This might seem trivial, but even fudging on playing time by 5% or something introduces some "inflation" into the system. The average team ends up with 84-85 wins instead of 81, and a run differential of +30 or 40 runs. So we have to shave a little bit off the team totals to make them add up right. This affects all teams equally, not just the Cards.
derrick goold has a report from the front re reyes' war with the two-seamer. kid's still trying to get comfortable with it; i imagine he'll be working it hard in spring training. it'll be interesting to see how often (or, to be more precise, in what situations) he's willing to throw it once the games start to count.
on to the results of our community projections from yesterday:
let's begin with duncan. all 42 people who contributed numbers for duncan projected his batting average to decline; the top forecast was .292, or 1 point below last year's average. and only 1 person thinks duncan will improve upon his 2006 slugging average (.589); the 2d-highest projection was .560, or 29 points lower than last year. so we're all pretty much in agreement that chris played over his head last year. where we still differ is over how far duncan will regress. our predictions in the rate categories ranged from.242 / .310 / .405 on the low end to .292 / .389 / .612 on the high end --- quite a spread. in homers, the predictions ranged from 14 to 36. we don't even much agree on how much playing time chris will get; while ev'yone thinks his at-bats will increase, the range is 320 on the low end and 511 on the high.
here's how our soothsaying stacks up against that of others; once again, we agree pretty closely with the guys at CCH, although not as strikingly as we did in the case of kip wells:
the numbers are ranked in descending OPS order. as with edmonds, VEB's aggregate forecast for duncan is comparatively conservative: only 4th highest in at-bats, 3d in avg, 4th in obp, and 5th in slugging. in terms of runs created per game (not shown on this chart) VEB's projection is only 5th highest, and virtually identical to the james, shandler, and PECOTA projections.
here's the average of the 8 projections --- actually 7, because i averaged the VEB/CCH numbers and counted them as a single, unitary hometown-fan projection:
we're very close to the average in every category; a little high in homers and runs scored, but otherwise right in the fat part of the curve.
now, on to wainwright (and thank you, azruavatar, for compiling the data). our range of forecasts was surprisingly narrow --- nobody had adam higher than a 4.81 era, nor lower than 3.52. for a 2d-year pitcher making his debut as a starter, that strikes me as a pretty tightly focus scatterplot. in terms of wins, all but 1 of our 39 projectors had adam falling between 11 and 17 (the outlier thinks adam will only win 8 --- and then blow out his shoulder and go on the dl for the rest of the year). even more striking, only two people had adam with more than 10 losses. i don't disagree with the overall projection; it's just interesting that not a single one of us sees adam going 10-15 with a 5.00 era. for whatever it's worth, PECOTA thinks there's about a 20 percent chance that wainwright will do just that, so out of 39 people we might have expected roughly 8 forecasts in that range. . . .
speaking of PECOTA: how do its numbers compare with ours?:
the average of the above projections (again counting VEB/CCH as a single hometown forecast): 152 ip, 10-8, 3.96 era, 1.283 whip. marcel, chone, and ron shandler all projected wainwright as a relief pitcher, so i didn't bother to list those ###s; james split the difference and projected wainwright as a swingman, with half a season's worth of starts (15) and half a season's worth of relief appearances (28); wishy-washy. . . .
how interesting that the two hometown projections (and once again, ours is very close to CCH's) are the least optimistic in terms of ERA. on the other hand, we're the most optimistic in terms of wins, and we're at the high end in terms of innings pitched --- but in both categories we're right in step with the neutral ZIPS numbers, and not all that far off from PECOTA. seems as if everybody agrees that wainwright has a solid year in store; it's a sure thing.
which, if i were superstitious, would kinda make me nervous.