Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat -- 2/19/16
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Ben
10:49
How Badly Would You Hurt a Team for a Week?
Jeff Sullivan
10:49
Not too badly because I'd talk myself out of playing
Food poisoning or something
Dan
10:49
What version of Felix Hernandez will we see in 2016? The dominant 2014 version or the shaky 2015 version?
Jeff Sullivan
10:50
I suspect a lot of what happened last year came out of some lingering lower-body issues affecting Felix's mechanics. So I think he bounces back from that, but it also does make sense he'd be nearing his decline phase, so expect effectiveness with fewer blow-ups
Jesse
10:50
How often do you get ideas for articles from chat questions?
Jeff Sullivan
10:50
Probably not often enough. Which is more my fault than yours. I need to pay better attention
E
10:51
Can you rank the three of Mychal Givens, Silvino Bracho, and Tony Zych, in order of who puts up the best k/9 this year and who ends up being the more valuable non-closer to their team?
Jeff Sullivan
10:51
I love Givens and think he's the best, then Zych, then Bracho
Cody
10:54
Last year everyone knew Kris Bryant would be in the minors until the Super 2 deadline and then get called up. The Cubs wouldn't admit what they were doing, but it wasn't a secret. Why are teams so hesitant to admit they are taking advantage of the system to make their team better for longer?
Jeff Sullivan
10:56
I'll just quote from our own Nathaniel Grow http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/challenging-kris-bryants-demotion/
"And while arbitrators will usually defer to a team’s decision to demote a player based on his perceived “skill or ability,” if a team is blatantly demoting an otherwise worthy player simply for contractual considerations alone then an arbitrator could decide that the decision was made in bad faith, and thus violated the CBA.

This explains why teams never openly admit that they are demoting a top prospect to the minors for a few weeks due to service time issues."
10:57
It's all very silly and transparent, but if a team were to admit what was actually happening, it would destroy the team's only defense for the action
Big Joe Mufferant
10:58
In his prime, did A-Rod have 4-5, 70-tools? If not what would you give him for grades? (I have it as Arm-70, Power 80, Defense 70, Speed 65, and hitting 65)
Jeff Sullivan
10:58
I think he almost certainly had five 70 tools. I'm not a scout or anything but A-Rod was genuinely the complete package
all he was missing was sincerity :(
Jeff
10:59
Is there any concern with the Mets SP depth? Bunch of young guys coming back from very long seasons and Wheeler returning from TJ. Bartlolo is great to have, but behind him is just Rafael Montero (coming back from shoulder issues), Logan Verret (AAAA starter) and Sean Gilmartin (unproven). Am I being silly?
Jeff Sullivan
10:59
I don't think you're being silly, but your argument could be applied to almost anybody. And for the teams with more depth, they have less high-level talent, so that's just a different problem
MP
11:00
Who should lead off for the Jays? Pillar wants to, talk of Martin and Saunders.
Jeff Sullivan
11:00
I'd think Martin or Tulo
jtt2856
11:00
Serious question, no troll. Do you think Beane gets too much of a pass? Some of his moves over the past few years...
Jeff Sullivan
11:01
Beane has earned the benefit of the doubt for what he's been able to pull off. That being said, the landscape has changed, and it's less exploitable than it used to be. So relative to his peers, Beane isn't so exceptional anymore. Still, he at least deserves critical investigation, because you don't expect him to just screw up. Butler was so weird
Joel
11:01
When camping, what's going on underneath your sleeping bag? Foam? Air mattress? Terra firma?
Jeff Sullivan
11:02
I have an inflatable light-weight sleeping pad because my 30-year-old back doesn't love the ground so much anymore
jd
11:02
in a recent reddit AMA, grant brisbee asserted that you were hot. do you have any rebuttals
Jeff Sullivan
11:02
I would kill to have Grant's voice
Kramer
11:03
When does Zych start closing for the M's?
Jeff Sullivan
11:03
Since he's probably third in line I don't think he gets a crack anytime soon
john
11:03
Who do you think gets the 5 spot for the Cubs - Hendricks or Warren?
Jeff Sullivan
11:03
Hendricks
Julio Pepper
11:04
Given that the market for position players seems to overpay 1B/DH types and short up the middle defenders according to the public metrics of WAR, do you think teams know something about defense that we don't? Like maybe that shifting/coaching/positioning makes elite defenders relatively less valuable, or maybe that something's wrong with the public measures? But then again, the smartest team (Cubs) just paid for Heyward, but they got him for a pittance. Any thoughts on this?
Jeff Sullivan
11:05
I don't think teams have defense solved any more than we do. It's just, defense is clearly less certain than offense, in terms of our measurements, and teams most prefer to invest in certainty. There's also something to be said for the market precedent -- if the market has always underpaid defense, it's going to continue to do that for a while before we see an adjustment
All that being said, I am open to the idea that aggressive shifting and whatnot can make up for otherwise lackluster range. It's an important consideration we don't know enough about yet
Carlos Carrasco
11:05
Will I win the AL Cy Young in 2016?
Jeff Sullivan
11:05
No
TF Fredrik
11:05
Is it me, or are pitchers easier to evaluate? I feel like between the stats and pitch f/x we can get pretty good reads on guys (in no way shape or form do I include pitcher health in this.) Yet with hitters, sometimes I feel like there isn't an easy way to look at a young guy and see something obvious that might lead him to a breakout or improvement, where with pitchers I kinda do.
Jeff Sullivan
11:05
Absolutely
11:06
There's still that weird stuff with pitchers where we don't know when they're one mechanical tweak away from figuring it out, but we just have so much more information about them to build a profile of skills
Ben
11:06
Any sense for how challenging it is for a big-league hitter to adjust to the shift? Are the Indians just not encouragin it for Santana because they don't want to experience the slump?
Jeff Sullivan
11:07
Hitters got to the majors a certain way, and if you then ask them in the majors to hit differently, that's really difficult. That goes against a lifetime of training. Some guys can pull it off, and some guys are worse for it, so in a lot of cases it probably makes sense to just have the hitters hit how they like and make the best of it.
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