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2013 ZiPS Projections – Los Angeles Dodgers

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 Los Angeles Dodgers. Szymborski can be found on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

Other 2013 Projections: Angels / Astros / Athletics / Blue Jays / Brewers / Cardinals / Cubs / Diamondbacks / Giants / Mariners / Mets / Nationals / Phillies / Pirates / Rangers / Rays / Reds / Rockies / Royals / Tigers / White Sox.

Batters
The Dodgers begin 2013 with slightly more than double the payroll of their 2012 opening-day roster. That fact established, it will not surprise the reader to learn that the Dodgers have spent some of that additional money on position players. The club’s highest-paid field player at the start of 2012 was outfielder Andre Ethier, at $10.95 million. As of today, the Dodgers have five batters earning more than that: Adrian Gonzalez ($21.9 million), Carl Crawford ($20.9 million), Matt Kemp ($20.3 million), Hanley Ramirez ($15.5 million), and Ethier himself ($13.5 million).*

One would hope — for the sake of order in the universe, if nothing else — that the Dodgers’ financial outlay would correlate to success. In fact, it appears as though it will. The Dodgers produced 20.3 WAR via batting and fielding last season; the squad presented here is probably closer to 25 WAR. To the front office’s credit, there are some values here, as well: Luis Cruz, A.J. Ellis, and Tim Federowicz — all expected to produce like average major leaguers — will combine to make just $3 million in 2013.

Figures stolen directly from Cot’s Contracts.

Pitchers
One good strategy when building a rotation is to have some of the best pitchers on it. Coincidentally, Clayton Kershaw and the recently signed Zack Greinke fit that precise description. Consider, by way of example, this table, which features the best pitchers by total WAR over the past three seasons, including Greinke and Kershaw:


Name IP K% GB% BB% FIP- ERA- WAR RA9-Wins
Justin Verlander 713.2 24.8% 41.2% 6.6% 71 67 20.3 22.8
Cliff Lee 656.0 24.1% 44.4% 3.4% 69 72 18.7 18.8
Felix Hernandez 715.1 23.3% 51.0% 6.7% 78 76 17.3 17.9
Roy Halladay 640.2 22.2% 49.5% 3.9% 73 74 17.1 19.0
CC Sabathia 675.0 22.4% 48.5% 6.4% 77 75 17.1 17.3
Clayton Kershaw 665.1 25.9% 43.5% 7.4% 75 68 16.7 19.9
Zack Greinke 604.0 23.3% 47.4% 6.2% 79 96 14.2 9.3
Jered Weaver 648.2 22.3% 34.7% 6.0% 84 69 13.9 20.4
David Price 644.0 23.4% 46.9% 7.7% 83 75 13.9 17.8
C.J. Wilson 629.2 20.9% 49.6% 9.8% 85 80 13.3 13.6

Furthermore, there’s this second table. What’s on it? The best one-two pitching tandems of the 21 teams projected by WAR so far, is what. There’s a tie for fifth place, is why there are six total teams. Is it possible that the author has overlooked a better, and already projected, pitching tandem? Yes! But probably not. But also, maybe yes.

In any case, Greinke and Kershaw are the best starting pair projected so far. Regard:


Team No. 1 WAR No. 2 WAR Total
Dodgers Clayton Kershaw 6.1 Zack Greinke 4.3 10.4
Tigers Justin Verlander 6.4 Max Scherzer 3.5 9.9
Rangers Yu Darvish 5.7 Matt Harrison 4.1 9.8
Nationals Gio Gonzalez 5.3 Stephen Strasburg 4.2 9.5
Phillies Cliff Lee 4.9 Cole Hamels 4.4 9.3
Reds Johnny Cueto 4.8 Mat Latos 4.5 9.3

Shall we discuss the Dodger bullpen? If we do, it will be difficult to avoid the question of who is their closer and who their closer ought to be. Because “Brandon League” is the former and “Kenley Jansen” is almost certainly the latter. Even last season, which was cut short for him by a kind of frightening heart problem, Jansen pitched 65.0 innings while posting a 67 xFIP- and 1.7 WAR. It may be a non-issue: perhaps as a setup man, Jansen pitches more innings of a similar leverage. As an employee of FanGraphs, though, the author is contractually obligated to make note of sub-optimal bullpen usage.

Bench/Prospects
Joc Pederson is not, it turns out, a decorated Swedish Olympian from the 1920s, but rather an outfielder in the Dodgers system — one, it also turns out, who profiles as something like an average major-leaguer even as he enters just his age-21 season. Among pitchers, neither Chris Capuano nor Ted Lilly are prospects. What they are, however, is reasonably effective starting pitchers without a spot in the rotation. “What will become of them?” the reader will likely keep himself awake asking tonight.

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

Dodgers 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
Matt Kemp R 28 CF 577 101 149 27 3 30 101 20 7
Adrian Gonzalez L 31 1B 669 78 170 33 1 26 95 1 0
Hanley Ramirez R 29 SS 595 82 143 25 3 22 82 24 9
Luis Cruz R 29 3B 525 48 132 29 3 9 56 2 2
Andre Ethier L 31 RF 586 76 139 30 1 17 80 2 2
Joc Pederson L 21 CF 589 72 135 25 4 13 72 26 13
Tim Federowicz R 25 C 515 49 108 25 1 8 51 1 1
Carl Crawford L 31 LF 430 57 107 19 7 11 49 21 6
A.J. Ellis R 32 C 383 35 79 14 1 5 42 0 1
Mark Ellis R 36 2B 459 51 105 20 1 6 37 7 3
Alex Castellanos R 26 2B 525 61 113 24 7 12 53 13 6
Juan Uribe R 33 3B 321 33 69 14 1 9 44 1 1
Elian Herrera B 28 SS 502 59 106 18 7 3 43 20 9
Scott Van Slyke R 26 RF 551 63 124 28 3 16 71 6 4
Justin Sellers R 27 SS 333 35 66 15 2 6 30 3 2
Jerry Hairston R 37 2B 289 26 67 14 1 4 27 2 2
Dee Gordon L 25 SS 556 70 133 14 7 1 32 43 15
Nick Punto B 35 3B 227 22 45 8 2 1 15 5 1
Adam Kennedy L 37 2B 273 29 60 13 2 4 26 3 1
Matt Treanor R 37 C 165 16 29 5 1 3 17 1 2
Eliezer Alfonzo R 34 C 190 18 43 7 0 9 26 0 0
Dallas McPherson L 32 3B 384 39 80 16 1 14 46 2 1
Nick Evans R 27 1B 376 41 84 18 1 11 39 1 1
Wilkin Castillo B 29 C 280 26 63 10 2 5 25 5 2
Jesus Flores R 28 C 261 23 55 12 1 6 27 0 1
Osvaldo Martinez R 25 SS 487 51 108 18 3 2 31 8 4
Bobby Abreu L 39 LF 355 36 74 16 1 5 36 11 3
Alfredo Amezaga B 35 SS 284 29 61 9 1 3 28 4 2
Brian Barden R 32 3B 209 19 47 9 1 3 18 1 2
Ramon Castro R 37 C 64 5 13 2 0 3 8 0 0
Skip Schumaker L 33 2B 411 44 97 16 2 2 32 2 2

***

Batters, Rates and Averages

Player PA BB% K% ISO BABIP BA OBP SLG wOBA
Matt Kemp 577 9.7% 23.4% .240 .338 .291 .362 .531 .367
Adrian Gonzalez 669 9.4% 17.2% .190 .313 .286 .355 .476 .343
Hanley Ramirez 595 8.4% 17.1% .181 .292 .267 .334 .448 .334
Luis Cruz 525 2.9% 12.8% .123 .286 .262 .286 .385 .289
Andre Ethier 586 9.4% 19.6% .160 .311 .267 .343 .427 .327
Joc Pederson 589 8.1% 20.9% .136 .307 .255 .323 .391 .312
Tim Federowicz 515 7.8% 23.3% .110 .292 .232 .294 .342 .279
Carl Crawford 430 5.3% 17.0% .166 .302 .269 .311 .435 .323
A.J. Ellis 383 12.8% 18.3% .097 .300 .248 .355 .345 .303
Mark Ellis 459 6.3% 14.2% .096 .284 .251 .308 .347 .287
Alex Castellanos 525 6.5% 29.0% .156 .321 .238 .302 .394 .301
Juan Uribe 321 6.2% 19.3% .147 .267 .235 .291 .382 .289
Elian Herrera 502 8.0% 25.3% .091 .318 .235 .300 .326 .276
Scott Van Slyke 551 8.0% 23.8% .163 .303 .248 .309 .411 .310
Justin Sellers 333 9.0% 21.0% .127 .274 .227 .304 .354 .286
Jerry Hairston 289 8.7% 11.8% .108 .284 .259 .330 .367 .305
Dee Gordon 556 5.0% 16.9% .060 .311 .257 .299 .317 .275
Nick Punto 227 11.5% 18.1% .077 .286 .232 .320 .309 .279
Adam Kennedy 273 7.3% 16.5% .119 .281 .246 .301 .365 .283
Matt Treanor 165 12.1% 23.6% .116 .265 .210 .319 .326 .281
Eliezer Alfonzo 190 2.1% 28.9% .187 .286 .238 .263 .425 .292
Dallas McPherson 384 6.3% 33.9% .168 .307 .224 .273 .392 .286
Nick Evans 376 7.2% 23.1% .154 .292 .243 .298 .397 .299
Wilkin Castillo 280 2.1% 17.1% .108 .269 .235 .254 .343 .256
Jesus Flores 261 4.6% 25.7% .131 .282 .224 .262 .355 .261
Osvaldo Martinez 487 4.7% 15.6% .067 .282 .238 .281 .305 .258
Bobby Abreu 355 12.7% 21.1% .107 .300 .240 .335 .347 .304
Alfredo Amezaga 284 6.7% 16.9% .076 .274 .234 .286 .310 .263
Brian Barden 209 5.3% 22.5% .103 .303 .244 .288 .347 .276
Ramon Castro 64 7.8% 28.1% .190 .270 .224 .286 .414 .300
Skip Schumaker 411 7.5% 13.6% .070 .298 .259 .315 .329 .282

***

Batters, Assorted Other

Player PA RC/27 OPS+ Def WAR No.1 Comp
Matt Kemp 577 7.5 144 -5 5.0 Duke Snider
Adrian Gonzalez 669 6.4 128 8 4.5 Harold Baines
Hanley Ramirez 595 5.6 115 -8 3.3 Miguel Tejada
Luis Cruz 525 4.0 84 10 2.0 Alvaro Espinoza
Andre Ethier 586 5.4 112 -2 2.0 Lyle Overbay
Joc Pederson 589 4.6 97 -1 1.9 Milton Bradley
Tim Federowicz 515 3.5 76 5 1.8 Dave Van Gorder
Carl Crawford 430 5.2 104 3 1.7 Al Martin
A.J. Ellis 383 4.3 96 -1 1.6 Ellie Rodriguez
Mark Ellis 459 3.9 81 6 1.5 Cookie Rojas
Alex Castellanos 525 4.2 91 -2 1.4 Mike Young
Juan Uribe 321 3.9 85 6 1.3 Jason Wood
Elian Herrera 502 3.5 74 2 1.3 Bob Meacham
Scott Van Slyke 551 4.5 98 1 1.2 Jeremy Slayden
Justin Sellers 333 3.7 82 0 1.0 Tony Schrager
Jerry Hairston 289 4.3 93 -1 0.8 Jimmie Dykes
Dee Gordon 556 3.7 71 -5 0.8 Alex Sanchez
Nick Punto 227 3.6 76 4 0.8 Walt Weiss
Adam Kennedy 273 4.0 84 -1 0.5 Craig Counsell
Matt Treanor 165 3.3 80 1 0.5 Brad Ausmus
Eliezer Alfonzo 190 4.0 87 -2 0.4 Joe Oliver
Dallas McPherson 384 3.7 82 -4 0.4 Shanie Dugas
Nick Evans 376 4.2 91 0 0.3 Bryan Lahair
Wilkin Castillo 280 3.1 64 -1 0.3 Tony DeFrancesco
Jesus Flores 261 3.2 69 -1 0.3 Chris Curry
Osvaldo Martinez 487 3.0 62 -1 0.2 John McDonald
Bobby Abreu 355 4.3 90 -4 0.2 J.T. Snow
Alfredo Amezaga 284 3.1 66 -2 0.1 Alfredo Griffin
Brian Barden 209 3.4 75 -1 0.1 Wes Helms
Ramon Castro 64 4.1 91 -2 0.0 Mike Macfarlane
Skip Schumaker 411 3.7 79 -7 -0.1 Manny Trillo

***

Pitchers, Counting Stats

Player T Age G GS IP SO BB HR H R ER
Clayton Kershaw L 25 33 33 221.7 233 63 16 173 67 63
Zack Greinke R 29 32 32 203.3 198 50 17 177 75 70
Chad Billingsley R 28 28 28 168.0 143 59 12 159 73 68
Josh Beckett R 33 24 24 150.7 135 46 18 136 66 62
Hyun-jin Ryu L 26 26 25 180.3 169 57 30 167 86 80
Kenley Jansen R 25 62 0 64.3 101 28 5 39 16 15
Chris Capuano L 34 27 24 144.0 118 40 19 141 70 65
Ted Lilly L 37 20 20 111.0 89 32 17 103 54 50
Aaron Harang R 35 24 24 139.7 97 55 15 142 71 66
Brandon League R 30 68 0 67.7 53 23 5 62 28 26
Shawn Tolleson R 25 60 0 63.0 70 25 7 53 27 25
Ronald Belisario R 30 66 0 65.0 56 26 6 58 28 26
Scott Elbert L 27 52 0 40.0 40 16 4 34 16 15
Steve Ames R 25 46 0 51.0 46 15 5 47 21 20
Paco Rodriguez L 22 34 0 26.0 28 12 2 21 10 9
Tim Corcoran R 35 18 13 86.0 57 30 10 92 47 44
Matt Guerrier R 34 45 0 41.0 32 14 4 37 18 17
Javy Guerra R 27 51 0 51.0 41 25 4 48 24 22
Todd Coffey R 32 48 0 42.0 36 16 4 39 19 18
Mike Parisi R 30 8 8 39.0 26 18 5 40 21 20
Chris Reed L 23 9 9 50.0 39 29 5 49 28 26
Blake Hawksworth R 30 27 3 40.0 31 13 5 40 20 19
J.P. Howell L 30 54 0 44.7 40 20 5 41 21 20
Matt Palmer R 34 22 17 97.7 56 49 9 102 56 52
Stephen Fife R 26 26 25 138.0 76 61 15 151 79 74
Angel Guzman R 31 23 0 21.7 15 8 2 22 11 10
Zach Lee R 21 25 25 118.3 79 41 18 126 68 64
Matt Magill R 23 25 23 131.0 102 70 16 133 76 71
Kelvin De La Cruz L 24 27 17 97.3 74 57 12 96 57 53
Lorenzo Barcelo R 35 18 18 114.3 58 23 18 130 67 63
Gregory Infante R 25 40 0 49.3 34 29 4 50 27 25
Chris Withrow R 24 24 15 85.0 72 64 9 81 51 48
Josh Wall R 26 59 0 63.0 49 29 8 62 34 32
Garrett Gould R 21 26 23 117.7 86 57 20 124 75 70
Will Savage R 28 26 22 130.0 57 42 18 154 82 77
Fabio Castro L 28 26 17 96.7 74 60 13 104 64 60
Juan Abreu R 28 48 0 54.3 57 42 11 53 39 36
Rob Rasmussen L 24 26 25 126.7 86 82 21 137 87 81

***

Pitchers, Rates and Averages

Player IP TBF K% BB% BABIP ERA FIP ERA- FIP-
Clayton Kershaw 221.7 901 25.9% 7.0% .269 2.56 2.78 69 75
Zack Greinke 203.3 837 23.7% 6.0% .282 3.10 3.03 83 81
Chad Billingsley 168.0 722 19.8% 8.2% .293 3.64 3.43 98 92
Josh Beckett 150.7 634 21.3% 7.3% .275 3.70 3.83 99 103
Hyun-jin Ryu 180.3 765 22.1% 7.5% .273 3.99 4.32 107 116
Kenley Jansen 64.3 260 38.9% 10.8% .277 2.10 2.36 56 63
Chris Capuano 144.0 613 19.2% 6.5% .282 4.06 4.00 109 108
Ted Lilly 111.0 468 19.0% 6.8% .265 4.05 4.40 109 118
Aaron Harang 139.7 616 15.7% 8.9% .285 4.25 4.24 114 114
Brandon League 67.7 288 18.4% 8.0% .277 3.46 3.42 93 92
Shawn Tolleson 63.0 267 26.2% 9.4% .284 3.57 3.60 96 97
Ronald Belisario 65.0 279 20.1% 9.3% .278 3.60 3.77 97 101
Scott Elbert 40.0 170 23.5% 9.4% .275 3.38 3.52 91 95
Steve Ames 51.0 215 21.4% 7.0% .288 3.53 3.57 95 96
Paco Rodriguez 26.0 111 25.2% 10.8% .279 3.12 3.21 84 86
Tim Corcoran 86.0 380 15.0% 7.9% .295 4.60 4.43 124 119
Matt Guerrier 41.0 174 18.4% 8.0% .268 3.73 3.75 100 101
Javy Guerra 51.0 226 18.1% 11.1% .286 3.88 3.92 104 105
Todd Coffey 42.0 181 19.9% 8.8% .285 3.86 3.76 104 101
Mike Parisi 39.0 175 14.9% 10.3% .285 4.62 5.04 124 135
Chris Reed 50.0 228 17.1% 12.7% .289 4.68 4.76 126 128
Blake Hawksworth 40.0 173 17.9% 7.5% .282 4.28 4.07 115 109
J.P. Howell 44.7 195 20.5% 10.3% .283 4.03 4.17 108 112
Matt Palmer 97.7 444 12.6% 11.0% .287 4.79 4.84 129 130
Stephen Fife 138.0 626 12.1% 9.7% .292 4.83 4.91 130 132
Angel Guzman 21.7 95 15.8% 8.4% .289 4.15 4.15 111 112
Zach Lee 118.3 522 15.1% 7.9% .287 4.87 4.90 131 132
Matt Magill 131.0 596 17.1% 11.7% .293 4.88 4.91 131 132
Kelvin De La Cruz 97.3 445 16.6% 12.8% .283 4.90 5.09 132 137
Lorenzo Barcelo 114.3 496 11.7% 4.6% .288 4.96 4.94 133 133
Gregory Infante 49.3 227 15.0% 12.8% .293 4.56 4.66 122 125
Chris Withrow 85.0 400 18.0% 16.0% .288 5.08 5.18 136 139
Josh Wall 63.0 280 17.5% 10.4% .284 4.57 4.76 123 128
Garrett Gould 117.7 534 16.1% 10.7% .286 5.35 5.45 144 146
Will Savage 130.0 586 9.7% 7.2% .295 5.33 5.15 143 138
Fabio Castro 96.7 454 16.3% 13.2% .303 5.59 5.36 150 144
Juan Abreu 54.3 258 22.1% 16.3% .294 5.96 6.12 160 164
Rob Rasmussen 126.7 599 14.4% 13.7% .289 5.76 6.00 155 161

***

Pitchers, Assorted Other

Player IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 ERA+ WAR No. 1 Comp
Clayton Kershaw 221.7 9.46 2.56 0.65 145 6.1 Barry Zito
Zack Greinke 203.3 8.77 2.21 0.75 120 4.3 Bob Welch
Chad Billingsley 168.0 7.66 3.16 0.64 102 2.4 Jim Beattie
Josh Beckett 150.7 8.06 2.75 1.07 100 2.1 Kevin Appier
Hyun-jin Ryu 180.3 8.44 2.85 1.50 93 1.8 Matt Beech
Kenley Jansen 64.3 14.14 3.92 0.70 177 1.5 Jose Valverde
Chris Capuano 144.0 7.38 2.50 1.19 91 1.3 Darrell May
Ted Lilly 111.0 7.22 2.59 1.38 91 1.0 Paul Splittorff
Aaron Harang 139.7 6.25 3.54 0.97 87 1.0 Mike Torrez
Brandon League 67.7 7.05 3.06 0.66 107 0.5 Mark Ross
Shawn Tolleson 63.0 10.00 3.57 1.00 104 0.4 Fernando Cabrera
Ronald Belisario 65.0 7.75 3.60 0.83 103 0.4 Marc Wilkins
Scott Elbert 40.0 9.00 3.60 0.90 110 0.3 Tim Young
Steve Ames 51.0 8.12 2.65 0.88 105 0.3 Randy St. Claire
Paco Rodriguez 26.0 9.69 4.15 0.69 119 0.3 Luke Walker
Tim Corcoran 86.0 5.97 3.14 1.05 81 0.2 Shawn Boskie
Matt Guerrier 41.0 7.02 3.07 0.88 99 0.2 Steve Bedrosian
Javy Guerra 51.0 7.24 4.41 0.71 96 0.1 Marc Pisciotta
Todd Coffey 42.0 7.71 3.43 0.86 96 0.1 Jason Childers
Mike Parisi 39.0 6.00 4.15 1.15 80 0.1 Carlos Chantres
Chris Reed 50.0 7.02 5.22 0.90 79 0.1 Phil Dumatrait
Blake Hawksworth 40.0 6.98 2.93 1.13 87 0.1 Jim Czajkowski
J.P. Howell 44.7 8.05 4.03 1.01 92 0.0 Tim Young
Matt Palmer 97.7 5.16 4.51 0.83 77 0.0 Ken Hill
Stephen Fife 138.0 4.96 3.98 0.98 77 0.0 Ken Pumphrey
Angel Guzman 21.7 6.22 3.32 0.83 89 0.0 Mike Barlow
Zach Lee 118.3 6.01 3.12 1.37 76 -0.1 James Shields
Matt Magill 131.0 7.01 4.81 1.10 76 -0.1 Randy Veres
Kelvin De La Cruz 97.3 6.84 5.27 1.11 76 -0.2 Jim Crowell
Lorenzo Barcelo 114.3 4.57 1.81 1.42 75 -0.2 Tim Kester
Gregory Infante 49.3 6.21 5.29 0.73 81 -0.3 Ken Wright
Chris Withrow 85.0 7.62 6.78 0.95 73 -0.3 Mike Dowless
Josh Wall 63.0 7.00 4.14 1.14 81 -0.4 Tony Dougherty
Garrett Gould 117.7 6.58 4.36 1.53 69 -0.8 Stacy Hollins
Will Savage 130.0 3.95 2.91 1.25 70 -0.8 Kyle Middleton
Fabio Castro 96.7 6.89 5.58 1.21 66 -1.0 Steve Smyth
Juan Abreu 54.3 9.45 6.96 1.82 62 -1.3 Darren Hall
Rob Rasmussen 126.7 6.11 5.82 1.49 64 -1.5 Tom Singer

***

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.