Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat -- 8/12/16
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Manny
9:58
How much of being a manager is in-game decisions and how much is the psychological/emotional/clubhouse aspect of things? For as long as these managers have been in the game, many of them make what appear to be objectively (or mathematically) boneheaded decisions with relative frequency.
Jeff Sullivan
9:58
It's almost all about being a leader of people. And more than ever a lot of those decisions are all but taken out of their hands. They still have to make their strategic calls but very clearly baseball hasn't been selective for the most forward-thinking managers, at least in sabermetric terms. That's not an accident
9:59
Dusty Baker seems like a good manager because he is a terrific leader. Not so numbers-y. Now, he has gotten sharper as he's evolved, but he's still more of a leader than an academic
Erik
9:59
What are the odds that Bryce Harper has already had his best season?
Jeff Sullivan
10:00
At 9.5 WAR? I'd say 80-90%
guest
10:00
would any team sign Tebow for anything other than publicity?
Jeff Sullivan
10:00
Not much to gain from the publicity. He's never making the majors
J
10:01
Typical AAA hitter in MLB: 75 wRC+, AA: 50, A: 25, pitcher -10, average person -40. Would you agree?
Jeff Sullivan
10:01
I wouldn't disagree strongly with anything in here. Maybe A-ball hitters are more like 40-50 wRC+ types, I don't know. And as for the average person, what's the wRC+ minimum? They'd be whatever that is.
Chris
10:02
Jeff please make me feel better about my decision to 'buy low' on Cutch in a dynasty league
Jeff Sullivan
10:02
You should draw validation from yourself, and not from others
guest
10:04
will any good mlb players be in the olympics?
Jeff Sullivan
10:06
I assume not. MLB is too much of a business. If I had to guess, the American team will consist of minor leaguers and maybe some collegiates. There might be a foreign big-leaguer or two who desperately wants to represent his own country. So you might see one or two exceptions made, depending on circumstances
Bill
10:09
Two interesting articles on Kepler last week in Fangraphs seeming to point different directions for him. Could Kepler's pitch recognition ability account for any of his unexpected power, or does the batted ball/expected power profile, mean that despite advanced pitch recognition he is still not making the type of contact that would lead you to expect more than 15 or so homers in a season. Where do you see his power/average falling
Jeff Sullivan
10:09
Here's the problem I have with the pitch-recognition idea: this year, 288 hitters have batted at least 200 times. Kepler ranks sixth-lowest in Z-Swing% - O-Swing%
10:11
Now that doesn't prove anything. Joe Mauer is even lower! But it suggests some imprecise decision-making. And in terms of exit velocity on balls hit in the air, Kepler's average ranks 266th out of 336. He's right by Darwin Barney and Cesar Hernandez
10:12
I think Kepler is an interesting hitter, and the Twins are desperate for players with upside. I'm not convinced yet he'll become more than a third outfielder. That's a starter, of course, but not a star
Andrew
10:12
Is it fair to call Danny Duffy an ace at this point?
Jeff Sullivan
10:12
Well it's definitely fair to call him the ace of the Royals
10:13
Let's review some offseason polling: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/how-you-defined-an-ace/
After last year, 41% of the community thought that Noah Syndergaard was an ace. Based on that example, I'd say that Duffy is close but he's not quite there yet, because he doesn't have enough of a track record
10:15
If he stays healthy, I think he'll earn the label. He's getting deeper and deeper into games. And after next year he's a free agent. Big things coming
jon
10:15
In June, August wrote an article on the Cubs historic BABIP suppression. At the time, the Cubs were running a .250 BABIP allowed and an 85 BABIP-. Today, it is .255 BABIP allowed and an 86 BABIP-, which would be the lowest ever. 2014-2015 Royals, who?
Jeff Sullivan
10:16
One difference: I'm pretty sure the Cubs' pitchers deserve a lot of the credit. The Royals had the better defense; the Cubs have the better run prevention
10:17
Cubs pitchers this year have baseball's second-best hard-hit rate. Between 2014-2015, Royals pitchers ranked 19th. It's a blunt tool but it's something
Guest
10:17
what % you give the Mariners to get in the playoffs?
Jeff Sullivan
10:18
35% feels about right
I like the roster, but the complicating factor is I like a lot of the competing rosters, too
Chat de Fangraphs
10:19
Severino sent back to AAA......do you think he'll figure out his changeup and eventually become a #2-3?
Jeff Sullivan
10:19
Actually I think it's the slider that's abandoned him
I still like him enough. He's a lot better than his ERA
I am the walrus
10:22
With Schwarber and Soler coming back next yr and sharing LF for Cubs, that means less time in LF for Bryant and Zobrist, which really cuts into Baez infield PT. Even if Soler is traded that still leaves Schwaber getting 75-80% of OF PT. So do you think Cubs look to sell on Baez in offseason?
Jeff Sullivan
10:22
I could see them either transitioning Baez to CF, or exchanging him for a CF
He should be athletic enough to make the move but maybe they'd feel more comfortable with experience
Larry
10:23
How much of Zunino's success is SSS and how much is him actually showing a fundamental change in approach/ability? If it's the latter, does that reflect well on the developmental capacity of the new regime or is it more the case of a very talented player getting much-needed time in the minors?
Jeff Sullivan
10:24
He still has a lot of swing and miss in his game, and he probably always will. He definitely does seem better at laying off pitches out of the zone low, and that's important. I think it's beyond obvious that he was rushed, and he got a lot of different advice along the way from different people. I think his improvement reflects well on the front office's ability to be patient. Mostly I suspect this was Zunino figuring things out for himself -- remember that, as a rookie, his approach wasn't bad. But the organization would've had to work hard to get him into a good headspace
Scoopski Potatoes
10:25
I'm a Yankees fan......tell me something bad about Benintendi?
Jeff Sullivan
10:25
He's not nearly as good as Mookie Betts
Erik
10:25
Aaron Nola had a horrible ERA-FIP differential. Does he have any signs of being the type of pitcher for whom that's a recurring theme, or is he a surefire positive ERA regression candidate?
Jeff Sullivan
10:25
He's going to be fine. Really good, even, when he's healthy
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