Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat -- 10/21/16
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Elton
10:07
I am still trying to figure out how the Indians got such stellar pitching in their playoff games with three starters out. That's the kind of sorcery I'd expect from Cardinals devil magic or EvenYear BS. Francona Run Prevention Alchemy doesn't have the same ring.
Jeff Sullivan
10:08
The one thing that gives me pause about praising their bullpen too much is the fact that they got such good performances out of Josh Tomlin and Ryan freaking Merritt
Now, with Tomlin, it's easy to look at his numbers and say, well, he's good as long as he doesn't give up any dingers. As for Merritt, maybe there really was a benefit from his being a total unknown
It's still insane, but this is why we love-hate the playoffs!
Q-Ball
10:09
Interesting post-game interview with Javy Baez. He talked about his plan on that AB where he hit a double. Earlier in his career, he definitely did not have a plan beyond "swing hard". Is he finally approaching his ceiling as a hitter?
Jeff Sullivan
10:09
I mean, he finished with a 94 wRC+. That's not exactly Gary Sheffield. But he's very clearly a more complete player than he had been to this point
2-D
10:09
Do you think you could steal a base off Lester?
Jeff Sullivan
10:09
No, but I'm not a professional athlete
CamdenWarehouse
10:09
What were you guys doing talking baseball in the podcast?
Jeff Sullivan
10:10
Experimenting
Matt
10:11
Ender to Oakland for a few of their young starters?
Jeff Sullivan
10:11
Inciarte for Manaea might work straight-up
10:12
Inciarte will never be better than he is, but he's good now and he has four years of control. Manaea has the upside, and the pitcher risk
Colby
10:12
What type of return could the Tigers expect for JD Martinez? Any chance JV or Miggy are playing for another team in 2017?
Jeff Sullivan
10:12
I don't think the Tigers would *ever* move Verlander or Cabrera
Python-r
10:12
Is there enough demand for CF this winter that NYY could move Ellsbury, if they ate enough cash?
Jeff Sullivan
10:12
Eat enough money and everyone has a market
Baller Status
10:13
Trying to find an answer, how bad does a hitter have to be for it to make mathematical sense for them to sacrifice the runner over to 2nd?
Jeff Sullivan
10:13
Pretty bad, but, commonly bad. I don't have an exact true-talent level in mind but picture, say, a seventh- or eight-place hitter, who's up there with the platoon disadvantage
Erik
10:14
Which will have a greater effect on the Cubs' chances to score runs off Kershaw tomorrow: 1) They've just seen him a few days ago, or 2) They've "found their groove again" the past two games, whatever that means.
Jeff Sullivan
10:14
Wind
Willie hears ya,Willie dont care
10:15
Give it to me straight, what are the Dodgers chances this weekend of winning 2 straight? (I understand this might be moot, as anything can happen in October)
Jeff Sullivan
10:16
Cubs have home field. The Dodgers are probably slight favorites with Kershaw going. Hill isn't Kershaw, but maybe he's good enough to cancel out the home-field effect. Realistically, just from a mathematical perspective, it's probably right around a clean 25%. Chase Utley this year hit .252. The Dodgers' chances are approximately Chase Utley's chances of getting a hit (assuming he doesn't draw a walk)
10:17
If you prefer, Kenta Maeda's strikeout rate this year was exactly 25%.
Q-Ball
10:17
How many innings will Jansen throw Saturday? Do you think Roberts will ride Kershaw all the way to Jansen, and leave everyone else in the bullpen?
Jeff Sullivan
10:18
I assume the plan is to use nobody else at all. In the ideal, it's all Kershaw/Jansen and then you deal with Sunday on Sunday. Obviously, things change if Kershaw does worse than they assume
Elton
10:19
Jeff! I like Jason Heyward but his struggles at the plate would be a huge elephant in the room if the Cubs weren't so good everywhere else. If he keeps hitting like a shortstop from the 1960's next year, don't the Cubs need to reclaim his roster spot/lineup spot and eat some contract to let another team try to fix him?
Jeff Sullivan
10:20
It helps Heyward that he's still just 27. And every so often he hits a ball so hard you remember what teams have seem in him in the first place. But he just used up his bad year. He's going to get less and less benefit of the doubt, and as the Cubs plan for 2017, they're going to need to have some Almora-shaped insurance. And if Heyward *continues* to struggle out of the gate, then his role will ultimately be diminished. He'll become a platoon guy or a defensive specialist
10:21
Melvin Upton got two mostly full years with Atlanta before they gave up. That's a good reference point
CamdenWarehouse
10:22
Javy Baez is pretty much the man right now.
Jeff Sullivan
10:22
If the Cubs were *extremely* bold they might go into the offseason looking to capitalize on this. But that's not going to happen
Still, I'd love to know where his market value is today
Q-Ball
10:22
I think the last two days of Addison Russell and Rizzo hitting, after a 2 for 49 playoff start, just show that a) you have to be patient with good hitters, and b) hitting the playoffs can just be tough. No need to bench guys or monkey with orders too much. Agree?
Jeff Sullivan
10:23
Yeah, I don't think you *over*think. You go with the players that work. If you have visual evidence that a player is, like, crying in the shower because he can't handle the spotlight, that's a thing, but if you just have good players who aren't producing, well, playoff samples are usually about 10-15 games. You can and should ignore those slumps
Eduardo
10:24
As a long suffering Dbacks fan, I am thrilled by Hazen's hire. But I am also tortured by the likelihood of trading Paul Goldschmidt, the best homegrown talent the organization ever produced. What would he fetch in return? It would have to be massive, no?
Jeff Sullivan
10:25
Yeah, Goldschmidt is still enormously valuable. I don't think they're going to sell right away -- I think there's enough there for them to try to succeed with a whole roster out of the gate. Worry if the team is still lousy at the All-Star break
Getting Pollock back will be enormous
Baller Status
10:26
Assuming most pitchers get less effective in a series do to repetition, but is this more the case for guys like Chapman who rely on 1 non-deceptive pitch? Mariano maybe didn't experience this because his cutter was deceptive, while Chapman relies on just throwing harder, and that might be easier to adjust to? (Not that these 2 closers are equal, just examples)
Jeff Sullivan
10:27
I'm skeptical this is much of a thing. I think you could definitely adjust to Chapman if you saw him for 100 pitches in a row, but he's always coming out of the bullpen, relieving someone who threw a great deal slower. That previous guy will be the reference point.
So with Chapman, I doubt there's much carryover effect
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