Archive for Podcast – FanGraphs Audio

FanGraphs Audio: Alex Avila and Keith Law Know Their Stuff

Episode 907

This week on FanGraphs Audio, we talk shop with a major league backstop, get into the nuts and bolts of prospect lists, and plug the latest FanGraphs merch.

  • To begin the program, David Laurila is joined by Alex Avila. They discuss how the game has changed since Avila debuted in 2009, from the front office to behind the plate. They also talk about what it was like to catch Zack Greinke, and who of the many great pitchers Avila has played with has had the best “stuff.” Note: this interview was recorded before Avila agreed to a deal with the Washington Nationals. [2:25]
  • Following that, Eric Longenhagen is joined by Keith Law of The Athletic, who recently released his own top 100 prospects list. Eric and Keith discuss what a challenge it has been to evaluate prospect talent with no minor league season, and how unreliable reports from the alternate training sites can be. They also share how they’ve changed their methods since doing their first prospect rankings and how they continue to evolve. [24:26]

Read the rest of this entry »

FanGraphs Audio: Chris Perez Brought Stories

Episode 906

On the latest episode of FanGraphs Audio, the crew continues to marvel at the impressive squad being assembling in San Diego before a former major league closer joins the podcast to share his tales.

  • At the top of the show, Ben Clemens sits down with resident Padres fan Jason Martinez to talk about the team that won’t stop adding. Just last October, the Padres were forced to start a reliever in a crucial playoff game; now their rotation is simply overflowing. Ben and Jason discuss not taking half measures in roster construction, the concept of having too much depth, and how A.J. Preller has kept the winter exciting. [2:10]
  • After that, David Laurila talks to Chris Perez about his eventful career in the majors. Perez is at times remembered more for what occurred away from the mound, and shares what it was like to be traded to Cleveland, selected to two All-Star teams, and, eventually, suspended. The retired closer is also candid about being the first player fined under MLB’s Twitter policy, his criticisms of fans, and that story you’ve heard about getting in trouble for mailing something to his dog. [27:41]

Read the rest of this entry »

FanGraphs Audio: Ross Stripling Does His Homework

Episode 905

On this episode of FanGraphs Audio, the crew talks to a former Dodger about pitching and podcasting before taking time to remember one of the most iconic Dodgers of all.

  • To kick things off, David Laurila welcomes Ross Stripling to the show. On top of being a major league pitcher, Stripling is the co-host of the Big Swing Podcast. He and David talk about what it’s like to be in the interviewer’s shoes, some playoff football picks, and how Stripling prepares for facing some of his toughest opponents at the plate — including Mike Trout. [2:09]
  • Following that, Jay Jaffe is joined by Jon Weisman to discuss the late Tommy Lasorda. Both Jay and Jon recently wrote about the Hall of Famer’s passing. They reflect on what it was like to watch his storied and complicated career, from Frank Sinatra to Fantasy Island. [23:12]

Read the rest of this entry »

FanGraphs Audio: Jesse Agler Previews the Padres

Episode 904

FanGraphs Audio is back for 2021, and the crew is kicking things off by talking about the most exciting team in baseball before digging deeper into some recent research.

  • To lead off the program, David Laurila is joined by Jesse Agler, broadcaster for the very active San Diego Padres. David and Jesse discuss “the most anticipated season in Padres history,” as well as things like being fans of Everton FC and playing games with fellow broadcaster Don Orsillo. [1:50]
  • After that, Eric Longenhagen and Ben Clemens go over Ben’s recent piece, Do Successful Steals Apply Measurable Pressure? The results of this research serve as a jumping-off point as the pair start to ask more questions about how stolen bases can impact all the players on the field in many different ways. [29:07]

Read the rest of this entry »

FanGraphs Audio: Late Legends Retrospective

Episode 903

On the final 2020 episode of FanGraphs Audio, the crew pays their respects to those we’ve lost before inviting a friend back to the program.

Read the rest of this entry »

FanGraphs Audio: Daniel Norris Rekindles Friendships

Episode 902

On this week’s episode of FanGraphs Audio, David Laurila is joined by Detroit Tigers pitcher Daniel Norris. The pair discuss the strange 2020 season, which featured a strong performance from the left-hander. Norris also talks about going from growing up in Tennessee to living the surfer life, how great it was to play for Ron Gardenhire, and how finding your feel for certain pitches can be like rekindling old friendships.

Read the rest of this entry »

FanGraphs Audio: An Alternate Universe of Sorts

Episode 901

On this week’s episode of FanGraphs Audio, the gang looks ahead to the new minor league landscape set for 2021 before looking back and considering an alternate Hall of Fame timeline.

  • To lead things off, Ben Clemens and Meg Rowley discuss their recent research on the reimagined minor leagues. How many people are expected to lose access to affordable, in-person baseball, and what exactly does that mean? [1:54]
  • After that, Eric Longenhagen offers a thought experiment: What if Jay Jaffe had been solely in charge of Hall of Fame voting in recent years? Some induction choices would obviously have gone differently, but Eric and Jay find that the rolling ballot has real effects on later classes — in this hypothetical scenario as well as in actual history. [27:54]

Read the rest of this entry »

FanGraphs Audio: Reflecting on Dick Allen

Episode 900

In a week of Winter Meetings gone virtual, the FanGraphs crew spends some time honoring a great player we lost, previewing the Australian Baseball League, and reviewing some recent moves.

Read the rest of this entry »

FanGraphs Audio: Non-Tender Reactions

Episode 899

The FanGraphs crew gets together to discuss Wednesday’s non-tender deadline and the many moves surrounding it, including a longer look at one of the league’s newest free agents.

  • To start the show, Eric Longenhagen and Jason Martinez attempt to run down the majority of the transactions from this week. While there may not have been quite as many cuts as expected, plenty of talented players now find themselves free agents. Who could benefit the most from the buyer’s market? What about the possibility of the universal DH? Eric and Jason also look ahead to the upcoming Rule 5 Draft, which could result in even more moves. [2:18]
  • Next, Craig Edwards and Ben Clemens discuss the career arc of Kyle Schwarber, who was non-tendered by the Cubs. The 27-year-old was the fourth overall pick in 2014 and famously helped the Cubs win their 2016 World Series Championship, but he’s now the kind of player who can be had for cheap. Craig and Ben go back through Schwarber’s career so far, including a number of decisions that could have broken very differently. [39:06]

Read the rest of this entry »

FanGraphs Audio: The Ballots Arrive

Episode 898

FanGraphs Audio arrives early this week to bring you a conversation with a major league manager, a discussion of some very exciting mail, and an interview about the Toronto Blue Jays.

  • To begin the program, David Laurila welcomes Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo. The pair discuss managerial challenges like addressing third time through the order penalties and countering an opposing skipper, as well as the state of the D-backs, including who was especially impressive in Arizona’s rotation in 2020. David also asks about their interview from seven years ago, which may have anticipated Torey’s career moves. [2:31]
  • After that, David is joined by Jay Jaffe to discuss the arrival of their first Hall of Fame ballots. David and Jay were both at Baseball Prospectus when they joined the BBWAA, and after a literal decade of waiting, they are now ready to vote on players’ induction into the Hall of Fame. The duo celebrates over a beverage and discusses their initial thoughts on some of this year’s complicated candidates. [23:47]
  • Finally, Dan Szymborski welcomes Andrew Stoeten to check in on the Blue Jays. The club’s rebuild continued to show progress, making it into the expanded playoffs on the back of the team’s exciting core. Dan and Andrew discuss what could come next, including targeting a few more players in free agency after last year’s signing of Hyun Jin Ryu produced such dividends. [49:42]

Read the rest of this entry »