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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Sunday, January 04, 2009

2009 ZiPS Projections - Baltimore Orioles

Wieters!

There hasn’t been a lot to get excited about with the Orioles, but seeing the Orioles best offensive prospect in a quarter-century for a full season should serve to dull the pain of another likely last-place season.  Markakis and Jones are very good young players, but the last time I was this excited about seeing an Oriole game since Mussina’s last game of the 1991 season and the first time I got to see him pitch in person.

Luckily, the O’s didn’t leave any room for error with Wieters.  They don’t have a single catcher on the 40-man roster right now and only invited a bunch of clear non-starters with NRIs, so the chances of the team freaking out at a 4-for-30 stretch and sending him to the minors are quite low.

Overall, the team’s putting together a nice offensive core to build around of Wieters/Markakis/Jones.  Reimold should be a decent fill-in.  The unresolved question is the pitching.  The Orioles have a lot of arms, none of which are polished, complete pitchers, and there’s going to be a lot of ugly auditions the next couple of years.

I’d say the rebuilding has gone pretty well.  It would be nice if they could cash in Melvin Mora or Aubrey Huff, but the markets for those players seems to have been pretty non-existent (especially for the former).  Where the team needs to improve is recognizing that players with upside aren’t necessarily prospects - players like J.R. House aren’t going to be stars and maybe not even above-average, but when you need a stopgap while rebuilding, that’s the type of player you absolutely have to seek out.  There’s no upside to a Kevin Millar.  When you’re not in a “Win Now” mode, everyone on the field should have a chance at surprising in a good way.

In the meantime, however, I’ll figure out the best way to excitedly type out Wieters.  Wieters!  WIETERS!  WIETERS~!  TEH WIETERSZZZZZZ1111111111oneoneonemobiusfunctionvalueifninmu(n)isanevenpositivenumber~~~~!

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CATCHERS
———————————————————————————————————————————————————
Name               P Age   AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS OPS+ RNG

EXCELLENT
Matt Wieters#        c   23 .291 .361 .467 140 499 70 145 17 1 23 71 57 87 2 2 116 Av

POOR
Guillermo Rodriguez     c   31 .242 .308 .358 58 165 18 40 7 0 4 18 14 27 1 1   75 Av
Guillermo Quiroz       c   27 .232 .286 .343 59 181 15 42 8 0 4 24 13 38 0 0   65 Av
Omir Santos         c   28 .233 .284 .307 82 270 25 63 11 0 3 30 16 51 1 1   56 Fr
Chad Moeller         c   34 .206 .262 .317 66 180 16 37 8 0 4 18 11 44 0 0   51 Fr

———————————————————————————————————————————————————
FIRST BASEMEN
———————————————————————————————————————————————————
Name               P Age   AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS OPS+ RNG

AVERAGE
———————————————————————————————————————————————————
Aubrey Huff*        dh 32 .274 .342 .466 145 541 74 148 34 2 22 80 53 101 1 1 110 Fr

FAIR
Oscar Salazar         1b 31 .284 .327 .460 136 517 72 147 32 1 19 83 34 70 5 3 103 Pr

POOR
Kevin Millar         1b 37 .243 .338 .379 126 449 57 109 22 0 13 55 61 84 0 0   89 Fr
Scott Moore*        3b 25 .236 .301 .397 108 368 48 87 18 1 13 48 29 90 4 2   82 Av
Brandon Waring       3b 23 .237 .294 .384 119 464 46 110 20 0 16 55 31 121 1 0   74 Av
Michael Costanzo*      3b 25 .237 .302 .366 119 459 54 109 18 1 13 57 41 133 2 0   75 Av
Brandon Snyder       1b 22 .247 .281 .357 126 490 52 121 18 0 12 52 22 90 1 1   67 Av

———————————————————————————————————————————————————
SECOND BASEMEN
———————————————————————————————————————————————————
Name               P Age   AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS OPS+ RNG

EXCELLENT
Brian Roberts#        2b 31 .285 .370 .427 147 586 97 167 42 4 11 55 80 93 39 7 109 Av

VERY GOOD
Oscar Salazar         1b 31 .284 .327 .460 136 517 72 147 32 1 19 83 34 70 5 3 103 Pr

FAIR
Ryan Freel           cf 33 .258 .332 .371 84 283 42 73 16 2 4 19 27 52 18 7   82 Fr
Donnie Murphy         ss 25 .241 .297 .424 101 340 46 82 20 0 14 36 24 90 4 2   87 Av

POOR
Justin Turner         2b 24 .251 .297 .354 119 474 55 119 19 0 10 49 28 70 9 4   71 Fr
Alex Cintron#        ss 30 .263 .301 .345 83 232 25 61 8 1 3 24 12 34 3 2   70 Fr
Eider Torres#        ss 26 .264 .306 .329 125 484 59 128 17 1 4 40 29 64 29 11   68 Fr
Cesar Izturis#        ss 29 .248 .302 .294 104 327 36 81 10 1 1 19 23 22 10 4   58 Av
Brandon Fahey*        ss 28 .233 .293 .309 121 356 42 83 12 3 3 35 28 62 7 5   59 Av
Freddie Bynum*        ss 29 .219 .275 .303 80 201 27 44 7 2 2 16 14 56 8 3   52 Av
Juan Castro         ss 37 .208 .259 .281 76 178 17 37 7 0 2 13 12 31 0 0   42 Av

———————————————————————————————————————————————————
THIRD BASEMEN
———————————————————————————————————————————————————
Name               P Age   AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS OPS+ RNG

VERY GOOD
Aubrey Huff*        dh 32 .274 .342 .466 145 541 74 148 34 2 22 80 53 101 1 1 110 Pr

AVERAGE
Oscar Salazar         1b 31 .284 .327 .460 136 517 72 147 32 1 19 83 34 70 5 3 103 Pr
———————————————————————————————————————————————————

FAIR
Melvin Mora         3b 37 .265 .328 .427 116 438 61 116 22 2 15 75 35 70 4 4   97 Av
Ryan Freel           cf 33 .258 .332 .371 84 283 42 73 16 2 4 19 27 52 18 7   82 Fr

POOR
Donnie Murphy         ss 25 .241 .297 .424 101 340 46 82 20 0 14 36 24 90 4 2   87 Av
Scott Moore*        3b 25 .236 .301 .397 108 368 48 87 18 1 13 48 29 90 4 2   82 Fr
Brandon Waring       3b 23 .237 .294 .384 119 464 46 110 20 0 16 55 31 121 1 0   74 Fr
Michael Costanzo*      3b 25 .237 .302 .366 119 459 54 109 18 1 13 57 41 133 2 0   75 Fr
Justin Turner         2b 24 .251 .297 .354 119 474 55 119 19 0 10 49 28 70 9 4   71 Av
Alex Cintron#        ss 30 .263 .301 .345 83 232 25 61 8 1 3 24 12 34 3 2   70 Fr
Brandon Snyder       1b 22 .247 .281 .357 126 490 52 121 18 0 12 52 22 90 1 1   67 Pr
Cesar Izturis#        ss 29 .248 .302 .294 104 327 36 81 10 1 1 19 23 22 10 4   58 Av
Brandon Fahey*        ss 28 .233 .293 .309 121 356 42 83 12 3 3 35 28 62 7 5   59 Av
Billy Rowell*        3b 20 .223 .264 .330 112 412 35 92 17 0 9 45 22 108 2 4   55 Fr
Freddie Bynum*        ss 29 .219 .275 .303 80 201 27 44 7 2 2 16 14 56 8 3   52 Av
Juan Castro         ss 37 .208 .259 .281 76 178 17 37 7 0 2 13 12 31 0 0   42 Av

———————————————————————————————————————————————————
SHORTSTOPS
———————————————————————————————————————————————————
Name               P Age   AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS OPS+ RNG

AVERAGE
———————————————————————————————————————————————————
Donnie Murphy         ss 25 .241 .297 .424 101 340 46 82 20 0 14 36 24 90 4 2   87 Fr

POOR
Alex Cintron#        ss 30 .263 .301 .345 83 232 25 61 8 1 3 24 12 34 3 2   70 Fr
Eider Torres#        ss 26 .264 .306 .329 125 484 59 128 17 1 4 40 29 64 29 11   68 Fr
Cesar Izturis#        ss 29 .248 .302 .294 104 327 36 81 10 1 1 19 23 22 10 4   58 Vg
Brandon Fahey*        ss 28 .233 .293 .309 121 356 42 83 12 3 3 35 28 62 7 5   59 Av
Freddie Bynum*        ss 29 .219 .275 .303 80 201 27 44 7 2 2 16 14 56 8 3   52 Fr
Juan Castro         ss 37 .208 .259 .281 76 178 17 37 7 0 2 13 12 31 0 0   42 Pr

————————————————————————————————————————————————————-
CORNER OUTFIELDERS
————————————————————————————————————————————————————-
Name               P Age   AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS OPS+  LF RF

EXCELLENT
Nick Markakis*        rf 25 .294 .382 .497 161 622 104 183 47 2 25 103 87 114 13 7 129 Av Av

VERY GOOD
Luke Scott*          lf 31 .263 .350 .488 141 445 61 117 28 3 22 72 55 97 2 1 118 Av Av

AVERAGE
Aubrey Huff*        dh 32 .274 .342 .466 145 541 74 148 34 2 22 80 53 101 1 1 110     Pr
————————————————————————————————————————————————————-
Nolan Reimold         rf 25 .278 .338 .462 123 468 68 130 22 2 20 55 41 77 5 4 108 Pr Pr

FAIR
Oscar Salazar         1b 31 .284 .327 .460 136 517 72 147 32 1 19 83 34 70 5 3 103 Pr  
Adam Jones           cf 23 .276 .324 .447 144 514 75 142 24 5 18 66 30 111 13 5 101 Vg Vg
Luis Montanez         lf 27 .274 .321 .429 125 438 62 120 21 1 15 61 28 68 3 3   96 Fr Fr
Jeff Fiorentino*      cf 26 .261 .327 .382 108 372 48 97 13 1 10 49 37 72 9 2   86 Vg Vg

POOR
Ryan Freel           cf 33 .258 .332 .371 84 283 42 73 16 2 4 19 27 52 18 7   82 Vg Vg
Luis Terrero         cf 29 .256 .318 .411 110 355 47 91 17 1 12 47 25 83 9 8   90 Fr Fr
Scott Moore*        3b 25 .236 .301 .397 108 368 48 87 18 1 13 48 29 90 4 2   82 Av  
Jay Payton           lf 36 .261 .306 .383 112 360 48 94 16 2 8 52 22 46 5 2   80 Av Av
Tike Redman*        lf 32 .264 .320 .338 104 390 58 103 16 2 3 29 31 44 14 7   74 Vg Vg
Chris Roberson       rf 29 .256 .303 .332 118 395 52 101 13 1 5 43 26 61 18 9   67 Av Av
Brandon Fahey*        ss 28 .233 .293 .309 121 356 42 83 12 3 3 35 28 62 7 5   59 Vg  
Freddie Bynum*        ss 29 .219 .275 .303 80 201 27 44 7 2 2 16 14 56 8 3   52 Av Av

———————————————————————————————————————————————————
CENTERFIELDERS
———————————————————————————————————————————————————
Name               P Age   AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS OPS+ RNG

AVERAGE
Adam Jones           cf 23 .276 .324 .447 144 514 75 142 24 5 18 66 30 111 13 5 101 Vg
———————————————————————————————————————————————————

FAIR
Luis Montanez         lf 27 .274 .321 .429 125 438 62 120 21 1 15 61 28 68 3 3   96 Pr
Jeff Fiorentino*      cf 26 .261 .327 .382 108 372 48 97 13 1 10 49 37 72 9 2   86 Fr
Ryan Freel           cf 33 .258 .332 .371 84 283 42 73 16 2 4 19 27 52 18 7   82 Fr

POOR
Luis Terrero         cf 29 .256 .318 .411 110 355 47 91 17 1 12 47 25 83 9 8   90 Fr
Jay Payton           lf 36 .261 .306 .383 112 360 48 94 16 2 8 52 22 46 5 2   80 Av
Tike Redman*        lf 32 .264 .320 .338 104 390 58 103 16 2 3 29 31 44 14 7   74 Fr
Chris Roberson       rf 29 .256 .303 .332 118 395 52 101 13 1 5 43 26 61 18 9   67 Av
Freddie Bynum*        ss 29 .219 .275 .303 80 201 27 44 7 2 2 16 14 56 8 3   52 Av

—————————————————————————————————————————————
STARTERS
—————————————————————————————————————————————
Name               Age   ERA   W   L   G GS   INN   H   ER HR   BB   K ERA+

MIDDLE THIRD
Jeremy Guthrie         30   4.16   8   7 28 24   158.0 158   73 19   57 103 108
—————————————————————————————————————————————

BOTTOM THIRD
Mark Hendrickson*      35   5.20   6   8 31 17   123.0 141   71 17   40   66   86
Bradley Bergesen       23   5.24   8 13 26 25   146.0 177   85 20   38   53   86
Troy Patton*          23   5.39   7 11 26 26   147.0 171   88 22   53   82   83
Chorye Spoone         23   5.57   4   8 17 17   84.0   94   52 11   51   44   80
Brian Burres*        28   5.70   4   7 22 15   90.0 106   57 14   34   49   79
David Hernandez       24   5.76   5 10 26 26   125.0 142   80 21   63   82   78
Garrett Olson*        24   5.78   7 12 28 28   148.0 173   95 23   65 102   78
Steve Trachsel         38   6.15   4   9 19 18   98.0 122   67 17   49   37   73
Radhames Liz         26   6.25   5 11 25 25   131.0 148   91 24   77   92   72
Hayden Penn           24   6.81   3   8 16 16   78.0   97   59 17   35   45   66
Chris Waters*        28   7.00   5 13 27 26   144.0 180 112 32   80   70   64
Alfredo Simon         28   7.71   2   6 15 12   63.0   88   54 17   27   29   58

—————————————————————————————————————————————
RELIEVERS
—————————————————————————————————————————————
Name               Age   ERA   W   L   G GS   INN   H   ER HR   BB   K ERA+

MIDDLE THIRD
George Sherrill*      32   3.75   4   2 67   0   48.0   41   20   4   25   52 120
James Johnson         26   3.77   4   3 64   0   74.0   74   31   4   32   43 119
Chris Ray           27   4.09   3   3 33   0   33.0   29   15   5   14   32 110
—————————————————————————————————————————————
Matt Albers           26   4.31   2   2 41   0   48.0   49   23   4   25   29 104
Randor Bierd         25   4.67   2   2 35   2   52.0   55   27   5   24   35   96
Alberto Castillo*      33   4.70   2   3 45   0   46.0   49   24   7   17   38   96

BOTTOM THIRD
James Hoey           26   4.75   3   3 51   0   55.0   55   29   5   31   45   95
Dennis Sarfate         28   4.91   4   4 57   3   77.0   71   42   8   59   75   91
Jamie Walker*        37   5.00   1   2 61   0   45.0   50   25   8   12   32   90
Kameron Mickolio       25   5.00   3   3 41   0   54.0   59   30   5   29   34   90
Lance Cormier         28   5.07   4   6 35   8   87.0 100   49   9   35   47   88
Jim Miller           27   5.14   4   6 62   0   77.0   82   44 10   43   61   87
Wilfredo Perez*        24   5.32   2   3 43   0   66.0   70   39 10   36   44   84
Bob McCrory           27   5.44   2   2 39   0   48.0   52   29   4   33   28   82
Danys Baez           31   5.49   3   4 42   0   41.0   46   25   6   19   25   82
Brian Bass           27   5.58   3   6 34   8   79.0   94   49 12   29   38   80
Brad Hennessey         29   5.61   4   9 42 13   109.0 131   68 17   39   49   79
Fernando Cabrera       27   6.23   1   2 30   0   39.0   41   27   9   22   41   72

* - Throws Left

——————————————————————-

Player Spotlight - Matt Wieters
            AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS OPS+
Projection     .291 .361 .467 140 499 70 145 17 1 23 71 57 87 2 2 116

Top Near-Age Offensive Comps:  Bill Freehan, Johnny Bench

ODDIBE

Offense %
STAR   58
AVG   92
REP LV 97

OPS+  %    OBP   %    3B     %    Hits   %
>160   1     >.400   8     >10   0     >200   0
>140   9     >.375   33     >5     0     >150   30
>130   21     >.350   70
>120   40     >.325   92     2B     %
>110   61     >.300   99     >45   0
>100   81               >30   2
>90   92
>80   97
>60   100

BA     %    SLG   %    HR     %    SB     %
>.350   0     >.550   6     >50   0     >70   0
>.325   5     >.500   23     >40   0     >50   0
>.300   30     >.450   56     >30   14     >30   0
>.275   70     >.400   88     >20   63     >10   0
>.250   94     >.350   98     >10   98

(Based on Projected AB)

——————————————————————-

Player Spotlight - Nick Markakis
            AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS OPS+
Projection     .294 .382 .497 161 622 104 183 47 2 25 103 87 114 13 7 129
 

Top Near-Age Offensive Comps:  Vic Wertz, Rusty Staub

ODDIBE

Offense %
STAR   71
AVG   88
REP LV 99

OPS+  %    OBP   %    3B     %    Hits   %
>160   6     >.400   28     >10   0     >200   13
>140   28     >.375   62     >5     18     >150   99
>130   48     >.350   91
>120   68     >.325   99     2B     %
>110   85     >.300   100   >45   54
>100   95               >30   98
>90   99
>80   100
>60   100

BA     %    SLG   %    HR     %    SB     %
>.350   2     >.550   16     >50   0     >70   0
>.325   10     >.500   44     >40   7     >50   0
>.300   38     >.450   79     >30   20     >30   0
>.275   75     >.400   96     >20   68     >10   77
>.250   98     >.350   100   >10   96

(Based on Projected AB)

——————————————————————-

Player Spotlight - Jeremy Guthrie
              ERA   W   L   G GS INN   H   ER HR   BB   K   ERA+   
Projection       4.16   8   7 28 24 158 158   73 19   57 103   108  

Top Near-Age Comps:  Jim Clancy, Steve Blass

ODDIBE

ERA   %
Top 1/3 51
Mid 1/3 34
Bot 1/3 15

ERA+  %    BB     %
>150   6

<26 2
>

140   11

<35 14
>

130   18

<44 23
>

120   29

<53 45
>

110   45

<61 66
>

100   64

<70 84
>

90   82
>80   94     HR     %
>70   99     <12 11
<18 45
K % <23 73
>158   0     <28 92
>140   4
>123   9
>105   31

(Based on Projected IP)

——————————————————————-

Player Spotlight - Brian Burres
              ERA   W   L   G GS INN   H   ER HR   BB   K   ERA+   
Projection       5.70   4   7 22 15   90 106   57 14   34   49   79

Top Near-Age Comps:  Dave Hamilton, John Curtis

ODDIBE

ERA   %
Top 1/3 4
Mid 1/3 24
Bot 1/3 72

ERA+  %    BB     %
>150   0     <15 0
>140   0     <20 4
>130   0     <25 8
>120   0     <30 36
>110   2     <35 62
>100   8     <40 83
>90   23
>80   48     HR     %
>70   74     <7 5
<10 27
K % <13 51
>90   0     <16 73
>80   0
>70   0
>60   9

——————————————————————-

ODDIBE (Odds of Important Baseball Events)

OPS+ >140

Markakis   28
Scott     10
Wieters     9

OBP >.400

Markakis   28
Roberts   12
Wieters     8

SLG >.550

Markakis   16
Scott     10
Wieters     6

BA >.325

Markakis   10
Wieters     5
Torres     5

2B >45

Markakis   54
Roberts   29
Salazar     4

3B >10

Jones     10

HR >30

Markakis   20
Wieters   14
Scott     5

SB >50

Roberts   21
Roberson   3
Torres     2

ERA+ >140

Sherrill   27
Johnson   19
Guthrie   11

K/9 >9

Sherrill   52
Cabrera   41
Sarfate   27

BB/9 <1.5

Walker 13
Bergesen 12
Guthrie 2

HR/9 <0.7

Johnson 71
Sherrill 44
Albers 39

All figures in % based on projection playing time - Min. 300 PA/40 IP for inclusion

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 2009.
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.

Players are listed with their most recent teams unless Dan has made a mistake.
This is very possible as a lot of minor-league signings are generally unreported in
the offseason.

ZiPS is projecting based on the AL having a 4.44 ERA and the NL having a 4.38 ERA.

Players that are expected to be out due to injury are still projected. More information
is always better than less information and a computer isn't what should be projecting
the injury status of, for example, a pitcher with Tommy John surgery.

Positional offense is ranked by RC/27 and divided into quintiles based on what the
most frequent starting players at each position did in 2006-2008. Excellent is the top
quintile, Very Good the 2nd quintile and so on.

ZiPS Frequently Asked Questions


ZiPS 2009 Archive


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Dan Szymborski Posted: January 04, 2009 at 10:07 PM | 84 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Walt Davis Posted: January 04, 2009 at 10:28 PM (#3043094)
Freehan, Bench, Staub, Clancy, Blass, Hamilton? ZiPS has gotten trapped in my adolescence!

You might want to reboot Dan, nobody wants to go through that again.
   2. Walt Davis Posted: January 04, 2009 at 10:36 PM (#3043096)
Where the team needs to improve is recognizing that players with upside aren't necessarily prospects - players like J.R. House aren't going to be stars and maybe not even above-average, but when you need a stopgap while rebuilding, that's the type of player you absolutely have to seek out.

That's kind of what they've done though isn't it? Mora was that type, Huff's that type, you can even argue that Guthrie and Scott are that type (though both long in the tooth). Plenty of counter-examples (Millar, Izturis) but hasn't the O's problem been as much that when those guys have their "breakout" season, the O's wrap them up long-term.

Anyway, Mora's still in the "you could do worse for a starting 3B" bracket and always nice to see a man with quints get a good paycheck. I guess most of the contenders are fairly well set at 3B so maybe not a surprise it's tough to move him. And Huff has even less defensive ability than Manny/Dunn/Burrell/etc. flotilla of corner bats on the market so no surprise he can't be moved although maybe somebody like Tampa would rather have him for 1-2 years than what they can get on the FA market.

Another fine collection of SS the O's have amassed this year. :-)
   3. worm Posted: January 04, 2009 at 10:46 PM (#3043101)
If the O's can get another Tejada-like haul for Roberts (just Gavin Floyd won't cut it), make some smart, effective signings in the next couple of offseasons, and their current batch of pitching prospects don't share the same fate as Loewen/Penn, I think they have a good shot at making a run in 2012. I know it's hard to ask for patience after xx losing seasons, but O's fans need to realize that this team is finally on the right track with McPhail.
   4. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 04, 2009 at 10:49 PM (#3043103)
If the O's can get another Tejada-like haul for Roberts


Not happening. Second basemen just aren't that valuable as trade commodities.

-- MWE
   5. Gamingboy Posted: January 04, 2009 at 11:14 PM (#3043114)
Name P Age AVG OBP SLG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS OPS+ RNG

EXCELLENT
Matt Wieters# c 23 .291 .361 .467 140 499 70 145 17 1 23 71 57 87 2 2 116 Av




Sadly, for Wieters to come even close to the Jesus-like status I hold for him as Cal-Ripken-In-Catching-Gear (or, at the very least, an Uber-1993 Chris Hoiles), he'll need to hit .500 and have 60 HRs. Anything less, and he'll be a disappointment.

/Sarcasm- I think this projection is pretty good and accurate.
   6. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 04, 2009 at 11:39 PM (#3043125)
Another fine collection of SS the O's have amassed this year. :-)

I don't understand why everyone is so down on Izturis. He was pretty close to league average last year, he's still under 30, and he's only making $2.5M. If his defense remains stellar this year, he'll be a multiple win upgrade over the below replacement level junk the orioles threw out there last year. Seems like a fine signing to me.
   7. Famous Original Joe C Posted: January 04, 2009 at 11:44 PM (#3043129)
Top Near-Age Offensive Comps: Bill Freehan, Johnny Bench

I know comps have very little if any predictive value, but still, that's a pretty sweet pair of comps.
   8. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 04, 2009 at 11:51 PM (#3043133)
I'm sure this is mostly fanboyism, but I have a gut feeling that Wieters will blow away that projection and hit something like .310/.425/.525.
   9. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: January 04, 2009 at 11:56 PM (#3043137)
Its too bad that the Orioles don't have any starting pitching. With even just a league-average rotation they could make a stealth run at the AL East in 2009. Instead, they'll hover somewhere in the 75-85 win range.
   10. Dingbat_Charlie Posted: January 04, 2009 at 11:58 PM (#3043139)
worst ZIPS pitching staff projection ever?
   11. Famous Original Joe C Posted: January 05, 2009 at 12:04 AM (#3043142)
Instead, they'll hover somewhere in the 75-85 win range.

Do you really think they'll win 80-85? Someone is going to have to stink in the AL East, right? Will it be the Jays instead?
   12. rlc Posted: January 05, 2009 at 12:04 AM (#3043143)
Another fine collection of SS the O's have amassed this year. :-)

Perhaps Walt has been misled into believing that Bynum, Castro, Cintron, Fahey, and Torres are in some way affiliated with the Orioles. Why do their projections appear here, anyway?
   13. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 05, 2009 at 12:08 AM (#3043145)
Could we get a projection for Arrieta? What about Matusz? Is it possible to project him based on his college stats?
   14. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 05, 2009 at 12:09 AM (#3043146)
Why is Traschel on there?
   15. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 05, 2009 at 12:31 AM (#3043156)
So, what's the plan with Sherrill? Hope he has a good first half, then cash him in at the deadline? I guess if Ray is pitching well, you could let him close, and hope to build his trade value up too, for the off-season or next year'd deadline.
   16. greenback calls it soccer Posted: January 05, 2009 at 12:54 AM (#3043167)
I don't understand why everyone is so down on Izturis.

It's hard to watch Izturis hit; how the heck he homered in Petco has to be one of the mysteries of the 2008 season. He's not at all sound with the little ball stuff either. For that matter, aside from range (which I recognize is the most important thing), he's not particularly sound as a defender.
   17. DKDC Posted: January 05, 2009 at 12:55 AM (#3043168)
Markakis is "VERY GOOD"? Tough crowd.

It would be awesome if the O's could fish a starting-quality 2B or 3B out of that Murphy-Waring-Moore-Costanzo-Turner soup that Andy has cooked up.

Next offseason is going to be interesting. Virtually all of their long-term contracts coming off the books (Roberts/Mora/Huff/Walker/Baez/Freel), but that also means there will be a lot of holes to fill.
   18. caprules Posted: January 05, 2009 at 01:02 AM (#3043173)
Trachsel is on there because he pitched for the Orioles last year. Players are listed for their current team, or the last team they played for if they haven't signed with a new team.

How much money do the Orioles have to spend? This does seem to be the year to collect averagish SP on the cheap. It would take a series of unlikely events for the Orioles to contend even with a couple of averagish pitchers, but it seems like a gamble worth making.
   19. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: January 05, 2009 at 02:03 AM (#3043194)
Okay... Maybe the range should be more like 73-83, with the over/under at around 78. The point still stands that if they had even a league-average starting rotation they could quietly contend in 2009. After Boston, they have the division's best offense IMHO.
   20. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 05, 2009 at 03:40 AM (#3043216)
After Boston, they have the division's best offense IMHO.
First, Dan is being optimistic. 10 bucks says that the Orioles decide to pick up -- I dunno, Brad Ausmus -- because they "don't want to rush" Wieters. Second, you're being optimistic. They've got zero offensive depth, which means that looking at their potential lineup is misleading; it represents the best case scenario even if the individual projections represent middle-of-the-road results. Besides, just wait 'til they add Sexson or whomever, so they can keep Reimold at AAA.


It would be awesome if the O's could fish a starting-quality 2B or 3B out of that Murphy-Waring-Moore-Costanzo-Turner soup that Andy has cooked up.
You know what would make that easier? If they'd play them, rather than finding those "stopgaps" they always get.
   21. RJ in TO Posted: January 05, 2009 at 03:55 AM (#3043224)
Do you really think they'll win 80-85? Someone is going to have to stink in the AL East, right? Will it be the Jays instead?


It could happen. The Jays have a lot of early 30s hitters who could easily shift into full out crap mode (Overbay, Rolen, whoever gets the C job, whoever gets the 2B/SS spot not filled by Hill, most of the bench), and a starting staff of Halladay, Litsch, TBD, TBD, TBD. While I'm weirdly confident in JPs ability to put together a rotation from their random starter grab bag, the team could be a Wells/Halladay twin-injury away from a 65 win season.
   22. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 05, 2009 at 04:56 AM (#3043243)
Its too bad that the Orioles don't have any starting pitching. With even just a league-average rotation they could make a stealth run at the AL East in 2009. Instead, they'll hover somewhere in the 75-85 win range.
...
Okay... Maybe the range should be more like 73-83, with the over/under at around 78.
Sorry, the more I read this -- even the modified one -- the more ludicrous it sounds. The Orioles are coming off a 68-win season. It wasn't a fluke; their two previous years are 70 and 69 wins.

What have the Orioles done this offseason? Replaced Daniel Cabrera with Mark Hendrickson, replaced a bunch of garbage with Cesar Izturis, and (optimistically speaking) replaced Ramon Hernandez with Matt Wieters. As much as I like Wieters, that doesn't add up to a 10-15 win improvement. While we can hope for/expect improvement from Markakis and Jones, this is not a young team offensively; the rest of the lineup (other than Wieters) is old. We ought to see a big falloff from Huff and Mora, and probably a small one from Roberts.

You can say that the pitching can't be that bad again -- but, really, it could. I repeat: Mark Hendrickson.
   23. DKDC Posted: January 05, 2009 at 05:33 AM (#3043258)
You know what would make that easier? If they'd play them, rather than finding those "stopgaps" they always get.


You're absolutely right. Promoting young players to the majors well before they are ready is a much sounder rebuilding strategy than letting them learn and improve in the minors. I'm surprised someone hasn't thought of this before.

Sorry, the more I read this -- even the modified one -- the more ludicrous it sounds. The Orioles are coming off a 68-win season. It wasn't a fluke; their two previous years are 70 and 69 wins.

What have the Orioles done this offseason? Replaced Daniel Cabrera with Mark Hendrickson, replaced a bunch of garbage with Cesar Izturis, and (optimistically speaking) replaced Ramon Hernandez with Matt Wieters. As much as I like Wieters, that doesn't add up to a 10-15 win improvement. While we can hope for/expect improvement from Markakis and Jones, this is not a young team offensively; the rest of the lineup (other than Wieters) is old. We ought to see a big falloff from Huff and Mora, and probably a small one from Roberts.


They had a pythag of 73 wins last year, so that's a better starting point (just ask Bill Bavasi). But I agree that any improvements from Wieters, Izturis, and the young players will be largely or completely offset by regression from Huff, Roberts, Guthrie, and Mora. I'd peg the team as it stands today in the 70-75 win range.

Even with a league average rotation, I still think they'd be short of contention. Last year's rotation was about 10 wins below average (5.51 starter ERA vs 4.48 AL starter ERA), so I'd expect 80-85 wins with a league average rotation.

You can say that the pitching can't be that bad again -- but, really, it could. I repeat: Mark Hendrickson.


Whatever you think of stopgaps, the above projections make it abundantly clear that the Mark Hendrickson signing should improve the team for 2009.
   24. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: January 05, 2009 at 05:37 AM (#3043261)
Sorry, the more I read this -- even the modified one -- the more ludicrous it sounds. The Orioles are coming off a 68-win season.

The Orioles Pyth record was 73-88, so we're only really talking about a 5 win improvement to go from 73 to 78. That's reasonable to make up.

The upgrade from Hernandez to Wieters is worth 2-3 wins, conservatively. Replace Millar with Reimhold (with Huff playing 1B, Reimhold to DH) is worth another 1-2 wins. Even if Huff loses a little, Jones' improvement should balance that out. Expect more or less comparable production from Markakis, Roberts, and Scott. The only guy that might decline considerably is Mora.

As bad as Izturis is, it won't take much to improve on the offensive production that the Orioles got from SS last year: 50 OPS+ in 560 PA. Izturis also improves the defense quite a bit, so much so that his glove will be worth .5-1 win. Not only were Castro, Cintron, Bynum, et al terrible at the plate, they were also terrible defensively.

The bullpen will be a little better, the rotation possibly a little worse. With 3-4 league-average starting pitchers, the team could contend. Given the lack of any reasonable amount of talent outside Guthrie, the Orioles are looking at another mediocre season. But the offensive and defensive improvements give them an outside shot at a winning record, with something within a few games of .500 most likely.
   25. jingoist Posted: January 05, 2009 at 05:38 AM (#3043262)
I agree.
With the current collection of talent 75 wins would be more realistic and that would take Markakis, Huff and Roberts having similar years to 2008 and this Wieters fellow meeting his projections which seem very optimistic given his lack of MLB experience.
As I type this note I'm trying to gigure where those 7 addidtioal wins are coming from....the rays and jays?
   26. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: January 05, 2009 at 05:44 AM (#3043264)
Man, you guys LOVE you some Wieters. That's a really outstanding projection, and everybody's nodding.
   27. rlc Posted: January 05, 2009 at 08:45 AM (#3043327)
Players are listed for their current team, or the last team they played for if they haven't signed with a new team.

Bynum has signed with the Nats, Torres with the White Sox. Castro, Cintron, and Fahey are still available to last minute shoppers.

The O's collection of shortstops is Izturis, Murphy and in emergencies Freel, Salazar, or Mora. Which is not to say it's better than the one Dan lists, just different.
   28. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 05, 2009 at 09:32 AM (#3043329)
You're absolutely right. Promoting young players to the majors well before they are ready is a much sounder rebuilding strategy than letting them learn and improve in the minors. I'm surprised someone hasn't thought of this before.
Oh, some teams have. They're the ones that actually get better, unlike the Orioles, who never do. (You say "improve"; I say "stagnate.")

Whatever you think of stopgaps, the above projections make it abundantly clear that the Mark Hendrickson signing should improve the team for 2009.
That's not a valid interpretation. What they say is that if everyone provides expected production, then Hendrickson is better than the alternatives. But if the team is to improve, it will be from one of their pitchers taking a big step forward, and Hendrickson is the least likely of all the alternatives to do that.
   29. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 05, 2009 at 03:12 PM (#3043370)
6-4-3 sums it up pretty well. Wieters replacing Hernandez and Izturis replacing Bynum, et al, should be worth 3-4 wins alone I think. That puts the Orioles in the 75-78 win range. If MacPhail signs a couple of starters like Kawakami, Looper, or Wolf, the Orioles should be close to .500. There's no way they'll contend this year of course, but if a couple of their young starters are ready to contribute in 2010 they'll be in pretty good shape.
   30. Dan Evensen Posted: January 05, 2009 at 03:47 PM (#3043401)
Wieters, man, that's one hell of a projection. I've got the feeling I'll be watching more Orioles games on MLB.TV next year.
   31. Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: January 05, 2009 at 04:06 PM (#3043413)
If only they could figure out a way to play Huff and Salazar at first, second, third, and DH all at once.

Nice to see a decent projection for Reimold. Hopefully he and Burke Badehop can make us Bowling Green alums proud.
   32. Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: January 05, 2009 at 04:12 PM (#3043419)
Man, you guys LOVE you some Wieters. That's a really outstanding projection, and everybody's nodding.

I've never seen the guy play, but between the scouting reports and the numbers he put up last year, I can't find any reason to be bearish on him. Monster power, a bazillon walks, an acceptable strikeout rate, he's got it all.

It'd still be amazing if he lives up to that projection, but Wieters has been awesome so far.
   33. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 05, 2009 at 04:21 PM (#3043428)
I've never seen the guy play, but between the scouting reports and the numbers he put up last year, I can't find any reason to be bearish on him. Monster power, a bazillon walks, an acceptable strikeout rate, he's got it all.
And he actually improved after being bumped up a level.
   34. AROM Posted: January 05, 2009 at 04:26 PM (#3043434)
Whatever you think of stopgaps, the above projections make it abundantly clear that the Mark Hendrickson signing should improve the team for 2009.


Yes, and that is terrifying. If your staff is so bad that adding Mark Hendrickson improves it, you've got one bad staff.
   35. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 05, 2009 at 04:38 PM (#3043446)
Yes, and that is terrifying. If your staff is so bad that adding Mark Hendrickson improves it, you've got one bad staff.

A staff that bad needs to have two knuckleballers and a spitballer/scuffer. At least make the suckage entertaining.
   36. DKDC Posted: January 05, 2009 at 04:40 PM (#3043449)
I've never seen the guy play, but between the scouting reports and the numbers he put up last year, I can't find any reason to be bearish on him. Monster power, a bazillon walks, an acceptable strikeout rate, he's got it all.


Don't forget that he ranked number 2 in the minors in passed ball rate, and number 12 in caught stealing rate. He also has a great attitude by all accounts.

But I'm an Orioles fan, so I can always find a reason to be bearish.

There's a nonzero chance that 2008 was just a career year for Wieters. His college numbers were good, but they weren't otherworldly compared to his environment like his minor league numbers have been. Fellow 2007 draftee Danny Payne put up similar numbers at Georgia Tech and he hasn't exactly lit the minor leagues on fire.

Also, there is always a significant chance that injuries will derail his career, especially given the stresses of catching on such a large fram.

Wieters tailed off a bit in the Arizona Fall League, which could be an indicator of wear-and-tear, or a little evidence for my first concern. Or it could just be a blip.
   37. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 05, 2009 at 05:15 PM (#3043470)
I suppose it's possible that 2008 was a career year for Wieters, but it's not like he's a 6th round pick who surprised everyone. He was widely considered to be one of the best offensive players in the 2007 draft.

I've posted this before, but Wieters has also been oddly consistent from year to year:

2005 GT age 19 .366/.470/.581
2006 GT age 20 .355/.480/.606
2007 GT age 21 .358/.480/.592
2008 A+ age 22 .345/.448/.576
AA age 22 .365/.460/.625
   38. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: January 05, 2009 at 05:24 PM (#3043481)
Wow, that projection makes Wieters what, like the 4th or 5th best catcher in baseball next year? Maybe tied for 3rd with a few others?
   39. Dingbat_Charlie Posted: January 05, 2009 at 06:02 PM (#3043506)
Let the DMB rookie draft tanking commence!
   40. JPWF13 Posted: January 05, 2009 at 06:19 PM (#3043523)
Wow, that projection makes Wieters what, like the 4th or 5th best catcher in baseball next year?


My question would be- what would a Moskos' projection for 2009 look like? a 9.00 ERA?
   41. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: January 05, 2009 at 06:31 PM (#3043533)
Strange trajectory when you think about such a marked lack of improvement over the course of 3 college seasons and then a monster explosion at AA. I'd be shocked if he hit the ZiPS projection, though I expect him to be middle of the pack in AL catchers in 2009.
   42. TomH Posted: January 05, 2009 at 06:56 PM (#3043557)
Orioles have finished 2nd-to-last in team ERA 3 seasons running (their walks allowed totals are atrocious; is it faicng TB/NY/BOS too often?). With Ramon Hernandez catching most games all 3 years; I couldn't tell you if he has any rep for good or bad handling of staff. If they go to Wieters full time, what will happen? I dunno; it's tempting of course to say it can't get much worse :) But research has shown that very few teams with young raw rookie catchers improve their team ERA. Many times it goes in the tank!

If you gave me 2-1 odds on Baltimore allowing over 900 runs in 09, I'd take it.
   43. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: January 05, 2009 at 07:02 PM (#3043562)
When projecting wins are you all evaluating in a vacuum or taking into account the changes by the other teams in the division?
   44. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 05, 2009 at 07:03 PM (#3043563)
The last time it looked like a team had fewer than two starting pitchers at the beginning of the season, the Exponationals turned out to have an OK rotation with guys like Redding, Chico, Mike O'Connor and John Patterson. That made it look like Nieporent's "Sure, all our prospects are probably terrible and need more time in the minors, but we might as well see what they can do in the majors" position was obviously the right one. But who knows with this team?
   45. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: January 05, 2009 at 07:06 PM (#3043568)
They don't have a single catcher on the 40-man roster right now and only invited a bunch of clear non-starters with NRIs, so the chances of the team freaking out at a 4-for-30 stretch and sending him to the minors are quite low.

They didn't freak out with Markakis or Jones. I expect the same with Wieters. The interesting question is whether the O's will delay his arb clock before bringing him up.

Is Dallas McPherson available? He looks like an interesting stop gap guy at 1B.

The Garrett Olson and R. Liz projections are real bummers.
   46. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: January 05, 2009 at 07:20 PM (#3043572)
the Exponationals turned out to have an OK rotation with guys like Redding, Chico, Mike O'Connor and John Patterson. That made it look like Nieporent's "Sure, all our prospects are probably terrible and need more time in the minors, but we might as well see what they can do in the majors" position was obviously the right one.

I don't think that's a homologous case. In comparison to the O's prospects (Tillman, Matsutz, Arrieta, Hernandez), Redding and Patterson had already cumulated quite a bit of major league service and Chico and O'Connor were a bit older. The O's are better off letting Olson, Liz, Albers, and Penn (or even Jim Johnson) fight for rotation spots rather than rushing Tillman et al. In terms of prospects, Patton is the guy who should get the first shot at the rotation.
   47. DKDC Posted: January 05, 2009 at 07:23 PM (#3043574)
The last time it looked like a team had fewer than two starting pitchers at the beginning of the season, the Exponationals turned out to have an OK rotation with guys like Redding, Chico, Mike O'Connor and John Patterson. That made it look like Nieporent's "Sure, all our prospects are probably terrible and need more time in the minors, but we might as well see what they can do in the majors" position was obviously the right one.


Check out their ZiPS projections from last year. I count 19 starting pitchers projected to have an ERA+ of at least 80, for a total of 396 starts and 2494 IP.

Before Hendrickson signed, the 2009 Orioles had 4 pitchers projected to have an ERA+ of at least 80, for a total of 92 starts and 525 IP.

Out of those four 80 ERA+ pitchers, one will miss 2009 with shoulder surgery, one missed all of 2008with shoulder surgery, and one has never pitched above AA. I'm sure the Nationals have similar reasons to dismiss some of their 19, but the starting pitching depth they had last year was clearly leaps and bounds ahead of what the Orioles have now.

If you want to see what happens to a team with no above-replacement level starting pitching depth, just look at the 2008 Orioles. And that team at least had reason to believe it had three league averagish starters, while the 2009 Orioles have only one.
   48. DKDC Posted: January 05, 2009 at 07:42 PM (#3043592)
Oops, I just realized you were talking about 2007 Nats. Still, that team had a dozen starters projected to have an ERA+ of at least 80.

The four guys you mentioned (Redding, Chico, O'Connor and Patterson) had projected ERA+ of 83, 91, 92, and 110 respectively. Their clones would place 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 6th on the 2009 Orioles starting pitching depth chart.
   49. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 05, 2009 at 07:53 PM (#3043602)
Thanks for the link, DKDC. The last two posts stating that Jerome Williams was guaranteed a rotation spot and Larry Broadway was guaranteed the first base job out of spring training presumably horrified the rest of the fans into silence.
   50. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 05, 2009 at 07:54 PM (#3043605)
(although Williams was in fact in the rotation out of spring training...the team went 0-6 in his starts, though one of them was quality.)
   51. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: January 05, 2009 at 08:08 PM (#3043623)
A few things:

Scott Moore: Man, has this guy fallen or what? He would have been the perfect guy to man 3B.

140 games for Wieters? How many of those games are at DH?
   52. MM1f Posted: January 05, 2009 at 08:20 PM (#3043633)

There's a nonzero chance that 2008 was just a career year for Wieters. His college numbers were good, but they weren't otherworldly compared to his environment like his minor league numbers have been. Fellow 2007 draftee Danny Payne put up similar numbers at Georgia Tech and he hasn't exactly lit the minor leagues on fire.


The only thing that is is a great argument for taking college stats with pounds and pounds of salt.

Also Payne, the consummate gamer, has dealt with injuries since his college (actually, HS I think) days and hasn't been close to healthy as a pro.
   53. Posada Posse Posted: January 05, 2009 at 09:03 PM (#3043707)
After looking at these pitchers' projections, I'm somewhat puzzled about why they would give up on Daniel Cabrera. It's not like they have anything better (unless Cabrera was due a big raise in arbitration or something). Dan projects Cabrera with a 95 ERA+ for the Nationals, which surely could be useful with this group of guys.
   54. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 05, 2009 at 09:06 PM (#3043711)
After looking at these pitchers' projections, I'm somewhat puzzled about why they would give up on Daniel Cabrera. It's not like they have anything better (unless Cabrera was due a big raise in arbitration or something). Dan projects Cabrera with a 95 ERA+ for the Nationals, which surely could be useful with this group of guys.
Cabrera was likely getting a raise in arbitration; he ended up getting $2.6M from the Nats, which represents about a 10% pay cut from his 2008 salary.

Still, it does seem odd to replace a 27 year old with a 37 year old just to save a few bucks, doesn't it?
   55. Posada Posse Posted: January 05, 2009 at 09:16 PM (#3043719)
Still, it does seem odd to replace a 27 year old with a 37 year old just to save a few bucks, doesn't it?


Yup, precisely.
   56. andrewberg Posted: January 05, 2009 at 09:43 PM (#3043761)
I asked this before, but let me ask again, is there a website or a spreadsheet that has the 3 year projections that used to be listed with some of the players' projections?
   57. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: January 05, 2009 at 10:01 PM (#3043780)
Still, it does seem odd to replace a 27 year old with a 37 year old just to save a few bucks, doesn't it?


Yup, precisely.


Cabrera's SO/BB ratio declined quite a bit last season. I don't see him turning a corner. The move replaces one crappy player with a cheaper crappy player. So I don't find the move particularly odd since neither player has any upside.
   58. Ziggy Posted: January 05, 2009 at 10:18 PM (#3043797)
Is Dallas McPherson available? He looks like an interesting stop gap guy at 1B.

According to Cots he's only got 2ish years of service time, so I think he's playing for the Marlins next year. And I think he's a lot more than a stop-gap. Dude is old (28), but he slugged .618 in AAA last year, with 42 homeruns. That kind of production just doesn't turn into a career minor leaguer anymore.

Question: I'm starting a keeper league (scoring R,RBI,HR,SB,OBP,SLG; 12 teams, mixed) that permits a team to keep any number of players who have less than six years of service time, and one additional player, regardless of service time. In what round ought I to draft Wieters?
   59. rlc Posted: January 05, 2009 at 10:24 PM (#3043805)
Even with the prospect of a pay raise, non-tendering Cabrera made no sense unless the O's were convinced that his fastball was not coming back. We'll see.
   60. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: January 05, 2009 at 10:28 PM (#3043813)
And I think he's a lot more than a stop-gap. Dude is old (28), but he slugged .618 in AAA last year, with 42 homeruns. That kind of production just doesn't turn into a career minor leaguer anymore.

Yeah, he looks like a player who could potentially turn into something more than a stop gap. I was hoping he was a minor league free agent.

And I noticed ZiPS ia a bit nicer to D. Cabrera in comparison to Hendrickson. Cabrera did go down with an elbow injury late in the season (I believe it was his elbow but I can't quite remember). That might have factored into their decision.
   61. rlc Posted: January 05, 2009 at 10:37 PM (#3043827)
Since the Jacobs trade, is McThinAirson penciled in as the Marlin's starting 1Bman?
   62. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 05, 2009 at 10:51 PM (#3043842)
Cabrera's SO/BB ratio declined quite a bit last season. I don't see him turning a corner. The move replaces one crappy player with a cheaper crappy player. So I don't find the move particularly odd since neither player has any upside.
First, it's a little unrevealing to say that his K/BB ratio declined, because his walk rate wasn't particularly changed. What happened was that his strikeout rate fell off a cliff.

Second, the fact that it declined by itself isn't particularly important; after all, if it declined, that means it was better before, and it could just as easily be a one-year fluke. A multi-year decline is a trend; a single-year decline is just a bad year.

Third, once again: of course the odds of Cabrera ever developing at this point are very slim, but they're still better than Hendrickson's. The latter has no upside; the former has a remote chance of one. Seems like a team hard up would prefer the player with a chance of one to the player without one, especially given the fact that the money just isn't that big a deal. It's not like we're talking about taking on Andruw Jones's contract here.
   63. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: January 05, 2009 at 11:07 PM (#3043855)
Third, once again: of course the odds of Cabrera ever developing at this point are very slim, but they're still better than Hendrickson's.

Sure, but if we could quantify these odds as an percent, I think the odds of Cabrera turning into something is about 4% versus 2% for Hendrickson (I suppose it's theoretically possible that Hendrickson could be late bloomer like Jamie Moyer). ZiPS does project a better performance for Cabs in comparison to Hendrickson, but I'm not sure if that "upgrade" is worth the difference in money since both players, you know, suck.
   64. GotowarMissAgnes Posted: January 06, 2009 at 12:00 AM (#3043921)
A multi-year decline is a trend; a single-year decline is just a bad year.

It actually is a multi-year trend, since in 2006 he struck out more than one per inning. In addition, since 2005 he's lost almost 4 MPH on his FB, and more than 6 MPH on his slider. He's basically abandoned his curve ball and change-up (from almost 7% of pitches to 2.2%). He's basically become a two-pitch pitcher, and lost speed on both of those. That multi-year trend screams injury to me, which may explain the O's decision. Normally, I'd be ripping them at this point, but I wouldn't at all be surprised to see the Nats paying for a lot of DL time rather than IP.
   65. Posada Posse Posted: January 06, 2009 at 01:09 AM (#3043997)
It actually is a multi-year trend, since in 2006 he struck out more than one per inning. In addition, since 2005 he's lost almost 4 MPH on his FB, and more than 6 MPH on his slider. He's basically abandoned his curve ball and change-up (from almost 7% of pitches to 2.2%). He's basically become a two-pitch pitcher, and lost speed on both of those. That multi-year trend screams injury to me, which may explain the O's decision. Normally, I'd be ripping them at this point, but I wouldn't at all be surprised to see the Nats paying for a lot of DL time rather than IP.


Yeah, I could see them making the decision based on his reduced velocity and drastically lower strikeouts, which would reflect an injury. Still, I agree with Nieporent. Unless the injury was very serious, he still would have higher upside (though a remote chance of achieving it) than Hendrickson, who at 35 will probably soon fall off the cliff himself, if he hasn't already. With the alternatives that they have (i.e., none), what did they have to lose with Cabrera?
   66. GotowarMissAgnes Posted: January 06, 2009 at 01:16 AM (#3044004)
About $3-4 million.
   67. DKDC Posted: January 06, 2009 at 02:02 AM (#3044049)
About $3-4 million.


Exactly.

Hendrickson isn't really relevant to the Cabrera decision - the O's are woefully short of starters with or without Cabrera.

If the O's had legit medical and/or scouting reasons to believe that Cabrera has absolutely nothing left, then there was no reason to offer him arbitration and risk flushing $4MM down the drain.

Frankly, I was a little surprised by the decision to cut him, since Cabrera is worth the money if he can pitch to his projections and he has a smidgen of upside there if he's healthy. So I hope MacPhail's decision was driven by baseball reasons and not purely financial considerations.
   68. Frisco Cali Posted: January 06, 2009 at 02:36 AM (#3044076)
I'm most certainly wrong here, but I've always thought of Jose Mesa when looking at Cabrera. Maybe a move to the bullpen would give a team 3-5 pretty good years.
   69. ColonelTom Posted: January 06, 2009 at 03:26 AM (#3044111)
Frisco, I'm with you - Cabrera has great stuff and no idea what to do with it over a full game. Get him down to two pitches at maximum effort and maybe you'll have something special.
   70. Dingbat_Charlie Posted: January 06, 2009 at 05:33 AM (#3044177)
His command is worse than Mesa's. It could improve with more frequent usage out of the pen but I suspect he'd be prone to disastrous outings. Though it couldn't hurt to try, just in case.
   71. DKDC Posted: January 06, 2009 at 11:33 PM (#3044902)
Got a projection on Koji Uehura?
   72. TOLAXOR Posted: January 07, 2009 at 02:57 PM (#3045235)
DITTO #72!!!! DAN, HOW DOES ZIPS APPROACH THE USEFULNESS OF JAPANESE STAS AS PRIORS???!!!
   73. frenchredsox Posted: January 08, 2009 at 03:27 AM (#3046002)
yea it is funny as the Os seem to say he is going to be a SP but he hasnt been one since 06 wonder what Dan will find for us ??
   74. a wider scope of derision Posted: January 08, 2009 at 07:08 AM (#3046112)
If Wieters comes anywhere close to matching the hype, it pretty much seals Mauer's fate as the most underrated player in the AL.
   75. ddp Posted: January 10, 2009 at 10:26 PM (#3048557)
Man those starting pitching numbers look awful. With all of those youngsters (Olson, Penn, Albers, Sarfate, Liz, etc), a dearth of viable SPs, and decent BP arms, maybe the team should have a 12-13 man bullpen. It can't be worse than the crap they're going to trot out in 2009.
   76. monkhenry Posted: January 11, 2009 at 02:48 PM (#3048805)
Why is there no projection for Chris Tillman ? It seems that he should get one.
   77. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 11, 2009 at 08:19 PM (#3048919)
he slugged .618 in AAA last year, with 42 homeruns


In Albuquerque. With a huge home/road split (.700 SLG at home, .522 on the road) and 168 Ks in 448 ABs.

Basically, McPherson is a slightly better version of Rob Deer.

-- MWE
   78. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: January 11, 2009 at 09:47 PM (#3048953)
Better how? Less walks and defense - though at a more valuable position.
   79. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: January 11, 2009 at 09:47 PM (#3048954)
Oh, and less bat.
   80. this space for rent Posted: January 11, 2009 at 10:42 PM (#3048973)
Why is there no projection for Chris Tillman ? It seems that he should get one.


Seconded.
   81. schruender Posted: January 12, 2009 at 12:32 AM (#3049028)
Yikes the rotation is not a pretty thing for the Orioles. I guess Wieters should just focus on hitting because calling a good game is pretty much impossible with their talent.
   82. ugen64 Posted: January 12, 2009 at 11:08 PM (#3050041)
Well, calling the game should be easy for guys like Liz - call a fastball down and away on every pitch and hope it's not more than 5 feet off target.
   83. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: May 23, 2009 at 08:31 PM (#3190488)
Not an Orioles fan, so I'm not too bothered by his absence, but why the #### is Wieters not in Baltimore right now? Is it to hold off his free agency by a year, or is the Orioles FO even dumber than they let on.

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