Thursday, July 15, 2004

Future Baby Names (Part 3, D-Backs Review) 

See here for the outfield and infield reviews.  As always, the four numbers are:
1. 55% of 2003 VORP
2. 2004 YTD VORP
3. 2004 Win Shares
4. 2004 Win Share Above Average

-- Randy Johnson (6.1, 30.9, 11, 5) -- Uh, yeah, his season's been OK. But, then again, we're paying him $16 M per year, this is what we'd expect for that.

-- Brandon Webb (27.1, 7.8, 5, 5) -- He returns to earth, though other, smarter bloggers than I would argue that he's pitched better than his stats indicate.   I don't necessarily disagree, but a drop like that is at least partially his fault.

-- Steve Sparks (2.6, -7.6, 2, -2) -- Worst of all, he hasn't eaten up enough innings. I wish that the coaching staff would just let him get shelled now and then. Or, rather, shelled for 7 innings rather than 4.

-- Elmer Dessens (2.2, 0.6, 2, -2) -- He wants to be a starter. But it's clear that at this point in his career, he shouldn't be doing anything more than long relief or set-up.

-- Casey Fossum (-0.8, -8.8, 0, -2) -- A GM can dream, can't he? Theo Epstein, laughing still.

-- Casey Daigle (xx, -10.0, -1, -3) -- Insert your own Jennie Finch joke here.

Relievers (in Win Share order of usefulness this year)

Mike Koplove (6.9, 1.7, 3, 0)
Randy Choate (-0.5, 2.5, 2, 0)
Stephen Randolph (5.2, 1.6, 2, 1)
Jose Valverde (8.5, 1.5, 2, 0)
Andrew Good (-0.1, 0.5, 1, -1)
Brandon Villafuerte (3.0, 3.6, 1, 0)
Brian Bruney (xx, 4.3, 1, 0)
Oscar Villarreal (11.7, -2.8, 0, -1)
Scott Service (0.8, -3.0, 0, -1)
Gregori Aquino (xx, 0.7, 0, 0)
Edgar Gonzalez (0.8, -3.5, 0, -1)
Shane Reynolds (1.0, -4.7, 0, -1)
Lance Cormier (xx, -6.2, 0, 0)
Shane Nance (0.4, -1.4, 0, 0)
Matt Mantei (9.5, -8.3, -2, -4)

The holdovers haven't done as well. Whether that's due to overuse last year, overuse this year, or because they're not very good, is not resolved. As I've said before, I think they're just not very good. The new additions haven't managed to exceed their comparatively abysmal levels of last year. And this is just more proof that Matt Mantei has been the biggest waste of money this year. I didn't have a great feeling about him coming into the year, but even I didn't expect this.


19 Win Shares for the starters, 10 Win Shares for the relievers/leftovers. Not good times. Really, besides Randy and Brandon, is there anybody that you'd miss? Admittedly, we don't have too many cheap replacements for some of these guys, and maybe Koplove, Valverde, and Bruney might turn out to be useful relief arms, but the more I think about it, the more I'd prefer spending our free agent walking-around money on pitching than on Sexson. (Well, I want both, but I'm beginning to think the free agent pitching market will be more of a buyer's market and we could pick up a couple decent (e.g, #2 or evan #1 in Randy's absence) starters).

The free agent market is going to be bloated with #2-#3 level pitchers, guys in the Radke, Pavano, Clement, Milton, etc..... And I believe an increase in supply tends to lower overall demand and prices.

The market for relievers is not that great, so I think it would be best to stick with our young guys there. I think Valverde, Villarreal and Bruney are all legitimate big leaguers and we should give them a chance to succeed.
Crap, I always forget to put my name on your comments.

Yeah, I agree with your comments. Those pitchers you listed are definitely #2 quality, and would probably be a #1 on the D-Backs in RJ's absence. The surplus of FA pitchers and the apparent shortage of reeeeeally good FA position players lead me to be interested more in pitchers.
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