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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

2006 ZiPS Projections - Cleveland Indians

As usual, the disclaimer that ZiPS does not try to project who will get a job applies.


Name       P   AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS
Hafner*    1b .302 .409 .564 136 473 85 143 38 1 28 97 76 115 1 1
Martinez#  c   .299 .380 .477 146 535 74 160 35 0 20 87 67 69 0 1
Peralta     ss .297 .370 .491 148 552 96 164 35 3 22 86 63 133 3 4
Sizemore*  cf .287 .351 .474 157 624 108 179 32 11 21 84 55 128 25 9
DuBois     lf .264 .342 .484 114 364 52 96 24 1 18 63 36 105 1 2
Crisp#    lf .303 .353 .448 150 610 92 185 36 5 14 75 49 78 19 12
Broussard*  1b .262 .333 .465 137 443 56 116 28 4 18 68 42 91 3 2
Aubrey*    1b .264 .351 .416 77 269 33 71 12 1 9 40 25 37 2 1
Belliard   2b .276 .337 .425 143 548 69 151 41 1 13 71 51 79 3 3
Liefer*    1b .255 .321 .440 110 357 48 91 25 1 13 55 33 79 1 1
Inglett*    2b .283 .348 .381 91 315 47 89 20 4 1 27 26 44 6 3
Blake     rf .253 .328 .439 151 561 78 142 36 1 22 79 55 120 4 9
Kouzmanoff   3b .268 .325 .416 106 373 51 100 21 2 10 48 25 70 2 2
Garko     c   .254 .329 .400 118 453 63 115 22 1 14 60 34 83 2 2
Abad*      1b .258 .330 .402 123 415 55 107 25 1 11 58 42 64 2 3
Young     rf .239 .330 .401 119 406 54 97 18 0 16 62 47 116 3 4
Gonzalez   rf .249 .292 .466 65 253 28 63 11 1 14 44 13 53 0 1
Kinkade     lf .243 .332 .388 113 379 57 92 26 1 9 46 26 73 4 4
Wathan     c   .254 .339 .367 81 248 35 63 10 0 6 30 20 45 1 2
Bard#      c   .260 .323 .393 89 300 30 78 16 0 8 38 28 49 0 2
Ludwick     rf .235 .302 .426 95 340 43 80 21 1 14 48 33 88 1 1
Vazquez*    ss .254 .338 .350 96 311 41 79 17 2 3 29 40 57 4 2
Snyder*    cf .238 .309 .390 128 467 72 111 23 3 14 57 39 148 10 5
Boone     3b .242 .304 .383 149 541 66 131 23 1 17 70 41 95 12 3
Gautreau*  3b .229 .302 .402 119 423 56 97 26 1 15 54 41 106 1 3
Cooper*    lf .227 .305 .385 133 467 61 106 20 3 16 57 46 133 3 4
Phillips   2b .252 .314 .364 139 508 73 128 25 1 10 50 39 88 9 9
Francisco   rf .241 .299 .368 112 410 52 99 19 3 9 45 31 77 13 9
Gutierrez   cf .233 .293 .357 111 395 62 92 24 2 7 38 26 97 10 5
Morban#    ss .214 .270 .343 97 327 42 70 13 1 9 35 24 106 9 6
Pinckney   ss .243 .281 .308 101 354 41 86 15 1 2 28 18 38 5 4
Hernandez   ss .204 .270 .324 113 339 32 69 12 1 9 36 31 105 1 2
Goleski     rf .200 .259 .335 129 466 56 93 19 1 14 53 32 127 4 4
Wallace     c   .182 .283 .288 100 319 34 58 16 0 6 28 34 108 2 2
Ochoa#    ss .227 .287 .287 112 366 39 83 11 4 1 23 21 80 10 8

Name       ERA   W   L   G GS   INN   H   ER HR   BB   K
Miller     2.64   4   1 55   0   58.0   43   17   1   23   60
Howry     3.14   7   3 67   0   63.0   55   22   5   16   48
Betancourt   3.21   6   2 62   0   73.0   61   26   6   22   81
Cabrera     3.53   6   3 46   0   79.0   62   31   7   33   94
Sabathia*  3.79 14   9 31 31   190.0 175   80 17   63 157
Rhodes*    3.89   3   2 49   0   44.0   40   19   4   17   41
Sowers*    3.89 11   7 27 27   155.0 159   67 17   30 121
Riske     3.93   4   3 64   0   71.0   62   31 10   24   65
Millwood   3.94 12   8 30 30   185.0 180   81 17   56 139
Westbrook   4.02 15 11 34 31   195.0 197   87 16   59 109
Miller     4.18   6   5 21 21   114.0 114   53 11   37   83
Lee*      4.30 12 10 31 31   178.0 172   85 22   63 144
Carmona     4.39 11 10 28 26   166.0 181   81 19   39   95
Wickman     4.41   2   2 53   0   49.0   50   24   6   17   35
Tadano     4.45   5   5 32   5   97.0 100   48 15   26   82
Stanford*  4.54   6   5 26 20   127.0 132   64 19   35   91
Davis     4.65   8   9 30 24   153.0 163   79 17   53 103
Brown     4.65   4   5 37 13   89.0   81   46 13   43   92
Traber*    4.75   9   9 29 20   125.0 136   66 15   40   83
Young     4.86   7   8 24 22   124.0 131   67 19   41   97
Martin     4.88   6   8 20 20   118.0 132   64 16   35   73
Dittler     4.91   8 10 26 25   154.0 169   84 15   62   86
Pesco     4.93   9 11 26 26   148.0 169   81 20   42   84
Denham     4.93   9 10 25 25   146.0 158   80 18   54   96
Watkins     4.94   5   7 35 17   124.0 134   68 17   45   81
Elarton     5.07   8 10 31 31   174.0 187   98 31   56 105
Zerbe*    5.09   4   5 31   8   76.0   88   43   8   27   29
Sauerbeck*  5.11   1   2 66   0   44.0   41   25   5   28   40
Denney     5.14   6   7 23 23   119.0 129   68 20   41   91
Laffey*    5.19   6   9 26 24   137.0 154   79 11   64   65
Guthrie     5.35   8 12 29 25   148.0 163   88 22   62   92
Robbins     5.40   4   5 45   1   65.0   71   39   7   34   38
Stark     5.70   4   7 18 16   90.0 104   57 12   42   46
Tallet*    5.70   3   6 22 15   90.0 103   57 18   34   55
Smith     6.13   4   8 26 21   119.0 134   81 18   71   79

Dan Szymborski Posted: November 02, 2005 at 06:29 PM | 49 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Dr. Vaux Posted: November 02, 2005 at 07:33 PM (#1716256)
Indians fans, is Carmona going to get the fifth rotation spot next year, or are they going to waste him in the bullpen?

Can Sowers really be ready already?
   2. Ben Posted: November 02, 2005 at 07:36 PM (#1716270)
ZiPs is not a big Ryan Garko fan, I see, but quite the DuBois advocate. I wonder if the Indians try to move Dubois to first this offseason.

Also, Dan, you have 2 Millers in the pitching list. The top one is Matt, I assume, leaving the one in the middle to be Adam, but I think first initials might be in order for that situation.
   3. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: November 02, 2005 at 07:38 PM (#1716274)
And the other four spots are Sabathia, Lee, Westbrook and whom? Elarton?
   4. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: November 02, 2005 at 07:42 PM (#1716278)
Jake Westbrook won't match those numbers.
   5. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: November 02, 2005 at 07:44 PM (#1716280)
Wow, ZIPS is really bullish on Josh Bard. I'd pencil him in at something closer to .230/.300/.350.

Surprised also that it likes Kevin Kouzmanoff more than Ryan Garko for '06. I like Kouz a lot, but I think Garko's going to have a big year if given the chance.

As for the fifth spot in the rotation, it really depends on what Elarton and Millwood do. I expect to see a battle between Davis/Tallet/Stanford/Carmona/Sowers/Tadano and maybe Traber for a spot in the rotation. If both Elarton and Millwood are gone, two of those guys end up in the rotation.

I'm not totally convinced Sowers is ready at this point, but he's really close. He had a 149/29 K/BB ratio in 159.1 IP, a 2.08 ERA in half a season in AA, and a pretty good HR rate. I don't expect them to rush him, but I could see him playing an important role in the majors in '06.
   6. Ben Posted: November 02, 2005 at 07:45 PM (#1716282)
Some combination of Millwood, Elarton, Carmona, Sowers(70K/9 BB in 82 AA IP), and outoforganizationSP will fill the 2 open rotation spots. Darkhorses in the organization are Davis, Stanford, and Traber.
   7. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: November 02, 2005 at 07:55 PM (#1716304)
It's also nice to see that ZIPS likes Joe Inglett. I'd love to (but don't expect to) see Inglett get an honest shot at the utility infield job that will probably go to either Phillips or Vazquez.
   8. Passed Ball Posted: November 02, 2005 at 08:16 PM (#1716341)
Will Franklin Gutierrez ever hit in the majors?
   9. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: November 02, 2005 at 08:29 PM (#1716364)
I love this team.
   10. Dingbat_Charlie Posted: November 02, 2005 at 08:37 PM (#1716381)
I think that Victor is going to have a huge season some year. He may not be able to sustain it beyond 1 season, but if he can put 2 of his phenomenal halves together in the same season he's going to be an MVP candidate.
   11. Barnaby Jones Posted: November 03, 2005 at 12:16 AM (#1716883)
So what you are saying is that the Indians are awesome.
   12. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: November 03, 2005 at 12:27 AM (#1716907)
The Indians are awesome, and I'm just glad that the White Sox won one before the full force of Cleveland's awesomeness came to the forefront.
   13. caspian88 Posted: November 03, 2005 at 04:58 AM (#1717189)
Coco Crisp showed a huge platoon split this season, but historically has been slightly better against lefties. DuBois was slightly better against southpaws this season, but in a terribly small sample size. A platoon might be a possibility, although DuBois could probobly use full playing time.
   14. Matthew Rich Posted: November 03, 2005 at 05:45 AM (#1717217)
is Carmona going to get the fifth rotation spot next year, or are they going to waste him in the bullpen?

Carmona won't be used in relief. If anything, I think he'll be included in a trade this offseason (would the DRays do Gomes for any or all of Carmona, Phillips, Davis, and Riske? Somebody please say yes)

I think ZiPS is too pessimistic on Boone -- although I understand the reason for it -- and way, way overboard on Sowers and Kouzmanoff. Sowers should have a nice career, but I'm not seeing a 3.89 ERA in 2006.

Also, it's safe to say that Garko is no longer a C -- D-Szym, does position affect offensive output in ZiPS?

I know pitching injuries hit every team, but man it would be really nice if Traber, Adam Miller, and JD Martin could all come back strong.
   15. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: November 03, 2005 at 05:57 AM (#1717238)
would the DRays do Gomes for any or all of Carmona, Phillips, Davis, and Riske?

In a universe where Scott Kazmir can be traded for Victor Zambrano, I suppose anything is possible. But I can't imagine Phillips or Davis has any kind of trade value right now.
   16. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: November 03, 2005 at 05:59 AM (#1717242)
I take that back, at least partially - JDavis throws high-90s heat and has a pretty good sinking fastball. He's got some value.

Brandon Phillips, OTOH, well, I'd be thrilled to get anything of use for him at this point.
   17. Dan Szymborski Posted: November 03, 2005 at 01:56 PM (#1717379)
Also, it's safe to say that Garko is no longer a C -- D-Szym, does position affect offensive output in ZiPS?

No. I'm currently doing research on aging trends by position (and a possible SABR presentation on the subject). I just forgot to change Garko's listing from catcher.
   18. PanRains Posted: November 03, 2005 at 02:56 PM (#1717408)
Those projections are tasty.

I don't know, ECE. I mean, I'm sure they're not going to be able to trade Phillips straight up for Dontrelle Willis, but I have to believe he has some value. Heck, in a similar situation last year Shapiro was able to get Jake Gautreau for Corey Smith (although that wasn't an out-of-options situation as it was a 40 man roster/ Rule V situation). I think it's still probable that BP has a lengthy major league career; it's unlikely he'll be Barry Larkin v 2.0.

All that said, I've been wrong before, and I'll be wrong again. I'm verrrry interested to see what happens with BP this offseason.

Another darkhorse candidate may be Jason Young. The Indians picked him up off waivers from the Rockies last year, but recently removed him from the 40 man. I assume he's still under the Indians control, but may be mistaken. When you consider what they've been able to do with former Rockies pitchers (Elarton and Matt Miller), and Young has talent, he may be intriguing.
   19. Elton Posted: November 03, 2005 at 03:04 PM (#1717415)
This makes the Indians look pretty strong indeed. They're bulging in all the right places.

As a Tribe fan, I don't even mind if they lose Millwood so much. A fall-back to an ERA around 4 would be unsurprising ... it's good, but not something they should overpay for. Plus it's no fun to be brimming with up-and-coming hurlers if they never get a chance to pitch. I will be mildly distraught if they don't add a bat or two to upgrade Blake/Boone/Broussard though. I hadn't thought about Jonny Gomes, but if his '05 is for real then I'd love to have him. Like everyone else, Casey Blake looks like a super-sub to me.
   20. Catfish326 Posted: November 03, 2005 at 04:39 PM (#1717525)
Hypothesis: Every team should have a pinch-runner styled player on their roster. The prototype is a Larry Lintz kind of guy. Someone who can really fly and steal bases, but also the player is versatile enough to play some fill-in positional roles. This guy wins the all-important one-run games.
Example: 2005 Indians were 22-36 in one-run games (.379) and the White Sox were 35-19 (.648). The White Sox actually beat the Indians by one run 9 times in 2005! If you flip these one-run game results, the Indians walk away with the division and the White Sox don't even make the playoffs. After the Indians traded Alex Cora (6 steals) to the Red Sox in 2005, the fastest player on the Indians bench had 1 steal!
Guestimate: If a 1970s version of Larry Lintz was on 2005 Indians, the Indians win the division, and likely more than that. This type of role player would have brought the Indians at least 10 more wins in 2005.
Question: How is the hypothesis and guestimate best tested?
   21. nycfan Posted: November 03, 2005 at 04:45 PM (#1717543)
You'd have to go through all those one run games and check if stolen bases really helped in many of them. My guess is that it had almost nothing to do with SB's, and a lot to do with a good bullpen and luck.
   22. Spahn Insane Posted: November 03, 2005 at 05:08 PM (#1717574)
I wonder if the Indians try to move Dubois to first this offseason.

Yeah, he's got to be a better righty-hitting 1B than Jose Hernandez, doesn't he? I don't know if that's the plan, though.
   23. Spahn Insane Posted: November 03, 2005 at 05:10 PM (#1717577)
I have to say, these projections make me especially happy to've adopted the Tribe as my AL team.
   24. Elton Posted: November 03, 2005 at 05:12 PM (#1717579)
Catfish, I'm pretty skeptical of your hypothesis. Myself, I think the Indians just needed a better bottom of the lineup.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/gameLog?gameId=250404104
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/gameLog?gameId=250406104
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/gameLog?gameId=250411105
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/gameLog?gameId=250413105
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/gameLog?gameId=250604104
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/gameLog?gameId=250714105
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/gameLog?gameId=250920104
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/gameLog?gameId=250930105
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/gameLog?gameId=251001105

Those are the links to the ESPN game logs for the one-run victories of the White Sox over the Indians. The striking thing is that Alex Cora played in 5 of them and made an out as a batter in the ninth inning in four of them. (In three of the cases he was pinch-hitting in the 9th -- gak. He had a .364 OBP in '04 , but his plate discipine and average disappeared in Cleveland.) I know "Mind Game" apparently lauds the Red Sox for having the foresight to have Dave Roberts on the bench for That Game, but trading Cora in no way sank the Indians season.
   25. Elton Posted: November 03, 2005 at 05:15 PM (#1717586)
Probably the effectiveness of Cora as a base-stealer wasn't your main point though -- I just looked him up and saw he's not a base thief by any stretch of the imagination. So I didn't do anything to disprove your hypothesis, but at least I got to vent a bit.
   26. WillYoung Posted: November 03, 2005 at 05:26 PM (#1717604)
The Indians have me scared to death.

On the other hand, I loved watching them play and told many people way back in May/June when Wedge was still hurting the team with his mustache that they would be in the mix by the end of the season - I looked like brilliant there for a little while.

Oh, apparently I established a reputation in Toronto - at least Vinay tells me so - of having Grady Sizemore as my second man-crush.
   27. Matthew Rich Posted: November 03, 2005 at 05:54 PM (#1717634)
I think it's nice that fans of other teams think the Indians look so strong, but personally I'm not seeing it right now. I assume at the moment that Millwood and Howry walk and Elarton and Wickman are re-signed. I also assume that Shapiro will make a trade to bring in a right fielder (obviously Gomes would be my first choice and I think they could meet Tampa Bay's asking price without hurting the major league roster). The offense was 4th in the AL in runs scored last year but clearly has major room for improvement.

The big problem though, is there's no way the pitching staff comes close to last year's production. I believe the Indians rotation in 2005 was nearly a once-in-a-lifetime combination of performance and injury-free-ness. Other than the two weeks or so Sabathia spent on the DL at the beginning of the season with his pec or ab strain or whatever it was, not a single start was missed by any of the 5 starters. That is guaranteed to not happen again, and if the dropoff from 2005 Kevin Millwood to 2006 Carmona/Sowers/Davis/Guthrie/whoever wasn't big enough, you're going to lose even more when Lee or Westbrook or (god forbid) Sabathia goes on the DL.

And of course the same goes for the bullpen. Until Miller's elbow "tendinitis" and Rhodes's family illness in September, the bullpen remained healthy and tops in the AL in runs allowed. And right now (since I expect somebody else will overpay for Howry and we'll get Wickman back on another 1 year deal) there's not a single member of that bullpen besides Cabrera you can point to and say they are likely to even match last year's numbers. Granted the bullpen could drop off quite a bit in quality and still be above average in the AL, but still the point is it will not be as good in 2006 as it was in 2005, and they needed to squeeze every drop of performance from that pen to get to 93 wins.

I thought at this point last year that the AL Central in 2005 would be a 4-way dog fight all season long. The only reason it wasn't, it seems, was that the Indians simply couldn't beat the White Sox. Assuming those records even out next season, I still see the Indians and White Sox as equally strong (due to the White Sox overwhelming rotation, anemic offense, and declining bullpen) and just a notch above the Twins and Tigers.

The Indians are a good team and a balanced one, yes. But they're not clearly the class of the division like some posters (and ESPN's offseason power rankings) are making them out to be.
   28. Ben Posted: November 03, 2005 at 06:06 PM (#1717662)
I vote we all pitch in to buy Will a pink Mrs. Sizemore shirt, then.

Catfish- I think we can reject "having a pinch runner would've resulted in 10 more wins" out of hand. Boston had a superb record(27-15) in one run games and their whole team stole fewer bases than Scott Podsednik.

The apparently inevitable Riske trade scares me. For no real reason Wedge completely lost faith in him and it's now just accepted that rather than pay arbitration we'll give him away. But we are also apparently resigned to letting Wickman and Howry leave, which means the bullpen is looking a mite thin next season.

I suspect we won't move Dubois to first because it creates another obstacle for Garko(which in turn creates an obstacle for Aubrey and Head). Given that we are allegedly taking Blake's starting job away to turn him into a supersub, I suspect Blake will be the new severely unqualified RH half of our 1B platoon if we keep Broussard. Otherwise Blake will split time with Crisp, Boone, and unidentified new OF. Dubois probably gets the Josh Phelps/Ryan Ludwick treatment(which I've been predicting since the trade).
Shapiro, you only get credit for good trades if you don't bother to use your newly acquired assets. Stop making 'good' trades and 'good' acquisitions that don't actually help the team.
   29. Catfish326 Posted: November 03, 2005 at 06:15 PM (#1717670)
Probably the effectiveness of Cora as a base-stealer wasn't your main point though -- I just looked him up and saw he's not a base thief by any stretch of the imagination. So I didn't do anything to disprove your hypothesis, but at least I got to vent a bit.

No, my ideal guy for that role is Larry Lintz. But, he's probably not as fast as he was back in 1976.
   30. Ben Posted: November 03, 2005 at 06:18 PM (#1717676)
Matt- I don't think you're correctly evaluating the White Sox for their equally "nearly a once-in-a-lifetime combination of performance and injury-free-ness" 2005 pitching staff.
Also, you're taking a pretty pessimistic outlook on an offseason that hasn't happened yet. If we do pretty much nothing but resign Wickman and Elarton, yeah, then sure we'll be lucky to crack 85 wins. But our payroll was tiny and talk has been of it going up. We've contacted Giles. If we don't sign Giles, we'll almost certainly make a trade for a RF. If we do neither of those, we'll probably resign Millwood.

Also, we were really unlucky. We didn't squeeze every drop out of that pen. We left many, many drops behind while we were losing to the freaking Devil Rays. We can have worse performances and win more games if we can just hit our damn Pythag.

I also think the Twins will be better than the Tigers, but this is an important offseason for them, too. But I suspect that how it'll play out is Indians vs. Twins for the title next year, with the White Sox reasonably close behind.
   31. Catfish326 Posted: November 03, 2005 at 06:20 PM (#1717679)
Catfish- I think we can reject "having a pinch runner would've resulted in 10 more wins" out of hand. Boston had a superb record(27-15) in one run games and their whole team stole fewer bases than Scott Podsednik.

Huh? That's illogical. A team can go 40-0 in one-run games and have zero SBs, but that proves nothing, as to my proposed theory. The question is, can a team vastly improve their chances of winning one-run games if they have a awesome basestealer ready to rip up the basepaths?
   32. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: November 03, 2005 at 06:27 PM (#1717694)
The Indians are a good team and a balanced one, yes. But they're not clearly the class of the division like some posters (and ESPN's offseason power rankings) are making them out to be.

The key will be their starting pitching.

CC Sabathia is a solid anchor, but if Millwood walks, the rest of their rotation is a bit shaky.

If they can sort out their starting rotation, then they'll be the team to beat. If not, they'll be in a dogfight with the Twins and White Sox all season.

I'm still not excited about the Tigers. That rotation just isn't very good, no matter how you slice it. If they pick up a SP or two this winter, though...
   33. Elton Posted: November 03, 2005 at 06:29 PM (#1717699)
I bet Otis Nixon still runs well. He was the Indians' designated pinch runner when I first became a fan. It would be fun to have a guy like him again.

Matthew: Can't argue that the Indians seemed to be over their heads (pitching-wise) last year and will regress some (barring unexpected pickups). The one good thing about having an abundance of maybe-ready minor-league starters is that perhaps some can be slotted into relief roles effectively and cheaply.

Having a young catcher, center fielder and shortstop who can all hit is the main reason to get excited about them though.
   34. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: November 03, 2005 at 06:30 PM (#1717701)
"nearly a once-in-a-lifetime combination of performance and injury-free-ness" 2005 pitching staff.

BP brought up this point the other day - the White Sox lost hardly any time to injury this season, and if you don't count Frank Thomas, they lost no time to any players important to their success.

Some of that is luck, of course, but the White Sox trainers and medical personnel are excellent.
   35. Dan Szymborski Posted: November 03, 2005 at 07:45 PM (#1717860)
The question is, can a team vastly improve their chances of winning one-run games if they have a awesome basestealer ready to rip up the basepaths?

Sure, if the awesome basestealer is actually a really high percentage basestealer.

The White Sox were not this team. Looking at the in-game situations, they did not run effectively in the most-important situations.

When the White Sox were winning or losing by 3 runs or more, their success rate was 89% in 2005.

When they were winning or losing by 2 runs or less or tied, it was 63%.

In one-run games in the 7th inning or later? The White Sox had a wretched 52% success rate.
   36. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 03, 2005 at 07:55 PM (#1717876)
Three quick things:

Right now, Phillips is where Wilson Betemit was entering last season.

I'd like to see what Ludwick could do with more playing time.

What's the latest word on Aubrey's back?
   37. Ben Posted: November 03, 2005 at 08:22 PM (#1717924)
Catfish- Well, what would convince you? Given your theory is pretty far out there, I think the burden should be on you.
   38. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: November 03, 2005 at 08:52 PM (#1717975)
Rejoining the party a bit late here, but...

Brandon Phillips: I agree with PanRains that he has a shot at a lengthy major league career, but I'm not optimistic he'll be much more than Pokey Reese with a bit more offense and a bit less glove. Which is to say, someone who's a utility guy on a good team, and someone you should flip if you can get something useful for him. To me, he's where Corey Smith was a year or so ago...he's about this far from ceasing to be a prospect. Better to sell while you can.

The pitching overachievers: By and large, they did overachieve in '05. They're likely to regress in '06. But at the same time, the lack of offense from 1B/3B/RF was pretty staggering, and almost can't help but improve next season. The '05 Indians got 1500+ plate appearances from Broussard, Boone, and Blake at a combined OPS+ of below 100. The improvement we're likely to see in the offense will offset a lot of the pitching regression. Not all, perhaps, but a lot. And there are a ton of quality arms out there in the bullpen. Even if Riske and Howry leave, they've still got Betancourt-Cabrera-Miller-Wickman (*shudder*) from the right side. That ain't half bad.

And Michael Aubrey: Deafening silence.
   39. Catfish326 Posted: November 03, 2005 at 08:53 PM (#1717979)
I thought this was a think tank, with monster BTF brainpower.

Sure, if the awesome basestealer is actually a really high percentage basestealer.The White Sox were not this team. Looking at the in-game situations, they did not run effectively in the most-important situations.

The White Sox won 9 one-run games v. the Indians alone, but I don't believe it was because of their speed. However, I still think that the Indians could have put a serious dent in those 9 games with a burner off the bench.
   40. Ben Posted: November 03, 2005 at 08:54 PM (#1717981)
Why?
   41. Catfish326 Posted: November 03, 2005 at 08:58 PM (#1717988)
Ok Ben, you may force me to write an entire article analyzing all of the Indians' games.
   42. Matthew Rich Posted: November 04, 2005 at 12:20 AM (#1718342)
I can't speak for others, but I know I've pretty much written off Aubrey as a prospect. But with Garko arriving next season and Mulhern and Head behind him, I think the Indians are OK at 1B. It's the rest of the infield where they're thin -- do they have any decent 2B/SS/3B prospects? Is Kevin Kouzmanoff really as good as it gets?

I give Mirabelli and Farrell all the credit in the world for the fantastic pitching depth they've acquired, but apart from Peralta they've really dropped the ball (so to speak) with the middle infield.
   43. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: November 04, 2005 at 12:45 AM (#1718364)
do they have any decent 2B/SS/3B prospects? Is Kevin Kouzmanoff really as good as it gets?

Yeah, probably. I mean, I think Joe Inglett is a better player right now than Ramon Vazquez, but it's tough to call him a prospect. Pat Osborn can play a little bit, and there's a whole lot of speculation that Trevor Crowe is headed to second base.

But right now, I think the Kouz is probably the closest thing to a major league-ready 2B/3B/SS prospect they have.
   44. Ben Posted: November 04, 2005 at 02:30 AM (#1718435)
Matthew- I think that's too harsh on Aubrey. He's younger than Garko or Mulhern. I think Aubrey might be our best chance of actually being a long-term 1B solution, though we'll see about Head obviously.

Really, it's not just the infield. Snyder strikes out constantly, Garko really doesn't hit enough to be a fulltime 1B and can't play any positon well enough to be a starter, Aubrey gets hurt, guys like Mulhern and Kouzmanoff are seriously overaged... And that's it, not counting the 2005 draftees.
   45. chris p Posted: November 04, 2005 at 05:40 PM (#1718981)
Coco Crisp showed a huge platoon split this season, but historically has been slightly better against lefties. DuBois was slightly better against southpaws this season, but in a terribly small sample size. A platoon might be a possibility, although DuBois could probobly use full playing time.

I think you want crisp out there every day. uzr has him as the best left fielder around. his defense is a few wins better than dubois over the course of the season, so dubois would have to be much much better with the bat.
   46. Russ Posted: November 05, 2005 at 06:50 PM (#1719986)
Re: Aubrey

I hope he comes back soon, because what I call the "Maholm Mistake" will be impossible to use as a reason to convince people that David Littlefield's "Pitching First!" philosophy is costing the Pirates a lot of victories. Maholm was totally dreamy last season, even though I think he barely ranks fourth in the list of Pirate pitching prospects (behind Duke, Gorz, and probably Bullington).
   47. caspian88 Posted: November 07, 2005 at 07:23 AM (#1721325)
Yeah, on the Crisp/DuBois thing, I ignored defense - stupid, I know. I suppose Crisp should play full-time. DuBois needs to get a lot of playing time, too, though - DH on Hafner's days off, LF on Crisp's, LF on Sizemore's (Crisp to center), perhaps? I'd like to see him get 300 PA's.
   48. peter21 Posted: November 27, 2005 at 10:43 PM (#1748696)
A couple of thoughts on the Indians (I will try to be objective, but that might be tough...)

1) Coco Crisp is great. Excellent defense in right, and has hit well enough for long enough to prove he has the ability. Furthermore, take a look at his trends:
---------AB----H----2B----HR----BB----K----BA---OBP----SLG----OPS
2004---491--146---24---15-----36----69---.297--.344---.446----.790
2005---594--178---42---16-----44----81---.300--.345---.465----.810
Is it unreasonable to expect Coco, who will be 27 years old, to continue to increase his powers and homers? He added 18 doubles from 04-05 while keeping everything else constant. I don't think 25 homers is unreasonable.

2) CC Sabathia is ready to break out. I know it's been said for awhile, but it's true now. Now, I'm not expecting a Cy Young year, but look at his trends as well:
---------IP----H----HR----K/9----K/BB----ERA
2002--210---198--17----6.39---1.69-----4.37
2003--198---190--19----6.42---2.14-----3.60
2004--188---176--20----6.65---1.93-----4.12
2005--197---185--19----7.37---2.60-----4.03
Consistent innings, hit rates, homer rates. Consistently improving K rates, and now an excellent K/BB rate, suggesting an improvement in ERA next year. Plus, he'll be only 26 years old, and he was absolutely dominant for the last two months of the season (with an INCREDIBLE K/BB).

3) Jake Westbrook's prediction looks like it will be perfect. His trends:
---------IP----H----HR----K/9----K/BB----ERA
2004--216---208--19----4.84---1.90-----3.38
2005--211---218--19----5.08---2.13-----4.49
For all practical purposes, Westbrook had identical seasons in 04 and 05. Therefore, it is likely his ERA will be somewhere in the middle (and before you tell me that it was because of the defense, remember the Indians' Defensive Efficiency in 2005 was third in baseball).

4) Cliff Lee's win totals were out of whack in 2005, yes, but his peripherals matched his ERA. Perhaps it will rise slightly in 2006, but he should be good. Overall, these 3 should be better in 2006 than 2005.

5) Travis Hafner, Victor Martinez, Jhonny Peralta, Coco Crisp, Grady Sizemore, and Ronnie Belliard all have the track records suggesting their 2005 seasons weren't flukes---they should at least maintain production, if not improve.

6) Yes, the bullpen overachieved---but as was mentioned, even if they regress, the bullpen will still be above average. Riske, Betancourt, and Miller didn't overachieve. Rhodes isn't THAT good, but still good. Same with Sauerbeck. Fernando Cabrera is ready for full-time duty, and Andrew Brown performed very well in AAA in 2005. Plus, the Indians seem intent on adding a bullpen arm, although even if they don't their 'pen should be above average.

7) It doesn't seem unreasonable for one of Adam Miller/Jeremy Sowers/Fausto Carmona/Jason Davis/Kyle Denney/Brian Tallet/Billy Traber to have a pretty darn good season. However, that still leaves an open rotation spot, which is the Indians' biggest question. But I challenge you to name a team without a question-mark in the rotation---and if you say Chicago, you might be right, but I'll remind you that the Indians' offense is a LOT better than Chicago's, and more than makes up that difference.

8) When your weakest offensive spots are 1B, 3B, and RF, you're in a good situation. Those are the easiest to upgrade, and a slight increase in payroll---combined with a deep farm system---should allow the Indians to acquire another offensive player to upgrade. I think Jonny Gomes fits extremely well.

The hype is justified.
   49. peter21 Posted: November 27, 2005 at 11:30 PM (#1748744)
**Correction: Coco's excellent defense was in left (obviously). I meant to say that things said on this board are right, about Coco's D. Sorry about that.

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