Brad Johnson Baseball Chat: 3/17/2020

The chat is complete. Hot Luzardo takes abound.

3:56
Brad Johnson: Ahoy, I need to grab some fresh baked bread, then I’ll be ready to roll.

4:00
Brad Johnson: I suppose this is also a good time to point out that as baseball writers, we here at FanGraphs have income tied to games actually being played. So, if you’re not too adversely affected yourself, consider signing up for a FanGraphs membership.

4:01
Brad Johnson: I’ll also plug my personal Patreon because why not. I make most of my yearly income from DFS advice columns. https://www.patreon.com/BaseballATeam

4:02
Roger: What is the minimum number of games do you need for a legitimate season to take place? Do you think it is possible that we don’t get any baseball this year?

4:03
Brad Johnson: This might just be me, but legitimacy isn’t a function of games played imo

4:03
Brad Johnson: Obviously, the more games played, the more likely we are to see the best teams in the postseason.

4:04
Brad Johnson: But the whole point of the exercise is the emotional rollercoaster of joy and pain. And that can be just as easily accomplished with a 62 game season as a 162 game season.

4:05
Brad Johnson: I think it’s witheringly unlikely the season will be skipped entirely.

4:05
Roger: How will a shortened season affect service time? Will this affect how many top prospects get the call this year?

4:06
Brad Johnson: We’ll see what the league and union negotiate. I wrote about this indirectly yesterday when I covered all the elite pitching prospects on fringe contenders.

4:06
Brad Johnson: Since a shorter season introduces more variability into which teams make the postseason, fringe contenders are incented to ignore club control concerns.

4:07
Roger: How does the delayed season affect the values of injured Yankee sluggers Judge and Stanton?

4:07
Brad Johnson: It’s a big plus to injured players on the recovery trail!

4:07
Dan: How many games is too few for you to want to play fantasy?  When do you start wanting refunds or to skip the year in leagues with year-to-year relegation rules?  I don’t know if I want long-term consequences for a 50-game season.

4:08
Brad Johnson: Relegation leagues are pretty uncommon and should be treated separately.

4:08
Brad Johnson: I’m happy with anything over 40 games I think for standard roto. Obviously H2H formats should consider switching to roto if we’re missing more than 8 weeks.

4:08
Pat G: If you haven’t drafted yet, how would you be changing your draft strategy?

4:09
Brad Johnson: I’m deemphasizing solid volume plays like Marcus Stroman in favor of workload constrained upside plays like Lance McCullers and Julio Urias.

4:10
Brad Johnson: There’s also less time for closers to be ousted so those kinda worrisome guys like Raisel Iglesias, Edwin Diaz, and Jose Leclerc get a little boost.

4:10
CH: Missed bad on RP in a 5×5 league – you like knebel as a guy at least for ratios / good K rate?

4:10
Brad Johnson: I do like Knebel. I like Karinchak more.

4:11
Cody: Hi Brad, since Mitch Haniger has a bunch of time to rest and rehab, do you think he could potentially repeat a performance like last years first-half?

4:11
Brad Johnson: As noted, any player progressing towards a recovery gets a boost. Haniger should be virtually free at this point given the way these injuries have just cascaded. They’re all related too which is really bad.

4:12
Brad Johnson: Doesn’t mean he can’t recover, but it’s a little riskier than somebody who has a bunch of unrelated woes.

4:12
Jimmy2Times: Why don’t they just play the games in empty parks in a few months if everything is still on lockdown (or a hopefully less dire version of it)?

4:12
Brad Johnson: I think we all expect this option to be explored at the very least.

4:12
Pat’s Bat: Dynasty league drafting this weekend.  I’m going to overpay for a SP and a 1B.  Based on who is available and my budget would you rather have Syndergaard/Freeman or Corbin/Olson (or Goldschmidt)?

4:13
Brad Johnson: I like Corbin/Olson myself. Just not very keen on Syndergaard.

4:13
Dave: Did San Diego see something in Luis Urias they were concerned about and that is why they traded him?

4:13
Brad Johnson: Yes, he’s tiny.

4:14
Brad Johnson: But the main issue is that he’s a high floor, low ceiling type

4:14
Brad Johnson: And their farm system is stocked to the gills with high floor players, many who also possess high ceilings.

4:14
Brad Johnson: It’s the same reason they dealt Slapdick Edwards

4:15
Brad Johnson: He’s going to be a good MLB player in a few years, but the Padres need room to try to develop their stars. There is such a thing as too many prospects.

4:16
Dave: What’s your outlook on Nick Senzel?  It seems like people’s opnions have dropped off dramatically since his #6 overall prospect rating a few years ago.

4:16
Brad Johnson: My opinion hasn’t really changed, but I was also lowest on him for a very long time. And I think his truthers are only down because he has no obvious role with the Reds at present.

4:18
Brad Johnson: He’s still a solid core player with some breakout potential. There are a lot of ways his playing style could be optimized, but the Reds haven’t historically tinkered with their hitting prospects much. So that’s probably on him.

4:18
Rollie’s Mustache: Let’s say we get a truncated season of 100-ish games. Do you think a team would ever go with a 4-man rotation given a pitcher’s overall workload will be much lighter this year?

4:18
Brad Johnson: Honestly, I think we’re going to be seeing a lot of doubleheaders so a 4-man wouldn’t work very well.

4:19
Brad Johnson: But down the stretch run? Sure.

4:19
Guest: In auction drafts are studs more important to get in a short season because of the amount of volume they can get over a short period of time? Or am I overthinking it?

4:19
Brad Johnson: In a sense, yes.

4:20
Brad Johnson: Whoever has a hot start will have an outsized influence on the winners. Similarly, if a Goldschmidt limps through the first two months before turning hot, he might not have enough time to erase the early pain.

4:20
Brad Johnson: So I am chasing quality over quantity wherever I have the option.

4:20
Roger: How much do I need to add on to Trout for Acuna in a dynasty league? Is Shane Bieber too much?

4:21
Brad Johnson: This is going to depend on the depth of the league. If it’s 12-team, Trout and a baseball for Acuna is fair.

4:21
Brad Johnson: If it’s 20-team, 45+ players rostered or deeper, then this smells reasonable

4:22
Brad Johnson: Anything shallower and you at least need to be getting like a McCullers or Darvish back with Acuna.

4:22
Gavelin the Javelin: 14-team points keeper league (no negative points for strikeouts)–thinking of reaching on Kershaw in the first (he’ll likely be the best pitcher remaining), and hoping to get Harper in the second. If Harper doesn’t fall, I could still pick up the top shortstop remaining. Thoughts?

4:23
Brad Johnson: Seems a plausible strategy to maximizing pitching value. Kershaw’s so steady-great even if he’s no longer elite.

4:23
Brad Johnson: I still would draft Harper first in most cases, but I don’t know the shape of your league or roster.

4:23
Roger: who saves more games? Clase or Karinchak?

4:24
Brad Johnson: I’ll say Karinchak. But I think Hand’ll be fine if he stays healthy

4:24
Brad Johnson: So we’re probably looking at like 3 saves to 2 saves. for Karinchak and Clase.

4:25
Cody: I sat on pitchers and I overdrafted Luzardo and Ohtani (P) by about 2 rounds because of the delayed start. Please tell me I did the right thing lol

4:26
Brad Johnson: Definitely with Luzardo. Sundered Ohtani might not get as much of a bump since there’s still talk of him going every 6 or 7 days.

4:27
Brad Johnson: Luzardo could defensibly be picked around Luis Castillo, Pat Corbin, and Lucas Giolito now.

4:28
Jonathan: AL only question – who has better upside in a redraft league, Derek Fisher or Kyle Lewis?

4:28
Brad Johnson: Lewis

4:28
Brad Johnson: And it’s mostly about playing time

4:28
Brad Johnson: If we want to focus purely on *upside* then Fisher’s SB potential can’t be beat by anything Lewis does. But it doesn’t look like Fisher will play very much.

4:29
Brad Johnson: And he’s never shown any signs of making enough contact.

4:29
Roger: Is Dylan Carlson a future fantasy star or merely above-average player?

4:29
Brad Johnson: OBP league star, above average in AVG leagues

4:29
Brad Johnson: So, kinda on that bubble between star and core talent

4:30
Brad Johnson: There’s a whiff of Andrew Benintendi to him which we’ve obviously seen go in a couple directions already.

4:30
Dave: Do you think Yonny Chirinos will stick in the Rays’ rotation?

4:30
Brad Johnson: He’ll bounce in and out, as is their wont

4:31
Roger: How concerned are you about verlander’s health even though it seems he’ll be ready to go by opening day (whenever that is)?

4:31
Brad Johnson: Not especially. Might shave a couple dollars off the projection.

4:31
Brad Johnson: Prefer to catch a different ace if I’m paying full freight, but I also won’t shy away from it if I miss on Cole/deGrom.

4:32
Guest: How much should Diaz/Doolittle/Jansen go for in a 12 team NL only league?

4:32
Guest: they’re pretty much the only closers available

4:32
Brad Johnson: I should note I don’t play any Only leagues (I don’t care for them) so this is just secondhand observation.

4:33
Brad Johnson: I typically see closers of this type go in the $15-$18 range

4:33
Ryne: I traded Jasson Dominguez for Marco Luciano. Do you feel I lost that trade?

4:33
Brad Johnson: Yes, but only because you could have gotten another throw-in.

4:33
Brad Johnson: In terms of expected outcomes, they’re basically the same.

4:33
Brad Johnson: This will change over time, probably.

4:34
Prospect Hoarder: Pitchers: Pearson, Manning, May, Kopech, Whitley Hitters: Adell, Carlson, Bart, Varsho, Cruz, Groshans, Valera, Solak. I can only keep 7, what in the world do I do (12 team)

4:35
Brad Johnson: Since it’s a 12-team format, I’d pinch the near-majors guys. Pearson, Manning, May, and Kopech are musts as are Adell and Carlson. From there, I probably hang onto Groshans or Solak.

4:36
Brad Johnson: Hurts to let some of those guys go, but there’s no helping it.

4:36
808: Aloha Brad! What is your opinion on holding drafts amidst the uncertainty of when the season starts? And where would you recommend someone could get a damn draft in? Thank

4:36
Brad Johnson: I’m going to start hosting best ball auctions on Fantrax very soon!

4:37
Brad Johnson: They’re the best option for having fun without worrying too much about the ramifications.

4:37
Brad Johnson: I don’t think there’s anything wrong with holding drafts now or punting them into the unknown future.

4:37
Brad Johnson: just do what makes everybody in your league happiest.

4:40
Dave: In your opinion, who’s better and who gets more starts between Gonsolin and Voth?

4:40
Brad Johnson: Voth is better and has massively more opportunity

4:41
Brad Johnson: I think I heard Gonsolin might be used as a reliever this year just to get him in the majors.

4:41
Vader: Who are your favorite set-up guys for 2020?

4:41
Brad Johnson: Karinchak, Clase, Pomeranz, Munoz, Pressly if you’re not chasing saves

4:42
Brad Johnson: Ty Rogers, Hunter Harvey, Michael Lorenzen, Amir Garrett, and Kevin Ginkel if you want to snipe saves later.

4:43
Brad Johnson: Forgetting some names. I’ve covered all the bullpens behind the paywall at Rotoworld if you want more detail (I’m probably not supposed to mention that).

4:43
Dan: Brett Gardner interest you this year?  86/28/74/10/.251 last year, going pick ~325

4:43
Brad Johnson: He was very interesting if the season started on time.

4:43
Brad Johnson: Now he’s back to bench work most likely.

4:44
Dave: I’ve heard Nico Hoerner being compared to Kinsler.  That seems like pretty high praise, doesn’t it?

4:44
Brad Johnson: It sure does. I can’t say I understand why anybody like Hoerner. He didn’t *look* any good when I watched him late last year, and his stats are boring/bland.

4:45
Brad Johnson: Like maybe he’s Dansby Swanson? With less power, discipline, and Ks.

4:45
Gavelin the Javelin: What’s your opinion on Corey Seager?

4:45
Brad Johnson: I’m trying (and failing) to scoop up cheap shares.

4:46
Brad Johnson: There is value in guys who accumulate runs and RBI even if we like to focus more effort on HR, SB, and AVG/OBP because they’re more under the player’s control.

4:46
Brad Johnson: Bottom line is Seager will have a useful role on a very high octane offense.

4:46
Gavelin the Javelin: There hasn’t been a lot of attention on Bryce Harper entering this year–do you think he could blow up this year?

4:47
Brad Johnson: Where you been? I feel like I’m drowning under a mountain of Harper swagger.

4:47
Brad Johnson: There’s always a chance to score a critical hit with Harper.

4:47
Carter: Hi, I’d like to have a simulated season fantasy baseball league. Anyone want to set one up? In for anywhere from 1 to 500 dollars

4:48
Brad Johnson: I just put one together on OOTP. Have somebody working on the server and website now. But you’ve missed the boat for applying. I recommend checking out their forums.

4:49
Rollie’s Mustache: Do you think we’d see enough double headers that the value of catchers would go down? Can’t see many C who would play both games per day.

4:50
Brad Johnson: No, in nearly all settings, you’re comparing catchers to other catchers. So aside from helping a few guys in 50/50 time shares (i.e. Suzuki/Gomes or Flowers/d’Arnaud) catcher value shouldn’t see much change.

4:50
Dave: Will Mauricio Dubon be anything more than a filler?

4:50
Brad Johnson: I don’t think so.

4:50
Brad Johnson: People are so amped on him, and it’s kind of like Garrett Hampson hysteria without Coors Field.

4:51
HarryLime: If MLB is going with the pre 2019 ball. What stat cats are the best for judging which players will irregardlessly continue to stroke the ball? thx

4:51
Brad Johnson: If you want to be very confident, you want guys with 70/80-grade in game power. So Gallo, Judge, Stanton, Sano, Olson, Franimal, Aquino, etc.

4:51
Brad Johnson: Small home parks help too.

4:52
league: im very win now and had no 1B but have disgusting amount of SP. traded jasson and woodruff for hoskins and dubon. how bad did i get fleeced / is it a fair price if it brings me a title

4:52
Brad Johnson: Pretty badly tbh, but as always, it depends on league depth

4:52
Brad Johnson: I’m attuned to 20-team or deeper values

4:52
Brad Johnson: In a 10 or 12 team, that’s a solid return for Dominguez.

4:53
league: 12 team keep 28

4:53
Brad Johnson: In that case, good job

4:53
Carter: Since this season is likely going to be far different than any season ever prior, I’d love to see them get weird with it. 5 inning double headers 6x a week. Maybe a 16 team tournament at the end of the year. What other ideas do people have?

4:54
Brad Johnson: I like the tournament idea.

4:55
Brad Johnson: Have the Marlins host the entire NL playoff tournament and the Rangers take the AL tourny.

4:56
Brad Johnson: I do think they should take the opportunity to be creative, but they’ll probably be stodgy and inflexible like always.

4:56
Craig: Tyler Chatwood finished the second half of 2019 with a 2.84 ERA in 31 IP and 10.8 K/9. On the season, in 5 GS, he had 3.97 ERA in 22 IP. Can we see him get back to his 2016 version, in this upcoming season? What are your expectations for Chatwood?

4:56
Brad Johnson: He’s an ultra-deep league dart throw.

4:57
Brad Johnson: Also, Alec Mills is better even if Chatwood’s salary will give him the first shot in the rotation.

4:57
Brad Johnson: Time to wrap it up. I’ll brb for a quick blitz of final questions.

4:59
Gavelin the Javelin: What do you want to talk about, Brad? Any player you want to rave about? Any book you’ve loved? Any show/movie you can’t get enough of?

5:00
Brad Johnson: Should have asked me at the beginning!

5:00
Brad Johnson: Could have droned on for the whole hour.

5:00
Brad Johnson: I’m rewatching The IT Crowd for at least the 25th time.

5:01
Brad Johnson: Not too long ago, I read a Firefly novel, and it was better than I expected. I usually cringe at those show-to-novel adaptations, but whoever wrote it did a great job of capturing the characters.

5:01
Brad Johnson: I *finally* got around to reading Joe Abercrombie

5:02
Brad Johnson: I chose The Blade Itself, and it was exceptional.

5:02
Brad Johnson: Just finished that on Thursday. Flew through it. Sad I left the next two books in the series at home since I won’t be getting back for a goodly while

5:03
Brad Johnson: (I’m currently “stranded” in AZ)

5:03
Brad Johnson: Very comfortably stranded.

5:03
Craig: Who is more likely to make an impact in MLB in 2020: Kevin Cron or Josh Rojas?

5:04
Brad Johnson: Rojas has a pretty clean path to playing time even if he’ll have to do a little work to get there. Cron has to somehow slip between Walker and Beer which will be easier said then done.

5:04
Brad Johnson: His best chance is to get waived.

5:04
Craig: Eric Lauer, Joe Ross, Chi Chi Gonzalez or Caleb Smith. Who’s your guy from the group?

5:04
Brad Johnson: Smith

5:04
Dave: Is Patrick Sandoval going to be a decent SP?

5:04
Brad Johnson: Ish

5:04
Dave: Is Logan Webb going to be a decent SP?

5:04
Brad Johnson: NO

5:04
Dave: Is Pablo Lopez going to be a decent SP?

5:05
Brad Johnson: No

5:05
Dave: Is Trent Thornton going to be a decent SP?

5:05
Brad Johnson: No

5:05
Dave: Is Jacob Degrom going to be a decent SP? 😉

5:05
Brad Johnson: No

We hoped you liked reading Brad Johnson Baseball Chat: 3/17/2020 by Brad Johnson!

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