Meg Rowley FanGraphs Chat – 03/31/2020

2:01
Meg Rowley: Hi all, and welcome to the chat.

2:02
Meg Rowley: Before I get going, I wanted to take a second to thank everyone who signed up for a membership yesterday, visited the site sans ad blocker, or purchased merch.

2:03
Meg Rowley: We know this is a difficult time for many, and so appreciate everyone’s support of FanGraphs.

2:03
Meg Rowley: This community is really very wonderful, and we’re incredibly lucky to be a part of it.

2:03
JWDC: Will Fangraphs add more merch or other things members can buy to support your work?

2:05
Meg Rowley: Yes! We’ll have more info on this in the coming days. Plans are currently in the works for more merch (we know there are a bunch of sizes sold out), ways to pre-pay for future subs and also gift subs to others, and ways for existing members who wanna help out to do so.

2:05
Aaron: The subtitle for this post is hilarious. How many times since quarantine has started have you gotten the day wrong? It happens every 3-4 days for me

2:06
Meg Rowley: The Saturday-Sunday transition has proven to be the trickiest. Even a brief respite from the schedule of keeping the site running (but without the usual weekend activities and diversions) has left me at times very confused about when it is.

2:07
Meg Rowley: But I haven’t actually missed anything I was supposed to do yet.

2:07
currents: Any thoughts on MLB playing games in Korea/Japan in the late summer? Doesn’t seem like it’s likely they’ll be able to play games in the USA this season based (unless that Passan asterisk follow-up tweet manifests itself)

2:07
Meg Rowley: I think that asterisk actually gives them a ton of latitude, and both the league and the players seem highly motivated to play games this year.

2:08
Meg Rowley: This isn’t based on any inside info, and obviously the situation on the ground can change pretty rapidly, but I’d expect it is easier to play neutral site or empty stadium games than it is to play (and travel) internationally right now.

2:09
Matt: Is Tork the presumed 1 pick to Detroit at this point, or any chance he slips to the Orioles at 2?

2:10
Meg Rowley: Eric has Vandy’s Austin Martin ahead of Tork at the moment (they’re both 55’ed), so probably could be either by the time June (errr… July) rolls around.

2:11
Meg Rowley: Tork is really very much a first baseman, so make of that what you will.

2:11
Bring Back Jeff&Mookie&Baseball: Meg, today I watched the FG MLB The Show stream during my remote zoom class! What a good day!*

2:11
Bring Back Jeff&Mookie&Baseball: *some qualifications may apply to ‘good day’

2:11
Meg Rowley: So glad you liked it! We’re trying to come up with fun stuff, so if you want to see more streaming, let us know in the comments what you’d like to see streamed! https://blogs.fangraphs.com/fangraphslive-presents-mlb-the-show-20/

2:12
Meg Rowley: They did a very nice job I thought.

2:13
Meg Rowley: And other members of staff are interested in streaming, too. I now have a Twitch account. The pandemic is manifesting in wild and unpredictable ways.

2:13
Murribu: My newest gaming console is the original Wii. I now have a PS4 en route to my house (hopefully) so that I can play MLB The Show. Do you play baseball video games? Are you considering it now that there’s no real baseball going on?

2:13
Meg Rowley: I don’t really, and don’t anticipate getting super into them, but also, we’re in week three. Truly who knows?

2:15
JWDC: Convince me I’m wrong: MLB should start 2020 from where 1994 left off.

2:16
Meg Rowley: The White Sox and Rangers surely agree, and can’t imagine the Nationals would hate it.

2:16
Chad: Tiger King was all I ever wanted in a Netflix documentary.

2:17
Meg Rowley: Never so engaged with such a terrible group of people.

2:17
Lunar verLander: With Evan Gattis confirming his retirement today, I think it’s worth remembering that he hit 11 triples in 2015…and I don’t think anyone really knows HOW…

2:17
Meg Rowley: Truly one of the wilder stats.

2:18
Meg Rowley: Only Kevin Kiermaier and Eddie Rosario had more!

2:19
Meg Rowley: He had the same number of triples as Rajai Davis, and more than a full season of Adam Eaton!

2:20
Big League Choo: I enjoy watching older pitchers figure out how to keep getting outs when their stuff starts to diminish. Late period Bartolo Colon, Livan Hernandez, and Orel Hershiser come to mind. What pitcher currently at the top of their game do you think would be most fascinating to watch  when they’re 39 years-old with a sub-90 mph fastball? What star of today will be tomorrow’s crafty veteran?

2:21
Meg Rowley: Assuming that Greinke is sort of a cheating answer… deGrom would be up there – ohhh and Luis Castillo.

2:22
Mike: I’m curious if a shortened season would make MLB players more or less likely participate in the WBC next year? I could see both sides of it.

2:23
Meg Rowley: Would imagine less, because I’d assume it also means the season getting pushed back? I’d imagine we’ll be pretty light on spring activities like spring training and qualifiers next year because the offseason is likely to be pretty short anyhow.

2:23
baseball: if the season will be like 100 games,will the players get the same salary as if they played the full season money

2:25
Meg Rowley: If there is a season, they’ll get a prorated amount based on either league days or games played (not remembering which at the moment), which would surely be less than the full season, but likely more than the $170 million that came out of the deal.

2:25
Trike Mout: If MLB were to play a single elimination tournament, would your pick go win be the same as your pick to win the most games in a 162 game season?

2:25
Meg Rowley: I think mostly yes, because I expect really good rotations to win the most regular season games and also be the biggest problem in what is essentially a Wild Card

2:25
Jeff: I have been inside for so long, and I urgently need to know this: If Seattle prospect Sam Delaplane was traded to Detroit, would he have to change his name to Sam Delacar?

2:26
Meg Rowley: Jeff, thank you for this. Also: yes. Emphatically yes.

2:26
baseball: when will the all-star game be scheduled,if we have one?

2:26
Meg Rowley: seems unlikely we get one – seems more likely we get neutral site World Series games played at Dodger Stadium.

2:26
Claire: Do you think the MLBPA agreement is fair for minor leaguers? How will a shorter draft impact the quality of the game?

2:27
Meg Rowley: No – nothing about the situation minor leaguers find themselves in, pandemic or no, is fair.

2:28
Meg Rowley: To see the MLBPA continue to use them as the chip they’re willing to give away when negotiating with the league is a massive, massive bummer

2:29
Meg Rowley: And to the extent that draft changes (especially the bonus amounts for undrafted guys) limit who can realistically play baseball, the game will be worse. Not always in super obvious ways, and not right away, but worse.

2:30
Also Ben: In terms of fun base running stats, Anthony Rizzo is third in stolen bases for the Cubs since 2011!

2:30
Meg Rowley: Very, very strange.

2:31
Julian: Percent chance of baseball this year, in your opinion?

2:31
Meg Rowley: 60/40 in favor – they really want to play, but a lot of people really want to do stuff right now

2:31
Wichita Cow Pies: Without a vaccine, how in the world can there be any baseball season at all? 2020 is going, going, gone!

2:32
Meg Rowley: A flattened curve and expanded testing probably get you a lot of the way there, especially if we’re willing to do empty stadium games.

2:33
Meg Rowley: But everyone needs to stay the heck inside. Baseball is the least important reason to do that, but if that motivates you, stay the heck inside.

2:33
Julian: Can MLB survive a lost season financially?

2:33
Meg Rowley: Absolutely

2:33
Josh: Do they need some sort of abbreviated spring training like regimen to get players in playing shape or would games start immediately once conditions are safe enough?

2:33
Meg Rowley: Imagine we’ll need two to three weeks of ramp up

2:33
Meg Rowley: especially for the pitchers

2:33
Dodger Stadium: Also Angel? You could do ALCS at one, NLCS at other, then go back and forth in the “WS”?

2:34
Meg Rowley: I’d expect that all the warm weather/enclosed parks will be on the table

2:34
Meg Rowley: They’ll just be particularly motivated to do stuff at the Dodgers’ place since an All-Star games seems unlikely, or at least unlikely in a typical form

2:34
2-D: Does this whole situation make it any more likely/unlikely that minor league contraction happens?

2:35
Meg Rowley: More likely – not sure how you fill out short season rosters with a highly truncated draft.

2:35
Meg Rowley: Throw in the financial pressure a lot of MiLB teams find themselves facing independent of the draft and it seems likely we see fewer teams in 2021.

2:35
Ryan: Do you think the abbreviated spring training would still take place in Arizona and Florida?

2:36
Meg Rowley: would imagine so, though again, very likely to depend on conditions in those states

2:36
Ryan: Piggybacking on Trike Mout’s question: What if the single elimination tournament had games every 2 or 3 days? The Met’s could have deGrom pitch every other game if they wanted instead of every fifth game. What team do you think would win in this hypothetical?

2:37
Meg Rowley: Imagine having to face a mostly rested Stras-Scherzer

2:37
Meg Rowley: Imagine Cole-Paxton

2:37
Meg Rowley: Morton-Snell

2:38
Meg Rowley: Buehler-Kersh

2:38
Meg Rowley: the Reds are a sneaky compelling answer to this question as an aside

2:38
Guest: is it in the cards to eventually expand fantasy content to include more dfs analysis? would it not drive more in-season traffic than seasonal analysis?

2:38
Meg Rowley: Very good question for Paul!

2:38
Meg Rowley: I wouldn’t dare monkey with Roto

2:38
Tom Pagnozzi beast mode: for some reason I really look forward to broadcasts of empty stadium games

2:39
Meg Rowley: I think parts of it will be really interesting, at least for as long as we can forget why we’re watching

2:39
Meg Rowley: Like, imagine how much more of the chatter we’ll be able to hear

2:40
Meg Rowley: A billion and a half years ago, remember how umps are supposed to be mic’ed this season to explain replay decisions? Will they still do that?

2:40
Quarantino Martinez: Having baseball games to watch on TV (even if played in empty stadiums) would help me stay inside!

2:41
Meg Rowley: I think that a lot of people would very much appreciate baseball right now. Not at the expense of public health (I hope!) but gosh it would be nice.

2:41
Lunar verLander: when there’s empty stadiums, who all is allowed to attend? besides players, clubhouse attendants, field crew…anyone from the front office? scouts? ’cause if there’s any sort of non-team employee…imagine the heckling they could do…

2:42
Meg Rowley: I imagine it’ll be very, very limited, and those who are there will be heavily socially distanced.

2:43
Tom Pagnozzi beast mode: Do incentivized deals get pro-rated to total amount of games played?

2:44
Meg Rowley: My understanding is that performance-bonus clauses will be pro-rated too

2:45
Scott: All of the changes that I’ve seen from the business side of MLB over the past few years seem to be good for the short-term profits of the owners, but bad for baseball over the long-term. Am I the only one who has this view?

2:45
Meg Rowley: /gestures at much of the commentary about the game’s future from the last several years

2:45
Meg Rowley: No

2:45
Julian: What are your thoughts on what happens if the season starts again and a player tests positive? Could play continue or would everything have to shut down for 14 days at that point?

2:46
Meg Rowley: They would almost certainly have to shut down, and really don’t seem like they’ll have the time so…

2:46
Meg Rowley: Not sure what they do

2:47
Ryan: The Ringer had a draft the other day on the writers’ favorite Baseball Reference pages. Do you have any favorites that weren’t mentioned in the article?

2:48
Meg Rowley: I don’t think they picked this but even if they did, I’m picking it: https://www.baseball-reference.com/register/player.fcgi?id=green-002sh…

2:49
Meg Rowley: Shaq Thompson’s line from that one year of minor league ball is the wildest thing I’ve ever seen.

2:49
Meg Rowley: .000/.170/.000

2:49
Meg Rowley: the second wildest thing is that having faced that sort of professional failure, he then was like, it’s fine, I’ll just play football

2:50
Meg Rowley: the confidence gap is an underrated difference between us (or at least me) and professional athletes

2:50
AW: How do you think up new articles, in this darkest of timelines?

2:51
Meg Rowley: Watch an old game, and watch the stuff that isn’t exactly the baseball itself

2:51
A Fan: Meg, you and Fangraphs are the best!

2:51
Meg Rowley: FanGraphs is the best. Me, I’m just ok.

2:51
Idea Man: Thought to save the FanGraphs during the pandemic: open a distance learning hip hop arts school for teenage vampires Fans Raps HS

2:51
Meg Rowley: And stream it on Twitch!

2:52
scully’s silky social distance: meg – do you think most older starting pitchers have tried to simulate ‘getting stretched out’, or are maybe taking this as time to rest instead of simulating the full season? Seems like it would throw off older SPs more, to their detriment (routine) and to their benefit (rest)

2:52
Meg Rowley: I’d imagine a lot of guys are doing a longer version of their usual offseason routines, with the actual baseball activities more stretched out

2:53
Bored: Considering the current situation which MLB GM would you most like to be and which would you least like to be?

2:55
Meg Rowley: Hmmmm, that’s a good question. It’s hard to feel bad for the Dodgers, but probably Andrew Friedman? Potentially no Mookie, likely no All-Star game, just a weirdly bummerish year. Seems like a good time to be a wobbly chair GM. Not a lot can count against you right now.

2:55
Antiviral: Also they may have a treatmet long before they have a preventive vaccine! Here’s hoping!

2:55
Meg Rowley: Knowing who has it, and who has had it would be very useful right now.

2:56
Rings: Say there’s a short season. Someone wins. Do they get WS rings? Do people (see, Mariano Rivera’s comment) look down on the champions? (I guess, after the trashcan, not as much as some other winners…)

2:57
Meg Rowley: I imagine they’ll get something to mark having won whatever the thing they end up winning ends up being. I think everyone will forever remember this was the COVID-19 year, but “look down” isn’t how I’d put it.

2:57
Meg Rowley: We’ll know it was different. That doesn’t make it bad.

2:57
tomerafan: I know this will be an unpopular opinion, but if and when Spring Training 2 occurs, I truly hope it’s more than 2-3 weeks long.  The only thing worse than no baseball would be a baseball season with a higher-than-normal incidence of injuries, not just pitchers but also muscle pulls, oblique injuries, etc.  Guys running and staying in shape isn’t the same as swinging a bat in game conditions.

2:59
Meg Rowley: A lot of players will tell you six weeks is longer than they need, and it sounds like there will be some roster rules that allow teams to carry more guys to address injury concerns.

2:59
Meg Rowley: But yes, I imagine a lot of teams will be trying to thread that needle, and some will be more successful than others.

3:00
Meg Rowley: Ok pals, I need to get rolling.

3:01
Meg Rowley: Thank you for hanging out, and for your support as we navigate this. We appreciate it more than we can say, and hope you won’t mind when we keep asking. I hope you and yours are healthy and safe and managing as best you can. Until next week, be well!

We hoped you liked reading Meg Rowley FanGraphs Chat – 03/31/2020 by Meg Rowley!

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




Meg is the managing editor of FanGraphs, the host of FanGraphs Audio, and the co-co-host of Effectively Wild. Her work has previously appeared at Baseball Prospectus, Lookout Landing, and Just A Bit Outside.

newest oldest most voted
tomerafan
Member
Member
tomerafan

I was thinking of ways to try to both provide content for us baseball nerds and generate ad-click revenue potential without having to introduce a ton of additional work on the FanGraphs team. What about a best-of series? The history of the last 15 years of the analytical revolution in baseball through the lens of FanGraphs best articles? What can be pulled from the archives and presented for current enjoyment? Just an idea.