Craig Edwards FanGraphs Chat–5/16/2019

2:02

Craig Edwards: Going to try and finish my lunch and let the queue fill up a bit more. Will start soon.

2:03

Craig Edwards: In the meantime, he’s a thing I wrote about Chris Sale. https://blogs.fangraphs.com/chris-sale-is-sort-of-back/

2:03

Craig Edwards: Here’s one on George Springer. https://blogs.fangraphs.com/the-astros-other-best-player/

2:03
2:06

Overbearing Padre: Tatis is past ten days on the IL. They’re not activating him so, why don’t they just let him ride pine in AAA to reclaim service time while he heals?

2:07

Craig Edwards: He’s injured and you can’t just option injured players to the minors. If he was healthy, they could then keep him in the minors, but if he’s healthy, they probably want him in the majors.

2:07

Rox Fan: Is Brendan Rodgers likely to stick for the rest of the season, and almost certainly qualify for Super-2 status in the process?

2:09

Craig Edwards: There’s really no telling with Rockies given the way they’ve handled McMahon and Dahl, but Rodgers is a better prospect which makes him more likely to play well enough to stick. While we won’t know the super-2 deadline for this year’s crop of rookies until the end of the 2021 season when there might be a new CBA which makes super-2 status moot or different, under the current rules, Rodgers would likely be a super-2 if he stays up.

2:09

jkim: Who are the hottest Bullpen trade targets of this deadline?
Will Smith?

2:12

Craig Edwards: Certainly he’ll be one. It’s a bit too early to say for everyone else since we don’t know for sure who will be contending and some relievers who are performing well now won’t be by the trade deadline. Ken Giles seems like an interesting name. Shane Greene, too.

2:12

Josh Bell: Is my break out for real?

2:14

Craig Edwards: I think the power is real at least from the left side. He’s actually hitting the ball in the air, which helps. He’s still probably not going to be more than a four-win player, but that’s pretty good given his last few seasons.

2:15

AJ Preller’s Godson: Very early NLROY contenders?  How’s my boy’s Paddack’s chances after his worst game tuesday?

2:16

Craig Edwards: I’m not sure about contenders at this point, but Alonso and Paddack are up there right now. Verdugo’s newfound playing time could help. Tatis, if he can get back, Robles if he can get going. There’s still a ton of time. Juan Soto didn’t start his first game last year until May 21.

2:17

Dan: What is up with Ozuna’s average? His babip is low but are there other issues with him?

2:19

Craig Edwards: Ozuna has always been a pretty streaky guy. While his average and BABIP are pretty low, Having a bunch of hits go out of the park hurts his BABIP but helps him overall. With his new 10% walk rate, his OBP is nearly what it was last season. Statcast says he’s been pretty unlucky so I wouldn’t worry too much about it.

2:19

TomBruno23: For the first time in 35 years (since I started watching/following) I have very little interest in the St. Louis Cardinals so far this season. Am I OK?

2:20

Craig Edwards: Is it possible this is due to the Blues having their most realistic shot at a Stanley Cup ever? Give it some time and watch a few more games. The Cardinals are a good team with good players and that’s more than many can say. They also seem to enjoy playing, which is something I definitely appreciate as a fan. I think you’ll be fine.

2:20

Crawfishboxes: What is your over/under that Aledmys Diaz outperforms his current .256/.299/.513 line (112 wRC+) if he gets consistent play time?

2:22

Craig Edwards: I don’t think he’s going to keep his ISO above .250. I’d take the under with an expectation of a wRC+ right around 100.

2:22

tom: the blues got hosed

2:22

Craig Edwards: it certainly seemed that way, yes.

2:22

Bulldog: Do you play fantasy baseball?  If so, are you any good??

2:22

Craig Edwards: Yes. No.

2:24

Xolo: It seems like no matter who’s on the team, the Padres are always at the bottom of the league in K% (top of the league? the bad one) and Contact%. Machado and Hosmer even saw spikes when they came over. Is it possible that this is a Petco thing, or what?

2:25

Craig Edwards: I think most of it is the players they’ve had. Hosmer wasn’t too far above his career average prior to his career year in 2017 while Machado ahs under 200 plate appearances. Maybe Petco doesn’t have the best batter’s eye or maybe players subconsciously feel the need to swing harder to get through the atmosphere in San Diego. I don’t think I’d read too much into it.

2:26

Ryan: Is it time for the Cubs to stop giving Edwards Jr. opportunities in high leverage scenarios?

2:28

Craig Edwards: I could see some logic in that, though he does need to keep getting regular work in the majors as he is potentially a lot more valuable than most of their other options. Some guys have stepped up of late to earn more late-inning time and having Edwards work things out in less pressurized situations is fine for a time. He just can’t sit, though.

2:29

Judge, Drury, and Mexicutioner: Sup Craig!  Do you think the Marlins will promote Zac Gallen any time soon?

2:30

Craig Edwards: It’s possible as he’s pitching well in Triple-A, but he’s also not on the 40-man roster so unless the Marlins drop or trade someone, they can probably wait a while and see if Triple-A hitters adjust to him.

2:31

Bert: Jorge Polanco sure can hit a baseball. Is he going to add to the list of SS this year that can realistically finish with a 120 wRC+

2:32

Craig Edwards: He’s basically already there. If he hits his projection of 111 the rest of the way, he’s going to end up over 125.

2:32

Enrico Pallazzo: Does Vogelbach cool off? Or now that he has both confidence and playing time, he’s a legit big league slugger?

2:34

Craig Edwards: Both can be true? He’s projected for a 125 wRC+ the rest of the way which is legit slugger level and a considerable cooling off. It’s always good to see guys get a real chance after they’ve had success in the minors and the Mariners are now giving him that chance.

2:35

Nathan: Gallen has a .152 BABiP and a high LOB%. Why are people so excited about him?

2:36

Craig Edwards: His FIP is under 3 and he’s got 64 strikeouts against 9 walks so those are pretty good results, though I honestly didn’t realize there was a bunch of Gallen hype going around.

2:37

Cavan Biggio: Will I get the call before July?

2:37

Craig Edwards: I’ll say no, but I’m not the one making those decisions.

2:37

Finch, Syd: So, Avisail Garcia has been productive.  Color me surprised.  True or False: the Rays knew this would work out.

2:39

Craig Edwards: False. It’s not like he’s the only guy they brought in, though it’s not like he didn’t do basically this exact same thing for the entire 2017 season.

2:40

MacK Gore: Will I make a September appearance in the bullpen ala Bumgarner if SDP is in the hunt?

2:41

Craig Edwards: I doubt it. He’s still in High-A and will likely reach his innings limit by September. Maybe next year.

2:42

Voldemort: Craig, I’m late to the party. But riddle me this, when is Christian Yelich going to start regressing?

2:43

Craig Edwards: Tomorrow, probably, though his 4.4 WAR projection indicates he probably won’t be falling that much compared to what he did last season.

2:44

jv: What is going on with Zach Davies? He somehow leads the MLB in ERA while having the 6th worst SIERA. Is there anything at all that could account for that other than good defense and a shit-ton of luck?

2:44

Craig Edwards: He’s got a .283 BABIP and 87% left-on base rate. That’s most of it, though he is pitching pretty well.

2:44

Voldemort: Do you think Hiura is up for good or is this just a cup of coffee?

2:45

Craig Edwards: Probably gets sent back down assuming Shaw hits reasonably well during his rehab. There just isn’t a ton of space for Hiura on the roster right now.

2:45

Craig Almighty: Forgetting Bumgarner for a second, is it safe to say Minor and Duffy are the best available starters out there?

2:47

Craig Edwards: Stroman and Sanchez are presumably out there, too. It looks like there is going to be some quality pitching traded at the deadline this year, though no ace-level players unless Bumgarner can really keep things going.

2:47

Andy: Who finishes the year with a better performance, Musgrove, Luke Weaver or Zach Wheeler?

2:48

Craig Edwards: I think I’m leaning Wheeler there with Weaver and Musgrove a tossup mostly due to Weaver wearing down last year. Musgrove is going to give up more homers than he has.

2:49

Prison Mike: Do you think Hunter Dozier is a long-term piece for the Royals, or is he trade bait?

2:50

Craig Edwards: If the Royals think they can compete by 2021 or 2022, then he can be a long term piece as he won’t be a FA until after 2023. If he falls off his pace and looks more like a 2-3 win player, the team is probably better off trading him, though. Only keep potential stars while rebuilding.

2:51

Craig Kimbrel : What state should I be calling realtors?

2:51

Craig Edwards: Just let the realtors call you.

2:51

Mario: Was there any reaction in the fangraphs locker room to the NBA draft lottery?

2:52

Craig Edwards: We’re just taking things a day at a time. We moved past it pretty quickly. Have to focus on today.

2:52

AJ Preller’s Godson: Any scenario where my godfather decides to sell on Kirby Yates?

2:53

Craig Edwards: If the Padres are out of it and a top-50 or better prospect close to the majors is available, sure, but the Padres already have a lot of prospects and they need more major league help to contend in their current window. I think it would be a tough sell.

2:54

Mason Jarre: Let me put it this way, are Urshela and Voit ‘real’ enough?

2:55

Craig Edwards: I wouldn’t put too many eggs in the Urshela basket going forward. Luke Voit is a professional hitter, but May has brought his season line closer to a more reasonable level.

2:56

Tim: Should I be more worried about Stanton?  Was the recent shoulder announcement a sign of worse news to come?

2:57

Craig Edwards: It’s certainly not good. He kind of needs his shoulder due to important hitting things. You wonder even if he does come back if his power will be sapped and then if he needs surgery in the offseason, how that affects 2020. Maybe he just needs rest, but I would be pretty pessimistic at this point.

2:57

Bread Gardner: Chris Davis.  He is now a Baseball Player again.  Will he keep it up and remain a Baseball Player?

2:58

Craig Edwards: That’s certainly a possibility, but let’s keep our expectations grounded in hoping for replacement level the rest of the season.

2:59

The Pun Guy: What is behind Kyle Freeland’s rocky start to the season?

3:02

Craig Edwards: A juiced ball? He’s just giving up a bunch of home runs, but I also think that his ability to control contact last season might have been a bit overstated. A sub-three ERA is too much to expect, though something just below 4 would still be quite good for Colorado and a reasonable expectation going forward.

3:02

just a guy: will yandy hit enough FBs to keep this up?

3:03

Craig Edwards: He hasn’t yet. He’s still hitting a ton of grounders and unless his swing and approach actually change, he’s not going to keep this up.

3:03

Ryan: How much longer can the Cubs’ pitching staff keep this up?

3:05

Craig Edwards: It’s a talented staff so they should be good, but the FIP is about half a run over their ERA, which is a more reasonable approximation for how they’ve pitched and what to expect going forward. Lester slowed down last year, and it seems likely that he will again.

3:06

Matt W: Will the Kelenice/Diaz/Canó deal go down as an all-time bad trade? Canó looks every bit his age and is signed to an albatross deal, and Diaz has been fine but not special enough to overcome that deficit. Meanwhile, Kelenic looks like a superstar in the minors.

3:07

Craig Edwards: Way too early to think that. Kelenic is still a ways off and in Low-A. If he turns into Jay Bruce, which would be a pretty good outcome for him, I don’t think we are looking at an all time bad deal.

3:08

Gordon Tremeschko: Random question — why don’t other sports have dedicated supporters’ sections/ultras like soccer does? I guess college basketball student sections are pretty close. And, if you squint, maybe football tailgating is kind of analogous? But, man, the intensity, the chants… it’s so unique and cool. But, then again, I guess such rowdiness is kind of anathema to watching a ballgame at the park.

3:10

Craig Edwards: Soccer only has one big break, which helps because the action is near constant. You have to focus all your attention on the match so a rowdy support group in one section is easier to keep in line. In baseball there are several minute breaks multiple times every half an hour. Keeping chants going like they do in soccer would feel really weird.

3:11

just a guy: Can Caleb Smith sustain this?

3:12

Craig Edwards: He couldn’t last year and has a history of shoulder issues, though he might make it to the All-Star break at least.

3:12

DJ Tanner: Is Austin Riley doomed to suck at hitting since he hit a HR in his first game (ala Kieboom and Cole Tucker)?

3:13

Craig Edwards: Nope. I think he’ll be pretty good.

3:13

Gordon Tremeschko: I just realized my question kind of read like an old Andy Rooney bit at the end of 60 Minutes…

3:15

Craig Edwards: You know what I miss? The phone book. Nobody uses it anymore. I used to love to page through those yellow ads and admire places with names that started with AAA or Aardvark just so they could have their names listed first. It was a real thrill to see my name in the phone book for the first time and I can’t believer people are being robbed of that pleasure. What’s today’s phone book? Just isn’t the same as it used to be. Anyway, that will do it for me today. Thanks for all the questions.

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Craig Edwards can be found on twitter @craigjedwards.

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John Autin
Member
John Autin

Another huge factor in the intensity of fan involvement at baseball vs. soccer games: 162-game season.