Ben Clemens FanGraphs Chat – 2/7/22


2:00
Ben Clemens: Hey everybody, welcome to yet another edition of Chatting During Lockout
2:00
Ben Clemens: Let’s talk about whatever people are interested in — although probably mostly baseball, this is a baseball website after all.
2:00
Ben Clemens: Let’s start off with the exact type of question I’m looking for
2:00
Appa Yip Yip: If you could add one Pokemon to a big league team, which would it be and why?
2:02
Ben Clemens: I should mention before I answer this question that I don’t really know many Pokemon past 151
2:03
Ben Clemens: So if there are some new ones that really blow the original set out of the water, maybe we can redo this
2:03
Ben Clemens: But I think you have to start from Mewtwo and work backwards
2:03
Ben Clemens: It’s hard to imagine doing much better than a Pokemon that could just mind control your opponent into walking every batter
2:04
Ben Clemens: Onyx would be interesting if it could tail whip the ball, but I’m just going Mewtwo until proven otherwise
2:04
Stormin’ Norman: I heard that Scott Boras has taken the lead union negotiation duties. NY Times reporter Mike Schmidt stated this A.M.  If true, is a strike all but guaranteed?
2:05
Ben Clemens: Well a)I haven’t heard that, and I’m reasonably dialed in to baseball news
2:05
Ben Clemens: but there’s a lockout CURRENTLY GOING ON
2:05
Ben Clemens: you can’t strike if you’re locked out
2:05
Ben Clemens: the owners have caused a work stoppage
2:05
Ben Clemens: Work is stopped
2:06
Marty: Thanks for the recommendation for the ORO di Oliva. I got my wife a set from their for our anniversary last year. We have really enjoyed it.
2:06
Ben Clemens: Oh, amazing!
2:06
Ben Clemens: I’ve been making my own chili oil this year, so we’ve used a bit less olive oil and cooked more Asian-influenced food, but we just used some olive oil last night and Oro di Oliva still brings the fastball
2:07
Thank you to Dan: For pushing back against expanded playoffs. Seems like most hardcore fans are for it.
2:07
Ben Clemens: Are…. they?
2:07
Ben Clemens: I don’t claim to have an encyclopedic knowledge of baseball fans but the ones I know who I’d consider serious are pretty universally against it
2:07
Inaccessible Rail: My family has been playing a lot of board games since the pandemic started, many of them games we first heard about through your chats! About a month ago, I ordered two games you’ve mentioned from my local game store (one was Taverns of Tiefenthal) but neither has come in yet (I had been told a week or two.) Have you run into supply chain issues with games you’re looking for?
2:07
Ben Clemens: Yeah, though it was mostly during 2020
2:08
Ben Clemens: We were one of seemingly infinite people trying to get a copy of Wingspan
2:08
Ben Clemens: When it was out of stock forever
2:08
Ben Clemens: It was really annoying, to the point where (when stores re-opened) we just went in and bought games that were on the shelf
2:08
Appa Yip Yip: Machamp as 1B would be a force. Unreal power potential, can wear three gloves to catch all the wayward throws. Can swing two bats once it gets to two strikes for unreal plate coverage. (The second bat would mess with its kinetic chain so you’d definitely want it swinging away with one at one and two strikes)
2:09
Dylan: Any Psychic pokemon with Teleport would be broken. They could just teleport into the stands and catch home runs. Or teleport right in front of the baserunner to tag him.
2:09
Appa Yip Yip: On the bump, I gotta go with Grimer/Muk due to the natural gunkball it’s a literal garbage mud creature you’d get absurd RPMs on the breaking stuff. Plus being an amorphous blob it could mix in subtle changes to its height of an inch or two either way without having to meaningfully change arm action.
2:10
Ben Clemens: So we’ve got plenty of options here, I’m definitely not going for Machamp though
2:10
Ben Clemens: Sounds like Eric Hosmer
2:10
Ben Clemens: Scoops! and barrels, brah
2:11
Ben Clemens: Teleport seems really good, but what about one of the ghost types?
2:11
Ben Clemens: And Grimer/Muk, that seems good, natural spitball
2:11
Come On Phillz the Noize: What do you make of Ranger Suarez’s breakout? What’s his stat line look ik at the end of 2022?
2:12
Ben Clemens: I’m really curious to see how the Phillies use him. He definitely has the stuff to be a great reliever, but I assume he’ll start again
2:13
Ben Clemens: I think he’ll be good, but there will be some adjustments necessary — it’s hard to throw a breaking pitch only 10% of hte time and succeed as a starter
2:13
Ben Clemens: Helps that he has a great changeup and is a lefty, so he’ll get to use that a lot, but I’d still like to see a different pitch mix before I’m confident this will work for 2-3 times through the rotation long-term
2:13
171: Ditto is the clear answer to best Pokemon to have on a baseball team.
2:14
Ben Clemens: Eh, disagree. That only copies their best player. You can do better than that if you’re getting a Pokemon
2:14
ThereHeGose: Has Gose’s performance in the 2021 DOWL/MLB made him more likely to get traded or is he a potential closer for Cleveland?
2:15
Ben Clemens: Um…. probably not a closer SUPER soon, b/c Clase looks very legit. I actually think they’ll end up trading him because of his service time. Cleveland doesn’t pay money for baseball players if they don’t have to
2:15
Tepid Soup: Following up on a comment from your sinker/4seam article, did you check for any evidence of catcher influence? Specifically regarding Castillo/Gray with Stephenson/Barnhart
2:15
Ben Clemens: I did, and there wasn’t much there but I’m not confident I did a great job controlling for EVERYTHING when I was controlling for pitcher
2:15
Ben Clemens: So I dropped it and looked at a bunch of data on arb
2:15
Matt: Jigglypuff just ends the game because everyone fell asleep.
2:16
Kx: There’s been smoke from the Padres about moving out salary in order to make sign FAs. Between Hosmer, Myers, Kim, and Profar, which of the players would you guess gets moved? And if you could hazard a guess, where?
2:16
Ben Clemens: Oh, I thikn it has to be Hosmer
2:16
Ben Clemens: The rest of the players you’ve named seem fine with being role players
2:16
Ben Clemens: Platoon bats or utility infielders or whatnot
2:16
Ben Clemens: Hosmer is convinced he’s an everyday starter All Star and seems to kind of get that billing
2:16
Ben Clemens: If you’re going to subtract, you might as well go for addition by subtraction
2:17
Bob: Are projections (and pundits) under-valuing the Cardinals defense? Their starting rotation doesn’t exactly strike fear into anyone’s heart, but Waino, Matz, Hudson, and Mikolas all get GB at over 45%.  Pair that with elite defense at **every** infield position, and it could translate into those pitchers getting a lot of quality innings.
2:18
Ben Clemens: I don’t think so. Dan’s ZiPS standings have them winning the Central
2:18
Ben Clemens: Their outfield is projected to be one of the best in baseball largely on the back of its defense. The pitching is projected fairly well
2:18
Ben Clemens: I think that this is probably a good approximation of the Cardinals — a team that will hit enough and field enough to make up for the fact that its pitchers aren’t really strikeout types
2:19
Kx: There’s been some Cubs / Padres smoke about sending Hosmer to Chicago. If the Cubs pick up Hosmer’s entire deal, would adding Luis Campusano be enough for Jed Hoyer to justify taking his contract? Or would the Padres need to add more, for instance Paddack or Gore or even Hassell?
2:19
Ben Clemens: I do not think Campusano would be enough, personally
2:20
Ben Clemens: His contract isn’t AWFUL but it’s 20/13/13/13
2:20
Ben Clemens: So you’re basically asking which prospect is worth $60 million
2:20
Ben Clemens: B/c our Depth Charts projections for Hosmer are 0.6 WAR in 560 PA, so that’s basically a releasable player
2:21
Ben Clemens: And lest you think it’s some weird projection bias — in SD he’s put up 0.6 WAR in 2065 PA
2:21
Ben Clemens: so maybe we’re OVER rating him
2:21
171: Do you think a team that trades for Hosmer would just release him after the trade? Sounds like a super awkward situation to have a player who is so convinced that he is better than he actually is.
2:21
Ben Clemens: That is a great question
2:23
Ben Clemens: Supposedly he’s a good clubhouse presence (this is way outside my wheelhouse)
2:23
Ben Clemens: And cutting him would be really strange
2:23
Ben Clemens: I think I’d probably hold on
2:23
Ben Clemens: At least for this year
2:23
Ben Clemens: Because it’s not like he’s never been good, and he could put up a blowout year and opt out
2:24
Ben Clemens: Okay, I don’t know who Lucario is
2:24
Ben Clemens: and whoops, out of order
2:24
x2R: Pokemon stuff, like it. I go with Lucario, it’s a fighter and get aura, so he can look the aura of the pitcher, and that ability makes it better the harder the situation.
2:24
Ben Clemens: But that’s quite the uppercut swing
2:24
Ben Clemens: I’m into it
2:24
Ben Clemens: Give me Lucario over Machamp any day of the week
2:24
Ben Clemens: Appears to be quite fast, too, play some center field and get bonus Harrison Bader action
2:25
Laffy Tuffy: What do you feel about the Cardinals adding Aaron Brooks on a minor league deal after becoming a groundball machine in the KBO these last two years?
2:25
Ben Clemens: Excellent signing
2:25
Ben Clemens: Low risk, solid reward, they clearly have a team-building idea that they’re goin with
2:25
The Stranger: How much of the advantage of flat VAA is separate from the advantage of throwing harder? In your article on flat sinkers, the low VAA sinkers were like 3mph faster than the high VAA sinkers. That’s a big advantage to the pitcher regardless of release point, no?
2:25
Ben Clemens: That is a good question that I should totally research
2:25
Ben Clemens: Right now I’m writing about Jacob deGrom because I want to do something easy
2:25
Jesse: Once the lockout does end, how long do you think it will be until we see trades/ FA moves happen. I think it would be awfully suspicious if FA signings were made right as the deadline ended
2:25
Ben Clemens: A few days, I think
2:26
Ben Clemens: I very much doubt teams are actively in contact with agents, though they might have generic agreements to pick up where they left off when the lockout ends
2:26
Ben Clemens: And both sides will be really motivated to make a deal and get some certainty
2:26
thebearproofsuit:  Toronto offers G.Moreno for J. Rodriguez…….who says no?
2:27
Ben Clemens: I am one of the biggest Moreno backers around…. and Mariners
2:28
thebearproofsuit: Keith Law disagrees
2:29
Ben Clemens: Eh…. ask him that question. I get that Moreno is a great prospect but I have questions about his pitch recognition — not enough to make him less than a good major leaguer, but enough that I want to bet a little on Julio on a relative value
2:29
Ben Clemens: I dunno, maybe I’m wildly off base, but I just don’t actually think it’s particulalry close
2:29
Mitch: If you were the A’s, how would you handle their current situation? Trade all their big name players? Or maybe trade say two of them and target near-MLB ready talent in return and try to keep competing?
2:30
Inaccessible Rail: I keep reading about all the A’s players who are on the trading block, but I’ve seen nothing about Sean Murphy. I’ve got to believe that with the shortage of good catchers, he’s incredibly valuable and would land Oakland a real haul. Is he just too far off from his FA years for Oakland to deal him?
2:30
Ben Clemens: Love Murphy, and think he’s probably their most valuable trade chip, but I think that he’s too far off from his FA years to get dealt
2:30
Ben Clemens: Oakland loves the smash-and-grab quick rebuilts
2:31
Ben Clemens: and Murphy can definitely be a part of their next playoff team
2:31
Brownpants: What should Seattle do with Taylor Trammell? If 3 or 4 of Seattle’s other outfielders pan out/stay healthy I don’t see where he fits in
2:31
Ben Clemens: I agree with that…. which means they should keep him and see what happens
2:32
Ben Clemens: That’s a lot of things that have to go right for him to be surplus
2:32
JournoFlo: Which baseball writers/commentators have the best lettuce? I leano to Eno.
2:32
Ben Clemens: Eno is up there. I’m in an Ottoneu league with him and his team name is “It’s a Perm”
2:33
Appa Yip Yip: Gengar is fast and can turn invisible, good luck getting a tag down when you can’t see the dude stealing bases.
2:33
Ben Clemens: yeah if a ghost-type gets on
2:33
Ben Clemens: they’re scoring
2:33
JJ: Most IP in 2022: Greinke, Wainwright, or Verlander? And how many
2:33
Ben Clemens: I’ll take Wainwright by 25
2:33
Ben Clemens: Verlander is an okay pick too
2:34
Ben Clemens: But there’s risk there obviously
2:34
Gila Monster: Could you see the D-Backs moving Ketel Marte? He could command quite the haul given he is quite cheap and there is nothing on the market for either 2B or CF.
2:34
Ben Clemens: I could if they decide they want to blow it up at the big league level and bet on their (very good) farm
2:34
Ben Clemens: Personally, I do not think they should do that
2:35
Kaleb: Hey Ben – I know you’re not the “prospect guy”, but what’s up with Michael Busch and the Dodgers? Is he the forgotten man in their top group of prosepcts – Vargas has a little more shine, plus their MIF at the pro level is stacked?
2:35
Ben Clemens: I think that’s basically the deal
2:36
Ben Clemens: It’s funny, I was writing Vargas up last year as a no-shine guy and now he’s got plenty of shine
2:36
Ben Clemens: Really into Vargas, but I like Busch quite a lot too
2:36
Appa Yip Yip: How many of Oakland’s starters do you see them actually trading away? They do need some players left to haul innings.
2:37
Ben Clemens: Yeha, like….. two?
2:37
171: Can you believe that KLaw ranked my favorite team’s farm system at the number that he did?
2:37
Ben Clemens: Offensive, right?
2:37
Ben Clemens: Can’t believe Keith would do that to me
2:37
Ben Clemens: It’s even worse for me b/c he ranks board games too
2:38
Ben Clemens: So he can get me on multiple axes
2:38
Jesse: The typical fantasy player has about the knowledge and skills of a GM in what year?
2:38
Ben Clemens: I think that’s harsh to GM’s
2:39
Ben Clemens: But if you mean statistical/player projection knowledge, it’s probably in the 21st century
2:39
Grant: Is it just me, or are “anti-pro-owner-fans” fans more abundant than “pro-owners” fans?
2:39
Ben Clemens: There’s somewhat of a selection bias here. Like, I mostly think that, but I talk to people about baseball who mostly agree with e
2:40
Ben Clemens: Not on baseball things, but like, about life in general
2:40
Ben Clemens: I associate with people who are like me, at least relative to the proportions of those people int he world as a whole
2:40
Ben Clemens: Like, readers of FanGraphs are probably MEANINGFULLY less pro-owner than the average baseball fan
2:40
Ryan: Which would make baseball worse, adding one position player on the field or removing one?
2:40
Ben Clemens: Adding, and it’s not particularly close
2:41
Ben Clemens: Lower BABIP more?
2:41
Ben Clemens: removing a fielder is basically upping BABIP
2:41
Ben Clemens: it might be too much…. but adding a fielder just sounds miserable
2:41
Roger: MLB and MLBPA must at LEAST agree on the universal DH. It is pretty much unanimously good for everyone.
2:42
Ben Clemens: I’m starting to think there’s some chance of a delayed implementation
2:42
Ben Clemens: Just because we’re getting down to brass tacks timing-wise, and NL teams might not have the easiest time wrangling a DH
2:42
Ben Clemens: but yes, I think it will almost certainly be in the final agreement
2:42
Insert Witty Name Here: Predicting the future is a fools game, and being the fools that we are, let’s predict.
2:42
Insert Witty Name Here: dammit I didn’t finish my witty question: what does baseball look like in 20 years ?
2:44
Ben Clemens: I think…. hmmm
2:44
Ben Clemens: Chat, if you hvae any ideas, I’d love to hear them too
2:45
Ben Clemens: But I think the field will be differently shaped (I like Andrew Perpetua’s idea of more fair territory by pushing the foul lines back sideways), there will be robo umps, and there will be some type of tiebreaking or game-speeding mechanism that everyone just accepts and likes
2:45
hombre: It’ll be like Blernsball
2:45
Inaccessible Rail: Nothing but Ks and dingers. slightly_frowning_face
2:45
Ben Clemens: I hope not, for the sake of any New New York Mets fans
2:46
171: An aspect of the lockout that I think isn’t being considered enough is that the owners might not all be on the same page. I think there’s a decent possibility that there exists a rift between owners and that could be playing into their lack of counter proposals and asking for a mediator.
2:46
Ben Clemens: I definitely think that’s the case
2:46
Ben Clemens: the owners are not a unified front at all
2:46
Ben Clemens: not just in terms of their on-field spending but in terms of the extent of their non-baseball but baseball-adjacent revenue
2:46
Ben Clemens: the Cubs and Cardinals should be willing to concede a lot to get back on the field
2:47
Ben Clemens: b/c Ballpark Village and Wrigleyville are not great investments when there’s no baseball
2:47
Ben Clemens: but presumably interest is still due
2:47
Ryan: Yeah, I doubt Cohen and Nutting see eye to eye on rev sharing
2:47
Ben Clemens: And then there’s that of course
2:48
Ryan: Would a team in San Juan be feasible? Or would the lower GDP per capita and travel times dissuade the league?
2:48
Ben Clemens: Yeah, I think that those two things would be a significant stumbling block
2:49
Ben Clemens: I can’t imagine the expansion fee would be the same for a theoretical Nashville team and one in SJ
2:49
PerfectBalls: What will it take for MLB to cure its balls controversy (live balls, dead balls, rabbit balls etc)?
2:49
PerfectBalls: Sticky balls, non-sticky balls, etc
2:49
Ben Clemens: Wonderful sentences
2:49
Ben Clemens: I honestly have no idea. I would have said ‘buying Rawlings’ except they did that and things got worse
2:50
Ben Clemens: I think that one potential ending
2:50
Ben Clemens: is that a memo gets out that details that baseball did something nefarious
2:50
Ben Clemens: and then there’s just overwhelming public pressure
2:50
Ben Clemens: to fix it and constantly measure to ensure the balls are consistent and fair
2:50
Bart: In 20 years the game will be faster with robo umpires and pitching and batting clocks.
2:50
Richard: Regarding future improvements, I think shortening the basepaths to 88 or 89 feet could be great. Forces defenders to play shallower which opens up the ground game.  Would also add be a big boost to base stealing, which is fun to watch.
2:50
Ben Clemens: I agree that shorter basepaths would improve the game
2:50
Ben Clemens: Basically I want things that increase babip
2:53
Ryan: Will we ever see a left-handed catcher again? I’ve seen that the hitter being in the RHH vs. LHH box doesn’t impact caught stealing %, so the rationale against may not be true.
2:53
Ben Clemens: I thikn we definitely will
2:53
Ben Clemens: Maybe not a ton, and yeah, I don’t really buy the SB% argument
2:54
Ben Clemens: I think it’s just a matter of few youth players trying catcher as lefties
2:54
Ben Clemens: If you have a big arm and are a lefty, you probably pitch
2:54
cpins: Any sense of how much extra revenue would flow from the owners proposed expanded playoffs? And what kind of split between owners/players?
2:55
Ben Clemens: Well, Sports Business Journal reported that it’s $100 million for ESPN’s rights:
2:56
Ben Clemens: And the split? Well, the owners have proposed essentially 100/0
2:56
Ben Clemens: players get some of the gate, but the gate is not 100 million dollars
2:57
Ben Clemens: So if it’s 100/0, players will need to get a bunch of concessions elsewhere in exchange
2:57
Appa Yip Yip: I’d rather see bigger bases than shorter basepaths, and a rule change that popping off the bag for half a second only results in an out if the runner is no longer over the bag.
2:57
Ben Clemens: That seems fine to me, but probably like not enough of a change to matter
2:57
171: Biggest problem with younger LH players picking catcher is that they can’t find a lefty catchers mitt.
2:57
Ben Clemens: That’s definitely a thing too
2:58
Ben Clemens: I’m a lefty, but I do a lot of things right-handed because I couldn’t get the proper equipment and/or instruction to learn them with my dominant hand as a kid
2:58
14343: start a team with Kyle Tucker or JRam?
2:59
Ben Clemens: JRam but it’s a question now, which is a change from last year
2:59
Jfast: How do teams train players to lower their swing and miss %?
2:59
Ben Clemens: I’m not an expert here
2:59
Ben Clemens: But I think that varied BP training, live BP, that kinda thing
2:59
Ben Clemens: More game-speed guess which pitch is comin and react
2:59
Ben Clemens: And even some 3-D pitch visualization stuff
2:59
Ben Clemens: Will all help
2:59
Farhandrew Zaidman: Asked the same question to Kevin – What’s your take on the so-called “Metaverse” and its potential impact on professional baseball?
3:00
Ben Clemens: I think the metaverse is dumb, and that its best use is as a plot device in the Neal Stephenson classic “Snowcrash”
3:01
Bettsbellingercaruso: Have you seen the daily Mike Trout drawings on reddit?
3:01
Ben Clemens: Yeah, and they’re wonderful
3:01
171: Conspiracy corner: the best framers are natural leftys who have better motor skills with their framing hand.
3:01
171: (I made all of this up and have done 0 research)
3:01
Ben Clemens: Whoa, that’s cool
3:01
Ben Clemens: I mean, yeah, probably not provable
3:01
Ben Clemens: but I like it
3:01
Ben Clemens: I like almost any theory that lefties are good and useful
3:02
Roger: Do you think MLB actually introduces a way to stream local games within the next few years? There were talks about it at the end of last year and $20/month for JUST local sports seems reasonable, especially considering how many people are cutting the cord, but still are willing to pay for live sports. And those with even limited technical knowledge are just going to use a VPN unless leagues are willing to meet consumers where they are.
3:02
Ben Clemens: Yeah, well, the Marquee rate ain’t it
3:02
Ben Clemens: $20/month for just hte Cubs, not other local sports, if I read it correctly
3:03
Ben Clemens: that’s gonna be tough when I can pay 130 bucks and buy a VPN and go from there
3:03
Ben Clemens: for mlb.tv, i mean
3:03
Ben Clemens: I am curious to see what places come out with, though
3:03
Matt: In regard to potential extra revenue from expanded playoffs, Would TV contracts (ESPN,Fox…etc) have to be ripped up and renegotiated almost immediately? Or do they have language in place in anticipation that this could happen?
3:03
Ben Clemens: The ESPN one specifically has language around it
3:04
Ben Clemens: And it seems like they’d get the entire wild card round, so that might be it
3:04
Ryan: My grandfather would playfully admonish that any problem he faced was because of a broad society wide conspiracy against us left-handers
3:04
Ben Clemens: I got lefty scissors this year and can magically cut things now
3:04
Ben Clemens: My wife used to think i was just making up how hard it is to use regular scissors as a lefty
3:05
Ben Clemens: But now I’m just cutting like a champion, it’s amazing
3:05
Ryan: What is your least favorite book/movie/etc. about baseball?
3:05
Ben Clemens: I’m trying to decide how spicy of a take I want to go with here
3:06
Ben Clemens: Field of Dream
3:06
Ben Clemens: Field of Dreams*
3:06
Ben Clemens: Just, super not into it
3:07
The Stranger: I would definitely pay $20/month to watch my local team. That was probably 80% of all the tv I watched when I had cable anyway.
3:07
Ben Clemens: Fair enough. I guess if you can strip out ESPN and still get network broadcasts and stuff, you can do an okay job of replicating live sports
3:08
chilly: following the redesign, is there still a link somewhere on the site that shows upcoming chats/times?
3:08
Ben Clemens: The Chat schedule is now on the right-hand scroll bar
3:09
Ben Clemens: And I think the ‘currently chatting’ thing still works
3:09
Ben Clemens: One moment, please, doing a quick tihng around the apartment
3:11
Ben Clemens: Alright, on second thought, that’s the chat for today!
3:12
Ben Clemens: The fire alarm in our apartment is going off
3:12
Ben Clemens: And Ruby is barking and grumbling up a storm
3:12
Ben Clemens: So time for a walk for both of us
3:12
Ben Clemens: Have a great week, everyone, and may your Pokemon picks for your baseball team put up incredible numbers


 

Ben is a writer at FanGraphs. He can be found on Twitter @_Ben_Clemens.



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

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