FanGraphs After Dark Chat – 9/12/17

11:56
Paul Swydan:

What is tonight’s best matchup?

CLE vs. Themselves (57.8% | 59 votes)
 
NYY (Gray) vs. TB (Snell) (7.8% | 8 votes)
 
SEA (Gonzales) vs. TEX (Gonzalez) (1.9% | 2 votes)
 
COL (Gray) vs. ARI (Walker) (13.7% | 14 votes)
 
HOU (Verlander) vs. LAA (Richards) (18.6% | 19 votes)
 

Total Votes: 102
9:02
Paul Swydan: Hi everybody!

9:02
Pizza Pie Thompson: Could Kris Bryant be the leadoff hitter the Cubs have been looking for?

9:03
Paul Swydan: Interesting, interesting.

9:03
Jeff Zimmerman: He’s fine there or in any of the top 4 spots

9:04
Paul Swydan: He’s one of the four-best hitters, and of the four-best hitters he has the highest OBP. But the key is his willingness to hit there. If he doesn’t want to be the leadoff hitter, I wouldn’t make him the leadoff hitter.

9:04
Bork: Who’s your favorite negative WAR player this year and why is it Darwin Barney?

9:05
Paul Swydan: I will say, at the game I was at last Tuesday, Barney made a bunch of nice diving plays in the hole to rob the Red Sox of hits the few times they actually hit the ball hard.

9:06
Paul Swydan: Lot of fun names there. I’ll take Hyun-Soo Kim. Buck Showalter and the O’s have completely sabotaged his major league career.

9:06
Jeff Zimmerman: Greg Bird. I think he can be an average MLB 1b

9:06
Paul Swydan: Yeah he was my other choice.

9:06
Oddball Herrera: Poll idea: what is the most consistently over hyped prospect profile (in terms of expectation vs performance)? Options I’ve got (1) otherwise ok player who ‘should grow into power’ (2) strikeout machine who is only missing command (3) physical specimen who is a little raw on baseball skills and (4) premium defender whose bat is going to catch up one of these days

9:06
Paul Swydan: I like this. Anyone have any other options?

9:08
Jeff Zimmerman: I’ve found those with just high Bat grades to fail the most.

9:08
Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: The guy who can do everything except hit a curveball is a classic.

9:08
Paul Swydan: OK, adding these and making the poll. Hold please!

9:09
Hatzis: Guys who needs “just one more pitch” is another classic.

9:09
Jeff Zimmerman: Or a second pitch

9:10
Paul Swydan:

What is the most consistently overhyped prospect profile?

“Avg but will grow into power” (3.3% | 2 votes)
 
“K machine but missing command” (26.6% | 16 votes)
 
“Physical specimen but raw” (33.3% | 20 votes)
 
“Premium D whose bat will catch up” (10.0% | 6 votes)
 
“All hit, nothing else” (3.3% | 2 votes)
 
“Can do everything but hit curveball” (8.3% | 5 votes)
 
“If he just had one more pitch/2nd pitch” (13.3% | 8 votes)
 
Other? (1.6% | 1 vote)
 

Total Votes: 60
9:10
Paul Swydan: OK, added that one in too.

9:11
Paul Swydan: Francisco Mejia just drew his first career IBB because Brad Ausmus is a moron.

9:11
Wily Mo’s Ghost: This business with the 1916 Giants and the tie is really annoying me. I hate asterisks. Manfred should just issue a ruling. Although really Swydan and Zimmerman’s opinion ought to be considered binding.

9:11
Paul Swydan: Whoa whoa whoa, what are we talking about here? Context please.

9:12
Jeff Zimmerman: Yea but generally asterisks make great conversation pieces.

9:12
Wily Mo’s Ghost: The ’16 Giants “won” 26 games in a row. Except that they had a tie in the middle, so it’s really an “unbeaten” streak, which makes Cleveland a lot closer to the record than is being reported.

9:13
Jeff Zimmerman: I agree with your take

9:13
Paul Swydan: Oh, I see. Well, was it a tie on account of darkness? If it was a tie on account of darkness, then I’ll allow their streak. Nothing they could do about that in 1916. If it was for some reason, then they’re on shakier ground in my opinion.

9:13
Paul Swydan: some other reason, I mean.

9:14
joe: Are the yanks a more dangerous playoff team than the sox? Assuming they get past the wild card game

9:14
Paul Swydan: I think the Yankees are a MUCH more dangerous playoff team than the Red Sox, to be perfectly honest.

9:14
Jeff Zimmerman: No, I have doubts about their starters. At least the Sox have an ace in Sale.

9:15
Paul Swydan: After Sale though, the Sox SPs are so jumbled that I won’t be surprised if Fister starts Game 2.

9:15
Roger: What will JD Martinez’s next contract look like?

9:15
Paul Swydan: Like, 4 years, $70 million?

9:16
Paul Swydan: He’s bat only, and may only be a DH, and he’s into his 30s, so that will depress his market some.

9:16
Paul Swydan: There will also be people who want to discount his stats given the elevation of Arizona’s home park. But, I hope he beats that estimate!

9:17
Jeff Zimmerman: I was going with 5/80, do close

9:17
CarrotJuice: What’s more improbable: the best team in MLB losing 11 in a row, or the worst team in MLB winning 11 games in a row.

9:17
Paul Swydan: I think the worst team winning 11 games in a row. But it’s close.

9:18
Jeff Zimmerman: Worst winning 11.

9:18
Paul Swydan: I pick the worst team winning 11 in a row because the worst team inevitably has a bad 4 and/or 5 starter, and it’s tough to pull together winning streaks with a sinkhole or 2 in the rotation.

9:18
Murdoc: Do you like the Kipnis in center idea?

9:19
Jeff Zimmerman: Not really but the Indians can do whatever they want right now and it works

9:19
Paul Swydan: I think Kipnis has been brittle enough at the position he’s played his whole life, so moving him to a NEW position seems like it probably wouldn’t be a good idea.

9:19
jeonghunKim: Can you pick up one word to describe 2017 MLB Season?

9:20
Paul Swydan: Conventional.

9:20
Jeff Zimmerman: Boring

9:21
Jeff Zimmerman: Those two descriptions are about the same

9:21
Paul Swydan: Yeah, I was gonna say boring, but that sounds mean. I just mean in the way that most things — in aggregate — have played out as expected. At least for the division races.

9:21
Rick: How can i find data on batting average or wOBA by pitch for players? Ranked.

9:21
Paul Swydan: Jeff?

9:22
Jeff Zimmerman: You can’t.

9:22
Paul Swydan: Sorry, Rick!

9:22
Jackson C: Is Dennis Eckersley the best color commentator in baseball?

9:23
Paul Swydan: I’d say that he’s in the conversation, but I don’t listen to enough of the various broadcasters to have a worthwhile opinion.

9:23
Jeff Zimmerman: I’d guess no. I haven’t heard much of Eck

9:23
Paul Swydan: I will say that right now I’m watching on the Tigers feed, and that I like those guys, because they’re pretty low key.

9:23
Wily Mo’s Ghost: What do you think is the proper definition of “batting around” in an inning? Broadcasters seem to regard it as 9 PAs, but that makes no sense to me–“around” implies coming back to the starting point, which would have to mean 10 PAs.

9:24
Paul Swydan: Yes, I find this discussion a little silly. To me, around is 10 PAs – the guy who led off the inning comes to the plate again in the same inning.

9:24
Jeff Zimmerman: I’m with Paul

9:25
Wily Mo’s Ghost: Are these reasonable assumptions? 1.If Nuñez’s knee is good enough to hit and not enough to field, he’s the everyday DH in the playoffs. 2.If 1 is true, then Moreland is the primary 1st baseman. 3.Hanley is amog the least versatile players who might occupy a bench spot. And so logically, 4.Hanley has a serious chance of being left off the roster (and Sam Travis of making it).

9:26
Paul Swydan: I think that your assumptions are perfectly reasonable. But John Farrell has shown no inclination to bench Hanley whatsoever, and so I don’t see this happening. The only way I see Travis making the postseason roster is if they go 14 position players/11 pitchers, and even then it might be tenuous, because of Brock Holt and reasons.

9:27
Paul Swydan: The bottom line is that I think Farrell has found it tough to bench Hanley because the Sox have struggled to hit for power, and Hanley still does that. It’s ALL he’s doing, and he’s not even doing it at an elite level, but he is doing it at a level better than most of his teammates.

9:28
Todd Cobb: why don’t catchers get custom paint jobs on their masks a la hockey goalies. Is this not allowed, would the culture around baseball frown on such a thing, or other?

9:29
Paul Swydan: I would say it’s probably because it would be distracting to the pitcher, and distracting your own pitchers is probably not something you want to do.

9:29
Paul Swydan: But I also wouldn’t be surprised if it’s against the rules. :-)

9:29
Jeff Zimmerman: Not sure about the legality front, but I see nothing stopping them

9:29
jeonghunkim: how do you predict Eric Hosmer’s Winter contact. Can he get a
over 10M contract?

9:29
Paul Swydan: Oh, he’ll for sure get over the $10M a year hump.

9:30
Jeff Zimmerman: I could see it near JD Martinez’s

9:30
Kris: Tough poll. Physical Specimen is definitely most likely to bust, but it’s also the profile that gives you the best chance at six years of cost-controlled 4+ win seasons…

9:30
Wily Mo’s Ghost: My favorite is the Donnie Sadler type. “With that speed, he just needs to hit it on the ground.”

9:31
Paul Swydan: Well, where were you with that option before I published the poll?

9:31
Wily Mo’s Ghost: I assume darkness–2nd game of a doubleheader. https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/NY1/NY1191609182.shtml

9:32
Jeff Zimmerman: ok

9:32
Paul Swydan: OK, you redeemed yourself with that, WMG. Since we can assume it was called on account of darkness, I’m inclined to let their streak stand.

9:33
Hatzis: I believe the 1916 Giants’ tie game was on account of rain after 9 innings and a 1-1 score.

9:33
Paul Swydan: Oh, interesting. Well that’s also not under their control, so, same answer.

9:34
Murdoc: Jon Buck was the last guy allowed to have a custom painted mask.

9:34
Jeff Zimmerman: OK

9:34
Paul Swydan: Oh interesting. OK, so then I guess it’s not allowed. You guys are doing better at answering questions tonight than I am.

9:34
Rick: Would you rather attend a AA game for the affiliate of your favorite MLB team, or an MLB game in which you have no particular rooting interest?

9:34
Jeff Zimmerman: John Buck, one of the few players born in Wyoming

9:35
Paul Swydan: Interesting question. I think I’d probably rather attend the MLB game.

9:35
Jeff Zimmerman: AA

9:35
Paul Swydan: Although I have been meaning to get up to Portland…

9:35
Todd Cobb: how unusual is it that the Indians have a lineup with 3 switch hitters (Lindor, Ramirez, Santana) plus 1 more that will surely be a regular in the next year or two (Mejia). Could this be some sort of org. philosophy, to encourage switch hitters to continue hitting both ways rather than making a choice, or is this more likely a random chance sort of occurrence.

9:36
Paul Swydan: I would say it’s a random thing, but it could definitely be a fun offseason project to see what is the highest % of PAs a team has had in a season from switch hitters.

9:36
Jeff Zimmerman: I’m guessing random

9:36
Ryan: Cardinals are only 2 back of the Cubs.  Is this another year in which their devil magic carries them to the post season?

9:37
Paul Swydan: Could be. The CHC-STL-MIL head-to-head matchups are shaping up to be the most important series’ of the month.

9:37
Jeff Zimmerman: I think no but I’ve been wrong before

9:37
JD Martin: When are we getting an Ozzie Albies article? 3/4 tonight with a dong and a steal to bring his line to .295/.356/.473

9:38
Paul Swydan: Well, perhaps someone will see this and add it to their queue. Definitely off to a good start though.

9:38
Paul Swydan: I’ll take a 113 wRC+ w good D and baserunning from a 2B/MI every day of the week.

9:39
Jeff Zimmerman: Agree

9:39
erniecamacho: Do you prefer asterisks with sharp narrow lines that look prickly or the more baloony arms?

9:39
Paul Swydan: Prickly.

9:39
Jeff Zimmerman: prickly

9:39
Freddie Freeman: How should the front office convince me to shut it down early (or take some off days at the very least, for Trout’s sake!) to allow my wrist to properly heal when I’ve openly refused the idea?

9:40
Paul Swydan: If the Braves front office really wants him to sit, they could just DL him. They don’t HAVE TO convince him of anything. He’s their employee

9:41
Paul Swydan: Though obviously they could just show him the breakdown of careers before and after wrist injuries that really took a turn for the worse. Say, Nomar Garciaparra.

9:42
Jeff Zimmerman: Not sure how to convince but they know you better than anyone else.

9:42
Tom: Can the Blue Jays cobble together a team to compete in 2018 one last time before losing Donaldson?

9:43
Jeff Zimmerman: Maybe. They need some consistent pitching

9:43
Paul Swydan: I’d say it’s imperative that they do, because after ’18 they may suck for awhile. But it’s all dependent on how much money they want to spend this offseason. I’d bet on them continuing to cry poor and hoping no one notices that they play in one of the biggest cities in North America.

9:43
Paul Swydan: brb

9:46
Paul Swydan: ok, sorry, back

9:46
Tim: Kluber over Sale for AL Cy Young?

9:47
Paul Swydan: Not yet, but the gap is closing.

9:47
Jeff Zimmerman: NO, they’re getting closer

9:47
Murdoc: What are the chances David Price plays for the entire AL East by the end of his career?

9:48
Paul Swydan: I could see it. Next contract with the Yankees just to torture himself, and then when his career is hanging by a thread in like 8 years, the O’s could sign him as a retread. I’m rooting for this now.

9:50
Beetle Jones: In H2H leagues it’s playoffs time.  Does that mean that now, more than ever, the time has come to focus on winning just enough cats to win one’s week?  Balance is fine in May, but by now we should know what we have and build on those strengths, yes?

9:50
Paul Swydan: Absolutely. Flags fly forever.

9:52
Murdoc: Would it be hard to find which game has had the highest average velocity for one team? Carrasco/Salazar/McAllister from last night got me thinking about it but I’m sure Nolan Ryan or Randy Johnson have thrown straight gas over nine innings.

9:53
Jeff Zimmerman: No, but the data is only  back 2008

9:53
Paul Swydan: If you narrowed it down to teams with high avg velo in general, you probably could. You can pull up a pitcher’s game logs and search that way.

9:55
Paul Swydan: With Carrasco specifically, your instinct seems right on in the sense that 3 of his 8 highest avg velos have come in Sept

9:55
Paul Swydan: But like Jeff said, you can’t go too far back with the search.

9:55
Hatzis: I know that Altuve sits atop the WAR leaderboard with Trout closing in, but do either Ramirez or Lindor have a shot at the AL MVP? Does this hot streak cause any recency bias for voters?

9:56
Paul Swydan: I mean, it’ll cause it with some, sure. But Lindor also nearly went 0-for-June, and I’m sure some voters will be cognizant enough to remember that month as well.

9:56
Jeff Zimmerman: I don’t like so yet

9:56
Wily Mo’s Ghost: So, obviously Carson Smith needs to be worked into high-pressure spots gradually. But once that process is over, is he the Sox’ 2nd-best reliever?

9:56
Paul Swydan: We’ll see. Right now he’s an extra guy, and not even a guy I’d be willing to commit a postseason roster spot to. I think more than high-leverage situations, he has to show he can pitch on back-to-back days.

9:57
Paul Swydan: Even with all the off-days in the playoffs, if he can’t go full throttle on back-to-back days, it’s going to be hard to find a reason to put him on the postseason roster.

9:58
Justin: If you could put a player on any contender without touching dodgers or Indians rosters to compete for the playoffs who goes to which franchise and why?

9:58
Paul Swydan: I think the standard answer here of put Giancarlo Stanton on the Rockies definitely applies.

9:59
Jeff Zimmerman: That would work maybe an Ace for the Rockies

10:00
Paul Swydan: Other answers include put Mike Trout on the Nationals.

10:00
Paul Swydan: That’d be a lot of fun.

10:00
Paul Swydan: Trout and Harper on the same team.

10:01
Paul Swydan: Yeah, Nola or Archer or deGrom on the Rockies or any other team, really.

10:01
Yor: Who are your picks for NL and AL pitcher rookies of the year?

10:02
Paul Swydan: Marquez and Montgomery seems about right. Luis Castillo could get a little heat, but he hasn’t been up long enough IMO.

10:02
Jeff Zimmerman: Castillo with Reds

10:02
Paul Swydan: Same thing with Faria.

10:03
Paul Swydan: Alright everyone, we’re going to call it a night. Thanks very much for hanging out with us. Talk to you next week!

10:03
Jeff Zimmerman: Bye and good night

We hoped you liked reading FanGraphs After Dark Chat – 9/12/17 by Paul Swydan!

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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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