Saturday, May 2, 2009

Relatively Disappointing Start For The Birds

A month into the season is a nice time to stop and look at how everyone's doing (on the O's, at least).

9-14 record
120 runs scored and 154 runs allowed for a 9-14 pythogrean record
In last place in the AL East, a half game behind the the Rays.


Gregg Zaun:
Projected: .241/.340/.374, 5 HR, .320 wOBA
Actual: .138/.254/.224, 0 HR, .225 wOBA
PrOPS: .252/.350/.317
(PrOPS is a formula for predicting what a player's batting line is likely to be in the future based on his batted balls, strikeouts, home runs and walks.)

His average is low because of a low BABIP, but he's still showing good plate discipline. The power hasn't shown up yet almost at all.

Aubrey Huff:
Projected: .280/.344/.472, 22 HR, .357 wOBA
Actual: .283/.350/.446, 3 HR, .364 wOBA
PrOPS: .284/.352/.445

Huff's hitting the ball on the ground over 55% of the time that he puts it in play, which may have something to do with the even larger drop in power than was expected. His walks have gone up though, which is a good sign for his continued value with the bat even without the home runs. Unfortunately, his glove at first has been atrocious (-33.5 runs per 150 games so far) and that's kept him as a replacement level player.

Brian Roberts:
Projected: .285/.365/.425, 9 HR, .358 wOBA
Actual: .337/.406/.484, 2 HR, .419 wOBA
PrOPS: .296/.366/.437

Roberts is only 3 of 6 on stolen base attempts, but if he keeps swinging the bat this well it won't matter. And his defense has remained only slightly below average, which is nice to see.

Cesar Izturis:
Projected: .260/.311/.327, 3 HR, .290 wOBA
Actual: .232/.274/.319, 1 HR, .290 wOBA
PrOPS: .303/.338/.413

Izturis' BABIP is .231, so that average will go up - especially given that he puts everything in play (only 3 walks and 3 K's). He hasn't hit more than 1 HR in a season since 2005 (he hit 2), so we may have seen the extent of his power production already.

Melvin Mora:
Projected: .271/.333/.418, 16 HR, .334 wOBA
Actual: .308/.379/.423, 1 HR, .416 wOBA
PrOPS: .338/.406/.511

Mora has only played in 8 games thus far due to an injury, but when he's been in there he's continued hitting like he did at the end of last year.

Felix Pie:
Projected: .267/.322/.409, 10 HR, .323 wOBA
Actual: .157/.246/.216, 1 HR, .221 wOBA
PrOPS: .256/.331/.388

Pie's defense hasn't been as advertised yet (it's only been about average in LF) but his bat hasn't been as bad as it's looked. A .194 BABIP despite a 23% line-drive rate will definitely not continue, and his increased walk rate (from 7.8% to 10.5%) and decreased strike-out rate (from 34.9% to 27.5%) are both good signs. He needs to be given plenty of at bats to work through this.

Adam Jones:
Projected: .273/.325/.425, 15 HR, .331 wOBA
Actual: .361/.432/.627, 4 HR, .470 wOBA
PrOPS: .300/.380/.513

Jones' has more than doubled his walk rate (from 4.6% to 9.8%), and that's backed up by a drop in percentage of pitches out of the zone that he's swung at (from 36.2% to 25%). He's probably not going to keep an OPS over 1.000 up, but there's no reason the break-out season won't continue. A .300/.380/.510 season with even average defense would make Jones a 5 win player.

Nick Markakis:
Projected: .301/.401/.493, 20 HR, .395 wOBA
Actual: .379/.462/.586, 3 HR, .450 wOBA
PrOPS: .309/.408/.489

Walks are still up but he's cut the strike-out rate from 19% to 15%. Line-drives up to 23.7% (from 21.1%). His PrOPS line is basically his line from last year (.306/.406/.491), when he might have been lucky on his BABIP. Just a great hitter that keeps improving year after year.

Luke Scott:
Projected: .262/.343/.476, 23 HR, .355 wOBA
Actual: .286/.382/.468, 3 HR, .360 wOBA
PrOPS: .302/.395/.494

Like several other Orioles, Luke is walking more and striking out less, and drilling the ball when he does make contact (24.2% line-drive rate).

Ty Wigginton:
Projected: .271/.334/.469, 20 HR, .350 wOBA
Actual: .207/.244/.256, 1 HR, .233 wOBA
PrOPS: .271/.302/.378

Wigginton isn't swinging more than he used to; he isn't getting thrown a lot of strikes; and he's making a ton of contact. That makes his 4.7% walk rate even more confusing, though it's likely due to his putting the ball in play early in the count. .225 BABIP will come up, as will his 3% HR/FB rate. He probably needs to change his approach some though.

Chad Moeller:
Projected: .229/.281/.344, 1 HR, .286 wOBA
Actual: .292/.346/.583, 1 HR, .390 wOBA
PrOPS: .314/.361/.512

Moeller wasn't brought in to hit this well, but it's certainly a nice bonus.

Ryan Freel:
Projected: .254/.327/.353, 3 HR, .321 wOBA
Actual: .133/.350/.133, 0 HR, .270 wOBA
PrOPS: .167/.360/.217

Freel's not hitting well, and he may not be seen in an O's uniform again. Wouldn't be a big loss.

Robert Andino:
Projected: .235/.281/.342, 1 HR, .292 wOBA
Actual: .375/.412/.375, 0 HR, .403 wOBA
PrOPS: .269/.311/.341

Life's nice when you have a .462 BABIP. Replacement level back-up infielder.

Luis Montanez:
Projected: .274/.326/.432, 2 HR, .333 wOBA
Actual: .158/.227/.263, 0 HR, .168 wOBA
PrOPS: .247/.317/.320

Maybe Luis shouldn't have talked so much about being over-looked for a spot on the team. Pie has shown the better underlying stats, and has the higher ceiling.

Total offense:
Projected: .272/.342/.429, 160 HR, .338 wOBA
Actual: .275/.350/.417, 20 HR, .349 wOBA

The O's are walking at a decent clip and really doing a good job putting the ball in play. The guys that are really hitting well are the ones that are the major parts of the team's long term plans.


Jeremy Guthrie:
Projected ERA: 4.15
Actual ERA: 5.20
tRA: 5.70

Strike-outs down and walks up for a second year in a row. Not good.

Koji Uehara:
Projected ERA: 4.70
Actual ERA: 4.50
tRA: 4.04

Control is as advertised (1.80 BB/9). Home run problems too (1.5 HR/9). The O's best starter right now.

Mark Hendrickson:
Projected ERA: 5.13
Actual ERA: 5.79
tRA: 7.82

Control has been bad (4.63 BB/9) and he's giving up a ton of long-balls (2.70 HR/9 - that's 60 over 200 IP). Can't wait until Rich Hill comes up to take his spot.

Adam Eaton:
Projected ERA: 5.30
Actual ERA: 7.17
tRA: 3.39

Giving up a .408 BABIP which is contributing greatly to that high ERA. Has been better than anyone had any right to expect.

Alfredo Simon:
Projected ERA: 5.43
Actual ERA: 9.95
tRA: 15.64

Gave up 5 HR in 6.1 IP, and now is out for the year. Too bad for Simon, but probably a good thing for the team.

Brad Bergesen:
Projected ERA: 5.18
Actual ERA: 5.59
tRA: 7.46

3 ER in 6 IP today not included in the stats (lowers his ERA to 5.17). Has to keep the ball on the ground (over 60% groundball rate so far) and limit the free passes (BB/9 below 3 for far) to have success.

George Sherrill:
Projected ERA: 3.79
Actual ERA: 4.66
tRA: 4.63

He's not a closer; he's a left-handed reliever (.237 OPS by lefties vs. 1.137 OPS by righties). The split from last year isn't as extreme (.534 vs. .787), but the point still stands.

Jim Johnson:
Projected ERA: 3.85
Actual ERA: 3.00
tRA: 4.69

The BABIP and HR/FB have corrected, but JJ has upped his K's (from 5 to 7 per nine) and lowered his walks (from 3.7 to 3.0 per nine). The 32.1% line-drive rate will come down and so Johnson will really be able to establish himself as a solid set-up man. His fastball is averaging 94 mph and has above average movement, and that will serve him well.

Chris Ray:
Projected ERA: 4.10
Actual ERA: 7.56
tRA: 3.64

10.8 K/9 is very nice, but he still needs to work on his control (4.3 BB/9). The absurd .491 BABIP will come way down, at which point maybe Dave Trembley will make the smart move and switch his role with Sherrill's. His fastball velocity is down from where it used to be, but it has more movement on it. Same thing with the slider and the splitter. He had a rough couple of games to start the year, but has been almost lights out since.

Danys Baez:
Projected ERA: 4.70
Actual ERA: 3.00
tRA: 2.46

Didn't see it coming, but Baez has been fantastic. 8.25 K/9, 1.5 BB/9, 62.5% groundball rate. 93 mph fastball with more movement than he had on it in 2007. Still not worth $6.2 M.

Jamie Walker:
Projected ERA: 4.72
Actual ERA: 2.08
tRA: 1.27

Only gotten 4.1 IP so far this year, but he hasn't walked a batter or given up a HR and has 5 K's.

Dennis Sarfate:
Projected ERA: 4.37
Actual ERA: 6.39
tRA: 7.13

Walks are way down (7 BB/9 to 5 BB/9) but still bad, but and the K's fell even more (9.7 K/9 to 7.1). Maybe he's hurt, since his velocity was really dropped off from 94.3 mph to 91.4.

Matt Albers:
Projected ERA: 4.38
Actual ERA: 7.71
tRA: 5.37

A 1-1 strike-out to walk ratio just will not cut it, and he's not even getting groundballs anymore (just 22.2%).

Radhames Liz:
Projected ERA: 4.73
Actual ERA: 67.50
tRA: 19.19

4 outs, 8 hits, 10 runs, 2 walks, and a K. Awful.

Brian Bass:
Projected ERA: 4.58
Actual ERA: 6.35
tRA: 6.00

The .347 BABIP and 33.3% HR/FB rates have to come down, and his 8.5 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 have been good. Doesn't throw hard, but is getting a lot of movement on his fastball. Bass seems to be a decent enough arm at the back of the pen.

Total pitching:
Projected ERA: 4.73
Actual ERA: 6.01
tRA: 5.50

The pitching has been pretty bad, but that's largely a result of a .343 BABIP (which is easily the worst in baseball; LAA is next at .329) and a 1.83 HR/9 (between PHI at 1.96 and TEX at 1.52 as the worst three teams). A 6.95 K/9 that's around average and a 3.3 BB/9 that's third best in baseball are very positive signs. With the (potentially) good outfield defense, the O's may have looked too much to take advantage of it and have the highest flyball rate in baseball. As expected though, this is probably not an optimal strategy for a team that plays in Camden Yards.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love the analysis you do here! its very relieving to see Pie shouldnt be doing as badly, I definitely hope he gets his chances this year. A decent Pie + Jones/Markakis would be so amazing.