Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 8/31/18

9:07

Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:07

Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to Friday baseball chat

9:07

Jeff Sullivan: And welcome to what is almost a long holiday weekend!

9:07

Jeff Sullivan: Thank you for already mentally checking out from work so that you can participate in this exchange

9:08

Ozzie Ozzie Albies Free: What do you think? Was it a foul ball or a foul bunt?

9:08

Jeff Sullivan: I lean pretty strongly toward foul ball. I do not believe that Lorenzen had intent to bunt that pitch

9:09

Jeff Sullivan: But to me the strongest counterargument is the way Lorenzen spun away from the inside pitch at 0-and-1. He did not spin nearly so much at 1-and-2, which makes me wonder

9:09

Jeff Sullivan: So I’m at, say, 80-20

9:09

Jeff Sullivan: (The polling results are currently 60-40 in favor of foul ball over foul bunt)

9:09

Shifty: Given the Rays success with their Opener strategy, would you anticipate other teams employing it next year if they can’t reliably piece together a traditional 5-man starting rotation?

9:10

Jeff Sullivan: On the one hand, the seal has been broken. On the other, even the Rays have said they were basically forced into this because they haven’t had enough starting pitchers. They *had* to do something creative

9:10

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think we’re going to see a sudden flood of openers in 2019. Rather, what I expect is to see a bunch of openers when teams, say, have a doubleheader, or are temporarily down a starter or two. More openers in emergency situations

9:11

KMA: Brewers offseason not looking too bad, eh?

9:12

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t delight in Lewis Brinson’s struggles, but that probably gives the Brewers additional peace of mind for the moment

9:13

Jeff Sullivan: Monte Harrison hasn’t improved. Isan Diaz looks okay. Jordan Yamamoto looks maybe the most interesting

9:13

Jeff Sullivan: That’s getting into the weeds. Shorter answer: correct

9:14

Chase : Pujols is done and it’s hard to see him fitting into the Halos

9:14

Jeff Sullivan: Also correct

9:14

Jeff Sullivan: Granted, it was already hard to see him fitting into the Halos this season

9:15

Jeff Sullivan: Next year, if Ohtani is able to play, he’ll be the DH something like 50-60% of the time. Pujols could be a part-time player, picking up the rest of those ABs, but it doesn’t seem like he should play much more first base. I feel like this is approaching settlement territory, where the Angels pay Pujols most of the rest of his contract and then he agrees to retire

9:16

Stewart: On the Fangraphs WAR leaderboard, Jose Ramirez is the only player in the Top-29 that has a BABIP lower than his batting average. And there are only 2 or 3 players in the entire league that have a lower BABIP than batting average. Jose Ramirez’s BABIP is .266 and his batting average is
.290. Which is a 24 point differential! The next player with the biggest point differential is Didi Gregorius at only 3 points difference (.267 vs .270). Is there anything important to learn from this data?

9:17

Jeff Sullivan: Jose Ramirez is a fly-ball hitter, and when he hits the ball well, it tends to go for a home run. He’s not really a line-drive guy. Difference between his 2017 and 2018 is that a chunk of his doubles have gone over the fence

9:18

Jeff Sullivan: The best years of Jose Bautista were similar to this. Air contact, lots of homers. Not so many other kinds of hits

9:19

Q-Ball: Since the All-Star Break, the top 3 relievers in xFIP are Hader, Stammen, and Chavez.  What are Stammen and Chavez doing differently, and is that sustainable for each of them?

9:20

Jeff Sullivan: Stammen was already good in the first half. He’s just been quietly dominant, like Kirby Yates in the same bullpen

9:22

Jeff Sullivan: Seems like he has the best sinker he’s ever thrown

9:22

Jeff Sullivan: Chavez is fun. 16% K-BB with the Rangers. 31% K-BB since joining the Cubs

9:23

Jeff Sullivan: Also, with the Cubs, he’s been pitching in higher-leverage situations

9:24

Jeff Sullivan: He’s leaned fastball/cutter and worked on constantly getting ahead. Interestingly, since joining the Cubs, Chavez’s whiff rate has gone *down.* So I don’t think these strikeouts are sustainable

9:25

Serviceable: Which Brewer is most likely to win NL MVP?

9:25

Jeff Sullivan: Right now it would be Yelich

9:26

Big Doof Energy: 3 hours prior to first pitch, all unsold tickets should become free with the purchase of a $25 (MLB) or $15 (MiLB) concessions voucher. Am I obviously wrong?

9:26

Jeff Sullivan: Well then pretty much all tickets would remain unsold until the three-hour window

9:26

Jeff Sullivan: What incentive would someone have to buy especially one of the more expensive tickets ahead of time?

9:27

Jeff Sullivan: Teams could stand to lose an awful lot of gate money, it seems like

9:28

Raymond: As a Red Sox/Mookie Betts fan, I’ve been watching the WAR leaderboards all season. About a week ago, I stopped watching cause Ramirez started to pull way ahead. Then Mookie slumped pretty hard. Finally, I look back today and Mookie’s WAR jumped a full win and hes back in the lead. What’s the reason for this?

9:28

Jeff Sullivan: Over the past seven days, Betts has a 225 wRC+

9:29

Jeff Sullivan: Ramirez, by contrast, is at 48

9:29

Jeff Sullivan: That’s pretty much all you need to know

9:30

Roger: How interesting is Joey Wendle to you? He has been hot, but generally not highly regarded.

9:31

Jeff Sullivan: I think he’s a good defender who’s been hitting a little over his head. Classic under-the-radar 2-3 WAR Tampa Bay regular

9:31

Jeff Sullivan: That team is nine games over .500 and all people can think of is Blake Snell

9:32

Jeff Sullivan: Mallex Smith, Joey Wendle, and Daniel Robertson lead the position players in WAR

9:33

Chase : Sorry, I accidentally hit “enter”. It’s hard to see Pujols fitting into the Angels’ future plans. Ohtani’s got DH locked up and it looks like Albert can’t play first base anymore (especially after another knee surgery). If the Angels add a first baseman (Smoak, Bour, etc.) do you like their odds in 2019? Obviously they need more pitching, but a core of Trout, Ohtani, Simmons, Upton, and Calhoun isn’t shabby.

9:33

Jeff Sullivan: Sorry, I responded to your comment before you were finished!

9:34

Jeff Sullivan: That’s the same core the Angels had going into 2018. Ohtani for 2019 is still an unknown. They’re going to need to get a *lot* of pitching, in the rotation and in the bullpen

9:35

Jeff Sullivan: Could definitely see the Angels contending for a wild card, but their pitching right now is short-handed, and it’s unclear whether Ohtani will be able to help that

9:36

Slurve: What will be September’s biggest baseball story?

9:36

Jeff Sullivan: Just whatever happens in the playoff races. That’s all anyone’s really going to care about

9:36

Concrete fan: Regarding the AL West race, do you think the A’s with their ‘starting rotation’, will benefit more from the expanded rosters than the Astros?

9:36

Jeff Sullivan: Yep

9:37

Sandy Eggo: Padres are 3-0 with Luis Urias on the team. How sure are you they’ll never lose again?

9:37

Jeff Sullivan: Let me put it like this: I guarantee you that from now through the end of the season, I will not watch the Padres lose a game

9:39

Zonk: What player most surprises you that he WAS NOT traded this summer?

9:39

Jeff Sullivan: Probably some boring reliever, like Jared Hughes or David Hernandez or Craig Stammen or something

9:40

Jeff Sullivan: James Shields, for no return?

9:40

Jeff Sullivan: I do not have an interesting answer to this question

9:41

Jessica: I kinda think now is a good time for the Reds to give Winker a contract extension offer. What do you think?

9:42

Jeff Sullivan: It’s seldom a bad idea from the team perspective, but if the Reds *were* hesitant, it would probably be because Winker had major labrum surgery, and they might want to wait to make sure he gets his swing back. It’s not like he’s going to provide them any defensive value

9:42

Jeff Sullivan: I think Winker is likely to be a good hitter for a while. But this is a new question mark

9:42

Q-Ball: What has Ohtani proven this year about his bat?

9:43

Jeff Sullivan: That he is good

9:43

Jeff Sullivan: That he can hit for real power against major-league competition

9:44

Jeff Sullivan: No matter how you look at it, Ohtani has been dangerous. A few extra strikeouts, sure, but the power is legit. He could help any lineup

9:45

stever20: how much with the clutch thing with the Dodgers is their poor hitting vs lefties?  only a 95 wRC+ for the season vs lefties.

9:45

Jeff Sullivan: The Mariners also have a 95 wRC+ for the season vs. lefties, and they rank second in batting Clutch in baseball

9:46

Serviceable: Do you trust the Cardinals or Brewers more in a one game playoff?

9:46

Jeff Sullivan: The actual answer to your question is “coin flip,” but my answer will be Brewers, slightly. I like their bullpen more

9:46

Jeff Sullivan: And god knows they wouldn’t be hurting for pinch-hitters

9:47

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t care that much for what the Cardinals have to offer in relief

9:48

Zonk: 4 years, $92 mil left after this year.  What should the Orioles do with Chris Davis?

9:49

Jeff Sullivan: Tolerate him, for now. No one good is coming for his position

9:49

Jeff Sullivan: I know that Davis, Trumbo, and Mancini are basically all first basemen, but let’s be honest — the Orioles are not going to have trouble finding playing time for all of them

9:49

Jeff Sullivan: Ask me this question again in a year

9:50

Guest: How many syllables in the word “rule?”

9:50

Jeff Sullivan: One

9:50

Jeff Sullivan: Think of it like “roof”

9:52

Jessica: Has Marwin Gonzalez changed in any way recently? What do you make of his turnaround?

9:53

Jeff Sullivan: Nothing jumps out to me about his underlying performance. Last year, he was over his head. Earlier this year, he was underachieving. Now he’s finding his level. As a just-barely kind of power guy, he’ll go through streaks and slumps depending on which side of the fence his batted balls find

9:54

RockSeptember: If Muncy is in a full time role next year, what do you think will be his stats?

9:55

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t see much reason to deviate from my prior projection of a 130 wRC+. His strikeouts are beginning to climb, but at least the power is still there. Lately he’s been going all Joey Gallo

9:55

Big Doof Energy: Do the Brewers get a pitcher today?

9:55

Jeff Sullivan: They’ll try. Probably not anyone real good

9:56

Guest: If an eccentric billionaire offered to support the podcast on patreon for $1 million, but set conditions that a) he had to appear as a guest for 10 minutes each epsiode; b) he gets an invite to your wedding; or c) he gets an email answered every episode, which of those would you agree to?

9:56

Jeff Sullivan: All three if we could triple the support

9:57

Jeff Sullivan: But the easiest one is the wedding. The hell do I care who shows up to my wedding?

9:58

Jeff Sullivan: One way or another, after ten minutes, I’ll be married

9:58

Sir Edmund Hillary: Which would you prefer: (A) Driving to 30 different cities to watch MLB games within a 36-day window? (B) Or, say, climbing 7 summits within 7 days?

9:58

Jeff Sullivan: Depends on the summits — I am only so physically capable — but after the fact, I’d feel better about the second one

9:59

Jeff Sullivan: Eventually, with each, I’d start to dread the next day, but at least the second one is over in a fraction of the time

10:00

Dustin: Surprised McCutchen made it all the way to the Yankees in the waiver process?

10:00

Jeff Sullivan: Less surprised than I was that Murphy made it all the way to the Cubs

10:01

Jeff Sullivan: Good NL teams don’t really need McCutchen. Except, I guess, the Rockies have that LF situation going on, but whatever

10:01

Jeff Sullivan: They’ve settled on literally Matt Holliday

10:02

Guest: Is the skepticism of defensive metrics derived from their inability to reflect true talent (and thus be predictive of the future)? Or is it that they are poor at reflective past performance as well? (Is it essentially the ERA vs FIP argument or is there more to it than that)

10:03

Jeff Sullivan: For one thing, we can’t really *prove* defense the way we can prove offense. The numbers are therefore always kind of theoretical. For another thing, there are fewer defensive opportunities than offensive opportunities, so numbers take longer to stabilize. And then, especially for infielders, there’s the issue of all the shifting — DRS and UZR don’t really know what to do about that

10:03

Jeff Sullivan: Not so much of an issue for outfielders. And, with outfielders, we also have Statcast numbers that we don’t yet have for their infield peers

10:06

Stevil: Hey Jeff, not to get too far ahead, but would an off-season swap of Greinke and Lamb for Leake and Seager make some sense? The salaries offset almost perfectly in 2019. The dough from St. Louis would have to be passed along, but in a nutshell, it would give Seattle an upgrade for the short-term and Arizona more breathing room for extensions for Pollock, Corbin, and Goldy.

10:07

Jeff Sullivan: Don’t know why the Diamondbacks would be too interested in that. Greinke is better than Leake, and Lamb is, at the very least, not worse than Seager

10:08

Jeff Sullivan: They’d also be conscious of selling Lamb low, when he’s coming off an injury that killed his numbers. Seager is healthy and bad

10:09

Jeff Sullivan: Greinke and Marte are the only long-term contracts Arizona has on the books. They have flexibility

10:09

Josh Nelson: Do you think the White Sox call up Eloy Jimenez in September?

10:09

Jeff Sullivan: Nope, for the same reason we presumably won’t see Guerrero. Teams don’t care about this bad PR, because it blows over

10:11

Jeff Sullivan: Jimenez has a .973 OPS. Last year, Ronald Acuna tore his way through A+, AA, and AAA, and he played his last game on September 4

10:12

Jeff Sullivan: (he went 2-for-4 with a double and a home run)

10:12

Jeff Sullivan: Acuna was obviously ready, just as Jimenez is obviously ready, and just as Guerrero is obviously ready. But because there’s that existing precedent, the Sox and Jays can say “look, it’s not just us, the precedent has been established”

10:13

Jeff Sullivan: Something else will need to change before the team behavior changes. You can’t just rely on the business leaders to change on their own

10:14

Angels fan: Does Cozart for Cobb make sense for both teams?

10:15

Jeff Sullivan: Don’t think the Angels would care to do that

10:15

Jeff Sullivan: Cobb isn’t particularly good, and he’s more expensive

10:16

Llewelyn: Is the NL MVP most likely to go to a pitcher? Its clear that Max, Nola, and DeGrom have been the three best players in the NL but I still think voters will want to reward a position player on a playoff team.

10:16

Jeff Sullivan: I agree with you. By our WAR, the NL is led by four starting pitchers, but I can’t see any of them winning

10:17

Jeff Sullivan: *Maybe* Nola, if the Phillies squeak through. But it’s so much easier to see them giving it to someone like Carpenter

10:17

Jeff Sullivan: The pitchers-have-their-own-award argument is so widespread

10:18

darrenasu: Fun thought exercise: how valuable would a batter that homered precisely every 10 at bats be? The other 9 AB’s would end in strike-outs. I assume it would be the most helpful pinch-hitter in history. Just kill those 9 AB’s in a couple of games as a starter and then have that guaranteed HR on the bench as you watch games for high leverage. Any way this is NOT rosterable?

10:18

Jeff Sullivan: Rosterable in theory, but unrosterable since no one could ever be sufficiently convinced that this is an actual, real-life trait the player possesses

10:19

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t care if it kept happening for a dozen freaking years. Team executives would still be like “there’s no way this is real”

10:19

Andy: Shildt.  Weird to announce the hiring now, right?  Regardless of whether or not he’s the right choice.  Why now?

10:20

Jeff Sullivan: Sounds like the Cardinals have been grooming him for a while, and teams don’t like to spend very long playing with lame-duck managers. If this was inevitable, it doesn’t really matter when the announcement was made

10:20

Zonk: Is there suddenly rays of hope for the White Sox?  Rodon, Kopech, and Giolito have the makings of a good rotation, and Eloy is lurking in AAA.

10:21

Jeff Sullivan: I still don’t see that much about Rodon, and Giolito has overall had a discouraging season. But, yes, the second half has been a hell of a lot more fun and promising than the first. The first half was dreadful

10:21

James: Is Oakland’s pitching about to crater? Some pretty major losses there.

10:22

Jeff Sullivan: Manaea has a 102 FIP-; Anderson has a 100 FIP-. They’re fine, but these losses aren’t devastating. It helps the A’s that rosters are about to expand, because in September they won’t need more than a few innings out of anyone

10:23

Jeff Sullivan: The big question is whether the back of the bullpen will flame out from overuse. That’s the strength of the team. The starters have never been asked to do that much

10:25

Sammy: Do you think Muncy should be getting more playing time with the Dodgers?

10:25

Jeff Sullivan: A little more, yeah; his strikeout spike is modestly concerning, but the team should continue to transition away from Kemp, with more Taylor in LF, Bellinger in CF, and Muncy at 1B

10:27

stever20: why do you think the reds haven’t used Lorenzen much as a hitter?  only 25 pa’s.  Would seem that he would have been used quite a few more times than that

10:28

Jeff Sullivan: Lorenzen is tied for fifth on the team in pinch-hitting appearances. And in fairness, he has a career 96 wRC+, with one walk and 26 strikeouts

10:29

Jeff Sullivan: But it’s a little more complicated with him, because he’s also an important reliever of theirs, and if there’s a game where pinch-hitting him makes sense, it presumably also makes sense to put him on the mound. So then you have those other complicating variables

10:29

Palardelphia: Why the hell is it so hard for me to find SB% based on what base was stolen?

10:29

tb.25: What do I tell my boss when I get caught on your chat?

10:30

Jeff Sullivan: Tell your boss you’re asking me a work question

10:30

Jeff Sullivan: And then when it never shows up, tell your boss the queue was overloaded and I couldn’t answer everything

10:31

AC: Someone in Jay’s chat yesterday mentioned the number of smaller stature players (Betts, Jose Ramirez, etc.) that are having a huge success in baseball right now, and it reminded me of Craig’s piece about how smaller strikezones increase balls in play. Could we be underrating the value of smaller players ability to have a small strikezone and therefore requiring pitchers to throw more pitches down the middle to them?

10:31

Jeff Sullivan: Could be true to some extent, but it’s not like the strike zones are *that* much smaller. And smaller players tend to hit the ball less hard than taller players

10:32

Jeff Sullivan: But smaller players who advance to the majors have presumably been selected in part for their bat-to-ball skills. Now it seems, anecdotally, like it’s easier than ever to turn those bat-to-ball skills into power

10:33

Jeff Sullivan: So perhaps we’ve just been underrating the smaller player’s power potential, because those guys don’t hit the ball 115 miles per hour

10:33

Jeff Sullivan: You don’t need to, provided you can instead hit the ball 105

10:33

PD: If setting up to bunt prior to the pitch is automatically considered an attempt, a pitcher could throw at any batter that sets up to bunt as a HBP doesn’t count if the batter attempts to hit the ball.

10:34

Jeff Sullivan: Which is one of the reasons why it isn’t automatically considered an attempt

10:34

Jeff Sullivan: If it were, the pitcher could simply lob the ball ten feet outside for a strikeout

10:34

Jeff Sullivan: Bunts can be pulled back, just as a swing can be checked

10:35

Mac Gwire: Does the McCutchen trade mean Judge is done for the year?

10:35

Jeff Sullivan: Not necessarily. It’s insurance in *case* Judge can’t come back, and it also gives the Yankees a better reserve outfielder

10:35

Angels fan: Is David Fletcher an elite defender? 8 DRS in 60 games between 2B/3B, already 1 dWAR

10:35

Jeff Sullivan: Too soon to tell

10:36

Drew: If Judge comes back this year where is McCutchen playing? LF or DH?

10:36

Jeff Sullivan: Backing up at four positions (LF, CF, RF, DH)

10:37

Matt: Though it has been holding up rather well in Morrow’s absence, are you concerned about the Cubs’ pen in the playoffs? Even if Morrow comes back, you’d have to assume that they’ll treat him with kid gloves.

10:37

Jeff Sullivan: Not more concerned than I am about any other competing NL bullpen

10:38

Jeff Sullivan: The Brewers’ bullpen has a second-half ERA of 5.17 for pete’s sake

10:38

Jeff Sullivan: None of the pens are amazing

10:38

Andy: John Gant has 2 hits.  Both are Home Runs.  I like baseball.

10:39

Jeff Sullivan: “It seems impossible, but Gant’s career stats as a hitter read .000/.000/.000 AVG/OBP/SLG with a negative 100 wRC+ through 35 trips to the plate, each one resulting in failure.”

10:39

David: If the yankees lose in the wild card game, will it force MLB to get rid of divisions?

10:39

Jeff Sullivan: What?

10:41

Jeff Sullivan: Can’t tell which angle you’re asserting

10:41

Jeff Sullivan: If it’s the MLB-loves-the-Yankees one, the Yankees already lost a wild-card game in 2015

10:42

Jeff Sullivan: And if it’s the good-teams-shouldn’t-lose-to-worse-teams one, the Yankees right now have only four more wins than the A’s do. In 2012, the 88-win Cardinals knocked out the 94-win Braves

10:42

Lunar verLander: A.J. Hinch just signed an extension that’ll keep him in Houston until 2022. With that in mind, how many games in a row would the Astros have to lose before he got fired? Clearly more than just the rest of this season…this season plus the first 2 months of next season?

10:42

Jeff Sullivan: That would do it

10:42

Jeff Sullivan: Hinch might even resign at that point

10:43

Jeff Sullivan: He would lose his marbles

10:45

Georgie: Willy Adames has been on fire since the removal of Hechavarria. Any thoughts on his future?

10:45

Jeff Sullivan: Pretty good player, incomplete. Right now he’s somewhat prone to striking out, but I think that’ll be offset over time as he gradually hits for more and more power. Big-league ready, obviously

10:46

Jeff Sullivan: His raw power is still ahead of his game power, and that’ll find a balance. Maybe already is

10:46

Hal: Dodgers still at 75% playoff odds, 56% to win the division. They’re behind two teams in the division and three for the wild card with 28 games left. Those odds feel a little high, right?

10:46

Jeff Sullivan: By season-to-date stats mode, they’re at 58% and 40%, respectively. That feel better?

10:48

Jeff Sullivan: According to BaseRuns, the Dodgers “should” be 80-54. The Diamondbacks, 74-60. The Rockies, 67-66. It’s clear why the projections still like the Dodgers the most

10:48

Rudy Seanez: Who’s more likely to throw a bullpen game in the WC, the Yankees or the A’s?

10:48

Jeff Sullivan: The A’s

10:49

Lunch Angle: Imagine a hypothetical perfect baserunner who had zero other baseball skills. Like Herb Washington, but actually good at running the bases. He can do nothing but pinch run, but every time he does, he immediately steals every open base. How much value could this provide to a baseball team?

10:49

Jeff Sullivan: Enormous value, if we’re assuming the guy could automatically go from first to second to third to home

10:49

Concrete fan: Do you think Lorentzen could be a league average hitter if he decided to stop pitching? Disregarding the move to a new defensive position here

10:49

Jeff Sullivan: Yes

10:50

Mister Puppy : Did anyone else find it weird that Derek Dietrich didn’t really get any trade chatter this year? Maybe a winter trade candidate? Even if he is just a UTIL guy for a contender?

10:51

Jeff Sullivan: He’s basically an average hitter who can’t play good defense anywhere. I think there was a brief rumor or two but he’s just not an impact get

10:52

Jeff Sullivan: Similar idea as Wilmer Flores. Also minimal trade interest

10:53

John C.: Is Jeff McNeil the Real Deal?

10:53

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know anything about his defense, and his power is clearly limited, but these days I’m in favor of almost any hitter who can put the bat on the ball and hit it 105

10:55

Concrete fan: What is in your opinion the ‘phrase/word of the year’ for the 2018 baseball season?

10:55

Jeff Sullivan: “So that’s why nobody spent any money”

10:55

Lance Biggerstaff : A lot of people pegged Yelich for a breakout. Things kind of got quiet with that early injury, but… he appears to be breaking out, at least offensively. Is he a legitimate MVP candidate? (And yes I thought of this the day before your article, we must have a connection)

10:56

Jeff Sullivan: He’s a legitimate candidate. I don’t think he’s “breaking out” as much as he’s just enjoying playing in a better ballpark. Miami killed him. But he’s got a real shot assuming the voters are still reluctant to go with a pitcher

10:57

David: If you were Terry Francona, how would you use Cody Allen in the playoffs, given his struggles the past several months?

10:57

Jeff Sullivan: Warily

10:58

Jeff Sullivan: I’m squeezing every last pitch I can get out of Brad Hand

10:58

Jeff Sullivan: Even Adam Cimber is weird. He has only two strikeouts out of 45 batters faced

10:58

Jeff Sullivan: His strikeout rate with the Padres was 27%. With the Indians, 4%.

10:59

Jeff Sullivan: You can see the appeal of hoping to bring back Bauer and putting him in the bullpen. Kluber/Carrasco/Clevinger/Bieber is a strong rotation, and then Bauer could pitch almost every game

11:00

stever20: who is the biggest name getting dealt today?

11:00

Jeff Sullivan: Andrew McCutchen

11:00

Jeff Sullivan: That’s a big name

11:00

Jeff Sullivan: Is that a bigger name than Josh Donaldson?

11:00

Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know. He’ll go too

11:00

John C.: do you think the Mets move Wheeler in the off season or hold onto him and try to make a run for 2019 playoffs ?

11:00

Jeff Sullivan: The latter

11:01

jerry dipoto: stay with me for a sec. Mariners are 4 games behind Oakland. With the injuries to Manaea and Anderson the A’s thin rotation is that much more thin and is showing signs of struggling. If the Mariners can win 2 of these last 3 and win their last series against them. That means they need to make up 2 games in the other 20+ games. Do you think that is realistic and even likely, considering both teams schedules and the current rosters? Paxton back tomorrow and Marco next week, should give the Mariners a fairly significant upperhand in the rotation

11:01

Jeff Sullivan: Of course it’s realistic and possible, but even the depleted A’s are better than the Mariners are

11:02

Ozzie Ozzie Albies Free: Hypothetically, if I were to pitch in an MLB game, how many runs would be scored on me before I got three outs with the best defensive team behind me? For the record, I hit 61 on the speed pitch during a spring training game.

11:02

Jeff Sullivan: Not long ago Scott Kingery went out there straight-up lobbing the ball around 40 miles per hour. He retired three of his first six batters faced

11:03

Jeff Sullivan: Now, in the same game, Roman Quinn got destroyed, but even he finished his first inning having faced just six batters

11:04

Jeff Sullivan: It might go faster than you think

11:05

Matt : Is Roman Quinn’s production sustainable?  If the Phillies think so, can you see them moving santana or an outfielder to make room for him?

11:05

Jeff Sullivan: Feel like he’s probably seen as more of a fourth-outfielder type

11:05

Jeff Sullivan: And Santana would not be that easy to move, either

11:06

Vslyke: Is there any proof that young pitchers tend to wear out in the postseason? Newcomb (and to a lesser extent Folty) have struggled some recently, which could be a big concern for the Braves given their lack of other options.

11:06

Jeff Sullivan: Foltynewicz has been really good in August

11:07

Jeff Sullivan: Newcomb’s mediocre peripherals are simply catching up to him

11:07

Jeff Sullivan: More experienced pitchers might be more skilled at keeping gas in the tank for the season’s seventh month, but that feels just as likely to be untrue as true

11:08

Jake : Since the arbitrarily chosen cut off date of 8/3, Giolito in 37.1 innings has a 3.86 ERA, a 3.61 FIP, 26.5 K%, 8.0 BB%, and a 55.2 GB%. Do you see legit reason for optimism that he can be a solid starter, especially with the development of his changeup and the uptick on his fastball velocity?

11:08

John C.: do you think the Mariners are officially toast ?

11:08

Jeff Sullivan: no

11:09

Georgie: Rays don’t seem to have much to go after this offseason (only need is a right handed catcher with michael perez). With the glut in the infield, seems duffy is best candidate to be moved. Does he have any trade value?

11:09

Jeff Sullivan: Not that much. Cheap two years of control, but not much more than an average infielder

11:10

Bo: Besides Folty and Gausman, who can the Braves trust to start in a playoff series?

11:10

Jeff Sullivan: Come on down, Anibal Sanchez!

11:11

tb.25: Any research on success (struggle) rate of top prospects shipped around? One hypothesis is teams sending guys they suspect won’t make it, other hypothesis is too many coaches saying too many things over short period of time

11:11

Jeff Sullivan: I lean toward the selection-bias argument; you’re going to be selecting for top prospects whose teams don’t believe they’re so special

11:11

Jeff Sullivan: Like Francisco Mejia, for example

11:12

Will: The A’s are good and badly need starting pitching, and yet they shut down Luzardo, who likely has the highest upside of all their SP options. Will the A’s come to regret that? (Sorry for the leading question)

11:13

Jeff Sullivan: Last year, Luzardo threw 43.1 affiliated innings. This year, he’s thrown 109.1. His past three times out in Triple-A, he’s been mediocre

11:13

Jeff Sullivan: I think the A’s are right to stick to their guns, on this one. If they really wanted, they could go get someone like James Shields for nothing more than money

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…sometime. I’m away at the end of next week. But until whenever we do this again, be well, and have great days

We hoped you liked reading Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 8/31/18 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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stever20
Member
Member
stever20

re Tampa’s opener situation- is it clear that it was a sucess?

Team when using opener is 11-17 as far as I can tell Stanek, Romo, Venters
team when using normal starter is 60-45

pretty huge difference there I’d say. Yes, the individuals did pretty well while starting but eventually they have to come out and the guys replacing them to take the innings faltered.

Da Bum
Member
Da Bum

You got to remember that the openers are replacing the equivalent of the 5th starter. You can’t use the entire teams runs per 9 because you get Snell and the other top pitchers in that sample. What is the level of their 5th starter? That’s the comparison. I’d bet if they used their best option for a 5th starter, his ERA would push 5.00 so 4.15 would indeed make it a success.

stever20
Member
Member
stever20

There are really no other top starters in that sample. Like I said it would be really interesting to see a real deep dive into Tampa and the actual impact of the opener. I do think it’s pretty interesting that the team record when using the opener was so poor compared to all the other games- 11-17 vs even 44-36 when guys not named Snell start.