Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 6/2/17

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to Friday baseball chat

9:07
Bork: Hello, friend! Apologies for my absence last week. Bork Jr can be very distracting.

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friend

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: You were dearly missed

9:07
greg: Will FG be doing a live chat for the draft?

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Good question for Dave! Bad question for me. Assume that there will be draft coverage to your heart’s content

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: and beyond

9:08
Q-Ball: What is wrong with Addison Russell?

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: The same issues as ever — he still doesn’t have a very good blend of contact and power. He needs to either hit the ball more often, or hit the ball harder, and while I know that sounds really simplistic, it is where we are

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: One contributing problem is hype. Expectations got too high. And then, Russell even now is still just 23 years old. It’s nice that he’s kind of cut down on his pop-up problem. But this remains a defense-first shortstop

9:10
Theo: Good first date idea?

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: Walk in a park. Completely non-threatening, and even if it doesn’t go very well, at least you went for a walk in a park

9:10
Ethan Hunt: Is HanRam done or do you think he can turn it around?

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: Hanley Ramirez has been an above-average hitter

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: As for playing the field, that’s a different problem, but he’s still boosting the lineup

9:12
JTT: So, Marwin gonzalez’ 1:3 HR/FB ratio isn’t sustainable but all his other peripherals look normal. Is Marwin Gonzalez good now? Also, how about Aaron hicks? Are the Twins the new Mariners, the team that ruins all of their prospects?

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: Wrote about Hicks some weeks ago — he’s completely zeroed in on which pitches he attacks, and although his current line is over his head, this does appear like a modest breakout

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: With Marwin Gonzalez, I see an improved left-handed swing, but I think he’s more of an above-average hitter than a legitimately good hitter

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll note that he has 10 home runs in Houston and two home runs elsewhere. He’s hit an awful lot of just-barelys

9:15
Sean: Is Tyler Anderson poised for a breakout? The peripherals look absolutely fantastic. What’s stopping those metrics from translating to performance?

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think the peripherals look fantastic — I think they look fine, or pretty good, but he’s running an identical xFIP- to last season. Quality starter! Not an ace, but the Rockies don’t need him to be one of those

9:17
Aron: If I saw this right, Dyson made three really difficult catches in one game a couple weeks ago – two 4-star catches and one 5-star. What’s more valuable, those three catches or him catching none of them and hitting three singles? Three doubles? Is there a quantifiable ratio between defensive/offensive value like that?

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s see. 4-star catches are made 26-50% of the time. 5-star catches are made 0-25% of the time. Let’s split the middle and say 38% and 12.5%

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: Dyson’s catches would’ve been worth 62% of a hit + 62% of a hit + 87.5% of a hit. That’s 2.115 hits. To be conservative, let’s say they’re singles. That’s the equivalent of just over two singles prevented

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: Had Dyson made none of the catches, that would’ve been .885 singles allowed, basically

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: So that’s what you’re trying to offset. If Dyson went 0-for-3, there are technically some missing singles. If Dyson went 3-for-3, that would give him more than two “extra” singles

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: There’s comparable value between no hits and perfect defense, and perfect hits and no defense, in this instance

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: That took a while to get through

9:24
Douglas X.: What is going on with Odubel Herrera this year?

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: He isn’t good enough to swing this much. I imagine the pressure is beginning to snowball and his approach is deteriorating

9:25
Kevin: How concerned are you with Dansby Swanson? Is he gonna be a guy who might take a year or two to start hitting better? We hear Brandon Crawford as a comp quite often and he was horrible with the bat for a long time.

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: Here’s the only major difference between 2016 Swanson and 2017 Swanson: 153 points of BABIP. Everything else is basically the same. Now, that does or could reflect worse contact quality, but Swanson was already far better in May than he was in April. He’s not a real good hitter. He should be an acceptable hitter. The hype got a little out of control because of how Swanson’s career opened

9:28
T: Hi Jeff! What was the best part of the trip? And is any part of the Phillies’ Knapp’s above average hitting sustainable?

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: The best part of any trip to the mountains is being high up on a mountain. And having the Mountain House chicken and dumplings bag meal. I believe in Knapp’s bat a lot more than the current projections do. No bad signs to this point

9:29
Kelly: It doesn’t seem that far-fetched to suggest that the Mariners losing what seems to be their entire roster to injuries will be a long-term blessing in disguise, right? They were a good-but-not-great team on paper with some significant impending roster issues (old!), so wouldn’t it be good to actually commit to a rebuild instead of striving for a WC2 ceiling?

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: Two problems. One, on paper, they were more than good enough to contend for a playoff spot. That team needs to get to the playoffs sometime soon

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: Two, talk about a rebuild that would be challenging to pull off. You can’t move the old money, and there’s a lot of it in place. The Mariners are kind of similar to the Tigers in that sense. No way to shed Felix or Cano, for example

9:30
Ethan Hunt: So did Christian Yelich peak last season or is there hope for better things?

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: He’s fine and will be great

9:31
Erik: Would you take the over or under on the Cubs playoff odds, currently sitting at 80.2%? They look every part the .500 team they’ve played as so far, but the division is weak, and essentially the same crop of players was easily the best team in baseball just last year.

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: Over. They should win that division by several games

9:32
Sim: Everyone says Nola has elite stuff but he has yet to really put it all together. What do you think has been his issue? Health? Command?

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: Health, with cascading effects on command. If Nola can ever get back to pitching at 100%, he’s going to be terrific

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: For the record I would advise stopping short of claiming his stuff is “elite.” It’s good

9:33
Jason Vargas: Love me

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: 6.32 ERA over your last three starts with 7 walks and 12 strikeouts

9:34
Will: Aaron Hicks: Discuss

9:35
Jiminy cricket: How does a team’s division vs. WC playoff odds impact their trade deadline acquisitions? If teams A and B have similarly constructed rosters but team A has an 80% chance at the division and team B has an 80% chance at a WC, is team A more likely to prioritize looking for a dominant SP to help in the playoffs while team B is more likely to just upgrade wherever?

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: It kind of always depends on the specific circumstances, but teams will be less likely to swing a blockbuster if the potential benefit is just one single playoff game. Teams want some certainty that a big deadline acquisition will get more than one postseason chance

9:36
Billy: Albert Pujols had a 24.5 UZR in 2007

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: Used to be really good at basically everything

9:36
Reginald Denton III: What do the Cubs do with Addison Russell?

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: Keep him and be happy that he is valuable

9:37
Cistulli Chat: 12:00 Carson: Hello Everyone and welcome to the chat

12:01 Fangraphs Reader: What do you think about my favorite team?

1:05 Carson:
(2000 carefully chosen words on ‘Fangraphs Readers’ favorite team, life, and how it’s all meaningless or maybe not meaningless)

1:06 Carson: And that’s all I’ve got time for today I have to go garden. Thanks for chatting

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: I do love that Carson ends up getting activated for our postseason live-blogs

9:38
Moltar: In your Insider piece today you talk about how Harvey still has the stuff to be successful, but no longer generates swings and misses. Is it reasonable to think that Harvey is still less than %100? If the Mets’ injury prevention program wasn’t a dumpster fire, would he have been better served starting the year on the DL and pitching a full compliment of rehab starts?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: Well, that’s impossible for us to know and be any kind of certain. My hunch is that Harvey had his delivery kind of screwed up when he made that emergency start against Atlanta, but that’s just uninformed speculation

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: I have yet to do a real Harvey deep dive. But it’s instantly clear that his O-Swing even from last year has dropped 10 percentage points. That’s a problem with his secondary stuff, and not his fastball

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: …which then becomes a problem for his fastball, since hitters can look for it

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: I’m sure I’ll put together a Harvey analysis before too much longer

9:40
Hank: Will the Braves be able to flip Jaime Garcia for a solid return?

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: Contract year, long history of health problems, extremely mediocre performance. Nothing much going to happen here

9:42
Jack: What are the chances we see anyone trade international cap space at the trade deadline? Will teams wait until the offseason?

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: High, right? We’ve seen these trades happen midseason before.

9:43
The Professor: The park factor for Wrigley seems extremely unfavorable this year. Do you think this will continue? Would you rather have me or Gerrit Cole RoS?

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: The Cubs have played 25 home games. That isn’t enough to tell you anything

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: There’s a good reason why park factors are calculated based on several years of data

9:45
Front Office: Will teams continue to hire more analytics personnel or have we hit a glass ceiling?

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: more more more

9:45
Zeke: On the one hand, it’s remarkable that am 80% depleted, Gallardo-led rotation should have been able to go .500 in May. On the other, Dipoto traded for Smyly (an injury risk), signed Iwakuma (who didn’t pass his Dodgers physical), has Felix (with more miles on his arm than, I don’t know, a really old car), and Paxton (who is so damn good and also gets hurt all the time). What did he expect? I admire the depth Dipoto built but also wonder about the initial construction.

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: Easy to ask the question after the fact. Dipoto made no secret of the fact he was assembling a bunch of rotation depth over the winter. It’s not weird that so many pitchers have gotten hurt. It’s weird that they’ve all gotten hurt at the same time

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: That’s where teams *really* get killed

9:46
Zonk: Runners have been successful vs. Jon Lester only 6 times in 14 attempts (43%!), despite his very well documented inability to throw to first. Is that attributable to a fast delivery? Willson Contreras? Baserunners STILL not geting a big lead? What’s up?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: I took a quick look at this a little while ago and it’s a combination of things, but there’s a big chunk of almost randomness. A handful of strikeout-throwout double plays. Lester has actually achieved a pickoff or two, throwing to second and starting a pickle

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: Runners continue to mess themselves up, but it should be clear by now that, in reality, Lester just isn’t as exploitable as it seems like he should be

9:48
PF: I don’t know if you are a “prospect guy”, but if so, are Vlad Jr. and Bo Bichette the future of the Blue Jays offensive core?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: I am not a prospect guy, but I am a guy who will tell you that you probably shouldn’t expect too much from a couple of teenagers in A-ball

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Which is not to suggest that they aren’t good prospects. Or even great prospects! They’re very talented. But there are so, so many forks in the road in front of both of them

9:49
Gary: Is it time to talk about Marwin Gonzalez?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Small part of me thinks this is the position-player version of Jason Vargas

9:51
Zeke: Who would bring back a bigger haul, Paxton or Quintana?

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: Paxton

9:51
CamdenWarehouse: I really like the idea of looking at the delta between a pitcher’s Z-Swing% and O-Swing% from the Tillman article. Does a big difference there suggest that a pitcher is having issues with the movement/stuff on his pitches?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: It can mean a few things. It can point to problems getting ahead, or it can point to a lack of quality secondary stuff, since that’s usually thrown out of the zone

9:53
Sean: Do you reckon it would be (1) prudent; and then (2) feasible for the Rockies to dump CarGo for whatever they can get and insert David Dahl as his replacement?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: They should’ve traded him before now, but they always overvalued him. I don’t think he’s someone they should just drop, but he could and should stand to lose playing time

9:54
Matt: Jeff. Derek Holland’s K%, GB%, BB%, etc are in line with his 2013 numbers and before. Are we seeing him get back to his former self and being an interesting rotation option? Seems like those bad years were just plagued by injury.

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: His stuff is still pretty depleted when compared to his peak. Holland these days is playable, but I wouldn’t expect him to ever be a No. 1 or 2

9:56
Erik: Do the Cubs’ struggles this year change how you think about their previous season? Maybe that doesn’t make any sense, but last year they seemed like an unstoppable juggernaut, and their collective slump this year makes last year seem more fluky. It’s almost as if they have to win 95 this year to prove they deserved to win 103 last year.

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: There was an extended stretch in the middle of last season when the Cubs went 12-20. They were still the champions and the obvious best team in the game

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: I understand what you’re getting at, but from a psychological perspective there’s also the possibility that last year’s success has in some way *contributed* to this year’s slow start. Maybe some of the urgency is just missing. Maybe the players are more worn down since they played an extra month of baseball two consecutive seasons

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: It is somewhat changing the way I think about the Cubs’ 2016 defense

9:59
Kevin: What’s wrong with Aledmys Diaz :(??

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: For some reason his discipline has eroded. Was better in May than in April, but he’s gotten too aggressive for what he is

9:59
Reginald Denton III: Are the Phillies losing patience with Maikel Franco? At what point do they give up on him?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: Yes, but not very soon, given how little else they have going on

10:01
Gentry: Is Bauer doing anything special to fuel this recent run?

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: Curveballs. He’s been throwing a million curveballs. But I still don’t see much meaningful overall change between this Bauer and previous Bauers

10:02
Bryan: Jeff, how long do the Angles keep playing Espinosa? With a line of 151/240/270 a strike-out rate of 34% there has to be someone, anyone, in the farm system that could do this for less?

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: I hope you like Nolan Fontana

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: Espinosa isn’t this bad, and he’s still a fine defender, but the Angels wouldn’t be the first team to lose patience with him

10:03
Q-Ball: The Angels, sans Trout, are the worst team in baseball. Agree or disagree?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Disagree. The Padres and Phillies are terrible

10:04
greg: If the home team provides the bat boys, and the road team gets one of those bat boys in their own uniforms, does that mean that every team keeps 29 different tiny road uniforms hanging somewhere under the stands for their “visitors” bat boy?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: 15 years of writing about baseball every day and I’ve never before given this a second of thought

10:05
Nate: If the Tigers start to rebuild in July, who do you see getting traded first after most likely J.D.?

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: Justin Wilson would be out of there in a hurry

10:06
Erik: Miguel Sano has a BABIP of .452. Aaron Judge’s sits at .404. What sort of BABIPs do you think they can actually post? It’s clear they hit the ball hard, but it’s also clear that no one can “deserve” a .400 BABIP, and if the two of them had more normal luck we may not be talking about them as much.

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: Well, hold on. Both of them have ISOs over .300. These aren’t BABIP inflations making everything wonky

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: Giancarlo Stanton’s career BABIP is .322. That’s probably something like a reasonable target

10:08
Jake Arrieta: What batter do you want to see me fight most?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: Trevor Bauer in an interleague game

10:09
Jake: Would you say this season for the White Sox has been a net positive because of how good the bullpen has been, Abreu being solid, and the Luis Robert signing, or a net negative because of their most important trade piece Quintana struggling, Rodon not seeing the field, and other potential pieces like Frazier and Melky floundering? Or somewhere in between?

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: Definitely in between. Even stretches down to the minors, where Lucas Giolito overall has not been good

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: His strike rate is way down and he continues to look like a worse prospect than Reynaldo Lopez

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: But Yoan Moncada has a .390 OBP in Triple-A!

10:11
Kevin: Should the Astros try to extend Marwin Gonzalez and lock him up? He’s been a 1.5 WAR player even before this breakout season. If the Astros offer 3/36 who says no?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: They already have a 2018 club option worth like $5.1 million

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: There’s no real urgency here. Gonzalez is not a breakout superstar

10:13
Q-Ball: If I had to pick an Angels All-Star with Trout out, I guess I would go with…..Blake Parker or Bud Norris? Is that how bad the Angels are?

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: There’s…Martin Maldonado, and there’s…JC Ramirez…

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: It’s very legitimately depressing to me and I don’t even like them

10:13
Dudley: Is it time for the Yankees to start taking Aaron Hicks seriously?

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: Aren’t they?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: He started twice as many games in May as he did in April

10:15
Bork: Jeff Passan believes Vlad Jr will be the #1 prospect in baseball. Does Jeff Sullivan agree?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: But I am extremely conservative with low-level minor leaguers

10:16
Matt Holliday: Is a write-up on me in the works? I’m boasting career highs in ISO, BABIP and K%.

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: Even last season, Statcast showed that Holliday was hitting the ball hard. Now he’s selling out even more to try to get the ball over the fence. Pitchers have responded by throwing dramatically fewer fastballs, but Holliday remains a quality hitter

10:17
Moltar: With their chances of a rebound growing slimmer by the day, do the Mets have any pieces worth selling off? Bruce crashed back to earth, but maybe they’d get some interest in him, Granderson or Walker? Duda’s been having a nice bounceback, maybe he’d be a fit in Houston? I could see Reed on the move too.

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: Reed’s the guy who might fetch the most, as a quality late-inning reliever. Many of the others are B- or C-level chips. Like, Bruce couldn’t generate any interest over the offseason, and hardly anything has changed

10:19
PF: Is the real Jose Bautista back?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: Current Jose Bautista is the real Jose Bautista

10:19
Zonk: What is wrong with Alex Gordon?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: Too much

10:20
PF: Is Justin Smoak for real? Has he finally turned a corner?

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: What he’s doing, he hasn’t done. The metrics liked how hard he hit the ball in 2016, and now he’s folded in better contact. I’d still like to see another solid month before I’m completely convinced, but Smoak is an above-average hitter

10:21
The Kyd: Would love your thoughts on Tanaka’s struggles. Care to share?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: I haven’t taken too close of a look at him yet but from what I have seen I’m unconvinced there’s anything seriously off. It just seems like a very, very ugly slump

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: At the end of the day, May Tanaka had 34 strikeouts and seven walks. What do you believe in more — those numbers, or the 11 home runs?

10:24
Kristen: Where does Sam Dyson end up, and what exactly happened to him?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: I could see him with the Twins or the Angels. Lots of teams will have interest in a reclamation project.

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that Dyson has somehow been tipping his pitches, but for the Rangers to give up on him and his remaining team control implies that they’ve grown frustrated with his inability to be fixed. Hints at a certain amount of stubbornness or closed-mindedness

10:26
Earl of Flatbush: The Mariners won’t do this, but doesn’t it seem like the best thing that could happen to them, in some ways, is to tank HARD and get better draft picks? They’re going to bounce back, be okay but not make the playoffs AND get shitty picks, right?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Tanking means your players perform worse. Worse-performing players project as worse players for the long-term. The Mariners need the guys they have to be good, not bad, or else the whole organization will go tits up

10:27
Josh: Are you concerned at all with Aaron Nola’s early struggles, or is this just a minor blip?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: I will defend healthy Aaron Nola to the ends of the earth

10:27
Justin: Does Trout going down lead to the Angels blowing it up?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: What do they have to blow up?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: Like, what’s really going to turn that organization around?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: It’s a bunch of role players, mostly. They’ll wait it out and hope for better things down the stretch and next season

10:28
2-D: Mr. Keon Broxton has big discrepancies in his defensive numbers between this year and last. Where do you think his true talent lies?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: He is a very good defensive center fielder

10:29
Sean: Why does it seem like more people/pundits are buying the Rockies over the Dbacks? The Dbacks have a significant edge in starting pitching and position players (Rockies have the advantage with the bullpen). The Diamondbacks are right in line with their Baseruns and 1st/2nd/3rd order win percentages while the Rockies have outperformed all four of them by 3-5 wins. Why would people still be picking COL?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not sure. I think the Diamondbacks are significantly better

10:30
v2micca: So, what is a pitcher’s ceiling if his stuff is just good instead of “elite”?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: Ace, if he has awesome command

10:30
Shuck Bowalter: How long can Wade Miley impersonate a high quality starter?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: Is that what he’s doing?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think that’s what he’s doing

10:31
The warm side of the pillow: Mccullers has tantalizing stuff but cant seem to go deep into games. Would he benefit more from “pitching to contact” rather than pursuing ks with his heavy curve usage?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: McCullers is averaging 5.9 innings per start. Jon Lester is at 5.9. Kyle Hendricks is at 5.8

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: McCullers doesn’t need to try to get deeper, not in this day and age, and not with that bullpen

10:32
Eric: What’s wrong with Carlos Beltran other than he’s 40?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: You nailed it

10:32
Yes: Is Chris Taylor real?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: Touch him and find out

10:33
Pikup Androppov: When was the last time you thought about Michael Barrett? Every time I hear Pierzynski do analysis for a game I just cant help but picture Barrett punching him in the face.

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: I actually thought of Michael Barrett just yesterday

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: But that’s because I meant to think of Gary Bennett and confused myself

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe that’s worse

10:33
Shuck Bowalter: If Machado continues to hit this poorly all year, does it enhance any possibilities of either a trade or extension?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: No, and he won’t

10:35
E: Matt Kemp is no longer bad?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: Hitting has not been Matt Kemp’s problem

10:35
Shuck Bowalter: does jj hardy receive a ml deal next year?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Right now he’s feeling a little Erick Aybar-y. Like, he’ll probably end up in the majors next year, but he’ll start as an NRI

10:36
Willie: Think the White Sox regret not moving Quintana before the season started? His value must be dropping further every start.

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: There’s no question they’ve having second thoughts

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: But this is still salvageable if he has a good month and a half

10:37
Thomas: Saw a report today that Gleyber Torres will be playing 3B for the Yankees this year. He’s been off to a rather cold start in AAA. Normal for a young guy jumping up in comp, or cause for concern about those of us caught up in Gleyber Mania?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: He’s 20 years old and in Triple-A he’s batted 36 times

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: He also practically bypassed Double-A

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: This is perfectly normal

10:39
Mike: What’s your projection for the remainder of the season for Judge? Is it MVP worthy?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: Feels like the MVP would be more likely to go to someone like Betts, Lindor, Altuve, or Correa, but I do think Judge will end up in the mix. There just wasn’t an adjustment in May like a lot of people were expecting

10:39
YKnotDisco?!: I wonder how well FG readers could guess the unidentified author of a post

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: Extremely well if they’ve been reading for at least a year or so

10:40
Josh: The Brewers obviously won’t succumb to the idea of trading away young talent for a win now piece this season, but at what point do you think they would seriously consider holding onto Thames and/or Braun even if they were receiving legitimate offers? 10 games over at the deadline? Would they consider the potential backlash from the players and fan base before making a deal in that scenario?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think they’d hesitate to get out from under the Braun deal, but it’s not hard at all to see them deciding to keep Thames

10:41
Shuck Bowalter: Can trading Kim get back anything for than, say a nice selection of major league quality baseballs?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: no

10:42
Ronnie: BaseRuns has the Brewers +2 wins so far despite an MLB worst 14 bullpen losses & 35 meltdowns. Despite being “lucky” so far have the Brewers underperformed their luck? Is that even a thing?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: The Brewers have been a little worse than their run differential would suggest. However, it looks like they don’t “deserve” the run differential they’ve got. Everything cuts both ways!

10:44
Oddball Herrera: Joc Pederson seems like he’s kept his improved contact rate from last year and he is crushing the ball…and hitting a bunch of grounders so he has nothing to show for it. How much faith do you have that (1) he’s just a swing adjustment from a breakout and (2) that he can make that adjustment?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: Joc Pederson last year finished with a 129 wRC+. He’s kind of already broken out. Expecting anything beyond that is sort of greedy given his still-existant strikeout issue

10:45
Sean: Paul Goldschmidt is currently on pace for a 35 HR/35 SB season. Third in the MLB in UBR behind Hamilton and Bogaerts. I never get bored of him. Have you thought about doing the Goldy Dinger Test round 2?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t really ever want to repeat any ideas but Goldschmidt is far more fascinating than he’s given credit for, in terms of devoted front-page content

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: His baserunning truly is underappreciated

10:48
Cistulli Protection Agent: Mr. Cistulli is picked on too much by Fangraphs. This must stop. You need to do a better job policing yourselves or it will have to be raised to a higher authority,

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: Carson is fantastic

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: All of us love Carson

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: Probably even more than you do!

10:48
D.M.: Should the Braves be trying to trade Freddie Freeman?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: no

10:49
Charlie W: Which White Sox reliever is more valuable in a trade to a contending team, Tommy Kahnle or David Robertson?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Robertson would get more from a team looking for a closer, just because, you know, he’s a closer. Kahnle, though, could be a big trade asset in the winter, because of how much control he has remaining

10:50
Lance McCullers: Will I be healthy at the end of the season?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: My guess is that you will be healthy at the end of the season, but between now and then, you will have a bit of time off

10:51
Jerry: At the risk of jinxing him, has Alex Bregman turned it around?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t ever love a hitter with more pop-ups than home runs, but Bregman has made a substantial improvement in contact rate. Good for a triple-digit wRC+

10:51
Jack: Jharel Cotton looked absolutely demoralized during his start against Cleveland yesterday. The stuff looked all right, the command wavered, but man, that Oakland defense looks like it just crushes an SP’s soul. Has there ever been a study about what a terrible defense can do to a young pitcher’s confidence?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: Really difficult thing to measure, so I doubt there have been any worthwhile attempts, but the A’s have been an active experiment in this way for at least like a year and a half

10:52
Eric: Should the Rangers try to move Lucroy and Darvish before August? They aren’t going to get the division, and both WC spots look like ALE’s.

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: Still way too close to think about selling

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: If they lose another five games or so in the standings, then it makes a lot more sense

10:53
v2micca: Suppose the MLB allows teams to trade draft picks. Who is the first team to trade away their first round pick? Which team picks up the most first rounders?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: For some reason it feels like the Orioles or Marlins would be first to deal a high pick

10:54
Ethan Hunt: Why do you think it took 130 years for people to figure out that launch angle is important?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: There was a long-standing emphasis on putting the ball in play. It’s taken a lot to get here, to where the humiliation of a strikeout has been de-emphasized, and we have stats that are better than batting average

10:54
Scott: Ex-players as execs. Why? They clearly know the hell out of baseball but have spent a career honing their ability to play it, not their ability to operate the ins and outs of the business side.

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: They tend to be super connected, plus a lot of the veteran players kind of double as unofficial scouts

10:55
YKnotDisco?!: ESPN says you are special to them.

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: I think we all know who is actually special to ESPN

10:55
Matt: Given that Lackey seems to be showing permanent erosion in his effectiveness, how aggressive should Hoyer be in addressing SP at the deadline? Remember, they have serious, long-term issues there.

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: Some kind of SP trade is virtually inevitable

10:56
Ben: Does Tanaka opt out?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: Good lord no

10:56
The warm side of the pillow: What’s going on with Matt Carpenter? Really struggling right now

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think anything is going on. He seems almost completely fine

10:57
Leraen: What could the Tigers realistically get for JD Martinez?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: B-level prospect or two. Good non-dominant hitter who doesn’t provide very much in the field

10:58
Sean Hennessey: How do you, personally, go about watching games? Are you checking into multiple games frequently or looking closely at tough match-ups?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: There’s no set pattern, and I’d bet the majority of my game-video watching takes place after the fact anyway, for research purposes

10:58
YKnotDisco?!: Who is someone under the radar you are becoming more interested in? (pitcher & position player, if possible please)

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: This feels suspiciously like a fantasy question but I’m planning to write up Jimmy Nelson at some point next week

10:59
Bork: Would you rather talk about Jason Vargas, Marwin Gonzalez, or Matt Wieters?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: I’m happy to talk about how little I want to talk about them

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: but Wieters is most interesting just because of the Matt Wieters Facts

11:00
Ben: Why do you think this is only a modest breakout for Hicks? He’s making loud contact everywhere and is walking more than he’s striking out

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think his numbers are a true reflection of his actual power

11:00
PD: Is Carson’s Fringe Five the spam of the prospecting world? Basically email out anyone with good stats and hope one in 100 pan out?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: Carson’s track record is probably better than that of most respected prospect analysts

11:00
Ben: Deepest lineup in baseball?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: Astros without question

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: All right, I need to get rolling to record a podcast

11:01
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 — 6/2/17 by Jeff Sullivan!

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

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

Support FanGraphs




Jeff made Lookout Landing a thing, but he does not still write there about the Mariners. He does write here, sometimes about the Mariners, but usually not.

newest oldest most voted
rosen380
Member

“If the home team provides the bat boys, and the road team gets one of those bat boys in their own uniforms, does that mean that every team keeps 29 different tiny road uniforms hanging somewhere under the stands for their “visitors” bat boy?”

Seems like it would make more sense for the road teams to bring it with them — especially if they want to match an alternate jersey the team might be trotting out that day.