Dave Cameron FanGraphs Chat – 6/17/15

11:34
Dave Cameron: I’m opening up the queue a few minutes early today, so go ahead and get your questions in now. We’ll kick this off in about 20 minutes.

12:01
Dave Cameron: Alright, let’s fire this thing up.

12:01
Comment From Ol Sea Capn
What’s your view on Desclfani? Can he breakout or is he just middling?

12:02
Dave Cameron: Breakout means different things to different people. To me, he looks like a guy who could fit as a back-end guy based on command, but I don’t know if I see him becoming more than that unless he finds some velocity or better secondary stuff.

12:02
Comment From Natitude Adjuster
Would Trea Turner be replacement-level yet–or still more development needed for that?

12:03
Dave Cameron: He might be able to play at around replacement level, but there’s no point burning his development and service time until you can get more than that.

12:03
Comment From mapsamountainrange
Is there any sort of historical comparable equivalent to what the Cards did that we could use to project what sort of discipline they might face?

12:03
Dave Cameron: Not really, no.

12:04
Dave Cameron: As Nathaniel Grow wrote this morning, MLB doesn’t have unilateral power to just do whatever they want.

12:05
Comment From hscer
Harper .502 wOBA–how is this still going on?

12:05
Dave Cameron: He’s figured out how to stop striking out. 30% strikeout rate in April, 15% in May, 10% in June. Basically, you take 80 power and eliminate all the at-bats where he walks back to the dugout without making contact, and you get this.

12:06
Comment From hscer
Trea Turner at shortstop and Stephen Strasburg pitching for Harrisburg today. Who will provide MLB teams with more value from 2016-2020?

12:06
Dave Cameron: Strasburg.

12:06
Comment From PeterB
Gut feeling… how far up does this Cardinals thing go?

12:07
Dave Cameron: Total and utter speculation; mid-level types. I can’t imagine that guys like Mozeliak would be dumb enough to be involved in this, but if it was just entry-level grunts, they’d have been fired by now.

12:07
Comment From Con
Seems to me that Franco is falling between the cracks when compared to the attention of other bigger names recently called up. Last month he has been a higher end 3B player. Seems like he could be a 30/80/10 .275/.340 guy as soon as next season? or is that too bullish?

12:07
Dave Cameron: Way too bullish. He’s not very good.

12:08
Dave Cameron: Good not great power, overly aggressive hitter with decent contact skills, not a good defender; these guys are frequently overrated and have extremely high bust potential. This is the Delmon Young profile.

12:09
Comment From hscer
How many of the current top 6 second basemen in 2015 WAR do you think you could name?

12:10
Dave Cameron: Kipnis, Gordon, Panik, Wong are easy. Is Travis still in that mix, despite a month on the DL? Espinosa, maybe? Peterson?

12:11
Comment From Jorb
Any hope that Matt Kemp turns it around? Her peripherals aren’t terrible, especially his hard hit statistics. He’s K’ing at a career avg rate, but walking less, and hitting more GB’s. Is this something that you think he can correct, or is this pretty much what he is this year?

12:11
Dave Cameron: He won’t be this bad. He’s probably a slightly above average hitter going forward, which makes him something like a +1 to +2 WAR player. Of course, that’s assuming his two arthritic hips haven’t destroyed his physical abilities yet.

12:12
Comment From Shyam
Depth charts projections have Maybin at 0.8 WAR and Kimbrel at 1.3 WAR rest of season. Matt Wisler is doing decently at AAA and is projected to have a 3.76 FIP in the MLB. Melvin Upton, unsurprisongly, is projected for 0.0 WAR. If this trade had happened before you posted your best/worst transactions, would it make either list?

12:12
Dave Cameron: I liked it a lot for the Braves then, and it’s obviously only looking better now.

12:12
Comment From hscer
Just got an email that the DC event is now from 4-7 instead of 6-9.

12:14
Dave Cameron: Yeah, I sent that out this morning. ESPN moved to the Nats game on July 5th from 1 pm to 8 pm, so we moved our event up to not conflict with the game. If you bought a ticket, you should have received that email this morning announcing the change, and you can reply to that email for a refund if the time change means you can’t go.

12:14
Comment From Thatoneguy
Will Mike Trout finally be dethroned in next months Trade Value list? I could see multiple players making a case to be number one.

12:15
Dave Cameron: I haven’t stated working on it too seriously yet. Harper is obviously putting together an incredible case for himself, and Goldschmidt’s pushing his way into the mix too. The top of the list is absurd now.

12:15
Comment From Who_Is_Zorbist?
Is Kevin Kiermaier really a 5 win player going forward? He’s accrued almost 7 fWAR, and he hasn’t even reached 600 PA.

12:16
Dave Cameron: Well, he accumulated some defensive value as a late inning defensive replacement in games where he didn’t bat, so the PA total is slightly misleading. I’d say more like +3 to +4 WAR; he’s in the Lorenzo Cain/A.J. Pollock group.

12:16
Comment From mtsw
Wei Yin Chen expressed anger on his Twitter account over being optioned to the minors (the O’s are apparently skipping him vs lefty-mashing Toronto and wanted to open a roster spot). Does he have a reason to be mad or is taking the occasional trip to Bowie just what you have to expect when you’re a guy with options on a Dan Duquette-run team?

12:17
Dave Cameron: I can see why he’d be annoyed at this, and this is one of the reasons I’m in favor of some kind of taxi-squad for MLB teams. There should be a way for teams to rest their players without needing to send them to the minors.

12:17
Comment From klof
i think i failed to get tickets to the DC event in time. any chance i can linger nearby at RFD?

12:18
Dave Cameron: The event is being held in RFD’s private event room, so if you just come to the bar without a ticket, we won’t be able to let you in. But there are a few people who will need refunds after we changed the event time, so keep an eye out for a few tickets opening up soon.

12:19
Comment From Logan Davis
Who’s the next GM to be fired? (Mozeliak? Zduriencik? Amaro?)

12:19
Dave Cameron: It should be Doug Melvin, but he keeps talking like he has endless job security, so maybe Walt Jocketty?

12:19
Comment From Ringtone Composer
Who ends the year with more HR: Stanton or Harper? (Stanton currently has 2 more HR, with 2 fewer games left to play.)

12:20
Dave Cameron: Stanton.

12:20
Dave Cameron: But Harper is the better hitter/player now.

12:20
Comment From Billy
I was pretty shocked to see Schwarber get the call this week (and I now sort of doubt that he’ll be sent back to AAA if he hits well). Maybe the Cubs are willing to experiment more than we might reasonably expect from most (if not all) other MLB organizations. If so, what else might they do this summer to surprise us? Trade Castro for pitching?

12:21
Dave Cameron: He’s just up for interleague play; they’re not going to announce a defined plan to send him to AAA in a few days only to back off because of 5 or 10 PAs.

12:21
Comment From Josh G
How concerned are you with Trevor Rosenthal? Could this be another Ottavino situation where he’s feeling mild discomfort, comes back for a game or two, and is then shut down?

12:22
Dave Cameron: Any time a pitcher has any kind of arm issue, that’s always a legitimate concern. Sometimes these things really do go away. Sometimes they mean TJ.

12:22
Comment From mbeemsterboer
Who do you think is most likely to keep up their great seasons: Archer, Odorizzi or Shelby Miller? And should I be selling high on any of these guys?

12:22
Dave Cameron: Archer, easily. He’s actually dominating; the other two are living off weaker contact, which doesn’t last.

12:23
Comment From PJB
at first glance it seems like Cardinals hack was a mild “let’s get back at Lunhow” prank more than it was competitive advantage theft. So go easy on them, right? But what about precedent. What would you do if you were Manfred?

12:23
Dave Cameron: What you steal when you break in, or what your intent was, doesn’t really matter under the CFAA law. Illegal entry into a protected server is a serious crime, and doing it as “just a prank” just makes you guilty of being an idiot.

12:24
Dave Cameron: There’s no way to know what I’d do in Manfred’s shoes with what we know now.

12:25
Comment From kid
Why did the Dodgers stockpile all of these infielders? I mean, if Olivera is the future at 2B, why sign Kendrick? And Guerrero? And if Seager is the (short-term) future at SS, why sign Rollins? I mean I understand that having lots of great players isn’t a problem, but it seems like money that could have been better spent elsewhere.

12:25
Dave Cameron: Olivera and Seager aren’t ready to help the MLB team in 2015. Both were acquired for this year. Rushing prospects to the show is folly.

12:26
Comment From mtsw
Should we throw out runs scored with extremely low leverage (when one team has essentially given up) from run differential when calculating Pythagorean wins? I fail to see how say, the runs the O’s tacked on with Jeff Francouer pitching last night convey any meaning about the relative strength of the Orioles or Phillies.

12:26
Dave Cameron: Yeah, there’s probably a threshold at which the information is no longer useful.

12:27
Comment From Nick in Cleveland
Hi Dave. I’m curious, what are the kind of things you look before concluding that Hanley Ramirez doesn’t care/isn’t trying to be a good outfielder, as opposed to him just lacking the talent to be a good outfielder?

12:28
Dave Cameron: Any player with the athleticism to be a Major League shortstop is capable of being better than a -40 UZR/150 left fielder with any kind of reasonable amount of effort.

12:28
Comment From Guest
Does Fangraphs have communications or a database to be hacked? Could someone guess your password to gain access?

12:30
Dave Cameron: Every website in the world is built on some kind of database. Two-factor authorization makes “guessing passwords” not good enough to obtain access, and thankfully, most people are starting to move that direction.

12:30
Comment From Ira
I appreciate your assessment of Bauer as overrated, but he does currently have a 1.9 RA9-WAR. Ultimately if a a pitcher’s job is to prevent runs, does it really matter how he does it, if over the long haul he is creating value for himself by not allowing the other team to score?

12:30
Dave Cameron: You’re assuming he’s the one doing it.

12:31
Dave Cameron: RA9 is pitching+fielding, not just pitching.

12:31
Comment From Geehoon Hong
Theo Epstein said he’s more confident than ever that Schwarber can remain behind the plate. Is this just an attempt to pump up Schwarber’s value before the deadline or could Schwarber be the Cubs’ backstop next year?

12:32
Dave Cameron: If Schwarber is a decent framer — and I’ve heard that he might be — than he might be able to be a Yasmani Grandal type, only with more power. That’s a valuable piece, and if that’s what the Cubs think they have, they’ll keep him.

12:32
Comment From Ullu Ka Patta
With Montero signed for a couple years still, Schwarber sure seems like an awkward fit for the Cubs. Could this call up and all the bluster about keeping him at C actually be about building his trade value?

12:33
Dave Cameron: MLB teams need two catchers. There’s no law that says Schwarber has to catch 120 games as soon as he gets to the big leagues, so they could easily work him in to a job share with Montero while also giving him ABs at other positions for the next few years.

12:33
Comment From Dan
Do you think that the Red Sox would trade Pedroia to help restructure their roster? It would let Betts go back to 2nd, open up an outfield spot for JBJ and could net them something pretty useful in return.

12:34
Dave Cameron: He has a no-trade, I believe, and I can’t see him ever wanting to leave Boston.

12:34
Comment From J
Time for the Dodgers to cut bait on Jimmy Rollins?

12:34
Dave Cameron: Nope.

12:34
Comment From Matt
Probably gets asked every week, but what would it cost the Jays to grab Cueto and Chapman from the Reds? Definitely would make them the team to beat in the AL East.

12:35
Dave Cameron: Getting both will be expensive. I’d imagine it would take something like Norris, Hoffman, and something.

12:35
Comment From Greg
If you’re the Cubs, do you make a big move at the trade deadline to go for things this season (thinking Hamels) or would you target some cheaper pieces instead?

12:36
Dave Cameron: The Wild Card game remains a trap. I’d make pushes to try and win a division title, but if I’m just trying to make myself better for a 50/50 game, I’d make smaller moves.

12:36
Comment From Guest
One angle of the hacking not receiving any attention: The Cardinals suspected Luhnow of stealing proprietary information when he left for the Astros. Is this a big deal?

12:38
Dave Cameron: This gets into a pretty big gray area. Say Luhnow was involved with creating a system that the team used to help identify who to draft; he’s not going to just forget that when he leaves. So if he builds an identical system in Houston, is that “stealing proprietary data”? If the Cardinals thought he actually stole tangible things like scouting reports or computer hardware, they’d have reported it to MLB.

12:38
Comment From mtsw
I know he’s only very indirectly responsible for the Phillies’ embarrassing loss last night (and bullpen phone shenanigans) but this would be an especially good day to fire RAJ huh?

12:39
Dave Cameron: Every day would be a good day to do that.

12:39
Comment From Josh
I haven’t seen a team like last nights Phillies look that bad since the O’s got shalacked 30-3, that was bad. How do you leave Franceour out to dry like that?

12:39
Dave Cameron: Their bullpen phone was left off the hook accidentally. That’s not a joke. That actually happened.

12:40
Comment From Guy
Is Zobrist a passable SS? Like, would the A’s potentially be better off moving Zobrist to short and putting Lawrie and Semien at 3B/2B?

12:40
Dave Cameron: Not anymore, especially not with his knee problems.

12:40
Comment From Mike
Best bet for the Jays is to upgrade the rotation right? By default they would probably upgrade the pen with that move.

12:41
Dave Cameron: It’s their weak link, but upgrades are upgrades; if they can get a better deal on an outfielder, they shouldn’t turn away from that just because their pitching is worse.

12:41
Comment From count123
If /when Oakland starts to sell do you think they would part with Reddick?

12:42
Dave Cameron: I would say that after trading Josh Donaldson four years before he’s eligible for free agency, no one there is off limits.

12:43
Comment From Matt
In what job can you make alot of money fast?

12:43
Dave Cameron: Bank robbery.

12:44
Comment From Greg D
Will the rash of callups affect Seager’s timeline? Should it?

12:44
Dave Cameron: Nope. Seager isn’t exactly crushing Triple-A pitching and he’s unlikely to be a great defender at short. No real reason to prefer him to their MLB options right now.

12:44
Comment From Guy
For a 90-win team (say the Cardinals), roughly how many additional wins in do you think could be squeezed out of hacking opponents’ internal scouting reports?

12:45
Dave Cameron: Almost none.

12:46
Comment From Forsyth
I’ve been thinking a lot about team WAR, and the conclusion that I’ve come to is that I think there should be a contributing factor based on sequencing, and other items. For example, a BB with 2 outs doesn’t provide the team with the same value as a BB with nobody out. Now, that doesn’t take away from the PLAYER’S value, but it does take away from a TEAM value. Should there be an alternate Team WAR factor for these types of things? Or would the incremental value be so small it’s not worth it?

12:47
Dave Cameron: WAR is designed to be context-neutral on purpose. You could create a context-included version of WAR if you wanted, but then the question becomes what level of context is the right level. Do you include just the base/out situation? What about the score? Is a HR in the first inning worth less than a HR in the 9th inning?

12:48
Dave Cameron: WAR’s goal is to isolate player performance and give an estimate of their overall value to a team, not to align precisely with team wins and losses.

12:48
Comment From Guest
Any chance a big chunk of revenue sharing money is withheld from the Cardinals as punishment?

12:49
Dave Cameron: I doubt it. I bet we see a significant fine, those involved being blacklisted from ever working in MLB again, and maybe the transfer of some draft picks from STL to HOU.

12:50
Comment From Joel
Hi Dave. Zunino is batting ~.160, but he’s a pretty good defender, pitch framer, I think he’s 4th in caught stealing %, etc. At what point does it stop making sense for him to be on a major league roster? What does he have to hit to justify his spot, even with that strong defense?

12:51
Dave Cameron: The Mariners don’t have any alternatives, which is a black mark against their front office, but remains true. If they had anyone else, I think you could make a good case to send him down and let him get back the development time they robbed him of when they rushed him to the big leagues.

12:52
Comment From mtsw
Steve Pearce is currently getting almost zero playing time and is in danger of being DFAed in the O’s roster crunch. Is his 5 WAR 2014 officially the flukiest season ever?

12:52
Dave Cameron: No, the Orioles are being silly and should start playing him again.

12:53
Dave Cameron: He’s not a +5 WAR player, obviously, but he’s perfectly useful, and better than a lot of their alternatives.

12:53
Comment From Jays fan
Do the Jays get Cueto and Chapman for Norris and Pompey?

12:53
Dave Cameron: Nope. The last thing the Reds need is a CF who can’t hit.

12:54
Comment From Geoff
It looks like Chen’s optioning may be just enough to get the Orioles another year of service time, because Chen’s started the season with (almost) exactly three years’ service.

12:55
Dave Cameron: No; if your’e optioned out for less than 20 days, you get full credit for all the days in between the options. This won’t cost him any service time.

12:55
Comment From hscer
By the way, the signup process for the DC event seemed to suggest you needed their app. Would the confirmation email suffice? I don’t think they actually offer their app for windows phone

12:56
Dave Cameron: We’ll have a list of names at the door, so if you don’t have the TicketLeap app, we’ll be able to look you up and let you in. Just bring ID.

12:56
Comment From Andrew
How many Royals should be starting in the All Star Game?

12:56
Dave Cameron: 1, maybe?

12:57
Comment From Guest
What is your wild guess at a Bryce Harper contract when he becomes a FA?

12:57
Dave Cameron: A few weeks ago I guessed 15/$600M.

12:58
Comment From mtsw
Harper is playing insane but is still only projected to have 8ish WAR at the end of the season. Is it just harder than it used to be (because of the run environment or increased league wide talent or whatever) to get to the 10 WAR super-elite seasons?

12:58
Dave Cameron: Well Trout did it two years in a row, right? It’s not easy, but it’s never been easy.

12:59
Comment From Tyson
What would you have done/would do with Dillon Gee and Jon Niese?

1:00
Dave Cameron: What the Mets did. Niese is fine, Gee is bad.

1:00
Comment From TJ
An exaggeration to say Francour last night was disgraceful managing? Trying to squeeze out something is one thing but he was near 50 pitches and clearly couldn’t throw a strike. Like most professionals, acted fine to continue but Utley looked ready to go at with the manager and how much is it also to ask one of your paid bullpen arms just to come in and get through one inning rather. Obviously they don’t care about Frenchy long term but seemed way over the top.

1:01
Dave Cameron: There have been plenty of reports suggesting that the Phillies don’t like playing for Ryne Sandberg. I would imagine this wasn’t just about last night.

1:01
Comment From joe
“RA9 is pitching+fielding, not just pitching.” By your websites metrics, the defense behind Bauer is subpar. How exactly does that aid your point at all?

1:02
Dave Cameron: Bad hitters still get hits; bad fielders still make plays. The idea that a pitcher on a bad defensive team can not have received good defensive support is incorrect.

1:03
Comment From Jake
What do you think it’d take for the Astros to land one of Kazmir/Shark at the deadline? I feel like I would rather see that than gutting the rest of our farm for Hamels

1:04
Dave Cameron: Kazmir makes a good amount of sense for them. He won’t cost an elite prospect, and the A’s generally tend to prefer quantity in packages anyway.

1:05
Comment From Max B
It’s pretty easy to say that Swihart and Betts were brought up too early. Although they both have great potential, would their development be any better off getting at bats in the minors?

1:05
Dave Cameron: Mookie has been worth +3.4 WAR in 480 PA since being promoted. The idea that he was rushed is silly.

1:05
Dave Cameron: Swihart only got called up because of injuries.

1:07
Comment From klof
Reds’ AAA coach says Mesoraco has no business playing the outfield. Are the Reds just doing this to pretend like they have a viable team heading into hosting the ASG?

1:07
Dave Cameron: I’d guess Cozart’s injury will be the final straw, and they’ll pull the plug sooner than they had hoped to have to.

1:08
Comment From Josh G
Does Matt Dominguez have a future as a major leaguer?

1:08
Dave Cameron: Probably not.

1:09
Comment From Zerp Flanigan
Shouldn’t MLB absolutely destroy the Cards on this? A draft pick or two probably wouldn’t deter most teams.

1:09
Dave Cameron: Well, the odds of something like this ever happening again aren’t very good, as I’d imagine 29 organization’s IT departments have received authorization to dramatically upgrade internal security in the last few days.

1:12
Comment From Matt
Hey Dave, how does Jace Peterson’s emergence effect Jose Peraza? Is he trade bait (*cough* Aaron Judge *cough*)?

1:12
Dave Cameron: They’ve already moved Peraza to CF, I believe.

1:13
Comment From JasonNOLA
To deter is not the issue here. It’s blatant cheating. It is an “integrity of the game” issue. The hammer must be dropped.

1:13
Dave Cameron: That’s fine to say, but in reality, it’s not as easy to actually do it when you have so many variables with interests to protect.

1:14
Dave Cameron: Alright, that’s it for me today. Thanks for hanging out everyone.





Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.

19 Comments
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Wobatus
7 years ago

Franco strikes out less (in a higher k era) and has more power than young Young, plus higher on positional adjustment scale. Slightly higher walk rate. He’ll be much more valuable than Delmon Young.

Cornflake5000
7 years ago
Reply to  Wobatus

Fine. Franco’s awesome. You feel better?

Wobatus
7 years ago
Reply to  Cornflake5000

What’s your beef? I wasn’t around for the chat but chimed in here that Franco seems better than Young. I understand Dave is giving a quick take and respect his opinion generally. It will obviously take a while for a verdict to be in since Franco is only 22. I’m not a Phillies fan and have no vested interest in Franco.