i'm bound for st louis today, in town thru the weekend. i have early flight, leaving me not much time to post. a few quick items:
- sean smith, creater of the CHONE projection system, posted his pitcher projections yesterday. according to nate silver, CHONE's 2007 projections rivaled PECOTA's in terms of accuracy; they were the two most reliable forecasters of pitching data last year. here's how CHONE sees the cardinal rotation in 2008:
CHONE bases its projections on batted-ball data; it derives a pitcher's rate of expected hits and homers allowed from his groundball / flyball tendencies. i'm not sure which (if any) of the other forecasting systems work on this basis, but intuitively i like it. CHONE sees the cardinal staff as comprising a bunch of #4 starters, which is about the same thing most of us would probably say without crunching any numbers. . . . . to be fair, wainwright's era projects to be the 15th-best in the nl among pitchers with 150 or more innings pitched; nominally, that would make him a #1 pitcher. and if mulder or reyes actually pitched like a #4, i'm sure we'd all be ecstatic.
- mgl doesn't see mulder as a #4; according to mgl, mulder and mike maroth project to be the 2 worst starting pitchers in baseball in 2008 --- the same 2 pitchers tony moved into the rotation during the first week of september, with the cards just a game out of first . . . .
- might the angels kick the tires on david eckstein? understand, i don't think the angels should pursue eck; i wouldn't do it if i were them. but i also wouldn't have signed gary mathews jr to the deal they gave him last year; they have a new gm, and there's no telling what they might do. they are a team built to win now, and none of their in-house options for replacing orlando cabrera is a slam dunk. the leading candidate, brandon wood, was shifted to 3b last year over concerns about his range. he also didn't have a particularly good season at the plate, posting an .835 ops in one of the hitter-friendliest parks in the minors; his MLE line was .212 / .270 / .400, and ZIPS projects him to a .660 ops, or roughly the same as brendan ryan. another in-house possibility, maicer izturis, was primarily a second-baseman in the minor leagues and has played almost no shortstop the last 3 seasons with cabrera in place ahead of him. erick aybar was overmatched by big-league pitching last year, and while he's still got plenty of room to improve the angels may not think they can afford to wait. chone figgins isn't a realistic option as an everyday ss. . . . . just to repeat, if i were the angels' gm i'd take my chances w/ the in-house options over the aging, glove-challenged eckstein. but the cabrera trade left at least one angel fan wondering if the team was thinking of bringing back eckstein. if nothing else, any mild interest by the angels could give eckstein negotiating leverage with the cardinals; he otherwise looks to be out of options, given the mets' signing of luis castillo yesterday.
- as for the cardinals' signings yesterday: whatever.
- at SB Nation brother site Minor League Ball, somebody's taking opinions on the 5 top cf prospects in the high minors --- rasmus, ellsbury, mccutcheon, maybin, and bruce. as of late monday night, jay bruce was averaging the highest score, about 9.5 on a scale of 10; rasmus was 2d with an average score of 9. you can vote in this diary at Minor League Ball.
- david pinto posted his defensive ratings for left-fielders over the weekend. chris duncan was the 2d worst left-fielder in the big leagues, with only pat burrell making a bigger hash of things out there.
i'll have a short post on thursday morning. safe travels to everyone who's on the move.