Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 8/26/16

9:02
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:03
Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to baseball chat

9:03
carrotjuice: I recommend the Rob Arthur article on 538 the other day about Statcast missing batted balls. The craziest thing: 21.7% of batted balls in the Arizona Diamondbacks stadium aren’t tracked!

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: If I recall this was an issue a year ago — many of the weakest-hit batted balls weren’t tracked. Stands to reason that wouldn’t get fixed right away. So what we’re seeing in the data isn’t necessarily “true” in terms of capturing everything

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: There are problems with balls hit directly into the ground, and there are problems with balls hit so high the cameras lose sight of them

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not random — the missing batted balls tend to be extremely unproductive batted balls, from a hitting standpoint

9:05
The Decadent Moose: On a scale of 1-10, one being “bartender” and ten being “Yadi Molina”, please quantify Jesús Sucre’s MLB future.

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: I didn’t realize bartender was one potential MLB future

9:06
Ned Colletti: How shocking is the AJ Ellis – Carlos Ruiz trade?

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: 9 out of 10 shocking that Ellis would get dealt, but 1 out of 10 shocking that the Dodgers front office would be the front office to deal him

9:07
Fan: Where would you put Bumgarner in the CY race right now? Front runner?

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: Admittedly I haven’t yet thought too much about the NL Cy Young, but the *real* variable is going to be Kershaw, who so far has the best imaginable performance over the equivalent of just half a season. I think Bumgarner has been terrific although he’s also benefited from a phenomenal defensive catcher.

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: Even right now I like Scherzer a small amount better than Bumgarner

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: Although then you get into the conversation about whether hitting should make a difference…

9:10
Aaron : In the relative toss up between Seager and Bryant for NL MVP so far this year, do you think that we should give extra credit to Seager for having the second best rookie campaign in past 30 years? Second only to Trout over that time, and he’s the third best in past 60 years.

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think it matters. Sure, you could argue it matters if you’re just discussing which season is most “impressive,” but value is value and it doesn’t care about the situation in which a player is playing. It cares only about durability and performance

9:11
Brett W: Assuming health for all Cubs except Schwarber, if they could only carry 9 position players on the postseason roster, Heyward is out, right? How about 10?

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: Why are we using an unrealistic cutoff?

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: If the question is simply “will the Cubs start Heyward in the playoffs,” the answer is “right now, no, probably not”

9:13
Wakawaka: Pitch FX question … You sometimes hear scouts and baseball commentators talk about the downward plane a pitcher gets with a pitch. They’re usually referring to tall guys with high arm slots who pitch to the bottom the strike zone and thus throw pitches with steeper-than-average angles of descent. Does the vertical movement data from Pitch FX capture the downward-plane quality of a pitch? As I understand it, the Pitch FX movement readings are only measuring the deflection caused by spin, etc., and so I’m thinking that pitchers with steep downward plane will appear to an observer to have more downward movement on a pitch than the Pitch FX data will reflect.

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: You are correct — the tracking measurements measure only the baseball and its spin, and they don’t account for the angle at which a pitch is being thrown. So that can mess with visual perception

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: Of course, the difference in angles is really pretty small. Let’s say a pitcher is releasing a pitch from 55 feet away. A pitcher who releases the ball seven feet above the ground will be throwing at an angle of 7.3 degrees below the horizontal. A pitcher who releases the ball five feet above the ground will be throwing at an angle of 5.2 degrees below the horizontal

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe that’s noticeable, but it’s really subtle, and those are two extreme situations

9:17
Jeff: If the season ended today, who is the AL and NL MVP?

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: My hunch is that Bryant would win, and then in the AL it would be a tight race between Betts, Donaldson, and Altuve. I think Altuve would win easily if the Astros made it into the playoffs

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: That’s not necessarily how *I* would vote, but that’s the voting I would expect

9:19
Erik: What is the spread in the true talent of medical staffs? Could a team reliably add 3-5 wins a season through injury prevention with a truly elite medical staff, or are injuries effectively random?

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: Injuries aren’t random, but they’re random enough that we can’t really do an effective job of measuring things. Not every player is built the same and it’s impossible to know who is more likely to hold up, from the outside.

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: Now some teams are surely better than others. The White Sox used to get a lot of credit for this. But without knowing more it’s reallllllly difficult to hold a training staff responsible when a player gets hurt

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: Hell, take Puig and the Dodgers. Puig has had a bunch of hamstring problems. That reflects poorly on the team. But it sounds like Puig has simply ignored the team’s suggestions when it comes to getting prepped. So what do we do with that?

9:22
Kimball: How much of your lateness to chat is due to Googling quotes to use to announce the chat on Twitter?

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: 1-2 minutes, but this time I was on Cincinnati radio

9:23
Billy beane: I made the worst trade in history.. plez help

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: You traded Miguel Cabrera?

9:25
CapnZippers: Seth Lugo’s curveball averaged 3300 RPM last night. That spin rate is almost 10% higher than the next guy. Holy Moly! Mets maybe found a gem?

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve taken a couple minutes to try to debunk this. No such luck

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: Running a quick search for all curveballs thrown at least 50 times:

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: Lugo is in first at 3341 average RPM. Sam Dyson is second at 3085.

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: Lugo gets a ton of vertical break. That is definitely a pitch to watch. I mean, Jesse Hahn has an awesome curveball and he’s still not good, but Lugo has something here

9:28
Kimball: Please say a nice thing about Kyle Seager, since apparently no one outside the PNW will.

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: He is good, young, and rich

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: The only downside is that he looks like an adult baby

9:28
Bill: Has Kris Bryant exceeded your expectations? I personally didn’t think he would have many 6 WAR seasons, he’s on pace for around 8 right now.

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: I expected great things from Bryant, offensively. Now, I didn’t expect him to turn into so much of a pull hitter. But, he’s clearly doing just fine. He has absolutely exceeded my expectations on the bases and in the field. I didn’t think he’d be so defensively versatile, and that’s what really puts him over the top

9:31
Outta my way, Gyorkass: Jeremy Jeffress…good lord man. Does MLB treat DUI arrests as a drug policy violation the way the NFL does?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not trusting my memory too much right now but what my memory says is that MLB doesn’t really have much of a DUI policy with any teeth

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: That’s been a big problem in the past when DUI offenders have gotten away without penalties while players have been suspended for, like, brushing an umpire

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: Now, granted, the difference is that a DUI isn’t committed on the field or in a stadium. Jeffress will face legal consequences

9:33
Patrick: Who has the best starting rotation in the AL East? It isn’t exactly clear cut, but the Red Sox starters have been fantastic post ASB

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: Improbably, it looks like the Blue Jays

9:33
JP: Do you believe the Coors Hangover might be real and do you think anyone at Fangraphs would look into it, maybe in the offseason?

9:34
9:34
Jeff Sullivan: That didn’t turn up a lot, but maybe I was just going about things wrong. I absolutely do believe that playing at Coors makes it more difficult to adjust to pitch movements at other ballparks. No question

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: That doesn’t seem to resolve itself over the course of individual road trips, for whatever reason. Traded players indicate that you can recover from a few years of getting Coorsed

9:36
Josh: Since his most recent recall, Randal Grichuk has scorched the ball, but he’s walking less than 3% and striking out over 33% of the time. Do you see anything in his profile that suggests a more sustainable production level going forward as opposed to earlier in the season?

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: I think I remember reading something recently about how the Cardinals now just want to let Grichuk be Grichuk. They tried to improve his discipline earlier but then he just got caught in between being passive and being aggressive. That’s not him and I guess that’s not something that could be forced upon him

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: The encouraging thing is simply that Grichuk was a good hitter as an aggressive type a season ago. The pop is very clearly in there and the contact rate is low but not extreme. I think Grichuk will just live his days out as a low-OBP slugging type. Maybe that’s not the “Cardinal way” but it’s what works for him. Should still be a fine regular

9:38
Andrew: Is there a point at which an elite defender should be moved up the defensive spectrum in order to maximize his value? I.e. if a 2B saves 20 runs/year, would he be more valuable if he moved to SS? Or should they just be put wherever they can save the most runs?

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: In theory, at least, it doesn’t make a difference. But we’ve seen this talk with, say, Jason Heyward, and back in the day with Ichiro. Where you can run into one issue is that maybe a player is elite at a certain position because he understands every single angle and nuance. If you then change that player’s position, everything changes. He has to learn new details

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: I think most of the time, you should just leave the great ones be

9:40
Ronnie: Ryan Braun is at +5 DRS & -2.5 UZR for the season, giving him +28 DRS & -23 UZR for his careeer in LF. Has he likely been an average LF even though neither system has seen him a such?

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: Ooh, fun! Yeah, I’d go with your interpretation.

9:41
CamdenWarehouse: When we talk about hard hit ball data, are foul balls tracked or only balls in play?

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: Foul balls get tracked but not included. Except, perhaps, foul outs.

9:41
your friend: how do you pick the quotes you use when you tweet out the chats

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: Hurriedly

9:41
Patrick: Are you enjoying the Arquimedes Caminero experience? He’s looked pretty good since moving over to Seattle.

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: He’s allowed seven runs in 11 games

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: What he *has* done is rather dramatically increase his zone rate. So he’s throwing more strikes, which helps. But his control still blows

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Let me take that back. The strikes indicate his control is fine. It’s his command that blows

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: It’s funny — the Mariners are doing to Caminero what the Pirates usually do for pitchers. With the Mariners, Caminero’s strike rate is up five percentage points. That’s the same thing the Pirates have done with Ivan Nova since they got him from the Yankees

9:45
Joe: How quickly can A’s fans expect their prospects to bring them to ~.500? 2018? 2019?

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: In every single season, the A’s try to give themselves a decent shot at .500. So I wouldn’t even rule out 2017. But they need to have better health. Injuries have slaughtered them

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: #Triggs

9:47
Justin: What is Taillon’s upside? A really good #2? Like a Josh Beckett?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: That works as a pretty good comp. Similar repertoires in there. Taillon is impressing by throwing a lot of strikes even despite all the missed time. If he can stay healthy, all the lights are green

9:48
Bork: Hello, friend!

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friend

9:48
KSF: What is your unbaised perception of JA Happ?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: I can’t imagine having a biased perception of JA Happ

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: I think he works as a No. 3. Really enjoys having a good catcher and defense

9:49
carrotjuice: Who do you think should win the AL ROY?

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: This is probably one of those things I’m not supposed to disclose since this is my first year as a voter and I get that very award

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s say that the very obvious Nomar Mazara pick is no longer the very obvious pick

9:51
Outta my way, Gyorkass: Of the NL rebuilders (I’d include AL teams here too, but I’m not convinced any of them are actually committing to a rebuild), in what order do you think CIN, MIL, ATL, PHI, and SD return to legitimate playoff contention?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: Phillies, Brewers, pause, pause, pause, pause, Padres, Braves, Reds

9:53
Lars: Who looks more like a Keebler elf, Justin Turner or Grant Brisbee?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: Turner

9:54
TF Fredrik: Watched Zach Britton Monday. Um, his sinker was 95+ and I saw the movement of a two seamer, splitter, slider, & cutter. He only uses one grip for that pitch right? How the hell does he get that variety of movement with one grip?

9:54
Someone: How many starts would Kershaw need to get in form for October?

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: Three?

9:56
The Boat: Is Ivan Nova getting Happed right now? Does get paid that kind of dough this winter? Should we start calling him Ivan Hova?

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, the Pirates have basically just had Nova throw everything in the strike zone. The repertoire isn’t overwhelming but good counts help everybody. Nova has a more recent injury history than Happ but I bet he’ll find similar terms if this keeps up

9:56
Erik: Isn’t the Ellis-Ruiz deal effectively a clubhouse guy for a clubhouse guy? And why would you give up the clubhouse guy who already has established relationships with your team?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: Because you strongly believe the other clubhouse guy is better on the field

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: It’s still weird though. And the best guess is that the Dodgers agreed to include Ellis just because they were going to be out of 40-man spots

9:57
TF Fredrik: Do you think Maddon will use Chapman differently in the playoffs?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: Depends a little on the health of the rest of his relievers

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: It is worth noting that Chapman this year has already made a few appearances of more than one inning

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: Come playoff time, roles tend to collapse and managers get more aggressive. Maddon won’t be cautious with his best arms

10:02
Greg: If you had to create a pitcher who’s K/9 is double his BB/9, what mix would you want? One caveat: he also allows 1HR/9.

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Give me the maximum. 27 K/9, 13.5 BB/9

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: At those rates, you’d have a pitcher with a 3.09 FIP. If, instead, you had…9 K/9 and 4.5 BB/9, the pitcher’s FIP would be 4.09

10:05
Bob Pollard: Do you think that Lester’s base-throwing yips/lack of the ability to hold runners is a big deal? He’s had a long, successful career despite this, mainly due to being good a run prevention, but it did hurt that one time vs. KC in the playoffs. Should Cubs fans be making a bigger deal out of it, or is it just not that big of a deal?

10:06
Jeff Sullivan: For whatever reason things have gotten better — last year Lester allowed 44 steals in 55 attempts, and this year he’s at 22 in 32. David Ross has helped. Last year, Lester had -5 stolen-base runs; this year he’s at -2.

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: It’s very clearly something exploitable. If, like, Lester kept putting Trea Turner on base, that would work against him. But baserunners can’t score unless the guys at the plate do something, and Lester is good about controlling them. And running against him simply isn’t automatic

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: The Royals game was a worst-case scenario — Lester at his worst, with a bad defensive catcher, against the most aggressive running team in the league

10:09
JON: What is Tyler Naquin’s true talent? .300BA .600 SLG%? I know that CLE is platooning him.

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: Opponents have definitely found something in there in August. He makes good contact, but he also swings through the ball a lot and he’ll go out of the zone. I see him more like a .260 hitter who slugs around .475

10:11
Jamie Sayer: The wrist injury the main cause for Jake Lamb’s 2nd half slump, are pitchers figuring him out and he’s trying to make adjustments, or is it a combination of both / something else?

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Early Lamb was an extreme over-achiever. He’s still hitting the ball pretty hard but his results have regressed heavily.

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: A plot in there suggests that Lamb was due for this, in a way

10:13
jon: Odds of Jake Arrieta repeat for Cy Young?

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: 25%? Needs a really strong September

10:15
Outta my way, Gyorkass: Regarding minor league affiliations – how feasible is it for an MLB owner to grab control of a particular MiLB team and move it to wherever he pleases? Assume the preferred desitination city is one of fairly decent size and is willing to go in on a stadium and all that.

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: A few years ago the Padres ownership bought the Portland Beavers with the intention of moving them to Escondido. Stadium negotiations fell through, though, and Escondido never got that team, and now the team is based in El Paso

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Now, granted, you provided the assumption that stadium talks work out. So it’s not *unfeasible*. But you need a team to be up for sale, and you need a market that makes sense and doesn’t already have a team.

10:18
t: Odubel Herrera is one of the Phillies’ bright spots to have dimmed as the season goes on. Have pitchers just realized he isn’t that great so maybe they should stop walking him?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: Basically, yeah. Herrera has seen more strikes, and that was always going to happen, because he isn’t that dangerous.

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: Way back when Herrera was walking all the time I heard from a Phillies guy that they didn’t know what was happening. They didn’t understand why pitchers weren’t just working in the zone. It was fun while it lasted but Herrera was never going to be a big walker because of his discipline

10:20
TF Fredrik: When playoff time comes, if Heyward hasn’t shown any signs of improving with the bat, is it better to have his defense in for 7 or so innings then pinch hit, or for him to come in as defensive replacement?

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe you start him against righties, and have him on the bench as a potential replacement against lefties

10:21
Bork: What’s happened to Estrada can you help him please please. SOS.

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: Turns out maybe Marco Estrada isn’t a Cy Young pitcher

10:22
lunch: freddie freeman currently has 4.2 WAR. the braves as a team are currently listed as having a total of 4 WAR. i am not a mathematician, but i think that roughly translates to “holy crap the rest of that team is bad.”

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: Hey now, let’s be fair, that 4 WAR is just for the position players

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: Oh, right, that barely helps

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: On the plus side, Matt Kemp is at -0.1 WAR through 100 plate appearances

10:23
KC: Is there any real chance of Sanchez being a legit AL CY winner?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: I think so, yeah, if his innings don’t drop off *too* much. And if he keeps his ERA under 3, that’s visually appealing, even if it’s under only by a hair

10:24
JON: Where did Hernan Perez come from? Has he made a real improvement or just a hot streak?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: He’s been on my list but he’s not high-profile enough for me to have already written about. He is legitimately improved, I think — he’s hitting the ball harder. He’s a good find and he’s helpful on the bases. He’s still not great, and he won’t become great, but he’s a strong utility guy or semi-regular

10:26
Outta my way, Gyorkass: Predict the Cubbiest way for the Billy Goat Curse to manifest itself in 2016

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know about the Cubbiest way, but the most satisfying way would be for Aroldis Chapman to blow Game 7

10:27
Cory: Is Matt Boyd a guy or will his HR issues prevent him from ever being a good SP?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: I like Boyd just fine. He’s brought his minor-league strikes to the majors. He’s a No. 4 now who could become a No. 3

10:28
Erik: With the Phillies and Braves on the way up, will the NL East be the toughest division in a few years? Or will the Marlins and maybe the Mets simply replace them at the bottom?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: Long way to go. The Phillies and the Braves are still bad, and the Marlins are hard to trust. The Mets are built around a fragile core

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: If anything I think the NL Central continues to profile as a beast

10:29
Pat: How bad is Votto defensively? He seems like he should be an average first basemen in the field, but stinks according to the defense stats.

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: Votto has rated as a fine defensive first baseman every single season but this one. I don’t know why he would’ve suddenly fallen off so I assume he’s at least average today

10:31
Josh: How surprised were you that Bochy let Moore stay out there for 130+ pitches to go for the no-hitter, and do you think it was the right decision?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: I’m sure you remember that Tim Lincecum was left out there for 148 pitches in his first no-hitter

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think there were any red flags. Moore’s velocity wasn’t dropping. His arm slot wasn’t dropping. He wasn’t pitching out of jams.

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Now just speaking personally, I don’t care about no-hitters very much. (Note: I vastly prefer perfect games.) But if I were Bochy, in charge of Moore and the rest of my roster, I think it’s a perfectly defensible position. As long as Moore looked strong, you can let him go for the personal achievement

10:35
Gabe: Could fWAR be fairly drastically underrating Robinson Cano’s career? His career UZR totals suggest he’s been the second-worst defensive everyday second baseman from 2005-2016, while DRS and the Fan Scouting Report both see him as well above-average over that time. The eye test (at least from his time as a Yankee) would seem to support the latter conclusion – average-at-best range, but very sure hands, a strong arm, and a knack for turning double plays. The difference is stark enough that bWAR sees Cano as a sure-fire HOF’er, with 60.8 career WAR already, while fWAR gives him only 47.6 career wins. I’ve always wondered why Cano graded out so poorly by UZR; you’re a Seattle fan – any reason you can think of? Seems like a ripe topic for exploration.

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: I think all the players with different DRS and UZR figures are interesting to explore. And you’re right, in Cano’s case, it could be that fWAR is underrating him by a significant amount. I can’t speak to exactly why, however — the biggest differences came some seasons ago

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: From 2005 – 2010, Cano was 40 runs better by DRS. From 2011 – 2016, the separation is 24 runs. Still big, but not *enormous*. And this just comes down to differences in methodology. I don’t have an explanation ready

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s just take the easy way out and blame Jeter

10:38
CamdenWarehouse: “but value is value and it doesn’t care about the situation in which a player is playing.” Is the whole argument over MVP awards based upon value being tied to the situation in which a player is playing?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: Well I mean it doesn’t care if a guy is a rookie. Should we give David Ortiz extra credit because he’s done well as an old man?

10:39
E: Do the Indians have enough offense to win it all?

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: The Royals did

10:39
The Boat: How can the Angels be competitive next year? They need pitching desperately and that’s not really available this winter.

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: Health, basically. They need Richards to have a successful recovery. You put him with Shoemaker and Skaggs and hope. And then you pray that Jett Bandy is somehow for real

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: As with almost any team, it’s possible to squint and see next year’s Angels around .500.

10:41
Kyle Hendricks: Why no love! I am the ERA leader!

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: FanGraphs has loved you longer than anyone

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Even your own mother. Ask her. FanGraphs was there first.

10:42
Zonk: White Sox GM said yesterday that their direction will become evident after the first transaction or two of the offseason. Think he’s talking about a rebuild? Sale and Quintana would bring back a haul, wouldn’t they?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: For sure, but I remain unconvinced the White Sox are actually certain that’s the direction they’re going to go

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: It’s going to be, again, about reading the market, and seeing if the demand is sufficient to justify caving in

10:43
Jim Lonborg: Thoughts in the Repczynski (sp?) trade? I would still love the Red Sox to find a lefty someplace.

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: Thought it was weird for the Nats. Schrock is good

10:43
your friend: do you fuck with the new blind pilot

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: Love me some Blind Pilot

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: They were maybe the first thing I loved about Portland

10:43
Erik: Do Heyward’s struggles tell us anything about the likely career path of players of his type? Or just about Heyward himself?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Heyward himself. I don’t think this is a problem with glove-first players any more than Upton’s struggles reflect on bat-first players. Heyward has always been uniquely complicated.

10:44
Zonk: Addison Russell, in the 2nd half, is running a .260 ISO. Is the power surge just a hot streak, or is Russell morphing into a legit power hitter at the age of 22?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Planning to write about him next week! But it does look like the power is turning on.

10:45
Alex: How prevalent do you think doctoring the baseball still is in today’s game, where 1. Pitchers are always wanting fresh baseballs and 2. every second of every game is captured on video

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think pitchers are out there scuffing baseballs, but I think pretty much every pitcher is out there using sunscreen

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: Collectively the players have determined that this is acceptable

10:46
Zonk: What pending FA has improved his stock the most this year? What pending FA has tanked the most?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Carlos Gomez has pretty clearly tanked, pending his final month. In a different way, Jose Bautista has done himself a disservice

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: On the other hand, Ian Desmond has been fantastic. And Michael Saunders has answered some big questions

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: Also as mentioned before, Ivan Nova could be setting himself up for a guaranteed three years or so

10:47
Q-Ball: Cespedes says he won’t opt out. Do you believe that? Even if he wants to stay in NY, you would think he could use that as leverage to add more years to his current deal. Right?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: I think it’s safe to say Cespedes likes New York, and I think it’s safe to say it doesn’t matter what he says about his contract future in August

10:48
Q-Ball: Good article on Bryant! IIRC, Anthony Rizzo led the NL in WPA last year, but I don’t think it did much for his MVP vote. Do I recall that correctly?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: He did finish fourth in the voting, but on the other hand, Bryce Harper was listed first on every single ballot

10:49
Brian: Jeff, love the chats, I’ve been looking at sites like https://baseballsavant.mlb.com lately and everywhere else to get my hands on as much data as possible.

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: In the year 2016, we are so blessed

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Politically, we are not blessed. Baseball-wise, super blessed!

10:49
Steve: With Joe Biagini’s success this year, will more teams look to the rule 5 draft for help with their bullpens?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: The Rule 5 draft has had some real success stories lately. Used to be teams would all but ignore it. I think everyone is going to resume paying attention, and bullpens are the easiest place to rush some minor-league talent

10:50
Q-Ball: How about that AL Cy Young race! Have a favorite?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: I’d probably lean Kluber, but I’m starting to think the voters will lean Hamels

10:51
CamdenWarehouse: Murphy has to be right there with Bryant and Seager, right?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: In my opinion, yeah, but probably not in the collective opinion of the voters

10:52
Q-Ball: It appears Shelby Miller will lose a year of service time due to this stint in the minors, giving the D-Backs 2 more years of control. Do you think this is unfair to Shelby? Or is this reasonable, given how poorly he has pitched this year?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: This one’s right on the border. I don’t believe the D-Backs when they say they didn’t even realize the service-time implications. That’s too stupid. But Miller *has* been a complete disaster in the majors so I think you can easily justify a long stint in Triple-A. This is maybe the one upside of what became of him. Now the D-Backs can have him for longer, for better or worse

10:53
Anthony Rendon: Another good month and my 2016 is going to look a lot like my 2014 when I finished 5th in the MVP race. Why no love this year? Better teammates overshadowing me? Better NL MVP candidates?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: Better NL MVP candidates

10:54
Pat: Michael Saunders anti-clutch update: Homers in the 7th inning while up by 5 on tuesday

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Gotta love him!

10:54
doubletap: OK, I got bored and ran a simulation. Over a very large number of games, a pitcher with a K/9 of 27, BB/9 of 13.5, and HR/9 of 1 would end up with an FIP of 3.35.

10:54
Uncle Leo: How amazing is it that Ruiz will finish his career with more fWAR than Ryan Howard?

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: Catchers, man

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: Also helps that Howard basically stopped adding to his career total at 29

10:55
Raindog: Hey Jeff, do you think Appleman could make a tickbox on the leaderboards for HOF and/or non-HOF? The way we have for active roster? That would be fun to play with!

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: That’s not a bad idea, I’ll jot it down

10:56
Dallas: I use Chrome as my browser. Fangraphs consistently crashes or is clunky. Is there something I can do on my end to help with this? I just got a brand new computer but still have the same problems. Thanks.

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: Also, I’ll forward this along to Appelman. I’m not great at understanding these things myself

10:56
Earl: Gerrit Cole is giving up a lot more contact this year. Anything to it? Velo seems fine.

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: He hasn’t quite had the same slider that fueled his breakthrough. Some of this is probably rust; for the most part, he seems OK

10:57
Santa: Vogelbach going to be the starting 1B next year?

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: He’ll be an option but he won’t be the preference

10:57
Hank: Does Rusney Castillo have any trade value?

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: No

10:58
Burts_beads: Do you see Tommy Pham is a legit starting OF’er going forward?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: He’s kind of alarmingly similar to Grichuk. I mean, Grichuk is way more aggressive, but Pham strikes out a bunch and beats the hell out of the ball. He gets the Statcast stamp of approval. I’d like to see Pham get 500 plate appearances somewhere

10:59
Santa: Is Guaranteed Rate Field truly the worst stadium name ever? At least Smoothie King Arena sounds fun

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: Isn’t there a Quicken Loans Arena? That’s also bad

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: Guaranteed Rate Field is objectively terrible but people will settle on some half-decent nickname, like they did with O.co

11:00
Santa: Would the Mariners have ruined Mike Trout if he came up in their organization?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: I think about this probably every week

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: On Tuesday I thought I saw Dustin Ackley at the climbing gym. Then I thought “no that’s stupid.” Then I thought “maybe it’s not so stupid”

11:01
Dan: I’m not convinced clutch tells us much. Bryant was near top of the pack last year, now he’s at the bottom. What does that actually tell me?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: It tells you nothing about true talent. It tells you something about events that have actually happened. It is crucial to understand the difference

11:02
Nate: What would your shortlist for top catchers on your team for next year look like in order?

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: Buster Posey

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: How’s that for a short list

11:02
Alby: Does success in the Rule V draft depend on having lots of scouts watching minor-league games, or is it just shooting in the dark? I can’t image the cost of looking at another team’s guy and ultimately giving him back would deter teams from making a pick.

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: It’s more about opportunity. Teams like their own guys and you only have 25 spots. It’s not always so easy to manage someone who’s never played above Single- or Double-A. It can also just look bad for a player who’s been, say, busting his ass in the PCL, only to get passed over for some lottery ticket

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: So Rule 5 picks tend to work out better for bad teams who can afford to give longer opportunities

11:04
Tyler: Not sure if you saw the Braves game last night, not sure anyone does anymore. But seeing Dansby Swanson make some great plays at SS reminds me of Simmons. Any chance Dansby competes for Gold Gloves in the future? Or does Crawford have those to himself for the foreseeable future?

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: Well, Crawford is going to get older, but I’m not going to voluntarily compare any young shortstop to Andrelton Simmons

11:04
You Better You Better You Betts: Where can I find rolling (insert random rate stat here) rate charts for articles I want to write?

11:05
Santa: Is Gary Sanchez literally Johnny Bench reincarnated?

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: Johnny Bench isn’t dead

11:05
Tyler: Unrelated to just about everything, is Andruw Jones a HOF?

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: No, but I do love the argument

11:06
Antonio: Breakout seasons from Yelich and Ozuna. How much do you credit Barry Bonds toward their outstanding season?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: Only a little bit. Yelich was inevitably going to improve, and Ozuna had been wonderful before

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: Based on some quick examination I do think Bonds has helped the Marlins’ collective two-strike approach

11:07
Tuffy: Would the Cubs have been any better this year with Schwarber?

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: No meaningfully so, I don’t think

11:07
12 to 6: Thoughts on the the White Sox stadium being renamed?

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: Given enough money, nobody cares about being a punchline

11:08
Moltar: True or False, the Mets will throw money at Wilson Ramos this offseason in the hopes he will be the anti-Murphy

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll go with false. They’ll be too preoccupied with Cespedes

11:08
Jordan: Jeff, what kind of climbing do you prefer? And what grade do you climb?

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: I like bouldering. Been doing it for four years or so now. It’s objectively stupid because every boulderer gets hurt but I love that you can just boulder or scramble anywhere. Spent last weekend in the Tatoosh range south of Rainier and some of the exposed climbing was fantastic and terrifying!

11:09
Andrew: Regarding MVP voting – I don’t get the argument which suggests that you can’t be “most valuable” if your team misses the postseason. Isn’t it counter-intuitive in a way? Mike Trout accounts for a far greater % of his team’s wins than, say, Mookie Betts does…doesn’t that make him more valuable?

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: I basically agree with your perspective, but the other perspective essentially argues that the point is making the playoffs and winning the World Series, and if a team doesn’t have any shot at the World Series then what does performance accomplish, really?

11:10
Dan: Follow-up to clutch: I get that it tells us what happened, but we already know Bryant is really good. Since it is not predictive of future performance, isn’t it still fair that in a high leverage situation going forward, we would still want Bryant up to bat? The stark difference between 2015 / 2016 clutch doesn’t inform my thought going forward, right?

11:11
Jeff Sullivan: For sure. Kris Bryant is wonderful. In any given situation going forward, you should expect him to be wonderful

11:11
Jeff Sullivan: What this year’s Clutch does is reframe his overall 2016 hitting statistics. Those statistics imply that he’s been a certain amount of valuable. When you break it down situationally, he’s been less valuable to the Cubs than you would think

11:11
Moltar: In chrome, go to Settings > Advanced > Privacy > Content Settings > Plugins > select “let me choose when to run plugins” (This effectively turns off all plug-in based ads and replaces them with mobile-friendly ads. Everything runs super smoothly without using an adblocker, haven’t had a problem since)

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: I choose to believe and endorse this advice!

11:12
Stacks : Is Johnny Bench literally Gary Sanchez reincarnated?

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: Now we’re talking

11:12
Christian: Will we see any uptick in waiver trades now that we’re in the last week of August or is this pretty much it?

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: In August we pretty much never see anything real interesting

11:13
Giancarlo Stanton: Will I ever play a full season?

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: man do I ever hope so

11:13
John Coppollela: Have I put too many of my eggs in the pitching prospect basket? Is this rebuild going to be more painful than I anticipated?

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: Impossible to know, right? Pitchers come with a ton of volatility. Hitters are safer. The Braves’ approach comes with extreme upside and extreme downside.

11:14
Dan: Isn’t there some sort of clutch…regression? Seems resaonable that Bryant is the WORST clutch player. If that’s reasonably true, he’s actually worth MORE than whatever fWAR he has thus far?

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: fWAR doesn’t care about Clutch or situational performance

11:15
Albert Pujols: Saw an argument about who’s had the better career, me or David Ortiz. Should I be insulted? Numbers aside, I didn’t fail a drug test, won multiple MVPs, AND I spent most of my career playing defense.

11:16
Jeff Sullivan: Statistically, Pujols has had the way better career. They’re not even in the same solar system. There’s no argument to be had. But if you want to look at things from a personal perspective, Ortiz is beloved and he’s a multi-year world champion. I don’t think there’s anything David Ortiz would want to change.

11:16
12 to 6: Does Jered Weaver retire at the end of the season?

11:16
Jeff Sullivan: I increasingly think so

11:17
Jasperdog: D-back front office IS that stupid to not realize the Miller service time implications.

11:17
Jeff Sullivan: That’s true

11:18
Jeff Sullivan: When everyone gets fired it’s sure going to be obnoxious when the Slate people come out with their pieces on a lack of front-office diversity. Totally a worthwhile conversation! But Dave Stewart and everyone are bad at their jobs. That’s it. That’s the whole story

11:18
Antonio: Are there empirical ways we can evaluate MLB managers/coaches as there are to players (WAR, etc.) ?

11:18
Jeff Sullivan: Unfortunately no, not anything good

11:18
Tyler: Is this season just an off year for Jason Heyward, or do you think this is the beginning of a steep decline in production for the rest of his career?

11:18
Jeff Sullivan: I mean, this wouldn’t even be the beginning, right? This would be the *end*.

11:19
Jeff Sullivan: I think Heyward bounces back in a big way next year, but I still don’t think he’ll be the hitter he used to be.

11:19
doubletap: Albert Pujols is also a multi-year World Champion (06 and 11)

11:20
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, but Ortiz still beats him three to two. Again, I think Pujols has been hugely, absurdly better. But Ortiz will retire plenty content

11:20
Jeff Sullivan: All right, I need to get rolling now

11:20
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 — 8/26/16 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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victorvran
Member
victorvran

“When everyone gets fired it’s sure going to be obnoxious when the Slate people come out with their pieces on a lack of front-office diversity. Totally a worthwhile conversation! But Dave Stewart and everyone are bad at their jobs. That’s it. That’s the whole story”

Is this referring to the fact that Dave Stewart is african american and getting (possibly) fired? I think that’s what was meant here, but I’m not sure.

Jackie T.
Member
Member
Jackie T.

Yes.