Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 2/10/17

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to baseball chat

9:06
Bourque: Hi, pal!

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: Hello pal

9:07
Zach: Better long term outlook- Mets or Yankees and why?

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Yankees. Yankees have one of the best outlooks of any team. Of course there’s the farm system, but more importantly, there’s just the unbelievably massive franchise value and revenue level. Their resources are almost unparalleled

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: Over the longest time scales, money will make an enormous difference

9:08
Jonathan: What rule change in baseball would you like to see tested/implemented? Please don’t say DH in both Leagues…

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: Pitch clock. It’s going to happen

9:08
Willson Contreras: will I be a good pitch framer in 2017?

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think you’re actually good. I don’t think you’re *bad*, but I think it’ll be more like Hendricks making you look good

9:09
Goober: Long term…A. Reyes/Mazara or Taillon/Benetendi

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: This smells like a fantasy question but, what the hell, Taillon/Benintendi

9:10
chdavis: Hey Jeff, I’m doing a research project of my choice, and I want to try to determine how to find the peak angle of contact to get the optimal elevation on a baseball. I was also hoping to use this data analytically to help determine a way to find a prospect who would be the best candidate in the minor leagues who could use this data to change their swing and become a potential fringe player for the Majors. In a layman’s term, how to find a similar person to Josh Donaldson that can easily change their swing like Donaldson did to become an essential part of any franchise. What are your thoughts on this?

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: Obviously this is something that would be better for a non-chat format, but it’s an important question: how do you identify the players who could become successful swing-changers like Donaldson, Pollock, Martinez, etc?

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think we can really know from the outside — I’m not sure we have enough info, especially when it comes to guys still in the minors. You need guys who have a solid work ethic, first of all. A certain level of open-mindedness. You also probably need guys who have pretty good eyes, or else it’ll just be wasted. And you want to make sure they have quick hands so you can guess at future bat speed

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: Probably a case-by-case-basis thing. If a player is successful, great. If he isn’t, why isn’t he? Is he hitting the ball wrong? Does it seem like he could get better at that? As Travis wrote the other day, I think we’re only going to see an increasing number of these adjustments

9:14
HappyFunBall: Where do you stand on this heresy that your compatriot Sawchik proposes, namely that baseball games be allowed to end in a tie after 12 innings? If it were up to me we’d have him drawn and quartered in the town square.

The “problem” with long baseball games is not extra innings. It’s the dead air during the first nine!

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: I haven’t yet read Travis’ article, and I can tell I’m biased by just not wanting to change how things are right now. I don’t think that baseball has an extra innings problem, personally. Objectively, I’m not opposed to ties, but they would be unpopular, and I think watching one of those really long games really has a chance to create a memory. It’s definitely an altered baseball experience, which I’d be sad to lose

9:15
5 Run Homer: Do you have a favourite hockey player or team? Or are you just the ultimate casual observer?

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: Daniel Alfredsson, Mark Stone, Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: Yesterday they scored because the Dallas Stars scored on their own empty net!

9:16
Alex P: If you were the Rockies GM, what would you have done differently this offseason?

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: Most recently, I would’ve put in a claim on Park

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: That would be a problem, because of Desmond, but I also wouldn’t have signed Desmond, not for those terms

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: I doubt I would’ve been too active — I like the Rockies’ general direction, but right now I think they’re caught in between. I liked the Holland move and I probably would’ve just focused on the bullpen

9:18
Slugger27: Why do players that have terrible years get arbitration raises?

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: Because baseball rewards service time. Not too different from how a lot of industries work

9:19
Sterling Mallory Chris Archer: If Mike Trout asked you on a bro date to ride a two seater bike around town, would you sit in the front or back?

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: Back because it feels safer for some reason

9:20
MPP: What type of haul can the W Sox get for Nate Jones?

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: A big one. Maybe not quite on the Ken Giles level, but Jones is super valuable. And he’ll still be super valuable in July, when that premium exists

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: Pretty good trade competition with the Padres, who could have Hand/Buchter/Capps/Maurer/etc. Maybe the A’s are out of it and selling Doolittle. Decent relief market

9:22
Kiner’s Disembodied Hands: Who’s your favorite non-baseball writer?

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: Probably Krakauer

9:22
CircleChange11: Please retire the Hello Bork thing….

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: Your message is negative. The message you refer to is consistently positive. It is better to be and to act positive

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: Also no one takes you seriously when you finish with an ellipsis

9:23
NatsFan: Any chance Chase Utley would go to the Nats and take Clint Robinson’s space? Is that a better option for the team?

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: I bet it’s something they’re thinking about. And I know Utley is close to making a decision. The difference between the two isn’t great, but Utley would be an improvement for a handful of reasons

9:24
Joe: Anything to get mildly excited about with the O’s trading for Ynoa?

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: Let me check real fast!

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: Looks like, no, because Ynoa is a pitcher, and the Orioles are the Orioles

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: But in seriousness, Ynoa is a recent bullpen conversion. Didn’t miss any bats in the minors as a starter. Had some better luck in the bigs

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: He obviously has a strong arm, and he’s young, so with a more consistent breaking ball he could shine

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: I guess if the Orioles intend to use him as a starter again, he’s like an uninteresting No. 7

9:28
Turd Ferguson: Everyone knows that there is a real advantage for the pitcher in most lefty vs. lefty situations. Is there any writing or research on types of pitches that pitchers should throw in opposite hand (righty vs. lefty, etc.) matchups? Like, is there anything a RHP can do to emulate the things that make a LHP successful against left handed batters?

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: There’s nothing an opposite-handed pitcher can do to mimic the same-handedness deception, but in general, changeups and cutters work the best when you have the platoon disadvantage. One of the things that allowed Kyle Hendricks to surge forward last year was improving his straight fastball underneath lefties’ hands

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: What kind of perplexes me is that changeups work so well, while two-seamers are the opposite. But the results are the results

9:30
Huphrey: Which player(s) do you think will have a break out year this year?

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: Perfect opportunity for me to point to Paxton again

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: And get ready for the Keon Broxton bandwagon

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know which players will succeed after making new adjustments. I just know which adjustments I like the most from 2016

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: Oh, and Mitch Haniger

9:31
Jose: Why are you and Bork friends?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: I consider many of us to be friends

9:31
Graves: Miami Marlins: Worst run organization in Professional Sports?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know enough about the other professional sports, but, yes, they have been a complete and utter disaster

9:33
bl27: Cameron Maybin should be the leadoff man with the Angels ? 1Maybin-2Calhoun-3Trout-4Pujols-5Cron ?

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: I’d be interested in Calhoun leading off and Trout batting second, but Maybin wouldn’t be an awful idea, if somewhat traditional

9:33
BaseballDesert: With how broad your attention hasto be as a writer, how often do you watch a full game from start to finish? Under what circumstances?

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: Mostly, it’s the playoffs. During the season I’m almost always bouncing around. The playoffs re-introduce a fixed focus. It’s weird and refreshing

9:35
J: If a player is worth their contract exactly how much does their talent or years of control affect their trade value?

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: In theory it shouldn’t make a difference, but I imagine it would go up with the talent, because that player will be worth more to contending teams, and contending teams will trade value for great players

9:35
Graves: The New Owner of the Marlins should move the team to _______ and rename them the _________ ?

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: I’d like to at least see the Marlins get a shot in Miami with a real owner first

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: Loria didn’t give the fans a chance

9:37
5 Run Homer: Could there be a correlation between Ryan Raburn’s extreme volatility and the amount of lefties/righties he faces? Because I seem to remember him being a lefty masher.

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: Modest correlation. Had the same platoon rates in 2012 and 2013, when he was volatile, but the last two years there’s been a major shift. Faced lefties almost exclusively in 2015. Then the Rockies for some reason let him face more righties in 2016. It didn’t work!

9:38
Robbie: If Zack Greinke goes into the All-Star break with an ERA close to 3.00, is he gone? Assuming the Diamondbacks aren’t miraculously in the playoff hunt

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: If Zack Greinke is pitching well, I’m not convinced the Diamondbacks will be that bad. More importantly, he feels like more of an offseason trade candidate, because of the amount of money he’s linked to

9:39
Dan: Who are your picks for 2017 AL/NL MVPs & Cy Youngs?

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: Welp, let’s see

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, sorry, I can’t make this particularly interesting. Trout, Bryant, Sale, Kershaw

9:41
Don: Money being equal, if you could only chose 3 Cubs to start your team around, who would they be?

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: Bryant/Russell/Contreras? I’d try not to build around any pitchers, and I’m emphasizing the importance of youth here

9:42
E: Since teams don’t want to burn their bullpen in extra innings I propose this idea. After the 12th inning only position players may pitch. This will lead to more runs scored to hopefully end the game and maybe we’ll see more players like Rick Ankiel and Micah Owings because they’ll have unique value.

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Managers don’t actually like using position players either because of the seemingly increased injury risk

9:44
Eric Weinstein: Is it just me, or is MLB’s approach to pace of play/time of game very frustrating? It seems like they are simultaneously willing to entertain ideas that intrude on the core rules of the game (start guys on 2nd base, pitch clock), while also refusing to address the most obvious problem: More pitching changes = more commercial breaks and interminably long middle innings. Why should the networks get a windfall from the trend toward more pitching changes? Why not try out Bill James suggested solution of no commercial breaks for pitching changes?

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: MLB loves commercial breaks because commercial breaks mean MLB gets more money. MLB exists to make money. The best we can hope for is that commercial breaks don’t get any longer from here. I don’t know how this might change down the line when baseball is essentially removed from cable, but for now, I think we’re stuck as is

9:45
Nientsniew: Why is one 6 WAR player more valuable than two 3 WAR players?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: Because you should be able to get more than 0 WAR out of the extra roster spot

9:47
Robbie: Do you think Brandon Drury is actually about a replacement-level player? I feel playing (admittedly probably below-average defense) at a natural position would make him at least an average starter

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: No, I think Drury is better than 0 WAR. The Diamondbacks made him play a bunch in the outfield for the first time, and it looks like he didn’t take to that very well. Put and leave him somewhere more familiar and he’s a useful piece

9:48
Kristen: Now that the backlog of FA 1-dimensional power-hitters has cleared up a bit, will Franklin Gutierrez finally find a home soon? Hard to believe a guy who absolutely kills leftiessuch a lefty-killer is still on the market.

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: The problem is that Gutierrez is increasingly limited, physically, on account of his disease. He can clearly still hit the ball super hard, but he’s hard to plan around, because his availability can change from one day to the next

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Teams and managers don’t like the idea of unpredictably having to play with a short bench

9:50
Graves: Will Baseball ever gain popularity in Brazil? So many Latin countries love baseball, but Soccer and MMA dominates Brazil.

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: There have been three big-leaguers from Brazil, and they debuted in 2012, 2013, and 2015. Baseball will never be the nation’s official sport, but it has a growing profile

9:51
Mike: When do we see Quintana traded and where?

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: I can see him as a Yankee in July

9:52
Curtis: Which “contender” has the weakest bench?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: Nationals bench isn’t very good. Tigers bench isn’t very good. To be honest I have not thought about this very much

9:53
cardsjason: Happy Friday. What does a Jose Altuve extension look like? Does he have a similar year to last year? Better? Worse?

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: He’s still under control another three years, so they don’t have to work on that if they don’t want to. We did see the Royals extend Salvador Perez when he was in the middle of an extremely team-friendly contract, so there’s some kind of precedent

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: I’m out of reasons to doubt Altuve. Can’t see another 6.7 WAR, but I do believe his true talent now is between 5 and 6. He does everything and he’s still quite young

9:58
KGE: Opinions on Jerad Eickhoff? Was a pleasant surprise w/ the Phillies last year. Do you think he can take another step forward this year (developing his third pitch)? or do you expect him to be about the same?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: Underrated. He faced kind of a soft schedule, but I liked how he tightened up his breaking balls as the season went on.

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: Over his final three months, he struck out 21% of his opponents while walking barely 4%. The fly balls mean there will be homers, but I’m buying him as a No. 3 with further upside

10:00
Camp: Name a better NL player than Nolan Arenado in both fantasy and real life. You can’t, right?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: Well there are a handful of better real-life players and I don’t know what counts in fantasy

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: I assume fantasy baseball doesn’t adjust for Coors Field. Good news!

10:01
TP: Are the Rays really going to give LoMo the 1B job again?

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: Part of it. I don’t know why, but here we are

10:02
Jonas: I was extremely surprised by the almost unanimous backlash against the proposed extra inning rule change. Objectively speaking, isn’t higher leverage baseball preferable to lower leverage?

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: There’s always the same kind of immediate reaction whenever anyone proposes changing something we’re all used to

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: Remember when MLB floated the idea of one-game wild-card playoffs every year?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: Hell, think of the last time your favorite website underwent a redesign

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: One thing I don’t totally get is how it speeds things up — teams would still have the same chance of scoring a run in a given extra inning, so wouldn’t there still be the same possibility of games going extremely long?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t have my own strong opinion, because that’s just how I’m wired, but I would need to be convinced that this addresses a problem. I don’t think baseball has a too-long-game problem

10:05
Weston: Ynoa to Orioles for cash considerations. Seems like a great deal for Orioles and the Mets could have just DFA’d Montero. Some have suggested that it could be a good faith move/precursor to eventual brach/Bruce swap, thoughts?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: Brach is good, and Bruce is not

10:05
Robbie: The new D-backs FO seems pretty competent. Surely trading away Mitch Haniger wasn’t as big a mistake as I fear, right?

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not like they dumped him for nothing. Perhaps he was undersold, but it’s not tough to talk yourself into liking Taijuan Walker

10:07
Graves: Build a switch hitter with (Insert player) ______ RH swing, ______ LH swing, _______ Arm, _______ Glove, _______ speed.

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: Miguel Cabrera, Joey Votto, Jake Marisnick, Kevin Kiermaier, Billy Hamilton

10:08
ryan: do you think there is a circumstance in which the Oriole’s trade Machado at the deadline this year?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: The Orioles suck and something terrible happens to a contending team’s third baseman

10:09
Matt: I know Josh Bell’s surgery is only supposed to sideline him for 2-4 weeks, but is this the type of injury that has a lingering impact?

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: Looks like no. Better than something in the hand or wrist

10:09
MPP: Is it time for the Rockies to unload their OF depth for a proven pitcher? They have not had a pitcher pitch 200 innings in almost a decade.

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: I think they mostly like what they have in-house. And if there was that much demand for their outfielders, we probably would’ve seen a move by now

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: The Rockies, at last, seem to be developing an actual pitching staff, with competence

10:10
Jerry: I get supply and demand as there are only 30 franchises available, but what’s the reasoning for the $1.6B price tag on the Marlins when Forbes had them valued at less the $700M?

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: With franchise values seemingly skyrocketing, with no end in sight, you can talk yourself into paying a little too much at the outset

10:12
Matt: What do you expect from Yulieski Gurriel this season?

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not real common to swing that much and make that much contact. Maybe he’s like a right-handed Lonnie Chisenhall

10:13
Steve: % chance Nationals win NL east?

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll say 60%

10:14
Erik: What is a better projection system, your personal favorite or an even blend between the 5-10 most common systems?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: Even blend between the top three or four. I don’t know if there are 10 decent ones

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: At this point, though, most projection systems are really similar

10:14
Brian: Someone named Bruce Maxwell III was 7th on the As in position player WAR last year. That’s not a real person, is it?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: And there have been at least two more of them!

10:15
Alex P: If you could be a GM of any team which would you pick? Fan favorite but easier like Boston or Cubs, or do you like a challenge and go Oakland or TB?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: I’d want to stay on the west coast, and for some reason it really appeals to me to take over an organization where there’s almost no pressure. Which basically means now I’m the GM of the Padres

10:16
LLW902: which player will be the first to claim they simultaneously gained and lost weight in the offseason

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Noah Syndergaard gained weight but lost fat. He wins!

10:16
Chaps: Would you please rank the following in order of which you would most like to see: DH in neither league, DH in both leagues, keep the current setup, add the DH to the NL while removing it from the AL (and watch the hilarity ensue)?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: Deep down, I know it would be best to have the DH in both leagues. Pitchers are terrible. But being a writer, I love that we still get statistics every single year. I’m a big fan of the science of it. So from my own perspective, where I’m not actually that invested in the outcomes of the games themselves, I like having the DH in one of the leagues

10:18
Don: What would an MLB salary cap implementation process look like?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: It would begin by introducing a luxury tax. Oh, hey, that’s already there

10:19
Robbie: Do you have any opinions on Chris Herrmann? He was somehow pretty insane with the bat for a little while last year before getting hurt

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: I have a hunch, so let me glance at some video real quick

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: Yep. Surprise! He lowered his hands so he’d chop down on the ball less

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: Didn’t pick up that aggressive Donaldson leg kick or anything, but there is a change there, and his average exit velocity improved by more than four ticks

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: He swings and misses a fair amount, and it doesn’t seem like he’s a great defensive backstop. But I can believe in some of the power increase

10:23
Erik: How long would the Yankees have to remain mediocre for them to lose their status as the most valuable franchise?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: Isn’t so much of it about the ballpark and the network? Plus their own franchise history. It would take a *lot* of mediocrity

10:25
CamdenWarehouse: If MLB implemented the runner on second in extras rule, who would the runner be? The last out of the previous inning? A new player not otherwise in the game? The same player could make consecutive team outs. This would break the logical flow of game.

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: I thought I saw it written it would be the previous guy in the lineup. Or you could always pinch-run.

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: If implemented, it would be interesting to see if teams would then increasingly prioritize having a speed guy on the bench. Makes a Terrance Gore type slightly more valuable

10:26
Joe G: I find it difficult to evaluate retaining money in trades. Say the ChiSox ate all $25 million in Robertson’s deal, could they get close to acquiring Robles? Or is this an inexact science where the raw numbers don’t always translate to actual trades.

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s say, hypothetically, you value Robertson at $30 million over two years. He’s under contract for $25 million, so his “surplus” value is $5 million. That wouldn’t be sufficient to land a major prospect

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: If Chicago, though, ate all the money, then suddenly Robertson’s surplus value is $30 million. That’s significant. Maybe not Robles, but close. $30 million buys a heck of a prospect

10:28
J: Who are the top 5 players in the game? Who is the guy that you seem to think other people would consider in there that you wouldn’t?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: Trout, Kershaw, Donaldson, Bryant…Seager? Machado? The average fan would probably argue too strongly for Miguel Cabrera

10:29
Dan: What is one trade that you would love to see happen?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: Mike Trout to the Mariners for Yovani Gallardo

10:30
thomas the spank engine: do you think we’ve seen the end of discovery/invention of radical new pitch types and will instead see constant tiny iterations?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: There aren’t really new pitches to discover. Not in any significant way. We’re probably more moving toward an era of pitchers better identifying ideal arm slots, and ideal pitch pairings

10:32
Q: What’s a Syndergaard extension look like? 5 years of Team Control left

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: The last four major extensions signed this early: Archer, Bumgarner, Quintana, Teheran. All of those have become perceived as being extremely team-friendly

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Off the top of my head, maybe you start around 5/$50 million, folding in a club option or two

10:33
PF: With signings of J.P. Howell and Joe Smith, ins the blue Jays ‘pen now: a strength? Solid? Still a liability?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: It’s okay, but Howell and Smith don’t add that much in terms of known reliability

10:33
Skinnyhead: To avoid playing the World Series in November, would you rather have a shorter post season or a shorter regular season?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Shorter regular season

10:34
Eli: How would you rank eaton, Marte and springer defensively? Overall?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Defensively, I think Marte — Eaton — Springer. Overall, Springer is probably better than Eaton is

10:35
Hannah Hochevar: In re Padres pulling a Brewers: why doesn’t any team with $ and a lack of minor league depth give Blanton (et al) a pricey one-year deal and then flip him at the deadline? I know the O’s, for instance, already have a solid bullpen, but a trade chip for cash seems smart, no?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know, but I guess part of it is, consider that Blanton is still available now. If he can’t generate demand after the season he had, who’s to say there’ll be that much demand a few months from now?

10:37
Curtis: With the rise in lock down bullpens, wouldn’t we expect a rise in 20 game winners? If (the better) pitchers only need to roll through a lineup 2 times and/or pitch 6 innings…

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: Depends how significant a rise you mean. The last time there were 5+ 20-game winners in a season was 2003. Bullpens might be better than ever, but starters are also getting shorter appearances than ever, giving the score less time to separate

10:39
mike sixel: do you hike or snow shoe (if ever healthy) at this time of the year?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: It’s become a winter tradition to snowshoe up Mount St. Helens. Unfortunately right now the access road is blocked by a landslide

10:40
Marcus: Thoughts on Jason Heyward this year? Will he bounce back offensively and put up similar numbers to his Cards year?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: In my own head I have him bouncing back to being an average hitter. I don’t think he’ll ever be anyone’s idea of consistent

10:41
Eric R: “More pitching changes = more commercial breaks” — I suppose if the rules could be crafted in a way to entice teams to change pitchers between innings rather than in the middle of innings, then changing pitchers frequently will have less of a time impact…?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: At this point I remain unconvinced that baseball would ever allow for a rule change that would so visibly affect the course of the game itself

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: I know I’m saying this at the same time that MLB is floating a rule change for extra innings, but limiting relievers or something like that feels different to me

10:42
Phantastic: we’re seeing a lot more hitting talent in the middle infield than is customary and the corners are slightly lighter in talent atm. Is this a cyclical thing or an anomaly that we probably won’t see much of again in the future?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: Some of it is cyclical, but I bet in this era of so much aggressive shifting, teams will be less incentivized to move players away from shortstop and second

10:44
Justino: Which player will be on the bench Opening Day 2017: Ben Zobrist or Javier Baez?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: They’re going to face Adam Wainwright, so, Baez

10:44
Pat: Trying to settle a debate: Who would you rather have this year and going forward: Darvish or Colon? I feel like I’m taking crazy pills by being the only one saying Darvish

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Wait

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: What?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: A debate?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: Is there another Colon I don’t know about?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: Darvish is amazing!

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: The answer is Darvish!

10:45
Curtis: Which player is more valuable to his team than anything returned in a trade?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: Mike Trout. No way a team would offer what he’s actually worth

10:46
Theo The Toe: Convince me on why I shouldn’t trade Baez for starting pitching.

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Because you don’t need starting pitching yet and you do need Baez as a flexible semi-regular

10:46
bl27: Yasiel Puig is only 26. Chance to see the real Puig this season ? Do you still believe in him ?

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: I believe the first version of Puig we saw is long gone. He’s not getting that body back. But that doesn’t mean he can’t still be a fine player

10:47
Curtis: Leaving out homeruns, what are the most exciting “walkoffs” you can recall? Edgar’s Yankee killing double with a motoring Griffey, Jr. is mine.

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: It’s all about the stakes. Edgar’s double, obviously. Luis Gonzalez’s single, obviously

10:49
Curtis: Aside from stats, which players do you just like watching play?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: Billy Hamilton, Jameson Taillon, Marcus Stroman

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: And a bunch of really great players

10:51
Ricky: I would like to see Billy Hamilton awarded second base, having him steal 3rd and home to win the game without an official plate appearance

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: Just gotta get him on the Padres

10:55
The Toe: I’m not an Almora believer and I like Candelario’s bat. Put Candy at 3rd, Bryant to RF and Heyward to CF. Retort.

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: Doing that with Candelario makes you worse defensively at three positions. Almora seems like an outstanding running and defender, and defense was a huge contributor to the Cubs just winning the World Series.

10:55
Tomorrow : Brandon Finnegan what are your thought on his stats this season ? Thanks

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: I think the schedule has kind of worked against him, and he also got screwed by his own strike zone. I think he’s a No. 3 today

10:56
Evan: I think Forbes is making the mistake of valuing franchises like businesses when the reality is that they are toys for rich guys that are only available in limited numbers.

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: Baseball teams are always saying that the Forbes numbers are off

10:56
Nathan: Will you end up watching more Brewers games than normal because of guys like Broxton and Santana?

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: Not more full games, but more partial games

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: I can’t imagine what it would take for me to want to watch a full Brewers game

10:58
Graves: Follow up: On the build a switch hitter question, a player with Cabrera/Votto’s swing, a Marisnick cannon, Kiermier glove, and Hamilton speed would be worth roughly how much WAR?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: Probably something like 13 or 14

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: It’s funny how close Mike Trout is to being essentially a perfect baseball player

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: (Mike Trout!)

10:58
Ron Gant: Assuming they’re each healthy and pitching as projected, what kind of return can the Braves get for Colon, Garcia, or Dickey at the trade deadline?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: Not much. Garcia might have the most trade-value upside. But no team is going to look at any of those guys and think they can really boost themselves in the playoffs

10:59
Nick the Stick: Who’s better at baseball, AJ Pollock or Mitch Haniger? AL and NL MVPs?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: A.J. Pollock is amazing

10:59
Minty: Do you think Baez will improve offensively, or should realistically just be content with how fun he is to watch already?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: I bet he ends up with a career wRC+ in between 100 – 110. But he’s going to be an exciting non-elite player

11:01
The Toe: Why wouldn’t the FO’s of both the Tigers and Cubs love the idea of an Arrieta for Verlander swap? The Tigers get rid of the contract while still remaining competitive for 2017. If they fall out they can flip for prospects. Cubs get a controlled Ace for less than Arrieta will command next winter.

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: Verlander’s contract isn’t a problem. He still has surplus value. Dealing him for Arrieta would be a waste

11:03
The Showstopper: I tried to send this question but I hit enter too soon… Would a club benefit from employing a coaching staff of an Offensive Approach Coordinator. Defensive Strategy Coordinator. Pitching Strategist. And a set of In-Game Strategy Analysts as opposed to Hitting coaches, Pitching coaches and Bench coaches? The game is too fast, and baseball could learn from football by employing coordinators and analysts instead of the traditional coaches that don’t seem to contribute all that much to actual in-game situations.

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: Those other coaches aren’t really supposed to benefit in-game situations. They’re supposed to make their contributions when the games *aren’t* being played. As for the strategy, much of that is pre-determined. Teams go in knowing how they want to respond to various situations. The game doesn’t move too fast for, say, Joe Maddon.

11:04
Manny: If a player is DFA’d then traded, do the team that acquired him have to put him on their 40 man?

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: Yep

11:05
the greek: hi, which team could surprise the world this year?

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: Rays, Rockies

11:06
RJ: It would behoove Seth Lugo to throw his curve a lot more often a la Rich Hill. Agree or disagree?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: Probably a little more, but he hasn’t demonstrated good enough control of it yet to really skyrocket the usage

11:06
Cubbies: Does Profar lose playing time with Napoli on board and same for Bird with Carter in town?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: Yes

11:06
Matt S.: What organization do you respect most from an analytics perspective? What do you see as the biggest gap or thing that the top analytics organizations do compared to the worst?

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: Probably the Dodgers. As has been written this week, the biggest separator is implementation of ideas. You can’t just have smart people — you need complete and total organizational buy-in

11:07
filihok: Is this chat almost over, I need to go hike before work?

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: It *is* over!

11:07
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 — 2/10/17 by Jeff Sullivan!

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

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Bruce
Member
Bruce

Why is everybody hating on Rick Porcello? Yeah wins are volatile but that control is incredible. Isn’t he still a top 20-25 SP?