Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 8/7/15

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to live baseball chat

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll be with you for live baseball chat in 30 seconds!

9:11
Comment From Frank Jobe
Mets odds of winning the division seemed to jump between yesterday and today. Is that simply because it’s another day being in first place and thus closer to the end of the season?

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: No, that wouldn’t be it — nobody played

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: I’m going to guess a few things. Could’ve been an update to the depth charts. Could’ve had a new set of updated projections inserted. And it could also just be statistical noise; the projections are based on a large but not infinite number of simulations, so each one comes with some error bars and you might observe this sort of fluctuation

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: But that’s unusually large. A seven-point increase in playoff odds, with no one playing a game. The take-home, perhaps: all the numbers you see are estimates

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: Looking behind the scenes, I don’t see any evidence of a depth-chart update, so it’s due to something else

9:15
Comment From Josh G
Does Clay Buchholz throw another pitch in 2015?

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: Wouldn’t be surprised if he made a late-September appearance or two, just so he can go into the offseason with a clearer head, but obviously ther’es no point in rushing him along

9:16
Comment From Squall
6 runs yesterday. How done is Zack Greinke?

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: 10 runs allowed in his last three starts. He allowed 10 runs over his previous 11 starts

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: But you can’t really blame him; ran into the Phillies juggernaut

9:17
Comment From Mike
Jeff Happy Adam Loewen Day! Amazing stuff.

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: Is this unprecedented? I feel like it probably isn’t unprecedented, but it has to be close

9:18
Comment From Ryan
What’s the highest ratio of future value to present value you’d be willing to trade at the deadline?

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: It’d be something close to the David Price trade — I’m generally disinclined to make a big deadline splash, ever, so I’m more of a Neal Huntington man

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: But I could get on board with the Price move, so that’s nearly as much as I’d do. Most of the time, I’d prefer cheap and little tweaks

9:19
Comment From Bryan
Who do you think ends up winning the AL West?

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: Astros

9:20
Comment From adam
will 2016 be avisail’s year?

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t see it. I don’t love this player type

9:21
Comment From JT
Do the Jays bump the yankees out of 1st in the AL east?

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: I figure they end up a game or two short, but that’s the cold, rational part of me; the emotional part of me has trouble understanding how the Blue Jays are going to lose

9:22
Comment From Rey Rey Rey
Hey, only 10 minutes late. You’re like Rey Ordonez swinging at a Pedro pitch.

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: Ordonez only struck out against Pedro two times in 15 trips!

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: So actually I’m worse

9:22
Comment From Brad Fullmer
When is Mt.Baker going to blow im sick of looking at it

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: You’re sick of looking at Mt Baker?

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: You’re the most jaded person I’ve interacted with this week!

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: Look at it! Look at it all of the time!

9:23
Comment From BK
Chances the Mets and Blue Jays both win out and play the greatest World Series in history?

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: 85%

9:25
Comment From Jonah
How should the Mets be lining up their outfield? Cespedes looks okay in center so far, is that a viable long term solution ROS?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: It’d be one thing if Lagares weren’t hurt, but as is, I’d be comfortable with Cespedes out there. He can handle it, and even Shin-Soo Choo faked it for an entire season. In the later innings, if desired, they could move Cespedes and insert Lagares as a defensive replacement. Might make sense on occasion to have Lagares start in center for Niese/Colon games

9:30
Comment From TT
Do you have any insight into the Cardinals’ historically great LOB% this year?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t, at this moment. The most I can say is, last year, they were in the vicinity of average, so if this were an organizational thing, you’d think you’d see evidence of it before. It seems like the pitching-staff version of that one year the offense went crazy with men on base. It’s probably a coincidence that it’s been the Cardinals both times, but this is why people accuse them of black magic

9:31
Comment From Eddy
Carlos Correa is super awesome, but aren’t the Trout comps a little ridiculous?

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: Depends on how conservative you are. If you place a lot of weight on track record, then obviously, Trout is unparalleled. But if you’re confident in your Correa evaluation, then, I mean, he’s been as valuable as Trout so far, on a game-per-game basis. And it’s a similar idea, young superstar at a premium position.

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: Correa could be the Astros’ version of Trout. Doesn’t mean he’ll be a 10-WAR player, but if it’s 6 or 7…he’s amazing, basically, and he’s too young to be this amazing

9:34
Comment From Josh G
Is it time to start believing in Taylor Jungmann?

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: He’s added some strikes, which is important, but I don’t see him as more than a No. 3/4

9:35
Comment From Oren
Hello Jeff – what contract is David Price going to get in free agency? And how many Canadian dollars will that be?

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: $200m+. In Canadian dollars, he’ll cost you a province

9:36
Comment From HR
What do we make of a team like the Padres underperforming their projections like they have? Does that fall on the coaching staff, the projection system or is it just one of those things?

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: This year there have been far greater underachievers. Boston, Seattle, Miami…there’s nothing real weird about San Diego’s season. They looked like something like a .500 ballclub. They’ve been close to a .500 ballclub.

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: You begin with the position that there’s always going to be some fluctuation. From there, you can try to figure out reasons for fluctuation, and maybe, from an insider’s perspective, the team never jelled. Maybe that’s on the coaches, or maybe that’s on the executives. But I pretty much always believe it’s just one of those things

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: People will try to explain it in hindsight, but I think it’s just: hey, Kemp has been bad. Shields has been homer-prone. The bullpen hasn’t been the strength that was expected. They needed more things to go right

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: In the positional power rankings, the Padres bullpen tied for second *before* they traded for Craig Kimbrel.

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: This year, instead, they’re No. 21 in WAR. Should’ve been better, got unlucky

9:41
Comment From Logan Davis
CoverItLive’s default email notification setting emails you one day in advance of a chat. Who the heck notifies themselves of a live internet chat an entire day in advance?

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: Not this guy!

9:42
Comment From AM
I know you mentioned you weren’t sure what your answer would be to 2011-14 Tigers vs. 2012-15 Red Sox, but have you thought about it more? Given the Mariners’ mostly down history, I’m curious if you would take the title trade-off.

9:42
Comment From Kris
which 4 years would you pick?

9:42
Comment From Arun
The “Pick Your Four Years” post has triggered a very interesting baseball debate – among the people I’d usually talk about such things with anyway. Any further thought to which option you’d pick, now?

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve gone back and forth, which is what you expect of any close and difficult decision. But my current thought is that I’d take the Red Sox. Part of this is because my team has never won, so I’d like to experience that. But while, on the one hand, the Tigers are four years of success and the Red Sox are three years of failure and disappointment, you get that championship memory for a lifetime. It can still feel fresh in 30 years. The good seasons that end in defeat — those are good for six or seven months. Then you move on

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: And, you know, I’ve been through Mariners seasons that were good, and Mariners seasons that were terrible. The terrible ones generated their own entertainment; the good ones came with anxiety. I actually look back somewhat fondly on the Mariners’ horrible 2008, because I found a way to have fun. I think a terrible season isn’t *that* much worse than a good season, in terms of experience value

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: It’s complicated.

9:46
Comment From a bug
o/u on jackie bradley getting as many MLB plate appearances as brandon wood

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: He’s only 158 away

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: He’ll get ’em next season

9:47
Comment From Logan Davis
Who’s the GM of the Mariners in February?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: I feel like it’s Zduriencik unless it’s Dombrowski, so it depends on how wild the Mariners are about Dombrowski, and how wild he is about the Mariners

9:50
Comment From Stroshow
Stroman is starting his rehab Aug 21. Should the Jays bring him back as a starter? Seems the right side of the bullpen is set with Hawkins, Sanchez, Lowe and Osuna.

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: Always room for another reliever, especially with the playoffs potentially coming up. If Stroman can return, it’s in the bullpen. I can’t imagine him getting stretched out, and the Jays being willing to take that chance

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: Just be happy if you get anything

9:52
Comment From Kiley McSpaniel
I can understand all the cold water folks dumped on the Correa article yesterday, but man, he has been unbelievably good. He’s pacing nearly 9 WAR over a full season – is there any chance he can displace Trout/Harper at the top next year?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: Some chance, but it’s low. More likely would be the Donaldson/McCutchen tier, if that exists as a tier. But Correa is definitely the guy most able to break into the very highest level

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: Man, there’s a lot of good young players in baseball

9:55
Comment From jocephus
can grichuk be a quality starting CF’er?

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: For the next few years

9:55
Comment From Natsty
Is there sound logic to the Joe Ross/Doug Fister flip in the Nats rotation?

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: Fister has been bad, and Ross has been good

9:57
Comment From Joe
Chris Stewart has a BABIP of .341. Last season his BABIP was .400. How in the world could that be possible?!?! He’s slow and doesn’t hit the ball hard ever. Is there anything happening in baseball right now that is less sustainable than Stewart’s BABIP?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: A few weeks ago I would’ve said the Twins, but it would appear they’ve calmed down and found themselves, much to their own disappointment

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: So, let’s now go with no, there is nothing happening in baseball right now that is less sustainable than Chris Stewart’s BABIP

10:00
Comment From Alex Anthopoulois
Do I still have a job next season if the jays don’t make the playoffs?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: I lean toward probably

10:01
Comment From dom
Would a Cubs-Yankees world series get the best WS tv ratings we’ve seen in a long time?

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: Or Dodgers-Yankees. Gotta factor in all the hate-watchers

10:01
Comment From Stan
What’s more important: Making a big trade at the deadline or winning the game on deadline day?

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: Win the game and you boost your win expectation by a fraction of 1. Make a big trade and you might boost your win expectation by 2

10:03
Comment From dom
Any thoughts on CC’s velocity spike last night?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know how to explain it — it was his best velocity since the end of 2013. Maybe that means it was just adrenaline, but don’t look at this one too hard. It’s encouraging, and if it sticks, that’s really good news

10:07
Comment From adam
singleton has torched AAA but struggled in the majors. Which one is the real jon singleton

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: A few years from now, I think, Singleton will be a starting 1B/DH. Won’t be elite, but will be a regular someplace

10:08
Comment From dom
Why is Adam Lind still a Brewer?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: Cheap 2016 option and a poorly-timed slump

10:09
Comment From Alexander
So we’ve come to the consensus that running through first base is faster than sliding as you are able to run through the base. Is there not a similar argument to be made for home? Seemingly all close plays at the plate end with a slide but if its faster to touch home by running through the base why don’t we see more of that?

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: It’s really hard to run around a person who is deliberately positioned sort of in your way

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: And you’re trying to avoid a tag, and you have a little better body control in a slide than in a full-on sprint

10:10
Comment From Franklin Gutierrez
It’s great to be one of the M’s best players again!

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: You’re a great story!

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe one day the Mariners themselves will be a great story.

10:11
Comment From Arun
Do you think Stroman will pitch an inning for the Blue Jays this season? Does he make a start?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: Don’t think he starts; do think he ends up on a playoff bullpen depth chart

10:12
Comment From Cube Jockey
Can/should MLB do anything about teams basically buying prospects by taking on bad contracts? The trade deadline is starting to feel like the NBA.

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: Penalties are already in place, and those teams still have to pay off the bad contracts. If there’s anything to be done, it’s to make the penalties stricter when you exceed the luxury-tax threshold, but generally speaking, when teams have tons of resources, they’ll find some kind of way to spend them on talent

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about parity or revenue-sharing or whatever. I just analyze things how they are. Maybe I’m not the best person to engage in this discussion, therefore 🙁

10:15
Comment From Brad
Is Randall Grichuk really this good?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: No, this is too good

10:16
Comment From dom
So Citi Field has been the third most home run friendly park of 2015, which goes against the consensus opinion of the park. But is that predictive going forward this year? Can’t it still be expected to play as a pitcher’s park?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: It remains a pitcher-friendly park, but it appears home-run neutral, or even maybe a little home-run friendly. It is possible to be both at once

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: It seems to cut down on other types of hits

10:18
Comment From Brandon
You should do a pitcher gif’s tourney at the end of the season

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t want to just steal ideas from Jon Bois, but I do wonder if I’m ever going to actually do anything with this project

10:18
Comment From Metered Peter
Favorite place you’ve ever hiked? Advice for aspiring endurance hikers?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: The shitty, privileged answer is Fitz Roy, which was my favorite hike ever, but I love getting high up on almost any mountain. Doing another one tomorrow. I love the wild alpine experience, and the Cascades make getting there pretty easy

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know what your goals are, but if you’re starting almost from scratch, go with short backpack trips, and gradually make them longer. You’ll learn a ton early on, about what you like, what you don’t, how to pack, and assorted gear. Backpacking can be daunting until you actually do it regularly enough to realize it’s quite simple, and maybe even more so than car camping

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: The most important thing is to just get out. Get out often enough to realize you can get yourself centered in the outdoors. When you feel like the outdoors are always trying to pull you away from your urban environment, you’ve got the most important part down

10:22
Comment From Natsty
This morning, one of the guys from MLB Network was commenting about the concept of the 70’s fireman reliever with our local radio talking heads here, in regards to the Mets/Nats series last weekend. What will it take for managers to think that way again?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: Relievers thinking that way again

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: It’s really more than just the manager. It’s a difficult thing to get re-started because you have to start somewhere and you need wide involvement. You need guys learning to be adaptable in bullpen roles in the lower minors.

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: We had 2014 Dellin Betances. That demonstrates that it’s possible

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: I also want to note that not every current manager would’ve managed that series the way that Matt Williams did

10:26
Comment From Anonymous Coward
Does the recent success of the Phillies, Maikel Franco’s breakout, etc. change your estimation of the Phillies’ rebuild? Are they “ahead of schedule”?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think they’re ahead of schedule, nor have I been convinced of much by the recent play. However, I do think some people have exaggerated the length of the schedule. There’s core young talent developing, and the Phillies have a lot of money. Two years from now they could be relevant again

10:29
Comment From Jeff
Dave has been adamant about his preference of Kris Bryant over Carlos Correa (“by a lot” as He said on chat in June). Do you share his view? and if so, Why? In what ways is Bryant better than Correa as a ball player. I fail to see it.

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: I’m a Correa man — who wouldn’t be, at this point? — and I don’t remember the date of the Dave chat in question

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: But let’s say this:

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: Correa debuted on June 8. At that point, Bryant had an .861 OPS

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: Correa had been good, but not great, at Triple-A

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: Bryant was supposed to be safe. Good discipline, unbelievable power to all fields. And Bryant is really good. We weren’t expecting Correa to show so much power so fast. He doesn’t have Bryant’s power, but he has more than expected, and the result is this all-around superstar

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Of course, now Bryant’s in a slump. Correa could be in one soon, too.

10:34
Comment From Joe Maddon
Arrieta or Lester vs Gerrit Cole in the WC Game?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Slight lean toward Arrieta — Marte, McCutchen, Kang are righties

10:35
Comment From L. Scott
Besides the Mets, the easy pick, which current 1st place team do you think will NOT win their division? (I do think the Mets will win the east btw)

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: Of the choices, the Yankees seem the most vulnerable

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: The Blue Jays are probably the best team in the American League

10:36
Comment From CJ
Kershaw vs. Cole tonight; are they the two best in the NL? How about a couple years from now?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Scherzer is too good, and deGrom is stupid-good too

10:36
Comment From JCA CPA CA
Would you rather have on your team Correa or Bryant?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Correa

10:37
Comment From JCA CPA CA
How would the division odds change if the Blue Jays swept the Yankees this weekend? If the Yanks swept the Jays?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Right now, the odds are 65/31, Yankees/Jays

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: In the event of a Toronto sweep, I’d guess they’d move to around 40/56

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: In the event of a New York sweep, say…85/10

10:40
Comment From Cletus Kasady
Does Correa have AL ROY pretty much locked up?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: Basically, with Devon Travis hurting

10:40
Comment From JT Smooth (Loveboat Capn)
I don’t know you personally, Jeff, but I’m a huge fan of both your written work and your occasional podcast appearances

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: I like you too!

10:40
Comment From Brandon
How much of a rebound does Starlin Castro have, be it this year or the future.

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: In a sense this could be easy — Castro had the bad 2013, and then last year he was an above-average player. Doesn’t mean it’ll happen again, but it shows it *could* happen again. Which is why the Cubs haven’t given up on him

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: But he’s increasingly looking like a change-of-scenery guy

10:42
Comment From Ben
Dombroski has to see that the Blue Jays Window in shrinking, 2-3 years at best… Wouldn’t Boston or some where with more depth in the minors be a much better long term position to put himself in??

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: Not going to be so much about organizational state as about job responsibilities and compensation. Dombrowski is no stranger to operating with a team seemingly on the verge of collapse

10:43
Comment From Chris
When do the Mariners fire Jack Z and are you his replacement?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t want to deal with Seattle traffic

10:43
Comment From adam
what would a reasonable slash line look like for a second base baez next season?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: The problem is a wide variety of slash lines would look reasonable

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: He could slug .400 with a .250 OBP

10:45
Comment From Logan Davis
A little lost in this awful Mariners season: how awesomely their offseason worked out. The Cruz signing, the Saunders/Happ trade, the Maurer/Smith trade, even the Ramirez/Montgomery trade. About the only thing that didn’t work out was giving $2M to Rickie Weeks.

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Imagine, before the year, telling Mariners fans Nelson Cruz would have his best season ever. Like, imagine telling Nationals fans before the year that Bryce Harper would become arguably the best player in the game. Surprise!

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: So many different ways to be disappointed.

10:47
Comment From Ol Sea Capn
I am kind of suprised the Blue Jays didn’t trade for Rodney instead of telling the Mariners he was tipping pitches after their last game against each other. Thought? …. also thanks for being awesome.

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: Tipping pitches or no, doesn’t mean Rodney isn’t always kind of unreliable. Expensive gamble on a guy with mechanical problems that might not just go away

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: You could argue Rodney could be of use to the Jays just by retiring hitters on other teams now

10:49
Comment From Phillies113
The Phillies have been winning a lot lately. More than one would expect from them, anyway. Why is this?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: In June 2004, the Devil Rays won 12 games in a row, and 15 of 16. In their other games, they went 55-90

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t mean to rain on the parade. It’s a lot of fun! And some young players are contributing. But this doesn’t *mean* anything. Long way to go.

10:51
Comment From Guest
Would you hike the Pacific Coast Trail?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: I haven’t decided. Probably not. John Muir Trail more my speed

10:52
Comment From Ajay
How do you think Trout’s adjustments come about? Front office and hitting coach point out improvement areas? Trout and his agent identify items in the offseason?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: I’m sure Trout himself was aware of how he was getting pitched. Hard not to notice that. So once that became a thing, how do you make yourself less vulnerable to inside heat? You have to shorten up. There’s really no other way. I don’t know who made the first decision, but this is the only thing Trout could’ve done, that I can think of

10:54
Comment From Steve
The Mets pitching staff and the Blue Jays offense combined wins how many games over a full season?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: 95 – 100

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: That’s just based on WAR which means it’s based on rest-of-season projections

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: So you can bump that up if you think the projections are too low on the Mets pitchers

10:56
Comment From mtsw
Jason Garcia is back on the Orioles 25 man for some reason. Say something about the incredibly weird journey of Jason Garcia.

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: Yesterday, I was reminded of Jason Garcia

10:56
Comment From Guest
What would you do with the Red Sox? Cherington has to be on the hot seat,but I thought their offseason process was good,but the results have been bafflingly bad.

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: You don’t want to overreact — there’s still a lot of young talent, either developing or that has already arrived. The Sox could be in much worse shape. But it would be great if they could exchange a bad contract. Like Dave’s idea the other day. And then this winter, you get a pitcher. Contention could come as soon as next year. 2015 has seen some bad luck

10:59
Comment From Guilhem
What series will you be watching this weekend?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: If I weren’t going to a mountain, I’d be watching the Jays and Yankees. I’d keep a second window on Kershaw/Cole which is probably obvious

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: And I’d check on the Mariners because I’m an idiot

11:00
Comment From Alex
Are park effects different for relievers vs starters?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: Probably a little bit, but not markedly. Easier to pull the ball against the average starter, because he throws slower.

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: This year, relievers have a pull rate lower than starters by about two percentage points

11:03
Comment From Mets fan excited to finally care about the standings again!
Did something happen with th ewin percentage projections overnight? Some of the numbers changed by .020 – .030 between yesterday and today, which seems very high

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: Just put in a message to Appelman about this, but unfortunately I’m unlikely to receive a response in time to add to the chat!

11:04
Comment From L. Scott
Of either the Texas Rangers or Baltimore Orioles, which team do you feel is better poised to make some noise and compete for a playoff spot?

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: Orioles, slightly, but only because they have a slightly better record. I don’t think either team is meaningfully better than the other

11:05
Comment From TKDC
Piggybacking on your post about championships, I’ve always felt the title the Braves won when I was 12 years old would be more special than winning 3 in a row now that I’m in my 30s (not that there’s any risk of that happening soon). Thoughts?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: I agree with you — I do think there’s sort of an emotional fandom “prime” and while it ends at a different point for every individual, at some point the average fan cares a little less. Other things are just more important than sports. I can tell already the Mariners lost through my whole prime. It’d be neat if they won, but not nearly as neat as it would’ve been, to me, five or 10 years ago

11:07
Comment From Hunter
The Astros sent McCullers and VV down to AA, with the intent of both working with the pitching coach and improving their conditioning. Both are going to be pulled up for the playoffs with McCullers as a starter and VV in the pen. Can this work? It seems like if it is viable, the Nationals would have treated Stras that way a few years back.

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: I think most teams would be uncomfortable giving a pitcher an extended break from game activity. It’s certainly a risk. The Nationals — unfortunately for them — had to go first. From their experience, other teams have decided what they would do under similar circumstances

11:08
Comment From Mike
most improved players from the beginning of the season?

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: Correa, Panik, Crawford, Harper, Archer, etc. You could do this yourself, comparing current projections to preseason projections. It’s a decent proxy

11:09
Comment From New Hampshire
What is your favorite subject within baseball to study and write about?

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: Right now, adjustments. I love observing how players change. Underneath all that stability, there’s so much going on

11:10
Comment From Andrew
Realistically, is there a way the Mets can resign Cespedes? His contract is super weird.

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: They’d have to pay him enough to forgo a chance at free agency. Don’t see that happening

11:11
Comment From Drew_Willy
Why did the Dodgers’ rosW% on the playoff odds suddenly skyrocket at some point in the last couple days? As an LAD fan I hope the new number is realistic, but it looks awfully high.

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: I still don’t have an answer for this, but right now I’m leaning toward some kind of sudden projection-system update

11:12
Comment From MSW
When Cuddyer comes back, do the Mets become a platoon team? Seems like you could rotate him in for Granderson, Conforto and Duda depending on the matchup. (Or take my original idea and not ever sign him and keep the draft pick)

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, Cuddyer’s going to be limited, mostly, to appearances against lefties. Which is helpful, in the stretch run

11:13
Comment From Stan
How much credit do you give the Mets for developing pitchers? They’ve had a lot of talent to work with, but their success rate seems very high, and of those successes many have even managed to exceed expectations.

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: Though it is a small sample, it’s pretty remarkable where they are. Gotta think pretty highly of Dan Warthen

11:14
Comment From bucs_lose_again
This may be impossible to answer, but if a team committed zero errors over the course of a season, approximately how many extra wins would they earn?

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s try some sloppy math!

11:16
Jeff Sullivan: Right now, the Yankees and Braves are basically tied in non-error UZR

11:17
Jeff Sullivan: The Yankees have committed 10 more errors, and so the Braves are 8 runs better by the error component of UZR

11:20
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s say, too simply, that an error counts as -0.8 runs

11:21
Jeff Sullivan: Eventually you end up at something like 75 runs saved. Assuming all the other plays are still made

11:21
Jeff Sullivan: So that would be my current guess. 8 wins or so? It should be close

11:24
Comment From Ketel Marte
What are the Mariners thinking if they don’t A) trade Austin Jackson in August, or B) extend a QO?

11:24
Jeff Sullivan: Could be nobody wants Austin Jackson

11:24
Jeff Sullivan: And he’s not worth a QO

11:26
Comment From Rhendricks
Do we finally see both Trout and Harper win the MVP Awards this season?

11:26
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s see how things finish — if the Jays make the playoffs and the Angels don’t, I could see Josh Donaldson ending up with a ton of votes

11:26
Comment From mtsw
Will we see a bubble in Korean signings after Kang’s success similar to the post Puig Cuban-mania?

11:27
Jeff Sullivan: Fewer players will be coming out of Korea, but the next guy is going to get more money, relative to his talent level

11:27
Comment From Joe
Can Mike Morse be an effective platoon partner for Pedro Alvarez? I’m not optimistic about him or JA Happ….

11:27
Jeff Sullivan: They’re worthwhile cheap rolls of the dice. Very Pirates

11:28
Comment From mtsw
If he remains on the roster the rest of the season, Jason Garcia will have been on the 25 man EXACTLY the 90 days required for the Orioles to gain control of him as a R5 pick. Is there any way for the Red Sox to protest/contest his time “injured” on the DL or is that way more trouble than Jason Garcia could possibly be worth?

11:28
Jeff Sullivan: Way more trouble. Teams have never been disciplined for being so precise with their timing.

11:28
Comment From lunch
is there any area left for trout to improve?

11:29
Jeff Sullivan: For him, it isn’t so much improvement — it’s avoiding decline. It’s always just adjusting to the next thing

11:29
Comment From Vance
Any idea on which stadium has the best food selection?

11:29
Jeff Sullivan: If it’s not Seattle, it’s almost Seattle

11:29
Comment From Gumpa
Any chance we might see an article between now and the end of the season breaking down where the team projections erred for the teams that they were “way off” on? It would be interesting to see the data on which players the projections over/under estimated before the season.

11:30
Jeff Sullivan: I did that for the Mariners the other week. Will probably do it again for some other teams because it’s fun and easily consumable

11:30
Comment From Is there a stat that accounts for the pitchers a batter faces throughout the year? as in can we tell if a batter faces pitchers with an average FIP of 4 vs another batter on a different team (probably) that faces pitchers with an average FIP of 3.3 throug
Is there a stat that accounts for the pitchers a batter faces throughout the year? as in can we tell if a batter faces pitchers with an average FIP of 4 vs another batter on a different team (probably) that faces pitchers with an average FIP of 3.3 throughout the year as an example

11:30
Jeff Sullivan: Baseball Prospectus maintains quality-of-opposition statistics that work all right

11:31
Comment From Rey Rey Rey
Did Brandon Crawford change something, or is this just some weird power outburst?

11:31
Jeff Sullivan: I like him! http://www.fangraphs.com/bl…

11:31
Comment From MOY
Returning to the Mets’ projection, their RoS figure was around .530 yesterday. It’s now .567.

11:31
Jeff Sullivan: Just got an answer! It’s a glitch

11:31
Jeff Sullivan: “There was an issue last night with some fielding stats that caused some Steamer problems that caused some further downstream problems.”

11:32
Comment From Guest
Do you hiking by yourself or mostly with other people?

11:32
Jeff Sullivan: 40/60. Love ’em both

11:32
Comment From Sean
Obviously, some of the M’s offensive resurgence is due to regression, but everyone is hitting now. My heart wants to credit Edgar, but really, what is going on? And the Cano issue was just a long slump, right?

11:33
Jeff Sullivan: Basically, Cano got sorted out, and the offense looks like an offense again. Hard to credit the hitting coach too much for an MVP-level player playing like an MVP-level player, but maybe there was something in there that Edgar noticed

11:34
Comment From Jim
Correa: this is exactly the same conversation we had about Puig when he came up. Unbelievable first few months, then the league adjusted and he became merely a star.

11:35
Jeff Sullivan: While you’re right in principle, Correa makes more contact, and is a better defender at a premium position, and doesn’t owe any of his success to BABIP

11:35
Jeff Sullivan: Also, you know, Puig has some attention things that Correa seemingly doesn’t have

11:35
Comment From nojetsto
Why do you think the Padres declined to sell at the deadline?

11:35
Jeff Sullivan: They didn’t like what was out there

11:35
Comment From Ryan
Re: lester v arrieta; what about lester 1 time through the order followed by arrieta finishing the game? Get the lineup loaded with right handers for lester and give arrieta the platoon advantage or make the pirates burn their bench.

11:36
Jeff Sullivan: However much sense that makes, you’re not going to see it executed. Too weird for Lester and Arrieta

11:36
Comment From The Boat
…best team in the AL? The Jays have exactly one above average SP, which is exactly one more than they had two weeks ago.

11:36
Jeff Sullivan: If only they were good at other things

11:37
Comment From Hunter
I’m doing the John Muir Trail in two weeks! A child contracted the human plague near the starting line this week and a girl died from a brain eating parasite near the end of the trail. Go Team Correa!

11:37
Jeff Sullivan: This seems like as good a place as any to end

11:38
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 — 8/7/15 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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Chances the Mets and Blue Jays both win out and play the greatest World Series in history?