Meg Rowley FanGraphs Chat – 9/4/18

2:00
Meg Rowley: Happy first day back at work after the long weekend!

2:00
Meg Rowley: I hope this chat eases everyone back in to their ho-hum day time responsibilities.

2:00
Morbo: Good afternoon!

2:01
Meg Rowley: It’s still technically morning here.

2:01
Shaun A.: Hey Meg, do you think Ohtani will still be pitching 2 years down the road?

2:01
Meg Rowley: I’m trying to decide how to deal with “still” in this question.

2:01
Meg Rowley: Do I believe the Angels will likely still want him to be pitching, and do I think he will be similarly inclined? Yes.

2:02
Meg Rowley: The start vs the Astros obviously saw his velocity decline as the innings went on, but he can, when healthy, do a rather remarkable thing.

2:03
Meg Rowley: But, and I say this without any inside info, it seems as if he will have to lay off pitching at some point for an extended stretch, either to have Tommy John, or to continue with non-surgical rehab.

2:03
Meg Rowley: So yes, but with stretches when he can’t.

2:04
Rachel A.: Need your take to settle an argument I’m having with my boyfriend. Who is your AL MVP?

2:05
Meg Rowley: I think the odds are high we have another year like last year where the time Trout has missed makes for enough of a statistical gap that he doesn’t get it. So my money would be on Mookie, if I bet on such things.

2:05
Meg Rowley: I would note that this is a different question than: who is the best player in baseball? Different questions!

2:06
Jake: What two teams claim NL Wild Cards at the end of the month?

2:06
Meg Rowley: Can we first take a moment to appreciate how tense and interesting and delightful some of these races have been? And when we thought the year would be boring and decided.

2:07
Meg Rowley: I think the Dodgers will squeeze by with a division win, though I don’t feel super confident about it.

2:07
Meg Rowley: And so, I think it’ll be Brewers and D-backs in the Wild Card.

2:07
Quincy: Do you think the Josh Donaldson deal for the Indians happens if Leonys Martin was not unfortunately sidelined with a bacterial infection?

2:08
Meg Rowley: Probably, given what they gave up (not a ton).

2:08
yojiveself: I know you don’t do fantasy baseball, so my question is why not?  personally speaking, my enjoyment of the game has increased due to it.

2:09
Meg Rowley: To be clear, I do play fantasy, though badly and inattentively. I expect to be kicked out of my league. I will definitely deserve it. I am just not an expert, like our actual experts, and so shy away from giving advice about it.

2:10
Meg Rowley: It does not thrill me much though. That isn’t a knock on those it does thrill. I am so pleased for you that you are thrilled. But personally, and perhaps because baseball is my job, I’d rather just watch baseball.

2:10
Morbo: Meg, I’m not sure if you’re aware but last week during Dan Szymborski’s chat it was decided that we would introduce a rating mechanism for these chats called CHAR, chat host above replacement.

2:10
Meg Rowley: Can’t imagine any ways in which this will go wrong or make people feel bad unnecessarily.

2:11
James: I enjoyed Jay’s piece today on Buxton and others in reference to service time. Someone in the comments suggested a system where players simply become free agents at age 29 or somewhere around there. On the surface, I somewhat like this idea. It would make service time manipulation way more  insignificant, and it could also help alleviate some issues in recent years of players hitting free agency post-30 and losing out on some big time dollars. What are your thoughts on a system like this? What drawbacks am I missing

2:12
Meg Rowley: I think the general shape of the idea is useful, though the age strikes me as too late. But then again (and before anyone gets worked up, I am aware this won’t happen), I’m generally of the mind that if you are going to tear down the system, let’s tear it down, and rebalance it so that it is much more player friendly than it is now. Just a little thought of mine, from one worker to many others.

2:12
Rick: Hi Meg. Wanted to get your take on Kingery.  Normal growing pain struggles or not as good as once thought?

2:16
Meg Rowley: That deal looks so interesting in hindsight, doesn’t it? I think a lot of it is normal growing pain. Do I think he is a sure fire All-Star? Nah. Do I think he’s a true 62 wRC+ hitter? Nope, not that either. The thing is, he was never much of a walker. That is always going to make me nervous, and he’s certainly got to adjust. I imagine next year will be better. I imagine he’s really glad he’s a guaranteed millionaire.

2:16
stever20: Do you think the Dodgers will use Jansen this weekend in Colorado?

2:16
Meg Rowley: They might have to, whether they want to or not. Not a time to be goofing around with wins.

2:16
Bryon: Simple question: Why is Ohtani pitching again this season?

2:17
Meg Rowley: I think they are genuinely trying to suss out how viable a non-surgical approach is.

2:18
Meg Rowley: We don’t have a ton of case studies on guys in his position. Delaying surgery to this off season, if that is what ends up being necessary, doesn’t adjust his timeline all that much in terms of seasons missed vs. him getting it when the injury was announced.

2:18
Chase : Based off of their Pythagorean Record, some prospects coming up, and, hopefully, better luck next season, I’m actually bullish on the Angels. They’ll probably end this year somewhere around .500 and that’s pretty miraculous for a team that was decimated by injuries.

2:19
Meg Rowley: Sure, although looking ahead to 2019 based on those injuries, you have to be nervous, especially when you consider the rotation. They are going to have work to do this offseason,

2:19
Archimedes: With rebuilding being such a long and transparent process in baseball, doesn’t it make sense for MLB to invest in improving the coverage we get on the prospects who are part of a rebuild? Like I have no desire to watch many Tigers games currently, but I would be very interested to see regular video on how their top prospects are performing.

2:20
Meg Rowley: There is an MiLB equivalent to MLB.tv (though you’d have to ask Eric or Kiley about the details) and I know there is Fall League video coverage. I think there is probably more available to you than you realize, though obviously, the minors are wrapping their seasons.

2:21
Meg Rowley: I would note that our prospect coverage is really aces, just top, top notch, if you’re content with the written word as a substitute for those games you can’t find broadcast.

2:21
Gerald: Do you like prospects? Baseball prospects to be clear.

2:22
Meg Rowley: So much so that I wish we could watch more of them in September!

2:22
Bread Gardner: Man, the Yankees have REALLY been scuffling recently. Is this mostly due to a deluge of injuries, some of them major, to huge lineup presences? Is it just a slump, especially for the pitching (and most especially the bullpen)? Or is it more that the team was overperforming and is finally coming back down to their true talent level of “really freaking good” instead of “the only team that can hang with Boston and Houston”?

2:24
Meg Rowley: I think the injuries are mostly to blame. They were over-performing a touch based on Pythag and BaseRuns, but not to a crazy degree. I think they’re banged up.

2:24
Meg Rowley: It has come at a not great time, of course, but I don’t think it is indicative of a lurking badness.

2:24
FAN123: I noticed during the Yankees/A’s game yesterday that there were multiple players that played, that did not start the season on the respective team’s 25 man rosters. Do you know if the amount of player’s the A’s and Yankees acquired/called up prior to this game was abnormal?

2:25
Meg Rowley: Today I learned there isn’t a comprehensive call-ups list with this broken out by team, BUT looking at the MLB transaction page, yeah they’re a little on the high side, but not wildly out of step with the rest of baseball.

2:26
Meg Rowley: It’s not surprising that two teams with injuries in the thick of the Wild Card would make liberal use of call-ups.

2:26
The Ghost of DeGroms Hair: The Mets have a better record than the Yankees since the All Star Break. Can you explain this to me?

2:27
Meg Rowley: Baseball is pretty strange, and the Yankees are pretty hurt.

2:27
squeeze bunt: I understand why people are upset about service time issues, but wouldn’t it be malpractice for a GM to not take advantage of this rule?

2:28
Meg Rowley: I think it is useful to remember that simply because incentives exist doesn’t mean that acting on those incentives is required. I’d also note that the teams by way of the league helped create the system in which service time manipulation (which isn’t allowed under the CBA but is difficult to prove). They didn’t just knock into those incentives walking down the street; they put them in the road.

2:29
Bo: While the Braves haven’t exactly been on a roll of late, the Phillies are barely treading water. Who comes away with the NL East?

2:29
Meg Rowley: Braves I think.

2:29
James: They need to make a new rule because of players like Ohtani. He should have been allowed to go make rehab starts as a pitcher but not been placed on the DL as a hitter. He could have made a start or two in IE for the 66ers and then hit the next day in ANA during their last homestand.

2:30
Meg Rowley: I wonder if this would incentivize better or worse DL related behavior.

2:31
Bread Gardner: Why have so many people been up in arms about McCutchen having to shave? It’s a policy like any other workplace policy; I can’t have a beard either. Most importantly, McCutchen doesn’t (outwardly) seem bothered by it. So who cares?

2:32
Meg Rowley: I don’t like the idea that players should have to literally trim innocuous expressions of identity.

2:33
Meg Rowley: Much like not putting names on jerseys, the whole thing reeks of trying to get fans behind the laundry, which contributes in my opinion to fans siding with ownership at the expense of players

2:33
Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: After years of axe-grinding, MVP voting is somewhat OK. What is so different about the rookie of the year awards where Bader, Wendle, and even Ohtani don’t get enough love? Jeff wrote up the Bader case, Wendle leads the AL in rookie position player WAR thanks to his D, and Ohtani leads once you add in his pitching, which doesn’t even recognize the advantages of having that in one roster spot nor the historical significance. Inspired by an MLB.com story today where the staff gave Bader a distant third, Wendle received no writeup beyond “this guy and that Royals pitcher also got votes”, and Ohtani a got closer third (but come on).

2:34
Meg Rowley: It’s a really good question. I was inclined to think it was maybe more narrative driven, but then you would think that Ohtani and Wendle would get more love.

2:34
DonJose: Is there any hope for the Giants in the short and long term?

2:34
Meg Rowley: On a long enough time horizon there is hope for all of us, but I think they might be in for a rough go in the medium term.

2:35
Washington Irving: McCutchen in pinstripes – cause for celebration, or for bitterness?

2:35
Meg Rowley: Depends entirely on your perspective, I suppose. Bitterness seems a bit much to me. If you like McCutchen (and who doesn’t) shouldn’t you be thrilled at the extended playoff run he might now get?

2:36
Meg Rowley: On the other hand,

2:36
Meg Rowley: I saw it suggested on twitter by a Yankees fan that acquiring him had tipped the balance of charm on the team to the point that all but Red Sox fans would be forced to admit that the Yankees are good and fun.

2:36
Meg Rowley: And look, I get what she was going for.

2:37
Meg Rowley: But I also still feel bad about the time I accidentally slammed my sister’s thumb in a kitchen cabinet when she was five. Don’t underestimate my capacity to hold to stuff I should let go, internet lady.

2:37
Seeforman: So Donaldson had how own medical team, as distinct from the Toronto club’s medical staff? Is this the new future?

2:38
Meg Rowley: I don’t know the specifics of Donaldson, so I’m not quite sure how different it is from other players who consult outside docs, but he is hardly the first.

2:39
Meg Rowley: Much, even most, medical stuff goes through teams, but a lot of guys look for outside help, especially as they are rehabbing, or in the offseason when they’re away from team facilities.

2:39
Meg Rowley: Most teams do a good job with this stuff, but you can understand how there is sometimes a tension between what is best for the player and the team.

2:40
Matt: Hypothetically if a team only had one prospect but that prospect was Vlad Jr, where would you rank the team on the prospect list? So a very low quantity but very high quality.

2:41
Meg Rowley: On the league wide Top 100, that player would rank where he deserved (very high). In org rankings… I mean, that would spectacular. We might need to come up with new math to describe it if he were literally the only one. Like, how does he get to play? Who does he play with? Just… what?

2:41
FanGraph’s Lurker: In the end, which franchise do you think will be a greater disappointment in regards to their lack of success during their star’s years of control: the Nationals and Harper, or the Angels and Trout? vary degrees of success for both, but no rings.

2:42
Meg Rowley: Angels and Trout, if only because Mike Trout might literally be the position player the game has ever known, and Bryce Harper, while himself very good, is not that.

2:42
James: Meg, not one Dr suggested TJ for Ohtani at any time. People keep comparing it to Richards, it’s not the same. Richards was recommended to have TJ, he declined to see if he could rehab it and it didn’t work. It’s ok to have an opinion, but it should be based on facts.

2:43
Meg Rowley: I didn’t say they suggested Tommy John.

2:44
Meg Rowley: Ohtani has a Grade 2 UCL sprain. Attempting to rehab it rather than get surgery, which is sometimes the course that injury takes, seems like it makes sense, especially given the timing, as I noted earlier.

2:45
Meg Rowley: I think worrying that that injury will lead to him not pitching for stretches, either because of continued maintenance or because he eventually does need surgery isn’t outrageous.

2:45
Meg Rowley: He’s a pitcher, which is famously a profession no one should seek out.

2:45
Lars: I’m a big James Paxton fan, don’t get me wrong, but do you think the Mariners could have gotten the return for Paxton that the Rays did for Archer? And if so, should they have made the deal? I suppose this questions stands for any team in the hunt that could pick up three players of that caliber, one of whom could slot into the rotation.

2:46
Meg Rowley: I wouldn’t be surprised if they listened to offers or reached out to teams at the deadline.

2:46
Meg Rowley: I would personally be sad to see Paxton go, but I expect he will be the subject of many, many rumors this offseason.

2:48
Meg Rowley: He’s arb eligible in 2019; he’s not a free agent until 2021. I think as the Mariners consider when they will be good again, this is the time to at least take the temperature of what they could get in return.

2:48
Serviceable: Are you in favor of having a “Best Position Player”-type award to go along with Cy Young instead of MVP? It seems weird that pitchers are eligible for MVP but only kinda sorta if they’re REALLY good.

2:49
Meg Rowley: I wouldn’t mind it at all, though I guess it is largely the same thing. We all know what we mean when we say MVP.

2:49
Meg Rowley: Well, that might not actually be true of the universal “we.” But we here, we chatters, I think know.

2:49
Brandon Nimmo: Would Ohtani be more valuable as an outfielder and reliever?

2:50
Meg Rowley: More valuable than him just being one or the other, but I think if you’re going to let him pitch, you see where he is when healthy and have him start.

2:50
Meg Rowley: It’s really a shame we got so little time with Ohtani the starter.

2:50
Bill: It’s been a fun run with the Mariners this year, but assuming they don’t make the playoffs it’s finally going to be time to tear things down, right?

2:51
Meg Rowley: I mean, yeahhhh, though it seems like we’ve been saying that since 2015.

2:51
Meg Rowley: At some point, the organizational focus has to be on the truly terrifying minor league system they have.

2:51
Meg Rowley: I think the “Jerry has traded away the farm” narrative undersells the mess he inherited, but it hasn’t gotten better.

2:52
Nathan: Can’t decide, is Mitch Haniger just pretty damn good or really damn good? Also Not baseball related, but isn’t john mulaney the friggin best?

2:52
Meg Rowley: (is this my good pal Nathan, or a different Nathan?)

2:53
Meg Rowley: I think Mitch Haniger is mostly Pretty Damn Good. Like many hitters, he has stretches of Really Damn Good and Just Ok, and they average out to Pretty Damn Good.

2:53
Meg Rowley: And yes, John Mulaney is the friggin’ best.

2:54
Meg Rowley: True story: I was once dating a guy who revealed on the third date he thought John Mulaney sucked. Not like, oh this isn’t my brand of comedy, but this guy is deeply unfunny. That dating guy ended up not working out for other reasons, but the Mulaney take should have been my first clue.

2:54
Airport Banana: If you could only have Christian Yelich or Lorenzo Cain for the rest of 2018, who would you take?

2:54
Meg Rowley: I was about to say, what screwy scenario would result in this and then I realized, oh baseball.

2:54
Meg Rowley: Let’s see.

2:55
Meg Rowley: I don’t know if this is a take of the HOT variety, but probably….

2:56
Meg Rowley: Maybe….

2:56
Meg Rowley: (I’m looking something up)

2:56
Meg Rowley: I think Cain

2:57
Meg Rowley: They’ve both been wonderful, but I think I’d like Cain’s defense paired with a still good, but less good offense.

2:57
Jacob deGrom Snr: Jacob deGrom has to win the NL Cy Young, doesn’t he?

2:57
Meg Rowley: Yes. If he doesn’t, we riot. We riot in the streets, we throw fruit.

2:58
Bill: Speaking of an impending Mariners rebuild, which players would fetch top-50 returns? Seems like they could jumpstart a rebuilding effort fairly quickly with Paxton/Haniger/Diaz/Segura.

2:58
Meg Rowley: Haniger and Diaz you probably keep as the only youngish dudes, and Segura has a full no-trade so…

2:58
Reach: I love your chats. You enjoy baseball. It’s infectious. Thanks for doing this!

2:59
Meg Rowley: To be clear, baseball is sometimes, and please excuse my language, just a real son of a bitch, but yes, I do enjoy it very much.

3:00
Meg Rowley: I know this will sound like a very “take exactly one bong hit idea” but it is just the coolest thing that humans invented this completely arbitrary thing, and it turns out to be exciting and intellectually stimulating and fun and difficult and sad.

3:00
Lunar verLander: Fangraphs hired Sheryl, a lawyer, and has opened my eyes to the world of all sorts of law-related issues in baseball. When will Fangraphs hire a doctor to discuss everything from pitchers elbows to the anomaly that is the Mets?

3:01
Meg Rowley: It would be very cool, though they should probably save lives? Then again, I don’t quite know why Sheryl graces us with her non-law time, though I am very grateful she does.

3:02
Bruce Aussie: I really don’t get the September callups thing. It always seems really odd to me that effectively the roster rules for the final month of the season are different from the previous five. Is there any prospect that this may change some day?

3:03
Meg Rowley: I doubt it. It’s nice for teams to get the help. Teams also like getting a look at minor leaguers against big league competition and it’s nice for minor leaguers to get the continued development time after their season ends, not to mention to get big league game checks.

3:03
Meg Rowley: It’s odd, I’ll grant you, but it is understood odd.

3:04
Rockie Dangerfield: Seems to me that the MLBPA hiring the guy that oversaw not one but two labor stoppages in the NHL does not bode well for the fans once the next CBA rolls around.  Along those lines, do you think that star players that are approaching FA (e.g. Trout, Arenado, Goldschmidt) would be more or less amenable to an extension given the possible uncertainty surrounding the next CBA negotiations?

3:05
Meg Rowley: Depends on the fan. I want to watch baseball, and professionally god help us if there is a stoppage, but I find the current revenue split, the underpaying of young players, and the almost not-paying of minor leaguers to be awful and damaging to the sport long term. The union needs a better negotiator. I’m glad they got one.

3:07
Meg Rowley: As for the other thing, I guess it could factor some, but I think their reps will urge them to get what they’re worth.

3:07
tb.25: How’s the smoke up north? It’s cleared out really well in NorCal, though still lingering

3:07
Meg Rowley: Much, much better. The fall crisp has set in. It is lovely.

3:07
Meg Rowley: That said, it is supposed to maybe get bad again.

3:08
Meg Rowley: Dreading smoke is now part of life here. Killing the planet was dumb it turns out.

3:08
Phil: Excepts Mookie hasn’t played any more games than Trout this year, also missing time earlier in the season, and has a fractional WAR lead. So Betts winning is because he has actually been the best player this year.

3:10
Meg Rowley: No totally, and I don’t mean to take anything away from Betts’ season. He’s been amazing. I mostly mean a full season of Trout is my default MVP until he’s not Mike Trout. Which, look, that’s obvious, sure.

3:10
cm: How come no one seems to talk about the Blue Jays making a mistake in not trading Donaldson a year earlier?

3:10
Meg Rowley: I think they probably do.

3:10
Airport Banana: How hard is it to reconcile baseball fandom with your worldview? The more I follow baseball, the more it eats at me that wanting my small-market team to win means wanting them to make smart business decisions, which means compensating their employees as little as possible.

3:12
Meg Rowley: At times very hard! I can get worked up on behalf of the young guys in the majors who aren’t making what they should, and then general revenue share getting out of whack, but the minor leaguers are the real killers.

3:13
Meg Rowley: I want players to make more generally, but JD Martinez is mostly fine even if he made $10 million less than he maybe should have. What minor leaguers make should be illegal. It is shocking it isn’t.

3:13
Guest: Can Yankees fans dream on a Marcus Semien level turn around for Andujar defensively?

3:14
Meg Rowley: You should dream on whatever you want. I think we are probably overstating how much of a turnaround Semien has had (he is undeniably better but I think there is some fuzziness in his defensive WAR), but that would be terrific. Andujar is also, what, 23? He has time.

3:15
Phil Rott: fWAR currently has 13 position players with 5+ WAR. Which of these names is most surprising to you?

3:15
Meg Rowley: Let’s take a look here.

3:16
Meg Rowley: Mookie Betts 8.6
Jose Ramirez 8
Mike Trout 8
Francisco Lindor 6.8
Alex Bregman 6.7
Matt Chapman 6.4
Manny Machado 5.7
J.D. Martinez 5.4
Matt Carpenter 5.4
Paul Goldschmidt 5.2
Javier Baez 5.1
Lorenzo Cain 5
Aaron Judge 5

3:17
Meg Rowley: Probably Baez just because I had been so skeptical of that profile working and it not being a blip. I was wrong about that.

3:17
Julian: Madison Bumgarner is a soft tossing lefty, right?

3:18
Meg Rowley: (worried face emoji)

3:18
Meg Rowley: I don’t know what he is right now and that is both wild and concerning.

3:18
Norm: Christian Yelich’s play over the last couple of months has obviously gotten him into the MVP discussion, but where does he currently stand in the race? For some reason it doesn’t feel like he’s a serious contender but his numbers stack up well against everyone else in the conversation.

3:19
Meg Rowley: If I had a vote, I’d pick deGrom because screw it, he’s been amazing.

3:20
Meg Rowley: I think Yelich will get a fair amount of down ballot support but I think it’ll probably be Carpenter.

3:20
German dude: How much of the Hosmer contract would the Padres have to eat if they wanted to trade him after the season for a lottery ticket?

3:20
Meg Rowley: Many much most?

3:21
Meg Rowley: He’s been real not good.

3:21
Meg Rowley: It’s a very weird, throwback sort of bad signing.

3:21
Meg Rowley: (sorry, Dave)

3:21
Tyler Glasnow: I alone have made the Archer trade worth it. How come no one is noticing the way I’ve pitched since coming to Tampa?

3:22
Meg Rowley: We’ve noticed!

3:22
PD: It seems like some (many?) of these really early deals – Kingery, Singleton, Longoria – work out for the player (e.g. bad for the team). Is this true or cognitive bias?

3:23
Meg Rowley: First, I wouldn’t put the Longoria deal in with the other two, and I think you’re remembering the ones that didn’t.

3:24
Guest: So, what’s more Mariners – that the three decent players they acquired at the trade deadline (Duke, Warren, Maybin) have all seriously underperformed their projections, or that among their designees for the prestigious Arizona Fall League showcase is Ian Miller, a 26 year old outfielder who just finished up his AAA season with a whopping 78 wRC+?

3:25
Meg Rowley: The first thing is a baseball thing. The second thing is a baseball teams with bad farm systems thing.

3:25
Meg Rowley: Both might be things you associate with the Mariners, but neither is unique to them.

3:26
Lunar verLander: Suppose this offseason, the Yankees make the best offer to Dallas Keuchel, but demand that he shave his beard. Would Keuchel sign with the Yankees? Basically, it seems like the Yankees rule about facial hair may come back to bite them sometime in the future; will it be this offseason (with such glorious facial hair adorners as Keuchel & Harper), or further down the line (or possibly never)?

3:26
Meg Rowley: So I think the place where the rubber meets the road on this is likely if and when a player has facial hair for religious reasons.

3:27
Meg Rowley: But the thing is, while the policy bugs the crap out of me, put it a different way. Would you shave your beard for (pick a number) $75 million?

3:28
hi meg: who’s your choice for the AL ROY?  gleybae?  mini miggy?  or the sho-time?

3:29
Meg Rowley: I think it’ll come down to one of the Yankees, with Ohtani in third, and Wendle in fourth, feeling disrespected.

3:29
Bread Gardner: Considering that the team without names on the backs of its uniforms (and gleefully sells merchandise that DOES have names on it) is also the one that most conspicuously and consistently venerates its own players and retains a fanbase that still knows who everyone is, name or not, I don’t buy your argument that nameless jerseys are pro-ownership.

3:30
Meg Rowley: Perhaps this was the sample of humans who rooted for the Yankees I experienced when living in NY but in my own experience, I have never encountered another fan base so gleeful in piling on their own players in the face of hilarious success than Yankees fans.

3:30
Meg Rowley: Fans should root for teams that lose more. It’s good for you. Builds strong bones and perspective.

3:31
Ozzie Ozzie Albies Free: Do you believe in failing to succeed? Meaning the Phillies slump now can help them move further next year? 2007 Phils come to mind when they were swept in the NLDS then won it all in 2008 (cant believe that was 10 years ago!)

3:31
Meg Rowley: Ehhhh this mostly sounds like Just Getting Better.

3:32
Meg Rowley: I think there is something to the idea that losing is a motivator, but I don’t know that there is enough to it that it accounts for the jump between an NLDS loss and a World Series win, though this is an area we admittedly have a horrible time quantifying.

3:33
Seeforman: A non-medical question for Dr. Rowley: given the Jays new timeline ( “extremely competitive in 2021” ), do they trade Smoak, Pillar, and others who’ll peak ( or have already peaked) before then?

3:34
Meg Rowley: Not sure on the “extremely” and please please consult real doctors (not even a non-medical doctor… just a dumb ol’ PhD dropout over here) but yeah, I think they explore what they can get.

3:34
James: What are the odds that Trout gets traded by this time next year? If they aren’t contending at the deadline it may be teardown time.

3:34
Meg Rowley: This is admittedly a not super sophisticated way to think about it, but I still think the desire not to have “traded Mike Trout” as the first line in your obit has to be pretty powerful.

3:35
Meg Rowley: More realistically, I think they had the right idea this year: role players who are upgrades + some healthy pitching + Trout + Ohtani = fun!

3:35
Meg Rowley: The thing is, guys got hurt, Kole Calhoun forgot how to play baseball for a month, and the A’s and M’s were better than they should have been.

3:36
Meg Rowley: I think they try it again next year.

3:36
Moelicious: Did you congratulate Jake DeGrom on becoming the Mets leader in consecutive starts of 3 runs or less? If not, you should!

3:37
Meg Rowley: Last night, a friend texted me to turn on the game (I already had it on) and was freaked because “he didn’t have it.” And my friend wasn’t wrong! It wasn’t his best start. He didn’t have his best stuff.

3:37
Meg Rowley: Six innings, one walk, six strikeouts, just the one run.

3:37
Meg Rowley: He’s been remarkable.

3:38
Guest: What happened to Hader? Not been nearly as dominant

3:38
Meg Rowley: Allow me a moment to look at something.

3:39
Meg Rowley: So looking at Brooks, it doesn’t appear the velo has changed much. I’d need to look more closely, but it could just be as simple as he’s a little worn out.

3:39
Moelicious: Do you prefer September baseball with expanded rosters or the regular sized rosters? The extra pitching changes make the games much longer…

3:40
Meg Rowley: They do, and it can be a drag, but it is cool to get a look at the young guys (side eyes half the league)

3:40
Fill in the (Kyle) Blanks: Can you envision a world where the A’s rotation problems turn out to be a blessing in disguise by forcing the team to rely on 5-7 ip per game from its loaded expanded-roster bullpen?

3:41
Meg Rowley: I mean, the worry is your overtax the good relievers, even with expanded rosters.

3:42
john cale: Of the 4 big core Rangers pieces (Odor, Profar, Gallo, Mazara), who are you buying as 3+ win players going forward? It would be nice if they only had to focus on investing in the rotation for the next contention window.

3:44
Meg Rowley: I want to see Profar do this for longer, but him being good helps a lot. I remain skeptical of Odor just because narrow profiles like that make me nervous. So on a sliding scale, probably Gallo, Mazara, Profar, Odor, with Odor having the greatest potential to make me look like a dummy.

3:44
Morbo: Its official Meg, almost entirely on the basis of inciting a food riot, is the new single chat and overall CHAR leader with a CHAR of 18.6785!

3:45
Meg Rowley: I don’t understand this scale at all but thank you.

3:45
Kevin Durant Chat-A-Like: Do you create some of these posts to boost your self esteem? You’re good at what you do, but it’s weird to respond to things like “I love your chats. You enjoy baseball.” Are you writing these questions?

3:45
Meg Rowley: No, though if you’d like, I can include the nasty stuff also. I included that because I think it is interesting to talk about how we enjoy baseball.

3:45
stever20: Are we going to learn this year AL Cy Young how much innings matter in the award?  Sale might wind up 50 innings behind guys like Verlander and Kluber- and 20 behind even Snell.

3:47
Meg Rowley: That and just how dead or not Wins are in the voters’ minds, though that applies to both leagues. It is the race I am the most interested in, to the extent I am interested.

3:47
Steve: How did you make frosé yesterday? Here for the important questions!

3:47
Meg Rowley: My recommendation would be, if you don’t have a super full bodied rose, to include some of a lighter red.

3:48
Marz: Oh my god, you must tell me what you mean by a “take exactly one bong hit idea”. Like, right now. It’s important.

3:48
Meg Rowley: I imagine many of use had the experience in college of a friend who thought their thoughts when mildly altered were extremely profound when they were mostly obvious.

3:49
Minor Quibble on the Ms: If the Mariners rebuild, they should trade Diaz.  Closers are flaky, and his stock is at it’s absolute peak.  By they time their rebuild is done he could be like Jonny Venters.

3:49
Meg Rowley: I don’t disagree that it should be a conversation.

3:49
Hooha: The latest how did this get made podcast spends 1.5 hours making fun of The Meg.  Figured you needed to know.

3:49
Meg Rowley: I listened over the weekend!

3:49
Meg Rowley: It was delightful. That pod is one of my very favorites.

3:50
Meg Rowley: As an aside, all of their shark-based episodes are great.

3:50
Tim: If minor leaguers had more money more would succeed. I cant imagine anything but bonus babies really have close to enough money to pay for proper athlete nutrition and training in season, but especially in the offseason. I remember a piece about Straily the year he started making noise in the A’s farm talking about how he finally didnt have to work at a sporting goods store in the winter to support his training. Baseball wastes lots of talent by underfunding it till the talent walks away.

3:51
Meg Rowley: There are so many parts of it that are gross, but by far the dumbest part is how being this cheap is likely getting in the way of otherwise good players playing baseball.

3:51
Meg Rowley: It would just take so little to pay all of them across every team a living wage.

3:51
James: do you every sign into other chats on fangraphs or mlbtraderumors as a fan and ask questions for fun?

3:52
Meg Rowley: Nah. If I want to ask a colleague something, I just ping them. I wouldn’t want to take away time from readers.

3:52
Darwin Blarney: Any advice for an aspiring baseball writer who doesn’t really know much about baseball?

3:53
Meg Rowley: Learn things about baseball. And read. Read baseball writing, read fiction, read non-fiction. Read, read, read. Then write. But read first.

3:53
Roy Copans: I had asked as a guest but am wondering if having an account (now) may help this make it through moderation. If not, so be it! Just wanted to hear an assessment of the Nats front office this season. Seems like they changed course numerous times and am wondering if people think they ended up doing the right stuff or not! Orioles too if you have time!

3:55
Meg Rowley: It doesn’t I swear! Just an active queue today (thanks everyone!). I think they fouled it up pretty good. That team underperforming to the extent they did will always be weird, and for all we know they tried to move pieces at the deadline and couldn’t (I don’t think that is what happened) but either keep Harper and try to make a run by acquiring more, or tear it down.

3:55
Meg Rowley: Baltimore seems to be coming to terms with where they are and what they need to do. Incomplete grade for now, but that is a big step forward.

3:56
My Name is Judge…: at what point is the service time manipulations on the players.  they had a seat at the table and choose not to focus on that issue.  i agree it has to change, but the whole point of collectively bargaining is that the union can bring points of contention to the owners.  maybe this was prioritized previously, but it doesnt seem like it (i have a limited knowledge in previous cba’s).  and it is absolutely criminal what is happening to minor leaguers.  i could see a team going against the grain and investing 100K to each player hoping the additional cash allows them to train/eat/live better and some players who normally would wash out become mlb players (maybe not stars, but contributors)

3:56
Meg Rowley: I would point out that they did address it in the CBA. It is against the terms of the CBA to manipulate service time to push out free agency. Proving it is the tricky thing.

3:57
Meg Rowley: We should expect the union to do more, though minor leaguers aren’t union members.

3:57
Meg Rowley: We can also want teams to expect decently.

3:58
Johann Sebastian Vogelbach: A note on Hader’s “struggles” asked about earlier, but moreso on Anthony Rizzo. On the whole Hader’s second half has not been what his first was, but he was actually pretty good yesterday. The Rizzo home run might have been the most impressive I’ve seen hit this season. Seriously. Recommend everyone checking the video out. The guy crowds the plate as much as anybody and took 95+ off the plate inside and up to RCF off of arguably the toughest lefty in baseball

4:00
Meg Rowley: Also worth noting that “struggle” is relative, right? Four day old September has been rough, but his first half FIP is 1.71, second half is 2.69. The K’s being down isn’t great, but he’s still good at baseball. Again, I wonder if he’s just a little worn out.

4:00
Seeforman: No prob with more $ for minor leaguers, but these comments about more of them succeeding? Unless you change the 25 man roster limit, the number of MLB players at any time won’t increase. Excluding September madness, of course

4:01
Meg Rowley: I think the point is more, what good players aren’t we seeing who would play baseball if the lower levels were more easily survivable?

4:01
Meg Rowley: Basically, are we missing out on anther Trout? Now, minor league pay isn’t the only reason kids don’t play baseball, but it is one of the easier ones to fix.

4:02
Meg Rowley: Alright friends, that will have to do it for today. I

4:02
Meg Rowley: have to get going.

4:02
Meg Rowley: Thanks for all the questions, and sorry for what I didn’t get to.

4:02
Meg Rowley: Until next week!

We hoped you liked reading Meg Rowley FanGraphs Chat – 9/4/18 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 appeared at Baseball Prospectus, Lookout Landing, and Just A Bit Outside.

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CamH
Member
CamH

WRT changing the CBA and the MLBPA doing more for Minor Leaguers – why would the MLBPA look out for the best interests of those that they don’t represent? It’s a broken system, no ifs no buts.

The MLB and MLBPA have negotiated away the rights of people they don’t represent in any shape or form, for years.

Is it not incredibly laughable and backwards to think, that there is an issue with Minor Leaguers being held down for service time reasons, but those exact Minor Leaguers being held down, don’t have a voice or a seat at the table, until they are MLBPA represented and no longer held down?