Dan Szymborski FanGraphs Chat – 4/8/21 by Dan Szymborski April 8, 2021 12:03 Dan Szymborski: April! 12:03 Dan Szymborski: April. 12:03 LFC Mike: The over/under for the answer “It’s April” has been set at 5 and a half for this first chat after a week of baseball. And now….the man you would let punch you in the face and then give you his autograph….Heeeeeeeere’s DAN… 12:03 Dan Szymborski: Aprilteen 12:03 Guest: FYI – the current link on the homepage for this chat 404’s 12:03 Dan Szymborski: Should be working now! 12:03 Rougned Odor: Hi Dan, I’m Rougned Odor. This is my father Rougned Odor and that’s my brother Rougned Odor. 12:05 LFC Mike: On a sad and serious note..Do you think Tatis can rest/rehab the shoulder and be effective this year?…..or are they delaying the inevitable? 12:06 Dan Szymborski: I imagine it’s possible. I think I’d be more worried if he also had to make the deep throw from short left-handed (since that’s the problem one). Swing is bad enough 12:06 Dan Szymborski: But I don’t have his diagnostics and even if he did I’m not a doctor! 12:06 Pwn Shop: Roses are white, tulips are red,The Angels are living, the A’s are ____? 12:07 Dan Szymborski: the baseball team based in Oakland, CA. 12:07 Kyler: Hey Dan I found a problem with a ZiPS ROS projections… Pablo Sandoval should be projected for a .420 wOBA with a 169 wRC+. In a seriousness, I’m glad to see Panda having some success. He’s a fun guy. 12:07 Dan Szymborski: Brandon McCarthy finished with 69 wins and a 4.20 ERA. 12:07 SPFan: Hi Dan, Corbin Burnes will be a Top ___ pitcher by season’s end 12:08 Dan Szymborski: Brewers 12:09 Chuck: Hi Dan, thoughts on the A’s closer situation assuming Rosenthal opts for surgery? 12:09 Dan Szymborski: I assume Diekman 12:09 Tyler: What’s the difference between ZiPS (Rest of Season) and ZiPS (update)? Unfortunately I’ve been unable to find an answer myself due to “update” having the audacity to also be a regular word that shows up in searches 12:09 Dan Szymborski: Update is ZiPS RoS plus whatever’s banked already 12:09 Dan Szymborski: So a projection of what the final line *will* be rather than what it will be the *rest* of the way 12:09 Hey dan!: So i’ve been thinking about setting up a dashboard in tableau/PBI to track some of my favorite players/prospects in a single place – Do you know of any sites that will allows you to set up scheduled extracts of player stats? Or would I be better off writing batch jobs locally to go out and pull the data on a daily basis? Thanks for your work, i find the projections/data work you provide to be extremely valuable 12:09 Dan Szymborski: Not sure, honestly. 12:10 Dan Szymborski: I usually find the data I need and then figure out the technological solutions to use the data afterwards 12:10 Dan Szymborski: Generally speaking, your own batch job is probably the easiest. I don’t know of any that do precisely what you want 12:10 Dan Szymborski: And I’m glad you’re finding my work useful! 12:10 Dan Szymborski: All models are wrong. But some are useful. 12:12 Tom: I am the only person who misses Rick Porcello. Where is he? 12:12 Dan Szymborski: Still a street FA. I suspect Ricky Raindrops will find his way onto a roster. 12:12 Stonks Down: Keston Hiura looks absolutely lost. Is he worth holding or trading off for a mid-tier pitcher at this point? 12:13 Dan Szymborski: I’d absolutely trade him in a redraft league 12:13 Dan Szymborski: He’s a mess now. When the minors start, he needs to be in Triple-A if he’s not making better contact 12:13 Dan Szymborski: He’s swinging at everything and, in what is a serious problem for that profile, missing everything! 12:13 ptonkon: I have noticed a trend with pandemic scheduling for NHL and CBB, I was curious if it applies to MLB. Back to back scheduling for NHL and college basketball has led trends that suggest, home venue advantage is significantly stronger on the second leg of B2B, taxonomically speaking this gives the away team a better chance of victory on the first game. Do you believe this applies to MLB? 12:14 Dan Szymborski: I would guess not, though I haven’t looked at it. home field advantage tends to be fairly small in baseball 12:14 Kate: Thoughts on John Means after two starts? Obviously not an ace, but is he a solid mid-rotation guy going fwd? 12:17 Dan Szymborski: I’m a bit disappointed he’s not topping out at 95/96 like he was last year 12:17 Dan Szymborski: But I did pick him as a breakout candidate in my piece 12:18 Snake Bit: What do you think of Josh Rojas? Is he a legit big leaguer off to a slow start or a AAAA throw-in on a big trade? 12:18 Dan Szymborski: I think he’s a role player type 12:18 Adam: Cesar Valdez? That’s it, that’s the question. 12:18 BringBackDeSpanielHair: Also, a moment of silence for Paxton and Tatis’s arms 12:18 Kate: Thoughts on India so far? Seems to be holding his own. 12:18 Dan Szymborski: So far, so good! But, you know, April. 12:19 BringBackDeSpanielHair: What’s the 80th percentile season for Gavin Lux with full time PT? Trying to find some of this stuff is difficult! 12:19 Dan Szymborski: Hang on, I can do that! 12:21 Dan Szymborski: Not in-season 12:21 Dan Szymborski: but we’r estill close enough to start of season 12:22 Dan Szymborski: His 80th percentile projection was .266/.333/.517, 125 OPS+, 4.2 WAR 12:22 DiscoElysium: Dan, where are my keys? 12:23 Bubba: Why are knuckleballs generally a last resort for pitchers who failed traditionally? What would happen if deGrom spent an offseason working on a knuckleball? I find them quirky and fascinating and want more in MLB. 12:23 Dan Szymborski: You have to change up your style so much 12:23 CJ Abrams: Hi Dan, with the injury to Tatis jr, when do you think I’ll make my major league debut this season? 12:25 Dan Szymborski: I don’t see him making an appearance until the minor league season is over and rosters are expanded 12:25 Dan Szymborski: if at all 12:26 Ben: In 2004, Barry Bonds had more home runs that strikeouts. It was the 45th time that happened, but who know if that will ever happen again. Since Pujols in 2015, no qualified batter has even had half as many home runs than strikeouts. Who is the best candidate to at least reach the 50% mark next? 12:26 Dan Szymborski: I think Soto possibly 12:26 Dan Szymborski: 50% mark of course 12:26 brad penny for your thoughts: isn’t it crazy how close corbin burnes is to corbin bernsen? makes you think. 12:26 Fun Words: Heteroskedasticity vs Perfunctory 12:27 MilwaukeeBeerJays: Steven Matz is already 1/4 on the way to fulfilling his zips projections. So does zips think his arm will fall off after 3 more starts? 12:27 Dan Szymborski: IMA GONNA SMACK YOU 12:28 OddBall Herrer: Took a look at Jazz Chisholm’s peripheral numbers, expecting to see a total mess based upon scouting reports, but since he’s been up last season his contact, SwStr and statcast numbers area actually not half bad. Is this guy better than the ‘lottery ticket’ he’s being billed as? 12:29 Dan Szymborski: I think he’s better than a lottery ticket. Any dude who has good power and can play shortstop is going to be interesting 12:29 Dan Szymborski: He is still a bit raw right now 12:29 Louie: Dan, you mentioned a couple chats ago that the Reds FO was downgraded in your view this offseason. As a concerned Reds fan, is this ownership related, or Dick William’s departure related. Or something else? 12:30 Dan Szymborski: Ownership spending commitment. Once they shifted to win now mode, the time for half-measures is over 12:31 John: Any way for you to build a deader ball into ZIPS? If the 10-15 ft decrease in flyball distance holds, it seems like it could have huge and disproportionate impact on certain players. 12:31 Dan Szymborski: I can build league levels of offense 12:31 Dan Szymborski: but I don’t have any model to put in X decrease in flyballs or something 12:32 Guest: how does zips handle pitcher projections if they might be a starter versus a reliever? Would pitch mix, minor league IP/start, or other things make certain pitchers projected better as a reliever than if they were a starter on an innings basis? 12:32 Dan Szymborski: I have a generalized model for moving players to and from the roles 12:32 Dan Szymborski: I’m researching a more sophisticated model that uses statcast data. Problem is, that length of time is fairly small 12:32 Dan Szymborski: and you have a limited set of moves to look at 12:32 Guest: Any chance MLB will further incentivize vaccinations by allowing pitchers to utilize the spitball once immunologically reinforced? 12:32 Dan Szymborski: heh 12:33 Adam: Which of your cats is most likely to Coors Cat? 12:33 Dan Szymborski: Mercutio’s the one most likely to haplessly wander onto a field. 12:34 Dan Szymborski: When Galileo was around, it would have been him, but he’d have been more likely to hang out by the concessions and trying to grab people’s food 12:34 Guest: Can Jonathan India sustain a BABIP of .556, or will it eventually drop into the mid .400s? 12:34 Dan Szymborski: heh 12:34 RJ: The composition of the recent-vintage baseball has increased exit velocities. Has it done the same for pitch velocities? Don’t think I’ve read anything on this… 12:34 Dan Szymborski: There’s still some quirkiness with this data 12:34 Pwn Shop: Be honest Dan, did you start your projection system because you were betting on baseball? It’s why I started mine and then basically found out that people like you were so far ahead of me that I stopped doing it on my own. 12:34 Dan Szymborski: Actually, I did it because I was blogging about transactions and it seemed like something useful 12:35 Earned: I’ve always thought a pitcher’s error that caused runs etc should not be used to protect his ERA. I.E. he earned those runs. What do you think. 12:35 Dan Szymborski: It’s weird in a way simply because while it’s his fault, it’s an “accounting” thing 12:35 Dan Szymborski: It’s probably best to keep it consistent and have it show up in his pitcher defense as a negative 12:35 Dan Szymborski: If we’re using a philosophical earned runs that means more “deserved” runs, we have way better ways of doing this than how earned runs are done anyway 12:36 Dan: How does ZiPS calculate percentiles? Is it simply the bound of a confidence interval? Or are you using quantile regression? 12:36 Dan Szymborski: Essentially, ZiPS takes the xth percentile offensive WAR projection. And then calculates the most likely shape of the player to reach that xth percentile projection 12:36 Dan Szymborski: Shape is difficult and I’ve struggled in good methods to do this logically 12:36 Aaron: How long can Hiura continue to swing and miss like he has been before he is sent to AAA? 12:37 Dan Szymborski: If he’s still hitting like this, there’s no way he doens’t go down when AAA starts 12:37 Adam: Roberts had Smith catching and Barnes DHing yesterday, just to remind us all that it’s April and the Dodgers can do whatever they want. 12:37 Guest: Re: Porcello, what are your opinions on FIP, especially as a major component of fWAR? The article about Porcello needing a job from a couple of weeks ago used an fWAR chart showing the Porcello was more valuable than Cole, Fried, Gallen, and several others who had pretty good seasons last year. Do you just chalk this up to Porcello being in outlier in that FIP shows him to be much better than he was? At any rate, I don’t find the model useful in this case! 12:37 Dan Szymborski: The thing is, FIP is *most* useful in single seasons and less useful in long careers 12:38 Dan Szymborski: In this case, while Porcello was unlucky in one way with BABIP 12:38 Dan Szymborski: He was kinda lucky with the HRs 12:39 Dan Szymborski: One of the problem is that the stats *affect* perception of performance, even when no stats are being used 12:39 Dan Szymborski: I’d go back to Schilling 2005 12:40 Dan Szymborski: He had like a .370 BABIP and a FIP below 4 but an ERA near 6 12:40 Dan Szymborski: And the tendency there was YEAH BABIP, BUT… 12:40 Dan Szymborski: Because he looked so bad. But observations aren’t going to be truly independent from data 12:41 Chuck: On a scale of 1-10 how concerned are you with Judge already sitting a game with left side soreness? 12:41 Dan Szymborski: 3 12:41 Adam: More likely: Orioles finish over .500 or Padres finish under? 12:41 Dan Szymborski: Latter 12:43 Sharp: How many innings do you need to see from Drew Smyly at this level before his projected ERA moves below 4.00? 12:43 Dan Szymborski: ZiPS is a computer projection! 12:43 Kate: Is lost velocity a bigger deal, not as big a deal or an equally big deal for a guy like Yarbrough who throws so soft vs. a guy with big velo? 12:43 Dan Szymborski: *lost* velocity tends to be a very bad sign 12:44 PC Guy: I’m thinking of water cooling the back of my 3090 but I think I might have to run it to an intake fan/radiator to get it to cool on its own. You think that’s bad form? It will probably be the least hot component. 12:44 Dan Szymborski: Whether you use radiator intake or exhaust doesn’t actually mean as much as people think. There’s enough airflow going through the temperature deltas between air before and after goign through the radiator is not *that* much different 12:46 Tater: how long do M’s give Trammell? 12:46 Dan Szymborski: Like a lot of players of this type, I think AAA not being a thing yet buys him a little more time 12:46 Earned: Agreed it’s like ERA knew it was trying to be defense-neutral, without really doing it all the way. 12:46 Guest: Dan, thank you for hearing me out. Do you know where I can find team batting average standings with runners in scoring position? 12:47 Dan Szymborski: Guys, we *have* a split leaderboard tool! 12:47 Dan Szymborski: https://www.fangraphs.com/leaders/splits-leaderboards?splitArr=59&spli… 12:49 FIP: What would a player’s FIP be who just threw crappy strikes? I.E. no walks, no strikeouts, and lets say a league average HR/FB 12:50 Dan Szymborski: A player with 200 IP, 0 strikeouts, 0 walks, and 25 HR would have a FIP of 4.86 12:50 Fan of graphs: Any thoughts on the hot starts from Nate Lowe, Yermin Mercedes, and Tyler Naquin? I’m last in my fantasy league right now and need advice 12:50 Dan Szymborski: Doing a piece on that! 12:50 Pod: When will you put out a podcast? 12:50 Dan Szymborski: I participate in FanGraphs Audio regularly! 12:51 Dan Szymborski: As to making my own specific one, I’m not sure if there’s demand for one. I’ve never gotten the impression that people were clamoring for one from me. 12:51 dave in slc: I see comments on different articles on the site but i dont see how or where to comment. Is that because i am not a member? 12:51 Dan Szymborski: No, comments should be open for everyone 12:51 Dan Szymborski: Unless something’s gone weird, which could happen 12:51 Dan Szymborski: But you do need to register for an account to post 12:51 Dan Szymborski: but it doesn’t have to be a *paid* account 12:51 MilwaukeeBeerJays: Could you use zips to predict how many incorrect calls angel Hernandez will make in any given start? 12:51 Dan Szymborski: Most of ’em. 12:51 Pod: Will ZIPS ever incorporate statcast? 12:52 Dan Szymborski: ZiPS has for years! 12:52 another PC Guy: on the topic of computers, i recently upgraded from a 4770HQ and 860M to a 5800X and 3070 – its insane how much better PC components have gotten since 2013 12:52 Dan Szymborski: Good job on grabbing the 3070! 12:52 Dan Szymborski: I was very fortunate to get both a 3080 and 5900X both at MSRP 12:52 Dan Szymborski: Took a lot of having one of my laptops hanging around in Falcodrin’s twitch stream 12:53 Dan Szymborski: I sold my used 2080 Super for $600 to a reader. I could have possibly eked out more given the prices, but I felt getting more than what I paid for it in this context wasn’t what I wanted to do 12:54 Dan Szymborski: (I sell investments for more than I pay for it without any qualms, but this was a hobbyist thing, not something I owned as an investmnet) 12:54 Kyle blanks: Dan tell me something good about the A’s please. Please 12:54 Dan Szymborski: The team’s coloras are badass 12:56 Dan Szymborski: And I do have an A’s keycap! Which is something, I guess 12:56 Dan Szymborski: 12:57 Dan Szymborski: My keyboard is very obnoxious. 12:57 Dan Szymborski: 12:57 zurzles: I demand Szymcast NOW 12:57 another PC Guy: >Good job on grabbing the 3070! Had to go prebuilt to get it, but 100% worth it – crazy how high secondary market prices have gotten 12:57 Not Sandy Alderson: If Chili Davis was to say that chili can have beans, would his 350 home runs and moniker be enough to sway you? 12:57 Dan Szymborski: Just because he’s nicknamed Chili doesn’t give him chili 12:57 Dan Szymborski: expertise 12:58 Dan Szymborski: Just becuase I’m Dan doesn’t mean I get to tell people how to make dan dan noodles. 12:58 Billy Beane: I got crazy lucky and got a 5900x and a 3090 (the 3090 was, believe it or not, new and below MSRP because of Sean T Custom PC) thanks for putting me on to Falcodrin or I’d be stuck with my i5 and Geforce 745 for years. 12:59 Dan Szymborski: The semiconductor shortage combined with the latest crypto boom have made PC stuff really frigging annoying 12:59 zurzles: i consider you an authority on szymborski stew 12:59 Dan Szymborski: THATS NOT A THING 12:59 BringBackDeSpanielHair: what the heck is this computer we’re talking about? 1:00 Dan Szymborski: 1:00 Angelus Novus: Think Mullins can be an every day guy? 1:00 Dan Szymborski: On the fence there really 1:00 beepboop: re: collecting MLB stats–statcast has an API you can hook into and there are R and Python packages that make it relatively easy to do so 1:01 Josh: When will baseball savant have 2021 leaderboards up? 1:01 Dan Szymborski: Just bug Willman and Petriello, they’ll know! 1:01 Guest: this is me, clamoring 1:02 Dan Szymborski: OK, people asking for this to be a thing 1:02 Dan Szymborski: Have you enjoyed the segments on FanGraphs Audio that I do? 1:02 Oddball Herrera: How many fans do you need?? Haha is there concern that the computer will melt a hole to China? 1:02 Dan Szymborski: The more fans you run, the SLOWER you can run them! 1:02 BringBackDeSpanielHair: Symborski stew sounds like a Russian gulag term for slop they feed to the prisoners. 1:02 Dan Szymborski: It would be Szymborski Sztew anyway 1:02 Guest: I do indeed look forward to your FG Audio segments, Dan 1:03 Billy Beane: Yes. You do interesting stuff and you’re funny enough and also you could talk about not-baseball because you have a good twitter and appropriately unfocused baseball chat. 1:03 Dan Szymborski: I appreciate it! It’s something to think about 1:03 Derek: Add me to chorus of clamorers! (yes your segments on FG Audio are great) 1:03 MilwaukeeBeerJays: Why do MLB stadiums have “dog days” but no “cat days” seems like a missed opportunity. 1:03 Dan Szymborski: Cats are too troublesome 1:03 Dan Szymborski: and I say that as a cat owner 1:04 Dan Szymborski: If you had 10,000 cats in the park 1:04 Dan Szymborski: You’d end up with a thousand loose cats, all in the bowels of the stadium and it would take months to get them all out 1:05 MilwaukeeBeerJays: You asking this chat if they like you in audio form is like asking a bolshevik if he would like some szmborski sztew whilst in a gulag…obviously YES! 1:06 Dan Szymborski: Hey, I let you guys make fun of me all the time! 1:06 beepboop: Dan, you ever play any of the Hearts of Iron series? 1:06 Dan Szymborski: I have! 1:06 Oddball Herrera: Admittedly I have been out of the souped up computer market for a while. Mine is still cooled by minions waving palm fronds 1:06 Billy Beane: Also it seems like you’re frequently on the radio, though as someone who doesn’t live near you it’s possible you’re only good on podcasts and terrible on the radio. It’s like minor league exit velo. There’s just no way of knowing. 1:06 Dan Szymborski: I do Canada Talks on Fridays at 6:15 PM ET, which is most my regular radio time 1:07 PC Builder: Work from home is great, because when I don’t have any work to do, I can just screw around instead of pretending to work, but today I have a full 8 hours of work to do and it feels like back when I had a real job. 1:07 BringBackDeSpanielHair: The bad prisoners would get beans in their Szymborski Sztew 1:07 Hanson MMMBop Earwig: For the love of all that is pure and good Dan….Please make the Allstate / Pet Shop Boys commercial STOP… I beg of you….help us. 1:07 Dan Szymborski: If I had TV powers, do you think Two and a Half Men would have lasted anywhere near that long? 1:07 BringBackDeSpanielHair: Is it okay if we nickname you SzymBob? 1:07 Dan Szymborski: Only Murray gets to cal me that 1:08 Adam: Predictions on Dunedin? How much will it +/- the offense? And how long will the Jays call it home? 1:08 Dan Szymborski: I don’t have the foggiest idea! lol 1:08 LFC Mike: Audio segment #1 Chili: Beans or no Beans..it would be an epic broadcast.. 1:08 Dan Szymborski: You guys HAVE to be tired of chili arguments by this point 1:08 Appa Yip Yip: If Tanner Roark goes out on Sunday (against Trout, Ohtani, and Tendon no less) and gets lit the heck up again, how much more rope can the Jays afford to give him in a season where every win will count? 1:09 Dan Szymborski: Not much. I like the Jays this year. They don’t have phenomenal depth in the rotation though, so they really need Roark to work out 1:09 PC Builder: Today on the newegg shuffle one of the video cards has TWO computer mice. These new graphics cards have finally passed our ability to game with only 2 arms. 1:10 Dan Szymborski: That’s just weird. I only need one mouse 1:10 Dan Szymborski: Weirdly, I liked the Redragon knockoff Razer Naga I bought while the Naga was out for RMA better than the actual Naga, so I kept using it 1:10 Dan Szymborski: It fits better in my hand 1:11 Dan Szymborski: I do like having a mouse with the 12-key thumbpad 1:11 Sharp: Is the name “Jeremy Bearimy” an acceptible exception to the no human names rule? 1:11 Dan Szymborski: You can give dogs human names 1:11 Dan Szymborski: its just weird for cats 1:11 Dan Szymborski: like someone having a dog named Gary is just fine 1:11 Dan Szymborski: but a cat named Gary just feels weird 1:11 Guest: Thanks for responding re:Porcello, though I find myself a bit confused by your response, and maybe the fault is due to my framing (which is not elite). I wasn’t questioning FIP’s ability to measure what it measures; my question is soon, does the fact that fWAR (using FIP) assigns Porcello more positive value than Fried, Cole, etc, highlight some potential flaws in the model– as a model-maker, does something like this give you pause– or is it something you simply reject as a fluke? I am not saying this to be argumentative about models or anything of the like, it just seems to be incredibly misleading data. In looking at this data, does it honestly make you wonder whether Porcello was truly one of the more valuable pitchers last year? 1:12 Dan Szymborski: It’s a bit fluky and it always relies on the exact question you’re tyring to answer when you look at a player 1:12 Dan Szymborski: I’m not convinced he was — there’s a lot of luck in FIP 1:12 Dan Szymborski: But FIP’s job is to be a basic peripheral stat that’s easy to use, find, and understand 1:12 Dan Szymborski: and it does that job 1:12 Dan Szymborski: when you talk someone like Porcello, you need to go deeper 1:12 Dan Szymborski: but it’s not FIP’s “fault” in any sense 1:13 Dan Szymborski: The hammer doesn’t suck just because you’re fixing a watch 1:13 Dan Szymborski: And on that note, it’s time fo rme to head out for another week. 1:13 Dan Szymborski: Thanks for coming everyone and I hope to see you all next time!