Friday, March 19, 2004
A Two-Edged, VORPal Sword
And now for a brief explanation of why PECOTA is wrong and I'm right:
- Anderson I'm legitimately worried about at this point. His bicep tendonitis has kept him out of the lineup so far and is making me worried he'll mangle his swing in an unsuccessful attempt to "adjust". Of all of these players, Anderson's the one who'll live down to his numbers.
- Eckstein is the most immediately and obviously wrong of these players, and I suspect shows PECOTAs weaknesses at the edges: first, for players with little major league history (check, for Eck), and for those who have been recently injured (check, again). So -- the hell? Eckstein is supposedly overproducing in 2002, when in fact it represents only a 2.5% increase over the previous year? And then, injuries cause him to take a nearly 100% dive the next year, and is only expected to show up as two-thirds of a healthy Eck? Er, right. This is why I have a hard time putting much trust in PECOTA. It's a nice toy, but...
- Erstad is a lost cause, mostly. Most of the arguments for Erstad's move to first spin on the axis of him hitting better when he's healthy, therefore keeping him out of center will help somehow. First of all, his only season playing first, 1999, was a .253/.304/.374 extravaganza. His next year, 2000, was his .355/.409/.541 career year, one which didn't help the team much. Second, most of his value comes from his stunning defense in center, blah blah. But, just for a second, let's humor Rob and look at his pre- and post-All Star splits:
Pre All Star Post All Star Year AB OBP SLG AVG AB OBP SLG AVG 1999 349 .326 .393 .266 236 .282 .347 .233 2000 375 .441 .592 .384 301 .370 .478 .319 2001 344 .351 .401 .279 287 .307 .310 .233 2002 332 .342 .419 .310 293 .280 .355 .253 2003 184 .327 .353 .272 74 .263 .284 .203
Ooh, surprise, surprise, he's a much better player in the first half than he is in the second, even in his career year, and even in 1999 when he was principally the team's first baseman. While there might be something to the "keep Ersty safe at first" theory, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of evidence for it. I'd have to agree with PECOTA on him, too.
- Similar thoughts for Eckstein also apply to Kennedy and Molina as well. Are they really that abysmal? I'd take a roll that either of them has a bad year, but not both, and frankly, the catcher's my candidate. Abuse takes its toll.
- Glaus, rebound, yeah, and better than 2002, too. Sure, I'll buy that.
- Finally, I buy into Salmon falling apart, albeit in slow motion.