Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat -- 9/9/16
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Jeff Sullivan
10:01
But he obviously is still very good
Andrew
10:02
Anything good about Seth Lugo *other* than his curveball spin rate? What's the rest of his career look like?
Jeff Sullivan
10:03
He's a strike-thrower. So that helps. He has two fastballs and a very intriguing breaking ball. Doesn't mean he's a long-term starter. But he could be an excellent late-inning reliever if his curveball was given the chance
Matt
10:03
How 'bout dem Yanks?!?! I'm going to get lifted ahigh and dropped on my head, aren't I?
Jeff Sullivan
10:04
I never thought I'd grow up to be someone who would say this but I love how the Yankees refuse to go away
Improbably I see them as an underdog. It's so stupid but enjoyable
Tom A.
10:04
Your playoff odds (and all systems, I think) seem to ignore reinforcing effects or "snowballing" (or maybe just really bad stuff that impacts all remaining games). Seems like they underestimate the chances that a team with a somewhat big lead loses it. Has anyone tried looking at historical frequencies rather than a montecarlo-type approach?
Jeff Sullivan
10:05
The playoff odds can do only so much. Like, they also don't factor in, say, injury potential. They're a starting point, and nothing more. I don't really know how we could make them better
Dylan
10:05
What do you think of the A's potential core of Healy/Barreto/Semien/Chapman/Davis/Manaea? Do you think they can compete soon?
Jeff Sullivan
10:05
That is not really much of a core
10:06
You didn't even mention Sonny Gray!
Every single season, I look at the A's and see a team that could somewhat easily finish around .500. Realistically I think that's the general goal. They don't do the big rebuild. I'm going to see them as a half-decent team again in 2017, I'm sure, and maybe they'll even achieve that level if they can avoid all these players getting hurt
10:07
The A's have to be about depth and eliminating holes, since they can't get much in the way of upper-tier talent. Finds like Andrew Triggs further the cause
Slew
10:08
The top 3 teams in the AL in order are: Texas Boston Cleveland?
Jeff Sullivan
10:09
I'm inclined to say the Red Sox and Blue Jays are ~equal, and then the Indians and Rangers are ~equal
Ari
10:10
Felipe Rivero had been a starter in the minors with inconsistent results, but from everything I can tell, his changeup didn’t breakthrough as a plus pitch until he became a reliever. In fact, it didn’t even seem part of his repertoire. Now it’s arguably his best pitch to compliment a strong fastball and an effective slider. Knowing that he now has three pitches to work from, do you think the Pirates should experiment with him as a starter this spring?
Jeff Sullivan
10:11
It wouldn't be surprising at all if the Pirates tried to put him on the Nicasio course. There's not much harm. But no matter what happens there I think the big takeaway should be that the Pirates did well in their Melancon trade. Rivero was underrated at the time and he's going to get onto a whole bunch of radars
Burts_beads
10:12
Do you think it's possible the two version of Grichuk can meet somewhere in the middle? Slightly improve K% and BB% while still mashing when he does make contact?
Jeff Sullivan
10:12
As long as Grichuk produces, he'll force pitchers out of the zone more and more and walks will come as a natural consequence. Not all the time, not often, but more. Grichuk just needs to be disciplined *enough*. My sense is he's always going to be incredibly streaky because when he slumps he's probably just going to over-expand
Jake
10:13
How bad of a position are the White Sox in going forward? With their pitching staff and Eaton in his prime is going for it again what you would do? Or do the lack of options just make it the only option?
Jeff Sullivan
10:14
For weeks now I've kind of assumed the White Sox might go into the offseason looking to blow it up. Obviously, they have the pitching to sell. But now that Abreu is hitting again it's not hard to see how they might want to give it another shot. They're right on that border where one player's streak or slump could determine the proper course. If they think they can finish .500 in 2017, then they should add, because you don't need to be a lot better to be in the playoffs
termel sledge
10:15
How was jury duty?
Jeff Sullivan
10:15
I'm a little sad I didn't end up sitting for the Malheur case
but then FanGraphs probably wouldn't have wanted for me to be gone for like a month and a half
Matt
10:15
Given the influx of HR in the league - should teams think about prioritizing finding sinkerballers? Or given the theory the ball has been changed - does that even matter?
Jeff Sullivan
10:16
Teams have never stopped prioritizing pitching down in the zone. What's interesting here -- if you figure hitters are trying to elevate the ball more, maybe the right thing is to search for *fly-ball* pitchers. Try to take advantage of that whole split they found in The Book, where fly-ball pitchers are better against fly-ball hitters
10:17
If hitters are getting better and better at taking aggressive swing paths against pitches down, maybe you stop pitching down so much
Brandon
10:18
If starting a team, would you go with Correa or Lindor?
Jeff Sullivan
10:18
I still lean Correa even though I'm fully aware of the WAR
Erik
10:19
Are there any playoff contenders who match up particularly well against other playoff contenders? Strikeout pitching staffs against strikeout-prone lineups, elite outfield defense against a flyball hitting lineup, etc.?
Jeff Sullivan
10:20
I haven't thought about this too much yet -- way too many different ways this could go. So there are too many potential combinations. We'll get to focusing when opponents are actually determined, but for now I think it's worth pointing out that the Giants and the Red Sox have really skilled contact lineups. Could be a deciding factor, as it was for the Royals
Hey
10:22
How far are the A's from competing? The Gray/Manaea/Graveman/Triggs/Cotton rotation is looking great, the infield group of Healy/Barreto/Semien/Chapman is solid as well. A CF and a little luck away?
Jeff Sullivan
10:23
I already talked a little about the A's above, but I just want to note that that rotation definitely doesn't look "great". Gray just spent the year being horrible, Graveman and Manaea have been mediocre, and while I'm a big fan of Triggs and Cotton they have an awful lot left to prove
10:24
I think I tend to be a little higher on the A's than most, but in any given season they'll likely to rank around the bottom of the league in terms of 3+ WAR players
Coppy
10:24
How would you rate my tenure as Braves GM to this point? Am I more "wunderkind" or more "wondering what the heck I'm doing"?
Jeff Sullivan
10:24
You have definitely tried your hardest
10:25
A little too much is determined by how you view the Shelby Miller trade. Do you give the Braves most of the credit for that, or were they just in the right place at the right time?
Outta my way, Gyorkass
10:26
Tim Tebow's first major league plate appearance: solo HR, 2 run HR, 3 run HR, or grand slam?
2-D
10:28
Now that rosters have expanded, is there anyone you saw and thought, "Where has this guy been all year?"
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