Craig Edwards FanGraphs Chat – 7/16/2020

Craig Edwards: Before we get rolling, please note that we are doing out positional power rankings this week and into next. They are great to help you get ready for the season and catch up on anything you might have missed.

Chris: I’m sad about Julio Rodriguez. What a bummer

Craig Edwards: a fractured wrist is a real bummer. He wasn’t likely to make the MLB team this year, and the pandemic meant that he was going to lose a lot of developmental time anyway, but injuries are still tough. A hopefully healthy offseason should get him a fresh start for next spring.

Kramer: I know it would have been less ideal but for the sake of getting a season in do you think MLB would have been better off doing 10 games series in 1 park for division opponents (basically instead of doing home/away series should they have just done them all together in a row at 1 stadium)?

Craig Edwards: I don’t know the logistics, but I’m guessing that is difficult to pull off schedule-wise in terms of getting all the games in. And while it is going to be a reality for some players anyway, I think spending 10 days straight in a hotel room probably isn’t preferable to getting to go home for a few days every now and then.

Kramer: Any thoughts on the Met’s sale?  Any reasons to want 1 ownership over the other?  Not sure “person with the most money’ alwasy equals best owners…but it’s never a bad start.  Or do we want to see Arod + stars own the team just because it would be fun

Craig Edwards: It’s sort of impossible to know how an ownership group is going to be before they actually take over. I think the A-Rod and J-Lo group is fascinating, but I also think that a group that is taking on a ton of debt and also not getting SNY is going to put themselves in a difficult financial position. That makes Cohen’s bid the easiest one in terms of a transition on solid financial ground, but it is hard to know how he will spend or not spend. The Mets have underspent the market by a massive amount over the last decade, so it isn’t going to take a lot to improve on what we’ve seen of late.

Kramer: Any big surprises to you as you researched/read positional rankings?

Craig Edwards: I mentioned it in the piece, but the A’s center field/ Laureano jumped out to me. I expected him to be somewhere in the middle and 5th seemed like a reach. That said, the projection is reasonable for him. There’s just not as many big-time center fielders as we might think.

Trent Hauser: What’s the significance of Yu Darvish’s second half 2019?

Craig Edwards: I think we hope it means that his injury-plagued 2018 is behind him and he’s back to being a good starter again. It’s hard to know what we might see over just a dozen starts this year, but it might mean that he’s the Cubs’ best starter this year. That’s a reasonable expectation for him given his track record as a healthy pitcher.

Peter: Thoughts on Evan White this year? Sneaky dark horse or wasted roster space?

Craig Edwards: I don’t see him as an above-average first baseman this year. The Mariners signed him to team-friendly deal that means he’s going to get an opportunity to play everyday, which will be good for his development, and he might pop off a bunch of homers, but right now, he’s likely to be below average.

Quarantino Martinez: Enjoyed the Platonic take on the Twins OF! Keep the dad jokes coming.

Craig Edwards: I aim to please and annoy.

Stevie: Do you see any of these rookies having an impact this year? Nolan Jones, Bobby Dalbec or Andrew Vaughn?

Craig Edwards: I think Jones probably needs more time. If they gave him a shot, I cold see Dalbec hitting a bunch of homers with a low OBP and big strikeout totals. I’m not sure there is an actual role available for Vaughn, though he has the best bat of the three.

Ben: Do the Yankees create the worst batting order configuration of any team? Obviously the lineup is stacked, but the team refuses to bat Judge and Stanton back-to-back, and last year preferred to bat Gardner, Hicks, or Gregorious (depending on who was health), in the 3rd spot, even though those 3 players had the worst OPS, OPS+, wOBA, and wRCA+ amongst other stats? It feels like Gardner and Hicks should be the 8th and 9th hitters, even though the team loves to put one of them in the 3rd spot

Craig Edwards: It’s hard to know for sure about their lineup configuration given the lack of health during the season. Judge and Stanton probably shouldn’t hit back to back given you want your three best hitters hitting 1,2,4 in some order so 2 and 4 makes the most sense for those two. That means that for this year, Gleyber Torres makes the most sense at leadoff and a lot of players could fit in at the third spot and Gardner against righties isn’t the worst fit.

Tom: Do you think Austin Gomber is a starter for the Cardinals, this year and/or beyond?

Craig Edwards: He could be, but he lost most of last season with injuries and this season is now truncated and he’s pretty clearly not one of the five best starters. He’ll be out of options next year, I think so he has to make the team. If he’s not one of the five best starters by then, he’ll either be a reliever or on another team, which is the most likely scenario for him.

Big League Choo: What do you think the “experience” factor is for any given hitter? I assume most hitters are able to hold off father time a bit by making up for their physical losses with some mental gains. So if the was a mythical player who’s body stayed forever 25-years-old, how much might we expect his wRC+ to increase each year, assuming that the only thing that has changed is another year of experience, at-bats, looks at pitchers, etc. Would it be a linear improvement? How many years until they level off and hit the theoretical plateau?

Craig Edwards: would the player stay at his 25-year-old body or would it morph into the 25-year-old body of the time? It wouldn’t necessarily be good enough to just keep a player’s own body because a 25-year-old in 10 years is going to be better than a 25-year-old now. The pitching would also get better over time so any experience edge gained might be countered by the increase in pitching talent. I think what experience helps the most with once you reach a certain level, is the ability to adjust to your own decreasing talents, which is negated in this situation.

Drew: Short season outlook on Brett Anderson, Rick Porcello, and Homer Bailey?

Craig Edwards: I’m a little worried about home runs with Homer. Porcello I could see a little bounceback but more like a 4 FIP/ERA. Anderson, I’m not sure I would trust given his low strikeout rates. There’s too much variance in a small season with the ground ball rate and homers in Miller Park can come in bunches.

Peter: How should I handle Kyle Tucker? Is he droppable in a 12-team league?

Craig Edwards: I’m not sure he’s going to play every day, but he should be an above-average hitter and might hit 10 homers in not that many games, which is a lot in just 60 games. He hit 38 homers between Triple-A and the majors last year.

Peter: What should we do with our Austin Riley shares? Is he going ot get enough ABs to roster in a 12 team? Other option is to pick up Kyle Lewis.

Craig Edwards: I think Riley should play plenty, even with the addition of Puig. With Freeman’s status up in the air and the DH, I think Riley will play, and hopefully after a very long offseason, has made some adjustments that will keep his bat more playable than the end of last year when he struggled.

Chris: Over/under 0.5 trades before the season? And will that trade be Carson Fulmer for Dee Gordon?

Craig Edwards: Over and probably not. Fulmer probably makes the White Sox and I’m not sure Gordon is a huge improvement for Chicago. If they need an infield replacement, they can probably do better elsewhere.

Craig Edwards: I do think there will be a trade, in addition to the Jorge Mateo to Padres deal, before opening day, but it is probably going to be a pretty light season in terms of trades overall. I’m very curious to see if there are any sizable salary dumps at the trade deadline.

Pumpsie Green: Is covid going to be the end of scouting as we know it? Will scouting be just another wfh job?

Craig Edwards: I don’t think that’s likely, particularly with the minor leagues. Pro scouting had already taken some hits over the last few years given the increases in video and data available, though the Nationals gave a ton of credit to their pro scouts in helping them prep for the playoffs and that work seemed to have paid off. This season is just going to be very bizarre, and we’ll have to see what things look like in spring and how much owners are telling teams to trim in terms of resources, whether that’s on the scouting side, in the front office with research, signing bonuses or just player salaries.

Peter: Convince me to drop McKay as my SP6 and pick up Hill or Houser…

Craig Edwards: That’s an interesting group. I’m not as convinced on Houser as some. Hill has apparently been impressive in camp. McKay has the best future, but he’s also missed some time in camp. In a very short season, I’m most tempted by Hill.

Pumpsie Green: If the Astros are sellers in a little over a month (seems weird to even say that), will there be any bargains because of all the cheating? Gurriel seems like a prime trade piece due to history.

Craig Edwards: I think almost any trade made in a month is going to look like a bargain for the team getting the good, veteran player. That said, I don’t see how it could be possible that the Astros would be looking to trade players away in just a month. There’s just too much talent there.

Sum: hey Craig. thanks for the chat. do you know of anyone on the internet who is keeping up-to-date a list of players who have opted out?

Craig Edwards: I’m pretty sure both MLB Trade Rumors and Baseball America have a list, with the latter including coaches as well.

Pumpsie Green: Should the Padres regret the Myers contract? Seems like he was worth the WAR, but the backloading makes it look bad.

Craig Edwards: I think I wrote the transaction analysis for FanGraphs on that one.

Craig Edwards: The Padres paid more than the going rate for a deal like Myers and the backloading does make it look worse. I’m guessing they’d like to have it back given his actual contributions, but there’s a scenario where Myers continues his 2016 season over the next five years and it is a bargain.

Guest: What’s your take on BFIB? I enjoy it while realizing that you could find similar horrible people for any huge fanbase.

Craig Edwards: I think it is a bad account, and it goes beyond just pointing out bad people of one fanbase. Yes, there certainly are fans who say terrible things who root for all teams, but singling out one team gives the look of superiority over that fanbase and region and the people in it, and that goes beyond sports to a level of classism. It might be fair to see that as an overreaction and a defense, but the way I’ve seen it used indicates that’s not the case.

Craig Edwards: and I guess with that, I’ll close things up for the day. The next time I chat, it will be opening day and we will all hopefully be watching baseball together in a megachat.

Craig Edwards: Thanks for all the questions.

We hoped you liked reading Craig Edwards FanGraphs Chat – 7/16/2020 by Craig Edwards!

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Craig Edwards can be found on twitter @craigjedwards.

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Original Greaser Bob
Original Greaser Bob

Lawyers with machine guns pretty much sums up your classism. BFIB is genius.