Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat -- 1/13/17
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Weezy
10:13
Is there research on a typical number of starts for starters outside the opening day rotation, particularly controlling for "depth"? Another way of putting this: how many starts will go to bad (and unexpected) pitchers for the Mariners? I am curious of how much the Mariners' FO is mentally prepared to brace for Chris Heston starts in June/July.
Jeff Sullivan
10:13
Last I checked, I think it was something like 30 or 32 starts
10:14
Basically, for the average rotation, a whole effective rotation slot will end up going to starters not in the opening-day fivesome
The error bars, of course, are big, but pretty much every team understands it's likely to need at least eight starters or so over the course of six or seven months
PB&Js
10:14
Hey Jeff, would the Dodgers be better served in terms of $/WAR by keeping De Leon and starting Austin Barnes at 2b than trading for Dozier? Seems it could be close on overall WAR as well, assuming a little regression from Dozier and met expectations for the other two.
Jeff Sullivan
10:15
The Dodgers really like Barnes as a catcher, so I don't think they want to move him off the position
Vanilla extract
10:15
Lance McCullers in 2017. Discuss.
Jeff Sullivan
10:16
He's kind of like Erik Bedard. Good when he pitches, but he'll probably never pitch efficiently, and he's likely to continue to miss a handful of turns
Weezy
10:16
Feel better, Jeff. Post travel sickness is the worst.
Jeff Sullivan
10:17
I'm not too broken up about it -- it held off for the entire vacation. I didn't start to feel sick at all until I was packing up to leave Chile. Could've been worse!
Plus, the both of us are now identically sick, which means a lot of weekend soup. Big fan of weekend soups
Q-Ball
10:18
Was baseball waiting for Jeff Sullivan before making any news? You picked a good time to be out, because news has been really slow lately.
Jeff Sullivan
10:19
I've taken three big trips since joining FanGraphs. During the first one, pretty much everything happened, and Dave hasn't let me forget about that. So I've been guilted into only looking to take vacations in January. It is the best time to go off the grid, because the grid itself slips into hibernation
Outta my way, Gyorkass
10:21
What's the most likely way that SP's of Mussina or Schilling's caliber make it to the Hall? A year 15 "WTF were we thinking" revelation? Wholesale structural voting rules change? A purge of voters like Murray Chass? Manual addition after the fact, after their 15 years has passed?
Jeff Sullivan
10:22
Mussina surged last year from 24% to 43%, and this year, according to the early voting, he'll surge again. So now Mussina looks like a safe bet to make it in a year or three, once his support reaches a critical mass
10:23
You get the voter pool improving, and you also get certain player focus. There's been so much focus on Raines, and so much focus on Edgar. They're surging as a consequence. There'll be similar focus on Mussina, as there already has been to some extent. Voters read what's out there, and Mussina has a very strong case
Paul
10:24
Is it at the point that even if Markakis is having a nice first half for the Braves that they won't be able to trade him? Pretty clear he's a bad player with bad contract.
Jeff Sullivan
10:24
I'm not at all convinced the Braves would want to trade him
guitar_davey
10:24
Please tell me the Blue Jays do *something* to fix that dumpster fire of an outfield!
Jeff Sullivan
10:24
They're patient, not stupid
James
10:26
Welcome back, Jeff! What would you consider a reasonable baseline for Max Kepler this season? .275/.350/.425 with 20-25 HRs, 80 RBIs and 12-15 SBs seems reasonable, but is he already in position to exceed those?
Jeff Sullivan
10:26
Might be overselling the BA/OBP, and underselling the SLG. These days it's awfully difficult to bat .275, but Kepler should be at least a league-average regular
Matt
10:26
Enjoyed your first EW pod as co host. You might have been the only person that could have been a decent replacement for Sam. Looking forward to seeing how the show evolves.
Jeff Sullivan
10:27
You and me both. I have no idea how things are going to develop, because I've never done anything like this, but Ben is fantastic, and quite easy to talk to. I'm happy to have the first one finished, because I felt some mounting anxiety. That and the whole being sick thing
20longyears
10:27
In 2008, Athletics 2nd baseman Mark Ellis hit 9 more IFFB than extra base hits over 500 plate appearances. I learned this because I stumbled upon an article you wrote about Vernon Wells and I felt inspired to do research. So thank you.
Jeff Sullivan
10:28
I live to give
10:29
Give me a second to do some research here...
10:30
Okay, so, last year, Freddie Freeman was the league leader in one direction, with 74 more extra-base hits than infield flies
Billy Burns was the leader in the other direction, with two more infield flies than extra-base hits
10:31
Travis d'Arnaud was right behind him, at +1
Q-Ball
10:31
The Cubs did alot of pitching "Sign and Flips" in their rebuild, netting quality assets in return (like Jake Arrieta). Do you see anyone pursuing a similar strategy?
Jeff Sullivan
10:31
Wouldn't be a surprise to see the Braves be similarly active
Tengopreguntas
10:32
Do you put more/less/equal weight in second half stats? It could be a sign that a team is moving foward, facing worse competition as younger players get auditions, or mean nothing at all.
Jeff Sullivan
10:32
Almost equal. Second-half stats should get *slightly* more weight than first-half stats, but it really depends on the player/team/situation. Best to look at the whole season on balance
Greg
10:33
Lets say your team is facing the dodgers for a 3 game set and Kershaw is on the mound in game 1. How many pitches should the leadoff hitter be happy with fouling off, given that he knows he would be struck out at the last pitch of the at bat? Basically what is the value of 1 out compared to getting an ace pitcher off the mound slightly earlier?
Jeff Sullivan
10:33
15?
I'm going to say 15
10:35
These days there's really so little benefit to getting into another team's bullpen a little faster, but you could at least make Clayton Kershaw annoyed
mtsw
10:36
Adam Jones has had remarkably similar production the last three seasons, but his value has tanked thanks to the overall offensive environment going up. Is that a reason to be optimistic about him going forward? Is it possible a player like Jones (very aggressive, bad plate discipline) is simply less affected by the overall offensive environment?
Jeff Sullivan
10:36
So Jones went from being 17% better than average to being 9% better than average, to being 4% worse than average
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