Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 5/6/16

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:09
Bork: Hello, friend!

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friend

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s baseball chat

9:09
Bork: Can Trout trade the Angels?

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: Have to examine the particulars of his contract but you have to think that the answer is yes

9:10
eknpdx: Mount St. Helens: Earthquake Swarm Detected Below Washington Volcano, Report Says
The swarm is occurring several kilometers below the currently dormant volcano, Erik Klemetti of Wired reported. They are occurring as Mount St. Helens is “recharging” its magma stores.

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: Business as usual for an active volcano. St. Helens has had several earthquake swarms in the past few decades that didn’t immediately precede any activity. The mountain will erupt again, probably in the not-too-distant future (geologically speaking) but this specific series of events is nothing to worry about

9:11
Joe: Let’s say the Os completely fell out of the race. What kind of hypothetical trade package would Machado command at the deadline?

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: Something kind of insane, of course. You’d be talking about 2.5 more years, at least, of an elite-level player, and you’ve also got the midseason trade premium. Two top prospects head the return package. Maybe a top prospect and a young big-leaguer

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: Question is, who would buy? Red Sox would fit if Shaw cools off, but that’s a big deal to make in the division. Astros could try to jump in.

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: And, of course, the Orioles are 16-11, so this is just a thought experiment for now

9:15
Kari Faux: Since your article about pitchers adjusting to Trevor Story on 4/27, he’s hit .314, 12.5 BB%, 30 K%, .343 ISO. What do you think a full season looks like for him, excluding this year’s ridiculous start?

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: I saw him homer off Cain yesterday, and he drilled an outside pitch out to left-center. It looked like Story was leaning to try to cover the outer third, and he clearly made sufficient contact. It’s something

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: I knew about the fly balls but he’s stronger than I thought. As a Rockies player, seems like something like .260/.330/.500

9:17
Fire Derek Shelton: Where’s all the talk about Logan Forsythe, who has very quietly been one of the best second basemen in baseball since 2015?

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: He undeservedly gets lost in the mix, but you can kind of get it. He’s not a young player, his isn’t a popular team, and at second base right now we’re trying to figure out Altuve’s power surge and Cano’s comeback. Forsythe will get his moment, I’m sure

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: Fun fact: over the past calendar year, Forsythe has been worth 4.7 WAR. That about ties him with Jose Bautista and…

9:19
Odubel Herrera: How much longer can I keep this up?

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: …this guy!

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: When I wrote about Herrera like a week and a half ago, I observed that pitchers just hadn’t been throwing him first-pitch strikes. Since then, they’ve thrown him a lot more first-pitch strikes, but Herrera still has walked 17% of the time, with precious few whiffs, and plenty of hits

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: Increasingly, this looks like it’s for real. Not to *this* extent because Herrera isn’t among the league elite, but he’s figured out an approach for himself and he does have quick hands and sneaky strength. Really good player here

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: The Phillies are on the way. Certain young players are maxing out, and that pushes a rebuild forward pretty fast

9:25
Ronnie: Chris Carter’s plate discipline numbers are improved across the board and he is currently sitting on a 158 wRC+. Say he cools down to around a 140ish wRC+, what kind of trade value would that be at the deadline?

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: Still limited — his track record speaks for itself and he’s not an outstanding defender at first. The team control helps, though — he’d fetch a second-tier prospect, if he’s still producing

9:26
Nervous Tigers Fan: Who breaks out of their slump first? JD Martinez or Justin Upton. The tigers 1-5 was suppose to be up their with the Blue Jays. You think as the weather warms up, so does their bats?

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: Funny thing is as a team the Tigers have still out-hit the Blue Jays, 105 to 102 in wRC+

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: I think Martinez comes out of it first — Upton keeps striking out and that suggests to me something a bit deeper

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: Martinez is actually hitting fly balls pretty hard. Just not quite hard enough yet

9:28
Billies B: Do the A’s sign Lincecum now that the Angels genuinely need him?

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: California is opening up for him. Two injured pitchers on the Angels. Bassitt down on the A’s. Cain and Peavy suck for the Giants. Lincecum will attract attention from everybody, but he won’t have to go far if he doesn’t want

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: I will say that, for whatever it’s worth, this whole showcase feels overblown

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: I’m intrigued, just like you are, but all the coverage lately has felt like it’s come straight from Tim Lincecum PR. They’ve done a good job of getting the media on their side, but nobody has actually seen this guy pitch well in years

9:30
2-D: Infinite Mike Trout trade scenarios ENGAGE

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: Already did Machado. That’s close enough

9:32
Alex: What’s the outlook for Lorenzo Cain ROS? Meets his initial projections or is he trending downward now

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: There’s something uncomfortable here. Cain’s contact rate is down literally 11 percentage points. He doesn’t have enough power to survive at this level

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: He’s going to pick it up — he’s too good. He’s not a .230/.300/.300 hitter. But given what we’ve seen I do have to knock him down some, relative to when the season began. He doesn’t look right

9:36
Saul: What’s going on with Giles?

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: If no one gets to it first I should probably write about this next week

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: Feels like a problem of fastball command. That’s not a very insightful answer — it’s usually fastball command. I don’t think he’s hurt, which would make this mechanical. I think he’s acknowledged as much. But Giles doesn’t have a big repertoire. He doesn’t have a lot of other options. If, as a hitter, you eliminate the slider early, then you can look for a fastball that right now Giles isn’t locating

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: It’s usually a good fastball, but it’s easy to hit if you hunt it

9:41
Ross: Is Marte a legit answer at SS for the Mariners?

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: He has so little power. And because of that, pitchers have been aggressive, and he hasn’t been walking. Marte needs to make the most of himself to look like a starter. Now, lately, he’s been able to do that, which is encouraging. But assuming he never becomes a power threat, he needs to do one of two things: make more contact, or play better defense. As long as his defense is above-average, he’s manageable, toward the bottom of a lineup

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll say this could be going a lot worse. And Chris Taylor is back on the radar, so that’s supportive

9:44
Meowmix: Re: Dave Cameron’s article, what teams beside the Dodgers could you see even putting together a realistic package for Trout?

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: The Red Sox could do it, the Cubs could do it — the usual teams could do it. But they’re not going to do it

9:44
Erik: Are there any historical comps for Mike Trout, where young top 2 or 3 player was stuck on a team without any realistic short or long term shot at a World Series? What have teams done in that situation in the past?

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: This is my own bias but as I think about Trout on the Angels I can’t help but think about where Felix has been on the Mariners

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: The Mariners, of course, kept Felix and gave him hundreds of millions of dollars. I don’t think any fan of the team would tell you that was the wrong call

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: The Expos had Vladimir Guerrero until he walked as a free agent. Maybe that kind of counts

9:46
Ross: 1-10 scale of worry for the King?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: 5 or 6? He can succeed like this, but I know better than to just ignore a two-mile velocity dip

9:47
Hire Jack Z: Though I’m guessing the chances of this are infinitesimal, would trading Trout to a contending team at the deadline land the Angels the largest trade package ever?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: Actually it feels like the kind of thing that’s so big it would be best handled in the winter

9:48
MikeMilligan: Dodger starters seem to be ok. Bullpen still a mess. Bring up Urias to pitch late inning relief ?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: They could, but I feel like they’d want to try to keep their top prospect comfortable. Maybe it means Wood to the bullpen

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: And then if the Yankees keep sucking the Dodgers can just trade for Chapman again in July

9:51
Ross: If you were grading Taijuan Walker’s stuff on the 80 grade scale how would he grade out?

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: Well, I’m definitely not a traditional scout, so I don’t know all the ins and outs of using these grades. But I’d say 65 fastball, 60 changeup, 50 curve, 45 slider

9:52
Erik: Stephen Strasburg has the top career xFIP among qualified active starters. I always thought he was considered to have not lived up to his reputation. What’s going on there?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: His ERA is higher than his xFIP

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: Since 2010, Strasburg is #1 in xFIP, but he’s not in the top 10 in ERA. Also, there are just so many other good young starters now, attention has been diluted. Strasburg felt special at the time. He still is special, but there are dozens of special arms

9:54
Seaquest: If Ray Searage were a free agent, do you think he could get a bigger contract than J.A. Happ?

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: He wouldn’t. No precedent for that

9:54
Mike T.: Jeff, maybe this is not fair but could you actually name players from the Dodgers that could land Trout?

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: You know the good young ones? Take a handful of those

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: If you start with Seager you don’t need to even add all that much. But then you’re losing Corey Seager

9:56
@RationalMLBfan: Select Vin Mazzaro outings:
5/5/16 (as a Giant vs. Rockies): 0.1 IP, 6 H, 9/7 R/ER, 1 BB, 0 K
5/16/11 (as a Royal vs. Indians): 2.1 IP, 11 H [1 HR], 14 R/ER, 3 BB, 2 K

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: Take those outings away and his career ERA drops from 4.82 to 4.35!

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: A month after the 14-run appearance, Mazzaro blanked the Angels over seven innings, with five walks and zero strikeouts

9:58
Ross: When was the last time you were this excited about the Mariners?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: The end of the 2014 season was exciting

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: Before that, that week where they got Cliff Lee and dumped Carlos Silva

9:59
Bork: Predictions for when Kershaw pitches to the Jays for the first time in his career this weekend?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: Kershaw wins

9:59
Sailor Jerry: Any advice for someone graduation from college in a week?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: Don’t spend the next several months panicking about your long-term future. It doesn’t feel like it now but down the road you’ll look back on this particular summer and it’ll be a damn blink of an eye

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: If you don’t yet have a big professional commitment, take advantage of this freedom and flexibility. These opportunities don’t present themselves often

10:01
Erik: Who finishes the year with higher WAR, Dexter Fowler or Jason Heyward?

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: Fowler by a nose

10:02
ShowcaseTime: Without knowing how the workout actually goes today, what teams are most likely to go after Lincecum, specifically as a starter?

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: Most teams in baseball have some kind of need in the rotation. The Giants have become pretty obvious, and after them, I’d put the Angels at No. 2

10:03
j6takish: Jeff, how does Francouer keep getting work? He’s carved out a nice 2nd career as basically being a warm body on rebuilding teams but doesn’t every team have dozens of guys they can call up to fill out the roster for less money?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Every organization has players who would probably be no less productive than Francoeur, but like it or not, he’s perceived as being an excellent leader and role model

10:04
MikeMilligan: Angels have a shot at worst record in the AL with Richards gone and putrid farm system ?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Definitely, especially if the Twins can get Berrios and Buxton going

10:04
philosoraptor: Yo Jeff, how quickly do plate discipline numbers stabilize? I thought it was pretty quick, but did not see anything on the sample size page.

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: I hate the way people use “stabilize” because I don’t think it really means anything. But I think after about 100 PA or so, you can start to read into some changes

10:05
mtsw: Can we now add the Yankees and Angels to the Twins on the AL cross-off list? Or do these teams still have a reasonable shot?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: Yankees are better than this. Angels are probably screwed

10:06
Brett W: Are the Phillies actually good at pitching?

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: Nola is good, Velasquez is good, Eickhoff is good, Neris is good

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: Bailey could be interesting around deadline time. I’m interested in Adam Morgan’s velocity uptick

10:07
Brett W: How should the Cubs improve?

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: They don’t need to

10:07
Nelson: Why does baseball have all these unwritten sportmanship rules, when in every other sport, you can run up the score as much as you want with no consequence. In 30 years, will players be allowed to steal a base when up by 7 runs?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: Every sport has its own sportsmanship rules. There are still blowouts in baseball, blowouts without repercussions. In another sport, you might have the team leading by a lot replacing starters with backups

10:09
Zach: If the M’s make it to the playoffs, but do so despite and not because of King Felix, is that A) sad but acceptable B) sad and tolerable C) strangely appropriate in this crazy world of ours?

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: Sad and strangely appropriate

10:10
mtsw: How empty will Yankee Stadium be in August if the team is 20 GB? Draconian ticket reselling policies make selling seats below face value annoying for NYC fans.

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: can’t wait to see Yankee Stadium Twitter

10:10
forestation: Peavy and Cain WARs now in solidly negative territory, no one ready to step up in farm. Any option for Giants other than praying for improvements from Peavy/Cain? Where to find the elusive “replacement level” pitchers?

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: Lincecum is so obvious. They’ve been talking publicly about signing him as a reliever, but there’s no getting around the fact that 40% of the rotation sucks

10:12
Erik: Any cause for concern with Maikel Franco? After a recent slump, his wRC+ is down to 87. Anything going on other than the routine cycle of a league adjusting to a young hitter and him adjusting back?

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: My thought right now is that he’s fine. He likes to swing and a lot of his value is tied up in power — he’s going to have his peaks and valleys. But I still like him as much as I did a month ago

10:13
Jack Conness: How pathetic are the Angels right now? For years, I thought being a Rockies fan would be the worst. But man, I think the Angels take the cake now.

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: Padres. Being a Padres fan is still the worst

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: Rockies fans get Arenado. Angels fans get Trout. Padres fans get Matt Kemp?

10:14
mtsw: If you’re Tim Lincecum, the move would be to wait until these rumored steroid suspensions come in before signing right? Certain teams could potentially have tons of excess payroll freed up if a star gets an 80 or 162 game suspension.

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: There’s no certainty at all in that. No shortage of teams that could use him today

10:14
Kenta Maeda: Who’s going to be in my bullpen come July?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: Probably like four or five pitchers who aren’t in there right now

10:15
philosoraptor: If major league rosters were filled with 25 clones ala Notgraphs, who would make the best team? Would it just be Mike Trout? Or would a good pitcher who can hit ok be better perhaps?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: I’m open to the Yasiel Puig idea, given his rocket of an arm

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: Could’ve been Carlos Gomez, back when he was a good player

10:16
Doctor Henry Killinger: So I don’t know if you follow soccer much, but have you read about how insane Leicester topping the English Premier League was? 5000-1 odds going into the season, in a league that is so lopsided and dominated by the same few teams every year. It makes me really appreciate baseball for the relative parity it has built, but the trade off is there won’t be any cinderella stories quite like this. And….that wasn’t even a question. Sorry about that.

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: It’s kind of like, what, a Double-A team winning the World Series? Maybe Triple-A?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: Take this year’s Phillies. Injure two of the starters. Then that team wins the World Series. Surprise!

10:17
iron wolf: Jeff: how would you rate the Orioles chances of landing Tim Lincecum if he looks good at his showcase throwing session? He’s been a West Coast guy his entire life, right?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: My hunch is if there’s enough West Coast interest, that’s where he’ll stay. But Lincecum might kind of feel like trying the opposite coast for five months. I’m not in his head

10:18
termel sledge: So it appears the Angels are totally, totally dead for the foreseeable future. I’ve read that their farm system is really bad, but how really bad?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: Super bad

10:19
Hi Jeff: In your piece about the Angels making a lot of contact, how does all that look without Trout involved? I know the K% will go down because you said Trout had the highest, but by about how much?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: 14.1% strikeouts down to 12.9% strikeouts. But now guess what happens to the team wRC+!

10:20
Alex in Austin: Who’s better right now, Carlos Martinez or Aaron Nola?

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: I think Nola by a little

10:20
Danny: Can hitters actually control when they foul off a ball? Or does bad contact sometimes go in play, sometimes go out of play?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: Some hitters have a slight ability to foul a pitch off. You see it from time to time with two strikes. But hitters pretty much never go up there specifically looking to hit a ball foul, so it’s usually a last resort with a half swing at a pitch they didn’t expect

10:21
John: Trevor Story has 8 walks in the last 10 days. What can we expect going forward, and do you see the strikeout rate coming down to mid 20’s?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: He has a history of walking in the minors and he’s shown that he has legitimate power. So he’s probably good for a walk rate in the vicinity of 10%, with strikeouts around 25-30%

10:22
Bush League: If you combined the best Angels with the best Braves into one roster, how many games would they win?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know, 85? Freeman and Inciarte would be a big help

10:23
jamesryu: Are Blue Jays bats back for good?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: They are very good bats

10:23
Ben: Taijuan Walker ace of M’s?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: Not yet, but closer than ever.

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe by the break

10:23
philosofool: Are The Angels now done for 2016?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: Effectively. Two talented pitchers at once? Skaggs delayed in rehab? Nothing in the minors? At this point their only hope is sequencing luck

10:24
Chicago Mark: Who is the next big name prospect called up? When?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: Does Snell count? I could see him back soon

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: A.J. Reed might not be far off with White collapsing

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Since August wrote about White on April 21, he has three hits

10:27
Johnny5Alive: wow, chase anderson is bad

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: His changeup has gotten abused. Didn’t see that coming

10:28
Hugh Glass: Its new, so I’m sure there are adjustments to be made, but is that xOBA data as transcendent as I think it is? Am i overstating its importance in hitter valuation?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Probably something that would be useful over small samples. Over larger samples, the utility decreases, because the “real” results are more meaningful

10:28
Paul: Jeff, is Aaron Sanchez part of the Blue Jays rotation permanently now?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: No, because he’ll hit his innings limit at some point in a few months

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: I love seeing him at 65% strikes, though. When he started last year he was at 58%

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: Trusts his stuff. Throwing in the zone!

10:32
Reginald Denton III: What should the Giants do with Cain and Peavy?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Hold on a couple more weeks. They’re not run-an-inning pitchers. But the Giants need to be prepared to drop at least one of them. So they need to evaluate how Heston is doing in Triple-A, and of course, they need to see what Lincecum has to offer

10:33
Sean: What are your thoughts on Dave’s article about trading Trout-Do you think it could be done? Would you do it?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Lots of fun to think about, virtually impossible to imagine in reality.

10:34
Person: Do the Angels have any legitimate avenue to try to contend this season now? Or is the most likely outcome they just stand pat and let the season progress as it will?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: They seem destined for 77 wins.

10:36
Natcracker: Jeff: Strasburg. If he stays healthy and has a good season, what teams do you think are most likely to sign him? Angels? Yankees? Both teams will have some contracts coming off the books next season.

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Both those teams make some sense, with the Angels maybe holding special appeal because he’s from southern California. But the Angels might not quite have the financial wiggle room. Cubs might jump in there depending on what’s going on with Arrieta’s contract status

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: And, yeah, the Red Sox will be a player

10:37
Guest: The A’s have payroll coming off the books next season onwards and have Yonder Alonso putting up a truly despondent slashline. Could they trade for a 1B?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: They might sooner see if Andrew Lambo can play there, if he gets going in Triple-A

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe they turn out to be a fit for Chris Carter

10:40
jerry: Sonny Gray: slump? regression? or is there something wrong with him?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: I’m inclined to call it a slump. Seems like he’s releasing his breaking balls a little too late. Makes them easier to eliminate. He’ll work it out

10:41
Cubs Rule: After Fangraphs most recent Keuchel article do you think he can make the adjustment(s) needed to getting back to being an “ace”? Am thinking he can’t survive unless he gets his velo up and gets back to work the low/outside corner.

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: The cutter is an interesting tweak, and it helps that his velocity is starting to rise. He’ll need to keep that up because of his limited margin of error. I think we’ve already seen peak Keuchel. I also think he can get back to being pretty good, but he was so committed to that one zone last year, and if hitters have adjusted to that, he might not have an equal adjustment to make back

10:42
Ross: Percent chance the King needs Tommy John surgery before the end of 2017?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: Higher than I want to admit

10:43
Kole: A lot of talk in the media about the Rangers potentially selling top prospects mid-season in order to gain immediate help, but I just don’t think that their roster is currently at the point where mortgaging the long term future in exchange for immediate gains can be justified. Last thing I want is to see a situation in which the farm system is sacrificed in exchange for one or two ~80 win seasons. Then again, it is hard to see a possible upgrade available at this year’s trade deadline that would cost someone along the lines of Brinson or Gallo, especially if the A’s don’t want to move Gray.

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: If anything the Rangers can just give a role to Gallo. I don’t think they’re going to do any mortgaging

10:45
Argo: Do you think Javier Baez should be an everyday player? His glove is so good, that it seems they are passing up an opportunity to field the best possible overall team.

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Not yet. I’d like to see him actually try to hit against somebody good. But for the time being he works well as a utility sort. Valuable player, even part-time

10:48
John: What’s going on with Jose Fernandez?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Doesn’t have the same breaking ball he used to, and so far he’s been overthrowing it.

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: Used to be, Fernandez would come into the zone with his breaker. He’s not doing that as much, and hitters are chasing it less, because it has reduced movement. I don’t know whether this is intentional

10:51
Gest: It seems common for pitchers to start out a game with a bunch of consecutive fastballs, is this a well known thing?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: Not uncommon. Pitchers generally know hitters are reluctant to swing right away, and everyone wants to kind of get settled

10:53
Eric: Corey Seager, Urias, and de Leon for Trout. Who says no?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: That…seems…okay? Maybe that’s right on?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe that’s a little step for the Dodgers but it seems acceptable

10:54
Johnny5Alive: where are you moving in november, and can i come?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not moving. You might have me confused with Dave. Dave is moving

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Or do you have inside information? Have you been talking to my girlfriend? What’s going on?

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: Dave & co. are moving to Bend, Oregon. Everybody to Oregon!

10:56
Paul: If the Padres fall out of the race (hahahhaha) what type of package could they get for Kemp if they ate half the salary?

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: Almost nothing. Four more years at more than $10m each? No good reason for a team to swing that

10:57
TF Fredrik: Any hike/site recommendations for Tetons or Yellowstone in June?

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: Unfortunately no, not yet. I might ask you the same question in July!

10:58
Argo: Is Adam Conley capable of keeping this up for a whole season? Looks kind of slight of build, and loses velocity by the middle innings.

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: I like him, overall. I don’t think he’s a strikeout-an-inning pitcher, and I don’t think he’s built to go 110 pitches every five days, but I trust him to deliver 5 or 6 quality innings. Good young player

10:59
NJQ: Is Hunter Pence the worst thrower in baseball?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: Khris Davis

11:00
Person: Any results genuinely surprise you at this point in the season? I mean beyond the usual ‘huh, welp, baseball!’ response, and more of the ‘wow, I did NOT see that coming’ variety?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: Didn’t think Aledmys Diaz would be this good

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: Didn’t think Aaron Nola would be this good

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: Pleasantly surprised by Aaron Sanchez

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: Definitely did not expect the Astros to suck, even if it kind of makes sense in the moment

11:01
Dustin: Is Lincecum-Lohse-Milone-Danks better than what the Angels currently have?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: Everything about this question bums me out

11:02
Person: Do you ever get a chance to go to hockey games? Do you enjoy the atmosphere there more than at baseball games, and why/ why not?

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: Never been to a basketball game, actually. The Winterhawks are a local minor-league hockey team that draws well and generates an exciting atmosphere. I enjoy Winterhawks games

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: Hockey is a fantastic spectator sport

11:02
Alex: Mets great bullpen numbers for real or a mirage? Doesn’t seem BABIP aided.

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: I was just looking at that actually. It’s funny — they’ve been dominant while Jeurys Familia *hasn’t* been. What!

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: They don’t have the best bullpen in baseball or anything but they definitely don’t appear to be a liability

11:03
Ross: At what point does Tyler O’neill M’s prospect start getting some love on the top 100 prospect list? Dude just keeps raking

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: If he’s doing this by July, he’s a real prospect. Easy to ignore him in High-A a year ago but if you mash in Double-A, you’re legit

11:04
Person: I’ve noticed Brad Miller is seriously struggling this year. What’s going on there, do you think?

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: Gotten under a few too many balls, and he’s faced some really tough pitchers. Tougher than average. He’ll be okay, offensively

11:05
TF Fredrik: Are Cubs expectations beyond reigning in at this point? Seems like World Series or bust for media & fans.

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: People will not be satisfied if they fall short of the World Series again. A big injury would change that, but for now, they have more hype than every other team combined

11:06
mtsw: Am I crazy to think this year’s Rockies are looking like a .500ish talent level team? Story is great obviously, but even smaller additions like Jake McGee and Gerardo Parra seem like guys who were great fits for Coors Field.

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: Well, McGee has literally four strikeouts. They really need Jonathan Gray to be good. The pitching is…not a strength. But it’s a team of real interest, as opposed to the Padres

11:07
Tommy John: Who is the best player in the game that no one is talking about right now (ie AJ Pollock last year)?

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: It’s Arenado. Arenado is a superstar

11:08
THE MAN WITH THE PLAN: Why isn’t Andrew Benintendi @ AA yet? He has the same amount of triples (7) as strikeouts with less BBs. He has a .277 ISO with a 6.1 K%! Mookie Betts at the same level averaged a .211 ISO with a 8.1 K%.

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: He’ll be there soon. He still doesn’t even have 30 games against High-A competition, though

11:09
Panda’s Perfect Physique: Do you recall DMZ’s article on ussmariner analyzing the Bugs Bunny baseball game from that old warner brother cartoon?

http://www.ussmariner.com/2006/03/12/bugs-bunny-greatest-banned-player-ever/

I just came across this recently and could not stop laughing. What is DMZ up to these days?

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: Last I heard, DMZ is writing science fiction. But I haven’t heard for a while

11:10
bird watcher: Are you buying Ian Desmond’s increased walk rate? And assuming he leaves Texas for another team, do you think he moves back to SS with his new team?

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: Desmond has dropped his O-Swing% by 12 percentage points. Huge drop, with no corresponding drop in zone swings. Good sign! Still not hitting a lot, but it’s a promising indicator to keep track of

11:12
Adam: Am I wrong to strongly believe that Altuve is using PED’s? I mean the guy is 5’6″ and hit a 443 ft HR.

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: One of the longest home runs this season was hit by Jordy Mercer

11:13
Ponchos are Fashionable: It is very encouraging seeing Zunino doing well in AAA for the last month, but, well, one month in AAA is not enough to remove doubt from 2 years of all-time disaster behind the plate. How long would be enough though, do you think?

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: Four months of sustained offensive competence

11:13
Zorn: Thoughts on Christian Yelich? What will people be saying about him in a year?

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: Not much, because he’s underrated, but he’s really good and he has an improving eye

11:14
Erik: How long does Odubel have to keep this up to be “among the league elite”? All of this year? That would be a pretty decent 2-year track record.

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: If he has a 5-win season or something, that would be impossible to ignore. He’s on his way!

11:15
Taveras’ Ghost: Do you do fantasy questions? I forget. If you do, thoughts on Pujols for Taijuan Walker? I’m getting a steal right?

11:15
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t, but, what? That’s insane

11:15
Pete: Has Colin McCugh become a league-average SP?

11:15
Jeff Sullivan: I think so

11:17
ZachA: Tanaka’s GB rate has skyrocketed from 47% last year to 59.6% this year, while his HR/9 has dropped from 1.46 HR/9 to 0.46 HR/9. Small sample size ( 6 starts) or something more? You a believer in this new Tanaka?

11:17
Jeff Sullivan: He’s throwing more sinkers and he’s made his secondary stuff more competitive, so that helps. His four-seamer has historically gotten destroyed. Don’t think he’s 60% grounder good, but he’s more of a grounder pitcher than he was

11:18
InSpades: Are there any statistical indications Rick Porcello is going to maintain his K/9 the rest of the season? What about overall performance? Hoping (praying) I have a replacement for Keuchel.

11:19
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t buy him yet at 28% strikeouts, but I could see, I don’t know, 24%? I like him

11:19
mtsw: Which surprising 16/17-11 team is more legit: Orioles or Mariners?

11:19
Jeff Sullivan: I like the Mariners more overall, although it doesn’t make any sense that the Mariner bullpen to this point has been so good

11:20
George Grande: According to fWAR, Joey Rickard is literally the worst rookie position player. Why on earth do the O’s keep playing Rickard over Kim or Reimold? What’s the reason behind the fascination about Rickard?

11:20
Jeff Sullivan: The Orioles probably don’t think his defense is as bad as the numbers say. But you do have to figure Kim will force his way into more action

11:20
Farpy Spumperstein: Jose Altuve has a .350 ISO and is leading the league in home runs. He’s also 5’6″. What does this mean? What is happening?

11:21
Jeff Sullivan: And Jean Segura leads baseball in hits! What!

11:21
Jeff Sullivan: All right, I need to get rolling. Later than I thought

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

We hoped you liked reading Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 5/6/16 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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Curious Gorge
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Curious Gorge

To all those youngsters out there just entering college or starting their professional career… MOVE AWAY FROM HOME. Go West, go east, go south, go north, but go somewhere different in your 20s or 30s… get away while you’re young and your parents have a lot of time left. That way when you’re in your 40s and they’re in their 60s, you can move back closer to your family and you won’t have to wonder what else is out there. Find yourself, and then come back home.