Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 4/6/18

9:07

Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:07

Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to Friday baseball chat

9:07

Bork: Hello, friend!

9:07

Jeff Sullivan: Hello friend

9:08

Daniel Vogelbach: By how much do I have to outperform Healy to become the starter or at least platoon full time?

9:08

Jeff Sullivan: Not sure you’ll even get the chance, at first. The Mariners appear committed to giving Healy a long leash, and they won’t replace him until it’s clear that he’s bad or that Vogelbach is amazing

9:08

Jeff Sullivan: Vogelbach will probably have a return trip to Tacoma coming up

9:09

Bork: Is Gabe Kapler being paid by the Yankees to make Aaron Boone look good?

9:09

Jeff Sullivan: Gabe Kapler made the unforgivable mistake of being different

9:10

Jeff Sullivan: Never be different in Philadelphia

9:10

Taxes: Should I do them?

9:10

Jeff Sullivan: Someone should

9:10

Jeff Sullivan: Doesn’t have to be you

9:11

Jeff Sullivan: Unless you don’t feel like it

9:11

Jeff Sullivan: Who am I to tell you how to live your life

9:12

Monsignor Martinez: With a career K/9 of under 4 and an opposing BABIP of .280, how did Cy Young pitch so successfully?

9:13

Jeff Sullivan: Over his career the league-average strikeout rate was even lower than his

9:13

Jeff Sullivan: And his walk rate was far better than average, too

9:14

Jeff Sullivan: Wasn’t so bad to allow a lot of contact when no one had the ability to hit the ball out of the yard. Cy Young allowed 138 homers in 22 seasons

9:14

Whitty: Thought on Nick Williams calling out Kapler for his lineup creation? Are players already turning on him? Or is this an isolated incident from an immature player?

9:15

Jeff Sullivan: To a certain extent this isn’t even Kapler’s fault. The front office forced his hand by moving Hoskins to the outfield and by signing Kingery

9:15

Jeff Sullivan: The roster construction demands that players get regular breaks, so that there’s room for everybody. The players who have to sit aren’t going to be thrilled about it. But I’m not sure what Kapler is supposed to do. No way for Williams to get 150 starts

9:16

Wiggle: Thoughts on where Johnny Cueto ends up?  Walks are closer to career levels but other peripherals don’t look so hot.

9:17

Jeff Sullivan: Stuff looks fine, contact rate looks more or less normal. Cueto should be solid provided no more blisters

9:18

Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: Much has been written about Chris Archer’s peripherals vs his results. Who is another pitcher you consider to be about as good as Archer?

9:20

Jeff Sullivan: I think a big part of this probably comes down to the competition that Archer has faced. Since 2012, when he debuted, his divisional opponents rank 4th, 6th, 8th, and 11th in wRC+

9:21

Jeff Sullivan: The Orioles, Blue Jays, and Yankees rank 1st, 2nd, and 6th in HR/FB%

9:21

Jeff Sullivan: So of course Archer’s home runs are somewhat inflated — he’s faced an unusual number of powerful lineups

9:22

Jeff Sullivan: Anyway, to answer your question, Gerrit Cole?

9:22

3 Ben Sheets to the Wind: Confidence in Corbin to pitch relatively like this all year?

9:23

Jeff Sullivan: Well he won’t maintain *this* kind of strikeout rate but I don’t know how it could hurt him to use his best pitch more. I think he’ll be legitimately improved

9:23

Armchair Manager: Hi Jeff, If I’m reading run expectancy tables correctly, it’s basically always a bad idea to sacrifice a runner over to second base. Is this true, and if so, why do managers keep doing it? I don’t know much but the numbers seem kind of clear.

9:23

Jeff Sullivan: There’s a reason sac bunts are disappearing, especially among non-pitchers. It’s not an optimal play

9:24

Jeff Sullivan: Now, sometimes you have particular bad matchups. If there’s a really good righty on the mound and you have a weak right-handed hitter, it makes more sense to bunt if someone better is on deck

9:24

Jeff Sullivan: And the run-expectancy tables, viewed simplistically, don’t tell you that on a non-negligible number of sac bunts, there can be defensive errors that allow everyone to reach

9:24

THE Average Sports Fan: What is your take on Kapler?

9:25

Jeff Sullivan: From the beginning, it was understood that some people would love him and some people would hate him. Anyone who’s that polarizing will get buried at any and every opportunity

9:26

Jeff Sullivan: The challenge is and has always been maintaining the confidence in the clubhouse. Kapler doesn’t have to give a shit what anyone is writing. None of it matters. He just needs to make sure he has buy-in from the Phillies themselves. He’s going to make some unusual decisions. How many of them work out, we won’t know for months. I’m glad he’s getting this opportunity

9:27

Jeff Sullivan: There’s a real chance Kapler could be a failure. Just might not be cut out to be a leader. We don’t know that yet, and we can’t learn anything, really, from a shift that doesn’t work

9:28

TKDC: Should pitcher hitting count towards Cy Young voting? How about Ohtani’s hitting?

9:29

Jeff Sullivan: I’m surprised I’m saying this but I think my answer is no. For me, the Cy Young is just about the pitching itself

9:29

Maester Aemon: So… The Braves’ offense?

9:30

Jeff Sullivan: Current Braves with a four-digit OPS: Freddie Freeman! Ryan Flaherty! Preston Tucker!

9:31

Jeff Sullivan: I think it’s too bad that Tucker is about to lose his job through no fault of his own. But what I really love here are Freeman’s 10 walks and 3 strikeouts

9:31

Jeff Sullivan: He is so, so good

9:31

Jeff Sullivan: I love how a rebuild built entirely around young pitching has gotten to the point where it’s mostly about Freeman, Albies, and Acuna

9:31

Rob refsnyder’s falling catch: Who is your twitter avatar? I always thought it was Ibanez but he’s clearly on the grass when he spiked it.

9:31

Jeff Sullivan: It is indeed Raul Ibanez

9:31

Jeff Sullivan: Raul Ibanez had multiple lawn darts

9:32

Seff Jullivan: Say Josh Donaldson’s arm injury ends up being serious and forces him to DH a large percentage of the season. How will this affect his earning power this offseason?

9:33

Jeff Sullivan: J.D. Martinez just got 5/$110m, with the Red Sox effectively bidding against themselves. And Martinez is hardly going to see the field. Donaldson will be older than Martinez was as an FA, but he’s so very good that he’d still get a huge deal

9:34

dodger dogg: what do you make of the dip in velocity for Dodgers pitchers…WS hangover

9:35

Jeff Sullivan: Not worried about Kershaw’s velocity. Minimally worried about Wood’s velocity. Most worried about Jansen’s velocity. I’m at a 7/10 alarm level here

9:36

Jeff Sullivan: It did seem like there was a little improvement last time out, so I won’t be in a full-on panic unless this keeps up another week or two

9:37

YOAT: It’s pretty amazing  that Scott Kazmir has 25 WAR to his name. Will be interested to see if he is done or can squeak out a little more of an MLB career

9:37

Jeff Sullivan: If he were even the slightest bit more durable, he’d probably be with the Padres by now

9:37

Bill: It’s Friday and only half the MLB teams are playing . . . how did this happen?

9:38

Jeff Sullivan: Bunch of home openers yesterday, so just like last week, today is to cover for potential rain-outs that didn’t happen

9:38

Jeff Sullivan: Won’t see this anymore the rest of the season

9:39

Bert: Is this the year Nomar Mazarra arrives at his expected performance? Is .280/.350/.500 achievable?

9:39

Jeff Sullivan: Minor trivia: last year Mazara topped out at an exit velocity of 113.6. The other day he hit two balls at 114+

9:40

Jeff Sullivan: Since this is just his age-23 season, I expect that he will indeed take a step forward

9:41

Gavin: Daniel Norris is the girl that the Tigers continually spurn only to see her take her glasses off and let down her hair and strike out 6 in 3.1 innings

9:41

Jeff Sullivan: At least for me, Norris remains the most interesting thing about the Tigers right now

9:41

Jeff Sullivan: He’s going to end up in Triple-A, but he shouldn’t be there for long, I don’t think

9:44

Maester Aemon: Is there anything in Preston Tucker’s history that makes you think he can be a major league regular with some power?

9:44

Jeff Sullivan: Been an above-average hitter in the minors at every stop, and he’s strung together ISOs of .200+

9:45

Jeff Sullivan: At the major-league level he’s hit a bunch of balls around 110mph, so the bat speed is good, if short of fantastic

9:45

Jeff Sullivan: I bet he can be a fringe starter. It’s too bad about the Acuna thing

9:45

Jeff Sullivan: For him, I mean. Not for anyone else

9:45

Shef: Who’s the fill in closer in Milwaukee?

9:45

Jeff Sullivan: Gotta assume it’s Hader

9:46

TKDC: If Ohtani is a much better hitter than pitcher, would the Angels make him a full time DH/closer?

9:46

Jeff Sullivan: I think that would only make things more complicated. How do you start a guy in the lineup and also have him warm up to potentially relieve in 70 games?

9:47

Kevin: I only have enough love for one player do I choose Trout or Ohtani?

9:47

Jeff Sullivan: First you need to perform some stretching exercises for your heart

9:47

Jeff Sullivan: Your capacity for love is shamefully low

9:47

Jeff Sullivan: Trout

9:50

otis: Have you seen any of Nick Pivetta’s first two starts? If so, any thoughts?

9:50

Jeff Sullivan: I haven’t looked at him in depth yet, but I liked a lot of what I saw in 2017 and I’ve looked forward to seeing him make 25-30 starts this time. I think he has a plus fastball, and it looks like he’s abandoned his changeup this year

9:52

Jeff Sullivan: At the same time, he’s added to the depth on his curveball. Pairs well with the four-seamer. Kind of Porcello-y, with more zip

9:52

Jeff Sullivan: Will be a matter of command; the stuff is good enough to work

9:53

THE Average Sports Fan: Who would you choose to head the MLBPA?

9:53

Jeff Sullivan: I doubt I even know the name of the person who would be the best possible pick

9:53

Bill: You wrote in the off-season about Matt Albers’ signs of break-through last year . . . do you think he has what it takes to close while Knebel is out?

9:53

Jeff Sullivan: I think the Brewers are blessed to have a few options

9:54

Jeff Sullivan: Only Hader could be as dominant as Knebel, but it’s a deep bullpen, especially if/when Logan ever returns. Albers could do it, but so could a few others

9:54

Jim: Do the Dodgers have the SP depth to rest Hill and company consistently this year?

9:55

Jeff Sullivan: I think they have the least SP depth they’ve had in a few years, but Font could work, and Buehler is coming. So there’s nothing desperate

9:55

TKDC: Is Ohtani the runaway favorite for guy that will have the most Fangraphs articles about him in 2018?

9:55

Jeff Sullivan: Him or Trout

9:55

Jeff Sullivan: And Ohtani is basically two players in one, so that’s cheating!

9:55

Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: Bullpen day is the new Rays ace. How about Yonny Chirinos?

9:56

Jeff Sullivan: Fringe Five superstar!

9:56

Jeff Sullivan: Chirinos in Triple-A last season: 22 walks, 120 strikeouts

9:58

Jeff Sullivan: In typical Rays fashion, he seems to like to elevate his fastball. In less typical Rays fashion, his fastball isn’t really high-spin. Got a good splitter. Nothing positive about the Rays’ pitching injuries, except that they’ll give opportunities to sleeper pitchers in the system as a consequence

9:59

Jason: Are the issues with Kapler overblown and just old school people not used to new ways?  Probably some of this although if he loses the clubhouse that seems like a real problem.

9:59

Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, clubhouse is the only problem

10:00

Jeff Sullivan: Kapler’s going to learn as he goes, and based on how spring training went, he’s already got a lot of buy-in. The failure to warm up Milner was embarrassing. Most of the rest is justifiable. No one needs to worry about anonymous grumbling from veteran scouts

10:01

Kraznys mo Nakloz: Does Freddie Freeman getting the Superstar treatment from the Phillies and Nats mean he is going to post Votto level OBP numbers and MVP stats?

10:01

Jeff Sullivan: I mean, he was already trying to do that last season before he got injured

10:01

Jeff Sullivan: Freddie Freeman is amazing

10:01

Jeff Sullivan: And also, the rest of the Braves lineup is *not* amazing

10:02

Jeff Sullivan: So we’ll see if Acuna provides a second major threat, when he finally comes around

10:02

Mike: If you had to pick a team to be this years Indians (underperform til the ASB before taking off) who would you take 1 week in?

10:02

Jeff Sullivan: Dodgers

10:03

Jeff Sullivan: Oh, are there first-half problems? Well, Turner is back. Buehler is coming. Verdugo is coming.

10:03

Will: Why is Jose Reyes playing as much as he is?  Overall I think Mickey Callaway has been very good.

10:03

Jeff Sullivan: Jose Reyes has eight plate appearances

10:04

Jeff Sullivan: And he’s actually been a fine player the last couple years

10:04

Jeff Sullivan: You can understand not pushing Amed Rosario every single day, given how much more development he still requires

10:05

Stevil: When does Seattle recognize that Healy needs more AAA seasoning and gives Vogelbach the job at 1B? When Cruz comes off the DL?

10:05

Jeff Sullivan: Don’t bet on it

10:06

Derek: What’s the difference between a regular curve and a knuckle curve? Are there other specialty curves?

10:06

Jeff Sullivan: The knuckle curve is thrown with a knuckle on the ball

10:06

Jeff Sullivan: Some say that’s how the pitch got its name

10:07

Jeff Sullivan: There’s also the semi-related spike curve. And more generally, some guys will alternate regular curves and slow curves, that take off about 10-15mph

10:07

Billy Beane: Matt Chapman is currently tied for 1st in MLB position player WAR. What do you think the odds are that he ends the season top 10 there?

10:07

Jeff Sullivan: Not very high, but my odds are higher than most other people would say. I like Chapman a lot

10:09

CT: What’s up with the Red Sox offense?

10:09

Jeff Sullivan: Currently 14th in expected wOBA https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/statcast_search?hfPT=&hfAB=&hfBBT=&hfPR…

10:09

Jeff Sullivan: They’ve got nothing on the White Sox!

10:09

Jeff Sullivan: The answer is basically just that J.D. Martinez hasn’t homered yet

10:10

Tom: Is Yadi a HOFer?

10:10

Jeff Sullivan: I pretty strongly believe that he will be. I am not convinced that he should be

10:10

Jeff Sullivan: I could easily *be* convinced, but I don’t think we have the evidence yet

10:12

StroShow: Do you suspect Robbie Ray is hurt? Nice start on paper yesterday but looks like he’s still down a couple ticks last year

10:12

Jeff Sullivan: In Ray’s first two starts last year, he was around 93. Through two starts this year, he’s close to 93. I’m not worried at this point. Lots of pitchers around the league are down in velo

10:13

Tom: Is Wainwright done?

10:13

Jeff Sullivan: I’m not going to go there yet, but he’s on a short leash

10:14

A Kind Man With Good Intentions: Early opinion of the Arizona Diamondbacks?

10:14

Jeff Sullivan: Current team leader in hitting: Nick Ahmed!

10:14

Jeff Sullivan: Second-worst hitter: Paul Goldschmidt!

10:15

Jeff Sullivan: I like them, and I think they’re pretty strong, especially if Corbin is improved. What makes me nervous is the pitching depth. If they lose a starter or two, they’re in trouble, and the bullpen still needs to prove itself to me beyond Bradley

10:15

Fredrick: How many innings do you think Danny Salazar throws this year? Does he get moved to the bullpen?

10:16

Jeff Sullivan: It wouldn’t surprise me at all to see him end up in relief. There’s more of a need there this year. At the same time, Josh Tomlin isn’t going to fend him off, so Salazar will pick up at least *some* starts on his course toward 100-ish innings

10:17

E: I have a weird take. Home runs are more impressive on TV. The camera angle looks like the ball is going to land on the moon. In person, the field looks smaller for some reason.

10:17

Jeff Sullivan: I can get behind this take

10:17

Ohtani: Am I Babe Ruth yet?

10:17

Jeff Sullivan: As a hitter, you could destroy Babe Ruth, and as a pitcher, you could own Babe Ruth

10:19

brad: Jeff, Maybe you know offhand or this could be an idea for a future article, what percentage now and throughout history of closers are righty.  And maybe define closer as more than 20 saves in one season.

10:20

Jeff Sullivan: Peak lefty closer season: 1989. Seven lefty relievers with 20+ saves

10:20

Jeff Sullivan: No other season at seven. No other season at six

10:21

Jeff Sullivan: Last year, there were four: Chapman, Doolittle, Hand, Rivero

10:21

Jeff Sullivan: Britton would’ve gotten there, but for his injury

10:23

Mr. Lovelady: Jordan Hicks Question # 455: huge talent or just a guy who throws hard?

10:24

Jeff Sullivan: The latter sort of informs the former

10:24

Jeff Sullivan: I’m not convinced by Hicks that he’s a bat-misser, yet. But that’s a big power sinker he’s got. So he’ll keep almost everything he throws on the ground

10:25

Jeff Sullivan: Really, really difficult pitcher to elevate

10:26

Lark: If the strikeouts, homeruns, sifts and flyballs lead teams to use less rangy players at middle infield,
can that trend benefit hitters who spray groundballs? like Hosmer?

10:26

Jeff Sullivan: Even Hosmer only seldom hits a grounder to the opposite field. Less rangy infielders would make certain ground balls more valuable, sure. But at the same time, just about every single good hitter in the majors these days hits grounders to the pull side. The spray-grounder types are more likely to be selected *against* since they generally don’t have pop

10:27

Grant: It’s early but which hitter and pitcher look like they are breaking out? I say Ohtani for both

10:27

Jeff Sullivan: It’s way too early for me to buy any kind of hitter breakout. Hitters, in my book, take more time to stabilize

10:28

Jeff Sullivan: I’m a believer in Jakob Junis, and I should say I’m also very excited by the new Aaron Sanchez changeup

10:29

stever20: has there ever been a more surprising downturn in a guy than King Felix?  He was so good all the way thru all star break in ’15.  But since the ’15 break- 4.23 ERA with 52 homers in 333.2 IP(1.4 per 9 innings).

10:29

Jeff Sullivan: Your question wounds me

10:29

Jeff Sullivan: :(

10:29

Kraznys mo Nakloz: I’m 1000% on board with managers bucking trends, but he turned an easy win into a loss on opening day.

10:29

Jeff Sullivan: ugh this again

10:29

Jeff Sullivan: no he didn’t

10:30

Jeff Sullivan: The Phillies were up 5-2 going into the bottom of the eighth, and they got the ball to Morgan, Ramos, and Neris, the three best relievers they had available. They allowed six runs

10:30

Jeff Sullivan: That ain’t Kapler

10:31

Fredrick: The projection systems dont seem to buy into Scooter Gennett’s 2017 at all. Is this because they dont account for the juiced ball? What do you think gennetts slg will be for 2018?

10:31

Jeff Sullivan: Gennett has a much better projection than he did a year ago

10:31

Jeff Sullivan: It’s just still not a *good* projection, because, yeah, his background

10:33

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t really see all that much of a difference between 2016 Gennett and 2017 Gennett. He’s better now to the pull side, but he’s *maybe* a league-average hitter overall

10:34

DJ : Please settle a debate between myself and a friend. He believes Didi Gregorious is a legitimate power threat, the next Derek Jeter (I know how stupid it sounds), and a staple in the Yankees lineup for the next decade. I believe he’s improved, but his home run total is a benefit of the right field porch and isn’t more promising than any of their infield prospects in their system

10:35

Jeff Sullivan: You’re not going to believe me, but last year, Gregorius actually slugged .426 at home and .528 on the road!

10:35

Jeff Sullivan: I didn’t believe it either the first time I saw it

10:35

Jeff Sullivan: I think it’s really impressive how much Gregorius has developed, since his days of being a no-hit gloveman

10:36

Jeff Sullivan: And yet, still, Gregorius is about topped out around a 100 wRC+. How many 28-year-old shortstops with a 100 wRC+ are still regular shortstops ten years later?

10:37

Jeff Sullivan: Gregorius is a good player now, but he doesn’t have an elite skill. He has just enough power, and he’s a fine defender without being elite. He’s got another few years

10:37

Bork: Kapler hasnt had batteries thrown at him at least

10:37

Jeff Sullivan: That we know of

10:37

John: If Kenley Jansen struggles through all of April then rounds into his normal form for May onward… do the Dodgers still win the division comfortably?

10:37

Jeff Sullivan: Maybe not comfortably, since Jansen struggles cost games, but they’d still win it

10:38

steve: please rank guys most likely to keep the closer job:  Box, Parker, Kela and Strickland?

10:38

Jeff Sullivan: Looks like you nailed it

10:39

stormy daniels: Hi Jeff — what’s up with Syndergaard last start?  Was he just off that day, or are there lingering effects to his injury?

10:40

Jeff Sullivan: Stuff was still great, and he still missed bats. Just fought some inefficiency, so he got yanked after 18 batters. I’m not worried here

10:40

Jeff Sullivan: I mean, any more than I’m usually worried about him

10:40

Josh: How much trouble are the Brewers in if Knebel is done for the year?

10:40

Jeff Sullivan: Big blow. Not crippling, since Hader is there, but that would deal a blow to their WC chances for sure

10:41

stever20: Shouldn’t the Phillies have taken note at the reaction that Chip Kelly got with the Eagles-another guy who is different?

10:41

Jeff Sullivan: Remember when everyone was pissed off at the Astros for being different?

10:41

al: Think the Mets can win 90+ games this year and people will be like “yea we probably should’ve seen this coming”?

10:41

Jeff Sullivan: It’s all about pitching. If the good pitchers all make 30+ starts, 90+ wins shouldn’t be too much trouble. It’s easy to see the Mets being good if their best pitchers can pitch

10:42

ATL: Thoughts on Preston Tucker so far? Showed a lot more power in AAA last year

10:42

Jeff Sullivan: .211 Triple-A ISO in 2016, .215 Triple-A ISO in 2017

10:43

Brendan: Do the Cubs even have the money to sign Bryce Harper? They’ve given out some big contracts already, and they’ve got a lot of All Star-caliber players coming up for arbitration in the next few years.

10:43

Jeff Sullivan: It’s not an easy fit. It’s also not an impossible fit, and the Cubs definitely have the resources to blow through the luxury tax if they wanted

10:44

Jeff Sullivan: One very real option: the Cubs could package Heyward with a talented young player to get another team to eat Heyward’s whole contract

10:45

Breezy: How can Odor ever be the .250 AVG guy he’s projected for when his shift numbers have increased every year along with his Pull%?

10:45

Jeff Sullivan: Before hitting .204, Odor hit .259, .261, and .271

10:45

Jeff Sullivan: That’s how

10:45

Slew (Seattle): The White Sox tried and failed with a “stars and scrubs” roster for years. Do we think it’s going to work in Anaheim?

10:45

Jeff Sullivan: The Angels have better depth than they’ve had in years

10:45

Joey Lucchesi: Who am I and do I baseball well?

10:46

Jeff Sullivan: You might be the best starting pitcher on the Padres today!

10:47

Joey Votto: What’s wrong with me?

10:47

Jeff Sullivan: Last player in baseball I’d ever worry about

10:47

Jeff Sullivan: That being said, I watched him strike out against Tyler Chatwood the other day on three pitches. Three absolutely perfect inner-edge fastballs. Nothing Votto could’ve done

10:48

Kraznys mo Nakloz: Ryan Flaherty is the best 3B in baseball.  Change my mind.

10:48

Jeff Sullivan: I’d rather allow you to live in that world. Why close the door on possibility

10:49

Guest: I’ve read before in Fangraphs chats that relievers receive a leverage adjustment in WAR. Do you have an idea of how this actually works, or how significant the adjustments are? Is this accounted for in projections?

10:49

Jeff Sullivan: Here’s a short and very old article that is modestly enlightening https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/war-and-relievers/

10:50

DC: Are the Mets real?

10:50

Jeff Sullivan: Are any of us?

10:51

Mike W.: Are the Rangers the worst team in the AL West?

10:51

Jeff Sullivan: I believe so, by a fairly narrow margin

10:52

Jeff Sullivan: I think it’s about 40% likely to be the Rangers, 30% to be the A’s, 25% to be the Mariners, and 5% to be the Angels

10:53

Kyler: How early does fly ball% or GB/FB ratio become meaningful? At what point does it become sign of a real change?

10:53

Jeff Sullivan: I’d give it at least, say, 100 batted balls before making anything of it

10:54

Anthony: It’s really nice to see Tim Anderson off to a great start after an awful year last year on and off the field. Have you noticed any changes to his approach so far?

10:54

Jeff Sullivan: Well, he’s already 23% of the way to matching last year’s walk total

10:54

Jeff Sullivan: But he’s still swinging at more than half of the pitches he’s seeing

10:55

Jeff Sullivan: He’s drawn his walks against Daniel Norris, Warwick Saupold, and Burch Smith

10:56

Jeff Sullivan: That’s, uh

10:56

Jeff Sullivan: Let’s just move on

10:57

Rick: What is the worst case scenario at the end of April (playing the Dodgers 10 times, Nats 3, Angels 3, Dbacks 6) where the Giants can still make the playoffs?

10:57

Jeff Sullivan: This is all useless estimation but the Giants will be 29 games in. They wouldn’t want to be worse than, I don’t know, 12-17

10:58

Jeff Sullivan: The second wild card in the NL shouldn’t be too hard to reach, but there’s also plenty of competition for those 84 wins or however many

10:58

Miguel: Can Kenley Jansen be excellent at a reduced velocity? Seems like one of the key reasons he’s been so good with one pitch is because of the command. But I’ve also been a fan of his slider and have thought he should use it more.

10:59

Jeff Sullivan: That all depends on the cause for the velocity loss. If he’s hurt or his mechanics are out of whack, that’s real bad news. But if, hypothetically, he were just aging gracefully and gradually, then a tick or two wouldn’t matter too much, because he’d still have his precision

10:59

Jeff Sullivan: Right now he doesn’t have his precision. It’s also been only two innings

11:00

JV: Is Matt Chapman the next coming of Scott Rolen?  I’m convinced of it

11:00

Jeff Sullivan: Rolen didn’t have so much swing-and-miss to his game, but I do support the general profile here

11:00

Jeff Sullivan: Chapman could be very, very good. Very fast!

11:00

Scott: Do you think the Angels have told Ohtani not to steal bases, in hopes of avoiding injury? It seems like he has enough speed to make that a part of his game.

11:00

Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, hard to see the Angels wanting to be very aggressive with his baserunning

11:01

Jeff Sullivan: And besides, this early on, you want Ohtani focusing on his pitching and hitting, not on trying to read the moves and times of different opposing pitchers

11:01

Jeff Sullivan: Ohtani only stole 13 bases over his career in Japan. He just doesn’t do it

11:02

Lunar verLander: Has mankind exhausted every possible kind of pitch, or is it conceivable that there is an undiscovered new pitch type?

11:02

Jeff Sullivan: Not a whole lot left to do, I’m afraid

11:03

OddBall Herrera: Does the fact that the MLB statcast page only starts displaying average exit velocity once a player gets over 25 recorded events mean that number becomes meaningful around 25, or is it just an arbitrary cutoff? (p.s. Andrus atop the leaderboard!!!…of 8 players)

11:03

Jeff Sullivan: Arbitrary

11:03

yojiveself: you’re wrong – kapler did cost them the game.  pulling Nola at 60 pitches?  let him go 1-2 more innings and get your bullpen guys in at the right time and they may have been up 5-0, not 5-2 and closed the game the right way.

11:03

Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, no, I don’t care

11:04

Jeff Sullivan: When Nola came out, the Phillies’ win expectancy was 94%

11:04

Jeff Sullivan: Entering the bottom of the eighth, the Phillies’ win expectancy was 91%

11:05

yojiveself: win expectancy – rolls eyes.  ok

11:05

Jeff Sullivan: All right, I should get rolling

11:05

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 — 4/6/18 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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Maggie25
Member
Member
Maggie25

I know this is obvious to everyone, but leave Nola in 1-2 more innings and maybe he gives up 5 runs. Or maybe the bullpen still gives up 6 runs. I don’t even care whether or not it was the right decision to take Nola out at that time, Jeff is right that the bullpen cost them the game, not Kapler.

Aaron Judge's Gavel
Member
Aaron Judge's Gavel

Yeah when yojiveself or any of these other guys calling for Kapler’s head can see into the parallel universes to see what would have definitively happened if Nola was left in for another inning, then let us know. But as stated in the above comment, I imagine there would be some number of universes observed where Nola indeed blows it as well.