Wednesday, March 25, 2009

FJB's Official 2009 Big Predictions Post

It's prediction time. As opening day approaches, here are the things I see in my crystal ball. Some of these predictions are more "out on a limb" than others, I think, but regardless, prepare your spitballs and let 'em fly.
  • Nick Johnson, Ryan Zimmerman, Lastings Milledge, Jason Bergmann, and Austin Kearns will be better in 2009 than they were in 2008.
  • Cristian Guzman, John Lannan, Joe Beimel, Joel Hanrahan, Anderson Hernandez, Ronnie Belliard, and Scott Olsen will be worse.
  • Ryan Zimmerman will finally take the next step forward, finishing the season with a slash line over .280 / .350 / .480. But he will not make the all-star team.
  • Josh Bard will get more than one-third of the starts at catcher.
  • Nationals Park will emerge as a very slight hitters park as measured by park factor.
  • The Nationals will draw fewer than two million fans.
  • Jason Bergmann will have a better ERA than any of the Nationals' top five starters by games started.
  • Mike Rizzo will find room for Alberto Gonzalez on the 25-man roster by the end of May at the latest.
  • Cristian Guzman, Wily Mo Pena, Dmitri Young, and Ron Belliard will be former Nationals by the end of the season.
  • Austin Kearns will have a solid bounce-back season and find himself a starting job with another team by opening day 2010.
  • Adam Dunn's streak of 40-HR seasons will end.
  • Jordan Zimmermann's ERA will be below the 2008 starting pitcher NL average of 4.40.
  • Despite recent additions, the bullpen will be in the bottom third in the NL by ERA.
  • Nationals starting pitchers will throw the fewest innings of any team in the NL.
  • Scott Olsen will not finish the year in the Nationals rotation.
  • The Nationals' top five starting pitchers by IP as a starter will include at least one pitcher not currently with the organization.
  • Strasburg will be the pick, and he will sign.
  • Aaron Crow will get the $4.4 million he wanted last year.
  • Shawn Hill will finish the season with more win shares than the Nationals' fifth starter.
  • Nick Johnson will get 500 at bats and finish the season with an OPS+ over 140.
  • Mike Rizzo will lose the "acting" and be named the new Nationals GM.
  • Manny Acta will get another year.
  • NL playoff teams: Mets, Dodgers, Cubs, D'Backs.
  • AL playoff teams: Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers, Angels.
  • The Dodgers will beat the Yankees in the Series.
  • The Nationals record will be 74-88, their fourth last place finish in five years.

15 comments:

Sean Hogan said...

I can see all of these happening in some sense. It would surprise me if they moved Guzman, though, more than anything else.

Steven said...

My gut says he's a Jim guy. Rizz I think will want to go defense first in the IF.

Positively Half St. said...

Steven-

Gee, buddy, don't let Spring Training euphoria get to you. I think that you see another miserable season, with little to look forward to, even though you predicted a 15-game improvement for the team. Can't you go on a limb and predict at least one break-out performance? I mean, Zimmermann having a lower than league average ERA is nice, but not enough to hang one's hat on.

Thanks for putting it out there, though- good read.

Steve Shoup said...

Steven, who do you see as the Nats All-Star, Johnson or Dunn? Obviously you don't think Lannan, Hannrahan or Guz since you are projecting down years for them and you say Zim won't get it. So I was just wondering who your prediction was?

Will said...

What most stuck out to me:
-Bergmann having the lowest ERA of Nats starters
-Trading Cristian Guzman's $8mil/year contract
-Tigers make the playoffs

While I'd be happy to see Bergmann turn things around, I can't see him ending up as the best starter, granted he doesn't have much competition. I also don't see anyone picking up Guzman's contract, unless we ate a large chunk of it. If Kearns' contract is too large, double it and you have Guzman's.
As wide open as the AL Central is, I can't see the Tigers winning it. Based on how bad they were last year, a lot of people are overlooking them, but I still think the Indians are a better team, especially with guys like LaPorta waiting in the wings.

JayB said...

Very Nice....only a few areas of disagreement. I think Olson leads the team in Innings. Hill does not pitch in the Majors again. What do yo predict for Milledge's Defense? Baserunning....is there a stat about how many runs you cost your team by running into outs with less than 2 outs on ground balls hit infront of you? I will go with -5 runs there alone.

Steven said...

Dunn is the all star.

1/2 street--I gave a whole list of guys I think will be better! But the team isn't really that good.

Steven said...

@will

you're pointing out some of my more "out there" prognotications. I couldn't just make all predictions like, "Stan Kasten will complain about agents" and "Teddy won't win any races..."

Here's my thinking though:
--Bergmann will pitch as a reliever most if not all of the season, and mostly be matched up against righties. He'll put up an ERA that he couldn't sustain as a starter, but that will make my prediction correct. It's a slight of hand prediction I admit, but I stand by it.

--Guzman's contract I don't think is so bad. If he craters in April and May, he'll be hard to deal, but if he looks ok after a month I say Rizz moves him.

--The AL central is WIDE open. I say the Tigers have enough regression to the mean to make it. But who the fuck konws. I almost picked the Royals.

Wil Nieves said...

Do you think Flores will get the other 2/3 starts at catcher? How likely do you think it is he starts the year on the DL?

Also, what about Olsen? Are you suggesting he will get sent to the minors or catch the injury bug?

Steven said...

Scott Olsen will be removed from the rotation because he's terrible.

Flores I think will struggle and end up for at least some part of the season on the short end of a platoon. That's what I was thinking.

redcottageaudio said...

I think the Gonzalez prediction is correct. I would imagine that Gonzalez/Hernandez will be out DP combination. If not those two then a version of them, ie some other defensive speedy middle infielder that Rizzo gets for a toolsy Bowden re-tred he manages to trade.

I think that trading for more defense up the middle is a good way to go. I like the philosophy but not sure those two have the talent to implement it.

phil dunton said...

You forgot to make a prediction on where Jim Bowden would end up so I will make it. I predict he will become a used Sedgeway saleman.

Deez Nats said...

I'd be willing to bet money against your Shawn Hill prediction. My prediction is that he will have as many win shares as me.

Fool'sErrandBoy said...

I think your predictions all seem plausible, up until you put the Tigers in the playoffs. They have one real starting pitcher (Verlander), one guy who's always been promise (Bonderman), a complete enigma in Dontrelle Willis, a guy who will be lucky if he only regresses halfway back to the mean (Galarraga), and then...maybe if Rick Porcello is an all-star this year...they can win 90 games with an offense that has Granderson and Cabrera, guys who are about to fall off the age/productivity cliff (Guillen -- who's not much of a hitter for LF anyway; Sheffield; Ordonez; Polanco), and then black holes (Everett and Inge).

I'd like to say it's the Tribe, but I'd put my money on the Twins.

Steven said...

The AL Central is a tough one. Like I said, I almost picked the Royals. But really it could be either of the teams you mentioned. I'm guessing on teamwide regression to the mean. I mean, people at this point last year thought they'd be worldbeaters, and there are a lot of talented guys there. They should score. Bonderman I think is better than you say, and who's rotation is better? Every team is flawed.