FanGraphs After Dark Chat – 2/4/14

6:15
Paul Swydan: Hi everybody!

Chat at 9 pm ET with Jeff and I. Get your questions in now, and we’ll answer them then!

9:04
Paul Swydan: Sorry, we’re here.

9:04
Paul Swydan: I got caught up in something.

9:04
Comment From Kev
Hey guys, which three out of the following would you want to make up your bench in an OBP league? Weeks, Ross, Ruggiano, Schierholtz, Moreland, Ludwick and Dominguez. Thanks!

9:05
Jeff Zimmerman: None

9:05
Paul Swydan: I’ll say Ross, Schierholtz and one of Moreland/Ruggiano. I can’t shake the feeling that one of them is going to have a big year at some point. Gun to my head – Moreland.

9:05
Comment From asdfasdf
Do you think Alex Wood can hold down a spot in the rotation all year?

9:06
Paul Swydan: I think the Braves are hoping that he can do so. I am less confident, but I still like him as a sleeper.

9:07
Jeff Zimmerman: He may not start with one. I totally see him getting the Minor/Medlen treatment and move back and forth.

9:07
Comment From the rock
matt carpenter lead the NL in doubles last year. Do any of those doubles turn into HR this year? How do I figure how close those doubles were turning into HR?..aside from looking at film.

9:08
Jeff Zimmerman: You beat me to it.

9:08
Paul Swydan: What I did on Carpenter’s here is change batted ball type to hit type, and then unclick every type of hit except doubles.

9:09
Paul Swydan: If you do this, you’ll see that a big portion of Carpenter’s doubles had no chance of being home runs, but were actually balls he pulled right down the line to mid-right field depth.

9:09
Jeff Zimmerman: Carp is 27 or 28, I don’t see him gaining enough power to turn those doubles into HRs

9:09
Comment From Guest
What bullpen looks the best in 2014.

9:09
Jeff Zimmerman: Royals

9:10
Paul Swydan: Boston, Kansas City, Oakland, all look very good.

9:10
Comment From Ryan
Best rotation in 2015: Mets, Pirates, Orioles or Mariners?

9:10
Paul Swydan: Definitely not the Orioles. I’d say I like the Mets and Pirates best, with a nod to the Pirates because we don’t know how Harvey will come back.

9:11
Jeff Zimmerman: Mariners. King Felix is the only pitcher who has proved to make it all season at an elite level.

9:11
Comment From Nick
I’ve missed almost all baseball related news since Christmas (besides Tanaka). Can you fill me in on the most important things I missed? Thanks for the chat, gentlemen.

9:11
Jeff Zimmerman: Yuni is in Japan.

9:11
Paul Swydan: Luckily for you, not a ton has happened. Grant Balfour finally signed.

9:12
Comment From Ethan
It seams like their is no love for Machado this spring. I get that he is young but the list of uninspiring options above him at 3rd in most rankings is perplexing. Yes,he is years away from his prime but it seams like he should be better then the 11-13 ranking that he is getting. 13 home runs is probable but 25 home runs is possible which is not the case for many above him.

9:12
Paul Swydan: I don’t agree. Not only should his stolen base total be impacted by the knee injury even if he makes it back on time, but he also might not make it back on time, and in yearly leagues, you can’t draft a guy that high unless you’re confident that he suits up every night.

9:12
Jeff Zimmerman: All the drop is based on time missed and if he comes back 100%.

9:13
Comment From JV
Which 3 starters do you like more? Felix-Gio-Medlen OR Price-Cain-Latos

9:13
Paul Swydan: Close, but I like Felix-Gio-Medlen better.

9:13
Jeff Zimmerman: Crap, I agree

9:14
Comment From Jim Bouton
Does Brad Miller have mid teen HR and SB in his future?

9:14
Paul Swydan: I believe so, yes.

9:14
Jeff Zimmerman: Yes.

9:14
Comment From toot toot
is it me or have the stephen drew rumors reached peak irritation levels?

9:14
Paul Swydan: It’s just you. They reached peak irritation levels three weeks ago.

9:15
Jeff Zimmerman: The rumors only exist because it is the NY and Boston markets.

9:15
Comment From Mr. Wrestling IV
12 team league. I’ve got Sale, Cole, Miller, Gray, Anibal, Cobb, and Parker going into my draft. I’ve got depth and upside, but I feel like I’m missing a #2. Should I get another P in the draft, or can I stand pat?

9:16
Jeff Zimmerman: The one issue I would have is IP (young and injury prone guys). I may look for one steady workhorse.

9:16
Paul Swydan: Stand pat. Your #2 is Anibal, and he’s a good one, and Cole/Miller/Cobb is a fantastic 3/4/5, with Gray being your insurance policy, and Parker being the first guy you cut. I’m not sure how you got such a good rotation in a 12-teamer.

9:17
Comment From Mr. Wrestling IV
4×4 Ottoneu: Backup cather: Avila, Gattis, Yan Gomes, Jaso, or Pinto?

9:17
Paul Swydan: Gomes or Jaso for me.

9:18
Jeff Zimmerman: Gomes and Pinto. I would take a $1 stab to see how Pinto does.

9:18
Comment From Guest
Hi. I never make it here for a fangraphs chat after dark cause… things. Can you tell me why I am here and why I should come back?

9:18
Jeff Zimmerman: You shouldn’t.

9:18
Paul Swydan: For one thing, you get twice as many opinions as normal chats. For two, we don’t pretend to know everything. And for three, we make fun polls! Other than that, I got nothing.

9:19
Comment From Paccus
Machado or Bogaerts, who would you rather have playing for your favorite team?

9:19
Paul Swydan: Bogaerts.

9:19
Jeff Zimmerman: Machado, easy.

9:19
Comment From Jaack
Seriously? An article on the Red Sox batting order? I know its the least basebally time of year, but that’s Bleacher Report level. If you ranked the options. In a slideshow.

9:19
Paul Swydan: I’m sorry you feel that way, Jaack. I’ll try to do better next time.

9:20
Comment From redd
I was comparing 2basemen to each other and Matt Carpenter is really low in the projections thanks to no speed or power stats. With a lower batting average and runs/rbis… am I right to think he is really REALLY overated in fantasy this year?

9:21
Paul Swydan: I think you are right. I think he had a great 2013 season, and I’d be surprised if he was even 90% as good this season.

9:21
Jeff Zimmerman: Nope, not one bit. And his Runs may be down a bit without Beltran around.

9:21
Comment From Jimmy
What do you see Archie Bradley doing in 2014? Starting in the bigs and dominating from the get-go?

9:22
Paul Swydan: I do not see that happening, no. Even if he does start in the majors, which I’m not expecting but wouldn’t rule out, I don’t expect that he’ll dominate from the jump.

9:23
Jeff Zimmerman: No domination, reminds me of Zack Wheeler. Both need to get the walks under control before taking the next step forward.

9:23
Comment From Ryan
Paul will come up with any reason to write about Boegarts. Note: Not a criticism.

9:24
Jeff Zimmerman: Yep

9:24
Comment From Charleston Chew Sabathia
Does Sabathia still have one last 14 win season in his bulky body?

9:24
Paul Swydan: Yeah, I don’t think he’s done by any means.

9:25
Jeff Zimmerman: Yea, he is fine. He is almost turning into a sleeper pick for me.

9:25
Comment From Ryan
Mesoraco, Frazier, Cozart and Ludwick: Who will be most disappointing, and who will be pleasantly surprising?

9:26
Paul Swydan: Ludwick will be the most disappointing, if only because no one expects anything from Cozart. Or at least they shouldn’t. Mesoraco is my pick for surprising out of that group.

9:26
Jeff Zimmerman: Cozart disappoints as usually.

Ludwick may have an OK season in him.

9:27
Comment From (not that) James
I know how much you Fangraphers love to speculate wildly without any factual basis, so which is more likely: A) The Braves have offered Heyward a long-term extension similar to Freeman’s, but he won’t take it because he wants to test the market in two years, or B) Heyward would love a Freeman-like extension, but the Braves aren’t willing to go that high on a player with some offensive inconsistency and injury issues (unrelated as they may be)?

9:27
Paul Swydan: I like how he started off the question by insulting us. Nice. Why did I post this question?

I’ll say A.

9:28
Jeff Zimmerman: A. I don’t think Heyward cares. Many times the player approaches the team first looking for some long term security.

9:29
Comment From Ryan
Should the Braves be at all concerned that they just extended a guy whose breakout year was built on a .371 BABIP?

9:29
Paul Swydan: I wrote about this last month:

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-braves-good-problem/

I think locking up Freeman made sense. I would have tried to get Heyward done first, but we don’t know if he wants to sign, and it takes two to tango.

9:30
Jeff Zimmerman: No. His 2012 BABIP was low knowing his batted ball mix. There is a xBABIP formula in the pipeline and Freeman has one of the best hard hit batted ball profiles of any player over the past 2 seasons.

9:31
Comment From Tom
Fangraphs’ depth charts right now have the Royals and Rockies as playoff teams– which is more likely to make it?

9:31
Paul Swydan: The Royals.

9:31
Jeff Zimmerman: Agree.

9:32
Paul Swydan: Shocking!

9:32
Comment From Ryan
How much stock do you put in the Steamer-based depth chart projections? For instance, are the Royals really that much better than the Nationals?

9:32
Jeff Zimmerman: The Royals 41111 pitching staff does scare me a bit.

9:33
Paul Swydan: Well, since I’m responsible for maintaining them the playing time portion of them, quite a bit. And let’s not once again assume the Nationals are world beaters. Mike Petriello wrote about this last week, I think.

9:34
Jeff Zimmerman: A bunch of teams are really bunched up there and the offseason is not over yet.

9:34
Comment From Formerly the Smasher
Which slow to develop prospect has a better chance of reaching their once loft expectations: Gose or Drabek

9:34
Paul Swydan: I’ll say Drabek if asked to pick, but probably neither.

9:35
Jeff Zimmerman: Drabek. Gose’s goose is cooked.

9:35
Paul Swydan: Which is too bad. I really was looking forward to yelling “Talk to me Gose!” jokes.

9:36
Comment From cobo
Ellsbury over/under 15 homers?

9:36
Paul Swydan: Have you seen the right field porch at Yankee Stadium? Over.

9:36
Jeff Zimmerman: Over.

9:36
Comment From Vic
Who else to consider at #2 assuming Trout and Goldy are already kept? I plan on taking McCutchen?

9:37
Paul Swydan: McCutchen is a good pick. Miggy is the other obvious pick to click there. I did a mock draft last night, if you’re interested.

http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/february-fangraphs-mock-draft/

9:37
Paul Swydan: Miggy went in the top 3, with McCutchen at 5.

9:38
Jeff Zimmerman: Really depends on other keeps. If you need a 2B and the net best available in Infante, take Cano.

9:38
Comment From Tom
Are any players’ first/second half splits meaningful? It seems plausible to thin that some players might have better condition routines, off-season workouts, etc., such that they suffer less from fatigue over the course of a season than others.

9:38
Paul Swydan: I think in isolated incidents, you can find nuggets in these splits. But by and large, they’re just noise.

9:39
Jeff Zimmerman: The only stats to track are plate discipline stats (K% and BB%) if any.

9:39
Comment From James R.
Does Michael Choice have a realistic shot at 25-man coming out of Spring Training?

9:39
Paul Swydan: I think so. I think he’s the fourth outfielder.

9:40
Jeff Zimmerman: I guess. He is on my check back later list during spring training

9:40
Comment From the rock
Ok…one more question…Evan Gattis NL MVP? am i crazy?…big time power. hitting cleanup in a really good Braves lineup. the guy is a bear.

9:41
Paul Swydan: No, sorry. I don’t even think Gattis is a full-time starter, let alone an MVP candidate.

9:41
Jeff Zimmerman: Lock this guy up now.

9:41
Comment From Kev
Cory Luebke to get a second tjs?!

9:41
Paul Swydan: Really? Is that a thing? I was out all day, I didn’t see that. Link?

9:42
Jeff Zimmerman: Looks that way, he never really got going last time. He looks to be pulling a Jeff Zimmerman

9:42
Comment From Matt
What can we expect out of Oscar Tavares this year?

9:43
Paul Swydan: I think a lot of that depends on how healthy Allen Craig stays. If Craig stays on the field, I don’t think there is going to be a lot of opportunity for Taveras. Obviously a big IF, since Craig injures himself getting out of the shower, but for the time being, I’ll say — not much.

9:43
Jeff Zimmerman: I think he may struggle a bit. Nothing great yet as he works his way through the season.

9:44
Comment From The Good Ryan
Is it snowing yet?

9:44
Paul Swydan: My back already hurts from thinking about shoveling.

9:44
Jeff Zimmerman: Good about a foot today.

9:44
Comment From Not Clayton Kershaw
I think Madison Bumgarner is going to rise another level this year. Chances he finishes in the top 3 in NL Cy Young voting?

9:45
Paul Swydan: I think he’s got about as good a chance as anyone in the top 15 or so NL pitchers. If you think this is his year, I could certainly support that.

9:45
Jeff Zimmerman: He will need to be dominate because the Giants will struggle. He will need to have a ton of Winzzz.

9:46
Comment From Vil B.
Final prospect cut: Joc Pederson or A. Alcantara? A 2B with 15/25 potential is more valuable than a major league ready OF with 20/20 potential, right?

9:46
Jeff Zimmerman: No idea truthfully.

9:46
Paul Swydan: Sucks about Luebke. And yes, agreed, I would keep Alcantara.

9:47
Comment From Dumb as a Dayton
As a Royal fan I was hoping to see what Duffy and Ventura might add to the rotation. Now our fearless leader has added Bruce Chen and I’m not happy. If there is only one opening which of the two kids should get it and what kind of numbers can we expect?

9:47
Paul Swydan: I would expect to see Duffy get the first crack, with Ventura stashed until someone gets hurt. But Jeff knows better than I do.

9:48
Jeff Zimmerman: It is not as horrible as it sounds, the Royals have some age and injuries on the staff. A little depth won’t hurt. Also, it will give both the opportunity to find the strike zone.

9:48
Jeff Zimmerman: Duffy is supposed to get the nod according to Ned.

9:48
Comment From the rock
how is gattis not a full time starter?…he’s projected to hit clean up behind freeman in most legit web sites..they had the guy playing OF last year to get his bat in the lineup

9:50
Paul Swydan: I didn’t say he WON’T be starting, just that I wouldn’t have him starting if I was running a team. He posted a .291 OBP last year. That’s not good.

9:51
Paul Swydan: Jeff got booted for a sec.

9:51
Paul Swydan: He’s back now I think.

9:52
Jeff Zimmerman: Because he is a catcher and will get 450 PA and BJ upton will not suck as bad as 2014.

9:52
Comment From jesse

which FG writer is the most representative of?

9:52
Jeff Zimmerman: I would say Carson, but that guy is dressed up may too good.

9:53
Paul Swydan: I’d go with Jeff Sullivan. He’s always plotting, that one. Also, Cistulli. I mean, why else flee to France unless you’re afraid of being hit with a murder charge?

9:53
Comment From Sadmetsfan
Should I have any hope for Jenrry Mejia this year.

9:53
Paul Swydan: I know I do.

9:54
Jeff Zimmerman: To throw more than 5 games, maybe.

9:54
Comment From Dan
RANK POSITIONS BY SCARCITY, DAMNIT! I’VE BEEN ASKING FOR AN HOUR!

9:55
Paul Swydan: Sorry, Dan. Scarcist to least scarce: Shortstop, catcher, third base, second base, first base, outfield.

9:55
Jeff Zimmerman: OK, OK. calm down. C ………….3B and SS.

9:55
Comment From HowlingWolf
Am I nuts to pick Brandon Moss over Belt in a pts. league? I just don’t trust that Belt will get the ABs while sharing 1B with Posey and possibly Morse to make up for the production that Moss provides when in the lineup.

9:56
Jeff Zimmerman: Really depends on your league’s catcher rules. The pickings get slim in a two catcher league

9:56
Paul Swydan: It’s not nuts, no. I think I value them pretty similarly, but I think Moss is more “is what he is,” while I think Belt still has some upside left in him.

9:56
Jeff Zimmerman: I think people should be worried more with Belt take PA from Posey. That being said, they are about the same.

9:57
Comment From Brad
Can you see sale being top 3 cy young voting?

9:57
Jeff Zimmerman: Oh yea, he is a stud.

9:57
Paul Swydan: Sure. Not a big leap there, since he was fifth last year.

9:58
Comment From Not Dusty Baker
Homer Bailey: Increased K%, Swinging Strike %. Threw harder (94mph average FB). Entering age 28 season. Is this the *year* for him?

9:58
Paul Swydan: I think there’s something to that. I’m still not popping him super early in drafts, but I definitely like him this year.

9:59
Jeff Zimmerman: I don’t know, not really. I just don’t think there is enough there.

9:59
Comment From Metsox
What chance would you put on Luebke ever pitching in the Majors?

9:59
Paul Swydan: At this point, under 10%. Which sucks.

10:00
Jeff Zimmerman: Pretty slim, I should look up the 2 TJS guys. Eiland, the Royals pitching coach, is one.

10:00
Comment From MD
What is more scary… Chance of Prince Fielder continuing his downward slide or Votto not having anyone batting in front of him? Who would you take first in the draft? Are they both Top 15?

10:01
Paul Swydan: If I had to pick one of them, Votto, easily. And no, I don’t think Prince is a top 15 player overall. Top 30, more like.

10:01
Jeff Zimmerman: I like Votto. Better under lying skill set as a floor.

10:02
Comment From (not that) James
Hey Paul, just want you to know that I was not insulting you guys. My tongue was firmly implanted in cheek. One of the things I love most about Fangraphs is that writers generally refuse, even in chats, to just speculate without facts. Keep up the good work.

10:02
Paul Swydan: Appreciate it.

10:02
Comment From Dan
Is Teixeira going to have a bounce-back year?

10:02
Jeff Zimmerman: Dead cat?

10:03
Paul Swydan: The Yankees certainly need him to. I want to believe he can, but I don’t really have anything to back that up.

10:03
Jeff Zimmerman: I don’t see one reason to own anyone in the Yankees IF. The only buy low for me is Kelly Johnson.

10:04
Comment From Walt
Over/Under 120 games for Tulo this season

10:04
Jeff Zimmerman: That is a good number, over, barely.

10:04
Paul Swydan: He’s gotta clear that bar sooner or later. I’ll say over.

10:04
Comment From ButtChocolate
So I hear that the Blue Jays are replacing the turf at the Rogers Center. Now considering the Blue Jays pitchers gb/fb rates, and the defense, which type of turf should they select? How would the different turf systems AstroTurf, FieldTurf, and real grass effect performance? Do balls roll faster on one compared to the other types? Do outfielders run faster? Looking at the current Blue Jays roaster, which turf system should they pick?

10:04
Paul Swydan: I’m sticking this here because I think it would be interesting to look at, unless someone has already looked at it and I am just unaware of the study. Jeff, anything?

10:05
Jeff Zimmerman: I am not a turf master. I would go for the type which would prevent the most injuries.

10:05
Jeff Zimmerman: No studies I know of.

10:06
Paul Swydan: Agreed. And in order to prevent our own shoveling injuries, we’re going to need our beauty sleep. Thanks for hanging out tonight guys, we’ll see you next week!

10:06
Jeff Zimmerman: Bye y’all

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Paul Swydan is the managing editor of The Hardball Times, a writer and editor for FanGraphs and a writer for Boston.com. He has written for The Boston Globe, ESPN MLB Insider and ESPN the Magazine, among others. Follow him on Twitter @Swydan.

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Sabes
Guest
Sabes

Prediction for Morse? Does he hit nearly enough for SFG to offset his D?

Matt
Guest
Matt

No