Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 5/29/15

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: Boy! It’s a chat

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: And you’re invited!

9:15
Comment From Trader Joe
Is Strasburg broken or a good buy low opportunity?

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: While I recognize this as a fantasy question, it’s also a real-baseball question, so I’ll let it slide. The stuff is there. There’s no clearly obvious indication of injury, and the Nationals do have some depth to use if they were more genuinely concerned. I think what we’re seeing is mechanical, and I think Strasburg straightens it out. Look for a far, far better second half

9:18
Comment From Jeff
A lot of people probably expected more out of Phil Hughes this year, just based off what he did last season. Safe to assume he won’t return to last years form? Ks are down, and HR/FB % has doubled from last year. Time to drop, and move on?

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: He is still doing the same thing in one way: he’s getting ahead in the count crazy often. He’s pounding the zone with strikes, like never before, save for 2014

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: So with that in mind, Hughes hasn’t lost all of his adjustments he made a season ago. But he pretty clearly peaked in his first year with the Twins and, for good measure, now he’s down one tick on his fastball. Expect better numbers ahead, like fewer home runs, but he’s not getting back to 2014 all the way

9:19
Comment From Phillies113
True or False: The best team in the AL would only be a wild card contender in the NL.

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: True

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: Well, sort of. I think the best team in the AL is worse than the Pirates, but not by a ton

9:21
Comment From Chris H
Hi Jeff – after such an impressive debut performance last night – do you think that Eduardo Rodriguez supplants Joe Kelly in the BoSox rotation?

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: Doesn’t have to be Kelly. Could be Wright/Masterson. We all, I think, had a sense that Rodriguez was close to breaking in. He’s good enough to do it, and he’s got options

9:23
Comment From Jeff
What’s up with Jose Quintana, once a reliable 4-5 starter, now basically only relevant as a streaming option. K/9 is on par with his career average, and his FIP is a lot lower then what his ERA is. Expect him to bounce back?

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: He’s fine. He’s himself. We’re all ourselves!

9:23
Comment From Catoblepas
Rick Porcello: more strikeouts, and more fly balls/home runs. Blip, or trend?

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: He’s throwing more four-seamers at the expense of his sinker, and he’s throwing both his four-seamers and his two-seamers a little higher than he used to. I think that explains both observations well enough

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: Some guys, you might not want to teach to elevate. Not everyone has a fastball good enough to play up.

9:25
Comment From Catoblepas
By how big a margin is Jung-Ho Kang going to be the best offseason signing? He’s wonderful

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: I’m so thrilled by this. I was all over the Kang bandwagon, and I figured teams were being a little too nervous about a first-ever KBO import. Which is not to say I’m some kind of future-seeing mystic. It’s just, I really wanted to believe in Kang’s ability to play in the States, and here he is and he’s kind of like Brandon Crawford

9:27
Comment From Tony
What is David Dahl’s long-term outlook? Relatively unaffected by his scary injury or is it going to be tough for him to ever fully recover?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: I’m no medical expert, and I’m certainly no extremely close friend of David Dahl, so I can only guess here, but I presume he’ll be ok in the long run, and he’ll wear some sort of protective device to prevent re-injury or aggravation

9:28
Comment From SomeGuy
Hi Jeff! Please help me understand something! Panda currently has 0.3 WAR, but his Off is -0.9 and his Def is -1.9. How can he have a positive WAR if he’s contributed negatively on offense and defense?

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: Off and Def compare performance to average, while WAR compares performance to replacement-level. Average is better than replacement-level!

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: Of some use: http://www.fangraphs.com/st…

9:30
Comment From Zach
Is there any remaining reason to have hope for Dustin Ackley? I mean, he’s mostly awful, and then he does something like hit an opposite-field homer off Corey Kluber.

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: The only answer, I think, is Mike Moustakas

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: Three and a half years of underperforming, and then all of a sudden, it’s clicked. Moustakas is finally building upon all the hype, and it took an extended period of work and introspection

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: Unfortunately, most disappointing players don’t figure it out like Moustakas has. And it seems like Ackley might let his own head get in the way. It is easy to forget that just last season, he was an average player, so that’s not bad, but mostly Ackley is dreadful and if he’s not traded soon, he’s a candidate to be designated come winter

9:32
Comment From baconbaconbacon
Why are HRs excluded from BABIP?

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: They’re not technically a “ball in play” and they have nothing to do with the defense

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: But some people prefer to consider, say, wOBA on contact. Different approaches can tell you different things

9:33
Comment From Alex
Jung Ho Kang seems real, but how real?

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: Last I checked, he had baseball’s lowest rate of hitting to the opposite field. So it remains to be seen how that might be exploited, if it’s exploited. The league’s still learning what his tendencies are, and he mostly just pulls the ball somewhere

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: I think you can see that in his swing

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: But you know what? Brian Dozier’s still hitting

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: So right now, it’s advantage: Kang

9:36
Comment From Bret
Great read on the Pirates at JABO. I was actually just thinking about that last night, but really just focused on Cervelli and Kang. It’s a fantastic offseason when you look at the whole list. On the flip side, how do you rate the Blue Jays offseason a few months in? Their two big pickups, Martin and Donaldson, look like great deals early even at the prices they paid, but, well, doing little else has been a problem.

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: Unfortunately, it’s really hard to evaluate the Blue Jays’ offseason given that they had the devastating Stroman news. No reason to think he was going to get hurt; good reason to think he was going to be their best pitcher. With a healthy Stroman, the picture looks very different

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: With that said, there were some clear issues unaddressed — didn’t do enough to accumulate rotation depth, didn’t do enough to accumulate bullpen depth. Maybe, with Stroman healthy, Sanchez stays a dynamite reliever. You want to say they got bad luck with Michael Saunders, and that’s true, but he also has a history of missing time…

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: The Devon Travis trade was excellent

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe it’s this simple: imagine a healthy Stroman and a R.A. Dickey who doesn’t seemingly collapse. Then you could have the Jays in first place

9:39
Comment From John
Would the Diamondbacks trade David Peralta for a top 100 prospect?

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: Depends how top-100 we’re talking, but there’s no real incentive for them to move him

9:41
Comment From Kermit the Fruge
Did Felix pitch better than Chris Archer during his shutout two days ago?

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think so. Archer was brilliant

9:42
Comment From hscer
Harper is hitting in Cincinnati today against a pitcher who has allowed a career .298/.376/.485 vs. left-handers. Should we be afraid, very afraid?

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: You could’ve stopped after five words

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: since breaking into the majors:

DeSclafani against righties: 2.77 FIP
DeSclafani against lefties: 5.00 FIP

9:43
Comment From Reginald Denton III
Hey Jeff! DeSclafani was really good early on, but then cooled off. What do you seem him doing the rest of the season?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Getting righties out

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: Changeup isn’t there yet. I like what he does with his fastballs, on both sides of the plate, but he needs something else

9:45
Comment From mtsw
Add E-Rod to the list of pitchers who left the Orioles’ system and dramatically improved. Meanwhile the supposed top flight pitchers the O’s have all are in serious trouble (injuries for Hunter Harvey and Bundy, lack of a breaking ball for Gausman). This has been happening forever. Is this just a run of terrible luck or do the O’s need to overhaul how they think about pitching prospects?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: On the plus side, you might be able to admire what the Orioles organization does for position players. Pluses and minuses

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: I think, for one thing, it’s easy to exaggerate the significance of a small number of players. Noise and randomness alone can take down a handful of top prospects, and the book’s not closed on any of those guys. At the same time, the issues for Rodriguez were somewhat based on instruction, and it’s not a coincidence he got better as soon as he arrived with the Sox

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: I think the Orioles could stand to be better about how they develop their pitchers. I don’t, however, have the solution, nor can I be absolutely sure they’re not just being punished by bad luck. As long as they can find pieces like Pearce and Paredes, though, there are balances here

9:48
Comment From Desparate in Cincinnati
Is Cingranni better served in the bullpen or should he be starting?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: I think he could be an awesome reliever, but given where the Reds are headed, I’d want to give him more of a shot at starting first. I can’t imagine there’d be much harm

9:51
Comment From Houzer
Was last year an aberration for Colin McHugh? Looking at his numbers, I guess he’s only had two bad starts that are inflating his ERA. But he’s just not looking that great this year

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: I think he’s fine, in that I don’t think he’s gotten much worse. I do think last year will stand, statistically, as a career year, but he’s still a fine enough No. 2 starter, and I trust that he’ll be able to stay successful

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t see much that’s troubling in the indicators. It is unusual to see a pitcher who relies so little on his fastball, but that’s just an extension of the pattern from 2014

9:52
Comment From Tony
Eduardo capable, even at 22, of being the Sox best starter the rest of the way?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: Sure

9:55
Comment From Brett W
If you were Cardinals GM, how would you handle first base?

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: Probably someone like Adam Lind. Should be cheap, should be available now, shouldn’t be an obstacle beyond this season

9:56
Comment From Jon Lester
Is there a stat for a pitchers’ ability/lack of to hold runners?

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: rSB gets you some of the way there http://www.fangraphs.com/st…

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: That tells you just about stolen bases, and it doesn’t tell you about leads and extra bases getting taken, etc. But then you can look at LOB% for more of an overall picture

9:57
Comment From Forsyth
Thoughts on Eduardo Rodriguez’s start last night?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: He’s ready. Didn’t consistently bury the changeup enough, but his stuff is good enough that he doesn’t need pinpoint command

9:58
Comment From Alex Anthopoulos
Am I out of a job if the Jays don’t play some meaningful September games?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: Shouldn’t be

9:59
Comment From S
How much has Tulo’s value been hurt from his awful start?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: This version of Tulo wouldn’t get traded. Teams want to see him healthy and performing, while the Rockies will only keep evaluating him at his peak. The good news is I expect Tulo will be fine in short order. He’s too awesome to struggle

10:01
Comment From Eric
As shifting gets more common, do shortstops get closer in defensive value to the other infielders? They have less effective range in a shift…

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: That’s a good question!

10:03
Comment From TJ
As a Cubs fan I couldn’t be happier with Rizzo & Bryant’s orgasmic start to the 2015 campaign…HOWEVER, I’m incredibly frustrated with Soler. Only 3 HRs with 2 coming in one game. Will the power come as the weather warms up? His BABIP is hilarious, too actually…how do you think he does this year?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: If it makes you feel better, Soler leads the Cubs in average batted-ball velocity, and in batted balls hit at least 100 miles per hour. The power isn’t exactly missing; Soler is just barely missing some of the balls that he hits. I think he’ll finish strong. Contact consistency will always be a problem, but he’s a lot stronger than his slugging percentage

10:05
Comment From Josh
The Bluejays are in last place despite scoring the most runs in the AL East. Should that make us hopeful or does it just reinforce how mediocre they really are.

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: The Blue Jays are five games off their Pythagorean record, and three games off their BaseRuns record. Doesn’t mean they have the solution to their own pitching problems, but this is a pretty good baseball team already and no one in the division is substantially stronger

10:06
Comment From hscer
Will Span get to 10 homers? Best shot at it he’s ever had. I still think 8 or 9 though.

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: I’m with you

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: 🙁

10:08
Comment From Houzer
I read somewhere a comparison of Christian Yelich to Johnny Damon. Do you agree with that? Or are we all just overestimating Yelich’s abilities

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: Yelich is likely to strike out a bit more, and he’s a lot more of a groundball/line-drive guy who isn’t as pull-heavy

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: On the other hand, I really like Yelich’s skillset, this year’s numbers be damned, and Damon finished his career with about 45 WAR. I think that’s absolutely within Yelich’s reach

10:11
Comment From mtsw
Nick Markakis has been quietly effective despite 0 HR so far and is on pace for a 2 WAR season. Were we too bearish on this deal, especially considering the Braves have potential to hang around and maybe try to luck into a playoff berth this season (sitting 1 game under .500 right now)?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: The Braves could’ve spent less on a similar player and hoped to get lucky

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: Also, the Braves aren’t good, even with their early .500-ish record

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: I still really don’t like the contract

10:13
Comment From spookie
Jeff, are Brandon Belt’s contact %s TOO bananas to draw any logical conclusion on improvements made? 47.7% hard contact, 11.2% soft – crazy.

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: Remember 2013 Brandon Belt? Welcome back to 2013 Brandon Belt

10:13
Comment From GA
Is there a way to find all old FanGraphs pre-game game odds?

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: Not publicly, not at the moment. Don’t know if there are any plans, but I doubt it

10:15
Comment From mtsw
Are the 2015 Twins this year’s version of the 2014 Orioles? They seem very light on talent but the usual markers of a lucky-and-not-actually-good team don’t really seem to be there.

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Last year’s Orioles finished with a BaseRuns winning percentage of .561. This year’s Twins are at .435

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Put another way, the Twins are tied for the second-worst BaseRuns winning percentage in the American League

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t want to suggest that I think BaseRuns are everything, but I do think the indicators are very much present that the Twins are a fluke

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: I know that’s not very fun, but the consolation for Twins fans is that the team is winning, and as long as the team is winning, it doesn’t really matter what the nerds are talking about

10:17
Comment From Henry
Are the Mariners moving the right person from SS (=is Taylor actually the better defensive player)? Also, what do you think of the Mariners trying to Zobrist-fy Miller?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: Taylor is a better defensive shortstop than Miller is, and Miller has more of a versatile skillset. I like the idea of moving Miller around, and I like the idea of Miller as a potential center fielder for 2016 after Austin Jackson follows free agency elsewhere

10:20
Comment From Bill
Could jabo content be archived to FG+ after a set period? I will pay for FG+ but won’t click on a Murdoch link.

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: If it helps, you can think of it more as a Neyer link

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: And Murdoch is probably almost dead

10:21
Comment From Ira
What has happened to Alexei Ramirez’s power numbers? He’s always been streaky but Im concerened. Can Kang keep up his pace? He’s so fun to watch.

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: Ramirez is hitting for exactly the same power he hit for in 2012 and 2013

10:23
Comment From Cow-nosed Ray
What is the most glaring weakness with the Mariners right now (or going forward in 2015)?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: Probably center field or the bullpen. Should see more Brad Miller. It’s confusing what’s happened to Danny Farquhar

10:23
Comment From Kevin
How many games wins the AL East? Could it be as low as 85?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s call it a random 89

10:24
Comment From L. Scott
How close are the Reds and Rockies to having a fire sale?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: Month and a half for the Reds. Rockies are more unclear, given ownership’s involvement

10:24
Comment From The Average Sports Fan
What should the Reds do over the next 3 months? Not what will they do, that answer is sit on their hands and anger me.

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Get Mesoraco his surgery, deal Cueto and Chapman, deal Leake, teach Billy Hamilton how to hit groundballs

10:26
Comment From Rick
Think the Cubs make a splash at the deadline and get another starter? I really thought they’d make a play for Hamels. Any other names that could be on the North Side come July?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: I think the rotation’s in decent shape, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the front office placed a call to the Reds to see about that Cueto/Chapman package to really put the pitching staff over the top

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: No clearer way to put the Cubs on the level of the Nationals and Dodgers

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: alternatively they might very boringly add Rafael Soriano and a corner outfielder

10:29
Comment From skip
Who were some of the players you rostered the last time you played fantasy?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: I think I quit the same year Roberto Alomar collapsed

10:30
Comment From The Boat
Eduardo Rodriguez makes the Andrew Miller trade look like a laugher by 2017 at the latest, no?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: In fairness, Rodriguez improved immediately after getting traded. Orioles wouldn’t have known that was going to happen

10:31
Comment From CameronDaClub
If the M’s get aggressive, think it’s more likely they land Tulo or Gomez? Who would you personally prefer for them?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: Gomez would be more likely, just because he’d be easier to acquire

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: He also more directly fills a need

10:34
Comment From John
What would the Padres have to give up to acquire Cozart?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Might as well cash in Renfroe and finish the stripping of the upper-level prospects

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: I’d be interested to know the current market value of Casey Kelly

10:35
Comment From Cow-nosed Ray
Cuban pitchers throw about 8 pitches each and often from several arm slots. Japanese pitchers have all kinds of herky jerky leg kicks and such. Why are pitchers from US and South America so seemingly lacking in flourish. Is this perception or reality?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: A lot of reality — the average Cuban pitcher, and the average Japanese pitcher, are quite different from the average American pitcher. On the other hand, most Japanese pitchers are similar in delivery and approach so there’s not much diversity there

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Here, there’s more of an emphasis on mechanical consistency and stuff over deception. Whether that’s a good thing, a bad thing, or an irrelevant thing, I don’t know. You do get a lot of coaches coming from the same systems, so there’s not that much in the way of creative thought

10:38
Comment From CameronDaClub
Do FanGraphs’ Depth Charts take platoons into account?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Not as perfectly as you’d like, but the playing time adjustments are there

10:39
Comment From ryN
Can you explain the benefit of Hedges catching Cashner as opposed to Norris?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: Cashner probably likes working with Hedges more

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: Cashner probably misses the framing he got in 2014

10:42
Comment From Tim
I really thought that Soler was a lock for NL ROY, but seems like Joc is gonna lock it down. You think that Soler will give him a run for his money or is Pedersen just running away with it at this point?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: So there’s this Kris Bryant cat

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: Also, Kang would be the dark horse

10:43
Comment From GSon
How bad is the decision to give Mark Reynolds Matt Adams’ job as the starting 1B for the Redbirds?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: Not much better to do in the short-term. They’ll explore the market, though, so it’s not like they’re locked in to what they already had in-house

10:44
Comment From The Boat
Re: quality of AL and NL – who’s to say that one league is better than the other? The NL is top-heavy – no fewer than 6 teams are already out of the race, leaving nine for 5 spots. Does the greater distribution of talent (read: mediocrity) in the AL make it worse than the NL?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: The AL has a winning record against the NL so far this year, and a far superior OPS (or wOBA, if you prefer)

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: What’s indicated is that the AL has more talent than the NL does; it’s just more evenly spread around

10:46
Comment From Cow-nosed Ray
Who’s your favorite centerfielder right now: Trout, Kiermaier, Cain, or Lagares? Or other (maybe Bourjos?).

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: McCutchen’s my favorite, but you seem to be asking about defense

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Cain is my favorite for defense

10:49
Comment From Gee
If there is a lazy foul-ball pop-up that is dropped by a fielder that would have been the third out, then the next pitch is a homer, is that an earned run?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: 99% certain that’s an unearned run

10:50
Comment From Jack Elliott
Are you buying into the Cameron Maybin break out?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: I think he’s a decent player. I don’t think he’s a great player, but he’s obviously more than a salary dump.

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: It’s funny — by WAR, he’d be tied with Will Venable for the Padres’ third-best position player

10:51
Comment From Hank
Jung Ho Kang CRUSHED that ball last night. Granted, it was an 85 MPH changeup right down the middle. I don’t see how he doesn’t play everyday, which will help him get comfortable at the plate. Do you see a .280 guy with 20+ HR from him?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think a pull hitter like that is going to bat .280, but the power is legitimate

10:53
Comment From Hank
Matt Kemp looks terrible. Carry on.

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: On the plus side, he has the same WAR as Ben Zobrist and Chase Utley

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: It would be really easy to be all smug about calling this, but no one figured he’d be this bad

10:55
Comment From John
Is Lucas Duda better at baseball than Joey Votto?

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: Improbably, it’s close. By the projections, he’s only off by 10 points of wRC+. And obviously, this year, Duda has the higher WAR

10:56
Comment From Hank
Alex Gordon did the same thing as Ackley as well. Some guys take time to perform. I bet if the Mariners cut Ackley, he would be picked up almost immediately.

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: Without question, someone would give Ackley a chance. And maybe that’s what he needs, an opportunity in an organization that knows something about developing a hitter

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: Gordon figured it out in his fifth year. The bad news is that this is Ackley’s fifth year, and he clearly hasn’t figured it out yet

10:58
Comment From Stuafoo
I’ve decided the Mariners should trade for AJ Pollack. Seems like the Dbacks undervalue him, and the Ms could certainly use some speed/pop at the top of the lineup (thanks, Austin Jackson). What would it take to pry Pollack away?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: The DBacks are starting Pollock in center field, and if they’re undervaluing him, the Mariners would probably undervalue him for the same reasons

10:59
Comment From Cow-nosed Ray
Can I follow up on Moustakas? What is he doing right now that he was doing wrong before? I want to know if Ackley can make the adjustment he needs (which, not being a baseball player, seems like laying off the outside pitch or taking it the other way)? I find it cryptic that this adjustment hasn’t been made.

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: Moustakas has figured out the opposite field, so he’s not so easily shiftable. He’s traded some power for balance, and the result is an all-fields hitter who’s tough to defend. Ackley doesn’t have the same problem, but the best version of him hits the ball on a line everywhere. This version rolls over on the ball

11:00
Comment From L. Scott
Do you think the Mets are doing the right thing by going with a 6-man rotation to manage/limit the young guns’ innings?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: I suspect it isn’t going to last very long but this is a good compromise for the moment, where they can monitor innings while waiting for the rest of the market to get in the mood to make trades

11:01
Comment From Colby
Where does Brad Miller fit in seattle with Ajax back? Super sub or will he take playing time away from Taylor?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: He’s a super sub who could play an awful lot of outfield if Ackley and Jackson continue to be not good baseball players

11:02
Comment From Hank
What do the Braves do with Jose Peraza/Jace Peterson? I really like what I see out of Jace Peterson on both sides of the ball, but Peraza also looks like an above average regular on skills alone. Is a trade going to have to happen to allow Peraza a spot in the majors?

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: Pace Peterson is slugging .301

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: Pace Peterson. Nice typing, you idiot

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: Peterson hasn’t really proven himself as a starter, so he’s easy enough to bump to make room for the prospect. You could also conceivably see Peterson play third base, since the Braves don’t have an awesome option there outside of Uribe

11:05
Comment From Art Vandelay
Another error for Semien last night, and he almost threw away one more that was corralled on the basepath by Vogt. This is clearly a mental thing, what do the A’s even do to help him with that?

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: Well, they already brought in the infield instructor. And Semien is hitting well enough, so the defense isn’t yet getting to his offense. The prescription would be time and patience, showing Semien that the organization still has confidence in his skills. If it doesn’t work, well, Semien isn’t the reason the season is bombing, and maybe he ends up back at second base in the post-Zobrist era

11:06
Comment From Ryan
Is Polanco about to breakout? He hit a laser homer in Petco yesterday, a day after tripling off the top of the Clemente wall. Do you think he has a strong second half?

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think he’s on the verge of anything. I do, however, think it’s a better second half than first

11:07
Comment From Alex
Bryce Harper is on pace to hit 60 HR this season, but that’s crazy, right? Where do you think he actually ends up?

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll call it 45. He’s going to start getting walked more, and pitched around more

11:08
Comment From mtsw
If Kang is a success will we see teams look to NPB position players more seriously as well as KBO guys? Someone like Tetsuto Yamada (22 year old middle infielder with .900 OPS over the last two seasons) would be intriguing as a potential major leaguer.

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: A lot of Japanese players have had difficult transitions, especially power-wise, but as imports go, it would be beneficial to see Kang maintain his pop. If he does well, it won’t take as long to see the next KBO hitter come over, which is either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your perspective

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve kind of expected to see more Japanese players come over with shifts getting increasingly popular, but that’s just a pet theory of mine

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: Kang is quite different from the average Japanese or Korean hitter

11:10
Comment From Kris
Ryan Howard to Cardinals make any sense? Is he any significant increase over Mark Reynolds anyway?

11:11
Jeff Sullivan: Don’t think the Cardinals love Howard’s 2016 guarantee. Not that they’d be the ones footing most of the bill, so they could just cut ties whenever, but they’d prefer to avoid that

11:11
Comment From 20longyears
In explaining the Pirates rise from the start of your season, you tipped your cap to Cole. What are other key factors? Burnett, Kang performing better than expected?

11:11
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, both of them

11:11
Comment From The Boat
Once Tanaka returns, NYY are the best team in the AL East, no?

11:11
Jeff Sullivan: If they are, it’s only by a little. The division couldn’t be closer, from best to worst

11:12
Comment From Ryan
do polanco and soler have big turnarounds in the second half?

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: I’m higher on Soler

11:12
Comment From gem
Where do you see Ryan Howard ending up?

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: I wouldn’t be shocked to see him in Anaheim

11:13
Comment From David
How do the Pirates upgrade on Jeff locke? I love Cole-Burnett-Liriano-Morton but man Jeff Locke is a turd.

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: Worley would be a fine-enough alternative

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: If the Pirates believe in Cole/Burnett/Liriano, they shouldn’t want to pay too much for another starter on the market, because that starter wouldn’t really do much of anything in the playoffs unless he were an ace

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: I doubt the Pirates acquire an ace

11:15
Comment From Gary
Do you agree with Kiley that shorter pitchers tend to go under the radar? I remember Dan Szymborski saying one of the things he was most surprised about from doing his projections was that (at least in the major leagues) height wasn’t correlated with pitching performance.

11:15
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think the latter is too surprising — because of the bias against shorter pitchers, only the better ones will get to the majors and stick

11:16
Jeff Sullivan: I do think the bias is too strong. There’s over-emphasis on size and velocity, and under-emphasis on command regardless of height

11:16
Comment From The Boat
What are your thoughts on the Rays? I was predicting that they were going to be pretty bad, but they’ve surprised me so far.

11:16
Jeff Sullivan: Could really use another starting pitcher, but they’re good enough to hang in that division

11:16
Comment From Sean Nolin
So, Billy Burns is actually good, right? It seems like he’s based a lot of his skills on Ichiro, and he blooped another accidental HR last night.

11:16
Jeff Sullivan: I like him! http://www.foxsports.com/ml…

11:19
Comment From @RationalMLBfan
What should we make of Chase Headley’s poor defense thus far? Do you think there’s an underlying back injury? It’s surprising to see such a solid defender play so poorly for so long.

11:20
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think it’s an injury situation. I think it’s just a random situation, demonstrating that ability isn’t totally stable. People assume that defense stays consistent, and shouldn’t bounce around, but why would that be true?

11:20
Jeff Sullivan: Headley’s defense is kind of like Robinson Cano’s offense. Steady forever, and right now it’s a problem. Issues would be both mental and mechanical. You want to bet on the track record, but never forget that sometimes players can just become bad for stretches at a time

11:20
Comment From The dodgers lead is down to 1/2 game, Rollins isnt hitting, the Uribe situation is cleaned up, is it time for Seager?
Is Amaro going to blow the Hamels trade window (again)? When he does, is going to tell the fans they don’t know what they’re talking about and there’s a plan?

11:21
Jeff Sullivan: This time, I think we see an actual trade. And maybe the Phillies get out ahead of the market, if they don’t believe the Reds will sell until after the All-Star Game

11:21
Comment From Subduction Zone 69
I spent ten years in San Diego, and I got to watch Tony Gwynn alot, and I think he’s the best hitter I’ve ever seen. How say you?

11:22
Jeff Sullivan: I think Barry Bonds is the best hitter I’ve ever seen, but it kind of depends on your definition of hitting. By productivity, Bonds wins out. But no one else had Gwynn’s bat-to-ball skills, and that’s extraordinary in its own way

11:23
Comment From Cow-nosed Ray
What do you think of Olney’s suggestion that Alex Rodriguez take over as manager for the Marlins? With guest appearances by Jeter (“Manager for a Day”).

11:23
Jeff Sullivan: Alex Rodriguez has a 155 wRC+. Why would he stop playing?

11:24
Comment From Bob
What is behind Aaron Sanchez’s recent string of success?

11:24
Jeff Sullivan: Luck, mostly

11:24
Jeff Sullivan: The groundballs help to erase some of his walks

11:24
Comment From Max
How do you feel about the accuracy of Fangraphs Park Factors?

11:25
Jeff Sullivan: They’re good enough, with room for improvement. And parks affect every player in different ways

11:25
Comment From Any worry about Matt Harvey in his start today after his last start was cut short?
What types of hitters do well against Knuckleballs?

11:25
Jeff Sullivan: Surprisingly, pitchers

11:26
Jeff Sullivan: I mean, that’s not really true, but relative to how they do against everyone else, pitchers make surprising contact against knuckleballs

11:28
Comment From Sean
Is there any data on which teams shift the most? For as “old-school” as a lot of people perceive the Dbacks to be, they seem to shift a lot more than their opponents.

11:28
Jeff Sullivan: The Rockies are shifting way more often than they did in 2014

11:28
Jeff Sullivan: The Astros shift a bunch, which shouldn’t surprise you

11:29
Jeff Sullivan: The DBacks are shifting a lot. This kind of stuff isn’t publicly available easily, but it is out there in places

11:29
Comment From Hank
do you think the pirates will catch the cardinals? 6 games is no small deficit, and the cards are great, but I just see them(mostly Molina and Holliday) tiring as Matheny kind of runs them into the ground and gives them very few off days. Discuss

11:30
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, I think the Pirates have an excellent shot

11:30
Comment From The Dude
Everyone wants to talk about how badly AA robbed the A’s for Donaldson, but wouldn’t having Sean Nolin, Kendall Graveman & Brett Lawrie instead of Donaldson make this team better? Nolin’s mowing down hitters in AAA and is almost ready to join the A’s rotation.

11:30
Jeff Sullivan: Donaldson has been arguably the best player in the American League

11:31
Jeff Sullivan: I need to wrap this up, looking at the clock just gave me a jolt

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 at the same time, and until then, be well and have great days

We hoped you liked reading Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 5/29/15 by Jeff Sullivan!

Please support FanGraphs by becoming a member. We publish thousands of articles a year, host multiple podcasts, and have an ever growing database of baseball stats.

FanGraphs does not have a paywall. With your membership, we can continue to offer the content you've come to rely on and add to our unique baseball coverage.

Support FanGraphs




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.

newest oldest most voted
Daniel Steinberg
Guest
Daniel Steinberg

This is a dumb question but how do you actually participate in the chat?

Norm
Guest
Norm

Type in the Send Questions or Comments field at the bottom of the chat.