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2010 Archives http://www.dbacksvenom.com/table/2010-articles/january/ Tue, 22 Jul 2014 13:24:54 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb PECOTA Projections - 2010 Diamondbacks http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2010-articles/january/pecota-projections-2010-diamondbacks.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2010-articles/january/pecota-projections-2010-diamondbacks.html Baseball Prospectus' PECOTA system. PECOTA has the Diamondbacks scoring 764 runs while giving up 723, projecting to a 85-77 record, just two games behind the Dodgers. The big difference is the offense, which is projected to improve by 44 runs from the 2009 total of only 720. Where are the big improvements coming from? PECOTA sees big improvements from Kelly Johnson, Conor Jackson, and Chris Young. Kelly Johnson (Proj): .278/.362/.460, .822 OPS (2009-.692) Conor Jackson (Proj): .278/.361/.429, .790 OPS (2009-.516) Chris Young (Proj): .241/.323/.437, .760 OPS (2009-.711) Small improvements are projected for Stephen Drew and Adam LaRoche, while Justin Upton, Miguel Montero, and Mark Reynolds see an OPS drop, but are still very productive players. As a team, the Diamondbacks are projected for a .257/.334/.432 line, up by 24 points of OPS from the 2009 line of .253/.324/.418. On the pitching side, PECOTA projects the Diamondbacks another solid season from Dan Haren (3.41 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 200 IP), but the numbers aren't as good for the #2 and #3 starters. Brandon Webb is projected for only 16 starts at a 3.80 ERA, while Edwin Jackson makes 30 starts, but with only a 4.84 ERA. What saves the pitching staff in PECOTA's projection is #4 Ian Kennedy, who is projected for a 3.70 ERA in 20 starts, and #5 Billy Buckner, who has a 4.73 ERA in 28 starts. Also contributing are Kevin Mulvey and Bryan Augenstein, who combine for a decent 4.61 ERA in spot starts. PECOTA projects the bullpen to be mediocre, as only Chad Qualls and Clay Zavada have ERAs below 4.00. Overall, the team is projected to give up 723 runs, quite a bit fewer than last year's 782. Edit: The projections from BP have been revised since they were originally posted on 1/28/2010. The text has been revised. ]]> amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) January Fri, 29 Jan 2010 05:06:40 +0000 2010 Diamondbacks - Batting Projections http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2010-articles/january/2010-diamondbacks-batting-projections.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2010-articles/january/2010-diamondbacks-batting-projections.html Bill James - These projections are from the Bill James Handbook, from Baseball Info Solutions. CHONE - Developed by Sean Smith, these are available at Baseball Projection.com. Marcel - Named for Marcel the Monkey, Marcel is the simplest projection system around, mainly based on a weighted average of the three previous seasons. Zips - Developed by Dan Szymborksi at Baseball Think Factory. Baseball HQ - Projections from Ron Shandler in the Baseball Forecaster and BaseballHQ.com. Fans - This is an average of fans' projections at Fangraphs.com. Miguel Montero, C
System AB R H HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS
2009 425 61 125 16 59 38 78 1 2 .294 .355 .478 .832
BJames 472 63 130 18 69 47 82 1 1 .275 .344 .458 .802
CHONE 362 44 100 14 55 32 66 1 1 .276 .342 .456 .798
Marcel 406 57 112 15 55 40 80 2 2 .276 .344 .456 .799
Zips 346 44 95 12 56 33 61 0 1 .275 .342 .451 .793
HQ 466 62 127 17 61 44 92 1 1 .273 .335 .460 .796
Fans 508 73 144 18 78 50 90 1 0 .283 .352 .458 .810
All of the projections for Montero are fairly close, and all are slightly below his 2009 stats. Montero's playing time will depend on the status of Chris Snyder.  If Snyder isn't traded, he should see some at bats against LHP. But if the D'backs decide to trade Snyder and his $4M salary, Montero should steal more at bats from the backup (John Hester). Adam LaRoche, 1B
System AB R H HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS
2008 492 66 133 25 85 54 122 1 1 .270 .341 .500 .841
2009 555 78 154 25 83 69 142 2 2 .277 .355 .488 .843
BJames 571 79 155 26 91 66 143 1 1 .271 .348 .485 .833
CHONE 532 71 138 24 80 54 135 1 1 .259 .330 .459 .789
Marcel 505 67 136 22 77 58 124 2 2 .269 .344 .473 .817
Zips 513 80 147 26 109 63 130 1 1 .287 .363 .520 .883
HQ 583 88 164 31 109 63 139 1 1 .282 .352 .532 .884
Fans 548 82 148 25 84 63 139 2 1 .270 .343 .481 .824
The projections for LaRoche are a lot more varied, with the projected OPS varying from .789 to .884. I think the upper projections will prevail, as LaRoche benefits from the friendly batting conditions in Arizona. Kelly Johnson, 2B
System AB R H HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS
2007 521 91 144 16 68 79 117 9 5 .276 .375 .457 .831
2008 547 86 157 12 69 52 113 11 6 .287 .349 .446 .795
2009 303 47 68 8 29 32 54 7 2 .224 .303 .389 .692
BJames 485 78 133 14 62 58 88 10 5 .274 .354 .445 .799
CHONE 433 69 118 13 56 49 81 8 4 .273 .351 .443 .794
Marcel 380 60 101 10 46 44 78 8 4 .266 .345 .432 .777
Zips 434 66 121 14 64 48 84 5 2 .279 .352 .472 .824
HQ 491 88 136 16 72 53 91 12 3 .277 .348 .483 .832
Fans 492 69 134 12 70 55 94 7 2 .272 .346 .423 .769
Kelly Johnson had a down year in 2009, but all of the projection systems have Johnson returning to form in 2010. Although Chase Field should help Johnson's stats, my prediction is an OPS of around .770. Stephen Drew, SS
System AB R H HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS
2008 611 91 178 21 67 41 109 3 3 .291 .333 .502 .836
2009 533 71 139 12 65 49 87 5 1 .261 .320 .428 .748
BJames 585 80 161 17 71 52 92 5 3 .275 .335 .456 .791
CHONE 550 73 149 15 63 45 92 4 2 .271 .328 .431 .759
Marcel 505 68 136 14 59 47 90 6 2 .269 .330 .444 .774
Zips 554 73 147 16 77 50 95 3 1 .265 .324 .444 .768
HQ 594 87 166 18 69 52 104 6 2 .280 .338 .466 .805
Fans 611 82 171 17 79 54 102 6 2 .280 .336 .457 .793
After an excellent 2008 and a disappointing 2009, all of the projections have Drew finishing 2010 somewhere between the two. My guess is somewhere around .270/.330/.450 for Drew in 2010. Mark Reynolds, 3B
System AB R H HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS
2008 539 87 129 28 97 64 204 11 2 .239 .320 .458 .779
2009 578 98 150 44 102 76 223 24 9 .260 .349 .543 .892
BJames 559 103 150 40 107 72 191 18 8 .268 .356 .551 .907
CHONE 492 83 128 30 87 60 169 11 5 .260 .345 .498 .843
Marcel 519 85 135 31 89 63 183 14 5 .260 .342 .503 .845
Zips 530 85 137 33 106 64 182 7 3 .258 .341 .509 .850
HQ 577 97 143 37 99 69 211 15 6 .248 .328 .502 .830
Fans 593 90 152 37 109 74 219 18 4 .256 .340 .502 .843
All of the projections have Reynolds hitting at least 30 HR in 2010, with a so-so batting average and a lot of strikeouts. The projected OPS is generally around .840, with Bill James up at .907. Conor Jackson, LF
System AB R H HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS
2007 415 56 118 15 60 53 50 2 2 .284 .368 .467 .836
2008 540 87 162 12 75 59 61 10 2 .300 .376 .446 .823
2009 99 8 18 1 14 11 16 5 0 .182 .264 .253 .516
Bjames 463 66 132 12 69 57 54 9 4 .285 .368 .438 .806
CHONE 416 60 115 12 61 48 56 4 2 .276 .358 .425 .783
Marcel 278 39 77 8 39 32 39 5 1 .277 .356 .435 .791
Zips 356 50 99 10 59 40 46 4 1 .278 .357 .441 .798
HQ 517 65 144 15 75 61 68 11 1 .278 .354 .433 .788
Fans 494 79 144 13 84 55 65 6 1 .292 .369 .450 .819
Most of the projections are worried about Jackson's Valley-Fever plagued 2009 season. I think Jackson will be all the way back, and should have an OPS around .830. Chris Young, CF
System AB R H HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS
2007 569 85 135 32 68 43 141 27 6 .237 .295 .467 .763
2008 625 85 155 22 85 62 165 14 5 .248 .315 .443 .758
2009 433 54 92 15 42 59 133 11 4 .212 .311 .400 .711
Bjames 560 84 137 25 73 65 142 17 6 .245 .326 .463 .789
CHONE 341 46 78 11 33 43 98 7 5 .229 .320 .387 .707
Marcel 461 63 110 19 56 50 123 14 4 .239 .315 .440 .756
Zips 563 77 133 23 83 62 143 9 3 .236 .315 .440 .755
HQ 518 73 123 21 61 60 140 14 6 .237 .316 .442 .758
Fans 504 65 122 21 72 60 140 18 5 .242 .323 .451 .775
The projections for Young are all over the map. CHONE has Young with another miserable year, finishing with an OPS around .707.  Most others have Young returning to his 2007-2008 form, around .750, while the fans and Bill James have Young having the best season of his career. Young did finish strongly in September, so hopefully he can get the OPS in the .770 range. Justin Upton, RF
System AB R H HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS
2008 356 52 89 15 42 54 121 1 4 .250 .353 .463 .816
2009 526 84 158 26 86 55 137 20 5 .300 .366 .532 .899
BJames 564 93 165 28 90 68 142 19 8 .293 .371 .534 .905
CHONE 456 73 135 22 72 52 115 13 7 .296 .372 .515 .887
Marcel 472 73 135 21 68 57 124 12 4 .286 .364 .506 .871
Zips 511 79 144 26 90 64 134 9 3 .282 .363 .521 .884
HQ 577 87 160 28 93 69 161 22 7 .277 .354 .504 .858
Fans 582 102 173 31 109 69 148 22 6 .297 .373 .541 .914
Another solid year for Upton, although only the Fans are projecting a significant increase. Conclusions The Diamondbacks' offense should be significantly improved in 2010.  I think they will get above-average production from Montero, LaRoche, Drew, Reynolds, Upton, and Jackson, and hopefully at league average results from Johnson and CYoung.  This team will strike out a lot, with four players (Reynolds, Upton, LaRoche, Young) certain to break 100 Ks, with Drew, Johnson, and Montero coming close to that level.  Team speed will also be a concern, as most projections have Reynolds' SBs decreasing, and only Upton safely in double figures.  Still, this team will have good power, and will draw their share of walks. I predict a team total of at least 770 runs scored, or 50 more than each of the last two seasons.]]>
amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) January Tue, 26 Jan 2010 07:34:39 +0000
Edwin Jackson and 2010 MLB Arbitration Figures http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2010-articles/january/edwin-jackson-and-2010-mlb-arbitration-figures.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2010-articles/january/edwin-jackson-and-2010-mlb-arbitration-figures.html Player Asked Offered Team Joe Saunders, SP $3,850,000 $3,600,000 Angels Maicer Izturis, 2B $3,000,000 $2,300,000 Angels Erick Aybar, SS $2,750,000 $1,800,000 Angels Jeff Mathis, C $1,300,000 $700,000 Angels Wandy Rodriguez, SP $7,000,000 $5,000,000 Astros Hunter Pence, OF $4,100,000 $3,100,000 Astros Tim Byrdak, RP $1,900,000 $1,300,000 Astros Michael Wuertz, RP $2,900,000 $1,900,000 Athletics Corey Hart, OF $4,800,000 $4,150,000 Brewers David Bush, SP $4,450,000 $4,125,000 Brewers Todd Coffey, RP $2,450,000 $1,700,000 Brewers Carlos Villanueva, RP $1,075,000 $800,000 Brewers Skip Schumaker, 2B $2,750,000 $1,450,000 Cardinals Ryan Theriot, SS $3,400,000 $2,600,000 Cubs Carlos Marmol, RP $2,500,000 $1,750,000 Cubs Sean Marshall, RP $1,175,000 $800,000 Cubs Edwin Jackson, SP $6,250,000 $4,600,000 D'Backs Tim Lincecum, SP $13,000,000 $8,000,000 Giants Brian Wilson, RP $4,875,000 $4,000,000 Giants Casey Kotchman, 1B $3,900,000 $3,135,000 Mariners Brandon League,RP $1,325,000 $900,000 Mariners Josh Johnson, SP $5,000,000 $3,000,000 Marlins Cody Ross, OF $4,450,000 $4,200,000 Marlins Angel Pagan, OF $1,800,000 $1,275,000 Mets Brian Bruney, RP $1,850,000 $1,500,000 Nationals Sean Burnett, RP $925,000 $775,000 Nationals Jeremy Guthrie, SP $3,625,000 $2,300,000 Orioles Scott Hairston, OF $2,900,000 $2,100,000 Padres Mike Adams, RP $1,200,000 $875,000 Padres Joe Blanton, SP $10,250,000 $7,500,000 Phillies Shane Victorino, OF $5,800,000 $4,750,000 Phillies Carlos Ruiz, C $2,500,000 $1,700,000 Phillies Frank Francisco, RP $3,600,000 $3,000,000 Rangers Scott Feldman, SP $2,900,000 $2,050,000 Rangers B.J. Upton, OF $3,300,000 $3,000,000 Rays Jeremy Hermida, OF $3,850,000 $2,950,000 Red Sox Ramon Ramirez, RP $1,250,000 $1,060,000 Red Sox Justin Verlander, SP $9,500,000 $6,900,000 Tigers The most prominent arbitration filers include Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum (asking for a record $13M), Joe Blanton ($10.5M), and Justin Verlander ($9.5M).  The Diamondbacks reached late agreements with all of their arbitration eligible players (Chad Qualls, $4.185M;  Stephen Drew, $3.4M; Conor Jackson, $3.1M; Aaron Heilman, $2.15M) except for one, Edwin Jackson. Edwin Jackson Jackson submitted a figure of $6.25M, while the Diamondbacks offered $4.6M.   Jackson finished 2010 with 4 years and 70 days  of service time (abbreviated 4.70), and earned a salary of $2.2M in 2009.  Who are some comparable pitchers to Jackson in terms of quality (214 IP, 3.62 ERA, 127 ERA+) and service time, and what salaries have they been offered? Comparable Players Signed This Year This year, Jorge De La Rosa just signed a 1 yr, $5.6M contract with the Rockies. De La Rosa went 16-9 in 2009, with a 4.38 ERA (105 ERA+). His season was probably a little worse than Jackson's, but De La Rosa had a little more service time, 5.015 seasons. Jered Weaver (16-8, 3.75 ERA, 211 IP, 120 ERA+) signed a 1 yr deal for $4.265M after 3.129 years of service time. Another pitcher who filed for arbitration is similar to Jackson - Wandy Rodriguez. Rodriguez has 4.105 years of service time, and was 14-12 in 2009, with a 3.02 ERA in 206 IP (130 ERA+). Rodriguez has a slightly better record than Jackson, and asked for a higher amount, $7M, while the Astros offered $5M. Comparable Contracts from Last Year After the 2008 season, Zach Greinke was arbitration eligible with 4.057 years of service time, and signed a 4 year, $38M contract with the Royals. Greinke was coming off a 202 IP, 3.46 ERA season (126 ERA+), not too different than Jackson's. After 2008, Ervin Santana had 3.104 years of service time, and had completed a 219 IP, 3.49 ERA (127 ERA+) season, and signed a 4 year, $30M deal. After 2008, Erik Bedard had completed an injury-plagued season with 81 IP and a 3.67 ERA (115 ERA+), and signed a 1 year, $7.75M contract. Bedard had completed 5.171 years of service time at that point. In 2008, Todd Wellemeyer had completed a slightly worse season that Jackson - 192 IP, 3.71 ERA (115 ERA+) and signed a $4.05M contract. Conclusions So where does Edwin Jackson fit in? Jackson could probably argue that he is better than Jorge De La Rosa, who just signed a $5.6M contract, with just a little more service time than Jackson. Jackson could also claim a better record than Jered Weaver, who signed for $4.265M with only 3.129 years of service time. Given these two contracts, the D'Backs offer of $4.6M might be a little low A lot may depend on Wandy Rodriguez's contract. If Rodriguez splits the difference with the Astros for around $6M, it will be difficult for Jackson to ask for $6.25M in arbitration. Most likely, Jackson and the Diamondbacks will settle in the $5.0-$5.5 range.]]> amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) January Wed, 20 Jan 2010 03:23:24 +0000 Diamondbacks sign Adam LaRoche to a 1 year contract http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2010-articles/january/diamondbacks-sign-adam-laroche-to-a-1-year-contract.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2010-articles/january/diamondbacks-sign-adam-laroche-to-a-1-year-contract.html amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) January Thu, 14 Jan 2010 16:53:21 +0000 Bob Howry - What to expect in 2010? http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2010-articles/january/bob-howry-what-to-expect-in-2010.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2010-articles/january/bob-howry-what-to-expect-in-2010.html Bob Howry has had a solid 12 year career, pitching for the White Sox, Red Sox, Indians, Cubs, and Giants, with a career ERA of 3.66 (125 ERA+). He has some experience as a closer, including 28 Saves with the White Sox in 1999, and a total of 66 in his career. For five of the last six seasons, his ERA has been below 3.40 - his only really poor season was his last in Wrigley Field, where his ERA soared to 5.35. But there are some warning signs for 2010. First of all, Howry's strikeout rate has dropped for four consecutive years: 2006: 8.3K/9 2007: 8.0K/9 2008: 7.5K/9 2009: 6.5K/9 Another danger sign is that Howry's walk rate in 2009 was his highest in years, 3.3 BB/9. The low strikeout rate and high walk rate led Howry to have a FIP of 3.85, but a xFIP of 4.95. The xFIP rate is high because Howry only allowed 5 HR in 63.2 IP, even though he had a high 51.3% fly ball rate. But despite lots of fly balls, only 5.1% left the yard, well below the league average (~10-11 %) and Howry's historical rates (8-9 %). Finally, the Batting Average on Balls in Play (BABIP) for Howry was only .238, much lower than his career rate (.281). So we have a pitcher who struck out fewer batters while walking more, but kept his ERA low with unusually low Hit and HR rates. Leverage Index Another concern with Howry is how he was utilized by the Giants in 2009. Howry began the season as the Giants' primary set-up man, pitching in the 8th inning or later in 18 of 21 appearances through May and June. One way of quantifying Howry's usage pattern is by looking at the Average Leverage Index (ALI). The Leverage Index is a measure of how important a particular game situation is, based on the score, inning, outs, and runners on base. The average LI is 1, while about 10% of game situations (high importance) have an LI greater than 2. Howry's LI when he entered each game can be found on his Baseball Reference Game Log page. Over his first 22 appearances, Howry's ALI was 1.54, meaning that he was mainly being used in crucial situations. However, he allowed 11 ER in 19.1 IP, and the Giants began to lose confidence in him. Over his next 20 appearances (June 6 - August 5), Howry was used in low leverage situations (ALI = 0.54), getting only 1 Hold over two months. However, he did pitch better during this stretch, with a 2.86 ERA, and gradually earned a more important role. Over the next month (8/6-9/6), Howry had an ALI of 1.59, including three games where he entered a tie game in the 9th inning. The results weren't that bad (3 ER in 13 IP), but Howry began having control problems, walking 7 batters over 7 IP from August 22 to September 6th. From that point, Howry was again used sparingly (ALI = 0.63), as Dan Runzler, Sergio Romo, and Jeremy Affeldt were given the crucial innings in front of closer Brian Wilson. So what can we conclude from Howry's usage in 2009? Howry was given two stretches to pitch in high leverage situations - one at the beginning of the year (April-May), and again in August, and both times he was eventually dropped to a less critical bullpen position. The first demotion occurred after he gave up 11 ER in 19.1 IP, and the second after walking 7 in 7.1 IP. Conclusions Although Howry has had a long successful career as a relief pitcher, there are clear signs that his effectiveness has decreased. His strikeout rate has dropped for 4 consecutive years, and his walk rate took a jump last season. His respectable ERA in 2009 was aided greatly by low BABIP and HR rates. In addition, he was unable to maintain his job in high leverage situations with the Giants last year, so it may not be realistic to expect him to handle the 8th Inning for the Diamondbacks in 2010. An ERA over 4.00 is a distinct possibility.]]> amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) January Tue, 12 Jan 2010 07:33:15 +0000 First Ballot Hall of Famers http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2010-articles/january/first-ballot-hall-of-famers.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2010-articles/january/first-ballot-hall-of-famers.html 2010 Hall of Fame voting were released on January 6, 2010, and only Andre Dawson exceeded the threshold of 75% for induction.   Although I would not have voted for Dawson (Link), I don't think he's a horrible selection. What does surprise me is that the voters thought he was the best candidate on the ballot - I would have ranked him 8th, behind Blyleven, Alomar, Raines, Larkin, Trammell, Martinez, and McGwire. But one reason why Dawson received more votes than Alomar or Larkin is that some voters refuse to vote for players who are on the ballot for the first time. Jay Mariotti, for example, stated that "To me…the first ballot is sacred. I think Roberto Alomar is an eventual Hall of Famer, [but] not the first time." Is there something to this? Should the first ballot be reserved for the inner circle Hall of Famers? Well, first of all, if many voters thought this way, the player wouldn't stay on the HOF ballot, since 5% of the votes are required to return the following year. Luckily, most voters didn't think that way. Second, is there really a difference between first ballot HOFers and those who were elected in subsequent years? Does anyone even know who the First Ballot HOFers are? Here are some players who were not selected on the first ballot (AVG/OBP/SLG, ASG= All Star Games, WS = World Series Rings): NOT First Ballot Hall of Famers Rogers Hornsby, 2B: .358/.434/.577, 301 HR, 1584 RBI, 2 MVPs Yogi Berra, C: 358 HR, 1430 RBI, 3 MVPs, 15 ASG, 13 WS Mel Ott, 3B: .304/.414/.533, 511 HR, 1860 RBI, 12 ASG, 1 WS Jimmie Foxx, 1B: .325/.428/.609, 534 HR, 1922 RBI, 3 MVPs Cy Young, SP: 511 Wins, 2.63 ERA Pete Alexander, SP: 373 Wins, 2.56 ERA, 1.12 WHIP Lefty Grove, SP: 300 Wins, 148 ERA+ (#3 All-Time) Others who were not selected in their first year of eligibility include Tris Speaker, Nap Lajoie, Eddie Collins, George Sisler, Willie Keeler, and Ed Delahanty. Meanwhile, some of the players who were recently inducted on the first ballot include Lou Brock, Paul Molitor, Kirby Puckett, and Robin Yount. All solid players, but does anyone really think of them as inner-circle Hall of Famers? I don't think so. Are the First Ballot inductees really the best players in the Hall of Fame? No, since some of the greatest players in baseball history were not elected on the first ballot, while many of those who were aren't really all-time greats. Let's put an end to this silly idea of not voting for worthy players in their first year. ]]> amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) January Thu, 07 Jan 2010 07:29:41 +0000