Anyway, Al foresees the field looking like this:
C Geovany SotoStarting Pitchers:
1B Derrek Lee
2B Jeff Baker
SS Ryan Theriot
3B Aramis Ramirez
LF Alfonso Soriano
CF Marlon Byrd
RF Kosuke Fukudome
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 CaridadNow, 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:
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
.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).