Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 5/26/17

9:02
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:02
Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to Friday baseball chat

9:03
Jeff Sullivan: Miss you, Bork

9:03
Sylvio Dante: should i be selling the farm for Berrios?

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not allowed to possess another human person, but from a more distant perspective, there’s not much here not to like

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll be interested to see how Berrios fares against big-league lefties as he gets settled, since that breaking ball is so good but seemingly so much better suited to cripple righties

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: But he’s basically trying to follow the Jose Fernandez mold. Lots of repertoire similarities there. There are worse profiles

9:05
Johnny5Alive: Can we fire Terry Collins yet?

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: Do what you want, but he’s not your problem

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: When you don’t have your best position player, starter, or reliever, I don’t know how much you can expect to accomplish

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: To say nothing of whatever Harvey has become

9:06
Stuafoo: What are you thoughts on JeDi’s body of work with the Ms?

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: Generally more positive than negative; this year has already been crippled by injuries

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: It’s one thing to plan on players getting hurt. Always happens, every season. It typically doesn’t happen all at once

9:07
JTT: Jeff Sullivan, does Carson still call you and Dave by your full names when talking to you in person?

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: You are under the mistaken impression that we see each other in person more than a couple times a year

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: But he will slip it in occasionally. It’s weird

9:09
JTT: Teams sign way fewer bad contracts than they used to but do we overestimate how good teams are at predicting how guys will age? Heyward, Bourne and Crawford have all been bad while guys like Nelson Cruz and Adam Dunn stayed (relatively) good. How much are teams just guessing?

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: Over the last four years of his career, Adam Dunn was worth a combined -0.2 WAR

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: I know what you’re getting at, though, and I do think sometimes that our understanding of aging curves is too simplistic.

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: Over the long haul teams more or less get it right, but I don’t know how you’re supposed to be able to identify exceptions. No single player perfectly fits the normal curve

9:12
Proswagonist: Lance McCullers Jr. is 23 years old and has the lowest ERA in the AL since 2015 (min 250 IP). When does he enter the top 10 pitcher in baseball discussion?

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: When he shows he can make 30 starts

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: Everything for McCullers right now is there. But it’s perfectly understandable to worry about a guy who throws breaking balls as much as he throws his fastball

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: On some level Lance McCullers was born to pitch for the present-day Dodgers

9:15
Charlie: Where’s Wednesday’s Effectively Wild?

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: All the week’s episodes have been recorded but Ben is in charge of the actual details and he’s out of the country on a trip. So it’s not an ordinary week

9:16
Big Tuna: The Astros seem to be using Devenski more frequently and he’s been giving up more runs. Are they at risk of over using him?

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: This is going to be the big question with any of these relievers around the game. Always a matter of knowing how hard they can be pushed. But, for example, Mike Montgomery has now actually surpassed Devenski in 2017 innings. Is Montgomery being overused? I’m not sure

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: For Devenski, some kind of statistical drop-off was inevitable, but this is something to watch as the season rolls on. He’s still not pitching *poorly* but he hasn’t been what he was in April

9:17
Hank: We need to have a talk about Keon Broxton. .430 BABIP, 38% K rate, on pace for 20HR 40SB, and around league average offensive production. Is there anyone with a more interesting profile in the league than him right now?

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: At some point I owe the audience a Keon Broxton update. It’s inevitable and it’s coming. He’s a fascinating dude, and what’s crazy is that his overall numbers this year are acceptable even though so many indicators have veered off in ugly directions

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: His exit velocity is way down. His walks are way down. His O-Swing is worse and his Z-Swing is worse

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: And he’s still on pace to be an above-average player. Okay!

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: It is worth noting that Broxton’s BABIP is based on a pretty small sample of batted balls, since he strikes out so often

9:20
Big Tuna: Is David Price gonna make it through the season?

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: I am usually not optimistic about these situations

9:20
Chris: What are the chances Joey Votto gets in the hall of fame?

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: Pretty low, since he’s in his mid-30s and his career WAR still isn’t even 50. Not a big precedent for these guys making it. But I wouldn’t be surprised if it were personal priority No. 1 or 2

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: By value and career path he’s kind of similar to Chase Utley. I can see how Utley would make the sabermetric Hall of Fame, but I assume he’ll fall short of the actual one

9:22
Nelson: Does the defensive component of WAR rely on opportunities? For example, would Trouts WAR be higher if the Angels only had extreme fly ball pitchers?

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: It’s more based on the difference between converted opportunities and *expected* converted opportunities

9:23
Proswagonist: Astros top hitters with at least 60 PA by wRC+: 1. Marwin Gonzalez 172 2. Jake Marisnick 153 3. Jose Altuve 136

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: Raise your hand if you thought Jake Marisnick would out-hit Carlos Beltran

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: Both Gonzalez and Marisnick has super interesting player pages right now. Gonzalez has basically tripled his walk rate. And Marisnick is hitting for more power, while his contact rate has dropped by NINETEEN POINTS

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Neither hitter is experiencing what I would call sustainable success, but they’re still doing some pretty neat things

9:27
Ben: The playoff odds page currently lists Baltimore and Toronto with a virtual tie, approx. 22.5%, in playoff odds. Which team do you think has a better change to reach the postseason?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Blue Jays

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: Donaldson and Tulowitzki both seemingly back today

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: And the Jays have been pretty good ever since starting 2-11

9:29
It’s Robert, not Robert: What a game 7

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: Couldn’t have asked for much more. I guess one extra goal. But I feel a weird mixture of disappointment and pride

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: Fandom is so bizarre

9:31
Pretty Tony: Jeff will Justin Upton opt-out after this season?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: I’d be pretty surprised if he did

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: He’s guaranteed almost $90 million over the next four years. He’d have to really want out of Detroit

9:32
Mark: Thanks for the weekly chat. Do you see Duvall and Schebler both settling in at 3+ WAR players? Feels like the Reds did well in the trades for both (plus other players).

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: Because of his defense, it’s easier for me to see Duvall as a three-win player. Schebler is more in the 2-3 range. But they’re both perfectly useful and the Reds seem to have a better group of position players than they were given credit for

9:33
Connor : If the season were to end today, what would be the World Series matchup

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: Wouldn’t be one. Season ended

9:34
Big Tuna: Is Sonny Gray back?

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: I wasn’t going to need very much convincing. I don’t think Gray is anyone’s idea of a legitimate shutdown No. 1, but I think he’s back to being pretty good again

9:35
Naveen: What can we learn from how the Nelson Cruz contract was so widely panned at the time of its signing? Is there something everyone missed?

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: One lesson is to never take the ordinary aging curve for granted. Some players will just age better than others

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: Another lesson is to keep in mind that a PED suspension doesn’t necessarily mean a player’s body is back to normal at the end

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t mean to suggest I know anything about Cruz’s case in particular, but you can’t not think about it

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: In any case, the way Cruz’s contract has worked out has been one of the few things keeping the Mariners somewhat afloat

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: A win for Jack Zduriencik!

9:37
Sylvio Dante: After the Votto article, he seems like one of these guys thats going to be offensively-elite until he’s 40

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: Votto strikes me as the position-player version of Zack Greinke. There are no other players I would trust more to squeeze the absolute most out of their respective aging processes

9:38
Chris: Ever do any off trail hiking (bush whacking)?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: Yes, although I’d say the bulk of my off-trail hiking occurs above timberline

9:39
tip tipson : Who is Souza really? Have we figured this out?

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: He’s a strong dude with better defense than I expected him to have

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: A few years ago there were people who said even then that they liked Souza more than they liked Wil Myers. We’re seeing some of why that belief existed

9:41
Vin: Thoughts on Marwin Gonzalez’s power surge?

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: *Mostly* a mirage, but I do think he’s improved his left-handed swing. He’s a better hitter, but he’s not a great hitter

9:42
j : Aaron Hicks: All Star? Or still too early to think that?

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: Still too early. Plus, how many outfielders actually make it each season? It’s not like he’ll get in through voting.

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: I like his season, though. He’s really shrunk his zone

9:43
Stuafoo: How many attempts do you get from people trying to become the new Bork?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Some, but fewer than you’d expect

9:45
Ryan: Do you think that the Rockies/Dbacks are legit going down the road or do you think the pitching eventually comes back down to earth

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: I think they count as legitimate contenders just because of what they’ve already accomplished. Neither team is *bad* and there are elements to like about both pitching staffs. The Rockies actually have more of a weakness on the position-player side. The last two months for both teams are going to be stressful

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: I can’t tell you how much it helps the Diamondbacks to have uncovered a couple good relievers. That was supposed to be a massive liability

9:47
NatsFan: Are T. Turner, Robles, and Soto enough for Trout? Should either team consider this type of trade this off-season?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: Stop trying to trade for Trout

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: You’re not going to trade for Trout

9:48
Anthony: Who’s the real Chuck Morton?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know what more convincing you need. The stuff is there. He’s pretty good now. Still seemingly a guy who’s a bit worse than his peripherals, but he was a great acquisition

9:49
Sylvio Dante: Time to buy on Tommy Joseph?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: A few weeks ago people were asking if it was time to cut Tommy Joseph

9:49
Erik: Would you enjoy seeing two teams match up for three straight World Series, like we’re seeing in the NBA? Or do you prefer more variety?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: I would hate that

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Like, three straight years of Red Sox/Cardinals or something? Hard pass

9:50
Porcho Villa: Cesar Hernandez has had a rough May. Has the league adjusted to his new approach, or is this just a blip?

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: I think all the Phillies had a rough May

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: (Except Tommy Joseph)

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: Hernandez was never going to be an actual slugger, so just be happy if he keeps himself somewhere above average

9:51
Sylvio Dante: Oddudduddubal Herrera, last year was the ceiling and this years the floor?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: Herrera is almost exactly what he was as a rookie, just with 100 missing points of BABIP

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: Not that his BABIP now is low; it’s just that, back then, it was high

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: His approach has gotten away from him somewhat, and he definitely looked frustrated yesterday, but this was always a risk. He’s not a disciplined hitter.

9:53
Moltar: Is there any team more comically mismanaged than the Mets? When the Marlins get sold, Wilpon assumes the title of worst owner in baseball, right?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: There have been some major issues with, say, Anaheim. Baltimore, too, among others. You just get to hear more about the Mets because they’re the Mets

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: Not saying they’re not mismanaged. They just have some competition

9:54
CarrotJuice: Has Joe Smith made any changes to make you think that his absolute dominence this season is anything more than a SSS blip?

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: I wasn’t expecting to have to look this up this morning

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: All I can say for now is that it seems like Smith is working a little higher than he ever has.

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe taking a page out of the Darren O’Day playbook. At this point I’d most safely assume it’s a blip, but it’s something to watch. He might have unlocked a new way to miss bats

9:59
Ben: In the 2007 draft featured Price (1st), Bumgarner (10th), Heyward (14th), Donaldson (48th), Stanton (76th), & Freeman (78th). Knowing what they now know, if GMs could go back for a do over, I assume those guys would go in the first 6 picks, but in what order?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: Price made a big-league difference as soon as 2008, right? So that would be pretty highly valued, to have someone arrive so fast

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: For the same reason, Donaldson might be at the end, since he didn’t break out until 2013

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: Every GM would love to have what Donaldson has provided but there’s always a greater urgency to get more value sooner than later

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t have a specific order for you. Stanton before Freeman, presumably. The others are all practically interchangeable

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: I guess you’d take Bumgarner if you knew he came with World Series championships…

10:02
Scott of Linconshire: Are pants optional today? Asking for myself, as I’m not wearing pants.

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: Have some dignity

10:02
Zihuatenejo: I’m not Bork, but it’s nice to chat with you, Jeff.

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: Thank you friend

10:03
Pretty Tony: Is Jordan Zimmerman’s contract the worst in baseball for a starting pitcher?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: Looking that way. Homer Bailey’s deal looks pretty bad, but Zimmermann appears like a disaster

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Zimmermann’s current ERA-/FIP-/xFIP- readings: 141, 149, 136

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: my goodness

10:04
Benjamin Ebek: Should the Jays trade, extend, or wait and see with Donaldson?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Wait and see

10:04
Anthony: Heartbreaking Sens loss!

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve never loved a team so much after a defeat

10:05
Sterling Mallory Chris Archer: How long can Conforto keep this up?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: This? A 188 wRC+? Not long. But, a 130 wRC+? Much longer

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: Legitimately good hitter, if still weak against lefties

10:05
Twinkies: Say that the twins are *somehow* leading a tight division race around the trade deadline – what kind of trade would make sense for them?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: Boring stuff. They’re not going to sell the farm for anything, but they could add depth pieces

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: Like, a piece like Jason Vargas. Completely unsexy but helpful for them

10:06
Charlie: Re: Mets What is our problem?

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: Everyone good is injured or bad

10:08
Ryan: What do the Dodgers do with Chris Taylor going down the stretch?

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: Play him semi-regularly. Hernandez bouncing back presents a challenge, and Taylor obviously isn’t this good, but the Dodgers have a depth problem in the best possible way

10:09
dirty water dogs: Amed Rosario may not “turn around” the Mets, but he certainly can provide some buzz and make vets(such as grandy) remember they have to play better or you lose your job.

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: Amed Rosario would have zero effect on Curtis Granderson

10:10
toki: Who are the Cubs most likely to target for rotation help besides Sonny Gray? Any Jay’s pitchers or Ray’s pitchers?

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: Selling teams have to be out of the hunt first before they sell

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not a deep market right now for arms

10:11
Lilith: What do you think the Reds can get for Cozart?

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Not that much. They had enough trouble finding a partner over the winter. Not much in the way of contending teams in need of a shortstop

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Useful player, obviously, but there are just so many shortstops, and it’s not like the Padres are going to bother paying for anything

10:12
AD: Do you know of any way to quantify the value of MLB managers (i.e. WAR)? I feel like it would be extremely difficult, but really interesting to learn just how valuable or in(un?)valuable certain guys are

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Nothing good yet

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: There have been little stabs at evaluating particular traits, but not much comprehensive and conclusive

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: When you have a big enough sample you might as well just compare team performance to preseason projections. Plenty of noise in there but it’s a starting point

10:14
Julio Pepper: Andrelton Simmons has a 104 wRC+ over the last calendar year, and he’s quietly been hitting close to .300 for a year; you believe? Also: Jed Lowrie.

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: Lowrie is just back to hitting like he used to, pre-2016

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: Simmons, I don’t believe in very much, but I can see him between 90 – 100 wRC+

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: Still pops up too much for a guy without power

10:15
Jake: Who ends the year with a higher WAR:

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: Trout

10:16
Porcho Villa: Could this be the year that Belt overcomes his home park and hits 30 bombs?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Nah. Too tough of a home park

10:16
Luke: What percent of the analysis currently done by MLB front offices could be done using the data available to a lay person on Fangraphs? 50%?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: A very high percentage of the direct baseball analysis. But, all the stuff being done on rest and injuries and whatnot? Nearly 0%

10:17
JTT: Why does it seem like everybody on the internet is a Mariners fan? I’ve never met one in real life but every baseball forum/website is nothing but Mariners fans

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: Dave used to blog about the Mariners, and I used to blog about the Mariners, and so even though we no longer blog about the Mariners, we have this legacy audience that’s probably over-represented

10:17
Sterling Mallory Chris Archer: Josh Donaldson is back today. Considering the calf issue completely healed, how awesome is he going to be?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: He’s going to be very awesome, but aging players don’t become *less* prone to getting hurt

10:18
dirty water dogs: How do you fix Cutch? Is a change of scenery necessary? However, trading at his lowest value hurts.

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: Change of scenery is no cure for diminished skills

10:18
Cody: Do you think the Brewers should call up Brinson to re-energize the team?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: Energy is not their problem

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: The Brewers shouldn’t make any decisions right now based on trying to hang in the race in 2017

10:19
Cecil: Is there an easy way to find games that meet certain criteria to see how often they’ve happened in history? I’m thinking of the Mariners loss last Friday where the only hit they had was a triple and that seems like it’d be a rare occurance.

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: That’s what the Play Index is for!

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: It’s the single best tool on the internet for baseball dorks

10:22
Jake: Do you think the White Sox have something with Leury Garcia? 5 defensive runs saved in CF, and he’s running a 125 wRC+ with substantially improved contact rates.

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: I’m afraid not. Lots of grounders and the exit-velocity stuff makes his power seem like a total mirage

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: Now, I don’t think he’s the worst hitter in baseball anymore, based on the fact that he’s hitting the ball more often, but he’s a utility type now

10:23
Mark: Hit me with your current favourite Mike Trout stat or fact.

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: Do you know how long it would take me to sort through all of them

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: This is an impossible live-chat question

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: My favorite Mike Trout fact would have something to do with the fact that Mike Trout simply exists as he does

10:23
Chris: Spent last night going down memory lane on Leone for third. Jeff Sullivan the writer for Fangraphs is a much better writer and analyst than Jeff Sullivan the amateur blogger. Hopefully no offense taken.

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: oh god zero offense at all

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: Never read what you used to write

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: Everything that’s older than a year or so is embarrassing

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: And this is a rolling year

10:24
Andrew: What do you expect sonny gray to do ros?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: Pitch well

10:25
Gest : Has Folty made any strides this year you think?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: None that I care about

10:26
Barry O: Is Justin Bour for real or a mirage?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: He’s a very strong hitter. Now he’s showing a little bit of progress against southpaws. Flawed, but pretty good

10:29
Terry’s Sarape: Which unsung player(s) had the best 2-3 year run – where they acquired most of their WAR in a very short span and then essentially disappeared (statistically, anyway)?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: This is hasty but I wonder if we’re going to think about Odubel Herrera like this down the line

10:30
SamS18: Jeff, what do you think is the solution to the Red Sox third base problem?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: The Devers possibility has already been floated

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: Short of that, I wonder if there could be an actual fit with Zack Cozart. It would require someone to change positions on the fly, but he’s a useful player who would be affordable, and he doesn’t have a big market

10:31
JamesKrause: Is Alex Gordon completely done as a hitter? Going back to your aging curve question, I would have thought he would age quite gracefully given his infamously spartan lifestyle and workout regimen…but we are past the point of small sample sizes now aren’t we? every single underlying metric is really bad for his hitting. defense still looks elite but what the hell happened here

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: I’m with you, this is bizarre. I also thought he was a safe bet to age well and instead he’s completely unraveled

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: Good lessons in there as well, just like with Cruz

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: The one positive thing is that Gordon is back to making contact, undoing last year’s drop. But his actual contact has sucked

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Every single contact-quality metric is down. If I had to guess at Gordon’s rest-of-season wRC+, I’d say…80 or 85

10:33
Dudley: can a MLB team compete by spending but at the same time not entering into long-term deals and deals with guys 32+? Is there any way to do both?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: It would be tough to do both just because it’s the older players who tend to earn the most, but you could do it. You’d sign your best younger players to long-term extensions and you’d target younger FA

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: You’d have trouble spending up to the cap, but that’s a nice problem, I guess

10:35
Erik: Who is the best player on the Phillies? Everyone who seemed to have a claim is either hurt or regressing.

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: I think it’s Nola, followed by Altherr, followed by a 2008 World Series highlight DVD

10:36
Baseball Players: Why do we hate bat flips so much? What’s the big deal? Wouldn’t that be like NFL players getting pissy when a guy spikes the ball after a TD?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: MLB and NFL have very different cultures

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Bat flips are interpreted as guys showing the other team up. Baseball players in particular don’t respond well to that

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: But change is inevitable and well underway

10:37
CarrotJuice: Do you think you’ll be incorporating xwOBA for hitters into posts more frequently in the future? How about any other of the newly released Statcast stats?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t anticipate using xwOBA very much, at least for a while. It would be kind of like citing a guy’s line-drive rate. A rate can be really high or really low, but I’m more interested in what’s actually sustainable

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s say there’s a guy who rips off a hot streak where he hits a bunch of flares between the infield and the outfield. By xwOBA, he’s hitting those balls perfectly for hits, but that’s not a skill someone can actually have

10:38
Charlie: What is your process for finding subjects to write about?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: Desperation

10:39
Scott Boras vs. Theo Epstein: Who’s job would you rather have and why?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: Major pluses and minuses with either. With Boras, there’s zero upside from a PR perspective — people are always going to hate an agent, especially an agent who’s good

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: But then, I also think Boras has an easier job, in that his players generally sell themselves

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: Epstein has to hunt for value, constantly. Boras has the value. His players make their own numbers

10:40
MLB Agent: Do I understand/care about sabermetrics and analytics in the game today?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Yes if you’re good at your job

10:41
Chris S: The Joey Gallo threshold for awesomeness

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Gallo, April: 34% K, 132 wRC+. Gallo, May: 43% K, 93 wRC+. That doesn’t tell the whole story, but it tells a lot of it. What a fascinating player he is

10:42
YKnotDisco?!: Rose Festival: Yay or Nay?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve never actually been, but that’s because my own interests take me away from the city, and not deeper into the heart of it

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: If you like festivals, you’ll like this festival

10:43
Travis Kriens: Manny Machado is not have a bad year, seems to be league average offensively, but a down year for him. Any reasons? Hard hit rate is good. He’s not swinging at bad pitches, but his BABIP is in the low .200

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: He’s way better than this. I don’t want to point to “bad luck” but his actual performance metrics would indicate a far more successful 2017

10:44
In dusty we don’t trusty: Do think the Nats starting rotation will holdup throughout the season? They’re putting a lot of innings on Stras and Scherzer. I’m worried one of them will have a DL stint sooner rather than later.

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think Scherzer is worth worrying about any more than anyone else. Strasburg — well, there’s more of a history there

10:44
marichal: Which Rockies starter gets pulled from the rotation when Gray returns in a few weeks?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: Freeland would probably be my pick, but there are so many young guys in there who will need breaks that they’ll be sorting through all of them over the remainder

10:46
Chris: More under appreciated as a Mariner by the fandom, Adrian Beltre or Mike Cameron?

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: Probably Beltre — lots of people out there who think he was just bad. And Cameron is more closely associated with the team being good. But I still cannot believe that Cameron wound up non-tendered

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: He was coming off a 5-win season

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: Let me say that again; they didn’t offer arbitration

10:48
Cody: Would the Marlins trading Stanton make the franchise more or less desirable to a new owner?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: I think at least in theory it wouldn’t change very much since Stanton would be exchanged for a package approximating his current worth

10:49
Sam: Is Jordan Montgomery making strides or are the Royals actually that bad?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Yes

10:49
Guest: Folk hero or not, don’t the Cubs have to send Schwarber to AAA for awhile? His OBP is below .300 now and the strikeouts are piling up. Not to mention, they aren’t exactly short on outfielders.

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think there’s anything seriously wrong here. Schwarber was always going to strike out. Power hitters who whiff a bunch go through hot streaks and cold spells

10:50
Anthony: Is there an ideal Z-swing% or ZS%-OZS%? Higher seems better of course, but going too far would likely result in some weak balls – in – play because you’re going after pitcher’s strikes. Is there a real equilibrium point for everyone, or does this vary for player type?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: It varies player to player. Like, Chris Iannetta has run a bunch of high Z – O-Swing rates, but he’s generally just been an average hitter

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: Some guys are better when they target certain areas, like Joe Mauer or Matt Carpenter. Other guys could afford to be more aggressive

10:51
Jeb: Is the MLB Hall of Fame the hardest HOF to get into? I think it is.

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: It’s the only one I even slightly pay attention to, but it does seem like it

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: Even if it’s not, by the numbers, it’s at least the most controversial. Other players in other sports seem to gain induction without people losing their minds

10:52
toki: What would the Cubs have to give up for Darvish?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: There’s no reasonable match right now as long as the Rangers are competitive

10:53
S: Charlie Blackmon = Mike Trout Lite?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: How lite are we talking?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: like how five dollars = twenty dollars lite?

10:54
Blackburn: If you were the Pirates, would you trade Mitch Keller and Tony Watson for Javy Beaz? I say hell no.

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: Tony Watson is a contract-year reliever with declining peripherals, and Mitch Keller is a non-elite prospect in High-A

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll take the big-league asset with four and a half more years of control

10:56
Tim: What is every Cubs fan obsession with Schwarber and Baez? What am I missing?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: The organization has hyped up Schwarber beyond any reasonable threshold, and Baez has flashed massive upside from the beginning

10:57
Kevin: Baez is similar to Josh Harrison in my opinion.

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: Baez has power and doesn’t make contact. Harrison makes contact and doesn’t have power

10:58
Ice Cubicle: Have you given your take on what’s up with Tanaka? Either way….Mind sharing it again?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: I haven’t seen anything too terribly alarming. I think he’ll be okay

10:58
Joe: Magma or lava, you gotta pick one, which do you pick, Sullivan?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: Magma if I’m near it, lava if I’m a short-term visitor

10:59
Ryan: Should I give up on Addison Russell or will he get better as time goes on?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: Addison Russell is a 23-year-old everyday shortstop who’s been worth 7 WAR in the equivalent of two full seasons

11:00
What’s in a name?: If, for some cosmic reason, you weren’t allowed to go by “Jeff”, and had to go by either “Jeffery”, “Jefferson”, “Sully”, or “Funkmaster-J”, which would you prefer?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: Jefferson

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: It would make me sound a lot more dignified than I am as an at-home baseball blogger

11:00
A lawyer: Let’s assume a player is a 40 on the 20-80 scale at all five tools, but has an 80 grade ability to draw catcher’s interference. Say, Jacoby Ellsbury times 10. How often would this player need to be drawing a catcher’s interference to be an above average player?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: I’d say my guess is between 20 and 30

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know the run value of a catcher’s interference, but it’s probably similar to the run value of a HBP

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: And that’s right around 0.6 runs, each

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: Give a guy 25 catcher’s interference calls, and that’s 15 runs, which is roughly a win and a half

11:05
Khrush Davis: As someone who saw some upside to this A’s team, what record would they have to have at the end of June for you to trade Gray? Assuming he keeps pitching like this and could get back maybe 1 great prospect and 2 lesser ones

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: So, Gray has another 2.5 years of team control, basically

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: He could in theory be one of the only good starting pitchers available

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: Assume he’ll be joined by Quintana, at least

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: The A’s will be aggressive about moves like this but I think if they’re even sniffing the WC hunt, they’ll need to be strongly persuaded

11:06
Laroo: What can rodon become? Is he max scherzer good?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve kept coming back to Francisco Liriano

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: That’s my standing comp

11:06
Kevin: Why is so much of the focus on the pace of play issues on the pitchers’ side and not on the batters stepping out/ being continually granted time out by the ump?

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: Blame goes to them both, but pitchers are in a little more control than hitters are

11:07
BP12345: Realistically, if the O’s were to trade Machado, what kind of return could they get for him this summer?

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: Well that’s just not realistic

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: They’d have to completely fall apart

11:07
Anthony: So, Corey Dickerson has the highest chase rate in baseball and is one of the 10 best hitters in baseball. How?

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: Josh Hamilton did that

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: Some guys are just better when unrestrained

11:08
Jim Lonborg: Who is the best hitting reliever right now? I saw Mike Montgomery try to hit yesterday and it’s not him.

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: Lorenzen, no question

11:08
Andrew: What a game. Rip sens. Karlsson was magical this postseason.

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: And on one leg!

11:08
Albert Pujols: Am I finished as an above average hitter?

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: You have the talent of an above-average hitter, but I don’t think your body will let you beat out any close plays anymore, so your results suffer

11:08
Jason Vargas: I would like to have a word with you.

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: go away

11:09
Charlie: Do you think there’s much value in more “frameable” pitchers? i.e. pitchers who live on the corners more. I guess that’s what good pitchers anyway, but what do you think?

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: Like you say, basically, the good “frameable” pitchers are just pitchers who have really good command. So they’re already valuable pitchers

11:09
JC at the Bat: Is Harper going to continue to put up these ridiculous numbers all season?

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: No

11:09
5 Run Homer: Robbie Grossman is walking like crazy. What is happening here?

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: You know, at some point, Grossman is going to finally earn his own FP article. He kind of did this last year, too. And as long as the Twins are in the hunt, they’re actually good for publishable material

11:10
kevinthecomic: Picking up on your sabermetric HOF comment, is there anything stopping anyone from creating a competing HOF? Like if you guys, Baseball Prospectus, Ron Shandler, Bill James and a few others ‘passed the hat’, couldn’t you buy a derelict building somewhere in America and open your own HOF populated only with players who actually deserved to be there? Also, what would you call it? The Better HOF? The Real HOF?

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: In theory we could do it but in reality absolutely no one would care

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: No one cares about the internet baseball awards, or whatever they’re called

11:11
Jeff Sullivan: There’s no substitute for tradition and history

11:11
Sean: Jeff, the Diamondbacks are at 7.1 BsR over 22 games in May. That’s a little lower than their April pace, but at .323 BsR/game (in May), that would still come out to about 52 BsR over a season. Is AZ going to crush to Rays’ record?

11:11
Jeff Sullivan: I still don’t think they’ll actually top those Rays, but I check in on the D-Backs baserunning every week. It’s absurd how good they have been

11:12
Brett W: This is a great time of year to donate blood.

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know where this came from but yes!

11:12
Imre: Lots of noise in Cubland re: who to trade for pitching (Baez, Schwarber, Russell as headliners). Cameron suggested Russell in a chat earlier this week. Most Cub fans might say that’s an out of the box suggestion. Thoughts?

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: Here’s the good news — no trades are happening within the next month or so, certainly not of any import. So there’s still time for situations to settle down

11:13
Anthony: How did you become a Sens fan again?

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: The morning I decided to start liking sports, I needed a hockey team to support, and I looked at the bottom of the standings and saw Ottawa and I felt bad for them

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: I continue to feel bad for them, but also now for myself

11:13
Grant: Re: Fandom: Are you now cheering for a team in the finals? Are you going to watch?

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: lol no

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: but go Nashville!

11:13
Sim: What do you see going forward with Pomeranz?

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not sure if this is worth anything yet but when I did a quick casual examination yesterday I noticed Pomeranz is way down in terms of fastball spin rate

11:15
Jeff Sullivan: And yet he’s missing all these bats. As long as he’s healthy I buy him as a useful starter, but as a terribly inefficient one

11:15
Pb&Js: With Duvall And Schebler seemingly both settling in, what do you see for Winker this year or next?

11:15
Jeff Sullivan: Winker still needs to hit some more, but if and when he becomes ready, it won’t be hard for the Reds to fit him in

11:16
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe that’s because Schebler slows down, or maybe that’s because Duvall is already almost 29 years old

11:16
Sean: Only three MLB’ers have more SBs than Paul Goldschmidt. They all have wRC+s in the 70s. Goldy is at 166. He continues to blow my mind.

11:16
Jeff Sullivan: So incredibly underrated

11:16
Jeff Sullivan: So many Diamondbacks players have been underrated

11:17
ingoodguys: earlier in the season, there was a lot of talk about radar gun readings, & how they changed this year. much ado about nothing, or still a thing?

11:17
Jeff Sullivan: Still a thing. We’re just used to it now

11:17
Jeff Sullivan: Average fastball velocity is up 0.4 miles per hour from last year. That’s just because of how the readings are being done

11:18
Jacob h cornhole: You’re a Seattle guy right? Have you ever hiked lake garibaldi in BC? im going in June and my girlfriend is worried it’s too difficult

11:19
Jeff Sullivan: Portland, not Seattle, but anyway — I can’t speak to that location, myself, but before you go be sure to check in on conditions. It’s a high-altitude area and we just had our wettest winter in decades or something. There could be a lot of lingering snow, which could really throw your plans for a loop

11:19
Kevin: Is Ken Giles good now? His FIP is the lowest of his career and he’s commanding his FB really well recently. His velocity also seems to have gotten an uptick and he’s touch 100 regularly.

11:19
Jeff Sullivan: Wasn’t Ken Giles always good?

11:20
the p-rizzle: What if Brett Gardner hits 30 home runs?

11:20
Jeff Sullivan: Freddy Galvis just hit 20 home runs

11:20
Jeff Sullivan: Anything is possible

11:20
Jeff Sullivan: All right, I need to get rolling. Big long weekend ahead to prepare for

11:20
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 — 5/26/17 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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