Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat -- 4/8/16
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Erik
10:52
Does being on a terrible team affect the development of young players? Should Phillies fans worry that guys like Nola and Franco won't reach their peak due to how pathetic the team is this year?
Jeff Sullivan
10:54
Executives have expressed some amount of concern over establishing a "winning culture" or whatever, and you definitely would prefer a young player come up and join a successful clubhouse, but I don't think there are careers at stake here. Young players are mostly concerned with getting themselves established, and you can do that independent of the rest of the roster
If it were a real problem, bad teams would really struggle to get turned around. Franco and Nola didn't seem to have issues last season
Alex
10:55
What did you think of Alex Wood last night? He was pitching well until the 5th. His fastball velocity seemed to be up (92 average and 93.5 max). That seems encouraging even if his numbers weren't great in the start.
Jeff Sullivan
10:56
Velocity just about back to normal, arm slot just about back to normal. I know the start went off the rails, but I was encouraged. Looks like Wood is back
AFan
10:57
Does sportsmanship has a place in baseball? such as player not walking to 1B if incorrectly awarded HBP?
Jeff Sullivan
10:57
A player would take that. At least, if the game is in any way close. Imagine explaining to your teammates that you didn't take a free base because you didn't think it would be right, even if the umpire told you to go
Joey
10:58
Is this finally the year of the Cardinals' demise? That lineup just isn't very daunting.
Jeff Sullivan
10:58
They're going to over-achieve your expectations, probably
Christian
10:58
Who finishes with the higher WAR for 2016: Felix or Cano?
Jeff Sullivan
10:58
Cano
Kevin
10:59
What stats do you like best for evaluating pitcher performance?
Jeff Sullivan
10:59
The usuals. And then if I'm feeling inspired I'll really dig into the PITCHf/x stuff, but I'm kind of a dork
Kim
10:59
For buy low guys, how much of a sample size does one need to say "looks like they bounced back" or "this is just how they are now"? For example, if Leonys Martin has a good April, is it safe to assume that 2015 was just unfortunate, or do you have to wait until the end of the season?
Jeff Sullivan
11:01
Depends where the results are coming from. Is Martin hitting the ball harder, or are squeakers just finding holes in the defense? Early on it's still about evaluating process over results
Pierre
11:01
Do you think Marcus Stroman can increase his K rate and become the ace everyone in Canada wants him to be, or is he simply not trying to strike guys out?
Jeff Sullivan
11:01
I think he'll be one of those guys who, around his peak, gets strikeouts almost by accident. With his sinker, he'll try to be efficient so he can always go 7+ innings, but he has so many pitches that hitters are going to whiff even when Stroman wants grounders
Unexpected Erection
11:02
With Schwarber getting hurt last night, do you see more time in LF for Bryant? Or will it be mostly Soler/etc (at least until Baez is healthy)
Jeff Sullivan
11:02
I assume mostly Soler
Hank
11:04
I watched most of the Chris Bassitt start the other day against the White Sox. He has great stuff. Other than the mistake to Frazier for the 3 run HR, he really looked good. Do you think he can be a solid #3 for the A's going forward?
Jeff Sullivan
11:06
Real under-the-radar guy. And I like the putaway breaking ball. He needs to be better about getting to it. I don't buy Bassitt as having a swing-and-miss fastball, not yet, even despite the velocity, so he needs some improvement from his supporting secondary offerings. That step is within his reach, though
Sean P
11:07
As a Cubs fan who has been watching the highlights of Starlin Castro's first couple games as a Yankee, I did notice the difference in his stride as you noted in your article this morning. However, I cannot fathom him ever turning into "Starling Blastro." Do you think Castro is now a higher WAR player because of this adjustment, or is this only a marginal improvement for an average player?
Jeff Sullivan
11:07
It's worth remembering that Castro has already had three seasons as a 3-WAR player. He could again be a 3-WAR player. I like this adjustment, provided he sticks with it and doesn't get pull-happy. I don't think it's going to make Castro an All-Star, but I can see him as a quality regular
Todd L
11:08
What are the Twins doing with their DH spot? They signed Byung Ho Park, who's a 1B/DH. Mauer will only play 1B/DH and Sano should probably only be a DH at this point, hopefully a 3B in the future.
Jeff Sullivan
11:09
For the moment, the Twins are punting a little defense, but they'll know a lot more a few months down the road. Maybe Park won't hit. Maybe Mauer won't hit. Maybe Sano will look surprisingly good defensively
corry
11:10
Could the Reds young rotation surprise this season? By the all star break i'm anticipating: Desclafani, Iglesias, Bailey, Cody Reed and Robert Stephenson
Jeff Sullivan
11:10
Like Dave, I see the Reds as the bad team with the best chance of being not bad
Terrible Ted
11:10
Your guess to the next country which gets an MLB team that isn't the USA?
Jeff Sullivan
11:11
Gotta be Canada. Far less complicated given the history and given that they already have one team in place
FireDrayton
11:11
Is there anything left to say about Correa other than omgomgomgomg?
Jeff Sullivan
11:11
No, but we'll probably still write 20 posts about him this season anyway
Anon
11:12
Per your piece on Felix. Say it's discovered that Felix has a torn ucl. Is it possible to increase your velocity to normal levels with Tommy John? And therefore we can potentially see Felix return to form?
Jeff Sullivan
11:12
If Felix were pitching with a torn ligament, then, yeah, it stands to reason he'd be better if he were pitching with a not-torn ligament.
Drew
11:13
Mike Montgomery looked mighty impressive in his first relief appearance. Any reason to believe he could the latest failed SP prospect to convert to a back end reliever?
Jeff Sullivan
11:14
Velocity's up and he's got a huge curveball. Definitely within his reach
G
11:14
Say you are the first batter of the game (100wRC+ hitter) and Kershaw is on the mound. Given the choice, would you rather strike out on 10 pitches or have a normal at bat? What would be the breakeven # of pitches?
Jeff Sullivan
11:14
I'll take the normal at-bat, but I might switch around 20 pitches or so
Wily Mo Money Mo Problems
11:15
Do you believe it is possible that MLB has wound baseballs tighter? I read that a test in late 2015 showed no statistical difference in the balls, but IMO the uptick in power can't be explained entirely by an increase in the number of power hitters. Despite the cold weather conditions, players are setting highs in exit velocity left and right!
Jeff Sullivan
11:15
I believed the theory a lot more before Ben Lindbergh and Rob Arthur tested it
Yahoo
11:16
If you had the first pick in the draft and could either take a player who might boom or bust or one that you knew would develop to exactly what Ketel Marte is right now, which would you take?
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