Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 4/1/16

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to Friday baseball chat

9:08
Eminor3rd: Do you like April Fool’s jokes?

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: Today’s April fool’s joke was the idea that I would be here on time

9:09
Nicholas: Which RF puts up more WAR over the next 3 years: Betts or Stanton?

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll take Stanton by a win or two

9:10
CamdenWarehouse: “I don’t want to say Rickard has been unwanted, but he definitely hasn’t been wanted.”

You just can’t write that.

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: Only somewhat related but I get a kick out of this new wave of potentially helpful Rule 5 picks. For a stretch of years it seemed like something we could all ignore. It’s interesting again!

9:11
I’m a fool every other day too: Good morning Jeff! How would you define a successful season for the 2016 Mariners, and is that above or below your realistic expectation for them this season?

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: Of course the major success would be getting into the playoffs. I don’t know where the line is between “content” and “successful” but I think the team would be content if they hung around into September. Which, I think, is the idea — they’re built to be a little better than average, which gives them an opportunity

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: I expect them in the low- to mid-80s, which means even if good and bad balance out, they should be within striking distance of the race for almost the entire year. Good enough to keep people interested

9:13
Bruce: This may be more of a math question, but why hasnt anyone ever hit 80 to 100+ HRs a season?
Someone like Stanton is obviously strong enough, has 500+AB a year, why dont more balls that he connects with go as far as the 30 to 40 that do leave the park?

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: This is going to sound more dismissive than I intend, but hitting a baseball is incredibly hard

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: And to hit a home run mostly requires that you square a pitch up. Now, for a guy like Stanton, he doesn’t always have to make optimal contact to drive the ball out, but you’re still trying to hit a particular spot on the ball with a particular spot on the bat. The probability is never real good on any given pitch, and if Stanton did show signs of being able to make more consistent home-run contact, he’d get pitched around / intentionally walked

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: Pitchers are too good. Baseball is too hard. Stanton might be able to reach 80 or 90 if he played a full year in the low minors, and they were aggressive pitching to him. But in the majors, everyone is elite

9:16
Mark: What do you think has a greater chance, the Cubs winning less than 85 games or more than 100? It seems that the prevalence of truly awful teams in the NL would push the top tier higher than normal.

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: I guess more than 100, but only barely. Triple digits is within their reach — they’re probably something like a 95-win team now — but it wouldn’t be hard to drag them down. One or two regulars underperform, Arrieta or Lester goes on the DL, maybe some bad bullpen sequencing. It’s surprisingly easy to underachieve

9:19
Expos: are you worried about the injury to Michael Brantley?

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not excited about it, but I think he’s going to be all right

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: It might take him a little time to get his power up to speed, once he’s back, but the core skills ought to be there. He’s a fantastically good player

9:21
Stuafoo: Do you find that you (and Dave) are asked proportionally more Mariners questions given your writing history/likelihood that Ms fans (like me) followed you guys over to Fangraphs? Or has that more or less died down by now?

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: I find that it’s died down, and while the Mariners are still overrepresented by a few percentage points in the question queue, it’s nothing insane and ultimately I’m in control of what I answer!

9:22
Joe: Are we sure the Orioles aren’t dumb? I’m a die hard Os fan, but it seems like they get involved in a lot of messes of their own making. Is that the consensus view, or do I just think that because I follow the team closely?

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: I think it’s both real and self-fulfilling. The O’s get into a few sticky situations, but because they got a reputation for that, now people pay attention to every single sticky situation. It’s hard to separate one from the other

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: I think, organizationally, they’re unusual. The GM is kind of impulsive and unpredictable, and ownership has a strong influence. And they’ve had some issues with rigid thinking regarding pitchers they’ve had in the system. The Orioles haven’t run smoothly all the time, but I don’t think they’re dumb. I definitely don’t think they’re being dumb about Gonzalez. They know how badly they need starters. They had every reason to like Gonzalez, coming in. Clearly, he underwhelmed. I think they just don’t trust him with the stuff that he’s throwing

9:27
EC: How does a guy who’s 31 (Max Scherzer) add a few mph to his FB? Does it bode well for the Nats and that contract?

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: Could’ve just made a change to his training approach. That’s not uncommon for players as they get into their 30s and realize they need to work a little harder. And Scherzer basically just got back to a level where he used to work. But, yeah, I do think this bodes well — Scherzer has a good amount of ground he can give before he’s declined into unfamiliar territory. Never a bad thing when a free-agent investment has his stuff play up in Year 1

9:30
mtsw: Important hypothetical: a pitcher has retired 26 batters straight. On the final out, he strikes out the batter but the catcher lets it past him. The catcher has trouble retreiving the ball, so the runner tries for second but is thrown out at second base. Still technically a perfect game?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: I have to think the answer is no. That runner reached base — it’s no different than getting thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double. You’re out, but it’s still a single

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: Just remembered the last out of Humber’s perfect game: http://m.mlb.com/video/topic/29312742/v20809833

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: Already some controversy in there, but that was so close to having Ryan reach base on an uncaught third strike

9:34
TF Fredrik: What hitting stats do you look at for younger hitters (Or hitters in general I guess) as signs of progress? I know we are still waiting for more info/larger sample on batted ball numbers to know how important they might be.

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: Always good to see a drop in strikeouts, like we can see with Socrates Brito

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: And with a stronger hitter, I like to see the developing ability to hit the ball with power to all fields

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: But the unsatisfying answer is it’s sort of a case-by-case thing. Depends on each player and on what his profile has been. You look for the elimination of weaknesses

9:36
2-D: Where does the WAR on the depth charts page come from? Hanley is listed at 2.3 on there, but both ZiPS and Steamer have him pegged for lower.

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: It’s the same blended projection, but with an increase in playing time. ZiPS and Steamer project their own playing times, but the times we have on the depth charts are determined by FG authors

9:37
FJGIII: How many previously unheralded shortstops will Cardinal Devil Magic turn into stars this year?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: Stars? None. But I suspect they’re going to be just fine for the first few months

9:38
The Decadent Moose: On a scale from 1-10, 1 being how efficiently I load the dishwasher and 10 being any non-theoretical amount, how are the White Sox going to spend that $13MM (Adam LaRoche)?

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know how to pick a number but the timing makes it difficult. Much easier to make good use of $13 million at the start of the offseason than at the end. This could and should make it easier for the White Sox to make a roster addition in the middle of the summer, so there’s that. But I can’t imagine it’s going to be used with 100% efficiency

9:40
TF Fredrik: Is it, whats the right word, spoiled, maybe even MLB-centric, to say I so wish I could see Otani over here in the majors now. Is there a certain etiquette about talent abroad that we can’t watch. I know youre a pitch dork, so figure it burns ya to not be able to watch best non-MLB pitcher.

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: Baseball has an important presence here, but it also has an important presence in Japan. While we have the most prominent league, I don’t want for Japanese baseball to be destroyed, and it just wouldn’t be a successful league if all the good talent just up and bolted for North America. So I like having some semblance of balance, where elite talent can play there for a stretch. It’s not in ideal alignment with my own selfishness, but the way I figure, Otani will still find his way over here at some point. Best of both worlds

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: Best-ish of both worlds

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not like we don’t get to watch elite-level talent every single day. The majors aren’t hurting for ability

9:43
J: Odds the Yanks go after Strasburg in free agency? Nova, Chapman, Beltran, and Tex are off the books, Tanaka can opt out soon and Severino is the only guy under control after 2017. System is light on pitching too.

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, they’ll be in there

9:44
mtsw: What would a 2015-Nationals disappointment for the 2016 Cubs look like? What is the most plausible scenario in which the Cubs’ wheels fall off somehow?

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: Soler/Schwarber don’t hit enough, Zobrist spends time on the DL, Russell fails to impress, some starting pitcher gets hurt. And then you have simple BaseRuns underachievement

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: Remember, the Nationals were an 83-win team that BaseRuns thought was a 90-win team. So all you have to do is give the Cubs a pinch of bad timing, which would have nothing to do with raw ability

9:46
Erik: Which rebuilding team is best following the Cubs/Astros model? Also is there really a Cubs/Astros model, or are we just throwing a narrative on after the fact?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: So much of the model is “luck into an Arrieta or Keuchel”

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s see. It’s not the Padres, and it’s not the Rockies, clearly

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not the Reds, because they keep accumulating low-upside returns

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not the Braves, because they’ve accumulated talented but damaged pitchers

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: Leaves us with the Phillies and Brewers. They seem similar to me, although the Phillies have way more resources. So you could compare the Phillies to the Cubs, and the Brewers to the Astros

9:49
Matt: Hey Jeff! Historically (relatively speaking, of course) I had always read about JP Crawford being a mostly glove-first kinda guy. As of the last few months, I feel that I’ve read a lot of people talking about him as an impact bat. Were there changes he made? Or is it just seeming more likely that he’ll reach a ceiling that was previously a less likely outcome?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: Crawford isn’t going to be one of the best hitters in the majors or anything, but he profiles as an outstanding shortstop. He had a tremendous offensive season against advanced competition at a young age, and that’s proven to be a very strong indicator. He doesn’t hit for much power yet, but he doesn’t just slap the ball on the ground. And he walked more than he struck out in Double-A. First exposure. Quick hands. Maybe he’ll be the shortstop Michael Brantley

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: Or the shortstop Mookie Betts. You pick

9:54
j6takish: Jeff, it is “crazy shirt day” at my office. What has my life become?

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: A cornucopia of underappreciated opportunity

9:54
Von Schloss: Chances Strasburg resigns with the Nats?

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: Low

9:54
daneyko: best underrated SP: Chris Bassitt or Shane Greene

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: Chase Anderson!

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: Wait, I mean Cody Anderson

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: Cody Anderson

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: but Chase Anderson too

9:56
e: How many bases would Billy Hamilton steal with a .330 OBP? 1,000?

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: You’re giving him 20% more stealing opportunities than he had last season. That would take him up to an estimated 69 successful steals

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: You are underwhelmed by this answer. The fault is yours

9:57
BK: Are you a believer in Aaron Sanchez?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: Not as a starter, but I’m open-minded

9:58
Mike S.: Are the Braves seriously going to only carry one LHP on the OD roster?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: Probably few things in the world to worry about less than the Braves’ 2016 opening day roster

9:58
merlin: Suppose Hanley is healthy enough to play a 150 games this season: where would you peg his production?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: Average player. Helpful enough to stay out of the spotlight

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: Of course Hanley has reached 150 games exactly once since 2010

9:59
carl: I’m reading that the Milwaukee closer situation is fluid – that it may not be just Jeffress. is that the case?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: Yes

10:01
Josh: Are the Blue Jays one of the best offences ever?

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: They were last season. They aren’t projected to repeat as such, because projections never really predict extreme performances. If you think the Blue Jays will be just as good, then there you go. I don’t think they will be

10:03
Erik: Are all WAR created equal? Or should teams aim for either a balanced or unbalanced distribution of pitching/hitting/fielding/defense?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: In theory, all WAR are created equal. Doesn’t mean it’s true in practice, but I’ve seen nothing to convince me that a given distribution is better than another

10:05
Robbie: What do you think about the D-backs’ middle infield situation? Segura, Owings, Ahmed, Drury, and Gosselin all had great springs. I was really encouraged by Owings’ walk total, which was always sort of his bugaboo, and Drury looks like maybe the most complete player out of the bunch.

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: I’m sorry to say I care pretty much not at all about a player’s spring-training walk rate. Would be more important just to see that Owings’ swing is back to where it used to be

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: It’s obviously a busy area for the team. Drury lurks as a midseason replacement. None of these players project super well, but Drury has the upside, and the team believes pretty big in Segura’s bounceback potential.

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: I think it’ll be revealed pretty fast whether Segura can hit again. Same goes for Owings. Ahmed can fill in to provide defense if one of the starters has a bad time, but Drury will be available if they want some pop. Out of four moderately interesting young players, you hope there are two who can be half-decent this year in the majors. The D-Backs need to identify those two as soon as they can

10:09
mtsw: 2015 was Ryan Webb, 2016 has Hyun Soo Kim. Can the Orioles enter a season without getting into a totally embarrassing contract snafu that ends with them eating millions of dollars?

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: This Kim situation is almost unwinnable. It’s the Orioles’ own fault, of course, but I don’t know how they could’ve predicted Kim would look this bad. I know people talk about how Kang struggled last spring, too, but at least Kang had six extra-base hits and a couple of homers. Has Kim hit anything hard? Going through his highlights, even the hits are bloops or infield grounders

10:11
2-D: Is there a uniform number you hate seeing on a certain player? Something about a position player wearing 55 seems wrong.

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Anything Scott Spiezio wore

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: fuck Scott Spiezio

10:12
j6takish: Jeff, you’re the only person I’ve ever heard pronounce GIF “correctly”. How do you sleep at night?

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Wonderfully

10:13
Hank: Everyone is looking for that one pitcher that can go from “good starter” to Cy Young candidate, ala Jake Arrieta & Dallas Keuchel. How surprised would you be if that pitcher this season was Drew Smyly? I just get the feel that he’s going to be the next great Rays SP.

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t *expect* it to be Drew Smyly, but if that’s how things turn out, then we’ll just look back at his 28% strikeout rate from 2015, and say, “well, yeah”

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not like he hasn’t given us signs. Since joining the Rays, he has a 66 ERA-. Four times as many strikeouts as walks

10:15
TF Fredrik: I feel an odd sense that next week I am more interested in watching the un-established/youthful 4-5 starters that have potential then I do for the top guys. We already know what guys like Scherzer, Sale, & Price types throw. The Aaron Sanchez’s, Robbie Ray’s, & your boy, Cody Anderson’s of the world bring that unknown aspect that I want to have hard numbers/results for.

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: I’m really interested to see a few starts of Sanchez. Anderson, too, because I want to know if this stuff is legit, but there’s no Aaron Sanchez spring-training PITCHf/x. I want to see his secondary stuff, in the data

10:17
Ryan: Would a Rusney Castillo-Alex Guerrero swap make any sense? Dodgers would get some OF depth to help them while Ethier is out; Red Sox get some IF depth to help them while Pablo Sandoval rides the pine. Or is Guerrero not really an IFer at all at this point?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: Don’t think the Red Sox want to pick up a guy who can opt into free agency after the season

10:19
Kole: Why do you think that Dipoto chose to go forward with Ketel Marte instead of Brad Miller?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: Part better defense, and part the Rays always liked Brad Miller

10:19
Chris: People are saying the Red Sox bench is terrible now, but aren’t these moves (Shaw, Holt) intended to just put the best team on the field?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: Right. I mean, if they kept Shaw and Holt on the bench, then their starters would just look worse

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: There are problems on the roster. Can’t just make them disappear that easy

10:20
Von Schloss: NL East team with better SS of the future: Nats with Turner or Braves with Swanson?

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll say Turner

10:22
Chris: What would be a fair return for Bauer from the Rangers? Do you like the deal for both sides?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: Kela would be interesting. More of a sure-thing reliever, in exchange for reliever or starter upside.

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: If I were the Indians, though, I’d just hang on to Bauer and see what he does out of the bullpen

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: He hasn’t been a reliever yet. I’d like to see it

10:23
Turbo: Do you feel the current basket of analytical tools can adequately assign value to “Clutch” hitting?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think we struggle to assign value. I think we struggle to identify who has it, or how real it is.

10:24
mtsw: Think the Yankees would be risking Miller playing with a chipped bone in his non-throwing hand if Chapman hadn’t been suspended?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Seems like they’ll know pretty soon how realistic this is. If Miller can pitch with this, great. If he can’t, they’ll find out quickly, and it’ll get taken care of. He wouldn’t stand to lose much extra time

10:25
KB: Albeit a small sample size but Domingo Santana is still striking out around 32% of the time in Spring Training. Will he be able to make the jump to the next level with these continued whiffs?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: No

10:27
Steve Z: Mike Trout generated more baseball value when his game was stronger across each area WAR measures. But, Trout packed on the muscle and adjusted his stroke in order to hit more homeruns. The result: His HR totals increase along with his K-rate. His SB totals decline and he produces less defensive value. The upshot: He’s less valuable now than he was during his first two seasons.

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: Position players, 2014 – 2015

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Mike Trout, 17.0 WAR
Josh Donaldson, 15.3
Andrew McCutchen, 12.7

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Mike Trout is as close to perfect as you’re ever going to see

10:28
Matt J: Ketel Marte: over or under 2.5 WAR?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: under

10:29
Guesto: Unnecessary hot take: MILB games are a better fan experience than MLB games because of their more creative and unique promotional giveaways

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: See I would’ve just gone with “cheaper”

10:29
The Earl of Lodi: What a sad case for Panda. How real are the rumors of his trade to SD or is it a last, albeit, dire attempt at motivation?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think it’s all nonsense. The Padres tried to sign Sandoval before, they don’t have a great situation at third base, and they have some big money to dump

10:30
Tyler: Can the Pirates back end of the rotation keep them in the NL Central race until the likes of Taillon & Glasnow are ready to come up?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: Sure. I expect them to be pretty aggressive in removing the mediocre starters to get to the bullpen

10:31
mkd: L.L. just did a little April Fools joke about changing the Sad Richie Sexson logo. Where do you stand on how sacred the logo it is. Do you care? Would you support a change to “Kyle “I’m Fu**ing Ready” Seager”?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: The logo was sacred when I was in charge. I have nothing to do with the site anymore. I would’ve actually preferred the logo change when I left but that’s business for you

10:31
Adrian: Do you expect Sean Doolittle to be closing for the A’s the end of season?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: yes

10:32
Josh: Does Carson seriously believe Milwaukee will reach the postseason? Tell me how this transpires.

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t have a window into Carson’s brain, and even if I did, I’d never dare to open it, but Carson loves minor leaguers more than he loves major leaguers, and the Brewers have a lot of interesting minor leaguers in or approaching the upper levels. So in that sense I can do the math

10:33
LL: Why are you (and so many Fangraphs) writers so high on Park as ROY?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Everyday player, powerful, relatively thin pool. Voters will respond to his dingers

10:34
JKD: Is this the year we see at least one club, for at least one pitcher in the rotation, switch (during the regular season) to a “two-times-through-the-order” threshold rather than innings pitched or pitches thrown? Or are we not quite there yet (beyond, maybe Maddon)?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: The Rays sort of almost did that with Matt Andriese

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: The Pirates might do something like that at the back of their rotation

10:36
Doc : Should the Jays spot start for Sanchez and keep him in the rotation all year or move him to the pen halfway through?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: I’d just go with the latter — if they want to see what he can do as a starter, might as well give him the benefit of consistent work

10:37
Erik: Why are Rule 5 picks suddenly interested again? Is it a small sample size blip, or are teams valuing players in a different way now, causing them to leave better players exposed?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Teams are probably a little better at identifying minor leaguers who are big-league ready. Not ready to be *impact* big-leaguers, but ready to be helpful. In the Rule 5 draft, you don’t want to worry much about finding a future star. Seems like you could somewhat safely find a role player if you focus on a good defensive outfielder with speed and some contact ability

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Speculation: teams like to stock the 40-man with upside. They leave off lower-ceiling players, who then become Rule-5 eligible. Those lower-ceiling players can be immediately useful to teams who aren’t so deep

10:39
Alex in Austin: Zero fangraphs staff picked the M’s to win the divison? Seems harsh.

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: Seems reasonable. Doesn’t mean the M’s have a 0% chance. Just means we all think someone else has a better chance

10:39
Boomer: View on Franklin Gutierrez? Could he be starting LF 4-5x/week?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: His body can’t handle that.

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: He needs to be rested more than maybe anyone else in the majors

10:40
mtsw: Which contender has the most intriguing/valuable set of pieces to sell at the deadline if they unexpectedly underperform and pivot to a teardown?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: Doesn’t that kind of depend on what happened to cause the underperformance?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: If for whatever reason the Indians underperform, they could have the best starters available

10:43
The Dude of NY: I just got diagnosed with pneumonia. It hurts like hell. Please say something to cheer me up. (no, this is NOT an April Fools thing. It’s a

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s see if this works

10:43
10:43
Jeff Sullivan: well whatever, there you go

10:43
a dog: Are the Padres exactly as bad as they seems

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: yes

10:44
Gary: Any sense where Miguel Gonzalez is going to end up?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: I could see him ending up with the A’s

10:46
Marc: whats the best way to convince a more old school guy like my father that OPS and wRC+ are better than HRs RBIs and Runs, more specifically when looking at like Votto Vs Arenado? Or for short, why is it ok that Vottos WAR is a decent bit higher

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: Votto made an out just 54% of the time that he came to the plate. Arenado made an out 68% of the time that he came to the plate, despite playing in the most hitter-friendly environment known to man. That’s too big of a difference for Arenado to erase with his defense

10:48
Kevin: Do you think David Peralta is a candidate to exceed his projections or is that asking too much?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: I think he’s better than 2.3 WAR

10:51
Robbie: Have you gotten a look at Patrick Corbin at all this spring? Specifically, have you gotten a look at his supposedly improved changeup? He threw his changeup more and his slider less often this spring than he has throughout his career, I guess in hopes of protecting his elbow. Is this a bad sign for his performance this year?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: I think Corbin knows the slider is going to be there. So this is an opportunity to try to cement the changeup. The slider needs very little work. It’s always there in his back pocket. Don’t need to work on a pitch like that much in spring

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: I was just reading earlier that Iwakuma barely threw any splitters in a game the other day. Iwakuma, of course, needs the splitter to succeed, but he ignored it in part because he knows that he has it

10:53
Erik: What traits predict a sophomore slump? High K% and BABIP? Both would suggest a Kris Bryant slump, but nobody seems to think that will happen.

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: I think anything that indicates a potential way to be exploited. A weakness in the scouting reports. Alternatively, it could be a rookie who comes out of nowhere to surprise. The following year, teams will have developed more advanced reports, and then that works to the player’s disadvantage. Bryant wasn’t exactly off the radar a season ago

10:55
BK: Compare the Ottawa Senators to an MLB franchise 🙁

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: Rockies?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: In some sense Karlsson is like their Trout. These both make me want to puke

10:56
Chuck: What is your take on Trevor Bauer getting moved to the bullpen? Is this a sign Cleveland has given up on him as a starter?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: It’s a sign they like their other options more

10:56
Keeper? I hardly know her? : Referencing that earlier question. Do you think Stanton ever will hit 60 in a season?

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: Nope. He’s never even hit 40

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: Too many strikeouts in the game, too many strikeouts in *his* game. Not enough homer opportunities

10:57
Justin: Lots of intriguing NL OF’ers with a shot to be an everyday player this year. Who ends up with the higgest WAR from Brito, Goeddel, Broxton, Thompson and Hunter?

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: Brito

10:58
CamdenWarehouse: Would a rotation of all number 2 starters be among the best ever?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: What does a No. 2 starter do? Are we talking an FIP- between 85-90?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: In that case, let’s say you have a rotation with an FIP- of 85. That would rank tied for 24th since the mound was lowered in 1969

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think that counts as ranking among the best ever, but it is super good

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: (The 2011 Phillies are top, at 76)

11:00
Ernie Camacho: How much angst do you think there was there in the FG writer community when deciding whether or not to predict KC for the playoffs?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: More than for any other team

11:01
Jim: Seems like the mainstream is coalescing around the idea that the Giants are the clear favorite in the NL West, that’s kinda weird right?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think it’s weird, but I do think it’s wrong

11:01
Boomer: Do you think the Mariners would consider moving Zych into the closer role when Rodney starts to implode?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t see what the Padres bullpen has to do with Tony Zych but I do think the Mariners like him quite a lot

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: Nevertheless, he’s third in line

11:02
My Man!: Good call on the Rays as a wild card. The staff’s divide in thinking on the Rays and Yankees is curious. Yanks’ pen is a lot better, but other than that, I don’t think they have a clear edge over the Rays’ anywhere, and the Rays are younger, deeper, and have a lot more upside.

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: People always sleep on the Rays. I like the Rays. They’re kind of like the A’s, but better almost everywhere

11:02
Dustin: What’s going to be a more fruitful use of my time this season: Watching 100+ Atlanta Braves games, or committing seppuku?

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: You can do other things while you’re watching 100+ Atlanta Braves games. You can’t really multitask during seppuku. Inefficient

11:03
Who_Is_Zorbist?: The Rays need to trade a LH starting pitcher, right? Moore, Smyly, and soon Snell. In the same division as the Jays?

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: Snell might only get a chance if Smyly gets hurt or Moore underachieves. Also you don’t make roster decisions because of one division opponent

11:04
Eric: How do you best deal with the constant frustration of Edgar Martinez not being in the Hall of Fame? Whenever I remember this fact it tends to throw off my day.

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: Mostly by not caring about the Hall of Fame

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not gonna lie, that kind of does it

11:06
Zorak: I keep trying to repeat to myself that it’s only spring training, but the Mets can’t feel good going 0 for their last 14 games and putting up 4 runs in their last 5 against mostly AAA pitchers, right?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: Wait, the Mets haven’t won in 14 consecutive games?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: lol

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: It doesn’t matter at all but lol

11:06
Erik: What is the biggest flaw right now with the Mariners? Or the flaw too numerous to rank as such? They’re slowly getting good pieces in place, right?

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: Bullpen, and then rotation stability.

11:07
J: When should I use a 3 year sample and when should I use a 1 year sample? Couldn’t a 3 year sample be somewhat misleading since talent can change?

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: Always begin with a three-year sample, and then shorten the sample on a case-by-case basis when you have compelling reason to believe that something has meaningfully changed

11:08
Bruce: Does anyone know why the Angels did not get involved in Free Agents this year. Do you think they are looking forward to more option and then will go nuts next season?

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: Moreno doesn’t want to exceed the luxury tax

11:08
tom selleck: why scott spiezio hate?

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: he sucks

11:10
mtsw: Mychal Givens getting a little overhyped at this point? Basically every analysis I’ve seen posits him as clearly better than Brad Brach based on like 30 IP of Givens

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: Givens throws more strikes. But just be happy to have them both

11:10
Zorak: Gutierrez needs to be rested more than David Wright?

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: Much more, yes

11:11
DiPointless: How do i overcome the crushing apathy that is my impending college graduation and the realization none of the work i’ll do in the next month matters in the slightest, or will have any bearing on my future?

11:11
Jeff Sullivan: None of the work you do after that will matter in the slightest, either, and then one day you’ll be 50 and then one day we’ll all be dead

11:12
mtsw: At first glance the Padres look doomed to underperform. But look closer and you realize San Diego has beautiful weather and beaches and maybe people down there shouldn’t be upset about some baseball team

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: And, for the most part, they aren’t

11:12
Hank: Joey Votto will end the season with a .490 OBP. How BOLD of a prediction is this?

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: five-alarm

11:12
tom selleck: Any work being done in monitoring brain activity for pitch recognition?

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not public

11:13
Jake: I’d say the Sens are a mix of the Angels and Amaro-era Phillies. Totally analytically ignorant (Phillies) with one star that keeps their floor high enough to never be truly awful (Angels)

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: Analytics in hockey seems less cut and dry than analytics in baseball. So there’s that factor

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: The Phillies wound up behind almost literally every other team. I’m not convinced the Sens are there (yet)

11:14
Otis: Is Pedro Martinez the greatest pitcher since his inception to the MLB?

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: Yes

11:15
Anthony: I would take Velasquez longterm over McCullers…do you agree?

11:15
Jeff Sullivan: I like McCullers more, but Velasquez’s stock is rising

11:15
Giants Fan: Agreed on Spiezio

11:15
Jeff Sullivan: hell yeah

11:15
Mike Trout: Did you pick Correa for MVP because you expect voters to weigh team success, or do you think he actually outperforms me this year?

11:15
Jeff Sullivan: Trout is the best player in the American League, but Correa will make the playoffs. So that was my reasoning

11:16
Erik: Is there such as thing as building for the regular season or building for the postseason?

11:16
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think that teams build for the postseason. But certain regular-season factors can help, like a top-heavy pitching staff

11:16
Jeff Sullivan: All right, I need to get rolling

11:16
Jeff Sullivan: So thank you everybody for hanging out, and I’m sorry for what I didn’t or couldn’t address. We’ll do it again next week at the same time, and until then, be well and have great days

11:16
Jeff Sullivan: Baseball is coming so soon!

We hoped you liked reading Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 4/1/16 by Jeff Sullivan!

Please support FanGraphs by becoming a member. We publish thousands of articles a year, host multiple podcasts, and have an ever growing database of baseball stats.

FanGraphs does not have a paywall. With your membership, we can continue to offer the content you've come to rely on and add to our unique baseball coverage.

Support FanGraphs




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.

newest oldest most voted
David
Member
Member
David

In the last 10 seasons, two NL teams have won as many as 100 games, and one of them (the Cardinals last year) seemed to have an awful lot of luck in doing so.

To me it seems a little strange to think that the Cubs are MORE likely to be the 3rd team in the last 165 team-seasons to win 100 games than they are to finish 85-77.

But maybe they are just that good.