Like Barry Bonds, Baseball Widow hasn't retired; she's just not playing.
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Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Fun with other people’s ideas

A combination of inspiration (other bloggers) and desperation (an utter lack of ballgames . . . anyone else notice that?) has led me once again to fiddle with the numbers. I was really interested in the evaluation of the Mets’ 2005 roster by Mike Carminati at Mike’s Baseball Rants. Using Win Shares and his own estimations, Mike projected that the new Mets are about an 87 win team – good, but probably not Division Champion good. I’ve basically copied Mike’s procedure to see what the Mets’ division rivals the Braves might perform like next year. I suggest you take a look at his post before continuing with this one.

For information on the Braves potential 2005 roster I looked to Mac Thomason at Braves Journal, and for help with players possible 2005 performance I looked at Dan Szymborski’s 2005 ZiPS Projections.

Name2004 G2004 WS2005 WS Proj2005 G ProjPOS
Rafael Furcal1432121143SS
Marcus Giles10218251432B
Chipper Jones13719211503B
Andruw Jones1541919154CF
Raul Mondesi33011143RF
Johnny Estrada1341919134C
Adam LaRoche125991251B
Julio Franco12512121251B
Ryan Langerhans0010145LF
Tim Hudson2702033SP
John Smoltz73121530SP
John Thomson33121233SP
Mike Hampton299929SP
Horacio Ramirez1041230SP
Brian Jordan00690LF
Wilson Betemet220022IF
Nick Green959331IF
Eddie Perez722272C
Dan Kolb640964CL
Tom Martin761276RP
Kevin Gryboski695569RP
Chris Reitsma846684RP
Gabe White640346RP
Roman Colon182654RP
Sam McConnell101440RP
Others 1110
Total WS290260
Wins9787


Guessing Guide:
Giles – 40% more playing time
Chipper – 10% more playing time
Mondesi – 2003 values
Langerhans and Jordan – this is really just a guess, and not a particularly educated one either. I’m just not sure how management is going to handle the outfield – will they let Langerhans play or are they going to use Brian Jordan. Will they platoon the two? In addition, I’m not really sure how to project win shares for a guy like Langerhans who hasn’t had a full season of major league experience. I’d love to hear educated guesses by someone who does.
Green – one third 2004 playing time
Roman Colon – three times more playing time
McConnell – four times more playing time
Gabe White -- 2003 values
Smoltz – This is another mystery spot. Will Smoltz fire it up or flame out in his return to the rotation. It’s anyone’s guess, and mine is optimistic.
Martin – 2004 totals for Dodgers and Braves

The hardest thing about this estimation was figuring the contributions and the playing times of the bench and bullpen. It showed me just how little I understand about the difficult task managers face juggling backups and pitching changes.

As for the result? Well, the Braves are looking like an 87 win team, quite similar to the Mets. The biggest question mark for this roster is the outfield. How will Mondesi perform? Who’s in left? Who’s the fourth outfielder? Will management entrust Ryan Langerhans with major playing time or waste ABs on Brian Jordan? There’s a lot of production missing out there.

The other question is John Smoltz. I don’t know how he’ll do, but I’m not betting against him.

If the Braves can figure out the outfield, and if Smoltz’s arm holds up, they look like they’re going to be competitive again.

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