Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 7/1/16

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s Friday baseball chat

9:09
james: Jeff,

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: Good start

9:09
Houzer : If the Tigers become sellers- do you think there is a match with the Mariners for VMArt?

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: I have difficulty accepting the premise. The Tigers are better than the Mariners are! And, of course, it’s hard to picture the Tigers selling again.

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: So it’s troubling for me to even try to entertain the hypothetical

9:11
Roman: What do you think Votto’s slash line looks like come season’s end?

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: Something like .265/.390/.475

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: Great in June, all right in May, awful in April. In April, he didn’t have his swing going, but it’s all better now

9:12
Houzer : Do you think Nola is just suffering from a small mechanical issue, rather than fatigue? And how many more innings do you think the Phillis let him throw? I’m assuming they’ll want to build him to 200 next year?

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: Nola started 31 games a season ago. He’s not far from being built up to the 200 level. I have to assume this is just a little rough patch, and nothing more sinister. Maybe a hint of fatigue but not of the season-threatening variety

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: It is worth noting that, through June 5, Nola had opponents swinging at 35% of balls out of the zone. Since June 11, that’s dropped to 25%. The curve has been less effective, and then that exposes the fastball, which isn’t great. There was always some concern over Nola’s “true” level of deception

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: But he’s a lot better than this. For me, today, he’s a legitimate No. 2 starter

9:15
Dae-Ho Lee: Felix has started throwing on the side, and appears on his way back. What needs to happen with the King from here out to get him in Cooperstown? Would you bet on that happening?

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: Obviously, he’s most of the way there, but he could use a graceful and gradual decline. Maybe a signature start in the playoffs or something, as well. He’s 30 — if he’s around and functioning when he’s 35, then by that point he’ll probably have had a Hall-of-Fame career

9:17
j6takish: Jeff, I am on team “Make baseball fun again”. The giants won and he got a double so it matters less, but letting Madbum hit last night was pretty stupid. The giants best player is a catcher and NL teams don’t get many chances to rest guys without taking them out of the lineup and bochy punted the opportunity to get a guy with a 71 wRC+ into the game

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: The Giants’ bench is pretty awful right now. And teams are generally reluctant to have both their available catchers in a game at once. While I figure there was probably a better hitter than Bumgarner available, the difference would’ve been very slight — essentially negligible — and this way they got to make a little noise

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think it was stupid. Maybe slightly suboptimal, but not enough to matter

9:20
JD: With the MArlins offense clicking, how do you see playing time working out upon the return of Dee Gordon?

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: Unfortunately for Dietrich, this is an unwinnable situation. Gordon will very obviously slide back in when he can. And then Dietrich will make spot starts, and pinch-hits, and he might take some games against righties from Prado

9:21
The Decadent Moose: We’re about to start NHL free agency and the Red Sox got whacked for international signings. Is this the best morning ever?

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: The best morning ever probably didn’t begin with a cell-phone alarm going off

9:22
Dae-Ho Lee: Seattle Mariners run the table between now and the All-Star game, and the Rangers slip. What is the one move they make before the deadline to push all in?

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: So to be clear, you have the Mariners winning their next 10 games in a row?

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know what the all-in move would be. They could use help in the bullpen and in left field. They don’t have a lot to trade. The market is lousy.

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: I wonder if they have what it could take to talk to the Braves about Vizcaino and Inciarte

9:25
Erik: Isn’t the Yankees being sellers talk all a bit overblown? They’re only three out of the second wild card and have the budget to buy to make up the difference.

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: Yes!

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not usual to see the Yankees in this situation, and they clearly have the sorts of pieces they could move for a haul. But the Yankees don’t shed. The bullpen is their strength. I figure they’re going to ride it. Maybe even add to it

9:28
Dae-Ho Lee: Is there legitimate reason to believe Cal Ripken was as other-worldly on defense as his Fangraphs numbers show? His numbers are better than Omar Viquel’s, and going off memory of watching them both that seems bonkers to me.

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: If you think defensive metrics are unreliable now, they’re even less reliable before the UZR era. Then you get into the days of Total Zone, and according to Total Zone Ripken had more than a few years of being 15-20 runs better than the average shortstop

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: The same would be said of Ozzie Smith

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: I can’t matter-of-factly declare that the numbers are wrong. Maybe the rest of us are wrong! And I bet Ripken, as a shortstop, was underrated. Kind of like Jhonny Peralta. But I believe we’re seeing some inflation

9:31
Mike_C: Given how he started the year, the Braves front office has to be somewhat please for getting any kind of a return for Bud Norris, right?

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: For sure. And I wonder if we should be giving credit to Roger McDowell. I don’t know who taught Bud Norris that cutter, but it’s made a meaningful difference for him

9:33
CJC: Any explanation for Peter Bourjos’s recent hot streak. Does this give him any trade value?

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: Bourjos has a history of showing little flashes and he has had a couple years of being an average overall bat. The timing here is good — the Phillies could try to sell him as an ideal fourth outfielder. When teams think of Bourjos, they still think of his incredible defense, even as he’s gotten older

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: Nothing great coming back in return for this, but Bourjos is moveable

9:36
K-Man: Hey Jeff, what do you think about Max Kepler so far?

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: Promising!

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: In June, 196 hitters had at least 50 batted balls tracked by Statcast

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: Kepler was 15th in average exit velocity, at 93.3mph. Tied with David Ortiz. Hair in front of Corey Seager

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: Problem: so far, Kepler has hit grounders a little harder than non-grounders. Those are mostly wasted. But the strength is legitimate

9:39
Mike: Happy Canada day! Is there a stat or chart that best shows a pitchers control of each individual pitch they throw?

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: There’s not really any one good presentation. My proxy: look at a pitcher’s overall control, and then look at how often he throws his various pitches. Any pitch with a low frequency tends to be un-trusted

9:40
Dae-Ho Lee: Any chance David Ortiz pulls a flip-a-roo and signs up for another season? What a year to go out on.

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: I’d put the chances at like 2%

9:41
John: What do you think Ian Desmond gets in Free Agency? He has to be top 5 players available now right?

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: Because he’s in his 30s, I think you’ll see a limited term, but it’s been such a wonderful year for him I could see him getting something like the Alex Gordon contract

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: Gordon hit free agency as the more reliable player, but he was also older, and he took a discount

9:43
JTT: How did the legend of “Ichiro could hit home runs he just doesn’t feel like it” get started. Can’t basically every MLB caliber player rip homers during BP?

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not sure how it actually started but I do assume it had to do with his consistent shows in BP. And, yeah, most hitters can go deep regularly in BP, but Ichiro made a habit of it. He’d hit almost every pitch out sometimes, and he said in some interviews that he could be a power hitter if he were willing to suffer through a reduced average

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: If you watch some old Ichiro clips, there’s definitely a power swing, along with the slap swing. But I do figure the power-swing capability wound up exaggerated, mostly because we never saw it consistently deployed

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: Because nothing was ever proven wrong, we’re allowed to live with our fantasies

9:45
Erik: Jeremy Hellickson is having a career year, at least according to xFIP (3.84) and is on pace for about 2 WAR. In a thin starter market, what might he be worth?

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: Probably around whatever Bud Norris just got

9:46
K-Man: What is going on with the FanGraphs App? It is utterly useless 🙁 I bought it in the hope that I could access all your stats pages and the articles quickly, but it only shows career #s and the tables are not extensive or sortable. Is there an update or a new App coming anytime soon?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think anyone has worked on the app in a couple of years

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: As far as I know there are zero plans to change that

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: Sorry!

9:47
JD: Why do teams that are out of it wait so long to sell? Ex. A’s. Since they knew they were not going to contend players they will be trading (Rich Hill, Doolittlte) have been hurt. How much bigger payoff can they get by waiting?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: There’s not much of an incentive to sell early since prices remain elevated through the deadline. And nobody *wants* to sell and it sends a bad message to the fans and the players. The Indians have won, what, 13 games in a row? Everyone thinks they can go on a hot streak. Everyone *can* go on a hot streak. And then one hot streak changes the whole complexion of the standings

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Going with your example, the A’s can wait this out a bit longer. They’re 35-44. They have 20 games between now and July 24. If they win…14 of those, they’re just about .500, and being just about .500 opens up the wild-card possibility. And the A’s can probably only get healthier

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: Think of it kind of like pitchers and Tommy John surgery. From the outside, we hear about a damaged UCL and we think “just have the surgery already.” You know what sucks? Going through surgery! Pitchers want to do anything else.

9:50
Dae-Ho Lee: Any plans on hiking The Greater Yellowstone or Glacier soon?

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: Next summer. This summer is dedicated to OR/WA/ID

9:51
JD: Who is the best player dealt at the deadline?

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: Thinking Sonny Gray or Rich Hill?

9:51
gcarter: Could the strategy of having pitchers play the field be used more often? It seems like it could be used more often in the last few innings with relief pitchers.

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, I’ve long been amazed we haven’t seen that sort of thing done more

9:52
mtsw: Fangraphs now has the Orioles as favorites for the AL East. Do you agree with this projection? Even with the banked games, hard to see how they stay on top with that pitching staff.

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: Even though I’m literally looking right at the numbers my gut tells me the Blue Jays take this, in the end

9:54
gee: More likey to produce this season: Bregman, Margot, Benintendi?

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: A few weeks ago I would’ve said Bregman, but now that Valbuena is hitting, and with the Astros working out Gurriel, I’m going to say Benintendi instead

9:55
JD: Will cubs upgrade anything other than bullpen? Seems like they have so much depth even after all the injuries.

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: The Cubs don’t really need any upgrades. Of course they’ll search, and they could improve the relief, but they’re the least desperate of anyone

9:57
NatsFan: Got any thoughts on Gio Gonzalez? He’s becoming more of a TTO pitcher, with a K/9 rate over 9, a BB/9 rate over 3, and an HR/FB rate that more than doubled from last year. Anything going on here that won’t be fixed by regression?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: The home-run problems were really just in May, and then there was one game where he allowed three of them. Hasn’t allowed multiple homers in any other start. He seems mostly normal to me, and with each passing start he’s re-gaining some velocity. It’s worth noting that, on average, he’s still down almost 2 ticks from last season, and that’s meaningful — you’d assume, based on that, he’s a worse pitcher. But I still like him fine

9:59
Dock Ellis: I had a dream that Joe Morgan (yes that Joe Morgan) was in a park and he picked up a ball, threw it in the air and hit it with a bat. The ball proceeded to hit me in my groin. What the hell does that mean?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: You’re in love with your mother

10:00
Joe: Right or wrong (wrong) do you think Kershaw will get penalized in MVP voting for this DL stint? The thought being SPs are already penalized for playing fewer games and now he will have at least 3 fewer starts.

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, it’s going to heavily damage his case if he misses a number of starts. Now, if he misses just three or four turns, and he comes back and looks like Kershaw again, and the Dodgers keep doing what they’ve been up to, Kershaw probably still wins

10:02
Frank: Which rookie pitcher impresses you the most…Fulmer, Taillon, Giolito

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: Probably Taillon. I like his superior ability to throw strikes

10:02
Michael Brantley: Will I ever return to an all-star form like my coach thinks I will?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: I’m optimistic. I mean, I’m always optimistic, but Brantley is absurdly good, and 29 years old. Doubt he has another 6-WAR peak season, but I love the skillset

10:03
Dae-Ho Lee: Plans for the long weekend?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: Owyhee area in the most remote part of Oregon imaginable!

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Which is another way of saying “driving a lot”

10:04
Maxamuz: Thoughts on Sonny Gray in the 2nd half? He’s disappointed thus far for the most part.

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: Seems to me like he’s back to normal since returning from the DL

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: His fastball is a mile and a half better, and he’s throwing first-pitch strikes. Welcome back, Sonny Gray

10:08
J: The Yankees have a 102 ERA-, 90 FIP-, and 84 xFIP-. Which do you think best fits their actual performance. Also why is xFIP- park adjusted? Isn’t it 3 things that are independent of park factors?

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: I think the 90 FIP- is the best reflection of the ability level

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: A year ago, a very similar Yankees team had a 99 ERA- and a 95 FIP-

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: As for the xFIP, Yankee Stadium definitely has a home-run park factor. You see the balls that Gregorius has hit out lately? It’s silliness. So you can’t expect Yankees pitchers to allow homers with the same frequency as, say, Giants pitchers

10:11
Dave Mc: What can the Orioles do at the trade deadline? They are poor in prospects and probably maxed their budget this winter. What low-cost target would help?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: I could easily see them adding someone boring, like Andrew Cashner or Jeremy Hellickson

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: The kinds of arms that could help the Orioles are arms that might not really be able to help other teams. Funny how that works!

10:12
JD: What is your favorite article you’ve written for fangraphs?

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know, I don’t keep track of that, but I do remember being excited to write about Jarrod Dyson stealing that base in the playoffs a couple years ago

10:14
coach: Jeff, if a reliever comes in the game and picks off an inherited runner at first does that out (.1 IP) go to the reliever or the departed pitcher? Seems like it should go to the pitcher that was replaced much like if the inherited runner had scored…

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: Check out Ryan Webb. 0.1 innings pitched, 0 pitches thrown

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: It goes to the reliever. The reliever did the work!

10:15
Jaack: Thoughts on Bumgarner batting for himself in an AL game?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: Kind of silly, a whole lot of fun

10:16
james: Jeff, do you think if MLB goes the DH route for the NL too they would consider changing the substitution rules, so that batting a guy like Bumgarner (which the Giants did last night in an AL park) wouldn’t result in the team losing the ability to use the DH for the entire game?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: I doubt it. I think MLB would want perfect consistency between leagues, in that case, and there are maybe like one or two pitchers in the game you would consider batting over a DH. Teams could always just choose to do what the Giants did — you can pinch-hit for pitchers with your bench later on, after all.

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: And if the DH ends up in the NL, pitchers will abandon any batting practice anyway, and then in a short while they’ll all be terrible

10:19
Tony: Any tips for buying a new car?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: Wait until the car is a year old and buy it then

10:19
Meowmix: Whats a fair return for Andrew Miller?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: Two legitimately good prospects, assuming you aren’t getting someone from a major-league roster

10:20
Matt: If the Cubs opt not to pay the price for Miller/Chapman, who should be the next target with Doolittle on the DL?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: Go get Will Smith if he looks healthy, or Xavier Cedeno

10:23
Mike: Is it time for mlb.com to update that Chapman filter and make it the Chapman/Mauricio Cabrera filter? Also, thoughts on Cabrera? Is he another Juan Jaime?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: Cabrera’s velocity is obviously exciting, and it gives him a hell of a margin of error. But that’s kind of all he has. I don’t love the movement of the pitch, and historically he hasn’t been a huge strikeout guy, nor has he limited his walks. He seems more like a Joel Zumaya than an Aroldis Chapman. Hard to square up, but surprisingly reasonable to make contact against

10:25
mtsw: Should the Rays look at dealing Chris Archer? Could possibly get a king’s ransom from Boston or LA given how hard up both teams are for SP right now.

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Very reasonable long-term contract and he still doesn’t look like himself. I don’t think now is the time to trade him. Someone like Odorizzi is more likely

10:25
Robby: Do you think the Red Sox trade any of the following players at the deadline – Benintendi, Moncada, Devers, Espinoza, Kopech?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: I think the first two, at least, are practically untouchable

10:26
ryN: At this point who would you say won last year’s Rox/Jays trade?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Rockies

10:26
Norrin Radd: Do the Indians spoil Canada Day and get 14 in a row?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: Josh Tomlin against the Blue Jays makes me feel like the Blue Jays are going to score nine runs, so I’ll say the streak stops today!

10:27
benj: Did something else change about Fernando Rodney to explain the improvement? Could really have just been tipping pitches?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Last year in Seattle was the one time since 2012 Rodney hasn’t gotten strikeouts. I could see the pitch-tipping being legitimate. He’ll still never feel reliable, but he’s a good reliever

10:28
Drew: Prospect with the chance to make the biggest difference for a contender down the stretch?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Feels like Benintendi

10:29
Art Vandelay: Is Plouffe worth anything at all at this point? Twins need to get Sano out of RF, just let the kid play third already.

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: The Twins couldn’t move Plouffe in the offseason *before* his numbers collapsed. He’s a giveaway

10:30
Cat-Dog: Bob Nightengale reported the Rangers have 16 (!!) viable prospects that could trade into turn pieces, do you buy that?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t really know what that means. I assume almost every organization has at least a couple dozen players other organizations would like to have

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: The Angels don’t. The Mariners probably don’t. But look at the stuff that just turned into Bud Norris or whatever. Lots of organizations have handfuls of those guys

10:32
sam: What are your thoughts about Jameson Taillon?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Almost exclusively positive. More strikeouts will come, although if he continues to utilize this new sinker he’ll be trading for grounders instead

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: This year overall he’s thrown about two-thirds of his pitches for strikes. Back in 2013, he threw 62% of his pitches for strikes. Very good improvement that bodes well long-term

10:35
Gary: Talk to me about Pineda. I love the Man, but the inconsistency is frustrating.

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: Pineda just finished off a month with a 2.75 ERA and a .245 opposing OBP. He’s way too good to be bad — he controls his pitches and he’s hard to square up. He’s still too prone to make location mistakes in pitcher-friendly counts, and that’s a point against him, but he’s good.

10:35
Skipper: Who is closing games these days in MIA?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: Ramos

10:36
Joe: What are your thought on the Red Sox penalties?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t have a complete understanding. I’m surprised the Red Sox have been penalized since it seems like lots of teams have been doing things like this for years. So I don’t know why they in particular were targeted, but someone like Ben Badler might be able to get to the bottom of that soon

10:37
Justin: True or false: if Bud Norris were named something more exciting than “Bud Norris,” he would have higher perceived value and would have returned more in trade.

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Even if his name were Alexander von Smashbat, he still has a career ERA- of 112

10:37
Chris: Is Andrew McCutchen a star next year if healthy?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Yes

10:38
Dae-Ho Lee: Can you think of a more obvious bad signing that worked out as well as Nelson Cruz with the M’s?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe Curtis Granderson, based on last year, but yeah, Cruz has been outstanding

10:39
Reed: What is a realistic return for Atlanta if they trade Vizcaino? Thanks

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: He’s starting to struggle to throw strikes at the wrong time, which is problematic. You wonder if he’s becoming aware of all the rumors. Not that he’s ever exactly owned the zone, but anyway. Slightly unproven but very hard to hit. Throws fast, has team control. You’re looking at one good upper-level prospect, one interesting mid-level prospect, and a third projectable guy

10:41
TheDudeofNY: What’s your #hottake on the Rodney trade?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: I’m happy to see the Marlins buying, but I’d rather they buy smarter

10:42
Josh: Do you think Washinton actually entertains the idea of replacing Gio with Giolito in the rotation, or does Giolito go back down once Strasburg is ready?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think they’d be prepared to do that yet

10:43
Brad: Do you think there are any unexpected/underrated pitchers that may be available in the coming weeks?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Archer would be the big surprise. Moore would be slightly less surprising. Otherwise, ehhh

10:45
Chris: When do you think the Braves should call up Albies?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: He’s 19 and he just got sent back from Triple-A to Double-A. Look for him in September

10:46
Erik: Wil Myers is suddenly putting up star numbers for the Padres and is only 25. Is he maybe actually really good? And is he more valuable as the central building block or a trade piece?

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: He’s hitting the ball out everywhere, he doesn’t hack, and he’s improved his ability to make contact. I think the Padres need to keep him

10:48
mtsw: Is Dylan Bundy in the Orioles rotation by the end of the year? Obviously not ideal for him from a development perspective, but given their dearth of other options, maybe they should just throw him into the deep end of the pool?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: I wouldn’t be surprised to see him spot start, but I would be surprised to see him start regularly

10:48
FirstOldTimer: Jeff, no question but I just wanted to say you’ve been writing some incredibly good articles recently and I really appreciate your work. Between your “Clutch” articles on the Mets and Rangers, highlighting another amazing thing about Trout, and especially that awesome article about Franco you’ve had the best articles on the website in the past week. Keep it up!

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: You are very kind and I’m not above publicizing this compliment

10:49
Jack Glasscock’s Cup: Have you ever thought about the day-after effect from knuckleballers? I remember a decade or so ago announcers mentioning that hitters would go into the tunnel between at-bats to hit speed in the cage to avoid a Wakefield hangover. Any truth to that?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t remember much about the day-after effect but I have at least become a believer in the pitcher-after effect

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: I think, when you start a knuckleballer, you make your next relievers more effective

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: And I *suspect* the same is true when using any sort of really unusual pitcher. Like, maybe it would be really hard to adjust from a Chris Sale to an over-the-top power righty

10:51
K-Man: what is the most frustrating ballpark feature in baseball?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: The tomahawk chop

10:51
Alex: Do you see any team getting desperate enough to talk Coppy into trading Teheran?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: They’ll try. With the market being what it is, Teheran is one of the more obvious pieces to move. So much talk lately about the Braves keeping him, but I can’t imagine that isn’t just posturing

10:52
Mike: Did the Braves wait too long on Vizcaino? His recent struggles have to be affecting his value, right?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: Ultimately he still throws hard and he’s super difficult to hit. Teams might give him a pass for struggling when rumors are flying around every day

10:52
marc: Does the Kershaw injury make the Dodgers re-think Urias to the pen soon?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think so. I think preserving Urias and sticking to that plan is a priority for them

10:53
Josh: What’s going on w/ Jose Abreu?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: Earlier in the year, he was going similar to Puig — couldn’t do anything with inside fastballs, and then that left him vulnerable to breaking stuff away. But Abreu just posted a 128 wRC+ in June. So he’s out of his slump

10:53
Mike: Surprised how hard the MLB came down on the Red Sox?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: Definitely

10:53
keith: What do you expect out of Stanton ROS?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Lots of dingers. He’s fine

10:54
Josh: Do you agree with Dave that Boston might now be the favorite to land Lucroy? Does a package around Devers make sense?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: I could see it being the Dodgers.

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Going to command a big haul

10:54
TheDudeofNY: Your Rangers article’s headline today was a LIE! They could have had a Clutch/162 of 13.3, and thus be even MORE clutch!

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: I think that was my favorite discovery from the research. In some of the Rangers’ very most clutch situations, they’ve hit into line-outs.

10:55
Matt: A lot has been written on luck lately. From a stats standpoint, what is it? (I’m being serious.) Is it just sequencing? Is there something more traditional that it translates to, like “intangibles” and “chemistry” or some other concept? Or is it just an accumulation of “all the things we can’t currently identify in our analytical models”?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve never been a big fan of the word “luck”. I think “luck” is dismissive and it comes with bad connotations. I prefer to think of things as being sustainable or unsustainable. Take the Rangers hitting, for instance. I could say their clutchness so far has been lucky, but you see how that sucks? They’ve been putting together all those at-bats, after all. Why pretend like it’s just statistical noise?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: I can say, at the same time, that the Rangers deserve credit for what they’ve done, but it’s basically impossible for them to keep it up. It’s not a “true talent” of theirs, no matter how much someone might try to find an explanation. Over large-enough samples, numbers tend to even out across different situations. That’s an observable truth. In smaller samples, you see discrepancies. They’re all usually fluke-y, but they also all matter. Ian Desmond isn’t lucky if he hits a critical eighth-inning homer

10:58
TheDudeofNY: What are you doing for the 4th of July?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: Getting sunburned in the Oregon desert

10:58
Jack Glasscock’s Cup: Would Jay Bruce make the Indians better for the rest of this season?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: Slightly

11:01
Drew: Edwin Diaz’s ceiling looks most like:

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe something like recent Arodys Vizcaino, actually

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: But if Diaz keeps on throwing strikes like this, he’d be a little beter

11:02
Brian: Do you think my Dodgers call the Braves back about Teheran? We have enough good prospects to land him without giving up Urias (of course) and DeLeon. We could dangle Holmes, Bellinger, Montas, and Barnes, what do you think? Thanks Jeff!

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: I think the Dodgers are more likely to wait on their own injured players. Which makes me think Teheran would be most actively pursued by somebody else

11:03
Mick D: Has A-Gon suffered from a bad back or some injury? Is this year an age related decline? Has he started watching old tape of James Loney’s swingpath?

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: His back was a big problem. He says it’s not hurting him anymore, but maybe that’s not true, or maybe it just had an effect on his swing he hasn’t buffed out.

11:03
Jack Glasscock’s Cup: When you look at overall pitching staff value, what breakdown do you use for RA9 vs. FIP metrics? Is there a difference in the breakdown for starters and relievers?

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: I start with FIP metrics and go from there. I also look at RA9 stuff but I try to mentally fold in defensive adjustments

11:05
LV: Who has more trade value Teheran or Harvey?

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: Right now I’d say they’re probably even.

11:05
A’s Firesale: Who is still on the A’s after the deadline out of Reddick, Valencia, Lowrie, Axford, Madson, Hill, Gray?

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll say Gray and Reddick

11:05
Austin: Any way mets could swing a trade for arenado I’d Rockies fall out of it?

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: Nope

11:06
Houzer : Do you think its irresponsible for the Giants to let MadBum hit when its not necessary? So many SP’s get hurt swinging and running the bases .. just not something they practice all the time

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: Bumgarner practices. To my recollection he hasn’t been hurt doing that before. And for the most part he either goes deep or strikes out, anyway. The injury risk is really small

11:07
Zorak: I still think Maddon’s successful Waxahachee Swap was cooler than Bochy having Bumgarner DH for himself

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: Agree

11:07
Paul: If your Coppy, what are your next few moves?

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: I’m moving Teheran and Vizcaino. Hanging on to Teheran won’t make believers out of the fan base. He’s not the difference between a good team in 2017 and a bad one

11:08
Stinky Pete: Based on the performance of recent imports from both countries, do you think Korea has supplanted Cuba as the most fruitful international market for MLB-ready talent?

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think so, but I do think they’re closer than they’ve been given credit for.

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: All right, I need to get rolling. Packing considerations to finish

11:09
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. Especially over the weekend!

We hoped you liked reading Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 7/1/16 by Jeff Sullivan!

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

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

Support FanGraphs




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

Comments are closed.