Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 10/2/15

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s baseball chat!

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: My understanding is that yesterday Eno ran into a problem where the chat reached “capacity”

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: That was a mistake but I’m not sure if it’s been corrected yet so I guess we’ll just see

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: Might be a small group today. Don’t know!

9:08
Comment From TKDC
Where would you rank Boston and Atlanta’s front offices now in terms of saber-friendliness?

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: Boston’s higher. By a good amount, really. Many of the front-office staffers remain the same and Coppolella didn’t get any meaningful changes in responsibility

9:09
Comment From Bart
yes, that happened to me, I couldn’t get back in to the chat with a “capacity” issue

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: Based on early indications, might be happening again right now. Queue is slower than it has been in the past

9:10
Comment From Nick
What’s your take on Championship Probability Added as an MVP metric?

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: It’s creative and interesting and it adds a little something to the discussion, but most directly, it ignores position and defense and baserunning and whatnot. And more generally, I don’t know why we should have an award for the most “valuable” player. I think the intent is pretty clearly to have an award for the best player, because that makes the most sense, and things have just gotten warped over time

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: If the point were to reward valuable players on successful teams only, that would be written into the criteria

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: It feels like arguing about the Constitution

9:15
Comment From Cory S.
Any guesses at who starts Game 1’s for Dodgers, Cardinals, or Mets? Plenty of options.

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: Kershaw is the Dodgers’ best starter so that makes the most sense there. Martinez would’ve made the most sense for the Cardinals, but now I might just go Lackey. For the Mets, we know it won’t be Harvey and it shouldn’t be Matz, so it’s just up to deGrom or Syndergaard, and honestly to me it doesn’t matter which because they’re similarly terrific

9:17
Comment From MSW
Ready to talk NL CY? In my super uneducated opinion, I think it should go to Greinke. Arrieta may be pitching better right now, but it’s a season long award, and Greinke has dominated from April to September, and for me, that’s the tiebreaker.

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: Greinke has allowed a .508 OPS. Kershaw, .524, and Arrieta, .515. Mix in a little bit of defense-related uncertainty and I swear to god you’ve got three identical choices.

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: This is one of those things that’s simultaneously impossible to get totally right or totally wrong. There’s no way to solve it

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: I admire those who try, because it’s interesting, but it’s probably not going to lead anywhere clear and unambiguous

9:20
Comment From Cube Jockey
Pete Kozma has been on a major league roster for the entire season, and has zero extra base hits. No question, just amazed that a non-catcher position player could pull that off.

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: Kozma has zero extra-base hits for the season in 103 plate appearances. All-time record, according to the Play Index: 184, belonging to Jack O’Connor in 1906

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: More recently, Dwain Anderson had 144 in 1973. And in 2010, Mark Grudzielanek reached 119. Mark Grudzielanek!

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: Grudzielanek is the only player with more than Kozma since the turn of the millennium

9:25
Comment From Earls Ghost
Jeff: Dan on Monday suggested that the Orioles should blow up the team and sell off all assets and rebuild. I’m in agreement–the farm system is very thin—but I think they should keep Machado and Gausman as a nucleus. What are your thoughts?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think that’s totally necessary. They’re going to get hurt by free agency, but they’re not going to get devastated, and their performance has overall been all right despite maybe the toughest schedule in baseball. As a few teams have demonstrated this year, it’s possible to be a surprise contender, and I think total rebuilds are dangerous and only to be attempted by franchises in a desperate state

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: I think it’s increasingly difficult to justify a complete overhaul. I know the competition is daunting, and it’ll remain that way, but the Orioles have pieces. Their pitching development has let them down, but they have a nucleus and they can be a .500 team next year. A .500 team can get to the playoffs

9:28
Comment From Xolo
How do you feel about Desmond for 2016?

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: I think he badly needs a new start

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: Just needs to put this season behind him. I think next year he’ll again be a pretty good shortstop

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: Don’t think he’s a long-term contract guy I’d love, but I think this season was more in his head than in his mechanics

9:32
Comment From JTT
Lets say you have the first overall pick in the draft. There is a player that is guaranteed to post exactly 2.5 WAR every season, no more no less. Do you draft him? Or do you trust your scouting department and go for a guy with more upside but with no guarantee?

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: That’s very close to the line, for me

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: At 2.5, I say you draft someone else, but at 3.0 I’d say you take that player, soooooo I guess that means my line is between 2.5 – 3.0, which is a very narrow margin

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: It’s kind of up to personal preference. Some people are all about upside and ceilings. I like those things, too, but I don’t want to underrate reliability and above-average production

9:33
Comment From Craig
Who does home field matter to more LA or my Mets?

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think it matters more to either team, but I do think the Dodgers have the overall series edge, so the Mets want home field in order to counter that

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: Actually, here’s an interesting factoid:

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: Over the last five years, Dodgers have won .575 at home, .525 on the road. Normal-looking split

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: Mets are at .475 at home and .499 on the road. Bizarre! Don’t want to make too much of that, but maybe it’s a thing

9:37
Comment From Nelson
Some teams wont make it to 162 games played this year. Do the teams missing home games get some sort of compensation from the league?

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: Good question, actually. I don’t know. I doubt they get compensation, but I bet that annoys them

9:38
Comment From Brian
Do you think Papelbon has the “capacity” to mend things with the Nats or are they going to have to make a bad trade to get him out of town?

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: I do think he has the capacity, and more than anything else I think the Nationals just need a new season with a new manager. But some of the damage is already done, in that the Nats are going to have to trade Storen. And it wouldn’t surprise me if they moved Papelbon, not that he’d be in demand. Could end up with an entirely rebuilt bullpen

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: Remember, teams have won with Papelbon before. They aren’t mutually exclusive. But it would require better leadership

9:41
Comment From Jeremy
The Dodgers don’t seem to care about home field vs. NYM. Do you see this more as a Saber minded decision or an opportunity for them to heal?

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not like they’re benching all their best players. The last game had Grandal, Gonzalez, Kendrick, Utley, Seager, Crawford, Hernandez, Ethier, and Anderson.

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: And then Jansen got the save. I’m sure the Dodgers would love home field.

9:43
Comment From joey
how do you explain marco estrada?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Shallow fly balls and good defense

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: He might’ve figured out a way to be another Chris Young. I’m not buying his low ERA, but he’s built himself to suppress BABIP

9:45
Comment From Brad Marchand
What would be your best guess for WAR-figures of Hanley in Sandoval in 2016, assuming both stay in Boston and Hanley plays 1B?

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll give them a combined 3 – 4

9:45
Comment From Joemac
Cubs should sign one ace, or two second tier starters?

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: They’re not hurting for aces. They should accumulate depth

9:46
Comment From TKDC
Do you think Bryce Harper knows that his slump likely will cost him a 200+ wRC+?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: No

9:48
Comment From AJ
Any idea when the AL WC game would be played in case of a 3-way tie for the 2nd WC spot? Could the AL and NL WC times be swapped?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: I think in that instance you’d just have both wild-card games on the same day. No need to disrupt another game’s schedule due to American League chaos

9:49
Comment From Punch Stompson
I’m come to the conclusion that A Gord should have gone for it. Cause, F it

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: The most interesting thing would be to poll an audience that doesn’t know how the next at-bat ended up. Where we are now, we can’t help but be biased in some way by the fact that Perez got out

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: No matter what, it would’ve been one of the most memorable plays in baseball history. I still think the Royals made the right call though

9:51
Comment From MSW
Woohoo! More chances for my questions to be answered! Too bad I have like, nothing to ask… Let’s see, game 4 Mets starter – Bartolo or possibly injured Matz?

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: Matz unless his back is in really bad shape

9:52
Comment From Dipoto
What should my first move be?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: assemble the rest of your front office

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: then re-sign Iwakuma to get the first one out of the way

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: going to be an offseason of finding depth and a catcher

9:53
Comment From Geralt of Rivia
After the hiring of Dipoto do you believe he will choose ” his “manager next year and if so any hint of who could he possibly be?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: Don’t know who it would be but I’d be surprised if Dipoto didn’t bring in a new face

9:53
Comment From Brian
Does Ian Desmond warrant a qualifying offer?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: Definitely

9:53
Comment From Jeff
I know it is a rough thing to rank, but rank the top 5 front offices in baseball?

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: Honestly can’t do it. I could try, but I wouldn’t feel real good about any of the answers

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: Pretty tempted to put the Dodgers in first though

9:56
Comment From Pat
Any moves you would like to see the Reds make this offseason? I know the Central is a gauntlet but any hope to be more competent next year?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: There’s some hope, and it starts with a healthy Mesoraco. The pitching situation obviously isn’t good but Iglesias, DeSclafani, and Lamb have shown something. If the Reds wanted, they could jump-start the rest of their rebuild by dealing Chapman and Frazier. Those moves would be unpopular but *this* is a team that could justify a fuller re-tooling

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe I’m wrong though — maybe there’s not a big difference between the Reds and the Orioles. The Reds don’t have to tear the rest of it down. Chapman though, at least, should be put on the market, since he’s a one-year guy

9:59
Comment From Nick
Wait, so when they decided to call the award “Most Valuable,” they really meant to say “Best”? What is this, a John Roberts Obamacare opinion?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: It says right in the criteria that the award can go to a player on a losing team. It wouldn’t say that if it didn’t want that

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: “The MVP need not come from a division winner or other playoff qualifier.”

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: The fact that the criteria also says there’s no clear-cut definition of “most valuable” suggests it’s just there to encourage debate. But awards have historically been given to the best things, not to the best things given particular weird conditions. If the MVP weren’t supposed to go to the best player, then we’d be missing an award for the best player, and that doesn’t make sense

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: Why would we have an award for best pitcher but not best player?

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: I’d write about this if I weren’t basically tired of writing about awards. And I might still do it anyway

10:03
Comment From Guest
Cardinals are the first team since 2011 to win 100 games and only the 4th in the last 10 years (’06 to ’15).

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: Cardinals are good

10:04
Comment From Kevin
I usually just watch but I can ask Qs if your queue is low. Do you think “love” in failed relationships is actually love, or do you only mistake it for love because it’s as close as you’ve been to it

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Love isn’t permanent. Love is ever changing. It’s possible to take steps down the ladder

10:05
Comment From Nelson
If the mest lose game 5 of the DS, how much blame will be put on Harvey?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: Did Harvey pitch game 5?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: If I’ve learned anything about the playoffs, it’s that you can’t predict who’s going to get blamed when a team loses

10:05
Comment From TKDC
Jason Heyward is the most valuable player (by WAR) on the team with the most wins in baseball. How many, if any, votes will he get for MVP?

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: He’ll barely even register

10:06
Comment From J sulls
When will you write an article that isn’t topical?

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: Practically all offseason long. Looking forward to it!

10:06
Comment From Guest
How much do you think Heyward will get this offseson? What do you think would be a reasonable contract?

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: Wouldn’t be surprised by 8-9 years at $20-25m per

10:07
Comment From Jeff
How do you feel about the notion that teams shouldn’t spend a lot of money in free agency on a bullpen? I understand that it’s not smart to build the entire pen through FA, but sometimes adding one additional dependable high leverage guy can be the difference in the bullpen being good or bad.

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: I think there’s a mistaken impression that relievers are unpredictable. They’re not unpredictable — they just end seasons with smaller sample sizes of playing time than everyone else, so they’re more prone to year-to-year fluctuations in results. There’s a romantic idea that you can build an effective bullpen for nothing and I definitely believe every organization has decent relievers ready to pitch in the bigs. But while it’s not smart to throw all your money to relief, I’m not opposed to free-agent relievers. They can end up absolutely critical

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: By and large, I don’t think teams are aggressive enough with minor-league relievers. But when you have a reliever who’s clearly really good, he deserves to get paid

10:10
Comment From MSW
How can the Mets not start deGrom first? He was clearly the team’s best pitcher this season, had a nice bounceback in his last start, and I feel queasy about starting a rookie in game one of the playoffs.

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: is there really such a difference between rookie Syndergaard and sophomore deGrom in terms of experience?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: Both are great options. This past month, deGrom has two walks and 27 strikeouts. Syndegaard has one walk and 27 strikeouts. I don’t think you can go wrong. Maybe you go with deGrom because of “seniority”

10:12
Comment From Projections
Can you pinpoint what the difference was between the Royals’ preseason projections and their regular season performance? There seemed to be a SABR consensus that they would be bad; why?

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: We projected them at 79-83. Their BaseRuns record right now is 82-77, which they’re beating by 10 wins

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: The biggest factor has been clutch hitting. They’re #1 in batting Clutch, #16 in starting pitching Clutch, and #6 in reliever Clutch. Don’t know how we should’ve predicted the timely hitting

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: Not taking anything away from them — it’s just, that’s how this has happened

10:15
Comment From Punch Stompson
But Arrieta has one of the most hitter friendly parks!

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not that much more hitter-friendly than Los Angeles

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: And with the strikeouts and grounders, Arrieta is less prone to park effects than most

10:18
Comment From mtsw
Should the Orioles consider doing a total teardown? Competing in 2016 seems tough even with a relatively big spend, Manny Machado is likely headed to free agency in 3 years and Adam Jones has strongly indicated he doesn’t want to spend his prime on a noncompetitive team. If they trade Machado and Jones this offseason they could restock the farm system and start fresh.

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: This year’s Orioles have actually out-scored their opponents

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think the situation is desperate enough to offload Machado and Jones, etc.

10:20
Comment From Tim
Why do we see (insane) arguments for Torii Hunter to win MVP but the same (lack of) logic isn’t applied to the Cy Young? “Look at all those Mets young arms, veteran leadership from Bartolo has helped tremendously”. what I’m getting at is, BARTOLO FOR CY YOUNG

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: The MVP award has that V in it. The Cy Young just goes to the best or most outstanding pitcher. The criteria are less ambiguous

10:20
Comment From mtsw
Shin Soo Choo is a top 10 player in the second half by WAR. Is there any chance for his contract to become not-one-of-the-leagues-worst?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: Absolutely. It’s still probably not a great contract, but he couldn’t have done more down the stretch to raise his stock

10:21
Comment From Cory S.
In the last 5 years, 100% of the MVP winner’s team went to the postseason. Only 50% of the CY winners went to the postseason. Is that a fluke or are the MVP’s (although not always hitters) more valuable than CY winners?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: See above. The Cy Young doesn’t go to the “most valuable” pitcher

10:22
Comment From Minty
For the balance of their careers, would you rather have Correa or Machado as your team’s SS?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: Machado, given good reviews of his knees

10:22
Comment From TKDC
WIthout looking, how many of the top 10 seasons for starting pitching WAR in the 90s were the Atlanta Braves?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: 5? WAR probably didn’t love Glavine as much as ERA did

10:24
Comment From Eric Weinstein
Greinke seems like the obvious #3 in the ranking no? I mean he’d win Cy Young with this season in almost any other year – but Kershaw and Arrieta seem like 1 and 1a no?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: Greinke has the lowest ERA. He’s allowed 42 runs, while Arrieta has allowed 52 and Kershaw has allowed 62 (neat!). Voters who don’t think about defensive help need no further convincing

10:25
Comment From Grand+Admiral+Braun
Will Price end up with CHI NL next season, or will the Cubs lose a high-bidding war to NYY, BOS, or LAD (assuming the Grienke opt-out)?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: I think he goes elsewhere

10:26
Comment From Nick
Is Adam Eaton the best lead off hitter in the American League? He has a wOBA of .344 and wRC+ of 117, with a surprising 14 hrs. He’s having a pretty terrific year, which might be overlooked because of a slow start and bad White Sox team.

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Mookie Betts bats leadoff

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: But Eaton is good!

10:27
Comment From G
As a manager for the batting team at the start of a wildcard game, how many pitches in the at bat would you be happy with the leadoff hitter taking if they were to strike out? (1 less out however fatiguing the opponents ace) 10? 15? 20?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: If I’m facing Arrieta, I’d be okay with a 15- or 20-pitch leadoff strikeout. Usually you don’t care that much about getting to the bullpen since fresh relievers are also good, but Arrieta is better than the reliever options are

10:28
Comment From AJ
Does it bother you at all that both HOU and WAS each at some point had over 90% chance of winning their divisions according to your playoff odds graphs (and NYY had 84%), yet none are going to win? Has this year just seen 3 sizable collapses, or do the playoff odds not have enough uncertainty in them (or am I interpreting them incorrectly)?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: Odds are odds. There’s always room for teams to surprise. The math probably overrated the Nationals by discounting the Williams + injury effects, but there’s nothing that could’ve been done to predict the Rangers catching fire. And the odds didn’t know that the Blue Jays would trade for all the good players in baseball while various Yankees would get hurt

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: On July 28, the Yankees led the Blue Jays by eight games. I’d worry about odds that *didn’t* say the Yankees were then the heavy favorites

10:32
Comment From Daniel Carroll
When’s the last time you recall MLB fans being allowed to rush the field? I get the feeling that the last one was the ’95 Mariners/Angels one game playoff.

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: It’ll never be allowed again. But it used to be somewhat popular!

10:33
Comment From Babylon5
The Jays appear to be tanking to face the Rangers in the ALDS. Is that a wise move or would they be better off facing the wildcard game winner?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: They’re not tanking. They’re just resting. No team would deliberately tank in a playoff situation

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Why wouldn’t the Blue Jays want home field?

10:34
Comment From Richard
Is there any chance in hell that you could get the Cardinal people to comment on your fine Wacha piece. Would love to hear that response

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: I think I saw on Twitter that Goold was independently talking to Cardinals people about the same kind of thing? I’ll look for that after the chat

10:36
Comment From Nick
What would be the best way for the White Sox to fix their 3b problem? Is Quintana and his favorable contract too much for 8 years and$100m of a 30 year old Longoria… too little for Arenado?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: oh what the hell. sign Juan Uribe!

10:37
Comment From pumpsie green
I’ll need to go for a long walk when the talking heads start referring to the Yankees as scrappy underdogs in this playoff (as if!). Any prediction on how long I’ll have to walk until we can forget about the Yankees?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: They could be eliminated in as little as one game

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: But it’s healthy to walk

10:38
Comment From Sid Breams Mustache
What will be most different about baseball 10 years from now? Changes in pitcher use, broadcast model, cyborgs?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: DH?

10:38
Comment From Guest
Who is the favorite in the NL Central next year? the next 5 years?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Cubs

10:38
Comment From Mark T.
Who should be Toronto’s #3: Dickey or Estrada?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Slight edge to Dickey, for me

10:39
Comment From Bill
Looking at WAR leaderboards, K. Kiermaier checks in at #14 overall – almost solely off of defensive value (99 WRC+). Do we really underrate defense that much, or an extreme example?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: Extreme example. Kiermaier probably isn’t as valuable as his numbers, but he’s clearly amazing in the outfield so it’s on you to assign a numerical value to that and see where that leaves you

10:39
Comment From Table
Do you think the Dodgers re-sign Greinke, or might the new front office avoid handing out a mega contract to a 32 year old?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: I think they keep him

10:40
Comment From Forsyth
Do you like the Red Sox young core (Bogaerts, Betts, ERod, Swihart, JBJ) or Cubs young core (Bryant, Russell, Schwarber, Soler, Baez) more?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: Of those groups, the Red Sox, slightly

10:41
Comment From Nick
The best pitcher in Chicago in 2016 will be? Sale? Arrieta? Quintana? Lester? Rodon?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Chris Sale, slightly, over Arrieta, because of the league difference

10:41
Comment From Eric Weinstein
Do you think teams that are more reliant on home runs for run production may be at a disadvantage in October because of colder weather?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: I could buy that very slightly, but I don’t think it would be a big or even measurable effect.

10:42
Comment From Spicy Felix!
Thoughts on Dipoto? Does this spark a flame in your mariners waning fandom?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: Well I kind of considered him a foregone conclusion a month ago, so his hiring wasn’t a surprise, but I like it enough. I think he’s the best they could’ve done, realistically speaking, given their stated preferences. I’ll be more excited when he actually does things

10:43
Comment From Brock
If there was a redraft today in what order would you take the young AL east recent graduates. Stroman, Karns, Severino, Gausman, Rodriguez?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: Stroman first, then I’d peace out and let other people worry about the runners-up

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: might go Severino, then Gausman, then Rodriguez/Karns but it’s super close after Stroman

10:46
Comment From anon
who plays in the al wc game?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Astros

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: and the other team

10:46
Comment From HappyFunBall
Don’t suppose you read the Washington Post’s eulogy for the Nationals’ season? Part 3 was especially brutal. So much stuff simmering under the surface for the entire season!

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: Great reading. Really enjoyed it. So often, this time of year, you end up reading puff pieces about the teams that overcame adversity or whatever to jell and get to the playoffs. It’s fun to read the opposite

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: Every team says the same things in March. Every team believes in itself. There’s nothing necessarily special about the teams that make it through, since ultimately 10 teams have to. It’s illuminating to learn about the busts

10:48
Comment From Bricks Comeno
Is the advantage of a speedy runner PR for a slugger in tied game in the 9th wirth the hit to the lineup if he doesn’t score? Is risk worth the reward?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: It obviously depends on the specific circumstances and on the rest of the bench, but it’s not automatically a bad move

10:49
Comment From anon
what is the next horizon for sabr? influence of manager/front office? defense? something else?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: It’s either defense or pitch-sequencing

10:49
Comment From anon
Do the cubs need to sign a price level pitcher or will they remain playoff favs with a chen level pitcher?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Do people just not realize that the Cubs have two aces?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: How many aces does a team need?

10:50
Comment From Al
Has feedback from “traffic” patterns affected how you write at all?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t actually look at the traffic numbers, so it’s not a big deal. And no one above me tells me how posts did or didn’t do. I’ve developed a stronger preference to write about topical things because why wouldn’t you do that? Why wouldn’t you write about the stories most relevant in the moment?

10:51
Comment From Graham
Blue Jays have only been issued 12 IBBs!

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: Fewest in baseball. Because under what circumstances would you want an extra guy on base for the next guy?

10:52
Comment From Table
I don’t think anyone would take Greinke over Kershaw in a must win game, does that affect Cy Young voting in any way, if only subconciously?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe a little bit, but ERA is more powerful

10:52
Comment From anon
Is the recent increase in HRs, hitters catching up with pitchers? or something else?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: I wrote about that for the THT Annual! So now I don’t want to give spoilers. But, no, I don’t think that’s it

10:53
Comment From TommyLasordid
The fact 25 man rosters can be adjusted for each playoff series gives deep teams like Dodgers a nice match-up advantage. Agree?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: It’s slight. They’re not way more deep than other teams, and teams generally don’t require way different matching up. Without injuries, series rosters might differ by one player, *maybe* two. And the bulk of the playing time will go to the best, always

10:54
Comment From Merv Throneberry
Who are your comeback player picks for 2016? I’ll throw out a healthier Matt Wieters on a different team.

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Healthy Victor Martinez

10:55
Comment From Mookie Betts
I have 174 hits on the season, your site counts are incorrect at 173.

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: Well this is weird. You’re right!

10:55
Comment From Table
World Series matchup you would like to see the most?

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: Jays/Cubs

10:56
Comment From Mike
If you’re Joe Maddon, how would you shake out a Cubs NLDS rotation behind Lester in Games 1 and 4/5 and Arrieta in Game 3? Would you trust more than one of the Hendricks/Hammel/Haren trio? Or would you pick just one and do a Wood/Cahill bullpen fest?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: I’m okay with Hendricks, but pretty obviously in the non-Arrieta/Lester games you need to be aggressive with the bullpen

10:57
Comment From Catoblepas
Sox have Hanigan/Swihart/Vazquez for potentially two more seasons, collectively. Should one get shipped off, or is one of the young guys likely enough to struggle that you would hold all three?

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: Hanigan doesn’t serve much purpose if they’re content with a healthy Vazquez

10:58
Comment From Gambon
Have you come across any good stats that show RBI efficiency by an individual player

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: Baseball Prospectus has this but to be honest I don’t know what it is or means. It’s probably ok though http://www.baseballprospect…

10:59
Comment From TKDC
In 2013, if I told you Trout would hit over 40 homers in 2015 and not lead the league in WAR, what would you say?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: Nationals must’ve traded Harper to the American League

11:00
Comment From mtsw
Non-healthy Royals bullpen a greater danger than we think due to Ned Yost being involved?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: Yost has gotten smarter about his bullpen usage

11:01
Comment From Colin
Gut feeling on who wins the WC games?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: Astros and Cubs

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: But it’s worth noting that if the Astros make the wild-card game, they’d probably be starting Keuchel on short rest

11:02
Comment From Kimball
When you defend FG projections, you could point out that MLB scheduled the Astros to play the Diamondbacks and the Dodgers are playing the Padres as indications of which match-ups (among several others) people in baseball thought would (or wouldn’t) matter at this point.

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe the best defense is just the relationship between FG projections and Vegas betting lines

11:03
Comment From Jeff
What type of contract does Zobrist get? Is he going to be overpriced because so many teams can use him?

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: Short, kind of expensive. He’s 34 which is going to turn some teams off

11:05
Comment From Julio Pepper
Does home field advantage matter at all for post-season revenue, or is it split between the teams?

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: Split. Thanks, Wendy! http://www.fangraphs.com/bl…

11:07
Comment From mtsw
I know there’s a couple dinosaur front offices left, but it feels like Ruben Amaro getting canned is a watershed. Will we look back on his firing as the end of the “Moneyball era” when there was a divide between savvy and non-savvy franchises?

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: it wasn’t just him. Zduriencik got replaced by someone more contemporary. Same with Melvin. I don’t think there’s a clean dividing line — it’s just gradual progress in one direction, uninterrupted

11:08
Comment From Kimball
Kyle Seager’s offensive line is virtually identical to last year, except with a significantly *lower* K% than last year. Is his lower wRC+ and Off just due to offense being up across the league?

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: Bingo

11:08
Comment From David
With Dipoto stating a desire for more athletic outfielders, who do you see as possibly targets? Ozuna a possibility or will Miami not want to sell low?

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: Not a bad idea. Miami doesn’t love him, so that’s a player to target

11:09
Comment From Mandatory High Socks
Could the A’s and Nats match up for Papelbon? Balfour excelled with the O.Co crowd, and if anyone could rein in Papelbon, it’s Bob Melvin. Getting a back-end reliever for cheap because he’s an a-hole seems like an appropriately “A’s” move and gives Doolittle a little more time to recover.

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: Could see the A’s or the Rays

11:09
Comment From Greg
Is Sonny Gray an Athletic in 2016, or are the Red Sox going to break the bank for him?

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: A’s will keep him

11:10
Comment From Catoblepas
What do you think your (conscious? subconscious?) decision to write about the Mariners in all lowercase conveys?

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: I find them as exciting as this plate next to me that used to hold a bagel

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: It is a plate

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: small plate

11:11
Comment From Guest
I know pitchers wins are a bad stat, but they are fun to talk about sometimes. Shelby Miller hasn’t got a W since May 17th. He has lost 8 consecutive starts and 13 of his last 15.

11:11
Jeff Sullivan: Awesome storyline, although Miller’s weak September has ruined the numbers a bit

11:11
Comment From Guest
The Hank Aaron award is for best hitter.

11:11
Jeff Sullivan: Not best player

11:12
Comment From Kimball
I just learned that volcanic lightning is a thing! That might be my new favorite thing about volcanoes.

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: And there’s so much more! Volcanic lightning brings people in. Pyroclastic flows keep them in.

11:13
Comment From Taylor
For all the praise the Cards get for their perseverance through injuries this year, why has there been relatively little talk of the Dodgers? Ryu, McCarthy, Puig, Kendrick, Crawford, Grandal (played through but obviously wasn’t himself), etc.

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: People look at the Dodgers and just think about all their money so they get less credit for overcoming what they have

11:13
Comment From xmx
What do you think will be one of the biggest offseason moves that will come out of left field?

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: Joey Votto trade?

11:14
Comment From Kevin Kiermaier
I threw a 100 mph strike to home plate to throw out the runner last night, where’s my jeff sullivan-gif tweet/shoutout?!

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: Was going to tweet something but then I had to chat

11:15
Comment From Spicy Felix!
I assume by you not answering my mariners question that you have lost all excitement fir the team. This makes me sad 🙁 if it makes you feel better i followed you from LL to fg

11:15
Jeff Sullivan: It’s actually just that I end up way behind in the queue every week!

11:16
Comment From Lawrence
What happens if the entire Mets series this weekend gets rained out?

11:16
Jeff Sullivan: Everyone gets a little stir-crazy and Matt Williams thanks his lucky stars

11:16
Jeff Sullivan: And home field gets determined by winning percentage

11:17
Comment From Rexdale
How fun is drunk Kawasaki?

11:17
Jeff Sullivan: And then they made him play the next day at noon

11:17
Comment From Gary
Would you care about Syndergaard’s large-ish Home/Road splits (2.57/4.23 ERA) when it comes to deciding rotation order for the NLDS?

11:17
Jeff Sullivan: Nope

11:18
Comment From mtsw
2015 Division winner most likely to have a losing record next season?

11:18
Jeff Sullivan: This probably sounds more insulting than it is,but, Royals

11:18
Jeff Sullivan: Rangers are going to get back Yu Darvish

11:18
Jeff Sullivan: Royals are going to lose Alex Gordon

11:18
Comment From Brock
Jays are second in attendance in the second half and miles ahead of everyone in TV audience with team owned media so you get variable ad revenue. Explain to me why they have no chance of signing Price considering fans will burn down the Skydome if they don’t?

11:18
Jeff Sullivan: They don’t have no chance

11:18
Jeff Sullivan: Who’s saying they have no chance?

11:19
Comment From mtsw
How valuable would a hypothetical pitcher who allowed exactly 1 run per inning, every inning be? On one hand he has a 9.00 ERA but on the other hand you can ensure you win any game in which you generate a lead greater than the number of innings left.

11:19
Jeff Sullivan: He would be very valuable!

11:20
Comment From mike
I know there’s no chance that voters take Zach Greinke’s super interesting convo with Eno into consideration for the CY, but it should! As a dodger fan, it also makes want him back even if it costs a ton of money. Doesn’t the kind of thoughtful approach Grienke takes to pitching, coupled, obviously, with his nearly preternatural talent, make him a pretty good investment heading into his mid-thirties?

11:20
Jeff Sullivan: I think that’s the belief. I don’t know exactly how true it is, but it *feels* like Greinke will be able to stay ahead of the curve for a while longer, performance-wise and health-wise

11:20
Comment From Ian
Judging by how quickly you can chat and research at the same time, you seem to have an exceptionally fast computer. Tips for having a fast computer?

11:21
Jeff Sullivan: Get a new computer and don’t do anything on it aside from writing about baseball and research baseball

11:21
Comment From xmx
Speaking of the Yankees being in first place at one point – who could have seen that even being a thing in the early part of this year?

11:21
Jeff Sullivan: No one wants to hear it but the Yankees have been a decent story

11:22
Comment From c
marcus stroman is a good pitcher and has had 4 good starts since his return from knee reconstruction. but HOW good is marcus stroman really?

11:22
Jeff Sullivan: No. 2 starter, good chance of becoming a No. 1 starter

11:22
Jeff Sullivan: He’s got everything, just about. I love him

11:23
Comment From zipzopzippetybop
I’m trying to get into hockey a little more but I’m not in an NHL city. Any decent sites you know of just to read new content and try to learn who the players are, etc?

11:23
Jeff Sullivan: I think you should watch games and go from there. Let the games determine your fandom. If you’re already leaning toward a team, watch that team. Figure out based on your eyes which players you like, and pay attention to a team blog or two just to get a sense of the conversation

11:24
Jeff Sullivan: Ease yourself in. If the game takes hold, then you can let it consume you to whatever degree you prefer

11:24
Comment From Ricks
So according to the glossary on plate discipline the contact rate is 80% and the swinging strike rate is 9.5%, what happens the other 10.5% of the time? Are foul tips not considered contact or swinging strikes?

11:24
Jeff Sullivan: Contact rate = contact / swings. Swinging strike rate = whiffs / all pitches

11:25
Comment From Shyam
Will you and Mathew ever record another podcast?

11:25
Jeff Sullivan: Ever is a long time, but it’s hard to imagine what we’d do with it

11:26
Comment From Rexdale
Of all the teams 10+ games under .500 who do like best next year?

11:26
Jeff Sullivan: A’s, then White Sox

11:28
Comment From xmx
What would be the most exciting end to this upcoming postseason

11:28
Jeff Sullivan: It’s Game 7, and Hector Rondon is on to protect a one-run lead in the bottom of the ninth against Donaldson/Bautista/Encarnacion

11:28
Jeff Sullivan: and because I get to make it up, let’s say Ben Revere has already led off and reached first base

11:29
Comment From xmx
how many games do you think this hurricane joaquin will cancel?

11:29
Jeff Sullivan: The only cancellation I’m worried about is my girlfriend’s flight home Sunday out of Virginia!

11:29
Jeff Sullivan: Sorry baseball! You’re a secondary priority!

11:30
Comment From Lucas
If the current WC format is kept, do you envision the money paid to “aces” skyrocketing beyond their current value? Like if you had to chose Arietta \ Trout to build around, Trout seems the obvious answer but, what if your team was in a market that you expected to be competing for lots of WC games and not really be in the division hunt very often.

11:30
Jeff Sullivan: Nah, the wild-card odds just aren’t known that certainly in advance. Aces have always gotten paid well and they always will be

11:30
Comment From bus wanker
Lame World Series: Yankees vs Cards

11:30
Jeff Sullivan: I wouldn’t even watch

11:30
Comment From crump
do you guys have a smaller staff or work fewer hours during the offseason?

11:31
Jeff Sullivan: Fewer hours, yeah, just because there isn’t actual baseball to watch

11:31
Jeff Sullivan: But the writing itself doesn’t really change

11:32
Comment From kyle
will a team give rich hill a guaranteed contract next year

11:32
Jeff Sullivan: Yes!

11:32
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe even a Boston team

11:32
Comment From Dan
if Dodgers don’t win this year, will teams need to rethink about using aces as a pathway to winning the world series? Seems like bullpen and quality defense should be priority.

11:33
Jeff Sullivan: If the 2011 Phillies couldn’t do it, the 2015 Dodgers won’t do it. People will forever love aces

11:33
Jeff Sullivan: All right, it’s time to wrap this up

11:33
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, I think? And until then, be well and have great days

11:34
Jeff Sullivan: Actually, Friday is one of those four-playoff-games-in-a-day days, so we’ll live-blog but I won’t have this same sort of chat

11:34
Jeff Sullivan: So long!

We hoped you liked reading Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 10/2/15 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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Benjamin Sarinana
Member
Benjamin Sarinana

Jeff who do you have in world series? and who wins/how many games?
I have Blue Jays vs Mets and Blue Jays in 6