Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 3/30/18

9:08

Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:08

Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to delayed Friday baseball chat

9:08

Jeff Sullivan: Podcasting before this chat is my new excuse

9:08

Charlie: When do the 2018 stats go up?

9:08

Jeff Sullivan: Should be up already. I was browsing a few of them earlier

9:09

Matty P: Cruz homerun off Kluber was an 88mph Cutter. This concern you or just first start of the year?

9:09

Jeff Sullivan: Barely off where Kluber usually is. Pitchers tend to open the season with lower velocities. Not the least bit concerned

9:09

Stuafoo: Thoughts on the whole Mariners opening day red carpet experience? Always feels kinda cheesy to me

9:10

Jeff Sullivan: Baseball leans into cheesy traditions. I like it. The Ottawa Senators have their own red-carpet thing they do before the opener. I’m sure these teams aren’t alone in doing so

9:10

Jeff Sullivan: Celebrate the pageantry of opening day. It’s a good time

9:10

Jeff Sullivan: And a memorable experience for the players themselves, I’m certain

9:10

Charlie: I asked this on yesterday’s chat, but does Syndergaard have a BABIP problem?

9:10

Jeff Sullivan: The Mets defense has a BABIP problem

9:12

Jeff Sullivan: Syndergaard himself is fantastic. Maybe he’s not a weak-contact guy, I don’t know, but he’s certainly a no-contact guy

9:12

Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: Attention everyone: this is your last chance to get on the Blake Snell hype train before his season starts.

9:12

Jeff Sullivan: chugga chugga chugga chugga choo chooooooooooooo

9:13

Kevin: What are your thoughts on Kapler’s decision to pull Nola after 5 1/3 and less than 70 pitches up 5 runs?  Seems like analytics taken to the extreme.

9:13

Jeff Sullivan: I would’ve stuck with Nola a little bit longer, but not by that much. And pulling Nola didn’t blow the game. Morgan, Ramos, and Neris giving up six runs between the eighth and ninth blew the game

9:14

Jeff Sullivan: That’s it. The Phillies were up three runs and got to give the ball to good relievers to get six outs. Didn’t happen. Not Kapler’s fault

9:14

jimmy: Over/under 55.5 home runs for Stanton?

9:14

Jeff Sullivan: Over

9:15

tb.25: Holy Kershaw. Lucky to escape with only 1 earned run, with the whip he had.

9:16

Jeff Sullivan: 68% strikes, 17 swings and misses. Kershaw was good

9:16

Panic!: Spring training – Kingery for MVP!  After one game – Kingery sucks!  Send him down!

9:16

Jeff Sullivan: Mike Trout went 0-for-6!

9:16

Jeff Sullivan: Matt Davidson hit three home runs!

9:16

Scott: How many games in a row would the Dodgers need to lose before they are no longer favorites in the NL West. 10-12?

9:16

Jeff Sullivan: That sounds about right

9:17

Panic!: Davidson for MVP! DBack fans rue the trade!

9:17

Jeff Sullivan: As much as opening games like this are usually indicative of nothing, I do like that he topped his own Statcast exit-velocity records

9:17

Jeff Sullivan: Getting up to 115 miles per hour is no joke

9:18

Kyler: The spitball is a fascinating pitch to me. What would happen if it were to be unbanned?

9:18

Jeff Sullivan: More pitchers would spit on baseballs

9:18

CubFan: Given how poorly Ohtani threw in ST do you think he’ll perform more like a top rookie who struggles out of the chute……and thus be sent down to AAA to refine his command?

9:18

Jeff Sullivan: I think the odds are he sticks in the majors. Call it, I don’t know, 80/20, or 90/10. His stuff is good. He’s going to pitch like someone whose stuff is good

9:19

J. Peterman: Is Drew Steckenrider’s -3.10 FIP so far this season sustainable?

9:19

Jeff Sullivan: I’ll say this for him — he might be the most interesting pitcher on the Marlins

9:19

Jeff Sullivan: Him or Barraclough

9:19

Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: Conditional on health for both, what odds would you give for Matt Duffy being more valuable than Evan Longoria this season?

9:20

Jeff Sullivan: 40%

9:20

Jeff Sullivan: So many of the Rays are completely unfamiliar to the general fan base, but that doesn’t mean they’re bad

9:20

CarrotJuice: Mike Trout currently in last place on Fangraphs WAR leaderboard. Would you say it’s time for baseball fans to crack open each others skulls and feast on the goo inside?

9:20

Jeff Sullivan: I can’t think of any better advice

9:22

Mr. Nor’easter: Two questions about Cardinals’ pitchers: What do you expect from Flaherty for the season? Will he hang on? And do you think the Cards want Reyes to return to the rotation, or stick to the bullpen?

9:23

Jeff Sullivan: I think Flaherty will probably be up and down as the sixth starter. Perfectly adequate in that role. As for Reyes, I imagine he will both start and relieve, in sort of a hybrid role, but the need for him in the later innings has been reduced by the Holland signing. If Holland is good, and especially if Hicks is good, Reyes will see more of an opportunity in the rotation

9:23

Scott: What if Tim Anderson is good? He actually walked yesterday (along with the 2 bombs)!

9:24

Jeff Sullivan: If Tim Anderson is good, and if Matt Davidson is good, then I don’t even know what we’re doing here

9:24

HappyFunBall: I am looking forward to this year’s version of ThamesGraphs, now named DavidsonGraphs

9:24

Jeff Sullivan: I do love a good breakout. Especially when they come with no warning

9:24

Zock Jr.: So the Red Sox bullpen will blow every lead, and Stanton will hit 324 homers. As a Sox fan, these are the things I’ve learned from Opening Day. Thoughts?

9:25

Jeff Sullivan: At least one of those statements is likely to turn out incorrect

9:25

CubFan: How long does Rodney hold the closer gig?

9:25

Jeff Sullivan: All season, with probably one spell where he struggles and gets his work as a mop-up man

9:27

Scott: Any concern about Kershaw’s FB velocity being down in the 91 range? Pedro Moura said that last opening days, he was around 93.

9:28

Jeff Sullivan: Not much concern, since his slider and curveball were fairly normal. But it’s not like velocity gets better as pitchers age. It would be natural for Kershaw to start slowing down

9:28

mcmadbat: hey Jeff. I made a google chrome extension that notifies you when a player you’re tracking is up to bat or pitching. This lets you efficiently switch games and only watch players you’re interested in.

9:29

Chris: Should I trade Mookie, Schoop, and Cody Allen for Trout?

9:29

Jeff Sullivan: Those players are all on different teams

9:29

Dan: Your Mets pick is looking good 🙂

9:30

Jeff Sullivan: The Mets will be good until or unless their pitchers start to break. So is the tightrope they walk

9:31

Jack: So, Adeiny Hechavarria just hit .326 with a .884 OPS in spring training (and went 2-for-4 yesterday). Normally I’d dismiss something like this as meaningless small sample noise in spring training, and maybe I still should, but I’m kind of intrigued because of the way he finished last season. Are you thinking at all yet that he may have made a real, Jean Segura-like offensive improvement?

9:33

Jeff Sullivan: I think he’s good for something like a 90 wRC+. But then, last year, his top five exit velocities all came in August or September. I don’t really buy him as a power source, but I think, with his defense, he can be a fine player

9:33

Scott: Is it possible to come up with a worse home run call than Sterling’s Stanton call? I think even with years of brainstorming, it would still be the worst.

9:33

Jeff Sullivan: That’s precisely what makes it so magical

9:34

Big Tuna: Let’s overreact after one day: is Rodney or Parker more likely to lose the closer gig?

9:34

Jeff Sullivan: Parker

9:34

KilleBrews: I am not seeing 2018 stats…

9:34

Dan: I’m a fan of [team/player].  Can I panic based on yesterday?

9:35

Jeff Sullivan: The emotions around opening day are part of the fun of opening day. Feel however you want! Baseball will settle into its routine soon enough. For now, think of it as emotional stretching

9:36

Tim: How many players would the Braves be willing to trade Acuna for? I read Jonah Keri’s trade rankings article and saw he put Acuna 24th and Archer 25th. So if the Rays called the Braves and offered Archer for Acuna straight up, do you think Atlanta would really have something to think about?

9:36

Jeff Sullivan: Archer is incredibly valuable. Because of where the Braves are, I don’t think they’d trade seven years of a position player for four years of a quality starter, but a team in a more competitive position might

9:37

Big Tuna: Should the Red Sox be worried about their pen?

9:37

Jeff Sullivan: Last year they didn’t even really have Carson Smith or Tyler Thornburg and they still finished No. 1 in the majors in bullpen WPA

9:38

Jeff Sullivan: On paper, their bullpen is fine. In reality, bullpens are obnoxious

9:39

capconstrained: I’ve noticed depth charts having some sizeable differences w/ the other projections systems — Bryan Mitchell comes to mind.  What’s different about depth charts?

9:39

Jeff Sullivan: Looks pretty normal to me https://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=11479&position=P

9:39

Jeff Sullivan: But I think the systems will always have a little bit of trouble accounting for guys switching roles, SP <–> RP

9:39

Jeff Sullivan: Relievers switching to the rotation probably get overrated, and starters switching to the bullpen probably get underrated

9:41

Big Tuna: Strickland made some real changes to his pitch mix in spring and looked good. Is this the year he actually turns into a good closer?

9:41

Jeff Sullivan: Career ERA- of 66 and FIP- of 80. He’s already been a good reliever. I doubt he’s becoming an elite one, but, you know, relievers

9:41

Aaron: I know it’s only one start, but is Kershaw’s velocity drop something to be worried about?

9:41

Jeff Sullivan: Not yet

9:41

Dan: Thinking about hiking this spring/summer. Any tips? Haven’t really hiked before

9:43

Jeff Sullivan: See if you like it first, before you try to do anything extreme. Try to find trails that offer good views with limited effort. Or, if you just want to get out there, try to research trail systems in the area that don’t get a whole lot of visitors. The feeling of being all by yourself in the wilderness is so much better than walking in a line

9:43

Justin: King Felix looked good last night. Chances in your mind of him consistently returning to an xFIP of 3.50 or less, or a WAR of 4+?

9:44

Jeff Sullivan: Hard to see him ever being a 4+ WAR pitcher anymore. If for no other reason than they probably won’t let him accumulate the innings. I’m looking forward to seeing where he’s at after five or ten starts, but I’m just hoping he’s a No. 3, not a No. 1

9:44

KimByung Slice: What time do you usually podcast with Ben? So

9:44

Jeff Sullivan: Depends on the day, but on Fridays, 11am ET

9:46

Nat: Opinion of the Carlos Martinez cutter yesterday? Looked like he through about 5 of them.

9:47

Jeff Sullivan: I think I see two balls and two strikes. No opinion yet — he clearly didn’t trust it, and he clearly wasn’t on top of his game in the first place. It’ll start to mean something to me if his cutter rate climbs to 10% or so

9:48

RK: Did you utilize the mlb.tv split screen in the past?  How annoying that they auto renew while taking features away.

9:48

Jeff Sullivan: Really a big step backward

9:49

Jeff Sullivan: Can’t believe you can’t watch multiple games anymore. It’s 2018

9:49

tb.25: True or false: the grandiose show of opening day trumps the best lineup to win (see Belt – 3 for 50 and Crawford – 5 or 40 or so, in lineup versus Kershaw)

9:50

Jeff Sullivan: I like the symbolism of opening day, and if I were a manager I probably wouldn’t worry so much about optimizing in Game 1. But I’m also not going to yell at Gabe Kapler because he sat Odubel Herrera

9:50

Ron Swanson’s Mustache: Was Kapler’s decision to pull Nola in the 6th after 68 pitches an early favorite to be the dumbest decision of this whole season?

9:50

Jeff Sullivan: Good lord no

9:50

Jeff Sullivan: I think people are just looking for a reason to hate Gabe Kapler

9:51

Taylor: Nick Markakis hit a walk off home run yesterday. It was the first of his career. He also has over 2000 hits.  Surprising it took him so long to get one?

9:51

Jeff Sullivan: Alternate fun fact: the all-time leader in walk-off home runs is Jim Thome, with 13

9:53

Jeff Sullivan: Now I want to do two minutes of quick research. Hold on!

9:56

Jeff Sullivan: All right, sorry about that

9:56

Jeff Sullivan: If I’ve done this all correct, then, at least in the regular season, Norm Cash never hit a walk-off home run

9:57

Jeff Sullivan: Hit 377 home runs overall

9:57

Jeff Sullivan: Jose Bautista hasn’t hit a walk-off home run. 331 total home runs

9:57

Jeff Sullivan: Danny Tartabull never hit a walk-off home run. 262 total home runs

9:58

Jeff Sullivan: I hope that was worth it

9:58

Jeff Sullivan: Surprised about Bautista. He has two walk-off singles, one walk-off walk, and two walk-off sacrifice flies

9:59

Billy : Is hitter swinging strike % positively correlated with height? Can’t think of the last 6’6 player who was able to make as much contact as Jose Martinez

9:59

Jeff Sullivan: Swinging-strike rate is positively correlated with power, and power is positively correlated with height

10:00

Jeff Sullivan: Joe Mauer makes a ton of contact and he’s officially 6’5

10:01

Jeff Sullivan: Mostly there just aren’t that many players who are 6’6 or taller

10:01

Jeff Sullivan: Jason Heyward is 6’5!

10:02

Chris: Concerns about Kershaw’s velocity? Pretty high WHIP for that game.

10:02

Jeff Sullivan: Kershaw’s average exit velocity was 79 miles per hour

10:03

Jeff Sullivan: Any concerns I have about Kershaw are just related to his back, which was a pre-existing thing and has nothing to do with yesterday

10:04

Alex: With Tyler Flowers seeming to be missing significant time with his oblique injury, do the Braves start Suzuki every game, look to acquire a cheap catcher, or some other alternative? Alex Jackson, our only real catcher prospect, seems to be pretty far out from the majors, especially defensively.

10:04

Jeff Sullivan: Chris Stewart is still around, right? Somewhere? He’s made for this

10:04

Billy Beane: AJ Puk needs TJS and I wonder if we all love a sport that is basically trash.

10:04

Jeff Sullivan: Football still has it worse

10:05

Jeff Sullivan: But, yeah. Puk, Cotton, Honeywell, De Leon, and (kind of) Eovaldi. Elbows have already significantly damaged the Cinderella aspirations of two AL dark horses

10:05

Upton Sr.: Main takeaway from opening day?

10:05

Jeff Sullivan: Baseball is so much better than no baseball

10:05

Jg: Is Schwarbers D actually a problem or nah?

10:06

Jeff Sullivan: He is not a good defensive outfielder, and he will never be a good defensive outfielder

10:06

Jeff Sullivan: But it’s not like he’s unplayable. He’s good enough to be acceptably bad, as long as he’s hitting

10:06

Tyler: Your taking the over on 55.5 home runs.  Do you realize how insane that sounds?  Not that your wrong, but still insane.

10:06

Jeff Sullivan: Stanton is projected for 58!

10:07

Jeff Sullivan: Stanton is amazing

10:08

AT: Why did Garrett Cooper get the start in Miami over Maybin?   Not that it really matters…

10:09

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know. Maybe Maybin was under the weather. Maybe something else. Could just be that, because Cooper is 27, the Marlins want to give him a chance to see if they have something. Maybin is more of a known entity

10:10

zvazda: I’ve been doing a fair amount of looking at all-time WAR leaders over the last few days…
How reliable is it as you go further back in history?

10:11

Jeff Sullivan: The further back you go, the worse the data is. For much of baseball history, our only baserunning data includes steals and caught steals. And, obviously, the defensive metrics are decreasingly reliable as you flip back through the decades

10:11

Jeff Sullivan: In general, the good players are still good players and the bad ones are still bad ones, but the error bars grow

10:11

KilleBrews: Where do you find a players SwStr% for individual pitches?

10:12

seth: will statcast estimated distances need to be adjusted at the new Arizona Humidor?

10:12

Jeff Sullivan: The humidor will suppress exit velocity

10:12

Jeff Sullivan: It won’t have an effect on how exit velocity translates to distance

10:13

Guest: As I have been saying all off-season, Mike Freaking Scioscia is going to skewer all of the front office’s efforts by continuing to roll out Pujols in the 4-hole

10:13

Jeff Sullivan: Albert Pujols had a home run and a +.113 WPA. Mike Trout went hitless and had a -.252 WPA

10:14

Alex: Now that we know you don’t need to be on a good team to win MVP (Stanton last year), what odds would you put on Freddie Freeman to win NL MVP?

10:14

Jeff Sullivan: 15%?

10:14

GS: Nimmo on base 4 times in his first 2018 start. How hard should the Mets try to work him into the everyday lineup?

10:14

Jeff Sullivan: He should be playing almost every day, but it would be fine if he finished around 550 PA

10:14

Jeff Sullivan: There’s value in rest

10:14

Moltar: I didn’t watch the game last night, but seems like the humidor didn’t exactly keep the ball in the park in Arizona. How long until we can ascertain if there’s a noticeable difference?

10:15

Jeff Sullivan: Even after a month or so, we should see some drop in EV

10:15

David: Only one start, but it looked like true junk balling from Felix last night, curious to see how goes with more starts.

10:16

Jeff Sullivan: In terms of pitch mix, wasn’t too different. Plurality of fastballs, lots of curves and changeups, topping out around 91-92

10:16

THe law : So what if 2017 second half Giancarlo is the real Giancarlo now? Could he then have a claim to baseball’s best player?

10:17

Jeff Sullivan: Second-half Stanton had a 175 wRC+. Mike Trout projects for a 172 wRC+, with better secondary skills

10:17

Brian: Its weird to be excited about Felix going 5.1 innings,  but his stuff looked great!  He’s pegged at ~2 WAR in the projections–are you allowing yourself to get at little excited about him returning to form?

10:17

Jeff Sullivan: I’m allowing my optimism to take center stage over my realism

10:18

Joey Lucchesi Day: Time to get excited..

10:18

Jeff Sullivan: I knew he was coming quick. I didn’t know he was coming this quick

10:18

Brian: How good do you think joey lucchesi will be?

10:18

Jeff Sullivan: No. 4 starter caliber this season, with enough gems for fans to dream on

10:19

Pants: Too soon to judge infield defense for Mets, with 3 new infielders from the start of last year, and another moved to an “easier” position? Also, Syndergaard gave up 3 runs on HR yesterday- nothing to do with BABIP, in that case, at least…

10:19

Jeff Sullivan: And one of those home runs was kind of stupid

10:19

Hans Gruber: What do you think happens to Hicks now that Holland is on board? Think they’ll let him stay as long as he performs?

10:19

Jeff Sullivan: Hard to send down a guy who throws strikes at 101 miles per hour. But if he starts throwing balls instead, as he’s done before, the Cardinals have less reason than they used to to push it

10:20

Jason: Now that the Padres are winless in 2018, can we officially declare the Dave Cameron/Eric Hosmer era a fail??

10:20

Jeff Sullivan: Way to go, Milwaukee Fagerstroms!

10:20

heyGgamdi: Heyward is too bad. Is there a possibility of a rebound?

10:20

Jeff Sullivan: Of course there is

10:20

Jeff Sullivan: Between 2016 and 2017, he lifted his wRC+ 17 points. If he did that again he’d be at 105

10:21

Sisko>Picard: I bet my best friend $1,000 (inflation-indexed) that Vlad Jr. ends his career with a higher fWAR than Acuna, am I crazy?

10:21

Jeff Sullivan: No, but you might be crazy to assume the two of you will still be best friends in 25 years

10:22

sw: what was up with CarMart’s control yesterday?  7 walks, 1 HBP, and general suckitude.    His spring was weird cause he kept trying out his new cutter–was the lack of a proper spring influencing him yesterday?

10:23

Jeff Sullivan: Last April he had that weird game where he finished with 11 strikeouts and 8 walks. At 60% strikes, Martinez wasn’t *horribly* wild against the Mets — I think he just ran up against a disciplined lineup, and wasn’t sufficiently precise

10:24

Jason: Trying not to overact to exactly one day of baseball, but should one be concerned about Donaldson’s health?

10:24

Jeff Sullivan: He’s 32 years old, and he puts everything into everything he does. He’s only two years removed from batting literally 700 times, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he’s just entering a phase where he’s almost always trying to play through something

10:25

Disgruntled Reds Fan: Best case scenario with Homer Bailey this year?

10:25

Jeff Sullivan: He actually still throws plenty hard, if 2017 is any indication. But I’d be satisfied with 20-25 league-average starts

10:26

KG: Do you see Addison Reed taking over the closer role from Rodney?

10:26

Jeff Sullivan: It would be the obvious move, but I think Rodney ends up with a long leash

10:26

metzwinston: Really glad I googled “Jeff Sullivan Lucas Giolito” before asking a question / looking like an idiot.

10:26

Jeff Sullivan: Can’t wait to get some actual data on him in actual games

10:26

KilleBrews: Is there any evidence to suggest Hunter Strickland will be better than what he has shown the last 2 years?

10:26

Jeff Sullivan: Two years ago, he was good

10:27

CamdenWarehouse: What do you think of Boog Powell this year?  The OF, not the guy selling BBQ at Camden Yards.

10:28

Jeff Sullivan: I think he’s too under-powered to stick as a regular. Not enough of a defensive asset. He’ll be replaced by Fowler as soon as Fowler looks like he’s ready

10:28

BT: What position player not named Trout will have the highest WAR at season end

10:28

Jeff Sullivan: I’ll take Bryant

10:29

James: Severino barely used his changeup last night. Does this look like a step backwards?

10:30

Jeff Sullivan: He didn’t face many lefties. Fastball/slider was going to be fine

10:30

Rick: Here’s a question. Are we closer to inventing a new metric to measure just how severely Schwarber belongs in the American League?

10:30

Jeff Sullivan: Matt Kemp still hasn’t played in the American League

10:32

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think Schwarber is a worse defender than, say, J.D. Martinez. And even Martinez got to play the outfield for a while

10:32

Slartibartfast (fjord designer): More likely this year: No team reaches 100 wins or no team loses more than 100 games?

10:33

Jeff Sullivan: No team loses more than 100 games

10:34

@RationalMLBfan: How do we reconcile the dual facts that the Yankees have stockpiled pitchers who throw hard, yet as an organization are throwing increasingly fewer fastballs? On the surface, that seems contradictory, but could it be that their effectiveness of the pitches is magnified by the gap between the fastest fastballs and the off speed pitches? If not, then what?

10:35

Jeff Sullivan: Batters are all able to hit velocity, and batters all go up there looking to hit fastballs. Batters *want* fastballs. So the Yankees are just trying to work against batter strategy. They have good fastballs — arguably the best fastballs! — but the optimal fastball rate can still be far lower than the league average

10:35

Andy: Seems like there were a couple of routine catches that Dee Gordon couldn’t make due to the presence of Jean Segura. You don’t think that will become a season-long problem, do you?

10:36

Jeff Sullivan: The Rays allowed an inside-the-park home run because of a failure of communication between Denard Span and Kevin Kiermaier. You don’t get a lot of these opportunities during spring training. All parties will learn and improve moving forward

10:36

Mac: Why do some some teams have an off day today in the middle of a series after playing 1 game?

10:36

Jeff Sullivan: Rain-out protection

10:36

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know why the Mariners are included among them

10:36

Davie Ping Pong: Do you like any of Vince Velasquez, Brent Suter, or Joey Luccesi as breakout candidates this year?

10:37

Jeff Sullivan: Not really. I like them all for their talent, but I don’t trust Velasquez’s health, I think Suter’s upside is low, and I didn’t know who Lucchesi was until about a month ago

10:37

John: Which number is higher at the end of the year, Stanton homers or Marlins wins?

10:37

Jeff Sullivan: Marlins wins, barely

10:39

CarrotJuice: Re Syndergaard BABIP: if you take his Statcast xBA and subtract all ABs that ended in the ball not being put in play, his “xBABIP” (not an official stat on Baseball Savant) was ~.315 in 2015 and ~.324 in 2016. So maybe he doesn’t have a BABIP “problem” per se, but it seems like it isn’t just bad defense causing it.

10:40

Jeff Sullivan: Syndergaard’s xwOBA on batted balls in 2016: .340. That ranked him 18th out of 142 starters

10:40

Jeff Sullivan: In 2015, he ranked 29th out of 150 starters

10:40

Jeff Sullivan: If anything, it turns out he’s a *weak*-contact pitcher!

10:41

Hans Gruber: Speaking of breakouts, could Ketel Marte come through this season with some powwwaaa (power, sorry). Maybe a breakout? He’s got a good eye and I heard that helps things like this.

10:41

Rubber Sand: In your opinion, what percent of a home run is a pitcher’s fault and what percent is just completely random(due to batter, ballpark, temp etc)?

10:42

Jeff Sullivan: Guessing it’s like 25% pitcher, 70% hitter, 5% randomness

10:42

Jeff Sullivan: Maybe that gives the hitter too much credit, but he’s the guy swinging the bat

10:43

Dan (sad Texas fan): Is Willie Calhoun kinda Mookie Betts (in the box only, obviously) but with a bit more pop, no wheels? I feel like his high contact, moderate walk, low K, good power profile is a rare commodity nowadays. Annnnndddd, I’m really hoping the Rangers quit trotting Rua out there in the interim…

10:43

Jeff Sullivan: Betts walked more than Calhoun, and also, if you take Betts but subtract the wheels, you don’t have Betts anymore

10:44

Jeff Sullivan: But Calhoun’s pure bat-to-ball skills are still plus. He’ll hit. Will he do enough else well? In a way it’s kind of like the Kyle Schwarber question

10:45

Schmoo:

 

Mike Petriello
@mike_petriello

 

Let’s also overreact to more single-day numbers.
30 Mar 2018

https://twitter.com/mike_petriello/status/979729130534129674 Which of these three stats do you think is closest to what it will look like at the end of the season?

10:45

Jeff Sullivan: The middle one, obviously

10:45

Jeff Sullivan: Strikeout rates are always inflated after Day One since that’s when most of the aces pitch

10:45

Sean: What’s your level of concern about whatever is going on with Josh Donaldson’s arm?  I feel like not being able to throw is problematic

10:46

Jeff Sullivan: 3/10. Looks kind of weird, but dozens of pitchers experience something similar during the spring

10:46

Daniel Carroll: I’m presuming that ALWC1 is the NYY or BOS team that doesn’t win ALE, so the “ALWC2 Division” would be what, SEA, LAA, TOR, TB, MIN?

10:46

Jeff Sullivan: I’d include Oakland, although it hurts that they’ll be without Puk

10:47

Pham: Hi Jeff! I worried about Pham’s K/BB in spring. What do you think?

10:47

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think it was bad enough to be worried about

10:49

Jeff Sullivan: Last spring, Pham had a .599 OPS, and 32% strikeouts. This spring, Pham had a .706 OPS, and 29% strikeouts

10:49

Julie: Do you think that Ohtani joining the major leagues this early will hinder his development as a player?

10:49

Jeff Sullivan: I do think he could probably benefit from a month or two in Triple-A, especially since he didn’t get to do a whole lot in 2017, but I don’t think the damage will be significant. He’s talented enough to give it a go against the best in the world

10:51

Mountie Votto: Thoughts on Cody Reed getting the Reds’ temporary 5th SP role over Amir Garrett? Price says it’s so Garrett can contribute more against LH-heavy lineups, but it seems like a bummer after Garrett’s spring

10:51

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think there’s anything here worth reading into. The Reds are going to have to sort out like ten young starters this season. If Garrett pitches well, he’s going to get his 20-25 starts eventually, first series be damned

10:51

Tyler: If you had to put a number on Stanton’s home runs what would it be?

10:52

Jeff Sullivan: 60

10:52

Terrible Ted: How does one work 8+ hours per day of baseball in without alarming long weekend family visitors?

10:52

Jeff Sullivan: Warn them

10:52

Jeff Sullivan: If they’re family, they should probably already know what you’re about

10:52

Kevin: I contend that looking at Fangraphs leaderboards after opening is the best way for a novice to understand WAR. Matt Davidson worth half a win; Jose Urena is a negative third of a win. It’s pretty intuitive at the micro level!

10:52

Jeff Sullivan: I love single-day WARs! Even though this early, we don’t have anything for defense

10:53

Panik button: when can I start the ji-man choi bandwagon?

10:53

Jeff Sullivan: I give it 30-40% odds that, over a full year, he’d finish with a better wRC+ than Eric Hosmer

10:53

Jeff Sullivan: Love me some Choi, even if he’s on the worst roster imaginable for his skillset

10:53

Winker and a Nod: With Jesse Winker leading off and Billy Hamilton batting ninth, do you think the Reds’ offense can carry the club to a respectable finish (around .500 or so)?

10:54

Jeff Sullivan: It’s not the offense that’s gonna have to do it

10:54

Jeff Sullivan: It’s going to hurt an awful lot to go from Zack Cozart to Jose Peraza, as well

10:57

Jonathan: Settle an argument for me, does a pitching change count as 1 of your 6 allowed Mound Visits?

10:57

Jeff Sullivan: I’m not gonna lie to you — I don’t know. I haven’t been able to Google an answer

10:57

Jeff Sullivan: The obvious guess would be no

10:58

Jeff Sullivan: Sometimes teams need to make a lot of pitching changes. That’s not why the rule has been implemented

10:58

Jeff Sullivan: The rule isn’t there to discourage pitching changes. It’s there to discourage unnecessary conversations

10:59

Bill Rott: Can the Brewers keep either Ji-Man Choi or Jesus Aguilar? If so, which one?

10:59

Jeff Sullivan: Choi has an option remaining, so he can go down to Triple-A

10:59

Jeff Sullivan: Aguilar is out of options so he’s in a much more tricky spot

11:00

Guest: Trea Turner is batting 6th in today’s lineup.  Nuts, right?

11:00

Jeff Sullivan: They have a really good lineup

11:01

Jeff Sullivan: It’s not clear to me that he’s a better hitter than Howie Kendrick is

11:01

Julie: What could the Marlins do to not be the bottom of the NL East?

11:01

Jeff Sullivan: Poison the Braves

11:02

Rubber Sand: Thoughts on Nunez IPHR?

11:02

Jeff Sullivan: Denard Span hadn’t played in a corner outfield position since 2009. I imagine he kind of got overtaken for an instant by his CF instincts

11:03

Bill Rott: What would you say is the main reason for the big discrepancy between fans’ and projection systems’ opinions on the Brewers?

11:03

Jeff Sullivan: Projection systems are slow to recognize breakouts. Fans are quick to recognize breakouts. The Brewers just had a bunch of minor and major breakouts in 2017

11:03

Addy: Trying to convince Blue Jays fans on Reddit that Josh Donaldson’s career is not over just because he struggled on a few throws to first on opening day. I’m not worried for Donaldson’s health, just wondering why the Blue Jays would think it’s a good idea to let him play 3rd?

11:04

Jeff Sullivan: They’re not anymore. Donaldson is going to DH until his arm is better

11:04

Josh R: a lot of hit by pitches yesterday. What do you think is really going on with this trend? I think it’s more a hitter change than a pitcher change.

11:04

Jeff Sullivan: I think we have more two-strike pitches, which leads to HBP inflation, and I also have a hunch more pitchers are trying to work hitters inside in an attempt to counter the power swings

11:05

JOSE MARTINEZ: Boy can I hit, over/under I play in 75% of games?

11:05

Jeff Sullivan: Play in: over. Start: under

11:05

Jeff Sullivan: All right, I need to get rolling

11:06

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

11:06

Jeff Sullivan: Happy baseball season!

We hoped you liked reading Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 3/30/18 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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In response to a comment about Trea Turner batting 6th.

Jeff Sullivan: It’s not clear to me that he’s a better hitter than Howie Kendrick is

I guess you certainly were not the guy taking him 2nd overall this year