Dave Cameron FanGraphs Chat
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Dave Cameron
12:00
Happy Wednesday, everyone.
The WBC is underway, so we have something pretty close to real baseball now.
12:01
And the season is now less than a month away, so plenty of 2017 expectations to talk about.
JT
12:01
If the Tigers bomb this year, what are the chances Verlander could be moved at the deadline as a Quintana alternative? How many teams need aces?
Dave Cameron
12:01
I guess I don't really see too many scenarios where Verlander is good enough to have a lot of trade value but the Tigers are terrible enough to want to move him. I'd guess that if they're lousy, so is he.
Sachin
12:02
Hi Dave! Big fan. Do you think starting pitchers will neutralize last year's HR binge or is power here to stay again? It definitely puts more people in seats.
Dave Cameron
12:03
Depends entirely on what you think the cause of the power spike was. If it was the ball, then who knows, right? This year's ball could be manufactured with enough difference to stop it from flying so far. If it wasn't the ball, and it was players learning to go for power on all their swings, then maybe it sticks around. But the reality is we still don't really know the cause.
Damian
12:04
Is the best version of the Dodgers the one with Alex Wood in the rotation, the bullpen, or AAA?
Dave Cameron
12:04
Probably the rotation, though he might be more amenable to pitching in relief than some of the other options.
Pie
12:04
No question, but just wanted to say your panel at Sloan was fantastic
Dave Cameron
12:05
Well thank you. It was enjoyable for me as well, and Mike, Harry, Brian, and Patrick were great folks to share the stage with.
Bork
12:05
Any hot takes on the WBC?
Matt
12:05
WBC is awesome!!!
Dave Cameron
12:05
Matt has one.
(I agree with Matt.)
SDinSEA
12:05
Morning Dave! For those of us who never saw Coleman, Raines or Henderson in their prime, I'm curious how Billy Hamilton's raw speed compares. Were those guys just as impressive? Obviously Hamilton doesn't get on base enough, but if he did, think we'd see another 100+ SBs?
Dave Cameron
12:06
I was pretty young when those guys were at their heyday, but I remember when Rickey Henderson would get on, the question was what pitch he would go on, not whether he would go. Everyone knew that he was running basically every time he had a chance. And he was still impossible to throw out. It was remarkable.
SDinSEA
12:07
Are you a Ryan Schimpf believer? Directionally, do you see him as a sustainable MLB regular?
Dave Cameron
12:07
I think he's fine for a non-contender to play in 2017, but this is going to be a short career.
The extreme FB/high K combo doesn't work once the power diminishes at all.
Kiermaier's Piercing Green Eyes
12:08
How does Statcast WAR get integrated with conventional WAR? It's easy to say we can credit hitters for "should have been" doubles robbed by handsome center fielders, but what about situational hitting like hitting long sac flies or trying to poke something the other way instead of barrel the ball?
Dave Cameron
12:09
This is the tricky part of modeling wins; there aren't easy answers to this question. On Twitter yesterday, Tango asked a similar question; if Ortiz and Votto hit the exact same batted ball to the left side of the infield, but Votto's is caught by the SS because he wasn't shifted and Ortiz's gets through because he was, what do you do with that? Credit Ortiz for a hit because he generally doesn't have the ability to hit the ball to the left side, so he gets defended differently? Credit them the same because the contact was the same?
Kyle
12:10
Other than luck, what stands in the way of the Cubs repeating as World Series Champions? What weaknesses do they still have?
Dave Cameron
12:10
Rotation depth is really the obvious one. If Arrieta's arm explodes or Lackey gets old suddenly, they just don't have high-level impact arms to step in. They have enough extra hitters to make a trade for one, but that's probably the recourse they'll have to take if injuries hit.
Erik
12:11
What injury would have the biggest effect on a team's playoff odds? Losing Mike Trout would drop the Angels win projection to right around the A's, which looks like about a 20% drop. Losing Mookie Betts drops the Red Sox win projection to right around the Blue Jays, which looks like a 40% drop. (I know the odds don't work quite like that, but they're a decent ballpark estimate.) Can anyone beat Betts?
Dave Cameron
12:12
Maybe Syndergaard? If they lost him for the year, even with decent SP depth, they're out ~4 wins, which drops them below Pit in the Wild Card race.
Phil
12:13
Thanks for doing this! What is a realistic expectation for domingo santana this year?
Dave Cameron
12:13
Maybe a 110-120 wRC+?
I'm a believer in the ability to crush the ball, but the contact issues are real.
Henry
12:14
Benintendi is an all-star this year. Too bold of a prediction, or is what he is doing in spring training for real?
Dave Cameron
12:15
Not insane, given the kind of weak crop of AL OFs right now. You have to assume Trout and Betts get two spots, but after that, it's non-household names like Springer, Calhoun, Keirmaier, etc...
aspergillus fumigatus
12:16
RE Starting a reliever article:

What if a road team had, say, their 3rd best reliever go 1 or 2 innings to start— depending on when their spot in the order comes up— and then pinch hit for them? Then you put in the actual starter for 5-6 innings or whatever and then go to your closer. This ensures, as mentioned in your article, that you get the platoon advantage on the leadoff hitter to start the game and no cool-down effect BUT ALSO you get an offensive advantage with the pinch hitter.
Dave Cameron
12:16
Well, we don't know that you wouldn't get a cool down effect on the reliever.
We also don't know for sure the cool down effect is the reason for the poor 1st inning numbers for road starters.
It's an interesting topic, but there's more we don't know right now than stuff we do know.
Henry
12:16
On a scale from 1-10 how worried should we still be about David Price's arm?
Dave Cameron
12:17
7, but every pitcher alive is a 6, so relatively not that worried.
Cameron Dave
12:17
Do any of Mazara, Conforto, or Dahl have a higher ceiling than Springer?
Dave Cameron
12:17
No
Jake
12:17
do you have any tips for networking at SABR analytics conference this weekend in Phoenix?
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