march madness tips in a few hours --- if you haven’t filed your entry for the VEB bracket challenge yet, now’s the time. click here to get started. couple other thoughts before i share the results of the lohse projection:
- it looks as if both brian barton and brendan ryan are going to make the team; they’ll be joined by colby rasmus before too long. anthony reyes is probably going to open the season in the rotation, and either kyle mclellan or chris perez will probably be on the opening-day roster. when camp opened i wouldn’t have expected all those things to happen, nor even most of them. obviously they might not have happened if it hadn’t been for all the injuries and the DUI case, but so what --- the important thing is that the young players are getting their opportunities, which is what i and so many other fans have been clamoring for. and the first guys up from triple A will probably be other young guys --- joe mather, mike parisi, jason motte. this is mozeliak’s first roster; would it look anything like this if jocketty were still in place?
- re the wainwright extension: seems like a smart move to me, even though their last 4-year committment to a pitcher --- carpenter, last off-season --- didn’t work out so well. you can’t really compare this deal to that one, because the entire value of wagonmaker’s package ($15m) is roughly equal to a single year of carp’s. if wainer turns out not to be worth the $$$ for whatever reason, the hit to the payroll will never be more than a few million bucks in a given year --- ie, they should be able to afford a replacement. the option clause also sounds good; really, nothing to dislike about the deal. as with the molina extension, this contract gives the cards cost-certainty going forward without diminishing their payroll flexibility. best of both worlds.
the other day the boys at No Bias Baseball asked how the cards got such a steal in lohse. here are the results of our projection, alongside the brand-name projections:
that is one uniform set of projections, no? it just drives home the point that lohse’s main appeal lies in stability, as opposed to ability. even we hometowners don’t expect him to raise the team’s ceiling; we just hope he’ll stabilize the floor, keep the rotation from sagging too badly underfoot or snapping altogether. i should note, by the way, that the brand-name projections are all based on lohse’s most recent home ballpark (ie, citizen’s bank in philadelphia); in st louis his hr rate (and, commensurately, his era) should go down. we expect lohse to outperform his career rates in 2008:
irrational optimism? probably not; the career marks are skewed upward by all those years pitching in the dh league and in n.l. hitter’s parks. our lohse projection is almost identical to our projection for joel pineiro:
this (i think) is your gameday link for this afternoon’s contest. i’ll be on a plane, finishing up 4 days on the road; home this afternoon, hallelujah.