Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 2/24/15

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to Tuesday live FanGraphs baseball chat

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll be your host, apparently

9:05
Comment From Guest
ON TIME!?

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: Foolish guest

9:06
Comment From Brian
Which CLE pitcher do you see most exceeding expectations?

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: Well, what are the expectations? I like Carrasco, but lots of people like Carrasco. I like Salazar, but lots of people like Salazar. I’m interested in Tomlin, but I don’t think he’s going to start very much

9:07
Comment From Brian
Other than Stroman and Carasco who is you best pitching sleeper for 2015?

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t really think in terms of sleepers. And are Stroman and Carrasco really “sleepers” in any sense? Last year they were really good

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: But, hell, let me give this a whirl

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Eovaldi? I like him working with McCann and Rothschild

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: People will probably be scared by his transition to a little ballpark

9:08
Comment From Harry Porter and the Voldemalts
Who is your favorite comp on the player projections? I am always enamored by them…

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: Burt Reynolds/Tom Skerritt

9:08
Comment From Brian
Felix or Kershaw next 3 years?

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: Oh, what the hell, I’m doing it. Felix!

9:08
Comment From Guest
How in demand is Ron Washington? You see him back at the A’s in some capacity?

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: Apparently he is not in demand. I can see him getting another baseball job down the line, but not a prominent one

9:09
Comment From Brian
A rod or Beltre in 3 years?

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: Is this Beltre vs. A-Rod, or Beltre vs. a rod?

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: Beltre in both

9:09
Comment From Walt
The Reds will make the playoffs if…?

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: Votto’s really good, Bruce is really good, Hamilton is better, Cueto stays healthy, Bailey stays healthy, Chapman stays healthy, DeSclafani holds his own…

9:10
Comment From Oscar
As resident framing expert, do you have a sense for where most of the pitches that turn into strikes are? Is it more likely high, low, what?

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: Low, and frequently low and away

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: Some catchers are better up than down, but the majority of the good framers excel around the knees

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: 1 minute please!

9:12
Comment From mtsw
What things, if any, are worth paying attention to when reading about your favorite team’s spring training?

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: Well, most generally, read about whatever brings you pleasure. If you are a person who likes the spring-training fluff, consume all the spring-training fluff. It’s nice to have the routine of baseball back

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: But if you’re looking for meaningful indicators, it’s all about the new pitches and the mechanical tweaks. Sometimes you can see stuff in the occasional PITCHf/x. For hitters, maybe a focus on bunting, or a new-found ability to hit the other way

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: Example I go back to is Michael Saunders a few years ago — all of a sudden, in ST, he was showing some power to left-center field that he didn’t previously have. That was promising!

9:14
Comment From John
i can never remember, but you are not in nc you are in washington?

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: Portland, OR

9:14
Comment From Kris
Surprised Moncada went for so little? (Compared to what most were expecting)

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: I think he was within the range of expectations. Obviously undershot the $40m guess, but I don’t think people were giving enough consideration to the fact that this money had to be paid almost immediately. That’s just…a huge amount of money for a teenager.

9:15
Comment From Maxamuz
My roommate sucks.

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: I hope you’re not married

9:16
Comment From Eyebrows
Your thoughts on the 2015 seasons of some young AL East pitchers: Gausman and Hutchison

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: I think Hutchison has a better year, and Gausman has a better career.

9:16
Comment From Kris
you just answered a fantasy question, how do you feel

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: I have fun

9:17
Comment From lol
If Barry Zito somehow, somehow, somehow, starts throwing 90 MPH FB again, is he still a useful pitcher for the A’s? Have his other pitches degraded?

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: Barry Zito at 90 is a major-league pitcher. That would be almost literally turning back the clock a full decade. Funny thing about his last few years in Oakland — he wasn’t actually that good. He was fine. He could be fine again, assuming the miracle premise

9:18
Comment From Brian
Best Cuban not named Abreu or Puig?

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: Chapman’s pretty amazing, don’t you think?

9:19
Comment From What are your expectations for Danny Duffy this year?
What are your expectations for Danny Duffy this year?

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: Ehhh. He’ll be okay. Defense will be big for the ERA.

9:20
Comment From Marco Polo
Who gets the M’s last rotation spot? are you higher on Elias than Walker?

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: I think Elias gets it, but it’s more like 65/35 than 90/10. Erasmo Ramirez has some opportunity just because he’s out of options. If the M’s were to sign Chris Young this week, he’d get enough time in camp to win that spot instead.

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: Not that I think Young is on the radar, but as long as he’s out there, the M’s know what he is

9:21
Comment From Guest
Do you ever see Jason Kipnis returning to his production in the 2012-13 seasons, or is he damaged goods?

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: No reason he can’t do 2012 again. 2013 could likely stand as a career year

9:23
Comment From Kris
is bryce harper injury prone in the same vein that troy tulowitzki is injury prone?

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: I’m really careful with the injury-prone label, and with Harper, a lot of the issues have been more fluky than chronic. I know you could say they’re side effects of his style of play, but I think he’s more durable than his reputation would suggest.

9:24
Comment From mtsw
Other than some outliers on each end (Cubs, Phillies) is most of ESPN’s “analytics rankings” list just a ranking of how willing various front offices are to reveal details of their analytics department to the press? More generally, what did you think of these rankings?

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: I only skimmed them, and I don’t know shit about what goes on in other sports. Don’t particularly care for rankings that try to rank the essentially unknowable, and you can be only so thorough when you’re arranging something like 122 different teams.

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: Every single baseball team makes some use of analytics. But, then, what does that even mean? Lines get blurry. One should be more concerned about front offices that are more or less open-minded. There are better front offices than others, and I think we have pretty good ideas of which those are

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Did anything about the rankings really surprise you? I think they fit the perceptions. That’s not necessarily a good thing, either.

9:27
Comment From Brian
Which team is most likely to win a WS in the next 10 years?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: The Dodgers. They’ve got everything.

9:27
Comment From Marco Polo
Why is Arod showing up early in Tampa a big deal, sis it just because its the Yankees and Ny media?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not a big deal

9:28
Comment From Nate
Who do you like more moving forward? Chris Davis? or Adrian Gonzalez?

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: Gonzalez. Good luck to your fantasy team!

9:28
Comment From Charkip
Most surprising player this year to have a 5+ WAR?

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: Justin Verlander?

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: Would that be a surprise?

9:31
Comment From Jeff 2.0
What are your expectations on Jose Iglesias production this year?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: It’s probably best not to expect much of anything

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: Offensively, I mean.

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: Hope for 550 plate appearances. If he does that, he’s done enough

9:32
Comment From Ben
Ben Cherington basically said this morning that Castillo is going to start the year at the major league level. Any harm in Betts starting in AAA this year?

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: The harm would be that the big-league team would be worse. I know the situation is crowded, but there’s room for four regular outfielders here.

9:32
Comment From JL
Opening Day 2018, what position is Moncada playing for the Red Sox?

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: Third

9:33
Comment From Shawn
Mayweather or Pacquiao?

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: Whichever one is a nicer person

9:33
Comment From Vslyke
Is there any precedent for a player collapsing as bad as Melvin Upton Jr. and then regaining his form later? I’m still holding out some hope for a significant rebound and am wondering how insane that is.

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not the same thing, exactly, but after Jeff Cirillo bottomed out, he came back and hit decently over a couple years with the Brewers

9:35
Comment From Guest
any chance Montero gets any time behind the dish this seas?

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: You mean Jesus Montero?

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: Literally Jesus Montero?

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: Montero lost weight, he didn’t become a completely different person

9:37
Comment From neal
why is it that people see moncada’s signing bonus and their first reaction is “we need to stop kids from getting paid that much” rather than “american kids who sign deserve to be getting paid more”

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: There are people who see it both ways, but there are more people who just think it’s silly that sports players get paid tens of millions of dollars to play a game

9:37
Comment From RK
Any of the team over/unders stand out to you?

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: If anything I’d say bet the under on the Phillies because it will be a season of shedding

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know where they put the line, but it’s too high

9:38
Comment From Brian
Who is the best all around player in the modern ( post integration game)?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: Mike Trout, because he’s the best player now, and players are always improving decade over decade

9:38
Comment From Charkip
Does the Moncada signing make Pedoria or Betts trade targets in the next year or two?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: No

9:39
Comment From Brian
What one thing do you wish you had never ever written?

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: A letter to a girl I liked in high school

9:40
Comment From Jeet
Why do people hate ARod so much over someone like Manny or Petite? Their transgressions are similar….is it the hot models?

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: Probably the uncanny-valley thing. Alex Rodriguez is almost a recognizable person, and that creeps people the hell out.

9:42
Comment From Matt OldePunks
Does lucroy replicate last year and cement himself as the best hittinig catcher in baseball or does that knee wreck him before he started?

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: How did Twitter not alert me to Buster Posey’s retirement

9:42
Comment From Matt
How can baseball better deal with the problem of low income kids getting into baseball despite it being cost prohibitive?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Too big a question for a chat. Make it less cost-prohibitive.

9:43
Comment From David
Is it possible to calculate projected K% and BB% from ZiPS or Steamer?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Yes?

9:43
Comment From Jeet
Don’t know if you are a fantasy guy but if you were punting something (because 260$ does not cover everything) which category would you punt from R,HR,RBI,SB,OBP,K,SV,QS,ERA and WHIP

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: I punt all the categories and watch regular baseball

9:44
Comment From Darth Stout
What is Tanner Roark’s role in 2015?

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: Long reliever and sixth starter. Chances are, they’ll need him to start

9:44
Comment From El Chorizo
If Hultzen is healthy do you speed him to the majors? It seems likely that there are only so many pitches in that shoulder.

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: What does that even mean?

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: Hultzen threw a total of zero innings last season. 36 the season before. You take your damn time. For 2015 he ought to be a non-factor.

9:46
Comment From Matt
Who do you think gets edged out among the O’s outfielders? Seems like they have one too many with Jones, Pearce, Snider, De Aza, Lough, and Delmon Young (who they still consider an outfielder).

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: If it’s anyone, it’s probably Lough

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: I do not think they consider Delmon Young an outfielder

9:47
Comment From Ringtone Composer
Is it correct to say that, as a general matter, having a good changeup makes pitchers more effective against opposite-handed batters? (And sliders increase effectiveness against same-handed batters?)

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, that’s the general rule. Changeups reduce platoon splits. Sinker/slider guys have mostly big platoon splits.

9:47
Comment From Shawn
Do you like Matt Cain to bounceback this year?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: He’ll be good

9:48
Comment From Tom
If Michael Wacha is healthy and regains the feel of his changeup, would that put the Cardinals on the level of the Dodgers and Nationals?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: Not quite

9:48
Comment From Taveras Ghost
Who’s starting in the STL outfield other than Heymaker

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: Jay and Holliday, with Bourjos roving

9:49
Comment From When Ivan Nova gets healthy, where will he fit into the Yankees rotation?
When Ivan Nova gets healthy, where will he fit into the Yankees rotation?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Their current fifth starter is Chris Capuano

9:49
Comment From Charkip
Why is no one talking about Brandon McCarthy? In my opinion, he can make the Dodgers’ season.

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: There are a lot of players to talk about and the Dodgers have several more interesting starting pitchers. I think McCarthy receives proportional attention

9:50
Comment From STiVo
On a recent TV program, Brian Kenny kept referring to pitch framing as “revealing strikes,” i.e., not getting balls to be called strikes. This is only part of framing, right? Don’t the good framers get pitches out of the strike zone to be called strikes?

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: Good framers get strikes, period. More strikes in the zone, more strikes out of the zone. There’s no one who’s good at one and bad at the other, because that wouldn’t make sense — it’s the same mechanism

9:50
Comment From Catoblepas
Have you ever been scooped by a Community blog post? As in, you’re writing a piece, and someone submits a very similar piece.

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: Hasn’t happened, because I write my pieces in one sitting and I leave the Community editing for the end of the day.

9:51
Comment From Dan
Who are your favorite baseball writers to read?

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: Leaving aside FG, it’s Miller, Lindbergh, and Brisbee. Original, I know

9:52
Comment From Jed
Do you think the Mariners could trade for Hamels with a Walker/Peterson/other minor prospects package? I don’t think it would happen, but it’s better to think about that than paying attention to Spring Training.

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: Yes, the Phillies would do that, but no, the Mariners probably would not do that. Nor do the Mariners have the payroll flexibility

9:53
Comment From Guest
Given the talent level and the fact that they were both playing in the same league in Cuba at high levels, Is it surprising that Moncada got less than Tomas?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: The actual cost to the teams is very similar, and Tomas can help right away

9:53
Comment From Matt
What do you say to fans who think fielding independent stats are not important and don’t mean anything?

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t encounter those fans very often, but I don’t go around trying to change peoples’ minds about how they enjoy following baseball. If baseball brings you pleasure, good, that’s all that matters. Now, in an argument, I’ll have a lesser tolerance for bad analysis, but I don’t get into baseball arguments

9:55
Comment From Catoblepas
The plan for the Dodgers has to be to sign newly-awesome Cuban pitcher Alvarez, and a bunch of other guys this next July 2 period, right? They weren’t letting themselves get outbid for Moncada (at only $63m) unless they had a plan, presumably?

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, now they’ll have less competition for a couple years. But there will still be competition, including (but not limited to) the Phillies, so it’s not like the Dodgers will get exactly what they want

9:56
Comment From Guest
Given the NHL’s new emphasis on public advanced stats, do think baseball will ever endorse them or does it realize they are safe in a strong public baseball community? Will this help force their hand with Statcast?

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think MLB cares what the NHL does. They’ll do with Statcast whatever they’ve intended to do with Statcast. Teams don’t even know what MLB intends to do with Statcast

9:57
Comment From Catoblepas
Who’s the first free agent pitcher signed when someone’s elbow falls off in March? Chris Young just seems so reasonable to me, it’s hard to see why no one signed him for pocket change

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: There’s basically no one left. It’s Chris Young and Kevin Correia and minor-league guys. Trades are likely, as are waiver pickups

9:57
Comment From JL
Why did the Sox trade Lackey? If it was an option, wouldn’t they undo that deal today in a heartbeat?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: They like Kelly, and they think Craig is resolvable

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: There was also some uncertainty about Lackey actually playing for the minimum this season

9:58
Comment From JL
Are you going to Sloan? Have you ever been?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: No, and I’ve never been, but FG will be well-represented

9:58
Comment From Brian
Who on the Fangraphs staff is the worst driver?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: I haven’t driven with everyone but I’m just going to guess it’s Eno

9:59
Comment From mtsw
Orioles 2015 strategy seems to be “bring in 10 new, replacement-level guys, hope 3 randomly turn out to be much better than expected (a la 2014 Steve Pearce) and can fill the 3-4 roster holes we have.” Do you see this working out for them?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: The Orioles will hinge less on the fringe guys, and more on the star-level players at the top of the roster. I like what they do with their depth. They’re not built on their depth — that’s just an additional feature

10:00
Comment From Chuck
Is Baez on the hot seat with Alcantra and Russell looking over his shoulder, or does he figure it out?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: I’m a Baez skeptic, but the Cubs aren’t going to make a super-quick decision on him.

10:01
Comment From Curtis
Does Zunino have a .260 in the bag with his 20 bombs? ever?

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: Last year the American League hit .253. Zunino is a strikeout-prone fly-ball-hitting righty in Safeco Field.

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: Right now I’m just hoping for a .260 OBP

10:02
Comment From Dylan
Speaking of Tulo, if he never got injuried, would he be close to being in the conversation as Trout? I mean 6 WAR in a partial season is incredible

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, Tulo’s ability is on the Trout level. Only other such guy we’ve got

10:03
Comment From Curtis
Bryant or Buxton – real life (not fantasy baseball) – forever….?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: Buxton

10:03
Comment From Catoblepas
Do you think Moncada has more or less risk than the average high school draftee? It seems the Cuban leagues have a reasonably high level of competition

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Less than the average high-school draftee, more than the average top-level high-school draftee.

10:05
Comment From The Oriole Bird
Who will accrue the most WAR for the Orioles in 2015?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: Machado

10:07
Comment From witesoxfan
I love finding guys who radically change their approach to pitching, whether it be mechanics or pitch style, and find good success. The White Sox have a couple guys in Duke and Putnam who fit that profile. Anyone else you can think of offhand?

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: Well, McHugh was fun

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: Britton was awesome to watch out of the bullpen

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: I like the adjustments the Rays made to Odorizzi. But I’m having trouble thinking of another Zach Duke at the moment

10:09
Comment From Ghost Hands
Please tell me that Matt Harvey and Jose Fernandez come back healthy at some point and throw dueling perfect games against one another. Thanks.

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: I guarantee that it will happen

10:09
Comment From Curtis
How many more years does Kershaw have at SUPERDUPER ELITE status as a SP? What can we expect after that? gradual decline for several years?

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: You want to say gradual decline, but it might be equally likely that there’s an injury that costs him a year and a half. Injury could come out of nowhere. For the moment, Kershaw projects to be awesome for another handful of years. Only reason to think he won’t be amazing is that he’s a pitcher who pitches baseballs. Sadly, that’s a significant reason

10:10
Comment From Tom
How many current players would you say are sure thing HOFers? Not ones that deserve to be but ones that will be? Beltre, Pujols, Y Molina, Ichiro?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: Beltre isn’t automatic. Neither is Molina

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Miguel Cabrera will eventually make it, I imagine

10:12
Comment From Guest
Odds that McCutchen is a HoFer?

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: Uhhhhh. Man. 25%? 30%? Tough to have a better start than him, but he’s not even yet to a thousand hits. So, so far to go, you always have to bet against the star player

10:15
Comment From DC
What’s a reasonable player career comparison for Mookie Betts?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: Some sort of right-handed Brett Gardner, maybe?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Ultimate upside would be the right-handed Matt Carpenter

10:17
Comment From Curtis
is it fair to call Alcantara a Zobrist? (is there an A-Z reference there?)

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: There are lots of potential Zobrists, but only one Zobrist has five career 5+ WAR seasons

10:18
Comment From greg
Has there been much research done on how often pitchers (or which pitchers) will pitch to the shifts behind them? e.g. My defense is playing to the right side for an extreme pull lefty, so I’m going to pitch this guy exclusively inside rather than toss something to the outside that he could slap the other way.

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: Not a lot done there — there’s so much going on, it’s incredibly hard to isolate. Presumably, pitchers do pitch some to the shifts, if only because the catchers will adjust their own positions in accordance. If a pitcher consistently *didn’t* pitch to the shift, there would be a conversation, because the catcher and team would notice.

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: I’m going to guess the effects are really subtle. If a guy’s already a heavy pull lefty, he’s going to try to pull anything.

10:19
Comment From mtsw
Only surprising thing in ESPN rankings was to see the Yankees in the top 10 overall. Some of the logic seems to be “Joe Girardi does smart things as a manger” which doesn’t really seem to have anything to do with “analytics” per se.

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: The Yankees are incredibly analytical. They have so much going on internally. Their resources cause people to think they’re 100% about money, but they’re also one of the sharpest organizations in baseball.

10:20
Comment From Charkip
Will Kris Bryant be the Cubs Opening Day third baseman?

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: Basically 100% no

10:20
Comment From Guest
what you gonna do on your vacay? got long backpack trips planned?

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: Backpacking in Patagonia

10:21
Comment From mtsw
Could the Orioles constantly adding catchers in the offseason combined with being publicly bearish on Wieters’ injury recovery just a screen of FUD to try and lower Wieters’ perceived value ahead of signing him to an extension? Or is this the sort of thing no one would try to do to a Boras client?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: Not connected. Wieters’ numbers are Wieters’ numbers, and Boras knows all about Wieters’ numbers.

10:21
Comment From Catoblepas
Odds of Jackie Bradley Jr. hitting at all this year (wRC+ > 80)? Is he valuable in a trade at all?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: He definitely has trade value. Teams understand the defense gives him a high floor. He’s an adjustment or two away from being Michael Bourn

10:24
Comment From John
did you know that you can be denied entry into canada for even minor infractions on your record? because m supposed to go there next week and just found this out

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: I sure did know that!

10:24
Comment From Guest
Was Melvin Upton jr ever tht good to begin with?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Never a star, but a pretty consistently above-average regular

10:25
Comment From Ringtone Composer
Which player do you expect to produce the lowest baserunning runs this year?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Kendrys Morales

10:26
Comment From Jobu-Cerranos Locker
Harper was awesome as a rookie but has regressed each year. I think mainly because of injuires. Still think Harper is going to be a generational player like most did if you ever thought that? If so, think he starts making that leap this year? Thanks.

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Bryce Harper is 22 years old and last year he showed improvement once he put the injury behind him. He’s going to be outstanding. He already has been outstanding

10:26
Comment From Guest
better rest of career J upton or Heyward?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Heyward

10:27
Comment From Guest
Jose Molina is at Cards camp as an instructor?Could we see the glorycof Molina backing up Molina?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: I like the idea of Jose Molina giving Yadier Molina advice

10:28
Comment From foiled
What happened to the commenting function on FG? The new “verify” feature has made it impossible for me to ask any questions. After verifying and submitting, the comment does not appear. Trying again yeilds “oops you’ve already said that.” Except… my comment never appears! I don’t make rude comments, I don’t believe I’ve been barred. Can you please alert someone? This chat is my only way through!

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: I had the same thing happen to me when I forgot to verify a comment. I wonder if maybe you didn’t let the verification process complete? (The spinny circle bit.) Without properly verifying, the comment gets marked as spam, and then we have to manually put the comment through. Which is annoying, but I think this is just an adjustment. I don’t know what happened, actually, but it’s probably related to a WordPress update that also changed things on the editorial back end

10:32
Comment From Guest
Why hasn’t neuroscouting become a bigger thing? Scouts are really good at identifying tools, but bad at identifying hitters. Wouldn’t using testing to identify if a hitter can pickcupxrelease point,spin, and reaction time be critical? Especially because major league pitching is so different

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: There’s not yet any evidence that it works, and it’s a difficult thing to successfully implement

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: Mookie Betts might be one example of the process identifying a surprising talent. The same article talked about promising players who haven’t worked out

10:32
Comment From Guest
Regret because high school? Do you write letters now?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: It’s good to write letters. This afternoon or tomorrow, write someone a card. They’ll appreciate it!

10:33
Comment From foiled
Do you like composite projections better than any single system (except your own, of course?)

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Yes

10:33
Comment From Matt Oldepunks
BEcause posey is a first baseman more and more. Lucroy or bust!

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Posey is a very good defensive catcher though

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Other than that you’re onto something

10:33
Comment From Guest
Could A-Rod take a page out of Kayne West’s book and adapt his insane talent and arrogance into a persona? I’m surprised they aren’t best friends already.

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: A-Rod doesn’t have insane talent anymore

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Would’ve made sense 15 years ago

10:34
Comment From L. Scott
I’m confused as to why the D-Backs are planning on starting Yasmany Tomas. Wouldn’t some seasoning in AAA be a better plan? Or does it depend on ST performance?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: They think he’s ready now. Abreu was ready right away.

10:35
Comment From mtsw
A friend of mine is a waiter in NYC. Once waited on A-Rod, A-Rod’s girlfriend and a business associate. They were negotiating the purchase of a private plane for A-Rod over lunch. A-Rod was told he could add wi-fi to the plane for $50k. A-Rod and gf both balked at the price. A-Rod: “$50k for wifi? For every flight?” “No, it’s a one-time thing, not for every flight.”A-Rod (to gf): “oh, what’s the problem then?” I don’t know why but I thought this made him slightly more likeable.

10:35
Comment From Edward
I’m baffled by the perception the Phillies are overvaluing Hamels by asking for Betts, Swihart, etc. People say that baseball is changing and the value of prospects is at an all time high – and I get that – but just last July, the Orioles traded away a top 25 overall prospect in Rodriguez for 2.5 months of Andrew Miller. Hamels is signed at a reasonable price for multiple years, is a former WS MVP, has the type of stuff that is sustainable even when he ages and velocity dips…it just doesn’t make sense to me. Can you share your thoughts?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Miller was traded midseason, when prices are higher. Rodriguez only made himself a top-25 prospect based on what he did after the trade, when his velocity picked up and his numbers improved. Rodriguez, also, is an unproven pitcher, while Swihart is an unproven position player, and Betts is a partially-proven position player. It’s not necessarily a good thing that Hamels is under contract for so long — teams don’t love that risk.

10:37
Comment From JL
I wish the Senators would stop winning 🙁

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: lol toronto

10:37
Comment From Abe
If you were a starting pitcher and could select your arsenal, which 3 or 4 pitches would you go with?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: I’m going to leave out knuckleball because it’s cheating

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Two-seamer, cutter, changeup, power curve

10:38
Comment From Fanthead
In the spirit of your excellent JABO article, who do you intuit this year as surprise players?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: I need to see a list of non-top-100 prospects

10:39
Comment From Guest
How cool is it that Chris Sale’s top comp on his fastball velocity/shape is the corpse of Randy Johnson’s fastball?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: Doesn’t get much more flattering

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: except for the corpse part

10:39
Comment From JL
would henry owens and christian Vazquez be enough for hamels?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: Should be, but Amaro would possibly/probably say no. I don’t think he cares for catchers like Vazquez

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: He already turned down a package with Hedges

10:40
Comment From Guest
But can Tomas REALLY help right away? I think the consensus is that he isn’t good

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: That’s not the consensus. The consensus is that he’s powerful.

10:41
Comment From klof
maddon wants kris bryant playing OF in spring training with the idea to get alcantara’s bat in the lineup vs lefties. do you think it will impact byrant’s development to deal with both 3B and OF?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: Probably not. He’s known for a while the team would think about playing him in the outfield. It’s a fairly easy adjustment to make. The Cubs aren’t looking for him to win any Gold Gloves

10:43
Comment From mtsw
Is there a sports equivalent to how every news/politics website pays its bills by writing stories recapping what was on Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert the night before?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know about other sports, but in baseball, funny .gifs. If something funny happens in a game, it will be somewhere on every website the next morning, and the text will be awful

10:43
Comment From Art Vandelay
Who pitches first for the Dodgers? Urias or Beachy?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: Beachy

10:44
Comment From Phillies113
Are strikeouts and popups considered a repeatable “skill’? If so, it’s within each player’s power to reduce the rates of each, no?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Yes?

10:44
Comment From Mark
There’s no way they go to a shorter season since to owners it means less ticket and broadcast revenue, right?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Pretty much

10:44
Comment From Art Vandelay
Are you taking the over on Jesus Montero’s 0.1 WAR now that he’s seemingly legitimately in the BSOHL?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Not sure he gets much of a chance to make a difference in 2015, but I think he’s better-positioned to have a career somewhere

10:45
Comment From Stanley Yelnats
Do you have any theory/aid to predicting how BABIP will transfer from minors to majors?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: Worse

10:45
Comment From Guest
How the hell does Steamer have Tulo getting 600 PA? He has done it once in the past 5 seasons.

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll have to look at the Rockies’ depth chart. Don’t know who’s in charge of that one, but it’s a person who put that in, not Steamer itself

10:45
Comment From The Oriole Bird
Do you think Matt Wieters will ever have a season of 5.5 WAR or higher?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: No

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: That is very hard to do

10:46
Comment From mtsw
Given how stats-obsessed baseball fans are, why have baseball management sim video games never broken out in popularity? Football Manager (soccer management sim) is consistently one of the most popular video games in the world.

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Isn’t OOTP pretty popular?

10:46
Comment From robotasaurus rex
Who do you think has the best career and why: Marcus Stroman or Yordano Ventura?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Stroman, because he’s a better pitcher

10:46
Comment From EP
Does Tim Lincecum get a major-league deal next winter?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Absolutely

10:47
Comment From Catoblepas
Given your aversion for fantasy stuff, how do you judge the Community posts that concern that topic? What would you estimate the proportion to be re: fantasy/real?

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: Just because I don’t care about fantasy stuff doesn’t mean nobody cares about fantasy stuff.

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: Most of it has to do with real baseball, but there’s a good amount of fantasy content on the page

10:48
Comment From Sir Nerdlington
Rather than continue to create bizarre loopholes for richer teams to exploit (e.g. J2), what are your thoughts on realigning divisions based on revenue & geography? For example, there’d be a west, east, midwest division in each league. One league would be high revenue teams, one low revenue teams. Would ensure there were 5 low revenue playoff teams each year.

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: First thing that comes to mind is you don’t want to necessarily automatically penalize teams for generating high revenue. And maybe the revenue drops off as you make the playoffs more difficult to achieve

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: But I am in favor of realignment proposals

10:50
Comment From Guest
How long will you be in patagonia?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: Gone for two weeks — the last two weeks of spring training. So, the worst two weeks of spring training

10:50
Comment From Catoblepas
Does the Community blog shut down in your absence?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll have somebody else temporarily in charge

10:50
Comment From El Chorizo
Torres del Paine?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: Hell yeah

10:50
Comment From Jimmer
Do you think Gardenhire will manage again?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: Probably not. Teams are trending in the opposite direction

10:51
Comment From Matt
There is nothing out there like Josh Collmenter’s cutter…..well maybe Kelvin Esobar’s splitter…that is fun

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: All comes out of the weird-ass throwing motion

10:51
Comment From MikeM
Does ARod hit enough to get 250 ABs?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: I think he’ll settle somewhere around 250 – 300. Jones will play a bunch

10:52
Comment From Eric Weinstein
Manfred was apparently musing about going down to 154 game schedule. Where would you stand on this and do you think it has any chance of happening? I’m not opposed to all efforts to speed up the game, but I’d put the 154 game season in the same category of shortening games to 7 innings — the point where a single-minded focus on chasing casual fans substantially harms the historical and statistical traditions of the sport. Let Baseball Be Baseball!

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: Baseball used to have a 154-game schedule

10:53
Comment From somewhere in the midwest
Do you think Gregorious starts Full time as SS for the Yankees?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: No, he’ll split with Ryan

10:53
Comment From Eric Weinstein
If you were Jed/Theo, how much would the Phillies have to eat of Hamels contract for you to trade Russell?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: Just spitballing here, $50-60 million?

10:54
Comment From L. Scott
How often would Chris Davis have to bunt against the shift successfully for it to raise his BABIP enough to unshift on him?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: That’s a question we’d love to know the answer to, but we don’t and can’t know it until people bunt more

10:54
Comment From Guest
Is the ability for pitchers to generate IFFB a skill? Kershaw is good at it

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Somewhat, but it’s very closely tied to FB%

10:55
Comment From somewhere in the midwest
what kind of pitcher has low Ks but low ERA too?

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: Low-walk pitcher?

10:56
Comment From Big Joe Mufferaw
which players have the best current tools in MLB? We know Billy Hamilton has the best speed tool.. But if you could build a player from individual tools, which players tools would you use?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s say Hamilton’s speed, Stanton’s power, Votto’s average, Simmons arm, Simmons fielding

10:57
Comment From EGL
i keep reading FG staffers say that prices are higher for midseason trades. This can’t mean that a player like Hamels will bring a bigger return in July than he would in April, that would be absurd. So, what does it mean ?

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: That is what it means.

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: Healthy Hamels would cost more in July. The risk for the Phillies is a few months of counting on health and performance

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: All right you guys, I need to get going!

10:58
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 — 2/24/15 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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dk14
Guest
dk14

Does Rusney have a legit shot to lead off if Victorino starts over Betts?

Atreyu Jones
Guest
Atreyu Jones

I think it will be some combination of Victorino and Pedroia at 1-2 when Mookie is out of the lineup.