Thursday, March 31, 2005
Dissed HARD by BP
The delicate geniuses at Baseball Prospectus have aggregated their preseason predictions for the American League into one article. And they've treated the White Sox with monumental disdain - all of them picking the White Sox to finish third or fourth in the AL Central.
I normally have respect for the writers at BP. But I just do not see how they are so widely missing the mark here. Several of them actually pick Cliff Lee or Jeremy Bonderman as Cy Young candidates, despite the fact that neither have posted sub-4 ERA's in their careers. The Detroit Tigers - who won just 40-something games two years ago - are predicted to finish ahead of the Pale Hose by nearly all the writers. Aren't they the same writers who talk at length about regression to the mean? Or did they suddenly start believing that Brandon Inge and Carlos Guillen just showed their natural level of performance last year? Oh, and I suppose I-Rod is going to do just as well or better than last year, too.
It's bizarre that people that interested in judging players' and teams' performances would fail to do their homework on the relative merits of each team.
Here are the key additions of each team:
No one (perhaps Joe Mays coming off of injury)
Magglio Ordonez and Troy Percival.
Note that Baseball Prospectus has otherwise murdered those particular signings (Ordonez and Percival) as foolish.
Kevin Millwood (projected 4.37 ERA in 2005) and Juan Gonzalez.
The White Sox filled in their Right Field hole - (which was a -10 VORP last year due to Maggs' injuries) and their fifth starter hole (5-15 with a 9+ ERA) in the offseason, gaining at least 5 games on an 84-78 team last year. Add an Iguchi over Willie Harris, and Juan Uribe performing as well as Valentin, and you've got a better 2005 team than a 2004 team. Sure, losing Carlos Lee will hurt the power game. But Lee is a .350 OBP/.500 SLG guy...and Podsednik projects as a .341/.409 guy. The difference is mostly SLG, which means it's less than you would think. Add in the fact that Podsednik will be helped by US Cellular, and I think the Podsednik trade will be looking pretty good by June - especially if he keeps up the hot hitting he's shown in Spring Training.
In short, I just don't understand the lack of comprehension concerning the White Sox's chances in 2005. This is a team that plugged all of its 2004 holes with quality players. Sure, losing Maggs hurts - but since he wasn't around in 2004, that's more of a loss when comparing the 2005 club to the 2003 team. There is some serious stathead shortsightedness when it comes to the White Sox this year.
BP will be eating these projections come September.
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