Wednesday, January 03, 2007

It continues...looking at the Jays off-season

Ok the Baltimore/Toronto is raging. Just to re-iterate...I have a bad feeling in my gut that the Orioles are in a better position than the Jays to compete. It does not mean that I refute the statistical evidence, it just means that it's a feeling. Obviously I don't feel comfortable with the Jays roster today...so let's look at it.

Jays have lost (this off-season):

Bengie Molina C 433 At bats, OPS+ 98, VORP 15.5
Justin Speier RP 51.3 IPs, ERA+ 158, VORP 26.4
Frank Catalanotto LF 437 At bats, OPS+ 108, VORP 17.4
Ted Lilly SP 181.7 IPs, ERA+ 109, VORP 16.1

In-Season:

Shea Hillenbrand DH 296 At bats, OPS+ 107, VORP 11.4
Scott Schoeneweis RP 37.3 IPs, ERA+ 73, VORP -1.2
Eric Hinske RF/CI 197 at bats, OPS+ 118, VORP 10.4

Totalling it off, on offense the Jays have lost 1363 at bats for a total VORP of 70.8. They also lost 270.3 innings from their pitching staff with a total VORP of 41.3. So a total VORP of 111.3 was lost in the players that have left this team in since the mid point of last season. That equals about 11 wins taken away from the Jays team (10 VORP is roughly one win). What they've brought in:

Frank Thomas DH 466 at bats, OPS+ 141, VORP 41.3
Royce Clayton SS 454 at bats, OPS+ 66, VORP -1.9
Matt Stairs LF 348 at bats, OPS+ 88, VORP 2.4

And what have they brought in from other teams? The Jays have signed 3 players who last year had 1268 at bats for a total VORP of 41.8. So that added about 4 wins to the total and this is of course if Stairs makes the team. The new players almost make up the difference in at bats, although it will be difficult to find a place for Stairs to get that many at bats. So with the Thomas signing by itself, Ricciardi and co. have almost made up the losses on offense of the past year and reduced the loss of wins to around 3. This analysis does not factor in Adam Lind (60 abs, 156 OPS+), who may have a role in the Jays offense but will probably start at AAA.

But let’s say that Lind picks up the slack for the 95 at bats that are lacking…Lind put up an 8.4 VORP in his 60 at bats, I don’t think there’s any way he replicates this kind of production but let’s give him an 8.4 VORP in 95 at bats to go with a decrease in production. So with this rough estimate, the Jays lost about 2.5 wins because of their offense.

More worrisome is the pitching staff, where the Jays will look internally to replace the 270 innings thrown by Schoenweis, Lilly and Speier. Janssen/Marcum (ERA+ of 93) will be asked to pick up the innings that Lilly’s loss have created while Accardo (ERA+ of 79) and League (ERA+ of 186) should see more action out of the bullpen. I think the Jays will lose maybe 2 games because of the pitching changes. Accardo should be better, League should not be as good and one of Janssen/Marcum should be better. So all in all, the Jays instead of taking a step towards Boston and New York have taken a 4.5 win step backwards. Considering they beat the Orioles by more than 15 games this shouldn't be that worrisome? So the stats go against the gut?

4 comments:

Charlie said...

I did the same thing a couple weeks ago in regards of breaking down VORP with incoming/outgoing and came the about the same results. For some reason I just feel good about the pitching even the rotation. Part of it is me always being optimistic about the Jays, which is strange because I'm terribly pessimistic with most other things in life. I just try to ignore the Sox/Yanks because you're right, they look improved. Who knows though? This is a tough time of year for me, I miss baseball terribly. Anyone else going through some withdrawl still? How many days til ST?

Anonymous said...

Man...JP should have signed any pitcher instead of wasting his money on Clayton and Thomas. He should be fired if neither stay healthy!

Charlie said...

Be more specific. Who do you think the Jays should have signed? Don't post arbitary comments.
I'm thrilled that the Jays didn't sign Meche. The only FA pitcher I would have liked to see signed would have been Lilly, because he has pitched in the AL east and although a touch soft and homer prone, he is a solid pitcher. The Jays are obviously not done tweaking their roster. I still think McGowan will finally break through. Chacin is always living on the edge but all he needs to do is be an average innings eater. I'm sure they'll add another pitcher or two before ST, how good of a pitcher(s) remains to be seen.

Charlie said...

You started a pretty nice discussion over at BTF DJ. Did you read through it all? I guess you must have if you started the thread. charlie