shoewizard alerted me to the CAIRO projections being out - they're not the first (Bill James numbers were already published), but have the advantage of being freely available in a convenient spreadsheet. Let's start with the Diamondbacks hitters.
Not included is Didi Gregorius, because I don't expect him to be a significant part of the roster next year [His projected numbers, in case you're interested, are .240/.283/.342, but those are not adjusted for Chase]. I do have some issues with the expected playing time here, e.g Miguel Montero is apparently going to play more often than Aaron Hill, who has averaged 147 games per year over the past four seasons. But taking those as read, what does it say about our offense?
- Looks like it'll struggle overall - Hill (4.7), Montero (3.7) and Paul Goldschmidt (2.9) all did better last season, than 2013's expected top performer Montero (2.8).
- Adam Eaton will the be the third most productive offensive player on the team, behind Montero and Justin Upton, ranking ahead of Goldschmidt and Hill. I stress: these numbers do not take defense into account.
- Shortstop will be non-terrible, with Pennington's .310 wOBA exactly the same as Chris Young will be giving Oakland - and a good deal cheaper, obviously. 1.5 oWAR is a good deal better than the 0.3 figure Willie Bloomquist, Stephen Drew and John McDonald combined for this year.
- Third base should be a little improved as well: Chavez and Johnson combine for 1.5 oWAR, and that's in a total of only 432 PAs, so should perhaps be scaled up a tad.
- However, those improvements will be more than offset by the drop in production round the rest of the infield. In 2012, Montero, Goldschmidt and Hill were good for 11.3 oWAR as a trio: the 2013 projection has them coming in at only 6.8 oWAR.
Now, we move on to the pitchers:
* Sipp's numbers are not adjusted for Chase. This looks a little more promising. Let's break these down to a selection of bullet points
- In 2012, Wade Miley was top in bWAR, at 3.2, with Trevor Cahill second at 2.5. Trevor Cahill and Ian Kennedy are expected to be clearly better in 2013, with Miley dropping back to two WAR.
- Brandon McCarthy picks up two WAR in a hundred innings. That figure is in line with the 101 innings per active year he has average since 2007. Health is the big question, but I suspect you knew that already.
- I left Trevor Bauer's stats in there for entertainment purposes. :) He is expected to be more productive than Patrick Corbin or Tyler Skaggs, despite pitching fewer innings.
- Man, I love our bullpen. Last year, the best relief corps in baseball by fWAR [I'd use bWAR, but there's no easy way to see that for a team's bullpen, so I'm being lazy!] were the Royals at 7.3. The projections for the Arizona front seven in 2013 total 8.4 WAR. If achieved, that gives us some room for injury, and resultant replacement-level work, and they'd still be at or near the top.
The creator of the CAIRO system, Larry Mahnken, used those projections to run a simulation, and here's how he currently sees the NL West shaking down. However, as he says, "this is extremely early and completely useless so think of it more as a goof than anything too serious."
That gives us the same record as in 2012, with our offense scoring 42 runs less, and our pitching and defense conceding ten less. That leaves us nine games back of the Dodgers, who ride their quintillion-dollar payroll to the title. However, I do note that we sill have a 16% chance of winning the division, and a 30% chance of making the post-season. I'd settle for that, given we didn't have a 30% chance after July 1st this campaign.
So, what do you think? Too pessimistic? Too optimistic? About right?