Thursday, January 18, 2007

2007 Pitching Projections: Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

OK, I'll admit it is a little sad that this headline was the best I could come up with (hey, it has "blue" in it!), but I'll leave the witty stuff for Sax and Orel. I wanted to follow up on my earlier post on Baseball Prospectus' PECOTA projections for the Dodgers' hitters in 2007 with a quick look at the PECOTA projections for the pitching.
  • It comes as little surprise (and, likely, a sigh of relief from Trader Neddie) that new acquisition Jason Schmidt is projected to lead the Dodgers in BP's "Value Over Replacement Player" metric (a VORP of 29.4, for the record). What comes as a bit of surprise is that BP projects Schmidt to pitch 189 innings over 29 starts and post an ERA of 4.12. Not exactly dominating. Actually, Schmidt's projection is awfully close to the projection of his replacement on the Giants (Zito's projected to pitch 178 innings over 29 starts with a 4.22 ERA; luckily, the Dodgers don't have to pay $126 million for the privilege). It might give little solace that Brad Penny is projected to be the second most valuable pitcher (24.7 VORP).
  • The biggest surprise from the PECOTA projections is that the #3 pitcher on the list is 19-year old Clayton Kershaw - the Dodgers' #1 pick last June. Not too shabby for a guy just a few months removed for being the Gatorade National Player of the Year. While it's not likely that Kershaw will be rushed to the majors, it's another data point for what a super job Logan White and the staff have done.
  • While resident flake Derek Lowe projects to be the #4 pitcher, the next four slots are filled by the Dodgers' young guns: Kuo, Broxton, Billingsley, and Meloan. So there's cause for optimism. Well, until Neddie decides to trade them at the deadline to the Devil Rays for clowns like Josh Paul and Ty Wiggington.
  • For what it's worth, Eric Gagne is projected to save about 35 games for the Rangers next year.


Orel said...

How does VORP account for never having pitched in the majors, or injury history?

Lasorda said...

Well, get a subscription to BP and take a look at the methodology.

Orel said...

But I'm cheap. And lazy. And illiterate.

Orel said...