PECOTA Adjusts for Playing Time

February 18, 2011

Last week, Baseball Prospectus came out with their PECOTA predictions for the Nationals, and it wasn’t pretty. This week, they came out with their depth charts. This is basically their predictions, with playing time adjusted for what the lineup situation looks like right now. They also changed some of the underlying numbers to get their totals. I said I’d be shocked if they put the Nats at more than 60 wins, but they are actually predicted to get to 70 (Joy!). So there must be something positive out of this. There is, here’s a rundown of some of their adjustments, and a few other notes.

Let’s begin with the starting pitching

  • Jordan Zimmermann got better. He went from an 86 IP, 4.27 ERA guy to a 172 IP, 4.19 ERA guy. That puts him as the most valuable starter on the team, with 149 Ks and a 1.4 WARP.
  • Tom Gorzelanny joined the group, and got better. He was still listed on the Cubs, and maybe it was the ballpark, but his ERA was predicted to be 4.73. Now, on the Nats, he is predicted to be their 2nd best of the 5 main starters, with a 4.34 ERA, 105 Ks, and a 0.7 WARP, all ranked #2 behind JZimm. Perhaps because of injury history, they have him ranked #5 in IP.
  • Livan, Marquis and Lannan fill out the rotation, each with about a 0.10 ERA drop from last weeks predictions.
  • Lannan’s predictions still seem a little off. His PECOTA suggested 4.76 ERA would be his career low
  • Chien-Ming Wang does come back and pitch, according to them, and his 4.24 ERA is the best in the rotation after JZimm, but they only have him going 65 innings.

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If PECOTA Doesn’t Have Anything Nice to Say…

February 10, 2011

Baseball Prospectus released their PECOTA numbers this week, and obviously there is a ton of data. At first I tried to just pick out some interesting bit of information, which I’ll get to later. Keep in mind that playing time adjustments haven’t been made yet. Guys who won’t be playing are in there, but that shouldn’t affect their non-counting stats. Before that, though, I want to share what really jumped out at me. PECOTA is not very sympathetic to Nationals position players. Here’s what I mean:

PECOTA Doubts the Position Players

PECOTA thinks (ok it doesn’t think, it calculates) that almost all Nats who might be considered starters will have a lower OPS in 2011 compared to 2010. That includes those you might expect, such as Ryan Zimmerman (drop of .069), Jayson Werth (drop of .086) and Mike Morse (drop of .097). It includes others that you might not expect such as Adam LaRoche (drop of .007), Danny Espinosa (drop of .028), and Wilson Ramos (drop of .038). The only starter types with increases are Ian Desmond (increase of .003), Roger Bernadina (increase of .012), and Rick Ankiel (increase of .017).

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Quick League Preview – NL

April 1, 2010

Yesterday I did a quick and dirty preview for the AL, so now it’s time to look at the NL. Once again, before I show you my predictions, I’ll give you my thoughts on each team.

Astros: Their lineup isn’t that impressive, other than a few keys pieces. If Myers has a good year, then they have a strong front of the rotation with him, Oswalt and Rodriguez.

Braves: I am bullish on these guys this year, their lineup is better than people realize, and I like their pitching staff. It’s too bad they have to look up at the Phillies. I think they’ll be in the Wild Card fight all year long.

Brewers: Their lineup is better than people realize, it’s more than just Braun and Fielder, that’s for sure. But their pitching staff is a mess beyond Gallardo. Read the rest of this entry »

Quick League Preview – AL

March 31, 2010

I didn’t want to start the season without completely ruining any credibility I have, so once again I will make some bold predictions that can be used against me later in the year. I’m going to start today with the AL predictions, but before we get to that, here are some of my feelings on the teams.

Angels: To me they just had losses this offseason. They still have some stuff there, and it’s hard to bet against Scioscia, but I can’t say I’m fond of their pitching staff or more than half of their lineup.

Athletics: I really like them this year. They need another hitter but I think they’ll be buyers for that later in the year. That pitching staff in that park I think bodes very well for them. They are a team that I could see surprising people and making the playoffs, especially if Ben Sheets stays healthy.

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Jumping on the Optimism Bandwagon

February 22, 2010

Pitchers and catchers are in, position players are starting to show up. Meanwhile, some young prospect threw down in Viera this weekend. Teammates were calling him Jesus, people were talking about how he’s the best thing they’ve ever seen, and there was a general feeling of optimism for the future. So let’s get on the train to positivityland and figure out what is the ideal scenario for this team. Not record-wise. If everything goes right they probably won’t be very good. And I’m talking about the big boy team right now, so I’ll avoid talking about development of guys that won’t see the pros this year.  I’m talking about what would help set up a winning season in 2011 – a complete list of things that would be good for this team, but trying to keep them all realistic. So, no, I’m not going to say that it would be awesome of Craig Stammen struck out 250 hitters and won a Cy Young, or if Josh Willingham became a gold glove outfielder.

Instead, here’s a list of the good things I’d hope to see, that actually have a chance to happen

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The Washington Nationals 2014 Lineup

November 13, 2009

Now that the offseason has begun, let the speculation begin. This is the 3rd annual “Nationals in 5 years” lineup, and it’s something I really enjoy thinking about. Of course, I’m judging prospects and predicting that there are no free agent acquisitions, both ridiculous for me to do. Unfortunately my goal of getting this out before BA does their’s didn’t work out this year, so feel free to accuse me of stealing from them. Just make sure you accuse them of stealing from me last year. Not that our lists are the same. Regardless, here’s my team based on the current farm system, and alot of  guessing:

The Position Players

C –Derek Norris – Last year, I had Flores in this place. And I think Flores still has a future for this team. But Norris is really impressing everyone, and 5 years will give him time to establish himself and work his way up. So don’t think of this as a knock on Flores, more of a nod to Norris. Norris had a great year, hitting .283/.413/.513 at single-A Hagerstown with 30 doubles and 23 home runs, leading the league in OBP and finishing 2nd in HRs. He was named the minor league player of the year by the organization. The 20 year old prospect also garnered other recognition, as Baseball America named him the #2 prospect on the Nats, the #4 prospect in the Sally league and the player of the year for the organization.

1B – Chris Marrero – His presence here was more doubtful last year, after the injuries of 2008. But he has recovered nicely and put together a strong 2009 season. Baseball America’s statement that his “best tool is his plus-plus raw power to all fields” is pretty enticing, and he’ll have to hit with power, because he will swing and miss, and he’s not a great fielder. But he’s got ability, and if they can develop him in to the true power hitter that they think he can be, he’ll be an asset for sure. For what it’s worth, he’s also crushing the ball in the AFL this year.

2B Read the rest of this entry »

The Favorite Team Tonight is… Whaaaaaaaaaaa?

July 16, 2009

So I went to ESPN, to check out the preview for the Nats game tonight, and staring me right in the face was this picture:

Nats Favored Small

Yes, that says “Underdog” by the Cubs and “Favorite” by the Nats. Now, I know that Lannan is Washington’s best pitcher, and he’s going tonight. He leads the team in wins and starting pitcher ERA. He’s also second in Ks, even though he only strikes out 4 batters per 9 innings (at least Zimmermann can miss bats – actually Detwiler’s not bad at it either, he’s just other things to work out first). And Rich Harden has been pretty un-Harden-like all season. That is, he’s been healthy and bad, two things he rarely does. But still? Let’s look at what’s going on here.

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