Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat -- 6/23/17
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RM
9:30
Which AL team escapes from the pack over the next month to grab the 2nd WC slot? Does that team keep it the rest of the way?
Jeff Sullivan
9:30
Well, yeah, that's the thing. The next month is important, but it's not going to seal the race
9:31
The Mariners are positioned well if Felix Hernandez shows something now that he's back. That's a strong lineup top to bottom
Bobbo the Blobbo
9:32
Should we expect much from Carlos Rodon when he gets back? Looked a bit rough in his Rehab starts.
Jeff Sullivan
9:32
Thankfully they've been rehab starts. Rehab starts aren't to be analyzed. Don't expect Rodon to be dominant immediately, but I'm not concerned by his 2017 minor-league numbers
AK
9:33
There's something poetic about Freddie Freeman making an unusual position change in order to accommodate Matt Adams who was traded because he couldn't make an unusual position change.  Baseball!
Jeff Sullivan
9:34
My current favorite thing about it is that the Braves are willing to move the face of the franchise to a position he hasn't played in a decade in order to accommodate a player that one month ago they got for basically free
Jaime
9:34
Aaron Judge's rolling 15-game average zone contact% is...... scary, to say the least.  The strikeouts are continuing to climb - now over 30% for the first time this season.  I don't want to sound like the crazy guy predicting the end of the world, but Judge might have some serious problems soon.
Jeff Sullivan
9:35
I'll say this for Judge: in June, he has his season's highest monthly K%, but also his season's highest monthly wRC+
9:36
His contact rate has indeed been sinking. And if memory serves, pitchers started working him up a little more often. I still wouldn't say he's quite yet in trouble
9:38
June Judge has had his hard-pitch rate increase by five percentage points. He seems to be seeing more hard pitches inside. Still the MLB leader in WAR
LegallyEagle
9:38
Any reasonable chance the Dodgers pick up Verlander? If the Dodgers are willing to dangle Verdugo, how much salary would the Tigers eat?
Jeff Sullivan
9:39
I don't think the Dodgers would be interested right now. Verlander hasn't been very good
Jimbo
9:39
Thoughts on the Rizzo-Hedges collision?
Jeff Sullivan
9:39
Rizzo broke the rules
Bryan
9:40
The Nationals currently have a 9 game lead in the division and short of a plane crash, should have no issues clearing the east.  That said, should Dusty be running up innings and pitches on his starting pitchers at this point in the season?  

If you win the division by 1 game or 15 it's all the same.  But if you blow out Max's or Strasburg's arm it's all for nothing
Jeff Sullivan
9:40
I would imagine things will get more conservative down the stretch, when the playoffs are nearer, and when the bullpen has been addressed so it's no longer a nightmare. Can't fault Dusty right now for being reluctant to go to a reliever
Bob
9:41
Harper always seems to start hot then cool off.  I'd wager a lot of it has to do with injury, but does anyone know what his workout routine is during the season?  Is there a chance the guy is just working out too much during the season and is getting fatigued?
Jeff Sullivan
9:42
Wouldn't be a shock if he ran himself tired. For whatever it's worth, over his career, his worst month historically has been July, by a big margin. Huge recovery in August/September
Ryan DC
9:43
Is Cody Bellinger going to have a dramatic second-half swoon like Joc Pederson did his rookie year?
Jeff Sullivan
9:43
It is interesting -- by plate-discipline statistics, Bellinger and rookie Pederson look one and the same
9:44
I think Bellinger is better, but his second half is going to be a lot rougher than his first.
Ben Gamel
9:44
Dave Cameron says he thinks I've crossed the threshold to everyday player, in spite of the BABIP.
Jeff Sullivan
9:45
Playable third outfielder. I think Gamel has more power than he's presently showing
Greg
9:45
Would teams be better off having to use a 4 man outfield, or having to use a 5 man infield? Assuming the team was able to build and optimize their team around this requirement
Jeff Sullivan
9:46
I'm thinking a four-man outfield. Gets complicated when you have to worry about getting a defender to the unoccupied base for a potential play, but at least as far as batted balls are concerned, there's often a whole segment of the infield where a hitter will basically never put a ground ball
Marichal
9:47
Since Cueto is reportedly planning to opt out of his contract next year, what are the chances that the Giants move him this summer, and who would be the most likely trade partners?
Jeff Sullivan
9:47
There'll be plenty of chatter, but Cueto doesn't actually have to make that decision until the fall. So he comes with pretty significant risk
RM
9:48
The Cubs are 5th in the NL "Playoff Odds" race with an 83% chance. The Cardinals are 6th with a 20% chance, and the majority of that comes from a potential division title. No question. Just in awe of the NL West.
Jeff Sullivan
9:48
Give this to the Mets and Giants -- they aren't just underachieving. They're terrible, and it's upended the landscape
BJOGC
9:48
Jeff, I know you don’t do the FG podcasts anymore but after talking to Carson for like 90 minutes, did you ever catch yourself emulating his speech patterns? Sometimes at work when I binge a few episodes of his podcast I find myself adopting his speech patterns and vocabulary. I’ll call people by their full name, use words like insofar and ennui, and do that “double talk” thing he does where he’ll say something and then immediately says the exact opposite afterwards
Jeff Sullivan
9:49
I do not do that
There are people I catch myself accidentally mimicking, but Carson is not one of them
Jimbo the Bimbo
9:49
Is Jon Gray going to come back, immediately become the ace of the Rockies, and lead them to the playoffs? Can we expect great things? Good things? Fine things? Things?
Jeff Sullivan
9:50
Desire good things, settle for fine things. I like Gray a lot but it wouldn't surprise me if his mechanics are a little wonky as he moves past getting hurt
Geronimo A
9:51
Does Bregman turn it around?  What kind of hitter does he become?
Jeff Sullivan
9:52
Already, he's grown more disciplined, and he's making more contact. Bregman isn't a lost cause, and his suite of skills sets a pretty high floor. I'm not sold on his having actual power, but he can be a 100 - 110 wRC+ kind of hitter for a while
Bub the Blub.
9:52
Does Felix H. have anything left, or are we watching a great pitcher fade away?
Jeff Sullivan
9:53
No reason it couldn't be both. We're all fading away
Felix, last year, threw 63% strikes. Before getting hurt this year he was up at 68%. It's something
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