Craig Edwards FanGraphs Chat–10/24/2019

2:01

Craig Edwards: Let’s get things rolling.

2:01

Bobby: There’s no way Kris Bryant wins his grievance right? I mean he probably should but I can’t see it happening.

2:05

Craig Edwards: I honestly have no idea. It’s been four years and there hasn’t been much talk about it other than the occasional, it still exists. The interesting thing is what happens if Bryant wins the grievance. We’ve seen teams settle with players when there are disputes of a similar nature with injuries, but if Bryant wins, money damages aren’t really appropriate, except maybe a little more money that Bryant would have made in arbitration, but the only real solution if it goes Bryant’s way is to make him a free agent at the end of next season. And that only makes things square without any punitive measure on the Cubs. It would be a massive change to free agency next season, to any trade talks, and judging by the replies to Kaplan’s tweet when he broke the story, there are going to be a lot of fans mad at Bryant just  for trying to get a fair shake. A trade almost seems more likely than if he still had two more years until free agency.

2:06

Kelley: Nationals have won 18 of 20 against the Phillies, Tribe, Brewers, Dodgers, Cardinals and Astros. Has there ever been a better 20-game stretch considering the SOS?

2:07

Craig Edwards: I would think a 20-game win streak would still be slightly more impressive given the margin for error is so low, but it is probably something worth exploring.

2:07

Every GM in Baseball: Do you know what’s wild: Even with a 2-0 series lead, the Nats have a lower chance of winning the World Series than the Astros did at the beginning of the Series.

2:08

Craig Edwards: Having a historically good team is going to do that. What’s amazing about the Nats is that they’ve been able to get by this long without going deep into their pen.

2:08

Mike Matheny : Did the Cubs hire the new me?

2:09

Craig Edwards: It can’t possible be that bad, though I wonder in looking at the 2012-2014 Cardinals roster if the Cubs of 2020-2022 will have more talent on hand. Those were the years the Cardinals still had solid outcomes despite Matheny’s managing.

2:09

mike: michael taylor was the single least likely player to homer in the WS of the playoff teams agree?

2:10

Craig Edwards: Would that go for the NLCS, too? Seeing him do it a week ago against the Cardinals maybe makes it slightly more likely.

2:10

Dr. Dave: Ben Clemens pointed out a couple of days ago that the Nats, as serious underdogs, should pursue high-variance strategies (e.g. intentional walks, playing the infield in) in hopes of a few good breaks.  Now that they are actually favored to win (for the first time), should they reverse that and get conservative?

2:11

Craig Edwards: I’m not quite sure it works that way. Here’s the piece. https://blogs.fangraphs.com/should-the-nationals-duck-gerrit-cole/

2:12

Craig Edwards: On a game by game level, they are still going to be underdogs except in the bullpen game in game 4 unless Corbin doesn’t start. Maybe they don’t take a bunch of chances when it comes to series-wide decisions, but maybe it still makes sense to take those chances in individual games if you are behind or tied.

2:14

Babe Ryuth: Tell me the dodgers suck Rendon and cole out of this series on their way to making a WS run next year…. pretty please?

2:15

Craig Edwards: I suppose it is possible, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they aren’t all that active. They barely went over the tax amount this year and they’ve got about $25 million in room as things stand right now. Assuming they go over the line, but not way past it, that leaves room for one star, but not two.

2:15

Glenn Spankman: How is it plausible that fangraphs gives the Nats only a 64.5% chance of winning the WS when 2-0 teams are 71-13 (84.5%) in 7 game series in playoff history?

2:16

Craig Edwards: Most times when a team is up 2-0, it is because they are a better team. On paper, that’s not the case here.

2:17

mike sixel: I know players usually take the most money, but should Jason Castro take a bit less to stay in MN, since he’ll likely play less than elsewhere, and keep his body more healthy? Or is that 100% backward, and he should go where he plays more and gets more money?

2:17

Craig Edwards: I think he would probably just like to play more and get paid more and presumably the team that offers him the most money plans to do so.

2:17

Greatest vs most talented: I think the Astros need a big comeback here to be considered the “greatest” or anything close to it. As of now, they sure do have an historically impressive assemblage of talent, but they’re the 2001 Mariners, a fun “what if,” unless they come back. I really don’t like old-fart thinking, but I think you need to win to be on the best-all-time list.

2:18

Craig Edwards: I agree. I don’t think you can go down in history as one of the greatest teams of all time without winning the title. It might not be fair, but getting through the playoffs is an important test for a great team.

2:19

Tommy: Padres hire Tingler–all the analytics and PD folks seem to think it’s a great hire while casual fans seem upset since they’ve never heard of him. You have a take/know anything about him?

2:22

Craig Edwards: I know very little about him, but he does have experience in a lot of different areas in an organization and that should be helpful. When I think about these managerial hires, I think being on the same page as the front office is important. Managing the players is important, Managing the game is important. He’s had some experience in all three areas so that is a good sign. We don’t know for sure how he’s going to manage a big league team because he hasn’t done it, but he’s managed winter and short season teams and been a bench coach in the majors. That counts for something.

2:22

BayIsBetterThanPaste: Thoughts on David Ross as the new Cubs manager?

2:23

Craig Edwards: I talked about this some last night in the chat. https://blogs.fangraphs.com/world-series-game-2-chat/

2:24

Craig Edwards: The Cubs obviously have a ton of confidence that Ross is going to be able to handle the things he’s never handled before. I don’t know that the confidence is misplaced, but it is a pretty big risk on a team that should contend.

2:25

Charles: Do you think that ZIPs at 75% or Playoff Odds at 65% is more likely?

2:27

Craig Edwards: They are both fairly close to where it is tough to say which one is more accurate. At 75%, you are basically saying the Nationals have a 45% chance to win every game going forward and at 65% you are saying the Nationals have a 40% chance to win every game going forward. That’s not that much different. I think 65% feels safer given just how talented Houston is.

2:28

Glenn Spankman: Is Harper still on a hall of fame trajectory?

2:31

Craig Edwards: I think so. He’s a 35 WAR through his age-26 season. The five retired players ahead of him are: Mays, Bonds, Ripken, Cedeno, Pinson. the Five behind him are: Santo, Brett, Raines, Torre, Allen. That’s six of 10 in the Hall plus Torre in for managing and Allen very close. I still think that’s on track. He’s got more than a decade to double his WAR total to get to HOF status.

2:31

Girardi to Phillies: It’s what you want

2:33

Craig Edwards: Of the three things I mentioned above when talking about Tingler, we know about Girardi’s experience managing a game and even though he had some troubles with younger players at the end in New York, I think the managing players is probably a positive. Whether he’s on the same page as the front office is the question, or whether this is an owner bypass situation.

2:33

Destroy: I was told the Astros were “smothering” and would “destroy all teams.”

2:34

Craig Edwards: They still might, but beating three good teams in short series’ in a row is really hard and their bats just haven’t produced at the level they did in the regular season.

2:35

Craig Edwards: In the playoffs, the Astros are 7-6. I wonder how many 13-game stretches they had like that in the regular season, even against lesser opponents.

2:36

stever20: But Houston isn’t a 3-2 better team than the Nationals are….  Especially given 1 of the games for houston is a….. bullpen game……

2:37

Craig Edwards: But if it is 60-40 in four games and 45-55 in the bullpen game, that still averages out to around 57% per game. That comes out to around 70% or so.

2:37

kevinthecomic: What if the Astros are down 3 – 0 and throw a bullpen against Patrick Corbin.  Woof!  Probably not how they drew it up.

2:38

Craig Edwards: If they are down 3-0 and had their pitching lined up perfectly for 4-7, it still isn’t how they drew it up. I’m guessing they go Cole on short rest in that scenario despite the risks.

2:39

DJ Tanner: I know it’s not your area but do you know if Longy/Kiley are going to write anything up on the AZ Fall League?

2:39

Craig Edwards: I know they are pretty swamped right now, but I think Eric is out there so he might have something at some point. I haven’t asked though.

2:40

Esoteric Jeff: Is it wrong for me, as a Nationals fan, to enjoy Alex Bregman’s “wrestling heel” comeuppance last night? Pimp the home run, then blow the game with comical fielding mishaps.

2:42

Craig Edwards: No, but just know that all teams have players who do things that annoy opposing teams’ fans. If that’s your main source of enjoyment, I would suggest you refocus on your own team doing good things. If it is just a minor feather in the cap, then sure, enjoy it.

2:43

stever20: Did you know that Michael A Taylor has hit 1 fewer postseason homer than Mr. Bryce Harper.  5-4.

2:43

Craig Edwards: I did not know that. He’s almost taken Harper…to…the…MAT.

2:43

Dean Cain: Who the White Sox gonna sign?

2:46

Craig Edwards: There are a bunch of good starting pitchers available so they should probably sign one of those guys. Maybe bring back Abreu. If they think Robert is a center fielder, then a corner guy like Marcell Ozuna or Nick Castellanos would make sense.

2:47

Yolo: Why hasn’t Taubman been fired yet?

2:48

Craig Edwards: The Astros either don’t care or Taubman is in the middle of work that they feel is important and they will let him go after.

2:48

Astros Offense: Well, no one said the playoffs were fair.

2:52

Craig Edwards: They aren’t fair in that everybody gets to win, but they do a pretty good job of setting up a fair competition. The Astros certainly seem to be a team that’s set up very well for both the regular season and the postseason. Everything was working out pretty well until about 48 hours ago, too. They lost a one-run game in the first one and it was tied 2-2 into the seventh in the second one. I most cases do they win one or even two of those games? Yes, but the same can be said for the Nationals, whose bullpen might not have been set up well for the regular season, but getting good Doolittle back and putting Corbin in the pen means their bullpen is set up better for the playoffs than the regular season.

2:52

Nate: In response to the Nats fan on Bregman…doesn’t Juan Soto grab his crotch every other pitch? Lol

2:53

Craig Edwards: I’ve actually wondered if somebody told him to stop doing that after Mikolas did the same thing to him after getting him out in the NLCS. He still moves around a bit, but I haven’t noticed the crotch-grabbing in the last few games. If so, good for him. That was a bit much.

2:54

Tom: Cleanup hitter for the Cards next year is ____?

2:57

Craig Edwards: Paul Goldschmidt? Assuming Ozuna leaves, they are heading into the season with Dexter Fowler, Harrison Bader, Tyler O’Neill, and Jose Martinez as the main candidates to start with Dylan Carlson waiting in the wings. There’s not a cleanup hitter in that group, and the only guy you might want in the top few spots in your lineup is Fowler for his OBP. Presumably Carpenter is back up in the top few spots and that leaves Wong, DeJong and Molina as other options at the top of the lineup. DeJong might slide back into third or Wong into second, but Goldschmidt at cleanup seems to be a decent fit.

2:57

The One: How seriously has the Taubman incident impacted Astros’ player morale, if at all?

2:58

Craig Edwards: I’m not sure there’s any way to know this, though having to answer questions about it might be annoying and take some tiny portion of focus away from the game. I don’t think it is good. That’s for sure.

2:59

stever20: Juan Soto can go buy a beer in 9 hours legally for the first time.

2:59

Craig Edwards: I’d recommend he take it easy tonight.

3:00

sonny: How close to 100% can the league get for former catchers as managers? 66%?  97% (hey joe maddon)

3:01

Craig Edwards: Madden, TIngler, and Shildt never played in the majors. So that’s a 90% cap.

3:01

Boone and Cora: We’re not catchers, things are going okay

3:01

Craig Edwards: Roberts, Bud Black.

3:03

Craig Edwards: Mattingly.

3:03

stever20: Davey Martinez never caught

3:03

Craig Edwards: So tough to get over 2/3 in the foreseeable future, I think, especially as teams start to broaden their searches.

3:03

Could vs will: But do you think the Nats WILL win the series?

3:04

Craig Edwards: I do.

3:04

Nate: 538 has the Nats as an 81% lock to win the World Series, seems like a big disparity between their numbers and yours.

3:06

Craig Edwards: over five games, 65% and 81% isn’t that big of a difference, and ZiPS has it at 75%. 19% of the time is still a decent amount of outcomes. Alex Bregman walked 17% of the time this season. That’s something that happened a lot and you wouldn’t at all be surprised to see Alex Bregman step to the plate and take a walk.

3:06

Dubya: Do the Astros bats wake up before the series is over?

3:07

Craig Edwards: I think so, though the Nationals seem to have been putting together good plans for their opponents and sticking with it. It’s a matter of execution on both sides.

3:07

Craig Edwards: That’s going to do it for me today. Thanks for all your questions.

We hoped you liked reading Craig Edwards FanGraphs Chat–10/24/2019 by Craig Edwards!

Please support FanGraphs by becoming a member. We publish thousands of articles a year, host multiple podcasts, and have an ever growing database of baseball stats.

FanGraphs does not have a paywall. With your membership, we can continue to offer the content you've come to rely on and add to our unique baseball coverage.

Support FanGraphs




Craig Edwards can be found on twitter @craigjedwards.

Comments are closed.