August Fagerstrom FanGraphs Chat — 5/24/16

11:51
august fagerstrom: chatty chat chat!

11:51
august fagerstrom: Soundtrack: Massive Attack – Mezzanine

12:05
august fagerstrom: WHERE IS BORK

12:05
august fagerstrom: I CANNOT START THE CHAT WITHOUT BORK

12:06
august fagerstrom: oh man

12:06
august fagerstrom: hope he’s okay

12:06
august fagerstrom: alright, let’s start

12:07
Erik: Have you seen anything in the Cubs recent slide which suggests they aren’t quite as big of a favorite as we thought they were? Or is this just a totally acceptable small blip?

12:07
august fagerstrom: They weren’t going to be *perfect* all year

12:08
Brian Dozier: Am I ever going to get it together?

12:08
august fagerstrom: Was reminded of this recently: https://twitter.com/tlschwerz/status/734945397588656133

12:09
august fagerstrom: He was succeeding with an exploitable swing, and has shown an inability to adjust

12:09
David: At what point do we wonder if the Dodgers’ projections were off and they’re just not very good?

12:09
august fagerstrom: I’m not there ye

12:09
august fagerstrom: yet*

12:09
Mike: Trout is the fWAR leader again. All is right in the world.

12:10
august fagerstrom: Think it was Sam Miller who said something to the effect of, “The indicator for when a season’s samples are no longer ‘too small’ is whenever Mike Trout gets back to the top of the WAR leaderboard.”

12:10
Pedro Cerrano: Are you feeling alright about Kluber moving forward?

12:11
august fagerstrom: Yep. Stuff really hasn’t diminished.

12:11
Sean P: Ben Zobrist has been outstanding so far as a Cub. Do you think he has it in him to post a 6+ WAR this year?

12:12
august fagerstrom: He’s already got 2.5 wins banked. Would only have to outperform his rest-of-season projection by half a win to get there

12:12
Erik: Before the season, the Astros would have been viewed as one of the teams with the most positive outlook for the next several seasons. How much has their terrible start and the underperformance of certain players affected that outlook? Are they still a team on the rise and a likely contender the next several years?

12:13
august fagerstrom: I’d say so. The core is still young, they’ve still got Reed and Bregman on the way.

12:14
august fagerstrom: Keuchel is a big part of their future, and so that’s concerning, but they’ve got other interesting young arms, and it’s not like we should expect Keuchel to be a zero moving forward.

12:14
august fagerstrom: They’ve got more young talent in place than most teams. I wouldn’t be worried

12:15
Stu: Do you think Justin Upton rebounds this season….ie should I go out and get him…or should i avoid him like the black plague?

12:16
12:16
august fagerstrom: That being said, he’s older than he’s ever been, this is his worst slump ever, and it’s got to be more concerning when it happens at the start of a season

12:18
Rols: How confident are you in Archer bouncing back? Strikeouts are still there, but the walks are way too high

12:19
august fagerstrom: I think he’ll be fine. He’s not missing by much with the slider, and he’s actually improved the changeup

12:19
Kidd Chris: Dallas Keuchel limbo. How low can he go?

12:19
august fagerstrom: it’s funny because that’s actually the problem. he needs to go lower

12:19
august fagerstrom: his pitches, that is

12:19
august fagerstrom: the pitches need to be lower. stop throwing 88mph fastballs over the plate, Dallas Keuchel

12:20
JP: The commish just announced a new format for this year’s all star game: AL and NL will be combined but it will be the best of the pitchers all on one team against the best of the position players all on the other. Who do you got winning?

12:21
august fagerstrom: A fresh arm every inning with the arms being Kershaw, Syndergaard, Arrieta, Scherzer, Strasburg, Sale, Fernandez, Cueto and Rich Hill? I’ll take the pitcher team

12:21
Buff: What’s your take on Bryan Price? Seems that his recent jerking around of Jumbo Diaz and Keyvius Sampson smacks a bit of the desperation and anger of last year’s meltdown. Does he still have the confidence of management, for what that’s worth?

12:21
august fagerstrom: is there a right way to manage the Reds’ bullpen?

12:23
Human: a coworker of mine gave me her number then she texted me and then we talked but she didn’t seem like she wanted to talk i do not understand life sometimes august!!!

12:23
august fagerstrom: The problem with texting is that people express themselves differently through text making it difficult to interpret anyone’s true intention. There’s no body language in a text. Take her out to lunch.

12:24
august fagerstrom: With limited/no texting between the invitation to said lunch and the lunch itself

12:24
Pablo: Pomeranz killed it again last night. Who’s a good comp for him? How does he rank compared to someone like Gausman or Velasquez?

12:24
august fagerstrom: I like the Rich Hill comp that Eno made

12:26
Crispy Coco: Any idea who may be the 1st OF callup for the Indians, Bradley Zimmer or Clint Frazier?

12:26
august fagerstrom: Barring an unforeseen circumstance, Zimmer will be the first one up

12:27
Erik: Will JP Crawford be a better player 6-8 years from now based on the things he will learn in the next few months in AAA? Or could he learn those things in the majors without hurting his future?

12:27
august fagerstrom: Probably not significantly. The point of teams delaying a top prospect’s clock is far less about that, though, and far more about that top prospect’s age-28 season being way more valuable than his age-22 season

12:27
chris: Catch wainos last 2 starts? Velocity seems up. Not expecting star numbers, but is a 3.5 era and 1.2 whip reasonable?

12:28
august fagerstrom: He says he’s ironed out his mechanics, and video confirms a noticeable change. Command of the fastball’s been better than it’s been all year. Not ready to say an ace is back (not sure an ace is ever coming back), but I’m certainly more encouraged than I was a couple week ago

12:29
Slothrop: If by the end of it all Syndergaard’s career was exactly as good as Dwight Gooden’s statistically would that be a disappointment or success?

12:29
august fagerstrom: Dwight Gooden finished his career with 56 WAR

12:29
august fagerstrom: Borderline Hall of Famer. Mets would take that

12:30
Colin: Pujols’s BAPIP is settling in at ~.215 for the 2nd straight season. How is that possible? FWIW Steamer/ZIPS project ~.250 but that seems like a total long shot at this point. Has he become a true three-outcome hitter?

12:30
august fagerstrom: Extremely easy to defend him + horrific foot speed + high percentage of balls in play going toward home runs

12:30
august fagerstrom: .215 is still a bit unlikely, but it’s probably safe to assume his true-talent BABIP is sub-.250, which is still pretty rare

12:31
Raindog: Russell Martin .008 ISO, 33 K% – he must be seriously hurt, right?

12:31
august fagerstrom: Hurt or just broken. This is well past the point of “guys get to their level eventually”

12:32
Mike: Are the Angels still a dumpster fire, or are they a .500 team ros?

12:32
august fagerstrom: I do not think they are a .500 team the rest of the way

12:33
The other Kyle: Does Daniel Hudson get a crack at closing this year? Next year?

12:33
august fagerstrom: Might be soon if Ziegler doesn’t get the walks under control

12:34
Raindog: Leonys Martin has had a big drop in GB% and substantial gains in Pull% and Hard%. So do we think his newfound power is actually a result of new approach/swing and not just early season luck?

12:34
august fagerstrom: Those are the signs you’d want to look for, yeah. Also, I believe a Jeff Sullivan-Leonys Martin article is coming later today, so maybe you’ll get an even more detailed answer!

12:34
Replacement Bork: Hi friend!

12:34
august fagerstrom: 🙁

12:34
BakedBean: Why do sports media keep pointing to the Shelby Miller trade as a precedent for trading other young SPs? Surely, GMs are smart enough to realize that this was an overpay and not a precedent to set or exceed for future trades, right?

12:35
august fagerstrom: Yeah, Shelby Miller being bad really shouldn’t shift the perception of that trade too much. It wouldn’t been a complete disaster even if Shelby Miller was Shelby Miller

12:35
august fagerstrom: would’ve been*

12:37
GERB: Debate I’ve been having with a friend; If a theoretical player exclusively hit home runs and struck out, how often would he have to homer to get a full time DH job? 1 in 10?

12:37
august fagerstrom: well that’s like a 21 wRC+, so, no, that won’t cut it

12:39
august fagerstrom: 9-for-50 with 9 homers is like a 136 wRC+. The 41 strikeouts would likely depreciate his value a bit as those are all completely empty plate appearances, and it seems safe to assume he’s got poor footspeed as well. Even with those things considered, I think a 136 wRC+ would do it, with some room to spare

12:39
august fagerstrom: So that’s 108 homers over a 600 PA pace with no other production

12:39
august fagerstrom: All it takes!

12:39
august fagerstrom: Hope I did my math right!

12:39
Kylo Ren: Sorry, really stupid question about the new awesome rolling graphs feature: Each data point is the average/summation of that X-game period, correct? It’s a summation of previous data, not in isolation, correct?

12:40
august fagerstrom: Yes

12:40
TJ: Talk me off the ledge about Carson Smith, the Red Sox bullpen, and the Red Sox by extension.

12:41
august fagerstrom: the Red Sox bullpen still has Craig Kimbrel, Koji Uehara, a better-looking Junichi Tazawa and suddenly pretty awesome Robbie Ross. AKA more than most bullpens. and the Red Sox as a team have the most wins in the American League, the best offense to date in baseball, and the best rest-of-season projection in the AL

12:41
august fagerstrom: the Carson Smith thing makes them… a win? worse the rest of the way? less?

12:42
Snowflake: Mark Reynolds has accumulated 10.2 WAR in the 10 years he’s been in the majors. Mike Trout accumulated 10.3 WAR in his first full year in the majors

12:42
august fagerstrom: this is good

12:42
Fager’s trombone: What’s your take on Gregory Polanco? Is this going to be his breakout year?

12:42
august fagerstrom: it alreadi is

12:42
august fagerstrom: already*

12:43
Albert: How many WAR, on average, will conforto be worth per season for the next 5 or so years?

12:43
august fagerstrom: 3.5?

12:43
august fagerstrom: should I have just said 4?

12:43
Mac: To what extent can Alex Wood maintain this level of success? This coincides with a recent mechanical adjustment he said he made . Is there anything noticeably different in his mechanics?

12:43
august fagerstrom: Relevant to your interests: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/welcome-back-alex-wood/

12:43
GDUBSS: Odds Kershaw wins the NL MVP again?

12:44
august fagerstrom: Right now, I’d vote for him

12:44
Curtis: Pick one player who will finish the season (without a catastrophic injury) with less WAR than he currently has…

12:44
august fagerstrom: Ryan Howard!

12:44
A. Reitz: Who’s better ROS. Thor or Greinke?

12:44
august fagerstrom: Thor

12:44
august fagerstrom: ThorThorThor

12:45
GERB: Best pitching season of all time in terms of WAR – 99 Pedro with 11.6. If Kershaw starts 33 games this year, he is currently on pace for 12.5. I know it’s still a long shot, but what are the odds?!?

12:45
august fagerstrom: Still prettttty slim

12:45
august fagerstrom: He’s *projected* for a 1.94 ERA/2.07 FIP (lol) the rest of the way, and that still only gets him to 10 WAR

12:46
august fagerstrom: I do think he has legitimately improved his true-talent level somehow, but not by *this* much

12:46
E: Guys who played in the MLB: Frank Catalanotto, Danys Baez, Ty Wigginton, Jack Wilson, Odalis Perez

12:46
august fagerstrom: GREAT list

12:46
august fagerstrom: Wigginton not even that far out!

12:47
Brad: Can we expect more K’s from Stroman, or is this who he is?

12:47
august fagerstrom: It sure seems like a conscious decision for him to pitch to as much contact as he does. I’d wager if he wanted to go for more K’s he could. No guarantee that’d make him a more effective or valuable pitcher, though.

12:48
BakedBean: Any chance Carlos Carrasco is available at the deadline and healthy enough to pitch?

12:48
august fagerstrom: I do not see why the Indians would look to trade Carlos Carrasco this year

12:48
A. Reitz: I know his K/BB rate is pretty terrible but, what are your thoughts on Martin Perez? His velo has looked nice early on along which his still great change. What’s keeping him from making the next step?

12:48
august fagerstrom: He just doesn’t have very good stuff

12:48
Tom: Are Correa, Bogaerts, Lindor and Seager already the four best SS in the game? And how would you rank those four going forward in their careers?

12:49
august fagerstrom: Yes and Lindor -> Correa-> gap -> Seager -> Bogaerts

12:49
Guesto: CC Sabathia has strung together some real nice starts since August 2015. Any idea as to what he’s done to reinvent himself?

12:50
august fagerstrom: Admitting and addressing his alcohol addiction probably wouldn’t hurt

12:52
Quirks: What do you think has fueled Gregory Polanco’s big jump in offensive production ?

12:52
august fagerstrom: Relevant to your interests: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/gregory-polanco-has-shortened-up/

12:52
august fagerstrom: I wonder if I could get through a whole chat by answering player adjustment questions with just links to Jeff Sullivan pieces

12:52
Von Schloss: Better prospect, AJ Reed or Trea Turner?

12:53
august fagerstrom: Trea Turner

12:53
Guest: let’s say zobrist finishes at 6 WAR — probably a conservative estimate! dave likes the old -.5/yr model for regression, but let’s say he’s hit harder — -1/yr. that puts him on pace for 55 wins by the time his deal with the Cubs is through. that’s only 5 shy of sandberg’s career total, and he was a HOF shoo-in. does zobrist have a shot?

12:54
august fagerstrom: Almost no chance. Even if he finishes with a 6 WAR season, he won’t be projected for 5 wins next year, nor should anyone reasonably expect that. Probably closer to 3.5

12:55
august fagerstrom: He had a borderline Hall of Fame peak, which I bet is something most people don’t realize. Nearly impossible to make the Hall of Fame with -0.3 career WAR through age 27, though

12:55
Larry Bernandez: Correa is not a SS long-term agreed?

12:55
august fagerstrom: Yes

12:55
Beersy: If jose bautista is the drake of baseball, who’s the kanye? Kendrick?

12:56
august fagerstrom: I guess Kanye would have to be Harper and Kendrick is either Trout or Kershaw

12:56
A. Reitz: Why wouldn’t the Yankees be sellers at the deadline this year? I know it’s not the yankee way to admit defeat but, they aren’t going anywhere. Ellsbury, Tex, Gardner, Chapman all need to go. Heck, Beltran might be a decent DH for an AL team down the stretch.

12:56
august fagerstrom: who says they won’t be? I imagine they will.

12:58
Curtis: Assuming Harper & Trout would be 2/3 of your OF and Machado would be occupying some part of the left side of your infield, build the rest of your “Dream Team” Batters – a team for the next 5 years or so…limit one per position….

12:58
august fagerstrom: Posey Rizzo Altuve Lindor Machado Trout Harper and…… Marte? If it’s gotta be a left fielder?

12:58
august fagerstrom: Maybe Betts if it can be any other outfielder

12:58
young michael: Is Dae Ho Lee for real? Can he be an above average everyday hitter.

12:58
august fagerstrom: Don’t see why not

12:59
DB in Pgh: was listening to Pirates pre-game on radio the other day, and they talked for quite a while about an article you did, and mentioned you by name, and the site, numerous times. Kudos!

12:59
august fagerstrom: I believe I was on that show as well! Unless it was a different day. Thanks!

12:59
Carlos Santana: Should I give up this switch hitting thing? .150/.222/.175 vs. LHP

1:00
august fagerstrom: 40 plate appearances probably not enough to kick a career 130 wRC+ to the curb, no

1:00
Rated Rookie: Salazar has been a little wild in his most recent outings. Just normal fluctuations that go with a starter whose control can be touch-and-go? Or something else?

1:00
august fagerstrom: His command has been pretty terrible since the start of Spring Training.

1:02
august fagerstrom: He’s also suddenly a ground ball pitcher now with a career-high rate of strikeouts. In the Syndergaard piece I wrote today, he’s one of the four upper-most dots in the K% vs. GB% graph, alongside Kershaw, Syndergaard, and Strasburg. He’s having a really bizarre year and I have no idea how to interpet it

1:02
Seth: what do you think the trade market is for Jay Bruce or Zack Cozart…both have had solid starts to the season…should the Reds be looking for top 100 type prospect? a couple of b level guys?

1:02
august fagerstrom: they could look for a top-100 prospect, sure. not gonna get it though

1:03
DB in Pgh: how much media appearances [radio, or other] do you do?

1:04
august fagerstrom: Was on MLB Now once this offseason and do a handful of 5-10 minute radio hits a week

1:04
BakedBean: Chances of Cespy being available at the deadline?

1:04
august fagerstrom: ?

1:04
august fagerstrom: The Mets are damn-near already in the playoffs. can’t see how this would happen

1:05
Snowflake: Please tell us about Mike Clevinger

1:05
august fagerstrom: He has good stuff. If he doesn’t walk too many batters I think he’ll be a serviceable mid-rotation arm

1:05
Tom: Over David Ortiz’s last 137 games: 42 HR, 45 doubles, WRC+ 176

1:05
august fagerstrom: goodness gracious

1:06
Guy: What is more intimidating: 9 best pitchers each doing 1 inning or top 5 pitchers with 4 doing 2 innings and 1 doing 1 inning?

1:07
august fagerstrom: This is a good question actually because even in the latter scenario you never have to worry about the times-through-the-order penalty

1:07
august fagerstrom: And some guys take an inning to really get going

1:08
august fagerstrom: And Kershaw/Syndergaard/Arrieta/Sale/Scherzer as a group are unquestionably better than the next four, even if by a (relatively) slim margin

1:08
august fagerstrom: So I’ll say thelatter

1:08
august fagerstrom: Kershaw, Thor, Arrieta and Sale for 2 with Scherzer closing it out by pumping heaters down the middle like a reliever

1:08
august fagerstrom: I like it

1:10
Ronnie: Mike Trout is in a virtual three way tie with Miguel Cabrera & Andrew McCutchen atop the 2009-16 WAR leaderboard. Mike Trout did not become a regular until April 28, 2012.

1:10
august fagerstrom: I like this

1:10
Curtis: Any idea why the Mariners are such a good road team so far this year?

1:10
august fagerstrom: because they’re a pretty good team and sometimes weird things happen with arbitrary splits like home/road record

1:10
Ricky: Rank the following, please? CarMart, Steven Wright, Kyle Hendricks and Pomeranz

1:11
august fagerstrom: let’s not do CarMart please

1:12
Morgan Freeman: MORGAN. FREEMAN.

1:12
august fagerstrom: just reminded me that not only did Bork not show up today, but neither did MATT. DAMON.

1:12
august fagerstrom: makes me wonder if they’re the same guy

1:12
HBD fan: Who won the big Archers-Rocks trade?

1:13
august fagerstrom: Archers in a landslide victory. Didn’t you read the FanCharts post on it? “Gracious Rocks Rebuild Archers”

1:13
august fagerstrom: please excuse my inside joke everybody

1:13
august fagerstrom: that will be the end of today’s chat

1:13
august fagerstrom: take care everyone and have a good week. thanks as always for being entertaining





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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cubfanjack
6 years ago

To the guy who Eno suggested taking his potential girl/texting friend out to lunch—first ask her if she knows the difference between a hummer and a cheeseburger…THEN ask her to lunch.