Meg Rowley FanGraphs Chat – 6/19/18

12:00
Meg Rowley: Good morning and welcome to the chat!

12:00
BFreeman123: How does the Boston rotation shake out when Pomeranz back? Thanks

12:01
Meg Rowley: Without any special knowledge, I wouldn’t be surprised if the less effective of him or Steven Wright ended up throwing some relief innings.

12:01
Rockie Dangerfield: Lemme tell you a joke.
“The Rockies’ bullpen.”
Get it?

12:02
Meg Rowley: We can tell the truth about things, be funny, and resist the temptation to be mean for no reason. It just requires us to embrace a higher degree of difficulty in our humor.

12:02
Outta my way, Gyorkass: Why do I feel like the Brewers are headed for a complete dogshit 1-15 type stretch where they completely blow their playoff chances? That offense is either scoring in double digits or 0/1.

12:03
Meg Rowley: Probably because human beings are afraid to trust things and enjoy themselves, unless they grew up rooting for the Yankees?

12:03
Meg Rowley: The Brewers have the fourth best playoff odds in the NL. That’s good!

12:04
Meg Rowley: They also have the pieces to acquire some reinforcements at the deadline. Nothing is certain, but it is ok to like stuff.

12:04
tb.25: Would you rather the return of 23 year old King Felix or 23 year old meg?

12:05
Meg Rowley: I wouldn’t be in my early 20’s again for anything in the whole world. The secret of your early 20’s is that they are kind of quietly a trash time in your life or at least a time when you’re really unsure of things. It is so nice to feel more confident.

12:05
Meg Rowley: So it is an easy call in that regard, and also, 23-year-old Felix was delightful.

12:06
Christian: Meg, the Royals’ return for Herrera was just so, so, so not good. I mean, I wasn’t expecting a gleyber torres, but someone with anything approaching upside would have been nice. I am so sad. Feels like the Glass family just didn’t want to pay his salary.

12:07
Meg Rowley: I think for a rental it wasn’t as bad as you might think. It was early in season, so they must be high on these guys. On the plus side, at least you know what the Royals are doing now, which is starting over. It won’t be fun per se, but at least you know what it is.

12:08
Guest: Can you give me your take on Clint Frazier’s trade value? Do the 40 underwhelming MLB games last year diminish his value as significantly as the pundits seem to think?

12:09
Meg Rowley: I’m not sure we actually have a consensus on his value, but I’d think (hope) those 40 games will be viewed as 40 games. He’s playing well now.

12:09
Gest : Over the last calendar year Brandon Nimmo is 14th in MLB in wOBA, are you believing in his breakout? Why or why not?

12:10
Meg Rowley: I believe it. I am very enamored with his eye at the plate.

12:10
Air Quality Inspector: Do you think ballplayers fart a lot? I mean, Bartolo Colón, definitely, you KNOW that guy farts. But Mike Trout? I can’t imagine Mike Trout farts. He’s too perfect.

12:11
Meg Rowley: He’s a near-perfect baseball player, but all baseball players are human, even the near-perfect ones, so ummm yes, I assume Mike Trout farts.

12:12
Meg Rowley: Flatulence is determined, at least in part, by diet, which oddly might mean he farts more than your average person, depending on how fiber-rich his no doubt quite health conscious diet is.

12:12
Meg Rowley: I am sure that my parents are very pleased they spent too much money on a private liberal arts college so that part of my professional life could involve speculating on farting.

12:12
Belted: What’s more likely, in your opinion: Trout gets the single season WAR record this year, or Harper rebounds enough to secure a 400M+ deal this offseason? Do you actually expect either?

12:14
Meg Rowley: I have come to think that Mike Trout can do anything (including fart apparently!). I have also come to believe that front offices are smart enough to know that a Bryce Harper with a .208 BABIP who is still hitting for power is still an amazing baseball player. And I know his agent is smart enough to point that out to front offices.

12:14
James: What is your favorite adjective to describe the Houston Astros?

12:14
Meg Rowley: Terrifying.

12:15
Meg Rowley: Also, effervescent.

12:15
Blogroll: What’s your favorite team-specific blog? Your favorite non-Mariners one? Your favorite general baseball blog? Your favorite blog, period

12:17
Meg Rowley: I will always have a very large soft spot in my heart for Lookout Landing, both because it is where I reconnected with Mariners baseball while exiled to life in the eastern time zone thanks to Jeff, and because it is where I got my start writing. Beyond that, I frequent the places you’d expect. I love reading my colleagues here. I am very proud of the work my writers do at The Hardball Times. I read BP and The Ringer daily. I get too many newsletters.

12:17
Meg Rowley: I will say, my most consistent source of baseball delight is reading Short Relief over at BP.

12:18
Meg Rowley: Beyond that, I tend to read particular writers rather than particular blogs.

12:18
Tugs: Do you read any Sci-Fi? I’m working my way through Dune now.  Also, are you going to be joining the FanGraphs book club headed by Paul Swydan?

12:19
Meg Rowley: I do! Pleasure reading during the season can be hard to do but I just started The Passage, and am working my way through The Southern Reach trilogy.

12:19
Meg Rowley: I’m also finally getting around to Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward, which isn’t Sci-Fi, but is fabulous.

12:20
Meg Rowley: And yes, I plan to join the book club, even if I anticipate being a book behind a lot of the time.

12:20
Matt: I’m a master negotiator in fantasy trades. Lot’s of back and forth before the final product takes shape. My initial offer of sending out Harper for Jose Ramirez was accepted last night, and now I’m concerned that I undershot. Console me, please.

12:20
Meg Rowley: Well I dunno about fantasy, but Jose Ramirez is amazing.

12:21
Meg Rowley: Currently, second only to Mike Trout in terms of position player WAR!

12:21
Meg Rowley: We should talk about Jose Ramirez more. Let’s all make a pact to do so. He’s just wonderful.

12:21
Nick: Is the American League playoff picture locked up already? There is such a huge gap between the Mariners in the second WC spot and the Angels, A

12:22
Meg Rowley: Gonna be writing about this post-chat. It’s not done (it is June 19) but it is far more settled than any of us expected and with an unexpected team!

12:22
Nick: Best and worst uniforms in MLB?

12:22
Meg Rowley: This is a matter of personal preference. Ok? This is what I, me, Meg like personally. You are free to like other things. But…

12:23
Meg Rowley: I have a take which is that I don’t like uniforms without names on the back. I think it is vaguely gatekeeping of new folks to the sport, and incentivizes us to root for ownership rather than labor, and also makes merchandizing weird later.

12:24
Meg Rowley: I like the Dodgers uniforms a lot. They’re quite sharp. Beyond that, various throw-backs.

12:24
Dadbauer: How would a Portland team effect the Mariners fan base?

12:25
Meg Rowley: I know there are rules about teams in proximate geographic areas being able to nix expansion, so I would imagine the league and the Mariners would have to feel comfortable that it wouldn’t be a bad thing. I think having a local rival would be great, and the hipsterish nature of the insults would be hilarious.

12:25
KB: Soto HR counts on the previous game date before he was even called up. Have there been any weird things like this before?

12:25
Meg Rowley: Indeed– let me see if I can find a tweet.

12:27
Meg Rowley: Drat, those Cespedes Boys tweet so dang much, I can’t find it. I thought they had a tweet about it. It isn’t unprecedented. It is quite weird.

12:27
James: The playoff odds page puts the Astros at 105 wins. Do you think they get there?

12:28
Meg Rowley: I think they could, which is insane. Terrifying. Effervescent. Astros.

12:28
Meg Rowley: Astros PR call me.

12:28
Quaking in Quebec: Heard a rumor we might be an expansion target? Pourquoi pas, non?

12:28
Meg Rowley: I’d think Montreal would be ahead of Quebec?

12:28
Ozzie Ozzie Albies Free: How many RSVP’s have you gotten for Friday?

12:29
Meg Rowley: Without FanGraphs staff, and I can’t believe I am about to gift you lovely monsters this, we have 69.

12:29
Bread Gardner: Which team do you think makes the best use of front office-driven analytics for on-the-field decisions? What can other teams do better to emulate them?

12:30
Meg Rowley: Hmmm, it’s a good question. I think this has flattened out substantially.

12:30
Meg Rowley: And there probably isn’t a ton of difference between the best and the worst anymore.

12:31
Meg Rowley: The best thing for improving this stuff is always having open communication between the manager and field staff and the front office, but perhaps more important than that is finding ways to talk to players about it in a way that is convincing.

12:31
Meg Rowley: Also:

12:31
Bernie: nice

12:31
CamdenWarehouse: Nice!

12:31
steve: nice

12:31
Kevin: Niiiice.

12:31
Meg Rowley: Bunch of lovely monsters.

12:32
Ryan: lets have a hypothetical, Juan Soto homered in a game before his debut, therefore his service clock should start from the original game date, which would likely get him to super 2 status down the road.  ridiculous but…could it work?

12:32
Meg Rowley: I don’t think so. As weird as it is, it is primarily a score keeping concern.

12:32
Babe Lincoln: Brandon Nimmo sustainable?  Brandon Nimmo all-star??  Brandon Nimmo Mike Trout???

12:32
Meg Rowley: Yes. Maybe. Relax.

12:33
Bort: The Mariners are obviously going to make a trade before the deadline. Can they use Vogelsong to get anything useful?

12:34
Meg Rowley: Fun fact: the Mariners have so many old “wait, he’s still in the league?” guys floating around that for a brief moment, I thought, “Huh, did Vogelsong unretire and I missed it?”

12:35
Meg Rowley: I think the Mariners may try for a trade (another starter sure would be helpful) but they don’t have a ton to move, and I don’t know that Vogelbach (actual active player!) would net much.

12:35
ryan: good morning! thanks for chatting. what do you think the reds should do with scooter gennett? trade him at the deadline or try to sign long term? relatedly, i hope they can find a way to bring up senzel soon, he seems ready.

12:36
Meg Rowley: As always, this stuff depends on return. I wouldn’t be surprised if they move him, but nor will I be surprised if he ends up sticking around. That’s a cheap answer in a way, but also? An honest one.

12:37
Meg Rowley: And I think they’ll bring up Senzel when it allows them to hold on to him for the longest time. Also when he is “fully healthy.”

12:37
Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: Where does “Like a good Gleyber, Torres is there!” rank on the all-time worst home run calls?

12:37
Meg Rowley: Music is so subjective. You wouldn’t believe some of the crap on my gym playlist.

12:37
David: I feel that brewers sentiment of a 1-15 stretch applies to Mariners fans as well. Still waiting for that shoe to drop.

12:38
Meg Rowley: The Brewers are outperforming their Pythag record by one game and BaseRuns record by two. The Mariners are outperforming theirs by eight and seven respectively.

12:39
Meg Rowley: So feel worse about the Mariners I guess?

12:39
Bread Gardner: Paxton vs. Severino on Thursday. On a scale of 1962 Mets to 2016 Cubs, how hype should we be?

12:40
Meg Rowley: As hyped on a thursday night as one can be. Also I am realizing that we are going to have to talk a Denver bartender into putting this game on.

12:40
stever20: what did you think of the Nationals trade for herrera?  Felt like the Nats got him pretty light prospects wise.

12:40
Meg Rowley: I love it from their side. Herrera is great, but the thing I like best is the timing of it.

12:40
NYTT: The Braves have been consistently good throughout the year. Is the absence of highs and lows in their results so far a good sign for their longevity in competing this season or not really showing anything?

12:41
Meg Rowley: Going into the season, I was pretty high on the Braves position players and had very little confidence in their pitching. Their pitching has been much better than I thought it would be.

12:42
Meg Rowley: I think that anytime you have a team with balance it is good thing.

12:43
Meg Rowley: They’re 11th in overall pitching value (11th for starters, 15th for relievers), and that offense is 4th.

12:43
Meg Rowley: Just a really solid team

12:44
Guest: Who from Braves/Brewers/Arizona falls short of a WC?

12:44
Meg Rowley: Increasingly think they all make it, even though I still expect the Dodgers to win the West.

12:44
Bread Gardner: But seriously, one of the Yankees or Red Sox, and possibly even the Astros will wind up in a one-game playoff. We can debate the merits of a one-game playoff—I’d say it’s awful and terrible and stupid and we should seed playoff teams based on their actual records)—but can’t we all agree that a three-game play-in series for the wild card would be way, way more fun, especially when powerhouse teams like that are involved?

12:45
Meg Rowley: First, as much as I love my beloved, beautiful Mariners, who are beautiful and beloved, the Astros are gonna win the West in all likelihood.

12:46
Meg Rowley: But to answer your question, I would be fine ditching divisions are just going by record to determine the playoff field. I think most years it isn’t a big deal, but I get the argument.

12:47
Meg Rowley: But if you aren’t going to do that, have a play in game. Have just one. It provides incentives to win the division, it still keeps more teams interested, and I think it adds a fun element to playoffs that are series-based.

12:47
Meg Rowley: It doesn’t guarantee that the best team ends up in the World Series but then again, neither would a division-less field or a three-game play in.

12:47
Matt: As a Yankees fan who believes himself to be rational, and has an unhealthy level of fun watching/reading/living baseball, you clearly don’t talk to enough Yankees fans to believe that on the whole, they “trust things” and “enjoy themselves.”

12:49
Meg Rowley: No many of them thread a fascinating needle of seeming to be simultaneously aggrieved while believing they are the best and entitled to all the best stuff. That sounds like a dig, and I suppose it is, but you all are a fascinating, wild bunch.

12:49
Magician_531: I tried asking this at the end of Jay’s chat, but I guess that there was not time for him to cover it. Do you think that we will see women playing in the major leagues anytime soon? Also, why aren’t there women managers and coaches? That can’t even be hidden behind a screen of “physical differences” (which do exist, but the waves caused by them have bigger effects than the differences themselves).

12:51
Meg Rowley: I think eventually yes on a player, but not soon. As for managers and coaches, I’ve addressed this in past chats I think, but I think it will happen, albeit slowly. Managers and coaches are typically ex-players, and women don’t play baseball as much right now. But we have female position coaches in the NFL, so it seems inevitable.

12:51
Nick: Meg – you seem to have at least somewhat avoided losing your team fandom compared to other national/professional baseball writers – why is that? Do you see this continuing or is it just that you haven’t been in the business of being a professional national writer for long enough yet?

12:51
Meg Rowley: I think much of it is time. I’ve only been full-time since January.

12:52
Meg Rowley: I have noticed that it has changed my fandom though. I’d like to think I was always reasonable and truthful about the Mariners, which a lot of the time wasn’t hard–they’ve been bad! But it is especially important now.

12:53
Meg Rowley: When you have a team like this one, which is outperforming, it can put you in the position of being a bummer to fans, who just get to be happy and enthusiastic. I can say they are great fun and have banked a bunch of wins and are outperforming, but it is the last one that Mariners fans pick up on.

12:53
Meg Rowley: It has been interesting.

12:54
Nick: Are there any baseball websites, writers, or podcasts that you still make a point of reading/listening to often despite constantly producing and being surrounded by it?

12:54
Meg Rowley: I read every single thing Sam Miller writers. Patrick Dubuque also.

12:54
Todd: Sheryl Ring’s piece on Pride was awesome, right? Why are my Angels a bummer in that regard?

12:55
Meg Rowley: It was! And I think they will catch on. It is getting embarrassing. That kind of recognition means so much to the fanbase. Feeling welcome in your home park is just the best feeling.

12:55
Meg Rowley: My mom wears her Mariners pride t-shirt and hat every time we go.

12:56
Eric: If you had one at bat with your season on the line, and somehow you know that either your hitter gets a home run and you win or anything else you lose, who would you most want at bat (other than Trout)?

12:56
Meg Rowley: Has to hit a home run?

12:57
Meg Rowley: It is easy to say JD Martinez, and so I think I will.

12:58
Outta my way, Gyorkass: At what point does the elite prospect shine wear off of Lewis Brinson and he starts getting into bust territory? I know he’s only had 300 or so PA’s at the MLB level, but they’ve been shockingly bad.

12:58
Meg Rowley: I don’t know if I would go with bust (like BUST) but I think we are there. It has been brutal.

12:58
Hank: I’m not saying Wade Davis is a bad pitcher, but I am saying that Adam Ottavino is a better pitcher than Davis. Should the Rockies use a “closer by committee” approach rather than relying solely on Davis?

12:58
Meg Rowley: They should try literally anything else.

12:58
Meg Rowley: Any other thing would be a good thing to do.

12:59
Outta my way, Gyorkass: Chances that Machado gets the bigger total value deal than Bryce?

1:00
Meg Rowley: Less terrible than you might think! The worst part of the Orioles being this bad is that the thing we’re talking about with Machado is what his trade will look like and not his season.

1:00
2-D: What should happen to a batter on a dropped third strike?

1:00
Meg Rowley: He should be out. I will go to my grave believing this. I will be old and not know my own name and be mad about this.

1:00
Meg Rowley: I am a very normal, happy person.

1:01
Billy Beane: Your (very sweet) answer about Lookout Landing was phrased as though Jeff Sullivan sent you to live on the East Coast in exile.

1:01
Meg Rowley: I guess that is true. I exiled myself by going to college there and then taking a job there. Jeff had nothing to do with it. We weren’t even friends yet.

1:02
Emergency Pump: Not sure if you play MLB the show, but if you do, what player ratings are you confused/pissed about?

1:02
Meg Rowley: The only video games I have ever player are: Frogger, Half-Life, and some weird Star Trek thing (I think set in the Voyager franchise?)

1:03
AC: You may mention this in your article about the AL Playoffs, but don’t the Indians run the risk of losing the division to the Twins/Tigers(?!?) the longer they hang around .500?

1:04
Meg Rowley: I mean, in the sense that the risk is non-zero, but no, not really.

1:04
Mountie Votto: With the seemingly light return for Herrera, are the Reds more hesitant about moving Iglesias, even though he’s got loads more team control

1:05
Meg Rowley: I think you’ve identified the key difference.

1:05
Guest: You don’t like the “play for the name on the front, not on the back” mentality?

1:06
Meg Rowley: Well, to be clear it’s a “name on the front, no name on the back” mentality, and as a fan, I think it is good to look at the players as both members of a team, and individuals.

1:06
Montreal: We are located in Quebec

1:07
Meg Rowley: I could lie and say I misread it as Quebec City, but actually I am just a dumb American. I apologize.

1:08
Matt: Thoughts on a 365-day baseball season? The the current rate of days to games, it’d only be 323, but I think I can deal with one off day every week.

1:09
Meg Rowley: Setting aside that the weather wouldn’t really allow it, I think it is a really hard slog and that dudes should get to be home with their families for long stretches.

1:09
Bread Gardner: Forget the playoff odds for a moment and pick which stadium would be the most fun to be in during a World Series game.

1:09
Meg Rowley: Hello, I am a Mariners fan. Safeco. It also happens to be a beautiful ballpark. But Safeco.

1:09
Rite Field: Do you prefer watching well-rounded players with few elite skills (Yelich, Rendon) or players with just one 80 grade tool (Stanton, Billy Hamilton). Those might not be the best examples but you get my drift.

1:09
Meg Rowley: I don’t know that I prefer them necessarily, but I appreciate them a great deal and think we should appreciate them more.

1:10
Mets fans: Believe me, the 1-15 stretch is ALWAYS right around the corner

1:10
Meg Rowley: Aw, buddy.

1:10
Yes to the DH: Have you been following the news with Roberto Osuna? Any chance he pitches in 2018 again, and what does this do to his overall outlook?

1:11
Meg Rowley: I have been surprised by how many extensions there have been to his administrative leave. I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t play again, if only because they seem reticent to let him play with a suspension looming.

1:11
Meg Rowley: I’d prefer not think about his on-field value until the off-field situation is resolved.

1:12
tb.25: Part of why you may have yet to lose your fandom is nobody dislikes the Mariners. They feel sympathy. If you were a Yankee fan, though… peer pressure to give it up!

1:13
Meg Rowley: But also a life time of thinking I’m from the best place on the planet to harden me against persuasion.

1:13
LFC Mike: Meg..you are WAY too nice and pleasant to be on the intolerant and troll infested internet…….

1:14
Meg Rowley: I dunno, I’ve survived so far.

1:14
The Old Buccaneer: How much more would Joey Votto e appreciated if he played in a larger market. That many casual fans may never realize how truly great he has been is a travesty.

1:14
Meg Rowley: I think more likely, but I still think that for many not analytically inclined baseball fans, what he does doesn’t register as being as valuable as it is.

1:14
Torres: Does Torres win ROY now that Ohtani is hurt?

1:15
Meg Rowley: I think he’s the odds on favorite barring injury or something weird happening. It is useful to remember that guys come on late.

1:15
CamdenWarehouse: The East Coast isn’t an exile, Meg! It’s lovely here.

1:15
Meg Rowley: Exile is all a matter of perspective, and when you’re from Seattle…

1:16
yerp: Do yesterday’s Nats/Yankees games count towards May attendance, or June?

1:16
Meg Rowley: June I would think.

1:17
Guest: According to the live scoreboard game odds, the Yankees have a better chance of beating the Mariners today (in NY) than Cleveland over White Sox (in CLE)… What’s going on?

1:17
Meg Rowley: It’s a tiny difference?

1:17
Meg Rowley: The Yankees are a lot better?

1:18
Flex: Why aren’t burritos a more common ballpark food? When wrapped in tinfoil, it’s easy to handle with minimal mess.

1:18
Meg Rowley: Maybe the midwest knows what it is good at?

1:19
Rob: I know that there are a lot of loud (also annoying/entitled) Yankee fans, but there are a ton of thoughtful Yankee fans who love baseball too.  As is often the case, the obnoxious ones are more visible.

1:20
Meg Rowley: There’s a lot of good and bad in every fan base. That is definitely true. My personal experience of Yankees fans suggests a special bit of Yankeesness in Yankees fans. But you’re right to say there are stinkers everywhere.

1:20
Meg Rowley: I like Ben very much as a writer and a person, and so choose to forget this.

1:20
stever20: re attendance for games- I’d think the 1st one goes towards May and the 2nd one goes towards June…..

1:20
Meg Rowley: Yes, I believe that is correct.

1:20
ThatsNotMyMonster: How can ballparks encourage attendance? So many improvements in at-home viewing (HD, apps, mobile), but not a ton of new reasons to go. Except maybe Uber.

1:21
Meg Rowley: I think the teams that are doing cheap monthly passes have the right idea. The ballpark is great fun and, especially for families, horribly expensive.

1:21
stever20: what you you think of the resurgence of Paul Goldschmidt after his um, mediocre, May.   Can you remember a guy quite that inconsistent in a season like this?

1:22
Meg Rowley: I think that guys go through bad stretches and we tend to conveniently forget how up and down most guys’ whole seasons are.

1:22
Chatwood: Meg, do you know when the last time a pitcher qualified for the ERA title and walked more batters than he k’d?

1:22
Meg Rowley: hmmmm hold please

1:26
Meg Rowley: I’m only 75% confident I did this Play Index query right, but it might be Lucas Giolito this year?

1:26
Meg Rowley: At least that he’s on track to?

1:27
Meg Rowley: Paul Hartzell had exactly as many walks as strike outs (44) in 1979; Bill Lee has more walks than strikeouts in 1978 and pitched 177 innings.

1:28
ThatsNotMyMonster: Is there a size limit for gloves? Knuckleball-catching mitts are huge. Why can’t an outfielder carry around a hilariously oversized one?

1:28
Meg Rowley: It’s actually very specifically governed in the Rulebook

1:28
Chatwood: Chatwood also is on track or at least has K=BB.  I can’t believe Giolito will pitch enough innings this season.

1:28
Meg Rowley: Yeah, could see him falling short as well.

1:28
CrushedDavis: As of today, Mike Trout is projected for a top 25 all time season. Not on pace for, projected. This is insane, right?

1:29
Meg Rowley: We are so stinking lucky to live in this era.

1:29
Meg Rowley: Think about all the baseball fans who didn’t get to watch Mike Trout. Think of all the fans who didn’t get to see any of these guys.

1:29
Meg Rowley: On that positive note, I will conclude.

1:30
Meg Rowley: If you’re in Denver this Friday, come hang out with us at the Wynkoop Brewing Company from 6 to 9 pm. We’ve ordered a bunch of snacks. There will be drinks there for you to purchase. As a reminder it is a 21+ event.

1:31
Meg Rowley: Until then, apologies for what I didn’t get to. Have a great day!

We hoped you liked reading Meg Rowley FanGraphs Chat – 6/19/18 by Meg Rowley!

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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.

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Doesn’t Soto have a good shot at Super 2 as it is, with a debut of May 20th?