Ben Clemens FanGraphs Chat – 6/29/20

2:00
Ben Clemens: Hey everyone, and welcome to a Monday baseball chat.

2:00
Ben Clemens: Baseball is freaking BACKKKKKKK

2:00
Ben Clemens: (in theory)

2:00
Guest: BASEBALL IS BACK.

2:00
Guest: (theoretically)

2:00
Ben Clemens: Love it

2:00
Ben Clemens: I’m extremely excited, though of course, it does feel a bit weird to just be baseballing it up while the world burns, as it were.

2:01
Ben Clemens: But honestly, I’m a baseball writer, so yeah, I’m probably slightly biased in favor of having it happen.

2:01
Nathan: Is this the year we get a .400 hitter winning the batting title?

2:01
Ben Clemens: Let’s answer some short season questions

2:01
Ben Clemens: Dan is going to write about this, I believe

2:02
Ben Clemens: But I sure hope it is, I’ll say that to start.

2:02
Ben Clemens: .400 is one of those things I never bothered rooting for

2:02
Ben Clemens: Becuase it just wasn’t going to happen, you know?

2:03
Ben Clemens: But now that it might, I want to see it happen

2:03
Ben Clemens: Yeah, it’ll be all asterisked up

2:03
Ben Clemens: I don’ care

2:03
Ben Clemens: It’s just so cool

2:03
Ben Clemens: Really want to see this happen

2:03
Luis Arraez: Am I the player most likely to hit .400 this season?

2:03
Derek: What player has the most capacity to do something truly stunning over this shortened “full season”? Normally I’d just default to “Trout”, but his superstardom seems to be built more on consistent excellence rather than briefer flashes of brilliance… So maybe DeGrom putting up some insanely low ERA? Soto having an ugodly wRC+? It’s probably just Trout, isn’t it…

2:04
Ben Clemens: These are kind of similar questions, and I’ll add one more in there as well

2:04
Matt: Who’s someone you think could get hot and absolutely RAKE during a 60 game season?

2:05
Ben Clemens: I’ve done some thinking about this — I’d like to have my own answers before reading Dan’s

2:05
Ben Clemens: Here’s where I’ve wound up: you want a hitter who has a pretty high non-contact rate

2:06
Ben Clemens: So someone with big walk totals

2:06
Ben Clemens: Strikeouts are stable too — but obviously someone who strikes out a lot, in a stable way, isn’t a great bet to be a star this season

2:07
Ben Clemens: So someone like Yelich, or Soto, or Trout

2:07
Nathan: I’ll vote for Yordan. What did he bat over his first 60 games?

2:07
Ben Clemens: Him too

2:07
Ben Clemens: Anyway, one of those types is, I think, the player archetype most likely to go completely nuts

2:08
Ben Clemens: The idea is basically

2:09
Ben Clemens: You want the fewest at-bats with random results, because that’s how you can achieve greatest variance

2:09
Ben Clemens: So heck, yeah, let’s say Trout

2:09
Ben Clemens: But I think that Yelich is actually a great bet

2:09
News Alert: Mike Leake, SP for Arizona, is the first player to voluntarily opt out of 2020 because of the pandemic.

2:09
Ben Clemens: Big news right there.

2:10
Ben Clemens: This is obviously going to be a tough decision for anyone

2:12
Ben Clemens: I think that players in Leake’s situation — hitting free agency after this year, money already in the bank — are most likely to do this.

2:13
Ben Clemens: I’m sure that Leake agonized over this decision

2:13
DJ: I applaud Mike Leake for making the decision he felt was best for him and his family. I’m worried about peer pressure in clubhouses – having been in them, it’s ultra common. I hope people who worry about their wellbeing will be able to follow suit.

2:13
Ben Clemens: Yeah, look, if this is best for your family, you should do it.

2:13
Ben Clemens: I really sincerely believe that, and I know the takes about this are going to be awful.

2:14
Ben Clemens: “I’d do anything for the money Mike Leake would get paid, why doesn’t he play and donate it to charity?’ etc

2:14
Ben Clemens: Let’s just get out in front of those and say, hey, quit it people, he should do what is right for him.

2:14
Derek: I was going to ask about players opting out… The NBA has already seen some mid-tier guys opt out, though no one too significant on a team with a legit title shot. How much of an impact do you think players opting out could have for MLB? Is there a point where they’d just call the season off if a certain number of players opt out?

2:14
Ben Clemens: I mean, basically no? I think that a point does exist, but it’s incredibly high

2:15
Ben Clemens: And it’s unlikely that we reach that point before other health concerns cause a cancelation

2:16
Nathan: If someone hits 30 homer runs how many non hone runs will he need to hit .400? Like 60 or so? He’ll probably be getting a lot of walks.

2:16
Ben Clemens: Ooh let’s see

2:17
Ben Clemens: Okay, let’s give them like 4.5 PA per game

2:17
Ben Clemens: So that comes out to 263 in a 56 game season for them

2:18
Ben Clemens: 18% walk rate? You’re right, they’ll walk a ton if they hit 30 dingers

2:18
Ben Clemens: So that’s 215 at bats, of which 30 are homers

2:18
Ben Clemens: 56 hits gets you to .400 from there

2:18
Ben Clemens: so there you go!

2:19
Ben Clemens: Now, if you strike out 25% of the time, that still requires a .470 BABIP I think

2:19
Ben Clemens: Drop it to 20% of the time, and it’s a .425 BABIP

2:19
Ben Clemens: It’s hard to hit .400!

2:19
Robert: Live math is fun

2:19
Ben Clemens: Haha sorry

2:20
Jonah hill: what should we make of all these top prospects in 60 man pools? Will Adell, Franco, Kiriloff make real contributions since they’re already on the roster and could easily get hot?

2:20
Fan: Looks like teams are including lots of their top prospects in the Player Pools.  Do you think this is more for training purposes or to actually help the ML roster?

2:20
Ben Clemens: Craig Edwards just wrote a little bit about this, though I haven’t read it yet — it came out after this chat started

2:21
Ben Clemens: That said, they will probably not make real contributions 🙁

2:22
Ben Clemens: Teams throw them on there because that’s the only way they’ll get to play baseball this season

2:23
Ben Clemens: And it’s of utmost importance to develop your prospects

2:24
Ben Clemens: But I mean

2:24
Ben Clemens: No service time

2:24
Ben Clemens: No pay

2:25
Ben Clemens: It’s free to throw them on the roster and they won’t need 60 players

2:25
Ben Clemens: It’s just a way to get them to keep practicing

2:25
Sam: Another reason to add prospects to your player pool: only players in the pool may be traded in-season. So if you’re hoping on Deadline Day to move for a big-league piece, you need to have the prospects in your pool to get it done.

2:25
Ben Clemens: An excellent second poin

2:25
Ben Clemens: point*

2:25
Ben Clemens: Yeah, basically, I don’t expect to see many prospects called up this year

2:25
Ben Clemens: It doesn’t fit with the way teams behave

2:25
Ben Clemens: I’d love it, though

2:25
Fan: Thoughts on King of Tokyo?

2:26
Ben Clemens: Have only played once but it was a lot of fun.

2:26
Ben Clemens: Richard Garfield games are generally awesome, though.

2:27
Ben Clemens: Like I played a tonnnnn of Robo Rally growing up and still consider it one of my favorite games, though I no longer have a copy

2:27
Ben Clemens: Been meaning to try KeyForge as well. Man, that guy makes a lot of games.

2:27
Derek: Wait but live math actually is fun!

2:27
Robert: I wasn’t being sarcastic; I quite enjoyed that.

2:27
Ben Clemens: Haha looks like I was too down on myself

2:28
Jim: Back to doing the “I mean” again I see

2:28
Ben Clemens: 🙂

2:28
Blue-Collar Tweeker: If games are played this year, who’s going to call the games?  I mean, I love to see Trout, but for the less exciting moments of Angels games their (tv) announcers keep me going.

2:29
Ben Clemens: In almost every case, the regular announcing crew. I haven’t heard any specific chatter about this but I expect the crews will mostly remain unchanged. I’ll do a little digging on this, though, because it will be interesting to see how their setups work

2:30
Ben Clemens: Like the KBO games were done completely remotely, and various sports have tried various things. I thought the KBO setup led to awkward lag at times but I don’t know how much of that is related to announcers getting used to working remotely and how much is just the strange league

2:31
Ben Clemens: I’m going to watch the heck out of some Mets games this year though

2:31
Billy Hamilton: I am worth more as a runner in extras than a hitter in the ninth, how many other players does this apply to? i.e How many players should intentionally run into an out in the 9th?

2:31
Ben Clemens: So, you shouldn’t *actually* run into an out, but I take your point.

2:32
Ben Clemens: It’s only worth considering after the player is on first — because no one should intentionally make an out if they might run into a single.

2:32
Ben Clemens: But runners who are significantly better on the bases than the person who comes after them should be very willing to gamble on steals

2:33
Ben Clemens: For an automatic out to make sense, you’d need some very specific circumstances

2:33
Ben Clemens: Let’s say it’s Billy Hamilton on first but somehow Jeff Mathis batting.

2:33
Ben Clemens: There, I think you might be able to make a case that Hamilton should just sprint until tagged

2:33
Ben Clemens: Fast runners, though, should be suuuuuper aggressive with two outs in the bototm of the ninth

2:33
Ben Clemens: (assuming they’re on first)

2:33
@RationalMLBfan: Ben, I enjoyed your article on Billy Hamilton’s proclivity for scoring while on 2nd base with no outs, but how do we disentangle the effect of his speed from the effectiveness of his teammates? (For example, Joey Votto drove in Hamilton 27/85 times [32%] in 2017 and 14/74 [19%] in 2018.) Put Hamilton in a different lineup, and his rate of scoring decreases, yes?

2:34
Ben Clemens: Yeah, it’s very difficult to disentangle

2:34
Ben Clemens: What you’re saying is true, but Hamilton also increased Votto’s effectiveness, and so on

2:35
Ben Clemens: The correct way to do this is…. challenging

2:35
Ben Clemens: and by that I mean I’m not really sure what you could do. You’d need to look at his rates of advancement on each type of play

2:35
Ben Clemens: Then give him ML-average rates of each of those plays

2:35
Ben Clemens: Then turn that into a run-scoring expectation

2:35
Ben Clemens: But that sounded like a lot of work!

2:36
Ben Clemens: and also I don’t think would move the needle all that much

2:36
Derek: They talked about broadcasting with Mike Ferrin on the most recent Effectively Wild episode – (assuming tv is handled similarly to radio) it sounds like the general plan is for standard teams to call games from the stadium for home games but remotely call away games, a la the KBO broadcasts, with some potential for broadcasting crews to travel, but separately from team personnel. Not sure if I’m recounting that exactly correctly but it’s worth a listen!

2:36
Ben Clemens: Oh, thank you!

2:36
Ben Clemens: That’s really useful

2:37
Ben Clemens: I haven’t listened to that one yet, partially because I was too busy recording a statblast (I don’t even think this is a humblebrag, just a brag)

2:37
Ben Clemens: But basically i was so giddy from Meg and Ben asking me to come on the show that I listened to myself instead of listening to other episodes

2:37
Robert: Besides the Mets crew (which is the obvious answer), who are your favorite TV guys?

2:37
Ben Clemens: White Sox b/c Benetti is so good

2:37
Ben Clemens: The Bill Walton game was my favorite regular season baseball broadcast in many years

2:38
Ben Clemens: The A’s home crew with Dallas Braden gets wacky and that’s fun

2:38
Ben Clemens: I quite enjoy FP Santangelo actually, though I know many do not

2:39
Ben Clemens: In a small sample size, I like the Mariners team. Same is true for the Rangers.

2:39
Ben Clemens: I had heard very few West Coast teams before last year b/c I lived in New York

2:39
Ben Clemens: So I’m trying to sample as many of those as possible

2:39
Derek: Orioles Gary Thorne + Jim Palmer is pretty good (which is something that cannot be said for the baseball team unfortunately)

2:39
Ben Clemens: Oh should have added them

2:39
Ben Clemens: Thorne getting upset about bad things happening is A+

2:40
D-Backs fan: Arizona is a “hot spot” right now and may have factored in his decision.  Who knows, maybe Leake will change his mind if things cool down in AZ and the D-Backs are competitive.  So anyway, Arizona added Bumgarner,Starling Marte, and Cole Calhoun apparently to make a run this season.  Should they be scrambling to add a veteran pitcher to replace Leake?  Merrill Kelly or Alex Young would now be in line to replace Leake unless someone else steals the gig in ST 2.0.

2:40
Ben Clemens: I don’t think so

2:41
Ben Clemens: Looking at their roster, one place they aren’t light is starting pitcher depth

2:41
Ben Clemens: They would have struggled to find enough innings for Young + Kelly, both of whom are plenty capable of putting in fifth starter innings

2:43
Ben Clemens: I could see them adding some general depth, but they were already more than 13 deep in pitchers I’d be interested in seeing in the majors

2:43
Ben Clemens: So they are actually quite well set up for this

2:43
Ben Clemens: I have a feeling that some people in the DBacks front office are quietly fine with this. It’s kind of a win-win. Leake is doing what’s right for himself, the DBacks aren’t really left in the lurch, and the team is saving some money on a contract they were likely not thrilled about.

2:44
Ben Clemens: Unless I’ve totally misread this, he will not be receiving a salary this year

2:45
Ben Clemens: I guess that means the Cardinals are also randomly saving $4 million

2:45
Curious: Mets signed a butt-ton of washed-up vets to be minor league depth today. I know they’re mostly insurance, though some of them will probably play. How do I deal psychologically, though, with the inevitable onslaught on Twitter deriding the signings? I’m fragile, man. Defensiveness is one of the side effects of being a Mets fan.

2:45
Ben Clemens: Just ignore it

2:45
Ben Clemens: I’d rather have them sign these guys than not sign them

2:45
Ben Clemens: Will they work out? Probably not

2:46
Ben Clemens: But signing cheap pieces for depth is something good GM’s do

2:46
Ben Clemens: It’s contingency planning

2:46
Ben Clemens: Hope, really hope, that none of them have to play

2:46
Ben Clemens: But if they do, better them than Tebow

2:46
M’s broadcast team: Dave Niehaus was awesome.  His replacements are much less so.

2:46
Robert: Not a Dodgers fan, but I love Joe and Orel

2:46
Ben Clemens: I will listen to a few more Mariners games to see if I change my mind

2:47
Ben Clemens: And yeah, Dodgers are good too. I’m probably dinging them too much in my head for not being Vin Scully

2:47
Chris: When the rosters drop from 30 to 28 to 26 do those players have to be optioned?

2:47
Ben Clemens: I don’t think so?

2:48
Ben Clemens: But uh, don’t take that as gospel

2:48
Ben Clemens: I’ll ask someone in the background while we continue chatting and then we’ll see

2:48
Roger: Is it not obvious this is a short sighted decision that is going to backfire?

2:48
Ben Clemens: Which decision? Playing the season, or Leake opting out, or announcers?

2:49
Roger: Playing the season

2:49
Ben Clemens: Oh

2:49
Ben Clemens: I don’t think it’s obvious at all

2:49
Ben Clemens: It might not work out!

2:49
Ben Clemens: It definitely might not work out

2:50
Ben Clemens: But I don’t thikn it’s doomed to failure or anything

2:50
Ben Clemens: There’s an argument to be made that literally only essential businesses should be letting people gather

2:50
Ben Clemens: The Rangers weirdly having 200 employees come into the office, for example… that seems like a needless risk

2:51
Ben Clemens: But if you accept that a)the US has made the decisions it has, i.e. no contact tracing and so on

2:52
Ben Clemens: and b) we’re not valuing every life as absolute

2:52
Ben Clemens: That sounds grim, but what I basically mean is, if you could shut down the entire economy to save 1 life

2:52
Ben Clemens: Would you do it?

2:52
Ben Clemens: If you think that a is yes and b is no, I think playing baseball is completely defensible

2:52
Ben Clemens: The specifics absolutely might not be

2:53
Ben Clemens: You could, for example, send 200 employees to work somewhere when they could easily work from home!

2:54
Ben Clemens: And maybe the whole ‘sports are the best way to raise morale’ thing is overblown, I’ll give you that

2:54
Ben Clemens: But I don’t hate baseball’s plan, and I see why both sides were incentivized to make it happen, despite the extended bickering

2:54
Fans @ the ballpark?: I’ll admit I haven’t read everything on the 60 game season, but I’m still not clear on whether they will be playing in empty ballparks, socially-distanced ballparks, or “normal fan capacity” ballparks.

2:54
Ben Clemens: Nothing is set in stone, but very likely empty ballparks

2:55
Ben Clemens: A few governors/states have made noises about maybe allowing people in

2:55
Ben Clemens: But given the recent spike in positive test rates, I find that unlikely

2:55
JD: Do 80 grade runners get a boost in all formats due to the “runner on 2nd” rule?

2:55
Ben Clemens: Oh for sure

2:55
Ben Clemens: Not a big boost

2:55
Ben Clemens: (talking fantasy here)

2:56
Ben Clemens: Because it’s 5 extra inning games a year on average

2:56
Ben Clemens: But that guy is almost always going to start the 10th on second

2:56
Ben Clemens: And he’ll score quite often

2:56
Ben Clemens: So that’s, say, 4 runs extra of value

2:56
Ben Clemens: Now, lots of these 80 speed guys are bench types, so

2:57
Ben Clemens: That part is so-so

2:57
Ben Clemens: But in really deep formats where you might roster someone like Hamilton, I guess he gets a slight bump

2:57
Lorenzo: Generally speaking, in the 10th inning with the runner on 2B and no outs, is the obvious choice to attempt a sacrifice bunt unless it’s a stud hitter?  Will we see lots of attempts to steal 3B?  That would be the more exciting/risky choice.

2:58
Ben Clemens: I did a decent amount of thinking about this for my Hamilton article

2:58
Ben Clemens: I settled on the visiting team playing it normally

2:58
Ben Clemens: Being out of position, as it were, is a huge problem for the bunting strategy

2:58
Ben Clemens: Because it caps your odds of the big innings that always lead to wins

2:58
Ben Clemens: And if you succeed in your strategy, your opponent can always mirror it

2:59
Ben Clemens: It’s kind of like going first in college football overitme

2:59
Ben Clemens: It’s a meaningful disadvantage

2:59
Ben Clemens: I think, however, that you might see a lot of this pattern: first batter strikes out, and then runner attempts to steal third

2:59
Ben Clemens: that’s a spot where stealing actually gets far more interesting

3:00
Ben Clemens: Let’s do another round of Live Math so I can explain why

3:01
Ben Clemens: Ah actually this is going to require a few data pulls

3:01
Ben Clemens: So I’m just going to do some Live Approximation instead

3:03
Ben Clemens: I lied

3:03
Ben Clemens: TOo much data

3:03
Ben Clemens: you should do it a lot

3:03
Ben Clemens: I’ll give the exact breakdown in 10 min or something once I make the sql work

3:03
Roger: Do the financial incentives (bc c’mon, they aren’t doing this primarily to boost national morale) justify gambling with the health of so many people? Are there other incentives I’m missing?

3:03
Ben Clemens: That’s a reasonable question that can be asked about freaking everything right now

3:04
Ben Clemens: I don’t think it’s obviously yes or obviously no

3:04
Ben Clemens: And I’m 100% certain that I’m not an unbiased observer

3:04
Ben Clemens: Because my livelihood is in some ways tied to this season — this is definitely a positive for me

3:05
Ben Clemens: I guess my point is that yeah, they’re doing it for financial reasons, no doubt. I think that you can say the way they’re doing it puts some players at disproportionate risk, and some staffers as well

3:05
Ben Clemens: I’m unsure what staffers’ ability to opt out of the season looks like, I’d be curious to see whta that is

3:05
Ben Clemens: But yeah, it could definitely be a bad decision. I just don’t think it’s cut and dried

3:05
Jackson: Do you have a pick for a team you see as the biggest possibility to “surprise” this season? As in a mediocre/bad team that wasn’t likely to make the postseason but could be aided a lot by all the variance we’re about to see in this much smaller sample.

3:06
Ben Clemens: DBacks are my pick

3:07
Ben Clemens: Like the team, dislike having to fight the Dodgers over 162 games

3:07
Ben Clemens: A’s and Angels get a similar boost

3:07
Dan: You know as a kid I was literally the best at math in my town. I wouldn’t be confident doing live math. I’m impressed you can do this without making any mistakes.

3:07
Ben Clemens: Ha one underrated part of doing live math is that it’s hard to check.

3:08
Ben Clemens: Ask Meg: I make my fair share of errors even in articles

3:08
Ben Clemens: It’s just harder to quickly pick up on live

3:08
Ben Clemens: Also I would say that doing simple calculations quickly is a strong suit of mine. I’m worse at in-depth stuff, but have always been more of the speed type

3:08
Ben Clemens: Changing topics:

3:08
Robert: Not related to baseball – just wear masks people!

3:08
Ben Clemens: Yeah

3:08
Ben Clemens: This

3:08
Ben Clemens: This about all kinds of risks we’ve talked about today

3:09
Ben Clemens: Just wear masks. It works. And honestly, let’s say science is wrong and it doesn’t work

3:09
Ben Clemens: Then you wore a mask

3:09
Ben Clemens: Boo hoo

3:09
Ben Clemens: Not wearing a mask is like leaving the door to your neighbor’s house open when you leave

3:09
Ben Clemens: It costs you almost nothing to close the door

3:10
Ben Clemens: And helps them out

3:10
Ben Clemens: Just do it, don’t be a jerk

3:10
Derek: Yeah definitely wear masks! But also don’t think wearing a mask makes you immune to disease (have seen an insane amount of risky behavior from people wearing masks…)

3:10
Ben Clemens: Also a fair point

3:10
Ben Clemens: Wearing a mask doesn’t make you invincible

3:10
Ben Clemens: Though Batman might disagree

3:11
Ben Clemens: And in fact, wearing a mask is more helpful for preventing *you* from spreading COVID

3:11
Ben Clemens: than preventing you from getting it

3:11
Ben Clemens: But have non-zero empathy

3:11
Ben Clemens: wearing a mask makes it less likely that others will die

3:11
Ben Clemens: How much less likely? I don’t have an exact number for you

3:11
Ben Clemens: But make it less likely that others will die! that’s a good thing to do

3:11
Derek: Wait the Mets released two guys over the weekend and then signed them again today? Why would that happen? (Ryan Cordell and Erasmo Ramirez – I’m assuming they were already on minimum contracts anyway?)

3:11
Ben Clemens: Iiiinteresting

3:11
Ben Clemens: Legit no idea

3:13
Ben Clemens: I guess it could have something to do with specific terms in their contracts? They’re minor league deals both times

3:13
Ben Clemens: But yeah no idea

3:14
Ben Clemens: Btw, talked with Jason Martinez a bit — he’s the guy to go to on roster questions. And we think that going off of the 30-man roster will require an option

3:14
Ben Clemens: so if you have no options remaining, you’ll need to clear waivers

3:14
Odd trivia guy: What lifetime StL Cardinal had this career triple slash

3:14
Odd trivia guy: .333/.455/1.333

3:15
Ben Clemens: This is from much earlier, so apologies if you aren’t still here, Odd trivia guy

3:16
Ben Clemens: That is a really bizarre line. 11 PA’s lifetime most likely

3:16
Ben Clemens: 3-9 with two walks

3:16
Robert: Is the last slash SLG or OPS?

3:16
Ben Clemens: I’m gonna assume slug

3:16
Ben Clemens: And that’s…. 3 dingers?

3:16
Ben Clemens: if it’s slug

3:17
Ben Clemens: goodness this line sounds impossible. 3 for 9 with three homers, two walks

3:17
Ben Clemens: Legitimately no clue

3:18
Derek: I was thinking a pitcher but that seems unlikely with that slugging percentage

3:18
Robert: Could this be a pitcher?

3:18
Robert: (Thinking “out loud”)

3:18
Ben Clemens: I kind of think it is too. But what pitcher has three dingers as their only hits?

3:19
Ben Clemens: Lifetime Cardinal is confusing too, because I was guessing this was a guy who got one season there or something

3:19
Ben Clemens: Maybe it’s a reliever?

3:20
Springer McSpaniel: Of the opinion Seattle broadcast crew Goldsmith-Rizzs-Blowers-Sims are strongly above average on the national broadcasting spectrum.  I think it’s one of the stronger aspects of the Mariner franchise.

3:20
Ben Clemens: Ooh looks like we’ve got dissenting opinions!

3:20
Ben Clemens: I am now extremely unconfident

3:20
Ben Clemens: I liked them in the two games I heard

3:21
Ben Clemens: Side note: it turns out I’m actually not good at simultaneously running sql queries (for run expectancy) and chatting

3:21
Ben Clemens: So no answer to the exact breakeven of stealing third today

3:21
Ben Clemens: But more people will try it this year

3:21
Ben Clemens: At this point, I sadly know almost nothing

3:21
Ben Clemens: whoops

3:21
Ben Clemens: about this:

3:21
Springer McSpaniel: So, what do you know about the AFL or other player development options for minor leaguers not taken on to the 60man pool?

3:22
Ben Clemens: What a find by Aaron

3:22
Ben Clemens: Here he is

3:22
Ben Clemens: Keith McDonald

3:22
Aaron: Difficult second season

3:22
Ben Clemens: To say the least

3:22
Ben Clemens: 50% strikeout rate isn’t optimal

3:22
Ben Clemens: Though in his defense it was a small sample

3:23
GrandPubaDirtbag: Should every team have one Billy Ham due to the extra inning rule?

3:24
Ben Clemens: I don’t really think so. It’s quite contextual; if you have a better fourth/fifth outfielder type, just do that

3:24
Ben Clemens: I think I worked out that it’s around 0.3 WPA (expected value) for a season

3:24
Ben Clemens: So if you’re the Cardinals and your fourth outfielder is Lane Thomas…. I guess he’s quite fast actually

3:24
Ben Clemens: But ha, maybe he’s their fifth outfielder now, I don’t konw.

3:25
Ben Clemens: The point is, if you’re replacing a scrub, then yes

3:25
Ben Clemens: But Billy Hamilton is pretty bad at the other parts of baseball

3:25
Robert: So he’s in the…fast Lane?

3:25
Robert: I’ll be here all night

3:25
Ben Clemens: I will only be here for about ten more minutes, unlike Robert

3:26
Ben Clemens: So let’s hop around through all our questions randomly

3:26
Springer McSpaniel: Stealing third is a very cavalier move.  Who, in the current game, would you expect to be the active leader?

3:26
Ben Clemens: Feel like there’s some cavalier pun going on, but I don’ get it

3:26
Ben Clemens: I’ll say Brett Gardner because he’s played so long

3:26
Liar: My favorite broadcast is the Buck-Smoltz crew!

3:26
Ben Clemens: Didn’t see the name at first and was going to get incensed

3:26
Ben Clemens: But well playe

3:26
Ben Clemens: d

3:27
Robert: Puig?

3:27
Ben Clemens: Puig is indeed cavalier

3:27
Lorenzo: I’m sure you’ve discussed this in the past, but have you ever seen or played the board game “All-Star Baseball”?  The game with the round cards and the spinners.

3:27
Ben Clemens: I have not played it. I played a lot of Strat-o-Matic when I was a kid

3:27
Ben Clemens: And in fact, today’s FanGraphs prep uses Strat-o-matic cards

3:27
Ben Clemens: with the added bonus that it’s the guy who created steamer teaching you how to regress to the mean

3:28
Ben Clemens: (that’s quite an added bonus)

3:28
Derek: Odd trivia guy we need you

3:28
Ben Clemens: Always true

3:28
Reggie: 30 HR in 60 games? That’s a lot. I won’t be surprised if the HR leader ends up with 20

3:28
Ben Clemens: Totally agree. 30 is an outlandish number. Not that it isn’t possible but it’s not likely

3:28
David K: Mets trying to sign the 2009 cromulement all stars in Beckham and Melky?

3:29
Ben Clemens: Calling Beckham cromulent is maybe too much praise

3:29
Ben Clemens: Ryan Zimmerman has also opted out

3:29
Ben Clemens: Of playing the season

3:29
Ben Clemens: This might mean farewell for him, as Britt Ghiroli noted:

3:30
Ben Clemens: Joe Ross too, and htat’s a far bigger hit than Mike Leake because the Nats are light on pitching

3:30
Isolated Thinker: Are SB/speed guys now less likely to be in starting lineups just in case there are extra innings?  Weighing that benefit against the benefit of having them in the lineup is another possible layer of strategy.

3:31
Ben Clemens: Eh, it’s really marginal. It requires a team where you have two players with almost exactly identical talent but who get there in different ways

3:31
Ben Clemens: So maybe, if you have Billy Hamilton and Hilly Bamilton, who is a tall guy (hilly) who hits a lot of dingers (bam)

3:31
Ben Clemens: But with the same WAR/PA projection

3:31
Ben Clemens: You play Hilly more and use Billy as a sub

3:31
Ben Clemens: But it’s narrow

3:32
Don: Which comes first: female pres baseball ops or female president?

3:32
Ben Clemens: assuming president of the US, I’ll say president

3:33
Robert: Do you have any Fringe Five-type guys that you are thinking about?

3:33
Ben Clemens: I was working on a potential series in the general style of Fringe Five

3:33
Ben Clemens: Only, with more talking to Eric so I can learn things from him

3:33
Ben Clemens: And less trying to pick good players

3:34
Ben Clemens: COVID threw a wrench in all of that

3:34
Ben Clemens: but maybe next year?

3:34
Ben Clemens: It’s weird to try to figure this out with no minor league stats or season

3:34
Ben Clemens: Alright on that note I want to go get some lunch before today’s staff meeting (we have to plan baseball coverage! which is exciting!), so I’m going to call it a chat

3:35
Ben Clemens: Stay safe, be well, and wear a mask because you’re a decent human being.

3:35
Ben Clemens: Also as Derek said, don’t assume you’re invincible with the mask on.

3:35
Ben Clemens: But still, wear it!

3:35
Ben Clemens: Have a great day everyone.

We hoped you liked reading Ben Clemens FanGraphs Chat – 6/29/20 by Ben Clemens!

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Ben is a contributor to FanGraphs. A lifelong Cardinals fan, he got his start writing for Viva El Birdos. He can be found on Twitter @_Ben_Clemens.

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liamk
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liamk

Maybe I’m a glass half-full type of person, but I see Leake’s decision as someone who can afford not to work/pitch giving up a spot to someone who needs the money more?