Meg Rowley FanGraphs Chat – 5/14/19

2:00
Meg Rowley: Hello, and welcome to the chat!

2:00
Meg Rowley: It is rainy in Seattle today, and I have some sad tunes on. Let’s see if a little chat can’t shift the mood.

2:00
Confused Dodger Fan: Struggling with the Julio Urias news. I want to be able to like the players who play for my favorite team.

2:02
Meg Rowley: Drat. It’s really a bummer. It is very hard for the continued existence of cases like this to not alter one’s appreciation for the sport in a meaningful way. Or at least, it is difficult for me. This stuff care ware you out.

2:02
Professor Hulk: Is all hope lost of Keuchel and Kimbrel playing this season?

2:02
Meg Rowley: I don’t think so.

2:03
Meg Rowley: Though, one does begin to wonder about how effective they are at the moment, and how long of a ramp up they’ll need.

2:03
Tony Lancaster : Meg, thanks for the chats! What can MLB do to improve overall league attendance numbers?

2:03
Meg Rowley: Make it cheaper. Make it a lot cheaper. Make it much, much cheaper to go.

2:04
Meg Rowley: Having teams that are committed to winning helps a lot, but really, I think fans will go see a lousy team if it isn’t prohibitively expensive to do so.

2:04
Xolo: The Padres started the season with Tatis and Paddack on the big league team (ignoring control concerns) but Urías has been left to destroy the PCL while Kinsler and Greg Garcia share second base. How does that make sense?

2:05
Meg Rowley: Because he was up for a little while and hit pretty poorly? He’ll be back.

2:05
Larry: When watching a game, do you prefer the broadcast to show the strike zone overlay or not? I do prefer it, but then seeing missed calls just makes me more upset.

2:06
Meg Rowley: Where you’ll really start to get steamed is when you realize that the overlay is often off a little. I tend to, when I want to check in on these things, look at the Brook’s Baseball feed.

2:06
jesse: what do you think the ramifications of domestic violence should be on a player’s career ? i personally find it irredeemable , but clearly MLB finds suspensions to be sufficient. addison , familia , osuna , now urias … ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ i’m over it !!

2:08
Meg Rowley: It is a perfectly defensible position to not want to see these guys play again. Baseball is entertainment, and if you are not entertained because of the violence they have exhibited toward others, then you don’t have to want to watch them. That said, the league’s policy doesn’t immediate escalate to zero tolerance because experts agree that those policies tend to reduce reporting.

2:10
Meg Rowley: At the very least, I think these dudes should be post season ineligible in the season during which the suspension occurs. We’re always going to be left wanting more in the way of detail or explanation because there are aspects of treatment that we can’t know about. But knowing the league has at least eliminated an arbitrage opportunity would be nice.

2:10
Gary: How do you rank Alex Gordon, Dwight Smith Jr, and Greg Polanco ROS? 7×7 R, H, RBI, HR, SB, Avg, OPS

2:10
Meg Rowley: This isn’t a fantasy chat. Sorry!

2:11
wolfs: Buy or sell: Hyun Jin Ryu is the Dodgers best pitcher (on a per inning basis)

2:11
Meg Rowley: Buy, though I like Walker a lot, and of course, remain nervous about Ryu’s durability.

2:11
taylor: i find the twins to be … very fun. do you think this fun is sustainable ?

2:13
Meg Rowley: Maybe not quite to this level, but yes. I imagine they will need pitching help, though.

2:13
Steve: Hi, Meg!  General baseball question here.  Whenever I watch games with friends that aren’t fans, they almost always bring up the fact that this particular game in the middle of May doesn’t matter because it’s such a long season.  I disagree with this sentiment and explain that this one matters as much as the game in late September when there is a playoff fight; it just doesn’t feel that way.  Am I just blindly defending the sport I love, or is there validity to my argument, and how do you normally respond to this argument?

2:15
Meg Rowley: They all count — and if you wanted you could say the ones in May really count because they not only count as wins and losses, but, along with the wins in april and june and july and august, determine if those ones in September are close pennant races, or long assumed post-season participants or tear-down candidates.

2:15
Meg Rowley: They don’t actually count differently, but they go into our understanding of what September is, and that tends to matter a lot to people!

2:16
Mariners: Now that things have fallen a part as expected, what should the next step of the mariners be?  Is the right thing to do really just hang on with the older players until the trade deadline and hope you get a team’s 20-25th prospect? Is it time to cut losses and let the younger players get more play?

2:17
Meg Rowley: I find it really, really strange that there seems to be a persistent narrative among Mariners fans that the team is going to get a large prospect return for Jay Bruce or Edwin Encarnacion.

2:17
Meg Rowley: like, sure maybe the 20th guy like you said, but some folks seems to think there is a red hot Jay Bruce trade market

2:18
Meg Rowley: They have no incentive to rush guys.

2:18
Meg Rowley: The org has known what this team is the whole time.

2:19
Big Joe Mufferaw: How awesome has the DJ LeMahieu been? When the Yankees signed people just said it was too much money for a guy that is a back up. ‘tip o’ the cap’ to yanks and their DEPTH

2:19
Meg Rowley: Pretty sure folks did exactly that pre-season?

2:19
Joe Joe: Most likely to win AL MVP, Trout, an Astro, or field?

2:20
Meg Rowley: I mean, the field I guess, but Trout actually. I tend to think similarly performing teammates split the vote.

2:20
AM: I imagine this will be the Keston Hiura power-hour, but since the Brewers are playing the Phillies – have you downgraded your fun-ranking of the Phillies since their fans seem to be constantly booing their own players?

2:20
Meg Rowley: I went to college outside of Philly. I know about Philly fans.

2:20
dlate pliscipline: whyyyyyyyyyyyyyy did julio do this to my already fragile bullpen

2:20
Meg Rowley: Truly the least important part of this. Truly.

2:21
Automated Megssaging System: This is your weekly reminder that Meg will not answer your fantasy questions because she cares about you and thinks you should ask your question in one of the chats run by one of FG’s fantasy experts.

2:21
Meg Rowley: Yup yup yup

2:22
tom: when i see a small version of your twitter avatar in my timeline, sometimes i think it’s a duck dynasty person

2:22
Meg Rowley: Truly so rude.

2:22
Yahoo Sincerely: I try to be generally open-minded and accepting of ideas that differ from my own; but there are a couple of things that I continue to have trouble accepting: first, the practice of orienting the toilet paper roll “under” as opposed to “over” (I just don’t understand the appeal!); and, second, the idea that we should have a three minute replay to determine whether a runner who beat the tag let his hand come off the bag for a microsecond. Effing physics, man. Anyway, can you, in the space of a pithy but insightful paragraph, help me understand these issues?

2:22
Meg Rowley: It’s a very goofy part of the implementation of replay

2:22
Meg Rowley: I really liked Dave’s suggestion from a few years back where there is a safe zone above the bag.

2:23
Meg Rowley: I wrote about this wayyyy back in the day at BP https://www.baseballprospectus.com/news/article/29069/players-prefer-p…

2:23
grunp: what are you listening to tho

2:23
Meg Rowley: Phoebe Bridgers

2:24
.: What do you think the Yankees will do with all the talented guys playing when their starters begin returning

2:24
Meg Rowley: Hold on to many of them for depth. As we’ve seen, that can be super, super useful.

2:24
JoelPineiro: Who would win a general knowledge bar trivia night: Ben, Jeff or Sam?

2:24
Meg Rowley: I don’t know, but given what all of their secondary interests are away from baseball, I think they’d make a pretty kick ass team.

2:25
Jart: I went to a game at the oakland colosseum yesterday. Can we declare it a hostoric monument? I kind of love how bad it is

2:25
Meg Rowley: It is weirdly one of my favorite parks in baseball.

2:25
Meg Rowley: The vibe there is great, the food and beer selection is weirdly good, and it has a very strong sense of place.

2:25
person 1: Is it spooky thinking your chats (and other fangraphs chats) could just be one person changing their name for each question?

2:26
Meg Rowley: It is spooky thinking any of you want to talk to me about baseball, though I am glad you all do.

2:26
Voldemort: Is this the year Nelson Cruz’s age finally catches up with him?

2:26
Meg Rowley: The wrist thing isn’t great, but no signs so far.

2:27
Derek: Why isn’t the fact that MLB is constantly tinkering with the ball (apparently in secret?) a bigger, more public deal to players, coaches, GMs, etc.?

2:27
Meg Rowley: I think it is– pitchers, for instance, seem very grumpy.

2:27
Meg Rowley: I think a lot of this stuff plays out privately.

2:28
Ozzie: We keep hearing about these super bouncy balls they are using in AAA. How much of a difference do they truly make?

2:29
Meg Rowley: Go look at the PCL stats

2:30
Doug: Kershaw or Paddack tonight? And will you be watching?

2:30
Meg Rowley: Paddack and hell yes

2:30
asinwreck: Are you excited about Shed Long? He seems like a fun player to have on your team.

2:30
Meg Rowley: He is. He is at times quite unfun to watch in the field, but I love the offensive profile.

2:30
Mariners: Just to be clear, I was talking about an organization’s 20-25th guy, not an overall top 20. For the mariners that’s Joe Rizzo/Branyan Perez/David McCay.

2:31
Meg Rowley: No, I understand. I’m just saying, there seems to be some inflation of trade value amongst some Mariners fans and observers that I find very strange.

2:32
Trent: “It is very hard for the continued existence of cases like this to not alter one’s appreciation for the sport in a meaningful way.”  I can see your point, but let’s not exaggerate the impact of cases like Urias.  Are there any statistics showing that baseball has a higher incidence of domestic violence convictions, etc., as compared to any other industry?  Every group of people–whether a company, a sports league, a civic organization, etc.–has a few bad actors.  Condemning every *group* because of the presence of those *individuals* risks condemning all of society.

2:33
Meg Rowley: Well society handles these things very poorly, so that isn’t a indictment without some merit. At no point did I say these incidents occur more frequently in baseball than in another avenue of life. They do occur frequently enough that it tarnishes my enjoyment of a form of entertainment, and that feeling is furthered by some of the very obvious institutional issues  that determine how they are dealt with.

2:34
OJ: re: the juiced ball — how would you feel about baseballs being filled with actual juice ? what’s yr favorite juice ?

2:34
Meg Rowley: Not a big juice person, as juice is often too sweet. I do like grapefruit juice.

2:34
Ben: If you were in charge of running a team, what sort of philosophy would you follow? Offense or pitching first? Toolsy raw talent or high-technique? I imagine it would at least be mostly analytics-leaning

2:36
Meg Rowley: Analytics-leaning certainly. If you’re talking about a player development and drafting strategy, farms that lean pitching heavy make me awfully nervous, but the first thing I’d do is go hire a very smart scouting direction and head of baseball ops and let them tell me all the ways I was being a real goofus.

2:36
AAAA superstars: Voit, Urshela, German, even kind-of-okay Tauchman… is finding these people luck, GM skill, or player-development skill?

2:36
Meg Rowley: Combination of all three, though I am willing to weight that heavily in player dev’s favor in this case.

2:37
Tony : Whats your favorite ball park to visit? Why?

2:38
Meg Rowley: Hard to beat your home park, especially one as good as Seattle’s. I really enjoy Petco and Coors, and weirdly Chase field? Have spent some very pleasant games at Chase. It’s like going to a baseball game in a Costco, but like, a really nice Costco?

2:38
Meg Rowley: Also, Salt River is low-key one of the best venues in baseball.

2:38
poorer: as far as you’re aware, is MLB making any effort to increase minor league salaries ? always crazy to hear stories of minor leaguers having to get odd jobs during the off-season (home depot , construction , etc.)

2:40
Meg Rowley: I have heard from some team folks that more clubs are contemplating raises, though those raises are not of the sort that are likely to shift minor leaguers out of needing offseason jobs.

2:40
j: Hi Meg,  if you were a Dodger fan what sort of response would you be hoping for from the front office?

2:41
Meg Rowley: You want to feel that it is being taken seriously, that it is centered around doing what is right for the victim. I don’t quite know how to describe this but, you want to see that they *get* it. That they know how to talk about this stuff. So basically not any of the stuff the Cubs have done with Russell?

2:41
Contrapunctus Rx: The Mariners have no need to rush guys, agreed.  And, it hasn’t really seemed that players like Sheffield, Swanson, Dunn, Bishop, or Mallex are banging down the door demanding playing time.  However, when Seager returns, you’ve got Healy, Bruce, Vogelbach, Encarnacion, Beckham, and maybe Santana for whom DH should be their first position, and probably there shouldn’t be a second position.  Where do they all go if we don’t start trying to move them?

2:42
Meg Rowley: Well, I suspect Healy goes to Tacoma, Seager goes back to third, and the rest stick around sort of as they are.

2:42
Meg Rowley: They aren’t going to DH Santana or Bruce regularly, I don’t think.

2:42
Meg Rowley: They’ve already accepted having a horrible defense, and these wins don’t matter!

2:43
Contrapunctus Rx: Man, I’m excited about the prospect graduations this year!  Hiura, Senzel, Vladito, Tatis, Vogelbach, Alonso- Paddack (but also Canning, Martin)- it’s a big year for starlets.  Who do you think comes out on top for fWAR, what with Vlad handicapping his own predicted domination?

2:43
Meg Rowley: Vlad still tops for me and then gimme all those good Paddack changeups, gimme gimme gimme.

2:43
Derek: I don’t know how good a team run by you would be (I’d think at least decent), but I’d be willing to bet it would be one of the most fun! Both to watch and also follow in general.

2:44
Meg Rowley: I think it would be a spectacular failure! Hopefully I’d just hire smartly and diversely and go from there.

2:44
Gordon Tremeschko: boygenius is a great band. Did you like Phoebe Bridger’s collaboration with Conor Oberst?

2:44
Meg Rowley: I do even though I do not care for Conor Oberst as a solo artist.

2:45
Matt W: Don’t despair Mariners fans, you absolutely robbed the Mets in the Diaz/Cano/Kelenic deal. Diaz ahs been good but not electric, and Cano looks every bit his age and then some.

2:45
Meg Rowley: Truly just a month in with prospects who haven’t debuted yet.

2:45
Meg Rowley: I thought it was strange that they gave up Kelenic at the time, and you could prove to be correct but it’s very early.

2:46
Skace: If all things were even, do you see first rounders this June going more college than HS and is it a control of contract issue?  Is the Peter Alonso scenario a good barometer?

2:47
Meg Rowley: Sounds like a great time to read Kiley and Eric’s latest mock draft!

2:48
Big League Choo: My local AAA team let families on the field after Sunday’s game to play catch with their moms. It was great. Moms are the best. That’s all.

2:48
Meg Rowley: That is neat! Many moms are great. Some moms are terrible. Humans are really hard to figure sometimes.

2:49
JeromyBurnitz: I graduate high school in a month and am going to be majoring in journalism. Any advice for an aspiring writer?

2:49
Meg Rowley: I do not want to discourage people from majoring in journalism. Journalism is very important, especially now. Paying rent is also good, so maybe double major?

2:50
bunt cake: feels like MLB needs to institute a policy re: domestic violence.  Players should be suspended until they complete counseling, and there should be a minimum 162 game suspension regardless of severity of the incident.  Offending player should not return to original team once suspension is lifted.  If the team is penalized maybe they will be more thoughtful about counseling and supporting their players.

2:51
Meg Rowley: I think, and no offense, but the policy should be shaped by experts in the field, as what you’re describing sounds a lot closer to zero tolerance than is likely advisable.

2:51
Moelicious: You should tell people at the beginning of the chat that you don’t answer fantasy questions

2:51
Meg Rowley: You have a lot more faith in that mattering than I do.

2:51
John: What part of Cubs response indicated they didn’t take it seriously?

2:52
Meg Rowley: Not sure you can read Maddon’s comments in particular and walk away think, oh, here is guy who gets it.

2:52
Meg Rowley: Also they uh tendered a contract to a not very good player in the first place?

2:53
Jeff in T.O.: Regarding the increase to minor league salaries. The Blue Jays are increasing the pay to all their minor leaguers by 50%.

2:53
Meg Rowley: They are– they still don’t pay the most in the minors and those wages still don’t get their guys out of the situation they’re in now.

2:54
ShoesTPA: Is Paddack more interesting than Willians?

2:54
Meg Rowley: Why are you making me pick a favorite from among my baseball children? WHY?

2:54
John: I agree 100% on Maddon’s comments.  I was more thinking about Theo and the front office addressing the situation.  Also, not sure how the fact that Russell isn’t very good has anything to do with their approach to this.

2:56
Meg Rowley: Because they could have just said, you know, the balance on this isn’t remotely worth it for us, and we’re an org with a really bad recent history on these questions, and we’re going to prioritize caring about this issue. Instead, they did this.

2:56
Dave: Do you prefer Better Oblivion Community Center or Boygenius from Phoebe Bridgers?

2:56
Meg Rowley: boygenius

2:57
jv: I keep seeing people saying this. How is Russell not very good? He’s a subpar hitter, but he has had a 4 bWAR season and has posted positive WAA every season that he’s played. I’m all for hating the guy for his repulsive actions, but it’s disingenuous to act as though he’s a bad player, and the exact problem we’re facing is that players get a free pass if the team thinks he’s a solid contributor.

2:57
Meg Rowley: He’s only been about three WAR by our numbers once, it was a while ago, the bat isn’t good, and I think the defensive value is overstated by the metrics. How good a player isn’t shouldn’t what matters here, but this is an easy test to pass.

2:58
:/: Is it exhausting to fight with the world’s most sensitive men on the internet every week? I hope this isn’t draining for you. Seriously!

2:59
Meg Rowley: I like doing chats. I think it is good to talk about this stuff, and it isn’t an easy question.

2:59
ShoesTPA: Is Mike Trout good enough at weather to read the incoming thunderclap from the Thanos snap early enough to potentially save himself from being dusted?

3:00
Meg Rowley: this is not consistent with my understanding of how the snap works

3:00
Hiura We Go: Videos of prospects on their firat day up are so goos and fun

.@Kestdaddy reporting to work!
14 May 2019
3:00
Meg Rowley: Ohhhh boy.

3:01
Meg Rowley: He’s going to be great fun. Check out the guys’ blurb in the Top 100 https://blogs.fangraphs.com/2019-top-100-prospects/

3:01
Meg Rowley: Ok all, I have to get rolling

3:01
Meg Rowley: Thanks for the questions, and sorry for what I didn’t get to. Hope everyone has a great week.

3:02
Meg Rowley: A slight programing note: I will not be chatting next week, as I am Colorado bound to see my cousin graduate from high school.

We hoped you liked reading Meg Rowley FanGraphs Chat – 5/14/19 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 appeared at Baseball Prospectus, Lookout Landing, and Just A Bit Outside.

Leave a Reply

Please Login to comment