Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 6/12/15

9:01
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends!

9:01
Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to basically on-time baseball chat!

9:01
Jeff Sullivan: Ordinarily by now I’d have a JABO post live but I haven’t heard back from the editors over there so there’s the reason for that

9:02
Comment From Maxamuz
I bet no one is here because you’re on time for once.

9:02
Jeff Sullivan: I actually had to give it a minute to let the queue get built up

9:02
Comment From Curtis
Fix the Mariner’s offense in 10 words or less…..

9:02
Jeff Sullivan: Well, I’ll give you two different answers

9:03
Jeff Sullivan: 1) Have Robinson Cano hit like Robinson Cano

9:03
Jeff Sullivan: 2) Hit as well with men on as not

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: At present, the Mariners are averaging 3.47 runs per game, last in the AL. By BaseRuns, they should be at 3.88 — that’s 25 more runs, or fewer runs, depending on how you look at it.

9:05
Comment From MSW
Hector Rondon. Closer? Set-up guy? Who the heck knows?

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: He’s good enough to be a closer, but it wouldn’t be a shock to see the Cubs toward the leading edge of teams trying to eliminate set-in bullpen roles.

9:06
Comment From mtsw
Assuming no injuries, and not taking salaries into consideration, who would you rather have RoS: Nick Markakis or Nolan Reimold?

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: Doesn’t seem like it’s fair to assume no injuries in a question with Nolan Reimold

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: My answer would be Markakis

9:08
Comment From sully
should the red sox trade clay buchholz once they fall out of contention?

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: If that were to happen, Buchholz would be a sensible piece to move, but I don’t think the Red Sox slip so I don’t think Buchholz goes anywhere. At the very least, I think the Red Sox hold, and Buchholz has gotten better over the course of the year. Affordable team options coming up after this season

9:09
Comment From Curtis
Fair expectations for Verlander’s return?

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: 90 pitches, some of which remind you of Justin Verlander

9:10
Comment From Jon
When will the Mariners be good again

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: Howard Lincoln is only 75 years old so it could be a while yet

9:10
Comment From Colby
If the Tigers are out of the playoffs by only a few games should they sell Price to the highest bidder or even try to move Simon?

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: They won’t do that. Not Price, anyway. Maybe they could sell high on Simon but the Tigers aren’t the kind of team that folds when they’re this close to another run.

9:11
Comment From Person
So is Dave’s Mariners fandom essentially dead and gone at this point, or just in a coma?

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: The way I’d say it, Dave has probably the most complicated relationship with the Mariners, but it’s no longer a fan’s relationship. There’s no emotional investment there. Plenty of reasons why

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: I know my connection’s waning too. Some of it is getting older, some of it is doing this as a job, and some of it is them

9:13
Comment From Guest
not trying to be an ass, but your perennial lateness just seems like intentional schtick to me. and if it isn’t, why not just set the alarm a few minutes earlier and do everything the same and that way youre not late?

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not a schtick. Things have a way of filling up as much time as is available, and I’m usually late because I’m reading baseball articles because there are so many of them that get published in the morning and I have to stay informed

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: What I should be better about is just stopping the reading when it’s time to go, but once you’re in you’re in

9:14
Comment From Vslyke
More amazing: that the Nationals are only at .500 given Harper and Scherzer’s seasons or that they are at .500 despite getting nothing from Zimmerman, Werth, and Rendon?

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: I considered writing about them the other day. When the season started, the only thing that could sink the Nationals was injuries. They had crazy upper-level talent, but limited depth. The injuries have hit and now the team’s vulnerable. Don’t forget about Strasburg and Fister. The Nationals, on talent, are terrific, but they haven’t been able to be the Nationals very much

9:16
Comment From k
So, Bobby Cano – this is just a babip thing, right? He’s still hitting the ball hard.

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: A lot of hitting the ball hard on the wrong trajectory. So it’s more complicated than simple bad luck

9:16
Comment From Kevin
You think Miley’s uncalled for shouting match with Farrell and public lack of respect for his manager is the first domino in an early exit for JF this season?

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: Well, I doubt it would count as the first domino — the team’s lack of success would be the first domino — but don’t mistake this for a big issue. Every pitcher is a competitor, and every pitcher wants to keep pitching. Miley was understandably frustrated, and people act out when their competitive flames are burning

9:20
Comment From Maxamuz
I’m falling in love with Brandon Crawford to the point I want to sell Desmond. Also, Nori Aoki.

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: Don’t know if there’s a question here but the Giants have really done something with their player development system

9:21
Comment From Jon
Is Brad Miller a bust

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: Brad Miller was never a top-100 prospect and he’s at 5 career WAR in a little short of 1,000 plate appearances

9:22
Comment From Jays fan
Jays or Dodgers with the best offense in mlb? Basicaly tied by woba and wrc+

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s try it this way:

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: Jays project for a .327 wOBA. Dodgers project for .329, excluding pitchers

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: Dodgers play in the worse league. Jays play in the better hitter’s ballpark. Pitchers do count, for Los Angeles. It’s virtually a toss-up.

9:26
Comment From Sleight of Hand Pro
are reverse platoon splits real? is there a hitter in baseball where you truly believe their true talent is higher against same sided pitchers?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Ichiro is the case that always comes to mind — .785 career OPS against lefties, .762 against righties. But such cases are extremely unusual and extremely difficult to prove. And even a *real* reverse platoon split would be pretty small, so if you’ve got a guy who’s dominating same-handed pitchers and struggling against the opposite, that’s not real

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: The Giants seem to have emphasized guys who can hit pitchers of the same handedness, and maybe there’s something they teach, but you should usually bet against exceptions

9:28
Comment From Josh G
What contending team would make sense as a landing spot for Carlos Gomez?

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: I wonder if the Blue Jays would like him and then they could put Pillar in a corner to really get a strong defense

9:30
Comment From John
Is Ryan Zimmerman’s contract one of the worst in baseball? Virtually untradeable (due to salary increases and NTC), he has lost almost all of his defensive value, and his hitting is beginning to slip.

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not a *good* contract but the Nationals are basically paying Zimmerman to be in the vicinity of league-average, which is well within his potential when he’s healthy. Of course, that depends on his being healthy…

9:31
Comment From Brian
Should Jason Motte be the Cubs closer moving forward?

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: probably not

9:33
Comment From Danny
Do you think Oberholtzer’s blister issues are still bothering him or is he healthy now?

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: I doubt the Astros would pitch him if they figured he had a nagging blister, but it’s also the sort of thing that’ll probably recur

9:34
Comment From Phillies113
Cleveland’s first 29 games: 10-19 (.345 winning %). Cleveland’s last 29 games: 17-12 (.586). Which would be more accurate: Cleveland wasn’t that bad to start, or “Cleveland isn’t as good as they’ve been lately”?

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: They’re a good team. Early on, they underperformed — on the field, and in terms of luck. But they seemed like a title contender in March, and I think they understand how good their pitching staff is. They’re trouble

9:35
Comment From Johnson
What is wrong with Heyward’s hitting? What are the chances of him being a consistent above average performer (hitting wise)?

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: Heyward might never achieve the consistency people want from him, given all the previous hype, but as boring as it is to say I have to point out his 112 rest-of-season wRC+ projection. That *is* more significant than his 86 figure season-to-date. All that said, he very obviously hasn’t been himself, and while a month ago I thought I saw reason to skip writing about him, maybe next week I’ll finally go more in-depth. I’m curious, too, and the groundballs are back

9:37
Comment From Theo
What do you think the eventual Papelbon-to-Cubs package will look like?

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: The Phillies will eat some money, and receive a barely-significant prospect

9:38
Comment From Bobnipotent
What could be the root cause of the teams average with RISP dipping so far below their average with the bases empty?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: It’s almost always luck. Boring, impersonal luck. Maybe a small factor could be staggering of at-bats such that good hitters bat with no one on and worse hitters bat with people on, but that tends to even out. If you see a big difference in these splits, assume that it won’t keep up

9:39
Comment From baseball
What is the most understudied part of baseball?

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: Psychology

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: Understudied in large part because we can’t do anything

9:41
Comment From danny
jose quintana is good. what would the trade market be for him right now? i was thinking a proven position player under similar control like puig or marte, thoughts?

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: You could get a good, young, proven position player. Quintana’s talent is there and he has a very team-friendly contract. But then that’s one of the reasons why the White Sox probably wouldn’t deal him, even if they decided to sell. A straight-up exchange for a hitter might work but that doesn’t make the Sox better, just different

9:44
Comment From Sleight of Hand Pro
Trout and Harper are both free agents. Trout will sign for your team for 10/$450M, and Harper will sign for 10/$400M and you cant sign both. who are you signing?

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: Trout, still

9:44
Comment From Person
Do you ever peruse the baseball subreddit to get any inspiration for articles to write?

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: No, but that’s not a bad idea

9:45
Comment From Bigglesworth
How do you see playing time shaking out for Guerrero and Olivera ROS ? Do you see Guerrero or Ethier part of a trade package for an SP.and….don’t the Dogers need to address their bullpen as well. Cueto and Chapman ?

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: The Dodgers bullpen has been good, and we don’t know what Olivera is going to be yet. Guerrero has very little trade value because he has the contractual right to opt out after the season if he’s moved. It would make sense to see Ethier exchanged for an arm of some sort.

9:46
Comment From Curtis
Have the many defensive shifts employed against pull hitters made a significant statistical impact? Which players are the best at defeating the shift thus far?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: Well, Mike Moustakas is the popular example of a guy who learned to beat the shift, by hitting away from it. But most players who try to do that don’t succeed. Other players, like Mark Teixeira, just try to hit over the shift. The shifts have made a difference, especially against pull-hitting lefties, but league-wide it doesn’t seem like it’s responsible for offense collapsing or anything

9:47
Comment From Johnson
Do the Jays have the resources to land Cueto and Chapman? Would Norris, Pompey, Boyd and Alford be enough?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: The Jays definitely have the pieces! http://www.foxsports.com/ml…

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Without question, the package starts with Norris, or Hoffman. The Reds might ask for both. As Dave talked about, this could be an extreme seller’s market. On the other hand, there are questions about the state of Cueto’s elbow, so maybe that could keep the price reasonable. I’ll say this much: Cueto/Chapman wouldn’t fit anywhere better than they’d fit Toronto

9:50
Comment From mike
Let’s say a team moves the fences waaaay back (500+ ft) and assembles the best defensive OF they can (Cain, Lagares, Bourjos, for example). Would they save a lot of runs?

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: They’d save a ton of runs, but most of those balls that would’ve been homers would be uncatchable and they’d end up going for inside-the-parkers. Rarely is the fence the only thing keeping an outfielder from catching a dinger

9:51
Comment From Josh
Five best farm systems post-draft?

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: That’s a Kiley question! Ask that question to Kiley.

9:51
Comment From Mike
Is Cameron Maybin finally good now or is he just getting lucky so far?

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: I buy him as a decent everyday player

9:51
Comment From Sleight of Hand Pro
have you ever been into video games? if so, which ones?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve only ever cared for sports games and then mostly just hockey games because the pace works for me. I find video-game baseball to be dreadful

9:52
Comment From A T
Marlins moved Stanton outta the 3 hole last night, and finally hit something other than a solo Home run (it was 3). Should your best power guy hit 3rd or 4th if he strikes out alot?

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: Stanton should be hitting fourth. Or maybe second. Stanton, Yelich, and Ozuna should be blended somehow at 1-2-4

9:55
Comment From David
Your piece on Bryce Harper was fantastic, but couldn’t his new approach (going the other way all the time) be a little negative? For instance, he doesn’t have a single homer on the inside third of the plate and seems to get jammed in there regularly when the pitcher executes. Obviously his numbers aren’t suffering yet.

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: Harper actually talked about this with Eno. I’ll excerpt (http://www.fangraphs.com/bl…)

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: “If you can pick a guy out of the big leagues that can throw three straight heaters on the inside part of the plate, and paint those pitches, I’ll tip my cap to them,” said Harper. “If they can do that, that’s very impressive.”

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: Harper is basically giving up his cold spot. He knows where it is and pitchers know where it is. But it’s a really difficult area to hit on a consistent basis, and if you miss, he’ll destroy it

9:56
Comment From Kevin
Would the Mets go back to the 6 man rotation to add Steven Matz into the mix or would a trade need to occur?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: They’re not going to run with a consistent six-man rotation

9:57
Comment From Ronny Cedeno MVP For Life
Are you able to really get away on the weekends? I notice Monday morning you often have an article up first thing, so do you write that over the weekend to get posted, or is that the last thing you do on Friday before heading out to get a beer?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: During the summer I get away almost every weekend to camp or backpack or climb or something. Which makes it hard to return because that means I have to catch up on the news and find content ideas, but it works ok. Sometimes I’ll write something Sunday night, sometimes I’ll just play catch-up Monday morning.

10:01
Comment From mtsw
Erik Bedard retired today. Does he have a legacy beyond being a way for Orioles fans to torture Mariners fans on the internet?

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: He illustrated that point in his second start of the exhibition season when he greeted Seattle media members in Arizona with the instruction that they could ask only four questions. When one veteran scribe countered, “Why four?” Bedard responded with “That’s one. You’ve only got three left.”

He then answered four full questions, but as soon as No. 4 was complete, he said, “That’s it. Four. Later.” And he walked away.

10:01
10:01
Comment From zackleftyp
Is JJ Hardy essentially a replacement-level SS for the rest of his career?

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: No, he’s much better than this

10:03
Comment From Curtis
Is there another “change of scenery” guy the Ms could swap Ackley for?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Difficult to know who’d be interested at this point. There’s talk about the Yankees but they’re not going to give up anything much. Might be better to try to salvage a prospect who hasn’t been in the majors yet. Changes of scenery tend to exchange one unfixable guy for another

10:05
Comment From Alex
Would you trade a mets pitcher not named gee or niese to improve the offense this season or hope that they can make playoffs with stellar pitching and below average offense?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: Well, I’d happily trade Colon, but I think that’s evading your question

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: Obviously, Harvey goes nowhere. Syndergaard is becoming too established, and deGrom rose too quickly to have huge market value. So then you wonder — could they exchange Matz for an equivalent hitter type? It would be, in part, to try to balance the 2015 equation, and in part to reduce the long-term risk that comes from depending so much on young power pitchers

10:07
Comment From Jon
Does Matt Kemp turn it on at any point, or do you think this is just him now for the entirety of his time with the Padres?

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: No, he’ll hit. He’ll hit some. But he’s not going to hit like peak Kemp for more than a week at a time, and we know he doesn’t move all that well in the outfield. When it happened, the trade looked bad. Months later, it looks like a catastrophe

10:08
Comment From OprahDollars
Is Dustin Ackley still a Mariner after the AS break?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think they give up on him until December

10:09
Comment From Jackie Treehorn
Rest of their careers, would you prefer Jorge Soler or Byron Buxton

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: Buxton by a little

10:09
Comment From KnuckleBallThimble
Frankly, I’m obsessed with the backward-minded conservatism of baseball, and what, in a parallel universe, baseball progressivism would look like. How weird could baseball be? Let’s say there is no cheating. You can take drugs. You can cork your bat. What happens to the game?

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: The 90s

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: But fans, overall, wouldn’t respond well to a sport they know to be fully tainted by performance-enhancing drugs. They want at least the illusion that what they’re seeing is natural, and when you throw in the long-term side effects of altering your body for sport, I think you’d end up with a balance of clean players and less-clean players. And then people would want it to be regulated, and — well, there would be rules. The XFL model doesn’t sustain

10:11
Comment From Ronny Cedeno is Dreamy!
Is your job pretty much a 40 hour a week thing? Or does it vary, week to week? Like, some weeks you have trouble finding inspiration, so it might take longer to write articles overall, but the next week Mike Trout does something Trout-ish so you bang out 6 articles in 2 hours? I’m curious about how ‘normal’ this job is, compared to say a typical 9-5 office type job.

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: The hard thing is it’s unpredictable. You never know when you’ll feel inspired, and there’s no worse feeling than not knowing what to write about. Without ideas, you don’t know if your day ends at 4 or 6 or 11:30. Actual writing — that’s not hard. When the ideas are present, this is awesome. When they’re not, you get a slump and everything is a challenge. But content still needs to be published

10:13
Comment From Johnson
Should the Jays let Dickey go for nothing? he’s is unproductive and it seems like Russell’s offence was hindered early on because of having to catch Dickey. Once Navarro got injured and Thole got the call up to catch Dickey, Russell’s offence took off.

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: There were a few weeks there where Dickey’s strikeouts basically went on vacation, but I don’t think they’re in any position to be giving up on a starting pitcher. Dickey isn’t the biggest problem

10:15
Comment From Curtis
Assuming draft picks will be tradeable in the near future, what would a first round pick be worth? Can you match up like Kole Calhoun for a mid 1st rounder kinda thing?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: A very high pick might get you stretch-run Johnny Cueto

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: The value of draft picks decreases sharply after the top 3 or 5 or so. Of course now things are a little difference since drafting is as much about bonus pools as best players available, but you’re drafting potential prospects, and we have an idea of the value of prospects. These would be the most unproven prospects, so those with the greatest amount of uncertainty

10:17
Comment From Guest
the trade value list next month…. not even knowing the names, would you rather have trout and harper on your team, or the 5 guys that will wind up being 3-7 on the list?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: The five, easily

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: Looking at Dave’s list from the offseason:

1. Trout
2. McCutchen
3. Goldschmidt
4. Harper
5. Stanton
6. Abreu
7. Puig

10:19
Comment From Johnson
If Heyward’s offence continues to be below average, and his defence isn’t that great this year either…what kind of contract will he get in the offseason?

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: Beltre took that pillow contract after a similar season. Wouldn’t be hard to see — Heyward is obviously young enough to have time to turn it around.

10:21
Comment From Vote-Kawasaki-ASG
The other day, re: silly trade rumors, you remarked that “we (as a society) do tend to take things too seriously”. Why do you think that is?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: People are brought up from a young age under the mistaken impression that anything is important

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: We’re just here to live and love and then die without making a mess

10:24
Comment From Bob
In the month of June, the Jays pitching staff has an ERA of 2.14 and a FIP of 3.41. Are we seeing the Jays pitching staff turn a corner after the 4.75 FIP they pulled in April? And if the Jays pitching staff can keep it going, are they favourites in the AL East?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: Just in terms of WAR, the rest of the way the Jays project to have the third-worst pitching staff in baseball. That’s more important than June performance, and while there’s obviously talent around, this is a weakness and the Jays have tried to slug their way out of it

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: With better pitching, the Jays would be the favorites, but they don’t have better pitching yet

10:25
Comment From Sleight of Hand Pro
who do you know personally that you respect their opinion about baseball more than Dave Cameron?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Kind of depends what you’re asking about. On league trends and business and stuff, I trust Dave. He knows a lot about a lot. But I’d ask somebody else about specific player analysis, because Dave doesnt’ spend a lot of time digging into that sort of data

10:27
Comment From Hed Joyer
Could you envision a Hamels-Papelbon package to chicago? schwarber in the return?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: Schwarber might be the whole return

10:28
Comment From Curtis
Which semi-contending team will be the first to sell off assets? Will any team have the stones to take advantage of perhaps a lean market and dangle some meat out there?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe the White Sox decide that it’s worth selling Samardzija

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: The Padres could decide to sell if they lose a few more games of ground. Lots there to potentially flip

10:29
Comment From Mike
Admittedly it does not happen often, but when Munenori Kawasaki hits the ball hard, who is more surprised, him or us?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: Us. He probably figures he’s an All-Star

10:31
Comment From Bob
What’s the best team of the last 10 years not to win a title? (I don’t mean single-season team, I mean multiple-season group of players)

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: Between 2005 – 2014, the Angels won the second-most games in baseball, and didn’t get a title

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: Tigers are also obviously up there

10:32
Comment From Mike
I was reading the articles about small-sample-size defensive WAR numbers and how they skew our perceptions early in the season, and it seemed like all of the writeups were essentially “he’s the same fielder he was so his DEF will regress back to normal.” Do players ever make a big leap in fielding ability the way they sometimes do with pitching or hitting? If so, what changes? Who would be an example of that?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: Chris Iannetta would be an example of a guy who took a big step forward with his pitch-receiving

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Dee Gordon seems to be a lot better, and he’s talked about improved positioning for the first time in his career

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Ben Lindbergh wrote not long ago about how the Tigers improved the defensive work from Nick Castellanos. These things do happen

10:34
Comment From Josiah
This the end of David Ortiz? Man he looks lost up there…..

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not the first to point this out, but he has a 141 wRC+ against righties. Last year he finished at 131

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: The trouble is lefties. It’s been a nightmare. I”m not quite sure what he’s doing wrong, but his hard-hit rate has literally been cut in half

10:37
Comment From Rated Rookie
Can you think of another currently active player whose hands/body extend into the strike zone as much as Rizzo’s?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Sometimes Starling Marte

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Used to be Carlos Quentin until he retired

10:37
Comment From Sleight of Hand Pro
Kevin Correia is staring a major league game today. Thoughts?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: No he’s not, he’s just starting a game against a major-league team

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: It’s like one of those spring-training exhibitions with one of the teams from college

10:39
Comment From Ronny Cedeno For Father of the Year
Sigh. About your personal team fandom…I don’t blame you, if I had to write about baseball as my job I’d certainly become more equanimous about my favorite team as well. But even so, over the past few years you have made it MUCH more enjoyable to be a Mariners fan through these lousy seasons, so I hope you manage to keep your interest. Either way, thanks for all the hilarious and depressing commentary!

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: In part, not writing about them every day weakens the connection. In part, a weakened connection reduces the desire to write about them every day. Goes in both directions, but nothing is forever. I always fathomed I’d feel differently about sports at 30 than 20. 40 will be interesting

10:41
Comment From A T
How often do you think teams put guys on the DL when they just aren’t playing very good. ie Marlins

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Not often, but it happens every year

10:42
Comment From Sleight of Hand Pro
Being completely honest with yourself… does anything in the world motivate you more than a large sum of money? I was having this internal debate with myself and came to the sad realization that the answer is no.

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: How many of us are ever in the position to be motivated by a large sum of money? I can’t even imagine what that’s like

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: I mean, you’re probably right, but since I’m never in that situation, I’m more realistically motivated by getting outdoors

10:44
Comment From Catoblepas
Imagine a “ghost” player, who hits for a 60 wRC+ and is 60% of average at everything else: baserunning, fielding every position, pitching, framing, etc. This player also doesn’t take up a roster spot, and costs nothing. Teams can bid on this player, at which point they have him until they want to trade him. What’s the final sale price?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: So it’s a guy who’s below replacement-level at everything. Seems like teams wouldn’t be very interested — there’s security in knowing you have that available for marathon games, but those marathon games are few and far between.

10:46
Comment From mtsw
Should we re-evaluate our team performance models? Impossible to tell if it’s random chance or significant, but this year’s Indians and Red Sox seem to make a great argument that bad team defense is a bigger deal than Fangraphs’ projections thought it was.

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: What of the last few versions of the Tigers? I don’t think anything needs to be overhauled — we just need continuously improving defensive metrics

10:47
Comment From David
The Mets could use a 4th OF and a lefty to spell Lagares in CF occasionally…there’s Venable maybe, anyone else out there worth taking a flyer on?

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: Take Dustin Ackley!

10:47
Comment From Curtis
I wonder what the percentage is of pitchers being pulled that say “Thanks Skip, I was dying out there” vs. “give me a chance to finish/fix this!” I’ll bet strongly to the latter….

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: Way more of the latter. Which is what you want as a coach — you want guys to be that stubborn and competitive. But you also eventually want them to be understanding. I know, when he was younger, Felix Hernandez used to object to being pulled. As he’s matured, he’s come to realize he can’t throw 120 pitches every five days, and you should trust a fresh reliever

10:49
Comment From Tim
The Nats have had injuries, but how about the Mets? No Wheeler, maybe Wright done for season (or career), and significant time missed by d’Arnaud, Parnell, Mejia, Murphy, Herrera, Blevins, and Edgin. The team is hanging on by a string, and yet somehow in first place.

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, it’s not like the Mets have been able to coast while the Nationals have gotten banged up. And this is how it’s the middle of June and the Braves are barely out of first place

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: You talk about a missed opportunity for the Marlins

10:50
Comment From OprahDollars
Is Cruz’s success sustainable or do you expect a significant drop off during the second half?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: .618 OPS the last three weeks

10:51
Comment From Sleight of Hand Pro
even if Smyly stayed healthy…. the Rays have to regret settling for nick franklin and smyly for david price, right?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: Adames is a good prospect, and the healthy version of Smyly with the Rays averaged a strikeout an inning over 10 starts

10:52
Comment From mtsw
Tal’s Hill is gone. Which ballpark feature would you modify or eliminate if given the power to?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: I’d eliminate the O.co Coliseum

10:53
Comment From Ronny Cedeno Might However Kill His Brother With a Shadow/Smoke Baby…
In light of this ‘Amaro asked for Walker or Paxton in exchange for Ben Revere’ news…it leads me to wonder how on EARTH did that Vernon Wells trade ever happen? (the one in exchange for Juan Rivera and Mike Napoli, with no salary relief) I find that trade even more flummoxing than this current rumor.

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: That one will never make sense. It was a baseball miracle

10:54
Comment From mtsw
Dumber thing to argue about: All Star game selections or Hall of Fame votes?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Probably All-Star Game selections. It’s popularity contest; hard to argue with the popular choice

10:55
Comment From Guest
what’s the easiest way to increase your general happiness in life that doesn’t involve hiking?

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: Find time to exercise, and personally interact with new people

10:57
Comment From zomg
What’s your take on Brantley ROS? Worried about his back? Some value him with the likes of Gomez and McCutchen, some think he’s overrated.

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: I love him, but the back will probably linger, so that’ll cause him to miss action here and there

10:57
Comment From Ronny Cedeno Could Well Be Rhllor Himself
If Miller is having arm problems that might turn into something serious, do you see the Yankees making a play for Chapman?

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: They’d have to find out tomorrow that Miller needs Tommy John

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: Then you’d have Miller set to return right after Chapman becomes a free agent

10:59
Comment From Miles
Should Milwaukee still trade Gomez if they aren’t getting top-100 talent offered to them?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: Well, that talent will be offered

10:59
Comment From mtsw
Do you think if you lived in a condo that overlooked a ballpark (say the ones you can see from the outfield in Petco) you’d find yourself watching the stadium/games out the window often or would you quickly get used to it and stop noticing?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: I always figured it was kind of silly to pay for a view because we take those things for granted within weeks. But the difference between, say, an ocean view and a stadium view is that the stadium view might be different every night. So I’d watch from time to time. And the lights would probably keep me awake and turn me into a crazy person

11:00
Comment From Ryan
Do you really believe that Amaro wanted Walker or Paxton for Revere?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: I’m sure he wanted one, but I doubt he straight-up asked for one

11:01
Comment From Bruce
how would you assign WS home field advantage?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: regular-season performance

11:02
Comment From Bart
Hypothetical question, do you think Tanaka can remain healthy for the entire season?

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: Sure!

11:02
Comment From Clark
Does anyone get fired if the red sox finish in last this year?

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: Someone or someones go away, but I think the main pieces stay put

11:02
Comment From The Boat
Besides Chapman and K-Rod, what bullpen arms are even available this year?

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: Papelbon, Clippard, assorted middle relievers

11:03
Comment From Joe
Do you feel that you’ve gained more insight after writing so many articles on swing mechanics and changes?

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: Yes, but I still mostly feel like a fraud. It is neat to be venturing into a new area though

11:03
Comment From saskatunes
Going to try to appeal to you Mariners sensibilities… do they have a plan to start Nuno? I have seen reports indicating plans for both pen and rotation.

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: They don’t plan to start him, but he could start if they need. The depth isn’t good. Might be a sixth starter a season from now

11:04
Comment From Guest
I am not among the anti-projection crowd, but might Heyward’s performance so far contain things humans could appreciate and properly incorporate going forward in a way that a machine might not?

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: That’s always the counter to the projection argument. Yeah, it’s possible there’s something the projections just haven’t yet picked up on. But most of the time, the players end up more like themselves. So you should assume normality until you know otherwise

11:07
Comment From Josh G
How is it determined what draft pick a team gets when they lose a free agent? Would the Phillies know ahead of time what pick they’d receive if the kept Hamels and lost him in FA?

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve been sitting on this question for a while but now I think I have it confirmed

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: I mean, in this case specifically, Hamels isn’t a pending free agent. But let’s say he were. And let’s say the Phillies extended a qualifying offer, and he turned it down

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: Teams in that situation get a compensation pick after the first round. And when there are multiple teams with compensation picks, they’re ordered from worst to best from the previous year’s standings

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: The Rockies just picked 27th for losing Michael Cuddyer. The Orioles picked 36th for losing Nelson Cruz

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: I’m afraid now I need to wrap this up

11:11
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 — 6/12/15 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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Forrest Gumption
Member
Forrest Gumption

You’d eliminate O.Co over Tampa Bay’s terrible warehouse????

Justin Bailey
Guest
Justin Bailey

I thought the same thing. The Mausoleum is awful but the Trop is such an abomination I think it’s actually specifically mentioned in Leviticus.