Ben Clemens FanGraphs Chat – 4/15/24

2:00
Ben Clemens: Hey everyone, let’s chat

2:00
171: Being the author of the Holliday piece, any thoughts on how the call-up played out (as in timing, etc.)?

2:01
Ben Clemens: Hey, I think the O’s mostly agreed with me that it doesn’t make sense to call him up after the deadline

2:01
Ben Clemens: I guess what I was missing is that they knew they had 10 days or so

2:01
Ben Clemens: someone in the comments there suggested that they were trying to avoid having him start his career against lefty pitching

2:01
Ben Clemens: I could kind of see that? they did face a ton of lefties at the start

2:02
Ben Clemens: They also might just have truly wanted him to get 10 games of reps in at second

2:02
Ben Clemens: but either way, a lot of the point of that article was that the two obvious reasons for the O’s doing it didn’t really pass muster to me

2:02
Ben Clemens: and I suppose I’m glad that it seems like they a)weren’t trying to super 2 him b)thought he was ready

2:02
Guest: Just a random comment, the ides of April are actually on the 13th, it’s only the 15th on months of 31 days, it’s the 13th on months of fewer days.

2:02
Ben Clemens: what

2:02
Ben Clemens: no

2:02
Ben Clemens: boo

2:03
Ben Clemens: Fiar enough. Two days after the ides

2:03
Marlins: If the Marlins were to become sellers, who are the guys most likely to be dealt?

2:03
Ben Clemens: Ew, that’s a rough one to consider

2:04
Ben Clemens: Arraez I guess. Bell doesn’t have a ton of value but maybe if they eat his contract? Tanner Scott is looking pretty good so I think he’d qualify. I don’t think they’d be interested in trading Jazz or Luzardo given n how they’ve started out

2:04
Jordan lyles: I feel like it was silly to not put me in the rotation. Is it not like all of my value comes from pitching a lot of innings and coming out of the pen doesn’t give me that opportunity?

2:04
Ben Clemens: what value?

2:04
Ben Clemens: like I don’t wanna be rude but

2:05
Ben Clemens: it’s not like I look at any Royals starter and think ‘god I wish that was Jordan Lyles’

2:05
RTJ: Just as everyone predicted, Royals off to a hot start with the best run differential in baseball and the fewest runs allowed!

2:05
maris9: What is holding the As from bringing up E. Ruiz? Hitting .300; 3 homers, 7 SB. Pretty dump in my opinion.

2:05
Ben Clemens: There’s a conspiracy theory about this

2:05
Ben Clemens: I’m not sure if I believe it but it doesn’t seem completely false?

2:06
Ben Clemens: Ruiz wore a wristband supporting TLDB, the last dive bar, which is a fan group trying to keep the A’s from leaving

2:06
Ben Clemens: a lot of the players who wore them have been benched, demoted, or released

2:06
Ben Clemens: I truly don’t understand the move, though. Like what does he have to prove in the minors?

2:06
G-Money: Can you please scale WAR’s positional adjustment to account for the percentage of plate appearances resulting in a ball in play? The rise of TTO means that, for example, fielders in 1980 were involved in 76% of plate appearances, while fielders in 2022 were only involved in 66%. The DH penalty in particular should be dynamic to account for these yearly fluctuations in the relative importance of defense, and we already have the metric (BIP/PA) needed to quantify it in a continuous and self-updating manner.

2:07
Ben Clemens: We’re doing a look at positional adjustments this year

2:07
Ben Clemens: I am not really smart enough to be the one leading it, so good news! I’m not leadig it

2:07
Ben Clemens: But let’s just say that we are looking at things

2:07
Guest: Is it too earlier to worry about Wyatt Langford? It’s been about 60 abs now and he hasn’t looked quite the part.

2:08
Ben Clemens: It’s too early in general, but I mean, it’s probably not too early to say that he is not a top 10 hitter in baseball

2:08
Ben Clemens: like some people thought he might be before he debuted

2:08
Ben Clemens: people start slow without being hopeless, but I do think that it’s pretty clear at this point that he wasn’t Juan Soto/Yordan Alvarez levels of ready

2:08
Guest: Spencer Strider is an individual, but ATL is an organization- one that has shown some pretty questionable morals at times.  As an org, I don’t see them as worthy of much sympathy. I think that them not winning the division- maybe even missing the playoffs– in a season when they were predicted to run away with it would be a great storyline for the fans of 4 other NL East teams and probably a lot of others, too. My question is: what is the best soup, and why is it split pea?

2:08
Ben Clemens: Whaaaaaat?

2:08
Ben Clemens: Split pe?

2:08
Ben Clemens: pea?

2:09
Ben Clemens: My favorite is this one that Hale and Hearty, a soup chain in NYC, used to make. Senegalese Peanut Chicken, with a heaping helping of sriracha added

2:09
Bobby: When does Jordan Walker wake up. His exit velocities are very high rn, but he seems to be getting extremely unlucky with his xBA, xSLG, and xwOBA.

2:09
Ben Clemens: I was talking with Meg about this earlier today

2:09
Ben Clemens: I feel like the Cards are jerking him aroudn too much

2:09
Ben Clemens: they pinch hit for him with Alec Burleson over the weekend

2:10
Ben Clemens: when he was getting a day off, they had him pinch hit, but then didn’t send him into the outfield and sent out Victor Scott instead? They were down 5-0 so if they were gonna win, the spot was gonna come up again

2:10
G4: Per your Strider piece, Braves cadre of 5th starters can tide them over regular season, but in terms of acquiring a TOR or even MOR arm, prospect cupboard appears sparse. Which of Smith-Shawver or Waldrep would you send out for impactful return?

2:10
Ben Clemens: I would not be interested in trading Waldrep. I feel like the Braves are really good at figuring out if those guys are ready and then letting them sink or swim in the majors. I think he’ll debut this year

2:10
Guest: Soups with peanut butter are fantastic! Split pea is better.

2:11
Victoria: The Cards should pinch run JW in the bottom of the 9th like the Ms did with Julio yesterday. That worked well to re-set his confidence.

2:11
Ben Clemens: joy

2:13
liam: how do you see the impending 2024 royals-pirates world series shaking out?

2:14
Ben Clemens: With Ke’Bryan Hayes hitting a sac fly to win it

2:14
Shota Imanaga: Am I THIS good?  Or just very good?

2:14
Ben Clemens: Very good, im

2:14
Ben Clemens: imo

2:14
Ben Clemens: but not a top 10 starter in the majors

2:15
bosoxforlife: The Braves team average is over .300. Ben, I think you could go 11-7 with a 7.47 ERA  in 25 starts with that lineup behind you.

2:15
Ben Clemens: I mean, I don’t remotely believe the ERA

2:16
Ben Clemens: 11-7? I could maybe see it?

2:16
Oddball Herrera: Is Buxton cooked at this point?  It sure has been a long time since he looked good at the plate

2:16
Ben Clemens: Look

2:16
Ben Clemens: earmuffs, twins fans

2:16
Ben Clemens: yeah

2:16
Ben Clemens: I don’t think he’s remotely as bad as he looks right now, but the explosiveness doesn’t seem to be there

2:17
Ben Clemens: The one thing he has going for him is that he’s still hitting the ball hard and still running fast…. but like, significantly lower on both coutns than in 2022

2:17
Ben Clemens: I think there’s hope for him to be a competent major leaguer and a good defensive center fielder but it does seem like the injuries have taken their toll vis a vis being a true best-in-game star

2:17
Pat: Speaking of starts..Colt Keith has mostly looked the part (good BB/K #’s) & is surprisingly above average at 2B & actually looks decent out there

2:18
Ben Clemens: I’m incredibly excited about him being a good defender

2:18
Ben Clemens: like, I did not think that was in the cadrds

2:18
RTJ: Could the White Sox be on their way to a 1st percentile season? Everything that could go wrong is going wrong already

2:18
Ben Clemens: It’s amazing how bad things are going

2:18
Ben Clemens: I remember that when they showed up in the ‘teams most affected by depth’ thing that Appelman and I looked at I was very surprised

2:18
Ben Clemens: most bad teams have very good ‘depth’ b/c their 15th player isn’t THAT much worse than their best

2:19
Ben Clemens: the Sox have this rare combination of bad starters and below-replacement backups

2:19
Ben Clemens: and yeah, they’re hitting bad outcomes left and right

2:19
Ben Clemens: Crochet looks incredible, though!

2:20
Guest: The White Sox series was a lot of fun for a Reds fan like me, especially Lodolo’s excellent return from the IL; but should I discount the Reds’ performance in light of . . . White Sox?

2:20
Ben Clemens: Yes

2:21
Daniel: Is it possible that Jorge Polanco is cooked?

2:21
Ben Clemens: Yes

2:21
Ben Clemens: I’ll answer both of those in a bit more depth after I grab a coffee, one sec

2:22
Ben Clemens: Okay, back

2:22
Ben Clemens: Pitching particularly against the White Sox needs to be taken with a grain of salt b/c who are their good hitters?

2:22
Ben Clemens: they’re just not that good right now

2:22
Ben Clemens: it’s like a Triple-A lineup

2:22
Ben Clemens: As for Polanco, ‘is he cooked?’ has been a running question for four years

2:23
Ben Clemens: It’s not like he’s been abysmal this year, even

2:23
Ben Clemens: but i dunno, it always seems like he’s right on the precipice of it not all working out. maybe he tipped over finally

2:23
Will: The Mariners (as with Julio) started slow last year and seem to be doing that again. At what point is that actually a cause for concern other than just variance?

2:23
Ben Clemens: Longer than they’ll keep this core together

2:23
Ben Clemens: we’ll never know

2:23
Maddoning: Given all these “Is he cooked” questions, would you consider doing an early-May “Cooked, or Not Cooked” feature on players getting off to slow starts?  What’s “real”, and what’s just luck/noise?

2:23
Ben Clemens: yeah, I’ve done things like that before

2:24
Ben Clemens: I’d probably wait a little bit more to do it, but I’ll find some way to bag up a bunch of hot starts together and put them in one article

2:24
Ted: What’s up with Jose Ramirez? I know it’s early, so trying not to overreact, but he’s not walking, not running and it seems like he’s swinging at everything.

2:24
Ben Clemens: I’m not worried just yet

2:25
Ben Clemens: I agree with you that the biggest concern is plate discipline though

2:25
Ben Clemens: he seems to have occasional spikes like this, but if it keeps going it’ll be time to start figuring out what’s changed

2:26
deBride: Does your personal assessment of the Cardinals division odds currently fall closer to your employer (17.9%) or PECOTA (32.6%)?

2:26
Ben Clemens: if you asked me I would have said 25%

2:26
Ben Clemens: so that’s like bang on in the middle, I guess ever so slightly closer to us

2:26
Mark: What do the Orioles do with Austin Hays? Even ignoring his really rough start he’s never seemed like a longterm piece. Considering how Cowser is playing right now and the presence of other guys looming in the minors like Kjerstad, Stowers, and even Norby getting some OF reps, do you think Hays gets moved this year?

2:26
Ben Clemens: Whos’ going to trade for Austin Hays?

2:27
Ben Clemens: He’s close to free agency and an average player

2:27
Ben Clemens: I think he might be a nice offseason piece or whatnot

2:27
Ben Clemens: but if the O’s trade him, it’s going to be to free up a roster spot, not because someone offers them some unbelievable bargain

2:28
Guest: Re: Hays, I hear the White Sox have some ABs available joy

2:28
Ben Clemens: Right! To be clear I think Hays is a viable starter for a lot of teams

2:28
Ben Clemens: I just don’t think those teams are gonna trade the O’s valuable prospects for him or anything

2:29
Guest: honestly on Langford – the guy is running an excellent K rate, he’s walking and he’s running an ok average.  If you told me he was holding his own two weeks in and that the power just hadn’t shown up yet, for a guy who spent like 15 minutes in the minors, that feels like a victory

2:29
Ben Clemens: I agree with that

2:29
Ben Clemens: I also think that the super high end outcomes not getting realized are at least a bit of a downer for people who had him as #1 ROY by a mile

2:29
Okra: I’m of the belief that pitchers these days only have so many balls to throw before they break.  So why not just call up Skenes now if you are the Pirates?  They are off to a great start in a toss-up division.  He would not be wasted.

2:30
Ben Clemens: I have no reason to disagree with you here

2:30
Ben Clemens: I’d do it

2:30
TomBruno23: Operation Bulk Innings, An Update: Cardinal SP 28th in FIP ahead of Rockies and White Sox. Going well so far!

2:31
Ben Clemens: Yeesh

2:32
PhilDiggety: Was Pfaadt’s 2023 postseason a fluke?

2:32
Ben Clemens: I mean, I don’t think he’s as bad as he’s looked this year

2:32
Ben Clemens: .350 babip is rough, his command has continued to improve to my eyes

2:33
Ben Clemens: so I’ll say no, I guess. But he was definitely at his best in last year’s playoffs

2:33
liam: it’s such a bummer that we’re in the mindset of oh pitcher a is gonna break soon… as a pirates fan it’s hard to be super excited about jones/skenes knowing that one or both will be down for a year plus at some point.

2:33
Ben Clemens: but think about it this way

2:33
Ben Clemens: every pitcher is like that

2:33
Ben Clemens: it’s not unique to the Pirates guys

2:35
Tom: How doomed should I be about San Fransisco? Maybe not Snell but Lee (and the bats in general)

2:35
Ben Clemens: I don’t think you should be completely out yet

2:35
Ben Clemens: it’s early, and hey, they’re only a game behind the A’s in the standings!

2:36
Ben Clemens: I watch a lot of Giants games because I live out here, and I’d say this the pitching might be really good

2:36
Ben Clemens: Hicks has been a revelation, like you said it’s too early to worry about Snell, Webb rocks

2:36
Ben Clemens: their offense doesn’t need to be THAT great

2:36
Guest: Are you more surprised by the excellent start to the season for the Royals’ rotation or the Red Sox’ rotation?  And relatedly, you think the Red Sox have a WC run in them?

2:36
Ben Clemens: hmmmmmmmmmm

2:37
Ben Clemens: I wrote both blurbs, and i think I said ‘the Sox rotation is good but an injury will sink them’ and ‘the Royals are underrated by this metric by a lot’

2:37
Ben Clemens: but I think I’m still more surprised by the Royals

2:37
Ben Clemens: like, the Red Sox look like they should have a good rotation when everyone’s healthy. The Royals have Ragans, but the rest of the guys behind him have all been surprisingly good

2:37
bosoxforlife: The time is coming when the Orioles have to begin to make some moves. Cowser looks like he has made the adjustment and Kierstad and Mayo are screaming with their bats that they belong in the Show but I don’t see an easy way for Elias to get any value out of his surplus veterans. How does sending Mountcastle, Hays, Meteo and Santander to the White Sox for Crochet sound?

2:37
Ben Clemens: I mean, it sounds great to me if I’m the Orioles!

2:37
Ben Clemens: What in the world would the White Sox want with those guys though?

2:38
Ben Clemens: I suppose Mountcastle will still be around for a bit

2:38
Ben Clemens: Santander is a free agent after this year, Hays and Mateo after next year

2:39
Ben Clemens: This White Sox team is not going to play a meaningful game in that timeframe

2:39
jas: Is Jordan Walkers future at 1B, assuming Goldschmidt is how he looks right now? He came up a CI, so presumably he can field a ground ball, and I can’t imagine the Cardinals will be clamoring to bring Goldschmidt back

2:39
Ben Clemens: Why wouldn’t it be in the outfield?

2:39
Ben Clemens: he’s improved by a ton

2:39
Ben Clemens: and he has all the physical tools. The reason he was so bad is that he’s basically never ever played outfield in his life…. or hadn’t before his callup, I mean

2:40
Ben Clemens: 86th percentile sprint speed, huge arm… he should be able to handle right field

2:40
Guest: Is Goldy toast?  Or even turning a golden brown?

2:41
Ben Clemens: I’m not all that worried about him yet, he’s been such a hot and cold guy throughout his career. the biggest thing that would change my mind on that front is some bat speed data

2:41
Ben Clemens: his plate discipline looks pretty similar to always, he’s swinging slightly more like he’s pressing but that’s about it. contract rate is dowon a smidge but not terrifyingly so. If he’s just making less powerful swings, though, I’d flip things around and get very worried

2:41
SanDiegoChicken: No shortage of good rookies named Jackson.  Any surprise regarding the least hyped of the bunch — Jackson Merrill — and how well his bat has played so far?

2:42
Ben Clemens: He’s been compared to Michael Brantley for so long that I suppose I’m not surprised to see him hit like Michael Brantley

2:42
Ben Clemens: I’m SHOCKED by how good he’s looked in center though

2:44
TomBruno23: I think Goldschmidt will probably be fine in 2024. Arenado, on the other hand…

2:44
Ben Clemens: Yeah, I hate to say it but I’m in the same boat

2:44
Ben Clemens: I go on Bernie Miklasz’s excellent radio show from time to time (come hang out, Jay Jaffe makes periodic appearances too I believe) and he basically asked me this question

2:44
Ben Clemens: I am more worried about Arenado b/c his approach just looks so different

2:44
Ben Clemens: I kind of think he’s hurt, tbh

2:45
Max Meyer: 2.12 ERA in three starts and now I’m in AAA.  Injury fill in to start the season or not, what the heck, Miami front office?

2:45
Ben Clemens: Yeah it’s ugly

2:45
hey: Would you rather stick with a boring guy like Sean Manaea or give someone like Edward Cabrera a chance in fantasy?

2:45
Ben Clemens: I’d just run with Manaea

2:45
Ben Clemens: I think he’s less boring than you  make him out to be

2:45
Ben Clemens: he’s acdtually been striking dudes out for a while now

2:45
Okra: Is Chourio up too soon?  Looks a little over matched at the plate.  Or is it better to let him develop at the MLB level?

2:45
Ben Clemens: mmmmm

2:45
Ben Clemens: I agree with you

2:46
Ben Clemens: I think that given the contract, it’d be kinda tricky to send him back down, which is the risk you take when you sign a deal like that

2:46
Ben Clemens: he definitely looks like he’s having trouble picking up spin at the major league level

2:47
Jordan lyles: i feel violated. Are Chad innings eaters just not respected at FG?

2:47
Ben Clemens: buddy, we have the foremost Lance Lynn fan on the planet writing for us

2:47
Ben Clemens: and I get all excited about Tyler Anderson every year

2:47
Tommy: What are your thoughts on Blake Perkins and his start? Does the hot start change how you view him?

2:50
Ben Clemens: I don’t think so, I haven’t dug in particularly deep but I am looking now

2:50
Ben Clemens: and yeah, nothing’s really changed I don’t think

2:50
Chip: Does Michael know you are comparing Lance Lynn to Jordan Lyles?

2:50
Ben Clemens: Haha I think he has a bat signal that goes up whenever Lynn gets mentioned

2:51
Ben Clemens: but I get a pass because I too love Lance Lynn

2:51
Junk Wax: Are you a baseball card collector? If so, what are some of your best cards?

2:51
Ben Clemens: I’m not. I have just one card that I cherish

2:51
Ben Clemens: Ozzie Smith signed card that I got from a card show in town when I was a kid

2:53
GA Blood: 3 starts in, are you still feeling irrationally optimistic about Jared Jones?

2:53
Ben Clemens: I think at this point it might just be rational

2:54
Ben Clemens: I like watching the away broadcasts of his games

2:54
Ben Clemens: the announcers are just like, what the hell is going on here

2:54
Tacoby Bellsbury: How much predictive value is there in rehab starts/semi-rehab starts? Jordan Montgomery got rocked in Tacoma over the weekend.

2:54
Ben Clemens: basically none

2:54
Ben Clemens: like sometimes they are helpful

2:54
Ben Clemens: and sometimes the pitcher was working on something specific

2:54
Ben Clemens: and it’s really hard to know from teh outside

2:54
Sharp: Responding to the person about Skenes, there’s a reason Strider didn’t even spend a full season in the minors. Use those bullets in the big leagues.

2:54
Ben Clemens: AGain, I agree!

2:54
Guest: If you could watch only a single sport for the rest of your life, and it couldn’t be baseball, what would you choose?

2:54
Ben Clemens: tennis

2:55
Ben Clemens: I love tennis

2:55
Ben Clemens: football and basketball are at least somewhat in the running but there’s just something about watching two really good tennis players square off

2:55
Ben Clemens: the psychological aspect of the sport is also great. I think it gets at what I like about batter/pitcher duels too

2:55
TomBruno23: Wife and I took our daughters to the Cards HOF on Election Day (school district is always off) and Ozzie was there taping Cardinal Insider. We were the only patrons in the museum and after he taped he came over shot the s a bit (we did the Go Crazy call together) and took pics with the kids. Run into him from time to time around town and it never gets old, “Oh yeah there is the greatest defensive SS of all time no big deal…”

2:56
Ben Clemens: I heard him on Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me

2:56
Ben Clemens: the hosts asked him why he liked living in St. Louis, and he was like ‘I’ve never bought a drink in this town in my life, it’s great!’

2:56
Ben Clemens: Ozzie just seems like the man

2:56
Mets: You think they have any regret about the JD signing? Still injured, while Vientos is still being held back and we’re going to wonder if he can do it in the majors.

2:56
Ben Clemens: Um, they definitely have some regrets about how it’s plyaed out

2:56
Ben Clemens: this is a long time to not be ready

2:56
Guest: The defensive metrics on Elly de la Cruz at SS so far are pretty poor, but the metrics gave him a good mark at 3B last year.  Think the Reds would play McClain at SS full time when he returns, shifting Elly to 3B?

2:57
Ben Clemens: nah, I don’t think so, unless we get a lot more of the same data this year

2:57
Ben Clemens: the metrics liked him at shortstop last year!

2:57
Ben Clemens: and in more innings than he played at third

2:57
Guest: How many options does Ryan Weathers have left? And what do you think about the Meyers option down to AAA

2:57
Ben Clemens: One, which you can see on our player pages

2:57
Ben Clemens: (a really cool thing imo)

2:57
Ben Clemens: yeah I don’t get it

2:57
Max Meyer: If you were a GM, what would be your approach with young guys coming off TJ? Innings limits? 6 man rotations? Opener/swing man? Let them ride it out?

2:58
Ben Clemens: six man rotation for sure

2:58
Richie: I saw Paul Molitor try to play the outfield. If you can’t judge fly balls, you can’t judge fly balls.

2:58
Ben Clemens: Well sure…. but Statcast thinks Walker has been a plus defender this year out there

2:58
Ben Clemens: DRS agrees

2:58
Ben Clemens: eye test looks pretty good

2:58
Ben Clemens: maybe he just doesn’t have it. but nothing I’m seeing so far in 2024 makes me think that

2:58
Nate: No question, just marveling at what a treat Bobby Witt has been to watch so far

2:58
Ben Clemens: He’s short, more jacked Elly at the moment

2:58
Ben Clemens: I can’t argue with this at all

2:58
Random Fact Generator: The player with the most career stolen bases who was registered as being caught more times than he was successful is Mel Ott, who stole 89 bases but was caught 95 times. Lou Gehrig was safe on his last 5 attempts in 1938 to finish with 102 of both.

2:59
Ben Clemens: that is a fun one

2:59
Delora: Would you rather listen to a podcast co-hosted by Votto & McCutchen or Liam Hendricks & Lance Lynn?

2:59
Ben Clemens: oooooooooh

2:59
Ben Clemens: I think Votto and McCutchen

2:59
Ben Clemens: they’re just more my vibe

2:59
the person who asks the lunch question: What’s for lunch?

2:59
Ben Clemens: Oh, I hate to disappoint you, but a meal kit today

2:59
Ben Clemens: I’ve been pretty busy over the weekend, and didn’t get my shopping done

2:59
Guest: matt damon?

3:00
Ben Clemens: I just took a break to read through every single chat just to make sure Matt Damon didn’t post with me missing it

3:00
Ben Clemens: he didn’t!

3:00
Ben Clemens: Let’s make sure he’s okay, everyone

3:00
Bob Loblaw, Esq.: Michael Busch the best trade of the offseason?

3:00
Ben Clemens: hmmmmm

3:00
Ben Clemens: Corbin Burnes is looking pretty good so far

3:00
Ben Clemens: so I’m gonna say him

3:00
Ben Clemens: Busch might have been the best value

3:00
Appa Yip Yip: Hi Ben, when my team is playing well they look like the best team on the planet but when they’re playing poorly they look like quad a bums. What’s up with that. Why don’t they play well all the time?

3:00
Ben Clemens: It’s to troll you specifically, Appa

3:00
Greg: With Felix Bautista out, is Mason Miller the funnest pitcher to watch in 2024?

3:00
Ben Clemens: ooooh

3:01
Ben Clemens: reliever? probably

3:01
Ben Clemens: it’s cool that the A’s have such a live wire going

3:01
Ben Clemens: I’d prefer Jared Jones

3:01
Rob Schneider is THE CARROT: Is there some excitement to be looking forward to with the promotion of Jonatan Clase?

3:01
Ben Clemens: Yeah! toolsy guy killing it in the minors already

3:01
Ben Clemens: maybe he’s just ready

3:01
Jack: Baty has looked pretty good so far. Long-term top 10 3B? Not in the Jung or Royce Lewis caliber, right? Maybe he can stay on the field though.

3:01
Ben Clemens: I don’t see any reason to limit him to being below Jung/Lewis caliber

3:01
Ben Clemens: his defense looks pretty good this year, seriously good

3:02
Ben Clemens: the bat is the real question. I’m a fan of it but it does look like the models are getting down on him after last year was so bad and this year hasn’t started off hot

3:02
Ben Clemens: like I’d TAKE those guys for now

3:02
Ben Clemens: but I think Baty still has a ton of variance in his profile, and the defense improving opens up a nice range of outcomes

3:02
El Mago Fan: Javy Baez…..is he cooked offensively?  Is there any hope there?

3:03
Ben Clemens: ugh I think he’s cooked

3:03
Belli Buddy: Is this is a slow start for Bellinger, or the predicted regression?  He’s looking more like 2022 Belli right now….

3:03
Ben Clemens: regression

3:03
Colton: I read something that the A’s get another year of Ruiz if he’s down until Wednesday, which doesn’t make sense to me considering he played the literal entire years on the major league team last year but was something that held some weight if true. They also did bench Rooker the day he was wearing TLDB bracelets so I think that idea has some validity to it as well.

3:03
Ben Clemens: sorry, digging up old responses while I hunt for Matt and I realized I should have posted this one sooner

3:04
Ben Clemens: I think Ruiz would have a good shot at a grievance if they do that

3:04
Ben Clemens: like…. the A’s have Max Schuemann up

3:04
Ben Clemens: c’mon bro

3:04
Dan’l: Did the Cards massively misjudge the SP market at the end of the offseason? Surely combining the Gibson & Lynn’s money and putting it toward one pitcher (& rolling the dice with a minor league SP) would have made more sense than what they did. Or is this really what they wanted, for the money it cost them??

3:05
Ben Clemens: In retrospect yes

3:05
Ben Clemens: They valued certainty and didn’t want to gamble at all

3:05
Ben Clemens: they didn’t gamble, they got exactly what they asked for

3:05
Ben Clemens: and eh, it turns out that the market was a little cheapher than that

3:05
Ben Clemens: Gibson does not look great to my eyes so far, either

3:05
Max Schuemann: I’m better at baseball than you, pal

3:05
Ben Clemens: I mean, by so much

3:05
Ben Clemens: But you’re not better than Esteury Ruiz

3:05
Pat: I’ll bet Matt Damon flew on a mission to Mars, but, then accidentally got left behind when the rest of the crew took off in a huge storm.

3:06
Ben Clemens: Jeez, someone should write a book about that

3:06
TomBruno23: Masyn Winn might be the new Javier Baez.

3:06
Ben Clemens: I have to say, it’s fun when the brilliant defensive shortstops are on my team instead of their rival

3:06
Ben Clemens: I love watching Baez play, and I even loved it when he was on the Cubs

3:06
Ben Clemens: but it’s just more fun when it’s a Cardinal (for me, obv)

3:07
Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: Paredes continues to get away with productivity driven entirely by pulling balls just to the right of the fair pole. It’s a hoot.

3:07
Ben Clemens: I mean, it certainly seems repeatable at this point

3:08
Ben Clemens: he’s just freaking MASHING again this year

3:08
Ben Clemens: with a .243 babip

3:08
Ben Clemens: god it’s delightful

3:09
Guest: If you just heard the name Xzavion, would you think “baseball player” or “evil overlord from a Sci-Fi novel”?  Have we done a background check on this guy?

3:09
Ben Clemens: he has hobbies

3:09
Ben Clemens: the question is which one is the hobby and which one is the day job

3:09
Bighen: Mets have anything with Butto? I know it’s just 2 starts this year but he was also solid last 5- 6 starts last year and typically seems to be more than ok out there

3:10
Ben Clemens: I can guarantee you that SOMEONE at FG will write about him by this time next week

3:10
Ben Clemens: maybe me, but I wanna wait another start…. but maybe someone else if they do it befor eme

3:11
Chuck: Acuna has no pop yet. Heard anything worrisome, or is it just random SSS?

3:11
Ben Clemens: I’m still on SSS for now

3:12
Ben Clemens: I’m gonna call it a day now and get to working on an article about Craig Kimbrel

3:13
Ben Clemens: Hopefully he won’t break before tomorrow

3:13
Ben Clemens: that said…. gonna give myself one last compliment before I go

3:13
Bob Loblaw, Esq.: Just wanted to say that I really like the “Five things I liked” column.

3:13
Ben Clemens: Thank you ver much. It’s a labor of love and I’m glad people like it b/c it’s my favorite column to write in addition to my most time consuming

3:13
Ben Clemens: have a great week, everyone





Ben is a writer at FanGraphs. He can be found on Twitter @_Ben_Clemens.

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saychowdahmember
1 month ago

True or True? Ozzie Smith at age 69 is a better defensive shortstop than anyone on the Red Sox.