Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat -- 4/21/17
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Jeff Sullivan
Reddit to the rescue!
Rule 6.01(b) Fielder Right of Way The players, coaches or any member of a team at bat shall vacate any space (including both dugouts or bullpens) needed by a fielder who is attempting to field a batted or thrown ball. If a member of the team at bat (other than a runner) hinders a fielder's attempt to catch or field a batted ball, the ball is dead, the batter is declared out and all runners return to the bases occupied at the time of the pitch. If a member of the team at bat (other than a runner) hinders a fielder's attempt to field a thrown ball, the ball is dead, the runner on whom the play is being made shall be declared out and all runners return to the last legally occupied base at the time of the interference.
5 Run Homer
I haven't watched much baseball because my favourite hockey team is in the playoffs and the Jays are awful. Im
Jeff Sullivan
I know the feeling. My own baseball consumption is being limited right now on account of the Senators. Which, hey, that's great! But baseball season for me won't *truly* begin until the Sens are eliminated
This usually isn't a problem. :|
Angry FG Reader
I invested heavily in Keon Broxton because of you and your ilk. Please give me hope that everything will be OK.
Jeff Sullivan
I don't know man
I mean, he started last year like this, and then he had that crazy second half. But this is messy
The only optimism I have is that his contact rate hasn't changed that much. He strikes out looking *so often*.
At what sample size can we feel confident that Haniger won't go all Ackley on us? What type of modifier should our expectations for him be due to him not being forced to develop within the M's organization?
Jeff Sullivan
Rookie Ackley had a 117 wRC+ over 376 plate appearances
So, bad news!
Dustin Ackley and Jeremy Reed ruin everything
But Haniger really does seem like the real deal. Contact's good. Discipline's good. Doesn't swing and miss too much. He'll slump, but I love the overall skillset
Big Tuna
What is up with Carlos Martinez?
Jeff Sullivan
I don't think anything is really up with Carlos Martinez, in terms of something being horribly wrong
He continues to struggle to avoid walks against lefties, and I don't know how much longer that's going to hound him
He's made himself even more difficult to hit, just getting the bat on the ball, but that results in deeper counts, and Martinez doesn't have pinpoint command. Deep counts mean more strikeouts and more walks
With a few more first-pitch strikes, Martinez will be on track. I'm not too worried
Big Tuna
What do you make of Votto’s slow start? I know he experiments a lot.
Jeff Sullivan
And here I thought everyone loved what Votto was doing!
He has a 123 wRC+, and that goes with a .170 BABIP
The man hates striking out. He might be sacrificing some contact quality to keep the strikeouts down. But just as with Clayton Kershaw a week ago -- my answer is that I worry about Votto less than I worry about literally any other hitter
*Literally* literally. I have more confidence in Votto than anyone
And, by the way, his O-Swing% is back to normal. It's his Z-Swing% that remains up by 10 points
Jon Lester someone who can survive with diminished velo given his control, pitch tunneling, pitch pairs?
Jeff Sullivan
I don't think we know enough about tunneling or pairs or anything to be declarative. Just, Lester throws a bunch of pitches within a narrow velo range, and his command is super good. When you can locate, your margin of error is large
If the Braves crash and burn could you see them flipping Freeman for a monster package?
Jeff Sullivan
It would have to be a total, utter catastrophe
Otherwise they just can't do it
And they'd have to look out for the Brewers potentially shopping Eric Thames
Why don't we see more 2-3 arbitration extensions with elite relievers? Relievers can be volatile, but it seems both parties should be mutually interested, especially as more teams prevent their best young relievers from closing due to increasing arbitration costs. These extensions would give teams would get a cost-controlled closer, while the player would get the chance to earn the "proven closer" label, valuable for free agency.
Jeff Sullivan
It doesn't not happen. Doolittle, Kimbrel, Herrera, Jones, Ottavino, Harris, and Strop have signed deals while still in the team-control years
Dansby Swanson and Byron Buxton are tied for worst position player's at this point with -0.6. How surprising is this? Which surprised you more? And which do you think will end the season higher?
Jeff Sullivan
Swanson is definitely the bigger surprise. We've seen Buxton do this before. Because of that, I think Swanson has the better chance of finishing higher. Buxton just seems lost. Swanson seems like he's struggling for the first time
Thanks for all the great articles, Jeff. Love sharing them as the writing makes the topics super accessible to the more casual fans
Jeff Sullivan
Thank you for reading them, because I can't believe this is an actual job
Mark Shapiro
What can I get for Josh Donaldson?