Jay Jaffe FanGraphs Chat – 5/24/18

12:02
Jay Jaffe: Hey hey, folks!  Welcome to another edition of my Thursday chat. As I’m less than 24 hours away from flying solo with a 21-month-old toddler who can channel the Antichrist, i’ll be cutting this a bit shorter than usual so that I can figure out which whiskey will knock her out the longest. And with that, let’s get to the questions…

12:02
John Oleruds Helmet: Mr Jay! Shine thy light upon this chat!! Grace us with thy wisdom!!!
Is it possible after Mariano and eventually Mussina and (possibly) Schilling that we may not see another pitcher inducted into the Hall until Verlander??

12:05
Jay Jaffe: The late Roy Halladay is eligible for the first time this year, and I think he’s got a chance to get elected, if not this year then soon. Lee Smith will be eligible for the first time on the Today’s Game ballot, and given that he broke 50% on the writers’ ballot before, you have to figure he’s got a shot in that format. But those two and the three you mentioned might be the only pitchers who get in until somebody currently active, and as I noted last week, Verlander is pretty much at the head of the pack now given his age and recent dominance.

12:06
Dave: Howdy!  Robinson Cano seemed like an eventual shoo-in for the HOF before his PED-related suspension.  What are his chances now?

12:07
Jay Jaffe: I’d say they’re pretty low, but we’ll see how the voters handle Alex Rodriguez when he becomes eligible in 2022. We’ve yet to see a previously PED-suspended player top 23.8%.

12:08
bonnie: If you were casting a baseball flavored remake of Space Jam, who would be your star and who would you pick to make up the MonStars?

12:08
Jay Jaffe: I never saw Space Jam, but i’ll go ahead and say Bryce Harper seems like he’d be a good choice to star. I have no idea what the MonStars are.

12:08
Sharp: Rangers need to be sellers, but only Kela and Claudio seem to have value.

12:09
Jay Jaffe: Cole Hamels may well be the best pitcher available at the deadline, and if Adrian Beltre’s healthy and willing to be dealt, he’ll be a player in demand, too.

12:09
Oyster Burns: Gleyber’s power surge is: __________

12:10
Jay Jaffe: Today’s topic of mine http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/gleyber-torres-and-the-yankees-pursuit-… Pretty remarkable what he’s doing — his 167 wRC+ leads the Yankees, and his 8 homers and .710 SLG are the team’s highest this month.

12:12
Slew : Take carseat on plane for toddler. Changes the whole dynamic of their expectations about what will happen.

12:13
Jay Jaffe: Yes, I am taking the car seat. This will be her 4th flight and second in the last 3 months. She’s tall for her age, though, and likely to be frustrated by being constrained. the good news is that she should hit her usual nap time early in the flight. Praying that she sleeps some

12:13
Funkhouser: Hi Jay, I asked you a few weeks ago about your favorite sandwich in New York and I just wanted to apologize for the emotional rollercoaster I set you off on. Also, would you prefer Bellinger or Vlad Jr. for the next 5 years? The more I look the more Bellinger looks unimpressive to me. Sure a .250-270 average and 30-40 homers at his age is impressive, but it also seems replaceable and prone to fluctuation, especially considering his 2017 second half performance after that absurd June. Am I unfairly down on him because Vlad looks so capable all around?

12:14
Jay Jaffe: Hey, it was a good rollercoaster. Ordered a Cuban sandwich today from a place I’ve never tried, so I’ll let you folks know how that pans out.

12:16
Jay Jaffe: As for Vlad Jr. vs. Bellinger — that’s not the easiest call. Bellinger seems to be struggling a bit to adjust to how he’s being pitched, and he’s made a couple of dumb mistakes on the bases, but his athleticism gives him very good value on both sides of the ball, and it’s not an accident the Dodgers are giving him looks in center field. Vlad’s bat seems to be ready, and holy hell, I can’t wait to see him hit, but nobody really thinks he can stick at third base, and moving to another position won’t be trivial.

12:16
Jay Jaffe: I still haven’t answered your question, and maybe this looks silly in a year, but i’m inclined to bet on the 22-year-old who has established that he can be an above-average MLBer on both sides of the ball.

12:17
Sleepy: YOU NEVER SAW SPACE JAM?!?!?

12:17
Jay Jaffe: I’m 48 years old and I loathe Michael Jordan with every fiber of my being.

12:19
Bert: When does Senzel arrive in Cincy? Does he split time among several IF spots?

12:24
Jay Jaffe: As I understand it, he’s resumed activity at the Reds spring training facility, and could return to action by the end of the month, but I think given his battles with vertigo, the team is going to proceed with caution. So maybe he’s up next month, and maybe the team waits until July, when he’s got more experience at second base and Scooter Gennett is wearing somebody else’s uniform

12:26
Jay Jaffe: This Cuban sandwich from Sophie’s Cuban in downtown Brooklyn is well-composed but lacks acidity. Not enough pickles or mustard. 45 on the 20-80 scale.

12:27
Ted: What are the chances of Justus Sheffield joining the Yankees’ rotation this year? Under normal circumstances I’d say he wasn’t ready, but being in AAA on a contender that’s weak on starting pitching is kind of a perfect storm…

12:29
Jay Jaffe: He did just miss a bit of time for shoulder tightness and is walking 4.7 per nine. I think the Yankees will ride Domingo German for at least a few more starts before they give Sheffield a look.

12:29
Billy Beane: Loathe MJ? Explain yourself, sir!

12:30
Jay Jaffe: I don’t owe you or anyone an explanation, but being a Utah Jazz fan is one part of it — not the only one.

12:31
Paulie Walnuts: Hi Jay, thanks for chatting. Do you know of anywhere I can find BaseRuns data going back to past years? Fangraphs’ page only has the current year.

12:31
Jay Jaffe: from Sean Dolinar:

We don’t keep records of those standings, but an enterprising individual could calculate it. The formula is here: https://www.fangraphs.com/library/features/baseruns/

12:33
Connor: Will Ian Kinsler ever figure it out this year? Or is he just getting to old to put up the same numbers?

12:35
Jay Jaffe: I haven’t looked at his Statcast data but right now, Kinsler’s numbers are pretty bleak. He’s 35, and it’s not inconceivable he’s done as a regular. Will try to take a closer look one of these days.

12:35
DraftDog27: Britton or Donaldson more likely to get  QO? And if they do. Do they accept? Or do you see both being traded.

12:36
Jay Jaffe: I think both wind up being traded in July, hence no QO, but it’s more likely Toronto sticks around to make a go and holds onto their guy to the end — in which case a QO is a no-brainer unless they’ve had to staple his arm back on

12:37
Bo: If you’re a sandwich guy for lunch, what’s a typical dinner?

12:40
Jay Jaffe: five popular dinner entrees from Casa Jaffe-Span:

skirt steak with home-made chimichurri
Jacques Pepin’s Crusty Chicken (sometimes with the mushrooms) https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2009/08/jacques-pepin-crusty-chick…
blackened salmon
spaghetti with homemade meatballs & sauce
pork chops with balsamic vinegar and mushrooms

popular sides: sauteed green beans with sliced almonds, kale with pickled shallots, roasted cauliflower with garlic and lemon, roasted asparagus with garlic, roasted broccoli with garlic and lemon

12:41
Oden: Utah Jazz fan?   In 1993, business acquaintance informed me i’d be meeting Karl Malone that weekend, to which i replied good, i can ask him why he felt he had to cheap shot Isiah (Pistons fan, myself) just because Stockton couldn’t guard him.   Three days pass, she introduces me to Malone, and as i am shaking his GIANT hand,  she says to Karl that i had a question i wanted to ask him regarding the Pistons.   The look in his eye changed–he knew i’d said something–and with all the courage i could muster, i said “no i didn’t”…

12:43
Jay Jaffe: I grew up in SLC (1973-88) and my parents are still there — that’s where I’m flying tomorrow. Malone is an intimidating dude but there isn’t a Piston from that era who didn’t dish out more 5x as many cheap shots as he absorbed. And fuck Isaih Thomas eternally. I don’t like Jordan, but Thomas is a  scumbag

12:43
pH: This chat is lacking in ludes

12:44
Jay Jaffe: I’m not here to live up to anybody’s expectations about my chats, my dude. You could easily just not read.

12:44
CJ: Who do you like better this season for SS,  Chris Taylor or Gleyber Torres?

12:45
Jay Jaffe: Torres is a second baseman now and so long as Didi Gregorius is a Yankee, it would appear

12:45
Billy Beane: Talk to me about this spaghetti sauce recipe, Mr. Jaffe.

12:48
Jay Jaffe: Mom’s recipe. 2 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes, 1 can diced, 2 T double-concentrate paste, 6 or so cloves of garlic plus some crushed red peppers, chopped parsley, chopped fresh oregano, salt and pepper, and about a teaspoon of some secret herbs and spices that my mom brought back from Italy that for some reason is a total game-changer.

12:48
Wes: No question here, just wanted to wish you a good flight and to have helpful flight crew and passangers. I know how rough it can be with a young kid on a flight.

12:49
Jay Jaffe: Thank you, sincerely. I’m optimistic but also braced for 6 hours of hell.

12:49
Mike: How are the dodgers going to handle Buehler’s workload? They need him in the rotation now, but how are they going to do that and keep him available for potential postseason work?

12:52
Jay Jaffe: A lot will depend on how quickly/effectively Kershaw, Hill and Ryu come back. Under optimal circumstances I’d think they would probably put the brakes on him in July as they did with Julio Urias in 2016, then ramp him back up later in the year, but right now, I think if they have to burn most of his innings before the trade deadline, they will, and get somebody in a deal. Hamels seems like a possibility.

12:52
Bob Dobalina: Isiah Thomas is statistically one of the more overrated stars from that era. The rest of the Bad Boys Pistons never get enough credit (Laimbeer, Dumars, Johnson, Rodman, Aguirre) and that team as a whole mostly capitalized on a right-place-right-time ascent during the decline of the Celtics/Lakers and before the Bulls were ready.

12:52
Bob Dobalina: What I’m trying to say is fuck Isiah Thomas

12:53
Jay Jaffe: We are on the same page. Also, I enjoyed watching former Jazz star Adrian Dantley with them. He could stlll light it up.

12:54
Rockie Dangerfield: Is it too early to start this year’s Larry Walker HoF campaign?

12:55
Jay Jaffe: it’s about eight years too late. He made a big jump on the 2018 ballot, all the way to 34.1% but won’t get to 75% over his final two years. Hoping he gets to 50% to set himself up for future Today’s Game eleciton.

12:55
Toddhole: Hi Jay! Are you aware of a stat or some body of research that deals with the volatility of performance by position? I was surprised to see the sort of cash thrown at mid relievers this offseason because I think of them as being so streaky – but I realized I had no real stat to back feeling up.

12:57
Jay Jaffe: I’m not. But the 60-inning workloads that relievers throw are pretty small, sample-size wise, and throwing the baseball max effort at high velocity creates an injury risk that is probably exacerbated by the competitive desire to man up and remain available as much as possible. So performance deteriorates and you don’t get a lot of guys who remain top-flight relievers for several years in a row.

12:57
WormsleyCommonGang: You don’t like having fun in chats do you? Good grief.

12:59
Jay Jaffe: yes, that must be it.

12:59
Lance Biggerstaff: Don’t like having fun? We’re talking sammiches, meatballs and the Bad Boys, for God’s sake

12:59
Butters: Does Tyson Ross get traded and do you think his success this season is sustainable?

1:01
Jay Jaffe: If he can stay healthy into July, he looks like a significant trade piece in what probably won’t be a very deep market. I’d like to see his velo and swinging strike rate continue to climb before I fully buy in.

1:01
Pete: FanGraphs has made the argument that player opt-outs are bad deals for teams. But in the case of Bryce Harper, could it work out? The Nationals clearly don’t want to pay him the $350-$400M for ten years or so it’ll take to keep him. But if he insists on opt-outs, as he almost certainly will, why not sign him, fully expecting him to leave after three years? That way, they’re off the hook for most of the contract, can maximize their remaining Scherzer/Strasburg years, and don’t have to pay for his eventual decline.

1:02
Jay Jaffe: There’s always the risk of injury when it comes to those opt outs, and Harper has seemed more injury-prone than most, but yes, I can see the logic of signing him to a deal with a big sticker price and being somewhat relieved that he splits in 3-4 years.

1:02
Oyster Burns: If we were creating a Hall of Narrative that ignores stats but inducts players with fun stories or interesting careers, who is your inaugural class?

1:04
Jay Jaffe: this is basically what the Baseball Reliquary does with its Shrine of the Eternals, and I highly encourage everyone here to check them out. http://www.baseballreliquary.org/awards/shrine-of-the-eternals/

1:04
Sideburns McGee: In your opinion:  1. *Should* Joe Mauer be elected? and 2. *Will* Joe Mauer be elected?

1:04
Jay Jaffe: Yes, definitely; and yes, eventually.

1:05
Bert: Is Odor just a bad hitter? Any chance of turning it around?

1:06
Jay Jaffe: He’s gotten pretty bad. I don’t see him improving until the Rangers make him commit to tightening his control of the strike zone, even if it comes at the expense of some power. A 58 wRC+ since the start of last year ain’t cutting it

1:06
Eric: Over/under: 5% chance Gleyber Torres makes the hall of fame

1:08
Jay Jaffe: Wrote this a couple weeks ago when Ronald Acuña was promoted: https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/instagraphs/acunas-hall-of-fame-chance…

Historically speaking, a 21-year-old with 100 MLB PA under his belt has a 14% shot at the Hall of Fame. A 19-year-old with a single plate appearance (hello, Juan Soto) has about a 10% shot.

1:08
Ronnie: Machado & Harper are about to get about 750 million dollars. Trout has more WAR than both of them combined. Could he really get three quarters of a billion if he were a free agent this winter?

1:09
Jay Jaffe: No, because that’s not the way it works. But he’d get a bigger contract than either Harper or Machado.

1:09
Zock Jr.: Jay, this NFL anthem ruling is pretty disgustingly unamerican. Any chance we see more MLB player protests in response?

1:11
Jay Jaffe: Not unless Carlos Delgado is coming out of retirement. Recall that last year only Bruce Maxwell made a point of kneeling during the anthem. You have to remember that the demographic makeup of MLB is much different than that of the NFL, so it’s not like you’re going to see an inherent amount of cross-sport solidarity.

1:12
Brood550: So Jay’s a Knick’s fan.  LOL, rockin you some Starbury’s?

1:13
Jay Jaffe: Watching (or rather ignoring, except for the headlines) the endless failure that has been the Knicks during most of my 23 years in the city helps keep me warm at night. I do feel bad for former Jazz star Jeff Hornacek for having to coach that wreck, but he’s a free man now.

1:14
Yadi’s Lil Molinas: During the Cardinals game yesterday, I saw Pena take a foul ball to the top of his knee and he was clearly in pain. Luckily he was able to stay in the game and it doesnt look like a DL stint is required…but honestly, what would the cardinals do if they had Molina, Kelly, and Pena on the DL? Would they have to call up Knizner?

1:15
Jay Jaffe: I guess it depends if Ted Simmons or Tom Pagnozzi is taking Mozeliak’s calls. Might just have the pitcher throw straight to the backstop.

1:15
John: Speaking of Torres, I’m noticing a narrative among Cubs fans that the Torres/Chapman trade might have been a mistake in hindsight. Even if Torres leads the Yankees to ten straight World Series and is a first ballot hall of famer, wasn’t it worth it to get over the hump, even if the Cubs don’t win the World Series again for the next hundred years?

1:16
Jay Jaffe: Flags fly forever, it has been said.

1:16
Matt: Seems to me that the Gleyber Torres trade has a chance to replace Lou Brock as the worst trade in Cubs history when it is all said and done.  What say you?

1:16
Jay Jaffe: Given that they didn’t get a championship out of the Brock trade (but the Cardinals got two), I think it’s gonna be a slim likelihood that the Torres trade tops it

1:17
Jesse: After 50 games played, the Astros are on pace to shatter the single season record for fewest runs allowed in a 162-game season. At what point does the record become in serious jeopardy of falling (if the 2.5 runs/game pace continues)? 80 games? 90? 100?

1:18
Jay Jaffe: if they take it into September they might have a chance, but I’m skeptical there won’t be regression, particularly in this relatively high-scoring environment

1:18
Kosch: Most underrated player since 1980??  My take is Bagwell…who is yours?

1:18
Jay Jaffe: Bagwell, Raines, Utley and Walker are guys I’d put into that conversation

1:19
Bart: What’s your thoughts on Paul Goldschmidt and his slow start? Is the humidor a factor?

1:20
Jay Jaffe: I’ve written about him a couple times and had a bit about the humidor here. https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/losing-pollock-isnt-the-d-backs-only-p…

IIRC, others have mentioned that Goldschmidt has had trouble with the high-velo stuff. That’s on my list of things to check into.

1:21
jason : I was late to the chat due to someone’s compelling Gleyber piece.  You say the Yankees are “alarmingly close to the 269-homer forecast that Jeff Sullivan highlighted back on February 22.”   Why “alarmingly?”

1:21
Jay Jaffe: 269-homer forecast, 272-homer pace? I mean, it’s pretty clear Jeff Sullivan is a sorcerer of some sort, and that’s rather alarming to me. YMMV.

1:22
Billy Beane: Jay, you’re a slow, deliberate, unapologetic chatter. I respect that about you. Thanks for chatting.

1:22
Jay Jaffe: I did it myyyyyyyyy waaaaaaaay!

Thank you.

1:22
Bill: What kind of chances do you give Chris Sale to make the hall?

1:25
Jay Jaffe: He needs to have a few more big years and then stay healthy for awhile. Doable, but his JAWS is just 37.3, and it needs to get to about 50 before it becomes realistic

1:26
Please win, Caps: What would Josh Hader have to do to win NL Cy Young in your eyes? Assume Scherzer finishes around 7 WAR in this scenario as per his projections.

1:26
Jay Jaffe: If Scherzer keeps doing what he’s doing, i don’t see him losing out on the Cy. His 40% K rate is unreal

1:26
Butters: Where do you think Cole Hamels goes?  Could the Mariners get him for salary and a mid-level prospect, or is he likely to be a lot spendier than that?

1:27
Jay Jaffe: The Mariners don’t have the prospects that the Dodgers or Yankees do, and I think both could be in on him.

1:27
Lee: Never get tired of this one   

1:27
Jay Jaffe: oh yes.

1:27
Marc: Jokes aside, for his 45th birthday, does Bartolo Colon have any chance of making the hall of fame, if only through sheer longevity and force of will?

1:28
Jay Jaffe: No. I love Bartolo as much as the next fan, but the performance isn’t elite enough, and let’s not forget the impact of PED suspensions on candidacies.

1:29
Ducking Fodgers!: Is what Brock Holt doing sustainable? will he ever get more playing time?

1:30
Jay Jaffe: Not sustainable but his versatility makes him an important player for the Red Sox. He’ll get his playing time even after Pedroia returns

1:31
PD: Isn’t the Joe Morgan trade much worse than the Lou Brock trade?

1:31
Jay Jaffe: it ain’t great. WAR-wise (where Brock doesn’t do well), you may in fact be right.

1:32
Bo: Why does Andruw Jones get such little HoF love? 10 straight Gold Gloves and 400+ HR.

1:32
Jay Jaffe: Guys who disappear by their mid-30s generally don’t get much love from voters and then there’s the Rule of 2000. https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/joe-mauer-and-the-rule-of-2000/

1:32
Jsto: Is it realistic for Betts to top Trout in WAR by end of season?

1:34
Jay Jaffe: He’s doing it now (4.0 to 3.6) but I don’t see him sustaining a 216 wRC+. So I think he falls behind eventually. Still, he’s amazing and I’d like to offer a friendly Bronx cheer at my former staffmates at SI.com who derided me for pushing Betts for #3 (behind Altuve and Trout) in the Top 100 Players feature we did just before I departed for FanGraphs (https://www.si.com/mlb/2018/02/15/top-100-players-top-10-mike-trout-jose-altuve).

1:35
Jay Jaffe: OK folks, I’ve got podcasting and packing to do before I get out of here, so this is the end of today’s chat. Thanks for stopping by to talk about spaghetti, meatballs and the Hall of Fame!

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Brooklyn-based Jay Jaffe is a senior writer for FanGraphs, the author of The Cooperstown Casebook (Thomas Dunne Books, 2017) and the creator of the JAWS (Jaffe WAR Score) metric for Hall of Fame analysis. He founded the Futility Infielder website (2001), was a columnist for Baseball Prospectus (2005-2012) and a contributing writer for Sports Illustrated (2012-2018). He has been a recurring guest on MLB Network and a member of the BBWAA since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @jay_jaffe.

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PC1970
Member
PC1970

I think Baltimore has a legit shot at coming close to the 2003 Tigers 119 losses. They’re terrible, are going to trade Machado (& maybe others) , have no impact players coming up this year & have to play those AL East behemoths so often.

Ryan DC
Member
Member
Ryan DC

Nah the pitching–especially the ‘pen–will be just barely decent enough (i.e. bad but not historically awful) to avoid total catastrophe and their non-Machado hitters will experience some positive regression. 100 losses might be in play though.

fjtorres
Member
fjtorres

The pen is going to be sought after at the deadline, if not sooner.
Of course, its the O’s so they might be buyers instead.