FanGraphs After Dark Chat – 4/26/16

9:00
Paul Swydan: Hi everybody!

9:01
Paul Swydan: Couple warnings for tonight’s chat. 1) Jeff is in the middle of a lightning/hail storm that is causing him to lose intermittently lose power, so he may be in and out. 2) I’m watching the Celtics game because a) it’s the playoffs and b) last night’s Sox-Braves game was super boring. Sue me.

9:02
William Wallace : Berrios hot takes

9:02
Paul Swydan: You’re talking to a guy who went to $11 on him in Ottoneu. Yes that was partly because I had accidentally left a lot of money on the table, but still. I’m excited. Be excited!

9:02
Paul Swydan: The rookies are coming.

9:03
Paul Swydan: Jeff lost power FYI.

9:03
Dweeb: Why is baseball so fluky?

9:03
Paul Swydan: You say fluky, I say random. Kind of like life.

9:03
Jeff Zimmerman: I am around for a while. I am only under a Tornado Watch, Thunderstorm warning and flood warning

9:04
Jeff Zimmerman: The randomness works

9:04
Paul Swydan: And he’s still here. THAT’S dedication.

9:04
Big Joe Monferrant: If you had to put a bet on the table of who hits more HRs by the AS break, the Braves or Bryce Harper.. Who you got?

9:04
Paul Swydan: Probably the Braves.

9:04
Jeff Zimmerman: Braves, but it is going to be closer than it should be

9:04
Yusuf: Do you think Mets are better off with Plawecki as the primary catcher?

9:05
Paul Swydan: No, it’s just sad how fragile d’Arnaud is.

9:05
Jeff Zimmerman: No, Travis is just off to a slow start

9:05
Paul Swydan: Well also he’s hurt now.

9:06
Jeff Zimmerman: Great, I have too many shares of him.

9:06
Jeff Zimmerman: At least I don’t have him in Tout Wars

9:06
Future Hendrix: Chances Machado wins MVP this year? Or ever in career?

9:07
Paul Swydan: I think he’s got pretty good odds. Trout is going to have an uphill battle because the Angels are not good. If the O’s end up being good, Machado will feature prominently in the discussion.

9:07
Jeff Zimmerman: I would put his chance at 10%

9:08
Jeff Zimmerman: Hey, the thunderstorm warning passed, now only two warnings … and the lights flashed

9:09
Paul Swydan: Wow, San Diego only hit 21 homers in the first half in 1981.

9:09
Paul Swydan: Oh but that was the weird strike year. Here let’s try again:

9:10
Paul Swydan: STL in 86. They look like the outlier there.

9:10
Paul Swydan: And STL in 91.

9:10
Paul Swydan: ok i’m done

9:10
Matt : 12-team H2H cats league. Thinking of shopping Braun’s hot start for a hitter upgrade. I love the guy, but the back/thumb issues unfortunately seem to be chronic issues now. I’m strong-ish at 1B/CI/OF (5) (Goldy/Abreu/JDM/Cargo/Adam Jones/Granderson/Reddick) but much weaker at 2B/SS/MI/3B (Rendon/Suarez/K.Wong/Longoria). I’d love to package Braun + Longoria for one of the big 3B (Nolan, Manny) but I doubt that happens. Question is – Would you hold or sell Braun? And if you think sell, who is a reasonable target? Miggy? Todd Frazier? Nelly Cruz?

9:10
Paul Swydan: I initially read this as a fantasy league for cats.

9:11
Paul Swydan: Jeff can speak to Braun’s health better than I can, but I would have no problem at all selling high on Braun.

9:12
Jeff Zimmerman: Teams aren’t going to give a ton. I may look for someone just a bit younger like Marte … maybe Dickerson.

9:12
Tom: Rich Hill is pitching tonight. He is my favorite pitcher to watch right now in the big leagues. I just want him to go 7 and strike out 10 every start.

9:12
Paul Swydan: You mean you like Rich Hill better than Joe Kelly? Pft.

9:12
Paul Swydan: Joe Kelly is great though!

9:12
Jeff Zimmerman: It all depends if he has his curve going

9:13
Jung Ho Kodos: Over the course of 4 trades, I turned Chris Davis, Samardzija, Rendon, and Freeman into Kemp, Ian Desmond, Kershaw, and Votto. Kemp and Desmond are the types of players I usually avoid so I am shopping them but just wanted to see if I got enough value over the course of those trades or if I wasted my last two weeks on this.

9:14
Paul Swydan: Uh, no, I think it was time…well, I don’t want to say time well spent, but definitely not time wasted. Of the 8 players, the best is Kershaw, and the 2nd best may very well be Votto.

9:15
Jeff Zimmerman: Yea, I see it as Rendon and Freeman for Kershaw

9:15
Paul Swydan: Which anyone would do any day of the week.

9:15
Paul Swydan: Unless you really believe in Rendon’s health, I guess.

9:15
Paul Swydan: (I don’t)

9:15
Ben: I think the Astros are over-projected. In 2015 they had at hot 18-7 April, and then went .500 despite a breakout Cy Young performance from Keuchel. I doubt they get a Cy Young performance this year, and they’ve started out super cold, 6-14. Am I missing something? Where are these wins that makeup their projected .533 RoS win percentage supposed to come from?

9:16
Jeff Zimmerman: For those asking, here is the link to the weather I am dealing with: http://radar.weather.gov/radar.php?rid=ict&product=N0R&loop=yes

9:16
Jeff Zimmerman: A.J. Reed. He is that good.

9:17
Paul Swydan: Yeah, I mean this is going to become a popular argument if they continue to struggle, but I don’t think their pitching is this bad.

9:17
Paul Swydan: They’ve made some trades that could wind up being regrettable though. Gomez and Giles, specifically.

9:17
Jeff Zimmerman: ROS, I could see them being almost a .500 team.

9:17
StroShow: Time to bail on Buchholz in a 15-team mixed league? Could replace him with Tillman, Greene, Nicasio or Stripling.

9:18
Paul Swydan: Yeah no worries with bailing on Buchholz. I would probably say Tillman is your safest replacement.

9:18
Jeff Zimmerman: I am not sold on one of the pitchers being better than the rest. I may mix and match until one pulls ahead

9:19
old tex: Yo, would you trade m franco for madbum?

9:19
Paul Swydan: I would in a redraft league. Not in a keeper league.

9:20
Jeff Zimmerman: Yes, for the Madbum side. And I would in keeper

9:20
Dug: AHHHH LONGG LINKS!@!@ !$?!

9:20
Paul Swydan: Sorry, I was too lazy to shorten them.

9:20
Dug: Who on the Braves make the All star game? They suck.

9:21
Jeff Zimmerman: Vizicano probably.

9:21
Paul Swydan: Freddie Freeman coming out of the gate slowly really is making this a tough one. But, someone will emerge. Could end up being a reliever.

9:21
Jeff Zimmerman ran over my cat: Verlander buy or sell?

9:21
Paul Swydan: Jeff is always running over cats.

9:22
Jeff Zimmerman: Buy and I only run over armadillos it seems.

9:22
Paul Swydan: If I have Verlander, I’m holding. The K% is up. The HR/FB% won’t last.

9:22
Pete: Safe to bail on Tyler White and/or B-H Park in a 12 team 5×5 roto?

9:22
Paul Swydan: I would say no to both.

9:23
Jeff Zimmerman: No, tough to really see any improvements

9:23
jjeziora: Just wondering if there is any merit to looking at potential sleepers or busts pre-season by looking at the ERA of opposing pitchers faced over a season. Is there a chance that certain batters have possibly seen a significant number of good pitchers vs other batters?

9:23
Paul Swydan: There may be some extreme examples of this, but I wouldn’t expect you to find a lot of sleepers systematically. I think you’d be better off using your time for something else.

9:24
Jeff Zimmerman: I think there can be some merit to this with more starts from aces, but I would look at other factors.

9:25
Big Joe Monferrant: If Mariano Rivera had stayed a SP and developped his cutter and command, do you think he would have won a Cy Young?

9:25
Paul Swydan: Nope. I think things worked out pretty well for him they way they did. He could have been an average starter, but I doubt a Cy Young winner.

9:25
Jeff Zimmerman: No, not even close to one

9:26
Hubert: Scherzer v. VV: The best matchup of the evening is also the MLB.TV free game of the day! Hurrah!

9:26
Paul Swydan: I love it when a plan comes together.

9:26
Jeff Zimmerman: Thanks Hanibal.

9:27
N.W. enO.: Do you think an offense can win a fantasy league with a base of Trout, Correa and Donaldson with a bunch of average pieces around it. Same for a pitching staff with Kershaw and Archer as the anchor.

9:27
Paul Swydan: Does Eno know about this username? This is a fantastic username. Definitely yes for the offense. Kershaw and Archer…I’d need more than just those two. Pitchers are too volatile.

9:28
Jeff Zimmerman: Depends on team depth. In shallow leagues, players can be found. I think you need more than Archer and scrubs.

9:28
CE-T: Will Tulo have a WRC of over 100 again in his career ?

9:28
Jeff Zimmerman: Yes, but he is looking rough this year.

9:29
Paul Swydan: Jeez, tough crowd. He’s at 94 right now. It’ll take a couple of doubles to get him back over 100.

9:29
Zack: Is Hazelbaker for real?

9:29
Paul Swydan: He’s for real your new favorite player if you like marijuana puns.

9:29
Jeff Zimmerman: No, but he gets my vote for such a great name

9:30
Paul Swydan: I would say no, but he is probably now good enough to hang around in a utility role like Tommy Pham.

9:30
mike d: Imagine a universe where Dexter Fowler gets suspended for the rest of the season but after the season, MLB reinstates him and says he didn’t do anything wrong, effectively locking him in at 2 wins in a short stretch but not allowing him to prove it over a full season. Does that Dexter Fowler get more than a Dexter Fowler who has a strong 3-4 win season over a whole year?

9:30
Jeff Zimmerman: Looking at Tulo, his decline seems to only be BABIP driven

9:30
Paul Swydan: This is one of the strangest questions we’ve ever gotten. I want to say no, a 3-4 WAR Fowler probably gets more.

9:31
Jeff Zimmerman: No, not really. I think teams have an idea of who Fowler is right now.

9:31
mike d: How excited are you for Views from the 6

9:31
Jeff Zimmerman: ??? Must be a music question for Paul

9:31
Paul Swydan: I dunno. I’m at meh levels. I didn’t care for his last solo album, nor the combo album with Future. And Views from the 6 has been coming for so long that it’s got a lot of hype to live up to.

9:32
Paul Swydan: Plus, I need more time with Lemonade.

9:32
Paul Swydan: (Yes, Jeff, it was a music question about this little known artist named Drake.)

9:32
BritishCub: Hey there i’m quite new to the baseball database/research seen, is there anywhere i can search for seasons that meet certain statistical benchmarks e.g.all season with a babip below .200 and wrc+110. Just curious about something and not sure where to look

9:33
Paul Swydan: So, first, you can download all of our leaderboards with the “export data” function. You can also filter the data in several ways by clicking on “Show Filters” on the leaderboards.

9:34
Jeff Zimmerman: There is a show filters option hidden in the upper left of our leaderboards which can set the criteria

9:35
Discuss: Does Berrios have a meaningful impact on the Twins chances of righting the ship? Clearly this team has holes.

9:35
Paul Swydan: We’ll see. They sent Buxton back too. let’s see how these all shake out. The season is still young.

9:35
Jeff Zimmerman: He can do it all. They need so many people to turn the corner and two those pieces just got sent to the minors

9:36
Joe: Time to worry about Price?

9:36
Paul Swydan: Nope.

9:37
Jeff Zimmerman: No

9:37
Dug: What the heck is up with Odubel Herrera and walking. Already has 19 with two of them today against Scherzer in his first two at bats!

9:37
Paul Swydan: He’s learning. It’s a beautiful thing.

9:39
Paul Swydan: Frickin Kent Bazemore.

9:40
Billy Sims the real #20: Are Cutch’s slow starts getting worse?

9:40
Paul Swydan: Easy killer. It’s Cutch. He’ll be fine.

9:40
Ed in Iowa: I’m not particularly a fan of Albert Pujols, but I was thinking that it’s sad that an all-time great is now being thought of as this huge albatross for his team. Then I looked in to it a bit: he has produced 13.3 WAR in his four years with Anaheim. If we assume $7.5M per WAR (on average for those years) then he has produced $101M in value and been paid $75M. He is still owed $165M over the next six years. If we assume $8.5M per WAR over those 6 years (which is almost certainly an underestimate) then he needs to produce an average of 2.7 WAR per year for the contract to come out even. Now he may not do that; maybe we should say he probably won’t do that. But it isn’t out of the question and it seems reasonable to think that he might at least get close; so this hardly seems like a Ryan Howard-like disaster. Am I missing something?

9:42
Paul Swydan: No, you’re not. But we didn’t think this decline would happen so quickly. And it’s especially weird that his walk rate has dropped so much. He’s making tradeoffs for his game to keep his power, which again seems weird.

9:42
Jeff Zimmerman: It is a pretty bad contract, but the Angels wanted him

9:42
Jeff Zimmerman: A ton of his walk rate was tied to IBB

9:42
Stevo: It’s frustrating when you’ve matured and become patient with your players to let things play out for the first couple of weeks before making adjustments, but your league mates are making moves left and right. Or, this just means I draft well?

9:43
Paul Swydan: Let’s go with the latter.

9:43
Jeff Zimmerman: I find it a great time to pounce on players they shouldn’t drop, but do because of slow starts

9:43
tz: Fun Factoid of the Day:

Jon Niese has had a higher BB% as a hitter than he has allowed as a pitcher every season this decade.

9:44
Paul Swydan: I enjoyed this stat.

9:44
Jeff Zimmerman: That is a good one

9:44
Jeff Zimmerman: BRB, I may be getting hail and want to see it.

9:44
Paul Swydan: tz is one of my favorite FanGraphs/THT users btw. You should all be like tz.

9:45
Yep: Glasnow today, 6IP 2H 0R 1BB 11K 3GO-1FO, apparently threw his changeup ~15 times and got the 3 GO that way. How much longer will they let him marinate? Obviously they want him to continue to work on his change because his other two pitches are already + or ++, but how many starts does that typically take?

9:46
Paul Swydan: This was his 12th Triple-A start. It’d be hard to say he needs much more than that. I think it may happen at the next injury, but the Pirates might hold him down through the Super 2 deadline because they’re cheap. We’ll see.

9:46
Brian: Do we stash Urias for the season? Is he a long term stud?

9:47
Paul Swydan: Yes he is. Whether your stash him depends on your league rules and roster situation, but if you can, then do it.

9:47
Jeff Zimmerman: Yes and yes. I kind of need him to play some in Tout Wars

9:48
F. Underwood: Should I finish this pint of Haagen-Dazs (java chip)? Side note: Haagen-Dazs is a made up German sounding name.

9:48
Paul Swydan: Yes, yes you should. Good to know on the name. They picked a good made up name for sure.

9:48
Jeff Zimmerman: Depends if you can get to the store for more tomorrow

9:48
Paul Swydan: How does Nick Markakis have a job? Goodness, he is terrible at defense.

9:49
F. Underwood: What’s a good nonfiction baseball book to jump into?

9:50
Paul Swydan: Depends on your tastes. If you want something narrative, go with something like “The Teammates” or the new Miller/Lindbergh book that drops next week. If you want something informational, Jeff Passan’s new book is good. If you want something technical, then something like “The Book.”

9:50
Jeff Zimmerman: I have liked The Arm, but little technical

9:50
sean: Is there anything more annoying than announcers going nuts for a “great catch” when it was really just a bad read? (relatively speaking)

9:50
Paul Swydan: There are definitely lots of things more annoying than this, but I feel your pain nonetheless.

9:51
Jeff Zimmerman: Agree

9:52
Horn Please ThankYou: Have we reached a point where rushing Cubab players to the majors is going to be stopped? Sure , Abreu has been great, but Puig has underachieved (relative to expectations) and Castillo, Alexi Ramirez, Soler, Tomas have all had a really rough go of it. I have to say I am approving of the slow play on Moncada.

9:52
Paul Swydan: Well but these are not apples to apples comparisons. Moncada is young. Those other guys weren’t of the age when you would expect them to log minor league time.

9:53
Jeff Zimmerman: I think they will start getting more and more minor league time.

9:53
Paul Swydan: Also, Puig spent time in the minors, and has already been worth 11.7 WAR on a $42 million contract. If he never plays again, the Dodgers most certainly got their money’s worth.

9:54
Existential Fan: Soler seems to be making adjustments, at least slightly. Holding out hope that he gets it together?

9:54
Paul Swydan: Holding out plenty of hope, yes.

9:54
Jeff Zimmerman: There is an article for you Paul, are Cuban players worth it.

9:55
Jeff Zimmerman: Yep, holding out

9:55
Paul Swydan: I feel like that’s tough to discern though. Given what these guys have gone through just to make it to the States, I’m not comfortable sitting in judgment of any of their baseball skills.

9:56
Paul Swydan: I also think we’re painting with too broad a brush there. Abreu has been good. And Alexei Ramirez has been worth 19 WAR.

9:56
Dizzy Trout!: Drink some espresso! I just had some and your sunday driver chat pace is driving me LOCO!!!! ARRIBA!!! RAPIDOO!!!! Ok maybe I need less espresso

9:57
Paul Swydan: Sorry dude, distracted by the C’s tonight. Oh, and the TORNADO near Jeff’s house. Gheesh.

9:57
sean: Carlos Gomez worth keeping? I mean it’s early but woof

9:57
Jeff Zimmerman: We only have hail and flooding now

9:57
Paul Swydan: My bad, just hail and flooding, no biggie!

9:57
Paul Swydan: I could see selling on Gomez.

9:58
Paul Swydan: Though you won’t get much for him.

9:58
Jeff Zimmerman: It’s early and what are the replacements

9:58
Henry Blinkler: We’ve only got one N/A slot on our roster, so only room to stash one prospect. Giolito, Glasnow, or Urias?

9:58
Paul Swydan: If you’re trying to win this year, not Urias. If you’re *not* trying to win this year, Urias.

9:59
Jeff Zimmerman: Glasnow for redraft, Urias for keeper

9:59
Yep: Any chance Rosenthal moves to the rotation in the near future? He has the pitches to make it happen. Velocity would obviously take a hit, but it’s easy to imagine him throwing for a mid to low 3 ERA with K’s and a not-so dominate WHIP. He would hold more value to the Cards, and it’s not like they don’t have arms to replace Trevor in the closer role.

9:59
Paul Swydan: No, that ship sailed awhile back. I think the Cardinals did him an extreme disservice by pigeonholing him in the closer’s role – I think I’ve actually written about this before – but at this point, he’s the closer.

10:00
Jeff Zimmerman: I think he will be a relief pitcher for life.

10:00
dc: Justin Upton looks terrible…lowest Z-Contact% of career, 40% K rate, 4% BB rate. Sell while we still can?

10:00
Paul Swydan: No, I think give him some more time.

10:01
Jeff Zimmerman: Wait on him …. and Alex Gordon made a great catch taking a double from him the other day.

10:01
Paul Swydan: However, we don’t have any more time tonight. Thanks as always for hanging out. I’m blown away by how many questions we get these days. See you next week!

10:01
Jeff Zimmerman: Bye

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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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tz
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Fun Factoid of the Day:

Jon Niese has had a higher BB% as a hitter than he has allowed as a pitcher every season this decade.