Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 4/22/16

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: We should baseball chat

9:08
Bork: Hello friend!

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friend

9:09
Tony G.: Is injury-risk the only thing stopping Drew Smyly from joining the conversation of top-tier arms in the league?

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: He seems to have the habit of giving up a few too many homers, on account of all the high fastballs, but a more durable Smyly would be an incredible Smyly

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: Just to repeat something I tweeted out the other day, since the trade in mid-2014 Smyly actually has a better ERA and strikeout rate than David Price

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: Sometimes the Rays’ genius is exaggerated, but in Smyly’s case they saw something right away and made the tweak

9:10
Curtis: What would a Bryce Harper Career Year look like?

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: This

9:11
Popsicle: Tyler White for AL Rookie of the Year?

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: He has the advantage of already being up, but he has the disadvantage of A.J. Reed on the way. Plus I just like Park more

9:12
Tim: Rich Hill makes my brain hurt. One minute he’s terrifying, the next minute unhittable…

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: Have to say this for Rich Hill: he was never going to sustain last year’s tiny walk rate, but after striking out a third of his opponents over four starts, he’s again struck out a third of his opponents over four starts

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: He’s a hard one to hit. When he’s in the zone, he’s great. When he’s out of the zone, hitters just sit back and watch. Give Hill a first-pitch strike and it’s over

9:15
Gordo: Do you remember what Kluber’s issues were the last two years that had him off to a bad start? Is he having the same issues this year?

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: I haven’t done anything in depth yet to check out what’s going on with Kluber, but I can tell you two things: his velocity is down a bit, and he’s throwing even more fastballs. His fastball has been a problem for him before, and it’s being further exposed

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: I suspect, once again, that Kluber is going to be okay, but he should be throwing fewer fastballs, not more. There should be more faith in the rest of his repertoire

9:17
John: I know it’s still april and they can’t be that bad all year with RISP, but are you worried by the Yankees offense?

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: The Yankees are actually 11th in baseball in wRC+. Between the Rockies and the Royals. I think they’ll be good enough

9:18
Jimmy: Could you be so kind as to rank the following SP: Graveman, Bassitt, Holland, Porcello?

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: I like Porcello the most

9:19
Matt: Is Dexter Fowler showing us something funny about defensive stats? He has been worth more in 16 games than any other time in his career when stats considered him an awful defender.

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: You could observe the same thing about his offense. He has a 226 wRC+, which is more than double his career mark. Both of them are fluky! Fowler has been amazing, and a huge part of the Cubs’ incredible start, but, yeah, don’t believe in this too much

9:22
Erik: Looking at Arrieta’s career statistics, it seems that he improved dramatically in every metric from 2013 to 2014, with no sign of this coming beforehand. Was there any way we could have known how he’d develop? And if so, any idea which pitchers could make a similar mid-career jump?

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: Arrieta is an important case, a little like the pitcher version of Jose Bautista. People are forever trying to predict or project the next breakouts, but it’s unclear if there were even warning signs for the breakouts we’ve observed

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: The Cubs, of course, recognized that Arrieta still had a big arm. We could see that from here. One thing we couldn’t really see was Arrieta’s drive, and the magnitude of his frustration within Baltimore’s pitching system. That was more inside-baseball stuff.

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: It helped that the Cubs allowed Arrieta to throw his slider as much as he wanted. That was an issue in Baltimore. But it’s not like even the Cubs expected *this* much success. They probably figured Arrieta could be a No. 3, maybe a No. 2. Now he’s practically even with Clayton Kershaw

9:25
dbacksfan: New to baseball. When I’m watching a pitcher for the first time, what, specifically do I look for to judge him?

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: It’s easy to see how hard he’s throwing. Watch for pitches moving in different ways. And watch the catcher to see how much he’s moving around. The best pitchers hit their targets with consistency

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: As you become a more advanced baseball watcher, you can start to look for how batters are swinging against the pitcher. Do they look comfortable, or do they look defensive? For example, batters against Noah Syndergaard right now look defensive.

9:27
Squirrels: Is there a point when swing percentages stabalize? I didn’t see that on the sample size page but I’m curious because Utley has been swinging at nothing outside of the zone.

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Give it another month or so, but Utley isn’t too far from his usual rates

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: He’s also facing righties almost exclusively, which further helps

9:29
BakedBean: Which ailing ace is most concerning? Least concerning? Archer, Price, Harvey etc..

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: Archer and Price, at least, have their peripherals. Harvey has nine walks and seven strikeouts. I’ll be paying attention to him today to see if he shows any improvement. Right now he warrants some concern

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t love Dallas Keuchel minus 2mph

9:31
lloyd: Is Matt Cain going to return as a viable pitcher once he increases his endurance?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: I think he’s still useful. No. 4

9:35
D. Price: What is wrong with me?

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: Sorry about that hiccup, got stuck doing preemptive research before submitting this question

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: First thing to recognize: Price has what would be a career-best K-BB%. The peripherals look good, and Price was strong against the Indians and Blue Jays

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: But the stuff *is* down a little bit. Price hasn’t done a good job yet of burying cutters. And he might be adjusting to a more first-base-side release point. Price isn’t going glove-side very much these days, which makes the plate easier to cover

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: I suspect that Price is going to be okay but for the moment the velocity drop is notable

9:39
j6takish: Is yasmany tomas good now? Is Major league baseball colluding to troll Dave as hard as possible?

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: Tomas still can’t do anything *but* hit, and it’s worth noting two of his three dingers came against Robbie Erlin, who’s a Triple-A pitcher. So, you know, you don’t want to go crazy, but it was said from the beginning that Tomas had power. He might finally be starting to show it

9:42
Bork: How many no hitters will the Reds be victim to this year?

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: My guess is it won’t happen again but my gut says that wasn’t the last

9:43
Curtis: First significant player trade of the season will involve _____________ to ___________?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: an outfielder to Anaheim?

9:44
Gary: Thoughts on Joe Mauer? Are we seeing his 2013 form reincarnate?

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: I love what I’ve seen. I’m aboard the Mauer train

9:45
Erik: Does someone like Arrieta, who became dominant at age 28, have any chance of making the Hall of Fame? He’s undoubtedly pitching at that level today, but how long would he have to continue to get his overall resume up to that level?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: Randy Johnson wasn’t dominant until his later 20s. He got in on the first ballot, with 97% support. So there’s precedent right there, and obviously Arrieta doesn’t need to have Johnson’s career to get in. You could shave off a few seasons and still have a compelling case

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: But, I mean, that’s still unlikely. Arrieta has to keep this up a few more seasons, and then have a graceful decline period. There’s no question he’s got a shot, but the fact that he was nothing until 2014 works very much against him

9:48
B: So the projections have the Rangers as the worst team in the AL through the rest of the season, despite getting Darvish back in less than a month. You disagree?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t love the Rangers, but the Twins are worse. Kela’s surgery hurts my case that the Rangers have an underrated bullpen. Still, I think they’re about a .500 team

9:50
Brad: Colome keep his job when Box returns?

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: Doubt it

9:52
OnSight: Brewers team wide change of chasing and swinging less sustainable? Or will players go back to their old ways?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not an accident. Now, I don’t care for much of the lineup, long-term, but the Santana stuff is really exciting. As the season wears on it can be tough to sustain these gains, because you grow mentally exhausted, but this is an encouraging start

9:53
BakedBean: I don’t want to get too heavy, but for the first time in my baseball fandom, I’m having an ethical dilemma cheering for Thor. He is so good, but I feel like I’m cheering for a blown-out elbow. Is it ethical for his coaches and organization to let him throw that way? I don’t want to sound like I’m coddling him either, it just seems like thats what he should be saving for October, not going full steam in April.

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: There’s no compelling reason to believe Syndergaard is about to blow out his arm. Maybe he is, maybe he isn’t, but careful teams get burned just like aggressive teams get burned. Syndergaard’s heat is easy. He might just be a freak, like Randy Johnson. The whole point of this is the spectacle, and we want to see players at their best, not at a fraction of their best because it might allow them to perform below their ability level for longer

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: You might as well say you can have an ethical dilemma cheering for any pitcher. Shit’s dangerous

9:57
Ryan: The Jays have taken some chances on vets on minor league contracts, none of them have worked. Will Bourne be any different?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: Probably not

9:58
Bork: Which trade was a bigger hindsight is 20/20 loss, Arietta to the Cubs or Thor to the Mets?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: Syndergaard was still way down there in the minors, and Dickey looked to be a good get. I can understand that move, mostly. And it’s not like the Arrieta move didn’t make enough sense at the time, but Arrieta was frustrated in Baltimore’s system. That was and probably still is a problem

10:00
Yordano: Is my decline in velo a concern?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: Nah. Pretty typical for this point in time

10:00
Suck Bhowalter: All else being equal (starting pitchers, team matchup, playoff implications etc.) which would you find more entertaining as a viewer: a no-hitter / perfect game which ends 16-0, or one which ends 1-0?

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: 1-0, by far. More decisions, more stress, greater leverage at all points

10:03
Curtis: Which player’s slow start worries you the most? Why?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: There are a few. Just to pick off the top of my head, I don’t like what I’ve seen from Tulowitzki. Doug Fister clearly isn’t back. Adam Wainwright should not be getting hit like this. And I’m a little troubled by Felix’s command

10:05
Tulio: So, how about him Bryce Harper? How crazy would it be if he actually threatened Bonds’ HR record? On a scale from 1 to Munenori Kawasaki, how awesome would that be?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: I think what’s insane to me is that Harper is slugging .849 and if he wants to challenge Bonds’ record he can barely afford to slow down

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: Harper isn’t going to do that, in part because the intentional walks are going to start happening

10:07
Mike: Jeff, I saw an image of an island in Japan that had a huge crack in it. The logical conclusion is that the Earth is getting bigger right?

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: Getting bigger by the addition of nothingness. One for the philosophers

10:08
Erik: Odubel Herrera was a popular candidate for regression before the season, given his high BABIP and short track record. But this year, he seems to have a new approach, including a third-best in the majors walk rate. Is that change for real, and if so, how good does that make him? Good enough to lead off for a playoff team?

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: He’s worked on his patience, and he’s definitely been less aggressive, but pitchers so far have just been bad at throwing him strikes, especially of the first-pitch variety. That’ll turn around given that Herrera doesn’t exactly punish strikes again and again. I can see a little uptick in his “real” walk rate but this is an anomaly

10:09
Ampersand: Hi Jeff! I watched the end of Arrieta’s no-hitter last night, and with two outs in the ninth and his team losing 16-0, a Reds player (Schebler) went from first to second base. The announcer said “That may be the greatest example of fielders’ indifference in the history of the game,” and it occurred to me that he might be right. Can you think of any way in which the stakes of that “steal” could be lower?

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: It could’ve been 17-0

10:10
Squirrels: Also, if you could be any lava mountain, would you be a good lava mountain or an evil lava mountain? I’d probably be an outer space one because that seems pretty cool!

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think I would want to destroy people, but I do think I would want to destroy property

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: Otherwise it’s like, what’s the point

10:12
Houzer: Lorenzo Cain- is he settling back into a 8HR / 30SB / .290 BA?

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: The contact issues are vaguely troubling. No one is throwing him strikes, but he’s still swinging through everything. I don’t think he’s fallen apart or anything, but Cain is in a weird little rough patch. Might need to reboot the system

10:14
lloyd: Will HOF voters start to change their stance on PED users once the hypocrisy of MLB becomes more obvious? It seems like MLB had a pretty good idea as to what was happening at the time, allowed it to happen, but now has taken a revisionist historical stance and doesn’t really hold themselves at all accountable.

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: There’s no question in my mind the stance on PED use is softening. The voter pool is becoming more accepting, and while it’s nothing you can see changing overnight, give it 20 years and then re-evaluate. There’s going to be a lot of PED use in the Hall

10:15
spookie: too early to tell if mookie’s selling out for power? he murdered that ball yesterday.

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think he’s the type to do that. Too good of an all-around hitter. But I suppose it’s not impossible he could try the Matt Carpenter

10:16
Northsider: How close is Jake Arrieta from being the best pitcher in baseball?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: So close that if you told me you think Arrieta is the best pitcher in baseball, I don’t have a great argument against it

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: There’s just no sense picking between him and Kershaw. Obviously, Kershaw has done it for longer, but Arrieta has done this long enough to show it’s not a fluke. They’re amazing. They’re absolutely amazing

10:19
Zonk: Of course the lowest FIP and xFIP on the Cubs pitching staff after last night belongs to Jake Ar…..wait…..Kyle Hendricks? How does one explain that?

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: A big part of Arrieta’s success is his ability to avoid strong contact. That’s partially reflected by FIP, and not at all reflected by xFIP. Since 2014, Hendricks has an ERA 22 points higher than his FIP. Arrieta is at 36 points in the other direction

10:22
Estubb: CarGo’s exit velocity looks massive…does this suggest he can repeat his crazy second half numbers from last year?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: He’s already well on his way. I could definitely see a wRC+ around 140 – 150. He’s done it before

10:23
Shin-soo Choo Express: Things are tough here in MN today. What, if anything, should we be excited about?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: The improbability of existence

10:24
Curtis: Anyone considering a Trevor “Story” about the exceedingly hot early power guys over the years who come back to earth by mid-May (assuming he’ll come back to earth by mid-May). Seems like there’s one+ a year…

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know if anyone’s planning an over-arching piece, but I do have a soft idea to re-examine pitchers pitching to Story in a few weeks

10:26
Stenzy: What do the Giants do at this point to right the ship?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think anything is too broken. Defend a little better? They’ll be okay.

10:27
The other Kyle: Are you buying the “Harvey is fixable” line or is something else afoot?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: I definitely think he’s fixable, but I’ll have an eye on his game today. Potentially writing on him early next week. The problem is probably a little more complicated than has been let on

10:29
Achilles: Andrew McCutchen is a slow starter. His April is generally not good relative to the rest of his months. How I concerned should I be about his increased O-Swing% and lack of contact both outside the zone and in the zone?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: It’s interesting to me he’s hit so much in the air. That could imply an intent to hit for more power, and that would be supported by the drop in contact. Don’t know why McCutchen would decide to change things up like that, but something to watch for

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: He was clearly feeling some pressure to hit that first home run of the season. Maybe he’ll settle down now

10:31
Gavin: Most likely to be very good in 3 years: Velasquez, White, Story

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: As a shortstop, Story is the safest. But all that’s standing in Velasquez’s way is health

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: Story has the best chance to be good. Velasquez has by far the highest ceiling

10:32
mark: Jeff, explain the Cardinals. I’ll hang up and listen.

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: I didn’t even realize Aledmys Diaz is batting .385. All right!

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: The Cardinals do almost everything right. Except for that one thing, they’re baseball’s model organization.

10:33
Q-Ball: How much does strength of schedule matter when evaluating performances right now? For example, Nationals look GREAT. Their schedule….OOF.

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: It’s big. There hasn’t been enough baseball to even things out, so it’s definitely a factor, for everybody

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Like, Bryce Harper is great, but Aaron Nola is the only good pitcher he’s homered off so far. His opponents have sucked. Of *course* his numbers are insane.

10:34
Craig in Chi: How can my Sox bat the DH eighth and not do something about this lifeless lineup?!?!? They were refunded $13M and did nothing. Jerry (whom I love) should be called out, imo.

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: They were refunded $13 million at the end of spring training. What were they supposed to do? And they can’t force a trade in April because there isn’t a market.

10:35
mtsw: Bud Norris pitching tonight. What’s your take on the 2016 iteration of him?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: I can’t for the life of me imagine having one

10:36
H. Rowengartner: What are you expecting from Darvish as he makes his way back? 80% of old Yu?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Probably more like 90%. They’ll be careful with him at first, and he’ll have his rough patches, but I think we’ll be able to watch him and see a lot of the same old Darvish

10:37
greg: Pulling for any team in particular in the Stanley Cup playoffs?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Pulling against the Ducks

10:38
Squirrels: Is it reasonable to just start reading a new book because I knocked the current one off the window sill and don’t feel like lying down on the floor to get it back? Also, feel free to ignore me, I’m home sick and this is the only time I ever get to be at a fangraphs chat. If no, should I vacuum first? It seems like that won’t help my headache.

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Get your initial book back, resume reading it, and keep it in a position such that you won’t drop it and hurt yourself when you fall asleep

10:39
Craig in Chi: Thoughts on HOU talking about Gattis catching?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: With White hitting and Reed on the way, Gattis is going to run out of playing-time opportunities. Might as well see if he has any flexibility left

10:39
Sirras: To what extent do you think Thor is challenging for the “best pitcher in baseball” crown and to what extent was that just a devil’s advocate argument?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: I’m legitimately interested in it and open to it. So it was kind of both? It’s almost impossible to imagine someone being as good as Kershaw (or Arrieta), but if you had to imagine such a pitcher, he would throw pitches like what Syndergaard is throwing. Syndergaard’s repertoire is a damn miracle, and there’s no harm in wondering just how much that means

10:40
Nina Pillard: Hi Jeff–loved the article on Grichuk. Just for funsies, if he can maintain this discipline for the entire year (and remain healthy), what would you speculate his stat line would look like?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: He could run another 140 – 150 wRC+. I know last year he came in at 137 with an aggressive approach, but I didn’t buy him repeating that as the same player

10:42
Termel Sledge: 3 years ago today, the Os demoted Jake Arrieta. Is there any precedent of a pitcher turning themselves around so much at the point in his career Arrieta did

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: Cliff Lee had a 6+ ERA when he was 28

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: And though it’s not the same, between 28 – 29, Randy Johnson cut his 16% walk rate almost in half

10:43
Alex Wood and Matt Harvey: Are either of us going to start striking people out any time soon?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: You’d certainly think so!

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: I have to think better days are coming.

10:44
The Decadent Moose: Better Chicago effort, Arrieta’s no-hitter or Kane’s double-ot goal in an elimination game?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Arrieta did his thing for three hours

10:44
Young Jeezy: What is with Scherzer and the Homer-itis? He has gotten worse with homers since coming to the NL. What do you make of it?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: High fastballs, and he’s always in the zone. They’ll happen

10:45
Uncle Eddie: Jeff Luhnow – big time premature ejaculator trading for Gomez and Giles before a solid contention window? He also tried to trade for the currently impotent Freeman and Lucroy this offseason. Why is he so hell-bent on destorying what he’s built?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: Before a solid contention window? They were literally like an inning away from the ALCS

10:46
Hubert: Do you believe the Statcast numbers on outfielders’ throws? Is Aaron Hicks really topping out at 105mph?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Did you ever read that thing about Casey Weathers hitting 108? http://m.mlb.com/news/article/167882016/indians-casey-weathers-can-throw-108-mph

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: A running start can make a big difference. So, yeah, I can see it

10:48
Earth’s growing waistline: Isn’t the Pacific Ocean getting smaller with the Pacific plate dipping under the North American plate?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: If I remember correctly, the oversimplification is that the Pacific is getting smaller basically because the Atlantic is getting bigger

10:49
Mike_C: Is Arrieta the second coming of Cliff Lee. Another pitcher no one really thought he was that great until suddenly he was.

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Works as a good comp. Arrieta’s stuff is more powerful

10:50
Josh: Is Chris Sale the best pitcher in the American League BY FAR?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know if it’s by far, since I still like David Price, but he does appear to be the best

10:50
squirrels: Felix’s changeup is good eenoug to keep his declining velocity at bay. Do you think he’s over-throwing pitches to counter act that declining velocity which looks like a reduced command? Or do you think he’s losing it a little?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think he’s the type to overthrow. He’s always downplayed the importance of velocity to his own success. I think he might just be having a more and more difficult time precisely repeating his mechanics with each delivery

10:52
Covelli: aaron blair has looked like an average prospect for most of his career. in his 1st 3 milb starts this year he looks like a stud. what are the odds that he’s made some substantial change.

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: Blair still throws inconsistent strikes, but he’s getting more grounders now and his contact rate is way down. I bet the Braves have adjusted something

10:53
Beltway: Who would you rather have on your favorite team: Trout or Harper?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: Since they’re basically equally as good these days, I’ll take Harper, because there’s generally more emotion involved in observing him

10:55
Max: You might not follow sports betting, but I’m curious what you think of what’s been happening with games at Coors. The over/unders are higher than ever this year, with today’s game with two pretty good pitchers having an over/under of 11.5. Any idea why sports bettors are pounding the over in these games, despite the over/under’s been astronomically high?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know anything about what’s been going on with sports betting, but I know that for however much Coors generated attention for the humidor, it’s back to being a crazy hitter’s environment. And the Rockies can hit now. And they don’t really pitch. Maybe this makes some sense?

10:56
Jon: Cubs odds at the 2001 Mariners win record? 10%?

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s say they’re a true-talent…60% team?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: The Mariners went 116-46, so let’s put a target at 117-45. The Cubs would need to play out at 105-41

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: That would give them a 0.2% chance

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: Lower than I expected

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: Goes up to about 5% if you think the Cubs are a true-talent 65% team

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: In short: don’t think about the record yet

11:00
The Mariners Moose: Chance that my Mariners luck into a wild card spot this year?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: Might actually have a better chance at the division if the Astros don’t figure their pitching out

11:01
Brett: With bullpens getting better and better, is there less value than there used to be in seeing more pitches and getting the starter out of the game earlier?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: Absolutely yes

11:02
chelben: how do you feel the Wainwrightization of Porcello is going in 2016?

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: Haven’t seen enough curves yet for the comp to be stronger, but you can’t ignore 24 strikeouts against three walks. And the funny thing is that there’s been a Porcelloization of Wainwright! An early-2015 Porcelloization

11:04
Baked Bean: At what point do the Red Sox have to go out and get SP reinforcements?

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: Rodriguez will be a reinforcement

11:04
Deece: what is happening to Votto early on? just poor luck? all his hitting peripherals look ok apart from the low walk rate (for him)

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: I gotta think he’s fine. Maybe he just doesn’t feel like he’s in a groove yet, but he’ll find his liners

11:05
Dug: Dbacks offence looks good and if the pitching improves do they have a shot at winning the division ?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: They have a small shot, but a shot. The absence of Pollock is a big deal, I think, but if they really are going to get hits out of Segura and Tomas, that erases some of it

11:07
Matt: Which Diamondback do you most believe in thus far between Segura, Lamb and Tomas?

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: Tomas, offensively speaking

11:08
Forgot about Dres: Are the Padres the worst franchise? Not much to be hopeful for in the minors, pitching staff is a mess and their 4-5-6 hitters are Melvin Upton, Alexei Ramirez and Christian Bethancourt.

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: If I were choosing to follow a team right now, the Padres would probably be at the bottom of the list. I mean, I’d never really want to follow the Loria Marlins, but it’s unfair that they have Fernandez, Yelich, and Stanton, so that’s too compelling. The Padres are a total mess

11:10
Steve: Why do you think stolen base attempts have declined over the past few years?

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe less emphasis on teaching it?

11:10
Mike_C: The Braves offense is almost historically bad right now. Other than a handful of position prospects the strength of their farm is their pitching. Is 2018 a realistic contention date?

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: I can buy 2018. I’m having all kinds of trouble buying 2017

11:11
Roe Bott: Any concerns with Cole Hamels?

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: I’d like to see him get into the zone more. He’s traded some fastballs for cutters. I wonder how well he works with Bryan Holaday

11:13
squirrels: Does Veasquez have the highest ceiling of pitchers on the Phillies? Nola seems like a great 2 pitcher, but outside of cliff lee control, he probably isnt a 1

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: Based on how we think we can evaluate ceilings, yeah, it’s Velasquez by a ton

11:15
PadsfanUK: Please give me something to be excited about as a Padres fan. Anything!

11:15
Jeff Sullivan: You were born into the privilege of not having to worry about where your next meal will come from

11:15
Jeff Sullivan: That’s a pretty sweet perk

11:16
Bill: Let’s assume that Trout does not suffer a serious injury and plays a normal workload until retiring at a normal age. In this scenario what are the chances he misses the HOF?

11:16
Jeff Sullivan: Like 5% or something. There would need to be a scandal because he’s already like more than halfway there

11:16
Jeff Sullivan: What are the chances that someone in Trout’s circumstances gets arrested for murder?

11:17
Jeff Sullivan: And then, complicating factors, what are the chances that a convicted murderer gets voted into the baseball Hall of Fame?

11:17
Buddy: What are you writing about next? Give us a little bit of a shill.

11:17
Jeff Sullivan: I honestly don’t know but there’s a decent chance it’ll be Matt Harvey

11:18
Jeff Sullivan: All right, I need to get rolling

11:18
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 — 4/22/16 by Jeff Sullivan!

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

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deadmau5whomp
Member
deadmau5whomp

Braves have played by far the hardest schedule so far imo and still scored more runs than some teams