Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat -- 9/2/16
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Jeff Sullivan
9:06
Hello friends
Let's baseball chat
Looking at the numbers I just realized Dee Gordon sucks again. Baseball!
Bork
9:06
Hello, friend!
Jeff Sullivan
9:06
Hello friend
Julio Pepper
9:07
Think we see Brinson up soon?
Jeff Sullivan
9:08
All I know is he's not on the 40-man roster, and the Brewers might prefer to keep giving maximum playing time to the guys already up. But Brinson, at least, should move quickly in 2017
General Joe
9:09
Red Sox/Astros end up with the WC?
Jeff Sullivan
9:09
That's my assumption, and that's what I think the odds say, but there are so many teams involved here in a pretty close race it's probably still best to bet the field
9:10
Like, it's conceivable we could have, I don't know, Yankees/Royals. that would be wacky!
Pablo
9:10
Who's gonna be in the NL Wild Card game?
Jeff Sullivan
9:10
Giants/Cardinals. I'm not buying the Mets or Pirates here
j6takish
9:11
Why is pitcher war more tightly clustered together? Every year there is always at least one truly awful position player season but you rarely see pitchers post something like -2.0 WAR over a season. This season alone, there are 13 position players with -1.0 or less VS just 3 pitchers. Since 2000, only 46 pitcher seasons have been worth less than -1.0 WAR and that’s using 10 IP as the minimum. It also seems harder for a pitcher to be worth a ridiculously high WAR total. Since 2006, only 3 pitcher seasons have been worth more than 8 WAR, with Zack Greinke’s 2009 topping the list at 8.6. In the same time period, there have been 19 position player seasons of 8 or more WAR with Mike Trout topping the list at 10.5. Is replacement level higher THAT much higher for pitchers? Or is it something else?
Jeff Sullivan
9:12
It's a matter of how the WARs are calculated. Position players are given credit for all of their results. Pitchers have their WARs "regressed" in a way by relying on the fielding-independent statistics. If you look at RA9-WAR, which is more like the equivalent of position-player WAR, you'll see bigger spreads. Regular fWAR strips away one of the elements that causes that spread in the first place
If you think of regular fWAR as a more accurate measure of "true talent" -- a "true talent" position-player WAR would also have a smaller spread, just because you'd bring in the extremes
Bork
9:13
Look into your crystal ball, who will have the highest payroll after the crazy 2018 free agency class and what will the payroll be?
Jeff Sullivan
9:14
I will forever assume Yankees. I believe the Yankees are way way way more valuable than any other franchise. For the most part they've held relatively steady so I'll put their future payroll around $240 million
Shane
9:14
How do you decide what to write about? I'm an inspiring baseball writer and I always have trouble thinking of interesting ideas. Do you have any tips? Much appreciated!
Jeff Sullivan
9:14
I don't mean to make fun but "I'm an inspiring baseball writer" is one of my favorite typos of the week
9:16
We all have trouble thinking of ideas. August and I talk about this from time to time. The greatest motivator for me is that I *have* to write two times a day. Pressure helps bring some ideas to the surface. Sometimes it's as easy as seeing what a lot of people are already talking about. Sometimes I just search in numbers until something jumps out at me. And when the well is really running dry, there's no substitute for just sitting down, watching a game, and letting your mind wander
9:17
Watch any game you like. Sometimes it even helps to watch a game you'd never watch otherwise (hello, Reds!). So much happens in three hours you're bound to come away with at least two or three ideas to pursue
Paul
9:18
Edwin Encarnacion's strikeout numbers have spiked dramatically this season. Is that a cause for concern for clubs wanting to sign him in free agency?
Jeff Sullivan
9:19
Encarnacion's strikeouts are up this year, but his contact rate, compared to last year, is exactly the same. The decrease there was between 2014 - 2015, but he remains a fantastic hitter. The usual aging concerns should apply here but I don't see a red flag in the bat-to-ball skills
Real-me
9:19
I had a dream that Cistulli had to leave Fangraphs and Dream-me had to replace him. Dream-me immediately quit. What's it all mean, doc?
Jeff Sullivan
9:19
You don't spend enough time outside
CapnZippers
9:20
Obligatory Seth Lugo update: reached 3498 rpm on a strikeout against Xavier Scruggs. 80 grade spin rate throwing to an 80 grade baseball name.
Jeff Sullivan
9:21
I still don't know how much to make of Lugo's spin rate, because he's not an extremely high-strikeout pitcher, but I know I'm still interested. It's like, I'm interested in Lugo because I think he has a chance to be interesting, if that makes sense
Stuafoo
9:21
In your mind where do Taiwan Walker and James Paxton fall in the trade value conversation?
Jeff Sullivan
9:22
Paxton is a good deal more valuable. Walker continues to frustrate. Neither one of them is on a Chris Sale level or anything. The Mariners might figure Walker's season was ruined by his foot injury so then they wouldn't want to sell low in the winter
Nelson
9:23
How much are you looking forward to your boss now living right in your backyard, dropping in for suprise visits all the time, asking you to babysit, watch his dog....
Jeff Sullivan
9:23
Bend is three and a half hours away. Far enough that I'll only see Dave when I want to
9:24
And I assume he'd know better than to ask me to babysit. Just this morning I dropped a glass of water
Raindog
9:24
Hiya Jeff, I have another site request/idea this week. The WAR graph/grid tools are super fun to play with, but could easily be adapted for other stats too, right? It'd be fun to see how, say Pujols HR accumulation compares to Aaron's or Ichiro's hits compared to Rose's.
Jeff Sullivan
9:25
I wouldn't be surprised if Sean Dolinar got around to this down the road. He's the graphics guy and he's amazing, and recently he's been most preoccupied with the splits tool
Bruce
9:25
Long-term are Walker and Paxton both 3's?
Jeff Sullivan
9:25
Paxton should blossom into a No. 2 now that he improbably throws strikes. Walker might just follow the Samardzija path of being worse than his talent
Slothrop
9:26
Is Mazara a long term option at first for the Rangers?
Jeff Sullivan
9:26
Maybe if he gains 50 pounds. They're more than happy with him in the outfield
TP for my Jung Ho
9:27
What do you make of Danny Salazar? Was the last start encouraging enough to expect a good outing this weekend in Miami?
Jeff Sullivan
9:29
He was pitching really well, then his arm started to hurt. I don't think you have to get much more complicated than that. I don't think he'll ever be efficient, but you have to love the strikeout ability as long as he's able to throw without pain
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