Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 4/23/13

9:05 Jeff Sullivan:
Sorry about that, was having server problems with both FanGraphs and TweetDeck

9:05 Jeff Sullivan:
Everything seems to be more or less normal now so we proceed!

9:05 Jeff Sullivan:
Kind notice: if you ask me an obvious fantasy baseball question I am probably not going to give you the answer that you would like

9:05 Comment From Guest

9:05 Jeff Sullivan:

9:05 Comment From Bubz
Poor Casper Wells…MLB has to change the waiver system, right? Unless someone gets hurt, Wells is probably DFA’d again this Sunday…

9:06 Jeff Sullivan:
Casper Wells should be a better player. I’m not saying the current system is perfect but this is an extraordinary circumstance and you generally don’t arrive at new conclusions on old rules because one guy was inconvenienced

9:06 Jeff Sullivan:
I guess legally that is completely untrue

9:07 Comment From Sleight of Hand Pro
how long until kevin towers pops in to tell us he made a huge mistake? and odds that you dont roll your eyes when it happens?

9:07 Jeff Sullivan:
I didn’t realize this is a thing, so I probably would not roll my eyes

9:07 Comment From Erik
Is it reasonable to expect the Mariners to demote Ackley and/or Montero or will they stick with them through thick and/or thin?

9:08 Jeff Sullivan:
They will stick with them for a while but if they continue to be terrible then the options are right there and a Mike Zunino promotion would make things interesting. Don’t forget that Smoak is also bad, but a Kendrys Morales trade would make the necessary roster room.

9:09 Jeff Sullivan:
No guarantee there’s anything to be learned in triple-A, of course. Demotions are thought of as the answer more often than they actually are the answer.

9:09 Comment From Dan
It’s really cold in Colorado today, do you start Minor vs the Rockies?

9:09 Jeff Sullivan:
As the Braves manager? Yes, he is scheduled

9:09 Comment From GSon
sure.. blame the server…

9:09 Jeff Sullivan:
I was here the whole time, trying!

9:10 Comment From Brad
At what point does the strikeout rate become ridiculous?

9:11 Jeff Sullivan:
When hitters aren’t still posting a .714 OPS. K% is up, again, in the early going, and this is a continuation of a trend, but it’s not like there isn’t offense. I’m not as worried as Rob Neyer seems to be about this

9:11 Comment From Larry Wayne “Chipper” Jones
Pfft, an appendectomy is an outpatient procedure nowadays, right? Heyward needs to put his big boy pants on and help this team win. MVP-caliber players don’t sit after an appendectomy – the appendix is barely even relevant as an organ. This is really disappointing. I bet Fredi is behind this.

9:11 Jeff Sullivan:
Based on his early performance Jason Heyward can make his most positive contribution to the Braves by not playing

9:11 Comment From Ollie
Please please pleaaasseee say something nice about the Blue Jays!

9:12 Jeff Sullivan:
They are very talented

9:12 Comment From Sean T.
It doesn’t show your name Jeff 🙁

9:12 Jeff Sullivan:
Yes that was a stupid mistake on my part

9:12 Comment From GSon
Start of the season.. who would thunk Travis Hafner and Vernon Wells.. leading the NYY’s to their current state?

9:13 Jeff Sullivan:
Well Hafner is a lot less of a surprise and Wells is a testament to the power of small-sample math. We should just never analyze.

9:13 Jeff Sullivan:
Vernon Wells is why you don’t ever try to predict the playoffs.

9:13 Comment From Guest
Are the senators trying not to make the playoffs?

9:13 Jeff Sullivan:
shut up

9:13 Comment From Maximus
In short, why is it less desirable for a Catcher to throw left-handed?

9:13 Jeff Sullivan:
most batters are right-handed

9:13 Comment From Terrible Ted
Kawasaki cost the Jays the game last night.

9:13 Jeff Sullivan:
He is not a very good major league baseball player

9:14 Comment From Brian
Christ Mitchell Boggs is hard to watch! THERE IS NO HOPE!

9:14 Jeff Sullivan:
2010-2012 Boggs had a 3.08 ERA so there is some hope

9:14 Comment From Jemile Weeks
What will become of me?

9:15 Jeff Sullivan:
not enough

9:15 Comment From Brad
How well do you think Joey Votto will age? It seems to me that of the megadeals his is the most likely not to be an albatross given his skillset. Even when he loses his power, he will not lose his eye and can still be an effective #2 hitter.

9:16 Jeff Sullivan:
I could see something vaguely Olerudian. In theory, there would be fewer walks to be drawn as Votto loses his power and gets more pitches in the strike zone, but I trust Votto more than I trust anybody else to figure out how best to be productive given the situation. His body will age, but his mind won’t, not as long as he’s still a big-leaguer, and he’s a baseball genius

9:16 Comment From zack
If Zimmerman can’t fix his throwing issues, what do the Nats do? Laroche is under contract for 2 years and it is hard to see him getting benched.

9:17 Jeff Sullivan:
If only there were some means of moving a player on one team to another team 🙁

9:17 Comment From Ali
Tell me about Bary Zito

9:17 Jeff Sullivan:
Every week, this question, and every week, no

9:17 Comment From Dave
Where could I go to find called strike info? Specifically, the total number of called strikes last season? Thanks!

9:18 Jeff Sullivan:
this requires just a little easy math

9:19 Comment From Colin P
Devin Mesoraco is getting his first shot to prove himself as a #1 catcher, what are reasonable expectations for him? Hanigan is good, but catchers age in dog years so this gives Reds a chance to see what they have long term.

9:19 Jeff Sullivan:
Hanigan’s just on the DL, it’s not like he’s being benched. He’ll be back to his normal playing time in a few weeks so Mesoraco won’t have much of an opportunity to prove himself. As for your expectations, keep them very conservative

9:20 Comment From Too Many Joes
When does strikeout rate stabilize? I realize Ks are way up this year, but I’m starting to worry about Middlebrooks and his over 30% K rate.

9:21 Jeff Sullivan:
There’s no number of plate appearances at which a K% goes from being not meaningful to meaningful. Middlebrooks hasn’t even batted 100 times yet this year but his contact is down from 76% to 69%. It’s something to watch but don’t panic just yet because any number of things could be causing an artificial inflation.

9:22 Jeff Sullivan:
Middlebrooks last May: 29% strikeouts
Middlebrooks last June: 16% strikeouts

9:22 Comment From John
Matt Kemp: small sample size or serious problem?

9:22 Jeff Sullivan:
In between, leaning more toward former than latter

9:22 Comment From Larry David
I just want to know what you think the best nickname is amongst current MLB players. My vote might go to Country Breakfast.

9:22 Jeff Sullivan:
My vote is forever in favor of Fat Ichiro but I’ll grant that isn’t an official MLB nickname

9:23 Comment From BOO-URNS
what is your favorite sub-discipline of economics?

9:23 Jeff Sullivan:
the part about money

9:23 Comment From Brad
How about a little Todd Frazier love? Everyone is talking about Choo, Votto, Phillips and Latos, but Frazier has been great thus far.

9:24 Jeff Sullivan:
Yes, but he’s been great in a more ordinary way so that gets fewer people talking. Choo and Votto have the OBP, Phillips has the RBI, Latos has the K/BB and the ERA. Frazier just has Todd Frazier numbers

9:24 Comment From cw
do you see the rockies summoning enough internal pitching depth to maintain relevancy deeper into the season?

9:26 Jeff Sullivan:
Their situation is better than it’s been given credit for but this is an obvious shortcoming, relative to league-wide. I think there’ll be enough for the Rockies to hang around on the periphery but I don’t think it’s the position players who are going to let the Rockies down and lead them to the non-playoffs

9:27 Comment From zack
Kevin Towers gets a lot of flack for the Upton trade

9:27 Jeff Sullivan:

9:27 Comment From Tyler
Is BsR weighted/ adjusted for ballpark? If not, it should be, right?

9:27 Jeff Sullivan:
I don’t know, but, why? How much of a difference would/could there be?

9:28 Comment From Ottawa
is john farrell bad at managing his bullpen? i mean, why doesn’t Tazawa start the 9th last night? Bailey had already worked back to back days before yesterday.

9:29 Jeff Sullivan:
Bailey threw 10 pitches on Sunday. He wouldn’t have pitched if Farrell thought there was reason to keep him rested. I’ll grant I don’t pay super close attention to bullpen management but John Farrell is probably ordinary in this department, which is to say he’s a typical manager and sometimes that drives fans crazy

9:29 Comment From Justin Smoak
Have you given up on me like Dave, or am I an AAAA first baseman? =[

9:30 Jeff Sullivan:
You are not good and you are unlikely to become good

9:30 Comment From Terrible Ted
Montero has a 5 game hit streak and Ackley is hitting over .300 over the last week.

9:30 Jeff Sullivan:
/finger twirl

9:30 Comment From NJQ
Joey Votto had a .404 BABIP last season, thats crazy.

9:30 Jeff Sullivan:
Not as crazy as his post-injury, no-power OBP

9:30 Comment From Oliver
This might be a very short-term thing, but given Pujols’ statement that he basically can’t play the field, how does our analysis of that contract change if he’s a DH sooner rather than later?

9:32 Jeff Sullivan:
If I’m not mistaken, he’s had this problem before, right? And it got better for a while? So even if he has to DH a little now, it’s not a guarantee that he has to DH for the rest of his career. I think. So it’s not yet something to deeply worry about

9:32 Comment From Anon21
I think the number of snowouts in the early going this year is probably unusual, but still: why not just backload Colorado and Minnesota’s home schedules? Braves-Rockies being snowed out when they could be playing at Turner Field is just ridiculous.

9:32 Jeff Sullivan:
I don’t know what they do to control early-season dates in cold-weather ballparks but it certainly doesn’t seem like they do enough

9:32 Comment From Christian
Is it conceivable that the Mariners actually claim Wells? With Guti’s, Morse’s, and Saunder’s injuries they sure could use him and I’d much rather have him than Endy Chavez.

9:33 Jeff Sullivan:
No, they don’t like him and they’re too prideful

9:33 Jeff Sullivan:
I wish I were telling a joke

9:33 Comment From jim
Is there a study that shows what this surgery is going to do to Jason heyward’s long-tfor this season?

9:33 Jeff Sullivan:
No and he’ll be fine

9:33 Comment From MightsMets
What do think we can expect from Marcum RoS?

9:33 Jeff Sullivan:
adequacy, occasional greatness, frustrating missed time

9:34 Comment From Poguesy
Which do you think is more likely? Rendon moves to 2nd when Zimmerman comes back or he goes back down?

9:34 Jeff Sullivan:
Goes back down

9:34 Comment From Beers R Us
In the annual FanGraphs softball championship, who plays Scott Cousins to your Buster Posey impression?

9:34 Jeff Sullivan:

9:34 Comment From MightsMets
Jesus Montero is starting to hit. Has he straightened things out?

9:34 Jeff Sullivan:

9:35 Comment From Tom
How do the Yankees keep pulling off the retread-renaissance thing? Is there something they’re identifying that other teams aren’t looking for?

9:36 Jeff Sullivan:
I suspect if we were to dig deeper, we’d find there is no pattern and the Yankees aren’t doing anything special. It helps that they play in a miniature ballpark. We just remember the successes better than we remember the failures

9:36 Comment From Brad
Every pitcher’s FIP, I assume, increases the deeper they go into the game. So, is there a standard FIP progression between innings to compare others against? I am thinking particularly of Bronson Arroyo’s increasing FIP from inning to inning but I would need to compare it against what is standard for others. Does such a measure exist?

9:37 Jeff Sullivan:
There’s been lots of published research about how performances changes with each turn through the order, which would be more meaningful than going inning by inning

9:37 Comment From Macho Man
Are Manny Machado and Matt Dominguez really this good defensively, or is UZR having problems with shifts again?

9:38 Jeff Sullivan:
No, they are not +60-70 run defenders. Yes, they are good defenders. It is April 23 and you are citing UZR

9:40 Comment From Sean T.
What don’t people like about Didi’s bat? His bat speed is great and he has good pitch recognition. I’ve heard about his power, but he has 4 HR between AAA and AA already. Isn’t power the last the develop?

9:42 Jeff Sullivan:
He has a sub-.700 career minor-league OPS and twice as many strikeouts as walks. He’s young, and he’s a shortstop, and the tools are there, but there’s not really a performance track record reason to be *excited* about his offensive potential. Realistically, the hope should be that he hits enough to stick as a regular, but that’s far from a guarantee.

9:43 Comment From Thomas
Is there any statistical evidence that irregular patterns in schedules (like clusters of off-days and postponements) have any bearing on performance? I’m sure the sample size is somewhat limited, but am still curious. Thanks for chatting.

9:43 Jeff Sullivan:
I can’t think of anything off the top of my head. Closest might be some look at the effect of time off during the playoffs, but like you said, all the sample sizes are going to be limited. Here’s my assumption: breaks aren’t completely irrelevant, but any effect they might have is very very small and worth ignoring

9:43 Jeff Sullivan:
And it will have a different effect on every player individually

9:44 Comment From Poguesy
Would you or Dave be open to making more regular appearances on MLB network? Brian Kenny is kinda the lone wolf it seems

9:44 Jeff Sullivan:
It’s not up to us

9:44 Comment From Kyle
Can the Mariners please try Ackley in CF? They clearly need another OF as their minor league talent in that area is minimal. Not to mention the talent they do have is in the middle infield. It makes too much sense not to give it a shot.

9:45 Jeff Sullivan:
They’re not going to do it in the middle of the season and Ackley is a plus defender in the infield. This isn’t something to consider now; there’s lots more to figure out over the course of the next few months

9:45 Comment From AFan
Why is Strasburg struggling this season?

9:45 Jeff Sullivan:
No reason to worry about

9:46 Comment From Lo
Has a team batted around when 9 or 10 players bat in an inning? My heart says 10 because it’s so cool when a player bats twice, but my head says 9 so everyone gets an AB.

9:46 Jeff Sullivan:
I say 10. In order to bat around, I think you need to close the loop

9:47 Comment From Dave
How concerned should us Jays fans be? I know its only april but damn first impressions of the team are far from positive. Bautista seems to sum it up with his constant whining at other people to cover up for the fact he’s been poor so far, guy needs to man up already.

9:49 Jeff Sullivan:
Be moderately concerned, but be relieved that so many established players have started off so slowly. That seems counter-intuitive but there are a lot of players who ought to improve from here on out, and that’s going to lift the whole team. Johnson has a near-7 ERA. Buehrle has a near-6 ERA. The whole offense has been dreadful. The Reyes injury is a significant problem but how you felt about the Jays before the year should more or less still be how you feel about the Jays today

9:49 Jeff Sullivan:
I saw a national writer the other day issue an “apology” to Braves fans for picking them third before the season. Because they’ve had a hot start. It’s been three weeks. Stick to your guns, for at least longer than three weeks. I mean, jesus.

9:49 Comment From Ottawa
Is there any player in baseball that you can say you definitely hate?

9:50 Jeff Sullivan:
Nope! Hate is a very strong emotion I generally don’t feel for strangers!

9:50 Jeff Sullivan:
But there are baseball players I can imagine I would probably hate if I got to know them personally!

9:50 Comment From Justin
I am a Dodger fan. Why does God hate me?

9:51 Jeff Sullivan:
You are a Dodger fan. Your team has more money than any other team in all of major league baseball, it seems like. Big picture, dude.

9:51 Comment From Ed
Are starting pitchers getting better, or are umpires getting worse? What would the strikeout rate be (approximately) if we had robot umpires?

9:51 Jeff Sullivan:
Impossible to predict. And umpires are getting better

9:52 Comment From Gila Monster
Is Shelby Miller relying way to much on his fastball? He threw something like 95% fastballs, but I thought his plus curve is what made him special. I didn’t even see a changeup…

9:53 Jeff Sullivan:
Miller has 26 strikeouts and 7 walks in four starts, with about three-quarters heaters and about one-quarter curves. He has definitely barely featured his other stuff, but at this point there’s little reason to be critical. See how Miller adjusts if and when he’s actually forced to make some sort of change

9:53 Comment From Jordan
Carlos Santana obviously won’t keep this up, but do you think it’s reasonable to expect a .900+ OPS going forward?

9:53 Jeff Sullivan:
I don’t think it’s *unreasonable* but I don’t think it’s happening

9:54 Jeff Sullivan:
Santana doesn’t even have a .900 OPS since April 8

9:54 Comment From Dood
How many tabs you keep open during a chat to cross reference stats?

9:54 Jeff Sullivan:
One, sometimes two. If I delay in answering a question, it’s because I’m actively doing research

9:55 Comment From Jaack
Would an ambidextrous catcher, who switches hands based on the batter (gloves obviously as well) be really awesome, even if he wasn’t all that more valuable?

9:55 Jeff Sullivan:
No question. I wonder what that would do to SB%. I wonder what that would do to the pitchers. Would that do anything to the pitchers?

9:55 Comment From Brad
What player, do you think, has been most helped by advanced stats in understanding how good they really were? What player has been most hurt?

9:56 Jeff Sullivan:
I think the easy and obvious answer to the first one is Brandon McCarthy. No clue about the second one. I can see how a player might start to “overthink” and get worse but I can’t think of an example of a player starting to suck because he checked out his FIP

9:56 Comment From Kris
More likely Matt to win Cy Young this year: Harvey or Moore

9:56 Jeff Sullivan:

9:56 Comment From Guest
Will managers ever realize that the #3 spot in the lineup is less important than #s 1, 2, 4, and 5? Does it matter?

9:57 Jeff Sullivan:
Probably not, and it barely matters

9:58 Comment From Nate
So, did you see Kelly Shoppach try and draw batter interference the other day?

9:58 Jeff Sullivan:
Part of writing less about the Mariners is having the freedom to not watch the Mariners over a beautiful Oregon weekend

9:58 Comment From Watrous
Suitable replacement aside, should Middlebrooks be in Pawtucket right now?

9:59 Jeff Sullivan:
I don’t think so. Where’s the evidence that demotions are the key to making players better? There’s a compelling argument to be made that problems against big-league pitchers should be worked out against big-league pitchers. Playing in triple-A isn’t going to help Middlebrooks identify quality strikes and quality balls

10:00 Comment From sea salt
Why is Wilin Rosario batting 7th more often than 5th?

10:01 Jeff Sullivan:
Cuddyer is a proven veteran and Rosario is not and also who cares it’s a batting order, it hardly makes any difference, especially with these two guys

10:01 Comment From Nick
Which player on the Nats has you most worried right now: Gio, Haren, LaRoche or R. Zimmerman?

10:02 Jeff Sullivan:
I was going to say Haren before I looked at the numbers. Now I’m going with Gio because of the velocity thing but Zimmerman makes me uneasy in that way that unpredictable mental problems do

10:03 Jeff Sullivan:
I don’t worry about Adam LaRoche because I can’t imagine feeling emotion over Adam LaRoche

10:03 Comment From Russell
where do you see Valverde fitting in Detroit?

10:03 Jeff Sullivan:
Right where you expect, because, obviously

10:03 Comment From Rob
This may be a completely noob question, but WAR is a counting stat, not a rate, correct?

10:03 Jeff Sullivan:

10:03 Comment From Bret
What can we do to stop the national baseball ‘analysts’ from writing ridiculous stories in April? Is there some kind of law that’s available?

10:04 Jeff Sullivan:
Don’t read them

10:04 Jeff Sullivan:
Many of them are really really bad

10:04 Jeff Sullivan:
Don’t read them!

10:04 Jeff Sullivan:
My honest recommendation would be to eliminate as much media coverage from your sporting experience as possible

10:04 Comment From Gila Monster
Is Joey Votto simultaneously the best player in baseball and the most boring baseball player to watch?… SO MANY WALKS.

10:04 Jeff Sullivan:
somebody hasn’t watched a Twins pitcher

10:05 Comment From Dood
If you’re in charge of an organization, with this current trend in K rates, do you stress high contact skills moreso among your young prospects and in the draft?

10:06 Jeff Sullivan:
Among hitters, at least, there’s nothing I want more than the ability to differentiate strikes from balls and fastballs from offspeed pitches. I think you can teach hit conversion better than you can teach discipline, so I want to maximize my amount of organizational hitting discipline

10:06 Comment From Guest
Would you deal Smoak for Hosmer? Maybe they both just need a change of scenery, or maybe they are both just bad at baseball.

10:07 Jeff Sullivan:
I would, but that’s probably mostly because I know Smoak better than I know Hosmer. No reason for the Royals to do it

10:07 Comment From Jason
Angels are 29th in team ERA at 4.71, under/over 4.50 team era by the end of the season?

10:07 Jeff Sullivan:

10:07 Jeff Sullivan:
by a fair margin

10:08 Comment From Guest
League-wide strikeout rates so far in 2013 are up, almost absurdly so. Is the strikeout rate trend (that I think Dave wrote about recently) accelerating, or is this just an April/SSS thing?

10:09 Jeff Sullivan:
Only up from 19.8% to 20.3%. Was a bigger jump between 2011-2012. Can’t be written off but it’s not a huge leap and it’s also still very early, with colder weather

10:09 Jeff Sullivan:
Also I can’t stress enough that most trends are accelerating

10:09 Comment From SMC
What is one move you would make as GM of each team?

10:09 Jeff Sullivan:
good example of a question not to ask in a fast-moving live chat

10:10 Comment From my anonymous
andrew cashner in the sd rotation to stay? this guy is going to be good.. right? so why would they *not* want him in the rotation.

10:11 Jeff Sullivan:
It’s all about his health. Because of his fastball he has an excellent foundation for starter success, but if he can’t handle the workload he can’t handle the workload. That simple. They’ll try him, and they’ll give him his opportunities, but if the Padres eventually determine that Cashner is a long-term closer then they will have reasons for having done so

10:11 Comment From zack
Lincecum was better in his last start. A fluke or reason for optimism?

10:12 Jeff Sullivan:
He faced a Padres team without Carlos Quentin and with a rusty Chase Headley, playing in AT&T. Last July Lincecum blanked the Astros over 8 innings, with a walk and 11 strikeouts.

10:13 Comment From Guest
What coach allowed Zimmerman to start throwing like that from 3rd base?

10:13 Jeff Sullivan:
In fairness, Zimmerman was long one hell of a defender

10:13 Comment From Dave
If the Brewers make the playoffs it will be becuase ______________ .

10:13 Jeff Sullivan:
they are a pretty good baseball team!

10:13 Comment From Poguesy
Should players generally swing the bat more?

10:14 Jeff Sullivan:
Good question, difficult answer, my intuition is that players overall have a pretty good optimized balance. If players started swinging more, pitchers would adjust to make it problematic, so batters would start to swing less. I think baseball occupies a fairly constant equilibrium but I am open to being proven wrong

10:14 Comment From B
Worried about Brandon McCarthy yet?

10:15 Jeff Sullivan:
April 23. April 23.

10:15 Comment From JB
Ever consider doing stand-up comedy?

10:15 Jeff Sullivan:
Not as a viable career option

10:15 Comment From Rags
You are the very model of a modern major ______? (Make sure your answer scans.)

10:15 Jeff Sullivan:

10:15 Comment From Larry
IS Bryce Harper the Hipsterest player in the league?

10:16 Jeff Sullivan:
What? Do you know what a hipster is?

10:16 Comment From Mike
Is Smoak officially a AAAA player?

10:16 Jeff Sullivan:
Officially, he is a major-league player

10:17 Comment From Guest
Fast moving?

10:17 Jeff Sullivan:
shut up

10:17 Comment From Will
Not sure its been mentioned but tweetdeck is sadly going away, if you find a comparable app please tweet it out. I switched to tweedle and hate it.

10:17 Jeff Sullivan:
What about the browser version of tweetdeck? Pretty sure that’s staying alive

10:17 Comment From Terrible Ted
What is your #1 baseball fear?

10:17 Jeff Sullivan:
That I wake up tomorrow and don’t have a job

10:18 Comment From Kevin
Keith Law just posted about Rizzo being demoted based on the possible alteration of his swing mechanics and his poor results thus far. Am I crazy or is this way out of left field from Law. It’s way too early to draw any kind of conclusions from the stats right?

10:18 Jeff Sullivan:
when’s the last time a player was demoted with a near-.500 slugging percentage?

10:18 Comment From DTSS
The Swing% on Strasburg’s offspeed pitches (curve and change) is way down from last year, and the Swing% on his fastball is up. Is he tipping his pitches?

10:18 Jeff Sullivan:
Give me a minute…

10:21 Jeff Sullivan:
Okay, yeah. Look at the samples. You can think of this as something to monitor but it’s way too early to think that Strasburg has suddenly developed a mechanical problem that gives away what he’s throwing. There’s almost every reason to believe that he’s fine and he might simply not have thrown his best curveballs and changeups. You need to allow for time for situational splits to even out, and for other things to even out

10:21 Comment From Django
Bruce Rondon just summoned by the Tigers. Why would they do that?

10:21 Jeff Sullivan:
Dotel hurt, early success in triple-A

10:23 Comment From Guest
Tim Lincecum’s 4/20 Pitch f/x game chart looks skewed pretty off from this season (and career).

10:23 Jeff Sullivan:
what on earth

10:23 Jeff Sullivan:
I assume this is something about PITCHf/x and not about Lincecum but I don’t know from sight

10:24 Comment From Murray
Do you purposely try to come off as a condescending douche?

10:24 Jeff Sullivan:
I wouldn’t say I have to “try”

10:24 Comment From vil b.
With this new “aggressive” approach to hitting, is Adam Dunn done? No walks means greatly diminished value both in fantasy and in reality. Hold on for another couple of weeks or grab Loney (gulp!)?

10:25 Jeff Sullivan:
Ignoring the fantasy part, I’d assume that with a little more under-productivity Dunn will just revert back to being the hitter he used to be. He won’t ride aggressiveness into retirement. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work, and the project will be abandoned

10:25 Comment From Gila Monster
Matt Moore has be outstanding. But isn’t his velocity a huge concern? Down 2mph from 2012 and down 4mph from 2011. Especially for a guy where his fastball was his plus plus pitch….

10:26 Jeff Sullivan:
Not a huge concern, especially given the “outstanding” part. Could even be deliberate, something to try to give him better location, I don’t know. Velocity declines with age and velocity is down in April. What’s most important is whether or not Matt Moore *looks* good and right now he does

10:26 Comment From the cheap seats
who are your favorite play by play guys to listen to?

10:27 Jeff Sullivan:
not Buck Martinez

10:27 Jeff Sullivan:
I’m actually personally fond of Remy and Orsillo but this is strictly a matter of personal taste

10:27 Comment From Worker
Is there a stat for batters analogous to FIP? Like Fielder Independent Batting on a AVG or OBP scale? BAbip tells us that a player’s current triple slash might be different from their actual performance, but not by how much.

10:29 Jeff Sullivan:
There have been attempts in the past, but there’s nothing worthwhile that I know of. The obvious problem is that batters in large part control their BABIPs, while pitchers in large part don’t. So it doesn’t make sense to regress everyone to a .295-.300

10:29 Comment From Christian
What team is most pleasantly surprised by the first 3 weeks of the season? What team is most unpleasantly surprised?

10:29 Jeff Sullivan:
Yankees, Dodgers?

10:30 Comment From Ryan
Who is the Padres’ second best hitter?

10:30 Jeff Sullivan:
probably Quentin

10:30 Comment From Guest
does FG have monthly split data for plate discipline?

10:30 Jeff Sullivan:
It does! If you’re referring to the PITCHf/x plate-discipline stats

10:30 Jeff Sullivan:
Available on leaderboards and player pages

10:31 Comment From Bkgeneral
3 weeks in, has any player changed your perception of them? Good or Bad

10:31 Jeff Sullivan:
Not in any meaningful way; just some tweaks

10:31 Comment From Ed
What should the White Sox do with Adam Dunn?

10:31 Jeff Sullivan:
abandon the new approach and also play him less

10:31 Comment From Sleight of Hand Pro
have you ever thought about using your baseball expertise for gambling purposes? seems like a lot of the FG staff could use their knowledge/math/probability analysis skills to turn a solid profit over the year by playing percentages

10:32 Jeff Sullivan:
Wrong! Gambling is hard! And we know better than most that baseball is unpredictable

10:32 Jeff Sullivan:
Some years ago I lost a few hundred dollars trying and that was that

10:33 Comment From Lo
What is one move you would make as GM of one team?

10:33 Jeff Sullivan:
Sign Mike Trout to a ten-year extension

10:33 Comment From Guest
Stats show that Denver is not usually cold in April it has about the same average temp as STL.

10:34 Jeff Sullivan:
How about precipitation? (Genuine question, I don’t know)

10:35 Comment From Joe
Prospect you’re most looking forward to getting the call this year?

10:35 Jeff Sullivan:
I’m thinking Gerrit Cole. I like watching pitchers a lot more than I like watching hitters

10:36 Comment From ozzie
Kyle Seager or Will Middlebrooks?

10:36 Jeff Sullivan:
Seager actually but not by much

10:36 Comment From Garrett
what do you think of rondon? he looked great at AAA

10:36 Jeff Sullivan:
I think he’s wild and he’s not good against lefties

10:36 Comment From Brandon
Has wainwright broken k:bb ratio?

10:37 Jeff Sullivan:
Remember Rick Porcello in spring training? lol whoopsadoodle

10:37 Jeff Sullivan:
sorry that just reminded me

10:37 Comment From SeeBass
Is is fair to say that velocity is overrated and command underrated?

10:37 Jeff Sullivan:
I think it is!

10:37 Comment From Guest
how concerned should I be about Stanton?

10:38 Jeff Sullivan:
There’s no reason for anybody to pitch to him so I’m genuinely curious how his numbers are going to finish. He should still end up just fine but this is the worst lineup I’ve seen in ages

10:38 Comment From Joe
Mets’ trio of Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez, and Ron Darling are awesome. Have you ever had the chance to hear the three together?

10:38 Jeff Sullivan:
Not enough, but yes, and I’ve really come around on Darling. He didn’t make a good first impression on me from his work in the playoffs

10:39 Comment From Django
The argument to demote Jesus montero is to get him playing time right?

10:39 Jeff Sullivan:
And to free up roster space, and to give him a wake-up call

10:39 Comment From Jord
Is there any way I can combine game logs like B-Ref allows? Eg: For finding Player X’s wRC+ from April 1st to, say, May 25th of 2012 or something.

10:39 Jeff Sullivan:
afraid not 🙁

10:39 Comment From your mom
you aren’t convinced that Ackley is a total bust yet then?

10:40 Jeff Sullivan:
More open to the idea than I’ve ever been but I trust him more than I trust Montero/Smoak

10:40 Comment From jim
Are the fellows at FG big into poker?

10:40 Jeff Sullivan:
some, probably

10:40 Comment From DTSS
There’s no monthly split data for plate discipline for pitchers, at least for individual pitches. I wanted to take a look at the monthly variance in Strasburg’s Swing% and Zone% for each pitch last year, but couldn’t. Also would be nice to have a database I could query directly with SQL.

10:40 Jeff Sullivan:
Oh, crap. Wells, Brooks Baseball can help!

10:40 Comment From Jake
Question: true talent level of a player is a .350 wOBA .. he puts up a .370 wOBA in the first half of the year. For the second half, when expecting regression, do you project a .330 wOBA or .350? Is .330 known as gambler’s fallacy?

10:41 Jeff Sullivan:
I project a wOBA a little north of .350. Yes

10:41 Comment From Maxamuz
Jesus H. Christ I leave for a bit hoping you’d be done and I can read through and here you are..typing away still!

10:41 Jeff Sullivan:

10:42 Comment From Larry
Re: Harper The beard and his floppy mohawk. You saying thats not hipster?

10:42 Jeff Sullivan:
He’s got way too big of a personality, he says “bro”, and he plays sports. He’s not a hipster

10:42 Jeff Sullivan:
And he’s too openly confident, instead of quietly narcissistic

10:43 Comment From tylersnotes
what do you think is a reasonable justification for abandoning fandom of a team?

10:43 Jeff Sullivan:
When you feel like you aren’t getting anything out of it anymore.

10:43 Comment From Bert
Thoughts on Everth Cabrera?

10:43 Jeff Sullivan:
decent, relatively uninteresting

10:44 Comment From jim
FG needs to breakdown umpires, that would be great!

10:45 Jeff Sullivan: can sort of help you out, and that’s a Jeff Zimmerman project!

10:45 Comment From Jeff Lets End This
Talk about Justin Masterson so I can stop posting these damn questions

10:45 Jeff Sullivan:
95 xFIP-, career 94 xFIP-

10:46 Jeff Sullivan:
sorry 🙁

10:46 Jeff Sullivan:
I really do need to wrap this up. Writing to do and we have a staff conference call every Tuesday at 3:00pm eastern. Company secrets!

10:47 Jeff Sullivan:
Thank you everybody for coming by, apologies for all the stuff I couldn’t get to. The queue is overwhelming. We’ll do it again at the same time next week, and have wonderful Tuesdays.

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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9 years ago

Hunter Pence is one of the oddest ballplayers I’ve ever seen play the game.Throws like a girl and swings like a loaded cork screw yet his major league numbers are certainly MAJOR LEAGUE.Such a colorful player and yet no one has given him a nick name.In my part of the country were calling him Inspector GADGET cause he looks like the iconic cartoon character and also here’s another one The Intense HUNTER PENCE!What’s your opinion?

The other Kyle
9 years ago
Reply to  RobPhilll

Worst. Nickname. Ever.

9 years ago
Reply to  RobPhilll

Ya you suck at this.