Dan Szymborski FanGraphs Chat – 5/19/14 by Dave Cameron May 19, 2014 11:58 Dan Szymborski: Monday. Noon. A time for chatting. 11:59 Dan Szymborski: First things first, our Electoral Brawllege matchup for the day. 11:59 : 11:59 Dan Szymborski: #9 Andrew Johnson takes on #10 John Tyler 12:00 : 12:00 Comment From RKTell me you buy into Bauer’s improved control more than ZIPS ROS. 12:02 Dan Szymborski: I do. Though one thin gto remember is that FanGraphs doesn’t have a minor league translation setup, so the FG implementation of RoS ZiPS doesn’t have his AAA stats from this year. 12:02 Comment From BenWhat is going on with David Wright? Ks up, walks down, no power–how big a concern is this? 12:04 Dan Szymborski: Some, but not panic. I can’t think of any instances in which a healthy, medium+ power guy at a non-advanced age suddenly went to a 5% HR/FB guy. 12:04 Comment From zoorzlesyou’re not always there when i call, but you’re always on time 12:04 Dan Szymborski: I’m not always on time! 12:05 Comment From MarichalRyan Vogelsong has made a dramatic turn-around in his last 5 or 6 starts. What do you see going forward? 12:05 Dan Szymborski: Pleased, but I’m not going to get my expectations super-high. 12:06 Comment From stuck in a slumpI’ve held on to Moustakas for a long time in a deep keeper league, but have Santana (with Pinto) and Arenado also qualified at 3B. Should I drop Moustakas for Calhoun when he returns from the DL? 12:06 Dan Szymborski: At this point, the league would need to be Marianas Trench deep to hang onto Moustakas unless the next option is Eric Young…Sr. 12:07 Comment From Yo-YoTrevor Rosenthal and Allen Craig — still too early to be alarmed? Rosey, in particular, looks rough. 12:07 Dan Szymborski: Yes. Too early to panic. Relievers are small sample sizes even in full years and we’re not at 2 months yet 12:08 Dan Szymborski: Maybe different if it looked like he was going full-on Wohlers, but he’s not anywhere near that level 12:09 Comment From Grahamwhat are the best peripherals to look at to predict potential future pitcher UCL injury? 12:10 Dan Szymborski: Not that simple. I’d look up Josh Kalk’s old stuff and a bunch of FG articles on different aspects. 12:11 Comment From KrustyHow can Tyler win? He was an after-thought in the Tippecanoe and Tyler too, campaign slogan. 12:11 Comment From Jacks ColonWith all of the quality pitching that injuries has already taken from us as fans, what’re the chances that Salazar is able to fix himself in the minors soon? 12:12 Dan Szymborski: Given this year, I’ll just be happy if he’s OK and survives without surgery. 12:13 Dan Szymborski: His velocity drop is a concern though. Just from what *I’ve* seen from him, it doesn’t look like he’s changing speeds very well, which is an issue because he’s got a real mistake pitch tendency. 12:13 Dan Szymborski: Last year, he *was* changing speeds well. 12:13 Comment From Guest #3234What are your thoughts on Robbie Ray? Long term? 12:13 Dan Szymborski: Still see him as a mid-rotation guy. 12:14 Comment From GrahamIs Hunter Pence a good buy low candidate? 12:14 Dan Szymborski: Buy low? He’s right at his career numbers. 12:15 Comment From Jebconcerns on Abreu? 12:15 Dan Szymborski: Well, I hope the White Sox keep him on the DL until his ankle is fully OK. He apparently talked his way into the lineup while he was hobbling, which isnt’ good managing 12:16 Comment From Henry ClayDallas Keuchel: a mirage or has he really reinvented himself? or to phrase the question differently: if I start him on my fantasy team is he going to blow up my ratios? Thanks. 12:17 Dan Szymborski: I think he’ll be decent going forward, and his slider looks good, but again, I think he’s more likelyt o be a mid-rotation guy 12:17 Comment From RagsWhen is it ok to give up the best player in the deal? It’s a quarter of the season down, I’ve got a bunch of slow starters on my team and a few holes. I know I’m going to need speed. Should I give up A-Gonz for Dee Gordon and another piece? 12:18 Dan Szymborski: That’s kind of a hard question to answer specifically, but if you’ve got a lot of holes, it’s OK to not get the best player in the trade. 12:18 Comment From Rocky BiddleWho would you rather have ROS: Hamels or D.Price? 12:18 Dan Szymborski: Price 12:19 Comment From The Oriole BirdDid the O’s send Gausman back to the minors due to one bad outing–or was there more to it? 12:19 Dan Szymborski: They haven’t said specifically (and I haven’t heard anything relevant about this), but do note that the O’s never said he was being called up to take a spot in the rotation. This may have been pre-planned. 12:21 Comment From vruggHow many innings do you see ventura pitching this season and what will his line be? 12:22 Dan Szymborski: As far as I know, the ROyals have stated that there’s no hard IP limit for Ventura this year. They haven’t rode him like workhorse, though, so a 180 IP limit may take care of it by itself (I think he’s got only 1 or 2 110 pitch starts) 12:22 Dan Szymborski: I think it may come down to where the Royals are in September. 12:23 Dan Szymborski: The James Shields Years were supposed to be contention years and I doubt Yost or Moore will be prioritizing long-term concerns if the playoffs are in reach. 12:23 Comment From Stanatee the ManateeSome Cardinals writers have been making some noise about bringing up Taveras next month during their 7 game trip through AL parks for DH purposes and a de-facto tryout at the ML level. What are your thoughts on that idea? 12:24 Dan Szymborski: I don’t like the concept of calling up a guy for 7 games and calling it a tryout. As long as he’s getting regular playing time, he should get it, but if he’s not, back to the minors until they have a full-time role for him 12:24 Comment From Kevin HittHas Cueto always had this potential? 12:25 Dan Szymborski: To do *this*? Not really. 12:25 Dan Szymborski: A .270 BABIP against may be real. A .170, no. 12:25 Dan Szymborski: I believe the bullpen has stranded all but 1 of his runners this year. 12:25 Dan Szymborski: That’s not to say he’s not having a terrific year — he is — but it’s a bit overblown. 12:26 Comment From J6takishHow did the AL get so mediocre? Also, stephen Drew gets how much when he inevitably signs in detroit 12:26 Dan Szymborski: Smell the parity! Might as well go with a 7-team AL East and an 8-team AL West and have Detroit and Oakland play in the ALCS, because those are the only two teams that feel like they’re playoff-caliber. 12:27 Comment From PaxMatt Dominguez looks good. Can he be a .260/25 HR guy as early as this year? 12:27 Dan Szymborski: More like 250/20. That’s not really *that* far off from projections. 12:28 Dan Szymborski: (Just checked, ZiPS had him 249/17 preseason) 12:28 Comment From Matty Ice Ice BabyTime to snag Mookie Betts in a 10 Team Mixed Keeper? June call up likely? 12:29 Dan Szymborski: Depends how deep the keeper lists are. 10-team mixed is very deep on talent, so it depends on who you’re giving up to carry Betts. 12:30 Comment From ChrisHi Dan, Anthony Rendon got off to a hot start but has really cooled off as of late. Would you drop him for Daniel Murphy? 12:30 Dan Szymborski: In fantasy, I probably would. 12:31 Comment From PaxWhat do you make of RA Dickey? Is this who he is or is a rebound on his horizon? 12:32 Dan Szymborski: I think this is what he is. Just looking at the ZiPS I projected at the time of the trade, it had his ERAs at 3.88 and 4.11 in Toronto for ’13 and ’14 and while that’s better than his actual 4.21 and 4.20, it’s not dramatically so. 12:32 Comment From TacoDo you have any good daily advice for tonight 12:33 Dan Szymborski: Beer is always a delicious evening beverage, so have some of that. 12:33 Dan Szymborski: And if you’re going on vacation, you’re running out of Memorial Day planning time! 12:33 Comment From Not Just Any Old Monkees FanDo you think the NBA is going to collect on its $2,500,000 fine of Donald Sterling? 12:34 Dan Szymborski: I think they’ll manage to get him pay, but I don’t expect them to successfully force him to sell the team. 12:34 Dan Szymborski: Get him pay? Me no write english good. 12:35 Comment From SteveWerth-will he bounce back or is this a signal of an age-related decline? 12:35 Dan Szymborski: Bounce back? This is a typical Werth season. He didn’t establish a new level of play at 34. 12:35 Comment From ThomasOdds Dan Uggla gets 600 more MLB ABs in his career? 12:35 Dan Szymborski: 4-1 against. 12:36 Dan Szymborski: He doesn’t field his position well and the Braves aren’t going to stick with him for *that* many more PA. 12:37 Comment From PieTrayneeDoes Neil Walker hit 25 homers this year? Is he a top 5 2b right now? 12:38 Dan Szymborski: He may come close to 25 given his start (20 easier), but I don’t think eh’s a top 5 2B. 12:38 Comment From Grand Admiral BraunWho ends up with most saves on Cleveland this year? Allen? 12:38 Dan Szymborski: That’s my pick. 12:39 Comment From jocephusis matheny leading to rosey’s suckitude? 12:39 Dan Szymborski: My opinion of Matheny has declined, but I wouldn’t pin that one on him. 12:39 Comment From GSonPanic in Cleveland.. The tigers come to the Northcoast with the Wahoos reeling after being shut down over the weekend, 30-6 cumulatively. Can the Motor City Kitties deal a death blow to the Tribes chances in 2014? Could this series be the impetus to a soon to be arranged fire sale? 12:40 Dan Szymborski: THe season’s spirally out of control rapidly – parity in the AL East is destroying Cleveland’s chances. 12:40 Dan Szymborski: To get the division, the Indians essentially have to play at a per/162 clip 15 games better than the Tigers over 3/4 of a season. 12:41 Dan Szymborski: Which leaves a wild card, but there are just so many teams shuffling right around .500 but above the Indians 12:42 Dan Szymborski: Indians are 11th in the wild card race, a much bigger problem than the 4 wins 12:42 Dan Szymborski: Or is it 5? 12:42 Dan Szymborski: No, 4 12:43 Comment From zoorzlesWho in the Orioles’ rotation should be first in line to lose their job for Gausman? They’re all looking like the same sort of mediocre right now. 12:43 Dan Szymborski: Mag. 12:43 Comment From Kevin HittIs Derek Norris for real? Will he continue to hit well or fade? 12:43 Dan Szymborski: The secondary skills are legit, but that BA has a lot of hot air in it. 12:44 Comment From Madison BumgarnerWhy is my BABIP so high? Am I just unlucky or is there deeper cause for concern? 12:45 Dan Szymborski: If all you knew about Bumgarner was the 232 BF this season, you’d expect him to regress 93% or so toward league-average. 12:45 Dan Szymborski: In other words, way too soon to worry. BABIP is noisy, BABIP in 9 starts is the sound of a train wreck, airline, and tornado simultaneously landing on your house. 12:46 Comment From Kevin HittUCLs: We overtrain our players. Everybody is out to get that scholarship and pro contract. Players play year round, take batting, fielding, pitching lessons, and coaches allow them to throw WAY too much. 12:46 Dan Szymborski: As I keep saying, the eventual solution will be printed ligaments. 12:47 Comment From StashAnything to worry about Kershaw’s back inflamation or are all sytems Go! Last outing was a nightmare… 12:48 Dan Szymborski: Nothing specific. The Dodgers were very conservative with what was a fairly minor back issue. 12:48 Dan Szymborski: For good reason though. A player like Kershaw, I’m not letting him pitch through *anything* that might make him alter his motion at all to compensate. 12:48 Dan Szymborski: I think he just had a shitty start. 12:49 Comment From Grand Admiral BraunIs Wellington Castillo someone the Cubs should feel comfortable with moving forward as their catcher of the future? The bat is right around average with some pop and the defensive metrics are very good (albeit a small sample size). 12:49 Dan Szymborski: He’s a solid 4 or 5 year option, though not good enough to keep his job if the Cubs develop something better. 12:49 Comment From Grand Admiral BraunStill excited that Samardzija could make it until the break/trade deadline with ZERO wins. 12:49 Dan Szymborski: He’s probably less so. 12:49 Comment From GuestAlex Wood’s role seems to be up in the air. Make sense to drop Wood for Keuchel? 12:50 Dan Szymborski: Keuchel’s role is safer if you simply need to fill out the innings and have a solid rotation otherwise. If your rotation is weak, I’d hang onto Wood and his more interesting upside. 12:50 Comment From KrustyInstead of counting all the pitchers who have had UCL elbow problems, wouldn’t it be easier (smaller sample) to simply track those who haven’t? 12:50 Dan Szymborski: Yes 12:50 Comment From JakeSay a starting pitcher got a LA projection before the season started, 200 IP, ~4 ERA, ~2 WAR. He’s pitched to roughly that line, he’s on track to get his 200 IP. WIth all the SP injuries, how much has his projected WAR improved? 12:51 Dan Szymborski: Replacement-level isn’t going to decline *that* much. 12:51 Comment From BenjiAre you the guy who hates fantasy talk? 12:51 Dan Szymborski: No, but I don’t prioritize fantasy questions. 12:52 Dan Szymborski: is it Sullivan who hates fantasy Qs? 12:52 Dan Szymborski: I know one of the other guys does. 12:52 Comment From Grand Admiral BraunShould the Jays go in on Samardzija or feel safe with Dickey/Buerhle/Hutchison? 12:53 Dan Szymborski: If the opportunity to bring in the Shark arises, they should take it. This is a tight division and every extra win is super valuable. 12:53 Dan Szymborski: I thought over the offseason the Jays needed to either fold or double-down, but they didn’t do either. 12:54 Comment From PeteDHutchinson shut down the Angels, now he gets Boston. Is he a must start now? Or still a spot? 12:54 Dan Szymborski: Wouldn’t call him a must start. 12:54 Comment From NateWhat’s the most you would bet on Kershaw throwing a no-hitter against a little league team? $10K? 12:55 Dan Szymborski: Dunno if I’d bet – he might feel sorry for the kids and start tossing. 12:55 Dan Szymborski: And if a kid hit a ball by accident, Kershaw presumably still has little league defenders behind him 12:55 Comment From Dan S.After you get elected Emperor of Baseball, who gets bolied in oil first – Angel Hernandez, Joe West, or Laz Diaz? 12:55 Dan Szymborski: Oh, Angel. 12:55 Comment From zoorzlesGausman was brought up because there was concern over Tillman’s groin and Norris’ possible suspension 12:55 Dan Szymborski: Thanks, didn’t remember the story. 12:56 Comment From MulderDo you expect Sonny Gray to continue at this level, some of his peripherals do not support his current era, etc.? In your opinion, he’s a top ____ starter? 12:56 Dan Szymborski: Oakland A’s. I hate Top x questions. 12:56 Comment From MaxHosmer or Rizzo going forward? 12:56 Dan Szymborski: Rizzo. 12:56 Comment From JakeYangervis Solarte’s true talent wRC+, over/under 100? In spring, a 1.061 OPS driven by a .489 OBP, against 8.1 OppQual (according to Baseball-Reference, roughly AAA pitching). Through the first quarter of the season (coming up on the first third) he’s got a 145 wRC+ on just a .322 BABIP, BB/K of 1, great discipline and a strong batted ball profile. That’s almost 3 months of being one of the best hitters in baseball. ZiPS calls a true talent wRC+ of 95. 12:57 Dan Szymborski: I’d still take under 100, but he wasn’t projected to be useless going into the season and he’s up to the level at which we’re confident he’s major league talent now. 12:57 Comment From JakeWhat does a McCann Mcovery look like? (Hitting enter on this one physically hurt) 12:57 Dan Szymborski: A McCovery? you should be banned for that. 12:57 Dan Szymborski: 330/450 or something still very possible. 12:57 Comment From Rated RookieCan I start hoping (again) to see Taijuan pitch this season? 12:58 Dan Szymborski: I don’t believe the M’s are considering shutting him down for the year yet. 12:58 Comment From GuestIf you got to change the stats that were widely shown in the media, what would you choose. Something like OBA, WRC, Quality starts? Can’t be too complicated, but tell a better story. 12:58 Dan Szymborski: OPS. It’s a useful, though not as precise as some others, stat. 12:59 Comment From JakeSay NYY gets 50% POFF odds by July. Hammel, Shields, Lee, Wandy Rodriguez, who makes the best trade target for them? 12:59 Dan Szymborski: Lee is the most interesting, though he has to go along (he can veto most of the teams) 12:59 Comment From BenJohn Tyler lived 5 years longer, those feeble years from age 67–72 will take their toll in terms of average lifetime strength. Although, he was not impeached, which I imagine took a psychic toll (although maybe Johnson could channel that pain). Very hard to say. 1:00 Comment From SandyEovaldi, Jesse Chavez, Yordano–pick two. 1:00 Dan Szymborski: 1st and 3rd. 1:00 Comment From GSonIf your argument is that a regression to a norm is expected, then you have a weak argument supported by a limited data set. e.g. Cueto’s Year. Comment 1:00 Dan Szymborski: What, you think .170 BABIP is an ability? 1 LOB all year an ability? 1:00 Comment From It takes a nation of millionsMr. SZY – question for you. Mookie Betts. Now he’s playing in center, where the MLB squad is rolling out the likes of bradley/gomes/who knows who – is this suddenly more “he’s here in 2014” vs “he’s a ways off and blocked?”? If he gets the call, what’s his potential in your eyes? Even at 70% of his MiLB production, he’d be about as elite as it gets. 1:01 Dan Szymborski: I think the Betts hype has gotten a little out of control. He’s unlikely to be an elite player this year. 1:02 Dan Szymborski: Yes, he’s likely to be a good player, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. He’s killed AA ball for 6 weeks. 1:03 Comment From KyleThoughts on Cuddyer ROS when he returns? Think he can still be a .300 hitter with ~20 HRs or is that too optimistic? 1:03 Dan Szymborski: That’s not unreasonable. He’s still playing in Coors, after all. 1:04 Comment From GuestIf Corey Hart goes on the DL with his hamstring, is there a chance that the Mariners think about bringing Kenrys Morales back to replace him? 1:04 Dan Szymborski: There’s at least a chance, but Morales may not want the full Walk of Shame return to Seattle unless they really crush the other offers. 1:04 Comment From HughYou think singleton is capable of .800 ops, .250ba, 15-20 homers and good rbis if called up today? 1:04 Dan Szymborski: Not unreasonable. 1:05 Comment From Vil B.Are you buying on Hughes’ turnaround? Sure, it’s a spacious park compared to Yankee Stadium, but his OFs are like a comedy show–not what a flyball pitcher wants to see when he looks at there. And his walk rate is lower than it’s ever been. But he is suppressing HRs much better, so… Thoughts? 1:06 Dan Szymborski: Honestly? I don’t know what to make of Hughes. He seems to either look like a Cy Young or a Matt Young with no Curt Young or Chris Young in-between. 1:06 Comment From CiceroZIPS now has Tulo at .337/.424/.623 with 34HR in 137G 1:06 Dan Szymborski: Breaking: Tulo is good! 1:06 Comment From RichieNo “Betts”. Only Mookie. Did Yogi ever get called ‘Berra’? 1:07 Dan Szymborski: Yogi had the advantage of being the only Yogi. 1:07 Dan Szymborski: If you had a crappy player named Zipzopzoobitybop Smith, he would be known by his first name, whereas Mike Trout would not simply be Mike. 1:08 Dan Szymborski: Fact is, if you just say Mookie, most people over 30 or so will probably think Mookie Wilson. 1:08 Dan Szymborski: or Mookie Wilson. 1:08 Dan Szymborski: Whatever you think of the president, Barack is a clear labeler of what you’re talking about. 1:08 Dan Szymborski: It’s not like there was Barack McGillicuddy, 80’s Action Star. 1:09 Comment From NerdiferWhat are the odds of me winning my fantasy baseball league? 1:09 Dan Szymborski: Without further information, 1/leagueteams 1:09 Comment From DonWho wins Verlander and Melkey for Adam Jones?? 1:09 Dan Szymborski: First. 1:10 Comment From VinnieWhat’s your favorite dip to consume while watching a game? Salsa, guac, spinach-artichoke, onion, hummus, or a wild card? 1:10 Dan Szymborski: I don’t dip things. Snack-wise, undipped chips are most likely. 1:10 Dan Szymborski: Or more frequently, regular food. 1:10 Dan Szymborski: Last night, I was carrying around a massive lamb chop around the house as I watched baseball. 1:11 Comment From JakeWhy are teams so hesitant to enter rebuilding mode? HOS, CHC, MIN, CHW, NYM, ARI, MIA, PHI, CIN, PIT, SDP all get 1:11 Dan Szymborski: YOu want to rebuild, but you don’t want to look like you gave up. 1:11 Comment From BrianWith Mookie Betts getting some time in the Outfield do you think the speeds up his timetable for a callup? Do you think he makes it to the majors before Sept? 1:11 Dan Szymborski: It does – he’s more useful if he’s more flexible, position-wise. 1:11 Dan Szymborski: A few more and then time to go. 1:11 Comment From Rated RookieSullivan and Cameron. 1:11 Comment From VinnieDo you like fantasy novels? Like George RR Martin? 1:11 Dan Szymborski: Enjoy his books, don’t enjoy his tendency to WRITE ONE WORD A DAY. 1:13 Comment From Beer Slushees For AllThe closest an AL Central team comes to catching the Tigers this season will be ______ games. 1:13 Dan Szymborski: 0. Start of the season. 1:13 Dan Szymborski: Here on out, I’ll say 4. 1:13 Comment From SadwickI just finished killing off my lunch hour doing all the chores that I couldn’t do last week on my business trip. What have I missed? 1:13 Dan Szymborski: I posted GIFs of me twerking in my underwear, clearing out the chat. 1:13 Comment From RotoLandoWhich is your favorite chocolate cereal: Cocoa Krispies, Coco Puffs, Count Chocula, or Other? 1:14 Dan Szymborski: I don’t like kids cereals. 1:14 Dan Szymborski: My favorite cereal as a kid? Bran Flakes. 1:14 Comment From XandmaniaIs Xander Bogaerts going to start raking like a boss soon or can we expect this middling production to continue? 1:14 Dan Szymborski: He’s a shortstop with an OPS+ of 108. You’re a greedy, greedy man. 1:15 Comment From JayTDo you think Starlin Castro has finally become the star everyone expected him to be, or by the end of the year do you think he’ll be back to being a league average hitter with 3 war? 1:15 Dan Szymborski: I don’t think he’s this good, but he’s certainly done his best to wipe out the memories of a really disastrous 2013. 1:15 Dan Szymborski: Never understood why people completely wrote him off. 1:16 Comment From stuck in a slumpBarack McGillicuddy is an amazing name, if this were two years earlier I might have considered it for my first born 1:16 Dan Szymborski: For some reason, funny names work no matter the syllables in the last name. But badass names, just one. 1:17 Dan Szymborski: Aristophanes Szymborski? That sounds funny, but not badass. Aristophanes Jones? Well, you better watch your step around him. 1:17 Comment From Theo EpsteinWhat’s the deal with Mike Olt? 1:17 Dan Szymborski: Very good MLB power, not really an MLBer at other offensive stuff. 1:18 Dan Szymborski: On that note, time to ridd off into the sunset. Though sunset’s not for 6 hours, so I’ll ride slowly. Which makes sense as horses like carrying jockeys better than my fat ass, I assume.