Update: Short 2

The second short reliever (ERA: 3.00 – 4.00) indexed is left-hander Mike Myers. Myers is on the current roster, so it is time to check up on his performance:

Mike Myers, Weighted ERA

(ERA) (Games Played / 162) + (Projected ERA) [(162 – Games Played) / 162]
(2.52) (110 / 162) + (4.10) [(162 – 110) / 162]
(2.52) (0.68) + (4.10) (52 / 162)
1.71 + (4.10) (0.32)
1.71 + 1.31
3.02

Perfect again! Myers is as good as a short reliever can get, but a short reliever nonetheless. Rotation Status:

  1. Closer: Mariano Rivera [-]
  2. Set: Kyle Farnsworth [-]
  3. Short: Chris Britton [A]
  4. Short: (L) Mike Myers
  5. Long: Luis Vizcaino
  6. Long: Scott Proctor

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Update: Starter #4

The
currently indexed third starter for New York is Andy Pettitte. On our last check through the cycle, Pettitte was actually pitching too well for this back-end role. Let’s see if things have changed:

Andy Pettitte, Weighted ERA

(ERA) (Games Played / 162) + (Projected ERA) [(162 – Games Played) / 162]
(3.97) (109 / 162) + (4.08) [(162 – 109) / 162]
(3.97) (0.67) + (4.08) (53 / 162)
2.66 + (4.08) (0.33)
2.66 + 1.35
4.01

Perfect! Pettitte is as good as a legitimate number four starter can get, but he is a number four starter. Rotation Status:

1.    [No Starter]
2.    [No Starter]
3.    Chien-Ming Wang
4.    (L) Andy Pettitte
5.    Mike Mussina
6.    Darrell Rasner (A)

Et Cetera…

American League East Offense

(2) New York: 596
(4) Boston: 542
(10) Tampa: 488
(11) Toronto: 485
(12) Baltimore: 474

Commentary: New York and Boston remain strong offensive teams while Tampa Bay, Toronto and Baltimore continue to close toward the cellar of the American League. The AL East, outside of Boston and New York, is definitely not the offensive juggernaut it used to be in the early part of this decade (when Toronto had a balanced, all-cylinders offense and Baltimore had a more powerful Tejada and Mora). Terry Crowley, the Baltimore hitting coach, definitely needs to get axed. 

American League East Defense

(1) Boston: 410
(T3) Toronto: 454
(T3) Baltimore: 454
(7) New York: 473
(14) Tampa: 656

Commentary: Big news on the defensive end. Boston remains in solid first place, but Baltimore improves steadily and Toronto throws thirteen shutouts while building skyscrapers with her eyelashes to improve to tie for third place. New York falls to roughly the middle of the AL East pack, with Tampa bay holding down the caboose as always. Jim Hickey (pitching coach fore the Devil Rays) should get fired. 

American League East Run Differentials, Letter Grades

Boston: +132, A+
New York: +123, A+
Toronto: +31, B
Baltimore: +20, B-
Tampa: -168, F

Commentary: The ranking remains the same, but the letter grades change. New York is finally playing the baseball everyone expected, posting A+ performance with a great differential. Meanwhile, Toronto and Baltimore are rewarded for their improved defensive play: Toronto with a solid B and Baltimore with a B-. Tampa Bay remains hopeless (Andrew Friedman should get fired) while Boston remains invincible as always.

American League East Playoff Chances

(1) Boston: 87%

(2) New York: 11%

Commentary: Boston continues to solidify their lead, as the season closes and they approach the 95th percentile. Meanwhile, the Wild Card race continues to heat up. It remains a six team race, although Anaheim has dropped out (due to their security in the AL West) and been replaced by Boston (which now can better hedge her chances due to her strong play). New York is now surprisingly the Wild Card favorite, with a 29% chance to make the playoffs. Cleveland is the other strong candidate; together New York and Cleveland account for 50% of the race.

(1) New York: 29%
(2) Cleveland: 21%
(3) Detroit: 15%
(4) Seattle: 12%
(T5) Minnesota: 7%
(T5) Boston: 7%

New York continues to present a strange case, under-performing her Pythagorean projection significantly. New York is eight games back of her projection. In other words, with average luck and management, New York would be up four games in the wild card race and tied with Boston for the AL East lead. This suggests that Joe Torre should be let go at the end of the 2007 Season.

Profile: Jorge Posada

We now begin our overview of the New York lineup, by order of position.The first position we will cover is that of Catcher. Jorge Posada is
clearly the starting Catcher for New York in the 2007 Season.

Contract Status: Jorge Posada is in the last year
of a six year / $63M contract with New York. Posada is 36 years old,
and Catcher is a very demanding defensive position. Nevertheless, you
have to expect that Posada will re-sign with New York during the
offseason.

2006: In the 2006 Season, Jorge Posada played 142
games. During his tenure he hit well, posting an EQA of .289 at the
defensively oriented backstop position. His defense was unusually
excellent; his FRAA rested at a very impressive 11. All told, Posada
was worth 7.1 wins in 2006, easily justifying his $11M salary.

Forecast: PECOTA’s projection for Posada makes an
awful lot of sense. His EQA is predicted to remain about the same, a
solid .290 from the catcher’s position. Meanwhile, PECOTA isn’t buying
the defensive hype, and expects Posada’s defense to be a more normal -1
FRAA. All told, the system predicts Posada to be worth roughly 4.9
wins, just about what he is currently paid in salary.

Upside: Posada has a low 25% improvement rate and
the lowest breakout rate I have seen, at 5%. These dismal stats reflect
the general value of an aging 36-year-old catcher. Interestingly, at
the 90th percentile Posada’s defense remains slightly below average, he
just compensates with a massive .323 EQA for a 7.1 WARP. It seems
PECOTA feels Posada is destined to be a roughly average defender.

Downside: Posada has a massive 48% collapse rate
and a 24% attrition rate, giving him an almost even chance at tanking
during the season. At the 10th percentile Posada has the same -1 FRAA
but his trademark offense is way down, posting an EQA of .247 (below
average). Posada still is worth two wins, even at this low benchmark,
meaning that despite his faults and risks Jorge is a valued commodity
for New York.

2007: Posada’s current season has definitely beaten
the odds. The PECOTA projection for defense was spot-on: Posada has
returned to being a slightly below average defender. Offensively,
though, Jorge has been a truly excellent hitter, posting a .310 EQA.
Together with his good work ethic this season the numbers indicate that
Jorge has already been worth 5.1 wins to the team, and could tie his
2006 numbers by the end of the season. That would put major pressure on
Brian to re-sign him.

Offer: Coming in to the season, New York would
probably want to aim for a three year contract anywhere between $24 –
$36M (8 – 12 million annually). The higher end matches what Posada gets
now, but the lower end would mean a pay cut for Jorge. Given his strong
season, Posada may not be willing to accept this offer, and it may need
to be improved when September rolls around.

Update: Short 1

The first short reliever (ERA: 3.00 – 4.00) indexed is Chris Britton. Britton, however, is not currently on the active roster. Britton is currently, for reasons not immediately obvious, dominating AAA. His stats there are a 2.80 ERA with a 9.60 K/9 and a 2.6 BB/9. He gets the absent mark from the bullpen, but we can only hope he gets called back up soon. Bullpen Status:

  1. Closer: Mariano Rivera [-]
  2. Set: Kyle Farnsworth [-]
  3. Short: Chris Britton [A]
  4. Short: (L) Mike Myers
  5. Long: Luis Vizcaino
  6. Long: Scott Proctor

Update: Starter #3

The currently indexed third starter for New York is Phillip Hughes. While Hughes might pitch well enough for this role, he has been injured and (unfortunately) after two cycles we have to drop him. What pitcher should take his place? Let’s begin by sorting for starters:

-Brian Bruney is a reliever
-Roger Clemens is a starter
-Kyle Farnsworth is a reliever
-Sean Henn is a reliever
-Mike Mussina is a starter
-Mike Myers is a reliever
-Andy Pettite is a starter
-Scott Proctor is a reliever
-Mariano Rivera is a reliever
-Ron Villone is a reliever
-Luis Vizcaino is a reliever
-Chien-Ming Wang is a starter

Therefore, the candidates are: Clemens, Mussina, Pettitte, Wang. Of these four starters, Pettitte and Mussina are already indexed to the rotation, pitching fourth and fifth respectively. That leaves Roger Clemens and Chien-Ming Wang.

Roger Clemens, Weighted ERA

(ERA) (Games Played / 162) + (Projected ERA) [(162 – Games Played) / 162]
(3.92) (105 / 162) + (3.16) [(162 – 105) / 162]
(3.92) (0.65) + (3.16) (57 / 162)
2.55 + (3.16) (0.35)
2.55 + 1.10
3.65

Chien-Ming Wang, Weighted ERA

(ERA) (Games Played / 162) + (Projected ERA) [(162 – Games Played) / 162]
(3.61) (105 / 162) + (4.31) [(162 – 105) / 162]
(3.61) (0.65) + (4.31) (57 / 162)
2.35 + (4.31) (0.35)
2.35 + 1.51
3.86

Both Clemens and Wang would make reasonable third pitchers, so we go to soft factors. Neither pitcher is a left-hander. Wang costs less money, and Wang is younger. Therefore, Wang is seeded into the indexed rotation. The rotation currently:

1.    [No Starter]
2.    [No Starter]
3.    Chien-Ming Wang
4.    (L) Andy Pettitte (+)
5.    Mike Mussina
6.    Darrell Rasner (A)

Et Cetera…

American League East Offense

(2) New York: 519
(4) Boston: 492
(9) Tampa: 458
(10) Toronto: 444
(12) Baltimore: 432

Commentary: The ranking remains largely unchanged, only a switch between Tampa and Toronto disturbs the peaceful ranks. New York and Boston continue to hit well, both providing powerful and elite offenses. Tampa is now a below average offense, but a promising one as covered in my last entry. Toronto and Baltimore really need to get a move on. A good start would be to fire their hitting coaches, especially in Baltimore’s case. 

American League East Defense

(1) Boston: 384
(T5) New York: 435
(T5) Baltimore: 435
(8) Toronto: 443
(14) Tampa: 573

Commentary: News from the defensive front in the form of ressurgent Baltimore run-prevention, tying New York for fifth in the American League. Boston continues to lead the league in run prevention, while Toronto continues to put along around average. Tampa is by far and away the worst defensive team, in dead last. Jim Hickey, pitching coach of Tampa Bay, should probably be fired at the end of this season. 

American League East Run Differentials, Letter Grades

Boston: +108, A+
New York: +84, A
Toronto: +1, C
Baltimore: -3, C
Tampa: -115, F

Commentary: Business as usual. New York and Boston remain elite teams in the American League. Toronto and Baltimore remain average teams with no postseason potential, and Tampa continues to distinguish itself as one of the truly worst teams in the American League. Andrew Friedman, General Manager of the Devil Rays, should also probably get the shaft for the continued failure of the team when the season comes to an end.

American League East Playoff Chances

(1) Boston: 81%

(2) New York: 18%

Commentary: Boston’s lead in the AL-East shrinks slightly, but their percentage remains strong. New York has just under a 20% chance of catching Boston, which seems surprising given Boston’s incredibly strong run prevention and large lead. The Wild-Card race continues to be between six teams, with a full half of the stock carried by the two leaders: Cleveland and Detroit. Seattle, Minnesota, New York and Anaheim are the other teams with good chances. One has to wonder whether Joe Torre’s job is in question given the poor performance of the Yankees compared to their differential.

(1) Cleveland: 34%
(2) Detroit: 20%
(3) Seattle: 12%
(4) Minnesota: 12%
(5) New York: 9%
(6) Anaheim: 8%