FanGraphs After Dark Chat – 9/1/15

3:39
Paul Swydan: Hi everybody! Jeff and I will be here at 9 pm ET to answer your baseballing question. Feel free to ask me about the giant leap my son’s swing took today. Or you know, pennant races and stuff. It’s all good. See you soon!

9:01
Paul Swydan: Ok, let’s do this.

9:01
Jeff Zimmerman: OK Brave Star

9:01
Paul Swydan: Brave Star?

9:02
9:04
Paul Swydan: Dude, WHAT was that?

9:04
Jeff Zimmerman: Probably the worst 80’s cartoon ever

9:05
Paul Swydan: OK, let’s really get to it. I’m listening to Q-Tip’s Abstract Radio, if you’re curious: https://itunes.apple.com/us…

9:05
Comment From Avery
Any hope left for Zunino in a dynasty league?

9:05
Jeff Zimmerman: No, not really unless it is a 40 team league

9:06
Paul Swydan: I’m going to say yes. But it’s definitely going to take some time. Only grab him if you can stash him.

9:06
Comment From RIck
What should I do with Teixeira? Obviously a bit more than a simple bone bruise.

9:07
Paul Swydan: If you’re in a redraft league, I think you can drop him.

9:07
Jeff Zimmerman: In re-draft I would drop him, his injury sound similar to Jaso’s which kept him out a few months

9:08
Jeff Zimmerman: I am not big on him in a keeper either.

9:08
Comment From anon
Who is the least likely Cub to win an award this year (Madden, Rizzo, Bryant, Arrieta) ? Chances Cubs sweep the awards?

9:08
Paul Swydan: Rizzo. And no, no chance the Cubs sweep awards.

9:09
Jeff Zimmerman: I would not be surprised at all if they get shut out

9:09
Paul Swydan: Me neither. Maddon is the most likely.

9:09
Comment From Grumpy Bostonian
It seems like one of the chief splits between SABR-types and much of the baseball establishment is over whether the closer role is legit. If we don’t believe closing is special, what do we make of somebody like Tazawa who can’t seem to do it? Just luck/small sample size?

9:10
Paul Swydan: Well, it’s definitely luck/small sample size, and also a healthy dose of bad timing. You’re talking about a guy who shut down Miguel Cabrera at the height of his powers multiple times in the 2013 ALCS with the game on the line. Situations don’t come more pressure packed than that.

9:11
Paul Swydan: As for the role itself – I do believe there are certain intangibles that allow you to perform well in a *relief* role for sure, because you need to have a short memory. Not all pitchers can adapt to that, because most pitchers grow up being starting pitchers. Very few kids want to grow up to be a closer.

9:11
Jeff Zimmerman: I remember when people said David Robertson couldn’t close because of the mind set, same with Soria before he closed. I think the closer mindset is all B.S. People are dealing with confirmation bias and small samples.

9:12
Paul Swydan: Yeah, I don’t think there is any difference between the 8th and 9th. Sorry. The people who say there is most are the players, who have a vested interest in making the distinction so that a certain subset of their reliever brethren get paid more.

9:12
Comment From Somerville Phil
Travis Shaw: contender for 2016 starter or revert to AAAA guy? And does he have legitimate trade value?

9:14
Jeff Zimmerman: He is an interesting case. He may be the 25th best 1B in the league, which has value, but teams don’t want a bottom tier 1B. I could see him bounce around a band-aid teams use for the 1B hole.

9:14
Paul Swydan: He’s making me a believer, and it’s nice that he is performing well with a reasonable BABIP, so nothing screams fluky per se. But he’s also a 25-year-old rookie. I’ll say that I would be comfortable with him in a platoon at first base with Vazquez next year (where Vazquez plays first on a certain % of days when he’s not catching).

9:15
Comment From Bob
Can we start a petition to get Machado permanently moved to short?

9:15
Paul Swydan: Sure. I think that it might stick anyway.

9:16
Jeff Zimmerman: The guy is back to his old self. I was just not sure his knees would let him. He gives me hope for Profar next season.

9:16
Comment From Skipper
Is Jarrod Dyson 10-team relevant with the news about Rios? In need of SB without hurting OPS too bad

9:16
Paul Swydan: One for Jeff.

9:18
Jeff Zimmerman: Maybe, he may be in a platoon role with Ghomes. With Gordon out, he didn’t regular time.

9:18
Comment From Tony
Jackie Bradley just won’t stop hitting… I’m usually able to find articles where a player describes teh changes that he’s made at the plate, but I can’t find any… have either of you heard any explanation for his bat other than SSS? Optimistically, what is he going forward – something like 265/335/430?

9:19
Paul Swydan: Matthew Kory noted some mechanical adjustments he seems to have made in this article: http://www.fangraphs.com/bl…

9:19
Comment From Rick
Who is the RGIII of the MLB (i.e., sensational and highly hyped rookie year; sophomore season derailed by injury; sad and acrimonious fall out with his team)?

9:19
Paul Swydan: Oh, that’s a good one.

9:20
Paul Swydan: Suggestions? Hmmmm, has there been a MLB manager recently who was as ruthless a megalomaniac as Mike Shanahan? I don’t think there has been.

9:20
Paul Swydan: Daryl Strawberry? He was good for awhile. Gary Sheffield?

9:21
Comment From Tony
Yasiel Puig for RGIII?

9:21
Paul Swydan: Yeah, maybe.

9:21
Jeff Zimmerman: Brandon Wood?

9:22
Paul Swydan: Well, Brandon Wood was never really good though.

9:22
Paul Swydan: Josh Hamilton?

9:22
Jeff Zimmerman: Or Dukes

9:22
Comment From L. Scott
Kal Daniels for RGIII?

9:23
Paul Swydan: Shea Hillenbrand!

9:23
Jeff Zimmerman: There was a few Royals who got the treatment in an early 80’s cocaine bust like Willie Aikens.

9:23
Paul Swydan: I don’t know the Kal Daniels story, sorry.

9:24
Comment From Dillard
Kerry Wood? Not sure it was ever very acrimonious.

9:24
Comment From Vic Romano
Mark Prior? (I don’t know who this RGIII person is, but Prior always comes to mind when discussing guys with one great year who quickly fell apart)

9:25
Paul Swydan: Prior is pretty good. I like Prior, K Wood, Hillenbrand, Hamilton. Prob Prior is the best comp I think. Dusty rode him into the ground without remorse the same way Shanahan did RGIII.

9:25
Comment From Tony
What do you think of Yordano Ventura going forward? Last 4 starts have looked nice, and the velocity and SwStr% are both up, but he’s had some games where his control leaves him.

9:25
Paul Swydan: I want to believe.

9:25
Jeff Zimmerman: Zumaya

9:26
Comment From Rick
Harper has a big WAR lead on NL position players, but the gap is much closer between Harper and Kershaw. Think the latter has a shot at another MVP?

9:26
Paul Swydan: Definitely. I think Harper’s team is costing Harper the MVP right now. You can’t flame out like this, especially when you’re stiffest competition is the Mets.

9:26
Jeff Zimmerman: No on Kershaw and I think Greinke get the Cy right now.

9:26
Comment From Merv Throneberry
So neither Berrios nor Snell got the call-up from AAA….if not now, when?

9:27
Paul Swydan: Next June, probably. Cheap is as cheap does.

9:27
Jeff Zimmerman: No doubt

9:27
Comment From Rick
What does the Toronto 2016 rotation look like? So far, they’ve got Stroman, Hutchinson, and question marks (12MM option for Dickey; Estrada, Price, and Bhuerle are free agents)

9:28
Paul Swydan: I’d expect them to go hard after Price. They gave up too much to get him to let him walk. And I could def see Buehrle back on a Tim Wakefield-style deal.

9:28
Jeff Zimmerman: I think they will try to piece together a rotation like the Red Sox did this season and fail like the Red Sox did.

9:29
Comment From Bob
For a guy like Baez, who comes up with a scouting report of a penchant for expanding the strike zone, would there be a short-term value to not swinging at all?

9:31
Paul Swydan: I mean, maybe, if he was on board with that plan. But that sort of game theory is probably not the kind of head games you want to play with your precocious prospects.

9:31
Jeff Zimmerman: Probably, but that is just not his style. if he could have any discipline he would be one heck of player.

9:31
Comment From Billy
Thoughts on the called up Brandon Drury?

9:32
Paul Swydan: My main thought is that every time I see his name I think of Boston University Hobey Baker winning hockey player Chris Drury and then I get very confused. And then I say to myself, “Well, Chris Drury won the Little League World Series, so maybe he could play in the majors!”

9:33
Jeff Zimmerman: I am not a fan of his 2015 no power approach. His value seems very BABIP driven.

9:34
Paul Swydan: As for something actually pertaining to Brandon Drury, he is the kind of guy who needs to hit a lot of singles. As Jeff said, he needs the BABIP. At Triple-A, he was rocking a .375 BABIP. Not surprising since the PCL is terrible. If he keeps this up in the majors, sure, that’s great. I’m not holding my breath.

9:34
Paul Swydan: But he’s also just 22, plenty of time to work out a plan B.

9:34
Comment From Ryan
Yankees or Jays to win the AL East?

9:35
Paul Swydan: I’m going to say Blue Jays.

9:35
Jeff Zimmerman: Jays,

9:35
Comment From Billy
Chris Drury was my boy on the Sabres!

9:35
Paul Swydan: Yeah buddy! Drury4lyfe.

9:35
Comment From Tony
Can you remember the last Rays’ pitching prospect (think a top-100 guy) who would be called a bust? Jeff Niemann gave them 500+ IP and 6.5 WAR… McGee/Davis turned into elite relievers… Kazmir, Shields, Price, Garza (not really theirs), Archer, Cobb, Hellickson, Odorizzi, Moore – that’s just in past 10 years!

9:36
Paul Swydan: Colome?

9:36
Jeff Zimmerman: Matt Moore count?

9:37
Paul Swydan: I mean, I guess it depends on your threshold. Matt Moore was a #1 prospect who has been in the majors in parts of 5 seasons and provided 4.8 WAR – or less than 1 WAR per season. That’s not dreadful for a normal player, but for a #1 prospect? Meh.

9:37
Comment From Tony
Where would you guys peg Franklin Gutierrez’s true-talent (in triple-slash form)? Hard to take any projection systems seriously as they don’t have much healthy PT to go on… 250/300/450? Is that too much power for Safeco?

9:38
Jeff Zimmerman: Maybe closer to a 400 SLG. I just can’t get into his breakout.

9:38
Paul Swydan: To be honest, I don’t think his true talent is very relevant, because he can never seem to stay on the field. I think his true talent offense is more like .270/.315/.410.

9:39
Comment From Cage
How mad should Twins fans be that they are still in the hunt, but are letting Berrios waste his innings away in AAA

9:39
Paul Swydan: They should be furious. To be honest, I’m kind of furious about it and I don’t even like the Twins.

9:40
Jeff Zimmerman: Pretty mad, it is the playoffs we are talking about.

9:40
Paul Swydan: It’d be one thing if they truly felt he wasn’t ready, but to hide behind a vague innings cap is BS of the highest order.

9:40
Paul Swydan: They should ask the Nationals how well their vague innings cap worked with Strasburg.

9:41
Comment From Avery
What do you think about Justin Bour going into 2016?

9:42
Paul Swydan: Not much, honestly. He’s a 27-year-old who is hitting roughly league average, who thus far has negative fielding and baserunning value. In other words, a replacement player. If the Marlins stick with him, he might have some fantasy value if your league doesn’t count batting average?

9:42
Jeff Zimmerman: He is OK, I just can’t get into him for some reason. He’s boringly acceptable.

9:42
Comment From L. Scott
RE: Rays Pitcher – Andy Sonnanstine

9:43
Paul Swydan: Again though, it depends on your threshold. He was a 13th round draft pick who put up 4.4 WAR in the majors, and concentrated 3.6 of it into one season. That’s not bad.

9:43
Comment From Nick Frisbee
don’t you mean Bouringly acceptable

9:43
Jeff Zimmerman: Yes, it has been a long day.

9:43
Paul Swydan: Damn, Jeff, how did you miss that low-hanging fruit lik that!

9:44
Paul Swydan: like

9:44
Comment From Dillard
It’s time for the O’s to admit the window is closed and the future is not bright and seriously consider trading Machado to improve the future, no? They aren’t extending him at this point. Could they get a decent vet or two and a couple of quality prospect for him?

9:45
Paul Swydan: No, that would be ridiculous. Sorry. I also don’t see why they can’t extend him, unless he has specifically said he won’t sign an extension.

9:45
Paul Swydan: In fact, with all the money they have coming off the books, this winter is *the* winter to lock him down to said extension.

9:45
Jeff Zimmerman: I don’t think the O’s are done or close to it. I think they can be an above-500 talent team and with some luck make the playoffs.

9:46
Comment From Tony
Has something clicked for Nick Castellanos? 272/333/527 since July… Hard%, LD% are up, BB% is almost doubled, K% is down… some fluky HR/FB in there, but it looks like he’s realizing his potential.

9:46
Paul Swydan: I mean, maybe, but call me when he gets his WAR into the black.

9:47
Paul Swydan: Of the 40 qualified players under 25, he has the lowest BsR and it’s not that close:

http://www.fangraphs.com/le…

That’s just sad.

9:48
Paul Swydan: 23-year-olds shouldn’t be that much of a liability on the bases.

9:48
Jeff Zimmerman: I haven’t thought of him for a while. I went and looked and he is basically the same hitter. He may have changed his swing for more lift

9:48
Comment From Justins Boar
I Left My Wallet in Swydan’s Chat

9:48
Paul Swydan: Come on, let’s go.

9:49
Comment From Billy
Does AJ Pollock have a chance to win any award? Has just been sooooooo good

9:49
Jeff Zimmerman: Silver Slugger?

9:49
Paul Swydan: Probably not, and with Goldschmidt around, he probably won’t even get any down-ballot MVP votes either. That’ll be too bad, but yes, he has been marvelous.

9:50
Comment From Goldenschmidt Ticket
need to drop one, 8 hitting categories: Gardner, A Gordon, Taylor, Byrd, Bruce, Heyward – not likely to keep any

9:50
Jeff Zimmerman: Byrd, he is about a one category place

9:51
Paul Swydan: I would probably say Alex Gordon, just because the Royals don’t need to run him out there every day now that they have such a cushy cushion.

9:51
Comment From Billy
Any idea why Tulo may be struggling in Toronto?

9:51
Jeff Zimmerman: Baseball is hard

9:52
Paul Swydan: I mean, he’s hitting as well there as he was in Colorado – 105 wRC+ vs. 100. His walk rate is actually way up with Toronto. But in general, it takes guys a little while to adjust to playing out of altitude full-time when they leave the Rockies. Matt Holliday was dogmeat for half a season in Oakland, then went to St. Louis and went back to being Matt Holliday.

9:52
Comment From Billy
And on cue, base knock for Tulo

9:53
Comment From Rick Ross
Are the Blue Jays the BEASTS OF THE EAST?

9:54
Paul Swydan: For the record, I would never approve a Rick Ross question, because he’s a terrible rapper who got over stealing someone else’s identity. Jeff approved that question.

As for the Blue Jays – not really? Yankees are a series sweep away from taking the division.

9:55
Jeff Zimmerman: Who peed in your Wheaties tonight?

9:56
Paul Swydan: Haha, nobody, I just want to be clear with everyone!

9:56
Comment From Cheek
Where does Price end up next year?

9:56
Paul Swydan: I’ll say Toronto.

9:57
Jeff Zimmerman: I think the Yankees or Red Sox. I do get the feeling the Yankees ownership doesn’t care as much about winning as they previously did.

9:57
Comment From Tony
Setting aside any rooting interests, if you could make one trade, what would it be? Someone like Gallo or Stanton to Colorado? I’d like to see Wade Davis to Cleveland just to see if Mickey Callaway could work his magic and have Davis throwing 98 MPH for 7 innings.

9:58
Paul Swydan: I think Stanton to Colorado would be amazing, yes. Maybe getting Trout and Harper on the same team? Something like that?

9:59
Jeff Zimmerman: I think Stanton to Cincy or CWS would be great in those small parks. I would wanting to see Chapman go to the Royals or Yankees for a lights out bullpen

9:59
Comment From Billy
Outfield of Lorenzo Cain, Jason Heyward, Jackie Bradley?

9:59
Paul Swydan: That’d be pretty sweet.

9:59
Comment From Cheek
Mets rotation vs Cards rotation in 5 game series, who’s your pick7

10:00
Jeff Zimmerman: Just the rotations, the Mets.

10:01
Paul Swydan: If it’s that specific matchup, I think it ends up tilting toward the Cardinals, because they get to face the Mets hitters and the Mets pitchers have to face the Cardinals hitters, who are much better.

But just the rotations? Probably the Mets, even though I really like Lance Lynn.

10:02
Paul Swydan: And I also really like all of you, but unfortunately, we’re going to have to end here, as I have a lot of THT posts to edit, and Jeff has to go cry about Johnny Cueto. Until next week!

10:02
Jeff Zimmerman: Bye everyone





Paul Swydan used to be the managing editor of The Hardball Times, a writer and editor for FanGraphs and a writer for Boston.com and The Boston Globe. Now, he owns The Silver Unicorn Bookstore, an independent bookstore in Acton, Mass. Follow him on Twitter @Swydan. Follow the store @SilUnicornActon.

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Bruno
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Bruno

The Twins back in the widlcard hunt is Oswaldo Arcia in their plans? He got great power is he still hurt or the Twins just dont like him no more??