HomeTrending MLB NewsBen Clemens FanGraphs Chat - 4/1/24

Ben Clemens FanGraphs Chat – 4/1/24

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2:00
Ben Clemens: Oh let’s chat
2:00
GA Blood: Did you see any of Jared Jones’ debut? I still can’t believe how good he looked. So many swings and misses
2:01
Ben Clemens: Let’s just amble on over to the FanGraphs slack and see what the most recently posted message is
2:01
Ben Clemens: Ben Clemens
  10:58 AM
‘let’s all get irresponsibly excited about jared jones’ is ready for tomorrow @Matt Martell
2:01
Ben Clemens: Oh hey, look at that
2:01
Ben: Thoughts on who wins a fight between McNeil and Hoskins?  I am guessing McNeil fights dirty!
2:01
Ben Clemens: Yeah Rhys is a teddy bear, I wouldn’t mess with Jeff
2:01
BaileysanAlGaib: Is Kutter Crawford going to hold off Nick Pivetta for AL Cy Young? Or will the voters go with Garrett Whitlock? Could also see Bello making a dark horse run…
2:02
Ben Clemens: I’m honestly quite excited about Pivetta, and I think Crawford is really interesting
2:02
Ben Clemens: I’m…. less sold on Whitlock
2:02
Rollie’s Mustache: I see that the Sample Size and Stabilization Points research both here and at BaseballProspectus don’t include plate discipline metrics. Do you know of any work that shows when things like O-Contact%, Z-Contact%, O-Swing%, SwStr%, etc. become “sticky”?
2:03
RTJ: are we worried about Max Fried already? Or just early season chaos
2:03
Ben Clemens: No but that sounds like something I should do
2:03
Ben Clemens: and no, I’m not
2:03
Ben Clemens: sorry, just inadvertently clicked the second question before answering the first
2:04
The person who asks the lunch question: What’s for lunch?
2:04
Ben Clemens: Burmese leftovers
2:04
Ben Clemens: We were really tired yesterday after a weekend of incredible skiing, so we ordered in and got slihgtly too much food
2:04
Derek: Has the first weekend of play at all significantly altered your opinion of any team (either positively or negatively)?
2:05
Ben Clemens: Honestly, the Pirates have moved up in my estimation by a bit and that’s pretty much it
2:05
Frankie Montas: Am I a good sell high right now? Or can this be sustained while pitching in Cinci half my starts
2:05
Ben Clemens: Kind of depends what the price is, right?
2:05
Ben Clemens: Like, no, a 0 ERA and 2.30 FIP cannot be sustained
2:06
Ben Clemens: but Montas was a nice starter until he got hurt in NY, and ‘nice starter’ is squarely within the possible outcomes for him again
2:07
Ben Clemens: if someone’s offering you ace level returns, sure. if you’re trying to ‘sell high’ as like ever so slightly higher than his ADP, I’d probably hold off
2:07
Too Many Mooks: Who among your people do I thank for Tyler O’Neill?
2:07
Ben Clemens: thank all of Canada
2:07
Guest: How do you feel about Royce Lewis now (after the injury)
2:07
Guest: Will Betts value offensively tank if he plays more ss
2:07
Ben Clemens: The early returns don’t look that way, huh?
2:08
Ben Clemens: I don’t think that’s an easy question to answer at all, basically. I don’t know how his body will react to playing so much shortstop, or how the Dodgers will try to get him rest
2:08
Ben Clemens: but so far he’s the best hitter in baseball
2:08
Guest: 0 era is sustainable… if he gets to keep pitching against the Nationals!
2:08
Mary Kate Olsen: MARY. KATE. OLSEN.
2:08
Ben Clemens: New response just dropped
2:08
Dan Wadley: Overreaction alert, but aren’t the Mariners the same team every year? Good pitching but genuinely poor offense? And they didn’t get meaningfully better over the offseason (because they didn’t try to). Why do people keep falling for their BS? They’re not a top-tier team.
2:08
Ben Clemens: Sure, but that’s a pretty good team and their pitching looks especially good this year
2:08
Ben Clemens: I actually think they did get a little better this offseason
2:09
Ben Clemens: Less better than they could have if they tried harder, obviously
2:09
Guest: Only a fool would predict a Key Hayes breakout, right?
2:09
Ben Clemens: as someone who annually predicts a Hayes breakout, I’m not sure if I’m being slandered here
2:10
Ben Clemens: I’d be a little more excited if he weren’t doing it with BABIP and grounders
2:11
Ben Clemens: That’s always the part of the approach that looks the weakest, and he’s still putting his hardest contact on the ground. But I like that his batting eye has looked good early
2:11
Ben Clemens: Cowser, but not because I don’t like Canzone
2:12
Ben Clemens: I think they are both good options
2:12
Nick: Which young AL Central arm excites you the most? (thinking Mize, Ober, Olson, Bibee, Ragans)
2:12
Ben Clemens: And I’d have Skubal only a hair behind him
2:12
bosoxforlife: Elias made a great deal to get Burnes but when is he going to be forced to trade some of his Norfolk mashers? All of the top prospects are tearing the cover off the ball. Is he just afraid to trade the wrong one?
2:13
Ben Clemens: I think that it’s a really interesting question, but I have to say, I’ve liked how he handled this offseason. Getting someone like Burnes was a must, and he did it by spending prospects without going completely nuts
2:13
Ben Clemens: I don’t see an obvious trade candidate for them at the moment, I’m sure that things will clear up as the year rolls along
2:13
Ben Clemens: And the thing is, if all those hitters pan out, what a wonderful problem to have. If some don’t, well, call up the ones who are good
2:13
Dublin O’s Fan: Are Oneil Cruz and Elly De La Cruz signs of a new super-athlete arriving in baseball or are they just two unicorns who have similarities?
2:14
Ben Clemens: A little bit of both, I think
2:14
Ben Clemens: But more towards the unicorn side
2:14
liam: what makes you more bullish on the pirates? they easily could’ve dropped two, and i still don’t think the rotation is that great. jones will probably have his fair share of rookie struggles and keller didn’t inspire a ton of confidence that he actually is the 2023 first half guy we saw
2:15
Ben Clemens: Jones looked really good, and sure, he’ll probalby have some struggles, but I thought that before his start too
2:15
Ben Clemens: Cruz has looked good and healthy
2:16
Ben Clemens: It’s hard to have a massively changed opinion after a few games, and yeah, my opinion hasn’t changed a ton, but ‘what if jared jones is ace-ish right away’ definitely changes expecdtations a little
2:16
Tom: Jordan Hicks as a starter: success or huge success????? One game is a good sample size right
2:16
Ben Clemens: Haha yes, let’s just call it there
2:16
Ben Clemens: Honestly what a great success, I agree with you
2:17
Ben Clemens: Will it work in the long run? I’m still skeptical. But I didn’t really think it could work in the short run, either, so maybe don’t take my opinion on this particular pitching conversion as gospel
2:17
liam: also just curious – what % of chat questions do you typically get around to answering
2:17
Ben Clemens: I dunno, 30%?
2:17
Ben Clemens: 40%? There are so many good quesetions
2:17
Jack: Any middle relievers you would recommend. not for saves, but for ratio help and Ks? thanks.
2:17
Ben Clemens: I tend to shuffle through Guardians for ratio help
2:18
Ben Clemens: Weird as that sounds, they seem to churn out good middle relievers
2:19
Ben Clemens: like, Stephan looks pretty legit. Nick Sandlin is en fuego to start the year
2:19
Ben Clemens: Scott Barlow feels like the kind of guy I trust more in cleveland than elsewhere
2:19
Guest: What legitimate reason do you think the Orioles have for keeping Jackson Holliday in AAA to start the season?  Surely the Orioles would rather have Holliday playing 2B/SS over Westburg and Mateo
2:20
Ben Clemens: This is a question I’m still pondering quite a bit, and I hope to have a response for you in article form later this week
2:20
Ben Clemens: It’s a really confusing question, because I don’t think the service time manipulation angle benefits them that much given the position they’re in
2:20
Jack: Paxton is starting for the Dodgers today. Do you think he is the next pitcher the Dodgers staff helps break out ?
2:20
Ben Clemens: I think it’s just a health thing with Paxton, so it’s hard to say
2:21
Guest: how different is Erick Fedde now vs. last time he was in MLB?
2:22
Ben Clemens: He’s different, no doubt. I think that having an out pitch is transformative for him
2:23
Ben Clemens: He’s always been able to throw strikes and fill innings, but he walked too many batters and didn’t strike out enough because he just could not end at-bats when he was ahead
2:23
Ben Clemens: I think that if his sweeper is even decent — and it looks good to me — that change is massive
2:23
Ben Clemens: Obviously I’m pretty high on him, he was one of my bold takes in my prediction article
2:23
Ben Clemens: And nothing about his first start changed my opinion all that much, I’m hardly surprised that he might have home run issues but I like the strikeout stuff and the fact that his walks are declining as a result is also great
2:24
Appa Yip Yip: AL Cy is clearly going to Kevin Gausman. It’s his time.
2:24
Ben Clemens: It would be amazing if he had a great season with ERA lower than FIP to get the award, because I feel like he’s been a FIP darling in Toronto
2:24
Idiotic Failson: Chances the Yankees go 162-0? They’re off to a decent start
2:24
Ben Clemens: haha it’s 0; but since it’s April Fools I’ll say 50%
2:24
Ben Clemens: it happens or it doesn’t
2:25
Nate: Was elder’s first half of the 2023 season just a fluke
2:25
Ben Clemens: *just* a fluke? no
2:25
Ben Clemens: I think there are real things to like about him
2:25
Ben Clemens: I’m willing to believe that he can induce weak contact better than your average major leaguer
2:26
Ben Clemens: but I think that his lack of stuff is going to hold him back
2:26
David: When the Cubs give up on Morel at 3B (to watch him play defense for any length of time is to realize he’s a ultra athletic DH), will there by any place to turn other than the trio of Nick Madrigal/Wisdom/Mastro?
2:26
David: Morel looking rough at third. Are the Cubs going to regret not signing Chapman, especially given how his price fell?
2:26
Ben Clemens: Oh sorry, didn’t realize these were both from the same person
2:26
Ben Clemens: But Morel is not a third baseman
2:27
Ben Clemens: the Cubs knew this, they were running lineups last year with him at second and little Nick Madrigal at third
2:27
Ben Clemens: I don’t know why they tried it again but he just cannot play third well
2:27
Ben Clemens: I don’t hate Madrigal/Wisdom/Mastrobuoni as an alternative, though. I’m surprised to say that I like Madrigal’s defense a fair amount there despite his arm, and he makes for an interesting power/contact platoon with Wisdom
2:28
Ben Clemens: I think you can get a sense for pitchers who Wisdom is gonna struggle with, guys who have strikeout stuff basically, and bounce those two around accordingly
2:28
Ben Clemens: I don’t think they’re going to regret missing out on Chapman, but well, I’ve always been lower than consensus on Chapman
2:28
RTJ: who ends up being more valuable to the Blue Jays this year: Alex Manoah or Joey Votto?
2:28
Ben Clemens: There’s no answer here I’d be sad about other than ‘neither’, though
2:28
Ben Clemens: I’m rooting for both
2:29
Guest: Will soroka ever figure it out again
2:29
Ben Clemens: Ugh, I hope so
2:29
Ben Clemens: Zero strikeouts in five innings is NOT an encouraging sign
2:29
JB: Who has more WAR over the remainder of their contract? Strasburg (likely 0) or Baez (possibly negative)?
2:29
Ben Clemens: I’ll take Baez for sure, haha
2:29
Ben Clemens: I mean, he was absolutely atrocious last year and worth 0.8 WAR
2:30
Dan: I’m in a daily Pick ’em competition with the caveat that if the game I pick that day (picks due at 11am est) isn’t completed it still counts as a win for me. Is there a good way to look up game cancellations and delays?
2:30
Ben Clemens: I actually don’t know
2:30
Ben Clemens: Sorry for a non-answer here, but I figured I’d at least post it so you wouldn’t just keep wondering
2:30
DJ: Freddy Peralta was very strong during the 2nd half of last season and obviously impressive on Opening Day. Are you buying that he’s taking a meaningful step forward?
2:30
Ben Clemens: ehhhh…. no, I think he’s going to continue being very good though
2:31
Ben Clemens: so I think it depends on what you came in thinking
2:31
bosoxforlife: I was thinking that the White Sox and the A’s were going to battle it out to see who won’t reach 50 wins but do you think the Rockies, in the now very tough NL West, might be even worse?
2:31
Ben Clemens: I don’t think the A’s are THAT bad
2:31
Ben Clemens: I do think the White Sox might be. And yeah, the Rockies are a disaster. I think Rockies/White Sox will be the race to the bottom this year
2:32
Steve O: Stephan had TJS btw.
2:32
Ben Clemens: You know, I knew this, and I have no idea why I mentioned him in the present tense, but he was a great ratio helper for the lats two years
2:33
Ben Clemens: and he’s a good exmaple of how they do a great job working with relievers to emphasize their strengths
2:33
Ben Clemens: but yeah, he’s out! don’t pick him up
2:33
Steve O: The reason for keeping Holliday down is clearly service time manipulation.
2:33
Ben Clemens: if that’s the case, I think the Orioles are making a poor decision
2:33
Ben Clemens: but yeah, I do think you might be right
2:33
Rayray: Nolan Arenado is taking half swings and can only go oppo—cooked? injured? going thru it?
2:33
Ben Clemens: Injured I think, and bordering on going through it
2:34
Ben Clemens: but yeah I agree with you that it’s a VERY good barometer
2:34
Ben Clemens: he’s a pull only guy
2:34
Ben Clemens: when he’s going oppo, something is not right
2:34
RTJ: Are the Cubs totally toasted without Steele for a while now?
2:34
Ben Clemens: I mean, obviously I’d prefer to have Steele
2:34
Ben Clemens: what a goofy injury, by the way
2:35
Ben Clemens: But I think that their offense is deep and rounded enough that they’ll score a lot of runs and win games even when they don’t have amazing starting
2:35
Ben Clemens: also, between Horton and Brown, they have some nice reinforcements coming up
2:35
Dan: When a teams playoff percentage goes up or down after a 3-0 or 0-3 start how much it the projection adjusting the teams assumed strength of schedule verse merely they now have only 159 games left and a multi game lead/deficit?
2:36
Ben Clemens: it’s like .5% changes in expectation, 99.5% the deficit
2:36
Ben Clemens: it just really matters!
2:36
Ben Clemens: and meanwhile, unless there’s an injjury, it’s hard to learn that much that should change your long-term view of a player or team in three games
2:36
onomatopoeia: Shohei Ohtani is starting at DH for the Dodgers today. Do you think he is the next player the Dodgers staff helps break out ?
2:36
Ben Clemens: joy
2:37
Joey Caltrain: Can we take a moment to mourn the for the fact that the book has almost certainly closed on Joey Bart doing a BART ad?
2:37
Ben Clemens: It’s so sd
2:38
Ben Clemens: Everyone was hoping for that joke for years
2:38
Nate: George Kirby or Luis Castillo in fantasy
2:38
Ben Clemens: I’m a dummy but gimme Kirby
2:38
Guest: how big an indictment on Nats player dev if 1 year of KBO made Fedde a playable SP
2:38
Ben Clemens: like, SO big
2:39
Ben Clemens: I probably cannot emphasize this enough
2:39
David: Funny enough it was actually 2 different David’s asking Morel can’t play 3B questions at the exact same time (not joking).
2:39
Smiling Politely: Did you catch Bobby Miller’s start? He looked like a guy who thought about last year and said, “what if i can consistently locate my pitches regardless of count or batter” and made me wonder if he ends up as the most valuable starter by the end of the season
2:39
Ben Clemens: I did, and he looks great
2:39
Ben Clemens: I’m a big Miller backer and I feel vindicated
2:39
My fantasy teams are mad about the disrespect: Why is Jordan Walker hitting 7th in the StL lineup?
2:40
Guest: The Altuve-Yordan-Tucker-Bregman ordering didnt quite pan out. Small Sample, but thoughts on optimal 1-4 ordering? and  any thoughts on Mccormick?
2:40
Ben Clemens: Quick batting order discussion
2:41
Ben Clemens: Walker: I dunno, but I don’t think it’s a huge deal either way, I’d prefer him somewhere in 1-6 but they have a bunch of pretty good hitters
2:41
Ben Clemens: I like what they’re doing with Scott and Winn, too
2:41
Ben Clemens: Astros: I mean…. optimal hardly matters with these dudes, I’m fine with the way they have it
2:41
Ben Clemens: like, just put the four great hitters 1-4, easy peasy
2:41
Ben Clemens: and I like McCormick a lot, think he’s a legit regular
2:42
bosoxforlife: No your not. Kirby is the goods. On Friday he walked 2, and threw a wild pitch, unbelievable, in the 1st then closed the door completely
2:42
Ben Clemens: I think it’s kind of outrageous that Kirby had more Cy Young votes than any other AL pitcher in our season prediction post
2:42
Ben Clemens: which kind of worries me? but I was one of them, sooooo
2:43
Steve O: Is Austin Wells a sneaky RoY candidate? His defense looks solid and if Holiday is kept down for a while he doesn’t really have a ton of competition in the AL (outside of Langford).
2:43
Ben Clemens: Don’t forget Evan Carter, Colt Keith, Junior Caminero, etc.
2:44
Ben Clemens: like maybe he’s undervalued but there are a lot of good rookies in the AL
2:44
liam: lol morel doing nothing to prove the haters wrong at 3b
2:44
Ben Clemens: That’s one way to put it, haha
2:44
Morbo: I don’t think I’m ever going to get used to seeing Craig Counsell in a Cubs uniform. It just feels wrong on so many levels
2:44
Ben Clemens: I’ll get used to it I’m sure
2:44
Ben Clemens: but it feels VERY strange
2:45
Morbo: Cardinals recent history of handling player injuries has been…bad
2:45
Ben Clemens: Yeah this Edman situation is awful
2:45
Ben Clemens: Oh man Acuna just took an awkward lunge into first trying to beat out a double play and my heart skipped a beat
2:46
Ben Clemens: looks like he’s completely fine though
2:46
KC Pain: Bibee + Keller an overpay for Gilbert in a 16 team dynasty?  Bibee had better numbers than Gilbert last year.  I mean if it was Kirby different story….
2:46
Ben Clemens: i think it’s reasonable, I don’t think Keller has a ton of value
2:46
Ben Clemens: Just like, there are a lot of guys who can put up Kelleresque stats
2:47
Ben Clemens: His extra value is his consistency and availability, and I’m just not as interested in that in fantasy
2:47
PuanMabloJontoya: re: AL ROY — if ceddanne rafaela keeps an obp over .300 he’s going to put up a 4war season. power/speed/defense are legit, and he’s going to have highlight plays out the wazoo. bet him before the lines drop even more
2:47
Ben Clemens: Another good call there
2:47
Rickster: Could Busch’s defense at 3rd be any worse than Morel’s?  I think he got some reps there in ST.
2:47
Ben Clemens: I mean, could it be? I assume so. Nick Castellanos played third base once
2:47
Ben Clemens: and it was as bad as you might imagine
2:48
Ben Clemens: Will it be? I think Busch is probably about as likely to succeed out there as Morel is. Not knowing what will happen is an upside here. We already nkow that Morel is unlikely to figure it out
2:48
birds birds birds: Why is Tony Kemp in Baltimore instead of
2:48
Ben Clemens: Adam Frazier sat on the bench so that Tony Kemp could…. also sit on the bench
2:49
Phil: With Leclerc struggling is Robertson the next man up and is he a good pickup?
2:49
Ben Clemens: Yeah i think he is
2:49
Ben Clemens: love the opportunity set there
2:49
HayesMVP2024: Taking a look at the projected standings, is the NL Central race the most interesting division to watch?  Every team is between 25-40% to make the playoffs.
2:49
Ben Clemens: there are no truly awful teams there this year
2:49
Ben Clemens: one of only two divisions where I think you can say that (ALE)
2:49
Ben Clemens: and that’s really fun
2:50
woodberry: The Pirates seem a lot more interesting with Jones in the mix…do they say the heck with it, and call Skenes up sooner than later? That two-headed monster will undoubtedly put seats in the stands, and they might make the central division super competitive.
2:50
Ben Clemens: I think they will
2:50
Ben Clemens: I’d be a very aggressive GM on moves like that, of course, so you can’t take what I’m saying as gospel
2:51
Ben Clemens: But this team is young and exciting and the fact that they were willing to start Jones in the majors says that they’re not slow rolling for the sake of slow rolling
2:51
Stroman: That was actually a really impressive start
2:51
Ben Clemens: if this is what the Yankees get out of Stroman, it might be the signing of the offseason
2:52
Ben Clemens: just like, not much money and for a very solid starter
2:52
Clarke Kent: Purely stats and analytics based question here: did Juan Soto’s impact on the lineup get the Yankees DAWGx levels back to a place where you can feel good about them taking the division over the upstart Orioles
2:52
Ben Clemens: you know, I haven’t looked at DAWGx, but I did look at their xThatGuyJustKnowsHowToPlay
2:52
Ben Clemens: it’s gone way up
2:53
Ben Clemens: Wow Yoan Moncada just stretched a triple into a double, that’s not a great look this early in the season
2:54
Ben Clemens: Hey there Matt, long time no yell
2:54
B: Yellow mangos are in season. So good!
2:54
Guest: I imagine it may be too small a sample size, but is there an advantage (towards pitcher or batter) at the end of very long at bats (>= 10 pitches, say)?
2:54
Ben Clemens: I was looking around for an old article that I read about this
2:54
Ben Clemens: I want to say Ben Lindbergh, but maybe so long ago that it was at Grantland and not the ringer
2:54
Ben Clemens: the answer was yes
2:55
RickP: Hey Ben – who do you think has the best probability to hit a HR in the Giants v Dodgers game?
2:55
Ben Clemens: Haha, just for your own entertainment and not any kind of wagering reason I’m sure, but uh…. presumably it’s Mookie?
2:56
Paulie Eff: 12-team category H2H. Drop Maikel Garcia for Colt Keith? I already have Volpe and Scott for SB’s
2:56
Ben Clemens: I mean, that’s your worst player? Nice!
2:56
Ben Clemens: I’m kinda interested in Garcia’s power jump, I’d HATE to drop him right now
2:57
Key Flaw: With all the talk how the Cruzes are big for shortstops and maybe too big, why are people ignoring Gunnar Henderson who is also big and can play a mean shortstop (plus also..you know… Cal). Maybe being big isn’t bad at SS?
2:57
Ben Clemens: Oneil Cruz is FIVE INCHES taller than Gunnar
2:58
Ben Clemens: there’s a difference between big shortstops (that’s happened, we like em, Seager etc) and small forwards
2:58
Matto1233: Who needs Steele when you have Imanaga anyway?
2:58
Ben Clemens: I am really high on Imanaga, have him in fantasy and totally buy the ZiPS juice
2:58
Daniel: Red Sox looked interesting against the Mariners. Can they pitch a little bit? Maybe some potential to surprise?
2:58
Ben Clemens: I really feel like the Red Sox are one ace short of having an excellent pitching staff
2:59
Ben Clemens: I think that a lot of teams whose pitching I don’t like are MANY pitchers short of an excellent staff
2:59
Ben Clemens: the Sox seem like if they could have one true anchor, they have a ton of good arms who can hold down the rest
2:59
Patty: Andrew Bailey had all three of Pivetta, Crawford, and Whitlock throwing some sort of slider over 50% of the time this weekend. While the early results were great, do you have a what implications that may have on durability? The conventional wisdom is breaking balls strain arms, but recent research seems to blame velocity more
2:59
Ben Clemens: Yeah, I am not overly worried about injuiries any more than I always am
3:00
Ben Clemens: although the super hard sliders are unquestionably very hard on arms
3:00
Ben Clemens: like per unit velocity, breaking balls are harder on your arm than fastballs, the velocity is what makes the fastballs worse
3:00
Darryl Vanilla: How are the Mets’ playoff hopes going to be affected by the Megilah injury?
3:00
Ben Clemens: yeah it hurts. when your blah back end guys are alreayd down to start, every injury just weighs more
3:00
Tom Tango: Has anyone recently done any more detailed analysis on the value managers provide? I’m curious if the Cubs are on the front edge of a new wave of changes in MLB with Counsell. It does seem like a good manager can provide a couple of wins difference which is deserving of more money than a mediocre RP.
3:00
Ben Clemens: I haven’t seen any in quite a while
3:01
Ben Clemens: I think that it’s basically a certainty that managers provide value in terms of keeping players engaged and managing workloads than anything they do with in-game decisions, and that remains frustratingly hard to measure
3:03
deBride: You get a chance to see Bryan Hudson throw three scoreless for the Brewers? Believe I saw somewhere that his release point is so extreme it is almost off the plot
3:03
Ben Clemens: I did not but now I’m gonna go try to look
3:03
Rotten Apple: Is MLB really benefiting from this deal with Apple+?  Is Apple? I would guess a very high % of fans are not subscribing just to watch the occasional game.  Would you agree this setup sucks for the fans?
3:03
Ben Clemens: I think Apple is benefiting
3:03
Ben Clemens: I think they’re benefiting less as time goes on, and that maybe the deal won’t continue forever
3:04
Ben Clemens: particularly now that they are more in on MLS than baseball
3:04
Ben Clemens: I thought that using it as advertising was really smart, I know several people who got the free apple tv trial to watch some games and liked the trailers for new shows enough that they kept it
3:04
Ben Clemens: It’s unclear to me how much value it has as a going concern rather than advertising, though
3:05
Matto1233: Nice to see Kris Bryant got a good ovation at Wrigley today. Can you think of anyone else that has had as bizarre of a career arc? Was the league MVP, face of the Cubs after 2016, and maybe the best non-Trout player for a few years but then faded into complete irrelevancy so quickly it’s almost jarring.
3:05
Ben Clemens: Yeah it’s really amazing
3:05
Aidan: Early thoughts on Jung Hoo Lee? I think he had at least 4 barrels, and swung and missed twice in 70-80 pitches to him against the Padres.
3:05
Ben Clemens: He looks better than I expected
3:05
Ben Clemens: I’m very excited to catch a lot of his games hthis year
3:05
Paul: Re: Managers value.  Putting people in the right position to succeed is the managers job, but said individuals failing to actually succeed has nothing to do with the manager.  Yet the managers are held accountable
3:05
Ben Clemens: Right, that’s why it’s so hard to measure
3:05
Paulie Eff: Ok, I’ll hold onto Maikel.  What about dropping Eddie Julien for C Keith?
3:06
JV: Pick 3 – Whitlock at LAA, Javier Vs Toronto, JJones Vs Balt, King at SF, Pepiot Vs Tex AND at Col
3:06
Ben Clemens: Today in Ben Picks Things:
3:06
Ben Clemens: Whitlock, Javier, King
3:06
Ben Clemens: pepiot with one of the worst imaginable two start sets, oof
3:07
Only Fan(atic)s: Is there a bell curve of injury correlation? E.g. those that miss games to major injury/minor injury are less likely to have correlative injury trends in the future than those with constant medium level injuries (frequent tissue and muscle pulls). Our injury prone friends Royce Lewis and ILoy Jimenez have shown that the muscle and tendon injury prone tend to remain as such. [I’m currently wrapping Byron Buxton in bubble wrap as we speak. Jazz Chishom is in the queue next.]
3:07
Ben Clemens: I understand your question maybe 60%, but I’m gonna say yes, different injuries are differently predictive
3:07
Smiling Politely: I was thinking the other day just how many really, really great writers were part of Grantland, and how much I’d enjoy a 30 for 30 on that experiment
3:08
Ben Clemens: Like, every time I would read about some new thing I didn’t previously care about, the person writing about it would be one of the best in the game at it
3:08
Ben Clemens: Eh, I think I’d do it then. I do like Keith quite a bit. But look at all these good options!
3:08
McGraw45: Which occurs first: a team goes 162-0 or the heat death of the Universe?
3:09
Ben Clemens: Heat death, but that’s because baseball isn’t going to exist in perpetuity
3:09
Guest: only been 4 (not super impressive) outs but im convinced

Dakota hudson is the best pitcher in the NL west

3:09
Ben Clemens: oh friend, I am so sorry for you for the roller coaster you’re going to go through as a fan of a team Hudson pitches for
3:09
Ben Clemens: it hurts me how many times I was like ‘oh hey maybe!’
3:09
Ben Clemens: the answer is always no at the end of the day
3:10
Ben Clemens: he’ll walk 6 in a row and you’ll be cured of your blindness
3:10
bosoxforlife: Deep down in my twisted mind I am hoping for a 5 team battle  in a couple of divisions. In 1967 the AL entered the last week of the season with 4 teams within a game of each other. The White Sox had the lead then lost their last 5 and finished 4th.
3:10
Ben Clemens: It would be really amazing, and I think that the NLC is the best chance for that in a while
3:10
Ben Clemens: The Pirates and Reds both putting it together simultaneously, and having that happen to sync up with the Cubs being in an upswing? It seems too good to be true
3:10
Ben Clemens: Man, Imanaga is gonna be good when it’s cold out
3:11
Ben Clemens: if nothing is getting out of Wrigley, how do you score on him?
3:11
Only Fan(atic)s: That makes sense. I assume that things like ACL tears and broken bones due to HBP have no correlation to future injury unless they cause complications that reduce performance as a result of surgery. As to where constant muscle pulls and tendon strains, where there is no surgery, appears to be correlative for injuries from year to year. [As a runner with paper tendons I can confirm] I wonder if there is data on the year to year correlation between soft tissue injuries and time missed from season to season
3:11
Ben Clemens: Derek Rhoads does some good stuff on injuries, I’d follow his stuff
3:12
Ben Clemens: but i haven’t seen anything on this in particular, no
3:12
Morbo: Supermassive black holes will take about 2×10^100 years to evaporated. 2^162 is 5.8*10^48
3:12
Ben Clemens: right…. but do you think baseball is going to continue for 10^48 years? Do you think it’s going to continue for 10^2 years? Do they have baseball in your quadrant, Morbo?
3:12
Idiotic Failson: As a guy that didn’t really watch a ton of NL baseball, I have to say that my first few games of the Juan Soto experience has been deeply gratifying. That guy was hitting in front of Judge and looked like twice the hitter that Judge was. The Yankees just need to give him whatever he asks for. Absolutely ludicrous talent.
3:12
Ben Clemens: Yeah I feel like once a year or so I write an article titled some variation of “Juan Soto, your favorite hitter’s favorite hitter”
3:13
Ben Clemens: it’s SO satisfying to watch him work
3:13
Ben Clemens: he doesn’t always succeed, but it always feels like he’s up there with a plan
3:14
Mo Jiggles: What could fix Severino? Losing velo is part of life, but what causes a decrease in extension? Is that primarily a function of a pitcher’s stride or arm angle? thanks
3:14
Ben Clemens: More stride than anything else, which I think is often a sign that something is not right in the legs/core
3:14
Nate: On April 30th the White Sox will have __ wins
3:14
Ben Clemens: They will???
3:14
Ben Clemens: You seem very confident
3:14
bosoxforlife: I think the AL East also has a chance because the Red Sox are much better than the consensus thinks. I remember 2021 and nobody was expecting anything yet they came within 2 games of the WS.
3:15
Morbo: We enjoy Blernsball in Morbo’s quadrant! And baseball’s time live depends on if time travel is invented because there could absolutely be The Baseball Game at the End of the Universe
3:15
Ben Clemens: Can’t argue with that. that said, I’ll bet on the heat death of the universe because I’m sure it will happen eventually, whereas I’m less sure that a team will ever win all their games
3:15
Kevin: Do you think the Rays have a fundamental problem with pitcher injuries? Honeywell, Patino, De Leon, McKay, McClanahan, Baz, Bradley, Glasnow are all former or top pitching prospects who had serious injuries either completely or partially derail their careers while in the Rays org. Or is this just normal pitcher attrition?
3:15
Ben Clemens: I think the Rays select for guys who are perhaps a little more injury prone
3:16
Ben Clemens: It’s not clear to me that it has to do with the org so much as the selection bias
3:16
Steve O: The interesting thing about Soto vs Judge is that Soto looks more in control at the plate, but Judge is clearly the better hitter and player.. not really sure how those things are simultaneously true but they are.
3:16
Ben Clemens: Well, that’s because when Judge’s bat touches the ball, it evaporates. I’m not sure I agree with you, though
3:16
Ben Clemens: The thing that always gets me about Soto is that his floor is just comically high
3:16
Ben Clemens: also he’s SO durable
3:17
Ben Clemens: that matters a lot, you know?
3:18
KC Pain: Would you sell low on Arenado for Nimmo if your current CF is Taveras and have Burger as 3B replacement?
3:18
Ben Clemens: omg this is a shocking question to receive
3:18
Ben Clemens: but like, wow, I might
3:18
Ben Clemens: Arenado has always been a better real life player than fantasy
3:18
Insert Witty Name Here: Food Q: have you ever tried to make bagels? I’ve made them over the years and they were so-so. Then I just added psyllium husk and total game changer. Never had a bagel other than NYC.
3:19
Ben Clemens: I haven’t but a friend I was skiing with this weekend was telling me about his experiments making bagels
3:19
Ben Clemens: I’m going to ask him about it
3:19
Appa Yip Yip: Idk Danny Jansen breaking a bone in his hand has happened every year for like four years. Always an outlier.
3:19
Ben Clemens: The exception that proves the rule
3:19
Marshall: How has Mookie looked at shortstop so far?
3:19
Ben Clemens: I haven’t watched enough to be able to say for certain, to be honest
3:20
Ben Clemens: I had to sacrifice some baseball watching to hit the slopes
3:20
Ben Clemens: But I’ll have a better feel after watching some Giants Dodgers games this week
3:20
Oli’s delayed reaction: can you surmise why ryan fernandez hasn’t gotten an appearance yet?
3:21
Ben Clemens: Because the Cards are worried he isn’t very good and don’t want to mess with him by having him debut against the Dodgers
3:21
Ben Clemens: Honestly, though, I think that it’s bad bullpen management
3:21
Ben Clemens: you can’t just carry an empty roster spot like that against the Dodgers when you have a starter on an enforced pitch count and are missing your ace
3:22
Ben Clemens: find a way to give the guy confidence, you can’t say ‘our bullpen was extremely innings constrained’ and also just not use someone at all
3:22
brad penny for your thoughts: as a cardinals fan and mlb.tv subscriber, i can’t tell you how excited i was that 50% of the early season was blacked out to me because the mlb corporation has partnerships with other giant corporations.  MLB is for the fans.
3:22
Morbo: I actually make homemade bagels that are very good. My secret is I use a brown malt extract from a brewing store. I use King Arthur bread flour and absolutely abuse my KitchenAid by having it kneed the dough for like 20 minutes straight.
3:23
Ben Clemens: Poor KitchenAid
3:23
Ben Clemens: Okay, everyone who’s still in this chat is pretty clearly a loyal FG reader and baseball fanatic, so I have a question for you guys
3:23
Ben Clemens: Would you be interested in a semi-regular twitch/youtube stream where I try to learn how to code using baseball problems?
3:24
Ben Clemens: the idea would be that I start with an interesting question and then spend an hour or two exploring it, perhaps with computer programming, perhaps using some generative AI to help me organize my thoughts, perhaps by asking readers, etc.
3:24
Ben Clemens: maybe bring on guests once in a while
3:24
Ben Clemens: I’ll poll it, because I’ve been thinking about doing this
3:25
Ben Clemens:

Would you watch me trying to learn computers using baseball?


Yes (25.0% | 13 votes)

No (21.1% | 11 votes)

I’d watch one to see if it’s interesting (53.8% | 28 votes)


Total Votes: 52

3:25
Stephen: Re: Judge and Soto. I think I agree with the previous question. I think Judge has been more productive as a hitter and fielder (while healthy) than Soto, but Soto looks like he’s on another level while batting compared to Judge. Complete control.

Since 2019, Judge has a 169 wRC+, 27.6 WAR in 2,367 PA, Soto has a 156 wRC+ and 25.2 WAR in 2,901 PA. WAR closeness comes down to Judge being injury prone.

3:25
Ben Clemens: Yeah. If Soto had Judge’s power, that would be the perfect hitter I think
3:26
Morbo: “Honestly, though, I think that it’s bad bullpen management” a Cardinals manager with bad bullpen management, color me shocked! Starting to think it’s the FO and not the Manager at this point
3:26
Ben Clemens: I think it can be both
3:26
Ben Clemens: I actually think that Marmol makes some good and hard bullpen decisions
3:26
Ben Clemens: he’s very good about understanding the reactions that opposing managers will have, and their knock-on effects
3:27
Ben Clemens: like he often brings in a platoon-immune righty against a pocket of righties where the opposing manager will PH
3:27
Ben Clemens: so that he can then use his lefty against the pocket he created
3:27
Morbo: I’d watch that! Would there be a way to follow along at home? Because I’ve been meaning to learn some python or similar. I learned some java and basic back in the day
3:27
Ben Clemens: Yeah the idea is for people to follow along at home
3:27
Ben Clemens: I don’t think it’d be interesting if it’s just me talking to myself so I’d try to have a data set we can all use together, that kinda thing
3:27
woodberry: I thought Caminero was hurt?
3:28
Ben Clemens: He is, but I think he’ll be up not long after he gets healthy
3:28
J. Holliday: Any idea if I can still give the team that may or may not be manipulating my service time the draft pick promo if I win/get 2nd in ROY and am on the team in the next week or so? Most reporting says I have to be on the Opening Day roster — but some say it’s more flexible (https://theathletic.com/3187914/2022/03/16/mlbs-collective-bargaining-…). And when is that day specfically… tick tock @mike elias!
3:28
Ben Clemens: I do have an exact answer for you, actually. He needs to accrue a full year’s service time, which is not the same as being on the opening day roster
3:28
Ben Clemens: I think it’s 170 days
3:30
Ben Clemens: So that’s… April 10?
3:30
JV: Are you concerned about Michael King? Or just a weird early season start?
3:30
Ben Clemens: I’m as concerned as I was before the start, which is to say, eh, a little
3:30
Ben Clemens: He’s definitely projected better than my view of him is, I still feel like he’s risky
3:31
Ben Clemens: but I haven’t changed that view based on one start
3:31
Steve O: Michael King was a bit prone to walking fits like this. I’ve seen basically every Michael King inning up until this year and his stuff moves so much that he sometimes has trouble harnessing it..
3:31
bosoxforlife: Were you surprised that the Cardinals extended Marmol? He piloted the team to its worst season since I can’t remember when and appeared to have problems handling the clubhouse.
3:31
Ben Clemens: The clubhouse thing is why I was surprised
3:32
Ben Clemens: but yeah, I was
3:32
Paul: How mad are cubs fans going to be when Imanaga is pulled with a perfect game after 6?
3:32
Ben Clemens: oh, so so so mad
3:32
Who knows: Chourio/Keith are not eligible for the ROY compensation pick because they signed their contract prior to their MLB debuts. Is MLB just making this up as they go? Did the clubs know this?
3:32
Ben Clemens: I’m positive that the teams knew it. And I think it makes sense that way, to be honest. The picks are an incentive for teams to promote prospects who would otherwise have their compensation affected
3:33
Ben Clemens: Alright, I’m gonna call it a day and get back to watching as much baseball as humanly possible
3:33
Ben Clemens: Please don’t challenge me on this
3:34
Ben Clemens: Have a great week, everyone, and enjoy the season, I’ve been having a blast so far

 

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

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