Jan
28

Open Thread: PECOTA puts Yanks out of playoffs

By

The nerds with their spreadsheets over at Baseball Prospectus have released their PECOTA projections for the 2010 season. You can check out their projected standings here, but you might not like it. The Yankees, with 93 wins, project to finish third in the AL East, two wins behind the Red Sox and three wins behind the Rays. A glance at their depth chart (which requires a subscription) explains why.

Offensively, the Yankees appear unmatched. Their 917 projected runs scored tops the league by 32. Most of the Yankees players project favorably — even Brett Gardner, who they predict will have a .360 OBP. With his speed, that will lead to many, many runs scored. The problem is on the pitching end. It projects only two starters, CC Sabathia and Javy Vazquez, to have ERAs below 4.00. The others aren’t bad, though PECOTA does predict a pretty horrible season for Andy Pettitte. It also projects a much worse season for Mo.

These are, of course, just projections, and PECOTA does drill down further for individual players. Nothing will ever perfectly predict baseball, but PECOTA can give us an idea of how certain players project based on historical counterparts. It’s an interesting look if nothing else.

With that, here’s your open thread. Not much going on in local sports this evening, with the Islanders in Carolina and the Knicks hosting Toronto.

Categories : Open Thread

294 Comments»

  1. I’m so distraught that the Yankees have lost the spreadsheet AL East that I’m going back to my mom’s basement to cry now. No point in even playing the 2010 season.

    • ColoYank says:

      There, there, Ben.

      (IETCVM)

    • Accent Shallow says:

      True story: tried to convince my parents to let me live in the basement at some point during high school. Thanks, Mom and Dad, for not letting me do it.

    • WIlliam says:

      Yeah, I mean a spreadsheet that says the ATHLETICS are first the the west is definetly reliable. What was there projection for 2009, A Mets and Rays World Series?

  2. Warren says:

    What was the Nerds PECOTA spreadsheet results in the January 2009 ?

    • At one point, it was NYY 99-63, BOS 96-66, TB 95-67, BAL 76-86, TOR 73-89. I’m not sure what point that was though.

      • Jose says:

        Tampa Bay ended up going 84-78. I’m betting all my money that they don’t win 96 games this year.

      • ColoYank says:

        Do these people just do this to be contrary? To shake shit up? I’m biased, admittedly, but come on, guys! It clearly smacks of behind-the-scenes riggery.

        • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

          You’re right, now the Yankees are so ashamed that they got this low a grade on PECOTA they’ll just play to expectations, and win no more than 93 games.

          What exactly are they rigging? The spreadsheet championships?

          • ColoYank says:

            That’s what I was speculating about, yeah. I mean, how do they decide HOW MUCH a given player is going to regress? Again, I’ll admit to bias, but they sure seem to have put out a worst-case scenario for the Yanks. I can’t really address how they approached the other clubs.

        • thurdonpaul says:

          Riggery ?? thats an awesome word, I love it :)

  3. Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

    In theory, Mo should be projected to have a bad year pretty much every year now.

    It’s not going to happen. Not yet.

  4. JobaWockeeZ says:

    Ha it gives the Red Sox giving up only ONE more run than last ear when they changed form one of the suckiest defensive teams to one of the best ALSO shoring up their rotation to not rely on bounceback candidates.

    These projections are meh IMO.

  5. Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

    Actually, I really thought the pitching staff improved, so I’m kind of surprised.

  6. This sucks. I guess I’m going to have to switch to watching soccer this summer instead.

    • ColoYank says:

      No, Andy, no! We’ll … we’ll take a look at their formulas … and, Oh crap. Soccer it is. Can’t go against the spreadsheets.

  7. I think the problem here is expecting that Mo will have an awful season when, in fact, The Hammer of G-d does not regress.

    • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

      In all seriousness, at this age Mo SHOULD regress every season. The fact that he doesn’t just makes him Mo.

      Honestly, this is the first projection I’ve seen that puts the Yanks under 100 wins.

      • Accent Shallow says:

        I don’t know if I can confidently project the Yankees as a 100+ win team. Sure, I can see it happening, but the team isn’t so strong that I’d say it’s the most likely outcome.

        • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

          Oh I agree, 93 wins just seems way too low.

          • WIlliam says:

            I think it’s hilarious that the top three records on all of Baseball are all put into the AL East, and not by a small number. No one outside of the division gets more than 87 wins.

  8. Rey22 says:

    Ah well, eagerly anticipating the season was fun while it lasted. Till next year’s PECOTA projections…

  9. Ray Fuego says:

    This is a bunch of hog wash!

  10. Paul says:

    How does this pan out for the last few years? Is it ever even close to accurate with player analysis?

    • Mike says:

      No, not at all with player analysis. Frankly, the pitcing and hitting performances are hard to swallow. Also, statistically, this is the same as saying they just don’t know who will win the AL East.

      • ColoYank says:

        Hm. They sure like to couch things in some pretty definite terms for the reality that it’s just one elaborate guess. Or series of hundreds, if not thousands, of guesses.

        The problem with spreadsheet baseball is that the bars on the computer paper aren’t as green as real grass.

  11. JGS says:

    for what it’s worth, I’m pretty sure PECOTA did miserably bad last year. Like, predicting Oakland, Cleveland, the Cubs, Mets, and Diamondbacks as division winners bad

  12. ColoYank says:

    Okay, I’m setting the Brett Gardner over/under on plate appearances at 275, and taking the under.

  13. Accent Shallow says:

    From what I’ve seen, PECOTA isn’t much more accurate/interesting than the freely availably projection systems, like CHONE, ZiPS, or Marcel.

    As I recall, PECOTA didn’t think much of the Yankees last year, either. (The offense, anyway)

    • tafka (sic) says:

      Its more accurate than CHONE, I would guess, because CHONE is regression-based. For instance, CHONE projects only 1 SP in the entire league to top 200 IP. Its just a different game.

      • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

        Really? CHONE projects the Yanks’ lineup to score more runs this year than last year.

      • Accent Shallow says:

        For instance, CHONE projects only 1 SP in the entire league to top 200 IP. Its just a different game.

        I thought there was no way this could be true, but you’re right. Sabathia is projected to get 205 IP, and Felix 200.

        That said, all the models incorporate some form of regression, and I’d be inclined to trust CHONE over PECOTA on a rate basis. Of course, I haven’t exactly done exhaustive studies, comparing projections to results and calculating RMSE and other such things, this is just my subjective impression.

        This Hardball Times article (about the over-projection of a certain Matthew Wieters) whacked a lot of the faith I have in PECOTA over the head: http://www.hardballtimes.com/m.....-superman/

  14. Hey ZZ says:

    I would love to see the explanation for the Angels only winning 76 games next year. The freaking Orioles and Indians are projected to win more then that.

    Also, surprised the Rockies are projected to win only 80 games.

  15. BigBlueAL says:

    PECOTA has the Nationals going 82-80 this season. Enough said.

  16. Steve H says:

    Well I guess Bo has been right all along.

  17. It’s interesting that PECOTA pegs the Yankees so poorly, but CAIRO has them over 100 wins again.

  18. jay says:

    When this comes true, you’re all gonna eat your words. These projections are ALWAYS top notch. That’s why I only watch Spring Training. It’s the only unadulterated baseball we have left.

  19. Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

    NEWSFLASH: PECOTA projects soccer to outproduce baseball financially next season. Details at eleven.

    /Just as likely’s*

    *Hyperbole

  20. bobmac says:

    Who cares what the nerds predict? I can’t believe guys make money pushing this swill.Oh well,to each his own.

  21. Jose says:

    3 teams winning over 90 games in one division is pretty rare. I could find it happening 3 times since the 1994 structure change: 2002 NL West, 2002 AL West, and 2006 AL Central.

    • WIlliam says:

      I don’t think that os so odd this year, I just think it’s weird that NO ONE outside of the division tops 87 wins. And don’t get me started on the AL West standings.

  22. pete says:

    Andy will have the worst ERA of any of the yanks’ five main starters this season, at 4.52. Then will be AJ at 4.27, then Javy at 4.08, then Joba at 3.86, then CC at 3.13. The offense will score 934 runs, and the defense will grade out as above average – about +25 UZR overall. They will win 99 games and win the division and eventually the World Series in a rematch with the phils. See, I just made a random “projection” based thoroughly on whim that will probably be more accurate than PECOTA’s. Point being, projection systems create projections, which make for fun conversatiorn starters, especially since people can, as i just did, make their own projections, but ultimately, they don’t really mean shit. Prospect lists, which typically end up being right about 40% of the time or so, and they’re much much more accurate, and “worth” getting worked up over, than any of the projection systems.

    When looking at players in their primes with considerable experience and a lack of deviation in their careers, they’re nice references, but even then, it’s easier just to use your own head. Provided you’re not an idiot.

  23. Jramey says:

    just give up… :(

  24. Pasqua says:

    Don’t worry, everybody! This PECOTA projection doesn’t account for the freak, microwave-related injury that I’ve projected Evan Longoria to suffer on July 17! The division is ours!

  25. tafka (sic) says:

    OK. Listen up.

    PECOTA doesn’t have it out for the Yankees. It predicted NYY to win last year. It’s not designed to try to “look smart”. It’s not a person with an agenda, it isn’t showing off. It’s a complex statistical system that predicted Boston, Tampa and NYY to be within 3 games of each other. That’s statistically insignificant. It could just have easily been NYY on top and Boston in third had the numbers come out slightly different. Jayson Stark may have an agenda, Peter Gammons does have an agenda, but PECOTA is a bunch of numbers.

    Breathe.

    /rant

    • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

      Not a very good projection, though.

    • JGS says:

      this.

      it’s also the same bunch of numbers that picked the Mets and three last-place teams to win their divisions last year

      • tafka (sic) says:

        yeah. im not saying its a genius. but i am saying that there is no anti-yankee bias.

      • Thomas says:

        In all fairness, while we may not have agreed with PECOTA’s picks of Oakland, Cleveland, Chicago, Mets, and Arizona to win their divisions, it could not predict some of the problems to happen to those teams.

        PECOTA would have trouble predicting the injury to the Mets and the D-Backs loss of Webb. PECOTA also couldn’t predict the trades of Holliday and Lee from Oakland and Cleveland (though both of those teams were out of the race by then, but it did negatively impact the teams final record. Tons of people/projections picked the Cubs and they just under performed.

        • JGS says:

          of course not–my point is that you shouldn’t put that much stock in these preseason projections. I can’t believe they picked Oakland again though

          • Thomas says:

            I can’t understand the Oakland pick either. They must have expected a lot from the rookies Cahill and Anderson.

            Basically the way I look at these picks is that the Rays, the Red Sox, and the Yankees are essentially equal and the deciding factors between the teams are going to be luck, injuries, and players drastically over/under-performing.

    • Accent Shallow says:

      Exactly. We all know that PECOTA is only biased against the White Sox.

  26. JGS says:

    not sure why only the Phillies player cards are available, but they have Ryan Howard slugging .501 with an .852 OPS. His career lows to date are .543 and .881. I’m taking the over on that one

  27. Last Year they had it right Yanks, Sox and Rays, I do not see the Rays being able to beat out the Yanks or Sox but no one saw it in 2008 either.

  28. Eddy says:

    As much as i bleed pinstripes, there is no way this people should be guessing numbers, every division is wrong.

    AL East- Rays didnt improve that much, and the yankees improved in every way.

    AL Central- There is no way the twins will finish 82-80, they are a much better team then that. Please 82-80 might win you a division in the NL, but this is the bad boy American League

    AL West- So they are saying Ben Sheets improved the A’s, i guess they are forgetting everything the Mariners did to improve.

    NL East- I believe the Nationals will have a winning year soon, but not this year, but i guess there CY young predictions will be Steven Strasburg. Also, i really don’t think the mets will that much of a joke this year, not in contention but not 77-85

    NL Central- Only one thats not that Farfetched, but not sure if the Reds could pull a winning season, but crazier things have happened.

    NL West- The Giants went 88-74 last year, all they did was improve this offseason, they is no way they are finishing 81-81. I Think they have what it takes to win their division.

    But who knows all these standings can actually end up this way, but thats baseball and thats why i love it.

    • JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

      Your sense of capitalization is just downright perplexing. In any event, for the most part, you appear to be right in much of your reasoning.

      The Nationals sporting that record? I will be freakin’ shocked. The Mariners, on paper, should be very good, better than the A’s. The Twins winning 82 games? It would have to take a lot of injuries to knock them down to 82 games. The Rays underachieved in many ways last year, and a few players overachieved (Zobrist, Bartlett). It wouldn’t be crazy to see them hit their ceiling next year. Regarding the Giants, their offense is still shaky. They’ll be in it because of their pitching, but who scares you in that lineup not named “Panda”?

      • Eddy says:

        the giants lineup won’t give you a whole bunch of power numbers, but i think the line-up is decent.

        Renteria
        Sanchez
        Rowand
        Sandoval
        Huff
        Derosa
        Schierholtz
        Molina

  29. Pasqua says:

    I’d be interested to know where / how the Rays are making up 12 wins in ’10. I’m assuming it’s not based on their new recruits, so it’s got to be strong(er) years from the core?

    • Thomas says:

      My guesses:

      Improvement from players like Upton, Sonnestine, Price, Joyce, and Longoria

      Full/healthy seasons from Price, Pena, and Bartlett

      Additions of Jennings, Davis, and Hellickson during the season

      The addition of Soriano

      Better production out of the DH either from more usage of Ayabar and/or healthy/better season from Burrell

      Whether that adds up to 12 wins is beyond me, but that would be the Rays likely improvements. Also it must not see any major regression (like Bartlett and Zobrist).

      • Pasqua says:

        Yeah, that about sums it up. Longoria is going to be a scary, scary player.

      • Devil In A Blue Cap says:

        Here’s the thing I don’t get, and I love Longoria: how much better can he really get? I mean, let’s say that he adds 1.5 in WAR (which is ridiculous), that’s still about ~2 wins. Where are the other ten coming from? Bartlett and Zobrist, based on age alone, are major candidates for regression: it’s insanely unlikely that Zobrist repeats his league leading WAR (non-Mauer division). And, here’s the real kicker, I’m not sure their bullpen is renewed to 2008 levels. Having a team that doesn’t blow six run leads in the ninth is more important than getting a better OBP from Bossman Jr.

    • pat says:

      UMM THE RAYS JUST SIGNED MATT FUCKING BUSH!!!!!!!!!!

  30. Steve H says:

    Just like the prospects rankings it’s nothing to get worked up over. Even though some asshat at MLB thinks Montero is the 19th best prospect in baseball, it has zero bearing on Montero’s future. Cash isn’t going to trade him now because he’s not ranked as high as we all expected, and Montero isn’t going to regress because of it either. Just because a projection says the Yankees won’t make the playoffs, it doesn’t mean they won’t, and it’s not worth getting pissed over.

    • Thomas says:

      The prospect rating will have tremendous bearing on Montero’s future. A low rating like that will just serve to upset him and that cannot be good for any opponent.

  31. Section 39 says:

    SO let me get this straight, they expect anyone to believe the Yanks are giving up 50 more runs that last year? Really?

    CC/AJ/Andy/Joba all start last year… So in place of the Gaudin/Mitre/Wang bullcrap — we now have Vasquez and our RA goes up by 50? Are they nuts?

    More over, our pen now has either Joba or Hughes for the entire season and one more year of experience for Robertson/Aceves, and again, somehow we give up more runs?

    Lastly, we improve our OF defense and the infield stays the same, but again, we are giving up more runs that last year.

    HILARIOUS! Just plain COMICAL!

    • Tom Zig says:

      Actually A-rod should be better defensively this year as he gets further removed from that hip surgery

    • If anything, the offense should be a bit weaker and the pitching should be better. No Wang, Hughes for a full season in the 8th, Vasquez as the #4. Our OF defense will also improve, further suppressing runs.

      I will say that I do believe Andy and Posada will decline this year, how much remains to be seen.

  32. JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

    BREAKING NEWS–According to PECOTA, the complex sabermetric algorithm forecasting system, the New York Mets will win the American League Central, a feat so rare, it paradoxically defeats statistics themselves.

    But for realz, who cares? This is merely one forecasting system tuned to expect poor seasons from A.J., Joba and Andy. I’m not necessarily buying it, but A.J.’s issue has always been with consistency and injury, so while I wouldn’t expect him to shit the futon, it’s not crazy to think he’ll struggle next year. Andy is at an advanced age—at a certain point the wheels will come off. It’s not crazy to think it could be next year, as he nears 38. Joba’s struggles after hitting his innings limit may be overblown (I think he’ll be pretty good next year), but I can say why people wouldn’t expect more than mediocrity. Do I think all of these things will happen next year? No, but it’s not totally batshit insane.

    The Rays underperformed last year, and have an unbelievable amount of good young talent. They might have as much talent as anyone in the league. That said, they didn’t really improve their team this off-season. Still, they should be better than they were in ’09, particularly with Price a year older, good arms coming up, and a certain OF prospect.

    The Sox greatly improved their pitching and defense. They’ll be good.

    Also, let’s consider that this Silver no longer does PECOTA, that it’s mostly Goldstein and the rest of the BP team. They had a pretty good track record until 2009, the year they bombed. Just sayin’.

    • JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

      Also, regarding the Rays:

      The system must be accounting for improvements from Upton, Longoria, Price, Shields, Garza, Burrell, and Davis without regression from Zobrist and Bartlett. It’s possible they’ll all improve, but to expect them all to improve and Zobrist and Bartlett (who had crazy career years) is wildly optimistic. They’ll be good, but I don’t see them winning more than 92 games.

      12 wins is a lot. Not sure it jives with logic, but hey, what do I know?

  33. NCpinstripes says:

    So the nerds with their pocket protectors, calculators, and taped up glasses have the Rays winning the AL East. Why am I not worried.

  34. Ari says:

    Clearly this thing is a joke, oakland winning the west really, nationals over 500 r u insane

    • Mike Pop says:

      It’s not a joke, they have a system to project these things. It might seem silly to some of us, but they don’t just do it out of thin air.

      I do lean towards a little having to do with trying to look like geniuses though.

    • Steve H says:

      If Ben Sheets pitches 180 innings, I could certainly see it. Anaheim has gotten decidedly worse, Seattle has a lot of question marks in their rotation 3-5, and Texas had a lot go right for them last year to get to 87 wins. As Pop said above, all 4 of those teams have a chance if things go their way. There is no team head and shoulders above the rest.

  35. One good thing about the Randy Winn signing. John Sterling has his easiest catch-phrase ever.

    “RANDY WINN!! THEEEEEEEEE RANDY WINN!!!!!”

    Can be used for walk off hits or the all-too-rare HR call.

  36. Moshe Mandel says:

    I love the claims of bias, or the idea that they are optimistic on certain players, as if they got together and said, let’s predict event A for this player. That’s not how it works. They create a statistical model that weighs things like recent performance, career stats, and historical performances from players with similar statistical profiles. They then plug all the players in to the system. Other than broad playing time evaluations, there is nothing subjective here once they determine the overall “formula.” This is what their numbers show.

    • JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

      I’d issue a “+1″ here, but it would scream of numeric bias. SO DON’T GO THERE, GIRLFRIEND. NAH UH!

    • Steve H says:

      But once they run the statistical model, they cut the Yankees numbers by 15% so the Yankees don’t win on the spreadsheet.

      /paranoid’d

    • Yeah, and if the Pecota rankings said the Yanks would win 100+ games next year, I’m sure many of the same people criticizing it would be using it to back up their arguments. People love to pick and choose which stats to “believe” based on whatever supports their pre-conceived notions, and dismiss all that run contrary. Which is about the most unscientific way possible to look at these things.

      That being said, I would like to see PECOTA’s track record. A nice 3-5 year sample of available. Methodology is everything, and no system is perfect.

      • Moshe Mandel says:

        I’m actually looking for that right now. I remember reading an article about a year ago that studied track record for all the major projection systems, but I cant find it. I seem to recall that they did a much better job on hitters than pitchers (not just PECOTA, all of them).

  37. thurdonpaul says:

    You just cant predict baseball.

  38. I didn’t let this be known last night but UConn basketball fuckin’ sucks this year.

    • JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

      I remember having a conversation with you earlier in the winter about the Huskies. I thought they’d be good. Not Final Four-good, but Sweet 16. Now? Hmm…they’re underachieving considering the talent they have. Kind of sad.

    • pat says:

      Hahaha, I went to Providence and when my friend messaged me this morning to say we hosed yall last night my first thought was Wow UCONN sucks and Wow the CT Yankee is gonna be upset.

  39. Mike Pop says:

    The Magic are paying Gortat 6.8 million average salary to play 12 minutes a game and average 3 points and 3 rebounds.

  40. Steve H says:

    My BOGRANTA projections have the Yankees at 57-100 (they’ll forfeit the last 5 games in shame). Randy Winn will go 0-550, but they will leave him in because that’s still better than Gardner. A-Rod will go 400-500 with 400 solo HR’s, and will go 0-100 with runners in scoring position, again proving that he sucks and is not clutch. Cashman will trade CC for (current FA)Paul Byrd, of course eating CC’s whole salary along the way. And Girardi, sick of seeing Jeter’s statuesque defense at short, will bang Minka Kelly and stick Jeter behind the plate, and won’t let him use a glove or a cup.

  41. Since Mo and Matty are here, I’m doing a piece on the Yankee 2010 Opening Day payroll tomorrow morning. Just a heads up.

    Computed it down to the last dollar, I predict it will be referenced as the go-to source by everyone from Mark Fiensand to Hal Steinbrenner within a week.

  42. Ivan says:

    Imma go on a limb, Phil Hughes/Joba Chamberlain will be the 2nd best pitcher for the Yankees behind CC. Can you guys see that.

    • Steve H says:

      It’s best case scenario, but possible. We know at this point what AJ/Pettitte/Javy all are. Joba’s ceiling certainly exceeds what they are (right now), and maybe Hughes as well. No telling if either of them hits it ever, nevermind this year, but it’s not ridiculous to think Joba could be the #2 come October. Look at the leap Jon Lester made at 24, he certainly vaulted up the ranks that year. He didn’t start the season as an ace type, but he ended it that way.

    • It’s possible, Joba certainly has shown he ability to be a top-flight starter.

      BTW-If that happens, the Yanks will be scary good. Like 1998 good. CC, AJ, Vasquez, and Andy are all pretty much given(s). If Joba pitched like an ace and everyone stayed healthy, they might win 105-110.

  43. After batting .365, with six home runs and 18 RBI during the ‘09 postseason, Alex Rodriguez said he was “very relieved’’ to have performed so well, on the way to his first World Series ring. “I was just so tired of the whole ‘un-clutch’ thing,’ A-Rod said in a YES Network interview.

    Here’s more of what he told Kimberly Jones tonight, on the subject of being previously dogged by “un-clutch’’ Octobers (the period after Game 3 of the ’04 ALCS until this past season):

    “It was good (to lose that tag) because I was so tired of hearing that. I mean…it was exhausting to be honest with you.

    “And, for me, I was just so tired of the whole ‘un-clutch’ thing. It was just, you know, very annoying, but to come over and be part of a championship team and get some of the biggest hits of my career and to deliver for my teammates when they needed me, that certainly feels really good and I’m very relieved.”

    http://blogs.northjersey.com/b.....from_alex/

    Glad he didn’t let the critics and bozos in the stands get in his head or anything. Yikes.

  44. Paul M. says:

    What do you think the chance is of Hughes going into the season as a starter? I’m biased because I just love Hughes and I really hope he is a starter in 2010. But then I think about Joba with his innings limit finally gone, and I don’t think it would be wise to put him in the bullpen. If Joba was to be in the bullpen, would he have an innings limit next year?

    //I am by no means a B-Jobber

  45. Nostra-Artist says:

    Brian Cashman on YES’s Yankee Hot Stove.

    http://web.yesnetwork.com/medi.....id=7151155

    Good stuff, check it out.

    • Nostra-Artist says:

      (5:20 mark answering a question about Granderson playing Left)

      Cash-”Yeah, it’s possible. We feel like we have two center fielders. Two starting center fielders in our outfield situation in terms of Brett Gardner and Curtis Granderson. Curtis Granderson is an all star Centerfielder, Brett Gardner, obviously his biggest tool is his field and run ability and we think he’s one of the defensive center fielders in the game. So it’s terrific, to be in a position as we enter as season, to have two Center fielders out of the three guys, with Nick Swisher. What’s the best alignment for us? What’s our best team? Right now, it’s Granderson in Center and Gardner in Left, but if watching the games unravel, in Spring Training, we’ve talked to Curtis about it as well, if we feel that a better team exists with Curtis Granderson in Left and Gardner in Center, if that actually shows itself, you know, our job is to put the best team in the best alignment on the field, and that’s what we’ll do.” All Players are just happy to contribute. So when I talked to Curtis Granderson, and said just in theory I want to throw an idea your way ‘what if?’ His response was “I’ll do whatever is best for the team. If you think it’s best for me in Left, it doesn’t matter” to him.

      I think you have your answer right there. Gardner is your opening day CF. The rest of it was what he has to say right now. He can’t give the job to Gardner over all-star like Granderson, they’ll have to let Brett ‘win’ the job in Spring Training. If they weren’t already thinking along those lines, why even ask Curtis how he feels about it?

  46. MikeD says:

    The problem with stats-based projection systems is they are incapable or predicting break-out seasons, or rapid declines. They also assume declines for players of a certain age, no matter what the circumstances. A 34-year-old who had a great season will decline because of age. A 34-year-old with an off season has no chance of a bounce-back because of age.

    The problem is what defines a baseball season and team are the opposite of all the above. Teams win because of break-out seasons, and lose because of injuries and sudden collapses. Sure, historical statistics and trends says that Mo should get a lot worse. They would have said the same last year and the year before and the year before, etc.

    I always look at the projection stats and leave feeling a bit empty. They’re just vanilla.

    • Esteban says:

      Yea, well PECOTA predicted a breakout for the Rays in ’08 (I know you’re saying individuals). They also got the White SOx exactly right in ’07, when people were saying the White Sox were decent. I’m cherry picking obviously, but those are just two of the predictions that I remember people criticizing and PECOTA ended up being right.

  47. Accent Shallow says:

    Yankees 2010 payroll: $211 million, + 5 guys at slightly more than league minimum. (Source: http://spreadsheets.google.com.....utput=html )

    I was just wondering, what’s the lowest that could have been if the Yankees had just dumped salary in the offseason, and replenished the team through the farm system? That means no Granderson, no Vazquez, etc.

    Lineup:

    1B: Tex
    2B: Cano
    SS: Jeter
    3B: A-Rod
    LF: Melky/Austin Jackson
    CF: Gardner
    RF: Swisher
    C: Posada

    Staff:

    SP: Sabathia
    SP: Burnett
    SP: Pettitte
    SP: Chamberlain
    SP: Hughes

    RP: Mariano
    RP: Robertson
    RP: Aceves
    RP: Marte
    RP: Coke
    RP: Gaudin
    RP: Melancon

    Bench:

    DH: Miranda
    IF: Pena
    C: Cervelli
    OF: Jackson/Melky
    OF: Hoffman (or another UIF, whatever)

    This team would cost . . . ~$188 million, not counting obligations to Brackman, Igawa, and other players in the minors. Wow.

  48. Ivan says:

    I was wondering, why ppl more often than not would rank Joe D. over Mantle, even though stats wise, Mantle beats out Dimaggio. And speaking of stats, Mantle career OPS+ is 172. Think about that, A-Rod single season best OPS+ is 177. Thats awesome.

    • Who ranks Joe D over Mantle? Slap those people when you speak to them.

    • Steve H says:

      Yeah, it may sound crazy, but Mantle is head and shoulders above Dimaggio. Over a 10 year span he led the league in OPS+ 8 times. The two times he didn’t he OPS+’d 222 and 195. Beastly. Dimaggio led the league once, there’s obviously some park factors involved as RHH vs. SH, but not enough to overcome Mantle’s utter dominance. Considering he was also considered a good to great defensive OF, it’s a shame that he only has 3 MVP’s.

      • Ivan says:

        Think about this, in 57 his OPS+ was at a ruthian 222, that was actually better than his 56 year when he won the triple. Can I say ridiculous.

  49. A.D. says:

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/.....-cuba.html

    Let the demands begin….he would be a damn nice pickup since he can play the outfield.

  50. Nostra-Artist says:

    Yankee Hot Stove is on YES right now.

  51. Jeff Boone says:

    Not to be the statistics nerd….but does anybody know the historical correlation between PECOTA projections and actual stats?

  52. So now Schefter and the ESPN Insider crew say that Vernon Gholston won’t be cut and will be back.

    I get that move a little, because with no ability to sign free agents unless we lose one (and cutting a player doesn’t count as a lost free agent), we can’t really afford to cut ANYONE since they can’t be replaced.

    Still, though… an uncapped year is the prime time to cut all the bad contracts on the books and take the cap hit, since there’s no cap hit. That’s why Kerry Rhodes is likely gone.

    I don’t get that. Now is the time to ax Gholston. I’d rather give his snaps to Jamaal Westerman and call it a day.

    • Steve H says:

      Yeah, the players really don’t want to get to an uncapped year. Alot of those otherwise uncuttable bad contract cap hits will be gone (see ya Adalius), and the majority of the owners won’t overspend. Sure Jones and Snyder will throw some big bucks around, but they did that anyway. With no salary cap comes no salary floor, the players likely have a rude awakening coming. That fact that all of this comes during a recession will only compound their problem.

  53. Steve H says:

    So if Randy Winn returns to his pre-2009 days, that would go a long way to subsiding any Nick Johnson injury fears. If Johnson were to get hurt, and Winn is ops+’ing 100, we could run a sick defensive outfield of Grandy/Gardy/Winn(dy) that would be above average/below average/average offensively, and have Swish DH. With all of the offense in the infield and behind the plate, we could definitely get away with that. And the pitchers would love it. It wouldn’t be full time either, Posada would get some time at DH, and you could also have Swish play some 1B and have Tex DH (very rarely). If Johnson is on the DL, you’d also bring up a Miranda, or maybe someone from the Thames/Gomes/Baldelli/Pena group that could potentially sing minor league deals. Going back to that OF defense though, holy shit.

  54. Lanny says:

    Find it hard to take Pecota seriously if they have Mariano Rivera having a poor season.

    Also tough to project a team that scores 900+ runs and having a poor season. The Sox presently dont have the capabilities to score enough. And the Rays are all hope and promise. We all know how young pitching is volatile and not reliable.

    • pat says:

      That’s the problem with their methods when it comes to transcendent players. There’s no accurate comparison age wise.

      • Think about it, though. Lanny said:

        Find it hard to take Pecota seriously if they have Mariano Rivera having a poor season.

        Mariano Rivera is the freaking textbook definition of a statistical outlier. The fact that PECOTA, a statistical projection system, has problems accurately predicting A KNOWN STATISTICAL OUTLIER is not really a good reason to not trust the accuracy of a statistical projection system.

        PECOTA has problems predicting people who are often unpredictably good. Mariano Rivera is the exception that PROVES the rule. Exceptions don’t DISPROVE the rule.

        • Nostra-Artist says:

          PECOTA’s bad with pitchers in general, IIRC. I think Mo did a piece on this last year that had Edwar Ramirez having a terrific season.

          The young guys in the bullpen and bench may be skewing the numbers as well. PECOTA might think Hughes is a 5+ ERA pitcher. As a starter, maybe. As a reliever? No way.

  55. JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

    With Winn in tow, what are the chances Don’t-Hassle-The-Hoff isn’t returned to the Dodgers by season’s end? Considering how valuable roster spots can get, I’m going to say it’s pretty low.

  56. Steve H says:

    TSJC, when’s your next mock draft? And what do you think of the Tebow to the Pats projections? With 3 2nd round picks I wouldn’t mind them taking a shot, but I don’t know what the hell they’d do with him either. Belichick and Meyer are good friends, so if they did take him, I’d have to think he’d have some good reason.

    • I have a rough idea in my head right now, but I like to wait for the combine to really bang out a detailed one. Plus, that’s when they do the coin flips to settle the picks. There’s THREE of them this year, most I can remember.

      Tebow to the Pats… not gonna happen. Ignore that bullshit. Belichick is smarter than that.

      Tim Tebow is an amazing college football player. He has NO position in the NFL. None. He’s a poor man’s Pat White, and Pat White himself is barely a fringy NFL player. Tebow is on the Eric Crouch plan. Whomever drafts him will regret it. By the time Jesus Montero wins his first MVP in 2015, Tim Tebow will already be in the CFL.

    • Better idea than using one of those three second rounders on Tim Tebow:

      Try to trade for Brandon Marshall. Think about it.

    • Ivan says:

      This is one of the weaker drafts at the QB position no?

      • Yes.

        Bradford and Clausen are the only two true first rounders, and personally, both of them scare the bejesus out of me. I’m freaking ECSTATIC that my team already has a franchise QB and doesn’t need one.

        If they were in last year’s class, I’d put them both behind Stafford, Sanchez, AND Josh Freeman without blinking twice.

        Bradford is super accurate but has a funky delivery and has basically ZERO experience in a pro-style offense and doesn’t read defenses well. He’s gonna have a long learning curve.

        Clausen fits the NFL game better and makes better decisions, but he’s athletically pretty average. I don’t know if he can make the throws. He won’t be a bad NFL QB, but I doubt he’ll ever be a great one.

    • Off the top of my head, right now at this minute:

      1 STL DE Ndamukong Suh
      2 DET DE Gerald McCoy
      3 TB S Eric Berry
      4 WAS QB Jimmy Clausen
      5 KC T Russell Okung
      6 SEA DE Derrick Morgan
      7 CLE trades down with SEA who takes QB Sam Bradford
      8 OAK DE Carlos Dunlap
      9 BUF T Anthony Davis
      10 DEN CB Joe Haden

  57. Nostra-Artist says:

    Thank

    the

    Lord

    http://www.nydailynews.com/new.....terro.html

    or ‘The Savior’ depending on your political affiliation.

  58. Steve H says:

    I traded Josh Smith/Deron Williams/OJ Mayo for Durant/J-Rich/Hinrich today. Did I let my mancrush of Durant get in the way? I’m still not sure Smith has turned the corner, and Mayo’s somewhat inconsistent. He also plays with Z-Bo, who manages to destroy teams all by himself. Considering I have Kobe and Melo already, I probably didn’t need Durant, but he’s the 2nd ranked player in Yahoo leagues this year, and 99/100 in fantasy trades the team that gets the best player wins.

  59. Nostra-Artist says:

    What do you expect for a pack of cigarettes?

    http://www.thesmokinggun.com/a.....cigs1.html

    • Steve H says:

      Shouldn’t they be the ones paying/bartering for sex?

    • JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

      Kill it wit fire! Gah, I quit a while ago, but at no point in my life had I ever been desperate enough to do something like that for a pack of cigarettes.

      Awesome story.

  60. if the Yankees win 93 games and miss the playoffs, I will shake my fist at the AL East, really nothing else to do at that point.

  61. Drew says:

    I wonder what Wanger is going to get. Can’t be more than a few mil, can it?

  62. Juke Early says:

    1. Baseball Prospectus has an anti-NYY bias. Let’s play the @#%&*! season out. OK?

    2. For some of you who like to trot out your own cliched POV on “real” life. IF you are ever forced to choose between a basement & a doorway and you choose the doorway, post a pic on the web. What? oh, go to a Public Library, they have free net access.

  63. [...] Yankee fans were up in arms a few days ago when word got out that the nerds at Baseball Prospectus projected the Yankees to finish in third place in the AL East despite winning 93 games. How could that be possible with their lineup and increasingly deep [...]

  64. [...] the PECOTA saga continues. Last week the initial forecasts hit the internet, and they had the Yankees finishing third and out of the playoffs. These are, of course, projections and not predictions, and considering the three wins that [...]

  65. [...] PECOTA has the Yanks missing the playoffs…despite winning 93 games. They never should have let Damon [...]

  66. Albinnka says:

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