Dan Szymborski FanGraphs Chat – 4/29/21 by Dan Szymborski April 29, 2021 12:03 Dan Szymborski: The appointed time for chat has arrived. 12:05 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 Dan Szymborski: 12:06 Greg: Can Huascar Ynoa stick as a starter? Pretty much fastball/slider only so far. 12:08 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 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 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 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 Dan Szymborski: Percentile projections for pitchers not yet out of beta 12:12 Dan Szymborski: but for Trout 12:13 Dan Szymborski: The 99th percentile projection was a .307/476/780 line with 55 homers for 10.8 WAR 12:13 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 Dan Szymborski: I have a deGrom piece in the hopper RIGHT NOW! 12:15 Dan Szymborski: 12:16 Morbo: Dan, it’s still April 12:16 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 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 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 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 Dan Szymborski: There’s always hope there with experience. Shawn Green and Ryan Klesko moved beyond needing platoon partners. 12:18 Dan Szymborski: Also remember, it’s 200 PA of lefties 12:18 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 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 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 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 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 Dan Szymborski: They needed more than just that 12:24 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 Dan Szymborski: I’d clean house of anyone who had any stake in decision making 12:25 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 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 Dan Szymborski: I’d guess maybe 1.5 barfs a week or so? 12:26 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 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 Dan Szymborski: Hey, I *do* have a standard price for a full readout that includes that 12:27 Dan Szymborski: For you guys, free, though I’m not set up (yet) to have it integrated with in-season performance 12:31 Dan Szymborski: Coming into season, with fixed PA 12:31 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 Dan Szymborski: I’m quite optimistic! Remember I put him at my breakouts piece at #1 12:31 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 Dan Szymborski: WHY CAN’T I HAVE GAUSMAN 12:32 Dan Szymborski: I will trudge over your bones to take Gausman 12:33 Dan Szymborski: Might actually be Cueto 12:33 Dan Szymborski: I was pessimistic, but the changeup is rocking this year 12:33 Dan Szymborski: and that was the missing formula 12:33 EL: What did you think of the Tauchman/Peralta deal? 12:33 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 Dan Szymborski: They always do! 12:34 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 Dan Szymborski: AS IF MINORS ARE A THING 12:35 Dan Szymborski: Fewer than there used to be 12:35 Dan Szymborski: NPB/KBO are now more viable options than 25 years ago and teams are more likely to give players chances 12:36 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 Dan Szymborski: slightly 12:37 Dan Szymborski: I did talk about this 12:37 Dan Szymborski: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/april-hitting-stats-mean-nothing-except-th… 12:37 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 Dan Szymborski: oof 12:37 Appa Yip Yip: What team is Trevor Story on come August? German Marquez? 12:37 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 Dan Szymborski: I’m actually EXTREMELY worried 12:38 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 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 Dan Szymborski: Yes, the division just isn’t very good 12:39 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 Dan Szymborski: I just had a fun one the last few days 12:42 Dan Szymborski: I put all the key & peele college football names into it 12:43 Dan Szymborski: 12:44 Red: 42? I thought it was 82 12:44 Dan Szymborski: I was born in 78 12:44 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 Dan Szymborski: Someone who lobs pitches 12:44 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 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 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 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 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 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 Dan Szymborski: In that order 12:46 Dan Szymborski: I love all three 12:46 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 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 Dan Szymborski: It’s not a 99th percentile for JUST BA 12:47 Dan Szymborski: His 99th percentile BA is higher 12:47 Dan Szymborski: but for an OVERALL 99th percentile line, that’s what it averages 12:48 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 Dan Szymborski: I try not to, but it is inevitable 12:48 Dan Szymborski: It’s preferable to look smart than look stupid 12:48 Johndarc: Hey, are the Red Sox actually this good? 12:48 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 Dan Szymborski: Haven’t seen any 12:49 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 Dan Szymborski: We have not had a staff meeting about chili 12:49 Dan Szymborski: BUT MCCORMICK LIES 12:50 Dan Szymborski: Dan Szymborski @DSzymborski 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 Dan Szymborski: Dan Szymborski @DSzymborski 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 Dan Szymborski: Dan Szymborski @DSzymborski 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 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 Dan Szymborski: Lemme check 12:54 Dan Szymborski: ZiPS only saw him as a .253/.319/.387 hitter in 2021 after 2018 12:54 Dan Szymborski: He’s *really* old 12:54 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 Dan Szymborski: then there might be trash can signal calibration 12:56 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 Dan Szymborski: You can do multiple things 12:57 Dan Szymborski: The idea is to *incentivize* putting balls in play 12:57 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 Dan Szymborski: Yes 12:57 Guest: How close of a comp is Joe Sewell to Madrigal? 12:57 Dan Szymborski: It’s not crazy, relative to the environment 12:58 Dan Szymborski: ZiPS says George Kell. 12:58 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 Dan Szymborski: It’s possible. Though he’s funnier than I am! 1:02 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 Dan Szymborski: Nofortunately 1:03 Marshall: I’m actually really surprised that Trout’s 99th percentile outcome is only 10.8 WAR. 1:03 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 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 Dan Szymborski: On that note, time to end the chat for another week! 1:05 Dan Szymborski: Thanks for coming everyone, and I hope to see you next time!