Trevor is an author of Baseball Prospectus and contributor to Short Relief.
Trevor Strunk: Hey all! Llllllllet's get ready for some ancillary baseballllll taaaaaallllllk
Cole Whittier (Pasadena, CA): How much has Bradley Zimmer's stock dropped after this past year? Low avg (expected) but not much power either. Thoughts on his future?
Trevor Strunk: I think it's probably dropped a bit, especially in prospect circles, but I'm assuming most teams aren't incredibly worried, or at least are willing to give him more of a chance. I think toolsy guys like Zimmer do one of two things after a down year: continue the cycle (see: Dom Brown) or break out of it (see Brett Phillips). I'm sure a ton of GMs (and Cleveland) are excited to see if he can become the latter.
Cole Whittier (Pasadena, CA): Is Amir Garrett a lost cause or is there any tidbit of hope? He's 25 now and that was a bad season he just had. Sigh.
Trevor Strunk: Man, starting pitchers huh? I dunno, it's very hard for me to figure out how to value or predict pitchers (I know, real original). That said, 25 is that weird cusp age: I'd say there's of course hope, if he can get his walk rate to what it is in the minors at least.
Put it this way: I'm not ultra excited about Garrett in 2018, but I'm more excited about him than Tyler Glasnow.
Dusty (Colorado): Will Wander Javier reach top 100 prospect status?
Trevor Strunk: Hard for me to say -- I don't know a lot about him -- but he looks like he has the tools to make a case for it. My guess is that he doesn't make it as he's still in Rookie ball, and people are going to want to see what he makes of himself in single A, but I like the age-to-level performance, and I wouldn't be stunned to see him on a couple of lists.
matzabal (CO): Is it me, or does it feel like a foregone conclusion that the Giants will find a way to trade for Giancarlo Stanton? Any idea what package would get it done, maybe something like Chris Shaw, Tyler Beede, Heliot Ramos, Austin Slater, and Steven Okert?
Trevor Strunk: Haha, I'm not so sure it's foregone, but they're an easy spot to visualize him landing. I think a lot of previously rebuilding teams are probably in the running for him, since slotting him in the OF is a good way to suddenly create a good offense. Odds on, I'd say the Giants make a strong, if not the strongest run.
I don't think it's going to be a bunch of prospects for him kind of deal though. My guess is that some team is going to have to take on salary and give up probably their top prospect, especially since Jeter is going to want his GM to make an initial statement. I think I'd need Arroyo in there as well as Beede and Shaw.
Cole Whittier (Pasadena, CA): Do you think Jordan Montgomery can remain a starting pitcher for the long haul, and if so, is he more of a mid-rotation guy or a back-end SP?
Trevor Strunk: I do! He was surprisingly good last year, and I think a ton of his issues can be chalked up to fatigue. I don't think he'll light the world on fire, but I think he could be a very solid Number 4 pitcher, one of those dudes who eats up a bunch of innings competently and is incredibly value in real-life pitching ways.
Sam (NYC): I just want to say thanks for Short Relief. It is a rare bit of joy in an otherwise dreary world.
Trevor Strunk: Aw thank you. I will apologize for missing my deadlines sometimes with it, but it's a lot of fun. All credit to Patrick Dubuque.
Mike (NY): So do the Nationals trade Robles to try to go for one last run. Trade Robles and prospects for McCutchen and Cole.
Trevor Strunk: I don't really see it, unless they're feeling like they're truly going to drop off a cliff once Bryce and Daniel Murphy. They have a pretty serious payroll, and they're a deep pitching team -- my guess is they roll with a potentially down 2018 and hope that Robles becomes the next cost effective piece that helps them compete.
Sam (NYC): It feels like someone should get an error for that play. Maybe Altuve? How Headley got in safe is beyond me.
Trevor Strunk: I feel like we talk a lot about the subjective quality of errors when they're given to players who tried to make a good play, but I want to see more talk about how errors not given are just as if not more frustrating.
J. Baud (France): Does the fantasy of replay accuracy form the current stage of the baseball simulacrum? If not, what does?
Trevor Strunk: It's probably replay that does it yes, though I suppose if we're imagining an episteme as opposed to a visual simulacrum, then we're better off thinking about what informs our understanding of how baseball functions. In this way perhaps statcast is our overarching grid for how we imagine the game itself and the way it exists-as-such in the world.
Perhaps sabermetrics is the ur-simulation....
Sam (NYC): LIFE HACK: The game is much better if you mute it and listen to music instead. Your favorite music sounds a lot better than John Smoltz complaining.
Trevor Strunk: I literally thought he was Troy Aikman for a second, this is a brutal announcing team
Mike (NY): Think the Yankees go to the WS now with how they are shutting down the bats, and Houston's dumpster fire bullpen.
Trevor Strunk: Man, you have to wonder. I thought Houston would take this one easily against Gray, and but for their bullpen I guess they would've. This kind of leaking is hard to fix and the Yankees seem to feed off of momentum (I know, I know).
Trevor Strunk: Well, it's been dead a while and I can't blame you guys -- the games have been really good tonight. We'll talk again soon, I hope -- thanks for all the great questions!