Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
May 03, 2004
BASEBALL: 2004 NL East Established Win Shares Report

In the grand tradition of half-finished serieses on this website, I am at long last returning to the next installment of my division-by-division walk around the major leagues by Established Win Shares Levels. It's still early enough that it feels worthwhile to cover the NL East, although we'll see how long the last division (NL Central) takes; I may resort to running one team at a time. (Now that I have the routine down pat, I'll try to get them all done before the season next year). Here's my previous efforts:

*The Top 25 Players in Baseball and explanation of EWSL method

*AL West EWSL Report & explanation of team method

*AL East EWSL Report & slight modification to team method

*AL Central EWSL Report

*NL West EWSL Report

A few recurring notes on the method: Recall that the projected win totals below are probably a bit on the low side, in part because I only list 23 players, and that these aren't really projections at all, so much as estimates of how much established major league talent is on each roster. Also, as before, I've indicated the players who are ranked only on 2002-03 with a #, players ranked only on 2003 with a *, and rookies with a +. For rookie non-pitchers with everyday jobs, I've arbitrarily pencilled in 10 Win Shares , 5 WS for rookie pitchers with rotation slots, 3 for bench players and 2 for relievers. So, with the defending champion Marlins off and running, how does the EWSL method stack up the division?

Philadelphia Phillies

Adjusted EWSL: 265.8 (87 wins)
Unadjusted EWSL: 256.7 (86 wins)
Weighted Age: 29.972

PosPlayerEWSLAge
CMLieberthal1332
1BJThome3233
2BPPolanco1728
SSJRollins1825
3BDBell1131
RFBAbreu2830
CFMByrd*1626
LFPBurrell1627
UTRLedee630
C2TPratt537
INFTPerez530
OFDGlanville533
13SWooten331
SP1KMillwood1329
SP2RWolf1327
SP3VPadilla1226
SP4BMyers#723
SP5EMilton728
CLBWagner1732
R2TWorrell1036
R3RHernandez539
R4RCormier837
R5ATelemaco130

Unfortunately for the Phillies, it looks like you can add Marlon Byrd to the list of baseball's perennial slowest starters, about half of whom are already on this roster (although Thome's bucking the trend this year; beware of injury when a slow starter starts that quickly!) . . . the Phillies really are and should be the division favorites, regardless of the inertia of success in Atlanta, regardless of the flag flying in Miami, and yes, regardless of their 11-12 start. They've wisely loaded up with usable veterans (you will note that the Phils needed almost no adjustments for players with less than 3 years of big league experience), because this is a team whose moment is now.

New York Mets

Adjusted EWSL: 217.3 (72 wins)
Unadjusted EWSL: 183.9 (61 wins)
Weighted Age: 31.277

PosPlayerEWSLAge
CMPiazza1535
1BJPhillips*1327
2BJReyes*1221
SSKMatsui+1028
3BTWigginton#1126
RFKGarcia528
CFMCameron2131
LFCFloyd1931
UTJMcEwing531
C2VWilson531
INFRGutierrez534
OFSSpencer732
13TZeile1038
SP1ALeiter1138
SP2TGlavine1238
SP3STrachsel1133
SP4JSeo*927
SP5TYates+526
CLBLooper1129
R2DWeathers834
R3MStanton737
R4JFranco243
R5GRoberts326

Before you jump on me for the Mets' high ranking here, notice the "wins" figure - EWSL just figures them to be the best of a crappy bunch trailing the Phillies. Of course, the odds on us seeing the entire Mets lineup on the field at once are pretty long. It's tough to be rebuilding and still have, by a goodly margin, the oldest team in the division. It's just tough to be optimistic about the Mets given Reyes' injury problems and the organization's history over the past decade and a half of churning out young players who can't stay healthy long enough to develop their talents.

Atlanta Braves

Adjusted EWSL: 209.2 (70 wins)
Unadjusted EWSL: 194.2 (65 wins)
Weighted Age: 29.518

PosPlayerEWSLAge
CJEstrada128
1BALaRoche+1024
2BMGiles1726
SSRFurcal2126
3BMDeRosa629
RFJDrew1528
CFAJones2527
LFCJones2832
UTJFranco645
C2EPerez436
INFJGarcia130
OFDWise026
13EMarrero730
SP1ROrtiz1530
SP2MHampton931
SP3JThomson930
SP4HRamirez*924
SP5JWright128
CLJSmoltz1537
R2AAlfonseca432
R3JCruz225
R4WCunnane230
R5KGryboski#330

Bill James, 1988 Abstract:

I suspect . . . that Whitey is . . . reaching the end of his effectiveness in St. Louis. It's been a long run, but people have begun to think that Herzog is magic, that he can solve all the problems of this team just by sending the baserunners and pulling all the right levers. That's a dangerous sign, I think, a sign that Herzog's run is about over; whenever largue numbers of people start saying that you're a genius, you're about to have problems.

I couldn't put my hands on the reference, but I believe James made a similar point about Buck Rogers in Montreal: once the management decides that you are such a brilliant manager that they don't have to pay decent players to play for you, you have problems. Hence, your 2004 Atlanta Braves, the last remnants of a dying order. There are just a few too many holes in the lineup here to win with the kind of pitching the Braves have now.

Defending World Champion Florida Marlins

Adjusted EWSL: 192 (64 wins)
Unadjusted EWSL: 173.5 (58 wins)
Weighted Age: 28.505

PosPlayerEWSLAge
CRCastro228
1BHChoi*625
2BLCastillo2028
SSAGonzalez1327
3BMLowell2230
RFMCabrera*1221
CFJPierre1826
LFJConine1538
UTWCordero832
C2MRedmond633
INFMMordecai236
OFANunez527
13LHarris239
SP1JBeckett824
SP2BPenny826
SP3DWillis*1422
SP4CPavano628
SP5DOliver733
CLABenitez1131
R2NBump227
R3CFox433
R4TPhelps*230
R5MPerisho029

On the one hand, the Marlins are the very picture of the kind of team the EWSL method underrates, since they are heavily reliant on talented young pitchers and hitters (Cabrera, Choi) who have yet to get a full season's at bats. If he's healthy, you expect more than 8 Win Shares from Josh Beckett, for example. On the other hand, that has to be a reminder that these guys are still loaded with risky, unproven players, and no matter how high your confidence in youth, those players can fail. Choi looks great so far, although Derrek Lee left big shoes to fill (23 EWSL); they miss Pudge (18 EWSL) even more, given the shaky solutions left behind. . . . without casting aspersions on his birthdate, it still amazes me that Wil Cordero is only 32. Seems like he's been hanging on forever . . . Dontrelle Willis' slugging average is now down to 1.000 on the year.

Montreal/San Juan Expos

Adjusted EWSL: 190.4 (63 wins)
Unadjusted EWSL: 173.7 (58 wins)
Weighted Age: 28.296

PosPlayerEWSLAge
CBSchneider1027
1BNJohnson#1325
2BJVidro2229
SSOCabrera1929
3BTBatista1330
RFJRivera*425
CFBWilkerson1527
LFCEverett1533
UTPBergeron126
C2EDiaz631
INFLLopez030
OFTSledge+327
13AFox533
SP1LHernandez1429
SP2TOkha1128
SP3ZDay#626
SP4CVargas#626
SP5JPatterson#126
CLRBiddle628
R2CCordero*122
R3LAyala*1126
R4JFikac129
R5TArmas626

Hamlet II would have brought back more returning talent than these Expos, notwithstanding one of baseball's best double play combinations. Last season, when Guerrero and Vazquez were on hand, was the time to sell the team.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 06:50 AM | Baseball 2004 | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

Nice line, re: Hamlet and the Expos.

Posted by: The Mad Hibernian at May 3, 2004 10:44 PM

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