Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat -- 6/24/16
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Jeff Sullivan
9:07
Hello friends
First chat in a few weeks!
9:08
Let us baseball chat, posthaste
Frank
9:08
Is Teheran wearing a Red Sox uniform come August?
Jeff Sullivan
9:08
Think of it kind of like World Series odds -- the Red Sox might be the team with the greatest probability, but that actual probability is likely no higher than, say, 20%
9:09
So few decent pitchers out there. So many teams looking. Dombrowski might be the most willing to overspend to get what he wants, but I wouldn't exactly count on that
Spork
9:09
Has the Stanton buy low window closed?
Jeff Sullivan
9:10
This is probably a fantasy question but in real-life terms, when a player like Giancarlo Stanton has an ugly, below-replacement month, the proper conclusion is generally that the player just had an injury and he will shortly return to being elite
Stanton has long been amazing. Stands to reason his natural talent level is amazing
Aladdin Sane
9:11
What do you see offensively from Addison Russell long term? How about Willson Contreras?
Jeff Sullivan
9:13
Russell seems like sort of a borderline power guy who's going to be vulnerable to big swings in slugging percentage depending on when the wind in Wrigley is blowing in or out
9:14
He already walks a lot for someone so young and the contact will probably get a little better. He is still just 22. But I see something like a sustained 110 wRC+ or so, rather than something elite
9:16
Contreras is neat. Obvious strength and I love that he's resolved his strikeouts as he's gone up against more high-level competition. Not a lot of young players whiff less while maintaining their walks. Kind of a flatter swing that might limit long-term homers but he's a big-league-ready bat today
Vic Romano
9:17
Willson Contreras looked pretty good at 1B yesterday, and Maddon is saying he might see some time in the OF as well. Is there any end in sight to the Cubs' constant parade of young phenoms?
Jeff Sullivan
9:17
There is an end to everything and everyone
Only question is whether you meet your own end before the Cubs meet theirs
That one's 50/50
Ed in Iowa
9:19
WAR for relievers doesn’t account for the identity of the hitters faced, correct? So someone like Andrew Miller, if used appropriately, is actually more valuable than his WAR would indicate because he’s generally going to be wiping out an inning of the other team’s best hitters. True?
Jeff Sullivan
9:21
You are correct that WAR doesn't account for opposition quality. At some point it probably will, and that'll be neat. But it's worth remembering that these things do more or less average out, and relievers are compared to other relievers, who face tougher opponents than starters, generally
9:22
Looking at numbers on Baseball Prospectus, the pitcher with the toughest opponents so far -- minimum 20 IP -- is Tony Cingrani
9:23
.267/.341/.438 average opponent slash line. Then you've got Hunter Cervenka, and Daniel Hudson
Relievers who are selectively used probably deserve more credit. It's like how, say, Clayton Kershaw deserves more credit for his platoon splits because the only lefties he faces are the best ones. But in the end it doesn't move the needle too much
Slugger27
9:24
can you be the first chatter to retire Bork's "hello, friend"?? The charm is long gone at this point.
Jeff Sullivan
9:25
Amiability never loses its charm
Bork
9:25
Hello, friend!
Jeff Sullivan
9:25
Hello friend
j6takish
9:25
Jeff, now that David DeJesus is basically out baseball, who is your go-to mental image of a "league average player". If the answer isn't Yunel escobar, please explain why
Jeff Sullivan
9:25
Yunel Escobar would be a decent example but I simply can't think of him without thinking of his personality background. He isn't a boring league-average person
9:27
The right answer is probably Yangervis Solarte. So average, so boring
Ronnie
9:27
What are we to make of team DRS/UZR outliers like last years A's (+16/-33) & Astros (+30/-3), or the 2014 Pirates (+28/-40) & Angels (-20/+26), or the 2013 Blue Jays (+15/-25) & A's (-55/+13), etc?
Jeff Sullivan
9:29
One thing to remember is that UZR, unlike DRS, doesn't fold in pitcher or catcher defense, so that can be a contributing factor. But anyway, it's a case-by-case basis thing, and a good idea would be to average the two, but you want to check with other numbers that measure ball-in-play efficiency. With a little research you can see which number might make more sense
Ultimately the biggest thing is these outliers are reminders that defensive numbers come with big error bars. Statcast, one hopes, will help in short order, but we're better at grouping defenses than actually ranking and valuing them
Justin
9:30
First, Dave Cameron was fired by the Senators. Now Dave Cameron is stepping down as PM. Should we expect Dave Cameron to retire from FanGraphs next?
Jeff Sullivan
9:30
I've been appealing to David Appelman that we should try to hire the other two Dave Camerons
Andrew
9:31
Construct a (semi-realistic) blockbuster trade involving the Mets? Please and thank you.
Jeff Sullivan
9:31
I guess I'd say they don't need a blockbuster?
But if they really wanted I could see them going after Lucroy, who'd be a hell of a lot less frustrating than d'Arnaud
Miguel Cabrera
9:35
Hello, how much longer is my hall of fame shelf life? Or will I just keep crushing into perpetuity?
Jeff Sullivan
9:35
I'm increasingly convinced you're just going to be able to hit well forever
The issue with Cabrera will probably be injuries forcing him to the sidelines -- so his playing time might ultimately shrink, but I think he's probably got another five or six years of quality offense
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