Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 10/7/16

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to Friday baseball chat, in advance of about 13 hours of competitive meaningful baseball

9:07
Bork: Hello, friend!

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friend

9:07
KIRK: HI JEFF

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: HI FRIEND

9:07
matt: 1 day late but which LDS series are you most excited for?

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: Giants/Cubs, I think. I like them all — how could you not? — but something is going to die over the next several days, be it the Giants’ mythology or the perception of the Cubs’ invulnerability

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: The only thing I wish is that Bumgarner were 100% available starting today. But, well, they’ll take it

9:09
Sam : How do I find information like DL days or Bereavement List days?

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: This might help a little bit on an individual basis? http://prosportstransactions.com/

9:09
Nick: Do you have any hunches what accounts for the Giants’ higher level of play/advantage in the playoffs? Is it really all just dumb luck??

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: I mean, I don’t think it’s *all* dumb luck. And recently they’ve had the advantage of letting a very good Madison Bumgarner throw like 95% of their innings. So that makes them hard to beat by itself

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: Bruce Bochy is also probably a top-five or top-three manager, and it seems like every single season the Giants’ group of position players gets underrated because they play half their games in an environment where you can’t hit home runs

9:11
Bork: Do you live vicariously through Marco Estrada?

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: I’m left-handed and extremely not from Mexico, so not really, but that doesn’t make his performances unsatisfying

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: I used to live vicariously through John Halama but that just bummed me out

9:13
Erik: Elimination baseball is fun. How fun would a 30-team single-game knockout tournament be? Obviously it would be terrible for determining the best team in the league, but for pure entertainment, it could be great.

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: I think you’d need an even 32 to really make it work, so go ahead and include the best teams from Japan and Korea

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: 32 –> 16 –> 8 –> 4 –> 2 –> probably the Giants

9:14
Galvanic: My son(3yo) doesn’t recognize that the playoffs have started and still asks me everyday to watch the Mariners. How do I break it to him he may never get to watch the Mariners in October??

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: That’s nonsense. Sometimes the Mariners get to play games at the very very beginning of October

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: One thing you could tell him is that come playoff time the Mariners disperse to deliver aid to struggling countries

9:15
lunch: do you ever think about changing the lyrics to dmx’s “x gon’ give it to ya” to “mookie betts gon’ give it to ya”? cause i don’t.

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: hasn’t occurred to me yet

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: just remembered that that was Xavier Nady’s walk-up song. Xavier Nady seldom would give it to anyone

9:17
Cody: When you look across baseball and ask the managers who would not adapt Francona’s bullpen strategy, I sense that many of their answer would not necessarily be driven by the old school “this guy pitches only in this inning” approach, but rather because they are looking out for their players and understand that saves get you paid in arbitration. It’s a strategically dumb approach, but I suppose it’s coming from a good place. We’ve reached a point where guys are getting paid as free agents/extensions because of advanced analytics, so what’s slowing it down from seeping into the arbitration process? Is it really that difficult for those involved in arbitration to emphasize something like WPA over saves with a reliever?

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think managers ever have arbitration salaries in mind. Players sometimes have that in mind, for sure, but managers are more looking out for their players by making sure their roles are predictable. You want your guys to have some sense of when they will and will not come into a game

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: But you can work around that, of course, by having a late-inning fireman, and then warning him before a playoff game that you might call down for him as soon as the fourth or fifth. When you develop an environment where players are always at the ready, then they’ll leap at the chance to make a contribution at any point

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: As for why arbitration sucks, that’s going to take a while. So much of the law is based upon precedent, and the statistical precedent is terrible

9:20
J: True or False: The best bullpen management would focus only on run expectancy and match up, ignoring inning with the caveat that a starter needs to throw enough to not expose/exhaust the pen.

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: You can ignore specific inning but I don’t think you can ignore leverage, which is correlated to the inning. If you worry only about run expectancy then you’ll stress out about having the bases loaded when you’re winning 11-2

9:21
Peter: What would the Braves have to give up to acquire Chris Sale this offseason?

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: Don’t even go down this road

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: They are almost the very last team on the list that should consider making that sort of move

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: The Padres are probably dead last

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: Or the Diamondbacks. One of them

9:22
Dave: As a Pirates fan, I’m constantly playing devil’s advocate with the rest of the fanbase concerning their contempt towards ownership and its apparent unwillingness to spend the money needed to win. My argument usually revolves around how these people might be severely overestimating the profits owners are making and in reality; it might not be this flush profit center. Not to mention, nobody has seen the books. Do you think this could be true or do you think that most owners are flush with revenue/profits? On that note, do you hold it against owners who choose to keep the profits from their ownership, which is ultimately a business venture to them?

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t worry too much about year-to-year revenue or profit, because the real value comes in the ever-increasing value of the franchise, relative to the original purchase price. Any single owner in the game could flip the team for an almost inconceivable amount of money. They’re all doing fine. They’re all doing just peaches

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: That being said, every single organization is a business, first and foremost, and the more you think about that angle, the more cynical it’s likely to make you, because we don’t like to think of our favorite teams like something that exists solely to transfer money from our pockets to theirs. No team wants to run in the red over and over. Every team has a budget, like every business. And so while every team could afford to spend more than it does, you can’t expect them to spend on emotion like you’d like. Very few owners care quite that much about the success of the on-field product

9:25
KIRK: Jeff, I figured out who to root for in this god awful Rangers/Jays series. The away team. That way all the fans are sad and the Rangers lose

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: Probably the ideal approach to any series where you don’t like any of the participants

9:26
Anthony: Last night, Darling said something to the effect of “the two hardest things for a baseball player are coming into a game as a pinch runner or as a defensive replacement.” I’d counter that those are the two easiest (at least that involve actually entering the game). Think we’ll here a dumber statement from a broadcaster the rest of the playoffs?

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t want to be too critical because broadcasting is hard and I don’t know whether that quote is totally accurate, but that does seem like a silly statement to me, yes

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Like, what about pinch-hitting! What is harder than pinch-hitting!

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Ron Darling is fantastic with Mets games. One of the top booths in the sport. I can’t tell whether he’s just out of his element doing league-wide stuff, or if there’s some directive for him to talk more and talk stupider when he’s on a national game

9:28
zurzles: is a front office/manager ever gonna come up with a real counter to the “lean on elite middle relievers as much as possible” playoff strategy?

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know what the counter would be. My sense is that teams are building better and deeper bullpens than ever. And starting assignments are getting shorter and shorter. Hitting in the playoffs is so damned hard

9:30
Erik: Are there some pitchers for whom the idea of limiting pitchers to about 100 pitches just doesn’t apply? Bumgarner in particular looks like he could throw 150 every other day, like an old fashioned pitcher. Is it possible that there are still pitchers out there who could be abused liked pitchers were in the early 1900s?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: I think there are definitely pitchers who are just more structurally resilient than other pitchers. They’re just born that way, more durable, less likely to break down over time. Pitchers like Randy Johnson. The trouble is successfully identifying those pitchers. You might develop a sense, but how much do you trust it? Because the only way to know for sure how durable someone’s arm tissue is is to kill that person and then test the tissue directly

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: That would be extreme and counterproductive

9:32
CamdenWarehouse: What’s your take on the Silverman regime in TB? Looking back at their trade history, it seems like a lot fewer wins and a lot more mehs than what used to be the case for the Rays.

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: More teams than ever are thinking in ways similar to the Rays. So there are fewer teams of whom to take advantage. It’s only going to get harder and harder for the Rays to contend

9:32
KIRK: What should the good ol ‘ners do with Ketel Marte? Should they shoot him in to the sun?

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: Put him in Tacoma until he at least hits a ball to the warning track

9:36
Zonk: Hi Jeff! I will be at Wrigley Field tonight. What should I look for from Cueto?

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think there’s anything in specific to look for. He’s just a lot of fun. Try to appreciate in person all the different ways in which he goes through his wind-up.

9:36
Zach: I have never seen a more divisive trade in my time as a Pirates fan than the Francisco Liriano trade. It’s been almost three months and it is still a contentious topic among fans. Now that time has passed, how do you view the trade? Do you think it was a poor move by Neal Huntington or do you sense it was pressure from ownership to trim payroll?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll never love that move from the Pirates’ perspective, especially given that Liriano could apparently be fixed somehow, post-haste. But both the prospects involved were on a downward trajectory, making them less valuable than the perception, and Hutchison could and should be an affordable big-league starter. I don’t have a good sense yet of whether he has two or three years of control left, but I do like him, and it wouldn’t shock me if he’s better than Liriano in 2017

9:38
Erik: Could today’s Kershaw-Scherzer matchup be as good as Bumgarner-Syndergaard was on Wednesday? Or is Scherzer not quite at the same tier?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: Scherzer is fantastic but if you’re asking for something to top Wednesday, well, that’s about as good as a pitchers’ duel can possibly be. That is the ceiling, more or less

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: Well I guess you said “as good”. That’s my fault

9:39
Jordan: Yesterdays games felt like they were missing something without the FG chats!

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: Here’s the truth of the matter: we used to do a lot more playoff live chats, but chats for early series games haven’t driven huge traffic, and chatting makes it a lot more difficult to pay the kind of close attention you like as a writer to know what to analyze after the fact.

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: So even though marathon chats can be fun, they’re draining, and they’re not always in the site’s best interests. When you chat, you’re paying most of your attention to the chat window, and less to the game itself. So while we’ll have more chats in the playoffs for crucial games, several weeks of thought went into this decision

9:43
kevinthecomic: Should Tito have pinch-hit for LH batter Chisenhall in the 5th with the bases loaded and two outs against LHP Pomeranz? How much of a difference in run expectancy would, say, Guyer or Davis have been? On the face of it, it looked like a missed opportunity to blow the game wide open.

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: I thought so, yeah. Isn’t that why you get a guy like Guyer in the first place?

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: At that point I was writing so I wasn’t paying close attention and maybe something has just gone over my head. But on paper that situation called for someone else. Chisenhall struggles against lefties an awful lot, and if you’re bringing Andrew Miller into the game so early, you clearly understand that big moments can happen at any point, even if it’s just in the fifth

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: Ultimately pinch-hitting wouldn’t have swung the win expectancy too much, but that still called for it

9:44
KIRK: Who would be more productive, Hisashi Iwakuma or a squirrel second basemen? The squirrel would probably walk a lot.

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: Bad question. The squirrel wouldn’t be a pitcher

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: And you’d never turn a double play

9:45
Shane: Should Price have pitched Game 1 yesterday? Does it matter?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: Don’t think it really matters. At this point it’s unclear who their actual best starter is

9:47
Scott: Searage ever officially re-up with Pittsburgh? I’ve never wanted a positional coach so hard. I’m a Braves fan and want him to make Folty amazing.

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: I can’t find an update on his contract status but I can’t imagine he’s going to leave, or that they would allow him to leave

9:47
iron wolf: Jeff: loved your piece about Showalter’s terrible decision Tues. night. We saw Tito Francona do it the right way last night. I admire Buck greatly for turning around the O’s franchise, but I’m worried he might repeat the same mistake next year. Am I underestimating his capacity to learn from his blunder? He does seem like a sensible man.

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: The last five years, all under Showalter, the Orioles have absolutely obliterated their preseason projections. I wrote about that the other day, and while you can’t just give all the credit there to the manager, you have to figure he deserves a chunk of it. What evidence we have suggests that Buck Showalter is fantastic, overall. You can’t be too let down about one decision in one game that altered the Orioles’ win expectancy by *maybe* a few percentage points

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Sometimes Mike Trout strikes out. Sometimes he does it looking horrible on three pitches. You still couldn’t possibly be happier to have him

9:50
ringo: I always thought of a change-up as something you mixed in occasionally to keep hitters off balance, kind of like a trick or a surprise. I’m not sure I understand how Estrada can throw a straight change 35% of the time over the course of a game, or throw it 3 times in a row to the same batter, and not see it get thumped. Can’t you sit on it?

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: Every hitter goes up looking fastball-first, and at the end of the day, Estrada does still throw more fastballs than changeups

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: You can, of course, start to sit on the changeup, but then that’s where Martin and Estrada come in. They can read the swings, and if they get the sense the hitter is leaning, here comes the high heat, 88 that looks like it’s 98 because you’re expecting 78

9:52
J: Are the 3 best relievers in baseball lefty? Who is the best one?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: Kenley Jansen would like a word

9:52
Spooks: Screw these post-season jerks. How do you see Ichiro’s role moving forward in comparison to this year?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: He’ll remain a pinch-hitter who slides right in whenever Giancarlo Stanton makes his annual trip to the disabled list

9:54
Erik: After the NL wild card game, the Dodgers had a 3.8 percentage points better chance at winning the WS than the Cubs. Now the Cubs’ odds are 0.1% better. What could have possibly changed, since neither team played a game?

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: Could have to do with a few things. There might’ve been some adjustments made behind the scenes to the depth charts. Maybe the Cubs are mathematically helped out by facing the Giants instead of the Mets. And then, also, these simulations aren’t *that* precise and I think we run just a few thousand of them, so the numbers will move around by a few points day to day naturally

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: Fun fact/observation: given the loss yesterday, the Red Sox’ World Series odds on FG dropped from 18% to 11%. Big deal!

9:58
Ryan: Tell me something to ease my anxiety about the Cubs besides that we’re all just temporary beings who’s lives really don’t matter.

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: Why would I want to do that? The anxiety is part of the whole experience. Savor this. Feeling nervous is how you know you’re alive

9:59
Chuck Burly: Think Miller’s success last night maybe shifts the idea that your best reliever absolutely has to be your closer?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: He’s not changing anything with one game, no. But this isn’t new for him, either.

10:00
AFan: What do you expect from LAD vs WSN NLDS?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: Very little hitting

10:00
Corey Kluber: Will I win the Cy Young?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: I’d bet the field

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: Britton is likely to get a lot of support

10:00
Outta my way, Gyorkass: Now that the regular season is over, which of the clearly rebuilding teams covered the most ground towards future contention?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: Brewers have had the best 12 months

10:01
Erik: Are the 8 remaining teams the 8 best teams in baseball this year?

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not convinced the Rangers are better than, say, the Cardinals, but we’re close enough

10:02
Scott: How the hell do you get to the lower left field section in Safeco? I went to a game last month (was just in town visiting) and genuinely couldn’t figure out how to get in left field where a homer might actually land. Cool stadium though.

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: I believe you need to go into Edgar’s Cantina

10:03
KIRK: What player would look most goofy with glasses?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: The answer to these questions is usually Bartolo Colon

10:04
Gabriel: I know Francona did the right thing yesterdat and he is hoping Kluber goes 7IP today, but if the Indians are 3-2 up after 7, does he go with Miller and Allen again? Or will he burn them using them today?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: I think you could still squeeze out a few outs, with the off day tomorrow. But it’s also worth remembering that Dan Otero this year was shockingly good

10:04
Steve: Do you see Coppy actually getting real starting pitching help? A Chris Archer or Sale?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: They really shouldn’t be aiming that high

10:05
Steve: Thoughts on Ian Desmond not making that catch yesterday?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: Looked bad. I don’t know what he saw, or what he thought he saw. You don’t really want to take those catches for granted, but clearly something in his brain misfired. Announcers might’ve been right when they speculated about the shadows. Could’ve messed with Desmond’s peripheral vision

10:06
David: Should I be nervous about the Red Sox? Some bad, bad, fundamental baseball last night.

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: Lost a one-run game on the road. Shit happens. Don’t be nervous because of how they looked. Just be nervous because it’s the playoffs, and now you’re an underdog

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: Odds of winning the series, hosted on FG, dropped from about 60% to about 40%

10:07
Jake: Thoughts on Alex Bregman going into next year.

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: Good

10:08
Bork: Any word if Zach Britton has been located yet?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: He’s probably still sitting in the bullpen, staring and silent

10:08
Steve: Do you think Hamels might be injured or is something else wrong with him?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: My hunch is he’s just developed something of a minor mechanical flaw. If he’s lined up for another start in this series, I plan to write some kind of article on the subject

10:09
Zonk: How big a contract could you see Aroldys Chapman getting this offseason? It appears there will be some big-money bidders, including Cubs and Yanks at least….

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: nine figures

10:10
Erik: Is Bumgarner’s playoff sample size large enough that you should expect him to outperform his regular season projections in the playoffs?

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: His playoff peripherals are basically the same as his regular-season peripherals

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t mean to take anything away from him. And it’s all a lot of fun. But this is more psychological than actual

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: Which, I suppose you could argue, makes it something actual

10:11
Outta my way, Gyorkass: Does Showalter’s poor management of his bullpen and Francona’s smart use of his bullpen on the big stage play a part in accelerating the more sensible use of elite bullpen arms (read: not exclusively save situations), or is this progress simply going to proceed at a molasses-like pace?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: It’s been proceeding, and it will continue to proceed. Consider how much the Indians paid to get Miller to not be a closer in the first place

10:12
Sonny: Francona’s bullpen usage last night was interesting because it shows a manager projecting that a 5 game series is as random as a 1 game play-in. Rare to see a manager sell out for an opening game but it was cool as hell

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Agreed. Love how he seized the moment. Worry about Game 2 in Game 2

10:12
Jaack: Is it just me, or is this the most quality set of teams in the postseason in a while?

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: They’re all so good. Even if you don’t love the Rangers, the playoff version has a solid lineup and a strong and deep bullpen from 1 to 7

10:13
Steve: Even though the Jays weren’t as good this year, do you think that having good starting pitching means they’re better built for the playoffs?

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: Every team in there has pretty good starting pitching. I think they have a weakness in that their bullpen is less reliable

10:14
Scott: I never realized how huge pitchers can be. Thor is the same weight as Frank Thomas and just an inch taller. Bumgarner has one inch and 25 pounds on Trumbo. Wainwright is Richie Sexson’s height plus 30ish pounds.

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: The average major-league pitcher can really fill out a set of pant legs

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: The lower-body strength is out of this world

10:15
CamdenWarehouse: Only one GM/top exec job available this offseason. That’s unusual isn’t it?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: The Twins have had two just on their own

10:15
Greg: If Coppy changed his mind and wanted to add more prospects, if he dangled Julio Teheran, Julio would likely be the best starter available, what could they get in return?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Three good prospects in the middle or upper levels

10:16
Outta my way, Gyorkass: On a scale of 1 to Billy Goat, how Cubby would it be to see someone like Carlos Gomez hit a game winning bomb off Aroldis Chapman in Game 7 of the WS where the Cubs went into the 9th up by 1?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t want to make anyone upset but if the Cubs do end up losing in these playoffs I sure wouldn’t mind if it came at Chapman’s expense

10:17
Q-Ball: Why did the 2001 Mariners fail in the playoffs? Any lessons we can draw from that? Sorry to pick at an old wound…..

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: The Yankees that year were also good and, well, playoff sample size. There’s nothing more to be said

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: In five games, the Yankees scored 25 runs, and the Mariners scored 22. Oh well

10:18
Grim Rice: Jeff, not sure if you can answer this, but are Fangraphs’ World Series odds adjusted through the playoffs?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: Definitely

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: I believe they’re adjusted shortly after every single game

10:18
Slew: Are the Indians now the favorites vs Boston by virtue of (a) a one game lead, and (b) getting that lead out of Trevor freaking Bauer?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: Mostly the first part. They survived Bauer but they’ll still probably have Tomlin and Clevinger

10:19
Sonny: Would a SF-Cle world series cause a reevaluation of manager value? Read a lot about how managing egos/clubhouse is 90% of the job but lousy in-game managers (Matheny, Farrell) can’t be that great at soothing egos to overcome their deficiencies with talented rosters

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: Sure they could. The actual win-expectancy effects of in-game moves are seldom even on the order of a few percentage points. But if you create a clubhouse environment in which a few of your players can thrive, that means a handful of wins right there

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: Buck Showalter might’ve held the Orioles back a little on Tuesday, but one could argue that without him they wouldn’t have been eligible for that game in the first place

10:21
Stevil: Would a deal centered around Taijuan Walker for Wil Myers make sense for the Padres and Mariners? Other pieces would likely be needed, but the Padres have Sanchez to fall back on and Naylor a couple of years out. The Mariners seemingly have the pitching flexibility for a move like that.

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: Mariners don’t really have that much pitching flexibility and I think the Padres like Myers too much. But I’ve started to wonder about a Walker/Josh Bell flip

10:21
Ben: How many plate appearances before individual pitcher-batter matchup stats become predictive?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: More than ever happen

10:22
Outta my way, Gyorkass: Szymborski opined on Monday that the suspension handed down to AJ Preller for his medical info dealings was too light, and that the team should have been punished as a whole, because he thought there was no way Preller was orchestrating the scheme by himself. What are your thoughts? Do you think this is going to hurt SD’s ability to deal with potential trade partners going forward due to trust issues?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: The discipline was a joke. It was a slap on the wrist for an executive who already had a history

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: The organization should’ve been penalized, at least by having to give up Espinoza.

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: Ultimately I don’t think this will have much of an effect on the trade market since if you need something on the Padres, well, there’s a limited number of places where you can get it. Executives will just have to hold their noses. But relationships have been damaged, some of them permanently, and that isn’t going to make San Diego’s road any easier

10:23
Q-Ball: My buddy says the Cubs offense isn’t that good, that it’s boosted (as well as Cards) by playing vs. the Reds. The Cubs scored 143 runs this year vs. Reds pitching, which is a significant chunk. Is he right, or not really?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: The Cubs offense is good, but the Cubs offense also never had to play the Cubs pitching. It is not as good as its surface statistics; their schedule was light

10:24
Adam: Would you rather have a 3 ERA/4 FIP pitcher or a 4 ERA/3 FIP pitcher? If these were actual results over a full year (30 starts)

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: If it’s just one season, I’ll take the second guy

10:25
Mason: Jeff, would a pitcher like Rich Hill this off season consider a dryer climate like Los Angeles over a wet climate like Seattle to help reduce blisters on a his fingers. Or is that not how any of this works?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: I genuinely cannot imagine such a thought would even cross Hill’s mind

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: You’re still playing road games, and Seattle’s climate is pretty damn fantastic between April and September

10:26
Odysseus: Is John Gibbons underrated as a manager?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know how he’s rated

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: The Blue Jays have played pretty well. They’ve had the talent to play pretty well. I think Gibbons is fine

10:27
Luke: Predictions for David Price’s outing tonight? Can he overcome the “un-clutch” gene?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Remember how good he was in relief as a rookie in 2008?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: As always I expect that Price will be fine but if the ball flies like it did yesterday it’s not hard to see a couple of dingers

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Progressive Field played super hitter-friendly this year for some reason

10:28
Outta my way, Gyorkass: What team does make sense to go after someone like Sale – NYY?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Bingo

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll probably write that in a few weeks

10:29
Erik: Would you take Bumgarner over Kershaw in the playoffs?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: No

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: Give them each another 50 innings or so of pitching like they have, and maybe I’ll reconsider

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: But there’s not enough there for me to not want to take hands down the best starting pitcher on the planet

10:30
KIRK: If the M’s offered Walker, DJ Peterson, Alex Jackson, Tyler O’Neil, and Gohara, would the Angels even consider giving up Trout?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: lol

10:30
Odysseus: How impressive does the Liriano trade look from the Jays perspective?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: A good deal more now, since they figured something out that Ray Searage couldn’t. That trade was supposed to be about the prospects but now they’ve also turned a salary dump into something positive

10:31
Erik: With Bumgarner’s now legendary playoff success, which is exactly the sort of thing “old school” hall of fame voters love, how far can he fall short of normal hall standards and still make it in?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: See what Dave wrote yesterday about Curt Schilling

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: The standard for pitchers to make the Hall of Fame right now is insane

10:31
Jaack: Now that you’ve brought it up, what would a hypothetical Padres-acquire-Sale trade look?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: Chris Sale for a majority stake in the San Diego Padres

10:32
Kevin: Could my Mets land Freddie Freeman for Wheeler, and Dominic Smith?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: heavens no

10:32
2-D: David Ortiz has 18 instances in his career where he has one PA against a pitcher and has one HR. Is this just fun noise or a reflection of the modern bullpen culture where opposing teams tried the find his bane and failed? (Bonds did this 14 times)

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: It’s probably mostly noise but I’m sure lots of teams have tried to trot out any lefty they can find

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: I wonder who has the most such encounters in MLB history!

10:33
Rob: A non-postseason question. Do you think the White Sox will sell and go the rebuild route. It just seems if you read between the lines of what Rick Hahn has said, that’s the direction they are leaning towards. They should, right?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: I think it’s 60/40 they decide to sell. And I’m sorry that this is going to come off so, so grim and insensitive, but…Jose Fernandez isn’t going to be on the market now. So Chris Sale is there at the top, without parallel. That’s extremely tempting

10:34
Milton: Last night late in the game one of the announcers complimented the Blue Jays for I believe it was a couple of instances of not taking bases on passed balls when they were up a gazillion runs already. Do you think those were actually conscious decisions not to humiliate the opponent?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: I think that’s mostly wired into players, yeah. I doubt they were thinking about it specifically in the moment, but that’s one of the more prominent unwritten rules

10:35
botchatheny : 4 playoff games today is pretty cool, don’t ya think?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: These days are always so much fun for about eight and a half hours

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: Historically I’ve run out of gas around the fifth or sixth inning of Game 3

10:36
TF Fredrik: For the Cubs, from a motivational perspective, is there any type of gain to be had playing the Giants? Like now media, fans, etc. are viewing this as a challenge or even an uphill battle against the Madison Post Season Heroes #evenyear bull shit. You know pro sports teams love playing that underdog card even if they were the best team in baseball during reg season.

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: I’m sure Joe Maddon has seized upon this

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: The Cubs were never going to be lacking for motivation but it’s probably more “interesting” for them to face the Giants than, say, the Nationals

10:37
Scott: Hey Jeff, what is the process for obtaining press credentials? I have a paid position at a smaller baseball website and live in a city with a pro team. Is there any chance of getting into the press box with that background or is it pretty much just guys from newspapers and major sites? Thanks.

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Get in contact with the media relations guy/girl and just find out. If you’re trying for something in the playoffs I doubt it’s going to happen if you don’t already have a relationship with the individual

10:38
Kevin: Huge fan of your writing Jeff. Which team that lost 90+ this year do you think is in the best shape to turn it around the quickest?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Brewers just miss the cut!

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: Going off BaseRuns, I think the Rays could already project as something like a .500 team. But the Phillies might be best poised to be *good* again soonish

10:40
AC: Do you think that if “high-leverage” relievers become mainstream, that there will have to be an adjusted way to look at their stats to account for the higher difficulty of batters faced? Like if Andrew Miller was used exclusively vs 1-5 hitters for an entire season, his numbers would obviously look inflated, but that doesn’t mean he’s any worse.

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: There could be something to this, yeah. Already higher-leverage relievers tend to face the most difficult opponents so it sort of balances out when you compare them to their peers. But eventually we should get better about a quality-of-opposition adjustment in our numbers

10:40
Sirras: Ron Darling does better on local broadcasts because he has Keith to do color. Ron can stick to analysis. I find that he does more color on national broadcasts and it isn’t as strong a suit for him.

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: there you go

10:40
Jaack: What would be your walk rate against Jonathan Sanchez?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: 1%

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: But I’d sure as shit try for that 2%

10:41
August…: Could Andrew Miller pitch in 4 out of 5 games in a dev series (shiver)

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: To some extent, almost certainly yes

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: He can’t go 40+ every time, though

10:42
v2micca: I hear a lot of anecdotal accounts of old school pitchers from days gone by putting up 250+ innings a year. But, when I actually look at pitching trends from the 60’s and 70’s I’m finding far more pitchers that topped 250 innings once or twice and then never cracked triple digits for a season again. Am I misreading the data or where we just incredibly ignorant to the volatility of pitching until the last two decades?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: In the old days, pitchers used to be abused, and some of them could take it, and many of them got hurt and disappeared

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: History forgets the second group of guys

10:43
Referee Vogt: Do you see a potential trade fit between the A’s and the Pirates for McCutchen? A’s trade some of their young pitchers and Eibner/Smolinski stopgap, Pirates call up Meadows later?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: I think McCutchen would go somewhere higher-profile and higher-budget

10:43
Sam: Re: Searage… the pirates re-upped their whole coaching staff for next year. And also.. I don’t think you can just take him anywhere and get the same results. Remember when Mazzone left Atlanta? He works *as part of* a system.

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: This is an important point. Just because Ray Searage is the face of something doesn’t mean he’s the entirety of something

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Last offseason the Pirates lost Jim Benedict to the Marlins. Then the Pirates’ pitching results were worse. Who knows why!

10:44
mijo: What do you think about making the DS 7 games and the WS 9? I feel like that would better reflect the longevity of the regular season.

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: I mean, I wouldn’t hate it, but I wouldn’t see the point for it either. You’re never going to turn a small-sample series into an accurate reflection of the length of the year.

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: The playoffs will forever be at least in large part about randomness, so, buckle up

10:45
12 to 6: Would there still be a Mike Trout MVP debate if he was on the east coast?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: if Mike Trout played for the Rays, the situation wouldn’t be any different

10:46
Kimball: Despite DiPoto’s many moves, the Mariners profiled remarkably similar to last year when all was said and done. Somewhat better outcomes, but mostly the same strengths, same weaknesses. With a middling payroll and an in-the-mix-every-year mandate, isn’t that likely to repeat next year as well?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: The hope is probably that a healthier version of the same team wins a few extra ballgames. Hisashi Iwakuma was the only qualified starting pitcher. Most of the bullpen came apart. There’s something to it

10:46
TechChat: Jeff, the site has been super buggy/slow on Chrome for a few weeks, but it’s worse than ever today. Figure you guys would want to know and pass it onto the tech crew. Thanks, and keep up the great work.

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll pass this along, thanks

10:47
12 to 6: Do you think Kim Ng will eventually land a GM role? Here name seems to come up quite often and not just because she is a woman.

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not actually sure what her level of interest is? I admit I haven’t followed that closely but it sure seems to me like her name is brought up most often by fans, not by news reports

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: But I see that Ng is under consideration with the Diamondbacks. So maybe/hopefully someday

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: The cynic in me wonders if she’s considered so often because she is a minority candidate

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll just leave that there

10:50
Nate: How long will it be before teams dismiss the traditional “closer” role altogether? I hope it’s sooner rather than later.

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: It’ll still be a while until there aren’t designated closers, but the role itself will continue to evolve

10:50
mijo: What do you think about cutting down the regular season as well? Dont we have a pretty good idea as who the best teams are after 130 games or so? Im trying to put more games towards to playoffs to better reflect the grueling season. Or does baseball want it like this?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: I’d be happy to have a shorter regular season, but the owners would be less happy

10:51
jon: Jake Arrieta gets traded in the offseason. What would it net the Cubs?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: Regret

10:51
JMaddon Glasses>HCaray Glass: Talking with a Cards fan frenemy of mine, we surmised that all fanbases boil down to two groups: 1. people who understand the game (or want to understand the game), and 2. partisan jerks. In your experience as someone who writes about sports, do you feel this is accurate?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: In any beer bar, there’s a core group of patrons who appreciate and seek out the most complexity they can find. They have advanced palates and they derive pleasure from new experiences, both good and bad. There’s then a bigger group of customers that’s just there to get drunk

10:56
Cubs Fan: FG gives odds of winning playoff series and it seems like any one team’s chances are tiny. How do you explain teams like the Giants and Cardinals who over the last 10-15 years consistently advance in the playoffs? Are these just teams that are more lucky than their opponents over a small sample size, or do they have some trait or attribute that gives them a better chance in October than the numbers show?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: The Cardinals have made the playoffs almost every year since 2000. Over that span, in the playoffs, they’re 65-60

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: Now, the Giants — they’ve gone 35-14 since 2010. That’s absurd, and amazing.

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know how to explain that, but it *is* 49 games. Remember that year recently where the Dodgers went 42-8 or something over a 50-game stretch?

10:57
Odor’s Left Hook: Do you predict regression for the Rangers next year?

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: Yes

10:58
Jedidiah: Does Andrew Triggs win his first Cy Young in 2018 or 2019?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: I think 2016 actually but I didn’t have a ballot

10:58
Doug: Shouldn’t Atlanta look to sell Teheran this offseason? Could they get close to a Shelby return considering the weak market?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: I am in your camp, but the Braves are not

10:58
Sgt. Pepper: Will this Jays series be considered a disappointment if there isn’t at least one punch thrown?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: Do you watch baseball for the punches?

10:59
Tanner: Have you ever had an itch to take, say, a week/two weeks/a month to write an article several times longer than you normally write for FG? Or has FG considered occasionally having longform-style pieces?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: Every so often I see an amazing long article out there and I get jealous. I loved Mina Kimes’ recent ESPN article about Korean hitters and bat-flips. But ultimately I just don’t have the capability right now to pull something like that off. Too much daily demand, and we don’t have the financial or personnel support network that would allow me to put so much time into one or two things

11:00
Erix: Do pitchers do any better or worse on pitches they shake off the catcher for?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: No idea but I’d love to know

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: Probably not recorded by anyone in the world

11:00
Zach: What are your expectations for the Sens this year?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: I always expect them to win the Stanley Cup because with hockey I am an intentional moron

11:00
botchatheny : will this chat turn into a game blog? or will another live chat be setup?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: No more chats today. Sorry!

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: But I do need to get going so I can write and watch

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: So thank you everybody for hanging out, and I’m sorry for what I didn’t or couldn’t address. We’ll do it again next week at the same time, and until then, be well and have great days

We hoped you liked reading Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 10/7/16 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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victorvran
Member
victorvran

“That being said, every single organization is a business, first and foremost”

I know you said this as a generalized statement, but are the Tigers run like this in their current state?