Saves and Leverage

Written by Daniel Moroz on .


When the Orioles signed Kevin Gregg, I suggested that installing him as closer wasn't that bad since it would allow Koji Uehara (the better pitcher) to be something of a fire-man. Can "non-closers" appear in enough high leverage situations to make such an arrangement effective though? I looked into the relationship between save opportunities and leverage index for 2010 relievers at Beyond the Box Score. Check it out.

2011 Orioles Projections

Written by Daniel Moroz on .


I know there hasn't been much variety here recently, but I've found this Spring Training surprisingly difficult to get excited about for some reason. The team is more or less set, and at least should be (no matter how well Zach Britton pitches in March, he should spend at least April-June in Triple-A barring a wave of injuries). If Brian Roberts can't play, Ryan Adams should get first crack at the spot by virtue of having some actual upside, but no option will really make much of a difference from any other (and the losses for even a 1-2 month absence are relatively minimal - likely less than a win). Nolan Reimold or Luke Scott taking over for Derrek Lee at first would be fine, if need be. No one really thought Duke would be healthy all year, so having some of the missed time start at the beginning og the season isn't really consequential.

Anyway, this will probably be the last projections post before the 2011 season. Bringing together the position players and the pitchers;



Rotation:

Jeremy Guthrie: 180 IP, 4.15 ERA, 2.8 Wins Above Replacement
Brian Matusz: 175 IP, 4.00 ERA, 3.2 WAR
Justin Duchscherer: 75 IP, 4.50 ERA, 0.9 WAR
Brad Bergesen: 160 IP, 4.75 ERA, 1.4 WAR
Jake Arrieta: 130 IP, 5.00 ERA, 0.8 WAR
Chris Tillman: 120 IP, 5.00 ERA, 0.7 WAR
Zach Britton: 50 IP, 5.25 ERA, 0.2 WAR
Misc: 45 IP, 5.50 ERA, 0 WAR

Total: 4.60 ERA, 9.9 WAR

Bullpen:

Kevin Gregg: 55 IP, 4.00 ERA, 0.4 WAR
Koji Uehara: 50 IP, 3.50 ERA, 0.8 WAR
Mike Gonzalez: 45 IP, 4.00 ERA, 0.3 WAR
Jim Johnson: 50 IP, 4.00 ERA, 0.3 WAR
Jason Berken: 55 IP, 4.00 ERA, 0.4 WAR
Mark Hendrickson: 50 IP, 4.50 ERA, 0.1 WAR
Misc: 200 IP, 5.00 ERA, -0.2 WAR

Total: 4.40 ERA, 2.0 WAR

We get a total of 31.3 WAR. Normally 48.5 or so would be the baseline for how many wins a replacement level team would have, but knocking off a couple wins for the division seems fair. That would leave the Orioles at 77.8 wins. I'd still be inclined to take the under on that, and have been saying 76 wins is my baseline. Maybe 76-77 would be better (really, 66.5 to 86.5), but in any case the team should have a non-trivial shot of finishing with a winning record for the first time since 1997. Exciting! Still not likely to be above 4th place though (if even that high).

Stats: WAR

Orioles Line-Up With Platoon Splits

Written by Daniel Moroz on .


With the roster projections more or less done (post bringing offense and defense together forthcoming), I thought I'd update the line-up post with platoon splits. This uses each player's career numbers and then regresses (with righties expected to have a slightly smaller split than lefties).

Player Projected wOBA
Overall vs. LHP vs. RHP
Matt Wieters .324 .311 .330
Derrek Lee .340 .358 .335
Brian Roberts .335 .319 .342
Mark Reynolds .342 .361 .335
JJ Hardy .318 .337 .311
Luke Scott .355 .332 .362
Adam Jones .337 .343 .334
Nick Markakis .361 .342 .370
Vlad Guerrero .346 .363 .340

I don't have it weighted by plate appearances, but the overall marks for the team seem pretty even versus righties or lefties (~.340 for both).

Developing Plate Discipline

Written by Daniel Moroz on .


How often have Orioles' fans thought, "man, Adam Jones has a lot of tools... if only he'd develop some plate discipline!" I was curious how often guys who start out their careers with such poor strike-out and walk numbers ended up improving to a significant degree, so I went to Baseball-Reference's play-index. Check out the results at Beyond the Box Score

2011 Orioles Projections: Pitchers

Written by Daniel Moroz on .


The Orioles' pitching staff was one of the worst in the majors last year, and improvements in that area are largely going to have to come from some young starters stepping up.

Rotation:

Jeremy Guthrie: 180 IP, 4.15 ERA, 2.8 Wins Above Replacement
Brian Matusz: 175 IP, 4.00 ERA, 3.2 WAR
Justin Duchscherer: 75 IP, 4.50 ERA, 0.9 WAR
Brad Bergesen: 160 IP, 4.75 ERA, 1.4 WAR
Jake Arrieta: 130 IP, 5.00 ERA, 0.8 WAR
Chris Tillman: 120 IP, 5.00 ERA, 0.7 WAR
Zach Britton: 50 IP, 5.25 ERA, 0.2 WAR
Misc: 45 IP, 5.50 ERA, 0 WAR

Total: 4.60 ERA, 9.9 WAR

Bullpen:

Kevin Gregg: 55 IP, 4.00 ERA, 0.4 WAR
Koji Uehara: 50 IP, 3.50 ERA, 0.8 WAR
Mike Gonzalez: 45 IP, 4.00 ERA, 0.3 WAR
Jim Johnson: 50 IP, 4.00 ERA, 0.3 WAR
Jason Berken: 55 IP, 4.00 ERA, 0.4 WAR
Mark Hendrickson: 50 IP, 4.50 ERA, 0.1 WAR
Misc: 200 IP, 5.00 ERA, -0.2 WAR

Total: 4.40 ERA, 2.0 WAR

This gives the pitching staff a 4.53 ERA overall, which would be a slight improvement over 2010 (4.59 ERA, 4.57 FIP, 4.62 xFIP). There's some upside at the back end of the rotation, but there's also a chance of Arrieta, Tillman, etc. getting knocked around. The bullpen is full of solid arms, though Koji (if healthy) is the only really good reliever. That Gregg doesn't stand out much aside from his career saves totals, which is part of why the signing wasn't very good. As long as the injury bug doesn't bite to hard though, the O's pitchers should be able to keep them in games often enough.

Stats: ERA, FIP, xFIP, WAR

2011 Orioles Projections: Bench

Written by Daniel Moroz on .


With the starting nine done, I thought going through the bench all together real quick would be the way to go. It's very likely that a couple players (at least) not listed below will get playing time for the O's in 2011, but if the starters all stay relatively healthy the "unknown" production should be particularly impactful (so, around replacement level overall).

Craig Tatum: 175 PA, .248/.316/.303 bat (~8 runs below average), average defense (~0 runs), 0.2 Wins Above Replacement

Tatum's ability to draw a free pass seems better than originally expected, but he doesn't really bring anything else to the table.

Jake Fox: 275 PA (all over the diamond), .238/.285/.406 bat (~8 runs below average), below average fielding (pretty much everywhere, to the tune of around -1 to -2 runs overall), -0.2 Wins Above Replacement

Fox's poor fielding and general inability to do much with the bat except hit some home runs makes him about a replacement level player.

Cesar Izturis: 300 PA (at 2B and SS), .249/.297/.302 bat (~16 runs below average), good defense and short and very good defense at second (+3 runs or so), 0.0 Wins Above Replacement

The glove makes up for the "bat", but only just. Still, it's nice to not have to worry about who will take over if a middle infielder goes down. Kinda.

Felix Pie: 325 PA (where needed in the OF), .265/.317/.417 bat (~4 runs below average), decent defense in center and above average defense in the corners (+2 runs overall), 0.7 Wins Above Replacement

Just throwing it ou there... give Pie 550 PA and he'd be at 1.1 WAR. Same as Vlad, in equal playing time. Defensive value matters.

That leaves a few plate appearances to scatter around, but everyone but Pie totals to around replacement level. The bench isn't particularly good as far as the infield is concerned, but at least the team probably won't need to scramble to find a warm body at the first sign of trouble.

The total WAR for the all of the position players is about 19.4, which is a substantial increase from 2010 (9.6 fWAR, 9.5 brWAR). Here's the break-down:




Stats: wRAA, WAR

2011 Orioles Projections: Vlad Guerrero

Written by Daniel Moroz on .


The initial team projections are posted here. A more thorough walkthrough of how I put the individual ones together is in the Matt Wieters post here. The components I'm looking for are playing time (plate appearances), batting line (BA/OBP/SLG), and fielding.

Rounding out the starting position players is DH Vlad Guerrero. Later this week and next week will be the bench (all in one) and the pitching staff (one or starters/relievers). and then we can put the whole team together.

Playing Time:

Vlad missed a fair chunk of time in 2009, but otherwise he's been good for 600+ plate appearances every season. He is a year older though, and I can see him getting some rest here and there - so I'm going with 550 PA.

Batting: