Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 4/28/17

9:03
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:03
Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to Friday baseball chat

9:03
Bork: Hello, friend!

9:03
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friend

9:03
Sock Therapy: Is Aaron Judge the messiah

9:03
Jeff Sullivan: Some people are made in something superior to God’s image

9:04
Rick: I was expecting an article on Jared Weaver popping out the side against the Marlins.

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: I would’ve, too, if I knew that that happened. Alas, sometimes there’s too much good stuff 🙁

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: Side note: five starts, 10 homers for Jered Weaver. Records will be broken!

9:06
John: What’s up with Daniel Norris?

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: If I could put an optimistic spin on things, his stuff seems fine, and so many of the rates are similar. Same zone rate, same contact rate, same swing rates, almost. He’s not sharp, and I notice that Norris’ pace has slowed down by more than four seconds — that’s weird. But I think he can get settled into a groove before long

9:07
Relsh: Hey Jeff, both Lynn and Wacha seem to rely heavily on their fastball usage, is the coincidence or a result of the type of game Yadi likes to call?

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: Lynn has been fastball-first for forever. That’s just his thing

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: Wacha…doesn’t have a high fastball rate. Lots of cutters and changeups.

9:09
Darwin (No, not the dolphin): How long do you think it will be before pitcher wins are no longer regularly discussed during a baseball game broadcast?

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: I think by now everyone knows they’re silly. Within five years they’ll seldom be mentioned

9:09
Tanner: Biggest non-Thames surprise/story of April?

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: For me this was going to be a huge year for determining what Bryce Harper is, and he seems to have decided to be amazing again

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: But you’ve also got the surprising slumps of the Giants/Mets/Blue Jays, which has shaken things up

9:11
captainpeanutbutter: Do you get less questions about why you are so low on Gsellman?

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: It’s funny, his name hasn’t come up

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: That being said, he’s nowhere close to as bad as his current ERA. I figured he was something like a No. 4. We’ll see where his numbers end up when he stops just facing the Marlins, Phillies, and Braves

9:12
caesarsolid: Arrieta’s velocity is still down from last year, but his k% is at a career high and bb% at a career low – what do you make of him going forward?

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: In his most recent start, his velocity ticked up. So that’s something. And perhaps his location has improved a little bit while not throwing at 100%. I still don’t trust his command all that much but the movement he generates is sufficient to avoid hard contact

9:14
Oddball Herrera: Aaron Hicks – guy who deserves a spot as a regular or mediocre bench bat who’s just had string of good games?

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not prepared to say that Hicks should be playing every day, but right now he’s on pace for almost 400 plate appearances. I think that sounds about right.

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: It’ll be very interesting to look at him in a month and see if he’s still swinging at basically zero pitches out of the zone

9:16
Carl: What do you make or early season success from Conforto- you buying? Also, check out his batted ball profile- prettt interesting!

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: You get my attention when you take Max Scherzer deep

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: The batted-ball quality is there. Simply a matter of making enough contact. Apparently the Mets won’t trust Conforto to hit lefties, but for now he’s a super useful mostly-regular

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: He was never going to stay as bad as he looked last season

9:19
JTT: Jeff, is Kenny Lofton the least fortunate player of recent memory? He has been on the wrong end of most of the most epic postseason collapses of his era. The 2002 World Series, the 2003 NLCS, the 2004 ALCS and the 2007 ALCS. Not to mention losing the 1995 WS as well. John Smoltz lost 4 world series but he did at least get 1 win.

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: Not gonna lie to you, I had zero recollection of Kenny Lofton on the 2004 Yankees

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: There’s also Lofton not getting a job in 2008 even though in 2007 he was a 3-win player

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: And don’t forget his immediately falling off the HoF ballot despite 62 career WAR

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: Lofton, at least, got to play for two decades, and he got plenty of playoff experience. Plus, you know, he earned 61 million dollars. But still, ouch

9:22
Jack: Concern level for Encarnacion? He’s striking out a whole lot, which is something he didn’t do a lot of for a power hitter in the past.

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t really have a scale, but…4 out of 10

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: You don’t like to see all the swings and misses, but he’s had a handful of recent 20-game stretches with 27% strikeouts or so. If he’s still doing this in a month, then that’s bad

9:24
S: Which team will still be in a playoff race in September: Rockies, Dbacks, or neither?

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: I think I’m buying the Rockies more. It seems like a big blow to Arizona to lose Shelby Miller. But then, my two NL wild-card teams were the Mets and Giants. They’re several games behind both of these teams. So now they’re each positioned to be playing meaningful baseball for a while

9:26
Maxamuz: What’s your take on David Peralta? Hitting 2nd in the DBacks linup (agianst RHP | 7th v LHP) and seems to be producing near his 2015 numbers. Smoke and mirrors or do you think he’ll be a valuable source for the Dbacks throughout the year?

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: I like his game a lot and he spent almost all of last season fighting a…was it a back problem? I think it was a back problem. Some kind of discomfort, anyway

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Solid, all-around hitter. Except for the platoon part. But he’s good

9:27
Evil Goatee Jeff: What are you doing with all of the time you’ve saved this year on the new no-pitch intentional walk rule?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Eating one cracker

9:28
ryan: is the axe bat going to make any actual difference in the game?

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe fewer busted hamates?

9:28
CK: So what’s it feel like to be almost a month into the post-Cubs-World-Series era? Do you think baseball is a bit weird now that there aren’t the Lovable Losers(tm) to kick around?

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: This would be a better question for somebody else. I never really thought of the Cubs in that way, so I don’t think of them any differently now

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: Even before the World Series, I looked at the Cubs as a team in far better position than nearly every other team. That remains true

9:29
striker: If the Brewers are in the race at the trade deadline, does Quintana make sense for them? They have the blue chips to make it happen and they have enough depth that it wouldn’t sting as much. White Sox could add a bullpen arm or a Holland/Gonzalez to sweeten the deal.

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: I get where you’re coming from but no matter the circumstances I have trouble seeing a team like the Brewers unloading for Quintana in July

9:30
NewFaces: What big name prospect gets the call first? What callup makes the biggest impact this year?

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: I think the answer was already Cody Bellinger

9:32
S: Would a pitcher be charged with murder if a HBP caused the death of a player and was determined intentional?

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think…murder would be the charge

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: A handful of hockey players have been charged with assault when they’ve done great harm to another player on the ice

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe voluntary manslaughter would stick?

9:34
Bear Hands: Ian Happ, Ian Happ. What do you do with Ian Happ? A grand slam yesterday. Walking a lot. How long do you keep him with the Iowa Cubs and not the Chicago Cubs?

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: Ian Happ now has 20 games of being good above A-ball. What’s the rush?

9:35
Charlie Sheep: I was surprised to see the Yankees lead MLB in run differential despite having some things go wrong during their good start. Noise, right? Not evidence that they may be the class of the AL?

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: The Yankees aren’t one of the league’s elites, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t underrated coming in. The bullpen has depth beyond Betances/Chapman and the emerge of Severino has made a big impact on the rotation

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: Legitimate contending team. They haven’t even had Sanchez yet

9:36
Ruben Quevedo: Will Berrios be at least a passable starter this year when he gets called up?

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: Passable, sure

9:37
PF: What’s wrong with Osuna?

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: Results

9:38
John: How should we expect Starling Marte’s stolen base numbers to age? He’s 29.5 next year… do you expect him to be a 40+ SB threat going forward?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t!

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: But I do expect him to still contribute positive baserunning value

9:39
Mork ate Mindy: So what’s your take on Motter? I mean, he’s not going to continue with 75% of his hits going for extra bases, so that ISO is going to go down, but he sure does hit the ball pretty hard. He’s also pretty versatile and can play ok defense at a fair few positions. Flash in the pan, or do you see signs that he can be a useful player for the M’s?

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: Wrote a little about him on Monday. I don’t think Motter is going to be the best hitter on the team or anything, but I really can see him as kind of a Dozier-lite. The pull-heavy approach is clearly exploitable, but pitchers just aren’t actually that good at control

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: For me, a month ago, Motter was nothing. Now I buy him as a long-term big-leaguer

9:41
Ben: Are you most surprised that the White Sox, Phillies, or Brewers are above .500 so far? Which one has the best chance of staying that way?

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: Of the three I think I’d be most surprised by the White Sox. I’d give the Brewers the best chance

9:42
JamesKrause: Should the Royals trade Duffy at the fire sale? Dave said it would be really bad business because it seems like he took a hometown discount but what are your thoughts

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: I really can’t see them doing that

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: Pretty good way to make sure you never get the benefit of the doubt from a player again

9:43
caesarsolid: Could someone effectively manage an MLB team if they had never played professional ball themselves? Has any non-player ever even managed?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: You’d need to have spent several years around ballplayers, as some sort of coach, first. If you just inserted a guy with zero experience, he’d never, ever command clubhouse respect

9:45
A Guy: Why can’t the Red Sox hit baseballs anymore? Is Ortiz not being in the lineup really that detrimental?

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: It’s really just been one bad week. I don’t care about one bad week

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: It’s a very good lineup, and the end-of-season numbers are going to reflect that

9:47
Pearced: Any idea what happened to the Jays?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: Lost Encarnacion to another team, lost Donaldson to injury, lost Bautista to age. They’re better than this, but there’ve been some brutal blows to the very core of the roster

9:49
Oddball Herrera: Count me among those totally baffled about what to make of Hernan Perez – suddenly last season he’s contributing in power and SBs, and now he’s walking too?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: His chase rate is still as bad as ever. I think he’s mostly just been facing bad pitching

9:49
bosoxforlife: Are the Mets worse than the Yankees are good?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t understand a good way to approach this question

9:50
Crimpton: It’s April. But still, is there something to this Red Sox slump? Pedroia, Bogaerts, Ramirez and Bradley are all slugging .150 (!) less than last year on average. Can that offense survive without power?

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: No, but thankfully, it will hit for power

9:50
botchatheny: would you enjoy the game more if molten lava was in foul territory?

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: People would die

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: No

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: No I would not enjoy the game more

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: Just because I like baseball and volcanoes does not mean I would like having the two blended together

9:51
CF: What do you think of Harvey so far? His very low K rate is pretty concerning…

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: I’m willing to forgive what he did yesterday since I don’t think he was expecting to start in that game, but even before then, he was hittable. I think he’s becoming a strike-thrower as opposed to a bat-misser

9:52
J.J. Hoover: Will I be sucking up the saves in Arizona after Fernando Rodney finds his quiver empty?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: Feels like Archie Bradley’s thing

9:55
Vlad’s Dad: Sorry if this has already been discussed but has the new CBA rules regarding draft pick compensation negatively affected trade values? For instance someone like Josh Donaldson could be traded in July and play 1.5 years for his new team and then sign elsewhere for minimal compensation whereas previously they would essentially be trading for Josh Donaldson and a 1st round pick. Seems like it would seriously impact values…

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: Donaldson would’ve meant a pick at the end of the first round. Now he probably means a pick at the end of the first or the second round

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: There’s an effect, but it’s not an enormous one. The end-of-first-round picks are already worth so much less than the top 5

9:56
ChiSox2020: Wow I knew Kahnle looked good but your article opened my eyes. Big trade piece? He throws 100…

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: You naturally have to think about any of these guys as trade pieces but I think it’s less fun to focus on that aspect

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: If Kahnle is still throwing strikes and dealing in July, boom, you have a right-handed Chapman to move

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: Incidentally, I know it’s an embarrassingly small sample of data, but Kahnle’s stuff is obvious and I like the mechanical correction he made. I’m speculating that he’s gotten much better

9:57
2-D: Hey I think the Nationals like hitting at Coors.

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: Surely a trait that is unique to them

9:58
Jake: If the Mariners find themselves out of contention before the deadline, which of their veterans could they trade and get positive value from? How much of Cano’s contract would they have to eat to find a taker?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: Pretty much no way Cano would be a midseason deal

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: I know there’s the Tulowitzki counter-example but it’s almost impossible to execute

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: It’s…not a good ballclub to try to sell from

9:58
Jacob: Do you think Haniger’s unfortunate injury guarantees that Motter continues to play pretty much everyday for the time being?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, he’s not getting benched any time soon. Haniger leaves one void, and the other corner is occupied by Guillermo Heredia

9:59
Hannah Hochevar: How quick does IFFB% stabilize? Specifically worried about Manny Machado, who has an elevated one and decimated batting line to match. Thanks!

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: It takes a while because the denominator is fly balls, which is a fraction of a fraction of all plate appearances. The difference between current Machado and normal Machado to this point has been two pop-ups. Not enough to worry about

10:00
YoOoOOo: can you imagine being a Mets fan?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: Can you imagine being a Mariners fan?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: Can you imagine being a Padres fan?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: Can you imagine being a Marlins fan?

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: Last year the Mets made the playoffs. The year before they made the World Series. It’s not so god-damned sad to cheer for the Mets

10:02
Jason: Marlins do have 2 rings

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: No they don’t, they’ve all been sold

10:02
Kimball: Everyone says, “Thames has already earned his contract,” but that can’t possibly be MIL’s perspective, right? Presumably, they appreciate the price, but their primary goal is for him to be good in 2019. Not that they’d miss the relatively little money, but if he’s somehow bad in 2019, the contract won’t have worked out at all the way they wanted, right?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, I get what people mean, because it’s a simple conversion of WAR to dollars, but free-agent dollars aren’t based on what you think guys will do in April. Teams are paying for performance in competitive seasons, and for performance in the playoffs

10:04
John S: Weaver is on pace to give up about 75 HRs this season. And he’s still been ten times better than expected.

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe the best thing about being Jered Weaver at this point is that people have zero expectations

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: And you know what? Weaver has a higher strikeout rate this year than Cole Hamels!

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: And Hisashi Iwakuma!

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: And Jordan Zimmermann!

10:05
Guest: so was the KBO a place for Thames to figure out his swing?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: I think it was more a place for him to learn how to approach non-fastballs

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: Which would be directly related to how his O-Swing% has been cut in half

10:05
I have an exam in two hours: When healthy, is Bryce Harper the perfect hitter? Takes a lot of walks, doesn’t strike out a lot. I always considered Votto the ideal, and it seems like, just at a glance, Harper is Votto with more power. This is considering that Trout is amazing

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: Harper could stand to make a little more contact. Votto might still be more of the ideal, but yeah, Harper is just about there

10:06
John S: Should we be sad that Carter Capps is struggling in the minors on rehab and will likely be optioned or should we be happy that Carter Capps won’t be making a mockery of the pitching rubber on all those nationally televised Padre games?

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: I’m personally pro-Carter Capps but I understand where the opposition is coming from

10:07
Tj: If Bartolo Colon learns to throw a knuckleball how long can he keep playing?

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: Bartolo Colon would be pitching to Ichiro in 2026

10:07
Please: What would it take to get a competent FO to the Mets? Thor and 50 million for Theo?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think it’s their fault that players are constantly injured

10:08
Robert the Bruce Banner: Also, How good would Alfonso Soriano have been had he spent a year in KBO to figure out how to layoff a low slider?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: Just to be clear, not every player can go to Korea or Japan and learn plate discipline. Eric Thames is exceptional

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: Wilin Rosario is playing in South Korea and he still doesn’t walk

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: Not to mention that Soriano did play in Japan before the Yankees

10:10
Steve McQueen: Last year Conforto had a 0.365/0.442/0.676/1.118 in April before falling back to earth. This year his 0.302/0.385/0.605/ 0.989 is making everyone acting as if he has arrived. What is it that makes this year any different than last?

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: What happened to his numbers last year was bizarre and not a pattern

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: Of course it’s a good cautionary tale against putting too much stock in April performance, but still, all the traits are there. Conforto *should* be good, so it’s not surprising when he is

10:10
Harrisburg Hal: Pie or cake?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: Cake. I’ve never really gotten pie

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: Don’t @ me

10:12
Sam: What do you make of Tanaka’s night and the fact that he only had 3 Ks?

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: The Red Sox are hard to strike out

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll take any pitcher who throws 74% strikes

10:13
Alex: Mets fans get 2 very strong seasons and suddenly their team is awful because they have a rough April..

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: And don’t forget the hysterics in back-to-back Junes. It’s weird. The Mets have it so much better than so many other teams

10:13
Monsignor Martinez: If shifts have helped the game, then why hasn’t BABIP gone down?

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: Precisely

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: I think shifts have certainly made some kind of positive impact, but I also think hitters are increasingly just hitting the ball over them. The shift is probably in some way connected to the trend toward more balls in the air

10:14
Floyd: Send Baez to the KBO for a year? I assume the Cubs have already tried asking him to track nothing but off the plate breaking pitches for a daily routine — not sure it if would be Live pitching or more likely the slider pitching machine that Schwarber was using getting ready for last year’s playoffs…

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: Some guys, you’ll never get through to all the way

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: Baez is still ahead of where he used to be, but some guys still chase like crazy when they’re 32. Soriano built a great career out of a volatile approach.

10:15
Tanner: Who is the real Ryan Zimmerman? This year’s version or last’s?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: The longer-term Ryan Zimmerman track record is the best reflection of his skills, for however long he remains healthy

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: He’s a quality hitter

10:17
Nick: What is your take on Cueto loss of velocity is he injured or just inconsistent?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: I see that his velocity dipped for two starts against Colorado, but in his most recent start it ticked back up. Not worried yet. I trust in Johnny Cueto

10:18
Alex: Is it just me or has it become boring how consistently great Goldschmidt is?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: We get used to everything reliable. Same reason we have to keep talking ourselves into staying excited about Mike Trout. We take the best for granted because we’re forever searching to find the *new* best

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: It’s our problem, not Goldschmidt’s

10:20
Happy Gilmore: What do you make of Cotton’s season so far? Seems to have started to figure things out end of last year and still looks pretty decent so far this year. With his stuff, what would you consider his ceiling?

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know what’s going on with his walks and strikeouts. Those numbers aren’t encouraging. But his stuff is there and just based on his profile, I see him as an eventual No. 2 or 3. Love those changeup-throwers

10:20
Sterling Mallory Chris Archer: Have you paid any attention to Depodesta with the Cleveland Browns?

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: No, football is not on my radar

10:21
Charlie: Are catchers anywhere near as productive as fangraphs defensive WAR currently indicates? Why are so many high on that leaderboard?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: Catchers get a big positional adjustment, which I think is defensible, given how many things they have to be able to do

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: But it’s clearly the weirdest position. Not a lot of guys move through catcher the way they move through other positions

10:22
Miky: How worried are you about Bundy after his last start?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: The one with two runs in 6.1 innings?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: I suppose you’re probably referring to the velocity drop

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: That’s…not good. Bundy’s velocity was already down this year, and then it dropped another tick and a half against the Rays

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: So, watch him. I’d put my worry at…5 out of 10. Not panic level, but one of my eyebrows is raised

10:24
Josh: Wasn’t Bryce Harper’s April in 2016 this good too? Shouldn’t we give this more time?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Well, we’re all going to give this more time, but the whole theory is that 2016 Harper got injured. No one’s ever proved that conclusively, but it’s a pervasive belief

10:25
Yency Almonte: FYI, the White Sox traded for Tommy Kahnle.

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Yes, but only after he was DFA’d

10:26
Matt: I can continue associating with people who don’t share my political prfereences. But cake over pie, Jeff?! This might be the end of our relationship. I’ll be by this weekend to grab my things.

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Honestly I’m not that much of a dessert person in the first place

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Feed me meat and cocktails

10:27
Jumbotron: You said earlier (way earlier, I’m late to the party) that Berrios would be passable. What do you think that looks like?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: I cannot reconcile Triple-A Berrios with MLB Berrios. Triple-A Berrios throws lots of strikes and misses lots of bats. I assume that quality has to come out. Something was wrong, whether it was confidence or pitch-tipping, and I think Berrios will get over whatever it was

10:28
Guest: Fair to say Paxton is a solid 2 maybe an ace for a yr or 2?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: He’s a 2 right now, and with just a little longer of a track record, he’s an ace. He’s pitched at an ace level since July

10:28
Tj: If Tanaka tears his UCL fully between now and October does he still opt out of deal?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: No?

10:30
Jerry: Is Tommy Joseph this bad? What’s the deal here?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: No, he’s not this bad, but he’s also not that good. He’s a placeholder

10:30
RIck Hahn: You buying a “changed” Avi?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: He’s basically demanding a closer investigation, but as I look at things quickly on the surface, his approach is still bad. So color me skeptical

10:32
Tj: How unsurprising is it that Alex Jackson breaks out immediately after leaving the Mariners farm system?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: Power be damned, Alex Jackson has two walks and 20 strikeouts in the Florida State League

10:32
Dronefinger: Do you see the Indians dropping their chief wahoo logo anytime soon or are they pulling a Manfred by “considering it”?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Its disappearance is inevitable. They’re just going to do it glacially in an effort to keep the loyalists from noticing

10:33
JR: What is the likelihood of the dropped third strike rule changing? Seems like it would be ridiculous if it were not a rule and somebody proposed it now today.

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Never changing. Been in there forever and it’s not like the game is facing some kind of uncaught-third-strike crisis

10:34
Oddball Herrera: Re: Baez and “Some guys, you’ll never get through to all the way”, this is actually why I would argue there’s some rush on Happ. Baez is one of those guys whose popularity outpaces his actual contributions.

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Baez is a useful and versatile player. He just finished with a 94 wRC+. He’s not this bad. He’s just had a horrible month

10:34
Kyler: is a Bud Norris turning himself into a dominant reliever article coming soon?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: Would anybody read it

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: The cutter is legit and it’s not a complete shock that Norris is doing this, but I’d say the even more interesting pitcher is Blake Parker

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: 18 strikeouts, 45 batters faced

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Did this in the minors last year, too

10:36
Jack: Did you see Kevin Cash’s FanGraphs shoutout the other day? How often do you see MLB players/managers/executives publicly reference the site like that? Never?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: I felt a little bad because I don’t think we actually wrote anything about what his team did

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: But it’s not super uncommon. Zack Greinke, Andrew Toles, Daniel Murphy — people talk about FanGraphs to the media. And it’s only occasionally sarcastic!

10:37
Guest: Any idea whats up with Scott Schebler?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: He hit for some power in the minors. Now he’s hitting for some power in the majors

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: There’s always been something like 3-WAR upside here. Very Reds

10:38
Kevin: Is there any stat that looks at a catchers era that phases out how good the rotation hes pitching to is? So a catcher with an exceptional pitching staff can be compared to a catcher with a bad pitching staff on how he calls for pitches and locations mixed in with framing

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think it exists in that way. Obviously there are framing metrics, and some people have taken a stab at game-calling metrics. But a lot of it is just guesswork

10:39
The warm side of the pillow: Bregman isnt hitting anything in the air it seems. What can we reasonable expect from him the rest of the season, especially power wise?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: His grounder rate isn’t *terrible*. And his contact is up. Don’t expect plenty of dingers, but he can still hit

10:40
Tyler: What’s up with Matt Moore? Can he pitch anywhere besides SF?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: This appears to be a question about Matt Moore and consistency

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: Don’t hold your breath

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: People have died holding their breath

10:41
Aldemys: How concerned are you about my start this year?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know why you’re swinging at everything

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: You didn’t used to swing at everything

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Quit swinging at everything

10:42
Help: How much money should I spend on a new smartphone?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: Less than they want you to

10:42
Dan: Speaking of pitchers who’ve got some red flags, how concerned are you about Justin Verlander? The SwStr% is down, the contact is up… but so is his velocity

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: Pretty much zero concern about Verlander, although it’s interesting he’s shelved his changeup

10:43
Josh: What do you expect from Sonny Gray when he returns? Closer to the 2015 or the 2016 version?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Complete unknown to me. Seriously, I have no inkling. Because of the longer track record I expect him to be more good than bad, but I’ve got nothing else

10:45
Moelicious: How long does K-Rod hold on to the closer gig?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: Velocity is improving just enough. Buckle up!

10:45
ctw: your anti-pie stance is making me reconsider your judgement in all areas

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: That’s fair, but I’m not going to be swayed by the pie people

10:45
_David_: Regarding the Mariners slow start, doesn’t it seem like on an individual player basis they are getting as much or more than they could have hoped for?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Outside of Paxton the pitching’s been horrible. And now they have neither Smyly nor Felix. Good luck

10:46
YKnotDisco?!: Jason Vargas missing bats? Did he make some adjustments or just April?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: I said it last week but I am actively trying to ignore Jason Vargas. At some point I won’t be able to do that anymore

10:46
David: Having an argument with a friend. What age does speed peak?

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: Probably somewhere around 25. But in terms of *using* speed as a baseball player, I can see experience gains out-weighing speed declines into the later 20s or so

10:47
Marcus Banks: What are your thoughts on green smoothies?

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: Very green, reasonably smooth

10:47
Eric Weinstein: Chris Devenski his on pace for 236 K’s. Obviously he’s not going to do that. But Brad Lidge had 157 k’s in 2004. Could Devenski do something like that?

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: Listen to the Effectively Wild podcast that will be published later today!

10:47
Larry Bernandez: How much does the amount of foul territory influence park factors?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: It’s subtle but it’s there. You just have to look for it

10:48
2-D: Obligatory Keon Broxton comment

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not happy either, but he at least had a good week. And the defense has been strong

10:49
Moelicious: Do you believe rich Hill will be sent to the bullpen? Alex Wood is a capable SP

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: It’s an interesting call — even though Hill would throw fewer pitches as a reliever, he’d have less recovery time between starts, so that could be *worse* for his blisters for all I know.

10:49
YKnotDisco?!: Who has the hotter hot streaks: Harper or Votto? How would that be calculated?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Ben Lindbergh looked at something like this during Harper’s insane streak in 2015. He found a method

10:50
Jose Peraza: With my speed my babip should regress to my career numbers and with it my avg. Right?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: Billy Hamilton’s career BABIP is .299. You have to be able to make decent contact

10:51
Pikup Androppov: Khris Davis has a 15%(!) walk rate so far this season. You buying the improvement?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: Swing rate’s way down in general. Worth keeping an eye on.

10:51
5 Run Homer: How bout them Sens?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: 😀

10:51
Jeffrey: Trevor Cahill: 2.91xFIP a13.9 sw/tr% : career year coming or “april”?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: The strikeouts so far have been crazy and unexpected. He’s leaning less on his fastball than ever. His swing metrics are promising. I think Cahill is going to hit a few speed bumps and his ERA even now is in the mid-4s but this is a fun transition he’s attempting

10:53
PD: What would you do with Glasnow?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: Wait

10:53
TommyJohn: What do you think of Kyle Hendrick slow start? Velocity is down a tick, seems like he is playing with fire. I am starting to think an ERA under 4. Your thoughts?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Just wrote about him the other day. I *think* this is just a mechanical blip and he’s going to be all right, but obviously he’s working with a very limited margin of error

10:54
CWS: Moncado making solid contact but still striking out. Any ideas on when his ETA to the White Sox may be?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think he sees the majors until he gets that strikeout rate into the 20s

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not like there’s a real sense of urgency

10:56
Miky: How does McCullers fix his home/away splits? He looks like an ace at home (pitchers’ park, too), but gets hit hard in away games. What gives?

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: My assumption is generally that stuff like this is nothing. But of note: in 2015, McCullers had as many innings on the road as at home. The last two years, he’s at 80 home innings, and 30 road innings. Weird! Intentional?

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: Probably something to look at in June if the splits keep up

10:58
velo: Bellinger not looking good so far, very early but lot of swing and miss, more than expected or is this him for now? 3 true outcomes…only 2 so far

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: Cody Bellinger has batted 12 times

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: They are his first 12 ever plate appearances in the major leagues

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: He is 21 years old

10:58
Mr. Richards: Buying on Gio this year?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: In terms of him being any different, no

10:59
Relsh: Who’s the better pitcher at the end of the season, Quintana or Bundy?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: Quintana

10:59
Jeffy: So what is your prescription for Mets fans? Kick back and rest on the laurels of back to back playoff appearances? Stop caring about the team altogether? It’s not the individual fans’ fault that they’re six times for of them than there are Padres fans.

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: What?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: Care about the team all you want. Just realize that nobody else is sympathetic

11:00
Michael and the Pineapples: Who do you like better for the future? Aaron Judge or Michael Conforto ?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: Right now I’d say Conforto, but my answer will be different in three months if Judge is still making sufficient contact

11:01
Robin: Do you think it is “bad” for baseball that players like Harper and Machado are basically assumed to be leaving their teams for larger market ones? I know growing up in the PNW it did hurt my fandom knowing that Griffey, Johnson, A-Rod, etc. would ultimately be leaving

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: On the one hand I think baseball could stand to have more single-team icons, but on the other hand I don’t think it would be bad for an industry to have some of its best and most marketable players playing in the largest market in the country

11:02
Ben: Marwin Gonzalez has the second most home runs for the Astros.

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: And Jose Altuve is a ground-ball machine. Baseball!

11:02
Eldridge Cleaver: DO you think Glasnow will turn it around? What does he have to do to make that happen?

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: For him it’s always just going to be a matter of mechanical consistency. It will either click or it won’t. Impossible for me to predict

11:03
joejoe: Which young New York baseball player do you buy the hype in? (excluding Noah)

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: Sanchez

11:03
Robin: Re: Mets injuries. At some point we need to look at their medical staff and how they prepare guys, right? Some point it stops be coincidence that everyone is getting hurt

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: Yes, agree

11:03
Elbo: Do you have any comment on Rob Arthur’s fivethirtyeight column detailing the myriad deficiencies in the Statcast recording of pitches?

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: Going to read it after the chat, but I’ve at least noticed that movements are all borked up

11:03
Dumpster Fiers: I forget how good of a hitter Soriano really was.

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: Sometimes a good approach is overrated

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: Think about prime Josh Hamilton, too

11:04
Enlightening Round: Where would you put Harper’s year end OBP?

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: .450

11:04
Marcus Banks: I been trying to get through all day can you at least post this one before you sign off

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: Is this really satisfying

11:05
Marcus Banks: David Cone always references FG during broadcasts and sometimes you specifically

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: And in turn I’m obligated to say that David Cone does outstanding work!

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: <3 you David Cone

11:05
A. Reitz: RE: Ian Happ raked in Spring Training too, was an elite talent coming out of college. I think that matters too.

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not saying Ian Happ is bad. I’m saying one can afford to be a lot more patient. Who cares about spring training?

11:06
Nomah: Which Nomar Mazara do you buy? The version of the first 2 weeks or the last 2 weeks?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: Am I allowed to say in between?

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: Very obviously, there are consistency issues. Linked to timing issues that sometimes sap his bat of its peak strength. But he’s newly 22 and he’s hit some impressive ding-dongers. I don’t think his discipline sucks. He’ll grow into a good everyday player

11:07
Hank G.: Are you ever going to launch TroutGraphs?

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: We quietly already have

11:07
Jon: Mark Trumbo. Are you there? Any ideas

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: This is what he does. It’s like Justin Upton without the walks

11:08
Charlie Morton: What happened to my “increased velocity” ? Doesn’t appear to be effective for me.

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: Morton’s been fine. Still inefficient, but I don’t know if he can conquer that

11:09
James: Will Freddie Freeman ever win an MVP?

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: Doubtful

11:09
Bryan: What would you rate Judge’s game power now? 70? He was also showing a 20/60 on the fangraphs page. That probably needs some amending.

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: 70 sounds right. Obviously peak 80

11:09
Mike Scioscia: Why do I trust all my poorer relievers and dont trust my good ones?

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: On paper you don’t have any good relievers

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: But Bedrosian, Norris, and Parker have seen high-leverage spots. That’s what makes the most sense to me

11:10
Ralph: Do you think Aaron Altherr is making himself into a cornerstone piece for the Phillies?

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: Big fan! Wrote him up in March

11:12
Tim: Has Mark Reynolds actually changed anything?

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: Same contact rate as last year. It just helps to hit in Colorado is all

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: Good for power *and* good for contact

11:13
Trevor: Does Fangraph’s recruit writers with snark or is it just a thing that happens there?

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: It’s the entire internet

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: The internet is tactless

11:13
Patrick: Should the astros consider trading springer for a better lineup fit? Lefty middle of the order type like schwarber or conforto

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: lol no

11:13
Jean Segura: Has my hot April helped persuade doubters that I’m a less powerful, but still very effective version of my last year?

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: You missed half of it on the disabled list

11:14
Mike: How many hours of the week do you think about baseball? Either during work hours or in just general thought

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: It’s nearly constant during the week. I almost never think about baseball during the weekend

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: All right, I need to get rolling

11:15
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 — 4/28/17 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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rosen380
Member

“And in turn I’m obligated to say that David Cone does outstanding work!”

Obligated? I’m sure he’d prefer the public compliment if you didn’t feel obligated to do it 🙂