Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 3/18/16

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to Friday baseball chat

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: This one isn’t going to go as long as usual because of other work stuff. Apologies in advance

9:05
Brian: Kyle Seager looks like he has to practice high-fives

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: I have to imagine he wakes up every single day flabbergasted that he somehow managed to survive the Mariners’ player-development system

9:05
florida man: Jeff, which do you think is the most accurate projection system out there? Zips? Steamer? other?

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: Honestly I think they’re all basically the same. They use much of the same information to generate much of the same result, and while of course they’re not identical, all the differences are at the margins. If System A is 1% more accurate than System B, that’s cool, but it’s not enough to say that System A is awesome and System B is useless

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: I’m happy with our Steamer/ZiPS blend. I don’t think we’re going to have anything better any time soon. In all the years of trying to forecast baseball players, it’s not like we’ve gotten all that much better at it

9:08
Gest : How much does the Alvarez signing effect trumbos playing time? I noticed his depth chart numbers took a big hit.

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: Shouldn’t be a huge effect. Definitely a little bit of a reduction, just because the DH slot isn’t a black hole anymore, but Trumbo will still be a regular

9:09
dmo: Has Jesus Montero lost the platoon job yet considering Lee’s and Romero’s performances? And does Montero have any trade value if the Mariners want to get something out of him rather than putting him through waivers? Also, still a chance M’s bullpen is better than last year?

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: Montero does not have any trade value. And the bullpen should be better than last year, when it was one of the five or so worst in the majors. I don’t think it’s going to be a strength, especially if Cishek doesn’t rebound all the way, but there’s enough depth in there when Scribner is healthy again

9:10
carl: What do you make of Juan Nicasio? It’s ST and he’s pitched 10 innings… but boy is it hard to ignore what he’s done…

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: I like him as a multi-inning reliever. I don’t think he’d be a great starting option, but we know he can dominate righties, without any improvement

9:12
daneyko: the small sample of Jon Gray in 2015 was not very good. Do you expect a decent season ? 160 IP, 155 K, 4.10 ERA, 1.33 WHIP ?

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: To Gray’s credit, even though his ERA was bad, he did have an 87 FIP- and a 99 xFIP-. He’s a big-league starter, and I don’t think your numbers are unrealistic. Maybe 4.10 is too difficult in Colorado, but I like him enough and he can handle lefties

9:13
cargo: the stats of (Ben Paulsen and Mark Reynolds) could be the same with Lucas Duda ?

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: No part of me is counting on that

9:15
JDogg: Kevin Pillar … what are the chances he gets to lead off? And if he does, how do you think he finishes the year?

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: Seems like it’s a virtual lock he at least opens as the leadoff guy. He might not stay there depending on whether Saunders stays healthy and hits, but Pillar will get the first crack. He’s not a great hitter, so I expect he finishes the year as not a great hitter

9:16
Ronnie: “Born to Love Volcanos” by the Dead Milkmen or “Eruption” by Van Halen?

9:17
Daniel Carroll: Given that he’s a year older, should M’s fans be worried at all about Nelson Cruz not yet hitting a HR in spring?

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: He didn’t homer in spring training 2014, either. Then he slugged .525

9:20
Bob: Arenado and LeMahieu for Giolito, Ross and Turner. Who says no?

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: Nationals. Way too much value to give up

9:23
JDogg: who says no .. Tigers trade Castellanos and Moya for Longoria

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: I spent maybe too long thinking about this

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: And I didn’t even get anywhere great, but my sense is the Rays would still say no. As much as Longoria is a player in decline, there’s too much risk in the return, and Longoria’s future salaries are not outlandish

9:24
Ronnie: Do you think Jose Altuve can dunk?

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: No, but I bet he can get closer to me, and I’m 6’5

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: *than me. *than me.

9:25
William: With the potential expansion issue coming up, what do you think the likelihood of Montreal getting back a team is?

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: I think it’ll happen eventually

9:25
Guest: whats your prediction for how many wins the mariners get this year?

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: 84

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: Wanted to type 83 but I guess I’m an optimist

9:25
Ray Nicholas: Boxberger down? Who next? Colome? Farquhar? Some crazy move?

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think there’s a crazy move happening at this point in the spring

9:27
Guest: Is there something BP is seeing that everyone else isn’t with the Rays projection?

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: As I eyeball things, they seem just a little bit higher on almost every position player. They really like Hank Conger. I would easily bet the under on the Rays’ projection, but at the very least, it is a reasonable reminder that the Rays should be competitive again and that the AL East is volatile

9:29
Brian: Is Franklin Gutierriez the easiest player in baseball to root for?

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: I mean, he’s easy to root for, but the *easiest*? I don’t know. Lots of players have overcome adversity. Players like Rizzo and Lester have beaten cancer for pete’s sake

9:30
Erik: Does this Phillies wealth combined with their small payroll give them a legitimate shot at the wild card in 2017? Or is that too soon?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not something to plan on, because they need a LOT of help, and the upcoming FA market isn’t very strong. So it might not be easy to distribute all the resources. But let’s say Franco cements himself, and let’s say Crawford does the same. You’ve got Nola, and you’ve got Herrera, and…well you’d have Crawford and Franco. You can build around a Crawford and Franco

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: If I had to try to project out, I’d say the Phillies could win 75-78 games in a year, and THEN they could be competitive in 2018

9:33
Mike: Jeff – I have trying to think of a good way to introduce ice to the game of baseball. How about ice foul ground and 2 skaters to chase the balls down? Do you have any ideas?

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: If a pitcher takes longer than 15 seconds to deliver his next pitch, the umpire gets to go out and drop ice down the back of his shirt

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: Go to hell, slow pitchers

9:34
pirates hurdles: With the StatCast data presented at SABR, what is the future of FIP, seems like pitcher control of batted ball is much larger than thought by DIPS?

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: At first, there was the thought pitchers were in total control. Then came the revolutionary thought pitchers had basically zero control. Since then we’ve moved toward the middle. Even now, the distribution between the best and the worst isn’t enormous, so FIP will continue to have value for a while. I’d say we might sooner re-think xFIP

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: It’s pretty clear some pitchers are better than others at limiting contact quality but I think that’s more stuff at the margins than something fundamentally huge

9:36
Guest: We’re the Mariners unlucky or a poor dev system?

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: Probably both. The communication and consistency sucked. That much, we know

9:37
Jim: Who’s competitive first, Phillies or braves?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll say Braves might reach .500 first, but Phillies will look like a champion contender first

9:38
Guest: do the brewers, braves, or phillies finish with the worst record in baseball?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: Phillies

9:41
Buff: Nice piece on Nicasio. Any reason to worry about Tony Watson? Lots of innings last 3 years, slight drop in velo and k/9 last year. Will he be able to take over as Bucs’ closer when Melancon leaves?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Alert level…yellow? Don’t like seeing that second-half velocity decline from him, and he hasn’t yet really put it together in spring training. I still think he’ll be all right, but there’s a hint of uncertainty there. Watson isn’t the only future closing option in case something happens

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: I mean, you don’t have to squint very much to see Caminero with high-leverage potential

9:43
pirates hurdles: Seems like many here like to average Steamer and ZiPS. Has there been any study to show that this is a good or bad idea?

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: That’s how we run our projections as displayed — it starts as just Steamer, but then when we get full ZiPS information, we blend the two 50/50. Research in the past has indicated that blended systems perform a little better than individual systems. I like it because at least in my head, Steamer is more conservative and ZiPS is more aggressive

9:45
JJB: Hey Jeff, could you clarify what skills age the best? Most prominently, we’ve seen power deteriorate for many (Howard, Hamilton, Pujols etc.), but what skills age better?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: You’re looking for more all-around athleticism. Those bodies hold up longer, so then they’re able to remain successful longer. Big beefy slugger types don’t need to slip much to no longer be useful

9:47
lunch: the rotographs guys are into full on 10 bold predictions time. you feel like making some bold predictions for the season? they don’t all have to be based around joey votto popups. though they can be, i guess.

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: The Orioles bullpen ends up better than the Yankees bullpen

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: The Giants win the NL West?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: The A’s make the playoffs?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: Am I supposed to be held accountable for these?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: Christian Yelich hits 20 homers and Votto hits one pop-up, which comes in the middle of August

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Votto will privately dispute whether the pop-up should qualify as such

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe that’s not very bold

9:49
Guest: If the mariners fail this yr when would you tear down for a full rebuild?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Kind of depends how they fail. Which players fail? If, like, Felix, Cano, and Cruz all struggle, it’s not like you can do much with those contracts

9:51
Outta my way, Gyorkass: I’ve asked some of the other chatters this, but of the upper level contenders in the NL, which team stands the highest chance of utter collapse? How about in the AL?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: So much has to do with injuries, but I could see the Nationals having problems given their limited amount of depth behind the stars

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not like Strasburg and Harper have been the models of durability

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: In the AL, I don’t even know who the upper-level contenders are. But while I’m sure I’ll get shit for this, I’d be in no way surprised if the Royals win 76 games, and then at the end we’re all like “well, okay, yeah”

9:54
Outta my way, Gyorkass: Who do you like better as a long term shortstop, Crawford or Arcia?

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: Crawford

9:54
Erik: What would count as proof that certain teams (such as the Cardinals) have figured out things about player development that others have not? Do we know it’s a skill yet, or could it be luck?

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: We don’t *know* much of anything because it’s so difficult to study. But in theory, you could run a bunch of math to calculate “expected” system output based on drafting positions and scouting reports. And then you’d just have to calculate the difference between actual output and expected output. My guess is the Cardinals would show a strongly positive difference. Matt Carpenter is a great example of why

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: These narratives end up being driven by the fates of small numbers of players, and that’s an issue. But I really do feel good about the Cardinals on this subject

9:56
Jaack: Thoughts on Barry Bonds beating Giancarlo Stanton in a home run contest? On the one hand its probably spring training fluff. On the other hand, I’d like to believe that Barry could step in and hit 20 dingers this year.

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: I think Stanton came out and disputed that the next day but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love the original story

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: Definitely got me wondering about Bonds yesterday afternoon. I wonder what a realistic aging curve would look like. How would Bonds hit at his current age, given how rested he probably is, health-wise, since the last time he played?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: Is it stupid to think Bonds could at least be a functional pinch-hitter? Is it not stupid? I have genuinely no idea

9:58
Jake: Is Brandon Crawford reaching 20 HR again this year out of the realm of possibility?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: No. I like him a lot

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: People talk about Correa as the best shortstop in baseball right now but on a single-season basis, for 2016, Crawford has to be pretty close, to me

9:59
Outta my way, Gyorkass: Who will be the worst defender in the major leagues this year among “everyday” position players?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: Matt Kemp or Mark Trumbo

10:00
Guest: your angels article got me thinking….. that team really isnt very good. do you see a 75 win season as probable rather than possible at this point?

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think it’s *probable*, but if this Andrelton Simmons arm problem is a bigger deal than they’re letting on, then down, down the team slides. Weaver might not be able to help. Wilson might not be able to help. Pujols can’t stay totally healthy. This could be the worst team in the division without too much bad luck

10:01
Chris: If Kershaw gets injured for a significant period of time, is the Dodgers season over?

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: Nah. They’d still be at least as good as the Diamondbacks

10:02
Mike: Should Ray Searage, I don’t know, open a school or something? Seems like he has a lot more to offer all of baseball. Are we being short changed?

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: What’s cool about this, for Pittsburgh, is how the reputation has developed and spread. So now instead of the Pirates just collecting interesting arms, troubled pitchers are actively seeking out the Pirates

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: Players see Pittsburgh as a place where they can get their careers turned around. That’s a real advantage for them

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: Granted, it’s a real advantage in acquiring pitchers who have most recently been not very good

10:03
Daniel Carroll: On a scale of 1 to Stanley Cup Playoffs, how good of an event is the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: In fairness, I don’t pay attention to it, but from what I recall from when I *did* pay attention to it, it’s a lot of fun but then it fades quickly once the first few rounds are over. Nowhere close to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Don’t @ me

10:04
Buff: Does Matt Kemp finish the season as a Padre?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know who would want him

10:05
Phillies113: There’s DEFINITELY more to the “Chris Sale is upset re: LaRoche’s son” story than Chris Sale being upset about LaRoche’s son, right? It doesn’t make sense that Sale would be so upset unless there was more behind-the-scenes drama we don’t know about.

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: I can’t pretend to know a quarter of what’s going on in this story, but if I had to guess, Sale’s main problem is less about Drake LaRoche, and more about Williams seemingly trying to make demands of a clubhouse he spends very little time in

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: Now, if Williams was just taking the bullet for other rostered players, so be it. But Sale probably thinks it should be a team issue, or at least a team + coaching staff issue. Doubt many players like the idea of getting clubhouse orders from the suits upstairs

10:07
Guest: do you agree with dave that the dodgers have a top 3 rotation in baseball? seems ridiculous to me but he speaks with conviction

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: The complicating factor is that when people talk about the best rotations, they like depth and they like pitcher consistency. Dave is talking about straight cumulative WAR, which would be coming from Kershaw and a collection of like a dozen other guys

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: The Mets, for example, look great, and they have five or six guys they’re counting on. The Dodgers can’t match that lineup pitcher for pitcher, but they have so much depth, and Kershaw gives them a huge leg up. I do side more with Dave on this

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: I just ran the numbers and the Angels are projected, slightly, to have the best outfield in baseball. 12.3 WAR, to the Pirates’ 12.1, and the Marlins’ 11.5. This is similar to me. For the Angels, it’s almost all about Trout. That’s a lot of value to be tied up in one player. But why shouldn’t it count? Value is value, right?

10:10
Matt: How long should the Braves hold Swanson, Albies, and Mallex Smith down? They were excellent in camp.

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: No reason at all to rush them, especially with Aybar around. Room gets opened up if Aybar moves in July. And while Smith is close, the Braves can at least wait to see if Olivera hits

10:11
Erik: What skill set ages better: Pederson’s power and patience, but low contact, or Franco’s contact and power, but low patience?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: I want to say Franco

10:12
mtsw: Do you feel that there are marginal, AAAA type players who would eventually become average MLB players if they had the opportunity to see major league pitching consistently for several years? Always felt many guys in that category never have the same opportunity as guys who got called up younger with more potential?

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: Baseball kind of works against the less exciting, lower-upside types. Everyone everywhere tries to evaluate players by their ceilings, and if a player’s ceiling is maybe being a 2-3 WAR corner outfielder, that guy is going to have a tougher time breaking through, compared to a raw, toolsy player who could be an All-Star

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: Right now my brain is saying to me “Steve Pearce!”

10:13
Zorak: Can Kazmir survive with reduced velocity? Somebody we should be legit worried about?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: Something to monitor, but if he’s just trying to get stretched out while staying within his mechanics, then his velocity right now is no big deal

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: I think it only really starts to matter in the regular season

10:14
mtsw: More likely in 2016: O’s break strikeout record or O’s break HR record?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: Homer record, definitely

10:16
jenn: What hitter and what pitcher produce the most WAR this season among any of the players who’ve never played in the MLB?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Trevor Story and Kenta Maeda

10:18
Andrew: What are your thoughts on the Mets bullpen? Got to be better then last year’s (pre-trade deadline) Familia-and-a-prayer unit, no?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: I think it’s fine. It’s one of those bullpens right in the middle where it doesn’t take much to go good or go bad, but I think it’s a bullpen that’ll hold together, and then they’ll add some minor helpful piece in July

10:18
Gest : Should there be any lingering effects from springers wrist injury for 2016, or should he be totally back to form?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: Assume he’s fine

10:19
Dr Johnny Fever: How do you think the Cubs are going to fit in Soler and Baez? Trade?

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: Soler will play a lot in left, and occasionally right, and Baez will be the super-utility guy that Zobrist isn’t, quite. I don’t anticipate a preseason trade. I could see Baez dealt in July, while Soler, I think might move next offseason instead

10:21
Merv Throneberry: What do you think will happen in the Storen/Osuna closer “battle” in Toronto? Seems like Osuna could get the shaft, unless they already told him he can stretch out to start later this year?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: I could see Storen being the closer, both because of seniority, and because that then makes it easier if the Jays want to transition Osuna back to starting

10:22
Colonel: Hello! Acquisition price aside, what is your projection for Shelby Miller this year? Thanks!

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: I like him more than Dave does. As a projection, I think he’s more like a No. 3, but on my unwritten scale of breakout potential, he’s near the top. I like the development of his repertoire

10:23
Mets Fan: With Conforto, Granderson, Cespedes, and Legares all healthy, do the Mets have the best outfield in baseball?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: Nah. Deep, though

10:23
Sam: General thoughts on J.D. Martinez this season?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: really good hitter

10:23
The Cincinnati Kid: Will Brad Miller be good enough defensively to get 500 PA?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: Last year they gave Asdrubal Cabrera 500 PAs

10:24
Kole: Do you have any hope for Chris Taylor and Nick Franklin, hitting-wise, at the Major League level?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: Modest hope. Not a lot, although I’m interested to see what Taylor does after going through a bit of a swing overhaul this winter

10:24
Dr Johnny Fever: Who do you think will be the best player in baseball in three years?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: Carlos Correa?

10:25
Aaron: Does a Vogelbach trade to the Astros make sense in filling out their 1B/DH issues? Cubs need to trade him somewhere so I can have more bad-body major leaguers to watch!

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: I think the Astros are content with what they have. Singleton, White, Reed gives them depth

10:25
Outta my way, Gyorkass: Does anyone on the Brewers pitching staff exceed 2 WAR?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: I think Nelson does it, barely. And maybe, just maybe, Will Smith!

10:27
The Cincinnati Kid: What % chance do you give Alvarez hitting 30 HRs?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: 20-25%? He’ll have his playing time limited because he won’t face many lefties, but Camden is very homer-friendly to left-handed bats

10:28
Outta my way, Gyorkass: Blaine Boyer’s “good and evil” bit sounds a bit inflammatory rhetoric-ish, right?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, he’s out of his mind

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: But it still gives you a window into how players view the sanctity of the clubhouse

10:29
GSon: The LaRoche story out of Chicago seems like a story that might have been foretold by a union busting practice from the 40’s & 50’s. What are your insights?..Will the MLBPA file for him based on prior accepted albeit not specifically stated in the CBA acts?..

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think there’s any recourse here. I can’t imagine it was explicit in LaRoche’s contract that Drake could be there all the time and so if it was a verbal/handshake thing, well, that’s flimsy. Ultimately this was LaRoche’s decision, and the White Sox didn’t make him do anything.

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: If there’s any consequence, teams might be inspired to make their clubhouse/family rules more clear and established

10:30
Big Joe Montferrant: Would you rather (if you are the owner of an MLB franchise). Have Mike Trout with his current contract on your team, or have the #1 overall pick in the next 10 drafts?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll take Trout instead of 10 consecutive last-place finishes 🙁

10:31
Nina Pillard: who has the better year between Fernandez, Thor, Matz, CarMart, and Wacha?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: Syndergaard is amazing. Syndergaard — Fernandez — Martinez — Wacha — Matz

10:32
Ed: Jeff, how much value should/do teams put into spring stats in forming the opening day roster? Ex. does hot hitting Stefan Romero start the season in Seattle over Montero and Lee, or does the fact that he has options remaining keep him in Tacoma?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: Romero has options and Lee has an opt-out. They’ll stick with Lee.

10:33
Marc: Have you been to the Fangraphs meetups? What are they like?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: I haven’t actually been to the casual meetups but I’ve heard almost exclusively positive things. Food, beer, friendly baseball conversation. It’s exactly what you’d expect

10:34
Robert : Why should I go to a baseball game? It’s an expensive endeavor and is rather insignificant in the scheme of a 162 game season. I am beginning to feel like MLB is best enjoyed from one’s living room. Thoughts?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Why should you ever go out to dinner when you can eat more cheaply and more healthy at home?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: There is a real ballpark experience. It’s like going to any event. But I can’t imagine owning season tickets or anything. To me, that’s too much of a time and money investment. I do feel like plenty of people agree with your perspective, and while attendance is in no way suffering, teams are getting more and more of their money from alternative sources, instead of gate revenue

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: I feel like there’s going to be a future with like 25,000-seat stadiums

10:36
mtsw: Dylan Bundy has looked pretty decent in Spring Training. If (and it’s obviously a huge if) he can stay healthy could he work his way into the rotation by year’s end?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Bundy has barely pitched the last few years. They’ll have to treat him extremely carefully

10:37
Art Vandelay: Should the Sox be worried about Chris Sale? He’s still going today, hanging up both LaRoche jerseys in his locker. I’d assume he’ll just go back to pitching once the season starts, but this is some tantrum. Also, I heard this mentioned on twitter, but how funny would it be if Sale was actually the one who complained to management?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: One could definitely say it seems like he’s overcompensating!

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: It’s spring training. Sale has a couple weeks to cool off.

10:37
Gest : Do you think the O’s will move Machado to SS at any point this season?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: He’ll play there ,but not regularly

10:38
Trot: I think we all dream of hitting a home run in a major league stadium and the crowd going crazy. I was just imagining hitting a HR as the visiting team during a spring training game and wondering if anyone could possibly care less.

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: People would probably just be annoyed at how long it’s taking you to circle the bases

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Keep it moving, slow-ass

10:38
bobby: Keep hearing rangers looking at catching options. Lucroy’s name has popped up repeatedly. What do you think a possible trade outline might look like?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: I think it would be something pretty similar for Derek Norris

10:39
Jon: A lot of people drew parallels between the Cubs’ and Astros’ rebuilds all the way through the playoffs last year. But now they’ve had (I think) fairly divergent offseasons. Would you chalk up this offseason primarily to differing front office philosophies or to differences in financial resources?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: Resources

10:39
Sam: What type of return could the Rockies get if they wanted to trade Cargo?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: Not a huge one. Their rumored requests have been crazy. He’s a pretty good player but he’s not outstanding

10:40
Guest: cubs over/under 93.5 wins?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: Over

10:41
John : Do you think baseball front offices will continue to expand their operations/hiring as more and more scouting video/data becomes available and needs to be processed/analyzed?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: At some point every team will have a full analytical department. And the amount of data generated by the Statcast system might force teams to hire an individual or two just to break it down into consumable bits

10:42
Guest: i feel like most view the mets as a clear favorite in the East, but looking at the rosters, i think the nats are still as good if not better. am i wrong? is the gap between them anything other than tiny?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: Very small gap. Mets could have a tiny advantage, but there’s so much recency bias that’s hard to separate out. The Mets just made the World Series and the Nationals were a disappointment. That doesn’t matter anymore, but it’s hard to convince your brain

10:42
Eric Franzen: A lot of teams are taking the Royals approach to their bullpens now. Any indication as to what the next “fad” might be?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: Superutility players?

10:43
Justin: Dave’s least-watchable team this year is the Braves. Who are you least looking forward to watching in 2016?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: If I ever find myself watching the Padres, it’s because of whichever team is playing the Padres

10:44
Gest : Do you know some precedents for core surgery in pitchers and how they bounce back?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Verlander had core surgery before 2014

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: It was…not a good season for him

10:46
Alex: Is elite power more ‘sticky?’ Would you expect a guy with a .250 iso to be more likely to repeat his .250 than a .180 guy to repeat his .180? I wanna set up a play index to find how often a guy hits within X% (10%? 25%?) of his peak power, and how consistently they do that, but maybe it’s an article idea for one of you guys, maybe Eno offhand. It’s also surely been done before.

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Off the top of my head, I’d feel more confident about a player who’s blasting his home runs well past the fence. Stanton/Sano types. Guys who hit the ball and really hit it. If you have a guy who’s just clearing the fence all the time, then I’m not so confident because there’s more room for interfering variables

10:48
Aaron: From Daryl Van Schouwen’s Twitter: Sale:[Kenny Williams] told players the coaches complained about Drake, told coaches the players complained. ‘Then he came in here, said it was from owner’

WHAT IS HAPPENING OVER THERE???

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: Sometimes it makes sense to shoot the messenger

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: My current assumption is that Williams delivered an important message, but he did kind of a shitty job of delivering it

10:48
mtsw: Any truth to the idea that Trumbo’s defensive liabilities are mitigated in Camden Yards?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: No

10:49
Rick: You said a week ago the Braves would have the first pick in the 2017 draft. Changed your mind?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Did I say that? Crap. Well in any case, I think with the Braves and the Phillies it’s a race to the bottom. Might be determined by how well JP Crawford debuts

10:49
Kolten: Is Guti somehow and someway the second coming of JD Martinez?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: JD Martinez can physically play every day

10:50
JDogg: please explain … Tigers signed Pelfrey for 16M over 2, and passed on Simon for 2M for 1. Seems like the 15M could have been spent better elsewhere?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: Simon probably wasn’t available for $2 million when the Tigers were working to sign a starting pitcher

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: Also, last year, Pelfrey’s stuff played up, and Simon pitched hurt

10:51
Johnny: Vince Velasquez or Lance McCullers long term?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: McCullers

10:51
CamdenWarehouse: What odds do you give the O’s of breaking the HR record?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: 10%

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: All right, I need to get rolling

10:51
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 — 3/18/16 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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