Baseball Analysis/ Sabermetrics

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All RONBO’s Ultimate Replay Guides now free.

RONBO (Ron Bernier)’s Ultimate Replay Guides are now available free.

Replay Guides include:

RONBO’s Player Appearance Grids
RONBO’s Replay Guide
RONBO’s As Played Scoresheets*

and often are over a thousand pages each. Data will be presented in many different formats:

1. As Scheduled MLB Schedule
2. As Scheduled AL Schedule
3. As Scheduled NL Schedule
4. Each MLB Team’s As Scheduled Schedule
5. As Played MLB Schedule
6. As Played AL Schedule
7. As Played NL Schedule
8. Each MLB Team’s As Played Schedule
9. As Played MLB Lineups
10. As Played AL Lineups
11. As Played NL Lineups
12. Each MLB Team’s As Played Lineups
13. Player career stats entering season.
14. Each MLB Team’s Player Substitution Patterns
15. Each MLB Team’s Relief Appearance Data**
16. Each MLB Team’s Pinch Hitter Appearance Data**
17. Each MLB Team’s Pinch Runner Appearance Data**
18. Each MLB Team’s Defensive Replacement Data**

* When data available
** Ultimate Replay Guides for pre-1947 seasons are based on box score data, not play-by-play data, and some data is derived from incomplete information. Information for opposing pitcher handedness is not currently available using box score data. Inning of substitutions is sometimes not available. Game scores at the substitution point is based on the score at the beginning of a half inning (if inning is known). Defensive replacement details shows the starter at the defensive position as the replaced player.

* Some data for 1948-1955 are also based on box score information.

Diamond Mind Baseball Links

Diamond Mind Baseball Links « Sports Simulacra & Simulation

Diamond Mind Baseball: Game enhancements that you’ve suggested

Game enhancements that you’ve suggested.

(in General Discussion Forum at “Fans of Diamond Mind Baseball”)

2015 ZiPS for the Reds, Phillies, and Pirates

Cincinnati Reds

Carson Cistulli says:

or a club that was compelled to trade some useful major-league pieces this offseason, the Cincinnati Reds feature a remarkably competent and seemingly competitive group of hitters. Depending on how one chooses to determine such a thing, the star of team (per ZiPS) is either Todd Frazier (605 PA, 3.6 WAR) or Joey Votto (468 PA, 3.4 WAR) — the former for his overall WAR projection; the latter, for his projected WAR per plate appearance. It’s not surprising to find something less than full complement of games forecast for Votto: two of his last three seasons have been interrupted by injury.

So far as weak links, however, there’s little to be found among Cincinnati’s starting eight field players. The batting projections for Zack Cozart (.282 wOBA), Billy Hamilton (.310 wOBA), and Brandon Phillips (.303 wOBA) are all below average, but each of those players is also projected to save five or more runs at a position already on the more challenging side of the defensive spectrum.

Philadelphia Phillies

Cistulli says:

Philadelphia does continue to employ one of the league’s better pitchers in left-hander Cole Hamels, whose 2014 season represented the eighth consecutive one in which he produced 3.5 wins or more. ZiPS calls for a ninth consecutive one of those in 2015. The historically even more proficient Cliff Lee receives an uncharacteristically muted projection (138.2 IP, 2.4 WAR) relative to his track record. Notably, however, Steamer forecasts a similarly pedestrian line (173.0 IP, 2.6 WAR). The author can’t speak to the precise causes for this. That said, Lee is a 36-year-old pitcher who, after six consecutive 200-innings seasons, recorded only 81.1 of those in 2014. That’s likely not a positive indicator.

With regard to the bullpen, there’s more room for optimism than elsewhere on the club. Jake Diekman and Ken Giles sit at 97 mph from the left and right side, respectively. They’re both projected to produce strikeout rates solidly above 25%. Also expected to do that is Rule 5 pick Andrew Oliver. The left-hander sat at 94 mph as a starter and his strikeout rates increased this past season working in relief for Pittsburgh’s Triple-A club.

Pittsburgh Pirates

Cistulli says:

Pittsburgh’s success in 2014 was almost entirely a product of the club’s offensive production. Pirates pitchers recorded the second-lowest collective WAR among all major-league clubs and Pirates starters were the worst in the majors by that measure. Right-hander Gerrit Cole‘s roughly two wins rendered him the ace of the staff. Mark Melancon, a reliever, produced the second-best mark among the club’s pitchers.

In a vacuum, ZiPS’ projections for Pittsburgh’s starters aren’t particularly encouraging. In the context of last season, however, there’s cause for (muted) optimism. Cole and Francisco Liriano are both forecast to approach the three-win mark. If both they and also A.J. Burnett all reach their projected WAR figures, that triumvirate would nearly match the entire output of the club’s 2014 pitching staff.

2015 ZiPS for the Mariners, Rangers & Jays

Seattle Mariners

Carson Cistulli says:

In the first year of his 10-year and $240 million contract with the M’s, Robinson Cano served as a one-man illustration of park effects, recording almost precisely the same batting-average and on-base figures as the previous season with the Yankees, but producing only half the home runs. (We’ll ignore for the moment that he actually hit more homers at Safeco than on the road, as that would disturb the narrative.) The result was a park-adjusted offensive line roughly approximating 2013′s. ZiPS calls for another five-win season in 2015 despite a home-run total somewhere below 20.

On the topic of park effects, offseason acquisition Nelson Cruz moves from a home field that inflates right-handed homers by roughly 8% to one that suppresses them by about 6%. That move plus age plus mere regression conspire to produce a forecast of 29 home runs for Cruz in 2015 after last season’s total of 40.

Texas Rangers

Cistulli says:

Since his arrival in the major leagues before the 2012 season, right-hander Yu Darvish is the only pitcher among all qualifiers to have recorded a strikeout rate above 30%. His projected strikeout rate for 2015 (29.8%) is just slightly below that threshold, but would have also still represented the third-best mark among qualifiers in 2014. Which, rephrased: Yu Darvish, even after having been adjusted for age and regression, still profiles as basically the league’s best strikeout pitcher (among starters).

Beyond Darvish, there’s less cause for optimism. ZiPS calls for Yovani Gallardo to record his highest WAR figure (2.8 WAR in 179.0 innings) since 2011. Left-hander Alex Claudio, meanwhile — who features a changeup that would surprise and astonish certain Warner Bros. animators — also receives a reasonably encouraging projection relative to his pedigree and arm speed (88.0 IP, 0.8 WAR). Otherwise, there’s little here to inspire enthusiasm.

Toronto Blue Jays

Cistulli says:

Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, for their part, remain the club’s best hitters and also curiously similar in terms of approach. Both are projected to produce something better than a .240 ISO. Neither, meanwhile, is forecast to produce a strikeout rate more than three percentage greater than his walk rate. And, finally, neither is expected to record anything greater than a .270 BABIP.

While the 25-man roster is likely to be populated by a number of new hitters, the Blue Jays’ pitching corps remains mostly the same. Sophomore right-hander Marcus Stroman technically receives the best projection of the club’s prospective starters, but he and Mark Buehrle and R.A. Dickey all profile similarly in terms of run prevention.

2015 ZiPS for the Orioles, Royals & Yankees

Baltimore Orioles

Carson Cistulli says:

The breakout age-31 season isn’t a particularly common occurrence in baseball, but that’s what Steve Pearce produced in 2014, recording a 161 wRC+ and 4.9 WAR in 383 plate appearances. Characteristically, ZiPS is conservative. After hitting homers at a rate of 33 per 600 plate appearances, Pearce is projected for 26 every 600 plate appearances in 2015 — plus also a markedly more average defensive figure.

Six Baltimore pitchers accounted for 161 of the club’s 162 starts in 2014. All six of those pitchers return in 2015 and five of them appear in the depth-chart image below. Moreover, fewer than 1.5 wins separates the nominal “ace” of the staff (Chris Tillman) from the likely No. 5 starter (Miguel Gonzalez). There is, in short, considerable parity within the rotation.

******

Kansas City Royals

Cistulli says:

Per ZiPS, the 2015 iteration of the Royals has more weaknesses than that 2014 edition. No fewer than three of their starting batters — Omar Infante (558 PA, 1.0 WAR), Kendrys Morales (467 PA, 0.5 WAR), and Alex Rios (571 PA, 1.2 WAR) — feature win projections more commonly associated with strong bench players than actual major-league starters.

Last year’s projections called for four Kansas City pitchers either to meet or cross the 1.5-WAR threshold. This year, seven pitchers — which is to say, three more than last season — feature marks that meet that criteria. Notably, the pitching staff is largely the same. James Shields has obviously departed, but Danny Duffy (109.0 PA, 2.0 WAR). Jeremy Guthrie (166.0 IP, 1.5 WAR), and Jason Vargas (170.0 IP, 1.6 WAR) remain — all with more promising forecasts than last year.

******

New York Yankees

Cistulli says:

It’s generally the case with these ZiPS projections that, the closer a club’s relief ace appears to the top of the wins-projection list, the worse that is for the fate of the pitching staff as a whole. One oughtn’t discount the quality of Dellin Betances‘ 2014 season nor the talent which conspired to produce it. That he receives the second-highest win projection, however, among all Yankee pitchers speaks to trouble within the starting rotation.

As is the case with Beltran and Teixeira above, durability appears to be a concern for this staff — and is responsible for (at least) some of the muted forecasts. Michael Pineda, for example, profiles as an above-average pitcher on a per-inning basis. Unsurprisingly, however, ZiPS isn’t optimistic about Pineda’s odds of turning in a full complement of innings. CC Sabathia‘s WAR forecast, to a lesser (but non-negligible) degree, is also deflated by a conservative innings projection.

Red Sox, Cubs: 2015 ZiPS

Here are the 2015 ZiPS projections for the BoSox

Carson Cistulli says:

… Despite the considerable investments made by the club both in Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval this offseason — amounting to nearly $200 million collectively, those contracts — the top WAR projection among all Red Sox players belongs to their second-round pick from the 2004 draft. Dustin Pedroia produced the lowest slugging and isolated-power figures (.376 and .098, respectively) of his career last year, while also recording a career-worst strikeout rate (12.3%). ZiPS calls for Pedroia to find some positive regression in all three areas while still retaining his elite second-base defense.

Probably also capable of providing if not elite, then at least above-average, second-base defense is Mookie Betts. Owing to the continued employment by the club of Pedroia, however, Betts will be forced to supply above-average defense elsewhere. In this case, the most likely destination is right field. It would fair to say that Betts doesn’t possess the typical right-field profile, featuring less power and size than most who play the position. He has excellent plate-discipline skills, however, plus speed and non-negligible power on contact. Note that Betts’ defensive projection below (of -1 runs) is for center field. The equivalent in right would be about +6 or +7 runs saved.



… & the Cubbies

Cistulli says:

Unsurprisingly, given both his track record and also the millions of dollars with which the Cubs have agreed to remunerate him, Jon Lester receives the most promising projection among the club’s starters by some margin. He’s averaged 207 innings and 4.8 wins per year since 2008. ZiPS forecasts a nearly identical season in 2015: 208.2 IP and 4.6 WAR.

Of some interest with regard to the remaining starters is the relative optimism and then pessimism concerning Kyle Hendricks and Jake Arrieta, respectively. In the case of Hendricks, perhaps it’s precisely what one ought to expect from a projection system. Despite the fact that he sits at just 88 mph, Hendricks has nevertheless limited both walks and home runs throughout his minor-league career. The strength of his projection (165.1 IP, 2.7 WAR) assumes a continuation of this trend. Arrieta, meanwhile, distinguished himself as one of the game’s top pitchers of 2014, finishing 11th among all pitchers by WAR despite the fact that he compiled too few innings (156.2) to qualify. Probably owing to the influence of his other four major-league seasons during which he wasn’t dominant, ZiPS calls for a more regular season from Arrieta (154.1 IP, 2.3 WAR) than one might otherwise expect in light of his excellent 2014.

 

Cleveland Indians – ZiPS 2015

Cleveland Indians’ ZiPS for the 2015 season.

Carson Cistulli says:

Cleveland finished tied with Houston in 2014 for last place among all clubs in defensive runs. That’s not ever really a “positive” distinction. That said, were one in the business of identifying silver linings, a legitimate one in this case might concern how defensive metrics are prone to greater regression than most offensive stats — and thus projection systems such as ZiPS are unlikely to weight seasons like Cleveland’s 2014 campaign as heavily.

By the projections, the 2015 iteration of Cleveland’s baseball team doesn’t actually profile as a particularly bad defensive club. Lonnie Chisenhall, Jason Kipnis, and Carlos Santana are all forecast to finish on the negative side of the defensive ledger relative to their position, but Michael Brantley and Yan Gomes and Jose Ramirez are all projected to save more runs than average at their respective

Minnesota Twins 2015 ZiPS

Minnesota Twins 2015 ZiPS.

Carson Cistulli says:

The star of the current iteration of the Twins, it would appear, is Phil Hughes, who receives the best projection on the club by nearly two wins. Hughes improved upon his previous career-best walk rate by roughly two-thirds last year, while also producing the best strikeout rate of his career as a starter. ZiPS’ computer math declares that he’ll retain almost all those gains.

Of some concern — in the context of the 2015 season, at least — is nearly every other pitcher employed by the club. Besides Hughes and reliever Glen Perkins, no other pitcher is projected to post either an ERA or FIP better than league average. Ervin Santana, for example, is forecast to produce a single win. That would not represent a strong return on Minnesota’s four-year, $54 million investment in him.

 

Arizona Diamondbacks 2015 ZiPS

Arizona Diamondbacks 2015 ZiPS.

Carson Cistulli says:

Offensively, first baseman Paul Goldschmidt has evolved into a broadly skilled weapon, reproducing not only the above-average home-run and walk rates that he posted in the minors, but also recording above-average BABIP and base-running figures. His projection for 2015 suggests he’ll continue doing all these sorts of things.

Nor is Goldschmidt alone in his hitting abilities. David Peralta, A.J. Pollock, Yasmany Tomas, and Mark Trumbo are all starters forecast to produce above-average offensive lines. For all them, with the exception of Pollock, the question is less of offensive — and more of defensive — ability. There’s a real possibility, supported by ZiPS, that each is occupying a place on the defensive spectrum probably more demanding than the actual skills warrant.

 

2015 ZiPS Projections – San Diego Padres

2015 ZiPS Projections – San Diego Padres

Carson Cistulli says:

Unsurprisingly, given the zeal with which general manager AJ Preller et al. sought to turn over the roster this offseason, the four most encouraging WAR projections for Padres hitters belong to players who were acquired over the past month-plus. Surprisingly, perhaps — at least given the profile of the deal — none of those four are Matt Kemp. He’s forecast to produce among the top offensive lines on the club, but also -9 runs defensively in a corner-outfield spot. Wil Myers‘ defensive projection in center field (-12 runs) also fails to inspire hope.

An earlier version of the depth-chart image for the Padres — published by the author via Twitter on Tuesday night — featured Derek Norris and Tim Federowicz combining for five projected wins. In point of fact, the sum of their WAR forecasts is closer to five than any other whole number; the sum of their plate appearances is above 800, though, also. The number has been prorated to four wins here. Still enough, that, to profile as one of the team’s strongest positions.

 

2015 ZiPS for the Mets and Dodgers

2015 ZiPS – New York Mets.

Carson Cistulli says:

An area of some interest with regard to the club seems to be how Terry Collins et al. contend with Lucas Duda and Lucas Duda’s difficulties with left-handed pitching. Despite a strong 2014 season, the Mets first baseman produced only a 54 wRC+ against left handers. By way of comparison, the worst overall figure among the game’s 146 qualified batters in 2014 was Zack Cozart‘s 56 wRC+. Either John Mayberry (333 PA, -0.1 WAR) or even Eric Campbell (416 PA, 0.5 WAR) are candidates to platoon with Duda.


2015 ZiPS – Los Angeles Dodgers.

Cistulli says:

This is a strong and curiously diverse Dodgers team. Among even just the starting eight one finds young stars (Yasiel Puig) and older stars (Adrian Gonzalez); stars who’ve aged surprisingly well (Jimmy Rollins) and stars who’ve aged less well (Carl Crawford); veterans who probably merit greater acclaim (Howie Kendrick) and also whatever Juan Uribe is. While diverse, the starters are uniform by one standard — namely, the likelihood that they’ll produce wins at an average rate or better.

2015 ZiPS for Houston Astros

Houston Astros ZiPS for 2015.

Carson Cistulli says:

The emergence of both Dallas Keuchel and Collin McHugh in 2014 allowed the club to distance itself by a small margin from the very bottom of the standings. Largely on the strength of their contributions, Houston’s rotation finished 12th in league by pitcher WAR. ZiPS’ forecast for the pair suggests the improvements are authentic. Consider: last year, Keuchel and McHugh were projected to produce a combined -0.2 WAR; this year, 5.7 WAR.

 

 

2015 ZiPS for the Detroit Tigers

Detroit Tigers’ 2015 ZiPS.

Carson Cistulli says:

While it might seem as though, at points during his MVP rivalry with Mike Trout, that this site’s authors made it their business to convince all of America about how Miguel Cabrera was a worthless trash heap of a ballplayer, that’s very clearly not the case. What he is, in reality, is one of the most talented hitters in baseball history. Indeed, among all qualified hitters ever, Cabrera has produced the 26th-best park-adjusted batting line (tied with Joe DiMaggio, for example). Even a couple years after Cabrera’s 30th birthday, ZiPS still regards him as an elite batsman.

One thing Cabrera wasn’t, really, was a talented defensive third baseman. Two years ago, for example, ZiPS projected Cabrera to save -6 runs (or concede +6 runs, as it were) at third base. Not excellent, that. By way of comparison, however, consider current third baseman Nick Castellanos‘s projection at that same position: -12 runs saved (or +12 runs conceded, as it were). Even more not excellent, that. He’s forecast to produce an above-average batting line, but it would seem as though some manner of change — either moving off of, or steadily improving at, the position — is necessary.

2015 ZiPS for the St. Louis Cardinals and Washington Nationals

• 2015 ZiPS for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Carson Cistulli says:

Cardinal batters produced the best strikeout rate and second-best defensive-runs figure in the National League last year. The club’s ZiPS projections suggest that they might approximate those sorts of results in 2015. Neither Matt Adams nor Mark Reynolds will be much help in that regard, but the rest of the team’s starters are all above-average by one, if not both, of those measures.

Nor will Jason Heyward change the club’s dynamic at all in this regard. He’s projected to save 18 runs in right field (which equates to about 10-11 runs above average overall after the positional adjustment) while recording walk and strikeout rates both better than league average.

 

• 2015 ZiPS for the Washington Nationals.

Cistulli says:

As with their offense, the Nationals return almost precisely the same entire pitching staff in 2015 as they deployed in 2014. A sound maneuver, that, owing to how Nats pitchers produced the highest collective WAR among all major-league staffs last season. The triumvirate of Strasburg, Zimmermann, and Gonzalez alone have a higher projected WAR for 2015 than any of the five-man rotations projected thus far in this exercise.

 

Will Larson’s Baseball Projection Project

Link to Will Larson’s Baseball Projection Project, which storehouses links to and files from many different projection systems. I had not realized Brian Cartwright was still making his Oliver projections available. (You can get CSV files for his 2014 Olivers.) I was a subscriber when The Hardball Times was offering them.

2015 ZiPS for White Sox, Athletics, and Giants

Chicago White Sox

Carson Cistulli says:

With the recent addition of Jeff Samardzija to the Sox’ rotation, the club now features three starters forecast to produce something in the vicinity of 12 wins collectively — which is to say, slightly better than the average total WAR figures produced by whole starting rotations in 2014. After that triumvirate, however, there’s a significant dearth of useful options, it appears.

Oakland Athletics

Cistulli says:

Oakland catchers combined for the fourth-highest offensive and absolute lowest defensive run totals in the majors last year. In part, the poor defensive record was a result of both John Jaso and Derek Norris making starts at DH (and thereby receiving the attendant negative positional adjustment). In part, it’s because Jaso and Norris aren’t particularly excellent defensive catchers. For ZiPS, at least, the strengths compensate for the weaknesses sufficiently to make catcher the club’s likely most productive position.

San Francisco Giants

Cistulli says:

With regard to their field players, San Francisco doesn’t currently feature so much a stars-and-scrubs sort of configuration as they do a Buster-Posey-surrounded-by-roughly-average-players one. Posey is projected by ZiPS not only to record the highest wOBA among Giants hitters by over 20 points but also to play slightly above-average defense at a position that receives the largest positive adjustment in the calculation of WAR.

2015 ZiPS for Atlanta, Colorado, Miami, Milwaukee, LA Angels, Tampa Bay

2015 ZiPS projections by Dan Szymborski. Comments by Carson Cistulli, FanGraphs.

Atlanta Braves

Cistulli says:

Expected to inherent Gattis’s catching role from 2014 is Christian Bethancourt, who enters just his age-23 season. Despite having recorded just a 54 wRC+ and -0.2 WAR over 117 plate appearances last year in what was effectively his debut (he appeared in a single game in 2013), Bethancourt is expected to produce enough offensively to render himself a league-average player.

Colorado Rockies

Cistulli says:

For those who haven’t dedicated much time of late to the study of the Colorado Rockies, finding that ZiPS projects outfielder Carlos Gonzalez for fewer than two wins in 2015 might be a surprise. It’s less surprising, of course, in light of Gonzalez’s 2014 season, during which he recorded a -0.3 WAR in 281 plate appearances. The cause of that uncharacteristically poor performance was largely a BABIP about 60 points lower than his career average.

Miami Marlins

Cistulli says:

At five-plus wins Giancarlo Stanton receives the top projection among Marlins players — a figure that will likely represent one of the highest WAR projections among all players to appear in this series. Unsurprising, that, for a player who just produced a six-win season as a 24-year-old.

Milwaukee Brewers

Cistulli says:

Jonathan Lucroy, meanwhile, produced one of the majors’ best seasons in 2014 and finished fourth overall in MVP voting. And Carlos Gomez, one finds, has recorded the most wins among the club’s field players by a non-negligible margin over the past three years. So far as present talent is concerned, ZiPS favors Lucroy among the three — although by less than half a win over Gomez, rendering it an effective tie.

Los Angeles Angels

Cistulli says:

Elsewhere, ZiPS’ computer math suggests that the Angels nearly have the player they expected when the club signed Josh Hamilton to a five-year, $125 million contract in December of 2012. Unfortunately, the player isn’t Hamilton himself, but rather Kole Calhoun. Over the last two years he’s recorded a 125 wRC+. Josh Hamilton’s career mark, by comparison: 129 wRC+. ZiPS is a bit less optimistic for Calhoun’s 2015 season, but he’s emerged as an excellent hitter for an eighth-round selection who signed for a mere $36 thousand.

Tampa Bay Rays

Cistulli says:

The club’s other underpaid — but probably more famous — star, Evan Longoria, had a difficult 2014 season by his standards, producing a batting line just above league average and a 3.4 WAR overall in a full complement of plate appearances. His WAR projection in this iteration of ZiPS is a win-and-a-half lower than last year’s.

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