Meg Rowley FanGraphs Chat – 4/14/2021

4:01
Meg Rowley: Hi everyone! Allow me to fetch a seltzer and then we’ll get underway.

4:02
Sad, Confused Marlins Fan: Huge baseball fan and I just heard about this Atlantic League. Can you give me a atlantic league for dummies ? 🙂

4:04
Meg Rowley: Not a dummy – there’s a lot to know, but for your purposes, it is probably good to start with this piece on the most recent round of experimentation MLB is going to do there (they’re an MLB partner league): https://theathletic.com/2518208/2021/04/14/moving-the-mound-the-double… and how past players there have felt about testing other rule changes there: https://www.si.com/mlb/2019/07/25/baseball-rule-changes-atlantic-leagu…

4:04
Meg Rowley: Jay Jaffe will have more for you tomorrow!

4:05
Sammy So-so: Corey Kluber looks to my admittedly non-scout eyes like he might be cooked, but Jameson Taillon seems to still have something left in the tank even if the results aren’t there yet. But what does science say, Meg? Thanks!

4:10
Meg Rowley: There was always risk with Kluber given the injuries and the dipping velo (which he should be able to survive without given the strength of the cutter and curve but there is a limit to these things), and the early going here hasn’t been particularly encouraging but of course it is three starts (though, three brief starts!). Taillon I think you should be mostly encouraged by. Tony wrote a nice thing about him and Brent Honeywell Jr. that’s worth checking out: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/for-two-al-east-pitchers-results-arent-imp…

4:10
Sodo Mojo: Do you think that Paxton’s injury and the general lack of starting pitching performance for the Mariners accelerates Gilbert’s arrival in Seattle or is there too much to be gained by gaming his service time?

4:10
Meg Rowley: I don’t think it’ll do much to change when he comes up

4:11
Meg Rowley: You don’t have the offseason Seattle had if competing in 2021 is that important to you.

4:11
Meg Rowley: But also, man, poor Paxton. What a bummer.

4:12
Myfanwy N.: Hi Meg! Germane to the “runner framing” discussion on the last EW, I submit that players be given style points for creative slides and unique defensive plays. Who’s on your leaderboard for xwSTYLE this season?

4:12
Myfanwy N.: i mean other than willians astudillo we all know he’s the GOAT

4:13
Meg Rowley: Heh that was incredible. Can Acuña’s sprint to first base count?

4:14
Farhandrew Zaidman: Do you think Corey Seager will ultimately match Lindor’s contract in either AAV or years? He’s been ON FIRE since Spring 2020.

4:15
Meg Rowley: I think the injuries concerns will lessen it pretty significantly from an AAV and years, as will his seemingly inevitable shift to third, but yeah, of the remaining shortstops he’s the best pure bat of the bunch.

4:16
Ryan: Hi Meg, big fan of the podcast – I was curious, are you buying or selling the Red Sox being a playoff team after these first 10 games?

4:17
Meg Rowley: Selling – I think New York or Toronto takes the division and there are too many other AL teams that are better than them for them to claim a Wild Card but they sure won’t be unwatchable, which is very nice to be able to say.

4:17
Just sayin’: If someone’s not gonna chat at their scheduled time, can’t you figure some way of announcing that s/he’s not gonna chat at their scheduled time? I’m fine with not getting a free chat. Just think when the schedule shows such, you ought to figure out some way of saying ‘no, not this week’.

4:18
Meg Rowley: Unfortunately we don’t have a mechanism for that on the site – folks are pretty good about tweeting when they won’t chat, but I’ll give ’em a reminder.

4:18
Meg Rowley: If you don’t see the chat banner within an hour of their scheduled start, it’s a pretty reliable indicator of no-chat.

4:19
Farhandrew Zaidman: Mariners call up Kelenic at 12:01 AM on Thursday?

4:21
Meg Rowley: I highly doubt it – think they’ll give him some run at Double- and Triple-A.

4:22
Meg Rowley: Imagine the idea here is that when he comes up, he’s up for good.

4:24
Meg Rowley: The outfield IL stints just really aren’t likely to move the needle here. And I wonder if the potential for a grievance doesn’t offer a weird incentive to keep him down longer. “Look, we wanted more time at Double- and Triple-A, see all this run we gave him!” might play better than a very specifically and obviously timed call-up to save a year.

4:24
Meg Rowley: (not a fan of this tbc, but)

4:25
Joe Ross: Any thoughts on Joe Ross? Opt out in 2020 and looks much better so far this season. 11 scoreless to start the season and would go a long way to fill in some depth behind the 3 Big guys for the Nats.

4:26
Meg Rowley: That it sure would be helpful to them if those 11 innings actually mean something (which, 11 innings! April! Shrug emoji!) because they are perilously thing behind Scherzer/Stras/Corbin and the most recent Stras start scared the crap out of me.

4:26
Tel: Hi Meg, is there a way to have the subheadline (e.g. your remark about testing the chat in the Atlantic League) appear in the full article?  I’m sure your writers agonize for hours to come up with clever little teasers for their articles, but in an hour or two when the articles are no longer at the top of the page, it goes away.

4:27
Meg Rowley: We really don’t spend hours on it, though I am glad they delight. Once you’re in the article you can just jump right in, and it’s a space constraint thing on the homepage.

4:27
guest: will the dodgers ever lose a series again?

4:28
Meg Rowley: Of course they will, they only get to play Colorado so many times.

4:28
Meg Rowley: (They are wildly good though) (Sorry Oakland) (Also Washington)

4:29
Bartleby: Tatis? Am I tilting at windmills thinking he’ll be any good this year?

4:29
Meg Rowley: If he’s healthy I think your bold prediction may prove prescient. Guess we’ll see soon enough.

4:29
Guest: What do you think of Vlad’s defense at 1b? He’s done the splits like eight times but I’m a big dumdum and am easily distracted by flashy plays that aren’t necessarily good defense.

4:31
Meg Rowley: I think your instinct to both beware flash and be mindful of small samples is a good one, but I think it is perfectly acceptable to be encouraged by how fit and lithe he’s looked out there so far. When the body is a source of concern, improvements in conditioning that seem both sustainable and to be having an effect on mobility and flexibility are noteworthy!

4:32
The Chicken Runs at Midnight: Corbin Burnes?

4:32
Corbin Burnes: Is Corbin Burnes a legit Cy Young candidate? Would you rather have Burnes or Musgrove?

4:32
Zach: Way too early but Corbin Burnes, 2021 NL Cy Young winner

4:33
Meg Rowley: I sense that it is probably time to have someone write about Corbin Burnes.

4:34
Farhandrew Zaidman: Do we have any clarity on how teams intend to use their Alternate Sites once the AAA season begins? It almost feels like you want your top prospects at the alternate site and the more long-term project guys in the minors.

4:35
Meg Rowley: I’m sure there will be some variability but my sense in talking to team folks is that they are aching for their dudes to be able to see actual game action against pitchers who aren’t their teammates

4:36
the big lebrewski: DJ swing and build reminds me a lot of Derek Jeter’s.  If DJ was to have the same batting line as Jeter from 32-38 but post better defensive numbers, would he have a shot at the hall?

4:36
Meg Rowley: LeMahieu?

4:38
Meg Rowley: I’d uh be very surprised… the JAWS standard at second is 55 and he’s at 23.3 and is already 32.

4:38
Dave: How would the site be different if it were FanGrapes?

4:38
Meg Rowley: More purple, same number of graphs.

4:38
brad penny for your thoughts: a bud light seltzer?

4:39
Meg Rowley: it’s 1:39 here and I’m working?

4:39
Derek: Has the ballpark sounds audio feed permanently left MLB.tv? 🙁

4:40
Meg Rowley: I fear so, and I’m very upset. I imagine they were worried about swearing and other such last year coming through on the field mics but with fans back it seems like we should have the option again.

4:41
Steve Nebraska: I’d also point out that not everyone twitters…

4:42
Meg Rowley: And they’re the wiser for it, but it’s a useful mechanism here. Again, would point to the banner (or lack there of) at the top of the homepage as another indicator, but it’s useful feedback for future design tweaks.

4:42
Guest: Huascar Ynoa – actually good or just facing bad offenses?

4:43
Meg Rowley: I think actually good – check out what KG had to say about him in today’s scouting notebook: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/a-wednesday-scouting-notebook-4-14-2021/

4:44
Dee Arby: That AL exec who mentioned the unintended consequences of the double hook idea, he said that if his team was down 4-0 and he took out his pitcher then loses his best hitter, it made me wonder which team has their best hitter a DH?

4:45
Meg Rowley: It’s increasingly rare, at least as a full-time, dedicated thing – more a spot to get guys days off but not lose the bat for a lot of teams.

4:45
Guest: What can I get for Nelson Cruz

4:45
Leifer420: Need a 1st baseman who should I go after

4:46
Meg Rowley: Fantasy questions are best for our fantasy writers as they know what they are talking about n that score and I decidedly do not.

4:46
Edgar: Will Fangraphs fold if the Orioles make the playoffs?

4:46
Meg Rowley: No, just think how much we’d have to talk about!

4:48
Meg Rowley: I think it’s perhaps worth entertaining what the right way to present their odds is, but keep in mind, to have 0.0% odds, they have to make the playoffs in less than 10 of our 20,000 sims to show as 0.0. That’s… a very bad baseball team.

4:48
Meg Rowley: But also, <0.1% might be the better way to show that.

4:49
John: Is a comprehensive database of arm injuries available anywhere that you know of? Between Joe Roegele’s TJS Google sheet, an old article Jay Jaffe wrote here on thoracic outlet surgeries, and MLB.com’s main transactions page, the tracking is pretty fractured.

4:49
Meg Rowley: Joe’s is the best I’m aware of.

4:49
DJ: Is this McKinstry guy the latest random Dodger dude to end up being really good? Also, when did Random Cardinals Devil Magic move westward?

4:50
Meg Rowley: Yes, and it is going to piss so many people off. And it’s less that it moved West than this is a new manifestation.

4:50
Reed: Hi Meg – you’ve been on the record saying the Royals are one of the most interesting teams in baseball. Can we elevate their status to good? Or at least ‘potentially decent’? They’re about to take 2/3 from LAA.

4:51
Meg Rowley: Too early to elevate anyone imo, but they are no less interesting than they were a week ago, I’ll give you that.

4:51
Me Growley: As a Brewers fan, optimism and positivity are chimeric ideals, leaving barely the briefest residue as they skirt my consciousness. Would I be wise to risk inevitable disappointment and self-loathing by daring to believe in the Crew’s starting pitching? Sort my life out for me, Meg. Please?

4:53
Meg Rowley: On the one hand, we like their rotation, too! They’re projected eighth overall for us, and sixth in the NL. On the other hand, that lineup has been pretty underwhelming so far this year. So enjoy your pitching, worry about your bats, and achieve balance?

4:53
CoryMC: If Taillon, Kluber, and Montgomery spend the entire season as average to bad. How the Yankees fix their rotation?

4:54
Meg Rowley: Hope that Severino comes back strong, make a trade, and pray Cole stays healthy? They do have other options in house, they’re just less certain.

4:55
Meg Rowley: I guess hoping Severino comes back strong and praying Cole stays healthy was already part of the plan, so…

4:55
Guest: do you have a sodastream? I find it’s about a wash in terms of cost but it’s nice not having to commit to an entire 12-pack of the same flavor and the lack of waste is nice

4:55
Meg Rowley: I do! I like it a lot. It’s very nice to have fewer cans.

4:55
Pumpsie Green: Every single batter in today’s Cubs starting lineup is below the Mendoza line (.215). It’s the Mendoza Lineup!

4:57
Meg Rowley: On the one hand, it is very early yet. On the other, y i k e s. Some of this will improve but it isn’t encouraging.

4:57
James: Houston just put Altuve, Alvarez, Bregman, Garcia, and Maldonado on the IL. Which is, uh, something.

4:58
Meg Rowley: What in the world?

4:58
Guest: Would baseball be more fun if they used a soft core t-ball and played in a field that’s 75% of the current size?

4:59
Meg Rowley: No, but it would be if they made the gloves smaller.

4:59
Darth Sabean: I came here to comment on how the Giants seem to have a really aggressive, data-driven, effective approach to becoming “surprisingly adequate” but they’re being no-hit, so can we settle on “occasionally surprisingly adequate”?

4:59
Darth Sabean: And as I type that, Solano gets a Texas leaguer.  Adequaticivity!

5:03
Meg Rowley: I think they’ll move from “surprisingly adequate” to “better than that” in soonish-order. That they are committed to cycling through post-hype guys to see who might actually good and finding a few is encouraging, and I actually think they’ll spend when the time comes.

5:04
Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: Apparently the HOU IL thing is for health and safety protocols, but I though that’s what the covid list was for?

They’re on there as a result of the health and safety protocols, Click said.
14 Apr 2021
5:06
Meg Rowley: Yeah important to remember that this doesn’t necessarily mean a positive test – could be a potential exposure they now have to monitor etc etc

5:06
Confused about IL: The Royals put Josh Staumont on the IL for less than 24 hours. Then he pitched today. I didn’t even know that was possible. Does anybody know what was going on there?

5:07
Meg Rowley: If it was COVID related (not sure), there’s no minimum or maximum stay – could be they identified a potential exposure that was satisfactorily resolved.

5:09
Rob Manfred: What should I do about the CA bill to publish names of voters who sign recall petitions?  This is an attack on voter rights and I must do something, right?

5:11
Meg Rowley: I’m not familiar with the bill in question, so I can’t speak to its merits – it strikes me that there is a difference between the secrecy of ballots and that of petitions, but I’d want to read the bill and think more about whether that difference matters. But as the All-Star game isn’t in California this year but was in a state attempting to make it harder for people of color to vote, surely you can appreciate the difference in the urgency here?

5:11
Sam: A’s best uniforms in MLB?

5:11
Meg Rowley: They’re in the elite tier to be very sure.

5:13
Meg Rowley: For me it’s probably them and San Diego. Plus I’m a sucker for the D-backs unis.

5:13
Pumpsie Green: Bo Bichette goes toe-to-toe with Aaron Judge; 2 homers each and a walk-off for Bichette. Is there a shortstop that’s more valuable to their team right now than Bichette?

5:14
Meg Rowley: Please don’t disrespect Corey Seager like this (Bichette is very good, too!)

5:14
Meg Rowley: Ok folks, I need to get rolling. Thanks for the questions and sorry for what I didn’t get to.

5:14
Meg Rowley: Until next time, be well!





Meg is the managing editor of FanGraphs and the co-host of Effectively Wild. Prior to joining FanGraphs, her work appeared at Baseball Prospectus, Lookout Landing, and Just A Bit Outside.

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Rick
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Rick

Both lithe and chimeric in a baseball chat. Now I know to bring my thesaurus to Meg’s columns.