February 02, 2010

AL west preview: Seattle Mariners - UPDATED

(See below for update. Basically I changed how I estimated playing time)

Quite possibly the most intriguing division this year will be the AL West. The Angels have long dominated the division, but the Mariners made a lot of upgrades in the offseason, managing to acquire Cliff Lee and Milton Bradley for almost nothing, the Texas Rangers have a surge of young talent reaching the majors, and it's tough to count out the A's.

I'm going to take a look at these teams a little more closely, busting out BtB's WAR calculator from last year to examine things.

First, here's a rundown of what I'm doing: for the players wOBAs and FIPs, I'm taking the average of 5 projection systems that largely have data on all of the teams: CHONE, Bill James, PECOTA, Marcel, and the Fans projections at fangraphs. For playing time, I'm just using the playing time estimates over at BP's depth charts. I should probably change this to the fan projections playing times, but we don't have full data on enough players to do that. The defensive numbers come from Jeff Zimmerman's UZR projections on Beyond the Boxscore, and I ignored baserunning, because I'm lazy and it doesn't have a huge impact anyway.

So without further ado, here are the Mariners. I apologize for the strange formatting - bloggers crappy rich text editor is converting all the newlines in the table html into line breaks. Super annoying.

Hitter Pos PA wOBA Hit Pos Fld Rep WAR FA $ WAR
Josh Bard CA 324 .299 -2.16 1.250 2.50 1.59 $3.7 0.7
Rob Johnson CA 312 .292 -2.62 1.250 2.50 1.13 $2.7 0.5
Casey Kotchman 1B 496 .337 0.12-1.25 0.50 2.50 1.87 $6.4 1.3
Ryan Garko 1B 211 .343 0.23-1.25 -0.30 2.50 1.48 $2.3 0.4
Jose Lopez 2B 641 .330 -0.33 0.25 -0.10 2.50 2.32 $10.0 2.1
Jack Hannahan 2B 72 .309 -1.570.25 0.20 2.50 1.38 $1.0 0.1
Jack Wilson SS 513 .303 -1.940.75 0.60 2.50 1.91 $6.7 1.4
Jack Hannahan SS 136 .309 -1.57 0.75 0.10 2.50 1.78 $2.0 0.3
Chone Figgins 3B 667 .341 0.380.25 0.60 2.50 3.73 $16.4 3.6
Jack Hannahan 3B 80 .309 -1.570.25 0.90 2.50 2.08 $1.5 0.2
Michael Saunders LF 423 .318 -1.02-0.75 0.50 2.50 1.23 $3.7 0.7
Milton Bradley LF 125 .369 2.09 -0.75 -0.40 2.50 3.44 $3.2 0.6
Junior LF 68 .326 -0.57 -0.75 -0.30 2.50 0.88 $0.8 0.1
Franklin Guitierrez CF 660 .337 0.10 0.25 1.60 2.50 4.45 $19.3 4.2
Langerhans CF 70 .319 -0.95 0.25 -0.20 2.50 1.60 $1.1 0.2
Suzuki Ichiro RF 710 .349 0.85-0.75 0.70 2.50 3.30 $15.4 3.3
Langerhans RF 78 .319 -0.95 0.75 0.20 2.50 1.00 $0.9 0.1
Milton Bradley DH 422 .369 2.09 -2.000 2.50 2.59 $7.4 1.6
Junior DH 148 .326 -0.57 -2.000 2.50 -0.07 $0.3 0.0
Garko DH 88 .343 0.49 -2.000 2.50 0.99 $1.0 0.1
Team 6398 .331 -0.25 0.00 -0.24 0.43 2.44 $100.7 22.3


Pitcher S/R IP FIP LEV FA $ WAR
Felix Hernandez S 220 3.45 1.0 $25.6 5.6
Cliff Lee S 219 3.55 1.0 $24.2 5.3
Ian Snell S 163 4.54 1.0 $9.0 1.9
Ryan Rowland-Smith S 164 4.33 1.0 $10.8 2.3
Erik Bedard S 84 3.76 1.0 $8.4 1.8
Doug Fister S 93 4.6 1.0 $5.0 1.0
Aardsma R 60 3.83 1.8 $5.4 1.1
Lowe R 60 4.05 1.3 $3.0 0.6
White R 60 4.61 1.0 $0.6 0.1
League R 60 4.30 0.9 $1.5 0.2
Kelley R 55 4.18 0.8 $1.6 0.3
Vargas R 60 4.78 0.7 $0.2 0.0
Olson R 57 5.08 0.6 -$0.2 -0.1
Starters 802 4.01 $66.6 14.7
Relievers 412 4.40 $9.8 2.1
Total 1214 4.14 $76.0 16.8


Group WAA WAR
Hit -2.3
BR 0.0
Field 3.7
Hitters 21.7
Pitchers 20.0
Total WAR 41.7
Total FA $ $188.6
Win Talent 85.2


So in summary - the Mariners are an incredibly good fielding team (led by Franklin Guitierrez, of course), but they're not very good hitters, and their rotation behind twin aces Hernandez and Lee are not very good.


UPDATE: I decided to change a few things with regards to playing time, especially the pitching. Garko and Bedard have signed with the team since I wrote this so I included them too. I used the fan's playing time estimates from fangraphs instead. Tango has shown that the fans estimates tend to be too high, so you should temper these a little bit. But for the most part they were pretty close to what PECOTA had.I only did this for the regulars position-player wise, and divvied up bench ABs based on pecota and my own adjustments. For the 5th pitcher slot, I'm assuming that Bedard will share it with someone else. Since Fister seems to be the leading candidate to get these starts over all the others on the Mariners depth chart (Vargas, Olson, French) I went with him. Anything they get from Bedard should be pretty valuable.

This new WAR estimate is 2 wins and change higher than the old one, and the main difference is pitching. Rowland-Smith was not predicted to throw as many innings in PECOTA, and replacing Yusmeiro Petit (who no one but pecota has as the 5th starter) with Bedard/Fister was a big upgrade too.

3 comments:

AK said...

Nice write up. I guess it's important to remember that, while they look vastly improved, they were pretty bad when you consider they should have lost a lot more games than they did last year. They were outscored by 52 runs last year yet somehow managed to win 85 games.

And I don't know why I keep forgetting they didn't get Rich Harden. They'll still be an interesting team to watch.

Nate said...

Bers, crazy that the get nearly 10 WAR from 2 pitchers. Wow. Also, not sure that it will change things much, but now they've added Ryan Garko for some platoon PA's at 1B, DH?, and reportedly even some C.

Berselius said...

Nate, I don't think Garko would make a big difference. What could is playing time. According to the Mariners depth chart MB should be their starter in LF instead of DH. I don't think Petit sniffs the rotation either, and Rowland-Smith should get more innings.