Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 2/15/19

9:06

Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:06

Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to Friday baseball chat

9:07

LudeBurger: Prospects, Jeff. Prospects.

9:07

Jeff Sullivan: Not your guy, LudeBurger

9:07

The Electrician: Do you think there will be a rush of free agent signings once teams move their guys to the 60 day DL and open up 40 man roster spots?

9:09

Jeff Sullivan: Already seeing it. Oakland used a 60-day stint to make room for Robbie Grossman. Also used one to make room for Brett Anderson. Arizona used one to make room for Caleb Joseph. Miami used one to make room for Sergio Romo. Kansas City used one to make room for Jake Diekman, etc

9:09

Cody: So, Yangervis Solarte signed before Bryce Harper or Manny Machado. Um, I don’t know what else to say.

9:10

Jeff Sullivan: Wouldn’t you expect that to be the case?

9:10

Jeff Sullivan: Signing Yangervis Solarte *might* take two phone calls

9:10

Jeff Sullivan: Signing Bryce Harper or Manny Machado probably takes about 150

9:10

Jeff Sullivan: Plus multiple in-person visits and everything else that goes along

9:11

Jeff Sullivan: It’s like saying I bought groceries before I had my wedding. That doesn’t mean I want groceries more than I want to be married

9:12

Bo: As top tier FAs remain unsigned, who is “winning” and “losing” by it dragging out? Why not issue a “best and final” demand to suitors if you’re Boras?

9:13

Jeff Sullivan: Because everything is flexible. If you get teams to meet you at a certain level, what’s to stop you from wanting to hold out until they get to the *next* level?

9:13

Jeff Sullivan: So much of this is about how neither Harper nor Machado wants to sign first. They know what position that would put the other guy in

9:14

Jeff Sullivan: The sport as a whole is losing, the longer this goes on. There’s blame on all sides, but it’s an ugly look for the league nevertheless

9:15

mike: Hey Jeff, Eno released his rankings and has Paxton higher than Carrasco. He is the only one I see that has him higher. Can you make a case for thinking Paxton has a better season?

9:16

Jeff Sullivan: They project to be very similar, and Paxton has joined one of the organizations that excels at player development. It wouldn’t be crazy to think the Yankees can unlock something extra that the Mariners didn’t tap into

9:16

Jeff Sullivan: Certainly nothing you can just take for granted, but it’s not insane

9:19

Mitch: So, how bad is the underpay on Luis Severino? 4/40 with a club option for year 5 is just nuts, given that those 4 years are his 4 arb years (thanks, Super-2), and it’s not impossible that he could have been making 10 mil in year 2 of arb, much less years 3 and 4.

9:20

Jeff Sullivan: Definitely an underpay, and there’s hardly any precedent for someone in Severino’s situation signing an extension like this. I guess in 2012, Gio Gonzalez was a Super Two, and he signed for five years and $42 million, with two options

9:22

Jeff Sullivan: The upside for Severino’s camp is that he signed away just one year of free agency. He didn’t sign away like three of them. But again, everyone knows that this is Severino’s prime. Free agency isn’t what it was. There are going to be more and more of these

9:22

psweeting: Sevy extension seems really team friendly. Another guy not betting on himself?

9:23

Jeff Sullivan: At least for a power pitcher, you can understand the desire to get a guarantee, since your career can be sidetracked on any given pitch

9:25

Jeff Sullivan: And again, in *every single case,* it makes perfect rational sense for a player to agree to an extension. What’s the marginal value of another dollar when you’re locked in for like $40m+? Severino will never have to worry about money again. He made it. It’s a great success

9:25

Jeff Sullivan: But teams understand the imbalance. Teams understand how appealing these extensions are. And they will continue to lean club-friendly, until or unless there are structural changes affecting arbitration and the league minimums

9:27

Jeff Sullivan: Teams aren’t doing anything wrong, but they’re also not incentivized to offer more money than they have to. If the union wants to see fewer club-friendly extensions, they need to collectively negotiate for changes. Or just cultivate a bunch more Trevors Bauer, players who insist on always going year to year

9:27

Bork: Hello, friend!

9:27

Jeff Sullivan: Hello friend

9:27

Fartrell Cluggins: I don’t think I have ever been more excited for baseball season to start. This offseason has been so long

9:27

Jeff Sullivan: And it’s not even over, Fartrell Cluggins

9:27

mmddyyyy: How do you know if a team has enough depth?

9:27

Jeff Sullivan: By measuring how much depth it has

9:28

Jeff Sullivan: You can typically sort of eyeball it, but there are also ways to run the math using projections. You want some sort of big-league-caliber replacement at every position, and you probably want up to eight big-league starters

9:29

stever20: so Severino signs a deal today after Nola the other day. Is this going to be a real trend, or just 2 guys getting it when they could?

9:29

Jeff Sullivan: Trend

9:29

Damian: Not enough people talk about Evan Gattis hitting 11 triples in 2015, and none in the 3 seasons since.

9:29

Jeff Sullivan: Damian is on it, everybody

9:29

CamdenWarehouse: With opt-outs being used to add additional value to free agent contracts. Has the that value decreased significantly after the last two offseasons to the point where we’re not likely to see them?

9:30

Jeff Sullivan: I think they’ll still exist, but they have been devalued, and so that will just be priced in. If an opt-out used to be valued around, say, $20 million, maybe now it’s more like…$10 – 15 million?

9:33

Jung Bong Jovi: Craig Kimbrel spotted in Orlando! He’s re-joining the Barves right?

9:34

Jeff Sullivan: My first thought was “IMG Academy” but at least according to this map I’m looking at, it’s much closer to Tampa

9:35

Jeff Sullivan: The Braves do make a ton of logical sense, but there’s also at least a 40-50% chance the trip and Kimbrel’s free agency are not connected

9:35

Erik: The “We can’t let pitchers hit because they might get injured” argument has always struck me as disingenuous. If we were truly worried about pitchers getting injured, wouldn’t we stop them from, you know, pitching? I believe it’s an argument you agree with, though, so could you explain why you think it’s compelling?

9:36

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think it’s *the* reason for a universal DH, but it’s just one of them. Turn it around: if pitchers are already subjecting themselves to something so potentially damaging, what’s the sense in increasing the injury risk even more? And all for the sake of making them do something they’re bad at

9:37

tom: is a bowl of cereal a soup? why or why not?

9:37

Jeff Sullivan: No, tom. Get out of here

9:37

Xolo: What’s your take on the extensions Nola and Severino signed? Seem kinda light

9:37

Jeff Sullivan: Yep

9:38

Jeff Sullivan: It’s also worth remembering that so much of this is based on contract precedent, and when you base on contract precedent, it’s hard to push for inflation

9:38

Jeff Sullivan: Precedent is all well and good, but an extension signed four or five years ago was signed in a different revenue environment

9:39

Guest: Now you have to rewrite all of the words you wrote about Nola into a Severino article!

9:39

Jeff Sullivan: Probably time to start charting how many extensions buying out FA years we’ve seen over the past decade or so

9:39

Mike: Would small-market NL clubs be the biggest opponents to adopting the DH? Another player that they have to pay.

9:40

Jeff Sullivan: Adding a DH doesn’t change the roster size. It just changes the roster makeup. Small-market clubs aren’t the clubs ending up with Albert Pujols on the payroll

9:42

scooter262: Jeff, can you provide any insight into why BP has Yankees 7 games better than the Red Sox, while most other projections I’ve seen — including FG — have them within a game of each other.

9:43

Jeff Sullivan: So, both Steamer and PECOTA put the Yankees at 96 wins. But where Steamer has the Red Sox at 97, PECOTA has them at 89

9:44

Jeff Sullivan: It looks like PECOTA is simply lower on certain players, like Xander Bogaerts, JBJ, and David Price

9:45

Jeff Sullivan: BP uses its own numbers, like, for example, DRC+. It makes sense that their numbers and ours wouldn’t always see eye-to-eye

9:46

Kristen: Can’t help thinking Nola and Severino really sold themselves short with their extensions.

9:46

Jeff Sullivan: Kepler is the one that really gets me. I can at least understand why pitchers would want to get what they can when they can

9:47

Jeff Sullivan: I haven’t done all the research yet, but I’m working on a theory that pitchers should either have a higher minimum salary, or they should reach arbitration eligibility sooner. My gut feeling is that pitchers get taken advantage of more than position players do

9:48

2-D: As a fan, is it harder to go through a rebuilding period of a NHL or MLB team?

9:48

Jeff Sullivan: I want to say MLB. Not only is hockey more unpredictable — draft picks can be ready sometimes for NHL play almost immediately, which provides for a fair amount of optimism

9:50

Ron: The universal DH dilemma seems to have a maddeningly perfect solution. Each team chooses the position that they want to use the DH. Good hitting pitchers retain their value, while it can potentially be a job creator by giving an all-glove SS or catcher a
job. Ohtani & McKay types would have huge value. What is the downside to this? The upsides seem enormous.

9:51

Jeff Sullivan: Since 2008, 192 pitchers have batted at least 100 times. Here are the top five in wRC+:

9:51

Jeff Sullivan: 1. Micah Owings, 85 wRC+
2. Carlos Zambrano, 83
3. Zack Greinke, 52
4. Wade LeBlanc, 49
5. Daniel Hudson, 49

9:51

Jeff Sullivan: They all suck. Every team would just about always use the DH for the pitcher, and we’d end up where we already think we’re going

9:53

Jeff Sullivan: I saw a suggestion I liked the other day. I haven’t yet thought it all the way through, but it tied the DH specifically to the starting pitcher. So, when the starter comes out, the DH comes out. It has its downsides, but it would be a convenient way to preserve some sense of strategy while also ensuring that starters aren’t completely killed off

9:54

Chapultepec: How much is positional versatility actually worth to the typical team? In other words how much better off would a team be with Marwin Gonzalez instead of a similar caliber hitter/fielder who can only play 2nd or 3rd?

9:55

Jeff Sullivan: It’s good. I don’t have a number for it. But especially now, with bullpen sizes inflating, you want more versatility than ever. It allows you to play matchups and it makes it easier to give more guys rest. Marwin being shortstop-capable increases his price tag a few million dollars per season

9:55

Crazy Sammi Meatballs: What are your thoughts on strength of division? I mean, there are teams that do benefit from playing the weakest teams in the league so many times. At the very least, their chances for a wild card goes up exponentially. Just take the Ruth division in NGNL as a case in point, right?

9:57

Jeff Sullivan: The schedules are unbalanced. Some divisions are tougher than others. Last year’s Indians got to benefit from playing a whole bunch of pushovers all the time. It can make a difference of a few wins a season. It’s usually not a huge factor, but it absolutely does come into play

9:59

mmddyyyy: When does a player join the mlbpa?

9:59

Jeff Sullivan: I believe the answer is when a player is placed on the 40-man roster (or the injured list)

9:59

Jeff Sullivan: “All players, managers, coaches and trainers who hold a signed contract with a Major League club are eligible for membership in the Association. In collective bargaining, the Association represents around 1,200 players, or the number of players on each club’s 40-man roster, in addition to any players on the disabled list.”

10:00

psweeting: Any chance we see more creative approaches to arbitration in this new market? Say a player agreeing to 2 years of arbitration at league minimum in exchange for hitting free agency a year earlier?

10:00

Jeff Sullivan: Pretty sure you can’t do that

10:01

Post Malone: Chances either MM or BH isn’t signed by opening day?

10:01

Jeff Sullivan: 0.5%

10:01

Tyler: Now that Realmuto has been traded, who is the next big chip to be traded by any team?

10:03

Jeff Sullivan: It was last year around this time we saw the Odorizzi and Cron trades

10:03

Jeff Sullivan: And, of course, the subsequent Souza trade

10:04

Jeff Sullivan: But typically this is not an active trading season. I mean, there are trades, but they involve guys way down on the 40-man hierarchy. Not blue-chippers

10:04

Jeff Sullivan: I guess the right answer would be Edwin Encarnacion, if someone has a 1B/DH get hurt?

10:04

Your Friend: Better season, Puig or Votto?

10:04

Jeff Sullivan: Votto

10:06

Jim Leyland Palmer: If you had the misfortune of being a Tigers fan in 2019, what things/players would you be watching for this year?

10:06

Jeff Sullivan: Oof

10:06

Jeff Sullivan: I’ll always like Daniel Norris

10:06

Jeff Sullivan: Boyd is a popular breakout pick

10:06

Jeff Sullivan: Interested to see most of a full season from Christin Stewart

10:07

Jeff Sullivan: And of course, baseball is better when Miguel Cabrera is hitting

10:07

Ichiro for CEO: What do you see the Dodgers doing with Alex Verdugo?

10:07

Jeff Sullivan: I’m not sure when, but I think he’ll eventually be traded

10:08

scooter262: How do you think the MLBPA addresses the fact owners are not incentivized to win, given the decoupling of revenue and wins.

10:08

Jeff Sullivan: The idea of draft incentives and penalties is a productive one, even if writing the actual rules would be complicated. You don’t want to completely screw over a team that just gets unlucky, but there’s something to this

10:09

C’mon Sign Already: Jeff, in your estimation what is the delta between a Harper season in San Francisco and a Harper season in Philadelphia?

10:09

Jeff Sullivan: Making the playoffs

10:11

UnwrittenFool: What would you say is the sabermetric equivalent of winning the triple crown in today’s game?

10:11

Jeff Sullivan: uhhhh

10:11

Jeff Sullivan: wRC+, RE24, and WAR?

10:11

Jeff Sullivan: You can see why it hasn’t caught on

10:12

Erik: Luis Severino entered the league quite young and still won’t become a free agent until the winter before his age-30 season. I haven’t heard much talk about the union pushing for fewer years of team control, but that seems like it should be a huge priority. Is it viewed as something they’ll never be able to get, or are they correctly prioritizing other issues?

10:12

Jeff Sullivan: At a minimum, the union needs to push for higher minimums and arbitration reform

10:14

Jeff Sullivan: But down the road, it’s not hard to see the union pushing for a cap on club control. Whether that’s fewer years or just an age cutoff for FA eligibility, I don’t know. Would be a radical step, and maybe too radical for the next CBA, but I’ve already heard this suggested a few times this winter by team-side people

10:15

passive voice: Fans of which team(s) should be most frustrated with their offseason? I feel like 5 teams in the AL alone have an argument.

10:16

Jeff Sullivan: Going off the top of my head…Pirates? Twins? Indians? Braves? Rockies?

10:17

Zihuatanejo: Your Effectively Wild chat about the future of baseball seemed to take a grim turn. Everything ok Jeff?

10:17

Jeff Sullivan: With me? Yes! With the world? No!

10:17

Jeff Sullivan: Thankfully, I’ll likely be dead by the worst of it

10:18

Charlie: You don’t seem like much of a movie guy. So, what’s your favorite movie?

10:18

Jeff Sullivan: Given the former, I can’t imagine why anyone would be interested in the latter

10:18

Jeff Sullivan: “You don’t seem literate. What’s your favorite word?”

10:20

Jeff Sullivan: (I don’t know if it counts as favorite, but 180 Degrees South was at least the most meaningful to me when I watched it a few times)

10:22

Josh: How does ZIPS project playing time? I’m trying to figure out the Reds OF. Ervin 402 AB, Kemp 475 seem high to me, while Puig 435, Senzel 333, Winker 377 seem low. As a Reds fan, I think Winker, Senzel, Puig is our best OF.

10:22

Jeff Sullivan: Don’t take those playing time projections too seriously. What you’ll want is when ZiPS is folded in and combined with our own depth charts

10:22

Tyler: Would the Dodgers be smart to sign Buehler to a similar deal that Nola/Severino just got? Too early?

10:23

Jeff Sullivan: They’d be smart to try, but something tells me a guy like Buehler might be more likely to bet on his own future success

10:23

Ginny: You’ve mentioned you like JBJ as a fit for Cincinnati; can you approximate what the Reds would have to give up to get him?

10:24

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think it’s very realistic anymore given where we are on the calendar. The Red Sox won’t want to shed a starting outfielder, and as the Reds go, I’m very intrigued by what we might see in center from Senzel

10:24

Poised: After these ace extensions with Nola and Severino. Do you think it makes sense for the Rockies to do the same with Freeland and Marquez?

10:24

Jeff Sullivan: Marquez, absolutely. Freeland, no

10:25

Jeff Sullivan: I mean, Freeland, yes, depending on the terms, but from the Rockies’ perspective, I doubt you’re getting Freeland at a major discount, given the ERA he just posted

10:25

Jeff Sullivan: With Marquez, you’d have a chance to sign him before he realizes he’s already broken out

10:25

scooter262: Not sure why so many writers are mad at front offices for not signing big guys: isn’t it also on the agents for not reading the current environment correctly? Nobody is going to give Kimbrel 6 years.

10:25

Jeff Sullivan: Yes, multiple parties are at fault

10:25

Jeff Sullivan: The rumored initial Keuchel demands were insane, if there was any truth to them

10:27

Jeff Sullivan: Remember when Ervin Santana was rumored to be seeking $100 million over five years?

10:27

Jeff Sullivan: He got one year and $14.1 million in March

10:29

The Electrician: Is there any reason teams have not put their players on the 60 day DL yet, if their timetable figures they will miss more than 60 days?

10:30

Jeff Sullivan: Maybe there’s just no reason right now? If you don’t need the spot yet, there’s little incentive to free one up ASAP

10:32

Jeff Sullivan: Last year the Indians put Cody Anderson on the 60-day IL on 2/25. The Dodgers put Julio Urias on the 60-day IL on 2/23. The Braves put Grant Dayton on the 60-day IL on 2/14

10:33

Fat Tub of Goo: Would Padres be best suited to develop Tatis at 3B and allow Machado to play SS assuming they land Manny?

10:34

Jeff Sullivan: I think they’d be better off with Tatis at short, but if they had to do something like this in order to get Machado to sign, it would be worth it

10:35

tom: has fangraphs offered bryce harper a job yet?

10:35

Jeff Sullivan: No, but Scott Boras is still using us as leverage

10:35

JH: Do you watch college baseball in mid-february because it’s the only (competitive) game in town on or are you content to pass your time with other pursuits while waiting for the major league season to begin?

10:36

Jeff Sullivan: The latter. And also, I’ll watch some spring training, just to watch fun pitches

10:37

Ryan: The Red Sox have come out and said they want to give Betts a mega-contract. If that happens and they have to decide between Sale and Bogaerts, whom should they sign?

10:39

Jeff Sullivan: The accurate and annoying answer is that it all depends on the terms. Of the two, I like Sale a lot more, but god only knows what he’d be looking for in an extension

10:39

The Electrician: If the best ‘pillow’ contract Harper or Machado got was like, 1 year 35 mil, how much money would it take for them to consider taking a 1 year pillow contract in Japan? 1 year 50 mil?

10:40

Jeff Sullivan: Probably more like $60 – 70 million. Spending a year away from big-league competition would only raise more questions next offseason when they’d become free agents again

10:40

Paul: Is there any truth to a report that neither Bryce or Manny don’t want to play for Gabe Kapler?

10:40

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know, Paul, but I doubt it

10:41

James: How much of this slow free agent market is just a Scott Boras power play?

10:41

Jeff Sullivan: Boras and Lozano

10:41

George: I’ve accepted the fact that the Dodgers are not getting Harper and i’m ok with that. Am I crazy?

10:41

Jeff Sullivan: No. The Dodgers are very good, Bryce Harper is only one player, and there are plenty of ways to be successful

10:42

Ginny: What do you think of Glasnow’s changeup? He said he’s going to throw it more this year.

10:43

Jeff Sullivan: The changeup he threw last year wasn’t good, and it’s not easy for someone with his arm slot to throw a good conventional changeup with consistency. Maybe he’s made a grip tweak or something, but my expectations for the pitch are modest

10:45

Mike: Is this a new trend with arb-eligible players signing pretty cheap deals before they hit arb2/3?

10:45

Jeff Sullivan: Consensus opinion is that it’s likely to be

10:45

Jeff Sullivan: Free agency has been devalued, at least in terms of the player perception, so players and agents are more likely to push for long-term security before they hit the market

10:46

tom: is the harper/machado scenario like the prisoners dilemma? if so, wouldn’t the safest route be for them to collude with each other?

10:46

Jeff Sullivan: The problem is that their agents literally hate one another

10:47

Hae-Lo Dee: Does it make any sense for the Mariners to pick up Buchholz and open the season with a 6-man rotation?

10:47

Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, but only if they intend to stash Sheffield down in Triple-A

10:47

Jeff Sullivan: Otherwise there’s no space

10:47

Phan: Been waiting on the other phils’ young pitchers to break out for a minute now. Any thoughts about whether they actually will?

10:48

Jeff Sullivan: Pivetta already basically broke out, and he was just hurt by the lousy defense

10:49

Jeff Sullivan: Velasquez, also, is better than his most recent ERA

10:49

Jeff Sullivan: And let’s not sleep on Eflin’s 92 FIP-

10:49

Jeff Sullivan: The Eflin story is great. Dude literally doubled his K%!

10:50

remy: Severino and his agent acknowledged the possibility of a strike in 2021 with the expiration of the CBA. Any thoughts on what might happen then and if anything could happen between now and then?

10:51

Jeff Sullivan: I am still lower on the chances of a work stoppage than a lot of other people seem to be. In a way I think it actually helps to be having these discussions so many years out; both sides have time to gain some perspective and realize how much would be lost in the event there were no baseball

10:51

Christian: Does knowing you potentially have Severino signed make it more likely to sign Machado if you’re Cashman/Steinbrenner?

10:51

Jeff Sullivan: Not really

10:53

J: Looking at the Giants ZIPS projections I was surprised at how well it thought Evan Longoria was going to do. Given the Giants need for OF’s and the Padres at 3B do you think a Longoria for Wil Myers swap makes sense? If not would a Myers for one of Samardzija/Cueto/Melancon make more sense?

10:53

Jeff Sullivan: The Giants would need to be eating a lot of money, because while Myers isn’t a superstar, he is just 28, and those players going the other way are old, broken, or both

10:54

Chucky : Looking to shorten games? Looking for a universal DH? Seems contrary to one another. DH= more offense= more runs scored= longer games!

10:55

Jeff Sullivan: I think this has been said enough times already, but baseball is less interested in the time of game, and more interested in the pace of game. 3+ hour games are okay, just so long as they’re not constantly interrupted by pauses

10:56

Rick: Catchers are a wasteland, where there seem to be four or five who can hit, and then everyone else. Do you see any catcher taking the step up to being a decent hitter?

10:56

Jeff Sullivan: Gary Sanchez is going to bounce back, if that counts

10:57

Jeff Sullivan: I’m interested in Elias Diaz

10:57

Jeff Sullivan: And maybe this is my opportunity to shoehorn in a Willians Astudillo reference

10:58

Mr. I have a question: Am I a terrible person for hoping the Yankees help Paxton “tap into something extra” just like they did with Sonny Gray?

10:58

Jeff Sullivan: No, you’re a terrible person if you wish actual harm on other people

10:59

Steve O: Can’t blame Severino though he’s made less than 2M in his career including his bonus when he was signed as an IFA.

10:59

Jeff Sullivan: Was also guaranteed to make at least $4.4 million in arbitration

10:59

Jeff Sullivan: I get it, but the guy wasn’t going to be broke

11:00

Jeff Sullivan: All right, I need to get rolling

11:00

Jeff Sullivan: So thank you everybody for hanging out, and I’m sorry for what I didn’t or couldn’t address. Until the next time we all get to chat, be well and have great days

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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.

newest oldest most voted
Ampersand
Member
Ampersand

The response to tom about cereal soup is possibly the angriest I have ever seen Jeff in one of these chats

DBA455
Member
DBA455

The grocery/wedding analogy was my personal favorite. A chat for all seasons.

Also – I think this ‘DH attached to the starting pitcher’ idea is novel and fun. But I worry that it would cripple the Opener. I realize that for traditionalists that’s probably a feature not a bug – but I have enjoyed the ingenuity/innovation and think baseball is better with a splash of creativity.

At the risk of making it overly complex, I might suggest that a team could attach the DH to a player of their choosing – and it wouldn’t have to be at the start of the game.

IE, have your Opener, and list him as batting 9th*. It’s unlikely the team bats around in the first inning. When you pull him and replace him with your Middle (or whatever we are calling the guy who pitches after the opener) as a new pitcher, you could also replace him in the batting order with a DH.

I’ve starred the 9th above because this would be different for the home vs. away team. IE, the home team could conceivably bat the pitcher first.

I haven’t thought it all the way through but it seems like it would add a nice element of strategy and modestly increase the value of home-field advantage (which seems generally fan-friendly.)

Thoughts?

tz
Member

As the guy who came up with the starter-linked DH, my first thought was that your idea defeats the purpose of the rule. I guess it depends upon whether it’s clear that you get to use the DH to bat for one, and only one, pitcher for that game.

For example, under your variation, let’s say the Rays are at home and they open with Stanek, who is listed as the cleanup hitter. In the bottom of the first, Cash brings out his lineup card to substitute Yarbrough for Stanek, but attach Choi as the DH linked to Yarbrough. Yarbrough pitches innings 2-6, with Choi getting 3 PA as the DH. In the top of the 7th, the Rays replace Yarbrough with Diego Castillo. At that point they lose the DH (since he was linked to Yarbrough), and Castillo is slated to hit in the #4 slot.

Is that what you had in mind? If so, I think I can buy into your compromise. My basic goal is to preserve the starting pitcher, but the most important component of that goal is to put in a disincentive for full-fledged bullpenning of games (ie. 6 or 7 pitchers each going 2 innings or less). If the “Middle” pitches starter-type innings in a game, your idea serves that purpose perfectly well.