Travis Sawchik FanGraphs Chat
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Travis Sawchik
12:00
Greetings
What's everyone drinking? I'm on coffee No. 3 of the day ....
12:01
We need to talk. So let's begin ...
CamdenWarehouse
12:01
Do you see the Pirates trading Cole this summer? There seems to be more rumors about him than any other starter at this point.
Travis Sawchik
12:01
If they are out of the race, or on the fringe of the race, they should absolutely explore the market.
12:02
With the remaining club control (2.5 seasons), and the way he's pitching, his value will never be greater
12:03
He's unlikely to stay, very unlikely, almost certainly signing elsewhere, so the Pirates need a good return on a former No. 1 overall pick. Andrew McCutchen is a very recent reminder of how quickly trade value you can evaporate
Kade
12:03
All of the data and technology that fans see today, front offices have had access to for a couple of years. Do you know how long they have been able to use the Statcast system and everything that comes with it. Specifically, how long have they been able to use xWOBA as a metric and how important do you think it has been in making trade/free agent decisions?
Travis Sawchik
12:05
That's a good question(s). They haven't had access prior to 2015, and I'm not sure about xwOBA, which was just made publicly available. There's a lot of data clubs enjoy that does not appear publicly but I think everyone is still best learning how to use the new tools
caesar_solid
12:05
Is it just a coincidence that two of the best hitters in the game (Trout and Votto) both started out this year being more aggressive than ever before?
Travis Sawchik
12:06
Good question. Probably? Or were they both involved in an elaborate long con?
Jake
12:06
What can you tell us about Conforto's arm? Made two throws this weekend that reached catcher on the fly and were as accurate as any throw I've seen from the outfield
Travis Sawchik
12:07
He made an incredible throw earlier this year from left for an assist. The arm appears to be a very real asset and it's another skill that might make him more valuable than Kyle Schwarber from that first round.
Kiermaier's Piercing Green Eyes
12:07
RE: the beanings of late, why isn't the players' union more active in trying to prevent its constituents from maiming each other? The league and umpires have been frustratingly inconsistent on warnings, ejections, and suspensions. No one warned before the game, Bautista hit, nothing happens. Andriese hits Judge, ejected, no warnings before or after. Olney had plenty of examples.
Travis Sawchik
12:08
It's a tricky subject, of course, but one would think player safety is a top concern for MLBPA
Bionic Danny Hultzen
12:08
What's wrong with Danny Salazar? Velo is mostly fine, right?
Travis Sawchik
12:09
A .362 BABIP doesn't help ... But he owns a career-best 32.9% K rate and 21.9 K-BB% rates so I'm not too worried. He's missing plenty of bats
Ryan E
12:10
Thoughts on trading Gary Sanchez and some draft picks next year for Miguel Sano? Good move?
Travis Sawchik
12:11
To get Sano for your fantasy team? Yes
Josh
12:11
The Cubs postponed their game on Saturday vs Milwaukee 1.5 hours before the scheduled first pitch even though forecasts called for the rain to clear up, which it did. Why do home teams have unilateral control over this decision rather than the umpiring crew?
Travis Sawchik
12:12
I was at a game last year in Colorado last April when the Rockies called a game in similar fashion, and there was never any snow ... So the Pirates had to make a special trip to Denver to play a single game several months later
12:13
There was a thought then that the Rockies wanted to save their bullpen. It would make sense to give umpires complete control over game postponement, not just after a game starts
ManBearPuig
12:13
Any reason not to think that this year proves that Bryce Harper's true talent is more like 2015 him than 2016 him?
Travis Sawchik
12:15
You could argue that Harper out-performed his expected values on batted balls in 2015 and this season, but he'd still be a great player with some regression. I think he was hurt last year and when he's healthy he's the best position player in the NL
Sean
12:15
If BABIP has remained somewhat constant even with increased shifts, could this be a result of taking elite athletes out of natural positions and lowering their range by bunching them together. More hard hit balls are fielded but a wider range of area is open for batters.
Travis Sawchik
12:16
It's a complicated matter. Could it also be that teams are trying to squeeze more offense in the middle infield and trading off defensive range with the idea smarter alignment should reduce need for elite defenders?
Erik
12:17
Do you think clubs' internally developed metrics measure the same things as publicly available metrics like WAR and DRA, just with slightly different inputs, or are they coming up with metrics for entirely different things?
Travis Sawchik
12:17
I know some clubs use metrics similar to WAR to come with a total single-metric value for players. Each sauce is a little different, I'm sure.
Tim in Philly
12:19
I got quite lucky in the late rounds this year with $1 Judge, Holland, Reynolds and Conforto. Which of Judge or Conforto is the better keeper going forward (2 more years)? Team seems headed for playoffs and I may trade one for a Stud SS/SP to win now.
Travis Sawchik
12:20
I love both. Dave and Jeff have said Judge in these chats, I've said Conforto previously. My only concern with Judge is if the league punches back and he's more of a 35% K guy
12:21
But he's the exit velo Statcast king, who has made real adjustments, and plays in a a division of bandboxes. So for fantasy purposes, I can see the lean toward Judge
DTH
12:21
when it comes down to it, would you want your favorite team to sign a guy like Harper or Machado for $400+ million or is that too much for a single player? elite talent is elite talent, but that's a lot of risk
Travis Sawchik
12:22
There is that idea that a club shouldn't spend more than XX percent on a single player. The Indians did a study a decade ago that found no club had won a WS title by allocating more than 17% (or something close to that) to a single player
12:23
But Harper and Machado could (will) well exceed that mark....and they are worthy exceptions to the rule given their age and production
Part of the problem with any study on payroll allocation is veteran players are more expensive. These guys are in their mid 20s
STiVo
12:24
re Harper: does it make the most sense to say he's something like his full career stats? In other words, he's a true talent 6.5ish win player per full season. That is also consistent with his ROS projections. It could also lead to numbers between 3.5 and 9.5 WAR for reasons that are hard to discern from fluky variation.
Travis Sawchik
12:25
That's certainly plausible. But it's also plausible that he's getting better, still learning the game (he's only 24!), and still a few years out from his prime. I do believe he's become more selective this year. He's zero-ing in pitch locations and crushing it
Los
12:26
Travis. I've enjoyed your work throughout the years from the Trib, to BDB , to fangraphs. You are one of my favorite baseball writers and I'm glad you are at fangraphs. One suggestion i have that I made on your Ryan Zimmerman article on Friday was related to the use of average launch angle. I think the focus on average is misguided because of the distribution on balls in each zone. I would like to know why you use average instead of the distribution in good areas vs bad areas.
Travis Sawchik
12:26
Thanks, Los. That might have been a better way to measure Zimmerman's production and process, but he is also crushing everything in every zone
Thames
12:27
Do you think Thames' recurring leg injuries will lead to him being traded to the AL to become a DH?
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