Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 6/24/16

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: First chat in a few weeks!

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: Let us baseball chat, posthaste

9:08
Frank: Is Teheran wearing a Red Sox uniform come August?

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: Think of it kind of like World Series odds — the Red Sox might be the team with the greatest probability, but that actual probability is likely no higher than, say, 20%

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: So few decent pitchers out there. So many teams looking. Dombrowski might be the most willing to overspend to get what he wants, but I wouldn’t exactly count on that

9:09
Spork: Has the Stanton buy low window closed?

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: This is probably a fantasy question but in real-life terms, when a player like Giancarlo Stanton has an ugly, below-replacement month, the proper conclusion is generally that the player just had an injury and he will shortly return to being elite

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: Stanton has long been amazing. Stands to reason his natural talent level is amazing

9:11
Aladdin Sane: What do you see offensively from Addison Russell long term? How about Willson Contreras?

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: Russell seems like sort of a borderline power guy who’s going to be vulnerable to big swings in slugging percentage depending on when the wind in Wrigley is blowing in or out

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: He already walks a lot for someone so young and the contact will probably get a little better. He is still just 22. But I see something like a sustained 110 wRC+ or so, rather than something elite

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: Contreras is neat. Obvious strength and I love that he’s resolved his strikeouts as he’s gone up against more high-level competition. Not a lot of young players whiff less while maintaining their walks. Kind of a flatter swing that might limit long-term homers but he’s a big-league-ready bat today

9:17
Vic Romano: Willson Contreras looked pretty good at 1B yesterday, and Maddon is saying he might see some time in the OF as well. Is there any end in sight to the Cubs’ constant parade of young phenoms?

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: There is an end to everything and everyone

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: Only question is whether you meet your own end before the Cubs meet theirs

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: That one’s 50/50

9:19
Ed in Iowa: WAR for relievers doesn’t account for the identity of the hitters faced, correct? So someone like Andrew Miller, if used appropriately, is actually more valuable than his WAR would indicate because he’s generally going to be wiping out an inning of the other team’s best hitters. True?

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: You are correct that WAR doesn’t account for opposition quality. At some point it probably will, and that’ll be neat. But it’s worth remembering that these things do more or less average out, and relievers are compared to other relievers, who face tougher opponents than starters, generally

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: Looking at numbers on Baseball Prospectus, the pitcher with the toughest opponents so far — minimum 20 IP — is Tony Cingrani

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: .267/.341/.438 average opponent slash line. Then you’ve got Hunter Cervenka, and Daniel Hudson

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: Relievers who are selectively used probably deserve more credit. It’s like how, say, Clayton Kershaw deserves more credit for his platoon splits because the only lefties he faces are the best ones. But in the end it doesn’t move the needle too much

9:24
Slugger27: can you be the first chatter to retire Bork’s “hello, friend”?? The charm is long gone at this point.

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: Amiability never loses its charm

9:25
Bork: Hello, friend!

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friend

9:25
j6takish: Jeff, now that David DeJesus is basically out baseball, who is your go-to mental image of a “league average player”. If the answer isn’t Yunel escobar, please explain why

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: Yunel Escobar would be a decent example but I simply can’t think of him without thinking of his personality background. He isn’t a boring league-average person

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: The right answer is probably Yangervis Solarte. So average, so boring

9:27
Ronnie: What are we to make of team DRS/UZR outliers like last years A’s (+16/-33) & Astros (+30/-3), or the 2014 Pirates (+28/-40) & Angels (-20/+26), or the 2013 Blue Jays (+15/-25) & A’s (-55/+13), etc?

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: One thing to remember is that UZR, unlike DRS, doesn’t fold in pitcher or catcher defense, so that can be a contributing factor. But anyway, it’s a case-by-case basis thing, and a good idea would be to average the two, but you want to check with other numbers that measure ball-in-play efficiency. With a little research you can see which number might make more sense

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: Ultimately the biggest thing is these outliers are reminders that defensive numbers come with big error bars. Statcast, one hopes, will help in short order, but we’re better at grouping defenses than actually ranking and valuing them

9:30
Justin: First, Dave Cameron was fired by the Senators. Now Dave Cameron is stepping down as PM. Should we expect Dave Cameron to retire from FanGraphs next?

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve been appealing to David Appelman that we should try to hire the other two Dave Camerons

9:31
Andrew: Construct a (semi-realistic) blockbuster trade involving the Mets? Please and thank you.

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: I guess I’d say they don’t need a blockbuster?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: But if they really wanted I could see them going after Lucroy, who’d be a hell of a lot less frustrating than d’Arnaud

9:35
Miguel Cabrera: Hello, how much longer is my hall of fame shelf life? Or will I just keep crushing into perpetuity?

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: I’m increasingly convinced you’re just going to be able to hit well forever

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: The issue with Cabrera will probably be injuries forcing him to the sidelines — so his playing time might ultimately shrink, but I think he’s probably got another five or six years of quality offense

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: Cabrera is the perfect hitter. He hasn’t slugged under .500 since he was a rookie. He slugged .468, and he was 20 years old

9:37
mtsw: If the White Sox fall further out of contention should they look at selling some pieces? Or is this a team who’s mortgaged its future enough they’re pot committed at this point (similar to DC’s argument about the Padres last year?)

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: They’d have to really plummet, and even then, they’d probably decide to just try again in 2017. They’re still not going to consider moving the core pieces, and while they might try to dump Shields or something, I don’t see an impactful selling process

9:38
Jack: If the Marlins fall out of it next month, do you see them selling Fernandez? In a market light on pitching, the Marlins could seriously cash in.

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: Fernandez seems like the sort of player who would command a return package that’s easier to give up in the offseason. That package probably draws from a big-league roster, and teams are reluctant to do that in July

9:39
A friend : Do you see Greg Bird taking over 1b role for the Yankees next year and lasting in that role for years to come?

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: He’s got the best chance provided his body lets him do it

9:39
JalapEno: Thank you for chatting with us, Jeff! What kind of production can be expected from Jose Reyes? Aren’t the Mets crazy to think this is a good idea?

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think they’re *crazy* and they probably figure a return might help energize him. But I wouldn’t personally want anything to do with him. Maybe that’s just my own ethics

9:40
A friend : Zych if healthy closes over Diaz in ’17 ?

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: To my knowledge Zych isn’t even throwing

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: So let’s say no, I don’t think any of these assumptions is happening

9:41
Guest: Does your gf read your articles on here?

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: I think she tried once and resolved not to bother doing it again

9:43
Josh: Hey Jeff, I know you’re not big on lineup construction, but at what point do the Cubs have to remove Heyward from the 2 hole? He has to be costing them runs given his 82 wRC+ and all of the other options they have.

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: I could see how maybe it would make sense to swap Heyward and Zobrist, but, a few things: the Cubs aren’t hurting for success at the moment, the Cubs still believe in Heyward’s projections, and over the past month or so Heyward has been a pretty decent hitter. So I don’t think there’s a real sense of urgency

9:44
Guest: do you do any investing?

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: Yes

9:44
mtsw: How much abuse is Dave getting on twitter right now for this Brexit thing?

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: Turns out “voters” is just another word for “internet commenters”

9:45
Jerry DiPoto: How are the Mariners one game under .500 when they are 2nd in the AL in runs scored and ERA. This can’t last right? 9 straight one run losses, think this evens out?

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: Of late they’ve gotten horribly unlucky, and to make matters worse the Rangers have overall been fortunate. But that’s not to say the Mariners don’t still have problems. The bullpen isn’t exactly reliable and the rotation, health-wise, is falling apart

9:46
Zorak: Why can’t I shake the feeling that the Mets are gonna sign Reyes because he’ll make the minimum and then use that as an excuse not to pay for Gourriel or trade for anybody on a decent sized contract?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe Reyes is better than Gurriel

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: I get the cynicism but remember that they were right on Carlos Gomez and they nailed the Yoenis Cespedes situation

9:48
mtsw: Something seriously wrong with Zach Britton? Very shaky last three outings (looked even worse than the results). Orioles twitter is convinced he needs Tommy John. Talk me off the ledge here.

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t really see anything to worry about

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: His fastball is fine. His release points are fine. He frequently pitches a little below the zone so if teams are able to keep themselves from swinging, he will fall behind in counts

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: Four-game stretch last June where Britton faced 17 batters, walking four without striking out any. Couldn’t throw first-pitch strikes. He was fine

9:51
Phil: How are the fangraphs’ staff taking the news that Dave Cameron has resigned?

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: Day off

9:51
glenn: Do you think the Yankees accept they are not a contender this year and trade Miller, Chapman, Beltran, etc and what would be the return ?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think we’ll ultimately get to that point

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: I think they’ll be close enough they won’t have the intestinal fortitude to throw in the towel

9:53
Joe: ESPN posted an article earlier this week saying the White Sox should trade Sale. I agreed with Dave when he said that last year but after the big investments they have made into winning this year is it really in their best interest to give up on this season?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: Like with Jose Fernandez, I don’t think that level of player is even possible to move midseason anymore

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: There’s no way the Sox wouldn’t want big-league pieces back, and no contender wants to give those up in July

9:54
d’ohh: Walk-off walks. Walk-off wild pitches. Runner at third with no outs fails. What a road trip! Go Mariners!

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll personally always remember the walk-off strikeout from a few years ago. That one was perfect

9:54
Josh: Where do you see Miguel Sano defensively in the long run? He just doesn’t seem like he has a future anywhere except possibly 1B.

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: First base seems all but inevitable but given his arm I could see the Twins stubbornly sticking with third base for a while

9:56
Caveman Jones: Thoughts on Eduardo Rodriguez?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: His fastball has been getting better so there’s less there to worry about. I don’t think he’s a guy you rely on, but he’s a big-league starter

9:58
Timothy: T or F Jeff Sullivan among the FG writers Jeff Sullivan looks the best with his shirt off. (Zym punted this question)

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: Summer backpacking always gives me an embarrassing tan

9:59
bolton: Teheran and the viz…. will they net benintindi, moncoda, or Espinoza

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: No to Benintendi, no to Moncada, sure to Espinoza

10:01
Tulidian: What do you think of the Kolten Wong to CF experiment?

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: Worth trying for lack of better options

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t see this as being permanent

10:04
Patrick: Aaron Judge is heating up… we gonna see him soon?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: To be fair it’s been just one good month in Triple-A, so he’s not blowing away the competition. But I figure the Yankees will bring him up at least as a role player at some point in the not-distant future because they could use the depth and reinforcements

10:05
brant brown dropped the ball: cubs panic! how much of this is regression, how much is injuries, how much is baseball?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: Remember when they lost twice in one day to the Padres?

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: A month and a half ago they went 4-7 and lost series to the Padres, Giants, and Brewers. Then they caught fire again

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: If there’s one thing our rolling-average plots have shown me, it’s that fluctuation is totally normal, for everybody, all of the time

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: It’s true for players and it’s just as true for teams

10:07
Dae-Ho Lee: Mariners firesale? Sure doesn’t look like bright future with all these aging contracts.

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: Not happening

10:10
Danny boy: What do you consider Piscotty’s ceiling this year and in the future

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: I see him as sort of a modest-power three-win outfielder, so if you want to talk about ceilings, I guess that could make him a four-win outfielder? He doesn’t have the Matt Carpenter bat control to have his power take off. Like his approach, though. Doesn’t do much of anything wrong, aside from throwing

10:12
Art Vandelay: I know you almost definitely don’t care, but can the Twins move Trevor Plouffe? Even if it’s for almost nil, at least it opens up third for Sano.

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: I wonder if he’s one of the Mets’ options if they somehow for whatever reason can’t wrangle themselves a Danny Valencia

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: There’s no reason for Plouffe to be in Minnesota anymore. He won’t bring back a real return, not at this point, but Sano deserves the position

10:13
Dae-Ho Lee: Are the Rangers sustainable? Or are they a .500 team with a big enough lead to coast to the playoffs?

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: Their pitching depth is about to be challenged, but outside of that, they appear to me to be pretty stable. Fielder blows, but Gallo looms as a replacement, and I like the back of the bullpen

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: Having Profar around is such a luxury

10:14
TapeyBeercone: Think J.P. Crawford sees the majors this season?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: yep

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: He should come out of this slump soon

10:14
AR0D: Hi Jeff, I’m seeing Adam Folkard, Ben Enoka, Steve Mullaley and Matt Palazzo play ball this weekend. What are you doing?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: camping somewhere in high country

10:15
gym jorts: if the braves got moncoda for 3B and swihart for C in the deal for Teheran and viz… this team will look very good in 2019 right

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: Might as well throw in Devers too. And Bogaerts! What a trade!

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: Realistically Moncadas just don’t get traded. Not by smart front offices

10:18
Colin: How do the Rangers get out from under Prince Fielder?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: I think it’s safe to say that when you get trapped beneath Prince Fielder, you’re stuck there forever

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: Nothing to be done here. He’s unmovable. You hope for a rebound and you give a shot to Gallo

10:20
Dae-Ho Lee: Is there such thing as enough depth at starting pitching? Are the Mariners a good example of why there isn’t?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: The Dodgers have enough. The Mariners at least had Paxton, so there was a sixth option, but most teams will need at least eight guys

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: No one *wants* to have to use the depth starters, but there are better ones and worse ones

10:21
Guest: Do you play any video games?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: no

10:22
The Average Sports Fan: Would you be a proponent of a DL stay for McCutchen?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know enough about the specifics of his injury, but from my outside perspective I lean more yes than no

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: At issue is that players hate the DL and don’t want to go onto it unless they really have to. But if McCutchen’s hand is as bad as the numbers make it look, I’d need to be strongly convinced it can heal while he continues to swing

10:23
Lawyer: Jeff – If you were ever asked to be an expert witness in a trial, what would your area of expertise be?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: James Paxton

10:23
Guest: What’s your favorite movie? Tv show?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: 180 Degrees South, and I don’t know but quite possibly Silicon Valley

10:24
Nate: If Justin Upton turns it around the second half, do the Tigers still have a decent chance at the Central? Even with their bullpen?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Upton has started to hit and the Tigers are right there. In the bullpen, Wilson and Rodriguez are good, and it looks like Greene and Rondon could be useful as well

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: No reason to rule the Tigers out. I still prefer the Indians, but the Tigers are playing good baseball

10:27
InSpades: If the Orioles make the postseason are they going to be able to make a run in the postseason. with essentially one reliable starting pitcher in Tillman? The Giants essential did in 2014 with MadBum. The Orioles do have a good bullpen which is usually a part of postseason success lately.

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: I think they need to add a starter and I think they know that. I also wonder about their hitting approach against postseason power arms. But I think we all understand by now that the prevailing factor in the playoffs is randomness, so

10:28
Dae-Ho Lee: Should we be worried about Justin Upton?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: 137 wRC+ in the month. He’s got his strikeouts under control. He’s back

10:29
Karen: is matt harvey suddenly a bad fastball guy

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think so

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: I think that Harvey is most of the way back. It’s not complete, he’s not right where he wants to be, but he’s found his groove

10:32
Nate: I hardly ever find myself on bleacher report, but yesterday I was and came across an article on how the Angels only option for the future is looking to deal Trout for as many “core caliber” players available. Do you agree with this or do you have another outlook on which direction they could go?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think it’s realistically possible to trade Trout for enough to justify trading Trout. I think the Angels just accept that this was a disaster year, performance- and health-wise, and then they move forward. Their great advantage *is* Trout. They’re not the Padres. They can succeed in the short-term future

10:33
Carl: What do you consider the chances are of Bregman being called up before September? How does he compare to the recent crop of shortstop studs?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Sure feels like he’s the third baseman by the end of the year. Worth getting excited about. I’m hesitant to include any unproven young player with the crop of young big-league shortstops but if anyone has the ability to enter the tier, it’s him

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: even as a non-shortstop down the line, I suppose

10:35
Jack: What happened to Rusney Castillo? Seemed like such a safe bet to be an average player.

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: And maybe that’s just the thing — when you have someone who looks like he could be around a league-average player, it only takes one thing going wrong to render him virtually worthless

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: I still think he’s salvageable, and it would help his own confidence to be somewhere where he can play, but it’s been kind of a tough year for Cuban players in general

10:37
Dae-Ho Lee: Do I get the nod at first base going forward? Or do the M’s try to get some sign of life out of Lind for a deadline trade?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Lind’s power has showed up. Platoon4life

10:38
Carl: Over/under Votto finishes with a 300 avg?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: We have him projected for another 289 at-bats. At that rate, he’d need to bat .346 from here on out to finish at .300. Don’t count on it

10:39
Josh: Are you as confident as Dave that Danny Valencia will be a New York Met?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: Historically, the most obvious moves generally end up being non-moves. The most predictable transactions ever have failed to come true more often than not. So, no, I’m not assuming anything, but the match there is undeniable

10:40
Carl Everett: Are you surprised that more switch-hitters don’t bat from the opposite (same?) side against pitchers with reverse splits like I used to against Jamie Moyer?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: Not really — reverse platoon splits usually aren’t huge, and you have to remember that the hitters have their own platoon splits, too

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: When you switch-hit, you never see, say, sliders breaking down and away. Bat from the same side as a pitcher and all of a sudden that’s something you’d see a lot of.

10:42
Plop: Mike Zunino showing a ton of improvement by cutting k rate and almost doubling his walk rate, think he can make it transfer to the big leagues or is he a AAAA player?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not a big believer in AAAA players, but with Zunino, April was the big month and he’s been mediocre since

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: I haven’t given up but my expectations aren’t high. 31% strikeouts in June

10:44
Kkkkid: Whats more interesting: That Kershaw actually only deserved 3 walks this year or he’s on pace for 11 war?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: I guess the walks. We’ve already seen Kershaw be totally dominant before. But we’ve never seen an elite starter with this kind of pinpoint command

10:45
Lawyer: Desert island question – what type of bagel and spread do you bring?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: Toasted cheddar bagel, butter, don’t @ me

10:45
UK fan: Can you rank the top-5 pro short stops based on future value?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: No. Nobody can. They’re all amazing

10:46
Jake: Clint Frazier is finding his stroke in AA, with Brantley out for god knows how long, is he likely to get the call this season?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Wouldn’t at all surprise me, but the Indians might prefer a boring buy-low for depth instead of putting pressure on a prospect out of Double-A

10:48
mike sixel: Thanks for the Breakside nachos recommendation a few months ago….yummy. Is Dozier part the future for the Twins, or should they deal him if they find a taker at an ok price?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: BREAKSIDE

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: The Twins need to make an honest evaluation of how far away they really are. You can squint and see the upside but to me it really does feel like they won’t contend until 2018 at the earliest. At that point, Dozier’s in his walk year and he’s in his early 30s, so he’s probably a trade candidate, as tough as that might be to swallow

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: He feels like an offseason trade more than a midseason trade

10:49
mtsw: Are park factors taken into account in arbitration awards?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Too complicated for arbitration. Arbitration awards are stupid

10:50
Michael: When would you bring up tyler glasnow if you were Neil Huntington?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: When he throws strikes. That’s not now

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: For those who are unaware: Glasnow has thrown 13 innings the last two starts, and he’s allowed zero(!) hits. But he also has 11 walks and 14 strikeouts

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: Lots to like about Glasnow but I don’t love the idea of trying to get a prospect to learn control at the major-league level in important games with playoff implications

10:53
Carl: How come Harper can all of a sudden not handle the outside pitch? Isn’t his swing tailor-made for it?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: In the big picture, Harper’s going to love the outside pitch and that’s where he does the bulk of his damage. But any hitter will tell you it’s tremendously difficult to try to cover both halves at once, and it feels to me like Harper is slightly cheating to try to turn on stuff inside. When that’s the case, he’ll be more vulnerable away

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: He’ll adjust if he has to. They always do

10:55
John Olerud: Is Steve Cishek good or not? Will the M’s stick with him? Try someone else on their current roster? Shop for an upgrade? Do they have bigger needs? Or if this slide continues is it possible they’ll sell whatever they can? What say you? And thanks.

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: Honestly, Cishek is pretty good. This year he’s allowed a .254 OBP. But he’s not a classic shutdown closer and he has stretches where he just loses command. He doesn’t *feel* as effective as he really is. Every team wants to have that lockdown closer but for the Mariners it’s not an option

10:57
Lawyer: If you could replace any ballpark with a ballpark of your own design, which would you replace and what would your signature element of the new ballpark be?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: I’d replace Oakland’s ballpark and my signature element of the new ballpark would be it would be in San Jose

10:59
HappyFunBall: What sort of velocity do you have? If the FG wiffle ball game used a real baseball, how many Ks do you get?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: With a real baseball it would be nothing but strikeouts and walks. I probably scrape 80, and then after three pitches at that velocity I’d have to leave with finger numbness

11:02
Eric: Why are catchers hitting so poorly as a group this year? Are teams just taking pitch framing and defense more seriously? Teams moving good-hitting prospects to positions that have a better long-term health outlook? Just a random dearth of talent at the position?

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: According to B-R, catchers this year have hit 13% below league average. That’s almost even with last year. It’s right there with the early 2000s. The situation hit a relative peak a few years back, but then guys like Gomes and Martin were hitting, and Joe Mauer was still a backstop.

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think it’s anything to read into, although there is presumably more emphasis on defense than ever before

11:05
Tom: Adam Conley threw eight shutout innings the other day? What’s this guy’s ceiling? Is he a legit No. 2?

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: Wrote about him a few months ago. I like the repertoire. Understandably inconsistent, but he’s a rising arm

11:06
SlumDog: Is Jake Lamb a true 5+ WAR talent?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll lower the bar to 4

11:07
mtsw: Assuming he looks okay coming back from his DL trip, is Steve Pearce a guy who gets dealt at the deadline? Was hitting great this season (156 wRC+ !), plays multiple positions and is very affordable.

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, he’s another option for the Mets. Up there with Valencia

11:07
Kim: Does your outlook on Dipoto’s offseason moves look any different after this miserable stretch than they did when they were in first place? (and how if so)

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: Not really. I still think it was an offseason that was more positive than negative. You can only improve an organization so much in one winter

11:08
Josh: Is there any chance whatsoever that David Stearns doesn’t trade Lucroy prior to the deadline (assuming health)?

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: Very small chance

11:08
Lawyer: Do you think the Indians will be active at the trade deadline this year?

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: Not for any of the big stuff

11:10
Jake: Say a random high school pitcher was forced to start 32 games in the big leagues: obviously he would have dreadful strikeout, walk, and homer rates, but around where would you expect his BABIP to be? Assume a league average defense, catcher and park around him.

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: .330

11:10
Josh: Can you talk a little bit about Jose Ramirez? He finally seems to be putting it altogether. Do you think he can maintain a wRC+ above 100?

11:11
Jeff Sullivan: With his established walk and strikeout baselines, he really doesn’t need to do a lot else to be okay. Last year’s contact quality was wretched, but I believe he’s better than that and he has enough pull power to be some kind of threat. I think long-term he’s a 90-100 wRC+ sort of guy

11:11
andrewp: Say the Orioles win the East. How does history look for teams with bad SP that can hit the cover off the ball in the playoffs?

11:11
Jeff Sullivan: Not a lot of playoff teams with rotations this bad. But they have the bullpen depth to try to cover that up. Similar teams have made runs in the past although for some reason I’m struggling to name one! Bad memory over here

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: I was looking over stuff like this last October but specifics are failing me

11:12
JTT: Japanese pitchers are taught that delivery with the pause in it with hopes of disrupting the hitters timing, but since so many of them do it, what effect can it really have? (In NPB obviously)

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: Good question! I don’t have the answer!

11:12
Travis: Hypothetically, would the Braves get a better haul if they were to package Teheran and Vizcaino or if they traded them separately?

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: If you package them, then I think you can get a higher-upside centerpiece. So it’s up to whether you prefer the best piece possible, or spreading the talent around

11:13
AGon: Does Agon work out his GB% issues? Is this mechanical or injury?

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: I assume this has to do with his back. If his back gets better, he’ll hit for more power, but backs are stupid

11:13
Bryan: Do you think Carlos Rodon or Brandon Finnegan could ever blossom into number 1’s?

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: Highly unlikely

11:14
TKDC: Let’s pretend the Braves win 85 games next year. How did it happen?

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: MLB expands to Las Vegas and the Braves get bumped down to Triple-A to make room

11:14
Josh: How much do you believe Leonys Martin can continue to be successful with his new swing/approach? Does he have enough power to maintain what he’s currently doing?

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t believe in the 114 wRC+, but I do believe in, say, a 100 wRC+, which is damn good when you blend that with his defense in center

11:15
Jake from State Farm: If the Cubs traded for Andrew Miller would he be placed into the closers role?

11:15
Jeff Sullivan: I actually don’t think so. I think he’d be of greatest utility as a setup lefty

11:15
Belted: What do you consider to be an all-star level WRC+?

11:15
Jeff Sullivan: I guess it depends on position but somewhere around 130

11:16
Jeff Sullivan: All right, I need to get rolling now

11:16
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 — 6/24/16 by Jeff Sullivan!

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

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Spudchukar
Member
Spudchukar

Shouldn’t Matt Carpenter be in the conversation as the best player in the NL?

alang3131982
Member
Member

LOL. Ummm….NO. How about Clayton Kershaw? Nolan Arenado? Kris Bryant? Corey Seager? Goldschmidt? Harper? I’d think every single one of those players would be taken before Carpenter. Also BUmgarner, Arrieta, Scherzer, Greinke,

cornflake5000
Member
cornflake5000

I wouldn’t even say he’s top 20. And I don’t mean that as an insult.

Spudchukar
Member
Spudchukar

He leads the NL in OPS+, by a considerable margin, and guys who play once every 5 days shouldn’t be in the conversation.

Curious Gorge
Member
Curious Gorge

There’s an opening in my Strat League; I’d love for you to join. I’ve got a couple of Cardinals I’d be willing to trade you 😉

Spudchukar
Member
Spudchukar

Carpenter is now the only player sporting an OPS north of 1.000!

dmgetz
Member
Member
dmgetz

” guys who play once every 5 days shouldn’t be in the conversation”

Why not?

Jack Glasscock's Cup
Member
Jack Glasscock's Cup

According to Baseball-reference, Kershaw has faced 414 batters this year, which is 82 more plate appearances than the hitting leader (Mookie). So Kershaw has been involved in more plate appearances than any hitter, the only difference is that the distribution of those plate appearances is different than it is for hitters. He gets 30+ every fifth day rather than 4-5 every game.

Spudchukar
Member
Spudchukar

Kershaw is certainly the outlier, and the only pitcher that could be in the conversation. The question posed was “Who is the best player now.” Sure one can argue more than one season can be included in the conversation, but it was posed with the knowledge that Carp measures up well in previous seasons, and is currently having his best. The impetus for the statement is of course, just how underrated he is, as the All-Star balloting supports.

And he is a better defender and baserunners than he is given credit for, a guy who has been asked to play 3 positions in 2016.

cornflake5000
Member
cornflake5000

As a Cubs fan, I kinda put Carpenter in the Zobrist category… but deciding who’s best is a subjective argument and baseball is entertainment… I disagree that he’s the best or even top 5, but I think I was underrating him before and it’s not outrageous to say he’s top 10… but I guess that’s your point… people are underrating him.

Ebenezer
Member
Member
Ebenezer

Among NL position players in 2016, Carpenter’s 9th in fWAR (2.8) but 2nd in rWAR (3.2). From 2013 to now, Carpenter is third in fWAR (18.9), behind McCutchen (21.5) and Goldschmidt (20.8), ahead of Posey (18.3) and Harper 17.4). Saying Carpenter should be in the conversation is not unreasonable.