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Tuesday, November 06, 2007


Re-posted from last thread:

Dammit, I really hate the Red Sox.

Unless something major happens, I can't see this team returning to the playoffs with Kyle Kendrick as the #2 starter.

For anyone who thinks it's no big deal that we couldn't land a pitcher who put up an ERA of 3.87 in an AL bandbox, consider the following ZiPS projections for our current starting pitchers under contract:

Cole Hamels* 3.66 14-7 192.0
Kyle Kendrick 4.91 12-12 196.0
Jamie Moyer* 4.96 11-12 196.0
Adam Eaton 5.53 8-11 153.0

I don't see anyone on the market or in AAA who will come in under that 4.69 mark, meaning we are likely to go into next season with 80% of the rotation as subpar.

Even guys like Lohshe (4.78), Happ (5.61), Outman (5.41), and Mathieson (5.59) are no help.

Without Schilling, it becomes an imperative that Myers returns to the rotation.

ughhhh...hope this doesnt mean they go hard for carlos silva...

And, FWIW, ZiPS currently projects *five* bullpen arms (not including Myers) to pitch better than league average relief (4.28 ERA)

Gordon: 3.60
Geary: 3.94
Zagurski: 4.00
Mateo: 4.17
Romero: 4.17

So, leaving Myers out of the eqaution, the Phils currently have *one* starter projected to be better than league average, and *five* relievers projected to be better than league average.


I forgot Romero is a FA, so it's atually 4-1.

Re-posted from last thread:

Dammit, I really hate the Red Sox.

Unless something major happens, I can't see this team returning to the playoffs with Kyle Kendrick as the #2 starter.

For anyone who thinks it's no big deal that we couldn't land a pitcher who put up an ERA of 3.87 in an AL bandbox, consider the following ZiPS projections for our current starting pitchers under contract:

Cole Hamels* 3.66 14-7 192.0
Kyle Kendrick 4.91 12-12 196.0
Jamie Moyer* 4.96 11-12 196.0
Adam Eaton 5.53 8-11 153.0

I don't see anyone on the market or in AAA who will come in under that 4.69 mark, meaning we are likely to go into next season with 80% of the rotation as subpar.

Even guys like Lohshe (4.78), Happ (5.61), Outman (5.41), and Mathieson (5.59) are no help.

Without Schilling, it becomes an imperative that Myers returns to the rotation.

Ah, dammit, sorry for the double.

my favored (f)utility infielder is D'Angelo Jimenez...I have a soft spot for guys who can't hit .250 but out-OBP most of the league. he's a throwback to the days of Eddies Yost & Joost.

as far as Gillick's plan for the rotation, my money is on a trade for Dontrelle Willis. FL needs a CF, we need an SP. I've even started trying to convince myself that it's merely a really bad move instead of a completely terrible move. although I'm not having much success.

The Phils, nor anyone else, didn't have the inside track on Schilling at this point. Only the Bosox did. He wanted to stay and they wanted to keep him. That's the end of that story.

What we have to be concerned about is what our GM is gonna do. At this point he focusing on pitching and neglecting 3B. He's saying that they don't have to score as many runs if they upgrade the pitching. That's true. But what he's really saying is we're not going to score as many runs because we're losing Rowand and will not bring in any bats so I HAVE to upgrade the pitching.

Geoff Blum makes sense as the utility infielder. He'd give better pinch-hit ab's than ass-hat Nunez did, and he can play all 4 infield positions.

We desperately need pitching, and now it'll get very interesting to see how it's addressed. We're screwed without pitching, and the absense of Rowand's bat will only hurt the offense...not cripple, but take away from it at least.

Coco Crisp = Been soggy because of excessive milk the last few seasons.

per Boston Globe, it turns out the contract is actually with $5M in incentives - a $2M weight incentive (!) and $3M in performance. so it could end up being the $13M extension Schilling originally said he wanted when all's said and done.

Kuroda declares free agency
Major league switch expected

From Beerleaguer's news source Bob Bavasi, brother of Bill Bavasi: Hiroshima Carp right-hander Hiroki Kuroda filed for free agency Monday with a switch to the major leagues at the heart of interest for the ace rotation starter.

Sources say the Seattle Mariners are expected to join the hunt for the services of the 32-year-old along with some other major league clubs, while Kuroda, for his part, is not interested in re-signing with Hiroshima or moving to any other Japanese team.

Joe Urbon, who represented Kazuhisa Ishii and Shingo Takatsu during their negotiations with major league clubs, is likely to be picked as Kuroda's agent.

Kuroda was 12-8 with a 3.56 ERA in 26 starts this year. He has a 103-89 career record with a 3.69 ERA in 11 seasons, all with Hiroshima.

I'm always skeptical about players coming over from Japan, but the starting pitching options are sketchy minus Schilling, so I too think we should try to sign an import.

Is there any real shot of the Phils entering the Japanese free agent market? Did having Iguchi for a few months help? Do we scout it? Gillick has experience there, right? Did he get Ichiro? Can I ask any more questions in a row?

Charles Weatherby = Good FB coach at Navy while I was there.

I could not be happier. I was against signing Schill from the begining. If we were going to give up a first rounder you better be signing a guy to at least a 3 or 4 year contract. A first rounder for a 40 something pitcher who will probably be .500 if your lucky. Sometimes the best deals are the ones that never happen.

Crazy Jon: You were at the Academy? My sister and brother-in-law are 1996 Academy grads.

Off-topic (with regards to free agents & whatnot), but the Sporting News is doing something interesting over the offseason. They're using Strat-O-Matic Baseball Online to simulate the 1986 season.

Doug Glanville is running the Phillies, who are off to a 1-0 start. A good year & I'd be fully behind him as the next manager or GM for the real-life Phillies.

So I was watching sportscenter this morning, and Steve Philips laid out his plan for how the Dodgers can reach the World Series. First, they must sign A-Rod or trade for Miguel Cabrera. They must land one of those two. Preferably Cabrera. Then, they need to move Juan Pierre to left and sign Andruw Jones or Torii Hunter. Then, with whatever's left of their farm system after the Cabrera deal, they need to trade for Johan Santana. If they do all this, Steve thinks they should make it to the World Series. Miguel Cabrera, Andruw Jones, Johan Santana - it's that easy. You know, did ESPN ever consider that there's a reason the Mets fired Steve Philips?

CJ - Who's your sister?

stjoehawk: A 1-0 start? I say hire him now. We never get off to a good start.

Crazy Jon: Jen Hoyt. Now married to Steve Johnson.

Tray - Did he do that while running a mock press conference?

kdon, zips is fun, but I wouldn't put too much weight in it. Who thought Kendrick would do what he did in 2007 ? What did zips project for Eaton, Lieber, and Garcia last year ?

"which includes Cole Hamels, Jamie Moyer and Kyle Kendrick, followed by Adam Eaton and Jason Weitzel."

I think in this senario, I'd pitch you as the 4 JW (pending a physical).

stjoehawk: Really neat, everyone should check this thing out. BTW, manager of the Red Sox is none other than 38pitches. Yeah, he wasn't re-signing.

Sporting News is reviving old stories from the season (ex: Hayes doesn't like hitting 6th in lineup). Fantastic.

Cry baby Rolen wants out of St. Louis. Think the Phillies will be dumb enough to bring him back at 3rd?

Baseball America's projections for Jason Weitzel

12-9 with 4.50 ERA

Time to cut Eaton, we've got our 5th starter!

I seriously doubt the Phils want him back not to mention I seriously doubt he wants to come back here.

Billy Mac,

I don't think ZiPS is gospel, but it does do a nice job of quantifying what seems to be true from a scouting perpective: the Phils have only one clearly above average starter.

I guess you can hope someone like Kendrick comes along again (or even that Kendrick will come close to repeating what he did last year), but I don't think that hope is a good way to plan for the upcomming season.

Those Felske comments are great!

Glanville is wisely hitting Hayes 3rd. Who would have thought Mr. Free Swinging Doug would appreciate the value of OBP?

I was reading where former SNL comedian and former MNF commentator will be returning tonight to TV to have his own sports talk show on the fledgling Versus cable channel. His opening show guest is Curt Schilling! They do have that channel on cable here in Houston, so I'll try to check it out tonight.

Ugh, Dennis Miller has been a bore since his Black & White comedy special 20 years ago.

ZiPs is entertaining but really pretty nonsensical at times.

Gordon: 3.60
Geary: 3.94
Zagurski: 4.00
Mateo: 4.17
Romero: 4.17

I doubt that either Zagurski or Mateo will see any kind of significant playing time with the big league club next year. Plus it increasingly looks like Romero will go elsewhere because the Phils are under the delusion he will sign for low-dollars.

Worse-case scenario - The Phils do almost nothing to shore up their bullpen, let guys like Geary walk, and somehow give a key role to Mateo next year coming out of spring training.

Everyone is looking in the Japanese market anymore, frankly. Phillies won't find anymore success there than in any of the South American/Caribbean prospects.

Korea, it's still an emerging market for baseball. They did well in the WBC last spring. This is where they can find a steal.

I'd be really pissed if the Phils sign Carlos Silva like some reports are speculating. He is in the mold of Moyer and Kendrick- very low k's with many hits allowed. Kendrick worked his magic to get out of trouble last season, but that may not continue. Moyer's 5+ era shows that hits eventually catch up with you. Silva is good at times, but very easy to make contact off of, not worth a 4 year 40 million dollar investment.

Trade looks like the route to go. Erwin Santana from the Angels, Willis from the Marlins, Wandy Rodriguez from the Astros...just some thoughts.

CJ: Name sounds familiar, but I don't think I knew her personally.
I was class of 1998.

Curt Schilling and Dennis Miller on the same show - I might only watch that because it will be hilarious to see each guy try to talk over the other guy.

As for the quote on hitting 6th, I was taken out of context...I mean, I wasn't, since I really am/was unhappy about it. Just look at the results from our first game...Felske's an ass. But don't quote me on that. I mean, you can, but it will be out of context. I'm not sure what context really means...but let me close by saying I should be batting 3rd from here on out.

Scouts are comparing me to Woody Williams.

Carson, I don't think Ervin Santana is even remotely available, especially for what little we could possibly offer. and I don't see how the very hittable Willis or mediocre Rodriguez represents any kind of upgrade over Silva. Silva at least has a track record of being above league average in 3 of the last 4 years. not to mention that he's been pitching in the AL, is a groundball guy, and would cost only money and not anything from our shallow minor league system.

on second thought let me revise my estimation of Rodriguez as mediocre. I didn't realize he had such a solid season this past year; that's a good K rate and WHIP.

but if anything that makes him less likely to be traded; a young, cheap lefty who just posted the 9th best K rate in the league will not come cheap.

Am I missing something or has Iguchi not filed for free agency? Is Gillick working on this for 3rd base under the radar?

Schilling's post on the deal is good, especially where he addresses the "leaving money on the table" argument. this part is pretty amusing:
I inserted the weigh in clause in the 2nd round of offers, counter offers. Given the mistakes I made last winter and into Spring Training I needed to show them I recognized that, and understood the importance of it. Being overweight and out of shape are two different things. I also was completely broad sided by the fact that your body doesn’t act/react the same way as you get older. Even after being told that for the first 39 years of my life. Now I can’t get on Dougie anymore, which sucks, and I am sure the clause will add 15-100 more jokes to Tito’s Schilling joke book.

Mark, I'm nearly certain Iguchi filed. there was a report a week or so ago that the Phillies have already asked Iguchi if he's willing to play third, and he turned them down.


ZiPS doesn't try and read the manager's or the GM's mind.

It takes the players accumulated statistics in the majors and minors, adjusts for age, ballpark, and the player's development, weights the most recent years, and than give a prediction.

It isn't saying that Zagurski will be the 3rd best bullpen arm, only that if you look at his numbers in context, he would (on average) post around a 4.00 ERA if given the chance.

I really don't see it as being non-sensical at all. ZiPS like Zagurski waaay more than Castro or Smith, and I think most Beerleaguers would agree with that.

I don't see a 4.00 ERA from him (or 4.17 from Mateo) as being much of a leap.

The question of whether Gillick or Manuel lets those players onto the field, however, is a different question.

Plus it increasingly looks like Romero will go elsewhere because the Phils are under the delusion he will sign for low-dollars.

MG, where are you seeing this? I was unaware of any contract offers or suggestions from the Phillies on what Romero is worth.

"Scouts are comparing me to Woody Williams."

Phillies scouts, or scouts who know what the hell they're talking about?

They say I'm toolsy.

ae- I looked on lists from several sources and he is not listed among the Phillies free agents. I agree with you on what was reported, I just question how much of what is reported has anything to do with the truth.

On a misc. note, the GMs approved instant replay for HR calls. I have mixed feelings about using instant replay in baseball but this situation is a no-brainer.

Frankly, I kind of wonder why it has taken baseball for long to utilize superior technology to an umpire's eyes in this case anyways. Sadly, it probably won't be implemented until 2009.

The Schilling TV appearance on the Versus channel is at 10:00 PM EST tonight. I guess I'll watch this channel first the first and last time, unless Dennis Miller decides to interview Chase Utley, J-Roll, Ryan Howard or Cole Hamels. I'll see what else is on when he interviews Abe Nunez or Adam Eaton.

Mark - I think the reason might be that Iguchi's contract (like most Japanese players') is kind of different. he only becomes a free agent this year if the Phillies do not sign him to an extension - they're not allowed to offer him arbitration. and since they technically have until the 12th to negotiate that extension, Iguchi might not be allowed to file for free agency until the deadline passes. I don't know if that's the case; just guessing here.

CJ - Just from the initial reports and from what I have heard from Eskin. Gillick just don't seem thrilled with the prospect of signing a FA reliever to a 3-yr deal even if the Phils don't have a viable alternative in this case.

Prediction - Gillick isn't going to sign a FA starting pitcher this year. He is going to make another trade this offseason for a starting pitcher that has some upside/risk too. Wouldn't shock me if Garland ends up here or even a guy like Jennings if the Phils' medical staff gives him a clean bill of health.


I have not seen any speculation as far as Romero goes, but I'd have to agree with MG that he won't be back. Like I said in the previuos thread, The Bosox re-sign their guys and the Phils don't. They just don't want to pay what the current market structure is. Based on Gillick's comments this morning, once again they're taking the small-market approach. That is not good and we will all be pissed once again with Gillick. He hasn't really shoen that he wants to go for it. Saying that upgrading 3B is not a priority is a joke. Gues what, he won't upgrade the pitching staff either. Nor will he re-sign Rowand.

Random musing here... Why not get Jason Smith as our utility guy? We already have Jason Smith and Jason Smith playing in Philly, so why not a third?

So we're basing our prediction on Romero on an Eskin article and the fact that the Red Sox re-signed Schilling?

Um... okay...

It sure is going to be interesting to see where the Phils spend their money with regard to pitching now that Schilling is no longer an option. They really need to go after their free agent targets early, not allowing them to slip away like last season.

Jason Smith = Bo Jackson.
Jason knows OPS+.

As for back-up middle utility player, why not Mark Loretta or Rob Mackowiak? Aaron Boone anyone? Miguel Cairo could be an option too, but he is only slightly better than Nunez anymore. I know he is older, but I'd throw some money at Mark Loretta just to get him. He can back up all 4 infield spots, plus be counted on in a pinch hitting role.

You can officially take me off the Jose Guillen boat. ESPN reports that he and Matt Williams purchased steroids and HGH. I don't expect his numbers to stay up.

On that note, it is kind of sad what has happened to Paul Byrd, but I have a hard time believing anything he says about medical treatment. Unfortunately, he was probably just another of the many people to get caught up in the steroid/HGH craze. I doubt we will be hearing much of anything about Byrd after this. He was a fringe pitcher to start with, and without the juice, he probably won't be able to get through many lineups. Its unfortunate, but I guess he did what he had to do to keep his career alive. I think that the league will get much younger in the years to come (Assuming baseball is actually serious about cracking down on PED's. Personally, I am not conviced that they are).

Congrats to MVP??? Jimmy Rollins for winning his first Gold Glove. Congrats to Aaron Rowand for his first one as well.

I think PG will trade for Crede because the Yanks are no longer interested (if they really ever WERE). Dontrelle is a goodrisk IMO,especially if they re-sign Rowan and offer Vic... Bourne won't get you Willis. Then signs like Geoff Blum and David Riske would be the last 2 things I'd expect Gillick to do .. I'd be fine with that group of moves

Gold Glovers! Both pleasant surprises, as far as I am concerned.

I just yelled at Shilling on his crappy blog. Everyone bombard it and tell him he's fat and to go to hell.

gee, thanks Jeff. you're truly a model for Phillies fans everywhere.

To Relieve 1986 again? My goodness!!!

Schmidt's MVP season. And finishing 20 games behind the Mets.

I'm predicting the Phillies finish tied with the Mets for the NL East with Glanville at the helm. Especially since Babooey is the manager of the Muts.

check it out

Rowand and J-Roll win Gold Gloves

But..... under MLB web site it has Aaron Roward's team listed as San Diego. Anyone think that Mike Cameron was supposed to go here but since the steroids scandal they took his name out?

link below

just read that Riccardi is entertaining offers for A. J. Burnett. If he's healthy and pitches well, he can opt-out after 2008.. If he gets hurt, the Jays are stuck w/him for 24 million for 2009/2010.. Jays lose either way.. What would it take to land him here??

Why would you even want Schilling here, Jeff?

The guy left because we weren't going to "win" for him, and yeah, he's had success elsewhere, but.. I dunno. That's just always bugged me.

Even since then, he's seemed to have a certain degree of acrimony with the city since we hated his best pal Francona.

Psft I say.

Comcast Sportsnet is replaying the crazy late August day game between the Phils and Mets right now.

If the Phils fail to re-sign Romero before he hits the open market you can kiss him goodbye. That would not only be disgraceful, but it will reinforce the belief that the team is unwilling to pay for talent yet they will overpay for crap (Eaton). Any goodwill earned by winning the NL East could be gone by the season's first snowfall.

since when does a career 1.5 WHIP and 4.3 ERA from a reliever equal talent? what would be "disgraceful" would be overpaying for a mediocre LOOGY who got spectacularly lucky for a few months.

I've said it before and I 'll say it again:

I like J.C. Romero, but I think Ray King is a better value.

That Gold Glove is a long time in coming for Jimmy Rollins.

I agree that Schilling is no great loss. Would have been nice, but a 41-year-old pitcher with a .500 record and physical inconsistencies would not have accorded excitement in my book. Judging from Gillick's comments today, they intend to trade for pitching. If the White Sox don't try for Rowand, they might have more than a small interest in Michael Bourn.

I can't believe I get to root for the '86 Phillies all over again. Before '93, that was my only experience of a winning team, and the three-game sweep of the Mets when they were poised to win the Eastern Division at the Vet was the highlight of my life as a fan. I lived and died with every pitch that year. The near-perfect game by Don Carman. Steve Bedrosian and Kent Tekulve. Schmidt's MVP. The release of Carlton and the emergence of Bruce Ruffin. An electrifying 8-1 homestand in May. A 19-1 blowout of the Cubs at home. Shane Rawley in the All-Star Game. Von Hayes and Glenn Wilson tearing it up in the second half. Juan Samuel hitting a grand slam off Todd Worrell with 2 outs in the 9th with the Phils down by 3 runs at Busch Stadium. Marvin Freeman and Greg Legg making big September impressions. An obscure moment which for some reason I haven't forgotten: pitcher Jeff Bittiger hitting a homerun in his first major-league at-bat in Pittsburgh. "Get the Phillies feeling, you can see it, you can hear it, you can feel it, it's alive." That was a terrible team jingle. Felske probably wrote it.

Sorry, the floodgates of nostalgia just opened up on me...

As Ray King waistline has expanded the past couple of seasons, his peripheral stats have declined. There are a few decent LOOGYs on the FA market but King isn't one of them.

schilling had every right to want to leave in 2000. the phillies were an absolute joke and his talent was being pissed away by the andy ashbys and desi relafords of the world. we chased a future hall of famer out of town (one who stuck it out here longer than any reasonable person could expect). it's the phils fault they lost him in the first place, and that he won't be retiring a phillie.

speaking of bad trades, anybody notice who won the gold glove for second base in the AL? Sure would look at third right now...instead we're talking about mike lamb.

You can count me out of the Ray King boat. I actually think that Ray is the boat. He rents out his stomach for college frat parties and wedding receptions. All reports I have heard suggest that the rental space has plenty of room but has some problems with stability. One dissatisfied customer described it: "Like having a wedding reception on a floor of jello." I'm not sure where that fits into baseball application, but considering the source, I doubt it s fitting into anything but a size 42-44 pair of jeans.

King and Alfonseca have been due for a while, perhaps they could both give birth on the same team. I'm not sure how that would work out on the injury list.

I'm also blaming this Curt Schilling deal for ruining my chances of getting a date with Jessica Biel. I'm going to have her people get in touch with my people (me), and iron out the edges of this date thing. I think it is time for me to hire Scott Boras for continued negotiations.

Gold Gloves are almost a popularity contest. Glad to see that JRoll and Rowand won Glove Gloves but you could make the case that there were more deserving candidates at both positions.

Strong competition at SS with a bunch of strong defensive SS in the NL. Vizquel, Reyes, and Tulowitzki had better defensive years though than Rollins.

Much weaker competition at CF, but A. Jones and Beltran had slightly better years than Rowand this year. To Rowand's credit, I did think he played better defensively this year but him being healthy probably played a large factor.

Personally, I am surprised this team won two gold gloves. The '07 Phils were a stronger defensive team than '06 club but the '07 team was still only an average defensive team. The only player who deserved serious Gold Glove consideration was Victorino and even there Kearns and Franceour had slightly better defensive years.

Still, with Rowand in CF, JRoll at SS, Utley at 2b, and Ruiz at c, this team was definitely above average defensively up the middle. That fact kind of went under the radar last year.

MG & parker, I agree that King's weight is and should be a concern. However, the guy still has a live arm, has a nasty slider (just ask Utley and Howard) has very good splits against LH, and so far has proven durable.

The weight issue can be addressed through a clause in the contract - same as Schilling.

Billy Mac: One thing I noticed about ZIPs is how bad they are in terms of coming close to actual next-season stats. It's a fun exercise but of no predictive value.

Jason: Given the Daily News article on Hiroki Kuroda, it might be worth starting a new thread for him.

The photo of Kuroda on the back page is interesting because it shows his hand facing the outside of his body, thumb down after releasing a pitch in which he spun his hand counter-clockwise at the release point. This is exactly what Tug McGraw looked like when he threw his screwball.

A little research shows that Kuroda has fastball, slider, forkball, and shuuto, which is apparently the Japanese version of the screwball. He's played his whole career in a tiny bandbox of a ballpark and managed to keep the ball in the park, probably because forkballs and screwgies are sinkers.

He's 32, so you can't build your staff around him and because of no posting fee, the competition will be stiff. But he seems like a great fit for CBP.

Clout: I'm working on it.

"One thing I noticed about ZIPs is how bad they are in terms of coming close to actual next-season stats."

Baseball Prospectus did a post-season examination of pre-season projections. ZIPs was the second best for hitters & middle of the pack for pitchers.



Of course, this may just be showing how poor ALL of the projections are...

that Hiroshima ballpark sure is tiny - looks like it's 300' to the corners and 380' to dead center. pictures would seem to support that impression.

also check out that all-dirt infield. is that common in Japan, Jason?

stjoe, anecdotally I've also noticed that while ZiPS isn't bad for hitters it's pretty terrible for pitchers.

It's not. Hiroshima Stadium is a very old facility. Built in the 30s I believe. It was one of the stops on our trip. I'll post a better photo a little later. The size of the infield make the dimensions a little misleading, but it's still a tiny park.

ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reports that teams are talking about aquiring Jason Bay. I'm not sure where he would fit, but I like his upside (Despite the knee injury that slowed him down). It also mentioned that my personal favorite, Rocco Baldelli, has been mentioned in trade talks as well. Good news as long as the talks for Baldelli include the Phillies. I believe that the hiring of Lamar may have an affect on the interest in Baldelli, either positive or negative. I hope that his assesment is mostly positive, after all he was at least partly reponsible for drafting the guy.

ae: You're right on the mark with those dimensions. 300 down the lines, under 400 in center.

On this news that the Phillies are interested in Hiroki Kuroda, color me skeptical. The Phillies' modus operandi is to name drop. They throw big names out there to make it look like they're aiming high. But when those big names want big money, the Phillies always drop out of the bidding. Then they end up with garbage like Adam Eaton & Jose Mesa.

I don't know if this came from someone in the Phillies' organization or if it was just a number thrown out there by a sportswriter, but one of the articles suggested that Kuroda could be gotten for around $7M per year. No way. Not in this FA market, where Kuroda will probably be the best guy available. $12M per year is more like it. If the Phillies think they can get Kuroda for $7M per year, then they're delusional.

stjoehawk - Nice post. Pretty much confirms what I have seen from projection rankings in general - pretty solid on a hitter once they have some kind of MLB track record (say 500 ABs but this would be an interesting analysis) but that pitching projections are really a crap shoot due to several reasons (e.g., health, etc).

"stjoe, anecdotally I've also noticed that while ZiPS isn't bad for hitters it's pretty terrible for pitchers."

I agree ae, I think they mess up pitchers because they don't account for playing time or injury history.

In terms of *individual* players, it is about as good as any prediction, but looked at from a macro perspective (for example, the Phillies bullpen seems to be stronger than the rotation), it can be illuminating.

I imagine its difficult to grow grass there after we dropped a nuclear warhead on it in WW II.

I agree kdon; if you take ZiPS with a grain of salt it's still a useful yardstick. and I also suspect that injury history may be its biggest problem, at least based on the ZiPS projections for Gordon in '07 and '08.

b_a_p, I have the same concern that the "interest" in Kuroda is just smokescreen. on the other hand it's nice to finally see at least a token acknowledgment of Japanese players. not sure where you're getting the $7M figure, I haven't seen Gillick or anyone saying they think they can get him for that. I don't think $12M is very likely either though, even in the market today.

The reason ZiPS and PECOTA tend not to come up with good pitching projections isn't that their formulas suck, its that pitching is simply too variable to accurately predict. Injuries tend to hit pitchers for longer and more seriously, a hitters OPS is based off 500 AB rather than 200 (or less IP), etc. Also of note is whether the projection systems are trying to measure ERA or something like FIP, since ERA tends to be more variable

The amount of predictability ends up being:

Which would suggest it is easier to fill bullpen holes with a bunch of junk and hope that some gets hot rather than rotation holes

Olney said in his blog today that we're not one of the front-runners for Kuroda.

Dave, I like your rankings. I would say that's also the order for scouts or casual observers.

The thing that ZiPS does better than people however, is that it looks at the peripherals of pitchers, not just ERA.

That's why it's so sour on Kendrick this year (4.90 FIPs last year).

The Phils are more likely to bring back Jon Leiber than get Kuroda. Notice Gillick's MO here. Each off-season since he's been the GM he sets high goals, then as the off-season wears on he back-tracks and tells phans exactly what they don't want to hear, that what he wants to do is tough because every team is looking for the same thing.

Last year he wanted a hitter to protect Howard, didn't get one. Burrell put a great second half together and Gillick still wants to trade him rather than extend him. We had to settle for Werth , Dobbs, Helms etc. Werth and Dobbs of course turned out ok.

After this season, he talked about updgrading the pitching staff and 3B and yesterday he does an about-face and says 3B is not a priority. What is he smoking? He syas he will bring in a late-inning defensive specialist. Any idea who? How about Abraham Nunez at a lower rate than what they would have had to pay him which was $2 million.

Today he's says upgrading the pitching staff is gonna be hard. Off course it is. Especially is you're not willing to pay top dollar. Lohse? Gone. Romero? Gone. Rowand, who just won a gold glove? 95% gone.

Look, everyone has their own opinion about things and sometimes we're right. Sometimes we're wrong. But we are not stupid. We can all see what's going to happen. And I am not buying it.

Gillick focuses on a lot of big names and gets none. Then, I get bashed here for being a pessimist and bashing him. I'll be the first gut to admit I was wrong about something, But this GM just drives me nuts. He'll get nothing but marginal players at best IMO. And I hope some of you can tell me something to the contrary.

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EST. 2005

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