Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 9/15/17

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to Friday baseball chat

9:04
Sterling Mallory Chris Archer: I appreciate you and our Friday chats, Jeff.  Last year we had the Cubs storyline enthrall us all. What narrative this year could bring us some kind of excitement like last years?

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: It’s the Indians, right?

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: It’s obviously the Indians

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: Longest existing title drought, modern-record win streak, smaller-market operation, coming back from one of the most devastating World Series losses imaginable

9:05
CamdenWarehouse: Is there anywhere the eye test is more misleading than outfield defense?

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: Is it that misleading? I personally feel like it usually goes mostly according to what the numbers say, although I suppose I’m biased by being mostly aware of the numbers in the first place

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe the answer is Fernando Rodney. Seems like a nightmare every single time. Still typically gets the job done

9:07
Ray Liotta as Shoeless Joe: Was the Indians’ “Hatteberg Moment” the Lindor double or the Bruce double?

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: I feel like it was the Lindor double. I get the argument against it, but when Bruce hit his double, you could already almost assume the win. When Lindor came up, the Indians’ win expectancy was 11%, and he promptly fell behind 1-and-2. Then he hit a ball to the opposite field just barely out of the reach of one of the best defensive LF in the modern era

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: The Lindor double is far more memorable, for all of its nooks and crannies

9:10
Ray Liotta as Shoeless Joe: Please note that the Fangraphs playoff predictions seem to be off. The Nationals have a 100% Postseason chance with a 7.5% World Series win, while the Cubs have an 88.8% playoff chance with a 12.2% World Series win. Seems like a flaw in the projections, right?

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: Seems like something must be slightly off — for example, we give the Nationals a 36% chance of winning the World Series, *if they make the World Series*. That’s too low. But we do currently have the Nationals projected as worse than the Cubs, Dodgers, Indians, etc, in large part because Bryce Harper is still absent

9:14
Ross: Is Chris Archer basically Jeff Samardzija with a better contract? Durable, good stuff, good FIP, lots of K’s, but the results always leave you disappointed. Running an ERA over 4 for the second straight year. Basically, someone who’s always disappointing because he’s not as good as it seems he should be.

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: I think, with Archer, there’s a little more bad luck. His runners-on splits appear more unlucky, while with Samardzija, there’s more of a hint of worse performance. So while there are some parallels, I think Archer is better here, and deserves a lower ERA

9:15
Ray Liotta as Shoeless Joe: Remember when the Diamondbacks intentionally walked Barry Bonds with the bases loaded in the 9th inning to face Brent Mayne? How often do you think Brent Mayne thinks about when the Diamondbacks intentionally walked Barry Bonds with the bases loaded in the 9th inning to face Brent Mayne?

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: I can’t imagine you feel too bad as a former baseball player when you reflect on a particular situation and understand that the other team saw you as less of a threat than God

9:16
CLE: Jeff, in your opinion, did the Indians set the record last night? Or, is the record still 26 games?

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: The record is still 26 games, but on the other hand, who could give a shit what happened 101 years ago

9:17
SP Jeremy Jeffress: First career start today, going for 3ip or 50 pitches. Am I a sneaky source of good innings or an implosion?

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: You have a 5.53 FIP

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: You’re a very conspicuous source of hittable baseballs

9:18
Babe Lincoln: Best chat of the week

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: I certainly think so

9:18
Stuafoo: Is there any advantage at all for a batter to stand at the very front of the box? Maybe you catch a breaking ball before it has a chance to fully drop? Doesn’t seem like that would overcome the reduced reaction time, but it’s been a curiosity for me. Does anyone ever do this?

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: Whatever advantage you gain in reducing the break difference between pitches is indeed probably given away via the reduced flight time. So I figure it’s better to stand further back; give yourself an extra split second, and assume you can tell the difference between one pitch type and another

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe, if you’re *really* vulnerable to the low-away slider, you should move up. But I doubt it

9:20
Red: Is Judge back?

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: Seems like it

9:22
Jack: Should baseball make the “Jacoby Ellsbury rule” and change catcher’s interference? The spirit of the rule seems to be that it is always the catcher’s fault when a batter’s swing hits his glove, but if someone like Ellsbury has this happen way more often, then clearly it’s not all on the catcher. This is a pretty garbage way to reach base, especially if there are certain players whose swing allows them to take advantage of the rule way more often than others. I understand that even with Ellsbury this is still something that only happens occasionally, but still, why not just call it no pitch?

9:23
Jeff Sullivan: It’s so uncommon, and it would be so easy to avoid — just scoot back another few inches. Ellsbury doesn’t *want* to reach on interference. It’s never on purpose. I think you need to preserve the rule to avoid other kinds of catcher interference, and then you just figure it will self-correct if it ever threatens to spiral out of control

9:24
HappyFunBall: Just read your team WAR article. Good stuff as usual! I wonder a bit about the final table though. I can’t speak to every club, but just in watching the Nationals every day I feel like it’s misleading. The Nats have a FAR better bench than they did in 2016, as evidenced by guys like Taylor, Difo, Goodwin, etc … stepping in for some pretty significant injured starters this year. I wonder if a comparison of ordinal rankings doesn’t well capture what happens when the guys you “expect” to be top-10 vs 11-25 don’t necessarily end up there due to how playing time really shakes out?

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, something gets lost when you end up with so many injury replacements. The Nationals have the best depth they’ve had in a while, probably, but the best depth pieces have had to turn into starting pieces

9:25
Moonlight Graham: So on your August 22 Effectively Wild podcast, it seemed like Ben, Sam, and you were enjoying “the best Oregon had to offer” in terms of plant life.  Is that fair to say?  I can take my answer off the air (and I’m not a cop, either!)

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: No one was high. We had collectively slept about three hours over the previous two days

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: I was responsible for 2.5 of those hours

9:28
Guest: So, with Cleveland holding an AL win-streak record that could stand for a long time, and approaching an MLB record that could stand even longer, can fans, writers, and commentators forcibly rename the ball club? Could we all just refer to them as Cleveland and refuse to refer to them by their official team name?

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: They haven’t even gotten rid of Chief Wahoo yet. You think you’re going to make progress changing the very nickname of the franchise itself?

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: Even if you *did*, they’d still be the Indians today. And when we refer to historical baseball players, we still refer to their occasionally offensive nicknames.

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: Dummy Hoy is still Dummy Hoy. That wouldn’t catch on in 2017

9:31
Babe Lincoln: Ever hiked the Badlands?  Was just there and it’s amazing.  Highly recommend doing a back country hike to Deer Haven.  I’ve never done anything good in PNW, though.  Any recommendations?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: On the list but haven’t yet had the chance. Dave and I were going to swing through on his road trip last year but then we had to develop a different itinerary

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: So many options in the PNW. I love getting up on any of the big mountains, especially Hood, but if you want the most bang for your buck, you might set your sights on the Tatoosh Range, just south of Rainier

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: Also couldn’t recommend Mount Margaret backcountry enough

9:33
Twoseamers: what would Rhys have to do to overcome the difference in PA compared to Bellinger

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: Basically can’t. This is just this year’s version of Sanchez vs. Fulmer

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: Even if Hoskins caught up in WAR somehow, the voters would still prefer Bellinger’s full season

9:35
Julio Pepper: Byron Buxton is running a 250 wRC+ on bunts. While there are diminishing returns to doing more of anything in baseball, it feels like Byron Buxton isn’t at that point. Should he be bunting a lot more?

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: His wRC+ on bunts last year was 78

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: He’s already third in baseball this year in bunt hits. I think he could probably stand to bunt a *little* more often but now that he can actually hit, it’s more something to keep in his back pocket

9:36
Cpglen01: How great of a story is Tommy Pham, he has been incredible this year

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: 9/10 great story

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: The two players who have outperformed their preseason projected WAR the most: Aaron Judge, and then Tommy Pham

9:37
The Average Sports Fan: The Cubs end the season with a 3 game series vs the Reds.  Will those games matter?

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: Probably not

9:39
Tony Plush: A lot of people seem to think Ohtani won’t be a 2-way player. But if you’re like, the Royals, what do you have to lose by saying, “hell, you can start in the outfield 4 out of 5 days!” Seems like someone will go there, because more injury risk to have him is a lot better than watching him on the Yankees. And then, doesn’t seem like a stretch that he goes to the Yanks and says, “well, I’d love to play for you but KC will put me in the OF…” And then boom, negotiations! Worst case scenario he fails and you talk to him about giving it up or gets injured and you talk to him about giving it up.

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: Basically no way any team would ever allow Ohtani to play the field right before or after his starts

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: And also, if you’re Ohtani, it’s best not to take front offices at their word, since ultimately all plans will be determined by performance. Some team could say it’ll play Ohtani in the field but you can’t really get that in legal writing

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: Don’t know how much of this is going to come down to what teams say about their plans. I think it’ll be up to Ohtani to identify who’s *likely* to present the best opportunity. That’s presumably going to be in the National League

9:42
David: Do you think it likely that Darvish will get a larger contract than he would have otherwise this winter due to teams hoping it will help them get Ohtani?

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: I want to say no but I could actually see him negotiating for an extra few million

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: Which is wild!

9:43
AndyBaesball: Hi Jeff!  The Cardinals keep winning, but so does MIL and CHC.  Think StL pulls it out?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Major problem with the wild card: the Rockies have 15 games left, and 12 are against the Padres, Giants, and Marlins

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: So maybe better to think about the division. Brewers have four left against the Cubs. Cardinals have seven

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: If the Cardinals can win five of those, look out. As much fun as the Brewers are, they still are a rebuilding team without Jimmy Nelson

9:45
CT: Are you really 6’9″?

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: What? No.

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: 6’5, and thanks to my job, I slouch

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: Hold on a couple minutes, phone call

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: All right, should be good now

9:48
Brett W: Great win distribution article. The Reds and Marlins jumped out to me. Shouldn’t top-heavy teams with losing records always be trying to move those assets?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Two approaches to take. One, like the recent White Sox, you can make an effort to build up your depth. Or two, like the recent White Sox, you can sell the top talent off and rebuild

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: With the Reds and Marlins, it’s a little more complicated. The White Sox had the chance for a more “clean” rebuild. The Marlins are trying to avoid doing that whole process over again, for ownership reasons. And the Reds are being led in large part by Joey Votto, who’s not the easiest star player to move

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: They’ve also tried to move Zack Cozart, but they’ve been unsuccessful

9:50
Bubba: If my questions are sometimes answered in chats, but my comments on articles are never displayed after I get the “pending moderation” message, does that mean i’m blocked somehow?

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: Very, very few commenters are blocked, so either there’s something else going on, or you have a history of leaving some terrible and terribly offensive comments

9:52
hanna: In the most recent EF episode you spoke about how the difference between 28.00-27.00 ERA and @2.00-1.00  ERA and how those differences are not the same value. I’m taking an intro to stats class this year and am wondering if that changes ERA from a ratio stat to an ordinal stat.

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: Still a ratio stat. It’s just that the *effect* of ERA changes, in terms of win expectancy

9:53
Chucky B: O’s need to blow this thing up, right?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: Seems like 2018 is going to resemble 2017. Try one more time and think about selling at the deadline

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: Britton has done nothing to rebuild his value. That’s a problem

9:54
Mark: We could talk about the Twins, they’ve been fun too.

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: And they have seven more games against the Tigers. Pretty remarkable season they’ve had

9:55
Jordan: Not that I want to talk about him because I think the topic has become a little played out but with respect to Otani and pay structure I just cant for the life of me figure out why he would have any restrictions, he is a product that is direct to the majors, teams will not have to put him through the minors like you do with 99% of int FA’s and his old team is getting more money then him.  Doesn’t make sense that he’s being restricted… so stupid

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: I hate it too

9:55
Dylan: Who is this years most impressive rookie? Judge, Bellinger, and Hoskins have been historic

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: Judge, no question. Hoskins is incredible but Judge is at 6.4 WAR. Huge credit for playing time

9:56
David: Will the Indians ever lose again?

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: Not until Game 1 of the playoffs

9:57
Jeff: Be nice to see Cleveland vs astros. Don’t know if that lines up?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: Need a Red Sox surge. Or you can just hope for the ALCS

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: I like every possible AL matchup. Even Indians vs. Twins. Twins!

9:58
NH: Do you think that when Otani comes to the MLB he’ll start in the majors right off the bat? or can we expect him to spend a little time in the minors getting acclimated to American baseball?

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: He’s going to go straight to the majors, but it would be absolutely hysterical, and awful, and justifiable, if his team sent him to the minors for a couple weeks to get that one extra year of control

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: It happened to Kris Bryant and in theory it could happen to Ohtani

9:59
v2micca: And chance Cluber manages to steal the Cy Young away from Sale on the strength of his September?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: I’d say at this point that Kluber is the favorite

10:00
Moltar: Of teams currently in the postseason, who do you think MLB/TV execs want to make the world series the least? I’m thinking a Twins-Diamondbacks WS would cause a lot of hand wringing.

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, any of the Diamondbacks, Rockies, or Brewers would be pretty rough on ratings

10:00
TJ: Where does Tanaka land in 2018?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: I can pretty easily see him re-signing

10:01
Lover of Justice: Back in April, Dave wrote that Eric Hosmer is the worst first basemen in the game. Now  he’s running a 140 wRC+ and Jon Heyman says he’s the best of the 2017 free agent class. When’s that Hosmer article coming Jeff?

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: Probably after the playoffs are over. Can’t imagine wanting to write about him now

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: Heyman has his own exceptionally clear biases. Hosmer has been good, but basically the same as he was in 2015. He’s a 3-win first baseman whose big selling point is his age

10:02
hanna: We haven’t had a Mike Trout article in what feels like weeks!!

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: Something in my gut tells me one’s coming

10:03
Brett W: Cubs playoff rotation is in a weird spot, yes? Their top 5 candidates have all been hot and cold at various times this season. What would you do?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: Probably Lester — Arrieta — Quintana — Hendricks

10:06
weezy: What do you think it will take for arbitration to change how it awards player salaries? Most folks who read fg understand there are pretty severe gaps and that some skills are rewarded disproportionately more than others. Right now there seems to be no desire to change that structure.

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: If memory serves I think the hearings are *slightly* more statistically advanced than they used to be. But still, the arbitrators themselves aren’t “baseball people,” if you will, so you have to stay simple. And when you’re in that kind of setting it’s pretty hard not to lean on precedent

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: Not sure who might be most motivated to push change further. Teams currently understand how arbitration can be manipulated, and from the union side, increasing pay for certain players would decrease pay for certain other players

10:08
Mark: Victor Robles has been hit by a stunning number of pitches so far in his minor league career (almost 3 times the rate Craig Biggio ran in the majors). This has to be a conscious decision to just lean into anything close right? General thoughts?

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: I’m looking at some video and I can’t quite figure out why Robles would be so extreme

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: I mean, he stands closer to the plate than average, and he slightly closes himself off with his front leg. But he’s not in Brandon Guyer territory

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Worth noting Robles might have nothing on Brett Cumberland http://www.fangraphs.com/minorleaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=bat&lg=all&qu…

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Or Nick Sinay. Holy crap!

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: 13% HBP rate this season. Good heavens

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: Robles was second in the minors in HBPs last season, with 34

10:14
John: What is the best sales pitch the Mariners could make to Ohtani?  He mentioned in an interview that he wants to help a beleaguered fan base.  Could any city make a better case than Seattle?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: Mariners could pitch themselves as a competitive team with a need and a thriving international community. Relatively short flight to Japan. They have theoretical DH flexibility even though, in reality, Nelson Cruz gets in the way. That’s a real obstacle

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know how you manage that, short of teaching Cruz how to play first base

10:17
TJ: Name a plausible outcome for CC Sabathia in 2018 – Yankees on a 1 year deal for $15mm?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: Money seems a little steep, but the general terms are appropriate

10:18
Wily Mo’s ghost: I enjoyed the non-prospect article, but the traded-for-nobody examples were more compelling to me, because of the arbitrariness of the 100-spot cutoff. I’m not sure it’s quantifiable, but surely a true non-prospect is one his own team doesn’t regard as having a future.

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: There are certainly degrees. I went with the BA top-100 cutoff just because it was so easy to do, thanks to their historical record. There are still good prospects who never ranked in the top-100, for whatever reason. Hard to find a clearer excellent non-prospect than Corey Kluber

10:20
Otani Danza: What do you make of MLB’s new outfield defensive stat rating Trout, Pederson, and Fowler among the worse fielders in the game? Does that keep with the “eye test”?

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: UZR and DRS are also a little down on 2017 Trout

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: The trouble with the eye test and center fielders is that *all* the center fielders look good to the eye because they’re selected to play center field in the first place

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: It’s easy to tell the difference between a bad defender and a good defender. It’s much harder to tell the difference between a good defender and a great one

10:22
Mark: Isnt the Athletics winning streak more impressive? the roster was built out of scrap and they just kept scoring and scoring. Pitching is pretty even.

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: The year the A’s had their winning streak, they went 103-59. The year before, they went 102-60. You can give them all the credit you like for hoarding underappreciated players, but the reality is that, as those seasons were playing out, the A’s were very obviously a great baseball team

10:24
Justin: I hope this isn’t a silly question. Yesterday I read that David Price was hitting the bullpen in pace for the playoffs and I found it interesting. Could this potentially be a trend in the near future in the big name rotation pitcher or ace whatever you’d call him is sent to the pen? And if so couldn’t a team like the dodgers or the article from the Indians or dodgers with deep rotations use starters  in the pen just to do so if there are struggles?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: Price is only going to the bullpen because there’s no time to build up his arm strength after being sidelined for so long

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: Don’t think we’re going to see a trend of good starters becoming good playoff relievers. Still need playoff starters

10:25
Josh: After a surprising first half, Jordan Monthomery has not looked good as of late.  Have you seen anything that has caused him to struggle in the second half?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: I have to imagine he’s simply getting tired

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: I know he’s not so far above his 2016 usage, but he’s spent almost the whole year in the majors. That’ll take the wind out of a guy

10:28
TJ: What would Aroldis get as a FA right now? Half of his current deal?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: I could see him getting something like the Melancon deal. Results-wise, he’s kind of having Craig Kimbrel’s 2016. The stuff is still there, and the track record is virtually spotless

10:29
David: Your piece about successful non-prospects is interesting. Would you suspect there is something about most of those prospects that could be seen early if we knew what to look for, or do they simply become good later in their careers than top prospects?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: I noticed yesterday that most of the good second basemen in baseball today were unranked prospects. Prospect evaluators don’t love second basemen because they lack shortstop athleticism, but these days that’s less of a factor. These players also had their hit tools undersold; because of the hit tool, they eventually developed more power

10:31
Palardelphia: Ready for some silly stats?
Babe Ruth Career OPS – 1.164
Rhys Hoskins Career OPS – 1.247

2001 Barry Bonds PA/HR – 9.10
Rhys Hoskins PA/HR – 8.17 (1st all time among 31,185 player seasons, min 140 PA)

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: I love a strong debut, but I’m only sold when I see a strong sophomore campaign. I want to see adjustments to the adjustments, and Hoskins hasn’t had a chance for that yet

10:32
Kevin: Should Ketel Marte be a MLB starting SS?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: I think he’s a bottom-third everyday shortstop, but he won’t kill you

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: In fact, thanks to his bat-to-ball skills, he’s another sudden-power candidate

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Fly-ball rate this year has increased six points. Makes above-average contact. Draws a good number of walks. Next Jose Ramirez?

10:34
TJ: Hosmer really is the perfect Boras puffery type FA, isn’t he? Boras call sell all the usuals on leadership, and RBIs, and championship pedigree, while ignoring everything else, right?

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: I mean, Hosmer is a good player. He’s just not a great player. He’s going to try to get paid like a great player

10:35
@ryan0deal: I’d like to publicly cement my take that Cleveland will lose in 4 to the 2nd AL wild card team. Also, is the diamondbacks #1 pitcher greinke or Robbie Ray?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: Diamondbacks will start Greinke No. 1

10:35
Otani Danza: Twins have six games against NYY(3) and CLE(3) but have 5 games against DET.  Mariners have six against HOU and CLE and they’re 3.5 back.  Mariner chances of hauling them back over under 10%?

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: Mariners need a miracle

10:36
O’s Nos : Realistically does anyone have a shot at the second AL wild card other than the Twins, Angels, and maybe the Mariners?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Not really. Twins’ recent strong play has mostly locked it up

10:36
EK: Who’s playing Lindor in the CLE’s feature film?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Kevin Costner somehow

10:36
PTBNL: Thoughts on Price in the bullpen? He had some success there in October ’08.

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Only sensible option

10:37
How about the Astros narrative?: As inspiration for a beleaguered, hurricane-ravaged city. Plus, not just a “title drought,” but no titles, ever.

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Second place

10:37
Otani Danza: Strasburg and Verlander are on a serious tear of late.  Who would you rather start a one game playoff?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Probably Strasburg, but it’s extremely close

10:38
Fanny Bryce Harper: Jeff, I asked you a question about this last August.  This year I’m just going to tell you: go to the Wallowas.  That is all.

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: That’s where we spent Labor Day 2016. I’m not usually a sunset guy, but at Glacier Lake, behind Eagle Cap, I saw the most unforgettable sunset of my life

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Going to take it with me to my death

10:40
O’s Nos : What was your personal favorite HR you have seen in person?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: Rob Ducey’s game-tying shot in the ninth https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/SEA/SEA199808220.shtml

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: It was my first time in the Kingdome, and my first time seeing the indoor fireworks

10:42
Dan: Is it likely that Bryant breaks whatever contract Harper / Machado get?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: Doubt it. Although Bryant will have another three years of inflation, he’ll be going into his age-30 season. Harper and Machado will be going into their age-26 seasons. Massive difference

10:43
TJ: Why are the Mets desperately trying to get Syndegaard to pitch again this year? Just to be on-brand Mets?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: The A’s had Sonny Gray throw an inning at the end of last year for peace of mind. If I wanted to give the Mets the benefit of the doubt, I’d point to that

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: Not that they necessarily deserve it

10:43
AA: Which team has the bleakest outlook for the future?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Want to say the Royals, but teams like the Reds and Orioles are close

10:45
Ben: Do the Twins wish now that they had kept Jaime Garcia and Brandon Kintzler?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: Garcia has been an ineffective Yankee. Kintzler could still help, but, oh well. The bullpen has been fine for the last couple months

10:46
Mac: How do you feel about the indians trying kipnis in cf? Doesn’t seem like an ideal option but they don’t really have much else other than jackson

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: I mean, they did what they did last year with Naquin out there. This isn’t ideal, but it’s probably their best shot to find Kipnis some plate appearances

10:46
Otani Danza: In 2018, do Marco Gonazales and Felix Hernandez have equal value?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: I hate this question

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: 🙁

10:47
Tea Leoni for Third: Do you chock up the Mariners likely missing the playoffs more to injuries or to bad decisions?

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: Injuries

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: Both matter, but injuries matter more

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: Felix, Paxton, Smyly and Iwakuma have combined for 40 starts. That was supposed to be the rotation’s top four. They’re going to end up with like half the innings they were supposed to throw, and that’s almost unsurvivable

10:49
Juan: So is it time to start including Severino in the AL Cy convo?  Not in a “he should win” sorta way but a “hey this guy is really young and has been awesome” kinda way?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, Severino’s been amazing. Probably the AL’s third-best starter

10:51
JKD: Across both 2016 and 2017 (707 PAs, so about a season’s worth at leadoff) Trea Turner has a .311/.351/.505 line with 206 hits, 34 2B, 14 3B, 22 HR, 120 runs, and 73 of 85 steals. Since coming back from injury he’s hitting .311/.382/.590. Obviously getting Harper back is *also* key, but… I don’t think people are talking enough about how good Turner is, and how much of a game-changer he can be in the playoffs.

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: Turner’s one of those guys who seems to out-hit his own profile. Just this year, he’s dropped to a 103 wRC+. He’s not an elite hitter, but then when you fold in his baserunning and his defense, he’s easy to underrate. The Nationals have so many good players, and so few of them seem to get the bulk of the attention

10:53
Otani Danza: What kind of screwed up lineup was SF running out there that you have Brent Mayne hitting behind one of the most unbelievable hitters of any generation?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: In fairness, Bonds had earlier pinch-hit for the guy batting seventh

10:54
Zach: Will the Dodgers end the season with the best record in baseball?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Yep

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: When it’s all said and done, one of the most incredible takeaways from the Indians’ winning streak and the Dodgers’ simultaneous slump will be that it still wasn’t enough for the two teams to swap positions

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: It’s going to reinforce how good these Dodgers really were

10:59
Tea Leoni for Third: What would be the best volcano-based team nickname?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: I’ve always been partial to Lahar, but it’s probably still too weird for North America

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: so Volcanoes works just on its own

10:59
Zach: If you had to bed, will a team not currently in one of the wild card spots sneak in?

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: Nope

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: Not via the WC, at least. I could see the Cardinals jumping past the Cubs in the division

11:00
Otani Danza: James Paxton, 50 pitches.  Better start than Jeffress?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: Good lord yes

11:01
Jay: Am I wrong to still not buy these performances from Buxton and Zunino? Both running high BABIPs, K% only slightly improved and Buxton’s BB% is actually down all while neither have seen a huge change in batted ball profile.

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: You’re not wrong to be wary. Zunino is kind of maxing out his power, and that’s a volatile skill. And with Buxton, I was encouraged by his improvement in contact rate, but lately that’s started to go away again

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe the more important takeaway is that neither player needs to be a good hitter to be valuable, because Zunino is a catcher, and Buxton is a tremendous baserunner who might be the best defensive center fielder on the planet

11:02
Mets 🙁: The Indians have allowed 37 runs during their 22-game win streak.
The Mets have allowed 39 runs in their last 22 innings.

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: I think I’m going to have to let it end there

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: Gotta get going on a podcast. 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 — 9/15/17 by Jeff Sullivan!

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

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mohitjainn
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mohitjainn

Nice Post