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  1. I’m glad this was about the Angels rather than the Dodgers, but LA is the Dodgers, sorry.

    Comment by Ivdown — January 13, 2010 @ 12:26 pm

  2. Ervin Santana bouncing back to his 2008 level (5.8 WAR) would more than make up for losing Lackey.

    WAR for 2008
    Santana – 5.8
    Lackey – 2.0

    WAR for 2009
    Santana – 1.1
    Lackey – 3.9

    A healthy Santana could make them forget about Lackey very quickly.

    Comment by NEPP — January 13, 2010 @ 12:29 pm

  3. There will also be some regression at 3rd base. Even if Wood is a true talent replacement for Figgins, he won’t put up a 6 win season.

    Comment by Hejuk — January 13, 2010 @ 12:32 pm

  4. Couldn’t this same story be written about every team out there? Name anyteam, and say, if the players that played well last year don’t play as well this year then the team is in trouble. And with looking at only 4 players, can we reallistically think that looking at WAR to the decimal place is statisitically valid? Why not put in a standard deviation element (or margin of error) for these four guys too, just to give a reader a chance to see how wide the range of results could be rather than the ulitmate WAR value projections…

    Comment by Bobo — January 13, 2010 @ 12:40 pm

  5. It’s one thing to anticipate a regression from players like Torii Hunter who have long track records and are in all likelihood looking backwards, rather than forwards, to their prime. To do the same for a Kendry Morales or an Erick Aybar makes no sense that I can see. This was the first year that either was used regularly in the Majors. I can see some moderation – instinctively, I don’t anticipate either to quite achieve last year’s numbers even if their career arcs continue on the upward slope through time – but to essentially call them half the players that they were in ’09 is difficult to rationalize.

    Comment by SteveM — January 13, 2010 @ 12:41 pm

  6. True.

    The Angels may get more production out of Kendrick, and maybe if Napoli played more they could make up some lost WAR there. Won’t be enough if the regression is as severe as suggested here. maybe Morales is for real. Certainly the division looks to be tightening up. An exciting division with all of the young talent in Oakland and Texas, with Lee coming to the d-vamped mariners and the long run reigning divisional kings the Angels maybe down a peg or so.

    Comment by wobatus — January 13, 2010 @ 12:41 pm

  7. But doesn’t this still get to the heart of this article? 2008 was a career year from Santana, and we should expect regression from his 5.8 WAR season.

    It’s unrealistic to expect 5.8 WAR for Santana next year. I’d guess his projection is somewhere closer to 3 WAR.

    Comment by Steve — January 13, 2010 @ 12:48 pm

  8. Exactly. Instead of reading that Franklin Gutierrez could be due for big regression since his 5.9 WAR from last year was more than double his previous career high, we get articles saying his four year deal unnecessarily guaranteeing him cash through his arb years in exchange for 1 year of his free agency in 2013 (at a rate that may or may not be favorable) is the new ‘Bargain of the decade’. CHONE projects Gutierrez at 2.5 WAR in 2010, for the record.

    Comment by Bob — January 13, 2010 @ 12:59 pm

  9. “…but Los Angeles is confident they can replace those three with Scott Kazmir, Brandon Wood, and Hideki Matsui. And, there’s a pretty decent chance that they’re right about that.”

    You think so? Lackey has been better than Kazmir the past few years. Lackey’s no safe bet to stay healthy, but neither is Kazmir. Wood is promising, but it’s unlikely that he’s a 3 win player this year. Matsui is an upgrade over Vlad, but I think it’s fair to say the drop off between Lackey/Figgins to Kazmir/Wood is greater than the gains made from Vlad to Matusi.

    Comment by Mark — January 13, 2010 @ 1:01 pm

  10. The obvious comparison would be to show what was projected for these same players going into last year. Were they projected to put up a +15.2 WAR last offseason? That would give the reader an idea of how much error can occur in these projection type analysis. If it turns out they out-performed last season’s projections, why then can history not repeat itself this season?

    Comment by JosueS — January 13, 2010 @ 1:06 pm

  11. Those dismal CHONE projections are way underblown imo. If Vegas was giving odds (an over/under) on the combined 2010 WAR for those four players and was giving 6.7 as the line, there would be some serious action on the over. My personal projections also have a drop off for that group, but a more realistic dropoff. I have the “gang of four” dropping from 15.2 WAR to 10.5 WAR, which is a much more reasonable number. Vegas would likely be in that range if they had a WAR line.

    The Angels biggest problem is going to be their starting pitching. They really only have four starters and half of those have poor health histories. The biggest loss for the Angels will be Lackey, Figgins and Adenhart. Matsui will easily match Vlady’s declining offense. I think the young players actually will come close to holding their talent from last year with a few of the younger players actually improving (Kendrick, Napoli).

    That being said, as constructed the Angels are probably not the favorites to win the AL West (which will be a very mediocre division this year).

    Mariners 84.0
    Rangers 82.0
    Angels 81.5
    A’s 74.5

    is what I have the teams “currently” at.
    vr, Xei

    Comment by Xeifrank — January 13, 2010 @ 1:28 pm

  12. Don’t forget that the Angels have seemed very hesitant to give Wood a starting job for the past few years, when some have felt that he may have been ready.

    Comment by Bryz — January 13, 2010 @ 1:31 pm

  13. Well, one could also argue that Santana had a breakout year in 2008 at Age 25, struggled the next year due to injuries and is poised to bounce back to a high level of performance entering his peak years.

    Comment by NEPP — January 13, 2010 @ 1:33 pm

  14. they could. and maybe they’d be right, but the same argument would apply to say, Morales.

    i’m not saying it’s impossible, just that this is what the article is talking about: regression.

    Comment by Steve — January 13, 2010 @ 1:35 pm

  15. It makes you wonder if his offense is somewhat a creation of playing in the PCL (a notorious hitters league). He’s struggled in his brief cameos in the Majors so far. Hopefully they give him at least half a season to show something before making a panic move.

    Comment by NEPP — January 13, 2010 @ 1:37 pm

  16. This analysis is missing a major arm of the discussion. The Angels have consistently and reliably outperformed their pythag win percentage. Using mlb.com’s XWL the Angels were +5 games last year, +12 the year before, etc. As far as I’m aware, the theory is that they’ve leveraged a strong bullpen to pull that off. They now feature a backend of Fuentes, Rodney, and Jepsen among others. I’m not sure if that’s a strong unit or not. If we take the reasonable assumption and say they match their pythag record next year, we’re looking at a 5 game regression on top of any player regressions. I think we’re looking at an 82-84 win team.

    Comment by The A Team — January 13, 2010 @ 1:48 pm

  17. Also the trio being replaced put up 11 WAR. Are you comfortable just handing a similar total to Wood/Matsui/Kazmir. I think projecting 9 WAR out of those guys is extremely generous. The fans agree, expecting 7 wins from the new guys, and so far it seems like the fans are a very optimistic bunch.

    Comment by The A Team — January 13, 2010 @ 1:52 pm

  18. The AL West will be a very mediocre division this year? I’m a New York Mets fan (it’s a tough life), and I am more fascinated by the AL West than any other division in baseball despite primarily following the National League on the East Coast.

    The Rangers put on a great show last year, and with a rebound from Josh Hamilton and the emergence of Neftali Feliz and growth of Andrus could make them a real force. I think they are much more than likely to be at least good if not better in 2010 than in 2009.

    The Athletics underperformed last season, and with a couple rebounds from people like Cust, their young talent (specifically their rotation and bullpen arms), and their potential for insanely good outfield defense, you have to think they will be more competitive this season.

    The Mariners have improved drastically this off season thanks to Jack Z, adding an ace in Cliff Lee and losing next to nothing in terms of major league talent in the process as an example, and many including myself expect them to improve significantly from last season’s strong effort.

    And the Angels, the powerhouse of the division, looks to have been weakened by the loss of some top performers, notably Figgins and his insane 6.1 WAR season, but perhaps Santana can rebound, Wood will live up the hype and they will still be a force.

    I think there are four teams in this division who I all expect to be .500 or above, and there are three teams that could reasonably win 90 + games (I think the Athletics are a little behind the other three). I would not be surprised whoever won this division, and I think it will be a three or four team race through the final month. This division, which was good last season, only looks to have improved. How is this a mediocre division? And if you still feel its mediocre, at least admit it will be exciting to watch it unfold.

    Comment by nitro2831 — January 13, 2010 @ 1:58 pm

  19. Rivera and Aybar’s defensive regressions seem to be a little stringent don’t they? What is the reason that Aybar’s defense would regress? He isn’t nearly as good at positions other than SS, but does that mean he is going to regress? Basically same for Rivera in left? Though he isn’t know to be great…

    Comment by TomI — January 13, 2010 @ 2:00 pm

  20. I think the LAA would have regressed even with the same roster as 2009.

    Figgins would have ‘normalized’, to a degree, their mid 30’s stars would be a year older, and some of their “breakout years” guys would likely normalized as well.

    Comment by circlechange11 — January 13, 2010 @ 2:08 pm

  21. “”This analysis is missing a major arm of the discussion. The Angels have consistently and reliably outperformed their pythag win percentage. Using mlb.com’s XWL the Angels were +5 games last year, +12 the year before, etc.””

    This is the best point made so far. I think it goes deeper than just saying that they “have a strong bullpen”. I really believe its in the way they play on offense and the in-game strategy of the best manager in baseball. They always take the extra base and Scioscia always seems to make the right move that gets them that 1 extra run they need to win a given game… Didn’t somebody take a shot at Manager WAR before? And not really manager WAR, but more of Wins Above an Average Manager? I know managers don’t mean that much in the grand scheme of things, but surely the best of the best can win their team an extra 3-4 games a season right?

    Comment by Don Coburleone — January 13, 2010 @ 2:19 pm

  22. Yes, exactly true. That, combined with the loss of Lackey, Figgins and a near replacement level 5th starter will most likely bring the Angels win total crashing down this year. They could still win the division, but shouldn’t be favored to win it any more than either the Mariners or Rangers.

    The Mariners have improved a little, but not nearly as much as many people hype them up to be. But when you combine a slight Mariner improvement with a large Angels regression/degredation things really get magnified. Keep in mind the Mariners have also had some significant offseason losses and some players that are both with and no longer with the team that likely played over their head (Beltre, Branyan, Washburn, Gutierrez). Yes, they had some very good signings and trades (Lee, Figgins, Bradley) but needed to do so to offset some of their own losses and likely regressions.
    vr, Xei

    Comment by Xeifrank — January 13, 2010 @ 2:28 pm

  23. No way that all four teams play .500 ball in the AL West, the math just doesn’t back this up as a very likely possibility. The AL West teams will likely beat each other up and will likely have a losing record against the much superiour AL East teams. The AL West is likely a little bit better than the AL Central, but not by a big enough margin to put all four West teams at the .500 mark. But I agree with the rest of what you wrote.
    vr, Xei

    Comment by Xeifrank — January 13, 2010 @ 2:31 pm

  24. Xeifrank, how can you say that there is “no way” all four teams can play .500 ball when 3 of them did last year and the A’s were close? Yes the fact that they all play eachother over the year many times will make it less likely for them all to end above 500 it almost happened last year.

    I guess we’ll see about the “much superior” AL East teams when the season starts. The fact that you project none of the AL west teams to win more than 84 games is laughable at best.

    Comment by CedarA — January 13, 2010 @ 2:55 pm

  25. Agree.

    Aybar’s WAR in ’09 had a big defensive aspect to it. Before he broke his finger in Toronto in ’08, he was having a fantastic defensive season as well (10.1 UZR/150). I don’t know if I would expect a regression given he’s had about 2000 innings of pretty great defense since being given the full-time role.

    I’m not saying he’s a .339 wOBA guy but it’s not out of the question at all considering he’s 26 and seen significant enough ML time. His BABIP was a tad high at .342 but he’s a slappy, fast guy so something like that isn’t out of the question (led the league in infield hits, IIRC, so that helped and may change). He did seem to get it a little more last year, striking out a little less and being a tad more selective. That didn’t show up in BB% (up only a tad) or really P/PA (up a smidge) but he seemed to learn to not get set up and duped pitchers, something he was wildly prone to in the past.

    I don’t think a 2.8-3.2 WAR is out of reach with his defense. We’ll see.

    The Angels are an enigma going into the season. Signs point to .500 right now, 87 wins with a little luck.

    Comment by Christo — January 13, 2010 @ 3:04 pm

  26. and don’t play napoli….and sent kendrick to the minors last year.

    Comment by scott — January 13, 2010 @ 3:12 pm

  27. Laughable, yet he offers no scientifical projections. lol
    vr, Xei

    Comment by Xeifrank — January 13, 2010 @ 3:13 pm

  28. The AL west finished last season 40 games over .500, and you think they will be under .500 as a division this year? I don’t get why all four teams are projected to do worse than last year. Wouldn’t some of the Angels extra losses turn into wins for the other 3 teams? Since the AL routinely dominates interleague, it would be surprising to have two AL divisions under .500. The AL East would have to be absolutely dominant for that to happen.

    Are your projections just based on WAR or do they take into account the unbalanced schedule and interleague play (and does it matter?)?

    Comment by pfisher518 — January 13, 2010 @ 3:20 pm

  29. Was 2008 a breakout or an outlier?

    2005 – 1.7
    2006 – 3.4
    2007 – 1.1
    2008 – 5.8
    2009 – 1.1

    Comment by scatterbrian — January 13, 2010 @ 3:31 pm

  30. “instinctively, I don’t anticipate either to quite achieve last year’s numbers”

    That’s called regression, and the whole point.

    Comment by scatterbrian — January 13, 2010 @ 3:34 pm

  31. http://www.lookoutlanding.com/2010/1/9/1241651/the-al-west-updated

    there are some straight WAR projections which are relatively conserative. I’d love to see your “scientific” projections that show how 3 improved teams and one moderately worse one goes from 40 more wins than losses to 0.

    Comment by CedarA — January 13, 2010 @ 3:36 pm

  32. Matsui is an upgrade from Vlad, but once you play Matsui in the field he’ll be on the DL

    Comment by Zack — January 13, 2010 @ 3:36 pm

  33. I’d guess that they’re based on the WAR of rosters as they currently stand. But there is a lot of WAR available that is not on any roster yet. Taken as a whole, projecting wins for every team in MLB based on WAR of current rosters would result in a losing record on average. I’m not sure how much WAR is still unattached, but it wouldn’t surprise me if teams, on average, add between 2 and 3 WAR between now and opening day. (Maybe that’s a bit high. 1-2 maybe?)

    Comment by Clapper — January 13, 2010 @ 3:49 pm

  34. I’m somewhat with you there. Someone on MLBTR pointed out that Fgut is comparable to Corey Patterson, and after checking the numbers, the case could be made for that. It’s not exact, obviously, but the similarities are there. I wouldn’t count on Franklin declining that terribly, but I wouldn’t count on him having over a 5 WAR again any time soon.

    Comment by Ivdown — January 13, 2010 @ 3:50 pm

  35. Beltre played over his head last year? How do you figure?

    Comment by Clapper — January 13, 2010 @ 3:51 pm

  36. Clapper is correct. Based on WAR. There is still WAR to be had, but not a whole lot.
    vr, Xei

    Comment by Xeifrank — January 13, 2010 @ 4:49 pm

  37. Please read the whole sentence, there are two groups… players who left the Mariners and players who played over their head. Those four players (Beltre, Branyan, Washburn, Gutierrez) all fit into one of those two categories. Beltre left the Mariners. Branyan and Washburn fit into both categories. Gutierrez into the likely to regress bucket.
    vr, Xei

    Comment by Xeifrank — January 13, 2010 @ 4:51 pm

  38. Cedar, did you create that WAR study or did LL? Anyways, there is only 12 WAR difference between the LL study and mine. So it looks to me like the 40 wins above .500 in 2009 is the outlier. LL has the Mariners #1 with only 86 wins, and I have them #1 with 84 wins. Not a big enough difference to be laughable. I think both studies hit on the same theme. The AL West is pretty mediocre, in the sense that it does not have any teams that rival the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays… Pls note that I am not calling the AL West a bad division either, as I have three out of four teams above .500.
    vr, Xei

    Comment by Xeifrank — January 13, 2010 @ 5:00 pm

  39. You can’t have it both ways, it’s either “no way” or “not very likely”. As a side note, in ’06 the AL West had winning percentages of .574, .549, .494, .481., in a season where 4 teams outside the division won 90 games (in this case, the AL Central). While unlikely to actually happen, it’s still very possible. Glory be to the 4 team division.

    Comment by Deelron — January 13, 2010 @ 7:02 pm

  40. Well, sure anything is possible. But if you dragged me into a “Court of Law” and were asked to testify under oath, I’d go with “highly unlikely”.

    I don’t disagree with your statement that there are three teams that could reasonably win 90 games. My predictions don’t disagree with that conclusion at all.

    Mediocre division? I guess it depends on how you define it.
    AL East >> AL West > AL Centeral.

    Of course it should be an exciting race. No doubt.
    vr, Xei

    Comment by Xeifrank — January 13, 2010 @ 7:13 pm

  41. Chone projections
    (using lineup, 1 Backup C, 2 extra IF, 2 extra OF, Starter Pitchers totaling between 875-900 Inn and 6 main relievers)

    Angels

    Hitting Roster – Napoli, Mathis, Morales, Kendrick, Aybar, Wood, Izturis, Sandoval, Rivera, Hunter, Abreu, Matthews, Willits, Matsui
    Pitching Roster – Weaver, Kazmir, Santana, Saunders, Bell, Fuentes, Shields, Rodney, Bulger, Jespen, R Rodriguez
    (I used Bell instead of Plamer or O’Sullivan because he is projected to be the best. The Angels still fall short on innings, so I gave O’Sullivan 50 innings at his projected FIP)

    Hitting WAR = 21
    Pitching WAR = 15.3
    Total WAR = 36.3

    Mariners

    Hitting Roster – Johnson, Moore, Kotchman, Lopez, Wilson, Figgins, Woodward, Hannahan, Bradley, Guiterrez, Suzuki, Saunders, Langerhan, Griffey
    Pitching Roster – Felix, Lee, Rowand-Smith, Snell, Fister, Aardsma, Lowe, League, Petit, White, Kelley

    Hitting WAR = 17.7
    Pitching WAR = 19.5
    Total WAR = 37.2

    Rangers

    Hitting Roster – Teagarden, Salty, Davis, Kinsler, Andrus, Young, Greene, German, Cruz, Borbon, Hamilton, Murphy, Boggs, Guerrero,
    Pitching Roster – Harden, Feldman, Hunter, McCarthy, Holland, Feliz, Harrison, Francisco, Wilson, O’Day, Ray, Oliver, Mathis
    (Harrison and Feliz used to give enough starting innings. CHONE thinks this rotation will see turnover, unlike the other two. Looking at the pitchers, it makes sense and I agree. Overall innings still less then other three teams, but really close)

    Hitting WAR = 26
    Pitching WAR = 15.9
    Total WAR = 41.9

    Athletics

    Hitting Roster – Suzuki, Powell, Barton, Ellis, Pennington, Chavez, Miles, Patterson, Davis, Crisp, Sweeney, Hairston, Fox, Cust
    Pitching Roster – B. Anderson, Cahil, Bradon, Mazzaro, Duchscherer, Gonzalez, Bailey, Wuertz, Ziegler, Devine, Breslow, Blevins
    (again, Geo Gonzalez used to meet inning needs)

    Hitting WAR = 20.8
    Pitching WAR = 18.2
    Total WAR = 39.0

    Overall standings based off CHONE WAR scores (with 48W representing replacement level team)
    Rangers rough record of 90-72
    Athletics rough record of 87-75
    Mariners rough record of 85-77
    Angels rough record of 84-78

    Didn’t see that coming when I set out to do it.

    Meanwhile, replacing Wood, Matsui and Bell with Figgins, Vlad and Lackey results in 23.5 Hitters (up from 21), 17.9 Pitchers (up from 15.3) and 41.4 WAR overall (up from 36.3) for a 89-73 record for the Angels.

    Comment by JoeyO — January 13, 2010 @ 7:29 pm

  42. I’m more fascinated by the players Dave left off this list. Hunter, Morales, Aybar and Rivera are the more predictable of the Angels.

    The real variables are Abreu, Kendrick and Napoli. Why wasn’t Abreu written about in this blog post? He was a huge part of the Angels last year, and will either age quickly or outperform his age. Also, looking at Kendrick’s 2nd half stats makes me think he’s going to be off the charts in 2010. I think most Angel fans are excited about Kendrick really starting to hit in 2010 like Morales did in 2009. And Kendrick is still competing for his spot with another second baseman who proved himself this year, Maicer Izturis. Napoli also had a breakout year, putting a threat in a position that’s usually an offensive black hole.

    Comment by BiketoBigA — January 13, 2010 @ 10:23 pm

  43. The results are wrong. You need to deduct for AAA and below replacement level pitching and hitting.
    vr, Xei

    Comment by Xeifrank — January 13, 2010 @ 11:03 pm

  44. This all ignores his extremely fragile UCL, which has a decent chance of tearing at some point during the season.

    Comment by alskor — January 13, 2010 @ 11:15 pm

  45. Sounds like the real issue is whether the Halos can withstand Mike Soscia’s idiosyncrasies in 2010.

    If Mathis plays over Napoli, for instance, and/or Izturis over Wood they’re pretty much toast.

    Comment by alskor — January 13, 2010 @ 11:18 pm

  46. When working with RAR/WAR numbers replacement players are assumed to be just that, replacement level players. That is, -20 runs per season, and providing a 0 WAR. Adding or Subtracting Zero’s wont adjust the results.

    Comment by JoeyO — January 13, 2010 @ 11:47 pm

  47. As of now, the Starting Rotation (1-4s only) W.A.R. predictions from CHONE and Bill James rate the AL West:

    1. Seattle
    2. Oakland
    3. LAA
    4. Texas.

    And that so happens to be how I see the division ending.

    Comment by PL — January 14, 2010 @ 12:36 am

  48. But you’d agree that the Angels aren’t that much worse than they were last year, and the M’s and Rangers have improved? Perhaps the Athletics have improved as well?

    2009 results:
    Angels vs AL East: 26-17
    Rangers vs AL East: 27-20
    Mariners vs AL East: 21-19
    Oakland vs AL East: 21-23

    Last year three of the four AL West teams had winning records against the AL East (and even lowly Oakland was one game away from .500). Overall the AL West went 95-79 vs the East and 96-78 vs the Central. So based on the actual records I’d say last year it went
    West >> East >> Central

    Unless you think the AL West teams have gotten weaker relative to the rest of the AL, how do you think it’s going to go worse for them this year?

    Comment by joser — January 14, 2010 @ 4:30 am

  49. No, you assume that the replacements are… replacement level. That’s the whole point of WAR.

    Comment by vivaelpujols — January 14, 2010 @ 5:36 am

  50. You see Oakland ahead of Texas?

    Comment by vivaelpujols — January 14, 2010 @ 5:38 am

  51. Emphasis on the word “quite”. It’s a matter of degrees. Some regression, sure. Cut in half? No.

    Comment by SteveM — January 14, 2010 @ 9:46 am

  52. My own analysis spit out Texas, Seattle, LAA, Oakland. It’s worth noting that what I came up with is confident about Seattle, LAA, and Oakland, but not about Texas (this makes sense because they rely entirely on young or risky (Harden/Hamilton) talent.

    Comment by The A Team — January 14, 2010 @ 9:51 am

  53. Take a look at almost every single team last year and every year before that that WAR was calculated for. You will see that every team has players that contribute negative WAR, some teams got around -6.0 WAR for hitting. NL teams usually much more due to pitchers hitting. There must be some adjustment made for it. I understand the concept of Replacement Level Player = 0 WAR, but empirical data shows that teams will get negative WAR from hitting and pitching.
    vr, Xei

    Comment by Xeifrank — January 14, 2010 @ 12:08 pm

  54. Xeifrank,

    It just doesnt work like that. Replacement level is replacement level. And even if some players provide negatives, others are providing positives to counter it out.

    Look at a team like the Angels.

    This is their 2009 opening day roster:
    Abreu, Aybar, Figgins, Guerrero, Hunter, Kendrick, Mathis, Matthews, Morales, Napoli, Quinlan, Rivera, Willits, Arredondo, Bulger, Escobar (hurt), Fuentes, Jespen, Lackey (hurt), Oliver, Santana (hurt), Saunders, Shields, Speier, Weaver

    Replacement (or added) players are seen in

    Sean Rodriguez (0.0)
    Bobby Wilson (0.0)
    Brandon Wood (0.0)
    Chris Pettit (-0.1)
    Ryan Buddie (-0.1)
    Terry Evans (-0.1)

    Scott Kazmir (+1.2)
    Matt Palmer (+0.9)
    Shane Loux (+0.6)
    Nick Adenhart (0.2)
    Dustin Moseley (0.1)
    Trevor Bell (0.1)
    Bobby Mosebach (0.0)
    Daniel Davidson (-0.1)
    Rafael Rodriguez (-0.1)
    Fernando Rodriguez (-0.1)
    Sean O’Sullivan (-0.1)
    Rich Thompson (-0.2)
    Anthony Ortega (-0.2)

    The total of those 20 players is +2.0 WAR in replacement players. And even if you discount Kazmir, you are looking at +0.8 WAR from the other replacement players the Angels used.

    Now in the NL where pitchers get so many AB, yeah you can stand to remove 2-3 WAR for them hitting. In the AL their PA are so minimum that you have to assume its at least really close to Zero. Last year in the AL, pitchers accounted for an overall -3.4 with the bat. Spread over 14 teams, that is only -0.2 WAR each – not anything close to enough to account for any real change in the end results.

    Comment by JoeyO — January 14, 2010 @ 1:30 pm

  55. JoeyO, let’s take a look at the four AL West teams from last year and sum up all their negative WAR.

    Hitting:
    LAA: -3.4
    TEX: -2.1
    SEA: -3.1
    OAK: -4.0

    Pitching:
    LAA: -0.8
    TEX: -1.2
    SEA: -1.8
    OAK: -0.6

    So obviously some level of negative WAR exists for every team come the end of the year. If it didn’t then Fangraphs would list all players with a negative WAR with a 0.0 instead… but they don’t. Like it or not, negative WAR exists for each and every team come the end of the year. It may not be predictable from which player(s) it will come from, but it appears nonetheless. Therefore, you better take it into account when doing a team total projection.
    vr, Xei

    Comment by Xeifrank — January 14, 2010 @ 2:51 pm

  56. “Like it or not, negative WAR exists for each and every team come the end of the year.”

    You cant just add up all the negatives and say “here, look, you need to take WAR away”. It flat out doesnt work like that, at all, and the statement makes no sense.

    That negative value does not always come from the replacement players. Quite often it is from their initial 25-man roster, as we already saw was the case with Anaheim in 2009. And the initial rosters I allotted for included negative projections. Players werent left off my current rosters just because they were projected to be a negative.

    So I already gave you the Angels roster that shows they actually got +2 WAR from their replacement and added players last season. Yet you are going to somehow claim WAR should be removed to represent replacement players not currently on the rosters? Why would we do so when the Angels just proved that those players not currently on the 25-man, overall, dont always represent a negative value?

    Or here, look at Oakland. These are the negative hitters on their squad that you claim cost them 4 Runs.

    Tommy Everidge
    Travis Buck
    Nomar Garciaparra
    Scott Hairston
    Gregorio Petit
    Jason Giambi
    Eric Chavez
    Aaron Cunningham
    Bobby Crosby

    The problem is this. Of that group, only Everidge, Hairston, Petit and Cunningham represent players outside the opening-day 25 man (or in other words, only those four represent replacement players) They did technically use 4 replacement hitters that combined for a -1.5 WAR. But those arent the only replacement players they used by any means, and that -1.5 WAR by those four is more then countered by callups like Cliff Pennington (+0.8), Jack Hannahan (+0.5), and Daric Barton (+0.7). Those three combined for a +2 WAR as replacement players, which is +0.5 WAR over the four negative value call-ups. Same thing happens on the pitching side where Gio Gonzalez (+1.2) easily makes up for the -0.6 WAR on pitching. Overall, it looks as if Oakland will have a positive impact from their non-opening day replacement players just like the Angels did.

    So again, no, no you dont. You don’t randomly remove WAR after the projections on the lineups. Why? Replacement players outside the opening 25-man rosters both add and remove WAR, and overall are assumed to be Zero. (but ironically, the only two teams we did so far seem to point to replacement players adding WAR more then they remove it, lol)

    Comment by JoeyO — January 14, 2010 @ 4:07 pm

  57. Joey, it doesn’t matter where it comes from… the fact is that it is there for EVERY team at different levels. It must be accounted for. You must deduct for it. You don’t have to assign it to any particular player(s), you can just make a team “sucktitude” negative adjustment. We can agree to disagree I suppose.
    vr, Xei

    Comment by Xeifrank — January 14, 2010 @ 5:29 pm

  58. “Joey, it doesn’t matter where it comes from… the fact is that it is there for EVERY team at different levels. It must be accounted for.”

    You don’t understand this very well at all, do you?

    This exercise is in CHONE projections covering 95% or more of the playing time the teams should receive. The remaining 5 or so percent would go to players assumed to be Zero. So yes it matters very much where you feel this imaginary negative comes from; that would show where your erroneous thinking comes in. See, if you think it comes from the opening day roster, you are saying we must account for incorrect projections which defeats the purpose of ever using projections in the first place. If it comes from replacement players then it defeats the purpose of the entire replacement level system.

    In the end, we are left with only those two possibilities. If you insist on randomly remove WAR after the fact you would have to be saying one of these two things

    1) The projections are wrong
    2) Replacement players wont provide replacement level production

    If your answer is 1, then you are missing the entire point of the exercise. If your answer is 2, you’re saying the RAR/WAR system is incorrect and based off the two teams we looked into, you’re flat out wrong.

    And if for some strange, illogical, reason you don’t grasp that and absolutely insist on assigning a random “sucktitude” adjustment, then you must also account for players who outperform projections and assign a random “studatude” adjustment as well. Overall, the two would cancel eachother out and you are left right back where we started off to begin with.

    Comment by JoeyO — January 14, 2010 @ 6:18 pm

  59. Joey, you seem to be missing the point. Answer this question yes or no. At the end of the 2010 season there will be negative WAR from both hitters and pitchers for all four AL West teams? If you answer no, then you need to do a little fact checking. If you answer yes, then you have made my point.

    You don’t need to account for “studitude”. Yes, 50% of the players should outperform their projection and 50% of the players should underperform their projections, so yes they cancel each other out. But what doesn’t get cancelled out is the fact that you put a floor limit of 0.0 for every single player when it is a clear and obvious “fact” that there will be player(s) with negative WAR and since in your mind negative WAR does not exist, your reasoning becomes flawed. Negative WAR is real and tangible, you must account for it.

    For example, let’s take a team like the San Diego Padres. Let’s see what their 2009 WAR total came out to be. A quick look shows that in 2009 their hitting/fielding WAR totalled 15.9 and their pitching 5.9 for a total of 48+21.8 = 69.8 wins.

    Let’s narrow it down and look at the pitching. Their pitchers accumulated 5.9 WAR in 2009, a pretty dismal amount, no? A closer look shows that they received 12.8 of positive WAR and -6.9 of negative WAR. Since you do not believe in negative WAR you would have the Padres pitching staff at 12.8 WAR not the true 5.9 WAR. This is a rather large difference. You cannot just say that, oh this negative WAR will be cancelled out.

    And on a less serious note, I hope that you don’t also believe that in golf you are not allowed to shoot 5 under par, as negative par goes against the concept of par. lol

    vr, Xei

    Comment by Xeifrank — January 14, 2010 @ 7:32 pm

  60. Okay, I’m getting to the point where I feel you may just be stupid here…

    “Yes, 50% of the players should outperform their projection and 50% of the players should underperform their projections, so yes they cancel each other out.”

    How can you say that, then in the following sentence give us this?

    “But what doesn’t get cancelled out is the fact that you put a floor limit of 0.0 for every single player when it is a clear and obvious “fact” that there will be player(s) with negative WAR”

    The answer to your issues here is in my final paragraph. Randomly remove 3 WAR for this “suckatude” if you like, but you will also have to add 3 WAR for “studatude” just the same and the end results stay the same.

    Okay look, we will dummy this down as much as humanly possible for you.

    CHONE Projections off current 25-Man rosters:
    Rangers Total WAR = 41.9, Rangers rough record of 90-72
    Athletics Total WAR = 39.0, Athletics rough record of 87-75
    Mariners Total WAR = 37.2, Mariners rough record of 85-77
    Angeles Total WAR = 36.3, Angels rough record of 84-78

    Any remaining playing time goes to Replacement Level Players. Replacement Level Players are assumed to have a Zero WAR, it’s the entire basis of RAR/WAR. Sure any season some might be higher, some might be lower; but they have to be assumed to be Zero.

    Now I have a question for you. Say there are 20 such replacement players needed. What difference is there between these two examples of said 20 players?

    Example A:
    20 at 0.0

    Example B:
    2 at +0.5
    2 at +0.3
    2 at +0.2
    3 at +0.1
    2 at 0.0
    3 at -0.1
    2 at -0.2
    2 at -0.3
    2 at -0.5

    Truth is there is no difference between those two, is there? But if your insistence is solely that those 20 replacement players must be inserted in that (or some similar) random manor which shows some players listed as a negative, feel free to knock yourself out. And in the end, the results will correctly stay

    CHONE Projections off current 25-Man rosters:
    Rangers Total WAR = 41.9, Rangers rough record of 90-72
    Athletics Total WAR = 39.0, Athletics rough record of 87-75
    Mariners Total WAR = 37.2, Mariners rough record of 85-77
    Angeles Total WAR = 36.3, Angels rough record of 84-78

    Comment by JoeyO — January 14, 2010 @ 8:41 pm

  61. Joey, personal attacks are one of the sure sign strategies of a losing argument. If you want to discuss this without calling people names let me know, until then…
    nvr, Xei

    Comment by Xeifrank — January 14, 2010 @ 9:19 pm

  62. Rangers Total WAR = 41.9, Rangers rough record of 90-72
    Athletics Total WAR = 39.0, Athletics rough record of 87-75
    Mariners Total WAR = 37.2, Mariners rough record of 85-77
    Angeles Total WAR = 36.3, Angels rough record of 84-78

    87 wins for the A’s. This proves my point.
    vr, Xei

    Comment by Xeifrank — January 14, 2010 @ 9:21 pm

  63. You’re kidding right?

    Ok fine, ignore the first part then. Here:

    CHONE Projections off current 25-Man rosters:
    Rangers Total WAR = 41.9, Rangers rough record of 90-72
    Athletics Total WAR = 39.0, Athletics rough record of 87-75
    Mariners Total WAR = 37.2, Mariners rough record of 85-77
    Angeles Total WAR = 36.3, Angels rough record of 84-78

    Any remaining playing time goes to Replacement Level Players. Replacement Level Players are assumed to have a Zero WAR, it’s the entire basis of RAR/WAR. Sure any season some might be higher, some might be lower; but they have to be assumed to be Zero.

    Now I have a question for you. Say there are 20 such replacement players needed. What difference is there between these two examples of said 20 players?

    Example A:
    20 at 0.0

    Example B:
    2 at +0.5
    2 at +0.3
    2 at +0.2
    3 at +0.1
    2 at 0.0
    3 at -0.1
    2 at -0.2
    2 at -0.3
    2 at -0.5

    Truth is there is no difference between those two, is there? But if your insistence is solely that those 20 replacement players must be inserted in that (or some similar) random manor which shows some players listed as a negative, feel free to knock yourself out. And in the end, the results will correctly stay

    CHONE Projections off current 25-Man rosters:
    Rangers Total WAR = 41.9, Rangers rough record of 90-72
    Athletics Total WAR = 39.0, Athletics rough record of 87-75
    Mariners Total WAR = 37.2, Mariners rough record of 85-77
    Angeles Total WAR = 36.3, Angels rough record of 84-78

    Comment by JoeyO — January 14, 2010 @ 9:38 pm

  64. I guess… Well, that is, it proves your point if you’re only point is that you dont want to believe the CHONE projections.

    Of course that also doesn’t mean anything, and the CHONE projections still remain as stated.

    Comment by JoeyO — January 14, 2010 @ 9:51 pm

  65. Wow guys. I think you don’t realize that you’re in two different conversations.

    Xei, are you calculating for all 30 clubs and getting a balanced result?

    JoeyO, same questions.

    Comment by DJacobs — January 14, 2010 @ 11:51 pm

  66. hahah Jacob, I tried to avoid the flame war, but was followed here. What can I do? Good question about the balanced results. I calculated for all 30 clubs and am slightly over .500 when adding up all win/loss records. I can live with that margin of error. If I were doing it for a college thesis, of course I’d tighten the strings a little bit. It’s quite likely that if you project the worst team in the AL West to have 84 wins and have the A’s at 87 wins that you are likely not to be very balanced using the same method for all thirty teams. If Vegas set the over/under on A’s wins at 87, there would be a lopsided amount of money bet on the under, no? Thanks for the thoughtful question(s).
    vr, Xei

    Comment by Xeifrank — January 15, 2010 @ 12:31 am

  67. No argument here. It appears you do not understand my point. Put the 20 players at 0.0 WAR, which is fine by me. Then you need to add a negative offset for the inevitable negative hitting WAR. Because you are guaranteed that in the end there will be negative hitting WAR. Guaranteed! More for NL teams due to the pitchers batting. Take a look at one of the teams for 2009 on Fangraphs. Click on the ‘value” tab and add up all the negative hitting WAR. It must be accounted for, even if you cannot predict from which player(s) it will come from. Otherwise, you end up with weird predictions that have every team in the AL West winning 84 to 90 games and the A’s winning 87. You will also most likely end up with a league wide projected winning percentage well above .500.
    vr, Xei

    Comment by Xeifrank — January 15, 2010 @ 2:04 am

  68. this is for NEPP but i dont see a reply in his box.

    “It makes you wonder if his offense is somewhat a creation of playing in the PCL (a notorious hitters league).”

    typical fringe fan comment. take a look at that dudes numbers every single year hes played pro ball. that’s all i am going to say.

    “He’s struggled in his brief cameos in the Majors so far.”

    its hilarious that you draw conclusion from his big league playing time. that sample size problem is like stats 101.

    Comment by Nick — February 1, 2010 @ 4:28 pm

  69. its funny you say that when most would say the reason they outperform their projections is the very man whose name you can’t spell.

    and izturis over wood = toast shows how little you really know about baseball.

    Comment by Nick — February 1, 2010 @ 4:48 pm

  70. Wins Above Replacement Manager? WARM?

    Comment by B N — April 9, 2010 @ 9:34 pm

  71. “JoeyO, same questions”

    It was the CHONE projections, I cant change the results (no matter how much screaming Xeifrank did insisting that I somehow must).

    Comment by JoeyO — April 9, 2010 @ 10:11 pm

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