Three days later, and there’s a host of changes already made, which you can see here.
I spent six hours yesterday going through the pitcher projection codes, and did track down a couple of bugs, mostly in the way that the BABIP numbers (and thus hits) would track for each pitcher. This dramatically changes some pitchers, while others are barely changed; the main effect on the standings is that everything got narrower. The extreme teams moved 4-5 games back towards the middle, but I feel better about the way they look.
One flaw I noted – which I am guilty of every year – was that I was too conservative on the playing time for known, no doubt about it starters, listing too many guys at 80 or 85% instead of 85-90%. 90 is as high as I go. Cal Ripken, during the Streak, might have gotten a 95. Maybe. I went through and bounced a lot of hitters up a notch.
Surprised by the Tigers’ making the deal with Prince Fielder. I rushed him in to the projection in the simplest way – he gets the 1B slot, Cabrera gets the DH. I’m intrigued by the idea of Cabrera getting some time at third – its a bad-looking set of guys over there, currently. That will deserve a closer look. But it really solidifies the Tigers as Central favorites. Prior to the signing, I had them at 82 wins, with the White Sox at 80 and Indians at 78. Afterwards, they’re up to 88, while every other team in the Central is down 1, so they go from +2 to +9 over their nearest rival.
From the comments, SG says:
Clay, are the relief->starter projections adjusted for role? It seems like Chris Sale, Neftali Feliz, Aceves and Bard are projected to perform at the same rates they’d projected to have as relievers, but with more innings as starters. Relievers moved to the rotation should see a degradation in rate of performance, something like 15-20% higher in ERA. If that’s already in there, nevermind.
The master spreadsheet was making those role adjustments, but it turns out that the data being sent to the output was reading from the unadjusted area, not the adjusted area. That’s been fixed.
Slugging does look strangely low across the board for TB. Almost everyone is about 30-60 points lower than their zips projection. You may want to check those numbers.
There are a couple of ways to go with projections. The first time around, I ran them with adjustments built in so that the sum total of the AL projections, for instance, would equal the AL numbers from 2011. The slugging average of the AL last year was .408; the projections came out to .428. The corrections then went and knocked 20-30 points off everybody across the board.
That is a common problem with projections; they tend to be optimistic. The way the optimism fails, though, is not with an across the board cut, but because specific individuals fall dramatically short – think Ryan Zimmerman, Hanley Ramirez, or Stephen Drew last year. This time I ran the numbers without those adjustments, so the figures for individuals come up. On the downside, though, the numbers are now unbalanced – the sum totals for the hitters will not match the sum totals of the pitchers.
Any chance to get all the player projections linked in one excel sheet?
They’re now on the projections home page.
Anna says: Hi Clay, for the Giants, a couple of things stood out:
– Brandon Crawford is the projected starting SS, not Mike Fontenot
– Bochy-endorsed RF Nate Schierholtz needs a projection!
The Schierholtz thing was another bug – he was in there, but the NL players on each team with the most PA without leading in any position did not get printed out – a kind of DH mixup. And I did see Bochy’s comments on Crawford, I just missed adding them in from an even earlier version (I first set the master spreadsheet up around Thanksgiving). I still have my doubts about him lasting for the whole season, but I did go ahead and reverse the PT between those two.
A few comments on the Mets:
* I think the 72 win outcome is reasonable, and as a Mets fans, I’ll sadly take it.
* Barring injury, I’d be shocked if Ronny Cedeno gets 2x the starts at SS as Ruben Tejada.
* One of the Mets front office staff — I think DePodesta? — has said that the way the team intends to treat SP prospects is by giving them one-way tickets to NYC. That is, when a SP comes up, it is with the expectation that he not go back to AAA. I think you’ll see more of Hefner and Schwindin and less of Familia and perhaps Mejia. You may also see some Matt Harvey, if the team thinks he can go from September call-up to Opening Day 2013 rotation. But that’s a minor nit.
* Another minor nit: Beato almost certainly will not make the team out of camp.
My take on Cedeno is that he has “established starter” attached to his name, even though he sucks. Second glance does show that I probably was hasty in setting all the time to Ronny, so I will be revisiting that. And if the Mets are indeed tracking towards a low-70s (or, revised, mid-70s) figure, they’ll be a little more willing to let a guy who perhaps should be in AAA to stick around.
While everything on this site is free, a donation through Paypal to help offset costs would be greatly appreciated. -Clay