Fun with WAR projections: Pitcher edition

It’s projection season around the baseball blogosphere. So, why not look at some of the projections out there and see what that gives us in terms of WAR. For this exercise, I’ll be using the Bill James projections, which some guy we know compiled here. To attempt to get the WARs, I’ll use this spreadhseet

CC Sabathia: CC’s projected for 235 innings of 3.30 FIP ball. That, per the spreadsheet, would give us a WAR of 6.5. Shocking.

Ivan Nova: James pegs Nova for a 4.11 FIP in 183 innings, leading to a projected WAR of 3.1. I’d be beyond thrilled with that.

Phil Hughes: Like Larry said in his article, the innings total is a little screwy, but I punched it in anyway: 102 innings at a 3.82 FIP projects out to 2.1 WAR. I won’t hold my breath on that FIP from Hughes, but I’d obviously take it.

A.J. Burnett: 173 innings, 4.36 FIP, 2.4 WAR.… Click here to read the rest

Open Thread: Revisiting Preseason Standings Predictions

With one third of the season in the books, I thought it would be a nice time to revisit the standings that the TYA staff projected before the season. The composite standings are listed below, with individual projections done by William, Larry, and myself available at this link.

And here are the current standings, courtesy of Baseball-Reference:

The projection fares well in the AL East, where the lone discrepancy is the ordering of the Yankees and the Red Sox, and the NL East, where flipping the Marlins and Braves would reconcile the two sets of standings. The NL West also only has one discrepancy in terms of ordering, but it is the Diamondbacks being in first rather than last, which is obviously a significant miss. The NL Central projection is currently mistaken, but is close enough at this point that it could still match at some point down the road, and the AL West has four teams within 3 games and is too tight to judge right now.… Click here to read the rest

RLYW Releases 2011 Diamond Mind Projected Standings

Before each season, SG of RLYW uses the Diamond Mind program to simulate the upcoming season, using the statistics provided by various projection systems. The 2011 simulations were released this morning, and I encourage you to visit the site to check them out. If you go to RLYW, you will find individual standings for each of the projection systems, as well as two posts that combine the various projection systems to get a single set of projected standings. The projected AL standings are below, and the usual caveats about projections should be considered before lending too much meaning to these results.

[table id=22 /]

As you can see, the Yankees project to make the postseason by a comfortable margin, with the closest contender for the wildcard being the Rays, 6 full games behind the Yankees. I expect all three teams to be in the mix for the division crown well into August, and would not be incredibly surprised by any order of finish among those three clubs.… Click here to read the rest

Being Prudent With Projections

In Matt’s post yesterday, he added a “disclaimer” regarding projections such as Marcel, PECOTA, CAIRO, and ZiPS upon my request:

Projections assume performance by players will tend to regress towards the mean, such that there will be a smaller spread between good and bad performances. Therefore, some players at the top end may be sold short, while those at the bottom end may see a statistical bump.

To clarify, what this means is that if the mean batting average in the system is .270, the spread of projected performances might range from .240-.300, even though in real life, you are likely to see some .320’s and .220’s. As such, a projected .290 batting average may not seem that impressive relative to our general perceptions of what a good AVG is or compared to the player’s career, but it may actually be a strong projection relative to his peers.

Derek Carty addressed this issue in 2009 (h/t @joepawl):

The most important concept I’d like to stress is that of relativity.

Click here to read the rest

Projecting AJ Burnett

With the troubles that the Yankees have at the back of their rotation, A.J. Burnett has become a key figure in the Yankees’ pitching plans. He is currently slated to be the #3 starter, meaning that another season like the one he had in 2010 (186.2 IP, 5.26 ERA, 4.83 FIP) would make it difficult for the Yankees to mount a playoff charge. It is important to note that 2010 was his worst season, and that all of the projection systems currently available have him bouncing back to some degree in 2010:

CAIRO: 187 IP, 4.77 ERA, 4.50 FIP
Bill James: 191 IP, 4.01 ERA, 4.05 FIP
Marcel: 174 IP, 4.53 ERA, 4.30 FIP
Fans: 181 IP, 4.46 ERA, 4.33 FIP
PECOTA: 186.2 IP, 4.56 ERA

These projections take age and natural decline into account, and the rebound that you see in these statistics blend the fact that 2010 was an anomaly for Burnett with the fact that he is aging and cannot be expected to return entirely to pre-2010 levels.… Click here to read the rest

Projecting the Bullpen

Yesterday, I projected the potential starting rotation by WAR so I’ll do the same thing with the bullpen today. However, it’s near impossible to tell just how many guys will be pitching in the bullpen and at what times. In fact, it’s possible that some of the guys I projected in the rotation will get significant innings in the bullpen rather than in the rotation. To avoid guess work, I’ll just be calculating the WAR of guys we KNOW will be in the bullpen and comparing their personal marks to those of last year. The guys we KNOW will be in the bullpen:

Mariano Rivera
Rafael Soriano
David Robertson
Joba Chamberlain
Pedro Feliciano
Boone Logan

I’m leaving out the long man because I have no idea who that’s going to be. I put the pitchers in that order because that’s how I think they’ll be used in terms of leverage, and that’s how the spreadsheet is formatted. To clarify, we’re assuming Mariano Rivera is going to be used in the highest leverage situations while Boone Logan will be used in the lowest leverage situations.… Click here to read the rest

Projecting the Rotation

Without a hint of hesitation, I would say that the starting rotation is the biggest hole the 2011 Yankees will have. It consists of one bonafide ace/workhorse/gamer/whatever buzzword there is for pitchers in CC Sabathia. After that, there’s no shortage of question marks. Let’s rewind to last year for a second.

The Yankees had eight men take the hill to start a game in 2010: Sabathia, Andy Pettitte, A.J. Burnett, Phil Hughes, Ivan Nova, Sergio Mitre, Dustin Moseley, and Javier Vazquez. Sparing the long reminiscence, we could call 2010 a mixed bag in terms of success for the Yankee starters. CC Sabathia had a typical CC Sabathia season. Andy Pettitte was great, but was injured and threw under 130 innings. Mitre enjoyed a small sample of (probably unsustainable) success; Moseley was replacement level as expected; Nova showed some potential. Phil Hughes looked like he was starting to realize his considerable upside, though he did slide a bit after an impressive first month.… Click here to read the rest

Early Projection From RLYW: 89 Wins, Wild Card

SG over at RLYW has posted his initial CAIRO projected standings for the 2011 season, with the caveat that it is really, really early to be drawing significant conclusions from the data. Regardless, they should provide a decent guide for where teams stand relative to one another at this point, so click through to view the standings and then come back here for some takeaways:

1) The AL East should be a dogfight again, although the Red Sox (98 wins) are clearly ahead of the Yankees (89) and Rays (87) at this point. However, it is important to note that the Yankees and Rays are not finished products, while the Red Sox look largely complete. Adding Andy Pettitte, a bullpen arm, and a bench bat would likely put the Yankees in the 93 win range and in the conversation for a division title if they got a few breaks. Even without adding anybody, they should be good enough to compete for a wild card spot, which allows Brian Cashman some cushion before he needs to address the starting rotation.… Click here to read the rest

WAR Projections: Brett Gardner

To say Brett Gardner had a surprising 2010 would be an understatement. Behind a fantastic walk rate of 13.9%, Gardner ended up with a .383 OBP and a .358 wOBA. All of that led to a 123 wRC+. Combine that with a 21.9 UZR, and you get a fantastic 5.4 fWAR.

There are people that doubt Gardner can do that again. I’m going to cautiously agree. To expect a guy with as little a track record as Gardner to put up a 5.4 fWAR season again is expecting a lot. But, then again, a .358 wOBA is definitely do-able for Gardner, especially if he can keep walking like Nick Johnson. What do Bill James and CAIRO say for Brett?

James projects a .349 wOBA and CAIRO projects a .329 wOBA. To save time, let’s take the rough average of those two for our projection. That comes out to .339 for the average. We’ll use that going forward, using the same process as in my A-Rod post.… Click here to read the rest