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 Post subject: Projecting the 2013 Cubs
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:40 pm 
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It's early, but the roster is starting to shape up. I started to do this in the Offseason thread, but that just clutters it up.

First, my first run at a projection.

I'm using bWAR, because I like the scale (basically, it uses 52 wins as a baseline instead of 43, and will give lower results for all players. fWAR uses 43 wins as a baseline, which tends to produce higher numbers and given the illusion that really bad players have a little bit of value).

Spoiler: show
Soriano(2.5)/DeJesus(1.0)/Schierholtz(1.0) (Sappelt/Campana) (1.0)
Valbuena(0.5)/Castro (4.0)/Barney(2.0)/Rizzo(4.0) (????/Clevenger)(0.0)
Castillo(1.0) (Navarro)(0.0)

Garza(2.0)/Samardzija(2.5)/Baker(1.5)/Feldman(1.0)/Wood(1.0)
Marmol/Fujikawa/Camp/Russell/Dolis/Belivaeu/Rondon (3.0)

Total: 28 WAR
Projected record: 80-82

This is a lot more optimistic than I planned on it being, but I'm sticking with it after examination. This is an imaginary roster here our starting rotation makes 162 starts and we don't dismantle the team midseason.

It just keeps coming back to how historically awful the back half of the Cubs' roster was last season. The front half could support an average team, but our bad players were just *so* bad. If you can somehow manage to field ordinarily bad players in your bench, in your bullpen and as replacement/emergency starters, you can make really amazing gains over last year's team.

Spoiler: show
Now, while I like bWAR's scale, the actual bWAR has some problems with how it handles pitching and defense, but with that caveat, here's how a similar chart looks last year:

Soriano(4.6)/Campana(0.9)/DeJesus(1.6) (Various)(1.1)
Stewart(0)/Castro(3.5)/Barney(4.6)/Rizzo(2.2) (Various)(-4.2)
Clevenger (-1.0) (Various) (0.8)

Garza/Samardzija/Dempster/Maholm/Wood (8.0) (Various) (-6.2)
Bullpen combined (-2.6)

Total: 13.3 wins

Projecting: 65.3 wins. Pythagorean record: 65-97. Actual record: 61-101.


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 Post subject: Re: Projecting the 2013 Cubs
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:12 pm 
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I feel like you're a little light on the SP WAR... but maybe I'm thinking in fWAR terms.


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 Post subject: Re: Projecting the 2013 Cubs
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:14 pm 
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tranny's calculator:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc ... fLWc#gid=0

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 Post subject: Re: Projecting the 2013 Cubs
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:19 pm 
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David wrote:
I feel like you're a little light on the SP WAR... but maybe I'm thinking in fWAR terms.


As a rough conversion, add half a war to each slot to get fWAR.


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 Post subject: Re: Projecting the 2013 Cubs
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:54 pm 
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Updated for most recent events. We pretty much have a 25-man roster if we want it at this point:

Soriano(2.5)/DeJesus(1.0)/Schierholtz(1.0) (Sappelt/Campana) (1.0)
Stewart(0.0)/Castro (4.0)/Barney(2.0)/Rizzo(4.0) (Valbuena/Clevenger)(0.5)
Castillo(1.0) (Navarro)(0.0)

Garza(2.0)/Samardzija(2.5)/Baker(1.5)/Feldman(1.0)/Wood(1.0)
Marmol/Fujikawa/Camp/Russell/Dolis/Belivaeu/Rondon (3.0)

Projection: 79.5 wins


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 Post subject: Re: Projecting the 2013 Cubs
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:58 pm 
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How many games are you projecting Stewart for?


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 Post subject: Re: Projecting the 2013 Cubs
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 5:00 pm 
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David wrote:
How many games are you projecting Stewart for?


All of them. I'm not projecting injuries.


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 Post subject: Re: Projecting the 2013 Cubs
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 5:54 pm 
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KyleJRM wrote:
David wrote:
How many games are you projecting Stewart for?


All of them. I'm not projecting injuries.


I guess it would be hard to project injuries (maybe impossible), but injuries obviously would affect the WAR projections. Anyone could be injured, but I think it's overly optimistic to think that Garza, Soriano, Baker, Feldman, and Marmol will be injury-free all year and not miss some playing time.


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 Post subject: Re: Projecting the 2013 Cubs
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 5:59 pm 
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KyleJRM wrote:
David wrote:
How many games are you projecting Stewart for?


All of them. I'm not projecting injuries.


I will gladly wager that Ian Stewart will have more than 0 WAR in 162 games. Hell, make it 150.


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 Post subject: Re: Projecting the 2013 Cubs
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:05 pm 
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David wrote:
KyleJRM wrote:
David wrote:
How many games are you projecting Stewart for?


All of them. I'm not projecting injuries.


I will gladly wager that Ian Stewart will have more than 0 WAR in 162 games. Hell, make it 150.


Wager accepted.

If he does it, it'd be his first positive rate in three years.


Last edited by KyleJRM on Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Projecting the 2013 Cubs
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:06 pm 
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wagers with a 90% chance of pushing are the most interesting wagers, imo


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 Post subject: Re: Projecting the 2013 Cubs
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:22 pm 
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Treymon wrote:
wagers with a 90% chance of pushing are the most interesting wagers, imo


Fair. 140?


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 Post subject: Re: Projecting the 2013 Cubs
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:37 am 
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I understand you're using the war stats but in real life how does this lineup factually state that it is almost 20 wins better than last years?

these stats take into account only actual play. there is no upswing for possible improvements. also as you said no play for injuries, etc.

Barney, DeJesus, Castro, Rizzo, Soriano return so basically even (Lahair first half was actually better than Rizzo's 2nd half, so call it a wash for a whole season of Rizzo)
Stewart/Valbuena basically return,I know that's hoping for a decent healthy stewart but that's not a given by any means.
catcher looks better on O but worse on D
potential upgrade for Schierholtz and Sappelt over the Campana,Byrd,Jackson,and Lahair 3rd OF spot OF last year

but pitching I see huge drop off. Dempster and Maholm were better than anyone would have hoped and had them until august.
A healthy Garza is an upgrade but he made 18 starts, and will probably be traded after about that many this season.
I hope Samardzija was great, much better than I thought he would be, he has to match that. I am hoping he is a stud but when looking at war it's what he has actually done no projections for improvement. call it even.
wood for a whole season vs the wood-volstad of last year, upgrade for this season but how much does that improvement translate to wins? a couple?
so we are banking that Baker and Feldman match or actually improve on Maholm and Dempster.
the bullpen main names are the same=Camp,Russell, Marmol, but Fujikawa helps, the rest were there or we are hoping do the job.Also they seem to be spot guys, or long relief that simply won't have much impact vs the guys there last year.

I know some of you will bring up that we brought up young guys that were awful. true, very true.
1st, chances are that will happen again this season.
2nd, with everyone intact until aug 1st, we were on pace to win 68 games(.421), so we only lost 7 games off that pace with the awful 2 months. To think that this team, on paper, is 20 wins better for a full season is tough to swallow.
I think without any more moves if everything goes our way we could make a run at 75 wins. that means everyone matches, and some exceed norms, we have health, and we don't trade off everyone. More likely lows 70's or high 60's in wins. This almost sounds like a re-run of last year where many posted very optimistic projections only to be disappointed and angry because of unrealistic goals. We could be better record wise than last year but the team being put on the field to start the season is not as good. We just may have fewer major league pieces that will be dealt at the end.


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 Post subject: Re: Projecting the 2013 Cubs
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:45 am 
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It's because the true talent level of last year's team is not 61 wins. Using last year as some sort of baseline to add and subtract from is faulty logic. You use last year as part of the evaluation of how each player should perform in 2013, but the total number for last year is not very relevant.

Also, the pitching staff will be better. There's little denying the bullpen is improved, and this year's staff projects to improve upon the 9.2 WAR provided by Shark, Wood, and half seasons from Dempster, Garza, Maholm, Volstad, and the various end of year flotsam(Germano, Raley, Rusin, Berken).


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 Post subject: Re: Projecting the 2013 Cubs
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:45 am 
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KyleJRM wrote:
David wrote:
KyleJRM wrote:
David wrote:
How many games are you projecting Stewart for?


All of them. I'm not projecting injuries.


I will gladly wager that Ian Stewart will have more than 0 WAR in 162 games. Hell, make it 150.


Wager accepted.

If he does it, it'd be his first positive rate in three years.


How much?

The best part is that I can't lose.


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 Post subject: Re: Projecting the 2013 Cubs
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:46 am 
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neely crenshaw wrote:
I understand you're using the war stats but in real life how does this lineup factually state that it is almost 20 wins better than last years?


Long story short: We fielded a lot of players who had no business being in the major leagues last year, and they cost us at least a dozen games. And we were a bit unlucky in terms of run differential vs. record.


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 Post subject: Re: Projecting the 2013 Cubs
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:46 am 
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David wrote:
How much?

The best part is that I can't lose.


5% of our respective credibilities


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 Post subject: Re: Projecting the 2013 Cubs
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:48 am 
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Transmogrified Tiger wrote:
Also, the pitching staff will be better. There's little denying the bullpen is improved, and this year's staff projects to improve upon the 9.2 WAR provided by Shark, Wood, and half seasons from Dempster, Garza, Maholm, Volstad, and the various end of year flotsam(Germano, Raley, Rusin, Berken).


And that 9.2 is Fangraphs WAR, which is nice for prediction but bears no resemblance to what happened on the field. bWAR says our rotation was actually roughly replacement level in total.


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 Post subject: Re: Projecting the 2013 Cubs
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:52 am 
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Stop giving me optimism that this team will actually be watchable (not that Rizzo, Castro, and Samardzija aren't enough to accomplish that)...


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 Post subject: Re: Projecting the 2013 Cubs
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:59 am 
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David wrote:
Stop giving me optimism that this team will actually be watchable (not that Rizzo, Castro, and Samardzija aren't enough to accomplish that)...


It's hard, because you have to think that we just can't be that unlucky again. Sure, we self-inflicted some of it with bad roster decisions in the spring, but even still. -4 wins Pyth variance. Soto and Byrd being respectable MLB veterans who spontaneously completely lose their ability to hit. 7th in MLB in LD% but 26th in BABIP. 29th least "clutch" team in the league according to Fangraphs' WPA clutch calculation.

And then when all that turned us bad, the front office (rightly) dismantled the team and (for whatever reason) did a really terrible job finding fill-ins.

But it's been so long since we had a season without that kind of stuff happening (the 2011 pitching injuries) that it becomes hard to remember that sometimes teams don't have negative variance.


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 Post subject: Re: Projecting the 2013 Cubs
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:03 am 
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Heading into last year, didn't we basically have this same variance? Soto/LaHair/Barney/Castro/Stewart/Soriano/Byrd/DeJesus with Dempster/Garza/Maholm/Volstad/Samardzija/Wood and Marmol/Russell/K Wood/Camp in the pen. Other than Dolis, can't remember the other two that started out in the majors last year for us in the pen. At any rate, wasn't it projected to around that 75 area, lending anywhere from 60 to 90 depending on how things fell?


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 Post subject: Re: Projecting the 2013 Cubs
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:06 am 
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Where does a, say, McCarthy or Edwin Jackson signing put us?


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 Post subject: Re: Projecting the 2013 Cubs
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:07 am 
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davell wrote:
Heading into last year, didn't we basically have this same variance? Soto/LaHair/Barney/Castro/Stewart/Soriano/Byrd/DeJesus with Dempster/Garza/Maholm/Volstad/Samardzija/Wood and Marmol/Russell/K Wood/Camp in the pen. Other than Dolis, can't remember the other two that started out in the majors last year for us in the pen. At any rate, wasn't it projected to around that 75 area, lending anywhere from 60 to 90 depending on how things fell?


I think we're maybe a little better than last year, but basically, yes.

There's a ton of parity in baseball that gets masked by the variance. Most teams should project between like 72 and 91 wins going into the season.


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 Post subject: Re: Projecting the 2013 Cubs
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:10 am 
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David wrote:
Where does a, say, McCarthy or Edwin Jackson signing put us?


A McCarthy signing stretches the "not projecting for injuries" caveat past the point of credulity.

But I'd probably put either one at 2.0 and push Wood out of the rotation, which would put my chart at 80.5 wins, or rounded up to a .500 team.

We'd basically have the pitching staff version of a mediocre Big Ten basketball team, just throwing waves and waves of indistinct, vaguely above-average guys at you with no end in sight.


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 Post subject: Re: Projecting the 2013 Cubs
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:28 am 
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OK, now discounted a few players for injury risk and the roster having to go beyond 25-deep.

Soriano(1.5)/DeJesus(1.0)/Schierholtz(1.0) (Sappelt/Campana) (1.0) (Various backups 0)
Stewart(0.0)/Castro (4.0)/Barney(2.0)/Rizzo(4.0) (Valbuena/Clevenger)(0.0) (Various backups -1.0)
Castillo(1.0) (Navarro)(0.0)

Garza(2.0)/Samardzija(2.5)/Baker(1.0)/Feldman(0.5)/Wood(1.0) (Various spot starters -0.5)
Marmol/Fujikawa/Camp/Russell/Dolis/Belivaeu/Rondon (3.0) (Various tag-ins, -0.5)

Total: 23.5 WAR
Projected record: 76-86

That's probably more realistic. If you want to push toward .500, you need another starter (Wood in the swingman/6th spot could be huge, because he is useful and that spot's practically a lock for 20 starts this year), a reliably not-terrible sixth infielder, and probably a good outfielder to bump someone else out. I like our outfield depth, if only because I'll begrudgingly admit that Brett Jackson is probably no worse than replacement level and has more upside than that.


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