Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 1/15/16

9:05

Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:06

Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to baseball chat

9:06

Jeff Sullivan: As far as I know this is the only baseball chat

9:06

Jeff Sullivan: Right now

9:06

j6takish: Fun Fact : Jeff, you once wrote about Christian Guzmans rookie season. David McCarty’s rookie season was also worth -3.1war but he did it in an astounding 98 games/471 PA. Wow!

9:06

Jeff Sullivan: Here’s to the bad ones!

9:06

Jeff Sullivan: Have we ever talked about Ruben Sierra?

9:07

Jeff Sullivan: Between 1993 – 2000, Sierra didn’t have a single season in which he finished with a positive FanGraphs WAR

9:08

Jeff Sullivan: Through the age of 26, Sierra had 4512 plate appearances, and a +19.7 career WAR

9:09

Jeff Sullivan: From 27 on, he batted 4270 times, with a -5.8 WAR

9:09

Jeff Sullivan: So that’s today’s Ruben Sierra take

9:11

Steve: Hi Jeff. What would be reasonable to expect from Raisel Iglesias and how soon does he show it? What’s the ceiling?

9:12

Jeff Sullivan: I liked a lot of what Iglesias did and obviously he got better down the stretch as he gained experience. As is customary, though, I don’t buy him quite yet against left-handed hitters, and to some extent that’s been hidden with him playing in the NLC

9:13

Jeff Sullivan: He can be murder on righties and that alone can make him a reasonable starting pitcher but there’s development left to go. Easily one of the most interesting Reds, and one of the young ones with a high ceiling

9:15

Bork: An alternative to signing Chris Davis would be to try to trade for Joey Votto, which if the team took on all of his contract, could cost less than a first rounder that Davis would cost. What are the pros and cons to each and which would you rather have?

9:15

Jeff Sullivan: A lot of the Davis stuff is being fueled by Peter Angelos, who loves him, and if Angelos doesn’t feel the same about Votto then he might be less willing to pay the price and maybe have it come from a “separate” budget

9:16

Jeff Sullivan: There’s also the matter of Votto maybe or probably not wanting to play in Baltimore

9:16

Jeff Sullivan: Not that he loves what’s going on in Cincinnati, of course, but you figure there will be options down the road

9:17

Jeff Sullivan: I’d rather have Votto than Davis because I trust Votto to age better, but it’s not as easy as just making that decision from the Orioles’ perspective

9:17

Prince Wednesday: Enjoyed your piece on Lucroy. Different scenario, obviously, but do you think the haul ATL got for Miller has changed Milwaukee’s perception of what Lucroy is worth (or what they can get for him)?

9:17

Jeff Sullivan: The Brewers were asking for an impossible return even before the Miller trade happened

9:18

Jeff Sullivan: And these are just two very different scenarios. Miller is a talented, young, cost-controlled starting pitcher who got moved around the height of the starting-pitcher market. Lucroy is a catcher with question marks. The catcher market hasn’t been very active

9:19

Guest: So if Baltimore signs Cespedes/pulls offer to Davis, is it plausible Davis takes a 1 year/32 million dollar deal with the Astros and then re-enters the market as the best FA in the 2016 class? Don’t forget he is from Texas and the Astros are projected for an 86 million dollar payroll, which isn’t acceptable for this market size.

9:20

Jeff Sullivan: As much as I feel like the Orioles are almost inevitable for Davis, if they DO end up with Cespedes instead then I still don’t feel like Davis will have to settle for one year. He won’t get that 7/154m, and honestly he should take that today, but Boras would be able to work something out with some owner somewhere

9:20

Jeff Sullivan: Like, say, if the Tigers don’t get Cespedes back, I could see Ilitch making a move for Davis. He’s not a real corner outfielder but he could play there for a year or so before shifting

9:23

greg: With the Reds signing Alfredo Rodriguez they can’t sign any IFA for over 300K for the next two signing periods. Is it worth it? If not, how badly are they screwing this whole thing up?

9:24

Jeff Sullivan: To be clear: I am not an expert on these matters and it’s not like I have a personal scouting report on Rodriguez. With that said: my impression right now is I don’t like what the Reds are doing

9:25

Jeff Sullivan: Rodriguez reads like a defense-heavy shortstop who’ll probably always have a questionable bat and those aren’t difficult players to find, even if they do have real value. I mean, even today, what’s the difference between Rodriguez’s peak and Brendan Ryan?

9:26

Jeff Sullivan: Maybe they see something in his bat, but Jose Iglesias might be a *best*-case scenario here and Iglesias has his own questions to answer

9:27

Jeff Sullivan: Think about all the other teams who will have international spending restrictions the next few years. The Reds could’ve taken advantage of their absences. Instead, now the Reds will join them, and I think the best way to save this at this point is to keep spending before the next deadline. Right now, the Reds have taken themselves out of the running the next two years because of Rodriguez. They might as well add to the assortment of signed players before the penalties kick in

9:27

Q-Ball: What NL Central team do you feel like will return to relevance first: Brewers, or Reds?

9:27

Jeff Sullivan: my god this is difficult

9:27

Jeff Sullivan: I’m inclined to say Brewers, because even though the talent base isn’t a lot better, I have a better feeling about the people in charge

9:28

J: ERA prediction for Tanaka? His HR/FB has been pretty high the past couple of years, his FIP jumped to close to 4 this year and his K rate dropped a bit. Doesn’t seem to have an effective fastball either. Great WHIP though.

9:28

Jeff Sullivan: 3.40

9:28

Jeff Sullivan: if he’s healthy

9:31

The Other Other Bullpen Weapon: If you are the commish do you ban the Carter Capps delivery?

9:32

Jeff Sullivan: Just did a little quick reading. In case you were concerned, MLB has continued to keep a close eye on Capps: http://fullcount.weei.com/sports/boston/baseball/red-sox/2015/07/08/mlb-reminds-marlins-carter-capps-about-the-right-way-to-deliver-a-pitch/

9:32

Jeff Sullivan: The important thing seems to be the term “drag line”. Capps has to jump forward, not up

9:33

Jeff Sullivan: Provided Capps is indeed dragging forward, then it becomes awful hard to draw a line between his delivery and the usual delivery, in which every pitcher in baseball disengages the rubber

9:34

Jeff Sullivan: So I’d be inclined to allow this even if I wouldn’t be wild about the possibility of other pitchers trying it for themselves. I’d have to hope it’s sufficiently difficult to pull off that there wouldn’t be a long line of impostors

9:34

Jeff Sullivan: With that in mind, maybe it’s relevant that we still only have Walden and Capps

9:35

Zonk: When the music stops, what QO-eligible free agents will be without a $16 mil + chair? Can you comment on prospects for Desmond, Fowler, Kendrick in particular?

9:36

Jeff Sullivan: Right now I feel the least good about Fowler, in terms of finding a multi-year commitment. They’re all in tough spots, obviously, but with, say, Desmond, I like that he’s marketed himself as versatile and I think that gives him plenty of options. Kendrick, too, should find a home. But it’s hard to see where Fowler fits that makes sense

9:37

Dinger: Is there any data that suggests prospects brought to the big league “too early” have different success/failure rates compared to their peers that are allowed to more fully develop in the minors?

9:37

Jeff Sullivan: I can’t think of anything. Doesn’t mean it’s not out there. But if anything, the numbers *love* players who arrive in the majors at a young age

9:39

Jeff Sullivan: And it would be really difficult to take selection bias into account here. If you have one player who rises “too early” and another who’s given more time to develop, then you have to think there was something about that first player that made his team confident he could survive. What do you do about that?

9:40

Jeff Sullivan: I’d love to see good research and maybe it’s been done, but at this point it’s probably still a case-by-case basis thing, and it’s up to how organizations evaluate a young player’s psychology and openness to failure.

9:41

Chuck: Which division do you see as being the most volatile this season?

9:41

Jeff Sullivan: We could end up in a situation where almost anyone could win the AL Central. Really, all three AL divisions are pretty open, but I think the Central has the worst best team, if that makes sense

9:42
Nelson: With full catcher equipement would you be comfortable cathing someone throwing 80?
Likewise, do you think MLB catchers ever so slightly get a bit afraid when catching a 100mph pitcher?

9:42

Jeff Sullivan: I could catch 80, no problem. I couldn’t do it *well*, like in terms of blocking and throwing and stuff, but 80 doesn’t scare me

9:43

Jeff Sullivan: As for MLB catchers, it’s not like you just ignore when a guy throws 100, but catchers are so accustomed to catching 95-97 that 100 is barely anything extra. I think the greater concern is how well a pitcher can locate. I’d be more afraid of a wild 90 than a more-controlled 105

9:43

The Other Other Bullpen Weapon: wow, Ruben Sierra is a posterchild for player with terrible overall value that I was led to believe was a star growing up

9:43

Jeff Sullivan: And he was a star when *he* was growing up!

9:43

Jeff Sullivan: Then he grew up

9:44

Joe: What are your thoughts on the “file-and-trial” approach to arbitration? It seems like it causes more bad than good for the teams to me.

9:45

Jeff Sullivan: Going to be completely honest: I don’t think about this. I haven’t, ever, for more than a few minutes at a time. It’s true that arbitration is unpleasant for everyone. It’s also true that everyone understands that baseball is a business, and these things can be overcome. Most things will blow over and I don’t think “lingering discontent” causes many real-world problems down the road

9:46

Jeff Sullivan: All things being equal, I’d want to avoid arbitration. I assume the cost of going to arbitration, though, is quite tiny, in the bigger picture

9:46

Tim: Giolito for Lucroy. Who says no?

9:46

Jeff Sullivan: Nationals

9:48

Guest: Congratulations on getting in to the BBW Association of America

9:48

Jeff Sullivan: Was this actually announced somewhere?

9:49

Jeff Sullivan: News to me. But yeah, they changed some of the rules for inclusion. At the winter meetings, Ryan Divish came up to me and asked, “hey, you want to be in the BBWAA?” and I was like “sure” and then that was basically it

9:50

T: Jeff! You rock. Are the Phillies so far from contention that shopping Nola would be good? Get maybe someone who could be Nola in 5 years plus mystery prizes?

9:50

Jeff Sullivan: I can’t actually tell if this is serious

9:50

Jeff Sullivan: No offense

9:50

Jeff Sullivan: But Nola literally just debuted. The Phillies want *more* guys like this, not fewer

9:51

Jeff Sullivan: The Phillies are increasingly loaded with young talent and given the resources they have to spend, I think they’re back to a relevant team in two years

9:51

Jeff Sullivan: If there’s someone else out there who loves Nola even more than the Phillies, then that’s one thing that you can try to exploit, but meanwhile he’s important to them now and in the future

9:53

Sam: Will Smith has secretly become one of the better relievers in baseball. Do you think it won’t be as much of a secret in a year?

9:54

Jeff Sullivan: Well, he’d need to start closing, or he’d need to get traded, because even though Smith is good, you don’t generate a lot of attention throwing 7th and 8th innings on go-nowhere teams

9:54

Jeff Sullivan: I like how Smith just got a lot better last year against righties. He’s going to be sought after come July

9:55

T: Please explain some of the ways the Indians will, as usual, fall short of their projections.

9:56

Jeff Sullivan: Lousy outfield for however long Bradley is out, under-performing bullpen

9:56

Jeff Sullivan: Brantley. Brantley.

9:56

Jeff Sullivan: And, you know, could have a pitcher injury! Can never rule out a critical pitcher injury!

9:56

LowryLegend: Jeff, I am new to the chat on here…what is generally discussed?

9:57

Jeff Sullivan: Baseball

9:57

Zonk: BTW, Sierra also made well over $30 mil post 1993, in return for that -5.8 WAR. Nice work if you can get it!

9:57

Disaapointed Fan: It seems as if Walt Jocketty doesn’t understand what rebuilding takes. Obviously some issues came up causing them to get less for their players, ex. Frazier’s poor second half and Chapman’s Domestic violence issue. Is there anyone else out there now the Reds should look for GM wise, or sit on it and wait for the impending disaster in trading for a bunch of high minors low upside talent, to fill a roster with a lot of holes and then get a new GM. Or is the ownership blinded? As it seems like the examples on how to start a rebuild are definitely out there, and this certainly doesn’t look like a good one. Or are they thinking that since they have money tied up in two players, Bailey and Votto, that they need to compete while paying them? I don’t know anymore, I’m just a lost fan.

9:58

Jeff Sullivan: The Reds are in an awful situation. And rebuilds always look the worst toward the beginning. Circumstances hurt them with Frazier, and they hurt them with Chapman. Also hurt them with Phillips. Bruce has fallen off. Mesoraco got hurt just as he was emerging. So many different things have gone wrong, while the rest of the division has mostly improved

10:00

Jeff Sullivan: The critical first thing was just acknowledging that the organization needs to be rebuilt. They’ve made some decent moves and there’s nothing necessarily wrong with “safe” young talent, like Suarez etc. There are young players present, and more young players coming. They just need to find some more upside, and it’s going to be challenging for them being a mid-market operation with one Votto already on the books

10:01

Jeff Sullivan: As I noted earlier, I like the Brewers’ situation a little better than the Reds’, just because I have a better feeling about the new Brewers front office. But I think right now the Reds look worse off than they really might be — we’ll know more about the talent they’ve acquired a year from now. Even the Phillies greatly improved their own rebuild before Amaro was ever dismissed

10:01

ian: Do you feel this chat interface is better than coveritlive?

10:02

Jeff Sullivan: It feels less buggy. The visuals are less…advanced…but I love that my computer isn’t trying to blow itself up. Worthwhile trade-off.

10:02

Drayton McLane: The Cardinals punishment for stealing from the Astros should be that the team swap leagues. Correct?

10:02

Jeff Sullivan: It’s creative, I’ll give you that

10:04

The Other Other Bullpen Weapon: Who the heck is going to sign Ian Desmond?

10:05

Jeff Sullivan: I haven’t figured this out yet. There are a bunch of options that are like one tweak away from being obvious. For example, if the Marlins traded Ozuna to the Angels — where he’d fit perfectly — then they could put Prado or Desmond in the outfield

10:06

Jeff Sullivan: (Desmond, more likely)

10:06

Jeff Sullivan: but now they say Ozuna isn’t on the market sooooo

10:07

Jeff Sullivan: Maybe the White Sox do it, since they’ve been rumored to have interest in three-year FA contracts

10:07

Bork: Now give your hot take on FG all-star Jorge Posada!

10:07

Jeff Sullivan: Most thumb-like player in baseball history

10:07

Zonk: Obligatory Jorge Soler question. Is he any good?

10:07

Jeff Sullivan: He is some good, yes

10:08

TF Fredrik: Why won’t teams out of contention, or lets say rebuilding, be more risky with their tactics. Seems like this year’s Reds, Brewers, & Rockies are in a great position to try out some oddball stuff. Whats preventing the Rockies from actually implementing a 5 inning limit and aggressive relief strategy? Is it more than just the glacial pace of change in the game?

10:09

Jeff Sullivan: You have to think about the long-term benefits. It only really makes sense to implement strategies you think might help you down the road because otherwise you’re just rocking the boat for no real reason. And remember the Rockies *did* try that pitching experiment a few years back, so it’s not like they’re opposed to atypical thinking

10:10

Jeff Sullivan: But teams want to develop players who can be useful pieces in the long-term. These teams want to develop good young starting pitchers and they want them to get comfortable in the bigs. That usually means you don’t mess with their usage to turn their roles into something unfamiliar

10:10

Chuck Burly: All the stories suggesting teams should “swoop in” and get Upton or Cespedes on the cheap are generally wrong, right? They’re still going to be pricey. They’re players, not cartons of milk.

10:12

Jeff Sullivan: It’s pretty simple. Upton and Cespedes might’ve priced themselves too high. As the price drops, more teams become interested. As more teams become interested, a bidding war develops, so the price stays elevated. You’re just not going to get a player with this much talent for a “bargain”. An obvious bargain just can’t really exist with an Upton or a Cespedes when there are so many teams who think they can make the playoffs

10:12

Q-Ball: Shouldn’t the Rockies have had a trade lined-up for an OF before signing Parra? Doesn’t that really impact their leverage? That, and Dexter Fowler still being available?

10:13

Jeff Sullivan: Doesn’t impact the leverage too much — the market is more about the other 29 teams than it is about the Rockies. Worst-case scenario, you can give four different guys regular playing time for the first three or four months. And Fowler comes with that comp pick people don’t want to give up

10:13

TF Fredrik: Do you think there is an optimal pitch selection to be used by starting pitchers? For example, 40% four seamer, 20% Slider, 20% splitter, 20% Curve. I know game theory & a pitchers comfort with each pitch change by the game, but I always like seeing a guy like Greinke’s pitch mix. Feel like he & the like, differentiate on horizontal & vertical movement, as well as velo a lot. Intuitively, that seems to be something a pitcher would want instead of a 3 pitch guy going 70% fastball with two breaking balls mixed in as the rest.

10:14

Jeff Sullivan: It really does just come down to what pitches a guy throws, and how much he trusts each of them. The ideal ratios are directly correlated to this trust. And once you have the ratios, you want to randomize the actual pitch mixes as much as possible. Then no one can guess

10:15

Jeff Sullivan: There probably is an “ideal” pitch mix, based on the best mix of pitches possible to throw, but I assume almost no one can throw all those pitches well

10:15

Jeff Sullivan: (Like Greinke)

10:16

Justin: If not LA — where an Utley/Hernandez platoon is projected to match his performance — where might Kendrick sign?

10:16

Jeff Sullivan: Again, as with Desmond, maybe White Sox. I can’t rule them out

10:16

mtsw: Thoughts on the Cespedes to Orioles rumors? Just FUD to get Davis to lower his price or do they honestly have a shot at Yoenis on rumored 5/90?

10:18

Jeff Sullivan: They tried to pressure Davis before and it didn’t work, so now they’re trying a different way. It’s not like they don’t have a shot at Cespedes — they do, and they also have a need — but their shot at Cespedes is worse than their shot at Davis. Davis just needs to accept that a bigger market is unlikely to develop and he should take the money the Orioles are offering. If they actually went in another direction it’s hard to see how he’d get close to $154 million elsewhere

10:18

Dr.Chair: what are your thoughts for 2016 on Evan Gattis & Luis Valbuena?

10:18

Jeff Sullivan: Not great

10:19

Jeff Sullivan: It’s a good thing for the Astros they have so much positional depth

10:19

TF Fredrik: I just got back from a trip where I did my first hikes at National Parks (Arches, Zion, & Death Valley). And gotta say, it was incredible. Gimme some of Sullivan’s top hikes in the northwest for my future travels. FYI, just looking for like 5-10 miles day hikes, not necessarily overnighters yet. Thanks!

10:20

Jeff Sullivan: Personally, I’m absolutely in love with getting up to elevation. My very favorite day hike goes up to Cooper Spur on the NE side of Mt Hood. That’s a summer option, post-melt. (Although you could snowshoe now in decent weather.) Several options on Rainier can also achieve good elevation, and you could summit the South Sister in central Oregon as a day hike that exceeds 10,000 feet. That one’s crazy for its accessibility

10:21

Jeff Sullivan: Less dramatically, you could go to Lemei Rock in the Indian Heaven Wilderness. I love the Ape Canyon hike on St Helens that takes you up to the pumice flats.

10:22

Kevin: Do you think the O’s reported high offer to Cespedes of ~5 yrs at 18MM per gets it done (or close at least)? Is this just posturing to pressure the Chris Davis camp?

10:22

Jeff Sullivan: Again, I think it’s more leverage. Maybe it’s like 35% genuine pursuit and 65% leverage. At that price, I think Ilitch would come in and welcome Cespedes back to Detroit

10:23

Cory S.: Can some of Boston’s pitching woes last year be attributed to their sudden mess at catcher to start the year? They had an old guy new to the team, a young guy new to the team and a younger guy who was a rookie.

10:23

Jeff Sullivan: I imagine it was a definite factor. Hard to quantify, but I don’t want to underrate the importance of the C/P relationship

10:27

Jack Glasscock’s Cup: If Bryce Harper had remained at catcher, how much MLB service time would he have now?

10:27

Jeff Sullivan: The youngest regular or semi-regular catcher from the last several decades was Ivan Rodriguez, who was 19

10:28

Jeff Sullivan: Rodriguez played his first year of affiliated baseball at 17. Harper was 18

10:28

Jeff Sullivan: Just based on that, let’s have Harper hypothetically debut at 20

10:28

Jeff Sullivan: The bat forces him up, like with Schwarber, even when the defense isn’t quite ready yet

10:29

Jeff Sullivan: So right now we’d have Harper a little below 3 years of service, instead of a little below 4

10:30

Zonk: $4 mil for Alexei Ramirez? He’s isn’t great, but that’s a pittance. Doesn’t that indicate the Padres weren’t bidding against anyone? Which by extension, isn’t that worrisome for Ian Desmond and Howie Kendrick?

10:30

Jeff Sullivan: Ramirez is 34, and last year he was terrible. Desmond is 30, with a better peak, and Kendrick is 32, with greater consistency. Different tiers of players

10:31

Mike: I was just in Vegas and the Cubs were 3/2 to win the NL. On a scale of 1-10 how ridiculous is that?

10:31

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t understand much about odds because I’ve never been a gambler, but if that means what I think that means, you should not bet that

10:32

Jeff Sullivan: Take the Dodgers, as long as they’re being underrated

10:32

Andrew: Astros should sign Upton, right? (1) Gomez & Rasmus gone after ’16; (2) Correa/Springer/Altuve still dirt cheap (more payroll flexibility now than later); (3) Upton/Rasmus better DH option (with more defensive flexibility) than Gattis, who becomes expendable; (4) Upton still only 28. Make sense?

10:33

Jeff Sullivan: They’re a fit. I could even see them trade Gomez

10:33

Out of my way, Gyorkass!: What’s your take on the Chris Correa/Cardinals hacking situation? Do you think MLB steps in and dishes out a punishment to the organization? If so, how severe? One would think that with MLB having grandstanded heavily on the issue of PEDs and the integrity of the game, to be consistent with that ethos, they need to punish the Cardinals, right?

10:34

Jeff Sullivan: I expect the Cardinals to get hit pretty hard. This will be a precedent-setter, for all teams and all sports, and it’s almost impossible to believe Correa kept that information to himself. I’d think the Cardinals should anticipate they’ll be out a few high draft picks

10:35

Jeff Sullivan: Which would be just. I don’t pay much attention but I feel like NFL teams lose draft picks all the time for disciplinary reasons. Now it’s the Cardinals’ turn

10:35

TF Fredrik: Do you ever see a day when the average fan will understand how much volatility, uncertainty, & luck there are/is in sports?

10:36

Jeff Sullivan: More people probably understand it than you think. But that kind of makes the experience less fun. I don’t think the average fan will ever highly prioritize being “right” about sports, because it’s just sports. Fans will enjoy them in whatever way they find to be most entertaining

10:37

Dinger: Is there any reason for optimism on catcher Tony Sanchez, or has that ship sailed?

10:38

Jeff Sullivan: He’s four months away from being 28. The ship is out there on the horizon. Better be a fast swimmer

10:38

el crapo: any expectations at all for Michael Saunders this year?

10:38

Jeff Sullivan: With a good knee, I like him as a slightly above-average corner outfielder, who needs a good fourth outfielder behind him

10:39

Jeff Sullivan: Full disclosure: I’ve always loved Michael Saunders

10:39

J: Ignoring sustainability, which pitching combo would you consider the most effective: high K% and high GB%, high K% and low BB%, or low BB% and high GB%?

10:40

Jeff Sullivan: Give me high K% and high GB%. Almost impossible to not be a good pitcher that way

10:42

Jeff Sullivan: Doesn’t mean you’re up on the Kershaw or Felix tier, but you’re in the neighborhood

10:42

<>: Let’s say that every major-league player becomes a free agent tomorrow. What would that do to contracts?

10:43

Jeff Sullivan: Amount of money spent on players would remain basically the same, so you’d just have it distributed differently. Top salaries come down

10:44

Jeff Sullivan: Once you have those pre-arb players suddenly available on the market, that changes everything

10:44

Sean P : What other teams other than the Rangers do you think could match up with the Brewers in a deal for Lucroy?

10:44

Jeff Sullivan: Nationals, Astros

10:44

The Cincinnati Kid: Couldn’t teams hide a defensive liability in the OF by swapping LF-RF for hitters that have profiles that lead to one side or the other on balls in play? It seems like this is a wrinkle to “the shift” that teams are using/exploiting

10:45

Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, I’ve wondered about this for years. Seems simple. Kind of annoying, but simple

10:45

Jeff Sullivan: Maybe the benefit gets erased by the outfielders getting tired from constantly jogging back and forth

10:45

Jeff Sullivan: If they don’t jog, then they’re walking really slow and fans would freak out

10:46

Kevin: After reading August’s article on Britton’s blown saves and watching him all year as well, I was wondering whether for a guy like Britton it may make sense to play the infield in more often (eg. when a fast slap hitter is up)?

10:46

Jeff Sullivan: With a guy like Britton it probably makes sense to play five infielders. He’s so extreme. If it makes sense for anyone, it makes sense for Britton

10:46

GSon: Reasonable expectations from Mike Napoli in 2016.. 400 AB’s.. 20/80; .265/.340/.440?

10:46

Jeff Sullivan: A little lower than that

10:47

The Cincinnati Kid: I know Spring Training and his early season performance (presumably in AA or even AAA) will matter, but as of today: is AJ Reed a Super 2, injury/emergency call-up, or September call-up?

10:47

Jeff Sullivan: I see him somewhere in June

10:48

Out of my way, Gyorkass!: What do you make of the recent ESPN article where they interviewed a number of AL executives who grumbled about a number of NL teams “tanking”? Sour grapes, or do they have a legitimate point? Do teams like the Brewers and/or Reds really have any other option with prior windows having closed?

10:49

Jeff Sullivan: I think right now we have an unusual number of teams at about the same place in the rebuilding cycle. The American League reflects what baseball probably *should* be — a league where everyone thinks they have a shot. A few teams in the National League are working to undo damage from previous administrations. But once the tanking teams are back to being relevant, I’m not sure we’ll really see that much tanking behavior again

10:49

Jeff Sullivan: So it’s not a good look to have 4 or 5 or 6 teams in the same league doing nothing, but I think this is a fluke. It’s the right course for all those teams, given how baseball operates. There’s no better alternative

10:50

kris: Why cant teams quit Rodney? “MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports that Fernando Rodney and the Padres are “closing in on a deal.”

10:50

Jeff Sullivan: He still throws 95

10:51

Jeff Sullivan: All right, I need to roll — got a phone call to make.

10:51

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 — 1/15/16 by Jeff Sullivan!

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

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

Support FanGraphs




Jeff made Lookout Landing a thing, but he does not still write there about the Mariners. He does write here, sometimes about the Mariners, but usually not.

Comments are closed.