Dan Szymborski FanGraphs Chat – 3/8/17 by Carson Cistulli March 8, 2017 2:00 Dan Szymborski: It has started, a time for chats. 2:01 Dan Szymborski: OH NO I DONT HAVE A 20 MINUTE QUEUE OF QUESTIONS WAITING 2:01 Dan Szymborski: Will…..have…..to……type…..first…..answers……slowly 2:02 splits user: have you released zips splits yet for 2017/do you know when they will be available? 2:02 Dan Szymborski: I have not. They’re done typically in mid-March. 2:02 The Average Sports Fan: What criteria would you use to evaluate a GM/Front Office if you were an owner? 2:02 Dan Szymborski: You don’t have a lot of great GM metrics, I’d suss out how I feel about the people in quesiton after discussing their philosophies, their plans, and what they’ve done in the past. 2:02 Erik: The MLB currently can’t obligate players to go to the WBC, but the tournament would certainly be better if it could. Is that something they may push for in the next CBA? 2:02 Dan Szymborski: No. 2:04 the man: Hoskins or Cozens? 2:04 Dan Szymborski: With Kendrick/Brantley, if they made the roster, they’d both likely be on the bench, so I’d want both full-time starting in the minors. 2:04 Bork’s Unborn Son: do you like dogs? 2:05 Dan Szymborski: Yes, but I also don’t like waking up at 6 AM to go for a walk, so cats get the edge. 2:05 Ned Yost: So Charlie Morton is a real thing now. He hit 98 today! 2:06 Dan Szymborski: He had a big uptick last year too. 2:06 Dan Szymborski: He’s the Benjamin Button of pitchers. 2:06 Dan Szymborski: In 10 years, he’s going to be rookie Dwight Gooden. 2:06 the man: I hate Excel. Why can’t more college courses use R 2:07 Dan Szymborski: Don’t they typically use a lot of R now? 2:07 Dan Szymborski: We used a lot of Statistica in college. 2:07 Dan Szymborski: I do like my Excel though. 2:07 Bork’s Unborn Son: Who is your favorite player? 2:07 Dan Szymborski: Mussina 2:07 Bork’s Unborn Son: would you dance if i asked you to dance? 2:07 Dan Szymborski: No. 2:07 Big Joey: Would you be shocked to see Trevor Story, Gary Sanchez or Alex Bregman as a top 10 pick next season? 2:07 Dan Szymborski: Not shocked. 2:08 Dan Szymborski: If Story’s healthy for a year and doesn’t regress much, Coors can make him a top 10 pick without him being an ultra-elite player 2:08 Dan Szymborski: Sanchez would surprise me a bit just because people shy away from catchers that early 2:09 diadem: Where does Nunez bat in SF? 2:09 Dan Szymborski: I would guess 6th/7th or so. 2:10 the man: Do you think a baseball team could ever come to Delaware (Wilmington ?) 2:10 Dan Szymborski: YOu have something against the Blue Rocks? 2:12 Dan Szymborski: I could very well see New Jersey kinda get a Delaware Valley team in theory at some point in the future to kinda split somewhat a very large market with some of Philadelphia’s fan base, but don’t see an MLB team based in Delaware 2:12 Bork’s Unborn Son: Who would you rather start a franchise with: Sanchez, Swasson, Beintendi or Bregman? 2:12 Dan Szymborski: Swanson 2:12 Zack: Is Tim Tebow the next Bryce Harper?? 2:12 Dan Szymborski: In that they both exist. 2:12 greg: cat update please. 2:13 Dan Szymborski: They’re all asleep. 2:13 Sonny: how does Tebow’s Zips projection compare to Phil Mickleson’s and Garth Brooks? 2:13 Dan Szymborski: More miracles. 2:13 not Matt Joyce: could Matt Joyce see his career revitalized in Oakland? 2:13 Dan Szymborski: I thought he saw it revitalized in Pittsburgh. 2:13 Dan Szymborski: He’s in the David DeJesus stage of his career no matter what really. 2:14 Hannah Hochevar: Trying to get an opinion on Jayson Aquino, who Buck says will be the 5th man for the O’s… 2:14 Dan Szymborski: He’s the most likely to nail down a job in spring that he didn’t previously. Been tinkering with his curve and it’s been working so far. 2:14 Also Dan: Do you know of any good deals for ESPN Insider? My subscription just ran out and I want to re-up. 2:15 Dan Szymborski: If it still works, SpeedyMags with ESPN3 code is usually 3 years for $18. 2:15 Dan Szymborski: That tends to be the best deal. 2:16 David: Chris Hatcher: Late reliever, Middle Reliever or DFA candidate? 2:16 Dan Szymborski: Middle relief guy most likely 2:16 Mookie Cookie: With Nolan Arenado’s batting profile + coors doesn’t it seem he’s due for a “lucky” babip year at some point? With that he could put together a avg north of .305 along with the usual power towards an MVP season? 2:17 Dan Szymborski: Oops, there’s Galileo, who is awake and hungry. 2:17 Brandon: Yankees cant keep all those prospects. Why not get Quintana now? 2:17 Dan Szymborski: I don’t think they want to pay the White SOx asking price. 2:17 Forsyth: DON’T YOU DARE TALK BAD ABOUT EXCEL 2:17 Ryan: Pork chops in the oven, slow cooker, or stove top? 2:18 Dan Szymborski: You can do all three! Depends how fatty they are. The fattier they are, the slower the cooking. 2:18 Dan Szymborski: Though actual chops stove top or oven 2:18 John: Is this as good as its going to get for the Orioles in your lifetime? Is there no god? 2:18 Dan Szymborski: I’m banking on 40 years so I hope the O’s become a top-tier team for some of those. 2:19 Dan: Have you ever heard of the projection system from “NumberFire”? Someone cited it in an article I read and it seemed like a joke. 2:19 Dan Szymborski: Haven’t looked at them with much seriouness. 2:19 Noah: Do you believe in the Twins’ defensive improvement? PECOTA has them 60 runs better on defense alone 2:19 Dan Szymborski: They *should* be much better. 2:19 the man: you’re not getting any questions; you’re going to have to answer my esoteric and weirdly specific question about a Delaware baseball team 2:20 Bill: Will Addison Russell ever steal 10 bases in a season? 2:20 Dan Szymborski: It’s possible. Who knows where he ends up playing for years and years down the road. 2:20 Mikey B. : Jose Ramirez a good bet to repeat 2016 performance? 2:20 Dan Szymborski: 2016? No. But ZiPS has liked him for a long time. 2:20 the man: yes, they’re a Royals’ affiliate. I want a Philly/Wilmington super-mash up 2:21 O’s Nos : If ignoring saves altogether, who is the second best O’s reliever to own in standard leagues after Britton? 2:22 Dan Szymborski: O’Day in 4×4, Givens in 5×5. 2:23 Confused: Dan what’s the best way to begin learning R and the intricacies of Excel for a total noob? 2:23 Dan Szymborski: I haven’t read it, but I’ve heard a lot of industry raves about the Marchi/Albert book. 2:23 O’s Nos : Throwdown with starters with fun names to say: Pomeranz, Smyly, or Odorizzi? 2:24 Dan Szymborski: Smyly works the best I think. 2:24 Dan Szymborski: Odorizzi if you’re into really bad Italian accents 2:24 Dan Szymborski: In which case DeSclafani is better. 2:24 Dan Szymborski: For the bad Irish accents, there’s Brandon Finnegan. 2:24 Dan Szymborski: I like saying Bumgarner because you can make butt jokes. 2:25 Dan Szymborski: And Cueto’s fun to say because it reminds me of total recall. 2:25 the man: Something I have seriously wondered. With all the suspensions for amphetamine(s) in baseball, why don’t players use methylphenidate (Ritalin, Focalin). Does MLB test for this? 2:25 Dan Szymborski: I’m not sure, I’d have to look at the drug list. 2:26 Dan Szymborski: metylphenidates have a dosage, u nder 1000 nanograms per milliliter 2:26 5 Run Homer: I don’t have a question but I wanna see the little streak of blue when I get a question accepted 2:26 Dan Szymborski: What streak of blue? I’m not seeing it. 2:26 JoeB: Salazar has been having issues with walks this spring. Is he worth the gamble of keeping him at $10 this year or do you think an injury recurrence is just around the corner? 2:26 Dan Szymborski: I’m not worried yet. 2:26 the man: On a scale from 1-10, how screwed am I for my ACCT208 exam tomorrow? 2:26 Dan Szymborski: 2. You must be quite confident if you’re hanging out here. 2:26 O’s Nos : In all correspondence with Travis Sawchik, do you include a photo of Nick Markakis? 2:27 Dan Szymborski: You guys already get me in trouble wiht him, I don’t want to get blocked! 2:27 Dan Szymborski: Oh, I have radio at 3, so I have a hard stop time, so include your random crap questions rather than waiting for a Lightning Round. 2:27 Maverik312: Tebow got hosed on strike 3 2:28 Noah: Do any of the Twins’ starters besides Ervin Santana post an average season? Which one is most likely? 2:28 Dan Szymborski: I think Berrios, simply because ’16 in MLB aside, he *does* have updie. 2:28 Ian Desmond: with my new home I’ll show that my contract is a huge bargain and become a perennial 290/20/20 player right? right? just need to make contact and it’ll fly! 2:28 Dan Szymborski: If you hit 290/20/20 as a 1B in Coors, the Rockies are probably a loser on the contract. 2:28 Bill: Do you prefer Tommy Joseph or Greg Bird? 2:28 Dan Szymborski: Bird 2:29 O’s Nos : How did you celebrate the last O’s World Series Title? 2:30 Dan Szymborski: It was like 8 PM and I was 5. I think I celebrated by getting bedtime. 2:30 intelati: I just had this realization in the car. Excel is a pseudo-Visual programming language. 2:30 mike sixel: Phil Hughes: effective starter, effective reliever, ugh he’s signed for multiple years? 2:30 Dan Szymborski: He’s had his moments before., 2:30 PD: Stack overflow for Lotus 1-2-3 2:30 intelati: Kind of overused sometimes, but so versatile 2:30 Jeff in T.O.: Nope, pork chops go on the grill! 2:30 Greg bird: Why does Zips hate me so much? I always rake when healthy 2:31 Dan Szymborski: And you don’t feel that any uncertainty due to an entire missed season due to injury at a key development point should be considered? 2:32 O’s Nos : Were you the kids with the “Let It Be Lowenstein” sign at the ’79 World Series? 2:32 Dan Szymborski: I WA ONE 2:32 Dan Szymborski: I WAS ONE 2:33 Dan Szymborski: If I had a sign, I’d probably chew on it and then barf, or whatever I was doing at age 1. 2:33 Mickey : Hey Dan, what kind of numbers do you see for Yasmani Grandal this year? He was great in the second half last year. You think the Dodgers start playing him a bit more? He seemed to sit A LOT last year 2:33 Dan Szymborski: They’re trying to be careful, the Dodgers lose everything they love to injury! 2:33 O’s Nos : Best ball player ever from Delaware? 2:33 Dan Szymborski: Hmm, Goldschmidt? 2:33 Nils: Do you think Swihart takes over everyday catching duties this year? 2:34 Dan Szymborski: I would guess no, unless he really finally takes another big step up 2:34 MB: are platoons generally less effective for good offensive teams due to the starting pitchers likely not going as to deep into the games? 2:34 Dan Szymborski: I dont’ think that’s enough to make a difference. 2:34 O’s Nos : Ever visit the screen door factory in Delaware? 2:35 Dan Szymborski: What’s with the Delaware questions? 2:35 Dan Szymborski: Is Delaware the Nick Markakis of states? 2:35 Ampersand: Are you participating in A Day Without Women? I don’t think cats count 2:35 Dan Szymborski: There are no women in the house, so I guess I am? 2:35 Jerj Clooners: Does Zips take into account most of the data Tony Blengino does in his quality contact reports? Interested if the projection for Alex Bregman takes into account some of his disappointing contact metrics. 2:35 Dan Szymborski: Some of the data is in ZiPS, but not all of it. 2:36 Dan Szymborski: No pull stuff 2:36 SoupDawg: Which hitting prospect and which pitching prospect will have the greatest impact this season in MLB? Moncada and Giolito can be included, but let’s keep Swanson out of this conversation okay? 2:37 Dan Szymborski: Well, Benintendi, who I’m benintentionally choosing because he’s still a rookie. 2:37 Dan Szymborski: And given the Pirates probalby in a fairly close wild card battle, Glasnow could eventually give htem the edge. 2:37 Chuncey Wiggins: If you had to create the ultimate 5-man dodge ball team from players of the MLB, who is going to make the squad? 2:37 Dan Szymborski: I’d go with smallish pitchers with good fastballs? 2:37 Dan Szymborski: I haven’t done much dodgeball baseball projections. 2:38 Dan Szymborski: So Carlos Martinez? 2:38 Dan Szymborski: Samardzija for sure 2:39 Dan Szymborski: Now Shark isn’t small, but he’s got the WR experience 2:39 Dan Szymborski: Danny Duffy? 2:39 Dan Szymborski: Maybe Pineda, who is also not small, but he can probably absorb some dodgeballs 2:39 GERB: What do you expect from Brantley? You see him getting back to being an above average player again? 2:40 Dan Szymborski: I think above-average, but you gotta be conservative 2:40 O’s Nos : If the next movie in the Major League franchise was about the Orioles, what would be the hook? 2:41 Dan Szymborski: DEATH RICKARD: THE MEDIOCRE 5TH OUTFIELDER WHO EATS PEOPLE 2:41 Scott: According to the stats page, the league wide wRC+ last season was 97. I thought, by definition, it was 100. What am I missing? 2:41 Dan Szymborski: I don’t do any of that stuff for FG so I have no information that would help. 2:41 Dan Szymborski: My guess is they didn’t recenter it to the final league level? 2:41 Forsyth: if you like saying bumgarner because of butts i bet you love RA. 2:41 Nils: “Bumgarner throws one inside to Pujols…” 2:41 Chuncey Wiggins: Do you think Rodger Federer could hit a Androlis Chapman fastball? 2:41 Dan Szymborski: With a tennis racket, sure. But I think that would be bad for the racket. 2:42 Richard: Do you have a Zips projection for Ah-Seop Son (were he to ever make the move to MLB)? 2:42 Dan Szymborski: I haven’t mass done KBO/NPB players. I do them when I’m curious about something. 2:42 O’s Nos : I intentionally avoid watching the Royals’ feed to avoid that one guy who breaks out the “really bad Italian accent” every single time there is a name that sounds vaguely Italian. 2:42 ctw: whenever a question a user submitted gets accepted into the chat, that user sees it highlighted in blue to let you know your q was answered 2:42 Dan Szymborski: Ah 2:42 Dan Szymborski: Is it *that* exciting? 2:42 O’s Nos : The blue streak appears for questions you post that are under surveillance by the NSA. 2:43 Dan Szymborski: Was it better than Blue Streak the movie? 2:43 intelati: What do you think is the next Sabermetric revolution? 2:43 Dan Szymborski: Micronesia. Doesn’t sound like they have a large army. 2:43 CPA Forsyth: @ the man – If you’re taking a 200 level accounting course you better get good at Excel. 2:43 Chuncey Wiggins: Baseball player most likely to mistakenly put a jock strap on backwards? 2:44 Dan Szymborski: Papelbon 2:44 Dr. Manhattan: Better pitching matchup to watch…..Fister/Colon or Wang/Smoker? 2:44 O’s Nos : Best cat-related name in baseball? Bonus points if he is from Delaware. 2:44 Dan Szymborski: I’m going to go with Mat Latos’s cat, Cat Latos. 2:44 Sampson: Do you think Mazara will be an All-Star caliber player this year and next?!? 2:44 Dan Szymborski: This year/ No. 2:45 the man: Sam Crawford comp for a current day player. It’s cliche but I might go with Trout. Crawford wouldn’t be as good though. 2:46 Dan Szymborski: Mookington J. Betts? Though Crawford wa sa better hitter. 2:47 Dan Szymborski: I think we’re at a better time for infielders than outfielders really. 2:47 JKD: Ritalin and similar are regulated under the CBA – you can use them, but you need to have a sign-off that it’s for legit medical purposes (see Chris Davis failing to do so and getting popped for 25 games in 2015). 2:47 YKnotDisco?!: Do you have a favorite polish joke? 2:47 Dan Szymborski: The best one I can know I can’t repeat here. 2:48 Guest: Good lord…if Charlie Morton is hitting 98 now, is he the next Rich Hill? Lol 2:48 the man: I’m worried. Being 19, I can say “I’m 19, but my mind is older.” And then in July I can say “I’m 20, it’s a blessing; the essence of adolescence leaves my body now I’m fresh,” but what about when I’m 21? Also, if you don’t know anything about New York hip-hop, this question may be extremely confusing. Anything to not study, damnit!!! 2:48 976: Does Grant Holmes see MLB this year? 2:48 Dan Szymborski: I am confused about previous quesetion. 2:49 Dan Szymborski: As for Holmes, I’m going to guess no. 2:49 Dan Szymborski: Unless you mean on TV, where it’s easily accessible. 2:49 the man: Waitaminute, is O’s Nos an O’s fan from DE? Blasphemy!!! Also, it’s Delino DeShields IMO 2:49 JG: Talked to a development manager at Microsoft years ago. I got him to admit that for Excel (and other products) they shoot to please the average user. They know damn well they’re going to piss off higher end users with some of their annoying “features”. Personally, I use Excel for anything quick, MATLAB for anything involved. Haven’t tried R. 2:49 Pop Dinger: does Benintendi have trout upside? 2:49 Dan Szymborski: I dont’ think anyone can be said to have Trout upside. 2:49 the man: This is oddly creepy. I don’t think DE has gotten this much attention since Wayne’s World 2:49 Cru Jones: Did you know that Delaware is one of only four states that has the first same later for the name of the state and the name of it’s capital city 2:49 O’s Nos : Does Trey Mancini actually get 400 PA (the FG depth chart)? 2:50 Dan Szymborski: I say no. 2:50 Guest: Could Aaron Hicks break out in a JBJ type of way? 2:51 Dan Szymborski: As for Hicks? No. 2:51 Dan Szymborski: WHERE DID Q go? 2:51 Dan Szymborski: It was about whether Hicks could berak out like JBJ 2:51 Dan Szymborski: Which is no. 2:51 O’s fan: Are you buying Gausman as a top 25 SP this year? 2:51 Dan Szymborski: At the very end, *maybe* 2:51 YKnotDisco?!: Favorite wrestler of all-time? (if he doesn’t hail form parts unknown your answer is wrong!) 2:51 Dan Szymborski: It was Chris Benoit. An opinion obviously formed well before 2007, of course. 2:52 MB: More Homeruns in the next 5 years – Eloy Jiminez or Vlad Jr? 2:52 Dan Szymborski: Eloy’s closer to majors 2:52 Ampersand: have you considered installing LED lights? you could save energy 2:52 Dan Szymborski: No. 2:52 Sonny: Aaron Hicks is the Mike Trout of dodgeball 2:52 the man: Chuncey Wiggins, you’re not related to a ‘Ty’ by any chance, are you? 2:52 intelati: Do you use xStats (Not xFIP) but something like xBB%? A combination of Zone%, o-Swing%, and Z-Contact% (I forget the exact combo) gives a good R squared value and seems like it would be pretty stable 2:52 Dan Szymborski: I do use that data in current ZiPS 2:52 O’s Nos : Well, Delaware was the first state after all 2:52 dbet: Rich Hill’s dodgeball curve surely would get people. 2:53 Dan Szymborski: Can he do that with a dodgeball though? 2:53 Dan Szymborski: I don’t think you can throw Dodgeballs like in Super Dodgeball for NES. 2:53 Dan Szymborski: (Sam/John/Bill FTW BTW) 2:53 O’s Nos : Need Jarrod Dyson on your dodgeball team as a super quick guy with an underrated arm 2:53 Larry: I’m graduating this spring and am interning by an MLB team one of their scouting departments. But as I’m hoping to “rise through the ranks” and make a career out of this, I’m wondering is there a place for people in front offices who aren’t excellent at computing math. Can you simply be good at interpreting/implementing numbers instead of actually calculating? Do you have any suggestions on good masters degrees that may be able to help? Sorry for the somewhat loaded question. 2:54 Dan Szymborski: I think they go hand in hand. Programming skills are very useful. 2:54 Dan Szymborski: There are a lot of roles in a front office. 2:54 Mookle Brantlets: do you believe Nick Senzel has a higher floor than ceiling? if so, is this a paradox? 2:54 Dan Szymborski: Stop looking at houses upside down. 2:54 Barts: gotta think that Jose Altuve would be really good at dodgeball 2:55 Scrapper: I feel like this is the fourth or fifth season that I’m reading stories in the spring about Gausman about to have a big season. Why should we believe that THIS is the year? 2:55 Dan Szymborski: His bWAR/fWAR midpoint was like 3.6 WAR in 2016, it’s not l ike he’s chopped liver. Chopped Liver plays left for the Braves 2:55 Maverik312: GIDP with no outs. Run scored. #TebowWatch 2:56 Zock jr: Dan! Quick! I need help! His Altuve for my Benintendi, Glasnow, and Matz. 20 team H2H categories. 2:56 Dan Szymborski: You’re losing a ton of depth. 2:56 Charlie Morton: I hit 98 mph against the Mets today. Good sign or great sign? 2:56 Sonny: Wil Myer’s proprietary proj system says he’ll go 40/40 this year, how much would the rights to that system fetch on the open market? 2:56 Dan Szymborski: Well, let’s see if he does it. 2:56 Bill: How concerned are you about Dahl for this season? 2:56 Dan Szymborski: Not very 2:56 Ampersand: have you seen the video of a female softball pitcher laying out her opponents in dodgeball? it’s fantastic 2:56 Dan Szymborski: I hvae not. 2:57 Dan Szymborski: I would think that would transfer over well. 2:57 dbet: Love me some Super Dodgeball. It was the first game I bought on the Wii Virtual Console. I always struggled against those Ruskies. 2:57 Dan Szymborski: Just gotta focus on Boris. 2:57 intelati: I have to wonder if you have a fudge factor 2:57 Dan Szymborski: I find it too rich. 2:57 Ampersand: 2:57 Chuncey Wiggins: Considering this is a name I made up…yes, we’re practically brothers. 2:57 Michael Jordan: The ceiling IS the roof! 2:57 Andrew: Gotta think that Tim Tebow would be really bad at dodgeball. 2:57 Dan: Ugh, forgot about your chat. Don’t scold me Szym. 2:57 Sam: I play dodgeball once a week for the past 8 years, you can pretty easily throw a curveball 2:57 Dan Szymborski: That’s some deciation. 2:58 Dan: Do you want to buy out my bet on Team Israel at 20:1 ? 2:58 Dan Szymborski: To win? No way, Pazz. 2:58 Dan Szymborski: OK, got radio in like 2 minutes, so gotta take off. 2:58 Dan Szymborski: Thanks for chatting everyone! As a reminder, you can find my writing at ESPN.com, projections and chats at FanGraphs, and Dszymborski on Twitter.