Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 10/14/14

9:03
Jeff Sullivan: hello there friends

9:03
Jeff Sullivan: everybody in the mood to live baseball chat?

9:03
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s see how this goes!

9:03
Comment From Guest
What exactly is a hung pitch? Is it just location, is it grip, or is it something else?

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: Generally speaking, a hung pitch is a non-fastball that ends up higher in the strike zone than was intended. It can be because a ball didn’t spin right out of the hand, or maybe you released it too early, or whatnot

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: Jean Machi arguably hung a splitter to Oscar Taveras. Even though the pitch was down in the zone, it was supposed to be in the dirt, and Machi missed up by a couple of feet. So Taveras was able to get the bat head around

9:05
Comment From aaa
are you ready for FAKE MOOKIE BETTS TRADE-FEST 2K14?

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: I can deal with hypothetical trades if I can anticipate them!

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: Still liked that idea of Betts for Donaldson. Even though it’s not perfect, it’s in the vicinity of realistic

9:06
Comment From Vic
The Orioles have a one in ________shot of winning the series?

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: 12ish

9:07
Comment From Guest
KC not getting this far next season?

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve written before about how I think their window extends forward even without James Shields, but as a simple rule of thumb you should bet against anyone going up 2-0 in the LCS the next season

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: They’ll be right in the mix for the division, though. The Tigers are in a difficult situation, so I think you’ll see a Detroit/KC/Cleveland three-headed pennant monster

9:09
Comment From Vslyke
Petriello thinks its pretty close to a toss-up whether Ervin Santana gets a QO. What do you think?

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: 70/30 no

9:09
Comment From Guest
Rank in order which OF is most likely to be traded: Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, Zorbist, Carlos Quentin, other

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: other is most likely to be traded

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: then let’s go…Kemp, Upton, Zobrist, Quentin

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: I do not feel strongly about this

9:10
Comment From J6takish
How do the tigers always have such bad bullpens? Dombrowski seems pretty smart and this seems like an odd thing for him to be inept at

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: Nathan looked like a good gamble, then he sucked. Soria looked like a good gamble, then he sucked

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: I think a lot of this is just lousy luck, which sounds stupid but with relievers it’s a pretty big factor. The Tigers have had their star money invested elsewhere, and they’ve thinned out the farm system, and it’s possible there’s something about the player development that isn’t generating enough minor-league relievers

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: I mean, every team in baseball has a handful of guys in the minors who could probably come up and post 3.00 ERAs in the middle innings. Where are the Tigers’ reinforcements?

9:12
Comment From Guest
Will there be a chat during the games today?

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: I haven’t yet heard anything to that effect, but it’s possible this chat ends and I have an email waiting from Dave. My preference would be to not chat and then chat again later for another four hours, but I do know that chats will be returning soon. It was never the plan to do them every day

9:13
Comment From Guest
favorite non baseball-related author(s)?

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: Krakauer

9:14
Comment From Guest
Thoughts on Jeff Bridich?

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: Honestly never knew who he was before. Having read some material, on the one hand he’s been groomed by that very organization, but on the other he does seem to have a little bit of a fresher and more analytical approach. One wonders how much different a Bridich-led Rockies team can be than an O’Dowd/Geivett-led Rockies team since everything’s staying in-house, but this seems like a small step forward

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: The biggest issue isn’t really the personnel in the front office. The biggest issue is figuring out how to win consistently playing Colorado baseball. It would be a challenge for anybody

9:17
Comment From Free Scott McKinney
Should the O’s be doing anything differently with their bullpen, or is this just a situation where the right moves do not always work out?

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t remember every last detail but I’ve felt pretty good about Showalter’s moves in the first two games. Players just fail. Nothing to be critical about, in terms of the strategy

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: I liked when Showalter brought in Andrew Miller to counter Jarrod Dyson running on first. That was clever

9:18
Comment From _David_
Would the Mariners seeming hard line stance against PED offenders, if true, change your opinion about ownership interference regarding the Cruz situation?

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: I’d like to know how much Zduriencik knew about that, and I’d also like to know, in that case, why Jesus Montero is still in the system, and why the Mariners acquired a guy like Milton Bradley a few years back

9:19
Comment From Brandon
Darren O’Day looks like he’s standing up straighter than usual during his delivery these past few games. Why would he change his pitching motion?

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t see any changes in the release-point data, and that’s the most important thing. Just like how it doesn’t matter that Hunter Pence swings like a complete idiot since he eventually arrives in proper contact position. If O’Day has changed something during his windup, that might just be a little tweak he decided upon, but when it comes time to let the ball go, he’s the same as he’s been

9:21
Comment From Guest
Do you think Saunders gets traded or requests one?

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: He has basically no leverage, but it would not surprise me if he’s dealt away. I think the odds are 60/40 he sticks around in some capacity

9:21
Comment From Free Scott McKinney
What should each remaining playoff team dress up as for Halloween?

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: Derek Jeter

9:22
Comment From Darth Stout
Why not start Shields today?

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: Short rest?

9:22
Comment From Fisk
Hello Friend, let’s chat. Do the Dodgers have reason to want to deal someone like Scott van Slyke to the Mariners for relief help?

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: Legitimate outfielders don’t and shouldn’t get traded for relievers

9:23
Comment From Guest
how is it possible that mike trout has such trouble with high pitches?

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: He has a swing path that’s specifically geared to punish pitches at the thigh or below. That’s where people have pitched him, and those are the pitches he’s decided to destroy. His swing is his swing. Same with Brandon Moss, although obviously Moss is no Trout. When you have a swing that’s geared to counter a sinker, it’s not going to play as well against a fastball up, because you’re taking such an uppercut

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: It’s obviously not impossible for Trout to hit a high pitch hard, and in fact he homered on one against Kansas City, but the probability is against Trout in the zone’s upper third

9:25
Comment From Free Scott McKinney
Do the M’s trade for Billy Butler’s $12 million option or do they wait for him to become a free agent?

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: nobody wants to pay Billy Butler twelve million dollars

9:25
Comment From Fisk
What % of championship baseball is about withstanding attrition?

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t have a number for you, but the good fortune of avoiding major injury is probably an underrated boost

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: Even when just average players get hurt, they get replaced by inferior players, and that’s when you can get really exposed. The Orioles are an outlier in this regard — they’ve survived everything

9:27
Comment From mtsw
Re: Alex Gordon’s deterrence, it seems like the rest of the league has (more or less) properly evaluated whether to run on balls hit to him. Do we know of any outfielders who are consistently over or under estimated by runners/base coaches?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: I feel like people are going to take fewer and fewer chances against Yoenis Cespedes

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: I was surprised the extent to which people ran on Shin-Soo Choo this past season. That rate should go up in 2015

9:28
Comment From GSon
Who hangs up, Cubs or Indians in a Danny Salazar for Jorge Soler trade proposal?.. Could this be a foundation for a trade with more players involved?

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: Cubs would hang up first, but there’s a foundation there

9:29
Comment From Jake
Is Waino an ace next season?

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll go with yes. I think the offseason helps him get over whatever this is

9:30
Comment From Brad
Would betts play 2nd for Oak and who would play 3b for oak if your trade idea happened?

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: Firstly, I want to say it’s not my idea — someone came up with it in last week’s chat

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: But Oakland would do the deal just to get Betts. It would shift their problem spot from second to third, so that would be something for them to deal with, but they’d go for it just for the added service time

9:31
Comment From aaa
Betts for Donaldson doesn’t make sense. Donaldson is Betts’s upside — if EVERYTHING breaks right for Betts, he’ll be as good as Donaldson. Betts only has two more years of team control. I think you’re way overrating Betts’s value.

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: what?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: Betts has all of the years of team control left

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: that’s like half of his value

9:32
Comment From Guest
Who would you trade, Chris Taylor or Brad Miller?

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: Taylor

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: fun fact: Chris Taylor’s initials are CAT

9:32
Comment From Bob E.
Kyle Zimmer looked legit last night…in the mix for rotation next year?

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: Not immediately, since he basically didn’t pitch this summer, but he’ll be a fast mover if he’s healthy

9:34
Comment From Free Scott McKinney
What move or type of moves should the Padres prioritize this offseason?

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: Add a cheap starting pitcher, try to find a real shortstop, and hope for good enough injury luck to get up to 85+ wins

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: They’re in a weird situation where they’re kind of caught between building up and building down. I think they’re close to having sufficient depth but no matter what they do they won’t be a *favorite* in 2015

9:36
Comment From Guest
im still having a hard time jumping on the KC bandwagon because of the article from Eno…but are tools like hosmer and moustakis any different from the average mlb personality?

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: There are people you wouldn’t like on every team, there are people you *would* like on the Royals (like Gordon), and Eno would probably tell you himself he didn’t know enough yet at that point to be as great an interviewer as he is now. It left a bad taste in my mouth too, but I kind of understand, and judging a team by the temporary behavior of a couple of players is like judging a fan base because a few people in the bleachers are loud obnoxious drunks

9:38
Comment From Guest
What does your crystal ball say about Khris Davis’ future?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: average to above-average outfielder. Fairly solid across the board, but he’s not so much of a long-term building block

9:38
Comment From Guest
Santana back to KC?

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think the Royals are going to want to spend that kind of money on a pitcher who isn’t that good. Even with the playoff run, they’re still not going to spend big, which means they need to be smart about how they distribute what they have. They’re going to be a big build-from-within organization for the long haul

9:41
Comment From mtsw
If you’re Buck Showalter, how do you handle your rotation going forward? Do you pitch Tillman in game 4 and skip Gonzalez? Does the outcome of tonight’s game matter in that decision?

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: Realistically, the Orioles have one start left to get from Tillman. They shouldn’t want to start him on short rest; he’s not that good. They need to win four games no matter what and they still do have a deep and talented bullpen, so I think you go with Gonzalez and you’re aggressive with relief if he gets himself in trouble.

9:43
Comment From J
Are any of these postseason teams actually any good?

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: In the second half of the season the Orioles and Royals had the two highest WARs in the American League

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: The Giants are roughly wild-card level, and the Cardinals would be quite solid if it weren’t for Wainwright’s thing and Molina’s thing

9:45
Comment From Fisk
Did you read the Eno Saris piece on Alex Gordon? It seemed the formula for him was a) have a good attitude + b) workout like crazy in baseball-relevant ways + c) be very talented (and don’t eat pizza). Which part of this do you think Dustin Ackley is missing?

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: When Alex Gordon was Dustin Ackley’s age, he wasn’t this version of Alex Gordon yet

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: That would’ve been Gordon’s 2010, in which he was demoted to the minors

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe Ackley’s got some psychological hurdles. Maybe he simply isn’t as talented as Gordon is. I don’t know anything about Ackley’s personal discipline. But remember that Gordon is a career exception. Prospects who flame out like he did don’t usually turn into what he’s become

9:48
Comment From Big Joe Mufferaw
I am the only one that is confused about the Chase Headley FA situation? He is coming off a “bad year” but he still put up a 4+WAR and everyone remebers his monster 2012 season. Yet teams tend to not pay much for the skill set he displayed this season. What kind of contract do you think he gets?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: He’s a little bit like Jhonny Peralta and Shane Victorino. He’s going to get at least three years, and he’s going to get eight figures for AAV

9:49
Comment From Guest
can you distill why the projections all of a sudden love KC? it changes that drastically because of a few months of good results?

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: Dave knows more about this than I do, but I think the projections now are just Steamer? which would mean ZiPS is out of them for the playoffs, and maybe ZiPS was balancing Steamer out all season long

9:50
Comment From Mooking for Love
Josh Hamilton is due $23/30/30 over the next 3 years. This looks like a Ryan Howard level albatross to me. Is it even remotely possible the Angels can move him and should they?

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: No one is going to want to take him, but Hamilton can at least be an above-replacement player. He’s overpaid but not worthless

9:51
Comment From Guest
How would you manage wainwright going forward? Shorter leash with Wacha ready?

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: They’re not any more confident in Wacha than they are in Wainwright. It would just be, yeah, shorter leash, and then you end up with a lot of Marco Gonzalez

9:52
Comment From D
How disappointed will Cubs fans be when all of their high-K minor leaguers end up higher-K major leaguers?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: What else do they do?

9:53
Comment From Free Scott McKinney
If pitchers were limited to throwing only one pitch, who would be the top 3 starters (and their respective pitches)?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: oof

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: well, R.A. Dickey

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: and then maybe Wainwright (cutter) and Kluber (cutter)

9:56
Comment From Gila Monster
How do we deal with a guy like Adam Jones? He was typically viewed as an excellent defensive centerfielder by scouts, but the metrics already hated him. But this year he posted a 10.7 Def/8.3 UZR. Has he changed? Were the metrics wrong? Is it just extreme random variation?

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: same UZR season as he had in 2008, and by DRS he was basically himself. I’m going to assume this year he just wound up with slightly easier opportunities, and in reality he’s something like an average defensive center fielder, which is a thing that looks pretty good to the naked eye

9:57
Comment From Dan
I can’t believe I’m asking this: Will the 2015 Cubs be the 2014 Royals?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: the Cubs are going to strike out

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t mean like big-picture, they’re going to bust. I mean their players are going to strike out a lot, and the Royals don’t do that

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: But to get at what you actually mean, yeah, I think next year’s Cubs are in the mix

9:59
Comment From Logan Davis
The Mariners are looking for a couple of right-handed bats this offseason, and it doesn’t seem super likely that they’ll get two off the free agent market. What do you think about the possibility of trading Roenis Elias for one of the NL’s second-tier RHBs (e.g. Scott Van Slyke or Evan Gattis) to use as a part-time DH? Perhaps Elias + Leone?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think Elias gets you Van Slyke or Gattis, and I don’t think Leone adds a whole lot to that package, but Elias would represent a good starting point. A young, cost-controlled bat has more value than a young, cost-controlled pitcher with injury questions, but Elias should have enough to turn those into longer phone calls

10:02
Comment From mtsw
Darren O’Day getting shelled recently: regression to the mean, bad luck or has something gone wrong with his pitching?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Interestingly enough, it seems like his velocity might be down just a bit. But I mean, he’s given up all of four hits in the playoffs. He allowed a home run on a ball to Alex Gordon, and he allowed a home run to Miguel Cabrera, who’s one of the greatest hitters of his generation. I think you still trust O’Day, if you’re Showalter this evening

10:04
Comment From Matt
How wise would it be for the Dodgers to bring up some of their flamethrowers in the minors to re-stock the bullpen rather than go out and spend?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, you don’t want to really spend money on setup guys

10:04
Comment From Bertrum
When do we see the showdown with the pro Taveras FO and the pro anyone else Matheny?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: We never see that, because that would be private

10:05
Comment From Fisk
Favorite Royal?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: Cain. He is just outstanding

10:05
Comment From Fisk
Do you wish good things for Jason Vargas’ dogs?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know what you’re talking about so I guess no

10:06
Comment From Del Martin
How concerned is Dombrowski with Ausmus’ ridiculous defense of his bullpen management?

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: Less concerned than he is with the personnel in his own bullpen. You can talk to your manager and get on the same page about reliever use. You can’t talk to your relievers and make them pitch better

10:06
Comment From Pale Hose
If Mike Trout has his same three seasons, but ordered 2014, 2012, and then 2013 does that materially change his projection for 2015?

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: A little bit. And for me personally, I’d think better of him because it would indicate he’s improved his discipline and cut down on the strikeouts

10:07
Comment From Phil
Who is the better trade piece for the O’s: Davis or Wieters? They have to get rid of one of them before/during next season unless they want to get saddled with a FA nightmare. I hope its the offseason and they can pick up a Cespedes-type OF so they can more easily not be drawn into the overpay for Cruz, but not sure of the feasibility within the current FA market.

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: Wieters

10:07
Comment From J6takish
Why does carson not have to (get to?) chats?

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: Carson’s version of the chat is the podcast

10:09
Comment From Hamburgler
Should the Cards reach the WS and it turns out Molina’s injury prevents him from swinging a bat, but doesn’t affect his defense much, would you consider DHing for him and letting the pitcher hit?

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: I believe by rule the DH can only be used for pitchers

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: It would be fascinating to see Molina used as a “catcher-reliever” — late in games, he comes in to catch a few innings, and then if his spot comes up in the order you pinch-hit or have him bunt or something

10:11
Comment From Guest
Thoughts on Panik? Keith law keeps crushing him due to his lack of power and speed, but he keeps throwing out great ABs and getting the ball in play. Worthy first rounder?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: He doesn’t do anything that excites me. He’s something like an average second baseman with very limited upside

10:12
Comment From Logan Davis
So Detroit’s going to keep V-Mart, right? For too much money?

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Probably, probably

10:12
Comment From Steve Bartman
Is it safe for me in Chicago yet?

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: You probably look very different

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Try not to get carded

10:12
Comment From tret
Are we all overrating Betts? He *looks like* a sure thing, but some of the one for one trades I’ve been seeing are absolutely ridiculous. He’s got high trade value for a prospect, but he won’t bring back an MVP-caliber talent with years of team control.

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: The Donaldson thing wouldn’t be realistic if Donaldson were, say, 25 instead of just about 29

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: That’s one of the keys. But no, Betts’ value isn’t being overrated. Every single team in baseball would give up a ton to have him

10:14
Comment From Alex
When are pirates fans allowed to forgive Hurdle for starting Edison Volquez in a one game playoff?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: If the front office fervently disagreed, Hurdle could’ve been overruled. And you might’ve noticed that in the wild-card game the Pirates scored zero runs

10:15
Comment From THE average sports fan
IS Jerrod Dyson good enough to be a 3/4 of a CF platoon?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: yeah

10:15
Comment From froglegs jackson
If we’re eventually able to get access to a pitchers “effective velocity” (like what’s been shown in the statcast videos) would that make the typical velocity readings we’re used to seeing irrelevant?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: Not irrelevant — you can to some extent “teach” effective velocity, by changing around pitch locations and deliveries.

10:16
Comment From Guest
The Angels don’t have much room financially if they stick to the tax budget. NT of Beckham would open up some more. What do you think they do? Sign a couple of 4/5 types and hope Richards comes back earlier in the timetable?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: The good news is they’re still pretty set, so yeah, I think they target some rotation depth and then roll the dice on 2015

10:17
Comment From Fisk
The Dodgers should keep Kemp, Puig, and, and Pederson plus probably Crawford for insurance. Do you think they’ll move Puig for a good offer? Is Puig established enough to offer a lot to get him?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: Puig doesn’t get moved. Every team would love it if Puig did get moved, but that will not happen

10:17
Comment From Mikey
Do the O’s have any realistic chance at winning 4 out of 5 against the hottest undefeated team this postseason?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: Yes? Probably a 1-in-5 or 1-in-6 chance

10:18
Comment From Fire Justin Bopp
What is the best brunch place in Portland?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: Screen Door

10:18
10:18
Comment From Guest
Don’t you think the Rockies could be very good doing nothing at all? Their offense and defense looks pretty elite given some liberties with health. They have pitching help on the way with guys like Gray,Butler,Anderson..etc.

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: Healthy 2015 Rockies contend for the wild card. The problem is at some point health goes beyond just being a luck thing — the Rockies have some injury-prone players who are also some of their best players

10:19
Comment From $200 — Scott McKinney
What should Derek Jeter dress up as for Halloween?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: Alex Rodriguez

10:20
Comment From Eraserhead
Where can i find team records with and without certain players ? E.g. Giants record with and without Angel Pagan.

10:20
10:20
Jeff Sullivan: That gives you record with. Then you have to do your own math

10:21
Comment From Keeper
Kolten Wong has a total of 5 SOs and 4 hits in the postseason… 50% of those hits are HRs… one more homer than single… this game really is amazing.

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: I’m just fascinated by how the Royals and Cardinals are winning with dingesr

10:21
Comment From Chuck Knoblauchs Niece
if trout has a swing geared towards hitting low pitches, why dont pitchers literally only throw high stuff to him?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: For one thing, they do pitch him high, more than any other hitter in baseball

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: But a lot of pitchers have been instructed to keep the ball down literally their entire lives, and that’s where their strengths are. Pitchers prefer to match strength against strength as opposed to weakness against weakness. The more flexible a pitcher is, the more success he can have against Trout, but it isn’t as easy as it sounds. Everyone in baseball knows the Trout scouting report now. It’s not *just* stubbornness that leads to him getting pitched low

10:23
Comment From mtsw
In the film “Signs,” Joaquin Phoenix plays a retired minor leaguer who set home run records but never made the majors because he struck out too much. Is this the least realistic baseball-related plot point in any movie?

10:23
10:24
Comment From Fire Justin Bopp
I can extend a trip to Portland next month for a couple days to visit the Oregon coast. I was told to skip Cannon Beach and Seaside as too touristy. Where should I go?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: Astoria, Fort Stevens

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: and no PNW coast is too touristy in November

10:24
Comment From Tseug
Why does anyone pitch to Trout in locations other than up in the zone?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: I also want to note, sometimes when you want to pitch up you accidentally pitch down, the same way that it goes backwards sometimes. Location mistakes!

10:25
Comment From Mikey
Better chance making it back next year O’s or Royals?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: I think the O’s could be the better team, but I expect them to have a far more difficult time emerging out of a strengthened ALE

10:25
Comment From Fire Justin Bopp
What kind of free agent deal does Billy Butler get?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: maybe something like 2/16 or 2/18 — chance he re-signs with the Royals for a few years

10:26
Comment From Guest
Is mookie for donaldson something that could happen or just media speculation?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Is it even media speculation? It’s FanGraphs chat speculation

10:26
Comment From Mikey
As an O’s fan,let’s say a baseball god comes to visit me tonight and says I will let the O’s be in the same spot next year down 0-2 in the ALCS or you can roll the dice like a normal year, should I take it?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: absolutely

10:26
Comment From The Nfl kinda sucks
Would you say full on submersion is the best way to get into Hockey, Im getting Gamecenter thursday.

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, immerse yourself. Watch as much as you can to see what stands out to you. The sooner you start to feel something, the sooner that feeling can start to blossom

10:28
Comment From mtsw
Ubaldo Jimenez is returning to his home in Miami instead of travelling with the team after being left off the ALCS roster. Orioles fans are insane for being mad at him for this, right?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: The playoffs just make people insane. I mean, it’s interesting, but I’m sure we don’t know enough of the details. Don’t know why Ubaldo went home instead of traveling with the team. Maybe there’s a family thing going on. Maybe the Orioles and Jimenez don’t get along!

10:30
Comment From jig fame lames
Jeff, you are running the front office in Houston this offseason, what are looking to do?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: See what the market is for Chris Carter

10:31
Comment From Will
OK, serious question: do the Mariners’ flailings at DH this season indicate a problem with replacement level? If there was a 0-WAR bat to be picked up for the minimum and improve the team by 3 wins, I didn’t see it

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: The problem is not with the replacement level. The problem is with the Mariners’ players

10:31
Comment From Fisk
If Molina actually injured his lat, is there really any chance at all he is useful on the roster (as a player)?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: Odds are against him helping in this series, but it’s promising he’s been able to work out defensively so fast

10:32
Comment From _David_
How likely is it that Trout heard/hears from someone in the industry that he was likely worse this year because of a change in his playing style?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: No one’s going to be that critical of Trout. He knows where his strengths and weaknesses are

10:32
Comment From Guest
Would you say Donaldson peaked already?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: yeah

10:33
Comment From Ken
so if guys take fewer chances against an OF how does that get measured? If an OF throws out a lot of runners then he gets credited statistically with having a great arm, but someone who is so feared that players won’t run against him will not get the same credit

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: There’s value in killing runners and there’s value in saving bases. By not challenging Gordon, runners are allowing Gordon to pile up bases saved. It’s like how people don’t run very much against Yadier Molina. He doesn’t get credit for throwing as many runners out, but he stops them from trying in the first place

10:34
Comment From Fire Justin Bopp
What does Oakland do with 2B and SS next year?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: I kind of feel like Stephen Drew could be re-united

10:35
Comment From Mike K
Is Dayan Viciedo getting non-tendered, or would a team still offer a C prospect for his upside?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: someone would throw money that way for right-handed power with upside

10:35
Comment From Ken
It does seem that people are going apeshit over half an MLB season of Betts.

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not about the half-season

10:35
Comment From Dylan
Do the Astros/Marlins start to spend this offseason? The talent is almost there for both teams.

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: Astros aren’t really that close, but they’ll spend some. The Marlins will try to spend more

10:35
Comment From Fire Justin Bopp
Who makes the postseason again first: Arizona, Colorado, or San Diego?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: San Diego

10:37
Comment From Fire Justin Bopp
Which free agent does Houston target?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: lots of them. no one goes into the market saying this-guy-or-bust

10:37
Comment From Fisk
Think Chris Young comes back to the Mariners for under $10, or is he off to the Angels for more?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: ten dollars?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: No one is making a big commitment to Chris Young. He’s never getting more than one guaranteed year and he’s never getting a guaranteed eight figures

10:38
Comment From Hank G.
There is a rumor that the Dodgers would like to move Puig. Puig for Mookie Betts. Who says no?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Dodgers say no

10:39
Comment From Guest
do you think a B.Miller to the Padres deal makes any sense?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: Miller to lots of teams makes sense

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: Miller to the Yankees makes sense

10:40
Comment From semperty
Is there a (fairly easy) way to find out what percent of the time the higher seed wins a postseason series compared to a single game play-off?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: You mean mathematically or empirically?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: Empirically, we don’t have enough single-game playoff data yet. Mathematically, you’re just doing some pretty simple multiplication

10:41
Comment From Logan Davis
In an earlier chat you sort of vaguely implied you’d met Michael Saunders and determined him to be chill. Have you met Michael Saunders? Is he chill?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: He’s one of the good ones

10:41
Comment From Jopa
When do the Yankees reach the playoffs again?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: 2015 or 2016

10:42
Comment From MunenorisEspressoStand
Saw an article about a Korean infielder getting posted soon. Is there any rule of thumb for translating Korean stats to possible MLB performance? E.g. I dimly remember that the NPB is generally somewhere between AAA and ML level, but I don’t know if that’s true for Korean leagues too.

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: My assumption is Korean baseball is worse than Japanese baseball, which is worse than major-league baseball. There’s also more power in the Korean game

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: In 2014, the KBO had an .813 league OPS. The Japanese leagues were 100 points lower

10:45
Comment From Guest
Did you see the picture about Oscar Taveras’s ISO on fastballs of .000? Is this because of his lengthy swing?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: He’s hit a few doubles against sinkers, and he’s capable of taking a fastball deep, but I think right now you throw him heat until he proves he can punish it. He’s clearly capable of getting around on softer stuff

10:46
Comment From Phil
Judging by his cocky attitude after he hit a broken bat bloop single in game 2, I would say Hosmer’s tool-ish behavior was not temporary.

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Cocky or excited?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: It’s the playoffs! Runs scored!

10:46
Comment From Jaack
Does anyone actually care all that much about the NLCS? I mean, even Cards and Giants fans can be apathetic about it since, meh, they’ve won recently.

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: They care a lot, but I can tell within myself that the AL games get me way more jazzed

10:46
Comment From Gus Lamp
Can Jedd Gyorko be an All-Star next season?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Every team needs one

10:46
Comment From Hubie
To the KC point, Eno himself has said he made some mistakes in how he approached those guys (Hosmer and Moose). I don’t think it makes sense to write them off because of one bad moment.

10:47
Comment From Mike
Do you think the Phillies find a taker on Howard this winter (with the Phillies eating more than $50 M)? I was talking with others, and the teams that came up for “possible” destinations (with essentially, no return) were Oakland, Minnesota, Tampa Bay, and Seattle. Teams that have a semi-need at DH, and will never push the luxury tax so the AAV wouldn’t hurt them (even though they would pay less than $5 M a year).

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: I’d be surprised if anyone gave anything for him. He’s a replacement-level player. His history of being better than that could make him a lot less willing to accept a role-player responsibility. If he were cut, he’d be picked up by someone, but the Phillies would have to eat literally everything left to get him to go away

10:48
Comment From Guest
Would you surprised if the Giants sweep at home?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: Nothing about the playoffs would surprise me anymore

10:48
Comment From Los
I don’t mean this rudely because I am in this chat reading your answers (as I am every week) but why do we care what your opinion is?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: I have no idea!

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: I do this every week because I’m told to, but I don’t know why you guys are here!

10:49
Comment From Fire Justin Bopp
What moves should the Royals prioritize this offseason? It looks like they will have openings in RF (Aoki), DH (Butler), and at least one SP (Shields).

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: The outfield’s not hard if they give an expanded role to Dyson

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: They might elect to keep Butler around, and if they don’t, it’s not like he actually helped them in 2014

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: Shields will be harder to replace, but he also wasn’t exactly a star this year so the Royals are going to be okay. They’ll spend a little bit, with this extra revenue, but mostly they’ll stay internal and they’ll stay competitive

10:50
Comment From Rob
Do the Cubs get one of Lester, Scherzer, or Shields this offseason? If not, who do you see them going after?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: I think they get one of ’em

10:51
Comment From Rated Rookie
Which is more significant to you, Taijuan Walker’s recent effectiveness or concerns about his pitching mechanics (short stride, stress on shoulder)?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: if you’re referring to the AFL, I couldn’t care less about AFL performance

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: but I also couldn’t care less about what a few people think about Walker’s mechanics, as outsiders. What’s most significant to me is how Walker is able to move his fastball around

10:51
Comment From lil-z
What has made Trout Trout is his ability to adjust. Think he could turn around his high-pitch troubles with offseason work?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: That’ll probably be his priority.

10:52
Comment From Mikey
If you ran the O’s would you resign Cruz and Markakis for the next 3 years at 40 million each?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: Heavens no

10:52
Comment From mtsw
Which do SABR savvy fans overestimate more: importance of managers’ strategic decisions on game outcomes or certainty that heralded prospects will turn into stars?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: The former

10:53
Comment From gump
steamer has moose at 3WAR next year. Crazy?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: Not crazy. He’s an excellent defender and he’s coming off a .220 BABIP. It’s high, but not very high

10:53
Comment From Fire Justin Bopp
Do the Rangers try to spend their way out of trouble or do they take another year to sell off some expiring assets and try to rebuild quickly?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: They’re in better shape than 2014 indicated. With an improved pitching staff they can win 85 games or so next season

10:55
Comment From Mikey
If the Angels offered Josh Hamilton and 60 million bucks for nothing would there be any takers?

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: So basically Hamilton for 3/30?

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: Someone would take it

10:55
Comment From Jimmers
Next Season, Khris Davis or Marcel Ozuna?

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: Ozuna

10:56
Comment From Scooter Pence
Regarding the seemingly impending strikezone change (i.e. putting it back to normal), it seems like they would just push up the lower boundary of the zone, and maybe try and make the LHB not so weirdly shifted. It seems like this might impact some hitters more than others. Like for example, I imagine that it maybe won’t affect hitters like Trout and Moss as much as a crazy high ball hitter. Thoughts?

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: I want to say I don’t think anything is impending in terms of a change to the strike zone

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know if baseball believes the current state of things is problematic

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: But if the zone were to start pushing pitchers up, that could be bad news for guys who feast on pitchers pitching down, depending on the magnitude by which they start elevating more

10:58
Comment From Mila Kunis Monster
If all pitchers could throw only one pitch, would relievers be as good as starters?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: Considering relievers are basically starters who failed because they didn’t have enough pitch diversity, yeah, you’d see a lot of overlap

11:00
Comment From Brad
with times though order penalty seemingly being real, shouldn’t teams eschew loading up with aces like phillies and tigers have done recently, and go with mid tier pitchers and spend ton $ on bats?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: Aces will still be awesome and relatively superior every time through the lineup

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: If anything it’s the mid-tier pitchers who’ll quickly become worse than relievers in games

11:01
Comment From Al Cajon
Would the Padres signing Tomas for $100M be on the same level as the Royals trading Myers for Shields?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: How do you mean? even for $100m, Tomas could conceivably be paid less than he’d get as a free agent. And he’d be around for seven years, not two

11:02
Comment From lunch
so the royals story is pretty great, but if they win it all, is there going to be a lot of bloviating about the failures of sabermetrics? like “speed and guts win championships” stuff? will anyone care if that does happen? probably i should just read a book instead of thinking about it.

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not gonna lie, things definitely feel a little awkward, but I think that’s part of the fun of it. And sabermetrically speaking, we’ve known for a while that the Royals have an unbelievable team defense so I think everybody could get to learn from this. I don’t really care what the bloviators have to say — they’ll never have their minds changed by anything regardless. I don’t think the Royals disprove anything, and I think they demonstrate how you only need things to click for a month or three at a time

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: Especially in this era of the extra wild card, if you can win 88 games or so, you can do anything!

11:04
Comment From Dan
Do position players in pitcher friendly parks get smaller arbitration raises?

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: Presumably to a small extent

11:05
Comment From Rod
Billy Hamilton’s second half was miserable. Any hope we see improvement next season?

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: Sure. He’s a very motivated and intelligent player. I still believe in him

11:05
Comment From Guest
Would the Cards part ways with Matheny over the Taveras thing when it errupts?

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: Not just because of that

11:06
Comment From Al Cajon
What trade was more instrumental in getting the Royals here: Greinke or Myers?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: Well from the simplest perspective, Cain/Escobar were worth more WAR this year than Shields/Davis, and Odorizzi helped facilitate the Shields trade

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: That doesn’t prove anything, but at least it is important to remember that the Greinke deal was huge too

11:07
Comment From Hambone
For some reason I heard this years back and it’s stuck but never judged it’s validity: Don’t grade an OF by the number of ~10% balls he makes but by the number of 50/50 balls he makes

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: You’ll at least get a bigger sample of 50/50 balls, which helps

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: All right, I need to get going — I probably need to write about the Orioles or something before this afternoon

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: So thank you everybody for hanging out, and I’m sorry for what I didn’t or couldn’t address. We’ll do it again next week at the same time, and until then, be well and have great days

We hoped you liked reading Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 10/14/14 by Jeff Sullivan!

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Jeff made Lookout Landing a thing, but he does not still write there about the Mariners. He does write here, sometimes about the Mariners, but usually not.

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Roger
Guest
Roger

Who do you think will be the Mariner’s opening day short stop?

John
Guest
John

Sergio Romo

bookbook
Guest

I heard A-Rod might be available.