Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 2/5/16

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s baseball chat until we stop

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: or drop

9:10
Alex: If both careers ended right now, whose would you rather have, Tim Lincecum or Buster Posey? 2x Cy Young,2 other top 10 finishes, and 3x WS winner, vs RoY, 1x Comeback, 1x Hank Aaron, 2x Silver Slugger, 1x MVP, and 3x WS winner?

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: I think I’d rather have Posey’s, for a variety of reasons, including how his career in this example would’ve ended abruptly whereas Lincecum has trailed off

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: Posey hasn’t shown signs of weakness or decline, while we’ve watched Lincecum disappear into almost nothing. Granted! I’m very interested to see what Lincecum is in 2016, since there’s some chance his hip surgery will restore his stuff. Stay tuned!

9:12
Kylo Ren: Jeff I’d like to know who you read on a regular basis for baseball. I get such enjoyment from FG that if you have other excellent writers or websites, please share!

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: I of course read a lot of FG and a good amount of BP. The guys I’ve always pointed to are Grant Brisbee, Sam Miller, and Ben Lindbergh, not that they’re by any means the only good writers. Twitter is helpful because I feel like I don’t miss that much because people I like will bring to my attention pieces from other people or other places I might not frequent

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: I feel like most of what I do is read. It’s hard to keep track of because while I have my regular destinations, other places and people just pop up if I see a link or run a certain search query. There’s so much good and/or interesting writing and analysis that it’s freaking hard to carve out time to write for yourself

9:16
Guest: If we had the data, who do you think would have the highest statcast Effective Velocity of all time, and what would it be? My guess is Randy Johnson, pushing 107-8ish.

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: Aroldis Chapman probably throws harder than anyone ever, and he was beaten out this year by Carter Capps in terms of perceived velocity. It’s plainly obvious how Capps gets his boost and Randy Johnson has just five inches on Capps’ height. Is that balanced out by Capps’ jump forward in his delivery?

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: So the answer could very well be Capps, today (or, last year). Maybe that’s uninteresting. There’s some chance it’s Randy Johnson, but even if it were, I imagine he’d be around 102, not 107-108

9:19
The Dude of NY: I have a really bad sinus infection: would it be wise for me to hook up an aquarium pump to my sinuses?

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know the answer to this but I do know something interesting I recently learned! Sinus infections can routinely cause upper toothaches. Tooth nerves run through the sinus cavity such that when your sinuses are acting up, you can get a sort of “jostling discomfort” in your teeth when you’re, say, jogging

9:20
Johnny5Alive: thoughts on super bowl

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: no question in my mind, it will be a football game

9:21
The Dude of NY: I forget: do you think the Mets or Nationals have the upper hand in 2016?\

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: I think the Mets have a slight edge, but I think the two teams are closer than they’re perceived to be

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: I like the Mets’ depth at the moment, but then I also think the Nationals are more likely to go out and get better, like, say, behind the plate

9:23
j6takish: What are the white sox doing? They had huge holes in the outfield and at shortstop, they had a protected first round pick, they have LaRoche and gavin Floyd coming off the books next year and fowler, desmond and upton were all unsigned until mid January. Plus they don’t have any big arb raises to worry about because all their good players are signed to below market deals. This has to be a catastrophic failure right?

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: (I assume you mean John Danks, not Gavin Floyd)

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: From one perspective the White Sox wound up in a difficult position because they were simultaneously thin in the majors and thin on the farm. They’ve done a little bit this offseason to address the lack of depth, but considering where we are now, remember that Desmond and Fowler are still out there. Plus a guy like Desmond Jennings. The offseason is almost over, but it’s not completely over, and the Sox still have maybe the most obvious fits for the two best remaining position players

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Desmond has been linked to Tampa Bay, but if that was going to happen I feel like it might’ve happened by now. I don’t know where else Fowler might go. The Sox can get better if they sign either of these guys. Maybe they should sign both

9:28
Guest: The Angels went 35-17 in one run games. That is incredible! Why is no one talking about that? If they are even .500 in one run games this year, that team could feasibly be picking in the top 5 with Mike freaking Trout on it, couldnt it?

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: The Angels definitely have a certain amount of crater potential. Specifically because of Trout, it’s hard to see them completely bottoming out, but it’s insane how much of a difference Trout makes for that whole organization. If it weren’t for him, they could be a complete wreck. He makes them competitive almost on his own

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: Now that’s not really a shot at the Angels — they HAVE Trout, and that’s their big advantage. But to this point they’ve done a bad job of surrounding him

9:30
Raindog: Jeff, since when did you have illustration skills? More, please.

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: 30 years from now I’ll still be working in MS Paint while everyone else is building holograms

9:31
Radermecher: Jeff,why does Dee Gordon get less respect than Rodney?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: Little dude, doesn’t hit the ball hard. He doesn’t *look* like he should be good, so people make that assumption

9:32
Alex: 3 years ago, people were legitimately debating the best franchise starter between Trout, Harper, and Machado. After Harper’s and Machados injuries, the debate subsided. Is it now a valid discussion again?

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: Harper definitely helped himself a lot — he’s won people back over to his side. Machado’s emergence was quieter. For me, it’s now Trout by a little over Harper, who’s a little over Machado. Machado gets the least respect of the three

9:33
The Dude of NY: Do you prefer using K% or K/9, and why?

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: K%. K/9 can be skewed by efficiency or inefficiency

9:34
Ryan : It seems like Carson’s existence is indicative of something. Is he the next step in human evolution or the beginning of the end?

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: I think Carson is a visitor from another world who found out he can’t go home, so he’s had to try to blend in with a most unfamiliar species

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: He’s gotten so close, but that’s precisely what makes him stand out. Uncanny valley sort of thing

9:36
TF Fredrik: To me defining ace would mean they have the stats, stuff, & health over ‘X’ amount of innings or time. So Ace = > 25%K, < 6%BB & 2.5%HR, >500 innings over last 3 years. With that you get Kershaw, Scherzer, Sale, Felix, Kluber, Strasburg, & Bumgarner. Only argument I could see is maybe against Stras (health, maybe stats argument), no?

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know about the strikeout cutoff — Roy Halladay, for example, got his strikeouts, but he wasn’t a strikeout pitcher, and he was obviously an ace. I do feel like you need to have a proven track record; I don’t know if a “pop-up” pitcher can count as an ace yet. (Say, Keuchel.) But to be totally honest, I haven’t yet thought about this in depth. I don’t know my own true feelings and this is why I’m very interested to examine the community polling results

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: Strasburg suffers from a perception problem. Don’t know how fair that is but I don’t think people within the industry see him as an ace. Plenty of fans certainly don’t

9:41
AKA22: Who do you think opens the season in the Braves rotation? Will they give a lot of the young guys a chance, or will we get the joy of watching Norris, Chacin, and Kendrick day in and day out?

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: The Braves *want* to see a lot of the young guys. The veterans they have would be pretty easy to displace. They’ve just had to assemble some measure of depth because they want to avoid what last year’s pitching staff became. Don’t worry too much about the opening rotation — worry more about the rotation on, say, June 1

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: If a young pitcher is being frozen out of the rotation by Kyle Kendrick, it’s 99% because the young pitcher hasn’t yet been good enough

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: In which case you wouldn’t want to see him

9:43
Brett W: I want to clarify my off-season narrative notes. The Zimmerman and Upton contracts were largely seen as reasonable, and the Davis contract was seen as a team mistake. But Mike Ilitch is the one who is mortgaging the team’s future because he is old, but the slightly older Peter Angelos isn’t. Sound right?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: The issue with the Tigers’ future is bigger than just Zimmermann and Upton. And the Orioles don’t have a lot of future committed money other than Davis. The simplistic interpretation is that Ilitch has been much more free with his money than Angelos has. So now people view the Tigers through that lens.

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: As always, reality is less extreme than narrative. The Tigers aren’t quite as screwed as people say. And the Davis contract is problematic, even if for now that money is in part coming from a separate budget

9:47
Josh: Do you think something could work out trade wise between the Dodgers and White Sox?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: Report from yesterday is, no

9:47
The Dude of NY: Which team has a better 6 year window: the Astros or the Cubs?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: Cubs. More resources

9:48
lunch: your illustration depicting the horror of minute maid park was deeply powerful. have you considered a second career depicting volcanoes in ms paint? it’s a quickly growing field, i hear.

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: If that were a job I’d start it tomorrow

9:48
TF Fredrik: What do you think are the most useful pitch f/x metrics to look at? You give me velos, horizontal/vertical movement, & pitch usages and I feel pretty good about having an idea of a pitcher’s arsenal.

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: That definitely gives you just about everything. Beyond that, though, you want to know where the pitches usually go. And there’s value in seeing how the pitches relate to one another — like, I think it’s more important to look at a changeup versus the fastball, as opposed to looking at the changeup in isolation

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: I might be wrong on that, though. Hard to demonstrate

9:49
Guest: How short will Montero’s leash be considering their depth options, will be Montero ever put it together as a platoon guy?

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: Jesus Montero? I think the job is Lee’s. Montero is out of options, so I figure he’ll float elsewhere. Doubt he’s ever worth more than 1 WAR, and my assumption is he’s something like replacement level

9:51
Richard: Hi: Your thoughts concerning the health of Wacha & C. Martinez after last September. Thanks

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: With Wacha, I think the problem was mechanics. Maybe brought on by fatigue, but I feel pretty good about him for 2016. Martinez I feel *mostly* good about. Shoulders are just mysterious enough, though, that I’ll want some early encouraging velocity readings

9:53
jtt: Why do teams keep giving mike morse money? He has been good literally one time. At least ruben sierra played in an era before sabremetrics were widespread

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: He’s extremely strong, and when he wants to be he’s a really good teammate. He’s had some of his numbers hurt due to injury and he’s still a pretty good hitter at 100%. Problem is, everything else

9:54
William: Jays over/under 93 wins (2015 total)? Some have made the case that their starting is actually a touch better than last year, even minus Price…

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: I expect them under 93 but they’d be one of the least surprising teams if they eclipsed 93. 93 is just a really high bar

9:55
Guest: Any chance Harper gets in the 40/40 club, trouts too fat and slow now

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: Harper has 37 steals in four years

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: (That’s a no)

9:58
Mikey: Glasnow seems like he might have the best milk on the farm, even over Giolito. Do you agree? Do you see Glasnow becoming one of the top pitchers in baseball?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: With the top three of Giolito, Urias, and Glasnow, there’s not a whole lot of differentiation. You can make a strong case for any of them to be the best current pitching prospect, and it would be hard to call you wrong. I’d like to see Glasnow show a little better command against advanced competition but that applies to almost everybody

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: He’s real good, and he’s going to be a big help in this year’s second half

10:01
mike: Do you think the large variance in baseball outcomes enables some teams to continue to follow poor methodologies in player evaluation, roster building, and so on, long past when they should?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: To some extent, for sure. But there are so many decisions being made, and there are so many players, that if you make enough bad decisions, then simple math dictates that it’ll become clear in time. In other words, there’s not a small sample of baseball decisions. You can get lucky for a few years, but time identifies the worst. And so we’ve seen most of the worst replaced

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: Granted, the counter-argument is, were those guys the worst, or were they actually just unlucky? Like, is its results-based analysis to say that Jack Zduriencik was a bad GM? I don’t think it is, myself, but I admit it’s hard to prove

10:04
The Dude of NY: Is it weird that I always am happy when a player win an arbitration hearing? The odds are so stacked against them, plus their salary is already depressed.

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Kind of weird but not embarrassingly weird. Gotta find something to get jazzed about in February

10:04
Rick: Can Adonis Garcia really be an MLB regular?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Not a good one

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: He seems a little like Jonathan Schoop with less upside

10:06
Nate: Is the price and value teams are putting on relievers completely ridiculous, or is this something that will stay put?

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: I think it’ll stay put, or even increase as starters go on to throw fewer innings

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think the highest reliever prices will skyrocket, but I think teams will spend more on their bullpens overall, assembling greater depth

10:07
Crazy Buck Martinez: Jeff,you’re a Mariners guy. Tell me something about David Aardsma other than he is the Alpha Alphabetical Baseball Player.

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: His sister is married to Ryan Rowland-Smith

10:07
Raindog: In the depth charts, Hyun-Soo Kim is listed with a .275 wOBA and -1 WAR. That seems harsh, no? The other day, August took the over on 0.7 WAR for him.

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: We’ve had this issue before with foreign players. Like, I remember Jose Abreu was given an initial projection of like -1 WAR. Don’t take it seriously. Last I heard someone was looking into it

10:08
Lane: Make me feel better about the Jays, Dave.

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: Where do you think you are

10:09
Guest: From an editorial standpoint, is it better to downvote comment trolls or just ignore them all together?

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll go with downvote — it makes the offenders easier for us to spot. And then we can decide whether to continue to let those people comment

10:10
Joel: Of all your worries in life, is the M’s early, middle, and late relief one of them?

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: It’ll be a greater worry, perhaps, in August, if the team is in the race, but I’m personally driven by interest, and I think the Mariners bullpen looks *interesting*

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: Not good. Just potentially good. I’m interested in Aro, and I’m interested in Zych, and I’m interested in Scribner, and I’m interested to see if Cishek rebounds

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: As with almost any bullpen, it’s easy to see how the unit could develop into a strength, or turn into a liability

10:12
Crazy Buck Martinez: Russell Martin leading off for the jays… crazy or best option?

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: I’d support it. If not him, Tulo, in case the team doesn’t want to have to have another guy get used to leading off when Martin sits

10:13
groucho: Who leads the cardinals in HRs at the end of the season?

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: Huh. Grichuk?

10:13
Michael: What team do you think is best set to contend now and in the future?

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: Dodgers

10:14
Alex: The Giants win the World Series every other year by making two key changes: Changing closers and changing 2nd baseman. Strickland is the obvious candidate to take over for Casilla, but who fills 2nd? Scooter Bennett? Brandon Phillips?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: Guess it has to be Kelby Tomlinson!

10:14
Rubinator: Have you hiked the PCT?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: No, but I’ve done a lot of Oregon in parts. I still haven’t decided if the whole thing is a real aspiration of mine, or if it’s just too much.

10:15
jtt: Lincecum has made way more money, I’d take his career

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: Posey’s got more money left!

10:15
SS: How many ballparks have you been to? Which one is your favorite? Least favorite?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: I haven’t been to that many, but Angel Stadium struck me as sort of boring, and I love AT&T

10:16
Joel: Seems like Lincecum is exactly the kind of guy Dipoto would take a flier on, no?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: He’s a better fit somewhere else. Under different conditions Seattle would make sense but they’re already having to figure out a rotation from lots of candidates.

10:17
Q-Ball: Passan had an interesting article on the Yankee’s surprising frugality this year. He postulates they are lining-up for a run at Bryce Harper post-2018. Certainly they are clearing space to avoid the Tax. Will the Evil Empire strike back in 2018?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think the Yankees’ whole strategy is just to clear space for Harper several years from now. They have enough resources they could run the team pretty normally and still be able to fit him in. That being said, New York does strike me as the top early contender for Harper the FA

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: I think the Yankees just already have a lot of money on the books, and they’re showing an interest in building out the farm so they can have cheap and productive players, like every team needs. It’s a transition for them as they’re no longer the game’s premier spender, and it’s a transition they’ve needed to make. It’s working

10:21
Ho ho ho, Green Monster: How much has Dustin Pedroia been helped by playing in Fenway? If he was in, say Detroit for his career, would he be more like Neil Walkerish?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: That’s funny, I was just glancing at this yesterday

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: Career .372 wOBA at home, with a .165 ISO. Career .337 wOBA on the road, with a .126 ISO

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: For comparison, Daniel Murphy has a career .334 wOBA on the road, with a .134 ISO

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: Neil Walker seems to have more raw power

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: So you’d have something like a better defensive Daniel Murphy

10:25
Guest: Is Jonah Keri tripping on being bullish on Tai Walker?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: I get where he’s coming from — there was an extended stretch just last year where Walker out-pitched Felix. But I suspect Felix was pitching through some discomfort that altered his mechanics. If that’s resolved, Felix is still a good amount better. I think Walker only surpasses him if Felix gets hurt again

10:28
Sean P: Have you done any outdoors traveling in the Midwest? Where would you be most interested in visiting for an outdoors trip if you could go anywhere in the Midwest?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: gotta think Black Hills or Badlands

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: maybe those are too obvious?

10:29
Phineas J Whoopee: I heard Orlando Cepeda interviewed during a Giants game and they showed a clip of him swinging a 40 oz, 36″ bat. He said he didn’t swing a lighter bat because his bat speed was too fast. Obviously most pitchers throw harder now but are there players today with 80 bat speed who would benefit (i.e. gain power) by using a bigger bat?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: This is difficult to answer for a couple reasons — one, we don’t really know what players swing, and two, guys with extreme bat speed already have power, because of the bat speed

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: Someone commented the other day that Billy Burns showed a little more power after starting to use a heavier bat. But then, it’s not like Burns put on a laser show or anything

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: I’d like to see Ichiro try to swing a super heavy bat, just because

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe that would’ve been more fun a decade ago

10:31
Q-Ball: The Yankees situation also shows how important the farm system is, doesn’t it? The great Yankee teams of the early 00’s was really built on a foundation of home grown talent. Who do they have now? Gardner? Betances? I think Gardner is the last good position player they developed, and he is 32. Thoughts?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: Help is starting to show up, as they’ve put more focus on the farm, but Bird getting injured doesn’t improve matters at all

10:32
Nick: Do you think it’s tougher to win multiple gold gloves now with the defensive statistics being developed? In the past it might’ve been easier for a formerly great defender to grab a couple on reputation. Now there are measures, although admittedly imperfect ones.

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, with reputation in large part removed, it’ll be tougher to be a career Gold Glover

10:32
Raindog: Orioles still need one more basically competent OF/DH and one more basically competent SP. The best solutions to these problems are….?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: I think Lincecum would be really interesting. And if they’re going to stay low-key then I’d take a flier on Will Venable and then re-evaluate in a few months if he’s not working out. But I think there’s still something left in his bat

10:36
BK: Do you agree it would be wise for the Jays to send Osuna down and work him into the rotation now? His Fastball/Change/Slider mix feels like a starter to me.

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: I think they’re stuck, because he’s pretty important. If they want to try Osuna as a starter down the road, they should plan ahead of time, notify all parties involved, and get him on a winter throwing program. I don’t think this is a decision you make close to ST

10:38
greg: My friends and I are finally going to spring training this year. Is there going to be anything FG related going on in Phoenix/Scottsdale around the fourth week of March?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: This year we’re actually not making an Arizona trip. Sorry!

10:38
Zonk: Pitcher and Catchers are reporting in two weeeks. How about the 3 remaining QO guys? Can you project a home for Fowler, Desmond, Gallardo? Seems like the teams with needs are on record as saying they won’t surrender a draft pick.

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: Just guessing here, I’ll put Desmond on the Rays, Fowler on the White Sox, and Gallardo on the contender that first suffers a spring-training rotation injury

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: However, the White Sox also make sense for Desmond. In that event, I’m not sure they also make room for Fowler, although maybe they could do it if Desmond settled for one year and they got someone to take Adam LaRoche

10:41
Phineas J Whoopee: If both the player and team agreed, could a player have an Aug. 1st opt-out written into his contract? I’m thinking of Cliff Lee, who would benefit from such a clause, which would force his team to trade him to a contender at the deadline; and the team, a bottom-feeder, would benefit from getting prospects in return. Salary might be incentive-heavy, which wouldn’t pay until after the season, i.e. by the team that trades for him, not the bottom-feeder. Thoughts?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Pretty sure that can’t be written into a contract. There could be a “mutual understanding” in theory, but then that would require a lot of trust on Lee’s part, and maybe he just wouldn’t want to have to move a few months into the year, this close to retirement

10:43
Alex: Can Jorge Mateo be the Yankees shortstop version of Jose Altuve?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: If you’re trying for a direct comparison, Altuve always had better bat-to-ball skills

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: Mateo’s advantage is he could conceivably be a shortstop long-term

10:43
Jeff: If I remember correctly you took a trip to Patagonia last year during spring training. Anything planned to get away from spring training this year?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Gonna go do another winter climb of St Helens at some point but this year’s big trip isn’t until November

10:44
Zonk: Fagerstrom had a good article on making a player out of Rusney Castillo. Can you make a player out of Yasmany Tomas? D-Backs need everything to work to contend, including him….

10:46
Phil: Does the signing of Gavin Floyd by Toronto mean Sanchez is now ticketed back to the ‘pen?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think Floyd does that, but I think Sanchez is returning to the pen regardless

10:46
Jared: What are you expecting from Tai Walker and Paxton this year? There’s talk about Walker possibly taking a big step forward – are you buying that? And Paxton is coming off two injury curtailed seasons. Any hope for something more than solid and unspectacular?

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: I think Walker hits something of a plateau, and I think Paxton looks like a No. 3 given the chance. I don’t love either’s command but I’ve always been a bit of a Paxton optimist, despite his strike-throwing issues

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: I’d love to see him follow through on what he’s said about using high fastballs

10:48
Phineas J Whoopee: I love FanGraphs but I’m still kinda rooting for the D-Backs to have a huge wire-to-wire championship season, just b/c of all the grief they’ve been taking. Does that make me a complete ignoramus?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: Nah, root for whatever you want to root for. It’s not like we have the game figured out

10:49
Craig in Chicago: LuCroy for Ramos, Roark, and Taylor. Trade K Davis for 3b help. Then, platoon Taylor / Nieu in CF?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know what the market is at this point in the offseason for Khris Davis but the general outline works. Maybe bump Santana into some of that CF time instead of Nieuwenhuis

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: Also while Roark has his uses I’m sort of biased in favor of Blake Treinen and his power sinker

10:51
Zonk: Kershaw isn’t just an ace…he’s a boss! What say you?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: He’s probably the boss of his family, and the boss of his foundation, but he’s not the boss of his baseball team

10:53
Phineas J Whoopee: Yellowstone super-volcano question: You hear a lot about it but has anyone calculated the actual odds of it happening in our lifetimes (say, the next 50 years)?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: “Right now, the chances of a massive Yellowstone caldera eruption within the next century are infinitesimally small. Even if any eruption at Yellowstone were to happen, it is much more likely to be small eruption, maybe on the scale of Mount St. Helens in 1980.”

10:53
BK: Your Senators couldn’t handle McDavid 🙁

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: At this point they probably couldn’t handle you or me

10:54
Zonk: Predict the NL West, top to bottom. Go!

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Dodgers, Giants, D-Backs, nobody cares

10:54
Joel: A-Rod is #13 all time in WAR and Bonds is #2. Do you think either one of them will ever give a speech at the museum in Cooperstown?

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll say yes to both eventually

10:55
tom selleck: One of the reasons for the offensive boom during the PED era that is often discussed is that pitchers were juicing too – resulting in faster pitches – equating to faster exit speed off the bat – equating to increase distance. How much weight do you put into this? Are pitchers really throwing slower?

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: Nonsense

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: There’s no way pitchers are throwing slower now than they used to. And pitch velocity has an almost negligible effect on batted-ball distance, at least when you’re talking about small margins around 85-95

10:56
Bill: Is Joe Mauer one of your favorite players ever?

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: No, but if I lived closer to where he’s played, he probably would be

10:57
TF Fredrik: Do you like doing theoretical/research pieces better where you are looking at overall trends and trying to find something new? Or do you like looking at rosters and teams moves, where you are thinking about what they should have done or still should do?

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: All of it. I like interesting ideas. The hardest part of this job, by far, is finding ideas.

10:58
Paul: Hi Jeff. There’s a story that the mlb could come to London in 2017. Do you think it could happen and do you think it’s a good idea?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: I definitely think it could happen but I don’t think it would make much of a difference. A couple games’ worth of exposure won’t turn a country on to a sport, especially when the sport immediately leaves.

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: It would be an achievement, like when MLB has played in Japan and Australia, but MLB going to Australia isn’t why Australian baseball has had some success. That’s independent of the two games

11:02
Bad Hermit: If Trout is still the best franchise starter, then who is the worst?

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: Randy Choate

11:02
BK: Oakland could have gotten more if they flipped Donaldson this offseason, y/n?

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: Well yeah

11:02
Biscuit: Can Plawecki be a legitimate big league hitter this year? Think he gets to 300 AB?

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think he gets that high. d’Arnaud too good

11:03
Eric R: “30 years from now I’ll still be working in MS Paint while everyone else is building holograms” — I was very disappointed when I upgraded to Windows 10 and MSPaint was nowhere to be seen…

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: I still have it somehow!

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: It’s possible I had to find it and install it manually and I just forgot.

11:03
Pete: As a Yankees fan, I’m obviously thrilled we’re going after Harper in 2018. But Jeff Passan’s suggestion of $500 million is insane. That would hamstring even the Yankees when it comes to free agents. I’m thinking $375-$400 million, with an opt-out after five years. Fair?

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: He’s going to blow past $400 million

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: Easily

11:04
Big Joe Monferrand: Jeff, Could an offense score 1000 runs in this pitching environment?? If a team had the dream AS line up (active players of course)

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: No one has cleared 900 runs in a season since 2009

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: So 1,000 is unrealistic unless MLB makes some pretty significant changes

11:06
Julio Pepper: Why do you think Trout is only a “little” better than Harper? He’s projected for 3 more WAR – isn’t that a bit like saying that Harper is a little better than Francisco Lindor?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: Harper was as good as Trout just last year, and I buy into Harper’s emergence more than Steamer does

11:07
Anthony: Hey Jeff- Do you See Harper as a lock in 2018 to the Yankees? People are saying its inevitable seeing as how when he was younger he was on the cover of SI and his dream apparently was to put on the pinstripes. Also supposedly his father is a big yankees fan. Do you see it as a given for him to be Yankee ? What would you put the odds are at this point ?

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: Of course it’s not a given. The Yankees aren’t baseball’s only financial powerhouse and we don’t even know what Harper will be when he’s a free agent. I’d say maybe 33-40% Yankees, the rest field

11:08
Justin: Is February the most difficult time of year to try to talk about baseball? No season, no exciting off-season moves, spring training hasn’t started yet, etc.

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: It’s pretty terrible. I’ve been in a rut for a couple weeks

11:08
Bad Hermit: Aren’t pitchers on teams with multiple good pitchers (now: Indians, Mets, Cubs, Nationals, etc.) hurt in ace perception?

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: To some extent, definitely

11:08
Twisted Sister Pledge Pin: Any plans to add pitcher handedness as a sortable field? No major stat site currently provides that and it would be cool & helpful.

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll pass that to Appelman. Should be simple

11:08
Lee: Expectations for Patrick Corbin this season?

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: Good pitcher! I like him

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: That’s basically it. Give him a “good pitcher” stat line. Not a great pitcher stat line

11:10
Big Joe Monferrand: Lets say you are a big shot prospect in highschool and the devil gives you this opportunity “You will fly through the minors in 1 year, hit the majors, win ROY your 1st year and follow it with back to back to back MVP’s, your 5th year will start even better, but you will blow out your shoulder and never be the same”. Would you take that deal, or bet on yourself?

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: I’d take the deal and retire early, provided there’s no funny business, this being the literal Devil and all

11:11
Jeff Sullivan: Big bonus, lots of early money through arbitration — I’d be set forever. So would my family. Finished by 30 or so to do whatever I want. It’s a dream

11:14
T: I am all in on Mylz Jones. And I didn’t even know a *brown* widow was a thing! What was the name of the short guy Carson liked?

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: Max Schrock

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: Jones is better dammit!

11:15
Adam: How is it that year after year players wait until Feb/march to have surgery, and then either miss time in the regular season, or in the case of Bird, the whole year. You would think any major surgeries would happen shortly after the season ended once players healed up a little.

11:16
Jeff Sullivan: In a lot of cases you have injuries emerge or re-emerge when offseason workouts start to ramp up in advance of ST. I think that’s what happened with Bird. Gotta also remember that surgery is a pretty big deal for a player, even if it feels routine from our perspective. Players don’t want to have surgeries if they can avoid them

11:16
Jeff Sullivan: All right, time to wrap this up!

11:16
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 — 2/5/16 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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