Dan Szymborski FanGraphs Chat – 4/23/20 by Dan Szymborski April 23, 2020 12:02 Dan Szymborski: And we are LIVE from pandemic house arrest! 12:03 Takeshi Kovacs: C.J. Abrams is obviously a long way off. But how impressed is ZIPS by his first showing in pro ball? 12:04 Dan Szymborski: Very much show, for a projection system to put him 30th in the prospect ranking based on rookie ball, is impressive. 12:05 Big Joey: In your opinion, what does Wander Franco’s ceiling look like? .330 35 20? I know he’s not a power hitter now, but I imagine he will grow into it. I’ve heard discussions about him turning into something like prime Robinson Cano but with with more speed and potentially slightly better contact skills 12:06 Dan Szymborski: A bit aggressive with BA — nobody’s real ability ever spikes that high today — but ZiPS (and I and all the scouts) think that’ll come 12:06 Dan Szymborski: He had like 40 XBH total as an 18 year old and playing above rookie ball 12:06 Dan Szymborski: A lot of those will become home runs. 12:06 Sam: If I offered you a magic button where pushing it meant MLB would start by mid June, but you had to permanently and publically endorse beans in chili and could only eat chili with beans, would you push it? 12:07 Dan Szymborski: If you gave me this guarantee, I’d live on broccoli-coca cola smoothies through mid-June. 12:07 Dan Szymborski: Everybody’s got a price. 12:07 Dan Szymborski: 12:07 Wichita Cow Pies: Why not take the Arizona plan and employ one MilB team per franchise … a 32-man roster made up of players the team designates from their system? Seems a lot easier than fussing with the MLB Player Union. 12:08 Dan Szymborski: They pretty much have to fuss with the MLBPA (and a lot of prospects are on 40-man rosters too) 12:08 Numpty: In all seriousness, how are you doing, Dan? 12:08 Dan Szymborski: My cough is improved from last week! 12:08 Big Joey: Do you think the Twins recognize the greatness that is Tyler Duffey? Taylor Rogers is the closer but Duffey should be setting up for him 100% of the time. Does Romo/Clippard/whoever get more chances purely on name recognition, or do the Twins realize how nasty Duffey was in the 2nd half? 12:10 Dan Szymborski: I don’t know precisely what they know, but I suspect they do. 12:10 Dan Szymborski: Look at the game logs. 12:10 Dan Szymborski: https://www.fangraphs.com/players/tyler-duffey/13758/game-log?type=5&p… 12:11 Dan Szymborski: Let’s divide the season into thirds and use our shift click tool 12:12 Dan Szymborski: His entering game LIs went 0.57, 1.05, to 1.21 12:12 Guest: Do you think that MLB let the Red Sox determine what penalty was appropriate and then cut it in half? 12:12 Dan Szymborski: heh 12:13 Dan Szymborski: Yeah, it’s weirdly unsatisfying to see players getting immunity to throw the book at the freaking video operator. 12:13 Dan Szymborski: Like that dude had power to get the players to look at the in-game video. 12:13 Dan Szymborski: And the rumbling that the players were unclear if that was cheating 12:14 Dan Szymborski: If MLB’s done such a crap job communicating what’s legal and what’s not, why would you penalize the video guy at all? 12:14 Big Joey: If there isn’t a 2020 season, would guys like JT Realmuto benefit from taking a year off and resting their knees, legs, ect.? 12:14 Dan Szymborski: I’m honestly not sure since we’ve never had a league take a year off! 12:14 Numpty: Accounting for the shorter season in future projections: actual methodological challenge or just pain in the neck? 12:14 Dan Szymborski: A combination. 12:14 Dan Szymborski: 100 game mini-season, it’s just a pain in the neck. 12:15 Dan Szymborski: For 1982 and 1995 projections, filling in 1981 projections and 1994 projections for missing games turns out to be the best apparoch (doing a piece on this) 12:15 Big Joey: If there isn’t a 2020 season, are some players going to fall completely off the map, or will everyone return to basically the same skillset they had pre-virus? Like Will Gary Sanchez eat so much pizza and becomes so slow and un-athletic by 2021, that he no longer can play? 12:15 Dan Szymborski: It’s going to vary considerably. 12:15 Blue Morpho: If we were under normal circumstances do you think the Red Sox punishment would be the same? 12:15 Dan Szymborski: Probably. I think Milton Berle had a show when they started this investigation. 12:15 greg: Cat update please. 12:17 Dan Szymborski: Last I checked, Cassiopeia and Mercutio are asleep on different beds, Constantine was watching birds from the kitchen window (there’s a cardinal who hangs around my house who he wants to eat) and Justinian is asleep on my office couch. 12:17 Matt: I’m curious where your militant stance on the definition of chili came from. I’d lived 35+ years before I ever came across this take from anyone. Prior to this, I don’t think the definition of chil had ever been debated by anyone I’ve ever encountered. Meat, no meat, beans, no beans, it was always chili until now! 12:17 Dan Szymborski: And that’s why we’re in this mess! 12:17 Dan Szymborski: (The chili mess, not COVID-19) 12:17 Low on Food: Dan, thanks for chatting! I dipped apples in chili a few days ago. Is that ok with you? 12:17 Dan Szymborski: Well, as long as you’re not eating them. 12:17 baseball: ok 12:17 Sam: What are some of the strangest projections ZIPS has ever put out? 12:18 Dan Szymborski: Usually from mistakes and things I broke; projection systems aren’t known for being crazy 12:18 LFC Mike: Hi Dan..Glad you are chatting today. After we get back to whatever normal is what are expectations for Sixto Sanchez? Marlins tweaked his delivery a touch. Does he have upside surprise.. #2 starter maybe a 1? 12:18 Dan Szymborski: I think he does! He was a good add. 12:18 baseball: do you think baseball will start? 12:18 Dan Szymborski: At some point. What it comes down to is that there’s a *lot* of money involved and when there’s a lot of money involved, people find ways to get that money. 12:19 Dan Szymborski: There *may* not be baseball. But the idea that some people have that MLB is just gonna say “2020’s kinda sad, so screw this, everyone just show up fresh in 2021” is a bit silly. 12:19 Dan Szymborski: If MLB doesn’t have a 2020 season, it won’t be from lack of effort or creativity. 12:19 Billy Beane: Hey Dan, hope you feel better. Have you tried any new cooking during the quarantine? I tried beer cheese soup, which turned out terribly and potato soup, which ended up like thin mashed potatoes instead of soup (but still tasted good). 12:20 Dan Szymborski: Actually, I’ve cooked less since I’m eating all sorts of crap. 12:20 Dan Szymborski: I’ve had so many Doritos. 12:20 Dan Szymborski: And mom keeps bringing over pans of brownies 12:20 Dan Szymborski: I’ve had more brownies in the last month than the previous 41.5 years combined. 12:20 Geebs: Last time MLB lost significant games it was due to the strike and then when the player returned they turned a blind eye to steroids because HR’s bring eyes to the sport.Do you think MLB is more likely to use the superball now do to covid-19 lost time? 12:20 Dan Szymborski: In truth, baseball was always turning a blind eye to this kind of thing, not just post-1994. 12:21 Sam: Follow up question: what’s the weirdest projection ZIPDls has put out that you’ve said “yeah that looks right.”? 12:21 Dan Szymborski: Davis .247 last year! 12:21 Matt Klentak: So the Red Sox weren’t as efficient at cheating as the Astros but were much more efficient in covering it up is what I took from the report 12:22 Dan Szymborski: I’m doubly disappointed in teh Astros, both for the cheating and the incompetence and lack of high-tech approach to the cheating. 12:22 Eric the Red: More late 80s, early 90s Reds ZIPS projections please! 12:22 Dan Szymborski: I hope you guys enjoyed the piece! 12:22 Dan Szymborski: If people like this sort of thing, we’ll go and do more of these. 12:22 Dan Szymborski: I did this kind of thing more during the BTF days, but ESPN wasn’t that interested in these 12:22 Dan Szymborski: so I got out of the habit 12:22 Christian Colón for Men: Are you driving to Arby’s each day or does the Arby’s delivery guy visit so much that he is now your quarantine buddy? 12:23 Dan Szymborski: I haven’t had Arby’s since August of last year. 12:24 Dan Szymborski: I kind of associate Arby’s with my cat Galileo and since Galileo died last August, I haven’t had the urge to go. 12:24 Dan Szymborski: I miss my Arby’s buddy! 12:24 Dan Szymborski: 12:24 Christian Colón for Men: Sorry for the bummer question. Eat Arby’s. 12:24 Christian Colón for Men: I wanna know, have you ever seen the rain? 12:24 Dan Szymborski: heh 12:24 Christian Colón for Men: Of the various plans that have been floated where teams do not play at their home ballparks, which one do you think has the best chance of happening? 12:25 Dan Szymborski: Spring Training stadiums 12:25 LFC Mike: time to set things straight once and for all. Nesquik or Hershey’s syrup for chocolate milk? Hershey’s allows to you go with a light chocolate milk or a 10W30 mix. You can also put Hershey syrup on ice cream etc.. the squirt bottle for Hershey changed everything. Who remembers only having Hershey syrup in that can that dripped all over the place. This might be a generational thing. Hershey is the Coca Cola of chocolate in terms of age and stature.. Nesquik a little like Pepsi ..Poll question time! 12:25 Dan Szymborski: I dunno, I prefer the taste of the Nesquik powder though I’d use the syrup for everything else. 12:25 Dan Szymborski: Nestles is old too! 12:26 Dan Szymborski: 12:27 Wingman: How can these be what it is? Why is that? Why or what is responsible? 12:27 Dan Szymborski: Wait, what? 12:27 Replacement playa: Why wouldn’t ESPN or Fox Sports negotiate for the KBO to play, idk, 1-2 morning games a week so it’d be live at night in the US? Seems worth paying for rather than lowballing the league. 12:28 Dan Szymborski: They should. Expecting to get it for free is pretty unreasonable. 12:29 Dan Szymborski: Right now, ESPN needs the content more than KBO needs the US exposure 12:29 Dan Szymborski: Though no more for me! I got into this habit during quarantine 12:30 Dan Szymborski: (the chocolate milk, not the KBO) 12:30 Insert Clever Name Here: If you get the urge to cook and have a muffin tin, this turkey cheeseburger bite recipe is pretty simple but works well, and it’s good for small parties things like Super Bowl parties as well: http://www.browniebites.net/turkey-cheeseburger-biscuit-cups/ 12:30 Dan Szymborski: Can I substitute ground beref for the turkey? 12:31 Insert Clever Name Here: Probably could sub in ground beef, honestly. Also, out of curiosity, what’s the weirdest article you’ve thought about writing since quarantine began? 12:32 Dan Szymborski: Thought about doing a fashion review of 70s mustaches. 12:32 Guest: Favorite baseball statistical tidbit? Mine is Sammy Sosa’s 20 HRs in June 1998. 20 HRs in 27 team games! 12:33 Dan Szymborski: Greg Gagne once hit two inside-the-park homers in a single game. 12:33 LFC Mike: can anyone defend Nesquik Strawberry milk? 12:33 Dan Szymborski: Eww 12:34 TarzanStretch: When you’re talking to more casual baseball fans what’s their most common misconception about advanced stats? 12:34 Dan Szymborski: There’s a bunch of people who seem to think sabermetrics is stuff like “X is hitting .420 on Thursday evenings after rain delays in August!” 12:34 Insert Clever Name Here: Also, you’ve probably answered this many times, and I’m sure I’m blanking, but what modifications do you have to do for projections when looking at guys like Lindblom, Kikuchi (last year), and others who have spent the previous years abroad? 12:34 Dan Szymborski: ZiPS translates KBO and NPB stats based on the history fo back-and-forth moves, so no mods needed. 12:35 Kim Wexler’s T-shirt: At some point, should MLB just schedule the season as a 30-team bracket (giving last year’s AL and NL champs a bye) with teams playing best-of-7-games series? 12:35 Dan Szymborski: THe thing is, if they’re confident enough to even schedule this, then it’s probably OK to have a more normal year 12:38 Kim Wexler’s T-shirt: The tournament idea would be if they cannot start play until fall 12:38 Insert Clever Name Here: Re: sabermetrics misconceptions, a Braves fan decided on a whim one time to look up how people did under different arbitrary conditions, such as day of the week and such, and found that Folty was apparently the baseball equivalent of a werewolf, doing well around the full moon. Just thought you’d want to know. 12:39 Kim Wexler’s T-shirt: What would be your pitch for the next great baseball movie? 12:39 Dan Szymborski: I’d love to see a *dark* baseball movie. 12:39 Dan Szymborski: Like a GM who gets out of bad contracts by having players wander into Rube Goldberg death contraptions. 12:39 Billy Beane: I wish ESPN sucked less I want to watch the KBO. 12:40 LFC Mike: Dan, If Ohio opened up tomorrow like Georgia, what would you do: Haircut , Bowling Alley, Massage, tattoo or openly chastise and taunt a Skyline Chili restaurant? 12:40 Dan Szymborski: bowling? 12:41 Dan Szymborski: I don’t need a haircut (my avatar is from before I shaved my head) 12:42 Dan Szymborski: this is my current hair status 12:42 Dan Szymborski: 12:42 Dan Szymborski: So hair has a long way to go before haircut is needed. 12:42 Dan Szymborski: I don’t want a tattoo 12:42 Dan Szymborski: I’m not risking my health to save people from skyline 12:42 Dan Szymborski: and I don’t like massages 12:43 Billy Beane: Dan, ground beef is delightful, but the more you intend to spice it, the better I think Turkey fares as a substitute. In Tacos, especially, I feel like ground turkey really shines. Doesn’t have quite the right mouthfeel for chili, though. 12:43 Kim Wexler’s T-shirt: Which team has more hidden upside — Angels or White Sox? 12:43 Dan Szymborski: White Sox 12:43 tonyp: Dan which state would you liberate first and why? 12:43 Dan Szymborski: Ohio because I live there 12:43 Kim Wexler’s T-shirt: Have you affixed the name “Digital Dandy” to anything? 12:43 Dan Szymborski: I have not 12:43 Kim Wexler’s T-shirt: For a comedy, how about “Bad Shortstop”? 12:43 Insert Clever Name Here: If you’re referring to bad contracts as big and prohibitive, you’re basically describing “Twisted Farhan Zaidi: The Movie”. 12:43 Dan Szymborski: I’m just mad that they didn’t call me for the Saved by the Bell update series. 12:44 Dan Szymborski: In which Zack Morris is the governor. 12:44 Dan Szymborski: See, I’d do it *half* dark. 12:44 Dan Szymborski: Have half the episode be bayside high hijinks 12:45 Dan Szymborski: while the other half violent political thriller, having the Zack governor scenes being a kind of House of Cards type show. 12:45 Dan Szymborski: So you go straight from wacky nerds at the max to Zack having an environmental commissioner drowned 12:46 Jack: Hello! Did Kris Bryant peak in 2016? 12:46 Dan Szymborski: It’s certainly possible. More players peak early than people think 12:46 Jeff: Does Theo Epstein have any shot at catching Andrew Friedman historically? 12:46 Dan Szymborski: Not sure I understand the Q 12:46 Insert Clever Name Here: And heavy disagree with Billy Beane re: turkey chili. It can be a bit tricky to get it right, but it absolutely can be done well. 12:46 Alex: What incentive has been provided to teams to not cheat going forward? If you were a Team President of a competitive team, what would stop you from allowing your players and coaches to break the rules knowing that at worst you might have a cough up a draft pick or fire some person low on the totem pole? 12:46 Dan Szymborski: Draft picks is pretty serious, that’ slike a $20 million loss 12:47 Dan Szymborski: I’d want the cheating to be effective 12:47 Dbo: How much of a disaster is the NFL draft going to be tonight? 12:47 Dan Szymborski: I think it’ll be fine 12:47 Billy Beane: TBH, an actual good dark baseball movie would be about Josh Gibson. I don’t know whether he ever made any attempt to play in the bigs (there doesn’t seem to have been much time in trying during his lifetime) but if you show him, maybe Use the Larry Doby quote about him being heartbroken to make him a very depressed lead character who dies young. IT could be good! 12:47 Dbo: Relax Alex, cheating isn’t worth it just to get a piece of metal 12:47 Insert Clever Name Here: Also, quite a few bowling alleys here in Georgia are staying closed to be on the safe side, so might not be that great of an option. 12:47 Matt Klentak: What should my approach on Tinder be? Building foundational small talk for months? Holding all conversations until this opens back up? 12:48 Dan Szymborski: Don’t look at me, most of my human relationships have an undercurrent of low-key hostility 12:48 Joe: Since there’s no more meat and we live in the end times, is it acceptable to call chili with beans chili 12:48 Dan Szymborski: No, chili would just be exctinct 12:48 Dan Szymborski: extinct 12:48 Insert Clever Name Here: Actually, perfect team to make that horror movie would be the Rockies. Partly due to how they get out of the contracts, partly to see the Rockies front office at work on a day-to-day basis. 12:48 Dbo: Dan, not to get political but did you see Mark Warner’s tuna melt? The man uses an obscene amount of mayo and two slices of cheese 12:48 Dan Szymborski: I don’t really care for canned tuna 12:49 Dan Szymborski: and mixing cheese and fish kinda turns my stomach 12:50 Alex: Dan what are the odds that the Patriots hack into other teams draft boards on Zoom tonight? 12:50 Dan Szymborski: I hope 100%! 12:50 Dbo: is it chili if I use beyond meat? What if I use soylent green? 12:50 Dan Szymborski: Has to be beef 12:50 Sam: Is vegetarian chili truly chili or just a thick vegetable soup? 12:50 Dan Szymborski: It’s soup 12:50 Dan Szymborski: and also a lie 12:51 Dan Szymborski: Why try to make vegetables look like meat? You don’t see meat eaters trying to make salad that looks like salad but is 100% MEAT 12:51 Billy Beane: Klentak, you gotta do a romantic first date where you order the gal something from amazon, like indomie stir fry ramen, and a bouquet of flower pens, teach her how to cook it via video chat, and then watch the same movie on netflix. 12:51 Dan Szymborski: I love indomie ramen! 12:51 tonyp: More articles like the Eric Davis one- Doc Gooden? Thurman Munson and Roberto Clemente? Piersall? 12:51 Dan Szymborski: If people liked it sure! 12:51 Dan Szymborski: But I’m less inclined to do ones for people who have died. 12:52 Dan Szymborski: Feels al ittle skeezy 12:52 tonyp: we did liked it but I get the death part 12:52 Dan Szymborski: There are plenty of other careers that went off course! 12:52 Dbo: The next MLB draft should be held at Chuck E Cheese and the order goes into which GM wins the most tickets at skee ball 12:53 Dan Szymborski: Chuck E. Cheese is on Door Dash, which confuses me. Are people going there just for the food? 12:53 Human Rain Delay: Is Independent baseball really a substitute for towns losing an affiliated minor league team? 12:53 Dan Szymborski: No 12:53 Dan Szymborski: Unfortunately minor league baseball has little leverage 12:53 Dan Szymborski: because of the pandemic, MLB can literally just wait it out and just see how doesn’t go bankrupt, causing the leagues to contract “naturally.” 12:53 Jeff: Is there an exact moment in sports history when the sports media narrative flipped from “look at all this cool shit these guys are doing” to “can you believe they get paid?” 12:54 Dan Szymborski: free agency maybe? 12:54 Dan Szymborski: Admittedly, I’m paid to be a critic 12:54 Insert Clever Name Here: Also, just remembered re: Braves ZiPS projections, was surprised when Nolan Kingham’s projection came out. I get the WAR projection is likely coming from the innings pitched, but seeing ZiPS put that out for someone who only pitched 6 games above A+ was…interesting. 12:56 Dbo: So white chili isn’t really chili 12:56 Dan Szymborski: yes 12:56 Jeff: Is there any specific reason we know the salaries of athletes? Most of them aren’t white but make lots of money, maybe? 12:56 Dan Szymborski: It’s news! 12:56 Dan Szymborski: Paying players is a form of marketing 12:57 Dan Szymborski: The Phillies aren’t going to pay a bazillion to Bryce Harper and then not ADVERTISE that they are 12:57 Dan Szymborski: Same reason AAA games leak out their development costs. 12:57 Dan Szymborski: THIS GAME COST $200 MILLION!!!!!!! 12:57 Dbo: I don’t want to live in a world where skyline chili is considered more of chili than chili with chicken/turkey. Skyline chili doesn’t even have chili peppers in the recipe 12:57 Dan Szymborski: I’m not rating skyline chili higher! 12:57 LFC Mike: have you ever had Chili from Chili’s? 12:57 Dan Szymborski: no 12:58 Joe: never had chicken salad dan? 12:58 Dan Szymborski: But they even say it’s chicken 12:58 Dan Szymborski: But I don’t care for the whole ____ salad genre, except egg salad 12:58 Hoppy: Meat Cake! 12:59 Human Rain Delay: How many draft rounds are ideal from a draftee perspective? 5, 10, 20? Too many, then you can’t dictate where you land. 12:59 Dan Szymborski: 0? 12:59 Dbo: Last I checked it’s called chili because it’s based around Chili peppers, that’s what it’s not called ‘beef’. It’s also short for chili con carne which indicates meat is a secondary and non essential ingredient. WAKE UP SHEEPLE! 1:00 Dan Szymborski: On that note, it’s time for me to hit the old dusty trail for another week. 1:00 Dan Szymborski: Thank you for those who have come! Without baseball, our chats are a lot slower than usual!