Meg Rowley FanGraphs Chat – 7/27/18

12:00
Meg Rowley: Morning all, and welcome to the chat!

12:00
Meg Rowley: I am obviously not Jeff. We’ll be swapping chat times this week and next so that he can engage in various adventures.

12:00
CrashedDavis: more a Jaffe question, but you’re chatting: with statcast and the associated stats (plus future innovations) allowing us to much better judge over/underperformance, how are we going to evaluate that over full careers in HOF debates 15+ years from now?

12:01
Meg Rowley: Just as we have a much better understanding of who is actually good now than we did 50 years ago, I would imagine it will continue to enhance how voters think about who is worthy of induction.

12:03
Meg Rowley: I think there is a limit to how much stats like xwOBA can change that process, because ultimately the Hall is concerned with the careers guys really had, but it’ll have an effect.

12:03
Meg Rowley: I imagine it will also force us to change how many guys voters can vote for at any one time as we better understand just how amazing a lot of these guys are.

12:03
Ryan: Are Oakland/Seattle going to make the AL wildcard race a thing?

12:03
Meg Rowley: I am very concerned…. errr happy?

12:03
Matt Chapman: Objects in mirror are closer than they may appear.

12:03
Meg Rowley: Just very, very concerned.

12:04
v2micca: Nothing is set in stone, but I have to think the Aaron Judge Injury pretty much consigns the 2018 Yankees to the Wildcard.

12:05
Meg Rowley: It is certainly a loss, and one that I imagine will shift the odds somewhat. The Yankees do have internal options, and the deadline hasn’t passed, but it’s late in the game for a trade they haven’t already been in motion on.

12:05
Meg Rowley: That said, I think the pitching is what is going to make the difference.

12:05
Matt: Random question – do teams come to FG to advertise job postings, or do you guys scour their listings, and represent them on your own?

12:06
Meg Rowley: They come to us! We aren’t representing them, but there are a lot of smart folks who read the site and are keen to work in baseball. We want smart folks keen to work in baseball to get to follow their dreams, and I hope publicizing these opportunities exposes them to a more diverse pool of potential applicants.

12:06
Jim Leyland Palmer: Meg, what’s your take on the Mariners new $180 million dollar demand for signing their new lease at the end of the year?

12:08
Meg Rowley: Granted I haven’t read super extensively on this, but my understanding is that this isn’t a demand for new money so much as a demand the County and Stadium District make payments for capital improvements the team was assuming they would make.

12:08
Meg Rowley: That said, as someone who lives in Seattle and finds public funding of ballparks yucky, I would much rather that money go to public housing.

12:09
Meg Rowley: We have a housing crisis in this city, and the justification for public funding of stadiums is that it benefits the community so…

12:09
GraphsFan: I’m a Mariners fan too. This is fine.

12:09
Meg Rowley: Do you ever worry we like feeling sad? I’ve been worrying about that lately.

12:09
Henry: What last move will the Red Sox make before the deadline?

12:10
Meg Rowley: I know they’ve been linked to more pitching, though I’d think Evoldi is the “big” move. As an aside, what an underwhelming starter market, my stars.

12:11
v2micca: The Braves desperately need pitching help, but AA hasn’t shown much urgency in the trade market yet.  Is Atlanta content to hold this year and make moves for 2019?

12:12
Meg Rowley: I’d mostly think they’ll wait. They’re a little ahead of schedule, their most appealing players in trade are guys they probably want to keep and they’re in a wild card spot.

12:12
Meg Rowley: Also the East is super weird and crazy, so they could play their way into a division spot with what they have. Wild times.

12:13
randplaty: Projection systems are saying Wil Myers is a wRC+ 120 ROS. Are you buying him when he has a career wRC+ of 112 in 2400 PAs? Why do they like him so much?

12:13
Meg Rowley: They are hopeful that if they say nice enough things about him, he’ll explain why he spells Wil, short for William, with just one “L.”

12:14
Meg Rowley: He’s got a 141 wRC+ now, so that ROS isn’t nuts to me. I think he’s closer to a 115 guy, but shrug emoji guy.

12:14
chet_manley: Throw out your hot takes on Cole Hamels going to the Cubs!

12:15
Meg Rowley: I think he will be useful. I think it is a good move for them. I think that his tendency to walk guys still makes me nervous.

12:15
Meg Rowley: Just a bunch of guys.

12:15
Bort: Who is more cursed: Clint Frazier or Daniel Vogelbach?

12:16
Meg Rowley: Poor Vogelbach. I think it is Vogelbach. He’s on a team that is fading and can’t convince the org that acquired him knowing exactly what he is to displace literally Ryon Healy for him.

12:16
Meg Rowley: Frazier might be blocked and he had to cut his hair, but Vogelbach.

12:16
Fill in the Kyle Blanks: How has Marcus Semien’s defensive transformation flown so far under the radar? From historically awful three years ago to well above league-average…

12:18
Meg Rowley: Part of it is that we get anxious being overly enthused about half-season defensive samples, because they can have a bunch of squishy noise in them, and part of it is that Matt Chapman’s defense at third is what you want to talk about on that infield.

12:18
Meg Rowley: But part of it is that the A’s had a 9% chance of making the playoffs a month ago, so we just weren’t paying as close of attention to stories on the edge.

12:19
Meg Rowley: I imagine as we start trying to account for this A’s run, that is going to change pretty dramatically.

12:20
Meg Rowley: And man, good for Marcus. That whole A’s defense was super error prone, and errors aren’t a reliable indicator, but as someone who watched a lot of A’s games by virtue of them being in the AL West, boy oh boy, were those ERRORS.

12:20
Fill in the Kyle Blanks: The case against WAR is that Khris Davis has been worth more than 1.4 wins in the last week alone

12:22
Meg Rowley: I might suggest, in a friendly way, that this is a bit of user error. Because Khris Davis also has a 231 wRC+ since July 20, with six home runs, and you know, without the torture of playing the field. That’s pretty stinking good!

12:22
stever20: with Hamels becoming a Cub- does that put them as the NL favorite now?

12:23
Meg Rowley: I think they probably already were? It pushes them in front of Milwaukee, depending on what the Brewers do.

12:23
Ryan: What will Miguel Sano’s slashline be when he returns?

12:24
Meg Rowley: You know how you can just forget a human person exists? Not like, you mistakenly thought they passed away, or haven’t thought about them in while but just don’t remember them at all?

12:24
Mike: What are the actual chances the Cardinals make big changes?  i.e trading Carpenter, Carlos Martinez, etc?

12:24
Meg Rowley: I’d imagine the Martinez stuff is unlikely now given the injury.

12:25
Meg Rowley: As for Carpenter, as luck would have it, Craig wrote about that very thing this morning!

12:25
THE MEG: OPENING WIDE

12:26
Meg Rowley: Ok look, we should just acknowledge that there is movie coming out in August about a giant-ass shark who fights Jason Statham (or which Jason Statham fights?), who I think we’re supposed to believe is a marine biologist. This movie, and the shark, are called The Meg.

12:27
Meg Rowley: I expect this is going to be a bigger part of my life than a B movie would typically merit.

12:27
2-D: Statistical improbability aside, what kind of reaction do you think there would be if the first three picks in the draft next year all came from the AL central ?

12:28
Meg Rowley: Not a great one. They’re all in some state of rebuild or tear down or some such, but I tend to be a fan of teams feeling like they need to do things to make themselves competitive (like trading for Brad Hand) because of tight races in the division rather than in anticipation of running into the Yankees in the playoffs.

12:28
All Cats Are Beautiful : Would the players be receptive to the idea of MLBPA being allowed to purchase teams?  Nothing would work better to reduce animosity between owners and players.

12:29
Meg Rowley: They couldn’t own every team, though, right? I’m not being snarky when I say that animosity between owners and players is appropriate. They represent fundamentally different and antagonistic interests.

12:29
Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: Not that the Nats necessarily should sell, but if they do, shouldn’t they flip Harper? Based on the Machado deal, they could get back real prospects ready to help the team as soon as next year, when they will still have a good core to build around. Or they think not trading Harper now will pay for itself in increasing their chances to sign him next year.

12:30
Meg Rowley: I don’t know how optimistic they are that he’s going to sign there.

12:31
Meg Rowley: I would imagine they’re aware that the return would be different, too. If you’re going to pay for half a season from a guy, you want him to have numbers like Machado’s not Harper’s.

12:31
Meg Rowley: Harper is still a baseball god, don’t get me wrong, and I think his weird year is just that.

12:32
Meg Rowley: But the conversation is different.

12:32
All Cats Are Beautiful : I love how positive you are in chats. The fact that you genuinely care about people comes through and it’s a breath of fresh air.

12:33
Meg Rowley: Working from home has contributed to the idea that I am very positive, because no one sees me yell at my email.

12:33
Meg Rowley: But thank you. Everything everywhere is awful right now. I think it makes it especially important to be kind where you can.

12:33
Mike: Just read the Hardball times article from today and I feel pretty disappointed by some of the communities reactions to it. Do you have any thoughts/comments/reactions about the article itself?

12:34
Meg Rowley: We decided our approach would be to put comments in moderation, and let through those that were critical but didn’t venture into the sort of thing you can often get when offering criticism of that site.

12:35
Meg Rowley: I think Britni reported a really fair, balanced piece that asked important questions of baseball.

12:36
Meg Rowley: That’s what we try to do. The issue isn’t going to go away. There is too much money to be made on that site’s audience. We’re going to have to think critically about this.

12:36
Chicken Stan Lee: Meg, thanx for the chatting! Is it either useful or necessary for the Yanks to burn trade chips and go get someone to replace Judge and/or Sanchez until September?

12:37
Meg Rowley: They have chips to spend, but I think they wanted to use them, to the extent they did at all, on pitching. I’d honestly be surprised if they made a big move.

12:37
Meg Rowley: (nervously awaits word mid-chat that Harper is a Yankee)

12:37
Pie: Are volcanoes nature’s farts? The world leading fart expert should address this

12:38
Meg Rowley: They’re too violent to be… you know what, no. No! I am not finishing that thought. NO.

12:38
Daniel Carroll: How come we aren’t seeing a bunch of articles about how the A’s are overperforming right now and are due for regression? They’re 19-8 in one-run games; though they swept TEX, two games were one-run wins and a third took extra innings; they have five more wins than their Pythagorean record…. ok, ok, I’m an M’s fan and I’m afraid and I’m looking for any positive sign I can get.

12:40
Meg Rowley: I think they have been discussed in those terms. No one is looking at the A’s and thinking they’re this good, or don’t have weaknesses. But you know what they say about fans who live in glass houses and root for teams outperforming their pythag by literally 10 games…

12:40
Bob: If we pretend June didn’t exist, the Mets are 3 games above .500, and alive in the Wild Card race!

12:40
Meg Rowley: How far back can we take this? There are a couple months in the last two years I’m keen to erase.

12:41
CamdenWarehouse: I was surprised the Brewers posting did not include “Your chance to work alongside August Fagerstrom”

12:41
Meg Rowley: Pretty sure that only comes with a promotion.

12:42
mike sixel: We need to stop subsidizing sports teams. Kevin Love just signed for 120MM dollars. Kevin. Love.

12:42
Meg Rowley: You’re mixing a few issues here. We, as taxpayers, shouldn’t have to fund stadiums imo. That is separate from players making money, especially when you consider their split of revenue in a sport like baseball. We’re all getting jobbed!

12:43
Baseball Person: Worse contract–Davis or Pujols? I’m thinking Davis since Pujols is at least kind of a valuable hitter still (if nothing else). Davis is straight-up unplayable

12:44
Meg Rowley: What a sad, sad question. Davis is really bad, but the contract is shorter. But Pujols is still sort of playable and is a future HOFer so…

12:44
kyle: am I the only one concerned with Bryce Harper?  I get the BABIP and the power is still there the approach is fairly normal the walk rate is high, but his contact is way down and his strike out rate is surging….like 31.4% in June and 36.5% in july

12:45
Meg Rowley: He could be a little dinged up. I mostly think he’s just having one of those really weird years.

12:45
Gregry : What is the precedent for the injury Judge has? Do you think the 3 week timeline is accurate?

12:45
Meg Rowley: Speculating on injury timelines is the most efficient path to insanity.

12:45
Sam: If the Astros wind up sitting tight at the deadline and not doing anything…do you think that’s a problem? Think the bullpen is good enough as is with Rondon/potentially McCullers at closer in the playoffs?

12:46
Meg Rowley: I think it’ll be fine, especially when you consider the dudes from the rotation who end up doing relief work.

12:46
Meg Rowley: I mean, we just saw this work fine.

12:46
Juan: Can you play devil’s advocate and defend Preller’s apparent decision to go after a starter now?

12:48
Meg Rowley: I think the Padres are a fringe contender next year and a real contender the year after if their prospects work out. I don’t love the idea of Archer, and I don’t think the Mets will move Syndergaard or deGrom, but if either of those dudes are available and you think you’re close, maybe you bump up the timeline. And then hey, look, what a useful thing to have a Noah Syndergaard! Those are hard to come by!

12:49
larry: frazier has a lingering brain injury, that’s worse than anything vogelbach’s going through

12:49
Meg Rowley: This is a very good, and very sad, point.

12:49
Eldridge Cleaver: What are your expectations for Gary Sanchez ROS?  I’m wondering if I should trade him to someone looking for a keeper upgrade given that my fantasy playoffs start on 9/10/18.

12:50
Meg Rowley: As an actual baseball player, that he’ll hit a little better, but possible be unavailable for stretches if the groin injury persists. Also, I think long term he is fine. As a baseball player. As a fantasy player, I forgot to put him a DL spot for like a billion years, so my expertise there is limited.

12:51
Matt: What are your thoughts on the extortion demands of the Mariners?

12:51
Meg Rowley: That I’d rather that money go elsewhere, that also isn’t that much when you think about King County’s budget, and that the word “extortion” isn’t accurate.

12:52
matthew mcconaughey: Close your eyes for moment and imagine the mariners are below .500 and traded off J.A. Happ and Britton.  Would you be underwhelmed or satisfied with the return for both?  Not to be a conspiracy theorist, but it seems fishy.  even though they are rentals, these two guys that can have a big impact on a playoff and World Series run.  I feel like that value was ignored.  With reports about multiple teams being interested, it’s hard to believe these were the best packages offered.

12:53
Meg Rowley: J.A. Happ is a middling starter made more impressive by the a bad market and Zach Britton is a reliever who hasn’t been as effective as he has been historically, coming off an injury.

12:53
Klew: In this jumbled National League we live in, has Matt Carpenter propelled himself as the front-runner for NL MVP?

12:54
Meg Rowley: Ehhhh he’s been a very hot hitter, but in terms of a season’s work, Freeman and Arenado are right there. Also, it won’t happen, but how perfect would it be if it was deGrom?

12:55
DG: Now that the Franco and Nick Williams are hitting, the Phillies’ lineup looks much longer and more consistent. Do you think they’ll hold off the Braves (2.5 games back) and Nationals (7 games), even without making a big move?

12:56
Meg Rowley: The Braves are going to give them trouble, I think. I am starting to come around on the idea that the Nats are in some real bad trouble.

12:56
Wild Man Wilson: Since there is such a disparity between the best and worst teams, assuming tanking is an issue, would it help if the draft was revamped to include unrestricted pick trading or a lottery?

12:56
Meg Rowley: What if we didn’t have a draft and teams had to contend with a real market?

12:56
Scott: A’s gotta try to get at least a couple of starters at the Fiers-Ross tier right? I’m feeling like a collapse of the current scrap heap guys is imminent

12:57
Meg Rowley: I would imagine they’re trying though they have smartly reinforced the bullpen in case the heap they have is the heap they keep.

12:57
Zihuatanejo: If you can live through 18 years of “shut up, Meg,” you can live through a shark movie.

12:57
Meg Rowley: I am not the target audience for that show, and my friends must not be either, because I don’t get that a lot.

12:58
PD: You know why we know you’re not Jeff? You’re on time.

12:58
Meg Rowley: The man can only do so much and is so busy! He also chats with you all for so long every week.

12:59
Meg Rowley: There are many people I know in this line of work who work very, very hard but the two hardest working ones I know co-host Effectively Wild, which I know they often record Friday mornings.

12:59
kevinthecomic: Isn’t MEG short for something (Megan?).  You could start using your full name in order to disassociate yourself from the shark and/or Jason Statham.

1:00
Meg Rowley: Oh what, I’m just supposed to cave to this giant shark?

1:00
LegalEagle: Would it be wrong to say that teams undervalue the bunt and need to address this inefficiency? I get it’s something that needs practice on – and teams with pull hitters need to make those hitters practice bunting more to fight the shift.

1:01
Meg Rowley: I could see it being a selective priority for minor leaguers if their teams recognize a strong pull tendency.

1:02
Meg Rowley: I’ll also be curious to see how the shift’s usage fluctuates in the coming years. Russell Carleton had done some really interesting work on how teams might be overshifting, and I think we’ve seen some clubs scale back.

1:02
Rasouddress: The Angels keep getting calls on Blake Parker, Justin Anderson, and Cam Bedrosian.

1:02
Rasouddress: What can the Angels realistically expect as far as a return from those guys?

1:03
Meg Rowley: You’re not building the next great Angels team from the guys they get back, I don’t think.

1:03
yerp: MLB’s updated prospect rankings has me curious: Best case scenario, how long does Boston have an open window? Worst case?

1:04
Meg Rowley: The farm isn’t great but Boston can do this thing where they spend money. That payroll isn’t endless obviously, but they have a bunch of young guys and can pry it open a little further if they want.

1:04
Bort: Trading for Bryce Harper would be a total Billy Beane move, right?

1:04
Meg Rowley: I mean, yes, but with what?

1:05
Cal: When the Cubs and the Astros tanked, they were unique in the fact that not one else was “tanking”. Now with all these teams “tanking” aren’t they hurting each other?

1:05
Meg Rowley: How well it works is always dependent on how well you scout, but I think there is a good argument to be made that it would require much deeper draft classes than we’ve had lately for everyone to get Cubs-like benefit.

1:05
Ben: Is there some sort of secret signal on dating sites/apps to indicate your main priority in a partner is interest in baseball?

1:06
Meg Rowley: I know MLB has a partnership with Match or one of those, which based on the beat writer’s mentions after closers give up runs in non-save situations sounds freaking terrifying.

1:07
Prich : T/F:  The stats say the A’s & M’s are close enough in terms of talent that the winner of WC2 will likely be whoever has a better record in the 10 head-to-head matchup‘s.

1:07
Meg Rowley: Those games matter an awful lot. The other games matter, too. But those ones matter a whollleeee lot.

1:08
Bo: When is the current CBA up? Will teams start factoring possible new spending rules into their contract offers soon?

1:09
Meg Rowley: It runs through 2021. How teams *think* it will go and thus how they adjust spending is going to be fascinating because I expect it to be very contentious.

1:10
Chris: What are your thoughts on teams like Atlanta or Philly, who have arrived a year early, and approaching the trade deadline? Do they recalibrate and decide to sell some of the farm, or maintain their general trajectory and original plan going into the season?

1:11
Meg Rowley: They’re in slightly different spots; Philly already spent some money. But mostly I think they’ll do what the Brewers did last year and make small moves before really going in this offseason.

1:11
Scott: I know Khris Davis will never be an all-star or high WAR player because of the defense, but he’s got to be one of the most fun players to watch in the league right now in your eyes, right?

1:11
Meg Rowley: Well now he doesn’t have to play defense!

1:12
Meg Rowley: What a treat. The defense was bad enough that I really struggled to watch him because I felt so bad.

1:12
Meg Rowley: Now, I just get to enjoy it, albeit in a limited, he’s almost single handedly killing my favorite team’s post season chances sort of way.

1:12
kevinthecomic: “Everything is awful everywhere”? GDP in q2 just grew by 4.1%, Unemployment at a multi-decade low. “Everything is awful everywhere” is not a conclusion supported by data.

1:13
Meg Rowley: Appreciating that my full response to this is more political than anyone wants, I’d just invite you to look at real wage growth over the past 30 years.

1:13
All Cats Are Beautiful : Speaking of brain injury, it’s only a matter of time until a pitcher dies in this era of high exit velocity. Is there any chance helmets become mandatory for pitchers before this happens and not after?

1:14
Meg Rowley: I think we’re sort of moving that way. I’m encouraged that more guys are voluntarily wearing the extra tough hats. Those injuries are so scary that I’m hopeful we’ll see change before something truly awful happens.

1:14
Natsfan: Given that Harper has been horrible this year, what do you think we’d get if we traded him?  And I hate to say it, but he has been so bad that there is a case to be made that the Nats will be more competitive going forward the rest of  this season if they trade him.

1:15
Meg Rowley: Bryce Harper has a 120 wRC+

1:15
Mountie Votto: Hey hey hey, let’s not ignore what Eugenio Suarez has done. He’ll get some MVP love too

1:16
Meg Rowley: Players have made this season so sticking weird and great

1:16
Kristen: At first glance, the return for Hamels looks incredibly underwhelming.  Did JD do the best he could have?

1:16
Meg Rowley: Hamels isn’t the guy he was a few years ago.

1:17
Brian CashGod: Can we discuss how awesome it is that a fan managed to call off Steve Pearce (who then let a fair ball drop)? The look on Pearce’s face, and that must have made that fan’s season!

1:17
Meg Rowley: IT IS WILD

1:18
Meg Rowley: MLB DOES NOT HAVE THE VIDEO FEED OF THAT GAME UP BECAUSE IT WAS DELAYED EARLY OR AT LEAST THEY DIDN’T AND I AM FURIOUS AND THESE CAPS ARE INTENTIONAL

1:19
Brewtown_Kev: If the draft were replaced with a real market, then we’d have a worse problem than we have now in terms of haves and have-nots. The deepest pockets would sign all of the top talent right from the get go, rather than having to wait for free agency.

1:20
Meg Rowley: I doubt teams would let go of the competitive balance tax, but also, I want players to get more of the money, and it appears teams aren’t going to give it to 30-year-olds so…

1:20
Chris: The Mariners?

1:20
Meg Rowley: They do exist!

1:21
Bo: The notion that players don’t re-sign with a team that just traded them in their contract year (a la Harper) is a little silly, no? Seems like confirmation bias to me (the team knows they won’t be able to re-sign, so they trade them).

1:21
Meg Rowley: I think there is some of that yes.

1:21
Meg Rowley: And some guys do. Chapman went back to the Yankees.

1:22
Dan: How many stars would you need to make the playoffs if your team consisted of the top X players in baseball and the rest non prospect AAA players?

1:22
Meg Rowley: I think it depends a lot where those stars are distributed. I think I think (I should think about this more) that I would say the number is higher if they are pitchers just because they don’t go every day? It’s a fun question.

1:23
Brian CashGod: Any particular series you’re excited to watch over the next week?

1:24
Meg Rowley: Dodgers/Braves should be good.

1:24
Bo: Ken Rosenthal reported that Nationals’ ownership is pushing to sell, but Rizzo is pushing back. How much say does the GM ultimately have in a decision like this?

1:25
Meg Rowley: How collaborative it is depends on the team, and some owners are more engaged than others, but if ownership puts its foot down, there isn’t much a GM can do if they want to stay the GM.

1:25
The Ghost of Bobby Thigpen: re. Stars + AAA Players.  The White Sox tried this.  Apparently, the answer is more than Sale, Quintana, Abreu and Eaton…because that didn’t work…

1:26
Meg Rowley: It is a very tricky thing to pull off and you need basically perfect health.

1:26
Meg Rowley: Building good teams is a good way to win games it turns out.

1:26
Meg Rowley: Alright friends, I need to get going. We’ll carry on this same schedule next week, with Jeff on Tuesdays and a temporarily Boston-based Meg on Fridays.

1:27
Meg Rowley: If you’re coming to Saberseminar, or are just in the greater Boston area, we’d love to see you at our Saberseminar eve hang out

1:27
Meg Rowley: That’s next Friday, August 3rd.

1:27
Meg Rowley: Until then, have a great weekend, and be nice in the comments!

We hoped you liked reading Meg Rowley FanGraphs Chat – 7/27/18 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.

Comments are closed.