Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 8/28/15

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: Every week, I wonder what’s going to cause me to be late to open my chat

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: It always happens. This week, I was prepared for the scheduled beginning. Then Jack Zduriencik got fired

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: Sooooooo we’re probably going to talk about that a lot

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: Beginning now!

9:17
Comment From Pat s
Do you have any thoughts on Ben Gamel?

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: Pat s with the pressing question of the day

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: But the answer, I’m afraid, is no

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: Definite Kiley question. There’s no way I have a better report on Gamel than he does

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: By the way you guys, I should warn you that I’ve experienced a somewhat unstable home wifi connection, so if I go randomly dark, trust that I’m working on it and no happier than you are

9:19
Comment From Rio Ruiz
Am I hurt? lost? Saving my energy for a fantastic final few weeks?

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: You haven’t adjusted well to an advanced league. This is why interesting low-level prospects still have an ungodly amount of stuff to prove. Encouragingly, you’ve been better for the past month or so, but the stock is way way down

9:20
Comment From eknpdx
Yay! M’s now get to hire another GM, like they have a good track record of that….

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah. These things are so unpredictable. Remember the feeling when Zduriencik was first hired? Remember how much we all believed in him?

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: Went totally off the rails.

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: There was a point, early in Zduriencik’s Mariner career, where we threw an event with him as the VIP speaker, and when he walked onto the stage the whole crowd gave him a standing ovation

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: Those feelings were genuine and they felt like they were rooted in fact. Then the front office suddenly changed course after the 2010 disaster. Have to wonder how responsible Chone Figgins was for that. Also, Franklin Gutierrez’s perplexing disease

9:22
Comment From Guesto
Ding dong the witch is dead?

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: No, the witch is just fired

9:25
Comment From Xolo
What do you make of Derek Norris’ BB%? It’s been under 3 in three separate months.

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: For whatever reason, he’s just become more aggressive. Related to that, he’s been thrown more pitches in the zone, so there have just been fewer walking opportunities. It’s not a positive trend, but a good hitter is still in there

9:26
Comment From Pat s
What is the AL wild card pitching matchup?

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: Pineda vs. Richards?

9:27
Comment From Pale Hose
Would March ’15 Jeff have been more surprised by today’s AL standings or the reverse of today’s AL standings?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Today’s AL standings. All year the league has been bonkers

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Just been a weird year in general. I have a post to write, but I should wait until the season is officially complete

9:29
Comment From Guest
Do you think the Jays regret putting Danny Valencia on waivers and losing him so easily? Seems like a pretty good get for the A’s.

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: I was a little surprised when that happened, but I don’t think the Jays were unaware of what Valencia can do. He’s always had a decent platoon bat — this year, interestingly, he’s finally hitting righties. If you don’t buy that, he’s not valuable. If you do, it’s a good low-cost pickup

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: Valencia, career: 74 wRC+ against righties. This year, 142.

9:32
Comment From Naveen
What was the defining transaction of the Zduriencik era?

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: Hard to pinpoint, but I can’t help but feel like it’s John Jaso for Mike Morse

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: But the Chone Figgins transaction had some sweeping consequences, so that’s a possibility

9:34
Comment From Notorious DAD
Not that he would EVER leave Oakland, but Billy Beane with Seattle’s payroll would be mighty impressive.

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: Boston tried that

9:35
Comment From Norrin Radd
Did Bonds ever stand a chance in his collusion case?

9:35
9:35
Jeff Sullivan: Not really, based on the evidence

9:36
Comment From Jaack
Which is more likely, Nats win NL East or Giants win NL West?

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: I know what the Odds page shows, but the Giants are a whole four games closer. I can’t ignore that. Giants, unless they’re super super injured

9:37
Comment From jayco
IT’S DAN O’DOWD TIME!!!

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: From Colorado to the opposite of Colorado

9:37
Comment From James
Saw some tweets that the Mariners inquired about Dan O’dowd for the now open GM position. I’m so very sorry for all you M’s fans. It doesn’t look like they are headed in the right direction

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: Back before Zduriencik was hired, there were rumors connecting the Mariners to Randy Smith

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: Rumors are rumors

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: Although come to think of it, maybe the Smith era might’ve been better. Who knows!

9:38
Comment From Colin
Will the Mariners’ next GM have a name I can spell and/or pronounce?

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: I had never once seen the name “Zduriencik” before and I’m glad to no longer have to type it

9:40
Comment From Pale Hose
Starling Marte has lost about a win due to baserunning compared to last year. wSB is about the same. Worth investigating?

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s see. Two runs from double plays. UBR has gotten worse by 7.5 runs

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: Last year, when on first for a single, Marte got to third half the time. This year, a third of the time

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: This year, when on first for a double, Marte has been thrown out on the bases twice, where last year he never was

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: And last year, when on second for a single, Marte scored 16 out of 20 times. This year, 11 out of 18

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: So that’s some of it

9:42
Comment From Zach
Obviously this is a bittersweet day for Mariners fans: firing the GM was necessary, but you never want the things that make it necessary to happen. Given the current roster, is there much hope for us going forward, no matter who they hire?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Even this version of the M’s is probably a true-talent .500 team or so. Bigger issue is the whole farm system, seemingly, has taken a step backward. The most important part of the new front office will be its player-development system, and we won’t be able to evaluate that for a while, if ever

9:45
Comment From deez nutz
the cardinals hired randy flores for scouting director…uh…yeah?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: He’s probably around to make one decision, and then they’ll go bring in someone else

9:46
Comment From Phillies113
If I had told you, beginning of the season, a lot of GMs would be canned by the end of August, but RAJ was not among them, would you have believed me?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: I would’ve been surprised, but these are basically just teams trying to get ahead of the game. Amaro still has a job, but realistically, he’s been stripped of a lot of power

9:47
Comment From Notorious DAD
Also, and far more importantly, where do you fall on the whole flat vs. curved hat brim?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: I seldom wear hats, but when I do, the brim is curved. Flat brims are stupid

9:48
Comment From C
How do you pronounce jacks last name?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: zurr-EN-sick

9:48
Comment From L. Scott
I believe Cespedes has a clause in his contract that says he has 5 days to sign with his current team before hitting free agency after the season. After that 5 day period he becomes a free agent but cannot sign with his current team. Is this a normal thing, and if Cespedes wants to test free agency and possibly resign with the Mets, can he have that clause removed from his contract?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: I believe the clause is the clause. it’s not normal, but it’s working out for him, all things considered. If he wants to stay with New York, he needs to make that decision soon, or else he can’t re-sign until I believe the middle of May

9:49
Comment From Dan
The Ben Gamel thing seems like a Carson question. Anyway, Jeff, you’re offered the Mariners GM position. What do you do?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Immediately set up interviews with qualified candidates for the GM position

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: And demote Mike Zunino

9:50
Comment From HappyFunBall
So this is probably better directed at Appleman, but he doesn’t do chats. Then again I’ve been doing chats less often lately because the ads on this site have begun slowing the loading to a crawl. This morning I installed an ad-blocker and FG is once again usable. Huzzah! I know you guys have to make ad revenue, and that’s cool, but it’s affecting the usability of the site. That’s NOT cool.

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: He tries to stay on top of those things. He’s good about hunting them down and killing them because he doesn’t want ads to be obtrusive. But right now Appelman is on vacation, so if things are worse than usual, that might be a reason why

9:51
Comment From A
Do you think Rusney can be a 20hr/20sb guy over a full season?

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: He has the ability in him, but he obviously needs to quit hitting two-thirds of his balls in play on the ground

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: His swing would appear to be very raw

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: In the minors, he hit fewer grounders, but still way too many grounders

9:52
Comment From Zac S
With Jack gone, do you think Lloyd will get the opportunity to stay? Or is it still too early to tell?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: The pattern is that new GMs install their own managers. Lloyd will probably depart

9:53
Comment From Los
Which fan base do you find to be the most sensitive on fangraphs?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: I’m going to do some thinking out loud

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: Orioles fans have been pretty sensitive, but then I think Dave has somewhat intentionally needled them from time to time

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: Phillies fans haven’t been so much sensitive as annoyed

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: I think I’m going with Mets. Mets fans have been fairly sensitive

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: Or over-confident. I don’t know what it is. But they’ve had a distinct personality

9:56
Comment From Brad (Chicago)
Who says no to this deal: Tyson Ross for Castro/Almora/Blackburn?

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: Padres

9:56
Comment From cee
O/U – Matt Boyd pitches more then 2 & 2/3 against the left handed mashers aka the blue jays tonight?

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: He’ll make it into the fifth

9:57
Comment From MSW
Remember when 5 runs was an insurmountable lead for the Mets? Way way back in July…

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: There’s a whole thing to be written about this. July Mets: 87 wRC+. August Mets: 134. A lot of it’s Cespedes. A lot of it isn’t!

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: This month, 12 Mets have batted at least 40 times. Nine of them have posted a wRC+ higher than 150

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: lol

9:58
Comment From Ember
Is Ackley going to be the Yankees’ 2b next season?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: Might be more of a rover, but they like him

9:59
Comment From Josh
Why can’t we just have Jose Berrios? Why do we have to watch this Twins rotation?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: First five Triple-A starts: 10 walks, 30 strikeouts. Last five Triple-A starts: 3 walks, 43 strikeouts. He’s coming real soon

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: I think I read that Terry Ryan was there to watch Berrios the last time out. Berrios isn’t yet on the 40-man roster, but they can make space

10:01
Comment From jayco
Did you see Daniel Murphy’s play last night? Do you believe yet? Can we put the fork in the Nats yet?

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: You can put the fork in them if you want, but you still won’t be eating for more than a month, and you don’t want your meal to get cold

10:02
Comment From Ed
Any thoughts on who the favorites might be for e Mariners GM job? Better yet, who would YOU like to see get the job?

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: I imagine the Mariners are leaning toward someone with GM experience. My preference, given the candidates, would be someone else, but they’re probably a little gun-shy after how this all went

10:03
Comment From Minty
What do you expect out of Maikel Franco next year? I want to say that he’ll improve, but his walk rate was up and strikeouts down from his minor #s.

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: Franco turned it on strong. I like him as an above-average player as soon as he’s healthy again

10:05
Comment From Jeff1984
What do you think Dexter Fowler gets this winter in free agency? He seems like a prime candidate to get hurt by the QO.

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: well, Melky Cabrera got 3/$42m with a qualifying offer. That sort of contract would be within reach

10:07
Comment From Guest
in the case of something like adam dunns 2011…. what happens in those cases? great hitter for a decade, a historically bad collapse, then hitting right back to normal the next season. I don’t get it.

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: One possible point of comparison: Kendrys Morales was normal, then completely terrible, and now he’s normal again. With Morales, we blame his sitting out the start of the season, disrupting his timing. Dunn, after 2011, I think, changed his offseason routine. So maybe he just never got up to speed that year and spent all summer catching up. Could’ve been something else, something underneath, but Dunn basically allowed himself to spiral out of control

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: As an oversimplification, think about a stressful day. Within the day, you might never be able to calm yourself down. You’re only truly back to normal after a good night’s rest. If said day were a season, and if sleeping were the offseason…

10:11
Comment From Logan Davis
Rumored candidates for Mariners GM: Kenny Williams, Kevin Towers, Dan O’Dowd. Holy shit, what? If you’re going to hire a traditionalist (i.e. bad-process) GM, how about at least hire one with good results?

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Just to play devil’s advocate, Williams won a World Series, O’Dowd went to the World Series, and Towers went to the World Series

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: But as a rule of thumb, good experienced general managers are seldom available experienced general managers

10:14
Comment From Guest
Is 1B an easier position to play that LF? What makes people think Hanley will make the effort to not be the worst defensive 1B in the game?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: He made an effort to learn third base (albeit with mixed results)

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: Hanley has a whole career of playing infield. First base is in the infield. Left field should’ve been easier than this, but that was a bigger adjustment for him

10:15
Comment From jayco
Eno was asked a similar question yesterday but curious as an M’s fan how much you feel you (and fantasy owners) can expect from Paxton next year. M’s can’t bank on more than 5th starter right?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Over the healthy bits of the last two years, Paxton hasn’t thrown enough strikes or missed enough bats. His initial debut was promising, but few have ever really trusted his command, and that’s something that still needs to improve. The stuff is present, but he can’t use it yet

10:18
Comment From J6takish
Jeff, since July 1st Nick castellanos has a 138 wRC, he added 5% to his walk rate and 100 to his ISO. Did he make adjustments or is this a fluke?

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: I haven’t done a deep dive yet, so I don’t know exactly what’s happening, but quite obviously this is encouraging and I like what I’ve seen from his power to all fields. It takes a good hitter to knock the ball out to right like he’s done a few times, so there’s real talent present

10:20
Comment From Al
If Donaldson wins MVP how much more do the Jays end up paying in arb?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: Ryan Howard immediately won $10 million, two years after winning the MVP, so it would be a boost. A boost of maybe one or three million, but a boost nevertheless. And then since arbitration salaries build on one another…

10:23
Comment From Gary
Why is Moncada still in Low A?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: He has a lot to get used to. With the minor-league seasons almost over, there’s not much point in disrupting his routine

10:23
Comment From mmarsden
Who do you hope the M’s hire? Who do you think they will hire?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t have a favorite candidate, because I don’t know nearly enough, but if I did have a favorite candidate, I’d be 99% certain it wouldn’t be the guy the Mariners end up hiring

10:23
Comment From Guy Incognito
In what aspect of the job did Jack Z. go most wrong?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: Player development

10:24
Comment From Loren
If MLB goes to robot strike zone calls would you be in favor of programming in a smaller zone with 2 strikes and larger with 3 balls (as umps generally do now) in an effort to increase balls in play or just leave it static?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: If you’re automating a strike zone, it only makes sense to automate a consistent strike zone for all situations. The zone isn’t *supposed* to get smaller and bigger based on the count. That would be a weird thing to implement.

10:25
Comment From Alex
If you’re the mets, how do you continue to try and make playoffs while limiting Harvey’s and syndergaards innings while at the same time trying to still have hem

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Matz is almost back, right? And they have a lead of 6.5 games. This is a very good position for them. They can skip some starts and feel good about it

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: You just try to have the right arms available for the remaining games against Washington

10:26
Comment From Jacob
Hey Jeff, I remember some time ago you mentioned something like that if there was a GM opening in Seattle there was a group of smart dudes from around baseball who could get together to basically form an analytic super team. Is this possibility still alive?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: Was that me or Dave? Regardless, the possibility is always there, but the probability is remote

10:27
Comment From DINGERZ
Favorite and least favorite move of the Jack Z era?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: At the time, I loved the Figgins move, and I hated the Jaso/Morse trade

10:29
Comment From Mr. Huntington
Jeff what chances do you give the Pirates to pull out a division title this year?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: Our numbers say about 1-in-5 and I don’t have a good reason to differ in a meaningful sense

10:30
Comment From evan l
bigger disappointment if current standings hold: Red Sox or Nationals?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: Red Sox. They’re worse, and they don’t have the convenient massive injury excuse

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: I’m starting to experience some serious connection problems, so I apologize for the slowdown

10:36
Comment From Phil A
Sorry if this has been asked already or if it’s obvious- it’s about the Dodgers’ World Series chances. The FG odds page gives them about a 32% chance to reach the WS, but almost a 20% chance to win it, so the Dodgers win almost 2/3 of the time they get to the WS. Almost all the other teams have about a 50/50 chance to win the WS if they get there, including teams like the Astros and Blue Jays who are comparable to the Dodgers by base runs. Do you know why the playoff odds give the Dodgers such a great chance to win the Series if they get there? Or do you have any theories?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Our projections really like the Dodgers, still. They seem to have about a 60% chance of winning the World Series if they get there. That seems a bit high and it might include a bug of some sort, but the general take-home is the Dodgers project super well

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Consider this page, which doesn’t include schedule strength: http://www.fangraphs.com/de…

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Dodgers projected as a .591 team. Next-best: .564. So there you go. it’s a beef with the projections, not with the rest of the math

10:38
Comment From JC
im a mets fan, and ive been conditioned to just wait for this dream to end abruptly. i mean, they cant win the division, right? can this be really happening?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Not that this is going to help, but at least with a lead like the one the Mets have, the collapse would require at least a full week, not just one day

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Imagine that week!

10:38
Comment From Scott
Is there a GM hire for the M’s that would get you excited? Even a little? Who should I be rooting for?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: I can’t imagine being *excited* by any realistic candidate. I doubt they’re going to hunt for the next Friedman

10:39
Comment From James
Who is the worst umpire in MLB?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know, so, Angel Hernandez

10:39
Comment From Mr. Huntington
What will it take for the Pirates to take the Central title?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: Well, the Cardinals just seem to get better with every injury, so maybe the answer is the Cardinals returning to full strength

10:40
Comment From Bill
Are the Mets the most exciting team in baseball right now?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: Cubs and Blue Jays have an argument

10:40
Comment From Morty
Why is there fascination around the league about landing White Sox exec Kenny Williams?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: I’m going to guess people just like him personally

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: And that he has a decent relationship with reporters

10:41
Comment From JR
Who’s fired next? Please say Jocketty.

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Amaro will be formally and officially removed

10:41
Comment From Dave Cameron
Can I be lured back into Mariner fandom with a forward thinking front office hire?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: I doubt we find out

10:42
Comment From Douglas
What happened between MKE & KC that transformed Ned Yost from one of the worst managers in MLB to one of the best?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: A good bullpen

10:42
Comment From Josh
Great JABO article on the Dodgers. I do feel like their baserunning problems (not Puig related) are underdiscussed. They have slow guys for sure, but are constantly making dumb mistakes. Seems fairly correctable, though, right?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: You’d think so. And, I’m sure they’ll take the bats with the inferior legs. You’d figure they can learn to not screw up and maybe just go station-to-station.

10:43
Comment From Sean
Why do people keep saying the Diamondbacks aren’t in the market for Cueto/Price/Zimmermann next year? They’re going to have $60+ million plus in money available next year and then their new TV contract will kick in.

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: Well, they keep getting priced out of things, historically, but then they keep talking about adding an ace, and a lot of players like the idea of playing in Arizona close to where they live, so you can’t count them out

10:44
Comment From Dan
Even if the Jays designation of Valencia made sense in a vacuum, wasn’t it strange that they didn’t just waive Colabello?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah

10:44
Comment From Mike
If Royals and Jays were to meet in the ALCS, who do you think would take the series?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: I think the Jays are the best team in the American League

10:44
Comment From Munenoris Espresso Stand
Missing in the Jack Z musings is that it’s really the player development and coaching staff of the Mariners, at all levels, that far and away needs the biggest overhaul. Individual free agents can be debated, individual trades, but the inability to fix / nurture the majority of their players is the org’s biggest weakness.

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, and while the GM is ultimately responsible for that, it’s a whole system thing. With luck, the next front office comes in with a better and more productive plan, but it’s just the hardest thing in the world to shine a light on

10:45
Comment From Bill
Do the Phillies have enough decent young players now to qualify as “interesting”?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, I like what they’ve been able to do

10:46
Comment From Will Xander Bogarts develop more power?
Ted Williams vs Barry Bonds, who would you take?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Peak Bonds, if he gets his steroids. But then, if Williams gets access to modern training techniques…

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: Hey, just saw the Mariners demoted Zunino. Took until there were 11 remaining games on the Triple-A schedule

10:48
Comment From _David_
Apparently M’s president Kevin Mather told a radio host, the game “is played on grass, not a computer.” The world is a dark place, Jeff.

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: Technically he is not wrong

10:48
Comment From The Boat
How many GMs have been fired in the last 18 months? Melvin, Dombrowski, Jack Z, the entire NL West except Brian Sabean…what does this say about the game, or is it coincidence?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Wasn’t it just last year Ben Lindbergh wrote at Grantland about all the league-wide front office stability? Shit’s cyclical.

10:49
Comment From The Famous Singer, Rob Stewart
Would any team take on Justin Verlanders contract right now?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Not the whole thing, but someone would take a lot of it

10:49
Comment From Miguel Sano
At our pinnacles, who do you think will have more power? Me or Stanton?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Stanton. He’s nuts.

10:49
Comment From Nelson Hu
If Stroman makes it back to the majors, how should the Blue Jays use him?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: Starter if he’s up for it, fireman if he’s not

10:50
Comment From Injuries
It is easy to say the reason the projections vs reality was so off for the Nats was injuries. But, it is a cop out (http://www.mangameslost.com…). The reason the Nationals did not run away with the NL East is that players performed far worse than projections (besides Harper and Scherzer). The “best rotation in baseball” flopped. Fister pitched his way out of the rotation after having a 2.41 ERA last year, Zimmerman’s ERA is up almost a run from last year, and Gio’s ERA is over 4. The bullpen has also been sub par. On the position player side Desmond was worth 4 wins last year and just .5 this year, Ramos has a 71 wRC+, Ryan Zimmerman has a 91 wRC+ as a first baseman, Werth is having a terrible year. Some might cite the last 2 as being caused by coming back from injuries, but could also be age.

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: Correct, injuries aren’t everything, but they’re a huge part of the picture. Even when some injured players have returned, injury effects linger. Batters have their timing disrupted. Pitchers have to straighten out their mechanics. We saw that with Strasburg. We probably saw that with Fister. Rendon, etc. It’s been real bad.

10:52
Comment From MSW
What does Yoenis’ next contract look like?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: Josh Hamilton went for 5/125 despite being Josh Hamilton. I could see Yoenis around 6/150 or maybe 7/140. I don’t know how aggressive to be, but he’s going to push that $150-million mark

10:54
Comment From Kim
Barry Bonds was effing incredible. What’s your favorite stat of his? I can’t decide between 49% of his hits going for extra bases or 120 IBB’s in one year.

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: This one’s mine. There were 415 pitchers against whom Barry Bonds went hitless. Against those pitchers, he posted a .331 OBP.

10:57
Comment From mtsw
The 2013 Red Sox had the highest BABIP of any team since 1990. Did they win a World Series partially from good BABIP luck or is an entire team’s plate appearences mean there’s enough signal to indicate this was a skill of theirs?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: Some luck, some skill, some BABIP-friendly ballpark.

10:58
Comment From cee
Shouldn’t teams looking to improve scouting develop just start to hire away Cardinal execs? If I was a big league exec. that’s where I would start poaching.

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: And the Cardinals will try to protect against that by giving their own guys promotions

10:59
Comment From Joe
What team – good or bad – has been the most surprising? I’d lean towards Rangers considering they haven’t had Darvish but Astros, Mets, and Nats seem like good choices as well

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve been disappointed by the Indians. Nats are stunning, even with the injury thing.

11:00
Comment From cee
WHo iniated that clause in cespedes contract? I don’t see any added value to either side…

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: Cespedes gets to be a free agent, with no restrictions

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: This way, it effectively removes one team from consideration, but that’s just one of 30, so it’s hardly significant as far as his market is concerned

11:01
Comment From Guest
Better way to spend a Sunday: Zoo or Mariners game?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: The zoo is going to have rain and children. The Mariners game will just have children.

11:02
Comment From Norrin Radd
Where does Jack Z go from here? Also, Pineda/Montero and both Cliff Lee deals are my nominees for defining deal.

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: Oh right, the Cliff Lee deals were awesome

11:02
Comment From Roman
Most apathetic fans?

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: Twins fans seem just happy to be here

11:03
Comment From Mark
As a non-Orioles fan living in Baltimore, I can safely say that Orioles fans are 100% resistant/oblivious to the advanced metrics scene. I am amazed as to how much Orioles fans take offense when I tell them RBI is a meaningless stat (and that they need to stop saying RBIs)

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: In fairness, that’s all fans. You just happen to be living around the Orioles variety. On the internet, you can seek out the analytic types. In person, you get what you get. The average baseball fan you meet in person doesn’t give a hoot about sabermetrics, and that’s fine

11:04
Comment From mtsw
Mets fans in for a rude awakening when the team goes back to playing teams not named the Rockies or the Phillies?

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: No matter what, the team’s still good.

11:05
Comment From Phil
This was posed to Dave on Wednesday, but love the question: In a LAD-TOR World Series, with everyone rested, do you start Kershaw or Greinke in game 1, considering the TOR lineup?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: Without officially running the numbers, I still go Kershaw

11:07
Comment From DINGERZ
Who gets more money, Cespedes or Upton? Who would you prefer to sign of those two?

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s see. They project similar. Upton’s a little younger, but he’s also going to have the qualifying offer attached. I’ll say Upton, by a little bit

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: Ultimately, you’ve got a 30-year-old Cespedes and a 28-year-old Upton. I like getting them young.

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: I wish I would have worded that better

11:09
Comment From Logan Davis
Mariners lead MLB with a 119 wRC+ post-break. They’re 18-20. If the pitching hadn’t exploded post-ASB, would Jack Zduriencik still have a job?

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: At the break, they were 41-48. Give them a few more wins and maybe they’d be close enough to the race to still have a pulse, but then you’d probably still see Z gone after the final day

11:10
Comment From bhudson
What’s your day-hike backpack?

11:11
Jeff Sullivan: Some half-decent REI pack. Suits my needs fine, but most of the time these days I’m going multi-day

11:12
Comment From mtsw
Better holiday: Labor Day or Memorial Day?

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: Sometimes Memorial Day is too early to go camp in the mountains. Thumbs up for Labor Day

11:12
Comment From Lenny
What reason do the Mariners have to not trade Austin Jackson, even if they have to pay his entire contract and only get the most flyer of flyers?

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe it’s that no one wants him

11:12
Comment From JC
im a mets fan. please introduce me to an over-confident mets fan. everyone i know is taking bets on what day the collapse happens

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: Over-confident was the wrong word. But there seems to be a pattern of thinking FG rates their young players too low

11:13
Comment From Lars
Do you have an earthquake kit?

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: Basically. It’s more or less the same as recommended backpacking gear

11:13
Comment From JC
538 already wrote about the mets offensive surge today. you are too late sullivan!

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: If not for this comment I probably never would’ve noticed

11:15
Comment From Ryan
How many stolen bases do you think Billy Hamilton could have if he got on base at the same rate as Joey Votto?

11:15
Jeff Sullivan: Doing this sloppily and quickly: Hamilton has a steal on 42% of his opportunities. Give him 300 opportunities and he’d project for 125 bags

11:16
Jeff Sullivan: That’s way too hasty, but it’ll get you in the ballpark

11:16
Comment From Justin
RE: Adam Dunn – I believe it was leaked that Dunn had some personal issues going on that year. Not sure if what the issue specifically was was ever reported though.

11:16
Jeff Sullivan: Also a very reasonable explanation

11:16
Comment From Johnny Skeeball
So Mike Zunino was sent down just after Jack was fired. Why do you think he kept keeping him up, and could Zunino ever become the guy everyone thought he would be?

11:17
Jeff Sullivan: There just weren’t good options, and they wanted to see if Zunino could benefit from Edgar. He’s a long ways from toast, but at this point the Welington Castillo acquisition and dump looks particularly stupid

11:17
Comment From QTpie
Assuming you work from home, is there anything you do to help transition from home to work mode? I always have a hard time getting the work ball rolling.

11:17
Jeff Sullivan: For me, it’s having breakfast while catching up on Twitter. That gets me thinking in baseball terms

11:17
Comment From JC
do any of you guys over there actually believe the mets will take this thing?

11:17
Jeff Sullivan: Yep

11:18
Comment From mtsw
If you’re automating the strike zone what do you do with the (admittedly small) percentage of pitches that are pitchfx brainfarts and register in locations totally different from where they actually are?

11:18
Jeff Sullivan: You have a human double-checking

11:19
Comment From jayco
If you weren’t allowed to do a bullpen game (you need a starter to go seven) who are you throwing in the WC game if you’re Girardi? Pineda?

11:19
Jeff Sullivan: Pineda, if he seems healthy

11:20
Comment From Shaemus
What’s the first thing that the new M’s GM does on the job?

11:20
Jeff Sullivan: HR paperwork

11:20
Jeff Sullivan: Then look for new coaches

11:20
Comment From Clint Huntington
We’re objectively awesome?

11:20
Jeff Sullivan: To analyze

11:21
Comment From Yahoodi
Hanley’s contract strait up for Verlander, Tigers to that?

11:21
Jeff Sullivan: No

11:21
Comment From Shaemus
How surprised are you that Nelson Cruz has a 178 wRC+? Where would the mariners be if he flopped?

11:21
Jeff Sullivan: In the basement. This season is insane

11:21
Jeff Sullivan: The contract looks good now. Who knew?

11:21
Comment From TKDC
So does running the community blog make you subconsciously steal ideas from it?

11:22
Jeff Sullivan: Probably. It’s never intentional, but I’m sure the blog puts some things in my mind that I come back to some time later without remembering the origin

11:22
Comment From Yahoodi
Read a pretty good article the weekend on hiking the Appalachian Trail. (Boston Globe, Kevin Paul Dupont. ) Is it in your plans?

11:22
Jeff Sullivan: I can’t imagine wanting to do a 4-6 month through-hike, but if I ever did want to do that, I’d lean toward the PCT. My limit is probably 3-4 weeks, though.

11:23
Comment From JR
What’s IN your day-hike backpack?

11:23
Jeff Sullivan: Water, sandwich, pepperoni sticks

11:24
Comment From mike wants wins
I’m moving to Portland soon…….I’m not some great mountain hiker, as I’m 51 with a marginal right knew…..what are the hikes I should start with out there? thanks,

11:24
Jeff Sullivan: Go to the Gorge. Live in the Gorge! The Gorge is wonderful and mostly accessible.

11:25
Comment From Wobatus
A lot of the Mets recent run is guys getting hot at once. Then again, they got Cespedes, got d’Arnaud back, and brought up Conforto, Duda got hot, Murphy got hot but had been injured, and they now added Uribe and Johnson too, so Cuddyer only has to hit lefties and can rest, same with Lagares, who was also hurt. They added depth bats and got healthy, so guys can play to their strengths now. Oh, and Wilmer’s tears have incredible strength giving qualities. Not completely sustainable, but it’s still a vast improvement and a damn good top to bottom lineup and bench. Oh, wait, a question is needed. Agreed?

11:25
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, the Mets are solid. They’re kind of getting a big good-luck swing after a big bad-luck swing, so that’s sort of making things crazy, but they have pitching and depth. Far fewer questions than before

11:26
Comment From Reginald Denton III
Next three years: would you rather have Max Scherzer or Jose Fernandez? Leave money out of it.

11:26
Jeff Sullivan: Scherzer. Hard to trust Fernandez’s health

11:26
Jeff Sullivan: All right, I think that’s about enough for me

11:27
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 — 8/28/15 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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Bye Bye Jack
Guest
Bye Bye Jack

How much of Jack Z’s failure can be chalked up to bad luck? Will replacing Jack really change anything?

cornflake5000
Guest
cornflake5000

Well we know the new GM isn’t going to sign a 2B to a $240m contract, so there’s that…