Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat -- 10/21/16
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Jeff Sullivan
9:09
Well geez everybody
Let's Friday baseball chat
Bork
9:09
Hello, friend!
Jeff Sullivan
9:09
Hello friend
TBJESE
9:10
Jon Lester is so weird!
Jeff Sullivan
9:10
In entirely unusual ways he has to be the most awesome player in baseball to overanalyze
I'm sure we'll talk about this an awful lot in the hours ahead
Dan
9:10
A-Rod is the absolute best part of the Fox / FS1 / TBS coverage this year.
Jeff Sullivan
9:11
I recall that being true last year, too. I don't know exactly when in his life he decided to be a real person but the version of Alex Rodriguez we've been able to see for the last while has been...humble and charming?
9:12
Like, a couple years ago, Alex Rodriguez might've been the most hated player in professional sports. At least professional baseball. And now he's practically beloved! Maybe I'm exaggerating things but it's been an improbable turn
Zonk
9:12
Kershaw, Hill, Jansen in NLCS: 16.1 IP, 5 H, 18K, 0.00 ERA
Jeff Sullivan
9:12
Say this for the Dodgers: they have the guys they'd want. Say this for the Cubs: they just about do too.
Bork
9:13
Since the Cubs ratings are beating the Bears, should they not trade names?
Jeff Sullivan
9:13
I like it as an ownership wager
Erik
9:14
I've seen runners many times against Lester this season take a huge primary lead (since they aren't scared of Lester) but then a negative secondary lead (since they're so scared of being back-picked. Is it possible Lester's yips actually end up having a positive effect for him? He's completely thrown runners off their game plan and has them going backwards as the pitch is thrown.
Jeff Sullivan
9:14
This is one of the things that's so fun about it. With Lester, as a runner you start thinking, and then you start overthinking, and then that's when you get yourself in some trouble
9:15
It's very clear that David Ross makes an excellent back-pick! Gotta be on the lookout for one of those
But here's the thing about back-picks: they don't do shit if you're already running to second base. I don't know *why* you don't see more running toward second base. I get that Lester isn't slow to the plate. I get that Ross averages an excellent pop time. A steal isn't automatic, but runners aren't pushing this as far as it seems like they could
9:16
You only worry about the back-pick if you're staying around. Why stay around? Make Lester prove he'll do something. Even if it costs you an out, it's one out, and then at least you know
Sean P
9:18
How would you manage the Cubs' outfield situation next year?
Jeff Sullivan
9:21
So we've got Schwarber, Soler, Heyward, Zobrist, and Almora, basically. There's no trading Zobrist. Heyward's contract is underwater but you can't write him off so quick. Soler hasn't broken out yet, and Schwarber obviously has his question marks.
9:23
I think you can still open the season with the first four and have Almora try to do more in Triple-A than he did. All four of those players could get semi-regular playing time in a rotation and then you see what you get from the unknowns. I'd plan to think about trading one of Schwarber/Soler, but that's nothing you have to assume, because it could turn out the Cubs need them both
Dock Ellis
9:24
I've never been more perplexed than why Kikè didn't take 2nd and 3rd base....Lesters yips isn't a ruse that he's waiting for the right moment to pick someone off. RUN KIKÈ RUN!!!!!
Jeff Sullivan
9:24
I mean, *maybe* he just wanted to dance around and make himself visible to try to knock Lester off his game? But even still I feel like the best way to knock a pitcher off his game is to just take free bases if they're available to you
9:25
Set the tone early. Don't just make yourself .giffable
JMaddonGlasses>HCarayGlasses
9:26
Hi, Jeff. I’m starting to not like Aroldis Chapman. Yes, he throws crazy fast, but it seems like guys are figuring him out, and he’s given up a lot of runs this October. Is this just tough playoff hitters combined with recency bias on my part, or is there actually something quantifiable behind this (perhaps related to August’s article from last week about his missing locations)?
Jeff Sullivan
9:26
One very much true thing: it's a small sample of playoff games, and there's every reason to believe Chapman is still one of the three or so best relievers in the world
9:28
Another very much true thing: Chapman in the playoffs has thrown something like 90% fastballs. He hasn't commanded his slider when he's thrown it and his fastball location has never been precise. You can stand a chance against Chapman if you eliminate everything but his heater. It's the best heater in the game, but it can be hit
9:30
From a performance standpoint, Chapman suffers from the highest possible expectations. It doesn't feel like it should make sense for him to allow any runs. He's not immune to his ruts, and Chapman is only *Chapman* when hitters have to believe in his breaking ball
CamdenWarehouse
9:30
Have you heard of any good baseball books out recently or coming out? The offseason is always a good baseball book time.
Jeff Sullivan
9:30
I heard that after Sam and Ben's book they're just shutting the genre down. No more baseball books
Jeff
9:31
Al Avila is hinting at winter trades for Detroit and says no extension plans exist for JD Martinez. If he's a trade candidate, what could he return?
Jeff Sullivan
9:32
So you'd be talking about one year of a prime-aged corner outfielder
Martinez is 29 and over the past three years he has something like a 145 wRC+
9:33
He doesn't run so well, and he doesn't defend so well, but he's kind of like what people think Carlos Gonzalez is. On a one-year deal, Martinez might get $25 - 30 million
9:34
I think the Tigers could move him for someone who's about major-league ready. You're not getting an elite prospect, but you're getting someone pretty good at Triple-A, probably
9:38
Sorry about that, there was a knock at the door
Mike M
9:38
Russell, Soler, Contreras, Montgomery and Edwards for Trout. Who says no? Do the Cubs have to throw in some prospects, too? Clears up the logjam in the outfield and settles on who starts in center. Gives the Angels guys at two key spots.
Jeff Sullivan
9:38
All right, so let's just do this
9:39
For as long as we've been fielding these questions, I've been conditioned to reply that, no, that's not enough for Mike Trout. So that's the starting point
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