Travis Sawchik FanGraphs Chat

12:07
Travis Sawchik: Howdy, folks

12:08
Travis Sawchik: Some technical difficulties today getting the chat up and going … so the queue is wide open at the moment

12:10
Bork: Its Thanksgiving. Take the day off.

12:10
Travis Sawchik: This should be a paid holiday …. Four playoff games!

12:11
Matty P: How worried should Indians fans be?

12:12
Travis Sawchik: A little? If Severino pitches like Severino we could be looking at a Game 5

12:12
Travis Sawchik: I’m curious to see Bauer on short rest

12:12
Matty P: I do not like the narrative that the Yankees are rebuilding, they have a 200 mil dollar payroll..

12:13
Travis Sawchik: True but we don’t usually see the Yankees sell like they did at last year’s deadline and load up on resources to play for tomorrow instead of today

12:13
bosoxforlife: Do you agree with Francona going to Bauer on short rest?

12:14
Travis Sawchik: I like Bauer over Tomlin. I assume this will be an all-hands-on-deck game

12:14
Jay: Why is there so many narratives that the Indians are in trouble after a 1-0 loss? They were inches away from leading 2-1, had a runner 60 feet from home in the 3rd and they forced Chapman to throw 30 pitches last night. Yankees still have to win 2 in a row..

12:15
Travis Sawchik: Indians are still in good shape, for sure.

12:16
Shuck Bowalter: So…how bad was Girardi’s non-challenge Friday? Like, historically bad, right?

12:17
Travis Sawchik: Pretty bad, Shuck. Really bad

12:17
Guest: It’s snowing in Denver, hitting the bar at 11 am for Stros / BoSox long lunch; this afternoon at work should be fun!!!

12:17
Travis Sawchik: I kind of wish this was happening on a Saturday

12:18
Travis Sawchik: If baseball went to the KBO-style wild card format, which this author proposed, it could potentially have a day like this — of four playoff games and each being an elimination game for at least one club (another shameless plug for this idea)

12:19
Kosch: I pissed off the Baseball Gods by comparing the 1st two games of the Stros/BoSox series to a Varsity / JV scrimmage.  I was severely punished in Game 3.  How do I make amends?

12:20
Travis Sawchik: Rick Porcello

12:20
Matty P: Bryce Harper’s Homerun though

12:20
Travis Sawchik: So great

12:21
Travis Sawchik: We just need that dude to tone it down 10 percent on the bases and in the field so we can enjoy some more full seasons

12:21
DTH: Would you support moving awards ballot submission until after the postseason? or do you think voters would weigh a few weeks of games disproportionately to the entire season?

12:21
Travis Sawchik: I saw that proposed by Bill James … but I don’t like the idea

12:22
John S: NY writers on Saturday post articles that Tanaka likely not opting out.  Tanaka pitches magnificently on Sunday.  How is it even a question of whether he opts out or not?

12:22
Travis Sawchik: I’d be shocked if he didn’t opt out

12:22
Mark: Does the Ken Griffey/Bryce Harper comp look good to you?

12:22
Travis Sawchik: Griffey is somewhere on the comp list top 10, I think

12:23
NYY: if you are joe girardi and the yankees force game 5, would you give any thought to pitching cc over sonny?He has been better lately and he loves the preassure.

12:23
Travis Sawchik: I’d be bullpening

12:24
Ray Liotta as Shoeless Joe: Regarding the Bauer/Kluber start alignment, I could not help but think back to the 1912 World Series, where the [then] New York Giants started rookie Jeff Tesreau at home against Boston’s Smoky Joe Wood. The move did not pay off on all levels: The Giants lost 4-3 in Game 1. Hall of Famer Christy Mathewson, starting Game 2 on the road, gave up six unearned runs on five New York errors and the game ended in an eleven inning tie. Mathewson started three of the World Series games but ended up with two losses and a no decision, despite a 0.94 ERA in three complete games (Game Eight also ended in extras!).

12:24
Travis Sawchik: Past is prelude

12:24
JB: Which of the 2017 playoff teams would you say is least likely to make the playoffs in 2018?

12:24
Travis Sawchik: Twins and Rockies

12:25
Ray Liotta as Shoeless Joe: Travis, looking for your thoughts:
https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-downside-of-baseballs-data-revolution…

12:25
Travis Sawchik: Can I borrow your log-in info?

12:26
Matty P: Devinski looks worn out, you think the Astros pushed him too hard in the first half?

12:26
Travis Sawchik: Maybe? But he only pitched 28 second half innings

12:27
AbeNunez’sGhost: With the number of arms the Yankees have, why leave in Chapman, Betances beyond their comfort zone?  Betances was about to tie his mark for longest outing on Friday, and we see what Chapman becomes when he is overworked in last year’s Series.

12:27
Travis Sawchik: You could argue that Georgia Roddy is having a tough series

12:27
Bruce: Which team facing elimination today has the best chance to come back and win the series?

12:28
Travis Sawchik: Yankees with Severino and that bullpen

12:29
Ray Liotta as Shoeless Joe: If you were quoting the Tempest, “The past is prologue.”

12:29
Travis Sawchik: Dammit. That’s what I wanted to say before failing terribly

12:29
Factory of Sadness: So…what happened to Danny Salazar?

12:30
Travis Sawchik: He’s in the bullpen …. You can debate whether the Indians would be better off having started a full rest Clevinger or Salazar over short-rest Bauer

12:30
Travis Sawchik: But all three will be available

12:30
bosoxforlife: I am fascinated by Tanaka’s situation. His arm seems to be likely to fall off at anytime but, at the same time, GM’s fall all over themselves for anything that even faintly resembles a starting pitcher. Do you think there will be a bidding war if he opts out?

12:30
Travis Sawchik: I do in terms of AAV …but I’m not sure if the years will be there

12:32
Dub: no idea who Georgia Roddy is

12:32
Travis Sawchik: Say it aloud with me …

12:33
Sam: The Yankees bullpen is starting to look gassed and it’s game 4 of the ALDS.  Granted Girardi could be a little more diverse, but how much can you reasonably expect from Chad Green, Robertson and Chapman at this point?

12:34
Travis Sawchik: Could use some dominant innings from Severino, for sure

12:34
John S: Early hindsight (in light of the yankees young players performing well): Dombrowski really messed up by shortening his team’s window to compete OR thank heavens Dombrowski emptied the farm now because this year and next are the best bets

12:34
Travis Sawchik: I generally prefer extending the window for as long as possible because the postseason is just crazy

12:35
Travis Sawchik: I’d rather have, say, 6 dice rolls over 2

12:35
Factory of Sadness: On the tandem-start/pseudo-bullpenning issue, am I wrong in thinking that Tomlin once through the order would be the best second guy in, particularly given his time-through-the-order stats? Are MLB batters able to adjust from Insert Spinny Fireballer Here to Tomlin easily enough that that’s not going to make a statistically significant distance?

12:36
Travis Sawchik: I’m not sure there is a ton of research on this subject but is interesting and suspect there could be something to it …. BTW, the Factor of Sadness is one of the most efficient and reliable assembly lines in the country. Go Browns.

12:37
Sam: OMG

12:37
Travis Sawchik: What happened?

12:37
Bird: is most defenitely the word.

12:37
Travis Sawchik: He’s going to be really good if he can stay on the field

12:37
Danny: Smoltz has been saying on TV that Kluber, Carrasco, and Bauer are all the same type of pitcher and that the Yankee hitters can adjust.  I think this is stupid since you can’t really get used to good fastballs/good bendy pitches.  Your thoughts?

12:38
Travis Sawchik: I think they are all differently enough that that’s not the case …and good stuff is still good stuff

12:39
Travis Sawchik: Bauer’s curveball shape is much different than Kluber and Carrasco’s breaking balls

12:39
bosoxforlife: The Red sox would have finished 79-83 or worse without Sale and Kimbrel. Worry about 2022 when it is 2020.

12:39
Travis Sawchik: That’s the flip side … but they’re probably not advancing beyond the ALDS

12:39
Brandon M: A day like this is better than Christmas, right? 4 baseball games with the (arguably) 8 best teams in baseball

12:40
Travis Sawchik: It’s pretty incredible, really

12:40
Travis Sawchik: KBO-STYLE WILD CARD ROUND, FOLKS. Let’s make it happen

12:40
Shakespeare: Actually, it’s “What’s past is prologue.”

12:40
Travis Sawchik: Today’s lesson!

12:41
JimR: Long term, who do you like better, Matt Olson or Rhys Hoskins?

12:41
Travis Sawchik: Can I have both?

12:42
Travis Sawchik: I like Hoskins’ offensive profile better …but Olson rates as a pretty good defender

12:42
B: Chris Sale was amazing this season. I’m in no way implying that this is why he is “wearing down”, but do you think managers will start taking guys like Sale out in the 6th inning even if he only has 80 pitches? Just because a guy can go 110+ pitches, doesn’t mean he should in the regular season. There were multiple times where Ferrel would leave Sale in even if they had a lead.

12:42
Travis Sawchik: Yeah, I think Sale pitched too much this season

12:42
Travis Sawchik: And part of that is perhaps tied to chasing an individual award

12:43
brad: thoughts on Greg Bird longterm?  .275 30HR and solid OBP?

12:43
Travis Sawchik: I think that’s a plausible line

12:43
stever20: If the Red Sox survive this round, do the Red Sox move Price to a starter in the LCS?

12:43
Travis Sawchik: I don’t think so … but it’s possible

12:43
Factory of Sadness: GO BROaaawwww *trudges away*

12:44
Travis Sawchik: Since 1999

12:44
Gary Sanchez: Actually, it’s “what’s passed is prolonged”.

12:44
Travis Sawchik: Stop tormenting  me, Gary

12:45
ChiSox2020: Can you tell me if Nick DeSedas would be a good option for the White Sox with the #4 pick?

12:46
Travis Sawchik: A better question for Eric … Here’s a really early mock http://www.baseballamerica.com/draft/mlb-mock-draft-2018/#cTKMuRz1gx17…

12:46
brad: The yanks payroll is about to fall off a cliff, Arod -25M, CC -23M if he resigns it will be 10M so then -13M, Holliday -13M, Frazier -$13M, Pineda -$8M, Tanaka opts out -$22M, so that is about $100M coming off the books and maybe another $15M if they trade Gardner to open up the spot for Hick/Frazier.  And all those guys have internal replacements, CC can resign, Adams comes up, Bird/Frazier 1B/DH,

12:46
Travis Sawchik: Yankees are in a really good place

12:46
E: What does the MLB think about 5 hour playoff games? I’m an Indians fan and this can be exhausting.

12:47
Travis Sawchik: These game times are getting out of hand

12:48
Dunkin’ Donuts: Here is an argument against bullpen games.  If in another game a starter is removed early that is two games the bullpen has to pitch a lot of innings.  Fatigue has to set in.  Especially this late in the season.

12:49
Travis Sawchik: True …but the travel/off days help

12:49
Danny: I understand that they want more revenue, but they should probably get rid of the extra minute of commercial time, it really makes these games take forever.

12:49
Travis Sawchik: What they could do is just keep batters in the box

12:50
AL Strike: Is Eddie Rosario breakout real?  His contact rate is better than I thought on first blush.  Is the power going to last?

12:50
Travis Sawchik: I think his 2017 level is pretty for real

12:51
Pablo: Which move do you like more: Sale available in the bullpen, Baez being benched against Scherzer?

12:51
Travis Sawchik: I’d like each to be more involved

12:51
JimR: Next year, will Gray be a back end starter for the Yankees? or something more?

12:51
Travis Sawchik: I think he’ll be something more

12:52
Boy of Wonder: What’s your official prediction – do the Yankees have all the momentum now with Green/Kahnle rested behind Sevy today and come back to beat the Indians in 5 or is a 2-1 deficit still too much to overcome?

12:52
Travis Sawchik: I still think the Indians are pretty heavy favorites to advance …75 percent chance, or so, to advance to ALCS

12:53
Ben: Do you buy the narrative that the Yanks pen is wearing down? Chapman and Betances have been virtually untouchable in their respective outings this postseason. As has Robertson, up until his two batter outing last night. I don’t think Green threw the ball all that poorly in G2 despite the results. Lots of good fastballs that Jackson, Gomes, and Chisenhall just barely kept fouling off. And Kahnle threw the ball pretty well in the Wild Card game.

12:53
Travis Sawchik: I don’t ….I mean Andrew Miller didn’t really wear out until Game 7 of the World Series last year

12:55
Gary Sanchez: Are you questioning me again, Travis?

12:55
Travis Sawchik: Doubling down!

12:55
Sam: Sorry, I had just read the Georgia Roddy out loud.  TOO REAL

12:55
Travis Sawchik: Very real

12:56
1908wasnextyear: Whose splits matter more, a hitter’s or a pitcher’s? Thinking of Harper vs. CJ Edwards. Edwards is better than most lefties at getting lefties out, but Harper’s splits matter, too.

12:57
Travis Sawchik: They each factor in, of course, but I would side with pitcher since the action begins there

12:57
stever20: So 8th inning of Cubs/Nats on Saturday.  Is that a series changer in your opinion, or a blip in the series?  What do you expect from Scherzer today?

12:58
Travis Sawchik: If Scherzer’s 100 percent, I think he’ll be great

12:59
Los: Crazy Hypothetical: who would say no in a trade between the Astros and Angels where the Angels trade Mike Trout (after this post season) for the Astros current position in the playoffs.

12:59
Travis Sawchik: I think I’d rather have Mike Trout and begin my offseason earlier than expected

12:59
Travis Sawchik: Let’s get Trout on the Astros

1:00
Brandon M: It took me about 30 minutes to understand that Georgia Roddy thing

1:00
Travis Sawchik: You should always read this chat transcript aloud and with a British accent

1:01
Ben: If you’re Girardi, is your pitching plan today the same as it was in the WC game? Green still first in, even as early as the first inning? And would your leash for Sevy be even shorter if he just doesn’t look right immediately?

1:01
Travis Sawchik: It would be similar. I wouldn’t worry about Game 5 until I’m there

1:01
Faulkner: “The past is never dead.  It’s not even past.”

1:01
Travis Sawchik: Nice!

1:01
Travis Sawchik: I like where this is going

1:02
Ray Liotta as Shoeless Joe: Maybe we almost had it with Giambi recently, but when does the player-manager return? Follow-up: Which playoff manager do you trust most to take a ninth inning at bat with the game on the line? Hinch? Roberts?

1:02
Travis Sawchik: Roberts. He could leg out an infield hit

1:03
Eric: I still don’t get the Georgia Roddy reference and my coworkers probably think I’ve lost my mind saying it outloud…

1:04
Travis Sawchik:

Instead of worryin about rhythm, Georgia Roddy should focus on his resume.
7 Oct 2017
1:06
0Dub: Georgia Roddy = Joe Girardi, I know its not that close but I guess if you say it with a NY accent and sandwich in your mouth its close

1:06
Travis Sawchik: How about JoeJa Roddy

1:06
bosoxforlife: Game time! The beverages are in the fridge, but the diet is going to be very suspect today.

1:07
Travis Sawchik: Your diet can wait

1:07
Travis Sawchik: Until Tuesday

1:07
Travis Sawchik: Alright folks, there’s an actual live blog beginning right now on our fine Web site so I have to get out of the way …

1:07
Travis Sawchik: Thanks for stopping by

1:07
Travis Sawchik: Until next week … Do good and be good …and remember the past is prologue

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A Cleveland native, FanGraphs writer Travis Sawchik is the author of the New York Times bestselling book, Big Data Baseball. He also contributes to The Athletic Cleveland, and has written for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, among other outlets. Follow him on Twitter @Travis_Sawchik.

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John Autin
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John Autin

— Bryce Harper, age 19-24: 27.7 fWAR … 26.1 bWAR … 5.3 WAR*/150 games.
— Junior Griffey, age 19-24: 34.9 fWAR … 37.0 bWAR … 6.4 WAR*/150 games.
(* Averaging fWAR and bWAR)

I get why folks anoint Harper, but so far he’s a very good player who has had one great year. The 4 projections cited on FG averaged 5.2 WAR for him this year in 145 games; he fell short on the totals while improving his rate, so I think they have him pegged about right.

Griffey at age 25 still had his peak years ahead of him. Harper may, too — aging patterns predict so — but we don’t know that, or what those may look like. What we do know right now is that Harper so far isn’t in Junior’s class.

The best possible framing of this comparison from Harper’s perspective is age 22-24. But even with his MVP in there, Harper’s just 13th in MLB with 16.2 bWAR in that span. Griffey during his 22-24 was 2nd to Bonds with 21.4 bWAR.

Harper’s not even the hitter Junior was through the same age — Junior leads OPS+ by 149-140 for 19-24, and by 164-156 for 22-24 — and obviously Junior was a much more valuable fielder. So, talk to me when Harper has a second great year.