Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat -- 8/19/16
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Jeff Sullivan
9:33
A better move would be helpful -- Cueto has way quicker feet. But even with a good move, runners will be able to distinguish between a pickoff and a pitch. And with current timing, when Syndergaard goes to the plate, it's really easy to run on him
The solution basically has to be a lower leg kick. That's probably a very difficult thing to try to improve on the fly. It's an offseason project
Off the top of my head I'd say the Mets might establish a 2017 goal of 20 or 25 steals allowed
Stuafoo
9:35
Name one thing in baseball rarer than Bartolo Colon drawing a walk
Jeff Sullivan
9:35
Bartolo Colon drawing two walks
Steve
9:35
I read your article this morning on Noah Sydergaard’s trouble with baserunners. There was a comparison to Chris Tillman and how effective Tillman has been at controlling baserunners with the use of a slide step. Do you think Syndergaard would experience any sort of drop in velocity if he adopted a slide step? Just curious, do you think there is a significant enough velocity change between the windup and the stretch as well?
Jeff Sullivan
9:36
Just to use one example this year, Tillman has had an average fastball of 92.6 with the bases empty, and 93.0 with a runner on first. So depending on how much that means, it doesn't look like there's experienced velocity loss
9:37
The bigger issue is general mechanical disruption. If you're not used to a slide-step, you can end up speeding up your whole delivery and you lose command. You might also increase injury risk as a consequence. There's a way to do it an retain all your arm speed, but it has to be worked on carefully. It's probably why Syndergaard hasn't improved over the summer
Crusty Juggler
9:37
Hiking while going commando: the only way or the best way?
Jeff Sullivan
9:37
It's definitely not the only way
9:38
Strongly recommended for hot days. Strongly discouraged for snowy nights.
And never go commando when glissading
Josh
9:40
Eduardo Rodriguez has looked like a completely different pitcher over the last month. Do you think he's simply solved his pitch tipping issues, or are there other significant adjustments that have led to his success?
Jeff Sullivan
9:42
Sorry about that -- phone call
9:43
It looks to me like Rodriguez has returned with a modified slider, which he's thrown with far greater confidence. He's achieved more consistent release points and he's slightly lowered his arm, and he's better now about keeping pitches away from hitters. I'm sure the first half was some mix of poor performance and horrible confidence. He looks strong again and I'm a believer again
2-D
9:43
Does Brad Miller need a full time position on defense or should he take the Zobrist route?
Jeff Sullivan
9:44
I'm a big fan of the Zobrist route, and related to that, I would also be interested in seeing more of Miller in the outfield. He's been pretty annoyed by getting bumped from short, but once that blows over, the Rays will have programmed in some open-mindedness
BJOGC
9:44
Jeff, we always hear about good clubhouse guys/bad clubhouse guys and we always wonder how teams value guys who are jerks but can play. Hasn't Yunnel Escobar sort of established "replacement level for assholes" as being around 2.5WAR?
Jeff Sullivan
9:45
Escobar is a really fascinating case study. A few years ago I heard worse things about him than I'd heard about any other player. Team executives were legitimately afraid of the man. He's clearly floated around, but he's found a home now, and he's performing, and I haven't heard much of anything negative for a while.
Maybe these guys can be fixed! Or, at least, managed. If Escobar can find a home, most troublemakers can
Northsider
9:47
Before his debut, Kris Bryant was getting a lot of Troy Glaus comps. How do you feel about that comp almost 2 years later?
Jeff Sullivan
9:48
The offensive profiles are still really similar. And early-career Glaus was fantastic. But Glaus was maybe a little bit less of an athlete, and he ran into injury problems that slowed him down. Bryant, I'd think, should age better
Glaus wound up at 34 career WAR but he was more than halfway there by age-25.
mookie best
9:49
Neat article this morning Jeff. I was wondering, relatedly, about identifying pitchers to stream steals against. Is there a steals-against leaderboard on these digital pages? Or steal-rate against. Thanks for the insight.
J
9:51
So all indications point to Altuve hitting the ball harder than ever with improved discipline and he's put himself into the MVP conversation and might even be the favorite since the Angels aren't winning. How is this for real and what do you think he is moving forward? The guy nearly has as many walks as strikeouts with a sky high BABIP plus power! Oh and he's thrown in 26 SB.
Jeff Sullivan
9:53
I still don't really trust the magnitude of Altuve's power -- he's below-average in terms of FB/LD exit velocity. Around names like Starlin Castro and Yangervis Solarte. That being said, Altuve has proven he can hit opportunistic homers, and he's also proven he can hit everything else. His hands are amazing, so his plate coverage is amazing, and he can run like the dickens. Not much he can't do. It's wonderful to have Altuve and Betts blossoming at the same time
Brandon
9:53
Is Cingrani going to hold onto the closer role all season?
Jeff Sullivan
9:53
I have genuinely never thought about it
Jim Lonborg
9:54
Is Tazawa done? Like, seriously done? He kinda looks it.
Jeff Sullivan
9:55
Command awful. Velocity dropping. I don't think he's *done* done, not given how good he was earlier, but the best-case scenario is he's got a fit of dead arm
Mike T.
9:55
Jeff - How are you and Dave going to split the driving?
Jeff Sullivan
9:56
Haven't worked that out yet. It'll be Dave's vehicle but he's also driving an awful lot before I even meet up with him.
I might insist on driving from Kansas City to Denver just as a mechanism of staying awake
carl
9:56
Chances that Corey Knebel takes over at closer? pretty small, right?
Jeff Sullivan
9:56
sure
Brandon
9:56
Who are the top 5 players heading into 2017?
Jeff Sullivan
9:57
Trout, Betts, Kershaw, Donaldson, Bryant
Sub in Machado for one of the last four if you want
Paul
9:57
Are Strand Rates useful in analysing a pitcher? How much control over them do pitchers have?
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