Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 5/8/15

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: BASEBALL CHAT!

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: I thought maybe this would be the week I’d be early. Turns out it is not!

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: That’s what happens when you get your URL back from JABO right when the chat’s supposed to begin. Whatever, off we go. Hello friends

9:11
Comment From Joe
So NBA teams almost exclusively use R. What do baseball teams use?

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: I wouldn’t be surprised if a bunch of them have different proprietary software

9:11
Comment From Steve
Do you see Hanley’s injury lingering as the season moves forward?

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: Seems like he avoided disaster. I don’t think this particular injury is going to linger for him. But this is Hanley Ramirez, so there’s probably going to be some sort of other discomfort once this discomfort subsides.

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: One of those guys where you can’t count on him being 100% very consistently

9:12
Comment From Dan
Will you be bringing back the weeks wildest pitches/swings articles? I thoroughly enjoyed reading those the past few seasons.

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: They proved to require way too much work. They were fun, but draining and difficult, so I couldn’t keep them up on a regular basis. I will probably, however, revisit the ideas at some point in an altered format

9:13
Comment From Josh G
Hi Jeff. Can we attribute Ryan Zimmerman’s poor performance to his plantar fasciitis, or is it just a slow start? How confident are you in a rebound?

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: Generally, we’re probably too quick to assign blame for underperformance to injury, but in this case there have been obvious signs of discomfort, and every hitter needs his lower body. I think there are probably many things going on, but I think the foot problem is a legitimate negative

9:15
Comment From Steve
You have to think Abreu will heat up with the weather…right?

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: I think he’s pretty close to being himself. In that, I don’t think this counts as a slump

9:16
Comment From LarryA
Would you say Joc has better or worse than 50% chance of finishing the year with more HRs than Jose Bautista

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: Time for a fun fact!

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: As of right now, based on what data we have, Joc Pederson is the MLB leader in average exit velocity, having overtaken Hanley Ramirez

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: Also interesting: teammate Yasmani Grandal in third

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: Joc has a head start on Bautista and Bautista has a shoulder problem. I actually give Joc the edge here

9:18
Comment From Kevin
Has Rubby De La Rosa “figured” out how to pitch effectively?

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: One second, browser hiccup

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: OK, back on track

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: de la Rosa has six starts, and four of them have been mediocre or bad

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: But! The Diamondbacks have him working in the strike zone a bit more, and he has a history of strikeout talent. His walks aren’t too different from last year. You’re still not looking at a guy with a ton of polish, but against righty-heavy lineups, he’s solid

9:24
Comment From adam
Chances Jansen gets his closing role back and then keeps it the rest of the season?

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: The Dodgers might be organizationally moving away from the idea of having designated closers, but they’re not going to let that stop them from leaning on one of the best relievers in the world once he’s healthy again

9:25
Comment From Big Joey
I’ve never had a rotation be this bad, it’s been 5 weeks of terrible. Please tell me that Kluber, Tyson Ross, Lohse, Quintana will get better and soon.

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: Some of them will, some of them won’t

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think there’s anything wrong with Kluber, for example. I think there’s something wrong with his defense, and I think he’s not an outstanding contact manager, but the strikeouts are still there and the walks are still not there. He’s OK

9:27
Comment From adam
What are the Reds doing with Cingrani? Trying to develop an 8th inning guy or do they like him as multi-inning relief?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: For the time being, they like him as a setup arm. Longer term, he could and should be used for longer stints, but he’s still getting used to bullpen work

9:29
Comment From jon
Suppose a team is down by 1 run in the 9th with bases loaded an no outs. All other factors being equal, suppose the next three batters all strike out. Rank the 3 strikeouts from least to most egregious. Me and two friends each believe its a different answer!

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: In win expectancy terms, here are the approximate costs:

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: K #1: -20%
K #2: -26%
K #3: -27%

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: I think strikeout #2 is the most emotionally upsetting.

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: And then you hate strikeout #1, because all that guy has to do is make half-decent contact. By the time you get to strikeout #3, that’s bad, but you’re basically already defeated

9:33
Comment From TF Fredrik
We now have technology that leads to sites like brooks baseball that give us readings on velocity, movement, release point etc. that are readily available for everyone to see. So we know how hard any pitcher in the majors throws. Seeing the increase in velocity over the past few years really makes me wonder about guys from the pre-DH era, hell maybe even into the 80s. How many guys back then were even hitting 85 on the radar gun? Is there a lower limit that you think all the great pitchers, who weren’t knuckleballers, reached?

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: It’s worth noting that, for starting pitchers, average velocity has increased less than two miles per hour since 2002, which is as far back as we have data

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: So you’re looking at a real thing, but I don’t think it’s a *dramatic*, crazy thing, and I also think this is a relatively recent phenomenon as we’ve had developments in analysis and training methods

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: I can’t speak to the past — I wasn’t alive for it. And we know baseball took a while before pitchers resembled how they look today. But I think pitchers were long hovering in between 80 – 90, with a few freaks beyond the upper end

9:35
Comment From Josh G
What do you expect from Jake Marisnick ROS? Is 15/40 attainable?

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: I like him, but I’m not sold on 15 homers. Might write about him next week — he deserves it

9:36
Comment From Alex
If I was Kyle Seager, I’d get pretty upset that everytime Corey’s mentioned there’s a reference that he’s better than me.

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: If I were Kyle Seager, I’d be happy to have a hundred million more dollars than Corey does

9:38
Comment From Rocky Bullwinkle
Now that everything that’s need to be said about Cutch is said, is it time to worry about Tulo next? Batted ball looks good (can’t access avg flyball dist. however), but plate discipline in the toilet?

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: I can’t think of a good reason why an established player’s plate discipline would suddenly erode. You don’t just forget pitch recognition. What it looks like: pitchers are being aggressive with throwing Tulowitzki strikes, and he’s responding by being more aggressive in turn. I don’t know why he’s being challenged more, but it is what it is, and I think he’s good enough that his numbers look sensible some months from now

9:40
Comment From TF Fredrik
What are the best stats to look at the command a pitcher has? Obviously watching with your own eyes is the best way to see when a pitcher is missing spots, especially on 0-2, 1-2 counts. But I can’t think of any stats you can look at that directly relate. Control yes, but not exactly command.

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not sure you can really isolate command. Walks and stuff give you an idea, and you can measure it indirectly by just comparing a guy’s results to the raw quality of his arsenal. If you want to get granular, you can look at the pitcher’s PITCHf/x data and see where his pitches are going. With changeups, for example, pitchers generally want them down, with rare exception, so you can see how often the pitcher succeeds at that

9:43
Comment From Mike Honcho
Peter Bourjos should be the starting CF for the Cardinals, right?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Probably something like half the time

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: Neither he nor Jay really have wide platoon splits, so it would be a weird job share, but I’m not sold on Bourjos’ bat and I’m not sold on Jay’s bat being toast

9:45
Comment From David
Hey Jeff! Bryce Harper question. He’s always at the very least seemed passable in the outfield from the eye test to me…Do you know of any glaring faults to his defensive game that contribute to his consistently low ratings the last couple years?

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not sure what you mean. He’s got a positive career DRS and a positive career UZR

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: If you’re referring to his overall Defense rating on his player page, that includes the adjustment for being in an outfield corner

9:46
Comment From Bip
What do you think about DRA?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: It’s simultaneously impressive and mostly over my head, and it’s obviously a very good effort, that will get its kinks straightened out in the coming months. But at this point I just don’t get excited by new ERA estimators. Nothing’s being revolutionized, and I always analyze pitchers in detail, anyway, going beyond expected runs allowed

9:48
Comment From will
do you have a particular favorite out of all the articles you’ve written?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: No. And it’s always hilarious when I stumble upon an article I don’t at all remember writing. (There are hundreds of those)

9:49
Comment From adam
Where is Heyward’s power, is it gone forever?

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: Pretty concerning. Now, he came up as a groundball hitter, and he still had power then, so he can work with this. And I haven’t taken a look at all the details. But the longer Heyward goes without power, the more he’s going to be challenged, and the less he’s going to walk, so this could turn into an ugly spin.

9:51
Comment From Curtis
What is the MLB equivalent of Deflategate? bat corking? How serious of a violation do you think either is?

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe a pitcher or a pitching staff aiding its grip by using that Bullfrog stuff with rosin?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: I haven’t read any more about the Patriots’ thing because I just really don’t care, but the sense I get is that they violated the rules in a way in which pretty much every team violates the rules. It’s also very unclear much of an advantage was given. It’s hard to imagine giving a shit

9:54
Comment From Brian
You are transported back in time to, say, 1960. You have none of your money or possessions. Assume you luck your way in to an assistant GM position in an MLB front office as a way of making a living. There is no Baseball-Reference. There is no Fangraphs. There is no Excel. How do you go about using your present knowledge of advanced baseball statistics to your advantage? How do you go about getting the GM to heed your advice?

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: Well, let’s see. Shifts would be easy enough. Very simple concept to convey

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: I might be able to get across the core components of DIPS theory, and I’d talk about the run value of getting on base, no matter how it’s done

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: And then we’d eyeball-test the starting pitchers, and we’d talk about fatigue and times through the order. The team would end up being aggressive with its bullpen

9:56

Comment From jon
If I told you Kris Bryant would finish with one of these lines, which would you prefer as boding best for his future:

400 AB, .310 avg, 0 HR, .850 ops, 23% K-rate, 15% BB-rate OR
400 AB, .230 avg, 20 HR, .850 ops, 33% K-rate, 10% BB-rate

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: The latter. With power, the walks come; without power, the walks disappear.

9:56
Comment From Curtis
Are you in favor of a shorter regular MLB season?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah

9:57
Comment From Larry Bernandez
Between what 2 levels within an organization would you say the gap in ability is the largest? The smallest?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: I feel like you almost have to say Triple-A and the majors — every player in the majors is, in theory, too good for Triple-A, and then there’s nowhere for the best players in the majors to advance

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: There’s also a big gap between High-A and Double-A

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: The smallest differences are probably found at the lowest levels

10:00
Comment From Rob
Yasmany Tomas is hitting for average, but no power. Lots of opposite field hits. Is that a reason for optimism? The pop will come eventually, right?

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: There are good things — contact, going the other way — but Tomas is supposed to be powerful. He’s hit 66% grounders. It feels like right now he’s *trying* to smack the ball to the opposite field, and that’s not where he’s going to find his strength. I don’t think power fits with this profile; he’ll have to make a decision

10:02
Comment From Joey
SSS but Cutch looked significantly better yesterday. His swing looked like the 2014 version and he was able to actually hit the ball with authority to left field. Should I still be worried about him?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: I think there’s still reason to worry. I missed one of the hits, but of the other two, there was a grounder down the line, and a looping liner into shallow left-center. I don’t think his swing looked fixed — I just think even a not-100% Andrew McCutchen can be a decent hitter sometimes

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: Even bad McCutchen can probably post a wRC+ at or above 100. But this is a guy who’s supposed to hit 20-30 dingers

10:06
Comment From TF Fredrik
Carlos Frias is looking like super charged bartolo colon with his pitch usage (all those fastballs!). Obviously I wouldn’t say his command is going to be on par with colon, but he does seem to have an idea of where his pitches are going. Have you watched any of him yet? Think he can be something above average this year?

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: I haven’t been able to watch him yet, but from what I can tell, he could stand to be better about pitching to both sides of the plate. He’s had more of a reliever’s approach, and that’ll take some adjusting if he wants to start. But there’s clearly potential here for him to be decent

10:08
Comment From Help
Phil Hughes appears to have swapped his cutter for a 2 seamer this year, even though the cutter was supposedly the pitch responsible for last years success. Why would he do that? His velocity is also down a tick. Is he hurt?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: According to Brooks, last year Hughes threw 20% cutters, and this year he’s thrown 17% cutters

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: Now, his release point is down sharply, so that’s something to watch.

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: That same cutter has been released 5 inches lower than it was last season

10:11
Comment From Anthony
Your opinion on the chatter around Correa coming up?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: He’s forcing it. He’ll solidify the Astros’ infield defense. Would be interesting to see what they’d do with Valbuena/Lowrie. Could see one flipped for rotation help

10:13
Comment From Cube Jockey
Concerned over Wacha’s dip in K rate? From watching his last two starts, it looks like K’s have turned into weak contact.

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: Surprised but not yet too concerned. All his stuff seems intact. I think the whiffs are going to be there in the end

10:15
Comment From J-Dog
How concerned are you with Chris Sale? More about not having any spring training or signs of injury?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not concerned about Sale. But it is worth noting he’s consciously replacing some sliders with changeups. He’s also throwing more fastballs. I think, for purposes of trying to stay healthy, he’s going to sacrifice some whiffs

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: It’s funny — Sale’s BABIP is way up, and his hard-hit rate is way down

10:17
Comment From King Flops
Did you see the nice play noted 2B Steve Pearce made last night? http://m.mlb.com/video/topi…

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: Love it. Every team should strive to be as flexible as the Orioles

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: Necessity and invention and everything

10:18
Comment From Timothy
How confident are you that Devin Mesoraco returns to full-time catching duties this season? It seems to me, from what I’ve read, that he’s unable to squat w/o undergoing surgery and surgery would have him out for 4 months. Reds seem content to have him be their DH and pinch hitter until it becomes necessary from a recovery standpoint to undergo surgery…long story short, he gone!

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: Can’t see him catching this year. He’ll have surgery when the Reds are far enough out of the hunt

10:19
Comment From Philipipara
With talks of shortened season, would teams then adjust player contracts? For instance, Cano making 24 million drops to say 20 because he was signed for 162 games give or take off days. Then free agents don’t make as much per year due to a shorter season or that all doesn’t change?

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: Obviously money would be the big thing, for everybody. Possible existing contracts would be grandfathered; possible they’d be uniformly reduced, to match reduced revenues. Didn’t the NHL do something like that some years back? Almost an impossible sell, but it’s one of the things that would be required

10:20
Comment From Ty Cobb Salad
I know Cole Hamels gets a lot of attention for trade bait to the Red Sawx, but what other pitcher would be a realistic fit for Boston if they can’t get him?

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: Cueto

10:20
Comment From Art Vandelay
If you’re the Mets, do you try to move Gee to open a spot for Syndergaard? Or do you just wait for an injury to open a spot and live with him demolishing AAA for a while longer?

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: Feels like they’ve been trying to move Gee for like a year and a half

10:21
Comment From TF Fredrik
In regards to the Colon article and talking about the 3 different fastballs as distinct pitches, it got me thinking when this is developed. It seems like we rarely hear about this for prospects or amateurs. Usually you just hear about what their velo is and maybe that it has good sink, but evaluators never specifically mention that they throw a four seam, two seam, or cutter. Yet it seems like once every starting pitcher gets to the majors they do throw different fastballs. Is this something that is picked up once they get to majors, or is it something that isn’t really reported when they are younger because it is just easier to say fastball instead of going into the type they throw?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: I think, generally, a young pitcher just thinks of a fastball as a fastball, and when you have a live arm all you care about is velocity and blowing the ball right by guys. Lesser velocity forces creativity. Pitchers come up being told they need 3 or 4 pitches, and they think of the fastball as 1. In truth, it can be 2, or 3. But I don’t think fastballs are used with sufficient versatility with younger guys

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: I really do think this could be part of the next wave. You take a talented young arm, you teach him how to throw a four-seamer and a two-seamer, and you teach him that he doesn’t have to go 100% with every delivery. Say a guy can top out at 97. Have him throw a four-seamer at 94 and a two-seamer at 91. That guy can be successful, with even mediocre secondary stuff

10:23
Comment From Tom
What do you think eventually happens regarding Andrew McCutchen and his knee?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Hard to say without knowing what’s going on. I think he either figures out a way to re-engineer his swing to find his strength, or he and the Pirates realize he could use some time. He might just go the whole year at less than 100%; he can still be somewhat productive, and good hitters have gone through this before

10:25
Comment From Bip
Are people underrating the Dodgers’ rotation depth? I think because the top of the rotation is so good, and they have so much money, people expect that the team should have 8 average starters ready to go.

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: I think it’s alarming when you see a team like the Dodgers turn to David Huff in the second week of the season

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: But, they’ve clearly been challenged more than most teams. I like Wieland OK. Beachy is coming along. Frias has some promise. It’s still a good rotation, given its top

10:27
Comment From Alex
Regardless of cost, would you rather have Altuve or Cano for the next 4 years?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: Altuve

10:27
Comment From Gregory
What’s happening to Lost Lake????

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: “Similar lava tube drain holes exist at Fish Lake, McHugh said, located a few miles west of Lost Lake near the junction of U.S. Highway 20 and state Highway 126. Both lakes go through a similar seasonal cycle, she said.” http://www.bendbulletin.com…

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: It’s a different Lost Lake from the famous Lost Lake

10:28
Comment From Grand Admiral Braun
Swihart and Owens for Lucroy: Does Milwaukee say yes?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: No, but you at least get a second phone call

10:29
Comment From Art Vandelay
Dee Gordon – O/U .300 AVG at season’s end?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s say he bats another 450 times. He’d need to hit only .264 or so to finish up at .300.

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: (He can and should do that)

10:31
Comment From Bigglesworth
How long before the Rangers send Odor to AAA. Is he salvageable ?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: He’s 21 years old. Extremely salvageable. But I do think he’s close to going down. He’s overmatched

10:31
Comment From Raindog
Jeff, are you excited for upcoming PNW volcano climbing season? How many have you been up? Do you have a favorite? I think Baker’s pretty great personally.

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: I’m more excited for camping season — it can be climbing season year-round. Went up St. Helens in January. Was just a lot of the way up Hood last Sunday. Snow cover is actually preferable to ash, I think

10:33
Comment From Joe
Any chance A-Rod keeps this up? And do we have to start thinking about putting a dynamic era component into aging curves (modern baseball players are probably more healthy than their forebears)?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: I doubt A-Rod finishes with a 140 wRC+ but he’s pretty clearly demonstrating that there’s gas left in the tank. Maybe 120 would be more reasonable. As for the latter point, I believe it’s actually been shown that aging curves are more steep now, at least compared to what they were during the steroid era

10:35
Comment From Ember
What’s up with Robbie Cano? Just a slow start, or something more troubling?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not worried yet

10:35
Comment From Ant
Where do I find Exit Velocity on the League Leaders on the site? Sorry, I’m a noob

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: Don’t have it on FanGraphs. Our approximate would be hard-hit rate

10:36
Comment From EW
Is the strikezone different for players of different height?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Yes

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Although it seems like it doesn’t fully adjust for players who’re really tall or really short

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Altuve, for example, gets a strike zone that’s still a few inches too high, but he’s clearly learned to deal with it

10:37
Comment From Brian
Is this Mike Zunino? His defense and work with the pitching staff seems like it is enough to keep him at catcher, even if he continues using toothpicks for a bats. But wow do those contact rates look bad.

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: If it makes you feel better, McClendon thinks Zunino is turning a corner, and the last couple weeks his contact rate has been up north of 70%

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: But he’s always going to strike out. Despite that, I believe he’ll settle in as a 100 – 110 wRC+ backstop or so

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe not this year, but maybe this year

10:38
Comment From ryan
because the red sox starters xfip is good, and the era is miserable, is the new pitching coach going to get wayyy too much credit when they start getting better results?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Yes!

10:39
Comment From Larry Bernandez
Would trading Chapman bring in a worthy haul for the Reds? If so, what kind of talent would that bring?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: It’d be big. Andrew Miller fetched Eduardo Rodriguez, despite not being Chapman, and despite it being his walk year. Chapman has the extra season of control, and he has his arm. Real strong package would go back

10:39
Comment From steve
why do the diamondbacks refuse to improve their catching situation for the short-term and long-term?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: does Saltalamacchia count for anything

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: that’s an honest question

10:40
Comment From TF Fredrik
I know you were recently in South America backbacking, have you also done europe? I have the past two years and its been easier than expected with regards to any kind of language barrier. Which I guess is to be expected. Ive been wanting to do South America soon but feel like it is going to be a lot tougher in that regard.

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve spent time in Europe, but not as a backpacker. There is a real language barrier in parts of South America, but you can work through it. Learn at least elementary, conversational Spanish. But also understand that places cater to backpacking tourists, so there are accommodations, and there are always other backpackers around who speak the same tongue

10:42
Comment From Franklin
Over/Under 25 BB’s allowed by Bartolo Colon at the end of the year?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: Under

10:42
Comment From Ty Cobb Salad
Who’s team record are you most surprised about this point in the season?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: Astros

10:43
Comment From Joey
What are your thoughts on AJ Burnett so far? He looks WAAAY better than last year.

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: This year he has a catcher

10:43
Comment From Josh G
Do you think the Angels are making a mistake hitting Trout 2nd? Where do you think his ideal lineup slot would be?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: I think that’s a great place for Trout

10:44
Comment From Kevin Gregg
Why do people keep thinking it’s a good idea to pay me to play baseball?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: I wouldn’t ask questions if I were you

10:44
Comment From Bojan
Do you think that the Indians gave up on McAllister as a starter too soon?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think they gave up on it, necessarily; I think they realized he can function as a swingman in the meantime. There’ll be other opportunities

10:45
Comment From Nik
At what point does Amaro start selling? Harang should be a guy he dangles out there way before the Trade Deadline since he’s had a hot start and there aren’t many other sellers yet.

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: Amaro’s open. Other teams aren’t interested yet. Still too early to expect a trade market

10:45
Comment From carl
is salty going to have a negatve effect on the dbacks pitcher value (poor defensive catcher) a positive one (more run support) or no discernable effect?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: I think, overall, he’s a step up from what they had

10:46
Comment From David
You always reiterate in your swing breakdown articles that you’re not a hitting expert, but I wanted to let you know that you pretty much always impress me with your analysis, and you at least sound like an expert on the subject

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: I just want to make sure people don’t take me as an authority on that stuff. If I’m writing about it, I’m trying, but if there are people out there who know better, I want them to speak up. That way we all get to learn more

10:47
Comment From Grand Admiral Braun
A-Rod is one of the five-greatest players of all-time. Agree?

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah

10:47
Comment From David
I know this question has probably been answered extensively in other places, but could you tell me a few of the basic differences between fangraphs WAR and BR WAR?

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: Some basics: http://www.fangraphs.com/li…

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: Exhausting amount of detail: http://www.baseball-referen…

10:50
Comment From Art Vandelay
Yonder Alonso is supposed to miss a considerable amount of time. Do you think Myers moves to first in the meantime?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: I’d be surprised if they did that. Could see Tommy Medica; could see Brett Wallace, although he’s not on the 40-man

10:51
Comment From David
In regards to the uptick in velocity in recent years, do you think this has had an impact on causing more injuries? I don’t even know if there actually has been more pitcher injuries but it at least seems that way

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: It would be one factor. The more pitchers there are approaching their physical limits, the more injuries you’ll see

10:52
Comment From _David_
Do any of these Mariners minor league batting lines interest you? Tyler Smith (AA) .286/.466/.429, Ketel Marte (AAA) .345/.379/.397, Franklin Guitierez (AAA) .319/.451/.556

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: Yes to Gutierrez

10:52
Comment From Shawn
Besides Trout, the Angels seem to have a lot of marginal players. If you were them, would you entertain the idea of trading him for upgrades over the diamond? What’s a Trout trade look like? How many teams could actually pull it off? Red Sox, Dodgers, anyone else?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooope

10:52
Comment From Franklin
Aaron Sanchez is starting his 6th game of the season tonight against Boston. He is walking an insane 7.11 batters per 9. Do you think tonights start is a make or break start for him? If he is wild once again, I can’t see the Blue Jays keeping him in the rotation…

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: He’ll be in the bullpen within a month or so

10:53
Comment From _David_
The Mariners are 5th in HR and 25th in R…Which number should be expected to regress more towards the other?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: They’re 19th in wRC+. Turns out you also need to get on base

10:54
Comment From Elliott
D. Gordon: product of hitting front of the likes of Yelich, Stanton, and Ozuna? Or just another great five to six weeks of production, much like he had last season?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: This year Yelich has been hurt and Ozuna has been bad

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: This is Dee Gordon. With a little luck and a little improvement

10:54
Comment From Steve
What’s the deal with Iwakuma?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Injured

10:55
Comment From Grand Admiral Braun
The Cardinals have mentioned that “growing their own” has always been their key to success. That’s true in that Pujols and Molina are greats of the game, but other than that they’ve been big on trades/FA.

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: Matt Carpenter’s pretty good. Adam Wainwright was a trade acquisition, but with zero big-league experience. Lynn, Wacha, Rosenthal, Martinez, Jay, Adams…

10:56
Comment From LarryA
Breaking: Bill Simmons done at ESPN. Do you read him?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: no

10:56
Comment From David
Do you usually enjoy the old articles that you forgot you wrote? In school, whenever I read my old papers I typically hate them

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: That whole thing about hating who you were five years ago

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: Not always applicable, but often applicable

10:57
Comment From The Ghost of Dayn Perry
If you had to pick a Fangraphs writer to eulogize you, who would it be?

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: Carson. Easiest question of the chat

10:57
Comment From Fatbot
Any traction to my request to look at “batter framing”? The same batters every year convince umps to call pitches in the strike zone balls. It’s not the same as working the count or plate discipline, there are a few batters that are skilled at getting the ump to give more balls called in their favor. There seems to be a large year-to-year correlation suggesting it’s a skill, and it’s a huge advantage in those ABs, so why not look at how batters work which umps like with catchers & catcher framing..? Also would be interesting to see where the batter trumps the catcher in getting the extra calls…

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: The same guys who get a lot of balls in the strike zone tend to get a lot of strikes out of the strike zone. Which means you’re just seeing the strike zone somewhat shifted, for whatever reason or reasons. Take Dozier, for example — every year, he’s among the leaders in strike-zone balls, but he’s also among the leaders in out-of-zone strikes. So then what’s the advantage?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: I have written about something like “batter framing” before and there are small effects, but, they’re overall small effects

10:59
Comment From Catoblepas
How long until the Red Sox call up Eduardo Rodriguez, assuming the rotation continues on this basic trajectory?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: Few weeks

11:00
Comment From Ty Cobb Salad
So how did you get involved in baseball writing and eventually Fangraphs?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: I posted on the ESPN message boards around the turn of the millennium. That introduced me to Baseball Prospectus. I liked the Mariners, and when I went to college I was kind of bored so I started a Mariners blog. Once I did that I couldn’t stop. Joined SB Nation at the very beginning in 2005. In early 2010, I basically demanded a full-time job from them, or else I’d leave and do something else. They gave it to me. Did that for a few years, was miserable, went to FanGraphs to join people I liked

11:02
Comment From Josh G
Is the increased pitcher’s velocity we see today worth the higher rate of injury risk? Do you think we might see a shift in how young pitchers are being trained?

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: It’s my hope. You don’t need to throw 100.

11:02
Comment From FigWhip
Dustin Ackley: inexplicably bad. What happened between college phenom and this?

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: The league found a weak spot or two and Ackley’s never been able to keep up with the adjustments. I’m also not sure how he psychologically deals with adversity but he was never really challenged before

11:03
Comment From FigWhip
What do you reckon the Cubs try to do with Javier Baez?

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: Trade him

11:04
Comment From John
I’m baffled by this Mesoraco situation. So he can’t squat…can’t play another position…so he’s just a pinch hitter and sometime-DH? Do you think that he’s done catching in 2015 and, if so, why won’t they just operate on him so he’ll be fresh for 2016???

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: He’d be fresh for 2016 if they did the operation in October. So right now he’s just trying to be what help he can as the Reds try to cling to any hope

11:05
Comment From FigWhip
which players, as yet unsuccessful in MLB, look like a good bet based on HitFX info?

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: Haven’t seen enough HITf/x to know

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: We don’t have HITf/x info, and the StatCast stuff we have is too new

11:05
Comment From BM
Is Kang going to start seeing regular starts soon?

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: I think so. He deserves the chance

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: All right, I need to get rolling. Other things on the agenda

11:06
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 — 5/8/15 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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Max
Guest
Max

I just traded Freddie Freeman and Starling Marte for Carlos Gomez and Prince Fielder. How’d I do?

Chuck
Guest
Chuck

I think your opponent did just fine