Meg Rowley FanGraphs Chat – 3/12/19

2:01
Meg Rowley: Hi everyone, and welcome to the chat!

2:01
Dr. Strange: What’s your opinion on the suggestion of lowering the mound/ moving it back?

2:02
Meg Rowley: I think two feet is super aggressive, and is probably a bad idea.

2:02
Meg Rowley: The effect it’ll have on perceived velocity is likely to be pretty significant, and I’m not convinced the league has a great handle on just how significant.

2:03
Scarlet Witch: How much money will Trout demand? Over/under $375 million?

2:03
Meg Rowley: Over. He should demand the over.

2:03
Meg Rowley: He’s the best player in baseball. I’d imagine $400 is where it starts.

2:04
Black Widow: Are you surprised Harper didn’t ask for opt outs in case Vegas gets a team and he decides to play at home?

2:04
Meg Rowley: Really committing to the Marvel bit, eh?

2:05
Meg Rowley: He talked about wanting the security of a place, and not having to go through another round of free agent speculation. I think that is likely to have been thought to be significantly more valuable than the option to reenter the market on the off chance that Vegas gets a team.

2:06
2-D: Do you expect Giancarlo to be closer to the 2017 or 2018 version of himself this season?

2:07
Meg Rowley: 2018. I think the strikeout dip was aberrant; 2018 is closer to what he actually is. Which, that’s a valuable player, especially without the down start/finish.

2:08
Bill G: Hi Meg. Thanks for doing these chats. Is Jeff relocating to Tampa, or does he get to work from home and wait for the Rays to move to PDX. Thanks!

2:08
Meg Rowley: I can’t speak to the Rays’ Portland plans, but as he mentioned in his various goodbyes, he isn’t relocating.

2:08
Shenanigans: Is the 2-foot long chicken tender, dubbed “Fowl Pole”, coming soon at Rangers games peak ballpark food or a poultry-based metaphor that American profligacy knows no bounds?

2:10
Meg Rowley: When I saw the photo, the most horrifying part of it was the degree to which it looked like a baguette. A chicken baguette. We sometimes make a very poor case that we deserve to survive as a species.

2:10
SEAfahrer: Hey Meg!  Was wondering if you had an update on the Fans Scouting Report?  Love seeing that every year and heard a few weeks ago it was nearly ready

2:10
Meg Rowley: I will pester Appelman about it. With various site things, we got a bit distracted but I’ll follow up.

2:10
Stan: Have you ever fell “out of love” for the game? What re-invigorated your interest? If none of this, what keeps your interest? Thanks!

2:11
Meg Rowley: I’ve been watching baseball in person for a week now and it had a perhaps concerning impact on my mood.

2:12
Meg Rowley: I didn’t care for how fussy Manfred was about the tone of the discourse of over the offseason (whose fault is that, Rob?) but he was right about one thing: the games make a difference.

2:12
Meg Rowley: The best thing that can happen for baseball is for there to be baseball.

2:12
Meg Rowley: Baseball owns in a profound way.

2:13
sadman: How sad is it that Dallas Keuchal doesn’t have a home?

2:13
Meg Rowley: It isn’t great, but given some of the injuries we’ve seen in the last little bit/holes on existing teams, seems perhaps likely to resolve soon, though likely for less than he was expecting.

2:14
Sam Yost: *when do we get the new hires* whiney voice

2:14
Meg Rowley: Very soon! They’ll be announced this week. Possibly tomorrow!

2:14
Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: Thoughts on Raleigh’s bid for an MLB team? Would rather see the Rays end up there than Portland.

2:15
Meg Rowley: The east coast has plenty of teams. Portland would allow for a regional rivalry with Seattle, two cities who enjoy being in competition, and another West Coast option.

2:15
Meg Rowley: That would be my preference.

2:15
Carlos: For myriad reasons, I’ve kind of fallen out of love with baseball over the past few years. It has nothing to do with team fandom — my childhood club has done rather well. There’s just something about getting older and jaded plus having a tech-fueled lower attention span. My question: If you were hired by MLB to market the game so as not to lose people like me, how would you go about it?  What’s the big selling point?

2:16
Meg Rowley: The players have never been better than they are now. We are watching the very best the game has ever had, and many of them are young and charming, and stupidly talented. I think I’d try to make it as affordable to go to a game as possible, and just invite folks to spend a Sunday in the ballpark, when the weather is good. It’ll be like seeing a friend you haven’t in a long while.

2:17
ChopTillYouDrop: Meg! Love this chat, what are your thoughts on Moose trying out 2B?

2:18
Meg Rowley: That the Brewers do a lot of cool, weird stuff, and that it has looked fine enough in spring so far.

2:18
CamdenWarehouse: I am very happy about the how the EW cohost situation turned out. If Jeff had to leave, this is the best outcome.

2:19
Meg Rowley: I’m so glad you think so. I am very excited, and selfishly (and this is meant with no disrespect toward Jeff, who was also great) I’m thrilled to get to listen to Sam on EW again.

2:20
Meg Rowley: We’ve been really overwhelmed by how kind and supportive listeners have been since the announcement. I’m so glad that folks are pleased.

2:20
Chris: Moving the mound seems dumb since it’d also need to get moved back at the college, high school and aau levels

2:20
Meg Rowley: This is the other thing. Are there going to be differences? That seems pretty nutty.

2:22
Meg Rowley: Teams have developed pitching with this distance in mind. I can’t imagine they are pleased. I’d rather let hitters catch up (and the player dev strategies around hitters catch up) than do this. If you’re going to make a change, something much smaller seems much more workable.

2:22
Chris: Who is the mariners 3b once jp has his service time manipulated? Healy, Beckham or other?

2:23
Meg Rowley: They’ve talked about Healy there. Having seen Healy play there, that seems like a not good strategy to me.

2:23
Look Dude: Mike Trout doesn’t need to demand anything.  Mike Trout will be given what he deserves.

2:24
Meg Rowley: I love your optimism.

2:24
BenZ: With Jeff gone, is anyone going to do the positional power rankings series? I always enjoy that one during spring training.

2:25
Meg Rowley: Positional Power Rankings (which are a staff effort — doing that project solo would kill someone) will kick off next Monday!

2:25
Matthew: Where do you stand on a stars & scrubs fantasy strategy? I’m in an 8 team league and the suggested values and auction calculator are far lower than I think they’re worth. Think it’s possible to succeed with 4-5 great players and a bunch of single digit dollar guys?

2:25
Meg Rowley: That asking a fantasy expert would be advisable because I care about your personal well-being.

2:26
Morbo: I’ve noticed that – and it may just be a figment of my imagination – recently it seems that fangraphs articles are being posted a bit later in the day than they used to be. Is that true? And, if so is it an artifact of you living on the West coast vs Carson living on the East coast?

2:26
Meg Rowley: We’ve had some travel and such in the past couple of weeks that has made some stuff come in a little later. But as a 5 AM riser, I can assure you it is simply that.

2:27
Matthew: Has the MLBPA taken any steps to get people with legitimate negotiating experience involved? Seems like they’re in trouble if they stick with Clark.

2:28
Meg Rowley: They’ve added significantly to their staff in the last year, though it is also good to remember that Clark wasn’t negotiating by himself before now.

2:28
Meg Rowley: There were labor lawyers involved prior to now.

2:29
Meg Rowley: Their new chief negotiator was brought on last August: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/the-mlbpa-has-a-new-chief-negotiator/

2:29
Jason N: Should teams be incentivized to pay minor leaguers more?  Or incented to pay minor leaguers more?

2:30
Meg Rowley: Teams should be told to pay minor leaguers more. Absent a mandate, I don’t think they do it.

2:30
Meg Rowley: For something that important, relying on them doing it out of the goodness of their hearts seems ill-advised.

2:30
GraphsFan: Meg, what is your favorite and least favorite part of Spring Training?

2:31
Meg Rowley: Favorite part is going; least favorite part is the final week, when we’re all just ready for real baseball.

2:31
Joao: Odds Harper finishes his contract in Philadelphia?

2:31
Meg Rowley: Reasonably high I would expect.

2:32
Meg Rowley: That I will be 45 when that happens isn’t something I’ve thought about once a day since the day he signed, why would you even ask that?

2:32
Somebody: Isn’t Harper’s reasoning for not wanting the opt-out BS. He could always not use it… Rather, he just would rather have the 20 million then bet on himself to be good a few years down the road. Even if he did want to stay he could with an opt out. If he is bad don’t opt out. If he is good use the leverage to get more money from the Phillies. To me that is a clear sign that he is less confident in his future than the Phillies are (i.e he valued the opt out less in $ terms).

2:32
Meg Rowley: I don’t know that the text supports this reading.

2:33
Meg Rowley: Especially when you consider the reasons the Phillies might prefer not to have an opt out.

2:33
Lenn Sakata: Who finishes this year as the Indians’ best starting pitcher?

2:34
Meg Rowley: Kluber.

2:34
Guille: Can some reporter get the info on who was the loony person that suggested moving back the mound TWO FEET!?!?

2:35
Meg Rowley: I wouldn’t call it looney (seems rude) but I would be interested to know a lot more about the group of folks proposing the changes.

2:35
Dave: With all these players “disappointed” in their contract renewals, will we see any meaningful change in compensation or is the union again going to defer to the old vets

2:36
Meg Rowley: I would imagine that the next negotiation will feature the union trying to shift money much earlier into guys’ careers than it is now. How successful they will be I am not sure, but I would imagine it is a point of focus.

2:36
Kosch: I’m available to take over the Friday chat if you need…I am punctual, intelligent and witty.

2:37
Meg Rowley: Happy to say that Craig will be taking over that spot, starting this week!

2:37
Meg Rowley: Also, Appelman says that Fan Scouting Reports should go in this week, possibly as soon as tomorrow

2:37
JKD: After reading Rosenthal’s piece, I’m kind of on board with the Kimbrel waits until after the draft gambit. Every contender will need relievers and he’d be the best by far available, and only for money. Thoughts?

2:39
Meg Rowley: I’d be very nervous about the layoff, and wonder how much that would be used as a reason not to get anywhere near the number he wants, but also don’t think he should settle for a super bad deal. Weird that there isn’t a contender with which he is familiar who could use the help. Very odd.

2:40
Dave: So, Managing Editor, Hardball Times, Fangraphs Audio, Effectively Wild – will you ever be writing anymore?

2:41
Meg Rowley: Yes. The FanGraphs/THT double duty is not a permanent situation, and once I am no longer running two sites, there will be more writing time. I am very much looking forward to that!

2:41
Ben: Very excited to get to hear you more regularly! Any word on the new Fangraphs hires?

2:42
Meg Rowley: Yup! They’ll be announced this week.

2:42
Broke College Student: What would your walk up song be and why is it the Rocky theme song?

2:42
Meg Rowley: These Boots Are Made For Walking, only acceptable answer.

2:42
C’mon Sign Already: Is 2019 finally the year of the Vogelbach?

2:42
Meg Rowley: It will at least be the April of Vogelbach, and that’s more than we’ve been able to say before.

2:43
2-D: Has seeing any particular player live this spring training changed your view on them?

2:43
Meg Rowley: Pretty excited to see how Shed Long’s year is going to go.

2:44
here goes nothing: I realized earlier today that I think I’m going to cheer for the Reds this year. I’m not a Reds fan; they just have a bunch of guys I like, I want something new to happen in the Central, etc. What team are you a fan of *for this year only*?

2:44
Meg Rowley: Whatever team can make the AL Central interesting.

2:45
Gaslamp Gary: I will get to see the Padres/Mariners spring training games in Seattle on March 25-26. Will the lineups look like Opening Day or Triple-A by then?

2:45
Meg Rowley: Stuff with Seattle will probably be a little weird because of the Japan series (though they’ve already optioned a lot of their most interesting prospects) but probably lots of big leaguers.

2:45
2-D: How do you think delaying your arrival into daylight savings will affect your 5 AM rising?

2:46
Meg Rowley: I had time to adjust because AZ doesn’t observe daylight savings. It made yesterday much easier than it might otherwise have been.

2:46
Archimedes: Will Miggy’s spring training hidden ball trick be the highlight to Detroit’s season this year?

2:47
Meg Rowley: It was great fun. He must have seen the shadow in his peripheral vision and just knew to do it.

2:48
Meg Rowley: Does feel a little like using your best two-point conversion play during a preseason game, but hey, I’m sure Detroit fans will take some good things happening.

2:48
Guest: Why do you think college baseball is relatively unpopular, compared to other NCAA sports? I know the vast majority of people playing in the games are, at best, very far away from contributing at the MLB level, but most NCAA basketball players never make the NBA either and it doesn’t stop it from being covered extensively. I think more coverage of college baseball leads to more buzz around the draft, more attention for young players, etc, and seems like a positive all around.

2:49
Meg Rowley: I think it would help– you still have the issue of the guys who get drafted being pretty far from the majors but it would help. Also, college baseball can be so delightfully weird. People should talk more about how weird it is. Even the bad stuff is mostly really great and weird.

2:50
Summer: Should JP Crawford or Tim Beckham be playing 3rd, not Healy?

2:50
Meg Rowley: Would prefer Beckham defensively, but I’m not sure how enthused the org is with him.

2:51
LLW902: top 3 soups

2:51
Meg Rowley: French onion, Mulligatawny, Hot and Sour

2:52
resumeman: I wonder what the Atlantic League players think about having their health “experimented” with?

2:53
Meg Rowley: It’s a fair question, though I think that is probably counterbalanced by how please many will be by having a full season of Trackman data available for teams.

2:54
Meg Rowley: I’d imagine a couple of guys will get signed that way. You’re a little dependent on having a good night on the day an in-person scout happens to be there.

2:54
Al Pal: These boots are made for BB% imo

2:54
Meg Rowley: Friendly amendment.

2:54
Seamus Catuli: If Miggy hidden ball trick during spring is like using your best trick play too soon, what about national treasure Willians Astudillo’s no-look pick off last spring?

2:54
Meg Rowley: We waste so many of our best moments in life on days when no one is watching.

2:55
Big League Choo: Which team mascots would be the best at actually playing baseball? Not the besuited mascots that entertain kids, the actual animal/person/thing/abstraction. A marlin would just flop around and be terrible on the field, but a brewer might play decent if they sobered up by game time.

2:55
Meg Rowley: Clearly all of the people mascots come out ahead, though I wouldn’t discount the Mets, Mr. and Mrs., though the giant baseball heads might mean they run kind of funnily.

2:55
Mike D: Is there a play/single-game performance that you regard as the most surprising that you’ve seen?

2:56
Meg Rowley: Like, ever, or in spring? I guess a perfect game is a kind of easy answer, but that was pretty nutty. John Jaso was catching! It was a wild time.

2:56
Boogie Cousins: Why doesn’t a team with money like the Yankees have housing for minor leaguers so they make sure they sleep and eat right?  It seems like a worth while investment on top of helping young people who make less than minimum wage.  Win win no?

2:57
Meg Rowley: There are teams that doing more with nutrition and sleep study stuff, but none that have wanted to set the precedent that they pay. I imagine the market pressure not to do that is pretty profound, and they don’t have to, so I’m not shocked they haven’t yet.

2:57
Summer: Any chance Jay Bruce is good

2:58
Meg Rowley: A chance? Sure! Jay Bruce is way better at baseball than so many people playing baseball and perhaps better than some people playing baseball for the Mariners, but my expectations aren’t high.

2:58
Oh no Sevy!!: Will the Yankees add to the rotation and what are you hearing about the shoulder injury to Severino?

3:01
Meg Rowley: I would if I were them. I haven’t heard anything special on the injury but it can’t make them feel confident. Paxton’s injury stuff has been mostly fluky but he isn’t a 200 inning guy, either.

3:01
psweeting: Thoughts on the use of the word home for where players end up? Yesterday it was used in 2 headlines here, and again on a similar article on ESPN.

3:01
Meg Rowley: For many players, this is literally true, in that it will have them in new cities and presumably, new places where they keep their pajamas.

3:02
John: if you were building a team, would you prefer to have Juan Soto or Cody Bellinger to anchor your OF?

3:02
Meg Rowley: Soto if that’s the primary spot.

3:03
AA: Why is it assumed that MLB didn’t put substantial analysis and consultation towards moving the mound back 2 feet? They obviously think it’s worth investigating, but the general consensus (with less research) is that it’s a terrible idea

3:04
Meg Rowley: There’s a fair amount of research on the effect that move would have on perceived velo, and this is the same league that didn’t anticipate that teams would use replay to find extra outs in the space between the bag and runner’s foot when he comes off the bag for a micro-second while sliding.

3:05
Meg Rowley: The insistence on doing all of this at once also suggests that their scientific process might be a bit lacking.

3:06
Meg Rowley: Alright friends, I need to get rolling to do some editing. Thanks for all the questions, and I’m sorry for what I didn’t get to.

3:06
Meg Rowley: Until next week!

We hoped you liked reading Meg Rowley FanGraphs Chat – 3/12/19 by Meg Rowley!

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

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cavebird
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cavebird

Apparently not announcing any new hires “tomorrow.” Maybe it is one of those never-ending tomorrows, as it never actually is tomorrow.