2013 ZiPS Projections – Cleveland Indians

Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections, which have typically appeared in the pages of Baseball Think Factory, are being released at FanGraphs this year. Below are the projections for the Cleveland Indians. Szymborski can be found on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

Other 2013 Projections: Angels / Astros / Athletics / Blue Jays / Braves / Brewers / Cardinals / Cubs / Diamondbacks / Dodgers / Giants / Mariners / Marlins / Mets / Nationals / Orioles / Padres / Phillies / Pirates / Rangers / Rays / Reds / Red Sox / Rockies / Royals / Tigers / Twins / White Sox / Yankees.

Batters
If you’re like the author, you’re hirsute in a way that make pets and small children demonstrably uncomfortable. You’re also a bit surprised by the competence of the Indians offense entering 2013. No Cleveland field player posted better than a 3.4 WAR in 2012; in fact, there are three players here — Carlos Santana (4.4), Michael Bourn (4.0), and Asdrubal Cabrera (3.7) — projected to surpass last year’s team-high mark. Six other players are forecast to post something between a 2.0 and 3.0 WAR.

A thing to note: both Michael Brantley and Drew Stubbs are projected as center fielders, where each spent the majority of 2012 defensively. Moving to the corners won’t affect their individual WAR projections, likely, but does mean that what they lose in runs to positional adjustment, they’re likely to regain in terms of runs saved afield. If we say that Brantley and Stubbs are roughly average center fielders, then it’s also fair to say they’re likely to save something like +10 runs defensively in either left or right field.

Pitchers
With regard to the Cleveland rotation, the author defers to SB Nation’s Grant Brisbee, who offered the following Precision Analysis shortly after inspecting the depth chart included further down in this post.

So far as the bullpen is concerned, Cleveland has a few reliable high-leverage arms in Chris Perez, Vinnie Pestano, and Joe Smith. After that triumvirate, however, the options are unclear. Left-hander Rich Hill, whom the club signed last week, has managed only 31.2 major-league innings since 2010, but has been quite good during them, striking out 36 batters. No other pitcher besides the four just mentioned receives a park-adjusted ERA or FIP projection better than league average.

Bench/Prospects
Outfielder Ezequiel Carrera enters his age-26 season — and, while his offensive ceiling is probably limited, ZiPS suggests that he defends and runs well enough to produce something not unlike an average major-league season. Twice ranked (in 2008 and -09) among the game’s top-30 prospects by Baseball America, a now 28-year-old Matt LaPorta enters the season with a career line of .238/.301/.393 (.276 BABIP) in 1068 major-league plate appearances. Nor does ZiPS forecast any sort of great departure from that level in 2013.

Depth Chart
Here’s a rough depth chart for the Indians, with rounded projected WAR totals for each player (click to embiggen):

Indians Depth

Ballpark graphic courtesy Eephus League. Credit to MLB Depth Charts for roster information.

Batters, Counting Stats

Player B Age PO PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS
Carlos Santana B 27 C 600 76 124 29 2 20 78 4 3
Michael Bourn L 30 CF 689 91 165 26 8 6 49 46 13
Asdrubal Cabrera B 27 SS 642 78 157 33 2 17 73 12 5
Jason Kipnis L 26 2B 609 80 139 24 6 14 71 18 4
Michael Brantley L 26 CF 641 78 159 31 5 7 57 19 7
Nick Swisher B 32 RF 592 66 128 30 1 19 71 1 2
Ezequiel Carrera L 26 CF 593 70 143 19 6 4 46 31 9
Mike Aviles R 32 SS 482 49 117 22 2 10 46 13 6
Lonnie Chisenhall L 24 3B 469 55 110 23 3 11 53 2 1
Drew Stubbs R 28 CF 603 77 119 19 3 14 47 33 8
Cord Phelps B 26 2B 601 63 133 27 4 10 56 6 6
Mark Reynolds R 29 3B 578 71 105 24 1 26 74 6 4
Yan Gomes R 25 C 392 36 83 21 1 10 46 2 0
Casey Kotchman L 30 1B 498 46 119 20 1 11 57 2 1
Nate Spears L 28 3B 458 50 93 20 3 9 41 6 2
Lou Marson R 27 C 331 36 65 14 2 2 24 6 2
Juan Diaz B 24 SS 581 55 125 23 3 9 54 5 3
Grady Sizemore L 30 CF 238 30 50 12 2 7 30 4 3
Ryan Rohlinger R 29 3B 440 42 86 17 1 7 40 2 2
Luis Hernandez B 29 SS 506 42 112 18 4 5 43 6 3
Ryan Raburn R 32 2B 361 38 77 20 1 10 35 2 2
Tim Fedroff L 26 LF 575 64 131 22 5 5 47 8 5
Chad Huffman R 28 RF 419 40 86 22 1 8 38 3 1
Chris McGuiness L 25 1B 462 39 92 19 0 11 46 1 2
Jeremy Hermida L 29 RF 339 33 71 14 1 8 33 2 0
Matt LaPorta R 28 1B 491 51 107 22 1 14 55 1 2
Mike McDade B 24 1B 577 54 128 23 1 14 53 1 0
Michel Hernandez R 34 C 190 17 39 8 0 2 18 1 1
Matt Carson R 31 RF 497 53 106 27 1 14 49 9 3
Cedric Hunter L 25 LF 497 54 112 22 4 4 44 8 4
Omir Santos R 32 C 204 15 44 9 1 2 17 0 0
Ben Francisco R 31 LF 269 24 57 14 1 5 26 4 2
Jesus Aguilar R 23 1B 573 59 119 26 1 15 62 1 1
Brian Jeroloman L 28 C 285 22 46 7 0 2 15 1 1
Chun-Hsiu Chen R 24 1B 511 49 108 25 2 9 49 4 2
Jason Giambi L 41 1B 125 10 22 4 0 4 13 0 0
Vinny Rottino R 33 RF 503 57 113 22 2 6 48 12 5

***

Batters, Rates and Averages

Player PA BB% K% ISO BABIP BA OBP SLG wOBA
Carlos Santana 600 15.0% 19.2% .187 .280 .248 .362 .435 .343
Michael Bourn 689 8.4% 20.3% .096 .333 .266 .330 .362 .309
Asdrubal Cabrera 642 7.3% 16.7% .151 .305 .271 .331 .422 .325
Jason Kipnis 609 8.7% 19.2% .144 .300 .256 .325 .400 .318
Michael Brantley 641 8.1% 11.5% .107 .302 .275 .333 .382 .308
Nick Swisher 592 12.0% 22.6% .174 .301 .251 .344 .425 .333
Ezequiel Carrera 593 6.2% 17.2% .080 .320 .265 .316 .345 .291
Mike Aviles 482 3.9% 14.3% .124 .282 .258 .288 .382 .290
Lonnie Chisenhall 469 5.8% 19.2% .143 .296 .255 .305 .398 .305
Drew Stubbs 603 8.5% 31.3% .124 .309 .220 .291 .344 .285
Cord Phelps 601 8.3% 20.6% .119 .298 .244 .310 .363 .295
Mark Reynolds 578 12.6% 33.6% .210 .284 .212 .320 .422 .322
Yan Gomes 392 5.4% 28.8% .146 .299 .229 .276 .375 .284
Casey Kotchman 498 6.8% 10.8% .121 .276 .263 .322 .384 .305
Nate Spears 458 8.3% 22.1% .129 .276 .226 .296 .355 .287
Lou Marson 331 11.2% 21.8% .083 .292 .225 .316 .308 .284
Juan Diaz 581 4.5% 26.7% .102 .301 .228 .265 .330 .259
Grady Sizemore 238 7.6% 24.8% .172 .285 .233 .298 .405 .305
Ryan Rohlinger 440 7.7% 20.0% .102 .262 .219 .287 .321 .267
Luis Hernandez 506 4.0% 17.4% .087 .278 .237 .269 .324 .256
Ryan Raburn 361 5.8% 26.3% .157 .293 .232 .284 .389 .289
Tim Fedroff 575 8.0% 20.2% .090 .313 .252 .313 .342 .288
Chad Huffman 419 8.1% 25.1% .127 .293 .228 .299 .355 .289
Chris McGuiness 462 9.7% 26.4% .127 .288 .223 .303 .350 .287
Jeremy Hermida 339 8.0% 27.7% .131 .304 .231 .298 .362 .291
Matt LaPorta 491 7.3% 21.6% .149 .283 .240 .303 .389 .301
Mike McDade 577 5.2% 27.0% .124 .307 .238 .284 .362 .280
Michel Hernandez 190 6.3% 14.2% .081 .253 .224 .280 .305 .260
Matt Carson 497 5.0% 26.4% .153 .287 .229 .274 .382 .285
Cedric Hunter 497 6.8% 11.1% .093 .271 .247 .302 .340 .278
Omir Santos 204 2.0% 20.1% .088 .275 .228 .248 .316 .243
Ben Francisco 269 7.8% 19.3% .128 .278 .236 .302 .364 .293
Jesus Aguilar 573 7.2% 28.4% .140 .301 .229 .293 .369 .290
Brian Jeroloman 285 9.8% 34.0% .052 .289 .184 .273 .236 .232
Chun-Hsiu Chen 511 7.8% 28.6% .121 .317 .233 .296 .354 .286
Jason Giambi 125 12.8% 31.2% .150 .281 .208 .320 .358 .300
Vinny Rottino 503 6.8% 15.3% .096 .280 .245 .297 .341 .278

***

Batters, Assorted Other

Player PA RC/27 OPS+ Def WAR No.1 Comp
Carlos Santana 600 5.6 124 -3 4.4 Darrell Porter
Michael Bourn 689 4.8 96 12 4.0 Vince Coleman
Asdrubal Cabrera 642 5.2 111 -4 3.7 Johnny Logan
Jason Kipnis 609 4.9 104 0 3.0 Felipe Lopez
Michael Brantley 641 4.8 102 -1 2.5 Jeremy Reed
Nick Swisher 592 5.2 116 1 2.5 Chili Davis
Ezequiel Carrera 593 4.3 87 4 2.1 Alex Sanchez
Mike Aviles 482 4.0 88 4 2.1 Billy Martin
Lonnie Chisenhall 469 4.4 97 2 2.0 Scott Cooper
Drew Stubbs 603 3.8 79 2 1.6 Chris Latham
Cord Phelps 601 3.9 90 -1 1.5 Ron Oester
Mark Reynolds 578 4.6 108 -17 1.1 Mike Hessman
Yan Gomes 392 3.7 82 -3 1.0 Brian Dorsett
Casey Kotchman 498 4.5 99 1 1.0 Jim Bowie
Nate Spears 458 3.7 83 -1 1.0 Alan Lewis
Lou Marson 331 3.5 78 -2 0.8 Joe Lawrence
Juan Diaz 581 3.0 67 0 0.8 Jeff Moronko
Grady Sizemore 238 4.2 97 0 0.7 Ricky Ledee
Ryan Rohlinger 440 3.1 72 2 0.6 Keith Johns
Luis Hernandez 506 3.1 67 -1 0.6 Frank Kellner
Ryan Raburn 361 3.8 88 -4 0.5 Chris Truby
Tim Fedroff 575 3.8 86 1 0.4 Bruce Fields
Chad Huffman 419 3.8 84 1 0.4 Carlos Sosa
Chris McGuiness 462 3.6 84 4 0.4 Steve Carver
Jeremy Hermida 339 3.9 86 -1 0.3 Orsino Hill
Matt LaPorta 491 4.1 94 -3 0.3 Brick Smith
Mike McDade 577 3.7 81 3 0.3 Tim Giles
Michel Hernandez 190 2.9 66 -1 0.2 Chad Moeller
Matt Carson 497 3.7 83 -2 0.2 Scott Morgan
Cedric Hunter 497 3.7 81 -1 0.1 Cliff Gonzalez
Omir Santos 204 2.7 58 -1 0.0 Charlie Greene
Ben Francisco 269 3.9 87 -2 0.0 Jim Vatcher
Jesus Aguilar 573 3.8 86 -2 0.0 Joe Vitiello
Brian Jeroloman 285 2.1 46 0 -0.1 Joe Hietpas
Chun-Hsiu Chen 511 3.7 83 -2 -0.2 Brandon Moss
Jason Giambi 125 3.9 92 -4 -0.2 Matt Stairs
Vinny Rottino 503 3.7 80 -5 -0.4 P.J. Forbes

***

Pitchers, Counting Stats

Player T Age G GS IP SO BB HR H R ER
Brett Myers R 32 28 28 178.0 122 44 22 189 90 84
Justin Masterson R 28 32 31 193.3 147 71 16 199 100 93
Ubaldo Jimenez R 29 30 30 181.3 163 85 18 175 94 88
Trevor Bauer R 22 24 24 127.3 134 74 15 119 67 63
Vinnie Pestano R 28 67 0 63.7 73 23 6 54 25 23
T.J. House L 23 27 27 138.3 91 54 15 149 79 74
Chris Perez R 27 64 0 59.0 56 22 6 53 27 25
Joe Smith R 29 71 0 61.7 48 26 5 58 29 27
Danny Salazar R 23 20 20 87.0 62 36 10 93 50 47
Bryan Shaw R 25 72 0 68.3 51 25 7 71 34 32
Rich Hill L 33 31 0 27.3 29 12 3 25 13 12
Josh Tomlin R 28 23 20 124.7 71 30 19 137 75 70
Matt Albers R 30 60 0 63.0 53 26 7 61 32 30
Cody Allen R 24 61 0 64.7 60 30 7 63 33 31
Chen-Chang Lee R 26 27 0 40.7 39 16 5 40 21 20
Matt Capps R 29 53 0 50.3 33 11 7 54 27 25
Zach McAllister R 25 29 29 156.7 109 51 21 184 96 90
Blake Wood R 27 46 0 54.0 42 24 5 55 29 27
Scott Barnes L 25 33 12 87.7 73 45 11 91 52 49
Nick Hagadone L 27 42 0 49.3 44 21 6 49 27 25
Preston Guilmet R 25 48 0 51.3 42 16 7 54 28 26
Matt Langwell R 27 45 0 65.3 51 35 6 67 35 33
Trey Haley R 23 28 0 40.0 35 25 4 40 22 21
Carlos Carrasco R 26 19 19 108.3 71 44 16 118 68 64
Jose Flores R 24 45 0 51.0 30 23 4 57 30 28
Daisuke Matsuzaka R 32 18 18 87.3 69 41 14 94 57 53
Frank Herrmann R 29 53 0 65.7 44 23 9 72 39 36
Giovanni Soto L 22 21 19 96.7 68 45 14 107 63 59
Corey Kluber R 27 29 28 154.7 113 74 18 176 100 93
Joe Martinez R 30 28 20 125.7 69 46 16 152 81 76
Fernando Nieve R 30 24 14 80.3 55 32 13 93 54 50
Scott Kazmir L 29 11 11 55.7 37 31 9 63 40 37
Jerry Gil R 30 55 0 58.3 39 28 8 65 37 35
David Huff L 28 27 25 140.3 71 51 26 175 104 97

***

Pitchers, Rates and Averages

Player IP TBF K% BB% BABIP ERA FIP ERA- FIP-
Brett Myers 178.0 767 15.9% 5.7% .290 4.25 4.14 107 104
Justin Masterson 193.3 850 17.3% 8.4% .303 4.33 3.97 109 100
Ubaldo Jimenez 181.3 804 20.3% 10.6% .296 4.37 4.14 110 104
Trevor Bauer 127.3 575 23.3% 12.9% .302 4.45 4.51 112 114
Vinnie Pestano 63.7 268 27.2% 8.6% .294 3.25 3.24 82 82
T.J. House 138.3 618 14.7% 8.7% .297 4.81 4.59 121 116
Chris Perez 59.0 252 22.2% 8.7% .285 3.81 3.77 96 95
Joe Smith 61.7 269 17.8% 9.7% .282 3.94 3.89 99 98
Danny Salazar 87.0 390 15.9% 9.2% .299 4.86 4.62 123 117
Bryan Shaw 68.3 301 16.9% 8.3% .299 4.21 4.20 106 106
Rich Hill 27.3 119 24.4% 10.1% .298 3.95 3.80 100 96
Josh Tomlin 124.7 541 13.1% 5.5% .283 5.05 4.76 127 120
Matt Albers 63.0 276 19.2% 9.4% .289 4.29 4.18 108 105
Cody Allen 64.7 287 20.9% 10.4% .298 4.31 4.16 109 105
Chen-Chang Lee 40.7 178 21.9% 9.0% .301 4.43 4.11 112 104
Matt Capps 50.3 216 15.3% 5.1% .287 4.47 4.27 113 108
Zach McAllister 156.7 705 15.5% 7.2% .315 5.17 4.60 130 116
Blake Wood 54.0 241 17.4% 10.0% .298 4.50 3.99 113 101
Scott Barnes 87.7 399 18.3% 11.3% .303 5.03 4.85 127 122
Nick Hagadone 49.3 218 20.2% 9.6% .297 4.56 4.37 115 110
Preston Guilmet 51.3 224 18.8% 7.1% .301 4.56 4.42 115 111
Matt Langwell 65.3 298 17.1% 11.7% .304 4.55 4.60 115 116
Trey Haley 40.0 185 18.9% 13.5% .305 4.73 4.83 119 122
Carlos Carrasco 108.3 487 14.6% 9.0% .290 5.32 5.03 134 127
Jose Flores 51.0 233 12.9% 9.9% .306 4.94 4.49 125 113
Daisuke Matsuzaka 87.3 397 17.4% 10.3% .299 5.46 5.26 138 133
Frank Herrmann 65.7 292 15.1% 7.9% .296 4.93 4.76 124 120
Giovanni Soto 96.7 442 15.4% 10.2% .300 5.49 5.20 138 131
Corey Kluber 154.7 714 15.8% 10.4% .317 5.41 4.84 136 122
Joe Martinez 125.7 575 12.0% 8.0% .312 5.44 5.00 137 126
Fernando Nieve 80.3 366 15.0% 8.7% .307 5.60 5.25 141 132
Scott Kazmir 55.7 261 14.2% 11.9% .302 5.98 5.89 151 148
Jerry Gil 58.3 268 14.6% 10.5% .302 5.40 5.22 136 131
David Huff 140.3 647 11.0% 7.9% .303 6.22 5.79 157 146

***

Pitchers, Assorted Other

Player IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 ERA+ WAR No. 1 Comp
Brett Myers 178.0 6.17 2.22 1.11 93 2.0 Aaron Sele
Justin Masterson 193.3 6.84 3.31 0.74 91 2.0 Joey Hamilton
Ubaldo Jimenez 181.3 8.09 4.22 0.89 91 1.8 Bobby Witt
Trevor Bauer 127.3 9.47 5.23 1.06 89 1.1 Octavio Dotel
Vinnie Pestano 63.7 10.31 3.25 0.85 122 0.9 Jose Valverde
T.J. House 138.3 5.92 3.51 0.98 82 0.6 Mike Miller
Chris Perez 59.0 8.54 3.36 0.92 104 0.5 John Riedling
Joe Smith 61.7 7.00 3.79 0.73 100 0.4 Ruddy Lugo
Danny Salazar 87.0 6.41 3.72 1.03 81 0.3 Blake Hawksworth
Bryan Shaw 68.3 6.72 3.29 0.92 94 0.2 Mark Rutherford
Rich Hill 27.3 9.56 3.96 0.99 100 0.2 Rod Scurry
Josh Tomlin 124.7 5.12 2.17 1.37 78 0.1 Louis McCall
Matt Albers 63.0 7.57 3.71 1.00 92 0.1 Doug Bochtler
Cody Allen 64.7 8.35 4.17 0.97 92 0.1 Saul Rivera
Chen-Chang Lee 40.7 8.62 3.54 1.11 89 0.0 Steve Andrade
Matt Capps 50.3 5.90 1.97 1.25 89 0.0 Scott Winchester
Zach McAllister 156.7 6.26 2.93 1.21 77 0.0 Jason Davis
Blake Wood 54.0 7.00 4.00 0.83 88 0.0 Joel Moore
Scott Barnes 87.7 7.49 4.62 1.13 79 0.0 Darren Burroughs
Nick Hagadone 49.3 8.03 3.83 1.10 87 -0.1 Ricardo Jordan
Preston Guilmet 51.3 7.37 2.81 1.23 87 -0.1 Scott Winchester
Matt Langwell 65.3 7.03 4.82 0.83 87 -0.1 George Smith
Trey Haley 40.0 7.88 5.63 0.90 84 -0.1 Josh Banks
Carlos Carrasco 108.3 5.90 3.66 1.33 74 -0.2 Frank Potestio
Jose Flores 51.0 5.29 4.06 0.71 80 -0.3 Bob Miller
Daisuke Matsuzaka 87.3 7.11 4.23 1.44 72 -0.3 Chan Ho Park
Frank Herrmann 65.7 6.03 3.15 1.23 80 -0.4 Bob Wells
Giovanni Soto 96.7 6.33 4.19 1.30 72 -0.4 Tim Rumer
Corey Kluber 154.7 6.57 4.31 1.05 73 -0.5 Zacarias Paris
Joe Martinez 125.7 4.94 3.29 1.15 73 -0.5 Dennis Tankersley
Fernando Nieve 80.3 6.16 3.59 1.46 71 -0.5 Julio Manon
Scott Kazmir 55.7 5.98 5.01 1.45 66 -0.6 Dan Smith
Jerry Gil 58.3 6.02 4.32 1.23 73 -0.7 Jamie Emiliano
David Huff 140.3 4.55 3.27 1.67 64 -1.8 Huck Flener

***

Disclaimer: ZiPS projections are computer-based projections of performance. Performances have not been allocated to predicted playing time in the majors — many of the players listed above are unlikely to play in the majors at all in 2012. ZiPS is projecting equivalent production — a .240 ZiPS projection may end up being .280 in AAA or .300 in AA, for example. Whether or not a player will play is one of many non-statistical factors one has to take into account when predicting the future.

Players are listed with their most recent teams unless Dan has made a mistake. This is very possible as a lot of minor-league signings are generally unreported in the offseason.

ZiPS is projecting based on the AL having a 4.09 ERA and the NL having a 3.92 ERA.

Players that are expected to be out due to injury are still projected. More information is always better than less information and a computer isn’t what should be projecting the injury status of, for example, a pitcher with Tommy John surgery.

Regarding ERA+ vs. ERA- (and FIP+ vs. FIP-) and the differences therein: as Patriot notes here, they are not simply mirror images of each other. Writes Patriot: “ERA+ does not tell you that a pitcher’s ERA was X% less or more than the league’s ERA. It tells you that the league’s ERA was X% less or more than the pitcher’s ERA.”

Both hitters and pitchers are ranked by projected WAR.




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Carson Cistulli occasionally publishes spirited ejaculations at The New Enthusiast.


39 Responses to “2013 ZiPS Projections – Cleveland Indians”

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  1. Stuck in a Slump says:

    ZIPS seems to be a little unkind to the Cleveland bullpen, which actually looks pretty good. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that they surpass their currently projected WAR by 2 wins considering that Perez is capable of being worth nearly 1 WAR on his own, and Pestano last year was, and the year before that was worth 1.5. So unless ZIPS thinks that all other relievers in Cleveland’s pen will cost them wins, I just don’t see 2 WAR being all that close.

    ZIPS also seems particularly down on Swisher for some reason

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  2. Good to know that Brett Myers is a Hall of Famer.

    +5 Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. Vince says:

    I hate how much the Dotel comp for Bauer makes sense.

    Crap.

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  4. Uncle Randy says:

    In the table, Swisher is listed as a RF, but on the graphic he’s a 1B. Are the WAR projections for him as a 1B or RF? I feel like he has a little more value in the OF.

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    • Spit Ball says:

      As an individual he likely is more valuable as an outfielder but as far as team WAR with that roster construction he likely provides more value as a first baseman. I don’t know if we have seen enough of him or Mark Reynolds to make defintive statements about their first base defense.

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  5. brad says:

    It just last year that Cleveland’s rotation was projected as a sleeper quality through depth asset. I don’t have time to poke around on Google too much, but it was said that here they “might not be the fifth best rotation in baseball – as ZiPS identified them in our positional rankings – but the rotation is very good and very deep” (http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/2012-organizational-rankings-21-cleveland/).
    No snark intended, just noting such a dramatic swing in projections. It’s like they had a borderline historically bad rotation and haven’t changed it very much, or something.

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    • champion88 says:

      I have been analyzing team’s starting rotations during the offseason, but have not reached the Indians yet.

      Of the 9 teams I have tracked so far, the Blue Jays have the deepest base of talent with 10 starting pitchers in the MLB.com’s Player Projections.

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    • Joseph K says:

      The herd mentality on this has indeed been entertaining to watch. Even the consensus on Bauer seems to have shifted now that he’s a member of the Tribe. Eons ago, in the year 2011, Masterson and Jimenez combined for 11 WAR. Do I think they’ll duplicate that in 2013? No. But I’m more than a bit nonplussed when I see certain analysts suggesting that it’s “delusional” to expect substantial improvements from one or both of these two in 2013.

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  6. brett says:

    “A thing to note: both Michael Brantley and Drew Stubbs are projected as center fielders, where each spent the majority of 2012 defensively. Moving to the corners won’t affect their individual WAR projections, likely, but does mean that what they lose in runs to positional adjustment, they’re likely to regain in terms of runs saved afield.”

    Is this true? I feel like I read all the time on this site that signing a defensively-capable player and moving them to a lesser position is a poor allocation of resources.

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    • suicide squeeze says:

      I don’t know if there’s been studies on this, but it’s generally good for your defense to have as many center fielders as possible. Carl Crawford (when he was with TB) and Brett Gardner are examples of guys who were able to post great defensive numbers in LF, which likely offset the downgrade in positional adjustment.

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      • brett says:

        Absolutely. I don’t disagree, but I’m curious to what extent this is reflected in WAR. If a guy is worth 4 WAR in center there’s no doubt he’ll provide value in left, but is it fair to say he’ll be worth 4 WAR? It would make a difficult study for obvious reasons but there’s a mountain of writing on this site that suggests maybe not.

        Brett Gardner is a perfect example. Isn’t it generally regarded here that he should be playing center because he’d provide more WAR? I don’t know.

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        • suicide squeeze says:

          In theory, it shouldn’t make a difference. If Gardner moved primarily to CF, he would probably save fewer runs with his defense which would subtract from his WAR. At the same time, his positional component of WAR would go up (since CF has lower standards than LF). In theory those should cancel out, and the player’s WAR wouldn’t change.

          In reality, each player is a unique flower, and WAR may go up or down if you were to make such a switch. Maybe Gardner is an amazing CF and he wouldn’t lose any runs with the move. This is where scouting and such comes into play.

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        • brendan says:

          I think CF moving to corner only preserves _part_ of his defensive value (including pos adj) because corner OFs get fewer chances than CFs. not sure where the evidence is for that tho.

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  7. affidian says:

    I really disagree with zips about the rotation. Granted, with the poor performance last year they deserve it, but I really doubt they will be THIS bad. I mean last year this rotation was considered good and deep… What changed aside from the bad year? Sorry, but target bandwagon statistics are bandwagon statistics.

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    • Pirates Hurdles says:

      Pretty delusional, the rotation is led by Masterson (can’t get LH out), Ubaldo (the magic/velocity ain’t coming back), and Brett Myers (mediocre at best for years now at 88mph). That’s almost Houston bad. And there is no real depth at all, come on McAllister and Carrasco?

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      • affidian says:

        Perhaps… But I am not suggesting a top 5 rotation projection again or even top 10. What I am suggesting is that I feel there is still talent in this rotation that is not being recognized. Is it really so far out of the realm of possibility that it could improve over last year. I mean, Ubaldo may no longer be what he was and Materson may not be the guy we thought he was, but I really
        have to believe this rotation will improve with a decrease in pressure by adding more defense and more offense. These projections suggest they are historically bad, and I really doubt that.

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        • brett says:

          I agree (except the part about how they’ll improve because of decreased pressure). They have six starters who could be average or even good. A hot start and one or two trades and this team could surprise.

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      • Stuck in a Slump says:

        Carrasco has the upside to be a good #3 starter, so many people underrate him, but he’s been good his entire MiLB career, and you can’t take last year at face value given his injury. Masterson and Carrasco both suffered from horrible LOB% last year, if they can get some decent defense behind them they could easily see their numbers change dramatically.

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  8. Ben says:

    When are you guys posting the full ZiPS spreadsheets?

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  9. BaseClogger says:

    It’s going to be difficult for Reynolds to give away 17 runs defensively while DHing.

    That Jason Davis comp is a sick joke…

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    • Pumpkin says:

      Don’t underestimate Mark Reynolds, if he ends up playing 3 games as a fill-in 3rd baseman, he could easily give up 17 runs.

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  10. Big Jgke says:

    So Nick Swisher and Justin Upton both have Chili Davis comps? That is odd.

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  11. Ben says:

    Any single member of the Indians’ rotation still has a very reasonable claim to be better than the best starter in the Twins’ rotation this year.

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  12. Derb says:

    I know Rafael Perez was released back in November, and I don’t think he’s found a 2013 home, but is there going to be a Raffy projection somewhere?

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  13. BG says:

    Oh, this rotation is going to be bad. It’s been pathetic for years. The front office decided they couldn’t pay for strikeouts on the open market so they adapted by employing control RHP (Tomlin, McAllister) and nondescript LHP (Huff, Sowers, etc). Then they used the trade market to attain high KO / high BB / non-durable RHP (Masterson, Ubaldo, Bauer??). The hope was that one of these tactics would shake out. None have. I still can’t see the Indians, much as I love them, winning more than 75 games. The pitching is going to be terrible–and the everyday lineup in one injury away from disaster.

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    • North Sider says:

      But BG, the Indians DID pay for strikeouts according to their plan… oh wait are Shapiro/Antonetti dyslexic? It was supposed to be PITCHING strikeouts… Doh!
      The 2010 Diamondbacks struck out 1,529 times(an amazing feat, 9.4 per game!), led by Mark Reynolds with 223..
      To challenge the record, the Indians have acquried said Mr. Reynolds along with several other 100+ strikeout guys… at least there won’t be any insect problems in the Progressive Field bleachers… feel the breeze!

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  14. Jaack says:

    Vince Coleman, Matt Stairs, Billy Martin, Aaron Sele, and Chan Ho Park is an excellent top five for awesome players to reference, but the best name is Brick Smith, which is solid but not amazing. This comp class is about a B+. Without Matt Stairs its about a B-.

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  15. CircleChange11 says:

    Maybe I’m reading this wrong, but the offense/defense is projected to be 9 WAR above average, while the rotation is 4 WAR below average. So, overall the team is 5 WAR above average +/- whatever the bullpen contributes.

    Isn’t that a pretty decent projection for Cleveland?

    They seem to be an “upside is greater than the downside” type team. The offense/defense would have do really under-perform (or be injured) for them to be a disappointment, while the rotation could be a big surprise (in a good way) since there is real possibility for the pitchers to outperform their projections.

    Not that I want to get all “Windian Crazy”, but this is a team that could do rather well … and I don;t say that in the “anything is possible way”, but in the “it seems reasonable that Cleveland could be very good” without them needing everything to go their way.

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  16. They should, um. Trade for James Shields.

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  17. commenter #1 says:

    lol @ the idea of ubaldo being a 2 win starter

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    • Stuck in a Slump says:

      Up until last season he had never been worth less than 3.6 WAR in a season in which he pitched over 100 innings. 2 WAR is completely possible.

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  18. shoewizard says:

    I can’t tell you how amused I am with Mike Hessman being Reynolds number 1 comp.

    Of course Reynolds closest comp always has been and always will be Dean Palmer, (I’ve been saying that for 5 years)

    http://www.minorleagueball.com/2008/2/12/15490/7340

    Palmer had quite the late career revival from ages 29-31. So there is some hope that Cleveland gets pretty lucky with this signing.

    Also, anyway to get a Lindor projection. I know he’s so young and such a low level, it won’t be pretty. But curious what ZIPS thinks of an 18 year old with 61 walks in the midwest league.

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  19. Phil Gregory says:

    I’m just amused, or bemused, not quite sure which, that acquiring Reynolds constitutes a significant upgrade in the line-up. If he could walk more I probably wouldn’t worry so much about his strikeouts; if you’re hitting 35+ HR and walking 100+ times a year, you’re probably putting up an OBP around .370 or more, and you can strike out all you want as far as I’m concerned. If I thought there was a reasonable chance of his duplicating the numbers he put up during his best years in Arizona, I probably wouldn’t worry much, either. But neither of those scenarios seem likely. Nevertheless, he’s better than Travis Hafner has been, he costs less, and the Indians have made huge improvements. I just don’t see how they can fix Masterson and Jimenez. Without those two, the season is lost…

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