Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Vorpal Swords, Part II

Quick note here: I've finally posted the answers to my Friday Diversion for those of you interested. Sorry it took me so long, but my body's still recovering from the twin hits of a weekend of skiing and a bout of the flu. And yes, I did ski even though I was sick and I still had a spectacular time. Anyhoo...

Jacob Luft now turns his attention to the NL rotations (using DIPS too). He ranks 'em, but let's take a look at their changes and PECOTA projections for next year.

We're going to play by the same rules as last time: Only the top five starters will be considered for VORP purposes. I know this sucks for the Nats who only had one pitcher, the rubber-armed Livan Hernandez, made 30+ starts but I really don't care. For fairness purposes though, I have listed the number of starts each pitcher made in 2004. Again, we're looking for gross differences here.

We'll start with the home towne team:

Mets

'04 Rotation GS '04 VORP '05 Rotation ERA dERA '05 VORP
Tom Glavine 33 42 1. Pedro Martinez 3.9 3.7 53.3
Steve Trachsel 33 25.8 2. Tom Glavine 3.6 4.41 12.2
Al Leiter 30 46.2 3. Kris Benson 4.31 3.87 13.6
Jae Seo 21 8.3 4. Steve Trachsel 4 4.91 9.3
Matt Ginter 14 3.4 5. Victor Zambrano 4.37 5.19 4.7
Totals 131 125.7


93.1

Losses: Al Leiter, Jae Seo, Matt Ginter
Additions: Pedro Martinez, Kris Benson, Victor Zambrano
Lucky Guys: Trachsel, Glavine
VORP Differential: -32.6

Braves

'04 RotationGS'04 VORP'05 RotationERA dERA '05 VORP
Russ Ortiz 34 33.1 1. John Smoltz 2.76 2.75 20.8
John Thomson 33 34 2. Tim Hudson 3.53 3.58 31.8
Jaret Wright 32 40.3 3. Mike Hampton 4.28 4.47 9.5
Mike Hampton 29 24.4 4. John Thomson 3.72 3.93 16.3
Paul Byrd 19 16.2 5. Horacio Ramirez 2.39 5.01 7.4
Totals 147 148


85.8

Losses: Russ Ortiz, Jaret Wright, Paul Byrd
Additions: Tim Hudson, John Smoltz, Horatio Ramirez
Lucky Guys: Ramirez
VORP Differential: -62.2
(Note: Smoltz is projected here as a reliever. His VORP will probably double when projected for a starter's innings)

Marlins

'04 RotationGS'04 VORP'05 RotationERA dERA '05 VORP
Dontrelle Willis 32 27.2 1. Al Leiter 3.21 4.98 14.9
Carl Pavano 31 62.4 2. Josh Beckett 3.79 3.7 32.3
Josh Beckett 26 28.3 3. A.J. Burnett 3.68 3.39 23.3
Brad Penny 21 34.1 4. Dontrelle Willis 4.02 4.02 31.2
A.J. Burnett 19 26.8 5. Ismael Valdez 5.19 5.84 4.7
Totals 129 178.8


106.4

Losses: Carl Pavano, Brad Penny
Additions: Al Leiter, Ismael Valdez
Lucky Guys: Leiter
VORP Differential: -72.4

Phillies

'04 RotationGS'04 VORP'05 RotationERA dERA '05 VORP
Eric Milton 34 18.7 1. Jon Lieber 4.33 3.77 19.1
Brett Myers 31 -0.3 2. Randy Wolf 4.28 4.5 20.9
Kevin Millwood 25 9.3 3. Vicente Padilla 4.53 4.46 17.6
Randy Wolf 23 14.5 4. Cory Lidle 4.9 4.47 13.8
Vicente Padilla 20 10.9 5. Brett Myers 5.52 5.02 17.3
Totals 133 53.1


88.7

Losses: Eric Milton, Kevin Millwood
Additions: Jon Lieber, Cory Lidle
Lucky Guys: No one really
VORP Differential: +35.6

Nationals

'04 RotationGS'04 VORP'05 RotationERA dERA '05 VORP
Livan Hernandez 35 58.3 1. Livan Hernandez 3.6 4.02 30.7
John Patterson 19 5 2. Tony Armas Jr. 4.88 5.73 6.6
Zach Day 19 21.7 3. Tomo Ohka 3.4 4.61 18.7
Sunny Kim 17 6.5 4. Esteban Loaiza 5.7 4.91 17.9
Tony Armas 16 5.1 5. Zach Day 3.93 4.68 11.2
Totals 106 96.6


85.1

Losses: John Patterson, Sunny Kim
Additions: Tomo Ohka, Esteban Loaiza
Lucky Guys: Armas, Ohka
VORP Differential: -11.5

2005 Summary

1. Marlins 106.4 (-72.4)
2. Mets 93.1 (-32.6)
3. Phillies 88.7 (+35.6)
4. Braves 85.8 (-62.2)*
5. Nationals 85.1 (-11.5)

*Expect this to rise about 20 or so once Smoltz' new projection comes out.

So what can we say about this?

1) The Phillies rotation in 2004 was like the Mets lineup: So bad, they have no where to go but up in 2005. In fact, they're the only NL East team projected to improve by VORP. Over at RLYW, I was quite surprised at how well the Phillies did in a simulation of the 2005 season. I'm now starting to see why.

2) PECOTA projects a huge year for Pedro Martinez and doesn't think much of Kris Benson and Victor Zambrano. Rick Peterson has to come through here. Even with an off-year, Mike Cameron had a significant effect on the Mets pitching staff if you look at the dERA of Steve Trachsel, Al Leiter, and Tom Glavine. This of course, bodes well for the Mets pitching staff in general and doesn't bode very well for the good Senator.

3) Livan Hernandez is literally carrying a team on his shoulder. And if it were to fall off...

4) If everyone stays healthy, the Marlins could have a scary good rotation. That's a big if, though.

5) I'll factor John Smoltz' projection in when it comes out...and I'll bet that the Braves will jump to the top of the rotation list. But not by much.

So where do we stand overall? Let's add the VORP totals for the lineups and rotations.


Rotation Lineup Total
Marlins 106.4 199.5 305.9
Phillies 88.7 216.8 305.5
Mets 93.1 207 300.1
Braves 85.8 180.9 266.7
Nationals 85.1 129 214.1

Again, the Braves will probably go up by about 20 or so once Smoltz is factored in, making the top four slots awfully tight. All else being equal, it's going to come down to health this year.

Of course, everything else isn't equal and that's why I'll look at the bullpens and benches of the NL East once the rosters are set.

2 Comments:

At 1:28 PM, Blogger mr. met said...

Good Job...but do you think Smoltz is worth another 20 starting? I don't think he's started since the 90's. I just do not see him coming in throwing 200 innings and dominaing.

 
At 6:11 PM, Blogger Jay said...

Thanks Mike!

While I certainly have doubts on Smoltz's durability, PECOTA's current projection on him is only for 76 innings.

Doubling that, I figure 152 innings for a VORP around 40 is probably where he'll end up.

Of course, if he collapses next year, it's likely the Braves will as well. As I say to myself every year, it's gotta happen sometime.

 

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