Ben Clemens FanGraphs Chat – 9/13/21

2:00
Ben Clemens: Hey everyone, and welcoem to the chat

2:00
Ben Clemens: Welcome, even

2:00
Ben Clemens: No time for a cutesy intro today, because I’d like to get to as many questions as possible, so let’s just dive right in

2:00
CoryMC: Blue Jays; Fun or Super Fun?

2:01
Ben Clemens: Super fun! Not only are they scoring a trillion runs, but they’re doing it with fun players. This is hardly a spoiler; I’m writing about the Jays’ recent run (should go up soon), and wow they’re hot

2:01
Justin P: If the A’s miss the playoffs this year do they go into sell off mode and trade Chapman and Olson? Or will they try to keep them through arb and try for two more years?

2:01
Ben Clemens: I don’t actually think that the playoff part of it matters too much.

2:02
Ben Clemens: I think that they will keep trying to make the playoffs over the next two years period, but if someone makes them an offer that bowls them over for either, they’ll move them

2:02
Ben Clemens: That’s been the A’s MO for a while now; they’re certainly interested in competing, but they’re also willing to trade for the future.

2:03
Doug: How spooked would you feel about a 5 game series against the White Sox if you’re the Astros? Rodon/Giolito/Lynn feels like it matches up really well against whatever 3 starters the Astros throw out there…

2:03
Ben Clemens: Not a team you’d love to face, obviously. The top-heavy rotation and bullpen is a pretty nice way to structure a playoff team

2:04
Ben Clemens: On the other hand, who are you HAPPY about playing here? Every playoff team in the AL is going to be good. I’d rather get the Sox than the Rays right now I think, or at least it’s pretty close

2:04
Nate: Kolten Wong’s wOBA since 2015 (the earliest year fangraphs has his xwOBA) is .322, but his xwOBA since then is only .296! That gap seems massive to me across 3000 PAs. Is Kolten Wong the luckiest player alive or has he mastered the art of hit it where they ain’t?

2:04
Ben Clemens: That’s the earliest year that xwOBA exists, so that checks out.

2:05
Ben Clemens: As to whether he’s the luckiest man alive, I mean, no.

2:05
Ben Clemens: One thing that xwOBA definitely doesn’t handle well is bunting, and Wong is one of the best bunters (for a hit) in the majors period

2:07
Ben Clemens: Those balls all have miniscule xBA’s

2:07
Ben Clemens: Just as an example, Wong has 73 pitches flagged as ‘is bunt’ on Baseball Savant. He has a .423 wOBA on those and a .100 xwOBA

2:07
Ben Clemens: Not sure I trust the xwOBA there, b/c how could it be accurate?

2:08
Ben Clemens: My broader point is, ‘his wOBA is higher than his xwOBA therefore he’s lucky’ is too broad of a brush given how xwOBA works

2:08
barney gumble: the yankees have finally moved gleyber torres back to 2B (what took so long?). but they’re moving Lemahieu to 3B and Urshela to SS to accommodate. won’t that make the overall infield defense worse? you’ll have 2 players out of position instead of 1

2:08
barney gumble: also RE gleyber torres: at what point do the yankees move on from him entirely? he’s looked awful for a while now.

2:09
Ben Clemens: Really good question. I have basically no idea how Urshela will play at shortstop, but if they think he’s a better shortstop than Gleyber, I’d make the move

2:09
Ben Clemens: “players out of position” is a good first cut, but shortstop is just more important than the rest. If you’re getting a big boost there, the whole thing will probably work out

2:09
Tal: Do you see Stearns as a legitimate possiblity for NYM?

2:09
Ben Clemens: No

2:10
Ben Clemens: Just doesn’t fit his MO, at least the way I see it

2:10
Dave: Do rebuilding teams significantly exceeding expectations too early (like the Mariners this year 11 games better than their run differential would indicate) put their front offices in a tough position? All of a sudden there’s external pressure from fans, media, etc expecting the team to improve on a somewhat fluky good season. Could force teams to pivot off longer term plans for more short term plans to avoid the external disappointment in an apparent step backwards on the path towards sustained competitiveness.

2:12
Ben Clemens: Not in any sustainably bad way, and the gains from your team being better than expected are meaningful too

2:12
Ben Clemens: I think if you ask any front office member, they’d prefer their team outperforming

2:13
Ben Clemens: I don’t think that external pressure is particularly important compared to winning, getting more excitement, more money, etc

2:14
Andy: Who are your picks for MVP/Cy Young/ROY?

2:14
Ben Clemens: Speed round

2:15
Ben Clemens: NL: Harper/Burnes/India

2:15
Ben Clemens: AL: Ohtani/Cole/Randy

2:15
B. B. RODRIGUEZ: The Blue Jays have a wRC+ of 130 in the last 30 days. As a team. As a team. That is all.

2:16
Ben Clemens: Since August 27, the Blue Jays’ team line has basically been Fernando Tatis’s seasonal line

2:16
Joe: What are the Giants’ odds against the Dodgers in the NLDS of the Giants win the west? 55% favored?

2:16
Ben Clemens: Sadly not

2:16
Ben Clemens: The Dodgers will be favored

2:17
Ben Clemens: And I don’ think it matters who wins the West (contingent on whichever team it is winning the WC game)

2:17
Ben Clemens: Like, the starting pitching matters a LITTLE

2:20
Ben Clemens: But the Dodgers are a much better team by the projections, and I think that’s reasonable

2:20
Appa Yip Yip: Jumping off the Super Fun Jays, if you were writing a guide to bandwagoning 2021 edition, would you place any teams higher?

2:20
Ben Clemens: I’d have the Jays and Rays top of the list, then the Giants and Brewers in the next tier down

2:21
Ben Clemens: But I would also be fine with you skipping over the Rays on that list, because they’re fun to root for from a team-building perspective but not so fun from a ‘does ownership spend money on winning’ side

2:22
Ben Clemens: Sorry friends, a moment while I deal with some publishing-related stuff

2:25
Ben Clemens: We’re back!

2:26
Ben Clemens: With a Jays soaring article now published

2:26
Moose_Bolton: Do players give hints that they are about to go into a slump? Do you think you could look back at the at-bats before a players slump and point to when it started? Or warning signs that one might be coming?

2:27
Ben Clemens: They definitely might, but it’s not really a thing that you can do ex ante

2:27
Ben Clemens: It’s a lot easier to look back and find signs, but finding signs that a player will go into a slump before they slump doesn’t really work whenever I’ve tried to do it

2:28
Ben Clemens: That’s not to say there aren’t warning signs, just that I’ve never been able to find signs that are reliable

2:28
Ben Clemens: As the famous saying goes, the stock market has predicted 8 of the last 5 recessions

2:28
Graham: Can anything derail Ohtani’s MVP? Vlad is obviously having a great September, but I assume he just doesn’t have enough time to make up for the two-way greatness

2:28
Ben Clemens: Nah, I think that one is set in stone

2:29
Appa Yip Yip: Which wild card contenders do you think would make the deepest post-season run AL/NL?

2:29
Ben Clemens: Dodgers 🙂

2:29
Derek: Is this Yankees season the streakiest of all time? Seems hard to have much hotter or colder stretches than they’ve had, let alone in the same season!

2:30
Ben Clemens: Sounds like a fun article to write if I could think of a way to categorize it

2:30
Ben Clemens: It sure does feel that way

2:31
Ben Clemens: They’re always on a 20-game winning streak it seems

2:31
Ben Clemens: or 25-game losing streak

2:31
TJ: If you were the Phillies and mired in mediocrity and not close to seriously contending while also having a bad farm system, would you consider trading Harper and Wheeler (since they’ll never have more value than they have now) and doing a rebuild/retool?  It’s hard to see the Phillies being successful anytime soon, so it seems they’ll just be wasting Harper and Wheeler.

2:31
Ben Clemens: I would not

2:31
Ben Clemens: Those are the only reasons to watch the team!

2:32
Ben Clemens: I don’t think that spectacularly botching a rebuild to the point where few of the players you stockpiled pans out

2:32
Ben Clemens: Means you should try to embark on another rebuild fueled by your savvy free agent signings

2:33
5 Run Homer: What do you think Semien and Ray command in the offseason? They’ve both been integral to the Blue Jays’ success, and it would be a tough pill to swallow if they both were to leave

2:34
Ben Clemens: I’ve been wondering about both of these. Ray to me seems like a candidate for a Wheeler-esque deal

2:34
Ben Clemens: Kind of similar in that they’ve shown flashes of dominance but haven’t really put together anything sustained (until this year for Ray)

2:35
Ben Clemens: Ray’s issues are perhaps scarier — that kind of control is always dicey — but he might win a Cy Young this year. He’s clearly the real deal at the moment

2:35
Ben Clemens: Not as good as Wheeler is today, obviously: but Wheeler would get a much bigger dela if he signed today

2:35
Ben Clemens: I borderline wanted him on our Trade Value list and now I’m very sad I missed out on putting him on it

2:36
Ben Clemens: Ray isn’t that good, and he was bad just last year, but teams would be very interested in getting a pitcher with his age, stuff, and health (he’s been surprisingly healthy) on a four/five year dela

2:36
brad penny for your thoughts: do you think Stl is “talking about the fences” ’cause it might make nolan happier to stay?

2:37
Ben Clemens: No. Zero chance of him opting out, he’d be talking about a sizeable pay cut to do so and all he does is talk about how much he loves St. Louis

2:37
G4: Would you shut Burnes down for the regular season today? Same question for Woodruff? Or too fearful of the ever-dreaded rust?

2:37
Ben Clemens: I would not, b/c that’s just boring and lame

2:37
Ben Clemens: But also b/c rust does seem like a real thing

2:37
Ben Clemens: I wouldn’t push him — I’m glad they didn’t bring him out there for the 9th over the weekend

2:38
Ben Clemens: But how stupid would it be for baseball if teams shut down both of their Cy Young contending pitchers b/c they were doing well

2:38
Ben Clemens: Boooooooo

2:38
Mitch: If the Royals sign, say, Robbie Ray and Starling Marte could they make some noise in the central next year?

2:38
Ben Clemens: No

2:38
Ben Clemens: I hate to say it, but no

2:39
Ben Clemens: They do not have the horses

2:39
Ben Clemens: They needed their young pitching crop to take a step forward and that really hasn’t happened

2:39
M: Think they add trading draft picks in this cba?

2:39
Ben Clemens: Maybe? I think it’s going to be REALLY far down the list

2:40
Ben Clemens: There are a lot of things to fix before we get to trading draft picks

2:40
Dan: How restful is a day of if you still have to he ready to pinch hit?

2:40
Ben Clemens: A question I’ve been wondering a lot about myself recently!

2:41
Ben Clemens: For me, it wouldn’t be restful at all

2:41
Ben Clemens: It’s a really tough thing to work out data-wise, seems like something that you’d want to start by asking players about and go from there

2:41
jaysfan9293: thoughts about a blue jays-guardians trade in the offseason?  aside from the oft-discussed factors and history between the two front offices, cleveland’s most obvious need seems to be catching and toronto has a glut at that position with needs elsewhere.  it seems like anything between ‘jose ramirez for a gabriel moreno-centric package’ and ‘reese mcguire for bullpen arms and prospects, maybe even an interesting piece like joey cantillo that they can’t squeeze onto their 40-man this winter’ feels plausible here.

2:41
Ben Clemens: Yeah, it definitely feels like there’s something there

2:41
Ben Clemens: I’m skeptical the Guardians are gonna trade JoRam

2:43
Ben Clemens: But I do think that they line up well with Toronto, and that the Reese McGuire angle makes a lot of sense

2:43
Matt Zach: Which upcoming SS FA are the yankees most likely to go out and get? what skills would they prioritize?

2:43
Ben Clemens: Carlos Correa

2:43
Ben Clemens: I think they will prioritize the skills of being either Carlos Correa or Corey Seager

2:43
Ben Clemens: Which only two upcoming shortstops excel at

2:44
Ben Clemens: But I think Seager is gonna stay in LA most likely

2:44
Ben Clemens: And I also like Correa’s profile a bit better

2:44
Farhandrew Zaidman: Glasnow to the Dodgers for some package of McKinstry/Andre Jackson in the off-season, who says no? Dodgers will cover the arb cost and Rays get two major league ready players.

2:45
Ben Clemens: I think the Rays say no here. They don’t need more 25-year-old marginal major leaguers who will clog up their 40-man

2:45
Ben Clemens: Sorry, McKinstry is 26

2:45
Ben Clemens: It’s just the wrong kind of thing for Tampa Bay to be trading for

2:45
Ben Clemens: And obviously the Dodgers would snap accept if that was offered

2:45
Matt Zach: … could the fanbase really accept correa?

2:45
Ben Clemens: Uh, yes

2:45
Ben Clemens: What? Of course

2:46
Ben Clemens: They’ll whine for, I dunno, a while

2:46
Ben Clemens: And hten be like ‘oh this guy is a star who plays for the Yankees, tremendous’

2:46
Bobby Dalbec: After my scorching hot stretch of the last 6 weeks, am I an average/good big leaguer who fits into the Red Sox plans?

2:46
Ben Clemens: I think so

2:46
Ben Clemens: That said, I mostly thought so before your recent insane hot streak

2:46
Ben Clemens: Not a star, but a useful major leaguer

2:47
CoryMC: Thanks for writing that article! This stretch feels like the run the Jays went on in 2015 only later in the season. It’s fun to be a fan when you’re team puts in an effort off the field!

2:47
Ben Clemens: Heck yeah

2:47
Ben Clemens: The Jays have consistently been fun in the past 10 years

2:47
Ben Clemens: Contending or trying to, and doing it with fun players

2:47
Also Ben: Correa to Yankees seems too obvious to actually happen. Of course, the same could be said about Cole.

2:47
Ben Clemens: Exactly haha

2:47
Ben Clemens: I like predicting obvious things though

2:47
Also Ben: As an Astros fan who can’t entirely give them up, but can’t root wholeheartedly for them either, I decided to root for expansion teams in general.

2:48
Ben Clemens: I support picking up auxiliary teams who you can feel happy about without completely investing in

2:48
TomBruno23: I saw Rich Hill pitch for the Cardinals in Spring Training 2010 when he was nearing the end of the line. How about that?

2:48
Ben Clemens: I hope he was the same Rich Hill that is now dominant, snapping off curveballs and being a curmudgeon

2:48
Derek: Who is your bet to take the 2nd NL wildcard? Feels inevitable that the Cardinals take the spot like, two days before the season ends and don’t even give us a fun tiebreaker game.

2:48
Ben Clemens: As a Cardinals fan, it’s my lot in life to be pessimistic about them despite their historically solid run

2:49
Ben Clemens: So I think they will falter, and the Reds will end up with the spot

2:49
Aaron Ashby: Am I the next in line, homegrown Brewers starter, to become an all star? Or am I simply a solid mid-rotation to back end starter?

2:50
Ben Clemens: I’ll take Adrian Houser first

2:51
Ben Clemens: Also I think we can pump the brakes a liiiiitle here. Ashby looks great and looked solid in Triple-A (walk rates a little concerning but that aside), but I’d like to see a little more in the majors

2:51
Ben Clemens: Just consistency-wise

2:51
corvette corvette: this has been touched on before, but what do you expect the rays to get back if they decide to offload glasnow this winter?  as undeniably talented as he is it’s probably gonna be a hard sell for a team to pay him 15 million over the next two years for one post-tj season AND give the rays prospects for that privilege.  is his upside that high that some team will take the risk, will the rays adjust their ask accordingly, and what are the odds that they just end up non-tendering him to save money and hassle?

2:52
Ben Clemens: I don’t think there’s much chance they non-tender him

2:52
Ben Clemens: It’s not a significant savings, and someone would take him off their hands for at least a light prospect return

2:53
Ben Clemens: I think they’ll shop him aggressively while tendering him a contract, and end up trading him for less than we all think makes sense

2:53
Ben Clemens: Probably some lottery tickets who don’t need to be on their 40-man, but Glasnow is great, some team might think he’s worth enough to chuck in a real return

2:53
Mitch: Back to Glasnow, apparently the Rays offered him for short-term win now players at the deadline. If they keep that same mindset into the winter, how does a Glasnow for Buxton deal sound? 2023 seems like a target year for MIN to try to compete anyway and this would give them an ace to lead that staff

2:54
Ben Clemens: I think this is a little high, though; Buxton is an MVP-caliber talent when healthy, and trading 2022 wins for 2023 wins without saving money (or at least, much money) or getting something else out of it is a weird thing for Minnesota to do

2:54
JB: Jorge Polanco is going OFF in the second half.

2:54
Ben Clemens: I’ve been looking for an in to write about him

2:54
Ben Clemens: It’s really funny how he was great in 2019, so Craig put him on the 2020 trade value list

2:55
Ben Clemens: Then he tanked it so bad that everyone was like ‘wait Jorge Polanco was good once?’

2:55
Ben Clemens: And now he’s one of the hottest middle infielders in the game again

2:55
Ben Clemens: He’s 25th in position player WAR from 2019 to now

2:56
Ben Clemens: Ahead of Kris Bryant, Francisco Lindor, Cody Bellinger, Willy Adames, FanGraphs heartthrob Bryan Reynolds… take your pick

2:56
Ben Clemens: And everyone thinks he’s bad!

2:56
CoryMC: Is the Rays trading Hill one of the few trades they’ve messed up on? He was really struggling with them before the trade but now there’s belief they’ll be using bullpen games in the playoffs.

Given they are the Rays they’ll most likely pull it off anyway.

2:57
Ben Clemens: Nah, I think that their decision there was reasonable. They couldn’t control their subsequent injury issues, a bullpen game in the playoffs, isn’t the end of the world, and a mid-4 ERA starter is not a panacea if you’re light on pitching

2:57
Ben Clemens: It’s a very marginal trade, of course, but I see where they were coming from on it

2:58
Ben Clemens: I think I’m indifferent btw. Patino and Hill starting a playoff game, so might as well get a bit of value out of it. I do think they sold low… but that’s when the trade deadline was, so what are you gonna do

2:58
Dan: It feels like only a couple years ago project systems (I says systems but it was probably zips) were saying Gleyber Torres had a chance to be the best player in baseball later this decade. Him Tatis and Franco where in the top three in chance to be the top player I think. Two out of three isn’t bad for a long run open ended projection I guess and even then the field had the vast majority of the wins.

2:58
Ben Clemens: Yeah, that was a swing and a miss by projection systems for sure

2:58
Ben Clemens: I’m not sure what’s gone wrong with Gleyber… it’s not like projection systems were the only people hot on him

2:59
Ben Clemens: A Rod was borderline NSFW when talking about Torres’s clutchness and composure during that playoff run

3:01
Ben Clemens: One moment again, everyone. David Appelman with some HOT alternate-reality playoff odds that I’m going to put into my Blue Jays article

3:05
Ben Clemens: Sorry about that again!

3:06
Ben Clemens: But now we know that if the Yankees had been a little better, the Jays would still be on the outside looking in despite their crazy-hot run

3:06
Mariners Fan: Give me hope the Mariners break the 20 year long playoff drought this year. PLLEEASSEE.

3:07
Ben Clemens: I don’t think it’s likely, but it’s definitely in the realm of possibliity. And it’s all because they added Abraham Toro, who I’d call the goat if his last name didn’t mean bull, which is a different animal

3:07
Ben Clemens: The Mariners making the playoffs would be the ultimate ‘let’s root for this team’ bandwagon

3:07
Ben Clemens: Sorry, jays

3:07
Tom: SS for Cardinals next season is ____?

3:07
Ben Clemens: Paul DeJong

3:08
Ben Clemens: Sorry to disappoint

3:08
Luke: Benintendi with POW honors means he’s back or more a result of him playing two of the worst teams in baseball?

3:08
Ben Clemens: O

3:08
Ben Clemens: I’d say a little bit of both?

3:08
Ben Clemens: You do get to play bad teams

3:09
Ben Clemens: That’s a part of baseball that counts towards your statistics

3:09
Ben Clemens: But his season line is what it is, and that’s pretty uninspiring

3:10
Ben Clemens: Do I think he’s a stud? Nah

3:10
Ben Clemens: I think he’s a bulk-tier outfielder who can be a useful player if you need some average position players

3:10
Ben Clemens: Totally useful guy to have on your team!

3:10
Ben Clemens: Probably not gonna win an MVP award

3:10
Appa Yip Yip: Every time someone mentions Abraham Toro I think about Verlander’s no-no where he’s hugging everyone then yells out “where the f is Toro?!?!” Bc of a huge catch he made.

3:11
Ben Clemens: Incredible, I now want to go find that video

3:11
TT: Would you compare Julio Rodriguez’s ascent to either Soto or Acuna’s fast climb to the Majors?

3:12
Ben Clemens: Well, not Soto. Soto’s ascent was just absurd

3:12
Ben Clemens: He barely had 100 PA in 2017, none above A ball

3:12
Ben Clemens: Then he was a 4 WAR player in the majors in 2018 lol

3:14
Ben Clemens: But yeah, fast rise like Acuna

3:14
sorry Canadian: Thoroughly enjoying reliving the Jays recent stretch via your article. I can’t remember my password to comment there, but just letting you know they played 4 games against Baltimore (scored 3 in game 1, so 47 total). Sorry to use this space!

3:14
Ben Clemens: Yeah, that should hvae said three-game stretch

3:14
Ben Clemens: But who wants to focus on their one loss

3:14
Ben Clemens: When we can see them sock dingers! And score a trillion runs

3:14
corvette corvette: the athletics look to me like a team at the end of their rope; probably might finish below 90 wins this year with no real difference makers in their farm system and a massive arbitration class with most of their (remaining) core members looming.  which of chapman / olson / bassitt / manaea likely gets traded this winter to protect fisher’s wallet + how long before they’re looking at a mass sell-off of players on the cusp of free agency (those 4 core members + frankie montas and maybe even laureano)

3:14
Ben Clemens: I frequently see the end of the A’s

3:15
Ben Clemens: I’ve been bad at being accurate

3:15
Ben Clemens: That said… I see doom in the A’s future

3:15
Ben Clemens: It’s feeling very tenuous here in the Bay (well, there in the East Bay, I live in SF)

3:15
Ben Clemens: They have always done a great job making rotations and bullpens out of whole cloth but they’re really putting that to the test right now

3:16
“Where’s Toro?”: It was because Toro hit a homer in the 9th to break a 0-0 tie.

3:17
Ben Clemens: At last, the answer to the question we just came up with

3:17
Farhandrew Zaidman: Ignoring whoever comes second in the West, are the Cardinals the spookiest potential NL wild card team to face in the division series? This year screams Cardinals NLDS devil magic to me.

3:17
Ben Clemens: Yeah, it’s like Dodgers (huge enormous gulf) Cardinals Reds Phillies

3:17
Ben Clemens: The cardinals are the ultimate wait c’mon them again? team

3:18
Ben Clemens: When they show up, it’s like ugh we get it, they’re in every playoffs, can they just go home already?

3:18
TT: Give me some Logan Webb love.  I know he struggled a little yesterday vs. the Cubs, but his 2021 has been a revelation, right?

3:18
Ben Clemens: For sure

3:19
Ben Clemens: How in the world does he have only two years of service time? That’s the most shocking factoid I’ve ever heard

3:19
Ben Clemens: Fine, maybe it’s not THAT shocking but yeah

3:20
Ben Clemens: He’s been excellent this year

3:21
brad penny for your thoughts: how often does MLB get to see battle of the 40 year old pitchers?

3:22
Ben Clemens: I don’t have a solid answer for you, sounds like Jayson Stark territory, but it’s fun and in my opinion should happen more

3:22
Mike: Who has the most value left of Dom and JD? Gotta think at least one of those two are goners

3:22
Ben Clemens: I think Dom does? But neither of them are likely to fetch a huge return

3:23
Ben Clemens: Eh, wow, Dom has been even worse than I thought this year

3:23
Ben Clemens: Maybe it’s Davis

3:23
Ben Clemens: Bat-first guys with questionable bats are not exactly in demand at the moment, though

3:23
Bobby Dalbec: Who wins in a fight, two Aaron Judges or four Jose Altuves?

3:24
Ben Clemens: I think this is VERY lopsided

3:24
Ben Clemens: Four Altuves

3:24
Ben Clemens: C’mon, that’s just too much to give up

3:25
Jays fan: Further to my question of Semien vs Bo at short for the stretch run, is there an easy way to estimate Semien’s WAR change had he played all season at SS? Should we just add 5 runs as the positional adjustment and say he would have 0.5 more WAR? Or does him having a great bat at a position light on bats add to his WAR total (lower replacement level) where it wouldn’t as a shortstop?

3:25
Ben Clemens: So in theory, there should be no difference

3:25
Ben Clemens: Positional adjustment accounts for the fact that it’s harder to play defense at short, so Semien’s defense is a lot better at second than it would be there

3:26
Ben Clemens: That kinda ties out; in his career, he’s a scratch defender at short per UZR and a +6 defender at second

3:26
Ben Clemens: That said, I don’ quite buy that. I think you could argue he’d be a few runs better net of the adjustment

3:26
Ben Clemens: The bat thing doesn’t actually matter, that’s not how WAR works, because we just calculate an overall offensive replacement level for the league as a whole

3:26
Ben Clemens: Then do defense separately

3:27
Ben Clemens: But basically… it would be a negligible change. Even if we gave him the whole positional adjustment credit, like you said, it’s a half a win, which is not particularly meaningful. If two players were 0.5 WAR apart at the end of a season, I’d say that’s a statistical tie

3:27
Curious: What’s your go-to defensive stat for first basemen? 1B has a much different skillset than every other position, can you still use DRS and UZR despite a 1B not really ‘saving runs’ or having much zone to cover?

3:27
Ben Clemens: I don’t have one and I WANT one

3:27
Dan: Does it account for the fact (or perhaps this isn’t a fact) that playing an easier position gives him more time and energy to decor to hitting practice and thus has slightly better offense numbers?

3:28
Ben Clemens: It does not, and I dunno how to account for that, but it would definitely be interesting to find out whether this is a fact

3:28
Overheard in Pittsburgh: “Houston and Tampa keep sending nice offers for Mitch Keller.”  “No!  Under no circumstances!”

3:29
Dan’s Emotional Intimacy: Wait so you’re thinking one Judge can’t beat up two Altuves (Altuvi?)?! Unless Jose is The Man in Black beating up Andre the Giant, gimme two Judges vs the two Altuvi.

3:29
Ben Clemens: I’m ending the chat in 5 minutes… but let’s have a quick poll

3:29
Ben Clemens:

Who would win in an MMA fight?

Two Aaron Judges (32.0% | 8 votes)
 
Four Jose Altuves (68.0% | 17 votes)
 

Total Votes: 25
3:30
Guest: Correa to NYY & Seager stays in LA, so that leave the Cardinals with Story?  More seriously, there’s a huge FA class for SS, but not *that* many buyers.  How seriously will that depress their contracts?

3:30
Ben Clemens: I just don’t see the Cardinals as actual buyers this offseason

3:30
Ben Clemens: I think they’ll float some offer, Story will say no, and they’ll go their separate ways

3:30
Ben Clemens: Cardinals beat types are writing about how they might pursue Jon Lester

3:31
Ben Clemens: that’s not the kind of rumor you hear when a team might try to sign a marquee free agent

3:31
Dan: No matter how big judge is he can’t defend two sides at once unless he’s also a much more skilled fighter than altuve. I don’t think we have evidence that either is a trained fighter so it only comes down to size and reflexes.

3:31
Ben Clemens: That’s basically my thinking. Tow people is so many people

3:31
Ben Clemens: two*

3:31
Dan’s Emotional Intimacy: Remember in the old cartoons when the one guy would put his hand on the little guys forehead and he couldn’t touch him?  There’s no way an Altuve could even land one punch against the Giant Judge.

3:31
Appa Yip Yip: Numbers win one Altuve grapples the other boxes easy peasy

3:31
H: Who’s the most underrated player in baseball right now?

3:31
Ben Clemens: Two Jose Altuves, clearly

3:32
Ben Clemens: If I can’t answer that…. I’ll say Jake Cronenworth

3:32
Ben Clemens: Love that guy

3:32
kimofromkauai: Regarding doom for the A’s – the Giants were non competitive for a few years prior to 2021 and the A’s were in the playoffs .  Why do you think Oakland could not make any progress in moving toward more acceptance in Bay Area?

3:32
Ben Clemens: So, I’m a Bay Area outsider

3:32
Ben Clemens: I only moved here in 2019

3:33
Ben Clemens: I think that the Giants did a good job of creating resonance in the Bay with those World Series wins, and it’s also a delight to go to a game there

3:33
Ben Clemens: The A’s, meanwhile, have continually shuffled players while occasionally making the playoffs

3:33
Ben Clemens: The Giants have a bushelful of iconic players and they mostly keep them around for a while

3:33
Ben Clemens: Lots of Posey jerseys at Giants games

3:34
Ben Clemens: More Semien/Donaldson/Hendriks jerseys at A’s games than you’d like

3:35
Ben Clemens: Also the stadium is not as fun

3:35
Ben Clemens: And that’s an understatement

3:35
Ben Clemens: I think it’s just a combination of the Giants being easier to follow and the A’s constantly trading away players that people like

3:35
Ben Clemens: Or letting them walk in free agency or whatever

3:36
Ben Clemens: also it helps that it’s easier to get to SF for a lot of the South Bay area, where there are tons of potential fans

3:36
Ben Clemens: On that Bay-specific note, let’s call it a chat

3:36
Ben Clemens: Had a great time talking Jays with you all… as well as Jose Altuve hypotheticals, that endless online baseball resource

3:36
Ben Clemens: Have a great week everyone, and chat with you again this time next week.





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

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FunFella13

Coliseum is fun and cheaper