Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat -- 4/21/17
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Jeff Sullivan
Right now probably ibuprofen and a heating pad
What's up with Paul Goldschmidt? Is this a temporary power dip or a longer term downward continuation trend that started last year? Have we seen peak Goldschmidt already? He seems too young for that.
Jeff Sullivan
Recent Padres games aside, I'll give Goldschmidt a break because he's faced a bunch of tough pitching. His contact rate is down, which isn't great, but his batted-ball quality is basically fine. This feels like a minor blip, not a longer-term concern
Still very dangerous
Should Jose Berrios be in the Twins' rotation right now?
Jeff Sullivan
That depends entirely on their internal evaluation -- they have their reasons for his being in Triple-A, and they have things they're looking for. If and when they're satisfied, it shouldn't be hard for him to step in for Mejia
Lord of the Infield Flies
Do you think Maikel Franco ever settles in as an above-average 3B? The tools are there, but the results are frustrating.
Jeff Sullivan
I think with his above-average power and above-average contact, it'll be hard for him to be too terrible for too long. He does chase often enough that he limits his own ceiling, and his defense isn't extraordinary, but he should end up with triple-digit wRC+ marks
Big Tuna
With Mancini having a start at lead off this week, is he actually somebody we should take seriously?
Jeff Sullivan
According to Statcast, since 2015, just 29 players have hit a ball in the air at least 115 miles per hour. Mancini is one of them, on a home run from a week and a half ago
Now, this is a list of players that goes from Giancarlo Stanton to Will Venable, so it's no guarantee of success, but that hints at Mancini's peak power. Maybe he's Mark Trumbo!
What's more likely: Eric Thames finishes top 5 in WAR, or Eric Thames finishes with negative WAR from this date to the end of the season?
Jeff Sullivan
Last year's cutoff, for position players, was 7.5 WAR (Corey Seager)
Thames' WAR right now is 1.6
Over the past decade, just eight 1B seasons have reached the 7 WAR threshold -- looking at Pujols, Berkman, Votto, Goldschmidt, and Davis
This is actually hard. This is a hard question!
I think the right answer is the negative-WAR one, but I don't think it's the right answer by much
If Thames' discipline is for real, he's an elite hitter
Say something nice about Wade Miley. He clearly didn't like the weather in the northwest, and his move back to the east coast has rejuvenated his career. I know it was only the Reds, but my god man, he was dealing last night!
Jeff Sullivan
Here's the funny thing. Miley last year: 19% strikeouts. Miley this year: 33% strikeouts
Miley last year: 8.8% swinging strikes. Miley this year: 8.9% swinging strikes
He's had two outstanding starts in a row. At one point last year he dominated the Cubs. He is very much hit-and-miss
I do see that he's virtually eliminating his changeup. Something to watch
Saw some of the Nats vs Braves game last night. Strasburg was pitching from the stretch when nobody is on base. Did he just start this? Do you have any idea why, or if it seems to be helping with anything?
Jeff Sullivan
I think it's something he's started to do this year. He's not the first. Carlos Carrasco comes to mind as a guy who took off around the same time he adopted the full-time stretch. It's a way to simplify, to try to achieve greater mechanical consistency. Strasburg's strike rate this year is very high. He's actually at 70%, which is nuts. So that's an early positive
Strikes up, grounders way up. Historically, Strasburg hasn't been so great with runners on base. Maybe getting more familiar with the stretch will aid with that
Hi Jeff, I'm going to Greece on my honeymoon in June. We'll be visiting Athens, Santorini, and Crete. There is a volcano on the island of Santorini, but we've heard from multiple sources that it's not all that interesting to visit, so we might skip it. Convince me otherwise?
Jeff Sullivan
Just to be clear, Santorini technically *is* a volcano. Or, part of one
But maybe the most interesting aspect is the potential link between Santorini and the tale of the lost city of Atlantis
Whether you're interested in that is up to you!
The Dark Knight
Have I returned?
Jeff Sullivan
Well that depends
Harvey looks effective again, and he's pounding the strike zone
But his stuff isn't all the way back and his contact rate is higher than the league-average
So Harvey might be more of a low-walks guy than a high-strikeouts guy
Does Mike Rizzo just enjoy shattering the confidence of his relievers? It is starting to seem like his specialty.
Jeff Sullivan
Not his fault Blake Treinen has been walking everybody
Is the Mets' staff not as good as we thought. We know Thor's awesome and deGrom's great, but the rest seem like they may be below average. Still would be a good rotation, but not as we imagined. Do you agree?
Jeff Sullivan
I know that Gsellman, Harvey, and Wheeler have combined for a 118 ERA- in nine starts, but they also have a 95 FIP- and 80 xFIP-. They have nearly four strikeouts for every walk. They're fine
They're not dominant, but they're fine