Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 9/29/17

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to Friday baseball chat

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: Sorry for that extra long delay — had some problems recording the podcast

9:08
Bork: Hello, friend!

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friend

9:09
Tim Tebow’s Thunder Thighs: The Tigers announced that Andrew Romine will play all nine positions on Sunday. Can we please do this with Andrelton Simmons, too? Watching him pitch and run down fly balls in center would be a hoot.

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: The only thing I’d be afraid of is the notion of Andrelton Simmons catching

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: Please nobody do anything to injure Andrelton Simmons

9:10
Not Joe Maddon: Two Part question – 1. Who starts game one for the Cubs? 2. Who would you choose?

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: I think I’d be giving the ball to Quintana. My hunch is that’s the direction they’ll go — Lester hasn’t looked right and Arrieta still feels something in his hamstring

9:11
JTT: Jeff, somebody successfully pulls off the hidden ball trick maybe once a year. Do players practice this play? Are defenders hyper vigilant and constantly aware of the location/mannerisms of each player on the bases, watching for their once in a lifetime opportunity to catch the runner off guard? Or do players literally attempt the hidden ball trick constantly, with every base runner? On the telecast you can sometimes see defenders repeatedly and lackadaisically tagging guys after they have been declared safe, are they trying the hidden ball trick? How do these plays happen

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: This is something I’d love to see videos of

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: Failed trick plays!

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: We only ever see them when they’re successful. I want to see when the *other* team looks stupid for once

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think this is something a team practices constantly — I’d guess it’s an idea that comes to someone at random, and then they talk about it for a few days before trying it in a game just to see

9:13
Sterling Mallory Chris Archer: Appreciate you as always on Fridays Jeff. I read that Mackakin said Nola looks like a number 3 pitcher.  He immediately needs to be fired right? Who would be the hot names on the managerial searches this off season?

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: Wait, what? Who could say such a thing?

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: I get that Nola isn’t the classic power-armed No. 1 type, but what he’s doing is legitimate

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: But I can’t tell you anything about the managerial pickings this winter. I pretty much make it my business to avoid managerial articles and speculations, because I just don’t know anything and measurement is impossible

9:14
johnny boy: Had a disagreement yday with someone. I said 99 Pedro would be a top 10 pitcher in the mlb today. He said he would be the clear 1. Who do you side with?

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: I think he’d be…top three. Great chance of being the best. 1999 Pedro Martinez had an FIP- of THIRTY-ONE

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: I bump him down a little only because maybe his stuff wouldn’t play quite so well, but he had a full repertoire and pinpoint command. Very good chance he was better than Kershaw is

9:16
AC000000: Not a question, just want to say how much I love late-September baseball. A Taylor Davis 2 out RBI double, a Jen-Ho Tseng 3 IP win/save, all completed with a Leonys Martin HR robbery. Just like everyone thought back in April.

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: It’s liberating when the baseball is pointless

9:17
Vince Clortho: Christian Vazquez’s second half: ya or eh?

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: Eh

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: He improved, and he can put the bat on the ball, but he’s not a particularly special hitter

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll say this for Vazquez: he’s trimmed his ground-ball rate by 10 points. He’s had too much batted-ball luck for his profile, but he’s evolving, as so many mediocre hitters are

9:20
Greg: which teams have the best record since the all star break?

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: In order: Indians, Cubs, Nationals, Yankees, Red Sox

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: Tigers are worst by four games

9:21
The Average Sports Fan: I enjoyed the Jon Gray article.  What would he need to be a Cy Young contender?

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: 200 innings

9:21
Jeff Sullivan: Even then, he’d need the voters to understand what he’s dealing with in Colorado. I mean, every voter gets that Coors Field is hitter-friendly, but it’s so easy to just look at the ERA

9:22
divine chanteuse: what can the rays expect from wilson ramos next year? he’s gotten hot lately but I haven’t had a chance to look at the underlying peripherals. just a hot streak or a sign of good things to come?

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: Would you believe me if I said Ramos is 41st in innings caught, but 10th in wild pitches allowed?

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: He’s also struggled to throw runners out

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: Framing is fine, and he remains powerful. Ramos is something like an average hitter, at a premium position. But it wouldn’t be surprising at all if his defense were simply too compromised to be good anymore

9:27
Mike: Between Judge, Gardner, Hicks, and Ellsbury (on fire over the last six weeks), who should the Yankees start in the wild card game?

9:27
Jeff Sullivan: Could start them all, and have one of them DH

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: Sit Holliday and Frazier against the right-handed Santana

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: If they don’t like that, then I guess you start Frazier and start with Ellsbury on the bench

9:29
Guest: what does it mean for a fastball to have good plane?

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: I think it’s usually meant to refer to a sinking fastball thrown from a high arm slot. So in theory you get this “steep” downward angle

9:30
Jeff Sullivan: On the other hand, you can have a four-seam fastball that appears to rise. That could also be a fastball with a good plane. You just want to avoid that boring crap in the middle

9:31
another bad dynasty manager: Hi Jeff:  what do you think about Stanton’s chance to tie Maris’s mark for HRs?  A lot of people still believe that was the true record, even though Barry Bonds was an extremely gifted hitter.

9:31
Jeff Sullivan: A lot of people are wrong

9:34
HugoZ: Assuming at least five teams will pursue Moustakas, what will his new contract look like?

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: I could see him coming in around 4yr/$75 – 80m. He doesn’t so much deserve a bigger contract than Justin Turner got, but Moustakas is a few years younger

9:35
Zach: What do the Red Sox do with their playoff rotation? It looks like they need Sale every day.

9:36
Jeff Sullivan: Fun fact: over the past 30 days, out of Boston’s five starters, Sale ranks fifth in WAR!

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: That means nothing, of course. But you go Sale — Porcello — Pomeranz and hope. Rodriguez is an option and, honestly, I think Fister is okay too, but this looks like one of those situations where Sale could end up starting on short rest more than once if the Red Sox make it that far

9:38
Da Bum: With his superb September and a HR rate better than any other player, how much has JD Martinez improved his FA contract? 4/100 possible now? What if he has a Murphy-esque playoff run?

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: Martinez is still going to be held back by the reality that he doesn’t really run or play the field, but this surge has probably added eight figures of value nevertheless

9:39
Jeff Sullivan: He could get five years

9:40
Brian: Shouldn’t the Cubs seriously consider benching Heyward during the playoffs?

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: You can still use him against righties. Against lefties, there isn’t a point

9:41
Frank Grimes: Who will be the better major leaguer, JP Crawford or Dansby Swanson?

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: Crawford

9:42
Owen: Jeff, are you sad that the season is ending (because there are no more unusual stats to discover and stories to write), or excited that a postseason with really great teams is starting?

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: I’m excited for the playoffs, because these games are always fun and it’s never that hard to find things to write about. Also, beyond the playoffs, I’m excited to have all the statistics become official over a full season, so I can stop writing paragraphs that begin with “of course it’s unfair to compare this 2017 measure to numbers from the past that are already set in stone”

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Finally, when the season’s complete, we can compare to history without any asterisks

9:43
Da Bum: If you are JD Martinez do you stay in Arizona as long as they offer close to the best? Dry air seems to do wonders for him.

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Mostly I just wouldn’t go back to Detroit

9:43
Colin: The juiced ball itself is responsible for ___% of the home run surge.

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: 20 – 25%

9:44
Zach: Playoff odds aside, let’s imagine the Yankees and Diamondbacks both win the wild card game. Of the eight division series teams then, who would you be most surprised to see make the World Series?

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: I guess the Red Sox?

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: They seem the most flawed of the eight

9:46
Slider: Tito said in all likelihood, Tomlin will be the tribe’s game 4 starter. Is bypassing Salazar and Clevinger as dumb of a mistake as I think it is?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: Salazar and Clevinger will still be available to use. For multiple innings at a time, if needed

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: That bullpen could be something obscene

9:48
Rockies Fan: If the Rockies make the NLDS, Gray and Anderson is a good enough 1-2 to let the Rockies have a shot right?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: I kind of like Marquez a little, too. But the dropoff from Gray is steep. The Rockies would have a shot because baseball is baseball, but the Rockies are going to be pretty easily the worst playoff team in the NL, assuming they lock up WC2

9:49
AK: If we changed the rules of baseball to allow an unlimited number defenders onto the field, how many Andrelton Simmons clones would it take to allow a BABIP of .000?

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Probably at least a hundred

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: Fields are big!

9:50
Mike: For the projections pages, would it be possible to convey some information on how tightly the results are clustered?  For example, if a team is very young or injury prone, their expected results might vary widely and it might be interesting to give something like 25th and 75th percentiles

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll see if there’s anything we could do about that for next season

9:51
Greg: How valuable would this pitcher be: He can pitch 60 innings in a year, with each inning having a 50% chance of allowing 1 run, and a 50% chance of allowing 0 runs

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: So he’d throw 60 innings and have an RA9 of 4.50?

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: This year’s average reliever posted an RA9 of 4.47

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: Assuming in the hypothetical this is something you could know ahead of time, this would basically be the guy you’d use to preserve 2+ run saves

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: That would free up the actual good closer to act more like a fireman

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: So, a modest amount of value

9:53
Guest: I know Kelby Tomlinson isn’t a good major leaguer but he’s definitely the best of anyone who looks like they teach middle school English

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: Tell that to Eric Sogard and Mark Melancon

9:56
Steve: JD Martinez has the third highest wRC+ in the league (min 450 PAs), but will probably get little to no MVP support because he was traded between leagues.  He shouldn’t win the award, but he still should get more recognition than he will.

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: So basically it’s the 2015 Yoenis Cespedes argument

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: Cespedes finished 13th in the NL in MVP voting that season

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: Martinez has been worth 2.4 WAR to Arizona. Cespedes was worth 2.7 WAR to New York

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: Given how many amazing players there have been in the NL this year, I don’t think Martinez should finish higher than he likely will

9:58
Jeff: I would just like to observe that every NL playoff team is a WS underdog while every non-Twins AL playoff team is favored (should they make it that far).

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: I have a hunch that there’s a bug in our WS odds calculations

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: AL favoritism seems too steep

9:58
Da Bum: We do you take out of the rotation if you are the Cubs? Quintana, Hendriks, Arrieta seem like locks with their 2nd half. Lackey seems better suited for an ace RP role than Lester.

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: I think it just ends up being Lackey

9:58
Bagel: Carlos Correa is on fire. Looks like the Astros offense is getting back to pre-All Star levels at just the right time.

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: With three games left, Astros: 122 wRC+. Next-best team: 108 wRC+

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: Relative to the average, the Astros have indeed had one of the best-hitting lineups in modern baseball history

10:00
Ben: So far Kris Bryant has 6.4 WAR/600 PA and Bryce Harper has 5.1 WAR/600 PA, however Harper has played more/has 6.2 more total WAR even though he is a year younger. Which one do you think will end up with a higher total career WAR?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: So Harper is younger *and* he has the career WAR advantage by the equivalent of a full season

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: It’s Harper

10:02
Tim Tebow’s Thunder Thighs: What a shame that the best pitching matchup of the Division Series will probably be a day game.  Television networks have no problem sharing prime hours between major NFL or NBA events, so why is MLB so dedicated to staggering playoff start times?  Verlander vs Sale (though it could still end up Kluber vs Sale) will be half over before any 9-5ers on the East Coast are home to enjoy it.

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: It’s possible that, from a revenue perspective, the NBA and NHL and NFL have it *wrong*

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t actually know if that’s true, but presumably, baseball and the networks are aware of how much money there is to be gained or lost by staggering or by overlapping

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t come at this from a fair perspective; I’m a lucky one, in that I get to just watch all this for my job. I realize how shitty it is for the average fan

10:04
Jaack: Remember when Dave Cameron used to stay awake at nights wondering how Matt Cain could consistently beat his FIP.

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: Pop-ups!

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: It was pop-ups all along

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: That and pitching better with runners in scoring position somehow

10:05
Colin: What am I supposed to make of Matt Olson having 24 home runs and only 2 doubles? (Which, by the way, is the second highest HR:2B ratio of all time of players with at least one double)

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: Two things. One, lol no way is that even close to for real. Two, Olson has developed some serious power

10:07
Marshall: A lot of articles seem to cast the NL CY Young as a done deal for Scherzer, but how surprised would you be if Kershaw wins?

10:07
Jeff Sullivan: Very surprised. He’s short 26 innings

10:08
Massey: I’m too young to have seen much of Ozzie Smith’s glove work, just highlights. However, I’ve closely followed Andrelton Simmons’ career and am in love with his baseball IQ. Who has the better defensive acumen, Simba or The Wizard of Oz?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: Here’s the thing about Ozzie Smith: he remained a wizard even deep into his 30s. It’s like when people compare someone like Kenley Jansen to Mariano Rivera. Sure, I get it, but Rivera was Rivera for something like a decade and a half

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: I can’t imagine that Smith looked much different from Simmons, at Simmons’ age. But let’s see if Simmons does this another 10 years. He has the tools and the brain

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: Unfortunate, a little bit, that Simmons is playing in the era of the shift. He therefore has less ground that he’s responsible for covering

10:09
Andrew: Does Kris Bryant have a chance to repeat as NL MVP? I think its ridiculous that some people mention Arenado winning but not KB

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: Sure, he has a chance. There are like 10 or 11 guys who have a chance. It’s impossible

10:10
Brett W: Mike Montgomery was able to significantly improve his hitting this year and now has a wRC+ of -2 for his career compared to Vogelbach’s career 0 wRC+. I know Vogelbach is 3 years younger, but Montgomery plays an up-the-middle defensive position. If Montgomery can build on that improved batting line next year, is there still a chance the Cubs win that trade?

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: Cubs already won that trade

10:10
brad: Why was there never a RA9 vs ERA revolution in the mode of OBP vs BA? Too small a difference or a moot point with the advent of FIP and such?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: Not much to be gained, and much of the difference between RA9 and ERA comes down to team defense. With BA and OBP, it’s all about the hitter skill

10:11
t: Hi Jeff! Kluber is scheduled to pitch the next to last game. Sale the last. Do either of those things actually happen? And if not what’s your take on the AL Cy?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know how Kluber doesn’t win, at this point. I think there’s still an argument to be made in favor of Sale, but Kluber is the safest course for every voter, and that’ll win over the majority

10:12
SadSadMetsSadSad…sad?: Who do you  think does MLB views as more valuable asset going forward, Severino or Syndergaard?

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: Syndergaard is more marketable. He has more of the traits you look for in a league-wide superstar. But Severino is a little over a year younger, and he has an extra year of team control. Yankees are happy to have who they have

10:14
Marshall: Why is Scherzer’s WAR so much better than Kershaw’s is this mostly due to Kershaw’s enourmouse spike in home run rate? Scherzer has pitched 26 more innings, but has given up 16 additional runs too.

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: Scherzer is better by FIP, which is what our WAR is based on. Kershaw is better by ERA

10:15
Raff: Jeff, I’m staring at a long, cold, six months without Trouty.  Any advice for dealing with the pain?

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: At any moment, you can watch old highlights

10:15
Jeff Sullivan: It’s freeing, too, to do it during the offseason, when you don’t have to worry about the context of wins and losses. You can just pull up specific Trout plays and appreciate them for the majesty they reflect

10:16
October baseball: What will Giancarlo’s final 2017 homerun tally be?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: 60

10:16
stever20: did Stanton lock up NL MVP last night?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: A 60th home run would probably give voters the mark that they need

10:17
MLBTR Juggalo: Last night Mike Matheny said it was the “first time” he had to say the Cardinals didn’t do what they wanted to achieve.  Do you think he’s not only bad at bullpen management, handling young players and using stats, BUT HAS ALSO forgotten about the outcome of every single season he’s managed the Cardinals?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: This will be Matheny’s worst record of the six years. In the first four years, the Cardinals made the playoffs. Last year they missed by one game

10:18
buttlord: Is there any SP for the Red Sox who you would trust in the playoffs?

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: There are maybe one or two starters on the planet better than Chris Sale

10:19
Raindog: Should the O’s extend Schoop this offseason, or assume that they’ll be trading him when they go full firesale next July?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: Wouldn’t be a bad idea to at least get a free-agent year taken care of. You can still trade an extended player

10:19
Show Hey O’Tawny: When I say Chris Young, who pops into your mind first?

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: The pitcher, just because he’s more unusual

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: That is, pitcher Chris Young has more distinguishing characteristics than hitter Chris Young

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: Now, I can’t play this game with Bobby Jones

10:21
Kosch: Astros have 63 hits the last 4 games…Can you do a post on the historicness (I made that word up) of their current wRC+ of 122?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: Let me run some numbers real quick

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: Firstly, here’s a post from July https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-astros-lineup-has-been-something-h…

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: So the gap between the Astros and the next-best team — after eliminating pitchers — is 10 points. That’s one of the larger gaps ever

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: By z-scores, the Astros are 2.8 standard deviations better than the mean

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Only better lineup: the 1976 Reds, at +2.9 standard deviations

10:26
Jeff Sullivan: If the Astros can somehow lift their team wRC+ to 124 over the weekend, then they’d be the best ever, by this measure

10:27
MLBTR Juggalo: Nightengale saying that the Cards will pursue Josh Donaldson this offseason.  If the Blue Jays sell, what sort of return from STL would they expect?  Flaherty or Weaver?

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Weaver would be too high a price. Donaldson has one year left, at $17 million

10:28
Jeff Sullivan: Flaherty, I could see

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: I’m not convinced, though, that Donaldson will actually be available over the winter

10:30
Ham Bone: Preferred HR swing: Griffey-like smooth as butter or Stanton-like violence?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: Like Greg Maddux vs. Randy Johnson

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: I can buy Griffey as sort of the hitter ideal, but I’m a complete sucker for guys who can literally obliterate a baseball

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: and a scoreboard!

10:30
jeff: judge the AL MVP, right?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: It’ll be Altuve

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: I think Judge is no less deserving, but I think it’ll be Altuve

10:31
Tim Tebow’s Thunder Thighs: Please rank these young Braves starters in order of future ceiling: Gohara, Folty, Newcomb, Fried, Sims

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: Can’t do it! Evaluating ceiling is impossible

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: The ceiling for everyone is No. 1 starter. Anyone who says otherwise is lying to you

10:32
TXC: Are there any stats on passed balls vs pitches that have the potential to be passed balls?
There are articles being written that the yanks should bench Sanchez for Romine in the WC game.  Please tell me they are 2000% over reacting.

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: lol

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: That argument is bad

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Baseball Prospectus has a bunch of numbers for everything

10:34
Jeff Sullivan: Indeed, Sanchez has been one of the worst blockers. But he’s been one of the better framers and throwers

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: And so, in the end, Sanchez actually shows up as a better defender than Romine does

10:35
Jeff Sullivan: And Romine has slugged .296

10:36
Massey: Would someone like Rafael Bellliard (two (2) career homers) be a threat to hit double digits nowadays?

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: Probably not. There are still limits. Belliard was a ground-ball hitter. And over the past two years, Ben Revere has three home runs, combined

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: You still need *some* power. You just need less than ever before

10:38
hayden: is there a word for what rajai davis did to aroldis chapman last year, a heroic effort that is ultimately forgotten due to subsequent events? it would be the same word for what marcus paige did for UNC in the villanova title game.

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe I’m just speaking for myself, but, outcome be damned, the Davis home run is still one of the most unbelievable baseball turns of events I’ve ever seen

10:39
Jeff Sullivan: It didn’t ultimately win the game, but that only matters for narrative. Anyone who was watching can recall how the Davis homer felt with perfect mental clarity

10:40
Raindog: Astros have shown a lot of faith in Beltran, but he’s just gotten worse through the year.  Gattis gonna DH every game in playoffs, or they too worried about losing the DH if he has to catch?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: Wouldn’t be surprised to see Beltran vs. righties and Gattis vs. lefties

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: I know that Gattis doesn’t have much of a career platoon split, but I don’t think this faith in Beltran has been for show

10:40
Sterling Mallory Chris Archer: Have you ever done a fantasy baseball camp with a team before?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: No. But I would enjoy the experience of pitching to a major-league hitter once, just so I could get annihilated and put any thoughts in the back of my head officially to rest

10:41
Andrew: Jeff, do you think Kris Bryant has a realistic chance to repeat as NL MVP?

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Yes

10:41
Shuck Bowalter: What’s the biggest thing we’ll be surprised about this post season that we really shouldn’t be?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: Starters will still be leaned on too heavily, and no team will run its pitching staff like how the 2016 Indians did

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: Alternate answer: given the opportunity, the Diamondbacks will have Fernando Rodney close

10:43
Outta my way, Gyorkass: Pretend MIL ties COL for NLWC2, and has to go two “play-in” games. What’s their starting pitching strategy for the two games (have to imagine that Chase Anderson’s getting the ball vs ARI if they beat COL, but Johnny Wholestaff vs. COL?) and are the Brewers allowed to assemble two totally different rosters for each game?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: I imagine it would be Davies, then Anderson. Or, depending on scheduling, Anderson, then Davies. And heavy, heavy bullpen usage

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: I *think* they’d get to use different rosters for each

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: And you could expect a lot of Josh Hader

10:45
Guest: I wonder what the most career hits is for a player to have > 50% XBHs? Right now, Stanton has 955 career hits, 477 singles, 478 XBH, which seems insane to me. Instagraph?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: Stanton is in second place all-time! From 2 through 5, it goes Giancarlo Stanton, Russell Branyan, Chris Carter, and Khris Davis

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: But while Stanton is second at 955, Mark McGwire is first, all the way up at 1,626

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: McGwire finished with 52% extra-base hits, mostly because, by the end, he could hardly leg out a single

10:46
Hadji the Cat: Poor Terry Collins. He’s been so bad for so long, only to be shielded by the Wilpons and then dragged through the mud when they’ve had enough of him. He deserved to be fired like a normal ineffective manager a year or two ago.

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know how you fire a manager after a playoff appearance

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll say this: there’s a reason why you’re seeing managers around the league getting younger and younger. This is one of the reasons why Dusty Baker catches too much shit, incidentally. The evidence suggests Baker remains a very good players’ manager!

10:48
Alex Reyes: Do you think I end up making 20-25 starts in the Cardinals rotation next year, or have I been surpassed by Weaver and Flaherty?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: Every team ends up needing like 8-10 starting pitchers. Reyes will have ample opportunity

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: All but four teams this year have had at least six guys make 10+ starts

10:50
v2micca: Currently at work.  The guy sitting next to me just had a meltdown and quit on the spot.  So, if Simmons just played 8 positions and skipped catching, would you be down?

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: I’d like to watch it, although I’d also like to just watch Simmons play shortstop like regular. I’m not sure he’d be capable of more magic in other places

10:51
Nick: Did the astros have the best team offensive performance ever this year?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: Close, at least. Not that they were good on the bases, which somewhat hurts the case

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: The 1976 Reds also happened to lead the league in steals

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: Those Reds were like 20-30 runs better than average on the bases. The Astros are somewhere in the negative. So the Reds are still the single-season offensive champs

10:53
Outta my way, Gyorkass: Hader – is he a starter in 2018, or an Andrew Miller-type fireman?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know how you don’t see what he can do as a starter

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: Even if you just give him half a season, you have to find out

10:54
Kris Bryant: Jeff, why am I getting no love for MVP consideration? How can people put Nolan Arenado over me?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Because he has 56 more RBI

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: RBI, of course, aren’t a great measure of value, but Arenado also leads Bryant in RE24 by nine runs

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: At the end of the day, both Bryant and Arenado have been great, but Arenado has hit with better timing. It does matter

10:56
v2micca: So, if Vlad Jr. continues to push for a big league promotion with stellar play and Josh Donaldson bounces back to his MVP years, what does Toronto do?

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: Win

10:57
Spreadsheet Scout: I’m kinda surprised we aren’t hearing more Albies hype. His batting line looks so much like Lindor’s! Pre-homer spike, of course.

10:57
Jeff Sullivan: Albies makes the worst contact, but some small margin, but yes, he’s had a great debut, especially for a freaking 20-year-old. Very quick hands. I imagine I’ll write about him soon

10:58
Outta my way, Gyorkass: How does the Brewers rebuild continue to progress in 2018?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: Hopefully — hopefully — Nelson is able to come back and look something like himself. They’re going to start having to make room, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a blue-chip outfielder traded for an arm

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: Keon Broxton will probably end up the fourth outfielder 🙁

11:00
Show Hey O’Tawny: Does mainstream media underrate the Indians pitching staff? Fangraphs is the only place I’ve seen call them the best pitching staff of all time, even though most of the WAR says so

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: I think, in general, people don’t have a great mental grasp of how pitching has evolved. When you think about the best staffs ever, you tend to focus on the starting rotations. The other thing about the Indians is they’re so deep they *never* give the ball to a bad pitcher

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: For the sake of argument, let’s compare the Indians to the Braves from 1993 – 1999

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: That is, combining all those years

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: Braves starters had an ERA- of 77. The Indians starters have an ERA- of 79

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: But Braves relievers had an ERA- of 87. Indians relievers have an ERA- of 65

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe the Braves had more Hall-of-Famers. The Indians are better from top to bottom, because every pitcher on the staff counts

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: I plan to revisit this early next week with a post

11:04
Bryce: Is this the postseason that Kershaw finally gets it?

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: Probably not

11:04
_David_: Assuming the alternate universe exists, what does a 90 win 2018 Mariners look like?

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: Most importantly, Paxton would make 33 or whatever starts, and Felix would have a full healthy year as some kind of No. 2

11:05
Al: JS… Does Javier Baez blast 30 homers next season?

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: Doubt it

11:06
NL ROY: Bellinger and Hoskins have obviously been gangbusters this season, but Ian Happ’s quietly had an impressive rookie season, too. Is he another building block in Chicago, possibly just scratching the surface? Or is he a potential trade candidate for more arms?

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: Have to like a young power hitter who can play both second base and center field. Happ makes too little contact to blossom into that much of a star, but he’s a long-term building block for sure

11:08
One of the Lizard People: *puts on tinfoil hat*
Baseball writers are only perpetuating the theory of Shohei Ohtani coming over this offseason so that, when the news breaks that he decides not to come over, they’ll have something to write about over the cold, winter months.

11:08
Jeff Sullivan: At this point I just want it to be over with. There’s nothing new to write. We know what he is! As much as we can, until he plays in the majors

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

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: So thank you everybody for hanging out, and I’m sorry for what I didn’t or couldn’t address. I don’t know what the chat schedule will look like next Friday — lots of playoff games going on. But for now I can at least tell you I’ll be live-chatting the game Tuesday night

11:10
Jeff Sullivan: For the time being, be well and have great days

We hoped you liked reading Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 9/29/17 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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bosoxforlife
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bosoxforlife

I wonder how many people on Fangraphs had a chance to watch the 1999 version of Pedro Martinez. It is, beyond any shadow of a doubt, the greatest single season pitching performance in the fabled history of this game that everybody here loves. 313 K’s, next was Finley at 200, 1.39 FIP with Mussina next at 3.25 then Sele at 3.85. That is beyond unbelievable and so is every other stat. When compared to all other seasons in baseball nothing comes close to this disparity between one pitcher and everybody else. Kershaw, at his best, merits some debate but nobody else is in the discussion.