2016 Opening Day 2.0 Live Blog

2:05
Carson Cistulli: Testing and sibilance and testing and sibilance.

2:05
Sean Dolinar: Hello?

2:05
Carson Cistulli: Sean. Hello.

2:06
ASUfool: you’re both alive

2:06
Sean Dolinar: Jeff should be here in a few.

2:06
Pie: Damnit Yankee Stadium, get a roof!

2:06
Carson Cistulli: For how long, though, ASUfool? None of us knows.

2:06
Yankee808: WHEN YOU GET UP AT 7 AM FOR YANKEE GAME IN HAWAII AND GAME POSTPOSED

2:07
Marc: What game should I listen to at work today? Why am I at work today 🙁

2:08
Carson Cistulli: Uecker on the Brewers is generally a strong a choice.

2:08
Carson Cistulli: And also that’s the only game currently available.

2:08
rustydude: Carson, was Corey Kluber your all time best call on an up & comer?

2:09
Carson Cistulli: I make a practice of calling *every* up and comer. You miss on all the up and comers you don’t call.

2:09
K-Man: Carson, we need an update of the announcer lists

2:09
Carson Cistulli: Yes. I will facilitate such a thing this April.

2:10
Ueck: Carson, will you be doing your daily posts again with NERD scores and favourable (Canadian spelling) broadcasts again?

2:10
Carson Cistulli: Yes. Beginning at the end of April, if anyone even cares.

2:11
Jason: I care, Carson….eh, no I don’t.

2:12
klof: Carson, are you the copy editor for Fangraphs? Does every post go through you?

2:12
Carson Cistulli: Most of them do. However, Sullivan politely requests that I “leave all his posts alone, goddammit.”

2:13
Curious: Please explain how you conclude that a team with Wily Peralta as its opening day starter will win an NL Wild Card berth.

2:13
Carson Cistulli: Because I’m barely even on nodding terms with “reason.”

2:13
Jason: It snowed on Denard Span’s beard.

2:14
Carson Cistulli: Which, update: both he and Joe Panik have been retired.

2:14
Carson Cistulli: Of interest I suppose to those who can’t watch the game.

2:14
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

2:14
j6takish: Carson, my workplace now blocks the Fangraphs podcasts Do you have any suggestions for shadier ways to listen while on the clock?

2:15
Carson Cistulli: Record either yourself or a friend weeping in the fetal position. That is roughly the same sound.

2:16
The Hamburglar: Are you still in France, Carson?

2:16
joey: Thought on the polanco extension?

2:16
Sean Dolinar: From what little I’ve seen of details of the deal, it could really go either way. Polanco hasn’t really killed it offensively in his first two years, so I don’t think he’d necessarily make >$30 M in 3 years of arb.

2:17
Carson Cistulli: No. New Hampshire. Which, while lacking all of France’s culture, DOES feature Consummate Sadness.

2:18
The Hamburglar: We want Cistulli! We want Cistulli! We want Cistulli!

2:18
Carson Cistulli: Domingo Santana and Manny Machado both batting leadoff in the majors today. Impressive power.

2:18
Jeff Sullivan: Half-hearted swing from Santana. That’s approximately three heart-halves below his 2015 average

2:18
BernieBrewer: Aaron Hill…did something…good?

2:19
Carson Cistulli: Yes. Diving stop! The Brewers’ march to the postseason has continues unabated.

2:19
Jeff Sullivan: Villar! Hill! Broxton! Gennett! Your 2016 opening-day Brewers who wouldn’t be recognized in a community grocery store

2:20
klof: Could we get a Cistulli-Sarris podcast? I’d listen to hours of that.

2:20
Jeff Sullivan: But could Carson participate in hours of that, is the question

2:21
Carson Cistulli: I think there is neither sufficient supply nor demand for such an endeavor.

2:21
Jeff Sullivan: Underrated baseball interest: pickoff attempts where the runner takes two casual steps back to the base

2:21
Jeff Sullivan: A very genuine waste of everybody’s time

2:21
Carson Cistulli: Villar walks. Brewers on first and second. Zero outs!

2:22
Jeff Sullivan: Bumgarner running a 1.000 OBP against, which is way up from last season. Something to watch

2:22
Ben: Can Marcus Stroman be elite with his sinker and relatively low K rates?

2:22
Jeff Sullivan: Gotta get them Halladay strikeouts

2:23
Erik: Best opening day stat: Tulowitzki currently leads the majors with a 512 wRC+, despite a .000 BABIP.

2:23
klof: Jeff, why do you resist Carson’s edits? He seems knowledgeable on these things.

2:23
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t resist. I just write too much and he has enough on his plate already

2:23
Carson Cistulli: Without looking, I’d guess that a number of Blue Jays are candidates to produce the highest wRC+s in the league relative to their BABIPs.

2:23
Carson Cistulli: Yes, regard my plate.

2:24
F*ck Barmer: What do you think of Byron Buxton? Does he figure it out before the break? Do the twins need him to get it going to be competitive?

2:25
Carson Cistulli: Buxton is probably poised to record an average season right now based on defense alone. His floor is probably those first couple Jackie Bradley-type seasons. I’d guess. I mean, I’m really guessing.

2:25
Steve: Having Jeff and Carson at the same time is better than a Kershaw perfect game.

2:25
Jeff Sullivan: neither one of us responds well to pressure

2:25
Carson Cistulli: No, not at all. All anxiety is performance anxiety.

2:25
klof: Thoughts on the Cubs going with LaStella’s lefty bat at 3B over Soler’s righty bat in LF for the opener (Bryant in LF)? Does this portend bad things for the assumption that Schwarber/Soler split LF in a traditional platoon?

2:25
Carson Cistulli: Unflinching support for LaStella.

2:26
K-Man: Jeff, do you write the most out of all FG regulars?

2:26
Jeff Sullivan: Yes, but I’d way rather write than edit

2:27
Carson Cistulli: Jeff, what’s the state of pitch-framing right now and Lucroy’s place in it? In 50 words or less.

2:27
Jeff Sullivan: Pitch-framing looks ahead to a horizon of death.

2:28
Carson Cistulli: Ah, okay. Fair enough.

2:28
Jeff Sullivan: I would assume Lucroy remains an above-average framer, but not to the extreme degree he’s been in the past.

2:28
Carson Cistulli: The Bs are L’d right now. Like, really L’d.

2:28
Poor Man’s Rick Reed: Why aren’t homeruns counted in BABIP? Why don’t we use BACON instead, both for it’s clearly superior acronym and including homers as good things the batter did?

2:28
Jeff Sullivan: Different stats for different things. BABIP better for trying to figure out luck element and whatnot

2:30
The Hamburglar: Fans who genuinely want to boo someone with a name like LuCroy must have a hard time standing out, in fear it’ll be heard as “Luuuuu”

2:30
Jeff Sullivan: Think about Moustakas before he got good

2:30
Carson Cistulli: The Brewers are now winning.

2:30
Carson Cistulli: A hit, three walks, a run.

2:30
Poor Man’s Rick Reed: “Game 1 of 162, it is indeed a long, long season.” – Giants broadcaster pre game hype.

2:30
Jeff Sullivan: I assume that Madison Bumgarner is going to puke his guts out between innings

2:31
Not stepdaughter: Who’s do you predict is the team everybody loves to hate this year? The Dodgers are an easy target but I could see the Mets getting really annoying if they repeat last season’s success

2:31
Jeff Sullivan: Royals or Blue Jays. Jays have a lot of swagger and they don’t have the playoff drought anymore. Royals, similarly, aren’t the cute underdog anymore

2:31
HappyFunBall: Isn’t chatting just ordinary writing on a much shorter deadline?

2:31
Jeff Sullivan: And it’s so much easier!

2:32
Adam: Carson you are a messenger from the future. What other prophecies do you have?

2:33
Carson Cistulli: I’m actually a messenger from the past, but abide by TS Eliot’s proclamation that “time past is present in time future.”

2:33
Aaron: Carson, does it ever get exhausting using the English language in the strange way you use it?

2:35
Carson Cistulli: Oh, fuck hell yes. The problem is, I basically wasn’t literate until age 14 or 15, so writing is basically the least natural act for me. Thus, I’m compelled to write like an alien that’s only ever read Samuel Johnson.

2:35
klof: Carson, your thoughts on those beer cups at some stadiums that fill FROM THE BOTTOM?

2:35
Jeff Sullivan: BOOTER GENNETT

2:35
Carson Cistulli: Unnatural, a little bit. Sublime, also.

2:36
j6takish: Jeff, I also routinely forget that the Padres exist. Yesterday was probably the first time I’ve ever actually seen what Jedd Gyorko looks like. Holy shit is that an average, non athletic looking everyman

2:36
Jeff Sullivan: Kind of like what you’d picture of a Jedd Gyorko

2:36
Carson Cistulli: “The extra D is for…” What?

2:37
The Hamburglar: Dinosaurs

2:37
rustydude: Which regular FG chat host will be the first to use “It’s April”, when answering a panicked fan about a slow start from their favorite team or player?

2:37
Jeff Sullivan: Dave

2:37
Carson Cistulli: Oh, definitely Dave.

2:37
Jeff Sullivan: probably to every question in his Wednesday chat

2:38
Carson Cistulli: Status update: Brewers no longer winning.

2:38
Carson Cistulli: Or even tied.

2:38
Jeff Sullivan: Carson’s pick has now lost the last lead it will have all season long

2:38
Jason: Does Dave hate us as much as it seems like he does?

2:39
Carson Cistulli: It’s not you, it’s him.

2:39
Jeff Sullivan: And you

2:39
Carson Cistulli: !

2:39
Weezy F Baby: Jeff, if an expansion MLB team decided to call themselves The Volcanoes would they instantly become your favorite team?

2:39
Carson Cistulli: Does that appeal to you, Sullivan?

2:39
Jeff Sullivan: It does appeal to me

2:40
Eminor3rd: What are your Opening Day rituals? For me, I always pull out a bottle of rare beer I’ve been saving and watch the White Sox. This year, it’ll be a bottle of Founder’s Kentucky Breakfast Stout and a desperate attempt to stay up late enough to finish the game from Eastern time.

2:40
Jeff Sullivan: I put on a Mariners game without dreading it

2:41
Paul H.: How many games does the Met’s defense cost them this year? Watching them in person last night pretty clear Cespedes / Wright / Duda are all suspect. Infield is good up the middle but could argue Cespedes inability to catch a routine ball hit right at him was the difference last night.

2:41
Carson Cistulli: I haven’t checked — and likely won’t — but I’d *guess* that, were one to project strikeout rate merely from average fastball velocity, Wily Peralta’s expected K rate would feature among the most sizable differences from his actual K rate.

2:41
Jeff Sullivan: Have to assume second-half Cespedes will be better than first-half Cespedes, in center, in the field. But it’s pretty clearly going to be the team weakness

2:41
scooter : told you walsh is better than me

2:41
Carson Cistulli: I would not object to Colin Walsh getting a bunch of PAs this year.

2:42
Jeff Sullivan: Digging that matte black batting helmet

2:42
Toasty: back in college I used to prepare a poor man’s tailgate in my dorm room but now I’m an adult who sits at work sh*tposting in this chat instead of watching anything

2:42
Carson Cistulli: A pretty efficient summary of how all life is.

2:43
Jeff Sullivan: Craig Counsell looks like Craig Counsell Sr.’s son who somebody let into the dugout

2:44
Weezy F Baby: Which current MLB player would you say is most likely to eventually run for President Of the United States?

2:44
Jeff Sullivan: Bryce Harper

2:45
Bob Pollard: Dave seems more likely in chats to smack down dumb questions. Is he like that in real life as well?

2:45
Jeff Sullivan: In real life I find him mostly smiley and agreeable

2:45
Sean Dolinar: He’s a pretty good boss.

2:45
Carson Cistulli: Yeah, Dave is pretty good in real life.

2:46
kevin: What time is it acceptable to start drinking on opening day? I should wait until noon at least, right?

2:46
Jeff Sullivan: Hope Dave is reading this <3 u dave

2:46
Carson Cistulli: Status update: game tied.

2:46
Sean Dolinar: Opening Day…I think it’s ok to drink whenever you wake up.

2:46
Jeff Sullivan: Status update: Carson is about 30 seconds in front of me

2:46
Carson Cistulli: Scooter Gennett homering.

2:47
Carson Cistulli: Actually, Jeff, I have the radio broadcast on one computer; TV, on iPad.

2:47
Jeff Sullivan: That is Scooter Gennett’s first career home run against a lefty

2:47
Jeff Sullivan: Granted, just his 120th plate appearance

2:47
Sean Dolinar: We shouldn’t assume Carson occupies the same plane of existence we do.

2:47
Jeff Sullivan: Also I agree about starting to drink whenever on opening day, if you have the day off. IF YOU HAVE THE DAY OFF

2:48
Jeff Sullivan: Gennett against lefties before that homer: .124/.147/.150, 1 walk, 34 strikeouts

2:49
Q-Ball: Hey, love that D-Backs article! Great points in there. Do you have any hopes for Yasmany Tomas, or did the D-Backs waste that money?

2:49
Jeff Sullivan: Some hopes, but I don’t like his physical condition. I think he could be a decent hitter, but without anything else that’s not particularly valuable

2:50
Horn Please ThankYou: Who would you rather do a speculative stash on, Brito or Soler?

2:50
Jeff Sullivan: I like Brito more in real life than in fantasy

2:50
Carson Cistulli: Please pardon me. I have to edit some posts. Will return soon to continue this festival of delights.

2:50
senpaisanto: do you own any Volcanoes merch, jeff?

2:50
Jeff Sullivan: One beloved t-shirt

2:51
LudeBurger: it’s hard to believe you are real people.

2:51
Jeff Sullivan: It’s hard to believe any one of us is a real person. Think about what it took to get to where each one of us is

2:51
Stenzy: Why does MLB even bother having opening days on the east coast?

2:52
Sean Dolinar: I was thinking about this too. Even the weather in Pittsburgh was crappy yesterday. I’m sure half of the clubs would be upset having to start on the road every year in the south/west/domes.

2:53
Desmond : Bumgarner looks toast his arm might be feeling the effects of all those innings

2:53
Jeff Sullivan: And the flu

2:53
Sean Dolinar: Though, I’m pretty sure open-air NE teams have fewer home games scheduled in April. At least that’s the case in Pittsburgh.

2:53
Adam: Has a sick player ever barfed on the field?

2:54
CamdenWarehouse: Well some of you are real people

2:55
Poor Man’s Rick Reed: There was an interesting 30 for 30 about the schedule makers, this lovely old couple that used to hand calculate the MLB schedule, but now they’ve been replaced by your fancy robots and algorithms and computers.

2:55
Jon Lenin: Can Domingo Santana become a top 30 OF in terms of offense production? How likely? Dude can lift.

2:55
Jeff Sullivan: Last year, minimum 300 PA, the No. 3 outfielder was Adam Eaton, with a 118 wRC+. Yes, Santana could do that. I wouldn’t bet on it, but it’s easily within his reach

2:56
Jeff Sullivan: *No. 30

2:56
Sean Dolinar: Yeah, (re: scheduling) they actually optimize it for a lot of factors. One of the features pits attractive opponents (Yankees, Red Sox, etc.) on weekdays to increase attendance.

2:57
Randy Savage: Related question: is Hector Oliveira or Yasmani Thomas more valuable going forward?

2:57
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll take Olivera

2:57
Kvn: When do you guys think Berrios will be up? Snell?

2:57
Jeff Sullivan: Soon, less soon

2:57
Sean Dolinar: So for example a smaller market (especially interleague) team might face the Yankees in a weekday series rather than the weekend, because said team will likely sell out (or come close) their weekend series regardless. Having the Yankees come in on the weekdays boosts overall revenues.

2:59
Big Joe Montferrant: Do you have any hate for a current MLB player?

2:59
Jeff Sullivan: Hate is a strong word, so, no. But I still don’t like Francisco Rodriguez, and now I don’t like Jose Reyes

3:00
Jeff Sullivan: I would probably hate Brett Lawrie if I knew him

3:00
jon: How many players would crush their teams chances more than Pollock? I imagine he’s top 20, maybe top 10. Sale, Greinke/Goldschmitt, Fernandez/Stanton, Trout….

3:00
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll put him in the top 10 just because the DBacks are right on the bubble. Trout is obviously No. 1, because without him the Angels are horrible

3:01
e: Do you own any volcanoes, jeff?

3:01
Jeff Sullivan: I have in my possession many tiny parts of ones

3:01
troy: hey, when are you guys gonna take that mountain of membership $$$ and update your t-shirt offerings? A nice heather grey?

3:02
Jeff Sullivan: I *think* that’s being worked on already?

3:02
Jeff Sullivan: Giants have the baseball lead on a Denard Span RBI single

3:02
Jeff Sullivan: Shortly I might switch over to Twins/Orioles because I want to see Park

3:03
e: Would you rather be hit with a fastball or tackled by a linebacker?

3:03
Bo: So the popular teams tend to have home games on the weekend? That’s pretty nice for their fans.

3:03
Jeff Sullivan: Fastball

3:03
Poor Man’s Rick Reed: Quick fact check re: scheduling, Yankees/Red Sox actually slated for 4 weekend series, 2 weekday.

3:03
Jeff Sullivan: Below the neck

3:03
Sean Dolinar: It factors into the scheduling optimization.

3:04
Sean Dolinar: Patriot’s Day is probably the roughest day to schedule because of the early start, travel and the CBA.

3:04
Adam: What is home to you guys?

3:04
Jeff Sullivan: Sean’s in Pittsburgh, I’m in Portland (Oregon), Carson’s on the moon

3:06
Kvn: Kluber v. Price may have been rained out, Keuchel v. Tanaka may have been rained out, but worry not Baseball fans, you’ll be able to feast your eyes on Ervin Sanata v. Chris Tillman!

3:06
Frankie Fast Hands: Jack Morris had 14 consecutive opening day starts. Felix is on his 8th, Kershaw is on his 6th. Do either of them get there?

3:06
Jeff Sullivan: Going to assume no

3:06
klof: Chances Urias is in the conversation for Cy Young? What’s the fewest IPs required to be in the discussion?

3:06
Jeff Sullivan: No chance at all

3:07
Kimball: Last year, when spring training pitcher injuries prompted stories everywhere, smart folks noted that it wasn’t actually that huge of a jump over recent years. In contrast, this year still seems surprisingly quiet w/r/t pitcher injuries. Is that a fallacy, too? If not, do you expect a bunch of April injuries?

3:07
Jeff Sullivan: Almost wrote about this last week but going to hold off for now. Still, there haven’t been many pitcher injuries yet, at least of the UCL variety. Relatively quiet, outside of, say, Capps and Collins etc

3:08
Druidiful: So does Carson really have any “work” to do, or was that just a way for him to get out of watching baseball?

3:08
Jeff Sullivan: Editing is hard

3:09
Greg Oden: Why would Bochy bat Bum in the 8-hole knowing he has the flu? Is a flu ridden Bumgarner a better hitter than a healthy Angel Pagan?

3:09
Jeff Sullivan: Based on the fact that he’s pitching I think it’s pretty clear they don’t think he’s totally compromised

3:10
Al: If you were in charge of designing a ballpark according to your own whim, what unique features would you build in? Lean pitchers park or hitters park?

3:10
Jeff Sullivan: Lean pitcher’s park, but with low fences, and limited foul territory. In center field I’d install a Mike Trout

3:11
Jeff Sullivan: More runs for the Giants. RBI opposite-field flare for Belt

3:11
Kimball: Nate Silver’s political analysis started from his smart modelling of polls, but now he’s gone super nerdy over things like delegate rules and convention bylaws. What’s your personal esoteric baseball nerd interest? Actually that’s for Sean and Jeff. Carson, what’s your personal guilty non-esoteric baseball interest?

3:11
Jeff Sullivan: Pitch comps, probably. Sean?

3:12
Jeff Sullivan: Sean?????!!?!!

3:13
Sean Dolinar: Hold on…I’m thinking!

3:13
Jeff Sullivan: SEAN

3:13
Sean Dolinar: Because delegate rules aren’t really esoteric at the moment…but that’s another discussion.

3:14
Sean Dolinar: Stadiums (and history of those stadiums) are probably my number one useless interest. Then uniforms.

3:15
LJS: Who has the best defense in the NL?

3:15
Jeff Sullivan: I want to say the Giants or the Reds

3:16
Tim: Which is your favorite RULE 5 player, Rickard or Goeddle?

3:16
Jeff Sullivan: Goeddel is more talented but I think Rickard is more likely to be a useful major-leaguer

3:17
Jason: Either of you guys get an advanced copy of “The Arm?” Will you read it?

3:17
Jeff Sullivan: No and yes!

3:17
Jeff Sullivan: Villar! A dinger!

3:17
K-Man: Top3 stadiums?

3:17
Jeff Sullivan: Golfed that one out

3:17
Sean Dolinar: Out of the 17 I’ve been to…I like Wrigley, Busch and PNC the best.

3:18
Jason: Can you make a pitcher’s park with low fences and limited foul territory?

3:18
Jeff Sullivan: I should also note I’d put it somewhere out west

3:19
Comin’s and Goins: Does Instagraphs = no Carson, or are those posts just fast-tracked for editing?

3:19
Jeff Sullivan: They get glanced at

3:19
Sean Dolinar: I also get to post my data viz there.

3:20
Kevin: speaking of uniforms those royals unis with the gold were snazzy.

3:20
lefty: Who is your guilty pleasure you most watch that would draw the scorn of the FG crowd??? Nelson Cruz?

3:20
Jeff Sullivan: James Paxton?

3:20
Sean Dolinar: Yeah, gold really lends itself to the monarchy theme they have going on in KC.

3:20
David: What record would a team have if made up entirely of 0 WAR players?

3:20
Jeff Sullivan: 48-114

3:21
David: Trying to figure out if a team of Kershaw, Trout, and a bunch of 0 WAR players would make the playoffs

3:21
Jeff Sullivan: Not close!

3:22
TF Fredrik: Is there ever a time where you completely stop worrying about a pitcher hurting his arm/shoulder? Like Bumgarner, Felix, price & Kershaw have thrown 1100+ innings the past five years. Felix started to maybe show some weakness last year, but other than that, we haven’t really seen any slowing down from others. Would it be safe to say certain pitchers have genetics/physiology to survive pitching?

3:22
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe worry the same as you would a hockey or football player getting a concussion. It could happen at any moment, but it’s still unlikely and you can’t be constantly preoccupied with concern

3:23
Poor Man’s Rick Reed: So far, not a fun game for us pitching dorks out there.

3:23
Jeff Sullivan: Also it’s only the third god damn inning

3:23
Jeff Sullivan: Holy whoa, Posey throws down to second instead of third on a pitch that got away!

3:23
Jeff Sullivan: Take that, slow-ass Chris Carter!

3:24
Would you rather..: Have Mike Trout on your favorite team, or date your celebrity crush?

3:25
Jeff Sullivan: The second one, just for the experience. I’ve already had Felix Hernandez

3:25
j6takish: What do you guys think carson is doing right this second?

3:25
Jeff Sullivan: Editing posts by Craig Edwards and Owen Watson

3:26
Sean Dolinar: I’d pick the latter as well.

3:26
LJS: What if Mike Trout is my celebrity crush?

3:26
Sam C: I liked Petriello’s take that the previous year’s worst team should have to wear Zubaz and Uggs to prevent tanking.

3:27
The Man with the Plan: Has the Phillies superb ST given them any hope of not finishing last in the NL East? I mean Franco alone can carry this team offensively this year like Stanton did 3 years ago

3:28
Sean Dolinar: With a lot of young players, you never really know how well they’ll perform. Plus the Braves are in the NL East, too.

3:28
Jeff Sullivan: Buuuuuuuuuut Franco is not Giancarlo Stanton

3:28
Jeff Sullivan: I do give the Phillies like a 45% chance of finishing above the Braves

3:29
j6takish: When does it become okay to cut bait on a young player/prospect? Everybody laments terry ryan for cutting Ortiz but nobody gives a shit about the brewers cutting nelson cruz?

3:29
Jeff Sullivan: Ryan cut a cheap and productive Ortiz. The Brewers traded Cruz with Carlos Lee for a package

3:29
GK: Awesome opening day, MLB. PPD.

3:30
T-Dawg: How does the CBA affect the Red Sox Patriot’s Day game?

3:31
Pete Incaviglia: Jeff your feelings for Scott Spiezio soften any since your Friday chat ?how about your thoughts about me ?

3:32
Jeff Sullivan: I have no thoughts about you but Scott Spiezio can [have consensual relations with] himself

3:32
Sean Dolinar: You aren’t suppose to start games before noon local time. I think there are some exceptions or an allotment of a few games that can start before noon.

3:32
Erik: Is there a more depressing sort of player to watch than Chris Carter? You know how hard they can hit the ball, but you also know they can’t do anything else and they’ll nearly always disappoint. Or maybe I’m just scarred by Ryan Howard.

3:32
Jeff Sullivan: Pre-WAR, it would be easier to love these players

3:33
Sean Dolinar: Then there’s requirement for time between games be so long after traveling depending how long the flight is.

3:33
Would you rather..: Be a great baseball player or a great GM?

3:33
Jeff Sullivan: The first one. You’d be a multi-millionaire and you’d be retired by 40

3:34
Randy Savage: What’s the hold up with the Min v Bal game?

3:34
Jeff Sullivan: God’s disapproval

3:34
Sean Dolinar: Here’s the CBA if anyone is interested: http://mlb.mlb.com/pa/pdf/cba_english.pdf

3:35
Zorak: If proximity kills your heroes, I can’t imagine dating a celebrity crush is a very good idea…

3:35
Jeff Sullivan: A celebrity crush probably shouldn’t be a hero

3:35
Jeff Sullivan: We’ve got a 5-3 Giants lead on an RBI sac fly by Span

3:36
Jeff Sullivan: Early evaluation of Keon Broxton’s arm: it’s fine

3:36
Brandon: Thanks Sean I’ll just read all 300 pages really quick and get back to you

3:37
Sean Dolinar: It comes in handy!

3:37
TF Fredrik: Gotta hand it to Wily Peralta. He is in mid-season form.

3:37
Jeff Sullivan: THIS IS GOING SO SLOW

3:38
Jeff Sullivan: At least we have Felix and Hamels in half an hour

3:38
Kimball: Who’s a good example of intensity (borderline assholeishness) on the field not meaning the guy’s actually an asshole? Stroman came to mind watching him yesterday, but I’m sure there are better examples.

3:38
Jeff Sullivan: Mostly Stroman

3:39
Sean Dolinar: With the approval of the Commissioner, not more than 4
games per League per year may be scheduled or rescheduled to start
between 10:30 A.M. and Noon, if, with respect to both Clubs, the
conditions stated in paragraph (6) above with respect to scheduling
and rescheduling of day games between Noon and l P.M. are met.

3:39
Sean Dolinar: That’s the before noon restriction.

3:41
mtsw: Any truth to the idea that pitcher performance is flatter earlier in the year (i.e. aces are more likely to struggle, marginal guys are more likely to do okay)?

3:41
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know of any real studies, but it makes some sense to me that pitchers aren’t yet at 100%. Even though it’s opening day, baseball hasn’t quite settled into its routine

3:41
Jeff Sullivan: Of course, the earlier it is, the colder it is, and the better it is for run prevention in general

3:42
K-Man: Sm Miller read the CBA so you don’t have to

3:43
Jeff Sullivan: Gennett’s second career walk against a lefty!

3:43
Jeff Sullivan: Big day for Gennett! Except for the error

3:43
Jeff Sullivan: Wily Peralta is batting right now. whatever

3:44
Randy Savage: Do you think you would like Logan Morrison as a person?

3:44
Jeff Sullivan: I think we would have different interests

3:44
borris_g: Jeff, how much panic will M’s fans have if Felix is average today?

3:44
Jeff Sullivan: 8

3:44
Bip: Kershaw is incredibly intense but i haven’t seen him fight with other players much

3:44
Jonesing for Pitching: Pedroia is pure intensity in all the good ways.

3:44
CamdenWarehouse: Stroman did throw at a guy’s head a couple years ago

3:44
TF Fredrik: Havent bothered to look but what do stats say about how often hitters as a whole swing first pitch or in hitters counts? You a believer it should happen more often?

3:45
Jeff Sullivan: The league as a whole is trending slightly to being more aggressive. Which is good, because the league as a whole is also trending toward having better putaway stuff

3:45
Jeff Sullivan: So Wily Peralta gets to bat and nearly makes two outs out of it

3:46
mtsw: Which do you prefer: player seems like an asshole because he’s too intense (Lawrie, Stroman) or player seems like he doesn’t give a shit and treats playing like only a job (moreso than most of the guys treat it like a job)?

3:46
Jeff Sullivan: I like watching on-field intensity

3:46
Big Joe Montferrant: Stroman seems to be taking this “I’m and underdog, me against the world thing a little to much at heart”. Yea, he’s short, but have a little bit of humility and composure.

3:46
Jeff Sullivan: Who cares how a player motivates himself?

3:47
Jeff Sullivan: Gennett takes advantage of Span’s arm to move up to second…

3:47
alex: What are the chances that tanaka can complete the entire season injury free? do you think he should have just gone for tommy john at first?

3:47
Jeff Sullivan: I think fans are way too hasty to determine that a player should undergo major surgery

3:47
Jeff Sullivan: Gennett shouldn’t have tested that arm

3:54
Jeff Sullivan: Whoa that was a longer break than I intended

3:54
Jeff Sullivan: had to make me a gif

3:55
Walter: is this the worst opening day ever?

3:55
Jeff Sullivan: And Sonny Gray is down with food poisoning!

3:56
Comin’s and Goins: Would you rather have Felix stay at (return to) an elite level for four more years, then suffer a Halladay/Webb? Or would you rather he slowly decline over the next eight?

3:56
Jeff Sullivan: I guess slow decline? Prepares you for the end, and keeps you from wondering “what if?” forever

3:57
The Man with the Plan: Stanton has played more games in Citizen Bank Park than Franco, over the course of 6 seasons, yet I’ve never seen do this… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcUqxDUpexY

3:57
Jeff Sullivan: Stanton also quantifiably hits the ball harder than any other player in the major leagues

3:57
Brandon: Is Felix’s velocity back up?

3:57
Jeff Sullivan: No

3:58
Jeff Sullivan: Matt Duffy leaves the yard to make it 7-3

3:59
Jeff Sullivan: It is the top of the fifth inning

3:59
Jeff Sullivan: Apparently Carlos Torres is pitching now

4:00
Jeff Sullivan: Madison Bumgarner has not looked good, with people wondering what’s going on with him, and the Giants are still cruising to victory

4:01
Jake M: The Giants announcers have been saying that Bumgardener has been having a lot of control troubles all spring. I’m just going to assume this isn’t a big deal at all but any concern?

4:01
Jeff Sullivan: Modest but I assume it’s just a mechanical kink

4:01
Gary Guy Yeti: I get the impression Kershaw fights himself more than anybody else. I think it’d be great to watch an entire movie of his inner monologue between pitches. Who would be a great voice actor for this hypothetical

4:02
Jeff Sullivan: This could be a good commercial

4:02
Jeff Sullivan: Or therapy for perfectionists

4:02
Erik: Is first pitch hitting a known skill, or is it too prone to small sample size problems for us to really tell?

4:02
Jeff Sullivan: Some hitters definitely go up more ready to hit than others do

4:03
Bad Hermit: Jeff, do you think that the Plexiglass Principle has any predictive power? Or is it just a correlation (and therefore narrative) resulting from baseball being difficult?

4:03
Jeff Sullivan: I think of it as just a different way of saying regression to the mean

4:03
klof: Schwarber in LF tonight, Soler is DH. Wouldn’t you have Schwarber DH every opportunity you could get?

4:04
Jeff Sullivan: They haven’t been thrilled with Soler’s defense this spring

4:04
Comin’s and Goins: Bronson Arroyo’s inner monologue would def be voiced by Matthew McConaughey.

4:04
castor troy : Does span have the same or worse arm then johnny Damon did at cf ?

4:04
Jeff Sullivan: Not close to that bad

4:04
Sean Dolinar: I want to hire McConaughey to narrate my thoughts.

4:05
Rols: So why did the Brewers let Peralta hit if they were just going to bring Torres in to start the inning?

4:05
Jeff Sullivan: I guess they didn’t want to burn a hitter for a bunt

4:05
Ryan: Bumgarner looks sketchy today, but that’s probably just the illness, right? Or do you think Cueto and/or Shark have a legitimate shot to out-produce him this year?

4:06
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not like Cueto or Samardzija seem particularly stable right now. Wild cards everywhere!

4:06
Trainman: Jeff, not a Mariners fan but what are your expectations this year?

4:06
Jeff Sullivan: 84 wins

4:06
Jeff: What non-Felix pitcher are you most interested in watching today?

4:06
Jeff Sullivan: Richards, then…Hill?

4:08
Q-Ball: 6 through 9 of Cubs order tonight: Schwarber, Soler, Montero, Russell. Will pitchers have to pray for Cubs injuries to get a break this year? Wow….

4:08
Jeff Sullivan: Plenty of reason to think that collection could underachieve! Schwarber whiffs a lot, Soler whiffs a lot, Russell just had a 90 wRC+, and Montero is a non-special aging catcher

4:09
Jeff Sullivan: Okay I can’t do this anymore, switching to Mariners/Rangers

4:10
Adam: Is everyone going to move to the Seattle – Texas game now?

4:10
Jeff Sullivan: Hop on board!

4:10
LJS: Any hope for Schwarbs to be not-terrible in left? I wasn’t thrilled by *his* Def. in ST, what I saw…

4:10
Jeff Sullivan: I could see him finishing with a better UZR than Soler

4:10
Jeff Sullivan: but still not real good FWIW

4:11
Jeff Sullivan: First weak ball in play of the season for Aoki!

4:11
Terrible Ted: How many Richards changeups do you expect to see today?

4:11
Jeff Sullivan: 2. Greatly hoping for more

4:12
Jeff Sullivan: Weak ball in play for Marte!

4:12
Poor Man’s Rick Reed: Mariners/Rangers, announcers sound excited, sun is shining brightly, it feels like Opening Day again!

4:12
MJA: No interest in Iglesias? (I am a Reds fan, please give me something)

4:12
Jeff Sullivan: I like him. I like Richards more is all

4:13
Chris: Are there any stats that show how much a pitcher like Dallas Keuchel is helped by the shifts the Astros do? Curious how he would fare on a less shift-oriented team.

4:13
Jeff Sullivan: Forget this question. Cano home run!

4:13
Jeff Sullivan: Last year he had two home runs through June 21st

4:14
Jeff Sullivan: Anyway as for the question, BIS does have numbers like that, but we don’t have them to my knowledge

4:14
LJS: Is Seattle fun as a tourist? Is it public-transportable?

4:15
Jeff Sullivan: Moderately public-transportable. It’s a big, big place, with desirable areas spread out, but it’s a fun city to visit

4:15
Jeremy: Matt Duffy never slugged higher than .291 in 3 years at Long Beach State. This evolution seems absolutely insane to me

4:15
Ikoa Iron: Do Mariners really have no better option to lead off?

4:15
Craig Edwards: I’m not sure if the schedule was switched with the delayed beginning, but I am here now to answer questions or comments.

4:15
Jeff Sullivan: Aoki has a career .353 OBP

4:15
Jeff Sullivan: It’s Craig! Hi Craig!

4:15
Jeff Sullivan: I got bumped an hour back because the early game didn’t exist

4:17
Jeff Sullivan: So the Cano home run was 110mph via Statcast

4:17
Gary Guy Yeti: The Phillies are gonna be decent and in the dog days of summer everybody is going to forget they were expected to lose a hundred

4:17
Craig Edwards: Okay. Well I am now watching baseball. And everyone can blame (credit?) me for Carson’s exit as he had to edit a piece of mine.

4:17
Wynn Curve: Is Aoki going to be playing everyday vs LHP or do they have a platoon for him, JS?

4:17
Jeff Sullivan: Aoki actually has a reverse career platoon split

4:18
Sean Dolinar: The Brewers started to lose…I think that’s why he split.

4:18
Jeff Sullivan: First pitch from Felix: …89 miles per hour

4:18
LudeBurger: I can actually feel the optimism running through my veins!!!

4:18
Jeff Sullivan: Another 89 and a HBP. Hot start!

4:18
Craig Edwards: Raisel Iglesias v Maikel Franko and interesting matchup right now.

4:18
Craig Edwards: Franco couldn’t quite get all of it.

4:19
RedRifle: Whys is Cruz playing the field? I thought he’d be a DH only this year

4:19
Jeff Sullivan: Gutierrez is playing both days and they want to make sure to keep him rested

4:19
Jeff Sullivan: and Seth Smith is presently hurt

4:20
Jeff Sullivan: …89…

4:20
Jeff Sullivan: and a 90

4:20
Adam: Does Felix have the worst facial hair in the game?

4:20
Jeff Sullivan: Imagine this facial hair and Jaso’s other hair

4:21
Dustin: First Joey Votto AB coming up. Can’t watch enough of those.

4:21
Wily Mo Money Mo Problems: Anyone know how to get notifications on MLB.TV for when batters are on deck/at-bat? Need to set up Giancarlo watch for this season.

4:21
Jammin: Buxton or joc pederson, this year and future

4:22
Craig Edwards: Buxton for both probably, although I don’t think Pederson is as wrecked as he seems to be.

4:22
Jeff Sullivan: I always love the delay in fan response when an umpire calls batter interference

4:22
Jake M: Harper in a duel first at bat

4:22
That Guy: Harper being Harper

4:23
Horn Please ThankYou: Harper needs to do some sort of silly dance so we can all listen to Goose’s head explode

4:23
juan pierres mustache: booing bryce harper only makes him stronger

4:24
xx: tell me there’s a reason my Phillies made Hellickson Opening Day starter

4:24
Craig Edwards: no added pressure on a younger player, perhaps, re: Hellickson

4:25
Gary Guy Yeti: What kind of olive oil does Anthony Rendon use in his hair

4:25
Jeff Sullivan: extra virgin

4:25
Sam : Any early opinions on MLB.tv this year? Playback seems smoother so far

4:25
Jeff Sullivan: Hasn’t sucked yet! So this is a first for me

4:26
mtsw: To what extent do players on an obviously-rebuilding team like the Reds get demoralized more easily? Deep down do they kinda think they could win or are they mostly going through the motions/trying to protect their individual performance?

4:27
Jeff Sullivan: They all kind of know what’s going on, but they also know they need to perform because there are not very many jobs in the major leagues. They end up more often playing for themselves, but that’s not exactly a big problem down the stretch in a lost season

4:27
Donny B: Is there an affordable (and maybe sometimes legal) way to watch all these games online?

4:27
Jeff Sullivan: They’re playing for jobs or they’re playing for trade opportunities

4:27
Craig Edwards: It’s all relative, but compared to other packages, MLB.tv is affordable.

4:28
HappyFunBall: Harper career 11-24 with 4HR vs. Teheran.

4:28
Erik: Ryan Howard’s 2016 so far: weak grounder with a runner in scoring position and 2 outs, and dropping a throw to let a runner score. Looking forward to 2017 already.

4:29
HappyFunBall: PHI wanted Nola to start the home opener. Thus Hellickson today

4:29
Jake M: Phillies announcers critical of Votto for taking too many walks. Classic

4:30
Jeff Sullivan: Kyle Seager dinger, 2-0

4:31
Kimball: If K. Seager were a Ranger, would he be a household name?

4:31
Jeff Sullivan: Nah. Red Sox, yes

4:31
Jeff Sullivan: Going to be fun to watch the Seager WAR leaderboard this season

4:31
juan pierres mustache: mlbtv also does not seem to include any protection against several people sharing an account and logging in from several places at once. i’d never do such a thing, of course, because it’s bad and wrong

4:31
Jeff Sullivan: I *believe* it gets mad if you have three people logged in at once. Two seems OK

4:31
Jeff Sullivan: I tried to run a business this way in college

4:32
Jtt: matt cain has a pretty good shot to end up with a worse contract than ryan howard

4:32
Kvn: Arlington launching pad in mid summer form.

4:32
Jeff Sullivan: Well it is 83 degrees

4:33
Craig Edwards: Reds broadcast just showed Peter Bourjos in both left field and center field which might be ambitious, even for him.

4:33
Compton: That “business” seems rather illegal.

4:33
Jeff Sullivan: And immediately unsuccessful!

4:33
Erik: T-Mobile is offering MLB.tv for free

4:36
Big hurt: Seager or Cruz have more bombs this year?

4:36
Jeff Sullivan: Cruz

4:36
Eminor3rd: Phillies relying heavily on Bourjous’ range: http://imgur.com/M0yfjxd

4:36
Toasty: “Illegal and immediately unsuccessful” would make a good subtitle for my memoirs

4:37
Jeff Sullivan: Chris Iannetta now an even 11-for-22 trying to steal in his career

4:37
Enlightening Round: How did Hellickson strike out Votto?

4:37
Jeff Sullivan: Got him thinking high fastball then pulled the string with a high changeup

4:38
Compton: Does Fangraphs see a significant uptick in pageviews for these live blogs? If so, you guys should consider hiring a full-time chatter or something. These chats are so much more fun than getting yelled at on the Rotoworld forums.

4:38
Jeff Sullivan: These things are really popular on the occasions that we run them. But, we’re also selective with our occasions!

4:39
Jeff Sullivan: Because when people are chatting, we aren’t writing, and we need to write. But a full-time chatter sounds interesting…if he proved to be good at it and popular.

4:39
Otis: FREDDIE FREEMAN LOVES WASHINGTON

4:39
juan pierres mustache: freddie freeman’s wrist maybe is ok guys

4:39
LudeBurger: Freeman HR off Scherzer

4:39
CamdenWarehouse: Orioles/Twins starting shortly

4:39
Jtt: If Ryan Howard meets his 2016 projections, he will have posted -1.9 WAR over the life of his contract. Matt Cain is at 0.9 right now with two years to go. I think Howard ends up winning but only because he was actually able to take the field to provide his negative war. Cain gets paid more though

4:40
Craig Edwards: not sure that is “winning”, but it is something. Cain could have a bad 200 inning season and still be worth a win or more.

4:40
Horn Please ThankYou: Based upon that image of the Phillies outfield, I’m not sure if you’d have a harder time convincing me Bourgous is actually playing two positions, or that ‘C Hunter’ is an actual person starting for a baseball team

4:40
Jeff Sullivan: I knew nothing about Hunter before just a few hours ago

4:41
Jtt: I doubt Howard plays all year though, so I doubt he gets the -0.5 he is projected though. This is going to be close!

4:42
Poor Man’s Rick Reed: With the rest of the Braves lineup, I don’t know that I would throw Freddie Freeman many strikes.

4:42
Craig Edwards: What’s the worst that could happen, though? Solo shot? Seems worth the risk

4:42
Bad Hermit: How long does Odor stay batting 7th?

4:42
Jeff Sullivan: Month?

4:42
Jeff Sullivan: Just gotta prove it wasn’t a fluke

4:43
juan pierres mustache: i’ll save you ben, grab my hand

4:44
Jeff Sullivan: Felix isn’t where he wants to be right now

4:44
Craig Edwards: If Iglesias can keep the fastball down and in to lefties and still get strikes, he could be all right, but putting an offspeed pitch there, like he did to Galvis is going to get him in trouble.

4:45
Jeff Sullivan: I see the Giants/Brewers game is still happening

4:45
jon: what would it take for Philly to cut Howard?

4:47
Craig Edwards: not sure i see it happening. They aren’t likely to win, he was a big part of the org for a long time, and unless Franco can’t play anywhere else, they don’t have anyone who will force their hand. I could see them paying someone all of the money he is owed if he proves even remotely useful later this year.

4:47
George Harrison: People are talking about the Astros as a team that should contend now (and rightly so), but if they do end up having more of a consolidation of talent this season (say, .500), is that really the end of the world?

4:47
Jeff Sullivan: No, because they’re not a short-term team, but it would be a pretty big disappointment.

4:47
Erik: Would Howard have a job this year if his contract had expired last year? Is he even worth a platoon DH spot?

4:47
Jeff Sullivan: NRI

4:48
kalarson: The definition of a “just-enough” homer was that Galvis hit off Iglesias

4:48
Jeff Sullivan: Sounds like every homer by Galvis

4:49
John: Is Raisel the most frustrating pitcher to watch in the MLB? All of the stuff is there and his K’s are elite but he just can’t keep the ball in the park. Do you see a breakout this year or just more of the same high 3’s ERA and FIP?

4:49
Jeff Sullivan: Wonderful spinning play there by Andrus

4:50
Craig Edwards: i was a little skeptical last year that with his delivery he would be able to make it through a lineup multiple times. I’m not sure about a breakout, but average to slightly above is a reasonable expectation for this year

4:50
Craig Edwards: I think many saw him as a reliever, so that he has done this well so far, is a good outcome for him.

4:51
Well-Beered Englishman: I think the most frustrating pitcher to watch in the MLB would be somebody with terrible stuff, an oozing pace, and maybe pitch-to-contact tendencies.

4:52
Jeff Sullivan: Craig, you comfortable here to take over?

4:52
Craig Edwards: Anybody come to mind?

4:52
Craig Edwards: sure thing

4:52
Jeff Sullivan: Thanks! So long everybody! Have a wonderful rest of opening weekday!

4:52
Kvn: Tillman hitting mid 90s. Pretty good sign.

4:52
Ben: when you see these opening day games Postponed, does it not make you scratch your head why 2 dome teams are playing each other in Tampa?? There has to be a better way to schedule opening series to minimize these postponed games.

4:53
Craig Edwards: It definitely is frustrating, but generally speaking, attendance is better in the summer so teams don’t want their home games frontloaded.

4:54
Craig Edwards: i think there is reasonable middle-ground, but I’m here in Chicago, went to a miserable OD at Wrigley last year, and it has been snowing outside today.

4:54
Craig Edwards: it might be better to just wait another week to start the season.

4:54
Minty: Thanks Jeff

4:54
craig: have you met derrick goold before?

4:54
Craig Edwards: no we have not met

4:54
Adrian: Have y’all found out that Gray won’t be pitching tonight? what a great match-up – poof

4:55
Craig Edwards: seeing if rich hill is a mirage isn’t a terrible consolation prize

4:55
Comin’s and Goins: Dice-K was the Platonic frustrating pitcher. He cannot be surpassed

4:55
LudeBurger: Are we Fangraphers or a Fangraphsers?

4:55
Kvn: Carson isn’t coming back, is he?

4:56
Craig Edwards: in a way, he never really left.

4:56
Ben: I know we would all love an extra week of spring training

4:56
Craig Edwards: presumably it would start later as well. There really isn’t a great solution with a 162 game season and three rounds of playoffs.

4:56
John: Eovaldi is also pretty frustrating. He should be an ace and instead he’s a #4

4:57
Bad Hermit: I can’t think of a rea$on to $tart the $eason later of the top of my head.

4:57
Doug Lampert: Can’t delay opening day unless you want to shorten the season, playoffs run too late as it is.

4:57
Craig Edwards: pretty much

4:57
Toasty: is it more frustrating to watch a promising talent struggle, or Dave Bush doing whatever Dave Bush was trying to do repeatedly?

4:57
Craig Edwards: Juan Nicasio was that guy for a while. It will be interesting to see if he has turned theings around

4:58
juan pierres mustache: we started talking about daydrinking and carson left minutes later and hasn’t reappeared. not a coincidence

4:58
George Harrison: Yeah, lets talk about the Cubs some more ESPN, thanks

4:58
Craig Edwards: What is Joe Maddon up to. That’s what everybody wants to know.

4:58
Toon: Who are your top 5 pitchers that didn’t get the opening day start

4:59
Craig Edwards: Gerrit Cole is the easy one. Not sure if you would count Sonny Gray.

4:59
Craig Edwards: Jon Lester would be up there.

4:59
what?: Carson is like RBIs…truly overrated by the masses, but really, not that important at all…he’s dependent on those around him to exist.

5:00
Craig Edwards: this is true for us all.

5:00
John: A Mark Trumbo single! Is his power gonna return this year or is he done being a 30+ HR guy?

5:00
Craig Edwards: he will probably hit for power, but that is the only thing he brings.

5:00
mtsw: Ervin Santana’s beard or John Jaso’s dreadlocks. Who ya got?

5:01
Craig Edwards: Jaso has the benefit of resembling a Pirate, which is pretty amazing.

5:01
Terrible Ted: Jose Fernandez

5:01
Jon: Consensus among a lot of Cubs fans seems to be that if the bullpen struggles they’ll trade for an ace reliever. But I think that Theo&Jed think they’ve found a better way to build a bullpen by picking up Richard/Cahill types. What do you think is more likely if the Cubs’ bullpen struggles, that they trade for a Giles type or pick up a couple starters off the scrap heap and convert them?

5:02
Craig Edwards: Mixing and matching did work very well last year. I don’t think they are going to let an opportunity get away from them if they really have a chance. They don’t have a lights-out guy in the ninth. If that type of player became available, I don’t see them not pursuing it

5:02
John: Carrasco and deGrom would both be starting opening day on most teams

5:02
Al: Strasburg?

5:03
Craig Edwards: Turns out there a lot more guys than I would have thought

5:03
Big Joe Montferrant: You guys are still here?

5:03
Craig Edwards: someone will be here all day, folks.

5:03
YEET: Best rule V guy by the end of this year?

5:04
Well-Beered Englishman: So why is Jose Fernandez not starting?

5:04
Craig Edwards: Certainly not contract/agent/innings issues. I can’t imagine Miami ever doing something like that. never ever

5:04
Bad Hermit: Dave Stewart: “Shelby Miller.”

5:05
DB: Is Iglesias striking out Howard the opposite of Hellickson getting Vitto?

5:05
Craig Edwards: not quite due to the platoon opposition

5:06
Gamer stats: I can’t tell you how often I try and use batting average as an analogy for something being not particularly important but not necessarily meaningless in the right context. I always think it is brilliant but it inevitably just confuses the matter further. Really need to consider my audience.

5:06
Craig Edwards: sports analogies using statistics can be pretty tough to pull off.

5:06
Doug Lampert: Looking at the games, should there be a first two weeks adjustment to the estimated odds to account for starters going shorter into games.

5:07
Craig Edwards: One thing you could see is better bullpen work because with added days off, teams can use their better pitchers more. Some pitchers could pitch the first six games and not pitch more than 2 days in a row.

5:08
Craig Edwards: not that it is necessarily good strategy for the end of the year but it is possible.

5:08
jon: Fernandez is starting a different game so people have a reason to show up to the non Opening Day game. MIA trying to maximize attendance.

5:08
Josh: The opposite of Hellickson getting Votto is Kershaw getting Howard

5:08
P.J.: Is it just me or is this an unusual amount of dingers on Opening Day?

5:09
Craig Edwards: I have no idea, but it will be interesting to see if the power uptick overall from last season continues

5:09
squawk : Ideas on possible comeback player of the year candidates in each league?

5:09
CamdenWarehouse: 4 straight Ks from Tillman. At least he looks strong right now.

5:09
KDL: 3 NL teams batting the pitcher 8th, with Cubs likely to be 4. Am I missing anyone? Is this the next ‘shifting? A sometimes used in the past strategy that becomes popular?

5:10
Craig Edwards: The difference is that the benefit isn’t as great as shifting.I like putting the pitcher eighth so you can put your best hitters 1-2 and not worry you are wasting an “RBI” hitter in the opening slot.

5:11
Craig Edwards: If we get the DH soon, it might not matter anyway

5:11
LudeBurger: Denard Span – MLB RBI leader

5:11
Craig Edwards: The Giants Brewers game is still ongoing apparently

5:12
Sean: Park is up. Want to see what he can do.

5:12
Craig Edwards: Tillman got him looking.

5:13
Toasty: reminder that the brewers once started suppan on opening day

5:13
P.J.: Gotta be Cano

5:14
Craig Edwards: Cano is an interesting pick for comeback player-not sure people will think he fell far enough, though

5:14
Anonymous: Giants just went back-to-back-to-back. Span, Panik, Posey.

5:14
DB: Reds can’t really bat Billy anywhere but 9th at this point

5:14
Craig Edwards: he can be so exciting. You root for guys like that to succeed just so you can see them do the things they do really well.

5:15
Jtt: Justin verlander/zack wheeler for comeback players

5:15
Craig Edwards: Verlander is interesting. I don’t see Wheeler coming back quite soon enough. Adam Wainwright, if he pitches better than he did yesterday could be.

5:16
Big Joe Montferrant: Is Bryce Harper really going to start getting booed in opposing Ballparks? He doesnt seem like the villan type, but then again, he’s “different”

5:16
Craig Edwards: I don’t think most people are going to boo Harper. Maybe in some cities on some occasions like Opening Day, playoffs, etc. but I don’t know that people will be that passionate against him.

5:17
Kevin: That called third strike on Park was awful. I for one welcome our robotic umpire overlords.

5:17
Craig Edwards: soon…well probably not really, but sometime in the distant future

5:17
Anonymous: The Giants – Brewers game has been over since the 5th inning

5:18
Tex: Could the Giants have the best group of position players in the majors? 2nd last year and that was with Pence, Panik, Pagan injuries and no Span.

5:19
Craig Edwards: Could be, but injuries are bound to happen to that group. Depends on how Crawford, Duffy, and Panik do. Need them to be really good to bring up the overall group assuming a similar standard from Posey and Belt and Pence.

5:19
jesse: But teams DONT bat there best hitters 1 & 2, so any advantage the would gain by batting the hitter 8th is lost

5:20
Craig Edwards: it isn’t necessarily lost because most teams bat “good” hitters at 1-2, but it can be muted a bit.

5:20
Big Joe Montferrant: Longest HR of the season will be hit by ________________ and Longest non Stanton HR will be hit by __________________.

5:21
Craig Edwards: Stanton, and homer pick-Randal Grichuk

5:21
Horn Please ThankYou: On the downside Gray is out for his start. On the upside, it means we get the next chapter of the Rich Hill experiment sooner than expected

5:21
Anonymous: Wheeler coming back at all would be impressive.

5:22
Craig Edwards: It usually takes some time to get everything back from that kind of layoff.

5:22
Minty: I’m still surprised that they didn’t keep Peraza to see if he is the slightly slower slightly higher OBP Hamilton.

5:22
Craig Edwards: no real reason to at this point unless he is starting everday

5:22
Wily Mo Money Mo Problems: Daniel Murphy keeps up the postseason homer pace

5:22
LJS: I hope Verlander is back. I miss him 🙁

5:23
Craig Edwards: the end of last season was encouraging. We’ll have to see if he can keep it up.

5:23
David: Rendon will have the biggest comeback

5:23
CamdenWarehouse: Rickard singles in his first AB

5:24
Craig Edwards: and now the game is in delay

5:24
Zorak: IF he is healthy-ish and productive-ish (which is a big if after how he looked yesterday) David Wright is a lock for comeback player

5:24
Craig Edwards: that is definitely a big if

5:24
LJS: Everyone talks Royals Devil Magic, but the Giants are the ones with the Devil Magic imho

5:24
Craig Edwards: only every other year (obligatory)

5:25
Gary Guy Yeti: Does Tal’s Hill still exist. It makes me cringe

5:25
Well-Beered Englishman: Bryce Harper got booed because Atlanta is a division rival, he’s had success against them, and (bias here) Atlanta fans are jerks

5:25
craig: Randal Grichuk
?
?@RGrich15

Just got asked if I was Dansby Swanson at dinner.. By a cardinals fan wearing a cardinals jersey!!!! #SMH #NeverSeenIt
3:42 PM – 9 Mar 2016

5:26
jon: Grichuk is one of the likeliest reverse comeback players. Unsustainable BABIP and ISO burst.

5:27
Craig Edwards: Problem isn’t necessarily his BABIP regressing, but his contact. Has to strikeout less so when the BABIP goes down, he can make up for it by putting more balls in play. When he makes contact, it is hit hard. Very important yea for Grichuk.

5:28
mtsw: Any reason to suspect Rich Hill isn’t in for some serious regression from his 4 starts in 2015?

5:28
Craig Edwards: He was Clayton Kershaw for four starts so it is not reasonable to think that will continue

5:28
John: Do you worry for Cole Hamels in the AL? He had a 3.80 FIP in his 80 innings with Texas last year and he’s already given up two dingers to a Mariners lineup that’s projected to be average.

5:29
Craig Edwards: I don’t worry, but I doubt he’ll contend for the Cy Young.

5:29
Otis: Adonis Garcia!!!!

5:29
Gary Guy Yeti: Prediction for a player you think might retire who is currently not really on the radar to call it quits

5:29
Craig Edwards: No idea.

5:29
BruceAlmighty: Do you think umpires expand the strike zone when Votto goes to bat? Seems like they penalize him for his reputation of trying to walk.

5:30
Craig Edwards: That would be interesting to find out. Not sure I buy it.

5:30
Hendu: Gameday says Ben Revere was taken out of the game. Injury?

5:30
P.J.: Dingers, Craig, Dingers!

5:30
Anonymous: Oddly enough, Rays surprisingly Devil Magic-free

5:31
Craig Edwards: There is plenty of magic in what Kiermaier does on defense

5:31
Trainman: Will VMart return to 2014 form? Can’t be as bad as last year right?

5:32
Craig Edwards: 2014 form is not going to happen. he’s 37, although I would think he will be at least above replacement.

5:32
LJS: Why do my friends think the Angels are good? I love Trout and Simmons is interesting, but, is there really any hope that they have a window? I’m bitter and feel like they might as well trade Trout if they miss the playoffs this year.

5:34
Craig Edwards: I think they go back to spending next winter when they get some contracts off the books, especially if the luxury tax amount goes up. They aren’t that far away, but if they want to get better have to do it outside the organization.

5:34
yadis middle finger: as a writer, is it difficult to separate fandom and objectivity?

5:35
Craig Edwards: it can be, although I am generally optimistic and choose to write about good things, and I want what it best for my team, which will often mean being just as critical if not more so

5:35
Bad Hermit: Josh Hamilton retirement.

5:35
The Brian: Adonis Garcia is probably a hall of famer, right?

5:35
Craig Edwards: with a name like that

5:36
Zorak: Who has the better season, Adonis or Socrates?

5:36
Craig Edwards: I will go Brito. Better all-around game.

5:36
Art Vandelay: Gameday having a very hard time identifying Felix’s pitches. It’s calling them all changeups.

5:37
Craig Edwards: He’s having a hard time identifying the strike zone. Just walked in a batter

5:37
Anonymous: Bryce Harper has homered in 4 consecutive Opening Days. All-time record?

5:38
Doug Lampert: If Votto strikes out 5 times on opening day, will announcers stop claiming he walks too much.

5:38
Craig Edwards: No

5:38
Craig Edwards: they will never stop

5:38
John: Thoughts on Gregorson being named the closer over Giles?

5:39
Craig Edwards: mostly ambivalence. Not sure it will matter that much. They will both be used to get very important outs.

5:39
Ben: Given the usual calibre of pitching on display, would opening day not be one of the most likely days of the season to see a no-hitter/perfecto?

5:40
Craig Edwards: relative to other days perhaps, although I’m not sure if there is a weather component

5:40
Trainman: Loaded bags in Texas for Choo. Chance to do some damage

5:40
Craig Edwards: oof

5:41
NotPeteRose: What do you think of Pittsburgh as 24:1 long shots in Vegas before the season started? I was in Vegas and was tempted.

5:42
Craig Edwards: To win the series? I don’t gamble so grain of salt, but I would think most futures bets to win the WS aren’t good ones given that the odds for most teams aren’t great even when the playoffs start.

5:43
Craig Edwards: Comeback player of the year candidate Ian Desmond up with bags loaded

5:43
Gary Guy Yeti: Trout is a Jersey guy. And after reading about him in depth he seems like someone who would love to play for his hometown team. Any chance the Phillies have the money to make it happen when Trout hits free agency?

5:44
Craig Edwards: We are still a ways away, but there’s no reason to think the Phillies won’t have the money to sign whoever they want unless a Dodgers/Yankees decide they have to have him.

5:44
blurb: aledmys diaz – do you think he can be better than league average?

5:46
Craig Edwards: League average, like 2 WAR. I think that is possible. Average defense and below average offense at short would get him there. I don’t think anybody has seen his best because it has taken him a while to get adjusted, but his ceiling likely isn’t super-high.

5:46
LudeBurger: what is your favorite MLB team, Craig?

5:46
Craig Edwards: Cardinals

5:46
Nolan: I’m watching King Felix implode. He didn’t look sharp even before this. Can we officially say the Mariners wasted his peak?

5:47
Craig Edwards: they tried at least-just didn’t make great decisions-i mean we have probably seen his best already, and that is insanely good. There is not reason to think he won’t remain effective and very good though

5:47
John: Comeback player of the year candidate Ian Desmond strikes out with the bases loaded

5:47
termel sledge: Any other FG writers joining tonight?

5:47
Craig Edwards: yes there are more people coming for the evening games.

5:48
Anonymous: Comeback player of the year: Clayton Kershaw. He didn’t even win the Cy Young last year!

5:49
Trainman: Man Tillman was dominating and now it could be a bullpen game depending if they are able to restart the game.

5:49
e: Trumbo stole a base. What an opening day.

5:49
The Dude of NY: Who would have guessed that Rich Hill would be an opening day starter in 2016?

5:49
Craig Edwards: it is quite the comeback

5:49
Jared: Felix doesn’t look that bad. Command a little off, but stuff still has a lot of movement

5:49
Doug Lampert: Felix’s fifth inning wasn’t all his fault, there was some terrible glove work behind him.

5:49
squawk : Names? Not all fg writers are created equal.

5:50
Craig Edwards: I believe Owen will show up at some point.

5:50
Horn Please ThankYou: Well, for today at least I take back all of my snark about Hellickson (and apply it instead to the Reds offense)

5:50
dude: With Pollock out, give me a win number for the D-Backs this year and a small explanation

5:51
Craig Edwards: 80? Pollock is a huge loss. Jeff wrote about this today, but I also think the Dbacks really want to win soon so we’ll see what happens if they get off to a slow start.

5:51
blurb: was their a reason the reds didn’t start the 1st game this year? i was surprised by that

5:51
Craig Edwards: not sure

5:53
Trainman: The best starter besides stroman in torontos starting rotation will be:

5:54
Craig Edwards: That’s a good question. I’m not a total believer when it comes to Sanchez, so probably Happ, although it would be nice if Hutchison figured things out in AAA

5:54
dude: Sopranos, Breaking Bad, Wire. Rank them

5:54
Craig Edwards: Wire, Breaking Bad, gap, Sopranos

5:54
Poor Man’s Rick Reed: Billy Hamilton is such a huge tease. I tune in to as many at bats of his as possible because it is so much fun when he gets on base. Alas, only to my repeated disappointment.

5:54
Craig Edwards: if he could successfully bunt or something, he would be really valuable

5:55
Nate: I just tuned into this Mariners-Rangers game, has it been super sloppy, or was that just a brief 5-10 minute span?

5:55
Craig Edwards: it was pretty clean before then.

5:55
Anonymous: Gap confirmed for 3rd best show on TV per Craig Edwards

5:55
Sam C: No Estrada??

5:55
Craig Edwards: Not over Happ, who will be close to average.

5:56
dude: AGREED!!! Sopranos is so overrated. Good ending though

5:56
Craig Edwards: it was a good show, and it was on for a long time, which is an underrated aspect of shows like that, but it isn’t in the same class as Wire or breaking bad

5:57
dude: Is xFIP being phased out among the sabermetric community? Is FIP still valid

5:57
Craig Edwards: I think xFIP is still used about as much as it has been. FIP is still very valid. Ks and BBs and HR are still the most important aspect to know.

5:58
dude: Btw, Joey Votto has struck out two times against Jeremy Hellickson, and just swung at ball 4 in a 3-0 count. Apocalypse?

5:58
Craig Edwards: it’s possible

5:58
Poor Man’s Rick Reed: Agreed. He just squared on the first pitch but didn’t attempt on CB strike one, but did alert the defense (as if they weren’t thinking about it already). Second pitch bunts right to the hard charging 3B and it isn’t even close at first.

5:59
Sam C: Craig, you think Estrada will be below average? I thought the BIP retrospective looked promising.

6:01
Craig Edwards: If you split the difference between his FIP and ERA last year, you end up around average. His LOB% was top ten last year and he has had homer problems in the past.

6:01
Terrible Ted: I still think Sopranos had the best character development.

6:02
Craig Edwards: Not sure I agree, but there was a lot of time spent on it certainly.

6:02
The MWP: I noticed you (and most others) predicted Trout as AL MVP but didn’t predict the Angels to make the playoffs. Are you predicting who you think will be the “true” MVP or do you think voters might eschew the fad to vote for guys on playoff teams?

6:03
Craig Edwards: Maybe it is just playing percentages, but you can go Trout and the odds he is better by far which is likely, or pick from a group of players who might end up almost as good and on a playoff team.

6:03
Craig Edwards: Picking those other players ends up with more chance than just going with the expected best player.

6:03
Erik: Hellickson hat trick over Votto. Hellickson is clearly an ace and Votto is clearly over the hill.

6:04
Craig Edwards: What if Votto is just trolling us?

6:04
The Dude of NY: Conspiracy theory: Votto is going to be intentionally bad this season to ensure that the Reds get the first overall pick in the 2017 draft.

6:04
John: Brief explanation someone would think FIP is being phased out? Popular article I missed?

6:04
dude: What do you say when you cite wOBA, wRC+, FIP, even WAR, etc. and people immediately dismiss it and call you a nerd/claim you’re ruining baseball? I feel like the explanation would be too long-winded

6:06
Craig Edwards: It honestly does not come up all that much in normal conversation. It is pretty obvious how passionate I am about baseball which makes it hard to think that being really passionate about the sport is bad for it.

6:07
YEET: Thoughts on Jeremy Hellickson ?

6:07
Craig Edwards: I think we are witnessing his best game of the year.

6:08
Sam: Sopranos created the genre that allowed The Wire and BB to be what they were. Gotta give credit where it’s due.

6:09
Craig Edwards: Paving the way is not the same as quality though. The success of Sopranos did help shows like the Wire exist, but that doesn’t mean that the Wire was not an improvement on Sopranos as a show.

6:10
The FDP: Not that anyone asked me, but I assume xFIP/FIP will get slowly phased out as primary pitching metrics data continues to expand. Becoming a little clearer how some pitchers defy it in both directions.

6:12
Craig Edwards: I’m not sure we are that close though. It’s not clear how much control a pitcher has over exit velocity for example and FIP has the benefit of simplicity, relatively.

6:13
The FDP: (Dallas Keuchel for example)

6:15
Craig Edwards: Keuchel is very good for a lot reasons, but keep in mind, if Keuchel has a true talent .290 BABIP instead of .270, that only means 12 more hits over the course of a season. If he improved his k rate by 1.5% that is 13 more outs.

6:15
Sam C: I think Twitter and social media has overblown the resistance against advanced stats… The lowest common denominator is always overblown to look like the norm.

6:16
Craig Edwards: I think there are a few people with prominent roles in disseminating the game also play a role-but the blow up is usually kept to twitter/comments, etc. and not general discourse.

6:16
dude: John- Not necessarily FIP, more xFIP. I’ve heard HR/FB% is a learnable and repeatable trait. Not positive if that’s exactly right. I think Jeff might have said it, but don’t quote me

6:18
Craig Edwards: Even if it learnable/repeatable, what kind of sample size do you need? What do you want to look at after 3 starts or six starts. ERA or even FIP can get blown out of proportion in small samples where xFIP can help you out.

6:18
Nate: Is it bad that I, a Giants fan, root for the Dodgers to win solely because my fantasy opponent has Tyson Ross?

6:19
Craig Edwards: No. because your rooting has no interest in the outcome of the game. but i think you should be rooting for a dodgers loss in a high-scoring game where ross doesn’t get the win. Dream Big.

6:20
Mitchell Svetov: You’re quite lucky. I can’t mention Sabermetrics around my friends without either being called a nerd, or them just looking me in the eye and giving me a dumbfounded look.

6:21
Craig Edwards: If somebody doesn’t want to learn, you can’t make them, but if you want to introduce the topics, it is best to do it a way people are receptive to and will understand. Using FIP, wOBA, wRC+ isn’t helpful if people think it is garbage stat. The same is true for some defensive metrics even among people who like and use advanced stats.

6:21
John: So as a Joey Votto owner in an OBP league I should clearly panic and drop him for Ryan Howard, yes?

6:21
Craig Edwards: If you are in a league with me and I have first waiver priority, yes

6:23
trAey: What happened to Revere?

6:23
Craig Edwards: possible oblique injury

6:23
MJA: Hellickson is throwing a perfect game against The Not-Zack Cozarts

6:24
Craig Edwards: shadows apparently making it tough to hit now in rangers-Mariners game. Often a problem with mid-afternoon starts

6:24
Anonymous: A lot of analysts are turning to pitch f/x data over things like FIP

6:25
Craig Edwards: i think that both are useful and say different things. Ultimately, they both help answer the question as to what is real and what we can expect to happen in the future.

6:25
Terrible Ted: Sopranos certainly not as captivating as the other two. Definitely dragged at times. I really liked the subtleties especially compared to BB. I see more hook/cliff hanger with BB which you almost come to expect throughout each episode. What is your favourite series of all time?

6:25
Craig Edwards: Differenty category, but probably NewsRadio

6:25
Trainman: Orioles / Twins to get back underway at 630

6:25
Craig Edwards: i assume that means in 5 minutes.

6:27
Nate: I need a backup 2B in fantasy. Pedroia, Phillips, or Spangenberg?

6:27
Craig Edwards: traditional league-phillips

6:28
Robot Blue: How much do you think machines calling balls and strikes would change the game? The rule book strike zone isn’t the strike zone we see used in practice, and I have to think there is some shared psychology among hitters and batters with umps re: strike zone flexibility given the count, etc. Not to mention guys like Altuve would suddenly have a very different zone than what they are used to.

6:29
Craig Edwards: I don’t think they would implement without a uniform zone that adapts to a player’s size. I don’t think we would really notice the difference all that much, but pitchers would likely challenge hitters more and we would see a better game overall.

6:30
LudeBurger: now that you have chosen to answer fantasy questions, get ready 😉

6:30
Craig Edwards: oh dear

6:30
Dubya: The new double play rule just happened in the Nats-Braves game. I think it’s going to take some time for players to stop going for the takeout slide by instinct.

6:30
Craig Edwards: I would have liked to see the college rule implemented where you have to slide directly in to the bag on all force plays.

6:31
The FDP: Again, I totally agree with you on the sample Craig (who knows when you’re looking at true talent), but (among possible other factors) intuitively if a guy has some control over getting GBs and FBs, he might be able to control which batters he is giving up GBs and FBs to. No data from me on this. Just speculating.

6:32
Craig Edwards: and defense and park play a big role as well. It is really complicated, but if we can drill it down enough, hopefully we can find something better than FIP, but nothing significantly better has come along yet.

6:33
Craig Edwards: and again, 20 points in BABIP against is only about a dozen hits over the course of the season if you can show that someone has that talent, how many pitchers will to where it is a big improvement over something more simple.

6:33
(not that) James: If I’m trying to discuss advanced/modern stats with someone who is unfamiliar, I’ll often begin by asking about and then discussing batting average. Not sure where I read about it (here maybe!), but once people realize just how complicated and odd a stat that is, they tend to be less hesitant to consider newer stats.

6:34
Craig Edwards: I would not focus on statistics per se, but focus on whatever you think is important and go from there. Don’t start off complicated. More important to pique curiosity and get someone to want to know more.

6:35
Craig Edwards: that’s what makes a discussion of OBP so great. NOt getting out is the most important thing as a hitter and that is exactly what OBP represents. Strikeouts and wakls for pitchers are the same way.

6:35
Colin: I’ve always wondered about what you just mentioned Craig. I know hitters fare better during night games, but I always attributed this to them being more well rested. Have you seen any studies that show that the shadows are in fact the culprit?

6:35
Yordano : So im playing beat the streak and it would wise to ignore batter vs pitcher stats right?

6:35
Craig Edwards: yes

6:36
Sam C: Breaking Bad, and even moreso Better Call Saul, is pretty slow at times too… But it’s stylized enough that it’s enjoyable.

6:36
Craig Edwards: i agree with that. haven’t seen this season of better call saul

6:36
CamdenWarehouse: NewsRadio is certainly one of the most underrated shows. At least pre-Lovitz.

6:36
Craig Edwards: that last season didn’t happen

6:37
Zorak: I’ve been slowly working on my father-in-law w/r/t sabermetrics. He coached little league for 20 years and I barely played above tee-ball, so it’s an uphill climb. I’ve had a lot of success convincing him that the basic notion of advanced stats are that results aren’t always the same thing as effort, and you cna only judge players on what they control. A guy who throws 8 innings of 1 run ball with 10 strike-outs and picks up a loss is better than a guy who throws 6 innings, gives up 4 runs with 4 strikeouts and gets a win. Similarly, that a guy can smoke a line drive that the center fielder makes and amazing play on, while another guy hits a dribbler that the 3b whiffs on and get a hit, but didn’t play better than the line drive guy. Those two things led me to explain BABIP to him, and then the basic concept of FIP, which gave me the groundwork to explain WAR enough that he doesn’t outright scoff at advanced stats anymore, even if he still thinks I’m a nerd.

6:37
Yordano : Harper or Trout: Who has better year?

6:37
Craig Edwards: Trout, but really we are the winners.

6:38
Sam C: Would they though? Is it a foregone conclusion that all batters would have the same “automated” strike zone?

6:39
Craig Edwards: I think they would figure it out and designate what it is for each batter based on stance, etc.

6:39
mike d: What would you put as the over under for total MVPS for Mike Trout at the end of his career?

6:39
Craig Edwards: 3.5

6:40
juan pierres mustache: my favorite part of opening day is learning what advertisements i will steadily grow to hate as mlbtv broadcasts them several thousand times in the first two weeks

6:40
juan pierres mustache: loudest cheer i’ve heard today: pinch hitter jeff francouer works a walk. i wish i loved anything as much as atlanta loves jeff francouer

6:40
Bork: Dickey vs Smyly tonight. WHO YOU GOT?

6:40
Craig Edwards: Toronto?

6:41
Donny B: Is there a stat which normalizes a pitcher’s expected walk rate? Seems a little unfair if one guy faced a season of Joey Vottos vs. Chris Davis, for instance.

6:41
Craig Edwards: I’d be curious if this actually happened or mattered.

6:42
Craig Edwards: Billy Hamilton walked.

6:42
Nate: Should Trout’s success so early in his career be a cause for concern down the road for the Angels? They can’t expect him to be this good his entire career, can they?

6:43
Craig Edwards: No. They only have him signed through Age-29 and he should be fantastic throughout that time.

6:44
mtsw: Reds have bases loaded with no outs down 2-1. How will they manage to screw this up?

6:44
Craig Edwards: Welcome to the season Phillies and Reds fans!

6:44
Terrible Ted: washington game getting interesting

6:46
Michael : Is Logan Morrison the worst defensive 1B in baseball? Or do we have to wait for results of Hanley Experiment 2.1?

6:46
Craig Edwards: I assumed it was Ryan Howard, but willing to be convinced otherwise. All goes out the window if Pedro Alvarez sees time at first this year.

6:47
John: Dumb Hamilton Votto OBP joke here. Sorry.

6:47
Sam C: All close games right now.

6:47
Craig Edwards: indeed

6:47
Craig Edwards: votto likely to be up in very important situation.

6:48
Craig Edwards: Rangers score 3 runs on just one hit, win game.

6:48
George Harrison: The Rangers were literally 3 feet from getting no hit on opening day and winning

6:49
Craig Edwards: #VottoTroll alert

6:49
Terrible Ted: Wasn’t Hanley an everyday SS before last season?

6:49
Craig Edwards: this is true.

6:50
Craig Edwards: Noted RBI machine, Joey Votto

6:50
Nate: More benevolent move: DirecTV giving subscribers a free week of MLB Package, or the Brewers keeping Ariel Pena in against Giants?

6:50
Craig Edwards: cold

6:51
Craig Edwards: Hamilton looked like he was going to fly into the dugout after he crossed home plate.

6:51
John: three strikeouts, two RBI, and zero walks. This is probably the least Joey Votto game ever

6:52
Craig Edwards: Kelley walks in a run on 4 pitches. Coming in with the bases loaded is a tough assignment.

6:52
Toasty: FRENCHY IS GOAT, SCORES GO AHEAD RUN

6:52
Craig Edwards: they’ll never get the top pick like this.

6:53
Arlen: Dusty gets jobs because he is a nice guy?

6:54
Craig Edwards: He gets jobs because players like him and he runs a good clubhouse, which is a departure from the prior manager.

6:54
senpaisanto: dusty baker > matt williams, but doesn’t mean dusty should have a job either?

6:54
Craig Edwards: not necessarily, but they did not want to pony up big money for a manager.

6:55
Terrible Ted: So does Grilli in the 9th solidify his closer status if he gets the save or was Vizcaino just used because of the higher leverage situation with the meat of the order up?

6:55
Craig Edwards: very hard to read into the situation before hearing from the manager. that said, one save might be all it takes to keep getting chances.

6:55
DB: I’m a Reds fan living in DC. It feels like being haunted.

6:56
Guest: Announcers said Fredi was going to try to match Vizcaino with the toughest outs, which was clearly the 8th here.

6:59
Craig Edwards: Votto, Phillips and Bruce all get on base to key a potential Reds win. Not sure what year this is.

7:00
Craig Edwards: Grilli walks Werth on four pitches.

7:00
LJS: Dingers and (bad) defense, theme of the day?

7:00
Craig Edwards: maybe bad bullpens as well

7:01
Craig Edwards: sneaking suspicion there will be at least one Joey Votto post tomorrow on FG.

7:01
Terrible Ted: Tulo was using a leg kick in spring training but hit his homer the other night was with a toe tap. Did anyone notice if he switched mid game?

7:01
Craig Edwards: i did not

7:02
CamdenWarehouse: bad weather?

7:02
Craig Edwards: yeah-that will be the theme for tomorrow with the make up games.

7:03
John: Is there a world/rotation where it makes sense to go with your fourth starter on opening day? Feels like number ones match up all season but maybe a slightly less dumb question in a playoff series.

7:04
Craig Edwards: not really because you want your best pitcher to pitch as many games as possible throughout the season.

7:04
Brandon: Park with his first major league single!

7:04
Bork: Tulo’s leg kick is something he’s trying to implement more this year. A bunch of Jays started using one over the off-season after working with Donaldson and Colabello’s personal hitting coach

7:05
Poor Man’s Rick Reed: Oh no. No no no no. I’m getting blacked out of Kershaw opening day??? I thought if the game was on ESPN, if you get ESPN, you can watch?

7:05
Craig Edwards: Nope. Local blackouts. It isn’t the Sunday night game which would be only exception.

7:05
Minty: Unless you’re the Marlins with Jose

7:05
Owen Watson: Good afternoon/evening everyone!

7:05
Owen Watson: Hey Craig!

7:05
Craig Edwards: if you have a pitcher on an innings limit

7:06
Craig Edwards: Hey Owen. Welcome!

7:06
Arlen: Anyone including the Padres know what the Padres plan is ,trade Ross at the deadline?

7:06
Craig Edwards: try to compete for a while, then trade everyone probably

7:06
Owen Watson: Thanks! Just watched that Phillies game, yeehaw

7:07
juan pierres mustache: if you have a cable provider login you can usually watch those on watchESPN i thought

7:07
Craig Edwards: could be

7:07
CamdenWarehouse: How did Iglesias look?

7:08
Owen Watson: Stephen Drew is JUST the guy I want coming up in a huge bases-loaded spot

7:08
Craig Edwards: He looked pretty good, but did leave an offspeed pitch inside to Galvis that he took out of the park. Tough to tell with the level of the opponent, but an encouraging start.

7:08
Owen Watson: I thought he looked pretty good. Hung his curve a few times. I thought the Galvis homer was wind-aided, but I could be wrong.

7:09
Owen Watson: Yup!

7:09
Owen Watson: He does have some movement, yeesh.

7:09
Craig Edwards: Oh barves

7:09
GOAT OAT: I hope the Padres don’t trade Ross too early, I need him to make the All Star game

7:10
Craig Edwards: Cinci had that issue last year with Cueto. Not sure it will be repeated in SD if there is a trade to be made

7:11
Ryan: Of these 7 o’clock eastern games, what’s everybody’s choice for the neutral to watch?

7:11
Owen Watson: I’m going to mainly watch the Jays/Rays game, probably.

7:11
Owen Watson: JaysRays

7:12
senpaisanto: whatcha expect from smyly?

7:12
Owen Watson: Could be a scary day against the righties in that lineup.

7:13
Sam C: Gonna watch the Jays when they’re batting, Kershaw when he’s pitching.

7:13
Owen Watson: This seems like a good strategy.

7:14
Owen Watson: I feel like I need a bigger TV so I can do the quadbox MLB.tv thing

7:15
Bootcat: whatcha expect from the rest of the jays starting rotation??

7:15
Craig Edwards: Okay everybody, seems like Owen has everything under control and I believe I have fulfilled my obligation so I will be signing off.

7:15
Owen Watson: Have a good night, Craig!

7:16
Owen Watson: Re: Jays rotation, it’s the big question, right? Can Happ carry it over to this year, Estrada went down, Dickey is Dickey

7:16
Owen Watson: It does not inspire confidence

7:16
Art Vandelay: Owen how stoked are you for the Sale/Hill beatdown?

7:16
Owen Watson: SO excited

7:17
Owen Watson: I have this feeling deep in my chest that the A’s could be really awful again this year.

7:17
Owen Watson: If the starters don’t overperform, it could get really ugly

7:17
G: How do you use the MLBtv quad box with an Apple TV ?

7:17
Owen Watson: I don’t know! I’m a quadbox rookie, unfortunately

7:18
Who_Is_Zorbist?: Donaldson and Bautista swinging K’s. Smyly’s nasty.

7:18
Anonymous: Later craig

7:18
Sam C: Cheers, Craig.

7:18
pkersh: tyro here. can someone explain to me why it’s better to have, say, half a dozen decent pitchers than 3 outstanding ones? i understand injuries and other mishaps, but is there something else?

7:19
Owen Watson: Jeff wrote a great article about not having bad players — basically raising a team’s floor. It’s a good read, I’ll try to find it

7:19
andrew: Don’t count hill and the a’s out yet.

7:20
Owen Watson: I never do, and I try to remember that it’s really hard to judge the A’s like you judge other teams. But I have A’s fan PTSD, in a way.

7:20
Bork: Jays rotation could potentially have darkhorse cy young candidate Gavin Floyd so they are fine

7:20
Owen Watson: My face just made a very unconsciously ugly look

7:21
Minty: What happens to the Jays offensively if EE and Bautista leave? Seems like it puts Donaldson on an island.

7:21
Owen Watson: Ryan Goins, baby!

7:21
LJS: is that a good way to talk about the Cubs rotation and bullpen, as well (the raised floor, I mean)? I have a panic-prone friend…

7:22
Owen Watson: Yes. The Cubs are currently ridiculous in most every way

7:22
Who_Is_Zorbist?: Double Longo. He’s on fire.

7:23
Owen Watson: How are we feeling about a possible Longo rejuvenation? I’m not feeling great, but I just like him for some reason.

7:23
Bork: April Dickey is in full effect

7:23
Owen Watson: Throw knuckleball faster

7:23
Kvn: Figure Jesse Chavez gets the nod before darkhorse CY Young candidate Gavin Floyd?

7:23
Owen Watson: I would very much hope so. I like Chavez!

7:23
Brandon: The Braves are the worst

7:24
Owen Watson: I can confirm

7:24
Guesto: I’m continually disappointed by Tyson Ross’ stuff. Yet, Andrew Cashner always one ups him when it comes to disappointing me more. The Padres, man.

7:25
Yordano : Do the cubs have any weak points? Lineup is fire. Rotation is steamy. Bullpen is warmish.

7:26
Owen Watson: If you really want to nitpick and think negatively, Lackey could come back to earth, Hendricks could fail to continue his positive trends, and the back of the rotation could fail. But even with regression from those guys, they’re still incredible.

7:26
Matt: How far off is the ESPN strike zone? Any early data on it?

7:27
Owen Watson: Not sure about data yet, but I hate it so much. I think one of the worst things about it is that your mind can’t help but be influenced by it.

7:27
Guesto: T/F: Kevin Kiermaier produces at least one more 6+ win season during his career.

7:28
Owen Watson: False! Defensive metrics fluctuate like crazy and the walk rate is baaaaad

7:29
Owen Watson: That being said, still an awesome defender and a league average bat, which rules, whether it’s 4.0 WAR or 5.5

7:29
Colin: Anyone not listening to Vin Scully is doing themselves an injustice, just called Adrian Gonzalez the butter and egg man because he always delivers.

7:29
Owen Watson: WOO that’s good

7:29
2015 Nationals: Do we have any weak points?

7:29
Owen Watson: Contract analysis

7:29
Bork: Chavez will be the Pippen to Floyd’s Jordan

7:29
Owen Watson: Then who is Rodman?

7:30
agam22: Braves? Phillies are clearly the worst. Who gives up 5 runs to the Reds in an inning?

7:30
Owen Watson: The Phillies bullpen: ¯\_(?)_/¯

7:31
CamdenWarehouse: Arrieta could turn back into the pumpkin he was in Baltimore

7:31
Owen Watson: We could argue Arrieta was a pumpkin because of Baltimore

7:32
LJS: Re: cubs weaknesses: other than Heyward – our outfield defense is pretty meh, no?

7:33
Owen Watson: Yes, that too. Schwarber is going to be an adventure in left

7:33
Owen Watson: Which should be really fun.

7:33
Who_Is_Zorbist?: Rickard 2/2 with a 2b. Huge pickup by Baltimore in my view. All the kid does is hit.

7:33
Owen Watson: I am interested to see how this Hyun Soo Kim saga unfolds.

7:34
Bork: Rodman is Venditte. Dude is messed up.

7:34
Owen Watson: I consider it a high honor getting to see that dude pitch live.

7:34
Owen Watson: So strange and awesome

7:35
George Harrison: What would you say the Astros biggest weakness is?

7:36
Owen Watson: Correa and Altuve are obviously awesome, but what does Valbuena do this year? Power first half/contact second, and neither was very productive. First base is a pretty big question mark too. I’m not sure I buy that Fister is going to be passable this year, either.

7:37
Dave: So, if Trout merely plays as an average player from now until he meets the 10 year service time requirement, does he make the HOF? I think he’s a shoe in for a catastrophic injury, but if he just plays merely ok, he wouldn’t make it.

7:38
Owen Watson: This would basically be Griffey Jr.’s career trajectory. And why is he a shoe-in for a catastrophic injury?

7:38
2014-2015 Royals: Are you more Jeff Sullivan when it comes to us or Dave Cameron?

7:39
Owen Watson: You’re asking an A’s fan how he feels about the Royals — I tend to try to stay out of it, acknowledge that there is some weird mojo going on with them, and not put my foot in my mouth.

7:39
Owen Watson: I continue to believe that Cleveland has the makings of a better team, but I’ve been wrong about that before in that division.

7:39
Hotep Votto: Arrieta going on 400 non pumpkin innings….

7:39
Bork: Schwarber in left or Trumbo in right? Which will be the greatest for the fan?

7:40
Owen Watson: I love this question. I am going to take Schwarber because he’s likely to get more chances, and he’ll juxtapose any terrible defense with prime bomb-hitting.

7:40
Hotep Votto: Rather watch Smyly than Kershaw. Am I a bad person?

7:41
Owen Watson: I don’t think so! Upside is interesting, while consistent excellence has a terrible way of becoming boring for some reason.

7:42
Owen Watson: Not that it’s any less excellent, we just get used to it.

7:42
Owen Watson: Kiermaier!

7:43
Owen Watson: Well Bautista has had a tough two games on defense.

7:43
Who_Is_Zorbist?: Standing ovation for Rickard. Crowd chanting his name in 3rd at bat.

7:43
Owen Watson: Did they boo Kim when he was announced?

7:43
Greg: The back end of our rotation could turn into a dumpster fire in a hurry(Astros). LMJ injury is a bigger deal than anticipated and Fister continues to suck.

7:44
Owen Watson: That McCullers injury makes me sad.

7:44
senpaisanto: think Dave means shoe-in if he were to suffer one…

7:45
Owen Watson: Re: Trout, got it!

7:45
Dave: The Kirby Puckett candicacy

7:45
Poor Man’s Rick Reed: Vin Scully reminds us, last year Kershaw had 301 strikeouts, 42 walks. Don’t need any advanced metrics to appreciate his greatness (but those are so much fun too).

7:46
Owen Watson: I realize that every era has amazing players, but it does seem like we are really lucky to be baseball fans right now.

7:46
Aidan: Ump in Dodgers game seems erratic

7:47
Owen Watson: Umps are still warming up, too. Lots of pretty shady calls yesterday and today.

7:47
Sam C: Future first baseman Jose Bautista

7:47
CamdenWarehouse: Didn’t see it, but heard that there was slight booing of Kim.

7:47
Owen Watson: Yikes

7:47
Bork: GOD DAMN TULO

7:48
George Harrison: Well, McHugh and Fiers are fine middle of the rotation starters, and the Astros bullpen is legitimately great.The 6th best reliever in the pen is a two time all star. Still, when McCullers comes back (late April), Keuchel/McCullers/McHugh/Fiers is just as good as anyone’s in the AL outside of Cleveland and TB

7:49
Owen Watson: Even at their best, I have a pretty hard time comping that rotation to Kluber/Carrasco/Salazar.

7:49
Owen Watson: Which is why you said “outside” – durrr

7:51
Owen Watson: I love the really bashful/guilty look on a fan’s face when they rob a homer over the fence

7:51
Bork: Fan obstruction in Tampa Bay. Who saw that coming? A fan in Tampa Bay?

7:51
Owen Watson: I actually laughed

7:52
Owen Watson: Oh man, and they’re giving the fan his own box on the broadcast during the review. Buuuurrrrnn

7:52
Owen Watson: Well I didn’t see that one coming.

7:53
Owen Watson: And he’s ejected anyway!

7:53
Joe: Wait the guy gets kicked out for catching a HR?

7:53
Toasty: I know opening day seats aint cheap but i dunno if i could stay after doing that

7:55
Sam C: Ya fans always get ejected for interference.

7:55
CamdenWarehouse: 3 Ks for Buxton

7:55
Owen Watson: This might happen for a little while.

7:55
Ryan: Alexei Ramirez plays for the Padres? Alexei Ramirez is 34? This is Alexei Ramirez’s NINTH season in the league? I guess there’s a lot I didn’t know about Alexei Ramirez. I am humbled.

7:55
Owen Watson: Also what does Alexei Ramirez eat? Anything?

7:56
Owen Watson: Skinniest player in baseball?

7:56
Dave: How did Justin Turner get so good? Did he steal David Wright’s talent like the MonStars?

7:56
Owen Watson: Marlon Byrd! I think Eno wrote about it last year. Started getting the bat out earlier instead of waiting for the ball to travel. More pull power.

7:57
Adam: Thole’s Father in the stands

7:57
Owen Watson: If it was a TB homer, would he have been ejected?

7:59
Bork: If it happens for the Royals in the post-season, the guy is a hero #stillmad

8:00
Owen Watson: I was steamed over that fan interference that wasn’t called in the 1996 ALCS for a decade.

8:01
Owen Watson: I mean come on, man. That is just so brutal

8:01
Sam C: Bartman?

8:02
Owen Watson: I feel like Bartman was just a cruel victim of circumstance. Definitely easy to say we would have done differently than he did, but who knows!

8:02
Ryan: I have no idea what Alexei Ramirez eats – my Alexei Ramirez ignorance knows no bounds. I do think Billy Hamilton is skinnier, but not by much.

8:02
Owen Watson: Melvin Upton Jr. also has a shot at this title.

8:03
CamdenWarehouse: That ruined my birthday man, don’t remind me.

8:04
Owen Watson: Yeah, I’m from Virginia, so before the Nats came to D.C. Baltimore was the closest team. Definitely was a sore spot for a long time.

8:04
CJ: I refuse to stop calling him BJ.

8:04
Owen Watson: I support this

8:05
Owen Watson: Story: I was at Fenway in the late 2000’s in the center field bleachers, and the fans were mericlessly taunting BJ Upton by yelling BEEEEEJJJAAAAAAAYYYY

8:06
Owen Watson: At the end of him warming up, he turns and just LASERS the ball into the stands. Threw it as hard as he could.

8:06
CJ: also Giancarlo is still Mike. I learn your name once.

8:06
Owen Watson: I respect Giancarlo a lot, but I too have a hard time not calling him Mikey.

8:07
Brew crew: All things equal you like the Giants or dodgers batting lineup top to bottom better?

8:08
Owen Watson: I think I have to go Giants, but it’s close. Both have their really strong/weak spots, but I think the weak spots are a little less weak for SF.

8:08
Owen Watson: If Duffy/Panik hit for any power again this year, they’ll be really, really good.

8:08
Dr Evil: Utley with another dirty slde – clear lane to homeplate, yet moved from foul territory to fair territory at the last minute to slide into the C (wasn’t hard, but there was zero need for it)

8:09
Owen Watson: Oh no, Kevin Cash has an opportunity for a challenge

8:10
Sam C: At least Giancarlo has a (semi-)legitimate reason for simpifying his name

8:11
Owen Watson: Cash challenged more than any other manager last year. Just blazes with the challenges

8:11
Owen Watson:

8:12
Dan: Man that Upton story is AWESOME

8:12
Owen Watson: I remember it so vividly because the ball landed like two rows behind me. Just sizzled over my head

8:12
: utley slide: https://t.co/AyMaNFZXsM

8:13
Owen Watson: The thing that makes Utley’s slides so bad is how late they are. Literally roken legs galore

8:13
Owen Watson: broken*

8:14
Jim: Outrage at a literally perfectly legal slide by Utley. Sigh, we’ve gone too far.

8:14
Owen Watson: Yeah, I don’t know. I have a tough time with the *late* + high slides. If you’re going to slide into someone, start early, stay low. That’s how you don’t injure people.

8:15
Enlightening Round: Tell Eno, Not Your Fathers Root Beer really sucks

8:15
Owen Watson: I agree with this.

8:15
Who_Is_Zorbist?: Long review in TB. Really, really long.

8:15
CJ: The first thought in my head was dirty slide. Was that because of the Tejada play or reality?

8:15
Owen Watson: A little of both, I think! Tejada is pretty fresh still.

8:16
Bip: The dumbest thing is Utley’s only chance was probably to get as far away as possible and reach over the plate

8:16
Owen Watson: Yup!

8:16
Jim: “Galore” i.e. One admittedly dumb terrible slide. What happened to small samples?

8:17
Owen Watson: The galore was referring to how many injuries you’re likely to see from slides like that, but ok

8:18
Park Chan ho’s Beard: Brandon McCarthy calling that slide extremely good. I used to think he was smart. That slide was both ineffective (basically sliding into the glove) and dirty (attempting to take out C). Legal or not, that’s a bad slide

8:18
Owen Watson: I normally like his twitter persona a lot, too.

8:18
CJ: As a Met fan I have no beef with Chase Utley. That is all.

8:19
Owen Watson: Resp3ct

8:19
8:19
Owen Watson: That rules.

8:19
Owen Watson: OMG

8:19
Who_Is_Zorbist?: Kiermaier!

8:19
Owen Watson: SO close

8:20
Bork: SAUNDERS

8:20
Bork: kiermaier looks so sad 🙁

8:20
Brett Lawrie’s Empty Redbull Can: Kiermaier remains good at the center of the field

8:21
Owen Watson: In addition to your message, I like your name, BLERC

8:21
Who_Is_Zorbist?: I thin k that hit kiermaiers glove

8:21
Adrian: ya’ll are STILL HERE?? going through the west coast games?

8:22
Owen Watson: We barely sleep, my friend. Also I am on the west coast, so it’s not even 5:30 yet

8:22
jj: TB twitter says fan who didn’t interfere wasn’t kicked out, just fyi

8:22
Owen Watson: Taken into protective custody?

8:22
Greg: Just call runners out automatically if they enter fair territory running towards home. I can’t fathom a reason you end up in fair territory running from third to home. I don’t really care but if you don’t want take out attempts there ya go.

8:23
Owen Watson: I think runners should be able to veer into fair territory if the throw goes the other way, but I see what you’re getting at

8:23
Dave: So, baseball on the TV and the NCAA on the laptop, or NCAA on the TV and baseball on the laptop?

8:23
Owen Watson: I have been really bad about watching March Madness this year, so I’d opt for the former.

8:24
BK: Is this TB/TOR game a contest of the best two defensive CF in baseball?

8:24
Owen Watson: Hmm, could make an argument for Cain, even Buxton.

8:24
senpaisanto: BLERC makes an apropos acronym as well

8:24
Terrible Ted: Kiermaier wears eye liner, right?

8:24
Owen Watson: I have wondered this as well

8:24
Bork: Protect the fan from what? The other fan on the other side of the stadium?

8:24
Owen Watson: ZING

8:25
Big Joe Montferrant: Kevin Kiermaier is to Fielding as ___________ is to _______________.

8:26
Brett Lawrie’s Empty Redbull Can: Thanks Owen, used up the entire character limit

8:26
Jeff: Baseball on TV, baseball on laptop, baseball on phone. It’s opening day.

8:27
Owen Watson: I like this

8:27
BK: Owen would you be more likely to get a hit off of Dickey or Smyly?

8:27
Owen Watson: I would say if I got to start on a 3-0 count with Dickey and he threw me a “fastball,” I’d choose him.

8:28
Owen Watson: Man, my MLB.tv is so laggy right now. Been struggling with their PS4/iPhone apps this year.

8:28
Milwaukee dave: One brewer question how confident should I be jimmy Nelson and taylor jungmann can shut down the sf offense the next two days?

8:29
Owen Watson: Not very confident? I like Nelson, but his control just goes haywire sometimes. I’ll be interested to see what Jungmann can do this year, given his tail-off at the end of last season.

8:29
Toon: Jose fernandez or syndergaard

8:29
Owen Watson: Syndergaard simply based on injury history

8:30
Cam: Kershaw! KERSHAW! Why is this chat about anything other than Kershaw?! Is there even any other baseball going on?

8:30
Owen Watson: OK I’LL SWITCH IT ON

8:31
Cam: Jesus is to religion.

8:31
Terrible Ted: Revlon is to eye liner.

8:31
BK: Also sucks on my PS4 but works great on my iPad

8:31
Owen Watson: I think they usually have trouble with PS4 early in the season, or that’s what I’m telling myself.

8:31
Sam C: Someone posted in the chat yesterday a “Beyond the Box Score” article on how to get rid of MLB.TV lag

8:31
Owen Watson: I will look!

8:33
Guddha: Hey Owen, who do you think should hit leadoff on the Dodgers, given current state of health/probable production?

8:34
Owen Watson: Tough one, given that I don’t think they have an obvious option with what’s going on, health-wise.

8:35
Owen Watson: I know the money situation, but Crawford is just rough out there. Van Slyke? Pederson? Someone with some OBP?

8:35
Michael : Gut feeling… does fWAR overrate or underrate Kiermaier?

8:35
Owen Watson: Under

8:35
Adrian: will the A’s be better than last year? what odds to give them to score on Sale tonight?

8:35
Owen Watson: I think they can go .500.

8:36
Owen Watson: Then again, the A’s last year were an argument for baseball nihilism

8:36
Terrible Ted: Donaldson bomb!

8:36
Owen Watson: I missed it!

8:37
Gene: How disappointing are weather cancellations on opening day? The worst. Such a drag.

8:37
Owen Watson: I had a really hard time accepting the fact that I wasn’t going to be watching Kluber today.

8:37
Ryan: A friend just asked, and I thought I’d pass it on to everyone here: What do we know about pitch sequencing? How do the pros decide what they’re going to throw next? Is it just gut? Has there ever been a major analysis of it?

8:38
Owen Watson: There has been good work on this in the past year, mostly at Hardball Times and BP, if I remember correctly.

8:39
Brett Lawrie’s Empty Redbull Can: While you were chasing Kershaw you missed a Donaldson Ding-dong

8:39
Owen Watson: Brutal

8:40
Sam C: And it’s a rib cage for Revere.. I know someone was asking earlier.

8:40
Owen Watson: Noooo Benjamin!

8:40
AJ Smellis: I’d kill to see Kershaw pitch against the blue jays in the WS

8:40
Bork: Think Sonny Gray is an A by the end of the year?

8:40
Owen Watson: Absolutely not

8:41
Owen Watson: Arbitration coming

8:41
Bip: Seriously? How has a guy who gets like the best defensive rating ever given be underrated? I haven’t watched him, but I also make a point not to trust my eyes too much

8:41
Owen Watson: It’s not just the eyes. Route efficiency is off the charts

8:42
Nate: Which of the 6 rebuilding teams (CIN, SD, MIL, COL, ATL, PHI) has the best chance of making the playoffs?

8:42
Owen Watson: Cincinnati. Starting pitching goes crazy and they somehow sneak in. I feel dirty just say that, though

8:42
Bip: There was something about sequencing on Effectively Wild a little while ago, I think by Harry Pavlidis I think

8:43
Owen Watson: Harry’s the man!

8:43
Dave: What should we make of Joc Pederson? His plate discipline numbers and hard hit rate are basically the same as those of Kris Bryant. Are we really ready to concede that a fast-ish guy who hits the ball really hard is going to be a low BABIP player?

8:44
Owen Watson: Big difference is IFFB%, which are as good as Ks

8:45
Owen Watson: If we go by minor league BABIP, sure, he’s definitely got some regression upwards coming. But the contact has to improve

8:45
Owen Watson: Not only whether he makes contact, but quality of contact when he does, i.e. cutting down on the pop ups

8:45
Cam: I’d like to humbly apologize for using Kershaw to distract you from Donaldson slugging one out.

8:46
Owen Watson: You evil

8:46
kyle: how does everyone feel about Byron Buxton?

8:46
Owen Watson: I am optimistic about him this year! But not without growing pains, and potentially many of them. Maybe a kick ass second half?

8:46
CamdenWarehouse: Adam Jones just struck out on a ball that bounced five feet in front of the plate.

8:47
Owen Watson: I think, given the way his plate approach has been trending, he could potentially Vlad Guerrero a bouncing ball soon

8:47
coreyerb: The MLB.tv lag article (only helpful for PC watching, not PS4): http://www.bluebirdbanter.com/2014/4/2/5575172/watch-lag-free-live-games-mlb-tv-with-this-one-weird-trick

8:47
Owen Watson: Thanks!

8:47
Brett Lawrie’s Empty Redbull Can: Most likely opening day starter to pull a Drew Hutchison (AAA opening day starter the next year)?

8:48
Owen Watson: Jeremy Hellickson

8:48
Joe: What do you think of Cubs lineup tonight? Not sure I love Fowler-Heyward-Zobrist top 3.

8:49
Owen Watson: At this point, I think the Cubs lineup configurations are tantamount to deciding which hot and delicious pizza toppings you want when you’re incredibly hungry

8:50
Bip: I think that’s it though, a guys who’s incredibly fast with great route efficiency should get about the best UZR rating ever given, but probably not more.

8:50
Owen Watson: Honestly, as time has gone on, I put less and less stock in defensive metrics. Dude could get a better UZR this year just because

8:50
Who_Is_Zorbist?: Kiermaier had 25% of all 100mph throws last year. Best route runner, strongest arm.

8:50
CamdenWarehouse: Walk off win for the Orioles

8:50
Park Chan ho’s Beard: I wouldn’t lump COL in the “rebuilding” crowd, just the “poorly run and perennially bad” crowd

8:51
Owen Watson: I was mystified by their bullpen reconstruction techniques

8:51
Bip: I think speed is way overrated when it comes to BABIP. Gordon’s BABIP comes from mastering the bloop over the infielders

8:51
Owen Watson: This is why I think Kris Bryant has some regression coming this year.

8:51
Michael : How long until Bonds experiment ends in Florida? Really want the guy to succeed… I just can’t imagine it’s a good organization to work for.

8:51
Owen Watson: Yeah, gosh, that’s like throwing a can of gasoline on a bonfire

8:52
Owen Watson: Though I will say I am a big Bonds fan. I’d like to see him back in the game

8:52
Kvn: Wieters walk off single. Yay baseball!

8:53
Woo baseball: Would you give an extension to Belt if you were Giants? I know it depends on cost, but what would a good deal for both sides look like?

8:53
Owen Watson: I know he’s had his share of injury concerns, but I have a feeling this might be the year. So yes! Maybe 5 years/15-20 per with options?

8:54
Owen Watson: I have been all-in on Belt the past two years, and one of these years, it’s going to work.

8:54
Owen Watson: Or not, but you know.

8:54
j6takish: Pederson hits a lot of flyballs and infield fly balls. Bryant hits line drives

8:54
Owen Watson: They have very similar FB%, but you’re right about the IFFB

8:55
Dave: Seeing Kershaw square around to bunt, I had the thought that he’s too valuable to risk ever putting in that position. Glad he swung away instead

8:55
Owen Watson: The DH approacheth

8:55
Michael : If Gray is available… Dodgers, Cubs, Red Sox most likely destinations in terms of need and assets, correct?

8:55
Owen Watson: Absolutely. I think the A’s might be selling high, too…

8:56
Barry: I can’t decide if my ISP is lame or if MLB.TV on Roku is horrible or what, but I’m about to pull what little hair I have out.

8:56
Owen Watson: I have Comcast and Sonic just came to my area. Really thinking about switching.

8:56
Kvn: Cubs fans just don’t want to be happy do they?

8:57
Owen Watson: As an A’s fan, I commiserate with the psychological buffers they’ve set up for themselves.

8:57
Brett Lawrie’s Empty Redbull Can: Awe, poor Jeremy. At least he’ll always have his three k’s of Joey Votto to tell his grandkids about.

8:57
Owen Watson: He really had Votto fooled! That was really great. But yeah, I just don’t buy him and never did for the Rays.

8:58
BK: who is excited for next saturday’s all knuckleball match up? When’s the last time it happened?

8:58
Owen Watson: Wakefield and….?

8:58
Brett Lawrie’s Empty Redbull Can: Remember this fun GIF? not sure if it will translate into the chat but worth a try.

8:58
Owen Watson: CATCH THIS FOOL

8:59
Bip: re Bonds: preferably in a uniform, in the batter’s box

8:59
Owen Watson: +1

8:59
Guest: It also always seems like the best coaches were the mediocre to poor players. I have no statistical evidence, just seems that way for the most part

8:59
Owen Watson: I think those players might be more predisposed to be coaches based on them having to find another way in the game, right?

9:00
Pat: Is the Padres defense bad? Or is it just me?

9:00
Owen Watson: v. bad.

9:01
Donny B: Yes can you elaborate on your Bryant regression? From what I recall, he always put up high BABIP #s in the minors as well.

9:02
Owen Watson: Yeah, I just looked, holy moly. the ~15% IFH% seems unsustainable. Maybe I’m wrong, though, given the MiLB numbers.

9:02
Adam: When do you start to worry about performance? Two weeks? A month?

9:03
Owen Watson: A month sounds good. It’s why I think the whole Orioles/Kim situation is ridiculous — the guy was terrible for the first couple weeks. Even a month is such a small sample, but teams have to look for options when things aren’t working out for that long.

9:03
Woo baseball: It’s not like Belt is having bad seasons. Two four-win seasons, career 127 wRC+.

9:04
Owen Watson: Absolutely. It’s just that power. If he was in another stadium, he’d be a big time household name.

9:04
Bork: CHAVEZ IN THE GAME

9:04
Owen Watson: JESSE

9:04
Owen Watson: He’s my girlfriend’s favorite player because of his tattoos and steely demeanor.

9:05
j6takish: Good players usually don’t understand why they are good because so much is instinct/talent, bad players probably understand baseball better

9:05
Park Chan ho’s Beard: ra dickey pitching gifs are mesmerizing

9:05
Justin: There are a lot more mediocre to poor baseball players than good to great ones, I would think that’s the primary explanation.

9:05
Owen Watson: Good point.

9:05
Bip: I think, about bad coaches, that it’s just the case that most players are bad or mediocre. If coaching ability was evenly distributed among players, most coaches will have been bad players, by MLB standards

9:05
Hater: Is there a more uninteresting team than the padres? Who do people tune in to watch besides Ross? Myers? Their starting lineup is a collection of bleh. Thank goodness the team they’re playing is fun

9:06
Owen Watson: Their big-time splash before last season was just so strange — spent so much money, but didn’t raise their floor enough to really compete…

9:06
Bip: Since BABIP doesn’t actually rely too much on speed, I wouldn’t think lack of speed would lead to BABIP regression from Bryant. Batted ball profile matters much more, like IFFB

9:07
Owen Watson: I actually think he’s pretty quick. You’re one of the few people I’ve seen who thinks he might be slower than he actually is.

9:07
Owen Watson: If I’m reading your opinion correctly

9:07
Brett Lawrie’s Empty Redbull Can: Apparently Bryce Harper conducted an entire post-game interview wearing a “Make Baseball Fun Again” hat. Awesome or AWESOME?

9:07
Owen Watson: Owesome

9:08
mtsw: I put $10 on both the Orioles and the Rays to win the World Series at 50:1 odds. I figure either sabermetrics are bullshit and the Orioles will win, or sabermetrics are right and the Rays will hit the 90+ win projection BP gave them. Am I genius?

9:08
Owen Watson: The truth is in between, so you will be $20 poorer come November

9:08
Who_Is_Zorbist?: Kiermaier will be top 5 mvp this year

9:08
Owen Watson: Bold, and I like it

9:09
Owen Watson: Even though I don’t agree.

9:09
Bork: CHAVEZ DOING AWFUL

9:09
Owen Watson: HEAT

9:09
j6takish: They probably let Belt walk because Posey will need to go to 1b in a few years

9:09
Owen Watson: Or will the Angel Pagan in LF situation get tired?

9:09
Stevie: “My Girlfriend’s Favorite Player” is a decent band name

9:10
Owen Watson: *jots down note*

9:11
mtsw: Is guys-holding-tags-in-case-the-guy-stops-touching-the-base-for-a-split-second the worst trend in baseball?

9:11
Owen Watson: I can think of a lot of trends I don’t like in baseball, but yes, this is one of them

9:11
Donny B: Know anything about this Liam Hendricks dude on the A’s? He strikes me as a late-season closer fill-in once Billy Beane goes into sell mode.

9:12
Owen Watson: I do. Great arm, and probably the most talented option if Doolittle should go down. I am slightly worried about Doolittle. That shoulder surgery is no joke, and he can’t ramp it up into the high 90s like he used to be able to.

9:12
Rick: Are you watching baseball or basketball come 9:15?

9:13
Owen Watson: Baseball! Not sure I care too much about the NCAA right now. And Rich Hill on the bump for the A’s soon!

9:13
Bip: I thought you meant BABIP regression because he’s not fast. I have heard he’s got decent speed, but I would think not enough to sustain his BABIP, *if* we thought speed was what predicts BABIP

9:13
@bip: It matters a lot for IFH%, which is in large part what’s fueling Bryant’s 2015 BABIP

9:13
mtsw: Jokes on you: I’m already out the $20

9:13
Bork: Kiermaier is playing like a top 5 mvp this year so far. SMALL SAMPLE SIZE BE DAMNED

9:13
Ryan: Utley with a couple hits today– is he a legitimate comeback player of the year candidate?

9:14
Owen Watson: Nah, no.

9:14
Adam: Do you prefer bullpens in foul territory or behind the outfield?

9:14
Owen Watson: I love the Coliseum for how crappy it is, but this isn’t really one of the reasons. Stopping the game to get balls bullpen guys have thrown into the outfield? Not really that charming.

9:15
mtsw: Can we come up with a cool nickname for Tampa’s two Logan’s? Batted them back to back in both games so far.

9:15
Owen Watson: Logan FoMo

9:16
BK: Watching the Jays last year Hendricks was filthy. Also has great command. Hated that trade.

9:16
Bork: Saunders a darkhorse for comeback player of the year?

9:16
Owen Watson: Maybe, if he can stay on the field!

9:16
Woo baseball: If they let Belt walk after giving huge money to Pagan, Scutaro, Huff, Cain, Lincecum, Samardzija, and offering Sandoval $90MM+…

9:16
Ryan: Who wins tonight’s Trout vs. Arrieta matchup?

9:16
Owen Watson: Trout always wins

9:17
Greg: Outside looking in but I can’t identify with many homegrown SF hitters other than Belt. Maybe they keep him for PR issues if they care out that way.

9:17
Owen Watson: Really? I think their hitter development (at least for power) is some of the best. Crawford, Duffy, Panik (maybe)…

9:17
Brett Lawrie’s Empty Redbull Can: I vote Rich Hill for the Drew Hutchison award…

9:18
mtsw: How has the United States put a man on the moon but not figured out a translucent surface that’s a workable ceiling for domed stadiums?

9:19
Owen Watson: You would think this would’ve happened to allow actual grass to grow, right?

9:19
Michael : LoMo and Lobrist?

9:19
paddy padre: Do my Padres have some underrated potential to be worse then braves Phillies brewers and reds this year as the worst team in the nl this year? Bad players all over the field with no youth and or exciting players ?

9:19
Owen Watson: They are going to have to be really, really bad to beat the Braves.

9:20
Owen Watson: So no, I don’t really think so

9:20
Terrible Ted: MoFo

9:20
mtsw: You catch much of Smyly today? Thought he looked decent despite crummy results

9:21
Owen Watson: Only a little. Laggy and chatting takes up a lot of attention, but he looked solid with really good life in the first couple frames.

9:21
Owen Watson: Opening up against the Jays is a pretty tough matchup.

9:21
Lyle: Does Posey not exist in your world

9:22
Owen Watson: Who iz Posey

9:22
Bork: What’s to stop teams from walking Trout every at bat? And don’t say Pujols.

9:22
Owen Watson: I wonder this about many hitters.

9:23
Ryan: Logan Nickname: Should be either “MoFo” or “Wolverine”

9:23
Owen Watson: Hubris?

9:25
BK: I’m using the Marlins in my MLB the show franchise this year, Bonds is definitely getting created and becoming a player-hitting coach

9:25
Owen Watson: I just got this as well, which I need to be careful with…

9:25
John: Sad Kershaw walking back to the dugout after striking out makes me think he finally understands what he’s been doing to hitters for all these years

9:25
Dave: I loved going to an A’s game. Cheap seats 6 rows back. Relatively affordable drinks including margaritas. Beautiful weather, and a short train ride to evening drinks on the lake.

9:26
Owen Watson: Everyone hates on the Coliseum, but I think it’s a really pleasant place to watch a game. The seating sections fan out really gradually, the views tend to be really great, and it’s cheap.

9:27
BK: Seemed like Smyly was missing his spots (based on the catchers glove). Stuff looked good though

9:27
Owen Watson: I thought the same about Archer yesterday. Tons of hangers, but the stuff was great

9:27
Michael : Be honest. If you were a 2 WAR player would you feel less annoyed about losing your job to a 3 WAR player who plays the game the right way or a 5 WAR bat tosser?

9:28
Owen Watson: I love 5 WAR bat tossers, so I will never by annoyed by them

9:28
Adam: HOLY CRAP PILLAR

9:29
Vladimir the impaler: Is it true vlad once hit a one handed home run with his non batting hand at that?

9:29
Owen Watson: I’m not sure, but I will believe any and all awesome stories about Vlad

9:29
Owen Watson: Kevin Pillar is a badass

9:29
Brett Lawrie’s Empty Redbull Can: Kevin Pillar. Brutally hits his head into the boards, gets up and walks it off, as is custom in Canada.

9:30
Ryan: None of the projections think Trevor Story is gonna be very good this year. Is he?

9:31
Owen Watson: Considering the leap he made in the strikeout department last year, sure. He’s one of those guys teams don’t give up on for a reason, even if they stall in their development for a year or so.

9:32
Bill: Bryant was 6th among qualified hitters in FB% last year, and all but one of the rest of the top 10 had BABIPs under .300 (with Upton just a few points above), many of them well under. His line drive rate was middle of the pack, and his BABIP on grounders was almost .100 points above the league average. There’s plenty of reasons to expect BABIP regression.

9:32
Owen Watson: Yes, but we should always use previous career BABIP as the benchmark, never league average. Given MiLB numbers, regression might not be in the cards.

9:33
Owen Watson: Or not as much as we might expect.

9:33
Brett Lawrie’s Empty Redbull Can: On a related note, Kevin Pillar also remains good at the centre of the field.

9:33
Bork: Don’t be modest Owen, you’d be the 5 WAR bat tosser

9:34
CJ: If he took your job you wouldn’t like him. 3 WAR guy is your friend. You rooted for him all the way!

9:34
Owen Watson: Why wouldn’t the 5 WAR guy be my friend too? I like making friends!

9:34
Brett Lawrie’s Empty Redbull Can: Vlad once ate 400 cocktail shrimp in one night. tails and everything.

9:34
Owen Watson: *gags*

9:34
Owen Watson: man, that is a gross image

9:34
Matt : If you want endless entertainment just picture Schwarber trying to make that pillar catch.

9:35
Owen Watson: Weeeee

9:35
Michael : I had a hard time convincing Toronto fans Kiermaier > Pillar. That won’t help.

9:35
Poor Man’s Rick Reed: Vin Scully misreading Kerhaw’s giant beautiful curveball as a changeup is starting to make me sad.

9:36
Owen Watson: Just close your eyes and you won’t know he’s wrong

9:36
Owen Watson: And the results will probably the same anyway!

9:36
Terrible Ted: If you walk Donaldson to start an inning, you’re going to have a bad time.

9:37
Owen Watson: Yeah, I don’t have a good feeling about this one

9:37
Box: Kershaw is too good. 7 shutout innings, 9 Ks, 2 baserunners, and it doesn’t even feel like something special. The bar is far too high for this guy.

9:37
Owen Watson: Yeah, boring excellence!

9:38
Owen Watson: I wish sometimes we could reset our expectations a bit on the Trouts and Kershaws of the world

9:38
John: If John Jaso has 80 grade hair, what would you rate Justin Turner?

9:39
Owen Watson: Dude if John Jaso has 80 grade hair, the world is broken

9:39
Brett Lawrie’s Empty Redbull Can: Kevin Rankings:
1) Kiermaier
2)Pillar

9:40
Owen Watson: 3) Spacey

9:40
B.B. Rodriguez: As a Toronto fan. Kermaier is definitely better. But that doesn’t mean Pillar isn’t fantastic. Hate him as a leadoff hitter.

9:40
Owen Watson: The leadoff spot for Pillar is pretty brutal.

9:40
BK: Regarding my create-a-Bonds for MLB the show. What do we think Bonds would slash this year?

9:42
Owen Watson: I think Bonds could easily hit .280/.375/.450 right now

9:42
Owen Watson: Yeah, I’m a little crazy, but I believe it

9:43
Brandon: Puig with the little-league home run!

9:43
Dr Evil: so after the 1 game sample (which in this case is probably enough), SD should be selling off anything that isn’t bolted down at this point?

9:43
Owen Watson: SELL IT ALL

9:43
senpaisanto: 0) Bacon

9:43
Yordano : I hate Escobar as leadoff for the royals.

9:43
Owen Watson: It has seemed to work for them, though.

9:44
Bork: Pillar will only be leadoff until Travis is back, so at least we’ve got that to look forward to.

9:45
Owen Watson: Bit worried about Travis, to be honest. Those leading shoulder injuries can be really problematic

9:45
Owen Watson: Worried about this year, I mean.

9:45
Poor Man’s Rick Reed: 1.000/1.000/4.000

9:45
John: Bonds: no, no, no he wouldn’t.

9:45
Owen Watson: I wish we could put it to the test

9:45
mtsw: Would you watch a age 40+-only MLB senior tour? I feel like there’d be a real audience for this.

9:46
Owen Watson: Considering I was a fan of Rock ‘N Jock softball games, for sure I would. Also former MLB players playing serious wiffle ball games.

9:46
Dave: re: Bonds – I think you’re light on the walk rate and high on the average – he’d be shifted pretty heavily

9:47
Owen Watson: You could be right, though he could just hit everything over the fence and solve both problems

9:47
Greg: Is Billy Burns any good? I seem to end up acquiring him in every single ootp sim..

9:48
Owen Watson: One of those guys who shouldn’t be good but is, so he’s really precarious. Lots of production off first pitch fastballs, and he had the lowest hard-hit rate by a country mile. But he’s crazy fast and made it work for almost all of last year, so maybe?

9:48
BK: It should be Saunders in the leadoff for Toronto (If you don’t want Tulo there)

9:48
Brett Lawrie’s Empty Redbull Can: 145) James
283) The kid from home alone
1492) Smith

9:49
Gavin: is this more of the dodgers being good or the padres being bad?

9:49
Owen Watson: Always a little of both, I think

9:49
Bork: Apparently they found what was wrong with Travis and fixed it for good. Or at least that’s what the Jays are saying.

9:49
Owen Watson: I really hope so!

9:49
Dave: There are only 2 over 40 players I’d want to watch – Bonds and Clemens

9:50
Owen Watson: I would watch basically any retired ballplayer play, if they wanted to.

9:50
senpaisanto: vin such a class act, expressing sympathy for the padre pitcher’s 6-run debut – ouch, tho

9:50
Brett Lawrie’s Empty Redbull Can: Dude. I’d be all about an MLB senior team. They could play an exhibition series against the MLB Señor team.

9:51
Owen Watson: I see that question mark enye

9:51
Yordano : Winning doesn’t make bad baseball descions good ones. It most likely means you won in spite of that

9:52
Owen Watson: This is most-Royals arguments, but like I’ve said before, I am willing to grant them some mojo at this point

9:52
Owen Watson: most anti-Royals arguments*

9:53
mtsw: Former MLBers playing wiffleball would likely be dominated by Tim Wakefield.

9:53
Owen Watson: Could you throw a no-spin knuckler with a wiffle ball?

9:53
vlock1: Every once in a while, I wonder if Rickey Henderson still works out every day *just in case*

9:54
Owen Watson: The A’s have a big head race every game between Rollie Fingers, Henderson, and Eckersley. I am always outraged when Rickey doesn’t win

9:54
Owen Watson: And Rollie has more career wins by a lot! Ridiculous

9:55
Bowa: Expectations on Utley this season?

9:55
Owen Watson: Very little

9:55
Lord Micheal Trout: I hear some football people taking about baseball saber and they don’t understand it but recognize that it shed light on the sport. Which about half of the baseball community doesn’t even do.

9:55
Owen Watson: I like to imagine myself in 30 years complaining about the new fangled stats in baseball and decrying kids for not thinking WAR is good enough

9:56
Owen Watson: Where’s my old man yelling at clouds photo

9:56
Who_Is_Zorbist?: Kiermaier 0 and 2, draws a walk. Kiermaier will be top 5 in MVP voting

9:56
Owen Watson: WE GET IT ZORB

9:56
Brandon: are you ready for a patented Drew Storen late-inning meltdown?

9:56
Owen Watson: Too soon

9:56
Owen Watson: Never fear, Hank Conger is here

9:56
Brett Lawrie’s Empty Redbull Can:

9:57
mtsw: They should have actual Rickey Henderson inside the big-Rickey head. What else is he doing?

9:57
Owen Watson: Chilling in the A’s dugout, which is what he does every game.

9:57
Yordano: I love the royals but blind homerism isnt good for sports in general.

9:58
Owen Watson: If the Royals are bad or mediocre this year, I expect many conversations related to that happening

9:58
CJ: Owen you took the Red pill. You continue down the rabbit hole.

9:59
Owen Watson: My life, the baseball matrix

9:59
Bork: Drew Storen made it through the 8th!

10:00
Poor Man’s Rick Reed: Wiffle ball knuckler can be devastating. I throw it holes facing forward for full unpredictability, holes facing backwards for a huge drop. Holes on the sides haven

10:01
Owen Watson: That’s awesome, I have to try that. The only thing I really have is the nasty sweeping slider

10:01
Owen Watson: I’m hoping we get a FanGraphs wiffle ball game in during June when we all get together.

10:01
Bad Hermit: Wait. Why did Utley lead-off? Or is that OBP coming back this year?

10:01
Owen Watson: That’s a very good question!

10:01
Dave: Opening Day is about hope and optimism for all. Then you remember Kershaw is starting against you and weep.

10:02
Owen Watson: I am in this boat except against Chris Sale and Sonny Gray has food poisoning.

10:02
Owen Watson: ¯\_(?)_/¯

10:02
Bork: Oh look the bullpen just had a wild ball in Tampa Bay. Having them on the field is SUCH A GOOD IDEA

10:03
Brett Lawrie’s Empty Redbull Can: O/U K’s for Sale in Oakland? I think double digits is almost a given.

10:03
Owen Watson: Given the A’s lineup tonight, 11?

10:03
The Maddness: if Puig is going to bat cleanup everyday, does his fantasy value go way up?

10:03
Owen Watson: Yes, and I love Yasiel Puig and want him to succeed

10:04
Owen Watson: Feel like his value was obviously depressed this year. I tried to get him in my drafts, but alas

10:04
BK: I feel like if Eno pitched in a wiffle ball game he would have a 37 pitch arsenal

10:04
Owen Watson: Hahaha! He will like hearing that.

10:05
Owen Watson: Also I agree. Crazy screwychanges

10:05
Poor Man’s Rick Reed: If that fangraphs wiffleball game could get picked up by MLB.tv, I would be very happy indeed.

10:05
Owen Watson: Supposedly it finished 1-0 last year and Cameron snuck an elbow over the plate for an intentional HBP to try to walk the game off, so there was a fair bit of controversy

10:06
Jake M: Chances Sale and Quintana end up being best 1-2 punch in baseball with Kershaw and Greinke split up? They had 11 WAR last year

10:06
Owen Watson: I like Quintana, but Cleveland/the Cubs say hello

10:06
mtsw: its weird seeing a good pitcher in the modern D-Backs uniform. My mind still can’t totally process it.

10:07
Owen Watson: And now, I wonder how many minutes this A’s Opening Day feeling lasts before it is inevitably crushed

10:07
Bad Hermit: Can’t knock the Royals org for leading off with Alcides, without also knocking the Dodgers in this case, no?

10:07
Owen Watson: For sure!

10:08
Enlightening Round: Who ya got? Valencia, lefty masher or Sale?

10:08
Owen Watson: I am big on Valencia this year, but I have to go Sale tonight.

10:08
mtsw: Is Rich Hill now a pantheon member of the “can’t believe this guy started opening day for his club” group?

10:08
Owen Watson: Yes 🙁

10:08
Who_Is_Zorbist?: Drake Laroach isn’t around to give tips to Sale between innings, so you have that going for you.

10:08
Owen Watson: ZING

10:09
Michael : Is Sale your automatic for best pitcher, non-Kershaw divison?

10:09
Owen Watson: If he’s not first, he’s right there. I am a bit of a Kluber/Carrasco fanboy, so I could see Carlos putting it all together this year.

10:10
CJ: Over/Under C Seager 20 HRs?

10:10
Owen Watson: Just over.

10:10
Owen Watson: Rich Hill! Opening Day! HBP!

10:10
Poor Man’s Rick Reed: Cameron! That’s an easy strike call where I come from.

10:10
Who_Is_Zorbist?: For the record, I have no desire to see a bunch of writers and mathematicians play wiffle ball.

10:10
Owen Watson: You are a smart man

10:11
warm, kakie center: Pfft… Hbp in wiffleball? Unless it hits you in the head it’s a ball.

10:11
John: the Mets also say hello. As do the Nationals

10:11
Owen Watson: I am more in favor of the former than the latter

10:13
Kvn: Wow that OAK viewing angle is awful.

10:13
Owen Watson: One of the worst, for sure.

10:13
CJ: Pick your SS next 5 years – Xander or Corey?

10:13
Owen Watson: Even, so Corey because of age?

10:14
senpaisanto: what’s yer take on the chisox? could they sleeperhold their way to the AL central?

10:14
Owen Watson: Yes! They should be pretty fun this year, regardless. That division seems one of the most wide-open to me this season.

10:14
Dave: Hill has as many outs as HBP

10:15
Owen Watson: Someone is going to hit one of those curveballs 450 feet this game, too

10:15
Jeff: how quickly has the “Rich Hill figured it out!” bandwagon been abandoned?

10:16
Owen Watson: I think it was all a pretty shaky bandwagon to begin with.

10:16
Terrible Ted: Xander is only 1.5 years older so does age really matter?

10:17
Owen Watson: If Seager has figured it out more than Xander at a younger age, then yes, I think it does

10:17
mtsw: Hey Hill looks shaky but it’s not like the other pitcher is (checks matchup) I’m so sorry, Owen.

10:17
Owen Watson: What if Billy Burns hits a leadoff homer here

10:17
Owen Watson: WHAT IF FOLKS

10:17
Guddha: Why does Kershaw only get .1 WAR for 7 innings of 1.16 FIP, vs Stroman, who got the same amount for 8 innings of 4.06 FIP? Is that all the league adjustment?

10:17
Guddha: Because I just read the glossary page – is that all league adjustment and park factors?

10:18
Guest: because rounding

10:19
Owen Watson: ^this is a good answer

10:19
senpaisanto: hill’s a master tactician, yo – limit the damage w/ selective HBP

10:19
Owen Watson: If you can’t beat ’em, hit ’em

10:19
Brian: Article Idea: Make Luis Perdomo feel better about his MLB debut.

10:20
Owen Watson: Well at least Burns put it in play

10:20
Dave: 39-34 UNC at half

10:20
Owen Watson: For those who are inclined to the biscuit and the basket

10:20
Guest: Whenever anyone wears a switch-hitting helmet, they look 15 years younger

10:21
Owen Watson: I’ve been trying to think of a good nickname for these helmets because this is so, so true

10:21
Owen Watson: It’s like my little league helmet that I put south park stickers on

10:21
Owen Watson: Because I was just that cool

10:22
Dave: Jimmy Rollins is the 2 hole hitter for the White Sox on Opening Day. In 2016.

10:22
mtsw: Oof that Lowrie whiff

10:22
Owen Watson: Randy Johnson-esque

10:22
Murdoc: Colorado broadcast just quoted Greinke saying he would hit 300 with 20 jacks if he was a position player at Coors

10:22
Owen Watson: This is awesome

10:23
JackS: On a scale from 1 to STUPID; where does my keeping a $1 Rich hill in 12 team AL roto rank?

10:23
Owen Watson: I don’t think that’s too stupid!

10:23
Owen Watson: As long as he’s not your number 1 or 2

10:23
LJS: Anyone watching Cubs-Angels?

10:24
Dave: anyone’s worth a $1 flyer in a 12 team AL only

10:24
Yordano: PANIC TIME! MICHEAL NELSON TROUT IS 0-1

10:24
Owen Watson: Real talk: I did not know this was his middle name.

10:24
senpaisanto: will we be seeing these ARI unis all season? it’s like the equipment manager only packed their pajamas…

10:25
Owen Watson: They truly are peak pajama.

10:25
Joe: I’m watching the Cubs too LJS!

10:25
kevin: Owen, I bet you also didn’t know that according to bbref his nickname is ‘the Millville Meteor’

10:26
Owen Watson: The Meteor!!

10:26
Ben: Imagine a world where the best baseball player in the world was named “Nelson Trout”

10:26
Park Chan ho’s Beard: greinke’s played a few games at coors. small sample i know, but is it possible to extrapolate the data? is the answer really 300 with 20HR?

10:26
Owen Watson: This could be, no — definitely is — a great article idea

10:27
Owen Watson: It is my personal goal to, in small ways, revive NotGraphs

10:27
LJS: I kind of love that Trout is a weather geek.

10:28
B.B. Rodriguez: Is it not crazy that Daniel Nava can brag that he plays in the best outfield in the majors.

10:28
Brett Lawrie’s Empty Redbull Can: alright, strap in lads. ITS BRETT LAWRIE TIME!! LEGGOOOO *flex emoji* #chargedup #neeeja

10:28
Owen Watson: It’s your guy!!!

10:28
Joe: You should revive NotGraphs in the full way

10:28
Owen Watson: If I could, I would, Joe.

10:28
JackS: Those are pajamas. The owners were like, “We got you that pitcher you like, now you want new clothes?!?”

10:29
Owen Watson: “You don’t even have to put pajamas on when you get home after the game! You can just go straight to bed!”

10:30
Coach: Matt Saracen or Vince Howard?

10:30
Owen Watson: I think I quit after season 3, so 7 is the only QB I know

10:30
Murdoc: Trevor Story oppo JACK

10:30
Owen Watson: There he is!!!

10:31
Owen Watson: PSA: I will be exiting this chat in ~15 minutes, you have been warned!

10:32
Owen Watson: Unfortunately there is no one to relieve me, so you will be left out in the bitter cold.

10:32
LJS: I went to high school with Matt Saracen

10:32
Owen Watson: Is your name Lyla Garrity

10:33
JackS: “Hey uh, AJ….ah man this is awkward…..Brito needs pajamas for tonights game, possibly for the rest of the season…so….yeah…”

10:33
Joe: What’s all this fuss about the DBack uni’s *changes channel* *cringe*

10:33
Brett Lawrie’s Empty Redbull Can: who will exit first, Owen or Greinke?

10:33
Owen Watson: RACE TO THE BOTTOM

10:34
senpaisanto: but there’s still baseball! where’s the fangraphs afterparty?

10:34
Owen Watson: Eno’s house! Let’s go raid his beer fridge!

10:34
Frankie Fast Hands: Greinke has hit .231/.286/.385 in 15 PAs in Coors. That’s 3 hits, 2 doubles, and a walk.

10:35
Brett Lawrie’s Empty Redbull Can: You guys, baseball is fun.

10:35
Greg: too late I raided his stash shortly after the stros yanks cancellation..

10:36
Owen Watson: Honestly unless you brought a minivan/small moving truck, I’m not sure you could effectively raid Eno’s beer stash

10:37
B.B. Rodriguez: I had Ross and Greinke today for my fantasy team. 🙁

10:37
Owen Watson: I think you’re going to be OK in the long run.

10:37
Greg: effectively is the key word here…

10:37
senpaisanto: i suggest “italian jobbing” it – a fleet of souped-up mini coopers – straight from eno’s to the beach or sump’n

10:38
Owen Watson: How many Ks so far for Sale? 3? 4?

10:39
Owen Watson: Just 2!

10:39
senpaisanto: 2 – same as hill

10:40
JackS: Ok, follow up to my $1 Rich Hill question; I have 4 starters (Price, Danny Salazar, Hill and Joe Kelly) followed by Cody Allen, Brett Cecil, Danny Farquar, Jesse Chavez) Gonna have to trade for a starter at some point; but is this crazy?

10:41
Owen Watson: Is what crazy? Hill and Kelly have a ton of risk, but that’s obviously a solid foundation with Price/Salazar. I also know nothing about your scoring system.

10:42
jj: does anyone know how accurate the fx strikezone on mlb.tv is?

10:42
JackS: w/k/s/era/whip

10:44
Owen Watson: Well you could use some saves, obviously, but there are worse set up guys to have then the ones you have. I would have to imagine that there are better guys out there than Chavez, unless you like his potential SP flexibility

10:44
Owen Watson: If he’s even got that in your league

10:45
Owen Watson: Ok folks! I’m out of here. It has been a real pleasure chatting with you all.

10:45
LJS: Thanks Owen!

10:45
Owen Watson: No thank YOU

10:45
Owen Watson: I always love doing these, they’re a blast.

10:45
mtsw: starting to think its possible we may need to consider the conjecture that maybe Rich Hill is not good.

10:46
Owen Watson: And with that, my friends, I leave you to go watch the A’s lose and cry into some pizza

10:46
Owen Watson: Have a great night, and happy opening day!

10:46
Owen Watson: Bye everyone!





Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.

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machetko
Member
machetko

I never read NotGraphs much, but it is really weird that so many people miss it so badly, even after all these years, and even some of the writers miss it, and still it stays dead.