Dan Szymborski FanGraphs Chat – 4/29/21

12:03
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The appointed time for chat has arrived.

12:05
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Also changed my avatar. Some of you were confused why I looked so old at 42. That was the Old Dan Szymborski avatar.

12:06
Avatar Dan Szymborski:

12:06
Greg: Can Huascar Ynoa stick as a starter? Pretty much fastball/slider only so far.

12:08
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I do worry about two-pitch starters. I’ve wanted Kevin Gausman to develop an actually effective breaking pitch for years now to at least a cutter or something.

12:10
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Hitters are very adaptable creatures. I’d love if Ynoa’s occasional change was more of a weapon he could use

12:10
Appa Yip Yip: How many small children did you have to shove to the ground to be first in line to write the Bridich/Rockies piece?

12:10
Appa Yip Yip: Did your gleeful cackles haunt the night?

12:11
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Ha! Actually, I wasn’t on the PC when it happened and Ben helpfully pinged me right as it was announced, enabling me to get dibs!

12:11
Avatar Dan Szymborski: We usually go by dibs except for certain particular topics. I get dibs on ZiPS things, for obvious reasons, but I don’t believe I get Rockies dibs

12:12
psweeting: What were the ZiPS 99 percentile  projections for DeGrom and Trout this year?

12:12
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Percentile projections for pitchers not yet out of beta

12:12
Avatar Dan Szymborski: but for Trout

12:13
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The 99th percentile projection was a .307/476/780 line with 55 homers for 10.8 WAR

12:13
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Hey, it’s a *99*

12:14
Fat Spielberg: Do deGrom’s teammates hate him? Or maybe they like him too much, so they put a lot of pressure on themselves, causing them to fail? Or maybe they’re just bad at baseball? Which is it?

12:14
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I have a deGrom piece in the hopper RIGHT NOW!

12:15
Avatar Dan Szymborski:

12:16
Morbo: Dan, it’s still April

12:16
Avatar Dan Szymborski: for NOW

12:16
Dan Next Week: “May!”

12:16
Sharp: It appears that the woes of the Brave offense were a bit overstated and they’re actually going to be just fine haha

12:16
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I wasn’t overly worried – it’s a team with Acuña, Freeman, and Albies. I’m concerned about depth there on the offense

12:16
Appa Yip Yip: Should the Rockies trade for Nolan Arenado?

12:16
Avatar Dan Szymborski: MAYBE THEY CAN THROW IN ANOTHER $50 MILLION

12:16
KB: Why is ZiPS trying to pump the brakes on the Huascar Ynoa hype train?

12:16
Avatar Dan Szymborski: ZiPS hates everything.

12:16
Jefferson: Jesse winker is now top 10 by wRC+, but still cannot hit LHP. Is he a forever platoon player? Does Zips see any hope for improvement in his splits

12:17
Avatar Dan Szymborski: There’s always hope there with experience. Shawn Green and Ryan Klesko moved beyond needing platoon partners.

12:18
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Also remember, it’s 200 PA of lefties

12:18
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Generic platoon splits for hitters are better predictors of future platoon splits than ACTUAL platoon splits untill you get to a LOT of PA, in the 3000 total range.

12:18
Avatar Dan Szymborski: And even that just gets actual platoon splits to the level that it is *AS* predictive

12:21
Jefferson: I busted out the “a taco is a sandwich” hot take the other day. It made a lot of my friends very mad at me. I’m going to go eat a sandwich for lunch

12:21
Appa Yip Yip: I hear Brodie van Wagenan is available if there are any open GM jobs

12:22
Kyler: Guillermo Heredia has improved his projection significantly since the start of the season. He’s really looked good at the plate. He’s the Braves CF for the rest of the season isn’t he?

12:22
Avatar Dan Szymborski: He’s been very solid, but Pache is Atlanta’s long-term play and it’ll be hard to derail that too much

12:22
Estevão: It’s moneyball deja vu for Beane in 2021. Semien gone, Hendriks gone and no money to replace them

12:22
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Plus the wild win-loss streaks

12:24
Andy: Any thoughts on Meadows? Is he just experiencing bad luck, or is he just a light hitter?

12:24
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I should note that with his career average BABIP, he has like a .900 OPS

12:24
Estevão: Springer and Semien are interesting but shouldn’t the Jays have focused a little bit more on pitching help

12:24
Avatar Dan Szymborski: They needed more than just that

12:24
Avatar Dan Szymborski: And the pitching options this offseason weren’t great

12:24
LFC Mike: The first Bridich Free chat. The pressure is on Dan.  If you had that job now…What would be the #1 and #2 items on your list   to do to start turning around that franchise?….and leaving Colorado is not an option….nor is building a huge pressurized bubble so it feels like pitching at sea level.

12:25
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’d clean house of anyone who had any stake in decision making

12:25
Avatar Dan Szymborski: though in reality, #1 would be finding a house in Denver and #2, getting blood pressure medication because of ownership

12:25
Cakes&Kakes: How many Orioles currently in the nightly lineup could Brandon Fahey outhit if he came out of retirement today?

12:25
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Ouch

12:25
brad penny for your thoughts: how many times a week do one of your cats throw up, be it hairball or otherwise?

12:25
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’d guess maybe 1.5 barfs a week or so?

12:26
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Galileo was always the barfy cat. Nearly every day. He was an obsessive groomer and had myriad hairballs

12:27
Guest: Are you still higher on Kirilloff than ZIPS?

12:27
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Yes

12:27
Nearhan Zaidi: How much do we need to cashapp you for a ZiPS percentile breakdown on Mike Tauchman?

12:27
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Hey, I *do* have a standard price for a full readout that includes that

12:27
Avatar Dan Szymborski: For you guys, free, though I’m not set up (yet) to have it integrated with in-season performance

12:31
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Coming into season, with fixed PA

12:31
Avatar Dan Szymborski:

12:31
R-Jay: What do you make of Vlad Jrs hot start? Has he arrived? There are some launch angle metrics that suggest he possibly has, but to me, the presence and relaxation he’s showing at the plate is noticeably on a different level right from the outset of the season. He’s taking pitches he didn’t in his first two years. It’s almost peak Miggy confidence I see. Thoughts?

12:31
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m quite optimistic! Remember I put him at my breakouts piece  at #1

12:31
Avatar Dan Szymborski: People forget how young he is

12:31
Johnny5Alive: Tony Wolfe had a good piece about the Giants rotation.  If you had to pick 1 of the guys (outside gausman) to keep up really good numbers (not the cy young numbers they are all putting up now) all season, who would it be?

12:31
Avatar Dan Szymborski: WHY CAN’T I HAVE GAUSMAN

12:32
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I will trudge over your bones to take Gausman

12:33
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Might actually be Cueto

12:33
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I was pessimistic, but the changeup is rocking this year

12:33
Avatar Dan Szymborski: and that was the missing formula

12:33
EL: What did you think of the Tauchman/Peralta deal?

12:33
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think it’s a fine deal, though I question the TIMING for the Yankees given their OF has been struggling lately

12:34
Appa Yip Yip: Have Vlad’s RoS ZiPS projections changed?

12:34
Avatar Dan Szymborski: They always do!

12:34
Avatar Dan Szymborski: In this case, preseason .839 OPS is now a rest of season .868 OPS

12:34
Dan: How many people are good enough currently to start for a major league team but aren’t because they’re more valuable getting seasoning in the minors, blocked on their team, playing overseas etc

12:34
Avatar Dan Szymborski: AS IF MINORS ARE A THING

12:35
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Fewer than there used to be

12:35
Avatar Dan Szymborski: NPB/KBO are now more viable options than 25 years ago and teams are more likely to give players chances

12:36
Avatar Dan Szymborski: guys like Roberto Petagine and Greg LaRocca likely have real MLB careers now

12:36
David: How predictive, in general, is a season’s first month regarding a team’s or player’s rest of season performance? Somewhat, slightly, not at all predictive?

12:36
Avatar Dan Szymborski: slightly

12:37
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I did talk about this

12:37
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I give better details when I’m sitting down and writing a piece rather than talking off-the-cuff!

12:37
Grapes: Galaxy Brain: The Cubs can’t trade Baez, Davies or Pederson at the deadline if they all have 0 trade value

12:37
Avatar Dan Szymborski: oof

12:37
Appa Yip Yip: What team is Trevor Story on come August? German Marquez?

12:37
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Rockies

12:38
thephantomblot: What’s your take on Luis Castillo’s struggles this year? Do you see any positive indicators for a turnaround?

12:38
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m actually EXTREMELY worried

12:38
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Look at the velocity. THen look at the dropoff in contact rate

12:38
Bigfoot Erotica: You’ve expressed that you enjoy AEW, and I guess it isn’t any worse than whatever the hell the WWE is doing the past few years. But seems to me that trying to convince people that that the Young Bucks are some top badass team is like trying to convince a baseball fan that Ben Revere is a middle of the order slugger.

12:38
Cakes&Kakes: OMG DAN YOU’RE LATE!

12:38
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Fashionably so.

12:38
Eel Ffilc: When Bridich was let go, I knew there was only one man who was going to write the article.

12:38
Grapes: Can the Brewers still win the Central without a productive Yelich or Cain?

12:39
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Yes, the division just isn’t very good

12:39
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The Cardinals are likely the best team. But they’re not like the Dodgers or Padres

12:40
FalmerBloodElixir: Top 3 neural network predictions for records to be broken this year

12:40
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I just had a fun one the last few days

12:42
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I put all the key & peele college football names into it

12:43
Avatar Dan Szymborski:

12:44
Red: 42? I thought it was 82

12:44
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I was born in 78

12:44
Avatar Dan Szymborski: 1978 not the year 1978

12:44
Guest: I liked old dan more

12:44
Jason: What is a lobster?  I saw the term last week in a Fangraphs article but am not familiar with it

12:44
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Someone who lobs pitches

12:44
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Jered Weaver was a lobster.

12:44
Tristan: Can I believe in Nick Solak long-term? Or is this power surge merely a false dawn?

12:44
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’ve been mildly optimistic. He dserved a second chance after 2020

12:44
Zach: Odds MLB panic switches back to the old ball after All-Star break?

12:44
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Probably low.

12:44
Ivan: David Cone said he was a 2 pitch pitcher for 10 years before he was taught the splitter grip

12:45
DJ: Is it finally happening for Luis Urías? His underlying Statcast data is starting to look pretty solid.

12:45
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I hope so, I’ve been stanning for him

12:45
Brad Lipton: What is the best way for you to present ranges in your ZIPS projections in an efficient manner?  For example, if two different projection systems both have a person hitting 20 HR as their average, but one has a much higher 75th percentile prediction than the other, that is useful information to have for the reader.

12:45
Avatar Dan Szymborski: That’s something I’m still sorting out. It’s difficult, you have to trade off being detailed and having a massive flood of data

12:45
Avatar Dan Szymborski: So I’ve been going the percentile route lately

12:46
Phillip: You’re starting a franchise and can have Acuna, Tatis or Soto for the rest of their career. How would you rank them in this scenario?

12:46
Avatar Dan Szymborski: In that order

12:46
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I love all three

12:46
Avatar Dan Szymborski: But Soto’s a corner outfielder and Tatis has health questions

12:46
Marshall: Who finishes the season closer to their current pace: DeGrom or Trout?

12:47
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I know this is a crazy question, but I’ll say Trout is more likely to finish with 16 WAR than deGrom

12:47
Dan: 307 batting average seems really low for a trout 99th percentile or has zips already adjusted for the league wide tanking of batting averages

12:47
Avatar Dan Szymborski: It’s not a 99th percentile for JUST BA

12:47
Avatar Dan Szymborski: His 99th percentile BA is higher

12:47
Avatar Dan Szymborski: but for an OVERALL 99th percentile line, that’s what it averages

12:48
Avatar Dan Szymborski: A 99th percentile in EVERY skill would be a projection that was WAY above 99th percentile

12:48
gabriel: do you find yourself rooting more for guys that ZiPS likes? thinking of about Ha Seong Kim’s slow start

12:48
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I try not to, but it is inevitable

12:48
Avatar Dan Szymborski: It’s preferable to look smart than look stupid

12:48
Johndarc: Hey, are the Red Sox actually this good?

12:48
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I wouldn’t go that far

12:48
Tony O’D: Any research on lingering effects of getting hit in the face by a 97mph fastball? (P.S. JUst traded for Harper last week)

12:49
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Haven’t seen any

12:49
Avatar Dan Szymborski: But I imagine that there’s quite a variance depending on the exact spot the forces are applied

12:49
Marshall: Yesterday Fangraphs had a McCormick advertisement that seemed to suggest Chili has beans. Is that an official endorsement from Fangraphs, or does Fangraphs’ brass side with you?

12:49
Avatar Dan Szymborski: We have not had a staff meeting about chili

12:49
Avatar Dan Szymborski: BUT MCCORMICK LIES

12:50
Avatar Dan Szymborski:

I think my oregano is lying to me because maybe I’m just tired, but that math isn’t working.
4 Feb 2021
12:50
Avatar Dan Szymborski:

0.75 + 2.5 * 0.75 = 2.625

Or if they’re weirdly meaning 2.5 times as much, 1.875 ounces.

BUT WHY 2.12 ARE HERBS NOT BASE 10?

4 Feb 2021
12:51
Avatar Dan Szymborski:

Hey @mccormickspices, either you guys owe me about half an ounce of oregano or I owe you about a third of an ounce of oregano. Because 2.12 ounces is 1 7/8 times *more* oregano.
4 Feb 2021
12:51
Oddball Herrera: I love the first amendment, but disputes about what is and is not a sandwich is the single greatest argument for the merits repressive speech chilling regimes

12:51
Jon: Will the Giants be in the playoff race come September?

12:52
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Probably not. At least division. They could be a dark horse in WC2, but probably not

12:52
Guest: I read that at first as “Galileo was always the barfly cat”, which sounds like a fun kind of cat

12:52
Jason: Jed Lowrie has, so far, clearly outperformed his ZIPS projection. I’m curious though, has he outperformed his 3-year ZIPS forecast run after the 2018 season? Is this season really that much of an outlier if ZIPS knew he was healthy?

12:52
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Lemme check

12:54
Avatar Dan Szymborski: ZiPS only saw him as a .253/.319/.387 hitter in 2021 after 2018

12:54
Avatar Dan Szymborski: He’s *really* old

12:54
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think there’s some LOL Mets magic

12:55
Guest: Did MLB miss a chance with the Astros trash can scandal?  I think the better punishment would’ve been to keep it quiet, and plant someone in the stands to bang on a trash can at the incorrect moments

12:55
Avatar Dan Szymborski: then there might be trash can signal calibration

12:56
Avatar Dan Szymborski: THAT CAN ISN’T THE RIGHT PITCH

12:56
Yelnick McWawa: I don’t understand hitter-centric proposals to solve the “TTO problem.” I don’t think changes (like moving fences back or deadening balls) that would supposedly encourage hitters to put the ball in play would actually increase contact rate all that much. The pitching is just too good. I think you run the risk of creating a high-K low-power environment.

12:56
Avatar Dan Szymborski: You can do multiple things

12:57
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The idea is to *incentivize* putting balls in play

12:57
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Batters *can* make more contact, but you have to sacrifice other things to make more contact

12:57
Guest: Do you hate the Bally Gaming Broadcasts as much as I do? Texas Rangers broadcast I caught was awful.

12:57
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Yes

12:57
Guest: How close of a comp is Joe Sewell to Madrigal?

12:57
Avatar Dan Szymborski: It’s not crazy, relative to the environment

12:58
Avatar Dan Szymborski: ZiPS says George Kell.

12:58
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Ain’t bad to have a Hall of Famer in your comp list

1:02
Kevin Platinumstein: Are you brothers with The Amazing Jonathan?  You look like him.

1:02
Avatar Dan Szymborski: It’s possible. Though he’s funnier than I am!

1:02
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Nicer than the person who told me I looked like a cross between Shrek and Göring

1:02
Roberto Beers: A Dan A Chat A Thursday adsruhTAtahCAnaDA

1:02
Appa Yip Yip: Lobster used to be low class food (sea bugs ew gross), so in Cape Breton in the 50s and 60s you could tell the poor kids from the rich kids cause poor kids had lobster sandwiches on homemade bread and rich kids had bologna on wonder bread.

1:03
v2micca: I thought lobster was a term for a hitter notorious ending the inning with men Left On Base.  Dude, striking out with the bases loaded, that was a lobster effort.

1:03
Dan: Is there a way we can pull zips percentiles like you did for tauchman ourselves?

1:03
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Nofortunately

1:03
Marshall: I’m actually really surprised that Trout’s 99th percentile outcome is only 10.8 WAR.

1:03
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Not over the PA proejcted, whichi is fairly low

1:05
sadman:

Do you utilize any Arima modeling in your predictive stats? 
1:05
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I do not

1:05
brad penny for your thoughts:

1:05
brad penny for your thoughts: ever let the cats drive?

1:05
Cheesesteak: I would hope Bally would find a way to include some cool Pac-Man graphics into their broadcasts — maybe have Pac-Man eating ghosts after a homer.

1:05
Avatar Dan Szymborski: On that note, time to end the chat for another week!

1:05
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Thanks for coming everyone, and I hope to see you next time!





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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