Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 10/28/14

9:02
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:02
Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to World Series baseball chat

9:02
Comment From semperty
If you had to choose between starting Jay or Bourjos, who would you choose?

9:02
Jeff Sullivan: I very conveniently platoon them because I am a fan of them both

9:03
Comment From Smooth PumaMoistCooter
Just watched a 30 for 30 on that guy MasseySasser- have you seen his story? dude couldnt throw the ball back to the pitcher. it was nuts

9:03
Jeff Sullivan: There are catchers who are believed to have modest cases of the yips now; they just don’t get press, but their pitchers notice

9:03
Comment From Padres fan
How excited should I be about the front office that Preller’s put together in San Diego?

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: Change is always exciting. I don’t know if Padres fans should be especially excited. The default assumption ought to be that the group is sufficiently competent, no more and no less, and with luck the Padres will begin to spend a little more money so they can more consistently be a factor in the standings. I like the group fine, but I liked Byrnes fine when that got started

9:05
Comment From Eminor3rd
When it says, “the event is now live. Waiting for the writer to provide content,” I like to imagine that you are awake and that you’re stuck in a “loading phase.”

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: Usually I’m just awake and doing something else. Once you’re late once, it’s a heck of a lot easier to be late again

9:05
Comment From Big Pete
Tell me about Kyle Seager’s little brother. How good can he be?

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: Potentially better than Kyle! But probably he will not be better than Kyle. The funny thing of it is that Kyle wasn’t even a particularly good prospect coming up. If Corey shares the overachiever genes, that’ll help his projection

9:06
Comment From LarryA
Coaches strategic moves must have close to zero effect on games, if the Royals and Yost can be in a WS game 6.

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: The first part is correct but the second part doesn’t necessarily follow. For example, maybe Yost is just an extraordinarily good leader of men. I don’t think that’s *true*, but it could be, and that’s job #1 for him

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: But yeah, the debatable strategic decisions that get made affect the win expectancy by like a fraction of a percentage point most of the time. They’re such minor factors. The difference between, for example, Herrera or Frasor in one inning is miniscule.

9:08
Comment From RAJ Al Ghul
What do you think “rebuilding” means to the Phillies exactly?

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: Rebuilding the front office

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: I think as *this* front office says it, “rebuilding” means not trying to win again with the same core of players. So they’ll finally have more willingness to move parts out of the way, even for little in return. It’s something.

9:10
Comment From STiVo
How much velocity does a typical fastball lose between the pitcher’s release point and the catcher’s mitt? (And where is the velocity measured along that path for Fangraphs’ purposes?)

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: If I recall — and this is still measured somewhere — it’s something like 7-8mph or so. We’re showing the measurement pretty close to the release point. The velocities you’re accustomed to seeing are taken shortly after the ball is let go

9:11
Comment From Cochorro fan
What happens to Rick Renteria?

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: Eventually he’ll lose his job and awkwardly be offered another position with the team. Presumably he’ll turn that down. It’ll be uncomfortable for everyone, but the Cubs weren’t anticipating this, and when you have a chance to upgrade — which Maddon probably represents — MLB is too competitive to not seize it.

9:13
Comment From john
do you agree that the royals at this poitn are about 25% chance they win?

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: I agree that the Giants and Royals are about as good as one another, so that follows from the simple math. Factor in home-field advantage and maybe you’ve got 30%.

9:14
Comment From Jaack
Your dumb hypothetical question: If awards voting was done after the Worlds Series, would Bumgarner win the Cy Young. Obviously Kershaw would still deserve to win it, but would NARRATIVE happen?

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: Including the playoffs, Kershaw has a 2.26 RA/9 in 211 innings, and Bumgarner has a 2.99 RA/9 in 265 innings. I don’t know how the voters would weigh the playoffs under this hypothetical, but I think that gap in runs allowed would be simply too great to ignore. Bumgarner would get plenty of votes, but I think Kershaw would still win out

9:17
Comment From Dewey
Is this offseason’s market set up to be trade heavy? Seems like the FA talent pool as well as teams flush with payroll space are both limited.

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think it’s going to be unusually trade-heavy. Not unless the Marlins change course and actually put Stanton out there, which would change the calculus. There are going to be a few headliners, but I think there always are. Or at least there are always rumors of such

9:18
Comment From Guest
Jarrod Saltalamacchia was sent down to the minors when he was with Texas because he couldn’t throw it back to the pitcher.

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: re: yips

9:19
Comment From Guest
So do the Rays simply collapse now? They haven’t developed talent from the draft very well, and it would appear they lack a “core” to build around.

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: So much of the Rays was built from having high draft picks from being bad. When they turned good, they stopped drafting so high, so it got harder to develop upper-class talent out of those picks. They’re still overall in good enough shape, but it makes sense that their cycle would be approaching a downturn, because their model is simply almost impossible to sustain for too long

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: For 2015 they’re as good as any other team in that division, but they’re dealing with an obvious disadvantage.

9:21
Comment From David
Sullivan’s “loading phase” involves copious amounts of coffee…

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not copious, but it does take time to prepare if you want to do it right

9:21
Comment From Brigadier Pudding
Is there any data to suggest major league hitting coaches have any impact?

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: Probably somewhere and it’s probably unconvincing. The fact that every team has 1-2 such coaches implies they’re important, but we obviously don’t know how important and it makes sense that a guy might be able to make a difference with one player while struggling to make a difference with another. I doubt there are hitting coaches who can make everyone improve

9:23
Comment From Guest
Is there a way to quickly identify which RH hitter is best at hitting the other way overall?

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: Well you could choose the Opposite Field split on FanGraphs and then just go down the list until you see a righty. It’s not perfect, but it’ll do

9:23
Comment From semperty
How would a platoon work between them? Reverse platoon with Jay v. LHP, and Bourjos v. RHP, or would you go traditional, or neither?

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: There’s really no such thing as a reverse platoon split; just a platoon split that hasn’t yet regressed. Jay’s a LHB and Bourjos is a RHB so I’d go mostly traditional, with the occasional matchup-based exceptions or something.

9:25
Comment From Eric
If the Dodgers were open to trading Puig, what kind of prospect haul would it take? Is a top 10 prospect + top 50 prospect + top 100 prospect enough?

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: So you’re looking at another five years of control for a basically 24-year-old borderline superstar. His contract allows him to opt in to arbitration, but he’s still going to be underpaid there, like most players who go through the process

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: As a quick estimate, I just came up with a projected ~$120 million of surplus value. Maybe that’s off but it’s at least in the ballpark. That’s three top-of-the-line prospects, basically

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: So no, your package isn’t even close. If you want Puig, you’re scraping from the top of a very very talented system

9:30
Comment From Guest
Where would you like to see Buehrle traded?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: I’d *like* to see him go to SD or SF with the Jays, of course, eating a lot of that money

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: It would be interesting to see if the A’s would take him on, again for a fraction of the salary, just to try to contend again in 2015. Short-term acquisition who might take kindly to O.co

9:33
Comment From mtsw
Baseball America ranked Christian Walker (likely a platoon/utility guy in the majors) and Chance Sisco (A-ball catcher unlikely to stick at catcher) as the Orioles top position player prospects. Are they in as much trouble long-term as it looks like?

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: Thankfully they have pitching around, but they’re going to need for most of that pitching to stay healthy and develop

9:33
Comment From Guest
Everyone’s excited abt Maddon to CHN. Does a manager do enough to warrant the 25M he’ll get?

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: Absolutely no idea but $5 million a year is practically utility-player money these days. So if you look at it that way, can you buy Maddon as being better than an average manager by less than one win? Easy price to justify and it’s not like they don’t have the money

9:34
Comment From cmg8462
RE: Catcher Framing — With the extremes being +20 and -20 runs between best and worst is there research showing teams on extreme ends of the spectrum winning or losing more/less games than expected?

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: No, because that value currently just shows up in the pitching stats instead of the catching stats.

9:35
Comment From Smooth PumaMoistCooter
Pedro Martinez had an 11.9 WAR as a pitcher in 1999. I repeat. 11.9 WAR. wut.

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: And he barely pitched in July!

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: July 18: 3.2 IP, 9 R. The rest of the year: 209.2 IP, 47 R

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: That start was basically the Pedro equivalent of Kershaw’s Diamondbacks start this season

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: Pedro’s B-R page is almost as good as Bonds’ B-R page

9:37
Comment From Philadelphia hopeful
Joe Maddon takes over for RAJ, and Cubs are left holding their d*ck while their current manager is unhappy. Likely news story from the near future?

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: Joe Maddon is a manager, not a general manager

9:37
Comment From Paolo
What would it take to get Rollins and/or Utley to waive their 10/5 NTC?

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: A signal from above that the Phillies are going to suck for a few more years

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: Which Gillick kind of already gave a few days ago

9:37
Comment From neal
do you think Joe Maddon gets overrated as a manager because of his roster? Not saying that he’s bad, just that he’s forced to make moves because he’s playing guys with somewhat limited skillsets

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: He gets big points for the open-mindedness. He fit very well with the TB model, just as he’d fit well with, say, the Pittsburgh model. And he seems to be an awesome leader and motivator. Based on what we can tell, he has those managerial intangibles

9:38
Comment From Medium Sized Pete
If you’re the Mariners, which shortstop do you roll with in 2015?

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: Miller, but I suspect they trade him

9:39
Comment From Dewey
Hate is such a strong word. Do you think Boston coaches really hate Cespedes?

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: Of course not. He probably has just sometimes gotten on their nerves.

9:40
Comment From Mike
What *should* Cole Hamels net in a trade for the Phillies?

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: One darn good prospect, assorted interesting filler

9:41
Comment From Donnie W.
What do you make reports that the Red Sox might trade Cespedes because he wants too much money? For the Red Sox. Are we through the looking glass?

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: The Red Sox are happy to spend money, but they’re not happy to spend big money on a .300 OBP

9:41
Comment From Mooking for Love
Re: Phillies rebuilding – realistically how far into the season does RAJ make it before ownership finally shakes it up? I’d love to say I can’t imagine they let him make calls (or lack thereof) at the deadline again this year with his end of contract looming, but then again I would have said something similar a year ago 🙁

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: It’s difficult to make changes mid-season. Removing a GM shakes up everything from the floor to the ceiling, and it affects the whole front office and the whole scouting department. If they want to make a change, they should do it now. Failing that, they should re-visit in August

9:43
Comment From Guest
Who coaches the Rays?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Sounds like Dave Martinez, but Gabe Kapler would be really interesting.

9:43
Comment From Nick
For all the grief he gets for his baseball tactics, I feel that Mike Matheny is the perfect person to lead the young Cardinals team through this terrible time. Do you concur?

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: I mean, he seems well-equipped, but this isn’t something I know a lot about. Making things a little difficult for the Cardinals is that the season is over so all the players are scattered around the globe; they can’t really pull together and unite as a family. Not physically. That’s been a big part of past healing

9:45
Comment From Guest
Would robot umps destroy most of the value in having catchers who generate most of their value from pitch-framing (e.g., Mike Zunino)? I’ve always liked the idea of RoboUmps for the cold, uncaring accuracy and precision they’d provide, but losing pitch framing would feel wrong in a way. But maybe this is a pointless question, because RoboUmps will never happen anyway so

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: Yes, if the pitches were called when they passed home plate, it would cease to matter how they’re caught behind home plate. An automated strike zone would render framing basically pointless

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: When I polled the audience in April, 62% of people liked having framing as a skill, and 38% of people hated that it’s a thing http://www.fangraphs.com/bl…

9:48
Comment From Guest
Which team overpays Boston for Cespedes?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: I could see the Reds working on something that involves one of their starting pitchers and also a prospect on Boston’s end

9:49
Comment From jT
Which pitchers do the Cubs sign this offseason?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Do you honestly think I have an answer? Even the Cubs don’t know. They’re likely to end up with one of the premium available arms. Not a guarantee, but they’ll be in the mix for most of the names until they get one

9:49
Comment From Mooking for Love
Why is Maddon *perceived* as an upgrade over Renteria with all the talk of managerial decisions not meaning a whole heck of anything?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Because the strategic decisions are only a small part of the job

9:50
Comment From Guest
Does Ichiro make sense for a Nl club as a bench Of?

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: Sure, he’s still useful as a 4th/5th

9:50
Comment From Guest
Odds Lincecum pitches tonight?

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: 33%

9:51
Comment From NYC
I’m in favor of speeding up games as much as possible — ban Velcro on batting gloves! — but one thing I hope MLB will never adopt is the automatic intentional walk. As we’ve seen this postseason, sometimes strange things can happen. And to me, that’s worth the extra minute or so of throwing four pitches.

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: 69% of people agree with you! http://www.fangraphs.com/bl…

9:52
Comment From Guest
Madison Bumgarner proving that Cy Young voting should happen after postseason?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: No? Everybody has a chance during the season. Not everybody has a chance during the postseason. He’ll get different awards for this

9:52
Comment From Chris
How will Fangraphs incorporate StatCast with the current defensive metrics? Will these stats be adjusted to include the new data or will the data StatCast measures replace the current model?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: Absolutely no idea because we don’t even know what we’re going to be provided. We don’t know what to make of the data that’s being generated. It makes sense that within 5-10 years, all the numbers are going to incorporate more granular information, but right now that’s just a promising mystery

9:53
Comment From Serious in Seattle
What would you do if you had a friend that didn’t want to go to a Seahawks game? How would you talk reason into them? Can they be reasoned with or have they truly gone mad?

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: It might be that friend more highly values sixty dollars and a Sunday to do something outside in the world

9:54
Comment From Ryan Goins is Bad
Hearing Lind might be a possible target for the Mariners. Do you think him plus some sort of throw in is enough to get Chris Taylor or Ty Kelly?

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: Chris Taylor is a major-league shortstop and Ty Kelly is a 26-year-old coming off a sub-.800 OPS in the PCL. You can get Kelly, easily. Taylor would require a bit of a haul

9:56
Comment From xmx
Are coaches part of the MBLPA?

9:56
9:56
Jeff Sullivan: “All players, managers, coaches and trainers who hold a signed contract with a Major League club are eligible for membership in the Association.”

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: There you go. Who knew?

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: Well I guess a lot of people probably knew.

9:57
Comment From Jesse
Which of these teams is most likely to end up with Russell Martin: White Sox, Pirates, Red Sox or Dodgers? Crystal ball time!

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: The Dodgers should do it, the Cubs should try to do it

9:57
Comment From Hideki
Could the champion of the Nippon Baseball League compete with the “World” Series champion or would the MLB team be too good for that to be plausible? If so, wouldn’t having the Japanase all-stars play the MLB champ be cooler than North America arrogantly declaring their champion as champs of the world?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: They could compete, but they’d be significant underdogs

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: Are you proposing a game between the MLB champ and the Japanese champ, or the MLB champ and the Japanese all-stars? The latter seems weird

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: On paper I’d love to see games between MLB teams and Japanese teams but you’re not going to see that high-level competition unless there’s enough revenue involved, because otherwise it’s almost pure risk

9:59
Comment From Bruce
has there been a correlation between large amount of playoff innings pitched to performance the next season? (Re: Bumgarner)

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: Nothing meaningful that I’ve seen

10:00
Comment From cmg8462
How much do front offices know about “percieved” velocity. Not just Chris Young 6’10 percieved but also deceptiveness factored into that.

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: Well, deceptiveness can’t really easily be quantified, but StatCast tracks a perceived velocity measure based on release point and I’d say every front office is aware of it as a concept

10:01
Comment From Guest
If teams are already trying to shorten the game to 7 innings by having more specialized pitching match-ups, and MLB is trying to shorten the game, why not just make it a 7 inning game period?

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: Because that’s too dramatic a change for people to accept. Has nothing to do with whether it’s better or not. It’s just that the number 9 is considered holy, and so changing from the number 9 would therefore be unholy

10:02
Comment From Bob Hamelin
Why do you think the home team has won Game 7 of the WS 9 straight times? Is that still in SSS territory, or does the crowd have a significant impact?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: The American League won 12 consecutive All-Star Games, excepting the one tie. Shit happens

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: There’s no evidence of a more significant playoff home-field advantage, and a playoff atmosphere is already nuts, so I don’t think a World Series Game 7 would show very much. Maybe there’s a very slight added boost, but I don’t think it would be big

10:04
Comment From Socos
Is there anyway that Dave Martinez doesn’t become the next manager of the Rays? And if he doesn’t, does he follow Maddon to wherever it is he ends up?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: He’s the current favorite in TB, but they have a pool of names

10:05
Comment From john
With the talk about Maddon to the cubs, what is sandy a doing on the sidelines? Terry Collins has literally got to be the worst manager in baseball

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: Alderson apparently doesn’t believe that managers should be paid like Maddon is looking for. But who’s to say the Mets aren’t among the ten teams who’ve reached out to Maddon’s representatives? Maybe they’d be interested in him in some other role.

10:06
Comment From Guest
Actually, re: yips and other things like them. Given how mentally and emotionally exhausting the 162 game season must be on players, is mental health heavily emphasized by organizations?

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: Not heavily enough

10:06
Comment From LarryA
Tell me you dont use a scale for your coffee

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: It’s how I stay connected to my chemistry days

10:06
Comment From Bob Hamelin
Which upcoming FA deal is going to make everyone say “THAT guy got THAT much money”?

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: How did I answer this last week? Victor Martinez? Victor Martinez, I guess.

10:07
Comment From Guest
When a player changes an agent before a contract year or something, does it usually really affect anything as far as the team is concerned? Example: it’s generally accepted that Boras’ guys get paid, but can we really say for sure that those players would get significantly more money than they would otherwise?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: No, we can’t say that. Look at Jered Weaver. A player switching to Boras might indicate that negotiations are going to be difficult, though, and certain teams have certain relationships with certain agents. A team that wants to get its roster sorted out sooner might prefer non-Boras players, because with him there’s the risk of something carrying into January or February, and then what happens if you don’t get the player?

10:09
Comment From david
Do you think after all the press the managers in the playoffs have gotten for ill advised moves that we will see a change in the way they manage(best pitcher/high leverage)? or still just more of the same.

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: Things are slowly moving in a more progressive direction. These playoffs aren’t changing that any more than baseball in general is changing that. More and more teams are progressive and more and more teams are looking for open-minded managers, which basically means managers willing to do non-traditional things

10:10
Comment From Cards FAn
Early in the Year, Mike was giving Borjous starts with Miller (a fly ball pitcher) on the mound, seems to me the best way to operate the platoon

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: Batter handedness is a pretty significant factor. I haven’t done the math on how much of a defensive improvement outweighs a platoon disadvantage, but it’s probably complicated and close

10:11
Comment From mtsw
Would having the worst 2-4 teams in MLB lose their first round draft pick be enough of a disincentive to prevent teams from attempting Astros-style teardowns where the team becomes totally uncompetitive?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: That is an insane proposal, if that’s what that is

10:11
Comment From Guest
Any plans for Puckgraphs in the future for you?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: I never want to be analytical about hockey. Hockey is where I can be a stupid fan

10:12
Comment From Guest
Jason Heyward, if no extension occurs, is going to be a FA at age 26. Trying to figure out the youngest FA in the modern era, any ideas?

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Alex Rodriguez was 25(!)

10:13
Comment From Fronk
As whether Puig will be underpaid in arbitration is questionable, if he opts in he obviously wont be paid less, so he could end up being overpaid in the final year.

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: It’s hard for me to believe that Puig would end up getting market salary through arbitration. That almost never happens

10:13
Comment From Terrible Ted
Have you been reading the lengthy comments MGL has been leaving on your articles? Do you absorb anything useful from them?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: Yes, MGL is extremely smart and much of my downtime is spent trying to figure out what I’m learning from him. Maybe eight or nine years from now I’ll finally have a decent grasp of game theory

10:14
Comment From Greg
If you’re in charge to build a team which is your choice as your nucleus, middle order hitter or ace pitcher?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: Rather have a 7-WAR position player than a 7-WAR pitcher

10:14
Comment From Tom
John Mozeliak said that Jon Jay is the starting CF going into 2015. Do you think Peter Bourjos will ask for a trade so he can have more playing time?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: No

10:14
Comment From joey joe joe junior shabadoo
I’ll be in Arizona next week and am planning to catch an AFL game or two. Any tips?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: Ask Keith Law

10:15
Comment From Guest
If the Giants have a lead does Madbum come in?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: Probably not today

10:15
Comment From Endive
Didn’t we talk about trade valuation of absurdly valuable players wrt Trout? Like, maybe our models say he’s worth that much, but is that likely to happen in the real world? I don’t really see many teams who has the ammo to do what you’re saying (maybe one of the top few systems), but I can’t see a reason any of them would unload three potential-Puigs for one arrived-Puig, given that he’s no guarantee either. And even if someone else could set up a three or four way swap, they’d have to offload serious ML talent to the other prospect-mover that would make it somewhat moot to chase after another MLer.

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: Yes, these trades don’t happen

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Such a trade could’ve happened with Giancarlo Stanton, but, alas…

10:16
Comment From jay-p
Was Kyle Hendricks as lucky as I thought he was last year in the majors?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know what you thought, but he was pretty lucky

10:17
Comment From Fronk
No way the Jays eat too much of Buehrle’s salary. Every uninformed analayst think the Jays have endless pools of money and will pay to get another team to take a valuable asset.

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: If the Jays don’t contribute money toward Buehrle’s $19 million, then they’re going to be starting Mark Buehrle 32 times next year

10:17
Comment From gigante giant
Should Giants basically go tandem-ish starters tonight? Let Peavy go through the order twice, and then go right to Petit? Assuming the game is reasonably close. Or should they not risk burning out Petit in order to save him for a game seven?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: Obviously it depends on the circumstances, but with Bumgarner potentially more available tomorrow, Petit is ready and good to go today. Can’t think about the next game too much when you could win the championship immediately

10:18
Comment From HelloJeffSullivan
Does any team let Ichiro! stick around to reach 3,000 MLB hits? (He just turned 41 and is at 2,844.)

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: He’ll try to stick around, but no team is going to sign him just because of his own statistical pursuit. If he gets there, it’ll be because he played well enough

10:19
Comment From Googly eyes
“Joe Maddon is a manager, not a general manager.” Why can’t he make the jump? He’s clearly got an eye for systemic issues; he’s not just a game-manager/player-handler.

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: Being a general manager requires a very different skillset. I’m not saying he couldn’t do it; I’m saying he is unlikely to do it, and the Phillies are unlikely to look in his direction

10:20
Comment From Matt
Think the Angels will pursue Vogelsong in the offseason?

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: not heavily

10:21
Comment From Jimothy
There is much butt-scuttling about Adam Lind being traded to the Mariners. If you’re AA, who are you looking to bring back? Ackley? Miller? Saunders? All of them in a bigger deal?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: They might as well try to get Saunders. That trade shouldn’t be possible, but it might be

10:22
Comment From Guest
Cespedes to the Orioles for some of their pitching depth – is there a match there?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, that would be feasible

10:22
Comment From Bb
In theory, which teams have the goods to match up for a Stanton trade?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: More than I can list. Probably, actually, every team, once you include good young players on the big-league rosters.

10:23
Comment From Philadelphia hopefuly
Do you mean Hamels nets a good prospect if Phila eats salary? Not feeling hopeful that he’ll net great prospects when comparable guys are available for just money and a similar amount.

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: a good prospect doesn’t equal great prospects

10:23
Comment From STiVo
How does a player rehab from awful face injuries like those Stanton suffered?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: Based on the Stanton example, quickly and extremely well

10:24
Comment From Greg
Which teams that din’t make the playoff this year are most likely going to play october ball 2015?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: Red Sox and/or Yankees

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: sorry

10:25
Comment From Andrew
What should the Astros do this offseason, if they wanted to actually improve their big-league team in ’15? Headley to replace Dominguez? Acquire and sign Cespedes?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Cespedes wouldn’t do much to improve them. But yeah, a third baseman would be nice.

10:26
Comment From Smooth PumaMoistCooter
do you think cespedes alleged annoying personality led beane to being more inclined to trade him

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: I think Beane saw an opportunity to get an ace pitcher for a low-OBP slugger with greater potential than results

10:26
Comment From anyone reasonable
Gabe Kapler seems like a great dude

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Smart, experienced, and a great communicator. High energy, very motivating. I feel like he’d be an awesome manager, eventually if not right away

10:26
Comment From Mike, of Mike and the Mechanics Fame
Has anything happened this year in the Arizona Fall League that you think is noteworthy?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: Zimmer got hurt

10:27
Comment From Grant
Thoughts on the Royals going after Cole Hamels to replace Shields?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: Unlikely and not a good use of their limited payroll

10:28
Comment From mtsw
As knowledge of pitch framing spreads through the league, will umpires start to compensate by calling more borderline pitches unfavorably to catchers who are known as good framers?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: No. Umpires like good framers. And more and more teams have good framers. Also pitches are evaluated below the conscious level so it’s not like umpires have time to overrule themselves

10:28
Comment From Socos
Does it make sense to focus on OBP like the Sox are supposedly doing with Cespedes when there are so many statistics that tell us how a batter is overall?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: The Red Sox aren’t evaluating Cespedes on his OBP. It’s just the easiest way of saying “hey he’s not actually really that good of a player.”

10:29
Comment From Robot Ump Lobbyist
What activities are on the Orioles front office’s to-do list this offseason?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: Oh my god, so many things!

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: They have so many decisions to make! And many of them are the obvious ones. Cruz, Markakis, Wieters, etc.

10:30
Comment From Bb
True or false: Robot umps would (correctly) call low breaking balls strikes that still finish on or close to the ground in front of the catcher, riots insue

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: If the strike zone were clearly defined, and if people could trust the pitch judgments, then no one would riot because they’d understand that the pitches must’ve cross the zone somewhere.

10:31
Comment From Alex
As a Royals fan, should I be concerned about how overworked Perez is? Reducing his workload has to be a priority next year right?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, he’s not playing this much in 2015

10:31
Comment From mike wants wins
Five million seems low compared to player salaries, but when I checked a salary database, only around 220 players made more than that, or about 7 per team……we all talk about how managers “don’t matter much”, but if a player win is worth $7MM…..managers are probably under payed compared to players, if the good ones are worth 3 or more wins. Or, maybe teams are right, and they aren’t even worth 1 win compared to a player.

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: We don’t know what they’re worth. Nobody really knows what they’re worth. And there’s no reason to pay them player-market prices if that isn’t what the market is. They’ll continue to get paid as little as they can be in order for teams to get them to agree to jobs.

10:32
Comment From Guest
Could the Mariners overpay for Cespedes?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: They sure could

10:32
Comment From Alex
How can Yordano Ventura sustain his velocity while also being a dependable and long term starter? Do you think he starts dropping his velocity in order to increase longevity?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: To the first part, I don’t think he can. To the second part, yeah, that’ll be part of his aging and maturation, physically and also deliberately

10:33
Comment From Fronk
Jeff that poll is misleading, its at the end of an article suggesting to keep the intentional walk. Would be vastly different if you asked that at the start.

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: I doubt that’s true. The timing of it was more of a factor — right after a game in which an intentional walk went awry. But I bet you the majority of voters have a consistent opinion on the subject

10:35
Comment From Alex
Is there a decent starter on the market this offseason that you think my Royals could get to replace Shields? Or are they going to have to look within.

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: I’d like to see them try the Brett Anderson thing. I imagine they’ll mostly be looking at trade options, and maybe they’ll call Ervin Santana’s agent a few times.

10:36
Comment From Guest
Jeff Avg Seahawk ticket price is $442.34 Thats insane

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: That is insane. I’d never pay that much money for a regular-season sporting event. Not even anything close to that. If I had a ticket, I’d sell it and like fly to a different continent

10:36
Comment From Leone for Thirds
Which do you hate more: fantasy baseball or fan-generated trade proposals?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Fantasy baseball. The latter can have more to do with real life

10:37
Comment From mtsw
The Yankees are boring now, but what crazy offseason move would they make if George Steinbrenner were still alive to force them to do something crazy?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Boring? Literally less than a year ago they spent big on Tanaka, Ellsbury, McCann, and Beltran!

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: That’s nuts!

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Wow!

10:38
Comment From Theo E
Assuming Russell Martin doesn’t sign with the Cubs, should they pick up David Ross to go along with Jon Lester?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not their only choice, but that would be neat

10:38
Comment From mtsw
Now that Cuban players no longer seem undervalued, are Japanese position players the next low-hanging fruit? Seems like a guy like Tetsuto Yamada would be worth taking a risk on if you’re a wealthy MLB team.

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: I think it’s going to be interesting to see if more teams start paying more for Japanese position players based on their contact skills, as strikeout rates continue to rise. Japanese hitters tend to be more skilled at hitting the ball and spraying it around, making them more K-proof and shift-proof

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: On the other hand, we’ve mostly just seen the best of the Japanese position-player crop, so as you dig deeper, one figures the players get worse. They might struggle to handle the higher velocities we’re seeing stateside

10:40
Comment From Hideki
I was proposing both, sort of. Think of how the MLS all-stars will occasionally play teams like Real Madrid, which now that I consider it, is dumb. So I say the Nippon League champs just play the MLB champs.

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: I think that would be fun. Again, I don’t think we’ll see it, at least not in a real competitive setting, given injury and fatigue concerns, but it would be exciting to watch

10:41
Comment From Guest
How much would adding Maddon increase the Cubs’ odds of contention next year? Word is that he won’t come if they aren’t trying to compete in 2015, so the assumption is they will be more likely to spend in free agency because of him. First, do you buy this? Second, are they looking like a 85-90 win team if they add pitching? I’m finding it to be very difficult to guage this situation.

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: I think the Cubs are trying to be pretty good next year regardless. 85 wins is definitely within reach, and if they go beyond to add a big starter *and* a guy like Martin, then you’re looking at 85-90 and NL Central aspirations

10:42
Comment From Paul
Game 5 Giants starters had 7 homegrown players, 1 reclamation project (Blanco) and 1 player traded then signed (Pence). Not bad for a team that is ranked 27th for its Front office by Fangraphs … (http://www.fangraphs.com/bl…). Is it time to give Sabean a little of credit after bashing him for years? Is it time to recognize that you messed on this one?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: What year is it?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: That’s something that was published in April 2012. There are reasons we don’t try to rank front offices anymore. I wasn’t even a part of FanGraphs when they survey took place. Everybody’s learned more.

10:43
Comment From Leone for Thirds
You have been upgraded to first class on your next flight. You board the plane, and your seat is next to a current MLB player. Who would you most want that player to be?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: McCarthy, pretty obviously

10:43
Comment From Alex
As a Royals fan, can I expect to be competitive for the next few years, or will we shrink back into ignominy.

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: .500+. They won’t miss the combination of Shields/Butler too much. Some will depend on how they spend the extra revenue they’re earning from this run

10:45
Comment From Matt
I’ve been receiving some pushback from fellow CHC fans regarding the potential utility of J Heyward to the club.He would seem to provide a lot of complementary skills(LH, OPB, good approach) to what they currently have in-house and coming through the pipeline. No?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: He’d be a great get, but he doesn’t make sense for them without an extension

10:46
Comment From Guest
Does a Cespedes for Latos swap make sense?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: If not straight up, it’s close

10:47
Comment From Bob Hamelin
Any chance Jose Bautista gets moved this offseason in a mini Jays rebuild? What kind of return could he net?

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: The don’t need to do that. They’re close enough to winning that they should keep him in the middle of the lineup

10:47
Comment From Mike
Why do teams love really tall pitchers? I’m talking about the 6’6″ guys and above. I get the idea behind them (higher release point, better downward motion and longer arms creating more “whip” on the ball), but I feel like there aren’t a ton of successful guys over 6’4″ in the league. Maybe I’m wrong (because nobody does a sort by height – new sort function for Fangraphs). Just looking at some of the top prospect list for pitchers, and I see Giolito (6’6″), Syndergaard (6’6″), Glasnow (6’7″), Ownes (6’6″), and Meyer (6’9″). I just feel really tall pitchers get overvalued.

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: There are nonsense reasons, but there’s also the fact that they release the ball closer to home plate, making pitches appear faster. So this gets into perceived velocity, etc, which improves their results.

10:48
Comment From Guest
Do you think the Angels’ window has been opened up a little bit with the emergence of Calhoun, Richards, and (healthy) Skaggs?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: Absolutely. They can survive Pujols/Hamilton/Wilson, at least in the short-term

10:48
Comment From Chris
If baseball were to propose contraction, what two teams would you suggest for the chopping block?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: None of them

10:49
Comment From Hambone
Is there another FG staff member that you would open Volcanographs with out of knowledge/merit rather than their writing style or personality?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: no

10:49
Comment From mtsw
If Puig opts into arbitration do the Dodgers have the option to non-tender him and have him released if the salary is too high? Or is it all upside for Puig? (not that this would likely happen just curious on how the mechanics of it work)

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Anyone eligible for arbitration can be non-tendered. Yasiel Puig will never be non-tendered.

10:51
Comment From Leone for Thirds
Which current reliever(s) do you think could become decent starters?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: Petit would be cheating, right?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: Someone like Wilhelmsen or Melancon, perhaps

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: Chapman, obviously, if he has the durability

10:52
Comment From Tanana
Kyle Zimmer has been shutdown with an unknown shoulder injury, but MRI came back clean. If you were Dayton Moore, would this news make you relieved or petrified?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: It’s good news, relative to the potential news, but shoulder MRIs can miss smaller issues, so Zimmer should still be scoped out. Probably, they’ll find something wrong in there, even if it’s nothing catastrophic.

10:54
Comment From david
Howie Kendrick to the Nats?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Not sure Kendrick gets moved. I could see Jed Lowrie happening

10:54
Comment From Terrible Ted
How much of your own personality do you allow to show through your writing? Are you censoring yourself or your natural style as you write?

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: No, I mostly write like I think, but in real life I think a lot weirder. FanGraphs has a weirdness limit, beyond which material wouldn’t make sense for the front page.

10:55
Comment From david
MLB should condense the playoffs to exploit teams with not much depth. maybe five games in a row, break, five game in a row…and stagger the different series.

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: I’d definitely be in favor of fewer playoff off days, if practical. The one thing I don’t like about the setup right now is how teams don’t need to have very full rosters

10:56
Comment From Rick Hahn
If you value position players over pitchers of equal WAR, what can I get for Chris Sale or Jose Quintana, given their favorable contracts?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: A ton

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: By which I mean literally ten talented 200-pound baseball players

10:57
Comment From Brandon
Do we have any numbers on broken bats? Do certain teams break bats, certain hitters/pitchers, ballparks, temperatures?

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: We don’t have data, but data does exist

10:57
Comment From Guest
What is the one move you want the Mariners to make this offseason?

10:57
10:58
Comment From Leone for Thirds
Best ice cream in Portland?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: It’s Salt & Straw. Sorry. But it’s AMAZING.

10:59
Comment From Mike
What is Marlon Byrd’s value right now? About what would he net in a trade? And would it possibly make more sense for the Phillies to trade Revere instead of Byrd?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: His trade value is low, but he’s still probably more valuable than his contract terms, so you’re looking to get back a half-decent prospect. Someone from a team’s #6-10

11:00
Comment From mtsw
If the Orioles signed a starting pitcher in free agency, what kind of return could they get for say, Norris + Ubaldo (to free up money for the new pitcher)

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: Nothing. They’d be eating money

11:00
Comment From Mike
I just had a Braves fan tell me Evan Gattis was a “once in a lifetime” player. No question – just felt the need to share this hilarity.

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: Everyone is a snowflake

11:01
Comment From JW
Riffing on Cameron’s post today – with two games left in the season is there any reason to allow any of the remaining schedule SP see a third trip thru the lineup? Seems like there shouldn’t be…

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: Absolutely not. All hands on deck at this point

11:01
Comment From The Big Dipper
How can you say the Yankees have a shot at the playoffs when they have literally zero offense?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: They have pitching and money

11:01
Comment From Alex
Do the Royals make the playoffs next year?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: Probably not

11:02
Comment From JW
On the 7-WAR answer. Bette than have one 7WAr player or three 3-WAR players (and where is the tipping point on how much value/per player you’d need before it’s no longer better than just have the one very valuable piece?)

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: Better to have the nine combined WAR

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: The relationship appears to be pretty linear, so 9 WAR = 9 WAR, however it’s distributed. Up to you whether you prefer risk or diversified assets

11:03
Comment From Chris Davis Arms
Have you met Sam Miller in real life? Is he nice? He seems nice.

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: I hope to meet him in San Diego during the winter meetings. I guess you could say I hope to have our own winter meeting. I imagine he is nice.

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: People I know who have met him have continued to meet him, so that bodes well.

11:04
Comment From Chicago Mark
Care to give a projection on Arod next year? WAR? Slash line? Number of AB’s?

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: 500 PA, 1 WAR

11:04
Comment From Socos
What do the Royals do to replace Shields and how big of a loss is it if they can’t replace him properly?

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: Not much of a loss, and between him and Butler, they would have to replace like 3-4 WAR for something like $22 million. That’s not bad. Having a healthy Zimmer would be super. That much is uncertain

11:05
Comment From THE average sports fan
Is there a deal out there for the Reds and Mariners that the Reds get Saunders and Miller? fill 2 holes in same deal.

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: Such a deal would open up other holes, because the Reds don’t have the farm system

11:05
Comment From Chicago Mark
While I understand it’s difficult to guess who the Cubs might sign, do you care to take a stab at it? How much do you see them spending in FA this year?

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: Lester or Scherzer

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: They’ll take a lonnnnnng look at Martin, although they might settle for a different and worse catcher

11:06
Comment From Mike
Is Cole Hamels a fit for the White Sox? They could offer a player from their middle infield surplus and take on most/all of Hamels’ contract

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: They’re not close enough to winning, probably, to take on that kind of player. I like their direction, but Hamels makes the most sense for a potential winner in 2015

11:07
Comment From The Big Dipper
Will a major university ever offer a sabermetrics graduate program

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: No

11:07
Comment From Jack
In your opinion, if Heyward is available, should the White Sox pursue him, assuming they would sign him long term?

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: Sure, basically everyone should. He’s great!

11:07
Comment From Chris
I don’t remember asking you this in an earlier chat, but with how important pitch framing has become in valuing catchers, do you think catchers would side with umpires in opposing an automatic strike zone? Good-framing catchers can’t fool a machine.

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, I think catchers would prefer to be rewarded for their work. But younger catchers would then just focus on other skills, without really worrying about their receiving, so eventually it would be a non-issue. Good framers would be bothered. Ryan Doumit would be ecstatic.

11:09
Comment From Gila Monster
Instead of looking to the NFL as a model, should MLB looking to to soccer as a way to boost popularity? The pace of play is similar and both can have incredibly boring games. Especially in the US where interest in soccer is growing rapidly. I’ve always been curious how they can manage to show so few Ads during the game, but MLB should adopt that.

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: Something is always happening in a soccer game. Usually nothing is happening in a baseball game. Completely different approaches

11:10
Comment From Parts Unknown
A poll on ESPN says people think the Royals are still the favorite to win the WS, that is funny, right?

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not ha-ha funny, but it’s people-suck-a-lot-at-math funny

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: which is not funny 🙁

11:10
Comment From Guest
Is Yordano even a good starter if he throws 92-94?

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: Not now, but he could learn to be

11:11
Comment From Chris Davis Arms
When you go to baseball games, do you have a spot do you prefer to sit? Are you more likely to find the cheapest (or close to the cheapest) tickets you can find and just enjoy the stadium/atmosphere?

11:11
Jeff Sullivan: Cheap and atmosphere

11:11
Comment From David
What’s the next big part of the world that’s going to start giving us a steady stream of productive MLB talent?

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: As noted earlier, I think we could start seeing more Japanese players, even non-stars in their own league.

11:12
Comment From The Big Dipper
Are you excited for the start of the NBA season?

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: It hasn’t started?

11:13
Comment From The Big Dipper
Team other than the Reds/Phillies most likely to blow the whole thing up within the next year or two.

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: Tigers?

11:14
Comment From Mike
Has anyone done a new study about the Bust/Success rate of top prospect from different publications? I remember reading one last year, but I think the data was from 90-03 or somewhere in that range. Nothing in the last 10 years or so (I know it’s hard to do any for the last 3-5 years). I’d just be curious to see how the success rate may have changed with the new information that teams/publications apply now.

11:14
11:14
11:14
Jeff Sullivan: All right, I need to wrap this up. Went super long again, like always

11:15
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. Dave and I will be chatting tonight during Game 6, and tomorrow for a potential Game 7

We hoped you liked reading Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 10/28/14 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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