Author Archive

FanGraphs Audio: Ballots on the Brain

Episode 950

We bring you an early episode before the holiday with discussions on how the Cy Young ballots were filled out and how the Hall of Fame ballots were constructed.

  • To begin the show, David Laurila is joined by Alex Speier of The Boston Globe and C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic to discuss their Cy Young ballots. It was a tight race in both leagues this year, and Alex recently wrote on how the voting process helped him reimagine how he evaluates pitching analytics. The trio have an in-depth conversation on things like ERA, FIP, quality versus quantity of innings, and how our views on these things have evolved over time. [2:31]
  • After that, Jay Jaffe welcomes Adam Darowski, head of user experience at Sports Reference, to talk about the arrival of the Hall of Fame ballots. Jay joined Adam on his own podcast back in August to discuss the formation of the Early Baseball and Golden Days ballots, and now that those have been revealed as well, they take a closer look at the many players through history who deserve more recognition. The pair go over a number of worthwhile figures on the ballots as well as some of the complex contexts involved in their candidacies, including the fact that some are still with us today. [38:15]

To purchase a FanGraphs membership for yourself or as a gift, click here.

To donate to FanGraphs and help us keep things running, click here.

Don’t hesitate to direct pod-related correspondence to @dhhiggins on Twitter.

You can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or other feeder things.

Audio after the jump. (Approximate 1 hour 14 minutes play time.)


FanGraphs Audio: Drew Saylor Talks Royals Prospects

Episode 949

This week on the podcast, we learn a lot about Kansas City’s farm system before a chat about potential moves before the 40-man roster deadline.

  • To kick things off, David Laurila welcomes Drew Saylor, hitting coordinator for the Kansas City Royals. Saylor shares his journey to the position, and what it was like to begin the job just before a very challenging and strange 2020 season. We also get an inside perspective on a number of promising players who could make an impact with the big league club before long, including Bobby Witt Jr., MJ Melendez, Nick Pratto, Nathan Eaton, Seuly Matias, and more. [2:09]
  • In the second half, RosterResource guru Jason Martinez is joined by lead prospect analyst Eric Longenhagen to discuss the 40-man roster deadline. There are a number of players around the league who teams must add to the 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 draft this winter, which also unfortunately means some players will be designated for assignment to make room. Jason and Eric go over some of the more obvious transactions they expect to happen as well as a few intriguing players who might catch a team’s eye if left up for grabs. [31:58]

To purchase a FanGraphs membership for yourself or as a gift, click here.

To donate to FanGraphs and help us keep things running, click here.

Don’t hesitate to direct pod-related correspondence to @dhhiggins on Twitter.

You can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or other feeder things.

Audio after the jump. (Approximate 1 hour 9 minutes play time.)


FanGraphs Audio: Frank Herrmann on Pitching in Japan

Episode 948

On this edition of FanGraphs Audio, we are joined by a veteran journeyman before taking a look at FanGraphs’ recently released 2022 Top 50 Free Agents list.

  • At the top of the program, David Laurila welcomes Frank Herrmann, former Cleveland and Phillies pitcher and current Chiba Lotte Marine. Herrmann shares what it has been like to play in Japan, from the league parity to the strange playoff structure to the many talented players — some of whom could end up stateside. We also hear about former first-rounder Carter Stewart and how starting his pro career overseas has been going. [2:19]
  • After that, Eric Longenhagen joins Ben Clemens to discuss the immense challenge of ranking this offseason’s free agent class. Eric and Ben review the process as well as the notable Boras clients who ranked high on the list and which players were particularly tricky to place. Finally, the duo talk about Seiya Suzuki and how various teams’ 40-man crunches might match up with Oakland’s supposed interest in selling. [26:04]

To purchase a FanGraphs membership for yourself or as a gift, click here.

To donate to FanGraphs and help us keep things running, click here.

Don’t hesitate to direct pod-related correspondence to @dhhiggins on Twitter.

You can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or other feeder things.

Audio after the jump. (Approximate 1 hour 8 minutes play time.)


FanGraphs Audio: Catching up With Will Carroll

Episode 947

This week, we chat with an old friend before reacting to a surprise retirement and a surprise World Series champ.

  • To begin the show, David Laurila welcomes sportswriter Will Carroll, who was David’s co-worker at Baseball Prospectus over a decade ago. The pair catch up on how sabermetrics and analytics have affected the industry and filtered into the mainstream over the years before reacting to the news ofBuster Posey’s retirement. David and Will also discuss the second person to get Tommy John surgery, Bob Melvin moving on to manage the Padres, and who may take his spot in Oakland. [2:32]
  • After that, Ben Clemens and Dan Szymborski get together to talk about the World Series and Atlanta’s impressive championship run. They discuss how fun it is when teams exceed expectations and how boring it would be if the projections were always right. Ben and Dan also praise the Braves’ adjustment to the loss of Charlie Morton and how their moves worked out. [30:52]

Read the rest of this entry »


FanGraphs Audio: Kris Bubic Chats Changeups

Episode 946

This week we welcome another major league pitcher before discussing a baseball icon who happens to be managing in the World Series.

  • To start the show, David Laurila welcomes Kansas City Royals left-hander Kris Bubic. The pair reviews Bubic’s pitch mix, in particular his changeup. Bubic also shares what it’s like playing with teammates like Danny Duffy, Jackson Kowar, and Scott Barlow, as well as what he might look to do after his playing days are over. [2:15]
  • Then in the second half, it’s Jay Jaffe and Kevin Goldstein on the legend of Dusty Baker. Jay recently wrote about Baker’s career and Hall of Fame chances, and Kevin recalls the manager’s hiring during a particularly weird time for the Astros. The duo discuss Baker’s evolution as a manager, what he seems to bring to a clubhouse, and what the rest of the World Series might have in store. [22:23]

Read the rest of this entry »


FanGraphs Audio: Andrew Miller Returns, Paul Sporer Dorks Out

Episode 945

On this episode, we welcome back a major leaguer, dork out about prospects and fantasy baseball, and dive into weird October starting pitcher usage.

  • To kick things off, David Laurila is joined by Andrew Miller, who last appeared in episode 891. They discuss postseason start times, relievers pacing themselves vs. throwing max effort, and how the new CBA could potentially address robot umpires. Miller also shares what it has been like to play with some of the best managers and coaches of this generation during his 16-year major league career. [2:59]
  • After that, Eric Longenhagen and Paul Sporer catch up about First Pitch Arizona, which they both recently attended. The duo discuss the intersection of the prospect and fantasy baseball communities, and go over some of the players who are currently popular with both. All eyes might be on Adley Rutschman, but Paul is starting a Spencer Torkelson fan club and he can’t wait to tell you about it. [26:08]
  • Finally, Ben Clemens and Jay Jaffe discuss the incredible shrinking postseason starter. Pitcher usage has been especially strange this October and the pair offer a number of reasons why, including (and most notably) the uptick in pitcher workloads after the shortened 2020 season. Ben and Jay also talk about using starters on their throw days and the concerns they have for overworked pitchers going forward. [58:34]

Read the rest of this entry »


FanGraphs Audio: Bill Koch on Baseball’s Raucous October

Episode 944

This week on FanGraphs Audio, we go over the first round of the playoffs before looking ahead to both Championship Series.

  • To begin the program, David Laurila welcomes Bill Koch of The Providence Journal to talk about Boston’s ALDS win over the Rays. Not many expected the team’s season to go this way, but the return of Chris Sale and a continually impressive Garrett Whitlock have the Fenway faithful loud and ready for more October baseball. David and Bill talk about that weird off-the-wall play in Game 4, the effects of baseball’s competitive balance on October, and how the Red Sox will match up against a perennially competitive Houston club in the ALCS. [2:23]
  • After that, Ben Clemens and Dan Szymborski get together to banter about the other playoff matchups. We’ve seen some intense rivalries play out in exciting ways so far, while other so-called feuds seem weirdly one-sided or manufactured. Ben and Dan discuss the Brewers’ offensive woes (and who their main rival is), the news of Lance McCullers Jr.’s questionable availability for the ALCS, Dan being ejected as a mouthy little-leaguer, and more. [29:23]

Read the rest of this entry »


FanGraphs Audio: Kicking off the Playoffs With Chelsea Janes

Episode 943

We’re as excited about the postseason as you are, and this week we share some Wild Card reactions before looking ahead to the rest of October.

  • In our first segment, David Laurila welcomes the Washington Post’s Chelsea Janes, who was in attendance for both of the Wild Card games this week. David and Chelsea discuss the exciting atmospheres in Boston and Los Angeles before turning their attention to how the Giants won 107 games and how veteran catchers like Buster Posey and Salvador Perez impressed this season after a year off from the demanding job. Finally, Chelsea shares why Trea Turner is her pick in the tight NL MVP race. [2:36]
  • After that, Eric Longenhagen is joined by Jason Martinez to talk about the start of the playoffs and catch up on how their respective baseball jobs’ schedules change in October. Eric shares some of the prospects he has been keeping an eye on, while Jason lets his inner Padres fan speak up about the team’s rough second half. Finally, the duo go over some of the big 40-man roster crunch situations teams will face this winter. [26:37]

Read the rest of this entry »


FanGraphs Audio: Fred Harris Chats Baseball Cards, Cole Sulser Shares His Journey

Episode 942

This week on FanGraphs Audio, we talk to the author of one of our favorite baseball books before welcoming a big-league arm.

Read the rest of this entry »


FanGraphs Audio: Talking Pitching With Collin McHugh and Kyle Boddy

Episode 941

On this edition of the podcast, David Laurila offers a pair of interviews with some insightful pitching minds.

  • In the podcast’s first segment, David is joined by Collin McHugh. The Rays right-hander (and occasional podcast host) talks about what it is like to be a major league veteran in a game that is getting younger, how he feels about converting to relief, and the best season of his career. McHugh also shares his thoughts on pitcher wins, striking out the side, and the extra-innings runner, before he tells David about getting his first hit off of Clayton Kershaw and trying to strike out Prince Fielder. [2:39]
  • After that, David welcomes Kyle Boddy, founder and owner of Driveline Baseball. Kyle talks about his recent departure from the Reds, as well as the great progress he and his team were able to make while working there. Kyle also shares his thoughts on a number of exciting Cincinnati prospects, including Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo, Stevie Branche, Lyon Richardson, and Graham Ashcraft. [29:33]

Read the rest of this entry »