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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

2009 ZiPS Projections - Pittsburgh Pirates

This is a Long Drive for Someone With Nothing to Think About, The Moon & Antarctica, Good News for People Who Love Bad News,
We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank.

Despite an organization that has slowly started to turn things around, the last 15 years of the Pirates have consisted of

salting the earth, tilling the soil, and resalting, leaving an organization with a major league team that looks like the

inspiration for a Modest Mouse album.

There’s hope for the future, but it’s hard to be too hard on fans that are skeptical about Rebuilding Plan #27.  It’s needed,

since Rebuilding Plans #1-26 were criminally incompetent in execution, so Pirate fans are going to have little choice but to

sit and wait, and hope yearly that the Steelers provide enough sports happiness to tide Pittsburgh fans over for the spring

and summer.  It’s not like they can un-buy the beautiful monument to corporate welfare.

As for the team, they have a few above-average hitters, neither of whom are good defensively at their positions.  Adam

LaRoche is probably the only one that is adequate both offensively and defensively at his position.  The pitching is worse. 

Andy LaRoche will get a chance to turn it around after a horrific 2008, but hand/wrist/arm injuries have a way of permanently

derailing careers.

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

VERY GOOD
Ryan Doumit#        c   28 .287 .343 .463 109 363 54 104 26 1 12 55 25 65 2 2 110   Fr

POOR
Jason Jaramillo#      c   26 .240 .302 .333 112 408 35 98 18 1 6 33 33 75 0 1   67   Vg
Robinzon Diaz         c   25 .267 .287 .333 88 333 25 89 14 1 2 26   9 29 3 2   65   Fr
Miguel Perez         c   25 .221 .254 .296 81 267 16 59 8 0 4 23   9 55 1 1   46   Vg
Steven Lerud*        c   24 .191 .247 .293 106 372 31 71 14 0 8 36 24 104 1 2   43   Vg

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

AVERAGE
Adam LaRoche*        1b 29 .268 .343 .485 141 497 67 133 34 1 24 81 57 117 1 1 115 Av
———————————————————————————————————————————————————

FAIR
Andy Phillips         1b 32 .268 .327 .410 85 239 30 64 11 1 7 24 20 42 1 1   94 Av

POOR
Garrett Jones*        1b 28 .254 .304 .427 129 480 55 122 28 2 17 64 35 97 4 2   90 Av
Brandon Moss*        lf 25 .251 .312 .403 135 471 49 118 30 3 12 57 42 124 5 3   87 Fr
Steven Pearce         if 26 .245 .299 .407 133 474 53 116 30 1 15 67 32 89 11 3   86 Av
Andy LaRoche         3b 25 .232 .325 .363 131 427 53 99 18 1 12 50 57 69 7 2   82 Av
Ramon Vazquez*        3b 32 .250 .327 .362 91 268 33 67 14 2 4 22 31 58 1 1   83 Fr

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

FAIR
Andy Phillips         1b 32 .268 .327 .410 85 239 30 64 11 1 7 24 20 42 1 1   94 Pr
Freddy Sanchez       2b 31 .285 .324 .398 129 498 65 142 31 2 7 55 25 56 0 1   88 Fr

POOR
Andy LaRoche         3b 25 .232 .325 .363 131 427 53 99 18 1 12 50 57 69 7 2   82 Fr
Ramon Vazquez*        3b 32 .250 .327 .362 91 268 33 67 14 2 4 22 31 58 1 1   83 Fr
Brian Bixler         ss 26 .247 .311 .324 137 481 59 119 16 3 5 34 34 145 21 6   59 Av
Jim Negrych*        3b 24 .258 .309 .327 125 489 58 126 23 1 3 47 35 78 9 6   69 Fr
Shelby Ford#        2b 24 .228 .276 .340 98 394 45 90 21 4 5 33 20 67 18 3   60 Av
Andy Machado#        3b 28 .210 .293 .307 111 319 33 67 14 1 5 23 37 77 6 2   60 Av
Pedro Lopez         ss 25 .237 .281 .320 119 413 42 98 17 1 5 39 25 70 4 3   61 Vg
Luis Rivas           2b 29 .224 .274 .324 94 299 32 67 11 2 5 26 19 43 6 3   59 Pr
Luis Cruz           2b 25 .232 .264 .337 139 501 49 116 27 1 8 45 19 54 7 4   58 Av

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

FAIR
Andy Phillips         1b 32 .268 .327 .410 85 239 30 64 11 1 7 24 20 42 1 1   94 Pr
Freddy Sanchez       2b 31 .285 .324 .398 129 498 65 142 31 2 7 55 25 56 0 1   88 Vg

POOR
Andy LaRoche         3b 25 .232 .325 .363 131 427 53 99 18 1 12 50 57 69 7 2   82 Av
Ramon Vazquez*        3b 32 .250 .327 .362 91 268 33 67 14 2 4 22 31 58 1 1   83 Av
Jim Negrych*        3b 24 .258 .309 .327 125 489 58 126 23 1 3 47 35 78 9 6   69 Av
Neil Walker#        3b 23 .235 .275 .365 136 520 63 122 25 2 13 60 30 101 12 4   69 Av
Robinzon Diaz         c   25 .267 .287 .333 88 333 25 89 14 1 2 26   9 29 3 2   65 Pr
Andy Machado#        3b 28 .210 .293 .307 111 319 33 67 14 1 5 23 37 77 6 2   60 Av
Luis Cruz           2b 25 .232 .264 .337 139 501 49 116 27 1 8 45 19 54 7 4   58 Av

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

AVERAGE
Andy Phillips         1b 32 .268 .327 .410 85 239 30 64 11 1 7 24 20 42 1 1   94 Pr
———————————————————————————————————————————————————
Freddy Sanchez       2b 31 .285 .324 .398 129 498 65 142 31 2 7 55 25 56 0 1   88 Fr

FAIR
Ramon Vazquez*        3b 32 .250 .327 .362 91 268 33 67 14 2 4 22 31 58 1 1   83 Pr
Jack Wilson         ss 31 .267 .317 .358 113 408 45 109 20 1 5 32 26 42 3 3   78 Av

POOR
Brian Bixler         ss 26 .247 .311 .324 137 481 59 119 16 3 5 34 34 145 21 6   59 Av
Andy Machado#        3b 28 .210 .293 .307 111 319 33 67 14 1 5 23 37 77 6 2   60 Av
Pedro Lopez         ss 25 .237 .281 .320 119 413 42 98 17 1 5 39 25 70 4 3   61 Vg
Luis Rivas           2b 29 .224 .274 .324 94 299 32 67 11 2 5 26 19 43 6 3   59 Pr
Luis Cruz           2b 25 .232 .264 .337 139 501 49 116 27 1 8 45 19 54 7 4   58 Av

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

AVERAGE
Ryan Doumit#        c   28 .287 .343 .463 109 363 54 104 26 1 12 55 25 65 2 2 110 Pr Pr
————————————————————————————————————————————————————-
Nate McLouth*        cf 27 .261 .342 .459 140 449 83 117 32 3 17 58 48 81 19 3 108 Av Av

POOR
Andy Phillips         1b 32 .268 .327 .410 85 239 30 64 11 1 7 24 20 42 1 1   94 Fr  
Garrett Jones*        1b 28 .254 .304 .427 129 480 55 122 28 2 17 64 35 97 4 2   90 Av Fr
Brandon Moss*        lf 25 .251 .312 .403 135 471 49 118 30 3 12 57 42 124 5 3   87 Av Av
Jeff Salazar*        cf 28 .246 .325 .380 120 358 50 88 19 4 7 37 40 73 8 4   85 Vg Vg
Andrew McCutchen       cf 22 .261 .337 .362 142 556 67 145 25 2 9 43 60 100 35 17   84 Vg  
Steven Pearce         if 26 .245 .299 .407 133 474 53 116 30 1 15 67 32 89 11 3   86     Fr
Andy LaRoche         3b 25 .232 .325 .363 131 427 53 99 18 1 12 50 57 69 7 2   82 Av  
Craig Monroe         lf 32 .240 .294 .433 91 300 38 72 20 1 12 42 23 74 1 2   89 Av Av
Nyjer Morgan*        lf 28 .262 .315 .318 108 390 58 102 16 3 0 22 23 68 36 11   68 Vg Vg
Jose Tabata         rf 20 .240 .287 .310 111 445 45 107 14 1 5 41 25 76 20 5   59     Fr
Andy Machado#        3b 28 .210 .293 .307 111 319 33 67 14 1 5 23 37 77 6 2   60 Av Av

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

VERY GOOD
Nate McLouth*        cf 27 .261 .342 .459 140 449 83 117 32 3 17 58 48 81 19 3 108 Pr

FAIR
Brandon Moss*        lf 25 .251 .312 .403 135 471 49 118 30 3 12 57 42 124 5 3   87 Pr
Jeff Salazar*        cf 28 .246 .325 .380 120 358 50 88 19 4 7 37 40 73 8 4   85 Av
Andrew McCutchen       cf 22 .261 .337 .362 142 556 67 145 25 2 9 43 60 100 35 17   84 Vg
Craig Monroe         lf 32 .240 .294 .433 91 300 38 72 20 1 12 42 23 74 1 2   89 Pr

POOR
Nyjer Morgan*        lf 28 .262 .315 .318 108 390 58 102 16 3 0 22 23 68 36 11   68 Vg
Jose Tabata         rf 20 .240 .287 .310 111 445 45 107 14 1 5 41 25 76 20 5   59 Fr

* - Bats Left
# - Switch Hitter

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

MIDDLE THIRD
—————————————————————————————————————————————
Paul Maholm*          27   4.53   9 11 30 30   180.2 194   91 21   60 120   95

BOTTOM THIRD
Tom Gorzelanny*        26   4.67   9 11 29 29   152.1 159   79 18   65 108   91
Ian Snell           27   5.05   8 12 31 31   169.1 192   95 21   74 148   85
Jeff Karstens         26   5.18   5   9 20 19   104.1 119   60 17   30   59   82
Zach Duke*          26   5.27   7 11 28 27   148.2 190   87 15   42   75   82
Ross Ohlendorf         26   5.60   4   9 34 17   117.1 148   73 16   33   78   76
Daniel McCutchen       26   5.65   6 11 22 20   114.2 133   72 24   29   69   76
Ty Taubenheim         26   5.87   4   9 24 21   102.2 123   67 17   44   60   73
Jimmy Barthmaier       25   5.88   4   9 27 24   113.1 135   74 15   59   74   73
Phil Dumatrait*        27   5.88   4 10 24 19   104.0 122   68 14   52   61   73
Donald Veal*          24   5.95   5 10 26 26   124.0 137   82 22   69   85   72
Yoslan Herrera         28   6.19   5 12 26 26   123.2 161   85 18   46   55   69
Daniel Moskos*        23   6.66   4 10 29 20   100.0 130   74 17   47   46   64
Brad Lincoln         24   7.34   3 13 19 19   92.0 128   75 25   19   39   59

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

TOP THIRD
Matt Capps           25   3.27   5   3 65   0   71.2   66   26   7   13   55 132

MIDDLE THIRD
—————————————————————————————————————————————
John Grabow*          30   4.12   4   3 70   0   63.1   60   29   8   29   56 104

BOTTOM THIRD
Denny Bautista         28   4.62   3   4 53   0   64.1   64   33   4   43   50   91
Tyler Yates           31   4.79   3   4 69   0   67.2   69   36   7   37   61   89
David Davidson*        25   4.79   2   3 40   0   62.0   64   33   6   37   41   88
T.J. Beam           28   4.81   3   4 50   0   73.0   78   39   9   27   50   88
Craig Hansen         25   4.82   3   5 54   0   71.0   73   38   4   45   51   88
Jesse Chavez         25   4.96   3   5 55   0   81.2   91   45 11   33   66   85
Evan Meek           26   5.03   2   3 39   6   78.2   85   44   7   43   53   85
Jason Davis           29   5.03   5   8 37 13   98.1 114   55   7   45   49   85
Sean Burnett*        26   5.13   2   2 58   0   54.1   59   31   7   31   33   82
Jeffrey Sues         26   5.43   2   4 37   0   56.1   57   34 12   27   47   79
Juan Mateo           26   5.48   3   6 38   0   69.0   78   42 14   22   44   78
Romulo Sanchez         25   5.78   2   4 45   1   62.1   71   40 10   29   31   73
Brian Slocum         28   5.91   3   5 23 10   67.0   76   44 11   37   48   72
Mariano Salas         28   5.93   2   4 50   0   57.2   64   38 11   32   39   72
Chris Bootcheck       30   5.98   1   3 42   1   61.2   75   41   7   32   50   72
Daniel Haigwood*      25   6.52   2   5 29 12   78.2   91   57 14   55   56   66
Ron Uviedo           22   6.83   1   2 35   0   58.0   71   44 17   18   33   62

* - Throws Left

——————————————————————-

Player Spotlight - Nate McLouth
            AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS OPS+
Projection     .261 .342 .459 140 449 83 117 32 3 17 58 48 81 19 3 108

Top Near-Age Offensive Comps:  Daryl Boston, Ruppert Jones, Oddibe McDowell

ODDIBE

Offense     %
Top Quintile   38
2nd Quintile   25
Mid Quintile   24
4th Quintile   10
Low Quintile   3

OPS+        %    OBP   %    3B     %    Hits   %
160+        0     .400+  1     10+    0     200+  0
140+        4     .375+  9     5+    16     150+  0
130+        13     .350+  38
120+        25     .325+  76     2B     %
110+        49     .300+  95     45+    2
100+        70               30+    63
90+        88
80+        97
60+        99

BA         %    SLG   %    HR     %    SB     %
.350+      0     .550+  3     50+    0     70+    0
.325+      0     .500+  15     40+    0     50+    0
.300+      6     .450+  53     30+    3     30+    7
.275+      28     .400+  92     20+    29     10+    96
.250+      68     .350+  100   10+    93

(Based on Projected PA)
——————————————————————-

Player Spotlight - Adam LaRoche
            AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS OPS+
Projection     .268 .343 .485 141 497 67 133 34 1 24 81 57 117 1 1 115

Top Near-Age Offensive Comps:  Paul Sorrento, J.T. Snow, Dave Nilsson

ODDIBE

Offense     %
Top Quintile   15
2nd Quintile   29
Mid Quintile   21
4th Quintile   23
Low Quintile   12

OPS+        %    OBP   %    3B     %    Hits   %
160+        2     .400+  1     10+    0     200+  0
140+        11     .375+  11     5+    3     150+  9
130+        26     .350+  38
120+        41     .325+  76     2B     %
110+        63     .300+  96     45+    6
100+        80               30+    77
90+        92
80+        98
60+        100

BA         %    SLG   %    HR     %    SB     %
.350+      0     .550+  10     50+    0     70+    0
.325+      1     .500+  35     40+    3     50+    0
.300+      10     .450+  76     30+    19     30+    0
.275+      39     .400+  98     20+    70     10+    0
.250+      78     .350+  100   10+    100

(Based on Projected PA)
——————————————————————-

Player Spotlight - Tom Gorzelanny
              ERA   W   L   G GS   INN   H   ER HR   BB   K   ERA+   
Projection       4.67   9 11 29 29 152.1 159   79 18   65 108   91

Top Near-Age Comps:  Ross Baumgarten, Bobby Ojeda, Wilson Alvarez

ODDIBE

ERA   %
Top 1/3 13
Mid 1/3 49
Bot 1/3 37

ERA+  %    BB     %
>150   1     >25   0
>140   1     >34   0
>130   3     >42   2
>120   6     >51   13
>110   13     >59   36
>100   30     >68   65
>90   56
>80   84     HR     %
>70   97     >12   18
          >17   50
K/9   %    >22   79
>152   2     >27   93
>135   8
>118   26
>101   62

(Based on Projected IP)
——————————————————————-

Player Spotlight - Paul Maholm
              ERA   W   L   G GS   INN   H   ER HR   BB   K   ERA+   
Projection       4.53   9 11 30 30 180.2 194   91 21   60 120   95

Top Near-Age Comps:  Ken Brett, Jim Abbott, Joe Saunders

ODDIBE

ERA   %
Top 1/3 20
Mid 1/3 51
Bot 1/3 30

ERA+  %    BB     %
>150   1     >30   1
>140   2     >40   5
>130   4     >50   23
>120   9     >60   57
>110   20     >70   83
>100   40     >80   94
>90   65
>80   89     HR     %
>70   98     >14   20
          >20   53
K/9   %    >26   81
>181   1     >32   94
>161   2
>140   12
>120   47

(Based on Projected IP)
——————————————————————-

ODDIBE (Odds of Important Baseball Events)

OPS+ >140

LaRoche   11
Doumit     4
McLouth   4

OBP >.400

Doumit     2
LaRoche   1
McLouth   1

SLG >.550

LaRoche   10
Doumit     4
McLouth   3

BA >.325

Doumit     8
Sanchez   5
Phillips   1

2B >45

LaRoche   6
McLouth   2
Sanchez   1

3B >10

Ford     2

HR >30

LaRoche   19
Jones     3
McLouth   3

SB >50

Morgan     6
McCutchen   6

ERA+ >140

Capps     44
Grabow   13
Bautista   3

K/9 >9

Yates     22
Grabow   19
Snell     16

BB/9 <1.5

Capps 50
Lincoln 30
McCutchen 10

HR/9 <0.7

Capps 47
Yates 40
Grabow 25

All figures in % based on projection playing time - Min. 300 PA/50 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


Phillies

Orioles

Nationals

Mets

Marlins

Mariners

Indians

Giants

Dodgers

Diamondbacks

Cubs

Cardinals

Brewers

Braves

Blue Jays

A’s

Astros

Angels

Dan Szymborski Posted: January 20, 2009 at 07:19 PM | 59 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Darren Posted: January 20, 2009 at 07:51 PM (#3056139)
When I saw a new TO, I thought it would be something like "USA, acquired Pres. Barack Obama for Criminal to be named later." But you know, wittier.
   2. flournoy Posted: January 20, 2009 at 08:01 PM (#3056157)
Well certainly anything couldn't have been less witty, I'll grant that.
   3. Darren Posted: January 20, 2009 at 08:21 PM (#3056184)
So's your mom.
   4. Tike Redman's Shattered Dreams (shayborg) Posted: January 20, 2009 at 08:23 PM (#3056189)
The pitching looks even worse than I'd expected. Given that, I think the strategy of acquiring tons of midrange arms is pretty much the best option we had last year...
   5. Juan V Posted: January 20, 2009 at 08:40 PM (#3056218)
Boy, this team sucks.
   6. Good cripple hitter Posted: January 20, 2009 at 08:44 PM (#3056225)
What caused Ian Snell to crater so badly?
   7. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 20, 2009 at 08:44 PM (#3056228)
Oh Brad Lincoln, I was so certain you'd be a success.
   8. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: January 20, 2009 at 08:46 PM (#3056230)
So the Pirates only decent corner OF would be to play their starting C and CF. Ouch.
That Jack Wilson projection kinda makes it clear why he has no trade value, eh? Double ouch.
And that's before you start looking at the pitchers. It's a good thing the Steelers are going to win the Supe for my friends in Pittsburgh.
   9. Darren Posted: January 20, 2009 at 08:55 PM (#3056247)
Trading Jason Bay gets you a poor RF, poor 3B, bottom-third reliever, and Bryan Morris? Not good.
   10. Cowboy Popup Posted: January 20, 2009 at 09:05 PM (#3056265)
Wow, Karstens, Ohlendorf, and McCutcheon are that high up on the depth chart? That's a lousy rotation.
   11. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: January 20, 2009 at 09:27 PM (#3056292)
I'll take the over on Brandon Moss.
   12. BeanoCook Posted: January 20, 2009 at 09:28 PM (#3056293)
Is the Bucs pitching really that bad? I thought they had some talent, some upside. No?
   13. BeanoCook Posted: January 20, 2009 at 09:28 PM (#3056294)
Boy, this team sucks.


LOL!
   14. Elston Gunn Posted: January 20, 2009 at 09:30 PM (#3056299)
I make jokes that have something to do with This Is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About probably an average of once a week (basically whenever someone mentions a long drive). I am the only person that continues to think they are funny.

Also, the Pirates suck.
   15. There are no words... (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: January 20, 2009 at 09:38 PM (#3056309)
Old Pittsburgh regime:

Would give up Ian Snell, Zach Duke & Matt Capps for Luis Castillo.

New Pittsburgh regime:

Would only give up Duke & Capps...
   16. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 20, 2009 at 09:46 PM (#3056322)
"Is the Bucs pitching really that bad? I thought they had some talent, some upside. No?"

No.
   17. Kyle S at work Posted: January 20, 2009 at 09:56 PM (#3056334)
I love Andy Phillips at SS.
   18. Orange & Blue Velvet Posted: January 20, 2009 at 10:04 PM (#3056339)
Am I the only one who thinks Phillips could be a really solid set-up man on days when he isn't playing third, short and second simultaneously?
   19. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 20, 2009 at 10:06 PM (#3056343)
I'll take the over on Brandon Moss.


I think that projection is about as good as you can expect from Moss. If anything, I'd take the under. Moss doesn't make contact consistently enough to justify anything better.

-- MWE
   20. Frisco Cali Posted: January 20, 2009 at 10:25 PM (#3056379)
What about the Snell crater question? I have been wondering the same thing. Whappened?
   21. flournoy Posted: January 20, 2009 at 10:47 PM (#3056403)
I can picture a Baseball Mogul pitcher with a 5.83 ERA saying, "Joe Shlabotnik is unhappy being the mop-up man for the Astros. He thinks he could be the #1 starter on the Pirates." Man, those guys pissed me off.
   22. Tike Redman's Shattered Dreams (shayborg) Posted: January 20, 2009 at 11:07 PM (#3056423)
What about the Snell crater question? I have been wondering the same thing. Whappened?
His control deserted him on day one and never really came back; he spent a few weeks on the DL with an elbow injury but wasn't much better when he came back. His control had always been pretty good so maybe he was just having release point issues or something. I'm thinking he will either bounce back almost completely or just implode.
   23. dr. bleachers Posted: January 20, 2009 at 11:24 PM (#3056440)
I didn't even make the connection that it was Andy Phillips, former Yankee. Just sat here for a minute wondering why I hadn't heard of this middle infielder that projected to hit pretty well for a crappy team.
   24. DaMick knows what love is. A Boy Loves His Dog. Posted: January 21, 2009 at 12:04 AM (#3056458)
So on days when Andy Phillips is doing the relief pitching thing, Freddy Sanchez gets to play SS, 2nd base and 3rd base? Cool.
   25. Mushroy Posted: January 21, 2009 at 12:47 AM (#3056489)
Dan,you left out the Lonesome Crowded West, which is one of the few Modest Mouse albums that likely deserves your or anyone else's attention. The Moon and Antarctic was good, but everything after that would certainly fall way short. This is a baseball site, so I wont't get into how despairingly disappointed I was by Brock's post-Ugly-Cassanova-efforts----All I want to say is that The Lonesome Crowded West was insanely awesome and ought to be represented here.
....Thank you for your time.
   26. John DiFool2 Posted: January 21, 2009 at 02:35 AM (#3056561)
The younger LaRoche brother's projection is pretty brutal too. Did all the dicking around by the Dodgers, and his injuries, basically rob him of most of his development time over the past two years?
   27. frannyzoo Posted: January 21, 2009 at 03:02 AM (#3056575)
Well, you know the old expression "Maholm and Gorzelanny and pray for rain".

Paul Maholm? "#1 Starter"?
   28. Kid Charlemagne Posted: January 21, 2009 at 03:04 AM (#3056577)
Snell was better in the second half - or at least August and September. In 5 September/October starts, he had a 25:11 K to BB ratio in 27 innings, and a 3.67 ERA (.729 OPS against). August was not nearly as good, but it seems that he may have figured something out, or finally gotten healthy.
   29. thinkmaui Posted: January 21, 2009 at 03:06 AM (#3056579)
What is the expected BABIP for Andy LaRoche? Last year it had to be brutal and I see his BB/K ratio is once again expected to be pretty good. ZIPS seems to be saying the dude just can't hit. Does that make any sense given his minor league resume? I don't get it...
   30. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 21, 2009 at 03:25 AM (#3056592)
think:

This conversation was had the other day. LaRoche did most of his damage in Triple A in Vegas (home park). If you saw him in person last season you would have wondered how this guy ever got to the major leagues. He wasn't just overmatched. He was overwhelmed. He was a 12 year old bat boy being asked to fill in for someone on the local American Legion team.
   31. ColonelTom Posted: January 21, 2009 at 03:38 AM (#3056601)
Wow, I'm not even a Pirates fan and these projections got me depressed.

LaRoche's major-league BABIP last year was .176, FWIW. You have to wonder if the thumb injury (torn ligament) last spring was the cause of his troubles. His power really faded last year even before reaching the majors. ISO in Las Vegas from 2006-08 - .228, .280, and then post-injury, .146. ISO in the majors last year was .090. I wonder if the Dodgers had the same people "helping" him that worked with Jayson Werth on his wrist injury.
   32. jwb Posted: January 21, 2009 at 05:02 AM (#3056659)
The Lonesome Crowded West Pennsylvania Cellar?

Maholm and Snell and pray like hell!
   33. Foster Posted: January 21, 2009 at 05:08 AM (#3056667)
I thought McLouth would project a bit better than this.
   34. number 6 Posted: January 21, 2009 at 05:19 AM (#3056676)
maholm and 4 in the loss column!

But knowing the consistency of pirates pitching, Maholm will probably fall apart, snell and gorzelanny will continue to suck, and Zach Duke will resurrect himself and carry the staff.

Zach Duke and the pirates pitching makes me want to puke!
   35. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 21, 2009 at 05:26 AM (#3056683)
You think a Pirates pitcher could have a good season, then the requisite bad seasons, and then return to being good while still with the Pirates? This has never happened before. It's one good season, then off to the glue factory or else get traded while there's still some hope.

I predict that Duke has an era of 5.00 and then gets traded for Nick Punto and Denard Span. And the only good pitcher on the Pirates this year will be Ross Ohlendorf, who will then completely fall apart and be retired by 2013.
   36. Walt Davis Posted: January 21, 2009 at 05:52 AM (#3056700)
His control deserted him on day one

That was true of pretty much the entire Pirates staff so I was fond of pointing a finger at the pitching coach (who I believe did get canned).

If you believe he was hampered by the wrist, one would expect him to beat that projection but if one believes that he sucked apart from wrist issues, one would expect him to be somewhere around that projection.

Or if one thinks he hasn't/won't recover from the wrist issues ...

I didn't realize he'd been hurt that badly. Maybe he has more hope than I give think.

Anyway, any team that has a starting 3B and SS who don't project to be an better than Ramon Vazquez needs some help. How come nobody's mentioned the Tabata projection yet?
   37. thinkmaui Posted: January 21, 2009 at 07:25 AM (#3056728)
I guess I missed this Andy LaRoche discussion earlier. I'm just surprised that someone with this kind of plate discipline would have this poor of a ZIPS projection. That's going to be one incredibly poor BABIP number again. I understand about the injury though. All bets are off when someone is truly hurt.

In looking over his minor league resume 590 of his 1800 at bats came while playing for Las Vegas. He had pretty strong peripherals in Jacksonville as a 22 year old as well, and that's not a strong hitting environment. His 2006 translation looks pretty spot on to me as far as what to expect long-term, but perhaps I'm underestimating that wrist...I'm not a Pirate fan, but I actually feel like this was one addition they made that makes sense. I'll bet the over.
   38. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 21, 2009 at 03:38 PM (#3056845)
I'm just surprised that someone with this kind of plate discipline would have this poor of a ZIPS projection.


You're confusing plate discipline with walk rate.

LaRoche is too passive at the plate; he's always waiting for the perfect pitch. When the pitcher makes a mistake, he drives it - but when the pitcher doesn't, he makes weak contact and hits a lot of lazy flies and easy-to-field grounders. A hitter of this type will draw enough walks to keep his OBP respectable, usually, but his in-play BA and ISO will be relatively low (and people will hark back to his minor league career and point out how *unlucky* he's been). LaRoche has to learn to swing the bat more often earlier in the count to keep the pitchers honest.

-- MWE
   39. Posada Posse Posted: January 21, 2009 at 03:58 PM (#3056859)
Poor team defense likely didn't help Snell (or the other pitchers) last season either.
   40. aleskel Posted: January 21, 2009 at 04:06 PM (#3056871)
I'm planning on taking a trip to Pittsburgh with my dad over the summer to see a game. If the team is this bad (and I don't doubt it will be) I'm curious to see what the fan culture is like. Earnest? Bitter? Gallows humor?
   41. North Side Chicago Expatriate Giants Fan Posted: January 21, 2009 at 06:53 PM (#3057077)
So the Pirates only decent corner OF would be to play their starting C and CF. Ouch.

On the other hand, the Pirates have a C and CF that would make decent corner OFers. Too bad there's nothing to go with them.
   42. Joshemy Posted: January 22, 2009 at 12:18 AM (#3057499)
Dan, while I know it is not a studio album/LP, you totally should have use the MM compilation album Building Nothing Out Of Something in the intro.
   43. MM1f Posted: January 22, 2009 at 12:57 AM (#3057551)
Amen Mike. Amen.
   44. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 22, 2009 at 01:06 AM (#3057563)
Little of all three, Al.
   45. Sleepy supports unauthorized rambling Posted: January 22, 2009 at 01:31 AM (#3057588)
Dan, while I know it is not a studio album/LP, you totally should have use the MM compilation album Building Nothing Out Of Something in the intro.


"Building Nothing Out Of Something: the Story of the 1993-2009 Pittsburgh Pirates" would be a fun book to read, as a sort of negative version of shuerholz's "Built to Win"...
   46. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: January 22, 2009 at 06:08 AM (#3057709)
ba had a pretty good (sub only) piece this week (from perrotto, who i like a lot) on the pirates reign of error...

dan, if you please, how did romak rate?
   47. Greg Schuler Posted: January 22, 2009 at 04:34 PM (#3057898)
Jeff Andrews, the former Pirates pitching coach, will be plying his trade in the Northwest League for the Texas Rangers. I am not bothered to research, but that seems to me to quite a demotion. Management is really banking on Joe Kerrigan to prepare the pitchers and work on their mentality (pitching inside, for example). Joe Kerrigan might be a good pitching coach (hard to tell since he basically rode Pedro's coattails) but I can't believe one pitching coach will have that much of an impact.

As far as the projections - yeah, it will be that bad. Despite what Bob Nutting wants to think or expects for 2009.
   48. Hurdle's Heroes (SuperBaes) Posted: January 23, 2009 at 08:17 PM (#3059156)
I had no idea Jim Abbott was one of Maholm's top comps; saw him pitch a few times and could have sworn he had two arms! What, insensitive?
   49. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 23, 2009 at 08:47 PM (#3059198)
That he doesn't have two arms would be news to Abbott, I think!
   50. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: January 24, 2009 at 05:46 AM (#3059538)
thanks, dan! i think that's low, but his lack of range ensures he won't be in the bigs anytime soon unless he's considerably better than my expectations...
   51. RollingWave Posted: January 26, 2009 at 05:39 PM (#3060556)
The Maholm / Abbott comp is too hilarious on so many level.
   52. Morph Posted: January 27, 2009 at 02:07 PM (#3061267)
If this song is any indication, the new album is going to be sick. Ths song sounds a bit like Make Everyone Happy/Mechanical Birds.


The Whale Song


And I don’t understand how anyone could truly believe “Good News for People who love Bad News” is anything less than a great album. You’ve got The World at Large, Bukowski, Black Cadillacs, Blame it on the Tetons, Float On, The View, Satin in a Coffin, and One Chance. In my view [McCarver’ed] those are all excellent songs, and I think The World at Large is a masterpiece. A lot of people really, really hate “We were dead before the Ship Even Sank”, and while I think it falls short of “Good News”, it definitely isn’t a terrible album by any means. “Parting of the Sensory” and “Education” are great songs, for instance. Anyway, I guess I have lower standards than some people. I’d take the “We were Dead” album over 95 percent of the other stuff currently out there. I’m fully expecting the next album to be a return to form. I would be disappointed if it’s another “We were Dead” kind of effort, but even A-Rod has an off year now and then…

As for the Pirates, well, they just have no direction home.
   53. Home Run Teal & Black Black Black Gone! Posted: February 09, 2010 at 12:56 AM (#3456434)
I fight ninjas until there are no ninjas left.

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