Dan Szymborski FanGraphs Chat – 9/15/22

12:02
Avatar Dan Szymborski: It’s a-me, Szymio!

12:02
Scotty: Gunnar flipping Henderson, am I right?!

12:02
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Correct.

12:02
Slapshot: Is the Mets getting swept at home by the Cubs the most Mets thing the Mets could possibly Met?

12:04
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think the most Mets thing would have been if an outfielder threw firecrackers at a group of war widows and the GM got busted for going on a DUI bender with a mail truck

12:04
Josh Nelson: Is Taco Bell’s Mexican Pizza actually a pizza?

12:04
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m not sure anything from there is actually food

12:04
Yankees: Hey look we woke up.

12:04
person: beware beware the fifteenth of September. or something like that

12:05
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Beware the Ides of September, that dark period every year when the Angels and Rockies become officially eliminated from the playoffs

12:05
brad penny for your thoughts: at his current numbers, what percentile is albert pujols hitting on your zips projection for him this year?

12:07
Avatar Dan Szymborski: 97.

12:07
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The relative low PA is helpful

12:08
Dansby Swansong: On the YES broadcast last night, they speculated the hitters will have more trouble adjusting to the pitch clock next year than pitchers will.  Your take?

12:08
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think it’ll generally be a wash

12:09
Avatar Dan Szymborski: And the fact is, if pitch clocks were really awful for hitters, then AAA offense “should have” been REALLY high

12:10
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The PCL has an ERA of 5.40 this year

12:11
Avatar Dan Szymborski: For players in the crazier parks in the PCL, the translation for pitchers will be approximately “their AAA stats” and hitters will be translated like AA guys

12:12
JC: Are there any metrics behind the stats that lead Andrew Painter to sit outside the top 100 and 45+ FV?

12:12
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Nothing that I’m aware of. ZiPS will almost certainly have him quite high in the top 100 next year

12:12
Appa Yip Yip: There are a lot of differing opinions on how the new rules are going to affect base running. Where do you fall on the spectrum, from “meh, little difference” to “chaos reigns (on the basepaths) remix ft head first & swim move”?

12:12
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Mehish

12:12
Appa Yip Yip: Which version of Cid is your personal Definitive Cid? For me it’s FF4 Cid (bushy red beard)

12:13
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Cid in FFVI, despite the fact that his outfit makes him look like a walking hot dog

12:13
Avatar Dan Szymborski:

12:14
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Cid in FFXII is my favorite *character* Cid

12:14
A Boy Named Yu: The Cubs have played .500 ball since the ASB….not too hard to see how some bigger free agent pieces would make things interesting next year.

12:14
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I agree. ZiPS was interested in them and projecting them to finish in the high 70s in wins way more than the Reds and Pirates

12:15
Avatar Dan Szymborski: though that’s not going to happen as .500 now only gets them into low 70s

12:15
Sharps: Why don’t broadcasts and analytics show a 3d strike zone to accurately get clips of corners and curves that catch the front of the plate?  Would robo-umps be susceptible to those?

12:15
Avatar Dan Szymborski: They’re kinda tough visually as you basically need to do a lot of work rotating to get perspective

12:16
Avatar Dan Szymborski: So they’re not visually appealing

12:16
James: Should Hunter Brown make the playoff roster?

12:16
Avatar Dan Szymborski: He SHOULD

12:16
Avatar Dan Szymborski: as I noted above, the PCL had a 5.40 ERA, so his performance is even better than it looked!

12:16
Mister Puppy: Back at it again with the whole “teaching” thing, so I’ll ask two quick questions and then leave. 1) Is it possible that Gunnar Henderson is still underrated around the more casual baseball community? Obviously been a small sample, but the projections love him and he just looks like *it*. 2) What’s one thing you wish your English teacher told you in high school?

12:17
Avatar Dan Szymborski: By the casual community? Possibly, his name hasn’t been super hyped for very long.

12:17
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The “inside baseball” community is certainly big on hiM!

12:18
Avatar Dan Szymborski: 2.

12:19
Avatar Dan Szymborski: “Make sure to not get berated by one of those jackbooted APA style thugs”

12:19
Dick Mountain: Do you believe in free will? How if at all do you think about probabilistic outcomes in your non-baseball life?

12:20
Avatar Dan Szymborski: It’s complicated.

12:21
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I don’t believe in free will in the context that our choices are determined by our internal programming, whether created from nature or nurture

12:22
Avatar Dan Szymborski: but I still believe in moral responsibility, which isn’t necessarily compatible with that

12:23
Austin Hedges: I’m running a 57 wRC+ and 0.2 WAR.  The team is 51-33 when I start and 25-32 when I don’t.  Does WAR undervalue me?

12:23
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I honestly don’t think so. Getting above replacement with *that* line is a lot of defensive credit!

12:23
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Team start/don’t start really doesn’t work in any predictive sense

12:24
A Boy Named Yu: On a contender, is Christopher Morel a starter, a Zobristian regular, or a nice utility piece?

12:24
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Valuable role player, I think

12:24
Kwanbelievable: Do the 2022 playoff odds take into account the new tiebreaking scenarios?

12:24
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I believe so. ZiPS does.

12:24
Guest: Keeper league, is Bellinger just cooked and not worth protecting NL Scoresheet 10 team League (13 slots)

12:24
Avatar Dan Szymborski: In a 10-team league, I’m certain he’s cooked.

12:25
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Replacement level in a 10-teamer is really high

12:25
TomBruno23: Oh boy…a big time chat to get me through Thursday…what do I tell my friend, let’s call him Bodie, when he gets agitated about people saying Molina will be a HOF enshrinee one day? Bodie is particularly upset that Molina seems to be a foregone conclusion while someone such as Joe Mauer perhaps is not.

12:25
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think both should be in.

12:26
Avatar Dan Szymborski: If keeping Mauer out is an injustice, should Molina really be subjected to a similar injustice because of bad voters?

12:26
Avatar Dan Szymborski: We should induct as many deserving people as we can and then fight for induction of the ones who don’t get in!

12:27
Avatar Dan Szymborski: We can still be happy that Ryne Sandberg and Roberto Alomar were honored even if Bobby Grich and Lou Whitaker have been horribly snubbed.

12:27
Morbo: Hey Dan, how’s it going?

12:27
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Fine!

12:27
A Boy Named Yu: Do you have a smoker or knowledge of smokers?  My situation really only allows the possibility of an electric smoker but I’ve heard it’s not as good as a charcoal one.

12:27
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m not a particular expert here.

12:28
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I have an electric smoker too, because it’s convenient. I’m good at getting good results, but charcoal ones are obviously superior

12:28
M’s Fan: Has Julio’s future projections gone up? How bad has Kelenic’s gotten?

12:28
Avatar Dan Szymborski: They’re about the same. I did an article on him when he signed and that had projections!

12:28
M’s Fan: Is Julio’s season a 90th percentile outcome? Higher, lower?

12:28
Avatar Dan Szymborski: certainly lower percentile than that

12:30
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I mean look at his preseason ZiPS projection with depth chart playing time!

12:30
Avatar Dan Szymborski:

12:31
Avatar Dan Szymborski: He’s basically having ZiPS AVERAGE result! LOL

12:32
Liz: Which race (milestone, stats, division/postseason, etc) are you personally most interested in?

12:32
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I totally want Judge to hit 61 and I’m not even a Yankee fan

12:32
Lance Biggerstaff: Have the Braves tried turning Ronald Acuna off and then back on again?

12:32
AA: Vaughn Grissom contract extension projection?

12:32
Appa Yip Yip: Is the AL 3rd wild card more appealing this year than the 2nd wild card? The central is not good.

12:32
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Depressing, but yes.

12:32
Avatar Dan Szymborski: All seeds should be record-based

12:33
Insert Witty Name Here: I’m quitting my job in a week and haven’t told them yet. In the meantime, I’m here at DanChat.  If the day ever comes that you left Fangraphs, and you wrote one last article on any topic you so desire, what would our last memory of you at Fangraphs be about?

12:33
Avatar Dan Szymborski: April.

12:33
Kwanbelievable: zips seems down on Oscar Gonzalez with no projected seasons of >1 WAR in the next 3. Assuming zips is not impressed by the plate discipline? And if so, how many more PAs roughly of current performance would it take for zips to change its mind?

12:33
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Remember that the three years there are preseason!

12:34
Romorr: You hear how Bradish watch Burnes on TV, and moved over on the rubber? Since then, ERA is low 2s, though the sample is smallish. Trying to piece a rotation together for 2023, and wondering if he’s earned a spot as of now.

12:34
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I actually was unaware of his movement on the rubber and did not notice it

12:34
brad !: since the Zack Wheeler Cy Young talks last year I’ve been wondering, how important is innings Pitched? How much volume makes up for a higher era.

12:34
Avatar Dan Szymborski: IP is important

12:34
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Though it varies since writers are evaluating it

12:34
Avatar Dan Szymborski: How much volume makes up for higher ERA is pretty much a WAR/RA9WAR question

12:35
TomBruno23: Perhaps you have done this and I cannot find it now…is there a ZIPS for Pujols had he stayed in STL after 2011?

12:35
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Hang on

12:38
Avatar Dan Szymborski:

12:38
Oddball Herrera: Am I the only one tired of MLB messing with the rules and the ball every season? It is starting to feel like Calvinball. Maybe I just wasn’t as tuned in in the 90s and 00s but it doesn’t feel like the offensive environment has these wild swings, and I am starting to suspect MLB’s tinkering has generated a feedback loop

12:38
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I dont’ think the problem is necessarily rules changes.

12:38
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Offense in baseball is largely “solved” in that there’s little style variation among the optimal route

12:39
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The problem is when changes like the ball have no transparency, are somewhat arbitrary, and leaves the teams and players guessing what the equipment is like on a day-to-day basis

12:39
Homer: I beg to differ…three dimensions is very appealing

12:39
Homer: Nick Lodolo is getting me all hot around the collar…with his pitching skills.  Are the Reds going to sniff .500 next year to give him some W support?

12:39
Avatar Dan Szymborski: No

12:40
A Boy Named Yu: What was your favorite Mario game growing up?  Is it still your favorite?

12:40
Avatar Dan Szymborski: SMB3. Still is

12:40
Morbo: I’ve seen 3d strike zones on a few broadcasts but only on replays not live

12:41
Christian Colon for Men: Favorite ballplayer with a Q somewhere in his name?

12:41
Avatar Dan Szymborski: QUIZ

12:41
Frank Thomas the Tank Engine: Would the O’s have won the AL Central?

12:41
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Yes

12:41
Guest: Let’s say Albert finishes with 698 or so homers but short of 700. IF he returned next year, does he have a chance to chase down Ruth?

12:42
Avatar Dan Szymborski: yes

12:42
tz: Are you old enough to remember seeing Mark Belanger play?  If so, how good did he look defensively?

12:42
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m a couple years too young

12:42
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I was born in 1978 and my first really solid *specific* baseball memories are in 1983

12:43
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m sure he was on the screen when I was 3 and my dad was watching games on the living TV in 1981 and I probably looked in his direction, but I have no recall

12:43
Avatar Dan Szymborski: And I doubt he would have impressed defensively at that point

12:43
Guest: In your estimation, the 2021 Giants played to their ___ percentile and the 2022 Giants are playing to their ___ percentile

12:44
Avatar Dan Szymborski: >99th

12:44
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I believe that in ZiPS they’re somewhere 25th-30th

12:44
Sharps: In my lines of work I wish english teachers had emphasized the difference between active and passive voice and when to use each to best effect.

12:45
A Boy Named Yu: Whos’ your favorite actor/actress who will be forever known to you as in one role?  For me, it’s the actor who played Ham Porter in “The Sandlot”.  He’s a grown man now and I’ve seen him in some other things, but he will always be Hamilton Porter and my favorite.

12:45
Avatar Dan Szymborski: And that boy grew up to be…Randy Levine

12:45
henry cotto: Geno Suarez went from being perceived as an albatross contract to now looking like one of the better contracts in the league, yeah?

In a larger sense, do we tend to too-quickly dismiss the idea of players re-emerging and reaching their former baseline level of play after a year(s) long slump, even if there are extenuating circumstances (injury, defensive position switch, playing for the Reds)?

12:45
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I keep yelling at people about this, with the recency

12:46
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Now, they didn’t project four wins, but all the projection systems had him at 2-3 wins this year

12:46
Bellinger and Yelich: Any pair of MVPs fall off this much this fast who weren’t in their mid-30s at the start of it? Yelich is still able to get on base of course, but still.

12:47
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I did a piece on sorta this!

12:48
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m a little annoyed that he became quite mediocre just when I finally stopped occasionally calling him Clay

12:49
Avatar Dan Szymborski:

12:49
Sharps: is there an easy way to compare the actual wins of a team versus their WAR “wins” (the total war of players + the 47.7) to see how much variance there is?

12:50
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Adding? I’m not quite sure what you’re getting at

12:50
Appa Yip Yip: Imagine you’re a big league caliber pitcher on the mound facing Pujols. He’s at 699. Do you hang one (1) slider before getting down to business?

12:50
Avatar Dan Szymborski: No way

12:50
Avatar Dan Szymborski: You respect another athlete by giving them your best effort to beat them.

12:50
TomBruno23: I agree with you re HOF, let them all in. I see 5 HOFers on this year’s Cardinal team with Lars Nootbaar having an outside shot.

12:51
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Not everyone’s going to agree with me on the Pujols hanging slider, though.

12:52
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m extraordinarily competitive. I grew up in a family that always gave me their best as a kid; my grandfather never went easy on me in chess and my dad never pretended that three-year-old Danny beat him at arm wrestling

12:53
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I was livid in little league games at mercy rule games, on either winning or losing side

12:53
Morbo: Re: freewill. I’m not fully convinced that humans are fully sapient as the term is generally understood. I think to many of our everyday responses are automatic in the sense they they are conditioned responses to external stimuli. This includes a lot of social interaction with others (especially small talk). I would say that most people are capable of sentience and thought but that it represents an atypical state. And, the majority of people spend the majority of their time in a more  reactionary state

12:53
Appa Yip Yip: Did Bichette actually make a meaningful change to kick off this torrid stretch, or is it just baseball and he’s hot right now?

12:53
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Baseball gonna baseball

12:54
Dave: So you’re telling me that the projections expected Julio to be this good. God damn, Julio is insane

12:54
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I love what he’s doing anyway, but I can’t say I don’t also love that he made me not look stupid

12:54
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I can’t put my thumb on the scale

12:54
Avatar Dan Szymborski: so if ZiPS says something that loosk crazy, I have no recourse but to be smarter and do better!

12:54
A Boy Named Yu: Any thoughts on Kia vehicles?  Trying to decide between a Toyota Sienna and a Kia Carnival for the family and I don’t know much about Kias.

12:56
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Kia/Hyundai have gotten much better in the last 15 years. Now, the problems seem to be recent issues a CVT in a few cars

12:56
Avatar Dan Szymborski: and a lot of the complaints now is about the dealer experience rather than the vehicles themselves

12:57
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The Everyday Driver guys did the Kia Carnival

12:57
Avatar Dan Szymborski:

12:57
Avatar Dan Szymborski: and savage geese did the Sienna

12:57
Avatar Dan Szymborski:

12:57
Al: Time for NYY to finally exhale?

12:58
Avatar Dan Szymborski: They should

12:58
jas: Who you got for the MVPs?

12:58
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I would vote for Judge in the AL

12:58
Avatar Dan Szymborski: the NL is really tight between Arenado and Goldschmidt for me.

12:59
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I may use 3B to break the tie as I think that based on the historical deviations between good and bad 3B defensively, generalized position adjustments possibly shortchange 3B by a run or two

12:59
Mike Rizzo: How great a job did I do trading Juan Soto?

12:59
Avatar Dan Szymborski: For having to trade Soto, the return was quite soldi

1:00
Dave: What’s the worst team that could have won the AL Central this year?

1:00
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Probably the O’s based on current roster strength

1:01
Avatar Dan Szymborski: based on current team record, the Red Sox?

1:01
Juan Soto: 1-10, panic meter for my performance ROS

1:01
Avatar Dan Szymborski: 2

1:01
Oddball Herrera: For players with a Q, I was a fan of ole Quetzalcoatl Johnson from the St. Louis Brown Stockings

1:01
Cat Latos: Do cats say meow or do they speak meow?

1:01
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Everything is meow

1:01
Avatar Dan Szymborski: like marklar on south park

1:01
A Boy Named Yu: Cat update?

1:03
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Cassiopeia was sleeping on a pillow in the TV room upstairs. Mercutio is sleeping on the floor in that room on the crinkle mat after Cassie smacked him for sniffing her while she was sleeping there.

1:04
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Last I saw Constantine, he was sleeping in a closet after being pissed off because my mom stopped by this morning and tried to take his seat and he gave her a little chomp and she shouted a bit

1:04
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Justinian was down here, but at the start of the chat, he tried to climb some boxes and they all fell over and I yelled “goddammit” and he booked it upstairs

1:05
Michael Harris: What were the ZIPS chances I would have a better season than Julio Rodriguez?

1:05
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Fairly low, I’m sure

1:05
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m not quite set up to answer that one quickly

1:05
Guest: What is your philosophical stance on the shift ban? And in a practical sense, doesn’t it reward the pull-heavy, TTO sluggers that we are supposedly trying to move away from?

1:05
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I used to be against it, but I’m less so now.

1:07
Frank Thomas the Tank Engine: If Randy Johnson came out of retirement today, would he still be good enough to win the Royals’ 5th starter job?

1:07
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Probably not

1:08
brad penny for your thoughts: this’ll sound cold but if you owned the white sox, would you want TLR to return this season?

1:08
Avatar Dan Szymborski: No

1:08
Jfast: What should Astros do with 1B next year?

1:08
Avatar Dan Szymborski: They should probably have one or pitcher BABIP in grounders goes WAY up

1:08
Adam: If fielders were allowed to line up in foul territory, is there ever a situation where you think a team might employ it?  Aside from “Joe Maddon gets another job and just wants to” type scenarios, of course.

1:08
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I suspect no

1:09
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Because the consequences of missing a foul are less than missing a ball in play

1:09
Jfast: Favorite food in greater Baltimore area?

1:09
Avatar Dan Szymborski: steamed crabs duh!

1:09
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Though I probably get pit beef more

1:09
Avatar Dan Szymborski: because steamed crabs *is* a whole production and messy and expensive

1:09
Avatar Dan Szymborski: and with pit beef, you get the sandwich, you eat the sandwich, and then you move on with your day

1:10
T: Do the rule changes change anyone’s ZIP in any significant way?

1:10
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Nobody would need to shift enough as I dont’ believe any zip code borders are within a stadium

1:10
Fan Szymborgraphs: I eat another pit beef after the first pit beef

1:10
TomBruno23: The Subway near Inner Harbor is legit.  Better than anything at Chaps. Messing.

1:11
Avatar Dan Szymborski: On that note, it is time to end the chat for another weke.

1:11
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Thanks for coming everyone!





Dan Szymborski is a senior writer for FanGraphs and the developer of the ZiPS projection system. He was a writer for ESPN.com from 2010-2018, a regular guest on a number of radio shows and podcasts, and a voting BBWAA member. He also maintains a terrible Twitter account at @DSzymborski.

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toshi
10 days ago

Dan, if a rookie performs exactly as the ZIPs predicted in the first year, how would that affect the future projection? Does it not change, or would it improve because of the increased certainty? My hunch is the latter but not sure. Thanks!