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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Saturday, December 31, 2005

2006 ZiPS Projections - St. Louis Cardinals


Name           P   AVG   OBP   SPC   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS
Pujols         1b .337 .434 .652 161 603 134 203 42 2 48 138 98 61 11 3
Edmonds*        cf .269 .387 .542 143 469 90 126 36 1 30 95 89 135 4 4
Rolen         3b .285 .384 .522 116 418 74 119 29 2 22 78 62 69 4 3
Walker*        rf .271 .367 .464 107 336 56 91 19 2 14 54 44 73 3 1
Spivey         2b .273 .356 .442 89 319 54 87 22 1 10 46 37 80 3 2
Daubach*        1b .246 .352 .440 122 382 61 94 26 0 16 64 60 107 1 0
Encarnacion     rf .284 .342 .450 145 536 70 152 35 3 16 88 43 95 8 6
Rodriguez*      lf .259 .331 .461 124 397 64 103 22 2 18 67 39 96 5 1
Zoccolillo*      lf .260 .331 .424 117 384 54 100 24 0 13 54 38 68 1 2
Eckstein       ss .284 .351 .372 151 602 85 171 25 5 6 61 54 44 11 7
Redman         cf .263 .324 .420 132 467 68 123 33 2 12 64 40 102 10 7
Bigbie*        lf .257 .328 .384 117 401 51 103 20 2 9 47 43 86 6 3
Seabol         3b .253 .304 .420 114 376 53 95 22 1 13 53 27 75 2 1
Gall           1b .256 .314 .404 135 446 63 114 27 0 13 62 37 54 4 2
Gonzalez       lf .263 .315 .399 120 429 59 113 23 1 11 54 32 52 6 5
Taguchi         cf .274 .309 .386 137 365 43 100 19 2 6 45 18 56 9 3
Hernandez       c   .260 .335 .340 81 250 23 65 9 1 3 26 28 31 0 0
Berger         rf .226 .294 .418 110 337 50 76 17 0 16 52 30 62 2 2
Molina         c   .264 .315 .369 108 360 37 95 15 1 7 43 26 29 1 2
Miles#        2b .270 .311 .365 133 507 65 137 21 3 7 53 29 46 8 6
Cruz           ss .270 .299 .384 125 385 42 104 21 1 7 47 15 38 0 2
Duncan*        1b .232 .309 .366 131 410 44 95 20 1 11 49 45 99 3 3
Luna           2b .253 .314 .351 120 359 55 91 19 2 4 36 28 56 16 6
Ankiel*        lf .212 .275 .407 85 302 40 64 15 1 14 47 22 67 0 0
Hart           2b .250 .299 .358 132 464 69 116 28 2 6 45 30 77 7 4
Bolivar         cf .248 .308 .356 126 427 54 106 21 2 7 45 35 79 22 14
Schumaker*      cf .257 .305 .339 138 460 65 118 22 2 4 38 31 56 12 7
Hanson*        2b .235 .284 .359 125 463 58 109 23 2 10 54 30 89 1 2
Cresse         c   .220 .274 .353 64 232 25 51 16 0 5 25 15 61 0 0
Bennett         c   .236 .303 .306 76 229 17 54 10 0 2 24 21 38 0 1
Nelson         ss .215 .283 .332 124 413 50 89 22 1 8 40 36 118 3 3
Nivar         cf .250 .283 .337 113 436 54 109 16 2 6 40 18 43 16 11
Taylor*        cf .230 .282 .356 115 357 42 82 17 2 8 37 24 83 13 12
Mahoney         c   .220 .265 .317 89 268 27 59 15 1 3 25 15 46 1 0
Gorecki         cf .211 .273 .306 119 408 51 86 19 1 6 39 33 79 13 8
Lemanczyk       cf .207 .267 .273 113 381 71 79 12 2 3 28 24 64 27 9

Name           W   L   ERA   G GS   INN   H   ER HR   BB   K
Isringhausen       3   1   3.10 64   0   61.0   48   21   4   25   55
Carpenter       16   8   3.16 31 31   222.0 193   78 20   47 194
Reyes           4   2   3.39 59   1   61.0   49   23   7   22   62
Tavarez         4   3   3.55 72   0   71.0   67   28   3   22   44
Reyes           8   6   3.72 24 23   133.0 121   55 18   30 122
Thompson         4   3   3.76 49   0   67.0   61   28   6   21   40
Looper           5   4   4.07 73   0   73.0   72   33   6   22   44
Flores*          4   4   4.13 51   0   61.0   58   28   6   22   48
Mateo           7   5   4.21 38 12   109.0 109   51 13   30   84
Mulder*        13 11   4.22 31 31   207.0 205   97 19   70 128
Gissell         8   7   4.32 27 19   123.0 124   59 18   30   90
Karnuth         4   4   4.36 61   0   66.0   67   32   5   24   34
Wainwright       9   9   4.50 28 26   174.0 184   87 23   44 112
Nunez           5   5   4.50 53   3   76.0   70   38 11   27   74
Suppan         12 13   4.52 32 31   195.0 201   98 24   61 112
Ponson         11 12   4.57 29 29   189.0 200   96 17   61 109
Stone           3   3   4.63 51   0   68.0   71   35   9   20   42
Marquis         12 13   4.68 33 32   204.0 209 106 27   69 115
Johnson*        1   2   4.82 55   0   56.0   47   30   7   35   64
Rincon*          2   2   4.91 66   0   44.0   40   24   5   26   36
Rundles*        7   8   4.91 24 24   152.0 172   83 18   46   64
Pearce           3   4   5.06 28   5   64.0   73   36 14   10   37
Pulsipher*        6   8   5.09 31 19   145.0 165   82 25   29   82
Parrott         5   7   5.16 23 23   129.0 131   74 18   62   90
Rust           3   4   5.19 45   2   59.0   57   34   6   35   44
Cali*          2   4   5.35 60   0   74.0   79   44   9   35   49
Lincoln         4   5   5.50 32   0   36.0   35   22   8   14   28
Pomeranz         7 10   5.52 23 23   145.0 168   89 21   52   65
Voyles           3   6   5.56 23 13   89.0   94   55 17   37   65
Webb           5   8   5.77 28 24   145.0 158   93 24   71   78
Narveson*        5   8   5.81 25 24   127.0 138   82 20   68   85
Lambert         3   5   6.14 18 18   88.0   94   60 13   54   62
Ankiel*          1   3   6.59 15   7   41.0   36   30   5   43   41

Disclaimer:  ZiPS projections are computer-based projections of performance. 
Performances have not been allocated to predicted playing time in the majors -
many of the players listed above are unlikely to play in the majors at all in 2006. 
ZiPS is projecting equivalent production - a .240 ZiPS projection may end up
being .280 in AAA or .300 in AA, for example.  Whether or not a player will play
is one of many non-statistical factors one has to take into account when predicting
the future.

Dan Szymborski Posted: December 31, 2005 at 11:13 PM | 90 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. 1k5v3L Posted: December 31, 2005 at 11:22 PM (#1801423)
2006 cards will win it all without pitchers.
   2. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: December 31, 2005 at 11:31 PM (#1801425)
those are some ####### epic numbers by Pujols.

a .337 ZIPS projected average? is anyone else even close?!
   3. Rob Base Posted: December 31, 2005 at 11:34 PM (#1801426)
2006 cards will win it all without pitchers.

With those numbers from Pujols, they could win it with a staff full of Russ Ortiz.
   4. chris p Posted: December 31, 2005 at 11:34 PM (#1801427)
2006 cards will win it all without pitchers.

well, mgl did say that signing free agent pitchers isn't worth the price.
   5. CraigK Posted: December 31, 2005 at 11:39 PM (#1801428)
Doesn't Dan do something to the projections to "regress them to the mean"?

If so, I'd like to see Pujols's numbers before he did that; what, .366/.485/.688 with 59 HRs, 232 hits?

And Albert can ####### RUN, too! 11 SBs!
   6. greenback calls it soccer Posted: December 31, 2005 at 11:45 PM (#1801431)
Is it too early to ask about Cody Haerther?
   7. CraigK Posted: December 31, 2005 at 11:47 PM (#1801433)
a .337 ZIPS projected average? is anyone else even close?!

Let's see...

Ichiro: .319
Bonds: .308
Sean Casey: .313
A-Rod: .301
David Wright: .312
Vladdy: .327
Miggy Cabrera: .319
Helton: .334

Looks like Helton is the closest, and he's playing 81 games in "The Park that Low-Scoring Games Forgot".
   8. Dr. Vaux Posted: December 31, 2005 at 11:47 PM (#1801434)
Hmmm... I can't run ZIPS+PT till I get the pitcher ZIPS. I can run 'em with my super-regressed pitching projections, though.
   9. cardsfanboy Posted: December 31, 2005 at 11:48 PM (#1801435)
I'm guessing that is Yankee DH Larry Walker with that .271 .367 .464 line
   10. CraigK Posted: December 31, 2005 at 11:50 PM (#1801436)
I'd still like to see Pujols raw ZiPS; before he regressed it.
   11. The District Attorney Posted: December 31, 2005 at 11:54 PM (#1801438)
Taguchi seemed to show signs last season of being more than the next Tsuyoshi Shinjo, but I guess ZIPS doesn't buy it.

Why is Ankiel playing LF? Presumably he has a strong arm, no?

I've had a leftover plate of zoccolillo ever since Christmas. Please... someone finish it!
   12. MM1f Posted: January 01, 2006 at 12:19 AM (#1801447)
No way An. Reyes meets that projection. He'll be good but there is an adjustment period
   13. Dr. Vaux Posted: January 01, 2006 at 12:30 AM (#1801452)
Okay, that comes to 87-75, with Rolen having only the 418 at bats and Spivey only having 319. I've got Mulder with a 4.30 ERA in 190 innings, same for Suppan and Marquis; the bullpen has similar, generically average stats. The Cards and Cubs both project to 87 wins, but the Cardinals have quite a bit more room to improve on that. They look like fairly small favorites to me.
   14. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 01, 2006 at 12:30 AM (#1801454)
Here are the current ZiPS NL Leaders (Washington not done yet)(min. 250 PA)

BA
Pujols, .337
Helton, .334
Cabrera, .319

OBP
Bonds, .493
Helton, .457
Pujols, .434

SLG
Bonds, .669
Pujols, .652
Lee, .582

Doubles
Helton, 47
Lee, 44
MGiles, 42

Homers
Pujols, 48
Dunn, 45
Andruw, 42

Stolen Bases
Reyes, 59
Pierre, 52
Guzman, 49 (Freddy Guzman, won't get the PT)

Runs Created
Pujols, 174
Helton, 148
Lee, 139

ERA (min. 100 IP)
Carpenter, 3.16
Pedro, 3.20
Sheets, 3.27
Clemens, 3.32
Willis, 3.38
   15. Dr. Vaux Posted: January 01, 2006 at 12:33 AM (#1801455)
Ah, the pitching's come up. It looks like those numbers would have the staff as a whole giving up about the same number of runs I do, just distributed a bit differently. I'm saying they give Ponson 160 innings and he pitches to a 4.90 ERA, with Reyes having a generic 4.30 in 90 innings total for the season.
   16. greenback calls it soccer Posted: January 01, 2006 at 12:34 AM (#1801456)
That's not a bad line for Wainwright, considering how everything's gone the last two seasons.

Oh, and Tankersley's another request.

Why can't Chris Gissell get a major league job?
   17. Champions Table Posted: January 01, 2006 at 12:48 AM (#1801462)
Is there a reason why Pujols is listed as a left-fielder?
   18. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: January 01, 2006 at 01:06 AM (#1801473)
because he's everything to everyone.
   19. Champions Table Posted: January 01, 2006 at 01:11 AM (#1801477)
Amen. He's my backup plan in case my marriage doesn't work out.
   20. Repoz Posted: January 01, 2006 at 01:24 AM (#1801487)
Ankiel with 108 K's...combined!
   21. The Hop-Clop Goes On (psa1) Posted: January 01, 2006 at 01:40 AM (#1801499)
Is there a reason why Pujols is listed as a left-fielder?

Gotta make room for Brian Daubach.
   22. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 01, 2006 at 01:45 AM (#1801503)
Is there a reason why Pujols is listed as a left-fielder?

In DMB, I don't create the players "new" every year, I import them and make changes so I don't have to bother with the birth year, etc. every time. The Pujols "card" was created in '03 and I must not have remembered to change the position.

Just as a quick aside, Pujols is the only 1B in the majors I've assigned an EX rating for '06.
   23. Andere Richtingen Posted: January 01, 2006 at 01:47 AM (#1801505)
well, mgl did say that signing free agent pitchers isn't worth the price.

Easy to say when you have King Midas for your pitching coach.
   24. 100 Years is Nothing Posted: January 01, 2006 at 03:25 AM (#1801580)
If Pujols gets an EX, does Lee get Double EX? He has more range than does Pujols.
   25. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 01, 2006 at 04:34 AM (#1801622)
I'll be shocked beyond belief if Encarnacion comes close to that line.
   26. danup Posted: January 01, 2006 at 09:16 AM (#1801670)
I never saw the big difference between Lee and Pujols afield, Albert's got some freaking ridiculous reflexes. I've never seen someone react faster to a line drive, it's almost Matrix-y.
   27. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: January 01, 2006 at 10:57 AM (#1801681)
David Eckstein is literally made of broccoli.
   28. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: January 01, 2006 at 02:04 PM (#1801696)
How is Taguchi's D rated around here anyway?
   29. DCW3 Posted: January 01, 2006 at 09:09 PM (#1802013)
That's a pretty crappy projection for Luna. I think Spivey will likely be quite a bit worse than that ZiPS, but if he's healthy, I hope he won't have to "compete" for the starting job; he's clearly better than any of the alternatives.
   30. DCW3 Posted: January 01, 2006 at 11:50 PM (#1802200)
Hey, Dan, if you get a chance, do you have a batting projection for Marquis? I wonder how he'd compare with Taguchi.
   31. TOLAXOR Posted: January 02, 2006 at 12:31 AM (#1802240)
IF I HAD A REQUEST, IT WOULD BE MORE AB'S FOR RODRIGUEZ...

THOUGH I'LL TAKE THOSE NUMBERS FOR 400 AB'S

INTERESTING PROJECTIONS ON SPIVEY, GIVEN THE RECENT THREAD....

VERY INTERESTING RESULTS FROM SUPPAN WHEN CONTRASTED WITH PONSON...

SHOULD'VE TAKEN THAT RUMORED TRADE WITH SOUP AND WAINWRIGHT TO AZ FOR VAZQUEZ AND QUENTIN... :(
   32. TOLAXOR Posted: January 02, 2006 at 12:33 AM (#1802242)
OH, AND VLAD - WANNA WAGER???!!!!

HOW ABOUT THE LOWEST PRICE OMAHA STEAK PACKAGE IF ENCAR IS -10% OR GREATER OF THAT???
   33. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 02, 2006 at 12:55 AM (#1802270)
Hey, Dan, if you get a chance, do you have a batting projection for Marquis? I wonder how he'd compare with Taguchi.

295/313/449, but it's pretty meaningless considering the number of at-bats Marquis has had.
   34. Chris Dial Posted: January 02, 2006 at 03:44 AM (#1802441)
Just as a quick aside, Pujols is the only 1B in the majors I've assigned an EX rating for '06.

This is an error. Mientkiewicz and Erstad should be EX.
   35. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 02, 2006 at 04:39 AM (#1802520)
This is an error. Mientkiewicz and Erstad should be EX.

I had Pujols just above the threshold and the other two just below.
   36. Quinton McCracken's BFF Posted: January 02, 2006 at 03:39 PM (#1802815)
<strike>Why is Ankiel playing LF? Presumably he has a strong arm, no?</strike>

Yes - but can he hit the cutoff man?

Reminds me when I was about 13 yrs old and in my team we had a center fielder who would overthrow the cutoff man... and the catcher... the ball would sail off over and beyond the backstop and into the stands.
   37. Chris Dial Posted: January 02, 2006 at 03:50 PM (#1802831)
I had Pujols just above the threshold and the other two just below.

How are you setting that threshold? I think both are better than Pujols, and Pujols is damn good. Note, I am not disagreeing with Pujols as an EX, just that he isn't better than those two.
   38. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 02, 2006 at 04:10 PM (#1802848)
How are you setting that threshold? I think both are better than Pujols, and Pujols is damn good. Note, I am not disagreeing with Pujols as an EX, just that he isn't better than those two.

Don't forget that with DMB, we're talking separate range and error ratings. Pujols makes a lot more errors than Erstad or Mientkiewicz - his defensive excellence is found more in the range department than the other two. All told, I have Pujols as EX/115, and Erstad and Mientkiewicz is VG/70.
   39. Chris Dial Posted: January 02, 2006 at 04:45 PM (#1802871)
Dan,
I understand, and I am not forgetting. Both Minky and Erstad have the range at or above Pujols.

Shirley you understnad that I have the proper mental idea here?

DMB isn't different from SOM in this regard - a 1 in SOM is a EX in DMB - heck, that's probably where Tippett gets it.
   40. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 02, 2006 at 06:45 PM (#1802958)
They're all about the same in DRS+ the last two years (Pujols was at 17, Erstad and Minky 13). I make an error estimate based on that and had Pujols at +20 range-wise the last 2 years and Erstad and Minky at +11. When you factor in that Pujols is the youngest and has been the most durable, I think EX for Pujols going forward is the most justified. I don't just use DRS+ and a bit of subjectivity - I just don't have the 2 years of data for Pujols by UZR and I know Dave Gassko was revamping his 1B ratings.
   41. Chris Dial Posted: January 02, 2006 at 07:59 PM (#1803013)
Are you considering playing time? Minky in his PT is awesome.
   42. Azteca Posted: January 03, 2006 at 06:42 PM (#1804410)
Any update on the Cody Haerther request, Dan? He should clock some innings in the Cards's outfield this year.

Also, can someone explain the workings of UZR? Or post a link? Who calculates UZR? How is it calculated? How is it different from STATS, Inc.'s Zone Rating? And why is data kept so terribly secret?

By the way, using Clay Davenport's defense workings, here are sampling Rate2s...

Player.........2005...........2004.........2003
Erstad..........108............109..........N/A
Minky............93....92(wMIN),97(wBOS)....100
Pujols..........102............102..........110

...which indicate that Doug is in some serious defensive decline.
   43. Pujols Shot Ya Posted: January 03, 2006 at 06:58 PM (#1804449)
So Pujols has excellent range according to this metric... and some of the posters think that Erstad/Ment... have better range. Having not watched them all that closely, I have two questions. How deep do Erstad and Ment play? How agressive are they at fielding balls to their right?

I ask this, because I've notice two things about Pujols that could explain his ratings. One, I've always thought he played deeper/further back than most first baseman. Even if Pujols didn't cover as much ground as the other two, he still may be reaching more balls based on his positioning. Two, I've noticed that Pujols almost plays like a third baseman on balls hit in the hole. Often times he seems to get to balls for the flip to the pitcher that probably would have been fielded by the 2b. I know some first baseman let these balls go and retreat to the bag on these plays.

Both of those might help explain why Pujols scores so high. There may even be statistical evidence (some variation of number of 3 to 1 assists).
   44. Barca Posted: January 04, 2006 at 02:48 AM (#1805235)
How deep do Erstad and Ment play?

Not unusual in that regard. However the Angels don't tend to 'hold' the runner on.
This definitely helps Erstad get to more balls.
   45. Vidor Posted: January 05, 2006 at 09:00 AM (#1807344)
Goodness. I don't know what went into this study, but it seems pretty worthless. Is there any particular reason why every single pitcher on the Cardinal roster is projected to do worse than they did last season, mostly by massive amounts? Carpenter's ERA goes up by 0.3, Marquis' ERA goes up a half a run, Mulder's ERA goes up by 0.6, Suppan's ERA goes up by nearly a full run, Isringhausen up by a full run, Flores up by 0.7, Thompson up by 0.8, Rincon up by almost 0.6. Is there lead in the drinking water at Busch III? I would also like to point out that several of the players listed above are no longer with the Cardinals: Scott Seabol, Bo Hart, Evan Rust, Julian Tavarez, and Mike Lincoln are no longer with the organization.
   46. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 05, 2006 at 06:04 PM (#1807724)
Goodness. I don't know what went into this study, but it seems pretty worthless. Is there any particular reason why every single pitcher on the Cardinal roster is projected to do worse than they did last season, mostly by massive amounts?

- The Cardinals have been quite lucky with their pitching, with pretty much nothing going wrong. Hell, the only ones that didn't overachieve from their history were Mulder or Marquis, who both have peripherals going the wrong direction. History and the mean are two very powerful forces in projecting pitchers and if you want to believe that the Cardinals are immune to that, more power to you. Hell, if 2005 is the "true" level of ability of Carpenter and Thompson, for instance, you'd be looking at the 2nd-best starter and reliever in baseball history.

- I'm predicting a higher level of offense than 2005.


I would also like to point out that several of the players listed above are no longer with the Cardinals: Scott Seabol, Bo Hart, Evan Rust, Julian Tavarez, and Mike Lincoln are no longer with the organization.


Which is nice, but irrelevant, since this isn't a list of the 2006 Cardinals roster. Players are listed with their last team until they sign elsewhere.
   47. TomH Posted: January 05, 2006 at 07:53 PM (#1807952)
Is there any particular reason why every single pitcher on the Cardinal roster is projected to do worse than they did last season, mostly by massive amounts?

FWIW, as good as the Cards' defense was in '05, it might be even better this year. Full year of Rolen. Another year of adjustment for Molina should help. St. Louis ain't the best pitcher's park in the NL, but my guess is that a pitcher would do better there than San Diego or Washington or anywhere else.
   48. 1k5v3L Posted: January 05, 2006 at 07:58 PM (#1807963)
Tom, how do you know what kind of a park the stadium in STL will be?
   49. greenback calls it soccer Posted: January 05, 2006 at 11:52 PM (#1808407)
FWIW, as good as the Cards' defense was in '05, it might be even better this year.

Grudzielanek to Spivey is a big downgrade.

The new park evidently has deeper power alleys than Busch II.
   50. Vidor Posted: January 07, 2006 at 05:26 PM (#1810376)
The Cardinals have been quite lucky with their pitching, with pretty much nothing going wrong. Hell, the only ones that didn't overachieve from their history were Mulder or Marquis, who both have peripherals going the wrong direction. History and the mean are two very powerful forces in projecting pitchers and if you want to believe that the Cardinals are immune to that, more power to you. Hell, if 2005 is the "true" level of ability of Carpenter and Thompson, for instance, you'd be looking at the 2nd-best starter and reliever in baseball history.


OK. Now I see where you're coming from, and why your projections have no validity. You attribute the performance of every Cardinal pitcher to luck, and thus assume they will all be worse. This is flawed from two perspectives. First, a pitcher who is lucky can be lucky again, maybe even more lucky. So even if we assume it is purely random luck, your assumption that EVERY SINGLE CARDINAL PITCHER will do worse next year, and much worse for the most part, can be rejected out of hand. Now, here's the second reason your method is flawed. Maybe there's another reason why Cardinal pitchers tend to do better than their past history suggests they might. Here it is (drumroll, please): Maybe Dave Duncan is a very good pitching coach. Maybe the Cardinal organization is a very good organization that excels at taking pitchers and getting them to maximize their ability in a way that, say, the people who run the Toronto Blue Jays (Chris Carpenter's old team) don't. So, if that's the reason that Cardinal pitchers tend to do well, and I think it is, any methodology that attributes their performance to luck and concludes that they're ALL bound to do worse can be rejected.

Here's a question for you: did you do the same projections for the Cardinals prior to the 2005 season, and if so, what did they predict? Let's look at Carpenter. In six seasons with Toronto, Carp had an ERA of 4.83. He comes to St. Louis, and goes 15-5 with a 3.46 ERA for the '04 Cardinals--that ERA being nearly 1.4 runs below his career mark and 0.63 below his previous best of 4.09 in 2001. What did you predict for Carpenter in 2005, if anything? B/c if one assumed that Carp's 2004 was "lucky, with pretty much nothing going wrong", then one might have predicted an ERA of, oh, 4.00 in 2005. Instead we got 2.83, 21-5, and a Cy Young.

Just because one uses a computer to project something doesn't mean that projection has any validity. I suggest to you that this one does not, and, further, that the next time you do a projection that assumes that every single pitcher on a team's staff will do worse than the year before, you should stop and re-evaluate what you are doing wrong.

Which is nice, but irrelevant, since this isn't a list of the 2006 Cardinals roster.


Well, the article is titled "2006 ZiPS Projections - St. Louis Cardinals", and at least five of the players listed are not Cardinals. Also, you list Rick Ankiel as a pitcher, which he is not.
   51. greenback calls it soccer Posted: January 07, 2006 at 06:45 PM (#1810437)
Here's a question for you: did you do the same projections for the Cardinals prior to the 2005 season, and if so, what did they predict?

Yes, he did, and the Cardinals looked about five wins better then than they do now. D-Szym also did projections for the 2004 season, and when we ran his projections through Diamond Mind, the simulated Cardinals routinely won over 100 games.

Do your homework, pal, before throwing mud around.
   52. Russ Posted: January 07, 2006 at 06:57 PM (#1810447)
Well, the article is titled "2006 ZiPS Projections - St. Louis Cardinals", and at least five of the players listed are not Cardinals. Also, you list Rick Ankiel as a pitcher, which he is not.

This statement is idiotic and why people who are serious about the analysis of baseball have no time for luddites of any kind.
   53. greenback calls it soccer Posted: January 07, 2006 at 08:20 PM (#1810537)
He isn't a Luddite. He's a Cardinal fan with stat-head tendencies, upset that someone would post some Big Stat-Expert's Bad Things about his team on his (elsewhere) message board. What's funny is that Szymborski has made it abundantly clear that he recognizes the limits of computer projections. What's sad is some folks also wanted to throw out the computer when it said Bad Things about the pitching staff prior to the 2003 season.
   54. Dr. Vaux Posted: January 08, 2006 at 03:30 AM (#1810889)
Anyway, the point isn't past ERA performance, it's what the peripherals said. That eliminates the Duncan argument right there, because he didn't make the pitchers actually pitch any better than they did before.
   55. bibigon Posted: January 08, 2006 at 07:01 AM (#1811059)
First, a pitcher who is lucky can be lucky again, maybe even more lucky. So even if we assume it is purely random luck, your assumption that EVERY SINGLE CARDINAL PITCHER will do worse next year, and much worse for the most part, can be rejected out of hand.


No, it can't be.

Obviously not every single Cardinals pitcher will do worse next year. I don't think anyone thinks that they will. However, the question for ZiPS is: Which individual pitcher should be projected to do better next year?

To give an analogy, lets say I have a projection system for coin flips. I have 100 individually named coins which I'll flip two times each. Any reasonably projection system for these coins is going to project every single one of them to come up heads once, and tails once. And yet obviously, some coins are going to deviate from that. Some will hit heads twice in a row, some will hit tails twice in a row. Does that mean my projection system can be "rejected out of hand"?

The relevant question is "Can I predict which coins are going to get lucky, and hit heads twice in a row?" Obviously I cannot.

The same is true of MLB projections. Which obviously some players are going to get lucky, you can't reasonably project any individual player to get lucky.


Your second point has a great deal more validity, and I don't think anyone, surely not Dan, would dispute the idea that a computer projection system gives us an imperfect picture of the future.

However, while it's possible that there's something going on here besides good luck for the Cards in 2005, it's also possible that there's not. I don't know. I have my guesses, but they're not really much more than that. When we don't know what other factors are relevant, it's a bit silly to condemn a projection system for failing to take into account factors which we don't know much about.

Every computer projection system in the world suffers from this failing. While it's a legitimate failing, it's at the same time, an unavoidable one.
   56. Dr. Vaux Posted: January 08, 2006 at 07:55 AM (#1811087)
Obviously not every single Cardinals pitcher will do worse next year. I don't think anyone thinks that they will.

This just cries out for a post by "ntr Vaux." Too bad I'm already Vaux...
   57. TOLAXOR Posted: January 08, 2006 at 02:56 PM (#1811187)
IS THE PRIOR FOR CARPENTER REALLY EVERY OTHER PITCHER, OR WOULD IT BE MORE REALISTIC TO VIEW CARPENTER WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF OTHER DUNCAN PROJECTS????

MAYBE I'M OVERESTIMATING THE EFFECT OF A COACH ON INJURIES AND PERFORMANCE, AND WHILE I DON'T EXPECT CARP TO BE CY AGAIN NEXT YEAR, I DON'T EXPECT HIM TO IMPLODE....

JUST GUT, BUT I'D BE WILLING TO RUN MY GUT THROUGH A BAYESIAN ANALYSIS AND COMPARE THE RESULTS WITH HIS REAL 2006....
   58. Vidor Posted: January 08, 2006 at 03:19 PM (#1811196)
Obviously not every single Cardinals pitcher will do worse next year. I don't think anyone thinks that they will. However, the question for ZiPS is: Which individual pitcher should be projected to do better next year?


Well, Mr. Syzmborski projects precisely that. At least, he does for the major-league staff. Am I alone in thinking that reveals a flawed study? I could easily accept certain Cardinal pitchers suffering a decline in performance. I could also easily accept a record in the neighborhood of 87-75...I think that's on the low end of what we can expect the Cardinals to do in 2006, but it's possible. But how likely is it that almost every Cardinal pitcher will do worse (with the exception of Ponson, who probably couldn't do worse if he put the ball on a tee), as projected above? That doesn't seem unlikely to anybody but me?
   59. bibigon Posted: January 08, 2006 at 05:53 PM (#1811267)
Ok. I'll rephrase.

Which specific projection do you disagree with?
   60. cardsfanboy Posted: January 08, 2006 at 07:55 PM (#1811404)
Ok. I'll rephrase.

Which specific projection do you disagree with?


well, you can start with Issy's ERA. He hasn't had an era over 3.00 in four seasons in St Louis, no reason to think he will now. Although the rest of his pojection seems in line with what you would expect.

Mulder I would have to take some umbrage too also. It just doesn't seem likely for him to regress that much in era. Beyond that, I don't really have a problem with Carpenters projection, I don't agree with either Suppan or Marquis projections but I know that Suppan almost always does bad in these projections, so I pretty much ignore whatever they say about him. And Marquis is a 'leap' of faith, he is playing for a contract, and has shown tremendous ability when he actually listens to his pitching coach, the motivation is there for a big season, and it wouldn't surprise me at all to see a Millwood like season out of him.
   61. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 08, 2006 at 11:52 PM (#1811708)
The fact is, the regression to the mean is an incredibly strong factor. You take a bunch of good pitchers and a bunch of bad pitchers and the former group is going to decline and the latter group is going to improve. A lot of the lesser projections are improvements over 2005.

Simply put, if you have a team that's truly excellent pitching-wise, you can expect most of the pitchers to decline. (I'm considering within 5 points of ERA+ as pitching the same).

In 2004, the Braves had the best ERA in the league. They had 11 pitchers log 50 innings or more. How did they do in 2005?

1 showed improvement (Hampton, in a dozen starts), 2 stayed about the same, 8 declined. Everyone with an ERA+ higher than 110 in '04 pitched worse in '05.

The Dodgers had the best ERA the year before. It wasn't even close - the Dodgers bested 2nd by more than half a run. How did the Dodger pitchers fare after that excellent season?

1 showed improvement (Odalis Perez with an ERA+ of 89, 2nd worst on the team). 1 stayed about the same (Darren Dreifort). The other 10? 9 of them pitched worse, the 10th never pitched again in the majors.

Going back again, the 2002 Braves led the league in ERA. They had 13 pitchers to log 50 innings. How many pitchers pitched better in 2003? One (Smoltz). All 12 of the other pitchers pitched worse in 2003.

Should we keep going?
   62. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: January 09, 2006 at 12:02 AM (#1811713)
Mulder I would have to take some umbrage too also. It just doesn't seem likely for him to regress that much in era

That's a better ERA than he had in 2003 in a pitcher's park. It could be argued, what with his swooning peripherals -- walk rates up from early in his career, K rates way down -- that last season was a fluke for Mulder. It seems unlikely to me that he'll ever be much more than a slightly above-average innings eater again. Which is a fine thing to be; but a lot of people are expecting the Mark Mulder we saw pre-injury, and I don't think that guys exists anymore.
   63. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: January 09, 2006 at 01:16 AM (#1811784)
But how likely is it that almost every Cardinal pitcher will do worse

Besides, teh model predicts each pitcher *independent of the other pitchers*.

You take the pitcher, his 05 season and his previous 3 seasons. You regress. Is he likely to decline - then you have that result.

then you do the next pitcher. It isn't done in the context of "The whole team declines".

Cardinal fans...
   64. greenback calls it soccer Posted: January 09, 2006 at 02:05 AM (#1811828)
That's a great post, Dan.

It could be argued, what with his swooning peripherals -- walk rates up from early in his career, K rates way down -- that last season was a fluke for Mulder. It seems unlikely to me that he'll ever be much more than a slightly above-average innings eater again.

Yes, although he looks an awful lot like Tom Glavine to me. Of course lefties who don't strike a lot of batters out are always compared to Glavine, but Mulder actually has (or at least had) some talent.

He hasn't had an era over 3.00 in four seasons in St Louis, no reason to think he will now.

A K/BB sinking below 2 in 2005 is at least one reason.
   65. cardsfanboy Posted: January 09, 2006 at 02:14 AM (#1811835)
That's a better ERA than he had in 2003 in a pitcher's park. It could be argued, what with his swooning peripherals -- walk rates up from early in his career, K rates way down -- that last season was a fluke for Mulder. It seems unlikely to me that he'll ever be much more than a slightly above-average innings eater again. Which is a fine thing to be; but a lot of people are expecting the Mark Mulder we saw pre-injury, and I don't think that guys exists anymore.

but his previous season was in the al, the era is roughly .5 ra higher. Personally I don't agree with the opinion that Mulder will be nothing more than a slightly above average pitcher. He was an 'elite' level pitcher the first half of 2004, he was an elite level pitcher the second half of 2005, it was that one year(allstar 2004-allstar 2005) of being bad that distorts everyone's analysis of him.
   66. greenback calls it soccer Posted: January 09, 2006 at 02:43 AM (#1811855)
he was an elite level pitcher the second half of 2005

He was a fluke, an empty ERA with crappy strikeout and walk totals.
   67. cardsfanboy Posted: January 09, 2006 at 03:30 AM (#1811921)
He was a fluke, an empty ERA with crappy strikeout and walk totals.

umm ok.... I have never understood this fascination with strikeouts, but ok. I mean john Tudor had a pretty solid era without having good k or even low bb rates. I don't think that Mulder is an ace, but a solid number two, with periodic good years is definately likely, and a career high (since his rookie year) just seems way out of whacked.

I mean era last few years---3.64/4.43/3.13/3.47/3.45...hmmm...which era do you think doesn't really belong on this list....
   68. Sparkles Peterson Posted: January 09, 2006 at 04:13 AM (#1811989)
Actually, Mulder's walk total was pretty solid in the second half of 2005. His K/BB ratio wasn't that exceptional, but he basically avoided the three true outcomes entirely and let his defense do the work for him. The result was a line against of .266/.342/.367. It's not great, but it'll keep his ERA under 4. The question is whether he gets that much defensive support next season.
   69. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: January 09, 2006 at 04:34 AM (#1812023)
Actually, Mulder's walk total was pretty solid in the second half of 2005

Wrong. He walked more people in fewer innings after the 2005 All-Star break than he did before.
   70. cardsfanboy Posted: January 09, 2006 at 04:48 AM (#1812042)
yep, he mostly reduced his homeruns in the second half, everything else seems pretty close to what he did, or within normal range.
   71. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: January 09, 2006 at 04:58 AM (#1812061)
I have never understood this fascination with strikeouts, but ok

DIPS
   72. cardsfanboy Posted: January 09, 2006 at 05:19 AM (#1812083)
I understand dips just fine, I don't think it's the end all of the world for projection, Especially if you consider the fact that 'dips' reportedly is independent of defense, so if you are ignoring defense to make projections, you really aren't doing that good of a job.

of course, I really don't think he is using dips, I think he is using Component Era (or a similar model), to come up with his projections. Which is fine, but it's out of whack with what Marcel would predict by a tremendous amount, that it just seems messed up.

of course this is only for Mulder, I understand why Suppan gets his numbers, and the others, I just think it's severely understimating Mulder, not just a little but by over .50 to .70 ERA.
   73. cardsfanboy Posted: January 09, 2006 at 05:44 AM (#1812095)
Vaux, the insane musicologist Posted: January 07, 2006 at 09:30 PM (#1810889)
Anyway, the point isn't past ERA performance, it's what the peripherals said. That eliminates the Duncan argument right there, because he didn't make the pitchers actually pitch any better than they did before.


how can you say that with a straight face? Of course he made them pitch better than they did before, if not their era would resemble what their periphereals say they should. The thing is that cardinal pitchers get 'lucky' because of defense, smarter manager, smarter coaching, heck positive karma from the best fans in baseball.
   74. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: January 09, 2006 at 05:45 AM (#1812097)
Just a pithy reminder of why strikeouts are important -- especially if you're prone to walking a lot of people.
   75. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: January 09, 2006 at 05:48 AM (#1812100)
smarter manager

Oh yeah?
   76. cardsfanboy Posted: January 09, 2006 at 05:55 AM (#1812103)
I understand why k's are important, but I feel that people overrate it's importance when evaluating pitcheers.

It may be a great tool for longer term projections, and definately a useful tool for youngsters, but I just don't see the season to season success stories that people claim they have.

John Tudor had a terrific 10 year career without striking out a lot or reducing walks. Personally ERA is the only final number I care about a starting pitcher(well RA also) and I just don't see Mulder throwing out his worse regular season era by a tremendous amount(not counting his rookie year)

I have no idea if Dan didn't adjust for league differences going from the al to the nl when weighing his numbers or not, but it just looks way out of reason for Mulder to flop that quickly, from ace level to a number four(borderline at that) I mean that projects to 100 even ERA+....from a guy that has posted 117/106/136/134/126
   77. cardsfanboy Posted: January 09, 2006 at 05:58 AM (#1812104)
Linux Linus (Voxter) Posted: January 08, 2006 at 11:48 PM (#1812100)
smarter manager

Oh yeah?


well yea, I'm not too sure how many other managers have TLR's track record of getting performances out of his players, easily one of the five smartest managers in the game right now (contrary to idiots that seem to think whiney herzog is actually better....please)
   78. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: January 09, 2006 at 06:12 AM (#1812108)
Tudor wasn't fabulous at minimizing walks, but almost never walked as many as Mulder has in his last two full seasons. And furthermore -- have you any other examples? It's nice that one guy was all right, but what does that mean as regards Mark Mulder?
   79. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 09, 2006 at 06:40 AM (#1812114)
but it just looks way out of reason for Mulder to flop that quickly, from ace level to a number four(borderline at that) I mean that projects to 100 even ERA+....from a guy that has posted 117/106/136/134/126

If that K rate decline continues, it might be optimistic. A K rate as bad as Mulder's is enough of a warning sign as it is - that it represents a decline is an even worse sign. Mulder's lost nearly a third of his strikeouts the last few years. That's a big red warning light.

I have no idea if Dan didn't adjust for league differences going from the al to the nl when weighing his numbers or not, but it just looks way out of reason for Mulder to flop that quickly, from ace level to a number four(borderline at that) I mean that projects to 100 even ERA+....from a guy that has posted 117/106/136/134/126

Nope, adjusted for league differences and adjusted for an estimate of team defensive quality.

Mulder can't even be called a DIPS error - he didn't get a low ERA because of a low $H that could theoretically maintained. He simply allowed less runs from the stuff he did than other pitchers. He's also not a guy who regularly beats ZiPS; ZiPS had Mulder at 16-9, 3.63 for 2005 as opposed to his actual 16-8, 3.64 that he ended up at.
   80. cardsfanboy Posted: January 09, 2006 at 07:38 AM (#1812139)
Linux Linus (Voxter) Posted: January 09, 2006 at 12:12 AM (#1812108)
Tudor wasn't fabulous at minimizing walks, but almost never walked as many as Mulder has in his last two full seasons. And furthermore -- have you any other examples? It's nice that one guy was all right, but what does that mean as regards Mark Mulder?


Andy Pettite when he was the same age as Mulder had more walks.
Tom Glavine, warren spahn, frank tanana when he was 28, catfish hunter(tad better control), orel hershiser, tommy john, red ruffing, ...

just a few guys who had good careers even after their k/9 dropped and a normal bb/9. I think history is full of people that were 'ace' level pitchers who had a drop and was able to maintain their ability.
   81. greenback calls it soccer Posted: January 09, 2006 at 12:38 PM (#1812210)
History doesn't have a lot of aces with K/BB around 1.2, which is what Mulder had during his "elite" second half.

Mulder's lost nearly a third of his strikeouts the last few years. That's a big red warning light.

Mulder's walk rate has gone up over the same period, which makes the warning light that much brighter. Something's not right here.
   82. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 09, 2006 at 03:02 PM (#1812286)
just a few guys who had good careers even after their k/9 dropped and a normal bb/9. I think history is full of people that were 'ace' level pitchers who had a drop and was able to maintain their ability.

These example aren't helping your case for Mulder. Tanana most certainly didn't maintain his ability. Andy Pettitte did not have a dropping strikeout rate and, in fact, wasn't very good the years that he pitched to batters like Mulder. Hunter was done as a quality pitcher at the age of 30. All of Hershiser's best seasons were before the K rate drop.

Red Ruffing never struck out a lot of batters, but he's from a low strikeout era. Spahn's Ks didn't drop off until his 40s and he was about done anyway. Glavine's nowhere near as good as he used to be.
   83. Steve G. Posted: January 09, 2006 at 03:22 PM (#1812303)
If that K rate decline continues, it might be optimistic. A K rate as bad as Mulder's is enough of a warning sign as it is - that it represents a decline is an even worse sign. Mulder's lost nearly a third of his strikeouts the last few years. That's a big red warning light.


One possibility to consider - did Mulder's drop in strikeouts come entirely from a decrease in ability, or perhaps partially from Duncan/LaRussa's coaching philosophy of leaning on the defense?
   84. greenback calls it soccer Posted: January 09, 2006 at 05:53 PM (#1812558)
Explaining the drop as a change in philosophy would make more sense if his walk rate also had dropped. Of course he did manage to cut down the homers in the second half.
   85. Steve G. Posted: January 09, 2006 at 07:03 PM (#1812658)
Explaining the drop as a change in philosophy would make more sense if his walk rate also had dropped.


I'm not sure I follow you here. Just because Mulder's focus (as a result of game preparation and coaching) may have been to achieve as many ground balls as possible, doesn't mean that the walks necessarily had to dip as a result of this strategy. Perhaps Mulder was trying to induce bad contact on borderline pitches or pitches that were entirely out of the strike zone?
   86. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: January 09, 2006 at 09:47 PM (#1812973)
a normal bb/9

That's not what Mulder has. Last year, Mulder walked more 3.07 men per nine innings, which is higher than normal. Among the 92 pitchers who qualified for the ERA title last year, 19 had worse walk rates than Mulder; only one of those guys -- Gustavo Chacin -- was able to be post a RA+ over league average with fewer than 6.77 K/9. And Chacin (5.36) was higher than Mulder (4.77).

The year before, he walked 3.31 per 9, albeit with a significantly better K rate (though, at 5.58/9, it still wasn't stunnigly high). And his ERA reflected it. If you're expecting a lot of ERAs in the 3.00s from Mulder going forward, I think you're in for a big shock, unless he brings his walks back under control or starts striking more people out.
   87. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: January 09, 2006 at 09:51 PM (#1812983)
I'm not sure I follow you here. Just because Mulder's focus (as a result of game preparation and coaching) may have been to achieve as many ground balls as possible,

The philosophy of "leaning on the defense" means allowing balls to be put into play -- the idea being that you allow your gloves to determine whether or not men reach base. Walking a lot of people is contrary to the goal of leaning on the defense because, just like striking people out, it takes any opportunity for getting an out from an individual at-bat out of the fielders' hands.
   88. greenback calls it soccer Posted: June 22, 2006 at 01:14 AM (#2071584)
Bump.
   89. Dan Szymborski Posted: June 22, 2006 at 01:51 AM (#2071732)
This is a nice change of pace a bumped thread in which I don't turn out looking like an idiot!
   90. The Keith Law Blog Blah Blah (battlekow) Posted: June 22, 2006 at 01:51 AM (#2071735)
I wonder if ZiPS forsaw tonight's 13-run disaster from Marquis.

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