Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 4/10/15

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to live baseball chat. I’ll be your host, Jeff Sullivan

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: You might have noticed that, this week, there has been baseball

9:05
Comment From Pale Hose
#Harveyporn

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: Nice to have it back

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know if we sufficiently appreciated what he did in 2013. Go back and look at that again!

9:06
Comment From Harry Porter and the Voldemalts
I love the constitution as much as the next person, but Iā€™m never too fond of people who think a document less than 10 pages long, written solely by white men in a time when people still thought vampires existed, should be the sole basis for our country.

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve never had a good grasp on politics, and this is one of the reasons that I continue to keep my distance. I don’t think I’ll ever understand it, because all of it is silly.

9:07
Comment From Bill
Do think Castro will stick as the Jays closer?

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: no

9:07
Comment From Jaack
How long could Mat Latos maintain a 94.50 era before teams stop calling?

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: two more starts of this and I think he gets obligatory season-ending surgery on something

9:07
Comment From Brian
Rank: Hutchison, Odorizzi, Greene, McCallister, Bauer, Pomeranz

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Today’s reminder that I don’t do fantasy questions, nor should you want me to

9:07
Comment From Graham
What do you think is going on with Brian Dozier? Think he’ll be alright or was last season an aberation?

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: You can probably guess the answer, but, I think he’ll be all right. In that, I think he’ll be a mostly helpful player, but he does have a very specific batting approach that might be pretty easy for good pitchers to exploit. The Tigers just threw three pretty good pitchers

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: Might not be a worse opposite-field hitter than Brian Dozier. Pitch him away and I don’t really know what he can do about it

9:09
Comment From Vslyke
Maybin is the better option for the Braves in CF, right?

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t even know their other options, but, yes

9:09
Comment From Guest
With out trying to pry too much but roughly how much did your trip cost?

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: A lot less than you’d think. Obviously there’s not much you can do about having to take a bunch of flights and buses, but it’s surprisingly affordable to travel when you stay in hostels and tents and just backpack around everywhere

9:10
Comment From Brian
Expectations for Snider ROS?

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: You wouldn’t even believe how unremarkable I think he’s going to continue to be

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: Boy, you talk about your unremarkable players. Travis Snider is up there

9:11
Comment From Brian
Are Melky and Matt Adams must own in a league where 216-240 players are owned?

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: This is one reason I don’t do fantasy questions. I completely, genuinely don’t know the answer to this, and it’s probably an easy question

9:11
Comment From Greenseer
A’s first week has been erratic. Is Reddick’s return going to be significant?

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: They didn’t want to have to pick up Cody Ross. You don’t want to be down two outfielders on opening day, no matter how much depth you’ve acquired. Reddick will obviously help, but he’ll also obviously get hurt again at some point, and hopefully that injury doesn’t overlap with another injury to Crisp

9:12
Comment From Guest
Oh my god the Mariners are 1-2 time to panic?

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: Last year in the opening series they completely obliterated the Angels on the Angels’ own turf and all the Angels did from there was win 98 games

9:13
Comment From greinkes fip
does anyone know if theres baseball next week. also how about the week after that

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: let me check

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: oh wow

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: yes! it really does stretch on. you should check this out

9:13
Comment From Barry
Jeff who is your favorite baseballer active today and how do you think he’ll do this year?

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: Felix Hernandez, Cy god-damned Young

9:14
Comment From mtsw
April overreactions should be avoided, but we can safely conclude the Twins suck, right?

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: I think we concluded this in January

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think they’ll like Astros-level suck, but we’ve known for a while they’d be bad. Now they’re down a decent starter for half the year, and Nolasco for all we know might be toast

9:15
Comment From Northsider
Can Lester continue to be a productive SP if he doesn’t attempt a pickoff to first? I could just imagine someone like Billy Hamilton running circles (well diamonds) around him.

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: Last season, Jon Lester was one stolen-base run below average. He had a 2.46 ERA. Teams knew he didn’t throw over, and still, he was difficult to exploit. Now, it’s been another year since then, and teams are aware of his borderline yips, so it’s definitely a thing. But as a runner, you never know when, maybe, he’s figured it out. As a lefty, he’s staring right at you. That’s a very, very powerful deterrent, even if you dont’ think he’ll ever make a move

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: You just don’t know if today’s the day. This is a disadvantage for Lester, but good pitchers have been run all over before. They’ve just about all been righties. He’ll work on it, and there will be bad games, and there will be great ones

9:17
Comment From Jeff
Have the Mets actually been using their most efficient lineup? They’ve gotten a lot of criticism, but it looks pretty good!

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t see anything too objectionable. I also generally don’t complain about lineup order, but as time passes you could see d’Arnaud move up. I can’t believe we’ve gotten here but I actually kind of like this year’s Mets

9:18
Comment From Eric
How worried should I be about Gattis’s double Sombrero?

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: He’s always struck out, and he just faced the Cleveland Indians

9:20
Comment From Ross G
Let’s say a player never once walked or put a ball into play. How many pitches per at-bat would he have to take to become a replacement level player? 15? 20? 25?

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: Well, by our numbers, he’d never become a replacement-level player, because we don’t account for P/PA

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: And it’s not clear that we should, in this era of bullpens being amazing. You don’t really want to rush to knock the starter out. But if you had a guy having 40-pitch plate appearances after which he always struck out…I mean, that would be the worst thing to watch in the world, but that would be a weapon of sorts

9:21
Comment From Guest
Any player performances so far sizeably changed your expectations for 2015?

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know about sizably, but Jered Weaver’s velocity seems like it was extremely low. And Mike Moustakas has my attention for his hitting up the middle and the other way. Mat Latos didn’t show any velocity recovery, so that looks like a problem

9:22
Comment From Yo momma
Do you think Rodon gets the call in April? In May?

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: May, maybe

9:23
Comment From Dave
Teams are now entirely willing to blow past the restrictions on international FAs. The restrictions for going over slot for the Rule 4 draft are remarkably similar, why hasn’t any team yet tried to go for broke once every three years?

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: It’s worse to punt a draft than it is to punt an international signing period

9:24
Comment From Matt
What are your thoughts on Jake Lamb? Platoon or everyday?

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: Semi-regular on a good team

9:25
Comment From Jose
I am a non-white man, in a non USA country, with a constitution written in the last century and would kill for your constitution.

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: See? It’s silliness everywhere! The whole world is silly.

9:25
Comment From Ryan
Do you find it hard to do your job when Mariner “fans” are declaring the season over after one series?

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not exposed to those people during my workday, and also, my job is about baseball, and not the Mariners, so that helps.

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: I can’t tell you how beneficial it is to identify sources of negativity in your life and then reduce your exposure to them. If you have something in your life that’s just a constant drain, and it’s avoidable, you should avoid it.

9:27
Comment From Mooking for Love
Is 2015 the year Moose Tacos finally figures out how to baseball?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: I think he’s at least finally figured out that he couldn’t keep trying to do the same baseball

9:27
Comment From Guest
How often will Arod get tested if he kills it this yr?

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: I’m full-blown rooting to find out. A storyline I might fall in love with: Tanaka goes down for the year, the Yankees look like a disaster, and their season is saved by a red-hot, MVP-level Alex Rodriguez

9:28
Comment From Phillies113
So you don’t do fantasy questions about players. Fair enough. Do you have fantasies ABOUT players, though?

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: Every so often I fantasize that Mike Zunino walked

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: A better answer would be that I really do wish Aroldis Chapman would throw more changeups, and Craig Kimbrel would throw any changeups

9:30
Comment From Snid
How much does moving up in the batting order does it help Brandon Crawford? Is his shift to FB rather than GB real?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: That kind of thing doesn’t happen by accident. You don’t go from 32% fly balls to 42% fly balls year-to-year without making a conscious change to your game. Crawford also introduced a bit more swing-and-miss, which is usually the trade-off. He’s growing into some power — the problem here is that he doesn’t play in a ballpark environment conducive to putting the ball in the air more. But he’s not the no-stick shortstop he looked like he might be

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: Fun fact. Crawford, career, home: 7 dingers. Crawford, career, road: 20 dingers

9:34
Comment From Bruce
Do you think anything youve written has ever had an actual impact on a managers decision, or a players mechanics, pitch selection, etc.

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: One time I was specifically approached by a player for help, but the player was bad and had exhausted just about all his options. So there wasn’t really any saving him

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think I’ve had direct influence. Maybe I’ve made some minor contribution to influence, but I don’t pretend to believe I’m the only guy who’s aware of certain stuff. It’s a big competitive industry

9:35
Comment From The Hamburglar
How about them Senators. 1 point away from the playoffs.

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: I might be more nervous now than I was 24 hours ago. It’s been a miracle

9:36
Comment From Graham
How do you see the Dodgers closing situation working out until Kenley returns?

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: Competently

9:37
Comment From Pork+Value
How many times do the Houston Astros get no hit this year?

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: Once

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll try a poll

9:38
Comment From Jaack
Is it possible to have opinions on Zach Duke as a baseball player?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: Hell yeah it is now! He made big changes to his delivery and last year he turned himself into 90% of Andrew Miller. He became interesting, and valuable

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: I liked that pick-up even before it was clear the White Sox were going to try to contend

9:39
Comment From JLew
Do you think Moore returns to Ace form for the Rays this year?

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: Returns?

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: Moore has never shown ace form in the majors

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: Now he’ll be coming back from major surgery.

9:39
Comment From The Hamburglar
Also, its a strange coincidence that the coach of your favorite team and boss are both named dave cameron

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: And Dave Cameron the hockey coach sometimes likes to speak in baseball terminology

9:41
Comment From mtsw
Who is the least remarkable player in MLB history?

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: Tough one. It’s unfair to choose a role player. I think it has to be someone who played regularly

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: Bill Spiers

9:42
Comment From Greenseer
A’s have a lot of faith in Stephen Vogt, right? With so little catching depth, could there be some kind of move?

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: I think they also like Josh Phegley enough

9:44
Comment From SmartFood
Thoughts on how Devon Travis will fare as pitchers see more and more of him?

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: I think by the end it’ll be hard for him to avoid three times as many strikeouts as walks, at least as a rookie. And while there’s power there, there’s not so much that he’ll scare pitchers out of the strike zone. But overall, I like him fine as a roughly average player, and I’m glad the Blue Jays gave him this job. He should end up enough of a contributor that no one sees him as a problem

9:45
Comment From Brian
So you don’t think Snider can breakout at age 27? He was a fairly big prospect.

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not a matter of can or can’t. Sure, he can do anything. He was a big-time prospect in the winter of 2008-09. He’s coming up on 2,000 plate appearances.

9:46
Comment From Don
Does Carlos Martinez stick in the rotation all year? Innings limit?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: I’m sure they’d love to have the opportunity to let Jaime Garcia take some of his starts

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: He’s going to be monitored very carefully

9:47
Comment From Randall Stevens
Do the Pirates make an effort to get Kang in the lineup sooner rather than later because of his contract? And, if so, do they attempt to move Mercer?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think his contract changes anything. It’s guaranteed, it’s multi-year, and it’s pretty small. The Pirates have accumulated a lot of depth and over time you’ll see playing time get distributed more evenly. Chances are, performance will ultimately dictate who does what. Lots of people have expressed some Mercer skepticism

9:48
Comment From Guest
Was Pagan being a dickhead when he threw his gum at Norris glove?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not the biggest dickhead move in the world, but non-dickheads don’t do things like that

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: It’s funny the stupid little things that lead to bigger confrontations. It’s possible that, one day, a fastball will buzz behind Matt Kemp’s head, because the Padres might throw at Angel Pagan, because Angel Pagan once flipped a piece of gum kind of toward Derek Norris, when Norris was covered in protective gear

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Baseball is so stupid

9:50
Comment From _David _
What could be the earliest sign of Mike Zunino making even a little progress? Contact %, bb%?

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: Not having ten times as many strikeouts as walks

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: Watch the O-Swing%. Zunino should not be hovering around 40%

9:50
Comment From Art Vandelay
Are all these Cleveland pitcher Ks a product of the Astros? Or is this going to be a regular occurrence?

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: Didn’t last year’s Indians just have the highest team strikeout rate of all time? If they didn’t, they were super close. It was obviously a combination of things — the Astros strike out a lot, and the Indians strike out a lot. Their staff is excellent

9:51
Comment From Chris
They’ll be back in a few weeks, but how many games would a Nats team without Span, Rendon or Werth all season win?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: 85? Their position-player depth really sucks. They’re starting literally Dan Uggla

9:52
Comment From Andrew
So how long until we can put the Rickie Weeks lead-off DH era behind us?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: Check out what happened last year: http://www.baseball-referen…

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: Weeks is a god-damn blessing compared to that

9:53
Comment From JLew
What happened to Gallardo? I thought Texas stole him at first … but I’m not so sure now

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: He’s been changing for a while. He’s not the strikeout guy he used to be.

9:53
Comment From Al
Anything in particular bother you about fantasy baseball? For me it’s the reactions to injured players. I enjoy fantasy baseball a lot but I appreciate forums (like this chat) that keep it about real-actual- baseball. So thanks

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: Nothing *bothers* me about it, although the injury thing is legitimate — I just don’t play it anymore, and I figure the majority of people in a chat don’t care to read about other people’s very team-specific fantasy questions

9:54
Comment From Dave
The Mets taking 2 of 3 from the Nats – more important for the Mets or more ominous for the Nats?

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: More important for the Mets. Nats aren’t at full strength. Mets gained a game and got to see Harvey go nuts

9:54
Comment From Bret
Which surprising early season performance are you most comfortable blowing out of proportion?

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: The Twins will lose 120 games!

9:55
Comment From _David _
If we were to design a version of Brad Miller where all skills are maximized and completely translate to performance, what would be the biggest limitation…what is he least good at and probably won’t be able to improve much?

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: hitting lefties, probably

9:56
Comment From Jose
Is Neil Walker + OF defense and speed the reasonable expectation for Mookie?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not convinced Betts ever hits 23 homers. His discipline numbers, meanwhile, should be better

9:57
Comment From Pork+Value
Even if he goes 20/20, there’s no way Jason Heyward gets $200 million, is there?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: Sure there is. Lots of ways

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: This is an era where Rick Porcello is a $20m/year player, and Jason Heyward doesn’t turn 26 until August

9:58
Comment From Bill
Travis Snider caddied for Bill Gates while in High School. Do you still think he’s unremarkable?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: Got me there!

9:58
Comment From Also Dan
Brandon Crawford is going to start the All Star game this year. True or False?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: Probably won’t deserve to, but those people vote like crazy

9:58
Comment From Crazy Sox Fan
Should the Red Sox consider trading Pedroia if Castillo/Betts(move to 2B/Vic/Craig are all hitting well? What would the return be like?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: Pedroia will never go anywhere. Red Sox for life

9:59
Comment From Dave
Your first place Atlanta Braves!

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: The current NL division leaders, just like we all predicted: Braves, Reds, and Rockies

9:59
Comment From Sean
The narrative is the Dbacks “don’t know what they’re doing” yet, their starting lineup is Goldschmidt, Owings, Ahmed, Lamb, Peralta/Inciarte, Pollock, Trumbo. They cut the crap and are playing their talented youth. Do you think the narrative is overreacting?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: Have you seen the pitching staff?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: There’s definitely talent in place. The question is whether it will be managed as well as it ought to be

10:01
Comment From sjn0
Biggest surprise from the first week?

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: My own willingness to believe in Mike Moustakas

10:01
Comment From playingwithfire
On a scale of Felix to Noesi. How nervous are you about the Sens game tonight.

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: Well, there isn’t one, so, I’m doing ok

10:01
Comment From JLew
surely the Padres have a better lead-off option than Will Myers?

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: They probably don’t. And, he’s not a bad option anyhow

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: Plus the other day I saw him make a good running catch against the wall!

10:02
Comment From mtsw
Any data on if the results of Opening Day and the first home series affects ticket sales for the rest of the season? Seems like a great/awful first home series would make a big difference in terms of keeping the attention of casual fans.

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: I doubt there’s anything. People will follow overall record. Those who don’t already have season tickets, anyway. Everybody everywhere overreacts to the way things begin, but that’s only because one series is all we have so far. A few weeks from now, no one will remember the first four days

10:03
Comment From frank
Jeff do you think Mike Zunino will ever manage to strike out on two pitches

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: He’ll definitely deserve to

10:04
Comment From Jake
I don’t know that there was a combination of reasonable moves that could be made that would’ve made the 2014 twins contenders in 2015

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Basically luck and finding this year’s J.D. Martinez and Collin McHugh at the same time

10:04
Comment From Art Vandelay
Serious question – O/U .375 BABIP for Billy Hamilton? On the Reds broadcast they were saying the hitting coach is working on him just swatting more balls into the infield and letting him run them out.

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Way under

10:05
Comment From Mike P.
More surprising – Phillies winning a game in the opening series vs Red Sox or Aaron Harang pitching the way he did?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: Harang. Default answer will always be Harang

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: Something that’s always crazy to me: from 2005-2007, Aaron Harang ranked 7th among pitchers in WAR. Better than CC Sabathia. I have completely eliminated that performance window from my mind

10:07
Comment From Marlins Fan
Braves were projected to be one of the worst teams in baseball this year, but watching the first three games they looked pretty good. Great defense, quality pitching. Any chance Braves are better than people thought or Marlins are just that bad or too early to tell?

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: Too early; Braves suck.

10:07
Comment From Silly Bloomquist
Small sample, last year, yeah, yeah…doesn’t it seem eminently clear watching Nelson Cruz flail, LoMo ground and pop out, and Rickie Weeks start against a righty on day 3 that these are, in fact, the exact same M’s as always?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: Logan Morrison hit a home run. It’s just that Mike Trout got in the way of it

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: Seth Smith didn’t play because he has a little tightness and why would you try to push that in April?

10:08
Comment From mapsamountainrange
What teams have the best/least ignorant radio broadcaster? Top 5?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: This is a Carson question. Please be sure to submit to the next Carson chat, which doesn’t exist

10:09
Comment From Andrew
It appears your trip to Patagonia and ascension of Mt. Fitz Roy have hit wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wik…

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: well I sure as shit didn’t climb to the top of the thing but I appreciate you, Internet

10:10
Comment From Jake
With lineup arguments, doesn’t the real takeaway always seem to boil down to the fact that we’re talking about something like a half of win of difference in a full season, at most? Not nothing in the age of parity, but still.

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah. The argument is usually “every single run matters,” but the counter-argument to that is “if we’re talking about a single run or two, then really that’s within our error bars, which means we can’t have confidence that we’re measuring anything, so we should probably just defer to the manager on this”

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: I just can’t imagine being upset about a lineup order. Handedness, sure — don’t bat three good lefties in a row. But overall order? Ugh. People should relax.

10:11
Comment From Mike P.
Is the MLB going to be releasing videos/data using the player tracking system (can’t remember the exact name) like they did during last year’s playoffs? And if so, where can they be found (I’m assuming a website or twitter handle)? Very possible you don’t have the information for this – but if you do, it’d be greatly appreciated.

10:11
10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Twitter account has been inactive, but yo’ull see data showing up in Gameday and on broadcasts. Expect more and more of it over time as they work out the kinks behind the scenes

10:12
Comment From Green-and-Goldie Hahn
Could the A’s put together a package for Starlin Castro? Put him at SS, slide Semien to 2B, and you’ve got a very solid lineup

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Why do this when you have Ben Zobrist? the outfield won’t be hurt forever

10:13
Comment From Cop Out
As a former M’s writers, you gotta swallow you got your share of Kshama Sawant-voting lefties reading ya, and “I’ve never had a good grasp on politics, and…I don’t think I’ll ever understand it, because all of it is silly” seems like quite the cop out. Is Indiania’s new discrimination law silly? The fact that America has the worst health care in the developed world? Don’t be that way, you’re too logical for that.

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: Thankfully I’m not in a position of political power, so no one has to care what I think. People who actually know things are advocating for meaningful change, and I’ve apparently chosen to be an expert about something relatively insignificant. You’re not going to make me feel bad about this

10:15
Comment From Starling More-Ks
Jeff, your article declaring me as a potential MVP candidate isn’t panning out so far. I have 7 strikeouts already! Should fans of me be worried?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: No, but fans of you might be more worried about the other corner outfielder

10:16
Comment From Mike
Thanks for chatting! I liked Eno’s piece on Dolittle the other day. As a PT student, I was wondering if there was a place on the site for a semi-regular report on rehab/injuries/health and fitness of MLB. Is there a market for that? It seems as though it would be important based on incredible DL rates. I would certainly be interested….

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: Like Dave always says, a great way to stand out as a writer is to specialize in something with few specialists already out there. There’s potential in this

10:18
Comment From Randall Stevens
Can you remember a 2-5 group of starters as bad as the current group the Phillies have? They’re counting on Sean O’Sullivan for a spot and he’s not even on the 40 man

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: No matter how many times I read that Sean O’Sullivan is starting, I’m never going to believe it.

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: The 2012 Twins rotation, over a full season, was worth 2.0 WAR

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: Scott Diamond alone was worth 2.1

10:20
Comment From _David_
Why isn’t the marine layer a thing on the east coast, or am I ignorant about the number of east coast parks actually near the ocean?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: This would be a very good question for someone who went to college to study science and then actually stuck with it

10:21
Comment From Alex
Do you think Starlin Castro will ever just field and hit, or will there always be those boneheaded plays with him?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: Some people are just prone to occasionally zoning out, but while it can be chronic, the visibility of the mistakes leads people to exaggerate the frequency

10:21
Comment From Disco Stu
You think the Ian Kenneday is headed to the DL?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: If he is, it’ll be for the minimum

10:22
Comment From bill
I know last year there was a great “Trust the Projections” piece–will you guys do pieces on comparing pre-season steamer vs steamer ROS?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: I’m sure we’ll look at that stuff on multiple occasions

10:22
Comment From Dave
Why do we tend to dismiss lineup optimization as fairly insignificant? Its generally seen as worth a few runs – when a run goes for 600-700k on the open market. Are things like defensive shifts, bullpen usage or bunting really worth that much more?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: Lineups just have so much to do with player psychology and day-to-day aches and pains and matchups we don’t know much about from the outside. It’s not that they don’t matter at all — it’s that, of all the things that do matter, it might be the least worth expressing anxiety

10:24
Comment From bill
Joey bats is currently terrifying me, and it’s not the 0 hits, its 8K and 1bb compare to last years 96k/ 104bb. When does K/bb for hitters stabilize? (does it?)

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: May 7 – May 16, 2014: 10 strikeouts, 0 unintentional walks

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: July 3 – July 18: 12 strikeouts, 1 unintentional walk

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: He’s earned the benefit of the doubt. K and BB stabilize fast, but not THAT fast

10:25
Comment From Green-and-Goldie Hahn
Does anyone want Barry Zito?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Not yet

10:25
Comment From Phil
McCarthy gave up 4 runs in 5 innings, but also struck out 9 and was hitting 95. Was this a discouraging or encouraging start for Dodgers fans?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Encouraging. Over a small sample, it’s more important to see stuff than results

10:26
Comment From Baseball At Last
It seems like there’s been a steady and fairly steep decline by a growing number of pull hitters over the last 2-3 years (especially younger ones). Anyone at FG looking at this?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Not specifically to my knowledge, but this could easily just tie into shifting stuff, if it’s at all true

10:26
Comment From Randy Savage
What type of beer was consumed at your pre-podcast luncheon?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: area pilsner. that, to me, is a lunch beer

10:26
Comment From Reginald Denton III
How do you analyze PITCHf/x data?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Broad question. Usually an idea comes first, and then I spend about three hours clicking buttons on Brooks Baseball until a lightbulb turns on. I tend to do things very thoroughly — maybe too thoroughly. And maybe that’s bad for the reader, because it’s annoyingly detailed, but I try to do what I can to address questions that might come up, before they come up

10:28
Comment From bill
As a earth science and geology lover from SD, hard to believe you don’t surf!

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: I can’t even ride a bike. I personally find it very easily to believe I don’t surf!

10:28
Comment From baltic wolf
Buck Showalter recently said that Dylan Bundy’s insane upper body workouts—including flipping 900lb. tires—directly contributed to his ligament damage. Thoughts?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: Showalter has spoken to smarter people than me about this, so there’s nothing for me to add, except that pitchers should really not ever concentrate on bulking up the upper body.

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: Taijuan Walker ran into that same kind of problem

10:29
Comment From The Oriole Bird
It feels to me like Chris Tillman is the kind of player about whom people would say “We know what he is. And he is what he is.” But what is he?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: Good starting pitcher. Not a great one

10:30
Comment From sjn0
I want 40 P/PA guy to go up against Rafael Betancourt. Most exciting twenty minute strike out you’ll ever see.

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: That would literally turn millions off toward baseball

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: I wouldn’t even ever watch it again.

10:30
Comment From Marlins Fan
Why does Adeiny Hechavarria still play baseball

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: his team loves him

10:30
Comment From Jeff
The most disappointing thing for me about 2014 Billy Hamilton was that he got caught stealing so many times. He’s 6 for 6 right now. Think he cuts down on the CS this year? Can that be more mental than physical?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: I think it’s mostly mental, or at least, it’s mostly reads. He will be better at reads this year

10:31
Comment From Dubya
Could Blake Treinen be a future closer for the Nats?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: Yes, in the Zach Britton vein. Not saying it’ll happen, but that’s what he’d be like

10:31
Comment From STiVo
Should the Orioles encourage or discourage Gausman from hitting 100 MPH with his fastball coming out of the bullpen? (He did so on at least one pitch on Monday.)

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: They should make sure he’s not completely maxing out, because he doesn’t have to

10:32
Comment From Dave
You don’t punt a draft for going over the limit, you merely have to pay a 100% tax on the overage and forfeit up to two first rounders. Maybe there’s something in there about going over successive years and losing more picks, but that really just increases the tax amount if you’ve agreed to overslot deals with first round talent

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: How much first-round talent is there, really, that you could accumulate by offering extraordinary bonuses? It seems like the benefits would be very limited

10:32
Comment From bill
Did you guys kick around the NYT op-ed this week?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: The one about stats ruining baseball, or a different one?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: My counter to that argument every time: watching a game is still watching a game. What we do fills the time in between. The way I think of what I do, I give people a reason to think about baseball when they’re not watching baseball

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: And maybe they learn a thing or two. Hopefully, people at least don’t feel like their time has been wasted

10:34
Comment From Ghost Hands
What do you make of McAllister’s increase K/9 this spring? Eno’s piece on JABO says it’s somewhat meaningful. Looking forward to watching him tonight?

10:34
10:34
Comment From James
what are the chances the Cubs’ young hitters have been overhyped?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: First, you’ll have to define “overhyped”

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe Baez has been overhyped

10:35
Comment From Jose
2nd grade player fantasy, but Eovaldi has a split-change now.

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: I like his odds! http://www.fangraphs.com/bl…

10:35
Comment From The Oriole Bird
Have you ever met Jon Bois in person? I’m so intrigued as to what he is like, given his online persona/humor. Nobody can actually be like that in real life….. right?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Met him a few times although not for a few years now. He’s definitely not that weird in person but you can tell almost immediately that he’s a special bird

10:36
Comment From Catoblepas
From a game theory perspective, the “not really wanting to knock the pitcher out” doesn’t make a ton of sense to me. The manager can put in a reliever whenever he wants; running up the starter’s pitch count forces his hand, and restricting your opponent’s options, by definition, cannot be bad. Now, that assumes that the opposing manager is actually willing to use relievers if his starter is at ~60 pitches rather than ~90, which isn’t usually the case. And I know the real thrust of the argument is that “running up pitch counts means very little”, not “… is meaningless”. But! I don’t think it can hurt.

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: It does force the hand, but then, managers, with starting pitchers, generally aren’t managing optimally. If everything were optimal, you’d want to knock a guy out early. But the way it actually happens is a starter gets yanked when he should get yanked, and then here comes some righty throwing 96 who’s immediately better. Bullpens are so deep now; there is no soft underbelly

10:37
Comment From mtsw
Which player would benefit most greatly from having the magical psychic ability to know what pitch was about to be thrown?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Javier Baez

10:38
Comment From Jays fan
As a Jays fan, I just want to say that it is really exciting to see so many talented young pitchers with Hutchison, Stroman, Norris, Sanchez, Castro, Osuna, Hoffman (especially when you listen to Kiley talk about Hoffman!!)

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: miss u stroman šŸ™ šŸ™

10:38
Comment From Randall Stevens
When a young player shifts positions to start their major league career, how long before we assume they can’t hack it at their old position anymore? For example, in the case of Mookie Betts, if Pedroia for some reason retired at the end of the year would there be any hope of him returning to second base?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: In that case, he could totally do it. The muscle memory doesn’t erode, and young players are incredibly versatile

10:39
Comment From Andrew
If the Devil, today, offered you two guaranteed world series wins for the Mariners in your lifetime, but that if you took that guarantee, Felix would blow out his shoulder on Sunday and never pitch again, would you take the guaranteed world series wins?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: Absolutely not. The world series isn’t the point of this

10:40
Comment From Reginald Denton III
If Kershaw doesn’t win the Cy Young this year, what pitchers could possibly beat him out for it?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: I’d say Harvey, but I think he’ll end up around 175 innings or so and that won’t be enough

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: Scherzer, Lester. The boring, predictable ones

10:41
Comment From Dave
Do we have an explanation for the home/road splits shown by batters and pitchers alike?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: A few of them. Ballpark familiarity, comforts of sleeping in your own bed, slight umpire favoritism, other psychological jibber-jabber

10:42
Comment From Joel
Do you know Heyman? You seem to eff with him a bit. Or you don’t know him and you just like to eff with him?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: Never spoken with him

10:42
Comment From Ringtone Composer
Happy Friday, Jeff. Who gets you more excited: Mookie Betts or Kris Bryant?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: I find Bryant more exciting, but Betts more reliable

10:42
Comment From Joel
Jeff are you a Canadian? Where do you hail from? Parts unknown?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: San Diego

10:43
Comment From Dave
Do you find yourself giving certain organizations the benefit of the doubt?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: I know it probably happens. It colors my instinctive, initial responses to things, but those are the responses I write up and publish

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: aren’t! aren’t!

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: those AREN’T the responses I write up and publish!

10:44
Comment From Doug
Do you agree with Rosenthal that RAJ should lower his demands for Hamels since he’s not getting Betts or Swihart?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: I mean, that much has been clear for a while, but there’s no sense in changing anything now, in April. No one is trading for Hamels in April. Re-visit midseason, when the market is tilted in favor of the sellers, and then see where you are. If Hamels is looking good in July, the return package will be substantial

10:45
Comment From Im Closing Next!
Why do the Mariners have Rickie Weeks?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: Because Ackley and Morrison aren’t good against lefties

10:46
Comment From Brian
According to Brooks Baseball, Tanaka’s release points were vastly different than last year (more similar to WBC 2009). Velocity and movement were nearly identical to last year. With all the hubbub on Monday I haven’t heard anyone say anything about it…

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Could definitely be a thing, but PITCHf/x can be hard to work with early in the season, so I think this is a thing to monitor over the next few starts

10:47
Comment From The Ghost of Dayn Perry
Howdy Jeff! Lets assume you could write about volcanos and outdoor stuff with the same immense skill you have writing about baseball. Would you write for volcanographs full time? Would it affect the way you enjoy outdoor stuff the same way writing about baseball affects how you enjoy baseball?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: I’d run the risk of having all my off-the-grid time spent thinking about how I’m going to write about it. I would probably stick with baseball, and then I would just know that I have those other options as a fallback in case I grow tired of this. Maybe in time I’d stop writing about baseball and work on a book about something very different

10:48
Comment From Dave
A poll? Who do you think you are? Paul?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: Paul poll. That’s fun

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: Paulie Polls, that’s what I always call him

10:50
Comment From Cole
Let’s say a meteor struck Detroit yesterday, eliminating the Detroit Tigers franchise as a whole and killing the entire Twins 25 man roster. Would the replacement Twins then have a better shot at winning the division than they did with the Tigers in the division?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: no šŸ™ also, they’d keep playing baseball? what monsters

10:50
Comment From SoxFanInDC
I drove up to Philly to watch Wednesday’s game, and was struck with something: the disparity in arm strength between the center and right fielders of Philadelphia (Ben Revere, Jeff Francoeur). This has to be up there with the best/worst arm combos ever, right?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: maybe top-5 in the past 20 years

10:51
Comment From Jays fan
I don’t think there can be a least remarkable player as being least remarkable would be remarkable.

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: uh oh

10:51
Comment From Phillies113
Which will be higher; the number of Phillies wins, or the number of bases stolen by the major league leader in that category?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: Poll!

10:52
Comment From mtsw
Which player would you be most disappointed to learn took PEDs?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: Ichiro

10:53
Comment From Trunk
Mike Trout led the league with about 4.5 pitchers/PA last year. If there was a player who had the unique skill of averaging 10 pitches per at bat (via foul balls, his offense otherwise unaffected) how much would that increase his value, in the sense of burning through the other teams pitchers? Assume for the purposes of the question that he wouldn’t see an associated increase in walks – pitchers relentlessly pound the strike zone against this guy.

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Basically, the guy would force opponents to throw like 30 extra pitches every game.

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: It’s a very slight factor, especially since series are only 3-4 games long so you don’t get the massive cumulative effect. Maybe we’re talking about half of a win?

10:55
Comment From Catoblepas
Do you enjoy having some players who are, ahem, “dickheads”? Like, I try to like everyone, but sports hate can be fun. I like it when teams don’t like each other a lot and don’t hide that. I also like it when players are friends though, so I am perhaps a hypocrite?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: It’s fun to have professional trolls. Just baseball’s version of hockey’s agitators. You get opportunities to hate, in a way where it isn’t actual, real-world hate. Hate stirs up the emotions; sports are improved when we’re emotional about them. I am, therefore, pro-dickhead behavior, in small but sufficient amounts

10:56
Comment From Joe Q
This is sad to me šŸ™ “One time I was specifically approached by a player for help, but the player was bad and had exhausted just about all his options. So there wasn’t really any saving him”

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: If it helps, that was a few years ago, and he is still playing professional baseball

10:57
Comment From Joel
Do you have another team you like to watch, besides the M’s?

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: I like watching Giants and Orioles home games

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: big fan of orange, apparently

10:58
Comment From Dave
Seeing as it would take about $500 million in additional player salaries for them to be getting 50% of revenue, are there really any bad contracts at this point? Each team (other than probably the Mets) can choose to outspend their mistakes if they want to.

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: It’s an important point. There’s basically no such thing as a contract a team can’t afford. But as long as teams are spending like they currently do, we have to evaluate contracts within those constraints, because teams *won’t* just accept dead money and spend over it. Baseball analysis is subtly so pro-owner

10:59
Comment From Joe Q
If the Cubs bring up Bryant after the minimum to get an extra year, does that add to Bryant’s case? Or is there no case

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: That would make it extra transparent, but it’s already transparent

11:00
Comment From Catoblepas
Game you’re most excited for today? Red Sox-Yankees can be intolerably slow, but I like the idea of Miley/Eovaldi.

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: Today’s most interesting pitchers to me: McAllister, Eovaldi, B. Anderson, Walker

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: Eovaldi in New York against Boston will be great

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: or bad. but great to see what he’s throwing

11:02
Comment From Joe Q
Do you agree with Joe Q and Dave Cameron that Soler will be better than Bryant?

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: oh, what the hell, sure, I’ll buy it

11:03
Comment From Dave
Assuming health, will Mike Trout have a HOF caliber career before he finishes his arb years?

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: An eligible player needs 10 years of major-league experience. Cop-out answer is no!

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: Also, real answer is no

11:04
Comment From Catoblepas
How do you feel about subjective stuff playing into HoF voting? I tend to bump franchise players up a little bit, for purely romantic reasons — someone like Jeter or Pedroia gives me the feels. Then I think about the fact that I’m punishing players who made the most of their market and took money away from the owners, and that depresses me a lot!

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: Pro-subjective stuff as a tiebreaker. It can’t be 100% about numbers. Some players definitely just give you a feeling, and if most people agree with that, then it’s a part of that player’s conversation

11:05
Comment From Guest
Who is your favorite baseball writer?

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: Brisbee, among those I’ve met. Miller, among those I somehow still haven’t met

11:06
Comment From Jesse
A team that some experts picked to win their division has Hector Noisi pitching and Avi Garcia hitting cleanup in their home opener. Your thoughts?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: The White Sox have some holes that should be incredibly easy to upgrade

11:06
Comment From Chet
How many ER allowed do think the padres outfield is worth compared to a avg or even a great defensive OF?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: -25 vs. average? -50 vs. great?

11:07
Comment From Guest
Did you see the gif of Belter’s teammate stealing his helmet and Beltre scarring the shit out of him?

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: Beltre gonna Beltre

11:07
Comment From kr
Was Carrassco’s 1st start more him being ridiculous or the Astros being terrible? Maybe both?

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: Both, but encouraging for anyone wondering if Carrasco will be able to carry things over

11:07
Comment From Rob
Jake Lamb, Rookie of the Year. Crazy?

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: Yep. Cubs are coming

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: Well, no, I take that back. I shouldn’t say crazy. Just, unlikely

11:08
Comment From Catoblepas
When thinking about what stats to look at early in the season, the answer has to be whatever has the most events, right? Swing rates, pitches, etc.?

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, or velocity. Velocity requires a very small sample

11:08
Comment From Guest
When does Nick Franklin debut for the Rays?

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: When he doesn’t still have an oblique strain

11:09
Comment From Jim
Do you think there any conclusions (or even hints) that mean anything after four games (besides the games mattering)?

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: Yes, some players offer clues. Most, you won’t find in the statistics, though, which makes it really hard

11:09
Comment From Joe Q
If I had a quick fix to prevent all tommy john surgery needs would I be rich already?

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: If it’s proven, you’d never work again in your life

11:10
Comment From MMZ
How much longer does Panda stick at 3B (Napoli pending FA)?

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: Until his defense is actually a problem

11:10
Comment From Jays fan
Sean O’Sullivan’s initials are appropriate for the Phillies

11:10
Comment From Marlins Fan
What will it take for the Marlins to realize that Adeiny Hechavarria is not the answer at shortstop?

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: New eyes. Their eyes love him

11:11
Jeff Sullivan: And you know what? Maybe they’re right. I can’t pretend like our defensive stats are that perfect

11:11
Comment From Everything is Terrible
Worst team in the league? Phillies, Braves, Astros, Twins, other?

11:11
Jeff Sullivan: Phillies

11:11
Comment From Justin
Like what you see from DeScalfini?

11:11
Jeff Sullivan: I liked the trade. I think he’s a real starter

11:11
Comment From Ullu Ka Patta
Think the east coast (no mountains, wind blowing out to sea instead of inland) doesn’t have the geography to create an inversion like CA does

11:11
Jeff Sullivan: re: marine layer. I’ll take it!

11:12
Comment From Rob
How much will Archie Bradley have to do to convince Fangraphs writers that he’s not a bust?

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: Firstly, not suck in the minors

11:12
Comment From MMZ
More likely: McCann successfully goes other way more often this year to beat shift as he claims he will, or Zunino learns some plate discipline?

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: Zunino. He showed more discipline in his 2013 debut

11:14
Comment From Bat
Jeff, can I ask you something of a trivia question? I happened to look at the stats of an OF I remember from when I was growing up – Ruben Sierra – and I see that he had an incredible 7 negative fWAR season in a row! Are you aware of any player with more consecutive negative fWAR seasons?

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: Whoa, that’s something. Unfortunately, I don’t have an easy way of looking this up. So for now, let’s assume Sierra is at least 3 standard deviations from the mean

11:14
Comment From Dave
have you noticed a difference in the comments you get on articles posted here as opposed to JABO?

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: On FanGraphs, there are comments

11:15
Comment From Guest
Will a team pick up Arencibia?

11:15
Jeff Sullivan: Yep

11:15
Comment From Guest
Is it normal to spend three hours staring at Brooks Baseball when it isn’t my job?

11:15
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not normal, but it’s understandable

11:15
Comment From JLew
have we seen the final save of Joe Nathan’s career earlier this week?

11:16
Jeff Sullivan: Not ready to say yes, but the odds are pretty good

11:16
Comment From mtsw
Do you expect a team to move to a new market (Oakland -> San Jose wouldn’t count) or for the league to expand first?

11:16
Jeff Sullivan: Ooh. I’ll go expansion. Not an expert on this, but I think it might actually be easier to make a new team than to move an existing team, and the league is doing extremely well.

11:17
Comment From Guest
I’ll say this: stats really opened up the game of baseball to me and made me love the game even more.. However, As with many, I lost all emotional attachment to my “team” and the results of nearly allow games….which kinda sucks.

11:17
Jeff Sullivan: Question is, is that because of stats, or is that just getting older and more mature?

11:17
Comment From Cory
Stroman reminds me of another promising young arm taken from us…Dustin Mcgowan

11:17
Jeff Sullivan: Except Stroman’s problem is in his legs, and easy to repair

11:18
Comment From Bat
If you can answer the Ruben Sierra question I would be eternally grateful because I am so intrigued by this.

11:18
Jeff Sullivan: I will absolutely make a note of this!

11:18
Comment From Wazoo
Are you the least popular regular contributor on FG? Do you guys haves a method of tracking how many people read your articles etc?

11:18
Jeff Sullivan: Yes, we have traffic data. Improbably, it turns out people are willing to read about Troy Tulowitzki’s behavior in between pitches

11:19
Comment From Songora Flamenco
I was watching the MLB.com GameDay “Feed” tab yesterday and was pretty interested in the data they were showing. But, I don’t know how to interpret it/let it add to my enjoyment. Generally, I understand that batted balls leaving with more velocity are “better” hit, but is there anything else I should look for?

11:20
Jeff Sullivan: It’s going to take a while before we wrap our heads around this stuff. Don’t know what to make of it yet. I think, ultimately, it won’t change much about the viewing experience — you’re still watching because you want a team to win, and they win based on runs and hits and baesrunners, not batted-ball velocity or player acceleration.

11:20
Jeff Sullivan: It’s going to be great for analysis. For the games? Games will have winners and losers, just like before.

11:20
Comment From Randy Savage
I find it strange that people get upset at non-political people. Politics just seem like a bunch of people arguing with each other when neither side really knows if they are right or not.

11:21
Jeff Sullivan: It’s like sports discussion, but angrier.

11:21
Comment From Helpful Bozo
As someone living just north of Yellowstone in Bozeman for the last 20 years, I highly recommend a visit to the park. However, I’ve yet to do any backpacking there, so a full report upon your return would be awfully nice.

11:21
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll be sure to submit it to a chat

11:22
Comment From TF Fredrik
Chris heston, what do you look for in someone unheard of, well at least to me anyways, in their first few starts to see if he might actually be something. Obviously velocity, which his was up from previous years (albeit only one start last year), but other than that what gets you intrigued by someone like this? Also, this could be said for any relative unknown in his mid-twenties.

11:22
Jeff Sullivan: First or second thing, I might examine command of an offspeed pitch. If it turns out a guy is really locating a change or a split, I’ll be a lot more likely to buy him as an actual starter longer-term

11:23
Jeff Sullivan: And if a guy has an unremarkable fastball but a good change, that might explain why he wasn’t a prospect beforehand

11:23
Comment From Also Dan
Does Lincecum no-hit the Padres tonight, to get his annual Padres no-hitter out of the way early, or does he wait until later in the year?

11:23
Jeff Sullivan: Too early in the season for 120 pitches

11:23
Comment From C
Wikipedia tells me that Izzy Alcantara (famous for karate kicking the opposing team’s catcher in the face) was nicknamed “Al-Qaeda” in Taiwan. Is there any possible explanation for this in the baseball world?

11:24
Jeff Sullivan: maybe — maybe — it sounds a tiny little bit like his last name?

11:24
Jeff Sullivan: it’s just as weird as the KBO awarding a Gold Glove to designated hitters, because Gold Gloves are like their version of MVP awards

11:25
Comment From STiVo
This was an interesting point: “watching a game is still watching a game. What we do fills the time in between. The way I think of what I do, I give people a reason to think about baseball when they’re not watching baseball.” But I’d add that watching a game is enhanced by having a more nuanced and profound understanding of what’s going on, e.g., the value of going from 1st to home on a double.

11:26
Jeff Sullivan: Definitely agree with that — the numbers get in there during a game, if you allow them to. You’re aware of tendencies and strategies. But if you’re watching your team, you’re still driven mostly by emotion and gut feelings. It still feels like a game. No one is talking about situational wOBA from the bleachers.

11:26
Comment From Joe Q
If Every baseball team sucked, how would you know?

11:26
Jeff Sullivan: They’d look like it

11:26
Comment From Curioso
Which of the Jays rookies, Norris/Sanchez/Castro/Osuna/Pompey/Travis have the best shot at RoY?

11:26
Jeff Sullivan: Norris

11:26
Comment From Rob
I wish there was a question (as a Diamondbacks fan) I could ask you that wouldn’t just make me sad

11:26
Jeff Sullivan: ask a Goldschmidt question!

11:27
Comment From mtsw
Could you see a system in which team-controlled players can opt into free agency at any time, with the stipulation that their team will get a percentage of their contract as compensation, working? It’d be a lot more straightforward than the current service time chess teams play.

11:27
Jeff Sullivan: That would be chaos. The Angels wouldn’t have had Mike Trout for more than one year.

11:28
Comment From TF Fredrik
Pitch f/X question. What exactly do the numbers mean on a pitchers vertical and horizontal movement? I know that lower numbers on the vertical mean more drop or sink, but i dont know exactly what it means if the number is 4.56 or 2.25 other than one drops more than the other.

11:29
Jeff Sullivan: They’re listed in inches, and they’re compared against a hypothetical pitch with no spin. Most pitches “rise”, compared to a spin-less pitch. A fastball with a vertical movement between, say, 2-6 is a sinker. Around 10-12, you’re talking about a four-seamer generally thrown up for swinging strikes

11:29
Comment From Guest
how much traffic does Jabo get?

11:29
Jeff Sullivan: No idea

11:29
Comment From Dude
More career HR: Bryant or Harper?

11:29
Jeff Sullivan: Harper

11:30
Jeff Sullivan: 56-dinger head start, and he’s ten months younger

11:30
Comment From Mike T
Mets beating the Nationals, just fluky with the Nat’s injuries / Desmond errors or are the Mets legit?

11:30
Jeff Sullivan: Mets are a real team. Not Nationals-level good, but legitimate WC contender

11:31
Comment From Hat
Shouldn’t the strike zone be the same for all hitters, no matter their height?

11:31
Jeff Sullivan: Nah

11:31
Comment From Also Dan
The thing about expansion is you need two new teams. Relocation only takes one

11:31
Jeff Sullivan: True. And the Rays really need to relocate. But if they relocate in the same market…then that’s it. No other good candidates.

11:32
Comment From Kristen
Was wondering about the low velocities of guys like Keone Kela and Ken Giles compared to what they were throwing last season. Just an early-part-of-the-season thing and it’ll pick up dramatically later on?

11:32
Jeff Sullivan: Monitor over the course of the first month. Velocity tends to pick up as the season goes, and it’s early enough there could be calibration issues too

11:32
Comment From Dave
Who is considered the best pitch framer in the game right now?

11:33
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe Hank Conger. Rene Rivera, Christian Vazquez, Jonathan Lucroy…

11:33
Comment From Art Vandelay
Just off the leaderboards I can see that Bill Bergen had 11 years in a row

11:33
Jeff Sullivan: negative fWAR. jesus

11:33
Comment From Dave
Before the season, Dave Cameron said about Kris Bryant that no player can make a difference for just 10-12 games. Adrian Gonzalez now has 1.1 WAR already….

11:34
Jeff Sullivan: as 1 of 202 qualified hitters. there’s always some chance

11:34
Comment From Jack Glasscocks Cup
Bigger chance to end the year in the Indians’ rotation: McAllister or House?

11:34
Jeff Sullivan: McAllister

11:34
Comment From TF Fredrik
So to follow up, the hypothetical no spin pitch would be 0 on the vertical movement?

11:34
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, 0 – 0

11:34
Comment From Guest
does Fg pay for all you guys to gave mlb tv for free?

11:35
Jeff Sullivan: Not part of the company policy

11:35
Comment From Yo-Yo
I’ve asked you twice in the past year or so if Pujols will reach 100 WAR. A year ago, you said probably not. Approximately six months ago, you said the same. Now, what do you say? (and no, I won’t stop asking this until he retires)

11:35
Jeff Sullivan: 11 more to go, 35 years old…

11:36
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll still say he comes just short

11:36
Jeff Sullivan: whoa, two and a half hours? I need to go!

11:37
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 — 4/10/15 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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Aaron
Guest
Aaron

What to do with Latos? Would you rather own Danny Santana or A.Cabrera? Have a good weekend

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

Well I rather enjoy Latos on a sandwich with bacon and tomato. I think it’s wrong to own a human being, but if I had to choose, I would take Cabrera. He’s slower so would be easier to catch if he tried to run away.

Jason B
Guest
Jason B

I’m Latos intolerant šŸ™