Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 1/27/17

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to Friday baseball chat

9:07
Bork: Hello, friend!

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friend

9:08
Joey Gallo: What do you expect from me in 2017? Going forward?

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: To be perfectly honest it’s hard for me to see you as anything more than Chris Carter. Which, hey, Carter has been a pretty good hitter. But Gallo isn’t all the way there yet, so Carter might be the 60th or 70th percentile outcome

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: A healthier Russell Branyan would be outstanding but in no way guaranteed. Observers really felt like Gallo’s stock came apart last summer

9:09
Anguished in Arvada: Greg Holland chances are

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: Full question?

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: The Rockies bullpen badly needed some help. Holland is risky help, but with a good deal more upside than most. Not the worst match

9:10
Tito: If you were me would you start Yan Gomes or Roberto Perez

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: I’d more or less alternate them until or unless someone proved to be better. Neither deserves a clear path to the regular gig

9:11
Aron: Would you rather play against a hundred duck sized Mike Trouts or one Horse Sized Mike Trout?

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: Horse-Sized Mike Trout. Barely covers any of the field. Massive strike zone

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: I could never throw three straight pitches in the zone to a duck

9:12
JT: Jeff, my company is sending me to Portland for a week in February. What should I do? Where should I eat? Which alcohol should I drink? I had ankle reconstruction in October so I can’t do any hiking but I could do some low intensity outdoorsy stuff

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: At the very least, take a drive through the Gorge, stopping for lunch or dinner at Double Mountain in Hood River. Maybe you could get good enough weather to go up to Timberline on Mount Hood. In town, drink at Cascade! And go to Hale Pele for a drink and meal. I can’t speak to the high-end dining experiences because I suck at food

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: Bailey’s and Apex might be the two best beer bars

9:13
ryan: is there any chance the Rays move Longoria sometime this year? what type of package might he require? thanks!

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t see it happening. The Rays are forever driven by cold, hard analysis, but Longoria is their one bit of stability. So tough to pry away

9:15
Big Willy: What are your thoughts on Carlos Rodon, Future ace or lifetime #3 Starter?

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: Precious few pitchers I’d be willing to buy as future aces. Rodon for me remains a likely No. 3. Interesting stuff, still not enough strikes; still seeing him as kind of like Francisco Liriano

9:16
Jeremy: Do you think there’s any negative impact that playing for a trade-happy GM can have? For example, might I always be on edge – and play worse – if I were on Dipoto’s teams?

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: I think, by and large, Dipoto has been making a lot of minor moves. Sending away players from the minor-league system. You can’t not notice that as a younger player, but when you’re in the minors you’re just looking for any kind of opportunity, and in some sense it probably feels nice to be traded, because it means you were wanted. I’d guess overall it makes a negligible difference

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: It is worth thinking about, though. Everyone’s psychology will be unique to that player

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe not a coincidence the Mariners just hired another two mental-health specialists

9:18
Anguished in Arvada: What is the probability distribution on Greg Holland being: (Broken/Middle Relief/Setup/Closer)?

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: 30/10/20/40?

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe more like 30/10/10/50. Hard to see Holland good enough to set up but not closing

9:19
Rhendricks: With Tommy Pham being the Cardinals only real 4th OF option, do you see them in play for someone like Conglan/Pegan/Bourn to give them a versatile option?

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: It’s possible but not necessary since Grichuk also offers CF depth.

9:21
Kevin Maitan: Do you think the Braves will be aggressive with my development or foresee a long development track?

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: Maitan is what now, 17 years old?

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: The easy and obvious answer is Maitan’s own performance will determine his path. If the Braves have their druthers, Swanson and Albies will get established and Maitan won’t be playing under too much organizational pressure

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: Gleyber Torres signed in 2013. He hasn’t yet played above High-A. Franklin Barreto signed in 2012. He’s played four games in Triple-A. Maitan will be down there a while

9:24
Duffman: Hey Jeff, if Broxton sticks this year in CF, does that force other potential CFs in Milwaukee Pipeline (Bronson, Ray, Phillips) to move to corner spots in the big leagues? While this would surely boost the Brewers OF defense, how would such moves change their offensive profiles?

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: Teams love good outfield defense. Positional profiles mean less and less these days. If the Brewers were to end up in a situation where they have three CF-capable outfielders starting on a regular basis, they’re going to be ecstatic

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: Long, long way to go between now and then

9:26
Matt: I was told to direct my Tom Murphy questions to you. What are your thoughts on Tom Murphy? Will he get the playing time?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Apparently I’m known in at least one circle as the Tom Murphy guy

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll be damned

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: Murphy’s power is legitimate. Lots of aggressive swing-and-miss in his game. Adequate defensively, but not above-average. I think he’ll play less than Wolters, but he’s going to be the No. 2

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: An interesting thought experiment: should the Rockies play Murphy most often at home, where maybe Coors can mitigate the downside of his over-aggressiveness? Figure Wolters won’t really hit much anywhere, so it might not matter where he plays

9:29
Jon: Is Paxton more likely to overperform his projection by ~2 wins, or Felix more likely to underperform by ~2 wins?

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: Lots more ways for a guy to be a 1-win pitcher than a 5-win pitcher

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: I love Paxton’s upside, but Felix was literally a 1-win pitcher just last season

9:31
Erik: If one team currently projected to win fewer than 81 games breaks out and makes the playoffs, who will it be and how will it happen?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll say Orioles, because the bullpen holds up and Buck Showalter squeezes every last drop out of that roster again

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: In the NL, it’s probably the Rockies, because the young pitching staff collectively takes an important step forward

9:33
Ryan: What do you think the upsides for Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez are? Are they close to their peak pitching abilities or is there still room to grow?

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: At Stroman’s peak, he does almost everything: strikes, whiffs, groundballs. A less-perfect version of Roy Halladay. I think Sanchez has the slightly lower realistic ceiling, just because I don’t think he would compete with Stroman’s peak command

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: Stroman has more ways to conceivably miss bats. But it’s not like we ever *really* know how good any given pitcher could be

9:35
Moltar: Jeff I’ve been fighting off a cold all week and it finally caught up with me but I’m still at work and everything is terrible. What are your favorite cold remedies? And are you worried about Lester pitching without Ross behind the plate?

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: My favorite cold remedies: Cold-Eeze, a decongestant, and acting like a little bitch

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: I’m only very minorly concerned about Lester without Ross. They’ve had all offseason, if not longer, to prepare for this. And Lester has been a good pitcher for a long time. He’ll throw strikes with anyone back there, and it’s clear to me that teams just can’t and won’t fully exploit his yips

9:38
Zeke: Should Dyson be playing CF over Martin?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: Probably, but Dyson has more experience in the corners, plus he’s the new guy. It should make almost no difference

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: And Dyson won’t be an everyday player anyhow. So this keeps Martin from bouncing around

9:39
Sterling Malory Chris Archer: Aaron Nola was just insanely good the first half of last year. He obviously got hurt when he had that horrendous stretch. If he’s healthy, do you believe he can throw a sub 3 ERA?

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t even know what to do with ERAs anymore since I can’t predict how the baseballs will fly, but when Nola is healthy I’m absolutely in love. Healthy Nola has everything I like. Potential to be an underrated No. 1

9:40
Mike: You work (almost entirely) remotely, I think. Ever considered moving to, say, Patagonia and working from there?

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: Yes

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: yes yes yes

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: At the end of the day I’m probably too much of a coward. Plus I like my community here and my girlfriend very much does *not* work remotely. So there are stumbling blocks

9:41
Maxamuz: What do you think of Sonny Gray this year? Will he return to cy young contender?

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: It’s a little bit like Nola. Injuries had an obvious effect on performance, and they both claim to be over their injuries now. There’s no way for me to speak to what could happen in their arms. On talent, I like Nola and I like Gray. I just can’t tell you what the odds are their arms remain intact. Problems in 2016 portend problems in 2017, right?

9:44
mtsw: Lots of talk of Orioles bringing Wieters back. Is there any price at which this would make sense for the O’s?

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: I mean, I like him a little bit better than Castillo and Joseph. Not a lot better. I don’t know what Wieters’ market is. He wouldn’t be a substantial improvement, but I’m really not a Castillo fan

9:45
Mariners101: Do the Mariners have the best pitching staff in the AL West?

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: No, because of the Astros

9:46
baby bull : who plays CF for Pittsburgh this year?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: Gut feeling says McCutchen, since a trade will remain a possibility

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: Obviously that’s not their ideal alignment, but maybe they can move McCutchen around in terms of his positioning to mitigate his issues

9:47
Ben: I’m looking at the WAR graphs of J.R. Richard and Brandon Webb. Help!

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: Baseball sucks

9:49
Mark: Could Rogers (or any other corporate owner) offer Otani lucrative ad deals that circumvent posting salary regulations?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: I’m going to guess that would be interpreted as a circumvention of the rules, and so it would not be allowed

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know how MLB would be able to enforce these things, but Otani stands alone, so his situation will probably be heavily policed

9:51
Mike: What odds would you need to put down $100 on Kyle Seager making the HOF? Maybe a better question is how many seasons of phenomenal consistency does a player need to overcome never being the best player in the league (or even his position)?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: A player like Seager makes things pretty tough. He’s been like an annual 4.5-win player for the last five years, but he’s never been a monster. If he wants to have a shot, he basically needs to string together another couple identical five-year stretches

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t have much knowledge off the top of my head of what various peaks have looked like for Hall-of-Famers. I think players like Seager have probably been relatively under-recognized. Maybe very slightly a position-player comp for Mike Mussina.

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: But maybe he’ll age like Adrian Beltre! Beltre hasn’t had a single below-average season since 2001. At this point you can’t ignore him

9:55
CarrotJuice: What are your thoughts on cFIP? A lot of the numbers seem wrong (Nola being a top 5 starting pitcher, Montgomery having almost the same cFIP (91) as Lester and Cueto, (90) etc.)

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: I can’t remember the last time I used it. Not because I think it sucks or anything; I’m just comfortable with what we already have. I’m almost never looking to describe a pitcher with one single number, anyhow. And once you get into the weeds, you want to keep a lot of your metrics fairly basic and understandable so people don’t get lost

9:56
baby bull : any chance Tom Murphys bat outweighs Tony Wolters Defense?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: Sure, some chance. I wouldn’t say great chance

9:58
Seven Costanza: Do you think a “not-quite-ready” pitcher would benefit more from being a team’s 4th or 5th starter in the bigs, or benefit more from pitching in AAA until he’s “ready”? Has there been any analysis done on this?(Thinking of the Reds signing Feldman and being linked to Arroyo, who would potentially take spots from C.Reed/R.Stephenson/A.Garrett/etc).

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: We can say this much: the Feldman signing implies the Reds like minor-league polish. Same with the Braves, given the Dickey/Colon/Garcia acquisitions. Those two teams apparently want certain pitchers to get more work in the high minors

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: I’m a big fan of the benefit of major-league experience — there’s no better setting to learn where you’re good and where you need work. But if a guy clearly needs work, I think most of the time that’s best accomplished in low-leverage situations. It’s so difficult to fold in adjustments in the majors, where the best hitters in the world pounce on vulnerabilities. I lean toward wanting to promote pitchers only when I think they’re ready, or close to it

10:00
Andrew: Bryce Harper (true talent) is _______% as good as Mike Trout (true talent)?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: 99%. But that’s relative to everyone, not just professional baseball players

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: By WAR, I’d estimate Trout around 9 and Harper around 6

10:02
Jim Lonborg: There was a nice piece in ESPN about Sam Travis, his return from ACL surgery, and his friendship with Schwarber. I’m familiar with the concerns–size, power–but what are the odds he could be the RS’s best 1st base option by mid-season? It’s not like the other options are so spectacular.

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: I mean, when the guy in your way is Mitch Moreland, you have to feel pretty good about your opportunity

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: Travis has yet to light a level on fire, offensively, and he didn’t hit a lot in Triple-A. Plenty of work to be done. But if Travis has a very strong first half, well, Moreland sets a fairly low bar. Travis can conceivably clear it if he’s 100%

10:05
Ken: I think the worst case scenario for Vogelbach is pretty easy to imagine. Who are his comps if he (realistically) peaks?

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: In terms of player profile, the best case would be like a healthy Nick Johnson. A more achievable case would be like earlier-career Billy Butler. Doesn’t add value anywhere but at the plate, but some walks and some power, with consistent contact

10:07
Andrew: Why do you not put a comma in “hello friend” but Bork does?

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: Traditions are important

10:07
Chaps: Hi Jeff. Thanks for doing these chats.
With The Rays’ recent Forsythe trade, do you think Lunhow will go back on his “no moves until Spring Training” comment and try to trade for one of the Rays’ starting pitchers?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: Well, I don’t think the Rays are about to move Archer, and I don’t think the others are worth a sense of urgency. Might as well see what you get from Morton/Fiers/maybe Musgrove and re-visit when you need to, if you need to

10:10
baby bull : I think Klentak & Middleton paid for the mistakes of Ruben & Montgomery in the Phillies org ranking, no one wants to be comparable to the WSOX front office. How are the Mets ranked so high though?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: Two more years of Harvey, five more of Syndergaard, three more of deGrom, five more of Matz. Probably a top-10 farm system. Recent success, projected success. Mets aren’t in a bad spot

10:12
Eric Byrnes: Better hitter this year, without considering sample size: Tuffy Gosewisch or Mike Zunino?

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Zunino

10:14
mtsw: Ervin Santana and Brian Dozier for Johnathan Schoop, Dylan Bundy, Brad Brach and a prospect: make sense for both sides? Seems like a potential way for the O’s to maximize what looks like a two-year window of competitiveness.

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: Tough to think about on the fly, but my first sense is I don’t think the Orioles would want to do it. I’m also not sure the Twins would want to do it, but from Baltimore’s perspective, I’m not sure it’s worth pushing in. Their situation is obviously going to be very tough, but they need some sort of link to the longer-term future. Bundy is something. And Brach would be a real loss in the bullpen

10:15
Will: More likely: top 3 CY finish for Harvey, or traded by the deadline?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: Didn’t we do something like this last week?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: The first one

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Tough to see a situation where Harvey is good enough to be desirable, but the Mets are out of it

10:17
Erik: Is there any chance that the White Sox never intended to do a complete teardown, and that they think they can compete in 2018 with the players leftover plus Moncada, Kopech, Giolito, and Lopez? If those four pan out, how unreasonable of a hope would that be?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: Last year, Eaton and Sale combined for 11.2 WAR, and the White Sox lost 84 games. Are those four going to be worth 11.2 WAR in two years?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: The players left over are a good starting pitcher, a decent first baseman, a decent closer, and a good setup man. It’s just not enough. The White Sox are doing the full-rebuild thing — they’re just not doing it all at once

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: The Brewers traded Gomez in July 2015. They didn’t trade Lucroy until the deadline in 2016. In between, they made lots more rebuild-y moves. Teams have time, and the White Sox can control the midseason market again if they want

10:21
GPT: When is DRA coming to Fangraphs? Hurry up already. BP’s stat pages suck.

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: All I can guess is soon. Dave would know better! He’s more involved in the back-end stuff

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: That’s why he’s the managing editor, and I’m, I don’t know, not that

10:23
Von Schloss: How good can the Marlins RP be with Barraclough, Phelps, Ziegler, Tazawa & Ramos? Can they pitch effectively enough to mitigate some of the weaknesses in the starting staff?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: Last year, as relievers, those five combined for a 66 ERA-, a 72 FIP-, and an 84 xFIP-. I don’t think they’re *that* good, and none of those guys is absolutely dominant, but it’s a fairly strong group, albeit with some control issues. At its best, the Marlins bullpen would be top 10

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: They’re going to need that

10:25
JT: Despite being an original franchise, the white sox have never made the playoffs 2 years in a row. Their franchise futility is pretty below the radar, even their badness has always played 2nd fiddle to the Cubs

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Plus their relatively recent World Series win was completely forgettable!

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: All in all that was a pretty lame World Series stretch from 2004 – 2008: the winners won a combined 20 games and lost only two

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Baseball is stupid

10:27
Theo: Do I have a trade up my sleeve for a young cost-controlled starter before Opening Day? I’m going to need 2 starting pitchers after this upcoming season. I’d rather not pay market for 2.

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: I bet you’re in fairly consistent contact with the Rays, but signing Brett Anderson reduced some urgency for now

10:29
MPP: Can the Nationals really go into the season with no proven closer? They have all ready proven they are all in.David Robertson?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: When the Nationals entered 2014 with a proven closer, he eventually lost his job. When the Nationals went into 2016 with a proven closer, he eventually lost his job

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: Shawn Kelley has saved some games. And they can always make a move in the middle of the summer like they did with Melancon. David Robertson still feels kind of inevitable at some point

10:30
CarrotJuice: The Rockies doing “not the worst move” is an alien idea for me. Is it possible the Matrix has been changed?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think the Rockies are stupid. They’re just kind of quiet. No one really knows what to do with them

10:31
Dae-Ho Lee: Mitch Haniger- Matt Holliday 2.0? This time with better defense?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: Matt Holliday has had a 50-WAR career

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: Mitch Haniger will probably not have a 50-WAR career

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: That being said, obviously, I’m on record as being a Haniger fan. And Holliday was never a top-100 prospect.

10:32
_David_: If a team made it a policy to never trade future for current value under any circumstances, wouldn’t this efficiency gain accumulate over time and leave them better off, as prospects develop?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: That’s basically the Rays. They very seldom prioritize the shorter-term, and in almost every single move they come away with more surplus value. They’re limited by, you know, never having any money to spend

10:33
Kelly: Stellini wrote an article about Quintana saying there would be a surcharge at the deadline. Not sure I agree on a player with his contract length, but possibly. There is also the risk of health and performance of SSS before the deadline. Could the Sox possibly be banking on this and do you agree with Stellini?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: In general I think the White Sox don’t need to hurry to make a move now. Clearly it could backfire, but Quintana *feels* kind of safe. And they don’t love the proposals they’ve gotten from the Astros. I think the benefit of waiting is that the group of suitors and prospects changes three or four months into the summer. Teams always need pitching. Right now, no team is desperate. So there’s a benefit to patience

10:35
mtsw: Do sky-high Coors Field BABIPs mean that the Rockies should be shopping for more contact-oriented hitters? Seems straightforward that those guys are just much more valuable to the Rockies than to any other team.

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: On the other side of the coin, Coors Field also dramatically reduces strikeouts, so maybe the Rockies should load up on guys with strikeout problems, since they’ll partially go away in Colorado?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know who fits best. Hitters, basically. Hitters are great in Colorado

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: It’s an open question as to which kind of hitter might suffer least when the Rockies go on the road

10:36
Dane: I also had Pujols in mind when reading your Murphy article. I wanted to see how close he came to the K% cutoff you used threshold, but my z-scores didn’t match yours. They did match the interactive graph a commenter made and linked though. What gives?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: I used league-average marks for non-pitchers, and I calculated my z-scores among the qualified hitters each year. That latter decision probably explains the difference

10:37
Pete: Why don’t the Dodgers get it over with, and trade Puig already? Is his market really THAT bad?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: They’d probably like to see him reestablish himself as a dynamic player. It’s a risk, but they could use the help in the meantime.

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Very limited market for Puig this winter. Every single team out there is suspicious

10:38
_David_: Should the Mariners consider moving walls back to previous configuration due to the roster, or is that too expensive? I know they have that bar in left field so maybe it’s not feasible…

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: No way they’d undo that

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: It would be an embarrassing look, first of all, and it’s just a lot of work and money for the tiniest possible short-term benefit

10:39
Dae-Ho Lee: For the most part I love the moves that Dipoto made this year. The one that stands out as the obvious negative is Gallardo though. Talk me into liking that deal?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: Sorry, can’t

10:40
kdallas: Yesterday, Paul raised an interesting point about Degrom’s 2016 . . . namely, that he was sub-2.30 before his final 3 starts preceding the surgery (9+ ERA). Do you think Degrom’s 2017 will be business as usual, ~180-190 IP?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not too concerned. I’m not surgeon or anything, but just based on how deGrom performed, the numbers were terrific and his fastball was no slower than it was when he was a breakout rookie. Big deGrom fan

10:41
Sterling Malory Chris Archer: Hypothetical: Mike Trout quits the game and wants to retire to a small Oregon town. He asks if he can rent a room from you. Your girlfriend says no. Which side do you take?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: In this hypothetical, Portland is a small town in Oregon

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: I ask Trout if he’s willing to pay an insanely high premium. If he is, we justify the annoyance with the money. If Trout is just going to pay regular market rate, well, we already don’t rent this second bedroom, because it’s my office. Why the heck would we want a roommate?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: Get out of here, Mike Trout, you’re in the way

10:44
Gus: Who is the best catcher in the AL, when you consider both offense and defense? I know Sanchez looks like a beast as a hitter, but who do you have on top?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: For me, it’s Lucroy until Sanchez has a longer track record

10:45
_David_: Someone (in an attempt to criticize WAR) asked me if Adrian Beltre is a better player than Griffey. Obviously better depends on how you weight peak etc., but…Who do you think has the better career?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: Griffey had the better peak, and off the field he was just kind of a cultural icon. I don’t think you can ignore that. Just based on performance, I think Beltre’s career is more impressive to me. Griffey was more or less toast by his 30s. Beltre *took off* in his 30s. It speaks well to his conditioning and preparation

10:48
Henry: Who has the better season this year at 3B Longoria or Franco?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: Well one of those players is good

10:48
GERB: I feel like both the Indians and the Red Sox are loaded with players who have average to little below power (<15ish HRs) but still maintain decent ISO as prolific double hitters. (Kip, JRam, Lindor, Brantley, Pedroia, Bogarets, Shaw, Benintendi?) Any chance this is a strategy to capitalize on an undervalued offensive profile type, or am I just seeing things?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Probably seeing things. And in part all those Red Sox doubles just come from the ballpark where they play half the time. Don’t forget that the Indians picked up Edwin Encarnacion

10:49
J. Peterman: Next 3 years: Duffy or Velasquez?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: Duffy

10:50
jon: How much war does Montgomery/Anderson produce?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: 2

10:51
NotAnnaBenson: Which has the better chance for 2017: The Braves winning 80+ games or the Cubs winning fewer than 90 games?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: I guess I’ll take the Cubs one. Could really just take one major pitching injury

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: But I don’t think the odds are real good of either

10:52
Dalton Pompey: Why are the Jays so reluctant to give me a shot in LF?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: You don’t hit very much

10:53
Matt: RHB HR factor from TOR to CLE goes from 107 to 95. Does that concern you in any way for Edwin?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: For one thing, no, we always park-adjust anyway. For another, Cleveland has been playing super hitter-friendly the last couple years since the park underwent some renovations that opened up the outfield

10:54
CamdenWarehouse: Follow up to the pitching in the majors or minors question – your answer suggests that there may an advantage to bringing a younger pitcher up for a handful of starts in order to find out what to work on and then sending them back down to do that work. Do you think this is true and would teams actually want to plan development that?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: I think you’d want to do that more toward the end of the line. Bring a guy up when you think he’s about ready, and find out. You don’t want to rush things. Ideally, this is what September roster expansion is for

10:55
Andrew: ZiPS had Odor’s comp to Cano… thoughts?

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll take the under

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: But in fairness, I wasn’t watching Cano a bunch when he was in his early 20s

10:56
Drew: Which one year acquisition by a probable non-contender do you think is going to pay off at the trade deadline? In the vein of, say, Rich Hill last year.

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: It’s easy for me to see Neftali Feliz becoming a really good closer again

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: That’s, uh

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: That’s kind of it

10:58
Ohara Mari: What do you think of the giants signing hwang?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: I’m thrilled he’ll get some kind of chance. It’s not an easy infield to crack, but it’s conceivable he could push Nunez. AT&T will be tough for him, but my fingers are crossed for about 250 PA

10:59
Joe: “It’s easy for me to see Neftali Feliz becoming a really good closer again.” Isn’t Miller Park a really bad place to try that experiment? Feliz is gonna give up a lot of dingers there. Lots of strikeouts too, but I see lots of save opportunities flying over the fence.

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: He just ran into homer problems in Pittsburgh. They can get you anywhere. On the other side of things, he had no homer problems at all in Texas, and he basically is still throwing the same stuff as when he was terrific

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: So, not worried

10:59
Omar: All-in or all-out on Danny Salazar this season?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: Neither. Partially in

11:00
jon: Tyson Ross or Brett Anderson who starts more games in 2017?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: Ross

11:01
Philly: Why does Jerad Eickhoff get very little love? It’s all Nola and Velasquez talk but Eickhoff seams to be a workhorse in that rotation.

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: He doesn’t throw crazy hard, and he doesn’t have the super sexy breaking ball. He was always going to be underrated relative to the other two

11:01
Tyler Skaggs: Will I hold up this year and pitch like a No. 2/3?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll say more like a 3/4?

11:02
Toki: What’s the most logical landing place for Hammel? The Royals?

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: At this point, yeah, probably

11:03
baby bull : Steamer has Franco at .797 ops and Longoria at .786, how is just one of them good?

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll believe Franco is as good as Longoria when I see it

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: I have a lot more faith in Longoria’s well-roundedness

11:04
Abner Dubbs: What is Andrew Benintendi’s cieling ?

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: *Ceiling*? One of those .300/.400/.500 guys

11:04
AndrewP: should the O’s try to extend Schoop now?

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: No, he’s not worth it yet

11:06
Junior: The Padres hired Nomo to a front office position, hosted Otani, and are trying to have a bigger presence in Japan. Fowler was apparently a big player in the CBA negotiations. Padres are favorite to sign Otani or am I reading too much into this?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: Probably reading too much into it but if Preller is known for anything, it’s for his international ventures. I have no read, for the moment, on how the Otani situation is going to play out, I’m afraid. My assumption is he’ll end up with one of the biggest markets

11:06
Danny: Think Hosmer will ever get to 30homers/.375obp ish season?

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: He’s only 27. I bet he does that at least once or twice

11:07
CarrotJuice: How different would wOBA+ be from wRC+?

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: Virtually identical

11:07
Jim: Which organization would you rate as the most favorable in your earlier exercise?

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: Cubs and Dodgers would be effectively tied at No. 1

11:08
Chaps: Is there any conceivable reason to let Josh Reddick bat against a left handed pitcher?

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: You’re winning by 15

11:09
Slew: Naquin’s 2016 was a mirage, right? Should the Indians go all in and try to pry away a legit CF from someone? (Tampa Bay?)

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: I think it was a partial mirage, but I also think you can build around Naquin as a regular or semi-regular. I don’t think it’s a place where the Indians desperately need to improve

11:09
mmddyyyy: Would a shorter season favor luckier teams or talentedier teams?

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: Less baseball leaves more room for luck

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: It would make the season more random

11:10
Diadem: Montgomery (CHC) gets no respect from you guys. Yet in the World Series Maddon went to him a lot. Why the dissonance?

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: He’s fine. I just don’t buy him yet as a good starting pitcher

11:11
baby bull : just look at 2015 re Franco vs Longoria

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: Franco has a 100 career wRC+ and he is not a good defender. Longoria isn’t the defender he was, but he’s fine, he has a better offensive track record, and he plays in the superior league

11:13
Danny: Name a player who can dethrone Mike Trout as the best player in baseball.

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: Carlos Correa

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: Correa is still just 22 years old. He could be absurd

11:14
Rick: Carlos Gomez is a d*ck and very hard to root for, but are you buying a comeback season?

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: I think he’ll be fine. Not the liability he was for a year

11:14
mmddyyyy: Would trout’s numbers look better in the NL?

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: Yes, everyone’s would

11:14
I am the walrus: Best guess on Heaney this year? 3 WAR?

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: 0 WAR. He’s rehabbing from TJ

11:15
Frank: Sano was too passive last season with his swing %. Think if he just swings more often, he can get down to 25% k and be a monster hitter?

11:16
Jeff Sullivan: There are a few guys like this — Sano, Domingo Santana, Keon Broxton, etc. Guys with good discipline numbers but arguably too much patience. Over time, players grow into their zones, by and large. Takes work, and Sano will always swing and miss, but he’ll better understand what he can and cannot hit

11:16
Justino: Cubs are better than the Dodgers. Kershaw is an injury risk, and there aren’t superstars like Bryant and Rizzo on the Dodgers’ team. I don’t see it as being even all that close. They may be the 2nd best team in the NL, but they aren’t close to the Cubs.

11:17
Jeff Sullivan: Seager is a superstar. He’s basically as good as Bryant is

11:17
Jeff Sullivan: Every pitcher is an injury risk and Kershaw is the best pitcher on the planet

11:17
Jeff Sullivan: You’re underrating Joc Pederson, Yasmani Grandal, and Justin Turner, and the Cubs got to feast on some terrible divisional pitching

11:18
Jeff Sullivan: *plus* the question wasn’t just about 2017. It was about organizational outlook. The Dodgers have a great farm and all the resources in the world

11:18
Jeff Sullivan: The Cubs are positioned in an excellent place. So are the Dodgers. There is no argument

11:18
Dago: By the end of his career, Nomar Mazara will be better than Moises Alou (47.7 Career WAR)? True or False

11:18
Jeff Sullivan: False

11:18
Gus: Are people going to have to grow old and die before Edgar gets into the Hall and why is there such a double standard regarding specialization among Hall voters? The DH and the closer were both positions, or roles, on teams. I don’t see the point of not voting for Edgar unless your Hall is very small.

11:18
Jeff Sullivan: Edgar will get there. Maybe it’ll take two more years, but he’s on the Raines path

11:19
Frank: Why would player’s numbers look better in the NL? Just wondering

11:19
Jeff Sullivan: The National League remains a little bit worse than the American League

11:19
curious: Jeff, why do you hate (insert any player you ever made an even slightly negative comment about here)?

11:19
Jeff Sullivan: I like most major-league baseball players and I want them all to be good

11:19
Jeff Sullivan: Except for the shitheads

11:19
Blu Shoes: Since when is Carlos Gomez hard to root for? Guy loves the game.

11:19
Jeff Sullivan: I am more on your side

11:19
Boo Radley: What do you think a very good, realistic full 2017 looks like for Gary Sanchez?

11:20
Jeff Sullivan: A wRC+ around 110 with above-average framing numbers and 120 or so games

11:20
Jeff Sullivan: All right, it’s 11:20!

11:20
Jeff Sullivan: I need to get rolling

11:21
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 — 1/27/17 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.

newest oldest most voted
White Jar
Member
White Jar

“What is Andrew Benintendi’s cieling?”

“*Ceiling*? One of those .300/.400/.500 guys”

So Trout, Goldschmidt or Votto. High praise!

LandofMods
Member
LandofMods

but what are the chances of meeting that ceiling

Anonymous
Member
Anonymous

The chances of a player reaching their 99th percentile outcome is exactly 1%.