Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 10/6/17

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to Friday baseball chat

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: Which I…think…is going to be followed by Dave live-blogging the early game? Find out!

9:05
Bryan: What the hell happened to the Yankees last night?

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: They lost!

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: When you’re going up against part of the best pitching staff in at least modern baseball history, you’re probably going to look like you’re taking bad at-bats

9:07
Ray Liotta as Shoeless Joe: So Jeff, you mentioned in your podcast that you loathe Trevor Bauer. Besides his tantilizing skill that has only matriculated into flashes of brilliance and his general irritability, why do you dislike him?

9:07
Dookie Howser, MD: With the increase in both flyball ratios, and the three true outcomes, is it time to re-evaluate positional adjustments when calculating WAR? Shouldn’t the SS position be less valuable now with fewer balls hit to it?

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: People re-visit the positional adjustments every now and again. The math is always above my head, but it would make sense to me that the shortstop boost should be gradually declining

9:09
Ray Liotta as Shoeless Joe: I do not think Torey Lovullo is a bad manager by any means, but regardless of results, batting Archie Bradley with two on and two outs was a terrible decision, right? It didn’t matter in the end and we got a cool play out of it, but that was truly baffling.

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: Bradley relieved De La Rosa with two outs and none on in the top of the seventh. Then he came up to bat in the bottom of the seventh. Granted, he was the fifth guy up, but still, seems like one could’ve anticipated that and just held Bradley to begin the eighth. Don’t think you need a new pitcher in the seventh to face DJ LeMahieu

9:11
Matty P: Shoutout to the homeplate ump yesterday for the yanks Indians. Called a great game

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: The playoffs are young but I’ve yet to see much complaining about the strike zones

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: Some borderline calls last night that went against the Yankees but mostly the umpiring has been sharp

9:12
Statcastr: hey Jeff, do you know whatever happened with the whole pitch velocities being 1-ish mph higher due to tracking from the hand instead of at 55 feet? Were any adjustments made or did basically everyone get an extra mph bump? Or was it just left as is and eventually didn’t really have an effect?

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: When you have the chance, go by the Pitch Info numbers. They’re adjusted to be consistent over the course of the past decade

9:14
Ray Liotta as Shoeless Joe: Jeff, I sent an e-mail to you and Ben on this subject, but as a 30-year old American in 2017, I demand instant gratification. Did you have a chance to see this?
https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-downside-of-baseballs-data-revolution…

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: Nothing entirely shocking — the three true outcomes aren’t exactly the most democratic of on-field events

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: Part of this is also just the rise in velocity, which might’ve been inevitable given newer training techniques. Higher velocity means higher strikeouts, and it means pitchers need a little more rest between pitches

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: But there should be no question that the data revolution has contributed to the state of the sport today

9:17
Pog: After the Coppolella stuff went down, you said that Preller’s presence makes the Padres ethically rotten. Is that just cause of the DL stuff from last year or is there more to his story?

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: Just a sketchy dude

9:17
Matt: Jeff. I’m not too worried about the Yanks being down 1-0. Starting Kluber today (tomorrow) is a bit nerve-racking though. Can CC be strong enough to give the Yanks the chance to win that they need?

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: Their relievers yesterday: Warren, Garcia, and one inning of Betances. This won’t be on CC. In theory he really only needs to be passable for three or four innings

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: Now, that doesn’t make hitting Kluber any easier. Indians have the obvious advantage today. But it’s not as obvious as the gap between Kluber and Sabathia because Sabathia won’t go very long

9:18
Dookie Howser, MD: Are the Red Sox the worst team left in the playoffs?

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: Probably the Diamondbacks, unless you believe that Chris Sale is greatly diminished these days

9:19
Dave: If Lester and Arrieta are healthy, would you give the series advantage to Chicago?

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: Well, we know Arrieta isn’t healthy

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: Granted, we also know Scherzer isn’t healthy

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: This series seems to me the most like a coin flip

9:20
mike: if bauer is on some kind of “run” that he keeps up and CLE has Kluber and Carrasco both pitching how they normally do, how insane will this pitching staff be?

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: Can’t be more best than best ever

9:20
Dan: A day later and that AL MVP race sure looks awfully one-sided, eh?

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: Remember how Judge hit an important home run in the wild-card game

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: Remember how ballots are due before the start of the playoffs

9:21
Dookie Howser, MD: How sick is Jose Altuve of answering questions about his height?

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: He was probably more sick of it when he was younger

9:22
Blizzard of Oz: What’s your take on Albies for next year, and did he surprise you this year?  A real speed/power threat up the middle?

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: I like how quick his hands are, and of some note is that, over the course of his debut, he hit just one single pop-up. Line-drive kind of hitter with well-rounded skills. Hell of a skillset for a guy who isn’t yet 21

9:25
Colin: On Bill James’ website yesterday, he responded to a pace of play question from a reader by postulating an idea to reward teams monetarily for playing games quickly, to quote James: “Then let’s say you have a $200 million reward for pace of play.    Each game is scored 10, 9, 8. . .etc.; if the game is very quickly played, 10 points for each team.   If it is very slowly played, no points for each team. Total up the points at the end of the year, and divide up the reward fund based on the points.   With a $200 reward fund, each “point” would have a value of about $8,000.   It creates economic pressure not to waste time.” What would you think about such an idea?

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: You can also create economic pressure by issuing penalties like automatic balls and automatic strikes for pitchers or hitters who take too long to get ready

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: If you tell players they have X amount of time between pitches, then guys couldn’t violate that too often without their numbers suffering

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: And when numbers go down, so do salaries

9:27
Outta my way, Gyorkass: Convince me that the Brewers will not suffer a frustrating backslide ala the ’16 Astros or Twins next year. I don’t know if I’m just being irrational, but I see disappointment all over this team next year.

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Well, I’d feel a lot better if I knew they could count on Jimmy Nelson

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: I think they’re pretty solidly something like a .500 ballclub but it would take a few breakthroughs to get up to 90 wins. I’m not really worried about a backslide; I feel more like improvement will be hard to achieve

9:29
Bork: Hello, friend!

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friend

9:29
Outta my way, Gyorkass: Joe Mauer – probably not a real HOF candidate yet, right? What additional production does he need to register to make it?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think he’s there. He needs a few more years like the one he had this season. The biggest thing will be voters evaluating his defensive position — he will have played first base for a while, but he was a solid catcher for several years, and in theory that should lower the bar he has to clear

9:31
Matt: I miss Bork. Where’s Bork?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: Good news!

9:31
Nick: What do you enjoy about podcasting vs. writing and vice versa?

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: Podcasting is easier and it allows for a little more humor. Plus, everything around the podcast is helpful in terms of idea generation. What I like about writing is actually crystallizing thoughts, because I’m not very good at explaining things off the top of my head without all the data

9:32
Llewelyn: I know everyone questioned the Bauer thing ahead of the game, but he had a lower second half era than even Kluber. So they weren’t exactly starting a mediocre pitcher

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: Well, it essentially came down to: is Kluber better than Bauer? Everyone in the world would agree the answer is yes. But, correct, it’s not like it was Kluber vs. Ryan Merritt

9:36
TKDC: Before MLB made rules to suppress international players’ signing bonuses, you didn’t see any 16-year olds signing monster deals. But now there is a thought that Maitan, 17, could fetch $20 million-plus. Why weren’t there these huge signings before the rules went into place?

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe I’m too much in the dark but I haven’t seen that number thrown around re: Maitan. The same international rules would still apply to him

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: In general, baseball has made it more difficult over time to spend money wisely on non-major leaguers. So when teams see an opportunity to spend for value now, they might be more likely to seize it

9:38
Outta my way, Gyorkass: Why hasn’t MLB been more aggressive in marketing Trout as (one of the) face(s) of baseball? Will they try to do this with Judge if he keeps going gangbusters for another few years?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: Judge is probably well on his way. He’s got everything working for him

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think Trout *wants* to be heavily marketed. And he doesn’t exactly ooze with charisma

9:40
Zach: Did you see anything sustainable in the season that Scooter Gennett put together? His BB/K/BABIP/LD rates were all in line with the back of his baseball card.

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t see a breakout there, if that’s what you mean. I just see a guy particularly well suited to the current HR-friendly environment. He’s exactly the sort of player who would benefit most from what’s going on

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: Probably good for something like a 100 – 110 wRC+ moving forward

9:42
Mariner Moose (VP, 1996-2000) : Of the 8 playoff teams left, how would you rank them in terms of the enjoyment you derive from watching them play baseball?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Not really a team thing for me at this point. I guess Arizona feels the most fresh, but there are individual players on every remaining team that I love to watch play

9:43
Tom: Best food to bring to a Playoff game party?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Fried chicken

9:43
Eric: With Kluber going tonight, the Yankees Cinderella story seems to be just about over, doesn’t it?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: No

9:43
Patrick: What do you think of the rain?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Nourishing

9:44
Pip: How surprised are you to see that Victor Robles made it onto the Nationals NLDS roster?

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: Seems like Dusty is banking on leaning pretty heavily on his starters. That’s not a shock. Just generally, I do think players with skills like Robles’ make sense in a short series

9:45
Bryan: Was there any silver lining for the Yankees loss?

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: It’s one loss

9:46
BaseballBundesliga: Think there was more to the Kluber shift than keeping him on normal rest?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: Doubt it

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: They know how Kluber likes to work, and they know the rest of their pitching staff is also very good

9:47
Sean: Was the AZ-COL game the most exciting WC game in the new EC era?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: ?!?!?!

9:47
DD: Do you see the Orioles making any “big” move this offseason in order to compete – or are we stuck with another middling club that doesn’t really do anything well?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: My guess is it’ll be more of the same. A few second- and third-tier pitching moves, but it’ll be one last gasp before Machado forces their hand

9:48
stever20: how worried should the Red Sox be long term with Chris Sale?  In his last 9 starts to include last night he’s got a 5.12 ERA with a FIP that is higher than that.  14 homers allowed in 51 innings.  Is this just fatigue, or is there something more worrisome long term?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: I was trying to analyze Sale last night for a couple of hours and I just can’t really see much of anything there. His walks and strikeouts and stuff remain extraordinary, even during the slump. The slump is almost *entirely* home runs, and those are the hardest things to make sense of

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: I understand he’s probably feeling somewhat fatigued by now. So is every other regular player in the playoffs

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: I will say that recently Sale has had more trouble than usual burying his slider. His pitches have all stayed a little more up. But he’s still striking out so many batters I don’t think he’s turned into rubbish

9:50
Mike: Is there any way Pomeranz can not get blown out by the Astros tonight?

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: In two starts against the Astros this year Pomeranz allowed two runs in 12.1 innings

9:51
Outta my way, Gyorkass: Is there something about Arizona that makes them a bad matchup for LAD, or is the Dodgers’ 8-11 record vs the D-Backs with a 71-99 run disadvantage just SSS noise?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: Earlier in the season, the Dodgers went 8-5 against the Diamondbacks. Then they played them six times in the middle of that inexplicable team-wide slump. Went 0-6 and the games weren’t close. Obviously, the Diamondbacks had something to do with that, but it seemed like more of a timing issue

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: Arizona is good! LA has injury-related question marks. Probably would suggest this series would go to the Dodgers in 5

9:54
Amed Rosario Dawson’s Creek: Seems like opinions on future potential for Rosario were very split preseason.  Who was right?  Is his plate discipline so bad that he’s never likely to be a star level hitter (say wRC+ of 120+), or is he still so young and talented that the sky is the limit.  Any guesses on who he is as a ballplayer?  Do you see more Lindor, or more Alcides?

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: Rosario deserves a full major-league season. Remember that even when Trout debuted with that kind of playing time, he wasn’t good. But Rosario needs to forget all about 2017 in the majors. Every indicator was bad, apart from his defense. Horrible discipline, horrible contact, horrible batted balls

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: He’s still not even 22 years old, but he has to prove he can be better than, say, Freddy Galvis

9:57
Mike M: The Astros should be America’s team, right? I mean, purely objectively, their players are wonderful people, diverse, they score tons, they come in a variety of experience levels and physical sizes. (Note: I am not objective.)

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: If there’s one thing I know America is in 2017, it’s happily united!

9:58
PTBNL: As bullpens eat more innings relative to starters, do we need to re-evaluate the minimum qualifying IP for starters? Number of qualifying pitchers went down from something like 88 in 2013 to 58 this year.

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: For statistical purposes, there’s an argument there, to be sure. But the counterargument would be, so what? Who cares what the qualifying threshold is? It only matters if you care about something like the ERA title

9:59
CT: you ever go to any trailblazers games?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: Still no, for some reason. Go to plenty of Winterhawks games

10:00
Outta my way, Gyorkass: If the Cubs lose to WAS, what will be their downfall?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: Innings 5-7

10:00
Afghan : Will the Braves lose Maitan?  Will they lose draft picks?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: Impossible to say exactly how they’ll be penalized just yet, since we don’t know the extent of what they did, but from the sounds of things they’ll be hit hard. I think losing draft picks might be more likely than losing Maitan but I don’t know the history there

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: Might just be sanctioned against making international signings for some number of years

10:01
I’m Dayton Moore?: When I take over the Braves, how soon will it be until the kids on the farm are pushing this team to contention?

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: Many more years

10:01
Tom: That Bauer twitter article was fantastic. IDK how I missed that at the time.

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: It was February. There was a lot going on in February

10:02
Stork: How much did Greinke enjoy Bradley’s double off of Neshek?  Schadenfreude can be the best, sometimes.

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: I was personally hoping things would get to the point where Greinke himself got to hit against Neshek :(

10:03
Scherzer? I hardly know her : You’re starting a franchise. It is your turn in the draft. Mike Trout and Bryce Harper are off the board. What position player are you taking?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: Correa

10:04
Jaack: You are turned into an all powerful genie, except you can only grant baseball related wishes. An MLB GM finds the lamp you live in, rubs it, and thus gets three wishes. His first wish is to make the playoffs with a replacement level team, which you grant. Now that he’s in the playoffs, he asks you for the best possible playoff pitching staff, composed entirely of players currently in MLB. What 12 (he insists on 12) do you pick to give him the best chance to win the world series?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: This would look more or less indistinguishable from picking baseball’s top 12 pitchers

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: Or, baseball’s top four starters and top eight relievers

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: Rotation would look something like Kershaw/Scherzer/Kluber/Sale

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: And then the bullpen begins with Chad Green and Andrew Miller and goes from there, predictably

10:07
Jack: Right now, are there any teams that them making the playoffs next year is harder to believe than the Twins making the playoffs this year would’ve been at this time last year?

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: Probably the Tigers and the Padres

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: At least with the Twins you could point to a small number of young potential stars

10:07
sad yanks fan: can i skip school for a month if the yanks beat kluber tonight

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: No. More school. Twice as much school

10:08
Scherzer? I hardly know her : Is there a threesome of players 25 or under you would take over Bryant, Contreras, and Russell?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: Bryant is almost 26!

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: But if that’s how we’re doing things, I’d take Judge/Sanchez/Severino

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe Seager/Bellinger/field

10:12
LegallyEagle: Is this CLE pitching staff really better than the 4 aces that PHI had during their run?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: 2011 Phillies SP: 74 ERA-, 76 FIP-
2017 Indians SP: 79 ERA-, 77 FIP-

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: 2011 Phillies RP: 90 ERA-, 100 FIP-
2017 Indians RP: 64 ERA-, 73 FIP-

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: A pitching staff is not just its aces. It’s the entire unit. The 2011 Phillies might’ve had the best rotation in modern history. The bullpen was nothing special, and the bullpen matters

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: It’s an easy point to miss, but an important point to make. What makes the Indians special is that they just don’t have a weak link. They’re great everywhere

10:16
Ross: When Adeiny Hechavarria was traded to the Rays, you wrote about how he was interesting. So are you intrigued at all by the way he hit over the last 6-7 weeks or so of the season?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Might’ve saved his own job

10:17
Tim: What should the Rays do with Matt Duffy next year, assuming he’s finally ready to play? Platoon him at second with Miller? Also, what the hell happened to Brad Miller this year?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: Can’t guarantee Duffy much of anything. Platooning with Miller sounds about right from the get-go

10:17
Drew: Does wRC+ use specific park adjustments for each at bat or is it a proportioned aggregate of at bats throughout the year?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: I assume the latter

10:19
Jaack: Do you think we’ll see another hitter in the Ichiro/Boggs/Carew type that are ridiculously good hitter with limited power?

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: You could argue someone like Altuve already is that kind of hitter. It’s just that homers are easier to come by now

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: I do think baseball, being cyclical and everything, will reach another contact-hitting fad. When strikeouts get so extreme, players might opt to go all Votto and choke up for the sake of slapping line drives

10:21
Matt: The strike zone was terrible. Yankee pitchers clearly got less than Cleveland did off the plate http://www.brooksbaseball.net/pfxVB/zoneTrack.php?month=10&day=5&year=…

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: That doesn’t look terrible to me

10:22
JTT: Does Travis hate the wildcard games more or less than John Smoltz hates modern reliever usage?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think Travis hates the wild-card games. If anything, he wants to see more of them!

10:23
Sad Accountant: Which happens first, Mariners post-season appearance or a Yankees losing season?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: Mariners postseason!

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: The Yankees should, in theory, never lose

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: (more than they win)

10:24
HappyFunBall: So do you think the NYYs could go with a RP rotation strategy then?  Roll out the WC plan every other game, and hope to get a regular SP win out of at least one of games 1,3,5 ?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: Just to be clear, the wild-card game didn’t go in according to the Yankees’ strategy. They started Severino and expected him to last a few innings. He did not

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think the Yankees should be regularly bullpenning. They just have the luxury of not needing their starters to go many innings

10:26
Sean: I think the Diamondbacks might have a hidden advantage to their playoff run thanks to their starting pitching depth. They can run a 3-4 rotation while using Godley (and if not starting, Walker) as middle relief before turning over to Archie Bradley for 1-2 innings. They should be able to eat up a lot of innings with good pitchers.

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Some would call that an advantage and some would call that a disadvantage. They get to move one good starter into the bullpen, sure, but their bullpen is also weaker than most otherwise, and that shifted starter will have pretty limited previous bullpen experience

10:27
Ray Liotta as Shoeless Joe: Is answering a question with a link to an article–often one you have written–the most gratifying experience (I’ve already done this!) or frustrating experience (I’ve already done this…)?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: It can feel a little arrogant or presumptuous!

10:27
Factory of Sadness: What 2-3 things do the Yankees have to do to even the series today?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: They basically need to pitch as well as possible because I don’t think you can expect to score more than 2-3 runs

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think there are “keys” to that. Maybe you play a little bit more for one run at a time

10:28
Josh: Indians with possibly the best pitching staff ever…Astros with the best team wRC+ since 1932…we need CLE-HOU ALCS to happen, right!?!

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Good news!

10:29
Bryan: Were you surprised when the Yankees did not pinch hit Holiday for Bird against Miller?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: That seemed weird, yeah

10:30
Brett W: Hector Rondon being left off the playoff roster for Justin Wilson and John Lackey is probably the prelude to his non-tender this winter?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, probably don’t want to get stuck paying him $7 million or so. Perfectly capable reliever, but you can find strikeouts for less

10:32
T: is the recent Chris Sale narrative about fading late in the season nothing or is there maybe a conditioning/ wear thing going on?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: I wouldn’t be surprised if, say, Sale were 5% more vulnerable to fatigue than the next guy. But this time of year, *everyone* is worn down, and playing on adrenaline. Sale’s stuff seems okay. He’s still getting strikeouts. You don’t love the results, but I still believe him him for the next game he starts, if he gets the chance

10:34
Dookie Howser, MD: Who would you like to see win the WS this season? Bauer’s twitter accoutn notwithstanding, the Indians seem like the most “fun” team and have the WS drought thing going for them.

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: I was actually nearly convinced the other day that the Yankees might be the most “fun” team left

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: I can think of several good reasons to root for every team still in the playoffs. Now I just need to remember to focus on those, instead of on the several good reasons to root *against* every team still going

10:35
weezy: Is there a live blog schedule? The first few have been a great way to watch the games

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think we have a schedule. It’s kind of a feel thing. We’ll have live blogs for many of the elimination games, I think, or at least the Game 5s/7s

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: And we’ll have a chat for every game of the World Series

10:38
PD: Is Gary Sanchez worse at blocking pitches because he tries to stay so quiet when framing? e.g. his passivity when receiving doesn’t allow him to react as quickly to pitches in the dirt? And would a more active catcher at blocking become worse at framing? What does the data show?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: So much of blocking is about secondary stuff, and so much of framing is about fastballs. Seems like good catchers should be able to do both

10:40
Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: Jim Hickey, the Rays’ highly regarded pitching coach, has left with one year remaining on his contract. Is this a big loss? The Rays have relied on their pitching for the last decade, though in favor of the AAA coach they promoted, the new guy will have experience with Snell, Honeywell, Faria, DeLeon, and other pitchers who will make up the core of the rotation sooner rather than later.

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Seems like it was a mutual decision. And when you’ve got a mutual decision, I don’t think the Rays are coming away big losers here. Might have just wanted a different voice

10:43
Trixie: Padres need a shortstop short-term, until Tatis arrives in 2018 or 2019.  What is the best option available?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: The best option available is probably Cozart, but there’s no reason why he’d want to go there

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: It’s going to be a non-competitive season. So maybe they just pick up someone like JJ Hardy to hold the fort. Or they could extend the Solarte experiment — really see how little range is necessary for a shortstop in the modern era

10:44
Josh: Is it safe to assume at this point that Trea Turner is an above average hitter, or do you need to see him do it over a full season?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: 815 career plate appearances, 120 wRC+. You don’t have to buy him as *that* good, but I don’t know how you’d justify something like a 90-95

10:45
Mike: Indians only had 5 hits last night ! No XBH from anyone not named Jay bruce! Is it just me or did their offense look pretty crap overall too?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: They drew six walks and only struck out nine times. Wasn’t anything special but it didn’t need to be

10:46
Matt: Glad to hear you think some borderline calls went against Yanks. I generally hate when people complain against the strike zone, because it almost always washes out for each team. But I thought it slanted a bit last night. Overall well called though

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: I think Bauer and Perez did a better job of working together than the Yankees’ guys and Sanchez

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Borderline calls, for the most part, are “earned”

10:47
JV: Do you think Chris Archer pitches for Tampa in 2018?  If not, where are some possible landing spots

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: My default is to assume he remains, but with so many strikeouts and four affordable years left, he’s going to be all over the rumor mill. Dark horse candidate would be San Diego

10:48
Afghan : Dayton Moore is going to take John Hart’s job right?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: Seems like the perfect time for a change

10:49
Dakota: Will Pedro Baez make the Dodgers’ postseason roster and does he deserve to?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: He does not

10:49
Cowdisciple: Some people have objected to the bullpen game strategy because it increases the chance of hitting an “off” reliever.  I don’t think reliever outcomes are distributed like that, but can’t remember seeing it studied.  Is there any merit to that argument?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve never seen any evidence

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: So I wouldn’t worry about it

10:50
Guest: So do you think the Astros lineup is good enough to knock around the Indians in the next round?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: Knock around? No. Potentially defeat? Sure

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: But the Indians pitchers are better than the Astros hitters, relative to the pitching and hitting average

10:53
Andrew: If Rafael Devers is hitting .400 / .474 / .600 and 188 wRC+ versus LHP, why would he not be starting today?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: Because he’s not actually anywhere close to that good against lefties, and Keuchel eats left-handed hitters for lunch

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Devers vs. lefties, 57 PA: 188 wRC+. Marrero vs. lefties, 61 PA: 141 wRC+. Neither of those splits is real, but at least Marrero is a righty

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Lefties against Keuchel this season: .144/.190/.245

10:55
Factory of Sadness: Do you believe Kershaw’s playoff track record is largely a matter of sample size, or is there something deeper at play (something mental, maybe)? It’s not like he’s been blown up in every start (last year’s NLCS Game 2 was 7 scoreless in an eventual shutout), but…

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think anything of it

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not trying to be stubborn or contrarian. I just genuinely don’t think anything of it

10:55
Kevin: How vulnerable to do you consider the Dodgers to be in the Division Series?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: I do not think nearly as much of them as I did a few months ago. I still think they’re better than Arizona, but there are real questions

10:56
Fan: How much would Maitan get if he gets declared a free-agent? Also wouldspending restrictions be applied (like Giants/Cubs can’t spend more than $300k this year) would that apply to him?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: All the normal restrictions would matter, I believe. Which is kind of too bad, because it would be fun to see what he’d get as an actual FA

10:57
TKDC: Judge needs invisalign if he’s going to be the face of baseball.

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: People fell in love with Bartolo freakin Colon

10:58
stever20: of the 8 teams who play today, who is facing the biggest must-win situation?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: Red Sox. Already down 1-0, and they don’t have their ace lined up for Game 3

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: Granted, I guess the Yankees said Tanaka will go in Game 3, and not Severino

10:59
SadSadMetsSadSad…sad?: Is this dumb? With teams already limiting starter usage so much would it be crazy to try a 4 man rotation where starters are capped at like 50-70 pitches and paired up with their own “second starter” who’ll go 2-3 innings behind them.  You’d end up with 4 starters pitching 100-160 innings, 4 backup starters with 60-100ish innings, and then normal bullpen arms. Same inning totals we’re seeing just distributed in a different way.

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: It would be crazy to do that overnight, but if you monitor how the game evolves, it’ll eventually look a lot more like that than it does today

11:00
Dave Cameron Said: Jeff, morning. True or false, you have abs? DC said you did in a previous chat… please confirm. The people want to know!

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: What the heck do y’all chat about

11:01
Matt: Re pitch velocity and “dont use this, use this”. One link linked to velocities…the other to % thrown

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: Pitch Info Pitch Velocity. Use that

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: Hey, a game’s about to start! So I should go

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: So thank you everybody for hanging out, and I’m sorry for what I didn’t or couldn’t address. We’ll do it again next week at the same time, and until then, be well and have great days

We hoped you liked reading Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 10/6/17 by Jeff Sullivan!

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Jeff made Lookout Landing a thing, but he does not still write there about the Mariners. He does write here, sometimes about the Mariners, but usually not.

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John Autin
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John Autin

Every comment I’ve seen on Kluber starting Game 2 mentioned maintaining regular rest for the potential Game 5. None mentioned that Game 2 meant extra rest since his last postseason start. Why did no one think that was just as much of an issue?