August Fagerstrom FanGraphs Chat – 10/13/15

11:41
August Fagerstrom: Hi everyone! I do these now. Apologies for not being Kiley McDaniel, and furthermore for knowing little-to-nothing about prospects. You can ask me about literally anything else though! I’ll be back around noon to get things rolling

12:01
August Fagerstrom: ok, hi!

12:01
Comment From Kevin
So the Astros cannot possibly recover from that right?

12:02
August Fagerstrom: Sure they can! If anything, last night’s game highlighted how crazy and unpredictable baseball can be. I’m not sure game-to-game momentum is really a thing, especially when you have a good pitcher on the mound and a good team

12:03
August Fagerstrom: Also, Johnny Cueto hasn’t exactly looked like an ace since the Royals acquired him. Baseball is weird

12:03
Comment From Marc
Could the ALDS have gone any better from MLBs perspective?

12:04
August Fagerstrom: Two game fives and crazy comebacks! Pretty swell

12:04
Comment From Catoblepas
Hey August! Glad to have you back in the nerdy fold. Give us your best #hottake on David Price usage. Didn’t seem to matter much or at all in that game; does it keep him from being used tomorrow?

12:05
August Fagerstrom: Thanks! Glad to be back. Yeah, Price coming in didn’t really make much sense to me. How long he pitched made less sense. Seems like Gibbons decided before the game that Price *would* pitch, and stuck to his guns despite the lead

12:06
August Fagerstrom: I mean, I guess once you come to that conclusion pregame, the worst thing in the world would be deciding against it because you have a big lead only to have the bullpen blow it. That’s my best rationale for the thought process

12:06
August Fagerstrom: Seemed unnecessary though

12:06
Comment From Pale Hose
No Kiley? #too soon

12:06
August Fagerstrom: I have failed you already

12:06
Comment From Pale Hose
August – Gut feel: what is going to be most useful and most useless out of Statcast?

12:07
August Fagerstrom: Useless: much of this season’s data

12:09
August Fagerstrom: Useful: I think first step time will be huge in explaining some of the defensive numbers that don’t agree with what our eyes may see. Mike Trout and Andrew McCutchen, two excellent athletes who most people would assume are plus plus defenders by the eye, had two of the worst first step times in the MLB this year. They also grade out as pretty mediocre defenders by the metrics. Something tells me that’s not a coincidence

12:09
August Fagerstrom: Being really fast and strong doesn’t always equate to having a good reaction time in the outfield. That first step can be huge

12:10
August Fagerstrom: I’m also excited about some of the stuff they’re planning implementing in the future. Positioning, throwing accuracy and baserunning cornering among the chief of those

12:10
Comment From Frank the Tank
Who goes deeper into the game tonight – Kershaw or Matz?

12:10
August Fagerstrom: Kershaw?

12:11
Comment From Matt
Hey August, Does a Teheran for Soler swap make sense for both teams?

12:11
August Fagerstrom: I know there have been rumors, but I don’t see how trading Teheran makes sense for Atlanta

12:12
Comment From Art Vandelay
On the KC radio broadcast yesterday, when the Royals went down 6-2, the broadcaster (idk who it is) said something along the lines of “It really is so much better to play the wild card game, to ride that momentum into the playoffs.” In a playoffs filled with dumb comments, that has to rank pretty highly.

12:12
August Fagerstrom: You could pick em out of a hat

12:12
Comment From Sean P
When the Cubs signed Trevor Cahill in August after being released by the Braves, did the Cubs really imagine that Trevor Cahill would be used as a high leverage relief pitcher in the postseason? Hard to imagine Maddon or the front office would feel comfortable using him as they have against the Cardinals based on his last couple seasons, especially the one he was having this year for the Braves before coming to the Cubs.

12:13
August Fagerstrom: I think any time a team signs a guy to a big league contract, they do so with the idea of that guy reaching his highest possible ceiling. I’m sure the Cubs front office and coaching staff saw something in Cahill that led them to believe he could be a quality big league pitcher again. “Imagining” and “expecting” are two different things, though

12:14
Comment From Xander
I have a good problem: In my Keeper league, I have Sano, Bogaerts and Corey Seager for 2 spots, plus a utility spot. Should I keep all 3? Should I deal one for pitching (which is by far my weakness)? Who would you consider dealing of the 3? And keep in mind I’m a delusional Red Sox fan who loves Xander Bogaerts like a son.

12:15
August Fagerstrom: I should say this now: I’m not too keen on fantasy baseball questions, so let’s try and limit those as much as we can. It’s just so hard to give a good answer without knowing everything about your team and your league, and I don’t really want to know everything about your team or league.

12:16
Comment From InGermany
Is there any research on different kinds of pitches being more/less effective multiple times through the order? As in, having great off-speed stuff would help later in the game to keep performance up.

12:17
August Fagerstrom: Maybe sinkers? I only say that because Eno had an interesting discussion about this on Twitter the other day, that perhaps a sinker generates more movement when a pitcher is fatigued because of the drop in velocity. People seemed to agree with him. https://twitter.com/enosarr…

12:17
Comment From Art Vandelay
I’m sure Kiley will make a legit Assistant Director of Baseball Operations (ADOBO)

12:17
August Fagerstrom: Kiley is going to kill it. Couldn’t have gone to a more deserving guy

12:17
Comment From NYHB
If Kershaw takes the loss tonight, will the narrative that he’s “unclutch when it matters” become too entrenched to be changed?

12:17
August Fagerstrom: Anyone who believes that now will likely continue believing it, yes

12:19
August Fagerstrom: As for the people who (wisely) don’t believe that now, no it won’t/shouldn’t change anything. In my ALDS Live Blog the other day, I had a poll up that asked something along the lines of “How many 5.00+ ERA postseason starts would Kershaw need to make before we believe he’s truly unclutch when it matters?” The most common answers were 30+, which I believe is about right

12:19
Comment From TKDC
Mike Napoli started a takeout slide this weekend with his backside grazing over second base and ended up 8 feet past the base, and he wasn’t suspended and nobody has said anything about it, I wonder why?

12:19
August Fagerstrom: no broken leg?

12:19
August Fagerstrom: maybe it wasn’t as key of a play in the game?

12:19
August Fagerstrom: I didn’t see it, so I’m not sure

12:19
Comment From K-Man
Hey Mr Niceriver, what are your 2 cents on David Price pitching yesterday?

12:20
August Fagerstrom: Already answered this one, but I wanted to publish because, hey! You know what “Fagerstrom” means in Finnish!

12:20
Comment From Jack Glasscocks Cup
Given your affinity for the Indians, do you think Lindor (aka the Mighty Truffle) had a better rookie campaign than the 10-months younger Correa?

12:21
August Fagerstrom: They both deserve Rookie of the Year, but I think the slight edge has to go to Lindor because of his defense.

12:21
Comment From Andrew
I know it’s mostly recency bias, but it feels like the playoffs are getting better every year. 2 game 5’s, an upstart Mets taking a 2-1 lead over the heavily favored Dodgers among much controversy, and the Cubs doing their best to break a 100+ year-old curse. Baseball is just the best.

12:22
August Fagerstrom: It really gets no better than playoff baseball

12:22
Comment From Tom
The Pirates haven’t won their division since I was in diapers. With the emergence of the Cubs and the continued existence of the Cardinals, I don’t know when, if ever, I’ll see them win the NL Central. I’m 24. Do you think the Pirates will win a division title before I retire?

12:22
August Fagerstrom: They could win it next year, easily

12:22
Comment From Thomas
Who do you think Wins AL ROY?

12:23
August Fagerstrom: My gut tells me Lindor. With a month left in the season, it seemed *so* unlikely, but it seemed he attracted quite a bit of national attention near the end there. Going to be close, but I think he edges it out

12:24
Comment From Frank
If the playoffs can get anymore dramatic, what do you think can top last night?

12:24
August Fagerstrom: Hasn’t been a walkoff yet, has there?

12:24
Comment From K-Man
Are managers getting smarter? Not as many f-ups as last postseason, it seems

12:25
August Fagerstrom: Or front offices are becoming more hands-on

12:25
Comment From Frankie
If you were to look at organizations minus the actual players (front office, minor league infrastructure, managers, etc.), would you say that the Cardinals have finally become a dumber organization than the Cubs? If so, is that based solely on the Cardinals having Mike Matheny and the Cubs having Joe Maddon, or does it go beyond that?

12:27
August Fagerstrom: Impossible to say. People don’t realize how many moving parts there are behind the scenes, and how important all those roles are. We have no clue which teams have the best strength and conditioning programs, mental health coaches, etc. Baseball organizations are like massive icebergs, of which we can only see the tip.

12:27
Comment From Nelson
Can we still say David Price and Kershaws playoffs struggles are just Sample size issues?

12:27
August Fagerstrom: yes

12:28
Comment From straw ryno
Out of the nine best things about Soler’s PAs, which was your personal favourite?

12:29
August Fagerstrom: Either the homer on the changeup to center or the 2-2 pitch that he took for a ball. In both of them, you can see his mind fighting his body. He wants to get out ahead and take that big aggressive swing, and in both he’s able to resist. I love that

12:29
Comment From Marc
On the topic of you being back – is that with Indians coverage being over?

12:30
August Fagerstrom: Yep! My gig with mlb.com was just an internship. I’m here full-time now.

12:30
Comment From Colin V
Switching gears to Cleveland…I’ve noticed the brain trust in the organization has received a lot of backlash from the “promotions,” yet I am encouraged and have trust in the organization, your take?

12:31
August Fagerstrom: The front office in Cleveland, to me, seems very smart. Maybe they held Lindor down a couple weeks too long? Don’t think it makes a big difference, really.

12:32
Comment From TKDC
Do you have offseason bargain/overpay predictions?

12:32
August Fagerstrom: Overpay: maybe Colby Rasmus? If the Astros win again today and he keeps having a monster postseason? I’m not sure how much that would really inflate a price tag, though.

12:33
August Fagerstrom: If not him, then just a couple of the big-name guys, since bidding wars usually end up making those be viewed as overpays anyway

12:34
August Fagerstrom: I like Desmond and Fister as nice buy lows

12:34
Comment From Matthew E
For how many of these eight playoff teams is the season a failure if they don’t advance to at least the LCS?

12:35
August Fagerstrom: zero? Every team’s mindset is “win the World Series,” but only one team achieves that. Making the playoffs is a pretty good season.

12:35
Comment From Catoblepas
Why do you say useless for Statcast?

12:36
August Fagerstrom: For one, so much of the data is incomplete. Tons of stuff doesn’t get tracked on each play, and there are a couple stadiums that seem to have faulty equipment. Also, you just can’t do much with any data set until you’ve got a couple few years of it, so this year’s data doesn’t really mean much. It was sort of like a test run, 2.0

12:38
Comment From Iorg
Hey, August: Will Bryant/Rizzo/Schwarber/Soler combine for 400 HRs next season?

12:38
August Fagerstrom: exactly 400

12:38
Comment From neastws
mfk Kluber Carrasco Salazar

12:38
August Fagerstrom: hi neast

12:38
Comment From L. Scott
Can there be any more pressure on Kershaw tonight? Fighting that atmosphere and the “momentum” as the season and the post=season reputation are both on the line.

12:39
August Fagerstrom: I’m pretty certain he’s not thinking too much about his postseason “reputation.” He’s got as much internal motivation to pitch well tonight as any other night, I’d imagine.

12:39
Comment From Catoblepas
Best guess at the defender Statcast will most make us reevaluate, positively or negatively? Or one of each!

12:40
August Fagerstrom: Trout/McCutchen are my go-to for negative evaluations. As for positives, I think it will bring to light how good some catchers’ arms are. The pop-time data was pretty illuminating, to me. So much of a catcher’s arm/pop-time can be hidden if they work with a pitching staff that’s slow to the plate

12:41
Comment From Tom
Re: Statcast and McCutchen’s defense. Have you watched McCutchen play outfield this year? He ain’t what he used to be. Starling Marte should be the Pirates Center Fielder. He should have been since 2014 probably.

12:41
August Fagerstrom: I have not, but I agree with your sentiment. Gonna be tough to move Cutch off of center, though

12:41
Comment From groucho
who signs Jason Heyward, and for how much?

12:43
August Fagerstrom: A team with a lot of money for a lot of money. Yankees, maybe? I’m terrible at guessing free agent destinations. I’d wager $200M though, conservatively.

12:43
Comment From Prince Warwick Saupold III
How disappointed would you really be if Lindor put up a wRC+ of “only” 105 next season but continued playing top 5 SS defense?

12:43
August Fagerstrom: I think that’s about what he’ll do

12:43
Comment From Viktor
When Zach Wheeler returns, do you project an SP2 or lower?

12:44
August Fagerstrom: Well, he’ll be the Mets’ SP4. But I think you’re asking in a vacuum. First year back, he probably experiences the usual post-TJ effects and is more like a 3. He should still have a very bright future though

12:45
Comment From Nelson
Do you have any concern with Rodon using his slider as much as he does for strikeouts, particularly since he is so young?

12:45
August Fagerstrom: As long as it works, I think that’s what matters. Plus, he’s got Chris Sale to teach him how to never get injured despite everyone thinking you’ll get injured

12:46
Comment From Eric
Has anyone got a gif of tony sipp’s extremely good post-homerun reaction?

12:46
August Fagerstrom: https://twitter.com/MLBGIFs…

12:46
August Fagerstrom: I nearly laughed myself to tears seeing that at about 2am last night

12:46
Comment From The Average Sports Fan
I consider myself Kershaw neutral. I don’t love or hate the guy. But at some point if he keeps losing starts in the playoffs, with numbers not as good as his regular season numbers. Doesn’t it mean something?

12:47
August Fagerstrom: After, like, 20 starts. Maybe.

12:47
Comment From L. Scott
Who do you think will win the NL Cy Young? And who do *you* think deserves it?

12:47
August Fagerstrom: I think Greinke probably wins it. I have no idea who *should* win it, but if I had to pick without throwing darts, I think I take Kershaw

12:48
12:48
Comment From K-Man
MGL study for the guy with the question about times through the order and pitch repertoire

12:48
August Fagerstrom: K-Man to the rescue!

12:48
Comment From TKDC
Pete Rose talking at length about Correa being too young to hit third has to be up there for stupidity, too, right?

12:49
August Fagerstrom: Pete Rose probably shouldn’t be doing the things he’s doing right now

12:49
August Fagerstrom: Not sure whose idea that was

12:49
August Fagerstrom: or why

12:49
Comment From Andrew
I’m pretty sure most people don’t know what anything means in Finnish.

12:49
August Fagerstrom: All I’ve got is: “Fagerstrom”

12:50
Comment From Gotribe31
Do you think the Indians starting CF in 2015 is currently in the organization? Predictions on the RF and 3B spot too, if you’re feeling frisky

12:50
August Fagerstrom: CF: no. RF: Josh Reddick, 3B: Giovanny Urshela/Jose Ramirez

12:51
Comment From Jake
Would anything make the playoffs more interesting than a Chase Utley walk-off grand slam to win game 5?

12:51
August Fagerstrom: aliens

12:51
Comment From Thomas
What gives Lindor the edge over Correa and Sano?

12:51
August Fagerstrom: Correa: better defense with near-identical offensive production. Sano: playing time, the fact that Sano mostly DH’ed

12:52
Comment From Gotribe31
With Zlatan Ibrahimovic scoring a goal for Sweden yesterday, are you sporting the man-bun in his honor this afternoon?

12:52
August Fagerstrom: Hi Al. I sport the man-bun all day, every day. I have no idea who that man is.

12:52
Comment From Bork
The replay system seems to be the center of a lot of the post-season drama so far. What kind of changes do you see the league making to it during the off-season?

12:53
August Fagerstrom: The neighborhood play needs to be addressed again, probably. The “foot bouncing off the bag momentarily” situation is probably the top priority

12:53
Comment From Ferris
Any guess where Samardijza ends up next year; back to the Cubs where he can actually become a decent pitcher again? This year was horrible in the AL for him.

12:53
August Fagerstrom: National League, somewhere. Also, add this to the list of guys who I think we’ll end up being a steal for somebody. I’m a sucker for bounceback candidates

12:53
Comment From Slew (Seattle)
Say nice things about the Cleveland Indians.

12:54
August Fagerstrom: The top-end talent on their roster can compete with any team in the Majors

12:54
Comment From Brad
Indians missed playoffs in 2014 because of defense. What was main culprit this year?

12:55
August Fagerstrom: The same defense for the first couple months, mixed with terrible sequencing

12:55
Comment From Huston
How confident are you that Alex Cobb can recover from his TJ to become an elite pitcher again? He seems to be a walking calamity as he has injuries ridicule his whole career but is a great pitcher when he is actually on the mound.

12:56
August Fagerstrom: Thing about Cobb is, a number of his injuries have been fluky non-arm injuries. He missed half a season because he got hit in the head, I think there was a knee/ankle injury in there that cost him some time, too. He’s got as good of a chance of anyone to recover from TJ, I think. Maybe better, because he’s really, really good? I’ve always loved Cobb

12:56
Comment From InGermany
Are you interested in how advanced stat analysis can be used in other sports? As far as I can see (looking more at European than American sports), baseball seems like the only mainstream sport with enough constants, and a big enough sample size, to gain much.

12:57
August Fagerstrom: I’m certainly interested in the idea of it. I’m just not that interested in most other sports, to be honest, so it’s not really a priority of mine

12:57
Comment From jason
The “David Price playoff issues” narrative never seems to note the fact he pitched a 2-run complete game in a must-win game 163 in 2013. I guess the playoff atmosphere is just totally different, right?

12:57
August Fagerstrom: something like that

12:57
Comment From Mike
In the case of Trevor Cahill (and many other Cubs “reclamation projects”, both this year and in years past), how much of it is the inherent talent, and how much of it is Chris Bosio working wonders with these guys?

12:58
August Fagerstrom: 70/30?

12:58
Comment From Slew (Seattle)
During the offseason, please host a Cleveland Indians chat. Future planning, roster construction, etc

12:58
August Fagerstrom: you’re free to ask me indians questions whenever!

12:58
Comment From Bork
People (aka media) are saying that the Jays have burned their bridge with Price and have no chance of re-signing him. Media being media? This can’t have any kind of truth to it.

12:59
August Fagerstrom: I haven’t heard that. What’s the basis? Because he pitched yesterday? Maybe I’m missing something

12:59
Comment From Bork
Who signs Maicer Izturis, and for how much?

12:59
August Fagerstrom: Yankees for $200M if they miss out on Heyward

1:00
Comment From ghostface thriller
Hey August what’s your dream WS matchup?

1:00
August Fagerstrom: Astros-Cubs, without a doubt

1:00
Comment From Jack Glasscocks Cup
How great is it going to be to be a Cubs’ fan over the next 5-10 years? They remind me of the Mid-90s Indians teams. The only difference is that the Cubs will be able to sign whomever they want to long-term contracts.

1:00
August Fagerstrom: They’ve got to be the most exciting team to be a fan of in baseball right now

1:00
Comment From pinch
perhaps prying question: what’s your background like? reporting, or something unrelated? what did you do before starting at FG last year?

1:02
August Fagerstrom: Quick summary: started out answering phones in the sports department at the Akron Beacon Journal while taking journalism classes at Kent State. Started reporting for them. Covered the Akron RubberDucks (Indians AA affiliate) then the Indians. FanGraphs part-time on the side. Then an internship covering Indians for MLB.com this season, and now I’m here!

1:02
Comment From Bob
As a Braves fan, we will happily accept your chats cause it means Kiley’s in our front office : )

1:02
August Fagerstrom: Fair trade-off

1:02
Comment From HairVP

1:02
August Fagerstrom: hell yes

1:02
Comment From Bork
Pete Rose talking about Donaldson going out of the game because of a potential concussion might be up there too.

1:02
August Fagerstrom: This was appalling

1:03
August Fagerstrom: Although I do enjoy the awkwardness of a broadcast when you can see the look on the fellow broadcasters faces of “oh my god shut up pete shut up pete shut up stop talking shit shit shit”

1:03
Comment From 6 Year old Me
Were you born in August?

1:03
August Fagerstrom: June!

1:05
Comment From Joe
Is Ray Searage overrated? I don’t doubt that he’s a good pitching coach, but it seems like a lot of the pirates pitchers “improve” by going from the AL to the NL, and pitching in front of advanced shifts with elite pitch framers at a pitcher’s park.

1:05
August Fagerstrom: I think every pitching coach gets “overrated” because they’re often assigned 100% of the credit for a pitcher’s turnaround. There’s way more than just one guy giving input

1:06
Comment From Bork
Yeah that’s pretty much the basis of it. They felt he was “disrespected” because he came out of the bullpen, then Gibbon’s saying he will be unavailable for Game 5.

1:06
August Fagerstrom: Yeah, I don’t think that changes his offseason plans at all, unless thinks they’re going to start randomly throwing him from the bullpen in the regular season

1:06
Comment From anon
What happened to Arrietas command last night? fatigue?

1:06
August Fagerstrom: guys have off nights!

1:06
Comment From Frank
Do you know off hand who’s going to be doing the main prospect analysis here now?

1:07
August Fagerstrom: Still TBA, as far as I know. Whoever it is has big shoes to fill. Kiley did a great job in setting up something of a structure of how things can be done efficiently. Hoping whoever takes over follows some of that structure and adds their own touch to it.

1:07
Comment From tough critic
Is this Indians offense centered around Kipnis, Brantley, Lindor and Santana a good core to build on or does it need to be blown up? At what point do they give up on Santana?

1:08
August Fagerstrom: Few teams make less sense to blow it up than the Indians. They’ve got a great core. I could see Santana being moved in the offseason, though

1:08
Comment From Jack Glasscocks Cup
How do the Indians get the most value out of Roberto Perez? Do they keep him as a backup, start him, or trade him? His batted ball profile is pretty good for a catcher.

1:09
August Fagerstrom: I think trading some combination of him, Jose Ramirez, Lonnie Chisenhall or Gio Urshela makes sense. All four guys have more trade value than the value of their role on next years team, if that makes sense

1:09
Comment From Pete Rose
Back in my day players would stay in the game until they had to be forcefully removed! And you can bet on that.

1:10
August Fagerstrom: He even mentioned something along the lines of “I took plenty of shots to the head in my day and never left a game,” which is devastatingly ironic

1:10
Comment From senpaisanto
what’s trevor bauer like? eno’s made him out to be so fascinating…

1:10
August Fagerstrom: He’s an fascinating person who has his problems like the rest of us

1:11
Comment From Section329
Is FG doing anymore live blogging of games?

1:11
August Fagerstrom: Yes, though I couldn’t tell you which ones. I know all of the World Series games get live blogged, and I’m sure there will be some inbetween, too

1:11
Comment From patsfb
Why does Bastian get so perturbed when I ask if Raburn is alive?

1:12
August Fagerstrom: because he’s cranky

1:14
August Fagerstrom: Alright guys, I’ve gotta run! Thanks for the questions, there were many more of them than I expected and I apologize for those I didn’t answer. Talk to you all next week

We hoped you liked reading August Fagerstrom FanGraphs Chat – 10/13/15 by August Fagerstrom!

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August used to cover the Indians for MLB and ohio.com, but now he's here and thinks writing these in the third person is weird. So you can reach me on Twitter @AugustFG_ or e-mail at august.fagerstrom@fangraphs.com.

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Nick
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Nick

Between a potential Cubs and mets NLCS, who’s your pick?