Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat -- 9/9/16
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Jeff Sullivan
9:08
Hello friends
Let's baseball chat
Bork
9:08
Hello, friend!
Jeff Sullivan
9:08
Hello friend
Andrew
9:09
The Mets, amirite?
Jeff Sullivan
9:09
Nothing like a series against the Reds to perk up the energy
9:10
And now trace things out: the Mets have another 22 games, and three are against the Nationals. The rest of the pool: Braves, Twins, Phillies, Marlins
9:11
The Mets are in an excellent position here. They're scoring runs again. Time to unpanic!
Outta my way, Gyorkass
9:11
What division is going to be the toughest to compete in the next 5-10 years?
Jeff Sullivan
9:11
My default answer is usually the AL East just because of the presence of the Yankees and Red Sox
9:12
I know they might not seem as fearsome as they used to but when you're projecting that far into the future, resources trump everything, and they have a ton of resources to throw around
BJOGC
9:12
Jeff, people skeptical of defensive metrics are starting to accept that they can fluctuate year to year much like any other stat, but what does it take to randomly post a fluke +20 season? How many extra plays do guys need to make? Is it like batting average where 1-2 extra hits dropping in per week can have a huge effect or does it take a lot more consistency to move defensive numbers around by that much?
Jeff Sullivan
9:13
In the field, the run value of a play made is close enough to 1 that it might as well be the same thing. So you're talking about 20-25 extra plays over the course of a season
9:14
And it's easy to see how those could add up all flukey-like. A few balls stay in the glove instead of popping out when you run into a wall or dive. You gather a few on the shoelaces. Maybe you make a catch or two over a fence. If you're an outfielder, you can generate some arm runs by winning a few bang-bang plays at a base. Maybe that involves baserunners making some bad decisions
9:15
In essence, it's the same as batting average -- an extra play a week and you look like you're elite
Tom A.
9:17
Craig Kimbrel has been great, but maybe a notch below where he’s been previously. (GB rate half of previous, BB rate up.) Has anyone studied aging curves of relievers specifically? Do they decline at a rate consistent with SP and hitters? Any other thoughts on him? Is 44ip enough to pay attention to the GB rate change?
Jeff Sullivan
9:18
Based on what I can recall relievers as a group actually age a little better than starters do but that's far from being settled science. Probably best to think of them as being similar, and going from there
9:19
As for Kimbrel specifically, I don't think there are any issues with his stuff. He's elevating his fastball, but no more than he was a couple seasons ago. He's still difficult to hit and his walk rate isn't way too far out of line with where it's been before. Factor in mechanical tweaks caused by the knee injury and I think you still have an upper-class closer
9:20
It's definitely fine to notice the change in grounder rate, but you do have to remember that it's not just a 44 inning sample -- it's effectively something less than that given how many hitters Kimbrel strikes out
Jonathan W
9:20
Hi Jeff! Did you know that the Orioles are currently on pace to smash their own post-1900 MLB record for fewest triples in a season? They've hit just 5 so far this year and the 1998 Orioles hit a total of 11. Any chance this is post-worthy? Thank you!
Jeff Sullivan
9:21
I do think it could be fun to write about the Orioles' general lack of athleticism. All they do is hit dingers and strike out. Can't steal, can't triple, can't play defense...
9:22
And yet they show up at +2.5 BsR!
They've actually been top-10 in UBR, so, credit to them for making the most of their horrible legs
Jackie
9:22
Is Ivan Nova about to get paid?! Do we live in a universe where someone is gonna give Ivan Nova a 4 year deal?!
Jeff Sullivan
9:23
Really is easy to just compare him to JA Happ. I could see three years. Not four. Maybe he ends up settling for two years and a vesting option, depending on a few factors. Nova has the slightly more worrisome injury history
Mariner's fan
9:23
So your saying there is a chance?
Jeff Sullivan
9:24
Just enough to take you to Seahawks season
Which at this point is I think the main reason behind the Mariners' existence
Krob
9:24
Piss off, Jerk.
Jeff Sullivan
9:24
It took me a minute to get this
Astros Fan
9:25
How disappointed should I be that the luckiest team ever ruined my team's season with luck and dark magic?
Jeff Sullivan
9:25
Imagine how the Cardinals' rivals have felt all this time
9:26
I think you just have to come to terms with the reality that the Rangers didn't luck themselves into this record. They've just earned this record in a way that's almost impossible to keep up in the long term. Which is maybe reassuring! But the Rangers have been the ones responsible for all those clutch hits and whatnot.
lunch
9:26
did you find any of the arguments for AL MVP candidates this week compelling? or is it kind of just like "yeah it should be trout."
Jeff Sullivan
9:27
It should be Trout, but if I'm going to be totally honest, I'm behind on my reading because it was a short week and then I had jury duty that took me away from my routine
Henry
9:27
Why don't we see teams trade minor leaguers for minor leaguers, is there a rule against it?
Jeff Sullivan
9:28
It does happen from time to time. Almost never makes headlines. But it's similar to how you seldom see similar big-leaguers exchanged. Trades are mostly driven by different needs, where one team is focused on the short-term and another team is selling. When you're flipping minor-leaguers, there are no real short-term factors to fold in
9:29
Basically, with prospects, teams like their own guys. They know their own guys. They're invested in their own guys. And since you're not going to rip anyone off with a prospect-for-prospect trade, there just isn't much incentive
Bork
9:31
Is there even a comparable to Eric Thames when it comes to potential contracts? Dude was poop in the MLB but you can't doubt his absolute dominance in the KBO.
Jeff Sullivan
9:32
It's a little like having a potential Quadruple-A player. Some teams don't believe such hitters really exist. Thames should get more respect now than he might've were it not for the Korean players experiencing some big-league success
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