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The ZIPS projections provided earlier were a little wonky in terms of total playing time. In the comments, shibum78 fiddled with them a bit, to come with a total team projection that could be compared to last year's numbers. Here's the prettified version of his post.
I changed a few things around based on playing time to make it all fit for next year. This is how I figured the playing time:
I looked at the median plate appearances and innings pitched for MLB teams. Kept the plate appearances and innings the same from ZIPS for all of the position players, except for Eaton because there isn’t that many plate appearances to go around. I made adjustments for the bench players. putting into consideration the plate appearances for the starters. I also do not have McDonald on here, because I think unless Willie completely stinks it up in spring training, we may look to trade McDonald. Well, that is unless we cut Chavez (unlikely due to his $3mil contract) or Hinske (not such a bad idea considering this roster).
For the pitchers,. I kept the innings the same from ZIPS except for Delgado. Also assumed that the main bullpen guys would hit their figures (Sipps, Reynolds, Ziegler, Bell, Collmenter minus starts, Putz, and Hernandez) and filled the rest of the innings with De La Rosa and Marshall, who I think have the best upside for the bullpen.
Last year, the Dbacks finished 6th in position player WAR amongst NL teams with 26.6. They are projected for 21 WAR this year, so losing 5½ wins. Some of that can be gained back by not being such a crappy, aggressive running team. If they do finish with 21 WAR, that would rank them 10th in position player WAR.
Last year, Dbacks finished 4th in starting pitching WAR with 15 WAR. They are projected for 17.3 WAR this year, which would improve them by 2 ½ wins. This would rank them 2nd in starting pitching.
Last year, Dbacks finished 4th in bullpen WAR with 5.9 WAR. They are projected for 6.3 WAR this year, which would improve them by ½ win. This would rank them 3rd in bullpen.
Overall, the Dbacks finished 81-81 in 2012, but really played like a 86 win team. If the team plays out like the projections above, you’re probably looking at a 83 win team. However...
This is where I want to go over where I think the projections sell some of the players short:
- C – Montero, they have him at 3.4 WAR and Nieves at -0.2 WAR. I think Montero will have more than 506 plate appearances (563/year last 2 years) and this is his age 28 season, so there shouldn’t be any drop in production. If we just average last 2 years, he would have 4.7 WAR and Nieves would have less plate appearances. This should add 1.4 WAR.
- 2nd – Hill, they have him at 3.2 WAR, I think his hitting the last year was legit, but he will regress some b/c of his BABIP (last year his WAR was 6.2). I think he should be able to sustain 4.2 WAR, so this should add 1 WAR.
- CF – Eaton, they have him at 2.2 WAR, and I think they’re being way too conservative on his on base skills, defense, and baserunning. I think he should conservatively 3.2 WAR, so that should add 1 WAR.
These 3 adjustments put the Dbacks at 86-87 wins. If we can get a full season of Brandon McCarthy and Daniel Hudson can contribute anything this year, that could even give us 2 more wins. Ultimately, I do think we have a legitimate 86-89 win team. I think this year, Dbacks fans will fall in love with Adam Eaton and along with the steady play of Prado, will help take some of the sting away from the great season Upton will have.