Dan Szymborski FanGraphs Chat – 2/3/20

2:02
Avatar Dan Szymborski: We are here, Live from Szym’s Baseball Nerdery Lab, which primarily consists of computers and cat toys.

2:03
Jared: Thoughts on the rumored Mookie for Verdugo, Downs trade?

2:04
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’ll have more when/if it happens (I’m on the instant react). Now we’re getting into reality territory, unlike those fanciful Lux/May scenarios.

2:04
Justin: Would it be stupid to start Billy Hamilton in CF, and then pinch hit for him once he comes up in a medium-to-high leverage situation?   My gut says this is doable with 26 man roster.

2:05
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The thing is, he makes situations *worse* overall. The standard defensive replacement is a better thing, because you’re leveraging the thing he does when you *know* he’s valuable.

2:05
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Relatively speaking.

2:05
Avatar Dan Szymborski: It’s a bit like starting your worst pitcher and then removing him at the first high-leverage situation; well, your worst starting pitcher is going to create a lot of very low leverage situations!

2:05
Jaffe rhymes with Taffy: Dan have you ever projected a team of comps?  Can you simulate the comp team playing against the actual big league team?  Would doing this maybe test the accuracy of the projections and comps – should the comp team tie the big league team?  Help me thru my Monday I lost my car keys …..

2:06
Avatar Dan Szymborski: It doesn’t quite work like this – comps aren’t based on the projection results, but on the baseline from where the player starts.

2:06
Avatar Dan Szymborski: And the individual names are interesting, but it’s the large group of similar-ish players that matters.

2:06
Pete: What is your take on the Mookie Betts trade rumors?  If you were Boston which trade package would you prefer LA or SD?

2:06
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Did we get a concrete Padres offer? I’m hung over and my stomach is sour from buffalo wings.

2:07
Bryan: What do you & ZIPS think of Austin Riley this year and in the future?  Will hr

2:07
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m about where ZiPS is on this one. And he can be found in the Braves ZiPS!

2:07
Bryan: What do you and the ZiPS machine think of Austin Riley this year and into the future?  Does he have some star-level years in him, is he going to be kind of “meh”, or will he lose the starting 3B gig to Camargo and be a perennial quad-A guy?

2:07
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m not sure about star level, but I think he’ll be a decent starter for several years at his peak.

2:07
twisting my melon: Could the Giants pick up Dominic Smith by paying Familia or Lowrie’s contract (ala the Cozart deal)? What would a Belt for Clint Frazier trade look like?

2:08
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m not sure the Yankees would have any interest in the second one.

2:08
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The Giants might be able to do that.

2:08
bosoxforlife: I can’t wait for the 2/23/20 chat. I have never made a trip to the future before.

2:08
Avatar Dan Szymborski: CRAPPO

2:09
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Fixed!

2:09
Adam: What % chance do you give of Betts ending up on the Dodgers/Padres/back in Boston when Opening Day rolls around?

2:09
Avatar Dan Szymborski: 70/20/10

2:09
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Padres smell more Bryanty to me.

2:09
Elliott: Fangraphs Chat: In Which Dan Unveils the Power of Time Travel: “Dan Szymborski FanGraphs Chat – 2/23/20 will begin on: February 3, 2020 at 2:00 PM EST”

2:09
Christian: Do you have any favorite articles among the SABR writing award nominees?

2:10
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I don’t want to say because I know so many of the people.

2:10
Future Chat: F  U  T  U  R  E  C  H  A  T
U
T
U
R
E
C
H
A
T

2:10
Erik: With the Chiefs winning the 2019 Super Bowl, the Royals winning the 2015 World Series, the Kansas Jayhawks being perennially good in college basketball, and the Blues winning the 2019 Stanley Cup, Kansas sports fans have a lot to be thankful for.  Conversely, which city or state currently has the *least* to be thankful for in the sports world?

2:11
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Montana?

2:11
Avatar Dan Szymborski: They’re blacked out from freaking Mariners games, as if someone’s going to drive 12 hours to catch the Mariners square off against the Royals.

2:11
Jim Leyland Palmer: Do the Reds head into the season with their current corner OF logjam or do they make a move?

2:11
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think they start the season with the mess.

2:12
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Suarez’s injury isn’t good of course, but temporarily having Moose back at 3rd and Senzel at 2nd helps delay Decision Time

2:12
ECinDC: How do Stras’s initial projections from when he broke into the league look now, a decade into his career? From best prospect ever, to “disappointment” to WS MVP, he’s gotten there but I wonder what ZiPS initially saw.

2:12
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Hmm

2:12
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Hang on

2:12
Avatar Dan Szymborski: This will be a bit of a slow answer, but blame ECinDC

2:16
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Here are his yearly projections

2:16
Avatar Dan Szymborski:

2:16
Avatar Dan Szymborski: What I don’t have is his career projections as of the end of 2009.

2:16
Avatar Dan Szymborski: It’s not in my easy import, so it woudl take me like 15 minutes to get the MLE in there and stuff.

2:16
Ben: How are los gatos?

2:17
Avatar Dan Szymborski: All good, but I’m very annoyed I can’t figure out how Justinian’s getting to the top of doors. He’s done it in multiple rooms, none with nearby furniture.

2:17
Avatar Dan Szymborski:

2:17
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The doors are not held in place.

2:17
Lee: Would you support a 27th roster spot for a “designated defender” just so we could see more dazzling plays from Billy Hamilton and others who are too offensively inept to justify a roster spot?

2:17
Avatar Dan Szymborski: It woudl be fun, but a little weird.

2:17
Devil Ray Jay Johnson: If you replaced Dayton Moore as GM today, do you into full rebuild mode by trading off anybody with less than 3 years of club control remaining?

2:17
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Yes

2:18
Macaca: Wouldn’t 5 years of a cost controlled Verdugo for 1 year of Mookie Betts at 27 million be an overpay for the Dodgers?

2:18
Avatar Dan Szymborski: On pure value, yes, but it’s tempo, not value the Dodgers are looking for.

2:18
Dayton Moore Talking Head: Over the next 5 seasons, what will be the Royals highest win total?

2:18
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Let’s say 77

2:18
Gopherballs: I tried to warn you, Future Boy

2:18
Magic Kingdome: Who wins the AL West again first — Angels, Mariners, or Rangers?

2:19
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Angels

2:19
Dr. Caligari: Planning to cook a 3-bean chili (black, pinto, & kidney) with vegan pork (omnipork), 3 different colors of bell peppers, carrots, and sweet corn.  Any thoughts?

2:19
Avatar Dan Szymborski: What is 3-bean chili? Sounds like a bean stew.

2:20
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Wait, where did all the questions go? They’re coming in sloooowly.

2:20
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Test

2:20
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Dammit

2:21
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Five questions in ten minutes!

2:21
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Usually I get 15 a minute. Did changing the name of the chat screw something up?

2:22
dave: Who has the higher better long term projection? Touki or Tony Gonsolin?

2:22
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Touki by a bit

2:22
Adam: If the Dodgers acquire Betts for Verdugo+, do they hold onto Pederson, Taylor, and Hernandez this year, or trade one?

2:22
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think they hang onto them.

2:23
Adam: What’s more likely: all ten of last year’s playoff teams make it back, or only 5 (or fewer) do?

2:23
Avatar Dan Szymborski: 5

2:24
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Is anyone having trouble asking questions? If so, please respond in the FG post or on Twitter.

2:24
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Or is 2 PM just ratings death, as spoiled as I am by fancy noon timeslot?

2:24
Jim Leyland Palmer: What kind of contract does Andrelton Simmons command next offseason?

2:24
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Monetary, I presume.

2:24
Avatar Dan Szymborski: (I’m firing up ZiPS, since we can go at a lesiurely pace)

2:26
Avatar Dan Szymborski: ZiPS would try to offer 4/87

2:26
Chad: Is Edwin Rios ever gonna get playing time in LA? Kevin Cron gonna steal Walker’s job?

2:27
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think Rios is more likely to find playing time in his next organization. He can probably dispatch Beaty if he continues to hit, but the depth chart is steep.

2:28
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Cron *could* and if I’m a team that wants a cost-controlled average 1B for awhile, I’m calling up Arizona

2:30
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’d still like to see Kevin and C.J. form a two-man band called The Cronic. Maybe go like Mates of States and just go organ and drums.

2:30
Rays Fan in Boston: If you had a choice between sticking with Choi or going all in on N. Lowe and trading Choi, where would you stand?

2:30
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Latter

2:32
Magic Kingdome: Who is the biggest name traded at the deadline this year?

2:34
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I can see the White Sox trading Luis Alexander Basabe for help if they’re in the wild card race. Other possible players are Julian Merryweather, Daniel Ponce de Leon,  Esmerling de la Rosa, or Dom Thompson-Williams.

2:35
Nolan: a lot of Padre fans are upset that Preller didn’t go after Marte harder. How crazy is it that I (personally!) don’t see a 1-2 win upgrade over Margot as worth the price, given where SD is in terms of projected wins? If you’re gonna upgrade in the OF, then UPGRADE!

2:35
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I like Margot, but I really would have liked teh Padres to make this trade.

2:35
Adam: What’s your favorite palindrome?

2:35
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Murder for a jar of red rum

2:36
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m a big of a A man, a plan, a canal, Panama

2:36
Avatar Dan Szymborski: big fan of

2:36
Avatar Dan Szymborski: A Santa lived as a devil at NASA

2:37
Avatar Dan Szymborski: And the old classic “Able was I ere I saw Elba” which is both a perfect one in that the words stay the same length, but it also sounds like it was about Napoleon

2:37
Adam: Looks like this chat has turned into an interview.  Just you and me, Dan.

2:38
Lee: “Dispatching Beaty” seems like a good way to guarantee more playing time, but only if Rojas carefully covers his tracks to avoid arrest and prosecution.

2:38
Kip: What’s a good way for an amateur to learn baseball modeling/projections?  There’s a book I saw on Amazon about baseball stats with R; I thought about checking it out, but wasn’t sure if there was a more specific resource.

2:39
Avatar Dan Szymborski: That’s a good book

2:39
Avatar Dan Szymborski: If you’re talking about this one:

2:39
Montana Sports Fans: Actually, Dan, getting blacked out of Mariners games is something to be *very thankful* for, given the state of the franchise.  And the lack of easily accessible Mariners games on TV makes it easier for us Montana residents to justify picking a different (read: better) team to root for.

2:39
TP: Normally when there is a chat on the Fangraphs site its at the top of the page and says live or join now.  Yours does not.  I clicked on it expecting to read a transcript…

2:39
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I wonder if I broke something.

2:39
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Well, consider this an Exclusive, Secret Chat.

2:39
Royal pain: Is H. Dozier’s ZIPs about what you expect, or would you take the over based on last season?  Thanks.

2:39
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I might take the mild over.

2:39
Adam: thought Taco Cat for sure

2:40
Them: I hope the Mets don’t package Dom Smith just to ditch Lowrie, but do you think they are actually getting any offers for Smith by himself that make it worth giving up his potential upside, especially in the event of an Alonso injury? I’m hoping Matt Adams is AAA insurance, break glass in case of emergency material.

2:41
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Smith is a hard player to evaluate, given that he’s all over the place.

2:41
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I don’t think teams are making big offers, if anything, but I would imagine most are curious.

2:41
Kevin: Did ZIPS change at all with the hires of Baker and Girardi? Wondering if Philly is likely to run more now that Kapler is out? Wondering about Baker’s poor in game maneuvers for the Stros

2:41
Avatar Dan Szymborski: No, I considering managerial doings and transpirings out of ZiPS purview.

2:41
Adam: Best bet for a completely out of the blue 4-WAR season?

2:41
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Trout. He coudl get injured!

2:42
Chad: Alec Mills have any chance at the #5 spot in CHI

2:42
Avatar Dan Szymborski: He has to have some chance. I mean, when is Tyler Chatwood going to have an ironclad hold on any job?

2:43
Avatar Dan Szymborski: And I don’t think the team’s likely to stick Oil of Zolay in the fifth spot early on

2:43
mt: All the Billy Hamilton questions gave me an idea… Angels sign him, play him when Ohtani starts, use a DH for Hamilton, and Ohtani bats for himself. You’re welcome Angels.

2:43
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Wait, what?

2:44
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The DH is not a wild card. Or am I not reading correctly?

2:44
Morbo: Dan, if you were developing zips from scratch today what changes would you make? Not develop it in Excel?

2:45
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Do I get to start with my money? I’d pay someone to Pythonate it as I go.

2:45
Adam: How many years of World Series matchups could you rattle off from memory, before you got one wrong or blanked?

2:45
Avatar Dan Szymborski: OK, doing this now

2:46
Avatar Dan Szymborski: OK, one of you stop me when I get one wrong

2:46
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Nats/STros

2:46
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Red Sox Dodgers

2:46
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Astros Dodgers

2:47
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Indians Cubs

2:47
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Royals Mets

2:47
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Giants Royals

2:47
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Red Sox Cards

2:47
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Giants Tigers

2:47
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Cardinals Rangers

2:47
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Giants Rangers

2:47
Avatar Dan Szymborski: uhhh

2:47
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Phillies Rays?

2:47
Avatar Dan Szymborski: no, there’s a Yankees Phillies in there

2:47
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I can’t remember if the Rays or Yankees year was first now

2:48
Price: wrong. yankees phillies in 09, not rays

2:48
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Bah, guessed wrong.

2:48
TP: Tell us a story about the origins of ZiPS.  Is there a ZiPS 101 we could read?

2:48
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’ve done the story so many times on the radio/print that I can recite it almost identical wording!

2:49
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Back in the mid-late 90s, Chris Dial and I used to talk about how we could make a very basic projection system that would perform as well as anything floating around at the time.

2:49
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Kind of what Tango did later with marcel

2:49
Avatar Dan Szymborski: But we never did it because of laziness

2:49
Avatar Dan Szymborski: But I was blogging for BTF and I liked DMB projection disks, so I decided to revisit, with something more complicated

2:49
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Nobody at the time was really using DIPS stuff in projections so I wanted to incorporate some of Voros’s research

2:50
Avatar Dan Szymborski: which is why I wanted it to rhyme with DIPS

2:51
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I started out with SIPS but I thought it sounded like a hipster juice box restaurant and ZIPS sounded like a shitty shoe for five year olds, so I went with ZiPs because I liked CHiPs as a kid. But I accidentally wrote it as ZiPS the first time and Jay picked it up in his blog at the time so I just left it at that

2:52
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Jay was writing at Futility Infielder at the time.

2:53
Avatar Dan Szymborski: And was upsettingly moustacheless.

2:53
Avatar Dan Szymborski:

2:54
Oil of Zolay: Thanks for inspiring my new chat name.

2:54
Morbo: DONT BELIEVE HIM! DAN IS LYING! ZIPS really started when Dan was bitten by a non-radioactive spider and had to spend 2 months in bed due to necrosis of his left abdominal muscle and had nothing better to do than feed Excel 6000 player seasons of data and what popped out the other end. FYI the s secretly stands for spider

2:54
Adam: Who was your favorite baseball player when you were 5 years old?

2:55
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Cal Ripken

2:55
Kevin: Follow-up: Managerial decisions outside the prevue of ZIPS: Is that because the modeling would be too difficult to actualize, because the variance is so small, because you would lack relevant information without extensive organization interviews/modeling, all the above?

2:55
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think there’s too much noise

2:55
Sox Fan: Do you do any other kind of projection systems besides baseball? I think the stuff 538 does in terms of modeling is fascinating since they cross over the spectrum so much

2:55
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I actually have quite advanced NFL/NBA stuff that is still in very very extensive testing

2:55
Matt Klentak: Your chats are the best so I dont think its the time slot. The link to this chat says it was created 13 hours ago, & doesnt pop up on the header that “Dan is chatting now” IM assuming people think they missed the chat, or didnt think you were still answering ?s 13 hours later

2:55
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Their loss!

2:56
TP: FutilityInfielder.com now takes you to a website for a Canadian pharmacy

2:56
Avatar Dan Szymborski: You have to actually type it in, the search appears to have been hjacked somehow

2:56
Gregg: What’s your definition of a “number 1” or “number 2” starter?

2:57
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think of a number one as having an ERA+ around 120-125, number two around 110, number three 96-100, fourth 92-95, fifth in the high 80s

2:57
Avatar Dan Szymborski: This is mostly based on Chris Jaffe’s research awhile ago

2:57
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Teams actually got worse than high 80s for fifth starters, but those guys tend to be replaced.

2:57
Avatar Dan Szymborski: If a team’s fifth best starter is in the high 80s, they tend to keep their fifth job

2:58
Matt Klentak: Should I believe in Frankie Montas’ drug infused small sample size of dominance?

2:58
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I don’t see any particular reason to worry

2:58
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’ve yet to find any predictive value from knowing a drug suspension happened.

2:59
Avatar Dan Szymborski: And trust me, I’ve looked obsessively, because any crumb that might have predictive value, I scoop up like my dumb tux cat eating fuzzballs

2:59
Craig: Can Soroka repeat his rookie season productivity?

2:59
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Not quite as good, but I like him more than most

2:59
Kevin: Is there any type of position that is especially difficult to nail down the projections on consistently? I would presume catcher but just checking

2:59
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Young catchers are frigging nightmares.

2:59
Avatar Dan Szymborski: And for teams too.

2:59
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Look how many hot young catchers just went BARF

3:00
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Sorry, I use BARF in that way.

3:00
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Because

3:00
Avatar Dan Szymborski:

3:00
Elliott: “Futility Infielder” sounds like the Babblefish translation to English of a name like “Adeiny Hechavarria.”

3:00
Adam: This is the best chat yet; I’ve never had so many questions answered.  It’s like when I was a kid and I went to Disneyland when it was raining.

3:00
Morbo: Is it just me or does Jay look a bit like a young predisgraced John Edwards

3:00
Eddie Escobar?: Why does everyone hate me so much this year?

3:00
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Does everyone hate you? ZiPS seemed to like you fine.

3:00
Swirk: Does the rumor that Chili Davis is full of beans have any impact on your stance?

3:00
Avatar Dan Szymborski: People are made of meat.

3:00
Johnny5Alive: Just need to put out there that Mahomes hit his over on rushing yards and then on the three consecutive kneels to end the game, when he ran backwards to try to milk more clock, he dropped below his yards total and that made me very upset.

3:01
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I don’t like kneels

3:01
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think that any rushes that don’t gain yards within the two minute warning should stop the clark.

3:01
Avatar Dan Szymborski: CLOCK

3:01
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I JUST SPELLED CLOCK AS CLARK

3:01
mike: should teams keep good players?

3:01
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Ideally

3:02
Matt Klentak: Quarterbacks dont lose yardage on sacks tho? They can only finish w/ positive rushing yards

3:02
Avatar Dan Szymborski: It’s not considered a sack

3:02
Matt Klentak: SAVE THE NECK FOR ME CLARK!

3:02
Pythonating ZIPS: Hit me up!

3:03
Avatar Dan Szymborski: At this point, it would probably cost me 100K given how large ZiPS is and I don’t see me getting 100K of benefit out of it.

3:03
Morbo: If you could change one baseball rule and only one permanently what change would you make. Specifically as it relates to play on the field not player transactions or coaching or management decisions

3:04
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Not sure it counts, but I’d like to trim down the balk rule a bit.

3:04
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I *am* a fan of a pitch clock though.

3:04
Avatar Dan Szymborski: It’s not that baseball games are too long so much as baseball games have a lot of down time where nothing’s going on

3:05
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Yeah, NFL has a ton of downtime, but you can fill time analyzing individual plays which has less variety in baseball

3:05
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’d also limit batter timeouts and stuff.

3:06
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Batters get one and if there’s a second one for injury, the player is automatically removed from the game

3:06
TP: If it turns out there is a measurable trash can effect, how does that impact ZiPS?

3:06
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Then ZiPS will be high on the batters

3:06
Matt Chapman: DH is restricted to being used for pitchers, and Montas had _non-therapeutic_ levels (per MLB) of a substance found so commonly as _an unlisted ingredient_ in OTC supplements that the anti-doping association had to change it’s rules. Ostarine is also harder to hide than other similar substances that provide better results. Montas was screwed by technicalities.

3:06
Morbo: An NFL game is 95% downtime

3:06
Avatar Dan Szymborski: But NFL has more variety on pitches

3:06
Avatar Dan Szymborski: err plays

3:07
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The NFL has time-filler content more readily available

3:07
Kevin: Would you sell ZIPS for the right amount of money? Would you sell your cats for the right amount of money? Now would you sell your chili stance and accept beans in chili if paid enough money? I just watched a Hulu has live sports commercial…

3:07
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Yes, but the right amount of money is a lot more than ZiPS would probably sell for.

3:08
Appa Yip Yip: Burps are just mouth farts

3:08
Avatar Dan Szymborski: That’s a good one to end on!

3:08
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Thanks for coming y’all and I’ll see you in aboot ten days.

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Dan Szymborski is a senior writer for FanGraphs and the developer of the ZiPS projection system. He was a writer for ESPN.com from 2010-2018, a regular guest on a number of radio shows and podcasts, and a voting BBWAA member. He also maintains a terrible Twitter account at @DSzymborski.

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