Travis Sawchik FanGraphs Chat
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baby bull
12:33
Have you looked at the just released ZiPS projections for the Pirates? Any thoughts? Anything Stand out to you?
Travis Sawchik
12:34
Tyler Glasnow as a No. 2 starter jumps out
12:35
The Pirates' philosophy has been to draft and develop aces (mostly by targeting projectable prep arms) since they'll never be able to afford top-of-the-rotation arms in free agency. Pirates would love for that to happen (but I have my doubts for it to actualize in 2017)
12:36
Pirates would also like to see McCutchen bounce back as projected: .276/.370/.474 slash 4.1 zWAR 24 HRs
Tommy B
12:36
Were you in PNC when Schwarber sent that ball into the river in 2015 WC game? Yes or Yes was it the farthest homer you've seen?
Travis Sawchik
12:37
I was there. I don't think it landed in the Allegheny on the fly, though. I have seen that happen (Garrett Jones, I believe, was the responsible party)
Erik
12:37
Do you believe in Jose Bautista's magical anti-aging abilities, or do you think even his dramatically shrunk contract will end up a bad deal for the Jays?
Travis Sawchik
12:38
I really like the deal for the Jays. Bautista's plate discipline remained in tact and his exit velo was still there (and it suggested he was a bit unlucky on batted balls in 2016). The defense might not be coming back but he can still hit
baby bull
12:41
Hanley is projected to have a great season by Steamer, better than Edwin Encarnacion are you a believer in that ? Hanleys projections (.282/.352/.487)
Travis Sawchik
12:41
EE has averaged 39 HRs the last three years and I've seen little sign of a slow down. I like EE. Great fit for Cleveland
Erik
12:41
Do you think that the playoffs will inevitably trend larger and larger for revenue reasons? How long will it be until we have NBA/NHL-style 16-team playoffs? And what do you view as the optimal playoff size from a storyline perspective, not a financial one?
Travis Sawchik
12:43
Has any playoff format every contracted? I think it will grow, eventually ... perhaps when the expansion drought ends. With 32 teams, I think six teams in each league is idea with the top two records in each league receiving play-in round byes ...similar to NFL model. I think baseball is wise enough not too water down regular season too much
picking keeper league bench
12:43
Best chance to contribute this year? Most value over next 3-5 years? - JP Crawford, Tom Murphy, Brendan Rodgers, Austin Meadows, Victor Robles.
Travis Sawchik
12:45
Long term, I like any middle infielder with an above average bat in Coors Field
Phil
12:45
Hi Travis...I can keep 2 of these 4 -> Realmuto(19th Round), Benintendi(10th Round), Carrasco(6th Round), Nola(18th Round). Which 2 do you think?
Travis Sawchik
12:46
I like Carrasco and Benintendi. Star-level talents
kevinthecomic
12:47
Since it has been brought up a few times in today's chat, Hardball Times did an excellent piece on potential baseball expansion cities a few years ago. Links here: http://www.hardballtimes.com/examining-potential-mlb-expansion-cities-part-1/ and here: http://www.hardballtimes.com/examining-potential-mlb-expansion-cities-part-2/
Travis Sawchik
12:47
Bump
El Duderino
12:47
I've the "if conforto was still a prospect" question in every chat last week. On that topic, if Gary Sanchez was still eligible, where would he land?
Travis Sawchik
12:48
Would he have hit a HR in every Triple-A at bat in the second half? That bat with improved D at catcher would have him the top 10 conversation
Quincy from Alaska
12:48
How does a team handle the terrible death of a teammate. Will the Royals have trouble coping with this throughout the whole season or can they try to rally around this.
Travis Sawchik
12:50
Good question. It's probably on an individual to individual basis with how players cope. I'm sure Royals will do all they can to help players and coaches with this tragedy.
El Duderino
12:51
When is MLB going to get rid of the 1 game playoff? It seems ridiculous that seasons are decided on that
Travis Sawchik
12:52
I'm not a fan. Would love to see a best-of-three series that involves a double-header ... or KBO-style, two-game series where road team has to win both games to advance
Philip Christy
12:52
Do you think baseball can become popular amongst younger people again? Do you think Manfred will be better in this regard than Selig?
Travis Sawchik
12:54
Manfred seems to be focused on this issue and rightly so. I think it can become more popular and needs to become more popular. Pace, more balls in play, more inclusion at youth level can all help. If you play the sport as a kid, you're more likely to be a paying customer/fan as an adult
Slamboni
12:55
If (maybe when) the Rangers sign Napoli, how close are they to making a legit run in 2017?
Travis Sawchik
12:56
Rangers should be in the mix in the AL West - with rotation health. If Tyson Ross can be what he was in SD, that will be a very significant addition
PolancoMVP
12:56
Miguel Sano- are you a believer? Or is he another version of a Jay Buhner?
Travis Sawchik
12:58
Peak Jay Buhner was pretty good. Preferable to Ken Phelps! I think Sano is going to be a 35-HR, high OBP, high K masher. So I believe
Hank
12:58
How about ZIPS projected 5.08 BB/9 . That doesn't speak well for the Pirates. A starter can't have a 12.8 BB%.
Travis Sawchik
1:00
It's possible Glasnow ends up in a bullpen role but he'll get every chance as a starter. He has A LOT to polish to be a productive MLB starter let alone a top-of-the rotation one. Control and delivery are major issues as is controlling the run game. He's been working on his stride this offseason. Watch him in spring training
YKnotDisco?!
1:00
I really enjoy your work. Interesting topics galore.
Travis Sawchik
1:00
Thanks for reading !
Hector
1:02
What kind of factors would you look for to predict a breakout season? I have my mind on Mookie Betts, his transformation from 2015 to 2016. How can we look at a guy's peripherals and say he is due for a breakout? Related, do you see anyone next season making a similar jump? Xander? Jose Ramirez?
Travis Sawchik
1:04
Good question. Helps to know the quality of the athlete and everyone always loved Betts' eye-hand skills in addition to his overall athletic skill set. In 2015 he was really good, all around, in his Age 23 season. I'm not sure everyone saw 8 fWAR coming in 2016 ... but an elite athlete with bat-to-ball skills is one to bet on
black dog
1:04
Really interesting to see the data in that hardball times article. With more and more professionals (as opposed to the blue collar workers I saw when I was young) attending games, it seems hard to believe that towns with college-educated fans draw more poorly.
Travis Sawchik
1:05
If you're in the market for college-educated fans, Raleigh-Durham is available for a MLB team
Bill
1:05
Is there a hitter or pitcher you see having a major comeback season? I keep thinking it's AJ Pollock and Gerritt Cole.
Choo choo
1:05
Do we see 2015 Gerrit Cole this year?
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