Dan Szymborski FanGraphs Chat – 9/29/22

12:09
Avatar Dan Szymborski: And we are here! There’s no queue, so feel free to ask anything off the top of your head.

12:09
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I had some technical difficulties.

12:09
Champdo: What are your thoughts on Kerry Carpenter and Ryan Kreidler

12:10
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Definitely curious to see Carpenter’s ZiPS this year. His improvement in power this year has been insane, more than can be explained by the big bump in offense in the minors

12:10
Avatar Dan Szymborski: He’s in the right organization to continue to get opportunities.

12:11
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Would be funny if he turned out to be Spencer Torkelson instead of Spencer Torkelson

12:11
Appa Yip Yip: Which of your cats is most likely to conspire against you?

12:11
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Constantine

12:12
Avatar Dan Szymborski: He’s the moodiest of the quartet and will nip a little if you thwart him too much

12:12
Appa Yip Yip: If your cats formed an adventuring party what class would each of them be?

12:12
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Constantine would be thief, Mercutio would be a fighter, Cassiopeia would be a black mage, and Justinian would be a monk

12:12
Wiz: As a fan (who also understands long term consequences), what would your ideal Orioles off-season be?

12:13
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Signing Rodon

12:13
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Dont’ get obsessed with overpaying on third-tier role players like some teams to do when they approach contention

12:14
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Don’t fall too much in love with players who happened to be here this year but aren’t part of the core talent

12:14
Angelus Novus: Are the Orioles just gonna be one of those organizations (Rays, Hou) who are on the cutting edge from now on?

12:14
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I certainly hope so!

12:15
Slapshot: What’s the best stadium food you’ve ever eaten?

12:15
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Well, I did one of those steamed crabs days at Camden around 1997 or 1998 so that obviously!

12:16
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Hmm, actually probably a year or two later since I was buying beer

12:16
Tim: Biggest prospect surprises of ‘22?

12:16
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Gunnar Henderson going from a good prospect to elite tier was a big one

12:17
Mike Elias: Which Os infield prospect do you think will break out between westburg, ortiz, and norby? Could they trade one for pitching?

12:17
Avatar Dan Szymborski: J-West

12:17
Wilson: Can the cubs compete next year?

12:17
Avatar Dan Szymborski: They *can*. The division just isn’t good

12:17
Cabrera: Do you think he starts again? Thx!

12:17
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Wait, Rodon?

12:18
Avatar Dan Szymborski: He’s starting today, no?

12:18
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Which should leave him with a second start

12:18
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Oh no, there isn’t a very recent injury I’m not aware of yet, is there?

12:19
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I was up goofing around on ZiPS too late and didn’t wake up until 10:45

12:19
baseballenjoyer: any performance justifications for James Click not currently having a contract after this year?

12:19
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Not really, no

12:19
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Jim Crane’s call. Word has been he’s demanding

12:19
Guest: Thank you for all your work over the years! A question that’s been bugging me for ages: do you think there’s any chance we’ll get a totally backwards-facing, contextualized, retrospective version of WAR any time?

How do you think it’d work? Something like swapping in RE24 for RBat and doing a similar adjustment for SB? Maybe something like OpenWAR? What do you think? IIRC, BaseballGauge used to have a customizable WAR engine that could get kinda close to this?

12:19
Avatar Dan Szymborski: While someone may do something like this, I’m not sure that it will be *here*

12:19
Avatar Dan Szymborski: There comes a point at which the increased confusion isn’t worth the gains of having another WAR around that does something else.

12:20
Avatar Dan Szymborski: That’s why the ZiPS WAR (zWAR) is only really used for the projections on my end

12:20
Sirras: How do you see the NYM-ATL series playing out? Who wins the series and who wins the division?

12:20
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The Mets fate is *very* Scherzer/deGrom health dependent.

12:20
Avatar Dan Szymborski: With a somewhat sunny optimism about them, ZiPS like the Mets more than any team in baseball right now.

12:21
Avatar Dan Szymborski: But they drop way down without them.

12:21
STL STAN: Has anyone ever done an indepth look at the difference Yadi makes in a pitcher. Thinking specifically of Monty this season, but I would imagine that his career has been long enough that looking at pitchers pitching to him vs other catchers would be interesting.

12:21
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Not that I’m aware of, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been done

12:22
Warren: Do you think Danny jansen breakout for real?

12:23
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The power at least should stick as it’s hard to fake that. The  Jays have an interesting conundrum at catcher because Kirk and Jansen are very different player, and it may not make sense from a resource standpoint to keep employing both of them. And Gabriel Moreno makes it even more complicated

12:24
Slapshot: If Justin Verlander doesn’t exercise his player option for 2023, what kind of contract do you think he gets after his remarkable TJ comeback season?

12:24
Avatar Dan Szymborski: ZiPS says 2/48 for him. I can imagine him agreeing with the Astros on 2/55 or 2/60 or something

12:25
Sirras: How much sym could a Symborski borski if a Symborski could borski sym?

12:25
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I don’t know; my expertise is in szymming.

12:25
Wilson: Is Hayden Wesneski starting for the Cubs next year?

12:25
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think it’s very likely

12:26
cm: Odds Gunnar is better than Witt, Jr. over the course of his career?

12:27
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Sorry, was checking this out. About 60%.

12:27
BZ: When you’re creating simulations and allocating IP, how do you value the additional inning that a starter can save the bullpen? Most bullpen arms are better than starter arms at a rate basis, which would make it seem like the “optimal” gameplan would be to throw your start for 2-3 innings and let the bullpen take over, but there’s clearly some amount of value added from a worse (starter) arm throwing some additional innings.

12:27
Avatar Dan Szymborski: It’s generally done with depth charts. ZiPS has to “fill in” the depth charts and it doesn’t just backfill the same innings to whoever’s hanging out

12:27
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The good thing is that the variance between pitcher outing length isn’t really that high

12:27
Avatar Dan Szymborski: *everyone* basically throws less now

12:28
John: Early 2023 AL east predictions? Seems all over the place / any team has a legit shot…

12:28
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Chaos!

12:29
Guest: also just as importantly (and hopefully okay for chat?): who should be the one to dethrone Roman Reigns?

12:29
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Gunther!

12:31
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Id’ really be happy if the world belts and the tag belts stayed unified

12:31
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think having two top-end awards for each is kinda dumb. I think the WWE title storylines should be cross-show

12:31
5 Run Homer: quick, give me your major award picks for this season

12:32
Avatar Dan Szymborski: AL: Rodriguez by a hair, Judge, Verlander, Hyde

12:33
Avatar Dan Szymborski: NL: No comment, Arenado, not sure yet who I’d take between Alcantara/Rodon/Nola, Roberts

12:34
Avatar Dan Szymborski: (I’m an NL ROY and we agree to not say our vote)

12:34
AA: What should my top three priorities be this offseason assuming we re-ink Swanson.

12:34
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’d love to see them add another pitcher. Most of the moves the Braves need to make are likely low key ones

12:34
Scotty: what’s for lunch today, Dan?

12:35
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I had some honey-vanilla yogurt, a couple mini-krackles, and a glass of milk

12:35
Sirras: Which playoff bound team is most likely to turn into a (metaphorical) pumpkin next year?

12:35
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Honestly, I’m not sure any are likely.

12:36
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The team projections didn’t turn horribly wrong except for the O’s

12:36
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I do think the Cards have some long-term pitching questions they need to answer

12:37
Avatar Dan Szymborski: but even a pumpkin makes you royalty i nthe NL Central

12:37
Sirras: Are you able to tell which player most dramatically shifted their longer term forecast based on this year? Let’s call longer term 3+ year

12:37
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I can of course! If there’s interest, after the projections run this year, I can run a piece about the biggest diffs in long-term outlook from the year before

12:37
Ben: Can the Brewers keep competing next year with their elite pitching staff? Or is it time for a mini rebuild (maybe trading one of their starters)? They never seem to have the bats…

12:37
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think they *can* if they do a bit better job investing in offense

12:37
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I don’t think they’re deep enough that they can keep winging it

12:38
Evil Dan Szymborski: How many would have to be eliminated so that *I* can become the best baseball player.

12:38
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Well, I don’t know how your baseball skills are relative to mine

12:38
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Since my teenage years, it’s my defense that’s likely declined the most

12:38
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I peaked in travel little league lol

12:39
Avatar Dan Szymborski: My fastball is probably worse now, but I never could regularly throw over 70, so it’s not like it was good

12:39
MilwaukeeBeerJays: Ever play Final Fantasy 5? I wish more of the final fantasy series had the job system

12:39
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’ve played all of them of course!

12:39
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Just had a playthrough recently when the pixel remaster came out

12:40
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I played it in the 90s in that fan translation for SNES emulator

12:42
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Still have some work to do

12:42
Avatar Dan Szymborski:

12:42
Joe: NYY first 104 games, .673 winning %, next 29 .310, last 22 .773: Are we underrating NYY going into October ?

12:42
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Some are!

12:43
Avatar Dan Szymborski: it’s weird how quickly people went from overrating them to underrating them

12:43
Avatar Dan Szymborski: RECENCY BIAS YIKES!!!1111oneoneone

12:43
Golden Baron Frog Board: Thoughts on how people will look back on Judge’s season? The anti-steroids crowd seems to still look at Maris, does that now change to Judge? Just seeing news reporting on it there definitely is a lot of weasel sentences coming from MLB such as “most homeruns in a single season… for the american league).

12:43
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I hope there’s some perspective over time

12:44
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Judge has had a wonderful season, one of the greatest offensive seasons ever by a player, in a year in which offense is down, and he’s even played respectable CF to boot on top of it

12:44
Avatar Dan Szymborski: He doesn’t *need* people to find loopholes to lawyer him into being the HR king. It *cheapens* his accomplishments when people do that, IMO

12:45
James: Assuming that Jim Crane pays Verlander, what is the Astros 2023 rotation?

12:45
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think it will look a lot like this years

12:46
Appa Yip Yip: What happened to Mitch White? He was good in Dodger blue and has been quite bad in Blue Jay blue.

12:46
Avatar Dan Szymborski: There’s some misfortune in there too!

12:46
Warren: Do you see byran reynolds getting traded this off-season?

12:47
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think *next* deadline/offseason far more likely

12:47
Farhandrew Zaidman: Ian Happ brought up a very good point on his podcast last week. How is the defensive component of WAR calculated for players 70, 80, 90 plus years ago? Can we really say with any precision what Rogers Hornsby’s value in the field was?

12:47
Avatar Dan Szymborski: We can’t, and we will never be able to

12:48
Avatar Dan Szymborski: And we compensate that by some fairly low magnitudes

12:49
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Or at least conservatism

12:49
Pahbs: Maybe you’ve mentioned it before, and sorry if I missed it, but do you incorporate hawkeye data or any sort of batted ball data into ZIPs projections for minor leaguers?

12:49
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Where I have it — more than is available to public — less than teams — ZiPS uses it when establishing a baseline

12:50
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’ve set up ZiPS to calculate things differently depending on what data are available

12:50
Max: Which player (who stayed mostly healthy) most absurdly underperformed his ZiPS this year?

12:50
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Hmm

12:53
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Does Grandal account? He’s been injured, but lousy when healthy

12:53
Avatar Dan Szymborski: He’s the biggest hitter underperformer

12:53
Avatar Dan Szymborski: 4.6 vs. -0.4

12:53
Avatar Dan Szymborski: of healthy players, Juan Soto’s there

12:54
Avatar Dan Szymborski: then India missed time

12:54
Avatar Dan Szymborski: so did Meadows

12:54
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Then you get Torkelson

12:54
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Franmil Reyes

12:54
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Lowe was injured

12:54
Avatar Dan Szymborski: thten Candelario and Gallo

12:56
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Pitchers

12:56
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Buehler and E-Rod have missed time

12:56
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Eovaldi

12:56
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Giolito

12:56
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Cole

12:56
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Kikuchi

12:56
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Marquez

12:56
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Flaherty and Stras injured

12:57
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Berrios next healthy looks like

12:57
Dave: Do the Mariners have a reasonable chance to win the division next year?

12:57
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Yes

12:57
Jack: I didn’t know this was an O’s chat (sweet!).  Call me crazy, but I see the Orioles dealing Santander for a pitcher in the offseason (looking at you Marlins).  Then going in and signing Rodon, and signing whichever shortstop is last to sign and runs out of suitors (Swanson, Correa, Bogaerts, etc.) to a short term contract (like Correa’s with MIN).  Go into next year with Rodon, whoever they traded Santander for, Gray Rod, Bradish and Means.  Then you have the other 4/5ths of this years rotation as fill in’s when need be.  I also see them addressing LF, possibly signing a RH batter to complement Stowers and using him in a platoon role.

12:57
Marshall: Have the Dodgers really “underperformed” in the postseason over Dave Roberts’ tenure? They’ve won one out of 6 WS, which is probably a little better than the expected value even if they were the best team in the league each year.

12:57
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Not really, no

12:57
Judge: I feel like the resolution of this story has a pretty big impact on standing projections

12:57
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Wait, what?

12:58
Devil Ray Jay Johnson: It this is the last chat of the year, thanks for doing these. Chili talk and Rockies jokes always brighten the day.

12:58
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I mean, it’s the last chat of the regular season

12:58
Avatar Dan Szymborski: and last SzymChat for awhile as there will be playoff chats

12:58
Kim Ng: How do I fix this mess?

12:58
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Need better ownership more willing to invest in team. So you probably don’t, unfortunately

12:59
Chrono Triggered: What is your level of excitement for BOTW2/Tears of the Kingdom? Only worry is exploration. One of the great joys of BOTW is wandering around and finding new things. If they’re reusing most of the original map that’s gone.

12:59
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Certainly quite interested!

1:00
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Though I’ve never been as hardcore a Zelda fan as some because I didn’t have a Nintendo console between N64 and Switch

1:00
Dave: How much do you value results vs expected stats for awards?

1:00
Avatar Dan Szymborski: It depends

1:00
161: What percentile is this years O’s season on the ZiPS scale? gotta be over 90% right?

1:00
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Way up there

1:00
Avatar Dan Szymborski: It’s in high high 90s category

1:01
Michael Scott: at the time of the trade, Matt Olson = Freeman.  Given the bad year/good year, how do the next few play out per zips?

1:01
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Last I checked, Freeman’s slight edge now. Age is working against him

1:01
Decadent Moose: I’m in a newish relationship.  We’re traveling in October to participate in a chili cook-off.  It’s pretty serious.  She’s insisting on beans.  Is this a hill with dying on as I’m refusing?

1:01
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m not sure you want to ask me for relationship advice

1:02
Tstats: My college recently had Cincinnati chili during the lunch hour, that night at dinner I told my friends I had a craving for chili and they innocently told me about the said chili and I informed them that that is in fact not chili. Thank you for enlightening the world.

1:04
Ump Show: Were those 3 balk calls nuts, or what? Bleier was set on all 3 pitches according to my eyeballs.

1:04
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I was really confused by the whole thing

1:04
Avatar Dan Szymborski: That’s as set as pitchers really get

1:04
Appa Yip Yip: Also I don’t think it gets brought up enough that in FF4 they’re just like Hey Cecil u r from the moon u r a moon baby

1:04
Billy Beane: Dan, you planning on grabbing a 40 series card?

1:05
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Honestly, I don’t have any need to

1:05
Avatar Dan Szymborski: My 2080 Super was still meeting my needs when the RTX 3080 came out, but I got the 3080 for retail ($730 plus tax) and I could sell my 2080 Super for $600 at the time, so it made sense to do that

1:06
Avatar Dan Szymborski: But I play at 1440p. The 3080 doesn’t sweat any of that. And if I get a 40 series card, I’m going to have to replace my PSU  aswell and that’s a hassle

1:06
Avatar Dan Szymborski: (I never *ever* use an adapter)

1:07
Kwanbelievable: Can we really say with any precision what anybody’s value in the field is today? The 3 major defensive metrics constantly disagree with each other, so the error bars on true defensive skill have to be huge

1:07
Avatar Dan Szymborski: With precision? No

1:07
Avatar Dan Szymborski: But we have a better idea how Rougned Odor plays second than Rogers Hornsby

1:07
Guest: Are the Phillies choking, or is their poor play just random variance?

1:07
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think it’ sjust the normal ups and downs

1:08
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m not a big believer in the whole choking thing at the MLB level

1:08
Greasy Nick: Let’s say the Cubs go get Rodon and Correa. Where do you think that puts them in the NL Central?

1:08
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think it’s makes them serious contenders

1:08
szakyl: With 3 major defensive metrics (OAA, UZR, DRS), which version is ZiPS actually trying to project?

1:08
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Some mystery truth that ends up somewhere in the middle!

1:08
Giant Gonzales: Congrats on your last chat of the year, but I understand that your planet needs you. Please do not die on the way back to your home planet.

1:08
Avatar Dan Szymborski: OH NO IM FANGRAPHS POOCHIE

1:09
Dc in nova: Queen or Rush?

1:09
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I tell myself I slightly prefer Rush, but I probably listen to more Queen than Rush

1:10
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Though these days I’m mostly nerdy indie pop/indie folk stuff. I’ve become a music hipster by accident

1:10
Avatar Dan Szymborski: At least with popular music

1:10
GrandyisaSadist: When will my friend Jim stop rooting for the Angels?

1:10
Avatar Dan Szymborski: GODDAMIT JIM STOP ENABLING THEM

1:10
Avatar Dan Szymborski: On that note, it’s time for me to head out for another week.

1:10
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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comish4lifmember
1 month ago

The 3 balks on Bleier were ticky-tacks BS calls.

Having said that, I don’t think he made a complete, discernable stop on any of the 3 pitches. In my view, he was only almost stopped and was “drifting” a little on each one.

sandwiches4evermember
1 month ago
Reply to  comish4lif

I appreciated how Mattingly’s reaction when he came out of the dugout after the 3rd one was literally “WTF?” Except, you know, he used the actual words…

docgooden85member
1 month ago
Reply to  comish4lif

I hope you don’t drive, for the sake of pedestrians everywhere, because your eyes don’t work correctly.