Jay Jaffe FanGraphs Chat – 3/8/18 by Jay Jaffe March 8, 2018 12:01 Jay Jaffe: From slushy Brooklyn, welcome to today’s chat! Thanks for stopping by 12:02 Gsellman: I’ve still got something to give, right? 12:05 Jay Jaffe: That late-2016 stint in the majors was promising, but looking back at the lack of success at Triple A, I’m not sure the rotation was the right place for him, and he basically appears to be a guy on the fringes. That sinker got hit pretty hard last year 12:05 Dale: Would the Yankees trade Judge for Correa straight up? 12:08 Jay Jaffe: Hell yes. Correa’s just 23 and plays a premium position well enough to stay there for a few more years, where Judge is about to turn 26, plays an outfield corner, is likely to regress from last year’s great season (that 2nd half slump notwithstanding) and has a similar player on the roster in Giancarlo Stanton. Brian Cashman wouldn’t give Jeff Luhnow a chance to come to his senses if that phone call came. 12:08 David: Mustache grooming tips, I like this addition to the FG repertoire! How frequently should someone trim his mustache/beard? 12:10 Jay Jaffe: I can’t speak for those with beards, because my lone attempt at growing one, as a n about-to-turn 19-year-old college freshman was dreadful and patchy (and reddish). But unless you’re a major league closer who is supposed to look surly and unkempt, I’d say you have to tend to that upper lip garden no more than every third day to keep it tamed. 12:11 Matt: So, what are your thoughts on Moose? I traded Rendon for him and Pollock back in Feb, and now I’m thinking that dropping him might be a necessity. But pride, yo. 12:12 Jay Jaffe: I’m *really* not the guy to ask about fantasy baseball questions, sorry. That said, I’d hold onto Moustakas because I think the threat of him waiting until after the June draft so as to detach from the Quality Offer-related compensation is a bluff. The chance that he signs a one-year deal and struggles after missing spring training seems too high for that risk. 12:13 David: What are your favorite non-MLB ballparks in the tri-state area? 12:16 Jay Jaffe: MCU Park, where the Brooklyn Cyclones play in Coney Island, is a very cool and unique park given its amusement park backdrop, though it was better before they had to replace the grass with turf (I haven’t been in a couple years so I’m not sure if they changed it back). Richmond County Bank Ballpark on the tip of Staten Island, where the Baby Bombers play, has a very cool view of lower Manhattan. Plus you get a free ferry ride out of the trip. I haven’t been to any New Jersey or Connecticut ballparks. 12:16 Rabbinical College Guy: Which division race do you think will be over first and by when? 12:17 Jay Jaffe: I think that unless the Mets rotation rebounds in strong fashion, the NL East will effectively be over by Memorial Day. 12:17 Sonny: Does Jake Arrieta still play baseball? There’s like 6 teams on the playoff bubble that should give him a job 12:18 Jay Jaffe: I agree. Still think the Cardinals and Brewers both really need him, in particular. 12:19 Matt Klentak: When does Ervin Santana’s FIP catch up to him? He constantly beats it by a large margin. Does this type of finger injury linger and effect his grip? 12:23 Jay Jaffe: So long as he’s able to limit the quality of contact — and he was in the top 10 in both Soft Contact % (high) and Hard Contact % (low) — and avoids pitching for any team that occupies a bandbox, he’ll outdo his FIP. I’d be a bit nervous about any finger injury as to how it affects a pitcher’s grip, but I don’t have much deep knowledge of the specifics here offhand. 12:23 Theodore Epstein: What do you expect from Kyle Schwarber? 12:24 Jay Jaffe: high comedy in the outfield, 25 homers by the end of July, and a trade to an AL team on or around the deadline. 12:25 TRANE: Does it seem like the turnover from the personnel has been higher than ever? A lot of vets cut out of a job 12:26 Jay Jaffe: the league-wide trend is certainly towards younger, less experienced — and lower paid players. Generally those guys have minor league options remaining, which opens up the possibility of endlessly churned roster spots, as we’re seeing in some bullpens. So yes, more turnover. 12:27 Bill: Is the swing revolution, at least so far as emphasizing loft, somewhat of a swing throwback. I remember a great Sports Illustrated article back in the 80’s that was a discussion of hitting between Ted Williams, Wade Boggs and Don Mattingly, and Williams going after the Charlie Lau/Walt Hriniak hotting philosophy (saying it put hitting back 25 years) and arguing if favor of greater loft in the swing (swinging slightly up), and for pulling the ball more. Of course he also was against the free swinging high strikeout approach that has only increased currently, but the hitting philosophy in general seems more like the current “new swing” 12:29 Jay Jaffe: yes, I think you’re onto something. In this era of pitch counts, I think Williams would have been particularly vocal about the need for hitters to be patient in addition to preaching the gospel of launch angle. 12:32 Pat: Rick Reuschel & his 34th all time B-R WAR #- What am I missing with him? 67th in innings, but, most of his other #’s (WHIP, K’s, ERA+ FIP, K-BB, etc) really don’t seem that impressive. Ballpark effects? Crappy defenses behind him? 12:35 Jay Jaffe: I swear somewhere I have a few hundred recent words about Big Daddy lying around but I can’t find them at the moment. No, the numbers don’t jump off the page but he had consistently good ERAs in a tough environment (esp Wrigley Field) and good peripherals over a TON of innings and had a good late-career renaissance at ages 39-40 with the Giants. He’s on the leaderboards for ERA+, FIP and WAR a lot but didn’t get much recognition in his heyday and is probably never going to be recognized with a Hall berth. But the guy could pitch. 12:35 Mordecai Brown: Arrieta to the Brewers and that’s a decent top-three in Nelson, Anderson, Arrieta, with Davies as a solid four. That’s a playoff team no? 12:37 Jay Jaffe: Our Depth Charts projections really doesn’t like the Brewers’ current rotation (which isn’t helped by Davies’ oblique or Nelson’s shoulder injury) or their middle infield, but to me, their outfield upgrades should push them closer to a playoff berth. Add Arrieta while expecing a bit of regression elsewhere among those starters and I see them as contenders. 12:37 Lou Sassole: Which teams do you have your eye on as surprise Wild Card contenders this year? 12:39 Jay Jaffe: I’m not very high on the Blue Jays given their aging roster but our Depth Charts projections call for 87 wins. That would surprise me, as would the Giants, if so many things go right that they leapfrog past the Diamondbacks and Rockies after last year’s improvements 12:39 Scrapper: It appears that MLB ultimately threw up their hands to speed the game up and I can’t imagine that limiting pitcher visits to six/game will have any substantial impact. Frankly, there seems to be an ongoing debate between the “all baseball is good” camp and the “let’s go while we’re young” camp. Which camp are you in? 12:42 Jay Jaffe: I think Manfred wants to be viewed as doing SOMETHING and mound visits was an easier thing to implement unilaterally than a pitch clock. I doubt it improves things a whole lot but we really do need the players to take ownership of this issue and self-police. 12:43 JWR: What is the biggest Hall of Fame travesty that we’ve seen in the last 20 years? 12:45 Jay Jaffe: The exclusion of Minnie Minoso — in part because of the technicality of committee members not being able to consider the totality of his Negro Leagues and MLB careers — is the worst because he was a major pioneer, the Latin American Jackie Robinson. That trumps the elections of Jim Rice and Jack Morris, or the failures to elect Bonds and Clemens, to name a few other things that stick in my craw. 12:46 Jay: If things go well for Ohtani playing two ways and maybe eventually Brendan McKay, how long do you think it will be before we see a two sport pro athlete again? Or is knowing how important rest is now for athletes going to eliminate that possibility? 12:48 Jay Jaffe: I think those are two separate beasts. it takes massive commitment to be good at one sport, probably moreso now than it did in the 1990s when Bo Jackson and Deion Sanderswere in their heydays, given improved training methods and understanding of the importance of rest 12:48 Alex: Did the Indians mildly overpay for Yonder Alonso given the slow market? Seems to me like they should have held out for Logan Morrisson 12:50 Jay Jaffe: it certainly does seem like they overspent by striking early, but Alonso is generally viewed as a better fielder than most of those other alternatives (though I know the metrics were down on him in the field in 2017). 12:50 Gary: Okay how do the Yankees handle Judge, Severino and Sanchez all hitting free agency the same year (and 1 year after Bird)??? 12:54 Jay Jaffe: I think it’s a bit early to fret about the winter of 2022-23. They’re the Yankees, which means that the money will be there if all of them merit keeping around, and maybe a pre-FA extension or two lowers the cost a bit. But the chance that all four will be equally worth keeping five years from now seems very low. 12:56 Slurve: Edgar in the HOF next year? 12:56 Jay Jaffe: I think so, yes. 12:56 Vlad Jr: Do you expect me to be called up this year? And if so, when do you think? 12:57 Jay Jaffe: Right now no, given the current lack of experience above A-ball, but ask me again in July after we see his next half-season. 12:57 Slothrop: Would you be opposed to turning the MLB Hall of Fame into an international, all-inclusive sort of hall like the Basketball one? 12:59 Jay Jaffe: I’d rather see the creation of a modern-day pioneer designation that could include players/personalities such as Lefty O’Doul, Buck O’Neal, Hideo Nomo and Bill James 12:59 Nert K Kisblad: What if the dodgers or angels DFA’d Kemp/Pujols and get them off the 40 man after they obviously pass waivers. would they be off the luxury tax count then? Kinda like the red sox did with Castillo? 1:02 Jay Jaffe: No, they’d be part of the tax calculations unless they’re traded or CLAIMED on waivers. I’m not 100% sure I understand it entirely but I believe the Red Sox could do what they did to Castillo because he had minor league options remaining. 1:02 The Casual Fan: Did we see glimpses of what Lincecum can be as a closer in the playoffs a few years go? Could the Rangers have something super intriguing if he can be a multi-inning closer? 1:06 Jay Jaffe: It’s nice to imagine that we did, and that this will all play out perfectly, but Lincecum has been through a lot physically and mentally in the six years since, and the last time he faced major league hitters was ugly. At this stage, I don’t really see a reason why he’d be pushed hard to be a multi-inning guy; it’s not like he was built up to throw 100 pitches just a month ago. I do hope he can stick around the major league level and be productive. Anything beyond that is gravy. 1:06 Wilmer Flores: Will the Mets find 500 PAs for me? 1:06 Jay Jaffe: If they do, something will have gone quite wrong. 1:06 Marty: Jay, have you had any of the Alchemist beers? They have two new ones that are lighter but very similar versions to Heady Topper and Focal Banger. 1:07 Jay Jaffe: I LOVE Heady Topper and am lucky enough to have a connection that bestows it upon me once in awhile — it’s on the short list of my favorite beers. I’ve never had Focal Banger but am eager to try it — anyone out there who can get it and wants to work out a trade, give me a shout 1:07 King Tut: Better ROY Odds: Gleybar or Devers 1:08 Jay Jaffe: By definition, the answer there would be Torres since Devers surpassed his rookie qualifications last year (130 At-Bats; he got 222) 1:09 bosoxforlife: Nunez is a solid offensive performer, so solid that he was even able to hit in San Francisco, and seems to have a perfect approach for Fenway. How do the Red Sox get him enough AB’s? 1:12 Jay Jaffe: Use him for the short half of a platoon with Devers at 3B, give Pedroia regular days off, and try to avoid playing him at shortstop 1:12 Scrapper: I know that you are an expert about the qualifications of candidates for the Hall of Fame but what are one or two things that would best improve the balloting process in the future? 1:14 Jay Jaffe: Expand the ballot to 12 slots instead of 10 and replace the 5% minimum rule with something like a 10% minimum after 3 years or maybe 20% after 5 years. 1:14 Mountie Votto: Who logs the most SS innings for the Reds? Which Reds SS ends up being most valuable? 1:16 Jay Jaffe: Dave Concepcion is the answer to both — wait, no. I expect them to see what they have in Jose Peraza and give him every chance to hold down the job. 1:16 tommy lasagna, sr.: ever parked in a handicapped space? be honest. 1:17 Jay Jaffe: I’ve gotten away with parking too close to some fire hydrants but honestly I haven’t ever parked in a handicapped space . That’s made easier by the fact that I haven’t owned a car in 23 years, since moving to NYC. 1:18 Q-Ball: Where do you stand on Rose and Bonds for Hall of Fame? For any steroid guys, for that matter? 1:22 Jay Jaffe: Bonds: Yes; The PED problem was a complete institutional failure that implicates the commissioner and owners as well as the union and players. In general, don’t think voters should hold PED-related allegations from the Wild West era, before testing and suspensions were in place, against individual candidates Rose: No. He broke the rule that’s been posted in every clubhouse since the Black Sox were barred. He knew exactly what we was doing. I could have written him a press release that would have gotten him reinstated, along the lines of, “I have a problem with an addiction to gambling. I recognize the damage I have done to the game, the people around me and myself. I am undergoing intensive treatment to control this and I will spend the rest of my life working with MLB to warn others of the danger.” had he done that, he’d have been reinstated, but instead he chose to lie, lie, lie and stick his thumb in MLB’s eye repeatedly. It’s a sad story, but he’s earned it. 1:22 Big Papa Juan: I feel like quality Bavarian hefeweizen is underrated in so many aspects by American beer drinkers — call it the 2012 Ben Zobrist of beers. At the end of the day, it’s simply the more enjoyable experience vs. the IPA. *ducks*. 1:24 Jay Jaffe: I’m not a huge hefeweizen fan anymore but I do think that there’s more to good beer than just IPAs. Pilsners, lagers, saisons, porters and stouts are all part of my beer diet — not in one sitting, of course — depending on the time or place. I have to confess that I’m not into sours but if that’s your thing, more power to you, as it certainly seems like a lot of craft brewers are having good results by focusing on that. 1:24 A Dub: Prediction on Alex Reyes getting 15 starts for the Cards this year? 1:26 Jay Jaffe: 15 seems like a good estimate. I can see the Cardinals being cautious and using him out of the bullpen at first, then sending him down, stretching him out and slotting him into the rotation in midseason. 1:26 old spartan: In relation to your ‘not being a fantasy baseball guy’….strictly speaking generally…isn’t most information about baseball relatable to fantasy baseball..especially ‘dynasty’? 1:30 Jay Jaffe: Much of it is relatable to fantasy baseball, but not most. My big issue is mainly interest level — I don’t care about RBI or pitcher win totals (though I have to keep an eye on those for HOF discussion) and I can’t sustain a level of interest long enough to parse the particularities of your league’s scoring method or your roster dilemmas. I’d rather be frank about my disinterest than mislead or misguide you., because there are smart people out there who can help you if that’s your thing. 1:31 tacopocket: doesn’t trump minoso but Kenny lofton deserved a much closer look for the HOF. and keith hernandez should be in 1:32 Jay Jaffe: I think both Lofton and Hernandez should get strong consideration by their respective committees. I favor the former if I could only choose one for the Hall, but I understand those who would beat the drum for the latter first. 1:33 Kevin: Do you think Donaldson and Archer are in different uniforms by Opening Day 2019? 1:33 Jay Jaffe: Yes to both. Sorry Jays and Rays fans. 1:34 Moltar: The Mets have had their injury issues at the forefront this spring. Is it worrisome that they *still* can’t keep players healthy at all? Or is this actually an improvement, that they’re taking minor injuries seriously and being proactive? 1:35 Jay Jaffe: small sample size caveats apply but to the extent that a signal cuts through the noise that surrounds spring training owies, I think we’re seeing a bit more proactivity. 1:35 Scott: I’ll admit I’m biased because I’m a Red Sox fan, but I think Jim Rice becoming the poster child for bad Hall of Famers is misguided, especially when the writers have also elected Bruce Sutter and Trevor Hoffman 1:38 Jay Jaffe: I’m not wild about the Sutter pick but he was a pioneer in two ways — one mostly out of his control (pitching almost exclusively in save situations) and the other well within (being the leading practitioner of the split-fingered fastball. I didn’t include him on my virtual ballots but I’m OK with Hoffman given that he’s 2nd all time in WPA behind Mariano Rivera. The Rice pick bothers me more than either of these. 1:38 That one guy: The Mariners are on a long streak with no playoff appearances, and the Pirates recently ended an even longer one. Which team do you think is most likely to spend the next decade with no playoff berths? 1:41 Jay Jaffe: The Pirates. The Mariners have been the less successful of the two teams in generating homegrown talent but their ownership at least seems willing to spend the money it takes to build a contender; they just need better builders. 1:41 Moltar: Did we ever get a reasonable explanation for why Javier Vazquez was left off the ballot altogether? Not that he should be in or even make it to a second year, but considering guys like Matt Stairs make the ballot, why not Javy?? 1:42 Jay Jaffe: No explanation was ever given. I assume it’s the 4.22 ERA, because that’s the simplest explanation. 1:42 Big Joe Mufferaw: Could the yankees fit Judge, Stanton and Harper in 2019? 1:42 Jay Jaffe: I don’t see it. Machado makes more sense for their roster if they’re landing one of the big ones this coming winter. 1:42 The Trolls: Re: A woman playing pro baseball. I would have to think she would be a LOOGY or a 2B, but I never really considered a catcher. I would think the arm strength would be problematic unless she had super elite pop-times. Your thoughts? (Also never read the comments) 1:44 Jay Jaffe: i hadn’t considered a catcher until you mentioned it, in part because I believe one with a strong enough arm would be steered towards the mound. But it might be a plausible path given one with the right frame and arm strength. 1:46 Big Joe Mufferaw: who wears the nickname “Moose” better? Mussina or Moustakas? 1:46 Jay Jaffe: Mussina is gonna wear it all the way to Cooperstown sometime over the next few years. 1:47 Babe Lincoln: What’s changes most about your job since moving to FG? 1:50 Jay Jaffe: I’m writing a lot more at night than in the morning, mainly because I’ve been playing catch-up after getting back from vacation and juggling child care stuff with my wife, whose new job at The Athletic is very intense as well. It’s not ideal but I do think that as we settle in, things will improve on that front. For all of that, I’m enjoying the move. The reception I’ve received has been great and the level that the readership is engaged is very cool. 1:50 Michael J: Taylor and Puig are guaranteed starters in center and right. Kiké starts vs lefties. Who is the Dodgers starting left fielder against righties? Toles, Pederson, or Verdugo? I refuse to give Matt Kemp a chance 1:52 Jay Jaffe: Yeah, it’s tough to take Kemp seriously given that we know he’s basically an accounting problem first and foremost. Because the rest is a real logjam, I don’t see Verdugo in the mix yet, and wouldn’t be surprised to see the Dodgers make a trade or two before Opening Day. 1:52 William: Jay – You’ve probably answered this roughly 1,000 times before, but what are your thoughts on weighting the FAME portion of hall of fame, and really bumping up someone like Fernando Valenzuela? 1:54 Jay Jaffe: Fernando’s another guy I have in mind as a modern-day pioneer. Back before television, fame in baseball was largely conferred by newspapers and particularly by World Series coverage. You might never get first-hand experience seeing some players, and player analysis was in the dark ages. Now, every player is a couple of mouse or button clicks away and we have much better tools to evaluate players, so it’s actual performance that we can emphasize in choosing our pantheon. 1:55 Jay Jaffe: OK folks, it’s time for me to skedaddle, especially because I’m on toddler detail once the kiddo awakes from her nap. Thanks for stopping by to spend some time here!