Craig Edwards FanGraphs Chat – 7/30/2020

2:00

Craig Edwards: Let’s get things rolling.

2:00

LVP: Has Christian Yelich already taken himself out of MVP contention?

2:04

Craig Edwards: I don’t think so, but his end of the year numbers aren’t going to look great. If he does exactly what he did the last two years for the next 220 PA, he’ll put up 2.8 WAR, but with half a win below replacement with his start, he’s going to end up at 2.3. I’m guessing the leader gets closer to 3 so  he will probably not win even if he catches fire, but if he does really well for 54 games, there will be some voters willing to ignore the first six.

2:05

Brodie Van bytheRiver: Time to replace Cano?  My rookie Gimenez had a solid start last night and Robinson looks done…

2:07

Craig Edwards: I’m not sure about replace, but Cano projects as a below-average player. He should still play sometimes, but he’s 37 years old and is a better fit as a quality bench guy than starter. I’d love to see what Gimenez will do with playing time.

2:07

Jimmy: Trout excluded, who is the next 10 win player?

2:11

Craig Edwards: Interesting question. Before Trout it was Bonds in 2001-4, and Trout was only 12 years old then. Betts has done it but probably won’t again. If you are thinking about candidates, you have to look at Soto, Bellinger, Acuna Jr., Lindor, maybe Devers or Tatis Jr., but the odds of it being anybody in the majors right now is fairly slim because it is so hard to do.

2:11

Chris: Why do people think 30 players travelling together will help teams with covid out breaks when 26 will allow 4 good players to not be with the team

2:13

Craig Edwards: I think the 30 players was more for just the lack of prep time for the season, but in theory if a few players have to sit out or report symptoms, then it still makes playing the game possible, if it is contained. I don’t think 30-man rosters help contain the spread at all.

2:14

Chris: Kyle Lewis for MVP and rookie of the year!!

2:15

Craig Edwards: He’s picked up right where he left off last year, though his strikeout rate is just too dang high to think this will continue. But consider, even if he only puts up an 86 wRC+ the rest of the season, he’s going to end up at like 105 for the whole year with this start.

2:16

Jeff: David PetersonNate PearsonKris BubicBrady Singer….I’m enjoying teams being aggressive with top performing MiL arms

2:17

Craig Edwards: Agreed. I would like to see Forrest Whitley, though Cristian Javier is intriguing as well.

2:17

Nik: How are you feeling about the Cardinals offense moving forward? What would you do if you were Mike Shildt?

2:19

Craig Edwards: The offense was never going to be good, and it is hard to know what to make of five games, but if you want to change something, seems like making Dylan Carlson your leadoff hitter would be a fairly dramatic change that might have meaningful results.

2:20

Chris: Should we commend the royals or make fun of them for not understanding service time?

2:23

Craig Edwards: I mean, what are they really saving by messing with service time right now with these guys? Singer and Bubic are decent prospects, but Bubic was rated more highly than Singer and he was still just the 116th-best prospect in baseball. The odds that this goes against the Royals heading into the 2026 season seems pretty slim and if one of those guys turns into a player they would have gotten good savings from with service time manipulation, they are already way ahead. This is two CBA’s from now. It’s hard to know if the same rules will even be in effect.

2:24

Gashouse Gorilla: Recognizing it’s very early, is there anything you’ve seen so far, from a player or a team, that has really surprised you?

2:25

Craig Edwards: The White Sox starting pitching has been a little rough in performance and injuries, but that could change in short order. I’ve been really impressed by the Padres so far.

2:26

Jeff: Hey, what’s the chat schedule these days?

2:26

Craig Edwards: It’s still down on the home page if you scroll down, but just for immediacy: Chats
All times ET
S8 PMJeff ZimmermanM2 PMBen ClemensT2 PMJay JaffeW2 PMPaul Sporer4 PMMeg RowleyTh12 PMDan Szymborski2 PMCraig EdwardsF12 PMEric Longenhagen

2:26

Craig Edwards: hopefully that doesn’t look too weird

2:27

Bubba: Eric Hosmer’s launch angle sits at 31.2 degrees.  Is this a new Hosmer or SSS?

2:29

Craig Edwards: Probably a SSS, but it isn’t like Hosmer hasn’t been a talented hitter with the ability to hit the ball hard. Even getting the ball in the air a little more would give him 30 homers in a normal year.

2:30

Chris: Do you think we will see more trades this year between teams that are playing each other (aka the player can walk into the other dugout)

2:30

Craig Edwards: I don’t think so. I think teams would want a new test or confirmation of the most recent test before letting a player just switch teams.

2:31

Chris: Has Evan white locked up the gold glove already?

2:31

Craig Edwards: He has looked good, though Matt Olson didn’t disappear or anything.

2:32

YardGoat: Hope you are doing well Craig! What team (or player(s)) have you found yourself watching more often this year?

2:33

Craig Edwards: I know I shouldn’t, but it is kind of easy to get sucked into the Yankees to see how Cole does and how Stanton’s recovery is doing, plus just watching Gleyber Torres.

2:33

Hells Bells: Pads could be 6-0 had it not been for their vaunted backend bullpen arms blowing two late leads. Think these early losses could mean the difference in such a short season, especially considering they were against the division?

2:34

Craig Edwards: I mean if you are talking about trying to beat the Dodgers, sure, but that was always going to take a lot. If you are talking about getting to the postseason, maybe it makes a difference, but teams are going to blow leads. It happens.

2:34

Hells Bells: Pads have Zach Davies and Joey Lucchesi scheduled to pitch in Coors this weekend. How can soft-tossers succeed there?

2:34

Craig Edwards: Don’t walk anyone and hope for great defense.

2:36

Nick: What are your thoughts on Brady Singer? The common thought is he only has 2 pitches and needs to develop his changeup, but both his fastball and slider are plus and he manipulates both so they seem to function as more than 2 pitches to me at least

2:37

Craig Edwards: It usually still isn’t enough, and it is something that can work well for a while, but eventually gets you hammered even if you are mixing in really good starts with some mediocre ones. I think the change is still going to be necessary to take a step forward to above-average starter.

2:37

Jordan: Thoughts on Nate Pearson going toe to toe with Scherzer?

2:38

Craig Edwards: I’d direct you to Tony Wolfe’s piece today. https://blogs.fangraphs.com/nate-pearson-didnt-need-his-full-arsenal-t…

2:38

Craig Edwards: He’s a great prospect off to a great start.

2:39

Art Vandelay: Any concerns about Charlie Morton– specifically, his velocity being down?

2:41

Craig Edwards: I think, yes, it is concerning. It’s not to say, he can’t get by with diminished velocity, but if it doesn’t tick back up, he’s not going to be close to the guy he was last season.

2:41

G-Money CHOO: What’s your take on Ohtani.

2:43

Craig Edwards: I think a lot of pitchers struggle with command coming back from surgery and it is reasonable to think Ohtani would be the same. You wouldn’t think it would be this bad from the start, but there might be some inconsistency for a while. We would hope that it wouldn’t carry over to his hitting and it is way too early to know anything there.

2:44

Mike Hawk: If Woodruff can stay healthy, chances he’s a top 10 SP going into 2021?

2:45

Craig Edwards: That is probably stretching it a bit because there isn’t going to be enough of a season where we feel fully safe about health, but top 20 seems fairly safe given his performance when healthy last year.

2:47

Matt: What do you think the Cardinals OF looks like if/when Carlson comes up?

2:50

Craig Edwards: I think it might be good to just let Carlson play every OF position and get starts in five of six games. Since he switch hits, matchup is never an issue and giving the other OF a day or two off a week still gets them regular playing time. I just remember hearing about how the team really wanted to see what Lane Thomas could do and he’s started one game out of five. I don’t think that is wrong, necessarily, but the team clearly isn’t that interested in giving him a shot, and Carlson could help right away.

2:50

Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: Once you’re willing to look past players in the majors, Wander Franco has to be the most likely to have a 10 WAR season.

2:50

Craig Edwards: this is true.

2:52

Jon: Bold prediction: Victor Reyes and Jacoby Jones are top 30 outfielders.

2:52

Craig Edwards: that is indeed bold, though it will be interesting to see what Jones can do if his injuries are behind him.

2:52

Nic: Any chance Plesac wins Cy Young? He looked great the other day.

2:53

Craig Edwards: I think he is leading MLB pitchers in WAR, though a Cy Young still isn’t likely. I picked Lance Lynn before the season, and he’s done pretty well so far.

2:55

Bill: One small knock on Franco: is his athleticism a bit below guys like Tatis, Acuña, Bellinger, etc?

2:57

Craig Edwards: Is it? He’s not slow and he can play shortstop. If he put up a 175 wRC+ and was plus 5 at shortstop, he puts up a 10-win season. If the bat is there and he sticks at shortstop, it is a possibility.

2:58

Tom: Is Harrison Bader a 4th OF at this point? And is Matt Carpenter a lost cause?

3:00

Craig Edwards: Carpenter looked pretty good in camp, so I wouldn’t hold this start against him yet. As for Bader, his glove is enough to carry him as a starter as long as he’s hitting a little below average. It’s not a profile that makes fans happy, but it is a solid player. I would give him at least half the season before I wasn’t giving him the majority of starts in center field. If he were even average at the bat, he’d be all-star caliber so that shouldn’t just be abandoned.

3:00

Fisk Forever!: Is this season going to continue much longer?

3:01

Craig Edwards: I sure hope so. The Marlins situation seems to have been bungled and it is still affecting the Phillies, but a few postponements or even cancellations of games aren’t going to be enough to stop the season.

3:01

Guest: Craig, please explain to me why the netting at all of the ballparks is still up. Not enough attention is being given to this. Thank you

3:01

Craig Edwards: It’s easier to get the balls back.

3:01

Rolan: The Rangers’ starting pitchers have given up 1 ER all season.  Where do you rank their rotation in the majors?

3:02

Craig Edwards: It’s really good. Losing Kluber is a setback but he was a bit of a wild card to begin with.

3:02

Overbearing Padre: What would it take for the Padres to get J. Ramirez this off-season?

3:02

Craig Edwards: Two of their top five prospects with Patino or Abrams as the lead, plus another player or two further away.

3:03

Service time: Do you think a system where the teams receive 6 guaranteed years of mlb control over a player but the 7th hes a restricted FA. No more service time manipulation, 1 day on the roster, regardless of time of year is a year of service time.

3:04

Craig Edwards: I don’t know that it would be enough of an incentive. Teams might still hold players down for longer than needed. There needs to be enough incentive to get players to the majors as quickly as possible.

3:04

Guest: thoughts on the Kim situation in St Louis? I don’t really understand what Schmidt is doing!

3:05

Craig Edwards: Assuming you mean Shildt, but I think putting Kim back into the rotation in the next turn makes a lot of sense. I think the pen seems like it will be good enough without Kim but he was signed for precisely this job, to raise the floor of the rotation.

3:05

Guest: Clevelands rotation is insane right ?

3:05

Craig Edwards: I don’t know how they do it, but it is amazing that they keep producing. If only that worked for outfielders.

3:06

Craig Edwards: That’s all the time I’ve got today. Thanks for all the questions.

We hoped you liked reading Craig Edwards FanGraphs Chat – 7/30/2020 by Craig Edwards!

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Craig Edwards can be found on twitter @craigjedwards.

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