Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat -- 9/9/16
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Jeff Sullivan
9:33
He's still not going to break the bank -- he's almost 30 years old and he can't really play defense. But his power is legit, and it's possible he's cleaned up some of his whiffs
9:35
The absolute upside, I think, is something like Nelson Cruz. Similar kind of profile, right down to the initial big-league struggles despite huge success in other places. In most cases, Thames won't work out as well as Cruz has, but whoever signs him will be signing him upon that belief in his potential
Outta my way, Gyorkass
9:35
Two schools of thought exist on highly regarded prospects struggling in their first MLB action: "Let him take his lumps and figure out the majors on the fly" and "Send him back down to AAA to get more seasoning". What is it that dictates the correct course of action?
Jeff Sullivan
9:37
Psychology. If a player is just mentally defeated, you send him back down to regain his confidence. If he seems to be holding up, and trying earnestly to make the necessary adjustments, then you're more likely to keep the player
Total case-by-case-basis thing.
Alternatively, if a player needs to make mechanical changes, you might see a demotion so that those changes could be implemented in lower-pressure situations
Terrible Ted
9:38
What surprises you the most about the 2016 season so far?
Jeff Sullivan
9:38
Jose Altuve
Henry
9:39
Do you see Trevor Cahill or Travis Wood getting starter consideration in free agency?
Jeff Sullivan
9:39
Wood, no. Cahill, maybe a few bites. Still unlikely that's his role
Otis Redding
9:41
Favourite Ice Cream Flavour?
Jeff Sullivan
but most days my dessert is just a regular grapefruit
JTT
9:41
What do you lose if Max Schrock posts a positive WAR in the mlb? I can't remember the terms of the wager
Jeff Sullivan
9:42
I think it comes down to like $26 dollars or something if Max Schrock turns out better than Mylz Jones
But I definitely don't remember and I suspect that Carson also definitely doesn't remember
so you guys shut up
CapnZippers
9:42
Obligatory Seth Lugo update: Curveball spinrate @ 3336 RPM, sample size is up to 96. Shut down the Nationals to start the week. Apparently was doing so poorly in Vegas because he couldn't grip the curveball in the dry heat.
Jeff Sullivan
9:43
I figure with something like spin rate you basically don't need any kind of real sample size. The way a pitch spins is part of its fundamental identity, just like how fast a pitch goes. For velocity, you need a sample size of 1
9:44
I will say that while Vegas is a lousy environment, it's not like Lugo was totally dominant in Double-A. He doesn't have the most awesome track record. But, boy, that curve is something
Jaff
9:45
Jeff for hiking the gorge what do you recomend: Dog Mountain or Angels Rest?
Jeff Sullivan
9:46
Actually, neither -- Angels Rest is way overcrowded and Dog Mountain is also way overcrowded the one time of the year when it's worth the ascent. Go check out Table Mountain. Or, start smaller, with Hamilton Mountain. Wind Mountain is pretty quick and has some sites of archaeological interest up top
CamdenWarehouse
9:46
True or false: we need more parody in MLB?
Jeff Sullivan
9:46
I do not know how to respond to this
Elton
9:47
I am fascinated with Joc Pederson's splits this year. He is OPSing .887 against rights and .413 against lefties. Only 61 PA for the latter but still, yikes. Any thoughts on if he can recover to be at least playable against lefties?
Jeff Sullivan
9:48
I mean, even last year, against lefties Pederson put up a 91 wRC+. That's not that bad. Long-term, I don't think he'll be a strict platoon player. He'll always have a sizable split just because of his swing, but he's going to be a 600-PA player
Sean P
9:50
Jason Hammel makes the playoff roster, right? Many in Chicago media don't think he will after his bad last outing, but it seems like he'd be a valuable bullpen piece in October and there aren't enough better options for the pen
Jeff Sullivan
9:50
I'd be surprised to see him left off but that's going to be mostly in his own hands. Needs to finish stronger than he's pitched the last month or so
Jaack
9:52
What are the odds that whoever wins the Cards-Giants NL wildcard game will BS their way to a championship?
Jeff Sullivan
9:53
Giants have 76% playoff odds and 3.5% World Series odds, here. So basically we have them winning it all once per 21 playoff opportunities
Cardinals are at 1 per 25
For the Giants it's not hard to see how it could work -- contact-hitting lineup, plus Bumgarner and Cueto at the top
9:54
The way I see it, the whole purpose behind this year's playoffs is for opponents to try to knock out the Cubs. It's the Cubs against everyone else. It's already been established that the Cubs are the best team in baseball this year. There's no question. So now the tournament gets to try to demonstrate yet again that it doesn't exist to crown the best team in the game
Ryan
9:55
Jeff, please explain the silliness of life to me.
Jeff Sullivan
9:56
We can't do anything without structure, so we've built a complicated structure for ourselves, but as you get older you start to recognize how arbitrary and meaningless all of it is. We live according to rules we made up. There's no reason why there couldn't be other rules, or fewer rules. At some point you'll experience a mental break. Many people subsequently choose to live in vans
Scott
9:56
Interesting stuff about the Coors Hangover in the community research. Seems to back up your idea that it's real but lasts longer than a road trip
Jeff Sullivan
9:57
There shouldn't be any question that hitting in Coors messes up your ability to hit elsewhere. What I always have trouble with is trying to settle on "home-field advantage" or "road-field disadvantage." The Rockies' home/road record splits are always ridiculous
Amarillo Windmill
9:59
Have you noticed the balance of the Rangers' lineup? Only Carlos Gomez has less than a 97 wRC+. And he had been playing like a better than average player since getting all that icky Astros goo off him. A great offense and two aces bodes well for the playoffs, wouldn't you think?
Jeff Sullivan
10:00
There's a difference between a balanced offense and a great one. The Rangers don't have a great one. But it is pretty good, yes, and I like their roster now that the trade deadline has passed. Lucroy was a massive upgrade, as was Beltran, and we'll see if Jeffress returns. I didn't buy the early Rangers as real title contenders, but they got way stronger at the end of July. As is, they're sitting pretty
10:01
Granted, Hamels has his worst FIP- since 2010
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