Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat -- 8/19/16
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Jeff Sullivan
9:58
Pitchers have some control and better strikeout guys will manage higher strand rates than others. There's a huge luck element though. Better to examine a pitcher's splits and ability to hold runners
Andrew
9:59
How many simulations of the season from this point forward would you have to run to find one where the Braves win the NL East? Is there a computer capable of running that many simulations before the sun explodes?
Jeff Sullivan
9:59
Let's put it this way: the Braves are 27.5 games out, and we give them 0.0% division odds
10:00
The Marlins are 9.5 games out, and we give them 0.1% division odds
The right answer to your question is probably somewhere between 10,000,000 and 100,000,000
Brandon
10:01
What is your favorite Olympic event to watch?
Jeff Sullivan
10:01
Hockey
Rick Roll
10:01
how many friends do you have that aren't into baseball?
Jeff Sullivan
10:02
Pretty much none of the friends I've made in Portland are into baseball. Met a lot of them through rock climbing and there's not much in the way of overlapping interests there. Also even the friends in Seattle I met *through* baseball have basically fallen out of love with it on account of the Mariners
10:03
Matthew Carruth and I, for example, bonded over the Mariners. Now we never talk about them!
Jim Lonborg
10:03
Which career trajectory is more surprising: Ryan Howard or Allen Craig? Relatedly, are Mike Carp-esque careers more common than I think, and we just forget about guys like that? I never thought he'd be a star, but I didn't think he'd be out of baseball by 30.
Jeff Sullivan
10:04
The Craig one is kind of mystifying. I mean, with both guys, you could try to point to injuries as being the determining factors. Howard, for his part, looked like an old player even when he was a young player.
10:05
As for Carp and Carp-like players, he was an unathletic sort with a half-decent hit tool. You can use those guys when they're healthy and they hit for some power, but as soon as anything goes wrong, there are too many negatives. They don't give you much roster flexibility
Brandon
10:05
Is speed walking a real sport?
Jeff Sullivan
10:06
Everything I know about it I learned from Malcolm In The Middle. So I guess yes?
Erik
10:07
Dansby Swanson and JP Crawford have similar ages, similar pedigrees, and similar stats, and their teams are at similar points in the rebuilding cycle. Yet Swanson was an August promotion while rumors are Crawford will have to wait til May or June. Which team played it right? Or are the situations more different than they appear?
Jeff Sullivan
10:09
That depends on your fan perspective. From the organizational standpoint, it makes sense to keep Crawford down, and he hasn't exactly lit Triple-A on fire. It's not like the Phillies are going to contend for the playoffs in 2017. The Braves, meanwhile, think they could be competitive as soon as next season. There's the whole new-stadium thing. And if they figure Swanson will be a part of it, then it makes sense to let him get his feet wet now, when the pressure is off and the games are irrelevant
10:10
It's exciting to have Swanson up. If he struggles down the line, he could always be demoted again to pause that service-time clock. So nothing has yet been settled. But I think if the Braves are optimistic that Swanson will help fuel a playoff team a year from now, well, they're probably alone
The Cincinnati Kid
10:10
What do the Rangers do with Gallo in the offseason? Does he get 1B?
Jeff Sullivan
10:11
That seems the most likely course. Moreland will be gone and Gallo should be ready.
And not that they wanted Fielder to go away or anything, but his pseudo-retirement does clear up some questions
Lee
10:12
I have Addison Russell, Alex Bregman, Trevor Story and Dansby Swanson all on my 15 team keeper league roster. I don't have a question.
Jeff Sullivan
10:12
Who would've guessed that Story would become arguably the best of all of them!
PB&Js
10:13
How good is Michael Fulmer? His front-line stats are incredible and he's a near lock for AL ROY, but his peripherals suggest a little regression. He's only 23 though, so may be countered to some degree with natural improvement. What kind of numbers do you see him posting over the next 2-3 years?
Jeff Sullivan
10:15
I really like the way he's going -- since the break, he has five walks and 31 whiffs in 43.1 innings. Lots of grounders, good changeup, high strike totals.
10:16
It's not a perfect comp at all but I can see him as sort of a Jordan Zimmermann type. Real solid No. 2, not quite a classic ace but generally reliable
J
10:17
Going into the season I thought Sale was easily the CY favorite but now he's allowing more contact than he ever has although his BABIP has come back down after going over .300 for the first time last year. Is this the new Sale?
Jeff Sullivan
10:18
My understand is this has been intentional -- the White Sox have had him scale back a bit to try to be more efficient and preserve his arm. It comes with upsides and downsides.
I don't think the old Sale is necessarily gone. Maybe he comes back next season. This version is still really really good
Dan
10:19
Despite missing all this time, Kershaw is still the current leader in RA9 war and FIP war. Should he still be the cy young?
Jeff Sullivan
10:20
I'm wrestling with this. Might write about it next week. Clayton Kershaw, very clearly, is the best pitcher in the world. There's no question about it. He's going to have missed at least 10 starts or so, putting extra pressure on the depth and the bullpen. Part of a pitcher's job is to be available to pitch. So my answer is I don't know yet :(
Josh
10:21
Can you explain why Correa ranks 4th in BRef oWAR (ahead of Bryant, Betts, Murphy, etc.) but is only 30th in fangraphs offense stat? The fangraphs ranking makes a lot more sense in light of his wrc, ops, and basic counting stats- what is BRef giving so much value too?
Jeff Sullivan
10:21
If I'm reading this correctly, Baseball-Reference folds a positional adjustment into that oWAR stat. So Correa is getting a boost for being a shortstop, even though that's more of a defensive thing. FanGraphs doesn't do that
BigChief
10:21
No question, but since Mike Trout's first full season, he has posted a higher WAR than the Angles Starting Pitching. That poor, amazing man.
Jeff Sullivan
10:22
I really can't stand the argument that the Angels have wasted Mike Trout's prime. No they haven't. He's played for them every day! That's a blessing!
EvanC
10:23
Better HOF chance: Kinsler or Pedroia?
Jeff Sullivan
10:24
They have almost identical numbers and Pedroia is a year younger. I'll give Pedroia the slight edge here just because he's been more of a conspicuous personality. Also, while this is annoying, Pedroia has been part of two World Series winners, while Kinsler has been part of two World Series losers. That's going to show up again
Lee
10:26
What do the parameters of a Brian McCann trade in the offseason look like?
Jeff Sullivan
10:26
What's left here, 2/$34m with a 2019 option?
10:27
McCann wouldn't get that as a free agent. Maybe he'd get...2/$20m? So the Yankees would throw in some money, and they'd get a Double-A project or two in return. From the Braves, probably
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