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

Sunday, April 22, 2012

How have the first two weeks of the 2012 MLB season changed team projections?

We’re roughly about 10% of the way throught the 2012 regular season, which is a pretty small sample size to make sweeping observations about how good or bad teams are.  That doesn’t mean that what’s happened to this point isn’t important, because it is.  I wanted to see what teams have seen the biggest shifts in their outlooks based on how they projected coming into the year compared what they have done since.

The way I looked at this involves three basic steps.

1) Get 2012 projections.  In this case I’m using the average of the 2012 MLB projection blowout that I ran at the beginning of April.
2) Estimate revised team strength.  For now, this is just a basic weighted average of the team’s projections heading into the year and their Pythagenpat performance to this point.  I’m not making any adjustments for injuries/roster changes/etc., yet,  although as we get deeper into the season I’ll probably do that.
3) Run the rest of the 2012 MLB season through my Monte Carlo simulator and see what happens.  This includes a variable that alters team strength in each iteration to account for things that projections can’t account for.

Here’s what it says.

Date 4/22/2012
Iterations 100000
American League
TM W L RS RA Div WC1 WC2 PS% W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
Yankees 94 68 848 718 49.0% 14.1% 24.0% 87.1% -0.8 12 7
Rays 87 75 764 695 23.9% 15.0% 34.6% 73.5% -2.0 -1 12
Red Sox 83 79 828 765 13.9% 11.2% 28.1% 53.1% -7.6 -2 32
Blue Jays 81 81 780 775 11.6% 7.8% 21.4% 40.9% -0.5 6 0
Orioles 70 92 712 812 1.6% 1.9% 6.2% 9.7% 0.1 -1 -6
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS% W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
Tigers 88 74 780 730 46.6% 6.1% 17.7% 70.4% 2.9 -4 -6
Indians 86 76 779 758 33.4% 8.2% 22.3% 63.9% 3.6 12 7
White Sox 78 84 706 755 11.2% 4.4% 12.9% 28.5% 1.6 -1 -18
Royals 70 92 697 771 4.5% 0.8% 5.6% 10.9% -4.8 -8 6
Twins 70 92 720 824 4.2% 0.9% 3.7% 8.8% -1.6 -11 3
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS% W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
Rangers 99 63 822 679 78.2% 7.4% 8.0% 93.6% 8.4 15 -24
Angels 85 77 738 667 17.0% 16.4% 28.9% 62.3% -5.1 -3 6
Mariners 73 89 672 734 2.8% 3.2% 7.8% 13.8% -1.5 -10 -7
Athletics 72 90 687 739 2.0% 2.8% 9.0% 13.8% -4.1 -20 -17
National League
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS% W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
Braves 90 72 734 664 32.5% 11.3% 23.7% 67.5% 2.3 20 -2
Phillies 88 74 677 611 25.9% 12.4% 21.6% 59.9% -1.4 -21 -17
Nationals 88 74 674 639 27.5% 10.4% 24.4% 62.3% 3.8 -8 -17
Marlins 82 80 699 672 11.3% 8.4% 18.2% 37.9% -1.8 -8 -9
Mets 74 88 677 749 2.8% 3.0% 8.5% 14.3% 0.2 -6 -3
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS% W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
Cardinals 94 68 740 662 53.9% 10.5% 16.8% 81.1% 7.2 9 -17
Brewers 86 76 700 677 21.2% 9.5% 19.0% 49.7% 1.2 1 13
Reds 84 78 699 665 18.7% 9.6% 21.5% 49.7% -2.9 -16 5
Pirates 73 89 639 726 3.3% 1.8% 6.2% 11.3% 1.5 -29 -26
Cubs 68 94 652 757 1.8% 1.6% 2.8% 6.2% -3.2 -4 7
Astros 66 96 607 747 1.2% 0.3% 1.2% 2.7% 1.9 3 -8
TM W L RS RA Div WC WC2 PS% W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
Giants 85 77 672 649 29.6% 5.3% 14.9% 49.8% 0.6 0 2
Dodgers 83 79 649 674 22.7% 5.3% 11.1% 39.1% 8.1 8 -17
Diamondbacks 83 79 687 677 22.8% 4.3% 14.1% 41.2% -1.3 -6 3
Rockies 81 81 751 744 20.1% 4.9% 12.6% 37.6% -1.2 3 13
Padres 72 90 638 690 4.8% 1.4% 5.1% 11.3% -3.5 -9 2

W: Projected final 2011 wins
L: Projected final 2011 losses
RS: Projected final 2011 runs scored
RA: Projected final 2011 runs allowed
Div: Division win percentage
WC1: Wild card win percentage
WC2: Wild card win percentage
PS: Postseason percentage (Div + WC1 + WC2)
W+/-: 2012 revised projected wins minus 2012 pre-season projected wins
RS+/-: 2012 revised projected runs scored minus 2012 pre-season projected runs scored (positive means they are projected to score more)
RA+/-: 2012 revised projected runs allowed minus 2012 pre-season projected runs allowed (negative means they are projected to allow fewer)

Good thing for Cliff Lee he signed with the young upstart Phillies instead of the old decrepit Yankees.  And remember how the Rangers and Angels looked to be neck and neck heading into the year?  Yeah.  The Dodgers seem to have snuck their way into the division race now, but other than that the division standings look pretty similar to how they did entering the season.

And here’s a chart that shows the changes in revised team wins projections for each team.

TM W+/-
Rangers 8.4
Dodgers 8.1
Cardinals 7.2
Nationals 3.8
Indians 3.6
Tigers 2.9
Braves 2.3
Astros 1.9
White Sox 1.6
Pirates 1.5
Brewers 1.2
Giants 0.6
Mets 0.2
Orioles 0.1
Blue Jays -0.5
Yankees -0.8
Rockies -1.2
Diamondbacks -1.3
Phillies -1.4
Mariners -1.5
Twins -1.6
Marlins -1.8
Rays -2.0
Reds -2.9
Cubs -3.2
Padres -3.5
Athletics -4.1
Royals -4.8
Angels -5.1
Red Sox -7.6

The Rangers have been destroying the competition and look like they’re probably the best team in baseball.  The Dodgers and Cardinals are the biggest positive surprises in the National League so far.  The Angels are the biggest disappointment in the AL.

But the Red Sox have to be the most pleasant surprise in baseball for me.

--Posted at 9:17 am by SG / 62 Comments | - (0)


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The Rangers are scary.

Can’t beat seeing LAAAAA and BOS at the bottom of that chart.

Did anyone ever say anything about losing Melancon?

Nope. No one cared. Success in the AL East is not Melancon’s density. We all knew that.

At this point, the Red Sox are the gift that keeps on giving.

SOSH is the gift that keeps giving.

You are correct.

Going back to last September 1, the Sox at 11-29. That’s a .275 winning percentage over a quarter of a season.

Thanks for reminding me, SOSH!

Ya see, normally a bunch of stat-aware fanboys would use selective endpoints to make themselves look better (see projections, CAIRO).

But over at SOSH, they use it to maximize their self-loathing misery:

11-29 in their last 40 games. That’s 45-117, give or take, for a whole year.

Although things are generally less negative in tone than here…

I wish Bobby would stop making Saltalamacchia put down the home run sign.

5 HR’s allowed and he’s lowered his ERA. That has to be a first.

YES network poll just now: “Which is your favorite red sox heartache moment?

A. Bucky Dent 40%
B. Aaron Boone 16%
C. Buckner 15%
D. 2011 Collapse 29%”

that network is for dildos

and…wait for it…

Sometimes I wonder if this is karma for our collective douchebaggery as Boston fans during this time of great success

The dawning of self-awareness in Townie-town.

Remember when Salty said something about “Latin players” being too expressive on the mound? What a piece of shit.

Raining pretty good in RI right now.

Remember when Baseball Prospectus called Matt Wieters one of the biggest busts of all time? What a bunch of fools.

There’s an approximately 0% chance they play baseball tonight.  Thanks, ESPN!

Because of 13 games he’s now a star?

Because of 13 games he’s now a star?

He was very good last year too, and he’s at the age where you would expect another leap forward in his production.

Wieters hasn’t even reached arbitration; he would need to be below replacement level to be a bust, even with the absurd expectations people had for him.

Tree, disagree You could define “bust” that way, but I don’t think it would be normal usage.
If Wieters turns out to be no more than a run-of-the-mill ML catcher, then given the fanfare and build-up, I could see calling that a “bust”.  That’s kind of what a bust is - it’s not that the guy’s useless.  An unheralded MiL-er can’t really be a bust.
Wieters has been ok, and underwhelming, to this point.
Good 13 games to start this year.
The best I can take from that is: we’ll see.

[15] 5 fWAR, 4 bWAR in 2011. Above-average in 2010 as well. And he’s only 25? I guess you could say “we’ll see” for any player, but at this point I’m taking him above nearly every other MLB catcher.

Wieters is pretty easily among the best MLB catchers right now.

Are we giving up on Stewie so easily ?

Including age isn’t right in the context of this.
If you do that, I agree.
If you ignore age, you’ve got to be less certain that he’s among the best MLB catchers.
He was above average last year… ok.

I notice that the Sox don’t project to make the playoffs, but even so, I’d like them to go completely 1899 Spiders.

[19] Age is incredibly key to this. I think WJ’s original post spoke directly to the heart of it. BP was shortsighted to give up on Wieters so soon, despite his relative age and inexperience. That’s the main issue and it’s hard to argue, based on what we know about Wieters’ recent production. For the other issue, Wieters just is one of the best MLB catchers today - only Napoli was better in 2011 according to FG.

I’ve been listening to WCBS a lot, and I’m fascinated by all the ads for grass seed.  Scott’s and Pennington seem to be locked in some kind of mortal struggle for supremacy with a torrent of negative ads, and there’s a third one that’s above the fray—can;t remember them because the ads are less colorful.  I had no idea the grass seed market was so competitive that it warrants the cost of advertising on Yankee games.

BP is just over-correcting.  First they said Wieters would be the best catcher of all time when he was still in the minors, then he struggled his first couple years, so they’re trying to cover their rear ends.

We should come up with a good player-euphemism for the hindquarters.  The Youkilis?

In conclusion, do the SOSH guys know that we love to make fun of them?

[22] You know who uses a lot of grass seed? The Hebrew Home in Riverdale…they have lovely grounds, it’s like a college campus!

[22] Now that I live outside of New York City (and any city, in fact), it’s very obvious to me how obsessed people are with their hideous green lawns.

I think a grass lawn is one of the ugliest possible ornaments to a house. But 99% of people don’t seem to agree with me.

[22] Those ads are all over YES too. Haven’t seen the third-party ones you mentioned though. As someone who is professionally involved in politics I love it.

My point is that I have a hard time calling anyone a bust if you haven’t paid much for him or haven’t given him excessively inappropriate amounts of playing time. Weiters far exceeds that low (high) bar. If you fully bought the initial expectations, you could maybe call him disappointing, but not a bust. I would say a proper bust should be able to clear hypothetical waivers, Weiters never would.

I live in SoCal and have begun the process of converting my (small) lawn to native and low-water plants.  It’s insane to have green lawns here. 

Paradoxically I’m actually fertilizing the grass this year though, because years of contempt and neglect have resulted in a scruffy brown thing that’s probably driving property values down.

Jon in CUO, what do you do?

If the Hebrew Home is anything like my college campus…well.

7 Final quote should be immortalized in bronze, taught to school children everywhere, perhaps even added as an RLYW subheading.

[25] I completely agree. If I ever own I house the “lawn” will simply be an expansive vegetable/herb garden.

I just spent way too much time reading through yesterday’s SOSH game thread. *giggle*

Gee, who would do that, YM?
But that Amelia Earhart comment was a classic.

UJD - campaigns in FL tho less involved now since moving to NYC.

So the MLB scoreboard is posting the game as officially postponed. I presume that means the team is already wheels up and on their way to Texas, which will be better than finishing at midnight and then flying.

We can still get drunks tonite, though, right ? We just have to watch the archive game from Friday or something.

We can still get drunks tonite, though, right?

As our parents tell us: you’ll never know unless you try…

Where do you get drunks? Is there a locally sourced farm-to-table joint? Are they free-range?

[36] I thought those were hipsters.

I wonder if this guy is still alive, or floating in the Charles.

[36, 37]
I have a hipster who was looking for a locally sourced farm-to-table joint…

The Yankees radio ad I took the most notice of was the Papa Johns half price pizzas any day after they win by scoring 6 runs or more. That sounds like a really expensive promotion.

Double post…

I like pizza. I LIKE IT!

Using the term pizza to describe Papa John’s is like using the term spray-on cheez without the Z. It’s just misleading.

I think this was already referenced in a jokey way, but Joba is throwing with his leg on a stool.  I can’t imagine how that works—sitting?  Standing/kneeling?—but it sounds like a recipe for back trouble to me.

SOSH, on Sweet Caroline:

“But I was sitting there absolutely furious at the morons shown on the center field board laughing and gleefully dancing and singing along. You’re near the conclusion of something historically bad you fucking assholes. It was not good, so good. Caring about the team or the game didn’t even seem to enter their limited thoughts.”

[45] Same for doing The Wave during a…well, really, EVER. But during a laugher of a loss…

Sox are moving Bard to the bullpen. HOW STUPID!

[44] One can only assume the stool is safely positioned on flat ground.

I only eat the 9-9-9 pizza.

[47] Who will take his place in the rotation?  Do they have young arms?  Are they interested in Garcia?

[50] First we plant Melancon and Aceves as moles in the bullpen. Can Garcia be an effective mole in the rotation ? Or will he go to Boston and gain 4mph ?

[47] No. It makes sense. Valentine overworked him in his previous start and recognizes this. Bard is a very potent drug. When he’s on, he makes Bobby’s heart race. Bobby can’t get enough. Then Bard crashes and Bobby crashes harder.

Bobby knows that to enjoy this drug, he must do so in moderation. If he waits until the eighth inning to allow pure heat to course through his veins, there is no chance of Bobby V’s even being able to take 105 hits of the pure Texas juice.

Anyone laying odds on Wakefield’s return ?

“of all the dramatic things Jerry Remy has ever seen…”

Who likes the Melvins?  Pin, you live in the PNW.  I bet otf likes the Melvins too.

[54] Jerry was playing second on 10/2/78. Some drama that afternoon as I recall.

[55] I hadda google it. Neeeeeever heard of ‘em.

UJD, I do. Know what I like better?  I want that fine little fella.

otf, you deserve a cat.  And a cat deserves you.  Don’t hesitate when confronted with happiness.

[58] Hexe = witch.  Ahti = fishing god of some sort.  Sounds like Princess Arjumand from the wonderful _To Say Nothing Of The Dog_.

Well, the Phlyers didnt blow it. We can only hope that the Devils send them packing.

A few choice SOSH reactions after Swish’s go-ahead double on Saturday:

#1138 lars10
388 posts
Posted 21 April 2012 - 06:12 PM

fuck off Swish you overrated piece of shit.

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#1139 Foulkey Reese

Hates Bunting

16,456 posts
Posted 21 April 2012 - 06:12 PM

God I wish Swisher was dead.

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#1140 deconstruction
993 posts
Posted 21 April 2012 - 06:12 PM

If Swisher died tomorrow I really wouldn’t feel bad. Not one bit.

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