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More Projection Notes
Posted by Jeff Erickson at 12/13/2007 2:12:00 AM
View more posts by this author


  • Interesting demonstration of the fickleness of closer values - Jason Isringhausen was a considerably better pitcher in 2007 than in 2006, yet ended up with one fewer save (32).
  • Does Troy Percival hold the Rays' closer job all year long? I think it's possible - Al Reyes might not be that big of a threat, considering his second half fade.
  • Raise your hand if you think the Ryan Dempster starter experiment will work. I didn't think so .... I also don't think it's likely that Jason Marquis will be successful. That means the Cubs will have to scramble to fill the back end of their starting rotation - Sean Gallagher and Sean Marshall might become very important to the Cubs' chances of winning.
  • I really distrust relief prospects. For every Huston Street, it seems like there are three Chad Orvella's (grammatical misuse notwithstanding). I'm not even giving Orvella a projection this year - I doubt that he gets a whole lot of service time.
  • I'm not yet ready to write off J.P. Howell however, even after the Rays went out and got Matt Garza. Even with the hideous ERA, he's been able to maintain a pretty high strikeout rate at the major league level. I'm a sucker for high K-rates for starting pitchers - it's a sign of ability and talent that just hasn't been honed yet.
  • More crappy defense, Tampa Bay style. Here are the BABIP's against for the Rays' starters:

    J.P. Howell .391
    Edwin Jackson .351
    Scott Kazmir .341
    James Shields .292
    Andrew Sonnanstine .329

    Keeping B.J. Upton in the outfield for a full season and off second base and replacing Brendan Harris with Jason Bartlett at shortstop is a great start at improving that team defense. Getting a healthy Rocco Baldelli to patrol center field would work wonders as well. (Fill in your own metaphor here as to the likelihood of having Baldelli healthy for any appreciable amount of time.)


Is the league-wide average for BABIP still around .290?
Posted by spianow at 12/13/2007 3:27:00 AM
FYI, when/if Baldelli is healthy enough to patrol the outfield again, he'll go to RF, displacing Jonny Gomes; Upton will stay in CF.
Posted by sixsigmagus at 12/13/2007 5:33:00 AM
Good call on Upton/Baldelli...
Posted by Erickson at 12/13/2007 8:14:00 AM
Interesting, according to BP (, the league average was much higher than I thought:

NL - .305
AL - .308
Posted by Erickson at 12/13/2007 8:15:00 AM
Mitchell report sullies national pastime.

It will be interesting to see MLB's response.

Do Clemens' stats deserve an asterix?
Posted by flutiefan at 12/13/2007 9:40:00 AM
Didn't Upton's arm grad out as an 80 coming out of High School? If Baldelli can ever stay healthy, perhaps it's better having a cannon in RF, though perhaps even if healthy, Upton could cover more ground in CF.
Posted by vtadave at 12/13/2007 10:48:00 AM
Marquis is bulletproof - don't know how he does it with such awful peripherals, but he wins 14 games a year. The Anti-Dave Bush.

Gallagher's a decent prospect, Marshall made some gains, but I'm not sure either one will be a great solution. Dempster's control is a big problem. Cubs have a hole there, and Lilly will regress - too many fly balls. Zambrano's K rate plummeted last year, too. Rich Hill might be the ace at this rate and could join the elite. But the rotation as a whole might be a problem for them.

Should deal Matt Murton for a starter since they're not playing him anyway.
Posted by cliss at 12/15/2007 3:20:00 AM
You could probably pry Claudio Vargas away from Milwaukee for Murton.
Posted by dvr9484 at 12/15/2007 8:22:00 AM

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