Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat -- 4/22/16
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Jeff Sullivan
10:09
He's worked on his patience, and he's definitely been less aggressive, but pitchers so far have just been bad at throwing him strikes, especially of the first-pitch variety. That'll turn around given that Herrera doesn't exactly punish strikes again and again. I can see a little uptick in his "real" walk rate but this is an anomaly
Ampersand
10:09
Hi Jeff! I watched the end of Arrieta's no-hitter last night, and with two outs in the ninth and his team losing 16-0, a Reds player (Schebler) went from first to second base. The announcer said "That may be the greatest example of fielders' indifference in the history of the game," and it occurred to me that he might be right. Can you think of any way in which the stakes of that "steal" could be lower?
Jeff Sullivan
10:09
It could've been 17-0
Squirrels
10:10
Also, if you could be any lava mountain, would you be a good lava mountain or an evil lava mountain? I'd probably be an outer space one because that seems pretty cool!
Jeff Sullivan
10:10
I don't think I would want to destroy people, but I do think I would want to destroy property
Otherwise it's like, what's the point
Houzer
10:12
Lorenzo Cain- is he settling back into a 8HR / 30SB / .290 BA?
Jeff Sullivan
10:13
The contact issues are vaguely troubling. No one is throwing him strikes, but he's still swinging through everything. I don't think he's fallen apart or anything, but Cain is in a weird little rough patch. Might need to reboot the system
lloyd
10:14
Will HOF voters start to change their stance on PED users once the hypocrisy of MLB becomes more obvious? It seems like MLB had a pretty good idea as to what was happening at the time, allowed it to happen, but now has taken a revisionist historical stance and doesn't really hold themselves at all accountable.
Jeff Sullivan
10:14
There's no question in my mind the stance on PED use is softening. The voter pool is becoming more accepting, and while it's nothing you can see changing overnight, give it 20 years and then re-evaluate. There's going to be a lot of PED use in the Hall
spookie
10:15
too early to tell if mookie's selling out for power? he murdered that ball yesterday.
Jeff Sullivan
10:15
I don't think he's the type to do that. Too good of an all-around hitter. But I suppose it's not impossible he could try the Matt Carpenter
Northsider
10:16
How close is Jake Arrieta from being the best pitcher in baseball?
Jeff Sullivan
10:16
So close that if you told me you think Arrieta is the best pitcher in baseball, I don't have a great argument against it
10:17
There's just no sense picking between him and Kershaw. Obviously, Kershaw has done it for longer, but Arrieta has done this long enough to show it's not a fluke. They're amazing. They're absolutely amazing
Zonk
10:19
Of course the lowest FIP and xFIP on the Cubs pitching staff after last night belongs to Jake Ar.....wait.....Kyle Hendricks? How does one explain that?
Jeff Sullivan
10:20
A big part of Arrieta's success is his ability to avoid strong contact. That's partially reflected by FIP, and not at all reflected by xFIP. Since 2014, Hendricks has an ERA 22 points higher than his FIP. Arrieta is at 36 points in the other direction
Estubb
10:22
CarGo's exit velocity looks massive...does this suggest he can repeat his crazy second half numbers from last year?
Jeff Sullivan
10:22
He's already well on his way. I could definitely see a wRC+ around 140 - 150. He's done it before
Shin-soo Choo Express
10:23
Things are tough here in MN today. What, if anything, should we be excited about?
Jeff Sullivan
10:24
The improbability of existence
Curtis
10:24
Anyone considering a Trevor "Story" about the exceedingly hot early power guys over the years who come back to earth by mid-May (assuming he'll come back to earth by mid-May). Seems like there's one+ a year...
Jeff Sullivan
10:24
I don't know if anyone's planning an over-arching piece, but I do have a soft idea to re-examine pitchers pitching to Story in a few weeks
Stenzy
10:26
What do the Giants do at this point to right the ship?
Jeff Sullivan
10:27
I don't think anything is too broken. Defend a little better? They'll be okay.
The other Kyle
10:27
Are you buying the "Harvey is fixable" line or is something else afoot?
Jeff Sullivan
10:28
I definitely think he's fixable, but I'll have an eye on his game today. Potentially writing on him early next week. The problem is probably a little more complicated than has been let on
Achilles
10:29
Andrew McCutchen is a slow starter. His April is generally not good relative to the rest of his months. How I concerned should I be about his increased O-Swing% and lack of contact both outside the zone and in the zone?
Jeff Sullivan
10:30
It's interesting to me he's hit so much in the air. That could imply an intent to hit for more power, and that would be supported by the drop in contact. Don't know why McCutchen would decide to change things up like that, but something to watch for
He was clearly feeling some pressure to hit that first home run of the season. Maybe he'll settle down now
Gavin
10:31
Most likely to be very good in 3 years: Velasquez, White, Story
Jeff Sullivan
10:31
As a shortstop, Story is the safest. But all that's standing in Velasquez's way is health
Story has the best chance to be good. Velasquez has by far the highest ceiling
mark
10:32
Jeff, explain the Cardinals. I'll hang up and listen.
Jeff Sullivan
10:32
I didn't even realize Aledmys Diaz is batting .385. All right!
10:33
The Cardinals do almost everything right. Except for that one thing, they're baseball's model organization.
Q-Ball
10:33
How much does strength of schedule matter when evaluating performances right now? For example, Nationals look GREAT. Their schedule....OOF.
Jeff Sullivan
10:33
It's big. There hasn't been enough baseball to even things out, so it's definitely a factor, for everybody
10:34
Like, Bryce Harper is great, but Aaron Nola is the only good pitcher he's homered off so far. His opponents have sucked. Of *course* his numbers are insane.
Craig in Chi
10:34
How can my Sox bat the DH eighth and not do something about this lifeless lineup?!?!? They were refunded $13M and did nothing. Jerry (whom I love) should be called out, imo.
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