FanGraphs After Dark Chat – 7/25/17 by Paul Swydan July 25, 2017 3:09 Paul Swydan: What is tonight’s best matchup? MIL (Davies) vs. WAS (Jackson) (3.3% | 6 votes) BAL (Miley) vs. TB (Faria) (1.1% | 2 votes) KC (Duffy) vs. DET (Fulmer) (26.4% | 47 votes) LAA (Chavez) vs. CLE (Clevinger) (1.6% | 3 votes) COL (Gray) vs. STL (Lynn) (15.7% | 28 votes) ATL (Foltynewicz) vs. ARI (Walker) (5.6% | 10 votes) BOS (Pomeranz) vs. SEA (Hernandez) (15.7% | 28 votes) MIN (Berrios) vs. LAD (Maeda) (26.9% | 48 votes) Other (3.3% | 6 votes) Total Votes: 178 3:18 Paul Swydan: What interests you more at this time of year? The decisions by teams to buy/hold/sell (14.0% | 24 votes) The specific players those teams trade/acquire following those decisions (78.3% | 134 votes) Pass! This question is too philosophical for me (5.8% | 10 votes) I can’t decide! (1.7% | 3 votes) Total Votes: 171 3:25 Paul Swydan: What Comic-Con trailer has you most excited? Thor: Ragnarok (28.0% | 37 votes) Stranger Things Season 2 (21.2% | 28 votes) Justice League (4.5% | 6 votes) Ready Player One (6.0% | 8 votes) Kingsman: The Golden Circle (6.0% | 8 votes) Marvel’s The Defenders (5.3% | 7 votes) Westworld Season 2 (14.3% | 19 votes) Star Trek: Discovery (7.5% | 10 votes) Bright (0.7% | 1 vote) Other (say in comments) (6.0% | 8 votes) Total Votes: 132 9:00 Paul Swydan: Hi everybody! 9:00 Paul Swydan: Jeff may be here but he is also at a ballpark, so maybe not. 9:00 Attila the Hunplugged: Is David Dahl an MLB regular by 8/15? 9:02 Paul Swydan: I’m reluctant to say yes. He might be back in the majors by that point, but I think he’ll need some time to supplant CarGo or whomever as a regular in the outfield. 9:02 mike sixel: See, I read Mil (Davies) as Miles Davis, and was wondering what the poll was about….. 9:02 Paul Swydan: That’s too funny. 9:02 Stan Kasten: What do you think about Dodgers trying to replicate the Wood deadline deal by seeking out an underperforming young starter…making a play for Gausman and a middle relief arm from Orioles for prospects? 9:03 Paul Swydan: I think the Dodgers probably shouldn’t screw around, lest they further tempt the fate of the baseball gods and goddesses. 9:03 dsc: Schoop/Rodon/Salazar for Knebel/Cosart/Alonso? 9:04 Paul Swydan: Well I suppose that depends on whether you mean Jarred Cosart or Zack Cozart. Spelling the names correctly always helps. 9:04 Paul Swydan: Slight lean to the Knebel side if you mean Zack Cozart, only because it’d be the side with two position players. 9:05 Jaspe: Would the Dodgers trade Grandal before he is a free agent and just start Barnes? Barnes is an excellent framer and has a 1.5 WAR and they could trade a top C in Grandal for some prospects. 9:05 Paul Swydan: See again, why are we dealing Grandal, one of the best catchers in baseball? Dodgers fans must be pretty bored. 9:05 Hannah Hochevar: Haven’t seen these trailers, but was impressed by the latest Spiderman movie. Better writing than usual. 9:05 Paul Swydan: I agree, I loved the new Spider-Man movie! 9:06 Paul Swydan: Although I have seen many of those trailers… 9:06 UndefeatedSeason: 10 team, 8 yr keeper league (keep 6).Keeping Trout, Altuve, Correa, Murphy, DeGrom and Conforto, Gary Sanchez or Grienke. In first place, undefeated season.Been punting saves all year but picked up Dolittle recently. 1) Assuming I can get Holland Kimbrel or Jansen would you recommend rolling with just two elite RPs on winning teams OR just continue to punt saves? Any perspective on the punting strategy ?2) Who would you keep next year Conforto (future star), Sanchez (position scarcity) or Grienke (provides some balance with 2 SP keepers).Thanks for your answer. Enjoy the games tonight. 9:07 Paul Swydan: 1 – I wouldn’t force a trade if you’ve been winning all year while punting. 2 – I’d say Conforto if he didn’t play for the Mets, but he does, so they’ll ruin him somehow. I’d keep Sanchez. 9:07 Hannah Hochevar: If Darvish gets dealt, does that mean the Rangers flood the market with their old man veterans like Napoli and Choo? 9:08 Paul Swydan: I guess I just don’t see them trading him, but in that event, yes, I would think so. Choo would figure to be an August trade, assuming he clears waivers. 9:08 Curious George: I have always wondered if there is any quantifiable method we can use to measure the impact that a catcher or manager has on a pitchers numbers and/or performance based on pitch calling. Is the effect negligible? Or is that effect getting lost in the crowd. 9:09 Paul Swydan: I think either/or. Either the effect is negligible because a catcher/manager just won’t click with a pitcher or be able to do anything to help him, or the effect is muted enough or the same across each team as to not make a big difference in the grand scheme of things. 9:09 Super Benintendo Chalmers: i’ve been keeping myself from rooting for the royals this year expecting a firesale. now that there won’t be one, is it ok to let myself believe? 9:09 Paul Swydan: Absolutely. This is the last ride for this particular core, and you should celebrate it, win or lose. 9:10 Sean: I am the only vote for items on the first and third polls. I like Folty’s fastball and don’t really care about comiccon. 9:10 Paul Swydan: Noted. Thanks Sean! 9:10 Badger: MadBum v. Taillon 9:11 Paul Swydan: Yeah, that’s nice, but at this point in the year I’m most interested in games where both teams have a stake in the playoff hunt, even if nominally. The Giants don’t. 9:11 Todd Helton: What do the Rockies do before the deadline? Could they be in on Darvish with that deep farm system? 9:11 Paul Swydan: I wouldn’t pay the freight for a Darvish trade unless I was confident he would re-sign and I was willing to re-sign him. I’m guessing the Rockies are not both of those things. 9:12 Jart: It seems like plenty of folks think the Dodgers are fine without Darvish, BUT I don’t really trust Hill or Wood to be healthy and effective in two months… Do you think they can get him with Willie Calhoun and 1 or 2 of the many 45 FV guys they have? What about some of the useful MLB players they have on the bench? Kike Hernandez, Austin Barnes, etc… 9:13 Paul Swydan: Barnes might move the needle, but the Dodgers have no reason to part with him. Teams need two catchers, and right now the Dodgers’ 2 catchers are a pretty great tandem. 9:13 Flash: How do you feel about flash’s suit? I really, really hate it and it’ll just distract from my enjoyment of the movie. Not that I have high hopes for Justice League. 9:13 Paul Swydan: Agreed. Also, after that kid’s role in “Trainwreck,” I’m gonna have a real hard time taking him seriously in “Justice League,” and that’s before we have to deal with the suit. 9:14 Nick: I know this is not exactly seasonal right now, but does JD Martinez end up in the AL again next year? 9:14 Paul Swydan: My crystal ball isn’t that crystal clear, sorry. 9:14 Paul Swydan: My guess is the Dbacks have a good shot at retaining him, but it’ll really come down to how much they want to spend, and given that they’re busy whining about their ballpark, their payroll flexibility is not an easy thing to pin down. 9:15 Hand Fan: Do the Padres eventually lower their price on Brad Hand or hold him and try to trade this off season? Is he “hands down” favorite to close if they keep him? 9:15 Paul Swydan: I don’t think they’ll lower their price because they’ll get their price now at the trade deadline. 9:16 Paul Swydan: Relievers aren’t the kind of commodity you want to hold onto for the offseason. Look at David Robertson. Everyone assumed the White Sox would trade him last winter, but the market wasn’t there, and so they dealt him this July. 9:16 Rainier: How do you balance the stats with the more subjective aspect of analysis? Fulmer has quite the ERA-SIERA gap again but Eno mentions he has three pitches (maybe four if you split the fastball into 4seam and 2 seam). Is he a 4 ERA pitcher, 3, in between? 9:16 Paul Swydan: Well, I certainly don’t weight the number of pitches in a pitcher’s arsenal as heavily as Eno does, I know that much. Having said that, I don’t think I have one way of balancing that stuff, it’s a case-by-case basis. 9:17 Grayson: Devers or Acuna for 2018 and beyond? 9:17 Paul Swydan: Well, Devers is up now and Acuna isn’t, so I’ll say Devers for the time being. 9:17 Noel: Who’s more valuable? Betts for $50, Devers for $3, or Pollock for $40 ($260 budget, 12 teams OBP) 9:17 Paul Swydan: Betts 9:17 Derek: Anywhere I can find minor league split stats? 9:18 Paul Swydan: You can get some at MiLB.com, I believe. 9:18 weezy: Would you trade for Kershaw? Thinking about buying for the playoffs (I have a solid, albeit not insurmountable, lead) 9:18 Paul Swydan: If it’s just for the playoffs this year, then no, that’s not enough time to justify it. If it’s for more than this year, then yes, absolutely. 9:19 Jacob h cornhole: I love seeing your first poll have significantly more votes than your subsequent polls before these chats start. Like did people lose interest as they scrolled down the chat? Are they too busy to answer more than 1 poll 2 hours before a late night baseball chat? I’ve gotta know. 9:19 Paul Swydan: I think it’s a combination of 1) people losing interest and 2) people knowing that the matchup poll will ALWAYS be there, so there is familiarity with it. 9:19 Scott: What are your thoughts on the idea that the Astros need a frontline SP? I am more inclined to think they should try to add a LH reliever instead. 9:21 Paul Swydan: I think that we’re picking nits either way. Between Keuchel and McCullers, they have a duo who can match up evenly or better in the majority of games in a 7-game series, and that Fiers/Musgrove/McHugh/Morton/etc are all good enough to be good in 1-2 playoff games. 9:21 Paul Swydan: Apply the same logic to the bullpen and Giles/Devenski/Gregerson/etc. They are in a much better position heading into the trade deadline than just about every other team. 9:22 Paul Swydan: If they can get a starter or Loogy without overpaying, by all means. But they don’t *have* to get either one. 9:22 Paul Swydan: one sec 9:23 Oddball Herrera: What is the trickle down effect when teams like the Sox acquire eleventy billion minor leaguers at the trade deadline? Are there guys in AA/AAA being given their walking papers for every player acquired? Is AA/AAA really filled with that much chaff? 9:24 Paul Swydan: Triple-A is, certainly. And Double-A has plenty of it too. I think we found in our piece last week on Francisco Mejia that 6 of the 9 starters on Mejia’s team in the Double-A All-Star Game were 25 or older. 9:24 Seff Jullivan: Thanks for not giving us a choice to say *I don’t care* in the Comic-Con question Paul! 9:25 Paul Swydan: Too many good choices, I didn’t even have room for Supergirl! Abstaining was how you show you don’t care on that one. 9:25 Andrew Triggskaidekaphobia: Where will Jose Ramirez be drafted in 2018? Is he a 2/3 round guy? 9:26 Paul Swydan: Yeah, he might be. He is quite good, and in a lot of leagues/almost all leagues, he’ll have 2B *and* 3B eligibility, which is huge. 9:26 Troutmaggedon: Is Austin Barnes worth a stash in deep keeper leagues given how thin catcher is these days? 9:27 Paul Swydan: Depends on how many keeper slots you have and who your other keepers are. I’m leaning no. I may keep him in Ottoneu, but only because we can keep all 40 players if we want to. 9:27 Joe: how can someone have a positive WAR # but a negative Wrc+? may be elementary but trying to figure that out. 9:27 Paul Swydan: Be really good at defense and baserunning? 9:28 Joe: When do you think fangraphs will add catchers framing to the war calculations? Obviously a lot of teams already do this, but would love to see fangraphs lead the way. Thoughts? 9:28 Paul Swydan: I believe it’s on the docket, but the docket is usually chock full of projects, so I can’t promise anything. 9:28 Yoyoma: Your thoughts on the Eck & Price issue? 9:29 Paul Swydan: I think it’s a good reminder that baseball players are overgrown children and that 99% of them are people you should only respect professionally, and who you wouldn’t really want to spend any time with. 9:29 Paul Swydan: It’s hard to single out Price for his childish, schoolyard bully act when the other players are cheering him on. 9:30 James: Will we ever get a writeup on Whit Merrifield? Dude is raking 9:30 Paul Swydan: Never say never. 9:30 Hunter: What happened to Well Beered Englishman? 9:30 Paul Swydan: http://www.hardballtimes.com/author/well-beered-englishman/ 9:31 Paul Swydan: Since Brian writes for us at THT sometimes, when he comments on FG, his comments now appear as his given name, Brian Reinhart. 9:31 Paul Swydan: He’s a good follow on Twitter though, especially if you like the observations of a food critic in the Dallas area! 9:32 Trey: Is Fangraphs planning on adding transaction history to the player pages? That is more or less the one piece of info I routinely use a site other than Fangraphs to find. 9:32 Paul Swydan: I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m not sure it’s a priority at this time. But keep bugging us, and perhaps someday it will be! 9:32 Tor: How valuable is the exclusive negotiating period a team gets with its pending FAs? Does it actually help them retain anyone? 9:33 Paul Swydan: Generally, no. It can be useful with older free agents who aren’t really looking to change teams, but for premiere free agents, all it does is let their home team be the first one to pitch them. And you don’t always want to be the first team to pitch, you want to be the *last* team to pitch. 9:34 Kevin: did anyone else think that the Flash question was referencing The Freeze and think “what’s this guy got against The Freeze”? 9:34 Paul Swydan: I actually don’t really like The Freeze promotion. The guy who runs as The Freeze seems like a real sweetheart, but I don’t like the promotion itself. 9:34 AA: How long will the Jays continue to fill the stands? 9:35 Paul Swydan: Side note: Jon Gray just struck out the side, after his defense was of no help with the inning’s first two hitters. 9:36 Paul Swydan: As for the Jays, they’ve got about a month and a half to turn it around. September is always a hard month to sell tickets when you’re not winning because kids are back in school. 9:37 Yosemite Sam: Thanks for the chat. 8×8 rotoworld dynasty keep 20. I just lost Kershaw and correa but I’m still in first. Was offered Bum, David peralta and Michael givens for springer, Kyle tucker and neris. Holds and saves are counted separately. Which side you on? 9:37 Paul Swydan: Springer to Peralta is quite the downgrade, but if you think you can float that and Bumgarner looks good tonight, I don’t think I’d kill you for that one. 9:38 Paul Swydan: Def wait and see how Bumgarner looks tonight first though. 9:38 Kevin: People have referenced Judge being the biggest position player of all time, which I can see people saying in a hyperbolic tone in certain contexts, but isn’t this ridiculous given that Adam Dunn was just playing in MLB? The difference in their sizes is arbitrarily small. It just seems stupid given how recent Dunn played. 9:38 Paul Swydan: Are you trying to say that people have such short attention spans that they can’t remember people who played 2-3 years ago? Nooooooooooooooo, couldn’t be! 9:38 Matt: It’s not even dark yet. And what happened to Lucroy? 9:38 Paul Swydan: IT’S DARK AT MY HOUSE DAMNIT! 9:40 Paul Swydan: Lucroy seems to be prioritizing contact over power, and too much of said contact has been of the ground ball variety. He basically is the anti-Statcast hitter, which hasn’t worked out very well for him. 9:40 Carter: You must be the high man on McCullers then. He has been pretty bad for a month or two. Maybe they stack up well because of their offense, but I just do not see why you think he is so great. 9:41 Paul Swydan: Well, Cameron said he was going to win the Cy Young this year, so I’m most definitely not the high man on him. 9:42 Paul Swydan: Also, he has a 3.73 FIP for July and a 4.00 FIP in the second half. If that’s your definition of “pretty bad,” that’s because you’ve been spoiled by a very good team. McCullers is good, everyone has a few bad starts. 9:42 Paul Swydan: He also had a 1.21 FIP in June, so no, he hasn’t been bad for 2 months. 9:42 Jakub: How did the scouts miss on Byron? 9:43 Paul Swydan: Buxton? Because much of scouting is scouting tools, and projecting whether those players have the tools necessary to develop into a MLB player. Buxton has phenomenal tools, so he was a tantalizing player – still is! I don’t think scouts missed on him, I think his development has simply stalled. It’s not too late for him to figure it out/develop further as a hitter. 9:44 Carter: McCullers has raised his era over 1.00 last 3x out without making it out of the 5th inning + not striking anyone out. 9:45 Paul Swydan: Yeah, but that’s MOSTLY because he was rocking a 2.69 ERA before that. If you’re really going to judge pitchers by their three worst starts, literally every pitcher in major league history is going to suck in your eyes. 9:45 Kevin: Have you read the new Ty Cobb biography? If so, any thoughts? 9:46 Paul Swydan: I hate biographies, so no. 9:46 Yosemite Sam: Side note, I also own domingo santana so peralta would be insurance/bench bat. Thanks for the answer. 9:46 Paul Swydan: Love me some Sunday Santana. 9:46 Tony: Do you play Scoresheet? I have a logjam at 3B (Beltre/Ramirez/Donaldson) and need pitching/OF… considering Donaldson + Kopech for Stroman + Marwin + prospects (back-top -100)… too little for JD? I’m in total win-now mode. 9:47 Paul Swydan: I used to, but I just couldn’t keep up with it anymore. Too little for JD, methinks. Not sure why you need to include Kopech in that package. 9:47 Tim: So is the plan for KC to flip their newly acquired relievers at the 2018 deadline, once their rebuild has begun? Seems like they might actually come out ahead in terms of prospect capital from these transactions. 9:48 Paul Swydan: Maybe. That certainly makes sense. I think they’re just going to ride the wave of this pennant race and let the chips fall where they may. And I think they’ve earned that right. 9:48 Dougy: 3B for BOS in August will be ______? 9:49 Paul Swydan: Devers is going to have hit a few home runs and not strike out a ton this week for it to be him and not someone like Lowrie or whomever. 9:49 Dougy: Would you prefer Bradley Zimmer or Clint Frazier for next 6 years? 9:49 Paul Swydan: Yes. 9:50 Paul Swydan: I don’t know, that’s a tough one. I guess I’d lean Zimmer, but there’s no wrong answer there yet, I don’t think. 9:51 Another Fantasy Question: I have Trea Turner in a 10 team keeper (OBP), keep 8 forever. I am firmly in win-now mode. What do you think of Turner for Bregman and C. Davis? 9:51 Paul Swydan: I think I’d hang onto Turner. 9:52 Jean-Luc: Pick three middle infielders from this group for the rest of the season – Happ, Baez, Villar, & Moncada. 9:54 Paul Swydan: Tough – but I’ll say Moncada, Happ and Villar. Baez has been a better hitter than Villar, but given the uptick in home runs, I think Villar’s SBs are more valuable than Baez’s HRs. 9:55 A.: Joey Votto’s been awful post-ASG, and tonight he just looked so off, any idea what’s going wrong with him? 9:55 Paul Swydan: No, he’ll be fine. Again, these guys aren’t machines, they have dry spells sometimes. 9:55 Tor: Which team least needs to do anything at the trade deadline? 9:55 Paul Swydan: Houston. 9:56 Paul Swydan: They’re not only a team with very few real holes, but they’re also much better than the rest of the pack in the AL. 9:56 Paul Swydan: Who’s the second-best team in the AL right now? Do you have an immediate answer? Are you even remotely comfortable with that answer when you get it? 9:57 Christian: Why, oh why, is Ned Yost the only person in the stadium that doesn’t know what’s going to happen when Jason Hammel pitches in the 6th inning? 9:57 Paul Swydan: He probably does know. He’s just hoping it doesn’t. 9:58 Thanks for the chat!: Do you think the yankees should do a reverse hair policy for a year? Maybe for charity? No head hair only facial hair? 9:58 Paul Swydan: Wow, no head hair would be tough, both on the players and on our eyes. I don’t think you want that. 9:59 Mike Humstein: Boring! 9:59 Paul Swydan: I’m not sure what this is in reference to, but it could probably apply to most questions, haha. 9:59 Danger: Without taking into account 2017, Devers or Acuna. 10:01 Paul Swydan: I think that they’re close enough that I can’t answer this with statistics, sorry. You should ask Eric. 10:02 Paul Swydan: On that note, I think I’m going to call it a night. Thanks, as always, for hanging out!