Dan Szymborski FanGraphs Chat – 8/18/22 by Dan Szymborski August 18, 2022 12:02 Dan Szymborski: And we are live! 12:02 Dan Szymborski: Or possibly dead and this is a very odd afterlife. 12:02 Sampa: The best part about being a padres fan is that we will all be dead someday 12:02 James: What does Zips think about Verlander’s next contract? Will anyone give him 3 years? 12:04 Andrew: Why are the orioles putting Gunnar Henderson at 1st base? 12:04 Dan Szymborski: Oops, sorry didn’t answer yet lol 12:04 Dan Szymborski: On Henderson, presumably it’s just to get him experience there. There’s no indication that the Norfolk lineup today is going to be a thing going forward 12:05 Dan Szymborski: ZiPS says 2/60 on Verlander. 12:05 Dan Szymborski: It’s simply refusing to give him three years. I’m not sure if anyone will. 12:05 Dan Szymborski: But it’s possible. 12:05 Dan Szymborski: Depends what the per-year is 12:06 AmericanDragon: If you had to use a baseball player’s name as your ring name, who would you choose? 12:06 Dan Szymborski: That’s easy, I said his name on twitter last night! 12:06 Dan Szymborski: https://www.baseball-reference.com/register/player.fcgi?id=cracki001–… 12:06 Dan Szymborski: The Moonlight Graham of the Cocoa Indians: Crackin 12:06 Jeff: Where have you recently seen ZiPS consistently miss the mark (if at all)? Are there non-random error trends you’ve recently tried to correct for? 12:07 Dan Szymborski: Sadly, nowhere. 12:07 Dan Szymborski: Those kinds of things are lower hanging fruit and it would be nice to have errors correlated somewhere. 12:07 Dan Szymborski: But errors for players and teams are sadly random. 12:07 Dan Szymborski: Except for a couple things. 12:07 Dan Szymborski: You can have bias simply by the league offense being very different than you project 12:08 Dan Szymborski: And teams in a competitive position to make deadline trades have a higher error 12:08 Dan Szymborski: I’m trying to figure out how to deal with the latter with a generalized model for team quality to midseason team improvement 12:08 Dan Szymborski: Without it being a horrifying mess, which is much easier said than done. 12:09 Dan Szymborski: Predicting league offense? Beats the hell outta me. 12:09 James: If Dusty is still batting Yuli 2nd in a month, will the front office have to step in and keep him from putting out insane lineups in the playoffs? 12:10 Dan Szymborski: Honestly while I’m not involved in any of their conversations about this, I’d be they see lineup stuff as small enough potatoes to not get into a fight 12:11 Dan Szymborski: As long as Dusty keeps the team going the right direction and doesn’t suddenly decide that Framber Valdez is going to throw 120 pitches a start, they’ll likely not sweat some lineup inefficiency 12:11 Dan Szymborski: I’d bet, not I’d be 12:11 Dan Szymborski: Now, they may strongly *suggest* 12:12 Lucas: Should the Braves just release Marcell Ozuna? 12:12 Dan Szymborski: I think at some point, but not right *now*. Gwinnett outfield is not particularly noteworthy 12:13 Guest: You mentioned last time that Tatis’ intent to cheat the game is the most damning piece of this saga – and might negatively influence his hall chances. Do you feel the same way about the ’17 Astros? And Altuve? 12:13 Dan Szymborski: I think *intent* is the big deal here. 12:13 Dan Szymborski: And Hall voters I believe will take that into consideration. 12:13 Dan Szymborski: I don’t even think the Astros really got much, if any, significant benefit from the trash can 12:13 Dan Szymborski: but they *did* flout the rules to *try* and get an advantage. 12:16 Slew: Gun to your head: Why is a gun to your head? 12:16 Dan Szymborski: Probably something I said 12:16 James: I don’t really care about steroid use, allow it and tightly regulate it whatever. With Tatis I’m way more concerned with the stories about his decision making process and the gaslighting from his family’s camp. 12:16 Dan Szymborski: He’s made some poor decisions this year 12:16 Dan Szymborski: Though people in their early 20s aren’t exactly known for being King Solomon 12:17 Dan Szymborski: I certainly wasn’t 12:17 David Forst: Who am I trading Sean Murphy to this offseason and why is it the Cardinals? 12:18 Dan Szymborski: There are more teams that ought to have an interest than just the Cards! 12:18 Mithridates of Pontus: Because they’re completely incompetent, I highly doubt this happens, but if the White Sox do the right thing and flip Giolito over the off-season, what kind of return do you expect they’d get? Any shot of getting a decent ready or near-ready prospect or has he tanked his value to the point they’re better off seeing his tenure through til the bitter end? 12:18 Dan Szymborski: I think given his season, it would be selling low. 12:18 Guest: *Insert obligatory “Thoughts on Harris contract?” question here.* 12:18 Dan Szymborski: There’s an article in the queue! 12:18 Sharp: What do the Michael Harris projections look like over the course of his contract? Does ZiPS feel like this was a fair deal? 12:18 Dan Szymborski: ditto 12:18 Sharp: When are the ZiPS projections going to be added to Vaughn Grissom’s page? 12:19 Dan Szymborski: In-season? 2023. We don’t yet have a mechanism for automatic minor league translations. 12:19 Dan Szymborski: Jared handles Steamer’s minor league translations on his end 12:19 Jackson Ingram: If I create my own projection system can I name it ZiPS 2? 12:19 Dan Szymborski: You have to have a colon and then a cute name afterwards 12:20 Dan Szymborski: And you can’t use Electric Boogaloo because that joke is done 12:20 Vomit in the mouth: Even Ben Macdonald was talking about O’s fans needing to root Yankees all week. You could tell he was throwing up a little bit. 12:20 Dan Szymborski: It’s awkward! 12:20 Vomit in the mouth: Curious about the Zips 3-year forecast adjustments for rookies, especially scufflers like Josh Lowe and Nick Pratto who still look nice. 12:20 Dan Szymborski: Those are preseason only. 12:20 Dan Szymborski: Well, except hwen I run them. 12:22 BreggyBomb: League wide K-rates have fallen in 2022 after year-over-year increases every year since 2007. Also, the league wide wRC+ has settled at 100, as opposed to it sitting consistently just below a league average batting line forever ( excluding 2020). Did strikeout rates finally top out? and why is league average offense up? 12:23 Dan Szymborski: I’ll give you a hint on this one! Go to the leagues year-by-year offensive stats. Click on non-pitchers and see what happens. 12:25 Dan Szymborski: Strikeout rate actually dropped more from 2020 to 2021. 12:25 Dan Szymborski: It’s the pitchers 12:25 Dan Szymborski: Contact rate has crept up 12:26 Yusei Kikuchi: How will I do in the bullpen now that Ross Stripling and Mitch White pushed me out? Usually people in my position improve their stuff quality with shorter outings, but my problem seems to be more with location than stuff. 12:26 Dan Szymborski: I’m not sure. You’ve been a mess with your location lately, even ZiPS is coming off that train. 12:26 Dan Szymborski: Plenty of garbage innings to get things right in 12:26 John Olerud’s Helmet: Howdy Mr Dan, what day you on Fernando Tatis Sr response about Juniors suspension? 12:27 Dan Szymborski: I wish my mom was as bad as being objective as Fernando’s dad! 12:27 Dan Szymborski: My mom always jokes she’s never understood why nobody’s ever punched me in the face. And she’s not wrong lol 12:27 Dan Szymborski: I grew up in a *very* objective family. 12:28 Jon: But… Why does Gunnar Henderson need that experience? 12:28 Dan Szymborski: Nothing wrong with a liberal arts glove education 12:28 Scotty: Dan! Ever think about doing a ZIPs time warp for Jason Heyward? 12:28 Dan Szymborski: I have 12:29 Derek Yeeter: “Honestly while I’m not involved in any of their conversations about this, I’d be they see lineup stuff as small enough potatoes to not get into a fight” Are you involved in any of their conversations about anything? 12:29 Dan Szymborski: I mean, I talk about stuff with people in front offices all the time 12:29 Dan Szymborski: talking shop isn’t an uncommon t hing 12:29 Dan Szymborski: but I’m not going to get something JUICY out of it 12:29 Dan Szymborski: and the one time I did, I was too dumb to even realize it until later 12:30 Dan Szymborski: (the Lucchino/Epstein issues) 12:30 barney gumble: this isn’t really a question, but Tatis probably didn’t come up with the ringworm excuse on his own. which means a lot of people around him are enabling his behavior… 12:31 Guest: Update on how well Steven Kwan comps to Richie Ashburn? 12:31 Dan Szymborski: I didn’t know this was an ongoing question! lol 12:33 Dan Szymborski: coming into the season, his top comps were Jeremy Reed, Rick Manning, Jon Jay, Mark Kotsay, Johnny Damon, Wendell Magee, Andre Ethier, Curt Flood, Ryan Sweeney 12:33 Dan Szymborski: Ashburn was 94 12:33 Dan Szymborski: no, 73 12:34 Dan Szymborski: there’s a second three year period for Ashburn that isn’t included since it’s a double, which would have been 94 12:36 Dan Szymborski: Ashburn is now 61 12:36 Dan Szymborski: now it’s 12:37 Dan Szymborski: Del Unser, Johnny Damon, Jeremy Reed, Mel Almada, Steve Finley, Mark Kotsay, Andre Ethier, Rick Manning, David Martinez, Ryan Sweeney, David DeJesus, Curt Flood, Von Hayes, Terence Long, David Dellucci, Jacoby Ellsbury 12:37 Dan Szymborski: and so on 12:37 Thornton: The Rockies don’t really have a plan to compete, and I have to blame you, Dan, since you own them. 12:37 Guest: What does ZiPS say would be a good Julio Rodriguez extension? 12:37 Dan Szymborski: Now THAT I’m totally gonna save for an offseason slow news week piece! lol 12:37 steve: What went wrong with Victor Robles? Did scouts miss something or is it just the nature of error bars with prospects? 12:38 Dan Szymborski: Prospects just miss a lot no matter how good you are 12:38 Lactose Indifferent: What’s your favorite regional hot dog topping scheme? 12:38 Dan Szymborski: Chicago 12:38 Guest: Re: ZiPS errors — in what ways do league-wide offense / pitching changes matter (given normalized stats)? Contract predictions? 12:38 Dan Szymborski: Oh, I mean for non normalized stats 12:38 Dan Szymborski: becuase people look at BA/OBP/SLG more than OPS+/wRC+ and ERA more than ERA+/ERA- 12:38 michael: Is joey bart a starting catcher in 5 maybe 10 years? 12:39 Dan Szymborski: 5 years I think so 12:39 Dan Szymborski: I’m not placing bets on 25 year old catchers being 35 year old catchers!@ 12:39 Tiger Fan: I know ZiPs wasn’t super high on our club pre-season (I think ~75 wins if memory serves) but I’m curious if ZiPs believes the key pieces moving forward (Greene, Baez, Tork, etc) are having flukes or more legit causes for concern? 12:40 Dan Szymborski: ZiPS is most concerned about Tork 12:40 Dan Szymborski: Less so about Baez 12:40 Dan Szymborski: and less so even than Baes for Greene 12:40 Mike Matheny: Somehow I have lasted longer than four other managers 12:40 Dan Szymborski: Royals 12:40 BreggyBomb: At what size does of a WAR differential make an MVP race pretty cut and dry, in your opinion? 12:40 Dan Szymborski: 2, in BOTH FG and BR 12:41 Still Salty About Mookie Betts: Are the O’s for real or nah, do you think? They have at least a shot at the wild card and things look a heck of a lot better in the long run 12:41 Dan Szymborski: Depends what you mean by real 12:41 Dan Szymborski: Are they an 88-win roster right now? I’d say no. 12:41 Dan Szymborski: But are they a highly interesting team with a very bright near future? 12:41 somebody: I just punched your chat avatar. Not very hard though. Does that count as your face? 12:41 Dan Szymborski: I think you punched your monitor 12:42 Big Bob: If you could make one rule change to the game to make it more exciting to the average person, what would it be? 12:42 Dan Szymborski: home run derby extra innings 12:42 Dan Szymborski: Hey, you didn’t say a GOOD rule 12:42 Dan Szymborski: and if the HR derby is a tie 12:42 Dan Szymborski: MONSTER TRUCK RACE 12:43 FailedRebuild: Dan: What was the AI-generated image site you referenced a few chats ago? Hoping to create image of Tony LaRussa as effective manager in 2022. 12:43 Dan Szymborski: https://www.craiyon.com/ 12:43 Dan Szymborski: Until I get my official DALL-E invite, which I’m eagerly hoping for! 12:43 Appa Yip Yip: What does ZiPS say about hair extensions? 12:43 Dan Szymborski: They seem like a lot of work 12:44 Johnny5Alive: Are the Mets living in Thor’s head – he keeps “getting” pushed back to miss starts against them. Or is this 4D chess – get in the Mets head that he’s scared and then crush them in the playoffs? 12:44 Dan Szymborski: I think too much is made of this 12:44 moe szyslak: What characteristics embody a “professional hitter” in the minds of baseball announcers across America? What statline is the minimum to earn the moniker? 12:44 Dan Szymborski: .300 BA, under 100 strikeouts 12:45 S.H., Jr.: Am I alone in wondering how Tatis, worth roughly the GDP of Mali, couldn’t afford a better lab and masking agents? I’m cynical enough that I’m not scandalized he used, I’m perplexed he didn’t deploy the resources to not get caught. 12:45 Oddball Herrera: Are we going to see a rash of prospect callups (Jung, Gunnar, Carroll) next week after the sweet spot for not losing rookie eligibility has passed? 12:46 Dan Szymborski: More for guys who are already on 40 man roster 12:46 JWR: So is there any way that readers can see a players’ preseason ZIPS and also his current ZiPS? 12:47 Dan Szymborski: You can click preseason projections on the player page 12:49 Pumpsie: Did the Padres know about the Tatis suspension before or after trading for Soto? 12:49 Dan Szymborski: After, I’m sure. 12:49 Dan Szymborski: If MLB was leaky enough for the Padres to know, then they were leaky enough fore veryone 12:49 Joe Bob: What percent chance do you think Soto signs with SD? If not SD, where does he go? 12:49 Dan Szymborski: 80% 12:49 Dan Szymborski: No idea on the other though 12:49 Service Time Impingement Syndrome: I’m seeing things from people on these chats — both writers and people asking questions — that include the phrase “I don’t care about steroid/PED use” — and I don’t get it. First, it’s cheating. Second, and more importantly, if it’s allowed, if no one cares, it creates a situation where players have to use to keep up with the rest of the league. And then college and minor league players have to use so they can advance and then high school players….Why don’t we care? 12:50 Dan Szymborski: I can’t speak for everyone, only myself. 12:50 Dan Szymborski: As I said in my Tatis writeup, I consider it a cheating issue stemming from a safety concern. 12:50 Oddball Herrera: Why limit yourself to a home run derby? I have always thought jousting tournaments would be a good way to settle close games. Guys built like Jason Momoa are the new market inefficiency 12:50 moe szyslak: Expand on the monster truck race. Does each team appoint a player, does the manager do it, is there a specific monster truck driver on the payroll of each team? 12:51 Dan Szymborski: Each manager picks a monster truck racer from the roster. But the player has to be still in the game or available on the bench 12:51 T: In a way, is it kinda messed up to offer a 21 year old something you know will be significantly below market value in only a few years because he’s making so little now that it’s hard to say no? He’s being kinda taken advantage of, right? “Hey, we know you don’t make much now, but we’ll give you a big raise in exchange for a an even bigger discount in 5 years” 12:52 Dan Szymborski: I’m not going to spoil too much of my article, but I don’t consider it like Albies, which was genuinely abysmal as a deal 12:52 Dan Szymborski: Harris *does* have significant risk. Even if he’s top 2 in ROY, which seems likely, he’s got another two years until arbitration. 12:52 Dan Szymborski: And his baseline isn’t as certain as some other players 12:53 Guess: Should I interpret my fish swimming headfirst into a powerhead during my zoom meeting this morning for all to see some sort of desperate “Send help” message to the outside? 12:53 Dan Szymborski: heh 12:53 The Franimal: The Guardians made a big mistake. 12:54 Dan Szymborski: I’m not sure he’s well rounded enough to make Cleveland REALLY regret it, but I liked the pickup by the Cubs 12:54 Chance Boudreaux: How long does a new GM regime take to fully wear the responsibility of a franchise? I imagine they would have longer leashes to rebuild or transform the team. Would it be after several draft classes or trades of “Oh that’s no longer Avila’s core”? 12:54 Dan Szymborski: It’s complex 12:54 Dan Szymborski: I don’t think you can have an easy test. 12:54 JWR: With Seiya Suzuki having a very underwhelming season, both offensively and defensively so far, will that change the projections at all of other Japanese players who come over in the next few seasons? 12:54 Dan Szymborski: No, we have a lot of US->JPN movement and vice-versa 12:55 Dan Szymborski: and a guy projected for a wRC+ of 119 preseason having a 98 is a miss high, but not an earth-shattering one 12:55 Dan Szymborski: especially since it’s over 77 games 12:58 Dan Szymborski: OVer a full season, that would be his 17th percentile 12:58 Dan Szymborski: over hal fa season, 28th 12:58 JWR: Teams are regularly bashed by their fans for not spending money in the off-season, yet it appears that most free agent deals result in players being overpaid over the course of the deal. This year, for example, Baez, Bryant, E Rod, Suzuki, Stroman and Semien are all falling well short of their contracts and expectations. How do you expect this will impact how teams spend money in the future? 12:59 Dan Szymborski: I don’t think that there’s an impact here; there are a lot of ones that look really good 1:00 Dan Szymborski: Rodon, Gausman, Verlander, so on 1:00 JWR: SABR convention today. Have you ever been? 1:00 Dan Szymborski: Yes, bu tit’s been awhile 1:01 Dan Szymborski: It tends to come at a very work-heavy part of the summer for me 1:01 San Dzymborski: why do I get the feeling that the Angels are going to both not trade Ohtani and do something like sign Aaron Judge and no pitchers 1:01 Dan Szymborski: Because you’re familiar wiht the Angels. 1:02 Phil: Preller said he didn’t know until it was announced, I believe. 1:02 Dan Szymborski: True, but while i believe that would be the case, he *could* always just lie 1:02 Jon: The monster truck race comment made me laugh out loud at my desk 1:03 Dan Szymborski: I mean, average people would love it! 1:05 Dan Szymborski: “And the home run derby ties at 25-25. Now, Juan Soto is running to the designated area behind the stadium to hop into Soulcrusher while the Royals will be using the Beelzebubic.” 1:05 moe szyslak: https://diamond-digest.com/2020/01/08/chess-players-in-baseball/ Have you ever read this? Admittedly, chess is a little more boring than monster trucks, but it’s a fun writeup 1:05 Dan Szymborski: I have not 1:05 Dan Szymborski: I used to play chess on and off 1:05 Dan Szymborski: (I’m a 1. e4 guy and like to play caro-kann or dutch as black) 1:06 Christian: Zips 2: Here to enrage you 1:06 Carlos Rodon: Am I getting paid? 1:07 Dan Szymborski: Presumably the checks are clearing or you’re a free agent 1:07 Dan Szymborski: Like Catfish Hunter was 1:08 Dan Szymborski: And let’s wrap things up by noting that Harris/ZiPS stuff is live. 1:08 Dan Szymborski: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/rookie-standout-michael-harris-ii-signs-72… 1:08 Dan Szymborski: Thanks for coming all, hope to see you next week!