August Fagerstrom FanGraphs Chat — 7/26/16

12:07
august fagerstrom: hey!

12:07
august fagerstrom: let’s chat

12:07
august fagerstrom: while listening to Beck’s Mellow Gold

12:13
august fagerstrom: OK, sorry. Let’s start for real.

12:13
Bork: Hello, friend!

12:13
august fagerstrom: Hi, Bork!

12:14
Jamie Sayer: So, right off the bat, initial thoughts on the Upton deal? Is he a backup bat or will he get regular ABs?

12:14
august fagerstrom: Sort of seems like more of an insurance for all their brittle hitters, but that also probably discounts what he’s done the last year or so

12:15
august fagerstrom: I’d guess he gets all lefties over Saunders, even though Saunders has held his own, and does some late-inning defensive/base-running replacing

12:16
august fagerstrom: Also wonder how much this impacts Smoak’s playing time

12:16
august fagerstrom: Guess that all comes down to whether the Blue Jays are comfortable running EE out at 1B multiple times per week

12:16
Erik: I saw a seemingly crazy rumor involving the Rangers trading for Vincent Velazquez. Is there a trade there that makes sense for both sides? Velazquez has a ton of value, but is rather high risk. Could the Phillies look to swap him for a nearly equally talented young player or prospect to minimize risk, or are they in a position where risk isn’t that bad for them right now?

12:18
august fagerstrom: It’s funny, when the Pomeranz deal went down, I tried to think of similar potential structures where it might actually make sense for a rebuilding team to deal a good, controllable arm, and Velasquez was the only one (besides the obvious Teheran move, of course) that I could come up with

12:19
august fagerstrom: Similar line of thinking — he comes with a high amount of relative uncertainty, the Phillies probably are still a year or two away from contention so he could provide more short-term value to another club than them, and with the market for high-impact arms being depressed the way it is, they would get a freaking haul for him.

12:19
august fagerstrom: Does it happen? Doubtful. But I think it could make some sense.

12:19
august fagerstrom: Think of what the Rangers would pay for Velasquez right now

12:19
Zorak: Is Fagerstrom with a hard G like gif or a soft G like gif? Or is it a weird Y sound like fage yogurt?

12:20
august fagerstrom: Fay-gr-strum

12:20
Brittany: If Pirates decide to trade Melancon at the deadline what kind of return can they expect?

12:20
august fagerstrom: Less than Chapman but more than we’d expect, probably is the right answer

12:21
august fagerstrom: Maybe something like a prospect in the 50ish range, plus another interesting young piece or two?

12:23
Bork: Who would you rather sign as a 1B/DH next year, Bautista or EE? Bautista’s days in RF are numbered and the Upton trade has only solidified it.

12:23
august fagerstrom: Pretty much a wash, but I guess Encarnacion solely because he’s two years younger and Bautista’s the one with the more recent injury

12:24
GSon: How thrilled are you that the RNC has ended its convention and is no longer screwing up traffic with all the fences and road closures?

12:24
august fagerstrom: I subleased my apartment for the week, left the city, and made a ton of money off it. It could’ve gone on for another week with no complaints from me.

12:25
Frankie Sharpslacks: Which of the Indians’ prospects do you think should be considered “untouchable” in trade conversations? With the team performing so close, don’t they have to push their chips to the center of the table and go for it?

12:25
august fagerstrom: I don’t think anyone should ever be untouchable

12:25
august fagerstrom: Certainly none of the Indians prospects should be so in a deal for Miller

12:25
august fagerstrom: or even Lucroy

12:25
bill: How to explain 10-11 K for Mike Leake for 2 starts in a row.

12:25
august fagerstrom: baseball

12:25
The Average Sports Fan: The Reds front office has looked terrible with the product on the field, and the take from their offseason trades. I assume Bruce will bring a disappointing return as well. Can you give me some hope?

12:26
august fagerstrom: nope

12:26
august fagerstrom: sorry

12:26
august fagerstrom: don’t get your hopes too high

12:27
Mike T.: Is it almost time to consider Aaron Sanchez a top 10 starter in MLB?

12:27
august fagerstrom: nope

12:28
august fagerstrom: Who of Kershaw/Scherzer/Sale/Syndergaard/Fernandez/Kluber/Price/Arrieta/Bumgarner/Strasburg/Carrasco/deGrom/Cueto are you bumping?

12:28
august fagerstrom: There’s more names than that I think that could be used before Sanchez, too

12:29
august fagerstrom: I think it’s time we consider him the ace of the Blue Jays staff, and a legitimate front-line starter

12:29
august fagerstrom: Lotta good pitchers in baseball right now though

12:29
Brenden: What can you tell us about Hansel Rodriguez?

12:29
august fagerstrom: nothing that Eric Longenhagen can’t

12:30
Rob: Who’s coming out of the AL West?

12:30
august fagerstrom: Astros

12:31
Mickey Donovan: Lucas Giolito has been a disaster in his first go around (and more than half of all his MILB starts in 2016). With Roark and Ross performing as they are and Gonzalez the lefty, will Giolito start 2017 in the minors? Traded? What is going on with him? He’s flashed nothing in his starts.

12:31
august fagerstrom: 11 innings!

12:31
august fagerstrom: Didn’t keep close tabs on him in the minors but the numbers there look fine to me

12:31
august fagerstrom: Possible that he starts 2017 in the minors I suppose, but it’s not like these three starts have changed his future outlook much

12:31
august fagerstrom: He’s still an elite, elite prospect

12:32
Avi: Bradley and Zimmer for Will Smith and Lucroy. Who hangs up first August?

12:33
august fagerstrom: Thiiiink the Indians try to maybe pry a second reliever or consolidate Bradley into two slightly lesser prospects, but I think this is close to what would ultimately happen

12:33
Skuggs: Hey Augusto, now that we’re basically even on “good JBJ” at-bats and “bad JBJ” at-bats, don’t you think it’s pretty reasonable to take the over on this projected 108 wRC+?

12:34
august fagerstrom: Yeah, he’s got a 140 wRC+ over the last year with an explainable power spike, and that’s half of his career PA. Easy over

12:35
Rick: Chapman is better against lefties and Rondon is considerably better against righties. Hypothetically, let’s say the Cubs are facing the Nationals in the playoffs and Bryce Harper is up to bat in the 8th inning 0 outs. wouldn’t it make more sense to go Chapman 8th (better splits against lefty and heart of the order), and Rondon 9th?

12:36
august fagerstrom: Yep, though FWIW, both are pretty great against opposite-handed hitters, too

12:36
august fagerstrom: Rondon’s allowed a .251 wOBA to RHB and a .266 wOBA to LHB

12:37
august fagerstrom: Chapman .194 vs. LHB, .249 vs. RHB

12:37
august fagerstrom: I do think there’s some spots where it could make sense to play some matchups, and if anyone would use Chapman in the 8th it’d be Maddon (read something this morning that that’s already been discussed), but it’s not like you’re ever at a real disadvantage with either one facing any batter

12:37
E: Guys who played in the MLB: Dave Bush, Ben Broussard, Alex Cora, Julian Tavarez, Yorvit Torrealba

12:37
august fagerstrom: hoooowee Ben Broussard

12:38
Colin: If you’re the Indians, would you trade Frazier or Zimmer for Andrew Miller?

12:38
august fagerstrom: Yep. Would take considerably more than just one of those guys, though. That’s where the real decision-making comes in.

12:39
John C.: August do you think the Yankees are just blowing smoke when it comes to not trading Miller? I imagine they can get a really strong haul and as a Yankee fan I’d prefer to have a couple of rough years with a potential young core to look forward to rather than them continuing to pretend to compete by throwing money at all these old guys.

12:39
august fagerstrom: After the Chapman deal it’d be hard not to move Miller

12:39
august fagerstrom: Could be that the Chapman deal just priced everyone out of Miller, though.

12:40
august fagerstrom: They’re listening, for sure. But, it’s kind of like Sale with the White Sox. It’s not like they *have* to move him right now, or that his value won’t continue being insanely high, so long as he’s healthy

12:41
NYTT: Is Inciarte a part of the Braves next not terrible team or is he traded before then?

12:41
august fagerstrom: traded

12:42
pizza: Hey August, what’s your favorite kind of pizza? Deep dish or some of that NY style?

12:42
august fagerstrom: this is like picking children

12:42
august fagerstrom: I know some people don’t like deep dish — I can tell you I am *not* one of those people.

12:42
august fagerstrom: Deep dish is great. Thin crust is great. Greek pizza and hawaiian pizza is great. Veggie pizza is great. Pizza is great.a

12:43
Sam: Given how much teams are trading for guys like Ken Giles, wouldn’t it make sense for teams to just have every future AAA pitching prospect that throws heat become a set up man? IF you can trade Giles for VV+ why shouldn’t St. Louis just put Reyes in the pen and trade him for a haul in a year? You can even get a front-line starter out of it!

12:43
august fagerstrom: Because they can just get a frontline starter out of Reyes?

12:43
The Cincinnati Kid: Is Greg Bird the starting 1B for the Yankees next year or do they make a splash in FA?

12:44
august fagerstrom: As long as there’s no serious internal concerns regarding his health, no reason he isn’t handed the keys

12:45
senpaisanto: how does aroldis change cubs chances in your estimation?

12:45
august fagerstrom: couple percentage points?

12:46
Pete: What explains the longevity of Mike Aviles in the MLB? Does the flexibility he offers really make up for his abysmal performance?

12:46
august fagerstrom: Flexibility and awesome human being/clubhouse guy

12:46
Erik: Is there a yet undiscovered metric out there which would show that the high value teams are placing on elite relievers is actually accurate? Or are we right to be a little skeptical of this from an analytic perspective, and teams are being irrational and overpaying?

12:46
august fagerstrom: I’m open to either stance.

12:47
JD: Do you think the Astros have enough farm system strength to make a competitive offer for Archer without including Bregman? Could a package around Reed/Martes and maybe Kyle Tucker be interesting to TB?

12:47
august fagerstrom: Without Bregman, no

12:47
Rafe: Does Edwin Diaz keep this up? He’s quietly been Seattle’s Betances.

12:47
august fagerstrom: Keep up a 41 K-BB%? No. He looks like a relief weapon of the future, though

12:48
august fagerstrom: And by future, I mean current and moving forward

12:48
Snarfle: August! Glad you’re back. You know how to make a high quality low effort chile? Ancho peppers. They’re big and weird looking, find em at your grocery store. Get some dry beans–they cost like 89 cents, soak those suckers before you go to work. Then when it’s time to cook just throw in the ancho, onions, carrots, whatever you’ve got around, chop it up, boom (don’t chop that ancho unless you want some spice attacks). Easy. Filling. Delicious.

12:48
august fagerstrom: I do now?!

12:48
Bork: What are you buying me with all that money you made? I am your best friend after all.

12:48
august fagerstrom: I will buy you 100 BORKPOINTS

12:49
august fagerstrom: redeemable at any BORKSTORE

12:49
Jeff: Which team can rebuild quicker, the Angels or the Tigers?

12:50
august fagerstrom: Tigers, I think, because the Angels have, like, two assets, and one of them isn’t going anywhere.

12:50
august fagerstrom: But I think it’s a moot point because I don’t see either rebuilding

12:51
Nicole: I just looked at Tyler Naquin’s advance defense metrics and they are not good. Is there a chance he improves or should the Indians cover their butts and pick up a CF at either the non-waiver or waiver deadline. I am nervous about a -10 DRS CF roaming the outfield come playoff time.

12:51
august fagerstrom: Yeah, that’s weird. Funny thing about Naquin is, he was always a glove-first prospect. He hasn’t looked great out there from what I’ve seen, but he certainly hasn’t looked -10 DRS bad. I don’t think they’re in any rush to move him off the position

12:52
JD: Was part of the reason the cubs were willing to pay such a premium to get chapman so they could set the value of the relief pitching market? Other teams will have a hard time affording elite bullpen arms just due to the huge prices, if they pay it they are handicapping future.

12:52
august fagerstrom: They wouldn’t pay more than they’re comfortable just so other teams would be forced to do the same

12:53
Erik: Are they Cubs acting the same as any team with their playoff odds/payroll/minor league system/etc. would act? Or are they acting differently due to their 108-year World Series drought? Do teams get demonstrably more “win now” the further they are from their last victory?

12:53
august fagerstrom: I think there’s something to this line of thinking, but I doubt it changes much

12:53
august fagerstrom: Particularly because Theo isn’t on a 108-year drought

12:53
Seanto: Why haven’t the Rays traded Moore or Odorizzi to the Rangers for Profar?!

12:54
august fagerstrom: Because the Rangers don’t want to give up Profar for a mid-rotation-at-best arm

12:54
ChopChop: Jose fernandez leads baseball in LD%… what?

12:54
12:54
august fagerstrom: I think Danny Salazar is experiencing a similar phenomena

12:55
august fagerstrom: Last I checked those two led baseball in highest average exit velocity allowed

12:56
kevinthecomic: with upton traded, does alex dickerson get more ABs? — if so, what does he do with them?

12:56
august fagerstrom: That’s what it sounds like

12:57
Snarfle: This David Dahl character was destroying the ball in the minors, and will now play in Colorado, but I seem to remember him playing in one of those minor league places where you assume video game numbers. Whatcha think?

12:58
august fagerstrom: He did indeed play in Alburqueue, which is basically the Coors of the minors

12:58
august fagerstrom: and the PCL, which is hitter-heaven in general

12:59
august fagerstrom: Even then, his numbers are insane, and were insane pre-Alburquerque, and he’s long had prospect cred

12:59
Erik: Is it fair to say that teams generally overpay for rentals? That one player can’t raise your world series odds by very much, and you’re better off making sure you just get to the playoffs as often as possible?

1:00
august fagerstrom: Think your latter sentence is mostly true. That being said, Cubs are essentially already guaranteed a playoff berth. So then, you just want to make sure you have better WS odds, right?

1:01
august fagerstrom: I think there’s also something to just *making* a move, in terms of the clubhouse. I know we’re venturing into team chemistry analysis territory here, and not that it would justify an overpay, but there’s got to be some kind of morale hit when a contending team is expecting a splashy addition and it doesn’t come

1:02
Big B: After googling Ben Broussard to see what he’s been up to, it appears that he is now a musician. His stuff is apparently on Spotify

1:02
august fagerstrom: He was a musician while he played, too.

1:03
Bork: Deep dish pizza isn’t pizza. It can be absolutely delicious, but it isn’t pizza.

1:03
august fagerstrom: oh

1:04
Joe: The video of Mike Aviles’ daughter throwing out the 1st pitch may have been the most heart warming 30 seconds in baseball

1:04
august fagerstrom: Yeah, that was pretty awesome.

1:04
Bork: 100 BORKPOINTS?? SWEET I CAN GET A NICE BORKPEN WITH ALL OF THOSE.

1:04
august fagerstrom: a couple, probably

1:05
Jack: When will Buxton figure out the majors?

1:05
candy man: can we just call it as it is: byron buxton sucks.

1:05
august fagerstrom: there you have it

1:05
sizzle: at this point who would you rather have: buxton or odubel herrara?

1:06
august fagerstrom: Good lord is it upsetting how compelling this question is

1:06
august fagerstrom: Consensus top prospect in baseball vs. Rule 5 pick

1:06
august fagerstrom: I’m pretty certain that one of the answers to that question is realllly stupid but the problem is I can’t figure out which one

1:07
EvanC: Long term, do you buy into Jake Lamb or Trevor Story more?

1:07
august fagerstrom: Lamb

1:07
Shin soo-Choo Express: what’s your opinion of Robbie Ray. His peripherals appear to be solid, and he misses bats at an impressive rate? What can we expect from him going forward, and can you think of any older players you’d compare/comp him to?

1:07
august fagerstrom: I like him as a solid #3-4 type guy

1:08
FireDrayton: Is Keuchel kinda back? He looks like he’s kinda back. Not all the way Cy back, but still.

1:09
august fagerstrom: 2.45 ERA, 3.17 FIP over the last month, 3.39/3.67 over last 2

1:09
august fagerstrom: Certainly is no longer a disaster. Would still like to see more bats being missed, but you feel comfortable with him making a key start again

1:10
Elton: We have such a strong chance this year to have a champion who hasn’t won one in 50+ years (or ever), looking at the Nats, Cubs, Indians, Astros. That’s why it’ll be so disappointing when the Cardinals somehow squeak one out again.

1:10
august fagerstrom: This is a fun thought that I haven’t yet had

1:10
august fagerstrom: Except for that last part

1:10
Zach: So in the traditional model of figuring out trade value, WAR/$ is used. That said, it’s clear that WAR is irrelevant when it comes to relievers. Any idea what could be a better metric when using surplus value?

1:11
august fagerstrom: Nope!

1:11
august fagerstrom: A lot of my post today talked about this

1:12
Jerry: Cubs offense is low-key kind of broken. Heyward has been awful, and so has Zobrist since his crazy good May. Not to mention the black hole that is the catching situation on non-Willson days (most days lately). What can the Cubs do to fix this via trade? And is there any hope for Zobrist/Heyward? Both look awful.

1:12
august fagerstrom: No. 1 in position player WAR over the last 30 days and for the whole season. Top-10 wRC+ last 30 days and No. 2 full season

1:12
august fagerstrom: That’s a pretty tough grading scale you’re working with there

1:13
Boy Jorge: I’m afraid Almora ends up as a really good 4th outfielder rather than a starter. Am I wrong?

1:13
august fagerstrom: Think this has kind of become the common line of thinking the last couple years

1:13
Nimish: With more and more evidence that we have been underrating relievers because of the leverage of their innings, do you think more relievers should be in the hall of fame?

1:13
august fagerstrom: Was thinking about this today, actually

1:14
august fagerstrom: Not really sure, to be honest. Need more time to think about it.

1:15
Boy Jorge: Do you see Beltran getting moved?

1:15
august fagerstrom: The Yankees should be motivated to move him, obviously, but I just don’t see a fit anywhere

1:15
august fagerstrom: Nowhere for him in Cleveland. Red Sox obviously have their DH. Blue Jays are out of room. No real need in Texas or Houston.

1:16
august fagerstrom: Tigers have their DH

1:16
august fagerstrom: White Sox?

1:16
august fagerstrom: IDK

1:16
august fagerstrom: I don’t see who gives much for him

1:17
arad: what about Beltran to the Rangers now that fielder is injured?

1:18
august fagerstrom: Maybe, but it’s not like they’re missing much with Fielder. Just opens up a clearer path to playing time for Profar, though I suppose Beltran provides an upgrade over Moreland

1:18
kyle : I’ve seen a lot of cubs fans try to claim that they had no room for Torres, so including him in the Chapman trade is justified, but is there really no room for him? I don’t see Zobrist, Baez, or even Russel being sure things by the time Torres is ready.

1:18
august fagerstrom: Yeah, I don’t like this line of thinking at all.

1:18
august fagerstrom: There’s always room for a top SS prospect

1:18
august fagerstrom: And even if there isn’t room, that doesn’t mean you sell low on him

1:18
august fagerstrom: His value is his value

1:19
DateGraphs: What month were you born in?

1:19
august fagerstrom: June!

1:19
Matt: Does this BORKSTORE deliver? I need a BORKLUNCH, and was thinking about a PEANUT BORKER & JELLY

1:19
august fagerstrom: I need to go get myself a BORKLUNCH of my own

1:19
august fagerstrom: Thanks for chatting, y’all

1:20
august fagerstrom: Same stuff next week

1:20
august fagerstrom: peace





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.

13 Comments
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calively
7 years ago

Who wants to guess at my trivia question? 2nd baseman with a higher WRC+ than Altuve as of Friday? Will answer at 2 ish

Monsignor Martinez
7 years ago
Reply to  calively

Longenhagen already answered it yesterday.

calively
7 years ago

But he didn’t get it right.

davefmember
7 years ago
Reply to  calively

If only there was a website that allowed us the ability to sort leaderboards of various stats by position to produce an answer to a question like this. And, it’s probably asking too much, but the ability to do *all* that in under 25 minutes would be sublime.

calively
7 years ago
Reply to  davef

Well of course you could look it up. I bring up the question because I was surprised, and thought people would be interested.

MattOrioles
7 years ago
Reply to  calively

It’s two-ish, at least for me. Where’s that answer. Not that I really am interested…

calively
7 years ago
Reply to  MattOrioles

I forgot… my bad. Plus, nobody guessed! It’s Matt Carpenter. Can anyone explain why his ISO is 70 points higher?