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What does a 100 win team with no superstars look like?

Posted: 01/17/2013 11:35 AM

What does a 100 win team with no superstars look like? 


Building a team to compete can be tough especially since you have salary to contend with.  It's easier with 0-3 developed players because you can easily just throw in a bunch of players such as Buster Posey, Mike Trout and Andrew McCutchen who all make peanuts but provide massive production.  Instead I went a different route.  I was only allowed to use players who were signed as free agents in 2012 or 2013 or were traded for minimal returns.  I also only gave myself a 55 million dollar cap and all stats and salaries (rounded accordingly) are from the 2012 season.  Also I kept playing time and position into consideration.  I couldn't just build a team with 5 outfielders who got 600 at bats each or 4 first baseman.


CATCHERS - 

John Jaso (L)
WAR - 3.3
Salary - 500K
Acquired in a trade for Josh Lueke

Kelly Shoppach (R)
WAR - 1.2 WAR
Salary - 1.1 million
Acquired in a trade for Pedro Beato

INFIELDERS

Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
WAR - 2.2 WAR
Salary - 500K
Acquired in a trade for Andrew Cashner

Mark Ellis (R) 2B
WAR - 2.4 WAR
Salary - 2.5 million
Signed as a free agent

Yunel Escobar (R) SS
WAR - 2.5 WAR
Salary - 5 million
Acquired in a trade for Derek Dietrich

Eric Chavez (L) 3B
WAR - 1.1 WAR
Salary - 900K
Signed as a free agent

OUTFIELDERS

Melky Cabrera (S) OF
WAR - 4.7 WAR
Salary - 6 million
Traded for Jonathan Sanchez and Ryan Verdugo

Angel Pagan (S) OF
WAR - 4.0 WAR
Salary - 4.9 million
Traded for Ramon Ramirez and Andres Torres

Norichika Aoki (L) OF
WAR - 3.3 WAR
Salary - 1 million
Signed as a free agent


BENCH

Brandon Moss (L) 1B/OF
WAR - 1.9 WAR
Salary - 500K
Signed as a free agent

Pedro Ciriaco (R) IF
WAR - 1.1 WAR
Salary - 500K
Signed as a free agent

Juan Pierre (L) OF
WAR - 1.9 WAR
Salary - 800K
Signed as a free agent

Kevin Frandsen (R) IF
WAR - 1.5 WAR
Salary - 500K
Signed as a free agent


STARTING PITCHERS

Bartolo Colon (R)
WAR - 2.5 WAR
Salary - 2 million
Signed as a free agent

Jason Hammel (R)
WAR - 2.8 WAR
Salary - 4.8 million
Traded for Jeremy Guthrie

Wei-Yin Chen (L)
WAR - 2.4 WAR
Salary - 3.1 million
Signed as a free agent

Chris Capuano (L)
WAR - 1.8 WAR
Salary - 3 million
Signed as a free agent

Paul Maholm (L)
WAR - 1.9 WAR
Salary - 4.8 million
Signed as a free agent

RELIEVERS

Fernando Rodney (R)
WAR - 3.7 WAR
Salary - 1.8 million
Signed as a free agent

Wilton Lopez (R)
WAR - 2.2 WAR
Salary - 520K
Traded for Alex White and Alex Gillingham

Darren Oliver (L)
WAR - 1.9 WAR
Salary - 4 million
Signed as a free agent

Hisashi Iwakuma (R)
WAR - 1.9 WAR
Salary - 1.5 million
Signed as a free agent

Esmil Rogers 
WAR - 0.5 WAR
Salary - 510K
Traded for Mike Aviles and Yan Gomes

Steve Delabar (R)
WAR - 0.5 WAR
Salary - 480K
Traded for Eric Thames

Ernesto Frieri
WAR - 1.3 WAR
Salary - 490K
Traded for Donn Roach and Alexi Amarista

The total salary for the 25 man teams come out to 51.7 million.  All players moved teams between the offseason of 2011 and now.  The total team WAR was 54.4 WAR which combined with a 50 win baseline would of accounted for a 104 win team
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Posted: 01/17/2013 11:42 AM

Re: What does a 100 win team with no superstars look like? 


The Pirates could beat that team.

___________

 

  

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Posted: 01/17/2013 12:01 PM

RE: What does a 100 win team with no superstars look like? 


Not in 2012 they couldn't.

That combination of players will still probably be very good in 2013. Probably won't put up 104 wins but would probably put up 90. The starting offense is very repeatable. A slight regression from guys like Cabrera and Jaso would be made up by Rizzo and Escobar likely being better in 2013 than they were in 2012. In total the starting lineup accounted for 23.5 WAR. As a whole collective unit they will likely do that again in 2013.

The bench will have a significant decline. In total they had a 7.2 WAR. That isn't repeatable based on those players. Guys like Moss and Frandsen won't be worth that much again. Pretty much everyone would get a downgrade here. If you get 2.5 WAR in 2013 that would be a big boost.

The starting rotation is quite repeatable. It accounted for 11.4 WAR. Some will have better years and some will have worse but the baseline is pretty low to begin with. To reach those numbers the pitchers really just need to stay healthy and pitch to middle of the rotation standards. I wouldn't be surprised to see them surpass that WAR total. Four of the five pitchers were on playoff teams last year excluding Capuano. He is a wild card because you have no idea where he will be next season if the Dodgers trade him.

The bullpen will see the biggest drop because of volatility and seasons like the one by Rodney are just not repeatable. In total it was worth 12.0 WAR last year. Even if you heavily regress it and say they are worth 4.0 WAR in 2013 you still have 41.0 WAR total across the board which would represent a 91 win team.

I actually think this team would perform very well over the course of a 162 game season.  It's built similar to how the Orioles were built this year.  The starting pitching isn't dominant.  It keeps teams in the game and gives you 6 innings before you let a dominant bullpen take over.  You keep the games close and you'll come out ahead over time.

The offense is quite underrated.  Jaso is one of the most underrated players in baseball.  A 3-4 of Cabrera and Rizzo is quite good.  The rest of the team are good hitters for average/obp and as a team it has excellent speed.  It would likely lead the league in stolen bases.  As a unit it's also excellent on defense.  It's short on power because power is expensive but they would still hit a fair bit of homers. Rizzo would probably be a 30 homer guy.  Chavez would probably hit 20.  Jaso, Cabrera, Escobar and Moss would all likely hit double digits.  As a team you would only hit about 115 homers.  The Giants only hit 103 last year and won the World Series.

The biggest flaw of this team would be health.  It would heavily rely on guys like Eric Chavez.  It employs a platoon at both catcher and third base so it's counting on Eric Chavez and John Jaso getting 450 at bats each.  The other flaw would be that it lacks a right handed bench option.  If this is the team I had I would just swap out Juan Pierre for Johnny Gomes so you have more power on the bench since team speed wouldn't be a problem and you can still use Ciriaco to steal bases late in a game as a pinch runner.

Scratch that though the biggest issue is keeping this team together.  The salaries jumped up significantly as perfomance gets rewarded.  I'm not going to go back and look at each guy again but I would bet this team now costs about 90-110 million payroll wise heading into 2013.

Last edited 01/17/2013 12:30 PM by katoy2j

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Posted: 01/17/2013 12:54 PM

Re: What does a 100 win team with no superstars look like? 


I respectfully disagree, and would suggest that it is what happens when too much confidence is invested in "WAR".

___________

 

  

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Posted: 01/17/2013 1:15 PM

RE: What does a 100 win team with no superstars look like? 



katoy2j wrote: Not in 2012 they couldn't.

That combination of players will still probably be very good in 2013. Probably won't put up 104 wins but would probably put up 90. The starting offense is very repeatable. A slight regression from guys like Cabrera and Jaso would be made up by Rizzo and Escobar likely being better in 2013 than they were in 2012. In total the starting lineup accounted for 23.5 WAR. As a whole collective unit they will likely do that again in 2013.

The bench will have a significant decline. In total they had a 7.2 WAR. That isn't repeatable based on those players. Guys like Moss and Frandsen won't be worth that much again. Pretty much everyone would get a downgrade here. If you get 2.5 WAR in 2013 that would be a big boost.

The starting rotation is quite repeatable. It accounted for 11.4 WAR. Some will have better years and some will have worse but the baseline is pretty low to begin with. To reach those numbers the pitchers really just need to stay healthy and pitch to middle of the rotation standards. I wouldn't be surprised to see them surpass that WAR total. Four of the five pitchers were on playoff teams last year excluding Capuano. He is a wild card because you have no idea where he will be next season if the Dodgers trade him.

The bullpen will see the biggest drop because of volatility and seasons like the one by Rodney are just not repeatable. In total it was worth 12.0 WAR last year. Even if you heavily regress it and say they are worth 4.0 WAR in 2013 you still have 41.0 WAR total across the board which would represent a 91 win team.

I actually think this team would perform very well over the course of a 162 game season.  It's built similar to how the Orioles were built this year.  The starting pitching isn't dominant.  It keeps teams in the game and gives you 6 innings before you let a dominant bullpen take over.  You keep the games close and you'll come out ahead over time.

The offense is quite underrated.  Jaso is one of the most underrated players in baseball.  A 3-4 of Cabrera and Rizzo is quite good.  The rest of the team are good hitters for average/obp and as a team it has excellent speed.  It would likely lead the league in stolen bases.  As a unit it's also excellent on defense.  It's short on power because power is expensive but they would still hit a fair bit of homers. Rizzo would probably be a 30 homer guy.  Chavez would probably hit 20.  Jaso, Cabrera, Escobar and Moss would all likely hit double digits.  As a team you would only hit about 115 homers.  The Giants only hit 103 last year and won the World Series.

The biggest flaw of this team would be health.  It would heavily rely on guys like Eric Chavez.  It employs a platoon at both catcher and third base so it's counting on Eric Chavez and John Jaso getting 450 at bats each.  The other flaw would be that it lacks a right handed bench option.  If this is the team I had I would just swap out Juan Pierre for Johnny Gomes so you have more power on the bench since team speed wouldn't be a problem and you can still use Ciriaco to steal bases late in a game as a pinch runner.

Scratch that though the biggest issue is keeping this team together.  The salaries jumped up significantly as perfomance gets rewarded.  I'm not going to go back and look at each guy again but I would bet this team now costs about 90-110 million payroll wise heading into 2013.
So basically, you have a team that last year could have won about 95 games... at a cost of about $55M... now you have a team that costs about $100M in 2013?  Sounds like the typical one and done Florida Marlins.
#fringeprospect
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Posted: 01/17/2013 1:30 PM

RE: What does a 100 win team with no superstars look like? 


The biggest problem with big market teams is that they paid a lot of money for offense. Offense has an immense cost. However they pay a premium for it but a lot of really good offensive players are really bad defensive ones. Hanley Ramirez is a very good offensive player. He generally hits for good a good average and has plus speed and power. On the surface he seems like a good player. Then he gives so much of that value back because of his defense. He still gets a huge salary though. Lots of other players have that kind of pedigree. Adam Dunn, Jason Kubel, Jose Reyes, etc.

What is optimistic for the Pirates is that they don't have any butchers in the field. Alvarez is still a question mark but he was well above average for most of the season before fading a bit down the stretch. Even a slight improvement is a win. Neil Walker has gotten to the point where he is average defensively as well. Where there needs to be a change is in center field. Andrew McCutchen needs to be moved to left field. He has the weakest arm and Marte is a far better defender. You would gain a win over the course of the season simply by swapping the players positions.

A 90 win team would really need to break to getting 40 WAR. The Pirates would need a breakdown of the following.

23.0 WAR Starters
2.0 WAR Bench
12.0 WAR Starting Pitchers
3.0 WAR Bullpen

So breaking down each group you need about the following

Starting Offense

Andrew McCutchen - 6.0 WAR
Starling Marte - 4.0 WAR
Pedro Alvarez - 3.0 WAR
Neil Walker - 3.0 WAR
Russell Martin - 2.5 WAR
Clint Barmes - 2.0 WAR
Jose Tabata - 2.0 WAR
Garrett Jones - 1.5 WAR

This actually goes well beyond what the team needs. It factors in a regression for Andrew McCutchen. Slight improvements from Alvarez and Walker. Tabata just basically playing an entire season and being a boring everyday player and Martin and Barmes just floating back to natural talent level. It relies on Marte to be a key player but it will not be anything crazy. If he hits .280 with 15 homers and 30 stolen bases he should get there and I don't think that is a huge stretch by any means. This group gives you a total of 24.0 WAR so it's more than you really need but it's good to have a little extra in the bank.

Bench

Gaby Sanchez - 1.0 WAR
Travis Snider - 1.0 WAR
Jordy Mercer - 0.5 WAR
Mike McKenry - 0.5 WAR
Josh Harrison - (-0.5) WAR

Again you get a slight increase here. The biggest benefit is that in the past you had a bench that had a lot of negative value players. You probably won't have much of that this year as Sanchez is a good player and will be used in a role that helps him. Snider and Tabata can platoon a bit which which will increase the value of both of them. Mercer will pretty much not play very much and hopefully he gets the starts at shortstop when Barmes rests. Harrison really provides no value to the team. I have him in the negatives because I think he will get sometime at shortstop which will hurt his WAR and hurt the Pirates on the field. An ideal situation would be to demote Harrison and call up Sands giving you a pair of good power bats off the bench in Snider and Sands. This would open up more at bats for Mercer as he can back up the entire infield outside of first base. A move like that would give the Pirates likely another win.

Starting pitching

AJ Burnett - 2.5 WAR
Wandy Rodriguez - 2.5 WAR
James McDonald - 2.5 WAR
Kyle McPherson - 1.5 WAR
Jeff Karstens - 1.0 WAR
Gerritt Cole - 1.0 WAR
Charlie Morton - 0.5 WAR
Jeff Locke - 0.5 WAR

This is the toughest one here because you need some real breakthroughs here. Specifically from McDonald. The pitchers have the ability to put up these numbers. The key to the season will be how well they do. Some of these players will also earn WAR in the bullpen but I included them here because I expect them to make at least one start.

Bullpen

Jason Grilli - 1.5 WAR
Mark Melancon - 0.5 WAR
Tony Watson - 0.5 WAR
Jared Hughes - 0.5 WAR
Bryan Morris - 0.5 WAR
Chris Leroux - (-0.5) WAR

If the bullpen can do this they will be in fine shape. All this pretty much is everyone being the same as they were last year and Melancon pitching to his peripherals. I used the assumption that Morris would be a useful reliever and Leroux would be a bad one. You can reverse the two or just have them both be replacement level players it won't change anything.

The key here as opposed to previous years is you don't have the negative players in WAR to bring the team down, If you do the team has the depth in the minors to replace some guys quickly as opposed to letting them sink the season.

All in all if those players all perform to those levels you will have about a 90 win team. That is really optimistic though. I feel pretty confident about the starting lineup, bench and bullpen. The key will be the starting rotation. I would say this team is an 86 win team talent wise with the starting pitching being able to push it 4 wins in either direction.
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Posted: 01/17/2013 1:33 PM

RE: What does a 100 win team with no superstars look like? 



TBayXXXVII wrote:
 
So basically, you have a team that last year could have won about 95 games... at a cost of about $55M... now you have a team that costs about $100M in 2013?  Sounds like the typical one and done Florida Marlins.
This team was completely put together on one year free agents or players that were traded away for little return.  Generally when you build a team from within it will have 0-3 players on it so you won't get huge jumps in salary and you can control the team payroll organically.  As I said this is a scrap heap put together team.  They made little because they were undervalued.  They then performed well and need to be compensated.  Pagan made less than 4 million in 2012 but has his salary jump to 10 million because he hit free agency.
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Posted: 01/17/2013 1:59 PM

RE: What does a 100 win team with no superstars look like? 



katoy2j wrote:
TBayXXXVII wrote:
 
So basically, you have a team that last year could have won about 95 games... at a cost of about $55M... now you have a team that costs about $100M in 2013?  Sounds like the typical one and done Florida Marlins.
This team was completely put together on one year free agents or players that were traded away for little return.  Generally when you build a team from within it will have 0-3 players on it so you won't get huge jumps in salary and you can control the team payroll organically.  As I said this is a scrap heap put together team.  They made little because they were undervalued.  They then performed well and need to be compensated.  Pagan made less than 4 million in 2012 but has his salary jump to 10 million because he hit free agency.

Yeah, like I said, the Florida Marlins.  You just built the 1997 Florida Marlins all over again.
#fringeprospect

Last edited 01/17/2013 2:01 PM by TBayXXXVII

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Posted: 01/17/2013 3:29 PM

RE: What does a 100 win team with no superstars look like? 


You took players that had those numbers based on playing with quality players. Yet when you put them together you probably have a team that wins 65-70 games. It's like when the Yankees go out and spend like crazy have a team on paper that should win 110 games and they win 90.

Using WAR and Sabermetric's is good when you are trying to figure out who the last few players on your team will be or trying to find value in a scrap heap.

 I see this team struggling to score runs. I also see a bunch of 3-4-5 starters. You put them in the 1-2 slot and you have a totally different pitcher.

I think what you did was pretty cool though. I just dont agree that this team could more than 70 games.
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Posted: 01/17/2013 3:34 PM

RE: What does a 100 win team with no superstars look like? 


No problem. I'll build a team with a 55 million dollar payroll with the same conditions. Only allowed to acquire players who were moved for a minimal return since the end of 2011 or free agency. I think these guys would account for 35 WAR. (I'm going below 40 because injuries do happen and I can't replace any of these guys production throughout the year as well there is a very good chance a lot of these guys won't even make the majors and will either retire or get released) We'll see how I did during the year. I'll copy and paste it in its own thread later on while the season starts as I won't make this final as I would like to see all the other free agent signings before I make a final list.


John Jaso - 1.8 million
Anthony Rizzo - 500K
Aaron Hill - 5.5 million
Yunel Escobar - 5 million
Eric Chavez - 3 million
Brandon Moss - 500K
Norichka Aoki - 1.25 million
Travis Snider - 500K

Carlos Pena - 2.9 million
Hiroyuki Nakajima - 2.5 million
Dioner Navarro - 1.2 million
Jason Bay - 500K
Pedro Ciriaco - 500K

Jason Hammell - 5.8 million (arb estimate)
Wei-Yin Chen - 3.5 million
Bartolo Colon - 3 million
Jeff Karstens - 2.5 million
John Lannan - 2.5 million

Ryan Madson - 3.5 million
Jason Grilli - 2.5 million
Wilton Lopez - 1.75 million
Jeff Francis - 1.5 million
Steve Delabar - 500K
Ernesto Frierei - 500K
Rich Harden - 500K

Last edited 01/17/2013 8:43 PM by katoy2j

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Posted: 01/17/2013 4:19 PM

RE: What does a 100 win team with no superstars look like? 


But you cant just take a bunch of guys WAR numbers and say this is how many wins they would have. A guy batting 6th for the Yankees will not have the same WAR if you bat him 4th for the Astros. You cant take a guy who bats 8th with a 3.0 WAR and say if I bat him 1st his WAR will still be 3.0. There is just no way to figure that out.

For instance Burnett is our number 1 pitcher. Would he have the exact same numbers if he played for St. Louis? What if he pitched for S.F? You just cant add up a bunch of players WAR totals and say they would win XXX amount of games.
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Posted: 01/17/2013 5:00 PM

RE: What does a 100 win team with no superstars look like? 



vinnybravo wrote: But you cant just take a bunch of guys WAR numbers and say this is how many wins they would have. A guy batting 6th for the Yankees will not have the same WAR if you bat him 4th for the Astros. You cant take a guy who bats 8th with a 3.0 WAR and say if I bat him 1st his WAR will still be 3.0. There is just no way to figure that out.

For instance Burnett is our number 1 pitcher. Would he have the exact same numbers if he played for St. Louis? What if he pitched for S.F? You just cant add up a bunch of players WAR totals and say they would win XXX amount of games.

And that, vinny, is the central problem with extreme sabremetricians: reductio ad absurdum.  It's not that sabremetrics isn't fun and interesting.  It's that it is not the complete explanation for everything that its extreme adherents believe it is.
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Posted: 01/17/2013 8:24 PM

RE: What does a 100 win team with no superstars look like? 



vinnybravo wrote: You took players that had those numbers based on playing with quality players. Yet when you put them together you probably have a team that wins 65-70 games. It's like when the Yankees go out and spend like crazy have a team on paper that should win 110 games and they win 90.

Using WAR and Sabermetric's is good when you are trying to figure out who the last few players on your team will be or trying to find value in a scrap heap.

 I see this team struggling to score runs. I also see a bunch of 3-4-5 starters. You put them in the 1-2 slot and you have a totally different pitcher.

I think what you did was pretty cool though. I just dont agree that this team could more than 70 games.
I disagree.  The first team has a pitching staff that while having no ace has five solid starters.  It certainly can win 90 plus games.  It was shown by the 2012 Baltimore Orioles.  In fact two of the starters are on the Orioles and the collective five starters on this team are better than the five starters the Orioles have.  Over a 162 game season you don't really need a number one starter.  It's great to have don't get me wrong but a number one starter is much more valuable in a playoff series than over the course of an entire year.  The best pitcher in the AL won 20 games.  AJ Burnett is not a number one starter he's in the same group as the guys above.  He won 16 games.  You can win without elite starters just the way the Orioles did.  You have a dynamite bullpen and shorten the game.  You simply need a starter to go 6 innings and allow 3 runs or less.  That isn't a great ERA as it would be 4.50 but it would keep your team in the game the same way the Orioles won.

As for the offense that is a strong team.  Melky Cabrera and Brandon Moss hit in the middle of the lineup for playoff teams.  Anthony Rizzo was a very good power hitter. Jaso and Shoppach represent a strong platoon as do Frandsen and Chavez.  Like I said it's a team built without a superstar.  While ideally you would always like to have one there was a specific criteria used to building this team in that it was all low cost free agents or players traded away for modest returns.  Superstars won't fall in those categories.

The reason the Yankees win 90 games instead of 110 is because they never have a team with 60 WAR.  They also have negative players that contribute over the course of the year because of injuries.  Casey McGehee was a (-0.7) WAR player in only 53 at bats.  Alex Rodriguez was a 2.0 WAR player.  So it's great when you have a 29 million dollar superstar but when he doesn't play well or gets hurt then it affects your team.

The reason the Cardinals were good last year is not because they have elite superstars because they really don't.  What they have is a lineup and bench with very few negative value players.  I think the Pirates had 12 players post a negative WAR.  Including guys like Bedard (-1.7) WAR and Rod Barajas (-1.0) WAR.  Those two guys alone pretty much lost nearly 3 games for the Pirates.  Having huge negatives like that pretty much erases contributions from your best players.  It doesn't look like the Pirates will have any glaring holes this year which is a huge bonus.  A couple of guys will be negative over the course of the year probably on the bench.  However they will be (-0.1) and (-0.2) players most likely which will really help the Pirates.  If you have a lineup of guys that are all strong hitters with good OBP skill then whoever you put in the cleanup spot is going to get a lot of RBI.  It's not like its a team devoid of power as Rizzo and Chavez are pretty good power hitters.  Look at the Giants team that won a World Series despite the fact they were dead last in home runs.  Power is great if you have it.  Speed is great if you have it.  You can win many different ways but the key to winning is to play to your strength of the team.  The Pirates were not a small ball team.  They were the worst team in the majors with an under 60% stolen base success rate.  They wern't just last, they were last by a mile. Yet they kept on running.  Why does Neil Walker need to steal bases?  7 times he got to second base and 5 times he got out.  5 wasted outs.  Tabata had 8 stolen bases and 12 caught stealings.  How about all the sacrifice bunts?  Clint Barmes had 8 sacrifice bunts.  The 8th place hitter.  So you give away an out before the pitchers spot. The Pirates gave away countless outs.  The stolen base situation was just downright disgusting honestly.  The Pirates as a team stole the third fewest bases in 2012.  Only Baltimore and Detroit stole less.  The difference is you can combine the Orioles and Tigers caught stealings and that ties them with the Pirates.  73 stolen bases.  52 caught stealings.  By May there should of been a permanent red light.
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Posted: 01/18/2013 6:46 AM

RE: What does a 100 win team with no superstars look like? 



katoy2j wrote: 

Speed is great if you have it.  You can win many different ways but the key to winning is to play to your strength of the team.  The Pirates were not a small ball team.  They were the worst team in the majors with an under 60% stolen base success rate.  They wern't just last, they were last by a mile. Yet they kept on running.  Why does Neil Walker need to steal bases?  7 times he got to second base and 5 times he got out.  5 wasted outs.  Tabata had 8 stolen bases and 12 caught stealings.  How about all the sacrifice bunts?  Clint Barmes had 8 sacrifice bunts.  The 8th place hitter.  So you give away an out before the pitchers spot. The Pirates gave away countless outs.  The stolen base situation was just downright disgusting honestly.  The Pirates as a team stole the third fewest bases in 2012.  Only Baltimore and Detroit stole less.  The difference is you can combine the Orioles and Tigers caught stealings and that ties them with the Pirates.  73 stolen bases.  52 caught stealings.  By May there should of been a permanent red light.
I'm ok with Marte (12 of 17) and Cutch stealing (20 of 32) - although Cutch had a suprisingly low success rate.  I agree the rest of them including Tabata (8 of 20 - who apparently is really bad at getting a jump) should have relatively low stolen base attempts over the course of the year.  Presley 9 of 16 was disappointing as well.

Another problem the Pirates have is connecting with the ball.  I think a number of straight steals were planned hit and runs.  I didn't like Hurdle ball last year, but it would have been easier to take if the Pirates players were better at executing.
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Posted: 01/18/2013 7:05 AM

RE: What does a 100 win team with no superstars look like? 


As I've said numerous times. The key to being a good manager is not managing the type of baseball you want to play but instead managing the type of baseball that best suits your team. It's why I'm such a huge Maddon fan. He isn't stubborn and changes his game plan on a year to year basis depending on personnel.
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Posted: 01/18/2013 7:33 AM

RE: What does a 100 win team with no superstars look like? 



williamjpellas wrote:
vinnybravo wrote: But you cant just take a bunch of guys WAR numbers and say this is how many wins they would have. A guy batting 6th for the Yankees will not have the same WAR if you bat him 4th for the Astros. You cant take a guy who bats 8th with a 3.0 WAR and say if I bat him 1st his WAR will still be 3.0. There is just no way to figure that out.

For instance Burnett is our number 1 pitcher. Would he have the exact same numbers if he played for St. Louis? What if he pitched for S.F? You just cant add up a bunch of players WAR totals and say they would win XXX amount of games.

And that, vinny, is the central problem with extreme sabremetricians: reductio ad absurdum.  It's not that sabremetrics isn't fun and interesting.  It's that it is not the complete explanation for everything that its extreme adherents believe it is.


Bingo.  It is a tool, not the be-all-and-end-all.

___________

 

  

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Posted: 01/18/2013 8:29 AM

RE: What does a 100 win team with no superstars look like? 



katoy2j wrote:
vinnybravo wrote: You took players that had those numbers based on playing with quality players. Yet when you put them together you probably have a team that wins 65-70 games. It's like when the Yankees go out and spend like crazy have a team on paper that should win 110 games and they win 90.

Using WAR and Sabermetric's is good when you are trying to figure out who the last few players on your team will be or trying to find value in a scrap heap.

 I see this team struggling to score runs. I also see a bunch of 3-4-5 starters. You put them in the 1-2 slot and you have a totally different pitcher.

I think what you did was pretty cool though. I just dont agree that this team could more than 70 games.
I disagree.  The first team has a pitching staff that while having no ace has five solid starters.  It certainly can win 90 plus games.  It was shown by the 2012 Baltimore Orioles.  In fact two of the starters are on the Orioles and the collective five starters on this team are better than the five starters the Orioles have.  Over a 162 game season you don't really need a number one starter.  It's great to have don't get me wrong but a number one starter is much more valuable in a playoff series than over the course of an entire year.  The best pitcher in the AL won 20 games.  AJ Burnett is not a number one starter he's in the same group as the guys above.  He won 16 games.  You can win without elite starters just the way the Orioles did.  You have a dynamite bullpen and shorten the game.  You simply need a starter to go 6 innings and allow 3 runs or less.  That isn't a great ERA as it would be 4.50 but it would keep your team in the game the same way the Orioles won.

As for the offense that is a strong team.  Melky Cabrera and Brandon Moss hit in the middle of the lineup for playoff teams.  Anthony Rizzo was a very good power hitter. Jaso and Shoppach represent a strong platoon as do Frandsen and Chavez.  Like I said it's a team built without a superstar.  While ideally you would always like to have one there was a specific criteria used to building this team in that it was all low cost free agents or players traded away for modest returns.  Superstars won't fall in those categories.

The reason the Yankees win 90 games instead of 110 is because they never have a team with 60 WAR.  They also have negative players that contribute over the course of the year because of injuries.  Casey McGehee was a (-0.7) WAR player in only 53 at bats.  Alex Rodriguez was a 2.0 WAR player.  So it's great when you have a 29 million dollar superstar but when he doesn't play well or gets hurt then it affects your team.

The reason the Cardinals were good last year is not because they have elite superstars because they really don't.  What they have is a lineup and bench with very few negative value players.  I think the Pirates had 12 players post a negative WAR.  Including guys like Bedard (-1.7) WAR and Rod Barajas (-1.0) WAR.  Those two guys alone pretty much lost nearly 3 games for the Pirates.  Having huge negatives like that pretty much erases contributions from your best players.  It doesn't look like the Pirates will have any glaring holes this year which is a huge bonus.  A couple of guys will be negative over the course of the year probably on the bench.  However they will be (-0.1) and (-0.2) players most likely which will really help the Pirates.  If you have a lineup of guys that are all strong hitters with good OBP skill then whoever you put in the cleanup spot is going to get a lot of RBI.  It's not like its a team devoid of power as Rizzo and Chavez are pretty good power hitters.  Look at the Giants team that won a World Series despite the fact they were dead last in home runs.  Power is great if you have it.  Speed is great if you have it.  You can win many different ways but the key to winning is to play to your strength of the team.  The Pirates were not a small ball team.  They were the worst team in the majors with an under 60% stolen base success rate.  They wern't just last, they were last by a mile. Yet they kept on running.  Why does Neil Walker need to steal bases?  7 times he got to second base and 5 times he got out.  5 wasted outs.  Tabata had 8 stolen bases and 12 caught stealings.  How about all the sacrifice bunts?  Clint Barmes had 8 sacrifice bunts.  The 8th place hitter.  So you give away an out before the pitchers spot. The Pirates gave away countless outs.  The stolen base situation was just downright disgusting honestly.  The Pirates as a team stole the third fewest bases in 2012.  Only Baltimore and Detroit stole less.  The difference is you can combine the Orioles and Tigers caught stealings and that ties them with the Pirates.  73 stolen bases.  52 caught stealings.  By May there should of been a permanent red light.

Melky is druggie cheater and his stats are drug related. Moss is a career underachiever who is at best a bench player. To say that since he had one OK season that he will be a middle of the order bat is pruely insane. I do like Rizzo, I think he will be a good player. The problem is you cant just take a bunch of players based on made up stats and say we will win XXX amount of games. Its just not gonna happen. And if it has please let me know.
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Posted: 01/18/2013 8:49 AM

RE: What does a 100 win team with no superstars look like? 


I'm not saying he will be a middle of the order bat, I said he was a middle of the order bat in that it already happened. He was a middle of the order bat for a playoff team and that can't be taken away from him. What he does going forward is yet to be seen. He's always been a talented player and his issues were usually related to injury. He still hit 21 homers in under 300 plate appearances. I'm certain as well that will decline because I can't see him as a 40 homer hitter. However over a full season why can't he hit 25 homers? Those were his projections when he was with the Pirates. Now he's healthy and in the middle of his prime. Leave it to a brilliant team to use Moss properly. For those that say that platoons don't work Oakland used 3 platoons last year and made the playoffs.

As for Melky Cabrera, yes he cheated but players of his skill set won't see a negative performance as a result of getting off steroids. He's going to be a 10-20 homer player still. His average will come down but it has nothing to do with steroids. It was ridiculously high to begin with because of a high BABIP. Maintaining a .346 batting average is pretty difficult. He will still likely be a .300 hitter though in 2013. Expect around numbers similar to his 2011 numbers which were still good. Cabrera will go down as one of the best signings of the offseason. I didn't want to get any outfielders because I like Tabata and Snider but the one gut I would of been willing to grab was Melky Cabrera because I think he will be a 4-5 WAR player. He's pretty much the poster for Jose Tabata. He came up to the majors too soon. Struggled for a number of years and then broke out at 26. Hopefully Tabata goes through a similar path.

Pretty sure every team is evaluated on their roster with projections for WAR and then a win-loss record is created for them based on that. That's why they make WAR projections before the season starts...
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Posted: 01/18/2013 10:41 AM

RE: What does a 100 win team with no superstars look like? 



katoy2j wrote: I'm not saying he will be a middle of the order bat, I said he was a middle of the order bat in that it already happened. He was a middle of the order bat for a playoff team and that can't be taken away from him. What he does going forward is yet to be seen. He's always been a talented player and his issues were usually related to injury. He still hit 21 homers in under 300 plate appearances. I'm certain as well that will decline because I can't see him as a 40 homer hitter. However over a full season why can't he hit 25 homers? Those were his projections when he was with the Pirates. Now he's healthy and in the middle of his prime. Leave it to a brilliant team to use Moss properly. For those that say that platoons don't work Oakland used 3 platoons last year and made the playoffs.

As for Melky Cabrera, yes he cheated but players of his skill set won't see a negative performance as a result of getting off steroids. He's going to be a 10-20 homer player still. His average will come down but it has nothing to do with steroids. It was ridiculously high to begin with because of a high BABIP. Maintaining a .346 batting average is pretty difficult. He will still likely be a .300 hitter though in 2013. Expect around numbers similar to his 2011 numbers which were still good. Cabrera will go down as one of the best signings of the offseason. I didn't want to get any outfielders because I like Tabata and Snider but the one gut I would of been willing to grab was Melky Cabrera because I think he will be a 4-5 WAR player. He's pretty much the poster for Jose Tabata. He came up to the majors too soon. Struggled for a number of years and then broke out at 26. Hopefully Tabata goes through a similar path.

Pretty sure every team is evaluated on their roster with projections for WAR and then a win-loss record is created for them based on that. That's why they make WAR projections before the season starts...
Most of the guys you are starting all had career years. So you cant expect them to do that again, especially with this team. Also you mention the Orioles last year. Almost every pitcher on the team had an ERA of at least 1 run better than their career average. Add to that the Orioles only had a plus 7 Runs scored above run allowed an you have a extreme rarity in sports. I would expect the Orioles to drop at least 10-15 wins this seasons.
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Posted: 01/18/2013 11:59 AM

RE: What does a 100 win team with no superstars look like? 


It's possible that the Orioles drop this year. The Blue Jays and Rays are both strong teams and the Yankees and Red Sox even when they're bad will still be relatively good. 72 games will be against teams in the division. They really haven't done much this offseason as it would of been a good time to upgrade the the roster.

The reason why the Orioles did well was because they had an amazing bullpen. The bullpen ERA as a collective unit was 3.00. Which means for the last third of a game they had Justin Verlander pitching every single night. Think about that. The last three innings, the most important innings of a close game they basically had an ace pitching. Not just once every five games the way an ace pitches but every single night because it was a full bullpen. Some teams have a dominant closer. Some teams also have a dominant set up man. However those guys can't pitch everyday. The Orioles had a group of pitchers that basically shortened the game to 6 innings. Keep the game close through 6 innings and the Orioles have a chance to win.

Here were the ERA's of the teams five highest leverage relievers

Jim Johnson - 2.49
Luis Ayala - 2.64
Darren O'Day - 2.28
Pedro Strop - 2.44
Troy Patton - 2.43

Those pitchers combined for 332.2 innings. That's basically the equivalent of having 2 Cy Young caliber pitchers making 30 starts.

The Orioles as a team were 29-9 in one run games because of that incredible bullpen.

The Orioles bullpen had a record of 32-11. More than a third of the teams wins came as the direct result of the bullpen. They didn't need a 20 game winner. Assuming everyone starts the same amount of times your first two starters will get 33 starts and your last 3 starters get 32 starts. All the team needs from it's starting pitching is to just win 12 games each. Go 6 innings and win 12 games each. They could all be .500 pitches and go 12-12 for the season and just keep the game close. Sure sometimes they get blown out but that happens. That isn't a bad result necessarily. Even a 92 win team is going to lose 70 games. Lets say the Orioles starting pitchers get rocked in 20% of their starts. That's about 6-7 losses each. Those are the games that kill your ERA. Just ask AJ Burnett on the game where he allowed 12 runs in 2.2 innings. That one game represented nearly half a run on his entire ERA. Without that game he would of had an ERA of 3.03. A 3.03 ERA is a staff ace on any team. A 3.51 ERA is a number 2 starter. So for 30 out of 31 games Burnett was basically an ace. Any team would take that. I'm giving you 6 terrible games from every single Orioles starter. How much on ERA do you think the 6 worst games of a pitcher have as an impact? Pretty sure if you go through most pitchers and remove their 6 worst games anybody with a mid 4.50 ERA will have an ERA of around 3. So I'm giving the team 30 losses right off the bat just because of the starting pitching. However you will get 130 solid starts even out of a average rotation. Now you won't win all those games because you will lose 2-1 and 1-0 nothing games but all you really need is those starters to win 60 out of those possible 130 starts and the bullpen will pick up the rest.

Also as for the Orioles pitchers are due for a regression? Why is that?

Jason Hammel came from Colorado would we not expect his ERA to come down?

Wei-Yin Chen had his first season last year coming from Japan. Why does he need to regress?

Remember a few years ago the Orioles were a team with some of the best pitching prospects in all of baseball. Tillman, Arrieta, Matusz and Britton were all top prospects. Matusz was ranked as high as number 5, Tillman as high as number 22, Britton 28 and Arrieta 67. Those guys are 24, 25, 25 and 26 years old respectively. They basically have the equivalent of Cole and Taillon in those guys between Matusz and Tillman except they struggled their first seasons in the majors. The Orioles aren't asking any of these guys to be front line pitchers just be solid middle of the rotation starters.

What about an entire year of Dylan Bundy? The best pitching prospect in all of baseball. They have a darn good pitching staff.

The offense is also pretty good. Matt Wietters looks primed for a breakout. Adam Jones is a good player. They have Machado for an entire year. Markakis is a good player. Hardy is a good player. Chris Davis hit 33 homers for them last year. They will get Reimold back this year and when he's been healthy he's hit for a lot of power. So that is 7 better than average offensive players. They only really have a weakness at second base and DH. They acquired Yamacio Navarro from the Pirates and he is a possible sleeper second base option.

I think it was a mistake made by the Orioles to not be a little more aggressive in free agency considering how good the team is. I think the bullpen will take a step back this year because they were so good last year. I would of moved a few guys at the height of their value. However if they were going to keep them which is fine then they should of signed some players to compliment the roster. They only have around a 80 million dollar payroll. Perhaps they're just waiting to get guys on low contracts towards the end of free agency. If they added Kelly Johnson and Travis Hafner then suddenly they have a strong lineup 1-9 and you can probably get both those guys for 5 million combined. Put 5-7 million towards a starting pitcher perhaps someone like Shawn Marcum who has already had success in the AL East and you have a team with a really good chance to make the playoffs again.

I like the Orioles more than I like the Yankees honestly. The problem is the Jays and Rays look really good this year as well. If Romero and Lind bounce back and the team stays healthy the Jays should win the division quite easily. You can't really predict injuries though so I certainly wouldn't write Baltimore off. I was a little more down than I should of been when I looked over the Orioles when I did the rankings off all the teams. I think they're the team I missed the boat on the most. While the farm system is pretty poor if you count Machado and Bundy in the majors they don't really have a lot of holes. They've just been so quiet this offseason when they had the perfect timing to make a big splash.
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