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

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Looking Ahead To 2011 - Jorge Posada

Jorge Posada is heading into the final year of his contract and what may be the final year of his career.  For the first time since 1998, he won’t be the Yankees’ starting catcher, as post-concussion symptoms and a continued defensive decline have caused the Yankees to move him to DH.

Here’s how Posada projects heading into 2011.

Offense

projection PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB AVG OBP SLG wOBA BR BR/650 BRAA BRAR BABIP
bill_james 414 361 49 94 22 0 16 60 2 1 53 .260 .355 .454 .355 58 91 9 12 .310
fans 501 438 69 117 25 1 18 76 1 0 63 .267 .369 .452 .364 71 92 12 15 .320
cairo 405 350 48 94 21 1 15 59 2 1 46 .269 .356 .463 .356 57 91 9 11 .319
marcel 469 409 51 103 24 1 17 62 3 1 51 .252 .339 .440 .341 61 84 5 8 .295
oliver 433 377 50 93 19 1 15 55 1 1 48 .247 .335 .422 .333 53 80 2 5 .295
pecota 450 389 57 99 22 0 16 54 2 1 53 .254 .349 .434 .345 59 85 6 8 .299
zips 404 348 41 86 20 1 17 56 2 1 48 .247 .344 .457 .349 55 88 7 10 .290
average* 432 375 49 95 21 1 16 57 2 1 49 .254 .344 .443 .345 57 86 6 8 .299
2010 451 383 49 95 23 1 18 57 3 1 59 .248 .357 .454 .356 63 91 10 13 .287


wOBA: Weighted on-base average (does not include SB/CS)
BR: Linear weights batting runs
BR/650: BR pro-rated to 650 PA
BRAA: BR above an average player in projected playing time (adjusted for park, but not for position)
BRAR: BR above a replacement level player (adjusted for park and position)
2010: Un-adjusted 2010 performance  
*average does not include bill_james or fans

Despite approaching 40, Posada’s still been a a better than average hitter.  Of course, his bat is more valuable when it’s compared to a catcher than it is when compared to a DH.  The average catcher is about 12.5 runs worse than an average hitter over a full season.  An average DH generally needs to be at least that much better than an average hitter, and perhaps more than that if you want to account for the fact that they provide no defensive value.  The standard position-adjustment for a DH is -17.5 runs.  So over a full season, a DH who is about 30 runs better than an average defensive catcher offensively is probably not any more valuable relative to position.
Aside from CAIRO, this doesn’t set a good tone for how much Posada’s going to help the Yankees in 2011, but it may not be as dire as it seems on first blush. 

There was a discussion in this post at The Book Blog about when a catcher can no longer catch.  In it, Tango Tiger references research he’s done that shows that a catcher’s offense will improve by about a win if they’re not catching.  I think the actual research was in one of the Hardball Times Annuals, but I can’t find a direct link to it.  We don’t know if this is what will happen for Posada obviously, but we can hope.  CAIRO is regressing Posada’s offense towards DH, which is the primary reason it appears so bullish on Posada.  I don’t think the other projections have done anything in that regard.  Then again, wear and tear is cumulative, and the fact that Posada won’t be catching in 2011 doesn’t change the fact that he caught a lot of games in his career and a lot of the damage has already been done.

Here are Posada’s CAIRO percentile forecasts.

cairo % PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB AVG OBP SLG wOBA BR BR/650 BRAA BRAR
80% 425 368 54 104 24 2 18 66 3 2 52 .282 .378 .503 .383 67 103 16 19
65% 413 357 51 98 23 1 16 62 2 1 49 .275 .367 .483 .369 62 97 12 15
Baseline 405 350 48 94 21 1 15 59 2 1 46 .269 .356 .463 .356 57 91 9 11
35% 365 315 40 80 17 0 12 50 1 0 38 .255 .333 .423 .330 45 79 1 4
20% 324 280 33 67 13 0 9 41 0 0 31 .241 .310 .383 .303 34 68 -4 -2


Given how optimistic the baseline is in relation to the other projections, that may be about as much as we can realistically hope for.

Base Running

Posada is a brilliant baserunner, who combines blazing speed with uncanny instincts. 

Year ga_opps ga_r aa_opps aa_r ha_opps ha_r oa_opps oa_r total_opps total_r
2007 34 -1 52 -1 57 -4 361 -2 504 -8
2008 10 0 10 0 14 -1 87 0 121 -1
2009 20 0 29 -1 34 -6 177 -1 260 -8
2010 16 0 29 -1 29 -4 252 -1 326 -6
Proj 18 0 28 -1 30 -4 207 -1 283 -6


ga_opps: opportunities to advance on grounders
ga_r: run value of advances on grounders
aa_opps: opportunites to advance on air outs
aa_r: run value of advances on air outs
ha_opps: opportunites to advance on hits
ha_r: run value of advances on hits
oa_opps: opportunites to adance on other (wild pitches, passed balls, etc.,)
oa_r: run value of advances on other
total_opps: ga + aa + ha + ao opportunities
total_r: total run value of non-SB base running, compared to average

Posada’s such a good baserunner that he cannot be measured by the limited tools we currently have at our disposal.  When we get BaseRunning F/X we may be able to better understand him.

Defense

I suppose I can throw his defensive projection at catcher up for the hell of it.

Player Jorge Posada
Year Inn DRS DRS/120
2006 1050 4 4
2007 1111 -6 -6
2008 234 -4 -18
2009 785 -1 -1
2010 660 -5 -8
avg 768 -2 -3
w_avg 694 -3 -5


DRS: Defensive runs saved compared to average using John Dewan’s plus/minus system
zRS: Runs saved compared to average using Chris Dial’s zone rating system
uRS: Runs saved compared to average using UZR
tRS: Runs saved compared to average using Total Zone
rARM: Runs saved with arm compared to average (OF only)
avg: average from 2006-2010
w_avg: weighted average from 2006-2010 (5/4/3/2/1 weight)

This is only looking at SB/CS.  If you add in the passed balls and wild pitches I’m fairly certain you can double the negative numbers.  It shouldn’t be an issue in 2011, as I’d be surprised to see Posada catching in anything other than emergency situations.

The nice thing about having Posada around as an emergency catcher is it should give the Yankees the flexibility to use Jesus Montero as a DH or pinch-hitter if necessary without the fear of not having a backup catcher should something happen to Russell Martin.  It seems like the Yankees are extremely concerned about Posada’s concussions though, so I am not sure how much they’d be willing to use him there.

With Andy Pettitte’s retirement, we’re down to Posada, Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera from the 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2009 World Series Champion Yankees.  Unless Posada has a monster year, I’d be surprised to see him back in 2012, at least as a Yankee.  Unfortunately, at this point he looks like a long shot for the Hall of Fame, but if he can tack on a few productive years as a DH that might change.

--Posted at 3:55 pm by SG / 46 Comments | - (0)

Comments

Page 1 of 1 pages:

I know everyone is in love with the idea of the “core four”, but considering Posada a part of that 1996 team is like saying Nomar won a title with the 2004 Red Sox.

Not quite.  They canceled the 2004 ALCS after game three, whereas they played out the entire 1996 World Series.

Once we’ve relaxed the rules for membership in the so called “core four”, Bernie Williams should be included.

Bernie threw out the first pitch in Game 6 of the 2009 ALCS, so I think he can be considered part of the Core Five.

[4] At worst he’s the Official Bard of the “Core 4” ©

2: yeah that was to account for the earth’s revolutions otherwise they would have had to cancel the next 8 leap years.

Posada is a brilliant baserunner, who combines blazing speed with uncanny instincts.

What makes this even better is that it’s a skill that improves as players hit 40.

I’m optimistic because (i) CAIRO is so obviously superior to the other systems, which are obviously thrown in here just to make them look bad, and because (ii) I’m pretty sure that none of these systems, not even CAIRO, factors in prowess.

Wow, CAIRO is really bullish on Posada. What a happens to his numbers if you regress his BABIP to around .300?

What a happens to his numbers if you regress his BABIP to around .300?

He ends up right around where PECOTA is.  That .319 BABIP seems awful high, but looking at it a bit more:


2006: .303
2007: .386
2008: .328
2009: .328
2010: .287
average: .326
weighted average: .320

[10] I had no idea, nor I would have ever imagined that Posada could have lumbered himself to such a consistently higher BABIP.

Why, I wonder, do the predictions presume that he’s going to lose OBP but gain avg. - in other words, that his getting on base will suddenly shift towards base hits at the expense of walks?
The predictions, on average: about 20 fewer ABs, the same number of hits, and about 10 fewer walks.
I’d have thought the opposite would be more likely.

Why, I wonder, do the predictions presume that he’s going to lose OBP but gain avg. - in other words, that his getting on base will suddenly shift towards base hits at the expense of walks?
The predictions, on average: about 20 fewer ABs, the same number of hits, and about 10 fewer walks.
I’d have thought the opposite would be more likely.

You’re looking at 2010 in comparison to the projections, but you should also look at 2009 and 2008 and 2007.  Basically, what they’re saying is that Posada’s drop in average and spike in BB rate in 2010 were larger than they should have been based on his most recent weighed performance, and even re-weighing the prior data with the new data we have should get him closer to that level than he was in 2010.

You are right that in general we expect older players to get fewer singles and more walks, but that’s based on whatever we think their true talent level is.  The projections are basically saying Posada’s 2010 was not his true talent level.

Thanks, SG! That explains it.
Btw, sorry if this
CAIRO is so obviously superior to the other systems
was off-topic.

No, WAY off topic would be if you would have asked if the Yanks should reconsider keeping Boone Logan or Sergio Mitre on the 25-man roster.

If they are off, we have Nova as the long man, and keep Freddie and Colon in the rotation, and even sneak a young guy in the bullpen.

That would be off-topic.

Back on topic, I think Jorge will strive to go out in a BLAZE OF GLORY, like Ric Flair did with Shawn Michaels.

I get it now. Shelley Duncan facts. It’s been bouncing around for a couple of weeks but the lizard brain just kicked in. Golden Monkeys for all. I’m buying.
Off Topic Fan.

Garcia: 9 up, 9 down.

[18]  Yeah.

I think the SD Facts reference was mine, and whatever a Golden Monkey is, I get dibs.

Rilke, what prompted the New Yorker story link?

YZ.. just back from your wrestling gig? One liter of Victory Golden Monkey is yours. Google it. Trust me.
Are we off topic again? Howzabout that American Idol? What a really fine program.

16 Ks by Yank pitchers tonite.  Would Mel approve? Is Po gonna catch at all in ST?  American Idol is that about Derek?  Im boycotting since the hippie chick lost last year.

[22] This will probably horrify you, but I just came home with a fifth-sized bottle of Duvel, bought at…wait for it…Costco.

And yeah, it’s 750ml. That’s more or less a fifth.

I drink Black Label, blended, does that make me the outcast of the islands?

[25] We all hate you starting… NOW. I’m partial to single malts and pale ales.

It is never off-topic to discuss The Mo, who praises the Manny.

[25] I never turn my nose up at Black. There’s room in my life for single malts and blends and I generally keep some of each on hand - the single malt is my “What a splendid fellow I’ve been” scotch, and the blend is my “Tonite I’ll have too much” whiskey.

Current roster is Macallan 18, Famous Grouse.

Anyone visiting Geenwich Village Marys Fish Camp is a nice little place and Red Stripe goes well with fish.

[21] Which story where?  What month are we talking about?

[30] Where am I? Who are all you strange people? Why am I missing my pants?

The answers to all these questions and more will NOT be in the next post, because that would loose Clash of the Titans 2 or a 4th Transformers on the world.

I received a bottle of Balvenie 21 Year aged in PortWood a couple years ago as a gift from a very good friend.  When I saw the price tag, our friendship grew even deeper… the Port cask aging (for the last few years, not all 21 of course) defintely added something special that even my unrefined tastebuds could detect.

IMHO, it was the best single malt I have ever tasted.  I am certainly no authority, but I have tasted a few in my day.  Treat yourself if you have the $$$.  I am betting that many here have already tasted it at some point.

For the sake of my wallet, I moved on to good ole’ American bourbon many years ago and never looked back.  So many fine things out there to try, so little time.

Oh yeah, and I have always liked Posada’s intensity.  No way to quantify this, but I have always felt he has higher grit-quotient than Varitek & Youkilis combined.  I kinda always felt he would have been a better choice for “Captain” than Jetes…

Macallan 18 Ooh, boy.  The last single malt scotch (or really whiskey of any kind) I enjoyed.  Damn good stuff.

I’m a beer (stouts, porters, brown ales, pale ales, and now even IPAs)+ full-bodied red wine guy.  I can’t take the hard stuff anymore, not that I was every a big fan.

So many fine things out there to try, so little time  TRUTH.


I’m optimistic that not having to catch will help Posada’s health & hitting.  I, for one, knew of his career BABIP being high… I’d always assumed it’s b/c the dude hits the ball *hard* when he hits it.  “Take and Rake” is a good description.  He walks, he Ks, and he hits screaming line drives.

Posada Prowess!

[0] What if we give Posada 550PA with the CAIRO baseline?  What does that give us about 15-16 BRAR?  I think 550 is reasonable, since a number (all?) of his injuries in recent years have come while catching.  Playing time of course is the hardest to project, though I’m sure when you do the team projection w/ depth charts and everything you’ll take a swag at it.

I *could* see Posada returning to the Yankees next year, minus a monster-year.  Obviously he’d need to accept a large pay-cut, and possibly also a reduced role.  A lot will of course depend on other players on the team - does the hip allow ARod to hit like a monster again, but still can’t field, and also do they have a viable replacement?  Does Jeter somehow hit well enough but field poorly enough that DH is an option?  Does something happen in the OF where it makes sense to convert Swisher to DH?  Does Teix offer to move to DH to accomodate a signing of Pujols?  The only of these that seems likely is moving ARod to DH if he can’t field, so even at 1 WAR there’s probably room for Posada as the full-time DH in 2012.  If he’s also willing to take a pay-cut to under $10M a year, and go year to year (or team options).

[28] I need to hang out with pinstriper, provided he doesn’t mind having a felon around.

whatever a Golden Monkey is, I get dibs

Fear the Monkey.  He’s brought down empires, felled mighty heros, and is the only drink that’s gotten a friend of mine cut off at a bar (the last is the most impressive).

I can’t take the hard stuff anymore, not that I was every a big fan.

I’ve never been much of a scotch drinker myself, though I used to go through phases.  More bourbon or brandy.  But yeah same w/ me and the hard stuff now.  Occasionally have a rum and coke or something, but mostly beer and wine any more.  Trying to expand my tastes as far as wine goes, but I like most reds, and drink chardonay for the whites.

Alcohol is always on-topic, right?

[36] “Alcohol is always on-topic, right?”

Right.  Thus spake Mel Hall.

I received a bottle of Balvenie 21 Year… I am betting that many here have already tasted it at some point.

Haven’t yet, but I will. I like Glenkinchie and Dalwhinnie as well.

For the sake of my wallet, I moved on to good ole’ American bourbon many years ago and never looked back.  So many fine things out there to try, so little time.

I am one of the few that move effortlessly between scotch and bourbon. Same strategy, my “splendid fellow” is currently Woodford Reserve, but Maker’s Mark is a frequent guest.

Oh yeah, and I have always liked Posada’s intensity… he has higher grit-quotient than Varitek & Youkilis combined.

I’ll bet Tek and Youk never pissed their hands just to win a game. Elf probably has tried it. I can believe they pissed their hands after a loss, though.

That Filipino chick on American Idol is only 16.

She makes me ejaculate on my hands.

Would Jorge approve?

Playing time of course is the hardest to project, though I’m sure when you do the team projection w/ depth charts and everything you’ll take a swag at it.

Yeah, I’m not going to mess with playing time until the position player wrap up.  But Posada as a DH for 550 PA would be worth about 13 runs above a replacement level DH using the CAIRO baseline.

[41]  Thanks.  Little less than I thought, but still quite serviceable.  If they get another 5 or so runs out of the 100-some other PA’s for that position, they’ll have an average DH.  Which really, isn’t bad at all.

“they’ll have an average DH.  Which really, isn’t bad at all.”

Pretty expensive DH though.  Maybe if he’s a really great emergency catcher to cover the risk Martin hits the 60-day DL, it’s totally worth it.

[40] Luis Polonia and Mel Hall would approve.

[43] Oh yeah, I wouldn’t recommend going out and signing one for that price.  But he’s already on the team and already paid for, so it’s a good use of him.  If he was only projected for .5 WAR, I think he’d be better off as an overpaid bench player.

If Posada does provide 1.2 WAR of value as a 500 or so PA DH, I’d be quite comfortable offering him $8M next year to fill the same role.  Slight overpay maybe, but likely worth it.  Of course depending on what the other options are, and some of the concerns I outlined in [34].

FWIW, Yankee DH’s hit .256/.338/.440 last year in 660+ PA.  Replacing that with Posada’s CAIRO baseline would be worth about seven additional runs.

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