Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 5/13/16

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: You guys are late every week!

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: How embarrassing that must be

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: for you

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: hello friends

9:12
Bork: Hello, friend!

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friend

9:12
Josh: Would you say that the odds of a Braun trade happening before the deadline have moved above 50%?

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: Still a lot of money to eat. And we haven’t seen previous no-brainers happen, like the Rockies moving Carlos Gonzalez. Given what the Brewers have previously requested for Lucroy, they might ask for too much and that would be a turn-off given Braun’s position in his career

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: That all being said, if Braun keeps posting a four-digit OPS, he’ll be the top bat out there. It’s tough for an ownership to swing a deal for that kind of contract midseason, but it can happen. Tulowitzki got moved. The Brewers don’t really want to keep Braun around forever. Let’s monitor his performance, but if he gets to July as the best hitter on a bad team, he’ll be in most rumors

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: At this very moment I’d put the odds…at…40%?

9:15
jester: Is King Felix’s destiny that of Lincecum?

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: Not all pitchers who lose velocity have their careers go in the same direction. Felix, into last year, was dealing with his velocity loss quite well

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: My greater concern is the health of his arm. I know there’s wear and tear in there and if it’s anything greater than usual, it’s increasingly problematic.

9:18
John Danielson: Profar. What are your thoughts?

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: He needs time to get used to playing every day again. To this point in Triple-A he’s held his own but he’s not knocking down any doors. Check back in a couple months

9:19
CecilFielder: How long until the Sox enter unchartered territory after they have now scored 51 runs in their last 4 games? Any clue if were creeping up on history?

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: Let me run a quick search!

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: Well if I’m interpreting this correct:

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: The Red Sox are way up in their own organizational history in terms of runs scored over four games, but in June 1950, they actually had a four-game stretch where they scored 65 runs

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: More recently, in 2013, they had a four-game stretch with 54 runs

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: And just last August, they had a four-game stretch with 51 runs

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: Amusingly, they went 2-2 in those games, winning 15-1 and 22-10, but losing 14-6 and 10-8

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: That streak saw the Sox light up Felix Hernandez for 10 runs in 2.1 innings

9:25
Guest: Are you done contributing to Ussmariner? I really miss you ant Matt’s pods

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t really have the time or energy remaining. My job is baseball, and I put a lot of time every week into that, so it seems kind of silly to have a hobby that is the same thing as what I do for a paycheck. I feel bad! But this is the reality. Gotta change things up after the writing is done

9:26
Phil: Hey, remember when Noah Syndergaard was thought to be making a case as the best pitcher in baseball (right now)? Right, neither does Kershaw.

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: I maintain that there was a case to be made, but, yeah, Kershaw is wiping everyone’s memory of that clean

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Arrieta has an ERA of like 0.95 or something over the past few dozen starts and still the consensus opinion is there’s someone better. Kershaw doesn’t make sense

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: Kershaw is why the Dodgers got such a good starting-rotation projection. He’s two aces. He’s one man! Two aces.

9:28
Amarillo Windmill: Just sittin out here spinnin in the wind wishing you’d say something nice about my Rangers.

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: The funny thing is I was prepared to like their bullpen so much and it’s only recently started to pitch not horribly

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: And Prince Fielder has been a nightmare. DeShields hasn’t been much better. Amazing that they’ve remained competitive. Getting an idea the past several months about the Rangers’ collective resilience. With Darvish coming back and Kela back at some point, they seem like the realest threat to the Mariners

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: (who themselves have definite flaws)

9:31
Aron: Which players with the lowest and highest career WAR would you vote for and against, respectively, for the HOF?

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: This is tougher than I was expecting

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: Does Ichiro count, at 57 WAR? Maybe that’s not a good answer but for me he’s an auto-yes

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: David Ortiz isn’t even at 50 WAR but I think I’d vote him in, so that’s better. Statistically I don’t think he has a strong case but he fits my idea of what the HoF should be

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: Wouldn’t vote for Andruw Jones’ 67 career WAR just because of his particular details

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: I could even be talked out of that, though, given the various similarities between Jones and Griffey

9:36
CecilFielder: I am graduating with my mba from a top school and want to enter into a baseball front office. I am also proficient in sql and vba. Where should I start looking?

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t even know what VBA is!

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: A good idea would probably be to write somewhere and demonstrate your capability. If you can conduct interesting research and then clearly convey what you found, that’ll draw attention. We’ve had people from the FanGraphs Community blog get snapped up after one or two entries

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: Like, there are people who’ve written for the Community blog, and before we could even offer a part-time writing gig, they went to work for teams

9:37
Trevor Story: What do you think my numbers look like by the end of the season?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: .260/.330/.520

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: Incidentally, a few days ago, Story started and didn’t strike out. Only such game since April 9

9:39
Bingo: Steve Johnson throws a low 60s curveball. Besides him and Guaipe, who gets bumped from the somehow league-leading bullpen when Furbush, Zych, Cook, Scribner and Benoit are healthy?

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: Well the reality is that someone will be hurt. Either someone in the bullpen now, or one of those rehabbing guys won’t make it all the way back

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: but I could see Montgomery or Nuno being dealt. If the Mariners end up with three functional lefties, they could sell one off

9:41
Jimmy: Not that it’s a great match, but curious how the value changes for someone excelling in AAA compared to stinking it up in the Majors. What would the Mariners have to add in a Paxton+ deal to get the Dodgers interested in talking about moving Puig?

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not convinced there’s a match to be made. Paxton hasn’t proven anything in the majors for a while, and though Puig himself is struggling, he’s sufficiently high-profile that the Dodgers could send him elsewhere for more certainty

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: I like that Paxton is starting to throw strikes again but he needs to prove this over a couple of months

9:43
Bork: So part of Jose Reyes’s suspension is going to be that he has to pay back all that he received while on admin leave. MLBPA gotta be angry about that, right? Kinda hard to fight this case though.

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: This gets him back on the field sooner. Figure if Reyes gets 60 unpaid games, better to just fold in the time spent on the sidelines and get back to action. Doesn’t make a huge difference in the end but allows for Reyes to salvage the 2016 summer

9:45
Geoff: Steven Wright. How much longer can he keep this up? So few comparables.

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, no idea what to do here. Such a slim margin between a bad knuckleballer and a good knuckleballer. It’s, what, one or two fewer bad knuckleballs out of every 10?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: It’s something you wouldn’t even notice. But Wright is finding the strike zone. He’s been hard to hit, in the strike zone. He’s earned considerable benefit of the doubt

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: Obviously, traditional aging curves don’t apply here

9:47
Guest: It’s still ridiculously early but what trades/upgrades do you see the Mariners targeting?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: They’ll replace Lind if Lind proves that he requires replacing

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: And they’ll add to the bullpen if the hurt guys don’t become satisfactorily un-hurt

9:48
H. Rowengartner: Do you think there’s a chance Kluber is hurt?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: If anything he’s getting his velocity *back*

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Everything looks good here but the strand rate. .212 wOBA with the bases empty, .401 wOBA with men on

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: For his career that hasn’t been a big problem. Don’t know why Kluber would’ve forgotten how to pitch from the stretch. So he’ll be okay

9:50
Fred: How come you don’t have a Wikipedia entry, but Carson Cistulli has one longer than Tennessee Williams?

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t have a stalker

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: Or, I do, but that individual is pretty bad at stalking

9:52
Erik: Adam Morgan’s velocity is up 3 mph from last year, and he has a 3.03 FIP through his first 3 starts this year. What’s his likely future outlook? Does he belong as part of the conversation about the Phillies’ young starters, or is he just a temporary placeholder?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: He’s plenty more interesting like this than he was a season ago. Been fine in the majors and he was good in Triple-A before coming back up. This looks like it could be something real, and though Morgan hasn’t yet done enough to lock up a spot in the Phillies’ future, he’s back on the radar. If he stays like this, he’s for real

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: You just have to keep your eye on velocity gains. I was monitoring Hector Santiago in April. He’s lost his velocity gain since then, and then some

9:55
HappyFunBall: Trevor Rosenthal seems a bit walky this year. Also, he’s only thrown 11 innings. Is one the cause of the other? Or do we just say that 11 innings isn’t enough to prove anything and back away from the ledge?

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t see too much wrong. Believe it or not his zone rate is actually up! Just hasn’t had his secondary stuff yet. Figure it’ll work into shape

9:56
Guest: Is Meg Rowley hot, in person?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: Going to guess that you aren’t

9:57
Yu Darvish: You ready, bruh?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: Hurry back

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: Don’t *actually* hurry back — take your time and be safe. But baseball misses you

9:57
bill: which players come to mind as more (or the same amount of) fun as beltre?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: Kawasaki, obviously

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: But Beltre is 80-grade entertaining. It’s maybe the best thing about him! He is so impossible to dislike in any way imaginable

9:59
Saul: Can we all just take a moment to appreciate Clayton Kershaw, and mock those who thought Arrieta or Syndergaard were comparable?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: Again, it’s worth remembering that Arrieta actually has the lower ERA over the past year or so

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: He’s unbelievable, performance-wise

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: Syndergaard is unbelievable, repertoire-wise, but he hasn’t gotten the performance up to Kershaw’s standards

10:00
Zorak: Is Wilmer Flores just not a good baseball player? Fringey defense and a career .285 OBP, and yet a few days ago Terry batted him between Cespedes and Conforto. I know, cult hero from last year and all, but he seems AAAA to me.

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: Somehow he’s still just 24, so he’s got time, but yeah, for the moment there’s not too much to like, on the field

10:02
Taveras’ Ghost: Keuchel: If you had to bet on hiding an injury or last year was lightening in a bottle you would place your money on…

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: The velocity is actually returning. But he hasn’t been so precise down and away, which is how he made his living in 2015. In that article Eno wrote, Keuchel acknowledges having had to make some adjustments because he’s read that hitters are anticipating his strategy, so he’s had to mix his strategy up

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: His margin of error isn’t huge. And if he can’t live down and away like before, maybe that just causes him to be exposed. He hasn’t yet figured it out. I don’t think he’s hurt. I think he just has to be precise, and last year he was more precise. I wouldn’t be shocked if he’s just fatigued

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: If Keuchel’s arm isn’t as fresh as it was, and if hitters know how he wants to pitch to them, then it follows that he’ll have his struggles

10:06
Kyle: Can you create a realistic Ryan Braun trade for me?

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: Braun + money = B prospect + low-level live arms

10:09
Gary: Buxton is tearing up AAA. Do you think he gets called up soon? And why do you think he’s had such trouble with Major League pitching?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: Buxton never really had a problem with shredding the minors. Long track record there. He’s just struggled with the final step. With the Twins being godawful, there shouldn’t be any sense of urgency here — he should remain in Triple-A until he’s where they want, and until he’s feeling confident again. I think he still has some stuff left to learn about how pitchers want to pitch him. The tools are all obviously present but he doesn’t go up with enough of a plan

10:11
Sam: There’s been a ton of hype about Arrieta this season…but after Kershaw’s performance yesterday, I now have zero doubt that he is still the best pitcher on the planet. Agree or nah?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: It’s Kershaw. Arrieta hasn’t been *better* than Kershaw lately, and Kershaw has the much longer track record

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: Arrieta is just next-closest

10:12
mtsw: Can the Orioles sustain having a top-three offense going forward? They seem to be hitting a lot of “best case scenario” marks so far (besides Gallardo falling apart)

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: It’s funny — they are where they are despite a struggling Adam Jones and a struggling Matt Wieters. In a way, it could get better!

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: I think they’ll fluctuate around the No. 3 position. Machado’s breakout seems to be for real, and he pushes them forward. Lots of deficiencies on that team, but hitting isn’t one of them

10:14
Erik: If the season ended today, is Pete Mackanin manager of the year? And how should we judge good managers, knowing that so much of outperforming expectations can be attributed to luck?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: Still no great way to measure a manager’s performance. Over-performing is a good start…although the Phillies still have a terrible run differential? So that might go beyond any Mackanin credit. You could try to run a deep, deep, investigative study to look for managerial markers for every single team. But that would take forever, and it would cost a lot of resources, and you probably still wouldn’t come away with a concrete idea

10:16
Taveras’ Ghost: Does Stanton look weird at the plate to you? He just doesn’t look confident. He did alright coming back from the face smashing. He doesn’t look comfortable.

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: I can’t speak to body language. I’m trained to speak to results, and the results are fine

10:17
Zach: Is there a point at which being able to TOO accurately project future results becomes an issue? Obviously, if we knew with 100% certainty what would happen in a given game/season/whatever, there’d be no point in watching, but how close to 100% do we have to get before baseball becomes meaningless (and not in the way that it is already meaningless in the face of the inexorable march of time)?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: I think about this from time to time. Thankfully(?) we’re nowhere close in terms of projections being too good, but it is a funny goal to try to predict the future, since then that would render the whole thing pointless

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know exactly where the tipping point is. It’s well beyond where we are now. It’s almost certainly unreachable. Projections have made so little progress over the past decade or so, despite all the available information. That’s simultaneously encouraging and discouraging. It’s discouraging that we aren’t getting much better at this, but it’s encouraging that we aren’t ruining the thing we follow

10:19
J: The Yankees have the lowest xFIP- in the AL but a high ERA. They just got back Chapman. Do you consider them the best pitching staff in the AL?

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: It’s probably them, the Indians, or the White Sox

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: But the Yankees staff is also fragile, for reasons I don’t need to get into

10:20
Erik: With the rise of the Phillies, will the NL East be the strongest division in baseball in 2017 or 2018? Or do you see the Nationals or Mets falling if the Phillies rise?

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: The Phillies still have one of the worst offenses ever. Let’s not go crazy

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: AL East is always going to be a battlefield

10:22
Jon Daniels: Is Profar, Brinson, Cordell, Luis Ortiz and maybe ChiChi or Nick Martinez enough to get Sonny Gray?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: No. Not enough certainty in Profar

10:22
Guest: Favorite Oregon brewery? Fort George is my go to for anything ipa

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: Cascade, but I’m a big sours guy

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve never once had a bad experience at or related to Double Mountain

10:23
mtsw: What do you make of new articles that purport that Ty Cobb was actually very racially tolerant for his day and not as much of a jerk as he was later made out to be?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: I haven’t paid super close attention but it wouldn’t be surprising. Cobb always felt like someone who’d been turned into a caricature, because it’s not like he could go around and defend himself. Modern times look smugly back on the evils of the older days, and Cobb was an easy individual to point to as a symbol of the ugliness of racism

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Modern reflections aren’t good at understanding social context

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: I bet Ty Cobb was a guy who had good traits and bad traits. I bet he was an extremely flawed individual, like you, and me, and even Erik Karlsson

10:27
Curtis: Any idea why most managers were position players and not pitchers?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: Position players are more involved in everything day to day. That’s my easy guess

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: And catchers in particular occupy leadership roles. So they’re groomed for managing, just through doing their daily work

10:28
Kim: Probably time to start giving Dae-Ho Lee more at bats against RHP, right?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Still have to trust in Lind’s track record, but Lee should sneak into more opportunities, yeah

10:29
Farmer Ted: Do you have any follow-up thoughts about the “unusual thing” Randal Grichuk was doing? Is still doing it, is it producing desired results, etc.

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: Since I wrote that article, Grichuk’s chase rate is actually *higher* than his career mark. He’s walked four times. So

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t doubt that Grichuk bought in. I don’t doubt that he had some immediate returns. But my guess is that because Grichuk was struggling to produce, he just reverted back to the way he was comfortable. It’s extremely common. New adjustments don’t really last when the performance isn’t there because players get frustrated and they forget their lessons

10:30
Jeffrey Loria Bobblehead Night: Are the Houston Astros done? They look done to me.

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: They are not! But they are in trouble

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: They actually have more wins than losses the past couple weeks or so

10:31
Danny: Why is Andrew Miller’s slider so good, even against righties? Also, do the Yankees have the 3 of the 5 best relievers in baseball?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: Yes

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: And he has excellent command of the pitch, and it looks like his fastball out of the hand, and he doesn’t use it in predictable counts

10:33
Stavid Dearns: How do teams quantify value? How does a team decide that a trade return is more valuable than the player currently is to the team?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Pretty much every team uses some sort of internal WAR, and many teams also run through general surplus-value calculations. They don’t all look the same as the stuff you see on FanGraphs, but this is how the bulk of organizations operate

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Obviously, with minor leaguers, scouting becomes important. Teams will vastly differ on how certain guys are projected

10:35
mtsw: MLB is trying to make inroads in Mexico (Mexico City has even floated as an expansion city down the line). Should they do more to trumpet that one of the greatest players ever, Ted Williams, was half-Mexican? Or does the fact that Williams didn’t like to acknowledge that make it too problematic to bring up?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: Fernando Valenzuela will suffice

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: So many good non-American players that MLB doesn’t need to try to push white guys

10:36
j6takish: Jeff, tell me something good about the Tigers

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: They are worth a lot of money

10:36
Josh I: Please tell me something good about the A’s. Anything.

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: I still like Andrew Triggs!

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: The bullpen doesn’t suck!

10:37
Forsyth: This Red Sox offense is so fun to watch. Obviously Shaw and JBJ will cool off, but Betts should turn it up. Do they have a better offense than the Blue Jays?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: I think so, given what’s become of Tulowitzki and Martin

10:37
Maxamuz: What do you think of George Springer going forward? I don’t see 30/30 but what do you think he’ll end up with?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: 30/15?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: He’s made the adjustments to where he makes enough contact now to play. He’s not as extreme as he was, in a good way

10:38
Andrew and Farhan: We think we want Trout but don’t want to lose Seager or Urias. What’s it gonna take to get this done?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Another team

10:38
Matt: Review of Ben and Sam’s book?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Not done with it but I love it. Obviously, I love it. How could it possibly not be great?

10:39
chris: Who gets a bigger return in a trade from the yanks? Miller or Chap?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: Miller, by a ton, in this hypothetical

10:40
Jake: Who exactly is Marcus Semien? Better defense this year, plenty of power, but no running and no BABIP.

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: His best-hit balls are leaving the yard instead of bouncing back into play. That’ll do a number on BABIP

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: More of those homers will turn into doubles. He’s been selective to this point with his pull power. He’s a league-average kind of player, when it’s all said and done

10:41
Curtis: What’s one potential trade virtually no one is talking about?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Any trade involving low-level prospects not on 40-man rosters

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Gotcha!

10:41
Steve Z: Is Mike Trout untradeable? The hypothetical returns for him appear to be self-crippling for any or most teams to make that trade. Why would a team trade for a player when that player would empty its farm system? A rational organization would not.

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: There are teams that could do it without crippling themselves. There are teams with enough depth, and of course Trout is an extremely valuable long-term player

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: I think he’s untradeable because the Angels won’t trade him

10:42
Erik: What’s more likely: the Angels trade Trout this year, or the Angels make the playoffs this year?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: Playoffs

10:42
Ken M: Should the Dodgers mover Kershaw to the pen? Seems he’d be a good closer. You can never have enough relievers.

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: He could relieve on his throw days!

10:46
kris: Yordano Ventura has more walks than strikeouts on the year. Should he go to the bullpen or AAA? Or just let him work it out? Looked so promising at the end of last year

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: I think you give him more time, but he’s flying open more than before, and I don’t like where his velocity is. That’s a little troubling

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: And he’s throwing a lot more changeups, especially to righties — there’s a hint of something going on there where he doesn’t trust his fastball as much

10:47
Erik: Are there any players at all whose odds of being traded this year are over 50%?

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: Andrew Cashner

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: Jay Bruce, finally

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: Will Smith, if he makes it back in time

10:49
Not Andrew Bailey: How much more Joey Votto can you stand seeing sucking in Cincy?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Since he bottomed out in April, he’s posted a four-digit OPS in 71 plate appearances. He’s fine

10:49
Dock Ellis: Every chat before the season I asked if Odubel Hererra could be Shane Victorino 2.0 and not one person who follows baseball as their job said it was possible. Now, should I look at this saying well technically he’s better or can I mock the industry for not seeing what a causal fan saw?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: Mock away! So far this has been amazing

10:50
Hank: Do you think Eovaldi ever puts the pieces together, or will he stay maddeningly inconsistent for the rest of his career?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: Maddening just because people expect more of a guy with that velocity, but pitching is more than velocity

10:50
The Average Sports Fan: Are the Reds farther away from being a good team than the Braves?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: I actually don’t think so

10:51
Snowflake: What odds would you put on Daniel Murphy ending the season with a 400 avg?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: As low as the odds of Mike Trout getting traded

10:51
CameronDaClub: Yelich hit three HRs in four games!

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: Walks: up. Power: up. Strikeouts: down. Witness

10:52
Jason: The Royals stink, Jeff. Stink! Projections were right all along.

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: See, we knew what we were talking about!

10:52
Nick S: If the Braves sign Cervelli and Prado/Freese/Desmond for 3B, trade for a hitter in LF like Braun, and promote Swanson/Albies for SS/2B, does that make them a 80-85 win team in 2017?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: No, see, they need to pitch, too

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: But the new middle infield is going to make that situation so much more palatable

10:53
Justin in Justin: Chances Prince can be offloaded in the offseason? Weak FA class might help?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: Him sucking does the opposite of help

10:53
Not Dan: How should I feel about Adrian Beltre playing over the next decade?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: He won’t make it the full decade, but you should cherish the time that you have

10:54
Johnboy: With Cain and Peavy at the back-end of their rotation, why in tarnation would the Giants only be interested in Lincecum as a reliever?? Surely he’d be an upgrade from either one of the aforementioned…right?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Nothing about Lincecum is sure. They know him better than anyone. And if they expressed interest in him as a starter, that would signal that they’re looking for a starter, and that would make Cain and Peavy feel suspicious

10:55
Lenny: Can’t imagine you’ve thought about it much since it happened, but now that you’re reading it you will at least a little! Have your thoughts on the Miller-for-Karns trade changed since it happened?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: Not too much, no. But I will concede that at some point Miller needs to start really hitting, instead of just being a guy people expect to someday hit

10:56
Snowflake: I’m going to Wrigley for the first time this weekend. Any recommendations?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: Make sure you look forward, toward the baseball field. If you look in the other direction it’s a waste of your money

10:57
JayDun: Read August’s piece on Kris Bryant’s new swing the other day, and it got me thinking about Miguel Sano’s launch angle, which statcast has at an average of 18 degrees. If “a launch angle between 25 and 30 degrees is where the home runs live,” (per August) could this be where his power has gone or is that oversimplifying it? His line drive rate is up six percent over last year and his Hard% isn’t down too badly. I know he strikes out too much (seventh-worst K% in the league), but…dingers! Where are they? Thoughts?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: Sano this year: 18-degree average angle. Sano last year: 15-degree average angle

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: His swing path isn’t the problem. The homers are going to be there. He’s legit

10:58
Deke: So how did you feel changing gears from the more sort-of free-form fun-loving nature of SB Nation to the decidedly more stat-mindedness and relative seriousness here? I know you still make your jokes (and bless you for them), but was it tough to change your mindset?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: It wasn’t tough because I wasn’t given any such instruction but I definitely do feel now that I’m less funny than ever! Humor is a muscle and I’m not the same kind of creative I think I was. But maybe that’s just being older and boring

10:59
Pants on the ground: Thoughts on Manaea sticking in the A’s rotation when Alvarez returns? His demise has been the long ball in “one bad inning”. Also, I think Hahn got the short end of the stick. His outing @ BOS was a tough one, but to send a guy down after that???

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: Hahn will be back soon, and Alvarez will be up soon, and Manaea will return to the minors

11:00
+ison Russell: Is Clayton Kershaw one of the 5 best starting pitchers in MLB history? How much of a factor do you consider the era in which these guys pitch?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: Kershaw still has like half his career left so we’ll see what becomes of him, but he’s on track to absolutely crack the top 5. By any measure, including those that account for era

11:01
Ozzie: I’m not great at interpreting defensive stats. How has Leonys Martin been the Mariners’ fourth most valuable position player while batting .204?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: He is an absurdly good center fielder

11:01
Baseball McBaseballface: I’m about to interview for a job. Any advice?

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: Talk about yourself only within the context of what you could mean for the business

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: And do not, absolutely do not, ask the interviewer to pull your finger

11:02
Kimball: It seems inefficient to use Kershaw the same amount as every other pitcher. Would you support experiments in using the best pitchers for more innings, not by going deeper, but by pitching more often?

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think you want to do anything to risk the well-being of an elite-level arm

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: Kershaw pitches more just as a function of staying healthy and not getting yanked in the early innings

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: And sometimes he’ll go on short rest. That’s about enough

11:03
Turdface: cards have almost as many runs as red sox.

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: Remember a few games in when it looked like they couldn’t hit at all

11:04
Outta my way, Gyorkass: Give me a good recommendation on an Oregonian IPA

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: Fort George, from that previous guy

11:04
Trophic Cascade: Question about Batted ball hit strength type (soft, medium,hard): how much of it should be used in analysis at this point? Can we trust it or is there still some noise? Is there a stabilization point?

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: Lots of noise but it’s a useful indicator to pair with exit-velocity stuff

11:04
Kiner’s Disembodied Hands: Do you see the Pirates targeting a guy like Pomeranz, or do you think think calling up a Taillon/Glasnow will suffice once super 2 passes?

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think the Padres would be particularly interested in moving Pomeranz. Pirates would’ve made more sense last offseason

11:05
Anonymous Coward: Is there anything interesting to say about the Chacin trade?

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: Here’s the funny thing — Jhoulys Chacin is one of the, what, 500 or 700 best baseball players in the world? Stupid amount of talent. Nobody cares

11:06
Kevin: Is Bogaerts continuing last year for the most part, or is something new fueling his success?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: Seems like he’s learned how to go the other way and selectively hit for power. So he’s blended his strengths from the previous two campaigns. Ideal outcome. I have a note here to write about him in more depth sometime soon

11:07
Erik: Why don’t starters relieve on throw days?

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: Sometimes they do in the playoffs, but there’s more adrenaline in a game situation, and that makes it a lot less relaxing

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: A relief appearance is more draining than throwing a bullpen. Especially since a relief appearance is preceded by throwing in the bullpen

11:08
CameronDaClub: I’m 22. Should I stick with a job that’s maybe 20% related to what I wanna do long-term in a city where I know no one, or take a job that’s 0% related to what I wanna do long-term in a city where my best friends live?

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: You can’t overestimate the importance of having a community, but it’s also a good life skill to learn how to develop a new community from scratch. I don’t know the particulars of your situation but if you trust yourself to get out there and meet people, it can be wonderful to do

11:09
Snowflake: What exactly is the definition of getting manhandled?

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: Getting handled, by a man

11:10
Zorak: Should the Dodgers call up Urias for the ‘pen? I’m kinda against using rookies in relief unless it’s sept/oct and they started all season. Best case they dominate, but then are capped at 60-80 innings and might pull a Chapman and not want to start again, or if they do get stretched out the following year, can’t pitch very many innings and it’ll be three seasons before can they can reach 200+. I just don’t see the upside there.

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: It’s going to be a while before Urias gets to 200 innings, anyway, just because of his age and his usage history

11:11
Jeff Sullivan: He’s already going to have a limited 2016 campaign. The Dodgers can get what they can get out of him without jeopardizing his starting future. Maybe he’d get some spot starts this year. I could just say this: I bet the Dodgers have figured this out far more than I have in this live chat

11:12
Taveras’ Ghost: Why wont Madden bring up Willson Contreras?

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: Because you don’t want to jerk around and disrupt a prospect in response to a short-term injury need

11:12
CecilFielder: year to year reliver performance is pretty variable right? I mean look at melancon or giles. Why would a team give up tons of assets for Miller (NYY)

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: Miller is on a different level. Melancon has been a different kind of dominant. Giles had an overpowering season and a half. Miller has been whiffing everyone for four years

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: Also, consider what was just literally given up to get Ken Giles

11:14
KenBo: What can the Phillies do to help the offense this year? Or do you think they sit tight cause they know they really aren’t ready to compete?

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: They know they’re not ready to compete. They know Franco will hit more. They know Crawford will arrive at some point

11:15
Rich: Nelson Cruz was incredible the past 2 years. Is he already headed for a sharp decline this year?

11:15
Jeff Sullivan: He has the same wRC+ he had in 2014

11:16
J!mbo: What’s up with HanRam’s sudden obsession with going oppo?

11:16
Jeff Sullivan: He’s been a good opposite-field hitter for his career — my early guess is this is a response to a change in pitch behavior

11:16
James: Erik Karlsson is perfect

11:16
Jeff Sullivan: bless him

11:17
Reginald Denton III: What about Tyson Ross possibly being traded…obviously he needs to be healthy for that to happen. What’s the prognosis on him and when might he be back?

11:17
Jeff Sullivan: He’s still not throwing. Long way to go. Tons of uncertainty here

11:17
Houzer : Keuchel … please discuss your views on his RoS

11:17
Jeff Sullivan: No. 2 starter. He’s peaked

11:17
AJ Preller: What could I get for 1 Andrew Cashner?

11:18
Jeff Sullivan: A lot less than he got for the Cubs

11:18
HappyFunBall: Is JBJ making a leap, or is this just a hot streak?

11:18
Jeff Sullivan: Kind of started the leap last year. Solid player. Does a lot of things right

11:19
Matt: When the Braves trade Tehran doesn’t that leave them with nothing but 3,4, and 5 starters. Tehran isn’t an ace he’s a 2-3 candidate but I just don’t see the upside of any of the prospects that they have.

11:19
Jeff Sullivan: Teheran isn’t a definite lock to be moved, but there will be so little pitching on the market, and he’s cost-controlled and currently wasting his talents

11:19
ssf: Rangers called up Matt Bush. What a strange world we live in.

11:19
Jeff Sullivan: What’s the word for a few levels below heartwarming?

11:20
Jeff Sullivan: Braintouching?

11:20
Doug: If Price keeps pitching like he did last night are the Red Sox the best team in the AL?

11:20
Jeff Sullivan: Probably

11:20
Scuba Steve: With the amazing influx of talent at SS in MLB, who would you say is next that that position? JP Crawford or someone else?

11:20
Jeff Sullivan: Crawford or whichever Braves player sticks there without moving to second

11:20
Nate: Is it possible for Pitchf/x/Statcast/Trackman to to track the movement of the catcher’s mitt? Could that be a way to measure command?

11:21
Jeff Sullivan: COMMANDf/x is a thing, privately. My understanding, though, is that it hasn’t been too insightful

11:21
Roman: How annoying are the “Hey, what’s a good oregon beer?” questions?

11:21
Jeff Sullivan: Not annoying. What’s annoying is I don’t know how to answer because there’s so much of it! And I drink less beer than I ever have

11:21
Jeff Sullivan: Except for when I was younger. I didn’t drink any beer as a child

11:22
Mikey: deGrom’s velocity is down and so are his strikeouts. When do we start to worry about that something going on there?

11:22
Jeff Sullivan: His velocity the other day was up almost two ticks from in his first start. He’s on the path back

11:22
Comin’s and Goins: What’s the most “THAT’s how you pronounce that???” moment you’ve had with a baseball player’s name? Mine might have been with Matt Szczur.

11:22
Jeff Sullivan: Probably the same one as you

11:23
George: Random question: if you’re a LHP in HS and consistently throw 89-90 mph but show little to no feel for non-FB pitches, what are the odds you’d be drafted by an MLB team? I guess body projection would have to factor in here too, so let’s say you’re maxed out, so little to no body projection left.

11:23
Jeff Sullivan: If you’re maxed out as a lefty at 89-90, and nothing else, you’d probably get scouted but not drafted

11:24
Jeff Sullivan: If you have a little body projection, though, maybe 20th-30th round? Depends on how well you use that fastball and repeat your mechanics, I guess

11:24
matt: what are you looking forward to this weekend?

11:25
Jeff Sullivan: http://podnahspit.com/

11:25
Lee: Have you followed Lenny Dykstra on twitter?

11:25
Jeff Sullivan: good heavens no

11:25
JKD: Daniel Murphy has been worth 2.3 WAR so far. Daniel Murphy was worth 2.5 WAR in each of the past two seasons. Bargain of the offseason doesn’t quite cover it, does it?

11:25
Jeff Sullivan: Kind of amazing that the Mets saw him walk away, since he began these adjustments with them

11:26
Dell: What do you make of Michael Conforto since entering the bigs? Obviously he had a big pedigree as an advanced collegiate hitter but he’s come up to the Majors and pretty much raked since getting here despite so little time above high-A prior to this.

11:26
Jeff Sullivan: I think he just has more power than he was given credit for, and that’s made all the difference. Since kinks to work out but his consistency with getting the barrel to the ball makes him an upper-level hitter

11:26
Kate Upton: Fantasy MVP: Are the Angels currently the worst run team in the league? They’ve had some ill-luck the last few years, but those deals…

11:26
Jeff Sullivan: Not convinced it’s not the Rockies

11:26
AJ Preller: What are the chances Pomeranz’s recent success is sustainable? Good read this morning, btw.

11:27
Jeff Sullivan: I’m buying him as a No. 2. He’s not a 1.80 ERA type, because only two pitchers are, but he’s legitimate

11:27
Jeff Sullivan: (…as long as he’s healthy)

11:27
Ben: So the Mariners are converting their top prospect to a reliever. It’s pretty bad down there. Any precedent for restocking a farm system without blowing up the major league roster? 2016-2017 might be the best and only window the M’s have to really compete for awhile.

11:27
Jeff Sullivan: I think part of the hope is rebuilding previous talent that was already in there

11:28
Jeff Sullivan: Like, maybe they can fix DJ Peterson. Maybe they can fix Alex Jackson

11:28
Jeff Sullivan: Early signs are bad!

11:28
Rufus T. Firefly: Why does Yasiel Puig stink?

11:28
Jeff Sullivan: Lack of discipline getting the best of him. Very simply, he’s swinging too much

11:29
Pomeranz: should Cashner be made into a late inning reliever? Seems starting not his thing.

11:29
Jeff Sullivan: He could be a really interesting closer

11:29
Jeff Sullivan: But if he’s not on board, there’s no doing that

11:29
Cleveland Nation: Should we be super concerned about Brantley’s shoulder?

11:29
Jeff Sullivan: I’m sure this was expected. Gotta be patient

11:30
Jake : White Sox should absolutely stop using Navarro as Rodons catcher from now on right?

11:30
Jeff Sullivan: They don’t really have a good defensive catcher

11:30
Jeff Sullivan: That was intentional!

11:30
JV: Is it time to be worried about Brian Dozier?

11:30
Jeff Sullivan: Time to start thinking they’re finally pitching around him successfully

11:30
Ben: wow. still going?! thanks jeff!

11:30
Jeff Sullivan: Yet it’s also time to stop!

11:31
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…I think? I might have to switch chat days with someone because I’m going to Yosemite. I’ll figure that out. But we’ll chat again! Until then, be well and have great days

We hoped you liked reading Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 5/13/16 by Jeff Sullivan!

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

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DeadLanguage
Member
DeadLanguage

It is strange to me that such an analytically-minded website approaches Miguel Sano with so little suspicion. He very much seems to be beginning to bust–showing the exact problems making contact which so frequently founder power hitters. Even the projections are starting to waver from the exceptionally rosy portrait of Sano’s 2016 they forecast pre-season. ZIPS now projects him as a two win player, and that assumes he posts a .330 BABIP. His BABIP in AA (the highest level of the minors he played in) was roughly .290, and guy’s fast like a tuatara is fast.

It’s early in the season, of course, but if that BABIP starts to creep toward .300, Sano may be minors bound.