Dave Cameron FanGraphs Chat – 9/27/17

12:02
Dave Cameron: Happy final Wednesday of the regular season, everyone.

12:02
Dave Cameron: Next week, we’ll have one Wild Card game in the books and another to look forward to.

12:02
Dave Cameron: So, let’s chat postseason, awards, off-season stuff, or anything else baseball related.

12:03
The Average Sports Fan: If the Yankees end up in the Wildcard game should they just bullpen it?

12:04
Dave Cameron: Girardi said yesterday he won’t do it. That said, it would be interesting if he just ran Severino for 3-4 innings, thus potentially saving him for a Game 2 ALDS start. With Green able to bridge the gap to the late relievers, it’s worth doing.

12:04
Dave Cameron: But my guess is he’ll just go conservative and let Severino go until he gets in trouble.

12:04
Ryan: Do you think Ryu as a starter and Alex Wood in the bullpen during the playoffs is a good choice?

12:04
Dave Cameron: Probably. Right now, I don’t think LA can trust Wood in the rotation.

12:05
Andrew: Not asking if you think it *should*, but do you think the fact the Kluber has already won a CYA and Sale hasn’t *will* play into who voters cast their vote for?

12:05
Dave Cameron: No. I think Sale sealed his fate last night giving up four homers.

12:05
Dave Cameron: Kluber’s going to win it easily.

12:05
ATCQ: Hi Dave.  What do you think about Travis’s view – that Judge’s MVP case suffers by his lack of clutch?  How might the answer to that help determine the AL Cy Young award?

12:07
Dave Cameron: When I’ve had an MVP vote, I absolutely took context into account. If you distribute all of your home runs to bases loaded situations, that is absolutely more valuable than if you only hit them with the bases empty. Given that there’s not a clear difference between Altuve and Judge in context-neutral performance, I think the context-specific gap gives the edge to Altuve.

12:07
TJ: If the Yankees advance, their top 3 starters are Severino, Gray and CC, right?  Montgomery is more trustworthy than Tanaka at this point. Do we have any idea what Tanaka would look like out of the pen? Would velo increase?

12:07
Dave Cameron: I’d probably be fine starting Tanaka and just letting him get through the order 1-2 times. He really falls apart once guys get multiple looks at him, and with their bullpen, Girardi doesn’t need to let that happen.

12:08
IsBrittonInYet: Hi Dave. If Josh Donaldson has a healthy Josh Donaldson type year next year (7 or 8 WAR, 150ish wRC+, etc.), what does his FA deal look like? And if you’re him, what extension offer from the Jays would you consider this winter?

12:08
Dave Cameron: If he continues to be an elite player and shows he’s over his leg issues, I’d guess something like 6 years at $35m apiece.

12:09
Dave Cameron: Given where TOR is heading, unless he just really likes it there and doesn’t care about winning during his decline years, I wouldn’t re-sign.

12:10
J: Judge has been rated poorly by clutch and has fared much worse against what baseball reference calls power pitchers (highest K+BB combo).  Is this something that teams will try to exploit in the postseason or not enough to go by?

12:10
Dave Cameron: Generally that stuff isn’t predictive.

12:10
Ben: On opening day, if I had told you that Twins would make postseason, Brewers would finish 10 over .500, Mets 20+ under .500, Giants worst record in baseball, and that neither the Padres or White Sox would be in last place, which would have shocked you most?

12:10
Dave Cameron: Probably the Twins making the postseason.

12:11
Billy: Will you split player stat lines by team when they’re traded mid season? Or at least add it to the splits page?

12:11
Dave Cameron: This already exists.

12:11
Dave Cameron: Just click “partial seasons”

12:11
Doug : I’ve been driving the Byron Buxton hype bus for 3 years now. With all of his skills would you say he is a top 5 overall player in 5 years or have I drunk too much of the kool-aid?

12:12
Dave Cameron: I still don’t really buy the bat.

12:12
Dave Cameron: He’s a great defender, but I think a league average wRC+ is a success for him.

12:12
Dave Cameron: Elite D with average offense is still really valuable, but not elite.

12:12
WillC468: How does Fangraphs define “high leverage situation?”

12:13
Dave Cameron: Leverage Index of greater than 2.0

12:13
Bill: It’s the NL wildcard game and ARZ holds a 1-run lead going into the bottom of the 9th, with the heart of COL (or MIL or STL) order due. Do you give the ball to Fernando Rodney with the season on the line?

12:13
Dave Cameron: Nope. Archie Bradley would be on the mound for me.

12:14
David: How would you rank the top five players in baseball going forward, not considering salary and contract situations?

12:15
Dave Cameron: Trout, Harper, Bryant, Donaldson, Machado or Seager

12:15
Aaron (UK): It looks like the Astros might end up “choosing” the Red Sox as their playoff opponent by playing weakened lineups – or at the very least not starting their premium SPs against them.

Presumably MLB can’t, won’t, and shouldn’t do anything?

12:16
Dave Cameron: Yeah, there’s nothing to legislate here. You can’t force a team to play certain players.

12:16
Sale Away: Wouldn’t it be reasonable to vote for MVP based on Team Wins – WPA – (factors ignored by WPA)? Sale’s contribution takes the Sox from Division Winners to Wild Card, a big step, making him a clear winner.

12:16
Dave Cameron: No, because then all you’re doing is awarding him for the performance of his teammates

12:16
botchatheny: the cards need some thump.  is donaldson thump-worthy?  what would it take to acquire?

12:17
Dave Cameron: Someone brought up a TOR-STL trade at the deadline and I thought it was interesting. But the Jays seem to show no real intention of moving him.

12:17
Raindog: Did the Twins win the wild card, or did every single other ok-not-good team in the AL lose their way into a losing record?

12:17
Dave Cameron: Both

12:17
Raindog: Mike Trout has never finished below 2nd in the MVP.  He’s always gotten at least five 1st place votes.  I’m pretty sure the first one is ending this year, what about the second?

12:18
Dave Cameron: Yeah, I don’t think he’ll get any first place votes this year

12:18
Xolo: Do you think a Twins World Series victory would be good or bad for baseball?

12:18
Dave Cameron: Was the Royals WS good or bad for baseball? They’re basically the same team, same kind of market size.

12:19
Dave Cameron: It’s good that the playoffs are unpredictable. Do you want the worst team in the postseason winning that often? No. Ever? Yes.

12:19
Raindog: If your list of starters under contract for next season was Bundy, Gausman, convertedreliever, hahaha, and ohdear, might you actually consider paying Wade Miley $11.5M to soak up 150 innings?

12:19
Dave Cameron: No.

12:21
Outta my way, Gyorkass: If the Reds are going to be at all competitive in the next few years, what part of their current team is going to form the backbone of their hypothetical ascent?

12:21
Dave Cameron: The young hitters. If Winker turns into a stud, Suarez maintains a +4 WAR level, Senzel becomes an impact 2B, then all of the sudden you’ve got something.

12:22
Larkin: Is Brandon Nimmo kind of really interesting? 1.3 WAR and 127 WRC+ across  200 PA this year and was on both versions of KATOH top 100. O-Swing of 16%

12:22
Dave Cameron: He’s the kind of guy the ball helps the most. These fringe power guys are playing up because the ball is traveling better.

12:23
Nick: Do you think it’s a good call for Cleveland to put Clevenger in the bullpen and install Tomlin as the #4 starter?  Maybe the logic is that he’d log more innings as a long reliever in the playoffs than a 4th starter would, but I’m still not sure what to think of the decision.

12:23
Dave Cameron: If you’re not planning on your #4 going more than 3-4 innings in that one start per series, then yeah, Clevinger is more valuable as an RP.

12:24
Albert P: if a player retires due to injury like Prince Fielder do they still get the remainder of their contract? Does some insurance policy kick in for the club? Asking for a friend…

12:24
Dave Cameron: Fielder isn’t officially retired, because that way he still gets paid.

12:24
Dave Cameron: If he retired, he’d give up the salary.

12:24
Dayton Moore Talking Head: What will the Royals do this offseason?  What should they do?

12:25
Dave Cameron: Sounds like they’re going to try to keep one of their FAs, then try to keep winning. They should blow it up and start over.

12:25
Reginald Denton III: Let’s ignore the playoff odds page for a moment.  What % chance to you personally give the Cubs to repeat?

12:25
Dave Cameron: 10%?

12:25
David: Could a team promise Shohei that they would just release him after 2 years. Would that make him a normal free agent? He still gets his payday at age 25, but gets to come over now.

12:25
Dave Cameron: No, MLB won’t allow any alterations to the Uniform Player Contract

12:26
Moltar: MLB is still committed to daytime weekday postseason games, right? For desk jockeys like me this just seams insane. Why would the league not want the most important games of the season accessible to the largest number of people? Don’t they want casual fans tuning in to these games?

12:26
Dave Cameron: When you have 4 games a day, only way to not have them compete with each other is to have day games

12:27
Dave Cameron: And the broadcast partners are paying a lot of money for the TV rights, so they don’t want people switching between games.

12:27
Bryan: I forget the rule but can the WC roster differ from the DS roster? Would it make sense to go heavy on the bullpen and lighter on the bench for a one game match?

12:27
Dave Cameron: Yes, you can set a WC specific roster.

12:28
Dave Cameron: So most teams only carry 9-10 pitchers.

12:28
Dave Cameron: With just the one starter, a full bullpen, and then one extra SP as the long guy.

12:28
David: What would the penalty be if MLB discovered an “under the table” deal with Ohtani? Would it still be worth signing him initially?

12:29
Dave Cameron: I’m sure the league will try to make it known that the team who makes that deal won’t benefit from it. The trick is that if you void the contract and make Ohtani an FA, then *he* benefits from making that deal and leaking the details of it. Lots of moral hazards on this one.

12:30
Corey: Now that we seen the best and worst of Judge in a 13 month span (twice), any expectations for what his baseline will be?

12:30
Dave Cameron: Stanton with more walks.

12:30
Dave Cameron: A top-3 MLB hitter, basically.

12:30
Troutmaggedon: If you were building a team would you rather have Bellinger or Judge going forward?

12:31
Dave Cameron: Judge

12:31
Pete: How much will Harper’s propensity for getting hurt cost him in free agency? If the Yankees offered him, say, $350M over ten years, no opt-outs, does that get it done?

12:31
Dave Cameron: Not even close.

12:31
Big Joe Mufferaw: Assuming the yankees finish within 3 games of the Red Sox. If I told you that would’ve been the case before the season, would you assume it was because the yankees doing better than expected or the Red Sox doing worst than expected?

12:32
Dave Cameron: I picked the Yankees to win the division, so I wouldn’t have been surprised.

12:33
Scott: Please do tell me where Toronto is heading?  Jays have a very good farm system and lots of money.

12:34
Dave Cameron: Vlad is awesome, and Bichette looks interesting, but this isn’t a deep farm system full of guys who can help soon. And after next year, Smoak, Happ, Donaldson all hit FA, so that lots of money is going to either be spent trying to replace the lost production or keep aging guys around. With Tulo/Martin taking up $40M of the payroll in 2019, not going to be easy for the Jays to add significantly in FA.

12:35
JTT: Not a believer in Correa?

12:35
Dave Cameron: I love Correa.

12:35
v2micca: Should Baltimore try to trade Machado this off-season?

12:35
Dave Cameron: Yup.

12:36
Mike: Do you think there is even 1 MLB manager who 1) knows what leverage index is 2) has a remote idea about roughly how it is calculated 3) would consider using their “closer” in the 8th if the LI was very high

12:36
Dave Cameron: Of course

12:36
Dave Cameron: I’d say there are probably 10-15 managers like that

12:36
Red Sox fan: Over the next 5 years, which young duo do you expect to accumulate more WAR: Benintendi/Devers or Judge/Sanchez?

12:36
Dave Cameron: NYY duo

12:37
Dooduh: $35M for 6 years!? LOL  He’s going to start the ’19 season at 33.  Good luck getting a deal like that.

12:37
Dave Cameron: Greinke got $34M per year for 6 years, starting at age-32, and he was a pitcher. And not as good as Donaldson.

12:38
Big Joe Mufferaw: Do you consider Rickey Henderson’s SB records the safest OFFENSIVE record in baseball?

12:38
Dave Cameron: Safest record is probably single-season BA. It’s virtually impossible to hit .400 these days. Too many strikeouts in the game.

12:39
Dave Cameron: Altuve, one of the lowest K guys around, is at .348 with a .373 BABIP.

12:39
Dave Cameron: You’d have to run a 10% K% and a .425 BABIP or something to hit .400.

12:39
Dave Cameron: It’s almost impossible.

12:40
Hank: Do you consider Freeman one of the best hitters in the sport?  He’s ranked 8th in wRC+ (players with 400 PA or more) ahead of Donaldson, Turner, Bryant, and Goldy.

12:40
Dave Cameron: He’s also a first baseman.

12:40
Dave Cameron: He’s a great hitter, but not at the level of guys who are great hitters and add value in the field and on the bases.

12:41
Dub: What is the most IP you would let a non-ace throw in playoff game, guys like Mchugh, Gray, Ryu etc

12:41
Dave Cameron: 4

12:41
capconstrained: If Harper’s contract ends up being 10X40, does it make sense to spend 20% of a team’s soft cap on one player?

12:41
Dave Cameron: Sure. The percentage of payroll thing is BS.

12:42
Dave Cameron: Has anyone ever said “oh no, we only have $160 million to spend, we can’t compete?”

12:42
Dave Cameron: A team with a $200 million payroll spending 20% of their budget on one $40M per year guy still has plenty of money to find 24 good players, and they have a superstar.

12:44
Guest: Is there a way for the Reds to patch together an acceptable rotation? They’re a fun team, but still feel a level or two below going Brewers.

12:45
Dave Cameron: Castillo looks good, Ramano is interesting. If they can find their Chase Anderson and luck into someone developing out of nowhere, it’s not crazy to think they could contend. But that requires a lot of stuff going right.

12:45
Mark: Please explain why the Jays won’t contend the next 5 years (your reasoning why Donaldson shouldn’t sign an extension with the jays).    Jays had over 3 million in attendance this year and  the organization is flush with cash.  The organization is run by a bunch of quality baseball guys with years of experience.
Stroman/Sanchez is a very good 1/2 punch to build a rotation around and Vlad/Bichette/Alford should arrive at some point next year.

12:46
Dave Cameron: Stroman isn’t an ace and Sanchez just lost a year because his hands couldn’t hold a baseball without cutting open.

12:47
Optimism: Which underperforming teams this season have the most to look forward to next year? (i.e. records as a result of bad luck, injuries, up and coming young stars)

12:47
Dave Cameron: The Giants, probably. They aren’t this bad.

12:48
botchatheny: on sunday, all the games will start within 15 mins of each other.  do you know the reasoning?

12:48
Dave Cameron: So that no one would have a theoretical advantage by knowing they’ve already clinched from an early game results.

12:48
Dave Cameron: Makes everyone roll out their regulars for the final game if it matters.

12:48
Big Joe Mufferaw: A team should really carry a Pinch Runner specialist in a 1 game playoff right?

12:48
Dave Cameron: Absolutely

12:49
Moltar: Have the games compete with each other! The NBA and NHL have no problem with that. Half the early round games are on MLB network anyway. Plus, if one game is a snoozer, you can turn on the other game rather than start watching house hunters or whatever.

12:49
Dave Cameron: Congratulations, you just hit on why the networks don’t want this.

12:49
Dave Cameron: They don’t want you changing the channels during the ads.

12:49
Dave Cameron: That’s how they make money.

12:49
Dan: Why would Bryant look very bad under Clutch but very good under RE24? What am I missing?

12:50
Dave Cameron: RE24 includes only base/out state, not score/inning. So Bryant’s clutch problems were because he hit well in decided games but worse in close ones, and RE24 doesn’t care about that.

12:51
weezy: How big a deal is player fatigue, particularly pitcher fatigue, this time of year? Is it like “pitcher x is 80% of what he was at his peak this year” (obviously different for every player)

12:51
Dave Cameron: It’s a big deal. Last year, Rondon and Strop looked like 10% of their regular season selves.  This year, looks like Wood and Pomeranz are running out of gas.

12:52
Secued: Do you think the Brewers should have traded comparable packages for someone like Grey or Verlander, in an effort to make the playoffs this year?

12:52
Dave Cameron: No

12:53
EVH: Barring major injury, can you envision a scenario where Kershaw doesn’t opt out after next season? I would imagine the FO will be discussing an extension after this season. What do you think he gets?

12:53
Dave Cameron: Yeah, he’s opting out.

12:53
Dave Cameron: Assuming he doesn’t have another back issue, I bet he gets 8/$300M or something.

12:53
Nic: Curious for your take on the AL MVP race.

12:53
Dave Cameron: I’d vote Altuve

12:54
Windian : From Cleveland but went to a Phillies game on Monday. Not impressed with Hoskins. What am I missing?

12:54
Dave Cameron: Talent evaluation?

12:57
Mark : I think you’re underrating the fact that the Jays have a management team full of quality baseball guys that have a wealth of experience building teams and organizations.  I’d be shocked if the jays aren’t contending again in a few years ( if not 2018).   Should also mention that Smoak has a team friendly option for 2019 and that the jays feel Borucki can replace Happ after next year.

12:57
Dave Cameron: Every team has a management group full of quality baseball guys these days.

12:57
Dave Cameron: Nothing agains Shapiro/Atkins, but they aren’t magical +20 WAR front office elves.

12:58
PD: Should the Pirates try to sign McCutchen to a long term contract with a smaller AAV? Or is the best course of action still to trade him?

12:58
Dave Cameron: Trade him

12:59
Alby: Only 4 innings no matter how well he’s throwing?

12:59
Dave Cameron: Early game performance isn’t predictive

1:00
AD: Does JD Martinez signing with the Cardinals make all the sense in the world?

1:00
Dave Cameron: They already have too many OFs

1:00
Kyle Schwarber: Is the 132 wRC+ that I’ve put up since returning from my demotion (210 PA) more indicative of my full season 102 wRC+?

1:01
Dave Cameron: Sure, you’re not a bad hitter. I still think my left-handed Mike Napoli comp holds up pretty well. Napoli has a career 119 wRC+.

1:01
Bryan: Didi Gregorius is near the top of every statisticaloffensive category for shortstops and yet his wRC is only 110. Don’t you think this takes OBP a little too far?

1:01
Dave Cameron: Maybe the categories you’re looking at don’t matter?

1:02
Kosch: What about JD to the Stros?  He can play LF with Springer in CF and Reddick in RF.  That leaves Marisnick / Fisher as the 4th/5th OF.  I love this idea.

1:02
Dave Cameron: Can’t imagine he’s going back there.

1:02
Webster: Who do the cubs resign Arrieta or Davis when the season comes to a close?  Both?

1:02
Dave Cameron: I’d guess neither

1:03
Dave Cameron: Alright, off to do some writing. Thanks for hanging out, everyone. The chat schedules will change a bit during the playoffs, as we’ll be liveblogging a bunch of games in the evenings too. Come hang out with us on Tuesday for the first Wild Card game.

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alang3131982
Member
Member

Dave….amiright? more like a Boo Jays?!?1 LOL!