The 93-win team (more ZiPS fun)

DMZ · February 10, 2008 at 3:49 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

If you’re already annoyed by the sim post, well first I’m not sure what you’re doing hanging around here, but anyway, this is not going to be your post. Come back later or something. I’m serious, this gets into some serious Diamond Mind geekery.

I mentioned in passing yesterday that I ran a DMB sim where the M’s won 93 games. I went through and ran them game-by-game and was happily surprised, but as you’ll see, it’s got a lot to do with the advantages of running a season myself compared to the computer managers (I started the year 6-1, for instance). I’ve used the team in the straight sims and it generally sucks. Still, I thought it’d be interesting to talk about how I put that together. Essentially, if you imagine a manager who’s memorized Earl Weaver on Strategy, operating without any kind of conscience or restraint, given control of a team with no consequences, that was the season.

SP: Standard rotation. I skipped #5 Batista every chance I could unless there was a chance for some funny business. Then I’d use him in relief, because I was a jerk.
RP: Putz/Morrow/O’Flaherty/Green/RRS/Baek. I was super-aggressive about farming guys out if they were tired: if I had to burn Baek for 60 pitches picking up after a Silva disaster, he went to Tacoma and someone else came up. In real life, of course, there’s no way teams do this just so they can get away with carrying 11. I threw bench players out there in blowouts if they were far enough ahead or behind. I had no conscience at all.

And I entirely disregarded roles. I pitched Putz in the sixth to get out of rallies. Three runs up in the ninth, anyone who hadn’t pitched in a while came in and hucked the ball across the plate until it got close.

Here were the defensive lineups I used:

vLHP
DH: Sexson
1B: Morse
2B: Lopez
SS: Betancourt
3B: Beltre
LF: Reed
CF: Jimerson
RF: Ichiro

Then sometimes Wlad in left, Reed to center for a slightly less defense-centric lineup.

vRHP
DH: Ibanez
1B: Wilkerson
2B: Lopez
SS: Betancourt
3B: Beltre
LF: Reed
CF: Jimerson
RF: Ichiro!

Bench:
vLHP: LF-L Ibanez, WB-R Bloomquist, OF-R Balentein, OF-L Wilkerson, C-R Burke
vRHP: WB-R Bloomquist, OF-R Balentein, IF-R Morse, IF-R Sexson, C-R Burke

14 players, and someone’s missing. Yup. Which is also totally unrealistic. I was extremely aggressive about pinch-hitting early if I thought it might win the game. I ran the suicide squeeze almost every time Lopez was up with a man on third (he’s got a terrible projection but bunts well).

With Bedard/Felix pitching, I’d sneak the crappy defenders back in, and swap them out for defensive subs as opportunity presented itself.

How’d I get to 93, then? Playing the games against the computer opponent’s a huge help. It’s a ridiculous advantage to be able to tailor lineups, defensive alignments, and all that stuff on a day-to-day basis while all the other teams couldn’t.

The other totally unfair thing was that I was playing the season out knowing the ZiPS projections and, by knowing the defensive ratings, essentially having advance knowledge of whether they’d have the yips or not — so I knew to pick the bench and platoons, which is absolutely totally unrealistic. Not as unrealistic as having Ichiro split time across positions and running out a Reed/Jimerson/Ichiro outfield while Ibanez sat, but still pretty bad.

Some random notes from playing this out: the bench is still really weak. Betancourt tweaks his ankle, Bloomquist starts at short, sure, but then you’re entirely uncovered across the middle of the infield unless you want to play Morse.

Comments

72 Responses to “The 93-win team (more ZiPS fun)”

  1. Tuomas on February 10th, 2008 4:10 pm

    Wins-wise, how did it do without the micromanaging?

    With the micro, how’d you fare in RA and RS?

  2. John Morgan on February 10th, 2008 6:11 pm

    Does Diamond Mind have any proven predicative power? Or is this like predicting the Super Bowl with Madden? It certainly didn’t look much more accurate than an average group of fans at predicting the 2007 season.

  3. MyOhMy on February 10th, 2008 6:11 pm

    I’ve been intrigued by these postings and learning about ZiPS, PECOTA, et al …

    Question though, you omitted the catcher in the starting lineups but not on the bench … does he not have any effect on defense in these simulations?

  4. Typical Idiot Fan on February 10th, 2008 6:54 pm

    RLYBlog has been doing this after a move has been made, and I find it astounding that DMB seems to underrate a few teams regularly. Their sims have the Angels at only 89 wins, Detroit at 91, Cleveland at 89, most of the NL West at 85, etc. Meanwhile, Boston is at 98, Yankees at 96, Mets at 94…

    I’m just sayin’… maybe we should try something else.

  5. shirts on February 10th, 2008 7:08 pm

    I love this stuff.

  6. fetish on February 10th, 2008 7:13 pm

    The sims are going to be more fun than the season.

    Go Blazers.

  7. snapper on February 10th, 2008 7:38 pm

    “RLYBlog has been doing this after a move has been made, and I find it astounding that DMB seems to underrate a few teams regularly. Their sims have the Angels at only 89 wins, Detroit at 91, Cleveland at 89, most of the NL West at 85, etc. Meanwhile, Boston is at 98, Yankees at 96, Mets at 94…”

    I don’t think that’s suprising when you look at the Pythagorean records of those teams last year.

    Angels 90 Ws, Cle 91 Ws, Detroit 89 Ws, Boston 101 Ws, NYY 97 Ws.

    Only the Mets differ significantly. They were at 86 Pythag W’s. But they’ve added Johan and a healthy Pedro.

  8. Jar on February 10th, 2008 9:19 pm

    What are the projections for Jimerson? Does he really have a chance at being on the roster?

  9. Ms_in_Vancouver on February 10th, 2008 9:22 pm

    The Mariners scored 794 runs last year and I think it’s fair to say that it wasn’t overachieving. Both Sexson and Lopez (perhaps to a lesser extent) project to rebound. The only players that arguably overachieved were Vidro and Ibanez (although his numbers are consistent with the past few years, like it or not). I don’t think we’re going to see much change. The fact that DMB predicted a mean of 716 runs scored in the sims is ridiculous. Even a “poor” offensive year like 2006, the Ms scored ~750 runs.

    I’ve always thought Diamond Mind was old-fashioned anyway. It’s much better utilized for replay than projections, because it doesn’t allow much room for variation. Out of the Park Baseball = new Diamond Mind, in my opinion. It’s not as refined yet, but it takes the DIPS more into account and has very accurate player development models.

  10. Dave on February 10th, 2008 9:34 pm

    Do you even realize that the inputs that the simulations Derek is doing aren’t based on Diamond Mind’s projections? Any problems you have with its engine have nothing to do with this. If you disagree with the expected performances, you’re taking objection to the ZiPS projections, not DMB. And you haven’t given us any reason to believe that your opinion is more credible than ZiPS.

    And that’s just one of your many errors (others – assuming ’07 run distribution is true talent level, ignoring Guillen/Wilkerson dropoff, ignoring remarkable health of position players last year, not regressing expected performances from Johjima, Ichiro, Burke, and ignoring the weakness of the bench). Not bad for two paragraphs.

  11. Tuomas on February 10th, 2008 10:06 pm

    How justifiably scathing.

  12. thefin190 on February 10th, 2008 10:47 pm

    It would be interesting how Mac adjusts the lineup after spring training. As effective as this lineup seems, its most likely unrealistic that these lineups would take place. Reed and Jimerson are probably an upgrades in defense in the outfield, especially helps someone such as Washburn pitching.

    I am not familiar with W-L predictions, but is there a special application that sims each game with all the players or what? I would be interested in trying it out.

    Also you mention skipping Batista. I joined this site midseason last year so I am not sure whether you guys thought highly of him or not. I know that he got a big contract, and also how he had a pretty good record, even though I have learned on this site W-L record for a pitcher means nothing on whether he’s good or not. Is he not that good?

  13. JMHawkins on February 10th, 2008 11:05 pm

    Also you mention skipping Batista. I joined this site midseason last year so I am not sure whether you guys thought highly of him or not. I know that he got a big contract, and also how he had a pretty good record, even though I have learned on this site W-L record for a pitcher means nothing on whether he’s good or not. Is he not that good?

    Batista last year was pretty close to Washburn. Right handed with more groundballs, a slightly higher K rate, but a higher walk rate to go with it. I was a little surprised that Derek had Batista as the #5 – I would have expected Washburn. But then Washburn is lefthanded and three years younger, so I’m guessing some combination of those two bumps Washburn ahead of Batista?

  14. JMHawkins on February 10th, 2008 11:13 pm

    Out of the Park Baseball = new Diamond Mind, in my opinion. It’s not as refined yet, but it takes the DIPS more into account and has very accurate player development models.

    Does it? I haven’t played OOTP for a few years now, but I remember being quite frustrated by the development of my prospects (I used non-real-world players). Seems like every promising kid turned into Jeremy Re… Wait, what were you saying about accurate development models?

    Maybe I should give it a try again. I always thought it was cool that a guy from Germany was making a baseball sim.

  15. gwangung on February 10th, 2008 11:25 pm

    And that’s just one of your many errors (others – assuming ‘07 run distribution is true talent level

    Let me take a hazard here.

    ’07 run production isn’t the same as ’07 offensive production, right? A lot of the runs in ’07 is because the team, as a singles oriented team, was able to string together hits to produce runs. Much of this random and may not be reproduceable from year to year. A team with more slugging and power is somewhat more regular. Stringing together three singles may or may not give you a run; stringing together two singles and a double will.

    (And if I’m wrong, please be gentle…)

  16. Kazinski on February 11th, 2008 12:17 am

    Batista last year was at 12 WS and 7 WSAB, that looks pretty good to me for a #5.

    There was a long discussion last August about McLaren filling out his lineup card based on what the player had been doing as opposed to expectations on his performance. I’m going to go out on a limb here and predict that McLaren is going to trot Miguel out there every 5th day until he shows that he can’t cut it. Especially since your new number 1 isn’t a proven innings eater, and your #2 had some durability problems last year before he got completely healthy. If Batista, Silva, or Washburn have a horamnistic (it not a mispelling if your making the word up) stretch this season, I’ll bet we see Baek or RRS before anybody gets moved up a day.

  17. joser on February 11th, 2008 1:07 am

    There’s a pretty good discussion of the accuracy of the various projection systems over at TangoTiger’s site.

    Interestingly, the completely dumb “Marcel” system isn’t that much worse than any of the others. Using it, swapping in Wilkerson’s career average numbers for Guillen and assuming 2007 numbers for everybody else produces 4.945 runs per game (vs 4.90 last year), or 801 RS… 6 more over the season, one per month. Of course, there are all sorts of assumptions in that, good and bad.

    And the A’s may still do better (one more way Beane is a genius: he’s set the expectations for the ’08 A’s so low that it’s virtually impossible for them to underperform… and when they make that standard 2nd half run, nobody will be expecting it).

  18. vj on February 11th, 2008 2:27 am

    So, in other words, the 93 win team was a mirage. That’s too bad.

    On Beane: I think if the A’s do come close to contending, he’ll have to take some criticism for trading away Haren and Swisher. He made those trades on the assumption that the A’s don’t have a shot this year.

  19. snapper on February 11th, 2008 7:08 am

    “On Beane: I think if the A’s do come close to contending, he’ll have to take some criticism for trading away Haren and Swisher. He made those trades on the assumption that the A’s don’t have a shot this year.”

    That depends. If the players he got for those guys play a significant role in a contending A’s team this year, he looks like an absolute genius; he’s built a younger, cheaper, better team. If they contend while the prospects he gained struggle, then he looks bad.

  20. philosofool on February 11th, 2008 7:46 am

    I just thought I’d pass on a link about the Bedard trade. The Hardball Times did a round table on it, and it’s pretty interesting.

    http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/tht-round-table-erik-bedard/

    I tout this as an objective third opinion on the matter, but about half the guys there seem to think that this site is the way to understand Mariner baseball…

  21. smb on February 11th, 2008 8:02 am

    “[Beane] made those trades on the assumption that the A’s don’t have a shot this year.”

    Translation: Beane accurately evaluates both his own team’s talent, and the talent of the other teams in the AL.

  22. tangotiger on February 11th, 2008 8:19 am

    MGL passed on Adam Jones forecast for 2008 (his hitting only). +1 win above average, in full-time play.

    If he’s an above-average CF, that would make him, overall, +2 wins above average (WAA), or a 4 WAR player. That is a FANTASTIC player.

    If MGL is a bit optimistic (should be +0.5 wins above average as a hitter), and if he’s just an average-fielding CF, that makes him a +1 WAA, or a 3 WAR player. That makes him a leading rookie of the year (if he still qualifies).

    It’s very clear that the M’s front office simply do not see Adam Jones as anything other than a below average player.

  23. Dave on February 11th, 2008 8:25 am

    MGL likes him even more than we do. I’ve been calling him a +2 WAR player on the assumption that he’ll hit something like .270/.320/.450 this year. In Baltimore, it might be more like .280/.330/.470.

    But the rest, yea – the M’s have never comprehended how good Jones is.

  24. galaxieboi on February 11th, 2008 9:36 am

    But the rest, yea – the M’s have never comprehended how good Jones is.

    See, I never understood why. If the M’s were like Minnesota, a ‘tools’ inclined scouting department they shoulda loved him. If they were more stats analysis, like Oakland, there’s A LOT to love too. Baseball America likes him, BPro likes him… I just have a hard time grasping why they undervalued him so.

  25. CCW on February 11th, 2008 9:56 am

    Dave (or anyone else that knows the answer): when we talk about Jones as +2 WAR player, is that playing center field, right field or left field? One thing that I haven’t seen discussed much is that, with Ichiro signed for 5 more years, Jones was effectively blocked from playing the position where he would contribute the most value. Of course, corner outfielders in Safeco can contribute quite a lot, relatively, but I still wonder the extent to which this factored into the M’s decision.

  26. SequimRealEstate on February 11th, 2008 9:57 am

    Thanks for the link to HBT philosofool. It is just conformation of what has been said here but it is nice to see other smart folks agree. I am hoping for a new owner. I just can not see how any thing will change till that happens.

  27. Jar on February 11th, 2008 10:18 am

    so, no one answered my question. Can anyone tell me about Jimerson. It looks like he has decent power numbers but won’t put up a high average. Is he a good defensive player? How would he compare to Wilkerson?

  28. msb on February 11th, 2008 10:25 am

    I am hoping for a new owner. I just can not see how any thing will change till that happens.

    owners. there are at least 16 of them.

  29. Nintendo Marios on February 11th, 2008 10:29 am

    “…franchise-crippling mistakes.”

    The Hardball Times’ article, literally the second to the last sentence.

    A name for this era that has descended like an unwilling fog.

  30. sbaxamusa on February 11th, 2008 10:36 am

    29: when I wrote that, I strongly suspected that the M’s would rationalize their poor season. I had no idea that it would cost them Adam Jones, I was thinking more like an unwise contract to Carlos Silva.

  31. Nintendo Marios on February 11th, 2008 10:44 am

    Right.

    But doesn’t that make it all the more prophetic?

  32. BaltimoreDave on February 11th, 2008 10:55 am

    Yikes – there’s some bad analysis in that THT article.

  33. marc w on February 11th, 2008 11:01 am

    27 –
    As a minor league free agent, he’s not on most people’s radar screens, and there’s some justification for that.
    He’s a guy who strikes out *more that* once every 3 ABs. Unless you’re Adam Dunn (and Dunn was better than 1 in 4 in the minors), that’s not a record that says ‘MLB regular.’
    I’ve seen him in the OF maybe 3-4 times, and he looked pretty good. Ran good routes, had above ave. speed. Didn’t blow me away, but I’m not a scout. Just a blog commenter. So…yeah.

  34. msb on February 11th, 2008 11:13 am

    sigh. just heard, re: Morrow.

    “they gotta get him in there. With Brandon Morrow in there, can you name a better starting rotation in baseball?”

    oh, well, then, just throw out all those silly projections.

  35. Jar on February 11th, 2008 11:22 am

    marc w, Thanks man, that fits with what I have been reading about him. Does anyone know how well he compares with Wilkerson and if he is worth platooning or playing LF and moving Ibanez to first?

  36. galaxieboi on February 11th, 2008 11:24 am

    Hey. What happened to all the links that were on the right side of the site??

  37. killer_ewok18 on February 11th, 2008 11:49 am

    “Franchise-crippling mistakes…”

    ‘Nuff said.

    I’m getting the feeling from Bedard that he has no intention of re-signing with us. It just seems like, from the way he’s talking, that it isn’t in his future plans. Anyone else get this feeling?

  38. Breadbaker on February 11th, 2008 11:51 am

    I don’t think it’s totally unrealistic to take Vidro off the team. I figure they make him take ground balls in the spring, something comes loose and he’s out for the year. On the theory of sunk costs, I don’t care. Boston is looking at paying $8 million to provide medical care to Curt Schilling.

  39. Bender on February 11th, 2008 11:59 am

    I don’t know why you had to fiddle the defense like that, according to ESPN, the Mariners had one of the best defenses in baseball last year and are now ‘the team to beat’ in the AL West!

  40. jamesllegade on February 11th, 2008 12:02 pm

    Jesus…. micromanaging that heavily and not even worrying a roles… and you still ONLY managed 93?

    Good lord how did we win 88 last year?

    This makes my stomach hurt.

    What if you managed you know… ‘accurately but optimally’ meaning managing choices that were within the realm of possibility but were the result of McLaren having, say, an epiphany about defense?

  41. jamesllegade on February 11th, 2008 12:15 pm

    Oh yeah… Who is Jimerson? He is not on the 40.

  42. Bender on February 11th, 2008 12:32 pm

    Jimerson is listed on the team’s site as the backup right and left fielder.

    Strangely the only back up for CF is WFB. Can you imagine how many runs we’d give up if he started a whole year at CF?

  43. stripesjr on February 11th, 2008 12:34 pm

    [dupe, come on, read the thread first]

  44. joser on February 11th, 2008 12:50 pm

    Given the injury history of Wilkerson and Raul (assuming this year they actually confront and bench him when he’s obviously hurt rather than just letting him stagger through half the season) I would be keeping an eye on Wlad and Jimerson because there’s a good chance at least one of them will be making some starts in the corners.

    Ok, this is all very depressing. Let’s look ahead to 2009 for a minute, shall we? The M’s still have Bedard and Beltre, but they no longer have Sexson or Vidro. That’s a huge lift right there. Assume Clement comes up to play 1B and Wlad replaces Ibanez in LF. Ibanez’ contract is up at the end of ’08, but suppose he sticks around as the Edgar Memorial Face of the Franchise DH. That’s probably an 850 run team right there, even assuming no improvement from Lopez and just slotting a random average right fielder into the lineup. But what about Johjima? He’s an FA after this season, and I’m guessing he’ll re-sign with the M’s rather than going elsewhere, but if he does leave and Clement isn’t deemed an MLB-quality catcher, the dominos start falling.

    And 2010 looks scary. Beltre is a free agent. Bedard, Washburn and Batista are all FAs. This is where the “proven veteran” treadmill starts to kill you: if you’ve traded away prospects to get veterans, you have to keep shopping on the FA market because you can’t replace them from within and you can’t hold onto them for long. I know, 2010 is a long way away… but after that, the A’s get their new stadium and things in the AL West get much, much tougher.

  45. msb on February 11th, 2008 1:07 pm

    #43? see #29.

    I’m getting the feeling from Bedard that he has no intention of re-signing with us. It just seems like, from the way he’s talking, that it isn’t in his future plans. Anyone else get this feeling?

    isn’t it a little early to decide?

  46. nuin on February 11th, 2008 1:16 pm
  47. jamesllegade on February 11th, 2008 1:23 pm

    Well Jimerson is hitting 1.000 with every hit a 2 run homerun! The projections have to love that! What is he like a +45 win player?

    Joser – We did manage to hang on to our two highest rated minor league pitchers… and Tru.

    in 2010 Phillipe Aumont and Juan Ramirez will be 22-ish… Tru will be dazzling us. Felix a grizzled veteran. I for one think that from what i keep hearing about Bedard (He would rather working a lumber mill yadda yadda) makes the far left hand corner of the country a selling point. So we re-sign. Would it be nice to have Adam Jones in the middle of all that? Oh yeah… but 2010 might be OK.

    Course… I am a generally hopefull person.

  48. bergamot on February 11th, 2008 1:45 pm

    Ok, this is all very depressing. Let’s look ahead to 2009 for a minute, shall we? The M’s still have Bedard and Beltre, but they no longer have Sexson or Vidro.

    It’s almost time for a “Name The Date That The Mariners Give Sexson A Contract Extension” contest.

  49. joser on February 11th, 2008 2:07 pm

    Hey, how can you not extend the contract of the Comeback Player of the Year? Especially when it’s such a deal!

    Seriously, when this season is over we should add up Sexson’s total offense and divide it into his total contract amount to work out how much the M’s paid per base.

    Hmmm, ok, it looks like they’ve paid him $36M so far and he’s hit for 773 total bases, so that’s about $46,570 for each. Each time he hits a home run you can say “There’s a hundred and eighty grand funk blast!”

  50. Wsumojo on February 11th, 2008 2:39 pm

    Speaking of funk blast, any word if they will be using that again this year??? I REALLY hope they come up with a new theme for homeruns and rallies. Anybody else have better idea’s?

  51. bergamot on February 11th, 2008 2:51 pm

    Speaking of funk blast, any word if they will be using that again this year??? I REALLY hope they come up with a new theme for homeruns and rallies. Anybody else have better idea’s?

    Mariner home runs in 2008 will be scarce as hen’s teeth, so perhaps they could play the “Funky Chicken.”

  52. msb on February 11th, 2008 3:08 pm

    a new topic for Dave & Groz to discuss:

    the fallacy of needing “a vocal leader”.

  53. rea on February 11th, 2008 3:14 pm

    the fallacy of needing “a vocal leader”.

    Yeah, the last thing the Mariners need is a choir director . . .

  54. Bender on February 11th, 2008 3:18 pm

    Really I just want to know what ESPN is smoking when they say we had one of the best defenses in the league last year and a ‘powerhouse’ offense. They’re seriously convinced that we’re the best team in the AL west now.

  55. rsrobinson on February 11th, 2008 3:25 pm

    I think everyone will be ready for Big Richie to move on after this season, including Richie himself. It won’t take many bad ABs to bring the boo birds out this year.

    Were there any signs in Tacoma that Jeremy Reed’s bat was improving enough that he’d be worth playing in the outfield for defensive reasons?

  56. gwangung on February 11th, 2008 3:31 pm

    Were there any signs in Tacoma that Jeremy Reed’s bat was improving enough that he’d be worth playing in the outfield for defensive reasons?

    Not for this team.

    The 2008 offense is looking like the 2006/2005 offense…

  57. lailaihei on February 11th, 2008 3:43 pm

    2010 is scary bad, but 2011 and beyond looks decent, assuming Aumont and a couple other internal SPs step up.

  58. Tuomas on February 11th, 2008 4:18 pm

    54:

    Anything Steve Phillips says is so insanely idiotic that everyone in this room is dumber for having listened to it. Nowhere in his inane ramblings does he approach anything that would be considered correct. I award him no points and may God have mercy on his soul.

  59. pensive on February 11th, 2008 4:25 pm

    With the moves that have now been made, it would be an informative and great read, Dave’s, DMZ or moderators to post what moves the Front Office could make to improve.

    Along the same line of previous posts. What You would do and what the Front Office may do?

  60. joser on February 11th, 2008 5:07 pm

    What’s left to do? The holes have all been filled, for better or worse. Anybody they might pick up now is strictly bench fodder, and there’s plenty of that already in Tacoma. There might be an NRI or two for spring training, but that’s hardly worth a post.

  61. Jeff Nye on February 11th, 2008 5:19 pm

    While I’d like to see some sort of move to address the gaping offensive holes at 1B and DH, I’m terrified of what those moves would be, so I’m okay with them standing pat at this point.

  62. Breadbaker on February 11th, 2008 5:48 pm

    44: Is Johjima really a free agent after this year? I thought that players who came over from Japan were just like rookies (viz., Kaz and Ichiro as Rookies of the Year), and thus couldn’t become free agents until year six (unless they went back to Japan). Am I wrong about the rule, or does Joh’s contract contain something special?

  63. thefin190 on February 11th, 2008 5:50 pm

    58 – That quote about Steve Phillips made me crack up. I always watch baseball tonight during the season, and love his expert advice (sarcasm). I remember last season during midseason he predicted the Mariners as the dark horse of the AL wild card. As much as I liked to national exposure for the Mariners, he couldn’t be more wrong.

    Yea I would have to agree from a glance from an outside baseball fan, our team doesn’t look bad. Once you look in, its a huge mess. Our rotation isn’t terrible for the first time, but (correct me if I am wrong) it costs about $50 million dollars for the rotation. I don’t know if the Yankmes can even boast a $50 million dollar rotation. I think they should try to have a rotation with more than one homegrown starter in their rotation, as well as develop hitters that can play defense.

  64. JMHawkins on February 11th, 2008 6:05 pm

    But the rest, yea – the M’s have never comprehended how good Jones is.

    See, I never understood why. If the M’s were like Minnesota, a ‘tools’ inclined scouting department they shoulda loved him. If they were more stats analysis, like Oakland, there’s A LOT to love too. Baseball America likes him, BPro likes him… I just have a hard time grasping why they undervalued him so.

    </blockquote

    Hmmm. I can think of a few possibilities that fit with the way the team has been run.

    1) He’s not a veteran. Jones hadn’t yet “proven” that he could make the jump from AAA, and in the miserly amount of playing time he got last year, he didn’t shine. I think the M’s expect a rather high attrition rate among prospects trying to break into the Show, and I don’t think they value minor league stats as much of an indicator.

    2) TWO ACES!!! The M’s have a pitching fetish, or more specifically a Starting Pitching Fetish. Look at how much money they have thrown at FA starters over the last few years. Every year, they are chucking multi-year big money contracts at pitchers. When they run out of money, they start throwing prospects or talented role players at other teams in exchange for starters. Whatever value they placed on Jones wasn’t enough to pull their vision away from a very shiny pitcher. At least this time they got a top-shelf guy.

    3) No understanding of Defense. In some ways, I wonder if the M’s have partially, but only partially, incorporated statistical analysis. I mentioned before that the early days of stats were pretty bad at evaluating defense and tended to underrate its importance. I get the sense the M’s have made the move into an early-80′s version of SABRmetrics, and both discount and mismeasure defense.

    4) They hate batters who strike out (though, what explains Sesxon?). They want guys to “put the ball in play” in order to “make things happen.” Jones isn’t the best fit for that philosophy.

    Basically, I think they undervalue things he is good at and overvalue things that he struggles with.

  65. gwangung on February 11th, 2008 6:06 pm

    #62

    If they’re posted, they’re under more years of control.

    If they came over as free agents, as Joh did, at the end of the contratct, they’re…free agents.

  66. lakelucerne on February 11th, 2008 6:45 pm

    WOW!!!
    We have been MATHEMATICALLY eliminated…
    This news will save me a lot of beer money at the Safe.

  67. JMHawkins on February 11th, 2008 7:13 pm

    Doh!. I am a blockhead about blockqutoes.

  68. Evan on February 12th, 2008 10:15 am

    Players who come from Japan are just like other new players in MLB – they’re under club control for 6 years.

    However, as free agents, players like Johjima have the leverage to wrest concession from their signing team, and thus eliminate teh 6 years of control. We can safely assume that Johjima and other Japanese free agents have done exactly that.

  69. Robobobot on February 12th, 2008 11:46 am

    If 93 wins is the most for this year, what was the most for last year?

  70. Graham on February 12th, 2008 11:53 am

    WOW!!!
    We have been MATHEMATICALLY eliminated…
    This news will save me a lot of beer money at the Safe.

    You are bad at wit. Stop trying.

  71. fermorules on February 12th, 2008 5:22 pm

    I enjoy your site, but I must say you lost me with your Oakland projection as AL West champions.

    Brand me a hopeless simpleton incapable of intelligent analysis, but when I look at the Oakland club and then look at the Seattle club, I happen to like the Seattle club better.

    Go ahead, laugh your heads off at my expense, but I don’t care. The Seattle Mariners 2008 are better than the Oakland A’s 2008.

    And when you get done with your snickering, I have a proposition to make. If anybody cares to wager which team has the better record in 2008 I’m willing to give you all the action you can afford.

  72. DMZ on February 12th, 2008 6:36 pm

    1. It’s not a projection
    2. It’s not a projection that Oakland will be the AL West champions
    3. It’s not even a projection that Oakland *is* better than the Mariners

    Go back up there are re-read the original post, where I talk about how the A’s, in not having their actual injuries reflected, operated at a huge advantage.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.