backs, you already have some pretty powerful opiates.

1:10
Comment From Erik
With Trevor Cahill DFAed and potentially available, why aren’t teams needing another starter all over him? Sure, his salary, but ~$12m/apy for a decent starting pitcher seems to be the going FA rate. Cahill is young and has a lot of potential to be better than decent.

1:11
Dave Cameron: He’s not a decent starting pitcher.

1:11
Comment From Zach
quality start may not be a good metric, but i think it is a better stat than a Win, agree Dave? In 32 starts, if you have 25 quality starts, that is awesome. If you have 32 starts and you have 8 wins, that sounds bad, but you could have actually pitched well…/

1:11
Dave Cameron: Having herpes is better than having aids. Both are bad.

1:12
Comment From TWTW
If WAR is a past value stat, why does it use FIP?

1:12
Dave Cameron: Because FIP is also a past value stat.

1:12
Comment From Guest
If WAR is a past value stat, why not use defense-adjusted runs allowed (similar to bref)?

1:13
Dave Cameron: Because B-R makes some really terrible assumptions about defensive contributions behind pitchers, and doing it that way creates a number that doesn’t reflect reality.

1:15
Comment From Ryan
How’s the june bug? Today’s lunch?

1:15
Dave Cameron: I released him into the yard last night. If he comes back, then he’s asking to die.

1:16
Dave Cameron: Okay, off to get some lunch. Thanks for hanging out, everyone.



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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.


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Adam
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Adam

Do you think the Astros have a good chance to make the playoffs in the next year or two? Seems like their rebuilding is showing results sooner than expected

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