Feb
24

Winning the winter

By

He’s a fun little article to hold you over as you wait for the Yankees to play their first (broadcasted) exhibition game of the spring. Brian Costa used ZiPS projections to see which teams added the most wins (or WAR) to their roster this season, and unsurprisingly the Blue Jays come out on top at +10.7. The Cubs (+8.2) and Indians (+7.2) round out the top three while the Marlins bring up the rear at -11.6. Like I said, unsurprising.

The Yankees, fresh off their patchwork offseason effort, rank 20th out of the 30 teams at -2.7 wins added. In other words, they lost roughly three wins worth of production. To be complete honest, that surprised me. Three wins lost seems to be letting them off easy, but hey, I’ll take it. Could be worse.

Categories : Asides, Hot Stove League
  • Greg

    Will be worse.

    • jjyank

      You got the lotto numbers with you too?

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Only if you stick around for the season.

    • Jacob the OG(formerly Jacob)

      Ouch that piece of sky hit my head.

    • MannyGeee

      Not sure if trolling or prepping for the impending apocalypse caused by the crash of the financial markets best team in the world Toronto Blue Jays

  • Blake

    I think this is the hardest Yankee team to project in years…..I can see all sorts of scenarios playing out both good and bad and I just have no idea what will happen….,,

    If the rotation stays healthy….if Youk bounces back….if Hafner stays healthy….if Gardner is in fact the impact guy he could be etc….then I could see them winning 95ish again and taking the east.

    Obviously there is a ying to that yang (or vice versa, not sure how that goes) ……I guess that’s why they play the games.

    In summary…..man am I glad to see baseball being played again

    • Robinson Tilapia

      In a while, yeah. Not THAT long, though. I would say 2005 and 2007 were hard teams to predict, mostly because of the pitching staff.

      No matter how many games they win, I’m just glad I’ll get to watch them at 1:00 PM today, and that’s how it always will be.

      • MannyGeee

        Yeah, but at least in 2005/7 you had big swinging bats out there. You were more confident in winning game bay an 11-9 margin than you are winning them by a 2-1 margin.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          It almost feels like the opposite this year. I actually think the team will score runs…..if they all don’t get hurt in bunches at the same time.

  • trr

    So much will be determined by age/injury factors this year…it really is impossible to predict, so should be more interesting, right?
    …..right?

  • Jacob the OG(formerly Jacob)

    I think the cubs are looking really nice. Nice pitching staff, star ss(hitting at least,) a nice 1B, and a good farm, They could really surprise a lot of people this year.

    • Blake

      I don’t think they are ready quite yet but I do think they are finally pointed in the right direction and that Theo has done a nice job since he’s been there…..

      • Jacob the OG(formerly Jacob)

        Yea, I don’t really expect them to be real contenders but I would not be all that surprised if they were above .500 or in 2nd place for maybe the first half of the season. My sleeper pick to exceed expectations.

  • Jacob the OG(formerly Jacob)

    I can definately agree with about a 3 win loss, if the additions stay healthy they should replace a good amou t of production + gardy and mo are back so that should help.

  • RobA

    Im Canadian, so first and foremost Im a Jays fan. The Yanks this year seem like a lot of the Jays teams from recent years…some legit talent but so many question marks. I found myself saying “well, if this and this happens, and this and thay don’t happen, and a few things break right, we’ve got a chance.” Basiclly you were always hoping that just abiut everything wouod break right, which of course it rarely does. This year seems to be the first year for Toronto that we don’t need everythibg to break just right to make the playoffs, but it seems like NY is kind of in that spot. Dont get me wrong, NY still has a better team on paper then any Toronto team (except this year) has had in recent years, Im not saying the overall teams have been comparable…….just that the concept of “needing lots of things to break right” that we’ve had to deal with for the last 10-15 years seems to be the same sort of issue facing NY, for the first time in a long time. Frankly, the odds are highly stacked against the Yanks this year. I think we all agree that Kuroda/Petitie/Mo/Jeter are all going to be integral parts if the team is going to be succesful. And certainly 38+ y/o players can and do have great years. But knowing what we know about how players age after 100+ years of data, I think expecting even two of those guys to have great seasons is a bit much. One 38+ y/o old having a great season in a statistical oddity. Four of them is kind of a longshot. And given how important all those guys are, if even one of them has a terrible year (a likelihood, again, given the ages) then that is going to drag the whole team down.

    • jjyank

      Well firstly, welcome. I enjoy getting perspectives from fans of other teams.

      I would like to point out though, that the issue you’re claiming the Yankees have applies to the Jays just as much. The Jays look good on paper, but they need an awful lot to break well, just like the Yankees. IF Romero stops sucking, IF Josh Johnson can stay healthy, IF Reyes doesn’t blow out his legs playing 81+ games on turf, IF Buerhle doesn’t get annihilated in the AL East, IF Bautista’s wrist injury didn’t rob him of any power, IF Encarnacion proves last year wasn’t a fluke, etc.

      This game works both ways.

      • Jacob the OG(formerly Jacob)

        Thank you JJ, you can’t sip the coolaid just yet. But they do look much much better than the Yankees and it is very understandable why they are the early favorites but every team has their IFs

        • Henry Krinkle

          I fail to see how the Jays are “much much better”.

          • Jacob the OG(formerly Jacob)

            On paper they look really really good if everything goes right. IF

            • Henry Krinkle

              Still not much better, IMO.

              • Jacob the OG(formerly Jacob)

                I respect your opinion

                • Henry Krinkle

                  Not as much as I do yours.

                  • Robinson Tilapia

                    I double-respect both your opinions.

                    • Havok9120

                      And I hate you all.

                    • Jacob the OG(formerly Jacob)

                      I give in!

                    • TomH

                      Sounding like that scene in Dr. Strangelove where the President is assuring the General Secretary of how much he wants peace.

        • jjyank

          I mean I totally get why a Jays fan would be amped. How long has it been since they’ve had a team with this much potential?

          If I were a bettin’ man though, I would put money on the Yankees winning the division. I, however, am a cheap bastard, so I don’t bet :P

          • Jacob the OG(formerly Jacob)

            Haha, that would also be my bet too because I believe they are more of a sure thing, and because I am super biased to them.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          On the faciest of face value, sure, they look better. That means absolutely nothing. Let’s see how the question marks on BOTH teams hold up over 162 games.

          I think the Jays will contend, which they really haven’t in a few years. That’s how much improvement I’m willing to spot them at this point.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Agreed. I think a LOT of things have to break right for the Jays. They are no lock for anything.

        I go into the season the same way I’ve gone in the last couple of seasons. The names may be different, but the Yanks and Rays will still be the teams to beat.

        • Manny’s Banwagon

          You could say the same thing with the Yankees. Any team that’s gonna win has to have a good amount of breaks go their way.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            Of course. A lot of things have to break right for……every team in the AL East, really.

            • Manny’s Banwagon

              People make it sound like the Jays are the only team with players at risk for injuries and while I agree guys like Johnson, Morrow, Reyes, Bautista, etc should have them concerned, so should guys like Arod, Youkilis, Jeter, Pettitte, Gardner, Mo, etc for the Yankees.

              No team in that division is even close to a lock and other than the Orioles, I don’t think it’s out of the question that any team could win the division.

              • jjyank

                Oh I agree. When I listed the Jay’s question marks above, I wasn’t trying to imply that the Yankees don’t have their fair share. We all know they do.

              • MannyGeee

                To your point, The AL East has as good a chance of any over the past decade of all 5 teams running within 2 wins of each other come September. Including the Sox and O’s, hate to say it.

          • TomH

            On this “break right” issue: isn’t one of the Toronto fan’s points (perhaps implicitly made) that while every team needs things to go right, the need of the NYY is compounded by the agedness of so many key players?

            I.e., the odds of things “breaking wrong” may be higher with so many old-timers to worry about. They’re likely to be more prone to injury and to take longer to recover. There is also that inherent risk (injuries or no injuries)that Father Time will now insist on taking a big bite out of their production.

            Do we, by the way, need one of these ZIP projections, reliant on WAR, to know that the Jays were gaining in wins and the Yankees were losing? In any case, we ought to file away this prediction and see how accurate it was.

            • Henry Krinkle

              True, but Buehrle and Dickey aren’t spring chickens, Josh Johnson gets hurt all the time, and Jose Reyes isn’t always durable, especially when he has to play so many games on turf.

  • RobA

    Im Canadian, so first and foremost Im a Jays fan. The Yanks this year seem like a lot of the Jays teams from recent years…some legit talent (and in the case of 2013 Yanks, a lot of it) but so many question marks. I found myself often saying “well, if this and this happens, and this and thay don’t happen, and a few things break right, we’ve got a chance.” Basiclly you were always hoping that just abiut everything wouod break right, which of course it rarely does. This year seems to be the first year for Toronto that we don’t need everythibg to break just right to make the playoffs, but it seems like NY is kind of in that spot. Dont get me wrong, NY still has a better team on paper then any Toronto team (except this year) has had in recent years, Im not saying the overall teams have been comparable…….just that the concept of “needing lots of things to break right” that we’ve had to deal with for the last 10-15 years seems to be the same sort of issue facing NY, for the first time in a long time. Frankly, the odds are highly stacked against the Yanks this year. I think we all agree that Kuroda/Petitie/Mo/Jeter are all going to be integral parts if the team is going to be succesful. And certainly 38+ y/o players can and do have great years. But knowing what we know about how players age after 100+ years of data, I think expecting even two of those guys to have great seasons is a bit much. One 38+ y/o old having a great season in a statistical oddity. Four of them is kind of a longshot. And given how important all those guys are, if even one of them has a terrible year (a likelihood, again, given the ages) then that is going to drag the whole team down.

    • Jacob the OG(formerly Jacob)

      I for one totally agree with your post and can totally see the comparison. I also appreciate how you did not come on here to gloat or talk trash but just to post some good fact. Thank you.

    • MannyGeee

      Saw this posted again, I was looking for the obvious “Ham Sammich” word changes. Had to go back and realize it was a double post.

      for shame

  • Manny’s Banwagon

    I’m optimistic they’ll be good in 2013 but if they’re not, there’s gonna be a lot of justifiably angry Yankee fans.

    • Jacob the OG(formerly Jacob)

      Agreed

    • Robinson Tilapia

      They would have needed to have their cherries popped at some point in their fandom. Let them be angry.

      • Manny’s Banwagon

        I was spoiled too when i became a die hard NYY fan just in time for Reggie’s Yankees and the decade that followed was mostly misery

        I hope no Yankee fan has to endure anything close to that again.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          But they will. What goes up must come down at some point.

          People born in ’95 will be 18 this year. People born in ’92 will be 21. Tim Leary and Chuck Cary are to them what Ron Blomberg was to me. The dynasty was happening while they were learning to walk and talk. It’s just a different experience. I really do get it sometimes.

          That’s not to say that folks born in the 90’s can’t have perspective, can’t look back at history, etc. I think most of them actually do, while we’ve seen, even here, some older fans be incredibly pessimistic and entitled. It’s outlook more than age.

          The 80’s weren’t all misery to me. There were some great time to be had and some of my all-time favorite Yankees to enjoy. You expected less because there was less opportunity to make the playoffs, I guess…..

          • Manny’s Banwagon

            The only thing that made the 80s bearable for me was Mattingly though I did really love Ron Guidry and liked Randolph, Righetti, Henderson and a few others.

            I actually rooted for the Angels over the Yankees for a good part of that decade because I was so devastated that they let Reggie walk.

            It does make you appreciate winning more after you taste some defeat though.

            • Robinson Tilapia

              Yup, although I did notice you left Dave Winfield out of there.

              One of my favorite non-championship Yankee moments ever has to be the battle for the batting crown.

              I agree that you loved the team, but it just wasn’t a likeable organization at the time with Papa Bear V1.0 and the revolving door of managers and young players.

              • Manny’s Banwagon

                I absolutely despised Winfield and still do to this day because I felt like he was brought in to replace Reggie.

                • Robinson Tilapia

                  By the time I was firmly entrenched as a Topps-card-buying-Yankee fan, Winfield had completed his first season as a Yankee already and Reggie was playing “uniform conumdrum” with Ron Jackson over in LA. :)

                  Anyone remember how the Yankee roster card in the ’81 Topps set had an error which listed Winfield as a pitcher? I had friends trying to convince me he had actually pitched that year and that it wasn’t a mistake.

          • jjyank

            I like to think I’m an example of that. I should be about as spoiled as they come, being born in ’88 and luckily first developing my baseball consciousness by 1995. As long as I’ve been old enough to be aware of baseball I’ve watched winners, beginning with 4 championships in the first six years of being a fan. You’re right, it’s 100% outlook.

            • Manny’s Banwagon

              The negative about winning all the time, especially championships is that after a while, you feel more relief that they didn’t lose rather than pure joy over them winning and that IMO is unfortunate.

              • Robinson Tilapia

                Excellent point.

              • jjyank

                Fair enough, I suppose I wouldn’t really know. I do know, however, that I was pretty fucking joyful after winning in 2009. And of course I was in 1996, 1998, 1999, and 2000, because I was like 8, 10, 11, and 12 respectively. I still had that innocent childhood joy about everything.

                But winning in 2009 was still amazing for me. When A-Rod hit the game tying homer in Anaheim in the ALCS, I was in a hotel room with my family. We were in North Carolina for my cousin’s wedding (they’re all Yankee fans). y brother, father, and several cousins kept sneaking away from the reception to watch the game in my room. When A-Rod hit the homer it was late enough that my parents were asleep, so when he hit it, I couldn’t scream. My alternate reaction was to leap out of my chair and do a series of fist pumps on the floor, incurring several rug burns as a result.

                So maybe it’s possible that I could have been more joyful, but I enjoyed the shit out of that WS run.

      • Now Batting

        I’m a Knicks fan too. My cherry has been popped more than a Tijuana hooker’s.

        • Manny’s Banwagon

          Shit, as Knicks fans, we’ve been fisted for 40 years now. Jordan alone should be in jail for Sodomy.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    -3 wins at baseline? I’ll take that. Time to go make Brian Costa eat his projection.

  • Manny’s Banwagon

    Something doesn’t add up because the ZiPS projection I saw had them at 88-90 wins, not 92 like this would suggest.

    • Gonzo

      I didn’t think ZIPs did win projections. Am I wrong on this?

      Otherwise, I think you are confusing Baseball Prospectus’ playoff odds that had the Yankees winning 88.1 games in their sim season. However, BP’s playoff odds didn’t have one team winning 90 games, so 88 for the Yankees is very good in that scenario. They had them with a good % of winning the division too.

      • Manny’s Banwagon

        Mike wrote a column about ZiPS and said it had the Yankees at 89 or 90 wins if I’m not mistaken. I also saw complete AL east standings based on ZiPS published in ESPN insider in December that had them at 87.

        • Ted Nelson

          No. Mike had the Yankees at that win total, not the article he was referring to. The article itself made sure not to total up the wins to a team level, because it would be incorrect to do so. It would assume it would assume that certain positions get more than a full season while others get less without replacement.
          http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs.....k-yankees/

          I am not familiar with the ESPN article, but it seems very unlikely that the Yankees number would go down from Mike’s half-ass projections since ZIPs expects only half a season from Gardner and Pettitte with in-house fill-ins projected to be above replacement level. A-Rod is also expected back, which is not accounted for in the math Mike performed on the individual projections.

          • Manny’s Banwagon

            http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb.....e-jays-mlb
            December 18, 2012, 1:30 PM ET
            By Dan Szymborski | Baseball Think Factory

            This article has actual AL East projected standings according to ZiPS with the Jays at 93, Rays at 88, Yankees at 87′ Sox at 85 and Orioles at 78.

            • Ted Nelson

              Doesn’t really help me. I don’t have Insider and all it says above the fold is that ZIPs projects the BJs to 93 wins.

              How did he calculate those numbers?

        • Gonzo

          I couldn’t find the ESPN article, and I think Mike was just eyeballing it, so to speak. I don’t think he meant to say that was what ZIPs was saying. Could be wrong here.

          Calculating WAR to games won is not a 1 to 1 ratio in any event. I think someone did a study on it at a seminar a year ago if I’m not mistaken.

          • Gonzo

            Just saw what you posted above. Looking at it now. Thanks for the link.

            • Manny’s Banwagon

              You’re very welcome.

          • Gonzo

            Ok, so looking at both articles I may have an idea of what is happening. First, I don’t think Brian Costa is saying the Yankees lost only 2.7 WAR from last year. I think he’s just saying that their net loss of WAR from their gains or losses in the offseason is 2.7. I don’t think he’s factoring the rest of the team. I’m not sure, but considering that the entire MLB has a net gain of 3.9 WAR in his article supports this. That’s because there can never be a net gain in wins over losses in the MLB.

            That would mean that Szymborski’s projection also factors in for declines from aging or bad luck not just net WAR gain from offseason moves. I didn’t realize that he even did this, thanks for pointing it out. This is unless you think Pronk is a net gain of 5 wins because that seems like the only difference from one article to the next.

            *Just my opinion on what’s going on here. Could totally be wrong.

    • Ted Nelson

      Something does seem wrong… your critical thinking.

      He took the ZIPs of the players they added to their roster and then subtracted the ZIPs of the players they lost from their roster.

      Furthermore, I believe that 88-90 wins is your reading of the ZIPs article and not a team projection from the ZIPs article. Assuming you are referring to the Cistulli article from Fangraphs. There was no team projection there, just a fun little graphic depicting expected full-season WARs for projected regulars. Nothing done to adjust those numbers to a team basis. That’s why at no point did they add those numbers together in that article… because it’s meaningless to do so.

      • Ted Nelson

        *added from outside the org, not promotions

      • Manny’s Banwagon

        Something does seem wrong… your critical thinking.

        Whether you agree or disagree with my post, don’t you think there might be a better way of starting off your response?

        • Ted Nelson

          No, I think that was the best way.

          • Manny’s Banwagon

            FWIW, Harboring grudges and carrying hatred isn’t really a healthy way to go through life, especially towards some random faceless Internet person. Much better ways of using your energy.

            • Ted Nelson

              99% of the insults or advice you lob at me applies equally to you. You literally started commenting regularly on here by stalking me.

              I thought it was the best way not because I harbor anything against you. It was because your critical thinking seems terrible based on the comments you make.

              • Manny’s Banwagon

                I’ve posted on this site for probably the last 3 years and i’ve had many nice conversations with a lot of different people so I’d hardly say you are the reason I started posting. Also Calling you out when you spew your venom is hardly stalking.

                I also haven’t responded to you in several weeks. It’s kind of sad you feel the need to pick up where you left off, in attack mode.

          • Havok9120

            *facepalm*

      • Now Batting

        You know what else is meaningless? Using Zips or anything else to project team wins one game into spring training.

  • Ethan

    Do you guys think 90 wins gets the division? I think given how balanced a lot of the teams are no one team will dominate intra-division play. They’ll all beat up equally on non-division teams not named the Angels, Tigers, A’s and Rangers.

    It’s funny I think we might actually have a division winner in the East with the fewest wins of the division winners in the AL. Not because the teams in the East are any worse, just because all of the teams in the East are so good. There’s no Astros or Twins for the Yankees to play 18 times a year.

    • Havok9120

      Given the number of question marks on each team I think it’s fair to expect at least one of the 5 teams to completely implode and provide a punching bag for everyone else. I’m actually expecting 1 team to click completely, 2 to implode to various extents, and 2 others to be quite good.

  • Eddard: Back and better than never

    People seem to think if we field the same team as last year we’ll win 95 games again. Wrong. Jays got significantly better, Rays always compete under Maddon, Os have a young nucleus that will only improve and the Red Sox can’t be any worse than last season. The whole division is better except us and we took a step back. It’s not looking good but that’s why they play the season.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      It’s like you saved the plane from going straight into the water with that last sentence.

    • MannyGeee

      IN Soviet Russia #EddardWorld, baseball season play you!

      /Yakov Smirnoff’d

      • Havok9120

        That was very well done.

    • Havok9120

      Just to address the premise of your comment because I’m feeling masochistic today, I’m pretty sure no one thinks that.

  • ThatstheMelkyMesaWaysa

    I’m worried about this season. I’m more worried about it than I have been in a while. Any time I think about it (which is very often) I just see in my head Jeter giving his speech to the fans at the Old House after the last game at YSII. I feel like since the Boss gave his power to Hank and Hal the idea that anything short of a World Series victory has been abandoned. They have not been aggressive in the offseason since the CC, AJ, and Teixeira haul. They gave up their best prospect ((who, if you work the stats a bit (well, a lot… but I’m making a point here) was on pace to be the greatest power hitter of all time)) for someone who, as noted by Big Member, has contributed 0 wins and a DUI. A lack of Swisher and Chavez among others creates an atmosphere of uncertainty around this team and I don’t like it. They need to return to a state where they expect to win every year.

    • Havok9120

      A ) they are in a state where they expect to win (and where we can reasonably expect them to). They simply aren’t a lock, and that’s scary for fans when the traditional bottom feeders are also measurably improving.

      B )Never say that thing about Montero again. It sounded criminally ridiculous even before he had so much trouble last season. I’d also add that Montero and Noesi sure haven’t contributed any wins, at least statistically.

      C )You can can say the “atmosphere of uncertainty” thing about any team that loses multiple players to free agency/retirement during a given offseason, especially when they were all guys who had been with the team multiple years. No fan likes it, but it’s hardly a phenomenon, even for us.

    • free speech

      They are only interested in competing not winning championships…MONEY AND PROFIT FIRST.

  • free speech

    If this team cracks 90 it will be a complete surprise…next years a miracle……………….189,189,189,189,189,189,189,189,189,189,189,189,189,189,189,189,189,189,189,189,189,189,189,189,189,………….

    • Havok9120

      Good to see you made it in time for the Game Thread.