FanGraphs Chat – 10/2/13 by Dave Cameron October 2, 2013 11:46 Dave Cameron: One Wild Card game down, one to go. We’ll talk playoffs, off-season, or Bud Selig succession plans. The queue is now open. 11:59 Dave Cameron: Going to start about five minutes late. 12:11 Dave Cameron: Sorry, guess it was more like 10 minutes. We’ll make it up on the back end. 12:12 Comment From JEB% of chance that tonight’s Wild Card game is equally as entertaining as last nights? 12:12 Dave Cameron: The game itself wasn’t particularly great. That crowd really made it awesome. 12:12 Dave Cameron: So, not very high. 12:12 Comment From BensonRays roster has 9 pitchers while Cleveland has 11 pitchers. Do the Rays gain a slim advantage based on this at all? 12:12 Dave Cameron: I’d say the Indians have the advantage, actually. More pitchers is better in games like this. 12:12 Comment From PNC ParkCammmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm-errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrron! Cammmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm-errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrron! 12:12 Comment From CatoblepasMost successful taunting of a player ever last night? 12:13 Dave Cameron: This is going to become a thing, I’m sure. 12:13 Comment From VslykeAre you surprised that the Braves are reportedly going to keep Dan Uggla off the NLDS roster? 12:13 Dave Cameron: Not really. He hasn’t played much recently. 12:14 Comment From Pale HoseAt what sample size does it make sense to adjust a players baseline expectation? 12:14 Dave Cameron: It is a sliding scale. You should always be incorporating new data, very slowly, into your prior opinion. 12:15 Comment From JoseDarielAbreuWhat do I get this off season? 12:15 Dave Cameron: I’ll guess $60 million. 12:15 Comment From IzzyHow many 1st place MVP votes will McCutchen and Goldschmidt each get? How many would each have gotten 10 years ago? 12:15 Dave Cameron: McCutchen will win it easily, something like 20/5/everyone else or something. But even five years ago, I don’t know that he wins it. 12:16 Comment From TitoHow long do I leave Salazar in tonight? Salazar seems to struggle (my observation)the 3rd time through the order and leaves pitches high in the zone. How quick of a leash do I have with him? 12:16 Dave Cameron: They have Masterson as a multi-inning reliever, plus 11 total arms, so no reason to stick with him for too long. 12:16 Comment From WWMRDWho wins tonight? 12:16 Dave Cameron: Cleveland. 12:17 Comment From LarryABrett Lawrie has looked like 5 different players since he came up. Is he basically just an average or slightly worse hitter, or can we hope for more? 12:17 Dave Cameron: He’s what, 23? 12:17 Comment From Pale HoseIs WAR overestimating the Tigers or is it randomness? 12:17 Dave Cameron: The Tigers are very good. 12:18 Comment From GregWho’s next year’s Francisco Liriano? Josh Johnson? 12:18 Dave Cameron: Too high of a profile. Need someone lower down the totem pole. 12:18 Comment From BenSome of my friends believe that ‘the will to win’ is a huge factor in professional sports. I don’t know what to do anymore 🙁 12:19 Dave Cameron: Remind yourself that you don’t pick friends based on how often you agree about certain topics. 12:19 Comment From DavidLate? Clearly you’re spending too much time with Sullivan… 12:19 Dave Cameron: Not surprisingly, the delay was dog related. 12:20 Comment From ZachFor whom does Stanton play next year? 12:20 Dave Cameron: I could see the Pirates making a huge offer, but the Marlins might just keep him too. 12:20 Comment From TeddyIf they eat a large portion of the remaining contracts, who do the Dodgers trade over the winter, Kemp or Either? What would they be able to get back in return? 12:21 Dave Cameron: They’ll trade Ethier, and they probably will find some sucker who will take most of it. 12:21 Comment From FurmanWith one game in the books, what are your thoughts on the new playoff system? 12:21 Dave Cameron: I like it. 12:21 Comment From Guestwhy are the bucs a good story/feel good team. do we really want to reward teams for doing well after so much futility? to me a well managed team year after year is a better story. 12:21 Dave Cameron: We are happy for the long suffering Pirates fans, not the people who screwed up the franchise for 20 years. 12:22 Comment From CanoAny prediction on where I go? As a Yankees fan, I am sadly hoping elsewhere if its 8+ years and $200+ million. 12:22 Dave Cameron: I think it’s basically that, and he ends up in NY. 12:22 Comment From RyanIs there any plausible way the Reds can upgrade their offensive roster through free agency or trades this off season? 12:23 Dave Cameron: Make a bunch of really smart trades. Replacing Choo’s offense with what they have to spend will be hard. 12:23 Comment From TomWould you have sat Choo or Bruce vs Liriano last night? 12:23 Dave Cameron: They didn’t have any real alternatives. 12:23 Comment From MarkusOf the three current LDSs that are set in stone (STL-PIT, OAK-DET, LA-STL), how would you rank your interest among them? 12:23 Dave Cameron: In that order. 12:23 Comment From TomMcCutchen would have won it 10 years ago. He deserves to win it but the Pirates are the story this year and the writers vote for the story. 12:24 Dave Cameron: The story is usually an RBI first baseman. Players with McCutchen’s skillset usually haven’t won it in years like this. 12:24 Dave Cameron: See Utley, Chase. 12:24 Comment From JerryWhat should the Mets do this winter? They have tons of money off the books, probably up to ~$35M to spend. A lot has been made about them modeling the Sox but they lack that core, especially with likely no Harvey. 12:24 Dave Cameron: The Pirates are probably a better model. Go for smart buy low guys on short term, mid-price deals. 12:25 Comment From LarryADo the rays really need 3 catchers for tonights game? 12:25 Dave Cameron: It gives them a chance to pinch hit/pinch run for Molina and not be totally screwed if there’s an injury to the backup. 12:26 Comment From Eminor3rdIMO, the biggest chasm between sabermetrics and the mainstream is the lack of understanding that there’s a difference between what matters in roster construction and what is going on in a player’s head. Of course ‘the will to win’ is a huge factor, anyone who has played understands how important mental focus is to performance. But from a long view, that stuff is already built in to the on field stats. 12:26 Dave Cameron: I don’t think it’s a lack of understanding. I think writers are hired to tell stories, and so they’re going to look for stories to tell. 12:27 Comment From GabeNow that the Pence contract is a thing, is Choo out of the Mets’ price range? 12:27 Dave Cameron: Probably always was. 12:27 Comment From SteveRelated to a Stanton trade, does he have more trade value during the offseason or running up to the trade deadline next year? An extra couple months of team control is important, but a team might be more desperate near the deadline. 12:27 Dave Cameron: Position players generally cost more over the winter, pitchers cost more at the deadline. As a general rule. Not always. 12:28 Comment From CatoblepasWould McCutchen have won it if the Pirates fell just short of the playoffs? 12:28 Dave Cameron: No, probably not. 12:28 Comment From retirenunttingWhat odds do you give the Pirates to beat Stl? 12:28 Dave Cameron: 45%, or something in that range. 12:28 Comment From Catoblepas“Go for smart buy low guys on short term, mid-price deals.” Isn’t that basically what the Red Sox did? 12:28 Dave Cameron: Victorino and Dempster weren’t really buy lows. 12:29 Dave Cameron: Napoli wouldn’t have been either had the hip thing been discovered. 12:29 Comment From Anon21I know you’re not very interested in LAD-ATL, but wouldn’t a 1992 NLCS rematch be a great story? 12:29 Dave Cameron: It’s not that I’m not interested in it, it’s that I find the other two series more compelling. 12:30 Comment From PrichSullivan claims he could defest you in thumb and wrestling, but he would not want to leg wrestle you b/c it sounds “uncomfortably intimate”… Do you concur on all counts? 12:30 Dave Cameron: This is why I won’t be hanging out with Jeff in the chat tonight. 12:30 Comment From BkgeneralTo have Choo, Votto, and Bruce and have zero impact RH bats is criminal. Baker is terrible, but Jockety did next to nothing to help. Like a waiver claim on Marlon Byrd for instance. 12:31 Dave Cameron: Ludwick getting hurt was a big blow, but yeah, that wasn’t a super well constructed line-up. 12:31 Comment From retirenunttingVotto seemed to have some willingness to jab at Jocketty in the media re: not claiming Byrd last night … any chance the Reds blow it up and send him off for a boatload of prospects. Is Joey Votto, despite being an amazing hitter and not caring about RBIs, trade-able? 12:31 Dave Cameron: He has a full no-trade. He’s not going anywhere unless he demands a trade, and that’s probably not happening. 12:31 Comment From Davidre: Will to Win. At what point should we simply grant that professional athletes ALL have the proper mental focus most of the time. Especially in big games. Are we supposed to believe that the Reds just didn’t want it enough last night? 12:32 Dave Cameron: Yeah, performing badly isn’t the same thing as not being focused. 12:32 Comment From thankswhen you paste the transcript of your live game chats, can you make sure you get the whole thing? they keep getting cut off. 12:32 Dave Cameron: The RSS feed gets truncated. There’s nothing we can really do about it. 12:32 Comment From JimIs time value of money taken into account when analyzing contracts? 12:32 Dave Cameron: Yes. 12:33 Comment From GuestBased off of last night, I don’t think Brandon Phillips will be getting that $400 billion extension he thinks he deserves. 12:33 Dave Cameron: He seems to have a lot of confidence, that’s for sure. 12:34 Comment From retirenunttingDo the Reds have the prospect pipeline to hang in there in an NL Central that’s going to be competitive the next 3 or more years w/ Pirates, Cubs, Cards each having great farm systems? 12:34 Dave Cameron: Not really, no. They’re going to have to make some shrewd pickups. 12:35 Comment From GuestWhich SP from the remaining teams would you want going for you in a winner-take-all game (other than Kershaw)? 12:35 Dave Cameron: Wainwright, probably. 12:36 Comment From LeightonThe Tigers struggled near the end. Do you think this is because they didn’t need to win games, or did they actually get bad at hitting? If they just turned it off to conserve effort, can they turn it back on? If they actually got bad, can they get good again in time, especially since we don’t really know how Miggy will hold up? 12:36 Dave Cameron: It basically all depends on Miggy’s health. When he’s less than great, so are they. 12:37 Comment From AlexWhy not make wildcard round best of 3? Start it on Tues and go Thurs, Fri. Only pushes playoffs back a day and gives division winner that same if not more of the incentive for winning the division. Not to mention more revenue for MLB (and tv) plus teams that make the Wildcard? 12:37 Dave Cameron: Because you have to leave some room for tie-breakers, as we saw on Monday. So the earliest you could start it would be Wednesday, and then with travel, it would go Wed/Thu/Sat, which means the DS wouldn’t start til the following Monday. Which is just way too long of a break. 12:38 Comment From SteveWhich 1B has a better chance for a comeback season – Morneau or LaRoche? 12:38 Dave Cameron: LaRoche. 12:38 Comment From Kieran KellyDoes Mark Melancon resign in Pittsburgh? Will he continue to pitch at this level in 2014? 12:38 Dave Cameron: He’s not a free agent. 12:38 Comment From JimmyDave: Having a discussion with a friend regarding the real worth of Mo Rivera, and the worth of closers in general. I noticed Rivera’s career WPA was 25 points higher than Jeter’s. Is this a correct metric to use in determining how valuable Mo was to the Yankees? 12:38 Dave Cameron: No, you shouldn’t really use WPA to judge a player’s value. 12:38 Comment From RKWhat are your expectations for Devin Mesoraco moving forward? 12:39 Dave Cameron: Solid average catcher. 12:39 Comment From retirenunttingInteresting Arangure article on Votto and how he was more aggressive in approach during last night’s 0-4: http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/62316212/ 12:39 Dave Cameron: Aggressive is generally code for “swing at anything”, and it’s stupid. 12:40 Comment From PrichIf they decide to sell now (which I think they will), what could the Nats hope to get for Espinoza… an intruiging bullpen arm, tops? Or could they get more? 12:40 Dave Cameron: They’re going to give him away, most likely. 12:40 Comment From SteveVDo you think Corey Hart can make a come back next year/ 12:40 Dave Cameron: Sure, he didn’t die. 12:42 Comment From ReddickulousI read some speculation in the SF Gate about Billy Beane as the next commish. He’s way to smart to take such a terrible job right? Or is there actually meaningful change that could be done from that seat, and might he take it just to show off–like staying to win a ring with the A’s he built himself instead of jetting to Europe to play with pro soccer as appears to be his next intellectual boasting opportunity? 12:43 Dave Cameron: Yeah, he’s not going to be the next commish. 12:43 Comment From CEKNo doubt Rivera will go into the HOF–do you feel that he should? 12:43 Dave Cameron: Of course. 12:43 Comment From GuestGrim question, but I’ve always wondered. Say it’s the middle of June next year and the plane of *insert X team* here tragically crashes and they all die. …What happens then? 12:44 Dave Cameron: The sport probably shuts down for a few days, and then the organization has to call up a bunch of minor leaguers. My guess is that every team would let them pick nearly any non-40 man player out of their minor league system to put together a new team, so they would probably get their pick of all the AAAA types. 12:45 Comment From ForsythHow much do you value consistency for players? For example, if the Rays win tonight and they have Moore and Price going in games 1 and 2, do you keep your lineup consistent or do you adjust and start Bogaerts over Drew? 12:46 Dave Cameron: I don’t think starting a guy two days in a row matters at all. 12:46 Comment From JasonDave a week ago you said that Tampa would “handle Cleveland fairly easily in the Wild Card game as they are a significantly better team” What’s changed for you? 12:46 Dave Cameron: They had to throw Price on Monday. 12:46 Comment From GuestJust to clarify: the premise of that article is stupid, or the approach Votto took at the plate last night was? 12:46 Dave Cameron: Aggressive approaches are stupid. 12:46 Comment From SteveThat was definitely a bummer question 12:46 Dave Cameron: It was. 12:46 Comment From person hscerMore convoluted stat: batting average or pitcher wins? 12:46 Dave Cameron: Pitcher wins. 12:47 Comment From TimofeyIs Justin Ruggiano going to be this years Schierholtz FA bargain? plus defender, plus power, 108wRC+ outside of FLA 12:47 Dave Cameron: He’s not a free agent. 12:47 Comment From TomCan the next commish please get rid of the unbalanced schedule? It is dull seeing the same teams half the season, not to mention not the fairest thing for Wildcards. 12:47 Dave Cameron: The travel penalty is super severe with a balanced schedule. 12:48 Dave Cameron: And it leads to way more games out of primetime, which the networks hate. 12:48 Comment From TomRe: Plane Crash…..I thought the MLB rules specified something that it is handled like an expansion draft, each team can protect 30 players and the rest are exposed, only 2 picked….I could have sworn I saw that. 12:48 Dave Cameron: In-season? I really doubt MLB would set something like that up in the middle of the year. 12:49 Comment From chuckbSince relievers are better than starters, shouldn’t teams (the Braves, for example) go with 3 starters on 3 days’ rest and pitch them 4-5 innings (75-80) pitches rather than 4 starters on 4 days’ rest? Why wouldn’t they? Is it just about starters normally expecting 4 days’ rest? 12:49 Dave Cameron: There’s a difference between a strategy that works for a few weeks with frequent days off and a strategy that works for six months with few days off. 12:49 Comment From person hscerWhen people say a balanced schedule, what do they mean? A 174-game season where you play everyone 6 times? 12:49 Dave Cameron: i think they just mean that you don’t play your divisional rivals 19 times each. 12:49 Comment From That One GuyDo teams get to re-set their rosters between the Wild Card Games and the LDS? If so, it would make sense to jettison all but one starter for the WC and have all kinds of pinch-runners, etcetera, available. 12:50 Dave Cameron: Yes, and that’s exactly what every team did. 12:50 Comment From JosephSimilar question to Guests: Say some kind of natural disaster destroys the local teams stadium … than what happens? Obviously stadium construction takes quite a while, so….. 12:50 Dave Cameron: This happened in 1994 in Seattle. Roof tiles fell at the Kingdome and made it unusable, so they had to go on the road for a very long time. 12:50 Dave Cameron: And then the strike happened. 12:51 Comment From Anon21I think the question about three-man rotations was meant to be specific to the postseason. Why do teams like the Braves, with a decent rotation but a lights-out bullpen, feel compelled to have a “fourth starter” in the playoffs? 12:51 Dave Cameron: Oh, right, in the post-season, I agree that there’s hardly any reason to have a #4 starter. 12:52 Comment From Tomhttp://www.baseballnation.com/2011/9/8/2412695/hockey-team-plane-crash-mlb-disaster-plan has more details 12:52 Dave Cameron: Well, there you go. 12:52 Comment From bobbyCan teams re-do their rosters in between LDS and LCS and WS? 12:52 Dave Cameron: Yes. 12:53 Comment From ChrisFB“The travel penalty is super severe with a balanced schedule.” – Not if you arrive at one true schedule that has teams marching through the divisions in a specific order. It’s the back and forth cross country for arbitrary reasons that’s the killer. Most of the travel penalty comes from ensuring specific teams are always playing at home for specific holidays, or to avoid schedule traffic jams with multiple sports teams in town, etc. 12:53 Dave Cameron: Right, but those traffic jams have to be avoided. You can’t just say “this is what’s best for baseball” and screw everyone else. 12:53 Comment From steveEver play Diamond Mind Baseball? 12:53 Dave Cameron: Yep, loved it. 12:54 Comment From TomWould you want teams to have to keep the same 25man for both Wildcard and LDS? Or no big deal? 12:54 Dave Cameron: Yeah, I think the wild card game should just be treated as Game 1 of round 1. 12:55 Comment From GuestI am so depressed after reading your piece on Howard Lincoln of the Mariners. Besides dreadful baseball the worst part of it is you and Jeff Sullivan may never do another Meetup here in Seattle. 12:55 Dave Cameron: We’ll do another one eventually. Just maybe not at Safeco. 12:55 Comment From GaryAgree or disagree: We give too much credit for team success to front offices in general (and too little credit to luck), and too much of the credit we give front offices goes to the top executives (GM, VP Baseball Opps, Scouting Director) 12:55 Dave Cameron: Agree. 12:56 Comment From BkgeneralVotto’s extension kicks in this year, Starting pitchers due to get paid soon, Chapman only 2 years left on initial deal. Fair to say Reds are only getting worse from here on? 12:56 Dave Cameron: Would have said the same thing about Oakland a few years back. Good organizations can reload with undervalued players. 12:57 Comment From CEKHave you posted any postseason predictions anywhere? If not, who do you think plays (and wins) in the WS? 12:57 Dave Cameron: I was part of ESPN’s postseason picks piece. But they’re all just wild guesses. 12:57 Comment From person hscerIs Morse done getting MLB jobs? 12:57 Dave Cameron: No, he’ll get something like 1/4 or 1/5 this winter. 12:58 Comment From DaveDC, thanks again for the chat. A colleague and I were having a discussion… historically great players (Cobb, Ruth, etc.) played during the segregated ball era. Because of this, the talent pool was extremely diluted. Does this perhaps make the accomplishments of their contemporaries stand out more? Roughly 30% of current MLB players (and AAA players, and AA players) would not have been eligible to play in the 1920s. Replacing 30% of MLB players with a selection of above average, average, and below average AAA players would surely dilute the talent pool to the point that ‘great’ players would turn into ‘stars’, and ‘star’ players would turn into ‘superstars’. 12:58 Dave Cameron: Sure, but then again, they also had to travel on trains, work jobs in the off-season, didn’t have any video to scout opposing players, had lousy nutrition and medical care… The game is dramatically different now. Can’t just change one variable and assume the rest is the same. 12:59 Comment From chuckbLikelihood that Profar is with the Rangers on opening day next year? 20%? 12:59 Dave Cameron: Much higher. Like 80%. 12:59 Comment From SteveVOk, so next year—Hart or LaRoche? With no consideration of contract cost. 12:59 Dave Cameron: LaRcohe, but it’s close. 12:59 Comment From LeviWhat were your answers to the Robinson Cano contract crowdsource? 12:59 Dave Cameron: Haven’t asked it yet, but I’m guessing 8/200 or something in that range. 1:00 Comment From chuckbOn my question about the Braves’ starters, I meant why don’t all teams do that in the postseason? Sorry for not clarifying. 1:00 Dave Cameron: Fear of breaking up a routine. 1:01 Comment From BkgeneralClubhouse Confidential coming back this offseason? Been practicing your blinking? 1:01 Dave Cameron: I blink like a normal person in real life. Promise. 1:01 Comment From JonnyAlthough I don’t necessarily agree with it, I understand the rationale behind limiting a young pitcher’s workload. Why don’t they use pitches thrown instead of IP though? Count warmup pitches if need be, is there enough disparity in average pitches/inning that it would make sense? 1:02 Dave Cameron: Yeah, the focus on IP instead of pitches is odd. 1:02 Comment From ReddickulousStraight up nasty-factor to your eyeballs: who’s the nastiest? (I’d seen the numbers on Kimbrel, but then I actually SAW him pitch. Holy bejezus.) 1:02 Dave Cameron: Chapman throws 104. 1:02 Dave Cameron: So, him. 1:02 Comment From ClaytonThoughts on Lynn starting Game 2 over Miller, Kelly, or Wacha? 1:02 Dave Cameron: Prefer Miller, not sure it matters much. 1:03 Comment From 2ndHSThink Scott Kazmir will provide the best production per dollar in this winter’s FA class? 1:03 Dave Cameron: No, probably not. 1:03 Comment From MasonOver/Under 85 wins next year for Cleveland? 1:03 Dave Cameron: Maybe we should see what their team looks like first? 1:04 Comment From TimofeyMLBTR had Ruggiano as a nontender candidate, I would assume he gets traded instead, wouldn’t the Rockies make a ton of sense as a RF platoon with Blackmon? 1:04 Dave Cameron: Yeah, there are a bunch of teams who would take him as a cheap fourth outfielder. 1:04 Comment From BruceIn case of a stadium implosion, I have to figure Montreal would be high on the list of short term homes 1:05 Dave Cameron: It’s not just finding an empty stadium. You have to staff those stadiums, and have a trained group of employees who can handle the logistics of parking, food, security, etc… 1:06 Comment From 2ndHSAny thoughts on which FA SP will provide the best production for under $10MM AAV? 1:06 Dave Cameron: Scott Feldman maybe. 1:06 Comment From LarsI’d like the Mariners to crowdsource their general manager responsibilities. At the very least, it would be a lot more fun. Maybe Nintendo can make it into a video game. 1:06 Dave Cameron: Depends on the crowd. If you include casual fans, Raul Ibanez would get a 10 year extension. 1:07 Comment From BruceMontreal is doing all those things for 2 exhibition games next year 1:07 Dave Cameron: That’s a planned event, not an emergency. 1:08 Comment From Daveso if a stadium implodes, the best best is to use an NFL stadium with no baseball team (Charlotte), or a AAA stadium? 1:08 Dave Cameron: Probably the best is to just go on the road. 1:09 Dave Cameron: Okay, that’s it for me today. Sullivan will be here tonight for the live game blog.