Dave Cameron FanGraphs Chat – 4/22/15

11:29
Dave Cameron: It’s Wednesday, so let’s talk some baseball.

11:45
Dave Cameron: The queue is now open. We’ll get started in 15 minutes or so.

12:07
Dave Cameron: As a heads up, I’m using some spotty wifi, so we might have a few hiccups today.

12:07
Comment From guest
If the Angels eat 2/3rds of Hamilton’s contract, who would his suitors be?

12:08
Dave Cameron: He has ~$80 million left, right? So asking a team to pick him up at 2.5 years and $25 million? I don’t think anyone does that.

12:08
Dave Cameron: Pick up 80% of the contract and maybe the A’s or Rays take a flyer.

12:09
Comment From Anthony
Batting around — minimum 9 batters or minimum 10 batters? I always thought 9, and never knew there was even a debate until the WSJ article.

12:09
Dave Cameron: Nine. I think of it as running in a circle; the starting and finish line is the same place. You don’t have to run 10 feet in front of that line to say you ran a circle.

12:10
Comment From THE+Average+Sports+Fan
The Reds bullpen is a total disaster. Why not develop Stephenson and Lorenzen in the majors?

12:10
Dave Cameron: Because they’re not contenders and shouldn’t be trading future for present.

12:10
Comment From AN
Any chance Fangraphs would be willing to put a “years from free agency” line on player pages? Maybe next to current contracts? It would be particularly useful for younger players who’ve yet to hit arbitration.

12:10
Dave Cameron: Yeah, upgrading the contract section of the site is on the list of things to do.

12:10
Comment From Mike
Jose Bautista pimped his HR pretty bad last night. Too much or kind of awesome? I think kind of awesome.

12:11
Dave Cameron: He was thrown at the pitch before. If you don’t want someone to taunt you, don’t throw at them then serve up a meatball.

12:11
Comment From jaws
is it a tactical move on Girardi not officially naming a closer? who gives a sh!t?

12:11
Dave Cameron: There’s no real upside to “naming a closer”, so why bother?

12:12
Comment From AN
Two part Mets question: What kind of return could be Mets realistically expect back for Dillon Gee; and if Dillson Herrara and Matt Reynolds hit well in the first half would you trade Daniel Murphy at the deadline if you were Alderson? Thanks.

12:12
Dave Cameron: Gee is barely worth his salary, so just shedding the money is a good trade. If you eat the money, maybe you can get a bullpen arm or something.

12:12
Dave Cameron: And it looks like the Mets might be Wild Card contenders, so no to trading Murphy.

12:13
Comment From Ben
Any chance we see Peter O’Brien in the AZ outfield this year? How do you see his bat translating to the bigs?

12:13
Dave Cameron: Yeah, I could see him coming up after ARZ trades Trumbo. Which they will.

12:14
Comment From mtsw
Besides tradition, is there a good reason to classify pitches by grip rather than just looking at relative velocity and movement?

12:14
Dave Cameron: If a pitcher says he throws a slider, and you say he throws a cutter, it’s hard to have a conversation.

12:14
Dave Cameron: So people default to what the pitcher calls it.

12:14
Comment From jocephus
i think you are right about those brewers…yeesh

12:18
Dave Cameron: It’s not like I knew this was going to happen, but yeah, when you build a roster with no depth and your stars don’t play well, you’re screwed.

12:18
Comment From Xolo
With the Brewers at 2-12, how long until they fulfill your prophecy and ship Segura to the Padres (and everyone else valuable elsewhere)?

12:19
Dave Cameron: No one ever sells before the draft, really. Teams give themselves a few months to figure out what they have, get through the draft — which is a huge time commitment — then start selling off in June. So two months.

12:20
Comment From L. Scott
Hello Dave! Houston has the overall worst team BA (.210) yet are the only winning team so far in the AL West. I understand they have guys like Springer, Gattis, and Carter but with their team average likely to improve, do you think their pitching can maintain their solid start, possibly making them a surprise playoff threat?

12:20
Dave Cameron: Nope.

12:20
Dave Cameron: Also, Luis Valbuena won’t keep putting up a .400 wOBA.

12:21
Comment From Abe
Will Dayan Viciedo ever make it back to a major league roster or is he done? Is there not a team willing to sign him right now or is he trying to wait for some sort of injury situation rather than signing a minor league contract?

12:21
Dave Cameron: Seems like he doesn’t want to go to the minors, but he’s a minor league player.

12:22
Comment From HappyFunBall
Is playing Yasmany Tomas at 3B the opposite of lining up in a shift?

12:22
Dave Cameron: It’s the same; you’re giving the other team a free hit if they can hit it towards third base.

12:22
Comment From Ted
Rafael Montero is getting stretched out for “one start.” What are the odds he takes Gee’s rotation spot?

12:22
Dave Cameron: Pretty good, I’d say.

12:23
Comment From PJB
do you put any stock in the rationale that b/c Melancon’s velo is down 2-3 notches he’s getting hit around?

12:23
Dave Cameron: Yes? Velocity loss is a real problem for some guys.

12:24
Comment From Joe
Hutchinson and Norris have been shaky. Are they entrenched in TOR? Do you see them making improvements?

12:24
Dave Cameron: Sanchez and Norris both belong in the pen. I’d replace them with Estrada and Osuna. Throwing strikes > raw stuff in the rotation.

12:24
Dave Cameron: (Norris may be able to start long term, but he’s not there yet)

12:25
Comment From Chris
Dave – *financial question* – I’m about to receive $34K. I’m 30 years old and I already have an established 401k and cash assets. I have 26k in student loan debt (~6%). Would you look to – A) Buy a house in this low interest market B) invest in a low-risk index fund or C) Something different?

12:25
Dave Cameron: At 6%, I’d pay off the debt. A risk-free 6% return is a great use of your money.

12:26
Comment From Guest
statcast setting itself up to be the disappointment of the year?

12:26
Dave Cameron: It has great potential, but this was always going to take a while. Implementing new tech is hard. Getting context requires larger samples. It could be amazing, but probably not this year.

12:27
Comment From Eaton Dirt
Is Mark Eaton just in a terrible slump? Should I drop him in a 14 team mixed for Jake Marisnick?

12:27
Dave Cameron: The old center for the Utah Jazz? He’s probably 55 by now, no? I think he’s past his prime.

12:28
Comment From mtsw
Which organization seems to have the largest gap (in either direction) between how run their baseball operations are run and how well their non–baseball ops are run?

12:28
Dave Cameron: The A’s. Good rosters, play in a stadium with sewage leaking into the clubhouse.

12:29
Comment From Donovan
Oh my, Bud Norris. What is going on there?

12:29
Dave Cameron: He’s not that good.

12:29
Comment From Josh I
How would you have punished Kazmir/Lawrie/Ventura/Herrera for this weekend’s childishness in KC?

12:29
Dave Cameron: Make them all watch tapes of Steve Trachsel pitching.

12:30
Comment From Danny
Mariners must be getting kindo of desperate to get a quality start from someone besides Felix. Taijuan looked better last night but still too many walks. Which of their starters do you see most likely turning things around.

12:31
Dave Cameron: Iwakuma will be fine. He always looks like garbage when the fastball flattens out and he’s give up a ton of homers. I’ve been low on Walker/Paxton forever, and still am.

12:31
Comment From Ajay
What % chance would Byron Buxton put up more WAR for the rest of 2015 than Billy Hamilton if given the opportunity?

12:31
Dave Cameron: 10%.

12:31
Comment From Donovan
Bautista was not thrown at fwiw. If a phone bothered to check, the Orioles’ pitcher was a Rule V guy who has never pitched above A ball and in 5 MLB IP has 5 walks and 2 HBP. Also, his post-game comments were just Inflammatory and embarrassing. Dude’s ego is outta control.

12:32
Dave Cameron: Gee, I wonder if you’re an orioles fan.

12:32
Comment From Justin
Brewers trade Lucroy and Gomez to the Dodgers for Urias, Seager, Joc and Yasmani. Who says no?

12:32
Dave Cameron: The Dodgers.

12:33
Comment From RK
How long until the Red Sox clear up their OF via trade?

12:34
Dave Cameron: Allen Craig probably has no trade value left at this point, so they might just have to cut bait and let someone have him for whatever portion of the contract they can get rid of.

12:34
Comment From Moop
Where does Trumbo go?

12:34
Dave Cameron: Seattle, replacing LoMo.

12:36
Comment From Warm Beer Cold Hot Dog
Any chance the Mets are just a product of their schedule? Braves, Phillies, Marilins, Braves.

12:36
Dave Cameron: Yeah, it’s helped.

12:37
Comment From Zachary
Is Carlos Beltran cooked? I know it’s early in the season, but after putting up a .233/.301/.402 slash line last year (with injuries), he’s at .171/.222/.268 so far this year. He’s not the defensive player or base-runner he once was either.

12:37
Dave Cameron: I don’t think he’s done, but he’s probably a part-time player at this point.

12:37
Comment From War2d2
Kiley has said a couple times in his last two chats that he thinks Russell will ultimately not be as good defensively as Castro at short and that he’ll ultimately be a 2B/3B. Do you agree? Eno is crazy high on Russell, but I tend to side with Kiley on stuff like this.

12:38
Dave Cameron: Yeah, I haven’t heard anything that makes me think Russell is a top-shelf SS.

12:38
Dave Cameron: (Defensively, that is)

12:39
Comment From Eaton Crow
Dang. I meant Adam Eaton. But Mark Eaton may be better than Adam right now at hitting a baseball.

12:39
Dave Cameron: Slap-hitting singles guys look bad when the balls don’t find holes. He’ll come around.

12:39
Comment From Hector Santiago
Why do LHPs seem to beat their FIPs more frequently than RHPs do?

12:40
Dave Cameron: Probably better at preventing steals.

12:40
Comment From Financial Guy
I’m 21 and Working a 6 month internship that pays 20 dollars an hour. I have to decide whethor to enrol in the company’s 401K (no match). Should I, and if so at what percentage?

12:41
Dave Cameron: With no match, there’s no real benefit to doing it, especially short-term. Just open an IRA instead if you want to save.

12:41
Dave Cameron: Also, $20 an hour for an internship? That’s kind of amazing.

12:43
Comment From Kazaam
Dave, I’m about to become debt-free for the first time since I was 16 (about half of my life ago). I’m already contributing to a 401k to max out company match, but it’s only ~10K. Also have about 10K in a Roth IRA. What should I do with an extra $200-$300 per month. One of those options, or something else?

12:43
Dave Cameron: Congrats! That’s a big accomplishment. If you don’t have a nice emergency fund sitting in a readily-accessible checking/savings account, build that up so you don’t get back into debt.

12:44
Comment From JP
So even with LoMo’s low BABIP you believe Trumbo to be a better ROS option? What would the M’s need to give up?

12:44
Dave Cameron: LoMo has never been very good; it’s not about his 2015 BABIP.

12:44
Dave Cameron: The D’Backs like guys who throw hard and have no idea where it’s going.

12:45
Comment From Dan
its 3-0. should I consider swinging?

12:45
Dave Cameron: Yes. Taking 3-0 meatballs is a losing strategy, I think.

12:45
Comment From Tom
Carlos Beltran = HOFer?

12:45
Dave Cameron: For me, yes, but it’s close.

12:45
Comment From Prospective Data Science Student
I plan on attending UCI next year for Data Science. Do teams like this major? As in, is this a major that can help me get hired by a team?

12:46
Dave Cameron: They don’t care about your major as much as they do about your skills. Learn how to write code and run databases and you’ll be eminently employable.

12:47
Comment From Financial Guy
How does one exactly open an IRA?

12:47
Dave Cameron: Most financial institutions offer them. It’s not any different from opening a checking account, really.

12:48
Comment From Mattinglys Sideburns
Any way to access BaseRuns information from previous years?

12:48
Dave Cameron: We will get these up on the site at some point, yes. For now, no.

12:49
Comment From AA
Kieth law said that the Gose-Travis trade was a failed prospect for a non-prospect. I believe you have been higher on Travis and Sullivan’s article on Gose leads one to believe he has some fangraphs fans. Should Law be reconsidering?

12:49
Dave Cameron: Yeah, that was a silly opinion. You write enough stuff, you will have some of those. That’s one of his.

12:50
Comment From Clark
What’s the point of an IRA if you already have a matching 401k? I thought you’re only allowed so many $ in tax exmption for those types of contributions

12:50
Dave Cameron: You can have both up to higher levels of income than most of us have.

12:51
Dave Cameron: And if you’re at one of those levels of income where you’re phased out of IRA eligibility, you can afford financial advice from someone who isn’t a baseball writer.

12:51
Comment From Mike Scioscia
Do you think Johnny Giavotella can continue being an above average 2B?

12:51
Dave Cameron: Nope. He’s a replacement level guy on a hot streak.

12:52
Comment From Fister? I barely knew her!
Paxton or DeSclafani?

12:52
Dave Cameron: I don’t love either. DeSclafani is lower risk/lower reward. Depends on what your team’s goals were. Mariners could probably use the securtiy of DeSclafani more, Reds could probably use Paxton’s upside more. Maybe they should be traded for each other.

12:53
Comment From MSW
Will exit velocity data have an effect on how we think about BABIP and FIP?

12:53
Dave Cameron: Along with launch angle, yes.

12:53
Dave Cameron: But it will take a little while.

12:53
Comment From Fat Guy Skinny Tie
Remember when you had cancer? Do you appreciate life more now?

12:54
Dave Cameron: I didn’t have some kind of turn-my-life-upside-down revelation. I do think I’m more aware of the times when I’m just wasting hours, and try not to do that as often.

12:54
Comment From Tigers Fan
Who craps out first: Simon, Green or Verlander?

12:55
Dave Cameron: Hasn’t Verlander already crapped out?

12:55
Comment From mapsamountainrange
I’m a recent college graduate with a wife & young child and ~40K in student loans. We would really like to get into a house next summer as renting seems like completely throwing away money, but I reducing debt and saving young are important too. Advice on priorities?

12:57
Dave Cameron: I pretty strongly disagree with the idea that renting is throwing money away. That line of thinking has gotten a lot of people in trouble. Homeownership comes with a lot of costs that aren’t returned in the equity in your house — interest on the loan, property taxes, maintenance/replacement of high-cost items, closing costs on buying/selling the home — and in many cases, renting is a better bet. Especially if you don’t have a nice cushion saved up for emergencies, putting a mortgage on top of student loans is a great way to stress yourself out.

12:58
Dave Cameron: I bought my first home at 24. I wish I had kept renting, honestly.

12:58
Comment From adam
Will you be adding transaction history to players pages on Fangraphs? At the moment when I want to see who a player was traded for I have to go to Baseball Reference. Would be nice to have it all here.

12:58
Dave Cameron: It’s not in the short-term plans, but eventually, yes, I think we’d like to have that as well.

12:58
Comment From Bean
Do you see the Rangers trading Beltre? Would this prompt a Gallo call-up or is he still scheduled for LF?

12:59
Dave Cameron: I think they want him to retire with them. Gallo will move to the OF.

12:59
Comment From Sal Fasano
I took the under on Royals at 84. Should I start sweating yet?

12:59
Dave Cameron: I think we have them at 85 wins now after their strong start, so yes.

12:59
Dave Cameron: Okay, wifi is acting up, so it’s probably time to go.

12:59
Dave Cameron: Thanks for hanging out today, everyone.

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newest oldest most voted
Moonshadow
Guest
Moonshadow

yeah I’d rather Viciedo than Frenchy if I’m the Phils.

Cornflake5000
Guest
Cornflake5000

As someone who lives in Chicago and has has followed Viciedo’s career up until now, if I was a Phillies fan, I’d want neither.