Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat -- 10/14/16
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Jeff Sullivan
9:04
Hello exhausted friends
Welcome to Friday baseball chat!
Bork
9:04
Hello, friend!
Jeff Sullivan
9:04
Hello friend
Outta my way, Gyorkass
9:05
What does LAD's starting rotation look like for the NLCS...Maeda-bullpen game-Kershaw-Hill-repeat?
Jeff Sullivan
9:06
Kershaw was supposed to start Game 2 but obviously now that could be up in the air. Most likely is he winds up in Game 3 and a quiet candidate for Game 2 is Brock Stewart, who's traveled with the team
9:07
Given that there would be the possibility for three games in three days, I think the Dodgers would like to have Kershaw start the first of those. If Stewart or someone like him goes in Game 2, you can use up the bullpen pretty aggressively because the following day is a day off
JT
9:08
Dusty Baker is 0-9 in his last 9 chances to clinch a playoff series. Theoretically, what would happen if a Baker led team were to play the Oakland Athletics in a 5 game divisional series? Would the series ever end, or continue on until the end of time?
Jeff Sullivan
9:09
I think the series would probably continue, on and on for eternity, and at some point around the 50th or 51st inning Rob Manfred would have to draft emergency paperwork to add an additional team to the playoffs
9:10
I'm still not entirely sure how that game yesterday came down to Clayton Kershaw vs. Wilmer Difo. I don't even want to think it through. I just love the look of the sentence
Outta my way, Gyorkass
9:11
I have a coworker whose primary rooting odds are "anyone but the Cubs", and is despondent about LA having made it to the NLCS by using a bunch of potential starters in relief in game 5. FG has LAD as a 51/49 favorite...I'm trying to cheer him up with this news, but he's not believing it. Help me explain this to him, keeping in mind the Dodgers will have less than optimal availablity of their best pitchers in this series!
Jeff Sullivan
9:12
Tell him to think slightly bigger-picture. The Cubs still need to win two full rounds, right? Even if you figure the Cubs have a strong advantage -- 60% in each -- that gives them basically a two-in-three chance of *not* becoming the champion
9:13
Anyone who's been watching these playoffs, or any baseball playoffs, should understand that there's just no point in predicting how they're going to go based on pitching match-ups or whatever. In Game 4 the Nationals very nearly sneaked away with a compromised Joe Ross vs. Clayton Kershaw
Outta my way, Gyorkass
9:13
What year can a Brewers fan reasonably expect to contend again, 2018 or 2019? Lot of good young players have made names for themselves in the early stages of the rebuild, but the cavalry in the minors is still a few years away from being productive major leaguers, right?
Jeff Sullivan
9:14
If you want to play it mentally safe, think about 2019. The majority of younger players take a little while to get established in the majors anyway. Now, I think the Brewers could be a .500 team by 2018, and if I squint I could see them even just about getting there in 2017. But the Brewers are going to need some stars somewhere in there. They haven't yet emerged
9:15
Santana could be one. Broxton could be one. Arcia could be one. Brinson could be one. And so forth.
I know that August carries the torch, but I *also* love Domingo Santana, dammit
Outta my way, Gyorkass
9:15
Does this Puig + McCarthy + other pieces for Braun thing that ran out of time on 8/31 have even a remote possibility of happening?
Jeff Sullivan
9:15
Very much so
9:16
I don't know whether the Dodgers' feelings on Puig are evolving -- they've had him back around now for several weeks and he hasn't caused a distraction that we know about. But the Dodgers will not have abandoned that idea
Brett W
9:17
Which games will Kershaw start? Which should he?
Jeff Sullivan
9:18
The easy guess is he's lined up for Games 3 and 7. Now, I don't know how he feels, and he didn't throw that many pitches last night. It was supposed to be a throw day anyway. So Kershaw might still be good to go for Game 2. In that case, it could even free him up for Game 5. But I don't think the Dodgers are going to keep pushing him over and over and over again
Reginald Denton III
9:18
Can you explain why the playoff odds show LA having better ones than the Cubs? A friend and I were discussing.
Jeff Sullivan
9:18
The playoff odds are based on the depth charts, and the depth charts are giving a ton of innings to Kershaw and Hill, who are really good. In reality, they were just used, so they're less available for the NLCS than the depth charts would indicate
9:19
That being said, Kershaw and Hill are still going to pitch. This is a very close series on paper
Outta my way, Gyorkass
9:19
Is it just me, or does it seem like there's a legitimate dearth of talent at the 3B position across the majors, relative to other positions? There seem to be tons of quality young shortstops and centerfielders, but is this going to wind up being resolved by less defensively apt SS's moving to 3B?
Jeff Sullivan
9:19
I really feel like it's just you
9:20
Remember how much the White Sox paid to get Todd Frazier? On our leaderboards he just ranked 17th in WAR among third basemen, counting just qualified players
9:21
Bryant, Donaldson, Machado, Seager, Arenado, Turner, Beltre, Ramirez, Rendon, Longoria, Carpenter, Lamb...maybe it's not the best position in baseball, but there's an awful lot there
Julio Pepper
9:22
How do the Dodgers line up for NLCS? Maeda/Kershaw/Hill?
Jeff Sullivan
9:23
It's all going to come down to how Kershaw feels when the adrenaline wears off. It'd be super for them if he can go in G2, because then they don't have to push Hill back. It would make Hill available for two starts, instead of one. But if Kershaw can't go that soon, he just can't go
Minty
9:23
Would you bring Moreland back or try Gallo at 1B next year?
Jeff Sullivan
9:23
I'd rather take my chances on Gallo, but I'd also really want to have some sort of fallback option
RABBINICAL COLLEGE GUY
9:24
Prediction for each Championship Series MVP?
Jeff Sullivan
9:24
Encarnacion, Turner
I guess that means I just picked the Dodgers?
Whatever, I don't care
Anthony
9:25
Has any half inning of baseball saved us from more bad commentary than last night's bottom of the 9th? Imagine all the "THAT's why you save your closer for the end!" and "What a choker, he just doesn't have the heart" takes if Kershaw had blown it.
Jeff Sullivan
9:25
It was a great day for smart narratives. Or, smart non-narratives, I guess.
9:26
For some reason my brain keeps flashing back to that Rangers/Blue Jays inning from last year's ALDS. Not even any good reason why. I think I'm just not ready yet to move on from that because holy hell
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