Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 9/8/17

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to Friday baseball chat

9:04
Bork: Hello, friend! Apologies for my absences. Bork Jr. can be very distracting.

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friend

9:05
Ray Liotta as Shoeless Joe: Anticipatory: We don’t want to hear about the NFL!

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: The NFL is stupid

9:05
Ray Liotta as Shoeless Joe: Reactionary: C’mon Jeff, this is a baseball podcast! Get that football talk out of here!

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: I think now we’ve had our fun

9:05
JTT: Does anybody want to win the 2nd AL wildcard? The mariners definitely don’t want to

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: The top five teams in the running have all won six of their last ten games. That would be a full-season 97-win pace!

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: So I might counter-suggest: does anybody, outside of the Mariners, *not* want to win the 2nd AL wild card?

9:07
Daniel: Since you wrote about them, the Marlins are now 1-10 and have a hurricane bearing down on the city. I hope you’re proud of yourself.

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Timing is everything

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: There’s a very narrow window to try to slide in a positive post about the Marlins. Nailed it!

9:08
Ray Liotta as Shoeless Joe: What is better for Fangraphs, relative to advertisement support: Listening to a podcast produced by Fangraphs or reading a post on the Fangraphs site? [Not that I don’t enthusiastically do both].

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t actually know. I’ll guess podcast

9:09
E: Predict when the Indians streak comes to an end, if you are right, I will cheers to you

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: Tomorrow

9:09
TJ: Stanton chasing 60 is nice, but can we appreciate Albert getting close to the 100 RBI, < .400 SLG club?

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: He’s only seven RBI away!

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: Currently slugging .394

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: Let me run a quick little query…

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: Okay, 1990 Joe Carter wins out. His 115 RBI that year are the most ever by a player who slugged under .400

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: There are just 11 seasons on record in which a player has reached triple digits

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: Joe Carter has two of them!

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: 2013 Brandon Phillips ended up at 103 and .396. I’ll be.

9:13
Josh R: With the Dodgers, are we starting to delve into the supernatural? This was a team that won 78 out of 100, the best 100 game stretch in over 100 years!  How is this even possible?

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: The Diamondbacks have won 13 games in a row. 13 games in a row! And 15 out of 16. Immediately prior to that stretch, they went 17-29, and 4-11.

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t want to dismiss the Dodgers’ slump entirely. Obviously this isn’t something they *want* to have happen. But to put it very simply: what are the Dodgers playing for right now? They’re not really playing for…anything, outside of staying healthy

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: They’re still an extremely good baseball team. They haven’t gone down the shitter

9:18
PF: How does Tampa fix its attendance problem? Does it, or will it relocate it the future?

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: It seems inevitable that the team will build a new stadium somewhere closer to the fan base’s population center

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: Right now, the ballpark sucks, and it’s a chore for everyone to get to. That’s a terrible combination

9:20
toki: what do see from Alex Wood ROS?

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: His stuff has been trending in the wrong direction all summer long. Difficult guy to trust. Might end up in the playoff bullpen

9:21
TJ: Is Tanaka going to get a bigger FA deal than Darvish? Considering age, should he?

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: My guess is that Darvish ends up with the higher annual salary, because teams just have a bias in favor of power stuff

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: And age, for pitchers, matters less than it does for hitters, as far as the market is concerned

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: Also something to be said for the fact that Darvish “already had” his surgery, while Tanaka hasn’t. Not clear what that actually means, but it’ll be in the heads of some general managers

9:25
Grover: Puig seems to have bounced back and put together a very good season, but it increasingly looks more like this is what he is.  Would it make sense for the Dodgers to try and sell high on him this offseason considering their depth or do you think he can reach another gear and is worth hanging on to?

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: I imagine the Dodgers are pretty happy that Puig has bounced back as he has. Makes him easier to market, because I think the Dodgers have preferred to go on without him for a while. They’ve made the best of things in the meantime, but I doubt the Dodgers would hesitate to trade the last two years of Puig’s team control for value

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Puig’s a good defender, and he seems to have learned some measure of patience. Still, he’s a far cry from being a statistical star, which is what the Dodgers would want

9:28
2-D: Is it acceptable, philosophically, to bring in a position player to pitch after rosters have expanded?

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: Yes, because someone needs to handle the 34th inning

9:28
greg: Is defensive efficiency a decent enough statistic for comparing overall team defenses to each other over the course of a season?

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: It’s a lot better than nothing. Same information as BABIP. There are additional considerations, additional variables, but it ought to be able to separate the best from the worst

9:29
Enlightening Round: Whenever bad contracts get brought up, I never see Homer Bailey mentioned, how bad has this one been?

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: 6 years, $105 million, 2014 – 2019

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: Bailey, so far, has contributed 2.2 WAR, over 45 starts

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: It’s a bad contract, obviously. It would take a miracle now for Bailey to not end up a bust. But at the same time, perhaps it’s evidence of people being charitable; hard to hold it against Bailey that he just got hurt. It happens and it sucks and it’s nice to see him back on the mound again, throwing close to where he used to throw pre-pain

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: On the one hand, Bailey has been a zero for a while, so it would be silly for the Reds to count on him for anything in 2018. On the other hand, Doug Fister is good again, so, who really knows, with pitchers?

9:32
Brett W: Laat month, you described Mitch Haniger’s timing as “borked.” You are under no obligation to apologize to Haniger, but did you even consider Bork?

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve lost sleep over this

9:34
jeffer sullivaner: have you seen walker buehler’s third pitch? does he even need one?

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: As a starter, probably, yeah. In Buehler’s debut, he showed rising four-seamers and a big hammer curve. Great combination for a reliever. Obviously, he has the powerful arm. Only threw one slider. Incredibly difficult to cut it as a starting pitcher with two pitches

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: Even Rich Hill has different curveball varieties, to give hitters a different look

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: Drew Pomeranz might be a blueprint here, I guess. It’s not impossible. But Buehler would feel a lot safer with at least a show-me third option

9:37
CamdenWarehouse: Can I get route efficiency somewhere for a given play in an in-progress game?  After a game?

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: I might be wrong but I think route efficiency has been phased out

9:37
Aj Hinch: Who should is my SP#4 in the playoffs, McHugh, Morton, or Peacock?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: The Astros don’t need a standard No. 4, and they probably won’t have a standard No. 4. I expect them to dedicate at least one playoff rotation spot to a piggyback of sorts

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: Like, Morton for one turn, then Peacock for one turn, then the rest of the bullpen

9:40
Bork: Think the Jays will be looking for a more stable SS/2B like uh…Profar?

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: I imagine they will get on the phone and give it a shot. More than a few teams out there will be looking to give Profar his next opportunity. Really hard to want to give up on Travis, and Tulowitzki might not yet be bad enough to flat-out cut, but the Jays will want to have better depth behind them next April

9:42
TJ: Do you think Jeter will really try and lure Cashman to Miami? I can’t believe he’d forget about that last contract negotiation. Jeet seems petty.

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Jeter can try what he wants, and I’m sure he’ll try to lure any number of guys. I don’t think Cashman leaves, not just as the Yankees are blossoming. The guy who goes to Miami will immediately have to set about making the team worse in the short-term. Unless Cashman *really* wants to begin a completely new chapter, I imagine he sticks around

9:46
5 Run Homer: Thanks for chatting, Jeff! What the heck is wrong with Osuna lately? He’s been bad since early august at least

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: Looking over things, it appears that Osuna experienced something of an August velocity dip. It’s bounced back his last few outings, so Osuna might be getting things straightened out now. I’d guess there was something mechanical. I wouldn’t be too worried, not given the entirety of Osuna’s 2017 campaign

9:47
Brett W: Playoff rotations. Overall track record, projections, or hot hands?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: In theory, everything informs the projections, so you want to go with the best projections available. But where you have a narrow difference, then you can go with your gut, so to speak, by playing the hot hand or the matchups

9:49
Dave: It’s the last game of the regular season. If the Nats win, they’re first in the NL and likely play Arizona in the NLDS. If they lose, LA is first, and the Nats get the Cubs. If you’re Dusty Baker, do you tank the game?

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: No

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: The Cubs are very good, you’d like to have home field if possible, and it’s far from guaranteed the Diamondbacks would beat the Rockies, or the Cardinals, or the Brewers, or whoever they’d face

9:50
lastings: have unwritten rules arguments gotten stupider or are we just noticing them more?

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: Noticing them more, because we have more people trying to notice them

9:52
FireDrayton: Ken Giles has been lights out the last few weeks. Does it look like anything has changed for him, or is it just a good run of batted-ball and HR suppression luck? Anything else?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: He goes on these runs. Did the same kind of thing around the middle of last season. He’s so good at his baseline that, when he gets hot, his performance is exceptional. His current velocity is playing up some, so I’m sure that’s contributing, but Giles isn’t a meaningfully different reliever

9:54
Sterling Mallory Chris Archer: Are you optimistic or pessimistic this benching of Mikael Franco will cause him to learn some f’n plate discipline?  If he watches Daniel Murphy and his no wasted movement, he could be a monster.  His body has too much movement when he swings.

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: Optimistic Franco could show a short-term improvement, pessimistic it would stick. I just don’t think Franco is very good, and the Phillies feel the same way

9:56
Futuresgames: Are we getting a little carried away with Guerrero Jr.? He’s basically gone from a “hmm, could be interesting” prospect to being KLaws minor league player of the year, a part of BA’s first team minor league all-stars, and in discussion as a possible top 5 overall prospect for next year… all in a year, and at age 18! Give me a reasonable assessment.. is he really worth all this hype?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: There are two dueling points to be made. One is that Guerrero is still just in High-A, which is quite a distance removed from the majors. He has several hurdles left to clear, and *any* prospect in A-ball should be regarded as risky

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: That being said, if you have to love a prospect in A-ball, you couldn’t really do better than Guerrero. He’s 18 years old, he has power, and he has more walks than strikeouts. It’s like he’s on the Devers path, but even better

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: Because I’m prospect-conservative, I like guys in the higher levels. Like, Acuna has already been good at both Double-A and Triple-A. But Guerrero is a lightning-fast riser

9:59
Patrick: What the hell does a professional at-bat mean? I was watching the Rockies game yesterday, their announcers said it about every single person

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: They’re right! All of the people playing were professionals

10:01
tz: Which will happen first for Trout:  taking back the MLB lead in WAR, or getting enough PA to qualify for the Fangraphs leaderboard?

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: Trout is very close to becoming a qualified player. I can see him passing Rendon before that — he’s behind by just 0.3 WAR. But if I wanted to be totally fair, I’d point out that Trout is 1.3 WAR behind Chris Sale. Always have to remember to include the pitchers. So, with pitchers folded in, Trout will become a qualified player first

10:03
Jeff: Why does FG have such a relatively low opinion of the National’s compared to the other division leaders?  Worst ROS RDif of the 6 and WS% closer to the Yankees than the Cubs.

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Bryce Harper is hurt and sidelined. He’s one of their best players, so his absence informs the rest-of-season projections. The playoff numbers don’t consider the fact that Harper should become available again by then

10:05
Mr. Woods: Is there a mechanism you can use to inform us when the UZR and UBR get updated.

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: Pretty sure the updates are weekly. Day-to-day data doesn’t exist. I don’t know exactly when during the week the updates are folded in, though

10:06
Jack: Forget football. Hockey’s just around the corner! What do you think of the Sens this year? How are you handling the Karlsson news?

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: Borderline contender! And I’m not too worried if Karlsson has to miss the first few games. Those are the least important games. Remember, though, that I am intentionally hockey-stupid. Hockey-stupid Jeff is never dissatisfied

10:08
More Like : It seems that since The Punch, both Roughned Odor and Jose Bautista have fallen off of a cliff value-wise. Is there an easy way to get their respective triple slash lines since May 15, 2016?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: Yes!

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: Give me just one minute

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: Bautista: 945 PA, .218/.332/.404, 97 wRC+

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: Odor: 1048 PA, .237/.271/.453, 83 wRC+

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: Your suspicions are confirmed

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: Odor has been very, very bad. Quiet below-replacement season

10:11
BringInDaFunk BringInDaNiese: PDX Ice Cream Throwdown:  Ruby Jewel vs Salt & Straw

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: There’s also Fifty Licks

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: They’re all good. Salt & Straw *might* be the best, but the wait time is unjustifiable, given the quality of the alternatives

10:13
TJ: What do the Yankees do at 3b next year? Torres should be ready, Andujar seems like he’d be a competent regular and Headley still has one year left. At $13mm does Headley have surplus value? Would a team take him for free?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: Very thin market for Headley. My guess for now is that the Yankees go in with Headley as the starter, and then they reevaluate if Torres or Andujar force their way up. Headley, for now, is still something like an average overall player

10:16
Agamemnon : What do the augurs say about Robles cap tipping after fly out in first AB?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: I think it’s nice when a stadium full of people knows what’s going on

10:18
Slew: Tell us about the Dodgers. Given their run differential fall from grace, have they been usurped as the best team in baseball?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: I never really believed that the Dodgers were *that* much better than the rest of the competition. Just doesn’t make sense in this day and age. They weren’t that good and they aren’t this bad. I think they’re a top-three team, and I doubt there’s much true separation

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: Between the Indians, Dodgers, and Astros, I couldn’t pick a favorite

10:20
toki: So if the Marlin’s stadium is destroyed, who’s on the hook for the rebuild?  The city going to have to fork over another billion?

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: The Marlins’ stadium will not be destroyed

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: Unless Giancarlo Stanton takes an unusually long batting practice

10:21
Jaack: It really is a shame the Dodgers aren’t in the AL. Nothing would be more baseball than an 82-80 wildcard tram sweeping the dodgers in the ALDS.

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: An 82-80 wild card team could sweep the Astros or Indians or Red Sox in the ALDS

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: That wouldn’t be much less baseball

10:22
TJ: Scouts don’t get excited by his stuff, and wins don’t matter, but isn’t Zach Littell going 19-1 in the minors interesting? For a guy who has been traded twice in a year?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: I’m afraid not :(

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: Stranger: Littell has started seven games in Double-A with the Yankees, and seven games in Double-A with the Twins. His K-BB% has gone from 25% to 9%

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know what the Twins have done to him, but it’s not great

10:24
TKDC: Trout is 0 for his last 10. Should we be worried?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: In the last three games, Trout has gone 0-for-9, with a .400 OBP

10:25
Wily Mo’s Ghost: Thanks for the Fister article–very interesting. So how projectable is this improvement in the short term? Would you trust him in a playoff game over Rodriguez, Porcello, or a version of Price that hasn’t pitched in a competitive game in months?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: That’s where it gets really difficult. If Price gets back to the majors, no team would be willing to not start him in a playoff series. And even Fister vs. Rodriguez is tough, given Rodriguez’s power arsenal. The next few weeks are going to determine how this plays out. I don’t think even the Red Sox could tell you what they’re likely to do

10:27
BringInDaFunk BringInDaNiese: How does a five-way tie for the last Wild Card spot work?  Two teams play the first round to get it to four and then standard four-team bracket?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: Nobody knows!

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: There is no official five-team tiebreaker procedure. The rules top out at four

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: But Russell Carleton coincidentally just gave it a go http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=32700

10:29
CamdenWarehouse: 100 RBI?  Proves he’s still a quality slugger!

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: Pujols with the bases empty: 71 wRC+. With runners in scoring position: 112 wRC+. It’s something!

10:32
Jack: What kind of contracts are Morrison and Duda looking at this offseason? Would figure the Rays will probably try to keep one of them if they won’t be too expensive, right?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Morrison might be looking at something like 2/$20m. Duda, maybe 1/$12m with an option or something. Don’t think either one of them is going to cash out, especially with Yonder Alonso also out there

10:34
Bb: Do the September roster rules bother you? I actually like them.

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: They don’t bother me, but I recognize that they are kind of dumb

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: I love that they give opportunities to minor leaguers who might otherwise not get big-league time. But teams should be somehow further limited

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: It would be really easy to do!

10:35
Tea Leoni for Third: What is the M’s rotation next year:  Paxton, Felix, Leake, Smyly if healthy, player to be acquired later?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: Smyly probably won’t ever throw a pitch in the uniform

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: Erasmo Ramirez will probably be in there, and they’ll add another guy from outside the organization

10:36
Mike: Weird question, wouldn’t it be advantageous for teams to save their aces in playoff series for game 2 or 3? (i.e. instead of having Greinke face Kershaw, have him go 2nd or 3rd game)

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Then you’re reducing your chances of winning Game 1 to increase your chances of winning Game 2. They essentially balance out, and you have the disadvantage of not being able to squeeze so many innings from your top guy

10:36
Slew: Say nice things about Jose Ramirez. Thanks in advance.

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: He’s fantastic

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: And I love that, much like Jose Altuve and Corey Kluber, he’s one of those superstars who was never much of a prospect

10:37
Bruce: Some significant differences at the top of the WAR leaderboards between you and B-R. Which is generally better accepted in the baseball world (and among award voters)?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: The differences for position players aren’t usually that meaningful. The big difference with pitchers is that BR rewards ERA, while we reward FIP. Our pitcher WAR is a better measure of usefulness. Their pitcher WAR is a better measure of what has happened. So it probably holds more weight in the Cy Young voting

10:38
Brandon M: How badly did the Rangers screw up Profar’s development? With the news that they won’t give him a September call-up to obtain an extra year of control, it just kind of leaves a sour taste in my mouth for how they have handled Profar.

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: Well, it’s not their fault he was hurt and unable to play in 2014 and 2015

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: Because of injury, he got passed by Odor, and Andrus has also had his own resurgence. So Profar wound up blocked. When he got a chance to play, he wasn’t good

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: The present circumstance is unfortunate — Profar has probably earned a quick September look. But this will all be resolved in the winter, when Profar is shipped to another organization for a fresh start. He’ll play next year, and he’s still only 24

10:43
Chris: As a Dodger fan, I’m already stocking my liquor cabinet in preparation for the next two months. Yeesh.

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: Save it for October. September doesn’t matter

10:43
El Chupacabra: Stanton’s AB/HR: 9.717 Joey Gallo’s AB/HR: 10.27. Is Gallo really underrated? His average is atrocious but his OBP is pretty average and his counting stats are absurd for the number of AB’s he has.

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: Stanton has a WAR of 6. Gallo has a WAR of 3

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Now, Gallo *is* probably a bit underrated, because he’s so weird a player. But Stanton is the much better asset

10:45
Rich: Has taijuan walker actually improved as a pitcher? How has he been able to suppress HRs as compared to last season with the M’s? xFIP and Hard contact% increased, K% about the same and he hasn’t increased his GB% THAT much, yet a full run better in ERA and FIP. Any explanation?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: His xFIP- has stayed literally the exact same. The only difference here is the home runs, and that’s the noisiest of all pitcher stats. That doesn’t mean Walker hasn’t somehow improved; it just means it’s a difficult thing to believe

10:46
Ajay : Is it possible that CarGo is back to being his 2016 self?

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: 106 wRC+ in the second half. 110 last season, 116 the season before that. I think it adds up. Gonzalez has too good a track record to believe this year’s first half truly reflected some kind of monumental collapse

10:47
NH: I got curious last night after hearing about the Indians winning their 15th in a row and started looking at previous log win streaks, such as the 2002 A’s, and I noticed that a few win streaks all happened around this time of year. So what I’m getting at, is do you think there is any correlation to win streaks and the time of year? Whether it has to do with roster expansions, luck, or something I’m missing?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: I’m going to guess there’s not really anything real, but if there *were*, then I’d say it’s likely related to the trade deadline. After the deadline, there’s a wider gap between a league’s good teams and bad teams. Like, the Indians’ last eight wins have come against the White Sox and Tigers, who this season have intentionally made themselves a lot worse

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: More bad teams to beat up on in the final months

10:49
TJ: Pujols having only 14 doubles has to be close to some kind of record too – he would need to play in the Polo Grounds to get a triple at this point.

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: I want to watch Buxton and Pujols leave home plate at the same time, and I want to see where Pujols is when Buxton finishes all 360 feet

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: I doubt they’d go for it, though, because it’s kind of mean-spirited

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: And pointless. Also pointless

10:52
Pretty Tony: I occasionally get into it on twitter with a writer from the local newspaper and it almost always revolves around Nick Castellanos. He continues to claim that Castellanos will figure it out at the plate and will ultimately be a very valuable player, going so far as to say that if/when the Tigers trade him away, fans will moan and complain we he finally flourishes away from Detroit. I am of the belief that due to his massive shortcomings on defense and on the base paths, Castellano’s ceiling is that of a 2-win player. Thoughts on Nick? Do you see any reason for optimism?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: I wouldn’t say that Castellanos is a terrible baserunner. He’s not good, but he’s not really a problem

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: He *isn’t* a good defender and he probably never will be, anywhere. And I imagine he’ll always strike out a lot more than he walks. But the pop is legitimate, and I love that Castellanos has never hit many infield flies. It speaks well to his contact quality. I think the upside here looks a lot like J.D. Martinez. Might not ever get there, but Martinez didn’t “arrive” until he was 26

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Castellanos turns 26 next March

10:55
Secued: Joey Gallo’s BABIP splits vs righty and lefty are very different.  Any reason why other than small sample size?

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: Against lefties, Gallo has hit literally just 40 balls in play. It doesn’t mean anything

10:55
Bobby: Who ya got: Robles or Acuna?

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: Acuna

10:56
TKDC: If the Angels make the playoffs, will Pujols be named on any MVP ballots?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: No, all the selections will go to Trout and Simmons

10:56
brad: very quietly Tyler O’neill is batting .246 31 HR 95 RBI and no one cares…..

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: That’s because his Triple-A wRC+ is barely better than average

10:57
Bink: Is the ratio of sinkers a product of fewer really successful sinkerball pitchers (Derek Lowe) and their copycats, or is it that common pitches and approaches have a frequency dependent function (success breeds familiarity, hitters learn to hit sinkers better, other pitches rise in frequency)?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: I think hitters have gotten better at hitting sinkers. And many pitchers possess both a four-seamer and a two-seamer, and so the emphasis now is increasingly on using the four-seamer up in the zone. It’s also the fastball more closely related to velocity, and velocity will always serve as a motivator

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: Because of how hitters are doing against pitches down, teams want their pitchers to work away from that strength. In time, hitters will adjust to *that*, and sinkers will return. Always a push and pull

11:02
TJ: When the Phillies traded Nicasio – did he have to go through waivers again?

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve tried to research this without any luck

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: I think the answer is yes. I suspect Nicasio was put on waivers, and claimed by the Cardinals, and then a trade was worked out

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: These would’ve been revocable waivers, or else the Cardinals would’ve gotten Nicasio for nothing, instead of giving up a piece

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: So I think Nicasio going to the Phillies sort of hit the reset button, so to speak.

11:05
Mac: So I noticed last night that prior to the indians win streak starting that they had a 27.6% of winning alcs, prior to yesterday’s game it was also 27.6%…

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: Ultimately, not very much has changed. The odds always figured they would win the AL Central. The odds have always liked the Indians a lot. They look a little better now, of course, but over that span of time the Astros have also added Justin Verlander

11:06
Nolan: What do you think about the Rangers’ wildcard chances?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: They are not good

11:06
PF: How does the next MLB team come up? Relocation or expansion?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: 95% expansion, 5% relocation

11:07
Aaron: How much has Eric Thames’ value changed since May/June? What would he get if he were a free agent this winter?

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: Thames since the start of June: 290 PA, 86 wRC+

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: As this has happened, guys like Smoak and Morrison and Alonso have emerged at the same position

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: Free-agent Thames, at this point, would probably get about the same contract as Chris Carter did last offseason

11:08
TKDC: Are the Giants the most disappointing team of all time from a projected record vs. actual record standpoint?

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: Well, we only have projections going back to about 2005 or so, but yes, they are right in the running. I’ve been thinking about that for a post when it’s all said and done

11:09
ChiSox2020: How bad is the James Shield for Fernando Tatis Jr trade? Worse than giving up Dansby Swanson for Shelby Miller?

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: That trade also included Ender Inciarte and Aaron Blair. Inciarte is a 3-win center fielder

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: The Miller trade was worse, and is worse

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: The Shields/Tatis trade looks quite bad, but let’s at least allow Tatis to try to do something above A-ball

11:13
TJ: Would the Mets really non-tender Harvey?

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: I think it’s unlikely, but it would also be justifiable. He’s just so broken down that at some point you have to try to forget about what he used to be

11:14
Zach E: Any insight into what the Dodger’s rotation will look like in the NLDS? It seems like the waters have muddied a bit with Wood not pitching at 100% and Ryu / Maeda throwing better than normal.

11:15
Jeff Sullivan: At this point it wouldn’t shock me to see Maeda as the No. 4. Or to see Kershaw on short rest again, even though the Dodgers say they want to try to avoid that this time around

11:15
Jordan: I’m getting a little tired of Red Sox fans whining about this sign stealing thing, no its not a “Big deal” and yes most likely everyone does it but just like the New Orleans Saints with the injury targets and the Pats with deflate gate  ect.. THEY GOT CAUGHT, that is literally the only difference and I call BS on Farrell not knowing.

11:15
Jeff Sullivan: Farrell definitely knew

11:16
Jeff Sullivan: You can’t prove it, but you can assume it

11:16
AK: As a baseball writer, do you consider yourself an expert on baseball, an expert on writing, or an expert on something else entirely?

11:16
Jeff Sullivan: Expert on baseball analysis. Not an expert on anything else

11:16
Jeff Sullivan: Definitely not an expert on baseball, in general

11:17
Wily Mo’s Ghost: If it is true that Bogaerts has been hurt basically all season, then why has he been playing? How much is that sort of thing a player decision and how much of it is a team decision? I thought one of the reasons for the 10-game DL was to give teams more options for less serious injuries of exactly that sort.

11:17
Jeff Sullivan: Even this diminished Bogaerts has been a 2.3-WAR regular shortstop. And the Red Sox don’t have another shortstop

11:18
Jeff Sullivan: It’s a joint decision. What’s under-reported is the reality that just about every regular player in the bigs is playing through something by the time July or August roll around. No one, no one, is healthy

11:19
Jeff Sullivan: All right, I need to get rolling

11:19
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 — 9/8/17 by Jeff Sullivan!

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

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grandbranyan
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grandbranyan

“It’s a joint decision.” “I need to get rolling.”

Friday has clearly arrived for Sullivan.