Author Archive

Meg Rowley FanGraphs Chat – 5/5/2021

4:00
Meg Rowley: Hi all, and thanks for stopping by. Let’s get rolling on the chat.

4:00
Magic Kingdome: Who starts Game 1 of the 2021 ALCS for the Mariners?

4:01
Meg Rowley: All right now settle down.

4:01
Meg Rowley: I encourage everyone to take joy where they can find it and revel in good starts and also, not set yourself up for disappointment.

4:02
Padres Offense: Pls give the magic hitting juice. I need.

4:05
Meg Rowley: If it makes you feel any better, they are slightly underperforming their baseruns but yeah, it’s been an unwelcome swoon. I don’t expect it to be a sustained swoon, but yeah, would be good for Machado and Cronenworth to get going.

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Meg Rowley FanGraphs Chat – 4/28/2021

4:00
Meg Rowley: HI everyone, and welcome to the chat. Going to grab a fresh cup of coffee and then shall get started.

4:02
o’s: will we ever see chris davis again?

4:04
Meg Rowley: Perhaps around town, having a coffee, running some errands…

4:05
Meg Rowley: I’m sure when he’s completed his injury rehab that he’ll be back, though I wouldn’t be surprised to see his playing time taper. There’s too much left on the contract and the club too far from contention for him to totally fall off, but getting a better sense of what they have in their young guys and any veterans who cycle through is too valuable to afford him a ton of ABs.

4:06
Andy: Where can my young daughter and I watch/listen to women analyze baseball. Podcasts do not hold her attention, but she enjoys broadcasts and YouTube channels like Fuzzy. She’s growing frustrated with the lack of voices like hers around a game she loves so much

4:09
Meg Rowley: There’s always the Yankees radio broadcasts, which are an audio option on MLB dot TV. And while their games might not be the most scintillating, you could try Orioles radio, where I believe Melanie Newman is doing play by play.

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Meg Rowley FanGraphs Chat – 4/14/2021

4:01
Meg Rowley: Hi everyone! Allow me to fetch a seltzer and then we’ll get underway.

4:02
Sad, Confused Marlins Fan: Huge baseball fan and I just heard about this Atlantic League. Can you give me a atlantic league for dummies ? 🙂

4:04
Meg Rowley: Not a dummy – there’s a lot to know, but for your purposes, it is probably good to start with this piece on the most recent round of experimentation MLB is going to do there (they’re an MLB partner league): https://theathletic.com/2518208/2021/04/14/moving-the-mound-the-double… and how past players there have felt about testing other rule changes there: https://www.si.com/mlb/2019/07/25/baseball-rule-changes-atlantic-leagu…

4:04
Meg Rowley: Jay Jaffe will have more for you tomorrow!

4:05
Sammy So-so: Corey Kluber looks to my admittedly non-scout eyes like he might be cooked, but Jameson Taillon seems to still have something left in the tank even if the results aren’t there yet. But what does science say, Meg? Thanks!

4:10
Meg Rowley: There was always risk with Kluber given the injuries and the dipping velo (which he should be able to survive without given the strength of the cutter and curve but there is a limit to these things), and the early going here hasn’t been particularly encouraging but of course it is three starts (though, three brief starts!). Taillon I think you should be mostly encouraged by. Tony wrote a nice thing about him and Brent Honeywell Jr. that’s worth checking out: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/for-two-al-east-pitchers-results-arent-imp…

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Meg Rowley FanGraphs Chat – 4/7/2021

4:00
Dave: Are you available to hit for the Cubs?

4:00
Meg Rowley: I have to chat!

4:00
Meg Rowley: Sorry, Cubs! Also, hello all, and welcome to the chat. Let’s get going here.

4:00
Saul: 6 games in, what are your way-too-early takes for the season

4:02
Meg Rowley: That it’s very cool to see YermĂ­n Mercedes doing this, and that despite the risk and it perhaps not being the totally optimal way to use him, I hope Shohei Ohtani is healthy enough to justify him doing the two-way thing all season.

4:02
Meg Rowley: Really groundbreaking stuff, I know.

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FanGraphs 2021 Opening Day Chat Part II: Even More Chat!

10:03
Kevin Goldstein: FanGraph After Dark in full effect! Good evening everyone!

10:03
Dodger Fan: I am very excited to watch Lucas Giolito face this Angels lineup.

10:03
Kevin Goldstein: You should be excited to see him face any lineup, no?

10:03
Eric A Longenhagen: Howdy from Phoenix Muni. I’m here to see Chase Silseth and will also be popping in and out of here.

10:04
P: This gap in live games seems like an oversite by MLB on opening day. Couple this with the fact that I couldn’t stream my team from the office and It kinda feels like MLB just can’t get out of it’s own way getting it’s product to the people. I know this is a broken record at this point by man, for a day we are all hyped for, the flaw is just so obvious.

10:04
Kevin Goldstein: I mean, hard to blame MLB for the Nats’ COVID issues.

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The FanGraphs 2021 Opening Day Chat

1:00
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Good afternoon, folks! Welcome to the 2021 baseball season and this, our Opening Day marathon chat.

1:01
Kevin Goldstein: Hi everyone, Jay is starting with the Yankees/Jays, while I’m sticking to my Midwest roots with Indians/Tigers in the SNOW.

1:01
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I’ll be joined here by Kevin Goldstein and David Laurila for the first leg of today’s action, and other colleagues will take the ball as the day (and night) continues.

1:01
JT in Town: For Kev – obviously everyone’s going to ask you about your time with the Astros from now until forever, so here goes – what’s the funniest/quirkiest thing you can remember from past Opening Days during your time with the team? Any kind of  superstitions or just general oddness? And I’ll hang up and listen.

1:02
Kevin Goldstein: I wish I had a good one, but I only think I did one Opening Day in Houston. I was a player evaluator and I didn’t live in Houston. I remember spending Opening Days watching college and high school games and I remember spending Opening Day night watching a amazing low-budget MLB whip around like show in my hotel in the Dominican. I wish I could get that channel here.

1:02
Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: Oh boy, every team will play today!

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2021 Positional Power Rankings: Summary

Over the past week and a half, we’ve published our annual season preview, ranking the league’s players by position and team based on a blend of our projections (a 50/50 split between ZiPS and Steamer) and our manually maintained playing time estimates courtesy of Jason Martinez. The result is a document that rivals The Power Broker for length, though we’ve endeavored to make it more easily digestible. If you happen to have missed any of those installments, you can use the handy navigation widget above to catch up.

Today, I’m going to summarize the results. We’ll look at some tables and pick out a few interesting tidbits in a moment, but first, it’s important to remember that this exercise captures a snapshot of how we project teams to perform now. Teams aren’t static. Since we’ve published our rankings, Eloy JimĂ©nez ruptured his left pectoral tendon and underwent surgery; Luke Voit will miss time with a partial meniscus tear. The Angels reworked their bullpen on Monday. The Rangers announced that Rougned Odor won’t make the Opening Day roster and will be designated for assignment. Players will tweak elbows and hamstrings, lose playing time due to underperformance, and get traded.

That’s why we maintain a Team WAR Totals page, which lists projected positional WAR by team and updates regularly throughout the season as we learn more about who is likely to take the field every day and what shape they’ll be in when they do. Don’t be alarmed: The WAR numbers you see there may vary from what you see on the positional power rankings, mostly because those figures are aware of the injuries and transactions that have altered our playing time estimates since the rankings went live. The Z-Scores I include later use the WAR from the Team WAR Totals page as well. It’s a valuable resource I recommend bookmarking. Read the rest of this entry »


FanGraphs 2021 Staff Predictions

Well, after a winter spent fretting over the pandemic and the free agent market’s glacial pace (and what both might mean for baseball), the 2021 season is upon us. We made it. And on this, the morning of Opening Day, we engage in our annual tradition of asking our staff to open themselves up to public ridicule and predict the year in baseball. Some of these predictions will prove to be prescient; others will make their forecaster feel a little silly. Despite the 11th-hour format switcheroo, the FanGraphs staff ended up doing pretty well when it came to last year’s playoff field, though with eight teams in each league advancing to the postseason, the odds were in our favor. Still, with the exception of the Marlins (we thought the Nationals would do a better job defending their World Series title) and the Blue Jays (whither the Angels we picked instead?), we had October pretty well pegged. The 2020 individual awards? A big goose egg! Such is the prognostication business.

Folks from FanGraphs and RotoGraphs weighed in; here are the results.

American League

The American League once again appears to be stratified into the haves and the yet-to-arrives, though our writers see two of the three divisions as competitive at the top. Twenty of our voters submitted ballots with Houston and New York as division winners; their Central votes were split between the Minnesota (12 votes) and Chicago (eight). Meanwhile, four teams received no playoff votes (the Mariners, Rangers, Tigers, and Orioles), while two more (Royals and Red Sox) received just one. I expected Kansas City to be a more popular sleeper pick. I’m don’t think they’re ready to compete in earnest with the AL’s other Wild Card contenders, but they certainly seem to think they are, and it’s always good to have a little zag in a ballot full of zig. Better luck next year, Royals. Read the rest of this entry »


2021 Positional Power Rankings: Designated Hitter

Last week, the FanGraphs staff took you through most of the league’s position players. Now, before we turn our attention to pitching, Meg Rowley examines the state of the designated hitter.

If these rankings prove anything, it’s just how rare it is for teams to have a truly designated designated hitter anymore. Some still look to a single bopper, and many of those clubs are at the top of these rankings. The Astros, Yankees, and Twins still figure prominently; Yordan Alvarez, Giancarlo Stanton, and Nelson Cruz will do that for you. But for about half of the squads here, DH plate appearances are a group project, with the position often serving as a means of giving otherwise-capable fielders a day off.

It’s not totally old hat in 2021. Interesting young guys like Andrew Vaughn and Ty France could outperform their modest projections, and Shohei Ohtani is his own wild card. Still, with three clubs projected in the red and several more clustered around 1 to 1.5 wins, the DH bats have swooned. Perhaps a universal DH will shake things up, but I suspect we’ll see more of the same when the NL finally puts pitcher hitting to bed — a collection of good-hitting catchers, erstwhile first basemen, outfielders who need a breather, aging vets, and a few elite bats carrying the load. Read the rest of this entry »


Introducing FanGraphs’ New Contributors!

In January, we put out an open call for contributing writers. The response we received was overwhelming. We are very grateful that so many smart, passionate baseball writers wanted to be a part of what we do here. It made for some really difficult decisions (and a rather long hiring process), but we are very excited to welcome some talented new voices to our ranks.

A quick note to those who applied but weren’t hired: please keep writing. A number of people who have worked for the site weren’t hired on their first go, but kept getting reps elsewhere on their way to making us regret having passed them by initially. Just because there wasn’t a home for you at FanGraphs this time around doesn’t mean that there won’t be one later, and in the meantime, public baseball analysis will be made better by your good words and good work.

And so, without further ado, allow me to introduce the writers whose work will soon be debuting here at the site. Read the rest of this entry »