Thursday, January 7, 2010

A 25-Man Roster for 2010

Note, it is not the 25-Man Roster for 2010, it is merely Al's, from over at Bleed Cubbie Blue. I tend to pick on Al a lot, partly because we disagree an many things, but I'd like to think it's mostly because he's a prolific blogger and undeniable Cubs fan -- and I really appreciate that.

Anyway, Al foresees the field looking like this:
C Geovany Soto
1B Derrek Lee
2B Jeff Baker
SS Ryan Theriot
3B Aramis Ramirez
LF Alfonso Soriano
CF Marlon Byrd
RF Kosuke Fukudome
Starting Pitchers:
Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster, Randy Wells, Tom Gorzelanny, Carlos Silva (Lilly on DL)
Bullpen:
Carlos Marmol, Angel Guzman, John Grabow, Jeff Gray, Sean Marshall, Justin Berg, Esmailin Caridad
Now, though I find much of this irrefutable, let's skip all that and nit-pick the elements I don't like:


First of all, my new (and quite possibly undeserved) nemesis, Carlos Silva. A couple days back, Al compared Silva's lack of success to Ryan Dempster in '03, Glendon Rusch in '03, and Rick Reuschel in '84. Al, bless him, used wins and losses, ERA, and WHIP (walk + hits divided by IP). I was intrigued (because all three of these pitchers went on to be considerably more successful the following year) and jumped over to Fangraphs. Behold:



Only Dempster is close to comparison, and even then, he enjoyed moderate success in his previous 3 seasons, with a FIP averaging around 4.50 (league average). Granted, he's become much more since then, but -- unless he's also tipping his pitches -- Silva is different. His FIP and xFIP have only moved away from good, not back towards it. Unlike this fellow:

xFIP
2006: 5.08
2007: 4.56
2008: 4.25
2009: 3.82

I present: Sean Marshall, the man who should be our 5th starter. He's more durable, cheaper, more effective, and without known attitude problems. If Silva starts in place of Marshall, I'd have to begin questioning Lou's feelings towards our young swing man.

Also, I'd rather see sort of quasi-platoon at second base, because Baker appears to have more offense (though not statistically verifiable) and Fontenot appears to have better defense (UZR/150: 10.4 vs. Baker's 2.3).

I'm not ready to call Fontenot's previous success a fluke just yet. According to Chris Dutton xBABIP Quick Calculator (Google Docs link), Fontenot should have had a BABIP .036 points higher than he did in 2009. Assuming those go for singles (which is a significant if), Mikey-poo moves his slash from this:

.236 / .301 / .377

...to this:

.272 / .337 / .403

...a slash much more becoming of a crack-fielding second baseman. Anyway, I think both players show some good potential, and neither has flaws necessary to throw out (or hide on the pine).

3 comments:

  1. Nice work on the babip adjustment. The Cubs really got screwed last year when it comes to their xbabip and actual babip.

    I've started to get some platoon projections ready for Baker and Fontenot. They'll just be a simple Marcel and age adjustment isn't that important for either player so i'm not going to worry about that.

    Nice work.

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  2. Nice work! This makes me cautiously optimistic about Fontenot being a useful player in 2010. Between him and Baker they should be able to get good production out of 2B.

    On a related note, have you seen Colin's thoughts on xBABIP, posted at BP? (no subscription required) Or his work last month on the effects of press box height on recorded LD rates? It's good stuff.

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  3. Can I ask if you post at BCB under a different handle? I'll be writing some saber-related stuff there, and would love your feedback.

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