Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 6/30/17

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to Friday baseball chat

9:09
Bork: Hello, friend!

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friend

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve missed you

9:09
Edwin: Approximately what % of Wins are attributed to Starting Pitchers?  Any idea?

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: A very precise idea!

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: This year, there have been 1184 wins, 799 of which have gone to starters. So that’s 67.5%

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: Two decades ago, the rate was 69.9%

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: Not actually that much of a drop, but I’m sure it gets more and more dramatic the further back you go, obviously

9:11
v2micca: It feels like Tyler Flowers morphed into an elite pitch framer in the last couple of years and no one really noticed.  How did this happen?

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: According to the data at Baseball Prospectus, Flowers has actually always been a really good pitch-framer. Maybe now it’s just that more people are recognizing him for it

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: The *real* dramatic shift has been as a hitter. Flowers has cut wayyyyyyy down on his strikeouts and pop-ups. He’s a good hitter now! It’s incredible. And I’d be writing about him, but I know that Ben Lindbergh is already in the process of writing about him, so I don’t want to step on toes

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: Plus Ben is just going to be more thorough than I would’ve been anyway

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: In 2014, Flowers struck out or popped up in 38% of his plate appearances. This year he’s at 21%.

9:15
Daniel Carroll: I’m getting laid off from my day job today (I’ve known in advance for months, and I’m getting a nice severance). Do you have any life advice to share? I’m thinking about playing some pickup baseball today, too.

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: An opportunity like this is exceedingly rare. Go do at least one of the things you’ve been putting off for some time. One of the big things, I mean, one of the things you always said you didn’t have time for

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: If you’re a traveler, travel. If you’re a hiker, hike. If you’re a hobbyist, hobby. Immerse yourself in something. You will rarely have the chance to be so unencumbered

9:17
Jack: The Red Sox can’t call up Rusney Castillo or eat any salary of his in a trade without going over the misery . However he is hitting very well in AAA.

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: In fairness, he’s not hitting *that* well in Triple-A

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: But, yes, he is a little bit trapped. It’s a shitty circumstance

9:18
Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: Is Logan Morrison getting lucky or unlucky, or is this about what we should expect from his batted balls? On the lucky side is a good but not outrageous 24.4% HR/FB rate. But on the unlucky side, despite 43.1%/42.6% Med/Hard contact, he’s running a .257 BABIP. He’s underperforming his xwOBA by a bit under .01 but I don’t have a great sense of that metric yet.

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: As a pull hitter who now puts everything in the air, Morrison is never going to run a normal-looking BABIP. He’s a slow, fly-ball-hitting lefty

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: That’s the profile of most of the xwOBA underachievers

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: But the power is legitimate. I don’t know if Morrison is really a 140 wRC+ type, but 120-130 isn’t unreasonable

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: Turns out, just like the Blue Jays with Justin Smoak, the Rays saw something here

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: Or they got lucky. Who knows!

9:22
Bork: Is Yunel Escobar the dumbest MLB player? His antics last night keep supporting this.

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not going to say he’s the dumbest, but he’s probably in the lower quartile

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: It wasn’t even that long ago that Escobar was considered a toxic personality. It’s remarkable he still has a job in the first place

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: “I think that’s stupid, man,” Jansen said. “Nobody’s going to fight. Just the stupidity of major leagues, when it goes to a brawl like this. I wish this could be over with. If you want to go 1-on-1, go 1-on-1. You can meet somewhere else. Nobody’s going to fight.”

9:23
Jacob h cornhole: Every time I see PST I think its a secret (i.e. Jeff Sullivan chat starts at 9 am pssst). I’m just lucky to be one of those who were on the invite

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: And then the damn front page runs that banner up top that spoils the surprise

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: This is like a FanGraphs speakeasy

9:24
another bad dynasty manager: Jeff:  I’ve read rumors that Justin Bour might get traded to the Yankees.  I can’t seem to confirm that anywhere.  What have you heard?

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: I haven’t *heard* anything specific. It makes all the sense in the world that Bour would be on their radar, as a good lefty-hitting 1B on a go-nowhere team. I don’t know why the Marlins would be in a hurry to move him, though, since he’s cheap and fine and under control for a while

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: The Yankees should just trade for Duda and be done with it

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: I bet they could get Tommy Joseph for pretty cheap, but Duda’s a better fit

9:27
The Average Sports Fan: How were so many people so wrong about the Giants?

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t really know what we’re supposed to learn, here. Crawford forgot how to hit, Pence forgot how to hit, and Bumgarner forgot how to practice responsible dirt-biking safety habits

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: Easy to see how this could snowball. I still don’t think they’re close to being one of the worst teams around, but it’s been an absolutely miserable half-year

9:31
Cody: Fangraphs has the Brewers at 10.4% to make the playoffs. How much lower is that actually, now that ChACE Anderson is hurt?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: In theory his injury is folded into that calculation since the depth charts have been updated since

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: Now, we can’t actually be sure how much time he’ll miss, and we don’t actually know if the projections have accurately captured Anderson’s improvement. But, hey, Kris Bryant is kind of hurt, too. Partial negation

9:32
Reginald: I’ve never been more upset during a sporting event than I was while watching the Yankee game last night.  That poor guy ):

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: Thank goodness his family wasn’t there

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: I think? Maybe I’m completely wrong, but that seems like a good thing

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: Best I can say is, Fowler will be back. But that’s as brutal a debut as I’ve heard about

9:33
BC: What are the Pirates going to do with McCutchen? Trade him at the deadline?

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: Probably yes

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: If they catch enough fire to get closer to the division, they can hold, but the smart play right now is to deal McCutchen while his stock has rebounded

9:34
ChiSox: Still a little early, but how do you evaluate Rick Hahn’s patience?

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: It’s really difficult to execute any kind of maneuver of significance pre-draft. Teams just aren’t paying enough attention to the market yet. Now is the time for Hahn to act aggressively. I would’ve liked to see a Quintana move last winter, instead of now, but he’s done okay in my book

9:35
curious: are advanced pitching stats adjusted for NL /AL differences?

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: WAR includes some form of a league adjustment, but the other stuff doesn’t

9:35
Justin: Now that Cutch is back, should the Pirates trade him in a month? If so, what could a return look? Two top 100 prospects?

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: He’s still been a 2.5 win player or so over the past year and a half

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: Defense blows, and you can’t dismiss his earlier struggles because of one hot month

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: I’d think one top-100 prospect and another two pieces of modest note. Maybe one top-100 prospect, a Cistulli guy, and a low-level flier

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: Perhaps they work it like the Melancon move and try to get a big-league reliever

9:38
Phoenix 2042: What’s the difference between a player DFA’d, outrighted, and optioned?

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: There are further details, but generally you’ll see a player outrighted to the minors off the 40-man when the player has been DFA’d and no one has worked out a trade or claim

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: So then the player stays with the organization that DFA’d him, but he no longer counts against the 40-man limit as soon as the DFA is announced

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: Options are complicated, but, the typical young player has three years in which he can be freely shuttled back and forth between the majors and the minors

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: Such a player is never exposed to a claim by another organization

9:41
Jack: The Red Sox can’t call up Rusney Castillo or eat any of his salary without going over the luxury tax. However he is playing well in AAA. Any way they can move him without having to give up a prospect?

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: Nothing I can think of

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: They can just pay the damn tax

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not like anyone is going to willingly relieve them of the Pablo Sandoval salary burden

9:44
Moelicious: Who is the odd man out in STL when Fowler returns?

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t see why it shouldn’t still be Grichuk

9:46
Jaime: Who you taking in the AL MVP race? Judge or the field?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: Right now I think it’s a clear, obvious Judge vote. The closest contender is Chris Sale but pitchers always have more trouble summoning enough MVP support

9:46
another bad dynasty manager: Jeff:  now that the Orioles have won four of six, do you think they’ll be buyers instead of sellers?  I hope they don’t part with Hays, he’s pounding minor league pitchers, albeit with a poor walk rate.

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think the Orioles are going to sell. I think they’ll hold out hope for better luck and health and they’ll make some of those typical, boring Orioles moves. Like, I don’t know how the Orioles don’t have Clayton Richard in their rotation a month from now

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: One of the advantages of having such a terrible pitching staff is that someone who’d be of no use to another contender can be a real improvement

9:48
Chris: Who do you have winning the AL East this year, and who are some players the Yankees and Red Sox could be targeting at the deadline?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t have anything shocking to say. I think the Red Sox win by a small margin, and they’ll be looking for a 3B while the Yankees are looking for a 1B

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: What complicates the picture is how so many AL teams are right around the wild-card race. So, like, Mike Moustakas isn’t going anywhere anymore, I bet. Neither is Eric Hosmer

9:50
Chaps: Hi Jeff. Suppose the Tigers traded Verlander to the Astros (or any contending team with a SP need). Is there any way to tell if he would have a bounce back similar to Randy Johnson when he was traded from the Mariners to the Astros in 1998 (change of scenery / motivation on a contending team and whatnot)?

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve always had a little trouble with that narrative — advanced stats show that, even with the Mariners, 1998 Randy Johnson was dominant. His ERA was up due to luck and defense

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: Of course, he was better with Houston, but being in the NL was helpful

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: Plus, Johnson’s ERA got lower from April, to May, to June, to July. So he was trending well at the time

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: Anyway, this isn’t about Randy Johnson!

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: Problem with Verlander is that his indicators are actually much worse. Major decline in strikeouts and walks. Encouragingly, he’s Justin Verlander, with his own experience, and his stuff looks fine. His fastball is strong. I think any team trading for Justin Verlander would expect him to pitch much better in the second half than in the first

9:54
Moelicious: Thoughts on whether Jose Pirela can stick as an above average regular?

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: I’m still skeptical, but it sure looks like something has changed in 2017, and I’m probably going to write about him in some depth after he accrues a larger sample of data

9:55
YO JEFF: McCutchen to the Dodgers?

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: A definite possibility

9:57
Marwin Gonzales- Power Hitter: What do you think of Paulino? The strikeouts and walks have been good, but the results haven’t been great.

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: I’d like to know what changed between Double-A and Triple-A. Paulino used to throw like 68% strikes. Against higher competition, he’s been more around 61-62%, and that’s going to make it tough for him to pitch with any efficiency

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: He doesn’t yet have big-league location skills, but the stuff is legitimate, clearly

9:58
KoalaMeat: Keon Broxton’s K% sucks

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: Yes

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: What’s amazing is, over 518 career plate appearances, he has 38% strikeouts and an above-average wRC+

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: The strikeouts will always be there

10:00
StL Steve: I’m going to the Cards-Nats game tonight and was stoked to watch Trea fly around the bases. No question. Just sad.

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: If it makes you feel any better, the Cardinals have allowed the second-fewest steals in baseball, so Turner probably wasn’t going to run anyway

10:00
Shuck Bowalter: Schoop seems like the Orioles’ most deserving All-Star. how much are you buying his breakout?

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: He’s interesting, because he’s swinging a lot less often than he used to, but I’m not sure he’s *actually* more disciplined. There’s a difference between discipline and patience. I’ve had him on my radar and will probably write him up before too long

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: Feels like an August post if he’s still hitting

10:02
Sterling Mallory Chris Archer: Going backcountry camping this weekend for the first time solo.  Any tips/advice?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: Nothing aside from have fun and be careful. Don’t let every noise in the dark spook you into thinking something’s going to kill you. I don’t know where you’re going to be, and maybe there will be lots of people around, but when you’re solo, you have to take care to closely evaluate any and every risk. If you get lost or injured, you could be screwed. Do what you can to prevent any physical harm

10:03
Jim: The dodgers have 8 players with 1.8 WAR or greater.

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: Good baseball team

10:04
Jack: What is more valuable to a team like the Rays? The ~$5 million they have in international cap space or selling all of it for ~$20 million in payroll space.

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: The Rays are signing Wander Franco, right?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: Seems to suggest they’ve decided they like that money more than they like what they could trade it for

10:06
Daniel Carroll: I think it’d be cool to build a twitterbot that identifies games at higher leverage situations. Do you have any idea how you’d make that?

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: A form of this has existed, albeit not on Twitter https://theringer.com/mlb-tv-game-changer-redzone-4e5d5e81c99c

10:07
Peter: Do you think it’s reasonable to expect Votto’s BABIP to rebound in the second half and put up even better numbers?

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: It kind of already has — his BABIP was truly awful in April, and it’s been well north of .300 ever since

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: Part of the compromise here, I bet, is that he’ll run a lower BABIP in exchange for the reduced strikeouts. But he’s still amazing

10:08
RockiesFan: Any chance Bellinger goes back to AAA this year?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: lol

10:09
James: If the ball is indeed juiced, does that disproportionately impact teams that have built/developed fly ball-centric staffs?

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: Not as much as you’d think. There’s a correlation between GB% and HR/FB%, meaning that the more grounders you get, the more dangerous the fly balls are that you allow

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: So a fly-ball staff would allow more homers, sure, but a ground-ball staff would *also* allow more homers

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: The bigger penalty would be against a team that might have built a contact-oriented staff. That’s a whoopsadoodle

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: This is one of the reasons why teams like the Reds and Twins have felt the worst of the home-run spike

10:12
Tommy Buns: Who is the better offensive player in 2017 – Eric Thames or Domingo Santana?

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Thames, I think, but it’s close. Santana is good

10:14
Dunt: Were the Yankees just auditioning Andujar for a Quintana trade?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not convinced that kind of thing ever actually happens

10:14
Aron: How do you figure Smyly’s upcoming surgery impacts the Mariners deadline?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: I’m sure they’ve kind of been bracing themselves against this possibility for a while. So now they’re slightly more likely to make a move for a SP but it’s not like they have many valuable chips to begin with

10:16
Fat Albert: Matz has a 4.3% SwStr through his first 4 starts this season. He’s stopped throwing the Warthen slider and lost around a tick off his fastball. Can he still be an above average pitcher?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Staying away from the slider is intentional. A few starts back he missed bats against the Dodgers, so the ability is still in there. The contact rate right now is way too high but give him another month or two to see where he’s at

10:17
Jack: Fangraphs ranks players by highest trade value every year. What player has the lowest value on their contract?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: Feels like it’s Albert Pujols

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: Something like $127 million left on his deal and he’s a replacement-level player

10:18
Patty V: Is Adam Duvall for real? Or do you expect a power drought coming second half?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: I think this is basically what he is. His wRC+ is a little too high, but he’s an above-average slugger

10:19
Stuafoo: The Ms probably won’t trade James Paxton. But should they? It would be selling pretty high, and they have a guy like Andrew Moore who could probably give them 75% of the production. I know their sp depth has been tested, but a shiny new prospect feels like it could be worth the risk.

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: M’s won’t be prepared to sell if they sit where they are, and right now isn’t the best time to move Paxton anyway given his recent DL stint and slump

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: But this is a conversation that has taken place within the organization several times, I’m sure. And if the team bottoms out in the following month, there’s a chance. But I think it’s more likely Paxton inks an extension to stay

10:20
Sonny: next time you’re hiking with Rob Manfred can you please insist on a rule change mandating at least one day game everyday? Maybe dangle him over a volcano

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: Most volcanoes don’t have lava lakes. In fact, only like four volcanoes in the world have lava lakes. So dangling him over a volcano would be the same as just dangling him over rocks, which you could do anywhere

10:21
Nick: Has AJ Reed fallen out of favor with the Astros? And is he a guy a team would DJ for in return for a SP?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: He’s not doing anything in Triple-A. Value way down

10:22
PTBNL: Did the Nats just enter the Cozart sweepstakes? Or is their place in the division secure enough that they can punt on SS until Turner is back?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: Probably the latter. They’ll be focused almost exclusively on bullpen help

10:22
libre: Does anyone swing at the first pitch less than Chase Utley?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: Lots of people

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: Utley swings at the first pitch 19% of the time. Joe Mauer’s at 7.5%

10:23
Dan: Did You Know? The Nats bullpen SUUUUUUUUUCKS.

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: And still easily in first place. It’s amazing. What a shitty division

10:23
Peter: If the Reds move Iglesias this summer, do you think Ariel Hernandez can fill the void that would create?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: I like Hernandez a lot, but I don’t know why the Reds would move Iglesias when he’s one of the only guys they have

10:25
JKD: With Turner down, do the Nats become a player for Lowrie (thinking as part of a package deal for A’s reliever(s) as well)? Drew has been producing this year and last, but doesn’t hit LHP, and a solid bat switch-hitting bat (i.e., not Wilmer Difo) to spell him at SS – along with off days for Murphy and Rendon – seems like an obvious play.

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Just doesn’t seem like there are enough ABs for it to be worth it. Other teams have a more desperate need for someone like Lowrie than the Nationals do

10:27
Braves Fan: Which Braves Prospect, that has not yet made a MLB debut yet, are you most looking forward to seeing this season in the majors?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: I guess it’s Albies by default

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Not so much that captures my particular interest at the moment

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Honestly I’m most interested in just seeing Freeman at third base. That makes him kind of a prospect, right

10:29
libre: Whose defense should the Dodgers prefer at SS: Taylor or Hernandez?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: Taylor is an actual shortstop. So I’d say him

10:30
Moltar: I am truly hoping that Conforto is named the Mets’ all-star because I think that will convince Terry Collins to put his ALL STAR in the line-up every day. But with his cold streak/injuries in June, I think the Mets’ all star will be Jay Bruce and his good traditional stats.

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: Conforto plays a lot

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: When he’s not hurt, he’s almost always in the lineup

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: Bruce will go away soon anyway

10:31
Matt: Last night, Harold was arguing that the pitcher win is a good stat because the team needs to win the game. I don’t think he can conceptually comprehend the fact that the argument is that a pitcher win is an arbitrary definition which doesn’t describe ability. You can use the word in it’s own definition.

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: I can’t imagine anything I’m less interested in these days than a conversation about pitcher wins. The sport moved on years ago. It’s irrelevant

10:31
YKnotDisco?!: Life advice only using 2 words? Besides “go/get outside/outdoors”.

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: Be kind

10:32
Derek: Do you believe in Trevor Cahill upon his return?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: I believe in the healthy Trevor Cahill, but it’s fine to be nervous about anyone coming back from a shoulder problem

10:32
Crazy Aunt Marie: I’ve always wondered, who benefits more from seeing the same hitter/pitcher more frequently throughout a season, the pitcher or the hitter?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: I haven’t seen any compelling evidence that there’s any real benefit for anyone to unfamiliarity. But if I had to guess, there would be a slight advantage for the hitter, here, because pitchers generally don’t learn new tricks as a season goes on

10:34
jon: Is Nick Markakis a HOF’er?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Yes

10:35
Eric Thames: I’ve gone from scorching lava hot to glacially cold.  K% up from 22 to 37, Pull% down 27%, Hard% down 14%.  What’s going on with me?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: No hitter in baseball has been less valuable against fastballs in June than Eric Thames

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: I can’t tell if this is something pitchers have figured out, or if Thames is still just kind of out of whack from being sick and having a tight hamstring. But right now he’s got a clear vulnerability and pitchers are attacking it

10:37
2-D: Which sub 500 NL team do you think has the best chance of emerging and challenging for the second wild card?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: None of them have a great chance, but I guess my answer would be the Braves, since they could do something silly like trade for Chris Archer

10:38
Bork: Should the Jays blow the team up this year and start the rebuild or wait until next year?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: For now, still close enough this year to just stay together

10:38
Brian: Is Anthony Rendon better than Bryce Harper?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: Right now, probably yes. Over the next three or five years, no

10:39
PTBNL: I’m interested to see which pitchers have had the best/worst luck so far in 2017. Is there anyway I can sort leaderboards by xFIP – ERA?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: The leaderboards include ERA – FIP, but if you want xFIP instead you’ll have to do it by hand. But that’s easy

10:40
Coppy: Who do you trust more to stick in the rotation, Newcomb or Folty?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: Foltynewicz, just because he has more experience and Newcomb is easier to bounce back to the minors. But that doesn’t mean I think Foltynewicz is actually the better pitcher

10:40
Matt: Kevin Gausman seems like exactly the type of SP Cubs like to target- high upside, recent struggles, sticker price that is below that of elite arms on the market. Can you see BAL moving him and would he be the type of upgrade the Cubs need?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t see the Orioles motivated to move a starter right now

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: I wonder if the Cubs might lurk around and play for Buck Farmer or Jesse Hahn

10:43
Jack: How many games up on the Cubs do the Brewers have to be at the deadline to buy?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: It’s helped to have the Rockies slipping — opens up the possibility of a wild-card berth. The Brewers won’t make a big splash almost no matter what, but I can easily see them adding second- or third-tier rotation and bullpen help

10:44
LGM: Do my Mets have any hope of making the postseason? Rockies are falling apart and the NL central is under performing.

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Odds are slim, but existent. Helps that the NL East is terrible

10:44
Avila Loca: Alex Avila’s batted ball stats this year are bonkers. Throw in his consistently elite walk rate, and is it possible he’s somehow the best left-handed hitter in the AL today? Seems like a intriguing under the radar deadline pickup for somebody that can free up steady C/DH/1B ABs against RHP.

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Cubs are interested, which is highly unsurprising

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: Avila strikes out a bunch and his BABIP is over .400, so, yeah. But he’s legitimately improved and he’s going to get dealt to a contender

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: O-Swing% of 14%. 14%!

10:45
sgolder: Today is Trea Turner’s birthday.

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: Better than yesterday

10:46
Jack: If the Rays eventually have Hechavarria, Beckham, Duffy and Miller all healthy at some point this year, how do they manage the middle of their infield?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: They’re proceeding as if they don’t expect that to ever be the case

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Duffy, last I heard, is in a holding pattern

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Could just dump Hechavarria if his numbers don’t improve. He was already a possible non-tender candidate

10:47
Gary: Was Ichiro Suzuki about as good as it’s possible for a player to be while having 30 power?

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: Ichiro or Tony Gwynn, yeah

10:47
clayton: is madmax better than me =/?

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: No

10:49
PTBNL: If you had to pick right now, who would you expect to be the AL WC teams?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Currently leaning Yankees/Mariners but that second one is in flux

10:49
chris: The highest BABIP ever in this yankee stadium is .387. With Judges unusual .400+ BABIP and his large K rate, is he due to cool down?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: He can’t and won’t sustain a sky-high BABIP, but he also hits relatively few balls in play, so it’s of lesser importance for him

10:49
Zihuatenejo: The Dodgers have been reluctant to move top prospects at the deadline in the Friedman/Zaidi era. Do you think that changes this year, or do you expect more of the same?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: More of the same. It works

10:50
BBech: Mountains or valleys?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: Mountains

10:50
Joey: Do you think Kenta Maeda is in the rotation to stay ROS?  Or will they continue to use him in a flexible bullpen/starter role?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: The latter. They’ll keep moving people around in an effort to keep different arms fresh

10:51
hoju: Listened to the podcast yesterday afternoon and was slightly calmed about the Nats pen; game happened and now as a reactionary I am decidedly not. Is there any more urgency to get someone with the Trea injury etc or should the Nats still be totally unconcerned until closer to the deadline?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: They’re up 9.5 games on the competition that matters most, so there’s no urgency to make the team a million times better. But they will absolutely get one reliever, probably two, and very possibly three

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: It would make me laugh if the Nats just called up the White Sox and traded for Robertson, Kahnle, and Swarzak at the same time

10:53
Richard : Should the Dodgers be worried about Verdugo & Calhoun getting bored of being stuck in AAA? They clearly do not want to use one of their options this year so should they be a actively looking to trade them?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: They’ll be open to trading them, given the roster logjam, but there’s no real harm keeping prospects in Triple-A for a full season. The players aren’t entitled to the big leagues, given their experience

10:54
Friarfan: What do you think of Wil Myers this year? Is it just an extended slump or is this just who he actually is.

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Just to be clear, Wil Myers has a 118 wRC+. Last year, he had a 115 wRC+

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: He even has a 134 wRC+ in June, so he’s not slumping

10:57
Chaps: Mike Fiers hasn’t given up a HR in 6 games (37 innings), which started roughly around the time he talked with Lance McCullers Jr. about his curveball. McCullers is the new Ray Searage confirmed?

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: On the one hand, I’m naturally skeptical of anything having to do with improved home-run suppression. It’s almost always pure bunk. On the other hand, at least Fiers takes it to the extreme!

10:59
Nola, Lewsianna: 5 machines can make 5 shirts in 5 minutes. how long does it take 100 machines to make 100 shirts?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: 5 minutes!

10:59
Sean: Do you believe that the projections react too slowly to changes? E.g. the Dbacks are projected for .508 RoS but all of their win orders (1st/2nd/3rd) have them as a ~.600 team to date

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve written about this before. Even well into a regular season, the projections are still better at seeing the rest of the year than the standings are

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not that the actual performance is irrelevant, and of course there are times when the projections are too slow to react. Like, Archie Bradley is just a different player now. But mostly, the projections are better than one’s intuition

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: I know that’s not very fun. On the other hand, maybe it’s incredibly fun!

11:01
Jesse: May I ask how to interpret the vertical drop numbers in pitchFX when it as it pertains to the batters?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: Doesn’t really mean anything. Just reflects the movement of the pitches the batters have seen

11:01
J: With smaller FA deals being successful like Hill to Oakland, Fowler to Cubs,  Holliday to NY, etc. and bigger deals like Zimmermmann to Detroit, Chris Davis, Ellsbury, Heyward not looking great… are we going to a see a change in preferred targets?  How does this affect the mega FA class?

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: Well, there hasn’t been much in the way of FA mega-talent lately, anyway. That’s going to change. And while teams are disinclined to give players big huge honking mega-contracts, there’s also a ceiling on how high a salary can go, so the natural thing to do is to make a deal longer instead of more expensive. So there are counter-pressures

11:02
Jon: Do you see the cubs going after a veteran player before the trade deadline this year?

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: Yes

11:02
Nic: Did you see Dustin Fowler Injury. Any idea how that might affect his future.

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: Assume that he will be okay, and more cautious around walls

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: I do not know why there are still short walls on the borders of baseball fields. Unnecessary risk

11:04
Over Yonder: Jefffffff has the magic faded on Yonder Alonso?

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: Still an above-average hitter in June, but he’s definitely not one of the game’s elite. It makes sense that pitchers would take a little while to adjust to the new version

11:04
It takes a Villar to raise a BA: Does Villar reclaim his starting spot and turn his season around, or was he a fluke?

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: Partial fluke, but Sogard is also a partial fluke, so Villar hasn’t had the last of his opportunities

11:05
Bill: What’s the equivalent to being effectively wild for a blogger?

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: Consistent insight or entertainment delivered, despite too many typos and meandering paragraphs that could’ve been tighter

11:05
John: I just started following the Mariners this season (yes I was sober, or i was for the first month at least), and was wondering which young players i should look forward to seeing develop?

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: In the system? None of them

11:06
2-D: Will there ever be a better pitcher matchup based on the Sullivan Interest Scale than Nola/Paxton from earlier this week?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: Probably, although I don’t yet know who would be involved

11:06
brian: brad hand worth 1 top 50 prospect plus another back end top 100?

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: As long as we’re talking about someone in the 40-50 range, and not in the 1-10 range

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: All right, I need to get rolling

11:07
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. Happy holiday weekend!

We hoped you liked reading Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 6/30/17 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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