Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat -- 4/22/16
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Jeff Sullivan
9:08
Hello friends
We should baseball chat
Bork
9:08
Hello friend!
Jeff Sullivan
9:08
Hello friend
Tony G.
9:09
Is injury-risk the only thing stopping Drew Smyly from joining the conversation of top-tier arms in the league?
Jeff Sullivan
9:09
He seems to have the habit of giving up a few too many homers, on account of all the high fastballs, but a more durable Smyly would be an incredible Smyly
9:10
Just to repeat something I tweeted out the other day, since the trade in mid-2014 Smyly actually has a better ERA and strikeout rate than David Price
Sometimes the Rays' genius is exaggerated, but in Smyly's case they saw something right away and made the tweak
Curtis
9:10
What would a Bryce Harper Career Year look like?
Jeff Sullivan
9:10
This
Popsicle
9:11
Tyler White for AL Rookie of the Year?
Jeff Sullivan
9:11
He has the advantage of already being up, but he has the disadvantage of A.J. Reed on the way. Plus I just like Park more
Tim
9:12
Rich Hill makes my brain hurt. One minute he's terrifying, the next minute unhittable...
Jeff Sullivan
9:12
Have to say this for Rich Hill: he was never going to sustain last year's tiny walk rate, but after striking out a third of his opponents over four starts, he's again struck out a third of his opponents over four starts
9:14
He's a hard one to hit. When he's in the zone, he's great. When he's out of the zone, hitters just sit back and watch. Give Hill a first-pitch strike and it's over
Gordo
9:15
Do you remember what Kluber's issues were the last two years that had him off to a bad start? Is he having the same issues this year?
Jeff Sullivan
9:16
I haven't done anything in depth yet to check out what's going on with Kluber, but I can tell you two things: his velocity is down a bit, and he's throwing even more fastballs. His fastball has been a problem for him before, and it's being further exposed
I suspect, once again, that Kluber is going to be okay, but he should be throwing fewer fastballs, not more. There should be more faith in the rest of his repertoire
John
9:17
I know it's still april and they can't be that bad all year with RISP, but are you worried by the Yankees offense?
Jeff Sullivan
9:18
The Yankees are actually 11th in baseball in wRC+. Between the Rockies and the Royals. I think they'll be good enough
Jimmy
9:18
Could you be so kind as to rank the following SP: Graveman, Bassitt, Holland, Porcello?
Jeff Sullivan
9:18
I like Porcello the most
Matt
9:19
Is Dexter Fowler showing us something funny about defensive stats? He has been worth more in 16 games than any other time in his career when stats considered him an awful defender.
Jeff Sullivan
9:20
You could observe the same thing about his offense. He has a 226 wRC+, which is more than double his career mark. Both of them are fluky! Fowler has been amazing, and a huge part of the Cubs' incredible start, but, yeah, don't believe in this too much
Erik
9:22
Looking at Arrieta's career statistics, it seems that he improved dramatically in every metric from 2013 to 2014, with no sign of this coming beforehand. Was there any way we could have known how he'd develop? And if so, any idea which pitchers could make a similar mid-career jump?
Jeff Sullivan
9:23
Arrieta is an important case, a little like the pitcher version of Jose Bautista. People are forever trying to predict or project the next breakouts, but it's unclear if there were even warning signs for the breakouts we've observed
The Cubs, of course, recognized that Arrieta still had a big arm. We could see that from here. One thing we couldn't really see was Arrieta's drive, and the magnitude of his frustration within Baltimore's pitching system. That was more inside-baseball stuff.
9:24
It helped that the Cubs allowed Arrieta to throw his slider as much as he wanted. That was an issue in Baltimore. But it's not like even the Cubs expected *this* much success. They probably figured Arrieta could be a No. 3, maybe a No. 2. Now he's practically even with Clayton Kershaw
dbacksfan
9:25
New to baseball. When I'm watching a pitcher for the first time, what, specifically do I look for to judge him?
Jeff Sullivan
9:25
It's easy to see how hard he's throwing. Watch for pitches moving in different ways. And watch the catcher to see how much he's moving around. The best pitchers hit their targets with consistency
9:26
As you become a more advanced baseball watcher, you can start to look for how batters are swinging against the pitcher. Do they look comfortable, or do they look defensive? For example, batters against Noah Syndergaard right now look defensive.
Squirrels
9:27
Is there a point when swing percentages stabalize? I didn't see that on the sample size page but I'm curious because Utley has been swinging at nothing outside of the zone.
Jeff Sullivan
9:27
Give it another month or so, but Utley isn't too far from his usual rates
9:28
He's also facing righties almost exclusively, which further helps
BakedBean
9:29
Which ailing ace is most concerning? Least concerning? Archer, Price, Harvey etc..
Jeff Sullivan
9:29
Archer and Price, at least, have their peripherals. Harvey has nine walks and seven strikeouts. I'll be paying attention to him today to see if he shows any improvement. Right now he warrants some concern
9:30
I don't love Dallas Keuchel minus 2mph
lloyd
9:31
Is Matt Cain going to return as a viable pitcher once he increases his endurance?
Jeff Sullivan
9:31
I think he's still useful. No. 4
D. Price
9:35
What is wrong with me?
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