Friday, April 2, 2010

Updated Nationals Wins Above Replacement Projection

With just a couple days before the games count, here's the latest projection for the Nationals' wins above replacement. They've slipped to a 73.5 WAR team, mainly as a result of Willy Taveras getting playing time from Mike Morse in my last projection. I also updated the starting rotation likelies and adjusted for Ian Desmond winning the starting job.

As a reminder, I'm using Tom Tango's system for calculating WAR, plugging in performance projections from CHONE, available at, and the playing time guesstimates are from me.

First, the hitters, then pitchers:

C Ivan Rodriguez 60% .290 0.0 0.47
C Jesus Flores 20% .324 0.0 0.57
C Wil Nieves 20% .284 0.0 0.08
1B Adam Dunn 85% .378 -8.4 2.34
1B Mike Morse 15% .343 0.3 0.23
2B Adam Kennedy 75% .313 1.8 1.00
2B Cristian Guzman 25% .316 0.0 0.34
SS Ian Desmond 65% .324 -4.5 1.22
SS Cristian Guzman 35% .316 -2.0 0.58
3B Ryan Zimmerman 85% .379 10.1 5.22
3B Cristian Guzman 15% .316 0.0 0.20
RF Willie Harris 50% .328 0.0 0.53
RF Willy Taveras 35% .300 0.0 -0.22
RF Mike Morse 15% .343 -0.3 0.29
CF Nyjer Morgan 85% .321 8.5 2.11
CF Willie Harris 15% .328 -0.6 0.30
LF Josh Willingham 85% .361 -6.0 2.94
LF Mike Morse 15% .343 0.0 0.30



SP Jason Marquis 180 4.73 1.5
SP John Lannan 170 4.58 1.7
SP Livan Hernandez 120 5.05 0.6
SP Craig Stammen 120 5.19 0.4
SP Garrett Mock 100 4.69 0.9
SP Scott Olsen 90 5.33 0.2
SP J.D. Martin 70 4.68 0.6
SP Chien-Ming Wang 50 3.93 0.9
SP Ross Detwiler 50 4.97 0.3
SP Stephen Strasburg 50 4.22 0.7
RP Matt Capps 65 4.02 0.3
RP Tyler Clippard 65 4.02 0.3
RP Jason Bergmann 60 4.30 0.1
RP Brian Bruney 55 4.15 0.2
RP Sean Burnett 55 4.63 -0.1
RP Miguel Batista 50 5.36 -0.5
RP Tyler Walker 40 4.11 0.2
RP Drew Storen 40 6.12 -0.7

Total 1430


Dan said...

I have a bet with a friend of mine on the Orioles-Nats win totals, I've got Nats +5. I'm thinking that should be a lock.

JayB said...

Lannan will likely pitch more than 170 innings. I know you don't like to admit it but he is good enough to be a 200 inning 4.00 ERA guy.

Strasbug will pitch more than 50 innings or they really miss used his limited innings for the year.

Flores will not catch this year if I was doing predictions of time.

Other than those I agree with the playing time estimates as we stand now. Rizzo has to make some trades to fix RF and Catching but who knows when those will come.

Steven said...

Lannan's innings have nothing to do with what I "want to admit."

A projection exercise like this is about projecting the most likely outcome for each player, not making hopeful (or pessimistic) predictions. Envision a bell-curve of potential outcomes. There's probably a 5% chance that Lannan is the Cy Young winner, and maybe a 5% chance that he completely craters. The question here is what's the mid-point most likely outcome, the top of the bell curve. I could see bumping it to 180-185, but certainly not over 200.

Some of these players will get hurt. You have to account for that inevitability, and if you project every player assuming total health, you're not making reasonable overall assumptions.

Remember, only 35 pitchers threw 200 innings last year, and less than half of those also did it the year before. So by definition it's a rare feat. Statistically, you don't project rare feats as most likely outcomes. You have to factor in some regression to the mean, or else you end up with junk.

That's why if you look at all the different projection systems out there--PECOTA, CHONE, ZIPS, Bill James, Marcel--none of them project Lannan over 200 innings. It's why PECOTA projects only 12 pitchers in all of baseball with more than 200 innings:
Beckett, Josh
Greinke, Zack
Halladay, Roy
Hamels, Cole
Haren, Dan
Hernandez, Felix
Jimenez, Ubaldo
Lee, Cliff
Lester, Jon
Lincecum, Tim
Verlander, Justin
Wainwright, Adam

It's also why you almost never get a 100-loss team with a method like this. 100 loss teams are rare, so by definition, those teams get regressed to mid-90s projections. And for people who look at this and say, "I'll take 73 wins," you have to remember that I'm saying there's a 49.9% chance that you'll get at least a little worse than that. (And there's a 49.9% chance that you'll get better.) But what's the relative potential upside? How low could the bottom fall, if the bottom falls out? That's where you start thinking about depth, potential for key players falling far short of expectations, the capacity of this particular group to deal with adversity and/or adjust to unforeseen problems.

I'll have personal *predictions* Monday.

Hendo said...

You have to go (as I do) with what your system(s) of choice tell you.

Still, were I tempted to tweak, and I am, I'd ratchet up Burnett's projection and ratchet down Storen's. Burnett was more than a tad lucky last season, and nothing I've seen or heard this spring makes me think Storen will come in over 5.

Which is a wash, I'll grant you.

Steven said...

Yeah, I could certainly see that.

estuartj said...

Mock is 5th stater according to Ladsen.

Anonymous said...

The projected innings for Livan, Mock, and Olsen are too high. If I had to bet, at least 2 of them get permanently replaced by June.

Anonymous said...

Although these projections are reasonable (with the exception of Storen), in predicting the Nat's total wins, you'll have to adjust downward to account for the fact that the Nats will likely trade two of their best WAR players - Dunn and Willingham - before August. Factoring that in, I see a win total in the (sigh) 60s. Again.

Here's to another season of drinking heavily at the Red Loft.

Anonymous said...

You all should pick up Balentien when the Reds waive him. That would really help out your right field situation.