Jay Jaffe FanGraphs Chat – 8/12/22

Avatar Jay Jaffe: Howdy folks and welcome to the West Coast edition of my Friday chat. I’m in San Diego for some family stuff, putting in a full week of work followed by a week of mostly vacation. I went to Wednesday’s Padres game and wrote about Manny Machado’s rebound (https://blogs.fangraphs.com/in-a-revamped-padres-lineup-manny-machado-…) amid the revamped lineup

Avatar Jay Jaffe: Today I wrote about Justin Verlander’s comeback from Tommy John surgery. We haven’t seen a starting pitcher anywhere near this age (39) return from TJ and pitch well https://t.co/1TZOJFtWLD

Avatar Jay Jaffe: Word of warning as we do the chat: the wifi in my airbnb is brutal, and if it bogs down this could be shorter than usual but we’ll do what we can

Avatar Jay Jaffe: and now, on with the show

EuroBall: What are the Yankees waiting for to call up Peraza?

Avatar Jay Jaffe: I don’t think it’s in the cards this year. Sweeney Murti, who covers the Yankees for WFAN, had a good thread on this

Further explanation on this:
Last month, with trade deadline approaching, I asked several NYY coaches and execs about IKF and upgrading SS because of the spotty defense. They all told me they were not as concerned as I, that they valued range over the small bursts of errors 1/8

At this point the Yankees do not have a need for a middle infielder. twitter.com/LususNaturae0/…
10 Aug 2022

Avatar Jay Jaffe: the short version boils down to this:


Oswald Peraza is a very good prospect, has 2 very good months in a row, but comparing his entire season at AAA to IKF’s w/ NYY: IKF batting .268, Peraza .258. Peraza has a lot more power (IKF has 0 HR), but isn’t dominating AAA so much that he has to be promoted right now 4/8

and the fact that the Yankees have bigger problems (pitching) and would generally be reluctant to put pressure on a prospect in midseason like this.

Avatar Jay Jaffe: you don’t have to buy that — the Yankees org is hardly beyond criticism — but Sweeney has the connections to convey their thinking

MilwaukeeBeerJays: Jay, I feel like you have strong opinions on mustaches. Who wore it better: Tom Selleck or Sam Elliott?

Avatar Jay Jaffe: Wow, that’s a tough call. It’s like asking if Babe Ruth or Ted Williams was the better hitter

Avatar Jay Jaffe: I think Elliot’s big mustache is the harder one to pull off, and less translatable, while Selleck’s is a very efficient and accessible one

CT: I may be a little tardy on this, but re-read your article on Vin a few days ago and just wanted to applaud the entire thing. I’m a bit younger than you, but grew up in LA watching Vin and he was the soundtrack to my childhood, the voice that taught me to love baseball, and like a lot of folks, felt like I lost a close family member when he passed. No question here, just wanted to thank you for sharing your own memories and what Vin meant to you — that was an outstanding splicing of his professional triumphs with your personal ones, one of the best and most thoughtful odes I’ve read. Keep up the excellent work. And have a pleasant Friday, wherever you may be

Avatar Jay Jaffe: Thank you for the kind words. I’m glad the piece resonated with so many people – it’s one of my favorite pieces I’ve ever written, in both versions

diadem: Is it time to give up on Manea?

Avatar Jay Jaffe: give up on in what sense? He might not be a great option for fantasy right now but after trading Gore i don’t get the sense the Padres are going to move him out of the rotation for, say, Ryan Weathers or Reiss Knehr, who have been putting up Boeing-like ERAs and FIPs in Triple A

Avatar Jay Jaffe: Nick Martinez would probably be more likely, moving back from the bullpen, but his 4:30 ERA/5.17 FIP as a starter means he’s not a slam dunk to improve upon Manaea

Aj: Sorry to be a pain about this Jay, but I noticed on your July 19 article on who is making Cooperstown progress that you said that Manny Machado had his lowest peak season as 3.6 WAR in 2018. I think that only accounts for his Oriole WAR because he also had 2.5 WAR with the Dodgers this year. Sorry for bringing it up now; I’m just a huge HOF nerd but don’t often make your chats in time because of school.

Avatar Jay Jaffe: You’re correct, good catch. His lowest peak season is actually 3.8 bWAR in in 2017. He’s now into peak season territory this year (4.3) and has already gained 0.3 JAWS in the past few weeks

Avatar Jay Jaffe: Third Base (25th):
49.5career WAR |40.07yr-peak WAR |44.8JAWS |5.7WAR/162
  Average HOF 3B (out of 15):
    68.4 career WAR | 43.0 7yr-peak WAR | 55.7 JAWS | 5.1 WAR/162

James: What does Verlander’s next contract look like? 2 years/$75 million with a vesting option for a third year?

Avatar Jay Jaffe: His player option for $25 million just kicked in as he reached the 130-inning mark; before that he had 2/$66M plus some incentives. I’d guess 2/$70M with a similar incentive structure but maybe he does a bit better than that

bosoxforlife: Was the Red Sox asking price to high for the rapidly declining J.D. Martinez or did all the teams recognize that there isn’t much left there?

Avatar Jay Jaffe: woof, having some laptop tech difficulties, plz stand by

Avatar Jay Jaffe: Good question. I don’t know exactly what is going on with him but .276/.342/.440 (118 wRC+) for a DH doesn’t look like it’s gonna generate a blockbuster, and it’s not like Martinez’s Statcast metrics say he’s doing doing that much better (.484 xSLG). I don’t think i heard what the Sox were asking for, though, but my guess is that buyers found it too high.

Ke’Bryan Hayes: I’ve had a bit of an “eh” season. Only 1 year removed from last season’s wrist issue? Swing angle adjustment needed?

Am I a premium “buy low” in dynasty leagues or should those rostering me trade me, highlighting my “potential”?

Go, Bucs!


Avatar Jay Jaffe: Hayes is having a 94 wRC+ season but with strong enough defense to take him to 2.7 WAR. He’s still hitting the ball on the ground a ton, and I don’t know how urgently the Pirates are going to address that; so long as he can pick it he’s going to be worth the money, though his 91.7 mph average exit velo indicates there’s still a lot of upside for his offense. See Ben Clemens in our Trade Value series https://blogs.fangraphs.com/2022-trade-value-11-to-20/

If you’re playing some kind of fantasy game based entirely on offense, i imagine that he doesn’t help you much now. If you’re asking me fantasy questions, I imagine I don’t help you much now either

Aj: Hey Jay, I’ve always held the belief that the greatest fielder at each position should be near locks for the HOF if they were around even average at other aspects, regardless of position. This logic is why I support Keith Hernandez as arguably the biggest HOF snub and even supported Kaat and Jones (especially given his additional offensive strengths). Do you think this is an unreasonable stance?

Avatar Jay Jaffe: Pitcher fielding is ridiculously overrated; it’s not that it’s unimportant but its value is already baked into a pitcher’s run prevention numbers and I don’t see a special need to reward it.

Best Fielder Ever at the position is a neat hook for a Hall candidacy but of course defensive metrics can differ and Gold Glove counts aren’t the most reliable indicator either. Ozzie Smith is in Cooperstown because he was an elite fielder with passable offense, while Mark Belanger, who IIRC has slightly more defensive value via B-Ref, is outside because he couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat. I don’ think that’s wrong.

Hernandez has a decent HOF case, but the nontraditional offensive profile combined with a mid-30s retirement dooms his counting stats and I think he’s a tougher sell to many committee voters. I’d vote for him but his is not a hill i’ve chosen to die on when it comes to my evaluations

The Batman: The Mariners are 7-12 against the Astros and 54-40 against everyone else. I’d say it’s just how it’s worked out, but the Astros always crush them. Obviously the Astros are quite good, and the Mariners have – save for these past two years – not been. But do you think there’s validity to the idea that certain teams own others? The Dodgers owning the Padres come to mind as well.

Avatar Jay Jaffe: some teams match up very well with others and some… don’t. In 19 games a season there’s a wide range of outcomes possible; 17-2 over the last 19 for Padres-Dodgers seems pretty unlikely but 12-7 is much less so. We’ve seen that regular season series records aren’t terribly predictive of postseason series, but we’ve also got a lot of data that says the Astros are the better team — maybe not ~100 points worth of winning percentage better, but probably 50 or more, and thus a 12-7 tilt shouldn’t surprise us

Guest: Would Jeter be a first ballot HOF on any other team? I know he would have made it in, but it might have a been a longer stretch if he spent his whole career with, say, the Reds.

Avatar Jay Jaffe: the dude has 3,465 career hits and a clean reputation. There’s no team he could have played for where that wouldn’t have been a first-ballot HOFer

Ryan: How was your experience at the game on Wednesday? Where does Petco rank on the list of MLB stadiums you have visited?

Avatar Jay Jaffe: I’ve now been to Petco 3 times, 2 as spectator and 1 as press. It’s a great ballpark. My only complaint is that the concession prices are NY-like, though the quality is SO MUCH BETTER that it’s tough to complain

Avatar Jay Jaffe: it might be my favorite ballpark, with the caveat that I’ve only been to ~22-24 (i forget my count) and that there are some well-regarded ones like PNC that I’ve never been to

Zach: Fangraphs currently has the Dodgers finishing with 108 wins. Are you taking the over/under on that?

Avatar Jay Jaffe: that projection for 108 wins requires them to play .590 the rest of the way; I think they can top that by a little bit so i’ll take the over.

JK: can you please help me understand the significance of fb/hr rate?

Avatar Jay Jaffe: it’s faded from view a bit now that we have Statcast data but the idea is that a pitcher’s HR/FB rate might be way out of whack relative to the league average and that you can get a truer estimate of his talent by plugging in a league-average rate in place of his homer rate — that’s what xFIP is.

Avatar Jay Jaffe: you can read more about it here https://library.fangraphs.com/pitching/xfip/

Guest: Fangraphs ranked Alex Kiriloff very high and he’s underperforming. Are his injuries to blame or is he in any way similar to other OF prospects who’ve failed to reach expectations like Adell/Kelenic?

Avatar Jay Jaffe: He’s had an endless series of problems with his right wrist this year so I think that’s a lot of it, but also his approach is a mess and needs to tighten up.

bosoxforlife: The Braves just added Strider, Harris and it looks like Grissom has what it takes as well. I can’t remember a team adding 3 potentially high end impact players in such a short time and as long as mustaches has come up Strider’s is solid.

Avatar Jay Jaffe: Harris and Strider have been great for the Braves. Maybe Grissom will be great as well but Eric has him as a 45 FV prospect, and he has one (1) major league game under his belt plus 22 at Double-A and none at Triple-A so … I’d urge a bit of caution just based on that. Maybe he turns out to be significant help, but don’t be surprised if there are some growing pains.

Service Time Impingement Syndrome: Who’s a more productive player next year: Matt Carpenter or Miguel Sano?

Avatar Jay Jaffe: Carpenter, who seems very likely to be retained by the Yankees. I’ve yet to see anything that says Sanó can make the necessary adjustments to be more than a 1-WAR player

Bobby: When deGrom opts out…what do you think he’ll get in Free Agency?  $45 million per year for 4 or 5 years?

Avatar Jay Jaffe: I think there will be more caution than that due to his injury history. Wouldn’t surprise me if he gets the equivalent of a Scherzer deal (3/$130M) plus some lower valuations tacked on to bring down the AAV. 4/$150, 5/$170M? Maybe something like that

John: Jay, what are your favorite baseball museums besides the two great ones in Cooperstown and Kansas City?

Avatar Jay Jaffe: I think the only baseball museum I’ve been to besides the HOF is the Yogi Berra Musuem, where i’ve been lucky enough to do events with Baseball Prospectus and for my book. I’ve still never been to the Negro Leagues one (hopeful next year). Planning to go to the new Jackie Robinson Museum in NY before that.

Sammy: Are we going to see Triston Casas this year? That ankle injury seems to have given Bloom a legitimate excuse to wait until the 1/3 portion of next season.

Avatar Jay Jaffe: My guess is that if he’s healthy, he’s up soon (end of the month? how is it really mid-August already?) so that the Sox can get an idea of how he fits for next year. Alex Speier wrote about him today https://www.bostonglobe.com/2022/08/11/sports/triston-casas-worked-his…

Generational Talent: Variation on a popular Fangraphs thought experiment. Put Trout in the 1920s, but this time make him play under 1920s conditions. No body armor, no face guard, no batting helmet, no video review between at-bats or games, no modern lighting or groundkeeping or climate control or physical therapy, first-class air travel replaced by long train rides in coach, etc. Perhaps he’s closer to Chick Hafey than the GOAT?

Avatar Jay Jaffe: I think he’d mash. WAAAY more power than Hafey

Guest: What should the Jays do with Kikuchi?

Avatar Jay Jaffe: Fix him? they’ve signed him through 2024 so they had better try. Wouldn’t surprise me if Stripling’s return bumps him out of the rotation

Estevão: With Lamet DFA’d, the Brewers traded Hader for a rental closer and two ok prospects. they’re prob seeing something that I’m not, but the more I think about it, the more it seems like a very underwhelming return (that’s if Rogers gets right over there). I always expect meh packages for relievers, but even in this instance I’m somewhat baffled

Avatar Jay Jaffe: part of it is that they’re wary of Hader’s increasing price tag, and that his performance is trending in the wrong direction. My solve-for-x guess here is that they really like Gasser much more than some and see him as a pitcher with mid-rotation potential more than back-end potential.  Wrote about it here, with insights from Eric on the prospects https://www.bostonglobe.com/2022/08/11/sports/triston-casas-worked-his…

Guest: Jay, are you trying any west coast ales you can’t find back East?

Avatar Jay Jaffe: I haven’t been terribly adventurous here because I found a place to get Pliny the Elder bottles and … why would I not drink Pliny? Others I’ve had: Alpine Duet, Alesmith .394 (which i love more for the concept and the packaging than for the beer itself), Modern Times Orderville Hazy, a few different offerings from Rouleur brewery where I went with Eric Longenhagen and Bill Mitchel the other night. I’ve got another week here, so stay tuned

Yeah Well Hiura Towel: Is Soto/Machado/Tatis a scarier threesome in the batter’s box than Betts/Turner/Freeman? (this year, not all-time)

Avatar Jay Jaffe: if Tatis is up to his capabilities… well, i would love to see which one of those trios looks scarier because they both seem awesome on paper

John: How do you think about Xander Bogaerts’s value if you’re Chaim Bloom? On one hand, I get a bit alarmed when I look at Baseball Reference’s most similar list and see John Valentin. On the other hand, Bogaerts is just so steady and reliably good. Like, this offseason, Carlos Correa would be an alternative –Correa is probably the more skilled shortstop and a bit younger, but it seems like he’s gonna miss like ¼ of every season with injuries. Bogaerts is out there practically every day, doing his job. And then as another factor, you know that he can play in Boston. If they let him walk and sign Correa or Trea Turner, you don’t know for sure that he isn’t going to be like the Boston version of Carl Crawford.  How would you analyze all of that?

Avatar Jay Jaffe: this is worth an article down the road but I think there are two issues here: 1, Story is the better defensive shortstop (XB’s numbers this year are decent, which is out of character) and 2. Devers is at third and is ~4 years younger. I wouldn’t be surprised if Bogaerts is wearing another uniform next year and don’t see the Sox as players for Turner or Correa barring a regime change

San Diegoooo: What do you have planned while you’re here in San Diego?

Avatar Jay Jaffe: Next week is mostly about the kids (mine’s nearly 6, her cousin nearly 8). Zoo, a few museums, beach, pool, maybe Legoland. Some local friends to see, and I’m taking my dad, my wife, and my daughter to Thursday’s Pads-Nationals

Yeah Well Hiura Towel: Would Babe Ruth be a first ballot HOF on any other team? I know he would have made it in, but it might have a been a longer stretch if he spent his whole career with, say, the Reds.

Avatar Jay Jaffe: DYING

bosoxforlife: When you say you have only been to 22-24 ballparks are you only including major league parks. I attended my first game at Fenway in 1938 and my present count is

Avatar Jay Jaffe: that’s major league and includes defunct ones in NY and MIN

Jaem Triver: With his 81st RBI, Francisco Lindor just tied Jose Reyes for the Mets record for RBIs by a shortstop in a season. The previous holder of the record before Reyes?  Famed slugger Rey Ordonez, with 60 in 1999.

Avatar Jay Jaffe: you were expecting Bud Harrelson or Doug Flynn?

John: Looks like the Vogelbach/Naquin/Ruf trio might be a good move after all.  Their combined average strong platoon wRC+ is 138, or top 30 in the league.

Avatar Jay Jaffe: Mets looking pretty sharp with those moves. might have to unmute the 375 Mets fans in my Twitter feed who complained that they didn’t do enough

WinTwins0410: Jay, a thought experiment: a “source” at the HoF just handed me December’s Contemporary Baseball Era player ballot in advance (again, it’s a thought experiment; no one actually has shared a ballot with me!). The Contemporary Baseball Era ballot contains the following names: Bonds, Clemens, Schilling, Sosa, McGriff, Dwight Evans, Dave Parker, Lou Whitaker. Do I have a close to accurate December ballot? Or could you see Lofton or Hershiser sneaking on there? And realistically, can you see any names being chosen for the eight-person ballot *other* than the 10 listed above?

Avatar Jay Jaffe: Parker will be on the earlier ballot (2025 Classic) and I don’t think Sosa will be on this one based on his lousy showings on the BBWAA ballots. Hershiser and Lofton would seem to be possibilities; we don’t know how well Orel did last time other than “fewer than five votes” which also describes Albert Belle, Joe Carter, and Will Clark. All of them were at fewer than five in 2017 as well, as was Mark McGwire. I think those reheats plus Lofton is the pool for the final two spots though I might have a different answer if I sat and thought for longer

Avatar Jay Jaffe: whoops missed the fragment from this:

bosoxforlife: Is your ballpark list only major league ballparks? Since I attended my first game at Fenway in 1948 my present count is 29 major league and 39 minor league parks. I have been laid up this season but hope to get to Fredericksburg next year. I wonder if anyone on the blog ever got to see games in The Polo Grounds. Ebbets Field, Shibe Park, before it was called Connie Mack Stadium, and Griffith Stadium?

Avatar Jay Jaffe: Fenway going back to 1948 is very cool. I have  ahandful of minor league parks under my belt too but would have to stop to count.

Jim Edmonds: Arenado or Goldy for NL MVP?

Avatar Jay Jaffe: I’d lean Arenado due to the defensive value

Guest: Why isn’t Home Runs Robbed stat? Seems like an simple this to keep track of, and less objective than an error.

Avatar Jay Jaffe: it is. The Bill James Handbooks track them going back several years. Don’t have mine in front of me

Toshi: What kind of contract is required to lock up Julio Rodriguez? Thanks.

Avatar Jay Jaffe: I think you’re looking at the Tatis deal plus inflation as a rough idea

Guest: If Carlos Delgado hit 500 homers instead of 473, would he be in the HOF?

Avatar Jay Jaffe: quite possibly and perhaps probably

Guest: Do you think Arenado and Machado are kind of linked? Both considered to be the best third baseman in baseball, depending on who you ask, about the same age and both on clear HOF trajectories.

Avatar Jay Jaffe: They’re very close in JAWS, with Arenado now the much more valuable defender. Wrote about both wrt Hall here https://blogs.fangraphs.com/making-tracks-on-the-road-to-cooperstown-w…

Avatar Jay Jaffe: had it last time i was here and will almost certainly have one again

Avatar Jay Jaffe: Ok folks, i’m glad the tech glitches didn’t derail me but i’ve reached my pitch count. Somewhere there’s a plate of chilaquiles waiting for me. Thanks so much for stopping by, and stay cool!

Brooklyn-based Jay Jaffe is a senior writer for FanGraphs, the author of The Cooperstown Casebook (Thomas Dunne Books, 2017) and the creator of the JAWS (Jaffe WAR Score) metric for Hall of Fame analysis. He founded the Futility Infielder website (2001), was a columnist for Baseball Prospectus (2005-2012) and a contributing writer for Sports Illustrated (2012-2018). He has been a recurring guest on MLB Network and a member of the BBWAA since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @jay_jaffe.

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