Kevin Goldstein FanGraphs Chat – 4/26/2021

12:01
Kevin Goldstein: Hi everyone. Good to be here at my actually schedule time to chat and already several questions in the queue, so let’s do this.

12:02
Guest: Hello Kevin ! I have a question, i don’t know if it’s possible to do it easily : get the wins/losses of a team with and without a player ?

12:02
Kevin Goldstein: I think you could mess with some weird WAR stuff and do some quick addition/subtraction but I don’t think it would really be accurate….

12:03
Neil: George Kirby: 100 MPH with command and looooong legs: is he the next Jacob degrom??

12:03
Kevin Goldstein: C’mon, it’s Monday. CALM DOWN.

12:03
asnbrv: Do you believe in personal catchers being significantly beneficial?

12:04
Kevin Goldstein: I believe that a player’s comfort level is exceptionally important in terms of getting the best performance out of him. Sometimes that’s a role, sometimes that’s a spot in the batting order and sometimes that’s a personal catcher. Really underrated part of the game and not something anyone can easily put some kind of measurement on.

12:04
Kate: If Odorizzi needs to miss some time, have to think Luis Garcia is the first in line for those starts, right?  How do you like his odds of becoming a solid rotation piece?  Eric’s offseason writeup of him was pretty glowing and he’s held his own so far in his short time at the big league level.

12:04
Kevin Goldstein: I think he’ll be a perfectly fine starting pitcher. Not a star, mind you, but perfectly fine.

12:04
Mark with a K: What is your opinion of the experiments MLB is conducting in the minor leagues – double-hook with SPs and DHs, moving the mound back 1 foot to try for more balls in play and fewer strikeouts… won’t that just lead to more pitcher injuries?  Or would pitchers really change their approach to pitch more to contact?

12:05
Kevin Goldstein: I’m trying to be open minded to seeing how they play out and seeing what the data from them playing out tells us. It’s hard, but I’m trying.

12:05
Trader Bob: What would you try to do with Garrett Richards / have him do, if he were in your org?

12:05
Kevin Goldstein: See if you could find success with short stints out of the pen…?

12:05
Guest: Has Dustin May broken out, or is he just on a good run right now?

12:06
Kevin Goldstein: He’s going to be very good. Believe.

12:06
steve: brave of you to talk about nick madrigal in terms other that he is a surefire hall of famer. white sox twitter is a scary place. given that you live in the chicago area, are you scared for your safety?

12:06
Kevin Goldstein: Not at all. I don’t think any team’s fan base/twitter profile is any worse than any other, it’s more of a numbers game. It’s not like I said he wasn’t good. I got far more pushback in Chicago for my Baez piece.

12:07
Jake: Kevin, I’m curious as to internal org. prospect rankings. Beyond the top guys, do teams keep some kind of dynamic 1-___ ranking of their prospects or is it something more tiered in terms of loose groupings of “dude”, “fringe prospect”, “org. guy”, etc.?

12:07
Kevin Goldstein: Yes, I do support some loose groupings, but more of Group 1 = top three prospect in most orgs; group 2 = top 10 in most orgs; group 3 = 11-30 in most orgs, etc.

12:09
kcbg: Hi Kevin. Let’s say the Mariners are competitive when the trade deadline nears. Let’s also say Seager continues to have a good year. If it were you running the show, would you keep him or trade him? If keep, would you pick up his option year?

12:10
Kevin Goldstein: I don’t see a path to him getting that option picked up, and if he keeps hitting like he has (I don’t think he’s having a good year) he’s not going to have much trade value. I might just let it ride.

12:10
Jake: Kevin, last week you mentioned that you weren’t a fan of a singular label – FV, OFP, etc. – for prospects. Was this something you picked up while w/ the Astros? How would you go about delineating between prospects in the alternative of these kinds of metrics?

12:10
Kevin Goldstein: Yes. It’s something I took off of our pro reports. I liked a floor/most likely/ceiling type of rubric.

12:11
Kate: Arozarena looking whifftastic so far.  Do you think he’s able to calm down the swing and make more contact as the season moves on or is this going to be an ongoing issue for him?

12:11
Kevin Goldstein: I mean, he’s never going to be a big contact guy, but I think he’ll be better than he has been so far this year.

12:11
JR: Is there an unwritten rule between GMs not to claim certain types of players off waivers (e.g. 3rd/4th catcher types)?

12:12
Kevin Goldstein: Not at all. Only unwritten rule is not to claim a player who is going through the process in order to sign with a team in Asia, and that is noted in the waiver wire that is sent out to teams.

12:12
Daniel: Opinion on Tatis peeking?

12:12
Kevin Goldstein: People peek all the time…

12:13
Kate: Got anything on TCU’s Russell Smith? Backspun FB with plus command and a CH that has shown ++, 32% K rate

12:13
Kevin Goldstein: Thanks for the tip and I now want to go dig in on him.

12:13
Kate: Amed Rosario has made huge strides so far this season with his plate discipline, but it’s not showing up in his surface stats.  Do you think this eventually drives a return to relevancy for him or is this just another approach tweak that’s not going to work?

12:14
Kevin Goldstein: It’s a fun question, and a more complex one than you might think. There are players where more walks might actually hurt them. It’s something worth monitoring.

12:15
Kate: Carson Kelly is just obliterating balls so far this year.  Does any of this uptick stick or does he eventually tick back down to something more resembling his 2019?

12:16
Kevin Goldstein: I mean, obviously he’s not going to throw up a 1200 OPS on the season, but I do believe in the talent and that he’ll be a well above-average catcher. 850 OPS work for you?

12:16
Todd: How ridiculous is it that we expect 40-60 year old people to imagine an invisible zone hovering over a plate 8 feet away and to determine with total conviction that a 98mph ball (with movement) nicked the outside boundary of said zone?

12:17
Kevin Goldstein: About as ridiculous as assuming some sort of computer model for doing the same fixes everything.

12:17
kcbg: What is the most remote location you have travelled to watch/scout a baseball game? Did you consume any interesting local grub?

12:19
Kevin Goldstein: In terms of outside of the stats, Mexico City, Tijuana, Tokyo and all over the Dominican Republic. Found great food everywhere I went. Had great tacos with the great FlipFlopFlying in Mexico City, an incredible fancy sushi meal with a NPB exec in Tokyo, and so many good meals in the DR….in terms of staying continental, I loved going to North Carolina as I’m a huge sucker for Carolina BBQ.

12:19
Kate: Do you think the minor league season starts when planned (I think it’s early May)?  Haven’t hear much about this since the AAA season got delayed.

12:20
Kevin Goldstein: There are actually some whispered rumors that it might get pushed back again . . . . but just rumors for now.

12:20
GoBears!: Are the White Sox taking the right approach with Andrew Vaughn?

12:20
Kevin Goldstein: I don’t like it. Either play him or have him somewhere where he will play.

12:21
Isaac G: I’ve been a casual baseball fan but during the pandemic, I’ve fallen for the game in a new way. I signed up for a Fangraphs membership (anyone reading this should too) but now I want to know how do you recommend taking a deeper dive into analyzing the game? Is there anything practices you recommend before, during, or after a game?

12:22
Kevin Goldstein: Thanks for signing up! We appreciate it and this is a great opportunity to remind everyone about our membership drive. WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT. If you like these chats, or all of the amazing articles, or the fantastic data tools, or the podcasts, or the Twitch streams, PLEASE SUPPORT US to make sure they keep happening.

12:22
Kevin Goldstein: As for your question, I think I got practice would be to watch a game with the statcast feed open.

12:22
Nick: What are the chances Luis Medina NYY ends up a starter, and what kind of SP are we looking at then?

12:23
Kevin Goldstein: This is going to come off as QUITE the hedge, but I really think it’s about 50/50. I think as a starter he’ll be one of those inefficient guy just out-stuffing people who gives you five overall effective innings but takes 97 pitches to do so.

12:23
Erik: What’s the general opinion among front office members about anti-labor tactics like manipulating service time? I would assume they feel pretty much forced into doing such things as part of the job description, but would most take the pro-labor side if they had any voice in the next CBA, or are most simply numb to the problem after years of doing things the current way?

12:24
Kevin Goldstein: 30% for, 20% against, 50% numb.

12:24
ben: what’s something that surprised you about working in a front office that you didn’t expect before you joined Houston?

12:24
Kevin Goldstein: The number of people in takes to run a baseball team, from the front office down to the hot dog vendors is staggering.

12:25
Tigers Fan: What is wrong with Kyle Tucker and do you think he will turn it around?

12:25
Kevin Goldstein: His underlying data is far better than his triple-slash line. He’ll be fine.

12:27
Guest: Where does the name “Tricky League” come from?

12:27
Kevin Goldstein: I stared at this one for ten seconds saying to myself, “Do I know this?” and you know what? I do not know this.

12:27
Ben: Any idea of where Verlander ends up next year?

12:27
Kevin Goldstein: None.

12:27
Jeff: I asked both Kiley and EL so now you…Ed Howard or Cristian Hernandez? Hint: There is a right answer!

12:28
Kevin Goldstein: Gimme Ed.

12:28
doug: Dylan Carlson thoughts? seems to really be heating up, power, contact, good approach. any comps setting aside the switch hitting?

12:29
Kevin Goldstein: I don’t like comps unless they are really obvious. Never force them. Carlson has been really impressive. I don’t think there’s enough contact in him for .300, but .275 with walks and power is still a very valuable player.

12:29
Guest: can the brewers really win the division with this offense?

12:29
Kevin Goldstein: It’s the NL Central. It’s not going to take much. They could win it. So could the Cubs. So could the Cardinals.

12:30
Jeff: Do you believe there is a hero in all of us?

12:30
Kevin Goldstein: No.

12:30
Bobby: Is it unfair to a guy like Bumgarner to not get a no-hitter?  It’s not his fault the game is 7 innings because of the new double header rules.  He pitched a complete game and did not allow a hit.  That should be a no-hitter.

12:31
Kevin Goldstein: Like, AITA if I kinda don’t care about how it’s classified? You saw what happened? I saw what happened. How you see it counts more than how some official statistician sees it.

12:31
JC: Could the OPS examples in your article on Madrigal be translated to wRC+?

12:32
Kevin Goldstein: They could be, but as far as spending time for the piece and messing around with numbers in a spreadsheet for the purposes of the piece, OPS was way easier to work with.

12:32
Tigers Fan: What happened to all star Gleyber Torres?  Do you think he is just slumping or are you more concerned?

12:32
Kevin Goldstein: I don’t think playing him at SS helps, but yes, he’s better than this, and will be.

12:33
Jeff: How much longer do I have to pretend the Cubs are bad?

12:33
Kevin Goldstein: They’re not bad, they’re just not clearly good — again, this is the definition of NL Central squads.

12:33
CoryMC: If the league/commenters/pearl-clutchers are concerned with shifting would a simple change of not allowing cheat sheets help a bit in that regard? Force everyone, including pitchers and catchers, to rely on coaching relays to rely on coaching signals, pregame strategies, and their own, memory. Or would it not do enough to matter at all?

12:34
Kevin Goldstein: I just don’t see why people care about this, and on a related note, I choose not to.

12:34
fangraphs reader: So, Yuli Gurriel. Did he come to America to break baseball projection models?

12:34
Kevin Goldstein: I have a soft spot in my heart for Yuli, and always enjoy seeing him do well.

12:35
Tony the Geaux Tiger: How do you go about projecting future game power for a player who shows more power in games than they do in BP?

12:35
Kevin Goldstein: What they show you tells you what it is, so focus on the game stuff for that player. Some guys never let it fly in BP.

12:35
Astros question: Have you considered writing a book about your journey?

12:36
Kevin Goldstein: I have, but not overly driven to do so.

12:36
Tony from Colorado: How much longer do we need to see Lindor struggle at the plate before we begin to get concerned?

12:36
Kevin Goldstein: I’m a little concerned, to be honest. Far from panicked, but yeah, a little concerned.

12:37
TarzanJoe: Was reading transcript of your last chat and Naked Raygun clip. Were you into the Chicago punk scene in the 80’s? Raygun at Cubby Bear, Last Rites at Metro, Bhopal Stiffs at Exit among others?

12:37
Kevin Goldstein: Yeah. I grow up in the Chicago punk scene in the 80s. I was probably at all of those shows and more.

12:38
Walker: Adolis Garcia – for real and finally putting it all together, or about to get exploited as the league adjusts to him since he can’t work a walk?  What does it say that the Rangers have batted him in the 4/5 slot in the lineup and basically handed him CF?  And how did the Cardinals let yet another toolsy OF get away given their needs?

12:38
Kevin Goldstein: He’s fun to watch, but yeah, he’s more of a low-average, big K power goof than some kind of star.

12:38
Scotty: Ty France has an average of .316 but a BABIP of .400, but also the statcast xBA of .321… what should we expect out of him going forward? Regression of the BABIP or that he still hits for a decent average because of the underlying statcast numbers?

12:38
Kevin Goldstein: Ty France can really hit. Thank you for coming to my TED talk.

12:39
Bubba: Are there diminishing returns on SP WAR?  Degrom can have 10 WAR and the Mets will win a portion of his ~30 games.  If Trout gets 10 WAR spread over 150+ games, which is more practically beneficial to their team?

12:40
Kevin Goldstein: It’s a fun philosophical question, and I think there is at least an argument that the 10 over 30 games is more valuable. Fun bar conversation.

12:40
Guest: Do you think any of the oscar movies this year were “great”?

12:40
Kevin Goldstein: Only two I saw were Mank (good, but far from great), and Nomadland (which bordered on great).

12:40
kcbg: Thankfully, The Opener appears to be a fading fad. But now the Rangers are trying a piggyback approach. This makes sense to me this year, with last year’s lower innings. I know the Astros do this in the minors. Have you seen any downside?

12:41
Kevin Goldstein: Not in terms of player development. In terms of game strategy, there are some pitfalls.

12:41
45 blows billygoats: Victor Robles is 24. He has struggled every season. What is his trajectory at this point in his career?

12:41
Kevin Goldstein: Nice 4th outfielder….

12:41
Guest: Tyler O’Neil? lots of swing and miss but it mostly seems a result of swinging way to fast and being way out in front. could something like a toe tap turn him into a star?

12:41
Kevin Goldstein: If only it were that simple….

12:43
Brent: Not that this would actually happen, but which team do you think would turn down a Gallen/Julio Rodríguez swap?

12:43
Kevin Goldstein: Arizona.

12:43
Megan: What are the some of main traits you look for in high school hitters?

12:44
Kevin Goldstein: Bat speed, bat-to-ball ability, feel at the plate . . . they’re tough to wrap your head around at times because the level of pitching they are facing.

12:44
Jason: Do any of your contacts like the extra-inning rule?  I understand why it was in place last year (and to some extent this year), but is it something that the powers that be will want to keep going forward?

12:44
Kevin Goldstein: Plenty, mostly for player health reasons and that super long games can crush your bullpen for a week. I like the rule as well [ducks].

12:45
Jacques Pederson: Do minor league systems benefit from being varied or is there strength in homogeneity? Is it easier to develop players when they are all starting from the same point?

12:45
Kevin Goldstein: Clear standards across every level are absolutely essential. They all need to be told the same thing at every level.

12:46
Mike: In regards to Luis Garcia, what is a perfectly fine starting pitcher? What type or who in the majors does that fit?

12:47
Kevin Goldstein: Good 4, maybe a 3 in a good year.

12:47
Charles: Franchy Cordero has clearly deployed a different approach, using the opposite field a lot more, but he’s had a slow start and the Boston media can’t go on without someone to gripe about. What will it take for this tools monster to figure it out?

12:48
Kevin Goldstein: It’s pretty obvious. He needs to make more contact. It’s not clear how he’s going to make more contact, and that’s the problem.

12:48
Doug: Colton Cowser’s board update has him borderline day 1, with seemingly fringe tools other than hit. Has he done enough hitting to suggest he’s in play in the middle of round 1? Do you think he’d be an underslot target for teams picking in the teens?

12:48
Kevin Goldstein: I wrote about him last week and had him firmly in the teens.

12:48
JC: “I liked a floor/most likely/ceiling type of rubric.” Meaning you would put FV grades on each of those?

12:48
Kevin Goldstein: I used words instead of FVs. Below avg, avg, above avg, elite, etc.

12:49
Mike: The Braves offense. My god. Please give me hope.

12:49
Kevin Goldstein: Freeman will be better, Ozuna will be better, Albies will be better, Swanson will be better . . .

12:50
DF: Venture a year-end line on Votto?

12:50
Kevin Goldstein: .236/.343/.424

12:51
Matt: Verdugo has played like a star in both 2020 and 2021 (albeit in small samples). Are you buying he is a star or just a solid regular?

12:52
Kevin Goldstein: I’m comfortable seeing him as a .850-.900 OPS type.

12:52
Guest: Predicting a wholesale tool change is impossible, but is there an impediment to Madrigal having an Altuve-like jump in power? Early career EVs seem similar between the two.

12:52
Kevin Goldstein: Even early in Altuve’s career, he had sneaky pop and could show you real raw in BP. Madrigal does not do that.

12:53
Jeff: Since you’ve worked for teams…How do they deal with and look at fan expectations?

12:53
Kevin Goldstein: I mean . . . winning changes everything. It’s kinda simple.

12:53
Madison Bumgarner: I’m back!   Maybe?

12:54
Kevin Goldstein: Yeah . . . it was a great outing. I’m far from saying there’s some kind of return to previous form here.

12:54
Chris: Saw your recommendation of qanon anonymous. Should someone hop in on the most recent episode or at the beginning? Looks like there are 260 episodes

12:54
Kevin Goldstein: You can drop in whenever and be fine.

12:54
Roger: Carolina BBQ… vinegar or mustard base?

12:54
Kevin Goldstein: Vinegar ALL THE WAY. If you find yourself in the triangle, head to Q Shack.

12:55
JPinPhilly: In  a recent podcast episode, I remember you saying that you are not that high on one or two players because you don’t see them hitting the ball all that hard. I’m assuming that you are referring to the exit velocity readings. How much do you personally cap a player’s ceiling based on EV, if at all? And if this is a thing, how prevalent is this among scouts and other evaluators? Everyone has always wanted prospects that sting the ball but now that we have these readings, are we in danger of overemphasizing the EV when grading hitters?

12:55
Kevin Goldstein: EV is exceptionally important, but more as accumulated data as opposed to single AB type of things.

12:56
CoryMC: Do you watch Giant Bomb’s videos too or just listen to their podcast(s)?

12:56
Kevin Goldstein: Watch some Quick Looks if it’s a game I’m interested in.

12:56
Mike: Where do you think Austin Martin ends up in the field?  Are you a believer in the bat?

12:56
Kevin Goldstein: CF; yes.

12:56
Jeff: Do the players have the chutzpah to strike? After the NFL’s CBA sham, is there any optimism?

12:57
Kevin Goldstein: To explain why would take a full piece, but what we are look at THIS YEAR is a lockout.

12:59
Derek: Why did Asutdillo’s Early Action % not get more love in your Madrigal piece?

12:59
Kevin Goldstein: Just didn’t have enough ABs to qualify, but obviously, he’s incredibly unique in that regard.

1:00
Also a Kevin: Is this a true Cristian Javier breakout? What was his outlook internally back when you were with the Astros?

1:00
Kevin Goldstein: Always thought he’d be a good No. 3 starter. Still think that.

1:00
Jacques Pederson: Any players that you watched struggle in other orgs that you thought “we can fix them”?

1:00
Kevin Goldstein: Tons. Every team does.

1:00
Sad, Confused Marlins Fan: Marlins need a big power boost. Are they scared of putting too much pressure on Bleday? I am BrinOUT at this point

1:01
Kevin Goldstein: I’m out on Brinson as well, but Bleday isn’t ready.

1:01
Guest: can you tell fastball/change/curve/slider in person with no radar gun and no replay? if so, how long did it take you to pick it up? always amazed when you see guys charting pitches without a gun or whatever, have no idea how you differentiate those

1:01
Kevin Goldstein: I think so. Changes get get a little weird at times, and will power breakers falling between curves and sliders, sometimes you need a couple to figure out, but overall, yes.

1:01
Hank: who is in that next tier of draft arms after Leiter/Rocker? Anyone to be excited about?

1:02
Kevin Goldstein: I feel like I’m kind of on an island thinking Ty Madden is just a tick below them. . .

1:02
Dc in nova: Do major league teams track the accuracy of pitchers by each pitch?  If so, is that data available?  Imagine a grid over the strike zone and measuring how close a pitch is to where the catcher sets up.

1:02
Kevin Goldstein: Yes, they do that.

1:03
Jeff: Any thoughts on this year’s QB class? I go against most of my pre-Covid beliefs by thinking the Jets should take a one year starter at QB, Trey Lance

1:03
Kevin Goldstein: I know the NFL draft is this week. I can’t name a single QB in it. I can’t name a single college football player, to be honest with you.

1:03
Guest: I read an anonymous internet comment from someone that said he used to work in a baseball FO as a lower-level type. He said it amazed him how little many others in the FO even liked baseball, and spent a lot of their time talking about football actually. Believable?

1:03
Kevin Goldstein: I don’t know any of those people….

1:04
Guest: were you into baseball during your young punk time?

1:04
Kevin Goldstein: Yes. Always. Baseball is actually very punk rock. I’m going to write about this at some point.

1:04
TarzanJoe: I hope you weren’t the guy with the bad mustache trying to get with my girl on the 3rd floor at Medusa’s

1:04
Kevin Goldstein: I was at Medusa’s but I did not have a mustache.

1:04
asnbrv: Which front office do you think is underrated?

1:05
Kevin Goldstein: Probably the Yankees. I think it’s easy to just say they have all the money (and it certainly helps), but they’re also very good at the baseball part.

1:05
Jeff: Will FanGraphs ever dive into football? I’m sick of Collinsworth’s PFF, literally no one has any idea how they come up with anything

1:05
Kevin Goldstein: Maybe! I just know they won’t want me to be a part of it.

1:05
Concerned Rangers Fan: MLB.com has the Rangers taking Lawlar with the no. 2 pick. Is this an indictment of the pitching player development to not pick the leftover of Leiter/Rocker or more about Lawlar just being that good?

1:06
Kevin Goldstein: He’s that good.

1:06
Danny: Is Yermin Mercedes passable at any position or is he a DH forever?

1:06
Kevin Goldstein: His best glove is his batting glove(s).

1:07
Will: James Fegan when previously talking about Tim Anderson thought there was some type of metric or system we haven’t figured out yet to explain Tim Anderson out performing all expected metrics. Do you agree or think it’s just a rabbit’s BABIP foot

1:07
Kevin Goldstein: I do think there are players capable of exceeding in BABIP.

1:08
Brandon: I have seen you say you think Yuli Gurriel would have had a chance at the HOF if he played his career in MLB. Dave Cameron thought he was the worst starter on the Astros when he would write for this site. Why the gap?

1:08
Kevin Goldstein: People are different and see things differently and diversity of thought is a good thing.

1:09
ChatzMcgee: Last week you mentioned the Braves being at the forefront of technology, was that before or after the FO change? Or did it stay the same?

1:09
Kevin Goldstein: They’ve taken huge steps forward under AA.

1:09
Kevin Platinumstein: Weirdest movie you consider great?

1:09
Kevin Goldstein: Hausu (House).

1:10
asnbrv: What is your take on teams shifting against RHH? Many analysts seems puzzled why teams keep on doing it outside extremes.

1:11
Kevin Goldstein: They wouldn’t do it if the data told them not to. Right now, the data tells them to do so.

1:12
Guest: What’s the general Front Office / baseball opinion on Tony Clark? It seems kind of mixed by the fans & media, but never enough to call for a change

1:12
Kevin Goldstein: General feeling is that the union botched the last CBA and that helped create the current gap. Other thought here is that we have labor problems when an ex-player is in charge.

1:12
Keith: How would you line up Madden, Hoglund and Bachman?

1:13
Kevin Goldstein: In that order.

1:13
Guest: SS speculation question: does Seager sign with the dodgers this off-season? Hard to imagine LA doesn’t try to bring their WS MVP back, and it would be a bit weird for them to go after correa considering his status among the fan base. Giants would be an interesting place to land too

1:13
Kevin Goldstein: I do think they will make a significant attempt to keep him.

1:14
Roger: ____ of the 30 MLB GM’s didn’t take a single day off last year.

1:15
Kevin Goldstein: I think we need to define “day off.” If you mean ABSOLUTE day off, like never look at email or check their phone . . . it’s close to 30.

1:15
Chris: When is kelenic and gilbert coming up?

1:16
Kevin Goldstein: I got a bunch of these, and I just want to say I don’t work for the Mariners, nor has Jerry DiPoto called me to discuss. I don’t know. I know you want to know, but nobody except the Mariners know.

1:16
IV: Are the changes Odor is making on the Yankees legit?

1:17
Kevin Goldstein: Um . . . he’s hitting 175/250/400 . . . have things really changed?

1:17
Charley: Someone dropped Dominic smith in my dynasty. Spent $9 faab to claim him. Is the improvements he took last year real? Thoughts on him?

1:17
Kevin Goldstein: I believe in the bat.

1:17
matty: thoughts on the Oscars?

1:18
Kevin Goldstein: We watched Lodge 49 and my wife played some Animal Crossing last night.

1:18
Richard: What are your expectations for Bryan Abreu this year?

1:18
Kevin Goldstein: Frustrating reliever who strikes out the side one night and walks two and gives up a run or two the next…

1:19
self improvement guru: Typically, you stretch/grow people by nudging them past their crutches. Be that ‘this catcher/not THAT! catcher’, MY! slot in the batting order, any other superstitions or entitlements that they have. Particularly if you want them to perform in high pressure situations, when by definition they are inherently out of their normal comfort zone. Slowly start getting used to that now, Dude.

1:19
Kevin Goldstein: Disagree.

1:19
Lee Bum-Ho: If you were handed the reins as GM of an expansion team, and the owner of this hypothetical team was 1) able to talk you into being the GM, and 2) let you run the team however you pleased, provided he made ~4% per year on his investment, do you think you could create a >.500 team within 10 years and run the org according the less-exploitative, more-humanistic guidelines you and many others wish teams operated under?

1:20
Kevin Goldstein: Yes.

1:20
Marshall: Has DeGrom gone to another level, or is this just a hot start for the best pitcher in the game? Do you expect his season line to be better or worse than the average of his last 3?

1:20
Kevin Goldstein: Feels like another level from my vantage point.

1:20
John: What is the Statcast feed? Is there one for each game? Thanks

1:20
Kevin Goldstein: Go to statcast’s page and there’s a scoreboard banner at the top. Click on a game and have fun.

1:22
Kevin Goldstein: Ok, I got about 20 minutes before I need to make space for Ben Clemens to chat, so get your questions in.

1:22
Yuli: I can’t get past the time he did the slant eyes.

1:23
Kevin Goldstein: I understand. Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times wrote a great piece about this that will maybe help you understand. https://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-dodgers-hernandez-20171027-story….

1:24
Woodruff and Burnes: What were we like in college (if you saw us).. are you surprised we are both bona fide aces in the big leagues now?

1:25
Kevin Goldstein: I mean, you are talking about two guys who didn’t go in the first three rounds, so everyone is a bit surprised, no?

1:26
asnbrv: Am I incorrect to think savant’s many colorful percentile sliders are cool, but far from the ideal first place to look at when evaluating players?

1:26
Kevin Goldstein: I spend FAR more time looking at actual data at savant than any of the charts/graphs.

1:27
Casey: I enjoyed your Nick Madrigal piece. You presented an interesting case to be somewhat skeptical about stardom for him, which I will ignore because I’m biased on him, and a big fan of his talent. One logical criticism: I feel like hitting .327 in your FIRST 170 PAs in the big leagues is remarkable given the endless amount of superstars I have seen struggle in their debuts, and the crazy amount of arms being thrown out there. Also, Tony Gwynn hit .309 .355 .372 when he was 23.

1:27
Kevin Goldstein: Nick Madrigal is wonderful. He’s not Tony Gwynn.

1:28
Astros question: You should totally do a book. Your story and perspective would be way more interesting than the stuff that is out there. Just need to put in the work, and it won’t be easy. But, the fans will go for it.

1:28
Kevin Goldstein: I hear you. Just not high on the priority list. Part of it is my desire to move forward.

1:29
Tyler S: Is Rich Hill on the decline, or has he just been unlucky so far?

1:29
Kevin Goldstein: I mean, it had to decline at some point . . .

1:29
Jeff: How much less complicated would the draft be if there was no bonus pool?

1:30
Kevin Goldstein: It would actually be more complicated. That said, there shouldn’t be a bonus pool.

1:30
Brad Pitt: Do you believe in Matt McLain’s hit tool?

1:30
Kevin Goldstein: I do.

1:31
Mike: I grew up in Orange County and can’t decide if I should hate the Chargers for moving? Any suggestions?

1:31
Kevin Goldstein: I don’t know what baseball team you are referring to.

1:32
RedHotRiplets: Do you believe in Dylan Carlson in the 2 hole for the cardinals?

1:32
Kevin Goldstein: I’m not a big believer in batting order really moving the needle much, so if Carlson likes hitting there and the manager likes hitting him there, it’s fine with me.

1:33
MLB Fan: What’s the most bizarre interaction you have ever had with a player?

1:34
Kevin Goldstein: I distinctly remember a back field game where a pitcher walked two, gave up a pair of doubles off the wall and a ground ball single through a shifted infield that scored two. He came in and screamed about how the shift messed up his inning for about five minutes.

1:35
Todd Trainer: What’s the likeliest team Scherzer will allow himself to be traded to at the deadline?

1:36
Kevin Goldstein: Cardinals I guess is the easy answer just for the Missouri connection. I imagine he’d be open to most contenders.

1:36
Highway61: So sick of the bogus suspensions. Why wasn’t Tatis suspended. MLB uses bat flips and yelling in their commercials.  Castellanos shouldn’t have been suspended. Still irked about that.

1:37
Kevin Goldstein: I agree with Castellanos’ assessment of the suspension. It sucked.

1:37
45 blows billygoats: Been some talking heads floating a Rizzo to NYY at deadline. Makes sense, so it won’t happen, right?

1:37
Kevin Goldstein: Right. Cubs are going to be in it at the deadline. As many as four NL Central teams will be.

1:38
Kevin: Any chance we can get Chin Music on Stitcher (podcast app)?

1:38
Kevin Goldstein: I can look into it. You have an RSS feed, an Apple feed, a Spotify feed. It’s not like we make it hard to listen to….

1:39
self improvement guru: Billy Martin would pull the batting order out of a hat when his players got too set on it. No one knew more about motivating ballplayers than Billy Martin. (as to his drinking, and managing starting pitching innings, well … )

1:40
Kevin Goldstein: A. Different era. Martin would never survive in today’s game, and for good reasons. B. I can’t take anyone who calls themself a self-improvement guru seriously.

1:40
Buff Chick: Responsibility is on the catcher to protect his signs right? Bauer should be more mad at his C than Tatis, I feel like majority of hitters will look if catchers are lazy with their signs

1:40
Kevin Goldstein: I think this is just the biggest of mountains over the smallest of molehills.

1:40
Estevão: is it just me or are the national broadcasts a little too wax poetic when it comes to the Dodgers. the team is great we know but it gets old if you constantly talk about it over a 3-4 hour game, focus on the game

1:41
Kevin Goldstein: If you are a hardcore baseball fan, the broadcast is not designed for you in ANY WAY. Always remember that.

1:41
Kevin Goldstein: And with that, I gotta clear out before I get yelled at. Thanks for all the great questions and I’ll see you next week! Well, I mean I won’t actually see you. But I’ll at least be chatting again.





Kevin Goldstein is a National Writer at FanGraphs.

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sadtrombonemember
1 year ago

Q Shack!?!?! No way. Backyard BBQ or nothing.