Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 3/3/17

9:00
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:00
Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to Friday baseball chat

9:00
Jeff Sullivan: This time atypically on schedule!

9:00
CamdenWarehouse: wha? on time???

9:00
Jeff Sullivan: I could’ve even started early if I wanted to. I’m on top of the ball!

9:01
Jeff Sullivan: Waiting for Bork, waiting for Bork…

9:01
Jeff Sullivan: Well, we’ll see if Bork shows up

9:02
Fake Bork: Hi Friend?

9:02
Jeff Sullivan: Almost

9:02
Ronnie: Do you pronounce the “la” in lava like the “la” in lavender or like the “la” in la-di-da?

9:02
Jeff Sullivan: The latter

9:02
The Average Sports Fan: For what team with the lowest projected win total can you build a realistic path to the playoffs? What is it?

9:03
Jeff Sullivan: Well let’s just try with the terrible 65-97 Padres http://www.fangraphs.com/depthcharts.aspx?position=Standings

9:03
Jeff Sullivan: Firstly, the bullpen excels with Capps, Buchter, Hand, Maurer, etc. This I wouldn’t consider too unlikely

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: Myers keeps hitting, and Hedges brings over his offensive improvements from last season. Schimpf, Solarte, Jankowski, Renfroe — these aren’t *terrible* supporting pieces. Let’s say Margot resembles an average CF or something like that

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: There might be just enough pitching you can squeeze out of Chacin, Richard, Cahill, Perdomo, Friedrich. I know full well this sounds insane but there isn’t nothing here, especially if Hedges helps them out and the bullpen helps Andy Green get the starters out early

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: Then you throw in some BaseRuns luck. Voila! The Padres had everything go right and they made the playoffs!

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: If that’s too much, I probably wouldn’t have to work too hard to get the 76-86 Diamondbacks into the postseason

9:08
Q-Ball: Does Mike Trout still have the most hypothetical trade value in baseball? Or with his higher salaries and 4 years of control, do you think Bryant may be passing him?

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: Right now it’s probably either Bryant or Seager. Trout would still be extremely close, just because of what he’s clearly proven himself to be, but Bryant and Seager have cheaper control, and that money is crucial

9:10
Gest: If you could watch only 3 players this spring training, who would you choose?

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: Players with something to prove. Felix, Keon Broxton, Alex Meyer?

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: I tried to watch Meyer the other afternoon but the camera angle was one of the worst I’ve ever seen.

9:11
Matty: I have the Indians vs nationals in the World Series. Would you enjoy that matchup?

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: I would enjoy any matchup in the World Series so long as the games themselves gave me something to write about

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: Andrew Miller vs. Bryce Harper would give me something to write about

9:12
JT: Jeff, does Strasburg ever have the breakout season we’re all waiting for? People perceive him as an ace but looking at his player page, reality doesn’t really match the perception. He has the talent clearly, he’s been ace-like during certain stretches of his partial seasons but he’s always hurt and the only time he has stayed healthy an entire season he was worth “only” 4.5 WAR. Plus, FIP seems to like him quite a bit more than other metrics. Are we looking at another Rich Harden where we spend the rest of our lives wondering what-if?

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: I think there’s a six-win season or two in there, but I’m not buying him as a developing durable workhorse. Clearly, that’s going to hold him back

9:15
kevinthecomic: What is the biggest obstacle Lewis Brinson needs to overcome this year? Strikeouts, Staying Healthy, Something Else?

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: Just needs to generally improve his approach. The Brewers, at least, can be patient here, with Broxton/Santana/Braun already in the bigs

9:15
Bob: Read a few articles about process of Heyward’s swing reconstruction. Have you heard anything about how it looks? Keith Law said yesterday in his chat he hadn’t heard anything positive.

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: This is one of those things that’s going to be determined after the fact. It’s good if it works and it’s not if it doesn’t. We can’t just look at a guy taking swings in March and determine whether or not he made the right adjustments. No one is nearly that good at swing analysis

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: Heyward, for whatever it’s worth, has made very frequent swing adjustments. Seldom has he ever looked smooth, but he still has a good career batting line. Raul Ibanez and Hunter Pence have had what I consider reasonably ugly swings and they still produced

9:18
Jack: What do you think of Casey Gillaspie? He doesn’t seem to get much love despite the fact that he was a first-round pick, is a switch hitter with power and patience, and had a 145 WRC+ in 357 PAs at Double-A last year before being called up to Triple-A and posting a 163 WRC+ in 203 PAs. Do you think he supplants LoMo as TB’s first baseman at some point this year?

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: I’m going to be honest with you: I’ve never once thought about Casey Gillaspie. Looking at him, though, and considering the low bar that Logan Morrison sets, a midseason replacement wouldn’t be at all surprising. Gillaspie might not blossom into anything special, but Morrison never did, either

9:20
Sam: As a Yankees fan, I have to say with the way spring training is going, that it’s probably down hill from here

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: Going uphill is tiring

9:21
Guest: KATOH seems really high on little Vlad. Do you agree with it, and will we see him in the bigs by his 20 b-day?

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: I will never be able to be so optimistic about a player with so little a performance record. Doesn’t make me right and KATOH wrong; I’m just cautious with that entire player pool

9:21
Eric: Phil Hughes made his 2nd start and was consistently at 87-88 MPH on the radar gun. Do you think he can ramp up to 90? Are all pitchers in ST sitting at 2-4 MPH below their normal velocity?

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: It’s still very early in spring. Many pitchers are below their summer velocities. Arm strength, in general, isn’t even fully built up by April or May. Be patient here

9:23
7777hk: How seriously does Loss of Price hurt sox?

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: If Price is actually lost for the season — which is still not a certainty! — it’s a major, major blow. Probably drops the Red Sox close to Blue Jays level, meaning that becomes the first and most interesting division race in the league

9:24
Chone Figgins: Would the Mariners have ruined Mike Trout had they drafted and developed him?

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: If I ever die, and if there’s a God, and if I ever meet God, this will be my…second question, probably

9:24
Hal: Why do people use “it’s all downhill” in a negative way? Which way would you rather ride your bike?

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: In fairness, uphill is exhausting, but downhill is brutal on the knees. But there are other ways to go downhill too! Many of them thrilling

9:25
Andrew: Why is George Springer rated so much higher than Matt Kemp? Is it simply more runs scored?

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: Because he’s a far superior all-around baseball player

9:25
j-dog: do you prefer Willson Contreras or Gary Sanchez?

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: Sanchez

9:25
Bill: A starting pitcher only has 2 pitches. How good would they have to be for the pitcher to be a good starter?

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: Chris Archer basically has two pitches and at times he’s been a great starter. So, slightly worse than Chris Archer’s pitches

9:26
CamdenWarehouse: I tend to think of “all downhill” with Calvin and Hobbs sledding at an uncontrollable speed before crashing.

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: Everyone should learn how to properly self-arrest

9:26
Rand: Eno loves Dylan Bundy for this year. Do you share his optimism?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Depends. I don’t think Bundy is on the verge of becoming an ace or anything, but I think he and Gausman are going to remain underrated because of the parks and opponents they have to deal with all the time

9:27
CamdenWarehouse: It’s a six year old and a stuffed tiger

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: SELF-ARREST

9:28
Moonraker: The projection systems have Moncada striking out at a 28% clip this year, yet he struck out 31% of the time in AA last year. I know he’s a top prospect, but don’t you agree this is pretty curious?

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: Very young, and he’s posted lower strikeout rates at his two other, lower-level regular stops. If projection systems didn’t make any use of aging curves, they’d be worse

9:28
Hal: Hamels was really good with 90mph fastball/changeup for until he added a curve/cutter

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: And then, of course, we have Randy Johnson

9:29
Phantastic: Seems like pitchers experiment with new pitches a lot in ST and, even if they’re successful, don’t throw that pitch during the season very much. What 2 or 3 pitchers do you see actually taking a new pitch into the season this year

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: I’m going to take a quick look down Jason Collette’s new pitch tracker http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/2017-new-pitch-tracker/

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: I believe we’ll see changes from, say, Tyler Glasnow, Aaron Blair, and Dylan Bundy. In Bundy’s case, it would be restoring a previous pitch

9:32
Bruce Wayne: If Andrew Triggs makes 25 starts for the A’s this season are you taking the over or under on his Steamer Projections? ERA 4.41 FIP 4.23 xFIP 4.39

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: Under, if under means better in this case. Triggs makes 25 starts only if he’s pretty good. Which I think he can be!

9:32
Ronnie: Question about two pitch pitchers immediately brings to mind Ben Sheets & his criminally underknown 2004 season. 264 K/32 BB in 237 IP for an even 8 WAR.

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: No further comment

9:33
Raindog: I can’t shake years worth of perception that Jose Ramirez was a quality-fielding no-hit middle infielder. Am I supposed to really believe he’s a quality-hitting meh-fielding third baseman?

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: Have you come to terms with Justin Turner yet?

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not convinced Ramirez is actually that level of hitter, but this wouldn’t be unprecedented. And he’s not…built…like a Gold Glove candidate

9:34
Tim: Am I crazy for liking Spring Training better than regular season?

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: Almost certainly yes, but I should at least ask for an explanation. I, personally, am a huge fan of how pretty much every ST game is a matinee. But then, I’m someone for whom baseball is my job, not something I try to experience after my job

9:35
steve: would you (not dombrowski) trade benintendi straight up for Quintana?

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: No

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: That’s simultaneous addition and subtraction. Doesn’t move the needle enough

9:35
Hal: Which out of the Velasquez/Nola/Eickhoff trio are you most optimist about this year?

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: Nola. He’s fantastic

9:36
Brett W: If I learned anything from “Hidden Figures,” it’s that MLB could use more women to help figure out ideal launch angles. How is it that a guy like David Price can be fine in October but show up injured in February? All he did between was rest.

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe he wasn’t fine in October. But also, sometimes these things happen after one individual pitch. Same deal with Alex Reyes

9:36
Schilling and Pence: Do you see an incremental step forward from Machado as a hitter this year, or is his already-excellent level about where he ends up.

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: I think now that he’s established himself as a power hitter, he’s going to walk more, just because he’ll be pitched to more carefully

9:37
Corey: Possible that assuming Kershaw has a near-100% chance to win Cy Young if healthy is unfair to Syndergaard and his potential?

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: Yes, it would be unfair to assume Clayton Kershaw is just about a Cy Young lock. He is not

9:37
Maxamuz: Keon Broxton or Melky Cabrera?

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: Keon Broxton at the plate, Keon Broxton in the field, Keon Broxton on the bases, Keon Broxton on a skateboard

9:37
Ajay: Are you going to write about Marcus Stroman soon?

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: Feels inevitable

9:40
andymcg: Please refer me to help. Stripe confirms membership payment was received, but I can’t log in. andymcglynn@outlook.com

9:40
Jim: So even though Joc Pederson made huge strides in his contact rate last year, he didn’t improve his K% all that much, is that the next step? And would that make him a “star”?

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, the contact got a lot better, but he also took more strikes, and fouled off more strikes, so the actual in-play improvement was far smaller. Plenty of room to grow in that regard. And he handled the bat better against southpaws

9:41
Elbo: Jose Uribe was not “built like a gold glove candidate” either. Baseball is funny that way.

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: Neither was Juan Uribe!

9:41
Dustin: Will you please tell Tim for me that yes, he is definitely crazy for liking spring training better than the regular season?

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: Tim, you’re definitely crazy

9:42
Gord: Nomar Mazara seems fascinating to me. Really like his swing and I know nothing about swings. Walk rate was low compared to his in the minor leagues. What’s a realistic comp for him? Current Cespedes with a higher walk rate?

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: A realistic comp is not a better version of a current superstar

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Mazara does have a very appealing swing, and he has impressive bat-to-ball skills for a 21-year-old. But there’s still a ways to go in terms of discerning the right pitches to swing at. That’s what he needs to do to maximize his game power

9:44
Raindog: I note that the Depth Charts have Tyler Naquin with a .348 BABIP next season. That seems… crazy? I don’t know how to get a leaderboard of such, but spot-checking a few, that’s higher than guys like Altuve, Hamilton, Gordon, Villar or Trout, Votto, Miggy, Harper.

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: He has a history of high BABIPs in the minors as well, but, yes, I’m with you in that I’d take the under

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: Feels like an over-weighting of Naquin’s cup of coffee

9:45
Bill: Do you expect regression from Taillon this year?

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: No. I think he’s really good

9:45
Bill: Is Tommy Joseph over hyped?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know how much he’s hyped, but he’s not particularly good, if that’s what you’re asking. He benefits from being a part of a light group of Phillies position players

9:46
Phantastic: How do FOs respond to the news of players like Price going down. Say he needs TJ surgery, is the Red Sox FO fielding calls left and right about potential trade partners from rebuilding clubs?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: There’s nothing frenetic, and mostly it would be the Red Sox reaching out in search of replacements. But every team opens ST with the knowledge that something bad could happen to anyone

9:47
Anon: Is it wrong that I’m still salty my team didn’t sign Bonds in 2008?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: Depends on the magnitude of the feeling, but, no

9:47
Bert Campaneris: This may be a little difficult and lengthy to formulate, but I’ll give it a try. Regarding rotation construction (alignment), do/should clubs fear when pitchers share very similar make-ups. For instance, Ian Kennedy and Nathan Karns (Royals fan in me) both have similar arsenal (4-seamer, Knuckle Curve, Chng accdng to Brooks). As a manager, are you aiming at separating them from going on back to back days? Thanks, Jeff. I enjoy all your articles, read them religiously.

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, I think you want similar repertoires separated. It would be a small effect, hard to notice, but you want to make sure hitters don’t get too comfortable with their looks. I suspect this is part of the reason why the Orioles bullpen has been so good — every pitcher in there is differently bizarre

9:48
Jack: Do you think Ryan Rua would be starting on most teams?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: No, but he’d be starting on some bad teams

9:49
Hal: KEON BROXTON CAN’T KICKFLIP, JEFF! I’VE SEEN MELKY VARIAL FLIP WITH MY OWN TWO EYES

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: GIF or it didn’t happen

9:51
YKnotDisco?!: In so many words, can you explain the “David Price” rule?

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: No!

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: I haven’t looked at enough video yet and I don’t recall Price’s deliveries off-hand. But I bet there’s an answer somewhere in here https://www.reddit.com/r/baseball/comments/5wwphh/david_price_rule_to_help_mlb_umpires_distinguish/

9:52
Asabin: Over/under on Kershaw k/bb: 14

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: Under. Last year was crazy

9:53
YKnotDisco?!: Favorite M’s LF ever?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: Chris Snelling 🙁

9:54
Bert Campaneris: Are you watching the WBC? I am hyped for it, but I understand that due to the lack of the super stars some may not be mildly invested in it. I am from the Dominican, so it is huge for the nation and that is a factor. What would you do to fix it? I know other FG’s writers have shared their take on the matter. Any takes?

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t have takes. I’m not really take-y. I don’t think the WBC is “broken” and I greatly enjoy it. Compared to spring training, the WBC kicks ass. I’m not convinced it will or could ever be popular in the States, but that’s our own stupid problem

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: The WBC is wonderful and anyone who doesn’t think it’s a good thing is wrong

9:55
Rand: If you were assigned to do a write up on Charlie Culberson, what would it be titled?

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: A Post About Charlie Culberson, Who Is a Baseball Player

9:56
harmony: Should the Seattle Mariners be concerned about Robinson Cano, Felix Hernandez, Nelson Cruz, Jean Segura, Edwin Diaz, Drew Smyly and Yovani Gallardo participating in the World Baseball Classic?

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: No. Why would they be?

9:56
Sano: Should I swing more?

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: Yes, with two strikes

9:57
Brett W: Do you think there’s any correlation between regular season record and the portion of spring training games during which primarily 40-man roster talent is on the field?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: A weak one, sure.

9:57
James: What % chance do you give Billy Hamilton to steal 90 bases this year, assuming (for this exercise) health and a permanent spot atop the batting order?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s see. He had 58, but he had 36 over his final 45 games

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: 16 in July and 19 in August

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll put him at 10%

9:58
Mitch: Let’s cut to the chase. Was KATOH created to find prospects that no one else was paying attention to so you can fire Carson?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: I love Carson and will not allow him to be dismissed

9:59
Dave Kingman: Will having Logan Forsythe at the top of the Dodgers lineup be better for Seager than Utley/Kendrick of last year?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: Last year’s Dodgers leadoff hitters batted .259/.332/.398. Logan Forsythe is better than those statistics

10:01
Hal: Let’s get depressing: which aging star is most likely to fall off a cliff this year? I say Beltran

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: Beltran is a fairly compelling candidate just because of how old he is, but I wonder if we should be more worried about Adam Wainwright

10:02
Joshooa: Do you like Marcus Stroman with his current pitch mix? Should he trim it down?

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: I have trouble nailing down exactly what his pitch mix *is* at a given point in time

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: But he was excellent down the stretch throwing five pitches. I’d like to see more and more of the breaking stuff

10:03
7777hk: Do you think Kopech has a future starting or that he’ll end up like Chapman?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Starter until proven otherwise. It wouldn’t be smart to expect his fallback plan to be replicating the career of the most dominant relief pitcher of his era

10:04
steve: Bleacher Report just had an article saying MLB may have a new no. 1 player in 2017 with Mookie Betts (Over Trout) My question to you: Is Bleacher Report done?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: On the one hand, it’s a bad take. Mike Trout is the best, full stop. On the other hand, there’s always some percent chance Trout will be topped, and Betts has some of the highest odds out of the field. So…?

10:05
Anon: Who is the prospect you were most wrong on in the last 10 years? In either direction

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: Huh, let me think. I was pretty skeptical that Aaron Sanchez would figure out strikes, so that’s something

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: I was clearly wayyyyyyyyyyyy wrong on Dustin Ackley, but then so was literally everyone else

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: It’s starting to look like I’ve been wrong about Austin Hedges as a hitter

10:07
Golden Streamers: Who declines first: Beltran or Beltre?

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: Beltran

10:07
Maxamuz: If Broxton fails me Jeff, you owe me something odd and unique.

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: I think just the experience of ending up disappointed because of Keon Broxton would be odd and unique

10:08
Hank: Is the Mets’ Phil Evans at all interesting?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know a single thing about him, besides his name and his employer, but he is a professional baseball player, so that makes him atypically interesting by itself

10:09
Gord: Do you expect regression from Fulmer? I think he has three pitches so I want to say no and strikeout goes up

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: I expect him to be a little better while his ERA gets worse, if that makes sense

10:09
JR: How many of the Padres J@ signings have to be average regulars for the 60 million invested to be worth it? does finding one above average regular make it worth it?

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: One above-average regular might be enough. Two would be plenty

10:10
Brett W: What kind of quirk would you like to see Populous build into the next MLB stadium, particularly as it relates to the playing field?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: There probably shouldn’t be any playing-field quirks. Leave the quirks to the rest of the architecture. As funny as it is that the Astros’ ballpark literally had a hill and a flagpole, I’d never *recommend* that combination

10:11
Maxamuz: Is ATC going to be integrated into the individual player pages? Bueller? Bueller?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: I actually don’t even know what ATC is yet

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: In fairness, I haven’t looked

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Here’s an explanation: http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/the-atc-projection-system/

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: I would assume the answer is yes

10:13
Mike: Do you think any current players read your chats?

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t. I don’t know why they’d waste their time

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: Sometimes, *maybe*, there’s a benefit from reading a front-page post that’s been fully researched. All the answers in here are arrived at hastily, within, at most, 60-90 seconds

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe once or twice a terrible chat answer has been passed around a clubhouse to be laughed at

10:14
Raindog: Finally found a higher project BABIP: Trea Turner at .350. Projections are trying to guess true-talent BABIP, yes? I know many guy luck into a high BABIP every season, but is it ever reasonable to say that someone’s true-talent BABIP is .350?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: For guys like Votto and Yelich, sure, they’re line-drive machines. Turner isn’t. He doesn’t pop up *too* much, but he does pop up, and speed isn’t actually all that much of a BABIP factor

10:15
Elbo: Why won’t the Yanks trade top prospects for Quintana? Very winnable wild-card, no a possibly winnable division, he’s perfect for Yankee Stadium and he’s not a rental. How many propsects do they need?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: The Yankees would gladly trade a package of prospects for Quintana. They will not trade the currently-requested package of prospects for Quintana. Simple as that. Not a question of benefit; just a question of cost

10:16
Mike: Were you the type of baseball fan that liked baseball because of all the weird interesting shit that happens before you became a writer or did writing make you that type of fan?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: The latter. When I was younger, I just wanted to see dingers and wins, like everyone else

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: I was also far less invested. When you aren’t very invested, you just care about the easy, obvious stuff. When you spend literally your entire days thinking about this sport, that’s when you start to dig in and notice what’s hidden underneath

10:18
Gordon Cole: Do you think Mookie finally gets pitched around more and walks a bunch in 2017?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: I think he’ll walk more, but not too much, because he’s so good at contact — he puts the ball in play too often to live in deep counts

10:18
Raindog: Yan Gomes last 4 years: excellent, excellent, bad, disastrous. Next year?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: Decent semi-regular

10:18
Steve s: What do you know about Charlie Tilson? Expected to start for White Sox this year.

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: Hardly anything. Speed guy, defense is ahead of the bat. Familiar profile

10:19
PD: Best case scenario for Jon Gray in Coors in the next few years? A sub 3 ERA?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: Yes, that would be the best-case scenario

10:20
Christian B: I’m hoping Ben Revere will give addition to the Angels. I’m guessing he will be an improvement over what they’ve had in left field in the past, but in the end just a marginal improvement. Do you see him being more than a MARGINAl improvement.

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: I think he’ll be very modestly helpful, and he’s a reserve behind Maybin, who is better

10:20
mmddyyyy: If baseball were 15 – 20 games a month year-round instead of 25+ for 6+ months, what would be the optimal month for the postseason?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: September. Better weather, and you get the sporting landscape to yourself

10:22
Slamboni: Let’s say the Rangers offer Darvish 6/$175 mil before the season, should Darvish take that? That’s about $28.5 mil annually, or his he worth $30 mil+?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: Strasburg got 7/$175m, with deferrals. Now, Strasburg also got a couple opt-outs, but as I think about it, yeah, I think that’s a pretty strong offer

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: The only thing I don’t know is how motivated Darvish is to experience true free agency. He’s already made enough money to live well forever, so he doesn’t need the immediate cash grab

10:24
Roaster: Do you think the Red Sox would trade more top prospects and young players for Quintana if Price is out for the season ? Quintana is so reasonably priced salary wise it does not effect the Red Sox with the salary cap penalties that much

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: I think they would sooner aim lower. You’d be talking about a one-year priority, since Price would presumably be back for most of 2018

10:25
Cookie: Do you attribute the Orioles projection beating-ness more to their bullpen or buck showalters magic

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: The two are connected

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Wild-card playoff aside, Showalter is a bullpen genius. He gets the most that he can out of that group every year

10:26
mmddyyyy: If Verlander waived his NTC to go to LA, would he still have it when he got there?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: I’m almost certain the answer is yes. The NTC is part of the contract. As opposed to, say, 10/5 rights

10:27
Wright: Did you see the Pitcher List website that gives gifs of every pitchers repertoire? It’s pretty awesome

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: It is awesome and I don’t look at it nearly enough

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: One of the first places to popularize the Chaz Roe slider!

10:27
Brett W: Your favorite baseball analyst who doesn’t work for FanGraphs?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: There’s no way you’re getting me to pick between Lindbergh and Miller

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: But I guess you could say that Lindbergh is in some way affiliated with FG so with that in mind, it’s easy! Sam Miller!

10:28
J: If Keon Broxton was a stock how much of it would you own?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: As much as I’d be allowed to own without getting into the ethical dilemma around owning another human being

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: So I guess that means 49%?

10:29
mmddyyyy: If they played today, who would win a series between the all stars of 2007 and the all stars of 2027?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: Just eye-balling things, 2007 All-Stars.

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: Many of the 2027 All-Stars are going to be young, like 25 – 29. Those players today would be far too under-developed

10:31
Larry Bernandez: What do you make of Bundy’s health this year? Orioles say he will be used “judiciously” with a start skipped here and there. Think he can log 150 innings?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: Yep

10:32
Elbo: Have you ever seen anything like yesterday’s “bat catch” in the Mets dugout?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve seen fans make amazing grabs of flying bats before, but yesterday’s Mets grab was peak-casual

10:33
Pete: Assuming the big runners are healthy all year, what’s the least amount of steals the Brewers will have against Jon Lester in a single game this season?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Last year, Lester faced the Brewers twice. In one game they stole two bases, and in the other they stole five. The un-fun answer is zero or one, because Lester is good at keeping runners off base in the first place, but I’ll go with two again!

10:34
fresh basil: Just a comment on an earlier post. Spring Training camera angles are the worst.

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Also Texas’ regular camera angle is the worst

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Assuming it’s still the same.

10:34
Rand: How exactly do some organizations screw up prospect development? Is it philosophy? Over-working?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: As an individual case, the previous Mariners administration had a player-development system with messages that weren’t unified between levels. So you’d have prospects climbing the ladder and getting conflicting advice almost all of the time

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: That’s bound to screw up a promising but underdeveloped 22-year-old

10:35
Guest: who do you like between aaron sanchez and jameson taillon?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: Taillon; strikes

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Sanchez is better than he used to be at strikes, but Taillon is *good* at strikes

10:37
Brett W: Projected Dodgers record if they played every game against San Diego this season?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: If the Dodgers were true-talent 97-65, and the Padres were true-talent 65-97, you’d expect the Dodgers’ full-season record to be about 112-50

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: So let’s go with, like, 109-53

10:38
Yuk Yuk Puk: Do you hate Mike Zunino? Scott Servais seems to. And Jerry DiPoto.

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: No, I don’t, and no, they don’t

10:38
Tim: What should the Athletics and Rays do regarding their terrible stadium situations? Should Sternberg and Lou Wolff consider moving the teams?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: This is not my field of expertise, but I have faith that the A’s will soon find a better situation in Oakland. And in theory the Rays should be able to find a better situation close to where they are. Just not *exactly* where they are.

10:39
Jesse: Would you be shocked if Dombrowski traded for Quintana?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: Less shocked than I would be with almost any other general manager

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: I’d still be surprised

10:39
Correa: Do I take the next step to stardom this year?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: I think yes is more likely than no

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: People forget that you’re still 22 years old

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: Carlos Correa is younger than Andrew Benintendi

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Hell, he’s basically the same age as JP Crawford

10:42
Philip: How would you rank them and sort out playing time: Margot, Jankowski, Renfroe, Dickerson

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: Jankowski might be the worst of them, but then he’s a really interesting speed/defense player, sooooo it’s messy. There should be no problem finding regular playing time for all four if they deserve it

10:43
Comp guy: Hey Jeff, do you think a decent comp for Tyler O’Neill is like a peak Mickey Mantle with more plate discipline?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: If Mickey Mantle played the piano

10:43
ChiSox2020: Fill in the blank: A successful 2018 White Sox Season looks like _______________

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: the 2014 Astros season

10:44
Kevin : Jake Arrieta is reportedly looking for a 7 year, $200M contract after this year. Is there any team that would give him that prior to his age 32 season?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: Probably not. He would need to bounce back in a *huge* way

10:45
YKnotDisco?!: What do sheep count?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: Nothing, and then they are slaughtered for our enjoyment

10:46
DonCarlo: Does Jim Johnson hold onto the closer role all year in Atlanta, and if so, is the 9.5 K/9 and 2.71 FIP from last year sustainable?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Let me stop you right there. No

10:46
Chippy: How do you feel about the Mariners’ trades for low-ceiling, high floor prospects?

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: I like it as a strategy when you don’t have your own strong farm system to speak of

10:47
Lou: With Sanders Commings signing with the Braves and the Tebow fiasco, do you see former football players as a viable talent pool for baseball?

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: I think it’s going to be more like would-be football players who shift to or stick with baseball at the lower levels

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: Not so much former football players making the shift in their mid- to late-20s

10:48
Choi Boy: Keep forever Jeff – Aaron Nola or Kevin Gausman?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: Nola, although I don’t know what kind of company he’ll be when he’s 74

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: Hopefully pleasant

10:49
Curtis: Who is the most anonymous position player who seemingly has a full time job?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: The answer for a few years has been Yangervis Solarte

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: Solarte with the Padres: 1260 PA, 110 wRC+
Headley with the Yankees: 1395 PA, 97 wRC+

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: Failing that, Omar Narvaez, if he actually catches for the White Sox?

10:53
Dave Dombrowski: What is a realistic contract extension for Betts?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: At this exact point in his career, Trout signed for six years and $144.5 million, which covered his three years of arb and three years of free agency

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: Trout was coming off consecutive 10-win seasons, and his contract kicked in at age 23. Betts’ in this example would kick in at age 25, and he’s coming off an 8-win season

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: So, start with the Trout terms, and then start shaving millions. Maybe somewhere around 6/$125m

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: The Trout deal, for the Angels, was a bargain, because Trout as a young player was basically unprecedented

10:58
Kyle: What can the Astros get in return if they traded Francis Martes as part of a headline deal. Possibly smaller pieces(not other top 10 Astro prospects) to finish the deal.

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: I think they’d like the answer to be Quintana. The answer isn’t Quintana yet, but perhaps it will be by July

10:59
Joe: Is there more to Joe Ross’s game than what we’ve seen so far?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: There can be, given health and a better changeup. But right now he looks like an effective five-inning starter with a platoon problem

11:00
YKnotDisco?!: What position player would you love to see pitch? And what pitcher would you love to see in the field?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: Ichiro — which already happened — and none of them

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: I’d say Bartolo Colon but then that just comes off as fat-shaming

11:01
Sam: Why do people assume going off a cliff is a bad thing? Imagine having a squirrel suit on…

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: That’s how people die

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: Let me amend that

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: That’s one out of several ways that people die

11:01
John: Could you see the Mets taking the NL East this year? What would have to go right for them?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: It wouldn’t take too much. I think the Nationals are better today, but all the Mets need is good starting pitcher health in order to win 90+

11:02
YKnotDisco?!: Where is your favorite place to sit when watching a game in person?

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: Seattle

11:02
RAGS: Is Tyler Anderson a workable #2 for the Rockies?

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: Not quite yet, but between him, Bettis, and Chatwood, that’s not a bad assortment of ground-ballers

11:04
ernie: your thoughts on greg bird?

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: People forget how interesting he was, and how many fly balls he hits. Good contact, reasonable approach. I like him as an above-average player who’s going to drive fans of other teams insane

11:04
tom kim: A few years ago, the Mets looked primed to have one of the best rotations in baseball.

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: And they still do!

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: Wow!

11:05
Mark: Read the Gsellman article ! :/

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: I did! I still want more proof against actual good hitters

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: For someone who allegedly pounded the zone, he still managed an average zone and strike rate

11:06
JR: Is it really true that pitching and defense wins chapionships?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: No, but pitching + defense makes up a greater portion of a team than hitting, so I guess it’s not a bad blend to prioritize

11:07
Webster: It may seem like a sort of dumb question to say but, are the cubs top prospects overlooked due to the deluge of incredible players to come out of the farm system recently?

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: I actually wonder this myself

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: The Cubs are exhausting in this way

11:07
seth r: How does the current batch of superior bat, young SS (mostly on contenders) affect the trade market for glove first guys like Zack Cozart? Is his market non-existent? Is the evaluation criteria for SS fundamentally different now?

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: Cozart basically doesn’t have a market. There are so many shortstops

11:08
Jack: True or False- Jonathan Lucroy is the best catcher in the American League.

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: I think it’s actually Sanchez ,but it’s so close I wouldn’t call anyone asserting otherwise a moron

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: Provided that other person was supporting Lucroy and not like Stephen Vogt

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: All right, I need to get rolling

11:09
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 — 3/3/17 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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lesmash
Member
Member
lesmash

Jeff Sullivan: But he (Marcus Stroman) was excellent down the stretch throwing five pitches. I’d like to see more and more of the breaking stuff.

In his final 6 starts, Stroman was 0-5 with 26 Ks and 14 BBs in 37 innings. He allowed 14 earned runs over this span. I’ve heard the narrative that he was great down the stretch but these numbers suggest otherwise.

John Autin
Member
Member
John Autin

True, “down the stretch” was the wrong phrase. But in the second half of his season, Stroman had a 3.42 ERA in 103 IP, 95 Ks and 23 BBs. P.S. Please don’t cite W-L record for a 6-game span (if ever).