Dan Szymborski FanGraphs Chat – 9/22/22

12:03
Avatar Dan Szymborski: ITS A CHAT

12:03
Camrin: Initial thoughts on the Tigers signing Scott Harris?

12:05
Avatar Dan Szymborski: We’re not there yet, but I’m only 8 years older than Scott Harris, so I know the day is coming not just when GMs are my age, but GMs could THEORETICALLY BE MY KID

12:06
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Really, it all comes down to how the ownership/Harris relationship goes.

12:06
Guest: Does ZiPS think that Logan O’Hoppe should be the Angels starting C in 2023?

12:09
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Looking at his ZiPS, I think that ZiPS would think so

12:09
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Also, I do like how his name sounds like a beer company’s sub-brand

12:09
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Sam Adams Presents: Logan O’Hoppe’s Kilkenny Thunder

12:10
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Sam Adams Presents: Logan O’Hoppe’s Oat Stout Explosion

12:10
Bill Whitehouse from Frederick, Md.: Why don’t the Orioles go out and get more team speed?

12:11
Avatar Dan Szymborski: You get the fleas on bases getting picked off, trying to steal, and this is way shorter if you leave out all the curse words

12:11
Dayton Moore Talking Head: Is Dayton Moore a cultural fit with any other major league team (outside of an advisory-type role with no real power)?

12:11
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Rockies for sure

12:11
SuaceBoss: Do you see Brandon Lowe going back to 4-5 WAR next season?

12:11
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Five, maybe not, but I think he’ll be above average

12:11
HornsUp: How should Scott Harris begin unraveling the Tigers mess? I don’t think the org or fans can stomach 5 more years of rebuilding, nor do I think they’re going to go Mike Ilitch with the checkbook.

12:12
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think they need to stay the course. The organization isn’t bereft of talent

12:13
Avatar Dan Szymborski: But there needs to be a realization they can’t hotshot a contender

12:13
Guest: Are the White Sox the most disappointing team compared to preseason expectations since the 2015 Nationals?

12:13
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Depends you how you define expectations!

12:14
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I mean they’re what, 8 wins behind where expected? That’s almost a nothing miss!

12:15
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Even if you had perfect knowledge, you’d expect to miss on like six teams by that much

12:16
Avatar Dan Szymborski: ZiPS projected the 2018 Orioles to go 77-85 and the 2018 Giants to go 88-74!

12:16
Dayton Moore Talking Head: If Judge was on, say, the Rangers, we’re getting about half the coverage, right?

12:16
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Nah, I do think Triple Crowns are interesting

12:16
Anonymous Coward: This Braves prospect has been mashing, and the defense gives him a high floor, but his plate discipline seems terrifying. Am I describing Michael Harris II or Drew Waters?

12:17
Avatar Dan Szymborski: It can’t be Waters since he no longer counts as a Braves prospect

12:17
Avatar Dan Szymborski: And he has not played particularly well in the majors

12:17
Dave: whenever a much older player like Pujols has a renaissance season, one of my first thoughts is “i wonder how much this affects the aging curve”. i imagine there aren’t too many players to pull from that have played a significant amount of time at 42, does Pujols’s (above) average output this year have a noticable affect on your aging curve?

12:17
Avatar Dan Szymborski: No, ZiPS looks at hundreds of players

12:21
Avatar Dan Szymborski: For example, here’s the cutoff of the players that make up half the weight of Justin Verlander’s future aging curve

12:21
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Note that there are doubles here, this is before the step where ZiPS cuts out the doubles

12:21
Avatar Dan Szymborski:

12:23
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Continued

12:23
Avatar Dan Szymborski:

12:24
Avatar Dan Szymborski: ZiPS has 114,613 baselines

12:25
Avatar Dan Szymborski: For those wondering, this is the least comparable player to Verlander

12:25
Adam: Do you expect the Orioles to pry open their wallets this offseason?

12:25
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I do actually

12:25
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I can totally see them go after Rodon

12:25
Josh: Are there any specific parks that will see biggest impacts from the rule changes? My hunch is lefties will love Camden Yards…

12:25
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think it’s probably small

12:25
Pinto: Gunnar has obviously had a magical debut. What’s a realistic expectation for him next year?

12:25
Avatar Dan Szymborski: HEY SZYM WROTE A PIECE

12:27
Adam: Which team do you think, over the course of your lifetime, you’ve paid the least attention to?  You can prorate the expansion teams if that makes a difference.

12:27
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Maybe a team like the Marlins?

12:28
Avatar Dan Szymborski: They’re relevant so rarely

12:28
Dayton Moore Talking Head: I went to high school with a Scott Harris, so for a few minutes yesterday I was thinking, hey, Scott did all right.

12:28
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I can’t say Pirates because they had a a stretch of being really good

12:29
Avatar Dan Szymborski: and they had Bonds

12:29
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I guess the team I’ve *seen* the least, combined TV and in-person, might be the Rangers?

12:29
Avatar Dan Szymborski: As a kid, we subscribed to Home Team Sports, so along with TBS, WGN, and WWOR, there was a lot of baseball available for the time period

12:30
Avatar Dan Szymborski: HTS was the O’s premium cable partner

12:30
Avatar Dan Szymborski: But that doesn’t mean I didn’ tpay attention to the Rangers. I’ve been absolutely obsessive about my baseball following for nearly 40 years.

12:32
Adam: Will either Nelson Cruz or Rich Hill play again next year?  Those two plus Pujols are the last remaining players older than me.

12:32
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think they both do

12:32
Andrew: If the Simpsons were to recreate Homer at the Bat in 2023, who are the ringers?

12:32
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Definitely gotta be Manny Machado! I drew him in

12:33
Avatar Dan Szymborski:

12:33
Avatar Dan Szymborski: because of this

12:33
Avatar Dan Szymborski:

12:34
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I whould have picked someone else so I could change the glove lol

12:34
Avatar Dan Szymborski: But I didn’t realize it until after and I’m all “goddammit, I made him a lefty”

12:34
Greg: How much are you buying Mitch Keller’s strong season (especially since May)

12:35
Avatar Dan Szymborski: A lot in the sense that his command has been much better

12:35
Avatar Dan Szymborski: But he also has that early Eovaldi problem where he can’t really put away batters, especially in proportion to his stuff

12:36
Dayton Moore Talking Head: Are you watching that House of Dragons show?  If so, did the Crab Feeder guy make you more or less hungry for a big ol’ steamed crab spread?

12:36
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I was actually eating Utz crab chips at the time

12:36
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I also watched one of the gory scenes while eating pot roast

12:36
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’ve reinstated my GoT policy of not eating while watching

12:36
blondie: What did ZiPS project for Pujols after leaving St. Louis in 2011? Wondering how much sooner he would have been expected to hit 700.

12:38
Avatar Dan Szymborski: ZiPS thought it was a terrible idea and STILL ended up overrating him by a bunch of WAR

12:39
Avatar Dan Szymborski:

12:39
Dayton Moore Talking Head: Logan O’Hoppe is the NA beer at the Boston airport bar

12:40
shortstop: I know Dayton Moore hasn’t exactly excelled in his job the last several years, but I’m not quite sure I understand all of the personal animosity directed towards him?

12:40
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m not sure I’d call it personal animosity. I don’t think he’s a good GM or the Royals are well run

12:40
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Fourth-worst record in baseball since start of 2007

12:41
Avatar Dan Szymborski: and in their brief good period, he didn’t set them up for remotely sustainable success

12:41
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I dont’ give GMs credit for individual series, because you can’t evaluate based on that.

12:41
Avatar Dan Szymborski: As I said on Twitter, would Dayton Moore be a worse GM if Will Harris had a better game this one time? Of course not.

12:42
Mark Kotsay: How worried should I be that Shea Langeliers has a 43% K-rate in his first ~100 big league PAs?

12:42
Avatar Dan Szymborski: At a minimum, mildly, possibly more.

12:42
Avatar Dan Szymborski: He’s been REALLY aggressive

12:43
TomBruno23: Which MLB team is the equivalent of White Castle’s Impossible Slider? Also, I enjoy listening to T. Rex’s The Slider while debating this topic in my mind.

12:43
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I don’t know, I haven’t tried one!

12:43
Adam: Which pitcher has your all-time favorite windup?

12:43
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Mike Mussina

12:43
Avatar Dan Szymborski: and Terry Leach

12:44
Avatar Dan Szymborski: least favorite is Tyler Anderson

12:44
Avatar Dan Szymborski: because it ALWAYS screws me up in MLB the Show

12:44
Guest: Would you put Hunter Brown in the Astros postseason rotation? Over Garcia or Urquidy?

12:45
Avatar Dan Szymborski: OVER either? PRobably not. But I’d have him on the roster

12:45
Michael Scott: Which playoff format do you prefer?  A) current, b) 2012-2021, c) 1995-2011, d) LCS only, e) none of the above?

12:45
Avatar Dan Szymborski: d

12:45
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’d take b over a or c

12:45
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Yeah, more teams, but you provide a huge disincentive to wild cards that c did not

12:46
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The wild card penalty of just not having HFA in c was just utter clownshoes

12:46
Joey meneses: do I deserve a fangraphs article?

12:46
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Been on my to-do list actually, but I’ve been so busy in other stuff

12:46
Dayton Moore Talking Head: But would Moore’s schtick play in Denver?

12:47
Avatar Dan Szymborski: ASbsolutely

12:47
Guest: MJ Melendez has looked baad behind the plate and meh in left field. It’s still better for the royals to keep trying him at C to be more valuable, right? Or ditch it and focus all on OF

12:47
Avatar Dan Szymborski: They should be keeping him at C until they’re sure he can not hack it

12:48
TomBruno23: Pujols…are the Birthers happy? Amazing what he is doing at 47, or whatever age the Birthers think he really is, maybe more amazing than what he did in his (alleged) 20s.

12:48
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Pujols secret birth certificate is one of the more annoying conspiracy theories out there in its endurance

12:48
Avatar Dan Szymborski: My position, as always, is I only know what I can prove

12:48
Adam: Could teams mess with the anti-shift rules by expanding or contracting the infield dirt area at their stadiums?  I’d love to see some team with rangy defenders go to little dirt islands around the bases, while another team went the other way and removed all the grass from the infield.  Is that even allowed?

12:48
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m sure commish would step in quickly

12:49
Cat Latos: Instead of asking a cat question, i will thank you for answering my cat question.

12:49
Leland: Do we need to unplug the Mariners and plug them back in?

12:49
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Couldn’t hurt

12:49
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Unless you mean a Flatliners scenario

12:50
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I don’t literally mean that they should push their players to the brink of death and then revive them.

12:50
Avatar Dan Szymborski: There has to be something in the CBA about not doing THAT

12:51
Flagstaff: is Eduardo Rodriguez the only good pitcher Boston has developed in recent years?

12:51
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Are you not counting Houck? How good is good

12:52
Judge: I truly never thought I’d see a hitting season like this that wasn’t, you know, 1998-2004.

12:52
LaBellaVita: Predicting the future is difficult. I’m curious about the ZiPS model for predicting the W-L records of teams. The model at mid-season, even with lots of data, calculated 71 wins for Baltimore, and only 97 wins for LA.  Even if we include the standard spread of outcomes due to randomness, these values are likely to be at least a couple standard deviations off. (Remember, it was mid-season.)  In your view, are there teams that produced outcomes better (or worse) than the sum of their constituents?  Or is this still randomness at work?

12:52
Avatar Dan Szymborski: There are always things a projection system cannot account for.

12:52
Avatar Dan Szymborski: For instance, ZiPS doesn’t know about future moves.

12:53
Avatar Dan Szymborski: So it’s slightly underrated teams that have added a net number of wins at trade deadlines and vice versa

12:53
Avatar Dan Szymborski: But on a team-to-team basis, the year-to-year miss for teams has been random

12:54
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Which is what you want, even if that leaves you less room to improve!

12:56
Key Flaw: During an O’s broacast they mentioned Cockeysville, which (as a native Marylander) I don’t think twice about. But my kids were laughing and thought it was a ridiculous name. What other Maryland place names are ridiculous but we have become inured to?

12:56
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Funkstown

12:56
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Chevy Chase

12:56
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I grew up in Towson and generally hung out in Towson/Lutherville/Timonium/Cockeysville/Hunt Valley corridor.

12:56
Avatar Dan Szymborski: so it seems perfectly normal to me

12:57
Appa Yip Yip: Yesterday the Jays tweeted out that they were 20 games above .500 with an 84 and 64 record, but weren’t they actually 10 games above .500? Like yes, 20 more wins than losses but you don’t just lop wins off when looking at how far over .500 you are, every win you remove must necessarily go into the loss column. they don’t just vanish into the ether so it’s actually a 10 game swing to be at .500? or am I mathing wrong? (V possible I am bad at math)

12:57
Avatar Dan Szymborski: It’s a philosophical difference

12:57
Avatar Dan Szymborski: And I don’t think you can really pick which approach is correct

12:57
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Because “above .500” is rather vague

12:58
Avatar Dan Szymborski: If you’re 64-84, you have to win 20 next games to get TO .500 again

12:58
bb: What would you do to fix the Chicago American League ballclub?

12:58
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Axe Williams, TLR, Reinsdorf

12:59
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I know, firing the owner is hard, but if you’re giving me dictatorial powers, I’ma gonna use them

12:59
Chrono Triggered: Is there data on walk rate declines for player’s switching leagues?  Matt Olson still hits the ball hard but his walk rate is way down.  My theory is he doesn’t know the pitchers as well and that he’ll rebound next year.

12:59
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I haven’t found that

12:59
Silly Dan McGrew: Does Zips look at body size on aging curves? Would Judge being 6’7 and being over 270 lbs indicate his body might break down earlier?

12:59
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’ve found that size data is just horribly noisy and doesn’t actually add anything, at least by any approach I’ve taken on

1:00
ZiPs: I know you showed the post-2022 projections for Judge, but this is the first (possible) 11WAR season since there was a Fangraphs. That’s pretty remarkable

1:00
SammyT: Lots of calls for Logan O’Chopping off heads on the South Side. Do you chalk CHW’s 2022 up to bad luck and re-roll or would you recommend more drastic off-season measures? Is there even that much they CAN do?

1:00
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I dont’ think there’s anything fundamentally broken about the roster

1:00
Avatar Dan Szymborski: But I think the organization’s approach and tactics have a lot to be desiredc

1:01
Guest: What percentile performance is this for Spencer Strider relative to pre-season ZIPS?  100th?

1:01
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Nowhere near that far

1:02
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I have it all closed up now

1:02
Avatar Dan Szymborski: but a 23-year-old with an 100 ERA+ having a great season isn’t THAT crazy because pitchers are quite volatile

1:02
Avatar Dan Szymborski: 100 ERA+ projection that is

1:02
Guest: If I told you at the beginning of the year that Eugenio Suarez, Michael Harris, and Spencer Strider would all be 4+ WAR players this year, which would have most surprised you?

1:02
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Harris

1:02
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I would have been surprised that he’d get even enough playing time get four WAR

1:02
Avatar Dan Szymborski: But the Braves have been aggressive with him and it paid off

1:03
Dan: I remember this year’s most irreplaceable article didn’t really have any Yankees thinking they’d make the playoffs even with an injury. But Judge is about 9 games better than their alternative outfielder and they sure wouldn’t look good with nine less wins.

1:03
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Well, yeah, since ZiPS iddn’t project 11 wins! lol

1:04
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Right now, if you take 9 wins from the Yankees, they’d be out of the playoffs due to M’s tiebreaker

1:04
Avatar Dan Szymborski: (Unless one of those 9 wins goes to the Mariners)

1:04
Josh in DC: Josiah Gray has spent 15 career innings in AAA and 40 in AA. Shouldn’t he be in the minors this year? Isn’t his season an indictment on Mike Rizzo?

1:04
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I do think he was rushed

1:05
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think he succumbed to the pressure of having to show NOW benefits from the Scherzer/Turner trade

1:05
John b: What are the chances of an LIV- style attack on MLB.  It seems to me that if half to 3/4 of your best talent are making very little then a new (much smaller) league could pick them off easily

1:06
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think it’s hard becuase you have to soak off a LOT of players

1:06
shortstop: See, Moore’s “schtick”… the negative sentiment seems to go beyond ‘bad GM’. That’s what I’m not getting.

1:06
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I don’t think I’ve ever said anythign negative about Moore as a person outside of his GM duties.

1:06
Avatar Dan Szymborski: And if you find something, I’ll be happy to link it.

1:07
Avatar Dan Szymborski: If you hate someone, you certainly don’t give him The Rock’s finishing move!

1:08
Avatar Dan Szymborski:

1:08
Dayton Moore Talking Head: The Mariners frequently push their fans to the brink of death and then revive them, so why shouldn’t they do that to the players?

1:08
tz: Note – Eduardo Rodriguez was developed by the O’s.  He came to Boston in exchange for a half season of Andrew Miller.

1:08
Jerry: Do the M’s have the best rotation in baseball? Castillo, Ray, Gilbert and Kirby look like all at least #2’s with Castillo being a #1.

1:09
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m not sure it’s the BEST but I think it may be the DEEPEST

1:09
tz: On the infield dirt issue and gamesmanship – my kids’ middle school had a rule prohibiting hair hanging below the eyebrows. So one boy shaved his eyebrows to get around the rule.  True story.

1:09
John b: What happened to bunting for a hit ?  With BA plummeting, it would seem it’s a far better bet to try and yet bunting for hits seems to have disappeared

1:09
Avatar Dan Szymborski: It’s not the easiest thing to do!

1:09
DC in NOVA: Skaggsville

1:09
Pedro: Pocomoke City MD!

1:09
Joe: Surprised at the reluctance from NYY to play Peraza?

1:10
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think the Yankees are, for obvious reasons, are rather risk-averse at their position.

1:10
Avatar Dan Szymborski: He SHOULD be starting the final week of the season though

1:10
Moog Powell: If you’re 64 and 84, it would not be possible to win 20 more games to get to .500 . . . (unless you are counting on there are tie-breaker games)

1:10
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I mean theoretically

1:10
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Call it 44 and 64 then

1:11
Pedro: How could I forget Skaggsville?  That wins

1:11
Rip Calkin: Looking at how Adley and Gunnar have debuted, and looking at the wave of talent coming up behind them….even the O’s can’t screw this up, right? Right?

1:11
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I certainly hope not!

1:11
tstats: Not looking at ZiPS, what do you believe the odds are of Judge pulling the triple crown off?

1:11
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m not sure I can wipe my brain of knowledge of the model I wrote! I think you’d have to ask me before I ran it this year

1:12
Just Fowl: What top free agent will see his market not develop and thus end up in BOS?

1:12
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Dayton Moore 😀

1:12
Avatar Dan Szymborski: On that note, it’s time for me to head out for another week. Thanks for coming everyone!

1:12
Guest: What’s for lunch today?

1:12
Avatar Dan Szymborski: A burrito that “Jazzman” delievered

1:13
Key Flaw: Is my annoyance of the use of “100th percentile” a hill I should be willng to die on?





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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Richiemember
5 days ago

Dan’s position isn’t “I only know what I can prove”. It’s really ‘what I can’t prove I know therefore isn’t so’.

Huge, HUGE! difference between those two. Just huge.

Richiemember
5 days ago
Reply to  Richie

Really. Albert follows up 5(+?) inexplicably bad years with 1 inexplicably good year, and “boy that proves the birthers are dumb!!!” No one with an IQ in double figures can defend that.