Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 3/11/14

9:02
Jeff Sullivan: Hey guys

9:02
Jeff Sullivan: Hopefully we’re setting into a good norm of being about two minutes late to get going

9:03
Comment From person
Hi Jeff!

9:03
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friend

9:04
Comment From Jerry G.
James Paxson #2 to start the season?

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: If only in title!

9:04
Comment From V
Who do you think will have a better year: Khris Davis or Kole Calhoun?

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: I’m taking Calhoun by actual real-world value

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: You’re not asking, of course, about actual real-world value, but that’s all that I happen to care about

9:05
Comment From ryan
MLBAM Player Tracking Reddit Chat right now at Reddit…. peeking at it?

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: How could I? I’ve got my own chat to deal with. But I’ll check it out later, or, more likely, I’ll allow people to note the highlights on Twitter

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: I suspect that the crucial information — that is, how much data will be shared with the public — still isn’t entirely known

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: But Redditors tend to think of pretty good and out -of-the-ordinary questions

9:07
Comment From Amber
What are you doing to celebrate 311 day Jeff?

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: 311 might be my least-favorite band in existence

9:07
Comment From person
I was once told, in a business setting, that if I’m the one who needed a meeting that I should be a few minutes early. But if the other guy needs the meeting then I should be a few minutes late. Are you trying to tell us something?

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: I wanted to finish my biscuit in peace, basically

9:08
Comment From KJ
Think there will be any new PED suspensions this year or is it not an annual thing?

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: There are always a handful of guys who get busted in the minors. Usually guys who it’s not worth knowing about anyway

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: All right, let’s get to this:

9:09
Comment From Nick
How concerning are the Braves’ SP health concerns? Medlen, Beachy, Minor…

9:09
Comment From Bo
What do the Braves do now, if Beachy and Medlen are out? Surely not Santana, as 1-2 win SP shouldn’t be that pricey.

9:09
Comment From Eno this!
its not looking good for Medlen these days…

9:09
Comment From Daniel
Hello! It doesn’t look good for Medlen. Any thoughts on what the Braves might try to do?

9:09
Comment From john
what would ervin look like in ATL, now that Medlen is going to meet with dr andrews and beachy’s arm is sore.

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: It seems like Beachy could be okay. Medlen is a lot more concerning. Minor is somewhere in the middle. Obviously, none of these are guys you want to be talking about being without for an extended period of time

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: It’s hard for me to see the Braves giving up a first-rounder for the privilege of having Ervin Santana for a year, even if he’d otherwise make plenty of sense. They *are* in a bubble situation and they *are* in a position of need

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: But I think the Braves need that pick too badly, and I think other teams like the Orioles and Blue Jays will beat whatever they might offer since those teams would lose a lower-ranking pick

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: Ultimately I think the Braves go kind of boring — stay mostly internal, be patient, and perhaps pick up a guy who’s out of options and almost out of chances

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: For example, what would the Braves need to give up in order to land Zach Britton and his 4.18 career xFIP?

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: If the upside of paying for Ervin Santana is just having Ervin Santana, it makes a lot of sense to try to stay cheap. Braves now further back of the Nationals, but no one else in that division is going to contend so it’s not like the Braves are entirely up against it

9:15
Comment From Kate Upton: Fantasy MVP
Bautista is doing his annual beastmode performance in Spring Training. Do you think he’s recovered from his various ailments over the last few years?

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: He’s probably recovered *right now*. But, he’ll develop his aches and pains

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: We all like to see players performing at 100%, but it isn’t fair to project them forward as if they’ll remain at that level, especially if they have an achy track record

9:16
Comment From CMR
Jeff, good article on Stanton’s homer. How far would that homer have gone if he’d hit it with an aluminum bat?

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: I wouldn’t be able to answer because the baseball would have broken through my wall and hit me in the brain stem

9:17
Comment From Guest
What’s Charlie Morton’s ceiling this year — if he figures out that split change to get LH batters out?

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: Last year, against Morton, lefties had a .425 OBP

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: So, if Morton figures out how to retire lefties, then his ceiling will be as something entirely different from the previous Charlie Morton. He won’t even be recognizable

9:18
Comment From NEGL
Better career WAR – Salazar or Wheeler ?

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: Salazar

9:19
Comment From quinceleather
Who is better real world this year Calhoun or Arcia? And why don’t people believe n Qualls?

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: I think I’ll take Calhoun again

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: And people probably don’t believe in Qualls because he’s been worth negative WAR over the past four seasons

9:21
Comment From LJC
Question about the huge TV deals teams are getting. Should teams be at all worried that this is a bubble situation? Or is this really just gold flowing to the teams that will boost all payrolls pretty much universally?

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: Better question for Dave or Wendy, who are smarter than me about business, but it seems to me even if cable were to collapse in the near future, then MLBAM would just step in and negotiate some in-market contracts that would still leave a lot of money flowing toward the baseball teams that want it or need it

9:24
Comment From Jerry
I get that it’s b/c of the division difference, but I was shocked to see the Rays and Mariners with basically the same playoff odds. Too high on Seattle right? I feel like Dave emphatically says no everytime anyone brings up the 2014 Mariners and wild card contenders, yet here they are, possibly not finished adding to the roster, and have same odds as Tampa Bay.

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: I think Dave is a bit too wedded to his position, the result being that he’s too low on the Mariners, given how much he usually believes in the projections

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: But the Mariners do have plenty of question marks, and if it matters, PECOTA sees a bigger difference between the two teams, in Tampa Bay’s favor

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: We’ll see what the M’s manage to pick up for Nick Franklin

9:26
Comment From Perry
Any interesting positional battles you are watching?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Not really — I’ve gotten over the idea of spring training roster decisions being a huge deal

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Anyone who wins a spot will still have to keep earning that spot into the regular season. Decisions can get reversed in mid-April

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: But I do think it’s incredible that the Dodgers are going to be starting Dee Gordon at second base

9:28
Comment From person
first reddit highlight: “Well, we’re still in the planning stages, and our first audience for this data is going to be the clubs. That said, we’ve publicly committed to distributing raw data, and we’re working on an efficient way to get it out there. It’s a lot of data, and we want to make sure it’s manageable for us and for end users.”

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: Everything said since the announcement has been pretty promising. I’m looking forward to being completely overwhelmed and paralyzed by information/possibility overload

9:29
Comment From Merkles Boner
how much do you hate Jeff Cirillo?

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: not a tenth as much as I hate Scott Spiezio

9:30
Comment From Guest
Doug Fister played catch today without issue and should return to the mound by the end of the week.

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: Yes, he’s probably fine

9:31
Comment From Leone for Third
i know you first named your blog after justin leone. i have a short story about leone. as a kid (10-11 yrs old) i would go to rainiers games fairly often and one time, i got an autograph from leone, and he chatted w/ me for a good 4-5 minutes. it was super cool to talk to a real-life baseball player. but what was even cooler is that he remembered me each subsequent time i came down and talked to him, and asked me how things were going. justin leone’s a good dude

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: A year after the fact, Michael Saunders remembered me from getting drunk and talking about NHL ’94

9:32
Comment From Slack Schpeinke
Braves look like a perfect storm for Ervin. They’d be silly not to pursue him now. Their rotation may be down to Teheran, Wood & Garcia…

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: Thing about Ervin Santana is he’s not great

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: There are always options, and he’s the only one that would cost the Braves a first-round draft pick

9:32
Comment From booya
what is the earliest you see Gregory Polanco getting the call?

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: Well the earliest would be opening day, but I figure he’ll be in Pittsburgh around the middle of May

9:33
Comment From Pork Sale
Has there ever been a case where a second opinion on ligament damage didn’t end in TJ or failed rehab?

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: I think this is a particular case — Medlen’s had TJ before, and the result is that future MRI exams are pretty difficult to read

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: But your point is taken

9:34
Comment From Perry
Aren’t the Orioles a good example of how crazy people get about teams doing “nothing” (who then wind up doing something!)?

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: For a long time, the Orioles, Blue Jays, and Reds were having the same offseason

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: Now if the Orioles get Santana they’ll have landed three of the “premier” free agents for six combined guaranteed years

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: Not that Baltimore is the perfect fit for Santana, but there would be room for him

9:35
Comment From GianMarlo Stanfield
I hit that one pretty good eh? What is the maximum distance (realistically) you think I could hit a baseball?

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: Under standard conditions, probably about 525-530 feet or so

9:35
Comment From Bill
thoughts on Kevin Gausman, in the rotation for good come may? will he have a good year?

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: Very fond of him. Even if he doesn’t make the rotation out of camp, he ought to be in there before long

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: Another example of how a spring-training roster decision wouldn’t truly be that significant in the long run

9:36
Comment From Guest
Even if they think Beachy is okay, he was topping out at 87mph and threw less than 50% of his pitches for strikes.

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: Well, he was definitely hurt. There’s just a difference between pitching with inflammation and pitching with something that’s seriously wrong

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: If it’s just this inflammation, then he ought to be okay within a few weeks

9:37
Comment From Jim O
is Stefen Romero athletic enough to be an everyday OFer? does he seem more like a platoon bat?

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: Be sure to remember that last year he OPS’d .776 in the minors

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: He’ll spend his career on the fringes

9:38
Comment From OHenry
Spring Training stats be damned…is there anyone playing themselves into a position? Someone previously off the radar?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: Dee Gordon played himself into a position

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: But the weirdest guys tend to be relievers. The rest of the spots tend not to yield surprising conclusions

9:39
Comment From _David_
How many wins do you estimate the (known) Walker/Iwakuma issues cost the Mariners this year?

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: Less than 1

9:40
Comment From Mack
Mitch Moreland has a wRC+ near 130 in April/May the past two seasons before hitting the DL in June and struggling after returning from injury. Does he really need a platoon partner out of the gate?

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: Career 99 wRC+ over nearly 1600 plate appearances

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: Hasn’t done crap against lefties

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: he’s a weakness more than he’s a strength

9:41
Comment From Evergreen Bowl Subdivision
What is your favorite beer festival? Don’t say you’re not into them.

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: Well I’m usually not, because they’re usually crowded and awful, but I’m partial to Stone’s Sour Fest and anything in Hood River

9:42
Comment From _David_
Why is it that in the NFL giving up a first rounder gets you a pro-bowler in his prime, where in MLB it’s worth a fraction of what an average player gets paid on the open market? Is present value that important?

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: Most first-round football players are good. Most first-round baseball players never do anything

9:42
Comment From Jack
Jason Heyward a dark horse for MVP this year?

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: Well he’s certainly not a favorite

9:43
Comment From Paulie
Who’s the most exciting young player not named Trout or Harper?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Jose Fernandez?

9:43
Comment From Two in the Busch
Cardinals won NL central by 3 games over Pirates last year. 2014 Projected standings says the Cards-Bucs spread looks like 4 games in 2014 – sound right, in your opinion?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Personally I think the gap’s a little wider, but the standings page is totally reasonable

9:44
Comment From Pork Sale
I’m seeing Chris Carter popping up on lots of sleeper lists. His home splits were shockingly bad for a power guy at Minute Maid. Does he hit 35 homers this year?

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: No he does not

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: Unless you’re counting dingers in spring training and practice

9:45
Comment From revolu
At this point who do you think will sign Santana

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: Toronto

9:46
Comment From Craig C
I got a first date this weekend. Give me some advice

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: Smile

9:46
Comment From Seabro
Pine State Biscuit biscuit, by chance?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: Precisely!

9:46
Comment From Ny Name Is….
Who has the better overall career? G Polanco or G Springer?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: Polanco

9:46
Comment From The Lime
When will we get to see the staff picks for Division winners and WC favorites?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: I imagine we wouldn’t deviate from the projections very much, if at all. The projections are smarter than we are

9:47
Comment From Nick
Brandon Phillips apparently played hurt for much of last year. Bounce-back season candidate? Not too bouncy…275/330/430?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: Too high

9:48
Comment From Kate Upton: Fantasy MVP
How many years away are we from the Astros being legitimate contenders to win the AL West? Their on-season product has been terrible the last few years, but a lot of their higher level prospects seem pretty amazing and the team should in theory be able to put out a rather sizable payroll if desired, given the size of the media market.

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: 2-3 years. Remember that the Astros don’t exist in that division by themselves, so it also matters that they’re well behind four other organizations at the moment

9:48
Comment From Chris
I read your article on receiving pitchers very interesting stuff, how bad will Buck be for the M’s considering Shopach and Blanco had bad yes and where do you see Zunino as a receiver higher or lower?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: Zunino’s a a far better receiver than Buck, and Zunino will get far more playing time than Buck

9:49
Comment From clint h
would the braves be able to get a starter on an undesirable contract? i am specifically thinking edwin jackson might be made available since the cubs arent in the playoff race.

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Braves won’t want to pick up three years of that

9:49
Comment From booya
What is faster, Ryan Howard going first to third while carrying Jesus Montero on his back or you answering questions?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Depends on the question

9:49
Comment From Swing and a Miss Puiggy
which player would be the most fun to see have a crazy Chris Shelton 10HR april out of nowhere?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Jose Iglesias

9:51
Comment From Evergreen Bowl Subdivision
Who looks worse in the Red Sox v Marlins tif? I say Marlins for charging more during spring training

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: Marlins look a little worse, but the Red Sox aren’t innocent

9:52
Comment From Celino
Why is Steamer so down on Curtis Granderson? Projects him to be worth a handful of runs below average. ZiPS sees him as roughly a 3 win player over a full season, on the other hand.

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: It would appear that, in this instance, ZiPS has a longer memory. Good example of a guy with quite different projections, so, good example of where this stuff gets truly interesting

9:53
Comment From Randy
If the Pirates had offered Burnett a QO and he accepted, couldn’t they have just traded him if they couldn’t afford it?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: Well at the time, remember, it looked like, for Burnett, it was Pittsburgh or nowhere

9:54
Comment From Royal Farm
Zips and Steamer seem to be fairly friendly to Jared Weaver this year. Last year wasn’t so kind, but do you think he bounces back?

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: He was exactly the same in 2012

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: Probably, he’ll be that guy again, maybe with an extra half-tick on his fastball

9:56
Comment From Bagwells Goatee
Out of these three, which Astros prospect will be brought up first? Springer, Appel, Singleton.

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: Have to go with Springer, since he’s done the most at the highest level, but Appel could rise awful fast, especially given that there’s not a lot standing in his way

9:57
Comment From Randy
Think Baez wins the 2b job? Or is AAA a certainty?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: He’s not breaking camp with the Cubs

9:57
Comment From Sadwick
Could the Braves re-visit the idea of trading for Samardzija, or will the Cubs’ asking price still be too high?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: Still too high for the Braves. No reason for the Cubs to really do anything until June or July

9:57
Comment From Slack Schpeinke
and w/o him it may cost them the playoffs… classic case of getting hung up over the pick which will be late in round anyway, not to mention that they added a sandwich round pick for “losing” McCann!!

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: If the Braves miss the playoffs, it wouldn’t be because they didn’t sign Ervin Santana

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: That is making way too much of Ervin Santana

9:58
Comment From JoeD
Ervin Santana and Ubaldo Jimenez are the same thing right? Ugly 2012’s sandwiched between solid +3 WAR seasons (by FIP anyway). Would Baltimore have been better signing Santana for 1 year, hypothetically? (And yes I get that they might STILL sign him anyway.)

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: Yes, but at that point, Santana wasn’t available for a one-year contract. His demands stayed too high for too long, so other teams went for similar pitchers who were being more reasonable with their expectations

9:59
Comment From Lars
If the best D3 team played the worst MLB team 162 times, would the D3 team be able to win one game? If not, how many times would they have to play before winning a game?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: I say two or three wins!

9:59
Comment From CW
Any chance Taylor Jordan earns the 5th spot?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: Why yes! A good chance!

9:59
Comment From Jim O
can we stop worrying about the Viciedo/Saunders swap? that seems like a return to the mistakes of last season

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: I didn’t realize people were worrying

10:00
Comment From JoeD
The O’s “did something” but I’m not sure how useful the moves will turn out. They still face long playoff odds and may end up in last place. If Jays sign Ervin and find an actual 2B before OD, that’ll suck for Baltimore as well.

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s say the Orioles sign Santana and the Jays pick up a legitimate 2B. Every single team in that division would be .500+ caliber

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: That division would be crazy unpleasant

10:02
Comment From Prich
Beyond starting pitching this year, do the Pirates have any ‘weaknesses’ that could bite them in the next couple of years? I’m trying to find them, but am struggling to find any that are ‘alarming’…

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: They don’t have a first baseman, and I’m not all that high on their depth at shortstop

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: But the biggest weakness of theirs is simply the budget.

10:03
Comment From MSW
Ruben Tejada has to be the safest bet for negative WAR if he gets ~300 PA, right? Woof is he ever bad at baseball.

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: Delmon Young?

10:03
Comment From some guy
Wainwright had 276 IP last year between regular season and playoffs. Does that concern you?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: Only a very slight amount

10:03
Comment From Guest
If the Orioles do land Santana, does that push guys like Britton and Norris to the bullpen, or do they become trade bait?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: Trade bait, bullpen as fallback. Hello, Atlanta!

10:04
Comment From TheRealJoeyVotto
Beachy is still very much in rehab mode… I don’t think anyone is expecting him to be ready Opening Day. We shouldn’t be worried about his velocity at this point.

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Shouldn’t really be worried about anyone’s velocity in the first half of March

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Just, shouldn’t be worried in the first half of March

10:04
Comment From Anon21
Is it wrong to wish that Bryce Harper break his stupid arm in cosmic revenge for the slew of Braves pitching injuries?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Yes it is

10:05
Comment From Bob
How about Peavey to Braves?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: Don’t think the Sox want to do that to their depth

10:05
Comment From KJ
Odds that Mike Carp is traded by opening day?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: 40%

10:05
Comment From Randy
Do you think Gordon actually holds on the the job or is Guerrero destined to have the job by end of June?

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: Not destined, but by June it should be pretty apparent that Dee Gordon isn’t good, so the door will be open for Guerrero to earn his way up

10:06
Comment From V
What kind of impact do you think Gregory Polanco will have this year for the Pirates?

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: He’ll round out what very well could be the best outfield in baseball

10:07
Comment From Rocket Roger
Thoughts on Carlos Martinez, and his long-term projection? Starter? Reliever?

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: Most people smarter than me say reliever. I personally think people are too aggressive with that label, and I’m more forgiving of limited repertoires, but I think the bullpen is still the more likely outcome. And he’ll be a good pitcher in there, should it come to that

10:07
Comment From Matthew
Which Mariners OF has the most WAR at the end of the season? you answer is allowed to be “franklin trade return” if you so choose

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: Almonte 🙁

10:08
Comment From Tom
Looks like Oscar Taveras is hurt again. Hamstring. Won’t make the team out of spring training. Thoughts?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: Didn’t think he’d make the team anyway. He’ll be up in a couple of months and he’ll be awesome

10:09
Comment From Slack Schpeinke
1st round thing is (pardon me) silly for the Braves unless Ervin won’t sign more than a 1 yr deal but they can extract a comp a yr from now with QO and get it back… that, AND they already added a sandy round pick in the upcoming draft via McCann to Bankees.

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: Just because they have another pick doesn’t mean the first pick is any less valuable

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: In fact it means right now they’re in a great position, where they have two first-round draft picks!

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: You’re right, that the possibility would exist that the Braves could get that pick back in a year. But it isn’t guaranteed that Santana would be good enough to extend a QO, and it isn’t guaranteed that he wouldn’t accept it

10:10
Comment From Mikey
We know Detroit has the easiest path to a division title. Who would you say is 2nd? I’d say the Cardinals in the Central. Maybe the Dodgers, but I think the rest of that division could be pretty decent, stronger than the Cards’ opponents in the Central.

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: Right now it’s looking like the Nationals, given the Braves’ health

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: But I like the Cardinals pick. They’re a good deal better than everyone, and they’re deep

10:11
Comment From KJ
Do you have any “bold” volcano predictions for this year?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: No one will die from a lava flow

10:11
Comment From Ian
Is something going on with the site? Fangraphs is really slow today.

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: No, that’s just my usual chatting speed

10:11
Comment From Terrible Ted
How many meals in a row is too many to eat pizza?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: 4 is where there’s a problem

10:12
Comment From Randy
Most improved team in the NL?

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Phillies, somehow

10:13
Comment From Bill
If I’m Santana, I’m taking the O’s over the Braves and Jays. They will produce more runs and give him a shot at more wins. None of those parks are pitcher friendly, and maybe he could out-earn the extra million Toronto would be giving him in incentives. Probably the best chance at a world series ring this year of those 3 teams as well, no?

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: Braves probably have the best WS odds of the group

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: Atlanta is neither hitter-friendly nor pitcher-friendly

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: Santana should just take the best offer, but Toronto might have an edge in all the players on the team he’s already familiar with

10:14
Comment From TheRealJoeyVotto
Grady Sizemore: above-replacement-level (real world) contributor this year?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: Yes!

10:15
Comment From Guest
If Smoak is bad again what will the Mariners do with him? Isn’t he out of options?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: This ought to be his last chance. Can’t defend him anymore if he sucks another season

10:15
Comment From 4nic8
Royals over/under 81 wins?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: Dead on

10:15
Comment From person
Which is your favorite nonsense Spring Training story? Is it the “I’m in the best shape of my life”, the “I’m working on a new pitch”, or the “I played hurt last year but didn’t tell anyone” ?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: I’m partial to “no one’s being handed a job”

10:16
Comment From jo
Ben Revere would have been the most fun to see a 10hr april.

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: aw shit

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Totally right, I blew it

10:16
Comment From Matt
As someone who writes extended breakdowns on players with multiple pages of writing,tables, and graphs trying to figure them out, how can I get someone that knows more about it to read it an assure the conclusion I reach sound right? That I am not a complete idiot.

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: That’s what the internet’s for. People love to give feedback. Even when you aren’t asking for it!

10:17
Comment From Jon
Domonic Brown prediction for 2014?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: One crazy hot streak where people think he’s finally put everything together, and a full season that demonstrates that no he has not

10:18
Comment From Guest
What’s a reasonable line for M. Carpenter?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: .300/.370/.470

10:18
Comment From Guest
Is Ty Kelly a major-league regular at some point? Is the OBP for real?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: Guys like that tend to get exposed against pitchers who are capable of throwing quality strikes

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: No reason Kelly couldn’t be a versatile bench sort, but that’s about it

10:19
Comment From Jay
Mike Zunino or Travis d’Arnaud – have to pick one for your team long term – who you got?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: I prefer d’Arnaud

10:21
Comment From Guest
Samardzija + Alcantara for Heyward + Sims?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: What does that do for the Braves?

10:22
Comment From Joer
Henry hit on the big issues with Miami but the comment wasn’t necessary and very unprofessional (not that he could give a shit).

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: You’re right, but the Marlins deserve it

10:22
Comment From Guest
James Loney contract…Pretty awful right?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: The contract itself is perfectly fine. Market value, if not a little below. But I don’t love it on that particular team

10:23
Comment From Gila Monster
If a pitcher loses a few mph off a breaking ball, but not the fastball, what does that mean?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: He’s probably changing something about his breaking ball. Or his mechanics are all out of whack. Or the pitch-classification system is getting something wrong

10:23
Comment From Jay Bruce
Am I destined to hit .250 forever?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: Don’t be silly. You just hit .262!

10:24
Comment From Jon
thoughts on Francisco Liriano?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: Super good?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: Super glad to have him back

10:24
Comment From Bryan
In the event that Ervin Santana signs a one year deal, isn’t it likely that the team will offer him a QO and that he will reject it, thus giving that team the pick that it lost? And if he accepts, that is 2 years about 26 million for a middle of the order pitcher which is about the going rate. It seems like that a team going the one year route isn’t really the worst strategy, especially if they are only giving up a 2nd/3rd rounder. (This obviously assumes that the Ervin Santana pitches at a similar level to last year and doesn’t completely fall apart)

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: It’s good upside for a team like the Orioles or Blue Jays — they could get a better pick than the one they’d have to give up

10:25
Comment From Dr. Claw
Do you think Cole can end the 2014 season as a top 10 starter? Multiple good pitches,good velocity, pitchers park, and Russell Martin

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Of course he can do that, sure, but I don’t think it’s quite in the cards for him

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Last year, the tenth-ranked pitcher in WAR was Yu Darvish

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: By RA9-WAR, it was Adam Wainwright tied with Chris Sale

10:26
Comment From Nick
I like Weaver but I kinda feel like he might be the next SP that completely falls off a cliff out of nowhere. Seems like the list of red flags grows a little bit every year. Agree?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: I agree about the red flags, but even with a lollipop fastball last season, he posted a 3.27 ERA in 154 innings

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: He’s doing something right. He’s awful deceptive. So I think he’s got staying power

10:27
Comment From Schoooop
Schoop have a real chance of winning the 2B gig out of spring? He’s making things interesting

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: The Orioles would love nothing more

10:27
Comment From Tom
Thoughts on Almedys Diaz signing?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Not in love with the player, but it isn’t hard for a player to be worth $8 million over four years. More upside than downside, which makes it look like a pretty solid classic Cardinals move

10:28
Comment From Rated Rookie
Most beautiful left handed swing belongs to which current MLB or MiLB player? Of all time?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Greg Dobbs

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: I can’t tell if I’m kidding

10:28
Comment From Nick
Did teams just miss the boat on Dexter Fowler? Overrate the Coors effect with him? He’s consistently been worth between 2 and 3 wins the last few years and that’s despite not reaching 600 PA once. Astros got him for pennies on the dollar. Seemed like one of the more underrated moves this offseason.

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: Concerned about his inability to reach his ceiling, concerned about the Coors effect, unconvinced by his defense. Teams were a little too cautious about Fowler, I think, and the Astros took advantage of that

10:29
Comment From Guest
Is Danny Hultzen a starter when healthy?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: Yes, he’s a starter when he isn’t rehabbing a devastating injury to his shoulder

10:30
Comment From Jon
Any news you’re hearing about Josh Johnson in the spring?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: No, which for him is probably a good thing

10:30
Comment From Cole
Top four teams with need for Franklin (no order)? Blue Jays, Orioles, Mets, Dodgers?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: Yankees in there too somewhere

10:31
Comment From gareth
Biggest butcher – Sweeney Todd or Carlos Santana at third base?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: probably the murderous barber

10:31
Comment From Daniel
Say Ervin Santana signs with a team, are they allowed to trade him this season? How long do they have to wait? And if they are allowed to trade him, they still lose the pick?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Sorry, had to confirm something in the CBA

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: If you sign Santana, you lose the pick, no matter what

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: He could be traded with ease after June 15, but up until then, he could still be traded if he were to give his written consent

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: If Santana were moved, obviously, he couldn’t be extended a qualifying offer after the season

10:34
Comment From gareth
Who’s more overrated – samardzija or porcello?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Who overrates Rick Porcello?

10:35
Comment From Guest
what’s a fair return for Carp?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: something like a mid-top-10 organizational prospect

10:36
Comment From Daniel
How exactly would you use an elite closer like Kimbrel? Seemingly waste of innings to use him with nobody on and a 2-3 run lead all the time? Bring him in more in the 8th with runners on?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: For the record, last year he was 11th among relievers in leverage when entering a game

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Sergio Romo was the highest

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: I’d talk with Kimbrel about his willingness to be more of a high-leverage guy than a classic closer. If he were up for that, then I’d be more choosy with my spots. If he weren’t, I’d settle for having the best closer in baseball

10:38
Comment From Daniel
Why aren’t the Dodgers, Blue Jays, Yankees trading for Nick Franklin?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe they’re trying to, right now

10:38
Comment From E
Do you think a player would have extra value if he could provide say 0-1 war total between pitching in relief and being say a 5th outfielder? This would be your ultra utility 25th roster spot guy. Could this type of player happen?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: I’d love to have that guy. Micah Owings tried to be that guy

10:38
Comment From gareth
Why are all the second tier starters (fister, Medlen, Latos, hamels) getting injured? I smell a conspiracy.

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Jon Lester’s fine

10:39
Comment From Dylan
Could Joey Votto have significant role in a front office in the future? He is obviously one of “the good guys” that embraced sabermetrics and performed at an elite level in baseball. He probably wouldn’t assume a major role like Amaro did someone because he seems to introverted to do that…but still

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: He’d absolutely fit, if that’s something he were to be interested in. Might not be. It’s like with Zack Greinke — tremendous student of the game, but you’ll only get a job in the industry if you want one

10:40
Comment From Horible Hank
What’s the strangest meal you ever ate? & why did you eat it if not to be polite?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: I was in Rome one time and ordered carpaccio while misunderstanding what it was

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: then for some reason I did it again two days later

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know if that’s the strangest, but it’s the one I recall most easily

10:42
Comment From E
If say the Dodgers traded Ethier and agreed to pay X% of his salary. Do the dodgers get X% counted against their payroll and the other team receives the rest? Or the does the team acquiring Ethier get all of his salary on their payroll?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: The former

10:42
Comment From Gila Monster
In a non-sarcastic sense, why are the graph tools limited on Fangraphs? Say I wanted to graph multiple pieces of data(say BABIP and OBP) you can’t. Or graph WAR. You also can’t.

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: It’s funny, isn’t it?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: Nobody ever uses the graphs! The graphs were like literally the first thing! The graphs are what we’re named after!

10:43
Comment From Jon
Why do people hate Bryce Harper? Just because he’s young and pretty darn good? I can’t think of a single thing he’s actually done to get beaned so many times, and earn the ire of so many crazy fans.

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: A lot of people are turned off by cockiness, or perceived cockiness

10:43
Comment From gareth
The Nationals must be gleefully rubbing their hands together like a cartoon villain after hearing about all those braves pitching issues.

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: I should try to figure out what all this could do to the Nationals’ playoff odds

10:44
Comment From TheRealJoeyVotto
Re: Sizemore, your emphatic “Yes!” suggests you expect relatively big things… how big?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Not so much big things as I am pleased to be expecting some things

10:44
Comment From Dave
Hypothetically: fast forward to the end of the season and the Mariners have made the playoffs! What broke right for them to make it happen?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Young starting pitching

10:45
Comment From Sam
The Indians are treating Salazar very gingerly this spring. As a long time Tribe fan and fantasy player, should I stay away?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: They’re just trying to be careful with him so as to maximize the number of innings he can throw in the season

10:45
Comment From Eddie
Sabathia throwing fastballs in the mid 80’s right now. You worried?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: No

10:45
Comment From DTSS
Could a volcano have had something to do with the missing plane in Malaysia?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: Probably not

10:46
Comment From Slack Schpeinke
the pendulum has clearly swung too far toward draft pick hysteria. the Braves are clearly shooting for a playoff spot this year and they appear to be down to 3 healthy SPers, two of whom are Freddy Garcia and Alex Wood.

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: There are alternatives to Ervin Santana

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: if there were not, then, sure, it would make the most sense to go after Santana

10:47
Comment From RetireNutting
Why doesn’t anyone like Tony Sanchez as a starting catcher. Kid can hit and the defense is there.

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: He can’t hit too much, and the defense isn’t there too much. He’s caught in between now, but he might have one year in his career where he gets the majority of a team’s playing time

10:50
Comment From someone who joined the internet just to ask you a question
If you could add one new piece of information to baseball TV broadcasts, what would it be? Pitcher and batter platoon splits?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: Splits seems like a good one

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: And I’d never show an ERA over a sample under, I don’t know, 20 innings

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: But I’m pretty content with broadcasts in general. When I’m watching a game I’m not really thinking in terms of wOBA or line-drive rate

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: It’s the announcers who can be the biggest problems

10:51
Comment From Guest
Is David Phelps good?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: fairly good

10:52
Comment From Gila Monster
How do you write about a team on a team blog from an objective and often pessistic point of view? I’ve done this before and have struggled to get readers to take their team hat off and think logically and objectively. I presented an argument saying the Red Sox shouldn’t extend Ortiz/just issue a QO, and I got absolutely blasted and ignored. I imagine you have experience with this.

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: There’s a difference: Red Sox fans are conditioned to expect success. Mariners fans are conditioned to expect failure. So Mariners fans, on average, are more willing to accept analytical perspectives, even if they’re pessimistic, while Red Sox fans are more likely to be all rah-rah emotional sorts

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: The closer your team is to winning, the less people care about how that happens

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: When a team is bad, a lot of the emotion goes away and you’re left with objectivity and various facts

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: In the long run, as long as you make good arguments and present them well, people will climb on board. But it does matter who you’re writing for/about

10:56
Comment From Angry Baseball Fan
Why do only 3 spring training parks provide pitch velocity on Gameday? The Dodgers and Red Sox can’t afford to install Pitch F/X in their spring parks? Wouldn’t that data be useful for everyone?

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: What would be the real benefit? Most of those stadiums are occupied by super low-level affiliates during the summer. Also, consider that there might not even be PITCHf/x in one year

10:58
Comment From Robert
Wouldn’t Ervin Santana make a lot of sense for the Cubs on a one year deal? After missing out on Tanaka, they have the payroll flexibility. And it seems unlikely he’d bring back less than their lost 2nd round pick in a midseason trade. Plus, from Santana’s perspective, the QO is ruled out at the end of the season.

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: Cubs might be like everybody, worried about Santana’s elbow. And then there’s no midseason trade. And Santana would presumably prefer to just sign with a contender now, rather than wait and hope to get traded to one in July

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: If the team ends up not contending, then Santana could get traded to a contender anyway

10:59
Comment From T-bird
What do you think of Abe Almonte as the starting CF for the M’s?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: I like him as a player, but I sure wish the Mariners weren’t in this position

11:00
Comment From Chris
Would a Joc Pederson for Franklin be fair?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: Pederson’s better

11:01
Comment From someone who joined the internet just to ask you a question
Most awkward encounter with a baseball player?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: clubbing with Felix Hernandez and Jose Lopez

11:01
Comment From Guest
how long will the Dodgers ride with a million outfielders? is Ethier still on his way out? I remember some talk of that last year.

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: Until Pederson earns his way up or until all the current guys demonstrate that they’re healthy

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: At that point, Ethier’s an excellent trade candidate, again

11:03
Comment From Joe
What are the chances of either Jose Fernandez or Danny Salazar getting shut down before the end of the regular season to manage innings?

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: Their teams will take steps to make sure that doesn’t happen

11:03
Comment From Os fan
where/when does Kendrys Morales end up?

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: I could see him end up with the Orioles, still, if Santana decides on the Blue Jays

11:04
Comment From LudeBurger
Is something wrong with Yadier Molina?

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: I mean, probably, but nothing we need to worry about as baseball fans

11:04
Comment From Jack Z
If the Rays would take it, do I give up Nick Franklin for David Price straight up?

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: um well yes

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: You’d give up Nick Franklin for a lot worse than that

11:05
Comment From Evergreen Bowl Subdivision
Which baseball announcers have been the most notable to you, either good or bad?

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: I can’t watch Reds games

11:05
Comment From Chris
do you ever watch games for pleasure and not think about work?

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: Yes, especially hockey games

11:05
Comment From Evergreen Bowl Subdivision
why do you chat so long?

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: I suck at saying goodbye

11:06
Comment From gareth
From jacoby Ellsbury to Jackie Bradley Jr and the shell of Grady Sizemore. Should the red sox be concerned ?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: They’re also second in baseball in projected team WAR

11:06
Comment From Josh
Will David Price end the year in Tampa?

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: The regular season/playoffs, yes

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: The calendar year, probably no

11:07
Comment From gareth
Is rock boulders the best name is baseball right now?

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: It would be if that were his name

11:08
Comment From Jay
What’s a team that you think has a nearly average (i.e. 1/30) chance of winning it all?

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: Braves or Pirates

11:08
Comment From fittypence
Woah, you clubbed with the King? What made it awkward?

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: Language barrier. This was many years ago

11:08
Comment From someone who joined the internet just to ask you a question
I would imagine that neither Felix nor Lopez hit the dance floor: too many people crowding Felix and Lopez would get too winded

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: Lopez might’ve been more uncomfortable than we were

11:09
Comment From gareth
Danny Salazar or sonny Gray?

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: Salazarrrrrr

11:09
Comment From Conrad
Regarding “shutting down pitchers”…is 160 or 180 innings a magic number or is there data to suggest that more breakdowns occur after these innings are reached?

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: No such thing as a magic number

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: Obviously, there will be more breakdowns as you increase the innings threshold, but it’s always a case-by-case basis

11:09
Comment From Evergreen Bowl Subdivision
what did you think of the Ottawa Senator’s jerseys in the heritage game?

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: I thought that was the closest we’ve ever come to having two opposing teams wearing the same uniforms

11:10
Comment From Guest
Who’s your long shot pick to make the World Series this year?

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: Are the Pirates a long shot?

11:10
Comment From Pat
Who is your personal favorite active MLB player??

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: Felix

11:11
Comment From Dan
Should the Tigers trade for a guy like Nate Schierholtz, or some other generic heavy half of a LF platoon? I feel like they are obnoxiously loyal to scrappy lunch-pailers like Andy Dirks, and probably wouldn’t leave him out of a job when he gets healthy by making that kind of deal. Even though they probably should.

11:11
Jeff Sullivan: I need to get going now, I’ve got a work phone call and such.

11:11
Jeff Sullivan: Thanks for hanging out everybody, and I’m sorry for what I didn’t or couldn’t address. We’ll do it again next Tuesday at the same time, and until then, be well and have great days

We hoped you liked reading Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 3/11/14 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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