FanGraphs After Dark Chat – 8/23/16

9:02
Paul Swydan: Hi everybody!

9:02
Paul Swydan: Sorry, was just talking with Jeff.

9:02
John Olerud: Start Danny Duffy @ BOS this week? I know it seems crazy to sit him given the roll he’s on, but his peripherals and dropping velocity are a little concerning. I’d probably start him in any other situation (except for an @ COL start), but based on the team and park factors for 2016 @ BOS is on par with an @ COL start. What say you guys?

9:03
Paul Swydan: I think Podhorzer made a compelling case to drop him last week at RotoGraphs. In my opinion, the Sox have been scoring less, so I’d rock Duffy til the wheels fell off. But you are right to be wary.

9:05
Paul Swydan: Hold on guys, Jeff is having issues.

9:05
OddBall Herrera: Did I get the poll questions right? You never publish answers to these things

9:05
Paul Swydan: Ha, there is no right answer.

9:06
Paul Swydan: Turns out, it was my issue. I sent the wrong chat invite to Jeff.

9:06
Paul Swydan: Blame me! Or Canada.

9:06
Jeff Zimmerman: Always blame Canada

9:07
Deece: There has been some chatter recently about Votto being moved pre august 31. Is it actually possible to get him thru waivers? On the surface it seems unlikely, but the deal thru 2023 is a factor.

9:07
Paul Swydan: So, the thing with that is that Joey Votto has a full no-trade clause, and likes Cincinnati for some reason. So, I wouldn’t hold my breath on that.

9:08
Jeff Zimmerman: I don’t think he will make it through waivers. I think Philly or NYY would pick him up. They love old declining 1B

9:08
Paul Swydan: Also, I think the majority of teams would claim Votto. $25M a year isn’t that extravagant anymore.

9:08
Jason: Puig, Buxton, and Conforto are all patrolling AAA outfields. Who’s been the most disappointing, the most to blame, ruined the most by others, the least likely to succeed in the future, and the most likely to succeed in the future?

9:09
Paul Swydan: Disappointing: Puig

9:09
Jeff Zimmerman: Disappointing: Puig

9:09
Paul Swydan: Most to blame: Puig, probably.

9:09
Paul Swydan: Ruined most: Conforto, easily. Terry Collins is an idiot.

9:09
Jeff Zimmerman: Agree again

9:09
Jeff Zimmerman: Ruined is Buxton

9:10
Paul Swydan: Least likely to succeed? Buxton

9:10
Paul Swydan: Most likely: Conforto

9:10
Paul Swydan: Just as soon as Terry Collins is fired.

9:10
Jeff Zimmerman: I would switch the last two. Conforto is a mess IMO

9:10
Paul Swydan: DISAGREEMENTS!

9:10
Zach: Hi guys! A friend from school was drafted in the middle rounds in June and is currently hitting well in the Appy League. I know I shouldn’t be scouting the stat line, but in terms of “following” his progress, what numbers should I be looking at? K%, BB%, and ISO? Anything else?

9:11
Paul Swydan: Those are good places to start. I’d also always be gauging his progress relative to the age of those in his league.

9:11
Jeff Zimmerman: K% and XBH%, basically, is he making contact and is he hitting the ball hard. That is all you can really tell

9:12
Da Bum: The last gasp of the sun has been extinguished, the sky grows darker, the moon rises in the sky, quickly they begin to creep out from the crevices, the alleys, the dark places in the day that provide shelter, it grows darker still, more scurry out crowding the room, soon it fills so dark no one can see. Then it happens again, same as last week. Something grabs in the darkness forcing you to cry out, “Alright, who grabbed my ass!” You don’t mention that you kind of liked it.

9:12
Jeff Zimmerman: But I did

9:12
Paul Swydan: This is becoming a tradition. I’m not sure if it’s a good tradition or not. But then, it’s hard to tell if most traditions are good or bad.

9:13
topiary: Let’s take for granted irrationality of the MVP, if Boston wins the world series how good would David Ortiz’ ros need to be to win the award? How far does the ‘big papi’s final season’ narrative push him even though he’s clearly not even the best player on his team?

9:13
Paul Swydan: Well, the MVP voting is done at the end of the regular season, so the playoffs would have nothing to do with the voting.

9:13
Jeff Zimmerman: A little, but like Paul said, MVP is done before playoffs start

9:14
Brody: Full keeper Dynasty roto: Degrom and Orlando Arcia/Ketel Marte for Cory Seager and Tijuan Walker/Lucas Giolito. Which side wins?

9:14
Paul Swydan: Well, there’s a big swing from Walker to Giolito, but if it’s Seager/Giolito, then easily that side wins.

9:14
Jeff Zimmerman: The second one by a landslide

9:15
NutButters: Gary Sanchez hit a home run here -> http://imgur.com/a/VEpQw

9:15
Paul Swydan: Is that good?

9:15
Paul Swydan: (Kidding, I know that’s good.)

9:16
Jeff Zimmerman: I over paid for him in an AL keeper league so no one else would get him, but I may just end up keeping him

9:16
Jeet: Thoughts on Dion Lewis and NE RBs?

9:16
Paul Swydan: Wrong chat my friend.

9:17
Jeff Zimmerman: They all suck

9:17
Paul Swydan: Just kidding, I’ll answer it. The Pats have rarely had a good 1st-2nd down running back since Corey Dillon retired, and it hasn’t mattered much. They’ll be fine.

9:17
Guest: You guys churn out an impressive amount of work on a weekly basis. Where do you or any of the other writers get your inspiration to write a certain piece? Are you watching games when your curiosity is piqued about a certain topic/team/player/other aspect? Are you combing through pages and pages of stats until something sticks out to you? Something else?

9:18
Paul Swydan: Both of those things and more. A lot of is talking to colleagues. Or seeing the work others have done and thinking of something else while doing so. Either way, than you for the kind words.

9:19
Jeff Zimmerman: I am not sure on the rest, but I just keep certain nuggets as I read/hear them and look to see what is there.

9:19
Baby Bombers: Is Gary Sanchez sustainable? Aaron Judge looks like Joey Gallo….

9:19
Jeff Zimmerman: No and OK

9:19
Paul Swydan: Are you asking if Gary Sanchez is going to maintain a .446 ISO and .405 BABIP? Hmmmm, let me think1

9:19
Paul Swydan: !

9:20
Paul Swydan: Having said that, I do like Sanchez. I tweeted this last night, but I think the fact that Brian McCann has a full no-trade clause is going to be the subject of much drama this offseason.

9:21
Remember2004: Has Pablo been sighted? Has he hired a dietician, fitness trainer and yoga coach? Surely all the insults would hurt and he has a year to do something about it. I think it would be fabulous if he became a plant based vegan and returned next year as a lean,mean hitting machine…….

9:21
Paul Swydan: John Henry recently expressed confidence in him, so that’s something, right?

9:21
Jeff Zimmerman: I haven’t heard a word

9:22
Jim Lonborg: If you were Farrell, how would you employ Young and Benintendi?

9:22
Paul Swydan: Young can start twice a week. Once as a fill-in for Benintendi, once for Bradley/Betts. And Young also gets lots of PH opportunities when warranted.

9:23
Paul Swydan: I expect that Farrell will start Young more frequently than that though.

9:23
Jeff Zimmerman: I’m not sure. I am a little worried Beni will wear down some

9:24
Shaemus: Over/under on Mariners 2017 Wins: 81

9:24
Paul Swydan: I like what Dipoto did this season. I’ll be optimistic and say he makes more smart decisions this winter and keeps them over .500.

9:24
Jeff Zimmerman: Seems right. I think they are the third best team in the west. Maybe under

9:25
Ben: Is Toronto’s rotation top 5 in the majors? Sanchez/Estrada/Happ have all pitched like top of the rotation pitchers, Stroman has been really good recently and Dickey/Liriano are decent 5’s

9:26
Paul Swydan: They’re right there. 6th overall, tied with CLE for first in the AL. The big question is what does Sanchez look like after his minor league stint.

9:26
Jeff Zimmerman: I think they maybe if players on the DL aren’t counted. My problem is that I would not feel good about going into the postseason with that rotation

9:27
Paul Swydan: It does seem like it is a rotation that has a lot of variance in it. Though, to be fair, most are.

9:28
Da Bum: What is the point of the polls? Actually used for something or are they just cause?

9:28
Paul Swydan: Just a little something to keep people entertained when they log in between 6 and 9 to ask questions.

9:28
Jeff Zimmerman: Cause

9:29
Paul Swydan: I suppose I look at them a little anecdotally, but they don’t get saved after the fact, so we don’t save or analyze them.

9:29
Patrick: Travis Shaw has looked really bad since April, should the Red Sox call up Moncada in September to see if he can jumpstart them like Benintendi has? Or would that be way too much of a rush considering that he is still being challenged offensively and defensively at AA?

9:30
Paul Swydan: I could see making him a September call-up, no pressure, and if he does well, monkey with the DL rules to see if they can get him on the postseason roster.

9:30
Paul Swydan: One thing is for sure – when Moncada is ready, neither Sandoval, Shaw, Holt or Hill should stand in his way. They have been an assortment of garbage there.

9:30
Jeff Zimmerman: Agree, I don’t see him coming up early

9:30
Stevo: Found something interesting when looking up ARods career numbers. At this moment, Alex Rodriguez currently has more HRs (696) than doubles (548). Barry Bonds finished with 762 HRs and only 601 doubles. In fact, looking at career HR leaders, this highest guy with more doubles than HRs is Albert Pujols (597 2B to 583 HR). Could there be a case to make that doubles are harder to hit than homeruns?

9:31
Paul Swydan: I wouldn’t say that. I would say that in some of those guys cases, as they slowed down later in their careers, they were less likely to try to leg out a double, but no one has to leg out a homer.

9:32
Jeff Zimmerman: Not for the best home hitters. Also, keep in mind most HR hitters are slow and will have a limited number of HR

9:32
Da Bum: If you were the Mets what would your offseason goals be? Try to be the same and hope for better health or make big moves?

9:32
Jeff Zimmerman: Get a new manager

9:32
Paul Swydan: Cleaning house would be my priority. Getting people to run my team who didn’t get to vote for Nixon, perhaps.

9:33
Minty: Paul, would you please go a little bit further on that, using Moncada? He’s striking out a ton at AA, but for his age, what should we expect as the less in the know public

9:34
Paul Swydan: I guess I’m not too worried about the strikeouts given that he is doing so many other things well. He put up a 156 wRC+ in High-A, and is putting up a 151 wRC+ in Double-A. IE, there’s been very little drop off.

9:35
Kevin: I’m in a deep dynasty league where I have Dansby Swanson as a minor leaguer, and do not need to call him up until he reaches 130 AB. My question is, with a short bench and a bunch of injured guys (Kang, Stanton, Choo, Swihart, WDavis, RHill) and Puig N/A, should i considering just dropping one of the guys I can’t fit on the DL to get an active bench bat in Swanson who i may need to add this season (or early next season) anyways? I could also drop a reliever (Dull) but everyone else is basically starting.

9:36
Paul Swydan: I think you can probably drop Swihart and still sleep soundly at night.

9:36
Jeff Zimmerman: I’d drop Swihart. I don’t think he will matter in the future.

9:36
Andrew: over/under opening day 2018 when Benintendi is batting somewhere in top 3 of order and Pedroia isn’t.

9:37
Paul Swydan: Over. Pedroia is going to get the Jeter treatment. He will hit 1-2-3 until he retires IMO.

9:37
Jeff Zimmerman: Under, because some how Pedroia has stayed healthy this season

9:38
Dock Ellis: any idea how the dropped third strike rule came about?

9:38
Paul Swydan: None, actually. Jeff?

9:38
Jeff Zimmerman: Not me

9:39
Da Bum: If you got to pick a 2b for the future between Baez and Turner, who would you pick?

9:40
Jeff Zimmerman: Turner

9:40
Paul Swydan: Which Turner – Trea or Justin? I’m assuming you mean Trea. In which case, him.

9:40
Matt: Why does everyone at Fangraphs pretend that Quintana is having a significantly better season than Hamels? Quintana has a comparable era, higher xfip, worse K rate, has pitched virtually the same amount of innings and has a worse GB%. I understand that fangraphs bases its war on FIP but for there to be multiple articles which describe quintana as “dominant” and hamels as lucky to have outpitche

9:40
Paul Swydan: It’s because we hate the Rangers, obviously.

9:42
Jeff Zimmerman: The deal with Quintana is that high FB pitchers will constantly outperform their xFIP. I think they are both about the same

9:42
Paul Swydan: I mean, for one thing, why come to FG if you don’t like the stats we use? Not trying to be mean, just seems silly to come here and expect us to not use our own stats.

9:43
Paul Swydan: If you use ERA base, it’s closer, but Quintana has still been better. Also, I can’t fathom why anyone would care. Is this a Cy Young argument? Because neither of them is going to win.

9:43
Jeff Zimmerman: Looking through those, that was some nice cherry picking of stats

9:44
Minty: Pablo could be in trouble come middle of next year if he isn’t hitting and Moncada cuts the k’s, right?

9:44
Paul Swydan: I think it will be sooner than midseason.

9:44
Ben: Best WS matchup in your opinion?

9:44
Jeff Zimmerman: Pablo will need to some out the gates swinging and

9:45
Jeff Zimmerman: Indians-Nationals

9:45
Paul Swydan: Cubs-Red Sox is obviously the matchup that FOX and MLB will want. Cubs-Rangers would be good, Dodgers-Sox, I don’t know, there’s a lot of big media markets in it to win it this year.

9:46
Paul Swydan: I think the one thing we can say for sure is that MLB and FOX would prefer the Indians did not make the WS.

9:46
Jeff Zimmerman: Ben asked my opinion

9:47
Paul Swydan: He sure did, Jeff!

9:47
Da Bum: Could Hendricks win the Cy Young if a few others falter? Where would that rank in most unlikely Cy Youngs?

9:48
Paul Swydan: Oh man, right up there with Willie Hernandez and Johan Santana and Brandon Webb and…you know, I guess it’s how you define it. Was Randy Johnson’s first Cy unlikely? He was bad for a long time.

9:48
Paul Swydan: But yes, I wouldn’t rule out Hendricks winning.

9:48
Jeff Zimmerman: I think his Wins total will hurt him. Also, Kershaw still leads the league in pitcher WAR

9:49
Jim Lonborg: So I gather we’re assuming the Red Sox won’t pursue a 3rd baseman in the offseason? What about a 1st baseman?

9:49
Paul Swydan: I guess it depends on what Hanley wants to do, and what their plans are for Shaw/Swihart. It’ll be one of the most interesting aspects of Boston’s offseason.

9:50
Jeff Zimmerman: I could see them being fluid with the situation and look for right deal

9:50
Paul Swydan: Certainly they could keep Hanley at first, and rotate Young/Swihart/Shaw at DH. Hanley too.

9:50
alex: Does Bautista being injured so much this year make it easier for the Jays to re-sign him, or easier to let him go?

9:50
Paul Swydan: Much easier to let him go.

9:50
Jeff Zimmerman: All I know is my Tout league team needs him back

9:51
Paul Swydan: Yeah, I was in first in Ottoneu until Bautista and Kershaw landed on the DL back-to-back. I am now in second place.

9:51
EccentricChemist: Assuming the Giants make the playoffs, do they pull a Dback’s impersonation from the 2000’s (Schilling and Johnson) and basically run MadBum and Cueto out there for as many innings as possible, we know MadBum can do it given 2014.

9:52
Paul Swydan: Bruce Bochy doesn’t strike me as that kind of manager, no. Samardzija in particular I would think gets his regular turn. And they just paid a hefty price for Matt Moore…

9:52
Jeff Zimmerman: I think that is their best chance. Maybe a bullpen game

9:53
Cybo: N00b question- are fouls considered a swinging strike when calculating a pitchers swinging strike % ?

9:53
Paul Swydan: Pretty sure they aren’t.

9:54
Paul Swydan: But Jeff knows better than I do.

9:54
Jeff Zimmerman: Nope, just swings-and-misses

9:54
Kevin: do you envision more batters using the axe handle bat brandished by Betts and Pedroia moving forward? It seems to be such a far superior design that it’s shocking no one thought to tinker with the handle for the previous 150 years of the sports existence

9:54
Paul Swydan: I think that this interests me not in the slightest. Also, yes, probably.

9:55
Jeff Zimmerman: Probably, but baseball players hate change

9:56
Kevin: do you think we will see more batters choke up on the bat in the future given how well Joey Votto has been hitting doing so this season. I mean the guy is choked up so much on -0 and -1 strike counts, probably more than everyone else would on -2 strike counts, and then when he goes to 2 strikes, its just nuts. Additionally, why wouldn’t he just get a shorter bat.

9:56
Paul Swydan: Again, hitters don’t like change, so I doubt it on this one.

9:57
Jeff Zimmerman: And I am not sure why he isn’t using a shorter bat

9:57
EccentricChemist: Follow up two the dynamic duo question, I figured the Matt Moore signing was to stabilize the regular season since Shark, Cain, and Peavy were not really getting it done. And potential 7 game turns would look like MadBum at 1,4,7. Cueto at 2,5 with Shark and Moore potentially finding spots in games 3 and 6.

9:58
Paul Swydan: What you have laid out is certainly possible, though I would double check that now that the postseason schedule has been released.

9:58
Jeff Zimmerman: May be tough for MadBum to go in a Game 7 and then throw the first WS game

9:59
Paul Swydan: You are going to see that throw from Mookie Betts on every highlight reel.

9:59
Jim Lonborg: Are either of you watching the Red Sox game? I don’t understand why that’s interference, if the catcher essentially stepped forward over the plate and into the bat.

10:00
Paul Swydan: I wasn’t looking, but Remy said he thought it was the right call, and I’m inclined to agree.

10:00
Jeff Zimmerman: Just to make it simple, Mookie Betts should be in every highlight reel

10:00
Jeff Zimmerman: Not watching

10:00
Paul Swydan: I agree, Jeff!

10:01
Paul Swydan: For those not watching, he nailed Kiermaier trying to stretch a double into a triple with a one-hop laser throw from the right field foul line. It was purty.

10:01
Tommy: Isn’t it weird that Papelbon hasn’t signed yet? What’s your prediction there?

10:01
Paul Swydan: Hopefully his career is over. No one will miss him.

10:01
Jeff Zimmerman: He hasn’t been great. Teams might as well use some AA arm

10:01
Paul Swydan: You can only get away with being a hotheaded jerk when you’re awesome. When you’re average or worse, that act gets tired a lot faster.

10:02
Jim Lonborg: Wow, you guys are way ahead of MLB.tv. The throw just happened at my house.

10:02
Paul Swydan: Yeah, MLB.tv is always a little slow.

10:03
Anal Hershiser: Looking to add prospects for 2017 and most of the top guys are gone, who has the most value next year out of Happ, Tapia, Mateo, Rodgers, O’Neil, Adames, Bellinger? I know some of these guys are not projected to play much if at all next year, but looking for future stars.

10:04
Jeff Zimmerman: Rodgers, if the Rockie, now

10:04
Paul Swydan: Rodgers and Adames are the names that pop out to me, but I’m not the right person to ask on those. Better to ask Jeff or consult Chris Mitchell’s KATOH 100.

10:04
Jeff Zimmerman: Also look at Hansen for the WS

10:04
Jeff Zimmerman: White Sox move pitchers fast

10:05
Paul Swydan: OK everyone, that’s going to do it for us tonight. Thanks as always for hanging out. You guys are the best. Also, say congrats to Dave Cameron – he got his five-year checkup of being cancer free today. Pretty amazing.

10:06
Jeff Zimmerman: Bye





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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OddBall Herrera
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OddBall Herrera

Heheh, apparently I had the right level of deadpan in that question