Baseball 

Jay Jaffe FanGraphs Chat – 7/15/22

2:02
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Good afternoon, folks, and welcome to my final chat of the first half of the 2022 season. Bear with me for a bit as i finish a late lunch…

2:02
Avatar Jay Jaffe: some housekeeping: Just before the news that he had been cleared to ramp up his swings, I published this about Fernando Tatis Jr and the slumping Padres https://blogs.fangraphs.com/fernando-tatis-jr-remains-in-limbo-as-padr…. The article has since been revised to reflect the news

2:04
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I spent the rest of this week doing an unofficial series on some interesting All-Star selections:

Sandy Alcantara https://blogs.fangraphs.com/sandy-alcantara-is-the-games-hardest-worki…

Willson and William Contreras https://blogs.fangraphs.com/a-rare-all-star-brother-act-for-willson-an…

Byron Buxton https://blogs.fangraphs.com/byron-buxton-is-finally-an-all-star/

2:05
Avatar Jay Jaffe: OK, on with the show…

2:05
x2R: Do you like the HR Derby? Fav matchup? What’s the Dream HR derby roster for you?

2:06
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Yes, I’m a big Home Run Derby fan and will once again preview the event for FanGraphs, on Monday

2:08
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Of the matchups this year, I think any bracket with Pete Alonso (#2 seed, paired with Ronald Acuña Jr) and the one with Juan Soto (#4, paired with José Ramírez) have my interest the most.

2:10
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I’m disappointed that the contest won’t have Aaron Judge or Giancarlo Stanton, no Mike Trout, and no Shohei Ohtani. Add those guys to Alonso, Schwarber, Soto and Vlad Jr. and that would be my ideal from among today’s players

2:10
Mr. Burrito: If Dodgers win the WS this year are they a dynasty?  Could they qualify even without a WS win this year?

2:12
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I’ve written before that I consider the Dodgers a dynasty, which to me is defined by the continuity of repeatedly contending for a championship rather than just consecutive World Series wins. Are the 2010, ’12, ’14 Giants a dynasty? in my book, yes, and likewise, I’d include the 1996 Yankees within their run

2:12
Avatar Jay Jaffe: On the subject, I wrote this about the Dodgers after their 2020 World Series win https://blogs.fangraphs.com/making-the-case-for-the-2020-dodgers-place…

2:12
Guest: What’s the way forward for the Angels, at this point?

2:13
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Man, I don’t know. I think Arte Moreno should sell his soul to Satan in exchange for healthy seasons from Ohtani, Trout, Rendon, continued development of the young kids, and a healthy rotation. I think that’s a fair trade — just think of the franchise value!

2:14
Lonestar: Jay has statcast not been working well for you either On mobile

2:15
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I almost never try to use Statcast on mobile. Thankfully, FanGraphs’ player pages and leaderboards have most of what I want to see at a glance (EV leaders, xwOBA leaders, etc.)

2:15
Alex: Michael Harris has been quite impressive in his rookie season. (Even though he’s been slumping in July, he’s posted a .708 OPS this month, which is quite acceptable given his great CF defense.) What do you project for him going forward? Could he have a Mike Cameron/Steve Finley-type career? He already appears like he could exceed the accomplishments of his mentor Marquis Grissom!

2:19
Avatar Jay Jaffe: i’ve been impressed with what i’ve seen, but will defer to the prospect experts as to his future. Eric upgraded him from a 45 FV prospct to a 50 FV one, which is an average major leaguer. A Finley or Cameron is more like a 55, an above-average regular who might get an All-Star berth here or there. Could Harris get there? Sure, if he continues to show growth at the major league level, actualize that raw power into game power and so on. I think it’s too soon to know — if pitchers are adjusting to him, it’s on him to adjust.

2:19
Cat Latos: How does a Cody Bellinger happen? It seems so obvious he needs to not swing out of his shoes all the time. Why does he keep swinging out of his shoes? 2019 Cody knew better!

2:21
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Bellinger obviously had a lot of success very early in his major league career, but he’s been a mess. i think the shoulder injury is a big part of his decline, and his tendency towards relentless tinkering isn’t helping. I wonder if he needs some different voices in his ear about finding a plan and sticking with it.

2:22
Craig: Thanks for taking time today Jay, you have seen some great right field arms on the Dodgers, Reggie Smith, Raul Mondesi, Yasiel Puig, where does Mookie Betts rank among them?

2:23
Avatar Jay Jaffe: oh man, that is quite a list. I didn’t get to see enough of Smith  but he had a strong reputation. Mondesi was probably the bes; even late in his career with the Yankees, the sight of him clearing a ball off the wall and cocking his arm made the hair of my neck stand up, as if he were saying, “Do you feel lucky, punk?”

Betts has a great arm, more accurate than Puig, and I think he’d be 1A on my list

2:23
Blake Seams: Setting aside Verlander, Greinke, Kershaw and Scherzer, who are the next four or five most likely to reach the hall of fame from currently active pitchers?

2:26
Avatar Jay Jaffe: It is anybody’s guess beyond those because nobody else is really close, and that includes the trio of relievers (Kimbrel, Jansen, Chapman) who have all hit some stumbling blocks. DeGrom, with his two Cy Young awards is the best-positioned, but he has to stay healthy. Cole has all the tools to make a run.

2:26
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I’d put my money on those two but they’re a long ways off

2:27
Jason Kendall: What does the future hold for Clarke Schmidt? Yankees as a SP, Yankees as an RP, or Trade Bait?

2:28
Avatar Jay Jaffe: His command issues and the lack of a reliable third pitch (so far) suggest that he’s more likely to be a bullpen piece, a very useful multi-inning reliever. I’m sure that teams will try to trade for him in hopes that he can become a starter, and maybe the Yanks will give in if it fills a significant need but I doubt they’ll move him just for the sake of doing so

2:29
Zach: The Mariners – WTF?

2:30
Avatar Jay Jaffe: We saw them as a slighty-above-.500 team at the outset of the season, and that’s where they are, albeit with a higher-variance path than anyone expected. As somebody with a ton of family on both sides in Seattle, I would love to see them get a playoff spot and end that drought.

2:30
Sad, Confused Marlins Fan: What are you most looking forward to in the Futures game?

2:31
Avatar Jay Jaffe: a year when it returns to a television channel I already subscribe to. I don’t subscribe to Peacock Premium and am not about to; even their biggest draw, the Sunday MLB package, doesn’t fit because I’m busy parenting during weekend daytimes.

2:31
Avatar Jay Jaffe: MLB can bite my ass on that one

2:31
Gashouse Gorilla: Does the Yankees recent rough spot make them an (over-aggressive) buyer at the deadline? They are still well ahead of the field, and replacing their poor-performing assets (Gallo i.e) isn’t critical.

2:33
Avatar Jay Jaffe: They’re a powerhouse team but one with a few notable flaws and concerns. Since the ultimate goal is to win a championship, I suspect that they’ll fortify with October in mind, and that probably means shoring up the bullpen and the outfield more than anything else.

I’d be very surprised if Gallo is still a Yankee on August 3, because I think they’ll land somebody. It bums me out because I think Gallo is much better than this but it just hasn’t worked out

2:33
Mike M: Some people are talking about the Angels trading Shohei.  Seems crazy to be, but… how crazy is it?

2:35
Avatar Jay Jaffe: At some point I think it’s going to happen, probably this winter unless the Angels start showing signs of life.

2:36
KCbbq: Ever since the Tigers moved Riley Greene to the leadoff spot he’s struggled. You expect them to drop Greene in the order? And does he adjust to what the league is doing to him and start to rake?

2:38
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I think moving him to leadoff so early in his career was probably a mistake in the first place. He’s more of a middle-of-the-order type based on his hit and power tool combos. Eric graded him as a 60 FV prospect and I think we should expect him to get there, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen for him immediately.

2:39
Appa Yip Yip: Would you rather be a fan of a team that tries to be good and consistently fails, like the Angels or Rockies, or a fan of a team about to be intentionally bad for an indeterminate amount of time in the hopes of being good half a decade from now?

2:40
Avatar Jay Jaffe: you left out the words “or sometimes” in front of Rockies, because I don’t think they are consistently trying. Of course I’d rather see a team try even if they fail rather than just tanking, which i think has become far too normalized in MLB

2:40
Inaccessible Rail: I feel like the AL wildcard race has gotten genuinely interesting with the Orioles and Mariners suddenly in it, maybe even the Rangers.

2:41
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Yup, we’ve suddenly got nine teams with a 23% chance or better to make the playoffs. I hope they all stick around.

2:42
Matt VW: The Rays, Mariners, Blue Jays, and Red Sox are the four leading contenders for the three AL wild card spots. Which one do you see ending up on the outside looking in?

2:42
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Either the Mariners or the Red Sox, though the number of injuries the Rays are sustaining could catch up to them

2:42
don: do you think hunter greene will ever be an all star level starter? closer?

2:43
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I think he can be an All-Star starter but he’s gonna need an effective third pitch and that will take some time. Man cannot live by fastball alone.

2:44
James: At this point, Stanton seems pretty likely to hit 500 homers, even with his health. Is that enough for the hall or is 600 the standard now?

2:45
Avatar Jay Jaffe: If he gets to 500 without scandal, he’ll get into the Hall. the only 500 guys outside are ones with various links to PEDs.

2:48
Pitching: Besides Castillo and Montas if healthy, are there any other #3 or better pitchers who you think will be available at the deadline? Market looks pretty thin.

2:50
Avatar Jay Jaffe: maybe the Rockies’ German Marquez or the Marlins’ Pablo Lopez would fit that bill, but you’re right, I see a lot of #4 and 5 types instead of better ones. Tyler Mahle, Madison Bumgarner,  Merrill Kelly, Kyle Hendricks… it ain’t great.

2:51
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Mea culpa: right after I waved off the Dodgers’ potential pursuit of Castillo or Montas — or any major move — in last week’s chat, rumors regarding their pursuit of the former surfaced. So there’s that.

2:51
James: Should the commissioner use his power to force Stanton, Judge and Gallo to do the derby every year? I feel like that would be a very good way to win some fans back to his side.

2:52
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I wish that were an option but let’s face it, the event is physically demanding enough that nobody can be compelled in that manner to do it.

2:52
Inaccessible Rail: In looking for a DH on the trade market, shouldn’t the Mets be looking at how players have fared in CitiField in the past? That’s a tough place to hit. We’ve seen a lot of good hitters lose it when they move to Queens.

2:54
Avatar Jay Jaffe: The sample sizes for players at Citi are likely to be too small to be useful. They should be going more by how well a player fits onto their roster (what positions can he play, if any) and balances their lineup rather than worry about those. Finding somebody who can hit lefties is probably the priority.

2:54
Late career Tommy John: Is Verlander making a case for a proactive late career TJ for a pitcher that hasn’t yet had one?   Especially if they want to make another run at a late career surge.  I keep thinking about those plasma injections Kershaw took last year.  Could we see a trend of intentionally taking a year off late in the career for ambitious aging pitchers?

2:58
Avatar Jay Jaffe: you will not find a reputable orthopedic surgeon counseling pitchers to have “proactive” TJ and intentionally take a year off. not gonna happen.

However, most TJ surgeries do involve a UCL that are partially torn, not fully ruptured. IIRC, about a 30% tear is generally the tipping point. At most you might see a pitcher here or there willing to go that route quickly instead of doing PRP and rehab but I willl bet my shirt against anybody just up and taking a year off because he thinks it’s the fountain of youth.

2:58
Insert Witty Name Here: Apolgies if this was in your Buxton piece that I didn’t get a chance to read, but why do you think his OBP is under .300 yet still having great counting stats?

2:59
Avatar Jay Jaffe: it’s in the piece, read it.

2:59
Sonny: Do Ohtani’s improvements on the pitching side of things change your perception of his future? Going from ‘high-end #2 or #3 starter with upside’ to realizing that upside as one of the three best pitchers in the AL mean there is *amazingly* even more ceiling?

3:01
Avatar Jay Jaffe: It’s tough to imagine even more ceiling because pitchers tend towards entropy — they can be great for awhile but tend to get dinged up or even break down. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the stretch in which deGrom threw the hardest and had the most success of any pitcher in recent memory preceded a year-long outage.

3:01
Ranger fan: What are the best rental starters available this year?

3:03
Avatar Jay Jaffe: let’s try that again, as all the pitchers I listed had at least another year of control!

3:04
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Looking over the pending free agent list among starting pitchers it’s actually pretty grim

3:05
Avatar Jay Jaffe: like, do you want to bank on an injured Wade Miley-level grim

3:05
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Jose Quintana comes to mind.

3:06
Matt: What % chance do you give Harper on making the hall of fame as of now?

3:08
Avatar Jay Jaffe: well above 50% but I’m not sure how much further I’d go than that. Two MVP awards is huge

3:08
Avatar Jay Jaffe: as is having that contract in place

3:08
Avatar Jay Jaffe: he doesn’t have to rush back from an injury with some question about where his next contract is coming from. and he’s proven pretty resilient

3:09
Inaccessible Rail: How is it possible that Joey Gallo only has two career SFs?

3:09
Avatar Jay Jaffe: that one blew my mind

3:09
x2R: Statcast is testing Bat speed metrics, I’m really anxious with the future development of this. What you think of that?

3:10
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I think I have some reading to do as I had that tab open before having to reset for this chat https://www.mlb.com/news/what-you-need-to-know-about-statcast-bat-trac…

3:11
Insert Witty Name Here: How many players do you think will get to 50 HRs this year?

3:12
Avatar Jay Jaffe: 1: Aaron Judge. Schwarber would be my guess for a 2nd but his odds are way lower.

3:12
Sonny: Where does Cody Bellinger’s shoulder injury rank among the ‘fluke injuries that derailed careers’ conversation?

3:12
Avatar Jay Jaffe: somewhere among the top 100. It’s a very long list

3:13
T: What’s wrong with Acuna

3:14
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I think he fouled a ball off his left ankle a couple months ago and has continued to have problems with the foot

3:15
Logan Gilbert: Do you think I got snubbed?

3:15
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Yes, but I bet that once we start hearing which pitchers aren’t going to be available for Tuesday you’ll be added.

3:18
Trev: Assuming Kelenic turns it around, Winker continues his upswing, Haniger and Lewis come back from the DL, Julio keeps Julio’ing, and Trammel and Moore are still fine pieces off the bench…what the heck happens in the Mariner outfield?

3:18
Avatar Jay Jaffe: “Assuming these seven best-case scenarios occur…”

3:21
Avatar Jay Jaffe: that is way too much to bank on, particularly given the track records of Haniger and Lewis when it comes to injuries. Ideally I’d think they want Rodriguez, Haniger, and Kelenic in the outfield, Lewis as a fourth, and Winker as the DH, but that’s still asking a lot

3:21
Inaccessible Rail: With the balanced schedule coming, are we going to see a sub .500 division winner next year? Maybe in the AL Central?

3:22
Avatar Jay Jaffe: i absolutely loathe the balanced schedule. it makes me want to vomit

3:22
Avatar Jay Jaffe: You want to break apart rivalries so that players can log more air miles? Get bent.

3:23
Sonny: If you knew on March 1st you would get exactly 110 IPs of Jacob deGrom at 2021 levels how would you deploy him for that season?

3:24
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Probably something along the lines of what the Mets hope they’re getting, somebody joining a contender in the second half of July through the end of the postseason.

3:24
Nick R: Hey Jay, a bit of a random one but would you like a world where draft picks (not just the competitive balance ones) were tradable? Is that world possible do you think

3:25
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Yes, I think that would be a good thing for competitive balance and for fan interest. I know at least a few prospect folks are into the idea, which suggests it’s got some upside

3:25
Farhandrew Zaidman: Any take on Casey Close’s libel suit against Gottlieb?

3:26
Avatar Jay Jaffe: the fact that nobody else was reporting what Gottlieb was reporting suggests that there wasn’t enough evidence to make the allegation.

3:26
Avatar Jay Jaffe: responsible reporting generally involves getting multiple sources, preferably on the record. He clearly didn’t have that, and he’s probably gonna pay through the nose for it

3:26
Sullen in San Diego: Padres have to trade Hosmer this year, before he reaches 5 and 10 rights. Yes?

3:27
Avatar Jay Jaffe: they’ll have to eat a lot of money to do so, and i don’t think “first basemen who have been sub-replacement level since May began” is high on anyone’s shopping list

3:28
Blue Jay’s fan: Did we make a mistake letting Ray walk? He looked washed up and now has a new 2 seamer that is making him look unhittable over the last few months.

3:29
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I think if the Blue Jays had kept Ray they wouldn’t have gotten Gausman so it’s either/or. Both have been great at times but also inconsistent from year to year.

3:30
Inaccessible Rail: Wow, I didn’t know you could post a response then pull it back!

3:30
Avatar Jay Jaffe: we do have editing functions in this chat!

3:30
SP rentals: How about Thor or Stroman?

3:31
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Stroman signed for 3/$71M. Syndergaard could be a rental, I suppose.

3:31
Morlock Jimenez: How well does Willson Contreras have to age in order to be a viable HOF candidate?

3:32
Avatar Jay Jaffe: He’s 30 years old with net-negative pitch framing that’s unlikely to improve substantially. I don’t see it happening.

3:33
Blake Seams: Next guy to 3,000 hits? Altuve would seem like the logical bet; even if it’s long odds. But his switch from contact to pull-side power has dropped his hit totals in recent years. The partially lost 2020 season doesn’t help either.

3:34
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Dan’s piece from last September, with Altuve and Freeman in the lead, is still applicable https://blogs.fangraphs.com/the-3000-hit-club-is-closed-for-maintenanc…. Wouldn’t surprise me if Freeman has surpassed Altuve for the reasons you note

3:34
pakkap: in the realm of player development, i haven’t seen a lot of hay made around the consistent growth of gavin lux – all of a sudden but 24, can play at least four positions reasonably well, and in the nl top ten in offensive win %, batting average, and on-base percentage. crazy what managing a player’s development thoughtfully and giving him an ever-increasing role can do.

3:35
Avatar Jay Jaffe: thank you. Every week I get somebody asking me why the Dodgers aren’t getting more out of Lux, and he keeps improving to the point that he’s a very nice player.

3:35
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Patience wins out

3:35
Avatar Jay Jaffe: ok folks, i have to run. Thanks for stopping by and do enjoy the All-Star break!

3:36
Avatar Jay Jaffe: wait, one more…

3:36
WARGP/S: When you are comparing two careers, do you ever have concerns that the compiling nature of WAR skews analysis? Obviously availability and playing more games allow a player to create more value, but is there any value in looking at WAR per game played/started for two similar careers?  Or is that splicing the stat in a way that isn’t helpful?

3:37
Avatar Jay Jaffe: WAR is a useful tool and an easy shorthand, but any real comparative analysis should take into account greater context (age, injuries, career interruptions, uncertainty about defensive metrics…).

3:38
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Knowing WAR is good. Knowing WAR and the context surrounding it is even better.

3:38
Avatar Jay Jaffe: ok, now goodbye and see you next week!

var SERVER_DATA = Object.assign(SERVER_DATA || {});

Source

Related posts

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.