Travis Sawchik FanGraphs Chat
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Travis Sawchik
12:00
Greetings. How was everyone's Week 1?
12:01
Let's get started ...
Seven Costanza
12:01
Joey Votto is currently running a 93.8% zSwing, while also running an overall contact rate of 95.4%. (Both way higher tha his career norms). For a player of his characteristics, have we ever seen a guy go from super passive to super aggressive? If so, it seems to me like this might be a worse version of Votto. Your thoughts, good sir?
Travis Sawchik
12:02
This disclaimer will apply to everything we chat about today and this month: it's early .... But we still need to talk about stuff. And there are still interesting things going on. And this may be one of them! Maybe Votto has a trick up his sleeve. It would see to be an unusual trend.
Eric
12:04
Any thoughts on the Matz situation? He says he's hurt, doctors say he's fine. To what extent is part of being a big-league pitcher dealing with some level of constant arm discomfort? And isn't this a dangerous ideology to tell someone discomfort is natural?
Travis Sawchik
12:05
You often hear pitchers say they have to learn to deal with a certain level of discomfort, but, yeah, it's probably dangerous to tell pitcher to go ahead pitch through that stabbing sensation in their elbow. Matz has had injuries. He should know his body better than anyone. I think you have to listen to and trust the player at this point
Zach
12:05
Should I be worried about Gerrit Cole's long term viability as a top of the rotation guy?
Travis Sawchik
12:08
There are some concerns: lack of a changeup, perhaps a fastball that is relatively flat at times, 5 DL trips in three years ....
12:09
He also seems to let things bother him at times (like the busted shift on opening day)... But he still has premium velocity and a desire to be great. We'll see
Matt
12:09
Manaea's first two starts I don't think were as bad as the numbers look. Alex Cobb's first start was great, but...NYY and BOS this week. Do I run with single-start Manaea in the vast O-Co, or go with two-start Cobb against Yanks and Sox?
Travis Sawchik
12:11
And those starts are at Boston and at New York. I think we need to pay more attention, as fantasy players, to where pitchers are pitching. Home/road splits are pretty significant. I'd go with Manaea
Borkins
12:11
BYRON. BUXTON. WHAT SAY YOU?!?
Travis Sawchik
12:12
It was a rough week, for sure. 14Ks in 27PAs. Looked lost against breaking stuff
12:13
Again, it's early. But this is a continuation of troubling trends tied to pitch recognition and contact ...
Erik
12:14
The Twins, Reds, and Diamondbacks all lead their divisions. Which of those do you at least sort of believe?
Travis Sawchik
12:15
Diamondbacks. They are the most talented and were something of a sleeper team entering the year. There's talent and pedigree in the pitching staff, the outfield is healthy and the overall D should be better.
Kyle
12:15
What do you see the Cubs doing with Ian Happ in the future? He's doing well but seems blocked right now
Travis Sawchik
12:17
It's a nice problem to have. It will be interesting to see if he's viewed as part of the core or an asset to trade .... I don't think the Cubs have many guys that seem like obvious non-tenders entering their Arb years ... so there's a log-jam
Abner Doubleday
12:19
You wrote about the changing culture in the clubhouse for the yankees.... Do you think it has anything to do with the idea that a strict, business-like environment will deter future FA? Specifically, I'd think it may have some impact on potentially signing Bryce Harper. "Make Baseball Fun Again" doesn't seem to matchup well with the Yankees' culture.
Travis Sawchik
12:20
Perhaps? Wouldn't we all rather work in a 'fun' environment? I think we've seen corporate cultures change in the work-place in other industries, too, like Silicon Valley. Relaxed is in.
Guest
12:21
7 games in, Kevin Kiermaier hasn't hit a fly ball yet. Is this good, because he led baseball by A LOT in infield flyballs last year, or bad, because he has decent power and a low career BABIP?
Travis Sawchik
12:21
I'd prefer to see fly balls
Borkins
12:21
Will the Mets just give Conforto a full time gig already? Dude is easily their best hitter and they instead make him ride pine in his prime and platoon him.
Travis Sawchik
12:22
I'm with you. He's certainly one of their better hitters. He crushed that ball last night with an effortless looking swing. I want him in the lineup everyday
grimoren189
12:23
Is this the Steven Souza the Rays passed on Trea Turner and Joe Ross for? How real is this? Blue Jays announcers said they saw noticeable differences in his approach.
Travis Sawchik
12:25
All I know is he has had 30 awesome plate appearances and the Rays still probably grimace collectively when thinking about that deal. There are tools there, though. Maybe it's something. It's another development to bookmark
Casual Fan
12:25
I consider myself a patient fantasy owner. I know it's a marathon and not a sprint. I don't intend to drop him now, and I'll give him 3 more starts on my bench, but do you think Matt Shoemaker is going to be anything more than a streaming option in a 12 team league?
Travis Sawchik
12:26
I have a few shares of Shoemaker, too. I bought into the second half and the splitter usage. Let's stick it out together a little longer. He could still be the Rich Hill of splitters
Rickey
12:27
Hamilton/Peraza or Margot/Jankowski. Who's the better stolen base combo?
Travis Sawchik
12:27
The Reds' duo ... but Margot is the best player. He seems to have some Starling Marte to him. That's fun. Boston's system was so loaded before those trades. ...
Zonk
12:28
Is the Knuckleball dying? As far as I can tell, Dickey and Wright are the only primary knuckle guys left, majors or minors.
Travis Sawchik
12:29
It hasn't been a common pitch, at last in the modern era. But a good one is still great. If I'm an exec I'd be looking at setting up a knuckle-ball camp and trying to teach the pitch
Borkins
12:30
BOLD PERDICTION: Dylan Bundy gets AL Cy Young votes this year.
Travis Sawchik
12:30
Wouldn't be a shock. He looked great. Glad to see the cutter/slider is back.
Kiermaier's Piercing Green Eyes
12:31
After a week of games and 30 PAs, Steven Souza Jr. has a .417 average, 6 walks, and 2 strikeouts, good for a 253 wRC+. Is he doing something different? Might he move forward from the 34% K rate 1.5 WAR guy of yesteryear?
Travis Sawchik
12:31
He should have a sit down with Buxton
Aaron
12:31
What would it take, and would there be any benefit if your best 1 inning guys pitched the first inning when you know you'll see the top of the order. Then let your "starters" come in.
Travis Sawchik
12:32
I like the thought process. MLB is a long ways away from trying it, I suspect. However, I think some teams (like the Pirates) have missed an opportunity to try this in wild-card game settings
Austin Hedges
12:32
0-for-18. Am I overmatched or in a badly-timed slump?
Travis Sawchik
12:33
If this happened in June no one notices .... or fewer do ... He might have learned how to hit last year in Triple-A so let's give it some more time. He's got Coors this week
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