Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 4/14/17

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to Friday baseball chat

9:07
Bork: Hello, friend!

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friend

9:08
Daniel: How can I learn to be as handsome as you?

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: Silence those that find you not handsome

9:09
Pretty Tony: On the Tigers broadcast the other day they said Verlander has gone 20+ starts without giving up more than 3 runs. And the only other pitcher in the majors to also have that streak going? Daniel Norris?! I had to go check because it seemed so unbelievable!

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: This seems like a good time to run a quick check using the Baseball-Reference streak finder!

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: In the past decade, the longest such streak belongs to Jake Arrieta, at 29 starts

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: Clayton Kershaw’s in second, at 24

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know where they got those numbers. Verlander allowed five runs last August 16, and Norris allowed four runs September 18

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: I suppose they’re talking about *earned* runs!

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: There we go. There’s the magic

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: Indeed, story checks out

9:13
JTT: Jeff, why does it seem like we never see good players post flukey BABIP based years? If Danny Santana or Chris Johnson can BABIP .400 for an entire season, in theory it should be just as likely to have Miguel cabrera or Votto or Mike Trout to get lucky and BABIP like .450. If a bad hitter like Chris Johnson can luck his way into a .321 BA one year, why can’t an actual good hitter luck his way into a .400 BA

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: David Wright had a .394 BABIP in 2009. Josh Hamilton was at .390 in 2010. Jorge Posada somehow finished a year at .389. It happens

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: I think you run into two issues, though. One, there’s only so much space for batted balls to find, so getting additional hits becomes harder and harder. And two, when elite hitters make their best contact, oftentimes that contact results in a homer, which BABIP ignores

9:16
Joel: Let’s say SEA finishes 77-85 or something similarly underwhelming. Is it time for Dipoto to put the U.S.S. Mariner in dry dock, and re-build her? If so, what would that look like?

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: Well, there’s the problem: It’s not an easy rebuild. The Mariners don’t have, like, a Manny Machado they could conceivably sell

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: There are some parallels between the Mariners’ situation and the Tigers’ situation. You’re not getting out from under Felix’s deal. You’re not getting out from under Cano’s deal. To say nothing of how the expensive players would likely have to perform for the Mariners to finish sub-.500

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: You can try to flip individual pieces like the Tigers did with Price and Cespedes, but I don’t think the Mariners *have* a Price or Cespedes

9:19
seth: will the Reds win 100 or 110 games this year?

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: They won 16 games in spring training, so they have a very, very slim shot at 100!

9:21
Bork: So uh..how bout them Jays?

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: That was already going to be a tough division top to bottom. They’re already 3.5 games back of the team in fourth place.

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: Nothing at this point counts as devastating, and even losing Josh Donaldson for a couple weeks does something short of devastate, but if this doesn’t turn around in a hurry, they’re screwed

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: “It’s early” works when you’re 1-3. It doesn’t work when you’re 1-20. Somewhere in between, there’s a red line

9:23
Zonk: Statistically, the best pitching staff in the NL is the Reds. Wait, what? Explain this, Jeff!

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: By WAR, it’s the Rockies!

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: Baseball!

9:25
DN: Loved the Mets game last night. Hate the proposal to change extra innings. What are your thoughts on it?

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t like it, and I also don’t think it’s going to happen. I don’t see compelling reason to believe it would even result in shorter games. Just higher-scoring games

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: Right now, teams enter extra innings tied. Under the proposal, teams would still enter extra innings tied. Maybe increasing run probability slightly decreases the likelihood of a tie sustaining, but I doubt the effect would be dramatic

9:26
botchatheny: this is great. isn’t this great?

Alex
@alexcards79
?
14 Apr 2017
9:27
Jeff Sullivan: It is very great

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe less so for Tommy Pham

9:27
Another Bad Dynasty Manager: I know it’s just April, but when should the Jays start panicking?

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: The Jays should never panic. To panic is to be unproductive. The fans, however, would be free to initiate a panic sequence. And the front office should start having some tough conversations

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: As soon as the Leafs are eliminated, there won’t be any escaping this

9:29
Steve: Pretending the Blue Jays can’t get it together and Donaldson becomes available, what kind of return do you imagine he gets?

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: Something vaguely David Price-y. Will obviously depend on how his leg holds up. Unlike Price, Donaldson couldn’t be leveraged in the playoffs. But Donaldson is also one of the best players around. He’s just in his 30s, and no longer cheap, so the Jays wouldn’t get the haul you might think

9:31
Jaime: Will Mike Trout be the first player this season to hit 2 WAR? What about 3? 4?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: His odds increase as you up the WAR threshold. I’ll say the tipping point is…5 WAR? I think the chances are greater than 50% that Trout is first to 5 WAR

9:33
Mike: What stats are there than point to the brutal start that Greg Bird is off to? It can’t be entirely lingering injury/illness related…

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: Hurt his ankle at the end of spring training, and then he started throwing up. He’s batted 22 times. Have some patience here

9:33
Joel: Who finishes w/ a better record this year? TOR or SEA?

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll say the Jays

9:34
CamdenWarehouse: During a game the other night, an announcer called a play with “And there’s a McDouble play brought to you by McDonalds.” I propose that MLB be forced to chose between eliminating this sort of thing or reducing commercial breaks.

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: Oh, that is very bad

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: Does McDonald’s really need to advertise to increase its visibility?

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: Is anyone unaware of McDonald’s?

9:36
Mario & Luigi: Has Mike’s Leake been fixed?

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: You mean the thing that led him last year to his highest career ERA? Sure, I can buy that. But if you mean the thing that made him Mike Leake in the first place? No, he’s still Mike Leake

9:37
Seven Costanza: Joey Votto leading baseball in Contact% and zSwing% still. What a weird world we live in.

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: He’s done this before, but not for very long. Clear intentional change, although I’d assume this will be temporary

9:38
Randal Savage: Fix the Blue Jays in one or two sentences!

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: Poison their rivals

9:39
Q-Ball: I wonder if Albert Almora should play every day. He’s stupid good in CF, and I would like to see if the bat holds up in full time duty. What do you think?

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: I’d like to see Almora play more, but not yet on an everyday basis. I like what the Cubs have going on with their flexibility and opportunities for rest

9:40
Buck: It seems like I’m seeing a lot more exclamation points in baseball articles than I used to. For some reason, I want to blame you for starting that trend. Fair?

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll take it!

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: But I’m sure I was inspired by somebody else

9:40
Roadhog: When Gray is back, do the A’s have a top-10, top-5, or top-3 starting rotation? Graveman/Manaea/Gray/Cotton/Triggs is pretty killer.

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: Well, let’s wait to see if Gray actually pitches good baseballs, first

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: But on potential, there’s so much upside here. It’s why I’ve supported the A’s as a dark-horse playoff contender

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: Doesn’t hurt to have an arm like Hahn’s floating around as insurance, too

9:41
Randal Savage: Could the Blue Jay’s beat the Cleveland Browns?

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: Yes at baseball, no at football, no at basketball, yes at hockey, don’t know? at squash

9:42
Old timer: The A’s are 5-5; better than I expected. Gray is seemingly on his way back sooner rather than later. Will the A’s be relevant in the division and do you see any shot at a wild card? Thanks.

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: To repeat above: yes

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: I can’t see them being a *good* team, but I can see them being at least an average team, which is good enough to hang around

9:43
$18M mistake: Are we finally seeing the decline of Jose Bautista or is it still APRIL?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Couldn’t it be both?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: It is mos definitely still April

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Months have many days in them

9:43
Jeffrey: How many teams that are currently winning their division will actually win it?

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll say one, if the Astros count. (they’re tied)

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: On this date a year ago, the White Sox were 7-2 🙁

9:45
JTT: It’s early in the year so there’s no hard evidence so far, but Nick castellanos swing looks totally different. Has a much more pronounced uppercut. He’s a guy to keep an eye on. Supposedly Andrew romine revamped his swing as well…..but he’s also Andrew romine

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: Castellanos was already an extreme fly-ball guy. Not much room to go more extreme, unless he were to go the full Ryan Schimpf. I’ll take a closer look sometime next week to see if I notice anything

9:47
Sirras: A major league baseball team offers a sum of money for you to play catcher for an entire game. You will field and hit and call the game. What is the smallest sum for which you’d accept? For which you’d accept if you knew you’d do it for 16 innings as Travis d’Arnaud did last night?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: What’s the price for four of the most miserable hours of my life, that would chase me for years?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: One million dollars

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: I will do it for one million dollars

9:48
Hunky Dory: I would like you to know that I speak for the vast majority of people when I say that trampolines are fun and I have never suffered an injury due to one. Your contempt for trampolines is being confirmed by selection bias and nothing more.

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: You are wrong and your opinion is bad

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: Trampolines seize upon hubris

9:48
Steve: Is it more annoying when chatters ask straight up fantasy baseball questions or when they try to disguise it?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Straight up. If they disguise them, then I can provide a baseball answer, which is why we’re all here in the first place

9:49
Maddux in a Row: How long would Josh Tomlin have to struggle before he lost his rotation spot?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Not long

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Tomlin has a career 117 ERA- and 112 FIP-. He doesn’t deserve a long leash

9:51
Matt: Yanks have been great since Bird and Sanchez were out of the lineup. Coincidence?

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: Yes, extremely

9:51
Josh: Should we be concerned with the slow start for Mookie Betts?

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think so. He’s way too good, and lately he’s been way too sick

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: I know he wasn’t great in September, either, but he’s one of those guys with too much talent to get worried about a few weeks

9:52
ManBearPuig: Who on the fangraphs staff has the best hair?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: All of our hair is terrible

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: We are stay-at-home baseball bloggers

9:53
Baseball Randy: Is Carlos Gomez good again?

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: Picking up where he left off. Since he joined the Rangers, he’s been strikeout and fly-ball prone, to extreme degrees. I don’t think Gomez is ever getting back to his peak level, since that just doesn’t happen, but I buy him as an interesting and high-volatility CF

9:54
Matt: Any thoughts on starting baseball in May in order to remove all the meaningless small sample overreactions of April?

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: It’s flawless!

9:54
Andrew: Who is going to end up closing in Texas?

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: Easy answer is Bush, but so far I really like Leclerc

9:54
Padres: We might be only terrible instead of putrid! MARGOOOOOOOTT

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: Lots of interesting position players there. And Hedges hasn’t even done anything

9:55
ChiSox2020: White Sox bullpen seems to have some valuable trade chips no?

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: One highly valuable one

9:55
Jaime: Which players/teams have your expectations of for the ROS changed the most?

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: No team, really, although the M’s and Jays are in awful situations. But as players go, Kendall Graveman!!

9:56
Josh: Are we finally seeing the decline of Nelson Cruz?

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: Considering how he looked in the WBC, I wouldn’t say that yet

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: I know the WBC isn’t the same as big-league baseball, but it’s not like his skills have evaporated in a matter of weeks

9:57
Matt: if i was to road trip from Northern NJ to Dallas, do you have any tips for a long solo road trip?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: Unfortunately that drive would be of limited geological interest

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: So you’re going to need to lean hard on podcasts or audiobooks

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: But take advantage of the opportunity — stop and do things in places you’ll never choose to go to again

9:58
Sterling Mallory Chris Archer: If someone bought you a Chone Figgins Mariners jersey and two tickets behind home plate for a game, would you wear it when you go?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: Sure. Irony’s still hip

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: Do people still say hip?

9:58
Petey Bienel: Were the Nationals a little arrogant in thinking their bullpen only needed a Blanton for Melancon swap to be all set?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: Well, they got Melancon midseason, right? They can get another guy midseason if they need

9:59
Ampersand: Can you say any words about Amir Garrett?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: He has become almost interesting enough for me to write a post about him

9:59
Travis: Freddie Freeman’s striking out a lot. Something to keep an eye on? Obviously it’s extremely early, but it’s continuing a downward trend.

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: He also has a 181 wRC+

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: He’s one of the many guys who’ve traded some contact for pop

10:01
James: who do you think is the most underrated player in baseball today

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: I think it’s AJ Pollock again

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe I’m wrong, because he hasn’t been good in 2017 yet, but, boy, he’s outstanding

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: For the general public it’s probably Kevin Kiermaier

10:03
Bubba: Looks like we may see a bounceback of Zimmerman and Duda. In the battle of recently forgotten NL East 1B, who would you prefer to roster?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: I guess Duda by a very slim margin

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: But maybe Zimmerman is a better defender than he looks like

10:04
Scott of Linconshire: Brett Anderson: A useful 120+ innings, as long as Almora & Baez save him 5 runs defensively every game? His stuff looked better 1st game than 2nd game, but obviously expectations for him are low. Any thoughts?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Never look to the future with Brett Anderson

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Appreciate the present. Stay in the moment

10:05
CaptainPeanutbutter: blue jays…ouch. Some of their older players don’t look great and they might have lost JD for a short frame.

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: There’s no good way to open 1-8. They’ve found one of the worst ways

10:05
Whoa Nelly: Is Russell Martin going to actually suck this year?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: No

10:06
Colin: With the new radar gun/velocity reading this year, do you expect these changes will impact all pitchers roughly equally?

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: If I’m thinking about this correctly, pitchers who get less extension should show higher velocities, and pitchers who get more extension should show less-higher velocities

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: If velocity used to be captured around the same point for everyone, then the guys who released the ball closest to that point will gain less, because their pitches had less time to lose speed after coming out of the hand

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: The actual effects will be pretty darn small

10:08
Jacob: How long could a starter run a 2.00 FIP and a 7.00 ERA before they lose their job?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: Three months

10:08
YP: Can we talk about Joey Gallo?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: No

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: I’m sorry, but them’s the rules

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: (Gallo has a normal-looking contact rate in the early going. That’s good!)

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: (It’s also good to have homered against Manaea and Carrasco. But still, Gallo will need to do this for a while before many people believe)

10:10
Quinn: If the Reds continue to go 7-3 in 10 games stretches, you think they can sneak into the playoff picture?

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: Yes, especially if they do it over 16 of them

10:10
Baseball Randy: Eric Thames has a hit in every game he has started. Shouldn’t the brewers play him more so he has a chance to earn them a bigger deadline trade?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think the thought here is flipping Eric Thames for prospects

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe it is, but in any case, early-season usage pattern isn’t important. Easing him in

10:11
Moltar: Do you think of the new wave of multi-inning guys, Devenski, bradley and Lorenzen, that all of them stay working out of the pen all year? Do any transition back to starting?

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: I know Lorenzen would like to start, so there could be something there. Bradley could start again if Corbin and others struggle. I think Devenski remains where he is

10:12
John: A team loses their entire major league roster, and has to play this season only using who they have within their minor league system. Which MLB club would have the most success?

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Feels like it’s the Dodgers

10:12
Warren: Miguel Sano hit a good home run yesterday and I enjoyed watching it. This is more of a comment than a question.

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: All of his home runs are good home runs

10:13
Peter: Tuning in for Kershaw-Greinke?

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: Got plans, but I’ll be tuning into the archived footage afterward

10:13
Matt: Best hair = Eno!

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: There’s a difference between best and most distinctive

10:13
Ryan: Does Andrelton Simmons get any credit in his defensive metrics for that great tag play the other night, or is that simply ignored?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: That’s a good question. I don’t know enough. I’d guess he goes without credit. Don’t know how a metric would possibly know what to do with a play like that

10:14
Mariners 4eva: Is there reason to believe Nelson Cruz will get it going again soon?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: Everything he’s done in recent history

10:14
Pete: Which player do you most want to drink beer with? Which player do you most want to trampoline with? Which player do you most want to play in a volcano with?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: Never play in a volcano

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: Poas erupted yesterday

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: Never play in a volcano.

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: I think it would be great to hang with Tom Wilhelmsen

10:15
Jerry: Who has a better year, Aaron Nola or Luis Severino?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: Nola

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: As a general rule, I will almost always prefer Nola in any such question

10:16
Tanner: Which team is the furthest away from playoff contention? I’m leaning Royals, since it doesn’t seem like they’re good enough to contend this year, they start to lose their core next year, and there’s not much in their farm currently.

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: I feel like that’s the right answer

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: I could see that it could be, say, the Marlins or the Reds, but I think it’s the Royals

10:17
Robert: What exactly was the point for the Alex Jackson trade? Povse and Whalen don’t seem close to making the rotation and Jackson still has middle of the order potential. That one sticks out as a trade Dipoto made “just because”.

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: Relatively safe, low-ceiling pitching depth. One GM preferred safer assets, the other GM preferred a higher-risk, higher-reward asset

10:18
Marty: Loria is planning a 10′ statue of Jose Fernandez. Bad idea or the worst idea?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: This is way too difficult a question for an on-the-fly baseball chat

10:19
Mike: Will Judge or Bird hit more HR this year

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll say Judge. Bird’s got Carter behind him

10:19
Travis: Bottom of the 9th, 2 outs, your team is trailing by 1 run, but has the bases loaded. Who would you rather have at bat: Byron Buxton or a piece of toast?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: Good luck to any pitcher trying not to walk a piece of toast

10:19
CaptainPeanutbutter: haha that pham tweet is great. Wonder if the team will say anything to him about it though

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: Almost certainly yes. And so, bit by bit, baseball-player social media becomes less fun

10:20
HugoZ: Are we finally seeing the decline of online chats?

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: They collapsed years ago

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: It’s been awful ever since

10:20
Ruffx2Tweet&Cameron: Is it common for BsR to jump all over the map from season to season?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: Depends what you mean. The magnitudes are almost always pretty small, and shifts of like three or five runs don’t mean much, typically

10:21
Andrew: 1,309 days until Matheny’s contract ends. Please tell me I don’t have to wait that long

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: You probably won’t

10:21
Matt: Jeff, I think there is an imposter Matt in this chat.

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: There are too many Matts

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: Someone please go by Matthew

10:21
#BantheWave: Marcell Ozuna breakout year. It’s happening

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: I mean, it probably isn’t, but I appreciate your enthusiasm

10:23
ATCQ: David Robertson had issues with walks last year. How large of a sample do I need to know that he’s overcome that issue? (no BB in 3 IP, but I suspect the answer is more than 3.)

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: Three months

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: Of some note: in a very small sample, Robertson has thrown 51% curveballs. He used to throw about 30% curveballs. Something to watch!

10:25
Guest: In the wOBA constants, why is a HBP worth more than a BB. I’d think they’d be essentially the same, but if anything, HBP would be worth less since it is a dead ball, negating a possible steal of 3rd or WP.

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Walks are more likely to happen in situations where walks are less damaging. Like, there’s an open base. HBPs are more random, and don’t occur so often when there’s an open base

10:26
mario mendoza: Puig is at 52% GB. So… not really in the fly ball revolution?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Puig’s average launch angle has dropped from 2015 to 2016 to 2017

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: But of course, this year’s sample is tiny, and the intention is still there. We know what Puig is *trying* to do. That simply doesn’t mean he can do it

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: The more important things to watch are his discipline numbers, but so far there hasn’t been much. Will be better to check in after a month and a half

10:28
Jerry: Do you think the Phillies call up JP Crawford at the end of the month?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: So far he’s 3-for-28 with 10 strikeouts

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: He’s not earning anything

10:29
divine chanteuse: at what point does z-swing% stabilize to career norms? I’m looking at Longoria’s numbers and he’s over 10% below career average right now. at what point should I be hitting the panic button? I know it’s still early but…

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: Right now, the difference between Longoria’s Z-Contact% and his career Z-Contact% is about five or six whiffs

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: It’s even less dramatic by the PITCHf/x numbers

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: Don’t worry so soon

10:32
caesarsolid: I live in Surakarta, Indonesia (now visiting my folks in Chicago), in between two of the largest volcanos in the world. I figure it’s providence that I stumbled on one of your articles and became a regular reader while there.

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: Indonesian volcanoes are fantastic, provided you don’t live within like five miles of them

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: Then they’re a lot less fantastic

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: for you

10:33
Ruffx2Tweet&Cameron: This is the first time, in a long time, I haven’t seen Mitch Haniger among players most searched on the site.

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Everyone already takes him for granted as the best hitter in the game

10:33
GDUBSS: When you say AJ Pollock is underrated do you mean you would take the over on his steamer/zips projections? What do you mean by he is underrated?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: What does anyone mean by underrated?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: There’s no actual measure for it. It’s a gut feeling. Like, does the average baseball fan get how good AJ Pollock is? I think no

10:35
asabin: Are you worried about Kershaw’s slider?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: In general, there is no pitcher I would worry about less

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: I mean, I don’t know if Kershaw has something going on, but there’s zero reason to believe he’s throwing his pitches differently

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: And it just so happens we have new tracking technology this season, spitting out new information

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: It would take a *lot* for me to feel genuine Kershaw concern

10:37
Molson Man: Which poopy team turns out to be not-so-poopy?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Giants

10:37
Bo: Are you a better hitter than Byron Buxton?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: I’m probably not even a better baseball writer than Byron Buxton

10:38
asabin: What percentage of human beings that have the same general height/weight/build as Noah Syndergaard could throw 100mph with proper training?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Like, if you gave them all of the same training and preparation for years?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: 5%? 1%?

10:39
Ruffx2Tweet&Cameron: Would you eat the grasshoppers? (not the cookies!)

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: I wouldn’t go out of my way

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: But I bet I could appreciate the texture

10:39
Josh: Brett Anderson gets hurt and the Cubs deploy you as their 5th starter for the remainder of the year. Do they still win the Central?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: What you’re asking is whether the Cubs will win the NL Central by like 15 games

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: No

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: Well…..

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: No

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: But almost!

10:41
GDUBSS: Who do you think is the current best defensive LF, CF, RF in the NL ?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Cespedes/Hamilton/Heyward

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: No, that’s bad

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: Jankowski/Hamilton/Heyward

10:43
Ben: Obviously early, but is this the Miguel Sano everyone has been waiting for, is a .270/350/.500 slash line realistic?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll wait for him to face some better pitching, but one thing I like is the increase in zone swings without an increase in chases. Speaks to how good his eye really is

10:43
#BantheWave: I find nothing exciting about a player like Kiermaier. Scold me.

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Why would I scold you? Your opinion is your own

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: I like watching hitters more than defenders, too

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: And I like watching pitchers more than hitters

10:44
Jacob: If you were told a team would win 105 games this year who would you predict? Would that team be different if you were told 120?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Ehh, no, still Cubs

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: I guess I *might* say Indians for 120, assuming all their pitchers stay perfectly healthy and Michael Brantley shows he’s all the way back

10:46
caesarsolid: Shohei Otani seems to not care about how much money he will make and all teams are now on equal footing with Intl Free Agents – where do you think he may end up?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: I have nothing to go on, so I’ll say Dodgers, because of who they are and their proximity to Japan

10:46
biffyclyro: How long should I wait for you to an answer a question before I can correctly surmise that it was, in fact, a bad question that you will not be answering?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: There are so many hundreds of questions in every chat

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: It’s impossible to even read them all

10:47
Sam: How good is Robbie Ray going to be this year?

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: Fairly good

10:48
Six Ten: Jason Vargas’s first two results have been awesome. Looks like his release point is a lot lower this year than pre-Tommy John. He’s also spiked both his grounder and swinging strike rate. If the release point change is real, are the others likely to be real?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: I’m sorry to say you’re never going to succeed in making me believe that Jason Vargas is interesting

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t see a huge change in his release points. He’s a No. 4

10:49
Jobu: Can Andrew Triggs finish the year with a FIP under 4.00?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: He sure can!

10:49
Ruffx2Tweet&Cameron: Doesn’t perceived velocity trump actual velocity? Like with the guys who get more extension, but lower raw velocity.

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Yes, it is incrementally more important

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: But because it’s so much trouble to calculate, the regular numbers work OK

10:49
uruguayan: Would it be a fun piece to find the best example the Taylor Motter/Holt/Zobrist/Bethancourt fellow in all 30 MLB organizations?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know how much fun people would have researching or reading about every team’s utility players

10:50
Ben: The twins young players seem interesting, and the starting of a solid core, am I overrating Sano, Buxton, Kepler and on the way guys like Berrios, Gordon etc. ?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: It’s really easy to see the upside in big-league youth. It’s not hard to imagine how the Twins could get relevant in a hurry. But, just look at where Buxton is today. He’s a disaster.

10:51
Six Ten: Any current free agents whose continued lack of employers surprise you?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: Fister and Pagan should be somewhere doing something

10:51
S: Greg Holland looking to be the steal of the offseason?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: Well, he wasn’t good yesterday, and the velocity isn’t all the way back, but he does seem effective again. The Rockies bullpen is legit

10:52
John: How many innings do you see the multi-inning guys putting up over the season? Seems like Devenski could end up breaking the 120 mark. Also Ross Stripling is sort of establishing himself in that role too, 6.1IP in 4 appearances

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: 120 might be right around the ceiling. Devenski last year got to 108. Started five times. At some point the guy is pitching so much he needs more days off

10:53
Matt: You, sir, have awful taste in hair.

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: Why would you expect me to have good taste in hair?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: I’m just happy to still have any amount of hair

10:53
jon: The Cubs have a .246 BABIP allowed through 9 games.

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Granted, the league mark is also a very suppressed .283

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: The Twins BABIP allowed is .216. Padres, .228

10:54
dave in slc: i am an insurance agent and one of the questions on the application is “do you have a trampoline” you don’t need to know more than that to know they do real damage!

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Thank you Dave

10:55
Bubba: How often do you see other fangraphs writers person? Have you actually met everyone in person?

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve met everyone in person. I guess I see Dave the most, but only a few times a year. I’ll see him more now that he’s in Oregon

10:55
John: Hitters and pitchers are better now than they were in the 70s (ignoring context), does this also apply to fielding?

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: Everyone’s better at everything

10:56
Ben: Donaldsons calf has been hurt since the end f last year, this seems like more then a 10 day DL stint, which seems horrible for a team that is playing catch up

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: It’s almost the worst possible news they could get on the position-player front

10:56
scrantonstrangler69: Is Harper going to erupt this year like he did in 2015?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: I’m skeptical

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: But he’ll be better than he was most recently

10:57
E: If you put Mike Trout on the worst AAA team would he turn them in to the best AAA team?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: Last year’s worst AAA team went 58-82

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: The best AAA team went 91-52

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: Sorry, Omaha, but Trout couldn’t take you that far

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: I could see Trout as a 30-win player in like the lowest levels of the minors, but not the highest

11:00
Kevin: I saw a typo where Josh Bell’s OPS in AAA of .900 was listed as his OBP. What level would Mike Trout need to go down to for an OBP of .900? Junior college?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: High school

11:00
Jacob: Is a Kevin Kiermiers arm more valuable now because no one runs on him or less because he can’t throw people out?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: In theory, my guess is that runners reach a certain equilibrium. So it should be roughly just as valuable

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: All right, I need to get rolling

11:00
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 — 4/14/17 by Jeff Sullivan!

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Jeff made Lookout Landing a thing, but he does not still write there about the Mariners. He does write here, sometimes about the Mariners, but usually not.

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TKDC
Member
Member
TKDC

An outfielders arm has to be more valuable when the league does not know how good it is, because they make sub-optimal decisions based on bad information. The only way it would be as valuable when the league knows how good it is would be if the league out of fear makes sub-optimal decisions in the other direction (not advancing when the likelihood of success is high due to fear). I’m not sure that really happens.

bosoxforlife
Member
Member
bosoxforlife

Very few ever tried to go from 1st to 3rd on routine singles to right on Dwight Evans. This is just the fear you spoke of and is a valuable resource.