FanPost

The Game of "What If" - 2013 Version

Last winter I published a fanpost in which I took the Bill James projections for the Blue Jays’ starting lineup and used the Baseball Musing’s Lineup Analysis Tool to project the total runs that the Jays would score in 2012.

There is considerable debate on the merits of the Tool. Some strongly dislike it on theoretical grounds. Others have tested it and found it to be close. The bottom line, in my view, is that its results have some meaning, but

(a) The results are only as good as the input variables, and

(b) No baseball projection tool is perfect (which is a GOOD thing!)

In 2012, the Tool projected 850 runs for the Jays, if the lineup remained in place and healthy.

Actual Blue Jays runs scored in 2012? 716.

Injuries were a major contributor to the shortfall, of course. Other than Edwin and Colby, no Jay played 150 games (Lawrie 125, Bautista 92, etc). And several of the Bill James predictions turned out to be optimistic (Yunel projected wOBA .335, actual .284 … Lawrie .361 -> .319 … Colby .341 -> .297, and so on)

Well, it is a new year, and Dan Szymborski has come out with a new set of ZiPS projections for the 2013 Blue Jays. So, once more into the breach, dear friends … <grin!>

I used a lineup of Reyes, Cabrera, Bautista, Encarnacion, Lawrie, Lind, Rasmus, JPA and Izturis, and Dan’s 2013 ZiPS figures without modification. I assumed no platoon for Lind, and I used the “1959-2004 Model” from Musings (which is supposedly more conservative)

The result? Assuming that lineup, with no allowances for injuries/rest days/lineup changes, Musings projects the Jays to score 848 runs in 2013.

If you assume a (purely subjective) 5% reduction due to normal injuries and rest days, the Jays would score about 806 runs. That total would have been the second highest in MLB, if they had scored it in 2012 – after Texas’ 806 and ahead of the Yankees’ 804.

To me, this result seems intuitive. With Reyes and Cabrera, some growth from Lawrie and JPA, and a healthy Jose I would expect the Jays to be in the top couple of deciles in runs scored.

Thoughts?

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