Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat -- 9/23/16
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Jeff Sullivan
8:59
Hello friends
9:00
Welcome to Friday baseball chat
Beginning on time for the second week in a row, for the *first* time in probably history?
Spooks
9:00
This has been said in the past, but since I'm still holding on to a sliver of hope for the Mariners wild card, does Felix get the ball?
Jeff Sullivan
9:01
This is actually a really interesting question. Felix almost certainly isn't the best starter on the team, not at this point. So you have to try to figure out the value of sentimentality, of trying to tell a story. Is there any sort of greater meaning to giving Felix the ball? Does it matter? How close is the balance between rooting for players and rooting for teams?
Dustin
9:02
Who farted more in the car, you or Cameron?
Jeff Sullivan
9:02
I recall not a single fart in the car
I think we both have too much professional respect for one another
Now, we didn't spend the entire trip in the car
Goethe
9:02
What kind of hitting line would you expect of 2017 Hanley?
Jeff Sullivan
9:03
Presuming he comes back healthy, and stays mostly healthy, I see him somewhere around .290/.360/.500
Amazing how fast a contract can be salvaged
SirDongiestDong
9:04
Why isn't Kluber getting more Cy Young consideration? On a division winning team and has great stats (even has great traditional stats)
Jeff Sullivan
9:04
I think he is getting a fair amount. It's just a complicated race and so many people get distracted by the shiny Britton statistics. When it comes time to vote, Kluber isn't going to be left out of the pack
Zonk
9:05
The 2016 Reds are the worst pitching staff, ever, according to fWAR. bWAR says they are merely terrible. What do you think, are they truly historic?
Jeff Sullivan
9:06
We at least know they're legitimately historic in terms of giving up home runs. It's too late to take any of that back, so while I'm not comfortable declaring them the worst pitching staff ever, they might very well be in the bottom...10? Does that sound all right?
I mean, they have really sucked
Sirras
9:07
Most surprising player driving a team towards/into the playoffs in your opinion is...?
Jeff Sullivan
9:07
I've been shocked by Jose Ramirez
9:08
And even though he's finally slowed down lately, Sandy Leon's numbers are amazing. He's really been critical for a team with so many catching problems
Steve
9:08
The Orioles' gift to Ortiz - do you approve?
Jeff Sullivan
9:08
Seems like they handled the whole thing perfectly
I actually laughed out loud. I never laugh out loud when I'm alone!
mtsw
9:09
What do you suspect Mark Trumbo's offseason deal looks like? Does he get paid more like a guy who led the league in HR or a guy with 2 WAR?
Jeff Sullivan
9:12
Trumbo's been lousy in the second half, in a familiar way, and last offseason his value really *was* so low around the league that he got dealt for a backup catcher. So I don't think anyone's opinion on him has totally flipped, but that being said, he is a proven power hitter, so I could see something like 2/$24m
Zonk
9:13
Obviously Sanchez this year, but who do you like better long term....Sanchez or Contreras?
Jeff Sullivan
9:13
Sanchez. Does a ton of things right behind the plate, and beside it, he hits the ball harder than almost anyone
Clearly he can be exploited and I'm not convinced by his swing balance but his stock has skyrocketed
Zonk
9:14
First Royals, now Cubs. Is defense more valued than ever? In terms of both quality, and versatility?
Jeff Sullivan
9:15
Versatility is definitely prized. This has been interesting -- the Royals defense drew attention because of the insanely good outfield. The Cubs defense for some reason gets less attention, even though it's better, and I suspect it's because they're just good everywhere. There's nowhere to focus; it's the entire roster that plays well in the field
9:16
When people tell the story of the 2016 Cubs -- no matter how they finish -- they'll talk of Bryant, and Rizzo, and Hendricks, and so on. The defensive impact has been enormous. There's something to learn from here
Brandon
9:17
Does Matheny have the stones to start Reyes in the wild card game
Jeff Sullivan
9:18
I think he doesn't *not* have the stones, but I don't think it's what he would do if he had a choice
Tanner
9:18
Hey Jeff, thanks for the chat. I thought of this watching the Brewers last night--Hernan Perez started in CF, making that 7 positions he started at this year. To what extent does WAR, or some other metric, capture the value of a player's defensive versatility?
Jeff Sullivan
9:19
All WAR does is acknowledge the positions a guy has played, and how he's performed there statistically. If there's additional value in versatility, that's left un-addressed. I don't know how much it ought to be worth, so I'd probably just give a guy like that a small mental boost. I don't think it's a game-changing skill, but it's clearly something desirable
jwblue
9:21
What has been the key to Aaron Sanchez's success this season?
Jeff Sullivan
9:23
Part of it is just turning the curveball into a more reliable secondary pitch, but the general and boring answer is that Sanchez has been able to just stay more composed in his delivery. He's pretty big, which can make it a challenge to maintain a consistent throwing motion, but he was able to find his, and his sinker is so good that when you can throw it more often for strikes, you're most of the way already to being a No. 1 or No. 2
TJ
9:23
really enjoyed the Abreu strikeout post. is there a way to discover who is winning the strikeout looking bingo? i.e. which players has gotten jobbed the worst and struck out looking on the furthest pitch outside, high, etc.
Jeff Sullivan
9:23
I can't give you a name off the top of my head but I bet it would take only a few minutes to try to pull that up on Baseball Savant! Hooray!
Jim Lonborg
9:26
Thoughts on the Red Sox' third base situation? Should Holt get time there during the playoffs? For what it's worth, the metrics seem to like Shaw defensively, at least.
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