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jojo
02-11-2007, 02:04 PM
It’s that time of year again! Pitchers and catchers are due to report to camp very soon despite the threat of impending white doom here in the tristate. The former makes the latter bearable, at least for me as I tell myself, "it won’t be long before Old Man Winter’s icy grip melts away to the time honored sounds of Louisville sluggers striking cushioned cork encased in white Rawlings leather!" Even while shoveling the last acts of defiance of a season that can’t know the joys of hearing “Play Ball!” bellowed into the air or the delight of sharing the season’s first ballpark dog with your wide-eyed, awestruck kids, my mind drifts to the age old question oft asked both by 8 year old boys and the 8 year old boys existing within the psyche of grown men, “Is this the year for my Redlegs?”.

Anyway, that was my mindset last week while sitting on I75 for several hours during the snowstorm. In order to see what the Reds chances in ’07 might reasonably be expected to be, I turned to the five projection systems that are currently available to the public: 1) Bill James, 2) CHONE, 3) Marcel, 4) ZiPS, and 5) Pecota. There are several advantages of using these systems. First, modern projection systems are really quite advanced these days though they predict offense better than they currently predict pitching. Second, and importantly, the projection systems are devoid of fan-related biases that may unknowingly exist when examining our favorite team. Third, by taking an average of all of the projection systems (which is how I approached the question), individual biases of any single system can reasonably be mitigated. These projections then could be used to estimate RS and RA in order to determine Pathagorean wins. One last word, this was a lot of work and I tried to thoughtfully be as unbiased as possible when making assumptions so please play nice when offering critiques (but please feel free to critique!). Here’s the summary (caveats and methodology below):

http://img258.imageshack.us/img258/1986/projectedreds2007revisefx9.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

Wow! A winning season! The projections indicate Krivsky has assembled a collection of guys that could theoretically be above .500. This suggests that, if things break right and some key guys beat their projections, the Reds could be in the thick of a pennant race again this year. However, I'm a bit skeptical about the playoffs. First, that's a lot of things that need to go right while assuming nothing goes wrong. The Reds have little margin of error as a significant injury to a starter or two could doom the Reds to a losing season. Second, projections for Griffey/Dunn don’t consider the shift. Both are predicted to rebound from last season but is there any reason to believe that the shift won’t mess with their BABIP’s similarly this season? Third this assumes Homer spends at least half a year in the bigs and other decisions dependent upon Narron. For instance, will he play Denorfia enough to meet his projections? Will the roster have Moeller on it?

All that being said, there is reason to hope. If the Reds are in contention in July, the Reds might be able to get over the hump with the addition of a rent a player or perhaps small tweaks to sure up a weakness. My take on the 2007 Reds? If Krivsky was seeking to build a roster that hits the league mean with the hopes that the chips fall well and they catch lightning in a bottle, then he's achieved that. If 90 wins are required to win the divsion, then reds fans should expect to be in the division race until deep into September. Wohoo! I'm looking forward to some more discounted tickets and dollar hotdogs. :cool: This could be a good season or a season to forget. Most likely it will just be an average season with reason to hope for more. There will be plenty to cheer about.

So a few words about my methodology and some caveats:
1. Obviously, it is very difficult to predict what the roster will look like. I tried to make the best estimate of how the Reds will emerge from spring training. Also, there are more than 25 players listed above. Some are guys that will likely take the ride on the AAA shuttle during the course of the season so the projected 25 man roster reflects some fluidity.

2. I’m assuming we’ll see Homer for roughly half of the season and I’m giving the nod to Saarloos as the 5th guy/swing man given his salary and the comments during recent press conferences that Lohse and Milton are penciled in at #3 and 4 in the rotation.

3. A few words concerning the parsing of AB and innings. I first determined the average projected performances (averaging all five projection systems) for players on the projected roster. Using regression analysis, total team AB’s and IP by the starting rotation were estimated from national league totals from 2002 through 2006 by using the '07 Reds projected performance levels to find similar teams during the past. Once IP by the starters were determined, subtracting them from 1450 determined innings by the bullpen. I can post the equations but suffice it to say that I could predict a given team’s AB within .5% for any given year for instance. So once, these targets were determined, I examined the projected averages to see if individual players AB or innings needed to be adjusted. Fortunately, the projections were almost dead on with a few notable exceptions. For hitting, I decreased Hamilton’s at bats in order to give Valentine an addition 77 Ab. This was necessary in order to raise the total projected AB for Reds catchers to a reasonable expected number. Also, Elizardo’s projected innings were reduced from slightly over 100 to 61. Given these limited tweaks, I’m confident that personal bias didn’t dramatically influence the RS and RA estimates (other than decisions concerning who would be in the roster of course).

4. In my original analysis, defensive estimates using PRM to runs (using ’06 data) were also included. However, for the projected roster, the net was -1 run. Given the uncertainty in the defense of the roster (i.e Griffey in RF, actual value of Denorfia and Freel etc), I felt pretty comfortable considering the roster neutral defensively and dropping defense from the equation for simplicity.

5. No projection system is destiny-all have built in biases and flaws. If there is sufficient interest, I'd like to initiate a redszone fan-based estimate drive to compile a similar set of projections during spring training to see how fan estimates stack up against the projection systems. Hopefully this will be fun.

GO REDS!

dougdirt
02-11-2007, 03:07 PM
Jojo, your picture isnt working for me.

mth123
02-11-2007, 03:16 PM
Good work. Here is what jumps out at me:

1. Encarnacion with an OPS of .822 seems about right to me, but will be a huge disappointment to most of this board.

2. Alex Gonzalez must be on HGH. That is a slugging % about 80 points higher than I expect and an OBP about 30 to 40 points higher. I can't see him creating more runs than Edwin and finishing second on the team there.

3. Too many innings for Bailey and probably more should go to Lizard, Saarloos and Lohse (which would change things).

4. Bullpen looks weak, but I expect that. Actually, Weathers and Cormier look better than I expect.

5. If Narron would actually play Deno that much, the offense would have a real chance.

6. Big year for Dunn!

7. Hatte/Conine platoon looks pretty weak. If Gonzalez doesn't put up these numbers and Deno doesn't play as much, those RC numbers could drop a lot. Its hard to carry poor offense at 1B unless the up the middle guys make up the difference.

jojo
02-11-2007, 03:33 PM
Jojo, your picture isnt working for me.


It worked alright for me when I previewed the original post before submitting it. I've tried attaching the file to this post. The resolution doesn't seem to be quite as good. Let me know if you have trouble accessing it...

:beerme:

mth123
02-11-2007, 03:36 PM
It worked alright for me when I previewed the original post before submitting it. I've tried attaching the file to this post. The resolution doesn't seem to be quite as good. Let me know if you have trouble accessing it...

:beerme:

I could see it fine.

reds44
02-11-2007, 03:40 PM
Am I going nuts, or does that have Seabass creating more runs then EE?

Btw, 82-80 is close to what I think. I have us going 85-77.

jojo
02-11-2007, 03:51 PM
It's interesting that an average of the projection systems really likes Gonzo in GABP. Pecota was the only one that was somewhat down on him (.258/.309 /.426). The other four systems are remarkably consistent with their love for him.

I guess that's one of the bigger surprises to me. Gonzo has more RC than EE. But he also gets more AB which accounts for the difference. That may be reasonable (the difference in AB) because who knows whether Narron will fall out of love with EE after an error and it's likely that Castro and Freel will get some at bats at 3b while its unlikely Castro replaces Gonzo in the late innings. I have to say that Pecota's projection for Gonzo's bat is more in line with what I was expecting.

These projections also support the argument that Deno would be a definite upgrade over Griffey in center. The two are projected to be similar bats while few would argue Denorfia isn't a significant upgrade defensively.

dougdirt
02-11-2007, 04:02 PM
Jojo, picture still doesnt work right for me, but I just quoted your post and stole the url to the picture and went and looked at it, so its good for me.

HumnHilghtFreel
02-11-2007, 04:17 PM
These projections also support the argument that Deno would be a definite upgrade over Griffey in center. The two are projected to be similar bats while few would argue Denorfia isn't a significant upgrade defensively.

Defensively, I have no doubt that Denorfia is a significant upgrade over Griffey. However, I don't see what you've seen that could lead you to believe that they are "similar bats."

Dracodave
02-11-2007, 04:22 PM
Defensively, I have no doubt that Denorfia is a significant upgrade over Griffey. However, I don't see what you've seen that could lead you to believe that they are "similar bats."

If excellent defensive play saves 10 to 15 runs a year. Deno's defense (plus if he projects to be a number 1-2 hitter in his career and most people have him at that) and his offensive of .280/.360 (avg/obp) conteracts Juniors defense.

Juniors bat is regressing. I really happen to think this line-up should be out there but wont be.

Deno/Freel
Hatte/Conine
Dunn
Edwin
Griffey
Phillips
Ross
Gonzalez

jojo
02-11-2007, 04:29 PM
Defensively, I have no doubt that Denorfia is a significant upgrade over Griffey. However, I don't see what you've seen that could lead you to believe that they are "similar bats."

First, I'm referring to the likely future not the past. if you're expecting '05 Griffey, those days are long gone IMHO. Like Dracodave stated, Griffey's bat is regressing.

If you normalize Deno's at bats to Griffey's, the difference in projected RC between the two for '07 is about 4. Thats less than half a win. Thats pretty similar. What Deno lacks in SLG with his doubles power, he makes up for with greater projected OBP. Factor in the defense and Deno could be a 1.5 to 2 win upgrade in centerfield.

dsmith421
02-11-2007, 04:40 PM
Those projections look a little optimistic for Gonzalez and Denorfia and a bit pessimistic for Encarnacion and Arroyo.

I still struggle to believe that a team giving as many starts as the Reds to some combination of Milton, Lohse, Saarloos, Ramirez, and Belisle can win 80 games, especially since it's probably optimistic to think Harang and Arroyo can provide nearly 500 innings of excellent pitching this season. I still think 75-78 wins is most likely unless Bailey emerges as a Jered Weaver/Justin Verlander/Francisco Liriano talent this season.

HumnHilghtFreel
02-11-2007, 04:59 PM
First, I'm referring to the likely future not the past. if you're expecting '05 Griffey, those days are long gone IMHO. Like Dracodave stated, Griffey's bat is regressing.

If you normalize Deno's at bats to Griffey's, the difference in projected RC between the two for '07 is about 4. Thats less than half a win. Thats pretty similar. What Deno lacks in SLG with his doubles power, he makes up for with greater projected OBP. Factor in the defense and Deno could be a 1.5 to 2 win upgrade in centerfield.

No, I realize that Griffey isn't the player of old. And I also realize that if Deno can put it together for a full year like he did in the last couple weeks of last season he could turn into a solid leadoff guy. I just think they're too different of hitters to really compare, though I see now you're doing it from more of a win share from a position perspective.

jmac
02-11-2007, 05:33 PM
Nice work JoJo.....I would give you points if I had enough myself.
Though our offense isnt what it was...I still believe it will be decent and better than what most think.
All I can say is "Bring on ST "!!!!!

AdamDunn
02-11-2007, 06:08 PM
75-87, give or take a couple. I completely disagree with those numbers. Those numbers don't look like winning season numbers at all!!! The offense is horrible and Arroyo and Harang bumb up their ERA a little.

jojo
02-12-2007, 10:52 AM
75-87, give or take a couple. I completely disagree with those numbers. Those numbers don't look like winning season numbers at all!!! The offense is horrible and Arroyo and Harang bumb up their ERA a little.

Actually the offense isn't horrible. Considering the NL over the last 5 seasons, if the Reds truly do manage to score 797 runs, their offense would easily be in the top half of the league.

I tend to think the projection systems like Dunn, Griffey and Gonzo too much, but the Reds are projected to be an above average NL offense in '07.

Eric_Davis
02-12-2007, 01:07 PM
The biggest thing the REDS have going for them is that every team in the National League has multiple weaknesses.

Eric_Davis
02-12-2007, 01:18 PM
What stands out to me the most about those projections are how consistently horrible the FIP's are for the relievers. Those have got to be the worst or second worst FIP's among relief corps in the NL.

Caveman Techie
02-12-2007, 01:39 PM
Those projections look a little optimistic for Gonzalez and Denorfia and a bit pessimistic for Encarnacion and Arroyo.

I still struggle to believe that a team giving as many starts as the Reds to some combination of Milton, Lohse, Saarloos, Ramirez, and Belisle can win 80 games, especially since it's probably optimistic to think Harang and Arroyo can provide nearly 500 innings of excellent pitching this season. I still think 75-78 wins is most likely unless Bailey emerges as a Jered Weaver/Justin Verlander/Francisco Liriano talent this season.


I agree that the numbers look a little optimistic for Gonzo, and pessimistic for Arroyo, I would add Harang to that list also.

As for the rotation, with the exception of Saarloos being added to that list....See 2006.

:)

jojo
02-12-2007, 01:55 PM
What stands out to me the most about those projections are how consistently horrible the FIP's are for the relievers. Those have got to be the worst or second worst FIP's among relief corps in the NL.


I thought that too but its actually a pretty nondescript pitching staff.... in '06 the major league average FIP was 4.60 for starters and 4.34 for relievers (defined as having never started a game in '06).

The projected Reds:
starters '07 FIP: 4.54
relievers '07 FIP: 4.30

So actually, the Reds staff as a whole projects to be decidedly league average. Unfortunately concerning the bullpen, there aren't really any standouts. If you focus on Bray and Majewski, the trade netted the Reds two young arms that, at least based upon their projected performance in '07, are not that exceptionally hard to find talents.

M2
02-12-2007, 02:01 PM
I'd doing flips if Gonzalez could hit like that. Keppinger is the other guy who struck me as being probably not nearly as good as his projection.

On the pitching side, the staff would set a new standard for thorough mediocrity if it could post a 4.54 ERA without one guy doing better than 4.00. It was two notably good years (from Arroyo and Harang) which dragged the pitching staff toward respectability last season and my guess is that if they each fall off like the above projections, then the team ERA is going to be north of 4.75 because the club will have lost it's two most powerful offsets to the inevitable list of things gone wrong.

jojo
02-12-2007, 02:22 PM
Last year was an absolute missed opportunity as 83 wins took the division. While this year may not be as golden, I'm inclined to view it as another good opportunity. Teams might only need 90 wins to take the division in '07.


I'd doing flips if Gonzalez could hit like that. Keppinger is the other guy who struck me as being probably not nearly as good as his projection.

On the pitching side, the staff would set a new standard for thorough mediocrity if it could post a 4.54 ERA without one guy doing better than 4.00. It was two notably good years (from Arroyo and Harang) which dragged the pitching staff toward respectability last season and my guess is that if they each fall off like the above projections, then the team ERA is going to be north of 4.75 because the club will have lost it's two most powerful offsets to the inevitable list of things gone wrong.

Yes, those are things that keep me from letting myself hope for 90 wins...there just doesn't seem to be oodles of margin for error. I think if the Reds are to have a legitimate shot, they need to add another part. Trade deadline maneuvers or perhaps the unexpectantly early arrival of a legit Votto could really make '07 interesting.

M2
02-12-2007, 02:59 PM
Last year was an absolute missed opportunity as 83 wins took the division. While this year may not be as golden, I'm inclined to view it as another good opportunity. Teams might only need 90 wins to take the division in '07.

My view tends to be that if your team can win 90 then it doesn't need to make any apologies, even if it misses the postseason. It's the magic number for me (requiring that team take 5 of every 9 games).

If you're good enough to play at that pace over the course of a season you can always seek a mid-season boost in a particularly competitive season. Even without that, you're in the fight. If you're an 80-something win team then you've largely put your fate in the hands of others.

pedro
02-12-2007, 03:10 PM
I'd doing flips if Gonzalez could hit like that.


Me too. Although I know it'd hurt when I fell.

Highlifeman21
02-12-2007, 03:36 PM
I'd be surprised if this team cracks 75 wins with Jerry Narron still at the helm.

Eric_Davis
02-12-2007, 04:41 PM
I guess it's a question of whether you'd want to have 6-7 guys all with FIP's in the 4.30 area, or two below 3, 3 below 4 and 2 above 5.3.

Let's hope that this year we do get two guys who hold their FIP's below 3 for the whole year, and another 2 that hold it below 4 the whole year. Is that asking too much?

jojo
02-12-2007, 11:11 PM
I guess it's a question of whether you'd want to have 6-7 guys all with FIP's in the 4.30 area, or two below 3, 3 below 4 and 2 above 5.3.

Let's hope that this year we do get two guys who hold their FIP's below 3 for the whole year, and another 2 that hold it below 4 the whole year. Is that asking too much?

Well I guess I'd take the second option-you could always give less innings to the guys with FIPs over 5....

BLEEDS
02-13-2007, 12:06 AM
19 Hr's by Gonzo - I stopped reading after that...

Okay, I read enough to see Freakin Milton and his NINE MILLION DOLLAR SALARY!!!! Geez, I want to punch Bowden in the nuts!!!!

PEACE

-BLEEDS

jojo
02-13-2007, 12:30 AM
Geez, I want to punch Bowden in the nuts!!!!

PEACE

-BLEEDS

I'm sure alot of people would be in line in front of you but what does that have to do with Milton being overpaid?

guttle11
02-13-2007, 02:26 AM
I'm sure alot of people would be in line in front of you but what does that have to do with Milton being overpaid?

I don't know, but I wouldn't mind giving DanO one as well for any one of Pants' shortcomings.

BLEEDS
02-13-2007, 09:49 AM
I'm sure alot of people would be in line in front of you but what does that have to do with Milton being overpaid?

My bad, was meaning O'Brien...

That has to be THE WORST Free Agent acquisition in the History of the Reds. Take a guy who gives up the most Homers in the majors, and put him in the the most homer-friendly park in the Bigs. GREAT IDEA!!! Oh yeah, and give him $25M over 3 years...

I'm sure he didn't have any trade value at the time, but I would have given him away at some point...

PEACE

-BLEEDS