Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 5/27/16

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s every last one of us baseball chat

9:10
Snowflake: Happy 21st Birthday Yoan Moncada

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: Julio Urias’ grandfather

9:11
Slippin Jimmy: I was watching MLB Network the other day, and the two analysts ran down their top 5 pitchers in baseball. One of them said Rich Hill. Not joking.

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: It’s…hard…to argue against? I mean, there are varying definitions of “best” but if you’re looking for someone to win a game tomorrow…

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: Rich Hill has done almost nothing but dominate since arriving last summer. Of course it’s one of the weirdest things in the whole damned game but the numbers are what they are

9:12
Snowflake: Which is more likely over the next 100 years? The Cubs continue to not win a World Series or the Yellowstone super volcano erupts ending life as we know it

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: The Cubs thing by a lot. There are plenty of other volcanoes to worry about more than Yellowstone

9:12
Ryan : Can the Astros turn the ship around this year?

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: Sure they can. They could, of course, really use a not-terrible Carlos Gomez. That’s important. But they’ve solidified their bullpen and they don’t have too many holes, so they’re by no means toast

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: Over the past month, they’re 14-13, which isn’t good, but which isn’t lousy. Same record as the Jays, Tigers, and Yankees. They really need the Mariners and Rangers to cool off

9:14
Rags: Is CC Sabathia a thing again?

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: When the home runs come, the runs come, but he’s a serviceable starter. Nothing for the Yankees to complain about.

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: New pitch! Sort of. The four-seam fastball has some cutting action this time around

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: That pitch has so far avoided hard contact

9:19
Josecanyousee: rank non-Thor Mets starters ROS? Getting harder and harder to put the Harvey and even DeGrom over Matz

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe I’m being reactionary but I agree with you. Right now I’d say Matz, then Harvey, then deGrom

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe actually deGrom before Harvey — he’s starting to get his stuff back, seems like. But those early good starts he had came against the Phillies and Braves. I don’t care about those

9:20
John C.: Better career? Nola or Velasquez?

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: Nola, because of Velasquez’s injury risk.

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: I think Nola will burn for a while. Velasquez seems like he’d shine brightest, only to fade away

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: I love love love almost everything about Nola. Underrated, somehow

9:22
Rahul: The Giants are surging. Winners of 13 out of their last 14. Do you think they can run away with the NL West, as they are doing right now.

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: No, they won’t run away from the Dodgers. I know sometimes it might feel like this site is in love with the Dodgers, but it is what it is. We think the Dodgers are good! The Giants are also good, but not more good

9:23
Maxamuz: Prediction: Julio Urias fails to impress.

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: Felix Hernandez’s debut: 5 innings, 2 runs, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts. Non-televised!

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: Of course, the rest of that year, Felix was amazing. The next year he struggled! Clayton Kershaw kind of struggled a little too. Sometimes even the elites need time

9:24
j6takish: Jeff, what are you doing this weekend? What Should I be doing this weekend?

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: Backpacking in the Mount Margaret backcountry just north of Mount St Helens

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: That applies to both questions because our little group had a couple drop-outs!

9:26
j6takish: Justin verlander, good at baseball again?

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: This started happening again last year down the stretch. Seems like he’s where he wants to be. Currently has his highest strikeout rate since 2009

9:27
Elon Musk: Will genetic engineering end baseball?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Not before you’re dead

9:27
Scott: Do you think Devon Travis being back will help out the Jays

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: yes

9:28
Iago: What do I make of Brian Dozier? I know his BABIP is a little lower than his career numbers suggests, so is there still hope for him this year or should I start looking for other options at 2B in an OBP/SLG league?

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: Dozier is a pretty one-dimensional hitter. He wants inside pitches, and he wants to pull them over the fence. He’s not very flexible up there, and he’s made it work for a while, but at least in theory it seems like that makes it fairly simple to attack him. I don’t think he’s *this* bad but you have to think the league knows what he’s about. I watched this sort of thing happen to Jose Lopez, albeit at a younger age

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: Dozier needs pull-side home runs. That’s everything to him. Take a few of those away, and he’s lousy

9:33
Gio: Hi Jeff! Is deGrom a buy-low opportunity or should we pass? And, any concern about Giolito? I know he’s walking more people, striking out less, but word is Nats wanted him to change some mechanics, and now he should be back to his normal thing (his last start was pretty good). Still top of the rotation upside and callup later this year, or has something changed? Thanks!

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: Is deGrom a fantasy question? Whatever. He’s good. He’s better than this. Use that for what you will

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: Giolito had a rough start to his season. Seemed to have a little bit of a mechanical breakdown, where he was having issues with his leg lift and his timing

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: He’s working on that, and he’s better than this, but he’s still walking guys. He walked guys last year. He hasn’t yet dominated in Double-A. He’s made it hard to drive the ball but he’s not all that polished

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: I like him as a prospect but there aren’t yet enough strikes. Kind of like Glasnow. The potential is obvious but there are kinks to be smoothed

9:37
adam: it’s friday, im at work, ENTERTAIN ME

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: Work should be its own entertainment

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: lol I’m kidding, have some chips

9:38
Scott: What do you see the Jays targeting in these potential trades? Can you see them grabbing some productive bullpen arms?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: I keep thinking about Will Smith. Maybe they’ll trade for a healthy Will Smith

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: Otherwise I don’t know what you do outside of hoping established players bounce back closer to career norms

9:41
Houzer : Do you think the Padres would be open to a Shields for Anibal Sanchez+Steven Moya trade? Would let the Padres get out of their Shields deal without having to include cash, and give them a younger, albeit troubling SP, with some upside

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: After a couple glances I think you’d have the Padres’ attention. Might not be enough to push them over the edge, but Sanchez has basically half the remaining commitment as Shields. Moya isn’t a total nothing

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: The Padres might rather try to pay down Shields to get better youth in return. Sanchez would have almost no appeal to them. But it’s a starting point

9:45
adam: is rendon back?

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: Seems that way! I don’t think he’s 2014-good, but I think he’s very good

9:47
JKD: Max Scherzer is striking out more hitters than ever, walking them at a bit below career-average rates (though higher than last year’s career-low), getting a career-high rate of soft contact and career-average rate of hard contact, inducing way more infield flies… and 1.9 HR/9, with a 20.6% HR/FB. SIERA thinks he’s excellent (2.86), xFIP does too (3.07) – is this really just a pure-dumb-luck thing that’ll regress away, or is there maybe something else going on?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think there’s anything wrong with Scherzer. I mean, he’s clearly aggressive in the zone, and in the upper half, so balls get hit in the air. That’s been the case for a while.

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: But consider that game on May 6 in Chicago. Scherzer allowed four dingers in five innings! But the wind was blowing straight out to center field.

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: He’s as hard to hit as ever. Out of the zone and inside of it. His stuff is the same. Scherzer is awesome

9:50
Q-Ball: How worried are you about Prince Fielder? Is this a slump, or is he Ryan Howard 2.0?

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: I almost wrote about him for today and will probably write about him next week. He’s in trouble.

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: He’s not the worst player in baseball, I don’t think, but he always had a pretty narrow offensive foundation. Weaken that just a bit and the whole structure collapses

9:52
Sean P : Based on whatever adjustments Fowler has made to turn him into the valuable defender he has been this year, at what level do you expect Fowler to regress defensively throughout the rest of the year? Or, can he maintain this level of defense over the rest of the season?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: I could see him as a 0 to +5 center fielder

9:52
Jon: Should the Braves be looking to move Teheran now or should they risk it and wait until July for a potentially higher return? Could they get a Shelby Miller-like return?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: The problem, if it’s a problem, is that there isn’t a market yet. Teams aren’t looking to make trades before the draft. You’ll see things heat up toward the end of June but the Braves will need to hope Teheran keeps this going for now

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: The Jeff Samardzija trade was early, by deadline standards, and that happened on July 5. So that’s something to keep in mind. There’ll never be another Shelby Miller-like trade, but Teheran could fetch a shiny centerpiece

9:57
JD: Edwin Encarnacion’s K and BB rates are off from the past couple years, but his batted ball rate and plate discipline don’t look too different. Is it bad luck or is he just getting old?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: Element of noise. Same sort of thing actually happened last year. Through this date, Encarnacion had a strikeout rate of 21%. The rest of the way, 13%.

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: I’d trust him. And he’s mostly been productive for the month, so he’s warming up, it would appear

10:00
greg: Do you think Zack Cozart could fetch the Reds a top-100 prospect?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: I do, although it’s generally more difficult to move position players mid-season than pitchers.

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not easy to find a buyer. Most decent or competitive teams already have shortstops

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: The White Sox could be interested but their farm system blows

10:03
Zonk: Is something wrong with Jason Heyward? Is there a mechanical or other reason he hasn’t hit?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: He’s always had complicated mechanics. He’s been no stranger to on-the-fly adjustments. But he’s been getting pounded by fastballs. More and more as the season has gone on. He hasn’t hit them, so there’s a perception out there that his swing is long and slow

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: Until Heyward does something to cover the inner edge, against velocity, he’s going to have trouble

10:06
Houzer : Sigh .. Giles came in for save and gave up a run. Is he just not going to be the closer this year?

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not like there’s anything horribly wrong with Gregerson

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: Hell, Michael Feliz might be better

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: Will Harris might be better!

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: But that was the only run Giles has allowed in his last 10 games

10:07
Gregory Polanco: Lets talk about my upside – even with my breakout this year, it still feels like I haven’t touched my ceiling yet. What would that ceiling be? Top five outfielder in baseball?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know your *ceiling* ceiling, but you’ve got a 155 wRC+. Let’s not get greedy.

10:08
CamdenWarehouse: Should the Royals target Baez to fill in at 3rd? He could then move to SS or 2B next year.

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: Tough to imagine a less Royalsy player

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: They’ll be content to roll with Cuthbert for the time being. If they make a move in July, I would guess it would be for a veteran

10:10
AJ: Could a hypothetical Teheran trade to the Rangers bring back Gallo, or is that overly optimistic?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: Overly optimistic, especially with Gallo showing better contact ability. For Teheran you’d be getting a pitcher or two second-tier quality prospects

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Teheran is a No. 2 or No. 3, and though he’s on a good roll, you don’t throw away the track record

10:12
AA: What do you think Sano will look like ROS?

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: a DH

10:14
Q-Ball: What would you do if you were GM of the White Sox? Clearly they have an opportunity, but seems like they need some help.

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: What would really help is more production from Jose Abreu. Clearly there would be a use for another starter although the market is thin. I wish they had a better defensive catcher. I wonder if they could take on the James Shields salary

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: We’ll see what Miguel Gonzalez does for them — after the chatter in spring about his velocity being down, it turns out it’s fine!

10:18
Luke: Any thoughts on Scott Kazmir having the lowest Statcast fly ball exit velocity amongst qualified starters, yet having a 20% HR/FB and giving up 1.87 HR/9? May not be the ideal chat question, but it seems like a pretty interesting dichotomy.

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: I think that’s about where you leave it. Interesting dichotomy. Nothing to really be done with it. The exit velocity will go up some, and the home runs will go down some, at the same time

10:19
Avi: Isn’t it bad to publicly announce the limit of a SP? Because it gives incentive to the other team to try and work towards that limit?

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: That’s why most teams don’t go public with strict limits

10:20
JD: After tonight’s start for Urias, is he going
a) back to the minors
b) to the bullpen
c) nowhere – he stays in the rotation

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: I imagine this season he’s going to end up in the bullpen. Whether that happens immediately or in a few weeks, I expect it happens

10:21
Wardo: Am I crazy for thinking Aaron Nola can’t keep up a 10 k/9 with his low SwStr%? Everyone’s calling this guy the next Cliff Lee and I’m just waiting for it to fall apart.

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: Does it make you feel better to know that Nola has the same contact rate allowed as Stephen Strasburg and Madison Bumgarner?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: Plus, he’s tied for fifth in baseball in called third strikes, because of his deception. Batters don’t really know when to pull the trigger

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: He’s legit

10:22
Sam: While Dan Straily’s more advanced peripherals don’t quite validate his gaudy ERA, he could definitely still help a team looking to shore up the back of their rotation, right?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: No one’ll give much for him, but I could see him being moved very quietly

10:23
Q-Ball: Billy Beane is probably going to look to cash Rich Hill in, isn’t he? A’s likely looking for prospects back?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: People long figured the A’s could have the most interesting starter to sell at the deadline. Who knew it wouldn’t be Sonny Gray!

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: Hill is super good, and super cheap. Seems like he’ll be on the move if he stays healthy. That’s a question, and his durability is a question, so it’s not like he’s going to get the Johnny Cueto package. But this is the guy to watch

10:24
CamdenWarehouse: How worried should the Orioles be about the Ks?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: They knew this was going to happen. If anything, they welcomed it

10:25
Q-Ball: The Dodgers entered the season with enviable depth and real talent all around the diamond. What exactly has gone wrong so far? Do you think they’ll rebound to take the NL West?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Everybody but Clayton Kershaw got hurt and Adrian Gonzalez and Howie Kendrick have combined for a -0.4 WAR

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: Even still, they rank seventh in BaseRuns record. They’re getting healthier. The Giants’ current advantage gives them a leg up but I’d say it’ a coin flip now as to who finishes in first place

10:27
D: What do the Dodgers do with their prospect depth?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: Cherish it

10:27
D: What’s the obvious move once all dodger starters are healthy? Who goes to the pen?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think you ever assume complete and total health.

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: But Urias would be an option there

10:28
Zonk: Jeff, why is the bat of Justin Upton striking baseballs with much reduced frequency when compared to last year?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Weirdly, his contact rate is actually about the same

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: It’s hung between 69% – 73% for like four or five years

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: But I see a pretty substantial increase in his rate of inside fastballs seen. Kind of like a right-handed Jason Heyward in that way. Going to assume it’s a simple timing issue. Upton needs to get quicker to the ball, and I think based on his track record you have to figure he’ll get there soon

10:31
Sam: Astros with 24 of their next 31 against teams under .500. You think they can make a run to get back in it?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t not think that. They’re still good, to me. Just with more questions than they had two months ago

10:32
John: Who are the three players most likely to hit .300 for each of the next 10 years?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Altuve, Trout, Polanco?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Guys like Machado and Betts also get consideration

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Harper might put too many balls too high in the air

10:34
Joey bats got rocked!: How early is too early to crack your first beer today to start the 3-day weekend?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Depends entirely on work context but last weekend I had a beer at 10:30 in the morning and it was fantastic

10:34
Scott Servais: What is the aspect of the Mariners which should worry me the most, or should I just go outside and enjoy the nice weather?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Bullpen

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: For most teams it’s usually the bullpen

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: Aside from that, Felix’s health? That’s been the case for like a decade now

10:35
Shigetoshi Hasegawa: Barring injuries, is the Mariners’ success sustainable?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: The 99-win pace isn’t, but an 89-win pace would be

10:35
Andrew: Your Andrew Miller fun fact reminded me of another fun fact: he broke his wrist just days before the season started. Sure it was his non-throwing hand, but he’s still raised his level of performance (which was already amazing) with a broken bone! I can barely function at my own job with a common cold…

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: Remember when people worried he might not be able to play??

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: He could play! And he’s better than ever!

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Only a matter of time before high-school parents take their kids in to the doctor to see if they can get a pre-emptive broken non-throwing wrist

10:36
Scootsmahgoots: Continue spinning the Mike Moustakas news.

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: My centrifuge broke

10:36
Q-Ball: Carlos Correa has been……kinda OK. Not great. Is this what he is? What is your take?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: I think most players who bust onto the scene like he did have a rough secondary transition. As a comp, Lindor’s power has evaporated. But this is what it looks like when the league has the edge. Correa has yet to adjust back to how he’s being pitched, and still he’s a good shortstop

10:38
FreeBee: What are the characteristics of hitters that do well against ace pitchers like Kershaw and Arrieta? Are there any examples of hitters that may not be elite over the course of the season, but do significantly better then average players when matched up with top tier pitchers?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: Sorry about that hiccup, just had my connection drop

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: The only thing I could imagine is contact. It would be a slight advantage, relatively speaking, but it’s the best I’ve got. If you can put the ball in play, then those pitchers are less able to get ahead and reach two strikes

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Alternatively, if you want to be successful against Clayton Kershaw, you could consider being Madison Bumgarner

10:42
j3rown: Why do the Dodgers want Urias’ first start to be on the road, at Citi Field, on the day the Mets celebrate the 30th anniversary of their 1986 World Series champion team. Thoughts? I figured they’d want his first start to be at home with a friendly crowd behind him.

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe it would actually be more pressure to debut at home. Felix debuted on the road

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: And maybe it’s just because this is the slot that opened up when Alex Wood needed a break

10:43
Paul: With the potential of Bautista and Encarnacion leaving and Tulowitzski and Martin continuing to be terrible, could you see a scenario where Toronto are a really bad team next year. As a pessimistic Jays fan, I could do with some reassuring!

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: I mean, Tulo can’t be this bad, and Martin can’t be this bad. Does that do it for you?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: It does seem to be a shorter-term window

10:44
John: Do you think baseballs best player 10 years from now is currently a pro or is it someone who hasn’t been drafted yet?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: 10 years is such a long time. 10 years ago, the best position players by WAR were Pujols, Sizemore, Beltran, Utley, and Cabrera

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: If the best player is usually somewhere in his mid-20s, then I’d assume that player isn’t yet a professional

10:45
Enlightening Round: Archer and Harvey, think we’re looking at minor little injuries here or more?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: Archer I think is a little more likely to be mechanical. Harvey, there’s more of an injury question, but I think that’s mechanical/psychological too

10:45
Jon: Will the Rays’ pitching stay bad?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: no

10:45
Waz: Tyson Ross outlook?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: Is he even throwing yet?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Last I heard, he wasn’t throwing yet.

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: It’s bad.

10:47
Barnard: The Mariners team batting has markedly improved this season to last (more BB, less K). How much credit do you think Edgar Martinez deserves for this?

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: It helps to drop guys like Mark Trumbo, Austin Jackson, and Mike Zunino

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: It also helps to have Robinson Cano not playing through a double sports hernia

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: I think Edgar has been a net positive, but this is mostly the work of the front office

10:48
Andrew: What does Carlos Gomez’s contract look like this winter? And who is most likely to give it to him?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: Barring a huge second half, this seems like a classic pillow-contract situation

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: He could end up taking something like Desmond, and then he could hope it works out like Desmond has

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: The real interesting question will be the QO, if that’s still a thing by then

10:49
Sean: The Mets need a 1B… Yasmany Tomas?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Doubt the D-Backs look to move him. And the Mets’ need is more shorter-term. Maybe it even becomes David Wright at some point

10:50
JP: What is more likely to happen, the Cubs winning the world series or the detection of alien civilization?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: This year? Cubs

10:51
Jack Conness: Who gets called up sooner – Alex Reyes or Blake Snell? Who do you like more down the road?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: Snell seems like he’s up sooner

10:51
Stuafoo: Seems like traditional starters who move to the pen typically see a velocity increase resulting from the fact they can just let it rip for an inning or two. Any evidence that throwing harder results in a loss of control for these guys? Feels counterintuitive that someone who isn’t used to it could just start throwing harder without suffering in other areas.

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: You also get to tighten up your repertoire. As a reliever, you don’t need to rely on that fringey third or fourth pitch. So that helps offset any command issues

10:53
Slippin Jimmy: Arrieta, Kershaw, Syndergaurd, Sale, Scherzer. That’s 5 right there that every single GM in MLB would take before Rich Hill. Would you really pick Hill over Strasburg? Or Lester? Or Price? Or Fernandez? Or Bumgarner? Or Hamels? Really?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not saying I think Hill is top 5 but you can’t pretend there’s not a conversation to be had. Not if you’re just talking about winning one game. Over the past calendar year, Hill is third among starters in ERA- and sixth in FIP-, and most of the guys ahead of him have been in the National League

10:56
Minty: If the general consensus is that Correa at 3B and Bregman at SS, why is Bregman the one moving?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: The Astros like to move their prospects around. Keeps them versatile and exposes them to different positions. That gives them big-league flexibility. It’s not like Correa has been a defensive problem. And it’s worth noting that Bregman added a bunch of muscle

10:57
Tony: What is your fascination with volcanoes? It seems so curious with baseball

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: They’re literally the earth exploding

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: You want to feel some real-world perspective about how irrelevant you are? Stand on a volcano

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: Granted, some people might not prefer to feel so irrelevant, but I find it liberating

10:58
Tom: How many front office people’s phone numbers do you have in your phone?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: Not many, but then I hate using smartphones

10:59
steve bedrosian: are the phils gonna sell and release howard, or are they gonna keep this house of cards together for the dum dum fans

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: What do you want them to sell?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: They’ve basically done their sell-off.

10:59
John: Ketel Marte – Is there a better than league average shortstop in there?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: He could get there, sure, but I think he’s mostly too weak to be consistently worth 3+ WAR

11:00
JayDun: Apologies if I missed this in the piece, but regarding Andrew Miller crossing the O swing and Z swing beams ghostbusters style, has anyone done this for a significant period before?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: I haven’t checked! It’s probably been done for a little bit, but I”m not sure about this long

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: At a quick glance, now I’m skeptical that it’s been done for more than a week or two at a time

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: Andrew Miller, everybody!

11:02
Sean: Does Taijuan Walker ever win a Cy Young?

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: Probably not

11:02
Chet: Do you think this is the only time we see Urias in 2016?

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: nope

11:02
steve bedrosian: phillies all star. velasquez, herrera, neris, gomez?

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: Probably not Gomez

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: and then also probably not Neris, just because of how tough it is for a non-closer to make it to the ASG

11:03
Chet: Should the Cardinals be worried about Wacha?

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: probably

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: they should probably be worried a little about a few of their starters!

11:03
Lake: Has any rebuild gotten as much criticism than the Braves? I understand it is a terrible team on the field, but why would it be better to lose 97 games instead of 107 games? The young starting pitching is showing signs of life and everyone knew they were gonna be terrible this year anyways!

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: The Reds have gotten a bunch of criticism

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: And the Braves have a clearer path out of this

11:05
Jack Conness: Thoughts on Jon Gray? Has put together a few nice starts recently. ERA is ugly (5.95) but his FIP tells a different story (2.93). Shoot, even last season his FIP (3.63) was drastically better than his ERA (5.53). Will this continue to be a major issue since he pitches for the Rockies, or are we bound to see a pretty good pitcher in the coming months and years?

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: I like him a fair amount. Maybe the best young pitcher out of the Rockies system in some time. The stuff is real and the ERA is misleading

11:06
Sane Mets fan: Am I actually crazy for not being worried about Matt Harvery? It’s a long season and I feel like if he gets to mediocre for now and then gets at least 90% right for a second half playoff push, the team will be fine. I still feel like he ends up with a sub 4 ERA and a sub 3 in the second half. Maybe he’s not an ace but he’s just too talented not to figure this out and be good again.

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: It’s easier to be calm with the Mets on pace to win 95 games. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with your perspective — if you assume that Harvey is healthy, then he’s proven enough to let you believe he’ll figure this out. He could even be better for it in the long term

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: Pitchers usually work through mechanical issues, if they’re not hurt. Harvey has been dominant for years. I think he’ll get there

11:08
Dave Cameron: Am I a know-it-all in person, or do I just come off like that because i am a nerd?

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: In person I find you almost charming

11:08
Jesus: Why are the Indians being mentioned as one of the teams with the best shot to win the World Series? Even Fangraphs has them ranked third behind the Cubs and Red Sox for odds to win it all….like, wut

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: Pitching staff

11:08
Silly Willy Bo Jilly: Any traction for Lucroy to the Mets?

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: Nothing yet

11:09
mtsw: Some discussions about having (down the line) a MLB expansion team in Mexico City. Given the more-than-Coors altitude there (7000 feet) and the lessons from how the Rockies experiment has gone, how would you design that team/stadium to mitigate the altitude and give the team the best chance to win?

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: You dome it, you talk about pressurizing it, and you put it in the American League so there aren’t two of those in the NL

11:09
Robert: What would be a realistic move the Mariners might make to improve their roster this summer? What type of prospect would they realistically have to give up? As a Seattle fan, being buyers is a new experience!

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: They don’t really have prospects to sell. If Lind is figuring things out they won’t need a first baseman. And with Edwin Diaz on the fast track…without any injuries, they could just hold steady.

11:10
Slugger27: From a strictly WAR/money standpoint, is the ryan howard contract the worst in MLB history?

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: Probably

11:11
Sean: Which Seager will have the higher career WAR?

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll say Corey, but it’s super close

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: Corey projects to have the slightly higher WAR through age 27

11:13
Kyle: How do you interpret Miguel Sano’s struggles, and is it time for the Twins to consider a stint in the minors to help him get right?

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think you demote a player like this. He’s not going to fix his issues against inferior competition. There were always going to be adjustments to him, and the best big-leaguers adjust back, in the big leagues

11:14
mike sixel: How crowded will the parks be this weekend in Portland/OR? This is only our 2nd weekend living here……rose parade/party worth doing?

11:15
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve never actually bothered to go to the Rose Festival because I try to get out of cities but it’s always a big huge deal. The weather might be a slight deterrent but it isn’t supposed to be miserable. Expect crowds! Try to walk, bike, or take public transit

11:15
Joseph: Concerns about stanton???

11:15
Jeff Sullivan: Pretty low at the moment

11:17
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe there is something I’m missing, but Stanton generates most of his offense through a small amount of swings. So there’s variability in there when he connects or mis-hits

11:17
j6takish: Re: Verlander. He supposedly added a cutter. I have not seen it in action because I because I am a poor and MLB blackout saddens me

11:17
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t see it in the numbers but he does have a bigger curve now

11:18
Bryan: Thoughts on the Reds? As a Reds fan I’m very conflicted. Obviously being bad makes for a boring season, but being historically bad is oddly entertaining.

11:18
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve been there ,but let me tell you, being historically bad gets old fast

11:18
Jeff Sullivan: Of course, there are worse things than just opening up a bunch of summer evenings to other plans

11:19
Josh: Is there anything Joey Votto is or isn’t doing that has you concerned about him long-term, or is he still Joey Votto?

11:19
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not real concerned long-term — few people have hitting figured out quite like Joey Votto — but I think he is messing around with his approach and right now it’s not working for him

11:20
LudeBurger: will Hyun Soo Kim finally be given a chance?

11:20
Jeff Sullivan: I keep waiting

11:20
Jeff Sullivan: He’s earned it, but ever since Rickard made that first impression…

11:21
Jeff Sullivan: All right, I need to get rolling!

11:21
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. Happy holiday weekend

We hoped you liked reading Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 5/27/16 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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