Dave Cameron FanGraphs Chat – 8/9/17 by Dave Cameron August 9, 2017 12:01 The Average Sports Fan: The Cardinals are now over .500. Are they an actual playoff contender? 12:01 Dave Cameron: It will take either the Rockies or D’Backs falling apart. They aren’t going to catch the Cubs, most likely. 12:02 Rod: Dave, can I use the rolling charts in a blog article? Secondly, if so, is there an option to get a picture of chart? Screenshot? 12:03 Dave Cameron: Yes, you can always use any of our graphics in your posts, as long as you link to FG in the process. There’s a download image button coming soon, but for now, screenshot is the way to capture them. 12:03 christopher: Tigers fans complain about the JD return, A’s fans about the Yonder return, but those two + the crater of the bat only FA market last offseason means… that was about the reality? Has the market overcorrected? 12:04 Dave Cameron: I think there’s a decent argument to be made that bat-first players are now underpriced, yes. 12:04 TheDuck: What are the odds that MLB a) acknowledges that the ball has changed and/or b) attempts to change it back? 12:05 Dave Cameron: Long term, very good. Short term? I think they’ll keep repeating the same thing they’ve been saying until it’s conclusively proven. There’s enough evidence now to think that’s likely, but I don’t think we’re quite at “100%, without a doubt, the homers are because of the ball” yet. 12:05 Bruce: So Jerry Dipoto bought Ernesto Frieri from the rangers for $1.How is that possible? 12:06 Dave Cameron: Frieri has a better chance of pitching in the big leagues in Seattle, so the Rangers didn’t want to stand in his way of getting a big league job. 12:06 Lew Alcindor: Does Rhys Hoskins have anything at all left to prove at AAA? Or are the Phils just not being smart? 12:07 Dave Cameron: They’re trying him in left field, and rumor is he’ll be up tomorrow for the start of their series with the Mets. I personally wouldn’t bother with the left field experiment, since Tommy Joseph isn’t worth playing, but they are a little short on outfielders right now, so it isn’t the end of the world in a season where wins and losses don’t matter. 12:07 Mike: Why did Cespedes clear waivers? 12:07 Dave Cameron: Because he’s obviously not getting traded. Same with Harper. Teams don’t bother claiming guys that they know aren’t really available. 12:08 Matt: Do we seriously have to consider that Chris Sale has dethroned Kershaw as the best pitcher in baseball? He has been almost as good as Kershaw,has been better this year, and somehow has no health issues. 12:08 Dave Cameron: This is Sale’s first Kershaw-esque year. Kershaw’s been having these for five or six years now. 12:09 CamdenWarehouse: Is it too early to talk about the offseason? Which manager and GM spots do you think will be vacant at the end of the year? 12:09 Dave Cameron: Hard to see Terry Collins coming back next year. I think Matheny is probably done in STL too. 12:10 Dave Cameron: In terms of GMs, the Marlins front office probably gets an overhaul once the sale gets done. 12:10 Dave Cameron: And maybe things blow up with Duquette in Baltimore. 12:10 Dave Cameron: But everyone else seems pretty safe. 12:10 James: What do you think the odds Verlander gets moved are? 12:11 Dave Cameron: 30%. They should move him. Sounds like the price is still too high, though. 12:11 Curtis: Will starting pitching or bullpens be the bigger story of this postseason? 12:11 Dave Cameron: I think this is the year that the distinction could become somewhat meaningless. 12:11 Baseballs fan: Is it your opinion that the Dodgers are better than the Cubs were last year? 12:12 Dave Cameron: It’s close. Probably, but not definitively. 12:12 Ryan Baasch: We know that Chris Taylor has a ridic BABIP and is significantly outperforming expectations, will he keep it up ROS? Is this production a result of the tear the Dodgers on or is he legit? 12:13 Dave Cameron: He’s not this good. He’s developed more power than expected and makes decent contact but this is unsustainable. 12:13 FireDrayton: Keuchel’s broken, McCullers is never gonna be healthy, Devenski is spent, Harris is on the shelf, Correa is still a month away, and the front office blew the deadline — that’s the current local view on the Astros. How’s the view from your vantage point? 12:13 Dave Cameron: The Astros are good, and not having to work their best pitchers that hard down the stretch could leave them fresh for October. 12:14 Ham Porter: You are the Joe Girardi and your team has made it to the Wild Card; ignoring how the rotation has rolled in the last 5 days, who do you start? 12:14 Dave Cameron: Chapman. 12:15 Matt: The Rays haven’t brought Honeywell up despite a clear need, this has to be service clock related, right? 12:15 Dave Cameron: Service time hasn’t mattered since June. 12:15 Zee: What do you make of Taijuan Walker’s year? Seems largely similar to his last couple seasons — disappointing he hasn’t taken a major step forward? 12:15 Dave Cameron: At some point, this is just what he is. 12:16 Len: Year three of the Braves rebuild, and the front office is acting like the rebuilding phase is over far too early. Can you make me feel better about being a Braves fan? I need something — I’m stuck watching Kemp, Markakis and Phillips play every day. 12:16 Dave Cameron: Acuna looks amazing. 12:16 Dave Cameron: The rest, I can’t help with much. 12:16 CW: Are we in a pre-planned content lull? I don’t mean this to come off as a complaint, just wondering if the site uses the couple post deadline weeks as a time for writers to recharge. 12:17 Dave Cameron: Most of the staff was traveling to/from Saber Seminar in Boston over the weekend, Carson is still on paternity leave, and I was up in Seattle until Monday helping my parents after my Dad’s stroke. So, more of a confluence of events than a planned lull. We’ll be back to full steam ahead soon. 12:18 Reginald Denton III: How did Alonso clear waivers? I thought he was going to be a big trade chip at the deadline. 12:19 Dave Cameron: He didn’t clear; the Mariners claimed him and then worked out a trade. And he hasn’t hit for much power since June, so a rental bat with a short track record of impact hitting wasn’t going to bring a lot back. 12:19 Boba Chett: Hey Dave! I was wonderimg where I can go to find statistical data sets? I want to do some analysis on something simple like FB veloci across the league. Is there a free/convenient place I can find that kind of data? 12:19 Dave Cameron: FanGraphs. 12:20 Dave Cameron: Sarcasm aside, go to our leaderboards, and you can export all the data on the site into a CSV. 12:20 Well-Beered Englishman: What’s for lunch? 12:20 Dave Cameron: It’s 9:20 in the morning here, so I’ll figure that out in a few hours. 12:20 RJ: Given the delay in promoting Rhys Hoskins, do you think the Phillies are concerned about something that isn’t so obvious? He’s clearly an upgrade to Tommy Joseph, right? 12:21 Dave Cameron: They wanted to trade Joseph in July to make a spot for Hoskins. When that didn’t happen, they decided to try him in left for a while. 12:21 Porcho Villa: Nice piece on Matt Chapman. You don’t talk much about his solid power metrics: do you see him as a guy with 40+ HR upside in a full season? 12:21 Dave Cameron: Hitting 40 homers in a season is hard. Giancarlo Stanton has never even done it. 12:22 Hannah Hochevar: With Chris Davis on waivers, is there any chance for an August deal? 12:22 Dave Cameron: He cleared waivers because no one is taking that contract. 12:22 Dave Cameron: And there’s no market for overpaid 1Bs right now. 12:23 Moltar: Now that the mainpage redesign has taken some time to settle in, here are some lingering thoughts about it. For one, the top of the page is still a little jumbled, between the top article, the “latest” and “most popular”, the little image box, I find myself tuning it out and going straight for the list of articles below. To that end, I’d be in favor of listing all articles there, even if they’re duplicated right above it. Less confusing for a simpleton like me. My other main thought is that the community blog, whose articles are stronger and more interesting than ever before, is relegated so far tot he bottom of the page I usually forget it exists altogether. I only remember it’s there when the afternoon doldrums hit and I’m desperate for some fresh content. Maybe add a featured community article somewhere near the top? Anyway, the redesign is overall great, and I’m happy to be a paying member. Thanks for all the great content! 12:24 Dave Cameron: I appreciate the feedback. I do agree that having somewhere on the site, even if it’s not on the main page, where there’s just a chronological list of articles, would be a good feature. I’ll talk to the guys in charge and see what is possible. 12:24 toki: What would happen if a team had claimed Harper? I mean wouldn’t it be quite a distraction if some GM just went “why not?” and posted a claim? 12:25 Dave Cameron: Lots of guys are claimed and pulled back and we never hear about it. 12:25 Dave Cameron: So no, not really a distraction. The Nationals would be notified that someone claimed Harper, they’d revoke the waivers, and that would be the end of it. 12:25 CamdenWarehouse: Re Kershaw and Sale – Is being the best pitcher in baseball really based on past and not current performance? 12:26 Dave Cameron: Do you think Chris Taylor is the best left fielder in baseball? 12:26 Oddball Herrera: Seems odd that Detroit apparently hasn’t put Cabrera on waivers. Wouldn’t it be prudent to at least see if a team desperate for a bat would be willing to take him off their hands. No one is going to claim him outright with that contract, but when he gets through waivers, who knows, maybe Boston bites 12:27 Dave Cameron: There’s no one shopping for a 1B right now. 12:27 Dave Cameron: If that kind of deal was going to happen, it would have been talked about already. 12:27 Charlie: You have talked about how the White Sox prospects are “overvalued” by the media recently in writing and this chat. Then in last weeks chat someone asked you who YOUR top 5 would then be based on what you hear about how players are valued, and you listed Vlad-Rosario-Gleyber-Acuna and a 5th I can’t recall, the point here being no Yoan Moncada, one of the White Sox overhyped prospects. However, in your top 50 trade value, a piece you say you complile based of talking to sources, you ONLY listed Yoan Moncada of all the prospects in baseball. So how is Yoan Moncada overvalued by the media, but also the clear #1 prospect according to team sources? Sorry, this would have been better last week but it didn’t get responded to. 12:28 Dave Cameron: I said in that answer that I wasn’t counting the promoted guys (Moncada and Devers at that point) as prospects anymore, since they won’t go back to the minors. 12:28 Dave Cameron: Moncada’s a very good prospect, obviously. He’s also probably being overvalued a bit publicly. 12:28 Dave Cameron: Those things aren’t mutually exclusive. 12:29 Dave Cameron: And for what its worth, if we did the Trade Value list now, I’m pretty sure Devers would be on it. 12:29 JB: Would you leave your FG job to work for MLB or MLBPA to coach players on financial literacy? 12:30 Dave Cameron: I’m pretty sure MLB would say that’s the agents job. 12:31 Vlad Jr and Bo Bichette: Are we Blue Jays a year from now? 12:31 Dave Cameron: I could see both being September callups next year. 12:31 Matt: Rank in likelihood: JV not traded, JV traded in straight salary dump for not much, JV traded for real prospect and Tigers eat $$. Which do you personally think will happen? 12:31 Dave Cameron: In August? 1, 3, 2. 12:31 Dave Cameron: Before his contract expires? 3, 2, 1. 12:32 Tanner: Re: starting Chapman (or any closer). Do you take into consideration–even a little bit–that it’s something they’ve never done before, and as a result might be slightly less effective than they are normally? 12:33 Dave Cameron: Sure. But I think there’s time to prep him for it, and at the end of the day, he’ll still throw 103. 12:35 CT: How come no talk of Sale as MVP? He leads the league in virtually every pitching stat and has outperformed the entire league in WAR. Also he’s pitched to more batters than the best position players have batted. 12:35 Dave Cameron: He’d have my vote right now. 12:36 Randy: If you were to pick an infielder for your franchise player from the National League, who would you pick? 12:36 Dave Cameron: Bryant or Seager. 12:36 kevinthecomic: So if no one claimed Harper and/or Cespedes on waivers because there was no realistic chance of them getting traded, why did their teams put them on waivers in the first place? 12:37 Dave Cameron: Because teams hope that running everyone through waivers means that teams will not claim someone they might want to trade. 12:37 Cole: Do you think if the Cubs wanted to, they could make a serious run at a Trout trade using some combination but not all of Baez, Schwarber, Happ, Almora, Russell, Montgomery, Edwards, and top prospects? 12:37 Dave Cameron: The Cubs don’t really have “top prospects” anymore. 12:38 Scott: Seriously is it time to get nervous about the Braves rebuild? There doesn’t seem to be a true ace, or even number one in the bunch and Dansby has really struggled. 12:39 Dave Cameron: This isn’t a team ready to try and win yet. They need to keep building. 12:39 John H: You think Acuna gets a cup of coffee in September or no? Team says no. Acuna’s bat says yes. 12:40 Dave Cameron: It might come down to 40 man spots. He doesn’t have to be protected from Rule 5 this winter so adding him just means they have to dump someone they might otherwise want to retain. 12:40 Dave Cameron: So wouldn’t be surprised if you don’t see him this year. 12:40 CamdenWarehouse: At some point in 2012 or 2013, didn’t Mike Trout overtake, I don’t know, Miguel Cabrera as the best player in baseball even though he didn’t have nearly the track record? Why should the track record make Sale less of a pitcher now? 12:41 Dave Cameron: Mike Trout did things Miguel Cabrera never has. This is just Sale finally reaching Kershaw’s level for a while. 12:42 PS: how do you finish the game if Chapman pitches the 1st– presumably betances Robertson kahnle and green all pitch 12:42 Dave Cameron: Relievers the whole way. 12:42 Dave Cameron: Save Severino for the division series. 12:43 Well-Beered Englishman: Wait, so the justification for waiving Bryce Harper really boils down to “let’s hope nobody notices we also waived this other guy”? 12:43 Dave Cameron: Basically, yes. 12:44 Powered by Jay Bruce: Why do you think Matheny is out? He still seems to have the support of ownership. 12:44 Dave Cameron: He’s not good at strategy or tactics, and now the franchise player is openly wishing for someone else to be in charge. 12:44 Dave Cameron: It’s a problem. 12:45 Daniel: Do you think we’ll ever see your all bullpen for wc game strategy? Personally I’d love to see it but dont think we will anytime soon 12:45 Dave Cameron: Yeah, it’s an inevitability. 12:45 Dave Cameron: We’re not there yet, but headed that way. 12:45 Matt : is the Os problem the “front office” or just really Angelos vetoing good decisions. Basically should Duquette get ran out of town because Angelos won’t follow his decisions? 12:46 Dave Cameron: Angelos is clearly a problem. But the Duquette/Showalter pairing also doesn’t seem like a good one, and the franchise is in trouble if they don’t get someone to stand up to Angelos and make him do things differently. 12:47 A. Reitz: Cardinals are 2.5 games behind the Cubs. Honest question…did you not know that? 12:47 Dave Cameron: I did know that. But the Cubs remain a very good team that should be expected to play very well down the stretch. That is not true of COL. 12:47 E: In a bullpen game what level of reliever would you no longer trust? Like would you throw Zach Mcallister or Matt Albers? 12:48 Dave Cameron: Ideally you’d get through nine innings with your top 4-5 guys. Two inning stints. 12:49 Elton: Regarding the hot-as-hell Dodgers — is this the kind of result you expected when Friedman got to work on a team with a lot of money? 12:49 Dave Cameron: 115 win pace isn’t what you expect from anyone ever. 12:50 Dave Cameron: The Dodgers are awesome, but they’ve also gotten lucky this year, and they’d admit it. They didn’t go into the year thinking “well, we’re going to get +10 WAR from Chris Taylor and Alex Wood” 12:50 Greg: Has Kluber reached Kershaw’s level? 12:50 Dave Cameron: No one is at Kershaw’s level. 12:50 Dave Cameron: No one. 12:51 Matt : If it’s a wild card game why not also use a good but not ace starter as a 2-3 inning guy as well. AFAIK pitchers really start degrading in effectiveness the second time hitters see them 12:51 Dave Cameron: Because most contenders these days have a bunch of relievers that are better in short stints than their mid-rotation starters. 12:52 Two Socks: Last week you said it would be a bad idea for the Reds to offer Cozart the QO because he would accept. He has outperformed the value of this 2018 QO for two straight years now and there is minimal risk in a 1 year contract. Why is it a bad idea? It is low risk. 12:52 Dave Cameron: Because his market value is well south of $18M for 2018. 12:52 ohioastrosfan: IDK if you would know this, but what official system to teams use for trades and such? Do they have official paperwork they send to the commissioners office? Is there a piece of software for this? Any insight here? 12:53 Dave Cameron: It’s calle eBIS. It’s been around for a long time. Most teams hate it. 12:53 Matt : Would you still say a reliever game is a better choice for a team like the dodgers who have Rich Hill as a 3? Or is that the point where starters become better than releievrs 12:54 Dave Cameron: If you have Kershaw/Darvish/Wood/Hill, a bullpen game is less appealing. Most teams don’t have those guys. 12:54 TKDC: If a manager tried the bullpen game thing in the wild card and it went bad, wouldn’t there be a legitimate chance he would be fired? You’d need upper management buy in, or nobody is doing that. 12:54 Dave Cameron: Well, yeah, the manager can’t do it on his own. It’d have to be the organizational plan going into the postseason. 12:55 Dave Cameron: But 10 years ago, the accepted narrative was that “closer by committee” couldn’t work either. Things change. 12:55 Bryce Harper: Putting players on waivers as a distraction probably worked years ago, but now it must just be a procedural thing right? “It’s August, time to put everyone on waivers.” It’s ultimately meaningless, and putting everyone out there is easier than picking and choosing. 12:56 Dave Cameron: Yeah, before every team had an army of interns, it was likely a lot easier to sneak guys through. These days, it’s probably just habit. 12:56 FGFan: Re: waivers If a team claims someone who has been waived, can’t the team with the player just ask for an incredibly high price until the player has cleared waivers, and then negotiate with all teams? Or is it that if a team claims a player off waivers, the posting team must negotiate only with that team and if they fail to reach an agreement that’s the end of things. 12:57 Dave Cameron: Only one team is awarded a claim, regardless of how many teams put in claim. The team awarded the waiver claim is the only team the original team can negotiate with. 12:57 Dave Cameron: So, once the Mariners were awarded the claim on Alonso, Oakland’s options were trade him to Seattle or not trade him at all. 12:58 TJ: Given how he’s played this year, what do you think Harper’s contact is looking like now? 12:58 Dave Cameron: I still think he ends up over $500M. 12:59 Dave Cameron: Total price will depend on structure. How many opt-outs, etc… 12:59 RobSea: Would the A’s have been nuts to give Alonso a QO? 12:59 Dave Cameron: Yes. 1:00 RobSea: Do you have a favorite breakthrough player you like moving forward for sustained success? I’m thinking more Gamel and less Springer level of player 🙂 1:00 Dave Cameron: Altherr. 1:01 Strong Steve: if you’re managing the dbacks, who do you throw in the WC game. greinke or save him so u get him twice in the NLDS? 1:02 Dave Cameron: Their bullpen isn’t good enough to go RPs all the way through. 1:02 Dave Cameron: So yeah, throw Greinke. 1:02 Dave Cameron: Alright, off to do some more writing. Thanks for hanging out this week.