Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 10/7/14

9:03
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends! Welcome to FanGraphs chat

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s talk about baseball, or what’s stressing you out

9:04
Comment From Carl Sbad
Is Stephen Drew a worthwhile player in 2015?

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: For real-life purposes, he’s probably a bottom-10 shortstop but a reasonable shortstop

9:05
Comment From Vslyke
Is trading Kimbrel the best way for the Braves to reload for next year? He’d bring in a nice haul and it would save a lot of money.

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: As great as he is, he’s not *that* cheap for a closer, and he’s got another three guaranteed years. The Braves could turn him into shiny bits, but not the most shiny bits

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: Realistically, there’s no such thing as one move that reloads a roster

9:06
Comment From Jake
Steamer puts McCann at 4.1 WAR in 2015. He hasn’t cracked 4 since 2010. That seem abitious to you?

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: It’s because of the playing-time projection. Knock that down to McCann’s usual and the projection seems fine. 110 wRC+, with a career 114

9:07
Comment From Vinny
Just out of curiosity, who’s responsible for going through the Community Research submissions?

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: That’s me!

9:08
Comment From Jake
Miller’s not getting a QO, right?

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: It’s early for me, but, Miller? Like, Andrew Miller? He’s not getting a QO. He can’t get a QO, anyhow — he was traded midseason.

9:09
Comment From Stephen
Are the Royals really in the ALCS? As a fan, I apologize, but I really don’t know how to act like we’ve been here before.

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: This is an example of why the playoffs don’t always reward the best team(s) in baseball, and this is an example of why the playoffs are awesome like that

9:10
Comment From Fronk
According to Steamer600, Stroman is the 11th best pitcher, Carrasaco is the 12th best pitcher, Brett Anderson is the 17th and Jamie Garcis is the 18th. See any problem with this?

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: A few!

9:10
Comment From Pat
Favorite place you’ve ever hiked?

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: North side of Mt Hood

9:10
Comment From Oscar
Shouldn’t the Reds shop Chapman?

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: That would be ballsy and fascinating. Can you imagine if Chapman and Kimbrel were both being dangled on the market? The Reds need to figure out what their plan is, but if they’re going to tear down a little bit, it seems worthwhile to either deal Chapman or really try him as a starter

9:12
Comment From Jake
Odds Robertson takes the NYY QO?

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s say…66%?

9:12
Comment From AJT
Serious question: Why is this called fangraphs? Is it truly the graphs of fans? Or does it mean graphs for fans? Or both? And Why is there writing, why not just graphs? It’s in the title?!

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: The one time I needed help buying a fan, the site was useless πŸ™

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: It’s a site for fans, and in the very early stages the site was proud of the graphs that it offered. Now we pretty much never use those graphs, but the name isn’t awful so here we are

9:13
Comment From El Rey
What aspect of the game do you enjoy writing most about, if any?

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe pitch sequencing? Or maybe just pitcher analysis. I like when the answers to questions are either unknown, or require a ton of work to get to

9:14
Comment From Jake
Re, one move that reloads a roster; trading TUlo might do it

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, I guess it kind of depends what you mean by reload. Reload to contend, or reload for the future? Deal Tulo or Stanton and you’re reloading for the future, but your present will be worse. Dealing *for* Tulo might effectively reload a roster…

9:15
Comment From Yed Nost
Steamer says Brad Miller will be the 2nd best shortstop in baseball in 2015… thoughts?

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t agree with it, but I like it. To me, it’s Tulo then a big group of lots of other players. Miller might end up in that group, but you’ve also got guys like, say, Desmond who seem superior

9:17
Comment From sadboy πŸ™
how much will tyler clippard get in free agency?

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: he’s not a free agent

9:17
Comment From Xolo
Is MLB completely out of touch putting playoff games on a cable channel that not everyone gets or is that just organized spots of the 21st century?

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: MLB likes the money Fox gave them and the rest will sort itself out

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: It’s fun, searching for FS1 is kind of like an Easter egg hunt in October

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: I get it! Who knew?

9:19
Comment From Brian
In addition to Holland or Davis, what would it take for the Royals to get Pederson from the Dodgers this winter?

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: I haven’t thought this through enough but Duffy would be an interesting exchange

9:20
Comment From Natitude Adjuster
Steamer is out: Mookie Betts is projected by Steamer for 4.3 WAR in 647 PA in 2015. Wow, he’s fun.

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: I think Steamer is a little aggressive with its young players, and we saw a lot of highly-touted rookies struggle in 2014, but, yeah, Betts sure seems fairly safe, and he’s already proven a lot of himself

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: The Red Sox are going to be good again in 2015 and Betts is going to be a major reason why

9:21
Comment From jlmwbs
What am I looking for if I am on Baseball Savant?

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: PITCHf/x information, probably

9:22
Comment From Hrkac Circus
I know it’s mostly semantics, but I was arguing with a friend that winning the World Series doesn’t mean a team is the best in baseball. Is there any way to approach this? He won’t be convinced that short series are mostly random, and it isn’t necessarily about who the better team is, but simply who gets hot at the right time.

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: The playoffs basically reward the best team in October, which is one month out of a possible seven. Rosters are also used differently than they are during the year, and with unbalanced playoff schedules you can have effects from particular matchups. Bad teams don’t win the World Series, but there’s just no way that a tournament format like we have will always reliably crown the best team in the league. Nor should we want it to!

9:24
Comment From ThePuck
I am so happy for Dayton Moore and the whole Royals organization! Not a question, just yeah…great job!

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: I’m happy for them too. This is good for baseball

9:24
Comment From Matt
I actually have hockey questions instead of baseball! Is Gamecenter Live worth the money?

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: I love it. If you like MLB.tv, you’ll like Gamcenter Live. Tends to be kind of shitty around the season’s first week, but it’s an auto-renewal for me

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: If you don’t think you’ll be watching that much hockey though, it’s not *cheap*. So think about your intentions before you buy

9:26
Comment From Erik
Moneyball 2014 is nothing like Moneyball 2002 and thats the point, right? Shifting to find inefficiencies. Why do so many in the media think its a static idea?

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: Well, the general ideas are similar. The specific ideas are different.

9:27
Comment From Xolo
Are QOs one size fits all or are they adjusted by position?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: The former

9:27
Comment From STiVo
Have you read any of John Krakauer’s books (e.g., Into the Wild; Into Thin Air; Three Cups of Deceipt)? Just finished Into the Wild, which is great.

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Absolutely love him

9:27
Comment From Rated Rookie
Do any of the professional sports have a playoff format that “rewards the best team”?

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know other sports very well, but I think you have to look at how much luck there is in a given game. It feels like basketball does a pretty good job of rewarding the best because the number of opportunities in each game drives down the noise, and then they play full series

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: Basketball seems, to me, to be less conducive to upsets

9:28
Comment From AJT
Do you think playing in the postseason previous is some or any indication of postseason performance going forward? Does it matter if you’ve “been there”?

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: No one’s ever found any such evidence that means anything. The best indicator of your future playoff performance is your past overall performance

9:29
Comment From Mike, of Mike and the Mechanics Fame
Chapman/Kimbrel seem like neat trade chips. But they also seem like players where the current team would likely ask more than other teams are willing to give, so deals are unlikely. Agree?

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: I suspect teams are nervous about paying a lot of resources for a one-inning closer, but the other argument is that it doesn’t get better than those two so maybe someone would be convinced by the Royals and Orioles’ bullpen-heavy success in 2014

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: I would love to see trade proposals around the league for Aroldis Chapman. Get on it, Jocketty and internet hackers

9:30
Comment From Jon (DC)
Nats percentages of moving on now?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: Not meaningfully different from what a coin would tell you. They need to win two, so probably 25-30%

9:31
Comment From Alex
You think Bryant should come to terms with the Cubs on an extension before the season? I seriously doubt it will actually happen (Boras client) but man, I really, really want him up to start the season.

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: If he’s not up to start the season, he’ll be up to start May. But the Cubs seem to be making noise about contending in 2015, so they might just go ahead and put the best roster on the field right out of the gate. We’ll see what else they do to address the roster but they could break camp with Bryant and work on a contract from there

9:32
Comment From AJT
Speaking of the Reds, do you believe in a Jay Bruce comeback? His season was awful, but he does have a decent track record before. Chalk this season up to injury, or is there more to it?

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, I definitely think he’s better than that. Injury cost him and he never really found a groove

9:33
Comment From The Blair Witch
Which team is less fascinating to you: Reds or Padres?

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: I’m biased in the Padres’ favor from having lived in San Diego for a lot of my life. So as boring as they are, I can never find them quite so boring

9:33
Comment From David
If baseball IS what’s stressing me out, can we talk about it?

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: Lay down right here on the opposite couch, and open up your heart

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: In his first three starts of the playoffs last year, he allowed one earned run in 19 innings, with 23 strikeouts

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: One on short rest

9:34
Comment From Art Vandelay
I really hope Kershaw pitches a gem tonight to just kill this choker narrative right now.

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: …that’s what that was to…

9:35
Comment From Ringtone Composer
Are you going to see any Arizona Fall League games in person this year?

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t go to the Phoenix area unless I have to

9:35
Comment From Xolo
What about the Padres talking about dangling Kennedy/Wisler for a bat? What kind of reloading is that?

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: Kennedy’s a free agent in a year, and the Padres probably won’t compete hard in 2015, so they might as well see what they can grab

9:36
Comment From Bryce Harpers stepsister
What’s the difference between Steamer and Steamer600?

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: Steamer600 gives everyone the same playing time so you can more conveniently compare their performance projections

9:36
Comment From Don
Am I selfish for wishing that the division series were best of 7?

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: Selfish isn’t the word

9:38
Comment From Jake deBomb
thoughts on the FA contract that Markakis ends up signing?

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: Might end up back in Baltimore on a QO — he seems to love it there, and of course now there are better feelings than ever. If he were to hit the market, he’d be hurt by the possible compensation tag, but as much as teams would be aware of his mediocre defense and absent power, what makes him interesting is he’s a contact hitter. Could see a shift toward that direction in terms of market preferences, so I could see Markakis getting two or three years

9:41
Comment From Matt
And, for an actual baseball question, best guess at the contract length and AAV for Yasmany Tomas, as well as which team signs him?

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: I really can’t predict which team he goes to, but I can predict that he’ll get seven years and something very close to $100 million

9:41
Comment From Art Vandelay
I might be in the minority, but why would a team want to trade for a big money 30 year old shortstop with a terrible injury history?

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: He’s amazing

9:42
Comment From Bryce Harpers mom
How well will Kershaw pitch today? Seems like there’s so much working against him, not to mention short rest.

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: Last October he started on short rest and spun a good six innings. He’s still Clayton Kershaw. I think the Dodgers win

9:43
Comment From mtsw
If you’re the Orioles, do you start Caleb Jospeh at C for his superior defense against the run-happy Royals or does Josephs .272 OPS since August mean you need to go with Hundley?

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: Probably Joseph — it’s not like Hundley has been a great hitter either. Even though most stealing is done against the pitcher, and not the catcher, I think it makes sense here to go with the best defensive catcher possible and the Orioles will just have to get their offense from some place else

9:45
Comment From Jon (DC)
But a 9 pm ET start for a game involving an East Coast team? Why don’t you just giveaway footballs to the first 10000 kids at the game too?

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: Baseball isn’t in competition with football. Football won years ago. You can’t please everybody when you have a series between teams literally on opposite sides of the continent

9:47
Comment From Cutch
Which outfield is better: McCutchen, Marte, Polanco, or Stanton, Yelich, Ozuna?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: Right now I say the Marlins by a hair, but Polanco can change things awful fast. I’ll give the Pirates the edge if Polanco shows more in the first couple months

9:48
Comment From David
I get FS1. I don’t get MLBN. I can order MLBN as part of a Sports Tier package. Except I couldn’t, because Verizon’s billing department thought I already subscribed (though wasn’t charging me). By the time it was all sorted out the game was over. I don’t know if I hate MLB or Verizon more right now.

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: Verizon

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: Verizon is who you hate more right now

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: according to me

9:49
Comment From Mike
Jeff, what is the percent chance someone signs Delmon Young to a multi year contract after this season?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Young’s been on six consecutive one-year contracts, and that’s about to become seven

9:49
Comment From Prich
JS- “Realistically, there’s no such thing as one move that reloads a roster”… Bartolo Colon and Erik Bedard say hello…

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: First of all, those were years ago, and second of all, they didn’t instantly reload the active roster

9:49
Comment From NHL Fan
How do you feel about the Sens this year? The Ryan signing is pretty huge…

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: I’m dumb enough about hockey to think that Ottawa has a chance every single season. Stanley Cup!!

9:50
Comment From David
Steamer 2015 projects Stanton for …. 0. Clearly there’s some work to be done yet πŸ™‚

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, that’s a depth chart thing. Steamer is pulling playing time from the depth charts, so we all need to update our depth charts to start looking toward 2015 instead of 2014

9:50
Comment From Matt
Also, as someone from Seattle, I have no hockey team to root for, but I love the game itself. Any suggestions for teams to watch? I’ve just watched whatever teams were on TV for years now without any preference.

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: Honestly I think you should watch games, watch highlights, and just choose to focus on whoever happens to grab your attention the most. I can’t predict what you’re going to find most appealing

9:51
Comment From Rated Rookie
What’s your take playing Grichuk over Taveras? Is it a postseason tactic (better defense, perhaps)? A harbinger of future playing time distribution? Something else?

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: Grichuk has been better this year than Taveras has

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: There’s also the righty/lefty thing

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: Matheny believes that, right now, this week, Grichuk gives the Cardinals a better chance than Taveras does. I”m not in love with Grichuk’s profile, but it’s not like Taveras has done much to earn the benefit of the doubt

9:53
Comment From Ringtone Composer
I read Wendy Thurm’s cool article on divvying up postseason ticket revenues. Any idea how each individual player’s sum gets determined–do all players from a team get equal proportional shares?

9:53
9:53
Comment From THE average sports fan
Last week you were asked who would be the JD Martinez of 2015. You answered Cameron Maybin. Blind guess or something more?

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: Mostly blind guess — not nearly as informed as Dan Farnsworth picking Martinez last December. But I think Maybin’s always had the physical ability, and it seems he’s struggled with injuries and consistent timing. Offensively, I feel like he’s the right adjustment away from like a 120 wRC+

9:54
Comment From Bryce Harpers mom
A friend of mine told me that strikeouts are overrated. What’s the best argument I can give him that they’re not? I feel like I should start with the fact that BABIP is .000 for Ks.

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: They are overrated for hitters, and not for pitchers. Just, yeah, talk about how strikeouts are basically automatic outs. I don’t know how you go about proving to him, by words, that bad contact isn’t really much of a sustainable skill, but if you have time to show him some BABIPs…

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe just demonstrate simply somehow that the lowest ERAs in baseball tend to get posted by guys with high strikeout rates

9:57
Comment From Logan Davis
It definitely seems weird that Miller’s rated as the second best shortstop per 600 PA, but his individual projection looks eminently reasonable. We know he can be a slightly above average hitter – he did it in 2013, and the only things that stopped him in 2014 were a .270 BABIP and Chris Taylor’s playing time. We think he’s a solid gloveman. That’s +4 WAR at SS. The wmore surprising projections are Desmond’s and Reyes’.

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: Steamer does see him chopping off a good number of strikeouts. Nothing about Miller’s projection is unreasonable — it’s just that 4 WAR is hard to do, so it’s probably like a 60th-70th percentile projection for him, and there are so many other similarly-talented shortstops that it’s startling to see Miller second

9:58
Comment From Mike
Am I allowed to say ‘vipbox’ in your chat? It’s a fun way to watch sports on the CPU.

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: let’s find out

9:58
Comment From Bryce Harpers uncle
How can Steamer already have projections out, when we don’t even know which team guys like Scherzer will be playing for? Are the projections not league-dependent?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: I’m guessing they are, but individual players make so little difference, and Steamer will be updated many times over anyhow

9:58
Comment From Larry Hildo
Over/under Lorenzo Cain successful diving catches in the ALCS: 3?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: 4

9:59
Comment From Daniel Carroll
Common wisdom is that the Mariners lost a bunch of games on their final road trip this year because of the brutality of the travel schedule. Can you think of a way you would try to test this? I’m starting to look up teams’ records after traveling long distances (i.e. 2000+ miles).

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: The Mariners went 4-7 on their last road trip. They were 5-2 on their penultimate road trip

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe you just analyze September vs. rest-of-season performances over a bunch of years for teams with a lot of miles and teams with few miles. I suspect you’re not going to find anything particularly meaningful

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: Constant travel sucks! Everyone does it. Not everyone does it as much or as long as the Mariners but everybody everywhere suffers travel disruptions, and I just don’t believe that flying a lot is the reason behind a late-season collapse

10:02
Comment From Sweet Lou
Outside of excel, do you ever use other software for graphs? Any you would particularly recommend?

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: I’m a complete idiot but people seem very fond of R and Tableau

10:03
Comment From chuckb
Better chance…both series go to game 5 or both end today?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: Almost literally equal chance. Both teams ahead 2-1 are the home teams today, so that’s an edge, but the visiting teams are also throwing better starting pitchers

10:03
Comment From LarryA
How often to you buy your coffee beans, to make sure they are as fresh a possible?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: Every two weeks or so. I’m not picky

10:04
Comment From Pirates Hurdles
Out of curiosity, how many games H2H would it take to fell comfortable saying that team A is better than team B (assuming 2 playoff caliber teams)?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: At equal strength, probably a lot of them. And then maybe it’s a matchup thing — maybe Team A is equipped to beat Team B, but maybe Team B is better equipped to handle the rest of the league. So, it’s complicated. So little separates most playoff teams in terms of ability that if you want to measure those abilities, you almost have to look at the whole regular season

10:05
Comment From mtsw
Steamer600 projects Steve Pearce as the Orioles’ most productive 2015 player. Does Steve Pearce exist to frustrate projection systems?

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: We don’t know why Steve Pearce exists, or what he exists for. Long history of this conversation taking place. http://en.wikipedia.org/wik…

10:07
Comment From Guest
Yankees are thinking about going with a 6 man rotation in 2014. Am I the only one that thinks this is a no brainer? Tanaka, CC, Pineda, Greene, McCarthy (hopefully), and Ivan Nova. Lots of them seem like they could use the extra rest.

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: Nova’s probably not returning until well into the year. McCarthy will have several suitors. Six-man rotations are uncommon. I think the Yankees ultimately settle on what’s conventional, and they’ll just hope to have the depth necessary for when someone gets banged up

10:09
Comment From Logan Davis
Postseason stats don’t get included on the Fangraphs leaderboards. Why not? The game’s not especially different, and although not every player has the chance to play in those games and accumulate those counting stats, the at bats and innings pitched still happened. It seems like those shouldn’t be ignored as far as projections and/or season retrospectives go.

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: I agree with you, but playoff stats and regular season stats have never been treated the same by anybody in history. It’s weird when you actually think about it, but it is what it is and it’s not just FanGraphs. It’s everywhere. Usually it isn’t going to make a big difference but in the case of, like, Jeter or Rivera, holy crap!

10:09
Comment From Did Evan Longoria have a down year or is that just who he is now?
Did Evan Longoria have a down year or is that just who he is now?

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: He’s a lot better than this. Same with David Wright

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: Longoria started to show some better power down the stretch so I’m encouraged. But he’s…exactly 29 now (happy birthday!), and I doubt he’s a 7-win player again

10:11
Comment From Sammy the Sidewinder
Who are your favorite nonfiction and fiction authors?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t really read fiction, but for nonfiction I like Krakauer and Simon Winchester and some others. Mostly I choose by subject, not author

10:12
Comment From Guest
Think Jack Z. goes after Justin Upton again if the FA market gets too ridiculous?

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Ship’s presumably sailed. Upton’s a year away from free agency and he almost definitely wouldn’t re-sign

10:12
Comment From Justin
We’ve had at least a few NLDS games with serious strike zone complaints backed up by pretty bad pitch plots – unusual or standard crazy postseason focus on every pitch?

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: More people are paying attention to this stuff than ever. I feel like every October brings its own umpiring controversies. This year we’ve got the strike zone because other stuff has been more or less settled by instant replay review. I feel like the zones haven’t been absurdly bad, but the games have been so close that every little bad call is magnified

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll be writing something about strike zones shortly after this chat

10:14
Comment From Vslyke
Thanks for the Kimbrel answer. One more Q, BJ’s plate discipline got much better in the 2nd half (22% K,BB in 1st, 16% K-BB in 2nd). Is there ANY chance that he could rebound?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: stripping away intentional walks:

1st half: 30% K, 8% BB
2nd half: 11% BB

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: That’s probably nothing. I think maybe Upton could be somewhat salvaged, but no one’s going to jump at the opportunity

10:15
Comment From Richie Rich
If I want to start doing my own projections, what’s a good starting point?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: Marcel

10:15
Comment From Guest
College football generally does reward the best team as determined over the course of its regular season. Naturally, this is the postseason everyone hated.

10:15
Comment From LarryA
I forget- was it you that came up withe the “king” felix moniker?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: It was either Dave or one of Dave’s old blogging partners, Jason Michael Barker. I think it was JMB but Dave claims to not really remember

10:16
Comment From The Oriole Bird
As skill increases, luck becomes more of a determining factor in outcomes, not less. (See Michael Mauboussin’s “The Success Equation” for more explanation.) This helps explain why short series in leagues with lots of high-quality teams that are relatively equal in skill will always include a huge heaping of luck/randomness.

10:16
Comment From chuckb
Under the Banner of Heaven was a great Krakauer book.

10:16
Comment From Big basketball fan
re: Rated rookie| NBA rewards the best team ,but it’s not because of the design of the playoffs, just the nature of the game. By having 5 players on each side, the best playes exert more infuence. Lebron James has way more impact on a typical game he plays than Trout has on an Angels game.

10:17
Comment From LarryA
In 20 years, will commentators still be using the moneyball storyline on fthe A’s?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: Thankfully no, but I can’t believe it’s made it this far

10:18
Comment From STiVo
I’m surprised that Fangraphs has the Nats’ odds of getting to NLDS at 18%, even though they’re a favorite tonight on the road, per the FG Scoreboard.

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: 32% http://www.fangraphs.com/co…

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: 18% is roughly the chance they win the NLCS

10:18
Comment From Hercs man crush
true or false, the tigers trade david price to either the reds or the braves for chapman or kimbrel, respectively?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: They’re already in position to maybe lose Scherzer, and they don’t know what they have in Verlander anymore. Price is staying put

10:19
Comment From Jim
Do you think the Royals’ style is a new inefficiency that can be replicated, or is it simply a style that’s more conducive to winning in the playoffs than it is in the regular season during which they happened to luck out? (Understanding that they’ve been helped by some big homers in the playoffs, of course)

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: The Royals are powered in large part by a great defense, and that plays all the time. They’re better in the playoffs because they don’t need their full rotation, and they don’t need their starters for as long. They get to shrink the games before going to the bullpen, and that’s another one of their uncommon strengths. Similar to what Dave suggested about the structure of the Orioles right now.

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: The baserunning is a little important, but I think that’s been slightly overblown just because of how they ran over the A’s. They don’t actually do *that* very much.

10:21
Comment From Xolo
Speaking of Bryant, is Valbuena a sleeper pick for a team looking for a third baseman this winter?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: definitely, although the Cubs might prefer to hang on to him for a bit as stabilizing depth just in case

10:23
Comment From trade proposals are idiotic
I hate making trade proposals, but here I go anyway: A’s say they aren’t going to trade Donaldson, BUT the Red Sox could really use a 3B. Would a trade involving Donaldson and Mookie Betts just be insanely stupid? Or a little intriguing? It would give the A’s a chance to rebuild a bit without tearing down, and the Red Sox a chance to make a seriously huge run.

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: Whoa, now we’re talking

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: Donaldson’s still got another four years, and he’s been worth 14 wins the last two. He’s also 28, and almost 29, so he’s not improving. I think this could actually really be the structure of a real-life trade. But the Red Sox still might not see the need — if they believe Betts is ready to be good right away, then they’re just shifting talent around

10:24
Comment From Rated Rookie
Are some of your replies or questions from chat participants getting lost? There have been a couple of comments that have floated like a sphinx’s riddles

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: Cover It Live has been super buggy the last month or so πŸ™

10:25
Comment From Tom
Where’s the power coming from for the Cardinals? Where was it all season?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Don’t pitch Matt Carpenter inside

10:25
Comment From bob
what is a fair projection for Kris Bryant’s first mlb season next year?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Worse than you want it to be, but a little better than an average hitter

10:25
Comment From GatorGreeny
given the asking price for Stanton, any chance the Red Sox could land him? Would probably cost the farm. Is Castillo what it would take?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: The Marlins swear that Stanton isn’t getting moved this winter

10:25
Comment From Guest
What do you expect from Kershaw tonight?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Really good outing, short of being one of his best outings

10:25
Comment From Big Joe Mufferaw
Why wouldnt the Yankees offer Robertson a QO??? Seems like a no brainer to me.

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Teams don’t pay that money for closers anymore, but the Yankees are the Yankees

10:26
Comment From lil b
have you looked into the stats of pitchers in the playoffs on short rest (as kershaw will be today)? could be interesting.

10:26
10:27
Comment From Ben
Cameron’s got an article touting Strasburg as a game four relief ace for the Nats tonight. My money says that will never happen, that the only starter coming out of that bullpen (barring another 18 inning affair) will be Tanner Roark. Your thoughts?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: I haven’t read his article yet, but right now I agree with you

10:27
Comment From Zippy
A scout walks by a country fair and sees this guy hit 98 MPH on a pitch speed game repeatedly. The guy has not played competitive baseball, but has a good frame and athletesism. Could they sign him to a minor league deal simply from that?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Absolutely. Scout’s dream. 98 without training?

10:28
Comment From Double Down
Best hair in baseball? Would I be wrong to say Bryce Harper?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Justin Verlander’s arms

10:28
Comment From Prich
Walker for Betts… Won’t happen, but, who would be getting the better end of that deal?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Like, Taijuan Walker, of the Mariners? The Red Sox would be getting screwed

10:29
Comment From mtsw
Why would the Orioles make Markakis a QO instead of just picking up his option for 2015?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: With a QO, they probably just get Markakis back for the same money, but there’s the chance they’d end up with a high draft pick, and Markakis is replaceable

10:30
Comment From Jake deBomb
2 or 3 yrs and $ ? DC has said I was high to think Markakis will get QO, so there is that….

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: I might be overestimating the market’s enthusiasm for a guy who doesn’t strike out much

10:30
Comment From bob
what would it take for the cubs to get sale?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: They’re not getting Sale

10:31
Comment From jon marx
who has a higher chance of forcing a game 5 – nats or dodgers

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: Right now, we believe it’s the Dodgers http://www.fangraphs.com/li…

10:32
Comment From Dewey
What would Justin Upton bring back in a trade?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: A package headlined by a pretty good but non-elite prospect. One year left, not cheap

10:32
Comment From Mike Rizzo
Denard Span has a pretty fair $9 million team-option for next year…Nats also have Michael Taylor, Steve Souza, McClouth, Harper etc…what do you think the Nats should in do with Span and in CF next year?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: keep Span

10:33
Comment From Cespedes; movement of the people
2014 Rusney Castillo is a 14 WAR player stretched over a full season. This is of course ridiculous, but since Steamer doesn’t have anything projections, what is your guess towards his actual value?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: About 3 WAR if he plays almost every day

10:34
Comment From Eric
Woah, what is going on with this chat, is it just me or are your answers not matching with the questions posted a surprising amount of the time.

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: ugh

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Sorry guys. Most of it looks all right to me, but based on the queue parts of this have been a disaster πŸ™

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Hopefully it all matches up in the transcript

10:35
Comment From The Colonel
Ah, Padres… Thought on Rymer Liriano? Does he become a regular?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: Dont’ think he’s good enough in the first half of 2015

10:36
Comment From Brad
Did you see MGL tweeted his favorite sabermetric non bs writers, and included you? He’s a good follow on twitter.

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: That genuinely surprises me. I can’t tell that guys’ feelings!

10:36
Comment From Pirates Hurdles
Steamer 600 also has Taylor 4th, so what’s a Seattle to do?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Miller is better than Taylor

10:37
Comment From mtsw
I like Buck Showalter a lot, but do you think he gets too much credit for effective bullpen use? Having three elite relievers in Britton, O’Day and Miller (and above average in Hunter and Brach) removes a lot of the tough decisions since you can throw any of them in, in almost any situation, and be more-or-less equally effective? In other words, aren’t manager decisions far more important in an unbalanced bullpen where you might have only one elite guy?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: It’s set up for Showalter to be successful — he can pick from a bunch of good relievers, and the average rotation allows him to go to the relievers earlier than an ordinary manager. And of course, the bullpen has been awesome so Showalter looks all the more smart. I think if you give him a different roster, he behaves a little differently, but I think he’s still above-average in bullpen management and I especially like that all their relievers are prepared for any role

10:39
Comment From CMG8462
What do you expect JJ Hardy’s contract to look like this offseason? I’ve seen 4/50 thrown around, Dan Szy thought that was high. He’s entering that part of the aging curve where you are waiting for his defense to suffer, but it hasn’t yet at 33.

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: Something like 4/50, or maybe the three-year equivalent, but Peralta got 4/53 and Hardy’s the more natural-looking defender

10:39
Comment From GSon
Take off whatever that spelunking hat thing you’re wearing and put on your baseball GM hat.. do you break the bank for Yasmani Tomas.. or do you lie in wait for Yoan Moncada?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t break the bank for anybody, but I make a run at Tomas because of his age and power potential. I’d pay a lot for him, and I think he’ll still be underpaid relative to whta a domestic talent like him would get

10:40
Comment From Guest
Did you hear about all the extinct volcanoes and other cool geological features that are being discovered in the the southern Indian Ocean because of all the high tech equipment that’s been deployed searching for that Malaysian airplane that disappeared? What’s on the bottom of the ocean is probably one thing we understand less well than predicting what will happen in baseball…

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: You’re god damned right

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Ocean floors are a fascinating and terrifying mystery

10:41
Comment From A. Lane
23 games reduces a .333 team chances of beating a .667 team below 5%.

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: how many .333 or .667 teams are there?

10:41
Comment From The Big Dipper
More likely that Syndergaard spends the next 6 years pitching for the Mets or gets moved in the offseason for a big bat?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Mets, although he’ll probably just lose one of those six years to injury

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: I need to get going you guys, stuff to write about the playoffs in advance of more action. So I’m cutting this a bit shorter than usual

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: So thank you everybody for hanging out, and I’m sorry for what I didn’t or couldn’t address. I’m also especially sorry for Cover It Live having been such an annoyance this time — I’m hoping the transcript looks okay. We’ll do it again next week at the same time, and we’ll have live game chats as well this week I expect. Until then, be well and have great days

We hoped you liked reading Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 10/7/14 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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Hank G.
Guest
Hank G.

The questions and answers are often not aligned correctly in today’s transcript. Is CoverLive your only option for chat software?

There is also an issue (at least for me) that if you come into the chat late it takes you to the current live portion, which is fine, but if you want to go back to the beginning and catch up, it takes multiple scrolling and button clicking to get to the beginning.

Hrkac Circus
Guest
Hrkac Circus

So 20 seconds of scrolling and clicking is an issue?