Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat -- 5/13/16
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Jeff Sullivan
9:58
But Beltre is 80-grade entertaining. It's maybe the best thing about him! He is so impossible to dislike in any way imaginable
Saul
9:59
Can we all just take a moment to appreciate Clayton Kershaw, and mock those who thought Arrieta or Syndergaard were comparable?
Jeff Sullivan
9:59
Again, it's worth remembering that Arrieta actually has the lower ERA over the past year or so
He's unbelievable, performance-wise
Syndergaard is unbelievable, repertoire-wise, but he hasn't gotten the performance up to Kershaw's standards
Zorak
10:00
Is Wilmer Flores just not a good baseball player? Fringey defense and a career .285 OBP, and yet a few days ago Terry batted him between Cespedes and Conforto. I know, cult hero from last year and all, but he seems AAAA to me.
Jeff Sullivan
10:00
Somehow he's still just 24, so he's got time, but yeah, for the moment there's not too much to like, on the field
Taveras' Ghost
10:02
Keuchel: If you had to bet on hiding an injury or last year was lightening in a bottle you would place your money on...
Jeff Sullivan
10:03
The velocity is actually returning. But he hasn't been so precise down and away, which is how he made his living in 2015. In that article Eno wrote, Keuchel acknowledges having had to make some adjustments because he's read that hitters are anticipating his strategy, so he's had to mix his strategy up
10:04
His margin of error isn't huge. And if he can't live down and away like before, maybe that just causes him to be exposed. He hasn't yet figured it out. I don't think he's hurt. I think he just has to be precise, and last year he was more precise. I wouldn't be shocked if he's just fatigued
10:05
If Keuchel's arm isn't as fresh as it was, and if hitters know how he wants to pitch to them, then it follows that he'll have his struggles
Kyle
10:06
Can you create a realistic Ryan Braun trade for me?
Jeff Sullivan
10:06
Braun + money = B prospect + low-level live arms
Gary
10:09
Buxton is tearing up AAA. Do you think he gets called up soon? And why do you think he's had such trouble with Major League pitching?
Jeff Sullivan
10:11
Buxton never really had a problem with shredding the minors. Long track record there. He's just struggled with the final step. With the Twins being godawful, there shouldn't be any sense of urgency here -- he should remain in Triple-A until he's where they want, and until he's feeling confident again. I think he still has some stuff left to learn about how pitchers want to pitch him. The tools are all obviously present but he doesn't go up with enough of a plan
Sam
10:11
There's been a ton of hype about Arrieta this season...but after Kershaw's performance yesterday, I now have zero doubt that he is still the best pitcher on the planet. Agree or nah?
Jeff Sullivan
10:11
It's Kershaw. Arrieta hasn't been *better* than Kershaw lately, and Kershaw has the much longer track record
Arrieta is just next-closest
mtsw
10:12
Can the Orioles sustain having a top-three offense going forward? They seem to be hitting a lot of "best case scenario" marks so far (besides Gallardo falling apart)
Jeff Sullivan
10:13
It's funny -- they are where they are despite a struggling Adam Jones and a struggling Matt Wieters. In a way, it could get better!
I think they'll fluctuate around the No. 3 position. Machado's breakout seems to be for real, and he pushes them forward. Lots of deficiencies on that team, but hitting isn't one of them
Erik
10:14
If the season ended today, is Pete Mackanin manager of the year? And how should we judge good managers, knowing that so much of outperforming expectations can be attributed to luck?
Jeff Sullivan
10:15
Still no great way to measure a manager's performance. Over-performing is a good start...although the Phillies still have a terrible run differential? So that might go beyond any Mackanin credit. You could try to run a deep, deep, investigative study to look for managerial markers for every single team. But that would take forever, and it would cost a lot of resources, and you probably still wouldn't come away with a concrete idea
Taveras' Ghost
10:16
Does Stanton look weird at the plate to you? He just doesn't look confident. He did alright coming back from the face smashing. He doesn't look comfortable.
Jeff Sullivan
10:16
I can't speak to body language. I'm trained to speak to results, and the results are fine
Zach
10:17
Is there a point at which being able to TOO accurately project future results becomes an issue? Obviously, if we knew with 100% certainty what would happen in a given game/season/whatever, there'd be no point in watching, but how close to 100% do we have to get before baseball becomes meaningless (and not in the way that it is already meaningless in the face of the inexorable march of time)?
Jeff Sullivan
10:17
I think about this from time to time. Thankfully(?) we're nowhere close in terms of projections being too good, but it is a funny goal to try to predict the future, since then that would render the whole thing pointless
10:19
I don't know exactly where the tipping point is. It's well beyond where we are now. It's almost certainly unreachable. Projections have made so little progress over the past decade or so, despite all the available information. That's simultaneously encouraging and discouraging. It's discouraging that we aren't getting much better at this, but it's encouraging that we aren't ruining the thing we follow
J
10:19
The Yankees have the lowest xFIP- in the AL but a high ERA. They just got back Chapman. Do you consider them the best pitching staff in the AL?
Jeff Sullivan
10:20
It's probably them, the Indians, or the White Sox
But the Yankees staff is also fragile, for reasons I don't need to get into
Erik
10:20
With the rise of the Phillies, will the NL East be the strongest division in baseball in 2017 or 2018? Or do you see the Nationals or Mets falling if the Phillies rise?
Jeff Sullivan
10:20
The Phillies still have one of the worst offenses ever. Let's not go crazy
10:21
AL East is always going to be a battlefield
Jon Daniels
10:22
Is Profar, Brinson, Cordell, Luis Ortiz and maybe ChiChi or Nick Martinez enough to get Sonny Gray?
Jeff Sullivan
10:22
No. Not enough certainty in Profar
Guest
10:22
Favorite Oregon brewery? Fort George is my go to for anything ipa
Jeff Sullivan
10:22
Cascade, but I'm a big sours guy
10:23
I've never once had a bad experience at or related to Double Mountain
mtsw
10:23
What do you make of new articles that purport that Ty Cobb was actually very racially tolerant for his day and not as much of a jerk as he was later made out to be?
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