Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 6/9/17

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to Friday baseball chat

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: Sorry for that delay, was finishing a podcast

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: FanGraphs looks different now. I wonder if there are opinions

9:08
Dodgers: Do the Dodgers make a big splash this summer?

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not anticipating one, but I suppose it could in part come down to where they are with Hill and Wood. Just generally I continue to figure they’ll make the B- and C-tier moves, around their own flexibility

9:09
Jack: Will both American League Wild Cards come from the East again this year?

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: That’s my operating assumption, although the Mariners could make a valiant attempt at prevention

9:09
Stuafoo: Why does yovanni gallardo still have a job? I realize the Ms are in need of a human meat shield or two to suck up some innings, but a guy like andrew moore has to be a better option

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: They’re in no position to turn down innings at this point. Gallardo is basically an MLB #6, but they’re missing a lot of 1-through-5

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: If and when healthy pitchers return, Gallardo is likely to be on the outs

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: Which is actually kind of a shame given that he’s shown a significant velocity bounceback. He’s up something like three ticks! Three ticks!

9:11
Dion Phanooooof: How do think the Rockies are likely to split playing time when David Dahl returns? If story continues to struggle do you think Desmond gets any starts at SS?

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: Last I heard, Dahl’s rehab process had stalled

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: That was a few days ago

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: Soooooooo nothing to worry about any time soon. Dahl seems like he’s still a long ways off. And if he does get back, chances are someone else will be injured or struggling

9:13
Moltar: Which team is closer to contention, the Mets or the Mariners?

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: Well, the Mariners, since they’re in a better spot just in 2017

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: Like, the Mariners are technically in contention *now*

9:14
JTT: Jeff, counterpoint to your Epstein/Boras debate. Scott Boras is disgustingly rich, like “F you” rich. Theo Epstein is just regular rich.

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: Yes, this is among the valid counterpoints. The Boras life plan is really not so bad

9:16
Roaches, Twinkies, and Bartolo: If MLB expanded with two more teams, how many players would teams be able to protect in an expansion draft? Who would be a potential first pick in such a scenario?

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: If it worked anything like the previous expansion draft, teams would be able to protect 15 players from throughout their entire organization

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: Plus I’m pretty sure recent draft picks were also automatically protected

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: So while I can’t predict how the draft would look without doing a lot of background work, I wouldn’t be surprised if the first pick came from one of the very deepest organizations, like the Cubs/Dodgers

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: You know how the Cubs look. They’re more than 15 quality players deep

9:19
Tj: What does a 2018 CC Sabathia free agent contract look like? I can’t wrap my head around it

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: He’ll be 37 years old, and very obviously that’s going to work against him. A few years back Bartolo Colon signed that deal for 2 years and $20 million. Wouldn’t be shocked if Sabathia wound up with something similar, albeit maybe higher in salary since he’s younger and coming from a very tough division

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: It’s a virtual impossibility he gets 3+ years, and teams will also limit themselves given that Sabathia probably won’t be thought of as a guy you want starting in the playoffs

9:21
Chaps: Have there been any studies indicating a relation between a pitcher’s pitch type & speed to a batter’s exit speed & trajectory, or is it widely understood that there’s no strong correlation between the two?

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: Just in general, there’s a very weak relationship between pitch speed and exit velocity. Pitchers “providing the power” is mostly a myth

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: As for speed and trajectory, though, you can probably use your imagination. Sinkers get low launch angles. Four-seamers get high launch angles

9:24
Baryolo Cologne: Do you think we’ll see a breakout from Castellanos coming? All of the underlying seem to assume its coming…

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: He is much better than his current 90 wRC+

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: My favorite thing about him is that he basically never pops up

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not convinced he has the approach to become an elite-level slugger, but he should be comfortably better than average

9:26
weezy: finding this chat was harder than expected on the new layout!

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: For me, too!

9:27
Matt: Just looking at Odor’s periphs. Everything is in line with last year – K%, BB%, GB%, FB%, etc. ONLY difference is IFFB% and it’s massive. Is there some buy-low opportunity there? Can he turn it around this year, or is he just swinging super hard and not going to stop?

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: No, he’s a lot better than this. I never loved Odor because of his approach, but he’s good enough to be something like an average hitter. When he’s going bad, he looks terrible, but he’s going to have a much improved second half

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: That being said, his pop-up issue is significant, and limiting. Right now he has eight homers and 19 pop-ups. That’s crazy

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: He already has three more pop-ups than he had all of last season

9:30
Baryolo Cologne: Where does Shark fall right now on your pitchers ranks? His #s this year have been elite (xFIP, K/BB, K/9, IP, etc.), but are being masked by a terrible ERA

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: Really good

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: And the ERA mostly just reflects a poor start. Since April 28, his ERA is 2.93

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: …with two walks and 64 strikeouts.

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: Think about that. Since the beginning of May, Samardzija has a K/BB of 59

9:32
Nelson: Opposite sides of a trade-
Would you rather have the career of Josh Hamilton (higher WAR, more money, but tons of injuries and issues) or Edinson Volquez?

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: Volquez. Winning a World Series puts it over the top

9:32
S: Will Ian Desmond manage to be a league average player by the end of the season?

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: Given this start, no probably not

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: He already has to make up for a -0.5 WAR through 150 or so plate appearances

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: Now, he probably *is* a league-average player, but his end-of-season numbers won’t reflect that

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: Quietly disappointing player on an otherwise overachieving ballclub

9:34
Tj: With Gray/Quintana/Cole all scuffling, does that make it more likely that someone will overpay for one, or an unforeseen pitcher comes on the market?

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll take the latter

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: In fact, just saw Kiermaier is out about two months with a hip injury. If the Rays go in the tank, we’ll have more Archer talk

9:36
Ross: With Wilson Ramos on his rehab assignment and expected to join the Rays at some point this month, who should they keep around as his backup when he’s ready, Norris or Sucre?

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: Well, we’ll have to see if Norris can avoid a suspension

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: That could make their decision for them

9:38
Alec Asher Wojciechowski: So… Lance McCullers, change-up artist?

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: It’s good to see him throwing more of them, but I don’t think it’s actually all that great of a pitch.

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: Had to take a minute to do some quick research. Something is changing here!

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: McCullers has barely thrown half his changeups for strikes, so that shows some wildness. But his movements are all substantially different from a season ago

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: Seems like a lot more tail. I’ll pen that in for a next-week article

9:42
Bruce: Whats stopping teams from pulling any stunt lineups at the end of the season? Like why wont we see Bonds or Tebow get a few ABs? Are GMs afraid of the backlash?

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: 40-man roster spots are pretty important

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Every organization out there thinks it has 40 players worth a damn. You don’t want to punt a player to force in a gimmick

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Plus, if the Mets brought Tebow to the major leagues, they’d have to put out a lot of internal fires

9:45
Baryolo Cologne: Do you think we’ll continue to see Alex Cobb getting “it” back or is this who he is?

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: His split-change used to be one of the best secondary pitches in baseball. It’s missing, now, as Cobb hasn’t quite gotten the feel of it. If that never returns, he’ll never be what he had been pre-surgery

9:46
Steve: Is deGrom going to be another Mets casualty or will he be okay moving forward?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t see anything I don’t like in his numbers. The ERA doesn’t bother me. It’s just, you do have a power pitcher here, whose 2016 ended due to surgery

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: So, don’t worry about the performance. Just know that you’ve got a heightened injury risk

9:49
Ray Liotta as Shoeless Joe: I understand that folks aggressively dislike change, but I cannot help but share my opinion on the website redesign. The lack of delineation and perspective makes the article listing confusing. On the desktop, articles appear in two columns without a time stamp, requiring readers to rely on memory to know which articles he or she has read and what content is newest (does one read left to right by row or left column before right column?). Community Research is buried, and beneath the tools is a “Top Articles” section and an “Essential Articles” section. The addition of front page images and graphics has [slightly] slowed loading times

I know the advantages in the mobile format can be many, but I do not think they were wholly achieved with this change. I would rather zoom in one time than scroll down to locate an article. This could be solved with the mobile menu linking directly to Rotographs or Hardball Times, etc. I would compare this with the MLBRumors approach: a clean application capable of a thumb-swip

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know very much about website design so my opinions aren’t worth anything. I don’t even really…go…to websites, very often, outside of doing my own work. But I can assure you that the site is going to be open-minded moving forward about tweaks and adjustments now that the changes have gone public. We all got to beta test as a staff, but the staff is small, and the reader audience is large. You will collectively come up with some very good suggestions that eluded the lot of us

9:51
Matt: Jeff! Tom Murphy is coming back soon! Wolters is playing pretty well…is he going to get any PT? Is that bat going to start blowing up balls in COL and force it’s way in?

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: Wolters is going to remain the regular for the time being, because pitchers love working with him. Plus he somehow has an OBP north of .400!

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: Tony Wolters!

9:51
Tj: Will Judge hit one 125mph this year?

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: Didn’t he just hit a ball 128mph in batting practice?

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: So that’s something

9:51
Bork: Hello, friend!

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friend

9:52
JTT: As a writer, Is this new era of players being able to dramatically change their skillset exhausting? Every time a player goes on an extended hotstreak you have to do hours of tedious research to figure out whether or not some slap hitting utility infielder became a superstar overnight

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: I think it’s more fun than an alternate league where players are more static. This way keeps us all on our toes, and it forces us to confront questions we never thought would be worth asking

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: That being said, I think the danger is in genre over-saturation. It’s easy to start feeling like *every* article has to be about some guy who’s doing something different, and then it just gets obnoxious because you’re losing sight of so much of the rest of the game

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: Get so focused on players making changes that you forget there are wins and losses and incredible plays and pennant races

9:54
Sim: Love the new interface!

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: A genuinely uncommon opinion on Day 1 — not just for us, but for any website!

9:54
Baryolo Cologne: Why would the Pirates put Nicasio in the closer role instead of Rivero assuming Watson loses his job?

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: Probably about keeping salary down

9:55
Stenzy: Cueto to Astros for Tucker or Fisher a real possibility?

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think it would be option No. 1, but he’ll be on Houston’s radar

9:56
Baryolo Cologne: Matt Bush has continued to get beat around recently…it seems like Kela could be the answer for that bullpen but he has “clubhouse issues.” At what point does an organization look past that, especially an organization that needs as many wins as possible right now.

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: Well, firstly, Matt Bush has a 2.49 ERA

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: Secondly, it’s not like Bush doesn’t come with his own baggage

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: Thirdly, that’s really up to the team to decide. We’re not privy to the internal conversations, so we don’t know how the team’s view of Kela could change if he owns up to his previous issues

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: If Kela shows he’s maturing, and if the rest of the team buys into that, then the problem is solved

9:59
JC: Thoughts on what’s going on with Gregory Polanco? Strikeouts down, power way down, defense regressing… Feels like a similar profile to Lucroy actually. Last year’s power a one-off abberation?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: He just had a 140 wRC+ in the month of May

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: So I don’t think anything’s too terribly wrong. Now, Polanco has said before that he doesn’t love the way his swing feels when he tries to hit fly balls, so it doesn’t surprise me that his grounder rate is up. He probably isn’t as powerful as he showed in 2016. But he’s still a fine overall player

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: The defense doesn’t worry me. So far that’s all arm, and that’s a very noisy statistic

10:01
Cody: What do you think of Mike Zunino since being recalled? has he made real changes or is this just a hot streak?

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: He’s made definite changes, but even since coming back up, he’s struck out 43% of the time. He’s just never going to make contact, it would appear

10:02
Tj: David Price won’t leave money on the table to opt out of his deal just because of the Boston media, right? I can’t see him getting more than half of what’s left on his deal if he went to the open market. They’re stuck together aren’t they?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: The opt-out isn’t for another year and a half, so I wouldn’t worry about that too much yet

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: But for now, Price is a guy with questions about his arm. Any little hiccups between now and then are going to be interpreted as signs of an underlying injury. His stock has been substantially reduced, so for *now* an opt-out would be unlikely

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: But then, much of the same could’ve been said of Tanaka, and while he’s had recent struggles, before this season people thought he was going to opt out in the fall

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Point being, Price can recover from this if he stays healthy, and the market is always hungry for aces

10:04
Zihuatenejo: Is the post-Mariners improvement of guys like Justin Smoak, Chris Taylor, and Brad Miller the final indictment of the team’s problems with player development?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Do we need more proof?

10:05
Stenzy: Any shot the Giants can move Melancon or Span at the trade deadline?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: Can’t see anyone hurrying to take Melancon and the rest of his deal

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: Span could be moved, but not for anything much

10:06
Greg: In terms of good bullpens helping a team outperform projections, shouldnt this just apply to top heavy bullpens with elite RP’s? If you have 8 guys with a 3.5 era/fip its harder to leverage them than it is having 4 guys with a 3.0 ERA and 4 guys with a 4.0 ERA

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: Pretty much, yeah

10:07
Nate: If the AL Central standings look about the same by the end of next month, what do you think the Tigers should do? As much as they invested in the present, I hate to see them mire in mediocrity before starting a rebuild.

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: If they’re still just 2.5 out, I imagine they’ll make the easy decision and hope to get lucky.

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: If they sink a little further, then Martinez and Wilson become obvious trade chips

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: And then you have the huge glaring Verlander question. That would take some balls, but it’s an option

10:08
ben: Hey Jeff, I see Shark sitting right next to Nelson in the K/BB% improvements in your article. Does that give the Giants another possible new ace as well?

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: Samardzija deserves his own article. I just chose to focus on Nelson because less has been written about him overall, and he hasn’t exactly teased in this way previously

10:10
El Guapo: I know Chase Headley has been bad, but replacing him with Torres is a bad idea, right? Playing major league baseball is hard, I have a tough time believing even as talented as he is that he’d represent an upgrade.

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: I wouldn’t swap the two, myself. I might change my mind in the second half depending on how patterns keep up

10:10
Look At The #s: New layout kinda sucks for desktop viewing.

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: You’ll get used to it

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: You’ll always get used to it

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: No matter what it is

10:11
Babe Rua: The Rangers are a mess. Presumably they will make everyone but Mazara (and Gallo?) available but, realistically, who else do they have that contenders would be legitimately interested in? Darvish and Bush?? I’d take Brinson back for those two.

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: If the Rangers actually do decide to sell, then Darvish will be a big huge enormous chip. Similar to the Cueto move from the other season. Tyson Ross could also potentially emerge if he gets back soon and makes a couple quality starts

10:12
Hal: Do we have any way to measure how much the value of defense has changed due to increases in HRs and Ks? A bad corner outfielder be probably less harmful today than in previous years, but would that be by a meaningful amount?

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: If I recall, then, per team, there are about 25 in-play batted balls per game in 2017. A decade ago, there were 27

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: It’s probably not as simple as saying defense is now 7% less valuable, but there are at least 7% fewer opportunities

10:15
GausRifle: Regressing Sano makes him look an awful lot like his partial season in 2015. Is he better than that now or is that a reasonable comparison?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: 2015 Miguel Sano was amazing

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: He also has a better approach. His O-Swing% has stayed the same, but his Z-Swing% has climbed 14 percentage points

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: He is very good

10:16
Pine Marten: Should the Nationals still try to target a guy like D Robertson or should they try to get someone cheaper like Brad Hand (or one of my favorites, Blake Parker)?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: That’s probably going to come down to whether money is freed up for them to add significant payroll. They always make that hard to predict

10:18
Kevin: So is Jon Lester’s command just worse this year? A lot of his peripherals are in line with his career numbers. Seems kind of odd.

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: Lester threw to David Ross most of the time in 2016, 2015, and 2014. No Ross, obviously, in 2017. I don’t mean to suggest that Lester’s success was a function of working with a particular catcher, but they had a great relationship, and now Lester is getting a worse zone. Lester/Ross were probably the premier pair around in terms of getting the best zone possible

10:19
curious: The new site is so similar to the old one as to be indifferent

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: This is my favorite new opinion

10:22
2-D: Is Gerrit Cole’s increased usage in offspeed the main culprit for his increased HR/FB this year?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: I’m going to be honest with you — I can’t figure anything out here

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: I see where the extra home runs are coming from, but right now I don’t see any reason to believe it’s going to stay this bad

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: Cole seems like he’s basically fine. He’s even getting ahead more often. I’m not worried

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: On the other hand, he has started to lose a little bit of velocity

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Also looks like he’s dropped his arm slot slightly. So hints of a mechanical issue causing a few too many pitches to flatten out in the middle of the zone

10:25
curious: what the heck is going on with gerritt cole?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Conveniently, see above!

10:26
Baryoolo Cologne: Do you think we see the Cards make a move to try and contend in the NL WC or possibly get back into the NL Central race?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: They know they’re not going to win the Central, and they’re already 8.5 back in the wild-card hunt.

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Used to see them as a Quintana option but that just strikes me right now as being too unlikely

10:27
Nate: Strasburg has been really impressive going exclusively from the stretch, do you think more power pitchers with injury concerns will give the stretch-only method a try?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: He’s not the first and he won’t be the last. Carrasco did this. Nelson is doing this. It’s fairly common

10:27
Stenzy: Great article about draft and development. Crazy to see the Giants rank first in producing big leaguers when system doesn’t ever get that much respect. Why is that?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Giants have been good about turning out some over-achievers. Plus, picking Buster Posey doesn’t hurt. It’s been one of the secrets to their recent run of success — they haven’t had to make too many splashes because they’ve had this steady chain of internal reinforcements

10:29
Ajay: Solely as a pitcher, how many WAR would a healthy Otani have in a full season?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: Just leaving aside the injury problems of 2017, I bet Otani would project as something like a 5-win pitcher

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: Yu Darvish so far has topped out at 4.6

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: Otani, obviously, would come with big upside, but you know how projections are

10:31
curious: buying domingo santana breakout?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: He’s been a good hitter for a while. Now the numbers are just doing a better job of showing it

10:32
Frankie: Thoughts on Segura extension?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe the most interesting aspect is how it signals the Mariners’ refusal to tear down

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Not that they ought to do that right now, but this suggests they won’t go that far almost no matter what

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: He’s still young enough and good enough I don’t think the contract will become a problem. I do think he’s meaningfully different from the bad hitter he used to be

10:34
Leraen: Any chance that Astros make a run at Verlander?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Yes

10:35
Rod: Could LAD go after Jaime Garcia and Arodys Vizcaino?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know what use they’d have for Garcia. Vizcaino, sure

10:35
Rob: I’m curious whether you think so many guys seemingly completely reinventing themselves this year has implications for the state of analytics? It seems to throw cold water on the whole notion of regression based projection models. One mechanical change and it’s a completely different guy. Or does this seeming trend still only amount to a few outliers? And understate how difficult one mechanical change can be?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Mostly, I think, we’re still dealing with a small number of outliers. Maybe a few more than there used to be, but overall, players still tend to be what they have been, once you give the numbers time to settle out

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: It’s a lot easier to look different for two months than it is to keep looking different for six months

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Now, I do think there are more changes being made than ever, and that raises important questions. But our models will just change and improve, and projections haven’t gotten any better or worse over the years. We’re still doing all right

10:37
LA: Is Mike Trout the Clayton Kershaw of position players, or is Clayton Kershaw the Mike Trout of pitchers?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Kershaw was good first

10:37
Cumby: Joe Girardi seemed pretty confident that Tanaka still has all his regular pitch movement and attributes for him. In a press conference he said that he doesn’t really know what the deal with Tanaka’s increased homerun rate is. I know it’s not like a manager to just completely attack a starter’s methods in a press conference, but is he right? Is Tanaka just pitching the same way and getting punished more for it?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: When I’ve looked, I haven’t been able to find anything. And I’m sure Girardi has asked the Yankees’ analysts about the same stuff, and he’s probably just passing along their message. If Tanaka is off, it’s for reasons that aren’t evident in the measurements

10:38
Pine Marten: Is the the NL playoff picture already set? I feel like the only situation in flux is if the Brewers can outlast the Cubs?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: It definitely feels predictable. Which, hey, it’s interesting how different it looks from what appeared like a predictable preseason landscape.

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: I think we’ll end up with the same three division winners as expected, but at least we should have some new WC blood

10:40
Nick: Now that you are a co-host on the Effectively Wild podcast, does that mean you won’t be doing podcasts with Cistuilli anymore? 🙁 It feels like it’s been awhile since I’ve heard you there.

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: That’s always up to Carson, not me. We haven’t talked about it

10:40
jon: If the Phillies really view Maikel Franco as part of their future, why don’t they send him down to AAA to help him regain some confidence?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: Because you could make the argument that he won’t learn anything in Triple-A

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: His problem is major-league pitching, not necessarily his confidence

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Odubel Herrera might’ve been suffering from a lack of confidence. Now he’s on a hot streak.

10:42
Bullins: As a baseball and Red Sox fan, I am sick to death of David Price whining and crying at the media. He brings this upon himself and I dont feel the least bit sorry for him. Any way this works out for Price? Obviously Boston isnt going to trade that salary and talent away.

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: I can tell I’m doing something right by the fact that I have no real good idea what you’re talking about

10:43
JKD: Since being moved to the bullpen (in AA), Erick Fedde has a 35.6% K-BB. How long before the Nats call him up?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: It’s still just nine games, and he’s thrown only 63% strikes. That being said, he just worked back-to-back days for the first time, so his moment is coming soon

10:44
Troutmageddon: Is Puig ever going to get back to where he was his rookie year?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: No

10:44
Frankie: When was the last time you cried?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: March

10:44
David: It’ll take some time getting used to the new page, but I think I like how it’s laid out. Once I get used to it, I think it’ll be easier to find things.

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Excellent!

10:45
Jeff: With the Nationals up 11.5 games in the NL East, how urgent is it to get outside bullpen help? Is a “Proven Closer” really what they need?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: They have four months to figure out a bullpen they think they can trust in a playoff series. I don’t think all the pieces they’re going to want are currently within the organization

10:46
Aaron: Should the Padres lock up Margot, Hedges, Renfroe to long-term deals? They all seem like risks, but if they don’t pan out the rebuild will not likely be a success anyway.

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Hedges would be a fun one. I think they can be patient with the others

10:47
Don F: Did you ever think Aaron Judge would have this type of production?

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: I didn’t think he’d be able to make quite this much contact, but the contact quality is not a surprise. It was immediately obvious upon his big-league promotion that he was a freak

10:48
Spicy Felix!: Great job at pitch talks on monday, Jeff! Real cool to meet you and chat after. I’ll be sure to remember to email you some sweet action pics of me in my arcteryx jacket. And Paxton IS best pitcher in the AL *mic drop*

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: That was probably the hottest take of my life and I didn’t even realize I was doing it while I was doing it

10:48
David: I’m loving the Effectively Wild podcast lately! The bat-boning episode was an all-time classic!

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: I cannot believe there is bat-boning. I love baseball

10:49
Hobbs: Do you see Corey Seager becoming more of an offensive force? Dodgers seem like they have a lot of really good offensive players, but not any great ones. Think him or Bellinger could be that?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Seager is a 23-year-old with a career 139 wRC+

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: He never pops up and now he’s walking a lot more often

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Corey Seager is amazing

10:50
Frankie: Who losing AB’s when Haniger returns? Heredia and Gamel have been decent, while Dyson is not good with the stick

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: They’re all going to shuffle, and Gamel has been taking the occasional reps at first base

10:51
Matt: Will the Cubs finish the year in the top ten in MLB in runs scored?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll say they just barely miss

10:51
Trader Dave: Its June 9th and the Red Sox have the worst production out of 3B in MLB. What’s the solution? Devers?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: Said it before but I can’t stop thinking about them picking up Cozart for the stretch run and having someone move over for a few months

10:51
Jeff: Brad Peacock through 31 innings in 2016: 7.96 K/9. Brad Peacock through 31 innings in 2017: 13.50 K/9. Which is closer to what you expect rest of season?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: It’s the damnedest thing, too, because I can’t figure out what if anything has changed

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: As more of a reliever, I can buy him around 10 – 11 K/9

10:52
Logan: When should Coppy make a serious run at someone like Chris Archer?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: When his team is better than it is

10:53
David: At what point from high school to MLB promotion do you start really paying attention to good prospects?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t care about most prospects until they get into Double-A. The only ones I pay any attention to below that are the guys receiving the elite-level hype

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: So, like, Single-A Moncada and Guerrero are/were on my radar, but that’s about it

10:56
Sonny: Based on nothing at all I assumed spin rates would be reasonably stable year to year (never assume), Gsellman’s SRs tanked this year, is there an explanation beyond injury?

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: Spin rates, in general, are very stable

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: They’re still not well-enough understood that we can easily arrive at conclusions, but Gsellman has moved enough that it captures one’s attention

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: I wonder if he’s had any under-the-radar blister issues

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: Otherwise I do struggle to come up with ideas

10:59
Twoseamers: mallex smith is coming!

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: Which seems like good news, but the absence of Kiermaier is bad news

10:59
keon broxton: am i doomed for failure?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: You are perplexing. I still have faith, but something has gone off the rails

10:59
Josh: Jeff, is Jarrod Dyson suddenly the 4th OF that he dreaded being on this Mariners team when Haniger returns? Does he have any trade value?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: He doesn’t have trade value, but I don’t think Heredia or Gamel are so good that Dyson will struggle to play pretty often

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know why Dyson ever plays against lefties

11:01
Sterling Mallory Chris Archer: In your humble opinion, what kind of 2nd half is Tanaka going to have?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: A normal-looking one

11:01
Polancovert activity: Are the Mariners merely snakebit or is there something going wrong with strength and conditioning that has led to so many injuries simultaneously

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: Individually, all the injuries make enough sense. I don’t think there’s nearly enough evidence to suggest there’s something wrong with the system

11:02
Roger: What should Cleveland look to do at the deadline?

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: My hunch right now is they shouldn’t have to do much at all

11:03
Tyler: If the Marlins are serious about blowing up the team, could they trade Stanton to the Dodgers? Seems like LA has the resources to take on that contract, as well as a need in the OF with the injury/performance issues associated with Puig, Pederson, etc.

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: I mean, I’m sure the Dodgers have had some internal dialogue about this. Not a lot of other clubs that could even consider adding Stanton and his terms. But it’s still really difficult for me to see them pulling the trigger. That contract is so big

11:04
Steve: Who is this version of Elvis Andrus? Sustainable?

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, he’s a decent hitter now

11:04
Guest: Jeff, I miss August

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: We all miss August

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: But he’s gone to a better place

11:05
Machado About Nothing: You think Villar needs to start worrying about playing time? Originally thought hard to see how that happened even if he didn’t get a lot better given Brewers roster but not so sure now.

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, he doesn’t have that much job security. He’s not a core piece or anything

11:06
Thomas: Are Duvall and Schebler good enough to be part of the next seriously competitive Reds teams?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: They’re good enough, but given that they’re also relatively advanced in age, despite their experience, I could see one or both getting moved

11:07
Rick: Both the Reds and Mariners have had solid performances from their position players, and devastating injuries to their starting rotations. With improved rotation health next year, could they both be playoff contenders?

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: Mariners are better. Reds, at best, would contend as a fringe WC

11:07
Sean: Rebuttal to above balls in play: players are also trying to hit more and more flyballs. Wouldn’t that make corner outfield defense more important?

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: Call me when they’re actually succeeding in hitting more fly balls

11:08
Frankur: Wouldn’t Hosmer to the Yanks make a lot of sense? Bird can get himself ready for 2018.

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: I think the Yankees are probably focused on trying to add good players

11:08
BaseballDesert: Zunino’s framing numbers are bad this year. A result of the AAA cavalcade?

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: In part, yeah, I’m sure. And in part having to focus so much on the offensive side

11:08
Cool Papa Bell: Any news on David Dahl’s progress?

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: Nothing good

11:09
joe: miguel sano or aaron judge who has a better career?

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: I think Judge by a little, just because of his superior defense

11:10
Tj: Dave Winfield had a really good arm and speed but graded out as a consistently terrible outfielder. What was the deal there?

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: Well, I don’t actually know, but maybe his instincts just sucked

11:10
III: Travis Sawchik was name dropped yesterday by Michael Kay during the Yankees broadcast regarding umpires not getting low calls correct against Judge… Right after he single up the middle with an almost 120 mph exit velocity. Which happens first: umpires adjust to call Judge’s strikezone better, or Judge adjusts to start swinging at balls to protect himself from strikeouts?

11:11
Jeff Sullivan: Umpires will always call slightly weird zones for tall players and short players. This is nothing new, and especially for the players in particular, this is something they’ve had to deal with for as long as they’ve been playing. So the players have naturally just adjusted to the zones that they get

11:11
Danny : What happened to mets pitching staff aside from injuries

11:11
Jeff Sullivan: What happened to Krakatoa aside from eruption

11:12
Seymour: Is there a connection between high exit velocity and high BABIP?

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: Should be, yeah. Although it would be more like high exit velocity and high wOBA on contact

11:12
: Jon Lester doesn’t actually throw that many strikes. He has one of the lowest zone% among active starters, so a change in catchers could affect him more than most

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah. He lives on the edges, and Ross helped him do that

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: All right, I need to get rolling

11:13
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 — 6/9/17 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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jkaflagg
Member
Member
jkaflagg

Good call on the strike zones for taller and shorter players…..I remember when Altuve came up it seemed several umpires were determined to expand his zone to ensure he didn’t get any advantage for being 5’7″…..fortunately he became a good enough hitter to make it a moot point. Judge is obviously making the adjustments as well.