More WAR wanderings

Well, another month has gone by, so I thought I'd check in again on the Jays' fWAR performances, so far. The Jays have played 50 games, so the sample size is larger. In any case, I think we can say that WAR, by-and-large, passes the eye test (sniff test?), rewarding players like Lawrie for highlight-reel defense, while punishing players like Thames for bungling LF. Despite its flaws, I like a stat that tries to account for all aspects of a player's game, focusing on what the player himself (and hopefully herself, someday) can control.

So, some mild analysis after the jump.

Last month, KJ led the team with a 0.9 fWAR. KJ continues to lead the team at a very impressive 1.7 WAR, which if he can keep it up projects to a 5.5 WAR season! Woohoo! His .325 BABIP may be unsustainable and his K% is a bit high, but really, what's not to like?

Here's the list: Player--WAR--PA--(last month's WAR)

KJ: 1.7--208--(0.9)

Lawrie: 1.5--192--(0.7)

EE: 1.2--216--(0.8)

Rasmus: 1.0--190--(0.3)

Bautista: 0.8--219--(0.1)

Escobar: 0.8--217--(0.3)

JPA: 0.7--159--(0.0)

Mathis: 0.4--41--(0.3)

Davis: 0.4--68--(-0.1)

Gomes: 0.2--27--(NA)

Cooper: 0.0--18--(NA)

Vizquel: -0.1--38--(-0.2)

Francisco: -0.3--37--(-0.1)

Thames: -0.6--160--(-0.1)

Lind: -0.7--132--(0.0)

OK, well, what to make of this? Overall, our offense seems to have improved over the month of May. No arguments from these data as to why Thames and Lind were sent down, as both were actually worse over the last month than they were in April. It's no wonder we're struggling when we're getting such poor performances from two premium offensive positions. If Lawrie starts hitting better (and at least from the eye test, he's started to hit with more authority, recently), watch out, because he could be in for an amazing fWAR season. His defense, as others have noted, has been just phenomenal. It's certainly nice to see Bautista coming back, adding 0.7 WAR in just one month (along with JPA and Rasmus, who have both been impressive). We all know he can do even better, but his May performance has been encouraging. His BABIP is still quite low (.213 for the season, .254 in the month of May), so we should expect more improvement.

In terms of pitchers, we only had one starter (Romero) with a positive fWAR at the end of last month, and now we have three (which is still two fewer than I would like). Unfortunately Romero has not added to his 0.5 fWAR from last month (which again passes the eye test: hard to pitch well with all of those walks). Morrow is our best pitcher (even with the awful last start) at a very respectable 1.1 WAR (projects to about 3.5 WAR). And Hutchison (at 0.5 WAR) is our only starter whose FIP is better than his ERA. Hutchison has actually pitched quite well. Our best reliever has been Oliver at 0.4, while Frasor and Perez are both at 0.2. Our worst starter: Drabek at -0.2, and our worst relievers: Cordero and Crawford, both at -0.3.

Anyway, what do you think? Reasons to be optimistic? Pessimistic?

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