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Friday, March 27, 2009

5 Questions - Cincinnati Reds

As is appropriate for this time of year, I've posted my most optimistic take on the Reds yet over at the Hardball Times.

What I tried to do in this piece is to do a comprehensive projection of the Reds ballclub and use that as a basis of looking forward at this coming season. This is kind of an extension to my recent pieces on 2009 catchers and 2009 opening day outfielders, but extended to the entire team. It addresses many of the very reasonable and problematic concerns that folks had about the outfield study in a manner that I think is pretty reasonable.

The results were surprising, to say the least, especially on offense:
Overall, after working through the projections and forcing the plate appearances to match last years' Reds, my estimate for 2009 Reds offense was.... 25 runs above average. If the NL average is 734 runs scored per team, as it was last year, that would put the Reds at 759 runs scored. That would have ranked sixth in the league in 2008. And this is from a team that scored just 704 runs last year with a partial season of Adam Dunn. Granted, if you adjust for park effects, you should cull 15 or so runs off of this total. But even so, most of us think of the Reds as a below-average hitting team these days. These data indicate that this isn't the case.
All rate stats are built upon CHONE, but I assigned playing time via a process that is part objective and part intuition. The article has a description of these methods at its end. The total projected plate appearances are matched to last year's team PA's, while the innings pitched are matched to last year's IP.

In the interest of showing my work, here are projected statistics for all players on this imaginary Reds team of mine:
Hitters PT-Coef PA AB H 2B 3B HR BB SO HBP SB CS AVG OBP SLG wOBA lwts RAR FLD PosAdj WAR
Brandon Phillips 100% 594 550 149 27 4 22 38 95 6 20 6 0.271 0.325 0.455 0.338 7.5 25.5 6.4 2.0 3.6
Joey Votto 100% 576 512 146 31 2 24 62 115 2 11 5 0.285 0.365 0.494 0.373 21.8 39.3 2.7 -9.7 3.4
Jay Bruce 100% 536 493 136 26 4 27 40 139 3 10 5 0.276 0.334 0.509 0.361 15.5 31.8 1.7 -5.4 3.0
Edwin Encarnacion 100% 561 499 140 31 1 23 54 94 8 5 1 0.281 0.360 0.485 0.368 19.6 36.7 -12.1 1.9 2.8
Ramon Hernandez 100% 467 425 113 22 1 16 37 63 5 1 0 0.266 0.332 0.435 0.336 4.1 18.3 -3.7 7.8 2.4
Alex Gonzalez 100% 432 400 103 23 1 12 28 74 4 2 1 0.258 0.313 0.410 0.317 -3.3 9.8 0.0 4.4 1.5
Willy Taveras 100% 543 502 137 22 3 2 35 82 6 39 9 0.273 0.328 0.341 0.303 -7.9 8.6 2.5 1.8 1.4
Jonny Gomes 74% 327 282 72 15 1 18 40 86 5 7 3 0.255 0.357 0.507 0.373 12.7 22.6 -7.1 -3.3 1.3
Chris Dickerson 75% 375 329 78 15 4 12 43 120 2 13 4 0.238 0.330 0.419 0.330 1.5 12.9 1.7 -3.8 1.2
Jeff Keppinger 57% 294 271 80 16 1 4 22 18 1 2 1 0.297 0.353 0.408 0.339 2.7 11.6 -2.3 1.0 1.1
Ryan Hanigan 43% 163 145 38 7 0 2 17 23 2 0 0 0.262 0.345 0.362 0.321 -1.0 4.0 0.0 2.7 0.7
Jerry Hairston Jr. 74% 248 226 60 13 1 4 19 34 3 7 2 0.265 0.328 0.395 0.321 -0.9 6.6 1.5 -2.5 0.6
Danny Richar 29% 153 140 37 8 1 4 12 26 1 3 1 0.261 0.321 0.418 0.324 -0.2 4.4 0.0 0.5 0.5
Norris Hopper 37% 140 130 38 6 1 1 9 14 1 4 1 0.290 0.339 0.364 0.316 -1.2 3.0 1.9 -1.4 0.4
Adam Rosales 29% 143 131 33 8 1 4 10 31 2 2 1 0.254 0.313 0.426 0.322 -0.3 4.0 -1.5 0.5 0.3
Paul Janish 29% 140 127 30 7 1 2 12 26 1 1 0 0.233 0.305 0.350 0.294 -3.7 0.5 0.2 1.4 0.2
Wilkin Castillo 21% 93 89 22 5 0 1 4 14 1 2 1 0.249 0.288 0.354 0.284 -3.3 -0.4 0.0 1.6 0.1
Pitchers 6% 326 313 39 7 0 1 12 108 0 1 1 0.124 0.159 0.157 0.146 -39.0 -29.1 0.0 0.0 -3.1
Totals
6110 5564 1450 288 30 179 493 1163 53 131 42 0.261 0.327 0.420 0.328 25 210 -8 0 21

PT-Coef is a playing time coefficient that I used to adjust time for each player. lwts is relative to average, and RAR is a conversion of that number to replacement level (using 2.0 wins/season as replacement in the NL). FLD is Rally's fielding projection, PosAdj are Tom Tango's position adjustment numbers based the designated CHONE position (I did change Hairston to an OF). WAR is the sum of RAR, FLD, and PosAdj.

None of the offensive numbers are park adjusted (i.e. they are given as expected to be seen playing half of one's games in GABP)--this is because I wanted to directly compare them to 2008 raw numbers. But that means that the WAR values, in particular, are overestimates of value if you wanted to take them and convert them to
You'll note that the smallest number of PA's went to Castillo with 93. Most "real" teams have a lot of players in the 10-30 range by the end of the season, and they don't tend to be good performances. I sort of think of Castillo's and maybe Janish's line as essentially taking all of those performances and lumping them together. So I don't think that's a huge problem here, though I could be wrong..

Now the pitchers:
Pitchers G GS IP ERA ER R H HR BB SO HB RAR
Edinson Volquez 30 30 166 3.58 66 71 138
16 78 170 9 34
Aaron Harang 29 29 193 4.01 86 93 192
26 50 162 5 31
Bronson Arroyo 30 30 188 4.40 92 99 196
24 62 143 7 21
Johnny Cueto 27 27 146 4.19 68 74 138
21 54 130 9 19
Micah Owings 20 20 111 4.29 53 57 109
14 39 86 10 13
Homer Bailey 20 20 103 4.61 53 57 104
13 48 77 3 9
Francisco Cordero 65 0 64 3.38 24 26 54 5 28 69 2 7
Bill Bray 62 0 62 3.48 24 26 54 6 25 65 2 5
Jared Burton 60 0 68 3.97 30 32 63 7 30 60 3 2
Mike Lincoln 42 0 45 4.00 20 22 44 5 16 36 2 2
Nick Masset 49 0 57 3.95 25 27 56 5 22 47 2 2
Matthew Maloney 2 2 12 4.34 6 6 11 2 4 10 1 2
Ramon A Ramirez 2 2 10 4.38 5 5 9 1 5 8 0 1
Arthur Rhodes 44 0 31 3.77 13 14 28 2 15 31 1 1
Daniel Herrera 42 0 49 4.41 24 26 50 7 17 37 2 1
Daryl Thompson 2 2 10 4.73 5 6 11 2 4 7 0 1
Pedro Viola 13 0 15 4.91 8 9 15 2 8 13 1 -1
Dave Weathers 60 0 62 4.35 30 32 63 6 26 40 3 -1
Josh Roenicke 51 0 50 4.50 25 27 49 7 24 47 2 -1

RAR in this case is straight from Rally's tables (prorated for innings), and so it should be park-neutral. He also (somehow) adjusts for fielding, and given how close the Reds' forecasted team is to average in the field (it should be just a bit below average), I see no real payoff to trying to do any further adjustments. This rotation, if it lives up to these numbers, would be freaking fantastic. Let's hope it at least comes close!

Anyway, that at least should help you see where these data are coming from.s.

You'll note that the smallest number of PA's went to Castillo with 93. Most "real" teams have a lot of players in the 10-30 range by the end of the season, and they don't tend to be good performances. I sort of think of Castillo's and maybe Janish's line as essentially taking all of those performances and lumping them together. So I don't think that's a huge problem here, though I could be wrong..

Now the pitchers:
Pitchers G GS IP ERA ER R H HR BB SO HB RAR
Edinson Volquez 30 30 166 3.58 66 71 138
16 78 170 9 34
Aaron Harang 29 29 193 4.01 86 93 192
26 50 162 5 31
Bronson Arroyo 30 30 188 4.40 92 99 196
24 62 143 7 21
Johnny Cueto 27 27 146 4.19 68 74 138
21 54 130 9 19
Micah Owings 20 20 111 4.29 53 57 109
14 39 86 10 13
Homer Bailey 20 20 103 4.61 53 57 104
13 48 77 3 9
Francisco Cordero 65 0 64 3.38 24 26 54 5 28 69 2 7
Bill Bray 62 0 62 3.48 24 26 54 6 25 65 2 5
Jared Burton 60 0 68 3.97 30 32 63 7 30 60 3 2
Mike Lincoln 42 0 45 4.00 20 22 44 5 16 36 2 2
Nick Masset 49 0 57 3.95 25 27 56 5 22 47 2 2
Matthew Maloney 2 2 12 4.34 6 6 11 2 4 10 1 2
Ramon A Ramirez 2 2 10 4.38 5 5 9 1 5 8 0 1
Arthur Rhodes 44 0 31 3.77 13 14 28 2 15 31 1 1
Daniel Herrera 42 0 49 4.41 24 26 50 7 17 37 2 1
Daryl Thompson 2 2 10 4.73 5 6 11 2 4 7 0 1
Pedro Viola 13 0 15 4.91 8 9 15 2 8 13 1 -1
Dave Weathers 60 0 62 4.35 30 32 63 6 26 40 3 -1
Josh Roenicke 51 0 50 4.50 25 27 49 7 24 47 2 -1

RAR in this case is straight from Rally's tables (prorated for innings), and so it should be park-neutral. He also (somehow) adjusts for fielding, and given how close the Reds' forecasted team is to average in the field (it should be just a bit below average), I see no real payoff to trying to do any further adjustments. This rotation, if it lives up to these numbers, would be freaking fantastic. Let's hope it at least comes close!

Anyway, that at least should help you see where these data are coming from.

Update: More discussion at RedsZone, RedReporter, and RedLegNation.