Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat -- 1/15/16
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Disaapointed Fan
9:57
It seems as if Walt Jocketty doesn't understand what rebuilding takes. Obviously some issues came up causing them to get less for their players, ex. Frazier's poor second half and Chapman's Domestic violence issue. Is there anyone else out there now the Reds should look for GM wise, or sit on it and wait for the impending disaster in trading for a bunch of high minors low upside talent, to fill a roster with a lot of holes and then get a new GM. Or is the ownership blinded? As it seems like the examples on how to start a rebuild are definitely out there, and this certainly doesn't look like a good one. Or are they thinking that since they have money tied up in two players, Bailey and Votto, that they need to compete while paying them? I don't know anymore, I'm just a lost fan.
Jeff Sullivan
9:58
The Reds are in an awful situation. And rebuilds always look the worst toward the beginning. Circumstances hurt them with Frazier, and they hurt them with Chapman. Also hurt them with Phillips. Bruce has fallen off. Mesoraco got hurt just as he was emerging. So many different things have gone wrong, while the rest of the division has mostly improved
10:00
The critical first thing was just acknowledging that the organization needs to be rebuilt. They've made some decent moves and there's nothing necessarily wrong with "safe" young talent, like Suarez etc. There are young players present, and more young players coming. They just need to find some more upside, and it's going to be challenging for them being a mid-market operation with one Votto already on the books
10:01
As I noted earlier, I like the Brewers' situation a little better than the Reds', just because I have a better feeling about the new Brewers front office. But I think right now the Reds look worse off than they really might be -- we'll know more about the talent they've acquired a year from now. Even the Phillies greatly improved their own rebuild before Amaro was ever dismissed
ian
10:01
Do you feel this chat interface is better than coveritlive?
Jeff Sullivan
10:02
It feels less buggy. The visuals are less...advanced...but I love that my computer isn't trying to blow itself up. Worthwhile trade-off.
Drayton McLane
10:02
The Cardinals punishment for stealing from the Astros should be that the team swap leagues. Correct?
Jeff Sullivan
10:02
It's creative, I'll give you that
The Other Other Bullpen Weapon
10:04
Who the heck is going to sign Ian Desmond?
Jeff Sullivan
10:05
I haven't figured this out yet. There are a bunch of options that are like one tweak away from being obvious. For example, if the Marlins traded Ozuna to the Angels -- where he'd fit perfectly -- then they could put Prado or Desmond in the outfield
10:06
(Desmond, more likely)
but now they say Ozuna isn't on the market sooooo
10:07
Maybe the White Sox do it, since they've been rumored to have interest in three-year FA contracts
Bork
10:07
Now give your hot take on FG all-star Jorge Posada!
Jeff Sullivan
10:07
Most thumb-like player in baseball history
Zonk
10:07
Obligatory Jorge Soler question. Is he any good?
Jeff Sullivan
10:07
He is some good, yes
TF Fredrik
10:08
Why won’t teams out of contention, or lets say rebuilding, be more risky with their tactics. Seems like this year’s Reds, Brewers, & Rockies are in a great position to try out some oddball stuff. Whats preventing the Rockies from actually implementing a 5 inning limit and aggressive relief strategy? Is it more than just the glacial pace of change in the game?
Jeff Sullivan
10:09
You have to think about the long-term benefits. It only really makes sense to implement strategies you think might help you down the road because otherwise you're just rocking the boat for no real reason. And remember the Rockies *did* try that pitching experiment a few years back, so it's not like they're opposed to atypical thinking
10:10
But teams want to develop players who can be useful pieces in the long-term. These teams want to develop good young starting pitchers and they want them to get comfortable in the bigs. That usually means you don't mess with their usage to turn their roles into something unfamiliar
Chuck Burly
10:10
All the stories suggesting teams should "swoop in" and get Upton or Cespedes on the cheap are generally wrong, right? They're still going to be pricey. They're players, not cartons of milk.
Jeff Sullivan
10:12
It's pretty simple. Upton and Cespedes might've priced themselves too high. As the price drops, more teams become interested. As more teams become interested, a bidding war develops, so the price stays elevated. You're just not going to get a player with this much talent for a "bargain". An obvious bargain just can't really exist with an Upton or a Cespedes when there are so many teams who think they can make the playoffs
Q-Ball
10:12
Shouldn't the Rockies have had a trade lined-up for an OF before signing Parra? Doesn't that really impact their leverage? That, and Dexter Fowler still being available?
Jeff Sullivan
10:13
Doesn't impact the leverage too much -- the market is more about the other 29 teams than it is about the Rockies. Worst-case scenario, you can give four different guys regular playing time for the first three or four months. And Fowler comes with that comp pick people don't want to give up
TF Fredrik
10:13
Do you think there is an optimal pitch selection to be used by starting pitchers? For example, 40% four seamer, 20% Slider, 20% splitter, 20% Curve. I know game theory & a pitchers comfort with each pitch change by the game, but I always like seeing a guy like Greinke’s pitch mix. Feel like he & the like, differentiate on horizontal & vertical movement, as well as velo a lot. Intuitively, that seems to be something a pitcher would want instead of a 3 pitch guy going 70% fastball with two breaking balls mixed in as the rest.
Jeff Sullivan
10:14
It really does just come down to what pitches a guy throws, and how much he trusts each of them. The ideal ratios are directly correlated to this trust. And once you have the ratios, you want to randomize the actual pitch mixes as much as possible. Then no one can guess
10:15
There probably is an "ideal" pitch mix, based on the best mix of pitches possible to throw, but I assume almost no one can throw all those pitches well
(Like Greinke)
Justin
10:16
If not LA -- where an Utley/Hernandez platoon is projected to match his performance -- where might Kendrick sign?
Jeff Sullivan
10:16
Again, as with Desmond, maybe White Sox. I can't rule them out
mtsw
10:16
Thoughts on the Cespedes to Orioles rumors? Just FUD to get Davis to lower his price or do they honestly have a shot at Yoenis on rumored 5/90?
Jeff Sullivan
10:18
They tried to pressure Davis before and it didn't work, so now they're trying a different way. It's not like they don't have a shot at Cespedes -- they do, and they also have a need -- but their shot at Cespedes is worse than their shot at Davis. Davis just needs to accept that a bigger market is unlikely to develop and he should take the money the Orioles are offering. If they actually went in another direction it's hard to see how he'd get close to $154 million elsewhere
Dr.Chair
10:18
what are your thoughts for 2016 on Evan Gattis & Luis Valbuena?
Jeff Sullivan
10:18
Not great
10:19
It's a good thing for the Astros they have so much positional depth
TF Fredrik
10:19
I just got back from a trip where I did my first hikes at National Parks (Arches, Zion, & Death Valley). And gotta say, it was incredible. Gimme some of Sullivan's top hikes in the northwest for my future travels. FYI, just looking for like 5-10 miles day hikes, not necessarily overnighters yet. Thanks!
Jeff Sullivan
10:20
Personally, I'm absolutely in love with getting up to elevation. My very favorite day hike goes up to Cooper Spur on the NE side of Mt Hood. That's a summer option, post-melt. (Although you could snowshoe now in decent weather.) Several options on Rainier can also achieve good elevation, and you could summit the South Sister in central Oregon as a day hike that exceeds 10,000 feet. That one's crazy for its accessibility
10:21
Less dramatically, you could go to Lemei Rock in the Indian Heaven Wilderness. I love the Ape Canyon hike on St Helens that takes you up to the pumice flats.
Kevin
10:22
Do you think the O's reported high offer to Cespedes of ~5 yrs at 18MM per gets it done (or close at least)? Is this just posturing to pressure the Chris Davis camp?
Jeff Sullivan
10:22
Again, I think it's more leverage. Maybe it's like 35% genuine pursuit and 65% leverage. At that price, I think Ilitch would come in and welcome Cespedes back to Detroit
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