Travis Sawchik FanGraphs Chat

12:03
Travis Sawchik: Greetings, folks

12:03
Travis Sawchik: So I guess Devers can play a little bit, eh?

12:03
Travis Sawchik:

.@Rafael_Devers homered off a 102.8 mph fastball – the fastest pitch hit for a homer since at least 2008…. twitter.com/i/web/status/8…
14 Aug 2017
12:04
Travis Sawchik: I think that was the first LHH homer off Chapman since like 2011

12:04
Travis Sawchik: Devers is making Boston forget about Travis Shaw. On to your questions!

12:04
Ray Liotta as Shoeless Joe: Travis, talk to me about the Nationals’ chances.

12:05
Travis Sawchik: I thought they had evaporated when Harper was clutching his knee on Saturday night … but it looks like they avoided a major loss. Still, they need him and Strasburg healthy and the bullpen is still a little short …. So a pretty clear underdog to emerge from the NL

12:06
Arya: Is Conforto or Judge really a fair question?

12:06
Travis Sawchik: As in who would you rather have? Sure. I said Conforto earlier this season and I looked like an idiot in June

12:07
Travis Sawchik: But I still love Conforto and there might be more questions about Judge’s ability to adjust given his size … but both are players worth building lineups around

12:07
J: Why has there been noticeably less Fangraphs content after the trade deadline?

12:08
Travis Sawchik: Part of it is because the trade deadline week is a content generator with so many transactions going on … the other part of it is we had our yearly FanGraphs retreat in Boston last weekend and between that and traveling a lot of the staff did not have normal work weeks. Don’t worry. Things will be back to normal soon!

12:08
Ray Liotta as Shoeless Joe: Jeff Passan suggested that Bryce Harper ‘keeps getting hurt.’ Where do you stand on the concept of an injury-prone player? And presuming Harper comes back in good form, what kind of contract do you see him getting?

12:10
Travis Sawchik: Harper was on pace for his third straight season with 147 or more games played until he slipped on a wet base, so I don’t think it’s fair to suggest he’s injury prone. I do think his style , 100 percent most of the time, can cause a needless injury. Harper should consult the leverage index of the situation before hustling! (Half kidding)

12:10
Travis Sawchik: I do wonder why MLB would want players dealing with wet bases … or at least bases that become dangerously slick when wet. Let’s build a better base

12:11
Travis Sawchik: Harper has toned his swing down from 100 percent to 80 percent, and you wonder if he needs to carry that to the field. I’d still pay the man after the 2018 season, regardless

12:11
Ryan Zimmerman: What are my team’s chances in the playoffs if Bryce can’t make it back?

12:11
Travis Sawchik: They probably weren’t great to begin with given the Dodgers, and then they would be considerably worse

12:12
AC: Does Upton’s likelihood to opt out increase with every home run he hits for the remainder of the year? (assuming those HRs are similarly frequent)

12:13
Travis Sawchik: Yeah, I suppose there’s a good chance he will opt out. But I would pause if I were him and consider the non-market for position players at the trade deadline

12:13
Tony Womack: Does this mlb have a plan in place for the 7 team tie for the second WC spot in the AL?

12:14
Travis Sawchik: I think this covers about everything … http://m.mlb.com/news/article/59527184/playoff-tiebreaker-rules/

12:14
Sonny: Stanton’s stance change seems pretty severe for an in-season alteration, are there any other examples you can think of where a player of this stature so dramatically altered their setup? Were any of Ripken’s drastic changes in-season?

12:14
Travis Sawchik: It does indeed. I wrote about it today. http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/giancarlo-stanton-is-closing-off-and-tr…

12:15
Travis Sawchik: We don’t see a lot of player going to closed stances, but given that Stanton doesn’t need to add power it seems to be working for him. Tewksbary had a pretty good explanation of why it might be helping him in that piece

12:16
Travis Sawchik: What Stanton is doing is pretty amazing, the contact gains are remaining and the power has come back in a big way

12:17
Travis Sawchik: That’s an amazing chart

12:18
Travis Sawchik: Is this year of the HR (and Judge) we kind of forgot about Stanton in the first half. Well, he’s back

12:18
Soxfan90 : Re:the Conforto/Judge question,  who would you take:Benintendi or Judge?

12:18
Travis Sawchik: Stop making me choose!

12:19
Travis Sawchik: Judge, I think. But I believe Benintendi’s hit tool is going to play for a long time. Higher floor/Lower ceiling

12:19
Oddball Herrera: Re: your Stanton article, can we please make this required reading for Joey Gallo?

12:19
Travis Sawchik: Some MLB players do read FanGraphs….so it will perhaps be passed along

12:20
Armani: What are the chances the Twins make the playoffs?

12:20
Travis Sawchik: 18%

12:21
Travis Sawchik: They are one four or five teams competing for that No. 2 wild card spot

12:21
YKnotDisco?!: Moreland isn’t making BOS forget about Shaw. Shaw would fit nicely at 1B for the Sox. Hindsight and all that, though.

12:21
Travis Sawchik: True. But just enjoy Devers.

12:22
Me: Why some writers compares Bellinger with Chris Davis? He looks to me more like K Bryant

12:22
Travis Sawchik: Bellinger is a much better talent than Davis

12:24
Zonk: What players do you know for a fact read Fangraphs?  Can you name names?

12:24
Travis Sawchik:

12:24
Travis Sawchik: Well, there’s our friend Daniel Murphy

12:24
Travis Sawchik: Zack Greinke and Joey Votto are two other star-level players who have told me they read FG

12:25
Travis Sawchik: They are out there

12:25
Mark: Do the Angels consider bolstering their starting rotation this August, since they’re actually in a playoff spot now? I can’t think of another team going into the playoffs with a rotation that bad.

12:25
Travis Sawchik: Angels could really benefit from adding a win or two, so, yeah

12:26
Travis Sawchik: Verlander?

12:26
J: Appreciate you answering my question. Understand trade deadline week is a big one and the content quantity dip is also understandable. Thanks! Looking forward to everything Fangraphs.

12:26
Travis Sawchik: We could just be lazy, but I don’t think that’s it

12:27
mike sixel: If they Twins now “buy”, how do you think their “flipping back and forth” would look in other front offices? Would they even think about it?

12:27
Travis Sawchik: I don’t think they would worry about perception too much. Shouldn’t tells be allowed to adopt and adjust?

12:27
Bo: Tommy Pham reads FanGraphs apparently

4.2 bsr @fangraphs so you should ?

It’s time @TphamLV has a seat until he can learn basic base running. @Cardinals
13 Aug 2017
12:28
Travis Sawchik: Let’s start compiling a list

12:28
The Dude: re players reading fangraphs. Pham tagged fangraphs in a rebuttal to a fan criticizing his base running skills

12:28
Chuncey Wiggins: Your sign off of “Be good and do good” doesn’t (sadly) seem to be working…could you maybe sign off with “Be abhorrent and do abhorrence” to see if this might trick people into being kind and compassionate?

12:29
Travis Sawchik: How about this:

12:29
Travis Sawchik:

The only reason for an American to hold a Nazi flag is if it has been captured in battle.
12 Aug 2017
12:30
bosoxfor life: How worried should be the Yankees be about their investment in Chapman? Shaky all season and this weekend was even worse. It wasn’t the Devers HR, be still my heart, but his wildness both Friday and in the 10th yesterday that should send a chill up Girardi’s spine..

12:31
Travis Sawchik: He’s still throwing 103 mph … so I wouldn’t be all that concerned just yet. But the K-BB% and Swinging Strike rates are at career lows, I believe

12:32
Travis Sawchik: The fastball has lost a tick on its average and it’s going to continue to decline, one would think. So it might be time for Chapman to consider relying  less upon the pitch … especially since velocity keeps inching up. His velocity is relatively less impressive

12:33
Vlad’s Dad: What are the chances Giancarlo hits 500 HR? Chances he ends up with a HOF worthy career?

12:33
Travis Sawchik: He reached 250 with his 42nd homer on Sunday …. so there’s a pretty good chance. If he can be healthier, he will get there somewhat easily

12:33
redsoxnerds: What’re the odds the Sale for MVP?

12:34
Travis Sawchik: He’s been insane

12:34
Travis Sawchik: I’m in the camp that pitchers have their own award but I get the movement

12:34
JimmyBallgame: Is it that crazy to think that the Indians pitching staff (rotation plus bullpen) is the best in the league?

12:35
Travis Sawchik: Nope. Indians’ rotation leads baseball in WAR over the last 30 days, and the bullpen (assuming Miller is healthy) is also among the best. Tyler Olson has kind of been interesting as a secondary lefty there, too.

12:35
Travis Sawchik: I would have liked to have seen the Indians add more than Joe Smith and create a super pen, but a very competitive market for RPs

12:36
Travis Sawchik: Danny Salazar has looked great since returning, Bauer has been better since turning to curveball as almost a primary pitch

12:36
Travis Sawchik: And Kluber has been Chris Sale since returning from the DL

12:36
Bruce Bocceball: My team is in the dumps so I just traded away Scherzer for Bellinger in a keeper league. I still have Kershaw. Did I do wrong?

12:37
Travis Sawchik: In a dynasty format, no. Short-term keeper league, I might have kept Scherer

12:37
Travis Sawchik: Scherzer

12:37
Sonny: Paxton seemed like a huge advantage among all the AL teams fighting for the one game WC, if he’s not back which pitcher becomes the most feared potential WC starter?

12:37
Travis Sawchik: Paxton would provide a huge advantage … provided he’s not used in game 162 or a tie-breaker game

12:38
Travis Sawchik: Pirates faced a situation where they burned Gerrit Cole in game 162, and it was somewhat unnecessary, and then trotted Edinson Volquez to face Madison Bumgarner in the WC game

12:38
LegallyEagle: Is it incorrect to think that the Astros are the 3rd best AL team a the moment (behind CLE and BOS) heading into/towards the playoffs?

12:39
Travis Sawchik: I love what the CLE rotation is doing right now and Sale with a multiple starts in a postseason series is scary … I don’t think you’re wrong

12:39
bosoxfor life: What is your opinion on making a Verlander trade feasible? How much would the Tigers have to kick in to get anything of value back? Especially since name players have been available for literally a bag of balls.

12:39
Travis Sawchik: Tigers would have to kick in significant cash

12:39
Chuck: Should Votto be in the conversation for NL MVP? I get the “good player on a bad team” argument but he may be having a better season than his MVP year

12:40
Travis Sawchik: It’s an individual award… so team context, for me, is really irrelevant unless it’s a really close race

12:40
Ryan: Joey Votto has reached base at least twice in 18 straight games, the longest such streak since Bonds did it 20 straight games in 2004.  Do you know what the longest non-steroid-aided streak is?

12:40
Travis Sawchik: I don’t but that’s incredible. I want to see Votto on a contender and play in October

12:40
Frodo: Chances Joey Votto ages like Adrian Beltre, minus the injuries? So far so good…

12:41
Travis Sawchik: Age curves are cruel but I’d love to see it

12:41
Travis Sawchik: Votto has a great baseball mind and that should age well

12:41
Tom: Great article. Stanton is a beast

12:41
Travis Sawchik: Thanks for reading, Tom

12:41
Mike: True or False: The Indians are the best team in the AL

12:42
Travis Sawchik: They are not going to be the best regular season team but they are best positioned for the postseason, I believe

12:43
October won’t you come…: Who are you predicting for this year’s NLCS? I’ll ask for the ALCS next month since that league will look at the very least, marginally clearer by then.

12:43
Travis Sawchik: Dodgers-Nats

12:43
Sonny: Does Glasnow get another shot at MLB starts this year? The BB are way down in AAA, for longer periods than the last time he dominated AAA ball but is there a sense in Pitt FO that they’ve seen this before w him?

12:44
Travis Sawchik: Glasnow believes he’s made real strides — and that his stuff in the majors was never as good as it had been as a prospect — so, yeah, he’ll get another look

12:44
JTT: Do the cubs want to win the NL central?

12:45
Travis Sawchik: The NL Central is an argument for a format of 2 divisions in each league

12:45
We’re Going Streaming: Is Buxton starting to get there?  Since July his splits are solid (.347/.407/.458) and he is 7/7 on SB attempts.

12:45
Travis Sawchik: I hope so. He might be the best pure athlete in the game

12:45
Reginald Denton III: ESPN’s ticker last night said “Indians win as Kluber builds Cy Young” case.  Isn’t that pretty unrealistic?  Yeah, he’s been great over the last month or so, but he’s just doing what Sale has done all season.

12:45
Travis Sawchik: And he missed some time on DL  … it’s a long-shot case

12:46
Dev: Can’t. Stop. Thinking. About. Devers.

12:46
Travis Sawchik: Some great news: no one is stopping you

12:46
Russell: Of course, the advantage the Astros have is the 5 game lead in the AL (granted, much smaller now after Boston’s latest streak).  It would be nice to have to go through Boston OR Cleveland instead of both.

12:47
Travis Sawchik: Going through Boston and Cleveland in the AL is not ideal

12:47
Bad Bill: Is Adam Wainwright fixable?

12:47
Travis Sawchik: The hour is nearing midnight

12:47
Matt: I’m on team chaos. Are we finally going to get the WC chaos we deserve?

12:48
Travis Sawchik: I supposed wild card chaos is good for the game in that it will drive interest and viewership … but the WC and six division races make the game less of a meritocracy

12:48
toki: What’s going on with Steven Matz?

12:48
Travis Sawchik: Michael Conforto is the one thing going right with the Mets. But it’s a pretty good thing to have going right

12:49
Jordan: Any chance the Tribe calls up Mejia and gives him the job into the playoffs? Or is it Gomes/Perez for 2017, and why?

12:49
Travis Sawchik: Indians are going to place value on defense over bat at the position, particularly in gearing up for postseason … Mejia is the future but not in 2017

12:49
toki: How soon till Collins gets the boot in NY?

12:49
Travis Sawchik: I don’t think he will be back

12:50
Xolo: If the league ever redraws division lines, they should split up the leagues by big and small markets.

12:50
Travis Sawchik: MLBPA probably would not be OK with that given extra travel likely involved

12:51
One last Votto fact…: Votto ran a .361 BABIP during his 1.024 OPS MVP campaign. He’s currently running a .300 BABIP during his 1.046 OPS year. Can you imagine if he was anywhere close to his career norms this year?

12:51
Travis Sawchik: Crazy … but he has become more of a FB% hitter (intentionally) this season

12:52
Ronnie Acuna: % chance I see a major league PA this season?

12:52
Travis Sawchik: Patience (and delaying service time) are virtues

12:53
toki: Is Lucroy toast?  Life as a backup all that’s left for him?

12:53
Travis Sawchik: He’s the worst player in MLB (-1.5 WAR) according to BP’s measure which includes framing

12:53
Travis Sawchik: I have to think there is a physical issue, perhaps hamstring related

12:53
Xolo: Re: “MLBPA probably would not be OK with that given extra travel likely involved”

Would it? You could split the West up into LA/LA/SF/Hou/Tex and SD/Ari/Col/Oak/Sea.

12:54
Travis Sawchik: Depends on the size of divisions, I supposed … Also some markets will be subject to change

12:54
Adam: Why not scrap divisions entirely? Have an AL and an NL, best 6 teams from each league make the playoffs. Balanced schedule means everyone has the same competition, so no crappy 82-80 team can claim a second wild card against a 95 win team.

12:54
Travis Sawchik: ML likes as many postseason races as possible and the divisional setup and unbalanced schedule reduces travel burden on players

12:55
Russell: So, are you arguing for doing away with the division series (2 divisions, winners face of in CS)?  I could probably get on board with that to allow for more off days.

12:55
Travis Sawchik: More likely playoffs would expand to six teams in each league, division winners get byes, and then four teams are involved in two play-in series

12:55
Anthony: Who would you pick to win NL MVP?

12:56
Travis Sawchik: I don’t have a vote, but today it would probably be Paul Goldschmidt

12:56
Travis Sawchik: Is there a better player that receives less national exposure?

12:56
Travis Sawchik: Someone jokingly asked me last week if America has ever heard Goldschmidt speak. I laughed. Then stopped laughing. I don’t know!

12:57
Blobfish: Re: players reading FG. Do you ever wonder if the questions that come under players names (ex. Ryan Zimmerman) are actually from those players reading the chats?

12:57
Travis Sawchik: This will blow your mind: I know of players that have lurked in FG chats

12:57
Matt: I have seen lucroy, and he has both hands and a face. Evidence that he is not, in fact made of toast.

12:57
Travis Sawchik: I can verify this

12:58
bartolo colon: chicken or steak burrito tonight?

12:58
Travis Sawchik: Always chicken. A steak deserves to be an entree all on its own

12:58
toki: The White Sox have a reliever with the last name Bummer.  How unfortunate would it be for him to end up as a closer and be horrible.

12:58
Travis Sawchik: I feel for him

12:58
Wes: Underwhelming debut from C Frazier. Stock down at all?

12:58
Travis Sawchik: I don’t think so

12:58
Kosch: Just imagine Votto batting in the 2-hole in Houston…Springer, Votto, Altuve, Correa, then I don’t even know how to fill out the back end end with Bregman, McCann, Beltran / Gattis, Fisher (has a 112 wRC+ since his recall), Marwin Gonzales

12:59
Travis Sawchik: Man, I want to see this happen

12:59
Mike: Tribe will be World Series contenders for the next 3-4 years, no? Seems like they have a lot of good players under control for a while (Lindor, Jose, Mejia, Kluber, etc)

1:00
Travis Sawchik: Indians have a great core, Ramirez is locked up, Carrasco, too, and Zimmer looks like a beast …

1:00
Travis Sawchik: Arguably the best core in the game when considering club control

1:00
Travis Sawchik: But win now before Yankees are really trying to win

1:00
Travis’ Friend: Is Aaron Judge broken? He’s been poo poo in the second half. What do you expect from him rest of the year, and what kind of batting average and OBP do you think he settles into.

1:01
Travis Sawchik: Hi, Friend. It’s a game of adjustments, right? Pitchers (and umpires) I believe are attacking him higher in the zone

1:02
Travis Sawchik: A person of Judge’s size is probably going to have to make more significant adjustments — larger strike zone, longer levers. But Stanton is evidence of the power of adjustments

1:02
Chaps: Thoughts on the ‘blockbuster’ Tyler Clippard acquisition by the Astros?

1:02
Travis Sawchik: ‘meh’

1:02
toki: What’s your take on Hoskins’ approach so far in the extremely small sample size of MLB ABs available?

1:02
Travis Sawchik: The batting eye looks legit! I am intrigued to see how he performs. Some great comps

1:03
Babe Lincoln: Why does everyone hate Terry Collins (as a manager, not as a person) so much?  This Mets fan definitely does not.

1:03
Travis Sawchik: I don’t hate Collins. I don’t even know Collins. But MLB managers are typically the scapegoat for such a campaign

1:04
Travis Sawchik: Alright folks, I have to run. I have to make content, and my in-laws are in town. But remember to be good and do good, particularly after this tragic and disgraceful weekend

1:05
Travis Sawchik: Until next week …





A Cleveland native, FanGraphs writer Travis Sawchik is the author of the New York Times bestselling book, Big Data Baseball. He also contributes to The Athletic Cleveland, and has written for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, among other outlets. Follow him on Twitter @Travis_Sawchik.

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brad.vargas
Member
brad.vargas

When you say the Tigers would have to kick in significant cash, what does that mean? $10M per year? I could see the Tigers doing that if they got back a couple top 100 prospects, but other than that, why would the tigers trade one of the franchises best pitchers of all-time? Despite his mediocre season, JV is a gamble a playoff team like the Astros should go all in for. His velocity is up and he looks to have worked out his mechanics. His last 7 starts is who he could be for the Astros through out the playoffs and the next 2 seasons. So for basically $36M and a couple top prospects the Astros would have him for 3 playoff seasons. Sounds like a great deal with little risk. Their top top prospects are already winning the division by double digits. How does it hurt to give up a couple that aren’t proven yet?

Da Bum
Member
Da Bum

Two top prospects for an aging, still expensive at $18 mil per pitcher who has major question marks is a horrendous trade based on market value.

The fact he is such an icon in Detroit is entirely why he hasn’t been traded. Either they only get a few no name, worthless prospects or they pay a lot of money to get a few average prospects. He just isn’t a good enough pitcher anymore to get a good enough return to outweigh the backlash from fans.

And every MLB knows it.