Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 4/7/17

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to Friday baseball chat

9:05
Bork: Hello, friend!

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friend

9:06
Charlie: Close call there with Keon Broxton.

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: The man is bulletproof

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: Except for his nose being broken

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: But still, broken nose and no DL? All aboard!

9:06
Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: How does Blake Snell address his command problems?

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Pitch better? I mean, all it always is is a matter of mechanical consistency. I haven’t studied Snell in sufficient depth to try to highlight one specific mechanical flaw, but it always comes down to repetition. He doesn’t repeat

9:07
Big Tuna: What are your thoughts on Charlie Morton? Looked good before the injury last year too.

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: I really like him as a sleeper No. 3 or so. Can’t ever count on him to stay healthy but it looks like the improved stuff is real. Better heat and a useful cutter means grounders *and* missed bats. Healthy Morton is going to be good

9:08
Chaps: NL MVP front-runner: C-Flap helmets?

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: Safety is cool again!

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe not again. Safety is cool for the first time

9:08
The Average Sports Fan: Reason for concern with the Rangers?

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: Sam Dyson probably isn’t going to keep allowing eight runs for every one complete inning, and they just faced probably the best team in the American League. But I don’t love what I’ve seen from Dyson or Darvish yet

9:10
Big Tuna: Archie Bradley apparently threw a cutter out of the pen, which he never threw as a starter. Why hold that back?

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: “The cutter was an effective pitch for Bradley in 2014 when he pitched in the AFL, and he said he’s not sure why he stopped throwing it.”

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: welp

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: That was some unsatisfying research

9:11
JRuby: What’s more likely: that spin rate is truly something that you can’t appreciably change, or that we just haven’t figured out how to teach/cultivate it yet?

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: Probably the latter? But I assume it comes down in large part to very subtle matters of finger pressure. I think people grip a baseball in a natural way and it’s got to be incredibly hard to re-wire that on a consistent basis

9:12
Bruce Bocce: Curious if you have a take on Yuli G. Is 33 too old to go pro?

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: Seung Hwan Oh came over at 33. If you’re good, you’re good. I trust in Gurriel’s bat-to-ball skills

9:13
Erik: Who produces more career WAR: Nola, Eickhoff, or Velasquez?

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: Nola, then Eickhoff, then Velasquez

9:13
Dan: THoughts on Puig?

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: Going to wait to let him face a pitcher or two first

9:14
Big Tuna: I thought Jesus Aguilar was a ST flash, but he’s looked good so far. Will he play regularly?

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know how he can assuming Eric Thames hits well enough. He’ll slip in semi-frequently at first and he’ll pinch-hit a bunch, but he’s not going to be a starter

9:15
Bern: Where can I find data that shows the number of AB with RISP for each spot of the lineup in a given year?

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: This feels like a Play Index thing?

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: Confirmed!

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: Data for this year, showing PA with RISP by lineup slot —

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: 1: 97
2: 90
3: 84
4: 111
5: 103
6: 84
7: 89
8: 87
9: 96

9:19
Justin: The Mariners RISP are totally unsustainable (setting aside the fact that they’re the Mariners). If you take regression into account, they played as we’d expect but just weren’t very lucky, right? Win 2 of 3 against LA and they finish with a ho-hum but not devastating road trip.

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: Well, through four games, they have a 52 wRC+. That’s second-worst in the majors. So, they didn’t do very well, but then they also went up against a really good team, and it’s only four games. They’re fine

9:20
Big Tuna: What is a good swinging strike rate for a pitcher? Does it change based on pitch type?

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: Last year’s SP average was 9.5%. Last year’s RP average was 11.1%. Use those as your rough baselines

9:21
Sterling Mallory Chris Archer: You haven’t posted a Mike Trout article in quite a while. Is the bromance still alive?

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: An active volcano isn’t in constant eruption

9:21
Pete: Are you buying this resurrection of vintage Ryan Zimmerman?

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: Even last year, he hit the ball hard. He just didn’t hit it to the right places. I’m very interested to see if he’s elevating the ball better, after a month or two of this

9:22
The Average Sports Fan: Pretty much everything has to go right for the Royals to contend. Getting swept by the Twins would be the opposite of that. And it seems their bullpen is not good. Lose over 80 games?

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think the Royals are good. I think they’d be lucky to finish .500. And if anything is most troubling from this start it’s that Matt Strahm looked so bad. They need him to be good if they want that bullpen to work. His numbers are ugly

9:24
Maxamuz: +/- 68% of questions can be answered via “April”

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: Well, sure, but that’s no fun. Should FanGraphs just not operate for the first month and a half?

9:24
Big Tuna: Can K-Rod be a successful closer throwing 86-87?

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: Probably not. I bet he could be an average reliever, give or take, but you’d like something better than that in higher-leverage spots

9:26
Sonny: Your piece on Lorenzen today touched on an important part of his ability, high level college track record. I understand why teams wouldn’t push HS draftees to try two-way but college draftees who’ve shown proficiency in both should get a chance to develop (in some form).

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know how reasonable it is — hitting and pitching are difficult enough on their own. There’s a reason specialization has taken off. But I love when players can be dual threats, as uncommon as it is. You could even argue switching between hitting and pitching training can help keep the mind fresh, and less preoccupied with stress or whatever

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: In general, I’m pro-DH, but I sure do love that pitchers still hit, because of the really good ones, and because of the really bad ones

9:29
Dylan: Great signs from Harvey last night

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: Strikes: good! Aggressiveness: good! Velocity: down! Hittability: up! Mixed bag. But it’s just good to see him pitching again

9:31
bl27: 2 of my favorites players are very bad so far. Altuve and Bryant. How to explain the bad start by Altuve? Not very good at WBC and weak stats during ST.

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: Altuve’s fine. They’re both fine. Altuve’s ST wasn’t out of the ordinary for him. His track record is way too good to be worried

9:32
2-D: Which would be better, a DH that’s also a starting pitcher, or position player that’s also a reliever?

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: The former makes it easier to plan. 32 starts on the mound and 130 starts in the lineup. The latter makes things all complicated

9:33
Advice?: My girlfriend of 8 years, who I started dating when we were 20 and with whom I’ve lived for almost 4 years, just broke up with me out of the blue. What should I do now?

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: Figure out the moving situation, then move, then deeply immerse yourself in some kind of hobby/pastime for weeks or months

9:34
E: do you think David Peralta will continue to platoon (Chris Owings started in RF against LHP)

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: Soft platoon. He won’t face *zero* lefties, but when he gets days off, it’ll be with lefties on the mound

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: Sorry for the hiccup, having some power issues in Portland at present

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: Wind storm!

9:38
JR: Does UZR/DRS factor in playing surface into their calculations? I imagine turf (Trop and Rogers) and Chase Field (very dry, hot, fast) would make infielders appear to have worse range than their true talent. These conditions do show up in park factors though, right?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, the conditions aren’t taken directly into account, but the measurements do use park factors. Presumably anything real is captured

9:39
Erik: What small sample overreaction to the opening games so far would you get behind?

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: New old pitch for Dylan Bundy + great results = whole lot of fun

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: Meanwhile, Byron Buxton is less fun

9:40
Mike: If Syndergaard and deGrom stay healthy, and deGrom is 2015 deGrom (as he appears to be), do the Mets win the NL east?

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think so. I see the Nationals as better even with Syndergaard and deGrom being great

9:40
GraphsFan: What are the common reasons that you are late to baseball chat, and what percent of the time is it because you are daydreaming about Mike Trout?

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: Sometimes it’s because I’m recording a podcast right before. More commonly it’s because I’m reading baseball articles and I read one too many

9:41
Lenn Sakata: Is this one start from Brandon Finnegan real?

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: Well it wasn’t fake

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: It happened. There’s video

9:42
Nelson: What year will be the last year that a pitcher logs 200 innings?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: 2010: 45 pitchers with 200+ IP
2011: 39
2012: 31
2013: 36
2014: 34
2015: 28
2016: 15

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Those last two are two pretty significant numbers

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: If I’m being conservative, I’d say 2025. More aggressively, 2020?

9:44
botchatheny: is it a crime that mike matheny gets paid to fill out a major league lineup ?

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: Depends on how he got to that position. Did he threaten somebody’s life? Is it the result of extortion? In either case, yes, then that would be criminal

9:47
David B: Jeff, what would it take for the Indians to lock up Lindor beyond his six years of contol? Do you think the Indians would be willing to commit to Lindor’s price and would Lindor be willing to commit to taking a discount vs free agency?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: Christian Yelich signed for about 7/$50m after 1+ great seasons. Lindor is better than Yelich, and he’s presumably about to have his second full great season

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Mike Trout signed for 6/$145m. There is, you know, a giant range here

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: Lindor isn’t strongly incentivized to sign an extension — he got a $2.9-million signing bonus already. You’re in the area of nine figures here

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s ballpark it at 6/$100 million between this year and next year. The Indians should be willing to sign him, but I don’t know if it’ll actually happen

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: Not many better players to try to build around

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: Internet connectivity issues getting worse! Stay tuned!

9:53
mike sixel: You got power, Jeff? The Twins walked A LOT already, is this partly the new FO and batting coach, or just KC being bad at pitching?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: KC has bad pitching

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: Jason Castro already has six walks in 12 plate appearances. One strikeout. Yikes

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: It is amazing to me that Eddie Rosario already has two unintentional walks. Last year he had 10

9:55
Charlie: You’ve probably gotten a ton of questions about Arrieta. But is there any way to find out Arrieta’s velocities in idividual games? His ERA took a turn for the worse around June 27 of last year. Am wondering if there is corresponding trend in the velocity.

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: Long link coming!

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: Slight dip around the middle of last year. I don’t know what’s going on in 2017. Need more data

9:57
John H: How much do scouts for NL teams scout the ability of a SP to swing the bat, since they obviously will be asked to hit? Also, what kind of win probability does having an Arrieta/MadBum add rather than your average, terrible SP hitter. Thanks!

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: I can’t imagine it goes much beyond “good hitter for a pitcher” or “pitcher.” Almost binary. So, like, Bumgarner gets pitched differently, and Arrieta gets pitched differently, but there’s no specific strategy. It’s either, be careful with this guy, or don’t

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: Since the start of 2014, Bumgarner has been worth about 4 WAR as a hitter. Greinke and Arrieta, closer to 2. Bumgarner adds something like a win a year with his bat alone!

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: He’s absolutely amazing

9:59
Ken Tremendous: Jeff, do you play MLB: The Show? If you do, what are the most annoying glitches or errors, in your estimation?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: To be totally honest, I’ve never gotten the appeal of baseball video games. Video game baseball is *so slow*

10:02
Terry: Lets cut the Puig hype for a second, he has faced Jerad Weaver and Trevor Cahill, two players who should not even be on a 25 man roster.

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: Cahill, at least, has some utility. Weaver is straight batting practice

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: Puig has homered against an 85mph fastball down the middle, a 78mph slider even more down the middle, and an 85mph changeup down the middle. Let him face some real pitches first

10:04
mtsw: If Arrieta is injured will some ex-Orioles pitching coach come out of the woodwork to shake his head sadly and be like “we told him to stop throwing the cutter…”

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Can’t take that position anymore with Bundy throwing his!

10:04
Ken GIles: Am going to strike out 120 while getting 35 saves this year?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Chris Devenski has a better shot at 120 strikeouts

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: <3 Chris Devenski

10:04
Matt: I posed this question to you on twitter, but with regards to Arrieta…any chance this is intentional? Didn’t look like he was reaching as far back to gain some fastball command. His locations were definitely much better this week than most of last year.

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: Yet he still struggled to throw 60% strikes. Not saying people should be alarmed yet. More like, be on notice. Something here is objectively weird

10:07
Jay: Given how the 1B/DH market played out over the past winter, would Carlos Santana be wise to take a hypothetical extension from the Indians now (assuming it’s not a ridiculous low ball offer)?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: Depends on how he feels about Cleveland, but, Encarnacion still got paid. Trumbo still got three years, and Santana doesn’t have Trumbo’s contact problems. Santana won’t suffer the same fate as, say, Chris Carter did

10:08
Cabbage : Is Robert Gsellman one of those cases where so many have claimed that he’s underrated that he’s now overrated?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: Feels that way, but maybe I’m biased by the frequency with which his name comes up in these FanGraphs chats

10:09
Justino: Schwarber, Baez, Contreres, and Jimenez for Mike Trout. Cubs pay all remaining salary on Trout’s contract. Who says no?

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: Stop trying to trade for Mike Trout. You’re not going to trade for Mike Trout.

10:09
S: When will the first billion dollar contract be signed?

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: It’s a long ways off, at least as long as the luxury tax threshold is as low as it is

10:10
Bookie Metts: Where will Quintana be come August 1st?

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll go sleeper pick and say Yankees

10:12
Lou: Would the Giants been better off keeping Romo and Casilla and adding Melancon?

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: I mean, both Romo and Casilla are useful, so sure, but I think the Giants bullpen is all right, and they couldn’t have foreseen the Will Smith injury, probably. That was just too bad

10:13
brad: I know it hasn’t happened pretty much ever in this recent era, but should the yanks look to start signing some of their younger players to buy out FA years, like Sanchez and Bird?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: I’m sure they’re already having those internal talks. They’ll probably want to give Sanchez most of a full season to see where he is. But, yeah, every team is going to want to try to sign its best young position players

10:18
2-D: Indians are said to be interested in an extension for Santana. What terms do you think could get that done?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: Over the last three years, Encarnacion has been worth about 12 WAR, and Santana has been worth about 9. Encarnacion has the higher wRC+ by 22 points. However, Encarnacion signed for ages 34-36. Santana would be signing starting with his age-32 season

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: So I think you’d be looking at something in the same neighborhood. Three years, $50-60 million

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: If these connectivity issues get any worse I might just have to stop this chat early. Having a lot of trouble right now

10:22
First Man on the Sun: How is Schwarber any different from Hosmer in terms of ratio of perception to actual performance?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: Schwarber is good

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: Schwarber has a 133 wRC+. Hosmer is at 106. Schwarber also doesn’t hit everything on the ground

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: I’m very open to the idea that Schwarber is overrated, but Hosmer might be the *most* overrated

10:24
Ashe: Are you on the Amed Rosario bandwagon?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: Who wouldn’t be?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: This time next year he could be baseball’s best prospect

10:24
jon: T/F: Sunday night was the only day the Cardinals will spend in first place all season

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: Ehh, false. I’ll throw them a bone

10:24
Terry: Is Keon Broxton a young Carlos Gomez?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: I think that’s about the right idea, except Broxton won’t go through that whole weird transition phase where people wanted Gomez to slap the ball on the ground

10:25
Tanner : Gsellman or Musgrove going forward?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: On talent, I like Musgrove. Statistically, though, Gsellman will have it easier, in the NL East

10:25
Nick: Maybe I’ve missed you explaining it before, but why do you hate Scott Spiezio so much?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: He sucks

10:26
Daniel Carroll: Do you have any comment on the Molina baseball-stuck-to-chest-protector event? That seems like Weird Baseball that’s right up your alley.

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: I never thought about applying a sticky substance to the chest protector before, but now I’ll never forget about it!

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: No manager has ever requested an inspection of the other catcher’s equipment!

10:27
Ray: Where does Angel Pagan end up?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll put him on the Tigers

10:28
Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: I know the trend in fewer pitchers with 200+ IP workloads, but is the next Kershaw really going to get sent to the showers after three times through the order? What’s the thought process behind the conclusion that within a decade, no one will hit 200 again?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: I guess I should always allow for the rare exceptions. So maybe within a decade we’ll be down to two or three 200+ inning starters. But every starter gets worse as games get deeper, and the whole workhorse mentality is just gradually being conditioned out of the pitchers at present

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: Shorter starts, more rest days, better and deeper bullpens — there just won’t be much reason to push anyone

10:30
Craig: Keon Broxton still a 15-30 guy to you? He looks almost as bad as Byron Buxton at the plate. Do either perform up to their talent levels this year or next?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: Keon Broxton has batted nine times. He has two walks and three strikeouts. Byron Buxton has batted 15 times. He has one walk and seven strikeouts.

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: Broxton is fine. Except for the part where his nose is broken

10:31
dave in slc: if k rod does blow up and lose the job who is the next to close games out?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: Rondon’s time to shine

10:32
dave in slc: Strahm has been getting lit up. I know its early, sss etc but is there reason for concern here?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Even last year, he declined — awesome debut stretch, but in his final 12 appearances, he had 8 walks and 11 strikeouts in 11.1 innings. He might actually be mediocre

10:33
Weezy: How’d you feel about Andrew Triggs yesterday?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: I want more missed bats but I remain a believer

10:34
mtsw: Does the fact that the arbitration system rewards hitters for counting stats (which aren’t park adjusted) but pitchers for wins and saves (which aren’t really effected by park) bias the arbitration system against teams with hitters parks?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think so to any meaningful degree. They still talk about ERA too

10:35
GERB: How well would Lindor have to hit to challenge Trout for an MVP? Assuming Trout does his thing again. A 20/20 season with 375+ OBP enough?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: I’d say a wOBA around .360 or so. Lindor is already recognized as the central performer on a very good Indians team. If Cleveland is good and LA is bad, Lindor will have a lot of momentum

10:36
Dillon: Hi. Do you know if minor league data (leaderboards) for 2017 is going to be an option. It’s been one day but just wanted to be sure.

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know why that would disappear

10:36
dave in slc: you may have already addressed this but I just got here. are you a believer in the new Puig swing? Can and will he get back to form?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: I haven’t read about Puig’s new swing yet, but I don’t think his swing has been the problem. His plate discipline has been the problem.

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: If Puig’s approach still sucks, then that severely limits his upside

10:37
Craig: Archie Bradley really throwing two 70 pitches and a 60? Isn’t that basically Dellin Betances?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Betances has an 80 breaking ball. And let’s give Bradley a little more time to prove he can throw consistent strikes

10:38
HappyFunBall: If you’re the Diamondbacks, do you want Bradley to turn into a capable 3/4 starter? Or another Andrew Miller that can be traded for someone else’s stud prospect?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: I’d be happy with him becoming a stud multi-inning reliever, if possible

10:38
mtsw: I know you don’t do fantasy questions, but if my fantasy season partially hinged on Sam Dyson keeping his closer job, how panicked should I be right now?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: 7/10. It’s a deep bullpen and Matt Bush is next in line

10:39
LA Law: Is Patrick Corbin going to turn a corner this year or is it time to give up hope?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: Never lose hope

10:39
Bob: How do you see the Washington closer role shaking out? Will Glover and Kelly take over the job?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: I might be the world’s biggest Blake Treinen fanboy, so I’m the wrong person to ask

10:39
Justino: What stats make the differences in WAR between BBREF and Fangraphs? Does one have more accuracy, in your opinion, than the other?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: Biggest differences: FG uses UZR, BR uses DRS. And FG uses FIP, while BR uses something more akin to ERA

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: For pitching WAR, I like FG. For position-player WAR, it’s more of a tossup

10:42
Kiley: What does a Noah Syndergaard extension look like? I know, Kershaw, but when does this guy win a Cy Young?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s see. Arrieta just got about $16 million in his last year of arb. Got about $11 million the year before

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: Syndergaard looks like he’s headed for Super 2, so let’s put his four arb years at…something like $35 million

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Give him two FA years valued at $45-50 million combined

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Something around 6/$80m – $90m?

10:45
Jeffrey: If you’re starting a franchise would you rather have Aaron Judge or Michael Conforto?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: Conforto

10:45
Jim: Are any of the aces in baseball not major injury risks? It seems every top start has some problems right now with injuries or speculation of injuries…

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: I think guys like Kershaw and Verlander have done enough to demonstrate their arms are OK. Doesn’t mean they don’t have a high baseline risk level, but they’re less risky than, say, Arrieta or Gray

10:46
Diaz: Seen this online somewhere but who would you take? The padres 1-5 SP or the Dodgers 6-10?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Dodgers 6-10

10:47
Matt: Best pitching staff from top to bottom in the MLB?

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: Dodgers, then Indians

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: I might be willing to flip those two

10:47
Sammy: Watched the Mets broadcast for the first time ever the other day. Most unbelievable thing ever, may just become a Mets fan. At one point, Ron is discussing deGroms mechanics and how he needs to stay balanced or else he will be inaccurate and Keith goes “yea, like d’arnaud”

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: It’s a very good broadcast. My initial exposure to Darling was in playoff games, and I haven’t liked him in those, but for the local games he and the crew are outstanding

10:48
Pete: How worried should the Marlins brass be about that Stanton contract now? HUGE year for him/them.

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: Ownership can be less worried, because ownership is about to change hands

10:48
Matt: Is Bumgarner actually a good hitter, or is he just strong and can put the ball over the fence (which is obviously very for for a pitcher, but you get my point).

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: He’s been an average hitter since 2014. I buy his true-talent wRC+ around 90 or so

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Which, for a pitcher, is incredible

10:49
jon: Arrieta had the best slider in baseball in 2015 and best fastball in 2016. Does he have the repertoire to deal with a velocity decline, assuming his command is tolerable?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: He gets so much movement that he can survive a velocity loss. The bigger question is whether any velocity loss would hint at a structural problem. That would be bad news for anyone

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: And last year his command really started to slip. Could go the Felix Hernandez route, where the peripherals sink and only the weak contact keeps him afloat

10:50
Relsh: Mike Folty is about to light the world on fire, yes/no?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: Seems dramatic. No

10:51
BOpper: most exciting game to watch today on paper? For some reason im really excited for fulmer vs wright

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: Scherzer/Velasquez seems sexy

10:51
Erik: If a 26th roster spot was added, it would all but kill the appeal of two-way players, right? Someone like Bethancourt is probably the Padres 13th position player and 12th pitcher, which isn’t all that useful, except that it allows them to carry a 14th position player or 13th pitcher.

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: Would be somewhat mitigated, but if you have someone like, say, Lorenzen instead of Bethancourt. there’s still usefulness. Lorenzen can help the Reds avoid having to double-switch

10:52
Emma: If jay Bruce *continues* to play well, do the Mets see it as a win and keep him out there? Or an opportunity to sell high and get Conforto in there

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: If Bruce is doing well, and the Mets are winning — those teams don’t sell those players

10:52
Greg : Can Nova continue to improve on what he did last year coming over to Pittsburgh

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: He can’t improve on what he did. What he did was too good.

10:53
Jeff: If I have my pitcher on a 100 pitch count, and he’s reached the 90s, then tosses 10 times to hold a runner at first, how much does that count to a manager trying to limit pitches?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: Barely at all

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: Except the manager would be annoyed because that’s too many pickoffs

10:53
Greg : Should I be concerned with Jose Reyes slow start with Mets

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: Well, he’s not very good

10:54
jon: How absurd is the rostering of 3 Rule 5 draft picks by the Padres and how have you not written about it? 3 Rookie ball players on MLB rosters?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Still plenty of season to go. Still plenty of articles to write!

10:55
Ken Tremendous: What do you think happened with Jered Weaver that he lost the ability to be even a decently effective starter? The fall was precipitous for him…I have been so curious about the cause of the decreased velocity.

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll say this for Weaver — as recently as 2014, he was fine. And he was throwing 86. But the next year he came out throwing 83 and he hasn’t recovered. I think physical issues have simply accumulated, targeting his hip and shoulder and back

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: Weaver never threw a big fastball. And then it simply left him. Felix has lost his fastball, too, but he started from a much higher point

10:57
Greg : Will Alex Dickerson come back to a starting job in San Diego once off the DL?

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think there was ever a starting job for him so much as a semi-regular job as part of a four- or five-man OF rotation

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: Jankowski, Renfroe, and Margot deserve to play too

10:58
Leland: Jeff if you could take swings against Jered Weaver, say 50 pitches, how many would you hit, and how many would you hit hard? Assume he throws all of his pitches, and he mixes them.

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: I would hit none of them and I would hit none of them hard because I suck

10:58
Greg Ferrall : Are you confident in Glasnow figuring out the strike zone and staying in the rotation all year?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: No, but I’d sure like to be

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: I will be closely monitoring his new delivery

10:59
Horizon: After listening to the recent Effectively Wild where you discussed the apparent jump in speed (not velocity!) of pitches due to changing the point at which speed is measured, it struck me that this will lead to relative changes in speed of pitches depending on where they pitch. Since now the measurement is at the release point of the pitcher, effects of temperature, elevation, humidity are largely not observed, while given the old method of measuring some number of feet after the release point, these will effect the measured speed. This is a long way of asking: will certain pitchers see larger increases in pitch speed this season due to ballpark effects??

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think so, outside of calibration errors

11:01
Ross: Buying Josh Smoker as a potential bullpen breakout candidate ?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: Sure. His 2016 strikeouts were crazy

11:02
BOpper: whats your take on george springers hot start? Potential breakout year or small sample size bias

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: He is good. His walk-off home run was a fly out in most other parks.

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: The outfielders were camped in place — he just found the corner of the boxes

11:04
Kris: Bethancourt is going to injure someone…5 walks in 1.2 innings and 7 runs allowed. How long are the Padres gonna run him out there?

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: In theory, he could show rapid improvement, since he’s so new to pitching. But if this keeps up he won’t last more than a month

11:04
2-D: MLB players are so so into their accessories. What does Jeff Sullivan, hypothetical MLB player, have for accessories?

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: Extra socks

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: You can never have enough socks

11:05
Erik: When hardly any pitchers throw 200 innings, will reliably being able to throw that many innings be more of a skill, since it’s rare, or less of a skill, since no one wants to utilize it?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: It’ll still be good if a pitcher can work deep over and over — roster-size limitations mean you can use only so many relievers to eat so many innings

11:06
BIG BAD SANO: Has 3 walks to 1 strike out after 3 games, is this the most unlikely thing so far this season?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: Not when you go up against the Royals

11:06
Another Jeff: Has Blake Parker figured something out?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: Got big strikeouts in the minors last year, too

11:06
mtsw: Shelby Miller starts tonight. Does he bounce back into mid-rotation-y respectability this season?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: I say more yes than no

11:07
Ken Tremendous: If the world ended tomorrow and, amidst the hysteria, Major League Baseball agreed to play one more game, what would be your ideal match up and would the game go into extra innings?

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: Under the circumstances I couldn’t imagine giving even one single shit about a baseball game

11:07
Terrible Ted: As a casual NHL fan, do you have a favourite stat you like to keep en eye on?

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: The standings

11:09
Joe: Musgrove had crazy low BB/9 walk rates in most levels of the minors. Why the spike in the majors?

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: Major-league hitters are better than minor-league hitters. You can’t be so aggressive and you can’t rely on them to make so many mistakes. Musgrove still ran a low walk rate

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: Throwing two-thirds of your pitches for strikes is a good way to be successful

11:10
mtsw: Should the fact that Albert Pujols will almost certainly break the career record for most GIDP in MLB history this season be getting more attention? Not exactly DiMaggio’s hitting streak but it’s still a career record in an easy-to-understand basic stat! Is there like a twitter account counting down the GIDPs?

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: Look out, Cal Ripken!

11:11
Jeff Sullivan: This feels like future-post material. I like it

11:11
Hot Corner: Loving Devenski. Can Bradley end up being a similar pitcher?

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: Well, in style, no, since Devenski has a 70 changeup that flashes 80 sometimes. And I can’t buy Bradley yet as ever throwing that many strikes. But Bradley’s value as a multi-inning type can be similar

11:12
Josh: How are excited are you to see Brent Honeywell’s screwball vs major league hitters?

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: Less excited than Eno

11:13
Kristen: Safe to say TEX has given away the most prospect talent over the last few years? JD has channelled his inner-Dombrowski especially during the last two seasons.

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: Nationals are up there. Red Sox are up there. But the Rangers do seem to have an approaching reckoning of sorts

11:14
Keith Hernandez: What do all these fly ball, high launch angle guys do when facing a guy like Syndergaard? Wouldn’t Thor just pump high fastballs all day to them?

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: As with any hitter, the answer is generally “struggle”

11:14
Sneezing to Glory: Jeff, do you still play any baseball/softball? If not why not?

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: Sometimes I throw with Matthew Kory. That’s fun. I don’t play organized baseball because I don’t have 17 baseball-playing friends

11:14
Terrible Ted: Have you written any fictional work Jeff?

11:15
Jeff Sullivan: I once wrote an optimistic FanGraphs article about Carlos Peguero

11:16
Justin Bour : Why am I struggling out of the gate so much and will I improve?

11:16
Jeff Sullivan: You’re fine. At some point you’ll stop playing the Nationals

11:16
Dillon: That Puig article got my pondering early season launch angle changes. Carlos Gomez’s launch angle is up 17 degrees… Okay maybe I should wait for more data to come in.

11:16
Jeff Sullivan: The biggest sample around is probably like 8 or 10 batted balls.

11:17
Jeff Sullivan: But Gomez had a launch-angle spike when he moved from the Astros to the Rangers

11:17
Tyler: Looks like Harvey’s velo is down b/c he’s switched to a 2 seam FB

11:17
Jeff Sullivan: Which would mean more contact. So this would be a different Matt Harvey

11:17
James: What is your thoughts on Mike Folty going forward?

11:18
Jeff Sullivan: I like that he can get ahead. Want to see him better at putting away

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 — 4/7/17 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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