Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 9/22/17

9:02
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:02
Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to Friday baseball chat

9:02
Bork: Hello, friend!

9:02
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friend

9:02
Bork Bork: Hello Friend! Hello Friend!

9:02
Jeff Sullivan: I would like Bork to know that he has many weekly admirers and impostors

9:02
Ned Yost: Sox are running a wRC+ in the 80s the past few weeks. As an Astros fan, am I crazy for preferring to face them over the Yankees in the ALDS?

9:03
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think so. The playoff Yankees look scary good, given how heavily they could lean upon that bullpen

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: The Red Sox are still a fantastic baseball team, and all that, but the Yankees are so well set up for the postseason. Now that they’ve made it this far, the true strength of the roster can be more fully unleashed

9:04
Zonk: What should the Orioles do this offseason?  They seem determined to compete rather than sell Britton, Machado, Jones, but I don’t see how they can radically improve.  Will this end in the Orioles being bad for a long time?

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: If they can’t extend Machado, it only makes sense to trade him this winter. He’s not a guy who would drive a trade-deadline premium. And if you’re trading Machado, you’re trying to trade the rest. Although with Britton, I guess you need to let him try to re-establish value in the first half

9:05
Jeff Sullivan: It’s hard, I know, because the Orioles always seem to be around the fringe of the race. But I don’t realistically know how they keep up with the rest of the good teams in the AL between now and next September. Looks like it’s time for the step that Angelos refuses to take

9:06
Zonk: Kris Bryant is 3rd in fWAR in the NL, only 0.3 behind the leader, and is the reigning MVP.  It doesn’t look like he’s in the conversation for MVP this year though.  Is he somehow underrated?

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think Kris Bryant is in any way underrated. He is, as you say, the reigning league MVP. It’s just…I mean, *is* there an NL MVP conversation? I hear about it the least, out of the major awards. I have no idea who’s going to win, in the way that I have a strong understanding of the other races

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Definitely can’t argue that Bryant is underrated when he’s involved in the same race as Anthony Rendon

9:08
sp13: Guess who leads the AL in stolen bases? Go ahead. Guess!
Yes! You’re right! It’s Whitley Merrifield. Only Billy Hamilton and Dee Gordon are ahead of him.
And among those three speedsters, guess who has the highest OPS, wRC+, wOBA, WAR, SB%, and HR’s?
Yes. You’re right again. It’s Whitley Merrifield.
Also, ignore Jose Altuve. Just pretend he doesn’t exist and this whole conversation is much more interesting.

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: Merrifield is one of those weird fun late-career breakout stories, and he ought to now help prevent the Royals from bottoming out. I also kind of like what they have in Junis. It’s still, though, an organization perilously short on long-term assets. Going to be a rough winter

9:10
Q-Ball: Justin Wilson’s command has suddenly abandoned him.  Is there a particular reasons, or he just has to work it out?

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: This one is really strange. He still has his stuff, and it’s not like he’s completely missing the strike zone all the time. But, by walk rate, this is the wildest stretch of his big-league career. I can’t get into his head, so I don’t know if he’s experiencing some form of mental block, but I believe he’s structurally sound. So it’s one of those work-it-out situations. Just, preferably, in lower-leverage spots

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: He’s pretty fortunate the Brewers couldn’t seal the deal yesterday

9:13
w: Just as a follow-up for your Winnipeg-Wichita discussion on the pod, the pitcher was called for still doing the “glove wiggle” while lowering his hands in the set. I don’t think it was a balk either, but that was the explanation.

9:14
Jeff Sullivan: Isn’t that the thing Chris Tillman does?

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: Or, at the very least, did. Like any responsible baseball observer, I’ve tried not to watch Chris Tillman for a while

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: I get that the pitcher had a very brief pause in his delivery, but I still think the pause was there. More of a non-balk than a balk, to me

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: Probably, without the balk, Wichita wins the championship. Instead, they lost the game, and then subsequently got destroyed in Game 5. Winnipeg won it all. Tough break

9:17
Ben: Is there a starting pitcher with better command of his entire repertoire than Keuchel?

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: Keuchel is way up there on the list that we can’t actually measure. I think he’s taken a little step back, so maybe it’s someone like Hendricks, or it’s the ol reliable Greinke

9:18
Q-Ball: What rebuilding team has had the best year in terms of development?  MIL perhaps?

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know how you’d argue against the Brewers, although it’s worth noting maybe the most promising development has come from Jimmy Nelson, and now he’s out with a potentially career-altering labrum tear

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: Huge, huge blow if Nelson doesn’t come back as he was. He had become one of the best starting pitchers around

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: Worth giving some attention to the Phillies — great recent signs from Hoskins, Nola, Altherr, and Crawford. They need plenty of pitching, but pieces are coming together

9:20
PTBNL: Is the 300k narrative enough to push Sale over Kluber for Cy Young? Or will Kluber’s (and his team’s) strong second half keep the award in his favor?

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: Strong point in Sale’s favor. He needed some kind of late push, and that start against the Orioles was sensational. It’s going to be hard to break through the ERA mindset, but Sale has a real advantage in strikeouts and innings. I’d put it right now at…55/45 in Kluber’s favor

9:24
Bork: Where does Jose Bautista go from here?

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: Can’t run, can’t play the field, is shortly turning 37

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: He’ll be marketed as a bounceback candidate, which is fair, but very obviously, the pool of interested teams will be small. I’d say 40% Rays, 40% field, 20% retirement

9:27
Owen Ricketts: Do you think that JD Martinez will get more than the 4/110 that Cespedes got, especially due to the lack of a qualifying offer attached to him?

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: I’d be surprised if that kind of market existed for a power hitter who doesn’t really do anything else

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: Martinez is a liability as an outfielder, and he’s no baserunning asset. He’s going to get paid, absolutely, and he deserves it, but the only concern with Cespedes is health. His athleticism is wildly superior to that of Martinez

9:29
Chicks Dig the Long Ball: Favorite part about your job?

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: You guys!!!

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: awwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: But seriously, it’s the no commute. Having no commute is wonderful. Just wonderful. And I love working for Appelman. I’ve had few bosses, but he’s easily the best of them

9:30
Xolo: Do you see more players raising their launch angles next year or will players who already did but didn’t get much boost in their production go back down?

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: Going to be a continuing general trend toward more line drives and fly balls. I do think we’re eventually going to see a decreased emphasis on changing the swing path, and an increased emphasis on just looking for fly-ball pitches

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: Changing swing path can be destructive. Changing the approach can be simpler to implement

9:33
Ben: Is there a top tier of free agent relief pitchers this year? Davis, Swarzak, Neshek, Albers, Reed, Petit, and Kintzler have been some the best results-wise, but which will teams buy into going forward?

9:35
Jeff Sullivan: The top of the market is probably going to be Reed, Davis, and Holland, and they’ll all sign moderate contracts for multiple years. But there’s going to be nothing like last winter’s frenzy. Those pitchers just aren’t out there. And as much as I like what I’ve seen from, say, Swarzak and Petit, think about what those guys were a year ago. They were nothing! Teams see new relievers breaking out all the time. So they’re going to assume they can do that with their own internal options

9:36
Bork: How do you know which Bork is the true Bork?

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: I feel it in my gut

9:36
mtsw: Everyone knows that the Orioles need starters. What many do not know is that reliever Mychal Givens has small platoon splits despite his side-arm delivery. Is he a candidate to get stretched out next season?

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: This year he’s topped out at 42 pitches, he’s never started a game as a professional, and his career platoon split is 98 points of wOBA

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: I like Givens, and I’d like to see more of him. But he’s maybe more of a Chad Green type, potentially, than a starter

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: Not that the Orioles are necessarily unfamiliar with starting pitchers who last about three innings

9:40
churchill’s black dog: Jeff:  can you explain to me why the Orioles haven’t shut Bundy down yet?  I checked the schedule of games last night and I was surprised to see that Bundy was pitching this weekend.  His 169 IPs are a lot more than the 109 IPs from last year, which in turn is was more than all four previous years.  It’s distressing for an Orioles fan like me.

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: The Orioles would probably say they’ve seen no signs of imminent injury. And for a while they’ve been hanging around the distant periphery of the wild-card race. Me, I’d probably just give Bundy a few innings this weekend and call it quits there, because I’m conservative. Let him start, but don’t tax him

9:41
Striker: Any plans to chart or list WAR by week or month? Tim Anderson’s cumulative WAR is bad but he’s dug himself out of a whole the past couple of months.

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: You can look at monthly WAR splits on our leaderboards

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: Provided you care only about the actual calendar months, and not WAR from like August 22 – September 21

9:43
Jeries: Lucas Giolito is a hall of famer.  Agree or strongly agree?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: He’ll probably be in the Harvard-Westlake hall of fame some day

9:44
Phil: This has nothing to do with anything, but I wish to apologize for trolling the LL comments 10 years ago. Sorry. I miss that quality of LL

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: Every soul is redeemable

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: Well maybe that’s not true. But yours is!

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: Well maybe that’s not true. But it probably is!

9:47
Ted: Is there any discernible pattern in teams that drastically underperform their pythagorean records? The Yankees all-over-the-place season has me thinking about this

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: There’s not really any “sustainable” skill to under-performing run differential. There are common reasons, like poor clutch hitting, but that’s not the sort of stuff you expect to keep up

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: By our leaderboards, Yankees hitters rank fourth-worst in baseball in Clutch, and Yankees pitchers, interestingly, are dead last. Been that kind of year. But I’m not worried about them moving forward at all. They’re just fortunate to be good enough to still be leading the WC1 race

9:49
martin: Jeff my man… saw you posting on twitter about hitters swinging at pitches way above zone. Being the person you are, it would be absolute perfection to do a fangraphs post on “science” of hitters(haha mostly Trumbo) swinging at those pitches this year, with gifs. I would die to see this.

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Nearly did a post yesterday, inspired by Trumbo. Backed off because I didn’t think it was worth it. Might re-visit in the offseason. Seems like a January kind of topic

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: The best thing about the Trumbo swing is it wasn’t in a two-strike count

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: (Also known as the worst thing about the Trumbo swing)

9:52
anonymous liger: who’s the most overrated player this year?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: I really don’t have a good sense of this. No single name stands out. Maybe that’s just because I closely monitor what I choose to read, and I know which writers to avoid

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: I mean, I can’t even say it’s Eric Hosmer, because Eric Hosmer has been fantastic!

9:54
Prince S. Leia Fielder: If your life is on the line and you need one of the following three pitchers to come through with a quality outing in the last week who do you pick between Josh Tomlin, Martin Perez and Luis Perdomo? Yes, I realize your chances of survival are slim but give me a name!

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: What the hell kind of crime did I get involved in

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: Who is this criminal

9:55
Jeff Sullivan: Why are his methods so stupid

9:55
Josh: What do you think of Travis’s idea of altering the wild card round by having the higher seed advance with one win and the lower seed needing to win twice to advance?

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: Unconvinced. I’m willing to *be* convinced, but I don’t have a problem with the way that things are. Most years you won’t have a big difference between WC1 and WC2, and already, by being a WC team, you didn’t win the division

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: Just seems to tip things too strongly is all

9:57
Chicks Dig the Long Ball: Recently you took some light-hearted jabs at Yusmiero Petit on Effectively Wild. Take a look back at his 2014 season and particularly what he did in the playoffs that year. I think he totally has the skillset to be the darkhorse Andrew Miller. Aside from the fact that the Angels still don’t seem like they’ll make the playoffs.

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: I’m aware of Petit’s 2014, but, playoffs aside, what stands out is that Petit in the regular season was used in extremely low-leverage spots. He actually wound up with a negative WPA. The surface numbers were good, but *this* year, Petit has been of actual, meaningful value when the Angels have needed it

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: He’s still no Andrew Miller, but that doesn’t mean the Angels wouldn’t try to use him as such, given their lack of other options

9:59
Chris Hardwick: Who you like better next year, Smoak or Josh Bell?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: Justin Smoak is good now and Josh Bell is not

9:59
Bork: Who’s your darkhorse pick for a potential landing spot for Ohtani?

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: San Diego

10:00
marc w: Do you prefer a season like the NL’s having, with a group of teams that separate themselves from the pack (in both directions), or a season like the AL, where until a few days ago, nearly everyone was theoretically alive, and there were two great/awful teams and a huge glut in the middle?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: I like the AL because I like the competition and chaos. Now, all of a sudden, the wild-card race is actually more interesting in the *National* League, so, here we are

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: Just in general, I’m perhaps less interested than the average fan in having the best team win in the playoffs. I don’t care. It’s a tournament built upon randomness. I like the thought of some extremely mediocre pile of crap AL WC2 team running the table

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: Like, what if the Twins represent the AL in the World Series? What on earth? Why should that happen? The counter-argument being: why shouldn’t that happen? It would be delightful and nauseating

10:02
Colin: Will the Mariners ever have a winning team that makes the playoffs again before I turn 70?  I am 40 now.

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: They will probably at some point increase the number of teams that make the playoffs

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: Not that that answers your question

10:03
Prince S. Leia Fielder: Understanding that it wont happen, sell me on why the Padres wont be as bad as people think next season #youcant

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: See Ohtani above

10:03
hypo: how noisy is wRC+?  mostly BABIP related?

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: That would be the greatest source of noise, yeah

10:06
Anthony: Nick Castellanos’ strikeout rate since the Break is at 16%, and his plate discipline metrics are about average while his contact quality is still there. This is the breakout finally, right?

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: This is by far the best low-strikeout stretch of his career. On the other hand, it’s also maybe the lowest-walk stretch of his career, and he’s faced a lot of pretty bad pitching. Reason to be optimistic, yes. But don’t put both feet on the bandwagon

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: Well I guess you can’t stand half on a bandwagon and half off

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: Look, be safe. Just know you’re responsible for your own actions

10:08
Matt: I want to thank you for Kris Bryant no longer being unclutch

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: His high-leverage line is all the way up to .159/.339/.295!

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: Although since that article he’s gone 2-for-5 with two homers and a pair of walks

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: lol

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: Got me again

10:12
iron wolf: Jeff: read your article on most improved hitters.  Aaron Hicks has improved his wRC+ by a huge amount.   Do you think he gets more playing time next year—assuming he stays healthy?  If so,  who is the likeliest OF on the Yankees to be moved?  Ells or Gardner?

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: Gardner would be easier to move, but I’m sure they’d like to shed Ellsbury more. I’m not all the way convinced anything actually happens — possible to begin with the same four-man rotation, with Hicks playing almost every day

10:13
Bork: Does Angelos dabble too much into the Orioles front office? It always seems like fans and analysts alike always groan whenever they see Angelos’s name attached to a potential move.

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: The Orioles are a complicated organization to work for

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: It’s not all Angelos’ fault. He’s also not the only meddlesome owner, plus, as owner, he reserves the right to do as he likes. But he’s in there.

10:16
odricks: Should the Nats look to trade for someone like Tyler Flowers this offseason in order to fix what has been one of their biggest weaknesses this year?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Flowers would be good, but the Braves would probably like to keep him. I wonder if it would be possible for the Nats and Orioles to put their differences aside so the Nats could get Caleb Joseph

10:17
TJ: Do you buy that this is the offseason that the Yankees get under the luxury tax threshold or just another bluff? They have enough competent minor league replacements for the expiring deals that they could do it

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: I haven’t read all the details of how it would be possible, but the Yankees have more cheap depth options than ever before in recent memory. Seems like they could definitely do it if they wanted

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: Even a hypothetical Ohtani acquisition wouldn’t hurt in this regard

10:18
Ray: Aren’t the Jays far enough away that they should look to move Donaldson (STL looks like a good fit)?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: I think it’s possible to look at the Jays and see a competitive team in 2018. And obviously there’s some premium talent rising up on the farm. So this isn’t like the Orioles/Machado situation. Jays can hold

10:19
Josh: Who you got as the last NL Wild Card team: Rockies, Brewers or Cardinals?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: I assume it’ll be the Rockies, but I can’t help but bandwagon the Brewers. I’ve been disappointed by their last two contests, given the opportunities presented

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: Funny how quickly you can forget about the big picture when you get frustrated by events in the little one

10:21
Aaron : If the Nats can’t extend Harper, should they consider trading him this winter? They suddenly have plenty of OF options and are likely to be well clear in the NL East again – so it would be a move to extend the window at some short-term risk.

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: I just don’t see it. No other team would be able to extend him pre-FA, either. No other team would give up significant immediate value. So the Nationals would be making themselves worse, when they want to be as good as possible. They’ll get some form of compensation when Harper walks

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Sorry for that extended delay

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Had to go back and re-read the new FA compensation rules. Complicated!

10:25
Anthony: Is there a forthcoming article on baseball’s least improved, to be polite, hitter forthcoming?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Not planning one yet, but I can tell you that, at least as far as xwOBA is concerned, it’s Yasmani Grandal

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: He’s gotten much worse!

10:26
TJ: Will the Mariners ever make the playoffs?

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s all just assume not

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: It’s liberating. You are now liberated. I’m a hero

10:26
CarrotJuice: How concerned are you about Jon Lester?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: Well I’m not experiencing any emotional distress. But having looked at some of the indicators yesterday, his command has been horribly off and he’s been missing a lot arm-side. Trouble keeping pitches glove-side and down. Couldn’t spot anything mechanical. I don’t know exactly what the problem is but he’s not firing on all cylinders

10:28
TJ: At some point doesn’t Trout need to actually come up big for his team in a big spot? It’s getting awkward

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: I know he hasn’t hit much this month. The Angels could’ve really used him. In his partial defense, he also hasn’t struck out, and he’s constantly walked. His September OBP is still north of .400

10:29
Sonny: The Red Sox are the least good good team in this year’s playoffs. There is a sizeable hole in the lineup after the core, the infield D is avg at best and the starting rotation goes exactly one deep but lacks the proven bullpen to compete with other thin rotations.

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: Red Sox currently ninth in baseball in BaseRuns record, between the Cardinals and the Rays. However, they would project as the fourth-best team, if that matters for anything. Generally, I agree with you — they’re quite good, but also probably the most flawed among the elite

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: Praising with faint critique

10:31
Moltar: Should the Mets embark on a full rebuild this offseason? It’s getting harder and harder to squint and see a contender in the next couple of seasons.

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: I think it’s quite easy. You just need the pitcher health. That’s it. That’s the thing we all took for granted a couple years ago. Nothing to actually count on, of course, but I don’t think it’s at the rebuild stage yet. You just regroup and cross your fingers

10:32
Ronald Acuna’s Big Brown Eyes: How do you feel about teams manipulating service time? As much as Id love to see RA on the Braves opening day roster, it’s easy to see why they would potentially keep him down for an extra year of control

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: I hate that it happens but I can’t deny that it works in a team’s own long-term interests. What’s the benefit of having Acuna on the opening-day roster when you can control him a whole extra year if you just leave him down a couple of weeks?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: Think the Cubs are paying any sort of cost for having played this game with Bryant? They’re not

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: It’s something to be addressed. This shouldn’t be so strongly incentivized. The number of service days required to count as a full year should be reduced, so that teams pay more of a penalty leaving a player down

10:36
Kevin: O’s fan here…Austin Hays…2018 RF or 2017-2018 winter trade asset for SP?

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think the Orioles are in any kind of position to be trading away talented 22-year-olds

10:37
E: Start Severino in the wild card game or try a bullpen game and save Severino for the division series?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Wild-card game is going to be crucially important. Gotta win it before you think about anything else. Give Severino four or five innings and then turn it over

10:38
TJ: Did the Garcia trade work for the Twins? Littell is a nice piece to have but it’s kind of funny that the Twins could desperately use him right now and the Yankees are just using him as a spot 5th starter

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: I think it’s overall good — Garcia isn’t *that* much better than the Twins’ options, and they’re deeply unlikely to go anywhere in the playoffs anyway. But it’s clearly a funny situation

10:39
Corey: Does data for the position that hitters stand in the batter’s box exist? How useful could it be?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: Doesn’t exist in public as far as I know. Only very indirect proxies. Would only be of interest to see which players might be moving around. Otherwise, it’s plain to see where a guy is standing when he comes up

10:40
Anthony: xFIP overrates GB pitchers right? Because they’re naturally inclined to allow above – average HR/FB rates?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: It’s a slight factor, sure

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: Also worth remembering GB pitchers tend to allow more unearned runs

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Since there are a lot more errors on grounders than flies

10:41
TJ: Why is Carlos Beltran still getting starts?  He looks cooked

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Because the Astros still believe he projects as an average hitter. Also, they’re not playing for much

10:42
another bad dynasty manager: What’s up with Panik?  Did he hit the weights last year or while rehabbing from his injury?  I don’t normally follow the Giants, but I can’t help notice the numbers he’s putting up in the box scores.

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: Panik is what he was in 2015. His 2016 was ruined by injury (concussion)

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: Same walk, strikeout, and grounder rates for three years. Only real change has been BABIP

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: Good player!

10:43
Pat: Jeff, I love you and you’ve been my favorite writer for a long time. I wrote an article myself for the first time a few days ago, discussing how a particular player was below replacement using all the numbers to back my argument up. It got over 250 comments but literally all of them were just absolutely hateful and mean and everybody ignored every single thing I wrote. Kind of lost my confidence and don’t want to write again. Has this ever happened to you?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t care how often you write — hateful comments will always get to you. They’ll stick out from everything else and sometimes they can be hard to shake. It does, of course, get easier, but it never gets *easy*

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: The question is: do you, yourself, like writing? Did you enjoy the process and the result? If you did, fuck ’em. You do this for you

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: One day, everyone who’s ever left a comment will be dead and unremembered

10:45
Owen: Should the Mets non-tender Harvey?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Nah. I get it, I totally get it, but, nah.

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Give him a month and a half in 2018 and if he’s still garbage, just cut bait then

10:46
Ben: Are there any stats that measure how good a particular pitcher is at putting hitters away quickly once reaching two strikes?

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: You can look up two-strike performances using regular splits or Baseball Savant. I like to look at two-strike strikeout rate, to see who’s efficient once they get a hitter in a corner

10:47
E: Will Danny Salazar ever stop being incredibly frustrating?

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: Whenever someone tantalizes as a potential ace, the frustration will almost always be there, because most pitchers don’t ever turn into aces

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: Burden of his own upside

10:47
Toshi: Jeff, do you think the Major League will change juiced ball next season?  If so, how do you think it would affect free agent market?  Thanks.

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: Don’t think they’re going to do anything to the ball. Wouldn’t work in their favor. Everyone would be pissed

10:48
Bort: What should the Astros do with McCullers next year? Make him a reliever or keep trying to run him out there as a starter/

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: I think you keep trying to start him, but he should be used very conservatively

10:48
Kevin: Should the Marlins let Stanton pitch for a game or 2 to make sure their pitchers aren’t the worst hitter in MLB history?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: Start Ichiro!

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: START

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: ICHIRO

10:48
Anthony: Updated predictions on who claims the WC spots?

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: Twins/Rockies. Boring prediction

10:49
TJ: Would Yonder Alonso have done better in FA this offseason if he got hit with a pitch in June and was out for the rest of the year?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: Worthwhile question. I don’t think so, but he’s clearly tailed off. This is the trouble with identifying guys who’ve fixed themselves in April. Give the league a chance to respond in May

10:51
Derek: If you had a ballot for the MVPs what would it look like?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: A little torn between Altuve and Judge in the AL. Willing to listen on Sale and Kluber. NL is wide open and I’m thankful I don’t have to vote for that

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: I could talk myself into, say, Blackmon or Votto

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: But then Stanton is also kind of obvious in a way

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: That one is impossible

10:53
CL: What are the chances that the braves can get rid of both Markakis and Kemp this offseason?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: Well a problem is they’re useless

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: The team most likely to like them is the team that currently has them

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Markakis, they could flip. Kemp is just nothing

10:54
Sebastian Z.: Jeff, not a question, but I thoroughly enjoyed your Ellsbury catcher’s interference piece. And btw, he added another one the other night.

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: New record!

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Every one a new record!

10:55
Sonny: If the Wichita-Winnipeg pitcher balked then everything is a balk. It becomes traveling in the NBA or holding in NFL, you could if you wanted to call it anytime

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: That pitcher hadn’t been called for a balk since 2009

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: Unbelievable

10:55
TJ: Grienke or Neshek – who is the bigger turd in that fight?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: Always easier to criticize the guy who didn’t take five seconds out of his day. Greinke would say he’s standing on principle. I don’t know why Neshek went public with this

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: Baseball drama can be so stupid

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: Baseball drama is usually so stupid

10:57
Jay: I saw someone joke (I think) yesterday that the Dodgers didn’t care about home field advantage because they were “benching” Pedro Baez. Maybe the Cubs were a rare exception, but wouldn’t any NL team rather play 1 more game in the World Series with a DH rather than having 1 more home game, since it’s not *that big* of an advantage. Surely there’s a higher probability that DH helps you win more than playing at home would?

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: You take the home game. Not only are you at home, but the AL team has to do something it doesn’t usually do. It’s worth it

10:58
Cheek: Any thoughts on how aribitration would handle a full-time two way player?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: Guessing it would take the easy way out and evaluate both halves of the player separately, and then add up the earned salaries

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: If the hitter version was worth $3 million in arb, and the pitcher version was also worth $3 million, then I would imagine the award would be $6 million

11:00
Outta my way, Gyorkass: Has there been a series of 2 losses more demoralizing than the last two Milwaukee Brewers games this year?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: Probably not yet, but then, it’s only just getting interesting. Still time for someone else to be even more demoralized!

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe even the Brewers!

11:01
Horacio Ramirez: How can Felix start aging well and extend his productive career like Verlander rather than fade to dark like nearly every other pitcher?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: Get a new shoulder

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: He could probably afford one

11:01
Hannah Hochevar: Really liked the thoroughness of your most improved player post.

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: And I’m still not sure I arrived at the right answer. That post got good comments. I think people are at least partially right when they say Lowrie shouldn’t count since he’s been a good hitter in the majors before

11:02
Towel: A’s are third in second half WRC+. That’s kind of a development.

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: It’s funny. In March, when the A’s looked like a fringe contender, it was all about the young starting pitching. It’s been bad! But the young hitters have surged. So. At least the future looks moderately promising, for a team that wasn’t thought to have a strong farm

11:04
Anthony: Is there anything more offensively with Kiermaier? He’s obviously already great, but if he’s like a 120 wRC+ guy or something, he’s probably a top 10 position player.

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: Fairly low offensive ceiling, I think. He doesn’t have a tremendous eye, nor does he have a lot of raw power. He’s done well this year to cut his pop-ups in half, but I think you just settle for what he is

11:05
Dodgers: Who’s our best match up in the NLDS? Thinking we’d much prefer the Rockies to the Dbacks …

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, it’s the Rockies

11:05
Michelle: If the Dbacks make it past the wild card game, how are they going to handle their bullpen? Run Archie Bradley into the ground?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: That’s going to be a big part of the formula. And watch out for the reliever conversion, too, whether it’s Walker or Corbin. Either could instantly become a 2+ inning weapon

11:06
Ben: What are traits — let’s say he has no experience with it — do you look for in a pitcher in order to determine whether he would be a good candidate to pitch on three days rest?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: Ace. If he’s not an ace, it’s just not worth it

11:07
Gary Sanchez: Who has been better this year in *your* opinion: Sale or Kluber?

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: Probably Sale very slightly

11:07
Dub: Royals should trade Whit Merrifield, who knows if he repeats and they have 0 farm system with 1-2 players that they could trade and actually get a prospect back

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: Don’t think a player like that is going to bring back a haul. Not a haul any better than what he already is

11:08
Al: What are your thoughts on Domingo Santana?  Is this the real him?  Can he hit 35 homers in a full season of at bats, with a good avg?

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: Really good albeit non-elite hitter. Doesn’t bring much in the field. Vaguely Khris Davis-y

11:09
Jeff Sullivan: All right, I need to get rolling

11:09
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 — 9/22/17 by Jeff Sullivan!

Please support FanGraphs by becoming a member. We publish thousands of articles a year, host multiple podcasts, and have an ever growing database of baseball stats.

FanGraphs does not have a paywall. With your membership, we can continue to offer the content you've come to rely on and add to our unique baseball coverage.

Support FanGraphs




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.

newest oldest most voted
Harry Arrieta
Member
Harry Arrieta

Which other Bryant HR was high leverage?