Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 8/17/18

9:06

Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:06

Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to Friday baseball chat

9:07

Jack: Concern level for Kevin Kiermaier? Just hasn’t been able to get going offensively this year, and doesn’t really seem like the same otherworldly defender anymore, either

9:08

Jeff Sullivan: Wouldn’t be a surprise if the defense were beginning to slow down — that’s the way it goes — but I think Kiermaier basically just needs an offseason reset. Seems like he’s never found his swing and timing since coming back from the torn ligament, and it doesn’t make sense to me that he would’ve just fallen apart for no other reason

9:09

Jeff Sullivan: I think he’ll get back to being a pretty good player next season, but the Rays would be wise not to count on him to play 140 games

9:10

Ross: Offseason trade idea: Marlins trade J.T. Realmuto to the Yankees for Gary Sanchez. Who says no?

9:10

Jeff Sullivan: I think the Marlins say no. It’s not that it’s a terribly lopsided trade, since Sanchez would come with more years of team control, but if the Marlins were going to trade Realmuto I think they’d be looking for a package of younger players

9:11

Jeff Sullivan: It’d be ballsy, though. Sanchez, obviously, could become a franchise player

9:12

Oakland Coliseum: I can haz championship???

9:12

Jeff Sullivan: Probably not

9:12

Jeff Sullivan: But it would be a gas

9:12

Jake Junis Priest: Mike Zunino or Mike Zuniyes?

9:13

Jeff Sullivan: Mike Zuninehhh

9:13

Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: With how little money they have on the books for next year, the Rays can be active in free agency if they want. Think they do anything more exciting than another Sergio Romo reunion? They could afford Ramos, Grandal might be a stretch.

9:14

Jeff Sullivan: I think the Rays know it doesn’t really make sense for them to be paying many free-agent prices. But they’ll be active looking for a handful of bargains, and/or, failing that, they could opt to take on someone’s overpaid player in addition to a prospect or two

9:14

Jeff Sullivan: Could be used as an opportunity to effectively boost the upper farm

9:16

Brandon Belt: Will I ever hit 20 homers in a season or am I forever cursed to hit 17-18?

9:16

Jeff Sullivan: I’m always amazed whenever I look at Brandon Belt’s splits

9:17

Jeff Sullivan: He feels like a guy who’s been crippled by his home ballpark, and indeed, home Belt has 42 homers, while road Belt has 70 homers

9:17

Jeff Sullivan: But then, home Belt has a .362 wOBA, while road Belt has a .348 wOBA

9:18

Jeff Sullivan: Road Belt isn’t better; he’s just different

9:18

Jeff Sullivan: That didn’t answer your question

9:18

Jeff Sullivan: The answer to your question is yes

9:18

Tim: Mallex Smith: pretty good?

9:18

Jeff Sullivan: Not actually sold on the hitting yet, but I’m getting there

9:19

Jeff Sullivan: I’ve had the loose idea to eventually write about him, just as an exercise in appreciating a different kind of hitter successful today

9:19

Jeff Sullivan: It’s fun to focus on something other than a guy who’s learned how to tap into his power like everyone else

9:21

Nate: What are your thoughts on a hypothetical re-alignment system that bases divisions on the previous season’s final standings? So the top four teams all in one division, worst 4 in one division, etc.. 6 playoff spots, with the top two seeded divisions receiving byes. Bottom two divisions would play the next two best non-division winners in KBO knockout style where the division winner is the top seed

9:22

Jeff Sullivan: I’m going to be honest with you

9:22

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t like it

9:22

Jeff Sullivan: This feels like something that’s different without being better

9:23

Jeff Sullivan: Nevermind the travel nightmare of it all; I also don’t think I like how it rewards teams for being really bad, while penalizing teams for being really good

9:24

Jeff Sullivan: The teams in the good division would play a much tougher schedule than the teams in the bad division

9:24

John: Ready to declare the Nats toast yet?

9:25

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t really traffic in absolutes, but, yeah, they’ve obviously put themselves in a terrible spot

9:25

Jeff Sullivan: I will point out they have a better run differential than the Phillies, Brewers, and Cardinals. Too bad for them!

9:26

Jeff Sullivan: Been the fifth-best team in the NL according to BaseRuns, but BaseRuns doesn’t put you in the playoffs

9:27

Nate: Who are some potential bargain FA signings to keep an eye on this offseason?

9:27
9:27

Jeff Sullivan: Hey look, Steve Pearce! Someone should sign Steve Pearce

9:28

Jeff Sullivan: Eduardo Escobar feels like someone who won’t get as much as he deserves

9:28

Jeff Sullivan: And, uhhhh

9:29

Jeff Sullivan: Someone will probably find a good non-SP role for Jordan Lyles

9:30

Jeff Sullivan: And then god knows what’ll happen with the reliever market

9:30

Jeff Sullivan: We’ll have a better idea when the offseason is actually underway, but right now I don’t see much in the way of hidden gems. As such, keep an eye on players who might be coming over from Japan or Korea

9:30

Mike Rizzo: Can I sell all the pending free agents yet? We tried, but …

9:30

Jeff Sullivan: Doesn’t seem like it’s your call to make

9:31

Mattyb: How hard does Washington try to retain Harper in the off-season? Will they feel pretty set with Soto/Robles/Eaton/Taylor as their outfield group moving forward?

9:31

Jeff Sullivan: They’ll stay in it until the end, if only because of the Boras/owner relationship, but I imagine the Nationals know now that Harper is going somewhere else

9:32

Jeff Sullivan: The emergence of Soto has made that reality a lot easier to digest

9:35

Parts + Gleyber: What’s happened to Gleyber Torres? Is he still injured? Did he get figured out? Any idea how long the hump will last?

9:36

Jeff Sullivan: I was looking at this briefly yesterday and I couldn’t identify any particular red flags

9:37

Jeff Sullivan: He’s not getting pitched that differently, relative to before. The quality of his contact has gone down. That suggests this could be a timing thing, given the DL stint. Alternatively or additionally, it’s not uncommon for a young player to slump around this point in Torres’ career, where he’s made his first impression and opponents are beginning to adjust

9:38

Jeff Sullivan: Remember, Rhys Hoskins had a wRC+ of 50 in May

9:39

Jeff Sullivan: Torres is a good offensive player, but he’s not an elite offensive player. He’ll work out of this, because he’s good enough to do that, but it could be another few weeks

9:40

Dave: Who is your favorite to come out of the NL at this point?

9:40

Jeff Sullivan: Honestly, still the Dodgers. They don’t have the easiest road to make the playoffs, but I think they have the strongest team, assuming Jansen can make his return

9:41

David: Most difficult to predict: the AL MVP winner, the NL ROY winner, or the NL West division winner?

9:42

Jeff Sullivan: Let’s see. There are like six decent AL MVP candidates, three or four decent NL ROY candidates, and three decent NL West candidates

9:42

Jeff Sullivan: Therefore, most difficult to predict the AL MVP

9:43

Sir Mookleton McBetts III: Rhys Hoskins is really good at hitting and really bad at playing the outfield. Carlos Santana is really bad at playing first base and extremely average at hitting. What can the Philies do, or is it just shrug emoji?

9:43

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think Santana is all that bad in the field

9:44

Jeff Sullivan: Hoskins is

9:45

Jeff Sullivan: But obviously, Hoskins is survivable-bad. Moving forward, maybe this starts to look like Hoskins moving to 1B in the later innings, with a defensive replacement entering in left

9:45

Jeff Sullivan: The Phillies pounced on Santana because they just didn’t think they could pass up the FA value, even despite Hoskins’ presence. The Phillies didn’t understand at that point that Santana wasn’t a real value at all, given what happened to the rest of the FA market

9:46

Jeff Sullivan: They might opt to ship Santana away, maybe packaged with a prospect. I do not think that would be a necessity, but it’s one available path

9:47

squeeze bunt: If the Padres addes de Grom and Thor would they make the playoffs?

9:47

Jeff Sullivan: No

9:48

Jeff Sullivan: As is, the Padres project as something like a 71-win team. Add two great starters and they’d end up somewhere around .500

9:48

Jeff Sullivan: Now, of course, the Padres should be on an upward trajectory, and they should get into contention soon, but right now they remain too bad

9:49

Jeff Sullivan: (I should say, they project as something like a 71-win team over a full season, if we were to start right now from scratch)

9:49

Failson: Phillies v Braves down the stretch… who’s winning the division?

9:49

Jeff Sullivan: Braves

9:50

Jake: Literally everyone on the Rays’ roster not named Kevin Kiermaier is not under contract for next season. Everyone else is either eligible for free agency, eligible for arbitration, or pre-arb. Their payroll for next season right now is like $10 million — $8.167 M for Kiermaier and $2 M they’re retaining on Longoria. Though they sold at the deadline, the players they got back suggest they think they have a shot to contend as soon as next year, not to mention the Pham deal. They’ve gotta spend some money this offseason, right? Jokes about them saving up for a run at Harper or Machado aside, with *that* little money on the books for next season right now, and them seeming to think they have a window opening up, maybe they could be in on the kind of free agent we wouldn’t usually expect them to be in on. At the very least, they should explore long-term contracts with their young studs like Snell, Bauers, Adames and Robertson

9:51

Jeff Sullivan: Something that’s important to remember for a team like the Rays: free-agent prices don’t mean the same thing to everyone. Even if, say, Manny Machado is a $30m/year player, $30m to the Red Sox means less than $30m to the Rays. With the Rays, that’s like 30-40% of their would-be payroll

9:52

Jeff Sullivan: This is why the Rays are unlikely to ever get involved for a big-time free agent. They’ll be active in the FA market, but more looking for one- or two-year players. Those contracts, they can deal with and work around

9:53

Jeff Sullivan: I would expect them to try to sign a lot of their core. Those young-player contract extensions are what allow the Rays to keep pieces around for longer than they would otherwise

9:54

Mattyb: Is Wade LeBlanc’s performance a fluke and will he fall back down to earth next year or is his resurgence for real?

9:54

Jeff Sullivan: I think he’s for real as a roughly league-average starter who never gets to 100 pitches

9:55

Jeff Sullivan: He’s not a workhorse, but he’s okay pretty much across the board

9:55

Jose Urethra : How about suspending a starting pitcher 5 starts instead of 5 or 10 games for a severe infraction? That has some impact to a team vs a suspension of 5 to 10 games where the pitcher will miss 1 start maybe 2.

9:56

Jeff Sullivan: Suspensions aren’t about games missed as much as they’re about salary missed. If you suspend Urena five times as long as you’d suspend a position player, that means Urena is forfeiting five times as much salary. How is that fair, from a player perspective?

9:57

Jeff Sullivan: Not to mention that the impact a starting pitcher can make in one game is roughly equivalent to the impact a position player can make over four or five games, anyhow

9:58

Jeff Sullivan: I’m not arguing the idea of sending a stronger message; I hate things like what Urena did, and I think he should face a more severe penalty. But it’s not going to be easy for MLB to establish a new precedent, given that this is how things operate now, and if Manfred came out and suspended Urena for the rest of the year, the union wouldn’t be happy about it

9:58

Mac Gwire: What’s more likely: Yankees miss the playoffs or Astros lose the division?

9:58

Jeff Sullivan: Astros lose the division

9:59

Jeff Sullivan: Yankees are 5.5 games up on the Mariners, and they’re the much better team. The Astros are also much better than the A’s, but that gap is only 2.0 games instead

9:59

squeeze bunt: What kind of moves do you think the Padres make in the off season?  Trade for a bat or arm?  Do you see any potential fits for a blockbuster type move?

10:00

Jeff Sullivan: I think the Padres will end up involved in like three or four blockbuster trade rumors. One of them will actually happen

10:01

Jeff Sullivan: This is just Preller’s nature. He’s constantly searching for the next big move he can make, and with the Padres moving slowly forward, this could be the winter he decides to make a splash for a starting pitcher

10:02

Jeff Sullivan: A Chris Archer-style move would be right up their alley, even if the target isn’t Archer anymore

10:03

Jeff Sullivan: Maybe they try to get Stroman. Maybe they try to get Bundy. They’ll be looking. If Clayton Kershaw opts out, who the hell knows!

10:03

Perennial Ballboy Tryout: Who has been the most surprising breakout player this season? I’m thinking either David Bote, David Fletcher, or Shane Bieber.

10:04

Jeff Sullivan: Slump aside, I think it still has to be Max Muncy

10:04

Jeff Sullivan: 365 plate appearances, 153 wRC+. It’s absurd

10:04

Jeff Sullivan: Bote, Fletcher, and Bieber are fine, but Muncy has basically kept the Dodgers float. Literally Max Muncy

10:06

Wild Man: Hello Mr. Sullivan. You have been selected as the GM of the new Mexico City MLB team! What type of team do you plan on building? High ground ball rate pitchers and low-contact/high exit velocity batters? I’ve always been intrigued on how one would build an expansion team from the ground up, and Mexico City would give you the chance to build a unique strategy based on the environment.

10:07

Jeff Sullivan: Assuming I don’t somehow have a pressurized stadium, I’m going with ground-ball pitchers and contact/defense position players

10:08

Jeff Sullivan: You’re essentially taking the Coors Field strategy and making it even bigger

10:09

Jeff Sullivan: I’d try, early on, to develop some number of Mexican players so that they could hopefully reach the majors with my organization

10:11

Jeff Sullivan: And I’d place a particular emphasis on building a roster out of majority Spanish speakers because I wouldn’t want my players to feel isolated or uncomfortable. Now, Mexico City is an awfully cosmopolitan place, but it’s still far easier to navigate if you can communicate with ease. Might as well lean into that and create a club with specific demographics

10:12

Jeff Sullivan: The players would also be better able to communicate with the fans directly, instead of through a translator. That would be good early on, when I’m trying to generate interest and connection

10:12

Jason N: Solutioning for concerns about length of games, do you think MLB has thought about extending beer sales another inning?  So when the reliever parade starts in the 6th/7th innings, having a longer game is just more party.

10:13

Jeff Sullivan: Congratulations! You have put even more drunks on the road than there already are

10:13

Jeff Sullivan: Ask me again when all our vehicles are driving themselves

10:14

Five Finger Freddie: I know you’re getting tons of questions on Acuna, but what do you make of the situation? Should baseball take a harder stance? Would the response have been different if his elbow was shattered and he needed surgery?

10:15

Jeff Sullivan: I think the suspension *would* have been longer if Acuna were more hurt. Not that the outcome should change anything with regard to the process, but the NHL struggles with that very issue

10:16

Jeff Sullivan: I think, right now, because of established precedent, Manfred couldn’t really suspend Urena much longer than he did. I also think, in the offseason, the league and the union should talk about changing the precedent, because pitchers deserve harsher penalties when they attack someone with a weapon

10:17

Jeff Sullivan: If Manfred suspended Urena for a really long time, unilaterally, the MLBPA would probably raise a stink, and rightfully so. This is something that should be talked about before anything further is done. Hopefully the union can get on the same page down the line because events like this should have no place in the game anymore

10:18

Dave: Is this Joe Mauer’s last year as a Twin?

10:18

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t really know why they’d keep him around, as strange as that sounds to say

10:18

Mac Gwire: Are the Cubs the NL favorite even with their spotty rotation?

10:19

Jeff Sullivan: The Cubs are our current LCS favorite, over the Dodgers, but that’s mostly because the Cubs are in first place right now and the Dodgers aren’t. I still lean toward LA

10:20

Perennial Ballboy Tryout: Are the Jays trying to manipulate Vlad Jr’s service time?

10:20

Jeff Sullivan: I think the injury gave them some cover. If he hadn’t missed five weeks, he’d be beating the door down. As is, he’s *still* beating the door down in Triple-A, but the Jays get to say he still hasn’t gotten enough high-level reps

10:21

Jeff Sullivan: Shorter answer: obviously yes

10:21

Jeff Sullivan: He’s ready, and he’s been ready for a while, but the Jays know the bad PR they’re getting and will continue to get will blow over as soon as Vlad is up and he hits his first dinger

10:22

Jeff Sullivan: No one cares anymore about how the Cubs manipulated Kris Bryant’s service time. It doesn’t get more blatant than that

10:24

Bort: What do the Dodgers do at catcher next year? Grandal’s a free agent, they have two stud prospects in the minors, and Austin Barnes has the best framing/receiving metrics in MLB — and a track record of hitting.

10:25

Jeff Sullivan: My hunch is that they open with Farmer and Barnes, but they might opt to sign Tyler Flowers or someone to gain a little extra cover

10:26

Dosh Jonaldson: Though it’s not nearly as good as it was expected to be 12 months ago, the quality of the upcoming free agent class, plus the imminent arrival of Vlad Jr and Co has me wondering if the Blue Jays will try to execute a quick turnaround this offseason by bringing in 2-3 mid-tier FAs. They do have a lot of money coming off the books. Thoughts?

10:26

Jeff Sullivan: I do think the Jays will enter the 2019 season thinking of themselves as a potential WC team

10:27

Jeff Sullivan: It’s going to take some work, but with the high-level players already in the organization, there’s no need to tear it all down to the studs. They can win more than half of their ballgames

10:27

Jeff Sullivan: Pity the poor 2019 Orioles. They’re going to get obliterated

10:28

Conner from AZ: Great piece on the Diamondbacks. I’m curious what type of offsetting effect there is in relation to the Diamondbacks catchers and their offense/defense. Sure they may be the best game-callers and pitch framers around. But, John Ryan Murphy and Jeff Mathis are running wRC+ of 70 and 53 respectively. Feels like most of the good they are doing behind the plate is negated by the fact that they are black holes in the lineup, no?

10:29

Jeff Sullivan: The median team’s catchers this year have been about 5 runs below average, offensively. The Diamondbacks’ catchers have been 16 runs below average, offensively. So the Diamondbacks’ catchers have been about 11 runs worse at the plate than the benchmark

10:30

Jeff Sullivan: The Diamondbacks would definitely tell you their catchers are more than 11 runs above average, *defensively*

10:30

Jeff Sullivan: They appear to be there on framing alone, to say nothing of the presently-unquantifiable game-calling and leadership aspects

10:30

Perennial Ballboy Tryout: Ever been to Rocky Mountain National Park? It’s amazing.

10:31

Jeff Sullivan: Not for nearly long enough. There are so many beautiful places

10:31

Jeff Sullivan: I’m kind of a completionist. There are so many natural areas I still have yet to visit, but then, I’ve made it my goal to become familiar with like every last inch of Mount Hood

10:31

Mac Gwire: If you were the Yankees in the WC game, would you rather play Oakland, a better overall team, or Seattle and Paxton?

10:32

Jeff Sullivan: I’d rather play Oakland. If you play Seattle, you face the prospect of maybe getting Paxton and Diaz for seven or eight of nine innings

10:33

Jeff Sullivan: Oakland has a strong bullpen, but nothing remotely comparable up front. And Paxton might even work to negate that RF short porch

10:34

John: Is Greg Bird ever going to happen?

10:34

Jeff Sullivan: Admittedly, I’m losing faith, but I still lean a little toward yes

10:35

Luke: Which team would you say is the best in the National League right now?

10:35

Jeff Sullivan: Dodgers, if they get a healthy Jansen back

10:35

Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: So are we just not going to do anything about headhunting until someone gets killed? We go through this multiple times every year.

10:35

Jeff Sullivan: In fairness, Urena was more bodyhunting than headhunting. But, yes, it’s all very tired

10:36

Vslyke: The Pirates direction baffles me – they went out and traded a ton to add controllable pitching but even still they project as the third best team (at best) in their division over the next couple of years. Are they going to finally have to do a full rebuild in a couple of years?

10:37

Jeff Sullivan: It depends a little on how they continue to operate. If they continue to try to concentrate their assets, then yeah, at some point it’ll come crumbling down. But maybe the Archer move was more of a one-off. And given that the Pirates haven’t gained any real WC ground, it already doesn’t look great

10:38

Jeff Sullivan: I feel like, a year or two down the road, there’s a good chance that trade is going to look like a disaster

10:38

carrotjuice: If the Tigers were willing to eat the entirety of Jordan Zimmermann’s salary, would kind of prospects would they get back?

10:39

Jeff Sullivan: A month ago, I would’ve said a solid B prospect. Now I’m more around a couple of C prospects, because Zimmermann has slumped again

10:40

Conner from AZ: Why don’t we see more holdouts in baseball like we do in football? Seems like the most justified holdouts would be baseball players on pre-arb deals tearing up the league

10:41

Jeff Sullivan: In football, players are incentivized to try to get as much money as possible whenever they can, because they’re forever on the verge of some kind of career-ending injury

10:41

Jeff Sullivan: The average football career is incredibly short. Baseball players aren’t doing so much damage to their bodies, plus their contracts are also guaranteed

10:43

Jeff Sullivan: This isn’t a full explanation, and I don’t know if we’ve seen the last of the MLB holdouts. I don’t know what would happen if, say, the next Mike Trout held out before his last pre-arb year

10:44

Jeff Sullivan: The owners would do everything in their power to make sure that guy didn’t get what he wants, because think of the precedent that would set for all other talented young players in the league to follow

10:45

Jeff Sullivan: But this is the balance they have to strike, keeping the players happy enough with initial salaries to avoid further problem. Ideally, down the road, more money is shifted toward the start of a player’s career, when that amount of money matters the most

10:45

Mike Fish: How many wins does Boston finish with?

10:45

Jeff Sullivan: 109 or something. Far enough away from the record that they don’t hesitate to use the last week or two for rest

10:46

Will: Michael Perez has been raking for the Rays so far. What’s his outlook next year – is he a legit starting catcher?

10:46

Jeff Sullivan: His Triple-A wRC+ was 99

10:47

Jeff Sullivan: If he’s as good as they say in the field, he’ll get an opportunity to play as a semi-regular, but the Rays would at least want to pair him with someone else who can handle a big workload

10:48

Rod: What would Ender Inciarte bring back in a trade in the offseason?  Possible the Braves could try to move him instead of trading a bunch of the pitching prospects?

10:49

Jeff Sullivan: Inciarte would bring a pretty good return, because he’s got another 3-4 years of affordable club control, and he remains one of the best defensive outfielders on the planet

10:49

Jeff Sullivan: For the same reasons, I don’t think the Braves should deal him away. He’s important to them, even without him hitting like he used to

10:49

Guest: Thoughts about the AL West?

10:50

Jeff Sullivan: More interesting than I expected it to be

10:50

Jeff Sullivan: But I refuse to even consider the possibility that the Astros won’t finish in first

10:50

Jeff Sullivan: They are so much better than the other teams are

10:51

Mac Gwire: Which NL team do you most want to see in the playoffs?

10:51

Jeff Sullivan: I want the Brewers to make it, because I want FanGraphs product August Fagerstrom to make it. Outside of them, I don’t really care

10:52

stever20: at what game point would the Dodgers get really concerned?  2 down with 40 to go right now.

10:52

Jeff Sullivan: Considering they were eight back three months ago, I don’t think they’re panicking yet. They know they’re the most talented team in the division

10:53

Jeff Sullivan: Now, it would be something if the Dodgers really did end up on the outside looking in. That would be a fascinating outcome. Not there yet

10:54

Mike: By BaseRuns/Pythagorean records, the Nats would be in a wild card spot. Just bad luck for the Nats or is there more to it?

10:54

Jeff Sullivan: Some of it is bad luck — they’re 12-21 in one-run games. And some of it is because they beat the Mets 25-4

10:55

Jeff Sullivan: The recent bullpen problems haven’t helped. Injuries have really dealt a blow to what the Nationals were hoping to accomplish all year long

10:57

Cardinals.Network: Thoughts on Harrison Bader’s long term potential?

10:57

Jeff Sullivan: The approaches are different, so this doesn’t work as a literal comp, but just because he’s in my head now, I think Bader will have value similar to being a right-handed Inciarte

10:58

Jeff Sullivan: Enough bat to look more or less league-average. Baserunning and defense to put him over the top. Will spend several years being a tremendously underrated player

10:58

Southi: Before Moncada came up he was consistently ranked higher than Albies in most evaluations despite having a decent amount of swing and miss in his game.  Ozzie was younger but was already expected to be a more complete player just with less power potential.  I still don’t understand why prospects with greater power upside yet serious concerns are usually ranked higher than guys who have a complete toolshed but sub average power tools.  I know that their limited time in the bigs doesn’t mean in the long run Albies is better, but it sure looks to be a high probability of that being the case.

10:59

Jeff Sullivan: There’s long been a bias in prospect circles toward favoring upside. With Moncada, you could imagine a ceiling of him being one of the best players in the world. Aside from that, we’re just in an era where the ball is lively, and so many middling-power types are getting to the bigs and finding out they can hit the ball just far enough to get out

11:00

Jeff Sullivan: Used to be, you needed to have pretty good power to slug .450 in the majors. Not the case anymore, so the true real-world value of plus power in the minors has been reduced

11:01

mb: I’m feeling pretty down about the Brewers. Don’t think they can hold onto a playoff spot. Do you have any more optimism than I do?

11:01

Jeff Sullivan: Probably not

11:01

Jeff Sullivan: But they do still have a 1.5-game lead over the next team behind them. That’s enough to tilt things slightly in the Brewers’ favor

11:02

Dustin: My understanding is you work almost exclusively at home … do you go with dead silence when you write, or do you roll with some sort of music or TV for background noise?

11:02

Jeff Sullivan: Air conditioner sometimes, but I don’t like to be distracted when I’m writing. I’ll listen to music when I’m doing research or looking at video

11:02

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t even like writing in the same room as my phone because some of my friends text me too god damn much

11:02

Jeff Sullivan: You know who you are

11:03

Andre: Should the Mariners try to find a pitcher via waiver wire or just ride it out till the end of the season and hope for decent production from Felix and quick return from Paxton?

11:03

Jeff Sullivan: If anything half-decent is available out there, they should be pouncing on it

11:04

john cale: Are you buying Jurickson Profar as a 3-4 win player? It’s nice seeing him smash that bust label with regular playing time and good health.

11:04

Jeff Sullivan: I’ll buy him at 3. I’ve been monitoring him all season, and it’s just a good and warm feeling to see him finally having health and success

11:04

Jeff Sullivan: Doesn’t seem like he’s a shortstop anymore, but he’s a good hitter with defensive versatility. Glad he’s back on the radar

11:05

LFC Mike: It is looking questionable if Trevor Bauer might pitch again this season. That is a HUGE blow to the Indians. He has been fantastic this year…maybe considered their ace.

11:05

Jeff Sullivan: Yes

11:05

Mac Gwire: Who is the biggest name traded before the 31st?

11:05

Jeff Sullivan: Pick a National

11:05

Jeff Sullivan: Daniel Murphy?

11:06

Brian: What does an extension\new contract for Nelson Cruz look like? Should Seattle try to keep him?

11:06

Jeff Sullivan: He’s 38 years old and he hasn’t slowed down, so if I’m Seattle I try to keep him for two years or, even better than that, one year with some kind of vesting option

11:07

Jeff Sullivan: He’ll have a limited FA market as an old DH. The Mariners shouldn’t have to end up committing something stupid

11:08

Will: If you could only afford to spend big on FA on one position, what would it be?

11:08

Jeff Sullivan: Center field or something, because defense is *still* underrated

11:08

Fat Matt: Who would you rather be forced to talk baseball with…Keith Hernandez or Goose Gossage?

11:08

Jeff Sullivan: Keith Hernandez by far

11:08

Jeff Sullivan: I’m not convinced Goose Gossage can even say words

11:09

David: Is it realistic to hope for an A’s-M’S wild card game?

11:09

Jeff Sullivan: Not really, but that shouldn’t stop you. Hope for whatever you want!

11:09

Alec: The biggest threat to the Red Sox in the AL is….

11:09

Jeff Sullivan: Houston

11:09

klof: how in the hell are the cubs winning with such an awful rotation?

11:10

Jeff Sullivan: Really good lineup and really good defense

11:10

Jeff Sullivan: Excluding pitchers, they have a 111 wRC+. And their defense is good almost everywhere

11:11

Jkim: I still don’t understand why the Dodgers couldn’t pick up guys like Oh at the deadline – he came pretty cheap, he is not owed much so it won’t affect their luxury tax implications, and they knew they badly needed some bullpen help.

Loved the Dozier deal, loved the Machado deal. But it feels like they seriously were arrogant w/r/t the bullpen and the last week or so proves it.

11:11

Jeff Sullivan: The Dodgers would respond to you that one week of bullpen performance doesn’t prove anything

11:12

Jeff Sullivan: Over the last two weeks, the Dodgers bullpen ranks fourth worst in baseball by WPA. That’s terrible! The Brewers bullpen ranks third worst. The Brewers bullpen is supposedly stacked

11:13

Jeff Sullivan: This happens. The timing almost couldn’t be worse. But I think the Dodgers are right when they say they have enough reliever options

11:13

Not Dusty: How bad is Dave Martinez

11:13

Jeff Sullivan: No idea

11:13

Jeff Sullivan: Doesn’t seem great?

11:13

Jeff Sullivan: The first team Terry Francona managed went 68-94

11:14

Jeff Sullivan: All right, I need to get rolling

11:14

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 — 8/17/18 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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Can the Brew Crew win their division without good pitching?