Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 4/20/18

9:05

Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:05

Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to Friday baseball chat

9:05

Jeff Sullivan: I was away and off the grid Thursday, and missing one day of baseball always makes me feel like I missed a hundred. Let’s see how this goes!

9:06

BJOGC: So…. About Carson’s Chat. I wish I hadn’t have been there because now I realize how empty and meaningless life will be without the prospect of him doing weekly chats.

9:06

Jeff Sullivan: It sounds as if he has been successful

9:06

Jeff Sullivan: In that this is one more person who is going to live feeling like life is empty and meaningless

9:07

J: How does xwoba treat foul outs?  Any idea?

9:07

Jeff Sullivan: No idea, but I’ll try to find out!

9:07

walewander: do you have anything to say about the Tigers?

9:07

Jeff Sullivan: They are bad, but not so bad that they can’t beat other bad teams

9:09

Jeff Sullivan: I’m becoming very very modestly interested in Dixon Machado?

9:09

Eric: Charlie Morton has been outrageously good so far.  Can he keep this up, or is he over his head?

9:10

Jeff Sullivan: He’s somehow throwing even harder by almost a mile per hour, which indicates good things about his health, arm strength, and mechanics. More velocity is a good thing for performance, so as long as this keeps up, he should be terrific

9:11

Matt: Analysis Idea: Compare Stanton’s slow start to Judge’s July 2017 slump

9:11

Jeff Sullivan: I’m not going to worry about Stanton having a 97 wRC+ until we figure out why Votto has a 63 wRC+

9:12

Xolo: What are the chances that Villanueva’s actually an above-average player?

9:13

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t yet really trust his plate discipline, and he has an extremely pull-heavy approach, but at the very least he’s clearly more interesting over there than Chase Headley would be. Right now, I could buy Villanueva as being an overall average player. His stock is on the rise

9:15

Bartolo Semi-Colon: Could Mitch Haniger by the midst of a Donaldson (mid-to-late 20’s breakout)?

9:16

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think Haniger quite has Donaldson’s max power level, but this is why we found Haniger so interesting at the time of the trade to the Mariners — he was a definite swing-changer who could play defense and hit the ball out of the yard, and now he’s playing every day

9:16

Jeff Sullivan: Haniger’s good. His season got somewhat derailed a year ago because of injury, but he had an amazing April in 2017 as well

9:17

FRANCHY!: What do you make of Franchy’s first few games . . . will he make it despite his K rate?

9:18

Jeff Sullivan: Five players this year have hit at least two balls at 115+ miles per hour: Giancarlo Stanton, Nelson Cruz, Joey Gallo, Aaron Judge, and Franchy Cordero

9:18

Jeff Sullivan: Cordero remains very exciting to me, because of his strength and athleticism, and I think he could make it as a regular player even with a strikeout rate around 30-35%. His other skills are that good

9:19

THE Average Sports Fan: What is your opinion of the Reds front office?  As a fan is there hope this rebuild is actually going to work out?

9:20

Jeff Sullivan: Speaking in very general terms, I think when it comes to roster-building, the Reds are below average. But the farm is strong, Senzel is coming, and you can squint and almost see the makings of most of a starting rotation

9:20

Jeff Sullivan: This month has been a disaster, and I’d prefer that there be some other group of executives steering the ship, but the Reds aren’t as far away as their record would indicate. It’s not hopeless

9:21

Rock Kickass: Berrios, Snell, and Corbin are showing off a lot of their promise.  Which of these do you think can sustain their success for the rest of the season?

9:21

Jeff Sullivan: I think all three are good, but, with Berrios and Corbin, these current levels are unsustainably perfect

9:22

Jeff Sullivan: I really love how Corbin has developed his slider. It’s covering a range of like 10-15 miles per hour!

9:22

John: Braves are obviously high variance, but if you believe in Ozzie and Dansby, are they actually pretty good? Too early to pursue Machado?

9:23

Jeff Sullivan: It’s never too early to try to pursue a 25-year-old superstar at a position of need

9:24

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think the Braves can actually pitch well enough to hang around for all six months, but I’m always willing to give young pitchers the opportunity to earn my trust. I’d love it if Newcomb were actually able to throw strikes now

9:25

Bill Rott: What are the chances that Junior Guerra recaptured some 2016 magic?

9:25

Jeff Sullivan: His velocity is up, so if that’s for real, that’s reason enough to believe he could stick at the back end of the rotation

9:26

Jeff Sullivan: Four-seamer lost almost two ticks last season. It’s already back up by 1.2

9:27

Sharp: Is this how sabr fans appear to outsiders? https://www.smbc-comics.com/comic/moneybattle

9:27

Jeff Sullivan: Yes

9:28

Egg: If you’re the Mets, what’s your next move with Harvey?

9:29

Jeff Sullivan: I’d put him in the bullpen for at least a start or two. I know he’s stubborn and reluctant, saying he’s a starting pitcher and everything, but he’s the least-deserving starter right now to stay in the five, and it would be important to me to see if he could handle such a decision without melting down

9:29

John Oleruds Helmet: Am I the only one getting really tired of every player throwing a celebration to the dugout every time they drive in a run now??

9:29

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know, but that’s for them, not for you

9:30

Jeff Sullivan: You wouldn’t even notice if the camera didn’t cut to the player when he’s making whatever gesture he makes

9:31

Ern: Worried about Edwin Encarnacion’s start? Looks like he’s chasing more pitches out of the zone.

9:31

Jeff Sullivan: We’ve seen this one before. Didn’t start out well last season either, with elevated strikeouts. He gets the benefit of the doubt from me for another month or so

9:31

Davy: SSS but Meg Rowley seems like the real deal.

9:32

Jeff Sullivan: She’s great, and she’s been great for years. Couldn’t have been happier when I found out she was hired

9:32

Charlie: I’ve never heard your GIF pronunciation rant and I’m interested to hear it.

9:32

Jeff Sullivan: I am never engaging in this again in my life

9:32

Jeff Sullivan: This is my solemn swear

9:33

Bob Dobalina: Is Gsellman too valuable out of the pen, or is it worth giving him a spot start or two to see what he’s capable of? The Mets’ back-end is a mess and I feel like he’s not far off from being better than a few of them.

9:34

Jeff Sullivan: I wouldn’t necessarily close the door on his ever being a starter again, but it’s easy to see how he could be a guy who’s really benefited from the bullpen switch. No need to do anything soon. Let Vargas mix in a few times and see how bullpen Gsellman holds up. I’d be just fine with him throwing 70 innings or whatever of quality relief

9:36

Henry Rowengartner: Nola finished 2017 strong and has had his underlying numbers trend positively.  Is he going to right the ship or are we looking at a different Nola right now?

9:37

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know why he would be fundamentally different. He’s throwing the same stuff and he ought to end up missing more bats

9:37

Jeff Sullivan: Side note: it’s a sign of the times that we’re saying “right the ship” about a starter with a 2.22 ERA

9:38

Jeff Sullivan: There was an early stretch last year where Nola didn’t miss bats like he usually does. He’s going to come around, I’m confident

9:39

Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: Why don’t we use xwOBA more to evaluate hitters over wRC+? We use input-based stats like FIP for pitchers.

9:39

Jeff Sullivan: I think we’re seeing xwOBA more and more often, but it’s also not perfect, because there are certain types of hitters who are just consistently going to overperform or underperform their Statcast numbers

9:40

Jeff Sullivan: For example, last year Dee Gordon had a 92 wRC+, and the tenth-worst xwOBA in the game

9:41

Jeff Sullivan: There’s a speed and batted-ball-distribution aspect, and xwOBA doesn’t tackle that

9:42

Bored Employee: Are you holding out any hope for Amed Rosario to be an above-average offensive player?

9:42

Jeff Sullivan: Not much. Maybe he’s Orlando Arcia

9:42

Bork: Hello, friend!

9:42

Jeff Sullivan: Hello friend

9:42

Jeff Sullivan: Sorry, that was a delayed one

9:44

CamdenWarehouse: So what did the Reds learn about Price that they didn’t know last October?  I never understand early seasoning firings on teams that expected to be bad.

9:44

Jeff Sullivan: They didn’t expect to be this bad

9:44

Jeff Sullivan: Of course it’s not Price’s fault, but in a way it’s surprising he lasted as long as he did, because rebuilding teams generally experience a lot of managerial churn. Price wasn’t going to be the manager if/when the Reds got good again anyhow

9:47

Jake: What to make of Rich Hill? His O-Swing% and Z-Swing% are trending in worrying directions.

9:48

Jeff Sullivan: He’s only made three starts, and just one of those has been particularly bad. It appears he made that start while dealing with some kind of discomfort in his middle finger, which would stand to have a definite effect on his command and ability to spin consistently

9:50

Jeff Sullivan: Hill last year through eight starts: 20% O-Swing. Final 17 starts: 32% O-Swing

9:50

Jeff Sullivan: Give him a longer leash

9:52

Eyevee4: The braves have been beating good teams convincingly, and have prospect reinforcements on the way later this year. Are they ready to compete a year earlier than expected or are they a mirage.

9:52

Jeff Sullivan: I was on board with the Phillies as a dark-horse WC contender, and the Braves and Phillies, overall, aren’t too dissimilar

9:53

Jeff Sullivan: I’m not sure how much I believe that Foltynewicz and Newcomb will remain so successful, but definitely, if Swanson has bounced back, there’s more and more to like here

9:54

Jeff Sullivan: A rebuild that, from the beginning, was designed to build around pitching is likely to benefit most strongly from production on the position-player side

9:55

Henry Rowengartner: Who finishes the season with more Cy Young votes: McCullers or Verlander?

9:55

Jeff Sullivan: Verlander. Voters love innings thrown, and Verlander always racks those up, while McCullers will mix in short starts and probably a DL stint somewhere

9:56

jim: even though the normal service time date has passed, are some teams likely to keep their top prospects down past the super 2 deadline as well

9:56

Jeff Sullivan: Some, definitely, although this one is always more tricky because there is no set date on a yearly basis. It’s always changing so that makes it harder to predict

9:57

Bored Employee: Domingo German has some pedigree and good performance sprinkled between the injuries. Do you think he has a chance at a rotation spot?

9:57

Jeff Sullivan: Throws four pitches with regularity, and last year between Double- and Triple-A, he maintained very strong peripherals. He deserves a look

9:58

Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: Does Mallex Smith need more reps, or is he just a bad defender?

9:59

Jeff Sullivan: DRS actually loves him. UZR thinks he’s fine. No questioning the range, but he’ll lose points on a regular basis because of his arm

9:59

Jeff Sullivan: Can’t imagine it’s a matter of reps at this point

10:00

Palardelphia: Currently flying under the radar – Victor Arano has pitched 10.1 perfect innings going back to September 30th of last season.

10:00

Jeff Sullivan: I was just looking at him briefly this morning. I think he’s a fine reliever, all things considered, but his 2018 success has come in super low-leverage roles. That’s always at least a yellow flag to me

10:01

Jeff Sullivan: This year, the Phillies are going to have a very deep bullpen. They’re also going to make plenty of use of the bullpen. So Arano will get plenty of opportunities

10:03

Manga: What’s your take on the Astros closer situation? Will Giles settle into the role eventually? Has he lost Hinch’s trust indelibly? Will Devenski be the full-time guy at some point?

10:04

Jeff Sullivan: Giles seems to have been dealing with a back issue. I’ll buy that as the explanation here. There’s more freedom to move guys around in the bullpen since it’s got both Devenski and Peacock now, but I imagine if/when Giles is healthy, he’ll get the most saves

10:04

Henry Rowengartner: End of season, which pitcher will we look back at and say, “Maybe we should have seen this coming.”  Hitter?

10:04

Jeff Sullivan: Seems plenty reasonable now to suggest that Chris Tillman didn’t deserve another guaranteed job

10:06

Jeff Sullivan: On the hitting side, I don’t know — there are so many options. But if Aaron Judge is amazing again, that shouldn’t be too much of a shock. He’s an amazingly talented hitter

10:07

Loge Mezzanine: Is it too early to worry about Domingo Santana’s power outage? He’s making contact at a similar rate as last year but has just 1 XBH in 81 PA.

10:07

Jeff Sullivan: As I recall he had a lousy spring and that appears to have carried over. He’s going to hit the ball hard — he is a power hitter — but there’s always been something missing there in terms of consistency and fulfilling expectations

10:09

CamdenWarehouse: It looks like Javy Baez’s approach at the plate might have matured.  Do you see anything that suggests he could raise his game this season?

10:09

Jeff Sullivan: Not really

10:10

Jeff Sullivan: He’s always been able to hit the ball really hard. Maybe there’s something to his early-season increase in zone swings. But if anything, he’s swinging *more* than he has. His aggressiveness will continue to be exploited fairly often

10:11

Johnny : How is WAR calculated for multi-position players (eg Jose Ramirez, Ben Zobrist) when the replacement pool varies at different positions?

10:11

Jeff Sullivan: We have fielding numbers and playing time at each individual position, so it’s not very complicated in reality. Nothing about the offense changes; positional adjustments consider defensive position only

10:12

Jeff Sullivan: So if a guy spends half the time at shortstop and half the time at second base, his positional adjustment is just the average of those two

10:12

Albie up all night: It’s past start time. Are you celebrating 420 or something?

10:12

Jeff Sullivan: I’m late literally every single week

10:12

Jeff Sullivan: Guilt related to that is essentially why I always chat for twice as long as I’m obligated to

10:14

Dan: Is Manny Machado a good defensive shortstop?

10:14

Jeff Sullivan: I think he should be a fine defensive shortstop, but probably not much above average

10:15

Calvin: Now that the Red Sox are projected to match the Astros at 100 wins, do you still view Houston as the best team in baseball?

10:15

Jeff Sullivan: Yep

10:16

Big G: What’s up with Hoskins’ BB rate? Even higher than last year, but all the projections still show a rate lower than what he did in the minors? What do you think of him going forward?

10:16

Jeff Sullivan: I think he’s a very good hitter. He also doesn’t swing very much, and he’s dropped his swing rate by another seven percentage points in the early going. I think this’ll be cyclical — pitchers will start trying to exploit his patience, so in response, Hoskins will swing more, lowering his walk and strikeout rates during that stretch

10:16

Jeff Sullivan: Ultimately, he should fluctuate around a nice and high wRC+

10:16

Jeff Sullivan: So good!

10:17

Jeff Sullivan: Fun fact: as a rookie, in three times the exposure, Hoskins had five hits to the opposite field. This year he has six

10:18

Jeff Sullivan: Including four doubles. Last year he had just one extra-base hit the other way

10:18

Not Finnigan: What is your favourite pitch to watch? Ex: Kluber’s breaking ball

10:18

Jeff Sullivan: A perfectly-executed changeup

10:18

Jeff Sullivan: Or actually, maybe a perfectly executed inside two-seamer from a righty to a lefty

10:18

Jeff Sullivan: The latter is more dependent on the feed having a center-field camera angle

10:19

Jeff Sullivan: The former is beautiful from any angle

10:19

Erik: Will the Marlins have real competition for the #1 pick or do you expect them to pull away soon?

10:19

Jeff Sullivan: It’ll be a tight race

10:20

Bored Employee: Do you think Brandon Nimmo has a chance to replace Adrian Gonzalez, or will the politics/finances keep him on the bench till an injury strikes. My friend suggested he just learn how to catch.

10:21

Jeff Sullivan: Waiting for injury or under-performance. One of those is likely to happen

10:21

APODionysus: Mookie Betts. How do?

10:21

Jeff Sullivan: Good?

10:21

Lunar verLander: Where do you get the quotes you use for your Twitter posts about these chats?

10:22

Jeff Sullivan: Some terrible random quote generator I found a year or two ago that ranges from Socrates to Margaret Cho

10:22

Mario Mendoza: Is Domingo Santana playing himself out of the picture in MIL?

10:23

Jeff Sullivan: Not quite yet. But it always seemed like the Brewers might have to trade an outfielder, and more and more, Santana could be becoming that guy

10:24

Uriah: Should the A’s be worried about Matt Olson? His contact% has cratered and may only be masked by his sky high BABIP

10:24

Jeff Sullivan: Matt Chapman has dropped his strikeout rate by ten points. Matt Olson has raised his strikeout rate by eleven points. Do your evaluations change, or do you figure, well, this is variance?

10:26

Jeff Sullivan: Maybe soon it could be worth a deeper dive to see if something is up, but Olson is still showing his same strength and plate discipline. He’s been swinging and missing far too much, but I’m not so worried quite yet

10:27

mike: should Blue Jays be concerned about Sanchez velocity drop this year?  Using change and sinker more i guess… Also what about Stroman’s control? Small sample i know but are scouts saying anything about the two ??

10:28

Jeff Sullivan: For Sanchez, it’s not really this year. In the first two starts, his velocity was fine. In the last two starts, he’s down two ticks. Maybe there’s an explanation out there I’m unaware of, but that’s a red flag

10:29

Jeff Sullivan: Now, he did top out at 96 yesterday, so that’s encouraging. I still don’t love seeing him sit at 92 when he’s always been better than that

10:32

Jeff Sullivan: Stroman, I think, will work it out. His zone rate hasn’t collapsed. Hitters have just taken more pitches than ever. That won’t keep up as his repertoire rounds into form

10:32

Moltar: So notwithstanding the drama surrounding such a decision, would Matt Harvey be effective as a reliever? Would his stuff play up enough?

10:32

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think we know quite enough to say. It’s been hard to predict who’ll thrive and who’ll struggle

10:33

Jeff Sullivan: I do think it’s an intriguing idea, but it’s the opposite of what Harvey would want to hear in his contract season. He’d be furious

10:33

Jeff Sullivan: Which, as the team — well, I wouldn’t care

10:33

Colin: What does the real Dansby Swanson look like?

10:34

Jeff Sullivan: 6’0 or 6’1, pushing 200 pounds, fair skin with some observable tan lines

10:36

Jeff Sullivan: Swanson never had particularly bad bat control. I think there were times he wound up too patient

10:37

Jeff Sullivan: He’s not close to being 164 wRC+ good, but I think he badly needed a start like this in order to put 2017 fully and firmly behind him. Swanson should be an average or above-average everyday player. The Braves have recently been reminded of that

10:37

Definitely NOT the FBI: So where were you Thursday?

10:38

Jeff Sullivan: Mount St. Helens. Climbing it in snow is my yearly tradition

10:38

Bork: Have the Blue Jays found a fountain of youth and dipped Granderson, Axford, and Clippard in it?

10:38

Jeff Sullivan: Unfortunately they removed Marcus Stroman from it to make room

10:39

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think Axford is actually that useful and Clippard will typically post decent peripherals in between stretches of giving up too many homers

10:39

Jeff Sullivan: But after an offseason like this one, it would be funny to see a bunch of teams benefit from relievers who were given minor-league contracts

10:40

Big Sexy: Have you seen yet who will replace Taijuan Walker in Arizona’s rotation?

10:40

Jeff Sullivan: It’s probably Braden Shipley. They don’t have many options. There’s Shipley, Kris Medlen, and Matt Koch, with Shelby Miller on the return path

10:41

john: Hello, friend!  Thank you so much for chatting.  Have you written about the effect of lineup protection and/or could you recommend any articles about it?  I’ve heard from analytic people that it is basically a myth that someone will hit better with better hitters behind him, which seems so counter-intuitive but not something I want to dismiss without reading the available information

10:41

Jeff Sullivan: Marky Mark
12:06
What is the logic behind lineup protection not existing? I know the numbers don’t bear it out but how does the logic work?
Dave Cameron
12:07
The theory is that hitters perform better because pitchers are scared of pitching to the guy on deck with a runner on base. But if hitters actually performed better, than pitchers would be pitching to the on-deck batter with a man on *more often*.
So pitchers aren’t going to pitch in a way that creates the result they are trying to avoid.

10:42

Jeff Sullivan: I know that’s just a chat excerpt, and not actual research, but I don’t keep a bunch of research articles neatly labeled and bookmarked

10:42

Bort: Can the Bryan Mitchell experiment still be salvaged?

10:42

Jeff Sullivan: As a starter, it’s unlikely

10:42

Hampton: What is wrong with the Cincinnati Reds? How can they turn this season around? Any suggestions?

10:43

Jeff Sullivan: They need Suarez and Votto healthy and hitting, and they need Lorenzen and Hernandez off the DL so they can see Amir Garrett start

10:44

Jeff Sullivan: Castillo and Mahle, I like enough. They need more

10:45

Matt: See the Red Sox AAA team hosting an “Evil Empire Weekend” in which they glorify the pitcher that intentionally threw at hitters? Thoughts?

10:46

Jeff Sullivan: Minor-league teams need to be incredibly creative with their promotions and marketing in order to try to draw a profit

10:48

Jeff Sullivan: It would be one thing if Joe Kelly hit Tyler Austin in the head. Never want to glorify a head-hunter. As is, Austin was hit in the middle of the back, and while I’d prefer to discourage any and all intentional hitting of batters, this one isn’t so egregious that it makes me upset

10:48

Jeff Sullivan: Besides, it seems like Joe Kelly himself isn’t a big part of the promotion here. It’s mostly about celebrating the Red Sox’ side of a classic baseball rivalry

10:49

Trunkus: Looking at MLB average statcast wOBA and xOBA for all plate appearances, xWOBA is 25 points higher than wOBA (332 v 307).  What’s going on? Bad weather?

10:49

Jeff Sullivan: Almost certainly weather

10:49

Jeff Sullivan: Cold weather hasn’t suppressed exit velocity, but it has suppressed home runs

10:50

Not Finnigan: Have the first few weeks of the season changed your thoughts on the Red Sox or does this just confirm that they’re good

10:50

Jeff Sullivan: They’re good in exactly the way they were supposed to be

10:51

Lou: Matt Kemp has a 172 Wrc+

10:51

Jeff Sullivan: And a non-negative DRS!

10:51

Jeff Sullivan: He’s still not good, but the Dodgers will take whatever positives they can get right now

10:51

RK: Do you read the other writers’ chats?

10:51

Jeff Sullivan: Sometimes, and definitely not all of the times

10:52

Mark: You love Ketel Marte. I love Ketel Marte. Ketel Marte has hit 64 percent of his batted balls on the ground. What is going on?

10:52

Jeff Sullivan: Shitty start. It happens. He’s probably making too *much* contact

10:52

RK: Buxton has the record for best SB % at 90% yet steamer projects him at only 75% this year…any theories as to why?

10:53

Jeff Sullivan: I’ve never really thought about stolen-base projections, but my hunch is that the projection systems regress SB% very very heavily

10:53

Jeff Sullivan: Baserunning in general gets regressed very very heavily, which is why the best baserunners in baseball look underrated by the preseason projections

10:53

Mario Mendoza: Free Aaron Altherr!

10:54

Jeff Sullivan: I like him too, but he *is* slugging .268

10:54

Joe Joe: Not counting AL East, which Division Favorite is most likely going to not win the division this year? I’m going with Nationals until the Mets get hurt.

10:54

Jeff Sullivan: I’ll say the Dodgers could be in the most trouble. The Diamondbacks look good, and Kenley Jansen does not

10:56

Frigid cold : How much stock should be taken into the Jays current record given that they mostly been beating up bad teams.

10:56

Jeff Sullivan: They’re 9-3 against what I’d call bad teams, and 3-3 against what I’d call good teams. Keep that up and they make the playoffs

10:57

James: Do teams look at conventional stats for minor leaguers at all, or is it all more advanced stuff?

10:57

Jeff Sullivan: It’s just about all more advanced stuff. At the very least, rates instead of counting stats. But traditional stats, as far as the decision-makers are concerned, are dead and long buried

10:58

Brew_Crew: Why don’t we include linear weights for different types of outs in or calculations of wOBA? We treat a single as different from a walk, so why not treat a strikeout as different from a groundout or a fly ball?

10:58

Jeff Sullivan: There’s just not a very big difference in the value of different kinds of outs. So it would be extra work for a negligible gain

10:58

Dongmingo: Can David Price succeed at his current velo and pitch mix? It seems like he’s destined for trouble.

10:59

Jeff Sullivan: When healthy, David Price has the kind of command that would play at lesser velocity. I might never believe that David Price is healthy again

10:59

jon: better long term future andrew benintendi or rafael devers?

10:59

Jeff Sullivan: I lean Benintendi

11:00

Cookie Monster: Chris Stratton.  What the heck?

11:00

Jeff Sullivan: From a Statcast perspective, he’s a really interesting pitcher. Completely off the radar, but he’s a high-spin guy. Reasonable bet to take a true step forward this season since he’s got rotation job security

11:00

T-Bone: Teoscar! Similar to Franchy, obviously he hits the ball hard, but only when he hits it.  And only when he plays in a crowded outfield. Stardom this year, or not yet, or probably never?

11:01

Jeff Sullivan: Probably never a star, but he deserves to bat 500 times in this season

11:01

Nick S: Biggest hole in xwOBA is that it doesn’t include spray angle.

11:01

Jeff Sullivan: I think it’s getting there. Work in progress! (I am not an authority)

11:01

ohioastrosfan: Does romo have a chance to become the new TB closer if colome continues to struggle?

11:01

Jeff Sullivan: Not for very long. Romo needs to be treated gingerly

11:02

Joe: Is Charlie Morton the 3rd best pitcher in the Astros rotation?

11:03

Jeff Sullivan: Over the course of a full season, I’d say fourth. But honestly, man, they’re all SO GOOD. It’s amazing

11:04

Erik: Harvey has a 3.62 xFIP. Strikeouts are up and walks are down. Why is anyone remotely worried?

11:04

Jeff Sullivan: High contact rate, doesn’t get swings out of the zone. He’s better than a 6.00 ERA, but he’s not showing progress

11:04

mike: what’s the market for Donaldson?  does the shoulder problems significantly reduce their expected return??

11:04

Jeff Sullivan: Absolutely, Donaldson’s value is much much lower until or unless his shoulder recovers

11:05

LosDoyers: Has AL East gone back to the mid-2000s normalcy of 1/2 being REd Sox/Yankees, Blue Jays at 3rd and Orioles/Rays at the bottom?

It was fun when that order was upended from 08 onwards

11:05

Jeff Sullivan: I think the Rays will be all right for the foreseeable future, but definitely not on par with the cream of the crop

11:05

Stevil: Seattle has two terrible relievers, unproven options at 1B, and two left fielders coming off injury or surgery and bad second halves. Do you see them buying at the deadline (or earlier), selling, or being stubborn?

11:05

Jeff Sullivan: I genuinely don’t know how they could buy. They don’t have anything

11:06

Jeff Sullivan: Maybe they find a contract-year reliever, but I think they kind of stand pat and hope

11:06

Joe: Man, you really hate Bryan Mitchell huh

11:06

Jeff Sullivan: I was kind of high on him during the winter but I’m already about ready to pull the plug

11:07

tyler: I thought the modern way of viewing lineup protection was that the guy in front protects the guy behind by getting on base more often, is that wrong as well?

11:07

Jeff Sullivan: No, that’s at least somewhat true and helpful

11:07

Jeff Sullivan: Provided the guy in front doesn’t spend too much time trying to steal, which is a distraction

11:07

Bruce: Last night betances talked about a change to his sequencing which is helping him.This got me wondering, how much do we know about the value of sequencing?It seems to me like this is the final frontier of sabermetrics.

11:08

Jeff Sullivan: We don’t know nearly enough about sequencing. It’s extremely hard to study, and hidden in there is probably the explanation for why Jeff Mathis keeps getting jobs

11:08

Jeff Sullivan: All right, I need to get rolling

11:09

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 — 4/20/18 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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