Dan Szymborski FanGraphs Chat – 5/11/23

12:00
Avatar Dan Szymborski: And I have returned from a lengthy vacation and a Thursday in which I was way behind on an article I had to finish up!

12:00
26 Pitchers: Logan Webb or Joe Ryan rest of season/career?

12:01
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m still a Webb slinger, but I’m quite bullish on Joe Ryan. And hey, ZiPS never disliked him and that splitter’s been kickass

12:01
B Snit’s Bongos: Should a manager ever put on a sacrifice bunt?

12:01
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Yeah, there are specific situations it’s useful

12:01
Avatar Dan Szymborski: for example, you don’t need a high probability of a sacrifice bunt becoming a hit to make it worthwhile

12:02
Avatar Dan Szymborski: and second, the threat of a bunt is at least useful. if nobody ever bunted, then that would be a good situation for a bunt!

12:02
Avatar Dan Szymborski: so if you have a fast guy who can bunt well, it’s frequently a good strategy, so long as you’re not just thinking of it as a sacrifice.

12:05
B Snit’s Bongos: Who will accrue the most WAR during the 2030 season? Bogaerts, Correa, Swanson, Turner, or V. Grissom?

12:05
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’d probably guess Correa

12:06
HappyFunBall: Welcome back Dan! True or False, the CIN organization has a better offensive lineup in Louisville than they do in Cincinnati?

12:06
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I was going to be snarky, but looking at Louisville’s roster, it’s at least close!

12:07
Jake: I could use some clarification about how to contextualize exit velocity. Are MLB players hitting the ball, say, 110 mph+ off the bat impressive because A) they are simply uniquely capable of using wood bats to hit baseballs at EVs in that range, or B) they are uniquely capable of hitting baseballs thrown by MLB pitchers at EVs in that range? I’m almost certain that it’s the former (MLB pitchers screw up and throw meatballs that some players can’t hit 110 mph), but I feel like I would be more impressed by max EV numbers if I knew a particular hit was, say, 75% harder than the max EV at which an average guy on the street could hit that pitch.

12:07
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I don’t believe htere’s been a public study of average dudes.

12:07
Avatar Dan Szymborski: HOWEVER

12:07
Avatar Dan Szymborski: there *is* a study of average dudes: pitchers

12:07
Avatar Dan Szymborski: as most of them are not Ohtanis

12:07
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Ohtanii?

12:07
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The Ohtanescenti?

12:12
Avatar Dan Szymborski: (Sorry, looking this up)

12:12
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Lemme answer more Qs while this one is brewing

12:13
Avatar Dan Szymborski: nm

12:13
Avatar Dan Szymborski: during the Statcast era, only three pitchers not named Shohei Ohtani have hit a 110 mph pitch

12:13
Avatar Dan Szymborski: errr

12:13
Avatar Dan Szymborski: hit a pitch 110 mphj

12:13
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Madison Bumgarner, Daniel Mengden, Nick Ramirez

12:14
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Buit Ramirez doesn’t count

12:14
Avatar Dan Szymborski: he was a hitter

12:14
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Mengden played OF in college

12:15
Avatar Dan Szymborski: So 110 is pretty hard for anyone!

12:15
B Snit’s Bongos: Would you rather your club led MLB in home runs, run differential, or wins?

12:15
Avatar Dan Szymborski: wins ideally

12:15
laxtonto: I need a beer

12:15
Strider Stache: What’s your approach to the rotation if you’re AA? The Braves are good enough to rely on internal options, but would you be looking around for depth starters? Love how Elder’s performed but still not comfortable with him as the #3 for the foreseeable future

12:15
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I actually have a piece in the hopper

12:15
Jewish Pache: Can Outman keep this up and win ROY? If you had to guess who wins right now is it him, Carroll, or someone else

12:15
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I still think Carroll gets it

12:17
I am the Apple: If Shohei Ohtani’s pitching and hitting seasons in the NPB are translated to MLB WAR, what numbers are we looking at?

12:17
Avatar Dan Szymborski: In this case, I did provide the translations for an ESPN article in 2017!

12:17
Avatar Dan Szymborski:

12:18
B Snit’s Bongos: Will a RH batter ever hit a home run into McCovey Cove?

12:18
Avatar Dan Szymborski: It’s *possible* but unlikely

12:19
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Going to the start of 2017, Statcast only lists 36 opposite-field homers at San Francisco for righties

12:19
Avatar Dan Szymborski: and none of them were even 400 feet

12:21
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Cron had the third longest (the longest was a Baez inside-the-parker and Rupp’s was more towards center)

12:21
Avatar Dan Szymborski: And it didn’t even come close

12:22
Avatar Dan Szymborski: There was a THT piece some years ago that talked about hte problems.

12:23
Avatar Dan Szymborski: As of the piece, the average HR distance of a splash is 405

12:23
Avatar Dan Szymborski: but it’s 366 down the line exactly

12:24
Avatar Dan Szymborski: a righty crushing something opposite field in exactly the right way COULD do it

12:24
Avatar Dan Szymborski: but it’s an unlikely event

12:24
Krusty: Two questions, highly interrelated:

  • When should I start to worry about Max Scherzer?
  • When should I start to worry about the Mets?
12:24
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Now, a couple weeks ago

12:24
Guest: I love your recent Twitter critiques of the Cardinals front office (I am a Cardinals fan).This isn’t a question, I just want to say it’s cathartic to know I am not the only one feeling this way.

12:24
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’ve generally liked the team’s front office, but this is a mess right now.

12:25
Air Yordan: At what age does Michael Harris move out of CF? I’m expecting him to keep gaining a bit of weight and add more power. Is it after the current extension he’s on?

12:25
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think he’ll last his 20s

12:26
Another Cards Question: Paul DeJong is off to a strong start to his season, and the Cardinals have held on to him despite poor hitting last year. Still, there’s no way he has his club option exercised in 2024, right?

12:26
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I can’t imagine they do

12:26
Avatar Dan Szymborski: they turned down a 12.5 million option on Wong a few years ago

12:27
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I can’t imagine them liking DeJong, even having a good year, enough to take a similar option

12:29
romorr: A lot of chatter about Mountcastle and his “bad luck”. It happened last year, and it’s leaking into this year as well. He’s also been unlucky on the road, so we can’t put all the blame on the wall. What do you make of it? I’m still of the opinion that things will get better, but there is that nagging feeling that won’t go away.

12:29
Avatar Dan Szymborski: It’s a bit overblown

12:29
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Naturally, he’s no longer ideally suited to Camden

12:29
Avatar Dan Szymborski: but homers can’t explain a 50 point home drop in BA

12:30
Avatar Dan Szymborski: some of it yes

12:30
Avatar Dan Szymborski: but he’s also played worse overall at home

12:30
Avatar Dan Szymborski: outside of homers

12:31
Avatar Dan Szymborski: and remember, actual home/road splits for an individual are EXTREMELY noisy, even though they reflect a real thing

12:31
Avatar Dan Szymborski: which is why I always warn people that Coors Away stats are an awful projection system

12:32
JC: Can you say something nice about Nick Castellanos please

12:32
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Castellanos only struggled last year because of his compassion. Given that deaths and bigotry are revealed during his home runs, he didn’t want to inflict undue suffering on humanity.

12:32
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Now that it’s been a while since, he’s free to carefully hit homers again.

12:34
Avatar Dan Szymborski: By my reckoning, Castellanos hit HRs during Thomfoolery, two eulogies for deceased veterans, the announcement of an ill coach, and Pete Walker’s DUI apology

12:34
B Snit’s Bongos: Could a McDonald’s self-checkout kiosk call balls and strikes with greater accuracy than an MLB Umpire could take down lunchtime rush orders?

12:35
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Yes

12:35
The Amagin’ Mets: Thoughts on Pfaadts’ contact quality allowed to date?

12:35
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Let’s just say it’s not…been…ideal so far

12:35
Save us, Nick Pratto: So you think Vinnie Pasquantino is worth locking up long-term? Is there anyone else among all those first- and second-year players for KC who maybe shows this kind of promise, or is Italian Breakfast all there is?

12:37
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Whether he’s Italian Breakfast, Pasquatch (his preference), or the Italian Nightmare, I think he’s the safest bet

12:37
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Though the Royals should explore it with Witt and Pratto

12:37
Orioles: Any chance of Yennier Cano taking over the closing duties in the near future? Felix Bautista has been shaky but avoided and big blowups. Cano… has not been shaky.

12:37
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Closers *typically* don’t lose jobs unless they’re a lot worse than the alternate

12:38
Avatar Dan Szymborski: There’s a big incumbent advantage

12:40
Joe Brrr: How would you handle the Vientos situation? He’s done all he can with the bat, but would you call him up to DH occasionally/muck around left field?

12:40
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I would

12:40
Avatar Dan Szymborski: make him Vogelbach’s platoon partner and start giving away Canha/Pham at-bats in other games to him

12:41
Avatar Dan Szymborski: And if you can’t find a spot to play him

12:41
Avatar Dan Szymborski: (and I think they can)

12:41
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Then you really have to explore trades

12:41
Avatar Dan Szymborski: like Eduardo Rodriguez

12:41
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Vientos murdering pitchers in Syracuse doesn’t help the Mets and it doesn’t help his career

12:44
Jon: What’s the long-term plan for prospect coverage at Fangraphs? It seems the workload is too heavy for one guy

12:45
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Don’t forget about Tess!

12:45
Avatar Dan Szymborski: That should be targeted towards Eric. I don’t know his workload or how he’s feeling about it.

12:45
Avatar Dan Szymborski: And it certainly wouldn’t be my role to speculate on our staffing decisions!

12:46
MilwaukeeBeerJays: What’s the percent chance that the AL East all finish above 500?

12:46
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Dammit are you going to make me open zips?

12:46
Avatar Dan Szymborski: <sigh>

12:46
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Luckily, I literally ran a season sim an hour ago, but I have to open it so I’ll answer other things

12:47
RobertoBeers: A man a Dan a chat in may, amnitahcanadanama

12:47
Juan: Soto’s average Max AV for his career is listed incorrectly.

12:47
Avatar Dan Szymborski: it’s not really average max av

12:47
Avatar Dan Szymborski: just his max av

12:48
Giancarlo: A friend of mine, who doesn’t watch baseball, asked about a pitcher. To which I replied he’s been just ok but his stuff is great. My friend found it hilarious that we call the quality of a pitchers’ pitches “stuff”.

12:49
Avatar Dan Szymborski: This is a text from a dear friend who does not like baseballl, but comes along with me frequently to baseball (and to the Staten Island panel we did!)

12:49
Avatar Dan Szymborski:

12:49
Avatar Dan Szymborski: oops, that’s her stoned text

12:50
Avatar Dan Szymborski:

12:51
36: 3 yearZIPS projections on N Gorman are wild. Think that late to adjust?

12:51
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Those are only done preseason!

12:51
Ross: How worried should we be about Julio? He looks really bad so far. Just awful swing decisions and missing easy middle-middle pitches.

12:51
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m not

12:51
Colton: Also, do you have any opinion/thoughts on the Cardinals debacle with Willson Contreras and how they’ve handled this

12:51
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I said a LOT on Twitter this week

12:51
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think this captures my feelings

12:52
Avatar Dan Szymborski:

I can’t believe Willson Contreras let the swiss cheese in my fridge not be properly closed and now the whole package is ruined.
10 May 2023
12:52
Who’s Fabio: Hey Dan – if you move to Canada you get to tell people your age in terms of the U.S. exchange rate.  When my Aunt turned 60, she was like ‘but it’s only 45 U.S.’.  British Columbia is very nice….welcome home.

12:52
Avatar Dan Szymborski: WAIT DOES TIME WORK LIKE THAT AM I 4500 IN JAPAN

12:52
Avatar Dan Szymborski: err the opposite

12:52
Avatar Dan Szymborski: AM I A BABY IN JAPAN?

12:52
45th celebration: Skyline Chili cook off!

12:52
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Better than a cook on

12:53
Ben P: Do you think the M’s will right the ship? The offense outside of JK has been so so bad! A brutal mix of disappointment and regression.

12:53
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think they’ll be OK

12:53
Key Flaw: ZiPS is awesome and I wonder what it thinks…. As an Orioles fan, I STILL cannot get over the Glenn Davis trade. We know how it turned out (it would have been a steal for the Astros if it was just Pete Harnisch for Davis…but it was much much more), and we know it was bad at the time (Randy Milligan was already a better player), BUT…. what does ZiPS have to say? Would ZiPS have predicted such a horrendous trade outcome? (Also, on the other end, would ZiPS have predicted the Erik Bedard outcome?)

12:53
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I might do this as a time warp at some point

12:53
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I don’t have it simply set up then I can just type them in

12:58
Trey: how do you think future HOF voters will handle borderline guys where 2020 would have been a potential peak season?

12:59
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Not sure. I don’t think it’ll be enough to do a big difference

12:59
Nate: So Gunnar is still going to be a thing…right? Feel like I keep waiting for the explosion give his OBP…but the struggle seems real

12:59
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Concerned, but not worried

12:59
Farhan Zaidi: No righty has ever hit one into the cove, even in batting practice. Buster Posey’s home run vs. Walker Buehler in the 2021 NLDS may have actually gone in but it hit one of the brick water cannons.

12:59
RAndoM121: Do you have any plans for more ZIPS Time Warp articles?  A Vida Blue one might be interesting.

12:59
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Yeah, I definitely want to ramp up more of those this summer

1:00
Guest: Also, how long before this chat is just a ChatGPT trained version of you?

1:00
Avatar Dan Szymborski: That would be interesting. Train a model on my chats

1:00
Avatar Dan Szymborski: and make all the responses AI

1:01
Avatar Dan Szymborski: we’re not there yet

1:01
Avatar Dan Szymborski: but in the meantime, here’s Caravaggio’s painting of sad Mets.

1:01
Avatar Dan Szymborski:

1:04
Cave Dameron: What is a hobby that a player could have that would make you alter their projections in a negative way? Thank you Dan, very cool!

1:04
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Breaking into my house and formatting my hard drives

1:04
Frank Thomas the Tank Engine: We know the teams you are most accused of hating.  Which teams are you most accused of favoring?

1:04
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m well-known for being chaotic neutral so I don’t live anything

1:04
Greg: Also on the nickname front, Vogelbach will always be “Engelberg” to me 😉

1:05
Greg: “Dammit are you going to make me open zips?”

If I wasn’t a baseball nerd I might think that someone asked you to go check on that noise outside of the tent in the middle of the night.

1:05
Oaktown Blues: Where did you vacation? Was it fun?

1:05
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Not super exciting, I go more interesting places in winters

1:05
Avatar Dan Szymborski: This was just a good trip to Baltimore and I didn’t want to work on the road there

1:05
Christian Colón for Men: In the Fangraphs movie, when they give ZiPS a voice, which celebrity would you pick?

1:06
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Maurice LaMarche doing Orson Welles

1:06
mike: AI Dan: Cinncinati chili isn’t chili. Here are some hearthstone cards. I should probably get permission to use Zips…..

1:06
Chris: When will AI produce a mascot compilation for twitter to enjoy?

1:06
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’ve actually done some of this

1:07
Avatar Dan Szymborski:

1:09
Avatar Dan Szymborski:

1:09
Johnny5Alive: Senga looks…. not good. 4 runs already, in the first inning

1:09
Christian Colón for Men: How bad will the Angels be next year without ol’ Tungsten Arm O’Doyle?

1:09
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Pretty bad

1:09
Christian Colón for Men: Which of the O’s non-Gunnar, non-Holliday infield prospects turns out best: Norby, Ortiz, or Westburg?

1:09
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think Norby’s the most interesting of the three, but I like all of them

1:10
Avatar Dan Szymborski: On that note, it’s time for me to head off to that old dusty trail

1:10
Avatar Dan Szymborski: thanks for coming everyone and I hope to see you all next time!

1:10
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Thanks for all the great Qs – sadly, there were far more than I could answer; I’d already need six hours to answer the ones here!





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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raregokusmember
1 year ago

Appreciate the answer about exit velocities. I hadn’t considered looking at pitcher hitting data!