Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat -- 8/26/16
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Jeff Sullivan
9:02
Hello friends
9:03
Welcome to baseball chat
carrotjuice
9:03
I recommend the Rob Arthur article on 538 the other day about Statcast missing batted balls. The craziest thing: 21.7% of batted balls in the Arizona Diamondbacks stadium aren't tracked!
Jeff Sullivan
9:04
If I recall this was an issue a year ago -- many of the weakest-hit batted balls weren't tracked. Stands to reason that wouldn't get fixed right away. So what we're seeing in the data isn't necessarily "true" in terms of capturing everything
9:05
There are problems with balls hit directly into the ground, and there are problems with balls hit so high the cameras lose sight of them
It's not random -- the missing batted balls tend to be extremely unproductive batted balls, from a hitting standpoint
The Decadent Moose
9:05
On a scale of 1-10, one being "bartender" and ten being "Yadi Molina", please quantify Jesús Sucre's MLB future.
Jeff Sullivan
9:05
I didn't realize bartender was one potential MLB future
Ned Colletti
9:06
How shocking is the AJ Ellis - Carlos Ruiz trade?
Jeff Sullivan
9:06
9 out of 10 shocking that Ellis would get dealt, but 1 out of 10 shocking that the Dodgers front office would be the front office to deal him
Fan
9:07
Where would you put Bumgarner in the CY race right now? Front runner?
Jeff Sullivan
9:08
Admittedly I haven't yet thought too much about the NL Cy Young, but the *real* variable is going to be Kershaw, who so far has the best imaginable performance over the equivalent of just half a season. I think Bumgarner has been terrific although he's also benefited from a phenomenal defensive catcher.
9:09
Even right now I like Scherzer a small amount better than Bumgarner
Although then you get into the conversation about whether hitting should make a difference...
Aaron
9:10
In the relative toss up between Seager and Bryant for NL MVP so far this year, do you think that we should give extra credit to Seager for having the second best rookie campaign in past 30 years? Second only to Trout over that time, and he's the third best in past 60 years.
Jeff Sullivan
9:11
I don't think it matters. Sure, you could argue it matters if you're just discussing which season is most "impressive," but value is value and it doesn't care about the situation in which a player is playing. It cares only about durability and performance
Brett W
9:11
Assuming health for all Cubs except Schwarber, if they could only carry 9 position players on the postseason roster, Heyward is out, right? How about 10?
Jeff Sullivan
9:12
Why are we using an unrealistic cutoff?
If the question is simply "will the Cubs start Heyward in the playoffs," the answer is "right now, no, probably not"
Wakawaka
9:13
Pitch FX question ... You sometimes hear scouts and baseball commentators talk about the downward plane a pitcher gets with a pitch. They’re usually referring to tall guys with high arm slots who pitch to the bottom the strike zone and thus throw pitches with steeper-than-average angles of descent. Does the vertical movement data from Pitch FX capture the downward-plane quality of a pitch? As I understand it, the Pitch FX movement readings are only measuring the deflection caused by spin, etc., and so I'm thinking that pitchers with steep downward plane will appear to an observer to have more downward movement on a pitch than the Pitch FX data will reflect.
Jeff Sullivan
9:14
You are correct -- the tracking measurements measure only the baseball and its spin, and they don't account for the angle at which a pitch is being thrown. So that can mess with visual perception
9:16
Of course, the difference in angles is really pretty small. Let's say a pitcher is releasing a pitch from 55 feet away. A pitcher who releases the ball seven feet above the ground will be throwing at an angle of 7.3 degrees below the horizontal. A pitcher who releases the ball five feet above the ground will be throwing at an angle of 5.2 degrees below the horizontal
9:17
Maybe that's noticeable, but it's really subtle, and those are two extreme situations
Jeff
9:17
If the season ended today, who is the AL and NL MVP?
Jeff Sullivan
9:18
My hunch is that Bryant would win, and then in the AL it would be a tight race between Betts, Donaldson, and Altuve. I think Altuve would win easily if the Astros made it into the playoffs
9:19
That's not necessarily how *I* would vote, but that's the voting I would expect
Erik
9:19
What is the spread in the true talent of medical staffs? Could a team reliably add 3-5 wins a season through injury prevention with a truly elite medical staff, or are injuries effectively random?
Jeff Sullivan
9:20
Injuries aren't random, but they're random enough that we can't really do an effective job of measuring things. Not every player is built the same and it's impossible to know who is more likely to hold up, from the outside.
9:21
Now some teams are surely better than others. The White Sox used to get a lot of credit for this. But without knowing more it's reallllllly difficult to hold a training staff responsible when a player gets hurt
Hell, take Puig and the Dodgers. Puig has had a bunch of hamstring problems. That reflects poorly on the team. But it sounds like Puig has simply ignored the team's suggestions when it comes to getting prepped. So what do we do with that?
Kimball
9:22
How much of your lateness to chat is due to Googling quotes to use to announce the chat on Twitter?
Jeff Sullivan
9:22
1-2 minutes, but this time I was on Cincinnati radio
Billy beane
9:23
I made the worst trade in history.. plez help
Jeff Sullivan
9:23
You traded Miguel Cabrera?
CapnZippers
9:25
Seth Lugo's curveball averaged 3300 RPM last night. That spin rate is almost 10% higher than the next guy. Holy Moly! Mets maybe found a gem?
Jeff Sullivan
9:25
I've taken a couple minutes to try to debunk this. No such luck
9:26
Running a quick search for all curveballs thrown at least 50 times:
Lugo is in first at 3341 average RPM. Sam Dyson is second at 3085.
9:28
Lugo gets a ton of vertical break. That is definitely a pitch to watch. I mean, Jesse Hahn has an awesome curveball and he's still not good, but Lugo has something here
Kimball
9:28
Please say a nice thing about Kyle Seager, since apparently no one outside the PNW will.
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