Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 9/11/15

9:14
Comment From CONTENT
I will now be provided.

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: god damn right

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: Time to baseball chat. About what? You decide! Except actually I decide

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: If you have questions about Fantex, I look forward to not being able to answer them very well

9:15
Comment From A Fan
One often hears someone described as “A good baseball man” Any thoughts on what this actually means?

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: An individual who has devoted his life to baseball and has no other remarkable skills

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: Baseball men are terrified of no longer being allowed to be involved in baseball

9:16
Comment From Houzer
Should I be dropping Lucroy and adding D’arnaud for next week?

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know anything about fantasy baseball, but I do know that Lucroy recently had a concussion

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: So you have a choice between a concussed baseball player and a non-concussed baseball player

9:18
Comment From Guest
at the end of the chat, can you share how many people posted the username of Bryce Harper and said something along the lines of “wheres my ring bro?”

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: I can’t tell if posting this is going to make the number higher or lower

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: In fairness to Harper, he sure as hell didn’t seem wrong

9:19
Comment From anon
Jeff, Don’t forget about September 11th!

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: Who could?

9:19
Comment From Cashmere Taco
going off your article yesterday, is there any award that actually should be separated by league? Cy Young maybe, because of the DH?

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: Makes sense to have two rookies of the year, kind of, since rookies basically never get traded

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: But maybe it should just be part of the criteria that players are judged by the leagues in which they end up. Helps to clarify any MVP or Cy Young conversations

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: To be totally honest though, I haven’t given this a lot of thought, because I don’t give awards a lot of thought, because I don’t care

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: Wonder if I’ll ever be in the BBWAA

9:22
Comment From blue sky is really blue
What’s your favorite shape for clouds to look like?

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: alligator

9:23
Comment From Linus
Tell me of Yoenis Cespedes’ upcoming contract and whether or not the team that signs him will regret it.

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve given up on trying to figure out if contracts will be regretted or not, since baseball money is insane and Nelson Cruz looks like an MVP hitter now. But Cespedes will get something enormous, maybe in the area of 7/140

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: No qualifying offer on the way, which is a small factor

9:24
Comment From CRPerry13
Somebody on Twitter is whining at me about a “40/40” player like Springer leading off for the Astros. Thoughts on sluggers in nontraditional lineup spots?

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: Over the equivalent of a full season, career Springer is 33/19

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t mind sluggers in nontraditional lineup spots, provided those spots are higher than lower. Springer projects as the best hitter on that team, so maybe he should be at No. 2 or No. 4, but there’s nothing really wrong with leadoff

9:27
Comment From RotoCurious
Thoughts on Erv Santana’s recent hot streak? SSS, or has he developed a K pitch?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Back-to-back big strikeout games against the Astros. The Astros have the highest strikeout rate in the American League

9:27
Comment From Dak
The Jays beat the 2001 Mariners record for most wins in a season this year or next? yes or probably?

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: If the Jays win out this year, they’ll fall 14 wins short

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: But they’d be tied with the 2001 Athletics!

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: The wild-card Athletics finished 102-60. They faced the Yankees in the ALDS, and though the Yankees finished 95-65, they got home-field advantage since they won the division. You wonder if that advantage made the difference in the series

9:30
Comment From Brian
I am a fan of the Seattle Mariners. Due to a cross country move some years ago, I am now also a fan of the Washington Nationals. Question: Is there another combination of two-team-fandom that has been more soul-crushing this year

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: those are bad, but you could swap in the Red Sox

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: But probably not, since at least the Red Sox fans can lean upon previous successes in the hard times

9:33
Comment From Chubs
Why do the yankees have a nerd score of 10 and the Cubs 5? Are people really that disinterested in the Cubs? They have similar post season odds

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: Work through your own answer here! http://www.fangraphs.com/bl…

9:33
Comment From Guest
What is happening to Cardinals pitching. Regression past the mean?

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: At some point today I’ll have a post on JABO about this, sort of

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: But the Cardinals still have the lowest second-half ERA in the National League

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: Over the last 30 days, they’re 8th in the majors. That’s probably more reflective of how good they actually are

9:37
Comment From Scotty
Provide me this content: Pretending Cespedes wasn’t up against an historic season by Harper, but just against, say, Rizzo and McCutcheon for the NLMVP. How good would he have to be to win the award? Where would you have put 2015 Cespedes in the 2014 MVP race against Kershaw?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: If you’re asking about the actual voters, there are too many who would leave Cespedes off the list because he was swapped between leagues. Consider them award-voting “purists”

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: But there isn’t a great precedent. In 2008, Manny Ramirez finished fourth in NL MVP voting, but he didn’t get a single first-place nod

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: In 2003, Shannon Stewart finished fourth in AL MVP voting, but he got just three first-place votes

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: Given how the voting has always gone, Cespedes doesn’t have a chance

9:39
Comment From Bryce Harper
bro, wheres my ring?

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: That’s one

9:39
Comment From Ryan
Any thoughts/predictions on who wins the AL West?

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: Astros; are better

9:40
Comment From Joey Votto
TIME OUT PLEASE

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: Just on reputation, I’m not sure there are many players considered less likely to blow up like that

9:40
Comment From Bartolo Colon
should i start a playoff game

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: Probably not more than one

9:40
Comment From TKDC
I’d rather hear that from Harper than my girlfriend.

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: She loves you!

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: Or she loves jewelry.

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: Pretty important to find out which

9:41
Comment From The Cincinnati Kid
Would a pitcher with 60 grade stuff across the board, but also 60 grade tools as a hitter and defense grad as a 60 overall or higher (due to the extra skills he brings to the table?)

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe Kiley would be better for this, but I’ll give it a go. I imagine he’d still be 60 overall, because you’re just focusing on one set of relevant skills. And realistically, one of the sets of skills would atrophy when the player focuses on the other. But in the hypothetical, you’d have an overall 60 who teams would evaluate a little higher than that

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Like, we’ve seen Bochy use Bumgarner as a pinch-hitter. That should be a little bit of extra credit

9:43
Comment From TKDC
How about one rookie hitter of the year and one rookie pitcher of the year?

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: I’d be for it, although people would complain about the inconsistency given the league-split other awards

9:44
Comment From blue sky is really blue
Who’s the best hitter: Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, Miguel Cabrera, or Joey Votto?

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: This is a cruel trick. Rest-of-season projections have those four at the top, separated by all of five wOBA points

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: I’m going to give it to Cabrera — he’s doing it in the American League

9:47
Comment From Questions
The Cespedes for MVP thing got me thinking: lets say a player puts up absurd numbers for the NL, say 10 WAR by the July deadline, and the players gets traded to the AL, where they proceed to put up reasonable numbers, say 3 WAR over the rest of the season. That puts them at 10 NL WAR, 3 AL WAR, and 13 total. Lets also say that the no one else in the NL put up more than 5 WAR all year. Should the guy that got traded to the AL win the NL MVP? Should he even be considered?

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: I’d give him the MVP. Obviously I could be convinced otherwise, and it’s a wildly fantastic hypothetical, but under that scenario, you’d have a guy twice as valuable in four months as the next-best player in six months. That’s an unbelievable, MVP player

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: And if his AL team caught fire, you could have the same guy conceivably getting MVP votes in two leagues at one time!

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: It’s so weird and broken and nonsensical but I love it

9:51
Comment From gary christ
Do you think Jackie Bradley Jr. is a for-real this good player, or you think Dombrowski’s gonna sell high?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: Among the players Bradley has homered against this year: Tom Gorzelanny, Jesus Sucre, Logan Verrett, Adam Morgan, Ryan Tepera

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: According to ESPN Home Run Tracker, none of his homers would’ve left all 30 ballparks

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: He’s clearly improved, and he’s clearly earned himself an extended shot, but I imagine he’s going to be moved somewhere else. Maybe San Diego. Good time to trade the guy

9:54
Comment From Dylan
Can you make me feel better about the A’s chances for the next couple years? I need some hope right now.

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: Smart front office, strong BaseRuns performance this year, and right now the Rangers occupy a wild-card slot, with the Twins a game behind

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: There’s not a team in the AL that’s just totally screwed for the short-term future. If anyone, maybe the Tigers, but probably not

9:55
Comment From Joey Votto
i for one welcome our robot umpire overlords

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: it only makes sense given that we’ve already quietly introduced robot players

9:56
Comment From Christian
Is there any way Angelos can be convinces to let go of Duquette? he’a about the only “experienced” GM that has even a glimmer of being available that I wouldn’t mind the Mariners hiring.

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: I wouldn’t mind Dipoto

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: I think I’d actually support Dipoto

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: Does he count as sufficiently experienced?

9:58
Comment From Henry
Using your own definition of NL/AL MVP, your picks?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: Harper/Donaldson. Pretty boring

9:59
Comment From TKDC
Have any thoughts on the Rose bobblehead promotion, in regards to hypocrisy?

9:59
9:59
Jeff Sullivan: “The Reds worked with Rose on the bobblehead, but sources say the team did not have to get approval from Major League Baseball for the promotion.”

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: The Reds aren’t the people keeping Pete Rose down

10:00
Comment From old tex
should i start dexter fowler for a double header or correa in the util spot today?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: Let me flip a coin

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: heads

10:01
Comment From TKDC
Cespedes doesn’t deserve to win the MVP, but should he be punished because he was traded between leagues and should we get rid of the 2 MVP thing and be like the other major US sports and have one?

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: I support it. But I’d support a lot of different ideas. On the face of it, it doesn’t make sense that a player would become effectively disqualified from consideration because he had the misfortune of getting dealt. Granted, very rarely does an MVP-level player get traded midseason. So this is an unusual circumstance. But I’d support one MVP, and I’d support two MVPs where you only consider the league in which a player finished

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: And the current system is okay too. To my knowledge it hasn’t yet robbed a player of an award he deserved. If I spend too long thinking about award-voting criteria, I’m going to spend the whole weekend questioning what I do for work

10:04
Comment From MSW
Care to guess what the Mets’ playoff rotation will look like? Think Syndergaard has enough innings to make it? Is it even worth putting Harvey out there?

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: The guys you want will be in it. The bigger question will be how much they have left. But you definitely want Harvey in there as long as there’s an agreement to let him throw

10:05
Comment From Houzer
Do you think there would be an advantage for teams to create their lineups with back-to-back typical leadoff-cleanup style hitters? So every inning has a strategic progression of hitters?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: Not enough of an advantage to really matter in any way, I’m afraid

10:07
Comment From Sirras
Conspiracy theory: Harvey did not realize how tired he would be at this point in the year. He and Boras try to use the “doctors havea hard 180 inning cap” as an excuse to shut down/ease off, not expecting the Mets to deny it so vehemently or for the media to take it so badly. Harvey then could put his PR piece on Jeter’s website to look like a hero by pitching past what doctors said he should in the postseason. This explains his fighting to pitch all year, his bad press conference, his PR piece on Player’s Tribune, and the arguments made by all sides. Scale of 1-10, how close to the truth do you think this is?

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: I think by and large people just didn’t expect the Mets to end up in this position

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: So while there has long been planning for what Harvey’s usage pattern could be, only more recently has it become evident that there will be a potential seventh month

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: People suck at planning ahead. They don’t know how they’re going to feel down the road. It’s “future Matt Harvey’s problem”. Now it’s present Matt Harvey’s problem, or present Mets’ problem, and Harvey has a very legitimate interest in preserving his own arm, since ultimately it’s his career and team loyalty is mostly artificial

10:10
Comment From Henry
The most painful pro sports team to root for: Mariners, Browns, or someone else?

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know anything about football or basketball so I’ll just say Cleveland in general, followed by maybe the Maple Leafs?

10:10
Comment From Brad Ausmus
where is my next job? boston?

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: San Diego

10:11
Comment From OutfieldFlyRule.com
Any idea on what a Heyward FA deal might look like? His comps are so….nonexistent.

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Well, Ellsbury got 7/153 when he was going into his age-30 season. Heyward is going into his age-26 season.

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: He’s still a good defender. He’s still a good baserunner. He’s still a good if disappointing hitter. You’re looking at 8 or 9 years, and at least $20 million per

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: Probably more. His age is such a big deal

10:15
Comment From The Cincinnati Kid
In The Book it says a team could overcome a LRL or RLR by deploying two pitchers and sticking one in the outfield and then replacing them back. Especially knowing a batters pull profile, this seems completely legit, why has no team tried this? Even if for an inning to see how it does

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: It’s been tried, but only very rarely. I assume it comes down to irrational fear. An exaggeration of the risk, of misplay, of injury, etc. It’s interesting that we don’t see enterprising teams trying it these days — maybe that’s an indication that they’ve independently decided it isn’t worth it. But I’d love to know why, if that’s the case

10:17
Comment From _David_
Better hitter, Edgar Martinez or Jesus Sucre?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s see. When Edgar finished in 2004, he had a 92 wRC+. He was 41. He’s currently 52. Sucre is running a wRC+ of 3.

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: Ah, the hell with it. Edgar!

10:19
Comment From daneyko
Corey Seager 2016 projections. Thank Jeff

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: Something in the vicinity of an average hitter. I think it takes him a few years to get to what he’s going to be

10:20
Comment From _David_
As the Mariners broadcast won’t let us forget, Seager has 11 HR against LHP. He’s got a reverse split this year, which is obviously not real, but…Is he doing anything different?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think there’s anything big here. He had 10 homers against lefties a few years ago. This year he’s chipped in a few more hits. He’s a pretty good hitter, who’s demonstrated that he’s not a zero against same-handed arms

10:22
Comment From chump factory
If you were convicted of a crime and sentenced to run a baseball team as you see fit for 10 years as punishment, but you got to pick the team, and you were free to go early if they won the World Series, which team would you choose?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: Dodgers. Then, if not the Dodgers, the Yankees.

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: But what the hell crime did I commit?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: And who is this judge?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: Seems like the real people being punished are the executives for the franchise that I choose to take over.

10:23
Comment From Sirras
What do you think the range of impact a manager could have on a team over a season is? +/- 5 wins? Clearly it’s not as high as popular wisdom would suggest, but given the Nats’ recent performance it also clearly is non-zero

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: On strategy alone, I think the range between managers is even smaller. But we have zero idea how to evaluate the unseen stuff.

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: It’s important to separate strategic decisions from the results of them. Like, if Matt Williams pitches Casey Janssen instead of Drew Storen or Jonathan Papelbon, that’s not a good decision, but you don’t expect Janssen to always suck, and you don’t expect Storen/Papelbon to always succeed

10:25
Comment From Linus
The key to being a Mariners fan is never getting your hopes up. I was unsurprised by their failure this year, because I never believed they would be good.

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: I think the truest benefit of sports fandom is not enjoying the fandom, but being able to psychologically analyze yourself. It’s a valuable tool to learn how to deal with the slings and arrows of day-to-day life

10:27
Comment From Matt
Is Dexter Fowler an oddball with defensive stats? He is putting up positive value after seasons of being the worst CF.

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: If you believe DRS, he’s still bad

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: But some of this could just be his having played in Colorado and Houston, which have wonky center fields

10:28
Comment From Bill
Is Longoria a hall of famer?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: He needs probably another four or five years of solid, above-average play

10:28
Comment From Guest
Who could realistically afford to take Joey Votto off the Red’s hands in the near future?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve heard Houston as a possibility

10:29
Comment From Always Negative
Are the Dodgers better off without Mat Latos at this point?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think so, but he’s clearly not an important piece to them, relative to other pieces

10:32
Comment From _David_
I know everyone is probably capable of the odd outlier dominant start…latest example is Vidal Nuno, 10k, 1h against Tex. Does an occurrence like that guarantee some minimum level of talent such that they should then be viewed as a potential future SP option, or is it mostly meaningless?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: It’s mostly meaningless. It suggests a certain minimum level of ability, but half of those 10 strikeouts came against Drew Stubbs and Strausborger, whose first name I don’t know

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Nuno has shown a little bit of strikeout ability before. That kind of game was within his reach

10:34
Comment From Guest
If Verlander has figured it out, does he have Hall of Fame potential?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, if he ages gracefully. He certainly has reputation on his side

10:34
Comment From farquad
What are your picks for AL wild card at this point?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Yankees and Rangers, although I’m keeping my eye on the Indians

10:35
Comment From Jesus, Sucre
I was a good hitter in high school baseball. Again, high school baseball. Jesus Sucre has 11 hits in 99 plate appearances. How many hits would someone like me have in 99 plate appearances if I had nine years of professional hitting instruction?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know you. Five? Let’s go with five.

10:36
Comment From guy
I’m admittedly letting my fandom get involved in my opinion, but I thought Bill Welke really went out of his way to bait and toss Joey Votto the other night. Should there be discipline to either one, or just let it go as a good ol’ fashioned meltdown/

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Based on the precedent, Votto deserves a brief suspension, but it wasn’t a good look for Welke. I don’t know exactly what was said, so maybe Votto crossed the line, but if I were an umpire I’d be very stingy with my ejections. I don’t like throwing people out.

10:37
Comment From Sean
ESPN is closing down its chats. I know he rubs some people the wrong way, but I think he’d be a great addition to the chatting crew (in a similar fashion as Szym). What do you think on that?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Something is missing from this

10:38
Comment From BK
Does Marco Estrada turn down a QO?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: no, because he won’t be offered one

10:38
Comment From Alex
If you were the incoming Mariners GM, how would you account for James Paxton moving forward?

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Sixth starter

10:41
Comment From Mandatory High Socks
who is your favorite 2016 A’s breakout: Canha, Bassitt, Semien, or Phegley?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Canha

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Do not mistake this for a strong opinion

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: It is an ordinary opinion

10:41
Comment From old tex
would baseball be more popular in america if it had more esoteric rules that the boston team exploited to support their sith lord evil empire?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: No. It would be more popular in America if it had more violence

10:42
Comment From Fat Andy
Hey Jeff, Do you know if theres a way to calculate how often sac bunt attempts are not successful? I’m curious how frequently the hitter either can’t get the bunt down, the lead runner is thrown out, double plays, putting the hitter in 0-2 hole, etc..

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not easy — most bunt statistics show you only bunts put in play. So you have to then fold in some information from a PITCHf/x database, by using, say, Baseball Savant and selecting for sac-bunt situations

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: It’s really hard to get a good answer for what seems like an easy question

10:44
Comment From dudley
do you think domingo santana’s swing and miss tendencies will eventually erode his effectiveness to a serious degree?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Obviously, it’s a big question with him. Obviously, he had a miserable big-league debut. But he’s done well in his stints this year, and his swing-and-miss tendencies aren’t out of control, totally. Classic boom or bust player, but there’s real everyday upside, just as there’s Carlos Peguero downside

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: Very hard player to evaluate, but Milwaukee is a good situation for him

10:47
Comment From The Boat
Will Votto finish his career as a Red?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: No

10:48
Comment From MSW
If you had to choose one, would you take Arenado or Machado?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: Machado

10:49
Comment From Derek
I’ve always been baffled by some fans wanting automated balls and strikes. I understand that we have a need for perfection, but are those people losing sight of the beauty of being human?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: I think it’s simple to understand on both sides. On one side, people don’t know why others want to make too much of what’s essentially a game, a form of art. Baseball is already beloved, flaws and all. On the other side, people don’t know why others want to have official rules selectively enforced. Why accept blown calls if you don’t need to? Why have missed calls at all?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: I sympathize with both sides. I don’t want to take baseball too seriously, and I’m okay with inconsistent umpires, but the scientific part of my brain thinks the rest of my brain is an idiot

10:51
Comment From Trapper
Nelson Cruz has been the cat’s pajamas. How much does this unreal year – after last years’s almost as incredible year – change his future projections? Sooner or later the sample size becomes big enough to take seriously, even though he’s aging.

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: At this point, it’s no longer a bad contract. The Mariners could trade him, and even get something back. Not that they’ll do that, but that’s what’s been accomplished

10:52
Comment From dudley
i think the old saw used to be that you could expect a hitter’s power to peak at around 27, and generally continue at that level for 32. have those benchmarks changed in the post-steroid era?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: If I recall, there’s evidence to suggest declines are starting sooner

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: And maybe peaks are starting earlier

10:53
Comment From Derek in Little Rock
…except Joey Votto has blown up several times before. Sure, maybe in previous times it didn’t look like we were going to witness a violent assault on live television, but he’s had to be physically restrained a few times in his career. It’s his third ejection of 2015. Juxtapose that with zero career ejections of Derek Jeter. I prefer my superstars to have a bit of the red ass, by the way.

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: I like the arguments. They humanize, and even though arguments like that are objectively stupid, it makes me feel better to know that even successful millionaires can get embarrassingly mad. I like that other people get mad. Validates when I get mad over stupid things, like too many emails

10:55
Comment From blue sky is really blue
What’s more likely to happen again: someone hits 70 HR or someone bats .400?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: Oof. I’ll say .400? I don’t know the math of it, but 70 is a difficult threshold because it’s a counting stat, and if opponents wanted to, they could just keep walking a guy or pitching around him. Someone who has 50 or 60 home runs is unlikely to see that many hittable pitches down the stretch

10:56
Comment From Brad Ausmus
Why do I still have a job?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: Because the Tigers didn’t expect this to leak overnight

10:57
Comment From joe
are 1 run games still considered a decent sign of “luck”? that seems to be whats separating the royals,cardinals,pirates,cubs from everyone else

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, still fluky

10:57
Comment From Adam
Do you think we’ll see a team offer Cespedes a contract far above market price a la Cano or have GMs wised up yet?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think he’ll get an offer as distant from the market as Cano’s. Cano was seen as a franchise-changing sort, and he had a longer track record of stardom

10:58
Comment From MoreSoxStuff
As a Red Sox fan, I have been wondering if I should be scared of Dombrowski coming in and selling off the great farm system the Sox have built. Should your comments on JBJ make me think otherwise? Do you think he is what the Red Sox need (Dave D)?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: In Detroit, Dombrowski was working under Ilitch. He won’t have identical pressures in Boston

10:59
Comment From The Boat
What’s your favorite baseball topic to be asked about?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: Probably weird hypotheticals

10:59
Comment From TKDC
Are the Padres arguably more screwed short term than the Phillies? How about medium term?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: Medium-term, yeah, I’ll take the Phillies

11:00
Comment From That Guy
Silly hot take: The Cespedes MVP talk actually helps Bryce Harper’s case because it’s forcing people to directly confront what a historic season he’s been having, and deflecting attention away from the other usual “safe” picks on winning teams.

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: Like Zack Greinke!

11:00
Comment From The Boat
Is this the most boring time of year to write for FG? Nothing to talk about except awards, then the postseason…

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: January is pretty brutal, but I know I’ve had a difficult week. Feel like I’m in a slump

11:01
Comment From Phan
Thoughts on Ruben Amaro, the state of the team he leaves and maybe his legacy.

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: Amaro is different from the caricature of Amaro, and we’ll probably never quite understand the extent of his role given all the pressures on him from above. His front office was inarguably behind other front offices in terms of progressive behavior, but Amaro did well to stock the system at the end, and as more time passes, recent years won’t feel so fresh, and there will be greater appreciation for what Amaro helped build at the beginning of his tenure

11:02
Comment From The Dude
The Phillies did surprisingly well trading of their veterans for prospects this summer. Was this Amaro’s or MacPhail’s work?

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: Combined effort

11:05
Comment From MoreSoxStuff
So the Twins are still in this. While most Twins fans are “just happy to be here,” at some point we can’t help but think the ROS projections are too low and we may have an actual chance. Care to bring me back to Earth? Are they still just getting super lucky with sequencing?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: In the second half, the Twins rank 26th in baseball in WAR. They’re between the Marlins and the Angels. They’re also 23-27 over that span. Since the end of that red-hot May the Twins have actually gone 42-48, third-worst in the American League. They’ve played right to their run differential

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: So the short answer is, no, the Twins aren’t getting lucky anymore. They’re benefiting from the luck they had before. But the flip side is, there are three or four weeks left. Literally anything can happen. The Twins can’t be out of it, because even the Phillies caught fire after the All-Star break. It’s fortunate that the Twins are in this position, and they probably don’t “deserve” to be here, but since they are, get excited! It’s not like the Rangers or the Angels are great

11:09
Comment From Beasy Bee
I’m going to Crater Lake next weekend, what do I need to check out?

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: Road conditions, and weather conditions. Then see if you can get on the boat to Wizard Island. And if you have the time, like maybe a few days, Mount Thielsen is pretty cool, and so is Newberry Caldera. Obsidian!

11:10
Comment From Guest
Is Raisel Iglesias legit? Decent velocity and peripherals. He has an above average fastball fstabll/sinker and awesome slider by whiffs.. and the changeup gets grounders

11:11
Jeff Sullivan: I still don’t like him against lefties, but it’s a good division to be bad against lefties in, and there’s obvious promise. Reds are doing well to develop him as a starter

11:11
Comment From Derek
Do you think any one in the big league level has thought of randomized pitch sequencing? Meaning have a spreadsheet of pitch types/locations for batters that will completely remove any type of ability for the hitter to get inside the pitchers head?

11:12
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think anyone literally randomizes it, but I do think some/many pitchers and catchers approximate randomization by mentally reading the situations. If they get the sense a hitter is looking for something specific, they’ll call something else

11:13
Comment From of the Poto
Also: do you think the Mariners are exceptional in terms of their inability to prepare high draft picks for success in the Majors, (or, maybe just say that player development hasn’t seemed very good in Seattle)? How do you fix this?

11:13
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think it’s exceptional, on ability. I think it’s just been bad, in a few relatively high-profile cases. Don’t know how much of that is on the players, but if I had to guess, the instructors are collectively worse than league-average. Requires, if not new people, then new development philosophies from above

11:14
Comment From lunch
what was the last time you were looking at numbers and some player or stat totally took you by surprise, such that you didn’t believe it? what do you do when you don’t believe the numbers? if possible, please do not include ryan goins in your response.

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: Bad news: it was Ryan Goins

11:14
Jeff Sullivan: I mean, Ryan Goins?

11:15
Jeff Sullivan: I love when I’m taken by surprise. If *I’m* surprised by something, it means fans probably would be, too, and that’s a fun article to research and write.

11:15
Comment From Jimmy
Why is IP the golen measure in instances like Harvey’s? Shouldn’t it be pitches thrown? So if he has an inning where he throws 10 pitches, they count it as the same as one where he throws 35?

11:15
Jeff Sullivan: It’s just for simplicity. IP is the wrong number to use, but then 180 is also an artificial threshold, sooooo

11:16
Comment From of the Poto
By WRC+, Nelson Cruz is a better hitter this year than Trout, Goldschmidt and Donaldson. Do you think people appreciate this, or prefer to ignore it because he was caught doping once?

11:16
Jeff Sullivan: I think people are about as aware as they are of Goldschmidt, which is to say, I’m sure it’s largely underappreciated because the team isn’t good

11:17
Comment From CICERO
Why doe fangraphs say it is 8% harder than league average to pitch at Coors Field, but 23% easier than league average to hit there?

11:17
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know where you’re getting those numbers, but not long ago we started using FIP pitcher park factors. Hitters are treated differently

11:18
Comment From Rick
Do you think it’s possible for Heyward to get a deal with an opt out so he could re-enter the market at say age 29 or 30? He could set himself up for something better if he can re-find his power. Or is there just not enough benefit for the signing team in a deal like that?

11:18
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, it could happen. Opt-outs are getting fairly popular. Would come at a cost to Heyward, reducing the overall size of the maximum contract

11:19
Comment From Lee
Jackie Bradley Jr. has 8 home runs this year. 6 of them have gone over 400 feet. Don’t see many cheap HRs in there. And love how you give a list of guys he’s hit HRs off of and conveniently leave off Kluber & King Felix.

11:19
Jeff Sullivan: That’s why I said among. Bradley is not close to this powerful of a hitter. Doesn’t mean he’s incapable of ever hitting a dinger off a good pitcher

11:20
Comment From Rick
Who gets the bigger contract – Upton or Cespedes?

11:20
Jeff Sullivan: You know, right now, I don’t actually know. I’ve been planning on a post specifically about this but I haven’t yet figured out when to write it. Maybe next week

11:21
Comment From mike
hiking in any volcanoes this weekend?

11:21
Jeff Sullivan: Unfortunately this is a catch-up weekend after last weekend was spent on a trip, but on Sunday my girlfriend is flying in a helicopter into the crater of Mount St Helens, so that’s pretty amazing

11:23
Comment From Matt
Don’t think the Yanks can overtake the Jays?

11:23
Jeff Sullivan: They can, but I don’t think they will

11:24
Comment From That Guy
What’s the best starting pitching performance you’ve seen from a terrible pitcher?

11:24
Jeff Sullivan: In 2013, Aaron Harang threw a complete-game shutout against the Astros, with two hits and 10 strikeouts

11:24
Jeff Sullivan: But, that was the 2013 Astros

11:25
Jeff Sullivan: So maybe here I have to cite Armando Galarraga

11:26
Comment From Derek in Little Rock
If you yourself were guaranteed to be in the two hole every game for an entire season-say 700 plate appearances-, what do you think your line would look like?

11:26
Jeff Sullivan: I’d finish with maybe two hits and about 10 walks

11:26
Jeff Sullivan: I might get hit by a pitch at some point, at which time I would immediately retire

11:27
Comment From Sean
Oh,Jeff, I was suggest Keith Law for the chats here. Thoughts?

11:27
Jeff Sullivan: Don’t count on it. Law and FG don’t have any kind of relationship, unlike, say, FG and Szymborski

11:27
Comment From James
Franklin -> Miller -> Taylor -> Marte… Do the Mariners finally have a long-term SS?

11:27
Jeff Sullivan: Nope!

11:27
Comment From c
what would you expect out of marcus stroman this weekend?

11:27
Jeff Sullivan: All I choose to expect is health. As for what I *want*, much much more

11:28
Comment From Derek in Little Rock
Who’s the player whose stat sheet you’ve seen a thousand times but continue to go to and continue to be mesmerized by it? I got lost in Barry Bonds’ April 2004 yesterday.

11:28
Jeff Sullivan: Easy answer is Bonds, hipster answer is Pedro, but it’s increasingly becoming Kershaw

11:29
Comment From FireDrayton
Your Votto-to-Houston comment has me all hot and bothered. Can you elaborate any further on what you meant?

11:29
Jeff Sullivan: Houston could use a first baseman, they have the money, they appreciate a player like that, and the Reds would probably like out from under that deal. In theory, it’s a fit

11:30
Comment From Luke
I asked Eno, but what’s your take: Odds Cespedes is worth more for the Mets this year than Fulmer is for his Tigers’ career?

11:30
Jeff Sullivan: Hmm. 30-40%? Depends how much credit you give Cespedes for playoff revenue

11:31
Comment From Ryan
Is it possible that pretty much any team could mortgage their whole future and become a strong contender over one offseason? Obviously that doesn’t really happen, but more of a thought exercise.

11:31
Jeff Sullivan: The Padres kind of tried and it didn’t work

11:31
Comment From Slew (Seattle)
Say encouraging things about the Cleveland Indians. Thanks in advance.

11:31
Jeff Sullivan: They are good! Probably deserve to be a playoff team, even though they probably won’t make it

11:31
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe that sucks. I don’t know 🙁

11:32
Comment From Guesto
JA Happ gets a 1 year contract this off-season or multi year?

11:32
Jeff Sullivan: Two years, perhaps

11:32
Comment From Cashmere Taco
phil humber’s perfect game

11:32
Jeff Sullivan: Excellent candidate, although, Mariners

11:32
Comment From Chris
Jeff…you would SHATTER the hit record in that scenario as the next lowest (min .600 PA) is Carlos Pena in 2012 with 98 hits.

11:33
Jeff Sullivan: Yes, I could set a record as the worst hitter of all time, given the opportunity, as all previous record-holders have been professional baseball hitters

11:33
Comment From Dan
In the comments to Dave’s piece on fandom, you mentioned feeling something similar to him. However, I also remember a piece from you about how when watching the Mariners about 2 years ago, you thought you hated watching baseball. But then when you saw some playoff games (I think it was the Pirates), you remembered that you love watching baseball but hate watching the Mariners. Are you sure that the biggest cause of your decreasing fandom wasn’t the futility of the franchise in pretty much all aspects?

11:35
Jeff Sullivan: It’s unquestionably a contributor, and it’s not like I can know a parallel universe in which I have the same job and the Mariners don’t blow. Late last summer, I got pretty excited by the little playoff hunt, and I was disappointed when the season ended. But I know the level of investment has slipped. I don’t have much of an emotional reaction to them anymore. I still like them more than any other team, but I’m able to silence that, and to ignore them when I want. I don’t feel like a “fan” anymore. I feel like a guy who likes baseball, and likes one of the teams a little more than the rest of the teams

11:35
Comment From Slew (Seattle)
OK, try saying nice things about the Indians’ 2016 season then.

11:35
Jeff Sullivan: They’ll be good! Will probably deserve to be a playoff team

11:35
Jeff Sullivan: All right, time to wrap this up

11:36
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 — 9/11/15 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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Deep Thought
Guest
Deep Thought

How many pancakes does it take to cover a doghouse?

Aunt Jessie
Guest
Aunt Jessie

It probably only takes one reasonable sized pancake to cover a dodger dog.

M W
Guest
M W

Infinite amount, the dog will just keep eating them as you place them on the house.

ghl
Guest
ghl

Is a pancake-covered doghouse a sandwich?