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Saturday, January 10, 2009

RLYW:  Extremely Early Projected Standings

[The Brewers] are not going to beat out the Cubs, and they are not going to win the WC, with the arms they currently have on hand.

This is easily the most unsupportable claim you have made on this web site.

I am flabbergasted.

...

I am not being a “fanboy” here. I am using the base of knowledge we know about team performance and how teams move forward and back.

The Cubs will regress. Have to. It just is.

Sure, the Brewers could as well. Only their base of talent is at the left of the performance curve versus the right.

Do I need to continue?

Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: January 10, 2009 at 04:26 PM | 73 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: projections

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   1. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: January 10, 2009 at 06:15 PM (#3048334)
As a Yanks fan, I'm very happy the Bombers won 101 games in 2009.
   2. AROM Posted: January 10, 2009 at 06:18 PM (#3048336)
Angels winning only 80 games but taking the division? Possible. I don't understand their reluctance to get one of the many available corner bats. Come on, Tony, at least grab Shelly Duncan or Joe Dillon so you can have some aaaa depth just in case.

The one that strikes me as impossible is the Rockies run prevention. Even in the humidor era you would need great pitching to only allow 750 runs in that park. The team has room in the rotation for Jason Marquis, so something doesn't add up.
   3. caprules Posted: January 10, 2009 at 06:29 PM (#3048345)
Even in the humidor era you would need great pitching to only allow 750 runs in that park.


How much of that assumption is based on division opponents putting together decent offenses? I find it hard to imagine the Rockies as an 88 win team, but when the Padres aren't trying to be competitive, it's easy to see where some cheap wins can be had.

There are some headscratchers. I have a hard time seeing the Astros as equal to the Brewers.
   4. Darren Posted: January 10, 2009 at 06:45 PM (#3048357)
This doesn't account for Saito, who will make up that 7 games!
   5. Suff Posted: January 10, 2009 at 06:54 PM (#3048362)
Why are the White Sox so bad? Why would they go from first to last place? I hevn't really kept up with them.
   6. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 10, 2009 at 06:55 PM (#3048364)
Why are the White Sox so bad? Why would they go from first to last place? I hevn't really kept up with them.


RLYW has launched a joint venture with BPRo?
   7. Mister High Standards Posted: January 10, 2009 at 06:59 PM (#3048366)
My initial thoughts.

1) The Yanks aren't 13 wins better than the Rays.
2) The Yanks aren't the best offense in baseball. I don't think they are the best defensive team in the AL either, but I'm not sure about that.
3) Toronto will take the under on 724 runs allowed.
4) I'm skeptical the Orioles will allow 5.7 runs a game.
5) I don't think the Royals are 8 games better than the Whitesox.
6) Oakland will allow much less that 820 runs.
7) The Mets aren't a 93 win team with Niese and Redding as their back end starters and a #### show in left, and Castillo at 2b.
8) The Florida is a better team than Washington
9) The Giants should sign Manny.
   8. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: January 10, 2009 at 07:05 PM (#3048372)
I could see the White Sox as a 72-win team, as currently constituted. They only have three starting pitchers, a weak bullpen, question marks at second, third, and center, and their offensive core is aging rapidly.

My question would be why they think the Royals are an 80-win team.
   9. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: January 10, 2009 at 07:08 PM (#3048376)
Is my count off? I'm seeing a grand total of four winning records in the AL, three of which are in the East.
   10. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 10, 2009 at 07:13 PM (#3048378)
For the record the remarks quoted above are mostly mine.

I add this only because I thought this website encouraged citing other's works AND/OR words.
   11. Tom Nawrocki Posted: January 10, 2009 at 07:30 PM (#3048386)
I think the Rockies are about a .500 team as currently constituted, but an 88-win season wouldn't shock me. A couple of notes:

The rotation has the potential to be very good. Yes, they've added Jason Marquis, but as a fourth or fifth starter. If Jeff Francis is healthy and back to his 2007 form, Cook-Jimenez-Francis will be quite strong as a 1-2-3.

They traded their best player, but they've also gotten rid of their worst. Put together, Holliday and Taveras averaged a 98 OPS+ last season, so as long as they can find two outfielders who are above-average hitters, they'll exceed that.

They have as many talented young players with the potential to explode on the league as any team in the division. Tulowitzki, Iannetta, and Ian Stewart are all 25 and under, and the Rockies didn't get a full season out of any of them last year. I wouldn't be shocked if one of them turned into an All-Star or even potential MVP in 2009, and I wouldn't be shocked if Ubaldo Jimenez (who is 24) turns into a Cy Young candidate.

I really wish they hadn't traded Matt Holliday, especially since the tanking of the free agent market would have increased the potential for the Rockies to be able to sign him long-term. But even without him, the team has a lot of upside.
   12. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: January 10, 2009 at 07:47 PM (#3048400)
FWIW, the Rockies' season-best for runs allowed (in a full schedule) is 758, set in 2007.
   13. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: January 10, 2009 at 07:50 PM (#3048401)
Meanwhile, this projection system has the Dodgers giving up runs at their worst rate since 1999.
   14. 1k5v3L Posted: January 10, 2009 at 07:52 PM (#3048403)
Meanwhile, this projection system has the Dodgers giving up runs at their worst rate since 1999.
Well, their rotation has only 3 starters right now.
   15. Matt Garza smells it deep (Mr. Tapeworm) Posted: January 10, 2009 at 07:53 PM (#3048404)
I wouldn't be shocked if Ubaldo Jimenez (who is 24) turns into a Cy Young candidate.


I would be shocked if someone whose K/BB was 172/103 in 200 innings turns into a Cy Young candidate.
   16. 1k5v3L Posted: January 10, 2009 at 07:55 PM (#3048407)
I would be shocked if someone who walked 103 batters in 200 innings turns into a Cy Young candidate.
He didn't say when that would happen. Maybe he envisions a Randy Johnson type career for Ubaldo.
   17. 1k5v3L Posted: January 10, 2009 at 07:56 PM (#3048408)
Speaking of Rockies pitching phenoms, whatever happened to Morales?
   18. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: January 10, 2009 at 08:01 PM (#3048417)
7) The Mets aren't a 93 win team with Niese and Redding as their back end starters and a #### show in left, and Castillo at 2b.

My first rxn was similiar but than I thought back at how many games the bullpen blew and how much of an upgrade the Putz-K-Rod duo could be. The Mets didn't get any offense from 2nd or left last year, and Pedro et al. was pretty bad in the fifth spot and the team won 89 games.

Still, I do have to agree that 93 games is too many for the team the Mets have right now.
   19. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: January 10, 2009 at 08:02 PM (#3048418)
Well, their rotation has only 3 starters right now.
Last year, they got by with 3-1/2: Lowe, Billz, Kuroda and 108 innings from Kershaw.
   20. 1k5v3L Posted: January 10, 2009 at 08:04 PM (#3048420)
19: How does that negate my point?
   21. Tom Nawrocki Posted: January 10, 2009 at 08:05 PM (#3048423)
I would be shocked if someone who walked 103 batters in 200 innings turns into a Cy Young candidate.

Really? Brandon Webb walked 119 guys in 208 innings in 2004 and has done all right in the Cy Young voting since then. Carlos Zambrano has walked 100 batters a couple of times.

Jimenez needs to bring that walk rate down to be an elite pitcher, but that's really the only hole in his game right now. In 18 road starts last year, he struck out more than a batter an inning and allowed a total of three home runs. The upside is definitely there.
   22. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: January 10, 2009 at 08:07 PM (#3048427)
You're saying the pitching staff could be far worse because they lack a decent back end of the rotation - that is a correct interpretation of your comment, right?
Well, I'm saying the team didn't have a decent back end last season, yet the Dodgers did OK.
   23. RTSquared is not on the Rangers' DL...yet... Posted: January 10, 2009 at 08:07 PM (#3048429)
I think the only thing we can take from this exercise is that it's too early to perform this exercise. There are too many free agents yet to sign, too many redundancies at certain positions, etc.

Of course, if this motivates Jon-Boy to get off his derriere and sign Ben Sheets because the division is so weak, then so much the better :)
   24. RJ in TO Posted: January 10, 2009 at 08:08 PM (#3048432)
3) Toronto will take the under on 724 runs allowed.


Toronto's rotation currently consists of Halladay, Litsch, TBD, TBD, and TBD. Given that those TBD are filled with guys like Purcey, Richmond, Parrish, and the injury rehabs of Jannsen and McGowan, I'll take the over. As good as their bullpen is, they can't handle throwing 5 innings a game three out of every five games without a severe drop-off.
   25. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 10, 2009 at 08:08 PM (#3048433)
I would be shocked if someone whose K/BB was 172/103 in 200 innings turns into a Cy Young candidate.
It's never the likeliest path, but Ubaldo has #1 starter stuff, and he's young. Slowly gaining control over excellent stuff is a pretty common route for a pitcher's development.
   26. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: January 10, 2009 at 08:11 PM (#3048437)
There are too many free agents yet to sign...

Does this system have Manny playing anywhere?
   27. 1k5v3L Posted: January 10, 2009 at 08:12 PM (#3048438)
Well, I'm saying the team didn't have a decent back end last season, yet the Dodgers did OK.
Yeah, but they had one hell of a front of the rotation in Lowe...
They have two good starters in Billz and Kuroda, a large unknown in Kershaw, and then a bunch of question marks. Granted, Colletti will most likely bring in a couple of scrubs like Wolf and Looper, so they'll help. And maybe Jason Schmidt will realize he'll be a free agent next year and actually do something to earn the $47m the Dodgers are paying him.
   28. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: January 10, 2009 at 08:16 PM (#3048440)
Does this system have Manny playing anywhere?


in Manny-Land where it rains marshmallows, rainbows are every where, psychedelic pop is piped through loudspeakers on every street corner, and love rules the day!
   29. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: January 10, 2009 at 08:19 PM (#3048442)
They have two good starters in Billz and Kuroda, a large unknown in Kershaw, and then a bunch of question marks. Granted, Colletti will most likely bring in a couple of scrubs like Wolf and Looper, so they'll help. And maybe Jason Schmidt will realize he'll be a free agent next year and actually do something to earn the $47m the Dodgers are paying him.
I'm interested in seeing where MacDonald starts - the rotation, the bullpen or Triple-A.
   30. Nineto Lezcano needs to get his shit together (CW) Posted: January 10, 2009 at 08:22 PM (#3048444)
There are just a lot of quirky things here that don't settle right with me. RF and RA don't add up to the same number. A lot of little discrepancies between team Win% and Pythagenpat that I think are sampling issues based on the number of trials. I'd be curious to see what the record is in interleague play as well.
   31. Tom Nawrocki Posted: January 10, 2009 at 08:27 PM (#3048446)
Speaking of Rockies pitching phenoms, whatever happened to Morales?

He got knocked around in the majors (6.39 ERA in five starts), got sent down and got knocked around some more in the minors. He's still only 22, but he's gone from someone the team had high hopes for to someone who will be considered a bonus if they get anything out of him.
   32. Lassus Posted: January 10, 2009 at 08:27 PM (#3048447)
For the record the remarks quoted above are mostly mine.

If it's any comfort, Harvey, even without the citation I'm sure I wasn't the only one who simply took that for granted.
   33. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: January 10, 2009 at 08:32 PM (#3048452)
80 wins for the Royals? I guess that makes all of you who were ######## about Moore's FA signings this offseason look like idiots, huh?

LONG LIVE THE PROFESSOR!
   34. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 10, 2009 at 08:38 PM (#3048455)
Lassus:

Simply pointing out what I consider to be a lapse in etiquette.

By the way, if there is a subtle underlying message which I am missing I am hopeful the poster will let me know. Because rarely does anyone on this site do something without a purpose.
   35. Vegas Watch Posted: January 10, 2009 at 08:38 PM (#3048456)
I'd be curious to see what the record is in interleague play as well.

Well the AL as a whole is 1142-1126, so I think that means they'd go 132-120 (52.4%) in interleague.
   36. Frisco Cali Posted: January 10, 2009 at 08:41 PM (#3048458)
I think the team of unsigned players would be pretty competitive.

C - Rodriguez
1B- Dunn
2B-
3B-
SS- Cabrera
LF- Manny
CF-
RF- Abreu
DH

SP- Lowe
SP- Pettitte
SP- Looper

and so on. Somebody smarter can finish this if they feel like it.
   37. Nineto Lezcano needs to get his shit together (CW) Posted: January 10, 2009 at 08:44 PM (#3048460)
Well the AL as a whole is 1142-1126, so I think that means they'd go 132-120 (52.4%) in interleague.


I think the league quality difference is probably bigger than that right now - the Yankees signing all those FAs certainly couldn't have hurt the league quality difference we've been seeing. I think a bigger league quality adjustment for the individual player stats might also help correct the imbalance of win percentages in the AL - only three teams with a winning record strikes me as unrealistic.
   38. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: January 10, 2009 at 08:45 PM (#3048463)
2B is definitely Hudson. Pedro and Colon for the back of the rotation.
   39. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 10, 2009 at 08:51 PM (#3048468)
I would be shocked if someone whose K/BB was 172/103 in 200 innings turns into a Cy Young candidate.

Along with Webb here are some other examples to consider.

CC strking out 171 and walking 95 in 180 innings

Chris Carpenter age 25 striking out 113 and walking 83 in 175 innings.

Or Jason Schmidt striking out 148 and walking 85 in 212 innings.

Freddy Garcia striking out 170 and walking 90 in 201 innings.

Going further back just because it's so many instances in a single career Rick Sutcliffe striking out 117 and walking 97 at age 23 in 242 innings. And then striking out 142 and walking 98 in 216 innings. And then striking out 160 and walking 102 in 243 innings.
   40. Lassus Posted: January 10, 2009 at 08:51 PM (#3048469)
Simply pointing out what I consider to be a lapse in etiquette.

Well, I would agree.

Also, Cursing Maddux is kind of jerky in general, so.
   41. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: January 10, 2009 at 08:52 PM (#3048470)
I thought this website encouraged citing other's works AND/OR words.

So you want proper citation when being openly mocked in the future? Noted.
   42. Nineto Lezcano needs to get his shit together (CW) Posted: January 10, 2009 at 08:58 PM (#3048473)
The other thing I'm curious about is defense. Were defensive projections used in the sim? In that case, were DIPS (or DIPS-like) pitching stats used?
   43. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 10, 2009 at 09:00 PM (#3048477)
Greg:

Thanks for clearing things up. I am not so wise as some and wasn't aware of the intent.

But yes, I think it's only proper that when someone is being quoted to provide some level of citation.
   44. 1k5v3L Posted: January 10, 2009 at 09:01 PM (#3048480)
This happens to be the very first sentence in SG's blog entry
Here are the results of 100 trials of the 2009 season using rosters as of yesterday and projections from the Hardball Times.
   45. caprules Posted: January 10, 2009 at 09:02 PM (#3048481)
If you were trying to mock, you used a poor example. HW said the Cubs will regress. Your link indicates that they will. If your point is that the Brewers aren't a playoff team, I'd be happy going into this season thinking that the Brewers had a 24% chance of making the playoffs with their current roster.

I believe Sam was originally saying that if the Brewers weren't a guaranteed contender, they should give up and try for 2010. Once it was noted that the Brewers did have money to spend, Sam backed off that point.

The Brewers aren't a favorite to land a playoff spot, but they aren't so far away that they should just give up before the season starts.
   46. 1k5v3L Posted: January 10, 2009 at 09:03 PM (#3048482)
I think the team of unsigned players would be pretty competitive.
Would you know it, Buster Olney wrote about that already

Lineup
SS Orlando Cabrera
2B Orlando Hudson
RF Bobby Abreu
DH Manny Ramirez
LF Adam Dunn
3B Joe Crede
CF Jim Edmonds
1B Sean Casey
C Jason Varitek

Rotation: Ben Sheets, Derek Lowe, Oliver Perez, Jon Garland, Paul Byrd, Randy Wolf, Mark Mulder

Bullpen: Brandon Lyon, Juan Cruz, Dennys Reyes, Will Ohman

Bench: Garret Anderson, OF; Brad Ausmus, C; Eric Hinske, 1B/3B; Kevin Millar, 1B

Extra Hall of Famers, just in case: Ken Griffey Jr., Frank Thomas, Tom Glavine, Pedro Martinez
   47. Nineto Lezcano needs to get his shit together (CW) Posted: January 10, 2009 at 09:04 PM (#3048484)
This happens to be the very first sentence in SG's blog entry

Here are the results of 100 trials of the 2009 season using rosters as of yesterday and projections from the Hardball Times


That answers, like, none of my questions/concerns.
   48. Suff Posted: January 10, 2009 at 09:06 PM (#3048488)
I could see the White Sox as a 72-win team, as currently constituted. They only have three starting pitchers, a weak bullpen, question marks at second, third, and center, and their offensive core is aging rapidly.


I could see it, but I don't see it as the average of 100 possible outcomes. But like I said, I really don't follow the White Sox; I just wasn't really aware of any major changes from last year's team that would make them lose 18-20 more games.

As an Astros fan, I think their projection is OK, but I would set the over/under at more like 78-79 wins than 83.5. They need Carlos Lee healthy and productive all year, Berkman to be an MVP-type again and for Pence to play a lot better. I would guess that this sim has Towles as the regular catcher and hitting OK, rather than Quintero, who (I think) is the plan right now. Actually, now that I think about it, I see 83 as really optimistic.
   49. Walt Davis Posted: January 10, 2009 at 09:07 PM (#3048493)
C - Rodriguez with Valentin or Zaun
1B- Dunn
2B- Hudson
3B- Wigginton or Crede
SS- Cabrera
LF- Manny
CF- is there anybody but Edmonds?<>
RF- Abreu
DH- <i>whoever can still hit among Thomas, Sweeney, Kent, Griffey, Gomes


SP- Lowe
SP- Ollie
SP- Pettitte
SP- Sheets
SP- <s>Looper</s> Garland or Wolf

RP- Cruz
RP- Beimel
RP- Ohman
RP- D Reyes
RP- A Reyes
RP- Springer

Not sure all those relievers are still available. I had to cheat and use Cots for a few of those.

Boy, that Manny/Edmonds/Abreu OF would be fun to watch. :-) You might just want to sign, oh I dunno, Jeff Salazar and move Manny to DH.
   50. 1k5v3L Posted: January 10, 2009 at 09:07 PM (#3048494)
47: Precisely. Unless you're counting on SG to answer your questions/concerns (and I haven't seen him posting in here yet), I'm afraid you're all on your own there.
   51. 1k5v3L Posted: January 10, 2009 at 09:08 PM (#3048495)
You might just want to sign, oh I dunno, Jeff Salazar
He signed with the Pirates.
   52. SG Posted: January 10, 2009 at 09:09 PM (#3048497)
The one that strikes me as impossible is the Rockies run prevention.

Yeah, that one threw me a lot.


How much of that assumption is based on division opponents putting together decent offenses?

Yeah, right now the NL West just doesn't project to have any really good offenses at least according to these specific projections.

Why are the White Sox so bad?

Losing Vazquez, plus projected fall offs by Buehrle, Danks, and Floyd are a big part of it. Quentin's projected to lose about 90 pts of OPS, and Dye's projected to lose about 30 pts of SLG.

1) The Yanks aren't 13 wins better than the Rays.

Nope, probably not. I've assumed Posada can catch 60% of the time, which is a very big assumption. Also, Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy's projections are a bit too rosy IMO. They also have Cano rebounding to where he would be projected to be if last year never happened, which I'm skeptical of.

Does this system have Manny playing anywhere?

Nope. No Manny, no Lowe, no Sheets, no Dunn, no Abreu, etc., If they're not signed, they're not playing.

I think the only thing we can take from this exercise is that it's too early to perform this exercise.

Yeah. There are too many good free agents still out there that can change these results pretty significantly. I just didn't feel like writing about the Andy Pettitte and Yankee slow dance again, or debating who sucks less, Melky or Gardner.

RF and RA don't add up to the same number

That's just a rounding issue. You can download the spreadsheet with all the standings data here if you want.

FWIW, I've run 100 seasons with Marcel too, and here's what that looks like.
   53. SG Posted: January 10, 2009 at 09:10 PM (#3048499)
The other thing I'm curious about is defense. Were defensive projections used in the sim? In that case, were DIPS (or DIPS-like) pitching stats used?

The Hardball Times projections have factored in defense into their pitching projections, so I set all defenders to Avg at whatever positions they are listed at.

For Marcel, I used Diamond Mind's defensive ratings from their 2008 projection disk.
   54. Starlin of the Slipstream (TRHN) Posted: January 10, 2009 at 09:11 PM (#3048500)
The RLPA (an early BTF OOTP league) used to have an open access file that allowed us to experiment and see how players / teams would do in the upcoming season. It was intended to even the playing field between veterans of OOTP and people who were playing the game for the first time. Before every season, in order to see where my team was going to stand, I'd set my roster up obsessively, set all of the other teams to CPU and simulate the season moth by month (adjusting my roster monthly for any eventualities). My test runs for the upcoming season consistently overrated my team and underrated most everyone else's because I efficiently allocated the PT preseason and later constantly tinkered with the roster. Squeezing every last win out of my team while every other team was being controlled by a dumbass computer made a huge difference.

I just wonder whether a Yankees fan might lovingly divvy up playing time for the Yankees, yet not possess the desire or the in-depth knowledge to do the same for everyone else.
   55. Nineto Lezcano needs to get his shit together (CW) Posted: January 10, 2009 at 09:12 PM (#3048503)
Cool. The shape of the Marcels projection looks more like a real set of end-of-year standings - I don't know that the individual team results are better/worse but the spread of wins seems more realistic. I'm about two minutes away from opening the case of my PC with a screwdriver, but I'll look at the spreadsheet later.
   56. Pokey Reese's Pieces Posted: January 10, 2009 at 09:13 PM (#3048505)
Is it just me, or is Cursing Maddux quite a ####### #######? For #########, Sparky, when you quote someone--even if it's simply to mock them (cuz you're soooo smart and mocking is fun!)--cite it, ############. See, this way, Harveys can revisit this thread later and rightfully take your snark and shove it up your ass...metaphorically speaking, of course.
   57. SG Posted: January 10, 2009 at 09:17 PM (#3048510)
I just wonder whether a Yankees fan might lovingly divvy up playing time for the Yankees, yet not possess the desire or the in-depth knowledge to do the same for everyone else.

Actually, I do my best to set the rosters for every team as close to reality as possible, mainly using MLB.com's depth charts as my guide along with what I know about injuries and whatever else may cause those depth charts to be off. But if anyone wants to volunteer to build depth charts for their favorite team, I could use them.
   58. RTSquared is not on the Rangers' DL...yet... Posted: January 10, 2009 at 09:24 PM (#3048515)
Yeah. There are too many good free agents still out there that can change these results pretty significantly. I just didn't feel like writing about the Andy Pettitte and Yankee slow dance again, or debating who sucks less, Melky or Gardner.

At least the Yankees provide you something you could conceivably write about. At this point in the off-season, we Ranger fans have to console ourselves with the trade for two minor league pitchers, the signing of a couple lottery tickets to minor league contracts, and a new radio broadcaster.

Gawd, it can be depressing being a Ranger fan...
   59. Walt Davis Posted: January 10, 2009 at 09:25 PM (#3048517)
But like I said, I really don't follow the White Sox; I just wasn't really aware of any major changes from last year's team that would make them lose 18-20 more games.

Well, the Sox didn't project that well last year. As noted, their core is older. And the key with any sim are what playing time assumptions underlie it. But at the moment, the Sox have Owens in CF, no 2B (or no SS), no 3B, probably (by projection) only about 500 PA of Quentin in LF and 3 starting pitchers, one of whose peripherals are much worse than his ERA+. And, as far as I know, the top of their minor-league system is pretty empty.

In contrast, the Royals roster is pretty much fully set. It's not very good but they have something resembling real major-leaguers at every spot (well, the rotation is still quite iffy). Similarly, the Yankees lineup is pretty well set and so they project to 101 wins right now because most other teams still have 6-10 spots being filled by replacement-level guys (also, again, what are the playing time assumptions for Posada, Matsui, etc.).

Now of course the opening day White Sox will probably look a good bit better and the Royals not so good. The Yankees are not a "true" 101-win team.
   60. Dr. Vaux Posted: January 10, 2009 at 09:32 PM (#3048524)
What I understand least is why the Indians are projecting so well. Their lineup is pretty average, and their pitching is mediocre at best. I guess Carmona must be projected to bounce back, and Reyes must be projected to do well (and Cliff Lee to not totally revert). When is Westbrook expected back?
   61. Sam M. Posted: January 10, 2009 at 10:28 PM (#3048560)
I believe Sam was originally saying that if the Brewers weren't a guaranteed contender, they should give up and try for 2010. Once it was noted that the Brewers did have money to spend, Sam backed off that point.

Um . . . an interesting distillation of my point, but not really quite accurate. First, nobody is a "guaranteed" contender, ever, so that wasn't the standard I was arguing for. What I was trying to say (and I never did do it as clearly as I should have) was that if their chances of contending were as slim as I perceived them to be, they ought to act accordingly. But, second, that didn't exactly mean "give up and try for 2010." It meant they should be open to looking at trades that might have 2010 in mind than they otherwise would, a trade (for Fielder, for instance, or even Hardy) that might hurt them for this season. Being open to something if the right trade comes along with excellent longer-term value isn't the same as setting yourself on a fixed course because you've given up on 2009. It means, as I see it, that you've adjusted your time-horizon in line with realistic expectations as to the immediate season v. the likelihood of future contention, and acquired talent that is most aligned (likely to help you) with the time frame in which you're most likely to contend. If the right trade doesn't come along, then by all means keep the talent and try to compete.

Is that a distinction without a difference? I don't think so. I think fans know the difference between a fire-sale, "We've given up on 2009," approach, and a good deal for young talent that can help the organization, even if might take a year to bear fruit.

But anyway, in the end, yes I definitely think that if the Brewers are going to acquire more starting pitching, and enhance their chances of contending in 2009, then they should take that shot. Let's see where they are in terms of pitching in February, and then maybe I'll get Harvey's mad at me all over again! (Or maybe I won't -- better still!)

As for this whole exercise, anyone who doesn't see the Mets as a 93-win team doesn't know the awesomeness that is Tim Redding. Who says you can't buy a pennant in free agency? Hah, I say. Hah!
   62. Honkie Kong Posted: January 10, 2009 at 10:48 PM (#3048567)
With the Mets, one thing which I keep mentioning is that their core is remarkably healthy. Since that one lost year for Beltran, they have managed to get 150+ games out of Wright/Reyes/Beltran for a while now. And add Santana to that list now. The injury to their supporting cast has muddied the waters, but still...

Durability is a skill IMO, and what these guys have done is a bit under-appreciated. And I am pretty sure if the Mets don't make the playoffs this year, that will be because one of these guys has been injured for a significant length of time.
   63. Iwakuma Chameleon (jonathan) Posted: January 10, 2009 at 11:01 PM (#3048577)
6) Oakland will allow much less that 820 runs.


I actually wouldn't be so sure of that. Right now the number two starter is Dana Eveland. Someone like Josh Outman or Dallas Braden or Sean Gallagher is going to have to break out to get the rotation to respectability, unless something way out of left field like signing Ben Sheets happens.
   64. Nineto Lezcano needs to get his shit together (CW) Posted: January 10, 2009 at 11:35 PM (#3048599)
I get a 404 when I try to click on SG's link to the spreadsheet.
   65. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 10, 2009 at 11:57 PM (#3048610)
I actually wouldn't be so sure of that. Right now the number two starter is Dana Eveland.

I had typed something up disagreeing with you, then realized the A's did not actually sign Randy Johnson, it was those other guys who did.

The A's' total lack of veteran starters continues to be odd. In fact, who's their number one starter? Doucherer?

I predict that one of the following

Paul Byrd
Odalis Perez
Randy Wolf
Jon Garland

works for them this year and has success.

unless something way out of left field like signing Ben Sheets happens.

or the glorious return of Esteban Loaiza!
   66. Miko Supports Shane's Spam Habit Posted: January 11, 2009 at 12:03 AM (#3048618)
I would be shocked if someone whose K/BB was 172/103 in 200 innings turns into a Cy Young candidate.


It's never the likeliest path, but Ubaldo has #1 starter stuff, and he's young. Slowly gaining control over excellent stuff is a pretty common route for a pitcher's development.

Ubaldo's (and Morales's) stuff does stand out among their young pitchers. Based on recent #1's and acquisitions, they seem to have settled on finesse types--Francis, Hirsch, Reynolds and now Smith.
   67. Nineto Lezcano needs to get his shit together (CW) Posted: January 11, 2009 at 12:03 AM (#3048619)
Probably the biggest discrep between Marcels and THT is the Brewers. If I recall correctly, THT was the only prediction model that had the Brewers winning the NL Central last offseason. Wonder if it's a coincidence or not.
   68. SG Posted: January 11, 2009 at 12:09 AM (#3048622)
I get a 404 when I try to click on SG's link to the spreadsheet.


Looks like EE messed up my URL. Just copy and paste this directly into your web browser and it should work. I added the Marcels data in here as well.

http://www.replacementlevel.com/stuff/sg/DMBStandings_100seasons(Jan_10).zip
   69. Nineto Lezcano needs to get his shit together (CW) Posted: January 11, 2009 at 12:18 AM (#3048625)
SG, if you wouldn't mind, would you please try running the Marcels projections with the defensive ratings set to average? I know it's probably a lot of effort for you, but I'm really curious as to whether it's an issue of THT vs. Marcel or of accounting for/not accounting for defense. (Or run THT with defensive ratings turned on; either way.)
   70. caprules Posted: January 11, 2009 at 12:24 AM (#3048627)
Sorry Sam for not representing your point as well as I could have but I was trying to as concisely as possible recap the dicsussion that led to the quoted lead in.

As for the Brewers and 2009, trading away any useful players for players that don't expect to be useful in 2009 but hope to be useful in 2010, that's giving up for a team that just made the playoffs for the first time in a generation+. It's bad enough, but at least somewhat understandable that CC left for more money and that the team isn't offering big money and years to Sheets. It would be another thing for the team to reward its fans who came out in record attendance by deciding before the season started that they didn't have what it takes to compete.
   71. comrade DDT Posted: January 11, 2009 at 04:18 AM (#3048680)
The A's' total lack of veteran starters continues to be odd. In fact, who's their number one starter? Doucherer?

That's uncalled for. The guy was pretty good last year, IIRC.
   72. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: January 11, 2009 at 07:10 AM (#3048748)
Gawd, it can be depressing being a Ranger fan...

I'm sure Tom Hicks is just saving all that "financial flexibility" in order to be a big buyer at the trade deadline to get whatever pieces are needed for the stretch run!
   73. DosRafaels Posted: January 11, 2009 at 07:49 AM (#3048758)
What I understand least is why the Indians are projecting so well. Their lineup is pretty average, and their pitching is mediocre at best. I guess Carmona must be projected to bounce back, and Reyes must be projected to do well (and Cliff Lee to not totally revert). When is Westbrook expected back?


Au Contraire, Mon Fraire! You obviously didn't notice our season ending 34-21 record, along with our disastrous start with our horribly mismanaged bullpen until Wedge bought a clue. As well, I'm not sure that you would call a lineup with Sizemore, Peralta, DeRosa, Choo(yes, he's pretty good), the V-Mart/Shoppach platoon and even an average, healthy Pronk average. They won't lead the league, but they will be a top 10 offense. And while we need a 3rd starter until Westbrook gets back, we've got a lot of 4/5 depth and a good bullpen with Kerry Wood's arm not falling off. And of course, we're going to play in a crappy division this year, so we have that going for us.

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