Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 8/18/17

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to Friday baseball chat

9:07
Sterling Mallory Chris Archer: If Cistuli wrote your chat intro, what would it be?

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Long and pointless

9:08
J: Are the Yankees or Red Sox better on paper?  Yanks have the better baseruns record but Sox are better by the projections.

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: I think the Red Sox are the better baseball team, but the Yankee bullpen is seemingly so very deep that they probably have some form of postseason advantage

9:09
The Average Sports Fan: So the Cards might be losing Wainwright for a while.  Perhaps the Cubs lose Lester for a period as well.  Could it be that things are lining up for the Brewers?

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: So, on the one hand, well, Wainwright hasn’t been very good for a while

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: And the Brewers have already had their equivalent by going without Chase Anderson

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think the Brewers are going to win that division. That being said, I love that it’s still so close, and that the Cubs haven’t been able to pull away, like I assumed they would. I figure the Cubs will still take it, but this race is better for baseball as it is

9:11
JD15: Which player makes the biggest impact in this years’ playoffs that is not currently on their playoff team’s roster? (Ex. a guy that is a waiver trade or minor league call up)

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: That’s tricky. Walker Buehler out of the bullpen?

9:12
Babe Lincoln: Is there any relationship between a pitcher’s zone% and the O-swing% that pitcher induces?  As in, does a pitcher pounding the zone result in more (or fewer) swings outside the zone?

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: Out of qualified pitchers this season, the R^2 between O-Swing% and Zone% is 0.05

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: So, not much of a relationship to speak of. It’s one of those case-by-case-basis things. It’s not a coincidence, for example, that Tanaka has such a high O-Swing%, and such a low Zone%. That’s a reflection of his command and secondary stuff

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: But then, it’s also not a coincidence that Wade Miley has a low O-Swing% and Zone%. He just isn’t very good

9:15
Daniel: What’s the furthest you’ve traveled to solo hike/camp?

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: Everything international to this point has been with company. I’ve spent stretches by myself in like eastern and central Oregon, but that’s about it

9:16
Zonk: Hopes were high for Jason Heyward coming into this year, but he’s turned in another poor offensive performance so far.  Is there any hope, or is he broken?  Will that contract prove regrettable?

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: Any hope is tied up in the fact that he’s 28 years old, and he still makes a lot of contact. The physical abilities remain, so Heyward remains intriguing. But, obviously, there’s even less hope for him now than there was last March. The Cubs would like to back out of this if they could, I’m certain

9:19
Xolo: It seems like the power that scouts thought Margot wasn’t going to be able to tap into has been tapped. Do you think he could be a 20 homer guy?

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: As you can imagine, this is a problem — scouts made their evaluations under certain circumstances, and now home runs in the majors are everywhere. *Everyone* can hit home runs. Jarrod Dyson has hit home runs. Scouts aren’t accustomed to balls flying like this, and it’s not easy to project big-league power when you’re watching minor leaguers hitting different balls in different environments

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: I can say that, based on the evidence, major-league Margot is not very powerful, relative to his peers. But, 20 home runs? Scooter Gennett has 20 home runs. So Manny Margot could hit 20 home runs.

9:21
CamdenWarehouse: Do you ever get questions in the chat where someone was obviously in the wrong window when typing and accidentally sent you something related to their jobs?

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: Not yet, but this is why I get up on Friday mornings

9:22
Kris: Should the Braves call up Acuna this year?

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: I prefer a world in which the answer is yes, but if the answer ends up being no, the Braves will have objectively justifiable reasons

9:22
E: Inspired by your recent Albert Pujols article, do you know off the top of your head who has struck out the most times in their career?

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t, but I bet that player is in the Hall of Fame

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: Is it Jim Thome?

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: It’s Reggie Jackson!

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: Confirmed Hall-of-Famer Reggie Jackson

9:24
Marwin Gonzales- Power Hitter: If it wasn’t for Ellsbury last year, Josh Reddick would have a chance at the catcher’s interference record. I believe he has 7 this year.

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: You’re correct! He’s one away from the *previous* single-season record

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: People don’t seem to hold onto 8 catcher’s interferences the way they hold onto 61 home runs

9:26
The Average Sports Fan: What would need to go right for the Reds to be a legit 85-90 win team next year?

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: Every single thing their pitching coach has ever attempted

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: Their staff is a mess. They need some sort of overhaul because they can’t turn any pitchers into anything

9:26
Road Trip Ideas: Maybe Sam and Ben can help you come up with a book idea

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: Still not sure writing a book is a good idea in the first place. It sounds like it’s horrible

9:27
Q-Ball: Setback for Yasmany Tomas, but does it really matter?  Are the D-Backs better without him in the OF?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: They could use him off the bench, but yeah, they’re better without him playing defense

9:27
Zock Jr.: Jeff, who’s the better hitter for the BoSox ROS: Devers or Mookie?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Mookie

9:28
GraphsFan: Fielding metrics are the hardest to quantify and understand. Is there a sliding scale of plays made on balls in play? I.e. An 80 grade fielder makes a certain play 50% of the time, a 70 grade fielder makes the play 30% of the time, 60 grade 10%, etc etc.

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: It’s fun to play around with this https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/catch_probability_leaderboard

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: Hot tip: that leaderboard is a great way to prevent yourself from being too disappointed in Byron Buxton

9:29
BJOGC: I know that he *won’t* win a MVP but hypothetically speaking, how would you react IF Max Schrock one day wins a MVP award?

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: I’d have some post written about how while Schrock was good, it should’ve been Mike Trout

9:30
Brian: How have your thoughts on the free agent deals that Machado and Harper will get changed from before this season started to now?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: Not much change. Teams are smart enough to look beyond Machado’s surface numbers, and Harper, once again, has been a productive player with an injury issue. They’re going to strike it mighty rich, as has been assumed

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: Machado hasn’t taken his Trout turn yet, but he remains no less intriguing than he was

9:31
I-5 Buddies: I have to commute south for work along I-5. Not looking forward to monday. Maybe I’ll be stuck next to you guys for a few hours.

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe we’ll have you on as a podcast guest through the window

9:31
Q-Ball: Is the Knuckleball dying?  Why don’t more fringe velo guys in the minors give it a shot?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: They do. They suck. It’s hard

9:32
Bryan: Cubs are 5-5 in their last 10 and 75% into the season.  At what point do we start to acknowledge that the Cubs team this year isn’t the team from last year and aren’t very good?

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: Well, I think we can say they’re not the team from last year. The team from last year was one of the all-time best

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: But this year’s Cubs have the same BaseRuns record as the Red Sox. This Cubs team is still good. It is underachieving but it is still good

9:34
Brian: Joey Votto and Anthony Rizzo both choke up on the bat and do so extremely with 2 strikes. Barry Bonds also choked up on the bat. Why dont more hitters do this in the high strikeout era? Could choking up be the next fly ball revolution?

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: I doubt it. Choking up isn’t glamorous. And the three players you’ve cited are different levels of elite. Many other hitters wouldn’t have a prayer of being so successful

9:35
kyle: is there a place you can look up how many times a particular player has faced an infield shift?

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: Kind of. We have stats on leaderboards and player pages about balls in play hit into a shift, which is a half-decent proxy.

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not perfect, but it’s better than nothing

9:36
Rudy L: Kyle Seager just isn’t that good, is he? Has he passed his peak? I’d rank him no better than an average 3B.

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: Well, third base as a position is incredibly deep. But Kyle Seager is still good

9:37
Shaemus: The twins might make the playoffs, despite selling at the deadline. How crazy is this?

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: 7/10 crazy. It would be crazier if a team had to be actually good to claim the second wild-card position. This year it doesn’t seem like that’s going to be true

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: The Angels are our current favorites to win ALWC2, and their projected record is 82-80

9:38
Q-Ball: As time passes, I become more in favor of Robo Umps for the strike zone.  What’s your take?

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve experienced the opposite. I used to be a lot more inflexible than I am now. Five or seven years ago, I knew what I wanted, and what I wanted was an automated strike zone. Now I don’t mind the strike zone as it is, but remember I’m not coming from the same fan standpoint as most of y’all. So I don’t have the same emotional investment. Plus, I regard the automated strike zone as inevitable, and I won’t be upset when it’s finally implemented

9:40
Harry: How do you deal with nuisance sasquatches while hiking?

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve learned from television commercials to just not try to prank them

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: Never prank a sasquatch

9:41
kyle: Joe mauer HoF? historically great catcher pre concussion historically light hitting first baseman post concussion.

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: Right now I don’t think he’ll make it, but he’s going to end up as one of those borderline guys who’s written about a lot. It’s going to come down to how the future voting pool decides to handle catchers, with whatever new data is made available

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: I mean, Mauer has a way higher career fWAR than Yadier Molina, who a lot of people think will make it. Molina will get tons of credit for leadership stuff that Mauer will miss out on, but the point is, there will be a case

9:42
mmddyyyy: If every team had drafted an Otani last year, how many would have been traded this year?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe one. Teams hold onto those guys

9:43
Shaemus: I really like watching the Padres. Am I crazy?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: No, you’re not crazy

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: You’re probably weird to hang out with, but you’re not crazy

9:45
Nats fan: Can you compare Treinen and Kintzler for this year (ignoring contract status. Did we get basically the same pitcher with very divergent results?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: Treinen traffics more in getting hitters to miss. As a result, he gets into deeper counts, and he ends up with more walks. Kintzler feels like he’s more in control, even if his results aren’t likely to be much better in the end

9:46
Daniel: Hey Jeff, how would teams go about valuing the international dollars available to them?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: There’s some kind of analysis to be run on all the trades so far that have involved international money. Seems like the exchange rate is kind of like $1 of international money = $3 – 4 of regular money

9:47
Jay: What kind of shot does Paul Goldschmidt have to be a Hall of Famer?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: Like Joey Votto, Goldschmidt technically started a little late

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: Like Joey Votto, he’s been elite ever since

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: Unlike Joey Votto, he’s 29, with 20 fewer WAR

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: It’s far from obvious that Votto will be a Hall-of-Famer. Goldschmidt himself still has a ways to go. It’s probable that Votto’s initial years of eligibility will be telling, but for right now, Goldschmidt is worse than a 50/50 shot

9:49
v2micca: As if we weren’t already going to be comparing them for the rest of their lives, Mike Trout, homerun number 150.  Age 24 years 295 days.  Bryce Harper, homerun number 150.  Age 24 years 295 days.

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: I enjoy that fun fact

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Also, Mike Trout is much much better

9:49
Absurd Questioner: I know you don’t write about college basketball,  but Fangraphs may need a bracketologist for the AL Wild Card. How crazy are any of these teams to be thinking about buying before 8/31?

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: There’s a difference between aggressive buying and opportunistic tweaking

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: It would be dumb for any of these teams to sacrifice something of value. It would not be dumb to add a veteran or two for the stretch run

9:52
Zonk: For the 2nd year in a row, Bryant has significantly cut his K-Rate, to a current 19%.  While he is not an MVP candidate this year, is he setting-up better for a long run with this?  Or, do you think he traded some power for contact?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: I think Bryant is a little unsettled for now. Some of his trends are good, but then, he’s also lost a big chunk off his hard-hit rate, and his expected wOBA has dropped. He’s still young enough he could be in the process of consolidating. It’s great to see his contact rate now approaching league average. I like the long-term future of this Bryant more than the 2015 edition

9:53
Bruce: Is gary sanchez officially good again?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: He was never bad

9:54
PF: Who should the Jays target this offseason if they intend to truly return to competitiveness? Is it a big job? Do you think it’s realistic?

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: The Blue Jays are basically a .500 team now and they’ve dealt with a lot of injuries

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: A few second- and third-tier offseason additions will give them an opportunity for another shot

9:58
E: Is Joey Gallo approaching the lower limits of AVG and OBP while still remaining an above average hitter overall?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: Average, yes; OBP, no

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: His OBP is .327. Perfectly fine! There have been reasonable hitters before with OBPs south of .300

9:59
Dave: Did the Tigers send the Cubs a changeling in Justin Wilson’s place?  If so, isn’t that worse than the Cardinals’ hacking scandal?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: 7 games, 7 walks, 5 strikeouts

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: Buying is hard

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: There’s so much pressure on a GM — not only are you trying to figure out how much to give up to get whatever you want, but you also have to prepare for the very real possibility that, for absolutely no good reason at all, the player you get might just suck

10:01
mmddyyyy: Does money to players not on the roster count toward the luxury tax?

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: The luxury tax considers only those players on the 40-man roster, right?

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: So this is why it was important when the Red Sox outrighted Rusney Castillo

10:03
Brian: Your Chris Davis article hit very close to me for me, an O’s fan. Is his contract under water right now? 2.7 fWAR last year, projected 1.1 fWAR this year. $17M/yr salaries through 2022, then deferrals after. But possesses the one skill teams still overpay for.

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: Definitely underwater. There’s no moving that

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Davis needs to do his one thing at an elite level in order to be valuable. Fall short of that and there’s no meaningful difference between Davis and, like, Chris Carter

10:04
Pie: The MLB page on tiebreakers for the WC stops after a 4-way tie for 1 WC spot. I think it’s safe to say we may need explanations up to a 7-way tie after this year.

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: I want it to happen, but I want it to happen from afar. I do not want to have to deal with such a nightmare from a writing perspective

10:05
mmddyyyy: Suppose a parallel universe in which after the Y2K scare every child in the United States was required to play organized baseball until they turned 18. All other sports were disbanded. What % of the mlb players in our universe would be mlb players in that universe?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know, 90%?

10:06
Guest: Which potential Wild Card teams have the biggest advantage in a one game series?  And will that advantage potentially hurt them if they win and move on?

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: In theory, if healthy, the Mariners could have the advantage of starting James Paxton

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: No one else could really meet that

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: The Yankees, on the other hand, could give like four innings to Severino, and the rest to their bullpen

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: The Yankees could be a wild-card nightmare

10:10
Hello: As a non prospect guy, thoughts on why sites have Moncada ahead of Acuna? At some point shouldn’t production outweigh theoretical tools?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: Acuna has been an extremely fast riser. Moncada was sort of already there, so to speak. So inertia here is a factor

10:11
Ken: Mariners need pitching and need to win soon. If they took all the salary do they have a chance at Verlander? I know it is a bad long term move but they really need to win.

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: That is how you make tough situations worse

10:12
Go Sox: Evan Longoria is closing in on 50 career WAR. If he keeps it up, he’ll arguably have the quietest Hall-of-Fame-worthy career.

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Tell that to Bobby Abreu’s 59 career WAR

10:13
mmddyyyy: We know wins, saves, era don’t mean too much. Are there any outcome-based stats you would encourage the average fan to look at when his or her team acquires a new pitcher?

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: Start with strikeouts and go from there

10:13
Absurd Questioner: Who is actually the next Ben Zobrist?

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: I guess Chris Taylor?

10:14
Batflips for BB: Aaron Nola is currently on a ridiculously consistent tear. Are the Phillies going to start being accused of “wasting his prime”?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: No

10:14
tenaciousdeucer: The Cubs could sure use another SP for this year and the next couple, as well.  They’ve also sold off (or need) their good, young players.  Isn’t Verlander an obvious “get’ for this huge-market team?

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: They already got Quintana

10:14
MVP: Mike Trout has to be the MVP, right?  Best player in baseball, and his team might sneak into the wildcard despite having no pitching.  Without him they might be the league’s worst team.  Right?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: It’s going to be extremely hard for Trout to win the award with so much missed time

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: And I bet some voters are going to hold against him the fact that the Angels played .500 baseball while he was on the DL

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: For now I’d back Chris Sale, myself

10:16
Harrisburg Hal: With no salary cap in baseball, why are there not owners like in European soccer who don’t care how much money they lose in pursuit of fielding a winning team?  Is it because of the types of owners who are currently holding the franchises (families or line items in public corporations)?  Could this change in the future or will MLB not sell franchises to these types of ownership groups (oligarchs or hedge fund magnates)?  Even in the NBA, with its so-called soft cap, teams like the Cavaliers are content losing millions of dollars in pursuit of a championship.

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: The Tigers kind of went down this path under Ilitch

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: But remember that the luxury tax does count as a pretty firm salary cap, at this point

10:17
Julio Pepper: How much has Tim Beckham’s career WAR expectation changed in the last two weeks? +10? +8?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: I’m stubborn, so I’ll say +2

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t really care how good a hitter is for two weeks; it’s still two weeks

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: Different for me if it were a pitcher doing something similar

10:18
Nic: Fun fast-Food gregarious is third in shortstop war behind seager and simmons.Can we officially call him a top 5 shortstop in baseball?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: No

10:18
Q-Ball: The Cubs looked like a potential dynasty after last year, with a winning team and a bunch of young stars that everyone envied.  It doesn’t look that way now.  Or, is this year kind of a blip?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: Kind of a blip, kind of not. The Cubs remain in very much an enviable position, but there’s no such thing as a baseball dynasty

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: Way too many teams who, in any given year, can make themselves equally good

10:20
Ray: Is the AL just worst than the NL this year, or NL has more inequality of teams?

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: AL still holds a slight advantage in interleague play. It’s the latter

10:20
mmddyyyy: Would earlier arbitration lead to a more even distribution of wealth?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: Yes; earlier arbitration or a higher minimum salary

10:21
Brian: Pumped for expanded roster baseball??

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: I actually kind of like it, but I am a moron

10:21
Ben: Which of the AL 2nd WC contenders do you not want to see in the playoffs and why?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: A team would be rather annoyed to have to deal with the Mariners and Paxton. The Mariners are not good, but if they could start Paxton in a series multiple times, suddenly they’re legitimate

10:22
Ronald Acuña: Am I the best prospect in baseball?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: Starting to feel that way to me. At least now that Devers has graduated

10:23
Breakout: Noticed Byron Buxton lately? Contact up, contact quality up, swing and miss down. Obviously all these things were starting at a pretty terrible place but interesting things are happening with him. He also bailed on a big leg kick. At the very least, watch his HR yesterday.

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: I’m going to need a lot more than a couple of decent weeks against bad pitching

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: 10 Twins have batted at least 20 times in August, and Buxton has the third-highest strikeout rate

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: That being said, I’ve really come to appreciate his defense. If he’s just going to be an occasionally more powerful Billy Hamilton, that’s not horrible

10:26
Mike: Cleveland the AL favorites and WS favorites right now? Insanity?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: WS favorites? What?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Dodgers, man

10:26
mmddyyyy: Does the august deadline apply only to 40-man players?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Yes

10:26
Shaemus: Is Edwin Diaz the most hot and cold closer ever? How would you quantify this?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: Fernando Rodney is still closing

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: Diaz is one of those guys with power stuff and control problems. Lots of those closers around, and none of them ever feel quite reliable

10:27
Guest: Will more runs be scored in the playoffs via the HR or by other means?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Other means

10:28
Brett W: Don’t forget to take your own glasses to the eclipse on Monday! I’ve uncovered evidence that the provided glasses will all be faulty as part of a mass MLB conspiracy to create the next generation of home plate umpires. Anyways, who do you see being the primary suitors for Lorenzo Cain this winter?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Seems vaguely Giants-y. I haven’t thought this all the way through, but they’d make sense to me

10:29
Q-Ball: Why is there always a greater lefty on lefty advantage, than righty on righty, accross the league?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll guess experience. Righties get a lot more reps against righties than lefties do against lefties

10:30
mmddyyyy: What % of the average mlb 25-man roster can you name?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: 75-80%? I can recall just about all of the regulars and important role players, but pretty much every team has some kind of bullpen shuttle that will throw me off

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: Also who the hell is starting for the Marlins these days?

10:31
LegallyEagle: Who is favored: Rockers or D’Backs in a Wild Card. Arizona has the better ace, but Rockies have a better bullpen.

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: D-Backs

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: You can get however many innings out of Greinke, and then two or even three from Bradley

10:32
Hannah Hochevar: Keuchel has a scorcher and a honker since the DL. Think he finds his ace form this year?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: He’s fine

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: Probably

10:33
Tolther: How much do the additions of Skaggs and now Heaney help the Angels for the rest of the year?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Zero idea about Heaney — can’t take anything for granted, there. But Skaggs is going to be crucial

10:33
Pumpsie Green: Dickey a good fit for any contender?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Horrible rotations like Seattle or Baltimore could use him for a few weeks, but he’d be of zero postseason utility

10:34
Hannah Hochevar: Now that the O’s didn’t ship off Britton, what should they be looking to do this August?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Win games

10:35
Curtis: Do you have a preferred method of water filtration while hiking?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve never had a problem with my Platypus gravity filter, but the downside is it can be slow-going. Girlfriend recently picked up one of the MSR pump filters, and that’s faster, if more tiring. Just got my hands on a Life Straw, which I haven’t yet used. Will be just for emergency

10:36
Michael: Why are HBP weighted as more than BBs in wOBA?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: HBPs are distributed more randomly. Walks are skewed slightly toward situations where, say, a base is open, or a worse player is coming up

10:37
Harry: I remember reading about Jason Kipnis admitting to farting in the catchers face on purpose and Jorge Posada saying something along those lines happened to him. Could horrendous gas be the next market inefficiency?  Like looking for batters how frequently get eye watering gas?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Literally every single time I tell my girlfriend I’m having trouble thinking of a writing or podcasting idea or whatever, she tells me to write about catchers and farting.

10:39
Babe Lincoln: Any hiking (or other) recommendations in/around Badlands National Park/Custer State Park in SD?  Going there on the 26th.

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: Haven’t been yet. So soon, I’ll be asking *you*! Take your sun protection seriously. Don’t be a hero.

10:39
mmddyyyy: Which movie scene best describes how you feel during these chats?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: You know that Austin Powers scene where he’s just pissing for like two and a half minutes?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: By the end of these, I usually really have to go to the bathroom, is the point

10:41
Hannah Hochevar: Was excited about Cahill to KC. Do you think his struggles stemmed from the injury or do they call the prior success into question?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Shoulder

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: I think he’s just hurt, and the Royals, unfortunately, don’t get to see the best of him

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: That was the risk

10:41
LegallyEagle: When you hike (by yourself) do you carry with you an emergency GPS receiver?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: I haven’t, but I also haven’t yet put myself in a situation where that would be necessary. Not when alone. If I start advancing into, say, more avalanche territory by myself, I’ll do that, not that it would help much in the event…

10:42
Pumpsie Green: Where do you stand on the Phillies trading Nola? I’ve read differing opinions among your peer group over the last couple of days.

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: I think it’s something they should probably be open to next July, but then, by next July, we’ll know a lot more about Nola, and about the Phillies around him

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: Nola has four more years of control after this one

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Crawford is finally producing in the high minors, and then you’ve got Herrera, Hoskins, Altherr…

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Phillies aren’t close, but they might be close to having a way more optimistic picture

10:45
Darlos Canger: What’s to be done with Zack Cozart? Should the Reds take what they can get for him? Is a qualifying offer foolish? Let him ride out the season and walk for nothing? Kind of a tough situation

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Honestly, while I know that Cozart probably isn’t true QO material, I think I’d just give him one anyway. He’s a fine player, it’s not going to cripple them, and they need major-league talent just to stay somewhat afloat

10:47
Bruce Bocce: Bradley Zimmer has had a rough month. Is this rookie growing pain or has he been figured out?

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: Naquin’d

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: He was good enough in July that it wouldn’t make sense for him to suddenly be bad now, but this is why you don’t want to get *too* excited about rookies through just half of one season

10:49
Bubba: Odds Stanton hits 60?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Lots of bad pitching ahead. He’s got a good chance

10:50
Honeywell: Why wont the Rays dip into my well of honey?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: This sounds disgusting

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: I imagine it’s just a matter of trying to manage his work-stress levels. Don’t want to put too much pressure on him as his innings mount

10:52
Brian: Flags fly forever but the Heyward and Zobrist contracts have been awful

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: Zobrist was a 4-WAR player last season

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: His contract is worth $56 million. In Year 1, he was worth easily more than half of that

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: He literally hit Game 7’s go-ahead double

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: Ben Zobrist is a god damn Chicago-area hero

10:54
Paul : Is the effect of year-to-year pitchers batting across a lineup under discussed? In the NL, if you look at the aggregate batting average of all pitchers batting for a team on a year to year basis, how significant is any change? What’s driving this question is I noticed that last year, the Cubs pitchers collectively averaged about a .180 BA. This year they’re at .120. That .060 point drop would be significant if it was for a singular hitter and could explain why a lineup struggles. Is that a real issue for NL teams, or have I committed a grave statistical sin averaging all pitcher’s BAs that renders this question moot? Thanks!

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: Cubs pitchers are going to end up about one win less valuable, as batters, than they were a season ago

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: That’s not nothing, but the effect of the worse performance is mitigated by the limited number of plate appearances, and the relatively low leverage of those opportunities

10:56
Daniel: How does Yasiel Puig have a -7.0 BsR?  Seems like it destroys his WAR number

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: For one thing, he’s already doubled his previous career-high in double plays

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: He’s also advancing on the bases far, far less often than he used to

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: Last year, he took an extra base on hits 56% of the time. This year, 29%

10:58
CamdenWarehouse: Is it weird that Maddon continues to hit Baez in the #8 slot despite him hitting better than a number of his teammates?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe it’s because he’s hitting in the #8 slot

10:59
Shawn: Giancarlo Stanton has a large contract, and thus won’t command a crazy prospect “haul” seems to be the thought. He also has an opt-out in 2020 (i think?). So wouldn’t he be appealing to an acquiring team with the idea that a) he doesn’t cost a ton of propsect (or young player currency) and b) he can opt out of he performs well and the the acquiring team won’t be on the hook for whole contract, however still gets 3 prime years of him?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: There’s nothing appealing about acquiring an opt-out clause

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: Stanton only opts out if he’s valuable. If he’s not, the acquiring team is screwed

11:00
Travis: Is it just a coincidence that Freeman was a significantly worse hitter at 3B or could learning a new position on the fly have affected his at bats somehow?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: Probably more related to how he was playing over there when he was fresh off the DL

11:01
Luzinski’s Sweaty Gooch: Do any metrics or projection systems take into account players playing through injury?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: Not really, no

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: I guess Steamer has a velocity component

11:01
Tom: Given their rotations fragility should the Mets trade or sign for an innings eating starter?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: They could definitely use some boring veteran

11:01
mike: I noticed that Fangraphs has had many writers write 2 or 3 articles for you and then disappear. Why is that?

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: A good number of writers have tried to write and then come to realize that writing on a consistent basis is difficult

11:02
Babe Lincoln: If you’re Sandy Alderson, what’s your plan this offseason?

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: Try again in 2018 and hope for some better freakin luck

11:03
Babe Lincoln: Is there an article coming on what the Mets did Wednesday night with Traavis d’Arnaud in the infield?

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: Not to my knowledge

11:03
mmddyyyy: Are player or team options exercised more?

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know, but I’ll guess team options. You see those a lot more often

11:04
Rickon: Which breakout player do you have a tougher time believing in?

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: Didi Gregorius

11:06
Anthony: Did the Brewers ever explain hiding August’ s hiring for so long?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think so, but I can tell you the answer is both good and uninteresting

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: In that, it makes sense why it was hidden, but nobody would feel entertained by the story

11:08
Brad Wesley: Gallo’s expected production realistically falls somewhere between his first half and scorching second half I would assume… But how encouraging has the last month of so been  for his development and does it impact your long term outlook?

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: Something I look for from young players is the ability to bounce back from the inevitable slump. Gallo bottomed out there for a time, but he’s fixed himself. Everything now is leaving the yard. Doesn’t mean he doesn’t still have question marks, but Gallo has proven something I wasn’t certain he could prove

11:09
Rich : Who’s a better hitter in their career Betts or Devers

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll still take Betts, but I am a coward

11:10
A. Reitz: D. Cameron seems to believe past years production is indiciative of future in terms of team success (Cubs). W/ Lester looking terrible and now possibly injured. Hendricks coming back down to earth and Arrieta looking more like a #2 or #3…Why are we still pretending this Cubs team is a WS contender? They’ve been an average team for 100+ games.

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: It’s possible for a team to be both worse and good

11:11
Matt: Is the *real* Kyle Schwarber they guy we’ve seen since his return from IA- ~260/350/510-20??

11:11
Jeff Sullivan: They better hope not, because he’s struck out almost 40% of the time

11:11
Slew: Do the Indians have the best pitching staff in baseball? Starting rotation? (They’re #1 in WAR in both)

11:11
Jeff Sullivan: Dodgers, when Kershaw is available

11:12
Daniel: Are you as in on Devers as Dave?  He said the other day he could be the best hitter in baseball if he elevated more.  Seemed like a stretch for a guy with 50 PAs

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: Devers is a Dave guy, for sure. I could never match his enthusiasm. But I’m all in for talking about, say, Devers vs. Moncada

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: All right, I need to get rolling

11:12
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 — 8/18/17 by Jeff Sullivan!

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

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2+ hours of chat and a “sorry for what I didn’t or couldn’t address” at the end. Great stuff Jeff, this is at least as good as a couple articles.