Dan Szymborski FanGraphs Chat – 6/2/22 by Dan Szymborski June 2, 2022 12:02 Dan Szymborski: Welcome to the start of the Dan Szymborski Birthday season. 12:03 Rachel: Fantasy question – Start Strider in Colorado? He has the swing and miss potential? No? Thanks! 12:03 Dan Szymborski: I’d personally avoid unless the next option is really poor – Coors is still Coors. 12:03 Am: Padres Offense gonna be the reason they miss the playoffs? 12:03 Dan Szymborski: Possible, but I’m still optimistic on some of those guys turning it around 12:06 Dan Szymborski: What’s kinda awkward is that Profar and Hosmer have been steadily fading but the guys struggling aren’t really bouncing back 12:06 Dan Szymborski: Like Hosmer has a .610 OPS since May 1st, but neither Grisham or Cronenworth have had better months to compensate 12:07 Dan Szymborski: And most of Profar’s damage was done in first couple weeks 12:07 Nick Krall: Should I trade Castillo and Mahle? If so where and for whom? 12:07 Dan Szymborski: I’m doing a mini-deadline preview tomorrow! 12:07 Oddball Herrera: Was thinking about the Mazara call up – how high does a veteran player’s wRC in AAA have to be for you to think they may have figured something out vs they’re just dominating lower competition? We will call this the Keston Hiura line 12:07 Dan Szymborski: It really just depends on who they’re replacing 12:07 Jesse Winker: Dan, has the dead ball completely broken me? Am I a mere shadow of the stud I pretended to be in 2020-21? Should I resign myself to being a plate-discipline-first, singles-and-walks-only kinda guy from now on? 12:07 Dan Szymborski: The weird ball seems to have had an unequal effect on player types 12:08 Dan Szymborski: Usually, ZiPS misses are random (unfortunately, since that would provide an area for improvement) 12:08 Dan Szymborski: But so far at least, there’s a statistically significant difference in how non-elite power hitters are faring compared to their projections 12:08 Dan Szymborski: And there’s no change in projection process that would explain that. 12:08 GBS42: Following up on last week’s question/comment about vintage base ball, here’s one team’s schedule. I recommend July 9 (my team will be visiting that day). If you can make it, ask for Southpaw. 12:08 GBS42: http://www.1869reds.com/schedule 12:09 Dan Szymborski: Bah, it’s too bad that you’re not in the game at Carillon! 12:09 Dan Szymborski: There’s beer inside and it’s a short drive for me 12:10 Dan Szymborski: I may be in Baltimore that week 12:10 The Great Giambino: How long does it take BABIP to stabilize? Through 200 IP in his career, Triston McKenzie has a .218 BABIP allowed. Real or mirage? 12:10 Dan Szymborski: A long time. 12:11 Dan Szymborski: Hold on lemme open something 12:13 Dan Szymborski: Let’s assume that you only have two things to evaluate a pitcher by: their actual BABIP (B) and the expected BABIP for a pitcher on that team in that ballpark (T) 12:14 Dan Szymborski: For season to season, historically, the formula that best projects regression amount of B towards T is TBF/(TBF+2412) 12:14 Dan Szymborski: Excuse me that’s in-season 12:16 Dan Szymborski: Season to season is 3185 12:17 Dan Szymborski: so you’d expect him to go about 94% of the way towards team with 193 BF, if that’s all your looking at 12:18 Dan Szymborski: By the same token, if Tom Glavine returned and was suddenly back in his prime and we were projecting based on career, only 15% 12:18 Dan Szymborski: (BABIP over team seems to be more a player characteristic than something that ages) 12:18 Sum: Dan, greetings from the suburbs between Baltimore and Annapolis. a pitcher I have never heard of before – Fred Kahaulua – was mentioned in David Laurila’s most recent dispatch. that anecdote plus his player page are wild – besting Fernando at the height of the mania, 0.5 WAR in just 29 innings that year, and he only made appearances in MLB in one other season. I’ve got a soft spot for Hawaiian MLBers – I thought of you with ZiPS might-have-beens, but this isn’t quite apropos of that – anyone on staff care to write up that guy’s story and what happened next? thanks as always! 12:19 Dan Szymborski: Interesting, he’s actually a player I don’t know much about! 12:19 Matt: Did you see Cabrera yesterday in Coors? Can he succeed long term with that 96mph change? 12:19 Dan Szymborski: If it moves like that he may be! 12:19 Dan Szymborski: Remember, there’s more than one way to fool a batter 12:20 Dan Szymborski: The importnat part of the change is the tunneling part, how it LOOKS like it could be a fastball 12:23 Kendrys Morales and the Big Steppers: Do you think Oakland’s Kyler Murray pick at 1.9 was defensible at the time? Or a bad idea from the start? 12:24 Dan Szymborski: I don’t think it was unreasonable 12:24 Dan Szymborski: Remember, he was drafted *before* his Heisman season 12:25 Dan Szymborski: And he mostly watched Baker Mayfield the year before 12:25 Dan B: Hi Dan, Jack Suwinski (PIT OF) was given a 20 Fielding value, but having watched him his 1st 31 MLB games, he looks pretty good defensively, producing a -.1 Defense Value, with the manager also playing him in CF some, & also appears faster than his 30 grade. In your opinion, has he improved vastly over those previous weak spots, or was the evaluation on him off? 12:25 Dan Szymborski: A little soon for that 12:26 Dan Szymborski: ZIPS had him about a -3 per season in right 12:26 Dan Szymborski: and it’s likely nearly independent from scouts 12:26 Greg: When I saw in last week’s chat that you actually hadn’t heard about Ray Liotta’s death until the very end of it that fact made me incredibly happy. Because that meant that you didn’t completely 100% understand my elaborate Field of Dreams/Simpsons Flying Hellfish question/joke when you printed it, which would have made it seem even more unhinged and insane. But you printed it anyway. The real MVP 12:27 Dan Szymborski: Sometimes, I get the inkling that something is a good joke even if I dont’ personally understand it 12:27 Dan Szymborski: Oh, on McKenzie, he WAS on my breakouts list, so I have a vested interested in him maintaining the BABIP! 12:29 Appa Yip Yip: Are you buying Danny Jansen’s José Bautista impression? He’s drawing walks and pulling bombs like a champ. 12:30 Dan Szymborski: a little soon for THAT 12:30 x2R: Hi Dan. On some broadcasts I’ve watched recently I’ve seen broadcasters downplay BBs, or show near contempt when a hitter gladly accepts them. why don’t they understand the value or accept the value of bb/plate discipline? WHYYY? That’s even one of the things that keeps some hitter struggling relative fine 12:30 Dan Szymborski: Everything’s WAY better than it was 25 years ago broadcast wise! 12:30 Lily: Is it too soon to call Tarik Skubal a budding ace? What do you make of his season so far? 12:31 Dan Szymborski: I don’t think it’s unreasonable. And he’s pitching as well as his ERA 12:31 The Great Giambino: My mother’s birthday was yesterday, I’m honored she has the same birth month as you 12:31 Eli: Happy birthday (season)! 12:31 Inaccessible Rail: The new FG shirts look awesome! Kudos to whoever designed them! 12:31 Dan Szymborski: That would be Luke Hooper! 12:31 Dan Szymborski: https://twitter.com/_lukehoop?lang=en 12:32 Kuzenheimer: Christopher Morel better than Starlin Castro? 12:32 Dan Szymborski: Certainly far more interesting at this point 12:33 Dan Szymborski: Morel blew up in teh minors too this year 12:34 Dan Szymborski: Castro’s funny. He’s been so mediocre since his promising start that he’s now descended into this weird area where every time you see him, you’re moderately surprised that he’s still in baseball and how he’s in his *12th* season somehow 12:34 Dan Szymborski: He’s the According to Jim of baseball players 12:34 Dan Szymborski: Did you know they made EIGHT seasons of that? 12:35 Andre: Dan thanks for doing this- thoughts on how playing time for MJ Melendez plays out with the returns of Salvy/ Gallagher/Isbell and eventual promotion of the Italian stallion? He seems to have earned himself an everyday role. 12:35 Dan Szymborski: At the very least he should push Ryan O’Hearn out 12:36 Dan Szymborski: I’m legitimately unsure, the Royals confuse me 12:37 Dan Szymborski: They literally played Alcides Escobar for YEARS past when there was any reason to, right up until his contract ended. 12:38 Dan Szymborski: It took them two and a half years to figure out the Omar Infante signing was idiotic when it took everyone else two and a half minutes after the announcement 12:38 Eric: Is today your birthday? If so, greetings to a fellow June 2nd baby. 12:38 Dan Szymborski: No, it’s the season. I’m a 6/19. 12:39 Insert Witty Name Here: Have you see ‘We Own This City’? Have you ever been roughed up by the Baltimore Police or have they unconstitutionally stolen your abacus? 12:39 Dan Szymborski: It’s on my “to watch” list but it’s hard for me to get through TV stuff during the baseball season 12:40 Dan Szymborski: I have never had any kind of runin with Baltimore cops. 12:41 Dan Szymborski: For one, I was a suburban kid, so my haunt was Towson, Lutherville, Cockeysville, etc. 12:42 Dan Szymborski: And the cops probably clocked me as my appearance suggests “harmless failure son of someone probably far more successful and lawsuit prone” 12:42 Eric the Red: This the year that Mazara finally becomes a player? Seems to be destroying the ball in AAA 12:42 Scotty G: Nomar Mazara has been mashing in triple-A. Any reason to believe he’s finally figured it out? 12:42 Dan Szymborski: I’m not making happy Mazara prounouncements after striking out with him on breakouts for THREE consecutive years 12:42 Leland: Ty France is a top ___ 1B in baseball 12:43 Dan Szymborski: hat wearing in my fantasies 12:43 Inaccessible Rail: Why does the occupation plumber have a ‘b’ in it, but the name Plummer, as in Nick Plummer or Bill Plummer, has no b? 12:43 Dan Szymborski: Have you ever picked a plumb from a tree? 12:44 Dan Szymborski: or picked a plumb from a bird? 12:44 Dan Szymborski: I’m pretty sure the surname existed before the concept of a pipe fixer did! 12:44 Guest: When did Trey Mancini become a singles hitter? 12:45 Dan Szymborski: His bat asked for a divorce 12:45 Inaccessible Rail: Finally, something that Mike Trout is bad at: League Commissioner. Can ZIPS tell us who might be a better choice? 12:45 Dan Szymborski: I THINK I DID A NEURAL NETWORK ON THIS 12:46 Dan Szymborski: While I search for it, enjoy this bizarre content 12:46 Dan Szymborski: https://video.twimg.com/tweet_video/FH0MTy8WYAkD7ll.mp4 12:49 Dan Szymborski: bah, I can’t find it quickly 12:49 Dan Szymborski: Instead, enjoy this list of Hogwarts jobs for each MLB manager. 12:49 Dan Szymborski: 12:51 Funky Cold Mussina: Giancarlo Stanton, over/under 500 homers? 12:51 Dan Szymborski: Over, but by a disappointing amount 12:51 Sirras: For what feels like the umpteenth year in a row, NL East was projected to be very competitive but one team is way out in front early. Do you think this is anything other than randomness or are there some correlated variables that projections may not be able to account for effectively? 12:51 Sirras: Or is this just bias on my part based on recent history and/or memory? 12:51 Dan Szymborski: No, the thing is you expect things to *always* be closer when you’re looking at mean projections 12:51 Dan Szymborski: Because you know that not every team is going to be at their 50th percentile projections 12:52 Dan Szymborski: Even if you *know* every team is a coin flip, on average several will be off by 10 12:52 Kuzenheimer: How bad is that Kris Bryant contract going to look? Better or worse than Jason Heyward’s? 12:52 Dan Szymborski: Better only because Heyward’s worked out really poorly 12:53 Dan Szymborski: It was worse at the time 12:53 Dan Szymborski: Bryant’s that is 12:54 DJ: Do you put any stock into how extreme Keston Hiura’s reverse platoon splits have been this season? They’re even more exaggerated if you include his Triple-A at bats. 12:54 Dan Szymborski: He’s done enough to erase the platoon split 12:54 Dan Szymborski: but not reverse it (in a proejction) 12:55 Dan Szymborski: generic platoon splits project future platoon splits better than actual platoon splits in the thousands of plate appearances for hitters 12:55 Dan Szymborski: ZiPS projects a reverse platoon split but not an extreme one 12:55 Dan Szymborski: coming into the season, .706 OPS vs. LHP, .723 vs. RHP 12:58 Dan Szymborski: The largest reverse platoon splits for righties this year in ZiPS projections were Carlos Perez (49 points), Cameron Maybin (38 points), and Max Stassi (31 points) 12:59 Biscuit: How mad should we be about the Grayson Rodriguez injury ?And why have the Orioles been starting him every 5th day in AAA ??!? 12:59 Dan Szymborski: I wouldn’t panic. Lat injury, no? Is there something new? 1:01 Dan Szymborski: It’s not like they’re slagging him – he hasn’t thrown 90 pitches in a single game in 2021 or 2022 1:01 Steve O: Every decent team will get into the playoffs. The Padres will easily get in. There are only 6 teams in the NL at .500 or above. Also just 6 teams in the AL at .500 or above. Expanded playoffs was a terrible idea. 1:02 Sodo Mojo: Taylor Trammell has been killing the ball in his brief call up any chance he has turned the corner as a player and can contribute to the Mariners long term 1:02 Dan Szymborski: SOME, but I wouldn’t be on it 1:02 J: You’ve mentioned in the past that Yuli Gurriel is one of the players that ZiPS consistently underrates the most. Yet this season ZiPS has a very optimistic ROS outlook for him despite a pretty terrible start that doesn’t seem to be the result of unluckiness. What’s going on there? Was his 2021 just that good that it finally forced his projections upwards? 1:03 Dan Szymborski: ZiPS missed supe rhigh once too! 1:03 Dan Szymborski: I think ZiPS is just confused by Gurriel 1:03 Appa Yip Yip: I just had a very tasty lunch (tuna melt and tabouleh salad) pls clap 1:03 GBS42: So you’re closer to Dayton? We’ll be at Carillon the next day, July 10. I’m not sure which weekend you meant you may be in Baltimore. Regardless, I recommend all baseball fans check out a vintage game. 1:03 Dan Szymborski: Yup, closer to Dayton 1:05 Dan Szymborski: I’m in Washington Township. I say between Dayton and Cincy because I’m south of the first 1:05 Matt: So $30/month for standalone NESN is pretty nuts, right? I mean I expect $15/month as the maximum reasonable amount for 1 channel. Even HBO never got $30 a month. 1:05 Dan Szymborski: Sports fandom is the big whale of subscriptions 1:05 Dan Szymborski: I think we paid nearly that for Home Team Sports for O’s games in the early 90s 1:06 Dan Szymborski: by which I mean mom 1:06 A Boy Named Yu: Isn’t a 96mph Changeup really just a splitter, and a hard splitter at that? 1:06 Dan Szymborski: One could argue a splitter is just a kind of change 1:06 Dan Szymborski: These categories are surprisingly arbitrary with really faded boundaries 1:06 Dan Szymborski: Pitches are like Maryland towns 1:08 Dan Szymborski: Most places in Maryland aren’t incorporated in any way 1:08 Dan Szymborski: and the names are basically simply local tradition 1:08 Dan Szymborski: Like Towson is a place 1:08 Dan Szymborski: And everyone in Maryland KNOWS where Towson is 1:09 Dan Szymborski: but there’s no real Towson boundary or Towson definition or Towson taxes or Towson government 1:10 Dan Szymborski: Except for Baltimore, in MD, local government is county based 1:10 Dan Szymborski: Pitches are like that 1:10 Happy Birthday Season Dan: If you were a Pirates fan, on a scale of 1-10, what would you rate the chances of contending for a playoff spot sometime in 2023-2024? I’m not Tom Cruise in A Few Good Men, so I can, indeed, handle the truth. 1:10 Dan Szymborski: 4 1:10 Dan Szymborski: I think the Pirates *can* contend, but they’ll only have brief spurts because ownership isn’t willing to put them over the top 1:10 Dan Szymborski: The lack of investment in the team really killed the last good Pirates teams 1:10 Alex: Are we still in full panic mode on Votto since his return? 1:11 Dan Szymborski: No, he’s playing better, thankfully 1:11 Sirras: Do you find it sad/difficult to watch a player with a lengthy and successful career struggle and ultimately get cut? 1:11 Dan Szymborski: I do 1:11 Dan Szymborski: I’m really happy that Pujols has had a spurt of role player usefulness at the very end 1:12 Dan Szymborski: Because the last half-decade of him with the Angels was Scott’s Tots cringey 1:13 Dan Szymborski: Watching one of the greatest players of the 00s spend the last *quarter* of a Hall of Fame career being Ron Coomer with worse defense is just awful to watch 1:13 Dan Szymborski: I’d flip away most of the time if I had an Angels game on when he was up 1:13 Dan Szymborski: Baltimore’s usage of Chris Davis was almost like they were trying to *humiliate* him 1:13 A Boy Named Yu: What’s for lunch? I’m starving but only have an apple and an adult lunchable today so I need to live vicariously through you! 1:14 Dan Szymborski: I had some beef jerky and the rest of the flat soda I left on my desk wheN i went to bed 1:14 A Boy Named Yu: Tarik Skubal is also rebel scum. Him, Lars, and Jett are thorns in the side of the Empire. 1:14 Scrapper: Are there any particular type of players who have smoother transitions to the majors? 1:14 Dan Szymborski: Good ones 🙂 1:14 Bring Back DeSpaniel Hair!: Just want to say the fangrapha staff is on one hell of a heater right now. They’re putting out barrel after barrel right now 1:14 Dan Szymborski: Ben has been absolutely ruling it lately 1:15 Rey Mysterio: Did someone say 619? 1:15 Nationals fan: Could we get an article on what a Juan Soto trade would look like? Maybe 3-4 potential packages from different teams? 1:15 Dan Szymborski: I might do him in my fantasy trades piece near the deadline 1:15 Dan Szymborski: And that piece makes nobody happy! lol 1:15 A Boy Named Yu: I enjoyed Downton Abbey and Bridgerton, though would not have watched them without the wifey. Do I still have to turn in my man-card? 1:15 Dan Szymborski: I like cats and musicals 1:15 Dan Szymborski: enjoy what you want 1:15 Dan Szymborski: WTF cares if someone doesn’t like what you like? 1:16 Dan Szymborski: I can like pro wrestling and Puccini equally 1:16 Appa Yip Yip: As in all things weird about English, blame the French. 1:16 E: The occupational ‘b’ comes from lead pipes, I believe. 1:16 Grayson R.: My owners began dropping me today. Are they crazy like a fox or sane like a cat? 1:16 Dan Szymborski: I wouldn’t do that unless I hear him visiting James ANdrews 1:16 Dayton Moore: I meant Robinson Cano. Although I would be willing to get a canoe, also. 1:17 A Boy Named Yu: What went wrong with the supposed imminent Cubs dynasty? 1:17 Dan Szymborski: Some bad luck plus the investment spigot slowed down 1:17 A Boy Named Yu: I grew up with cats and never had a dog until recently. I got a cat my last year of college and it was just me and him for 8+ years until I started dating my wife. I was very fond and attached to this cat. Unfortunately he passed last month after almost 14 years. I was heartbroken, especially when I got some ribbing from the guys at my work over being that sad about a cat. Why the stigma? Cats are cute and lovable dammit. Dogs are messy and stinky. 1:17 Dan Szymborski: Sorry to hear about your cat! 1:17 Dan Szymborski: I had a rough patch a few years ago – the cats I got at the start of the century started dying off 1:18 Dan Szymborski: and lost three cats in four years 1:18 Dan Szymborski: including my buddy Galileo just before his 20 1/2 birthday 1:18 Guest: The origin of the word “plumber” dates to Roman times and was originally for anyone working with lead (from the Latin for lead) 1:18 Dan Szymborski: dangit! 1:18 Dan Szymborski: I guess there could be multiple Plummer sources? 1:18 A Boy Named Yu: I apologize if I’ve asked this before, but is there enough stuff to do in Cooperstown to justify like a long weekend family trip? My kids (10 and 4) like baseball but would get bored in the museum quickly. 1:18 Dan Szymborski: Not really. 1:19 Dan Szymborski: There’s not much in the area 1:19 Dan Szymborski: it’s basically the museum 1:19 Dan Szymborski: It might be a long weekend trip for YOU 1:19 Jonathan: Happy birthday season! My Gemini twins turned 1 today 🤗 1:19 Cave Dameron: Miss you Dan 1:19 Dan Szymborski: I haven’t missed a chat in forever (that I wasn’t on vacation for) 1:19 Guest: If Markakis hadn’t retired, could ZIPS predict his likelihood of reaching 3,000 hits? 1:19 Dan Szymborski: Yes 1:19 Dan Szymborski: I think I still have that 1:21 Dan Szymborski: Only 2% going into 2021. ZiPS could not believe teams were still playing him 1:21 Dan Szymborski: I could force ZiPS to assume he plays, but that would take too much time fo ra chat 1:21 Tigers: STOP SAYING HEATER LIKE IT’S A NORMAL PHRASE 1:21 Tigers: Normal word* 1:22 Dan Szymborski: “The makemewarmerthanIcurrentlyamalator in my car is broken” doesn’t have much of a ring to it 1:22 Vinnie Pasquantino Stan Account: not that you needed it, but this is me giving you permission to put the Royals on full blast. They deserve all the scorn that can be mustered atm 1:22 Yo-Yo: Any advice on keeping my old cat active? He’s 12 years old and just sleeps all day and stares at his auto-feeder for hours on end. Doesn’t really play with toys when I try to engage him. 1:22 Dan Szymborski: Laser pointer? 1:23 Dan Szymborski: See, Galileo was very food motivated 1:23 Dan Szymborski: If he believed you had food or were thinking about food, he’d do just about anything 1:23 Dan Szymborski: On Thanksgiving, he used to pace in the kitchen looking at the rotisserie with the turkey 1:24 Dan Szymborski: (he always got the first taste and mom would always bring over some stuffing and gravy she made *without* any cat unsafe things, so he got his own little plate) 1:24 Guest: do you get free fangraphs merch? 1:25 Dan Szymborski: Some 1:25 Dan’s Mom: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DANIEL! I’m making your favorite for dinner, cincinnati-style chili but don’t worry I know that’s part of your online persona so I won’t tell anyone! Love, mom 1:25 Dan Szymborski: Mom makes me chicken milanese for my birthday so I KNOW that’s a lie 1:25 Yo-Yo: Laser pointer used to work, but he quickly learned where it was coming from and now isn’t amused by the deception. 1:25 Dan Szymborski: So fishing poles don’t work? 1:25 Dan Szymborski: Then it gets tougher 1:26 Dan Szymborski: Does he look at TVs? There are lots of videos for cats. 1:27 Dan Szymborski: 1:27 A Boy Named Yu: Toys with a treat in the middle that they had to work to figure out might work 1:27 Eric the Red: If you’re into hiking and outdoorsy stuff, Cooperstown is GREAT for a long weekend. 1:27 Dan Szymborski: See, I’m indoorsy 1:27 Oddball Herrera: Plummer comes from the German Plummerschatzenkraftausgaben which translates roughly to “fringe prospect for the Mets” 1:28 Dan Szymborski: I once was going to make a Bailey Oberpitcherführer joke if he ever became the ace, but that would probably be ill-advised. 1:28 Guest: Is this who Hunter greene is? His stats in the minors were not dominant. 1:29 Dan Szymborski: He had a very fragmented professional history because of injury 1:29 Liz: same origin as “plumb line” => “plumbing the depths” (ie. measuring depth with a lead weight tied to a string) 1:29 Dan Szymborski: On that note, it is time for me to depart for another week! 1:29 Dan Szymborski: Thanks for coming eveyrone!