Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat -- 5/5/17
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Jake
9:26
Keon Broxton is showing life! wRC+ over 80, K% under 39, fWAR over 0. You still comfortable projecting a league average bat and above average player?
Jeff Sullivan
9:27
I know this isn't really how things work, but if you split Broxton's brief 2017 in half, you have 46% K and a wRC+ of 9, and then you have 31% K and a wRC+ of 171
It's not like I can sit here and claim to be encouraged by how Broxton has begun, but his defense out there remains in the highest class, and I think his contact skills are better than his strikeout numbers. I'm still a fan
9:28
My comfort level, relative to a month ago, is only slightly reduced
Old timer
9:29
Matt Boyd. Better than I expected for sure. Sustainable or more smoke and mirrors?
Jeff Sullivan
9:29
So, on the one hand, there's nothing positively sustainable about a K-BB% of 5%. That's bad! Based on that, he doesn't deserve a sub-4 ERA
On the other hand, I like Boyd, and I don't think his strikeouts and walks accurately reflect his ability to throw strikes and miss bats. He's a useful mid-rotation starter, to me
9:30
It looks to me like in the early going, Boyd has been screwed by a bad strike zone
Ned Yost
9:31
Bregman for Donaldson one for one. Who says no?
Jeff Sullivan
9:32
I think the Astros would. I get why in theory you'd make that exchange, but they could lean on how much better they are than everyone else in the AL West. They don't need to make a move like that
Joe and Paul
9:32
Is Arismendy Alcantara better than the Reds are giving him credit for?
Jeff Sullivan
9:32
Probably not
9:33
Strikes out too often for someone who doesn't walk or hit for power. Fourth outfielder type for the moment
Keith Hernandez
9:34
is there hope for Harvey going forward? Velo is there and all the same pitches, however, strikeouts are gone and he seems to be laboring through innings
Jeff Sullivan
9:35
Harvey looks better if you forgive him the one start he apparently didn't expect to have to make. That doesn't make the strikeouts suddenly reappear, but you'd be a fool not to bet on his repertoire in the longer-term. He probably needs to re-learn how to use what he has, maybe in a different way, but he's in a blessed position, in general
The Average Sports Fan
9:36
Are the White Sox actually not terrible?
Jeff Sullivan
9:36
They've mostly beat up on the Royals, who might actually be terrible
9:37
The position players, collectively, haven't been very good. The rotation, collectively, hasn't been very good. The bullpen has been terrific! Which not many people expected. I'm all aboard the Kahnle train
9:38
I can buy the White Sox as just being a little bad, instead of very bad. But we're also all counting on them to deal Quintana, Robertson, Jones, etc. So in the second half, things could be ugly. And don't look now but Giolito has been a wreck
Colinbaseball
9:39
Why has league-wide BABIP not dipped with the increase in shifts?
Jeff Sullivan
9:39
Always a fun thing to notice
9:40
A few possible reasons. Hits the other way seem to be making up for lost hits to the pull side. And you also have the possibility that hitters are just hitting the ball harder than before. So it could be that league-wide BABIP would have risen by now if it *weren't* for the shift. We're missing that counterfactual
BHAM
9:41
Hi Jeff. Thanks for chatting!

How long does it take for Plate Discipline stats to stabilize? In particular looking at Adam Duvall. O-Swing/Z-Swing are both down, and Contact% is up. Looks like power is up over '16 as well. My question is ... are we seeing a new Duvall that holds moving forward?
Jeff Sullivan
9:41
It's hard to figure it's a Duvall thing when we're seeing the same with Suarez, Cozart, etc. Just based on that I think you need to give the players more time
9:42
But I see the reduced swing rate and increased contact rate. Those are good. It's been a promising first month
One thing I can't recommend enough: play around with player graphs http://www.fangraphs.com/graphs.aspx?playerid=10950
9:43
Duvall this year has played in 27 games. Check out his history for rolling 27-game stretches. See if he's ever done what he's currently doing. You'll see that most players, historically speaking, have been fairly cyclical
Ben
9:44
So on Tuesday Edinson Volquez gave up 1 HR, walked 8, and struck out 9 in only 4.1 innings. Then last night Zach Eflin pitched 7 innings with 0 HR, 0 BB, and only 1 SO (which didn't come until the 6th inning). Is that crazy or what? Also, is Eflin trying to single-handedly stem the tide of baseball's 3 true outcome trend?
Jeff Sullivan
9:44
Graveman might be trying to help with the cause
And I think Wade Miley recently had a start that looked kind of similar to that Volquez line
9:45
Miley's last two starts: 12 innings, 4 runs, 11 walks, 14 strikeouts. Ugh
Leone for Third Eye Blind
9:46
What was the greatest moment in the history of bitter "natural" rivals Padres and Mariners?
Jeff Sullivan
9:46
For some reason one thing comes to me in particular
9:47
The Mariners dumped Jeff Cirillo on the Padres after a terrible and terribly disappointing two seasons. In Seattle, Cirillo went and got himself booed. Miserable time. When the Mariners faced Cirillo in San Diego in 2004, he hit an eventual game-winning three-run homer off Jamie Moyer
9:48
Another fun part of the rivalry might've been how the two clubs exchanged like three hundred players and not a single one of them was ever any good
Stars & Scrubs Forever
9:48
The Cards seem to be contenders through the woes of the Mets, Giants and Pirates. However, what exactly could they "buy" with their balanced roster, unless they are willing to boot Waino?
Jeff Sullivan
9:48
The easy answer is Quintana. Long way to go before the Cards know if that's something they want to pursue
Zed
9:49
See any reason to be concerned by Kyle Seager's slow start? Making more hard contact lately, though still not much to show for it.
Jeff Sullivan
9:49
Technically he does still have a 100 wRC+
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