Meg Rowley FanGraphs Chat – 7/3/18 by Meg Rowley July 3, 2018 12:00 Meg Rowley: Happy baseball chat from the mountains, friends! 12:00 Meg Rowley: I’ll probably go a bit shorter than usual today in an effort to do some editing (read: go on a hike before it gets too hot). 12:00 Meg Rowley: But for now? Chat! 12:01 Brad Johnson: Does Justin always chat at the same time as you? (I swapped shifts with him) Should I forward all the fantasy questions to you? You can direct the poop and farts to me I suppose. 12:01 Meg Rowley: He does I think? Everyone, go ask Brad your fantasy baseball questions. 12:01 Meg Rowley: Don’t you dare take the poop/farts beat away from me, Brad. 12:01 Nick: Where do you think the Mariners can make the most obvious upgrades? Do they have any glaring holes at this point? 12:02 Meg Rowley: They could still use reinforcements in the rotation, but I don’t know what of real value they have to trade for a starter. The farm is pretty well thinned out, and Sam Carlson just revealed via Instagram that he had Tommy John. 12:02 Meg Rowley: I think that these are your Seattle Mariners. 12:03 Meg Rowley: As an aside, I know he hasn’t been as actually good as Matt Kemp or Nick Markakis, but Wade LeBlanc being an Important part of a playoff team is so amazing/weird. 12:03 Meg Rowley: 2018 owns. 12:03 THE Average Sports Fan: Twitter has allowed a 14 year old girl to convince Weezer into covering Toto’s “Africa”. Is this the best time to be alive? 12:04 Meg Rowley: Objectively a great and terrible time. Just the best/worst time. Also, do we really need to revisit that song? 12:04 Ben: Hello Meg 12:04 Meg Rowley: Oh hi! 12:04 Go Expos!: What kind of odds do you give to this grand realignment plan that would bring back the Expos and add a team in Portland, plus all-DH-all-the-time, and geographic divisions instead of traditional AL/NL? 12:05 Meg Rowley: Greater than zero, less than sixty for the full meal deal. I think we’ll see part of it for sure, but probably not all at once. It’s weird to say, but I think we get expansion and maybe realignment before the DH hits the NL. 12:05 Ben: You mentioned in your last chat that you’re reading The Passage – did you mean by Justin Cronin? Cause I just finished that and am reading the sequel The Twelve. Thoughts? 12:06 Meg Rowley: I did! And I haven’t worked my way through it yet. Planes are great for reading, but travel is terrible for one’s usual evening routine and going to the gym. 12:06 stever20: So are you a believer on Matt Harvey’s run here? 12:07 Meg Rowley: I’m more convinced than I was? I think I will always have a hard time believing that he can sustain success given the nature of TOS. But we’ve seen other guys do it (albeit not for too terribly long), so this might be a Meg issue. 12:07 Cool: Favorite John Mulaney line/joke? 12:09 Meg Rowley: I have a hard time narrowing it down, but his bit about being a bad driver and revealing himself to be a twenty-something man doing his best resonates with me strongly. Not as a driver (I’m a fine driver), but as a person. 12:09 Gogo Gordon boots: Dee Gordon was good. Now he’s bad. Is Dee Gordon good, bad, or indifferent? 12:09 Meg Rowley: Dee Gordon is a very fun players whose skills, because they are deep but somewhat narrow, has a smaller margin for error than some other players. 12:10 Meg Rowley: His defense at second has been nice. 12:10 Cool: If Scherzer wins another CYA this year does he overtake Kershaw as the best pitcher of this generation? 12:11 Meg Rowley: This is a very fun question. I think that it would require us knowing more about the new state of Kershaw to say for sure. His peak is so peaky. But we might have failed to appreciate how close Scherzer was, and he just keeps chugging along. I think we need more time to know, but it’s more of a conversation than it used to be. 12:12 Jason: My partner says Alex Avila or Lindor is the hottest baseball player, I say it’s either Stanton or Ohtani. Who is correct? 12:12 Meg Rowley: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. There are many different baseball aesthetics and it is good that there are appreciators of all of them. 12:12 Bob Cobb: is Juan Soto maybe… underrated? 12:13 Meg Rowley: He is definitely a problem for Acuña’s ROY campaign. 12:13 Women in Baseball: My daughter has repeatedly asked me why there aren’t girls in baseball. What answer would you give a 9 year old who sees progressive reality in so many places but very little of it in the sport she loves? 12:15 Meg Rowley: I’d maybe tell her that women my age (in their 30’s) didn’t always get to play little league, but because of girls who were passionate about baseball and loving parents who fought for them, that there are many more now. Tell her to keep playing. Tell her that she’ll get to see a female major leaguer in her life time. 12:16 Meg Rowley: It’s really important for little girls to hear “yes” to things they hear “no” about so often. It’s just that yes can take a while. 12:16 Poised: Say the Mariners make the Wild Card game and lose to the Yankees/Red Sox on the road. As a fan, how upsetting is the fact that the city/fanbase doesn’t get a home playoff game? Should MLB find a way to make the Wild Card series a best of 3 to guarantee every playoff team gets at least one game at home? 12:17 Meg Rowley: Last week, Wes Jenkins wrote a cool piece at The Hardball Times about how we could reimagine the post-season. https://www.fangraphs.com/tht/lets-reengineer-the-mlb-postseason/ 12:17 Meg Rowley: He envisions a neutral site for the new early rounds, but you could always do it at home. 12:17 Meg Rowley: Personally, as a Mariners fan, right now it is about getting the monkey of no October baseball off my back. 12:18 Meg Rowley: A home game? That’s Future Meg’s issue. Present Meg just wants that damn clock to reset. 12:18 Ernest Hemingwaybackbacktothewal: Who are your favorite baseball writers? What are your favorite baseball books? What advice would you give to an aspiring baseball writer? 12:19 Meg Rowley: Answering this invariably means offending someone who I admire or like drinking beers with. Such pressure! 12:19 Meg Rowley: There are a lot of good ones. Just like we’re in a golden age for players, I think we’ve landed in a really cool time for baseball writing, with lots of different voices who do different things. 12:20 Meg Rowley: And the writing corps is getting more and more diverse, which will only make things better. 12:20 Meg Rowley: My advice to aspiring writers is to try to write every day. Write every day, even just a little, and write about a bad team if you’re a fan of a good one. 12:21 Meg Rowley: Writing about crappy Mariners teams made my writing better, because I had to find something interesting to say when a lot of folks preferred to not think about that team at all. 12:21 Meg Rowley: And also, after you have some real clips, remember that what you’re doing is work, and that it probably doesn’t make sense to work for free forever. 12:22 Meg Rowley: And read widely. Read as much as you can so you know as much of the conversation as possible. 12:22 Meg Rowley: And be nice 12:22 Raymond: Say the season ended today. Would the fact that Betts’ WAR/600PA is higher than Trout’s have any affect on MVP voting? 12:22 Meg Rowley: To precisely seven voters. 12:23 Safety Stegosaurus: Do you think Archie Bradley will ever close? His status as a #2 guy out the bullpen seems forever cemented now. 12:23 Meg Rowley: I am shocked there aren’t more of these jokes in the queue. 12:23 AJ go Puk yourself: Pick two starters for the Ros: Musgrove, Heany, Minor, Marco Gonzalez 12:25 Meg Rowley: Sorry, mountain internet flaked for a moment. 12:25 Meg Rowley: If you mean for baseball reasons, I guess Gonzales and Heaney? 12:26 adam: where have all the chats been? What do you expect me to do at work…work? 12:27 Meg Rowley: I am working from my moms’ place in the mountains and so had to explain what a chat was, and then had to admit how much of me having a job is dependent on other people neglecting their jobs. 12:27 YKnotDisco?!: Has Alex Bregman morphed into Anthony Rendon? They have to be near the top of the list for most similar players (hitting wise), don’t they? 12:28 Meg Rowley: I don’t know if he’d be my top comp for Bregman. 12:30 Meg Rowley: Bregman’s a better player than 2018 Rendon. But Baseball-Reference has Jung Ho Kang as his top similarity score player, which just feels rude. 12:30 v2micca: Chapman was instrumental in getting the Cubs over the hump. But if Gleyber Torres keeps this up, at some point two months of Chapman for six years of Torres has got to begin burning, right? 12:33 Meg Rowley: Yes, but I think it is important to remember that Torres’ profile and reputation in the minors before the trade was somewhat different than it was before his promotion, or what it is now. It’ll sting, for sure but these things can. Credit to the Yankees for seeing it, though. They really needed a break. 12:33 Bob Cobb: I still don’t get how Archie Bradley managed to poo-poo his pants while taking a pee-pee. The only rationale ways I could see this happening would involve Bradley: (1) being ill ; (2) having some sort of urinary tract issue that forced him to exert an extreme amount of effort in order to overcome some sort of blockage, causing him to poop ; (3) having an exceptionally loose anus. Which of these options do you feel is most likely, or, in your professional opinion, is there fourth viable option I am missing? 12:34 Meg Rowley: I have just so many regrets about my choices. 12:34 Look Dude: I’ve never really been a fan of Matt Kemp. But to see a guy who was dumped on a team that didn’t want him and then have an all-star season like this. It’s pretty cool. 12:34 Meg Rowley: 2018 is just wild, wild times. 12:35 Meg Rowley: His June was much more what I was expecting but he’s already exceeded what I thought he’d bring for the year. 12:35 CubFan: Do you think Joe Jimenez can succeed as Detroit’s closer when Greene eventually gets traded? He failed miserably last night. He’s thrown quite well this year but some guys seem to fold under the pressure. 12:35 Meg Rowley: I think guys have bad outings and we don’t know enough to know. 12:35 Look Dude: Do you think Dexter Fowler’s exit – one way or another – from St. Louis, has been expedited by Mozeliak’s candid words? 12:36 Meg Rowley: It seems like a bad, uncomfortable situation. 12:36 Meg Rowley: Whatever is going on with Fowler, I’m not generally a fan of team’s litigating this stuff in public. 12:36 Meg Rowley: Mostly, I’m not sure what it actually accomplishes. 12:37 Bob Cobb: what would you say are the biggest pros/cons of living in Seattle for anyone who was contemplating moving their? 12:37 Meg Rowley: The biggest pro is getting to live in Seattle, which means you have ready access to mountains and water and all sorts of good nature, plus very good food. The biggest con is that it is god awful expensive. It so damn expensive. 12:38 Meg Rowley: I don’t know your situation but buying a house could prove very difficult. 12:38 Joe: Where are the Cascade Mountains? My college dorm is called Cascade in the “Mountainview Community” 12:40 Meg Rowley: They run from Washington down into California. 12:40 Meg Rowley: My moms have a house in the North Cascades. 12:41 Meg Rowley: It’s so lovely. 12:41 Meg Rowley: I feel conflicted saying anything about it because I want people to see it, but also, too many people could ruin it. 12:41 Kiermaier’s Presbyopia: Hello and a early Happy 4th Meg. Thanks for chatting today. Are we seeing starting pitchers devolve into either being a flame throwing 7-8 inning stud or a guy who barley gets through 5 innings and gets a high five from the clubhouse? We seem to be losing those mid tier grinder type pitchers (Quintana for one). Have safe and Happy 4th. 12:43 Meg Rowley: I don’t know that it is as dramatic as that, though obviously there are an increasing number of starters who don’t go very deep by design. It’s going to vary by team. Not every team is going to want to build their roster around that, or around a type of player (relievers) who have a lot of volatility year-to-year. 12:43 Joe: Wouldn’t 2018 own more if the AL had a competitive playoff race? 12:44 Meg Rowley: Honestly if the Central were at all a race, we’d solve this. 12:44 Meg Rowley: But also the Mariners might make the post season. 12:45 Bob Cobb: what potential trade would make the biggest overall impact on the playoff picture this season (any team for any player)? 12:46 Meg Rowley: If the Mariners could acquire a starter, and they make it out of the Wild Card, that could help. Realistically, the Yankees will probably get a starter, and that could be heartburn for everyone. I guess same for the Braves and Brewers. 12:46 Jeff: So my wife and I, devout Met fans, are auditioning west coast AL teams to follow on mlb.tv for the rest of the season, for obvious reasons. Knowing you’re a Mariners fan, can you sell me on why we should choose them over the Angels or A’s? 12:47 Meg Rowley: The Mariners are somehow an underdog and an sorta sure playoff bet, and have a lot of one run games, which are inherently exciting. 12:47 Bob: Should we stick a fork in the Nat’s season?? 12:48 Meg Rowley: It’s July 3rd and they’re only 3.5 games out of the Wild Card. 12:49 uncle drew: had a debate in the office about most underrated and overrated basketball movies… so what is your opinion on most underrated and overrated baseball movie? 12:49 Meg Rowley: The Natural and Field of Dreams are bad movies. 12:49 Bob Cobb: How about those sleeveless red Mariners jerseys? 12:49 Meg Rowley: So, so good. 12:50 Moelicious: When a player gets shut down for the year due to an innings cap does the player go home or do they continue to travel with the team? 12:51 Meg Rowley: It depends– I think a lot of guys keep traveling but not all of them. 12:51 Meg Rowley: I’d imagine that since younger guys are normally the ones with innings limits, I imagine they travel more consistently. 12:51 Matt: I always get super overwhelmed when I go to a bookstore and end up buying something from one of like 5 authors who I know I like. How do I find out about books to read? #booktwitter is so dense and I don’t know where to start. 12:52 Meg Rowley: I’d actually recommend a trip to the library! Librarians are wonderful and can often recommend new authors and books based on what you’ve read and like. 12:52 Meg Rowley: Libraries are wonderful and very important to democracy and we criminally underutilize them. 12:52 Jesse Flowens: Has Luis Severino ascended to top 5 status in the league? 12:53 Meg Rowley: He’s amazing. Clearly top 10. 12:53 Won’t Middlebrooks: Are there any potential trades involving an established major leaguer for another established major leaguer that doesn’t share the same position that you think two contending teams ought to make this month? Any chance a trade like that might actually get made? 12:53 Meg Rowley: This is the most reliable path to anxiety I’ve ever seen. 12:54 AC: As a Meg, do you have any strong feelings about the upcoming movie The Meg? 12:54 Meg Rowley: Shocked this hasn’t been a bigger part of my summer. 12:54 Moelicious: Is the Cespedes shin guard the worst stadium giveaway that you are aware of? What are people supposed to do with a shin guard? 12:55 Meg Rowley: Wear it and then challenge others to a fight? It’s pretty goofy, but sometimes those are the best giveaways. Though, the Mike Zunino compost bin I got a few years back just felt mean a lot of the time. 12:55 Justice: Do you think Kevin Cash should be a frontrunner for MOY? One could argue that he has done more with less than anybody in baseball. 12:56 Meg Rowley: I could see that, though these things often come down to who makes the playoffs, and you’re unlikely to get that with the Rays. 12:56 Guest: Juan Soto has produced 10% more total offensive value in 60% of the at-bats of Gleyber Torres 12:57 Meg Rowley: I keep expecting him to fall back to earth, and maybe he still will, but he’s been awfully impressive so far. 12:57 q: Please realize that you answer a ridiculous amount of Mariners questions. 12:58 Meg Rowley: I do try to vary it, but I also get a significant number of Mariners questions, and now they are winning, so they’re actually relevant. 12:58 Trixie: Who has the better name, top international prospect Victor Victor or Padres’ minor league pitcher Henry Henry? 12:58 Meg Rowley: Victor Victor. Henry is a sort of dull name, and it isn’t improved through repetition. 12:59 Ginny: Mike Scioscia just batted Kole Calhoun leadoff for a three-game series spanning the end of June and beginning of July, presumably as a reward for Calhoun getting his wrc+ all the way up to 30. This has to be the end of the Scioscia era in anaheim if they don’t make the playoffs, right?.. 1:00 Meg Rowley: They do have a naturally separation point coming up, but I think it’ll be as much about whether he wants to stay as anything else. Those sorts of lineup decisions always rankle, but the Angels’ problems aren’t of his making for the most part. 1:00 TKDC: There should be a rule that if you are as big as Aaron Judge and you git a 340-foot ball over the wall, it is an automatic out. Tell me I’m wrong. 1:00 Meg Rowley: Why would you take away a fun thing and make it a bad thing? 1:00 tvators: How many players do the Mets trade before the deadline? 1:01 Meg Rowley: I think you’ll see all the ones you expect, and then some random pitchers. 1:01 Mike: Think the Rockies would be open to trade Gray now that they’ve sent him down? 1:02 Meg Rowley: He’s having such a weird year and was good so recently, I’d be surprised. They might actually have a good pitcher in there. Seems like the Rockies should hold on to those. 1:03 Guest: Previously, you’ve said you think the Red Sox take the division due to their better rotation. How does Johnny Lasagna break that opinion? 1:03 Meg Rowley: I did say that. I am much less inclined to say that now, and think after the deadline I won’t say it at all. 1:03 boo boo galini: A’s are coming for the M’s – book it, girl 1:03 Meg Rowley: Not a girl. 1:03 Adam: True/false: position players pitching is more entertaining than pitchers hitting. 1:04 Meg Rowley: Very true. It might be the perfect baseball thing because every outcome is a good one. He does well? Amazing! He doesn’t. Awww shucks buddy, thanks for trying! 1:05 Liz: I have some time off at the end of July and want to go to a baseball stadium I haven’t seen. Been to: PIT, BAL, ATL, TB, COL, LAD, LAA, SD, CHC, CWS, and NYY. Bearing in mind I’m in the southeast, any ballpark you recommend? 1:05 Meg Rowley: I have only been to New Yankee and Coors from that list and really love Coors. 1:05 All Cats Are Beautiful : Do you think another league could ever rise up to be a legitimate rival to MLB’s dominance? 1:06 Meg Rowley: Domestically? No. Internationally? In time, maybe. 1:06 Meg Rowley: Alright friends, I’m going to cut it off there. Apologies for what I didn’t get to. I hope everyone has a safe holiday. 1:07 Meg Rowley: See you next week!