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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Saturday, October 28, 2006

2007 ZiPS Projections - Cleveland Indians


Name               P Age   AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS
Travis Hafner*        1b 30 .300 .421 .601 135 464 89 139 36 1 34 114 90 116 1 0
Victor Martinez#      c   28 .304 .385 .477 146 539 74 164 36 0 19 92 70 74 0 0
Grady Sizemore*      cf 24 .287 .364 .508 162 652 126 187 45 9 27 85 71 134 20 7
Kevin Kouzmanoff       3b 25 .286 .342 .465 87 301 41 86 19 1 11 43 23 63 3 2
Shin-Soo Choo*        cf 24 .280 .361 .427 134 482 81 135 27 4 12 62 59 100 18 8
Casey Blake         rf 33 .260 .339 .457 133 481 67 125 27 1 22 72 53 114 4 4
Jhonny Peralta       ss 25 .274 .343 .431 143 541 89 148 34 3 15 72 57 135 2 2
Joe Inglett*        2b 29 .296 .350 .399 101 338 49 100 18 4 3 30 27 50 7 4
Jason DuBois         lf 28 .251 .315 .452 115 387 52 97 25 1 17 68 34 118 2 1
Ryan Garko           1b 26 .251 .335 .407 131 454 60 114 24 1 15 69 46 89 2 3
Jason Michaels       cf 31 .267 .339 .387 116 401 60 107 24 0 8 47 42 82 5 4
Andy Marte           3b 23 .234 .318 .420 132 462 62 108 30 1 18 56 54 101 1 1
Hector Luna         2b 25 .260 .316 .373 112 327 41 85 21 2 4 35 25 86 9 4
Franklin Gutierrez     cf 24 .250 .319 .377 127 456 75 114 32 1 8 37 44 98 9 6
Lou Merloni         3b 36 .249 .321 .358 90 285 26 71 19 0 4 29 24 51 1 1
Ben Francisco         cf 25 .246 .307 .383 124 452 63 111 26 3 10 46 36 74 15 7
Brad Snyder*        rf 25 .229 .297 .382 134 490 72 112 27 3 14 51 45 169 12 3
Kelly Shoppach       c   27 .219 .291 .392 97 324 43 71 17 0 13 44 31 109 0 0
Mike Rouse*          ss 27 .234 .314 .344 113 381 57 89 22 1 6 48 41 80 2 1
Aaron Boone         3b 34 .238 .301 .365 122 416 50 99 18 1 11 53 32 78 5 3
Ryan Goleski         rf 25 .224 .293 .384 124 424 56 95 26 0 14 58 38 125 4 3
Jason Alfaro         2b 28 .242 .286 .371 111 388 39 94 24 1 8 48 21 61 2 2
Michael Aubrey*      1b 25 .229 .292 .344 28 96 12 22 5 0 2 11   7 16 0 0
Jake Gautreau*        2b 27 .214 .283 .368 100 337 44 72 19 0 11 40 30 78 1 1
Jason Cooper*        lf 26 .208 .283 .368 123 424 56 88 20 3 14 58 41 132 3 2
Jared Sandberg       1b 29 .204 .272 .349 111 373 46 76 24 0 10 46 32 122 2 1
Asdrubal Cabrera#      ss 21 .232 .291 .323 112 396 61 92 20 2 4 35 30 79 5 6
Brandon Pinckney       ss 25 .232 .278 .323 103 362 45 84 22 1 3 34 20 47 3 1
Stephen Head*        1b 23 .208 .276 .326 113 408 55 85 21 0 9 44 34 61 1 1
Ivan Ochoa#          ss 24 .220 .287 .267 122 378 42 83 11 2 1 21 31 78 13 7
Dave Wallace         c   27 .167 .252 .298 70 215 24 36 10 0 6 17 22 68 1 1

Player Spotlight (Beta) - Grady Sizemore
Name           AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS
Optimistic (15%)  .304 .391 .566 162 652 143 198 51 12 32 97 80 124 24 6
Mean         .287 .364 .508 162 652 126 187 45 9 27 85 71 134 20 7
Pessimistic (15%) .262 .331 .438 141 569 94 149 33 5 19 62 54 133 13 7

Name               Age   ERA   W   L   G GS   INN   H   ER HR   BB   K
Matt Miller           35   2.81   3   1 44   1   48.0   37   15   1   21   45
Rafael Betancourt       32   3.34   6   2 55   0   62.0   57   23   6   15   62
Edward Mujica         23   3.44   3   2 47   0   68.0   69   26   5   13   48
C.C. Sabathia*        26   3.61 15   8 30 30   192.0 183   77 20   54 167
Fernando Cabrera       25   4.08   5   3 49   0   75.0   65   34 11   31   85
Jake Westbrook         29   4.09 17   9 32 32   209.0 223   95 18   55 109
Jason Davis           27   4.14   8   4 38 11   111.0 118   51 10   34   74
Jeremy Sowers*        24   4.24 12   8 28 28   176.0 185   83 18   46   90
Adam Miller           22   4.27 10   7 24 23   139.0 137   66 15   48 107
Vic Darensbourg*      36   4.41   3   3 47   0   49.0   48   24   4   22   35
Cliff Lee*          28   4.55 13 10 32 32   192.0 201   97 27   59 137
Tom Mastny           26   4.55   4   4 43   7   95.0   98   48 10   37   59
Paul Byrd           36   4.55 11   9 29 29   176.0 200   89 24   33   88
Juan Lara*          26   4.57   4   3 54   0   69.0   70   35   8   28   49
Brian Slocum         26   4.62   5   5 29 17   109.0 112   56 14   43   80
Rafael Perez*        25   4.68   8   7 36 17   123.0 128   64 16   43   75
Andrew Brown         26   4.69   4   4 48   0   71.0   68   37   9   34   56
Fausto Carmona         23   4.75   9   8 35 19   144.0 163   76 20   36   83
Chuck Lofgren*        21   4.96   9   9 23 23   127.0 131   70 12   62   74
Aaron Laffey*        22   4.96   8   8 28 23   156.0 179   86 17   51   59
Jake Dittler         24   5.11   9   9 26 25   162.0 187   92 17   66   66
Brian Sikorski         32   5.18   2   2 29   0   33.0   37   19   8   7   32
Jeremy Guthrie         28   5.29   8 10 29 23   148.0 161   87 20   69   85
Jason Stanford*        30   5.49   4   6 20 18   95.0 104   58 15   39   50
Sean Smith           23   5.50   7   9 29 26   162.0 181   99 24   69   88
Nick Pesco           23   5.79   7 11 24 24   140.0 169   90 25   48   65
Rob Bell             30   5.84   7 10 30 20   134.0 154   87 26   43   70

Player Spotlight (Beta) -  C.C. Sabathia
              ERA   W   L   G GS INN   H   ER HR   BB   K
Optimistic (15%)  3.06 19   7 33 33 215 194   73 18   54 187
Mean           3.61 15   8 30 30 192 183   77 20   54 167
Pessimistic (15%)  4.41 11   9 25 25 155 162   76 18   50 132

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 2007. 
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: October 28, 2006 at 12:10 AM | 29 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Tony H. Posted: October 28, 2006 at 12:36 AM (#2226715)
CC!

Sowers' strikeout rate from this season is scary.

Like that Peralta projection. I wish I had some confidence that Eric Wedge could stick to a strict platoon, because Michaels/Choo would be perfectly acceptable.

Any chance we could get a Trevor Crowe projection?
   2. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: October 28, 2006 at 03:45 AM (#2227014)
These are great projections. Ah, the Indians, what a great team.

I have no clue what order the non-Royals teams in the AL Central will finish next year. Absolutely no clue. It has to be the most unpredictable division in baseball.
   3. Dan Szymborski Posted: October 28, 2006 at 03:54 AM (#2227034)
These are great projections. Ah, the Indians, what a great team.

Yeah, ZiPS seems to be saving all the computer love this year for the Indians and Angel pitchers.
   4. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: October 28, 2006 at 03:59 AM (#2227043)
I really like that Sizemore projection (the middle one, anyway). Andy Marte looks a little bit icky, though.
   5. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: October 28, 2006 at 04:13 AM (#2227062)
Andy Marte looks a little bit icky, though.

Yeah, Kouzmanoff's always been the better player. Of course, the Kouz is nearly two and a half years older, so Marte still probably has the higher ceiling. I still like this team a lot...if they can cobble together a bullpen and shore up the defense, they'll be right in the middle of the race next year.

Top priority over the offseason has to be second base, though I know Joe Average Fan would pillory me for not saying it's the bullpen. They've also got to do something about left field - Jason Michaels doesn't have enough secondary skills to be worthwhile if he's going to hit .280 with 10-12 home runs.

If it's my team I'd sign a good second baseman, grab a couple reliable relievers, toss Kouzmanoff an outfielder's mitt, and tell J-Mike to get used to life as a fourth outfielder. Choo plays right against RHP, Blake plays right against LHP. Blake gets ~30 starts at each of RF/3B/1B against righties, Martinez splits time between catcher and first, and Garko gets ~375 PA as a semi-regular first baseman.

We'll see how things actually shake out...I wouldn't be surprised at all to see Michaels get traded.
   6. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: October 28, 2006 at 04:19 AM (#2227074)
I might just jump off a bridge if Vic Darensbourg is on the 25-man roster at any point during the season.

One more request, Dan...any chance you could run the numbers on Hyang-Nam Choi? I know the guy's about 200 years old, but he was an absolute beast at Buffalo this year.
   7. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: October 28, 2006 at 04:29 AM (#2227084)
Top priority over the offseason has to be second base, though I know Joe Average Fan would pillory me for not saying it's the bullpen.

How is Joe Inglett's defense? Because if it's good, that projection makes him, you know, acceptable, if not good. The bullpen has been terrifying. Of course, doing something about the bullpen is going to be hit-or-miss, and a good 2B, while perhaps hard to find, would probably be more reliable if you found one.
   8. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: October 28, 2006 at 05:25 AM (#2227133)
Inglett's defense isn't catastrophic, but he's not really an asset out there either. I'd say he's maybe slightly below average defensively.

I like Inglett a lot, I've been calling for him to get a clear shot at a big-league job for years, but he's not someone you want to play every day if you're serious about making a run at a pennant.

As for the bullpen, they've got some useful pieces out there: Betancourt and Miller are very good, Davis is a reasonable long reliever/mop-up guy, God only knows what you're going to get from Cabrera and Carmona. Brown, Mujica and Mastny have succeeded pretty much everywhere they've ever been. You (conservatively) figure you're going to get solid contributions from four of the eight, and you need to go out and sign maybe two relievers. Juan Lara and Rafael Perez looked okay in short trials for the LOOGY job, so they probably don't need to go out and sign a lefty just for the sake of getting one.

Bullpens are so random though. Remember, this looked like it had a chance to be a great bullpen seven months ago. Then Cabrera lost his mojo, Miller blew out his elbow, Betancourt went off the steroids, Sauerbeck got wasted and hid in a shrubbery, Guillermo Mota turned into Rich Yett, and before you knew it, the season was over.
   9. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: October 28, 2006 at 05:38 AM (#2227141)
Bullpens are so random though.

That was pretty much my point. But I used many, many more words.
   10. Tony H. Posted: October 28, 2006 at 07:03 AM (#2227191)
Inglett's cool. To my untrained eye his range is ok, but I was a bit disappointed with his hands. They don't seem too good. I think he would be a good super-sub though. A Super-Joe that was actually worth a roster spot. I'm glad Shapiro finally listened to Dan.

If it were guaranteed that Matt Miller would stay healthy the bullpen would be in much better shape. I think Shapiro is going to break the bank/farm system to get a closer. He's just not going to risk another season like this, although I agree 2nd base has to be priority #1.

Pronk is a beast.

Also some Indians catch-all stuff I wanted to say: I have to say I was happy to see Ronnie Belliard getting a World Series win tonight. Good guy. And I'm not looking forward to Matt Underwood in the booth all season in '07.
   11. PanRains Posted: October 28, 2006 at 02:15 PM (#2227249)
Those numbers look pretty good, and I'll second what Dan and Tony are saying, that the bullpen has the capactiy to be pretty decent.

But, Dan, I'll turn this back on you. Which second baseman should they sign? By my understanding the following are available:

Belliard
Graffanino
Woodward
Loretta
Kennedy
Soriano (I'll throw that in there)

You could put these names into a hat and pick out the one who will have the best 2007; and that will be more accurate then scouting and numbercrunching (well, except for Woodward - he sucks). Aren't you better off going with Luna/Inglett/A Cabrera for under 1 M than any one of these guys for, what 3-4 M, probably for multiple years?

I've also seen rumors that Marcus Giles is available in trade, and even though I have a mancrush on both Giles brothers, I don't want to trade something of value for the right to pay him $5M in the last year of his contract, coming off a bad year. I would happily sign him over any of these guys if he was nontendered, though.

Also, what specifically would you like to do with the pen? I don't have a link to post, but the Free Agent relievers generally suck, are hurt, or both. I'm thinking I would like to sign Keith Foulke if he's nontendered by the Red Sox, but that may just be my Keith Foulke fanboy crush talking.

I'm also intrigued by Dotel and Gagne, but I assume someone else will give them far more guaranteed money than is prudent.

Definitely intrigued by this division in 2007, and those White Sox ZIPS made me a little more optimistic, but it will still be a 4 way dogfight.
   12. Kyle S Posted: October 28, 2006 at 02:28 PM (#2227252)
I'm taking the over on Marte's projection. I know, I know, I'm an idiot, but a stubborn idiot!
   13. Jim Wisinski Posted: October 28, 2006 at 02:36 PM (#2227257)
If I'm the Indians I go for Kennedy to shore up the defense.
   14. PanRains Posted: October 28, 2006 at 02:48 PM (#2227259)
If I'm the Indians I go for Kennedy to shore up the defense.


There's definitely a part of me that agrees with you, but according to Chris Dial's numbers Kennedy this year was towards the bottom of his list of AL 2B defensively. He'll also be 31 on Opening Day 2007, and made ~ $3.5 M last year while posting an OPS+ of 90, his 4th straight year in decline (granted, 102 to 98 to 97 to 90 may be more consistency than a decline).

I wouldn't be upset with him, and a few years ago I wanted him over Belly, but I would not be shocked if he fell off the earth as a player in the very near future.

By the way, did y'all notice that Brandon Phillips wound up with an OPS+ of 85, worse than (amongst others) Kennedy, Luna, Inglett, M Giles, Belliard, and Graffanino? Now, I assume he made up for the difference between him and these guys with the glove, and I'd still rather have him as a cheap player going forward than any of these guys, and the move to get rid of him was still not a good one, but wow, 85. That's the GAB right there, combined with an awful, awful, awful September.
   15. AROM Posted: October 28, 2006 at 03:03 PM (#2227264)
Belliard
Graffanino
Woodward
Loretta
Kennedy
Soriano (I'll throw that in there)

You could put these names into a hat and pick out the one who will have the best 2007


um, I'll take Soriano :-)

On Kennedy, trends are not predictive. I would expect him to bounce back a bit with the glove and bat. Because of his age and being kind of marginal, it should be a 1 year deal, but he's allright. I wouldn't mind seeing him return except for the fact we have Kendrick.
   16. Darren Posted: October 28, 2006 at 10:09 PM (#2227416)
What do the Cleveland fans think of Choo. I always thought he got a bum rap in Seattle and from the USS Mariner crowd (it's all about Doyle over there). One big knock was that he was a terrible defender. The other was that his bat wouldn't translate to ML, which seems not to be true.

For 2B, I've heard that the Giles is available and the Indians are after him. I don't remember where I read that though.
   17. Ben Posted: October 29, 2006 at 11:33 AM (#2227516)
Choo seemed a perfectly acceptable 4th outfielder who wouldn't embarrass you as half of a platoon. Defense wasn't notable either way.

Given the free agent situation, I'm completely OK with an Inglett/Luna 2B situation. Signing Belliard, IMO, is the most likely result and would be a pretty bad move.

We need to stop stockpiling unterrible players and start getting some actual long term solutions, though. Blake at 1B is a terrifying possibility, and Garko is not a contending team's fulltime 1B. We have 3 guys who should be playing 3B, kicking them to the outfield works in the shortterm when we don't have anyone better, but the value of having Martinez catching is wasted if we put .750 OPSs in the corner outfield spots and at 1B.

I think the team above can win the division, but it will require solid bench selection and usage and correctly identifying which of the 8 guys who could contribute to the back end of the bullpen actually will. This team has done poorly at that recently. If we can avoid disasters like big contracts to elderly closers and Lou Merloni on the 25 man roster we can do it. We've got 3-5 All-Stars and like 35 major league caliber players. We've got redundant players to trade and allegedly money to spend.
   18. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: October 29, 2006 at 02:39 PM (#2227547)
But, Dan, I'll turn this back on you. Which second baseman should they sign?

Well, apart from the obvious choice (Soriano), I wouldn't have a massive problem with Belliard at 3/$12. You'd probably be overpaying for year three, but it wouldn't be an albatross.

Marcus Giles would be ideal, but obviously that would depend on what the Braves want in return.

Also, what specifically would you like to do with the pen? I don't have a link to post, but the Free Agent relievers generally suck, are hurt, or both.

I don't think you break the bank here. You go dumpster diving - guys like Cliff Politte, Scott Williamson, Chad Bradford (although he's basically the same guy as Miller), maybe even David Riske. You get three or four on the cheap and assume a couple will flame out. I hate spending big money on relief pitching for the reasons you mentioned.

We need to stop stockpiling unterrible players and start getting some actual long term solutions, though. Blake at 1B is a terrifying possibility, and Garko is not a contending team's fulltime 1B. We have 3 guys who should be playing 3B, kicking them to the outfield works in the shortterm when we don't have anyone better, but the value of having Martinez catching is wasted if we put .750 OPSs in the corner outfield spots and at 1B.

Agreed here, though I think Garko's got a shot to do a good Brian Daubach impersonation for a few years.

If you've got money to spend, you go out and buy all-star caliber players. I'd like to see them bring in a slugging outfielder with the cash, but I expect them to blow it on a closer. Blargh.
   19. Tanto Posted: October 30, 2006 at 04:41 AM (#2227826)
Giles is definitely available. The Braves have never really liked him, but as long as he was hitting they didn't really have an excuse to trade him. With his off year and looming free agency, they now do. The buzz among Braves fans is Westbrook, but I'm not sure how the Indians value him. You could probably get Giles for an Estrada-esque package of relievers.
   20. Azteca Posted: October 30, 2006 at 07:17 PM (#2228159)
Since noone's drawn attention to Adam Miller's line, thought I should. If a spot opens up in the rotation in June, his numbers say he's ready.
   21. Kyle S Posted: October 30, 2006 at 07:21 PM (#2228163)
Westbrook is more valuable than Giles, especially if he's at all cost-controlled. I love Marcus, but unfortunately the Braves are employing a patented "sell low" strategy in his case. *sigh*

I think the Indians have been one of the teams mentioned in the running for Akinori Iwamura - I suppose if he really can play second, that'd be an option for them. I'm not terribly sanguine on his projected MLB performance - Dan, want to weigh in with what ZiPS thinks?
   22. DCA Posted: October 30, 2006 at 09:35 PM (#2228241)
Top priority over the offseason has to be second base, though I know Joe Average Fan would pillory me for not saying it's the bullpen.

What's wrong with Luna? He looks like a solidly average 2B (not so great after coming over last year, but quite decent for the Cards in a much larger sample size 2005-06). The only guys available likely to be any better are Durham and Soriano, and the former is an old injury risk and the latter will cost $60 million.

The bullpen will be fine. Betancourt, Cabrera, Miller, Mujica, and Davis are all as solid as not-elite RP can be, and I expect the five of them to combine for 4 seasons worth of slightly above-average relief work. Add a journeyman lefty specialist or two and play hot hand with the closer, and the pen won't be great but it won't be a liability.

The team's real problem is on the left end of the defensive spectrum: 1B/LF/RF. I'm sorry, but Michaels/Blake/Garko aren't going to cut it. Garko and Blake played over their heads last year, but those stats don't count anymore but you can't expect > 800 OPS going forward from either, and you need that out of at least one corner spot if you're going with question marks across the infield and a star-less pitching staff.
   23. Dan Szymborski Posted: October 30, 2006 at 10:08 PM (#2228260)
Iwamura in Cleveland, I get something in the 270/350/460 range.
   24. Kyle S Posted: October 30, 2006 at 10:20 PM (#2228266)
Wow, that's a lot more generous than Aaron's back-of-the-envelope stuff I used. There's a big difference between 350/460 and 340/430...
   25. bigseries Posted: October 30, 2006 at 10:26 PM (#2228271)
How does it happen that Sizemore has 1 more K in his mean projection than his pessimistic one?

Is that his line from the single simulation year at the 35th percentile?
   26. Dan Szymborski Posted: October 31, 2006 at 12:16 AM (#2228365)
How does it happen that Sizemore has 1 more K in his mean projection than his pessimistic one?

His pessimistic projection is only 1 less K, but in 83 less at-bats.

Is that his line from the single simulation year at the 35th percentile?

Rephrase? Not quite sure what you're asking.
   27. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: October 31, 2006 at 12:28 AM (#2228384)
What's wrong with Luna?

It's tough for me to get excited about .260/.316/.373 (his ZiPS projection) with a mediocre glove and no speed. Inglett's the better player IMO.

I think it really depends on how much money they're going to spend and how they're going to spend it. If they're going to add $12 million in payroll and sign one player, I think you have to get a 1B/LF/RF. Assuming they're going to add that $10-$12 million (or whatever) on multiple players, I don't think you're going to get a giant improvement on Blake/Michaels/Garko/Kouzmanoff/Choo/whoever for $4m-$5m a year.

I just think second base is the place they can improve the most for the least money.
   28. rbphilly Posted: November 01, 2006 at 10:54 PM (#2229842)
Hafner's number look a bit low. Can ZiPS predicate which crap southpaw will send Pronk to the DL for a month with an injured wrist in 2007?
   29. Mike Emeigh Posted: November 01, 2006 at 11:00 PM (#2229844)
Gut feeling: Sabathia's going to be closer to his pessimistic projection than he will be to his mean.

-- MWE

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