The Curse of Jerry Hairston, Jr./Eric Hinske:
 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Extremely Early CAIRO 2011 MLB Projected Standings

Around this time every year I like to run projected standings for the upcoming MLB season.  It’s very limited in telling us much about how 2011 will play out since there are still a lot of roster changes coming, but it may give us some sense of how the offseason has impacted teams to this point and it also shows us how things would look if nothing changed from now until April.  Which won’t happen.

Since this point is not readily comprehensible for people of limited intelligence I’ll reiterate it. It’s too early to construct meaningful rosters for a lot of teams, so these projections will favor the teams that have essentially completed their 2011 rosters. 

In addition to that, projection systems are inherently limited.  They are designed to estimate a player’s true talent based on what they’ve done so far and also by factoring in things like age and how similar players have performed in the past.  They will generally be in the ballpark for the general population of MLB players, but they can miss significantly on individual players which can obviously affect certain teams more heavily than others.

So, anyway, using the depth charts from the wonderful MLB Depth Charts and includng playing time from players on the 40 man roster who don’t necessarily figure to be part of the the opening day 25 man rosters to account for organizational depth and playing out next season 10,000 times, here’s how CAIRO v0.3 sees things as of December 27, 2010.

Date 12/28/2010
Iterations 10000
American League
TM W L RS RA Div WC PL W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
Red Sox 98.1 63.9 856 690 54.6% 15.6% 70.2% 9.1 38 -54
Yankees 89.1 72.9 835 740 23.2% 21.7% 44.9% -5.9 -24 47
Rays 87.1 74.9 707 640 17.9% 18.7% 36.6% -8.9 -95 -9
Blue Jays 74.1 87.9 693 737 2.6% 5.8% 8.4% -10.9 -62 9
Orioles 70.1 91.9 723 813 1.8% 2.9% 4.7% 4.1 110 28
TM W L RS RA Div WC PL W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
Twins 85.7 76.3 752 715 33.3% 6.2% 39.5% -8.3 -29 44
White Sox 84.5 77.5 735 711 28.4% 6.2% 34.5% -3.5 -17 7
Tigers 84.0 78.0 727 712 27.5% 4.6% 32.0% 3.0 -24 -31
Indians 73.9 88.1 728 802 8.2% 2.7% 10.8% 4.9 82 50
Royals 66.9 95.1 678 815 2.8% 1.1% 3.9% -0.1 2 -30
TM W L RS RA Div WC PL W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
Rangers 89.2 72.8 746 673 50.1% 4.5% 54.6% -0.8 -41 -14
Athletics 82.1 79.9 678 667 26.1% 4.3% 30.4% 1.1 15 41
Angels 77.9 84.1 665 690 15.5% 3.2% 18.7% -2.1 -16 -12
Mariners 72.2 89.8 635 703 8.4% 2.5% 10.9% 11.2 122 5
National League
TM W L RS RA Div WC PL W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
Phillies 96.1 65.9 754 618 54.5% 11.0% 65.5% -0.9 -18 -22
Braves 88.5 73.5 754 690 26.6% 13.3% 39.9% -2.5 16 61
Mets 76.6 85.4 675 702 7.1% 4.5% 11.6% -2.4 19 50
Marlins 77.3 84.7 679 708 8.7% 5.0% 13.7% -2.7 -40 -9
Nationals 72.4 89.6 659 733 3.2% 2.0% 5.2% 13.4 -51 -141
TM W L RS RA Div WC PL W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
Cardinals 90.2 71.8 746 676 35.0% 12.0% 47.0% 4.2 10 35
Brewers 87.2 74.8 698 650 27.9% 8.9% 36.7% 10.2 -52 -154
Reds 85.5 76.5 723 689 23.5% 8.2% 31.7% -5.5 -67 4
Cubs 79.3 82.7 742 761 10.5% 6.3% 16.8% 4.3 57 -6
Pirates 67.7 94.3 671 808 2.1% 1.2% 3.3% -6.3 28 38
Astros 65.8 96.2 604 732 1.1% 1.0% 2.1% 3.8 -32 -36
TM W L RS RA Div WC PL W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
Rockies 85.9 76.1 768 732 31.7% 5.9% 37.6% 2.9 -2 15
Giants 84.2 77.8 699 667 24.1% 6.6% 30.6% -7.8 2 84
Dodgers 83.3 78.7 677 659 20.3% 7.2% 27.5% 3.3 10 -33
Padres 81.2 80.8 647 652 17.7% 5.0% 22.6% -8.8 -18 71
Diamondbacks 73.8 88.2 690 757 6.4% 1.9% 8.3% 3.8 -30 -25

W: Projected 2011 wins
L: Projected 2011 losses
RS: Projected 2011 runs scored
RA: Projected 2011 runs allowed
Div: Division win percentage
WC: Wild card win percentage
PL: Playoff percentage (Div + WC)
W+/-: 2011 projected wins minus 2010 actual wins
RS+/-: 2011 projected runs scored minus 2010 actual runs scored (positive means they are projected to score more)
RA+/-: 2011 projected runs allowed minus 2010 actual runs allowed (negative means they are projected to allow fewer)

The only reason I am showing wins and losses to one decimal place is so I don’t have to answer questions about why the wins and losses don’t add up to exactly 2430.  There is no way to imply that something like this can be precise to that level.

Did I mention that it’s still too early to do this, and that it shouldn’t be taken seriously?

I guess it’s not exactly news that Boston and Philadelphia look to be the two best teams in baseball right now.  Although it’s easy for lazy analysts to make the claim that Tampa Bay is going to be bad because they lost Carl Crawford and their whole bullpen, it’s just not true.  They’ve won the AL East in two of the past three seasons, and they have a ton of pitching talent in the minors.  Jake McGee looks like a potentially dominant closer.  They also won 96 games last year despite getting very little production out of first base and DH.  Losing Crawford hurts, but Desmond Jennings is another good prospect who has a chance to mitigate that a bit as well.

Toronto tends to project worse than they actually end up doing every year, mainly because they’ve always seemed to get better than expected pitching.  They’ve lost John Buck and Shaun Marcum from last year’s team, and CAIRO is expecting Jose Bautista will not hit 54 HRs again which explains most of their drop.

The Orioles tend to project better than they actually end up doing every year, but perhaps they’ll Buck that trend in 2011.

As for our Yankees, they’re still a good team.  They’re just not as good as Boston on paper right now.  That doesn’t mean they can’t win the division, it just means that they need some players to exceed their projections (A.J.?) and/or some players from Boston/Tampa Bay to underperform some of their’s.  If they can add Andy Pettitte or some league average starter who can give them 180 innings or so that’s probably worth another two wins over Ivan Nova/Sergio Mitre.

Right now the AL Central looks pretty tightly bunched at the top between the White Sox, Tigers and Twins.  Cleveland should be able to hold off KC for fourth place, although if Melky-mania runs wild who knows?

The West looks like Texas’s to lose, even without Cliff “The Big Train” Lee. LA of A could pick up about three wins if they sign Adrian Beltre, but that alone doesn’t seem like it’d be enough to get them up to Texas’s level.

I don’t know if the Phillies are as good as Boston, although they may be a better short series team.  They are almost certainly the tallest midget in the circus known as the National League, but they’re not some 110 win juggernaut on paper.  The Braves seem to be the second best team in the NL East and should at least be a strong contender for the wild card.

The Cardinals still appear to have the best front-line talent in the NL Central although Milwaukee has improved themselves significantly.  The Reds are not far off from the top either.

The NL West is also tightly bunched at the top, with only about four wins separating first place through fourth.

Did I mention that it’s too early for this to be taken too seriously?

--Posted at 10:00 am by SG / 134 Comments | - (0)

Comments

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I love your National League hatred.

The first digit inthe RS loss column should be a “0” not a “6”

Is it really possible for a team (like Toronto) to “tend” to outperform their projection? That seems to imply there’s something intrinsic about the team that makes them qualitatively better, but that the projection system can’t detect.  Offhand, the only thing that seems to fit the bill would be having a great manager who is capable of leveraging his team’s talent so as to eke out some additional wins, but that wouldn’t seem to be the case for Toronto in paticular (or would it?).

Not saying a poor spring would be predictive of the kind of career Montero would have, but I think there’s little question that if he scuffled in March, especially on defense, they will be inclined to send him down for more seasoning.


If he scuffled with whom?  With Reggie in the dugout during a ST game, perhaps?
 
Also, I know people are worried about A-Rod’s health, and his offense is either declining a bit (but still very good) or waiting to bounce back from injuries, but - is there something I missed where analyses show that his defensive value has dropped precipitously?  Why is everyone shifting him to DH?  I could see it if the reason were the availability of a kick-ass 3B with Nettles-esque D skillz, but that’s obviously not the case.  Why is this meme so prevalent?

SG, the “PL” column seems funky.  Good for the RS, but look at the Phils and other teams.

Is it really possible for a team (like Toronto) to “tend” to outperform their projection? That seems to imply there’s something intrinsic about the team that makes them qualitatively better, but that the projection system can’t detect.  Offhand, the only thing that seems to fit the bill would be having a great manager who is capable of leveraging his team’s talent so as to eke out some additional wins, but that wouldn’t seem to be the case for Toronto in paticular (or would it?).

The big thing with Toronto is that their pitching usually ends up being better than the projections, mainly for the players who haven’t seen a lot of MLB time. I thought it was a Brad Arnsberg thing, but he left them prior to the 2010 season.  It could be an issue with how MLEs handle their minor leaguers, or it could be a coaching thing.  It may not necessarily be a tendency, I’m going off memory and can go back and check if there actually is a trend there.

SG, the “PL” column seems funky.  Good for the RS, but look at the Phils and other teams.

OK, it’s fixed now.

Since this point is not readily comprehensible for people of limited intelligence I’ll reiterate it.

You know, the only Red Sox fan who comes here seems pretty bright…

SG, do you get emails through the site?  Or should we just post here?  I did send you one a couple hours ago about getting up the hopes of all 7 Royals fans in the country with their PL%, but I’m not sure if you saw it or just WP’s post.

SG, it looks like you have the Giants and Rockies reversed.

I’m a little bit confused at how the Red Sox don’t have a 130% chance of making the playoffs. But it is an early projection.

How can an 84 win team win the World Series?  I thought the playoffs were predetermined based on regular season wins?  This makes no sense.  These projections make the playoffs sound like a crap-shoot.  We all know that isn’t true.

is there something I missed where analyses show that his defensive value has dropped precipitously?  Why is everyone shifting him to DH?

Well, UZR, DRS, TZ (using the version on BBRef), all have not had ARod as being a + on defense since 2004.  Plus add in the hip issues, which may or not be an issue going forward.  I’ve read recently that he had a checkup w/ the doctor that did the surgery, and also did some BP w/ Kevin Long, and everything is going well.

So the idea is, if ARod has a hip that could be an issue, plus is already a below average defensive 3B (if only a little), he’s going to need to move off of 3rd and to DH eventually.  Both for health reasons and b/c if he gets worse at 3rd he’ll be actively hurting the team there.

I don’t think his defense is that bad yet, and as mentioned the hip issue seems behind him.  But 3B is one of the few areas the Yankees have an actual position prospect in the upper minors, and Alex isn’t moving back to SS, so…

[11]
OK, but the point is that he’s not the kind of liability in the field at 3B that would justify the persistence of the idea.  And I really don’t believe that most people here are eager to move A-Rod off of 3rd specifically because
 

the Yankees have an actual position prospect in the upper minors.


We’re not talking about a Montero-like prospect that everyone’s going crazy about.

At some point, it’s probably in the team’s best (baseball) interests to get a SS with great range that could prolong the time that A-Rod could remain at 3B.

[12] No, I specifically mentioned that, “I don’t think his defense is that bad yet”.  I do believe that *some* people believe that ARod’s defense is that bad, or close to it anyway.  The hip issue - or more specifically the fact he’s played in less than 140 games each of the last 3 years - is a real issue.

And I wouldn’t move ARod of off 3rd for Laird per-se.  I want to do what makes the Yankees best.  If during the 2011 season Montero proves he belongs behind the plate instead of @ DH, then in 2012 they have an opening at DH.  If - big IF right now - Laird looks like he’s average at 3rd defensively, and can hit in the bigs - basically, be an average 3B - I think they’ll improve most by moving ARod to DH and Laird to 3B.

Mike, sure - unless:
1. A-Rod follows what I believe is a common post-operation norm of returning to health and rebounds defensively, and, more importantly
2. There’s no other option at DH such that [A-Rod at 3rd plus that DH] > [A-Rod at DH + Laird].
Does that seem likely?

Regardless of how good or bad his defense is, is it reasonable to speculate that fewer rigors in the field will preserve A-Rod the offensive force for the life of his contract (or something close to it)?

[15] Right, I’m not writing anything in stone.  There are HUGE “ifs” in there.  Health-wise and offensively, I think ARod will be much better this year and next.  Defense I’m not so sure.  The number have been anywhere from below-average to bad for 6 years now.  But yes, I DEFINITELY want to see ARod next year.

For the 2nd, I mean, I don’t know.  What DH and how much are you willing to pay?  Could those $$‘s better be spent elsewhere - possibly Jose Reyes if he recovers and Jeter declines further?  Plus, what did Laird do in 2011?  Does he look like a player who could be a regular for several years?  Or 4A?

I guess if the equation is ARod at 3rd (3.5 WAR) + DH (1 WAR) vs ARod at DH (3 WAR) + Laird at 3rd (1.5 WAR), you’re coming out the same, but saving maybe $5-10M, plus giving a kid a chance to show what he can do.  But until the 2011 season is played, we don’t have enough information to guess.

There was talk here a few days ago about how DH might be (besides pitching) the best place to upgrade.  So would it be crazy to give Beltre and 3-year deal and make A-Rod the full-time DH?

If you wanted to take it then one step further…you could then shop Montero more aggressively for pitching.  Thus giving Jorge relevance again.

Far-fetched I know.  But it’s the week btw Xmas and New Year’s and the kids are making me crazy.

A couple of things;
1 - A bit surpised at the huge RA decrease for the red sox with only Jenks and Wheeler new additons to the staff. Maybe overstating the defensive impact of Gonzalez and Crawford?
2-Yanks last year came in at 102 wins are the only real difference is Pettite and Javy. Is this team 13 wins worse by losing those 2? I know Javy wasn’t as projected but as a Yankee fan it makes me feel better…
3-The mariners are going to score 122 more runs with basically the same lineup?
4-It is going to be a long year for Mets fans.

If you wanted to take it then one step further…you could then shop Montero more aggressively for pitching.  Thus giving Jorge relevance again.

As what?  Jorge is a pinch-hitter, emergency catcher, backup 1B.

I guess I wouldn’t be completely against that plan, but I don’t know if it changes much w/ regards to Montero.  Maybe Rich (and some in the Yankees org) would feel a little better about the offense for the next several years and feel better trading Montero for the elite pitcher, but IDK if you take *less* for Montero.  Martin and Romine would have more to say about that, and they won’t start talking until March…

[16] Yes, that’s why I think they will ultimately need a better defensive SS to play alongside of him. Obviously, DHing would eliminate any rigors completely, but it would also diminish his value.

I’m obviously much more optimistic about A-Rod’s prospective career curve than many here.
Age makes particular injuries more likely, sure, but it doesn’t imply a steady increase in days missed for injury.  I think that the injuries he’s had do not, going forward, make injuries in general somehow an inevitable part of every day or every season for this guy, any more than they have been for others.
So, going forward, I’m expecting reasonably big things from A-Rod, and for more than 1 or 2 years.  Given little things like, you know, the fact that he’s one of the greatest players the game has ever seen.

Obviously, DHing would eliminate any rigors completely, but it would also diminish his value.

Possibly diminish his value.  I think the position adjustments give about 20 run difference between a full-time 3B and a full-time DH.  But if (say after 2011) ARod is a -10 defensive 3B there’s half of it.  If he’s also limited to 500PA because of the rigors (“It’s too rigorous!” “No, I can face the rigors!”), or 600 PA as a DH w/ the same wOBA, he’ll probably get most or all of that back.  Whether and when he moves will more depend on who would replace him than ARod himself I think.  Whether it is Laird, someone from outside the org, or someone playing rookie ball.

[22] I’m very optimistic about ARod’s bat.  I’m very optimistic that his defense at 3rd won’t get bad enough - for several years at least - that he NEEDS to move off of 3rd.  I’m uncertain about his health, at his age.  He’s unlikely to play 155+ games year-in, year-out any more.  But can he regularly do around 150 if he’s at 3rd?  Okay then.  Or will he be limited to around 130?  I just don’t know.  But 2011 will help answer the question.

And again, this is just about the best way to improve the team.  One way will be to move ARod to DH and Laird to 3rd.  That isn’t the only way.  2011 will help answer if that’s the best way.  Jeter putting up an OPS+ of 110 or so would work too.  That would hit enough that he *could* DH, and obviously you can improve on his defense easily.

[19] Those columns compare last year’s results to this year’s projections. Since teams don’t precisely meet their projections, some of the difference is regression. As far as (4), every year is a long year for a Mets fan.

In re: Red Sox fans, SSF is the only one who shows up regularly, but there are a couple others who drop by and I can’t remember anything objectionable from any of them.  We flame amongst ourselves far more. 

As for real trolls, wasn’t there a pro-Jeter troll a few years ago?  And some kind of, I wanna say, racist Shelley Duncan fan?

In re: NFL, I watched some of the game last night while folding laundry and it was a fun one.

In re: projected standings, I looked at the Phillies numbers compared to the league and thought, holy shit, those guys might just win 110 games.  Then here comes SG to say they won’t.  Is there a smiley to convey “deflated”?  PS, I know that’s not exactly what he said.

In re: Blue Jays, it has become a bit of a commonplace that the Jays always do better than expected due to pulling pitching out of their ass(es?).  It would be interesting to see how the projection line up with results.

Also where’s Mel Hall?  I need some bad puns to help ring in the goyische new year.

SG, do you get emails through the site?  Or should we just post here?

I get lazy with checking my e-mails so you’ll probably get a faster response by posting here.  And my apologies to any Royals fans who got their hopes up.

1 - A bit surpised at the huge RA decrease for the red sox with only Jenks and Wheeler new additons to the staff. Maybe overstating the defensive impact of Gonzalez and Crawford?

Although we tend to think of how different a team will be next season by focusing on the new additions, we also have to think about any returning players who are likely to outperform how they did in the prior season.  So in Boston’s case they’re expected to get better pitching from Lackey and Beckett as part of that improvement.  It’s also probably a safe bet that if Tim Wakefield pitches as poorly in 2011 as he did in 2010 he won’t pitch 149 innings again.  Losing the 2010 versions of Okajima and Schowenweiss also helps.

I’m not sure precisely how good their defense will be in 2011, but I think it’s going to be pretty good.  Gonzalez is a good defender,  but Youkilis is not going to be anywhere as good at third as Beltre was.  Last year’s left fielders were collectively around 10 runs worse than average, so if Crawford’s a +10 defender that’s a 20 run difference by itself, and last year’s CF were even worse, around -18 so that should be better too, although probably not to the degree that LF will be.  Losing Victor Martinez behind the plate also probably helps improve the defense although it obviously affects their offense.

I smell a chance to make some money with those AL East projections.

Clearly Boston was strong last year - and injured like crazy - this year with the additions and some health they clearly look to be the cream of the crop at this time.

The Yanks were a team with several “stars” under performing in 2010 - or were they…is it possible just too many “stars’ are in their serious decline period? Also - the starting pitching is thin - but promising at AA. I think they’ll “under perform” again in 2011.

The Rays have lost several key(ish) players but still have the best “young” pitching in the division. I think they’ll be unlikely to reach the projection for them.

The Jay’s have lost one starter and half their bullpen - and suffered in 2010 from two very serious regressions and a gift from the Baseball Gods (Lind, Hill and Bautista). However, they still have a gifted core of young starters with more on the way and I suspect that a return to the mean by Lind, Hill and Bustista coupled with Snider and Arencibia’s big bats getting going could see the Jays EASILY get into the mid to high 80 win area.

Baultimore - alas - has some young talented pitching - but - sigh - they are after all playing for the O’s.

Conclusion - Boston in a walk with one of the Yanks, Rays or Jays STRUGGLING to get to the Wild Card. Personally - I think none of the three make it to the play-offs in 2011.

2-Yanks last year came in at 102 wins are the only real difference is Pettite and Javy. Is this team 13 wins worse by losing those 2? I know Javy wasn’t as projected but as a Yankee fan it makes me feel better…

I could have sworn they won 95 games, not 102.  Losing Pettitte probably costs them a couple of wins, and projected worse performances by Cano, Swisher and Gardner probably cost them a bit more. 

3-The mariners are going to score 122 more runs with basically the same lineup?

They got Jack Cust and Miguel Olivo, and a full season of Justin Smoak.  It may not sound like much, but here’s what it looks like:

Mariners 2010
C: 599 PA, .201/.263/.303, 45 BR
1B: 661 PA, .227/.293/.303, 55 BR
DH: 644 PA, .194/.269/.340, 53 BR
Total: 1904 PA, .208/.275/.316, 153 BR

Replacing those PAs with Olivo, Smoak and Cust’s CAIRO projections looks like this:

Mariners 2011
C: 599 PA, .237/.283/.408, 60 BR
1B: 661 PA, .233/.332/.372, 73 BR
DH: 644 PA, .247/.374/.428, 89 BR
Total: 1904 PA, .239/.331/.402, 222 BR

On top of that figure Chone Figgins should be better than he was last year.  On top of that, their component stats say they should have scored 552 runs and not the 513 they actually scored. 

4-It is going to be a long year for Mets fans.

Yep.

I’m so distressed to learn that we’ll end up ten games behind the odious Sox before the season even starts, as I place unconditional faith in everything SG projects, no matter how many caveats, disclaimers, or reservations of rights.

SG, what happened to the Yankee-loving ghost in your projection machine?  Did Alskor put a hex on his ass?

Like the time Miss Rudolph put a hex on my ass made me fall in love with a biotch I couldn’t stand.

Is it unreasonable to hope Youkilis will break while playing 3rd? I mean, he has not played there much in the majors and certainly not getting any younger

[33] though he is getting uglier.

I seen better looking faces on an iodine bottle.

The Yankees better do something to goose SG’s projections, even if it means signing Brian “Arturo” Fuentes.

Is it unreasonable to hope Youkilis will break while playing 3rd? I mean, he has not played there much in the majors and certainly not getting any younger

He’d probably benefit from a bit more rest, but his injury from last year doesn’t seem like something that will linger.

And it’s unreasonable to hope for any one to get injured.  Hope the Yankees beat a healthy Boston.

There’s a great deal of rational discourse here, has anyone noticed?  I personally find rationality to be a heavy burden.

SG, what happened to the Yankee-loving ghost in your projection machine?

He’s converted to being a Red Sox fan.

I have to axe you guys a philosophical question over which I’ve been ruminating and chewing my cud: if a man says something, and no woman is there to hear it, is he still wrong?

Can you run a projection on this timeless and eternal question, SG?

I’ve posted this before but I believe it is relevant here again:

Kvetch kvetch snark snark snark.

[39] Is Cairo on the Verge of Collapse?

Frog, showing is better than telling, they say.

This headline will scare you

http://www.northjersey.com/sports/pro_sports/baseball/yankees/112537964_Yanks_waiting_on_Andy.html

This projection would not mae me so crazy if Yankee ticket+parking prices were only about 2.24% more than Tampa’s.

[45]  Has anyone ever calculated value for fan dollar based on wins/average ticket price, or something?

In every epoch the ruling class has an interest in providing bread and circus to the masses to divert them from their misery and the objectively exploitative conditions of their production and reproduction, amirite?

[47]  Perhaps you, bebop, rilke, and some others would enjoy learning about the

Sozialistisches Patientenkollektiv

And then enjoying the SPK

[48] whoa reminds me of my in-laws.  fortunately they are ex in-laws.

[49]  I once had the mother of my fiance—ex-fiance—corner me in the kitchen at Christmas and announce, “Thank you for ruining my relationship with my daughter.”

[50] That’s what happens when you sleep with the mother of your fiance.

Where have you gone Joe Dimaggio?

perfect pitch, bebop

So apparently Soria wants to be traded to the Yankees.  Question:  How feasible would it be for the Yankees to acquire a top-notch reliever like Soria and convert him to a starter?  More generally, at the risk of reopening the whole JTTP can of worms, at what point in a stud pitcher’s career is it no longer appropriate to demand they be moved to the rotation because they would be more valuable there?  This is a serious question.  I realize that a pitcher can’t just go from the ‘pen to the rotation without building up his arm strength over a period of time, but other than that restriction, why shouldn’t highly successful relievers be considered candidates for mid-career transitions to starter?

[54] If you’re going by the mlbtr report, it also said Soria doesn’t want to be converted to a starter.  Additionally, the report indicates only that Soria wouldn’t object to a trade to the Yankees, and not that the Yankees are pursuing.  Finally, I will stab a fork into my leg if the Yankees trade Montero for Psoriasis.

roidoworld:

Mark Teixeira said Tuesday that through text messages with Andy Pettitte, he feels the veteran left-hander is “leaning toward retirement.”
“I think, like everyone else [thinks], if he’s leaning one way, he’s probably leaning towards retiring,” said Teixeira. “I think that’s what he’s publicly said. It’s no secret right now. That’s probably where he’s leaning. But in a month and a half, a lot can happen.” This is essentially what Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said last week, so there probably won’t be an update here until there is some sort of final resolution.

“there probably won’t be an update here until there is some sort of final resolution”

I actually have a feeling there will be a great many updates before a resolution.

a great many non-updates

[55]  OK to all that, but I was just asking about the general feasibility of converting a reliever to a starter, mid-career.

If it takes Pettitte over a month to decide, that potentially ties Cashman’s hands, but only to the extent that there’s a move that he really could make and would make only in the event that Pettitte decides one way or the other.
To what extent is this hurting the team’s retooling efforts?  Or, in other words, to what extent is Pettitte being a tool?

[60]  It’s been done.  Smoltz did it though he’d been a starter before.  The rangers are doing it with their closer.  Aren’t the Tigers making Phil Coke a starter?

[19] Players get older - some get better and some get worse.

[55]  OK to all that, but I was just asking about the general feasibility of converting a reliever to a starter, mid-career.

Depends on the pitcher’s arsenal I guess.  It’s been done a lot with varying success. 

The following pitchers all had a season of at least 50 IP with fewer than 10% of their games as starts followed directly by a season of at least 50 IP with at least 90% of their games as starts.

Miguel Batista
Steve Bedrosian
Matt Belisle
D.J. Carrasco
Shawn Chacon
Ryan Dempster
Danny Darwin
Chuck Finley
Chad Gaudin
Craig Lefferts
Jose Lima
Braden Looper
Derek Lowe
Pedro Martinez
Brandon McCarthy
Dave Mlicki
Matt Morris
Jeff Musselman
Kenny Rogers
Calvin Schiraldi
Carlos Silva
John Smiley
John Smoltz
David Wells
C.J. Wilson
Adam Wainwright

Is that all of them, or just a set of pitchers who meet the criteria?  The overall quality of pitchers on the list seems pretty high.

It’s most of them, but I may have missed a few.  I’d expect them to generally be pretty good or they wouldn’t have been tried in the rotation or lasted long enough to start 90% of their games.

Jays ink Octavio “Don’t Ask” Dotel.

Oooooh.
Or Octavio “Old Ladies in England About to Get Juicy Gossip Cry” Dotel.

Shouldn’t it now be “DO Ask” Dotel?

Obviously CAIRO needs a tweak or two to fix the AL East standings. It’s no longer doing its job.

1) The only reason CAIRO included WC % this year is because it is the one area where the Yanks outperform Boston and Texas, thus saving the season by making them look better.

2) I just can’t help my inner voice keeps reading WP’s posts with Paul Hogan’s voice.

3) [51] particularly if its a three-way.

4) The Youklis question could be answered the first time he faces Joba. Has there been any word on the health/recovery of the Elf ?

5) Is there any point to contemplating the scenario of Beltre in a sign-and-trade package that converts money and available (but non-fitting) FA talent into something desired by a team that has a pitcher we’d like ?

Jays ink Octavio “Do Ask” Dotel.

Remember when we paid Dotel to rehab, and then let him go as soon as he was done? That was awesome.

Since this point is not readily comprehensible for people of limited intelligence I’ll reiterate it.

WOOHOO! We win!!!!!

[74] I don’t recall the exact situation.  That is, was he signed to a one-year deal and just decided to leave the Yanks, or did they sign him to one and an option, and didn’t pick it up?  It was a pretty good signing by the Yankees at the time, just didn’t work out.

[60] Really don’t know.  I guess it depends on what they want to use the 5th spot for.  That is, if they want to save that spot for a prospect, Pettitte is holding them up.  If Pettitte resigns, they have their 4 starters up front, and a spot for a kid.  OR if Andy commits to retiring, they acquire another pitcher (if possible) and still leave the spot for the prospect.  But until Andy decides, they can’t do anything.

If they don’t care either way - figuring the kids will get a shot due to injuries anyway - then Andy shouldn’t be holding them back at all.  Cashman will do whatever he’s comfortable with to get a 4th starter; Francis seems most likely right now.  If Pettitte comes back they’re 5 deep, if not, 5th spot goes to a rookie.

[59] I guess the main concern is, why was the pitcher moved from the rotation to the bullpen to begin with?  Some pitchers are moved to the bullpen because they haven’t shown an ability to be even a 1 WAR starter over several years.  That could be for any number of reasons (pitch repertoire, ability to stay healthy, etc), and they should probably stay in the bullpen.  Others were originally moved to the bullpen for convenience - Mo for example - and after success left there.  They should probably be given a chance as a starter.

Joba specifically…again, based on what *we* know, he should get another shot as a starter.  I just keep telling myself there’s information we don’t have which makes what the Yankees are doing correct smile

As what?  Jorge is a pinch-hitter, emergency catcher, backup 1B.

I guess I wouldn’t be completely against that plan, but I don’t know if it changes much w/ regards to Montero.  Maybe Rich (and some in the Yankees org) would feel a little better about the offense for the next several years and feel better trading Montero for the elite pitcher, but IDK if you take *less* for Montero.

What I was saying here was that if you acquired Beltre and traded Montero for a true #1 pitcher, you could hand (a portion of—Montero’s portion of) the catching job back to Posada.  (No way do you undersell Montero on the trade market…didn’t mean to suggest that in the least).  Leading the league in passed balls wouldn’t be ideal, but I have to think there’s a net defensive improvement in Beltre/Posada over A-Rod Montero.

This is far-fetched as I said earlier.  I’m just looking for out-of-the-box ways to improve the team, ‘cause right now the team’s not improving.  And some thought needs to be given IMO to the question of how to preserve A-Rod’s productivity in 2015-17.  Hence the Beltre brain fart.  But I’d settle for getting him a caddy who hits better than Cody Ransom and Ramiro Pena.

[80] I guess since they already have Martin, and won’t be trading Cervelli (if Montero is already gone), the only way Posada catches more than a smattering of innings is if Martin gets injured.  If Martin is healthy he’s going to catch 120 games, and Cervelli will get most of the other 40-some.  Getting Beltre just sends Jorge to the bench.

I’d guess for next year it only improves the Yankees by about a win or so.  Before trading Montero for a pitcher anyway.  Though that win may be the difference between home in October and the playoffs, I’m still not sure it is prudent to spend that much on a win.

I guess that’s where I and some others talk about “punting” on 2011 at this point.  Not that the Yankees shouldn’t try to improve the team and win in 2011.  Just that the costs for trying to win in 2011 may be too high, given what is currently available.  Costs both in $$‘s and prospects.  They may be better off trying to win with what they have, and seeing which prospects may be part of 2012 and beyond, and saving the others (plus the $$‘s) to acquire players next off-season.

Before trading Montero for a pitcher anyway


Well, all right, but that’s obviously central to the proposal.
(Added for Pin: I mean, no sense in then tossin’ another meat tray on the barbie, mate!)

[77] It was a one year deal, and he had TJS the previous June. When they signed him it was known he wouldn’t be available until post ASB, and with any set backs (which he had) later. I didn’t see the point of a 1 year deal at the time and he only ended up pitching 10 innings.

Joba specifically…again, based on what *we* know, he should get another shot as a starter.  I just keep telling myself there’s information we don’t have which makes what the Yankees are doing correct

The frustrating thing about this is that the last time we heard Cashman and Girardi talk about Chamberlain’s role, it was him competing for the 5th starter job in ST last year. Fast forward to this offseason and the reason is not that he’s in the bullpen because he wasn’t one of the 5 best starters, but because ‘his stuff plays there so much better.’ Except he didn’t really have such a great year in the bullpen.

[83] Yeah, year and option would have made more sense.  I guess he was looked at as, they figured if he recovered fully by July/August, he would be as good or better than any other reliever they could acquire for the stretch run, but cost only money.  If he didn’t recover, it was only money, and they would go out and acquire a reliever (if needed) anyway.  So to me, it’s a smart use of the Yankees’s greatest resource.  It definitely didn’t work out as well as expected, but…it was a good move, at the time.

What I was saying here was that if you acquired Beltre and traded Montero for a true #1 pitcher, you could hand (a portion of—Montero’s portion of) the catching job back to Posada.

Not weighing in on the merits of shuffling things around, but again, the main issue here is availability of those #1 starting pitchers. Montero is not going to get you Hernandez, Johnson, Lincecum, Jimenez, Weaver, etc. If you can’t get one of those guys, theres really no point in trading him.

Am I the only one who hopes they only pick up Hairston (either or both, but if only one, Scott), Pettitte obviously, and no one else? I’m considering:

- In 2009, we felt great about our rotation, but Wang ended up being terrible all year.
- In 2010, same deal, replace Wang with Vazquez and mix in Burnett’s terrible performance.
- Comps to 2008 aren’t fair, because the mistake seemed to be giving Kennedy and Hughes start after start despite terrible performance. If the plan is 1 or 2 open spots for rookies, the leash is going to be pretty short. We’ve written out the list quite a few times - there’s quite a bit of talent that you have to believe one of those guys can hold down a roster spot.

Though that win may be the difference between home in October and the playoffs, I’m still not sure it is prudent to spend that much on a win.

Meh. We all know that between Joba and AJ they’ll be throwing away 5-6 games just due to them sprinkling 4-run innings around anyway. Maybe tinkling is the word I’m looking for.

We can get a one game improvement just by being willing to pull AJ after 5 innings and Joba after one on nights where they just don’t have it.

[75] This is why SSF is invited to Nerdfest Part Deux.

SG, I was wondering how much different the NL is from the AL in terms of talent nowadays. I don’t know how much trouble it would be for you to do this test, but could you run the same simulation exchangig the Red Sox and the Phillies? I’d be interested in knowing how many more wins would the Red Sox have, if any.

Am I the only one who hopes they only pick up Hairston (either or both, but if only one, Scott), Pettitte obviouslya starting pitcher, and no one else?

That’s what I would hope.  I’d further hope the starting pitcher is Pettitte, but if he decides to retire, I’d hope for another starter.  However, I don’t want a veteran just for the sake of having a veteran.  I like Francis b/c there’s some upside there, that completely recovered from surgery he can get back to 2006/2007 levels (#2/#3 starter), and if they get an option year have him available for 2012.  Perhaps they can get a similar level starter on a discount trade, also.

But barring a blockbuster for one of those young, ace-type pitchers, that’s it.  Relatively cheap, mid-rotation starter, on a short-term deal.  If such a starter isn’t available, I’m OK going with a Mitre/Nova/Phelps/Noesi/AA-pitcher back-end, to start with.

Comps to 2008 aren’t fair, because the mistake seemed to be giving Kennedy and Hughes start after start despite terrible performance.

That makes it sound worse than it was.  Hughes only had 6 starts before going on the DL, and IPK only had 9 before being sent down.  I think IPK would have been sent down earlier if Hughes weren’t on the DL.  Part of the issue too was who else they had to put in the rotation - Joba moved in as IPK went out, but it’s not like they had OTHER high-ceiling, or even mid-ceiling, pitchers waiting in the wings.

The good news about 2011, is if Nova/Phelps (for example) fail in the #4/#5 spots, you have Noesi/Brackman right behind them, Betances/Banuelos right behind them, not to mention a few others like Warren, Mitchell, and Bleich, who could be ready by mid-season.  Out of those 9 and the 65 or so starts, they should be able to get at least 30 QS out of it.

That makes it sound worse than it was.  Hughes only had 6 starts before going on the DL, and IPK only had 9 before being sent down.

I think your take on the depth being different is accurate, but I don’t think what I said makes it sound worse than it was. It was bad - 9 bad starts was way too many, but we didn’t have many/any options. My point is, as you said, that 6 bad starts would be too many given the situation - 9 would be way too many. I would expect it to be something like 4 - which is about what we’ve seen in the past when we’ve been trying to fill rotation spots. 4 starts without showing promise and/or improvement, and we go to the next guy. The thing is, this time, there’s like 8-10 guys. Not ideal since you’d be burning options, so on/not on the 40 man roster plays into it, certainly.

“Montero is not going to get you Hernandez, Johnson, Lincecum, Jimenez, Weaver, etc. If you can’t get one of those guys, theres really no point in trading him. “

I’m not saying the Yankees can or should trade Montero right now, but prospects have an annoying tendency of not always turning into the players we think they’re going to be.  Montero’s value at this moment might be as high as it will ever be.  He could struggle out of the gate, have a bad year in NY or Scranton, and turn into just another “good” but not glowing prospect (I’ll save someone else the effort of typing, “Is Jesus Montero on the verge of collapse?”).  At the same time, the Yankees have a fairly obvious and immediate need for a solid SP.  Maybe the Yankees won’t trade Montero for a pitcher other than the ones you list, but there would clearly be an argument for trading him for doing so.

Maybe the Yankees won’t trade Montero for a pitcher other than the ones you list, but there would clearly be an argument for trading him for doing so.

I think this is a rekindling of the conversation we were having a few days ago.

Yes - there is an argument to be made for trading Montero. If the Marlins offered Josh Johnson for a package centered around Montero, that is probably going to work.

And sure, there’s no such thing as a can’t miss prospect, and the Yankees need SP, I get it. But those broad stroke arguments gloss over important details. Specifically, the prospect hits like Manny Ramirez did at about the same age in AAA while playing a premier defensive position (even if he’s not an even average defender) *and* there are no top tier, cost controlled starting pitchers on the trade market. There are shades of gray with this, and in Montero’s case, he’s closer to a sure thing than not, and trading him for relative mediocrity because we’re reluctant for the plan to be parading 7-10 rookies through 1-2 rotation spots doesn’t make sense.

[87] A pretty good case for Scott Hairston made here: http://riveraveblues.com/2010/12/the-other-hairston-brother-39275/ Mashes lefties, plus defender at all the outfield positions, good eye at the plate, 2010 production suppressed by abnormally low BABIP.

Of all the Yankee pitching prospects, which one, in addition to Nova, is most ready to throw 150 innings at the major league level?

Nerdfest!! WOOHOO!!

Wait, I thought I was a jock?

[95] I don’t know much about guys like Phelps or Noesi, but Brackman put up 140.1 IP last year. It looks like he’s dropped a bit on the K/9 (and probably the velocity) to keep the BB/9 under control. His peripherals look like something we would expect from Burnett - 144 H in 140 IP, 2.5 BB/9, 8.1 K/9, though the rate stats are split between AA and high A, both of which were a little worse when he went to AA. Brackman’s injury history is also non-negligible, but I would say 150-160 IP in 2011 seems like it would be his plan, MiLB or MLB innings.

[97] If AP re-ups, whom would you like to fill the fifth spot in the rotation: one of the young guys in the system or Steve Francis?

[98] Goldman today makes a good point that I agree with. Pettitte will be 39 next year, and is unchartered territory when it comes to IP. Even if he does resign, the Yankees would be prudent to assume 20 starts max, leaving about a half a season of starts for some other pitcher. One way or the other, they need to consider what to do with two rotation spots.

Francis would be ok, I guess, but I’d rather see what we have in these names we keep throwing around. If it means a 3rd place finish in the AL East, I think I’m ok with that. I happen to think this team makes the wild card anyway, but anything can happen (injuries, bounce back performances, etc.)

As for Steve Francis, I stopped watching the Knicks when Allan Houston retired. I remember a Knicks team that prided itself on defense and regularly winning games where neither team scored 90 points. NBA style of play has changed since then, but at least the Knicks look like they have some blood flowing through their veins these days.

[95] I think Phelps can do it

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