Wednesday 9 January 2013

Blue Jays 2013 ZiPS Projections

Now that I'm done being mad for today, let's get down to the real junk.  Dan Szymborski released his 2013 ZiPS projections for the Blue Jays this morning-- an event that I have been waiting for for what seems like days.  It's actually been about 8 days.  Because that's when the first one was released.  K.

These are released on Fangraphs this year, as opposed to most years, where they are put on Baseball Think Factory, and you can also get a hold of Dan on twitter @DSzymborski.  I suggest any questions you have, you relay towards him.

I will begin (and end, really) my preamble by saying that a lot of these projections, especially WAR, are based on playing time, and playing time hardly ever goes as planned-- injuries and gaping performance dropoffs/explosions are really, really hard to predict.  Salt grains, people.

Let's not forget that a guy like Vlad Guerrero is listed on this ZiPS, when, in reality, he is not here at all.  Same with Omar Vizquel, same with Darren (note: Buzz?!?!?!) Oliver, same with Kelly Johnson.  Ryan Langerhans and Jack Cust aren't both getting 350+ PA's, and... wait, are they actually in the organization?  That's a real question regarding Cust, actually.  So yeah, that's kind of what I mean here-- let's just look at the guys that we know are going to be around and leave it at that, huh?  Be careful if you're just adding up WAR.


  • Jose Bautista: .266/.391/.557 over 491 PA's, 4.6 WAR.  Let's hope we get more PA's than that, but those numbers are right in line with the guy we've come to know and love.  His PA number is down since he missed about a third of last season due to injury, but he's been fairly durable over the previous two years so there shouldn't be too much to worry about.
  • Jose Reyes: .293/.343/.450 over 613 PA's, 4.3 WAR, 34 SB's.
  • Brett Lawrie: .275/.332/.461 over 573 PA's, 4.3 WAR
  • Edwin: .273/.357/.508 over 529 PA's, 3.3 WAR, 28 HR's.  Dan has EE listed as a DH, and not as a 1B, which should alter the WAR total a bit.  Assuming slightly below average defense at 1B, the WAR total should rise a little.
  • Melky Cabrera: .294/.339/.455, 2.5 WAR.  He has Melky with .320 babip projection, which is I dunno.  Maybe he's just one of those guys who hits/runs well enough to be a high babip guy?
  • Colby Rasmus: .242/.311/.438, 588 PA's, 2.2 WAR, 23 HR's.  Could be worse from a CF.
  • JP Arencibia: .233/.282/.457, 464 PA's, 2.0 WAR.
    • Josh Thole also has 400+ PA's on his projection, with another 1.1 WAR.  I really don't hate a very, very loose platoonsmanship of catcher this year, to be quite honest.
  • Adam Lind: .263/.315/.451, 556 PA's, 1.4 WAR.  He'll get fewer PA's because he's incompetent vs. LHP, but this seems reasonable if he gets platooned correctly.
  • Maicer Izturis: .270/.331/.373, 365 PA's, 1.1 WAR.  Should see 500 PA's, if not more, assuming health.  His comp is Wally Backman, which is fucking awesome.
Rajai Davis and Emilio Bonifacio make up another WAR or so with their backup+baserunner skills, and we've still got to figure out what we're going to get as far as backup infielders, unless they just have Boni play literally everywhere.  Not sure if Cooper is going to be in the mix or not, but a lefty off the bench can't hurt.  ZiPS gives Anthony Gose 662 PA's and 2.0 WAR, which he just isn't going to come close to getting unless an outfielder goes down in the first week of the season and opposing teams counter with RHP after RHP.

That ballparks offensive WAR at 28 wins.

I'll put the starters in, and then toss in some interesting ones beyond that.  Samples are tiny, and we're not even all that sure of the roles people will be playing.  JA Happ and Brett Cecil certainly aren't going to find a ton of innings unless there's an injury, as they'll be coming out of the bullpen (hopefully), and I think Brad Lincoln's SP days are behind him as well.  Numbers are there for Drabek, Perez and Hutch if you want to look, but TJ.
  • RA Dickey: 3.89 ERA, 4.06 FIP, 194 IP, 4.0 WAR.  I'm pretty sure the system regresses him as a 38 year old, so I wouldn't expect such a sharp decrease in production, especially with the innings pitched.
  • Josh Johnson: 3.68/3.55, 149 IP, 3.4 WAR.
  • Brandon Morrow: 3.97/3.78, 154 IP, 23.7% K-rate!  3 WAR
  • Ricky Romero: 4.42/4.50, 187 IP, 4BB/9IP. 2.6 WAR
  • Mark Buehrle: 4.38/4.40, 168 IP, 2.5 WAR.
  • Casey Janssen: 3.28/3.21, 60 IP.
  • Esmil Rogers: 4.28/3.86, 8.89 K/9IP
We're looking at about 17 WAR out of the pitchers with Oliver's departure, barring any changes.  Conservatively, this club projects as a 45 WAR team, which, based on FG's WAR system, puts the Jays at around 88 wins.

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