Dan Szymborski FanGraphs Chat – 5/4/14

11:58
Dan Szymborski: And awwwwaaaaay we go!

11:59
Dan Szymborski: First off, since we’re back to normalcy (Mondays and I don’t have an hvac guy distracting me), back to presidents.

11:59
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11:59
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11:59
Dan Szymborski: Oops, didn’t trim down the image, but it still works

12:01
Comment From Josh G
Thoughts on the Brewers giving Counsell a 3 year deal?

12:01
Dan Szymborski: Quite aggressive for a manager without any experience actually managing.

12:01
Dan Szymborski: Now, he’s worked for the front office extensively, so they like him, but still that’s a risk.

12:02
Comment From S
Charlie Blackmon – actually a decent player or is this going to be another hot month or two mixed with awfulness? Should the Rockies trade him while his value may be at an all time high?

12:02
Dan Szymborski: He’s just an averageish player who occasionally has a big month.

12:03
Dan Szymborski: Trading him wouldn’t fit Colorado’s m.o. When they are actually willing to trade contributors, they prefer to wait until the lowest point of their value and then ask for a package as if they’re trading him at the highest.

12:03
Comment From Julio Pepper
How many more innings this year should I expect from Tanaka?

12:04
Dan Szymborski: Somewhere between 0-120. Neither number on the ends would shock me.

12:04
Comment From Keeper? I hardly know her
Shane Greene? What is the reality there. He’s been so good and so bad.

12:04
Dan Szymborski: He’s simply a 3/4 guy.

12:04
Comment From Natitude Adjuster
Hey Dan, I’m going to the Nats/Marlins game on Wednesday afternoon with a big cohort from work. Got any relevant baseball talking points that could work well in that setting? Thanks.

12:04
Dan Szymborski: Don’t know your coworkers! Don’t prepare talking points, nothing looks worse than looking like a faker!

12:05
Dan Szymborski: When I do radio spots, I request that we *don’t* discuss the topics ahead of time (other than say, baseball). Who wants to listen to canned spiel?

12:05
Comment From Johnny Depp
Devon Travis: Greatest Of All Time, or Greatest Of All Time?

12:05
Comment From Jim
So…this Red Sox pitching staff. Based on certain predictive stats they’re above-average as a rotation, but obviously the results have not been there. Is there a point at which we start seeing the discrepancy between ERA-FIP-xFIP as legitimate and not due to small sample size?

12:06
Dan Szymborski: There’s never any hard point for any of these numbers – the bigger the discrepancy, the fewer PA/IP required to believe there’s some aspect of ability in there.

12:06
Dan Szymborski: Generally speaking, if anyone says “Trust X stat in Y PA” you probably shouldn’t trust that person.

12:06
Comment From Vslyke
Fredi G playing Eric Young over Maybin is grounds for impeachment, right?

12:07
Dan Szymborski: At this point, Eric Young shouldn’t get a start over Aaron Maybin.

12:07
Dan Szymborski: (The football player, I don’t know any other Maybins to make th ejoke)

12:08
Dan Szymborski: But from Fredi Gonzalez’s standpoint, the Braves clearly didn’t make understanding the relative quality of baseball players a priority for their managerial team last season, so it would be kind of unfair to expect it now.

12:08
Comment From hscer
As late as 2012 could anybody foresee that Bryce Harper would be completely toast as a base stealer by age 22?

12:09
Dan Szymborski: It’s not crazy – the peak for basestealing is essentially your first professional game. A lot of times guys who hit well will naturally be told to steal less often and if a player has an injury history, stolen bases can be curtailed very quickly

12:10
Dan Szymborski: Look at Eric Davis – while his SBs weren’t completely curtailed, the Reds put the red light on him really quickly given his injuries

12:10
Comment From Andrew
How many wins/losses do you think a manager can help/hurt? Such as based on the ZIPS projections, if all the players performed exactly, how big of a swing would a good/bad manager have?

12:10
Dan Szymborski: Hard to answer that question in such a direct manner. I don’t think it’s easy to put a simple number on this kind of thing

12:10
Comment From paulmolitorOFFICIAL
who do you have more faith in ROS: Devon Travis or Moustakas?

12:11
Dan Szymborski: Travis. There was more uncertainty over how good Travis was than Moose.

12:11
Comment From Keeper? I hardly know her
I know you get asked these questions a lot, but there seems to be a recent serge behind several blue chip prospects (Buxton, Correa, and esp. Seager). Do you see any of them coming up soon?

12:11
Dan Szymborski: I don’t think we’ll see any *that* soon. Teams are very cognizant of service time and don’t like to jump the gun if needed.

12:11
Comment From GSon
I have a crew replacing the garage door. Apparently it has to be in the up position to allow the car to drive out of it.. Who knew?..

12:12
Dan Szymborski: Well, it doesn’t *have* to be in the up position, but if you drive through in the down position, you’ll need to replace the door frequently

12:12
Comment From Larry Bernandez
Hayes has the edge due to his beard.

12:13
Comment From Bruce
When a picher like Ervin Santana is suspended, what does he do for 3 months? Is he allowed to play anywhere? When re-instated, will he have to spend a month in the minors building up arm-strenth, like spring training?

12:14
Dan Szymborski: I think there’s considerable uncertainty here – while a player can still be trained, you have teams asking for clarification on just what they can do with a suspended player (O’s asked last year if Davis could play instructional league)

12:14
Comment From The Oriole Bird
When baseball researchers of the future amass large databases of games and outcomes, will last weekend’s Rays-O’s series look like a home series for the Orioles or the Rays?

12:14
Dan Szymborski: Rays most likely.

12:14
Dan Szymborski: Errr O’s most likely

12:14
Dan Szymborski: Hmm, not sure actually. lol

12:14
Comment From Keeper? I hardly know her
Dodgers? A lot of infield depth? or The Most infield depth

12:14
Dan Szymborski: The most.

12:15
Comment From mtsw
If I’m trying to use projected stats to project day to day performance (for use on a daily fantasy game) should I be applying park adjustments to both pitcher and batter stats? That seems like I’m doubling the adjustment though. Halved park factors to each? Or only to one or the other?

12:15
Dan Szymborski: Yes, why wouldn’t you? I’m not sure I understand.

12:15
Comment From Despondent Pirates fan
Got anything encouraging to say about the Pirates? This weekend was brutal.

12:15
Dan Szymborski: I think they will be fine

12:15
Comment From The Big Dipper
Do you buy the Tanaka-less Yankees as a contender?

12:15
Dan Szymborski: Yes, but only because the AL East has no really good teams

12:17
Comment From Yu Gi OH
How much are you buy Tim Lincecum so far? It doesn’t look like he’s getting back to his old self, but is a 4th start ROS reasonable?

12:18
Dan Szymborski: I’m not going to get excited yet. His stuff still looks meh and his fastball is Weavery.

12:18
Dan Szymborski: He’s had good months before during the post-good phase of his career, just not in April so that they didn’t make up the entirety of his seasonal stats.

12:20
Dan Szymborski: Sorry, back, cat related disaster

12:20
Dan Szymborski: heard broken glass in the kitchen. Shooed them out and closed the doors.

12:20
Comment From Andrew
Does Hedges call up mean he will take a lot of PT from Norris? Or is this just a way to get his feet wet in the big leagues?

12:20
Dan Szymborski: I think it’s feet wetting

12:20
Comment From GSon
Fire Sale in Chicago imminent?

12:21
Dan Szymborski: I don’t think the White Sox give up that quickly, though I would argue that given the start of the Tigers/Royals, it’s smart to fold this hand

12:21
Comment From sherman
Who do you prefer between AJ Pollock, Joc Pederson, and Steven Souza?

12:21
Dan Szymborski: Joc.

12:21
Comment From Tim
Joe Kelly… Unlucky or ungood? He’s had a couple bad starts in a row and his peripherals seem to be outrunning ZiPS expectations by quite a bit. On the other hand, he seems to have discovered how to strike people out and limit walks….

12:21
Dan Szymborski: Kelly’s a tough one. His stuff is better than his pitching.

12:21
Comment From Clay
Time to sell high on D. Travis?? If so, how high? (other MIs i have: Tulo, Dee, A. Russell).

12:22
Dan Szymborski: Always depends on the offer. Don’t go in with a rigid plan to “sell high.”

12:22
Comment From Craigs Counsel
On a scale of enjoyable shitshow to unwatchable mess, wear is this suicide squad film likely to fall?

12:22
Dan Szymborski: Hard to say, I’m not a comics expert and most of the movies of this genre are at least OK

12:23
Comment From zurzles
http://www.theonion.com/art…

12:23
Comment From The Big Dipper
Weird that they didn’t give him the interim tag and went straight to the 3 yr deal mid-season

12:23
Dan Szymborski: It is

12:23
Comment From mtsw
Why fire your manager right before Kershaw/Greinke come to town? Closest you’ll ever get to two guaranteed losses.

12:24
Dan Szymborski: I know I said this on twitter yesterday, but May firings tend to be really weird. The team liked him enough to manage a month ago and 6 weeks ago, enough to pick up his option for 2016.

12:24
Dan Szymborski: I think the Brewers have reached the point at which they need an organizational enema.

12:24
Comment From Andrew
Counsell had been rumored to being groomed to be a GM. Is this Melvin’s way of keeping his job?

12:24
Dan Szymborski: It could be – it doesn’t ever hurt a GM to have a manager they have a good working relationship with

12:25
Dan Szymborski: But GMs only get so many scapegoats before their head is on the guillotine.

12:25
Comment From The Big Dipper
They’re giving away Mets fedoras at Citi next weekend.

12:25
Comment From Mark
Do you feel BRM was good value for money? It feels very lackluster compared to Naxx in terms of meta-defining cards.

12:25
Dan Szymborski: Ack, meant to tag this for the Lightning Round (which is back in full this week)

12:26
Dan Szymborski: The meta is quite varied right now, so BRM was inevitably going to not have as much of an impact as Naxx. Also, there was an emphasis on control-type cards and those types of decks take longer to gel.

12:26
Dan Szymborski: Though I don’t think it will be as impactful as Naxx in the long-term.

12:27
Dan Szymborski: While BRM thankfully didn’t give many tools to the aggro type decks, they didn’t give a lot of tools to anti-aggro decks and some of the exceptions (Dark Iron Skulker) don’t actually fit into any deck run now – you’d need a new deck for those cards.

12:28
Comment From Mike
How has the Astro’s fanbase responded to this early season success? Still depressed?

12:28
Dan Szymborski: I think the fanbase has been slowly getting more excited for awhile now.

12:28
Comment From Barney Stinson
Last week a college football player with the middle name of Diego was arrested. If he gets kicked off the team, the team will be Sans Diego.

12:28
Comment From Guest
I gotta take my kid to get vaccinated, but I’m real uneasy abt it. Quell my nerves or link me to a good resource for homeschooling.

12:29
Dan Szymborski: Say a doctor’s visit is 2 hours total. In those 2 hours, your kid is far more likely to receive a serious injury from another source than from any complications from a vaccination.

12:29
Comment From Yu Gi OH
You think the White Sox & Red Sox match up on a Shark trade?

12:29
Dan Szymborski: Thing is, I’m not sure the White Sox have reached that point yet. And I think if they are, they’re still at thet point at which they’re going to insist on more than Shark is worth.

12:30
Comment From Tim
Can Mallex Smith ever be an above avg lead off hitter if he continues to stike out so much?

12:30
Dan Szymborski: I think he *can* be – his strikeouts aren’t at epidemic proportions

12:30
Comment From Curious Padres
Myers doesn’t really have 20 SB potential or a high OBP and his power would play better lower in the lineup. Do you see him staying in the leadoff spot ROS? What’s his fantasy outlook? Top 30 OF?

12:31
Dan Szymborski: If Top 30, it’s marginal – park will always make him look worse in fantasy than real life value

12:32
Dan Szymborski: Hmm, there’s a rockies question about bridich’s mo that CiL seems to have eaten

12:32
Dan Szymborski: While Bridich may work differently than O’Dowd, the ownership still has quite a say in it.

12:32
Dan Szymborski: And I think ownership has had its hand in a lot of the Rockies strategic groaners over the years

12:33
Comment From Joey
Hey Dan, I was going to ask where all the chatters are today, but then I remembered that the Pirates left them stranded on second base in St. Louis. ARGH!!!!

12:33
Comment From S
Re: “colorado’s m.o.” Do you think this may be different now that Bridich has shown he does things differently? For example, cutting Chacin right after ST is not something O’Dowd would have done.

12:33
Dan Szymborski: Hey, the question popped up! lol

12:33
Comment From MI Dilemma
Hey Dan! This year only in a 6 x 6 Rotisserie with OPS do you prefer Addison Russell or Chris Owings? Both seem like very high ceiling guys I’m stuck on this one!

12:33
Dan Szymborski: Owings better short-term, Russell long-term.

12:33
Comment From HappyFunBall
If the O’s could just play in front of empty stands and in away “home” stadiums all season, they’d be unstoppable!

12:33
Comment From mtsw
If you were appointed the Rockie’s team president do you feel like you could build a consistent contender in their bananas ballpark or would you just start saving for a pressurized dome?

12:33
Dan Szymborski: I think you can build a team in that ballpark.

12:34
Dan Szymborski: Though I do not possess the qualities that would make a good team president.

12:34
Comment From andy
is there really a $50-100M difference between Wieters and Caleb Joseph?

12:34
Dan Szymborski: Given the uncertainty of how well Wieters can actually play catcher at this point, no.

12:34
Comment From Mike
How long will the Marcus Semien at SS concept last? His -4.1 DEf is no bueno

12:35
Dan Szymborski: Now, he’s probably not quite this bad, but he was always going to be a below-average SS.

12:35
Dan Szymborski: The A’s aren’t typically a team that stands by failed experiments indefinitely

12:35
Comment From Bogart minus Humphrey
Hey Dan what are your projections for Xander this year? Fan of his or meh?

12:36
Dan Szymborski: Moderate fan. I think he’ll be a consistently good player, but I don’t think he has a star-like upside.

12:36
Dan Szymborski: Think of him from a value standpoint as a healthier Jed Lowrie. of course, a healthier Jed Lowrie would have been a top notch contributor for years, but I don’t think he’ll be a star

12:36
Comment From Justin
Which is more concerning: Zimmermann’s velocity or Hamels HRA?

12:36
Dan Szymborski: Zimm velocity

12:37
Comment From Barney Stinson
So the Braves broadcast was touting this team as being much more aggressive and putting the ball in play more. Clearly they are trying to put a positive spin on the season to keep the viewership, but at what point do the announcers just give up and admit they are terrible?

12:37
Dan Szymborski: If you’re familiar with the Hawk’s work over the years, there’s no point at which that becomes required.

12:37
Dan Szymborski: I’d still start him

12:37
Comment From Kevin
I’ve been waiting for Miguel Gonzalez to blow up for 3 years now and it has yet to happen. HR and K rates look better in this young season as well. What are the odds he’s actually a decently reliable #3 and we’ve been overeager in anticipating his demise?

12:38
Dan Szymborski: He’s at the point at which he’s established he’s somewhat better than his FIP, but some of that is still defense.

12:38
Dan Szymborski: You can actually see that in his ZiPS – FG turns the ZiPS on the player pages to be consistent with the FIP WAR that FG uses, but ZiPS was already projecting him as a half-run better than his FIP coming into the season

12:39
Comment From STiVo
Do you know whether StatCast data matches ESPN’s Hittracker Online data? (I believe, though haven’t rechecked, that Stanton hit a laser-beam HR that StatCast said had apex of 35 feet, whereas Hittracker said 47.)

12:39
Dan Szymborski: I have no idea.

12:39
Comment From vilnius b.
As a happy Cano owner in a 16 team points keeper league for the last four years (very wOBA oriented) it appears that 20 HRs are never coming back. Since I presumably have Corey Seager on the way next year as a SS, I’m looking to move Cano for the first time in years. What 2B do you see as logical replacements for the next 3-4 year? Kipnis? Dozier? Or should I accept a good young OF if I can land one, on the principle of losing a 2B, but gain a SS? I do have Dilson Herrera on my bench.

12:39
Dan Szymborski: I don’t think you can be this rigid with the planning. if you get good value, you have to consider it. Kipnis and Dozier are unlikely to replace Cano.

12:40
Comment From The Big Dipper
Has Chris Young finally remembered how to play baseball?

12:40
Dan Szymborski: He is whawt he is – a good 4th outfielder that people gave up on too quickly during his mets stint

12:41
Comment From Taijuan Walkers disappearing fast ball
Will Taijuan Walker learn how to pitch with consistency and control this year? Is it too early to cut bait and pick up a hot bat, Matz, or Chase Anderson? If I cut him will I regret it? I figure he’ll be a star, but I cant wait; I hypothesize he’ll hit his stride sometime next year. Your thoughts on the matter?

12:41
Dan Szymborski: Walker has upside, but there was always going to be a rough road for it. If you’re in a redraft league, I’d absolutely prefer Matz flier to Walker.

12:41
Comment From Barney Stinson
Couldn’t one conclude that difference in expected wins versus actual wins be a quantified measure of manager success?

12:41
Dan Szymborski: You could, but you’re eseentially assuming the source of unknown error is simply another thing in proximity.

12:42
Comment From Garrett
Will the Tigers offense be hindered in the long run by the fact that they don’t have a true leadoff hitter and strikeout at a very high rate?

12:42
Dan Szymborski: Not so much a true leadoff hitter as simply the fact that the Tigers lineup is generally very unbalanced.

12:42
Comment From Natitude Adjuster
I wasn’t thinking of canned spiel for the game on Wednesday. More something that could be used as an invitation to baseball conversation, like one or two sentences about Scherzer’s contract (he’ll be the Nats’ starter). Yes, canned spiel is boring.

12:42
Dan Szymborski: Talk about the Marlins creepy home run feature

12:43
Comment From Choi choo
Do u think boxberger holds the job down or McGee?

12:43
Dan Szymborski: If McGee looks sharp, I think he gets first dibs.

12:43
Comment From Reginald Denton III
Teheran’s fine, isn’t he?

12:43
Dan Szymborski: I believe so – I’ve been optimistic.

12:43
Comment From Doctor Mario
Hanley’s been an interesting case this year. A .229 BABIP, but also a 43.5% HR/FB. Where do you see his performance once the dust settles?

12:43
Dan Szymborski: I don’t think the projections for Ramirez look off

12:43
Comment From Iñigo Montoya
Have you read Nate Silver’s book, The Signal and the Noise?

12:44
Dan Szymborski: Not the whole thing. I am so behind on reading.

12:44
Comment From Cincinnati Chili Connoisseur
Does ZiPS change a player’s forecast based on number of days spent on DL? For example, are Rendon’s 2015 ZiPS numbers looking worse the longer he’s out?

12:44
Dan Szymborski: In-season model is simpler, so no.

12:44
Comment From The Big Dipper
dubble bubble, bazooka, or big league chew?

12:44
Dan Szymborski: I don’t care for bubble gum, but I liked big league chew when I was a kid

12:44
Comment From John
Care to weigh in on argument I’m having with a buddy? Eovaldi or Joe Kelly the rest of the way?

12:44
Dan Szymborski: That’s fairly close and both similar players in type – I think you’ll have to settle this with fisticuffs.

12:45
Comment From Joey
How much longer does Kang have to look like a clearly superior option before Hurdle benches Harrison and uses Kang at third every day?

12:46
Dan Szymborski: I think Kang gets a shot a short quicker than third.

12:46
Comment From Grand Admiral Braun
What comes first: universal DH or 4-man rotation?

12:46
Dan Szymborski: Universal DH.

12:46
Comment From L. Scott
With Dilson Herrera called up, do you see the Mets dealing Daniel Murphy, and what kind of return would you expect for him?

12:46
Dan Szymborski: I think they’ll hang onto Murphy through his departure to FA.

12:47
Comment From STiVo
How’s the A/C working?

12:47
Dan Szymborski: Just fine.

12:47
Comment From Andrew
Do the Brewers need a more innovative GM to help me compete better due to their small budget?

12:47
Dan Szymborski: Yes

12:47
Comment From S
If I wanted to build my own projection system, where would I start? How would I get access to the data?

12:47
Dan Szymborski: There’s a ton of data out there!

12:47
Comment From Jem
How many of the 10 worst contracts in baseball do the Tigers have?

12:47
Dan Szymborski: 3

12:47
Comment From Franklin
Collin McHugh or Dallas Keuchel if you had to pick just one?

12:47
Dan Szymborski: Keuchel

12:47
Comment From Andrew
This move is basically Melvin trying to save his own job, right?

12:47
Dan Szymborski: I believe so.

12:47
Comment From hscer
rank these fruits I obtained pieces of at the cafe – watermelon, kiwi, mango, pineapple, strawberry, grape

12:48
Dan Szymborski: Pineapple, Strawberry, Mango, Kiwi, Grape, Watermelon

12:48
Comment From DL help
Which pitcher do you see having the most success this year? Beachy, Parker or Moore? Also, Eduardo Rodriguez likely to get a call soon? Seems like the Sox rotation could use him.

12:48
Dan Szymborski: Parker. I don’t think he’ll be soon

12:49
Comment From STiVo
Does Dr. Andrews do organizational enemas?

12:49
Dan Szymborski: Not really his specialty

12:49
Comment From Tim
Can Markakis get one of the 2 big prospect left handed starters from the Angels?

12:49
Dan Szymborski: No

12:49
Dan Szymborski: Unless the Angels are stupid, which they sometimes are

12:49
Comment From Sean
I know you’re not one of the Dave’s, but can you explain why the order of a team’s DEF runs total is not correlated to UZR? Is it purely from DH position adjustment?

12:49
Dan Szymborski: couldn’t tell you – I don’t run anything on FG!

12:49
Dan Szymborski: I am literally the worse person to ask these questions!

12:49
Comment From The Big Dipper
what in the hell are you talking about right now

12:49
Dan Szymborski: Baseball mostly

12:50
Comment From Barney Stinson
The Mariners see the highest amount of pitches in the zone. Gotta be due to Safeco, right?

12:50
Dan Szymborski: certainly doesn’t hurt – you’re less likely to punished in Seattle than in Texas.

12:50
Comment From The Big Dipper
Who does Nelson Cruz think he’s fooling?

12:50
Dan Szymborski: He is the God of APril

12:50
Comment From Grand Admiral Braun
Ryan Braun’s extension of 5/$105 doesn’t even kick in until 2016. Melvin and Co. made some poor decisions unrelated to Renicke.

12:50
Dan Szymborski: I did say at the time that the extension wasn’t good. They should’ve just kep the original deal

12:50
Comment From Yu Gi OH
HUNGRY DRAGON THOUGH

12:50
Dan Szymborski: Dammit, I keep hitting post instead of tag

12:51
Dan Szymborski: Hungry Dragon is a cool card. But it’s also a slow card. Yeah, you can deal with the 1 drop it generates, but there’s opportunity cost there. If you can deal with the 1 drop, that means you could have dealt with something *else* with that.

12:51
Dan Szymborski: The BRM cards, as a group, are slow cards.

12:52
Comment From mtsw
Re: previous park factor question: so right now I’m taking the projected stats, applying halved park factors (the ones listed on the FG guts page) to them to get park neutral stats then applying full park factors for that day’s stadium to the results. The problem is I’m doing that for pitcher AND batters so when I get to the point where I’m comparing the batter/pitcher matchups the guys at Coors always look better (i think) than they should and the guys at PETCO look worse because the full park factors have been incorporated into both sides. Should I just halve the park factors or weight them in some other way? Or is there actually nothing wrong with my current approach and the differences really are that dramatic. I apologize for how confusing this question is.

12:52
Dan Szymborski: I don’t see anything wrong with your approach, though I may be missing something as that’s a big wall of text.

12:52
Comment From Andrew
Could Lohse be heading back to St. Louis?

12:52
Dan Szymborski: Doubt it.

12:52
Comment From Josh G
Does the Brewers’ managerial change signal they think they can turn the season around and a reluctance to sell? Or is the long term contract to Counsell a sign that they want him there during a rebuild?

12:53
Dan Szymborski: I have no idea what the Brewers are thinking about right now.

12:53
Comment From FigWhip
Closer to being able to hit major league pitching: Swihart or Hedges?

12:53
Dan Szymborski: Swihart

12:53
Comment From Milhouse
Has Moustakas figured it out this year, or is he a textbook ‘sell high’ guy right now?

12:54
Dan Szymborski: I don’t like calling someone as having figured it out when the figuring it out is essentially manifested in having a BABIP 80 points above their career average.

12:54
Comment From Justin
Are you worried about Zimmermann’s arm?

12:55
Dan Szymborski: Moderately. Though I’m never less worried than mildly for any pitcher.

12:55
Comment From mtsw
Is Eric Sogard the only bespectacled active position player? Do we have data on which players wear contacts?

12:55
Dan Szymborski: I do not believe we have the data.

12:55
Comment From The Big Dipper
Cobb or Smyly?

12:55
Dan Szymborski: Assuming this is a this year question, Smyly has the higher floor, Cobb the higher ceiling

12:55
Comment From The Big Dipper
Will Profar ever be a star?

12:55
Dan Szymborski: It’s getting to be a longer shot given that he’s missed so much developmental time

12:56
Comment From hscer
how much more likely is WAS to win the NLE than they were midnight on Thursday

12:56
Dan Szymborski: Haven’t run ZiPS today, but I’d guess they’ve gone from 50-60 in the last several days

12:56
Comment From Disappointed Dad
Taijuan Walker looked so bad…and then so good…and now terrible again. Does he figure it out enough to be a reliable play yet this season?

12:56
Dan Szymborski: I do not believe so.

12:57
Comment From randplaty
Where has Matt Kemp’s power gone?

12:57
Dan Szymborski: I think his power will be better — though always hurt by the park — as his BA inevitably declines

12:57
Comment From Art Vandelay
What’s your highest number of Arena wins? Also, is that the best thing about Hearthstone?

12:58
Dan Szymborski: I’ve hit 12 several times in EU. I think my top in US is 10. I don’t play a *ton* of arena

12:58
Dan Szymborski: DAMMIT THAT WA FOR LIGHTNING ROUND

12:58
Comment From Juwan Howard
Reading is FUN-damental.

12:58
Comment From Guest
big league chew was my gateway to chewing tobacco stay away from that nonsense yall unless you hate your lower jaw

12:58
Comment From I Cant Even
Convince me to either trade for Mike Moustakas or tell me I’m crazy.

12:58
Dan Szymborski: Do I have to call a psych consult?

12:58
Comment From Jack Elliott
Does Daniel Norris make it back to the bigs this year? If so, does he pitch better?

12:58
Dan Szymborski: Yes and yes

12:58
Comment From mtsw
Should players be banned from spitting on artifical turf? Seems exponentially grosser than spitting on grass

12:58
Dan Szymborski: I don’t know the realties of cleaning turf

12:59
Comment From mtsw
Is Ubaldo Jimenez still among the 10 worst contracts?

12:59
Dan Szymborski: No. I didn’t place him anywhere near the top 20 last year.

12:59
Dan Szymborski: Entering this season, ZiPS *still* though he’d be worth 39 over final 3.

12:59
Comment From Andrew
Dan, what’s your secret?

1:00
Dan Szymborski: If I said, it wouldn’t be a secret.

1:00
Dan Szymborski: Unless it was secret deodorant, which could publicly be secret

1:00
Dan Szymborski: but I don’t use secret deodarant

1:01
Dan Szymborski: I got this old spice deodorant called “Bearglove” that was on sale which I currently have right now

1:01
Dan Szymborski: Which kind of smells like a combination of mai tais, sunny delight, and insect repellent

1:02
Comment From STiVo
Kris Bryant over/under career HR: 1?

1:02
Dan Szymborski: heh

1:02
Comment From Tony
Would you drop Souza? Dude leads MLB in k’s. Or hold on to his potential?

1:02
Dan Szymborski: Depends who’s available

1:02
Comment From Surplus Value
If Cafardo’s report yesterday is true, and the Red Sox are unwilling to move Margot in a trade for Hamels…that’s absurd, right? It seems like Amaro isn’t the only one being stubborn and unrealistic in these talks.

1:02
Dan Szymborski: I think it comes down to the Red Sox just not wanting Hamels that badly

1:03
Comment From STiVo
Kris Bryant’s three true outcome rate = 45%. HR rate accounts for 0 of that. Impressive!

1:03
Comment From FigWhip
Do you have more faith in Michael Taylor or Marlon Byrd for the remainder of 2015?

1:03
Dan Szymborski: Taylor now

1:04
Comment From The Big Dipper
He is the god of designer steroids

1:04
Dan Szymborski: If steroids had that much of an effect, it would mean that only a few players in history have used steroids

1:04
Comment From mtsw
Are you pro or anti corporate stadium naming rights? Seems relatively innocuous as way to generate revenue but also gross that quasi-public buildings (built with tax dollars in most cases) are named for products rather than for like, great citizens or war veterans as in previous generations.

1:04
Dan Szymborski: I’m against the building of the public-financed stadiums in the first place

1:05
Dan Szymborski: If you’re suckered into financing a private stadium for a rich guy, either make that a condition or STFU

1:05
Comment From hscer
Why doesn’t ZiPS overreact like the fans do? Fans like myself who want to believe Danny Espinosa isn’t a 30% K guy anymore.

1:05
Comment From The Big Dipper
who are you going to make president Carson fight after he wins the election?

1:05
Dan Szymborski: I DO NOT WANT TO LIVE IN CARSON CISTULLI’S DYSTOPIA

1:06
Comment From The Big Dipper
Rumor has it that Counsell only got hired because Melvin thinkgs he had a cool batting stance.

1:06
Comment From The Big Dipper
Did you watch the fight on Saturday?

1:06
Dan Szymborski: I did not.

1:07
Comment From baltic wolf.
Old Spice? You have to be kidding Dan!

1:07
Dan Szymborski: It was on sale. I’ve always had a comfortable life because I am frugal.

1:08
Comment From The Big Dipper
re: “If steroids had that much of an effect, it would mean that only a few players in history have used steroids” Explain that one.

1:08
Dan Szymborski: If steroids were a substance that could make Cruz April 2015s happens, then the effects of steroids are so large that only a handful of players could have been using steroids at any point

1:09
Dan Szymborski: The reality is that so far, based on the players suspended for steroids, knowing that there was a drug suspension has absolutely *no* predictive value.

1:09
Dan Szymborski: As a group, there is no time period before drug suspensions in which suspended players have overperformed as a group. And no time period after drug suspensions in which suspended players have underperformed as a group.

1:10
Comment From hscer
late comedian John Pinette in 2011, talking about taking steroids while on Broadway to keep his voice: “I still can’t hit a baseball, which really pisses me off.”

1:10
Comment From mtsw
Which baseball GM would make the best President? Which manager?

1:10
Dan Szymborski: I always felt Beane looked the most like a president

1:10
Comment From hscer
did nobody debate your fruit ranking? that was the whole reason I asked! 😛

1:10
Dan Szymborski: Nope.

1:11
Dan Szymborski: OK, Time for the Lightning Round. I have to answer every off-topic question that is answered between now and 1:16, with the exception of work-related or explicit questions.

1:11
Dan Szymborski: AND GO

1:11
Comment From L. Scott
Lightning round! What are your cat’s names and what do you feed them?

1:11
Dan Szymborski: Galileo, Pandora, Reagan, and Mercutio. Merrick grain-free wet food, Hill’s dry food.

1:12
Dan Szymborski: And in Galileo’s case, the things in my refrigerator that I wasn’t careful enough to put in tupperware to keep him out.

1:12
Comment From A-Rods snot rockets
You have no access to a tissue and you are outdoors and really have to blow your nose. Do you blast a couple of snot rockets, suck it in, hock it up, and spit it out, or wait until you get a tissue?

1:12
Dan Szymborski: Snot rocket. It’s the best way to go.

1:12
Comment From John
i agree on deodorant, just get whats on sale – like those 3 packs for the price of 1…

1:12
Dan Szymborski: Yes

1:12
Comment From hscer
but are you paying for more channels than you need? that is the real question!

1:12
Dan Szymborski: I am likely paying for more channels than I need.

1:12
Comment From John
i disagree with the fruit ranking! watermelon should be ranked higher

1:12
Dan Szymborski: I’m not big on watermelon

1:13
Comment From Jack Elliott
Grape should have been last for sure

1:13
Dan Szymborski: Grapes are delicious and they’re very portable.

1:13
Comment From John
especially if you grow said watermelon in your garden

1:13
Dan Szymborski: I can only grow dandelions.

1:13
Comment From hscer
“answer every off-topic question that is answered”? Crap, that’s not off topic, isi t

1:13
Dan Szymborski: Off the baseball topic

1:13
Comment From Aaron SB
What’s the strangest way someone has pronounced your last name?

1:13
Dan Szymborski: sam-BRA-skee

1:13
Comment From John
are you excited about the new star wars or not

1:13
Dan Szymborski: Yes

1:13
Comment From hscer
cheese without crackers or crackers without cheese

1:14
Dan Szymborski: Cheese without crackers.

1:14
Dan Szymborski: Crackers with cheese are pointless unless it’s one of those faux-cheeses designed for crackers.

1:14
Comment From Jack Elliott
Greatest film franchise ever: Harry Potter, Star Wars, or Fast and Furious?

1:14
Dan Szymborski: Potter is better.

1:14
Comment From The Big Dipper
how much corn could J.B. Shuck if J.B. could shuck corn?

1:14
Dan Szymborski: Without any knowledge of specific corn shucking abilities, within one standard deviation of average corn shucking ability.

1:15
Dan Szymborski: It takes me about a minute to shuck a cob of corn, so I guess that would be somewhere around the average as I don’t beleive I have specialized corn shucking skills

1:15
Comment From baltic wolf.
Wolf Hall or The Americans?

1:16
Dan Szymborski: Actually haven’t seen either. I think my mom’s into both. I could ask her – she contributed roughly half of my genetic material.

1:16
Comment From hscer
top 3 stand-up acts, former or current

1:16
Dan Szymborski: Hedberg, Giraldo, C.K.

1:16
Comment From Josh G
Do you like to cuddle?

1:17
Dan Szymborski: Not really. I’m a fan of separate beds for the non-euphemism part of sleeping.

1:17
Comment From The Big Dipper
How much you bench?

1:17
Dan Szymborski: I don’t do free weights, so I’m not sure. I can still do a few pullups, so given my fat ass, I can probably bench a good number

1:17
Comment From mtsw
How do I retire in my 30s if my industry is clustered in NYC and LA? Even with a relatively decent job cost of living expenses make saving significant amounts impossible.

1:17
Dan Szymborski: You need a shitload of cash or be able to not live in NYC/LA

1:18
Comment From John
would you prefer an ala cart style of cable – buy only the channels you need? how much would mlb network charge subscribers in such a scenario

1:18
Dan Szymborski: I would, but I don’t think it would save as much money as some think it would

1:18
Comment From Aaron SB
Desert island. You can bring one item and one person. What and who?

1:19
Dan Szymborski: Flint and Stevie Wonder.

1:19
Dan Szymborski: Need to start fires and when it inevitably becomes a question of who eats the other one, I like my odds against someone I can’t see.

1:20
Dan Szymborski: Some people would take Bear Grylls but I disagree with that. If the time comes when hard decisions are to be made, do you really think you would be the one to eat him?

1:20
Comment From Luke Skywalker
Did the latest Star Wars trailer give you goosebumps?

1:20
Dan Szymborski: No, but I don’t get goosebumps.

1:20
Comment From mtsw
Is there too much money in US politics?

1:21
Dan Szymborski: I actually don’t care about how much money there is in politics, so long as freedom of speech is inviolate.

1:21
Dan Szymborski: I see the amount of money in politics as a secondary effect of government being able to distribute very profitable favors.

1:21
Comment From mtsw
Ad block: indispensable software or tantamount to stealing?

1:21
Dan Szymborski: Both

1:21
Comment From Taijuan Walkers disappearing fast ball
How did you get started with blogging? How did you know you were ready to become a professional?

1:22
Dan Szymborski: I was a long-time usenet guy along with a lot of the first wave of internet statheads. Then Furtado and Forman were putting together a site and I was one of those guys that wasn’t already BP-affiliated

1:22
Comment From L. Scott
Which have you attended live the most in your life: NBA, NHL, or NFL games?

1:22
Dan Szymborski: NFL

1:22
Comment From Aaron SB
Favorite non-baseball sport and athlete?

1:22
Dan Szymborski: NFL, Jerome Bettis

1:22
Comment From Ryan
do u like sushi????

1:22
Dan Szymborski: Yes

1:23
Comment From John
what is the average wing-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

1:23
Dan Szymborski: 9.5 m/s

1:23
Comment From mtsw
Are people who read all the George RR Martin books actually upset that the TV show is diverging from the books because they don’t want/like the changes or because it no longer allows them to lord spoilers over non-book readers?

1:23
Dan Szymborski: I can’t speak for all people, just myself.

1:23
Dan Szymborski: I like some of the changes, simply because Martin’s lost all sense of momentum in his stories.

1:24
Dan Szymborski: Now my worry is that they eventually go too far in the other direction and start killing off secondary characters without improving the storytelling.

1:24
Comment From hscer
which of the fruits I asked about has the highest quality variance? has to be strawberry or watermelon, right?

1:24
Dan Szymborski: Strawberries have a ton of variance in quality

1:24
Comment From SkersFan
Favorite legendary hs card??

1:24
Dan Szymborski: Sneed’s

1:24
Comment From The Big Dipper
did you see age of ultron

1:25
Dan Szymborski: No

1:25
Comment From John
and what do you have against watermenlon

1:26
Dan Szymborski: Just don’t like the mouthefeel

1:26
Comment From Cidron
Cant believe you didnt chose Star Wars as best franchise on StarWars day.. May the Fourth …be with you

1:26
Dan Szymborski: From the actual movies, not so much. The *worlds* it created are awesome, but the movies so far have been a really mixed bunch

1:27
Comment From Ryan
favorite to win nba p;ayoffs?

1:27
Dan Szymborski: Curry

1:27
Comment From The Big Dipper
do you tan or burn?

1:27
Dan Szymborski: burn like a mofo

1:27
Comment From hscer
Who retires in their 30’s that doesn’t play sports or invent a useless social network?

1:27
Dan Szymborski: lottery winners? athletes?

1:27
Comment From Maguro
A full deck of 1 hearthstone card. Which would be the best card/deck?

1:27
Dan Szymborski: Thoughtsteal

1:27
Comment From Sean
What was your favorite SNES game?

1:27
Dan Szymborski: Final Fantasy VI

1:27
Comment From Josh G
What is your greatest achievement?

1:28
Dan Szymborski: Having excellent cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar despite my increasingly sedentary lifestyle.

1:28
Comment From mtsw
Thoughts on having a pool in your backyard? Seems like most people who have one end up regretting it. Lot of trouble and expense for sort of a meh payoff.

1:28
Dan Szymborski: Seems more trouble than its worth. Pools attract children.

1:29
Dan Szymborski: And I think you get in trouble if you make a pool and then just fill it with sulfuric acid to dissolve any neighborhood children

1:29
Comment From hscer
star trek replicator is obvious item choice since person didn’t posit actually existing items

1:29
Dan Szymborski: Well, he said item *I* would bring. I can only bring things that exist.

1:29
Comment From Sean
Weekly civ question: favorite mods to play? Is there anything truly better than giant earth with TSL?

1:29
Dan Szymborski: I don’t actually play CXiv mods.

1:29
Comment From John
tonight at movie theaters across the country, there is a grateful dead meet-up to watch the never before seen Alpine Valley 1989 show. you are going, arent you? because i am!

1:29
Dan Szymborski: Too many deadheads.

1:30
Comment From The Big Dipper
I would eat the hell out of Bear Grylls if I had too

1:30
Dan Szymborski: He will eat you first.

1:30
Comment From The Big Dipper
Did you read Goosebumps?

1:30
Dan Szymborski: No

1:30
Comment From Josh G
Who wins super bowl 50?

1:30
Dan Szymborski: Colts

1:30
Comment From Ryan
would you give up sex for 2 years to win a highly competitive league?

1:31
Dan Szymborski: Depends.

1:31
Comment From Y.P. Dumpinsted
Flushable wipes. Cleaner asses in America, or a waste of paper clogging up the sewers?

1:31
Dan Szymborski: Eh, it’s not plastic

1:31
Comment From hscer
NBA or NHL, which would you abolish if you had to abolish one

1:31
Dan Szymborski: NHL

1:32
Comment From Josh G
Best burger you’ve ever had?

1:32
Dan Szymborski: a lamb burger from the schafly tap room, I think

1:32
Comment From J
Would you ever want to work for a team?

1:32
Dan Szymborski: Not really

1:32
Comment From Guest
do you ever chat from the toilet

1:32
Dan Szymborski: I have not

1:32
Comment From Matt
how do you ask a co-worker to politely stop chewing gum so loud?

1:32
Dan Szymborski: PUnches

1:32
Comment From John
do you play catan online? since i started i find myself sitting on my couch regularly until 2 am playing

1:32
Dan Szymborski: I haven’t yet

1:32
Comment From Clock
Cup or cone?

1:32
Dan Szymborski: Cup. Though waffle cup is preferable

1:33
Dan Szymborski: Cone is a race against time. I don’t want to be pressured into eating ice cream fast.

1:33
Comment From Marcus Banks
Do you like the mouthfeel of sausage

1:33
Dan Szymborski: Yes

1:33
Comment From Eminor3rd
You ever play Left 4 Dead 2?

1:33
Dan Szymborski: No

1:33
Dan Szymborski: OK, last Q

1:33
Comment From mtsw
Rank the FF6 characters from most to least good

1:34
Dan Szymborski: Edgar, Sabin…………….a whole bunch of ties…………………….Umaro, Mog, Gau.

1:35
Dan Szymborski: OK, time to log off for another week. As a reminder, you can find my work at ESPN.com, chats here at FanGraphs, and DSzymborski on Twitter.

1:35
Dan Szymborski: And I’m streaming old NES games RIGHT NOW on twitch! twitch.tv/zimsmash. I will answer more weird questions there.

We hoped you liked reading Dan Szymborski FanGraphs Chat – 5/4/14 by Dave Cameron!

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newest oldest most voted
FamousMortimer
Guest
FamousMortimer

Feelings on Chase Utley? He was just dropped in my NL only league and I can pick him up for DJ Lemahieu who apparently is not going to Babip .800 all year.

FeslenR
Guest
FeslenR

Keep DJ until he cools down, I am sure Chase will be there