FanGraphs After Dark Chat – 9/8/15

4:58
Paul Swydan: Hi everybody! Jeff and I will be here at 9 pm ET to cram some baseball right into your cramholes. Join us then!

9:01
Paul Swydan: Hi everybody! How about that Matt Harvey, eh?

9:01
Comment From Carson "City Nevada" Cistulli
That would be time consuming.

9:02
Jeff Zimmerman: Yes, yes it has been.

9:02
Paul Swydan: I think I was 4 minutes into the Dayn Perry podcast and Carson still wasn’t done reading the ad. God love him. I do actually want to try that product though…

9:02
Comment From Name
Can anyone recommend an alternate MLB news site like HardballTalk? Since their redesign that site is non-functional for me (can’t get the infinite scroll to work to see past a few stories nor the comments).

9:03
Paul Swydan: I usually go to the MLB dot com front page, Hardball Talk, MLBTR and then ESPN MLB. And Twiter, obvi. What do other people use?

9:04
Jeff Zimmerman: I go hardcore and have all the mlb sites and their prospect feed in an RSS feed.

9:04
Paul Swydan: That is quite hardcore, sir.

9:04
Jeff Zimmerman: And yes, the redesign is just horrible

9:04
Comment From Lingering Injury
Two hitters poised to have a great last month after having much of their seasons derailed by injury: Yelich and Zimmerman. Who do you like more ROS? Why?

9:06
Jeff Zimmerman: I trust Yelich to stay heathly, but if healthy Zimmerman will be better. So the safe bet is Yelich and Zimmerman has more risk and upside.

9:06
Paul Swydan: Our rest of season depth charts projections (combo Zips/Steamer) has them pretty even, with a slight edge to Zim. I just don’t have much faith in R Zimm anymore though, so I’ll say Yelich.

9:07
Comment From Ryan
What could the Reds get if they traded Votto in the off-season? Would they have to eat part of his contract to do so?

9:07
Paul Swydan: They will certainly get *more* if they eat part of his contract, but if they trade him – and I can’t imagine they will – it will be to get out from under his contract, so they’d likely take less to be rid of the whole salary.

9:08
Jeff Zimmerman: I think the contract is even right now, so to get anything real they would need to eat some of the contract. The more they eat, the more they get back.

9:08
Comment From Rick
Is it crazy to think that Eugenio Suarez could be a legitimate every day player?

9:10
Paul Swydan: He’s not the worst option, certainly. The problem is that if he’s not rocking that sweet .340 BABIP, he has limited offensive value, and his defensive stats have thus far not been up to snuff.

9:10
Jeff Zimmerman: I haven’t done a deep dive, but nothing he is doing seems to automatically regress. I think he could be the real deal.

9:10
Paul Swydan: The caveat with his defensive stats is that he is still not yet to a full season of games defensively.

9:11
Comment From Rick
Who would be the AL ROY if Lindor, Correa and Sano had the same amount of playing time?

9:12
Jeff Zimmerman: Correa IMO. He might get some extra votes for being on a playoff team.

9:12
Paul Swydan: Great question, and how about Lindor huh? He’s been quietly awesome for the Indians:

http://www.fangraphs.com/le…

I’m going to say Sano.

9:12
Comment From Ryan
Who would you pick if the RoY candidates had to be pitchers?

9:13
Paul Swydan: McCullers and Thor, most likely.

9:14
Paul Swydan: Maybe a downballot vote for Roberto Osuna, who’s been very good and could be the real deal if he was given a chance to start.

9:14
Jeff Zimmerman: I think Paul is right, but I think Iglesias has the chance to special

9:14
Comment From Ryan
Does Stroman’s comeback make Toronto the WS favorite in the AL? In the MLB? Or were they already favorites?

9:16
Paul Swydan: Well, I don’t know. I guess it depends on how quickly Mark Buehrle snaps out of this funk:

http://www.fangraphs.com/le…

Certainly if Stroman is back to the guy who he was last year by the time October starts, the Blue Jays will have a great 1-2 punch in Price and Stroman, but they’ll still need Dickey and Buehrle (I don’t trust Hutchison in a playoff game) to be on point.

9:16
Jeff Zimmerman: I would not trust Stroman yet. His velocity was down around 1.5 mph in his last rehab start. His first start back is going to be huge to see were his talent level is currently. Also, I am not sure his inning limit.

9:18
Paul Swydan: Well, counting his start Saturday, a quick and dirty look at the calendar says he should have the chance to make 5 starts before the postseason starts, so he should have plenty of time to work out the kinks.

9:18
Comment From Oswaldo Arcia
what’s wrong with me?

9:19
Jeff Zimmerman: Last time I looked, you couldn’t make contact with the ball, but let me look again……

9:20
Paul Swydan: Pretty much everything. The strikeout rate has not improved, the power has vanished, and the BABIP is at an all-time low. Literally his career low BABIP for a stop before this Triple-A stint was .279 in his very first taste of rookie ball. He’s at .228 right now. Sometimes, life kicks you when you’re down. I’d still be burning the Twins phones up about him if I was an opposing GM.

9:20
Paul Swydan: They seem to like the Rosario-Buxton-Hicks OF, and I can’t say that I blame them all that much, but Arcia has too much talent to be burying like this.

9:21
Jeff Zimmerman: The power is way down. Are you hurt?

9:22
Paul Swydan: If he’s hurt, I’d be REAL interested to know WHEN he got hurt. Because if he got hurt while in Minnesota and the Twins hid the injury and sent him down, they shorted the kid a ton of money.

9:22
Comment From Rick
What does Oakland do this off-season? And do you see them being able to compete with Houston/Texas next year?

9:23
Paul Swydan: This is one of the more important offseasons of Beane’s tenure for sure. The one thing we know is that the starting pitching is fine. They’re top 10 in SP WAR this year.

9:23
Jeff Zimmerman: I don’t think the answer is going to obvious. They may be at the point of an Astros like rebuild. I just don’t think there is enough there for a reload

9:24
Paul Swydan: The bullpen has been bad, but they traded Clippard away and haven’t had Doolittle. I don’t worry about Beane (and Forst!) putting together a good bullpen.

9:24
Paul Swydan: The offense is the thing. It’s almost always the thing with the A’s. The years they hit, they compete.

9:24
Comment From Nolan
Which team would be the first to take a mulligan on this past off-season if given the chance?

9:24
Jeff Zimmerman: Boston

9:25
Jeff Zimmerman: Maybe the A’s

9:25
Paul Swydan: I think the Red Sox and Padres would fight you to the death for that mulligan. I think the A’s would probably like a do-over on the Donaldson trade too. And oddly, the Mets. If they could go back and get Cespedes before the season started instead of Cuddyer, they might be salting the NL East away right now.

9:26
Paul Swydan: Also, I would say the Reds would want a mulligan, but Jocketty may not realize this crappy season is all his fault, so…..

9:26
Comment From Remo Williams
Buying into Jackie Bradley Jr? If so, what tier OF in a dynasty?

9:26
Jeff Zimmerman: The All-star game killed the Reds hope of decent off season.

9:27
Paul Swydan: The Reds All-Star Game festivities were guaranteed to be a hit the second Pete Rose was involved.

9:27
Jeff Zimmerman: I am not sure I buy the power increase yet. May just be a fluke.

9:28
Paul Swydan: As for JBJ – yes! He never should have been as bad as he was last year, and while this year is probably his best case scenario, if he just hits .290 with some doubles, he’s fantasy relevant in dynasty leagues.

I got him for $2 in our Ottoneu staff league about a week after they called him back up. I am LOVING that decision right now.

9:29
Paul Swydan: Whoa, here comes the Mets.

9:29
Comment From Well-Beered Englishman
Mets and Nationals are trying their hardest to lose to each other

9:29
Jeff Zimmerman: I think he should be valued around Lorenzo Cain

9:29
Paul Swydan: That comparison is music to my ears, Jeff.

9:30
Paul Swydan: Blake Treinen seems to be the firestarter here.

9:30
Paul Swydan: And someone named Rivero. I don’t know even know who that is.

9:31
Paul Swydan: Meanwhile, this is gonna be an epic third set in the Williams sisters match. Sports!

9:31
Jeff Zimmerman: Treinen seem to have the tools to be decent, but he just keeps getting rocked

9:31
Paul Swydan: Drew Storen has funny ears.

9:31
Comment From john
Do you think David Price will be a cub next season?

9:31
Paul Swydan: No, I think he’ll either be on the Blue Jays or Yankees.

9:32
Jeff Zimmerman: No, he will likely end up in the AL

9:32
Comment From Sgt. Pepper
People aren’t very optimistic about Apu’s favourite squadron

9:32
Paul Swydan: Hold the phone! Just hold the phone, Sgt. Pepper.

9:32
Comment From Vic Romano
Javy Baez really looks like a different guy at the plate compared to last year. (standard small sample size disclaimer applies).

9:32
Paul Swydan: Changes in approach are sometimes real very quickly though. It’s encouraging, if nothing else.

9:34
Jeff Zimmerman: He has a SwgStr% > K%, completely unsustainable, his K% should double

9:34
Comment From Sgt. Pepper
Stroman is starting Saturday against the Yankees in place of Buehrle. Good or bad idea?

9:34
Paul Swydan: Good idea! Gives Buehrle an extra day, and gets Stroman back in there.

9:35
Jeff Zimmerman: Good idea, the Blue Jays need to see what they have in him. May be great, may be unusable.

9:35
Comment From Chazz Filbert
Does Refsnyder start at 2B for the Yanks next year? Peraza at 2b for LAD? Drury at 2b for AZ?

9:36
Jeff Zimmerman: Refsnyder (20% chance, maybe less), Peraza (50%), Drury (85%)

9:36
Paul Swydan: I think at least one of those. I would lean against the Yankees, just because they’re not giving him the shot now:

http://www.baseball-referen…

9:36
Paul Swydan: Man, Storen is nowhere close.

9:37
Comment From E
It seemed like the game calling for Matt Harvey was throw nothing but fastballs. That seems really bizarre, predictable, and stupid. I can’t imagine something weird wasn’t going on there. Does anyone have pitch counts by type numbers for thid game yet?

9:37
Paul Swydan: The Mets had them right where they wanted ’em.

9:37
Jeff Zimmerman: No, not until the game is done

9:37
Comment From Well-Beered Englishman
If you had to barricade yourself into one ballpark to protect yourself against the zombie apocalypse, which ballpark would you choose?

9:38
Paul Swydan: I mean, that’s kind of cheating for me, since I have intimate knowledge of Coors Field. I’d have to say that. I think I’ve been in just about every room in that ballpark. Those zombies would be fuc***d.

9:38
Jeff Zimmerman: Tropicana, fans don’t want to go there, why would Zombies?

9:39
Paul Swydan: Definitely not Chase Field. That ballpark is a disaster. The people who designed that ballpark were on shrooms.

9:39
Paul Swydan: Also, I might say Yankee Stadium, because I wouldn’t care about wrecking the place. ZING!

9:39
Comment From Remo Williams
Matt Williams is either working for the Mets, or the most clueless manager in recent memory

9:39
Paul Swydan: Remo, I’d argue with you if I could.

9:40
Paul Swydan: How Drew Storen is still in this game, I’ll never know.

9:40
Paul Swydan: He has thrown 15 balls and 5 strikes! FIVE!

9:40
Jeff Zimmerman: Matt Williams = manager of the year

9:40
Paul Swydan: That MoY trophy is the worst thing that could have happened to the 2015 Nats.

9:41
Comment From Guest
Will the Cubs ever lose

9:41
Jeff Zimmerman: Sometime in the playoffs

9:42
Paul Swydan: Harper bails Storen out, and Storen has the nerve to bark at the ump on the way off the field. Most of Storen’s misses weren’t anywhere near the strike zone.

9:42
Paul Swydan: RE: The Cubs, mercy! Must be all those pajama parties.

9:42
Comment From Guesto
Can’t even blame Williams for this Nationals disaster. This is just bad playing of baseball.

9:42
Comment From Vic Romano
I’m not a professional analyst, but 15 balls and 5 strikes seems like a less-than-optimal ratio.

9:43
Paul Swydan: It is, but Williams isn’t helping, that’s for damn sure.

9:43
Comment From Ryan
As an Astros fan I am starting to get a little nervous about blowing the division lead. Warranted or should I still feel confident?

9:44
Jeff Zimmerman: I think you should be confident, in KC some fans are freaking out from the 4 game losing streak and our playoff odds are at 99.9%

9:44
Paul Swydan: The Mets have a higher DIV% and their fans are still living in fear of the meltdown, so no, I think you’re OK. Fret away!

http://www.fangraphs.com/co…

9:45
Comment From Chazz Filbert
Is Pete O’Brien the next Trumbo or CJ Cron? Or worse?

9:45
Paul Swydan: We’ll see, I guess. He certainly didn’t have anything left to prove in Reno.

9:46
Paul Swydan: I don’t think he’s the next Trumbo, FWIW.

9:47
Jeff Zimmerman: I think he could be better than both. He looks like he can put up an above average AVG

9:47
Comment From Chazz Filbert
What are your guys’ impressions of Richie Shaffer? Can he be the starting 1B for the Rays in the next year or two and do you see him being any good?

9:48
Paul Swydan: I mean, I don’t know. 37.5 K%, .417 BABIP, .538 SLG. This guy is all over the place.

9:48
Jeff Zimmerman: I think he can be the 25th best 1B in the league. I am not sure the Rays want that. I want to see how Gillaspie performs in the AFL and he may be the Rays 1B of the future.

9:49
Paul Swydan: I know Chris Mitchell wasnt impressed.

9:49
Comment From clueless roto person
In a redraft, would you bail on one of Baez or Seager. Cron, Bird, and TDA are on my wire and I could use RBI and average…

9:50
Paul Swydan: I would bail on Seager, I guess. I don’t see him playing every day down the stretch. He hasn’t so far, at least.

9:51
Jeff Zimmerman: Maybe for Bird until/if Tex gets healthy. The problem with Bird is he is only 1B eligible.

9:51
Comment From Rick
Can we replace the LOL Cats meme with LOL Nats?

9:51
Paul Swydan: I’m not going to stop you!

9:52
Jeff Zimmerman: Sure

9:52
Comment From clueless roto person
Also re: O’Brien so few walks.

9:52
Jeff Zimmerman: Yes, correct

9:52
Paul Swydan: Yeah, and that’s in Triple-A. Fewer walks in Triple-A than Double-A, and that trend will probably continue in the majors.

9:53
Paul Swydan: Well, OK, I guess the same walks in Double-A overall – the sample I looked at was small. Still, < 6% walk rate in the minors is frightening.
9:53
Comment From Vic Romano
What are the chances that Bryant & Schwarber finish 1-2 in the ROY voting?

9:54
Jeff Zimmerman: Decent I think with Pederson cooling way off

9:55
Paul Swydan: Well, there’s obviously a pretty great chance that Bryant wins. Schwarber is still 10th in NL position player WAR among rookies though, and while some of these guys are getting defensive boosts, I think Schwarber has an uphill battle to beat out Kang for 2nd place:

http://www.fangraphs.com/le…

9:55
Comment From Eli
what’s in wRC+ that’s not in wOBA, ie Trout and Donaldson both have .406 wOBAs but, Trout has a 168 to 160 wRC+ lead. Shouldn’t they be a 1:1?

9:56
Jeff Zimmerman: and back to O’Brien’s walk rate, the Royals team average walk rate is 6%: http://www.fangraphs.com/le…

9:56
Paul Swydan: No, because wRC+ accounts for ballpark and league and era. You can read more here:

http://www.fangraphs.com/li…

9:57
Jeff Zimmerman: wRC+ is adjusted to league and park

9:57
Comment From Blast Hardcheese
Is Joc Pederson the next Corey Patterson? A guy that looks to have all the 30-30 potential in the world, but never actually makes it happen?

9:58
Paul Swydan: That is certainly within the realm of possibility. It’s the pessimistic take, obviously, but yes, it’s in play.

9:58
Jeff Zimmerman: I hate to give him that label already, but Pederson is free fallin’

9:58
Comment From JV
Would you trade Byron Buxton for Chris Archer in a dynasty keeper fantasy league?

9:59
Paul Swydan: I think so. I know exactly who Archer is, I don’t quite know who Buxton is, but I’m not incredibly bullish on his potential.

9:59
Jeff Zimmerman: Yes, but I may be in the minority. Buxton is showing now useable traits right now and may never put it together.

10:00
Comment From Eli
I guess my question is, if they are both supposed to be objective stats, shouldn’t they both be league and park adjusted?

10:01
Paul Swydan: I think it”s useful to have both unadjusted and adjusted, but I’m sure Jeff has a better answer for this than I do.

10:01
Jeff Zimmerman: wOBA is not really supposed to be 100% objective. It just gives each event a weighted value and is then adjusted to the league wide OBA.

10:01
Comment From The Oberamtmann
Are the Yankees going to break my heart or will they win the division?

10:02
Paul Swydan: I don’t think a baseball team should have control over your heart, *especially* not if you’re a Yankees fan, because unless you’re like four years old, you’ve seen them win it all before.

But to answer your question, I think the Blue Jays hang on to win the division.

10:02
Jeff Zimmerman: Break you heart. I don’t think they have enough healthy talent to keep up with the Blue Jays

10:03
Paul Swydan: Serena wins! An d on that note, we’re going to call it a night. Thanks for hanging out with us, as always. See you next week!

10:03
Jeff Zimmerman: See everyone next week.





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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DR. WU
7 years ago

Head to Head playoffs coming. Who’s going to produce more down the stretch? Beltre or Justin Turner?
It seems like there’s no power there for Beltre. Would you pick up Baez over any of these two?