Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 5/5/17

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to Friday baseball chat

9:04
Bork: Hello, friend!

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friend

9:05
Trader Joe: True or False?: Rockies would be better off trading LeMahieu for pitching and calling up Ryan McMahon to play 2B.

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: That seems very false

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: McMahon has one good month of playing at Double-A after a bad fall league and a mediocre full season

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: And although you weren’t specific I will note that nobody makes major-league trades in April or May

9:06
ryan: what are the odds Trout puts up consecutive 12 WAR seasons?

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: He has yet to post a single 12-WAR season, or even an 11-WAR season

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: So something like 1% probably

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Way too much working against him

9:08
Something brewing: Do you think the Brewers should give Jesus Aguilar a chance to get a few more at bats to see what he can do?

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: Firstly, how would they do that? He’s a big boy. Plays first base, if anything. The Brewers already have Eric Thames

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: Secondly, he hasn’t even hit all that well for a first baseman in the high minors. So I doubt there’s a whole lot in there at this point

9:09
Evil Goatee Jeff: Dylan Bundy isn’t down to Kyle Hendricks speeds yet…can he continue to get guys out?

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: Bundy had his best stuff in his first start. Since then, he’s got 10 walks, 17 strikeouts, and an xFIP over 5. Now, it doesn’t help any pitcher to have to face the Red Sox so often, so Bundy’s not a nightmare or anything, but that first start got people a little too excited

9:11
Don’t Panik: Do you think the Giants are underutilizing Joe Panik’s ability to steal bases?

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s take a look!

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: He’s just 9-for-11 in his big-league career

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: Even in the minors he didn’t steal very much

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: So I’d say, no, I don’t think Panik has any particular ability to steal bases

9:14
Evil Goatee Jeff: Thoughts on Kendall Graveman’s recent stinker?

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: The odd stinker is allowed, so it’s just one start. But Graveman has had a recent DL stint and, at the end of the day, I doubt his sinker is so good he can rely on it alone. I’d like to see him with a solid second pitch at some point

9:15
John: Is Chris Taylor just Daniel Murphy with 60 Fielding and 80 Eyebrows?

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: There’s an important question in here. Are super thick eyebrows the same as perfect eyebrows?

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know. Taylor checks off the first box, at least

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll have to get in touch with a stylist

9:18
Zed: Is this season’s McCutchen looking like last season’s to you? Slightly improved BB and K rates, but better results just don’t seem to be coming.

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, nothing too good or too bad at this point. Just kind of…fine. McCutchen, so far in 2017, is putting up his lowest average exit velocity on record. He’s had super-hot streaks before that lift his numbers way up and one of those could be around the corner but so far, few signs of a major bounceback

9:20
Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: Tim Beckham’s swinging a hot bat to the tune of a 133 wRC+. Some of it’s luck, but there are a red flags, namely a 4.8 BB% to a 32.7 K%. The only guy who ever made those sorts of numbers (BB%<7, K%>30) work was 2012 Chris Davis. How do you see Tim’s offensive production this season knowing that he’s going to stop getting pitches to hit soon?

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: Beckham, for his career, has batted 550 times. Decent sample! 6% walks, 31% strikeouts. 102 wRC+. Somehow, for the equivalent of almost a full season, he’s made this work out

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: Upside is so limited when you’re awful with the strike zone, but Beckham has demonstrated he can be an average hitter like this, because he does have power and speed. Given his defensive versatility, he’s not all that different from Javier Baez, I guess you could say

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: Less highlight-y

9:22
ryan: do you think that, if the Giants enter a rebuild in the next 2 years, they could consider trading Posey?

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: lol no

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: Posey is there forever

9:23
DC cab: Would the Nationals be better off moving Turner to CF and letting Difo play regularly instead of Taylor?

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: Counterpoint: Difo is not good

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: Taylor’s at least a good defender, and he doesn’t force Turner to switch on the fly

9:26
Jake: Keon Broxton is showing life! wRC+ over 80, K% under 39, fWAR over 0. You still comfortable projecting a league average bat and above average player?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: I know this isn’t really how things work, but if you split Broxton’s brief 2017 in half, you have 46% K and a wRC+ of 9, and then you have 31% K and a wRC+ of 171

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not like I can sit here and claim to be encouraged by how Broxton has begun, but his defense out there remains in the highest class, and I think his contact skills are better than his strikeout numbers. I’m still a fan

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: My comfort level, relative to a month ago, is only slightly reduced

9:29
Old timer: Matt Boyd. Better than I expected for sure. Sustainable or more smoke and mirrors?

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: So, on the one hand, there’s nothing positively sustainable about a K-BB% of 5%. That’s bad! Based on that, he doesn’t deserve a sub-4 ERA

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: On the other hand, I like Boyd, and I don’t think his strikeouts and walks accurately reflect his ability to throw strikes and miss bats. He’s a useful mid-rotation starter, to me

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: It looks to me like in the early going, Boyd has been screwed by a bad strike zone

9:31
Ned Yost: Bregman for Donaldson one for one. Who says no?

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: I think the Astros would. I get why in theory you’d make that exchange, but they could lean on how much better they are than everyone else in the AL West. They don’t need to make a move like that

9:32
Joe and Paul: Is Arismendy Alcantara better than the Reds are giving him credit for?

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: Probably not

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: Strikes out too often for someone who doesn’t walk or hit for power. Fourth outfielder type for the moment

9:34
Keith Hernandez: is there hope for Harvey going forward? Velo is there and all the same pitches, however, strikeouts are gone and he seems to be laboring through innings

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: Harvey looks better if you forgive him the one start he apparently didn’t expect to have to make. That doesn’t make the strikeouts suddenly reappear, but you’d be a fool not to bet on his repertoire in the longer-term. He probably needs to re-learn how to use what he has, maybe in a different way, but he’s in a blessed position, in general

9:36
The Average Sports Fan: Are the White Sox actually not terrible?

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: They’ve mostly beat up on the Royals, who might actually be terrible

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: The position players, collectively, haven’t been very good. The rotation, collectively, hasn’t been very good. The bullpen has been terrific! Which not many people expected. I’m all aboard the Kahnle train

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: I can buy the White Sox as just being a little bad, instead of very bad. But we’re also all counting on them to deal Quintana, Robertson, Jones, etc. So in the second half, things could be ugly. And don’t look now but Giolito has been a wreck

9:39
Colinbaseball: Why has league-wide BABIP not dipped with the increase in shifts?

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: Always a fun thing to notice

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: A few possible reasons. Hits the other way seem to be making up for lost hits to the pull side. And you also have the possibility that hitters are just hitting the ball harder than before. So it could be that league-wide BABIP would have risen by now if it *weren’t* for the shift. We’re missing that counterfactual

9:41
BHAM: Hi Jeff. Thanks for chatting!

How long does it take for Plate Discipline stats to stabilize? In particular looking at Adam Duvall. O-Swing/Z-Swing are both down, and Contact% is up. Looks like power is up over ’16 as well. My question is … are we seeing a new Duvall that holds moving forward?

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: It’s hard to figure it’s a Duvall thing when we’re seeing the same with Suarez, Cozart, etc. Just based on that I think you need to give the players more time

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: But I see the reduced swing rate and increased contact rate. Those are good. It’s been a promising first month

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: One thing I can’t recommend enough: play around with player graphs http://www.fangraphs.com/graphs.aspx?playerid=10950

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Duvall this year has played in 27 games. Check out his history for rolling 27-game stretches. See if he’s ever done what he’s currently doing. You’ll see that most players, historically speaking, have been fairly cyclical

9:44
Ben: So on Tuesday Edinson Volquez gave up 1 HR, walked 8, and struck out 9 in only 4.1 innings. Then last night Zach Eflin pitched 7 innings with 0 HR, 0 BB, and only 1 SO (which didn’t come until the 6th inning). Is that crazy or what? Also, is Eflin trying to single-handedly stem the tide of baseball’s 3 true outcome trend?

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: Graveman might be trying to help with the cause

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: And I think Wade Miley recently had a start that looked kind of similar to that Volquez line

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: Miley’s last two starts: 12 innings, 4 runs, 11 walks, 14 strikeouts. Ugh

9:46
Leone for Third Eye Blind: What was the greatest moment in the history of bitter “natural” rivals Padres and Mariners?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: For some reason one thing comes to me in particular

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: The Mariners dumped Jeff Cirillo on the Padres after a terrible and terribly disappointing two seasons. In Seattle, Cirillo went and got himself booed. Miserable time. When the Mariners faced Cirillo in San Diego in 2004, he hit an eventual game-winning three-run homer off Jamie Moyer

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: Another fun part of the rivalry might’ve been how the two clubs exchanged like three hundred players and not a single one of them was ever any good

9:48
Stars & Scrubs Forever: The Cards seem to be contenders through the woes of the Mets, Giants and Pirates. However, what exactly could they “buy” with their balanced roster, unless they are willing to boot Waino?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: The easy answer is Quintana. Long way to go before the Cards know if that’s something they want to pursue

9:49
Zed: See any reason to be concerned by Kyle Seager’s slow start? Making more hard contact lately, though still not much to show for it.

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Technically he does still have a 100 wRC+

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: 124 since April 10

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: He’s fine. The homers will come

9:50
Jim-Bob: If Joey Votto is “THE GUY” and Jose Abreu is “a guy” and Tommy Joseph is “just some guy” at 1B, where do you see Josh Bell settling in over the next few years?

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: another guy

9:50
Beep Boop: You buying into Yonder Alonso’s changes? He’s always had some raw power, and he seems to have made changes that are allowing him to access it in games. Viable everyday 1B?

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: He’s showing all the hallmarks. Strikeouts up, ground balls down, power up. He’s always had a decent idea of the strike zone so I can see this being a real change for the better. He’s not *this* good but I can finally see him as being a relevant player

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: Yonder Alonso figured out how to be good, and we’re still waiting on Eric Hosmer.

9:53
Blah: Bogaerts: 0hr. What’s going on with him? Did he change his approach? Time to worry, or too early?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: Bogaerts, 2015: 109 wRC+. Bogaerts, 2016: 113 wRC+. Bogaerts, 2017: 113 wRC+

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: He’s back to spraying the ball and hitting the ball on the ground. He’s making more contact than ever, while swinging less than ever at pitches out of the zone. At some point, he’ll hit a homer, but this version is fine

9:56
ChiSox2020: Who’s hot start are you buying: Derek Holland or Miguel Gonzalez?

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: Neither

9:56
Freddie Freeman: Is Sportvision still there running PITCHf/x behind the scenes at MLB stadiums or did they stop once MLB went full Statcast for the 2017 season?

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know the actual answer to this, but I can guess — I don’t know why Sportvision would still be doing anything in the majors

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: I *think* they had year-to-year agreements they’d renew, and now that Statcast has gone full, there’s no point

9:58
Daniel Castro : What should we expect from Amir Garrett going forward this season? The Brewers game seems like the outlier of a pretty solid start to his campaign.

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: Seems like a league-average-y starter. Will probably tire in September, but that won’t matter much

9:59
Hector: Hello – what is your opinion of Robbie Ray so far? Has he made any tweaks that make you think he can sustain a low to mid 3 ERA? The Ks seem to still be there.

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: The easiest possible answer: this year’s ERA is simply in line with last year’s (and this year’s) peripherals. Which is what you’d normally expect

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not like he’s gotten meaningfully better about contact management. His hard-hit rate is 50%! The hits just aren’t there so much

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: He is throwing a lot more of his curveball, and it’s been a valuable pitch. So his contact rate has plummeted. He’s also in the zone less, so he’s got more strikeouts and more walks

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: He’s a slightly different pitcher, but you probably don’t need to overcomplicate — he’s got the ERA he should have

10:02
Tanner: Is Keon Broxton’s last few ABs a validation that you’ve actually been a genius all along?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: Even if Keon Broxton is good, that doesn’t make me smart. That just makes me someone who believes in Statcast data

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: This is important! Do not give me credit if Keon Broxton is a good player. I didn’t “see” anything in him beyond his statistically-validated defense and statistically-validated contact.

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: He was already a good player last season

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: He was good before I called him good

10:04
Matty : So, Cesar Hernandez seems to be following up his 2016 with an even better 2017. Time for us to acknowledge that he’s actually very good?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think he’s very good. I think he’s kind of good

10:05
Peter: Neftali Feliz has a long leash since the Brewers are just trying to flip him towards the deadline. He got the save last night, but overall he has been less than impressive early on. At what point to Brewers start putting their young guns like Barnes or Knebel into the high leverage situations to develop them more?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: The Brewers would probably tell you their pitchers can develop just fine in non-closing roles

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: Feliz indeed leads the team in average leverage, but Knebel is second, and Barnes isn’t exactly making mop-up appearances

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: They love Barnes. He’ll get his shot

10:07
Gest : Have you done any investigations on Fulmers reduced fastball spin rates?

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: I have not

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: I’m inclined to believe there’s nothing there

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: Fastball velocity is the same. Horizontal movement is the same. Vertical movement is the same. It’s the same fastball

10:10
Blah: Marwin Gonzalez has gone scorched Earth as of late. His discipline and numbers all suggest a real change. What’s your read?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: Power, obviously, is way up. What’s fun about this one is he’s actually hitting *more* ground balls! The approach is the real change. Fewer swings, especially out of the zone. I’m not going to analyze heat maps on the fly in a live chat, but I suspect he’s just targeting pitches a little better, allowing him to tap into more strength he always had

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: I lied, I looked

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: Swinging less low, especially low and in. He’s not going to keep hitting like 40% of his fly balls out of the yard, but I can see a modest improvement here, for real

10:14
The Average Sports Fan: Do you think the Mariners can keep in it until Haninger and Felix get back?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: They’re not even that far away, and it’s not like Felix was amazing beforehand. I think Gamel is a fine replacement. But the pitching depth is not good

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: The Mariners aren’t toast. There’s a huge difference between their position and Toronto’s

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: It doesn’t help to have the Astros taking off — the divisional door is nearly closed already. But it was probably always going to be a WC team

10:16
GDUBBBS: Curt Shilling believes that Adam Jones was just flat out lying about the racial heckling to take advantage of the current political climate surrounding social justice. And of course his next point is the old red herring, well black people use the N-word all the time anyways. Oh Curt Shilling.

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Very genuinely, who could or would ever give the slightest shit what Curt Schilling has to say about anything?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: No responsible media outlet would even give Schilling a platform. No reason to ever have him quoted on anything. Might as well pretend he doesn’t exist. In reasonable circles, he doesn’t. He’s an irrelevancy

10:17
Brew Crew: Broxton might not suck!

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: He doesn’t suck

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: That much I can guarantee!

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: He is *so good* in the field

10:18
Tea Leoni for Third: How screwed are the Mariners? It’s Paxton and then pray for electrical problems with the Safeco roof

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: They’d be screwed if Felix and Smyly were out all year

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: So instead they’re only partially screwed

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: Which I guess you could argue is the worst way to be screwed?

10:18
AWS: Hey Jeff, Is Aaron Altherr Keon Broxton-ing? Can he — unlike Broxton — keep it going?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: Unlike Altherr, Broxton is an elite defender

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: But I like him. Wrote about him in March. He’s a long-term piece

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: I think last year was just entirely a function of being hurt

10:19
Charlie Sheep: Despite Curt Schilling’s oral diarrhea, I must admit he belongs in the Hall of Fame alongside Ty Cobb and Cap Anson.

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: Yes, he is a Hall-of-Famer

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: Which, unfortunately, would allow him to make a speech. One would hope it would be about baseball

10:20
Guest: Among active players, Cody Asche has the worst career WAR, at -1.8. Over/under, -3 WAR for his career.

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think he gets there

10:20
Big Baller Brand: Who should the Mariners target in a trade mid season to improve their pitching. Someone like Darvish seems very far fetched, but would someone like Liriano or possibly even Jason Vargas make sense? What are your thoughts?

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: Smyly and Felix

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe they’d go after someone small-time like Vargas but they’re definitely not positioned to make an impact move

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: Depending on things they could even just bring up Andrew Moore

10:21
The Ghost of Sam Miller: Better mountain range: the Cascades (plus volcanoes) vs. the Rockies (plus really high)?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: I’m biased because I am powerfully pro-volcano

10:22
wizard: Just read your piece on Bellinger/Duffy, nice. Re: Duffy, though his other starts didn’t come with great peripherals, it was the two starts v. Chicago that notably yielded the truly poor results…which led me to wonder, given how much those two teams play one another, whether they had discovered something in terms of him tipping pitches or the like. With your observation w.r.t. his first-pitch meatballs, the more plausible explanation now seems to be that as division rivals, they may have been first to pick up on that and capitalize…which means DD better adjust quick, b/c I’m sure the league as a whole has noticed now.

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: What?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: I haven’t written about Bellinger

10:22
Jim-Bob: A suggestion for the website: Somewhere (perhaps at the top of each author’s author archives) you guys should put a little bio about who the author is and what his/her past jobs / work are. Not that I doubt everyone is competent, but it would just be nice to be able to know the lens from which the author was looking if I wanted to.

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: Every author has the option of including some kind of sign-off below every article they write. It’s usually neglected or incomplete, but it’s there!

10:24
Jeff 2.0: Do you have your own opinion on Amed Rosario (something outside second hand reports)? I’m trying to evaluate how ML ready he is but have no idea how to interpret a Vegas slash line.

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Even a Vegas slash line should still be *mostly* a normal slash line. It reduces strikeouts and increases walks and power, like any high-elevation/temperature environment, but Rosario’s .939 OPS can’t be park-factored away

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: What I can’t tell you is when a minor-leaguer I haven’t seen is ready. That’s up to the Mets. But Rosario is doing a hell of a lot better than, say, J.P. Crawford

10:26
Evil Goatee Jeff: It’s been a few years now. Do you like the second Wild Card?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Love it

10:27
Big Joey: Is Lindor the best offensive SS in baseball?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: I think Seager’s better

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: But Lindor’s making it close

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: (obligatory Correa mention)

10:29
kershaw: is my slider not moving as much because i’m throwing it harder or am i throwing it harder because it isn’t moving as much?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: It’s kind of morphed into more of a cutter. We’re talking about subtle differences of one or three inches, but it’s not a pure slider at this point

10:29
Larry T: You’re a GM with your choice of Judge or Conforto. Who do you take?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: Judge, zero question

10:30
BK: Out of those that aren’t currently in the top 5 of NL WAR, who’s most likely to lead the league in WAR?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: Bryant or Kershaw

10:31
John: Is Gamel for real?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: He’s fine. He’s not great. He’s just fine

10:31
Jebit: Any hope of Alex Gordon turning things around?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: Some hope, just because of his track record, but things are looking pretty dispiriting. Might just be an average hitter at this point

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: I guess average would count as a turnaround for him

10:32
BHAM: “I’m not going to analyze heat maps on the fly in a live chat, but I suspect he’s just targeting pitches a little better.” If you were analyzing heat maps … what would you be looking for specifically?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: Mostly differences in swing pattern. Are there general areas where a guy is more or less aggressive than before?

10:33
Nats fan: DFA Joe Blanton today? Or DFA him tomorrow? Seriously is there any hope for him because he has been horrendous?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Blanton, 2015: 7 home runs. Blanton, 2016: 7 home runs. Blanton, 2017: 6 home runs

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: So this is why he was trending the other day

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: In hindsight you wonder now if the market simply saw something in him. It’s puzzling, because his stuff is the same as before, but you never see someone give up so many dingers so fast

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: It’s time, I think, for a long stretch of low-leverage appearances

10:35
The Ghost of Sam Miller: Do you get to choose your own headlines for articles you write?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: Yes, and I am not very good at it

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Although I used to be even worse!

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: There can be a delicate balance between trying to make something interesting without overselling it.

10:36
Chuncey Wiggins: And what is your hot take on hot takes?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Nearly all of the time the people issuing hot takes don’t actually believe them

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Just about every single hot-take celebrity, across all genres, is a liar

10:38
Nats fan: Harper and especially Zimmerman got off to unsustainable hot starts. What do you think is reasonable to expect going forward?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Harper’ll be great. Zimmerman will be a quality hitter until something hurts

10:38
Max: What do you think managers look at more when determining whether to take a starting pitcher who’s performing well out of the game: Total batters faced, pitches, or innings?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Pitches

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: But also recent observations

10:40
jake: can you explain movement on a fastball. Keith hernandez loves zach wheelers fastball and abhors rafael monteros. can you explain?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: I can’t. I don’t know why Hernandez believes that, if he does. Wheeler and Montero actually throw remarkably similar four-seamers

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Wheeler gets more zip on his, but I suspect this is more a matter of how those pitchers *use* their fastballs. Wheeler will elevate more often. Montero throws low more often, which makes a fastball seem more hittable

10:42
SOS: What do you think of Chris Taylor? People have been talking about him having made a swing change. Any chance the Dodgers feel like they should have held on to De Leon?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: I doubt it. Taylor has consistently hit well in the high minors so it wouldn’t be a shock if he figured something out, but Forsythe is still better

10:42
The Ghost of Sam Miller: Why do writers hate making predictions so much? Are internet trolls that bad?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: The average writer loves making predictions

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: It’s analysts who don’t

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: And that’s mostly because analytical predictions aren’t interesting, because they mostly just fall in line with what the projections say and you can already look that up

10:43
Better Dead Than Reds: Is April 2017 proof that the Reds rebuild is on track and in better shape than pundits credit them?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Was April 2016 proof that the Phillies rebuild was on track and in better shape than pundits credited them?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: The Reds have a bunch of interesting pieces but they are still so, so short on starting pitching

10:44
CarrotJuice: Braves hire Kiley: months later they pull off Miller heist. Brewers hire August: months later they sign Thames. What team is Jeff Sullivan going to be hired by and what awesome deal will said team pull off?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t want to work for a baseball team

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: But that team would find the next Mitch Haniger

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: or Keon Broxton!!!

10:46
ECinDC: Do players get upset for undervaluing their free agent seasons during the latter parts of extensions? Was looking at Ryan Zimmerman’s contract details and he was coming off a 275/344/465 season and was going into the first year of a 6 year/$100 million extension. He probably could have gotten more. We’ve heard McCutchen isn’t happy, but do other guys feel similar?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Sometimes, but I think they mostly understand the pros and cons of the extensions when they’re signed. And to whatever extent salaries are a scale of “respect” then players just want to make sure their extensions look similar to other extensions. There are naturally going to be differences between FA-year salaries and FA-year salaries as part of a longer-term contract

10:47
Eddie Waitkus: Who are on the 80 hit tool list? Bonds? Ichiro? Miggy

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: Tony Gwynn, of course

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: Prime Joey Votto has maybe flirted with the threshold

10:48
Jerry: I read somewhere that minor league swstr% is available. If so, where do I find that? I only see minor league batted ball data on fangraphs, not plate discipline. Thanks.

10:48
10:48
BerkeleyGiant: Is there any point where the Giants sell, or are they stuck on the path to consistent mediocrity?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: Not selling anytime soon

10:48
ROBOCOP: What are your thoughts on Renfroe so far? Do you see him putting together a good month or two to make up for his slow start, or are we to expect more of the same?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: There’s always been this concern about his approach. He’s going to be incredibly streaky

10:48
Jim: Is Albert Pujols finally showing signs of being finished?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: He’s been showing signs of slowing down for years

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: But now he’s having some real issues making contact

10:50
Richie: We love getting outraged by outrageous things the Other Side says. Curt Schilling gets quoted for ‘you guys’ benefit, not for ‘ours’.

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: Whenever somebody brings up Curt Schilling, everybody is in the wrong

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: Manufactured, inauthentic outrage is probably the worst trait of our present era

10:51
captainpeanutbutter: Jeff, where is the Vargas article?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: Stop it

10:51
Babe Lincoln: Volcanoes are so freaking cool.

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: and so freaking hot!!

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: lol

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: sorry

10:51
MattyMo: Favorite ballpark you’ve ever been to?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: AT&T during the day. Safeco at night. Still haven’t gone to PNC

10:52
Jerry: Which website to use for rolling average plots on things like launch angles, exit velocities, GB/FB%? Thanks.

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: For batted-ball stuff, you can use the graphs link on FanGraphs pages

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: But for Statcast stuff, I have to make those myself, pulling from Baseball Savant

10:52
Monk: Dae-Ho Lee attributes his second-half swoon in 2016 to a lack of playing time. Is this probably true, or, considering his crazy first half, did pitchers just figure him out?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: Both, but I’d presume more the latter. The latter would lead to the former

10:53
MattyMo: Best ballpark food for consumption on a summer day?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: My preference is for things that take a while to get exhausted. So, not necessarily popcorn, but something like popcorn. Something you can pick at for innings, and something you can eat without taking your attention away from the field

10:53
Shreve Balboni: How do we feel about Ariel Miranda?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: We don’t

10:53
BK: Off the top of your head, is Andrelton Simmons a HOF?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: No

10:54
Hooplah: What does peak Trea Turner look like?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Last year

10:54
Will: Does the success of Judge mean the Yankees may lean toward signing Machado over Harper?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: No

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Outfields have two corners

10:54
Sterling Mallory Chris Archer: Did you read Eno’s piece about playing in Denver this week? I assume you’ve hiked in high altitude places, do you do anything different when climbing that high?

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: Slow pace, more breaks, increased hydration, way less aggressive with trip-planning

10:55
Monk: There’s been a huge range of hitter success from Korea, from the very successful (Thames), to the pretty successful (Kang, Kim), to the not disastrous (Lee), and finally to Byung-Ho. Among those hitters is there any discernible trait that might lead to better projections for Korean hitters in the future?

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: I think Thames has the quickest load, and therefore the quickest swing

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: But even Park, I think, could and should be a fine hitter. There’s real power in the KBO, and MLB shouldn’t sell it short

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: All right, I need to get rolling so I can record a podcast

10:57
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 — 5/5/17 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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Sabometrics
Member
Member
Sabometrics

If Curt Shilling announced that he believes that MLB should be for white players only would we still be able to say he belongs in the Hall of Fame? Is there any level of baseball-oriented racism that should exclude a player from the Hall?

bookbook
Member
Member
bookbook

If Schilling were to reveal he had served up meatballs to white players pursuing BA or HR crowns, in order to beat out players of color–that would be my line.
I’m not sure if it’s ethical to suffer an accidental microphone failure during his HOF speech, but it might be a good fallback plan….

TKDC
Member
Member
TKDC

Just make his speech last and give everyone a 15 minute warning so they can leave if they want to.