Dan Szymborski FanGraphs Chat – 9/8/22

12:02
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The appointed time that the prophecy foretold has now arrived.

12:02
Bo Callahan: Who would you rather have for the next 5 years? Adley or Julio?

12:03
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Such a cruel question to pose an O’s fan.

12:03
Avatar Dan Szymborski: If given the choice, I’d marginally take Julio

12:03
Avatar Dan Szymborski: young catchers always have an element of scary

12:03
Avatar Dan Szymborski: even terrific ones

12:03
Avatar Dan Szymborski: and Julio’s more likely to have additional offensive development

12:04
Avatar Dan Szymborski: But I’m super-stoked about Adley!

12:04
Devil Ray Jay Johnson: Does the new Detroit GM try to undo the recent go for it moves or stick them out while resetting the rebuild around them?

12:04
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think that ownership will have a ton to say about that, which makes it hard to guess. They’ve had enough setbacks that I’m not sure they can really go for it unless they want a Mets-sized payroll

12:04
Bork: Which team would be best if every team got shot by the ray in Hotel Transylvania 4 and got turned into monsters?

12:05
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Still the Dodgers? I assume that the relative baseball-playing abilities of these monsters would stay relatively intact

12:05
Devil Ray Jay Johnson: Forget the MVP Award. Assume Judge and Ohtani are free agents this offseason and both will agree to the same long term contract. Which do you sign?

12:05
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Gotta be Ohtani. Even two years in age is a significant difference in free agent valuation.

12:06
The guy who asks the lunch question: What’s for lunch, Dan?

12:06
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I have a coke and a giant hunk of Tilsit

12:09
Dansby Swansong: Does Tony Clark understand the full implication of unionizing the minor leagues and the conflict it could present?

12:09
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I don’t know what he understands, but I doubt he’s unaware of the consequences. It may be painful, but it’s an inevitability, I think, the question is when it happens between soon and 2050 or something.

12:10
Avatar Dan Szymborski: MLB’s patchwork two-tier system is just really unwieldy and leads to really weird incentives

12:10
Oddball Herrera: Barry Bonds was walked intentionally 120 times in a season at his peak.  Judge is at 14.  Admittedly Judge is not Bonds, but why such a massive disparity?

12:10
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Bonds was absolutely terrifying

12:11
Guest: When was the last time teammates lead the league (or MLB) in stolen bases?

12:11
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Maury Wills and Willie Davis in 1962

12:12
Jackson Ingram: Which young diamondbacks outfielder finds a new home this winter

12:13
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I don’t think they necessarily have to trade any of their OFs. Marte’s pretty much a 2B again and the universal DH allows some shuffling of more outfielders

12:14
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Now, if you mean it more literally, Jake McCarthy’s financial position has largely improved so he might be shopping for real estate

12:17
Ben: If a batter hits into a fielder’s choice, but everybody is safe, (say there is a play at the plate, but the run scores safely and the hitter is safe on 1st) how is that accounted for in wRC+ and WAR? Does the batter get credit the same as if it were a single or as if is were a strikeout or somewhere in between?

12:17
Avatar Dan Szymborski: It actually depends on how the official scorer chooses to treat it

12:18
Josh Nelson: Hey, Dan. Should the White Sox continue rolling with Miguel Cairo as interim manager and keep Tony La Russa in Arizona?

12:19
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’d “accidentally” put him on a flight to Madagascar and keep blaming “computer problems” for not being able to bring him home

12:19
Farhandrew Zaidman: Trayce Thompson – legit every day OF or a nice story and a hot streak?

12:19
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Nice story and his stock has gone up, but let’s not go nuts yet

12:19
Jolly Roger: Reasons at all to be optimistic moving forward in Pittsburgh?

12:19
Avatar Dan Szymborski: In the short term? Not really.

12:19
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The Pirates may continue to rebuild and have windows of relevance

12:20
Avatar Dan Szymborski: But ownership never shows a willingness to put them over the top

12:22
Avatar Dan Szymborski: At the start of the Coonelly/Huntington era, the claim was always that all those cheap years made it easy for the Pirates to save for when the team was in contention.

12:22
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Instead, their payroll peaked at $100 million

12:23
Spleebs: Hi Dan, any idea what’s going on with Corbin Burnes lately? I know he’s slated to start again today, but these past few starts have been rough for him. Am I reading too much into small sample stuff, or do you think there’s something concerning beneath the surface?

12:25
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m not worried, though some regression was natural; his peripheral stats aren’t up to the standards of last year. ZiPS in particular had him as the number one walk overachiever and number 16 strikeout overachiever last month

12:25
Dancing Dan Mcgraw: Does any team sign judge to play CF next year?

12:25
Avatar Dan Szymborski: He might play some CF, but I can’t imagine that being his home long-term

12:25
Avatar Dan Szymborski: It’s a nice-to-have in the early part of the contract

12:26
Avatar Dan Szymborski: But nobody’s going to plan to have a 6’7″ 35-year-old dude in center

12:26
Blake: Don’t have a question, just wanted to say I’m a Brewers fan and I’m sad.

12:26
Shabba: Have you fought Baumann yet?

12:26
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Wait, are we supposed to fight?

12:27
Pkpkpkpk: Hey there Dan, thanks for the chat. I’m wondering if you have any insight into Freddie Freeman and his power shortage (doesn’t quite qualify as an outage) and how that might affect his future projections.  He’s obviously hitting plenty, and his production is still excellent, but I’m curious as to whether the change in the shape of his production affects his projections positively or negatively, if at all.

12:27
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I doubt much of a change in projections. It’s not like his hard hit numbers have crashed

12:28
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Plus league HR rate dropping by like 15% and aging are part of it too

12:28
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The shape may change a bit — a bit more BA a bit fewer HR — but I don’t imagine it would be much of a change

12:29
ZIPS crystal ball: How did ZIPS formulate that Andy Yerzy ARI would be MLBs #2 catcher in home runs in 2024?  I was like “who?’  thank you.

12:29
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Not anymore! He hit a lot of homers in a pretty bleak environment

12:29
Braydon: If you could only have one of Dylan Carlson or Lars Nootbaar moving forward, who do you take?

12:29
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Still Dylan

12:29
Guest: Time for hot takery: According to you, one Dan Szymborski, if Judge hits 62 is he the ‘real’ single season home run king?

12:29
Avatar Dan Szymborski: No

12:30
Avatar Dan Szymborski: And it also doesn’t really matter

12:30
Avatar Dan Szymborski: If anything, arguments like that *cheapen* Judge’s accomplishments

12:30
Avatar Dan Szymborski: He’s been awesome and they stand on his own

12:31
Avatar Dan Szymborski: But once you make the argument for him “hey, he has this record if I do a whole bunch of arbitrary lawyering about that record” it makes it sound like his argument for greatness is a loophole

12:32
Avatar Dan Szymborski: And it *is* a loophole. You have to be very specific about how you’re doing asterisks to get rid of Sosa as well as Bonds/McGwire

12:33
Maddux: Yordan’s injury could really be a problem for the astros in the playoffs it seems, no?

12:33
Avatar Dan Szymborski: it’s certainly a concern

12:33
James: Back in 2012, what would zips have given for odds that Jose Altuve would hit 188 home runs over the next 10 years?

12:35
David: Tilset is cheese apparently for the others who hadn’t heard of it.

12:36
Avatar Dan Szymborski: workin on it james, hang on

12:36
Avatar Dan Szymborski: In the meantime, Tilsit’s in that super-stinky Limburger/Liederkranz category, though it’s firmer

12:41
Avatar Dan Szymborski: 6% on Altuve

12:42
Avatar Dan Szymborski: 90 was the projection, but there’s a lot of uncertainty about young players

12:43
Avatar Dan Szymborski:

12:43
x2R: Game 7, winner takes all. Who you want in your team: Judge or Ohtani?

12:43
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Ohtani because he has the most one-game value

12:43
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Judge is more valuable than Ohtani when Ohtani’s not starting

12:44
Liz: Do you think the Orioles are actually going to spend big in free agency this year (as Elias claimed), or is that just what a GM is supposed to say? If they do, what big name(s) do you see them going after?

12:44
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I don’t think they’re going to sign Judge or anything

12:44
Avatar Dan Szymborski: but I can see them being aggressive on someone like Rodon

12:44
Zach: Recent reports state that Bellinger refuses to change his stance, specifically not spreading out and lowering his hands, as he believes he can still succeed with the swing he had when he won MVP. How can someone who has been the worst qualified hitter in baseball over the past two years be so stubborn as to not completely change everything?

12:44
Avatar Dan Szymborski: High-end professional athletes tend to be stubborn; it’s hard to get to that level of play without an enormous amount of confidence

12:44
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Now, not a*all* players will be, but it helps

12:45
SJ: Superb owl prediction?

12:45
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think Great Horned owls are the most superb owl

12:46
Avatar Dan Szymborski: though Barn owls are really helpful and they kinda look like Odo from DS9, which I like

12:47
Tysmith: Jeffery Springs pulled after 3 IP and 39 pitches? Does this feel like a IP cap?

12:47
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I honestly don’t know. It’s possible

12:47
Mister Puppy: I am sitting in the front of my classroom. My students have no idea I’m chatting with the great and honorable Dan Szymborski during their class. If only they knew… Now, say something about the Orioles and the biggest weakness they need to address this winter!

12:48
Avatar Dan Szymborski: “This may come as a shock guys, but I’m talking to Dan Szymborski!”

12:48
Avatar Dan Szymborski: “Who?”

12:48
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I want to see the O’s adding pitching

12:48
Shabba: Passan Breaking: Two teenagers are suing the Los Angeles Angels in the Dominican Republic, alleging that the team reneged on verbal agreements to sign them. Because of Dominican law, they could win — and fundamentally change baseball.

12:48
Sodo Mojo: Lost in Julio Rodriguez’s monster first year has been the amazing season Cal Raleigh has put up after Tom Murphy went down. Zips is fairly pessimistic about his next three years is that just because it has not been updated yet or are their underlying issues that make Cal’s breakout less sustainable?

12:48
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Oh, the three years are preseason!

12:48
Avatar Dan Szymborski: It’s no doubt improved

12:48
Guest: Does your gut (or research or ZiPS) tell you that one or more positional adjustments are too high/low?

12:49
Avatar Dan Szymborski: From research, I think the DH adjustment is too high. Both I and mgl/tango have found, through varying methodologies trying to deal with injuries, that there’s strong evidence that healthy players will hit worse as a DH than playing in the field

12:50
Avatar Dan Szymborski: not a HUGE amount

12:50
Avatar Dan Szymborski: but the evidence consistently points in that direction

12:51
Yo-Yo: Tommy Edman leads MLB in DRS and leads the NL in OAA, but he doesn’t have enough innings to qualify at either second or shortstop. He has half the innings of his peers at each position (or even less than half). Could he win a Platinum Glove without winning a Gold Glove? Is that even possible? Would you consider a vote for him at either position?

12:51
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Oh, I use 1B penalty for DH in ZiPS

12:51
Avatar Dan Szymborski: We *have* talked about overhauling positional adjustments, make them more dynamic based on league characteristics

12:51
Avatar Dan Szymborski: But nothing solid to report on that front

12:52
Avatar Dan Szymborski: And I’d consider voting for Edman in a scenario in which I voted

12:52
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Should still consider OAA leaders, I mean, it’s a counting stat

12:52
Avatar Dan Szymborski: If someone hit 53 homers in 388 PA and led the league, it would be weird to not consider them the HR leader

12:53
Jordan: It seems like Nate Lowe has taken a massive step forward this season, and especially the 2nd half of the season. Is it possible he’s really this good with the bat, or more likely he’s just having a really hot 2nd half?

12:53
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I hope so, I’m still annoyed he didn’t break out last year when he was on my list!

12:53
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Call me cautiously optimistic

12:53
Golan Norman: Can Zips estimate Paul Goldschmidt’s chances of winning the triple crown?

12:53
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Yeah, but not as easily as it projects other things as I have to run a whole bunch of projections

12:54
Shabba: Have you ever been to Gene and Judes?

12:54
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I have not

12:54
If the moon was made of cheese would you eat it?: I’m amazed at the gap in Judge’s HR total vs. the runner up (in both AL and MLB).  For example, when Bonds hit 73, freaking Gonzalez almost hit 60… What is the largest % difference in HR leader vs. runner up in history?  Am I making a bigger deal of this than I should be?

12:54
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The funny thing is, I have a chart about this in an article unrelated to Judge that I’m writing

12:54
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Check for it tomorrow! lol

12:54
Union Follow up: I apologize for my ignorance, but can you explain the conflict of unionizing the minor leagues?  (I have no position/opinion here, I just don’t understand what Dansby is implying)

12:55
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Well, the issue that may pop up is that you’re dealing with a very large group of players who may have different incentives than MLB players

12:56
Avatar Dan Szymborski: And there can be unity problems when you have conflicting interests in large groups

12:56
Avatar Dan Szymborski: imagine an odd union The International Brotherhood of Tobacco Workers and Oncologists

12:56
robertobeers: A man, a Dan, a cat toy, ottacanadanama

12:57
Christian Colon for Men: This is going to be a weird day for Royals Twitter

12:57
Judge: How many does he end up with? Not just zips but what you expect?

12:57
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think he gets 60

12:57
Brooklyngail: First it was Harris. Then Strider. Now Grissom. This trend is becoming very annoying.

12:58
someguy: What do you make of Trout’s K% this year?

12:58
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Not unexpected as his contact rate has faded last two years

12:59
Torquelson: Hey Dan,  Do you think Mookie keeps getting starts at second base?

1:00
Avatar Dan Szymborski: He got a handful of appearances there last year too

1:00
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I never thought him as a wreck at second as a prospect

1:01
Avatar Dan Szymborski: But he had the misfortune of being a middle infield prospect on a team that had Bogaerts and Pedroia

1:01
A Boy Named Yu: Favorite hot sandwhich?  I.E. Philly steak, chicken melt, reuben?

1:01
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Gimme a cheesesteak

1:01
Avatar Dan Szymborski: second-favorite may be rost pork

1:01
Avatar Dan Szymborski: as long as we’re talking subs

1:01
Avatar Dan Szymborski: as sandwiches go, I love a good pastrami

1:01
brian: i don’t believe your claim to 41 consecutive expletive-less chats

1:01
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Any statement is true if you lie!

1:02
Guest: Great gray owls are the most superb.

1:02
Lance Biggerstaff: barn owl supremacy

1:02
Oddball Herrera: Going back to: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/projecting-seiya-suzuki/ — what’s happened to Seiya’s projections now that he has almost a season under his belt?  I assume they are lower than before

1:02
Avatar Dan Szymborski: A bit

1:02
Avatar Dan Szymborski: but some of that is league

1:02
Avatar Dan Szymborski: a wRC+ 119 projection leading to a 111 wRC+ isn’t that impressive a miss

1:02
Jon: Has Fangraphs discussed moving away from FIP-based WAR?

1:02
Avatar Dan Szymborski: No

1:02
Jon: Is ZiPs for pitchers FIP based?

1:02
Avatar Dan Szymborski: No, ZiPS is run-based because the run figures are already regressed heavily towards FIP based on the pitcher’s history

1:03
A Boy Named Yu: I was unaware of Gallen’s streak until it was written about on here.  Failure on my part or has not much been said/written about it so far?

1:03
Avatar Dan Szymborski: It hasn’t gotten a TON of press

1:03
Max Mantis: Does Zips think I’m crazy for believing in Kerry Carpenter?

1:04
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I mean, I’ve *seen* him so I knew he exists. And “19th round draft pick” isn’t the most outlandish origin story

1:05
Avatar Dan Szymborski: It’s not like you said he flies around in a magic truck every July 31st, putting wooden toys under the Carpentry Day Workbench if good little boys and girls leave wood screws.

1:05
Avatar Dan Szymborski: He was legitimately excelelnt in the minors this year

1:05
Avatar Dan Szymborski: There’s decent evidence he can hit

1:06
Yo-Yo: With a 7+ WAR season and possible MVP votes, how much is Arenado losing by not opting out of his current deal? It feels like he could add a year and some cash to his current contract, but I haven’t looked at the numbers closely.

1:06
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I don’t think it’s THAT much

1:07
Avatar Dan Szymborski: He’d be entering his age 32 season

1:07
John b: FG and BBref are always updated each morning after all the games .  Who does that? How many data points need to be entered ?  How can turnaround be so quick ?

1:07
Avatar Dan Szymborski: FG usually updates at like 3 AM

1:07
Avatar Dan Szymborski: it happens automatically

1:07
Trout: He’s not gonna catch the 140WAR folks in career value, eh?

1:07
Avatar Dan Szymborski: ZiPS says now

1:07
Wei Lin Jennings: Wander Franco is rumored to be returning tomorrow — let’s give him a hand.

1:08
Guest: Listen, until you pet a  northern saw-whet owl, your opinions can be put on hold.

1:08
Yo-Yo: Gimme your thoughts on some STL staples — toasted ravioli, provel cheese (mostly on thin crust pizza), pork steaks, gooey butter cake

1:08
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’ve only had the first two

1:08
Avatar Dan Szymborski: a thumbs up and three thumbs down

1:08
Oddball Herrera: I mean, I’ve *seen* him so I knew he exists.

Epistemologists beg to differ

1:08
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Touché

1:08
Devil Ray Jay Johnson: The major league players and minor league players will undoubtedly be in separate bargaining units (and negotiate separate agreements with MLB), which will address much of the conflict.  The big question is whether MLBPA can directly represent the minor leaguers too when it comes to actual bargaining or whether they will have to set up a separate union — either as an affiliate or independent — to do so.

1:08
Trout: Is this the new Trout? 30% K rate, power, and not much else?

1:09
Avatar Dan Szymborski: HE’S GOT a 173 wRC+ YOU GREEDY GREEDY GREED GOLEM

1:09
Cat Latos: Would your cats attack you if they were 10x larger?

1:09
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I suspect so

1:09
Avatar Dan Szymborski: They bop each other and they’re the same size as each other

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 joining my everyone!

1:10
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Wow, that wasn’t even English.

1:10
Hihihi: As a Data Engineer I can say that the amount of data needed to be ingested and calculated for updating player stats is on the low side relative to most business needs





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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Summember
17 days ago

someone want to school me on the implications of the “DH adjustment is too high” comment (12:49)? for example, would trueing this adjustment result in more or less WAR for David Ortiz over his career? what’s the math-splanation?

hughduffy
17 days ago
Reply to  Sum

The defensive positional adjustment in the WAR formula is:
+12.5 for C
+7.5 for SS
+2.5 for 2B/3B/CF
-7.5 for RF/LF
-12.5 for 1B
-17.5 for DH
The DH defensive adjustment for WAR is too high. It should be closer to first basemen. Most DH’s would have slightly more WAR.

If you search for “Re-Examining WAR’s Defensive Spectrum”, you can read a full explanation of the argument.