Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 2/19/16

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to Friday baseball chat

9:09
The Ghost of Dayn Perry: soft pretzel or cornbread?

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: soft fucking pretzel

9:10
The Ghost of Dayn Perry: What’s your favorite pitch to watch? Either across the entire league, like 2 seamers, or a specific pitch, like Hamels’ changeup

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: For me it remains the Felix Hernandez changeup although I’m a total sucker for good pitches and pitchers in general. My strongest bias is I’m more interested in arms than bats

9:10
The Dude of NY: I love how you turned an internet comment into a fascinating look at the Twins rotation. Kudos!

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve been a little obsessed with how contact-prone the Twins have been so the fact that they now project for 29th instead of 30th makes me laugh unreasonably hard

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: I totally get that it might be a joke specially tuned to me and no one else but holy crap it’s flawless

9:12
j6takish: Jeff, besides the obvious Dbacks/Cubs choices, who has had the worst/best offseason? I want to say the cards have had the worst but they have given me literally zero reasons to ever doubt the moves that they make. Mets have had a sneaky good offseason, they got Yo back on their terms, they got a pick for letting Murphy walk and replaced him with a similar player who they will also get a pick for next year

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t really like what the Rockies have done. They do have direction and there’s a lot of ability coming up through the farm but the offseason has been direction-less. Maybe that was influenced by the market being over-saturated

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve liked the Mets offseason, and the Rays offseason. I don’t really know which I like more since they’re in different places organizationally

9:14
Kirk: Who would be better at baseball, Nick Franklin, a garden variety octopus or a giant squid? Could you order them please? Remember Nick Franklin sucks.

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: Nick Franklin wins mostly for biological/evolutionary reasons

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: But now as a twist, imagine a team of Nick Franklins against a team of giant squids, where instead of a baseball they play with a garden-variety octopus

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know who wins that. Not the octopus

9:16
Jon Daniels: What will it take for me to get Jonathan Lucroy? Nomar Mazara and Jonathon Hernandez for Lucroy seems fair.

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t actually think the Rangers should have to go to the Mazara tier

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: I wrote about this a month ago. I think they could get somewhere if they started with Dillon Tate or Lewis Brinson http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/lets-get-jonathan-lucroy-to-the-rangers/

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: It wouldn’t be straight up, but that would be your centerpiece

9:17
Kirk: What would you do if you saw an octopus in the mountains? Just like chilling, ya know?

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: I’d take a picture, then I’d confirm it’s alive, then I’d take another picture, then I’d finish the hike and I’d alert some sort of scientific authority and try to get the thing named after me

9:18
Sean : Who do you think will age better, Price or Greinke, assuming equivalent health?

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: Acknowledging that we can’t actually know the answer to questions like this, my sense is that Greinke is going to age very gracefully

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: I really do get something of a Maddux vibe

9:19
Kirk: Do you think an octopus could successfully kill Bartolo Colon?

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: Yesterday or the day before an otter in a canadian zoo died because it got tangled up in pants

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: Anything can kill anything

9:20
Joey Gallo: Who gets called up first myself, Nomar, Mazara, or Lewis Brinson?

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll say Gallo. But this clearly in part depends on what’s going on with Hamilton’s knee. For whatever it’s worth Brinson isn’t yet on the 40-man

9:23
CamdenWarehouse: Ryan Webb just signed with Rays, who are now his 5th team in a little over two calendar years. He’s been solid but not spectacular during the his last three seasons. Why is he having trouble finding a more stable home?

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: He’s a righty reliever who’s neither great against lefties nor outstanding against righties. He fits into almost any and every bullpen, but he fits as the 7th guy, which means he’s always right on the fringe and easy to dump if you find someone with more upside. I suspect teams shy away a little from relievers who allow so much contact

9:26
Kiner’s Disembodied Hands: Do you think that the Pirate’s apparent trend towards hitters that hit to all fields, both in recent drafts and players signed this offseason, has been a bit under-appreciated in most prognostications? It seems to be a good idea in order to curtail the rise in shifting that has and will continue to occur.

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: I do think it’s becoming increasingly important to find more all-fields hitters, but the Pirates haven’t yet pulled off anything extraordinary. Last year they pulled 39.5% of their batted balls, ranking 11th-highest. League median was 39%. The Pirates will get more interesting in this regard if the numbers start to downshift

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: To me, it’s actually been the Giants who’ve been most underappreciated for their ability to hit the ball anywhere

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: The Yankees, meanwhile, just spent a whole season trying to use lefties to hit the ball out to right field. It sort of worked!

9:29
greg: The rumblings about the Alfredo Rodriguez deal possibly falling through would be good news for Reds fans, no?

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: If true, yeah, I think so

9:30
Ben: Hi Jeff, what are the MLB teams that invest most/least in their analytics departments?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know the whole spread of actual money invested, but the Dodgers obviously have a lot going on. On the flip side, you’d be shocked by the current state of the Red Sox and the A’s

9:32
Aron: Eno was asked about this yesterday, but curious your thoughts as well. The Mariners and Brewers were used as examples – would you rather see your team try to retool and shoot for the mid-80s or go into rebuild mode and try to stockpile young talent? Are the Brewers or Mariners more likely to win the World Series in the next ten years?

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: I think the Mariners are more likely, because they’re the better team now, and that’s the only thing we can count on

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: My own perspective is that, while I could get behind a rebuild, my preference is to just try to consistently be decent enough. Even if it’s not the “right” model in the big picture, I get so bummed out by losing. All I want on any given day is a faint glimmer of hope that it could be a playoff season. Rebuilds take that away

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: In the NHL, I like the Senators, and the Senators are bad, but they’re just okay enough that I can keep clinging to the idea of a miracle run. I don’t want to give that up. Give me a half-decent product, with one or two players I really really like, and I’m satisfied

9:35
Matt: Baseball?

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: If baseball were a volcano, we’re not at the point of an eruption, but there are signs of increased activity under the surface

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: The streams are getting warmer. Summit vents are degassing. Though imperceptible to humans, small earthquakes are catching the attention of various instruments

9:37
Cecil Fielder: trying to decide between purchasing a throwback 1992 barry bonds jersey, or a 2016 goldy dbacks jersey. what do you think?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: My gut tells me Goldschmidt but you should first consider just where you would be wearing said jersey

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: Situational context here is critical

9:39
Pale Hose: Is it possible the Mets have the hardest throwing starting rotation ever? This would be despite Bartolo Colon.

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: I think I’d be a little surprised if they didn’t

9:40
Kirk: IN order, who is prettier, an octopus, Taylor Swift, you, or Kendrys Morales.

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: Really this just comes down to the ocopus and Kendrys Morales

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: Putting it to a poll, let’s see where things settle real quick

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: Early leader by a 2-to-1 margin: octopus

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: Octopus starting to run away with it now

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: Big fans of octopi right here

9:42
Logan: Do you see any trade connection between the White Sox and the Braves, now that Fowler is most likely off the market? I could see any one of Markakis, Inciarte, or Aybar making sense in a deal there.

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: I think it would be a little bit of a stretch — the White Sox are running out of spending money, and there’s also a league-wide perception that they don’t have much youth to deal away. So I’m not convinced they could afford an Inciarte, and relative to Aybar they’d probably just keep Saladino

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: There’s still the Desmond option even if Fowler ends up in Baltimore

9:44
Raindog: Which 1B/DH/bench bat would you prefer: Morneau or Alvarez?

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: Alvarez by a little. I’m intrigued by the possibility his offense might improve if he stops playing defense

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: And I don’t mean “stops playing defense” in the way he did at first base for the Pirates. I mean if defense just weren’t one of his responsibilities anymore

9:45
Kevin Cash: Did PECOTA projecting the Rays for 91 wins and the AL East title do anything to change your evaluation of their playoff chances headed into the season?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: It surprised me, that’s for sure

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t buy it, in that I don’t think the Rays are that good, but I do think the Rays are a little underrated. Per usual, not a lot of household-name value, but plenty of depth all over the place

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: For example, even if the Orioles end up with Gallardo and Fowler, I still think it’s a coin flip who’s better between them and the Rays. Although in fairness I do love the Baltimore bullpen

9:49
Bill: Why haven’t more teams traded with the Diamondbacks? Also, can the league ever step in and deem a trade too lopsided? If they could, I imagine they would have on the Miller trade (that might be better off called the Enciarte or Swanson trade).

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: Teams frequently check in with the Diamondbacks because everyone knows what’s been going on, but you can’t just force fits or interest. Always has to be mutual and especially now after the Miller trade, the Diamondbacks have less available of intrigue

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: I believe the commissioner does have veto power — Bowie Kuhn vetoed some Oakland player sales in the 70s. There was talk a few years ago of MLB needing to veto the big trade between the Blue Jays and the Marlins

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: Of course, it turned out that trade was fine

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: It’s funny to look back on. The Marlins added Henderson Alvarez, Anthony DeSclafani, Yunel Escobar, Adeiny Hechavarria, and Jake Marisnick

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: It was a massive trade, a shocking trade, and a trade that matched the Marlins’ usual practices, but it sort of worked out pretty well for them

9:55
Rick: Hi Jeff, An exciting Philadelphia Phillies Question. Do you see Herrea holding the CF Job all year? Is Roman Quinn their CF of the future or just a 4th OF Speed Type?

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: Well there’s already talk that Herrera might end up in left field, making room for Peter Bourjos

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: So that’s inauspicious. But I like Herrera more than I like Quinn. Herrera, I think, is developing into a real everyday player

9:56
Kim: The Mariners have a lot of guys coming off down years. How should Dipoto and Servais approach them moving forward? I assume the leash is different from someone coming off a year more representative of their career averages. So, for example, how long of Leonys Martin continuing to play like Martin of 2015 instead of 2013-2014 does it take for that to become his new “mean”?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: Buying low has been an obvious Mariners strategy and I can’t imagine they think they’ll hit on everyone they added. The leash is always a little shorter when your most recent season was bad, but the fact the Mariners added so many of these guys suggests they’ll be patient with them

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: With Martin, they’ll give him a few months and then they’ll re-evaluate his positioning vs. Boog Powell. With Chris Iannetta, there’s less depth, but if he struggles, maybe by that point Mike Zunino is back on track. Steve Cishek has Joaquin Benoit insurance, Evan Scribner has Ryan Cook insurance, etc

10:00
homerunbot 5000: what team would will smith(mil) best fit with and does that team even have the trade assets to trade for him?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: The Angels could use him, but they don’t have anything to move

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: So I like the Nationals as a potential fit, and also the Dodgers. The Brewers won’t have any trouble moving Smith for a high price midseason if he stays healthy

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: A high-leverage lefty reliever will always be in demand in July

10:02
The Dude of NY: Chase Headley is listed as making $0 per year on his player page for his current contract. I submitted the correct number in early January, but it is still pending. When will this pedantic, yet frustrating factual error be rectified?

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: Perhaps shortly after the conclusion of this baseball chat!

10:03
Ben: Happy Friday! Everyone is, reasonably, down on the Jay’s rotation. Do you think Sanchez or Osuna could be an impact rotation arm this year, and which one would you bet on? Also, are people giving up on Hutchison too soon?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Definitely too early to give up on Hutchison. I don’t love Sanchez as a potential starter but I don’t think the rotation as is is that bad. I love Stroman, Dickey is fine, Happ is fine, Estrada will probably beat his peripherals, and Chavez is fine. Hutchison’s handy depth. The group’s good enough to support what should be an excellent offense

10:04
The Boat: What is there to even talk about at this point?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: I ask myself this question every day when I try to write for FanGraphs

10:05
Erik: So, which would you want to see more: A Mariners World Series win or a (non-life-threatening) eruption of Mt. Hood? Which do you expect to see first?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: Expect the Mariners first, but would prefer Hood. However, I’d *most* prefer it be Mt Adams instead

10:05
Cyril B-B: Apparently the new Pringles motto is “You don’t just eat ’em.” What other uses does a Pringle have. Greasy discus?

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: You forget them. You accidentally smash them. You dump them in the trash so you can just have the empty container.

10:06
susan: alright, so, I can’t be the only one that think Chipotle sucks, right? I( mean, their chicken doesn’t taste like chicken, and their burritos are predominantly filled with rice. it’s bullshit. also, ya’ll hiring?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: I think Chipotle is fine in a pinch because when you’re looking to eat something that easily available you’re already making concessions. Meanwhile we’re not hiring for a full-time position or anything, but we do have interns and we might(?) be interested in part-time writers. I don’t actually know if we are but Dave or Paul might!

10:08
Ben: Where do you most like to sit when visiting a new ballpark (if that even happens to you anymore)?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: Kind of depends on the ballpark but I like sitting somewhat close to the field, down the line about halfway or so

10:09
Chris Taylor’s Mom: What happened to Chris Taylor? Lots of people thought he was better than Brad Miller, but now I hardly hear about him even for the backup INF spot.

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: He, along with Mike Zunino and some other people, went to Arizona to basically overhaul their swings. Taylor will battle for a backup job this month but it’ll probably go to Sardinas. We’ll just have to watch the numbers to see if Taylor finds more success with new mechanics

10:13
Josh I: If Reddick repeats/builds on his 2015, what kind of contract does he get as a free agent after the season?

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: He’d be going into his age-30 year, just like Dexter Fowler. And Reddick would get the QO, so that would be working against him

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: But let’s say he’s worth another 3 WAR. Then in the upcoming market I could see Reddick getting something like 4/$70m

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: For his own sake he could really stand to have a year where he bats 600 times

10:15
Jimmy Dipoto: Aside from the Cano signing, which of Jack Z’s recent moves do you think Dipoto wishes he could Crtl+Z and have back?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe promoting Zunino as early as he did

10:16
The Dude of NY: Re Twins: A little known fact is the Baseball Gods designed the universe for Jeff Sullivan’s enjoyment!

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: If you go around figuring the universe is designed for your own particular enjoyment you’ll probably live a pretty happy life

10:18
peanut gallery: Is it me or are the Farnsworth grades much more optimistic than what Kiley would post?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: We’d have to run some math to figure out if this is actually true, but since every prospect evaluator will have his own scale, what’s most important is considering the *relative* evaluations. That would control for any changes in the average

10:19
Brian: Jeff, I wanted to buy group tickets for opening day for me and my friends. However, the Nationals ticket office told me that if I want opening day tickets, I will have to pay double face-value, AND spend an equal amount on group tickets for other games in the season. So to buy 25 opening day tickets, I also need to fork down $$$ for 50 other group tickets for other games this season. I don’t have a question, I just wanted to complain so that others can realize that their lives aren’t so bad by comparison.

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: I understand very little about the economics of ticketing but I do know that all those tickets will get sold to somebody and that’s what’s most important to the club. They don’t care about you. None of them care about you. They care about whether or not they can get their money and they don’t care where it comes from

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: Remember that Angels PR kerfuffle last summer? What was weird wasn’t how the Angels were thinking. What was weird was that they said what they were thinking publicly

10:22
Johnny5Alive: do you think clippard in Zona diminishes the possibility that hudson closes? we know ziegler and his 82 mph fastball cant be sustainable, right>

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: Well Ziegler is unconventional but by this point he’s pretty well proven. I don’t think Clippard ends up as a closer substitute

10:24
Josh I: What’s the difference between where the A’s and Rays are organizationally at this point? Both have plenty of young pitching depth headlined by a young ace, a somewhat middling offense, and a farm almost ready to contribute

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: They do look pretty similar, although at least the Rays have a Kiermaier. And I also think the Rays have superior pitching talent/depth unless you’re a huge huge fan of Rich Hill

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe it’s not a total surprise to see the two teams somewhat mirroring one another

10:25
T Bone: Better year, Ketel Marte or Brad Miller?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: My guess is Miller will have the better year, but the eye test will make people think Marte had the better year, if that makes sense

10:26
Ben: Everyone is down on a mediocre team paying for saves, but when I look at the Rockies I see a solid, aging, offence with the best rotation they have had in quite some time (and more young arms coming). They aren’t going to win the world series, but that bullpen depth might just make them interesting in a division with only one real stand-out team?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: Their problem is that the Dodgers are good, and the Giants are good, and the Diamondbacks are good, so it’s not like there’s an easy opening. But I do think a healthy version of the Rockies could surprise and hang around .500; I know they’re excited about the pitching they’ve put together

10:27
Art Vandelay: Pelfrey’s 5.09 K/9 Steamer projection even seems a little high, but Zimmermann’s 6.66 seems a little low. Regardless, I have high hopes that the Twins can break this streak.

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: What I will say for Pelfrey is last year he got back to his 2012 velocity. It’s surprising but he was throwing 93-94

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: But I agree with your general point. Maybe Zimmermann does better and maybe Verlander’s second half was for real, but then maybe the Twins give more of a shot to Duffey, and maybe Berrios forces his way into the rotation real fast

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Stay tuned! It’s the hottest race of the season!

10:29
Zorak: Could Cespedes be a plus defensive Right Fielder? He has a great arm. Seems like the Mets are prepping Conforto to play RF against some lefties, with Yo in LF and Granderson on the bench.

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: Cespedes is a plus defensive LF, so he should be a plus defensive RF

10:29
DodgersRDBest: Sir, what are the top 5 teams in MLB, in your opinion?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: My thoughts right now, in order from 1 to 5: Cubs, Red Sox, Dodgers, Astros, Blue Jays

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: I’m most confident about the Cubs

10:31
j6takish: During his Wednesday chat, dave referred to Cistulli as one of fangraphs “full time writers”. How cute

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: In fairness he also said that about Appelman. Appelman doesn’t write anything!!

10:33
GSon: Would a Roberto Perez and Rob Kaminsky for Lewis Brinson and Mike Mantuella deal interest the Rangers?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Strongly depends on their Perez evaluation. I have to admit he’s better than I thought, and I know August is a big fan. The Rangers might be hesitant to give up on that upside, but if they think Perez is a real starter, then there’s a long-term catcher. It would be a real interesting move

10:34
Sal: It seems like teams/GMs can be broadly categorized under different approach umbrellas: stockpile young arms, stockpile young bats, buy low, spend a crap ton of money in free agency and internationally. It also seems like the Dodgers do all of this stuff.

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: The Dodgers are unfair. Most people just don’t realize it yet

10:35
Chad: Lots of talk about how the Mariners really aren’t that improved this year. I understand where people are coming from, but still feel a lot better about this team and its future. Where do you stand on how Dipoto has done?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: Pretty good offseason. The depth situation is almost night and day. The team itself isn’t outstanding at the moment but it’s so good for the mind to just have confidence in a front office, instead of being afraid every time you pull open Twitter

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think the Dipoto front office is top-5 or even top-10, but it’s not bottom-5, which is most critical

10:36
Neil: Do you think Mike Moustakas will continue to hit for a much better average than earlier in his career?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: I think he’ll end up around .270

10:37
Jay: Will a Soler and/or Baez trade still happpen? What move makes the most sense? High-leverage reliever?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Running out of time. Now it seems more likely the Cubs go forward as is and think about trading one or both of those guys again in a year

10:38
Guest: Who would be worse at their job: Billy Butler as a full time Cfer in the NL, or Bartolo Colon as a full time DH in the AL?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s call Butler…40 runs below average in the field? Maybe 50? Let’s say 50, just because.

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: Now let’s say Colon projects for a .100 wOBA, with a league average of about .315

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: That’s -103 runs of value over 600 plate appearances

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Don’t let Colon be a DH

10:42
Ross: Which of the Mariners starting position players is most likely to put up negative WAR?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe Lind? He’s already done it before. Just needs a back injury to sap a little bit of his power and agility

10:45
jack: Do you think Inciarte would be worth Lewis Brinson in a trade? Rangers looking for outfield help

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: I do think that trade would be even — Inciarte is good now and he’s under control for five years, with arbitration likely to underpay him. So I wouldn’t be against that move, but that doesn’t mean the Rangers FO values Inciarte in the way that I do

10:46
Joel: Assuming he plays awesome defense again, what kind of offensive performance could you live with from Leonys Martin?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: 80 – 85 wRC+

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Sort of the Brendan Ryan line before he was bad

10:47
njs: why are you “more interested in arms than bats?” enquiring [sic] minds want to know….

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: I used to pitch, and I think pitchers are just easier to evaluate in depth. We get to break down so many things, whereas for hitters we still don’t have a lot of objective information on swing metrics or whatever

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: And there’s the whole thing about pitching being aggressive and hitting being reactive. Pitchers are most in control of what’s taking place, which I like to focus on

10:49
Ben: How Badly Would You Hurt a Team for a Week?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Not too badly because I’d talk myself out of playing

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Food poisoning or something

10:49
Dan: What version of Felix Hernandez will we see in 2016? The dominant 2014 version or the shaky 2015 version?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: I suspect a lot of what happened last year came out of some lingering lower-body issues affecting Felix’s mechanics. So I think he bounces back from that, but it also does make sense he’d be nearing his decline phase, so expect effectiveness with fewer blow-ups

10:50
Jesse: How often do you get ideas for articles from chat questions?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: Probably not often enough. Which is more my fault than yours. I need to pay better attention

10:51
E: Can you rank the three of Mychal Givens, Silvino Bracho, and Tony Zych, in order of who puts up the best k/9 this year and who ends up being the more valuable non-closer to their team?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: I love Givens and think he’s the best, then Zych, then Bracho

10:54
Cody: Last year everyone knew Kris Bryant would be in the minors until the Super 2 deadline and then get called up. The Cubs wouldn’t admit what they were doing, but it wasn’t a secret. Why are teams so hesitant to admit they are taking advantage of the system to make their team better for longer?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll just quote from our own Nathaniel Grow http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/challenging-kris-bryants-demotion/

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: “And while arbitrators will usually defer to a team’s decision to demote a player based on his perceived “skill or ability,” if a team is blatantly demoting an otherwise worthy player simply for contractual considerations alone then an arbitrator could decide that the decision was made in bad faith, and thus violated the CBA.

This explains why teams never openly admit that they are demoting a top prospect to the minors for a few weeks due to service time issues.”

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: It’s all very silly and transparent, but if a team were to admit what was actually happening, it would destroy the team’s only defense for the action

10:58
Big Joe Mufferant: In his prime, did A-Rod have 4-5, 70-tools? If not what would you give him for grades? (I have it as Arm-70, Power 80, Defense 70, Speed 65, and hitting 65)

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: I think he almost certainly had five 70 tools. I’m not a scout or anything but A-Rod was genuinely the complete package

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: all he was missing was sincerity 🙁

10:59
Jeff: Is there any concern with the Mets SP depth? Bunch of young guys coming back from very long seasons and Wheeler returning from TJ. Bartlolo is great to have, but behind him is just Rafael Montero (coming back from shoulder issues), Logan Verret (AAAA starter) and Sean Gilmartin (unproven). Am I being silly?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think you’re being silly, but your argument could be applied to almost anybody. And for the teams with more depth, they have less high-level talent, so that’s just a different problem

11:00
MP: Who should lead off for the Jays? Pillar wants to, talk of Martin and Saunders.

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: I’d think Martin or Tulo

11:00
jtt2856: Serious question, no troll. Do you think Beane gets too much of a pass? Some of his moves over the past few years…

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: Beane has earned the benefit of the doubt for what he’s been able to pull off. That being said, the landscape has changed, and it’s less exploitable than it used to be. So relative to his peers, Beane isn’t so exceptional anymore. Still, he at least deserves critical investigation, because you don’t expect him to just screw up. Butler was so weird

11:01
Joel: When camping, what’s going on underneath your sleeping bag? Foam? Air mattress? Terra firma?

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: I have an inflatable light-weight sleeping pad because my 30-year-old back doesn’t love the ground so much anymore

11:02
jd: in a recent reddit AMA, grant brisbee asserted that you were hot. do you have any rebuttals

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: I would kill to have Grant’s voice

11:03
Kramer: When does Zych start closing for the M’s?

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: Since he’s probably third in line I don’t think he gets a crack anytime soon

11:03
john: Who do you think gets the 5 spot for the Cubs – Hendricks or Warren?

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: Hendricks

11:04
Julio Pepper: Given that the market for position players seems to overpay 1B/DH types and short up the middle defenders according to the public metrics of WAR, do you think teams know something about defense that we don’t? Like maybe that shifting/coaching/positioning makes elite defenders relatively less valuable, or maybe that something’s wrong with the public measures? But then again, the smartest team (Cubs) just paid for Heyward, but they got him for a pittance. Any thoughts on this?

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think teams have defense solved any more than we do. It’s just, defense is clearly less certain than offense, in terms of our measurements, and teams most prefer to invest in certainty. There’s also something to be said for the market precedent — if the market has always underpaid defense, it’s going to continue to do that for a while before we see an adjustment

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: All that being said, I am open to the idea that aggressive shifting and whatnot can make up for otherwise lackluster range. It’s an important consideration we don’t know enough about yet

11:05
Carlos Carrasco: Will I win the AL Cy Young in 2016?

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: No

11:05
TF Fredrik: Is it me, or are pitchers easier to evaluate? I feel like between the stats and pitch f/x we can get pretty good reads on guys (in no way shape or form do I include pitcher health in this.) Yet with hitters, sometimes I feel like there isn’t an easy way to look at a young guy and see something obvious that might lead him to a breakout or improvement, where with pitchers I kinda do.

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: Absolutely

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: There’s still that weird stuff with pitchers where we don’t know when they’re one mechanical tweak away from figuring it out, but we just have so much more information about them to build a profile of skills

11:06
Ben: Any sense for how challenging it is for a big-league hitter to adjust to the shift? Are the Indians just not encouragin it for Santana because they don’t want to experience the slump?

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: Hitters got to the majors a certain way, and if you then ask them in the majors to hit differently, that’s really difficult. That goes against a lifetime of training. Some guys can pull it off, and some guys are worse for it, so in a lot of cases it probably makes sense to just have the hitters hit how they like and make the best of it.

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: Gotta see more bunts, though. Bunts don’t require a change in approach. A bunt is just a bunt. They’re stupid for not bunting

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: All right, it’s time for me to get rolling

11:08
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 — 2/19/16 by Jeff Sullivan!

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

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An octopus did almost kill me once. Should have peeled the suckers off the tentacles before I ate it.