Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 10/14/16

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: Hello exhausted friends

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to Friday baseball chat!

9:04
Bork: Hello, friend!

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friend

9:05
Outta my way, Gyorkass: What does LAD’s starting rotation look like for the NLCS…Maeda-bullpen game-Kershaw-Hill-repeat?

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: Kershaw was supposed to start Game 2 but obviously now that could be up in the air. Most likely is he winds up in Game 3 and a quiet candidate for Game 2 is Brock Stewart, who’s traveled with the team

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Given that there would be the possibility for three games in three days, I think the Dodgers would like to have Kershaw start the first of those. If Stewart or someone like him goes in Game 2, you can use up the bullpen pretty aggressively because the following day is a day off

9:08
JT: Dusty Baker is 0-9 in his last 9 chances to clinch a playoff series. Theoretically, what would happen if a Baker led team were to play the Oakland Athletics in a 5 game divisional series? Would the series ever end, or continue on until the end of time?

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: I think the series would probably continue, on and on for eternity, and at some point around the 50th or 51st inning Rob Manfred would have to draft emergency paperwork to add an additional team to the playoffs

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: I’m still not entirely sure how that game yesterday came down to Clayton Kershaw vs. Wilmer Difo. I don’t even want to think it through. I just love the look of the sentence

9:11
Outta my way, Gyorkass: I have a coworker whose primary rooting odds are “anyone but the Cubs”, and is despondent about LA having made it to the NLCS by using a bunch of potential starters in relief in game 5. FG has LAD as a 51/49 favorite…I’m trying to cheer him up with this news, but he’s not believing it. Help me explain this to him, keeping in mind the Dodgers will have less than optimal availablity of their best pitchers in this series!

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: Tell him to think slightly bigger-picture. The Cubs still need to win two full rounds, right? Even if you figure the Cubs have a strong advantage — 60% in each — that gives them basically a two-in-three chance of *not* becoming the champion

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: Anyone who’s been watching these playoffs, or any baseball playoffs, should understand that there’s just no point in predicting how they’re going to go based on pitching match-ups or whatever. In Game 4 the Nationals very nearly sneaked away with a compromised Joe Ross vs. Clayton Kershaw

9:13
Outta my way, Gyorkass: What year can a Brewers fan reasonably expect to contend again, 2018 or 2019? Lot of good young players have made names for themselves in the early stages of the rebuild, but the cavalry in the minors is still a few years away from being productive major leaguers, right?

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: If you want to play it mentally safe, think about 2019. The majority of younger players take a little while to get established in the majors anyway. Now, I think the Brewers could be a .500 team by 2018, and if I squint I could see them even just about getting there in 2017. But the Brewers are going to need some stars somewhere in there. They haven’t yet emerged

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: Santana could be one. Broxton could be one. Arcia could be one. Brinson could be one. And so forth.

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: I know that August carries the torch, but I *also* love Domingo Santana, dammit

9:15
Outta my way, Gyorkass: Does this Puig + McCarthy + other pieces for Braun thing that ran out of time on 8/31 have even a remote possibility of happening?

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: Very much so

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know whether the Dodgers’ feelings on Puig are evolving — they’ve had him back around now for several weeks and he hasn’t caused a distraction that we know about. But the Dodgers will not have abandoned that idea

9:17
Brett W: Which games will Kershaw start? Which should he?

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: The easy guess is he’s lined up for Games 3 and 7. Now, I don’t know how he feels, and he didn’t throw that many pitches last night. It was supposed to be a throw day anyway. So Kershaw might still be good to go for Game 2. In that case, it could even free him up for Game 5. But I don’t think the Dodgers are going to keep pushing him over and over and over again

9:18
Reginald Denton III: Can you explain why the playoff odds show LA having better ones than the Cubs? A friend and I were discussing.

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: The playoff odds are based on the depth charts, and the depth charts are giving a ton of innings to Kershaw and Hill, who are really good. In reality, they were just used, so they’re less available for the NLCS than the depth charts would indicate

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: That being said, Kershaw and Hill are still going to pitch. This is a very close series on paper

9:19
Outta my way, Gyorkass: Is it just me, or does it seem like there’s a legitimate dearth of talent at the 3B position across the majors, relative to other positions? There seem to be tons of quality young shortstops and centerfielders, but is this going to wind up being resolved by less defensively apt SS’s moving to 3B?

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: I really feel like it’s just you

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: Remember how much the White Sox paid to get Todd Frazier? On our leaderboards he just ranked 17th in WAR among third basemen, counting just qualified players

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: Bryant, Donaldson, Machado, Seager, Arenado, Turner, Beltre, Ramirez, Rendon, Longoria, Carpenter, Lamb…maybe it’s not the best position in baseball, but there’s an awful lot there

9:22
Julio Pepper: How do the Dodgers line up for NLCS? Maeda/Kershaw/Hill?

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: It’s all going to come down to how Kershaw feels when the adrenaline wears off. It’d be super for them if he can go in G2, because then they don’t have to push Hill back. It would make Hill available for two starts, instead of one. But if Kershaw can’t go that soon, he just can’t go

9:23
Minty: Would you bring Moreland back or try Gallo at 1B next year?

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: I’d rather take my chances on Gallo, but I’d also really want to have some sort of fallback option

9:24
RABBINICAL COLLEGE GUY: Prediction for each Championship Series MVP?

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: Encarnacion, Turner

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: I guess that means I just picked the Dodgers?

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: Whatever, I don’t care

9:25
Anthony: Has any half inning of baseball saved us from more bad commentary than last night’s bottom of the 9th? Imagine all the “THAT’s why you save your closer for the end!” and “What a choker, he just doesn’t have the heart” takes if Kershaw had blown it.

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: It was a great day for smart narratives. Or, smart non-narratives, I guess.

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: For some reason my brain keeps flashing back to that Rangers/Blue Jays inning from last year’s ALDS. Not even any good reason why. I think I’m just not ready yet to move on from that because holy hell

9:27
Stevil: The question on everyone’s mind after last night must be “What would Mattingly have done?” Am I right?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: J.P. Howell would’ve somehow appeared three different times

9:28
Outta my way, Gyorkass: With CHC’s 9th and LAD’s 7th having come in innings when the opposing manager was quick to yank bullpen pitchers, is this something that will affect strategy moving forward (i.e. be more patient and let your RP’s work through trouble), or was this just fluky “can’t predict baseball” stuff?

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: Flukey stuff. Managers will forever try to play the matchups in the playoffs. Especially when they’re in all-hands-on-deck situations. You won’t see behavior like that with any legitimate high-level relievers, but the Nationals, for example, were flipping between lesser options. So were the Giants.

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: And for whatever it’s worth, Kelley probably wouldn’t have come out if it hadn’t been for his nerve issue, which seems to have been thankfully resolved

9:30
Brett W: The Blue Jays won the World Series 23 years ago. The Dodgers won 28 years ago. There are 30 teams in MLB. Therefore, we should stop referring to these titles-less stretches as droughts.

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: Strong agree

9:30
Outta my way, Gyorkass: This is really a woeful FA class, what’s your best bet on who gets the biggest deal of the offseason, Hill? Cespedes?

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: Almost certainly Cespedes

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: Hill might get three years, but Cespedes might get six or seven

9:30
CamdenWarehouse: What is your take on Dipoto’s first year?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: 7.5/10

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: More good than bad, but maybe the biggest good was addressing the consistency of the messages delivered throughout the farm system.

9:32
Nick: Baker on if the Dodgers’ use of Jansen tonight could turn into a trend: “It’s not a trend that I’d like to be a part of anytime.”

If you’re his GM, is this a “Hey Dusty, we need to discuss some things” moment, or not a big deal?

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: I think you have a conversation or two with Dusty in the coming weeks, but I don’t think you hire Dusty Baker because you’re looking for someone to break from tradition in terms of bullpen management. I think the Nationals probably just accept that Baker is what he is, and then they try to always have a bullpen that’s deep enough that Baker won’t run out of options

9:33
Matt: It’s been a hell of a baseball week

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: And by duration the playoffs aren’t even half-over

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: I think the first round always feels the zaniest. It’s like the first couple days of March Madness

9:33
Kristen: TEX has no SP beyond Hamels and Darvish. Who do you think they target in the offseason?

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: Well, they do have Perez, who doesn’t completely suck, and I don’t think they’ve made up their minds yet on Holland. I think they’re going to resume having conversations with Tampa Bay about one of those options. And they could definitely elect to bring back Colby Lewis

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: I wouldn’t count on the Rangers finding a new ace, however. I think they’re going to aim lower

9:35
Jedidiah: When does Andrew Triggs win his first Cy Young?

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: 2016

9:35
Brandon: Do you think the Cubs are going to absolutely poop on the Dodgers cause of their pitching?

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: No?

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: The Dodgers’ pitching is arguably just as good as the Cubs’ pitching

9:36
Kiermaier’s Piercing Blue Eyes: Kershaw uses the bullpen day to get the save. Did this factor into the decision to use him in game 4? I previously agreed with Dave on starting Urias in game 4 but if this was considered I respect the gutsy call.

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: From all indications, the Dodgers had zero plans to use Kershaw in Game 5. That was all his idea

9:36
Fister I hardly know her: How much does the extra workload on Kershaw, Hill, Jansen, move the needle as far the Cubs chances of winning the NLCS? 5%?

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know about Jansen, but with Kershaw/Hill looking to get started a little later in the series than would be idea, that definitely provides the Cubs with a few extra percentage points

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: Of course, Kenta Maeda is quite good

9:37
Tacos: How screwed is the Dodgers pitching staff?

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: Not screwed

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not trying to be stubborn. Just, man, the Dodgers are good

9:38
Erik: Do you think Rob Manfred was happy with last night’s game, or will he find ways to discourage 4.5 hour games in the future?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: I think he was happy with last night’s game, specifically, but last night made the absolute most of some baseball scenarios that do have a tendency to drag on

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: Most games that go 4.5 hours are going to suck

9:41
Matt: What does a trade for Kevin Kiermaier look like? Is the headliner of the trade package a top 50 prospect? Top 25?

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: Last November, Andrelton Simmons fetched Sean Newcomb, who BA ranked at No. 24. The situations aren’t identical but that tells you a little something about how the market values elite defensive players with more questionable bats. Kiermaier seems to have some better offense, and he has four more years of affordable team control. So if he got moved, I’d look to start with a prospect in the 10-25 range

9:42
libre: How long does Washington’s window stay open?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: They look good for at least next season, but a lot is going to depend on whether Giolito and Lopez are major-league starters

9:43
Seff Jullivan: Happy Friday Jeff. What would you say was the reason for Bryce Harper’s “down year” after a godly season before. Was is just him being pitched around? Or was there something in his swing?

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: Unsurprisingly, I think it was a few things. I do think Harper was somewhat banged up, despite all their denials. I do think Harper had some issues trying to adjust to being “the guy,” frequently getting pitched around. And then there’s just statistical regression — based on Harper’s batted balls in 2015, I believe that he greatly over-achieved.

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: I look for a healthy Harper in 2017 to be something like a six-win player

9:44
libre: Is it weird to still think “the Dodgers could really use another starting pitcher?”

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think that’s weird. I think making clothes out of lettuce is weird.

9:45
Erik: True or False: the NLDS will crown the true best team in baseball, even if the AL team pulls an upset in the World Series.

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: The Cubs are the best team in baseball

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: The best team this year is about as clear as it’s ever been

9:46
Nietsniew: DC sports strikes again, sadness prevails. DC is the most underratedly painful city. I know underratedly is not a word I’m just sad.

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: On the plus side, Cleveland finally won. You can never write anything off

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: I’m good friends with Matthew Kory, who lives nearby, and he’s a big DC football and Capitals fan. So I’ve been along for the ride these last few years

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: The Capitals are just such a bummer

9:47
Jack: do you think the miller/jansen recent usage will actually revolutionize closer/relief ace usage? i have a feeling managers will still be reluctant to use their closers like this

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: Some of them will definitely be reluctant, and during the regular season, it even almost makes sense — games in June lack the same sort of urgency. Players prefer to know their roles on any given day, and it would be hard on the heart to not know when you’re possibly going to pitch.

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: That being said, this is all symptomatic of a transition that is taking place. Miller is the better indication than how Jansen was used in a single Game 5. Teams know relievers haven’t been used optimally, and, they’re going to get there, no matter what

9:49
libre: Does Ross Stripling pitch in the Dodgers’ postseason?

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: He already has

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: Twice!

9:51
CamdenWarehouse: Kershaw only threw 7 pitches. That really shouldn’t impact his schedule, should it?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: Preparing for such a stressful game appearance is very different from throwing a casual bullpen

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: It’s more physically and mentally draining

9:52
Caldwell: What’s your take on reverse platoon splits? Do you think a right-handed batter like Justin Turner (career .299/.359/.473 vRHP, .247/.324/.371 vLHP) can really be better at hitting balls breaking away from him or is it just statistical noise?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: Since Turner “got good,” he hasn’t had a huge reverse split, and historically speaking, these things are almost always flukes. Turner probably has a smaller natural split than the average hitter, but I still think his true talent, so to speak, has him being better against lefties

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: I’m a far bigger believer in reverse splits for pitchers, since that can just have to do with their repertoires or arm slots

9:53
Matt: With the Dodgers lineup, should the Cubs consider giving Montgomery a start in place of Lackey?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think so, but I do think they should be aggressive with Montgomery out of the bullpen

9:54
Bad Joker: Tim Tebow playing baseball intrigues me. He shows a lot of power. I don’t think he will steal much though, he is a good Christian.

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: That *is* a bad joke!

9:54
libre: The Cubs are even more massive favorites over the Dodgers given the Dodgers just had to lean really hard on everyone (except for Ross Stripling)?

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: This works to the Cubs’ benefit, yes. But they are not and never will be massive favorites

9:55
J: MVP for last night’s game? Kershaw led in WPA but my vote goes to Kenley.

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: I’m tempted to say Turner, because of the triple and also the 13-pitch plate appearance, but it should probably be Jansen

9:56
libre: How was your week? Is Portland getting hit by the same storm that Seattle is?

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: I think we’re getting it a little “better” than areas further north, but the same storms are cycling through and it started getting miserable Wednesday night

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: If I disappear from FanGraphs for several days it’s because we’ve lost power

9:57
Stevil: I’m counting 12 teams likely (or absolutely) in need of a first baseman next season. Free agency offers little, so could we see teams, such as the Pirates, sell higher than we might expect?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: Mark Trumbo will count as a 1B. Many teams will consider Edwin Encarnacion as a 1B

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think we’re going to see some first-base market inflation. That doesn’t mean Bell couldn’t be turned into something shiny for other reasons

9:59
libre: Why aren’t storms as interesting to you as volcanoes?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: Volcanoes are semi-permanent and tangible. I can spend time on them. I can hike on them and climb up them. I can look at them and take beautiful pictures. I can learn about millions of years of physical history. Storms just try to make my clothes wet.

10:00
senpaisanto: not to be a dick, but i was sorta hoping chooch had gotten concussed by that late foul-tip – would’ve been amazeballs to see puig catching kershaw

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think that makes you a dick

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: In some way I think we were all wanting that

10:01
Erik: Why do you think the FanGraphs odds prefer the Dodgers to the Cubs, despite the Cubs performing far better by normal record, Pythagorean record, and BaseRuns (all between 12 and 18 games better)?

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: Touched on this earlier, but just to say it again, it’s mostly because our depth charts have Kershaw/Hill throwing so many innings. They’ll be less available moving forward in reality

10:01
The Decadent Moose: Moving forward with a young pitcher, do you take someone with impeccable control with a low 90s fastball, i.e. Jharel Cotton (7.06 K/9 and 1.23 BB/9) or someone with incredible stuff, i.e. Alex Reyes (10.17 K/9 and 4.50 BB/9)? How effectively can teams develop control?

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: I’m a bigger fan of someone who can locate. Improvements like what we’ve seen with Aaron Sanchez are uncommon. I think pitchers are more likely to learn a new pitch than to learn to throw the ball where they want

10:02
J: If Scherzer loses the CY Young to Kershaw as well does he go full super villain?

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: No, he is nice

10:03
Seth Moko: Not to judge a team by a postseason series, but what do you think the Nats will do in terms of moves and retooling?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: They probably need a catcher, and they’re going to have to deal with the bullpen again if/when Melancon leaves as a free agent.

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: For the most part, the Nationals remain in a good place

10:04
Tommy Lasordid: Last night’s game: a harmonic conversion of front office vision, manager game planning and player performance? Loved it!

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: It was such a perfect game for baseball dorks

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Absolutely no way I could convey how awesome that was to my girlfriend or mom

10:05
Mike M: If the Cubs offer Baez, Schwarber, Soler, Montgomery, Grimm, CJ Edwards and a prospect for Trout, who says no?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: This is too big for me to mentally calculate

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: I think the answer is still the Angels, but you’re…getting…close?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe you’re even there. I’m not sure. You’d need a pretty damn optimistic Schwarber valuation

10:06
klof: The Kershaw move looks good because it worked and didn’t require a lot of pitches, but what was the plan if Kershaw was at 25 pitches and gave up the tying run? Now the Dodgers had no elite pitchers and would have burned both Jansen and Kershaw.

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: Well they wouldn’t have “burned” them — they would’ve used them to throw like three extremely high-leverage innings

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: Then they’d get into Baez and everyone else. Which the Dodgers wouldn’t want, but at some point every team runs out of its best options

10:07
Bob Pollard: What would you say is the best metric to use when saying “X pitcher stinks/’X pitcher is good”? I used ERA to point out that maybe Jon Gray didn’t pitch all that well this season and a guy in my fantasy league kind of mocked me. So what metric should I use? Is ERA really too old-school now?

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: FIP (or FIP-) is the best starting point. It definitely doesn’t do everything, but it’ll point you in the right direction

10:07
Jeff: What were your thoughts on Dusty’s bullpen usage in Game 5? It seemed like he was trying to be clever, but I couldn’t figure out why he was creating the matchups he was creating.

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: One thing I definitely don’t understand from this series: how often Marc Rzepczynski pitched to right-handed hitters. Marc Rzepczynski SUCKS against right-handed hitters.

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: His true talent is quite literally like a .400 OBP

10:08
Tommy Lasordid: Surprise Dodger starter in NL finals: Alex Wood

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: I think Brock Stewart is more likely. Wood hasn’t thrown more than 20 pitches in a game since the end of May

10:09
Javy Baez: Where do I play next season? 2B, Utility or for someone else?

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: Mostly 2B

10:10
Mike M: Where is Dexter Fowler next April?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: The Rangers most clearly need a CF, but I think they have their hopes built up around returning Desmond or Gomez

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: Wonder if you might see him end up in a corner for the Mariners

10:12
Hi: Dave mentioned HITF/X the other day. He said that there were some advanced stats that front offices had that are not known to the public yet. Is that true? If so, what are some examples?

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Well they had HITf/x for years and that was never public

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: also COMMANDf/x, which got even less attention, and that was never public

10:13
Prich: A more fascinating study in managers: Dusty or Buck? Both are obviously great at getting the most out of their guys and do great work around the year, but in-game decisions… Hoo Boy!

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: I feel like Showalter usually makes pretty good in-game decisions. Maybe I’m wrong, but the sense I get is he’s being remembered for one bad call, even though his body of work looks better

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: To his own credit, Baker has also evolved over the years. But, by only so much

10:14
EvanC: Does a lack of prominent FA mean the trade market will be more active? If you’re a selling team, do you have more leverage because teams can’t look to the FA market?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: There’s usually a pretty consistent amount of available players, split between the trade market and free agency. The markets find their equilibrium

10:14
Mike: Is it realistic to think the White Sox could get both benintendi and moncada both in a trade for sale?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: Nope

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: Benintendi is good right now, and Moncada is possibly/probably baseball’s very best prospect

10:15
Brett W: Who is the best player in the ALCS?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: That’s an easy vote for Josh Donaldson

10:15
mike sixel: My daily attempt….what would Dozier return in trade, do you think? Clearly the Twins need pitching…

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: The big issue would be getting other teams to believe in the magnitude of the power spike. I don’t think front offices know yet what to make of all the 2016 home runs, and Dozier was the sort of guy who could benefit from a different ball more than most

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: I think you’d probably be looking at two prospects somewhere in the 40 – 80 range

10:17
Erik: Do we have 4 of the top 8-10 managers remaining in the playoffs? How would we know if we did?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: We wouldn’t

10:17
Ben: The Dodgers and Cubs both feel easy to root for despite running huge payrolls. Do you agree, and if so, why is that? I think it’s some combination of long droughts and having a lot of great homegrown players.

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: For the FanGraphs audience in particular, I think it’s easy to look at those teams as having been built up in the “right” way. Which isn’t to say they also haven’t spent, but they’ve made full organizational commitments to building intelligently for both the short- and the long-term. They’re model organizations, and we’re suckers for that stuff

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: Also Clayton Kershaw is the best and he is impossible to dislike under any circumstances

10:19
BlueBird: This seems like an obvious answer but do fly ball pitchers generally allow more home runs than ground ball pitchers. Who are the biggest anomalies of pitchers with a very high fly ball rate yet low homerun rate , and vice versa?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: Fly-ball pitchers allow more total home runs, but ground-ball pitchers tend to allow a greater rate of home runs per fly ball.

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: Like, at their best, guys like Chris Young and Marco Estrada have limited dingers even though everything was getting put in the air

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: Dallas Keuchel and Jaime Garcia are two ground-ballers who have given up more than their share of dingers

10:22
Brett W: October 13, 2016. You need 2 outs for a series win. Your 2 choices are 2016 Pedro Martinez and 2016 Randy Johnson.

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll guess Pedro, because I get the sense he’s more involved in helping teach guys to pitch these days

10:22
libre: Is Urias really good?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: Yes

10:23
E: I agree with you that the game last night was incredible but dont you think the MLB needs to do something about what time the game ends? If they want younger fans to watch the game needs to end before midnight. Even casual adult fans wont stay up that late unless it’s their team playing.

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know what you do. Starting at 8pm/5pm is pretty standard. You never *expect* a game to take that long. And watching sports from the east coast just blows

10:25
CamdenWarehouse: The top ____ starting pitchers remaining in the playoffs are in the NL?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: 1

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not convinced anyone else is actually better than Corey Kluber

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: (among those pitchers remaining, when you factor in the AL’s superiority)

10:26
Orioles fan….: What do you expect out of Mookie Betts next season?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: A hell of a lot of really awesome baseball-playing

10:26
JJP: Will Lucas Giolito be the Nationals savior next year?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: definitely not

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: but the Nationals won’t need a savior

10:27
Brett W: Why don’t you think the Dodgers will keep pushing Kershaw? Isn’t that how you win in October?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: I just don’t think they’ll push him at every single opportunity, is all

10:27
EC: Are the Nats cursed?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Oh, what the hell, let’s just say yes. Yes, the Nationals are cursed. Sorry, folks. Can’t break this one. Don’t have the qualifications

10:28
Patrick: How much money do you think guys like nova and hellickson will get this offseason since they are the better options available in weak class

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: A pretty regrettable three years

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: And I guess like $42-45 million?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: blech

10:29
Ron Fournier: Hey Jeff — I understand my rooting preferences are my own, but now that my team has been eliminated, am I a bad baseball fan if I’m rooting straight Cleveland? I just can’t muster enthusiasm for the Cubs.

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: That doesn’t make you a bad baseball fan

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: Root however the hell you want to root!

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: Remember how people jumped on the Red Sox bandwagon in 2004? Remember how that felt like such a great thing to have happen? Remember what happened afterward? It wouldn’t be the worst thing for baseball if the Cubs held onto their identity as never-winners

10:30
BS: You think the Showalter backlash helped Roberts with his decision to use KK?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: I figure they were unrelated, but maybe the Dodgers front office scheduled one more additional conversation about it when that AL game was over

10:32
E: While I was watching Hanley Ramirez in the Boston v Cleveland series I was wondering what other players have moved from shortstop to first base in their MLB career. Who else has done it?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Rich Aurilia did it. Nomar Garciaparra, too. Most notably, Ernie Banks! Late-career Ernie Banks.

10:34
Raindog: The Orioles have an extra expensive mediocre SP, and need an OF. The Braves have an extra expensive mediocre OF, and could use some rotation stability. Am I crazy, or does Ubaldo (1/$13.5) for Markakis (2/$22) actually make pretty good sense?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: The problem I think is that you just referred to Ubaldo Jimenez as being someone who could provide rotation stability

10:35
Justin: You are really loving you some Gyorkass this morning, aren’t you? Snark aside, has or will FG run simulations based on Hill and Kershaw not pitching a ton of innings? Those depth chart studies seem to be “off” at this point.

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: We’ll probably tweak the depth charts soon

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: But you can also look at our scoreboard page to peek ahead

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: I think?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Well maybe not

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: For Game 1, Lester-Maeda, we have the Cubs as 58-42 favorites

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Our Game 2 currently says Arrieta-Kershaw, and *that* has the Dodgers as 52-48 favorites, but we’ll see

10:38
Lyle: What’s your take on both Robert gsellman and Seth Lugo?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: I’m more interested in Lugo

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: Gsellman started seven games, and three of them were against the Phillies

10:39
Llewelyn: In a hypothetical Indians dodgers World Series, how much does Andrew Miller dominate?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: As much as he physically could

10:39
Raindog: The only thing I regret about last night’s game is that we were denied Kershaw v. Harper squaring off in the bottom of the 9th of a one run winner take all game.

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: In some ideal universe, Kershaw gets Murphy and Harper back-to-back

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: But I’ll take what we got

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: Poor Wilmer Difo 🙁

10:40
Nick: Hi Jeff. Do you think the Indians odds of advancing are slightly underrated because the odds don’t take into account Miller and Allen pitching significantly more than they would otherwise since it’s the playoffs? Or am I just being Indians-defensive.

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: I think they’re slightly underrated, yeah. We don’t have a way to account for extreme bullpen usage

10:41
Sandy Alderson : What’s my plan this off-season?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Try like hell to find two hitters

10:41
GSon: Will the QO system remain after the next CBA.. or will it be history?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: It sounds like it’ll be a part of the coming CBA

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Beyond that, no idea

10:42
Erik: Is the starter pitching on a throw day move used often enough or should managers be going that route more often? Seems like a good way to squeeze extra innings out of your best pitchers though of course it’s not without risk.

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: It’s pretty under-studied because it’s so uncommon. The inclination is to avoid doing it too much because the fact of the matter is that throwing those pitches in a game instead of in the bullpen is a lot more stressful. Speculation links stress and pitcher injury. But it’s *possible* this is an underutilized strategy that isn’t as dangerous as it seems

10:43
Dank: You liked that montgomery for vogelbach deal? Montgomery looks like a starter to me.

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: Liked it for both sides

10:43
Boston Dan Mcgraw: what are the yanks up to this offseason

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: I think they try hard to land a No. 1 or No. 2 starter type

10:43
Boston Dan Mcgraw: does Clint Frazier get Andrew Miller back?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: Nope

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: The Indians aren’t letting him go, not now

10:44
Dank: In this market the rays should trade all of their pitchers right?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Well you don’t want to flood the market. But they’re a virtual lock to move one guy, and quite possibly two

10:45
Nick: Best playoff game so far?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: It felt like it to me, but the Cubs/Giants series was also legitimately magical, outside of Game 2

10:45
Bmac: Do we think the backlash for Buck’s WC Britton-gate influenced the recent bullpen usage by Roberts, Francona?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: Francona has been using Miller like this for some time

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: As for the Dodgers, this was part of the plan drawn up by Roberts and the front office. Not the Kershaw part, but definitely the Jansen part

10:46
CamdenWarehouse: Max Schrock had a much better year than Mylz Jones.

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: It’s early, man

10:46
matt: I don’t get it. Why is everyone here in love with andrew triggs?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: I, specifically, am in love with Andrew Triggs

10:46
Daniel: If ever there were a time to throw out the “percent chance” projections and just enjoy the craziness of a series..

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: That’s the funny thing about playoff odds. I mean, at the end of the day, who cares?

10:47
Kristen: Is an update to the aesthetics of Fangraphs in the works in the future? Love the site as its really user-friendly, but does have a rather utilitarian look.

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: I think it’s a pretty low priority. Appleman is always thinking about tweaks, but the page is never going to be big on flash

10:48
Tea Leoni for Third: M’s sign Steve Pearce, right? He serves as both platoon mate and insurance for Vogelbach (who looked ugly in his callup) and can play some corner outfield if needed.

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: He’s a great fit, but he’d be a great fit for lots of teams

10:48
Ben: Jays left Smoak off the ALCS roster. Why in the world did they extend him?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: I genuinely have no idea

10:49
Erik: What free agents this off-season would you actually want your team to sign for the price they’ll have to likely pay?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Rich Hill

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Steve Pearce

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Carlos Gomez feels like he could take a one-year pillow

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Wilson Ramos is going to be a fascinating option for somebody

10:50
Tommy Lasordid: Most games that go 4.5 hours are going to suck? You’d rather watch 2 hours of first pitch pop-ups and ground balls than an extra-inning nail biter?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: I should’ve said most *nine-inning* games that go 4.5 hours are going to suck

10:51
Outta my way, Gyorkass: From your crowdsourcing article about sub .500 teams making a leap towards contention:

“Granted, we have no idea what the Diamondbacks are going to do about their front-office vacancy. A few candidates have already turned down GM interviews, which indicates that there’s a certain amount of distrust.”

With how inexplicably dumb some of their decision-making processes have been over the last half-decade, how absolutely hosed is this organization long-term?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: I think there’s a way out. The Diamondbacks scare some people away, because no one really wants to work with that ownership group. But, ultimately, there is an open GM spot. One of 30. There are still going to be bright candidates who want to live the dream, so even though the DBacks won’t get to pick from a full field of quality applicants, they should still be able to hire someone smart

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: Like, even though people don’t like to work with Arte Moreno, I think the Angels wound up with someone smart.

10:53
Jeff: Do you believe that Byron Buxton has turned the corner in MN based on the last two months of the season? What are reasonable expectations for 2017?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think it’s as simple as saying he’s turned the corner, but I do think he’s about finished being a completely embarrassing bust. he’s a big-league player now

10:53
Leon (Redbone) for Third: If Portland gets a team, do you stay loyal to the Mariners?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think a fan should switch allegiances like that

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: At least, I don’t think *I* would switch allegiances like that

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Feels like cheating

10:54
Raindog: Odds that the 2017 Yankees actually leave playing time for Judge / Williams / Austin / Bird, or they just go find a bunch of vets?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: No, they’re pretty committed to the young guys

10:55
Erik: The fact that Harper’s April looked like his 2015 strongly suggests that an injury suffered around the end of the month was the main source of his problems, right?

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: Definitely suggests there was a problem. I still think he overachieved, though

10:55
Lean Cuisine for Third: With you and Cameron now back in the Northwest, any plans for an old school USS Mariner/Lookout Landing alumni talk and meet up? You could even bring back Bill Bavasi!

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: I imagine we’re definitely going to host some events, although they’re unlikely to be specifically built around the Mariners

10:56
Shane: Assuming they get similar contracts, would you rather sign Chapman or Jansen?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: Jansen is less of a headache

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: (Of course, Jansen is going to have the QO hanging over his head)

10:57
Daniel: So if the usage changes.. how does that change value? A guy with the willingness of andrew miller may be valued differently than someone like Melancon who likes his role? (I realize they’re different quality of pitchers)

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: You’ll see closer money going to non-closers. I think this is already starting

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: And when the money starts getting more evenly distributed, players won’t make such a big deal of earning saves in the first place

10:58
bosoxforlife: Could the pen of the future be a closer and a true fireman, used at any point, rather than a 7th inning guy and and an 8th inning guy then the closer. Miller is certainly making that look like a good idea.

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: Seems like the pen of the short-term future. Gives the manager an excellent option to use early while still leaving another excellent option for the aftermath

10:59
G_: What was the real Kaz Suzuki suitcase story?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t remember exactly but I believe it was alcohol

10:59
Tommy Lasordid: Blanton most underrated player still playing in 2016?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: Jose Ramirez

10:59
Raindog: In the endless wheel of Mariners middle infield prospects, who’s next to take Marte’s spot?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: Zack Cozart

11:00
Guest: Do the Dodgers know something about using pitchers on short rest that the rest of us don’t, or are they just capitalizing on having the best pitcher in the game and a rental whose arm they can run into the ground without thinking too much about anything else?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: The second part

11:00
LudeBurger: storms usually don’t hold your life in their grip as they activate, like volcanoes

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: Under almost all circumstances, if you get killed by a volcano, it’s your own stupid fault

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: All right, I need to get rolling

11:01
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 — 10/14/16 by Jeff Sullivan!

Please support FanGraphs by becoming a member. We publish thousands of articles a year, host multiple podcasts, and have an ever growing database of baseball stats.

FanGraphs does not have a paywall. With your membership, we can continue to offer the content you've come to rely on and add to our unique baseball coverage.

Support FanGraphs




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.

newest oldest most voted
ice_hawk10
Member
ice_hawk10

even a Josh Donaldson that can’t yank the ball out of the park (pretty bad hip issue, very noticeable in his swing) is still a great player. that’s what i’ve learned these playoffs.